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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Audi Mocks Volt

In an interview with MSN Autos, Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen mocks would be buyers of the Chevrolet Volt as "idiots" and environmental posers. (Link He predicts that the Volt will flop and that Obama will have to prop up the Volt to save face.

He's basically right. Even Obama's own automotive task force reported that the Volt was "too expensive to be commercially successful in the short term".

But, Audi's cheerleading for clean diesel is not going to work. That's because the U.S. decided long ago to be very tough on diesel emissions standards, which means that "clean diesel" engines are expensive. Though not as expensive as hundreds of pounds of batteries. Also, due to the economics of refining, during times of high demand diesel can be as expensive (or more) as gasoline, ruining the value proposition further. A much better plan is to develop GTDI and HCCI engines, which get diesel-like efficiency running on gasoline, which several of the OEMs are looking into.

GM's Volt is basically a publicity gesture and technology exercise. Eventually, the system might get cheap enough to makes sense economically. Or it may not. It wil still have done its job, helping GM earn public assistance and learn about all electric propulsion for future programs.

One more thing: pop some popcorn, folks, because Lutz is going to come out swinging a lead pipe.


10ksnooker said...

Batteries not inlcuded. It's what always trips up the eco-nuts.

Anonymous said...

$40k MSRP. $43k after taxes. ~$600/month payment after $5k trade in. For a compact car.

Go read to see their reaction. It is mud slinging at it's best.

Anonymous said... doesn't have anything to do with the General - it's an independent site.
Still waiting on Maximum Bob...3...2...1.

Anonymous said...

(continued from 3-2-1)
Just checked De Lorenzo's site where he has a rant on BMW's Jim O'Donnell's APA address (
Just a hunch, the Auto Union is runnin' scared now that Beemer promises "that we will change our definition of “premium,” adding sustainability as an equal customer expectation to the classic BMW values of dynamic performance, quality and joy."
I think that the Audon't throwing their hope on diesel, which hasn't caught on to sell well in Yankee-land, kind of has them spooked.