• Aug 14, 2007
To keep the price of the Volt low, GM is considering renting the battery. I guess that explains the use of the term "consumer cost" when Lutz said the Volt would cost under $30,000. I have to admit, GM is planning some innovative things. I thought the series hybrid was innovative enough. Now renting parts of cars? This might change everything.

I wonder if E-Flex will incorporate aspects of GM's skateboard concept? Think about it, if you rent the battery and I guess buy the car, if I stop paying for the battery, don't I keep the car and you take the battery? I wonder if they will have a used battery market? This battery was only used by an old lady to go to church on Sundays. It has 10 years left easy, I promise :D

I wonder if they sell the car without the battery? THAT would be interesting! Who knows what they will do? It will probably be something in the contract for buying the car. This could be a real money-maker for them. Think of the recurring revenue coming from a car with rented parts? ...maybe this is not such a great deal for consumers after all. I have never seen a good contract for long term rentals.

[Source: Financial Times]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM has a long history of promising and then under delivering. Why should anyone believe the Volt will be marketed?

      Sounds exactly like a "sliver bullet" car, so far in the future that its specs are so cloudy that no one can make comparisons.

      If GM wanted to market a high mileage vehicle that would appeal to American buyers, they already manufacture one.

      European fleets already average 43 miles per gallon and Japanese fleets are reaching 50 miles per gallon. While there are only two car models in the United States that achieve greater than 40 miles per gallon (both hybrid vehicles), there are more than 113 such vehicles in Europe.

      The most astounding fact is that many of the European high fuel-economy vehicles are produced by US car makers. How can the government let manufacturers continue to convince the nation that a fuel economy of over 35 miles per gallon is difficult to achieve? Any rational person should not be willing to accept these manufacturers' excuses."
      http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/08/13/a_drive_toward_fuel_economy/
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sounds like GM is taking a play out of Th!nk City / Google play book. It's a good idea. Lowers the price of the new vehicle and insures the customer that his/hers battery doesn't die.

      Phil from Chapel Hill
      • 7 Years Ago
      Given that they've already appointed a vehicle line manager,

      Hey, we have a manager appointed ! That sure nails it. You ever read Dilbert, perchance ?
      • 3 Days Ago
      I like the idea of getting the purchase price down to less than $30,000. That makes it way more affordable than a Tesla. Even if GM didn't come up with the idea of leasing the batteries it still shows forward thinking. Hay lets wait and look at the details and see what what they are offering. If you don't like the deal you have to buy it.
      • 3 Days Ago
      EV Battery Stations

      titaniumtommy, put this on idea on
      http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/EV_20Battery_20Stations
      Sep 30 2002

      • 7 Years Ago
      I wonder if all the contracts will be lease like the EV-1s?
      • 3 Days Ago
      Bioburner, Tesla says they will have a full electric out around the same time for under $30,000 as well.

      http://www.autobloggreen.com/2006/12/18/san-jose-mercury-news-interviews-teslas-elon-musk/
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      A significant advantage for GM in leasing the battery is that, with a lower initial vehicle cost, consumers will be MUCH more willing to purchase very profitable add-ons like leather seats, entertainment and navigation systems, chrome trim, etc. The was a key problem with the EV-1 in terms of marketing: you had a very basic vehicle, with no profit margin, that was rather pricey, meaning consumers had no discretionary / aspirational spending left.

      So, leasing the battery will help in (somewhat) unexpected ways.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "GM never intends to market the VOLT. It is only a concept vehicle that Lutz is exploiting to highlight GM and get free press."

      First: the name isn't capitalized.

      Of course it's never going to be produced, at least not in its present form. That'd be ridiculous.

      Given that they've already appointed a vehicle line manager, are actively funding A123's battery development, and are finalizing the styling, I'd say it's very likely that it'll be produced in some form.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mlhm5, Even if they change the name and a few things, I think it's fair to call GM's first E-Flex car the Volt right now for purposes of this article.

      http://www.thegmsource.com/index.php?categoryid=9&p2_articleid=579


      • 7 Years Ago
      It does open up an interesting possibility when it comes to 3rd party battery pack suppliers - how difficult (other than the investment cost) would it be to come up with a competing battery supply source? Time and again, people have shown they are willing to forgo the warranty on vehicle (a la plug in conversions) to get a better result. With a swappable battery pack, this would get a bit easier if there were alternate suppliers.
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