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Volt will be road-tested next spring!

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Volt to be tested in '08
GM plans to put Chevrolet concept car's electric drive system on the road in the spring
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September 11, 2007 | MARK PHELAN| Link to Original Article @ Detroit Free Press


FRANKFURT, Germany -- General Motors will begin testing the revolutionary electric drive system in the Chevrolet Volt concept car on the road in vehicles next spring, company Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said at a dinner Monday night. By this time next year, GM may allow selected people outside the company to test the system.

"You personally will be able to experience the joy of gliding down I-94 at 70 miles an hour" solely on electric power, Lutz said at a preview dinner for the Frankfurt Auto Show.

GM is committed to putting the system in the Chevrolet Volt for sale by 2010, Lutz said.

He convinced two leading auto analysts who attended the event.

"I think they're going to build it," said Rebecca Lindland of Lexington, Mass.-based Global Insight. "Consumers like the idea of getting to and from work purely on electricity. It would be a tremendous win for GM, and an opportunity to get Generation Y on board with the company."

Lutz deserves credit for convincing GM's conservative culture to roll the dice on a public high-profile attempt to make a technological breakthrough, said Joe Phillippi, principal of Short Hills, N.J.-based AutoTrends Consulting.

"Lutz is driving this bus really hard," Phillippi said. "Toyota gets a lot of credit for its hybrid portfolio, but this is clearly a step above. It would give GM a tremendous leg up on the competition."

Lutz said the system would probably hit the road first in the United States, adding that GM expects to offer cars using the system around the world. "China is logical; Europe is logical," he said.

GM's European Opel brand will unveil a concept car using the same powertrain at a news conference at Europe's biggest auto show this morning. The system, which GM calls E-Flex, relies on advanced batteries to provide electric power, a plug-in system to recharge the batteries and a small engine to act as an onboard generator to keep the batteries charged on longer trips.

While the Volt will use a gas engine to charge the electric drive, the Opel Flextreme would use a small turbo-diesel engine to do the same.

Depending on how far they drive, owners might never have to use the engines at all, reducing emissions from the car to near zero. GM designed the Volt, and the Opel Flextreme concept car debuting today, so that most commuters in the United States and Europe could do their routine daily driving solely on battery power.

A new generation of powerful batteries GM is working on with development partners A123 Systems and Compact Power are the key technology to getting the system on the road, Lutz said. GM will begin lab tests of battery packs big enough to power a car like the Volt or Flextreme in October, Lutz said.

"This is a venture into the unknown," he said. "It's something radically new, but we're confident we're going to do it."

The Flextreme concept car also hints at the look of future Opel and Saturn production models. GM will build a vehicle with the concept's innovative 90-degree-opening doors, Opel marketing chief Alain Visser said.

Several automakers will show off environmentally friendly vehicles at the Frankfurt show. Swedish automaker Volvo AB, owned by Ford Motor Co., will have its plug-in hybrid concept at the show. Called the ReCharge and based on Volvo's C30 hatchback, the hybrid is similar to the Volt.

The ReCharge uses a separate electric motor to power each wheel, augmenting a 1.6-liter four-cylinder Flexifuel engine. Volvo says a fully charged model can travel about 62 miles on electricity alone before the engine takes over.
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One of these would foot the bill for my needs entirely. I hope they make a Volt wagon style car or even an HHR style car with this system so it is usable for more than commuting.

I see one major flaw in the design of the Volt - one that will reap serious problems to all the dealers: What does a chevrolet dealer do with all the Prius' they will get on trade?

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One of these would foot the bill for my needs entirely. I hope they make a Volt wagon style car or even an HHR style car with this system so it is usable for more than commuting.

I see one major flaw in the design of the Volt - one that will reap serious problems to all the dealers: What does a chevrolet dealer do with all the Prius' they will get on trade?

That would be a good problem to have and you'll deal with it when you get there.

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One of these would foot the bill for my needs entirely. I hope they make a Volt wagon style car or even an HHR style car with this system so it is usable for more than commuting.

I agree. As much as I am a proponent of RWD V8 cars and performance something like this would fit the bill for me very well. I will be graduating in about 3 years and will need a family car, preferably something economical as I will have lots of loans to pay back. Once money is in the bank and cash flow is good THEN would be the time I would buy my high powered sports/muscle car.
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"China is logical; Europe is logical," he said.

SCREW JAPAN

problem. Americans are dumb as molasses. what do you do if you forgot to plug in your car at night? Can the generator recharge that quickly?

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problem. Americans are dumb as molasses. what do you do if you forgot to plug in your car at night? Can the generator recharge that quickly?

Assuming the batteries don't completely drain overnight, you'd think that the generator could keep just enough juice flowing to drive around while it's running. Otherwise, what happens when you're on a long road trip and battery levels start dropping...

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A car like this would save enough money for a good deal of us to buy a high-performance gas-suckin' monster and not feel the impact. Drive the Camaro SS for fun; drive the Volt for work, shopping, etc. I would definitely consider a Volt-esque car if it were a hatchback. 'Cause I really need a fourth car.

have you applied for your press pass yet Fly?

That would be a fun picture next to the LeSabre...

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When they build it, I will buy, as will many others.

Hopefully there will be some variations (coupe/wagon).

I'd much rather pay a premium to GM then to any more gasoline companies.

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Dear General Motors,

I am from Generation Y. I would love to be given the opportunity to test drive this vehicle, and throw the green finger to every Toyota Pious driver I pass.

Edited by Captainbooyah
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SCREW JAPAN

problem. Americans are dumb as molasses. what do you do if you forgot to plug in your car at night? Can the generator recharge that quickly?

I think that's where the internal combustion engine comes into play. One would guess that since the conventional engine turns on when the batteries run out of juice when driving, I think it would be safe to assume that it would turn on automatically at ignition if there was no power in the battery pack.

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I think that's where the internal combustion engine comes into play. One would guess that since the conventional engine turns on when the batteries run out of juice when driving, I think it would be safe to assume that it would turn on automatically at ignition if there was no power in the battery pack.

Yup the ICE will be capable of running it. That will be similar situation when people take it on a highway trip beyond 40 mile range.

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I think that's where the internal combustion engine comes into play. One would guess that since the conventional engine turns on when the batteries run out of juice when driving, I think it would be safe to assume that it would turn on automatically at ignition if there was no power in the battery pack.

Exactly - they are surely making this thing able to run as long as there is gas in the tank and enough charge to turn the starter (which they'll surely have a reserve or small seperate battery for). Great transitional design.

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Maybe the 60,000 sales target is a little optimist, but I'm hoping GM is successful with this thing.

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So has anybody calculated what it will cost to charge the batteries on the Volt? Say you drove it enough to where you had to charge it every night. What would it add dollar-wise to your electric bill? A gasoline fuel efficient car can get 35-45 mpg of gas, and lets say current gas prices are $2.75 / gallon. What kind of mileage can be expected from the Volt for $2.75 worth of electricity to charge it?

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Awesome news. Again...wheres GXT? :P

I'm right here. I just finished reading another pseudo-PR piece. Short on details, full of hype, and really nothing new to report.

Except, perhaps, a reporter who doesn't understand the possible literary uses of "You" (but there is not enough context to tell for certain). On the other hand, I would expect GM to let people outside of GM to drive the Volt... you gotta keep the PR a flowin'. I guess it just bothers me that he used that particular quote as if it were support of the preceding statement.

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:scratchchin: While I am pleased to see this project moving forward, I am curious as to where these cars will be built. You can build a few concept cars in a hidden away spot. However if GM is going into production with a 2010 time frame shouldn’t a plant be named soon? I know we are working on 2010 and 2011 MCE items for our current product now.
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:scratchchin: While I am pleased to see this project moving forward, I am curious as to where these cars will be built. You can build a few concept cars in a hidden away spot. However if GM is going into production with a 2010 time frame shouldn’t a plant be named soon? I know we are working on 2010 and 2011 MCE items for our current product now.

Hmmmmmmm, I wonder where they could be? :scratchchin:

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So has anybody calculated what it will cost to charge the batteries on the Volt? Say you drove it enough to where you had to charge it every night. What would it add dollar-wise to your electric bill? A gasoline fuel efficient car can get 35-45 mpg of gas, and lets say current gas prices are $2.75 / gallon. What kind of mileage can be expected from the Volt for $2.75 worth of electricity to charge it?

Hopefully it will cost less than a gallon of gas.

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So has anybody calculated what it will cost to charge the batteries on the Volt? Say you drove it enough to where you had to charge it every night. What would it add dollar-wise to your electric bill? A gasoline fuel efficient car can get 35-45 mpg of gas, and lets say current gas prices are $2.75 / gallon. What kind of mileage can be expected from the Volt for $2.75 worth of electricity to charge it?

Well the battery holds 16 kwh, and that takes you 40 miles, and a kwh from your outlet at home costs between 8 and 12 cents on the east cost (7 cents in the mid west) so you are talking about $1.60 to run the battery dry, but also i remember reading it only uses 8 kwh before turning on the generator so it may go 40 miles for 80 cents of electricity not counting power lost through charging and sitting around etc.

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I doubt I will see one up here in God's country. Look forward to maybe some member photos posted on here.

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Well the battery holds 16 kwh, and that takes you 40 miles, and a kwh from your outlet at home costs between 8 and 12 cents on the east cost (7 cents in the mid west) so you are talking about $1.60 to run the battery dry, but also i remember reading it only uses 8 kwh before turning on the generator so it may go 40 miles for 80 cents of electricity not counting power lost through charging and sitting around etc.

Makes sense, I was expecting it to be around $2.00-2.50 per charge assuming power losses, and stand by time. That is indirectly 0.8 to 1 gallons of fuel for 40 miles range (assuming $2.5/gallon for gas). I.e. translated to equivalent 40-50 mpg based on price, not use of fuel or energy. Not bad.

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