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DATE News (chronologically)
04/10/09
automotive
Volt can't save GM now that Tesla has Model S  UPDATE The new London facility is the first of three European stores that Tesla Motors is planning to launch in 2009. Tesla is scouting sites in Munich and Monaco. Tesla will also open a new store in Chicago in spring 2009.

Tesla has said that it will begin delivering cars to European customers in late June 2009. Tesla is finalizing site selection in Manhattan, Miami and Seattle and is scouting sites in Washington DC.

Elon Musk, CEO, chairman and product architect of Tesla, said: "We expect that Tesla sales will eventually be split evenly between the US and Europe. Opening three Tesla stores in Europe this year is a critical part of that plan."

03/30/09 Word is that the Volt can't save GM now that Tesla has announced a vastly superior car for just $10K more money.  While the Volt will get just 40 miles on its batteries between recharges, the Tesla Model S, which is larger, better looking, more luxurious, and at 120 MPH top-end is much faster, will get 300 miles between recharges, 7.5 times more that the Volt.  $40K for the Volt, $50K for the Tesla.

Game-Set and Match.....GM fails again.

Related story - The Chevrolet Volt will not save General Motors Corp., the U.S. government said Monday in its Viability Summary of GM.

"While the Volt holds promise, it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term," the report said.

The electric car "is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable."

GM has announced it would begin production on the Volt at the end of next year and expected to price the four-passenger car to be around $40,000 -- more than double many compact cars. The car will have a range of about 40 miles on its fully charged batteries and then use a gasoline engine to extend its range for up to 200 more miles.

That price would certainly hurt its volume, said Jack Nerad, the editorial director of Kelley Blue Book, which operates a leading car consumer Web site kbb.com. "That's just one factor," he said. "Is it even profitable at $40,000?"

While GM officials declined to say how much money the automaker could make on the Volt, GM spokesman Rob Peterson said that initial costs for any new vehicle technology are expensive. Unlike traditional gas-electric hybrids that the report points to, the Volt has a much different powertrain. Gas-electric hybrids have very short ranges and low speeds on electric power only. The Volt only runs on electricity.

"It's a transformational technology," Peterson said. "That's part of the reason the cost is so expensive. But we believe if you start in the right direction, as the supply base matures, the volumes of the vehicle increases and the costs will go down."

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