Feb 18

The Latest with Frank Weber, E-Flex/Chevy Volt Vehicle Line Executive

 

weber_me.jpg

I sat down for a brief Q and A with Frank Weber. He is the vehicle line executive for the Chevy Volt and all of E-Flex systems for GM. He knows a lot about what’s going on and is very forthright and forthcoming.

What was GMs motivation to build the Volt?

Societal challenge. Look at the future what you see is that not the industry nor any individual OEM can afford not to believe that this is next big step. Because it is the only technology currently available that can make a fundamental difference. People say “yes but you do hybrids”, but this is there to improve fuel economy above regular fuel-consuming vehicles. Then you look at the data that we currently have on the Volt, and we did intensive work. What we did was in Southern California there are data released from the regional traffic survey, over 600 people had data recorders in their vehicles to see “how long did they drive”, “how demanding was their driving”, lots of data, and we looked at it and we said “What difference would the Volt make in that context relative to hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and conventional vehicles?” The data is just amazing. They had engines starting ten times, we’d have it starting one time, reducing emissions by 70%. When you look at the fuel economy in the end and you saw how many percent versus conventional, you would be at twenty percent of fuel consumed for those drivers, and by the way, those were regular drivers, and SUVs and everything, so this was not a special group.

With the Volt what you see is this is the only way to produce (the energy) independence that we were looking for, and the 40 miles, and this is what made us so comfortable that the concept was right, will really be for a majority of drivers, because the only thing that counts is what will be the reality when you drive this vehicle, is the guy able to say the week has seven days and I will be able to drive six of those without burning any fuel. This is whats going to happen.

If you think this concept through its not about whether you have then once a week the engine will start and burn fuel, this is fine and give people the security that they can do everything with this vehicle that they are used to, but what really counts is what will happen with daily driving in a real world environment. There many people have not even understood how significant the changes are that that this concept will introduce.

The Volt development program is unique because it is parallel in that you are developing the pack at the same time as the rest of the car instead of in serial order?

(Normally) What you would do with the propulsion train and the battery side is you would have a what we call a decoupled or pre-development of that activity, only the moment you know that this is all working and you have tested it then you would start the actual vehicle program.

What we have done is we said to save time, (considering) our confidence with the battery technology and the propulsion technology is so high that we will start the vehicle and the propulsion/battery at the same time, except that this is introducing a higher risk to the development process. What we are doing with this is that we will have the tests of batteries in cars available in early 2008. I’d be surprised if things occur that were not foreseen, although this might happen. We still think it is still the better way to accept risk and build up hardware for the real production vehicle. It speeds up things dramatically.

Beside the battery packs, do you already have all the rest of the hardware for the vehicle functional, for these development mules, i.e the motor control systems, and generator, etc?

What we are doing is we are leveraging, we have a powertrain portfolio because of the strong hybrid and 2-mode hybrid, there is a lot of electric drive experience, and we have the Equinox fuel cell vehicle which is electric, and what we are now doing for the Volt is we are combining those efforts and are not developing everywhere, especially in places where it is not necessarily unique, developing everywhere new components, so the regenerative brakes are just another generation of what we are doing on the two-modes, so we are combining everywhere now pulling together this portfolio of fairly reliable components where we have some background.

Is the electric motor for the Volt the same as what you already have in the 2-modes or fuel cell Equinox or new and different?

It is a different motor specifically designed for the performance needs of the Volt. We will have the first prototypes soon, but as a physical part it is currently not available. We are talking about 115 kW of peak power and this is not something we have around. The hybrid motors don’t need this power. It is a different configuration.

Are you considering different options for generator configuration, for example a parallel design when in charge-sustaining mode?

What we always said is clearly, we have a simplified gasoline or biofuel engine on-board that is only there to generate electricity, and we don’t want to introduce more complexity to the design. Many discussions around the engines itself have been had whether it is diesel or not, but in the end I said I really don’t care because it is an engine that is only there to generate electricity and we will do everything to simplify wherever we can.

If the engine is only there to generate electricity why don’t you use a turbine or a Stirling engine?

What you will see is midterm and longterm there might be other solutions for how you generate electricity but since we said time is important and being fast is important, and also commercial viability is important you will leverage what you currently have in your portfolio, picking up “family zero” small displacement gasoline engines. By leveraging existing powertrain components means for us limiting engineering risk, being fast in execution, and being at a cost point where all those, what you’ve described, advanced solutions that are currently not available, would not be affordable. In the end, these don’t make much of a difference, because we dont want to burn gasoline to generate electricity, this is not the idea of the vehicle. So there will be alternative solutions in the future but for the time being I think we are more comfortable in taking something that we have.

Have you chosen the exact engine that you want to use?

The one that you saw in the show car last year is a “family zero” engine. We are currently working to optimize the specific setup for it, but we will be working off that specific engine.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 18th, 2008 at 6:00 am and is filed under Engineering, GM Q and A, Original GM-Volt Interviews, Production. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 86


  1. 1
    NZDavid

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (6:16 am)

    Great post Lyle.

    “Is the electric motor for the Volt the same as what you already have in the 2-modes or fuel cell Equinox or new and different?

    It is a different motor specifically designed for the performance needs of the Volt. We will have the first prototypes soon, but as a physical part it is currently not available.”

    So the problem getting the mules up and running is the lack of motors. Wow, I had not realised things were so tight with the program.


  2. 2
    Mike G.

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (7:06 am)

    Great article! This maybe getting ahead of ourself but a compressed air engine might be a good alternative in the future if infrastructure was developed for it. That way when your batteries do reach their aux. power charge level you could then use compressed air and not rely on gasoline at all. It would be a good alternative I would think because you could recharge the cylinder at a gas station or convience store pretty quickly.

    But I agree for now… initially gve people what they are familiar with… what gm has available now, with a proven track record. It would really suck if the GM-Volt were to fall on its face because the generator was cutting edge and caused a few problems.

    Woohoo… I am first!


  3. 3
    Jim I

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (7:09 am)

    Those were decent answers to good questions. I realize that no one at GM can really give out specific part numbers for competative reasons, but you do get a feeling of where they are heading.

    And it sure seems like they are on track to get this done for late 2010.

    Good job Lyle!


  4. 4
    Koz

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (8:21 am)

    Sounds like they are really pushing hard and more importantly pushing “right”. The generator needs to be as simple and inexpensive as possible. Future develpment for a Volt class vehicle is best conentrated around battery developement (range increases). No reason to spend too much money and effort developing a component whose goal is obsolescence and a path to that end is visible. Developing advanced engines for SUV’s and heavier duty vehicles may make some sense but one could argue to add a cylinder to the ICE, use 2 115KW motors, increase battery size and run with it.


  5. 5
    Josh C

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (8:23 am)

    I’m a computer guy, so I am always thinking about upgrading my computer. It seems like this car design would make it easy to upgrade the generator at some point in the future. Pulling out the gas engine, and putting in a fuel cell after three or four years.
    I don’t remember seeing that discussed, but it would be really nice to think that is a possibility for us who plan to by one of the first releases.


  6. 6
    Dave B

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (8:33 am)

    Josh C @ 4,

    I love the analogy of computer to car. If I need a little extra speed for gaming, you throw in a faster processor or RAM. Why not have the ability to customize your car from GM?

    Extra range, extra gizmos (we’ve talk about that one), and possibly make it swappable rather than just at the initial build. Upgrades would be very easy and would make generation 1 very appealing.


  7. 7
    Tim

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (8:38 am)

    Great interview with logical answers to sound questions.

    Thanks Lyle!


  8. 8
    PeteVE

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (9:02 am)

    First post for me, so I have to say, Lyle, thanks for all of your work on this site to promote a passion of yours.

    Second, I’ve been wanting a car to switch components in and out and have all along assumed I will do this to my volt when I get one. I too am a CS guy and loved the configurability of the old Jeep CJs on looks and engine. To me, they were jsut a case and you could buy the aftermarket parts and piece your own style of CJ together. I have yet to own a vehicle I haven’t played with and personalized it. I’m kinda excited to see what is available to play with on this one.

    Granted, I will have to watch for the warrenty/guarrenty stuff and take what they will say into account.

    I’ve even been looking into what my state will help with to grid-tie my house with solar panels to become even more efficient given that I will grabbing more and more power from the grid once I get my Volt.


  9. 9
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (9:03 am)

    Josh C and Dave B. I agree. Modularization is the key to making easily swappable parts. I’m all for that. Swap out the battery for new technology, the ICE, HVAC, etc.

    Lyle, great interview. I learned a lot and it seems they are more than
    “pretty serious” about this.


  10. 10
    Jack

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (9:50 am)

    I think the best engine is the engine that GM has talked about using. Add to it the technology described in the link below. This technology would be ideal because a generator needs to rotates at a constant speed and this technology will add another 15% efficiency. Tune it to rotate at the sweet spot( where it gets it most efficiency).

    http://blog.mlive.com/autoblog/2007/08/how_about_that_homogeneous_cha.html


  11. 11
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (10:17 am)

    First of all, which person in the picture is Frank Weber?

    Second, perhaps you could submit the questions to your interviewees for written answers, as Franks’ verbal answers ramble, or perhaps you could correct his English through paraphrasing. Some sentences were ambiguous / contradictory, if taken literally – fortunately, we all know what he means.

    Third, it is a great strategy to just cobble existing sub-systems from previous / current vehicles together. I see this as the only way a multi-threaded parallel effort can rapidly succeed. Optimization / customization can occur through subsequent iterations.

    Fourth, is GM going to use an asynchronus, magnetless motor like Tesla Motors? Dyson (vacuum guy) is now using motors that are brushless – are you employing that tech as well?

    Fifth, as Frank Weber stated, other techs can be examined for the range extender – I hope they investigate the rotary air engine, as a zero emissions option:

    http://www.engineair.com.au/


  12. 12
    o.jeff

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (10:18 am)

    Thanks for asking the question about the progress of all the other non-battery components of the car. It is good to hear that GM can transfer its work on other vehicles to the Volt.

    The Volt makes so much sense. I have to believe it will be the first of many range-extended electric vehicles.


  13. 13
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (10:31 am)

    #4, Josh C,

    GM shows their product plans, which include the hydrogen fuel cell:

    http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/PDF/presentation-sm.pdf

    #1, Mike G,

    You beat me to the punch about a compressed air motor (rotary in my case), check out the website:

    http://www.engineair.com.au/


  14. 14
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (10:34 am)

    Jason M. Hendlerm #10

    “First of all, which person in the picture is Frank Weber?”

    Frank is the one on the right. Lyle is on the left.

    ————–
    “Second, perhaps you could submit the questions to your interviewees for written answers, as Franks’ verbal answers ramble, or perhaps you could correct his English through paraphrasing. Some sentences were ambiguous / contradictory, if taken literally – fortunately, we all know what he means.”

    Jason M. Hendler, please give Lyle a break. He is a Neurologist, not a journalist, who works on this site in his spare time. He does the best he can with the limited resources he has.

    ———————————–

    Lyle, you are doing a great job here. The English does not need to be perfect, and I don’t care about the rambling. Thank you for keeping this site updated as often as you do. Between your professional life and GM-Volt life, I can’t imagine you have much time left for anything. Thank you.


  15. 15
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (10:46 am)

    #13, Rashid Amul,

    My apologies, my written words come across very harsh – it is not intended.

    Lyle,

    Yes, you have a fantastic site here, that I enjoy viewing, sorry that I was being critical. It was more about Frank’s rambling than your editing, but, regardless, I will keep my mouth shut.

    Glad you included yourself in the photo – you look alot like my brother who works at the GM Tech Center (probably 20 years ago for him, as he is much older now). It’s apparent in the photo that all the Volt guys are psyched about the project.


  16. 16
    Jim D

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (11:12 am)

    Yes, sounds like a very practical way to get the first Volts out….

    reusing technology….

    then why is it costing a billion dollars….????

    ….Never Mind…


  17. 17
    noel park

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (11:15 am)

    Excellent. Thank you.

    I am always encouraged when people talk about keeping it as simple as possible, and using off the shelf components as much as possible. He is totally right that this is what leads to successful products in acceptable time frames.

    Maybe it’s time to rethink Keep It Simple Stupid. I’m not much for acronyms, so maybe somebody can come up with one. I would just say Keep It Simple – Brilliant”. “Keep It Simple – Smart”?


  18. 18
    kent beuchert

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (11:44 am)

    He’s exactly right : the range extender engine is not the focus and changes to it would have very small effects for almost everyone, thus it’s not worth the effort trying to improve that engine – it’s already is ethanol-ready, and thats the important part for avoiding crude. The main star of this show is the battery pack, and the faster its price can be reduced, the more successful the E_Flex platform will be. MY stats show a 93% reduction in liquid fuel requirements with a commuter fleet of Volts, even without workplace recharge. Add 1/4th of the fleet recharging at work and the liquid fuel avoidance jumps to 96%. At that point ethanol can meet the entire country’s
    private transportation liquid fuel needs.


  19. 19
    nasaman

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (12:30 pm)

    It’s a small point, but I wonder if Weber’s mention of a 115KW motor that’s unique to the Volt mean they’ve shaved the motor size down from its original 120KW?


  20. 20
    Wise Golden

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    Gm is definately doing the right thing by using an existing engine. No point in pouring a lot of money and resources into something that is hardly ever going to be used. The ICE is like a fire escape — you put it in just in case, but you hope to never need it.

    What is “Family Zero?” Which GM engine is that? Does anyone know?


  21. 21
    nasaman

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (1:20 pm)

    Another minor point: Lyle asked Weber, “Beside the battery packs, do you already have all the rest of the hardware for the vehicle functional, for these development mules….?”

    Weber’s response suggested to me that they’re using anything that already exists from Equinox (for example) but perhaps optimizing it for Volt. And several days ago another GM spokeperson said they were thinking of using things like ***redundant*** accessories to save time. I was puzzled by that ….how can windshield wipers or an audio system be “redundant”?

    Since then, I’ve noticed a hybrid cutaway that included a standard 12V battery (in addition to its high-voltage battery). So now, considering Weber’s response as well, I’m wondering if the previous GM spokesperson might have meant that they’ll use a 12V battery for some (or many) accessories (rather than route 300V all around the car) –in other words, the 12V battery would be considered a redundant “accessories” battery to the high-voltage battery.

    That would mean they’d have to devise a way keep the 12V battery charged (shouldn’t be difficult), BUT THEY ALSO COULD THEN CHOSE FROM THE WIDE RANGE OF PROVEN ACCESSORIES ALREADY IN THE PARTS BIN to save development time & resources ….12V wipers, radio/audio systems, door locks, electric windows, heated outside mirrors, power seats, rear window defogger, etc, etc. It might also mean the range extender could be started from the 12V battery via a separate starter motor, as well as from its generator/motor fed by the main battery. It would mean the 300V (or whatever) would not have to be routed all over the car (to the windows, dash, seats, mirrors, lighting, etc, but instead be routed ONLY in protected, high-voltage, double-insulation sheathing directly to the motor controller. This approach could make redundant 12V power a very wise safety measure!

    Interesting to speculate, but as a NASA guy I LOVE redundancy (I’ve always agonized over the fact that all the cars I’ve owned have been LOADED with single point failures — e.g., fan belt, fuel pump, battery, etc …..ad nauseum). If the Volt used proven 12V accessories operated from a battery independent of the main traction battery, the main battery couldn’t be discharged if the headlights were accidently left on during a month in an airport parking lot!


  22. 22
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (1:36 pm)

    #20, nasaman,

    You must have loved when engines started using serpentine belts for all parasitic sub-systems. My old Ford Escort had that, and when that belt failed, I was forced to use a shorter belt and bypass the A/C compressor, never bothering to find the rare belt of the right length.


  23. 23
    noel park

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (2:17 pm)

    nasaman, #20:

    Good idea.

    Our old Chevy racing engines always had a problem throwing off the generator/alternator belt at high rpm. Presto, no water pump. In sprint races you can live with no alternator, but when the water pump stops, you’re done. Stealing an idea from the mid-60s special high performance big block, we parts bin some later double row pulleys and run a short, no adjustment, belt direct from the crank pulley to the water pump. Now we run a smaller crank pulley and the biggest alternator pulley we can find, so that belt seldom comes off anymore, but it’s a bit of redundancy we cling to anyway, weight penalty or no.


  24. 24
    Canuk

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (2:35 pm)

    Nice interview Lyle, and good information.

    On another technical note that may have previously been covered; I have a desire to see the Volt have the ability to bring its cabin to a comfortable temperature before I need the car. Does any one know if this is in the works? I guess, if an elecrically driven heat pump was employed, then this could be done to both heat or cool the cabin while still plugged into 120 vac, thus sparing the battery…


  25. 25
    David L

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (2:56 pm)

    Lyle – Excellent article. Thanks! :-)
    ——-
    #21 – nasaman – Great speculations … the 12V “redundant” system makes very good sense, both from manufacturing and safety perspectives.
    ——-

    As (yet another) software developer, I wanted to comment on Frank Webber‘s comment about “limiting engineering risk” by leveraging existing powertrain components.

    Much like in software development, it often makes sense to reuse an existing solution that has been thoroughly tested and has proven itself in production environments rather than creating a new, more efficient and elegant solution. After the new production gets to production, the solution can always be refactored to make a better (and even lower cost) implementation – using the current production version as the “standard” for regression testing. New solutions always have inherent risk associated with them. Each new component adds risk such that many new components can add too much risk, and put the success of the project in jeopardy. Mitigating risk is the key to managing deadlines and costs – increasing chances of a successful delivery.


  26. 26
    Jack

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (3:00 pm)

    11

    The electric motor and generator must be brushless. Anyone who works on motors and generators know brushes are very problematic.


  27. 27
    David L

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (3:17 pm)

    Didn’t I see in a previous blog that the electric motor will be AC (thus no brushes)?


  28. 28
    AES

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (3:46 pm)

    #26 &#27- All GM EV motors have been AC induction (hence, no brushes) since the early 90′s.

    #19- Yes, that caught my eye as well. 115 kW is about 154 horsepower, so it’s a small change.

    #20- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Family_0_engine

    So either a straight 3 or straight 4 engine.


  29. 29
    AES

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (3:58 pm)

    Also on the 115 kw (154 horsepower) electric motor – what I’m MUCH more interested in is the torque.

    As best I know, the Ev1 had 110 pound feet of torque and 137 horsepower.

    Meanwhile, the Equinox fuel cell apparently has ~94 horsepower but 236 pound-feet!:

    http://autos.yahoo.com/green_center-article_33/
    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/suvs/112_0802_2008_chevrolet_equinox_fuel_cell_drive/

    I don’t know if that’s correct or not, but if so, GM has apparently made a lot of progress on motor design since the EV1. If the motor really is that powerful (and the Volt’s will be undoubtedly more so), maybe that means they will be able to fit in a much taller gear single speed reduction which will deliver good top speed and overall efficiency, while still not sacrificing much in the way of grunt.


  30. 30
    bruce g

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (4:04 pm)

    I am impressed by the design teams abilty to stay on the path they first described a year ago(approximately).

    That is.. battery driving large electric motor on the Delta II platform.
    And , of course, a generator to charge the battery.

    A big sigh of relief.

    Go GM!


  31. 31
    cybereye

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (4:14 pm)

    David L #27
    AC motor never had brushes, Only DC motor have brushes. There are a few DC motor that have brushless.


  32. 32
    cybereye

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (4:44 pm)

    AES #28

    I heard somewhere in this gm-volt web site talk about a turbo engine . Could it be a modify engine or new model engine in the GM Family 0 engine? I was looking thru wikipedia.org for a hint for a “turbo”


  33. 33
    Estero

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (5:09 pm)

    #21 nasaman said “I’m wondering if the previous GM spokesperson might have meant that they’ll use a 12V battery for some (or many) accessories (rather than route 300V all around the car) –in other words, the 12V battery would be considered a redundant “accessories” battery to the high-voltage battery.”

    Perhaps a variant of the Firefly Energy Oasis Group 31 battery would fit this bill.


  34. 34
    bruce g

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (5:40 pm)

    Here is page describing a range of liquid cooled motors for EV use.
    Just a fun thing for people that like reading technical specifications.
    http://www.metricmind.com/motor.htm


  35. 35
    Wise Golden

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (5:42 pm)

    Thanks #28 — I tried googling “Family zero,” and only got this article. It never occured to me to google “family 0″


  36. 36
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (6:10 pm)

    Still on the topic of motors, given that the Tesla Motors motor is asynchronous and magnetless, it isn’t clear to me that it is an alternating current motor. It sounds like they charge up discharge caps and use rapid switching to create current / fields where they need in the rotor and stator, so it could still be a DC like configuration – I dunno – it’s just not clear to me.


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    noel park

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (6:15 pm)

    cybereye, #32:

    They have been talking since the beginning about a 1.0 liter turbo engine. I am not aware of such an engine in the GM inventory, but what do I know? We keep finding out about engines in Europe that I personally had never heard of, and I try to pay attention.

    There is a lot of buzz recently about a 1.4 turbo Ecotec, evidently for the 2009 Cobalt. I think that this is a variation on the European natrually aspirated 1.4 Ecotec (who knew before somebody, probably Rick Lupori, mentioned it on Fastlane).

    If anyone actually knows about an off the shelf engine slated for the Volt I, for one, would be fascinated to hear about it.


  38. 38
    AES

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (7:12 pm)

    re;the engine, it sounds like they are building off the Family 0, 1.0L twinport inline 3. It gets 60hp@5600 rpm. I don’t know if 70-ish hp for the volt’s genset is supposed to be peak horsepower, or power at the optimum peak/load. Either way, adding turbocharging or direct injection – or better yet BOTH, like with the Solstice GXP’s engine – would probably do great things for fuel economy.


  39. 39
    noel park

     

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    Feb 18th, 2008 (7:24 pm)

    AES, #37:

    Thanks for your response.

    Sorry to sound stupid, but what in the world is the “Family 0, 1.0L, twin port inline 3″? Does it actually exist as a production engine somewhere? Do they use it in a car somewhere? I bet I’m not alone in never having heard of it.

    Do you know anything about the architecture? DOHC? How many valves? Where it’s made?


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    Feb 18th, 2008 (8:07 pm)

    This info came from
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Family_0_engine

    Frank Weber had said it is “a family zero engine”. If you have click on the link, it show all the type of family zero engine that GM had made. I was trying to figure what model base on the term “turbo”. AES believe bases on info he had heard is base on TwinPort technology 1.0 L Straight-3 (998 cc). The question came to my mind is that is all “GM Family zero engine” are E85?


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    Feb 18th, 2008 (8:45 pm)

    I believe that this is the intended ICE for the Volt.
    http://media.gm-powertrain.at/powertrain-media/media/images/200308200001_01.jpg


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    Feb 18th, 2008 (8:46 pm)

    Yes, all the info is on the wiki site. It’s used in the Opel Corsa, amongst other GM europe cars. How they modify it for the Volt is another question. Optimized valve timing? Direct injection? Turbo? Sodium-filled valves?


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    Feb 18th, 2008 (8:59 pm)

    Off subject, but I had an idea…

    You know, I think that the idea of carbon offsets needs to be explored a little further here. GM has an unusual opportunity that they have created for themselves with the Volt. Follow me on this…

    What if they added say $2500 to the price of a Vette and an XLR, or for that matter, any of the V-series Cadillacs, and they used that money to lower the price of a Volt? This will make it possible to sell more Volts. I’m hoping that GM goes for 6 digit anual sales of the Volt, but price will be an issue. If they were able to lower the cost of a Volt by $2500 because of a carbon offset applied to higher polluting, and much higher priced cars, they will ultimately do more good. Now the Cadillac XLR-v starts at $101k, and the Vette’s are routinely getting in the 80′s and 90′s….$2500 isn’t going to effect the sales of these vehicles (heck, it might even help them, pride being what it is,) but $2500 off on a 30k volt could bring tens of thousands of people into the market.

    I’m just thinking out loud…any thoughts on this?


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    Feb 18th, 2008 (9:08 pm)

    Noel,

    KISS (at least in education AND political correctness – not my strong suite) is Keep it Simple Sweetheart! – Or as Bogie would say Schweeeet’art. (g)
    Tagamet


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    Feb 18th, 2008 (9:21 pm)

    At first I excused the poor grammar, poor English, poor sentence construction in your reports on interviews with high level GM executives was due to time constraints, a reluctance to paraphrase their language, the extemporaneous nature of interviews, or a combination of these elements.

    Because the problems with language skills have persisted as you interviewed several different executives, I must conclude that you and/or staff are either poorly educated in writing skills or lazy. This may be the fault of public school systems which have been criticized for the poor quality of their education practices. It may be due to a lack of discipline on the part of writers failing to proof read what is written before publishing.

    Take a second look at todays article – go through the material sentence by sentence and find the numerous blatant errors, sentences missing subjects and/or predicates, dangling participles – disjoint and incomplete phrases and clauses. If readers must invest substantial additional time reworking sentence structures to make sense of the copy, you are performing a big disservice to GM as well as to the public. Just because the subject is technical does not mean that the use of substandard English is excusable. The report reflects badly on GM executives as well as interviewer/writer if it is haphazardly presented. Proof read your work, excel in report writing about technology.

    One of the exciting potentials of having GM produce the Volt is that it is a product of which USA workers can be proud, workers equipped to clearly explain the state-of-the-art electric vehicle technology to consumers.

    Sorry if I seem too candid. The problem may be that no one has ever bothered to complain. I am not critical of YOU, I am critical of the writing skills which you need to improve. Many enthusiasts are interested in your reports and expect to read them throughout the R&D and production of the Volt.

    Thank you for your interest in keeping the public informed on this vital technology for our country, and for your effort to communicate better.


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    Feb 18th, 2008 (9:33 pm)

    Andy, keep in mind that some of these engineers that are being interviewed are using English as a second language. They are from all over the world — Germany, Scottland, Russia, ect. Next, keep in mind that any language other than math is a second language to an engineer, so in reality, some of these guys are speaking in a third language. Lastly, the interviews are conversational and that is always more difficult to read, but the only other option is to paraphrase which might not present the facts as intended.

    GM is a global company. Lyle is quoting exactly, I’m sure, and I’m also sure that he doesn’t need me to respond, but I’m board and lonely so I thought I would anyway.


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    Feb 18th, 2008 (9:38 pm)

    Andy #44

    Get lost!
    If I wanted to complain about the site I would.
    I see no reason to.

    You will not like my grammar either. (Or should that be neither?)


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    Feb 18th, 2008 (9:41 pm)

    Lyle– fantastic interview once again.

    Nasaman– great insight to Franks comments. I bet you are right… it just seems to make a lot of sense. Rather than redesign everything, just add the 12V battery into the car and away we go. Leave all the design for the new components that would use the higher voltage for Volt 2.0


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    Feb 18th, 2008 (11:33 pm)

    The Prius has a 12v house battery which runs when the power key is removed. I would assume the Volt would have one as well. The 12v house battery is recharged from the battery pack when power key is inserted.

    Andy #44
    Lyle is not paid to maintain this site and has a day job. A little slack could be extended here. If not then wait until the official reports come out in the paper.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (12:17 am)

    45 Andy….

    I won’t dispute your point, but keep in mind that Lyle is a full-time physician who has to crowd this gm-volt.com volunteer activity into what must be an extremely busy daily schedule. Also, his interviews are very likely typed transcripts of recorded interviews, which are always more difficult to follow ….so cut him some slack, OK?!?


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (12:44 am)

    Thanks for the heads up on Lyle. I appreciate that he is volunteering his time to try to keep us posted. I also understand the decision that needs to be made regarding paraphrasing. Do GM executives get a chance to review the text before it is submitted? If they are investing 1 BILLION If they do, I would think they could assign an assistant to help Lyle with the final copy.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (12:58 am)

    Andy #51

    “I would think they could assign an assistant to help Lyle with the final copy.”

    I agree, I am surprised given the interest Lyle is generating that some help is not provided to him. I think GM should give him a Volt. Or, at the very least, a drive in one of the mules before the general press.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (12:59 am)

    Thanks for the heads up on Lyle’s volunteer work for this website. I am sure I can speak for most of us in thanking you for your support in getting the word out on the Volt to all. Lyle, if you can use some help with your effort, you know my email address. Since GM is spending at least a billion on development, would not one of the GM executives you interview arrange for an assistant for you, or to review the copy before it “goes to press”? Just a suggestion.

    Thank you again, Lyle, for your efforts. I apologize for my comments made without knowledge of the constraints under which you must operate.

    Note to GM executives: Could someone at corporate offer Lyle a hand with support of his website, a substantial resource for boosting GM VOLT marketing efforts?


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (1:51 am)

    Andy #45

    I had a great deal of difficulty in reading the post. However, I realize that this is not professional journalism, it is an enthusiast site.

    I am not sure that you realize this fact. If you do, please keep your comments FAR more casual and short – you come of as a complete and utter jerk.

    BTW, re-read your comment. Some proof reading could go a long way there as well. I especially like the sentence talking about disjointed phrases. Glass houses, glass houses.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (2:04 am)

    Good post…
    The GM EV1 had a 102 kW motor…… not too different from the 115 kW motor planned for the Volt. Must be some EV1 expertise and records on file somewhere in Michigan…


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (2:08 am)

    Andy,

    What kind of a priss are you? Oh, so offended by grammar. Oh, my.

    Steve


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (2:20 am)

    Here is a clip from the old EV1 Web site:

    Configuration: Transverse-mounted, front-wheel drive

    Motor Type: Three-phase, alternating current (AC) induction, electric

    Power Rating: 102 kilowatts (137 horsepower) @ 7,000 rpm

    Motor Torque: 150 Nm (110 lb-ft) @ 0-7,000 rpm

    Transaxle Type: Single-speed with dual reduction gears

    Drive Ratio: 10:946:1

    Also, note that the EV1, as well as the S10E, Ranger EV, RAV4 EV, Honda EV+, all have regular 12V accessory batteries and stabdard 12V accessories. There is no alternator, just a DC-DC supply that charges the 12V battery. The DC-DC supply can operate while the car is charging or moving on battery only, so it doesn’t take liquid fuel to recharge the 12V battery.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (4:49 am)

    Lyle,

    I’m a little late but I compliment you on this post like a lot of other readers did already.
    Being frenchspeaking it is true that I has some difficulties to understand at first sight but the important thing is to be informed and you do that in such a way that we shall thank you for a very long time.

    Thanks also to all of you who encourage Lyle to persevere.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (5:58 am)

    I too am a little late… long day on Monday. The one comment from Mr. Weber that I liked was “There many people have not even understood how significant the changes are that that this concept will introduce.” I run into this all the time when the subject of the Volt comes up… some people get it, some don’t. As for the electrical accessories, I always assumed that most everything except the main battery and motor would be 12v with the possible exception of the hvac system. And Hey, GM!!… How’s that final body design coming along?? Throw us a bone already!!


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (7:47 am)

    Lyle,

    I too volunteer, if you would like assistance with reviewing / editing / paraphrasing interviews and posts.

    I enjoy this site, and would be happy to help.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (8:29 am)

    #44

    You wouldn’t like my grammer either. *Some* of us never did all that well in school. My problem is a learning disability, and nobody had ANY ambition to help me out. Is this my fault? I do what I can, and if people don’t like it, f**k ‘em..

    I agree with #46, and 47. Just because your perfect doesn’t mean you should harp on others to improve their writing abilities.

    Back to the subject at hand. The Prius had this problem, it also had a 12v battery, but IF you discharger the traction battery, jump starting the 12v battery did nothing. You need a special charger to charge the traction battery. I don’t know how a person would accplomish such a feat.

    GM could build the volt so it *could* start off the 12v system, like a *normal* car.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (8:55 am)

    I hope GM comes up with an internal combustion engine “range extender” that is as fuel efficient and quiet as Honda’s best gas powered generators and can handle regular unleaded, E85, cellulosic ethanol, etc.

    The quieter the better so that you can’t really tell when the ICE is running. Since the Volt’s ICE will only be charging the battery, maybe they can make it as quiet as these Honda generators which is “only 59dB of sound at 7 meters running at full load, which is less than common speech.”

    http://www.hondapowerequipment.com/gensup.asp


  63. 63
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    Feb 19th, 2008 (10:16 am)

    I would also like to see GM and its partners start thinking about making re-charging the Volt as easy as possible. Believe it or not, I bet some people might be too busy or too lazy to even plug in their Volt with an extension cord at night or when they are not using it. Someone needs to come up with an ultra convenient way of recharging.

    I’m thinking somebody could come up with a system where all the driver has to do is roll the front tires onto some sort of hump type thing like you see at automatic car washes. Once they roll the tires onto it just right, an LED light will appear on the dashboard saying “charging” or whatever. Something like this maybe: http://www.belangerinc.com/?p=correlator

    Maybe in the future, the Volt and other electric cars will be able to get a quick re-charge in 15 minutes or less at “recharge stations” all over the place. You could just pull up to the recharge station, roll the tires over the hump and get out to buy some refreshments and go to the restroom while it’s recharging. Maybe they could come up with an inexpensive version that you could install in your garage at home too.

    GM should design the Volt so that the recharging process is as quick and easy as possible. Put in 2 very safe electrical input systems maybe … one for regular plugs on the side and one underneath the car … similar to the charging technology for cordless phones.

    THAT will save America a lot of money on gasoline and cut down on carbon dioxide emissions. Make the Volt run on electricity as often as possible and when the battery does need to be recharged, make sure the internal combustion engine is as efficient as possible and can run on other liquid fuels like cellulosic ethanol, butanol or whatever else comes out … with oil based regular unleaded gasoline used as a last resort.

    Hopefully, we’ll only be using the ICE engines for another 10 years or so. Maybe by 2015 (or sooner), GM will be able to drop into the engine bay an even more efficient “range extender” in the form of a hydrogen fuel cell.

    Who knows, we may not even need hydrogen fuel cells except maybe for big trucks if there is a huge breakthrough in battery technology like the one with the “silicon nanowire lithium ion battery” that just emerged from academia. http://www.gm-volt.com/2007/12/21/gm-voltcom-interview-with-dr-cui-inventor-of-silicon-nanowire-lithium-ion-battery-breakthrough/

    I’m hoping that this new nanowire battery will increase the electricity only range to 400+ miles. That would be revolutionary. Huge would be an understatement. Gasoline would eventually become something people in the “dark ages” had to use to make their cars run. :)

    Whoever can come up with a battery that gives cars 400+ miles of electricity only range and can be charged quickly is going to get VERY rich … famous too. The environmentalists will probably want to build a big statue of him or something.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (11:37 am)

    63 GM Volt Fan…..

    You say, “I would also like to see GM and its partners start thinking about making re-charging the Volt as easy as possible. Believe it or not, I bet some people might be too busy or too lazy to even plug in their Volt with an extension cord at night or when they are not using it. Someone needs to come up with an ultra convenient way of recharging.”

    “I’m thinking somebody could come up with a system where all the driver has to do is roll the front tires onto some sort of hump type thing like you see at automatic car washes. Once they roll the tires onto it just right, an LED light will appear on the dashboard saying “charging” or whatever….”

    GREAT IDEA for an optional accessory! It’s safe to say millions of Americans, like me, never use their garages (except for storage) & leave their car(s) parked in the driveway. Many of those, myself included, won’t like the idea of a drop cord at the driveway, even if it spools itself in/out. Perhaps the Volt could be designed to have an inductively-coupled input to its charger (in addition to its side-mounted plug-ins) that’s roughly the size & location of a typical car’s oil pan –i.e., centered between the front wheels & flush with the Volt’s aerodynamic underbody cover. This large inductive input could be fully protected by an aluminum cover (aluminum won’t cause losses in the AC magnetic coupling).

    Then the power lines could be imbedded in a rugged, lay-flat, 3-4″ wide sheath, tapered at the edges to avoid tripping anyone walking over it and brought out under the garage door to a large “hump type thing like you see at automatic car washes that you roll your front tires onto”. The weight of the front tires could then elevate the Primary side of this inductive coupler the several inches needed to actually make contact with its Secondary side centered under the Volt’s front wheels.

    This would be attractive in appearance as well as fully automatic, and it would make it impossible for anyone to steal power from (or mess with) an external drop cord. And the same LED on the Volt’s dash that shows the battery is charging when plugged in would also illuminate when the front tires are properly centered on the self-elevating “charging hump”.

    If GM doesn’t design/market an accessory something like this, it might make a very appealing after-market item (at $299 or so?)


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (12:03 pm)

    cybereye, #40, Guy Incognito, #41:

    Many thanks for the links. VERY informative.

    Tagamet, #44:

    Thank you as well. That’s certainly progress!

    Using the 1.0 engine shown in the links above would seem to be a prime example of this. What an elegant looking little unit. Existing 12v accessories seem to be another example. Very encouraging.

    Andy, #45:

    Huh? It looked just fine to me, and clear as a bell. My comment at #17 was “Excellent”. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

    I’m an engineer too, so maybe we communicate on some sort of a simpler minded level.

    If you compare it to other blogs, this one is pretty darn literate, IMHO.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (12:37 pm)

    BTW, I don’t think that having GM participate in the publication of this blog is such a hot idea. Independence is gold. GM has its own corporate blogs – Fastlane and FYI for example – and I am underwhelmed by them. Too much spin and corporate party line.

    Back when I first found GM-Volt I suggested that GM should put some sponsorship into it. Over time I have come to believe that it was a bad idea on my part. Not to dump work on Lyle, but I think that the credibility would plunge if people thought that GM was proof reading the posts. Better he should hit up the bloggers for a little support, God forbid it should come to that.

    Again, I don’t have any problem with the English, except possibly with my own, so what do I know?


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (12:45 pm)

    GM Volt Fan #63 and nasaman #64

    If that ever happen, I’m pretty sure is would be after market. It sound like you wanted to transfer electric by electromagnetism. You would have to modify inside your car. Electromagnetism transfer may not be energy efficiency compare to a AC cord plug. I can imagine how much that going to cost. I rather get solar panel then getting a lazy plugin device. If you can fill up the gas. You can plug in as well.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (1:45 pm)

    I just see the #63, interesting post. “Maybe in the future, the Volt and other electric cars will be able to get a quick re-charge in 15 minutes or less at “recharge stations” all over the place. You could just pull up to the recharge station, roll the tires over the hump and get out to buy some refreshments and go to the restroom while it’s recharging.”

    Your idea might even help people who don’t have driveways nor have access to plugs. Not too mention that it won’t necessarily put the many many mom and pop gas stations out of business.

    Andy, #45. Are you kidding? Lyle is a brain surgeon by day, a Volt commentator by night. He owns this site and works extremely hard making it stay relevant. Of all the things to piss and moan about in this world, you choose grammar? Find something better to gripe about, or go visit Tagamet. He might be able to help you with your issues. He’s a shrink.

    Andy, Please try and have a nice day.
    —————-
    Lyle, you’re awesome. Thank you very much for this site and keeping it current. I didn’t have any issues reading or understanding it the first and only time I read it.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (3:05 pm)

    67 Cybereye…

    You said, “If that ever happen, I’m pretty sure is would be after market. It sound like you wanted to transfer electric by electromagnetism. You would have to modify inside your car. Electromagnetism transfer may not be energy efficiency compare to a AC cord plug. I can imagine how much that going to cost. I rather get solar panel then getting a lazy plugin device. If you can fill up the gas. You can plug in as well.”

    Please re-read my post (#64) for why “drive-on charging” is a good idea. Done re-reading? OK, now I’ll explain why it’s a NOT a good idea, but rather a SUPER good idea….

    1) Plug/unplug is a 2x daily operation (or a 4x daily chore if done at work too), whereas filling up even a conventional car with gas is only about 1x/week

    2) MOST people park their cars in their driveways, not in their garages, which allows the Volt’s extension cord to be easily UNplugged by neighbor pranksters (not possible with a drive-on charger)

    3) The EV-1 used an induction “paddle” that was much smaller (i.e., less efficient) than the oil-pan size induction device I’m proposing for charging [to my knowledge, no one found the losses of the EV-1 induction charging system to be excessive]

    4) I’m an electrical engineer with an extensive background in electromagnetics — I assure you that an efficiency > 99% should be achievable

    5) With plug-in charging, the circuit could be disconnected and the Volt owner might never know it (until too late the next morning), but with a drive-on charging, the Volt owner would see a dash-mounted LED confirming the charging circuit is complete before ever leaving the driver’s seat

    You’re right, of course, that GM would have to include the secondary side of the inductive coupler on the car, located as I described in #64. And you’re probably also right that the drive-on charger should be offered as either a GM or aftermarket accessory for those (like you) who feel they don’t need it.

    PS: Regarding a solar panel as a charging source, it would take solar panels approaching the size of those on the International Space Station, as well as a big auxiliary battery, to do the job overnight


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (4:02 pm)

    I understaind the problem of wanted another way to charge the battery other then the plug. In my view, It just a tiny problem over the cost of having another way to charge the battery. The people who can’t plugin in thier own home is what the engine is for to charge the battery. I know many prefer to use the plugin when they are at home. That engine is what GM solution to charge the battery when people is unable to plugin Wherever it can’t be done. There may be other ways, but the cost does not justify of having one. Someday, when electric Utilities are willing to take advantage of the EV may put V2G when time comes. I sure love to have a charging system that I don’t have plugin, but the cost have to be reasonable.

    I don’t park my truck in the garages also. I’m going to added power outlet 110v and 220v from my house to the driveway when I get the volt someday. That my cheap solution.

    About the plug being stolen, There may be a anti-thief plug for the volt oneday.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (5:20 pm)

    Nasaman
    Are the inductive components expensive? I was wondering about a normal Plug on the underside with three low power RF transmiters & one reciever around it, LED in dash. In the ground you have a movable plug and one transmitter & reciever.
    Basically the plug homes in on the cars transmitters and plugs in. When charged, or when the owner inserts their key, it unplugs.
    It seems, to me, this system would involve very little extra weight for the Volt and should be easily added as a after market component. Software would be easy as well. No theft problems unless the thief is really skinny. Also good for supermarket, airport carparks etc where you could pay to have a top up. Hell, the amount of time I spend at the airport waiting for people I could just about do a full recharge :-) .


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (5:32 pm)

    Rashiid Amul,

    You were very polite to me, pointing out how hard Lyle works on this site, which is his hobby, not his job, and thanked me for my understanding.

    Disconcertingly, your last few posts are getting beligerent toward others who are merely pointing out what I did. Please, try to keep it considerate, because there may be others, like myself, who didn’t understand that this site is unaffiliated with GM.

    Thankyou.


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (6:05 pm)

    #41 Guy Incognito:

    Nice pinup, though the depicted Ecotec ICE belongs to the Family 1 series, according to wikipedia. There does seem to be 3 ports shown on the exhaust manifold, however, so maybe the respective development categories are less than distinct?


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (6:16 pm)

    Regarding genset noise.
    It should be very quiet since it is much easier to optimize for vibration and noise reduction when the engine runs at a constant speed (or narrow range).


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    Feb 19th, 2008 (6:35 pm)

    Jason M. Hendler, #72

    You are right. I just makes me angry to see Lyle, who really seems to spend his life just working, being picked on for some really minor stuff.
    I have never met Lyle, but have a great deal of respect for him.
    I know, with my home and work life, I could never keep up the pace that he does. When someone attacks him, which is how I took Andy’s comments but I did not take yours that way, I get angry and defensive.

    I did not see your comments as offensive. Andy however, simply attacked Lyle without any knowledge of him. I felt compelled to respond in kind. No offense was meant toward anyone here, but I wanted Andy to know he was way out of line for attacking Lyle.

    Also, I will admit that “tone of voice” is difficult to read in the written form.

    In the future, I will keep my comments more cordial.


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    Mike D

     

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    Feb 19th, 2008 (6:38 pm)

    My comment is regarding an earlier response to this thread regarding utilizing solar panels on one’s house to make your whole setup even MORE efficent. To that I just wanted to say EXACTLY! That’s also been my personal preference all along. NANOSOLAR + VOLT = extreme cost cutting = more personal freedom = the entire reason that technology appeals to me in the first place. Environmental benefits are a close second. I hope many of you on this site are aware of the coming super cheap and thin solar “printed” panels which make owning a volt all that much more cost effective and independent. If not, look into it! And no, i’m not a spokesperson for Nanosolar. hahaha.


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Feb 19th, 2008 (6:50 pm)

    Mike D, #76. It seems that I read somewhere the Nanosolar is sold out for 2008 and most of 2009. Unfortunately they are not selling to us consumers, but to conglomerates, as I understand.
    I love the idea of Nanosolar, but they desperately need a competitor or group of competitors to fill the HUGE void they have created by not selling to us. Trust me, I would have Nanosolar all over my roof and three sides of my house if I could just buy it. Right now, I think the only place you will find it is in Germany.


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    Grizzly

     

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    Feb 19th, 2008 (8:18 pm)

    “Andy

    Thanks for the heads up on Lyle. ….If they are investing 1 BILLION If they do, I would think they could assign an assistant to help Lyle with the final copy.”

    ====

    Andy Andy andy,

    We can all Nit Pik can’t we? Hate to do this but your sentence that begins in # 51 “if they are investing…” is not only disjunct, it’s poorly constructed at best, and to have any chance it’s missing necessary punctuation to be even remotely colloquial.

    God forbid that any of us miss anything grammatically in any effort to contribute to this site. I’d hate to think we’re going to lose focus and waste time over something as ridiculous as this.


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    nasaman

     

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    Feb 19th, 2008 (9:14 pm)

    71 NZ David….

    >Regarding the “drive-on charger” idea you asked, “Are the inductive components expensive? I was wondering about a normal Plug on the underside with three low power RF transmiters & one reciever around it, LED in dash. In the ground you have a movable plug and one transmitter & reciever…..”

    No, the inductive components are not expensive — they’re essentially the two halves of a low-power 50-60Hz transformer, the secondary of which is about the size of the bottom face of an oil pan & centered between the Volt’s front wheels facing downward. The “drive-on charger” itself would contain the transformer primary.

    It might be possible to devise a plug & socket, both underneath the car, that automatically “home” in on one another, but I can’t imagine how RF xmtrs/rcvrs could be positionally accurate enough to do this. Maybe a large cone with protected contacts deep inside it, plus a mating conical device designed to steer itself into the cone and fully seat the pairs of electrical contacts to each other could be made to work? But the “drive-on charger” scheme with inductive coupling (as I described it in 64 & 69 above) is clearly the more foolproof, simple, elegant & SAFE approach as I see it.


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    Adam

     

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    Feb 19th, 2008 (10:49 pm)

    Hey #64, nasaman, I got a question, of for anybody who can answer this:

    I understand where this magnetic/coulping/recharging is going, BUT how far away can the respective coils be before contact is lost? Understand? Let me see if I can word it better…

    Coil A is imbedded in the car, and Coil B is imbedded in the ground, or “hump”. How far can the coils be before continuity is lost? I thought is was an inch or so… But I really don’t know about this wonderful device. It would be cool IF it could handle a foot or so, that way, if you had snow or mud covering up the one coil, it wouldn’t matter.

    I find this funny though, the damned car isn’t out yet, years away, and we’re already getting lazy!! :)

    I can picture in the future though, drive on a pad like what were speaking of, but to do a 10 minute recharge.. Well, 3 phase 480v@~200 amps? That pad would be huge!!! It’s almost downright scary! Good God, that’s a lot of power……….. We’ll see.

    Andy, how many screw-ups did I do? Keeping track? Ask me if I care.. :)


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    Feb 20th, 2008 (2:03 am)

    80 Adam….

    The separation should be less than roughly 1/4″ or efficiency will begin to suffer. I visualize the same “drive-on charger” mechanism actuated by the weight of the car’s front tires would first slide a cover plate back before elevating the driveway charging hump to the level of the car’s “charging plate”. Snow would have to be pretty deep and encrusted or icy to cause a problem –in that case the driver would just plug the car in manually at a fender socket (or get out the snow shovel to scrape the ice/snow off his driveway charger).


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    Eisemann-Theater.com

     

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    Feb 20th, 2008 (5:28 pm)

    What really makes me angery is Electrical Engineers and I work with them every day so I know how they think.

    I am a Senior Satellite Engineer and I have a EE degree. But when I design something for our company I dont try to re-invent everything because it adds too much time and typically you end up with something that is the same as when you started.

    GM needs to go back and REUSE the EV1 plans and design its all done for them. The engineers need common sence. Just use the parts from the EV1 they work, they have been tested.

    KISS is what you need to do.

    GO EV1 stop trying to re-invent the wheel engineers!!


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    RB

     

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    Feb 20th, 2008 (10:03 pm)

    Andy
    I think it is great to have the actual transcript. That way we can interpret it ourselves, rather than having the meaning distorted as what was said becomes transformed into grammatically perfect sentences. When one reads a transcript of live speech that is not read from a printed copy, usually there are many sentences that are imperfect. The positive side is that one often has a clearer picture of the person’s actual thoughts, as distinct from someone else’s thoughts of what the speaker’s thoughts should have been. So, Lyle, please don’t change anything — great work.


  84. [...] interviews with Frank: 2/18 , 12/20, [...]


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    Guy Incognito

     

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    Feb 26th, 2008 (7:07 pm)

    #73 Mien Green
    I believe the ICE for the Volt will indeed be a family 1 motor using twin port technology, but I’m not totally sure.


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    reel$$

     

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    Nov 23rd, 2008 (11:08 pm)

    Lyle:

    I would like to add my voice to the chorus of support for you doing what you do under very limited resources. We are GRATEFUL for what you do and how you promote the all important move to electrification of transportation. Many of us see you as a champion and general motoring good guy. GM would do well to send you a care package or two and offer to pick up a copy editor’s salary. But maybe some other kind heart would do this.

    Do not stop your good work! It is a great site doing important work – THANK YOU and thanks to GM – like a rock.