GM outpaces Toyota on hybrid tech
So far, the two most intriguing and worthwhile debuts of 2007 Detroit Auto Show have been vehicles that we will never drive in their current guise. Both need further development and in one case, advanced battery technology. But the point is that they are here and exist within the halls and imaginations of two of the most aggressive OEMs in the U.S. market.

One is from Toyota - not a big surprise.

The other is from GM - surprised?

The Toyota FT-HS, pictured here, is what I have been waiting for. (HS stands for "Hybrid Sports") As owner of a 2004 and 2006 Prius, I understand the hybrid promise and have put my own money on these horses. But "engaging" is not the word I would use when describing the day-to-day driving experience. The FT-HS is projected to hit 60 MPH in less than 5 seconds and deliver 35+ MPG.at a price very affordable to the common sports car enthusiast. A perfect hybrid evolution.

But the Chevrolet Volt is special. (See a picture, plus Edmunds.com's take on it, here in the blog.) Hard to imagine (and even harder to type) but based on we have seen thus far, GM has an upper-hand in the Hybrid stakes.

The Volt introduces us to an all-new powertrain concept named E-Flex, and it is an obvious 'slap-in-the-forehead' solution to our current and growing energy/security crisis.

Since the gas engine is used 100% as a generator and never as a direct source of propulsion, the Volt of the future could deliver a theoretical range of 640 miles per small tank. And hit 60 MPH in a bit over 8 seconds.

But most impressively, if the future driver uses the plug-in feature and recharges for all trips less than 40 miles, the engine would never even need to fire up. Mile upon mile without a visit to the gas station. And that is revolutionary.
Posted by James Bell, Intellichoice.com 9:13 AM 55 Comments comment | Add a Comment

All hybrids should be "plug-in"... It just makes sense. And how about combining these options with flex-fuel, so that the driver could fill up with gasoline OR E80 (80% ethanol and 20% gasoline). I have read that it only costs manufacturers a couple hundred dollars extra to add this feature to a standard gasoline engine and that 70% of all vehicles sold in Brazil are bought with this option, as a result of the great availability of ethanol. And why haven't we seen any diesel hybrids? Diesel cars from Honda, Audi and Mercedes are getting great mileage without the hybrid drive train - imagine if they were combined with a plug-in hybrid option. We might see mileage break the 100 MPG mark.
Posted By Andreas Schmid, Great Barrington, MA : 10:45 AM  

Time to start giving GM some credit for innovation and prodcuts!
Posted By David...Michigan : 10:48 AM  

I drive a 2995 Prius. I can easily surprise non believers with a burst of acceleration from the stoplight. MY TURNING RADIUS is exceptional. I can U turn in a smaller space than with any car I have ever oened - I am 70 years old. I drive at an average 89 miles per hour on trips to Los Angeles, Monterey and other CA locatopnsa. I get 46 to 47 miles per gallon on these trips and I can pass dolts on the highway easily.
Posted By Jim Gibbons, Sun City West, AZ : 10:49 AM  

What is the impact of low temps..say 32f and lower on the electrical side of the hybrids..E.G What happens to one in the winter, snow cold etc..
Posted By fw, nashville tn : 11:19 AM  

In theory, the Volt sounds nice, but the fact that it based on battery technology not yet developed makes me a bit skeptical...
Posted By SPM - CT : 11:34 AM  

Go GM, it's about time. I'll buy the Volt as soon as it hits the market...and as long as it is less than $30,000.
Posted By David, Dayton, OH : 11:42 AM  

Common.... Who here actually believes this Volt CONCEPT will be under 30K... Also it is a CONCEPT which I hardly doubt GM can actually put into production... Sorry but I rather trust Toyota on their Hybrid Technology than GM which is just starting to get off the ground.

Cars sell because of 3 things

1. Price 2. Design 3. Gas consumption

If this vehicle is over 30K forget about it... Just like with that new Camaro Concept ( What a Joke )Do they not understand why they lost over 10 billion dollars last year?
Posted By Mike Houston, TX : 12:42 PM  

I live on the 14th floor of an apartment building. How am I going to plug in the Volt for overnight recharging? Will the car comes with the long extension cords?
Posted By isaac, flushing, ny : 1:19 PM  

Are you kidding? "GM outpaces Toyota on hybrid tech"...GM once owned worldwide patent rights to the NiMH battery. Later, GM decided to sell those rights to Texaco, which then merged with Chevron. Chevron is now in a partnership with ENER. In an effort to ensure oil consumption in America, GM and the oil companies did nothing with the technology. Toyota seeing the opportunity, developed the Prius Hybrid and paid $30m to Cobasys for patent infringements which is nothing compared to the revenue they are generating. Now GM in order to play catch up, is attempting a half baked measure to release a Hybrid product under the Saturn brand. With the global warming issue coming to the forefront, consumer demand for Hybrids will continue to rise and Toyota has a huge lead. GM will only regain the lead if they take leadership in the next wave: HEV's. Toyota can start producing these vehicles in 2014 under the terms of the settlement.

What are GM's total hybrid sales vs Toyota in 2006?
Posted By Shawn, Ottawa, On : 1:22 PM  

The battery technology is complete. Just look at Phoenix Motors. Lithium is here now. These cars are possible below $20k if GM and Toyota use their buying power for prices on OEM equiptment.
Posted By Hector, Glendale, Az : 1:46 PM  

What a crock! I stopped by here just to see which journalists were in collusion with GM's abuse of the term "hybrid". Truth is -- all the production "hybrids" from GM are standard gasoline engine vehicles with an electric motor assist. Nothing more -- and a lot less than a true hybrid.

Just a bit more shucking and jiving from incompetents -- and sycophants.
Posted By Ed Campbell, Santa Fe, NM : 2:04 PM  

First, this is hardly revolutionary. The first electric car was built between 1832 and 1839 (date uncertain), followed by many others, one of which set a world speed record of 68 mph in 1899, in Belgium. Just google it.

Second, we tend to forget that electric power does not appear from thin air. Fossil fuel will not be burned in your car engine, but it will be burned in a power station, except you will not see it.

Third and final, electric propulsion may be fashionable, but it is less efficient than direct drive (gas or diesel), therefore effectively more polluting. Except it pollutes elsewhere. Electric cars where discontinued for a good reason.
Posted By Peter van Diepen, Vancouver, Canada : 3:19 PM  

This is great, however since GM says they won't start even producing the car until at least 2012....they also stated they have to overcome hurdles with the batteries since tehy are using cell phone batteries that tend to overheat when lumped together...yeah...typical GM they will come out with it too late.
Posted By Mark, Novi MI : 3:25 PM  

Gee. Let's get the media to get together and come up with one story. Earlier the TV news said that the GM technology is not expected to up in the 2010's. That puts them ahead? Really, now!!

Lynn Ross
Posted By Jackson, Mississippi : 3:29 PM  

Goodbye fuel bill, hello power bill.
Posted By Dave Innes, Brisbane, Australia : 3:30 PM  

Greetings, I've just returned from 2020 and much to my 'surprise' the leading auto maker in 2020 is China. They're making almost the majority of budget vehicles with slightly antiquated Hybrid tech.

Japan has fallen to second place but are still creators of the overall best cars, which all incorporate hybrid and flew technologies.

Europe has changed their approach and are leading the way in 'upscale' small people movers.

An the USA? With the auto industry in shambles and all other major manufacturing gone, the economy has imploded. Simple as that.

- Fill from the Future
Posted By Las Cruces, NM : 3:33 PM  

more on the cold issue. what do these hybrids do in way below zero such as the upper midwest has in usual winters?
Posted By bob oviedo, fl : 3:34 PM  

Yeah right. So "GM has an upper-hand in the Hybrid stakes". Okay, I'll challenge anyone from GM to a race from my house (in Wash DC)to Houston, TX. I'll drive my 2004 Prius and they can have the "slap-in-the-forehead" Volt. I'll wait until this Sunday to leave and let the Volt take off any time they want. Who will get to Houston first?
Posted By Toby, WashDC : 3:42 PM  

Ok, so Toyota builds a hybrid sports car concept that gets 35 mpg.

But Ford built a hybrid sports car concept last year that got 80 mpg.

Ouch...
Posted By Andy Smith, Columbus, OH : 3:45 PM  

I hate to sound cynical but GM has been dowon this street before. Remember, this is a concept car and even if it is developed (heavy on the IF) it is years away.
Posted By Fond du Lac, WI : 3:50 PM  

yeah, that's a really funny title for the story. i'm not holding my breath for the GM product, but i wouldn't be surprised if the toyota goes into production by the time i'm ready to purchase my next car. toyota's only problem is keeping the price down to be competitive, gm on the other hand is just trying improve PR and whomever came up with this title is sleeping with GM. bring it on toyota, i don't mind paying a couple dollars more for something that will be a little more then just a figment of my imagination.
Posted By mark, balto md : 3:51 PM  

It's great to see a major automaker finally moving forward on what small companies have been proving possible for several years (see Energy CS, CalCars and HyMotion). But while the announcement is exciting, GM still isn't giving any solid timeline on WHEN we can see these cars on the road or HOW MANY cars are actually going to be produced - at best they say 3-4 years if the battery technology is available. There is a demand for plug-in hybrids NOW - there are hundreds of cities, counties, utility districts and fleets already placing "soft orders" for such vehicles. Such early-adopters of these vehicles would provide test markets for GM to refine the technology and build public confidence and interest in these cars.

I have to admit I'm a little concerned that they will use the announcement of these concept cars more to clean up their image than clean up their product line. There is a lot GM can do between now and when we may see these concept vehicles actually on the road.

We all know increasing fuel efficiency is the direction automakers need to head – so let’s get past the hype of a handful of concept vehicles and look at what they are doing with the rest of their fleet. Overall average fuel economy from the Big 6 is worse today that it was 10 years ago and GM is still heavily dependent on its gas guzzling truck lines. In addition to that they are still fighting tooth-and-nail against increasing fuel economy regulations, suing states that try to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and in December argued before the Supreme Court that carbon from tailpipe emissions was not even a pollutant. GM is still planning to expand their Hummer line to become 25% of their overall sales. Consumers still have limited options to find fuel-efficient cars that are affordable, well-built, and fun to drive. There are plenty of things automakers can do today to increase fuel economy – and I'm tired of being shown distracting concept cars that we won't see for 3-4 years if ever.

I've been working with the Freedom From Oil Campaign to make automakers honestly prioritize fuel economy and move beyond oil – check out what we do at http://www.FreedomFromOil.org
Posted By Matt, Detroit, MI : 3:58 PM  

and another funny thing, why is it that GM takes up the majority of the FT-HS writeup? they don't mention toyota on the volts writeup, tell me if this isn't biased. at least the FT-HS is slide 1 and the volt #6. funny gm also stole the name from the toyota Volta concept from several years ago. i'm rolling on the floor :)
Posted By mark, baltimore md : 3:59 PM  

Nothing new here, just a variation on a theme. Detroit, especially GM has been playing catch up for some time now, and perhaps the potential for alternate sources of power will jolt them into the 21st century.
Posted By Tom, Lake County, CA : 4:00 PM  

Revolutionary? Am I reading a comic strip here? Did I accidentally go to Fox News? Plug in cars were out 10 years ago! Not to mention the very first automobiles produced were electric. Come on CNN! You are better than this!
Posted By Jamin...West Virginia : 4:10 PM  

What is so disturbing to me, is that when the so called "gas issues" of the 1970s became quite a pickle for many folks, one would have expected to some degree that the core auto industry, the American auto industry would rise to the occasion and produce better quality cars with better gas mileage. Yet, they burned us. Then in the 1980s after taking sales hits from us Americans who were tired of paying hefty prices for gas guzzling, non reliable, environment killing machines, they wanted us to buy American, and we did. Now, they are taking even further hits on sales for some of the same issues from 30 years ago, that GM and Ford, and Chrysler could have fixed. This time they want us to bail them out again, and I am sick of it. They have screwed over us consumers for years. Foreign car makers saw a niche in the U.S. market that GM and the others ignored, and that niche is now hurting them. If Shawn from Ottawa is correct on what he stated in his Blog; that just adds more fuel to how GM really cares for their present bottom line and not future outlook and future sales, banking on another �Buy American� type slogan to bail them and the rest of the U.S. Auto industry out. Ok, I understand that GM and the others have to run a business, and make money, blah blah blah, however, no American Car company can say that they are better off for some of the main decisions that the instituted then, now. They had the opportunities to squash competition by building on quality and additionally making the car more fuel efficient. Now, they want us to listen and buy more products from them, when they have failed us as consumers. We pay their checks, and they have burned us continuously. The arrogance of these companies and then to ask for help because of their struggling stocks and bottom lines and missed forecasts in sales and so on and so fourth. Now, I would say, that I love American cars, I love driving them, however I feel exhausted and used and spit at, looked down on, as a nothing from them. I feel financially screwed from their product. Imagine if they took global warming or gas mileage serious 25 years ago; I bet we have those 100+ mpg cars today. And I bet the east coast would have more snow this winter. Maybe when Toyota, (which Toyota is downplaying heavily and are very humble about it), eclipse GM as the largest car company in the world, maybe then, they will listen. Or, maybe then, we will get 30 MPG (City) Escalades and Suburban�s. Even with that, it�s still disturbing.
Posted By Mr. Roby, Kansas City, KS : 4:29 PM  

"GM outpaces Toyota on hybrid tech"

Oh boy does this story seem biased!
From the title you'd think GM is crushing Toyota with hybrid know-how.

In reality, GM teased a CONCEPT, that won't even be produced until ~2010 - HOW IS THIS "outpacing Toyota"?!?!

The proof is in the pudding, as they say - let's compare how many hybrids Toyota (or Honda) has on the road with GM...anybody??..

This is just more slimy GM pr tactics, hype & lies - we've heard this all before and guess what, intelligent Americans aren't buying it any longer!
Posted By Christopher, Raleigh NC : 7:03 PM  

Mr Roby,

Toyota, Humble?? The same Toyota whose ads compare domestic trucks to theirs as a carpenters hammer to a nail gun?? The same one running another ad where a dork says "I wonder where smart people would go to find out what car to buy?" while pointing to the "toyota.com" on his t-shirt? The same one running the billboard campaign touting "assembled in america" all while they take advantage of tax breaks the domestics can't get and back-woods labor forces glad to make 25k/year and pay for their own health care? Toyota says "we aren't out to be number one" all while they are taking advantage of misperceptions on fuel economy and build quality, and doing everything they can to do just that. Humble? Disingenuos is more like it.
Posted By Rochester, NY : 7:17 PM  

GM outpaces Toyota? Keep dreaming, Mr. Wagoner! That won't happen in your lifetime! Because GM just doesn't get it!!! Notice GM's website doesn't even provide for a consumer feedback! Thew company isn't interested - until the (lousy) sales numbers speak!
What GM needs is NOT the "ultra hybrid," which might make good news copy but is years from the market, but a Chevy Malibu with a hybrid engine that delivers a reliable 40 MPG. I can't tell you how many times I have rented a Malibu or a G6 and thought they were decent and I could consider them when I am ready for a new car next time - only to find out the only engines offered are 50-year old "push-rod V6" engines. If you want to a GM car with a OHC, you have to spend over $30,000! Rediculous!
GM will go under, a fate well deserv ed, just for insulting the American people with the Hummer.
Posted By JRR, Silver Spring, MD : 7:38 PM  

A few answers to a few statements/ questions. One person claimed direct drive were more efficient in gasoline powered cars than hybrid drive. This isn't true considering a ic-engine rarely runs at peak efficiency due to gearing issues. Electric motors generally run at 90 percent efficient, with permanent magnet motors running at 95% efficiency. Since power sources are diversified, electric drive is in fact more efficient than a internal combustion direct drive engine. Also, the GM concept unveiled was a parralel hybrid, meaning the gas engine was a generator only, this means that the engine is always running at peak efficiency since it needs to provide a constant power output and this was probably tuned for the maximum of the efficiency curve.
Posted By SR, Boston, MA : 7:54 PM  

In response to the statements regarding temperature performance of hybrids. Generally speaking, there will be a loss in battery performance and capacity in cold weather. The NIMH batteries being used in the prius do suffer from this to an extent but don't lose too much capacity in comparision to lead acid batteries which are starting to become obsolete. Lithium ion chemistries which is what GM is proposing to use, currently do have some issues with cold weather. Ever notice how that digital camera battery poops out faster in the winter? But hopefully, GM's investment in battery research will find a solution to this problem. What troubles me is that once again, GM is investing in Chevron to carry out some of the research in batteries. I personally don't see how Chevron would benefit as a company so I'm a tad skeptical.
Posted By Jacob R, NY, NY : 7:58 PM  

While I would gladly pay a premium to purchase a well engineered American car with the capabilities of the Volt, history shows that Detroit does not have the vision, leadership and determination to become a market-leader in next generation vehicles like this. The second generation Prius is only an 'ok' car. But to Toyota's credit, they have been delivering a 'reasonable' solution for 2+ years.
Posted By Alan Smith, Portland Oregon : 8:33 PM  

It's amazing what Toyota's done with the public's perception of quality and innovation. Toyota's had tremendous success with marketing its hybrids; that cannot be disputed. Despite that, there still isn't a practical one out there. (Ever try to use one to seat five or to tow a trailer?) Also, consumers still have a need for large trucks/SUV's as well. No credit is given to GM in developing among the most fuel-efficient large trucks out there. If Toyota had the ability to dominate the large pickup and SUV market, they would be producing just as many. Because of perception the public will still consider Toyota a "green" company. I wonder how "green" those new Tundras will be that Toyota will be cranking out of their Texas plant.
Posted By Rocky, Schaumburg, IL : 9:08 PM  

Why do people go 'ga-ga' over being able to plug your car in to the electric grid instead of using gasoline? We already have a shortage of electricity. The last thing we need is a few million cars sucking up the juice as well.
Posted By Mark, Newtown, CT : 9:23 PM  

Rechargeable batteries + recharging solar paneled roof/rear window/trunk lid + plug-in recharging for back up = NO STOPS AT THE GAS STATION.

You are so kidding yourself if you think big oil will let any of this ever hit large-scale production. They haven�t worked for over 25 years in putting power in Washington, particularly the Whitehouse, to stop true American innovation from shining so they can keep making big money. And believe me, their power base/connections are well intact, and well funded.

The well-oiled big oil wheel keeps turning...and believe it or not, they have their boot on your throat. You just don't know it.
Posted By Texas (Home of big oil) : 9:34 PM  

This has little to do with hybrids, but does have a lot to do with Vehicles sold in the United states. I just bought a 06 Equinox. I also looked at Toyotas but not one of there so called American assembled cars could show/tell me how much of it was made in a the United States. On my new Chevy it clearing stated 65 percent of my car was made in USA. I will keep buying GM and or American brands. Bring it home before it is all made in China.
Posted By Craig A. St. Paul, Mn. : 5:55 AM  

Over the decades robust international competition in the auto industry took its toll on GM, and the once mighty GM paid dearly. Its nice to see this company fight back using good old fashioned American innovation and determination.
Posted By Tom, Coral Springs, FL : 9:41 AM  

Its good to see GM determined to dig itself out of its current mess. For all you entry level Toyota buyers, you probably didnt know that it was just a few short decades ago that the Oldsmobile Cutlass was the best selling car in the US, produced in two GM assembly plants. Oldsmobile is gone and now for every Cutlass once produced, Toyota builds a Camry in its place. I wonder if in the next few decades the Camry will be replaced by a new car made in China ?
Posted By Thomas, Pompany Beach, Florida : 9:50 AM  

So far only Dave Innes of Australia has seen the big picture. Even if all of the promises of the Volt come true (yeah right) the one absolute true fact is this...IT IS STILL ENERGY!!! DUH! Living in Arizona and seeing the rape of the ratepayer by Arizona Public Service, I can only imagine what it will cost to "fill up" the Volt for it's lousy 40 mile range. Energy is going to cost us, no matter what form; plug or pump.
Posted By Dave MacDonnell, Phoenix,AZ : 6:29 PM  

One blogger's comment: "electric propulsion ... is less efficient than direct drive (gas or diesel), therefore effectively more polluting." is false. If it were true, all our industries would be using local combustion engines, as in steam days, instead of electric drive motors. Electric drive of anything is far more efficient than a mechanical and local combustion engine. Over 20% of US electricity comes from nuclear powerplants, using no hydrocarbon fuel, with no related pollution, except heat. Over 10% of US electricity is hydro or wind, which have even less impact.

So, whenever I drive our 15mpg Jags, I know 2/3 of ever $ going into their tanks is wasted as heat out the exhaust. If they had a couple of GM Volt motors and batteries like the Tesla's, then I'd feel much less guilty, because the power companies produce the electricity I'll charge them with by wasting far less primary fuel.

If you're very lucky, a combustion engine in a car is 30% efficient -- wastes 70% of its input fuel. A powerplant is close to the Carnot limit, near 40%. Multiply that difference by millions and decide whether filling up or charging up is better, even without green power alternatives.
Posted By Dr. A. Cannara, Menlo Pk., Calif. : 6:54 PM  

I think that some of respondents to this story are not aware of the small, but important differences between what the Volt proposes to be and the current production hybrid vehicles. If General Motors succeeds in making the Volt work at a mass-market price, it will make every vehicle on the road look like an antique. Now, granted, that's a big "if" at this point, but you have to give them some props for doing something audacious. I'n saying that as dyed-in-the-wool GM basher from way back. And while we're on the general subject of plug-in vehicles, here's something interesting to think about: The U.S. Department of Energy did a study recently regarding the existing power grid�s ability to handle the demands of plug-in hybrid vehicles. And according to the DOE, the existing grid will handle 180 million plug-in vehicles. There were some other thought-provoking assumptions in the report; for instance, the fact that if more electric power was being provided by utility companies as a result of electric vehicles being recharged, this additional power would be provided over existing infrastructure, resulting in a maximum realization of value for the utility vis-�-vis the fixed network, thereby driving down the overall cost of electricity nationwide. This effect, however, would be much more pronounced on the East Coast and the Midwest, which currently has idle capacity in current transmission infrastructure. The report also noted that carbon dioxide emissions in cities would go down by about 5%, but sulfur dioxide emissions (the cause of acid rain) would go up in rural areas as a result of more coal being burned in those areas to produce the extra electricity. Just as an FYI, if you think environmentalists are fanatics about plug-in hybrids, you should spend some time with a utility company executive. To them, it�s all about a different kind of "green" power � a switch to hybrid electric vehicles by a substantial number of drivers would mean a tremendous increase in revenues and profits (green, indeed!) for utility companies nationwide. To say that their self-interests are at work in their support of plug-in vehicles is a considerable understatement of fact.
Posted By Brendan Moore, Editor - www.autosavant.net - San Francisco, CA : 9:01 PM  

Anyone who know electric motors will tell you...Wanna smoke the tires?

Electric motors put out just as much torque from a start, from 0 RPM as they do at full rated RPM. No gearbox required. Ride an electric train to see how they can snap your head back.

What GM needs to do is enter an electric in a stock car drag race.

I like it.
Posted By Bill, Boulder, CO. : 2:20 AM  

I have owned a Toyota Prius and no matter how you look at it there is no way it functioned as well as advertised or expected. You can get pretty good fuel economy but in the short trip city driving that most of us do daily its performance was lacking to say the least. You people on here making these 50mpg @ 80mph claims on here for that car know the truth is much less. The Prius is a good car but it does not solve several issues with electric cars mostly due to battery technology. The batteries will eventually form what is termed a memory and lose a great deal of efficency. Nimh batteries always have and until they can be depleted before charging they always will.

For those of you who expect an overnight soloution to these problems forget about that dream. Or you could just keep buying Toyota's Prius and pay for the privledge of doing research for a car manufacture.

Flex-fuel seems to be getting a huge hit here on this page without the recognitioin of its possibilities. First of all a completely electric car has to be plugged in and there will be fosil fuel burnt to produce that power. Atleast with Ethenol mixed fuels they are renewable to some extent. The optimum system would be electric powered only by batteries and charged by a small diesel or gasoline/etheno engine. With such a vehicle the range could be substantial and you dont have to plug the car in. GM's version of this gets very close to this goal. Yes closer than Toyota's! Each time our technology changes its just a short time before the next one comes along and so on.

By the way all fleets in this country are forced by law to use a certain percentage of alt/fuel vehicles. Ford actually makes a great deal of these in the form of an electric SUV, take a look.
Posted By Mike, Houston, TX : 6:11 PM  

I drive a Dynasty IT urban electric everyday (www.itiselectric.com) and I must say that many people could drive urban electric vehicles now for the majority of their in town driving. We seem to have gotten so spoiled that we are not willing to accept any hardship to reduce CO2 emissions for the future of our grand children and for the people all over the planet. We should also think about how oil revenue is used do alot of bad things.

It is distressing to see all of the misinformation in this blog.
The EV1 had lead acid batteries that were gel cell not NiMH or lithium. The vehicle I drive is lead acid, Optima batteries, they are great batteries but they have a very limited energy density. I will spend about $1000 every 5 years for batteries but I will still be money ahead. Lithium batteries... laptop computer type batteries would cost me about $4000 for the same energy storage but they would be much lighter.

I have a separate electric meter on my EV and the plug in cost for electricity has been, 6975 miles for $76.53 over 3 years. A gas hybrid would have to get 150 mpg to equal the energy costs. The vehicle can be recharged by wind power or solar or coal fired but even if it were charged by a coal fired generator the CO2 emisions are still reduced by 75%.

If you want a calculator to evaluate energy savings in using low speed electric vehicles then go to zenncars.com and look at the calculator.

We need to look at what we can do now to reduce CO2 emisions and quit blaming the GM for pulling the EV1. They legally must provide their stock holders the best return on investment and the public was not asking for a vehicle with such a limited range.

Is everyone here doing everything they can to reduce CO2 emisions?
Posted By Fred, Iowa City, IA : 7:32 PM  

Wow! That is pretty much the best looking hybrid I have ever seen. Finally, they're not trying to turn buyers away by making hybrids look like ugly, small sedans. In all seriousness, if they had a hybrid on the market that looked like that, I would put it #1 on my list. smart move by Toyota.
Posted By Billy Akron Ohio : 7:36 PM  

Good luck on waiting for GM's CONCEPT CAR to come to production.
Posted By Richard, Arlington, TX : 7:59 PM  

So GM has a concept car! Big Deal! The marketing hype won't improve their financial performance until they compete with a product and are a real player in the market (like Toyota, Lexus, Honda, etc.) and not a wall flower. Customers and investors want to see a manufacturer's hybrids on the road where they can be scrutinized. I'm not impressed when I'm told "how good its going to be".
Posted By Robert, Somerville, NJ : 8:30 PM  

We have a small company that can power a golf cart on hydrogen. Why not have that as a back up to the battery. There is a company that can make batteries recharge 5 times faster than the hard metal type. It is called Red ox. Why not use what new small companies can do and get with it?
We are wasting energy that could be made from the wind with no damage to anyone. Lets get with it and clean things up like the air we breath. To many people buy big gas hogs and could care less if they have the money to burn. It that right? Who in the world knows what to do when we run out of oil in a few years. Now is the time to use better sources of energy.
Posted By Howard Johnson, Bella Vista, AR : 8:34 PM  

Wake up everybody!!!

Wake up Ford. Build the Interceptor.

I love the '07 Camry, but ancient history. Ford, What is holding you, back.

Go for it.
Posted By P.Vitti, Detroit,Mi : 8:25 PM  

Wow a lot of nay-sayers here...obviously bias.
The Volt is a great concept that could provide better fuel economy than any production car ever. And you people are making up excuses in your head to dislike it.
The Prius is nothing special. They get 50mpg if you are lucky. Cars like the Metro were getting 40+mpg over 10 years ago. GM also produced an electric car (the EV1) many years ago, but it didn't sell so they stopped producing it.

Because the response has been so positive for the Volt, GM will likely go ahead and produce it. Hopefully GM can deliver on its promised fuel economy...or at least close to it.
Posted By Adam, Dayton, OH : 1:44 AM  

How nice GM using their heads for more than hatracks ! My bet is you will wait longer for this car to appear than $ 1.50 Gas Just GM being GM. lot of show and very little go. Anyone remeber how long it took for the G6 hartop to make it to the the showroom or why GM has no diesel powered SUV's
Posted By Rich,Pittsburgh,PA : 2:54 PM  

I`VE GOT A BUICK PARK AVENUE WITH 140,000 MILES IN IT. GETS 20 MPG AROUND TOWN 28 MPG ON THE ROAD. WHY WOULD I BUY A FOREIGN CAR??? CHANGE THE OIL EVERY 3000 MILES AND THEY WILL LAST.
Posted By PAUL GRABEL JR. MARION INDIANA : 4:23 PM  

comming into a time when on a new house it will be cost effective to make the roof from solar panals and not shingles. and the waater heating run under it naturaly etc, and yes hi honey im home , opps forgot to plug the car in, oh ill get it. right, every trip to a store or gas station not taken saves energy and mindless spending, so shop at home buy in bulk build a bunker and plug in your car, which will fly by then right?
Posted By garth portales new mexico : 4:03 PM  

The Volt: An EV1 with a generator tacked on. This is revolutionary? Why do so many bloggers buy into the myth there was not market for the EV1? GM wanted it to fail. $500/month lease with no equity was no bargain and even at that, the qualification to lease were onerous. Why didn't GM sell the leases to those who wanted to keep them. Answer, the EV1 was a proof of concept threatening equity holders in the trillion dollar internal combustion/ petroleum industry who will soon be buggy whip peddlers.
Posted By John McAvoy, San Diego CA : 6:44 PM  

I have had a 2004 Prius and now have a 2006. I love the 46mpg I get and the less gas pollution!
Toyota leads the way in all the automotive technologies. They appear to own all the plants that produce the batteries and the Hybrid computers. The Ford Escape is all Toyota. America is embracing the Toyota Hybrid. Why did the Big 3 just sit back and not develope a Hybrid?
Posted By Jerry Takacs,Pennington,NJ : 7:45 AM  

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.