I wish I had Jon’s original, ink spattered drawing

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I wish I had Jon’s original, ink spattered drawing

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How Lutz won over GM

Although retail sales of the Chevrolet Volt began last November, General Motors product chief Bob Lutz began lobbying to build a battery powered electric vehicle in 2005.

canada goose outlet oslo But GM cheap canada goose uk executives, who were committed to fuel cell vehicles, shot down Lutz’s initial proposals. Painful memories of GM’s $1 billion loss on the EV 1 electric car also worked against Lutz. canada goose outlet oslo

Using that as a goad, Lutz got GM’s still wary Automotive Canada Goose Coats On Sale Strategy Board to let him explore an EV. That, he recounts below, was the genesis of the Volt.

canada goose outlet 80 off In his new book, Car Guys vs Bean Counters, Lutz tells the inside story of the early days on the Volt project. canada goose outlet 80 off

canada goose outlet An excerpt from Car Guys vs Bean Counters by Bob Lutz. canada goose outlet

This time, the meeting got me very tentative permission to investigate a lithium ion EV as a concept. It was, in retrospect, less permission than absence of prohibition. Whatever. I ran with it. This might be called the germination of the Volt.

Hours after the meeting, I sat in my office with Jon Lauckner, now overseeing all VLEs globally. We schemed about creating the GM « reputational shock therapy » vehicle we had both sought after canada goose factory sale for canada goose clearance sale so long.

Lauckner listened, not so patiently, to my all electric dream. When Jon has a thought that simply has to get out, he starts banging his canada goose uk black friday knees together repeatedly. canada goose coats on sale Banging them now, he said, « Look, I know you’ve got your heart set on an all electric, but let me show you why that’s a bad idea. With lithium ion, you get, assuming an efficient car, five miles per kilowatt/hour. So, to get a hundred mile range, you need twenty kilowatt/hours. But since you never want to drain the whole battery because it impacts battery life, we’d want a thirty kilowatt battery. That’s huge. And even if we got the world’s best price on a lithium battery, you’d canada goose coats be talking a thousand dollars per kilowatt, or a thirty thousand dollar battery pack. And you don’t even have a car around it. And you’d still only have a hundred mile range on a good day! » He paused, and then continued: « Now, https://www.foekjedillema.nl here’s my idea. »

With that, on a lined pad and using his expensive, gold nibbed fountain pen, Jon laid out what was to become the Chevrolet Volt. Pushing that abused pen against the rake of the nib when necessary (resulting in a spray of ink droplets), Jon sketched the chassis. « The sixteen kilowatt battery goes down the middle and out like a T under the back seat. That’s nominally good for eighty miles, but we’ll only use eight kilowatts; that’ll make the battery last forever. This way, it’s good for forty miles, and then we’ll cut in this little 1.4 liter engine, which will drive a generator to keep the battery supplied with juice for another, say three hundred miles. »

canada goose outlet store new york Jon knew the statistic: 80 percent canada goose of America’s daily trips are forty miles or less; the fuel economy would be infinite. A sixty mile round trip would require burning gasoline from the tiny engine for twenty miles: the rough calculation for a trip that size would be 150 mpg! The smaller, less expensive battery pack, coupled with the overall range of three hundred miles or more, would make this vehicle ideal: fuel free for most daily trips, coupled with the ability to go long distances at any time, just like a conventional gasoline powered car. I was sold. I wish I had Jon’s original, ink spattered drawing. It is truly a piece of automotive history. canada goose outlet store new york

cheap canada goose for sale The next step was to share the concept layout with Ed Welburn, vice president of global design. The car’s layout would cheap canada goose provide the designers Canada Goose sale with potentially heroic proportions, and Ed quickly decided the Volt concept would be as arresting visually as it was innovative technologically. We were on the way. cheap canada goose for sale

With huge pride and enthusiasm, I told Rick Wagoner that we were creating a vehicle with a goal of 150 mpg on sixty mile trips. His reaction was muted at best, but again, no « stop work » edict. Part of the vast GM empire did, however subtly, begin to strike back. I was subjected to one PowerPoint presentation after another, presided over by learned hybrid engineers, explaining why Volt was a dumb idea. In the final analysis, they said, it’s a sequential hybrid (meaning that the second power source only comes in when the first is exhausted) as opposed to a parallel hybrid (like Prius) where the two power sources, gas and electric, constantly work together for optimal performance. Sequential hybrids, they argued (correctly), are less efficient than parallel.

canada goose trillium uk However, if canada goose clearance we insisted on the Volt sequential concept, they, the hybrid engineers, knew how to make it much more efficient: we’d program it to run canadian goose jacket the gas engine every ten minutes or so, to keep the battery optimally charged, and with the resulting gain in efficiency, we could squeeze out more ultimate range. « Stop, stop! » I cried. « This isn’t about absolute, terminal efficiency. This vehicle is about giving the lover of electric vehicles Canada Goose online a pure electric battery powered driving experience 80 percent of the time. They don’t want to hear a gasoline engine cutting in all the time. It ruins the whole experience. » Undaunted, they droned on about « maximum efficiency, » thus demonstrating yet another instance where extremely intelligent people could not grasp a very simple concept: the customer wants forty full miles of blissfully silent, fuel free electric driving. canada goose trillium uk

More presentations would follow, most showing some huge flaw in the concept. I always had Jon Lauckner at these; the engineers could razzle dazzle me, a simple marketing MBA, but they couldn’t stand up to Jon Lauckner’s rapier like analytical skill.

canada goose freestyle vest uk « Aha! » he would shout. « You’re forgetting [such and such]. Let me just quickly rerun those numbers with the proper inputs this time.. Ah, yes, just as I thought, you’re wrong, and I’m right! But thanks, guys. This has been really interesting. » canada goose freestyle vest uk.


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