We all wonder how in the world GM is going to pull out of the mess they’ve found themselves in. It sounds like they are truly banking on the Chevy Volt. Here are some excerpts from the very interesting article from Focus Earth with Bob Woodruff
‘We Are at a Tipping Point’
It has been said that this may be the miracle to save GM.
“This is an important part of the future of General Motors, no question about it,” said Larry Burns, vice president of GM research and development.
The Volt won’t hit streets until 2010 and its final design is under wraps.
“I think we are really at a tipping point for our industry. We’ve been [for] almost 100 years pretty much fully reliant on petroleum,” said Wagoner. “And I think it’s clear, both the way things are today and the ways they’re going to go in the future, that we’re going to have to develop alternative sources of power for vehicles, and we think electricity is going to be a winner long term.”
Last week, GM partnered with the nation’s top utility companies to start working on a plan to cheaply and efficiently power up .
“[The utilities] will have to add capacity,” said Wagoner. “Whether it’s nuclear, whether it’s solar, there is no question that they are thinking about the best way to add capacity that we might generate through this sort of vehicle.”
We Are Going to Lead the World’
This isn’t the first time GM has tried to electrify the market. Back in 1996, the company introduced the EV1, the first battery-powered car with .
But GM said consumers weren’t ready to be plugged in. So it scrapped the EV1 and went back to making trucks. Some said it’s a sign that GM’s commitment is to its bottom line, not the environment.
During a closed-door meeting in January, GM vice chairman Bob Lutz told journalists that global warming is a “total crock of s***,” describing the need to replace oil as a greater concern than carbon dioxide levels.
“For sure climate is changing,” Wagoner said. “And so our job … is to offer a future vision for our industry where we can help address the issue and take concerns off the table rather than contribute to them.”
Current fuel economy regulation laws state that by 2015 cars should be able to run 31.6 miles per gallon. By 2020, they need to hit 35 mpg. That’s not an easy proposition for GM’s SUVs and trucks.
“We are not only working on new technologies that will break through and lead us in the future, but we have to improve our current product portfolio quite a bit,” Wagoner said. “I think with this technology, we are going to lead the world, and our desire is to lead the whole industry to the next plateau.”
There are some skeptics out there, such as George McGregor, president of the United Auto Workers Local 22 labor union in Detroit, Mich., who believes it will take a revolution for the majority of Americans to accept a plug-in car like the Volt.
“I think it’s true to say that some consumers will adapt more slowly than others, but from the reaction I’ve seen & I don’t think we will have any problem,” Wagoner said. “I think people will be lined up to get into this kind of vehicle.”
This whole article makes me a little nervous. As we speak every other car manufacturers are working on electric cars and each one of them is getting more miles between charges. The thought process seems to be more on track but I am afraid the only way the Chevy Volt will help save GM is if there is $150 billion stuffed in the glove compartment