Wednesday, Bob Lutz was on The Late Show with David Letterman talking about the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. However, what Mr. Lutz probably wasn’t counting on was the grilling he got from David Letterman on why the Tesla can achieve over 200 miles on a single charge and the Volt can only go 40 miles before it kicks in a gasoline motor to keep the battery at a 30% charge. Now, I have to give Letterman credit because the American public is probably wondering the same thing: Why can you buy a $100,000 from a Southern California independent that will go 200 miles and GM can only produce a car that will go 40 miles?
2011 Chevrolet Volt logo
Since David got credit, it is only fair to return the favor to Bob Lutz. His point is that GM can’t survive selling $100,000 cars. They are global operation and need to sell volume—point taken. Mr. Lutz also stated that the Tesla uses about 6831 laptop batteries wired together, which he says is a “very expensive battery.” The Volt uses an engineered automotive battery that is smaller and has fewer cells which is supposed to make the car a lot less expensive. Bob says that the Volt is estimated to be around $40,000 and available in the showrooms in 2011. Another interesting point is that the car will be built in the U.S and has been designed to meet “all of the regulatory requirements around the world.” So the intention is to produce the car here in the States and export it to countries all around the world.
2011 Chevrolet Volt
Check out what Bob Lutz has to say here via a clip of the Late Show with David Letterman.
Bottom line—the Volt is much better than the EV1 of the ‘90s (which anecdotally cost about what the Tesla did to produce if not a more) and shows that GM is looking toward the future. You know it is coming…BUT, lets be honest is a $40,000 car that will go only 40 miles on electric charge going to sell in the current economic climate even with the tax credit from the government? I guess we will have to wait and see, but it seems to me that this will still be unobtainable for most of Americans.
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