Volt Birth Watch 57: $40k and a Jackass

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
volt birth watch 57 40k and a jackass

In yet another Lutzie-worthy display, "Maximum" Bob Lutz tells the Seattle Times that even though first-gen Volts will retail for $40k and generate no profit for GM, "for the first time, our well-thought-of Asian competitors will be left in the dust" by its magnificence. And who wouldn't be terrified at the prospect of competing with a $40k profitless wonder? But Lutz didn't only highlight the tensions between the Volt's aspirations to neo-Model T status, and its mounting sticker shock. He actually gloats about the project, saying "We are simply quite startled and amazed at how everything is working according to plan." Because apparently making money and offering an affordable PHEV were never part of the plan. But Lutz isn't totally delusional. He estimates that by 2020 or 2025 between a quarter and half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. will be electric or hydrogen-powered, and that nuclear power is "the only real option" for this mass electrification. So why can't he stop spewing disingenuous optimism about the Volt project? When even the die-hard fanboys of gm-volt.com are starting to say things like "If they retail it at $40,000, the Volt is going to switch from a 'game changer' to 'another EV-1 disaster,'" what else can you do?

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  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Jun 20, 2008

    For those waiting for the "speculative oil bubble to burst," the intervening time could be spent studying this slideshow, by one person who is convinced you ain't seen nothing yet. Matthew R. Simmons is fairly well clued into energy issues, and was the first one to call the juggling with facts by OPEC as to the size of their reservoirs. But this very well illustrated slideshow gives you the lowdown on the oil industry's woes - and you really ain't seen nothing yet. http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/research.aspx?Type=msspeeches The speech in question is The Unknowns in 2008, number two from the top. pdf link: http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/files/Platts%20Crude%20Oil%20Conf.pdf

  • Pat Holliday Pat Holliday on Jun 20, 2008

    I don't know how much this figures in GM's plan, but in principle at least I can see the Volt being extremely suitable for over here (UK.) Probably in many parts of Western Europe too. Our fuel prices are more than twice yours, our roads are smaller, cities denser.. And new cars are more expensive to buy. A pricey Volt could still sell well, given the general high costs of living. Not enough to save the General necessarily... just worth considering.

  • Nicholas Weaver Nicholas Weaver on Jun 20, 2008

    Note that Honda is doing the opposite: They are in quiet mode, with a new Hybrid for 2009, as a 5-door, based on the FCX Clarity (so think "Prius Profile but doesn't look like a prius"), and focused entirely on cost ("You should see full cost recovery in 2 years of driving"). Unlike the Volt, it hasn't been hyped, they have a blank spot on their web site, but you know there is that shark in the water as well.

  • 1138 1138 on Jun 20, 2008

    i know people are arguing for Nukes as the wave of the future and I see the positives but what about waste? How do we dispose of it? France has even admitted that they are beginning to have problems disposing the waste their plants create. Are we going to end up burying our waste? and where? Your backyard or mine? Whatever happened to the possibilities of Solar? Is the tech that impossible to mature or evolve and make it efficient and cheap? I see solar cells on top of our parking meters and wonder if our charging stations for the volt could be powered by solar cells. Now that would be cool! I know nuclear is the short term solution but wonder if the long term results could spell a disaster for us?