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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Volt is going to be a sedan, whose net price (after tax breaks) is somewhere near $30k. It is going to look a lot like the popular sedans out there... the Acuras, Lexus, Hondas, Toyotas, even Chevys. People will be able to drive 40 miles (give or take) each day without using a drop of gas. They will also be able to drive 360 miles when the battery is practically depleted, at about 48 miles a gallon using effectively gas to fuel the electric motors, before running out of power... That means people driving non-stop from San Francisco to New York will be able to drive their Volts, without any fear of flat-lining (as long as they have access to gas stations along the way), with the power they need to make it through the deserts and over the Rockies.

Chevrolet has moved away from the super-sexy concept car to the sedan, because GM NEEDS the Volt to be a success... If the Volt fails, it will be a painful hit on a company that is burning up it's assets rapidly, with low sales of it's bread-and-butter big vehicles. GM NEEDS a new staple product, and it NEEDS that product to be the electric serial hybrid.

So, that means that some people who are currently on the GM-Volt waiting list are no longer interested. But it also means that many more people (sedan buyers), when they start doing the math and comparing the cost-of-ownership between the Volt and a Prius, or a Camry, or an Accord, or a Malibu over five years, are going to want the Volt.

BUT here is the GOOD news for "Those No Longer Interested". By 2012, you folks are going to start getting the cars that YOU want... because when the Volt is a hit (and heck, even now, before it is a hit), GM and other car makers are going to build on the electric serial hybrid formula for other appealing products.

I will bet you Amps to Gallons that GM will announce, some time in 2009, that it is developing a serial-electric Corvette, that will compete head-to-head with the Tesla Roadster... but with a twist. If I were designing this baby, I would give it only 20 miles of all-electric capacity, and the capacity to power the drive train with an ICE generator (and refuel the battery). I'd also give it serious power and torque, for that skin peeling accelleration that Corvette drivers want. I would give the driver access to the computers that control the access to the battery refuelling... so that the driver could choose just how much wear they wanted to put on their battery (which, with production volume increasing and price dropping, might cost them only $5k to replace).

We will also see, I'll wager, by no later than 2010, a potential rebirth of the HUMMER, that is also an electric serial hybrid, with the power to climb mountains, and the fuel economy to bring tears to the eyes of current hummer owners. Why not? Electric drive trains will be more reliable over the long haul than ICE drive trains, and electric motors are all about torque.

Here's the bottom line... when GM sells lots of Sedans with 40-mile capacity batteries, and then other car companies fall in line, the cost goes down for these batteries... even within the last year, we have seen leaps in capacity and durability in the new generation of Lithium-Ion batteries... how much more will we see this improve as the volume MASSIVELY increases in production? Who Knows? We could get down to a battery the size of the 12-volt lead-acid battery that sits in the car now, that provides 100 miles of all-electric driving. It's possible.

ALL because GM built a standard sedan, that appealed to millions, and broke the current model for sedans going forward into the future.
 

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jrigg

A nice layout, but a few thing I just simply disagree on.

1) The Volt concept, if I'm not mistaken, was also a sedan. It had 4 doors. It may not LOOK like any other sedan that is out there right now, but it was, in fact, a sedan. So many people call it a "muscle car" or a "sports car". It was not.

2) I SERIOUSLY doubt, GM will ever produce an electric Corvette. Why? Because, I am a 25 year+ Corvette driver. And I know a lot of other Corvette drivers. We DO NOT want an electric Corvette. If you remember, we revolted when they floated the idea of putting an option 6cyl in it. We would rather GM retire the Corvette, and produce another electric drive sports car, maybe along the lines of the Karma. An electric sports car, YES; an electric Corvette, NO.

3) I agree E-Flex will not fail, but GM might. The reason I wanted a nicer looking, inspiring Volt design was that GM needs a game changer in more ways than one. Obviously, E-Flex is a game changer. But putting that chassis, under a dull and bland car, when the ENTIRE WORLD is watching intently, is a tremendous missed opportunity. Those who disparage GM complain about their design as boring, generic, etc... and GM just reinforced that image world wide, while everyone is paying attention all at once. It simply does not appear to look like a $35000 car.

Other companies WILL fall in line, that's the problem. GM set the bar TOO LOW. The Volt will be eclipsed by other makers cars soon enough. The Volt, if it doesnt change, will be the honored, but extinct trailblazer. GM may be gone. The E-Flex technology will live for decades in Toyotas and Mazdas and the like.

The only way GM can redeem itself is to IMMEDIATELY begin rolling out other E-Flex options with more exciting and interesting designs that are not hampered by the 40 mpc promise. DO NOT make any more MPC promises. Break the corporate design albatross GM is carrying around. Make GM "cool" again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I should have known better than to suggest an electric Corvette. Corvette is a brand with a huge loyal fan base, which I know nothing about. I apologize... all of the good names are taken for cars though.

Maybe the Chevrolet Thunderclap? Hm... I would love to see an serial electric two-seater... I know I could save up for a Tesla, but if I were to actually get one, I'd like it to be before I'm too old to appreciate it. And at the Tesla's price, I would be 70.

Of course, Bob Lutz seems to appreciate a good solid sports car... if it's a Corvette anyway. :)
 

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Not a bad idea. I know some young people that might buy an HREV Saturn Sky for instance (if there was some way to shoehorn a battery into it) However based on the outstanding sales numbers of cars like the Camry and Accord, it appears America prefers vanilla- so that's what they're gonna get with the Volt. I wouldn't be so quick to suggest that angle is doomed for failure...
WopOnTour
 

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When GM anounced that the next generation platform for the Sky and Solstice was being cancelled, it came to mind that perhaps they planned to develop similar cars for the Volt's Delta II platform. Perhaps a little more production friendly and with the EREV drivetrain. I think if they can make them weighing under 2900lbs, they could use the same EREV components and get decent performance. A little math could bear this out.

$45K or so Sky and Solstice like cars would sell very well, I think.

The Volt will sell fine at $40K sticker if there are gov rebates and even without rebates for the first couple of years. I think gas would need to be above $5 for it to sell well in high volume and at $40K. Personally, I don't think GM will start it at $40K. That is just a difficult number for Chevy to market. I'm guessing $36K - $38.5K depending on gov rebates.

The concept at $45-$50K as a Cadillac would sell fine too, but it would be a lower volume vehicle than the production Volt. I'm hoping they do this too in 2012.
 

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Pure-electric Vette? Probably not. But a hybrid Vette is a possibility. I think a Solstice-sized REEV to compete with the Tesla Roadster could be a major hit, if it's priced right.

I think GM should pull the plug on Hummer. It's a damaged brand, and I don't think there's much that could salvage it at this point.
 

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Other companies WILL fall in line, that's the problem. GM set the bar TOO LOW. The Volt will be eclipsed by other makers cars soon enough. The Volt, if it doesnt change, will be the honored, but extinct trailblazer. GM may be gone. The E-Flex technology will live for decades in Toyotas and Mazdas and the like.
I'm not going to disagree with that statement. But I do not think that GM set the bar TOO LOW. It just that GM better not keep the bar flat over a period of time. Every model and every version of that model better be a higher bar then the last one.
 

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Evolution of E-Flex

In my opinion, the next evolution of the E-Flex should be a Cadillac. A 4-door, 5 passenger, full size performance sedan that has a 40 mile EV range and gets 60-70 miles per gallon using it’s sustainer engine…with a 0-60 time of less than 6 seconds.

To accomplish this, the body should be all composite and weigh approximately half the weight of the Volt. The technology exists and it is not outrageously expensive, it's called Fibreforge.

http://www.fiberforge.com/

This Caddy would be the Flag Ship of the entire GM line, and would pioneer composite bodies. It would be the most advanced production car on the road, and would put Cadillac back on top for real. Now that GM is leading, why stop now?
 

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The Electric Vette Will Happen

Corvette: Of course they will create an electric Vette. No question about it. The question is not IF but WHEN.

Once the power storage system for electricity has evolved, you will see hands down greater performance from electrical motors then you ever dreamed of from your combustion engines.

Consider a vehicle that has the ability to lower the center of gravity to only a few inches above the road while kicking the equivalent of a thousand plus horsepower to the pavement.

No doubt, my friends who still play vinyl will probably opt for a classic Vette running on regular, but it will all be for show and style, The Electro-Vette (if not the Volt, too, at some point) will far outperform the classic Corvette models, as well as any domestic or foreign sports car burning gas.
 

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In my opinion, the next evolution of the E-Flex should be a Cadillac. A 4-door, 5 passenger, full size performance sedan that has a 40 mile EV range and gets 60-70 miles per gallon using it’s sustainer engine…with a 0-60 time of less than 6 seconds.
<snip>
Cool. Can you imagine the looks of the faces of the Corvette owners when a full size Caddy blows their doors off? <sound of gigles>
 

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Bring back the Electro-Vair name! I honestly don't see the problem with the new design. Sure it's not as edgy as the concept, but it's not THAT far off from it. They could put the E-Rev system in a 1980 Chevette body and I'd still buy one, just so I don't have to buy gas during the week.
 
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