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2011 Chevy Volt - Click above for high-res image gallery

According to a report on Automotive News (sub. req'd), those wishing to get an early crack at the 2011 Chevy Volt had better get in line now as General Motors only plans to build between 200 and 400 total Volts in November and December of 2010 before slowly ramping up production in 2011.

After it's all said and done and we're ringing in the New Year in '12, GM hopes to have sold around 10,000 total Volts. While that's certainly not a small number of vehicles, we'd wager it will be far below actual demand for the car and it'll make it rather difficult to find a first-year model that's not already spoken for.

In somewhat related fuel-sipping news from Chevy, the diminutive Spark should be ready for the American market as a 2012 model returning as much as 50 miles per gallon on the highway. That car's impending arrival will push the 2011 Aveo up one size class and it will reportedly be offered solely as a five-door hatchback slotting between the Spark and the upcoming 40-mpg (highway, naturally) Cruze compact.



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


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Tim -

      As someone that has worked in automotive powertrain for nearly 2 years now and interacts with hybrid powertrain engineers on a daily basis, the fact that everyone is mistakenly calling the Volt an "Extended-Range Electric Vehicle" is really starting to erk me.

      Since you're big on sourcing your info from SAE, maybe this abstract will help shed some light on the subject:
      http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/2001-01-2501

      Nobody ever said that the Volt wasn't in part an electric vehicle, but to say that it's not a hybrid is ignorant. It imitates an electric vehicle for 40 miles or so, until its battery dies. Now, if you're an electric vehicle, you're done here; no battery = no go.

      But in the Volt, what happens when you run out of your all-EV portion of the battery? The internal combustion engine kicks in and delivers electric power to (now listen carefully, this is the important part) ONLY the motor and providing only enough power to the battery to keep it above its 30% charge state (its feeding both sources simultaneously). This is one of the main reasons engineers are concerned about the Volt's performance in range-extended mode (the engine can only produce half the power the motor uses), but I digress. Point is, for the entirety of charge-sustaining mode, the Volt is a hybrid, since it's using the generator to produce electricity that is directly fed to the motor. Therefore, it fits your little definition stated above of "directly power the wheels".

      In case you're still not convinced, our good friend Wikipedia has some pretty good articles that you should check out. Here, you'll find everything else that proves you have no idea what you're talking about.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_vehicle_drivetrain
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_Vehicles

      Learn something new every day...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Electric cars are today’s microchips. GM only needs to sell enough Volts to keep the battery companies busy and the technology evolving rapidly. The LAST thing GM wants to do is get stuck in the 5-year car cycle again.

      Bob Lutz said that they expect to make 10K Gen 1 Volts-1st year, 25K-2nd, 50K-3rd. These are for the GLOBAL market and this Volt supply is still just a drop in the bucket when you look at the millions of cars GM makes each year.

      Mr Lutz also said that they are ALREADY working on Gen II and Gen III Volts and that the car “next generation” cycle will be as short as 6-months, instead of the current 5-years.

      GM will have NO problems selling all the $40K Volts. My guess is that there will be a bidding war at the dealership and the ultimate retail prices will be MUCH higher.

      The move to EVs is going to be a VERY interesting and a (relatively) rapid one considering the millions of cars that need to be replaced. Yes, it could take 20+ years until EVs dominate the roads but that's STILL better than the best H2 estimates.

      The EV dam is bursting, but it will take a while to empty the lake and fill the river!

      By the way, Range-Extended EVs like the Volt are the ONLY EVs without "range-anxiety" and NO, plug-in "hybrids" such as the Plug-In Prius where both the ICE and the electric motor(s) directly power the wheels are NOT true EVs.

      Vehicle categories:

      (1) ICE Gasoline & Flex-Fuel
      (2) ICE Diesel
      (3) Hybrids (electric motor only recycle braking energy)
      (4) Plug-In Hybrids, (electric motor helps ICE drive wheels)
      (5) Range-Extended Electric (low battery state maintained by ICE after depletion)
      (6) Electric without Range-Extender. (range anxiety)

      No wonder the DOE is having a hard time deciding on a mileage standard! Tough Job!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey kiddies, who gives a #$%^ anyway what it is?
        • 5 Years Ago
        well joe the prius plug-in does have a big difference from the volt, which i'm sure you're already aware of... the volt is completely powered by the electric engine where the prius is not. it also can be driven at any speed without any gas in the car... not true for the prius plug in
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hiding behind the term ER-EV doesn't make the Volt not a hybrid. It's a series hybrid that you plug in. Just like a plug-in Prius! Same Category.

        So the plug-in Prius is not a true EV. Neither is the Volt. The Leaf is a true EV.

        Full disclosure, I want a Volt. It just annoys me that GM refuses to call it what it is. Such is marketing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually I wrote that a bit quickly. The plug-in Prius is still a parallel hybrid, but you plug it in. So, they should both be considered hybrids.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is actually kind of smart. Should their be any issues reported in November or December, GM could make corrections on the fly without having to recall thousands of cars. I was hoping to get one of these, but I may wait now since the short supply and high demand may push the price WELL beyond 40,000.
      • 5 Years Ago
      We have yet to see a Volt on a sales lot or even rolling off an assembly line. No shortage of hype, though, especially at ABG. It just goes to show that a bankruptcy has yet to change the tiger's stripes, and that GM would much rather to continue to spend money on image than delivering product.

      I also am disappointed that no one at ABG has bothered to pop the MPG pitch. C'mon now, miles per gallon for a Battery powered, all-Electric Vehicle. You must live somewhere other than the ghost town known as Detroit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM wants to make sure that the Volt is "old out", no matter how successful it really become. Just protecting their back sides here...

      Contrast this with Nissan who are betting the farm on EVs and plan to have 5,000 vehicles in 2010 alone. Yet, by all accounts, they will have no problems being "sold out".

        • 5 Years Ago
        Although I think it was probably a typo, "old out" may be a pretty good description. By the time the Volt starts selling more units per year than Ferrari, the competition may have eclipsed it. If GM had launced the car years ago, rather than just hyping it up, they could have positioned themselves as real technological leaders.

        Nissan plans to have more than 5000 vehicles out in the US alone in 2010, with more in its international markets. In 2012, Nissan will come online with mass-marketed global production in Japan, the US and Europe, with a capacity of over 300K units.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "If GM had launced the car years ago, rather than just hyping it up, they could have positioned themselves as real technological leaders."

        How? It was a concept two years ago when hype started. They could release it without an ICE last year Ill give you that but as a RE-EV it needed to be engineered before it could be developed and sold.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, I made a typo. It should be "sold out".

        I think GM didn't count on having to compete with Carlos Ghosn.

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

        This guy doesn't f***k around and he is extremely aggressive and anti-bureaucracy. He is credited for rescuing Nissan from bankruptcy and producing the Nissan GT-R. So he knows what he wants and he can execute.

        Good luck GM!
      • 5 Years Ago
      As somebody who has seen a lot of turnaround plans not follow through and has spent most of his life hearing how certain auto companies were going to turn it around only to see it never happen, Carlos Ghosn is pretty much amazing...

      He says he will turn around the biggest money-losing auto manufacturer in 1999, then turns the highest operating profit a few years later

      He says he will pay off their debt, then does it a couple of years later

      He says he will improve production efficiency, then comes out with a car that requires the least man hours to assemble.

      He says he wants to inject some excitement into the lineup with performance cars, then comes out with the GTR and 370Z.

      He says he will improve quality ratings, then tops Consumer Reports and JD Powers for crossovers, mid-sized cars, and sports cars 2 years later.

      Basically, he says things and they actually happen. These are not easy achievements.

      He is determined to only support vehicles that have profitable business models (which includes the LEAF). So when he places such a big stake in electric vehicles, you can expect him to make it happen....

      Makes me wonder what would have happened if the GM board and shareholders (who are now liquidated) had agreed to be sold to Nissan a few years back.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Joe,

      According to the Society of Automotive Engineers:

      http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/2008-01-0458

      “As derivatives of conventional full hybrids, PHEVs have the potential to deliver a significant reduction in petroleum usage. However, the fuel consumption benefits are limited by the underlying constraints of the base hybrid systems and vehicles. Even with incremental electric power and speed improvements, the PHEV's lack of full-performance, all-electric capability requires engine operation under everyday speed and/or load conditions, regardless of available battery energy. This creates emissions concerns and can severely limit the actual all-electric driving range in the real world.

      The E-REV is principally an Electric Vehicle (EV) with full-vehicle performance available as an EV. Significantly, it overcomes the historical EV re-charge time limitations by adding a fuel-powered electric generator to extend driving range. Actual all-electric driving can regularly be experienced throughout the working energy range of the vehicle's battery without fear of being stranded. The E-REV offers the opportunity for petroleum independence, and a dramatic reduction in emissions for many drivers.”

      Hybrids (plug-in or not) are a completely different category from Electric Vehicles (range-extended or not).

      Who is right, YOU or the Society of Automotive Engineers?

      The SAE, they WROTE the definition.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A quote taken from GM-Volt.com is NOT the same thing as a quote from the Society of Automotive Engineers.
        • 1 Month Ago
        Tim, a donkey and a horse are both equines. Similarly, a "range extended EV" and a "plug augmented Hybrid Synergy Drive" are both plug-in hybrids.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, go where ever you need to find a definition of Series hybrid that you like, but what you will find is that an EREV is a subset of the Series hybrid definition.

        • 1 Month Ago
        Joe, you can believe that a donkey is a horse if you want to.
        • 1 Month Ago
        His point, and mine, is that you continue to fail to grasp the concept that the Title Hybrid encapsulates both the Volt and the Prius, because they both combine two different power sources. The Volt is a Series setup, and the Prius is a Parallel setup, both hybrids.

        Just because GM invented a new name for their plug-in series hybrid, doesn't mean it's not a series hybrid.

        So, either you really just don't get it, or your are trolling. Based on your past posts, I'm not sure. It could be the latter.
        • 1 Month Ago
        Joe,

        Are you an Automotive Electronics or Drive Train Engineer? That's OK, neither are most in the media.

        The Society of Automotive Engineers point, and mine, is that you continue to fail to grasp the concept that the title “Hybrid” which encapsulates the Prius’s PARALLEL (not series) design and GM’s 2-Mode design because TWO or more different power sources are COMBINED to DIRECTLY power the wheels for FULL operation.

        A Series Electric is NOT a hybrid and neither is a Range-Extended EV regardless of the misnomer given them and perpetuated by the unenlightened media.

        A Series-Electric Electric does NOT have batteries or has batteries that are only large enough to recapture braking energy. A Series-Electric has ZERO full-operating electric range without the generator powering the electric motor. Hence the SERIES in the Series-Electric.

        The Volt is a EV-40. It is a fully functional electric car and runs 100% OFF THE BATTERY, 100% of the time whether the Range-Extender starts RECHARGING THE BATTERY. If the Range-Extender is NOT working or is REMOVED, the Volt is STILL an EV-40.

        The plug-in Prius and GM’s plug-in 2-Mode are Hybrids because BOTH the ICE and the Battery can power the wheels TOGETHER at the same time.

        If a man is on a cart whipping a horse or giving him food to motivate forward movement, is that cart a man-horse hybrid, a whip-horse hybrid or a man-whip-food-horse hybrid? No, it’s a horse drawn cart.

        I suppose that if you would like to call the Range-Extended EV a hybrid, then it would also be logical to call all EV coal-hybrids when their energy came from coal, nuclear hybrids when that energy came from nuclear and so on., but that seems like a LOT of hard work just so that you can call an electric car with a range-extender a "hybrid".

        When your ICE car's engine breaks-down and you have to push it off the road, does it turn into a "human hybrid"? How can it be a “hybrid” at all since both you and the ICE are NOT pushing the car AT THE SAME TIME. A dead car that you are pushing is STILL not a “hybrid” because it STILL has only one power source at a time... YOU.

        Extended-Range EVs only have ONE power source... the BATTERY whether that battery is charged from the Grid, from the Range-Extender or even if you coast down a VERY long hill and recharge it with inertia via regenerative braking, it ALWAYS only has ONE source which DIRECTLY feeds the electric drive motor... the battery.

        A hybrid runs off of TWO or more sources to DIRECTLY power the wheels.

        An Electric Car ALWAYS runs off the battery.

        A Series-Electric ALWAYS runs off power form the generator

        A Range-Extended Electric Car ALWAYS runs off the BATTERY which can be recharged via the grid, solar panels, fuel cells, generator at your aunt’s house on a trailer, in the trunk, under the bonnet etc.

        Continuing to call an E-REV a "hybrid" only serves to demonstrate ignorance of different vehicle architectures.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Taken from GM-Volt.com:

        "Q: How is the Chevy Volt different than today’s hybrids, like the Prius?
        A: Today’s hybrids are called parallel hybrids. They use a small electric motor for low speed driving, but switch to a regular gas engine for acceleration and faster speed driving, hence both engines work side by side or in parallel. The Volt is a series vehicle meaning only the electric motor power the car at all times, the gas engine is just a generator, making electric to keep the batteries in a steady state of charge."

        http://gm-volt.com/chevy-volt-faqs/

        There are two types of hybrids: Parallel (Everything out right now) and Series (The Volt). SAE coming up with a definition of E-REV doesn't make the Volt not a Hybrid. It's a series hybrid.
        • 1 Month Ago
        Tim -

        Take a look at my post below, that should shed some light on the subject for you...
        • 1 Month Ago
        Chris M,

        A pickup truck has 4 wheels and and so does a car, but they are NOT the same thing.

        What's your point?
        • 1 Month Ago
        Also, it should be noted that your SAE source was written by General Motors. It's not an SAE standard.

        Anybody can publish a paper through SAE.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm fairly sure that GM will have rough competition by nov 2010 so don't worry about the supply of PHEVs and similar... Just because they're making all the noise doesn't mean they're the only ones with this technology.


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