• Jul 10, 2007

Bob Lutz has apparently climbed down from the parapet of passing all costs onto the consumer... that is, when it comes to green tech. In fact, GM appears to be considering subsidizing the cost of its hybrids for consumers. The world's number two automaker has three hybrid transmissions in the works: a simple bolt-on starter/alternator combo called BAS, a BAS+ system that uses li-ion batteries instead of nickel metal hydride, and a dual-mode system with two electric motors that will debut later this year in the Tahoe and Yukon. The dual-mode is the priciest of the bunch, carrying a $10,000 premium per vehicle for a 25% fuel economy savings. Even though GM has licensed the technology to BMW and DaimlerChrysler to keep the costs down, Lutz declares that "if we price it at full cost recovery, I'd say we probably would sell -- not very many." Lutz didn't give any indication of what kind of subsidy might be offered to entice buyers, saying the question is "How much do you want to do and how much financial pain can you endure?"

Lutz also said that "nearly every Cadillac product could feature a hybrid variant as early as the next two years," but none of the hybrids detailed are meant for the Volt. That car is an electric car with range assist, not a hybrid.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]



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  • 28 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Can anyone point me to evidence indicating Toyota is making money on the Prius? I have yet to see any reports that clearly states ("clearly stating" being something Toyota has quite problem with) that the Hybrid program has made any profit at all.

      "Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe admitted that the Prius was sold at a loss and would never make even a marginal profit contribution."

      Why say that then reverse it, some magical breakthrough? Hardly, the plain Jane overpriced vanilla Corollas, Camrys and tepid SUVs are what is driving profits not the Hybrids.

      Fact GM is straight shooting and Toyota having the high paid American PR people do their lying for them. With the throngs of well trained Americans who buy Toyota products in a Zealot haze, Toyota exec's have plenty of profits to hide facts whatever they choose.

      Toyota by example of years of business has no ability, desire, nor consequence to do anything but outright lie about anything that might tarnish their Elitist Japanese Pride.
      • 7 Years Ago
      $10,000 bucks for a couple of miles per gallon?

        • 7 Years Ago
        part of the $10K extra cost is for covering warranty work costs for parts and labor that fail while under the 100,000 miles 5 year warranty
      • 7 Years Ago
      Whats sad is a lot of American's will drink GM's koolaid and believe anything they say. Toyota is actually making very good money on the prius now not to mention the added green publicity.

      Lithium Ion batteries are inherently unreliable. They will lose 20% of their charginf capacity every year no matter what. Its like half life. In 8 years a lithium battery holds no charge.

      Read here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_ion

      Im not shocked that Toyota has abandoned this battery yet GM is embracing it. toyota cant afford to get a bad rep while GM wants to give hybrids a bad rep and destroy this movement and send it to pasture.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Don't believe everything you read on Wikipedia.

        I've done a lot of work with Lions, and they don't have any inherent death process from time. The thing that kills them is charging them. Charging them while hot is FAR worse, but basically each time you charge a Lion, you are killing it.

        If you let your LIon fall to about 50% full and then put it in a box and never charge it, it'll still have nearly 100% capacity in 5 years.

        I think using LIons isn't a good idea in cars anyway, because they cannot provide or accept a charge well below about 10 degrees C. And they can't be charged really at all over about 40C.

        I don't know where this idea GM put the kibosh on turbos came from. GM didn't sell enough turbo cars in the 80s to put people off turbos. I'd put that on Volvo (and to a lesser extent Ford) with their oil-cooled turbos which coked up and died quickly.

        GM made the Grand National in the 80s too, but it DIDN'T suck and didn't scare people off turbos. They're still sought after today.

        The GM 5.7 Diesels were not great, but as pointed out on jalopnik, the idea that they were not reinforced from their gas versions is a myth, and the biggest problem was very low fuel quality. Diesel fuel back then was like bunker fuel is today, very low quality. Those older GMs run pretty well on modern Diesel fuel.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wow Joe you stole my thunder. I said the same thing 2 days ago. Here is the link:

        http://www.autoblog.com/2007/07/06/chevy-malibu-hybrid-making-debut-at-mlb-all-star-game/#comments

        Not doing Hybrids properly makes all the sense.

        GM is known for destroying other people good ideas if it cant compete itself.

        In the 1980's it took the gasoline engine 4.3 V6 and 5.7 V8 and turned them into diesels knowing fullwell they would not be reliable. And it worked! It made people hate diesels in general and not just GM. Diesels were sent packing for 30 years.

        In the late 1980's it took poorly made pushrod crap engines and put turbos on them knowing fullwell they would have reliability issues. It worked! People mistrusted turbos for 20 years until the last few years.

        Now it is the second time it is bringing out a mild hybrid, first on the silverado 3 years ago. Whats the reason? to get tax credits one the one hand and throw people off of hybrids for another 30 years.

        but this time it will not work! toyota will have none of it! This time only GM and its reputation and money will lose.
        • 7 Years Ago
        here's what sad you sat there on your computer writing this bullshit to make your self feel a little bit better about yourself!!! what are you going to do about it, see back in the 80's we did thing different we made change's from the big 3 crappy cars we took what they made and modify the shit out of them they were fast and got good gas mile there guy's right now running 426 hemi's with dual carbs still getting better gas mile than the shit there putting out
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jonathon Ramsey: "...Even though GM has licensed the technology to BMW and DaimlerChrysler..."

      That is not a correct statement. This was joint venture. GM might have spare headed it, but the development of this hybrid system was a collaboration financially and otherwise. You make it sound like GM developed it, and then licensed it to the other parties. ---Not Correct.

      Please state Facts!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tony..That is not a correct statement. This was joint venture. GM might have spare headed it, but the development of this hybrid system was a collaboration financially and otherwise. You make it sound like GM developed it, and then licensed it to the other parties. ---Not Correct.

      Please state Facts!

      Ok:
      1) The two-mode hybrid system that GM is using on their full-sizers is a scaled down system from the GM-owned Allison transmission entity
      2) It's been used on busses for years (so much for the 'finally going geen comment' as well - GM has saved more pollution-wise with busses than all of the Priuses-ever produced).
      3) The system was originally called Advanced Hybrid System 2 (AHS2). The system is designed around the transmission - which is why was easy to share the technology with Dodge and BMW; which could use it with their existing engines.
      4) The first bus featured it in Dec 21, 2004 and the DCX 'partnership' was inked on Dec. 13th. For GM to just have spearheaded this would mean that GM/DCX would have had to engineeer, test, and produce a working model within 8 days.

      It's quite easy to see that the opposite is true: this is GM's technology and GM is merely licensing it with DCX and BMW.

      • 7 Years Ago
      The Tahoe will average around 17 mpg in conservative driving. A 25% jump will come to 21 mpg. That is not a bad number at all for a full-size SUV. Considering the fact that the Tahoe starts around $34,000, it'll be a tough pill to swallow spending a $10,000 premium
      for a gas-electric model. Good to see GM going Earth-friendly (finally).
        • 7 Years Ago
        one thing i would like to point out the big three are pushing these friendly green cars with the oil mongers by there side they know they can run these cars on recycled corn,peanut oil from fast food joints but that would be to easy it would solve two thing at one time so yuk it up about the 25% increase on mile when when by far those trucks can be getting 50-70 mile to a gallon considering the american indains don't pay taxes this would be a good time for them to invest in biogas we have the technology for this but our government and automakers keep pushing bull$&#% be we keep buying it
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is GM going to make a Tahoe SS? Not saying they should make one, but at least they could use the lightweight parts from the hybrid. It might be a different twist on the "sport" suv segment...
      Joe
      • 7 Years Ago
      It sounds great compare the the current big suv's mpg
      labattblue
      • 7 Years Ago
      stop fucking around you guy you can make a car or truck make about 80 miles a gallons what happen to the guy and 1980 and canada he make a car doing about 200. miles a gallons with water and dodge both the guy thank to gouvernement they love the taxe over every gallons you buy cock sucker but they have 200.000 dollars a years they dont care plus is deductible for them not for you and me fuck them if they really care for a planete they let them do a car or truck doing abouit 200. miles a gallons thank you mrs bush ya
      MIKE
      • 7 Years Ago
      I REMEMBER WHEN 2 GUYS MADE A CARB THAT THEY SLAPPED ON A MUSTANG . IT GOT 100 MPG ON THE HIGHWAY . FORD BOUGHT THE PATENT RIGHTS FROM
      THEM AND LOCKED THEM AWAY . I MYSELF HAD A 66 S.S, IMPALA THAT WAS STOCK AND ALWAYS GOT
      27 MPG RUNNING SUNOCO 101 OCTANE . FORTY YEARS
      LATER THEY HIT THAT MPG BURNING THAT TRASH GAS
      WE USED TO BUY FOR 25 CENTS A GALLON TO USE IN
      OUR COLEMAN LANTERN . TRASH BECAUSE IT WAS
      AN UNWANTED BYPRODUCT OF REFINING PETROLEUM .
      THEN AFTER THEY SCARED EVERYBODY WITH THAT
      FAKE OIL SHORTAGE BACK IN THE 70'S , WE ALL HAD
      TO BURN THE CRAP IN OUR CARS . OF COURSE THEY
      HAD TO LOWER THE COMPRESSION AND BUMP UP THE
      RUNNING TEMPERATURE SO CARS WOULDN'T GAG ON THE CRAP .
      charlesmc75
      • 7 Years Ago
      boy, it must be nice to be an expert just because you have read an edmunds article. GM was the first major car company to produce, even if in small quanities, an oh my god, electric car. It's only downfall was the battery tech of the day. If they could make the ev-1 with modern tech, wow. But hey, who killed the electric car? GM will always get blamed for the evils of the auto world. And sorry, but toyota, being the worlds largest auto maker now, is not the greenest out there. ever see a tundra? The volt will put and end to the current style of hybrid! Plugging an electric motor into the transmission and adding batteries to increase fuel economy also adds weight, and weight is the #1 enemy to high mpg. By using a small 1 liter engine only as an onboard charger, GM accomplishes a simpler drivetrain, less weight, and less complexity. With current hybrids, you have two sources of propulsion powering the same drivetrain. Why? That just creates more wasted energy. Excess friction and heat just to name a few. And on another topic. If li-ion batteries were so terrible how come every cell phone, laptop, and i-pod has them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Best thing about Toyota is the reliability and low maintenance! I bought a small Yaris for $13,000...a peppy automatic that gets 40mph highway, 35 in town.
      Who needs batteries etc.

      Isn't it interesting that America can put a man on the Moon but can't build a NEW engine that gets 75 highway, 50 in town..?
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