Email I sent to Mark Reuss - By killing the Volt now, you are throwing away the best transition vehicle
I am writing to inquire about the cancellation of the Volt.
GM's decision to focus its future efforts on all-electric vehicles is a bold move that continues to stake out GM's engineering leadership toward the future. My understanding of the consumer market, however, suggests that 1. All-electric vehicles have not yet achieved the level of battery charge/range, charging times/speed, and availability of fast-charging stations that will work for every driver, and 2. It is clear that there is substantial apprehension on the part of most of the public to seriously consider and make the jump to pure EVs at this time.
What the market and consumers still need is a transition or "bridge" vehicle to move them -- with growing confidence -- toward the all-electric future.
Hybrids and PHEVs really don't do it because they perpetuate an engineering and psychological reliance on petroleum and ICE engines -- more of a side street than a direct bridge. The only really worthy transition vehicles are the extended-range electric vehicles -- the brilliant Chevrolet Volt and the quirky BMWi3 Rex-- vehicles that can function as all-electric vehicles, but have the luxury of a backup gas generator if the battery runs out and to make long trips easy, when you don't have to look for or spend time at charging stations.
For the last eight years the Volt has not only moved more people into the GM family, but has served as the best TRANSITION VEHICLE for people to move on to the all electric Bolt EV, LEAF, and Model 3.
I could see suspending development work on the Volt and Volt production AFTER your new lineup of all-electric vehicles is in place and is selling with great momentum. But GM is going to stop Volt sales NOW, at least two years before your new generation of EVs even start to show up?
By killing the Volt now, you are throwing away the best transition vehicle out there at a time when you need to accelerate your efforts to educate, seduce, and lead the public into the all-electric future.
Not making money on the Volt doesn't seem to really explain the Volt's premature termination -- even if true, the brand image value that Volt brings to Chevrolet and GM and the new people it brings into the GM family have enormous value and should be part of the investment you guys are making in staking your leadership role to the all-electric future. Killing the Volt now doesn't make a lot of sense to a lot of us out here.
Could you please give us a better explanation or explain why an extended range electric vehicle is no longer needed now?
Allen Bukoff - Manager at AutoThink Research