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GM Says "No Race" But One-Ups Toyota with Large '09 Volt Test Fleet

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  • Felix Kramer
    Here we go for another round of repositioning. GM s Bob Lutz is correct in emphasizing the difference between a series Volt and a Toyota parallel PHEV. But
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 28 2:03 PM
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      Here we go for another round of repositioning.
      GM's Bob Lutz is correct in emphasizing the
      difference between a series Volt and a Toyota
      parallel PHEV. But even with distinct
      architectures, it's possible to compare the
      amount of gasoline displaced by electricity for
      different drive cycles -- that's the point.

      The big news in this story is that GM's
      confidence level in he Volt is so high that it
      can now plan a "large test fleet" in 2009 -- just
      what we've been hoping for! And incidentally, it
      challenges Toyota's President's announcement
      today that it would push its small test fleet from 2010 to 2009.

      Below this report we include additional
      developments about Toyota of Palo Alto's motivations.

      And we end with more from the Democratic Convention.

      GM says no hybrid race with Toyota
      The Associated Press August 28, 2008
      http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/08/28/business/NA-US-GM-Toyota-Hybrids.php

      JOLIET, Illinois: General Motors' top product
      executive says the race between GM and Toyota to
      produce a rechargeable car is meaningless because
      the companies' vehicles are so different.

      GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz says Toyota's plug-in
      hybrid has a much shorter electric range than the
      Chevrolet Volt and must use a gasoline engine to go any farther.

      Toyota's president pledged on Thursday to bring
      his company's plug-in hybrid to market in 2009,
      while the Volt is due in showrooms in late 2010.

      But Lutz says he expects Toyota's plug-in will be
      debut in controlled fleets and not in large
      numbers. He says GM will have production versions
      of the Volt working in a large test fleet in late 2009.

      Lutz was speaking at an event in Illinois where
      GM showed reporters its 2009 model lineup.


      OTHER NEWS: PALO ALTO TOYOTA DEALER: see further
      reports with new information on Magnussen's
      Toyota's decision to start taking customer
      deposits at Edmunds Green Car Advisor
      http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2008/08/in-a-first-toyota-dealership-is-now-taking-deposits-for-plug-in-priuses.html
      and at Green Car Congress
      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/08/california-toyo.html?cid=128173104#comment-128173104
      .


      HYBRIDCARS.COM TURNS A PHRASE: Here's part of
      Brad Berman's writeup at HybridCars.com,
      "Democrats Put Plug-in Hybrids on Main Stage:"

      The unofficial theme of the second night of the
      2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver was
      the building of a green economy. In speech after
      speech, the Democrats pointed to Senator Barack
      Obama’s plan to put 1 million plug-in hybrid
      electric vehicles on American roads by 2015—and
      to rebuild the American auto industry in the
      process—as the cornerstone of his plan for energy independence.

      CAPTION: Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner:
      “With the right policies, within 24 months, we'll
      be building 100 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrid
      vehicles right here, with American technology and with American workers."

      The article ends with a new description of PHEVs' position:

      While the ability for Obama, if elected, to
      deliver on his energy-related campaign promises
      remains to be seen, Tuesday night’s presentations
      helped establish the “plug-in hybrid” as a
      mainstream American household term­perhaps as a
      synonym for “100-mpg vehicle." --
      http://www.hybridcars.com/incentives-laws/democrats-put-plug-hybrids-main-stage-24908.html


      CONVENTION TOWN HALL ON THE ECONONY: The August
      26, 2008 session focused on Energy Independence.
      You can watch all 13 minutes
      at
      http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=QWh_m1H8X84&feature=user
      . It was moderated by Michigan Gov. Jennifer
      Granholm and included Aimee Christensen of
      Christen Global Strategies
      http://www.christensenglobal.com/ which offers
      high-level strategic consulting. Christensen was
      instrumental at Google.org in incubating what
      became the RechargeIT initiative for plug-in
      cars. Here are two segments on plug-in hybrids.
      (Thanks to webmaster Michael Bender for the transcription.)

      Governor Jennifer Granholm { 5:48 } : We're going
      to go to a second question, from KC Christian of Atlanta, Georgia. KC...

      KC Christian: My name's KC Christian. I am a
      single mother in Atlanta, Georgia, from
      Washington, DC and I'm concerned about the gas
      prices! They are killing my budget. I have a
      4-cylinder car and I'm paying almost fifty
      dollars to fill up my tank, and it's just ridiculous.

      Granholm: This... is everybody's
      problem. Aimee? You're such a great thinker and
      strategist, and advisor -- what do we do about this gasoline price problem?

      Christensen { 6:27 }: Well, it's absolutely
      unacceptable that in a country of innovators and
      entrepreneurs that we've been basically relying
      on one fuel source and one engine type for almost
      a century, and this is because of failed policies
      and a lack of leadership in Washington. And what
      Senator Barack Obama is going to bring is a
      comprehensive energy strategy that will meet KC's
      challenges in the near term with a $1000 tax
      rebate to every family in this country to help
      pay their energy bills; he's going to crack down
      on energy traders -- speculation is driving
      prices higher, and he's also going to double fuel
      efficiency for our auto fleet within ten years,
      and in seven year he's going to have one million
      plug-in hybrids on the road. These are cars that
      get 150 miles per gallon and they're ready
      now. And even better, he's going to partner with
      American automakers and American parts
      manufacturers to make those cars here in
      America. He has a four billion dollar tax
      incentive and loan guarantee program to retool
      our American manufacturing, our automakers and our part manufacturers.

      So together, he has both a near-term plan and a
      long-term plan to help solve our energy crisis
      and this is not just a crisis, but it's the
      greatest opportunity we have. We have the
      technologies here at home and he's going to help us bring them to market.


      Granholm { 8:53 } : And in fact, Aimee, and if I
      can use Michigan as an example, we are, in
      Michigan, creating a biofuel plant called
      Mascoma, which is from wood waste to create fuel
      for your car -- cleaner burning, create 700 jobs,
      it's here at home and get this: it's going to be
      half the price of gasoline. Now that is a win-win -- let's grow it at home.

      Christensen: Absolutely. Plugin flex-fuel hybrids -- it's the way to go.

      Jennifer Granholm { 9:19 } : Amen.


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