The Chevy Volt

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    It's not bad looking if you needed a car and it was within your price range, would you buy it?

    GM debuts the Chevy Volt

    General Motors gives the world an up-close look at its new electric car.

    By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney.com senior writer
    Last Updated: September 16, 2008: 10:22 AM EDT


    DETROIT (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors unveiled the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle on Tuesday, allowing outsiders their first full look at the car GM says will go on sale in 2010.

    "The Volt symbolizes GM's commitment to the future," said Rick Wagoner, the company's chairman and CEO.

    The Volt will be driven by electricity stored in a large T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack running the length of the car. After charging for several hours, the Volt will be able to run for up to about 40 miles without using gasoline.

    GM did not announce pricing for the car, which will have the equivalent of about 150 horsepower and a top speed of 100 mph, the automaker said.

    To charge the batteries, drivers will plug a cord into one of the ports just ahead of each of the side mirrors. The cord can then be attached to an ordinary home electrical outlet.

    The car will cost "less than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee" to recharge, and use less electricity annually than a refrigerator. The Volt should cost less than 2 cents per mile to drive on electricity, GM said, compared to 12 cents a mile on gasoline at a price of $3.60 a gallon.

    As the battery begins to run down as the car is in use, a small gasoline engine will turn on and generate enough electricity to drive the car about 300 miles.

    Disappointed fans
    Unlike hybrid cars, or plug-in hybrids, the Volt is driven only be electricity. The gasoline engine never directly drives the car's wheels.

    Based on photos released last week - inadvertently, GM says - many people posting comments on car blogs have expressed disappointment that the production car does not look as angular and aggressive as the original concept vehicle.

    "The majority of [the comments] are negative," Lyle Dennis, a New Jersey neurologist who runs the blog GM-Volt.com, said last week. "A lot of people are saying they're very disappointed and 'take me off the [waiting] list.' "

    GM (GM, Fortune 500) regularly uses the Volt concept car, introduced at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, in its advertising, identifying it as "future product."

    That concept car's angular face wasn't aerodynamically efficient enough to make it to the final version as GM engineers and designers tried to extract every extra foot of "all electric" range from the car, GM designers have said.

    The Volt will seat four, not five as some other cars its size can, according to GM. The space required by the battery pack would not allow for a center seating position in the back.

    The interior has a futuristic design, but it maintains the twin-cockpit look derived from the classic Corvette sports car, which has become a trademark design in recent Chevrolet cars.

    The gear selector, when pushed forward into the "Park" position, sits in an opening in the car's dashboard creating a smooth appearance. Once the car is turned on, it can be pulled back to "Drive."

    The Volt's battery pack goes where the "transmission tunnel" would be in a conventional rear-wheel-drive car. That means the batteries don't take up cargo space as they do in some hybrid cars. Unlike its smoothly rounded front, the back end of the car has a sharp, angular shape. In the rear, where air flows together as it trails off from the vehicle, sharp angles help smooth air flow.

    A wing incorporated into the trailing edge of the roof also helps to smooth airflow helping fuel economy.

    Keeping it simple
    Beyond its advanced electric drive system, the Volt isn't particularly high-tech. Engineers and designers wanted to keep the experience as familiar to drivers as possible. Besides, lots of electronic gadgetry inside the car would have used electric power needed to offer the maximum gasoline-free driving range.

    The Volt will have a central display screen - similar to one in a Toyota Prius hybrid - that will show how the car is using electric power, when the batteries are being charged and whether the gasoline engine is turned on.

    GM is also planning to roll out another plug-in vehicle in 2009, the Saturn Vue Plug-in Hybrid SUV. That vehicle will be a standard hybrid vehicle, meaning that both gasoline and electric power will move the wheels.

    Other companies, including Toyota (TM) and Nissan, have also announced plans to have plug-in cars of some type on the market by 2010. So far, the Volt is the only one of its type, running on electricity only but with on-board power generating capability.

    Ford Motor Co. (F, Fortune 500) has exhibited a vehicle with a drive system similar to the Volt's and has allowed journalists to drive the vehicle. But Ford has not announced any plans to produce such a vehicle for consumers, citing the high price of battery technology.
     
  2. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Greenies should get a charge out of it.
     
  3. griplock22

    griplock22 Member

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    it does look horrific, and probably not drive that well at all either.
    yea unless you are a "greenie" i dont see any reason to buy it
     
    #3 griplock22, Sep 16, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008
  4. B_johnschlong

    B_johnschlong New Member

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    Wow, that's a rather ugly car.

    Why didn't they hire a designer?
     
    #4 B_johnschlong, Sep 16, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008
  5. B_chinagirl73

    B_chinagirl73 New Member

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    I want one!
     
  6. CALAMBO

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    i would not buy it until year 2-3...GM has a bad reputation of putting out un-tested/un-trusted product...yes some day we will all be driving these...but better technology by HONDA, is on the way...i would wait..
     
  7. arrivaderciroma

    arrivaderciroma New Member

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    GM will do anything to make a buck. Their cars are designed by business school grads and they don't have any real car-guys working there. It's just business.
    They've been making cheap cars since the '70s. They made cars that were uncomfortable, that didn't have rear windows to roll down, that exploded if you ran into them, used too much gas, cost too much money and that said "fuck you, totally".

    Nah! I wouldn't drive a GM car in this lifetime.
     
  8. B_lamdellboo

    B_lamdellboo New Member

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    Oh, punny! :tongue:
     
  9. prepstudinsc

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    I traded in my Land Rover (which I loved!) on a Toyota Camry Hybrid, because gas was killing me. The Land Rover was paid for, but I was putting in $500-$600 of gas in per month. The Toyota is a great car and I get fantastic mileage. I think that Toyota and Honda have a better grasp on hybrids and electric cars.
     
  10. lucky8

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    No, and neither should the rest of the public. Electric cars will solve nothing, all they will do is raise the price of your (and my) electric bill, regardless of whether you own an electric car or not. All you will be doing is trading one cost for another...
     
  11. Mr. Snakey

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    I really dont like the way it looks. However its a step in the right direction as far as our energy problems go. You can learn to love the way it looks when you no longer have to buy gas and think of the money you are saving. I also think the goverment should give anyone who buys a hybrid or electric car a tax break or a rebate. This would increase the sales of the cars. That would be a giant step in solving our energy problems.
     
  12. Mr. Snakey

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    You make a very good point. As the demand for electricity rises so will the price. No easy answer is there?
     
  13. lucky8

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    Exactly. The only way this could possibly work is if we stopped using fossil fuels to produce our electricity. A combo of wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear power is our best option right now, but wind will only produce a small amount, solar technology is still too inefficient, hydro will opnly benefit a few areas, and nuclear power will take a good 15 years to get get going.
     
  14. Mr. Snakey

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    The only real solution (as i see it) is for people to consume less energy. If we in america were allowed to drill for oil we wouldnt even be talking about this. We have enough oil here to last us more than a life time. Even to explore the use of coal as a means of energy. I want to see the oil and green people get together to drill and preserve ( the land) and get something done. I may be a dreamer but i think it can be done.
     
  15. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    The Volt's green quotient may be in question, but I think much depends where your electricity comes from. If it is from a renewable resource such as hydroelectric or home-generated, then those factors may well offset its manufacture, maintenance, and disposal footprint. 13 cents a mile is a great figure, very competitive for people who live in areas where electricity rates are low. What kills it for me, and others I think, is the lack of a fifth seat. True four seaters are rare for a reason. People like to be able to cram stuff in the back seat that may have nothing to do with actual bodies and four seaters just look so much smaller that they don't appear to be as useful. That transmission tunnel is just enormous for a modern car, and yes, the looks aren't that revolutionary. GM didn't follow the dictum that alternative cars need to look alternative because people like the fact that their car is immediately identifiable to others as a hybrid.

    It is, just going by stats alone, a good first effort. Chevy will not, sadly, get a jump on Toyota or Nissan and both of those companies are likely to do this concept better than Detroit if judgeing by past history.
     
  16. Qua

    Qua
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    GM's vehicle group ruins yet another mechanically competitive car. MAN that thing is ugly. I imagine the Pontiac version will be much better looking; of late Pontiac's styling hasn't been half bad while Chevy's has gone downhill IMO.
     
  17. transformer_99

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    I concur, there's going to be several out by then that will be better looking and deliver superior performance. Just in time, FPL is raising the rates on electricity. By then, it won't matter if you're buying gasoline or using battery/electricity. Funny, I can see Wal Mart installing outlets all over the parking lots and charging for recharges while you shop ? A new revolution in the energy/fuel station is about to occur.

    The acceleration on these electric cars are going to begin to approach 0-60 times of high performance sports cars. The Tesla does 0-60 in under 4 seconds. There are too many bad drivers that are going to kill themselves in these. EDUCATION & TRAINING will be required. I can hear all the excuses now for the accidents.

    Tesla Motors - performance specs

    Other than that, I'd try one out, but not for $ 40K.
     
  18. sdbg

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    I think that electric cars are a great idea if the range between charges will allow for road trips. Would I buy one? Probably not. I sold my car in May and am saving for a $4,500 carbon fiber bicycle.
     
  19. SteveHd

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    I would consider the Volt depending on the price and if I had a place to plug it into.

    I like the "look" even though it's not as crisp as the concept car was. I realize production cars have to deviate from concept cars due to realities of production. It still looks good.

    I can handle the 40 mile electric range. Most of my trips are around town and very few trips would need the auxiliary engine.
     
  20. lucky8

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    Please do not buy electric cars.
     
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