I had the chance to speak with Nick Zielinksi, he is GM's vehicle line director for advanced technology vehicles. He is doing some of the coolest stuff at GM, developing the engineering for their "way in the future" cars.
Since you are responsible for the generation two and three Volts can you say anything about what ideas you're considering?
Its far enough in the future that we can't talk about the details. But we think (we know) from what we've learned on the Volt so far, from your site and people that have been exposed to the car, and the mule development. I can say things like in terms of the AER and performance we're happy about how the vehicle is progressing.
Are you working on any high performance vehicles, like an electric Corvette?
We're working on a lot of exciting stuff but I can't go into the details. We're working on a lot of neat things, a lot of it focused more on efficiency and improved fuel economy as opposed to balls out high performance.
I think people want better prices, so why not make a car with a smaller battery to reach lets say 20 grand?
You're pretty much describing our plans for Gen 2. Looking to improve efficiency, maintain performance, take cost out of the car and how can we broaden Voltec technology to other vehicles.
Who decides what the future goals are?
The way we did it for Gen 2 is we pulled together the Volt executive leadership like Jon Lauckner (VP of global program development) and Frank Weber (Volt vehilce line executive) and sat down with them to get a vision of where we want to take this car.
What about other models?
We have a future car portfolio planning committee and we're trying to identify market trends where there may be holes in the market or new markets we can exploit and its their responsibility to come up with cars for those purposes.
And then they'll ask you if you can do it?
People want a more economical car, and that seems like they way to go.
You're right on target. We think there's so much promise in the technology but we've got to get the cost down and the volume up and its going to go together.
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