Sunday, January 6, 2008

GM CEO Waggoner Sows Doubt about Volt Debut Date; Volt Ads Continue Unabated

CNNMoney.com reports on an online chat with GM CEO Rick Waggoner.
General Motors might not be able to hit its target to have its breakthrough electric-powered car the Chevrolet Volt in production by 2010...

GM has already started to build advertising campaigns around the Volt, even though in the best-case scenario it is years away from production. It is seen as a way of trying to change public perceptions about the fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility of the U.S. automaker, which is more closely associated with large SUVs or pickup trucks.
Not the way to mark the 100th anniversary of the company. If GM wants to be believed, they need to do more than flap their lips, run hopeful ads and buy dinner for bloggers.

They ought to have used the 100th anniversary to deliver even a few real electric cars, something they actually know how to build. Hell, they could simply sell the few EV1s they still have running around. They could encourage museums and universities with donated, disabled EV1s to rebuild them as electric cars and allow them on the roads. They could make a preliminary, limited run Volt without waiting for "perfect" batteries - say something like the NiMH that worked quite well in the EV1 (and still do in our RAV4 EVs.)

Had GM taken any such actions, some of the continuing disbelief might be dissipated.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

GM is missing an opportunity to turn public opinion around about the EV1 and up coming Volt. As the author suggested, pull some EV1's out of moth balls, create some commercials that build on the tech. history of the specially produced EV1 to introduce the mass production Volt. Some very charming commercials could be created. If GM can't bring themselves to say they "blew it" by killing work on battery electrics, at least they can imply it. People will at least understand they're showing a change of heart. Otherwise, I hear GM say they're going to build the Volt, others on YouTube say GM is lying and provide some pretty good reasons why they think so. Now GM is starting to throw out "we might not make it by 2010" messages already in January 2008. Comments from lithium battery makers is nothing but confidence the batteries are ready. GM has even tested two packs and stated they meet GM's requirements. GM knows how to make an electric vehicle (hydrogen fuel cell cars are electric), so what's all this talk about not getting it build by 2010. Makes me think they are lying to us again. Sigh... I really want to believe...

Anonymous said...

GM has alway said that the battery might not be ready. So why is this such a surprised? GM never lied about it but like always lots of people like to knock GM. Why not pick on Toyota for a while.

Anonymous said...

The battery manufacturers have full confidence in the batteries, GM has already tested them and said they meet the test specifications. So it's not the battery according to public announcements. What is the reason for saying they might not be able release it by 2010? They know how to build Fuel cell cars, 100 equinoxes. They are electric ya know. Why pick on GM?

1. Because they have the ability and the resources to build the Volt.

2. They're running Volt ads to reap Greenie benefits without producing a product.

3. Very strange things went on in California. Like fighting CARB tooth and nail while building/leasing EV1s. When CARB was defeated, poof goes battery electric car research along with the cars. Very strange.

4. Remaining EV's have contractual restrictions that they can not be licensed and driven on roads.

5. GM owned NiMH patents then sold them to an OIL company of all places. That company promptly put restrictions on the size of the NiMH battery configurations, making it very hard/impossible to build an all electric vehicle.

There's reason for lack of trust. Sell the car and then I will believe or at least they should stop doing schizoid actions.

Anonymous said...

Marc makes some excellent points. If GM were serious, why not perform, instead of continuing to LIE about the EV1 and the batteries?

It's not necessary to have Lithium batteries for 100 miles all-electric range. We drive 10-year-old technology which does this every day.

GM knows about lead and nickel batteries, so it's just LYING, saying falsehoods that it knows to be, or should know to be, FALSE.

PS people have to post "anonymous" because it won't accept ID entry!

Doug Korthof
562-430-2495
DrivingTheFuture.com

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