GM charges Toward an Electric Future
General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner just announced a new line of vehicles called E-Flex that will run on electrically driven propulsion systems. The Chevrolet Volt is the concept car that represents this development direction, and it looks promising from both a design and technology statement. The swooping roofline and four doors give it a sort of an American-ized Mercedes-Benz CLS appearance.

It travels 40 miles on pure electricity before the internal combustion engine kicks in to charge the batteries. (The engine never actually drives the wheels). The short range on pure electricity is designed to work for people who have a shorter commute. However, even with a 60-mile commute, the Volt would get the equivalent of 150 MPG, GM's product development chief Bob Lutz said.

The idea behind E-Flex is to utilize electricity as much as possible while still having an extended range via internal combustion when needed. As a bridge to pure electrical propulsion it could be a viable direction.
Posted by Karl Brauer, 1:45 PM 157 Comments comment | Add a Comment

Why is it that GM's EV-1 got a sixty to seventy mile range, using technology 20 years older than this? GM's E-Flex seems like a step backward.
Posted By Concerned, Honolulu, HI : 2:01 PM  

gm just made this concept up.. to shut up bitter ev1 leasees of the 90s..this car will never happen just a PR for GM=General Mulletheads
Posted By tony palm springs, ca : 2:36 PM  

I just hope GM follows through...and quickly. If so, I'll be ready to buy my first American car!
Posted By Michael Keppler, Fairfield CT : 3:04 PM  

I swore that I would never buy another GM product after watching the "Electric Car" fiasco. One felt betrayal, despair and loathing. If the volt becomes a reality, I will gladly forgive and purchase.
Posted By Steve Dee Kamloops, British Columbia : 3:08 PM  

There are still lot of unknowns in this field like price, reliability, how practical this vehicle design will be, etc.. If GM can get an affordable plug-in car that has a range of 100 miles with gas backup like what they show in Volt, it could be huge winner!! Look at the Telsa effort. They are already selling their sports car at $100k that would give 250 miles driving range. The drawback I saw with Telsa is that it does not have gas backup.
Posted By Anit Patel, Alpharetta, GA : 4:48 PM  

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. What do think a full-charge would cost? I'm guessing quite a bit and you still need to buy gas and now maintain two power sources instead of one. Resale, disposal and accident safety are real hurdles that shouldn't be ignored.
Posted By Dan, Detroit, MI : 8:43 PM  

While Toyota continues to surge forward they do so on reliable & innovative risk-taking concepts with the environment and the consumer in mind (The Prius). If you're wondering whether 'The Volt' will become reality you only need to watch "Who Killed The Electric Car" to interpret GM's impresive, yet poorly disquised PR move that will NEVER come into fruition.
Posted By Adam, Detroit , MI : 6:54 AM  

you guys need to relax and give GM another chance. the amount of money and time committed to hydrogen development and now the 'volt' shows GM is serious about moving beyond purely gasoline-powered vehicles. plus, everyone seems to forget that other companies like toyota had EV1-like cars on the design boards, and these were cancelled as well when california's air regulatory laws were struck down.
Posted By John, Madison WI : 10:16 AM  

Sounds like some folks here that seem to have a major problem with American auto makers in general. So this is not new technology�big deal�neither is my coffee pot but it is still pretty handy. This is a viable option that has real potential once battery technology catches up. Other than grain-based diesel and other domestically produced alternative fuels, this is a major step in the right direction. Besides, if this movement stimulates research in battery technology, we will all be better off not only in cars but in personal electronics, children�s toys, and everywhere else that requires a battery.
Posted By JO, Dayton, OH : 10:18 AM  

Ok, Sign me up....hopefuly GM will BETA test these in the northeast. I'm willing to lease one if anyone's listening.
Posted By Herb, Boston Mass : 10:40 AM  

I guess no one wants to give GM any credit for trying with the EV1. Over a billion dollars invested in the technology and production. How many did all you naysayers buy? I'll bet none. If half of you whiners bought one, GM would never have cancelled the vehicle.
Posted By Patrick, Detroit, MI : 10:45 AM  

What took the automobile industry so long to use an internal combustion engine solely to generate electricity to run the car? Locomotives have been running on an internal combustion engine (although diesel), to charge batteries to run the train for many decades. Yes this is very intersting, and long overdue!
Posted By Neil, North Brunswick, NJ : 10:49 AM  

Gm's hydrogen development project is government subsidized, providing them low cost PR cover while they put out gas guzzling scandals like the Hummer and lobby congress for low CAFE standards. GM deserves the spanking they got in the market. Lutz's latest protestations about CAFE standards made my mind up - I will never buy another GM car.
Posted By Dave Elder, Ann Arbor MI : 10:59 AM  

Well, if the batteries are expected to drive the car at 60mph for 40 minutes (40 mi range), and the electric motors and running gear use, say, 120kw, then you're storing 80kwh in the onboard batteries. 80kwh @ 0.15/kwh = $12 for a fillup. Of course, with regenerative braking and efficient coasting, it'd probably end up costing far less than that, and IIRC the rumors are on the order of $5 to fill up the batteries.

What I'd want to see are Li-Ion or supercapacitors though, to reduce weight and increase energy density. IMO it's not worth the bother unless you have at least Li-Ion for a serial drive hybrid.
Posted By Otis, NYC NY : 11:02 AM  

It is obvious from most of the comments that you are all foriegn car mongering fools with no idea what GM is up to. Shut up and watch!! GM is about to make you eat your rice burners! Maybe if any of you bought a domestic product in the last 10 years you would see that they are actually a better product than what the Japanese are putting out. Oh wait - that would mean you would have to do something for yourself rather than believing eveything you read from an anti-US govenrment/Domestic automaker press that thrives on making America the bad guy!!
Posted By Mark, South Lyon, MI : 11:08 AM  

Toyota reliable? Check the recalls there Adam. They are leading the way in recalls while GM has had fewer than any other car company. The public perception of Toyota being "reliable" is being spun by our own media.... which for some reason hates any of the big three. GM has earned and deserves more respect.
Posted By S. Black Greensboro NC : 11:18 AM  

The first GM car I bought needed a new engine at 60,000 Km (about 36,000 miles). Haven't bought a second one. Nice idea, but I won't be queuing up to buy another GM any time soon.
Posted By Kevin, Saskatoon Canada : 11:46 AM  

Didn't GM just have about 1.6 million recalls in 2006 versus 0.77 million for Toyota and 1.7 million for Ford?

If you quote something you should get your facts right first.
Posted By Don, Calgary, AB : 11:59 AM  

Its all about the Batteries. Until recently you have not been able to store enough juice to run the car without huge battery packs. The Nicad batteries killed the ev1 nothing else. Too slow to charge, very expensive to replace, and very heavy. It was a good start with the technology available back then. The technology has evolved tremendously. Electric motors are much more efficient and the batteries are light years ahead. Should make for a very interesting future for OPEC.
Posted By Andy , Park City, UT : 12:16 PM  

I just bought a Prius. My first foreign owned car. Take that GM! I grew up in Detroit, but Who killed the Electric Car changed my life!
Posted By Scott Cady, Minneapolis MN : 12:23 PM  

Right now, I think, this qualifies as a "teaser" or "smoke-and-mirrors," unless GM can back it up with a production vehicle within a year or so.
Posted By John, Owings MD : 12:36 PM  

I will NOT purchase another new vehicle until I can purchase a "plug in" hybrid. I would prefer a "clean diesel" to a gasoline engine. I want to do my daily commute using only electricity. I stopped buying U.S. made vehicles over twenty years ago, due to their poor quality and accelerated depreciation. My top priority when considering a future vehicle purchase is to minimize the environmental impact. (ie. high mileage with alternative fuels)
Posted By Tom Spedding, Cincinnati, Ohio : 12:37 PM  

I drive a hybrid Honda insight - 60 miles to the gallon - if American companies want our business and I'm an American, let them do it the old fashion way - "Earn It" - you can tell the product the US manufacturers are putting out are inferior simply check the price of the warranties
Posted By David , Ventura, Calif : 12:37 PM  

Please know what you are talking about before you state that this is a step backward because its a technology that existed 20 years ago. Current lithium ion batteries used in these vehicles could only be possible using todays tech and manufacturing capabilities. Its like saying plasma tv's are a step backward because the concept was developed 20 years ago.
Posted By Gus Sands, New York : 12:56 PM  

Hope GM sticks with its plans for the VOLT concept and go past the interests of Mobil/Exxon and the Saudis.Focus must stay on the American economy.
Posted By T. Dass,Rochester,ny. : 1:02 PM  

I have bought only GM cars since 1979
Only problems I ever had were minor.
The 1979 Monza I purchased new, was still on the road as of 2-3 years ago
I have never purchased an extended warranty and never needed one
Most of you have never owned a GM and are basing your comments from someones horror story you heard or the media
Posted By Ron, Texarkana TX : 1:13 PM  

As others have written, GMs willingness to put this car in production and stick with it is haighly suspect. Remember all the hype about the EV1, then ethanol then hydrogen? Until American car companies decide to be part of an overall energy and environmental solution to our problems, I will stick with Toyotas and hope that Tesla Motors is successful. Americans for Energy Independence
Posted By Chris Wolfe, Studio City, CA : 1:19 PM  

Who killed the Electric Car?

I leased an EV1 and will never buy another GM car.
Posted By Los Angeles, CA : 1:20 PM  

I would appreciate some more info on battery life, replacement cost, and
why the extremely short 40 mile range.

If a "green" car is going to make an impact on improving the "environmental
impact", it must make economical sense
as well.
Posted By Paul, Ohio : 1:28 PM  

All of this talk about �Who killed the Electric Car� has got to stop. It should be "what killed the EC". The batteries just couldn't make it feasible, you had little or no power, zero back up if the battery died and now that tech is catching up, all the investment GM made while researching the EV1 will come out. The fact that other "hybrid� cars can't be plugged in is just nuts. Granted Toyota and Honda get a ton of credit for the work done to date, it's just a matter of who puts it all together. VOLT looks like a win for GM and more importantly the environment and consumers of the US. It shouldn�t make a difference what the name is on the car, as long as it delivers as promised.
Posted By Ben, Chicago, IL : 1:40 PM  

"80kwh @ 0.15/kwh = $12 for a fillup."

Just remember that this is $12 to just go 40 miles.

That's $0.30 per mile.

My hybrid today, at $2.50/gal, I pay only $0.09 per mile.
Posted By Walt, Lehigh Valley, PA : 2:04 PM  

In response to Paul of Ohio:
The 40-mile range mentioned is the distance that the car can go without using the internal combustion engine at all. If you travel farther than that, the IC engine kicks in and recharges the batteries, while you keep traveling, until the batteries are completely recharged. Then the IC engine shuts off and you can travel another 40 miles purely on electrical power. Plus the IC engine runs at a steady, optimized engine speed, without having to go from idle to 4000-5000 RPM (or higher), over and over. This allows it to get the most efficiency from the fuel that it uses.
Posted By Rich, Bloomington, MN : 2:07 PM  

I travel round trip of 40 miles a day for work, along with 80% of america. The batteries of the EV1 were more than adequate, so it wasn't the batteries. And frankly I dont put much credit into anything GM says. I have owned Gm vechicles and they stink, there always having problems and my toyota is rock solid. GM can say all they want about concept cars, but production cars, like the EV1, is a totally different story. Like all good promises, I'll believe it when I see it.
Posted By Adam, Los Angeles, CA : 2:09 PM  

I don't understand why people think an electric vehicle is the answer to our current dependence on fossil fuels. Where do you think the electricity comes from to recharge the electric vehicle? Until we adopt a comprehensive solution to energy production, including renewable sources and non-fossil fuel sources, we just move the problem from the tailpipe to the smoke stack.
Posted By Stephen Pavy, Sonoma, California : 2:09 PM  

What's the cost of fully charging it in KW?
Posted By Leo, Lowell MA : 2:14 PM  

chris from studio city, ca.
"americans" for energy independence? if you are so concerned about america, why don't you support her instead of sending your money to japan when you purchase a toyota. be a part of the solution, not the problem.
Posted By darrell, buffalo, ny : 2:16 PM  

Just another ploy by GM which doesn't get it yet. For years they have taken the position that we will want to buy the cars they build. They should have realized the Japanese Companies take the position they will build the cars we want to buy ( reliable and economical)
Posted By Fred- Greensboro NC : 2:16 PM  

If the GM VOLT performs as stated AND if GM comes out with it SOON, I'll buy one. The concept is very appealing
Posted By Patrick French Spokane Washington : 2:18 PM  

Ben, you hit it right on the head!
Posted By me, earth,ny : 2:25 PM  

I'll believe it when I can see it at my local dealership.

Nearly all concept cars never make it to production.
Posted By Dennis, Hudson Ohio : 2:26 PM  

wow. I can smell the hate in some of your anti GM comments. I'm not sure why the hate, but some of you are pretty silly. With that said, I would like to say that some of you electric/hybrid lovers are pretty out of focus. I welcome a viable electric tech car just like the next guy. But many studies have been conducted by independant firms and they have found that if you are buying a electric/hybrid because you feel good about your personal contribution to our ecosystem, your wasting your time. The amount of energy involved in producing a electric &/or hybrid is far worse to the environment than just buying a hummer!

Sleep Well!
Posted By blacksnake Melvindale MI : 2:31 PM  

everyone is jumping on the hybrid thing anyone notice the new hybrid camry only gets 34 mpg on the highway but higher on the city mileage seems that some work needs 2 be donw on that one but look elsewhere diesel is getting cleaner and well they consistently get better mileage than all hybrids gm is still number one while toyota is climbing but paying a price for it since they are having more and more problems everyday no one seems to pay attention about
Posted By gm supporter pa : 2:32 PM  

If it's built in America it will NEVER be affordable. (that is a period at the end of this sentence)
Posted By Ivan Goldberg, New York, NY : 2:35 PM  

Mybe they count different in Calgary, butin Japan alone, Toyota has recalled 1.2 million vehicles this year, prompting the Transport Ministry to order the company to improve quality control. so by the looks of it other people should make sure there numbers are correct before get on other people.
Posted By Darren, Black River Falls, WI : 2:38 PM  

Dennis has it right. Virtually nothing you see at those shows ever makes it to the showroom floor, the Viper being a notable exception. It's a lot like the Dems takig over the House of Representatives - a lot of goo-goo, gah-gah, silly speeches and grand pronouncements, all of it in the end signifying pretty much nothing.
Posted By Kevin, Bozeman, MT : 2:41 PM  

If the view of the polar ice caps from space and the plight of the polar bear don't underline the urgency of the need to replace the gasoline engine, I don't know what will. The consumer needs a viable choice and then we can show the automobile industry we are serious about the plight of the earth.
Posted By Meg, Mesa, Arizona : 2:42 PM  

Who said it would take 80kw to drive 40 mi.? That's crazy. Let's get some real numbers before you start making useless statements as to cost per mi. I havent had an american car for years, not Japanese either, but the Volt makes sense. Prius--high tech?--bull!!!
Posted By Bob, Cincinnati OH : 2:43 PM  

Looks great but everyone is forgetting the vehicles posted are concept cars and it would take General Motors five years to reach production. They maynot be in existence in five years...
Posted By Richard, Cincinnati, OH : 2:46 PM  

Patrick, Detroit, MI, If GM had spent any of that 1 Bil in marketing, I'm sure more than California and New York would have known they existed.
Posted By Jon, Oklahoma : 2:51 PM  

Wasn't it a GM engineer who broke the hp/lb limit with a 3 cylinder diesel that put out 90 hp and weighed only 90 lbs? That had to be 10 years ago. I wonder if anyone ever found the body...or the engine? I know one thing for sure, I've never seen that three banger diesel in any American offerings.
Posted By Vick Sarone, Hartford, OH : 2:53 PM  

I like Patrick's comment. There's a lot of whiners out there that buy all this conspiracy theory garbage. "This is all a PR Move... they'll never release it..." Environmentalists especially tend to buy into these conspiracy urban myths.

The fact is that things need to make economic sense. The EV1 didn't have enough buyers, so it was cancelled. GET IT??? Maybe you need to go back to school and take an economics course. (By a non-Marxist professor)

Give GM a break. They're investing a lot of money. All these guys saying that GM will "NEVER" come out with this new product will be eating their words in a couple years.

Now get back to watching all those cynical flicks that tear everybody down instead of building them up! Big Oil! Big Business! Big Tobacco! Ahhh! Everybody's evil except a liberal democrat!
Posted By David Neal, Portland OR : 2:57 PM  

I know somebody who had a Toyota and had MAJOR problems. I've had several GM's with only minor problems. Research your car before you buy it regardless of the manufacturer. Also, I love all those foreign cars with "support our troops" ribbons. Support our troops with jobs (blue & white collar) when they get back. Where do you think the bulk of the engineering jobs, accounting jobs, etc. (for that foreign car that is made in the US) are located?
Posted By Hal, Chicago, IL : 3:02 PM  

""80kwh @ 0.15/kwh = $12 for a fillup."

Just remember that this is $12 to just go 40 miles.

That's $0.30 per mile.

My hybrid today, at $2.50/gal, I pay only $0.09 per mile."


The true cost per mile for the Volt needs to include gas and electricity.

Using the supplied 150mpg for 60 miles that works out to be .4 gal / 20 miles.

Taking the 640 mile range, subtracting the 40 miles on electric, and applying the .4 gal/20 mi ratio you come up with a 12 gal gas tank.

12gal x $2.50 = $30 of gas per fill up.

Combining that with the $12 for charging the battery and you've got 640 miles of range for $42.

That's 6.5 cents per mile, 38% better than your Prius!
Posted By Dave, Franklin, TN : 3:03 PM  

Boy you people really bash American cars. While working in an Automotive engine shop, I have worked on most brands of cars. They all break and all have problems. I have a few 40+ year old GMs and Fords that start, run fine and pass stringent NJ emissions. I have a 1930 Model A Ford that runs fine and will run on gas, alcholol or pretty anything that burns. I don't see any of those suposed "perfect" cars that are 20, 30 or 40 old on the road??? They are long gone to the scrap yard. I am going to give GM a chance to get their heads in gear, cut the red tape and get a car in production that is good for the consumer and the environment. They have a lot of experience with diesel electric locomotives that work well, so they should be able to adapt that to a car. Where GM really needs to get on the ball is with their customer service and make the customer happy insted of hitting people with repair bills or ignoring the problems and losing customers. I am not giving up on American cars or America because I love this country!
Posted By Tom Skutnik. Linden NJ : 3:06 PM  

When and where can I buy? Talk is cheap. If true, I'll be purchasing my first american car at 40 years old, assuming I can afford..
Posted By Kevin Hodge, Bardstown, Ky. : 3:07 PM  

I like the posters that demand we go straight from pure IC to pure electric. You forget two important points. 1) Most of your electric power today is coal, nuclear, or hydro electric generated, so you're not really "helping the environment" and 2) It's not really sane to demand complete change with no intermediate steps.

As far as whether or not GM will actually build this thing, Toyota has proven that hybrids will sell. Whether or not GM can afford it is a different matter.

One point- if we all quit buying new cars and simply drove a '69 Camaro it would be better for the environment. The fuel costs and pollution generated would be more than offset by the almost total cessation of manufacturing. Some of you clearly don't understand how much pollution is caused by the manufacturing of a new car. Plastic residue, welding scatter, and power generation for industrial processes alone have a huge impact on the environment.

Since we insist on building new cars rather than driving the ones we already have, we have to maximize the resources we do have and hybrids are a good way to stretch them until something new comes along.

P.S. Those of you who refuse to drive a new GM because of a bad experience in some previous decade are either ignorant or narrow minded, or both. Do a little research and then decide whether the general is competitive for your dollar.
Posted By Dave, Salt Lake City, Utah : 3:08 PM  

I believe the bigger picture is being missed. The Big Three (Six actually) do not rule the roost here. Big Oil is the overseer. By dictating the price of oil (cycles) Big Oil controls what we drive.
Everyone driving gas-guzzling SUV's, price rises; media/consumers complain about high priced fuels, price declines (growth in China & India? BS!). Every time this has occured in the last 40 years, the auto industry pushes the fuel efficiency card, coincidentally while this is happening (now), the price of oil is declining, which leads to less effort by the automakers and less interest by consumers. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. And the only real way it will happen (paradigm) is the voters demanding Congress to force Big Oil to back off and 'force' automakers to actually mass produce this technology.
Otherwise this bs will continue until 'kingdom come'. In addition, can someone explain the real reason why we sit on 750 billion barrels of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? My reading shows the US sitting on oil shale reserves in our own MIdwest that rivals all the Mideast's proven reserves combined. Big Oil has actually caused stagnated growth in the world economy with its stranglehold on everything related to fossil fuels. What a bunch of sheep we really are.
Posted By Michael Brown, Providence, Rhode Island : 3:12 PM  

Lease (def) To give you the ability to buy somthing you cant afford. As far as all the "20 years ago I ... and Have never purchased another since... Domestic cars today are greatly improved. I have owned several and have had little to know problems. I have a hard time understanding why people dont see the obviouse.. Individuals who purchase the imports are looking for (sterotypical) a long lasting efficient auto and they treat them that way. Paying carful attention to maint. breakin and how they use it. Now generaly individuals who purchase American autos fail to do those things as a whole. And yet they have similar repair needs. When it comes to maint. what owners should, an do are two different things. I would like to see sombody do a blind study on that I belive you will be surprised with what you find.
Posted By L. C , Phil PA : 3:14 PM  

well about time, the geberal marine industry has similar technoloy availale on several catamarans. Not to mentioned this is a no brainer, basicallly a genset to maintain the charge of the batteries, if the folks at telsa motors employed this technology they would have the altimate solution available now
Posted By Randy Rancho Mirage : 3:16 PM  

If it's built in America it will NEVER be affordable. (that is a period at the end of this sentence)

Posted By Ivan Goldberg, New York, NY : 2:35 PM

Ivan, your right, thank the UAW for that.
Posted By K. Hodge, bardstown, ky : 3:20 PM  

Doesn't it seem obvious that Big Oil and the automakers might just be working hand-in-hand to maximize profit potential in the remaining oil to be harvested before unveiling the "next best thing". Who thinks they're not going to try to stall advances until their trillion or so dollars are safely in the bank? Only then will we see them unveil truly viable, long-term solutions to the IC engine. Big business plus big profits make big power. Sad, but true.
Posted By Brad, Bloomington, MN : 3:20 PM  

Electric cars? They will never make it into the main stream. The billion dollar oil companies will not let it happen, how would they keep up their billion dollar profits?
Posted By al, houston, texas : 3:22 PM  

While GM's efforts are interesting, my wife and I have a Prius....which reminds me that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. If you're interested in hybrid technology, embrace what's already available to put yourself ahead of the curve. Then, keep an eye on GM and other companies for what may become available the next time you're in the market for a car (it'll be at least that long, IMHO).
Posted By Michael Funk, Portage, MI : 3:25 PM  

i like the idea. just make it able to run on E85 (gas/corn mix) and i'd buy one in a heartbeat.
Posted By Brian in Chicago, Illinois : 3:26 PM  

If they make it cool looking and as efficient on fuel as they're pitching it, I'm all over it. I hope GM gets it together. I dig the direction.
Posted By Fabian Williams, Decatur, GA : 3:34 PM  

What about air conditioning and heating? I don't care if it gets 200 mpg if I have to sweat it out in summer and freeze in winter. Also what of all of the electrical accessories ie: defroster, radio, head lights etc? Here in Seattle the defroster, windshield wipers, and headlights may be on the entire 40 miles.
Posted By J. Baker, Seattle, Washington : 3:35 PM  

This is the car we have been waiting for to pull behind a Motorhome!!! Please build it physically so it can be towed easily.
Posted By Ed, Kasson, MN : 3:35 PM  

I can,t wait to own one!!
Posted By Frank, Somerville, NJ : 3:36 PM  

Yes, the Who killed the electric car movie pissed me off and I own a GM fullsize truck. However, it was a MOVIE, and they did pick on GM since GM had the best of the litter. If this car does make it to market, I will buy one. Who knows, maybe batteries will be better in a couple of years when the car is available. 40 miles on pure electric is way better than zero.
Posted By Todd, Seattle Washington : 3:39 PM  

To continue to not support American automakers (as many of you have made clear through your comments), you continue to hurt the US economy and its workers. I'm not doubting that Toyota makes a decent vehicle, but in the end, its profits go straight to Japan. GM has had its problems in the past, but it has and continues to have solid engineering and is more than capable of producing next-generation vehicles.
Posted By Pat, Arlington, VA : 3:43 PM  

This is how hybrid cars *should* be designed. The combined drivetrain of current hybirds is innefficient and heavy. A hybrid vehicle (like this one) sould not even need a transmission. Now to really get this right they need to use a lithium polymer battery and offer solar cells on the hood and roof as an option to help charge the batteries while your car is sitting out in the sun.
Posted By Paul, Anaheim, CA : 3:44 PM  

It is hilarious to see all of the people that demand we buy "American" made cars. If you look around Toyota, Honda, Kia, and others are building assembly plants in the US while GM is building many of their models in Canada and Mexico. If you want to support American automakers then buy the car you want and let the marketplace decide who is best. Scientific American has articles that say hybrid technology is still much better than hydrogen or ethanol.
Posted By Bob, Northeast Georgia Mountains : 3:49 PM  

My first GM car was 1959 and thats all I've drivin sense. Never had an extened warranty and no major problems. Just bought a new CTS Sports and love it. I love there new idea and will buy one when they come out. Take care have a great day.. Go GM kick some ass!! Ray
Posted By Utica, Mich. : 3:52 PM  

I doubt if it takes 80kwh to go 40 miles. It only takes about 25hp to keep an average-size car going 60mph on level road. At 746watts/hp, that's 18.65 kw. Assuming 75% system efficiency, that still works out to less than 25kw. For 40 minutes, that would be about 17kwh, not 80.
Posted By Will, Tacoma, WA : 3:52 PM  

I might buy one of these electric thingamajigs to fun around town. I read that it's different, being all quiet and everything. But I'll still use my Maserati for most stuff. I don't care about the cost of gas or global warming. That's for someone else to worry about!
Have fun!
Posted By Kevin, St. Paul, MN : 3:53 PM  

I drive a vehicle that has gotten up to 236 miles without having to stop to recharge the engine. Most of my trips are under 30 miles round trip. The storage compacity is low but enough for most trips to the store and errands. For bigger trips I use a conventional car that gets 24 miles to the gallon or a truck that gets 15 miles to the gallon. Since nearly 95% of trips are in a truly zero emmission vehicle my use of fossil fuels is very small. That other vehicle is a bicycle and yes it does work for 95% of trips. If people could change their idea of moving from point A to B many more people could use bikes which makes the choice between hybrids, full electrics, or others less of a question of economics and more a question of who will give the consumer a useful vehicle. We don't need GM or Toyota as much as we need a change in attitude.
Posted By Bob Blyth, Davis, CA : 3:59 PM  

So, what kind of heater/defroster do these cars have and how much do they shorten the range of the vehicle. Ditto power steering/brakes and all of the other electrical stuff.

Likewise, it seems like the range could be improved if they had a 2nd small gas engine, say 5-hp that kicked in after about 10 miles. A slow charge like that should improve the range, especially in the city, before the larger gas engine kicks in and does the "heavy lifting" on longer trips.

But this does sound like a good beginning.
Posted By DallasNE, Omaha, NE : 4:00 PM  

I have owned about 30 cars in my life, all makes, and Toyota has been #1 in terms of longevity and safety. I had 2 Cadillacs, both with brake problems. The Cadillac dealer said that the issue was that I "was riding my brakes". Both cars the same. After informing GM that I would never buy their products again, I purchased a Toyota Camry and had 55,000 miles on the brakes with only about 1/2 of the pad worn down. I guess I rode my brakes better in the Toyota. GM has no respect for their customers. This story is much longer and even more ridiculous, but I didn't want to write a novel.
Posted By Mike, Media, PA : 4:07 PM  

There's only one reason we don't have a vehicle which doesn't run on fossil fuels today - greed. It's too profitable for gas companies and car manufacturers to maintain the status quo. Otherwise, if it were a matter of life and death, we'd already have a nation of cars running on battery or hydrogen, or some other alternative fuel source. These companies are toying with the consumer. Speak up, America! Demand cars that do NOT run on fossil fuels by 2010. It is absolutely possible.
Posted By Billy H, Bethesda, MD : 4:12 PM  

Most of you are preaching to the choir. Most of those in the United States don't get it when it comes to sustainability. Toyota and Honda are not churning out millions of hybrids, Toyota only made about 120,000 in 2006, I would guess Honda made the same number. Just a drop in the bucket. What we need are millions of electric cars to replaced the oil burners we have on the road today.
True most electricity is generated with coal, oil, and natural gas. But the electric car is the best way to create the hydrogen economy. I would rather sit on top of some lithium batteries versus a tank of hydrogen
Posted By Kim, Atlanta, GA : 4:15 PM  

Give GM a chance!!! Even though I'm a long-time owner/lessee of Japanese cars, for the past several years a number of *GM* products have caught my eye. Newer Cadillacs are players. GM's trucks are solid. The 'Vette is (still) the best performance buy for the money. When (yes, "when," for all the Teamster SOBs out there) we get the UAW in line (or, better yet, outlaw unions altogether as the racketeering organizations that they are), GM will be able to build the world-class vehicles it has the ability to produce. And as a sidenote, most/many of the best "Japanese" cars are designed in the US.
Posted By Nick, NY, NY : 4:19 PM  

ok, looks neat, impressive ideas...but at what cost? Let's talk $$$$ here..
Posted By Mnmuskie Mpls., MN : 4:30 PM  

If you want to feel good about the environment buy a hybrid, if you think saving $ on gas is part of the equation go to www and read " The Dollars and Sense of Hybrid Cars ". ( It's free) It appears most hybrids are non starters on the $ savings even without factoring in those pesky inevitable battery replacement costs some years hence. Incidentally, I own both GM and Lexus products and the Lexus has been more problematic during the warranty period and the service was worse. Go figure. And no, even though I live in Houston, I do not work for the any of the members of evil empire that supply our fuel.
Posted By Tom , Houston, Texas : 4:36 PM  

About GM's reliability (this is for Ron, Texarkana TX): I'm very glad you had success with GM, but you MUST be kidding about the Monza. I had a 1975 Monza V8. I remember it well, because the front springs regularly cracked from poor design, and you had to LIFT THE ENGINE TO CHANGE THE SPARK PLUGS. If people seem suspicious of GM's cutting-edge technology, trust me: it's the collective voice of experience.
Posted By mookie, Pittsburgh, PA : 4:40 PM  

american cars power by american electrons, I LOVE IT
Posted By JOHN APOPKA FL : 4:46 PM  

Reading these blog entrees made me come to a few conclusions, not the least of them being there are A LOT of self hating Americans out there. Most people seem to be more then happy to hand over the American economy, and manufacturing base to asian companies.

That being said a lot of press has been given to Toyota for saying that they are on track to over take GM as the number one car company globally in 2007.. My question is where is this jump coming from?? Is it Gas sipping econo cars?? NO ITS NOT.. ITS FROM THE SAME GAS GUZZLING TRUCKS THAT EVERY ONE YELLS AT GM FOR MAKING�

Why would Toyota do this, simple. Despite what the tree huggers say AMERICANS WANT TRUCKS.. End of story, if GM and Toyota was not selling them, then guess what they would not make them. This is simple economics, Toyota is coming out with its new Tundra.. Its goal is to sell about 400-450,000 of them its 1st year.. Total Prius sales, for last year.. About 120,000 units, or � what Toyota plans on selling of there new trucks. Ohh yah that�s a green company.. For the most part EVERY INCH of sales gain Toyota has made in the last 5 years has been with TRUCKS, NOT CARS!!!

Lets compare Apples to Apples, 2007 Camary VS 2007 Impala.. Both with V6 motors, the Toyota is rated at 22 city 31 highway.. The Chevy 21 City and 31 highway.. Ohh yah there�s a gas guzzler?? How about 2007 Chevy Tahoe VS 2007 Toyota Sequoia. Tahoe is rated at 15 city and 21 highway, the Toyota is only rated at 13 city and 18 highway..

Bottom line neither of these two companies are the same companies they were 10 or even 5 years ago. ALL of the old �MYTHS� about the US car companies that have been around since the 1970�s are largely false today. Toyota is no longer producing just small fuel efficient cars. Today a GM is as reliable as a Toyota.. Today a similar GM will get similar or BETTER MPG�s then a Toyota, and a Similar GM will cost less then a similar Toyota.

One last thing, for all of those people out there who say �I owned a GM XYZ in 1980-199?�, and it was crap.. Maybe you are right I can not argue the fact that GM had its problems back then, but today I can say that those problems are gone and GM is making quality cars and trucks. Give them another shot, and I guarantee you will be surprised.
Posted By Josh Pompton Lakes, NJ : 5:14 PM  

The Sunday Detroit News noted that the VOLT is still a concept car - the one at the show in Cobo Hall DOES NOT RUN and will not until battery technology catchs up to "concept"
Posted By John Holec, Petoskey Michigan : 5:20 PM  

My comment with regards to recall of 2006 vehicles is North American made/sold vehicles (as per the Detroit News item of last week). I assume that we're discussing vehicles of interest to North Americans. So as a comparison GM recalled a number of vehicles equal to 40% of NA sales in 2006, Ford was about 60% and Toyota was about 30%.

It's easier to find the total number of Toyota recalls worldwide as they're all under one corporate umbrella; it's a little harder with GM as they're organized more independently (i.e Opel, Holden, etc.) and report more independently.
Posted By Don, Calgary, Ab : 6:12 PM  

Look forward, way forward. Let's say this thing takes off with many different models and actually gains a significant market share. "Big Oil" (might)will kill it by reducing the price of a barrel of oil to bring down the price of a gallon of gas down to .99 cents a gallon or less. Fuel efficiency again will be a non issue (at least temporarily) and Big Oil wins again by dangling low fuel prices in our faces.
Posted By Nostradamus, Denver, Colorado : 6:13 PM  

My last GM vehicle was a 1970 Olds 98 sedan which returned 13-17 mpg on premium fuel. The car had a 455 cu. in. engine with the aero characteristics of a river barge and weighed tons! Since popular GM SUV real-world fuel mileage stats have not improved 35 plus years later, try the VOLT concept on the big SUV's that are primarily used as one-occupant mall marauders and don't travel far. SUV drivers will feel less guilt and GM could be profitable.
Posted By Lowell Doylestown, PA : 6:27 PM  

The GM bashers can perhaps reflect on the fact no foreign vehicles in any number can be found that are more than 5 years old. And that's because they rust out, fall apart or wear out...

I have owned Fiat (rusted to pieces), several Hondas (Civic, Preludes -- rust, breakdown and expensive repairs), Buick (ran over 350,000 km before I sold it to the second owner) and currently drive a 10-year-old Chevrolet Blazer which has 497,000 km on it (that's over 300,000 miles for U.S. readers). The Blazer and my old '65 Corvair so far are the most fun-to-drive and economical vehicles I have ever owned.

Volt has got it right, and GM has had this concept out there for a few years (without the fancy skin), and once battery technology gets nailed -- everybody from notebook PC manufacturers to the auto industry is awaitin' -- this is the future. The engine will produce electricity, the motor(s) will be electric (yes, like locomotives, an industry GM led for many, many years).

Our farms will produce the fuel and our countries can start keeping capital at home, again.

And, thanks to those here who know math and use it to debunk the innocent and naive amongst us.
Posted By Bill, Napanee, Ontario (Canada, eh) : 7:32 PM  

The car looks cool and IF it is as good as they say it would be a good car to own. I doubt I will by another GM because:
'75 3/4 P/U -> bad front end
'85 Cavalier -> bad front end
'89 S-10 Blazer -> bad front end

Hmmmm...I see a trend. Now I own a Ford Windstar (total crap) and a Ford Focus (OK - note that it is a European design).

A few comments on the auto industry.
1. The profits made by the domestic automakers go largely into developing manufacturing sites in OTHER countries and into large bonuses for the upper management. The profits of Honda and Toyota go into developing manufacturing sites in the US and into bonuses for theor upper management. much for helping out the American worker.
2. I agree that the domestic cars of today are probably hands-down better than they were in the 80's and 90's but the domestic automakers want to get me to buy one they need to stop firing the production workers while giving top exec's huge bonuses (yes, I know that has nothing to do with the car but as consumers we have the choice as to who we support by our purchases).
3. Everyone's talking quality in the number of recalls but what about how many cars are left on the road from year XXXX?

Still, I think this car has a lot of potential and will provide something for those who only buy American cars, no matter where they are built.
Posted By Richard, Boston, MA : 8:51 PM  

Three things:

1) Until Hybrids cost the same as a similar non hybrid the "mass market" will not care and will not buy. Most don't care about the environment but would buy a car that gets 20-50% better mileage than a similar model with similar power that costs the same (obvious right?)

2)Batteries are the missing link in all hybrids today. Until they are cheaper then (1) above won't happen

3) I would buy this car WITHOUT the battery. The generated version gets 50mpg while running AND charging the battery. How much mpg will it get to run the electric motors without having the power drain of charging the battery? Could a smaller motor run the electric motors all the time and shut down at redlights? (maybe a small battery to carry a 100yard or so charge for start stop. How much weight is saved by NOT having a battery in this design and giving better mileage? Diesel generator anyone?

Currently, I drive a passat diesel that gets 30mpg and fits me comnfo my family. It was more than the 4cyl model but cheaper than the V6. When hybrids are affordable and can be had in an SUV or midsized car affordably I will buy. Hopefully, my next car of any make will be electric powered wheels with a generator making electric. batteries or not!
Posted By Mark, Tampa Florida : 9:29 PM  

I'm not sure most in these comments understand the principal behind the volt. It is not a is a pure electric vehicle that can use a number of fuels to re-charge the batteries. Unlike the Prius, the gas engine, or biodiesel engine, or fuel cells that will charge the batteries never drives the wheels. Only the electric motors attached to the wheels drive them. Yes, it is still dependent on and missing an economical lithium ion battery where the main issue is the chemistry. But the volt is not an upgrade of the prius it is a completely different, and much more advanced system than today's hybrids. Later this year, GM will introduce the 2-mode hybrid engine in several cars that is an upgrade and advance of current hybrid systems. And PR stunt?....please....doesn't pass the smell test. If GM truly invested hundreds of millions in this car and then went public with it purely for pr than they are really much more idiotic than many in this blog believe. And lastly, I was at the auto show on Sunday and the world was truly upside down. In the same hour that GM introduced the electric volt, Toyota introduced the giant Tundra Crew Max. Let's get the picture....Toyota introduces the biggest gas guzzler in the building (nearly a foot longer than the hummer h2)and rated at 14/18 mpg (chevy competitor the silverado rated at 18/22) while GM introduces the small eco-friendly, high mileage car. By the way, Toyota said they hope to sell nearly 200,000 of the big that is really populating the streets with fuel efficiency.
Posted By John, Detroit, Michigan : 10:05 PM  

Bill, Napanee, Ontario (Canada, eh)

Hello... rust?? whatever..where do U live alaska this is not an issue in California..dont U remember we are the center of the world...and Per south park.. Canada is not a real country anyway!!
Posted By Palm Springs CA : 10:55 PM  

Wow, I'm amazed at how many write, but don't read...

The battery miracle doesn't need to happen for this car to be a great commuter... Even lead acid would work, but GM is the reason you can't buy large NiMH batteries. I bet they "could" break the licensing rules they inflicted on the world.

A serial Hybrid would do wonders for air quality AND CO2 emissions without the plug. Think in efficient RPM range and transmission losses, weight, and maintenance of current IC based car. Any Grid charging would be nice, but pure gravy.

This is just smoke blown up our tailpipes like the Hydrogen economy. A "solution" 20 years off and always will be. Anything to extend the business as usual.
Posted By Mike Raleigh, nc. : 3:02 AM  

There are a few blogs here that say the cost of electric is 30 cents per mile versus 9 cents per mile for gas. I am not sure the source of this data and have conflicting information saying that the cost of electric is 1/2 that of gas with electric at 10 cents per kwh, and gas at $2.50 per gallon. I am all for what ever technology can be commercialized that can dramatically impact our dependence on foreign oil.
Posted By John T, Cincinnati Ohio : 7:41 AM  

First of all, GM is an American Company, with American engineers. Let's not get too whiny about their effort to significantly alter our fuel consumption as a nation. Through them support, encouragement, and in the end your potential business when they get it working.
Posted By John S, Cincinnati, Ohio : 7:46 AM  

now if they will produce a truck that is this configuration i will buy it because i do not tow anything but i like trucks and the room in them good like gm
Posted By david kittrell nc : 8:05 AM  

Look, this is a concept vehicle, it's not in production any time soon. GM has a concept, a concept of making a fuel-efficient, energy saving, environmentally-friendly vehicle far superior to others on the market. Can't we get behind this and show some support?
Posted By Pat, Washington, MI : 8:25 AM  

Don't care who makes it. If its good then I'll buy it.
Posted By Howard, New York : 10:21 AM  

Negitive, Negitive, Negitive. What is wrong with you people. I think GM deserves a round of appluse. I hope all the Automakers follow there lead. This is for sure a step in the right direction we need to be going. I welcome this tech. and hope they keep up the ideas and move to build these machines and make them a reality. I've driven GM vehicles for 35 years and will continue. GO GM!!!!
Posted By L.J. Ozbun, Seymour Indiana : 3:05 PM  

Someone earlier mentioned the trains use the same technology concept. This allows MUCH more efficiency as the need for a mechanical transmission goes out the window. Thus, I would think the trucking industry would eat this up as soon as possible.
Posted By Matt, Salisbury MD : 3:49 PM  

Johnson controls has put alot of R & D into an upgrade in battery technology. With this concept any number of alternative fuels could be used to run the electric generator. I have questions about the AC and heater operation with this car.
Posted By Geoff, Minneapolis, MN : 3:57 PM  

GM making an affordable, dependable car? Some people say a cucumber taste better pickled!!!
Posted By Bob Abooey, Manning, MA : 4:24 PM  

Why GM bash? GM is a business like any other...they made a business mistake failing to hedge their SUV sales by totally abandoning the fuel efficiency scene. Its' done. I doubt anyone bought a Chevy Suburban just because GM made and marketed it... and if they did wouldn't you, as an environment/national security/etc conscious citizen, want GM on board to sell those people fuel efficient cars? Why bash them about their concept to IMPROVE the hybrid vehicle model? If your goal is to educate those that buy GM vehicles that are not fuel-efficient, it might be best to refrain from the boring anti-GM posts. Maybe the point was heard loud and clear at GM when SUV sales plummeted.

The "nannah nannah booboo, we told you" gets old and doesn't help when the point has already clearly been made in the market.

I applaud GM for the concept car...I hope to see something in this vein soon. If not from GM, then from any other car company.
Posted By Tim, Cambridge, MA : 4:35 PM  

"Who killed the electric car" is a joke. Remember Toyota's RAV4-EV? It was even more of a failure than the EV1 - people simply did not want electric vehicles - and the director of this movie admits he spun the movie against GM to make it more dramatic. Grow up, people - there is no conspiracy.
Posted By James, Atlanta GA : 5:42 PM  

I'm just a general car enthusiast so anything new kind of intrigues me to the point that I'll at least read up about it. My guess is that in all of this diesel will find some market share in the next 3-5 years while the electric technologies "catch up". Diesel is soon to be much cleaner burning, a viable candidate to be produced alternatively (i.e. corn versus petroleum - and yes, I know the argurment about the amount of energy it takes to harvest the corn), and the engines themselves will be quieter as well as providing better acceleration and not just the low-end torque that diesel has proven itself upon. I think you'll see the Dalmer/Chrysler marriage and VW own this market near term and make diesels that people will want (and buy in respectable numbers) in SUVs, Pickups and passenger cars.

As for GM, or any company, trying something new, even if it isn't your cup of tea, don't bash it. Even mistakes have advantages. Every home run slugger has his share of strike outs, and from them he takes away a little something. Maybe about his bat speed, follow-thru, reading the pitcher's set up, his own stance, etc. There is something to be said about learning from your mistakes and technology at this scale, even if the end product doesn't work, will have byproducts.

And all of us, including myself, need to drive a little less. Nobody ever seems to want to address that.
Posted By Jim P - Philadelphia, PA : 5:50 PM  

I'll buy a GM product, when they can go 300,000 miles like the toyota does, and not fall apart at 60,000 like they do now. their electronics stink. They still can't make an alt. yet.
Posted By Dan Jerome Lincoln Ne. : 6:07 PM  

I like the venerable idea GM has put together. However the company has brought out revolutionary ideas before like the skateboard chassis and the ev-1, and those have fallen by the wayside. We can list excuses all day on how this concept car could or could not work but in the end we just end up with the same result. Sucking resources from the outlet when the car has to be recharged @ home, instead of the gas pump. In this growing electronic generation where everything is powered by re-chargeable battery and the average American household has at least 2 computers and 2 televisions we are demanding more than what can be provided. Electricity just like gasoline is a commodity that is not necessarily regulated, so we can end up using the same foul language when referring to the electric company in the future, that we do currently on the gas companies of today. (Trust me on this one, I live in Southern California). What we are creating is just another trade-off. But I digress, in the days of 400+ horsepower family sedans and sport utility vehicles that tend blot out the sun; this is at least a step in the right direction. What we need to do as consumers is to demand the follow through and the quality that the American public deserves. When those two keys are met then I could see the market flow back towards General Motors. As for now the market will continue its trend towards fuel efficient and reliable foreign models.
Posted By Rob, San Diego CA : 6:19 PM  

Seems to me that everyone on here is doing one of two things, defending a domestic brand or comparing a product that is already on the market(and has been for several years) to something that probably won't even come close to production until the begining of the next decade.

A few things to consider:

Why should you have to "defend" a car/company, shouldn't it be able to rest on its meritts alone?

Why should you "attack" another car company selling a succesfull product to the masses that may not be as efficient as people like to think, but brings new technology to a feild that sorely needs it, and arguably is causing other companies to think more progressivly and develop better ways of doing the same.

And finally, shouldn't we all be happy enough that new technologies are being tested that can revolutionize a form of propulsion that so many of you have deemed archaic? Isn't it even better that car companies are actually starting to implement them even if it is only to benefit their bottom line?

The Volt is exactly what it was intended to be, an exciting CONCEPT. To get people talking, and obiviously its worked.
Posted By Peter, Chandler, AZ : 7:06 PM  

What is an "American" car? Many Nissans are built in Tennessee and designed in California. Presumably by mostly American workers. GM is building plants in low wage countries and (as usual) trying to get congress to cut them more breaks over "unfair" competition, including escaping their contractual commitments to the unions, such as retiree health care. At the end of the day, if we buy the cars that objective sources like Consumer Reports and common-sense observation (think of all the OLD Toyatas you see out there that seem to run fine) show are the best with plenty of empirical research -- we are all better off. If you're concerned about the labor being American -- then push your Congressperson to keep the labor for cars sold in America domestic. Trying to force folks to buy substandard cars because they are made by traditional American firms is useless, and in fact counterproductive.
Posted By Roger : 7:59 PM  

I don't know about others, but I'm getting a little tired of being called un-american simply because I want to buy a car that works. I've owned GM's and Fords in the past and both have given me untold headaches and repair costs. The previous comment about GM not caring about their customers is absolutely correct. I would have happily hung in there with my GM mechanical problems if the GM Corp. would have, just once, treated me with a little courtesy and compassion. But I will not hold a grudge -- hopefully GM has changed and their cars as well as their attitudes have improved. I really want to buy American. But we're not talking $100 bicycle's here people... we're talking automobiles that cost upwards of $18,000. And I refuse to spend that kind of money on crap - I don't care who makes it. I drive a Honda now and it's up to 105k miles with NO problems EVER. Maybe I just got lucky with my Honda and unlucky with my GM -- I don't know. All I do know is that I'm not supporting and/or financially rewarding anyone, be it America or Japan, for making unreliable, poor quality cars. I want to support our economy and try to buy American whenever possible. I understand the need for alternative fuel choices and want to try to do my part to help. I don't think what we drive needs to be a political statement - we have enough things to be divided over politically without cars being one of them. Most people just want a good car that is efficient, reliable, environmentally friendly, affordable, and safe. If GM can offer me that, then I will buy it. I'm only hoping that GM overhauled it's customer service as well as it's cars.
Posted By Adrianna, Hollywood CA : 8:01 PM  

Either gas or electric not both.
Posted By Anonymous : 9:19 PM  

You know, there is no perfect solution.

The problem is that we are not being forced to purchase alternative fuel vehicles, and the manufacturers are NOT being forced to make alternative fuel vehicles. There is no standard to pursue, no infrastructure being built to support these vehicles, and frankly there is no cost benefit until fuel costs increase significantly or we see reasonable prices for these economy cars.

We need a comprehensive approach. That includes serious government investment, legislation, tax incentives, infrastructure, city planning, and for goodness sakes, affordability. A Prius should not cost more than a Corolla.

We have Ford Focus cars around here running off of fuel cells (hydrogen) and they are reliable, safe and there is practically no difference in performance.

If Ford, Honda and Toyota can do it, GM can do it. Just start off with a practical car that works well and is reliable, and there will be buyers.
Posted By Chris, Deltona, Florida : 12:03 AM  

If you're curious about all the GM bashing - it's because we're MAD!
GM took my perfect electric car away on a tow truck and crushed it. How would you feel if Bill Gates came over to your house and smashed your PC with a sledgehammer because he could make more money selling you a bigger slower computer with outdated technology?
The EV1 range was great � 60 miles, batteries were great � recharged in less than 3 hours, cost was great - about $.08/mile. I even drove the thing cross country from California to Florida almost 3,000 miles just to show you could do it. Everyone who saw that car loved it! It wasn�t lackluster sales that killed the electric car � they leased EVERY SINGLE ONE they made, and had a waiting list.
100% sales with a waiting list, don�t you wish your company had sales figures like that?
This has been a tactic GM has used for over half a century, deliver nothing, only promise future developments. GM made electric vehicles go away by promising Fuel Cells, even when they knew the technology was decades away at best. They just needed to make a promise to get everyone off their back. This is why we are just now seeing the fuel efficiency numbers promised in the 70�s and 80�s. If GM had their way, if we ever saw this car on the road it would be years too late, maddeningly unobtainable, unaffordably priced and contingent upon government regulations that would be fought at every step of the way. But that was the past and now Toyota is freaking them out. Toyota has proven that hybrid technology is viable and has stated that they will not only develop the Prius line to include a wider range of body styles, but also make the vehicle available in a plug-in configuration. So I guess we�ll see it � to late to do any real good, but on the road none-the-less.
GM is not the first company or industry that has fought change to protect themselves. The fact is when a paradigm shift occurs in an industry the deck is re-shuffled and small companies take over whilst the old leader is demoted. To use my previous example, when was the last time you bought an IBM computer? The only difference here are the consequences. The global impact of oil based transportation is no longer wonky pseudo-science and every night the news is covering political conflicts that are at least in part oil related. As long as we as a people (as consumers, as constituents, as global citizens) continue to sit back and wait for GM and the White House to act we�ll get the same ol� dinosaur thinking and dinosaur juice.
I�m just glad that I�ll be able to buy a Toyota Plug-In hybrid long before GM ever gets it�s Volt plugged in. Because I will NEVER EVER buy a GM vehicle again.
Posted By CE, Atlanta GA : 12:27 PM  

American cars are alot better than given credit. After owning 10 Honda's,Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Porsche products, which are great cars, we have traded them in the past two years for American made cars. Our Lexus LS 430 was traded in for a Lincoln and our Honda Pilot was trading in for a GMC Yukon. I can tell you that our American cars have been great. Very reliable. We have never owned a American car until two years ago. We have only purchased mainly Japanese or German autos because of the negative publicity given to the American autos. After our experience with our Lincoln and GMC Yukon I can reassure you that we will only buy American autos for now. I'm looking at trading in my Porsche for a Chevy Corvette, since the Corvette is very reliable, gets great
mpg, moves as quickly, and costs alot less to maintain.

I was looking for a hybrid and test drove the Prius and Civic. I was not very impressed with either auto. I know that GM will come out with a better alternative hybrid auto and I definitely will wait before making my next purchase.

The fact is that American auto's are just as good or better than alot of the imports.
Posted By JJP Mission Viejo, CA : 1:09 PM  

Anyone notice that the positive GM comments are from near GM plants where,with benefits the average GM worker makes an average of $72.00 an hour while the rest of the country lives in reality. We only want value for our money. Americans always find the best and the best deal and the losers fall by the wayside. When GM puts out a real product we can believe in, I'll be first in line. Till then, GM products purchase price goes to over-paid workers and organized crime unions. GM, Get over your-self and give us a product that will shut us up at a price we can afford.
Posted By Mark, High Point NC : 6:19 PM  

The EV folks should give up on the big guys (subsidized by all of us at gunpoint... I mean taxation). Sure, batteries are an ongoing barrier. But aside from plutonium power we will NEVER see "revolutionary" advance in that area. It is just chemicals and electricity, and you "innovation" proponents are not begging for revolutionary super-gasoline for your gas-guzzler. Batteries are mere commodity. There is no reason GM cannot slap Li-ion or NiMH in the EV1 -- better yet leave it to the aftermarket to sell whatever we want to buy.

This whole issue has nothing tangible to do with battery innovation. The mission of GM and others is to tie proprietary battery technology to the vehicle. There is simply no excuse for building an engine that requires the blessing of the automaker swap out the battery. It is financial trick. I bet 20 years from now they will still be getting subsidies to build crappy EVs to distract the media and keep our gas supply going. Get a good gas-burner and you'll be ahead in the long run.
Posted By Dan, Wisconsin USA : 6:35 PM  

I wanted to buy an EV-1 and could not (they were lease only). Now, they're all gone.

I'd like to buy a Volt. I hope General Motors learned its EV-1 lesson and will bring this vehicle to market. This is the time to do it, not in 5 or 10 years. It won't solve everyone's problems but for a lot of people, it will be exactly what they need.
Posted By Gregg, Las Vegas, NV : 7:38 PM  

If all GM cars look this good... i will be a customer since i know how to drive.
Posted By XX, Houston, TX : 9:11 PM  

Americans, wake up! Buy American, drive American, and change the oil every 3K miles and your domestic cars will last a long time. I drive a Saturn Wagon that runs like new at 30 mpg with 62K miles, and a Ford Aerostar that runs like new at 25 mpg with 130K miles. My daughter drives a Mercury Tracer wagon at 30mpg with 140K miles on it; I drove it last summer when I visited her, and it is tight, quiet, and, and smooth. Maintenance is the key. Ban the expensive and over-rated foreign cars. Let them who design them and profit from them drive them in their own countries. Our soldiers don't belong in their foreign lands, and their foreign cars don't belong in our sweet homeland.
Posted By Chas, in Lake Worth, Florida : 9:40 PM  

I hope GM brings this vehicle to market. I leased an EV1 and had 8 of my friends try to lease an EV1. I currantly drive an all electric Solectria Force(Geo Metro EV conversion) it gets 40 miles per charge and is a pleasure to drive. I charge my EV with wind generated power and still sell $600.00 per month electricicty back to the power grid. I am commited to suporting any company who will help the environment and help get America off foreign oil. The Volt would as they have descibed it be the perfect range extender vehicle for an otherwise all electric fleet.
Posted By Jay, Lancaster CA : 9:47 PM  

Why is it ugly? I just don't get it. The Toyota is not's surprisingly fantastic. WHY IS IT UGLY???
Posted By Scott, Boston, MA : 9:57 PM  

Im new to the car market and I ended up buying a Chevy. I love it, Ive had a few electrical problems but the customer service I have recieved was exemplary. I have been impressed, I can admit that other car makers are making great cars, but in the end its not going to be about global economics, or politics, or even technology. The bottom line is going to be about what fits the consumer most at that time. I bought a truck because I tend to have to move often and its a lot easier in a truck. I bought a Chevy because they had the right vehicle at the right price. If any other company had offered an electric vehicle at the same price that meshed with my needs, well then I would have bought that vehicle. It seems simple to me. I hope GM produces this vehicle, more to the point I hope vehicles like this will fit my needs as vehicles do now.
Posted By Isaac Tucson,AZ : 12:02 AM  

Where did you come up with 80kWh Otis? According to the Chevy web site, the Volt only has a 16kWh battery. They also state that the battery will charge in 6.5 hours from a 110v, 15A circuit. 110v*15A*6.5h=10.75kWh, since the battery will never be fully discharged.
Posted By Dave, Omaha,NE : 12:37 AM  

To respond to comments earlier about Toyota having 1.2 million recalls in Japan and GM having its 1.6 million in the United States, I wonder: Should we include the number of defective GM vehicles OUTSIDE the U.S. to the total? Don't try to win a war of "who's least worse". You'll probably seizure.

In my opinion, Toyota and the U.S. have fused to form the perfect bondage of a car company: Asian reliability and economic efficiency with American industry and productivity. Toyota is reliable in the U.S. with American labor, more than our own companies can even achieve with the SAME labor pool! Take note, Big Three. Ford as of late seems to be taking a clue from the Japanese Auto Plan. GM, do NOT pass this one up.
Posted By Anonymous : 1:11 AM  

Fantastic. If they increase the range of electric propelled car to 100 miles that would be the best. GM, keep working in the tough market.
Posted By Subhash. San Jose, CA : 1:20 AM  

I've been watching the hybrid war for a while, so far all I've been seeing from Toyota Honda are results, results, sales, taking over the market, real cars that we can buy, all I heard from GM are expectations,!
Posted By Mike, Chicago IL : 1:21 AM  

The american big three auto companies got beaten by the japanese auto industries is not an overnight thing. if GM think they can win back their position as the leader in auto industries, stop bragging about it and show us the real products. Give us the cars that not only realiable but also give good mileage and above all, PROTECT the ENVIORNMENT.
Posted By Tom, Emeryville, CA : 1:53 AM  

The best part of the Volt idea is that it relies on the same type of propulsion used in dieselectric locomotives, i.e. an internal combustion engine driving an electric motor which provides tractive force to the wheeels. The concept is at least 60 years old and it is amazing that no one previously had thought to introduce a version of it into autos. And, with the plug-in feature, it means that the electric car is not dead, it's been transformed. As the story says, if you have a short commute, you will be able to power it by electricity alone, something that the Prius can't really accomplish. This is no plug-in only car like the impractical EV-1, this is a concept that has real-world potential.

If GM gets this thing into production and it is reliable, it could provide a nice transition from internal combustion propulsion to eventual hydrogen powered vehicles.

GM should be congratulated for shaking off the cobwebs and coming up with a new idea. Now if they can only make it work......
Posted By Steve Kennedy, Germantown, WI : 2:51 PM  

I believe the electric car is a valid concept and would be a big seller. Howeverwhether it would be better for the envirinment is debateable. But I truly believe is that most of us require either two cars.One, for commuting to work and a larger one for holiday trips. Why not combine the two into one vehicle? A two stage 5 seater car which would have two small engines. The two sections could be joined for holiday use and separated when used as a two seater commuter car.
Posted By Michael C. Whitby, Canada : 10:42 AM  

Don't believe GM. It's just damage control from the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car". Their estimation, it might be by 2012, give me a break. That 5 years allows them to do nothing, like they have been doing for 100 year.
Posted By Phil Easler, Chapel Hill, NC : 10:53 AM  

If GM could corner the market they would. They are losing market share and public trust. They need to change their image and this car is going to do it for them!
I hope the unions learn from Pittsburgh in the 70s and 80s. There's not a single plant open anymore.
Posted By Trevor Seiling : 3:41 PM  

120 kwh?? It's not nice to rectally extract data to support a viewpoint.
A factsheet from the CA air resources board (http/ indicates a usage of "a little less than" 0.5 kwh/mi. That works out to something on the order of 20 kwh/40 mi., which is in line with the low end of other data I have examined (which ranges from 2 to 5 mi/kwh). BTW, if you want a good view of energy-usage paths for an automobile, go to "" Examining the energy-usage paths shown indicates attractive areas to increase the effective mpg of a "plug-in" electric with on-board internal combustion (ic) engine for en-route battery charging. You get a HUGE gain in the standby/idle losses. You never run the ic engine in those conditions; if the auto is not moving and the ic engine is running it's charging the battery pack (at the optimal ic engine rpm). The ic engine losses can be markedly decreased by optimizing the engine to run at a particular rpm; this works well for running a generator. You can't do this as well if you run the drivetrain directly off the engine as the optimization will result in steep efficiency rolloff either side of the optimal rpm. You can also get some of the braking losses back by regenerative braking, and you may get a little of the driveline loss back by more efficient energy transmission to the wheels. As many have pointed out, limitations are in the state of battery technology. Useable battery capacity is too low, battery weight and cube is too high, cost/mile of the battery is too high. In addition, implementing systems that protect from damage/destruction of the battery by improper charging and/or overdrain is too high.. IMO, we are at least one, maybe two generations away from making the "plug-in" win the cost/benefit ratio battle. And IMO, people are people and history is history -- these autos won't make it until they show a better cost/benefit than other alternatives, and the planet be-damned. In the words of Scarlet O'Hara, "I'll worry about that tommorrow."
Posted By Jess Henley, Huntsville AL : 1:06 PM  

All the Telsa, needs is a small onboard engine for long trips.
Posted By Keith Williams Seattle, WA : 1:20 AM  

I've wondered why someone hasn't done this long ago! WAY TO GO GM! This is the perfect way to transition to whatever technology is going to be used to drive a car in the future.
Posted By Mel, Highland NY : 12:34 PM  

Small windows
Why are the windows SO small. I feel claustrophobic in cars like that. I am used to driving a Civic for the past 17 years. I have gotten used to the openness of the honda. I hope they make it so you can see out of it this chevy better and don't feel claustrophobic. It's a cool looking car. Nicely done, but can be improved. I also hope they pay attention to the details such as the dash sweating when the AC is on as in the case of a Cobalt I rented a few months back.
Posted By washington, dc : 9:15 AM  

Great looking car and the equivalent of 150 mpg sounds very attractive. If it is priced right I just might thrade in my Outback !!
Posted By Faust Miraglia Forest Hill MD : 9:29 AM  

Big deal 60 miles and 150MPG, I don't think we will see the VOLT in my life time. once upon a time da da da lived happily ever after PR at work.
If the VOLT would do 60 miles at 75MPG would we have a better chance of seeing it in product? I do not think the auto industry is willing to do this to the oil industry. With the money the oil companies have made they would buy GM and ford and we will be stuck with 15 to 25 GPM until oil ran out. Cars and the white house run on oil or should I say by oil.
Posted By R W Hayman Elizabeth city NC : 9:30 AM  

Back in 1973 I bought a new Chevy truck. In less than 3 months the rear end locked up when I came to a stop because of poorly fitting spider gears. The dealer nor GM in Detroit ( I never even got a response to a letter) would do anything for me regarding this problem so I had to fix it myself. This same truck leaked water so bad from new that a passenger would have to keep their feet back against the seat to keep them dry when it rained. I also had to fix this problem. I have since owned only cars & trucks that rank high in JD Power and Consumer Reports----they have not been domestic vehicles. GM and other domestics made their reputation. There is no conspiracy to ruin them by the media as some would like to think.
Posted By Jon Cullen, Seymour, Indiana : 9:31 AM  

Perhaps good technology, but most likely will fail to address GM's real problems. No vehicle in recent memory from GM really lived up to expectations with the possible exception of the Corvette and a few Cadillac models. Poor interior designs, poor materials, in some cases abysmal reliability records (Cobalt ring a bell), and a general lack of refinement all contribute to a line of products that I am ashamed to say are American. I am retired military and a patriot, and I would live to buy American. However, when my European and Japanese cars have twice the resale and much greater reliability, the common sense part of me can't lower my standards and expectations to do so. If GM and Ford were really serious about hybrids and electrics, they'd stop dumping all of their R&D dollars into gas-guzzling F150s and do the right thing. Well-made, reliable, eco-friendly cars are the future - like it or not.
Posted By Chuck, Ashburn, VA : 9:42 AM  

With the worry of Global Warming, a new era of Clean Green technologies is unfolding, I think this new car or ones like it will open alot of eyes and set the standard for the future
Posted By M Cubed, Rio Rancho, NM : 9:45 AM  

So many urban myths; so little time...

Toyota is more committed than either GM or Ford to building American cars with American workers. Some of the top U.S. Toyota execs today are there because they'd been at GM and Ford, and the latter kept outsourcing our auto production to other countries. So they moved to the "build-American" company; Toyota.

Next, there's no conspiracy to the oil companies opposing electric's matter of public record. Ovonics Corp. invented the NiMH battery and held all the patents. GM bought the Ovonics patents, then sold them to Big Oil (Chevron, if I remember correctly), which forced all the NiMH technology licensees (Panasonic etc.) to quit producing their large-capacity batteries. Capacity of the largest available NiMH batteries on the market (e.g., the Panasonic E95) dropped overnight to 1/10 of what they were before. Don't take my word for it; Google the big NiMH plants worldwide and see it for yourself.

You need large-capacity batteries to build plug-in hybrids or total electrics. What happens when these batteries become unavailable? You got it: Scratch one potential competitor for subterranean hydrocarbons.

Now GM is talking LiIon batteries, and has asked Chevron/Ovonics (now called "Cobasys") to approach the company owning the patents for the most-promising LiIon technology, to partner with them and bid for GM work. Pardon me if this looks a bit like "deja' vu all over again."

I just hope that GM isn't using the "Volt project" to justify getting at the LiIon patents and taking that technology off the table for Big Oil as well.
Posted By Jim in Fort Worth, Texas : 10:18 AM  

This is the first recall of 2007:

Toyota owners read and weep - many will be visiting the shop soon in February. The famous V6 engine sludge problem Toyota has had for the last few years - well they are now paing out for that too according to the article.

I have owned a 1986 Toyota Corolla, a 2001 Acura TL, a 2003 Honda Accord, and a 2001 Saab 9-3. The Toyota blew its engine at 78,000 miles and the car was declared junk - and I had done all the recommended maintenance and took care of it. The Acura lost its transmission at 49,000 miles and had to be replaced. I was told the new transmission had the same problem and that it would fail again in about 50,000 miles. I sold that car. The Honda lost its transmission at 54,000 miles and had to be replaced (Honda admitted in both cases that the V6 cars had chronic transmission problems and reduced the cost but did not eliminate it). The Saab 9-3 (which GM owns) - well, suffice to say I have not been stranded by it yet. I understand many people were burned by GM in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. I have begun to believe that they are trying really hard to change. Only time will tell if people will give it another chance and if it will survive. Considering the number criticizing the compnay - I think the American auto industry days may be numbered. Ford just announed the largest loss ever, and Chrysler for all intensive purposes is German now. I figure that is okay since the next world war we can go to the Japanese and purchase tanks as we buy their cars in-mass.
Posted By Sam, Paramus, NJ : 12:24 PM  

To concerned,

If you read closer, the combustion engine does not act as any sort of propulsion, all it does is recharge the batteries, giving it an insane MPG rating. Theroetically this car can do, and go wherever you want it to without having to plug it back in.

So maybe it does 20 miles less on a pure electric charge, but you are never limited on distance, and still have a 150MPG rating.
Posted By Brendan, NYC, NY : 12:43 PM  

I don't understand the hype. You can make a better hybrid of any vehicle by pulling the drivetrain and using a set of electric motors driven by a turbine generator. You don't even need gasoline. Use corn oil. This concept has been around for at least 70 years.
Posted By Bill, Flemington, NJ : 3:57 PM  

I think more can be done to push the every aspect of this concept to even recharge the batteries without the weight and gas usage of a combustion engine. Start with a charged battery and drive, have solar panels on the roof of the vehicle to help charge the batteries, generate electricity to recharge the battery as the wheels are spinning, and why not put wind generators on the underside of the vehicle to recharge the batteries as the breeze from the moving vehicle spins the generator. Using the vehicles own momentum and surface area to help recharge the batteries should help further limit the loss and need for any combustion support.
Posted By Rob, Des Moines, IA : 7:07 PM  

Automakers need to stop showing us what they may "Possible" put into production and do something right now to introduce these vehicle to the market "Today"!!! We as Americans would Like to be Driving the "Lastest And Greatest Vehicles"; After all We are the Largest Automoble Markers of the World. And We got the Biggest Market know on this Planet. It is time that Us American Set the Example and Make the Greatest Change on Earth; By driving the Cleanest and the Mostest Fuel Affective Cars. It is Our duty As Americans To Stop Global Warming.
Posted By John vila, Menifee, Ca : 9:05 PM  

I'm with some of the folks here that have to wonder...where's all the anger coming from? Did you personally lose a bunch buying the electric cars of the past? Stop watching TV.

Fact is the country's dependence of fossil fuels does not stem altogether from the auto industry. while they most assuredly did resist the cost of re-tooling whole systems and plants for better technologies, there's a whole bunch of people with their hands in the oil cookie jar...including most of the general population. So try looking at the facts instead.

The fact is that this is a cool looking car that applies older technology in a new way. That is called innovation. I have not been a fan of GM for a long, long, long time, but I think they have finally decided to move in a good direction. Let's see if it comes to life.
Posted By Michael, Chicago, Illinois : 11:51 PM  

This will never happen. Does anyone really thing that it will? Technology to make a cleaner, more efficient car has existed for over 80 years + now. American car makers are in bed with foreign oil producers, senators/represenatives and the president himself. Count on foreign car producers to beat out all of the american makers and bankrupt them.
Posted By Paul E. Michael, Phoenix, Az : 12:38 AM  

My first electric car was purchased in 1969 in Southern California. My family had just moved here and electric slot car racing was all the rage. I got a kit and built it from scratch. Went to the track and got blown away by all the fancy store bought kits. Turned out I had a "copper" wound motor, unable to compete with the latest "silver" wound motor wonders. It wasn�t long before I had to have one of those �exotic� cars. The sleek stylish bodies were all vacu-formed plastic, purchased separately, and snapped on the chassis.

Skip ahead and now we're hearing about "skateboard" designed full sized car chassis, with planned interchangeable bodies, and electric controls operated from any seat.
Let's get the act together and the cars will sell. HP is making money selling "low cost" printers because the cartridge is where all the technology is, but the "fancy" cases initially sell very cheap. Sounds like styling shouldn't cost extra. Learn the lesson, and people will be lusting after the latest snap-in power packs, "silver wound" motors, and the latest styling in cheap interchangeable vehicle bodies. Old equipment can be refurbished, upgraded, and resold, like old printer cartridges...

I work for an electric utility that allows charging of electric cars in the parking garage, free. The commute is 10 miles each way. A small sporty hybrid commuter car is perfect for that commute. They are even allowed in the HOV lanes too, saving commuting time.
The reality of almost all Southern California traffic during commuting hours is a long slow drive for hours breathing exhaust fumes from the car 10-20 feet in front of us and all the cars ahead. Forget fuel efficiency and MPG completely. There has to be a better way. An economical car, hopefully like the Volt, would cut fumes, and still make a long drive out of town feasible with its long range abilities.

Utilities are looking for a way to �level� their load demands that peak in the early evening from 3-6 PM. These cars would be charging in the morning at work, and in the evening at home. With time of use metering coming to homes in the near future, a vehicle that would charge at night could qualify for special rates from the utility.

One more thing. I was a concept car in the Peterson Museum in LA, built in the 50�s that had a turbine engine it. Very light weight, high power, and claimed to burn any flammable substance including perfume, alcohol, gasoline, or JP4. A micro-turbine in the Volt would make it possible to burn ethanol to vegetable oil, and be fuel independent!
Posted By Dan McClenathan, Moreno Valley, CA : 1:24 AM  

This is just PR crap from GM. They always have hot air in their management people. GM cars/trucks has been a disaster for me, it's a symbol of American sloppiness in automotive manufacturing. Quality was never a priority, America always go for the looks and price. If Toyota could match the price of GM, this company will go to drain in no time.
Posted By Jake, Kansas MO : 1:00 PM  

Now if you were to make a convertable I would by one and still hang onto my 1994 sls that is one of the best cars Ive owned.
Posted By Paul Goehring,long island,new york. : 1:41 PM  

I know now what stocks I would buy besides the car! Lots of utilities!
Posted By P. T. Richardson, Idaho Falls, ID. : 1:41 PM  

I think the reliability for such a car will be very high. Electric motors don't need much servicing. I can't imagine what can go wrong?.. the brushes?..not to mention electric motors are much more efficient than combustion engine. I hope GM is serious this time. As I write this..they are planning on buying out Chrysler .. lol why buy a lemon?
Posted By Dragos, Toronto Ontario : 3:00 PM  

I recently purchased my first GM vehicle in 15 years and I absolutely love it. The quality of the vehicle seems to be outstanding and I think the new vehicles are very stylish. The vehicle I recently purchased is one that I actually love to drive.

As far as hybrids go, I don't care what technology they use as long as it gets me to where I need to go without any hassles. To me, the entire point is to get the best possible gas mileage.
Posted By JC, Houston, TX. : 3:07 PM  


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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.