The America has not gevolt

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The Chevrolet Volt should make General Motors for the electric car pioneer. Now, the US group is the model that America has polarized.


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Obituary for a technology icon, Christian Frahm, and Emil Nefzger

David Pierce Brill

Emil Nefzger

Born in 1991, studied history, communication science and journalism in Munich. Training at the German school of journalism. Since January 2018 in the case of MIRROR ONLINE as an editor in the area of mobility.

More articles by Emil Nefzger

Thursday, 29.11.2018
At 21:34

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General Motors (GM) wants to save, almost six billion dollars. The group sweeps around 15,000 Points and six models. Including one that stood like no other for the departure of the company in the future – but also for its half-hearted implementation is: the electric car Chevrolet Volt.

Just for a US company in 2007 for the first time presented car was a small Revolution. Battery drive instead of the usual eight-cylinder, Packed in a compact body, is the Motto: Everyone can change.

This change was in Detroit at the time, urgently needed. GM stand in the face of a loss of more than 30 billion dollars, and rising Oil prices, massive problems. At the Detroit auto show in 2007, GM presented the Volt as a real Surprise. Such a sophisticated concept for a four-door E-car looked to be the same.

The Volt was a quick answer to Tesla. The Californians had only shown a year earlier, the Roadster, which was considered as the origin of a new Generation of electric cars. The expectations for the Volt were high from the beginning. 45,000 shares wanted to sell Chevrolet in the year.

The enthusiasm lasted only briefly, and soon GM had with the Volt in a hurry. Although the final Version was completed in 2008, to 100. Birthday of the GM group. Until customers were able to buy the car, it should take but still. The group applied for, in the meantime, bankruptcy. Rising fuel prices and the financial crisis resulted in the sale to break in numbers. The mess threw the plans with the Volt.

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The Chevrolet Volt is set to:
The rise and fall of electric cars

Finally, the state saved the group, and thus also the Chevrolet Volt. Came in 2010, however, on the market, still with a big lead ahead of many competitors: The E-versions of the Golf, Smart or even the BMW i3 were in the future, and the dusty GM had been one of the group suddenly to the automotive avant-garde.

With the compact Nissan Leaf, there was only one real competitor in the electric segment. Mitsubishi i-Miev and the Tesla Roadster, are too expensive to be considered as a direct competitor. In addition, three of these vehicles were pure electric cars designed differently than the Volt with its unique technology.

In the Chevy two electric motors with 150 HP and 75 HP, a Lithium-ion battery first worked with 17.1 kilowatt-hours of capacity and a 1.4-Liter gasoline engine with 86 HP. What appears in retrospect as a conventional Plug-In Hybrid, 2010 was an icon of technological progress in the auto industry. A vehicle that sets up the daily route to work or to shop exclusively electrically, but in case of need, by activating the vrebrennung motor a range of around 500 kilometers.

Rights firebrands worked on the Volt

GM advertised the Volt at the time, as an electric vehicle with range extension, which could travel up to 56 kilometers of electrically – made for many commuters in the United States. The driver could decide by pressing a button, when the electric motor and when the gas for propulsion. In the “Hold mode” took over the petrol engine, and you could save the energy from the battery for later trips, for example, in the city or in environmental zones.

The left-liberal America welcomed the Volt as a late attempt to finally do something against climate change. GM was in the advertising targeted to Progressive, for example, in a display that the Volt came out as a electric “” – a homosexual.

Rights agitators were from the Volt, however, provoked. “It will lead to a lot of divorces,” said Moderator Neil Cavuto. Finally, married couples would argue about who forgot the car at night to recharge.

GM created more problems for itself: in 2011 the car went on to crash in flames. All of this is the popularity of the Volt severely damaged. In the United States, he has sold within nine years and two generations, a total of only 157.081-time, with an average of around 17,500 per year, far removed from the original target of 45,000.

As the Opel Ampera, the car flopped completely

The fire accident also had consequences for the introduction of the car in Europe. Opel had to postpone the delivery of the identical model Ampera in Germany.

In Rüsselsheim, the car has a hope after the big auto crisis. Approximately 12,000 environmentally-conscious customers would choose a year for a Ampera, were hoping the sales Manager. “But we could sell more,” boasted the former chief Karl-Friedrich Stracke.

In fact, it was still much worse than in the USA. In the first full registration year 2012, Opel sold 828 Amperas, and then there were steadily less and less. It does not stand up to the car, hinting GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, already 2013 on the sidelines of the motor show in Geneva: “All the European governments have always told us, ‘We want to E-cars, we want to E-cars!’ Now, we have built one, and no one buys it!”

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Savings plan for GM:
These models are set

GM was too half-hearted

Another reason for the failure of the high price was probably. The first Generation of the Volt to cost in the United States with the introduction of 39.700 dollars, the Opel Ampera is € 43,000. Got this price also economical diesel cars which were bigger and more luxurious – or even a pure electric car. The Nissan Leaf, for example, was a few thousand euros cheaper.

In addition, the Ampera got competition from the own group, mother company GM decided the Original, the Chevrolet Volt, on the German market.

Even so, the electro-pioneer did not come out of the niche, because GM went on again half-heartedly. The Volt was available in Germany initially, only ten out of 350 Chevrolet-dealers. The Problem: you had to pay for the investment, for charging stations and the training of the service staff for electric drives.

The memory of an innovative vehicle concept is the Chevrolet Volt, General Motors electric car pioneer would have been able to upgrade if the group would not have marketed the vehicle is usually so listless. For E-car Fans, the consolation remains, that GM saved want to invest six billion, in part, in the development of new electric cars. Maybe GM is using this Chance.

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