GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

Summary: Come June, the automaker may produce electric vehicles on a build-to-order basis.

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General Motors is closely watching sales of its Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle and will adjust its production of the car accordingly, potentially by June, according to a report Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.

Actually, it sounds like the company's Volt electric vehicles may be available strictly on a build-to-order basis in the future.

The revelation comes amid continued reports of disappointing electric vehicle sales to mainstream consumers. GM only sold about 7,700 Volts during 2011, missing its 10,000-vehicle projection. It also has put the brakes on its original prediction that it would sell 45,000 Volts in 2012. GM CEO Dan Akerson told attendees of the Detroit auto show this week that the automaker will only build as many Volts as it needs.

But GM executives intend to keep experimenting with electric vehicle design and pricing. "The worst thing we could do is back off the technology and the commitment because of things we can't control," GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky told the WSJ.

[via The Wall Street Journal]

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  • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

    In other words, green car experiment = dead.
    seeknosy@...
    • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

      @seeknosy@...

      I wouldn't say that... 7,700 is not bad for a new car introduction of this type in a niche market. Owners of the Volt seem to be very happy with it but until the infrastructure is put in place to accommodate these electric cars they will grow slowly and not be widely adopted. That being said I think GM did it right by making it a hybrid of sorts that uses total electric and when that runs out it goes to gas. I have already heard horror stories of people with all electric vehicles like the leaf running out of juice in rush hour traffic jams with no way to charge their car.
      bobiroc
      • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

        @bobiroc there are drawbacks to any vehicle. My truck has 4WD, so I have to put up with lower fuel economy, but I get better traction in the snow, and mud around here. The volt has lower emissions (these electrics cannot be called zero emission vehicles, until we stop using coal to generate electricity). <br>I have also heard of the vehicles running out of power in traffic jams. The motor is not running, but the fans( heaters in the winter), lights. etc. The best comprise at the moment are the hybrid vehicles. You give up performance, but you do gain fuel milage...
        Rick_Kl
      • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

        @bobiroc - I have to agree with you. These are bad economic times and I believe a lot of people are sticking to the cars they have now. The only ones you are going to get are people who have money and are somewhat environmentally conscious and need a new car. What is not said is how the other electric car makers are doing in sales (I'm talking about the major makers, not exotics).
        ManoaHI
    • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

      @seeknosy@...
      I wonder how "green" those cars really are, anyway. I know refining oil into gasoline isn't exactly clean, but there are some very nasty chemicals involved in the manufacturing of the batteries for the hybrids.
      WozNotWoz
  • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

    hydrogen fuel cells charged by the sun/water. let's do that.

    http://www.switch2hydrogen.com/h2.htm
    wendellgee2
    • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

      @wendellgee@...
      The hydrogen filling station is something of a concern for me. Even though there are warnings everywhere at gas stations - people still smoke while filling up. Can you say Hindenburg?
      Roger Ramjet
    • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

      @wendellgee@... <br>I agree, although I am invested in a real electric car company, Tesla. To the gentleman that invoked the Hindenburg, that is more likely with Gasoline than hydrogen. Hydrogen is so much lighter than air it goes straight up and fast. You'd almost have to put the lighter or cigarette into the stream of escaping gas. Gasoline fumes on the other hand are heavier than air and pools along the ground and tend to swirl around in any wind. Thus the big whoomp! when some are foolish enough to use gasoline to start a fire instead of diesel.<br><br>They also just had a breakthrough on the electrolysis of Hydrogen from water making is faster and much cheaper than making it from oil stocks was.<br><br>A2 Heather Clancy,<br>MS Clancy, could you perhaps if you are going to write about green things please be accurate. The Volt is a hybrid gasoline and electric. It is not an EV which is electric only, like the Tesla and the Leaf.<br><br>Tesla sold all of their production of their roadsters with 250 mile ranges and performance that beat the other super cares in its class that cost more like the 91 Targa. And they did that in full production in 2008 before any of the big three even had one on the drawing boards. Tesla comes out with its luxury sedan this year and discontinues the roadster. The news will be clearer in mid 2012, this year, when the performance and 7 seater all electric Tesla Model S comes out. See it will perform better than the Mercedes and BMW luxury cars in its class, and sell for about the same. And go up to 300 miles on a charge.
      AreV
      • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

        @derekgore - Agree the Hindenburg is entirely different. There were other flammables including diesel fuel for the motors. Also, the duraluminum, once ignited would also burn. Gasoline is indeed explosive when in vapor form, hence how internal combustion engines work. Although, I believe that @Roger Ramjet was stating with tongue-in-cheek.
        ManoaHI
      • It's a battery

        @derekgore
        [ul][i]They also just had a breakthrough on the electrolysis of Hydrogen from water making is faster and much cheaper than making it from oil stocks was.[/i][/ul]Just don't tell us that you know how to get more energy from combining Hydrogen and Oxygen than it took you to break the Hydrogen free of the Oxygen. If you do I will send Isaac Newton to haunt your house.
        Robert Hahn
      • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

        @derekgore

        Gosh you people are dense. Obviously you don't store it as a gas, you chemically bond it and then its safe. Good grief! As if someone is going to run around with hydrogen GAS tanks in their cars - use some common sense!

        "Typically, the tanks are filled with granulated Hydrides, and Hydrogen is pressurized into the material. The Hydrogen becomes chemically bonded to the chemical. Even opening the tank, or cutting it in half will not release the Hydrogen gas. In addition, you could even fire incendiary bullets through the tank and the Hydride would only smolder like a cigarette. It is in fact, a safer storage system than your Gasoline tank is."
        wendellgee2
      • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

        @wendellgee
        Come on wendellgee, you googled that bit about bounding the hydrogen chemically, didn't you? At one point it will have to be a gas, whether while filling the tank or when it is burned off from the hydrides,(I googled that).
        Dknopp
  • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

    Yet another liberal social engineering project takes a nosedive.
    iouzero
    • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

      @iouzero This car served its main purpose--to give GM something to crow about for over 3 years. I still remember the ads on the radio YEARS before the first Volt ever rolled off the assembly line. GM really wanted the "halo effect" from making such a car. And I think they got a bit of it, though I'm not sure the story has yet been finished.
      bmgoodman
    • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

      @iouzero
      Alternate fuel cars are not a social engineering project, liberal or otherwise. We will run out of cheap oil eventually, just like we started to run out of whale oil in the 1800's. The oil based internal combustion engine ( whether it is from the ground or we get rid of the middle man and get it straight from plants ) has been here for 100 years - give or take a decade or two, and it is time to move on, just like we have with other technologies, that is unless you are the type that just can't give up your vitrola and still talk to an operator when you make a phone call.
      Dknopp
  • i'd buy one in a heartbeat(chevy pun intended)

    if the price of the car wasn't so out of line. No way would I ever recover the cost of going green. Make the car more affordable and I bet these will move.

    40,000 for a car that should cost 20,000 as a non hybrid is too much of a differential.
    REDPINXC
    • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

      @REDPINXC
      I agree! I looked into buying one and they are $44000 in Saskatchewan. I find they are $34000 in the states so I asked the salesman why I don't just buy one there and he said you void the warranty as soon as you bring it back. Total crap. If they sold them for about $25000 I'd be in like a dirty shirt. Just another way to keep the eclectric car off the roads. You can do your own hydrogen on demand system, been looking at that lately.
      bladerunner13
    • I agree

      @REDPINXC
      I totally agree. The high price is the reason it did not reach its targets. It may have achieved the GM goal with the "halo" effect but it was a totally miss on any other metric.
      Hal_9001
  • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

    I wonder how Nissan is doing with its REAL all-electric Leaf... I see a fair number of them in SoCal. The Volt is NOT an electric vehicle, it's an extended range plug-in hybrid with bigger batteries so it will go a significant distance on the batteries. I think the $40,000+ price tag probably is the biggest issue... it if was the same price as a Malibu, for example, they'd probably sell a lot of them.
    cerving
  • RE: GM may put brakes on Volt electric vehicle production (WSJ report)

    I bought a new car last year and would have loved to look at a Volt, but in my area none could be found. So I would have to buy, one sight unseen, plus pay all the dealer extra costs, $45,000 plus and not sure if was a dog. Not gonna happen, they need to produce more, so thye can a least be seen, then lower the price and maybe it would take off.
    glm3072