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Chevrolet News:Al Oppenheiser Moves from Camaro to Work on Zero-Emission Vehicles

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Al Oppenheiser is possibly one of the most important people working at General Motors being the chief engineer for the fifth and sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. He helped bring back one of the most iconic muscle cars and make into something quite special. But Oppenheiser will soon face a new challenge.

Car and Driver reports that Oppenheiser will move over to GM's newly formed AV/EV organization to work on zero-emission-vehicle development. GM spokesman Michael Albano explained that they are moving "some of our best talent" to help work on their electrification efforts. Albano did acknowledge this was a lateral move, Oppenheiser would remain as a chief engineer.

"We have launched the final variant of this generation of Camaro, so the time is right" for him to move, said Albano.

What will be Oppenheiser's responsibility in this new position? Car and Driver says it will be "broader than one specific vehicle," meaning he'll be working on a number of vehicle styles.

Source: Car and Driver


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Makes sense to move on at this time..the Camaro has painted itself into a corner where it paradoxically gets more powerful yet uglier...a dead end.  They need a clean sheet of paper approach for the next Camaro. 

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And the Pony car segment is getting progressively smaller while eV's will only get larger. Good move, GM!

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Considering he had a hand in the EV Camaro plug in motor to the tranny, I can see a legacy of Box'd electric motors to replace ICE motors for restoration by those that want the Torque and reduced maintenance of an electric motor.

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1 hour ago, dfelt said:

Considering he had a hand in the EV Camaro plug in motor to the tranny, I can see a legacy of Box'd electric motors to replace ICE motors for restoration by those that want the Torque and reduced maintenance of an electric motor.

It is the future, just not one people are ready to embrace.

I agree with Balthazar that cost is a major issue....but we keep making progress.

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1 hour ago, A Horse With No Name said:

It is the future, just not one people are ready to embrace.

I agree with Balthazar that cost is a major issue....but we keep making progress.

Electric motors are cheap, the battery is the big cost for sure but then I do expect the cost to come down significantly over the next few years as production ramps up. Economy of Scale.

battery-cost-1

If we keep following this trend, I expect the cost of per kWh battery to be below $100 by 2023 which makes the battery and a crate electric motor on par with traditional ice crate projects. $100 is where WITHOUT incentives, battery and electric motor are on par with ICE powertrains.

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3 hours ago, dfelt said:

Considering he had a hand in the EV Camaro plug in motor to the tranny, I can see a legacy of Box'd electric motors to replace ICE motors for restoration by those that want the Torque and reduced maintenance of an electric motor.

Maybe they can come up with a crate EV motor that has a case styled to look like a BBC with chrome valve covers, painted orange, with a fake carburetor on top.   And shake, make rumbly sounds, and smell like gasoline. 

Edited by Robert Hall
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2 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

Maybe they can come up with a crate EV motor that has a case styled to look like a BBC with chrome valve covers, painted orange, with a fake carburetor on top.   And shake, make rumbly sounds, and smell like gasoline. 

...Or hire a CGI team to do the same thing.

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7 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

Maybe they can come up with a crate EV motor that has a case styled to look like a BBC with chrome valve covers, painted orange, with a fake carburetor on top.   And shake, make rumbly sounds, and smell like gasoline. 

Oh boy that sounds so macho

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4 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

Oh boy that sounds so macho

Give retrofit EV motors a retro look...

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14 hours ago, dfelt said:

I can see a legacy of Box'd electric motors to replace ICE motors for restoration by those that want ... reduced maintenance of an electric motor.

The very very last thing on the mind of those restoring older vehicles is less maintenance. Restoring & maintaining is the entire point.

11 hours ago, dfelt said:

Electric motors are cheap, the battery is the big cost for sure but then I do expect the cost to come down significantly over the next few years as production ramps up. Economy of Scale.

What leads you to believe any savings seen on costs is going to be passed on to the consumer?

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12 minutes ago, balthazar said:

The very very last thing on the mind of those restoring older vehicles is less maintenance. Restoring & maintaining is the entire point.

What leads you to believe any savings seen on costs is going to be passed on to the consumer?

Restoring is a Generational thing, younger people have an interest in older auto's but I am seeing at the local car shows younger people also saying they do not want to have to mess with all the maintenance of an ICE auto. Times change and as older folks pass away, younger folks will fall into two camps, those that will tinker with the old ICE auto's and those that will restore with modern power trains to enjoy driving the auto but without the maintenance.

We are already seeing the death of auto clubs and car shows, if we do not change with the times to find a way to excite younger generations, a way of life will truly be lost to the history books.

POSITIVE THINKING, My Wine Glass is ALWAYS half full. I believe that auto companies will want to find a way to keep young folks buying auto's. if they do not then auto companies will die and shrink and that would be bad.

I believe because I want to that companies who want to have a long profitable life in selling product will find a way to have lower cost auto's.

Laugh my friend at the Chinese personal transport pods, but that very well could be part of the future in America as it is in China.

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Why would younger people worried about having to schedule a 20 min oil change at 10,000 miles even BE at a car show?  I thought this age group was crushed under student debt and unable to afford anything more expensive than a street kitchen burrito, nevermind a totally discretionary older vehicle that they are then going to put 10s of thousands into to convert to an EV? 
It's easy to spout automotive platitudes in casual conversation, let's see what they actually DO.

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6 hours ago, dfelt said:

Restoring is a Generational thing, younger people have an interest in older auto's but I am seeing at the local car shows younger people also saying they do not want to have to mess with all the maintenance of an ICE auto. Times change and as older folks pass away, younger folks will fall into two camps, those that will tinker with the old ICE auto's and those that will restore with modern power trains to enjoy driving the auto but without the maintenance.

We are already seeing the death of auto clubs and car shows, if we do not change with the times to find a way to excite younger generations, a way of life will truly be lost to the history books.

POSITIVE THINKING, My Wine Glass is ALWAYS half full. I believe that auto companies will want to find a way to keep young folks buying auto's. if they do not then auto companies will die and shrink and that would be bad.

I believe because I want to that companies who want to have a long profitable life in selling product will find a way to have lower cost auto's.

Laugh my friend at the Chinese personal transport pods, but that very well could be part of the future in America as it is in China.

You do so much research, and then you convey it in a concise, very readable style.

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6 hours ago, balthazar said:

Why would younger people worried about having to schedule a 20 min oil change at 10,000 miles even BE at a car show?  I thought this age group was crushed under student debt and unable to afford anything more expensive than a street kitchen burrito, nevermind a totally discretionary older vehicle that they are then going to put 10s of thousands into to convert to an EV? 
It's easy to spout automotive platitudes in casual conversation, let's see what they actually DO.

Quite true..at old car shows I've attended over the last decade or so, it seems most of the people were Baby Boomers.  Not many people under 50, let alone under 30.   Arizona has a strong old car hobby culture, but it's predominantly an older demo.  I do wonder about the future of the old car hobby after the Baby Boomers age out.  Obviously, some younger people--often the children of those Baby Boomer old car hobbyists--- will get into it, but I don't see as large an interest in old cars with people under 50..

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