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I read Green Car Reports and 2 articles in today's issue confirm the wisdom of Chevy's early planning for a car to answer the Prius. In both GCR articles, electric range limitations play a big part in one's use and enjoyment of the car. Volt, in contrast, is one car that you can hop in and drive cross-country without a thought, yet it still has the electric range to cover nearly all local driving. For the best of all worlds Volt is still the way to go and will continue so until affordable EV's can travel 500 or more miles without "refueling". BTW, years after early Volt planning Chevy is correct again in presenting the Bolt EV as a local runabout, not a long distance traveler. Volt: just drive it.....
 

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My only comment is that if GM wasn't going to invest in fast chargers at dealerships at least, it should have cut some kind of deal with Tesla for access to their SC network, which would have given the Bolt INSTANT cross country range.

New century and new technology call for new strategic thinking.
 

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This is an interesting study on the Volt versus the Leaf conducted by the Idaho National Laboratory.

http://www.hybridcars.com/idaho-national-lab-compares-volt-leaf-and-pev-charging-realities/

"Among extended-range electric Volt and all-electric Leaf drivers, the study found the Volts traveled only 6-percent fewer electric miles than Leaf drivers despite having significantly less electric range per charge."

With the ICE as backup, the Volt drivers were not afraid to use all of their battery capacity. The Leaf drivers had to more cautious, and always returned home with more energy in their battery packs. Again, more validation of the Volt's flexibility.
 

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Although the Volt got it "right", it still doesn't sell that well. We will have to see how the Pacifica Hybrid, Clarity PHEV, and others that are similar do for sales.

The issue I see is there is a trend that it is all or nothing for EVs, at least from the Tesla buyers. They really want to be totally electric, and arguments about mostly electric don't stick. However, the PHEV market seems to be growing dramatically as well, but I wonder if it is more for compliance reasons than anything.

Anyway, the next 5 years will be interesting.
 

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Lutz got the VOLTEC right and the lesser extent, got the Volt concept styling right along with the CUV-like MP5 concept...However to the majority of those who do not own a Volt, Lutz failed on the execution...It's about sales, if it sells well more money gets pumped into the voltec effort, we'd have a Voltec option for every GM model...Don't sell well enough and programs get killed off...I'll remind everyone the voltec via licensing deal is for sale and it has not been reported there have been any takers...The Volt is still being outsold by the Corvette, which is at least double the cost after the federal rebate...GMF heavily subsidize the Volts lease, they Corvette's lease isn't subsidized nearly as much, its around 4-5 times more expensive to lease a Vette than a Volt...I would take a Vegas bet that if they put the Vettes V8 into the Volt's body and sold it at the Volts current price the volt sales would be at least triple despite being way too much power for FWD (Chevys own turbo Cobalt SS was too powerful for FWD)...

Solution? Make the Voltec optional on an AWD Equinox, it even has garage door opener and cooled powered memory seats on higher trims...
 

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Although the Volt got it "right", it still doesn't sell that well. We will have to see how the Pacifica Hybrid, Clarity PHEV, and others that are similar do for sales.

<snip>
I believe that the reason advertising was "invented" and vast sums of money spent on it is because it generates sales. When GM decides to aggressively advertise the Volt, you will see sales increase.

The reason I drive a Volt and not a Bolt is to allow me the ease of travel I desire, without undue limits placed on time and distance due to the need to recharge a battery for a long time between driving intervals (that is, if I could easily find a charging station along my route).
 

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I believe that the reason advertising was "invented" and vast sums of money spent on it is because it generates sales. When GM decides to aggressively advertise the Volt, you will see sales increase.

The reason I drive a Volt and not a Bolt is to allow me the ease of travel I desire, without undue limits placed on time and distance due to the need to recharge a battery for a long time between driving intervals (that is, if I could easily find a charging station along my route).
The Volt was advertised and it still didn't exactly sell...I won't mention the name of the vehicle that 400,000ish reservations but they have virtually no advertising...From what I read, anyone is welcome to correct me if I was wrong, the reason why GM choose the Chevy badge was because they had 3000ish dealers and therefore thought it'd help with folks concerned with getting the vehicle serviced...I understand it's hard to "divorce" the Volt the from Chevy because of have much the Chevy dealers invested into the sales and service Gen1 Volt but had GM just ripped the bandaid and made the Gen2 Volt a Cadillac at the same price, I'd take a Vegas bet sales would at least double and I might make a second bet that they'd even triple current sales...So it's the failure to adapt, like it or not, it's a CA car first, CARB car second, national car third...We're very image conscience, like luxury vehicles in which we're willing to pay a premium in maintenance and insurance for which can currently be had for a few thousand more than a Volt...The question GM should be asking themselves: "when someone turns in their $30K luxury car lease, how could we get them into a Volt/Bolt?"
 

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The price of gasoline is still too low to have people shopping for 'eco' cars. It's not only the Volt that isn't selling. All eco cars in the US are having a tough time.

GM needs a sport edition, and to market it as a sporty car instead. The best feature of the Volt is the electric drivetrain; low operating costs are just icing on the cake.

Advertise performance in times of cheap gas, advertise economy in times of expensive gas.
 

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Solution? Make the Voltec optional on an AWD Equinox, it even has garage door opener and cooled powered memory seats on higher trims...
I want the Voltec equipped Silverado or Subyukonade. Lutz himself makes one (VIA Motors) but refuses to sell it to me. Where's the wisdom in that?
 

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I want the Voltec equipped Silverado or Subyukonade. Lutz himself makes one (VIA Motors) but refuses to sell it to me. Where's the wisdom in that?
Over promise and under deliver on execution is the Lutz way! Let's look at his latest masterpiece, the VLF Destino! He also took a Fisker Karma body and interior, removed the EV and ICE drivetrain, stuffed an C6 ZR-1 Vette V8 in it and slapped a price tag starting at $229K (originally stated around $180K)...Add it all together and what do you get? A very familiar looking car that retailed for less than half price, zero green cred and you could ruin someone's mode when they ask about your Fisker and you tell them is a gas guzzling Vette based V8...How's performance? Not only worse than the Vette, the SS Camaro is like 99% as good as Lutz "supercar", 0-60 is only .1 seconds slower in the Camaro...

Lutz is probably on board with VIA and Destino due to his GM connections, can order vehicles and parts cheaper for them or something...
 

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I agree that Lutz got the Voltec power train correct. Unfortunately GM has yet to turn this into big sales by putting Voltec into a more usable vehicle such as a mid-sized sedan or Equinox-sized CUV. To me the Gen 2 Volt was intended to be a niche player because the improvements relative to Gen 1 were mainly in the areas EV enthusiasts appreciate and not in the areas people who buy cars mainly for utility appreciate. I don't think GM is taking this approach by accident or a lack of knowledge of the market. I think they still view EREVs / BEVs as a niche market and are biding their time until battery prices come down. In the mean time, they are accumulating many millions of miles on their EREV / BEV power trains from users at least somewhat willing to be pioneers.
 

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This is an interesting study on the Volt versus the Leaf conducted by the Idaho National Laboratory.

http://www.hybridcars.com/idaho-national-lab-compares-volt-leaf-and-pev-charging-realities/

"Among extended-range electric Volt and all-electric Leaf drivers, the study found the Volts traveled only 6-percent fewer electric miles than Leaf drivers despite having significantly less electric range per charge."

With the ICE as backup, the Volt drivers were not afraid to use all of their battery capacity. The Leaf drivers had to more cautious, and always returned home with more energy in their battery packs. Again, more validation of the Volt's flexibility.
The reason I drive a Volt and not a Bolt is to allow me the ease of travel I desire, without undue limits placed on time and distance due to the need to recharge a battery for a long time between driving intervals (that is, if I could easily find a charging station along my route).
These are the best reasons IMO. Same reason I got a Volt. Peppy 0-40 for city and traffic maneuvering, lower upkeep, and quiet, smooth driving are just icing on the cake.
 

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Lutz got the VOLTEC right and the lesser extent, got the Volt concept styling right along with the CUV-like MP5 concept...However to the majority of those who do not own a Volt, Lutz failed on the execution...It's about sales
...
Solution? Make the Voltec optional on an AWD Equinox, it even has garage door opener and cooled powered memory seats on higher trims...
So what company has sold more EVs than GM? There isn't one. You can opine all day about product lineups but the fact remains GM has sold more EVs than any other manufacturer. So the issue is more about EV sales than GM. As for your solution of the CUV, seems like the XT4 will have Voltec. No doubt it will have power seats and lots of other high end options. But I doubt that will cause an avalanche of sales.

I agree that Lutz got the Voltec power train correct. Unfortunately GM has yet to turn this into big sales by putting Voltec into a more usable vehicle such as a mid-sized sedan or Equinox-sized CUV.
It's in the CT6 which is a full size car and likely the XT4. Obviously the size of the vehicle is not going to instantly spike sales.
 

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It's in the CT6 which is a full size car and likely the XT4. Obviously the size of the vehicle is not going to instantly spike sales.
The CT6 PHEV and its predecessor the beloved ELR were not priced at a point where mere mortals can afford it. Any delisuions of grandeur that the elite with find tastes are willing to pay that much for a cadillac have been squashed by the reality that they were nice tries. I love the looks of both vehicles. But they needed to be about 20-30k less.
 

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...GM has yet to turn this into big sales by putting Voltec into a more usable vehicle such as a mid-sized sedan or Equinox-sized CUV...
I've got two 6-year old Volts. Both are running great, but I'm looking to replace one because my wife has a bad knee and getting in/out of the Volt is a bit hard for her. She's not ready to go BEV just yet, though the Bolt has her interest.

If there was a Voltec-based Equinox we'd probably already own one. Seems like this would be the perfect market and would tap into the SUV craze. To make it successful, though, it would have to be priced competitively; none of this "let's add $20K to the price" and when it doesn't sell say people don't want electric vehicles.
 

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To make it successful, though, it would have to be priced competitively; none of this "let's add $20K to the price" and when it doesn't sell say people don't want electric vehicles.
Isn't the volt just a restyled Cruze plus $20K? Isn't the bolt almost a restyled sonic 5 door plus $20+K? And the CT6 PLug-in is mysteriously $20k more than the dino juice drinking CT6. The Malibu hybrid, with a much smaller battery, is only $6k more than the non-hybrid base model. I just don't see making an Equinox with Voltec or boltec drivetrain not adding roughly $20k to the pricetag. Big batteries cost money.
 

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I agree that Lutz got the Voltec power train correct. Unfortunately GM has yet to turn this into big sales by putting Voltec into a more usable vehicle such as a mid-sized sedan or Equinox-sized CUV. To me the Gen 2 Volt was intended to be a niche player because the improvements relative to Gen 1 were mainly in the areas EV enthusiasts appreciate and not in the areas people who buy cars mainly for utility appreciate. I don't think GM is taking this approach by accident or a lack of knowledge of the market. I think they still view EREVs / BEVs as a niche market and are biding their time until battery prices come down. In the mean time, they are accumulating many millions of miles on their EREV / BEV power trains from users at least somewhat willing to be pioneers.
I think this is spot-on. GM does not actually *want* to sell Volts and Bolts at the prices they can get for them. They produce them (and then don't market them heavily) because (a) it reduces their overall fleet MPG, which helps them to meet certain state and federal requirements, and (b) they know that EVs are the future, and they are gaining experience making them. When the economics finally work, there will be PEHV versions of the equinox etc. And GM will have a leg up on other manufacturers because they'll have had YEARS (probably decades) of experience with Volts and Bolts, which will speed development and further reduce costs.
 

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Isn't the volt just a restyled Cruze plus $20K? Isn't the bolt almost a restyled sonic 5 door plus $20+K? And the CT6 PLug-in is mysteriously $20k more than the dino juice drinking CT6. The Malibu hybrid, with a much smaller battery, is only $6k more than the non-hybrid base model. I just don't see making an Equinox with Voltec or boltec drivetrain not adding roughly $20k to the pricetag. Big batteries cost money.
It's not just the batteries. It's the power electronics and all the other stuff you need for two propulsion systems. But as the systems are more widely deployed prices are coming down. The CT6 hybrid is about the same price as the straight ICE version similarly equipped. Cheaper after the tax credit. And the new Buick LaCrosse has a mild hybrid system which is cheaper than the existing one.
 

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I think this is spot-on. GM does not actually *want* to sell Volts and Bolts at the prices they can get for them. They produce them (and then don't market them heavily) because (a) it reduces their overall fleet MPG, which helps them to meet certain state and federal requirements, and (b) they know that EVs are the future, and they are gaining experience making them. When the economics finally work, there will be PEHV versions of the equinox etc. And GM will have a leg up on other manufacturers because they'll have had YEARS (probably decades) of experience with Volts and Bolts, which will speed development and further reduce costs.
That's what I'm thinking too. GM and most others seems to be doing the bare minimum to get EV's into the market. Most major manufacturers in the US have at least one BEV/PHEV. But the Volt is the only one that seems to be a good combination of EV performance and affordability.

Tesla is the only one who's all-in on EV's. BMW has been recently introducing a lot of PHEV's with the "iPerformance" tech. Yet they still seem to have issues with their blinkers... And they're quite a bit more expensive.
 
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