Jul 22, 2010 (From the CalCars-News archive)
In this second of three posts today, we focus on automakers: the Volt's warranty, Pres. Obama sees the Volt; Honda will sell a PHEV, as will PSA Peugeot Citroen and Hyundai Heavy. This post will be followed by one on conversions, and a final one about policy and government.
CHEVY VOLT'S 100,000 MILE/8 YEAR WARRANTY: Chevrolet announced a very aggressive and broad protection for its new vehicle, including 100,000 miles/8-year transferrable for the 161 components in the entire battery and electric drive system plus:
- 100,000 mile/5-year transferable Engine Limited Warranty (for Range Extender)
- 100,000 mile/5-year 24/7 Roadside Assistance Program
- 100,000 mile/5-year 24/7 Courtesy Transportation Program
- 36,000 mile/ 3-year no deductible Bumper-to-Bumper transferable warranty
- 100,000 mile/6-year corrosion protection This goes well beyond most new vehicles; the list doesn't include extended OnStar coverage. See GM's press release at http://media.gm.com/content/product/public/us/en/volt/home.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2010/July/0714_volt_battery and the transcript of a webchat by Chevy Volt Marketing director Tony DiSalle and Global EV Executive Doug Parks http://chevroletvoltage.com/index.php/Volt/even-more-peace-of-mind-from-your-chevrolet-volt.html . Media reports say this will increase pressure on Nissan for its warranty.
PRESIDENT OBAMA CHECKS OUT THE VOLT: At a visit to the LG Chem battery plant in Michigan, see Pres. Obama walk around, sit in, and recommend the Volt in 23 seconds at http://chevroletvoltage.com/index.php?option=com_seyret&task=videodirectlink&Itemid=3&id=201 See news and more photos at http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/16/obama-attends-lg-chem-battery-plant-groundbreaking-and-gets-first-seat-time-in-the-chevy-volt/
CHEVY VOLT NOT ELIGIBLE FOR CALIFORNIA CREDIT: GM decided not to seek certification by the California Air Resources Board of the 2011 model year Volt as an AT-PZEV (the category for vehicles like the Prius, which have special emissions standards and a 10-year/150,000 mile battery warranty. GM has said it will seek eligibility for 2013 models. This means the first generation will not be eligible for credits available to about 1,000 of the first California buyers of plug-in vehicles ($5,000 for EVs, $3,000 for PHEVs -- see https://energycenter.org/index.php/incentive-programs/clean-vehicle-rebate-project ). For a broad discussion of the plug-in vehicle warranties see http://earth2tech.com/2010/07/16/electric-vehicle-101-know-your-warranty/ . We may get some clarification from the Board; meanwhile, for discussions of the Volt and CARB, see http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/17/volt-doesnt-meet-carb-designation-californians-lose-5000-tax-incentive/
http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/19/chevrolet-volt-battery-warranty-details-and-clarifications/ and http://www.plugincars.com/why-chevy-volt-does-not-qualify-california-5000-rebate-49725.html.
CHEVY VOLT MARKETING: See http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/13/chevrolet-volt-advertising-has-begun/ for copies of the Volt's print ad and its 30-second "local market teaser." GM will sell 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011 Volts and 30,000 during the 2012 calendar year. Within 18 months of first sales, the Volt will be available in 50 states. http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/news/news_detail.brand_gm.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2010/July/0701_volt_recap . GM's marketing director Tony DiSalle urges prospective buyers to sign up at a local dealer http://gm-volt.com/2010/06/29/chevrolet-dealers-begin-volt-training-as-gm-determines-how-to-manage-customer-expectations/ . (GM's decision not to have a central sales operation for early Volt sales, which would enable them to strategically offer some of the first vehicles to those who will energetically promote and demonstrate the vehicle, has been controversial among plug-in advocates.) See the two-page Chevy description of its salesperson training program for the Volt http://gm-volt.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/2011-Chevy-Volt-Preliminary-Salesperson-Guide.pdf
VOLT AND MEDIA: Consumer Reports reviews a Volt prototype at http://green.autoblog.com/2010/06/27/2011-chevrolet-volt-visits-consumer-reports-w-video/ and http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2010/06/video-2011-chevrolet-volt-highlights-from-consumer-reports-track.html . TIME Magazine's article "Can the Chevy Volt Recharge General Motors?" reads like a summary of the arguments PHEV advocates made for years: that in addition to energy security and climate change, the vehicle could help save the company. See an abridged version at http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2003789,00.html. See an interview, "8 ways cities can encourage electric vehicles" on "readiness" themes with GM's Britta Gross at http://www.smartplanet.com/business/blog/smart-takes/gms-britta-gross-8-ways-cities-can-encourage-electric-vehicles/8047/
HONDA FINALLY SAYS YES TO PHEVs: the chief remaining holdout among automakers announced it will sell a PHEV (as well as an EV). At http://www.hondanews.com/categories/804/releases/5527 it committed to an evaluation vehicle this year and a "PHEV system for mid-size to larger vehicles" in 2012. CEO President & CEO Takanobu Ito described the company's new imperative: "Honda will have no future unless we achieve a significant reduction of CO2 emissions." See analyses at http://earth2tech.com/2010/07/20/honda-plug-ins-in-the-pipeline-for-2012/ and http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2010/07/honda-announces-plans-to-offer-bev-and-new-plug-in-hybrid-in-us-in-2012.html.
VOLKWAGEN has announced it intends to be the leading manufacturer of plug-in vehicles by 2013. CEO Martin Winterkorn's just visited the company's Silicon Valley Lab, which is moving to large space as it more than doubles in size http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_15554021. Others analyze VW's projections to show the company will still focus mainly on gasoline and diesel technologies, with hybrids and plug-ins amounting to 3% of sales in 2018. http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/volkswagen-warms-a-bit-more-to-electrics/ For VW's approach on batteries, led by Tesla founder Martin Eberhard, see http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/07/vw-300k-evs-annually-2018/.
PSA PEUGEOT CITROEN has also launched a plan to develop PHEVs http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/07/psaeib-20100716.html
HYUNDAI HEAVY & RASER JOINT PROJECTS: The Korean company's partnership with the Utah company that converted a Hummer H3 to a series PHEV have agreed to deliver additional trucks to Pacific Gas & Electric. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/06/rasere-hhi-20100629.html