Volt Birth Watch 10: Maximum Bob Sets Thanksgiving 2010 Deadline

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

The Detroit Free Press reports GM's Vice Chairman of Global Product Development's most recent product prognostication: the Chevy Volt wil be "on the road" by November 2010. The comments came after the usual Lutz blusterfest, during which GM's Car Czar trash-talked Toyota. Or was it TTAC? Anyway, Bob promised that his employer will have a test Volt on the road in early '08, and then couldn't resist adding "About Easter, we'll find out who's right and whose credibility takes a hit." Yes, well, there's a big difference between getting a hand-built prototype on the road and producing said vehicle. Considering Chevy's just taken delivery on experimental battery packs from A123 and LG Chem, considering how long it will take to gear up production of thousands of said battery packs, considering that GM has had to totally redesign the car, and considering how long it'll take to gear up for production and train the line crew how to assemble a radically different drivetrain, you might think Lutz would reel back the rhetoric a bit. Or not. After all, spin doctors have families to feed too.

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  • Bunter1 Bunter1 on Nov 15, 2007

    How long from proto to dealer for the Solstice? A conventional car with a new platform. How fast is the Camaro coming? Ditto. How long have we been waiting for the two-mode tech? Conventional trucks, new drivetrain. Easter '08 (if the proto DOES roll then) to Thanksgiving '10? 2.5 years with a new platform and a new (in many senses) drivetrain? Aparrently they don't plan to spend much time doing DURABILITY TESTING! Apparently they do not expect any major problems to crop up in their voyage into the unknown. Has Bob ever been involved in the development of a motor vehicle before? Just curious. Bunter

  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Nov 15, 2007

    GM prefers for customers to do the durability testing.

  • Johnson Johnson on Nov 15, 2007

    GM faithful said the car would be out early 2010. Already Lutz is saying late 2010. My guess is the car likely won't be out until 2011. SkiD666: radimus, have you done any research on what car companies other than Honda/Toyota are doing? I guess GM is so far behind the curve they are ahead. GM has ‘Project Driveway’ where 100+ Fuel Cell Equinoxes are being tested by normal people. Since this is free, it is a better deal than leasing the Honda. GM’s 2-mode hybrid system is actually more advanced than Toyota’s Synergy drive (well at least Chrysler, Mercedes and BMW think so). They just need to tool up a lot faster to get it into more vehicles. The Volt is not the same as the Prius and it will be interesting to see what will sell better in 2010 and on timeframe, a plug in hybrid or a range extended electric vehicle. On the contrary, you need to brush up on your research. GM's fuel cell vehicles are being tested, while Honda is leasing vehicles with no restrictions as they are practically production vehicles. BMW is also leasing production 7 Series hydrogen vehicles. Mercedes is actually moving away from the Two-Mode system with their own hybrid system. And using that logic, Toyota's Synergy Drive is more advanced because Nissan and Subaru seem to think so. Even Porsche was interested in Synergy Drive. Yes the Volt is not the same, in more ways than one. The Prius has been on the road for a decade now. Toyota has huge real-world data and experience with the Prius. GM has NEVER made a vehicle like the Volt before. The timeframe to get the Volt to market is very short and there are still many unanswered questions regarding the Volt project. The entire concept of the Volt still hangs on development of batteries which don't exist yet. Meanwhile, a 3rd gen Prius using tried, tested NiMH batteries (and likely plug-in capability) will be out in 2009. Late 2010/2011 Toyota will likely bring out a Prius with Li-ion batteries. The Prius already has a great reputation among hundreds of thousands of owners. The Volt has no reputation to speak of. It only has hype.

  • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Nov 15, 2007
    Has Bob ever been involved in the development of a motor vehicle before? Just curious. - Bunter 1 Lutz has an impressive automotive résumé.