... and at $30,000 - hmmm, me skeptical!
Tesla needs to get to work with the Model E ASAP.
Is that a prototype photo of the next Camaro EV?
Yeah, a 30K, 200 miles range Volt by 2016 that looks like a Camaro? Too much of a good thing.
If GM can execute all three points above before Model E is available then it would corner the market in affordable long range EV. GM would have to reduce the battery cost down by at least 800% to 10K to 15K per car in order to compete with ME.
However, being the skeptic that I am, GM must have a top secret team who has produced the Volt 2.0 as an alpha vehicle in testing NOW in order to hit the 2016 production date. There's not a chance in h@11 that GM could keep that under wrap to this point.
I would never buy a GM badged vehicle. Ever.
Sorry for your bad experience with GM vehicles. I've owned 7 GM badged vehicles over the years with good experiences (plus many other brands) and still have my first GM badged vehicle...almost 47 years! Hope I enjoy my Tesla as much (probably not as long...will be too old to drive by then, HA!).
Forgot one...8 GM badged vehicles.
I will believe it when I see it. I think the chances of a 200 mile all electric Volt coming out by 2016 are very very low.
This is hype from a retiring executive. I'll believe it when they actually produce a prototype.
I don't think that GM has the culture to produce a better electric car than Tesla.
All of the electric cars so far have just been taking an existing GM car, then shove the Volt system into it somehow. The Volt is from the Cruz.
Until GM is willing to start with a blank sheet of paper, I don think they will be able to get there.
GM also has the issue of the legacy dealerships that will resist. Also GM needs to explain their long distance strategic response to the Supercharger network. Unless we here how their EV will get across the country, their car(s) will be inferior to everything Tesla has.
I will believe it when I see it. Then,
I will drive it and decide.
If the production goal is 2016, then the car is not only under development right now, it's been under development for quite a while.
Doesn't really pass the sniff test for me.
The picture is of the concept model of the original volt before they decided to stuff it into a Cruse platform. Sounds like they are just trying to keep people away from Tesla until they have something. Doubt it will be within 4-5 years from now. Then Tesla will be that much further along, and GM will still be playing catchup.
@AmpedRealtor: I would never buy a GM badged vehicle. Ever.
I agree with you in general, but the Volt gets positively glowing reviews from owners. If I recall, second or third highest rating behind the Model S. I would definitely consider a 200 mile Volt over a random hybrid or ICE. Especially in the low to mid $30k range.
"In a multi-page interview ... having to due with his legacy and successor..."
"But with Akerson on his way out, so he can pretty much say whatever at this point, and most people aren’t going to pay attention. "
The writing itself is bad enough to disqualify the content. But the last quoted sentence is probably true enough... (if it were a complete sentence).
Brian H, where are you?
I don't always agree with you. But when I do it is that I will never own another GM product.
GM is so immersed in ICE culture innovating something totally new is all but impossible.
Volt is a very well made car. Coming from a very picky and discerning person.
(Not trying to brag here)
OTOH the recent Tesla rental Chevy Captiva was hellish.
Cheap, complex, unintuitive, noisy, slow....
Yes, The Volt is very well made, and I enjoy driving it almost as much as my Model S (Ok not anywhere near as much). But... A 200 mile Volt would be awesome!!!
Not believing a word of it..
"I would never buy a GM badged vehicle. Ever."
Well said. Can't say it any better than that.
Design an EV on paper? I could do that too.
Hahahahaha. I want some of what Akerson is smoking!
Stalling tactics. Their engineers disassembled and dissected a Model S, and what did they learn? To better make promises, coz no way they can top that.
I just traded my Volt in for my p85+. It's a completely different experience on many levels (I really love my new car!). However, the Volt is also a great, well built car and I loved it too. It doesn't need a 200 mile range - that's overkill for a hybrid. I was wishing for 100-125 miles which would cover all but the road-trips where we Tesla driver use Superchargers.
car is worthless without superchargers!!!
Volts have their own superchargers, they're called gas stations.
A few points:
The $30,000 version of the Gen II Volt might not be the version with the 200-mile battery. You might get 30 miles for $30K, 70 miles for $40K, and have to spend $50K to get the top-of-the-line 200-mile range.
I don't see why GM, or any of the Big Three, can't hire engineers every bit as smart as Tesla's. And they have both a higher research budget, or at least the possibility of one, and the ability to buy start-ups with good ideas.
There is a method for a large and cumbersome organization to produce the sort of results usually associated with smaller, nimbler groups. It's called a "skunkworks", and amounts to a sort of internal start-up. From what I understand, GM's Corvette operation is a skunkworks of sorts, and they build a pretty good sports car for considerably less than the European competition.
I have never net an unhappy or disappointed Volt owner. There are many dual-volt/Model S owners. Let's not be so chauvinistic. Yes, the Model S is a great car at twice or three times the price, but there's a place for hybrids too. We'd be in a world of trouble if everyone, or even half the driving public were to try to transition to pure EV in a five year window.
I will probably be buying another Volt for the wife this summer. That way she won't ask to drive the Tesla :)
GM is bloated and lazy, slow to change, which is why they can't keep pace with Tesla. Volt owners enjoy the volt because quasi-electric is a significantly improved driving experience over pure ICE. If volt owners test drive the coming Gen III, they'd pick it over volt.
So driving experience and lower cost of ownership is this, user satisfaction syncs up:
Electric > Plugin Hybrid > Hybrid > ICE
@256, the real article is business week. Don't bother with the article about the article.
It says GM is working on a next generation of electric vehicle, A compact car that can go 200 miles on a charge and carry a generator, too... that could run on gas, diesel, or natural gas. ... 2016, for about $30,000, ... the plans aren’t public.
Typical concept car noise. No way that's a Volt model they are serious about. And yeah, easy to design an EV on paper. Hard to do in metal.
What size is a compact car?
GM is like US or China. It isn't a unified organism, as in, all evil, or all good. You have departments which are good and will get more weight, if sales numbers support them. So the EV department will only be as good or "powerful" as their sales numbers or potential of those (but with a delay).
The Volt isn't bad at all. No comparison to the S, but for someone who can't afford a Tesla S, I would definitely try to get them to drive the next best thing, even if far behind the Tesla.
This is blowing smoke by GM right now, but is shows that they are very uneasy about Tesla and that is good. I am certain many people there are very displeased GM threw their lead in EVs out the window years ago.
But like it or not, at other makers, you will have teams of nice people, also believing in the good fight. I hope those are the ones that prevail and steer their companies in the future. And I attribute most of the
credit to Tesla and China. They are the push behind EVs now.
Sounds like GM is trying to go head-to-head with the Model E. They may regret that. It would need more than a $5K price advantage!
Most of your points have merit but the overall does not add up for me. Sure, smart engineers can engineer and, yes, you can cordon off some people to do uninterrupted work. I am afraid that will not result in a GM Model E (or 200 mile on battery only Volt) for $30K in production and widely available. GM simply does not posses the internal culture to allow that to happen. Even if the small group did meaningful work, it would be quashed once they kicked it over the fence to the company at large.
As for the other comments, Elon and Tesla are having the desired effect. The other guys are at least trying to talk a good game while they figure out how to play that game. The key is that the game is on :)
GM might be willing to make a loss or make no money on the E competitor, to
try to "contain" Tesla but that will be a victory for the consumers and the
cause as is. And Tesla will already be well established by then.
Not to be a sceptic but for GM to embrace electric, means a deminissiong revenue stream. This won't be received well by investors, whom GM ultimately answers to. Like a restaurant, the money isn't made by the main meal/product, it's the "extras" like drinks (liqour/beer) and desserts. For GM or any other ICE car manufacture, the money is made on parts/financing (GMAC, Ford Credit, etc)). At the dealer level, it's parts/service and financing. Using the MS as an example, there is virtually no service required. So at the dealer level, theoritically you cut their revenue stream by 2 thirds. At say GM's level, it gets cut in half. In the movie "Who Killed the EV", a former EV-1 technicain said all he did to service one of those was rotate tires, and add windshield fluid. Where is the money in that?
Tesla is coming from "nothing" and working it's way up and it's revenue is/will be based on the type of service and parts needed for an EV. GM's fortune, past and present is based on ICE vehicles. Again, they have to answer to Wall Street and post sale revenue from EVs is far far less than an ICE car.
I think jordanrichard put his finger on it. Tesla's business model was built from the ground up and did not include dealerships or reliance upon service profitability. This is an area - an arguably major area in terms of revenue - where the other manufacturers cannot compete. They are simply too entwined with dealerships and service profitability, like a cancer that has spread its threads throughout a body. Unfortunately, very often the only way to kill the cancer is by killing the host organism.
Also, Tesla has built the Model S in a very modular fashion to make it quickly updatable as well as allow quick incorporation of new features on the assembly line. Tesla's constant improvement of Model S and without specifically delineated model years, while frustrating to some owners today, will prove an advantage in the future when Tesla is facing pressure from others. In other words, modular design of Model S allows Tesla to respond very quickly to features introduced by its competitors.
Model S is just getting started...
I think companies should stick to their strengths. I am on my third GMCYukon, this one with 200K miles. It is a solid and strong gas eater. But it's sitting in the garage, and the P85 gets all the attention now. Brand confusion is running amuck as the elephants try to dance with EV's. As a do-all super EV with supercharging, the Model S defines it's own class. Everything else in my mind is a "second" car option. For me, it will be between a GenIII and whatever else exists at that time. I have high hope for a second Tesla.
After you drive your Volt 200 miles where will you charge. Missing in this conversation is that Tesla not only built a car they also built a national charging infrastructure. Want fast convenient charging, only Tesla has it and they so far aren't sharing.
I anticipate the SC network will be a bigger competitive advantage than the legacy car companies realize.
GM's solution to charging your volt after driving 200 miles is to stop at the Chevron station...
"[...] stop at the Chevron station."
No thanks. That's why we bought an EV. Tired of oil companies and car companies' BS. Never again. ;-)
exactly. They don't have a fast charging technology... Well actually I don't know- maybe they have been working on it for the last several years.
But I doubt it
Even if a competitor built a car with the same range, performance and styling as the Model S (and soon the MX), you would likely still buy the Tesla due to the farsighted build-out of the SC network.
Think of Tesla cars and Tesla superchargers as two harmonious halves of an ecosystem. One of the reasons Apple has been so successful with its mobile products is because of its ability to draw you into a satisfying ecosystem. The same holds true here.
Now there would be nothing preventing GM or others from deploying their own EV charging infrastructure. Nissan is already equipping a lot of their dealers with CHAdeMO chargers. Imagine if Nissan doubled the range of the Leaf and started building their own DC chargers all over the country, spaced 100 miles apart. By the time Nissan and others do something like this, they will have already seen Tesla do it and succeed. A "let's wait and copy them" attitude would not surprise me one bit.
The Volt sounded like a great idea until it turned out to be a front wheel drive with mediocre performance. The Fisker sounded like a good idea until it turned out to be unreliable AND with mediocre performance and lousy overall energy efficiency in ICE mode.
Tesla appear to be doing well, and I hope that they keep it up with the cheaper models too, and keep with the RWD/AWD formula with an emphasis on performance and range.
Of course. I already own 3. None is a BEV, though.
Any Volt owner can correct me if I am wrong, but once the gas "generator" kicks in, it will always have to be running/used until one has had time to plug the car in? So until you have some down time, it's a hybrid.
Once the Volts battery is depleted the car goes into CS mode and the engine starts to charge the battery. The engine will cycle on and off as you drive. The engine will not always be running in CS mode.
If the temp. is over 50 degrees, I get 50 miles all electric per charge before depleting the battery and going into CS mode. In CS mode I get a little over 40MPG.
I have 9,000 miles on my Volt with 90% of these miles electric. Volt owners rarely go to the gas pumps unless they are on a road trip.
At least there is recognition that there is demand for a 200-mile range EV, and money to be made - particularly for the first manufacturer to produce one.
Competition is a great thing - let the race begin!