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Full page ads in Wall Street Journal and Barrons to promote a vehicle that can't be purchased.

What a sad commentary on this once powerful U.S. company that they're reduced to spending valuable marketing dollars on hot air and promises.

If ever a company deserved to fail from decades of mismanagement, my vote goes to GM.
 

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well...

GM has built several electric vehicles. Jay Leno has one from 1908, the problem was that with gas below $1.00 / gal, it is hard to promote expensive technology, the latest being the EV-1, that was killed by California law than GM (despite the hype) because a 2 seater, limit0 emmisions vehicle wouldn't sell for 80k, and GM crushed the remaining (despite buyers) to prevent lawsuits.

Right now, GM is trying desparately to shed its gas guzzler image, and promote green, and the volt is the game changer that GM is bringing to the table. GM has historically been an innovator and yes I agree that there has been mis management. But if they do not genereate the interest NOW, and only wait until when it is available it will be too late. Others are working on electric cars too, and GM needs the word out NOW that they are doing this AHEAD of the pack, Otherwise they will be perceived as another "me too."

This is actually pretty smart, similar to advertising for movies you can't watch, it builds hype and excitement.;)
 

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"Killed by California law" is very misleading. GM and the other top car companies along with the Bush administration sued the California Air Resources Board over the zero emissions vehicle mandate, and they caved hard.

The Volt will be different because the future of GM depends on it, from both a PR standpoint and a financial standpoint.
 

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GM had several programs going, among them the EV1 and the government sponsored PNGV. The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicle program was started in 1993 with the idea of developing a production-ready, mid-size sedan by 2004 that can achieve 80mpg,

I don't have time to find all the details so if you like, check out this forum posting. It concerns GM suppressing and sandbagging technology but has links to the above program.

GM had the technology from several programs to be able to create an hybrid similar to the Volt (with a much smaller battery) 10 years ago that could have competed with the Prius. If GM would have progressed instead of sandbagged, just think what the Volt could have been today.
 

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It was an $80,000 electric 'economy' car when gas cost $1.00 a gallon while the same amount of electricity would have been about 60 cents.

Comparable ICE cars cost about $12,000 - $15,000 at the time.

No way someone would ever pay an extra $65,000 to save 40 cents per gallon. (unless you drove 150,000 miles per month)

That's why it failed.

Period.

Right now GM says the Volt will go for $35-$38k and by the time it comes out, gas may cost > $5 / gallon and almost certainly > $3.50 while comparable electricity costs about 70 cents. Meanwhile a comparable ICE is possibly $22-$25k

If Obama gets his $7k kickback passed it drops the price difference to about $6,000 instead of $65,000 and with gas costing 5x as much instead of 1.5x as much its a much better deal.

No anti electric / Bush / big oil / big auto / grassy knoll conspiracy.

Just simple math.
 

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Why the hell did they crush all their electric cars and then lie about the battery technology? If it was nothing more than economics holding it back GM would have held onto the technology for when oil prices were higher. I can't get over how many people jump in to defend General Motors. The management at GM has does not deserve your support.
 

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Preach it darthvader420.

I to am amazed. I go to a lot of work finding web links pointing to GM having the technology to make a series hybrid at the same time Toyota was making the parallel hybrid. GM didn't do it, Toyota did and few if any are seeing the reality... so sad...
 

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Why the hell did they... lie about the battery technology?
The three anti-GM points:

-They crushed their EV1.
-They lie about batteries.
-The Volt is a PR stunt that will never be built.

1. GM crushed the EV1 because if they had sold them, that would mean they would need to produce OEM parts and keep servicing them, and deal with possibility of lawsuits, since they were a GM product. That would have been a nightmare. The alternative that some EV enthusiasts supported was to just sell them as-is. But if GM sold them as-is, and didn't produce parts or make service available to them, it would be an eye sore on GM. Unfortunately, GM didn't realize how much of a bigger eye sore the pictures of crushed EV1s was. Even if you don't believe this argument, don't forget- These cars were property of GM, they were leased. Nobody owned them except GM. GM can do what they want with their stuff- especially when the EV1 was such a failure as it was. It just came out at the wrong time and cost too much for it to catch on. Only laws kept it alive. Once those laws were removed, so were all the big EVs of the 90's and 00's.

2. GM never lied about batteries. When people bring up the fact that GM mentioned that "the batteries don't exist", they are taking it completely out of context. Batteries don't exist... that are cheap enough, light enough, durable enough. GM recognized that NiMH was not an acceptable solution because they were big and heavy, and a far superior technology was available, but needed some R&D. Now we see that the Li-ion batteries are doing well, but people still hold GMs choice to go with Li-ion against them. It's amazing to me that the biggest supposed proponents of change (EV enthusiasts and environmentalists) are so much against Li-ion. Damn GM for using the latest technology to built a superior environmental friendly product at lower prices than ever and that appeals to more drivers than any previous EV. Damn them! If people really want to see EREV become a reality, why the hell are you so much against the company that is pushing forward with it? What would you rather GM do? Build another unaffordable EV1? Sit back like Ford and Chrysler and do nothing? Or sit in hybrid stagnation like Toyota and Honda?

3. I can still hear people like Doug screaming that the Volt will never become a reality, that GM will kill it before it's even made available. Right now, GMs only hope is EREV. They made the mistake of underestimating gas prices, now they are making a product that will never put them in this position again. Their survival depends on it. They also realize that if they want a possibility of a government bailout, they will need a revolutionary vehicle to cut our dependence on foreign oil as a means to make a buyout more politically attractive. At the very worst interpretation, GM could hold the Volt hostage if they feel they need to.


I feel people are unfairly placing the blame on GM like the world scapegoated Germany for WWI, when there were many more factors involved than people were willing to consider. Sure, GM made some mistakes, but the entire blame for the failure of EVs a decade ago was not exclusively on GM. In fact, I blame timing and government more than I blame GM. The EV1 came when gas was cheap, and EVs were expensive. Government was creating the incentive to produce these cars (not demand), and when that incentive went away, so did the cars.

Like LampCord said, there's a much simpler explanation- and once you consider it, you can't help but realize that GM was only a minor contributor amongst dozens of others in the death of such a great vehicle.
 

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Full page ads in Wall Street Journal and Barrons to promote a vehicle that can't be purchased.

What a sad commentary on this once powerful U.S. company that they're reduced to spending valuable marketing dollars on hot air and promises.

If ever a company deserved to fail from decades of mismanagement, my vote goes to GM.



You obviously don't have a marketing degree! GM is doing a brilliant job with the Volt. For the tiny amount of money they are putting into this marketing campaign they are getting tons of exposure. It's also good for their employees in a time of extremely low moral. It might also give the American people a reason to bail them out of a bankruptcy.

Additionally, their greatest contribution might come from the fact that it’s causing Toyota to build a similar car to compete against GM! Think Rav 4 EV. Think Prius. Do you think Toyota would be as hard at work on a plug-in lithium-ion Prius if it were not for the Volt?

Thus, in reality it's sad that you don't understand how good this really is for the rest of us! The entire automobile industry is hard at work trying to catch up and the result will be huge volumes of automobiles that use less than 20% of the oil that normal cars use today. What exactly are you griping about? You should be putting on your pom-poms and cheering them on! How about calling Honda wimps for not joining in the game. ;) It's like the owner of a large venue watching two popular fighters beating the heck out of each other. He is grinning from ear to ear because it doesn't matter who wins or loses. He gets the benefits just because they are fighting.
 

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I really don't understand how GM refusing to produce a car that they couldn't sell for half the manufacturing costs 10 years ago should have any influence on my decision to buy a Volt from them 2 years from now.

They are trying to build a car that could revolutionize transportation, massively reduce pollution and reduce foreign energy dependence.

And I'm supposed to hold against them a bad marketing decision they made 10 years ago that probably affected 50 people who would have been willing to plunk down $80k on an electric car.

It just seems like silly, petty, vindictiveness to me.
 

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The thing is though it was possible 15 to 20 years ago. You don't need the 40 mile range for a serial hybrid. The small battery that Toyota uses in it's Prius is plenty good for a simple serial hybrid. The fact is electric cars (which is what a serial hybrid is) will rape their current business model. And every car company in the world is aware of this. And no large business likes to take those kinds of risk. If they had started 10 years ago, they would now have a simple serial hybrid getting 100+ mpg in something the size of a Tahoe. GM wouldn't have gone down this path if they weren't going broke.
 

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I agree with your analysis Mike. The loss in revenues from tuneups and spare parts with electrics added with the high cost of innovating was too much for bottom-line obsessed executives to consider. You can criticize aspects of the zero emissions mandate in California, but it sure did get results before it was gutted by the feds and auto industries with lawsuits. There's no turning back this time though.
 

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You won't get an argument from me Darth. Coulda, shoulda, woulda - water under the bridge etc... bottom line is it really doesn't matter at this point. GM is close to death and has found religion. I'll take my conversions where I find them.<g>
 

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please provide explantion

The small battery that Toyota uses in it's Prius is plenty good for a simple serial hybrid.
I don't think a battery that size is sufficient to give peak power requirements, however you can convince me otherwise with a reasonable technical argument.

This is the same reason you'll likely not a Volt lite with a 20 mile AER and a 25k price tag. In reality all you need is about half a kWh to get a car with the mass of the Volt up to ~80 mph, the problem is extracting that energy from the battery in any reasonable amount of time. If anyone makes a cheap Ultracapacitor then this problem will be solved and you'll see series hybrids pop up everywhere. The problem is Maxwell is really the only game in town and their ultra-cap is 16k per kWh and has a mass of 200 kg.
 

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I don't think a battery that size is sufficient to give peak power requirements, however you can convince me otherwise with a reasonable technical argument.
I believe that the Volt will allow their battery to go down to 35% before they turn on the ICE and that the ICE after that will only keep the battery pack charged to 35%. So in essence the Volt is only using a battery pack 35% of what a 16kWH would be or 6.5kWH. Originally GM the Volt was going to be run down to 30% which would have been a 4.8kWH battery pack. I don't know if 30% wasn't enough or what, but either 4.8kWH or 6.5kWH are still quite large battery packs.

I'm not sure what size of battery pack the EV1 serial hybrid had, but there definitely was a Serial EV1. The serial hybrid is definitely not new to GM. I do believe that this is GM first attempt at a plug in serial hybrid.
 

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Altazi

I agree about underestimating..My thought has always beenthat the term "idiot proof" is viewed as a personal challenge by many...:D
 

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nlh_90210

I'm not sure about the question I'm answering so I'm going to guess. If I get it wrong, I'm not intending to insult...:)

By not having enough power, I'm think you're assuming that the battery is the only path for electricity to get to the motor. That should not be the case. The power controller should be designed such that the output from the genset and the battery can both be sent to the motor simultaneously. I do not know that this is the case, but I cannot imagine they would do it any other way. But they could have because I haven't found any information on this topic. Anybody want to chime in with a link or quote here, I'd be interested.
 
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