• Sep 17th 2007 at 7:55AM
  • 9
As we mentioned the other day, GM is rushing ads featuring the Chevy Volt to market even though a possible production version is years away. Attached to a magazine I got the other day was a GM ad booklet that included this very campaign, and I've scanned and uploaded the pertinent Volt images in the gallery below. Another thing to note: the booklet was published using soy ink on 35 percent post-consumer recycled paper and made using 100 percent hydroelectric power. Sweet.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's driving the other manufacturers so crazy that they are following with their own similar designs. It's all about public awareness and that's very good!

      GM should stress mileage between off board charging ranges i.e. include a mileage grid 0-40, 0-60, 0-100, 0-150, 0-250, 0-650 and the fact that 78% of all commutes are less than 40 miles, but the Volt has a range of 650 miles.

      They should also stress the reduced maintenance costs of and increased vehicle longevity of EVs and the fact that this is what the EV-1 should have been all along. E-volution!
      • 8 Years Ago
      KC, I don't see any possible way the Volt's battery could cost $20,000. That's what the rumor mill says is about the cost of the Tesla Roadster's battery. But the Roadster's battery is larger than the Volt's, because the Volt is only going 40 miles on purely battery power, not 200+ miles. The Tesla's battery has 6,831 cells, so that's got to be an expensive assembly process. The Volt will use large-format cells. Most importantly, they are making 800 Roadsters the first year, while GM are rumored to be planning 60,000 E-Flex cars in their first year with it. The economies of scale are completely different.
      • 8 Years Ago
      An "economy of scale" exists when the cost of manufacturing a commodity is decreased through mass production.

      That does not, however, decrease the cost of the raw materials. Which, in this case, is probably considerable.

      In fact, higher demand for the materials used in battery production may drive the price of batteries higher, not lower.

      EXAMPLE - Currently, photovoltaic cells are more expensive to produce than they are worth. Mass production will not bring the cost down significantly because the raw materials are expensive.

      Note that the cost of raw materials is largely a function of the amount of energy necessary to mine them and refine them. A good example is aluminum. Producing aluminum from bauxite (the ore that is mined) is very energy intensive - that is why aluminum is expensive and that is why we aren't all driving lightweight aluminum cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      @ Tim

      Reduced maintenance costs? How do you figure with a $20000 battery that has a life expectancy of maybe 10 years that GM is hoping you are willing to pay weekly for over that entire time? Kind of makes up for the cost of regular oil changes - which the volt will still need - if you ask me

      And what maintenance costs are you referring to? I know I've owned many GM vehicles and the engines in them are almost never a significant factor in the vehicle maintenance costs of the GM vehicles I have owned.

      The things that have cost me the most in maintenance over the years have been things like wheel barrings, break components, suspension components, heating/cooling system components, power steering components....

      You know, all the stuff that moves on a regular basis and is subjected directly to the hazards and shocks of every day. Stuff that every car whether fossil fuel powered or not is going to have and need maintenance on from time to time.

      I have NEVER needed an engine, transmission or even a head gasket in any GM vehicle I have ever owned whether brand new or over a decade in age at the time I purchased it.

      So I doubt the volt is going to save anyone any real money on maintenance because it does not hover magically above the road and stop on good wishes and turn by being pushed from the side by pixies. It still has every single one of the moving components that get the living hell beaten out of them by the road and the driver of the vehicle that are the absolute largest part of any vehicles mechanical maintenance costs, Plus the volt still needs oil changes and eventually a tune up. It might go longer between them but they are still needed.

      Plus no one knows what kind of cost will be associated with the electric drive train yet. Even if the batteries are as good as GM hopes they will be, how good is everything that attaches to them going to be? Don't know yet cause none of it exists.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Whats the EV range with the heat/defrost on? With the A/C on?
      • 8 Years Ago
      hydroelectric? you mean the power production process that has virtually depleted the salmon population? The one that has led to depleted riverbeds, and disruptions of dissolved oxygen content? The source of water temperature and flow fluctuations that have led to serious negative habitat changes?

      God, this is why America is in its decline. Why are scientists still hiding the perpetual motion machine from us!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think it may be worth pointing out that Toyota sold the first generation Prius at a loss. There will always be skepticisms at the introduction of new technology (and rightly so), so an artificially low price to get some product on the streets may be far-and-away the best form of advertising. It is hard to argue that Toyota's decision has not paid off.

      I am curious as to whether GM (or any American car company) has enough faith in it's products to follow that lead. It is almost inevitable that the costs of energy storage in batteries will continue to fall. Energy density has been improving at about 8%/year, and that combined with dramatic economies of scale once automotive battery applications become mainstream would allow such a gamble to pay off for the Volt after (at most) a couple of years.

      The American equivalent of selling at a loss may be advertising non-existent products. If people see the Volt three years before any will be sold, people may feel like they have been proven on the streets by the time they appear in showrooms. I'm not sure if that addresses the problems of building economic battery packs.
      • 8 Years Ago
      A discussion of battery leasing and the cost of batteries:


      "Current low end laptop grade lithium ion batteries are sold at bulk for $250/kWh, and high end medical/scientifc grade ones go to $1100/kWH. Since the Volt’s pack is 16kWH, then price could be anywhere from $4000 to $17,600. The median of that range is $11,000, which sources tell me would be a “game-ender” for the Volt. So I think the range will be between $5000 and $8000 from the supplier, for a median cost of $6500-$7500 or roughly $450/kWH. Since this could account for 25% of the car’s total cost, leasing it out separately could lower cost to the buyer."
      • 8 Years Ago
      Good points Tim. First they should prove it though...but still good points.
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