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Bob Lutz Emphasizes GM's Commitment to PHEVs

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  • Felix Kramer
    Here are GM s top executives explaining their plans. Below is a blog posting by GM s Vice Chairman. You ll find many comments since he posted two days ago,
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2007
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      Here are GM's top executives explaining their plans. Below is a blog posting by GM's Vice Chairman. You'll find many comments since he posted two days ago, including ours (reprinted below) -- go to
      <ttp://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2007/02/getting_a_jolt.html>
      to read others and post your own.

      Getting a Jolt From Volt

      ChevyVoltEPA02
      GM Vice President Environment and Energy Beth
      Lowery and Environmental Protection Agency
      Administrator Steve Johnson listen to Chevrolet
      Volt Chief Engineer Nick Zielinski explain the
      inner workings of the Volt at the NAIAS earlier this year.

      By Bob Lutz
      GM Vice Chairman

      The introduction of our Chevrolet Volt concept
      car and E-Flex electric propulsion system at the
      North American International Auto Show in Detroit
      last month created quite a stir, garnering twice
      the media coverage as the runner up for us, our Chevrolet Camaro convertible.

      The Volt came on the heels of our announcement at
      the Los Angeles show that we’ve begun work on a
      Saturn Vue plug-in hybrid, and puts a face on our
      efforts to diversify the energy sources we use to power automobiles.

      However, some cynics accused us of pulling a PR
      stunt, saying the Volt is simply an attempt by GM
      to “greenwash” the public and would never be a
      real vehicle. The truth is just the opposite — we
      are treating Volt just like any other vehicle we
      do, giving it a dedicated development team and
      designating resources for it. With that in mind,
      I thought I’d take a moment to update you on the program so far.

      As you probably know, the development of
      advanced, lithium-ion battery technology is the
      key to getting vehicles like the Volt on the
      road. For the last few months, we’ve been
      mobilizing GM’s global resources to address the
      challenges posed by this issue. We’ve invested in
      an upgrade to our battery testing and development
      facilities and we’ve formed a dedicated battery
      team whose staff levels will increase by 30 percent over the next two years.

      We have also named GM veteran Denise Gray to the
      newly created position of director of energy
      storage systems — some of us like to call her
      “GM’s battery czar.” Denise has more than 20
      years of experience in such areas as powertrain,
      vehicle integration, electronics and software controls.

      We signed two development contracts in January
      for lithium-ion batteries with two groups of
      suppliers ­ Cobasys/A123Systems and Johnson
      Controls-Saft. We also plan to talk to additional battery suppliers as well.

      By the end of this year, we will begin testing
      the lithium-ion batteries developed in prototypes
      of the Vue Green Line plug-in hybrid. In the same
      timeframe, we also expect to have our first
      demonstration vehicles that use E-Flex. Our
      previously announced test fleet of Chevrolet
      Equinox fuel cell vehicles also use the E-Flex
      system, with a fuel cell stack instead of
      batteries as a prime supplier of electricity, a
      further demonstration of our commitment to electric drive and energy diversity.

      Make no mistake: These programs are a top
      priority for GM. We have established aggressive
      product development timelines ­ even forming a
      special executive leadership council for the
      E-Flex program to expedite product decisions and
      regularly update those of us in senior management.

      We’re making progress, and you should expect to
      hear more in the near future. At the Detroit show
      we emphasized E-Flex’s adaptability, from
      accommodating different vehicle designs to using
      various fuels and types of engines. We will prove
      that capability this year. Stay tuned, we’ll
      update the program periodically here on FastLane.

      Take a look at FYI for an interview with
      PodTech.net's Matt Kelly and Rich Lannen,
      Advanced Program Engineering Manager for the Volt.

      Posted by Lutz on February 27, 2007 02:05 PM



      We salute GM for promoting the electrification of
      transportation. Proponents of plug-in hybrid
      vehicles and all-electric vehicles think the
      urgency of the situation from the point of view
      of energy security, global warming and economic
      development point to the need to get
      "cleaner/cheaper/domestically-fueled" vehicles on
      the road ASAP. We think GM can do this now with
      "good enough" batteries, knowing that by the time
      it's at version 3 of the car, ready to sell to
      tens and hundreds of thousands, better batteries
      will be available and fully validated.

      That's why we're hoping GM will put the questions
      about its intentions to rest by being first to
      get substantial numbers of cars out in
      demonstration fleets (we believe exempted from
      150,000 mile battery warranty requirements, and
      priced higher than they will end up when
      mass-marketed). See our 16 points about GM's
      PHEVs -- linked from CalCars.org's home page.

      Felix Kramer, Founder, The California Cars Initiative
      Posted by: Felix Kramer on February 28, 2007 01:55 PM

      P.S. Happy 2nd Anniversary to CalCars-News!

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      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
      http://www.calcars.org
      http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html
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