Reuters – November 21, 2007
Bob Lutz from GM has re-confirmed that GM is still planning on introducing the Chevy Volt in 2010 even though there are some concerns about that timeline.
Typically when this level of concern happens, there are some trade-offs that are put out and the product doesn’t live up to expectations. I hope that is not the “hidden” message that Lutz is actually trying to deliver in this interview.
Mr. Lutz does speak with some sense of urgency and perhaps doom so maybe this really will hit the consumer market on time and, hopefully, will be a raving success.
Mr. Lutz also had an interview where he admitted that GM “kind of lost the first couple of laps of the green car race” because it was going to be a ”multi-hundred million dollar program that was going to lose money.” Here is that video: http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=71180&videoChannel=7
As the race to bring a mass-market, rechargeable electric vehicle to the market heats up, GM’s Bob Lutz said employees working on the Volt “are becoming increasingly nervous.”
Lutz said the Volt plug-in hybrid — which GM plans to road-test early next year and produce by late 2010 — is crucial to GM’s efforts to snag the environmental technology crown from Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp
“We have to reestablish GM’s leadership and the Volt is, frankly, an effort to leapfrog anything that is done by any other competitor,” Lutz said.
Unlike earlier gasoline-electric hybrids, which run on a system that twins battery power and a combustion engine, plug-ins are designed for short trips powered entirely by an electric motor and a battery charged through a socket at home.
GM is designing the Volt to run 40 miles on battery power alone, with an on-board gasoline-powered engine as a backup.
“I’m convinced we can do the Volt and put it on the road, but if we want a commanding and permanent lead on this type of vehicle … we have to control the intellectual property,” Lutz said. “Otherwise it will propagate to other manufacturers too quickly.”
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