Electric Cars Part 2: Chevy Volt ? Past , Present and Future
(For those who missed Electric Cars Part 1: Chevy Volt, Just a Niche Product for GM? , please visit : ?https://thebitbag.com/electric-cars-chevy-volt-niche-product-gm/ ?)
The Chevy Volt had a rather interesting beginning.
Way back 2006, Bob Lutz, the former vice chairman of General Motors and Jon Lauckner, GM’s ?numero uno? engineer, thought up ?the Chevy Volt as a vehicle to ?leapfrog? over the Prius of Toyota, which was, at that time, the darling of the ?green? auto industry as well as the top selling hybrid in the market.
Their dream actually came true when the Toyota Prius ate dust when the Volt was released. However, their actual sales projections fell short from what they anticipated. GM hoped to sell around 60,000 Volt units in 2012 (45,000 vehicles in the US and 15,000 in Europe and elsewhere? marketed as the Europe Volt in Europe, Holden Volt in Australia, Opel Ampera in Germany and Vauxhall Ampera in the UK).
Still, the disappointment in achieving their sales targets would not erase the satisfaction of beating Toyota during the middle of the decade. As Bob Lutz remembered, ? Basically, it was born out of my frustration at the deification of Toyota, because of the Prius. All the senior executives of Toyota were about to be officially anointed as saints.?
Lutz was admittedly bothered by the praise Toyota was receiving then.
He added that ?They don?t have the same profit motive we do, and they really care about the environment, and this is the car of tomorrow, and dumb old Detroit obviously couldn?t have done this. I was gagging on this stuff, because it was all so patently untrue.?
Another vehicle that challenged Lutz and GM, aside from the Toyota Prius, was the Tesla all electric coupe ? The Roadster. Lutz declares that the much awaited Tesla vehicle ? a 322 kilometer (200 miles) range electric sedan scheduled to come out in 2016 – was his original idea. The only difference with the Tesla vehicle was that he proposed a four door sedan.
GM however has the current bragging rights in travel specs as the Volt is the top hybrid ever sold that can travel as far as 61 kilometers ( 38 miles) on battery power alone. The Volt has been recognized by industry surveys as the leader in customer satisfaction in the last two years outstripping the Porsche 911.
In short, the Volt is definitely a winner for those who have owned or tried it, but the industry performance as a whole is not to everyone’s satisfaction.
Michelle Malcho, media rep for the Chevy Volt has this to say about the current EV market, ?I?d say it was a very interesting year for electrification overall. I think the market showed that there?s interest in electrification but yet it?s still not a huge segment….its not a mainstream segment as maybe what we would have thought a couple years ago ? there?s still a lot of people who don?t quite frankly understand it.?
As the Volt and other EV manufacturers struggle to push the development of the electric car industry, automotive and tech experts agree on the valuable contributions – past, present and future- of the Volt and other players on how the electric vehicle landscape has taken shape and the form it will take on in the years ahead.
Photo Source: https://www.facebook.com/gmchevyvolt