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GM Picking Up Pace On Hybrids, Says Bob Lutz - Detroit News

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:16 PM
Original message
GM Picking Up Pace On Hybrids, Says Bob Lutz - Detroit News
MILFORD -- Although late getting started, General Motors Corp. is bolstering efforts to develop fuel-saving hybrid vehicles to improve its public image and to share in the goodwill Asian automakers are enjoying by having hybrids on the market, a top GM executive on Thursday.

"Right now, we're not where we ought to be (on hybrids)," said Bob Lutz, GM's vice chairman and product development chief, acknowledging that it's hurting consumer perceptions of the company.

GM expects to be a bigger player in hybrids in coming years, but it can't speed up the launch of its first true hybrid, a full-size SUV coming in 2007, Lutz said. "For us to go out with a half-baked system just to get a few months out, I don't think would be prudent," Lutz said.

Detroit automakers are ramping up output of hybrid vehicles, which combine gas and electric motors to achieve better fuel economy than traditional combustion engines. Spurring the move is growing consumer demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles as gas prices remain high.


Emphasis added.

Very good, Bob? Is our executives learning? What do you guys think? Does Bright Bobby Lutz deserve a pat on the head, a tasty liver snap or a yummy, yummy rawhide chew bone for his learning skills? :eyes:
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tompayne1 Donating Member (346 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hybrids are a nice idea
But they sure as heck don't solve the problem.
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BlueJac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. A no gas car is the answer......
we can go to the moon, email, search the internet, and so much more, but we still use the same fuel for transportation as we did about 100 years ago.
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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. Hybrids don't happen overnight
Keep in mind that developing hybrid technology (and technology that doesn't resemble Honda and Toyota patents) takes a while.

GM gets bashed alot for their trucks, but keep in mind that Toyota is a major truck manufacturer. And GM has been leading the way with flex-fuel technology (E85 fuel) and being able to coax good gas mileage out of some larger vehicles with larger motors (most of Chevy's lineup, for example, gets over 30MPG on the highway, including a big car like the Impala). And, while much US industry is moving overseas, they are still a domestic leader as far as technological know-how is concerned.

Not to mention that they've really improved their product over the last several years.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Yes, and the Prius first rolled out in 1997 in Japan
The Insight arrived in the US in 1999, followed by the American version of the Prius in late 2000.

The Hybrid Civic debuted here in 2003, the hybrid Lexus RX 400 in summer of 2004, the hybrid Ford Escape in 2004, the hybrid Honda Accord in fall of 2004, the hybrid Toyota Highlander in early 2005 . . .

And what was in the automotive section when I opened the paper this morning? Why, it was all about GM's exciting new lineup of SUVs for the 2007 (not a typo - 2007) model year. From the Tom Strongman's column:

"General Motors is completely revising its family of full-size SUVs for 2007, and last week it gave us the first look as it unveiled the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe. The Tahoe, GMC Yukon and CAdillac Escalade go on slae in the first quarter of next year. Pricing has not been announced.

The long-wheelbase Chevy Suburban and Avalanche, GMC Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade ESV and Escalade EXT go on sale in the second quarter.


Engine choices include six different V-8s ranging in size from 4.8 liters to 6.2 liters. This engine family is based on the Gen IV small-block V-8 that uses advanced technology such as displacement on demand and variable valve timing. Displacement on demand shuts off cylinders during low-load conditoins to improve fuel economy. horsepower ranges from 290 for the 4.8 to 400 for the 6.2. The popular 5.3-liter engine has 320 horses."


It's also worth mentioning that I test-drove a couple of Hondas back in 2000 that had variable valve timing, and that this article says absolutely nothing about how much DOD actually improves fuel economy. But you get my drift.

By the way, has anyone actually ever seen an E85 vehicle anywhere but next to a car dealer display on Earth Day? Anyone?
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LTR Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Well, perhaps if people stop buying big trucks...
...companies will stop making them.

Like I said, GM and Ford get all the shit for making big trucks, but Toyota makes a killing on their big trucks as well. And Honda introduced their Ridgeline truck this year.

As for E85 vehicles, you can see a vast list here:

There are over a million E85-compatible vehicles on the road now. All we need is more gas stations that carry E85 fuel.
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dcfirefighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Many of the District of Columbia's gas-powered cars run on E85
Many of their buses run on CNG, though they'll not be replacing those. As they retire them, they'll switch to diesel buses fueled with biodiesel.

There is one operating hydrogen station in DC. It's a boondoggle. I would guess the apparatus costs several million to build - all welded stainless steel & expensive machinings. But it's there to fuel the hydrogen cars that drive congressmen around on tours.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. LATE START? they cancelled a hugeproject in'02! and replaced it w/humvees!
That project was about to come to fruition after many years of research - and they shit canned it.

they have guessed wrong on so many issues for the past decade, they deserve the same end as Mike Brownie, but without the saving contract for silence. No, they did not guess. This was willful ignorance.
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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
7. Why did they can their electric car? They were ahead on that one.
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freethought Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
8. You're a little late GM! n/t
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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-01-05 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
10. Hybrids are all hype!!
Oil depletion will take place througout the world regardless of these so-called hybrids!! They are nothing but hype for the sheeple who haven't opened their eyes to the upcoming disaster!!
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