Volt Birth Watch 150: GM "Dedicated Hybrid" To Undercut Volt?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

With the Malibu mild-hybrid out of the picture and the Volt project still in integration testing, GM-Volt.com reports that the General is developing a “dedicated hybrid” model alá Prius and Insight. According to GM’s Ed Peper, the 4-banger manual Malibu’s 33 highway mpg makes the extra cost of a mild hybrid a tough sell. Besides, a hybrid has to look like a hybrid to earn its eco-premium, right? But isn’t that what the Volt does? Unless, of course, GM wants an eco-halo that it can (possibly) make money on. In which case… duh? Either way, if GM plumps for a dedicated hybrid alongside the Volt, it will mean more development cost, more cannibalism, and more signs of death-thrashing. Time to pop those focus pills, GM. Again. Still.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • BillK BillK on Jul 14, 2009

    Stick with the hybrid, I know GM has developed some interesting hub motors, but do we want to rely on lithium supplies anymore than we did /do oil? Toyota/honda have a good sized lead especially over the big 3, yet Toyota has not taken advantage of the real world experience of hybrid drivers. I don't want great mileage I want fantastic mileage. Apparently one of the tricks involves putting the hybrid into electric only mode when your just about home (hypermiling). I don't want to have to remember this all the time. These cars all have GPS. Why not smart GPS? Have a small dash light brighten as you approach home and/or work. You're suppose to 'anticipate' a red light and get off the 'gas' and let the hybrid glide and regenerate the battery. But what if the traffic light is up over the hill? Shouldn't be a big deal. I'm sure all the traffic light timings are kept on computer. Download them to your 'smart hybrid' and that dash light starts glowing orange? when you're going up a hill and can't even see the red light up ahead. You back off the 'gas' and go over the hill just as the traffic lights turn from red back to green. Nice. And you get the gas savings for any non-hybird too. Just need the tech boys to come up with the smart GPS.

  • Rudiger Rudiger on Jul 14, 2009
    menno: "They could have swallowed their pride, kept NUMMI, begged and paid real money to Toyota for a Hybrid Synergy drive license - just as Nissan did - and turn out something with the assistance of Toyota."Yeah, switching NUMMI over to Prius production with a Chevy version (Volt II?) built alongside in the same manner as the old Corolla/Nova/Prizm, then Matrix/Vibe, seemed like a no-brainer, to me. Hell, a case could be made for GM getting a license to rebody and sell their own version of the G2 Prius.
  • GS650G GS650G on Jul 15, 2009

    Saw a broke down Yukon Hybrid on the side of the road today, with that great big HYBRID banner on the doors. I wanted to stop and offer them a D cell battery as a gesture of good will but I consider myself a good person and rubbing their noses in it would not be right. I never saw a Prius on the side of the road.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jul 15, 2009
    These cars all have GPS. Why not smart GPS? Having recently bought a GPS unit - apparently all that remains is a GOOD POI list (points of interest). ALL of the GPS units I test drove had shortcomings with this and one of them I did not test drive even feeds the owner a steady stream of commercials based on what is nearby. UGH! My Navigon (now "gone" from the American market) does pretty good with the POI. The GPS enthusiasts are improving those lists with POIs they are creating and sharing.