Doug Parks, vehicle line executive for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, GM's range-extended electric vehicle, confirmed Tuesday that the company loses money on every Volt it sells.
So it is with the Volt. The expensive 16-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which likely costs GM somewhere between $8,000 and $12,000, is clearly too expensive to let the company build hundreds of thousands of Volts right away.
The price of consumer lithium-ion cells has fallen 6 to 8 percent annually since their 1989 launch; the large-format cells in automotive packs seem likely to follow the same curve.
So by 2020, those packs will cost half what they do today at will make series hybrids like the Volt more cost-competitive, especially if you make the reasonable assumption that gasoline prices will rise versus today's level.
GM plans to chip away incrementally to lower the costs of the specialized components in the Volt, especially the power electronic.
Listening to certain analysts, commentators, and weepy right-wing radio hosts, though, you might get a different idea.
Some clearly don't understand how the auto industry works, nor do they fact-check even their most basic assertions. Rush Limbaugh, for instance, was recently taken to task by Motor Trend for his comments on the Volt.
Among them was the claim (roughly paraphrased) that The Gummint forced GM to spend tens of billions of dollars on A Car That No One Wants. The proof? GM HAS NOT SOLD A SINGLE VOLT !!!
Well, yes. That's because the Volt hasn't actually gone on sale. That happens this month, and many dealers report they could sell far more Volts than they've been allocated.
Just 10,000 Volts will be built in 2011
2008 Sport Liberty
Cold air intake*Trush (magnaflow) turbo muffler* Hypertech power program*
Hood Prop mod. Battery Quick Release mod.
Resonator removed (sounds like a V8 on start up)