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Discussion Starter #1
I rented and drove an original GM EV1 in early 2000 and have been trying to buy one ever since. They've been crushed, and I've become an EVangel.

The Volt will be beaten to the US market by at least five highway-capable electric vehicles (EVs.) The first production Tesla was just delivered and Commuter Cars continues to crank out Tango EVs. Subaru and Mitsubishi EVs go on sale within two years. Fortune-CNN Money recently reported on another half-dozen new companies planning to sell EVs to Americans within two years.

General Motors' past performance with EVs has been shameful, and GM continues to lobby against mandated auto-emissions reductions by State governments. I see the record corporate loss just reported as the fruits of pushing HumVees while crushing zero-emission vehicles.

I hope that the Volt or other range-extended EV comes to showrooms nationwide. The EV1 never did, or past GM EV prototypes such as the 1976 Electrovette or the 1966 Electrovair concepts.
 

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Typical liberal, never satisfied until you've got your pound of flesh.

GM's losses were the result of a write down in assets whose values have plummeted, not operating losses. Operationally, GM broke even, and their overseas operations are pulling in big money.

American and foreign automakers shouldn't be forced to jump through hoops every time a liberal state legislature manages to foist tougher regulations on its people. The purpose of the federal government is to regulate international and interstate commerce, and did so by passing tougher CAFE standards late last year, so CA got most of what it wanted.

Even if automakers targeted the toughest regs and built to that specification, another state would come along and pass tougher ones before their designs were complete. Further, if automakers started responding to every state's latest regulations, it would only encourage more states to jump on the bandwagon and out-do each other with tougher and tougher regs.

What is getting lost in all this one upsmanship are the needs of consumers. If states got their way, and passed 50 different standards, vehicle costs would go through the roof, and the market for used cars, which are grandfathered under such standards, would undermine the new car market. You would be hurting your own efforts to get better vehicles on the road.
 

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The Volt will be beaten to the US market by at least five highway-capable electric vehicles (EVs.) The first production Tesla was just delivered and Commuter Cars continues to crank out Tango EVs. Subaru and Mitsubishi EVs go on sale within two years. Fortune-CNN Money recently reported on another half-dozen new companies planning to sell EVs to Americans within two years.
You are mixing apples and oranges! Not one of the EV's you've mentioned has the same concept as the Volt; an Extended Range Electric Vehicle.

I guess there is always hope that you will someday garner enough information to know what you are talking about. Until then, the rest of us will be subjected to your nonsense!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Electric Vehicle (EV) Ignoramusi: Volt too little, too late

The Volt is now being re-designed to look more like the late and lamented EV1 (which had a coefficient of drag 25% lower than any other production vehicle.) It includes unnecessary internal combustion engine (ICE) gear (the Tesla goes 250 miles on a charge, using 6180 laptop batteries) to continue its delays in producing battery EVs.
<P>Politics aside, this is GM's EV history:
<P>1/3/90: "Impact" EV concept debuted at LA Auto Show. GM President promises EV sales.
<P>9/25/90: California Air Resources Board (CARB) calls GM's bluff, mandates California sales of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by major OEMs starting in 1998.
<P> 1993: Western States Petroleum Association hires a high-powered PR firm to reverse the "growing public acceptance of electric vehicles."
<P>1994: GMEV engineer heard to state that the GM Board of Directors " isn't afraid that EVs won't sell, it fears they will." -from "The Car that Could", a book about the EV1 by Vanity Fair columnist Michael Shnayerson.
1997: Chrysler TEVan, Ford Ranger EV, Honda EV Plus, GM EV1 and S10 EV, Nissan Altra and Toyota RAV4 EV made available to qualified CA, AZ and NM homeowners only by closed-end leasing. Sparse ads appear in CA for the EV1, with post-nuclear lighting and no human figures. An LA media person produces a much better ad, airs it and gives it to GM: it is buried. This was OEM EV "test-marketing", complete with anti-EV full-page ads nationwide and planted op-eds in national newspapers and magazines, repeating anti-EV myths.
<P>January 2000: I rented and drove a lead-acid battery EV1 in Los Angeles; the vehicle was fast, attractive, nimble and well-equipped. Charging stations were readily available all over Los Angeles, enabling visits to every corner of the sprawling city. Later purchase inquiries on the GMEV site yielded excuses rather than assistance or any offer even to lease me an EV1 in Florida.
<P> 6/2000: Green Car study, based on Dohring automotive market data, projects EV sales passing 200,000 in five years. The study concludes: "A market awaits..."
<P> Gen II EV1 offered for leasing with optional NiMH battery pack. Range: 125 miles on a full charge. GM later halts EV1 production at 1150, citing a "lack of demand" despite thousands of interested customers on (GM's unofficial and secret) waiting lists.
<P>2002: Chrysler, GM and CA GM dealers sue in Federal court to evade the CARB zero emission vehicle mandate.
<P>2003: CARB caves in to massive oil and auto industry lobbying and anti-EV PR campaign, signs MOU allowing automakers to determine EV demand. OEMs stop leasing EVs, refuse renewal and purchase offers and begin repossessing EVs from lessees. The EVs are destroyed (see Plug In America web site for links to photos.)
2004: Upset lessees being deprived of their EV1s hold an "EV1 Funeral" at Hollywood Forever cemetery, as shown in the later EV documentary.
<P>2006: The documentary film, "Who Killed the Electric Car?" wins awards, then becomes a Top Ten documentary for the year. In central Florida, we had three battery EVs on display in front of the theater on our July opening weekend.
<P>January, 2007: GM announces the Volt, pending development of suitable lithium-based batteries. After further GM waffling,EV groups suspect a GM return to EV-crushing form.
<P>January, 2008: A year later, despite twenty other EV makers going forward with lithium-battery EVs, GM still cannot seem to set a production date (the earliest sales won't be until next decade.)

<P>Estero: it's range-extended EV. Not a hybrid; that cat has escaped the Auto-Oil bag. GM may sell an EV with baggage, years after others sell battery EVs.


<P>Jason: American consumers shouldn't be forced to jump through hoops to lease an EV (see the movie for first-hand accounts.) OEMs don't provide the vehicle choices that consumers have been demanding for a decade; only Toyota has been honorable enough to actually sell a few hundred RAV4 EVs. I've heard all the makers' excuses and lies so many times that I maintain a guest blog on EVWorld.com to refute such gullible folk as (you, who) parrot the corporate Party Line.

<P>I am a member of the Electric Auto Association and have been publicly advocating EV sales for over eight years. I've driven the GM EV1, the Toyota RAV4 EV and the new eBox (AC Propulsion-converted Scion xB.) I may just know a bit more about EVs than my detractors. See Electrifying Times Magazine and Plug In America online and EVWorld.com for more (correct) information.
 

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Who Killed the Electric Car Advocate?

Hey Hugh,

Get a grip!!

I notice that you pointed out that the EV-1 had an extremely low drag coefficient. Perhaps you may or may not know that it also had a high efficiency electric drive system. A company in Southern CA that was involved with the design of the Albatross (first human powered aircraft) was employed to help with the design concept of the Impact (EV-1). But of course, what do those dubs at GM know, anyway.

If you want to advocate for electric vehicles, that is fine with us (how do you advocate, by the way, are you like Innovation Man on those IBM commercials). I think electric vehicles are great! However, with the current technology, they are not for everyone.

Thus comes the Chevy Volt. It is an electric vehicle, however, it trades off extened range and the high cost of large battery packs for a range extenging ICE (or fuel cell). For most people, this provides the day-to-day electric range required, but if we want to take a vacation for a week, we don't have to find a motel after 250 miles of travel so that we can plug-in for the night. It also will be much less expensive than a Tesla, not to mention offer more passenger space and utility.

Note that when battery technology advances, such that longer ranges and shorter charging times are required (see EEStor technology), then there may be no need for the on-board ICE.

I suggest that you spend more time advocating for electric vehicles, and less time bashing GM. It will help you to achieve your goals in a more timely manner. Perhaps you could become a Tesla dealer, get funding from a venture capital firm and build your own EV (you are much smarter than GM, correct), or perhaps go to work for one of the other OEM's who will beat GM to market.

All these aforementioned tasks will be far more effective at EV "advocating" than bi*ching about GM and the Chevy Volt on this forum, as we see the Volt as a cost effective solution that has little or no compromise, and if produced at volume with good pricing, will get the public into EV's far sooner than the ~$100k Tesla's will.

Keep Breathing

Bill
 

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Hugh,

To better educate yourself on GM's Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) product plans, flip through this presentation:

http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/PDF/presentation-sm.pdf

You will see that the E-Flex platform allows the typical driver to use 80% less petroleum, while allowing them unlimited range through rapid refill of fuel (gasoline, diesel, hydrogen, etc.).

I, like everyone else, has seen Who Killed the Electric Car, and having worked in the auto industry (as opposed to buying and driving a couple electric cars - big whoop) can tell you that the California Air Resources Board killed the EV1 by mandating EV's before GM had the opportunity to test market/drive the vehicles. I am glad GM and oil companies shoved their policy right back up their butts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have followed EV development for over two decades, and am conversant with GM's latest program. I am aware that EVs once outsold gas cars and that electric taxis successfully operated in NewYork and other US cities almost a century ago.

I am not bashing anyone; see GM's own history web site for its 1966, 1974 and 1990 EV concept debuts. The company said each time that it would sell EVs, but GM never has, and it has repossessed and crushed almost every EV it ever made. These are facts, not allegations.

I am a member of the Electric Auto Association and have had letters about EVs published in USA Today, US News & World Report and local newspapers.

Any more advice that I have already taken?
 

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Darwin's Theory on EVolution

Hugh, do you know what you are saying? Let's review your posts.

Latest Post - "I am not bashing anyone".

Yet, in your first post, you say:

"General Motors' past performance with EVs has been shameful" and

"I see the record corporate loss just reported as the fruits of pushing HumVees while crushing zero-emission vehicles."

Of course, there is no editorializing in this, it's just the facts, correct?

In your 2nd post, you include the following:

"The Volt is now being re-designed to look more like the late and lamented EV1"

"It includes unnecessary internal combustion engine (ICE) gear (the Tesla goes 250 miles on a charge, using 6180 laptop batteries) to continue its delays in producing battery EVs."

"January, 2007: GM announces the Volt, pending development of suitable lithium-based batteries. After further GM waffling,EV groups suspect a GM return to EV-crushing form."

"January, 2008: A year later, despite twenty other EV makers going forward with lithium-battery EVs, GM still cannot seem to set a production date (the earliest sales won't be until next decade.)"

Let's see, besides bitching about GM's history with EV's, you accuse them of waffling, delaying production of the Volt, feel that their design should not include the range extending engine, and call them shameful and deserving of large corporate losses. But, of course, this isn't bashing, it's just the facts. :rolleyes:

I see your major accomplishments include letters (not articles or technical papers) published in various newspapers, magazines, etc.

So what else have you done? The public wants an answer to high oil prices, pollution, and our dependency on foreign oil. And all you have to offer is letters!! :eek:

As I previously mentioned, a genius like you should be managing a factory that is pumping out affordable EV's by the thousands so that people will have the answers they so desperately seek.

But keep on writing those letters!! It will help to sell your all your EV's before GM can get the Volt to market (ah hell, they'll just crush 'em anyway).

However, if you don't think you're up to the task, maybe you will have to let GM do it for you. :D

Breathe Deep

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
BillR:
I misspoke. I am bashing GM. Why? GM got a wonderful prototype from AeroVironment and developed an excellent electric vehicle, which it showed off in 1990 and promised to sell. GM never did. Further, it resisted the California mandate to sell zero emission vehicles, pushed fuel-cell cars and is now hoist on its own petard, trying to get out of mass-producing fuel cell vehicles, too.
<P>I have followed GM's evasive action on EVs for a decade now; in "The Car that Could," a book written about the EV1, a GMEV Team engineer is quoted, saying in 1994 that GM's Board of Directors feared, not that the EV1 would fail, but that it would sell.
<P>I know how good the EV1 was: I drove one for several days while in Los Angeles., tried to buy (or lease) one back home in Florida, and got lame excuses about "lack of infrastructure" instead of the truth. I started bashing GM then, continued through its abortive and weird "promotion" (without offers to sell) and "test-marketing" (by closed-end lease only, for a few years in three states) of the EV1 and through its repossession and crushing of all privately-leased EV1s.
<P>I make no claims to be rich, an industry power or an automotive entrepreneur. I own and operate a bicycle cab service, and like to breathe clean air. I simply wanted the choice to buy an EV1, and GM sued to evade producing the car. GM still bashes their own crushed product, which its own President John Smale said (in 1994) might be sold profitably.
<P>Since you think that correcting the oil- and auto-industry Party Line on EVs in national media is not effective, you must be producing and selling some marvelous automotive product yourself, right?
<P> I have also debated several auto-industry and oil shills who bashed EVs online. This may have had no effect. But three companies now sell highway-capable EVs and a dozen more plan sales within a few years.
<P>I'll be able to go into a major automaker's showroom and buy an EV soon. That's all I ever wanted.
 

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Well, Hugh, I'm pleased with your latest reply.

So you admit that you bash GM. Okay, it's a free country, that's your prerogative. You just might not find many others on this forum who will agree with your stand.

I think we all will agree that GM has not always made the best decisions. I think I recently saw an interview with Rick Wagoner where he admitted that their products in the '80's left a lot to be desired.

However, if you have ever worked for a large corporation like I have, you would understand that they are very conscious of potential litigation. How many hundred million dollars do you suppose GM paid out as a result of fuel tank placement issues on their '80's pick-up trucks? I'm sure experiences like these drive them to do some of the things they do.

If I recall correctly, the EV-1 had about 800 lbs of lead acid batteries on board. Think of the liability that these might pose if the cars were sold to the public. In addition, I believe that GM spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing the EV-1. If these cars were sold to the public, it means that GM's competition would have the opportunity to copy their work. Probably not a good business decision.

Ultimately, to be competitive, cars must be produced in high volume. With $1.25 a gallon gas, a limited range EV has a difficult time to find its way into the mainstream. More than likely, GM couldn't make a good business case for an EV ten years ago (note, I didn't see the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car?", I'm just applying common economic sense to the situation).

Of course now, times are different. Oil prices have tripled in less than 6 years, and no one knows when or if the prices will ever stabilize. The consumers are ready for change. Issues such as global warming also contribute to the desire for an EV.

As you have mentioned, there are numerous companies working on EV's. The Chevy Volt is also an EV, only with a range extending engine onboard.

Now I know you might want everyone to trade in their old ICE driven car for an EV tomorrow, but if you look at technological changes, they usually take time before they become widely accepted. When automobiles first took to the roads, there were few paved roads, the cars were noisy and troublesome, and they weren't great in inclement weather. The public didn't rush out to trade in their horses for the automobile. Obviously, with time and improvement, cars have become mainstream.

I expect a similar situation for EV's. For now, the range extending engine is a must, unless we have a 2nd vehicle with an ICE for long trips, and just use the EV locally. However, with time, as batteries/electrical storage becomes better, and the prices come down, pure BEV's may be all that we need.

I hope that you can see, that despite not being perfect, GM has the resources, the talent, and the facilities to mass produce something like the Chevy Volt. They have a great deal of experience that they have accumulated from the EV-1, and hopefully can make an EV-REV that is a bridge to the future where the ICE is no longer necessary.

Although GM's history with EV's may not meet your ideal, I believe that times are different. The public wants to reduce oil consumption, wants to reduce dependency on foreign oil, and wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. GM is not fat, dumb, and happy at this juncture, but is desperately trying to get back to profitability. I believe the Volt is getting serious attention at GM, not to mention millions of dollars in development funds.

I think it is time to forgo the GM bashing and perhaps take the time to see what is happening at GM, on this website, and with the development of the Chevy Volt. I think most of us have a positive attitude towards GM, their commitment to the Volt program, and what they are trying to accomplish. I'm sure they would appreciate your support as well.

You just might be watching history in the making.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
BillR:

GM showed off EV concepts in 1966, 1973 & 1990, promising each time to develop and sell EVs: none were ever offered for sale. Not ideal, or reasonable to the average observer.

Liability concerns, by your argument, should have prevented GM from selling the Corvair (or Ford the Pinto, for which that company was nearly charged with murder.)

Ten thousand lead-acid powered EVs have been sold by various makers over the last thirty years without serious liability losses, which undermines your speculations in that regard.

No, GM's extinction of its own production EV1 did not meet my ideals, or standards of reasonable business practice (as Bob Lutz noted a year ago.) The EV1 was repossessed from lessees (including those paying to renew) and crushed.

You say, "GM spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing the EV-1. If these cars were sold to the public, it means that GM's competition would have the opportunity to copy their work."

GM donated hundreds of disabled EV1s to museums and colleges (on the condition that the cars never be put back on the street.) Why would selling EVs be more dangerous than turning engineering students loose on them?

GM's history with electric traction includes being fined for buying up and closing down municipal electric trolley systems in the '30s in order to sell diesel buses to city transit departments. Again, not up to my (or the law's) starry-eyed standards.

Perhaps we should stop bashing liars, crooks and murderers, too. GM sued in Federal Court in 2002 to avoid selling EVs in California, thereby advancing the wider spread of respiratory disease (and al Qaeda.)
I have never been one to go quietly, sell our children's lungs cheaply, or help pay for both sides of a long war.

I have worked for large companies and government as well as universities and small businesses. I am self-employed, and have never worked for General Motors. You?

President Bush last week urged the widespread adoption of EVs (as I have since before his first selection.) GM and Toyota announced last week that EVs are the best, most practical alt-fuel vehicles and that they will develop, build and sell (in GM's case, range-extended) EVs. I'm ready to buy a pure EV, along with a hundred thousand other Americans.

I continue to correspond with hundreds of EV drivers (Toyota did actually sell a couple hundred RAV4 EVs - and hasn't been sued once, that I know of.) An EV market study (based on Dohring data) published in 2000 projected EV sales reaching 200,000 annually, five years after introduction. By your logic, the Corvette should never have lasted the thirty years that it took to sell a million.

I have been intensively advocating these last eight years to jump-start the historic change (some call it a cultural revolution) that you suggest that I may now be watching. I might be just a bit ahead of you on this.
 

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I am late to this show.....

I guess the real question to Hugh is:

What will it take to convince you that GM is serious about producing the Volt?

The fact that they have prototype battery packs in their possession from two different manufacturers for testing does not impress you.

The fact that they have over 600 people on this project does not impress you.

The fact that they have been more open about the development of this model than any other vehicle produced does not impress you.

The fact they most of the top people of the development team are going to meet with 300 people from this forum this month to discuss the Volt and answer pointed questions does not impress you.

The only thing you seem to be concerned with is the past mistakes made by GM. So because of that, it is your opinion that GM can NEVER go forward with another alternative fuel vehicle.

Sorry, but that is just an absurd position.

Have you ever made a bad decision in your life, that you wish you could go back and change? I know I sure have.....

And I look forward to owning a GM produced Chevy Volt!!!
 

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Guys, trying to change Hugh's mind is like walking on water. Impossible. He doesn't realize that there are no successful (huge production numbers) EVs on the road by ANY major manufacturer. Ford also cut it's loses with Think and Toyota as well. Hugh is a bitter man who's almost-to-be wife left him at the alter. I'm sorry for your bitterness Hugh but grow a pair and get over it. The only way to stop the electrification of the auto would be to find 10 new giant oil fields. Not going to happen. Why don't you just take a deep breath and wait until 2010. If GM totally backs out and says the electrification of the automobile was a waste of time then I will grab my soapbox and join you. Deal? Yes, people made mistakes in the past but don't forget that the batteries just sucked. Yes, I said it. Too darn expensive and inconvenient compared to how cheap oil was at the time.
 

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Texas:

I agree, and I even said just about the same thing after my Statik war.

But sometimes you just have to respond when someone is so off the path of reality....
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
To nearly everyone posting here:


Sometimes you just have to respond when people (sheeple?) are so far from recognizing documented facts.

I am now convinced (by the President, GM and Toyota all reported on the same day as announcing that electric vehicles (EVs) must be mass-produced quickly) that General Motors will indeed produce a range-extended EV with 40 miles of all-electric range and sell it for $40,000 or less in 2010.

I can buy a used pure EV now, the RAV4 EV with a 125-mile range, for that. Dozens of them have rolled over 100,000 miles without serious range losses, using decade-old nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries (rights to make which were sold by GM to a major oil company-controlled firm, which will not sell them to small customers.) I will be able to buy perhaps six different highway-capable battery EVs (all with far better EV range than the Volt) for $40,000 by then.

All of the facts that I've cited (which several of you cannot seem to accept) are well-documented by impartial and scholarly research. I suggest a visit to Electrifying Times Magazine online or to EVWorld.com for those of you whose opinions can be influenced by hard data.

I look forward to passing you all in your gas-dependent Volts; I'll be in my 2010 Tesla 'White Star' or other fast $40,000 EV.

Battery EVs can reduce US air pollution by a third, free us from dictators' oil and allow us to drive trouble free for a nickel per mile.

Breathe free - Drive EV!
 

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Statik, Statik, Statik............

The term for that is called "teaser" pricing on a single unit to get people on the lot. Did you notice the Vin# on the ad? If you go in to that dealer and ask to take that one for a ride, you will be told that it is either already sold, or out on a test drive, and there are ten other people in line in front of you. And then the term is "bait and switch" to get the sucker, excuse me, customer into a more profitable item for sale..........

But thanks for the laugh!

So do I need to holster the .45's for a flare up in the war, or are we just playing now?

:)
 

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Statik, Statik, Statik............

The term for that is called "teaser" pricing on a single unit to get people on the lot. Did you notice the Vin# on the ad? If you go in to that dealer and ask to take that one for a ride, you will be told that it is either already sold, or out on a test drive, and there are ten other people in line in front of you. And then the term is "bait and switch" to get the sucker, excuse me, customer into a more profitable item for sale..........

But thanks for the laugh!

So do I need to holster the .45's for a flare up in the war, or are we just playing now?

:)
I've been sitting on that, because we had a deal. I gave you the last word.

If the tables were turned, and I brought you up first in this thread, then said, "But sometimes you just have to respond when someone is so off the path of reality.... " certainly I assume you would retort.

Two questions for you...and you can decide if we are going to dog each other again.

1.) Did we have a deal to stay out of each other's way?

2.) Did you bring me into this unprovoked after I gave you the last word?

If you answer them both, without the hoopla, I will 'virtually' shake your hand again on this deal, and this can sink into the annals of this lovely new forum....and we can stay out of each other's way again.
 

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The Gospel According to Hugh

Hugh,

Well, I guess we'll just have to keep listening to your stories of GM's history with EV's (snore). For me, I'm moving onward to vehicles like the Volt. By the way, I have never worked for GM, its subsidiaries, or suppliers.

To Jim I and Texas, thank you for your support, but I have to agree with your assessment, Hugh cannot see the positive aspects of the Volt nor the commitment GM is making to this vehicle, only his negative perceptions of GM's past.

To Jim I, I haven't followed the war you are having with Static (more appropriate name, I think), but from what I can see, with the Volt coming to market, they apparently can't give those Prissy's away.

Hugh had a comment that applies even more to Static, "I look forward to passing you all in your gas-dependent .... Prius's"
 
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