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Exactly, and I think it is huge that Amazon's new show Grand Tour (Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond) opened with three ultra performance hybrids. If they are breaking away from the classic ICE, even just a small amount, I sense the entire market is about to suddenly transform.

Mazda even announced EV development. I had basically written them off. Same with Toyota. I think failure of new Prius in US market made them realize their way forward here was not working.

Bottom line is many younger buyers wouldn't even consider something without a plug, or at least a good hybrid. Prius was okay when it was the only car of its sort, but now there are a lot more interesting hybrids.

PS, I don't think of Lutz as a visionary, I think he missed the market with the Volt and has called the Bolt a compliance EV. I think if they hard started with a Nissan Juke size crossover with GM styling they could have sold 2 or 3 times as many, and the Bolt is likely going to outsell the Volt 2 or 3 to 1 as well. Conversely, if they gave the Volt BMW styling, 0-60 in about 6 seconds, it would have sold well too. Lutz went too pedestrian with Gen 1 Volt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What's this reference?

I was expecting to read something about Lutz and found my morning spoiled by having to read some crud about those teutonic idiots.
VW is reducing staff levels by thousands of employees to raise money to catch up on EV technology.

Without Bob Lutz, GM would never have built the Volt and acquired EV expertise.

When the Volt came out, most people said it was a mistake. Now, the worm has turned.
 

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I think failure of new Prius in US market made them realize their way forward here was not working.
You give the American public too much credit. I think the failure of the new Prius in the US market is because it's so butt ugly. I don't think Prius owners are drooling over specs and picking the best EVs.
 

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VW is reducing staff levels by thousands of employees to raise money to catch up on EV technology.

Without Bob Lutz, GM would never have built the Volt and acquired EV expertise.

When the Volt came out, most people said it was a mistake. Now, the worm has turned.
I agree with your assessment of Maximum Bob's contribution generally -- hadn't thought of it this way actually -- but the employment issue isn't directly related. GM was forced to restructure in 2008-2009 because it had too many plants for too few customers. VW was able to avoid restructuring at that time but this only delayed the timing. It didn't eliminate the need to restructure. And I don't think the need to restructure has to do as much with electric cars as it does too many inefficient plants and too many plants for too few customers.

The most interesting aspect of Lutz's vision for EVs in general and the Volt in particular is that it has resulted in GM being in the enviable position of having all the technology it needs to meet CARB, CAFE, and all other regulations. For example, the Malibu crushes the 2025 CAFE standard. Not meets but crushes. And obviously the Volt and now the Bolt EV are so far beyond the CAFE requirements it's funny.

The big puzzle is why GM doesn't use its advantage. AFAIK it's the only major manufacturer which can use one technology -- Voltec -- in vehicles from a subcompact BEV to a large sedan PHEV. Not only does this allow it to meet the standards, but it opens up a ton of licensing opportunities. Given this, it's incomprehensible why it would join a petition to change the rules and reduce the CAFE and CARB requirements. It's like a basketball team with the best three point shooters petitioning to eliminate the three point shot. Seems crazy.
 

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Let's not overstate the case.

If EVs are "essential" to automakers' portfolios today, it's almost entirely driven by government regulation (CAFE and CARB) forcing their hands. The profit centers for automakers (particularly American ones) are still ICE vehicles, particularly those of the large and inefficient variety. And most automakers sell EVs simply so that they can sell more high-margin gas guzzlers.

While I certainly hope that EVs become a true centerpiece of the automotive market and profitable in their own right absent any regulations, that reality is likely many years away.
 

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VW is reducing staff levels by thousands of employees to raise money to catch up on EV technology.

Without Bob Lutz, GM would never have built the Volt and acquired EV expertise.

When the Volt came out, most people said it was a mistake. Now, the worm has turned.
OK, but the post suggested it was going to be about something Lutz said.

Whatever VW say is bullcrap, and if you take anything they say seriously you are an easily-lead idiot. (Just IMHO, of course) They were saying this sort of thing about electric cars 5 years ago coming out with all sorts of hyperbole about what they were going to do. They just want to be seen as the 'senior' car company. They are provably criminally incompetent and should have been fined into oblivion, the parts stripped and sold off to better, reasonably ethical companies.
 

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I agree with your assessment of Maximum Bob's contribution generally -- hadn't thought of it this way actually -- but the employment issue isn't directly related. GM was forced to restructure in 2008-2009 because it had too many plants for too few customers. VW was able to avoid restructuring at that time but this only delayed the timing. It didn't eliminate the need to restructure. And I don't think the need to restructure has to do as much with electric cars as it does too many inefficient plants and too many plants for too few customers.

The most interesting aspect of Lutz's vision for EVs in general and the Volt in particular is that it has resulted in GM being in the enviable position of having all the technology it needs to meet CARB, CAFE, and all other regulations. For example, the Malibu crushes the 2025 CAFE standard. Not meets but crushes. And obviously the Volt and now the Bolt EV are so far beyond the CAFE requirements it's funny.

The big puzzle is why GM doesn't use its advantage. AFAIK it's the only major manufacturer which can use one technology -- Voltec -- in vehicles from a subcompact BEV to a large sedan PHEV. Not only does this allow it to meet the standards, but it opens up a ton of licensing opportunities. Given this, it's incomprehensible why it would join a petition to change the rules and reduce the CAFE and CARB requirements. It's like a basketball team with the best three point shooters petitioning to eliminate the three point shot. Seems crazy.
I agree. I understand the logistics and initial costs might be difficult to overcome, but if GM set a goal to add a Voltec-enabled option to one platform per year, CARB and CAFE standards would of no concern. They could then follow with a "Boltec" :eek: option for each platform.

Imagine a Voltec Silverado with 50 miles of electric range and 30-35 mpg after that. Imagine a 300 kW Corvette with 300 miles of range and 80-100 kW charging. Those two could be available to customers in less than three years, and GM would need to expend very little effort at this point.
 

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I agree. I understand the logistics and initial costs might be difficult to overcome, but if GM set a goal to add a Voltec-enabled option to one platform per year, CARB and CAFE standards would of no concern. They could then follow with a "Boltec" :eek: option for each platform.

Imagine a Voltec Silverado with 50 miles of electric range and 30-35 mpg after that. Imagine a 300 kW Corvette with 300 miles of range and 80-100 kW charging. Those two could be available to customers in less than three years, and GM would need to expend very little effort at this point.
If GM came up with an "electric corvette" I really hope they just make a clean break of it and call it something new. We're long overdue for the "new" Corvette.
 

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If GM came up with an "electric corvette" I really hope they just make a clean break of it and call it something new. We're long overdue for the "new" Corvette.
They filed for the trademark E-Ray™ .

What that means, nobody knows. But Chevrolet is capable of building world-class supercars if they want. Even their Camaros and CTS-V's are very competitive.

Chevrolet has a tradition of performance, many of the engineers are weekend racers. I fully expect them to fire a serious shot when it comes time. That will be the "Tesla Killer" literally. It will be capable of cutting laps reliably without overheating.
 

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If EVs are "essential" to automakers' portfolios today, it's almost entirely driven by government regulation (CAFE and CARB) forcing their hands.
Sure, and the same thing can be said for passenger safety. Seat belts, air bags, crumple zones, offset crash tests. There was a time when auto manufactures fought against mandated safety devices. Now they are part of the competitive landscape and we are pushing into the next phase: ACC, autonomous braking, etc.

I think EV capability and quality (whether mandated or not) will become a competitive selling point as well. But without a carrot and stick approach the manufacturers will backslide. We see this already with a desire to water down the fleet efficiency standards.

Regardless of GM's EV motivation I am rewarding the result with my $$.
 

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Imagine a Voltec Silverado with 50 miles of electric range and 30-35 mpg after that. Imagine a 300 kW Corvette with 300 miles of range and 80-100 kW charging. Those two could be available to customers in less than three years, and GM would need to expend very little effort at this point.
Given that every vehicle gets its own footprint and MPG standard, that trucks are assigned a much lower MPG standard, and the stated standard is based on a much earlier and milder drive cycle, you have to think that even the mild system used n the Malibu would allow a Silverado to meet the 2025 standards. But yes, you're right, an EREV or even PHEV would be several standard deviations above the target.

FWIW the TAR found that the auto companies were on target to meet the 2015 requirements but that the mix would be more tilted towards trucks, making the final target less than originally stated. Also note that the 54 MPG standard is more like 32 MPG using current testing standards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Am I seeing a different link to you guys when I click it? The link is about VW not Chevrolet.
The important part of the newspaper article is that a leading car manufacturer sees the need to save money with serious staff reductions in order to fund an expedited catch-up on EV technology.

The two conclusions I draw:
1. EVs are suddenly an essential part of every big auto player's development plan, regardless of cost.
2. GM, as a result of the dedicated efforts of Bob Lutz and a lot of engineers, is already there with Voltec technology.

If you just don't like VW due to their Nazi scam origins, I agree completely but it's not germane to the issue at hand.
 

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If GM came up with an "electric corvette" I really hope they just make a clean break of it and call it something new. We're long overdue for the "new" Corvette.
That's a much discussed topic on corvette forums. Most likely is that the current platform carries on for quite a while yet and a limited production supercar (mid engine with advanced ICE) for the high rollers.
I test drove a Z51 recently and if you tool along at moderate speeds the fuel economy is in the 30's. Base Vette would do a little better with skinnier tires and less downforce.
Getting a ton of batteries around a corner at greater than 1 g and getting it to stop in less than 100 ft. from 60 is quite a challenge.
 

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That's a much discussed topic on corvette forums. Most likely is that the current platform carries on for quite a while yet and a limited production supercar (mid engine with advanced ICE) for the high rollers.
I test drove a Z51 recently and if you tool along at moderate speeds the fuel economy is in the 30's. Base Vette would do a little better with skinnier tires and less downforce.
Getting a ton of batteries around a corner at greater than 1 g and getting it to stop in less than 100 ft. from 60 is quite a challenge.
It's all about trade offs. The Corvette's ICE components weigh over 1,000 lbs, and they have a much higher center of gravity. Given the weight of the Bolt, I see a Corvette with an 80 kWh and 300 kW powertrain coming in well under 3,500 lbs.
 
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