Chevy Volt – A pioneering effort, minimally, according to Burns
Volt versus self-driving cars
There are far more people in the automotive world that I haven’t met, compared to those I have met. And, whether good or bad, I’ve met far more experts from GM than any other automaker, and one of the coolest — by far — was Larry Burns, ex head of R&D at GM.
While discussing self-driving cars — the next great revolution in the auto industry — Burns called the Volt a worthy “pioneering” effort.
“It’s not necessarily about the numbers. We know so much more because engineers are out their pioneering this stuff,” Burns told the AutomotiveNews.
As a constant Chevy Volt critic, I fully concur with Burns. I’ve always respected the Volt as a pioneering effort. Unfortunately, I’ve never respected the Volt as a legitimate response to the growing energy security concerns the US has faced since 9/11, and even before, but only as a piece of such an effort. Like Toyota, if GM had sold 30,000 Prius family contenders last month, much more would have been accomplished than 2,000 Volt sales, subsidized by massive government welfare.
Oddly enough, however, maybe the Volt, hybrid and plug-ins won’t really matter anyway — at least in terms of consumer acceptance. Like Burns I fully believe that self-driving cars are primed to result in an explosive new automotive business model, multiple models actually. In fact, I believe that Burns is underestimating self-driving car potential, but that’s another story.
Until then, despite my criticism, the Chevy Volt was, and is, a worthy pioneering effort.