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Thread: Extremely Confused After Watching - Who Killed The Electric Car

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    Extremely Confused After Watching - Who Killed The Electric Car

    So if GM was the maker of EV1 and it was a great product in terms of EVs back then, when we really get down to it, is the Volt just a compliance car? It's supposed to be this high tech car these days and the company is all over it, but technology improved from the EV1 to when Volt debuted. GM still created a car that relied on gas. Did they think things were going to stay the same? They could have made an even better EV instead of designing the Volt.
    Last edited by ggies07; 06-10-2013 at 10:57 AM.

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    Model S P2681 qwk's Avatar
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    Yep, they went backwards on the Volt. There is a reason they went BK a few years ago.

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    GM lost tons of money on EV1. It wasn't a good business. The Volt was supposed to be the plug-in that worked, because it would have no range anxiety issue. Also, with less batteries than a BEV, it was supposed to be affordable. GM may have guessed wrong, but then, GM could never have built as excellent a car as the Model S, not as an EV, and not even as an ICE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Objective1 View Post
    GM lost tons of money on EV1. It wasn't a good business.
    From what I gather from the video is that GM lost money on the EV1 because they killed the program. Does the video leave out stats on cost per car, etc....the woman that worked there said it could have been a great opportunity.

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    Senior Member deonb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Objective1 View Post
    GM could never have built as excellent a car as the Model S, not as an EV, and not even as an ICE.
    The final EV1's got the same 160 mile range as a 40kWh Model S using a 26.4 kWh battery.

    If they kept the program, took advantage of Lithium batteries when they became available, and put a 60kWh battery on the EV1, doing nothing else, they would have by now had a car with a lower drag coefficient and an equivalent or longer range than a 85 kWh Model S.
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    The Volt is actually a good car. I did a test drive on it and it was a blast to drive it.
    But it doesn't even remotely compare to a Tesla Model S.
    But it is also a lot cheaper at about $40,000 or so. I still wouldn't buy it though.

    If there were no other EVs on the market and the Volt was the only electric (partial) transportation option for a car, then it would be getting rave reviews similar to the Prius in 2004-2006. It would have been an amazing halo car for GM to hang their hat on. But in 2012-2013 it doesn't remotely compare with what Tesla is doing.

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    I just looked at a focus several minutes ago. ??? Where is the space? Hmmm. I gave the car sales guy a ride in my S but only sat in the Focus-e
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palpatine View Post
    The Volt is actually a good car. I did a test drive on it and it was a blast to drive it.
    But it doesn't even remotely compare to a Tesla Model S.
    But it is also a lot cheaper at about $40,000 or so. I still wouldn't buy it though.

    If there were no other EVs on the market and the Volt was the only electric (partial) transportation option for a car, then it would be getting rave reviews similar to the Prius in 2004-2006. It would have been an amazing halo car for GM to hang their hat on. But in 2012-2013 it doesn't remotely compare with what Tesla is doing.
    But that's the thing. Is it really? I used to think so when it first came out, but after watching this, it seems like it's just a bone GM threw out the public with no sense of the past.....or the future.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by deonb View Post
    The final EV1's got the same 160 mile range as a 40kWh Model S using a 26.4 kWh battery.

    If they kept the program, took advantage of Lithium batteries when they became available, and put a 60kWh battery on the EV1, doing nothing else, they would have by now had a car with a lower drag coefficient and an equivalent or longer range than a 85 kWh Model S.
    Yep. They could have been on top where Tesla is going to be in a few years.

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    I had an EV-1 for 2.5 years. I transferred the last 6 months of my lease to somebody who desperately wanted to drive one, even briefly, before they all went to the crusher.

    It was a very cool car, but it was definitely a bit of a science project. It did not have the feel of a real production car in many ways. The Model S is as far beyond the EV-1 as a Lexus is beyond a kit car.

    Did GM lose money? Of course they did. They embarked on a substantial development project, but released only a tiny number of cars in what was in all respects a public beta test. Despite people loving the car and a well documented demand for more vehicles, they elected to shutter the program rather than continue to refine the design and produce more vehicles. So, all that development investment that could have been recouped had they pursued the program was instead discarded.

    They tried to spin this closure of the program as "ooh, this program failed". They even sent somebody to the California Air Resources Board to claim that there was no demand for the cars and that they cars weren't well received. Fortunately, there were a heck of a lot of drivers (including yours truly) at that meeting to tell the drivers' perspective. In my opinion, Chris Paine did a real service in producing that film and getting a more balanced story out to a wider audience.

    Little-known fact: GM actually built a serial hybrid prototype version of the EV-1, much like the Volt is today. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some of the Volt's engineering derived from the EV-1 program. Just think what could have been if they hadn't basically abandoned the project for a decade.
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    Senior Member deonb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
    It did not have the feel of a real production car in many ways.
    Do tell! What were some of the issues you had with it?
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