11 August, 2009

GM makes Marketing Splash with Chevy Volt

The plug-in Electric Vehicle that's supposed to usher in a General Motors of the future has had a tumultuous lifespan thus far, but to its credit the company continues to plow ahead with the Chevrolet Volt the best way it can. By winning the marketing war early!

The Volt has been the focus of numerous stories since its unveiling and subsequent planned 2010 debut, but today's might just be the most fascinating. GM has come out to say that the Volt will be rated an astonishing 230MPG. Now if that number seems quite extraordinary, you'd be part of the perceptive crowd, because clearly there is more to the story.

There is no comparative standardized measure for electric-gasoline hybrid vehicles like the Volt and standard highway and city mpg fuel economy tests are 10 mile continuous drives. The Volt, on the other hand has a range of 40 Miles on a single charge, so technically the MPG figure would be infinite as for the first 40 Miles, as the car would be using no fuel at all.

That's where it gets a little bit complicated as the engine on the Volt provides an additional 260 Miles of range on a single tank and thus on a 100 mile cruise, 60 of which are powered by petrol, the MPG figure would drop to about 80 MPG, and continue to decline as the drive gets longer. The engine also provides power to charge internal systems, but a recharge of the battery is said to take about 10 kilowatt hours, which CEO Fritz Henderson has said would cost about 40 cents. There was no subsequent mention of just where in these American cities will there be public infrastructure to support these vehicles, but if there's one thing the Stimulus package should have money for, it ought to be this.

While the 230MPG claim may be just that, it does have some merit, and more importantly it puts GM ahead of the competition and in the driver's seat when it comes to America's automotive future. Advertising sells just about everything in this world, and seeing a number like that splashed across automotive publications and the Internet while swing the ball of goodwill into GM's corner.

And goodwill is one thing the company will need in spades if it continues with plans to launch an IPO on the year anniversary of its dealings with bankruptcy.

1 comment:

Tech said...

After the bankruptcy GM had to come out with a game changer.