mustang84

Time: GM's Green Leap Forward

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No one would mistake Chris Paine for a General Motors shill. In his 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, the filmmaker laid out a damning case against GM for unplugging the EV1, the electric vehicle it manufactured in the 1990s and then discontinued in 2003, preferring instead to produce high-margin but gas-guzzling trucks and suvs. "They were a technological leader, and they fumbled that leadership away," Paine says. Ask him about the U.S. carmaker now, though, and Paine sounds almost admiring. "Their new hybrids are making a difference, and their plug-in technology is a real advance," he says. "GM is making some really good moves now."

It's been some time since anyone accused GM of making a good move. The company surrendered its title as the world's top-selling carmaker to Toyota this year, in part because GM underestimated drivers' appetite for leaner, greener cars--a desire filled spectacularly by Toyota's Prius. GM is still weighed down by health-care costs and other legacy issues, but the Detroit giant is finally getting serious about hybrids. After dismissing them for years as a niche unworthy of attention, GM will release an average of one new hybrid model every three months for the next two years, beginning with the industry's first full-size hybrid suvs late this year. "GM has really stepped up to be the standard bearer for the industry," says Philip Gott, director of automotive consulting for the research group Global Insight. "Toyota stole the limelight the first time with nice technology and a brilliant marketing strategy, but I think GM will take the ball back."

In a way, GM never really lost the ball; it just forgot how to play. For all its recent struggles in the marketplace, GM has always been a leader in pure research and development, spending $6.6 billion in the field in 2006. "They've dwarfed the rest of the industry in what they can put into it," says Dan Sperling, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California at Davis. In the late 1980s, GM produced concept cars like the Sunracer, a sleek solar vehicle that can still inspire wistful sighs in green geeks of a certain age. But too often the good stuff stalled between the lab and the showroom. "There is a myth out there that GM is a technological laggard, but that's not true," says John DeCicco, senior fellow for automotive strategies at the advocacy group Environmental Defense. "They just chose not to emphasize those kinds of products in their corporate strategy." Nevertheless, GM's cautious approach stranded its brands in the past while its competitors positioned themselves as smarter and greener.

Even while its image became defined by Paleolithic suvs, GM was quietly making green investments. The company began producing hybrid buses in 2004, using the technology to boost fuel economy on those big, inefficient vehicles where it would have a big, immediate impact. By the same logic, GM has put its first real hybrid engines not in a midsize sedan like the Toyota Prius but in its jumbo suvs, the GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Tahoe. The 5,000-lb. (2,300 kg) vehicles will run on a new two-mode hybrid system developed by GM with Chrysler and BMW. The power train will use two electric motors--one to assist city driving, one for highways--giving it up to 40% better fuel rates than conventional models' for city driving. "It's a piece of art," says Mickey Bly, GM's director of engineering for hybrid vehicles. And with a towing capacity of 6,000 lbs. (2,700 kg), the fuel economy doesn't come at the expense of power.

The best way for GM to answer its critics is with a green leap forward--and the company is working with every available technology. GM presented the Chevrolet Volt--a plug-in hybrid that can run on battery power, biodiesel or gasoline--as a 2007 concept car. The company will soon roll out Project Driveway, a consumer test of more than 100 hydrogen-fuel-cell cars, which convert hydrogen to energy and produce no harmful emissions. "No other company has such a broad array of green technology," says Tom Stephens, GM's vice president for global power train. "I intend to lead on this."

Chris Paine will be watching. His next film is titled Who Saved the Electric Car?, but there's one obstacle. "We have to find out if someone actually is saving it," he says. It might just be GM. What better hero than a reformed villain?

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/...1670510,00.html

Edited by mustang84
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Another example of the tail wagging the dog. The media has decided that the environment is oh so important now and even the positive pieces have to get their knocks in. GM sells more pick up trucks in a month than Toyota sells Priuses in a year. The market still does not want 'environmentally responsible' vehicles, the media does.

Yes, GM has 'come around,' but then as this piece barely points out (with the glossing over of the impact of the hybrid buses), GM never left the game - GM was spending its money on areas where it would have greater impact, while (as usual) Toyota spent it on what was visible.

GM has to answer to Wall Street. Toyota does not. If Toyota was selling a million pickups a year and GM was selling hybrids, the media would be singing a different tune.

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No one would mistake Chris Paine for a General Motors shill. In his 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, the filmmaker laid out a damning case against GM for unplugging the EV1, the electric vehicle it manufactured in the 1990s and then discontinued in 2003, preferring instead to produce high-margin but gas-guzzling trucks and suvs.
And why shouldn't GM [a business] make high margin vehicles [Trucks/SUVs] as opposed to pie in the sky crap [the EV1]
"They were a technological leader, and they fumbled that leadership away,"

Seen the Volt or the hydrogen concepts by chance?!?!?! Nothing has been 'fumbled away'

Ask him about the U.S. carmaker now, though, and Paine sounds almost admiring. "Their new hybrids are making a difference, and their plug-in technology is a real advance," he says. "GM is making some really good moves now."
Which makes you out to look like even more of an idiot. You know, someone who doesn't know the facts, like most of the 'environmental league'
It's been some time since anyone accused GM of making a good move.

Umm, what?!?! NA Car and Truck of the year, the UAW contract, China, India, GMT800 & 900, Saturn, the Corvette program?!?!?! I'm sure none of those, and countless others things GM has done in *just* the past 3 years were EVER considered good moves.

The company surrendered its title as the world's top-selling carmaker to Toyota this year,
You know, one would think that the media of all entities would keep up with the FACTS or at least take a look at recent events before they run off at the mouth. (Yes, I'm refering to the fact that GM is ahead of Toyota now)
in part because GM underestimated drivers' appetite for leaner, greener cars--a desire filled spectacularly by Toyota's Prius.

Wrong... GM didn't underestimate anything, they just can't build something like the Prius for anywhere near a profit. Not to mention the PRI-tentio-US has it's own problems now both in mechanics and image.

GM is still weighed down by health-care costs and other legacy issues, but the Detroit giant is finally getting serious about hybrids. After dismissing them for years as a niche unworthy of attention,
They still pretty much are a niche unworthy of attention from the business aspect.
In a way, GM never really lost the ball; it just forgot how to play. For all its recent struggles in the marketplace, GM has always been a leader in pure research and development, spending $6.6 billion in the field in 2006.

And THIS single solitary thing is one of the MAJOR reasons why the Detroit automakers are still VITAL to our economy . It's nice to see someone finally "GET IT"

" Nevertheless, GM's cautious approach stranded its brands in the past while its competitors positioned themselves as smarter and greener.

Oh what tha f*ck ever... :rolleyes: GM's division and branding problems are not the result of GM cars being absent from the wet dreams of enviro-geeks. Truth be told, those people probably wouldn't have bought GM -or- american in the first place because they're the same type that thinks CR is god of all cars. GM would've lost the market either way.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Even while its image became defined by Paleolithic suvs, GM was quietly making green investments.

I don't think anything about any of GMs SUVs or any SUV in general is pre-historic.

The company began producing hybrid buses in 2004, using the technology to boost fuel economy on those big, inefficient vehicles where it would have a big, immediate impact.

Which it received NO credit for... GM has always added the technology where it is NEEDED and can do the most good, not where their image benefits from it the most, so they can stab the same naive bastards in the back with an insult (I.E: Selling your image on the Prius while BUILDING the largest truck on the market; the Tundra)

The best way for GM to answer its critics is with a green leap forward--and the company is working with every available technology. GM presented the Chevrolet Volt--a plug-in hybrid that can run on battery power, biodiesel or gasoline--as a 2007 concept car. The company will soon roll out Project Driveway, a consumer test of more than 100 hydrogen-fuel-cell cars, which convert hydrogen to energy and produce no harmful emissions. "No other company has such a broad array of green technology," says Tom Stephens, GM's vice president for global power train. "I intend to lead on this."

It's about time the media *figured this out* and it's HIGH time GM started to promote it, so that the low IQ journalists can figure it out. After all, it's not like they actually research the stories anymore.

Chris Paine will be watching. His next film is titled Who Saved the Electric Car?, but there's one obstacle. "We have to find out if someone actually is saving it," he says. It might just be GM. What better hero than a reformed villain?

A 'reformed villain'?!?! Give me a break!

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Another example of the tail wagging the dog. The media has decided that the environment is oh so important now and even the positive pieces have to get their knocks in. GM sells more pick up trucks in a month than Toyota sells Priuses in a year. The market still does not want 'environmentally responsible' vehicles, the media does.

Yes, GM has 'come around,' but then as this piece barely points out (with the glossing over of the impact of the hybrid buses), GM never left the game - GM was spending its money on areas where it would have greater impact, while (as usual) Toyota spent it on what was visible.

GM has to answer to Wall Street. Toyota does not. If Toyota was selling a million pickups a year and GM was selling hybrids, the media would be singing a different tune.

:bowdown:

Can I get an AMEN!!!

MORE FROM THE ARTICLE:

GM hasn't won over all the skeptics. Sticking a hybrid engine in a jumbo suv is "putting lipstick on a pig," says Ronald Hwang, vehicle policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, who argues that if GM is green serious, it should give up suvs and build more efficient cars.

Get a load of this idiot... Yes, yes, that's exactly what we should do; limit choice instead of innovate. Focus on the cars that DON'T DAMAGE our environment so much as opposed to the cars that do the most damage. Ignore a multi-million dollar market for the sake of making anti freedom jack-offs like this guy happy. That makes PERFECT sense and logic!!!

Did someone drop this guy on his head when he was a baby or did his dog just get hit by one of those "paleolithic behemoth SUVs"

But other activists welcome the effort. "I'm an equal-opportunity environmentalist, and I'll take carbon reductions where I can get them," says DeCicco.

So being an environmentalist means that you're automatically anti-SUV as well?!?! Wow, these 'open minded' people sure aren't that smart. Anyone with an issue of Motor Trend can tell you that Carbon Emissions aren't always a product of the size of the car. Maybe these guys should revisit how much size matters :D

They agree, however, that GM passed up a chance to cement its green rep by failing to support efforts to tighten the federal corporate average-fuel-economy standards. Green darling Toyota has also opposed the proposed new rules, which call for a 35-m.p.g. (6.7 L/100 km) standard by 2020.

TRANSLATION: GM bad... TO-YO-TA good... But, BTW, Toyota also is level headed enough to not endorse the new regulations. But that's okay, since, everything Toyota does is golden; even the new gas hog Tundra.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Seen the Volt or the hydrogen concepts by chance?!?!?! Nothing has been 'fumbled away'

Everyone has concepts. Concepts don't mean anything.

"GM has really stepped up to be the standard bearer for the industry," says Philip Gott, director of automotive consulting for the research group Global Insight.

GM hasn't even released their good hybrids yet. So far we've been underwhelmed by a couple of mild hybrids. However this guy seems to think that GM is now the standard bearer for the industry?

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GM hasn't even released their good hybrids yet. So far we've been underwhelmed by a couple of mild hybrids. However this guy seems to think that GM is now the standard bearer for the industry?

He's basing that on what's coming out from GM and other manufacturers.

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Everyone has concepts. Concepts don't mean anything.

Operational concepts that are either booked for production (Volt) or push the envelope of applied technology (Fuel cell concepts) mean a lot, actually. They don't mean the same thing as a product that the general public can buy, but they do mean something. Non-functional concepts (especially ones that seem to only exist in digital imagery) are the ones that mean almost nothing.

Edited by PurdueGuy
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Everyone has concepts. Concepts don't mean anything.

GM hasn't even released their good hybrids yet. So far we've been underwhelmed by a couple of mild hybrids. However this guy seems to think that GM is now the standard bearer for the industry?

What about Saturn Vue Hybird? Hasn't it be released yet?

Edited by EMan
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He's basing that on what's coming out from GM and other manufacturers.

I understand that, but he seems to be jumping the gun, don't you think?

CR just got blasted for giving Toyota's vehicles initially a good rating based on reputation. This journalist is giving GM his blessing based on even less. Of course this journalist's voice means nothing compared to the word of CR, but I'm still going to nit pick at it. :AH-HA_wink:

When GM makes a serious dent in Toyota's hybrid sales, exceeds them in hybrid sales, or provides a truly high-mpg vehicle for us, then I will cheer on GM. The volt certainly meets these requirements, but we can't say anything until it is available to the public.

Operational concepts that are either booked for production (Volt) or push the envelope of applied technology (Fuel cell concepts) mean a lot, actually. They don't mean the same thing as a product that the general public can buy, but they do mean something.

In regards to FOG's comment: "Seen the Volt or the hydrogen concepts by chance?!?!?! Nothing has been 'fumbled away'" in response to the article: "They were a technological leader, and they fumbled that leadership away,"

Concepts do not make you the leader when other manufacturers already have production versions in the hands of customers.

They had a production lease vehicle, and it showed that they were the technological "leader" in that area, but they fumbled it away, whether due to politics or simply cost. Now they are not the leader. They might have a leg up on Toyota in the plug-in hybrid area, but that's still a couple years away. And until then, Toyota's Pious will still keep them in the lead of electric-powered mainstream vehicles, even if it isn't that good.

Speaking of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles; GM started working in that field a long time ago, but they are certainly not the leader in that area anymore, having been beaten to the lease-market by nearly 5 years. Although the by-wire technology is certainly a leap forward. I would say they are the leader in that area, showing a completely by-wire electric concept drivable vehicle in 2002.

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I understand that, but he seems to be jumping the gun, don't you think?

CR just got blasted for giving Toyota's vehicles initially a good rating based on reputation. This journalist is giving GM his blessing based on even less. Of course this journalist's voice means nothing compared to the word of CR, but I'm still going to nit pick at it. :AH-HA_wink:

When GM makes a serious dent in Toyota's hybrid sales, exceeds them in hybrid sales, or provides a truly high-mpg vehicle for us, then I will cheer on GM. The volt certainly meets these requirements, but we can't say anything until it is available to the public.

In regards to FOG's comment: "Seen the Volt or the hydrogen concepts by chance?!?!?! Nothing has been 'fumbled away'" in response to the article: "They were a technological leader, and they fumbled that leadership away,"

Concepts do not make you the leader when other manufacturers already have production versions in the hands of customers.

First, the journalist is obviously basing his opinion on what he's seen from all the manufacturers, and he thinks GM's is the best. Journalists have already driven the hybrid T900s. CR's ratings and his opinion are two totally different things. CR's rating is based totally upon assumption, the journalist's opinion most likely based upon the real-world gains of GM's hybrids vs. other manufacturers hybrids. Clearly, the journalist's opinion could not be based on even less than CR's rating when you consider CR's ratings were based on nothing at all. His opinion would have to be based on stuff he's never seen to have his be even more off-base.

As for the concepts... no one has a hydrogen powered car out or a plug in like the Volt, that I know of at least. A concept version of a normal hybrid would be rather dumb, but neither of them are the same thing as what is out today.

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Also glossed over in the rush to earn Toyota's paycheck is the fact that the upcoming GMT900s have the potential to actually DO something on the market.

Let's face it, the brocolli-eating-tree-huggers that buy the Prius would normally be driving a Camry anyway, rarely travel over the speed limit, and only use their vehicles to go to Sierra Club meetings and Save the Whale conventions - so what are the true benefits to the environment from those consumers? However, those who actually use their gas guzzling SUVs for work have the potential to save a lot of fuel and exhaust emissions. For example, a pick up truck that travels 50,000 miles per year and will save 10 mpg will save more fuel in one year than two or three Priuses.

As we've beaten to death on C&G, the cost to benefit ratio of a 4 cyl Camry versus Prius (let alone a 4 cyl Malibu to Prius!) makes the expense hardly worth it. I venture to say that contractors and farmers stand to benefit a lot more by the switch to hybrid SUVs and pickups from GM - if they migrate enmasse to hybrid trucks from GM the benefit to the environment will be astronomical.

But this is all hypothetical at this point. I anxiously await the New York Times' and others new spin once GM's hybrids take off. How will they attack Detroit then?

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First, the journalist is obviously basing his opinion on what he's seen from all the manufacturers, and he thinks GM's is the best. Journalists have already driven the hybrid T900s. CR's ratings and his opinion are two totally different things. CR's rating is based totally upon assumption, the journalist's opinion most likely based upon the real-world gains of GM's hybrids vs. other manufacturers hybrids. Clearly, the journalist's opinion could not be based on even less than CR's rating when you consider CR's ratings were based on nothing at all. His opinion would have to be based on stuff he's never seen to have his be even more off-base.

I was unaware that he may have already driven the Tahoe. Regardless, even if it was the best thing he drove, it doesn't rationalize or make GM the "standard bearer for the industry", based on a product that isn't available to the public yet. Maybe it will be the "standard" for full-size SUV hybrids (and truck hybrids soon). Now that he could probably say.

As for the concepts... no one has a hydrogen powered car out or a plug in like the Volt, that I know of at least. A concept version of a normal hybrid would be rather dumb, but neither of them are the same thing as what is out today.

Just like with the EV-1s, there are no fuel cell vehicles for sale that can be purchased outright, but some manufacturers have them available for lease. Honda (surprise!) was the first to get their fuel cell vehicle (FCX) certified by the EPA and CARB along with safety standards, in June 2002 (link), and delivered their first FCX in Dec 2002. According to that press release, "During the first two-to-three-year period, Honda will lease about 30 fuel cell vehicles in California and the Tokyo metropolitan area". These leases were likely to companies or the government. The first individual customer sale was to a Californian family in June '05 (first customer). GM is rolling out 100 of their latest Fuel Cell prototypes for public lease this year. Whether that will be to individual customers or to fleets, I don't know.

Let's face it, the brocolli-eating-tree-huggers that buy the Prius would normally be driving a Camry anyway, rarely travel over the speed limit, and only use their vehicles to go to Sierra Club meetings and Save the Whale conventions - so what are the true benefits to the environment from those consumers?

Well considering the average 2.4L Automatic Camry driver gets in the mid-high 20's (seems low, but that's after quite a few entries at www.fueleconomy.gov) and the average Prius driver gets 47-48mpg (here); I would say it makes quite a big impact. Assuming Prius drivers don't use their car to drive to/from work every day is a bad assumption I would say.

Edited by siegen
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Also glossed over in the rush to earn Toyota's paycheck is the fact that the upcoming GMT900s have the potential to actually DO something on the market.

Let's face it, the brocolli-eating-tree-huggers that buy the Prius would normally be driving a Camry anyway, rarely travel over the speed limit, and only use their vehicles to go to Sierra Club meetings and Save the Whale conventions - so what are the true benefits to the environment from those consumers? However, those who actually use their gas guzzling SUVs for work have the potential to save a lot of fuel and exhaust emissions. For example, a pick up truck that travels 50,000 miles per year and will save 10 mpg will save more fuel in one year than two or three Priuses.

As we've beaten to death on C&G, the cost to benefit ratio of a 4 cyl Camry versus Prius (let alone a 4 cyl Malibu to Prius!) makes the expense hardly worth it. I venture to say that contractors and farmers stand to benefit a lot more by the switch to hybrid SUVs and pickups from GM - if they migrate enmasse to hybrid trucks from GM the benefit to the environment will be astronomical.

But this is all hypothetical at this point. I anxiously await the New York Times' and others new spin once GM's hybrids take off. How will they attack Detroit then?

"Tree-huggers" use public transport, bicycle, or car sharing.

Let's face it, the Prius-buyer demographic is much broader than you give it credit for. I've seen countless Priuses (Priuii?) with "Bush-Cheney 2004" bumper stickers, and tons of people who bought SUVs as fashion statements are now buying Priuses (likely for the same reason). At under $21K, it's a very reasonable alternative to the boring traditional midsize family sedan.. you trade a level of performance and comfort for greater technology (BT, rear cam, keyless go) and double the fuel economy.

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When GM makes a serious dent in Toyota's hybrid sales, exceeds them in hybrid sales, or provides a truly high-mpg vehicle for us, then I will cheer on GM. The volt certainly meets these requirements, but we can't say anything until it is available to the public.

Hybrid sales totals will be misleading. This guy is likely giving GM credit for more than just hybrids and is considering the fact that arguably, GM already has the most comprehensive petrol-reducing lineup. They have mild hybrids that are cheap enough for everyday people that can't afford a $3k - $10k premium, they have the 2-mode which is more advanced than any other hybrid system, they have E-85 vehicles, and released a fleet of fuel cell vehicles about a year ago (Equinox). They're continuing to push the issue with the series system which, by all accounts, will be the first of its kind on the road. I think that's more than anyone else is doing...

Further, it would be great if the Volt can garner as many sales as the Prius, but that issue is going to entail a lot more than simple capabilities. There is a great hypocrisy among the automotive environmental group. They care more about the image of green than the actual fact. This is evidenced a number of ways. The Prius sells more units than the Camry (and the Camry is one of the top-selling vehicles in NA), why is that? Why is there no praise for a technology that improves the fuel economy of the so-called "gas guzzlers" to a level that is similar to a number of midsize sedans? Why have sports cars been given a pass while SUVs take the brunt of complaints when at least SUVs serve some functional purpose as opposed to sports cars that are built for indulgence? Shouldn't we give up our indulgences before the vehicles we need? These people are uninformed at best and have just found something they like yelling about.

And now Honda and Toyota are taking shots at the Volt because it's not the "final answer." Which is pure marketing and positioning BS, but the sad thing is that the environmental peeps are listening to them.

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Why have sports cars been given a pass while SUVs take the brunt of complaints when at least SUVs serve some functional purpose as opposed to sports cars that are built for indulgence?

Because politicians like their sports cars.

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Hybrid sales totals will be misleading. This guy is likely giving GM credit for more than just hybrids and is considering the fact that arguably, GM already has the most comprehensive petrol-reducing lineup. They have mild hybrids that are cheap enough for everyday people that can't afford a $3k - $10k premium, they have the 2-mode which is more advanced than any other hybrid system, they have E-85 vehicles, and released a fleet of fuel cell vehicles about a year ago (Equinox). They're continuing to push the issue with the series system which, by all accounts, will be the first of its kind on the road. I think that's more than anyone else is doing...

Further, it would be great if the Volt can garner as many sales as the Prius, but that issue is going to entail a lot more than simple capabilities. There is a great hypocrisy among the automotive environmental group. They care more about the image of green than the actual fact. This is evidenced a number of ways. The Prius sells more units than the Camry (and the Camry is one of the top-selling vehicles in NA), why is that? Why is there no praise for a technology that improves the fuel economy of the so-called "gas guzzlers" to a level that is similar to a number of midsize sedans? Why have sports cars been given a pass while SUVs take the brunt of complaints when at least SUVs serve some functional purpose as opposed to sports cars that are built for indulgence? Shouldn't we give up our indulgences before the vehicles we need? These people are uninformed at best and have just found something they like yelling about.

And now Honda and Toyota are taking shots at the Volt because it's not the "final answer." Which is pure marketing and positioning BS, but the sad thing is that the environmental peeps are listening to them.

GOOD POINTS. The fact that Toyota is ramping up their mighty PR machine AGAINST the Volt tells me all I need to know.

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"Tree-huggers" use public transport, bicycle, or car sharing.

Let's face it, the Prius-buyer demographic is much broader than you give it credit for. I've seen countless Priuses (Priuii?) with "Bush-Cheney 2004" bumper stickers, and tons of people who bought SUVs as fashion statements are now buying Priuses (likely for the same reason). At under $21K, it's a very reasonable alternative to the boring traditional midsize family sedan.. you trade a level of performance and comfort for greater technology (BT, rear cam, keyless go) and double the fuel economy.

I've seen Priuses around here also with Bush-Cheney decals, which seem very strange and out of place...I can't imagine Repubs buying green...my usual image of them are the 'F**k the environment' types driving monster Hemi Dodge Ram bloatbeasts.... (I see so many Super Dutys and Rams in suburbia around here with W04, NRA, and other Repub decals).

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I don't get it. An article that is largely positive, including quotes from a guy who had a movie that painted GM in a poor light admitting that his opinion has changed, and you guys are still not happy?

The truth is, that much like Toyota's 'full size' Tundra is now being judged against the Big 3's best, the Volt will be judged against the best the market has to offer when it appears!

The 'real' hybrids from GM will be out this year and next. Noone here has driven them. I hope they're great, but the same bias you accuse the media of clouds your judgement when it comes to anything GM...I find it hard to believe that the irony isn't apparent...

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I've seen Priuses around here also with Bush-Cheney decals, which seem very strange and out of place...I can't imagine Repubs buying green...

Just because someone is a republican, means they are obligated to not care about the environment? :blink:

Welcome to the republican party! Oh wait, is that your car? A Corolla? Don't worry son, we'll get you into an Expedition or Suburban right away!

Hybrid sales totals will be misleading. This guy is likely giving GM credit for more than just hybrids and is considering the fact that arguably, GM already has the most comprehensive petrol-reducing lineup. They have mild hybrids that are cheap enough for everyday people that can't afford a $3k - $10k premium, they have the 2-mode which is more advanced than any other hybrid system, they have E-85 vehicles, and released a fleet of fuel cell vehicles about a year ago (Equinox). They're continuing to push the issue with the series system which, by all accounts, will be the first of its kind on the road. I think that's more than anyone else is doing...

Further, it would be great if the Volt can garner as many sales as the Prius, but that issue is going to entail a lot more than simple capabilities. There is a great hypocrisy among the automotive environmental group. They care more about the image of green than the actual fact. This is evidenced a number of ways. The Prius sells more units than the Camry (and the Camry is one of the top-selling vehicles in NA), why is that? Why is there no praise for a technology that improves the fuel economy of the so-called "gas guzzlers" to a level that is similar to a number of midsize sedans? Why have sports cars been given a pass while SUVs take the brunt of complaints when at least SUVs serve some functional purpose as opposed to sports cars that are built for indulgence? Shouldn't we give up our indulgences before the vehicles we need? These people are uninformed at best and have just found something they like yelling about.

And now Honda and Toyota are taking shots at the Volt because it's not the "final answer." Which is pure marketing and positioning BS, but the sad thing is that the environmental peeps are listening to them.

They do sell a lot of Flexfuel cars, I see them often. Are there any figures that show how many people are filling up on E85?

I thought the fuel cell fleet was being released this Fall 2007, is that a different fleet? Do you have a link to a press release?

What is the series system?

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Just because someone is a republican, means they are obligated to not care about the environment? :blink:

I thought they only cared about their bibles, guns, war, and raw capitalism...

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They do sell a lot of Flexfuel cars, I see them often. Are there any figures that show how many people are filling up on E85?

Good question. I would imagine that not a lot of people actually fill up on E85, but that's either becuase the infrastructure doesn't exist or, to my point, the majority of people say they're more interested in reducing our depedence on petroleum than are actually willing to do something about it.

I thought the fuel cell fleet was being released this Fall 2007, is that a different fleet? Do you have a link to a press release?

Touche, I stand corrected. Ironic that today is actually the first day the fleets have been released. Still, does Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai, or Nissan have any on the road in the US?

What is the series system?

As was mentioned, the series is the Volt. Whereas current hybrids supplement and replace gas power with electric, a series hybrid is fully driven by electric power and only uses the fuel tank to generate power and refill the battery. That's how the Volt will run for 40 miles on pure electric power.
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