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Advice for GM's CEO Mary Barra

4402 Views 22 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  pdt
1. Offer evolved versions of the Volt drivetrain in most body styles. 2. Put an end to the otherwise endless talk about how the Tesla Model S is so different because it's all-electric and has 265 miles of range -- just make a GM car like that! 3. Build your own charging stations!
-Anton Wahlman

Interesting full article here:
http://www.thestreet.com/story/12149037/1/advice-for-gms-ceo-mary-barra.html
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More Wahlmania.

Tesla's Superchargers all have at least 4 spaces (2 chargers with 2 spaces each). But in the vast majority of cases they have 6 or 8. The few 4-spot locations are in low-travel or top-up zones.

It doesn't make sense for GM to build a charger network. GM has an EREV, the point of which is that it doesn't need public charging stations. As for a fast charger network, they don't need one unless they build a long-range electric car or commit to Spark EV volume. Short-range electric cars are not turned into long-range electric cars by a fast-charge network, because a charge:drive ratio of 1:1, which is what would happen with highway driving, is way too high both in terms of trip time and the resulting contention. Fast chargers for short-range BEVs should be seen as useful emergency top-up.

But, as for building a long-range electric car: they'd have to beat Tesla, and Tesla has a significant first-mover advantage as well as, according to analyst consensus, a battery cost advantage. If a company is to build a long-range BEV, they will have to be fully committed or the market will ignore them. GM should just continue with their cell format and EREV model and reevaluate if advances in cell technology demand it. It's too late and too early to change tack.
 

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I agree with GM building a long range EV (>60kWh at 3 miles/kWh) and I think this early in the game they would also need to either build fast charging infrastructure (>100kW) or make sure someone else does it right. Long-range EV without ubiquitous, reliable, and available fast charging is not really a long-range EV.
 

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I would love to see an equinox EREV. As of now I'm hoping the Outlander PHEV is available here by the time my lease runs out.
+infinity! Equinox or GMC Terrain EREV! Come on GM/Mary Barra!! I'll take a base model ~$40k Equinox/Terrain with 30 miles AER in a heartbeat!!
 

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I think the Volt needs a bump of battery capacity about 50%. Or 75mi max, 40mi min. But that increases weight and cost.
And the engine should be more advanced. Alum block turbo diesel. Again, more $.

As far as a 200mi range on battery? Not worth the price, nor does it fix anything. If you are commuting 200mi a day, you need to change jobs, not buy a >$60k car. You will still have to rent/switch cars for road trips. I doubt a Tesla normally can do the LA to Vegas run. A simple 4 hr drive. A true 4 hour range with normal driving is the minimum. 300mi at 75mph.
 

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Advertise the Car! There are so many people who have no clue about the Volt. Advertise people's experience after two years. Saving in gas and CO2. In Ontario there is an $8,200 rebate on the Volt that will end in 2015. No one and I mean no one I have talked to in the last two years knows anything about that. When I take people for a ride, they are completely stunned that such a car exists. I first asked myself where have these people been for the last three years? But with no significant advertising they simply haven't been exposed enough.
Expand the Voltec into cars like the Orlando so families can buy it. Both my older children love the car but it is too small for a family of 4 with two active children. If it was in the Orlando they would buy it! Move forward not stand still and certainly don't entertain any ideas about stopping production. Take the gloves off and advertise against the Tesla now while you have the chance. If Tesla ever drops the price to an affordable one not only GM but many other car companies will be in big trouble.
 

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Please hire a new Advertising Agency to handle the Volt commercials! The general public does not understand the Volt. The Fox propaganda machine has done an excellent job of labeling the Volt as a "flop". Ask any Volt owner if it's a flop. (Well.. Maybe not 2013 Volt owners in the dead of winter...)

Please find a new Ad Agency to sell the Volt and break the common mis-conceptions. Find an agency that knows how to promote on social media. Like the famous Volvo Epic Split ad that got over 59 million hits.

Voltec is fantastic technology and it's the way forward for GM.
 

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i agree unless battery cost come down drastically, i don't think we need more than a 60 mile batter if they can get to that without extra cost. I don't care about a full 300 mile all electric. it will be a long time before they can charge it quick enough and for my driving locall in my county for chores, 38 with up to say 45 hypermiling is not gonna cut it. I find a 60 mile range is the right range for those that don't live in very condensed counties or cities.
 

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As far as a 200mi range on battery? Not worth the price, nor does it fix anything. If you are commuting 200mi a day, you need to change jobs, not buy a >$60k car. You will still have to rent/switch cars for road trips. I doubt a Tesla normally can do the LA to Vegas run. A simple 4 hr drive. A true 4 hour range with normal driving is the minimum. 300mi at 75mph.
With the appropriate fast-charging infrastructure (>120kW) an EV with 200 mile range would give 80-90% of the capability of a gas car, ~95% with battery swap. Not everyone would be satisfied, but the market would be pretty big if the battery cost was low enough (~150-200 $/kWh).
 

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Most people I encounter do not understand the Volt. It seems to take explaining more than once for people to get it. There is a big education gap that needs to be filled.
 

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As far as a 200mi range on battery? Not worth the price, nor does it fix anything. If you are commuting 200mi a day, you need to change jobs, not buy a >$60k car. You will still have to rent/switch cars for road trips. I doubt a Tesla normally can do the LA to Vegas run. A simple 4 hr drive. A true 4 hour range with normal driving is the minimum. 300mi at 75mph.
Capacity ~ range ~ charging rate~ performance ~ 1/discharge rate

As far LA to Vegas, Supercharge at Barstow. Take Barstow to LV easy in a 60 since it's 158 miles. For the moment you'll need destination charging to fill up and get back since the, although there will be a Supercharger near LV at some point.

http://www.teslawiki.net/supercharger/

Have a play.
 

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She may be the first woman CEO of GM, but she has worked most of her career in the OLD GM culture. The company went bankrupt for a reason, and management was to blame. If she cannot prove herself to be from the NEW GM, nothing will change and will only get worse. Being female means nothing, if she is not a progressive and enlightened CEO. If her tens of millions in compensation and a private jet become the first priority, then the company will fail again. If I recall correctly GMs market share began to decline in the early 80s, all the while management was making itself as rich as possible.
 

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Capacity ~ range ~ charging rate~ performance ~ 1/discharge rate

As far LA to Vegas, Supercharge at Barstow. Take Barstow to LV easy in a 60 since it's 158 miles. For the moment you'll need destination charging to fill up and get back since the, although there will be a Supercharger near LV at some point.

http://www.teslawiki.net/supercharger/

Have a play.
Lots of long steep hills. Tesla does well at 75mph up steep grades?

In any case, no Supercharger in Vegas. Barstow>LV>Barstow = 320 miles of mountains.

So I guess you just need to pick your hotel based on charging facilities, and hope they aren't crowded?

Naw, I will continue to pick my hotel based on where I like to stay or who will comp me the best.

Now with a Volt? No problemo. Don't even have to worry about the Valet idiots.
 

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Regarding that great Tesla EV range, check out an article today on Green Car Reports about a 600 mile trip in a Tesla. What a great article for discouraging buying a Tesla for longer trips. (I wrote a comment) Supercharger stations or not, the article makes a great case for flying.....
 

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Lots of long steep hills. Tesla does well at 75mph up steep grades?

In any case, no Supercharger in Vegas. Barstow>LV>Barstow = 320 miles of mountains.

So I guess you just need to pick your hotel based on charging facilities, and hope they aren't crowded?

Naw, I will continue to pick my hotel based on where I like to stay or who will comp me the best.

Now with a Volt? No problemo. Don't even have to worry about the Valet idiots.
No Supercharger near Vegas, yet, but it is in Tesla's near-term plans.

The run's been done multiple times without any problems.

I think many EV owners like to frequent PEV-friendly hotels to encourage installation. As long as you call ahead the hotels will reserve a spot or valet. If there's one "destination" location away from home where chargers make sense it's at places you'll stay overnight.
 

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No Supercharger near Vegas, yet, but it is in Tesla's near-term plans.

The run's been done multiple times without any problems.

I think many EV owners like to frequent PEV-friendly hotels to encourage installation. As long as you call ahead the hotels will reserve a spot or valet. If there's one "destination" location away from home where chargers make sense it's at places you'll stay overnight.
I'm still thinking the Tesla should have had at least a 40HP ICE engine in it. What we call "limp mode" in the late model ICE community. 110lb. Could charge the vehicle at 30kw.

I wanted the Chevy Spark EV. Little car with 400ft/lb at 0 mph. Peppy. But wifey pointed out that teens will be driving, and it would be me that would have to rescue them when they ignored the charge status.
 

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I do not believe GM needs a long-range EV. The Voltec system is considerably cheaper than Tesla's setup and you get essentially the same benefit. You can drive every day as an EV, but never worry about those longer drives. In fact, Voltec is currently superior to Tesla due to the lack of supercharging infrastructure in most of the country.

So GM needs to focus on the PHEV and start implementing it into more vehicles. I wouldn't mind seeing a few "weak PHEV" in the lineup like the Ford Energi products also. Again, the middle class needs cheaper plug-in vehicles. The PHEV is the cheapest way to give the middle-class guy an EV experience and also have unlimited range. Leave the Tesla vehicles to the upper-class.
 
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