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Discussion Starter #1
First let me say that, being a lifelong GM devotee I'm extremely happy to see their EV engineering efforts. The Volt, as described, looks awesome.

My concern...
If, at the end of the development cycle, they land on a 40 thousand dollar money-loser for GM, they'll be done with EV for 15 years. Ten thousand EV fanatics will buy one, a few thousand green activists and actors will get on board and then boom - the batteries will outlast Volt production by six years.

I'd hate to see GM miss out on a huge opportunity here by going for the gold right out of the gate and missing the mark. Let be be clear here though - I ~do~ want to see the Volt make it to the line in 2 or 3 years. I just wouldn't put all my EV eggs in one basket.

How hard would it be for GM to put a small team together to develop another car in parallel - without losing an ounce of their existing design effort? If confidence in the 120Kw electric drivetrain and 53Kw genset are high then hey - there is a product right there.

If a Volt can manage 50mpg and 70mph on the 53Kw alone (with a 5 passenger design tipping the scales at > 3000lbs) what could a few good engineers get from a 1500lb 2 seater with the same components? How much lower could we get wind and rolling drag with thinner tires, smaller cabin, half the mass, etc.. How much money could be saved with 80% fewer batteries and a utilitarian interior?

Keep a small battery pack (or supercaps) to handle 120Kw surges and leave easy under-bumber battery tray access to add capacity as the technology matures.

This doesn't have to look like another silly Smart NEV. Think outside of the box GM. Two seats are perfectly viable for a commuter but this car could still be a little hot rod (and no - not a Tesla wannabe either). Four hundred pound racing quads run 70mph and make 60 foot jumps on unpredictable terrain. Split the difference.

Call it the milliVolt. Alright guys laugh if you like but hey - I'd buy it tomorrow. The fuel crisis is here RIGHT NOW and the rats are steadily leaving the (2 ton vehicle) ship. How about floating a 75mpg little Mini Cooper flogger that, priced right ($14k?) just might end up a 21st century VW bug with one in every other driveway.
 

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Agreed.

For my daily driving requirements, a two seater would work fine for me. It does not have to weigh 3K lbs, but on the other hand, I do drive on the highways, and I do not want to get blown off the road by a passing truck while I put put along at 50 MPH either.....

It will be very interesting to see what our choices are by 2012. Or sooner, would be a REALLY great surprise!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
50mph?

"For my daily driving requirements, a two seater would work fine for me. It does not have to weigh 3K lbs, but on the other hand, I do drive on the highways, and I do not want to get blown off the road by a passing truck while I put put along at 50 MPH either....."

I drive on the highway too (for about 6 of the 50 miles I commute every day in a '01 Chevy 3/4 ton crew cab). Believe me - I don't have any particular death wish myself. But I'm thinking a properly designed 1500lb car could do fine - just have the ability to avoid a collision in the first place. Thats where agility comes in - power too.
The full 120Kw would be available for 5 or 6 miles (and actually more only being applied in short bursts).

My putt putting would be 50mph on the 44 miles of 45mph roads while the other 6 miles would be around 75mph.

I'm thinking a cross between the original Mini and a quad racer. I mean hey, Cooper knew how to build a winner in 1960! You don't dominate racing for as long as he did without a sound idea.
 

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KevinC, Boy have I got a video for you. It talks all about making cars not only lighter but safer. The lighter they make them the smaller the required engine thus making the car even lighter. Round and round we go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D-uhKHy7mk

If that gets you interested (I don't see how it wouldn't) you can check out more by just Googling Amory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute. Also you can Google Fiberforge (the company they set up to mass produce carbon fiber automotive parts) After you listen to Amory you come to realize that this guy has some really great ideas.
 

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I'm all for Volt technology is different styles and models however I don't think the OP has ANYTHING to worry about except maybe competition with the Plug-In Prius, Nissan's EV, which looks like they're going to try to beat GM to the market and other EVs. This is something we need to rememder: gas is $4.00 a gallon and expected to hit $10.00 a gallon soon. The Volt will be the only car people will be willing to buy even at 40k because the gas savings will make it a net 20k purchase in 2 to 3 years.
 
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