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October 13, 2007



If it can live up to those goals it will be an exciting product. Someone else had mentioned $30K, which sounds reasonable. PHEV is the way to go to reduce overall fuel consumption into the range that the biofuel industry might be able to supply. I wouldn't be surprised if there were to be a few bumps on the way to getting there.

One of my big concerns is that oil demand will become significantly greater than supply years before we have enough of our transportation fleet converted to gas-sippers instead of the current gas-guzzlers. Dramatically higher oil prices are likley to impose some serious pain before that happens.

david foster

Wasn't the projected price in the low $20s only a few months ago?...or am I remembering this wrong?

Also, I wonder if the $30K includes the batteries...there was some discussion to the effect that GM would lease rather than sell them.

James Fraser

The price was always $30K and it includes the batteries. Battery leasing was discussed, but in a different context, without mentioning a price, so the $30K is all we really have.


I agree with Mr. Foster. There was talk of low to mid $20s. I can't remember what link had this and I didn't put it in my notes. Think it was speculative. Makes sense though. Toyota has been talking about reducing the price differential and improving the mpg performance of the next version of the Prius. The Prius sells in the mid to high $20s now. If GM wants to seriously compete with this, then they have to be thinking about keeping the price pretty low. "nicely below $30,000" is a good corporate answer and should do the job for a reliable PHEV with 40 mile all-electric range. Low to mid $20s would storm the market right now.


The corporate view is, we think ethanol is best, and we think that is going to grow. Perhaps not as fast as we would like it to.

Reading between the lines:

The corporate view is, we think ethanol is best, because it allows us to sell more inefficient ethanol-and-gas-guzzling vehicles with high margins and low corporate risk, and we think that is going to grow, because we will try to stimulate it with thousands of commercials and advertisements. Perhaps not as fast as we would like it to, because we don't want to sell too many high risk plug-in hybrids.


As long as the Volt comes in under $30K, there will be a market for it. To the best of my knowledge, GM will be the first to mass produce a true PHEV-40. Once the production lines are up and running, GM can use its E-flex architecture to spin off other models of PHEV's fairly quickly. Just like personal computers and DVD players, the price will come down over time.


amsterdamned seems to understand the corporate marketing mind.

Lorenzo Rambaldi

I'm also right with amsterdamned... Ethanol is the best "alternative"

However.. really an amazing blog!!

Visit me www.energyislife.org

Greg Woulf

You'd have to point out the low 20's reference. I've followed this car closely and it's always been under $30k as a goal.

The car will save an average driver a couple thousand a year, so it would compete I think.

I was skeptical, but I think this is all real. This is the car that I always thought should be built. I wasn't sure the batteries were up to it, but even at a lower all electric it's the best path to the future.

Parallel systems might be slightly more efficient, but they don't take full advantage of future battery, or power generation developments. Plus, when you scale up to trucks, the larger you go, the more a series makes sense. (see diesel electric trains)

I don't think most people are ready for a small electric car like this, but I do think it'll sell enough to change perception.

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Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles