Dec 10

Get Blown Away: First Peek at Production Chevy Volt!

 

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GM has just revealed a teaser photo of the production version of the Chevy Volt, and there it is!

You will remember how Bob Lutz previously told us that the concept Volt did not do so well in the wind tunnel. We also heard from vehicle line director Tony Posawatz that it turns out aerodynamics is more important than mass or electricals for getting the Volt to make it 40 miles on a charge.

Frank Weber, E-Flex vehicle line executive states:

“The electric range of the Chevrolet Volt is most sensitive to improvements in aero, which is in contrast to a traditional vehicle program in which mass typically plays a larger role.”

GM now tells us through aggressive work in their state of the art wind tunnel, and through the efforts of a team of designers headed by Bob Boniface, they have made significant progress getting the Volt more aerodynamic; hence the new design above.
Aerodynamics apparently accounts for about 20% of any vehicle’s efficiency.

Ed Welburn, GM VP Global Design states:

“I’m proud to say that after extensive aero development of the Volt, and more to come, we have achieved a vehicle that had a coefficient of drag that is more 30% lower in drag than the original concept,”…“It’s not easy, but it is a necessity.”

Read the whole press release after the jump.

For Release: Monday, December 10, 2007

Chevrolet Volt development moves forward with focus on aerodynamics
Design team explores aerodynamic enablers to maximize range for next-generation electric vehicles

Warren, MI –The massive fan in GM’s aero lab wind tunnel has been cranked up to full blast as GM’s designers and engineers work to optimize the aerodynamics of the Chevrolet Volt as part of the quest to make the breakthrough concept car a production reality. Aerodynamic improvement is a critical step in meeting the range targets necessary for moving the vehicle to a final production decision.

The design team, now with its own studio dedicated to the development of vehicles powered by the E-flex propulsion system, has been working with engineering, aerodynamicists and other scientists to develop an energy efficient Chevrolet Volt by optimizing aerodynamics.

“One of the ways design can contribute to the efficiency of any vehicle is through the aerodynamics of the body shape,” says Ed Welburn, VP, GM Global Design. “The collaboration between a designer and an aerodynamicist can not only contribute to improved fuel economy or extended range, but can produce beautiful and different body shapes.”

Frank Weber, global vehicle line executive and global vehicle chief engineer for the E-Flex System, agrees. “The electric range of the Chevrolet Volt is most sensitive to improvements in aero, which is in contrast to a traditional vehicle program in which mass typically plays a larger role.”

Reducing drag
Aerodynamic drag accounts for approximately 20 percent of the energy consumed in an average vehicle, directly impacting vehicle fuel efficiency. GM designers apply their expertise to address the opportunity to improve the fuel economy of all GM vehicles. In fact, GM offers more fuel efficient vehicles than any other manufacturer, in part due to vehicle design and GM’s aerodynamic development capabilities.

GM’s aerodynamics laboratory, located at the technical center in Warren, Mich., is the center of expertise for optimizing the impact of airflow. In addition to fuel economy, range, emissions, and acceleration are all affected by wind resistance, or aerodynamic drag. The cooling of components such as radiators and brakes are affected by airflow, as is cornering capability, crosswind response, directional stability and on-center handling. GM’s aero lab allows for the testing and development of each of these characteristics.

Aerodynamics development begins with a 1/3-scale model where basic shape and major features are defined. The model includes a highly detailed underbody and engine compartment. Radiator and under hood cooling flow is developed with computational fluid dynamic models. Simultaneously, computation development takes place to determine aerodynamic drag of design alternatives. Development continues with full-scale models, where shape is refined and optimized for low wind noise. The development process concludes with a vehicle prototype validation of the math-based analysis and physical testing.

“I’m proud to say that after extensive aero development of the Volt, and more to come, we have achieved a vehicle that had a coefficient of drag that is more 30% lower in drag than the original concept,” said Welburn. “It’s not easy, but it is a necessity.”

GM’s Aerodynamic Laboratory: The Wind Tunnel
Founded in the late 1970s, GM’s aerodynamics laboratory was built in response to fuel shortages of that time and the introduction of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards. Test operations began in 1980 with several production vehicle tests that benchmarked the wind tunnel’s performance against other facilities. All new GM vehicles for the North American market have been developed using the lab. Today, the experimental work in the aero lab is supplemented by computational fluid dynamics analysis. The combination of the two testing operations provides a powerful tool to improve aerodynamics of future GM vehicles.

Wind speed in the tunnel can reach up to more than 120 miles-per-hour. Real-time data acquisition and display systems measure forces and moments, airflow velocities, pressures, temperatures and wind noise.

In addition to helping GM create today’s most fuel efficient vehicles, wind tunnel testing has provided a competitive advantage for GM racing vehicles. Several GM sponsored teams also have taken advantage of the wind tunnel, including America ’s Cup challengers, Sunrayce solar cars, bicycle racers, the U.S. Disabled Ski Team and the Canadian Alpine Ski Team.

The GM Aerodynamics Laboratory celebrated 26 years of wind tunnel test operations in August. The lab was the first full-scale automotive wind tunnel built in North America and remains the largest wind tunnel in the world dedicated to automotive testing.

GM and Aerodynamics
GM’s history in aerodynamics dates back to the 1930s with aircraft-inspired designs as industrial art. In the 1950s and 60s the company focused more on the science of drag reduction, but in the 1970s, the public demanded smaller, more fuel efficient cars in response to fuel shortages. As a new trend in aerodynamics emerges, GM leverages its heritage and expertise to develop full-sized trucks as fuel efficient as a mid-sized sedan and the next generation of electric vehicles with extended range, starting with the development of the Chevrolet Volt.

“We are now in the midst of a new period of aero exploration,” said Welburn. “There has been a significant effort by all our program teams to improve fuel economy and now to extend the range of electric vehicles for the future.”

This entry was posted on Monday, December 10th, 2007 at 2:59 pm and is filed under Design, Efficiency, Engineering, Sightings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 163


  1. 1
    OhmExcited

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:06 pm)

    Cryptic photo. I suppose they haven’t finished. The new design doesn’t appear to have the same type of creases as the original, for example the sharp edge that extended from the bottom of the hood to the bottom through to the bumper. Any word on what the new drag coefficient is?


  2. 2
    Tim

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:10 pm)

    I’m a little confused. I’ve read that the Volt charge is equivalent to 60 per gallon of gas.

    This article here indicated it would be above $2.50 equivalent:
    http://www.gm-volt.com/2007/08/14/what-will-it-cost-to-drive-a-chevy-volt/

    So what is it?


  3. 3
    pstoller78

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:14 pm)

    Great news, can’t wait to see the production version in all it’s glory.


  4. 4
    voltman

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:14 pm)

    Oh ya, I like it so far.

    Tim, the volt charge is equivalent to 40 miles, which is 1 gallon of gas IF your car gets 40mpg(this is a pipe dream unless you have a hybrid).

    Don’t get lost in the numbers, 40 miles per day of your drive will be gas free, which for me is 90% of my driving all year. Its really about the oil. If everyone bought one, we would be instantly energy independent overnight. That is HUGE.


  5. 5
    kent beuchert

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:15 pm)

    Looks like a sloopier front end. Hope they don’t have to disturb the car’s best part – the see-thru top and rear end.


  6. 6
    Tim

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:25 pm)

    voltman,

    Thanks for the response. However I’m talking about the cost of electricity. It costs over $2.64 per charge to get 40 miles.

    Now that is still less than gas, but not by a whole lot.

    I’d love the chance for everyone to own one and say goodnight to oil. Unfortunately the amount of them available will only be enough to make a dent in comparison to the needs of the whole industry. Not enough supply for the whole world or nation.


  7. 7
    Kyle

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:31 pm)

    Tim,

    If you read down a little further you will see:

    “[UPDATE: GM tells us the battery will be discharged to 50% when the generator starts. Therefore it will only require 8 KWH to drive 40 miles, cutting all the above calculations in 1/2]“.

    So that means $1.32. Also, don’t forget Lyle is paying a lot for electricity. 16 cents a kWh is really high (maybe he is buying all renewable). This price easily places him in the highest 10% in the nation. The average retail price of Aug 07 was 9.68 cents.

    see http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/epm_sum.html

    That would put 40 miles at average consumer prices at 77.4 cents.

    Now that is some real savings.


  8. 8
    voltman

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:36 pm)

    2.64?

    The battery holds 16kwh and stops discharging at 50%. 8KWH of power in Texas is about 80 cents, which works out to 2c per mile. Gas is 3-4 times that.


  9. 9
    Tim

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:38 pm)

    Kyle,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I feel much better today.

    But the only downer is the supply issue. Even if they make 100k it is probably not enough to satisfy the demand. Which means many of us coming to this site may not be able to get one.


  10. 10
    Drake

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:38 pm)

    It’s great to see atleast a little of the final car. Hopefully we will see more soon.

    “we have achieved a vehicle that had a coefficient of drag that is more 30% lower in drag than the original concept”

    This is very respectable.

    When it finally comes down to it, however, I ultimately don’t give a damn what the car look like as long as it’s a viable PHEV/E-REV and stays true to it’s 40-mile battery range. Being able to say that I’m 90% free from oil slavery will be more than enough to make me happy.


  11. 11
    AES

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:41 pm)

    As I predicted long ago, they did away with the sunken grill and headlights, as well as the flared wheel arches.

    There’s still room for improvement – a lot of those little panel gaps can have a surprising amount of drag. Oh well – that’s what duct tape is for :) (and I’m not joking)

    I see elements of Saab in the front.


  12. 12
    David Brandow

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:49 pm)

    That is good news, but with a catch – we know its 30% lower than the original concept, but we don’t know how bad the original concept was. As some examples, the EV1 had a remarkably low number (0.2 Cd, 4 CdA), the Civic is mediocre (0.35 Cd, 7 CdA) and the Hummer, unsurprisingly, is atrocious (0.6 Cd, 17-26 CdA). So while its terrific to see them focussing so hard on improving, it’d really be important to know what there baseline is to judge what level of success they’ve achieved. To be fair, though, if we assume that they started at mediocre (say the Civic’s numbers), that should put them near the front of the pack, if not quite where the EV1 does.


  13. 13
    OhmExcited

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:49 pm)

    It’s going to look significantly different without flared wheel arches and without those huge 19″ wheels. It will be interesting to see the final product. GM should release the rough sketches to let us comment.


  14. 14
    Guy Incognito

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (3:56 pm)

    GM has already produced one of the most aerodynamic vehicles of all time, the EV1.
    I’ve always thought the Volts body style looked to much like a Camaro.
    If the Volts designers are serious about aerodynamics, the final version of the Volt will look nothing like the present one.


  15. 15
    Steven B

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (4:20 pm)

    I really like the updated appearance. Sleek and sexy. Much better than the concept. And it’s also good to know that less fossil fuel will be burned to push air out of the way. And the teaser pick is brilliant. Lovely use of color.


  16. 16
    Tim

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (4:30 pm)

    Hey Tim! Use solar panels and the cost is ZERO and you can amortize the cost of the panels if you work out of your home PLUS there are lots of other tax perks for solar energy. Plus with thin film and nano materials, solar is about to get a lot more efficient (less panels needed) and cheaper to install.


  17. 17
    Jake

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (4:49 pm)

    I’m very glad to see a picture of a more final version, even if it is a pre-production teaser. I hope the final car looks good. This would be an added bonus to the aerodynamic efficiency. Personally, I think the rear end of the concept car looks horrid, so I am looking for an improvement here. And it seems likely that we will see one.


  18. 18
    Jimmy

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (4:52 pm)

    I “digg” the teaser photo. I like the look even better than the prototype. Hopefully we will be able to buy a premium version with 19″ wheels, leather seats, and other bells and whistles.

    It is amazing how, almost everyday, there is good information on this site about the Volt. I assume there will be some dry periods over the next three years. Lyle …nice job keeping us all up todate on the progress.


  19. 19
    Scott H

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (4:52 pm)

    Like the teaser photo from the wind tunnel. Looks like they made the windows and headlights bigger and rounded all the corners, all expected to happen to make the car more aerodynamic. To those who don’t like it, sharp corners are not efficient. I’m sorry, this isn’t a Cadillac for Christ’s sake. But, Lutz was right, when you look at it, it says “Volt”. Just a more realistic design, and I’m a realistic guy.

    Later guys.


  20. 20
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (4:54 pm)

    Tim,
    GM is planning for 60,000 Volts in the first mdeol year, and then ramping up from there. If the pickup from the public is really positive, then by 2015 we may see a whole line of E-Flex vehicles with dramatically higher volumes.

    AES,
    Don’t use duct tape – use gaffer’s tape:
    http://www.filmtools.com/2blacwhitgre.html
    Stays on better, and doesn’t leave that nasty residue. I never use duct tape anymore.

    David Brandow,
    That was my first thought as well. 30% lower than what?


  21. 21
    banjoez

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (4:58 pm)

    I’m sorry, but the muscular wheel arches are what made the concept really stand out. I hope they don’t turn it into a full blown geek mobile as that will turn off many car enthusiasts. Bob Lutz has pretty good tastes in car design so I hope he still has a little say in the matter.


  22. 22
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (4:58 pm)

    Would the Tesla logo on the grill would be more aerodynamic?
    http://www.gm-volt.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/volt_tesla.jpg
    (humor)


  23. 23
    Scott H

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (5:01 pm)

    Yep, I like the muscular wheels too. Let’s see what they come up with.


  24. 24
    Christi

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (5:04 pm)

    i think it looks way better… and im there too with the dont really care what it looks like, its the purpose of the car that im interested in. well, so long as it doesnt look like a prius.. they should call those cars prudish instead (but i suppose the volt will have its share of hypocritical celebrities who want to appear environmentally friendly while showing off how rich they are.)


  25. 25
    DG

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (5:06 pm)

    I like the new look better. As per the demand issues I dont really want a 1st generation Volt anyway. Let the early adopters and GM deal with all the bugs. Plus you can wait for the battery cost to go down because first year prices are obviously going to be over the top untill they can get production facilities and demand up.


  26. 26
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (5:15 pm)

    Yes AES #11, i agree, there are elements of Saab in it. My neighbour was home tonight and he owns a 9.3. We compare the pitcture an the car, …


  27. 27
    Mike756

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (5:30 pm)

    Lyle

    I was wondering if you could elaborate on the following quote from your article:

    “Aerodynamics apparently accounts for about 20% of any vehicle’s efficiency.”

    Who/where did you get this information from? Did they mean 20% of the energy needed to move the vehicle? Was this based on a certain speed?

    Thanks


  28. 28
    Jimmy

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (5:42 pm)

    I wonder if the 2008 Detroit auto show surprise is going to be the unveiling of the new and improved version of the Volt.


  29. 29
    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (5:56 pm)

    Yep, Saab was the first word in my mouth too.

    RE Tim post #16.
    Thin film and Nano Solar will not mean less solar panels needed they are only about half as efficient as best crystalline about 22% (mostly silicon) retail panels, and a quarter of leading ledge (expensive) crystalline over 40% (combination of silicon and other materials).

    However, Nano Solar will mean lower cost.
    Large traditional solar manufacturers like Sharp and Kyocera have made a loss for most of the last twenty years, only making a profit in the last 3 or 4 years. Nano Solar might force the price down enough so that the traditional manufacturers start making a loss again just to stay in the market.

    For those that think that GM will not make a loss for the first year on the Volt, think about the solar business. The big Japanese players in that market made a loss for nearly twenty years with an eye to the future, and now Nano Solar might spoil their party. I’m not saying that GM will make a loss, but they will probably consider it for the first year or two.

    RE Post #25
    As for the cost of batteries coming down after the first year, I think that depends on how long the battery manufacturers amortize the startup costs over. The big step in cost will be going from 2 to 60,000 packs per year. How much of a decrease in cost there will be when going for 60,000 per year to 160,000 per year I wonder?


  30. 30
    Jim I

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (5:58 pm)

    Teasers are fun, but some real pictures would be a lot better!

    Hopefully next up will be some graphics of the interior!

    Good work, Lyle!!!!!!!


  31. 31
    pstoller78

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (5:59 pm)

    #28 Jimmy

    I have been suspecting that might be what’s in store as well. If they are going to have the mules on the road by spring I would think that the platform would need to be close to finalization.


  32. 32
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (6:08 pm)

    #27 Mike,

    Perhaps, this could be of some help :

    “About 60% of the power required to cruise at highway speeds is taken up overcoming air drag, and this increases very quickly at high speed. Therefore, a vehicle with substantially better aerodynamics will be much more fuel efficient. Additionally, because drag does increase with the square of speed, a somewhat lower speed can significantly improve fuel economy. This was the major reason for the United States adopting a nationwide 55 mile per hour speed limit during the early 1973 oil crisis as slower traffic would save scarce petroleum.”
    Source :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_coefficient


  33. 33
    Jim I

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (6:11 pm)

    pstoller78 #31:

    I thought the mules were just to test the electric drive components, batteries, and software integration. The mules are going to be using Malibu’s, aren’t they? Or did I misunderstand something?


  34. 34
    Van

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (6:21 pm)

    If you assume a fixed speed, or a fixed mix of speeds over time, then the amount of energy used to push the air out of the way can be calculated. Lets say that 20% of the energy required is due to drag. So if we can reduce the frontal area, we can reduce the amount of air being pushed aside. And if we use a smooth rounded shape we can slide through the air with less resistence than a flat front such as a hummer. Normally sedans have a drag coefficent between .30 and .35, and SUV range up above .4. Slick vehicles like a Vette would have a drag coefficent less than .30. The Prius claims .26 and GM claimed .19 for the EV1. The picture looks like a typical sedan, very much like the new Malibu, so I expect the Cd is about .32. Time will tell.


  35. 35
    Mike756

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (6:31 pm)

    Jean-Charles

    The 60% number sounds more like what I would expect, which is why I am confused by the 20% number. Maybe they were talking only about Cd or the coefficient of drag, not the actual aerodynamic drag which depends on cross sectional area and speed as well.


  36. 36
    AES

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (6:34 pm)

    In aerodynamics, the rear part of the car is just as important as the front. The EV1 was wider in the front than in the back, making it resemble a water droplet.

    Similar shape on the Citroen SM as well.

    So let’s reserve judgment until we see the whole thing.


  37. 37
    Brian M

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (7:00 pm)

    Mike756 #35:

    Maybe what they meant is they are reducing the drag by 30%, which results in a 20% improvement in fuel efficiency (30% of 60% ~ 20%).


  38. 38
    AES

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (7:10 pm)

    http://money.cnn.com/2007/12/10/autos/gm.ap/index.htm?postversion=2007121018

    “Designers using computer and small clay models already have cut 30 percent from the wind drag of the original concept, said Ed Welburn, vice president of global design.”


  39. 39
    AES

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (7:13 pm)

    That article also says that the A123 pack is coming early next year instead of December.


  40. 40
    Tim

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (7:43 pm)

    #29 Mark – I was referring to the company Nanosolar in thin film. I was also referring to Advanced Diamond Solutions’ amorphous nanostructures that offer potential efficiencies of 50% at half the cost of silicon solar cells. Today’s silicon based systems are at best 15% full spectrum efficient.

    http://www.advanceddiamond.com/AmorphDiamonds.pdf

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Advanced_Diamond_Solutions%27_amorphous_nanostructures 1-hour interview!

    As a thermal electric generator, amorphous diamond nanostructures are superior to other materials. The material has a high heat threshhold, with an expected life-span of 40 to 50 years. This is VERY new and cutting edge stuff.


  41. 41
    Gary B.

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (7:46 pm)

    If you ask me, It looks like they picked the perfect mule to test with. The front looks alot like the Malibu. I keep looking at the back end of a Malibu to see if would work some how. I don’t know. If it’s suppose to be areo, they would have to chop the back end off somehow. I’m stumped!


  42. 42
    nasaman

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (7:49 pm)

    Regarding headlight cutouts, I owned an ’82 Z28 Camaro and a ’94 Saturn, both of which had noticeably recessed headlights with pretty pronounced “eyelids” & sharp edges. An aerodynamicist friend of mine at JPL tells me that even fairly deep/sharp cutouts of that size are too small to significantly affect drag (“the wind tunnel’s smoke stream blows right around them without notches or turbulence”)…

    ….so I wouldn’t worry about it if GM decides to recess the final Volt’s headlights, running lights, etc for styling reasons. But the “teaser” photo’s front end looks real nice to me!


  43. 43
    Scott H

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (7:53 pm)

    You can also “boat tail” the end of an object to achieve better airflow. Just think of the end of a rifle bullet.


  44. 44
    nasaman

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (7:53 pm)

    ….BTW, could that be a red “lightning bolt” centered in the teaser photo’s Bow Tie on the grill, or just my imagination?


  45. 45
    Marty McFly

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (8:13 pm)

    Thats what I expected it to look like (flushing up the lights, grill and air ducts). Looks like the flared wheel-wells are gone as well as the dubs…

    Also, it looks like the roof line is a little higher than the concept so maybe, they dropped the two piece side windows.


  46. 46
    LyleL

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (8:24 pm)

    “The Volt’s production model – hidden underneath a drape — shows a higher roofline than the concept car unveiled almost a year ago.”

    Oh JOY! Could it possibly be true that tall people will be allowed to fit comfortably into this car?

    Specs… Where are the new specs!!

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/14816581/detail.html


  47. 47
    Rich

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (8:29 pm)

    Run Mindy run.
    Tell Mork you found his egg.

    Hope I’m wrong but I liked the concept.

    Don’t blow this one GM or you may be relegated to a Ford future or the lack of one.


  48. 48
    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (8:36 pm)

    Tim #40.
    Thanks for the Advanced Diamond Solutions’ amorphous nanostructures link. Looks interesting I’ll have to listen to the 1 hour mp3, since their “how it works” summary is missing.

    As for silicon…
    The cells on my roof are over 21% spectrum effective (by Sun Power). Although most are around down at 15% as you said, but are inching up every couple of years.

    The cells used by NASA (e.g. Mars rovers) that use triple junction technology layering silicon and two other semiconductors, are over 40% spectrum efficient in real world conditions on Earth and on Mars not just in the lab. Although they’ve been available for a couple of years unfortunately they currently cost too much for retail use.


  49. 49
    james

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (8:44 pm)

    kyle 7. wish i had scrolled down to your post before i checked the tim #2 website to see what those numbers were, lol…

    christie 24. welcome aboard, was wondering when we were going to get some female input on here. : )

    i don’t know all the specs on nano solar, but i do know that silicone prices are through the roof, and most companies can’t get enough. and if they do get some silicone, they have to increase their panel prices (which were already too high to compete with any other energies).

    but, nano is getting all kinds of awards, and good reviews from news, government and greenies. and they can generate electricity even cheaper than coal, and way cheaper than that, once they hit mass prodution.

    did anyone else fill out that survey a couple of days ago? i said 2009 for the first volts, but i’m really thinking late 2008.

    death to oil! god bless the e-rev electric chevy volt, god bless nanosolar, god bless a123 and l.g., god bless g.e., bell labs innovations, and a little company called google and God Bless the United States of America!


  50. 50
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (8:47 pm)

    I have no idea how common my list of “deal breakers” is, but maybe it could be it’s own poll?
    A) If they were to shrink the overal size significantly (e.g. fewer than 4 passengers
    B) If the “drive off the car lot” price exceeds 30K. My biggest fear is that they go with a “buy the car AND THEN lease the battery”
    and
    C) All electric range falls below the 40 mile range. That’s perfect for my needs and would mean that I’d RARELY have to visit a gas station to buy gas. I’m planning on quietly driving through gas stations as often as possible, to smile and wave at the people pumping gasoline.
    I actually WANT to be an early adopter and don’t mind dealing with the “bugs”. I believe GM can, and will, get this done right.
    Although I’m not in love with the clear roof (I know, I know, “specially treated”, etc).I have two vehicles with “moon roofs” that never get opened. Both cars were “previously loved” so the extra glass came with them. Between the two cars I’m over a quarter of a million miles on the odometers and STILL want to wait for a Volt!
    Feedback?


  51. 51
    AES

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (8:48 pm)

    LyleL #46 – Great find on that video! It shows clay models of the front end, and a lot of other things. I downloaded the video, and taking stills that I’ll post off-site for quick looking.


  52. 52
    Chris Jackson

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (8:48 pm)

    Sorry, I don’t believe this article. GM claims a 30% reduction in drag? Yet fails to even release a low resolution CGI image of the Volt profile? There is no way they achieved a 30% reduction with out extensive redesign of the body. So IMO it either looks more like a Toyota Prius and GM is afraid to release the image and/or they have failed to make good progress in battery design and that is the real reason for the need to reduce drag.

    As a fan of the concept, I am now not hopeful that the Volt will be of a destictive design. I won’t drive a Toyota Cammry. Sorry.


  53. 53
    LyleL

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (9:08 pm)

    AES 51

    Thanks!

    Doesn’t the reporter say that GM will go from the clay model to a fully functional Volt prototype between April and June of 2008? The Malibu mules were to be January-April. Huzzah! If true this project is moving… maybe we will see a preproduction run in 2009.

    Lyle Dennis please confirm?


  54. 54
    Curt

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (9:14 pm)

    30% drag reduction is not unrealistic, especially if the original design tested for higher drag than anticipated, meaning it was a defective design from this perspective from the beginning.

    While I prefer the thought of driving a Volt, if Toyota produces an electric Camry, it will be worthy of comparison. The competition would be a huge positive. After all, this is more about energy independence than it is about showcasing a single vehicle.


  55. 55
    Scott H

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (9:20 pm)

    Lyle #46,

    Great video, bro. That shows even more of the car than the still picture. I really like the look from what they’ve showed us so far.

    Let’s hope the Detroit “surprise” is a full unveiling. I also like the info on the working prototype between April and June.


  56. 56
    law

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (9:24 pm)

    looks good to me.


  57. 57
    OhmExcited

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (9:32 pm)

    Lyle, I think the reporter’s statement that “the team will go from clay model to a fully functional prototype” is misleading and misunderstood. GM have clearly said their first test mules will be based on late model Chevy Malibus. So those prototypes will not have Volt design bodies. My humble apologies to the reporter if I’m wrong.

    The Malibu is a pretty good looking and practical car. It wouldn’t bother me a bit if they simply took the Malibu and retrofitted it to the e-Flex architecture.


  58. 58
    AES

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (9:35 pm)

    Okay everyone, I got large stills from the news report video uploaded off-site for convenient viewing:

    http://futuredrive.wordpress.com/2007/12/11/new-look-of-the-chevy-volt-a-detailed-look-and-analysis/

    The video also had a mock-up of the interior.

    It has four seats.


  59. 59
    Phil

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (10:19 pm)

    Duke Power here in Western North Carolina is 7.6 cents per KWH based on my November bill. My 1996 Jeep Cherokee, with which I would gladly part, gets about 15 MPG (I bought it to conquer winter snow and ice, which apparently no longer occurs here thanks to global climate change; it was 73 degrees today). I paid $2.89 per gallon last night, so 40 miles would cost me approximately $7.71 in the Chokaree. On the other hand, 8 KWH would cost me 60.8 cents — a 92 percent reduction in cost!

    But even if it WERE a wash, as I said, my grandkids may never see snow thanks to oil. Now if we can just get rid of these godforsaken coal plants…


  60. 60
    jbfalaska

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (10:41 pm)

    I served 23 years with the Air Force. The one thing I’m sure of is nearly my entire career in uniform was dedicated to preserving Middle-east oil flow. Frankly, America, the country I would die for, would have been better served by redirecting 1/10th the amount of fiscal deficit money we exported to Oil barons to the auto industry. We could have recrafted the engine to electricity and cut loose those gougers once and for all.

    The country would be better served.

    My motto for the Chevy Volt – American made, American driven, American fueled – American security.

    Get rid of the turmoil oil flowing from the sand before its too late.


  61. 61
    carl

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (10:58 pm)

    [quote comment="18724"]Looks like a sloopier front end. Hope they don’t have to disturb the car’s best part – the see-thru top and rear end.[/quote]Ken, the production Volt will not have a see-through roof. That is impractical on so many levels.


  62. 62
    Brian M

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (11:00 pm)

    jbfalaska #60:

    Thank God for you.

    I like your motto, but I would change it to “American made, American driven, American fueled”. The “American Security” bit sounds a tad too political for a car motto.


  63. 63
    carl

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (11:05 pm)

    [quote comment="18789"]Sorry, I don’t believe this article. GM claims a 30% reduction in drag? Yet fails to even release a low resolution CGI image of the Volt profile? There is no way they achieved a 30% reduction with out extensive redesign of the body. So IMO it either looks more like a Toyota Prius and GM is afraid to release the image and/or they have failed to make good progress in battery design and that is the real reason for the need to reduce drag.

    As a fan of the concept, I am now not hopeful that the Volt will be of a destictive design. I won’t drive a Toyota Cammry. Sorry.[/quote]
    Mr. Jackson. Everything in this post is based on nothing.
    Gm, has no problems with design. It is an old company and knows exactly how to make cars that look good.


  64. 64
    Richard

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (11:41 pm)

    Concurrently make a small version of the Chevy Colorado (like the Phoenix Motors truck) with four doors and a payload, put the electric motor in that, then make it less than $25,000 like the Prius, and presto, you’ll have a winner. And I’ll buy one. I’ll admire this sleek sedan, but at $35,000 with limited space and payload, I won’t buy.


  65. 65
    Luke

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (11:55 pm)

    I like your motto, but I would change it to “American made, American driven, American fueled”. The “American Security” bit sounds a tad too political for a car motto.

    I agree 100%. The term “security” doesn’t have warm fuzzy connotations to me… After being frisked at the airport in its name, and yelled by people in all kinds of uniforms in its name when I’m doing reasonable (but mildly unusual) things. Not to mention the Washington DC Air Defense Interdiction Zone… Plus a lot of politicians who I vehemently disagree with use the word very frequently. “Security” is truly a loaded word.

    Best to not to bring all of that into the Hope and Engineering that is the Volt!!


  66. 66
    mykallb

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (11:56 pm)

    SAAB…I don’t know, I almost see current Malibu with smoother lines. Doesn’t really matter, glad to see they’ve got the CD down and from the pic. it looks pretty good.

    One more thing….sticking point all over this forum….PLEASE don’t call the Volt a Phev.

    Thanks

    M.


  67. 67
    Josh

     

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    Dec 10th, 2007 (11:56 pm)

    Am I the only one who thinks that looks are VERY important? I mean, smart is nice, but no one ever says, “Hey, check out the brain on that as.” Keep it pretty, boys.


  68. 68
    Herkimer

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:10 am)

    #67

    –Actually Josh, you probably are!

    If you want looks, get an R8 or a GT-R. For reasons political, environmental, and financial, my main objective is to stop using gas (to the extent possible).

    I don’t care if it looks like the rear-end of pit bull!


  69. 69
    Steve

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:11 am)

    Isn’t it ironic how every time my cursor touches one of those link in the text a little Ford ad pops up?

    Really, there not enough information there to support alot of conclusions. If I were designing I’d be working pretty hard on the aero too. My guess is it costs less to build with good aero than less mass.


  70. 70
    Brian

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:13 am)

    I really hope they don’t screw up the styling. So many of GM’s other vehicles look like the cars I drew in grade school (ie, generic). I hope GM is learning that the more progressive people are demanding progressive styling and if they make it look like a Malibu it’s going to be a much tougher sell. The set who would buy a Malibu has already bought Priuses.

    I’m worried I can’t see the creases anymore, as the unique styling, sportyness, and eco cred are what attracts me to the car. Most people I know want their car to make a statement about them; the rest drive Civics. Even for someone like me (I bike to work when i can), saving the environment doesn’t out-rank it’s functions as a car, no matter if they figured out how to make run off the sun and happy feelings.

    GM, don’t build me a Prius.


  71. 71
    jbfalaska

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:15 am)

    Agree – THE VOLT MOTTO: “American made, American driven, American fueled.” How wonderful a notion.

    My bumper sticker is going to convey my hope no one else will ever need to go over to the sand box and fight for Oil Barons again – The Volt will be my “VOLT: Declaration of Independence.”


  72. 72
    jbfalaska

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:20 am)

    Has GM actually announced a preorder, or is the Wait List really a Wish List? until pricing is established. I make over $100 grand per year and have no bills at all (I own three Buick Regals as a sign of jurisprudence yet yearning for a touch of blue collar luxury). The Volt will be in my garage sooner or later, just hoping for an insight as to when that may be.


  73. 73
    jbfalaska

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:26 am)

    GM, any chance to use clear plastics to obtain the aero and keep the styling close to the concept? Buick and Cadillac cars seem to show the beginnings of this kind of promise. The sparklingly clear, rounded plastic extensions pushing out from the well defined angular lines seems incredibly appealing – yes, no?

    Something to consider.


  74. 74
    jbfalaska

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:26 am)

    GM, any chance to use clear plastics to obtain the aero and keep the styling close to the concept? Buick and Cadillac cars seem to show the beginnings of this kind of promise. The sparklingly clear, rounded plastic extensions pushing out from the well defined angular lines seems incredibly appealing – yes, no?

    Something to consider.


  75. 75
    Jim C.

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:35 am)

    How exciting! I can’t wait to read the next progress report. Sounds like GM and Chrevrolet are really getting serious about this great concept.

    When production begins, I will be living at the dealer’s showroom!!


  76. 76
    Jim I

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:54 am)

    Josh #67:

    You are not the only person to think that this vehicle has to look right.

    This discussion pops up every few weeks.

    You get the side that says “it can look like a deflated beach ball, just get it out now!”

    You get the other side that says “This car has to be distinctive, take your time and get it right!” I have to say that I am on this side of this issue.

    The problem is that you have over 6500 people on a wait list that have 65 million ideas on what the vehicle should be. Some want a truck, some want an SUV, some want a sports car, some want a Prius clone. Hopefuuly over the next few years, everyone will have their choice available. But we need to get the first model out on the road.

    IMHO, this teaser did exactly what GM wanted it to do – get a feel of what people think of the design, without giving up too much. That way, if the general opinion was not favorable, they could modify it before they hit the design freeze date.

    But from the looks of things, the Gen-1 vehicle is going to be a car, probably a two door, with room for four passengers.

    Does that seem like a reasonable opinion?


  77. 77
    Jason

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:55 am)

    The Ford Probe concepts in the 80′s were even more aerodynamic than the EV1 and it used a gasoline engine with intake work. This design found its way into the Taurus and I’d say it turned every car maker away from boxy designs.
    http://www.scottgrundfor.com/concept/1985probe.html

    RE: #74

    >GM, any chance to use clear plastics
    >to obtain the aero and keep the
    >styling close to the concept?

    Looks like the best place to use this is on the grill. And there was an interesting comment posted by naggs on Autoblog I’ll paste below:

    regarding the gril, i can only speculate. recently gm demonstrated cheap, light and reliable actuators and one of the uses they demonstrated was a grill opening and closing depending on the cooling needs of the automobile. gm said that this would be in production by ’10 which is when the volt is slated to begin production.

    once again, only speculation but it seems to me that a brand new, high tech, ultra efficient model is the perfect place to start using this tech


  78. 78
    AndyChuck

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:59 am)

    2 door? No this is a four door sedan people.


  79. 79
    Jason

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (1:07 am)

    >2 door? No this is a four door sedan
    >people.

    It obviously is a 4 door with a type of hatch back design.

    http://futuredrive.wordpress.com/2007/12/11/new-look-of-the-chevy-volt-a-detailed-look-and-analysis/


  80. 80
    Bob

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (1:08 am)

    As the sound of 40 mpg sounds great … anyone living in the South will know .. I gotta have my A/C. How much will that hit the 40 mpg??


  81. 81
    Ken Newman

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (1:11 am)

    This photo reminds me of all the “hype” when GM started to produce the VEGA 20+ years ago. To say the least I was disappointed when the actual Vega was produced. If you aren’t aware, GM decided to build the Vega with an all aluminium engine, which GM then replaced (at a minimum cost of $2,000+ thru dealerships when the engines failed because of problems due in part to thermal expansion.

    As if this lesson was not enough, during the first fuel shortgage, GM then decided to convert gas engines to diesel fuel but these engines also failed due to the higher compression/ stresses these converted gas/diesel engines could not handle over time (50K+ miles).

    After the Corvair, Vega, Fiero, I hope that the Volt is NOT another half-attempt by GM **(GM are you listening?)**

    If GM does actually produce a RELIABLE electic vehicle (of which I am guardedly optomistic), I will put my money where my mouth is and buy the Volt (but) I will also buy an extended warranty just in case.


  82. 82
    Richard

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (1:18 am)

    I wonder how long it will be before one ever shows up in Canada… as long as I can remember, even as far back in the ’60s low drag high performance gas buggies have always been associated with the high end cool looking sports cars…certainly not your average family 4 door sedan. The old ‘vette comes to mind….always was a pretty car.

    Frome Wikipedia: About 60% of the power required to cruise at highway speeds is taken up overcoming air drag, (notice they are saying 60%) and this increases very quickly at high speed. Therefore, a vehicle with substantially better aerodynamics will be much more fuel (energy) efficient. Additionally, because drag does increase with the square of speed, a somewhat lower speed can significantly improve fuel(energy) economy”…. Did GM not figure on this when they introduced the concept car? A lot of effort and engineering went into designing that body shape. Perhaps GM should hire on a few aeronautical engineers… they do know a few things about lift/drag coefficients…

    Unfortunately these days the consumer is still hooked on that SUV blunt big n tough big grill front end look, so changing to sleek and aerodynamic is gonna be bit of a tough sell to Joe consumer.

    So I ask… even now, to get that 40 miles per charge, at what highway speeds do they predicate that range on? 70kmph? Even 90kmph would be acceptable.


  83. 83
    james

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (1:33 am)

    tim 40. thanks for the link on the Advanced Diamond Solutions’ amorphous nanostructures, i will definitely be looking for more from these guys…

    tagamet 50. my deal breaker will be like this, when the volt hits the showrooms, i’ll look it over, and take a test drive.
    probably come back 3 or 4 times for test drives. read some reviews that hopefully tell me the cars are working right.
    if i like it, i’ll buy it, if i don’t, i’ll wait.

    chris 52.

    jb 60, etc. kool motto, even with the security, but i like it either way, let’s hope gm agrees with it or something similar.

    josh 67. i’m with ya, i would like to see a kool looking volt, but, wouldn’t mind almost anything electric, as long as it sells and gets things moving. exponentiality…


  84. 84
    law

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (1:41 am)

    #76, Jim, a few people, who are not on the waitlist but who also post here probably would like a truck or something. Anyone who signed up for the waitlist better be wanting a car and not a truck or SUV. I think we have a pretty unified desire for the car, fuel efficiency and the nice looks we saw in the concept.


  85. 85
    Chris

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (6:09 am)

    It is funny to see the explanation for GM’s wind tunnel, which is only 26 years old when Tucker, the one in the 40′s that wanted to propel the auto industry to the heavens, and was not allowed to by the big 3′s, in fact, he was doing wind tests already. I guess if GM could find engineers such as him, the company could soar like an eagle too. I would like a car as beautiful as the concept is and with wheels no less than 18 inches, if not make an economy model and a sports model with the above specifics. Being friendly with the planet does not have nothing to do with having an ugly car!

    C


  86. 86
    nasaman

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (6:32 am)

    [quote comment="18839"]As the sound of 40 mpg sounds great … anyone living in the South will know .. I gotta have my A/C. How much will that hit the 40 mpg??[/quote]
    It’s 40 miles per CHARGE (not gallon!), Bob. Regarding the A/C’s impact on mileage, GM is likely working on a high-efficiency compressor/condenser/fan A/C. My guess is that roughly 1/2-3/4HP (375-560W) should keep the car icy cold and 560W is only a 7% loss in the 8KW used to drive 40 miles with the A/C full on. I live in Florida, and I can easily live with a ~7% loss in gas-free range (i.e., 2.8mi).


  87. 87
    Dan

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (7:07 am)

    West Michigan was blessed to have a world leader in solar energy build several plants in Greenville Michigan. Some very cool technology!

    http://www.ovonics.com/eb_so_solar_overview.cfm

    When I get my Volt I plan on juicing it up with these solar panels. Do them one/two at a time.

    As far as I am concerned Iran and the little dictator (Chavez)can give themselves an enema with their crude. I haven’t bought a gallon of gas from Citgo for at least three years. It is time that the US Goverment, in Hugo style, “purchase the Citgo Stations” from Venezuela. Give them a fair price for their gas stations(10 cents on the dollar). Afterall, they are on US Soil, and like the oil fields in Venezuela, they must be seized from the “Imperialists” from Venezuela. :>)

    Yes- I can not wait for the re-Volt!

    Merry Christmas, Y’all


  88. 88
    Howard Erickson

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (7:22 am)

    Be interested to know what the new drag coefficient is, as compared to the original?


  89. 89
    Mike756

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (7:36 am)

    “Aerodynamic drag accounts for approximately 20 percent of the energy consumed in an average vehicle, directly impacting vehicle fuel efficiency.”

    Am I the only one who is curious about this number? I would really like to know how they came up with the 20%. If this number is correct then the other 80% goes to:

    Rolling resistance
    Frictional losses
    Auxilliary loads
    Accelerating the vehicle
    Moving the vehicle up hills
    Wasted thermal energy?

    It would be interesting to see these numbers.
    Since they say the “average vehicle” it would seem that this would be based on a study involving many vehicles over many different geographical areas. It would be interesting to see what vehicles and areas were included.

    It would also be interesting to know what the percentage would be for the Volt, as a much larger portion of the energy used to accelerate and climb hills would be recovered.


  90. 90
    Ryan Turner

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (8:15 am)

    Guys, an FYI on the cost to charge this. The article is WAY high for other parts of the country. I have had a Time of Use with Demand Factor meter for 5 years. I know how it works very well. It would cost me about 40 cents a night to charge in North Carolina, and we are still a ‘higher than average’ power cost state. You can do better than that nationally. Unless you live in a place where the power is really expensive, you will save significant amount of money from gas.


  91. 91
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (8:36 am)

    Found on GMEurope social media newsroom, here :
    http://www.gmeurope.info/social_media_newsroom/index.php?url=archives/294-Chevrolet-Volt-development-moves-forward-with-focus-on-aerodynamics.html&serendipitycsuccess=true#feedback

    Does that mean that GM intends to create competition between the Chevrolet Volt and the Opel Flextreme on the European markets ?

    BTW, no news on the Flextreme since September, will it be replaced by the Volt ?

    It is a little disturbing here in Belgium for those who fear that the Volt will be first marketed in Nothern America and did not get any news on the marketing plans for Western Europe (The Chevy guys here do not answer the mails I sent them on this subject).


  92. 92
    rayo

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (10:04 am)

    A four door car with a hatch… Guess what…Chevy already has one… it’s call the MAXX. It’s got a body style that you grow to love… lots of cargo space and seats 5 right now but if you change the seating for the battery pack… it’s a 4 seater..add the new malibu front end, and a new interior and presto….call it a Volt…As for the 40 Miles to a charge…I am going to assume that 40 is a a base number they hoping to achieve. If you drove it with no assessories on and used the regenerative braking and the other energy recovery features, I imagine that a person could get 50 – 60 miles on a single charge. It’s all going to depend on your location, climate and how many options you are running..


  93. 93
    n6tez

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (10:27 am)

    Just a thought. It would be nice if the VOLT were towable 4 wheels down like the Saturn. That’s important in my world, fulltime RVing. Not sure how large the market is, but it’s growing (and GM took that into concideration in the Saturn design).


  94. 94
    n6tez

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (10:48 am)

    I’m guessing. In the pic, the smoke across the top, looks like the smoke stream used in a wind tunnel. The stuff on the left, photoshop to hide the side design.


  95. 95
    Dave S

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (11:01 am)

    Not much of a picture.I though I was really going to see something.
    I cant imagine them leaving that low roof line on the production version.Maybe thats part of the problem.
    Dave


  96. 96
    nasaman

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (11:30 am)

    [quote comment="18927"]I’m guessing. In the pic, the smoke across the top, looks like the smoke stream used in a wind tunnel. The stuff on the left, photoshop to hide the side design.[/quote]I agree the smoke stream looks like it’s shot in a wind tunnel. And I’ll do a little more guessing based on what I said earlier in this thread, that an aerodynamicist friend of mine at JPL says that even fairly deep/sharp frontal cutouts or recesses don’t significantly affect drag (”the wind tunnel’s smoke stream blows right around them without notches or turbulence”)…so I wouldn’t worry about it if GM decides to recess the production Volt’s headlights, running lights, or even the grill for styling reasons.

    I’ll even go further, based on what Jason says in #77 — “recently GM demonstrated cheap, light and reliable actuators and one of the uses they demonstrated was a grill opening and closing depending on the cooling needs of the automobile. GM said that this would be in production by ’10 which is when the volt is slated to begin production.” Since the ICE is much smaller & more efficient than a full-sized gasoline engine, and its 160HP electric motor is EXTREMELY efficient, the heat dissipated under the Volt’s hood should be much less than in a conventional car. Therefore, GM might actually be able to close off much of the Volt’s grill, using an actuator hidden just behind that part of the grill, to reduce the effect of unwanted trapped air and thereby reduce drag. How’s that for speculation?


  97. 97
    noel park

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (11:44 am)

    95 comments in 20 hours, overnight. Very impressive. GM is correct to pay atention to this blog.

    A hatchback 4 door is perfect for us.

    Tagamet, #50:

    I basically agree with your list.

    Richard, #64:

    I too have commented about the need for an S-10/smaller Colorado (better Cd please)sized truck. Obviously, the priority is Volt first, truck to follow. If available, I will buy one of each.

    Clearly, if this technology pans out, there will be a market for a whole family of vehicles


  98. 98
    Jim G

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (11:57 am)

    How about two more for the “deal breaker” list:

    D) It doesn’t have any more style than a Prius.

    E) It can’t get from 0-60 in less than 9 seconds.


  99. 99
    Ralph Karsten

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:28 pm)

    In these days of fireflyenergy.com and EEStor, why is the electric-only range of the Volt so low and why are they still worried about lithium-ion batteries?


  100. 100
    Paul

     

    Paul
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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:37 pm)

    Has anyone taken a look at the all electric car availiable now at http://www.telsamotors.com ?


  101. 101
    Dave M.

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (12:57 pm)

    Even if not using the hydrogen fuel cell of the sequel, why not keep its mechanically independent wheel motors on each end of a center sill, instead of the 100 year old roughly “rectangular” frame, for the power train, permitting all-wheel drive without heavy steel clutch or fuid coupling, multigear mechanical or fluid-coupled (“automatic”) transmission, driveshaft, differential?

    It would be much lighter, without losing structural strength, which keeps its weight savings from losing safety in a collision.

    It can also allow more battery weight for even greater petroleum-free range.


  102. 102
    Jim Hellstrom

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (1:11 pm)

    I didn’t see enough negative cosmetic changes in the sneek peek to effect my opinion, however, please, please keep the looks “Chevy” enough so that I don’t have to drive with a “sack over my head” as if I were driving a Prius.


  103. 103
    Jim G

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (1:19 pm)

    Paul – 100
    That’s funny. I am guessing you must be new. Actually, Tesla is having a lot of problems getting these out the door, so I wouldn’t exactly call them “available now” yet. Secondly, not available to most of us at $100k a pop. Not to mention the fact that mile 246 is a doozie.


  104. 104
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (1:28 pm)

    No mention here about Bob Lutz’s 50 minute speech about GM? Only part of the talk was about the Volt – 90% was just GM promotion, BUT he throws down the gauntlet to Toyota, saying that if GM doesn’t have a test vehicle on the road “By the time the Easter Bunny arrives” that he’ll have egg on his face (and he doesn’t like that).
    Tag


  105. 105
    mykallb

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (1:32 pm)

    # Ralph Karsten Says:
    December 11th, 2007 at 12:28 pm Quote

    In these days of fireflyenergy.com and EEStor, why is the electric-only range of the Volt so low and why are they still worried about lithium-ion batteries?

    ======

    Ralph, probably because there is no room for vaporware in the E-flex program. GM’s D. Gray has stated that they’ve looked in to this and it appears that EEstor may have potential down the road, but it’s not much more than a concept.

    M.


  106. 106
    GXT

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (2:02 pm)

    #59 Phil:

    I don’t think (Currently) that you will be able to justify the volt based on cost. You have to justify it on saving oil.

    To complete your comparison, I think you need to add another cost to the Volt. If GM manages to get the battery down to $10,000 and if you get 10 years out of it, and if you drive the “perfect volt amount” of 40 miles per day then, you will get 146,000 miles on the batteries. At $10,000 that is $0.068/mile or $2.74/day for the 40 miles. Add in your cost of electricity and the first 40 miles will cost you ~$3.35.

    Driving less per day makes this even more expensive. If you drive 10 miles per day then each mile will cost $0.274 or $10.95 or just over $11.00 with electricity per day. At $3/gallon, that works out to an effective rate (in terms of cost) of 2.72 MPG. (Note this assumes that driving less will not radically increase the life of the battery. But even if it did increase the life by 50% you would still be at 4.08 MPG.)

    Driving more per day does not change the $2.72 cost for the first 40 miles. Extra charging would. e.g. Assuming you drive two 40+ mile trips/day and you can charge in between, your daily cost for the batteries would be $0.034/mile or $2.74/day for the 80 miles. Add in the cost of electricity and you would get 80 miles for $3.96. (Again, this assumes that driving more will not radically decrease the life of the battery. If it did, you could increase this cost per day.)

    In any of these cases, the cost to the end consumer isn’t a good justification to buy the Volt. Consider a non-GM hybrid if you are looking for that.


  107. 107
    Alex L.

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (2:24 pm)

    I can’t wait for the Volt to come out. For the first time ever we are going to get a car that is not a hybrid, it is electric, with a motor charging the batteries. I still think 40 miles on a charge is pretty small but there is a lot of weight saved by not havign so many batteries. I personally am looking forward to a diesel version which I could run off of bio-diesel and be really cheap/environmentally friendly. Til then, running the engine off ethanol will be enough for me. I agree, that I don’t really care what it looks like as long as there is lots of demand for it, they will make more and the cost will come down.


  108. 108
    noel park

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (2:31 pm)

    Jim G, #98:

    I have said this before but:

    1) I don’t care what it looks like if it has the industry leading Cd. I think that, as one nears the lower limit of the Cd, cars tend to look a lot alike. So don’t be too disappointed if it does look a bit like the Prius, which is the Cd leader in the industry at the moment.

    2) I don’t give a damn what the 0-60 time is. This is about bragging rights for world’s best mileage, and low 0-60 times don’t help. And this frome a Corvette driver! Everything has its place in the spectrum.

    GXT, #106:

    Fine, I’ll justify it on saving oil. And national security, and U.S. jobs, and the survival of our economy.

    Look at the comment of jbfalaska, #60.


  109. 109
    Ken Newman

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (2:33 pm)

    Thanks for comment #106 (GTX)

    I am an appraiser by trade and currently drive a Toyota Prius. Your calculations bring needed input into real-life driving.

    It remains to be seen what the final version of the Volt will offer in regards to the final retail price, the amenitites offered (comfort/safety) and the distance the Volt can travel using both Air Conditioning, Radio in stop and go traffic.

    The good news is that GM has a “golden opportunity” to redeem it’s image by producing a RELIABLE revolutionary vehicle. (After all the Volt should have fewer moving parts with no necessity to change motor oil, spark plugs, etc.)

    I also think GM needs to also get their credit funding institutions (like GMAC Credit, etc.) to lobby the government for substantial rebates/incentives to the end-user. Remember the GM Hummer still gets a one-time tax credit for being (currently) in a “Commercial Vehicle” category (roughly amounting to $20,000+).


  110. 110
    PaulR

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (3:00 pm)

    #196 GXT

    Your calculation seems to be making a few bad assumptions.

    Assumption #1: The battery system will need replacement after 10 years. Probably not true. It may lose some range and performance (just as an ICE hybrid with 146K miles would), but it should still work.

    Assumption #2: The replacement battery system will cost $10K in year 2020. Probably not true. Battery prices should decrease a great deal by 2020.

    Assumption #3: The ICE hybrid vehicle will require zero maintenance even after 146K miles. Probably not true. You should be comparing the cost of energy plus maintenance for both vehicles.


  111. 111
    Jimmy

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (3:00 pm)

    GXT #106,

    You sound like a broken record. Why would someone buy a $20,000 gas car when they could buy and $8,000 gas car? Answering this question will help answer your question about the Volt.

    The specs for the Volt call for a 10 year life …but the battery manufacturers have said the batteries will last for 20 or more years.


  112. 112
    Richard

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (3:10 pm)

    Many of you are predicting costs 10 years from now based on the battery technology of today. Things are changing rapidly. The beauty of the Chevy Volt design is is that they can scale it to rapidly changing technology.

    Like computers, Chevy Volt Ver1.0 will bear no resemblance to say Ver5.2 5 years down the road.

    Even today Exxon say they have found a solution to the battery overheating problem (funny that coming from “Big Oil”)

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5334375.html

    I’m sure the folks at the GM skunkworks
    will be taking note…

    Sure maybe it’ll be 40mi for Volt Ver1.0… but rapidly changing battery technology will quickly make that 50mi for Ver 2.03 and so on… eventually that range may go well past 100mi. So what’s the holy grail? Probably somewhere around 250 miles…. but that might be like trying to get 100mpg out of a gas buggy.

    One thing you can be guaranteed of, once a price has been established for battery replacement (say $10grand) no matter how easy they are made that price will NOT go down… ever, the batteries may get better, in fact they may get a whole lot better, but you can be almost guaranteed that they will always cost the same or even a tad more.


  113. 113
    OhmExcited

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (3:51 pm)

    GXT, time is money. Factor in 10 minutes worth your time for every fillup for the life of a gas car. I personally hate stopping to fill up on my way to work.

    Then factor in the hidden cost of oil:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/saudi/interviews/baker.html

    James Baker III, stated that he, “worked for four administrations under three presidents. And in every one of those, our policy was that we would go to war to protect the energy reserves in the Persian Gulf. That is a major and very significant national security interest that we have.”

    Having US troops in Saudi Arabia is a thankless job that has amplified international terrorism and indirectly led to the current Iraq war. The Chinese are preventing UN action to stop genocide in Darfur to protect their energy supplies in Sudan. Iran is funding their uranium enrichment program with the high income from oil. Russia and Venezuela are using oil wealth to fund a new ideological war against the US. The Saudis live in block size houses with marble and servants because of US cash in exchange for their oil. Their wealth is used to spread their radical beliefs and violence against us and people even loosely associated with us in many different countries.

    Allowing oil to remain a strategic commodity has caused a worldwide fight to the death. It doesn’t have to be that way if we have the confidence and dedication to put a stop to it with national leadership and technological innovation.


  114. 114
    Herkimer

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (3:51 pm)

    [quote comment="18979"]
    One thing you can be guaranteed of, once a price has been established for battery replacement (say $10grand) no matter how easy they are made that price will NOT go down… ever, the batteries may get better, in fact they may get a whole lot better, but you can be almost guaranteed that they will always cost the same or even a tad more.[/quote]

    I disagree with this statement, and I am curious for you to justify it. In my opinion, batteries are ultimately a commodity item. –If I buy a cell phone battery from Motorola – it costs $50. If I hit ebay, I can get it for $15.

    Why would the driving economic principles for a car battery be any different?


  115. 115
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (4:33 pm)

    “Why would the driving economic principles for a car battery be any different?”

    Patents?


  116. 116
    GXT

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (4:47 pm)

    #109 PaulR:
    2) My costs are based on the initial purchase, not the replacement. I am assuming that GM can get the battery cost down to $10,000 for the first go around.

    1) GM hopes the battery will last 10 years. It may or may not. The original owner likely won’t be driving it in 10 years anyways.

    3) I guess I am just used to engines needing no maintenance except for oil changes. Besides, although it likely wouldn’t be used as much, the Volt has an ICE as well.


  117. 117
    GXT

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (4:53 pm)

    #110 Jimmy:

    I’m just saying that at the current time you can’t justify the Volt based on cost savings. Doing calculations that driving 40 miles with the Volt will cost $0.60 is falling into the same trap that GM is currently setting: pretending the battery is free.

    That being said, I’m all for doing it for oil independence.

    As for the 20K vs 8K car, if they got roughly the same fuel economy and had roughly the same features then there is little reason to buy the 20K car.

    As for the 20 year battery life, why not make it 30? Few people will own the car for even 7 years, and those people are going to take a huge hit trying to sell a 7 year old car with an unknown battery life. Make no mistake, you will pay the $10,000 up front for the battery and get little back at resale time.


  118. 118
    GXT

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (5:00 pm)

    112 OhmExcited:

    I agree that saving on the fillups would be great. But if I had a hybrid I could go 20+ days without filling. Compare that to having to plug and plug a car multiple times a day. The savings aren’t that great in the end.

    As for the hidden cost of oil, I totally agree. Oil independence is very important. I say tack on $10,000-$30,000 to each guzzler and use that money to subsidize hybrid prices. It would never happen, but man would it be effective.


  119. 119
    Robert V

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (5:08 pm)

    The cost of electricity is not a problem in Quebec, Canada. It seems that a lot has to be done in the wind tunnel to cut the drag from this massive front-end. We are far from the Toyota Prius sold here in Canada.
    But I know that this car must follow the Chevy look…


  120. 120
    Richard

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (6:15 pm)

    “I disagree with this statement, and I am curious for you to justify it. In my opinion, batteries are ultimately a commodity item. –If I buy a cell phone battery from Motorola – it costs $50. If I hit eBay, I can get it for $15.”

    Try again….

    These are not cellphone batteries produced by the gazillion and I highly doubt that THOSE batteries will become a commodity item anytime soon … and no you won’t be buying them for $10 each on eBay. They will be marketed like ink tanks for Lexmark inkjet printers… with big legal woes for any company that tries to refill the old ones… or like MS Vista which is patented to the hilt, licensed only to you, and constantly checked for authenticity.

    I believe these batteries will be highly proprietary in both physical form and in technology, and there will likely be safeguards (the Volt’s on board computer will likely need to be reinitialized) to prevent people from installing after market products.

    I’m sure GM will want to have full control on what gets installed into those cars.

    Everyone knows that when getting “Genuine GM” parts at a dealer, you usually pay twice the price as an after market jobber, so I highly doubt that you will be able to buy after-market replacement batteries there.

    You will also likely pay top dollar dealership prices to get them installed. I see at least $150/hr. That car won’t be serviced by mechanics… it will be fixed by factory trained electricians specialized in dealing with high voltage DC circuits… and they won’t come cheap.

    The product might be nice but you can be sure the devil is in the details and fine print.


  121. 121
    Tagamet

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (6:28 pm)

    BOY, a couple people on here post like their kittens just died!
    Tagamet


  122. 122
    Doug M

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (6:59 pm)

    Re #119 – Richard

    Re #119 – Richard

    Re battery replacements:
    What about salvage batteries from accidents as a possible cheaper replacement battery for one’s older Chevy Volt, once the original battery has played out or has run its course, also salvage value on original batteries?

    Doug


  123. 123
    pstoller78

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (7:21 pm)

    GM will likely have a hard time limiting aftermarket batteries after the vehicle has been out for a few years. There is nothing they can do to stop folks from reverse engineering the battery. There may not be aftermarket batteries right away but I strongly believe there will be eventually.


  124. 124
    mykallb

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (8:10 pm)

    This is true. While part of the high cost is the materials, other significant costs are the size, development, and proprietary nature of them. However, there are aftermarkets out there that will capitalize on replacement batts and the cost WILL come down.

    I’ve got to believe that GM wants to be in the battery business in the not too distant future. Why miss out on a big slice of the replacement parts pie for your own product?

    M.


  125. 125
    Jimmy

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (8:16 pm)

    Mass production, economies of scale, and critical mass, and competition will all drive down the cost of the batteries in the future.

    Following is from an interview with A123:

    “Then there’s the final hurdle: cost. At the moment, 12-V lead-acid batteries cost US $40 to $50 per kWh. Nickel-cadmium and nickel-metal-hydride cells for portable electronics cost $350/kWh; lithium-ion cells for the same market go for $450/kWh. Move to hybrid vehicles, though, and the price for longer-lived, more rugged nickel-metal-hydride batteries shoots up to about $700/kWh. That’s more than double the $300 target set by the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium for automotive lithium-ion packs.

    Manufacturers expect to reach that target by 2015, but in the earlier stages of production the price will likely be several times higher. How low must the price fall before a manufacturer will commit to even a low-volume purchase? No one will say, though every manufacturer surely has a threshold in mind. As GM’s Verbrugge summarized with a straight face, “Cost lower—always better.”

    Source: http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/sep07/5490/3

    In summary:

    16 KWH X $450 (current cost of lithium cells per kwh) = $7,200 = Approximate cost of Volt battery.

    16 KWH X $300 (2015 expected cost of lithium cells per kwh) = $4,800 = 2015 approximate cost of Volt battery.

    GM will also save by not putting in a big ice and transmission in the Volt.

    I believe the $10,000 figure thrown around above is inaccurate.

    The following link indicates A123′s batteries minimal power degradation after 300,000 cycles. 300,000 cycles divided by 365 days in a year = 821 years. I doubt if they will last that long but I also doubt the resale value of the Volt will be minimal as GXT suggests.

    Source:
    http://a123systems.com/#/applications/hev/hchart3/


  126. 126
    Scott H

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (8:28 pm)

    Yep, I hope the battery cost is closer to your estimates, Jimmy. And, let’s not forget that super and ultracapacitor technology will be growing in the near future. Just imagine a capacitor pack instead of a battery one. The cost would drop greatly.

    Good discussions, guys.


  127. 127
    Herkimer

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (8:32 pm)

    [quote comment="19006"]These are not cellphone batteries produced by the gazillion and I highly doubt that THOSE batteries will become a commodity item anytime soon … and no you won’t be buying them for $10 each on eBay. [/quote]

    See — now this is a much stronger argument. Thank you.

    I suspect the truth will lie somewhere in-between. I can’t think of a production car ever developed (from the Civic to the Viper) that didn’t have something available in the aftermarket. It will be very interesting to see what develops for this car — especially battery options.


  128. 128
    Herkimer

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (8:39 pm)

    [quote comment="19000"]112 OhmExcited:

    I agree that saving on the fillups would be great. But if I had a hybrid I could go 20+ days without filling. Compare that to having to plug and plug a car multiple times a day. The savings aren’t that great in the end.
    [/quote]

    This is a weak argument. Electricity is available almost everywhere — and will be moreso in the future when cars like this catch on. Plugging-in will be an afterthought on your way into the office — similar to locking your doors.

    Are the savings not that good? Boo Hoo! Electricity is cleaner to generate, and produced domestically. Who cares if there isn’t a MASSIVE SAVINGS associated with doing what’s politically and environmentally responsible.

    Please quit posting like a troll.


  129. 129
    law

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (9:12 pm)

    GXT

    “I’m just saying that at the current time you can’t justify the Volt based on cost savings. Doing calculations that driving 40 miles with the Volt will cost $0.60 is falling into the same trap that GM is currently setting: pretending the battery is free.”

    That 0.60 value for 40 miles is the cost of the energy. The cost of the battery, ICE and generator can compare to the cost of the ICE, tranny in a regular car. There are tradeoffs. some people like to pay more up front to get more stability down the road, other idiots buy hummers while gas prices are expected to go up to 5 dollars soon.

    “That being said, I’m all for doing it for oil independence.

    As for the 20K vs 8K car, if they got roughly the same fuel economy and had roughly the same features then there is little reason to buy the 20K car.”

    A lot of people prefer the 20K car, lots of people by 40K cars.

    “As for the 20 year battery life, why not make it 30? Few people will own the car for even 7 years, and those people are going to take a huge hit trying to sell a 7 year old car with an unknown battery life. Make no mistake, you will pay the $10,000 up front for the battery and get little back at resale time. ”

    If the battery really does last the 7 years I’ll be happy to sell the car with a discount on the battery. But if gas is $10 per gallon and GM and other car companies have not ramped up their production of E-REVs yet, the used volt will probably sell for more than the original cost.


  130. 130
    mykallb

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (11:01 pm)

    The point is that GXT has no point at all.

    Are we going to dissect the hidden costs in some new vehicle of its “new” 3.x V-6 and then try to justify buying the vehicle based on some silly breakdown of cost per mile? I can’t even begin to describe how silly an argument this is, and how irrelevant.

    GXT is just a very silly Toyota exec watching billions of PHEV (which the Volt is *NOT*) investment go down the drain.

    GXT, you might want to “moisten” your finger before you try to plug the dike that’s about to burst. That way you’ll at least feel you’ve you’ve given it your “all”.

    M.


  131. 131
    ob1canola

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (11:28 pm)

    Photo shows squat.Guess thats why they call it a teaser. so anyone know what size solar panel
    i will need to charge this car in 6 hrs.
    I mean If i am going to reduce my footprint
    than i want to do it right.
    kudos to gm for building the volt.
    Now if you can make it affordable to the common man than you can get a nobel peace prize.


  132. 132
    james

     

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    Dec 11th, 2007 (11:36 pm)

    lot of good stuff on here, but i gotta say;

    M 130. love that stuff, rotf lmao…are you sure gxt isn’t doug k.?


  133. 133
    Byron

     

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    Dec 12th, 2007 (4:23 am)

    I was wondering how GM was going to keep the interest going for two or more years in the Volt and now I know. Every three or four months they will give you another peek at a very small portion of the body and then the interior and then the drive train. I still think this could be on the market next year but they are waiting for all the markets that this will impact from the oil companies to the auto parts and even their own dealers to prepare. I believe that the foreign market will have these available long before two years. The environment and the people need them now. How long did it take to get the wind tunnel up and running as nothing they have produced in the last few years sure didn’t make that test least of all the Hummer. Lyle being a doctor surly knows the increase in respertory problems and that can only get worse. Like a scientist recently said the enviroment will always be here, it’s ability to sustain life won’t. GM get it off the shelf and on the market. I’m waiting. Thanks Lyle for keeping this going. GM needs to take a lesson from you.


  134. 134
    David Tagliaferri

     

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    Dec 12th, 2007 (6:58 am)

    I really don’t care what this car will look like. I just want an efficient alternative to what is on the market now.


  135. 135
    D. Manwell

     

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    Dec 12th, 2007 (1:06 pm)

    What is the Volt’s powertrain like? Does it have 4 mechanically independent wheel motors? On the PBS special I saw, it’s platform appeared to have a center sill, instead of the historically typical roughly rectangular one, used for 100 years by petroleum’s gas buggies.

    The center sill support structure would tend to favor the wheel motors; using them does free up a lot of weight for other things, such as more battery mass (see DaveM, 12/11, 12:57 pm, above).


  136. 136
    G Strand

     

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    Dec 12th, 2007 (2:06 pm)

    DON’T CHANGE THE FRONT END FROM WHAT IS ON THE CONCEPT VEHICLE. YOU ARE ALREADY MOVING AWAY FROM THE DESIGN THAT IS GOING TO HELP SELL IT.


  137. 137
    John W.

     

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    Dec 12th, 2007 (5:24 pm)

    Yea! The airbrushed photo looks like an Impala. Just can’t get away from a proven favorite, eh? I liked the original concept look, as it didn’t look typical, nor did it look like the lunar rover. Either way, if it can save a significant amount of gas, that’s the main idea, isn’t it? The Impala is about the best looking car on the road now, under $35,000.


  138. 138
    D. Manwell

     

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    Dec 12th, 2007 (5:46 pm)

    Scott: A capacitor or cap pack is the way to go! Just imagine the speed of re-”fueling” (recharging) that. Compare it with filling a gasoline tank. Yes.

    It would also be lighter.


  139. 139
    Barry

     

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    Dec 13th, 2007 (5:37 pm)

    I am very much behind GM and the Volt. We are behind where we should be at with alternative fuels/propulsion.

    I fear that the actual production Volt will be so far from the concept we wont recognize it. This is sad! Why cant we save the environment and have something decent to look at? Why do they have to be so bland and vanilla?
    My past vehicles have varied in design from A Saturn SL2, PT Cruiser to a CTS.

    My hope is that you will be able to look at a Volt and tell that it is, something different. Not just another GM that could be one of a half dozen undistinguishable cars on the street.


  140. 140
    Mike Huggins

     

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    Dec 13th, 2007 (7:17 pm)

    I teach computer classes in Grove, Oklahoma. My 5 classes of 15-23 high school students have been following the production of the volt since it was introduced at NAIAS. We are all excited that several of them are interested in taking the 14 hour drive to Detroit this year in hopes to see the production version unveiled.

    Note to GM – How about a dozen passes to NAIAS this year to hand out to my interested kids who are willing to make the 14hr one way trip!


  141. 141
    D. Manwell

     

    D. Manwell
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    Dec 13th, 2007 (10:39 pm)

    Maybe someday, purely electric cars can have large capacitors, chargeable as quickly as filling gasoline tanks. In output circuits, high resistance can slow discharge enough for an entire trip (400 miles?). As the discharging capacitor’s voltage drops, a small computer chip, monitoring the capacitor’s available voltage, can periodically decrease output circuit-resistance somewhat, keeping its voltage and responsiveness consistent until energy is depleted. An instrument-panel voltmeter would apprise of its energy’s decline, like today’s gasoline gauges do, helping suggest when to stop for more. For restarting cars stranded from running out, portable capacitors (charged wherever convenient), carried onboard or aboard service trucks, like today’s gas cans, could offer some emergency recharging, if necessary. Diodes in series with input circuits can keep current from discharging back during “fill-ups” with pure electricity. Accidentally driving off while plugged in can be prevented by an internal safety switch, that keeps the output circuit open. Such service infrastructure changes needn’t be expensive, requiring only sufficiently large, metered and bill-totaling, electric cords at the “pump” island. Perhaps these could even accept charge/debit cards.


  142. 142
    Gregory Engwall

     

    Gregory Engwall
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    Dec 13th, 2007 (10:56 pm)

    I first heard about the Volt when I was in school at UTI. So I started researching it online. This is an impressive car, to get 40 miles on pure electricity for a days commute is outstanding. Thats 90% of my driving, the savings in gas alone will pay off the car in 5 or 6 years. Who cares about the design, what sells is what the car has to offer. I’m behind GM 100% on whatever they deside. I can’t wait to see what the car is going to look like when finished………


  143. 143
    phil

     

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    Dec 17th, 2007 (1:21 pm)

    WILL SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY THE VOLT CANNOT BE CHARGED FROM THE FORWARD MOTION OF THE CAR?


  144. 144
    Jim G

     

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    Dec 17th, 2007 (4:14 pm)

    phil-

    No need to yell. I’ve seen comments like yours before. It seems that you might be thinking that you can get back the energy that you use to propel the car. That energy is not free. You will always get back less energy than you put into a system. (Try to recharge a flashlight’s batteries by shining the flashlight on a solar panel.) Some have even discussed attaching windmills on the car. You will always create more drag than you gain.

    You might be referring to regenerative braking, which is absorbing the energy of deceleration through a generator instead of, or in addition to brakes. That will be part of the Volt’s design.


  145. 145
    Jim I

     

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    Dec 17th, 2007 (4:57 pm)

    Phil #143:

    I agree with Jim G #144. It all has to do with basic physics. One of the laws of physics is that energy is neither created or destroyed, but only changes form.

    It will take electrical energy to get and keep the Volt moving. If you added a fifth wheel to the car, hooked up to a generator to try to recharge the batteries while the car is moving, it would take more electrical energy from the batteries to move the car, because of the friction of the fifth wheel on the road, and from the generator connected to that wheel. And friction causes heat. So to make the electrical energy to charge that batteries, there would be a net loss of energy going into the batteries, because some of it is lost in the transfer due to heat. Here is a link that may describe it better for you:

    http://www.iptv.org/exploremore/energy/Energy_In_Depth/sections/potential.cfm

    I hope I did not confuse you more….


  146. 146
    D. Manwell

     

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    Dec 17th, 2007 (8:50 pm)

    Why would a purely electric Chevy “Volt” have to be limited to commuting?

    There could be overnight metered recharging cords outside individual motel rooms (with at least one outlet for the meter inside the office, where it would be safe from customer tampering, another in the guest’s room, so he could be sure it was accurate, and perhaps turn it off or unplug before it went too high).

    The car’s power consumption expense would simply be added to the guest’s bill.


  147. 147
    Ken Newman

     

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    Dec 19th, 2007 (3:42 am)

    A MSN article has just been posted showing Hybrid Technologies out of Mooresville, North Carolina offering battery conversions of popular cars like the Chrysler Crossfire, PT Cruiser and Mini Cooper. Per the article, the Mini Cooper will be available at Walmart in 2008.

    The Mini Cooper conversion is expensive ($35,000) however the car will go 120 miles on a charge and do 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds. I am sure hoping GM is aware of this development!

    http://editorial.autos.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=440939&topart=hybrids


  148. 148
    Byron

     

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    Dec 20th, 2007 (12:14 pm)

    For all of you that fear that the Volt will not look like a race car fear no more. GM just announced this morning that they will fill that niche with a new Corvette that will compete with the European market. For a mere $100,000 you will be able to purchase one this summer so best get to the dealer and get your name on the list. No word on gas millege but I am sure by 2020 they can get it to 35mpg. So if they can have this on the market this summer I guess all of the engineers are not working on the Volt. All so announced was a price increase of $1,500 on 08 models. Does this mean that instead of $3000 to $6000 rebates we can add another $1,500??? GM stock has dropped from $36.00 per share to $26.00. All so announced was the outsourceing of the medium size truck division to Navistar. I’m sure this new Corvette will pull them out of the little slump they seem to be in and the profits they make from it will allow them to get the Volt out in less than two years.


  149. 149
    Alex L

     

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    Dec 20th, 2007 (3:40 pm)

    Are you joking? You must be joking. You’re saying its ok that the Volt will look like a Malibu because the new Corvette will look like a race car? Who exactly can afford a 100K Corvette, and who would want one when I can get a Porsche for that. I think that’s a really stupid move of Chevy if they think an overpriced sportscar can save them and not a car that is looking towards the future instead of the past.


  150. 150
    Byron

     

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    Dec 20th, 2007 (11:54 pm)

    I called GM when I first heard of the Volt and ask when it would be on the market. The person I talked to said they had to be sure there was a market for it first. This was at a time when they couldn’t make Prius’s fast enough. I ask him if he was aware of that fact to which he never responded. I didn’t know what a EV-1 was at this time so did the research, watched Who Killed The Electric Car and we ended up with the Hummer. This at least help me understand why all the resentment with GM. Now we are nearing a crisis on so many fronts, $100 dollar oil, high priced gas, and cities in a constant fog, people dying for the controll of oil and they come out with a new Corvette to compete with the Lamborghini. No wonder EV-1 people said they would believe the Volt when they see it. Hydrogen might be a better answer over all but is so far out that it shouldn’t even be a consideration and yet that was what they displayed at the Seattle Auto Show. No Volt and I drove 2 1/2 hours one way to see it. Maybe when the letters GM start with a T it will get turned around. With the decisions they are making can that be far off?? Maybe the Prius is not such a bad looking car after all.


  151. 151
    Kyle(Texas)

     

    Kyle(Texas)
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    Jan 8th, 2008 (11:06 pm)

    There is already a Volt out on the road in production…….take a second to look at the Dodge Caliber. Making it less sporty, adding more doors, smaller tires…..presto…Dodge Caliber. No designing needed, just ask Dodge to borrow their designs.

    As many have stated, the Japanese will beat us to the punch. I think GM is just stalling in hopes that oil will come back down and then they will kill the whole project. They have too much vested in oil and the American consumer forgets VERY easily once the price of gas heads back down a couple of cents.

    Remember just a few months ago how everyone was up in arms that gas prices where almost $3.00 a gallon and that demand would really decline once it hit. Well, here we are at OVER $3.00 a gallon and we keep buying.


  152. 152
    Kyle(Texas)

     

    Kyle(Texas)
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    Jan 8th, 2008 (11:17 pm)

    There is already a Volt out on the road in production…….take a second to look at the Dodge Caliber. Making it less sporty, adding more doors, smaller tires…..presto…Dodge Caliber. No designing needed, just ask Dodge to borrow their designs.

    As many have stated, the Japanese will beat us to the punch. I think GM is just stalling in hopes that oil will come back down and then they will kill the whole project. They have too much vested in oil and the American consumer forgets VERY easily once the price of gas heads back down a couple of cents.

    Remember just a few months ago how everyone was up in arms that gas prices where almost $3.00 a gallon and that demand would really decline once it hit. Well, here we are at OVER $3.00 a gallon and we keep buying.

    Styling is what most attracts people to this vehicle. Change it and you will lose a ton of buyers and it will take the route of the EV-1.

    You have to win over the crowd that buys the majority of vehicles the most FREQUENTLY.

    No offense to anyone, but most hippies I know are still driving the same vehicle they bought 30 years ago. You have got to appeal to the people with the most money because they are the ones that buy your cars MORE often, which translates to better returns on your investment.


  153. 153
    Ted

     

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    Jan 10th, 2008 (8:56 am)

    What impact will this latest Lithium Ion 10x increase in battery capacity have on this car?

    http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Stanford_Nanowire_Battery_Holds_10_Times_The_Charge_Of_Existing_Ones_999.html


  154. 154
    Ron

     

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    Jan 16th, 2008 (4:48 am)

    Come on guys, the new styling looks better than the concept to me! It looks sleeker than my ’96 Nissan 240SX and that’s no small feat.


  155. 155
    Ron

     

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    Jan 16th, 2008 (4:50 am)

    Come on guys, the new styling looks better than the concept to me! It looks sleeker than my ’96 Nissan 240SX and that’s no small feat.

    When they finally start having serious marketing campaignes for the car, the first three or so commercials should have the song “Remedy” by the Black Crowes jamming in the background. It is the perfect theme song for this car and all Gen-Xers love the Black Crowes. The Volt IS the Remedy, get it? Listen to the song, you’ll understand!


  156. 156
    Ken Newman

     

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    Jan 18th, 2008 (1:59 am)

    Link to a new MSNBC video expose’: “Mike On America – Inside GM’s Volt”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/22686024#22686024


  157. 157
    Robert Eckert

     

    Robert Eckert
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    Jan 27th, 2008 (2:53 pm)

    Excellent Blog!Very well designed and focused.


  158. 158
    32 bit vs 64 bit windows vista

     

    32 bit vs 64 bit windows vista
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    Jan 30th, 2008 (2:16 am)

    32 bit vs 64 bit windows vista…


  159. 159
    Byron

     

    Byron
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    Feb 4th, 2008 (1:05 am)

    NEWS RELEASE SEATTLE TIMES Fri. 2-1-08
    Page E-2 Big Production run seen for Volt hybrid. GM vying with Toyota for the global sales lead, plans to build “tens of thousands” of Cheve Volts within a year of starting production in 2010. Were not doing the Volt to sell 500 or 1000 cars, Jon Lauckner,GM’s VP for global program management said Thur. Were talking about tens of thousands and more than that within the year. But GM won’t meet its goal of selling the Volt for less than $30,000 Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said in an interview published Thur. So there you have it hot off the press.
    Sundays Times told of Exxon’s eye popping 40.6 billion yearly earnings beating its own record to rack up the largest annual corp profit in U S history. The annual profit was enough, at $3 a gallon, to buy nearly four 15-gallon fill-ups for the roughly 243 million registered passenger vehicles on American roads. Now tell me again,” who runs this country”??


  160. 160
    how much weight can plants lift

     

    how much weight can plants lift
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    Feb 19th, 2008 (3:12 am)

    how much weight can plants lift…

    com proudly introduces FitNRG. I give it a 9. There are many whey protein powder supplements on the market, and most are quite "similar"…


  161. 161
    Electro Maniac

     

    Electro Maniac
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    Mar 17th, 2008 (3:21 pm)

    I hope they get rid of the curve in the side windows!  I can only imagine the headache that would give me having to look through a fish bowl all day….. other wise I cant wait to get mine!


  162. 162
    Gus

     

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    Mar 22nd, 2008 (6:13 pm)

    Maybe you haven’t read up on the cost to recharge this car or how it really works. How I understand it, is that at current electric charges it costs $ 7.00 to $12.00 a week in Electric, charging the car every day. Driving 40 miles per day you won’t need Gas. $12.00 will buy you about 3.5 gallons of gas. If you use one of the most efficient cars, you should get 35 to 40 mpg on the high side this would be 140 miles. The GM VOLT on charge only "NO GAS "should get around 280 miles. When you do the math, it’s double what you get with gas. That’s $12.00Have you noticed gas prices aren’t getting cheaper either. The 640 miles they show you are based on charging the car once and utilizing the gas in the 12 gallon gas tank to keep driving while the small motor uses its power to recharge the batteries.An end result of around 50 miles per gallon after your 40 miles from 1 electric charge up. This sounds impressive to me. GM should be talking about the low cost of going 280 miles a week with no fuel costing about$12.00.If they promoted the car like thispeople would be jumping in line with me to get one. Gus http://www.LuckyDayTickets.com


  163. 163
    Collen

     

    Collen
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    Apr 5th, 2008 (3:37 am)

    Collen…

    ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being….