• Mar 31st 2009 at 12:51PM
  • 36
Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2011 Chevy Volt

According to the President's Task Force on Autos, GM has spent far too much time and money developing the technology that will one day underpin the Chevy Volt. As important as the fuel-saving technology is, the Task Force is keen to point out that it's a loss-making venture, at least to begin with, saying the following in the viability report that was submitted to the President:
"GM is at least one generation behind Toyota on advanced, "green" powertrain development. In an attempt to leapfrog Toyota, GM has devoted significant resources to the Chevy Volt. While the Volt holds promise, it is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable."
That sounds like bad news for the Volt, no? Naturally, some of the Volt's staunchest proponents are more than a little worried that the Task Force will put the brakes on the plug-in's development. Not so, says Bob Lutz, who on his very last day in his current role with the company wrote in an email to our friends at GM-Volt.com:
"Volt will survive and prosper. We know the numbers better than the Government...we furnished them! First-generation technology is expensive, but you can't have a second generation without a first generation. Common sense and intelligence will prevail, here!"

[Source: GM-Volt.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      There isn't anything on the market yet, nor will there be in the next few years, to compete with the Volt. Tesla cars are $100,000+, and the "cheaper" $50K model is vaporware. And even if they weren't, those cars are solely electric - what happens when you inevitably run out of juice on the freeway? The Volt's combination of a gas-powered generator and plug-in capability are what make it unique, and nothing else out there compares. The Prius is pathetic by comparison.
        • 8 Months Ago
        You're correct. GM is already working on their second and third generation battery systems while Toyota engineers are still carrying fire extinguishers because their plug-ins keep catching fire.

        GM Bucked the trend and went with large-format lithium cells and came up with a system that made it work. They're several years ahead of Toyota and Honda.

        I think they've been ahead all along. They've been researching this stuff for 30 years but never marketed it. They had conventional hybrid prototypes before Toyota and Honda every did.

        They've just had their heads up their @$#s They finally pulled them out for a minute and put some of their skills to work, and look what they did in just 2 years!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sorry, Bob. You should've read Thomas Edisson's "I'll never invent something won't make profit".
        • 8 Months Ago
        Good thing Toyota didn't read that when they were working on the early generation Priuses.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope Obama's administration fires Bob Lutz and his cronies. Let Tesla run GM. Mass produce the Tesla sedan. That car is sweet. That car, if it is priced in the $60 K, will kill Lexus.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Two words:

      Toyota Volt.

      If the Volt is worth anything, and it probably is, someone will pay a lot of money for it. Someone who can get the damn thing made, and sell it at a reasonable price, which rules out any of the European automakers. So maybe not Toyota - Nissan Volt? Honda Volt?

      The Aztek should be revived as a hybrid, because it looks like an overgrown Prius. The Honda Element doesn't look that great, but that boxy shape gets you lots more interior space than the curves of an Aztek.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Do you realize there is already a waiting list for the volt that is several miles long? Even if you wanted one in 2010, you probably couldn't get one now. Plan on shopping in the second model year.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Common sense and intelligence will prevail, here!"

      ORLY? What common sense on GM`s part do you speak of Mr. Lutz? The common sense that is currently threatening the existence of GM as a company? The common sense that its former CEO had that helped drive GM into a death spiral?
        • 6 Years Ago

        Lutz has shown little if any intelligence at GM. Looses at GM started soon after Lutz started work there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Common sense and intelligence will prevail, here!" - what a provincial rube you are, Mr. Lutz. May your children be infested with the fleas of a million horses.
      • 6 Years Ago
      lots of losses in volt's stupid complicated expensive drivetrain. won't average more than 30 mpg when juice runs out. die now with dignity. (volt) David Cloud
        • 8 Months Ago
        You do realize that 30 mpg is still better than most cars that size today that are NOT hybrids??.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Great. Spread rumors about a car that isn't for sale yet. Outstanding.

        Who are you, so wise in the ways of science?
      • 6 Years Ago

      Where can we buy a Volt? No? Then when? 2010? When in 2010?

      There is a nitch for a PHEV right now that is dying for lack of a
      showroom product. How many competitive PHEVs will hit the showroom
      floor before we see the Volt?

      It's an interesting concept, but pretty pricey for a Chevy. How much
      premium will the masses be willing to pay for a car (that GM is losing
      money on) that saves them a few hundred bucks a year?

      GM dearly needs big volume in sales for the Volt. How many $35K+ cars
      are sold yearly world wide?

      A lot can happen in a year. This car is already a couple of years too
      late to be salvation for GM. The numbers don't look that good. I hope
      I'm wrong, but common sense has to come in here somewhere.
        • 8 Months Ago
        How many of these 1.2 million Beemer fans would be willing to give up their fine German autos to drive a Chevy Volt?
        • 6 Years Ago
        >> How many $35K+ cars are sold yearly world wide?

        Plenty. BMW Brand alone was about 1.2 million cars world wide.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Lutz has been the primary force in the design and development of several cars that have been certifiable hits with serious auto reviewers and the buying public in his automotive career:

      BMW 3
      Ford Explorer
      Dodge Neon
      Plymouth LH Sedans
      Dodge Viper
      Cadillac CTS
      New Chevy Malibu
      Buick Enclave

      It's fashionable (and certainly warranted) to take shots at GM, but to question Lutz's opinion about what makes a hit ignores his incredible track record.

      • 6 Years Ago
      " Common sense and intelligence will prevail, here!""

      Between the long term idiocy of GM and the venality and stupidity of The Obama common sense and intelligence are on life support and the prognosis is a slow lingering death at great expense to the taxpayer --- but its only the taxpayer so who cares.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Whether Volt will make sense or not is not known at this time and cannot be predicted with any level of certainty. Volt refers to the future, which will be impacted by factors unknown to us. The price of gas, federal subsidies, future developments with the GM situation and how public sentiment swings. The fact that Volt may not bring the immediate profit is pointless - to make money, you have to invest first, meaning spend money. If the administration is able to spend billions of dollars left and right, why not invest a billion or two into supporting technology like Volt so the Volt approach can prosper in the long run. Either we focus on the quick profit or we take a long term view to actively shape our future to our liking.

      I can see a lot of frustration here, probably due to the recent developments at GM and also a lot of opportunistic "kicking the dying" patient. What some of you who seem to resent GM forget is that the prosperity of America (and yours included) depends on how much stuff is created here in this country versus abroad. You can continue spitting on GM and buying the foreign made stuff (like "better cars" from toyota, honda or other foreign manufacturer) but at the end that will come back to you as the profits you will help create will go to a foreign country, workers in foreign country will enjoy the fruits of their labor and the american worker will switch to a lower paying job, in effect buying less from you or your employer.

      What was the last when you actually gave a fair shake to the american made car? America is the only country as far as I know with a major domestic car manufacturing which has such a huge share of foreign made cars. All major european coutries that produce cars domestically, also asian countries, prefer their domestic cars, even if they are not the best in the world.

      Only in America it is fashionable to disregard domestic cars. Why is it so? The quality and selection of US manufactactures is not the explanation if you take the same approach to the european and asian countries mentioned before. So my question to all of you who seem to dislike the US cars is - why do you act as if you deplore your fellow US worker/manager. He or she could as well be your neighbor and prove to be a decent person. Think about it how your actions and opinion regarding US car manufacturers will impact you at some point in the future - what goes out must come back.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Learn how to spell correctly, then come back again with a meaningful comment.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Touche. I'll make you a deal. Let's both go back and retake basic econ. That way I'll learn how to spell the terms, and you'll learn why the second paragraph of your comment is so flawed.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Mercantalism, is that you?
      • 6 Years Ago
      @euguene C People like you run GM that's why they didn't see that Toyota was way ahead until 8 years had passed. LOL.

      If you really had an objective eye you'd know that GM is by far the slowest one and behind. But it won't matter they'll still go down hill because people with your mentality can't beat rival automakers. It's time to get off your emotional attachment to GM and realize that when you talk about hybrids for the future you're already behind because all electrics are superior to them by the time any "competitive hybrid" will be out. Tell me why is it that GM execs gets paid 4 times more when they make less profits than other automakers?????
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