May 14

BIG NEWS from Bob Lutz: First Chevy Volt Prototype Hits the Road and Gets 40 Miles Electric!

 

 

In the biggest news since the initial concept announcement, GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz confirmed  that in fact the first Chevy Volt prototype, with the full lithium-ion battery pack has hit the test track.

He said “It is reliably meeting its objectives.  Even with a rough calibration, even with the wrong drive unit, the wrong body, etc. etc., it has been hitting its 40 miles on electric power.”

He specifically confirmed the dynamometer tests have been successful even under various thermal conditions.

He even went so far as to say “I can almost say the battery is the least of our problems,”

He further explains that much of the engineering challenge ahead has to do with software, figuring out how and when the engine should kick in for example.

He notes that he is much more confident in the November 2010 deadline.  He talks about Volt vehicle line executive Frank Weber in the following way:

“Three months ago if you asked Frank Weber ‘so November 2010?’ he’d get flustered and say he wouldn’t answer until he knew more, now if you ask him the same question, he’s calm and relaxed and says unless we encounter some completely unforeseen obstacle – November 2010 looks good.”

Finally he confirms that CEO Wagoner is as involved in the Volt project just as much as he is, confirming extreme interest in it straight from the top.

Source (Autoobserver)

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 at 1:13 pm and is filed under Prototypes, Test drive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 408


  1. 1
    MC

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:17 pm)

    Indeed, another great milestone! Thanks (Lyle and others) for helping keep us up to date on the latest and greatest!

    On a side note, “pics or it didn’t happen…” ;)


  2. 2
    jjski78

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:27 pm)

    Freakin awesome news. If the mule is getting 40 miles with beta software and the totally wrong body, the battery should provide substantially more mileage in the production model. Go GM go!!!


  3. 3
    Mark

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:28 pm)

    November 2010…better save up!..


  4. 4
    BigCityCat

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:35 pm)

    You can do it!!!!!


  5. 5
    Tim

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:37 pm)

    Now, it’s down to retail price…


  6. 6
    Superschupp

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:37 pm)

    I never had any doubt!


  7. 7
    Dave B

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:44 pm)

    Hm, did WonderBob himself drive it?


  8. 8
    Tim

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:49 pm)

    This is great! Since the mule is hitting 40 miles per charge I wonder if an aerodynamically designed Volt can do better? hmmmm…


  9. 9
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:49 pm)

    Woooohoooo!

    I can’t think of any program execution done so well, outside of the defense industry during the war effort. Excellent execution all the way down the line, by GM and their suppliers – all should be well rewarded for their efforts.

    I hope they understand how big an impact this will have on not just their company, but on America’s economy, trade deficit, falling dollar, etc.


  10. 10
    Estero

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:52 pm)

    I find the statement by Bob Lutz interesting when he said “much of the engineering challenge ahead has to do with software, figuring out how and when the engine should kick in for example.”

    A recent Technology Review article on Volvo’s plans for a vehicle with electric motors attached to all 4-wheels mentioned software development as one of the most critical issues with that vehicle.


  11. 11
    voltPLEASE

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:55 pm)

    YES!! Great job GM!! Saving up for my Volt! I’d put my money on it that it gets 50+ miles all eletric when it finally comes out.


  12. 12
    srschrier

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (1:57 pm)

    This is really great news! The Malibu achieves 40 miles in all-electric mode so could this mean the Volt’s range will be even greater?

    With the outstanding performance let’s hope GM considers marketing a Malibu plug-in as well as the Volt. Some updated Volt-Malibu test track photos from GM would be welcome.


  13. 13
    AES

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:02 pm)

    So the mule with the wrong co-efficient of drag, wrong electric motor, power electronics and everything still made 40 miles electric?

    Awesome!

    Is that on the 50%DOD though, and what is the #Wh/mile? GM has played it extremely smart by oversizing the pack and giving them some “wiggle room”. I’m just wondering how much they need to wiggle.


  14. 14
    Noah Nehm

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:06 pm)

    Do you know what this means? This means that with the optimized body, drivetrain, power electronics, etc., they’ll be able to have a 40 mile range with fewer cells in their battery. That means a cheaper, lighter car.

    Awesome!


  15. 15
    Tim

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:07 pm)

    This means that they may be able to use smaller (and cheaper) battery packs for the 40 mile target range in the final production Volt.


  16. 16
    Rebecca

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:11 pm)

    Well, I’d like a longer range, myself (I drive 70 miles round-trip for work), but a cheaper car with a 40-mile range would probably better for a wider group of potential buyers, I guess. Which means the concept/technology would be more likely to catch on, which is good news for us all.


  17. 17
    GXT

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:12 pm)

    #12, I’m not sure if 40 miles or 45 miles really makes any difference. Hopefully they can decrease the size of the battery and address (probably) their biggest issue: price.

    More details:
    What does “wrong drive unit” mean? How does it differ? Was the AC on? Headlights? Stereo? Constant speed or stop and go? What speed? How much is it beating the 40 miles by? Is that using the entire capacity of the battery or the <70%(?) that I believe they have mentioned previously?


  18. 18
    Bryon

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:18 pm)

    I doubt they will change the size of the battery pack since the pack will loose power over time. Don’t they want the Volt to get 40 miles after 10 years and 150,000 miles?

    But i was reading a lot of posts form the last article and i agree thye need to use the e-flex system in several models to be successful. but i’m pretty sure we are not telling them anything they don’t already know.

    I currently drive an S-10 treat it horrible change the oil every 4-6 months and have had no major problems it is a 99 so maybe the quality has gone down since then?

    I’m saving my money!!!


  19. 19
    N Riley

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:22 pm)

    Great news! But, gosh darn it this good news just was not enough for some of us. Come on, guys. This is good news. Thankfully, most of the comments are very positive. I agree we all want more information. Give GM time. They will do this.

    Go GM. Go Volt.


  20. 20
    Jarek91

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:30 pm)

    To hear they’re having such success with the mule is very encouraging. Now if they can just nail down the price and keep their financial head above water until 2010…


  21. 21
    N Riley

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:33 pm)

    Byron

    Every car maker sells a lemon vehicle. Some of us are lucky and never buy one. Some of us are not so lucky. You don’t always hear from the lucky ones, but you darn sure do from the unlucky ones.

    I believe, being a Japanese vehicle owner, when an American buys a foreign auto we have a tendency to be a little self conscious of doing so and will not admit buying a lemon or having more problems than we think is normal. One thing I find true is Japanese car companies push maintenance much more than American car companies. Or maybe no more, but we self consciously treat our foreign car better because we want to prove ourselves right in our buying choice. We do some things for reasons that we do not fully understand. I think Ford and GM are a lot closer in quality and value to the Japanese than some of us may want to admit. I know we have better quality and value than most European exports. Ford and GM autos seem to outlast European autos. Or, maybe I am just imagining it.


  22. 22
    Bryon

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:43 pm)

    #21

    I understand what your saying!

    I’m not going to be in the market for a car until i graduate college in 2010 which sets up well for a new VOLT!!

    i hope GM does this well, and paces themselves with PR’s because November of 2010 is a long way away they don’t want people to loose excitement. Although i guess the 4.00 gal gas is the incentive


  23. 23
    BigCityCat

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:50 pm)

    I have a 2004 Toyota Tacoma, it has had break issues since I bought it. It was built in America. The problem is UAW. Union employees expect too much and don’t work with care and diligence. They know they can’t be fired so they work with a piss poor attitude. I will guarantee you Toyota does not have the union problems American car makers have.

    I still believe GM can overcome in spite of UAW.

    I can’t wait to trade in my Toyota for a Volt.


  24. 24
    Sentinel

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (2:56 pm)

    This is GREAT!!!… Where can I send my deposit????


  25. 25
    N Riley

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:03 pm)

    BigCityCat

    The UAW is and has been part of the problem. But all big unions are a problem. Union leaders are like politicians. They want your vote and your money. They then take the money and buy expensive office buildings, cars and jet planes. They live high on the hog while the poor guy on the assembly line only makes $50.00 per hour.

    Unions by themselves are not bad. It is the people who run the unions who are bad. The poor working stiff gets stiffed again. Why do you think they call them working stiffs?


  26. 26
    N Riley

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:06 pm)

    Sentinel (and others)

    You can send your deposits to: N Riley, P O Box 9999….. AH=h well, you probably would not fall for it anyway.


  27. 27
    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:10 pm)

    I agree this is fabulous news, but I’d sure like to know if “40 miles” means…

    1. “40 miles at freeway speeds,”
    2. “40 miles at low surface-street speeds,” or
    3. Some combination thereof.

    The improved cD of the final body won’t mean much if the Mali-mule prototype was being tested at 30MPH.

    Nevertheless, it’s great to hear! Keep it up GM!


  28. 28
    Voltmania

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:15 pm)

    This is great news for GM and for all of us sick and tired of paying through the nose for gas! I bet the production Volt will get 50 miles or better per charge if the mule gets 40. I can’t wait for the opportunity to buy this car!!


  29. 29
    d burgdorff

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:20 pm)

    Glad to hear that it gets 40 miles on electric, but I really want to know about performance. Can it accelerate to freeway speeds uphill? I would trade range to get a certain minimum necessary performance.


  30. 30
    BillR

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:35 pm)

    This is great news!!

    For months, the biggest concern was always the battery pack, but now, that no longer seems to be the main issue. And in a previous post, Jon Lauckner stated that everything besides the battery pack was well-defined, for instance 90% of the powertrain has been spec’d to suppliers.

    http://gm-volt.com/2008/04/28/how-much-will-the-chevy-volt-cost/

    Now software development becomes the major task, but I don’t envision it being as complicated as the 2-mode hybrids, where the drivetrain power can come from the electric motors, ICE, or both. And all the reviews that I have read on the 2-mode system indicate that the transitions are very seamless and smooth.

    I would say GM is making great progress on this vehicle! Glad to hear it.


  31. 31
    George K

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:36 pm)

    #10 Estero,

    Yes, the software is a big issue. You may recall when the Prius was in the news in 2005 because a software glitch was causing them to stall, and some could not be started. Media made a big deal of it, and scared away a lot of buyers at the time. It took about a year for it to be forgotten.

    That really hurt the Prius reputation back then, even though only 33 out of 75,000 actually had the problem. That’s .00044%.


  32. 32
    cybereye

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:47 pm)

    Bob Lutz said “It is reliably meeting its objectives. Even with a rough calibration, even with the wrong drive unit, the wrong body, etc. etc.,”

    I wonder if that include abuse battery as well. That info sure would boost my encouragement if they have said that.


  33. 33
    OhmExcited

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:49 pm)

    40 miles is the target for end of life. It’s encouraging to see they can get 40 miles out of a Malibu, which doesn’t have particularly optimized aero.


  34. 34
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:51 pm)

    I would really like to know how much further an aerodynamically designed Volt can go.


  35. 35
    dbK

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:53 pm)

    #25–

    $50/hr over a year of 40 hr/wk is $109,000. I wouldn’t quite call that “only” — I’m graduating college (tomorrow! yay) and coming out making $50,000; something about that seems wrong, which goes on to point out how unreasonable unions can be, and the UAW is the poster child of that. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for union workers to pay for part of their health care, have 401(k)s instead of pensions, etc. But every time GM/Ford/whomever wants to make a financial decision for the good of the company, the union is up in arms.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000006&sid=aBZUjbUBbXkk&refer=home

    Your $50/hr is actually low; it works out to $73 and change (as of 2006) when benefits and pensions are accounted for.

    Further, the Big 3 automakers are paying workers not to work! http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0510/17/A01-351179.htm — of course the UAW would strike forever if that deal was ever considered in a renegotiation.


  36. 36
    Jim Rowland

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (3:56 pm)

    OK I’m ready to choose a trim and color package…this is going to be a long wait till Nov 2010.
    Just guessing the mule is less aero and heavier than the “Volt”, so this is breakthrough news for us fans. Wondering if there is AC on the mule for accuracy in testing and how long does it take to recharge?
    Go GM go go go.


  37. 37
    Len

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:08 pm)

    An electric motor on each wheel is much more complicated than a single electric motor driving a mechanical power distribution system. It is potentially more efficient too. Each wheel would have to sense traction and be controlled independently with the Volvo. The logic for a good fuel injection is more complicated than deciding when the generator motor should turn on.

    I would’t mind making $50 an hour and I have an engineering degree.


  38. 38
    Alexander

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:09 pm)

    I’m seriously worried about heating of Volt in winter climate. It may eat up the battery horribly quickly. Not everyone lives in California, you know. I hope they invent something clever about that.


  39. 39
    pete k

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:12 pm)

    And then Obi-Wan said, “I just felt a terrible disturbance in the force…almost as if all 20,000 people on the Volt waiting list all just reached out for their Kleenex together”

    Oh PLEASE! My 1998 Citroen Berlingo Electrique still goes 60nM per charge on it’s ANCIENT technology NiCads!

    SO…… while this IS good news along the ‘road to Damascus’, it’s not exactly a miracle:

    Now, Gandalf the Grey returning as Gandalf the White – THAT was a miracle!…….;-)


  40. 40
    wow

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:16 pm)

    Alexander,

    Sweaters? Just kidding.


  41. 41
    N Riley

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:16 pm)

    Alexander

    Don’t you think the ICE could provide heat in extreme climates? It would mean burning a little more fuel when the heater’s fluid (water) became cooler than a certain level. That would not take any battery power and should only be used in extreme temperatures. In the South, where I live, a small electric heater could do most of the job. At times the ICE would have to be used.


  42. 42
    pete k

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:16 pm)

    …and it’s not even shaped like a brick…it IS a brick!


  43. 43
    N Riley

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:18 pm)

    pete k

    Bear with us on this, Pete. This crowd needs any good news it can find.


  44. 44
    Jason H

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:27 pm)

    I’m sure they are being conservative on the 40 mile range. I expect they are shooting for 40 miles under worse case conditions like, old battery, heater/AC on, extreme temperatures, hilly terrain, etc. This can make a huge difference in range. I also think that some companies, like Fisker, probably estimate the best case scenario for range, as in new battery going a steady 50 mph on a flat road in mild temperatures. I don’t know why else range estimates seem to vary so much for all of these much anticipated 2010 cars.


  45. 45
    Len

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:30 pm)

    A123 cells are capable of accepting the charge very rapidly. I think the limit will be what your house is willing to give. We use the cells to power model airplanes and charge them at multiples of their capacity. If you roughly estimate that you can go 40 miles in an hour and the battery is depleted, it would be possible to charge it in 15 or twenty minutes, but the amps needed would be prohibitive. It would be like the on demand hot water heaters, 70 amps to charge a 140 amp hour battery in two hours.


  46. 46
    bruce g

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:33 pm)

    So we have just got to integrate the ICE to the drive and it is reams of software?
    Well I hope they do that in parallel with setting up the assembly line.

    For those of you that remember “Ben Hur”
    Lets go to ramming speed.


  47. 47
    DaveP

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:36 pm)

    Awesome! A working electric Malibu with a 40 mile range (plus extender, too). I mean, that’s a pretty cool trick, as the Malibu is not a car that you would normally think to convert to electric drive. It’s big and heavy and kinda blocky… If they can get THAT to work, the Volt (with all their customized design effort into it already) is going to be a big piece of cake.

    Also, I’m really glad to hear they’re seriously thinking about the charging algorithms. I mentioned it before during the Pulse&Glide article that I figured the most likely cause of Volt drivers acting weirdly is trying to get thier charger to stop charging as soon as they have enough range to get home!
    It’s probably going to be the #1 issue for people with slightly more than 40 mile commutes and could make a huge difference in actual mileage.


  48. 48
    StevePA

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:46 pm)

    N Riley # 19
    Agree with your comment about the smaller quality gap now between Japanese and US branded vehicles. Our large company fleet has long been a mix of US branded full size 4 doors with some SUVs thrown in for the more northern locales. In recent years shop time is almost exclusively routine service and inspection vs repair. Turnover mileage was raised from 45K many years ago to about 55K now.
    Thinking a VOLT should be in the shop even less…


  49. 49
    Vincent

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (4:46 pm)

    Bravo People!!!


  50. 50
    Tom

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    Hey a quick question,
    Is the pure 40mile electric range at 50km/hr, 100km/hr or what speed? Thanks


  51. 51
    Gary Goggin

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (5:02 pm)

    This is amazing news! I bet when all is said and done the volt will give a closer to 50 mile all electric range. This is gonna be a real winner for GM… Viva La Revolution…


  52. 52
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (5:06 pm)

    GXT #17. Great questions. I wonder the same thing. What does 40 miles mean? What kind of 40 miles?


  53. 53
    noel park

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (5:30 pm)

    Great news.

    There is not a moment to be lost.

    Time’s a wastin’

    Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.


  54. 54
    BigRedFed

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (5:33 pm)

    Anyone else wondering what the weight differential will be between the production volt and the mule? Will the volt weigh the same, more or less?


  55. 55
    Gary Goggin

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (5:46 pm)

    My guess is that the mule has been stripped of its heavier unnecessary components in order to more closely match the eventual production volt weight! I’m sure that with the hundreds of engineers and billions of dollars spent the final product will be streamlined to perfection. If they can get forty miles on a full charge from the mule it only figures that the end result will surpass previous conservative estimates. These guys have learned a lot (the hard way) from the EV1 project, they are not about to make promises they can’t keep!


  56. 56
    26ChampsYanks

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (5:47 pm)

    Better open CD account now and save up! great news by the way.
    Go GM Go!


  57. 57
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (5:48 pm)

    #21, N Riley. I will admit it. Up until last week, I had a complete piece of junk Suburu Outback. I was made in Japan. It was a real turnoff for me.


  58. 58
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (5:58 pm)

    Sorry. I wasn’t made in Japan. The Subaru was.


  59. 59
    Peter Gerard

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (5:59 pm)

    If this car will be priced around $40,000, it might just be a novelty item which won’t sell well.

    We need a volkswagon type electric car that most families can afford. Use it to run errands, make small trips etc. Half of the driving done in the US could be accomplished with such a vehicle.

    IMHO


  60. 60
    Gary Goggin

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (6:09 pm)

    9 years ago i paid €3000 for a 400mhz Pentium 3 computer, it was state of the art then! today you can get get a computer that’s 10 times as powerful for a tenth of the price. The most costly part of the volt is the battery and i predict that with the weight of the major car companies behind this technology, by 2015 you will be able to buy a 200 mile range Ev for the same relative price of a gasoline car!


  61. 61
    E Thompson

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (6:10 pm)

    Keep going GM. Don’t rest. We need to make this happen.


  62. 62
    Dave G

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (6:21 pm)

    I said this 10 months ago – software will be the long pole in the tent, not the batteries. I hope GM authorizes overtime pay for Volt software engineers…


  63. 63
    Dave G

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (6:34 pm)

    Gary Goggin #59 –

    Anything over 100 miles per charge (MPC) is a waste. Most people will only need 40 MPC. Even if batteries get 10 times cheaper, 200 MPC will still be a significant cost, not to mention weight.

    There is also the issue of charging a 200 MPC car. Normal house circuits won’t do this overnight.

    I think 2015 will show us plug-in hybrid cars that get 30-70 MPC and don’t cost much more than regular ICE cars. That’s what most people need. There will also be some high-end pure EVs for people that afford another car for long trips.


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    Arch

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    May 14th, 2008 (6:41 pm)

    Several people have mentioned the heating problem. Creating heat with electricity is a sin. Hi quality energy converted to low quality heat is not good. Now back in the 60s I had a Corvair and it never killed me. When I bought it I got the optional gasoline heater. The heater ran on gasoline. I rewired it so I could go out on a cold day and fire up the heater without the engine running. Even later in its life I added a duct so it would heat the engine so that it would start on a cold winter day. I have no idea how efficient they were but they would sure put out the heat. Even very good for a very cold night with your girl parked on a country road. LOL

    Take Care
    Arch


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    May 14th, 2008 (6:55 pm)

    Dave G

    The Tesla roadster can get 200 mpc now! The more major auto companies start pushing Ev’s the more likely we will see breakthrough after breakthrough in both battery tech, ultra capacitors and software advances etc! i believe the volt represents a change in the zeitgeist and as a result it will expedite these technologies. I’m old enough to remember the spectrum 48! typing code for hours from a bi monthly computer mag and then looking on in awe as a triangle appeared on the monitor! I really think we are at the beginning of a revolution.


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    kent beuchert

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (7:01 pm)

    Now what do you suppose has become of all those claimed skeptics who early on predicted that the Volt was some sort of billion dollar
    sleight of hand? Where are those morons and why don’t they have the guts to admit that they were full of it? With their imagination for braindead conspiracy theories (Chris Paine, are you out there?), I wonder which one of them will find some reason for claiming that the Volt is something other than what it so obviously has become. Prepare for another blasphemy against logical thinking.


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    Chris Jackson

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (7:02 pm)

    Way to go Volt Team!!!

    Looking forward the greatest car yet!


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    Bill

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (7:06 pm)

    The scale of the heating problem seems to be what everyone is missing. The Batteries carry enough energy to push a huge car around. Is it 50-60Kwh or something? You can run a 1kW electric fire off that for an hour and use less than a couple of persent of the charge. And with that kind of heat you could cook a lamb roast in the car.


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    Van

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (7:07 pm)

    All the President’s Men is a great movie. Non – denial denials, with no one going “on the record.” Did the Volt Mule go 40 miles using less than 8 KWH of battery capacity? That was the implication, but why did they not go on the record? Since the Volt only travels by electric power, any distance over 40 miles hits the mark of traveling 40 miles on electric power, in that it traveled on electric power.

    Did it hit the mark of a zero to 60 time less than 9 seconds?

    I will wait until Lyle actually drives a mule and reports on its actual performance.


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    Ed M

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (7:22 pm)

    This is all good news about the volt and a chance for America to get out from under the Arab sandal and thumb its nose at Venezuela. If the Volt catches on it will be goodbye to oil imports from unstable backstabbing countries over the next decade.
    I hope America shows loyalty to GM buys the Volt and not some Asian knockoff.


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    Eric

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (7:25 pm)

    I would imagine the volt would use a heat pump system like what was in the ev1 & s-10 E that would cool the battery back while charging and if i recall correctly would also heat-cool the cabin using power from the grid before you unplugged it.


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    John

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (7:34 pm)

    Who knows how we can track the price of Lithium between now and Volt release ? I see that the stock price of one of the 2 domestic producers has roughly doubled in the last 12 months .


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    Bill Guiffre

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (7:39 pm)

    This is great news. Too bad I won’t be able to afford one. And now I hear perhaps the 3g Prius is going to be larger (which means more expensive). Of course, I also hear the 3g Prius was going to have 3 models (sizes), small, medium (current size) and large.

    Maybe two cars from now I will be able to afford the Volt’s smaller version (not starting any rumors) but makes sense there will be Volt offspring from GM someday.

    2010 should be a great year for next technology vehicles.


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    RB

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (7:45 pm)

    Lyle — It is really great news. We all are pressing for more details because of our enthusiasm.

    #72 Bill — As of now there are no prices. We can remain hopeful.


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    May 14th, 2008 (7:50 pm)

    #17 GXT

    I would imagine they used the EPA mixed city and highway cycle during the range test. The testing was probaby also done in Michigan so the temperature would have been in the neighborhood of 60 degrees. They may have simulated an electrical load to mimic using accesories, but the mule car probably doesn’t have the electric heating and cooling that the Volt will have.


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    Bernie Torbik

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (7:58 pm)

    This is very good news, no doubt. However, I wonder how much impact certain crtiical components such as A/C, power steering and lighting will have on the AER. GM is reportedly working on replacements for such systems that draw much less power, and lighting is already there with LEDs, but how close are reliable “low power consumption” A/C, power steering and audio systems to reality?


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    George K

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (8:17 pm)

    #46 DaveP

    I would like to see a switch that would turn on the ice. There are a number of reasons for this. Your example is one. Another is where you want to arrive at a location with a good amount of charge, like a downtown, so you don’t pollute.

    Regarding the ice cycling: I would like to see it figure out if you are on the freeway. In that case, after 40 miles, stay on. If not on the freeway, I would like it to cycle on and off.

    Also, I really hope the engine is well insulated so it can barely be heard in the cabin. It would be cool to have some kind of small indicator that the ice is on.


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    TED in Fort Myers

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (8:20 pm)

    Lyle, this is surely good news. OK GM start the tooling. If I can multitask so can you. Build the car. NOW….. Love that VOLT.


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    jscott1000

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (8:24 pm)

    #63 Arch – “Creating heat with electricity is a sin.”

    Ha Ha! I got a great laugh out of that. Very true and probably only an engineer can appreciate that comment.

    I can imagine the ICE contributing to the heating of the batteries. If GM is smart, (and they are) there will be a water loop for the battery pack that can accept rejected heat from the engine.

    I fully expect that the Volt will get 50 miles+ when it’s new, and under aggressive conditions. Maybe get 60+ miles under ideal conditions. That’s good news.


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    Joe

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (8:35 pm)

    As someone mention, using electricity for heating the Volt would be a sin. Electricity is the worst way to heat, period! Whether it’s a home or whatever. Also, someone mention using a gas heater like the one used in the Corvair of years ago.,Now that makes sense. Using fuel is a much more efficient way of heating. This method could be use in conjunction with the ICE. If you driving and the battery is partially depleted, the ICE could kick in to top off the battery and at the same time provide heat the way our present cars do. If the battery is fully charged,then the gas heater would do the job.

    When it comes to Air conditioning, the problem becomes more acute. An electric A/C compressor draws a huge load and again, I don’t think GM will go that route. I think GM will use the ICE to rotates the compressor and at the same time, it will generate electricity to charge the battery or for whatever.

    The ICE will be tune to it’s sweet spot around 1800 rpm and rotate at that speed. At that speed the ICE lends itself to a new technology called HCCI. If GM uses HCCI the ICE efficiency could increase by 15 to 20 percent.

    These are just some of my ideas from a lifetime of experience in engineering.


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    Arch

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (8:39 pm)

    jscott

    Just glad somebody understood what I said. LOL

    Take Care
    Arch


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    Computer-codger

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (8:45 pm)

    Dave G #61,

    Software is always a challenge on a complicated project, as you know. I have said in the past on this blog that this is probably the most software intense car built to date. So surely GM, in a systematic way, is using software inspections where multiple software engineers inspect each other’s code looking for best design and looking for errors. The more eyes looking at and reading the code the better. I am sure GM management knows that transparency helps produce better code with fewer errors. Even though the code is done by individual programmers the code can’t be “owned” by individual programmers it must be “owned” by the whole team.

    This is a great milestone GM, and I wish you the best. We need this car.


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    Arch

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (8:49 pm)

    79 Joe

    Glad to see that somebody else understood what I said. I also agree that the volt needs a SMART computer ti figure out where to switch the loads to at any given time.

    Take Care
    Arch


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (8:56 pm)

    #75 Bernie Torbik
    “I wonder how much impact certain crtiical components such as A/C, power steering and lighting will have on the AER.”

    In previous posts, we heard from GM that power requirements for A/C, power steering, audio, wipers, and the like were issues to overcome. We didn’t hear that in this post. We heard, “He further explains that much of the engineering challenge ahead has to do with software.” So, perhaps, low power consumption doo-dads are not a big enough issue for GM to mention.


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    David S

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (9:01 pm)

    Considering the GM (actually Aerovironment) EV1 got 140 miles per charge on older battery technology and older software technology, 40 miles on pure electric is a HUGE step backwards. I have always wondered why they are only shooting for 40 miles. Why not 100? They’ve already done better than that 15 years ago with the EV1. Even the ‘tiny’ Tesla Roadster (now shipping) gets 227 miles on a full charge, and its faster than most Ferraris and Lamborhinis.


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    Kev

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (9:03 pm)

    start small , forget the computer and put a button to start the engine and a gauge to check battery level and start selling the car next week.


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    Computer-codger

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (9:09 pm)

    Quote from the referenced article:
    “GM engineers are grappling with such questions as: When does the gas engine cut in? How long does it stay on? Is it better to run at lesser power and charge the battery slowly or run at peak power and charge the battery fast? How does it deal with extreme cold days in Alaska or North Dakota, which require the gasoline engine to start the car and warm the battery? If the car’s GPS or OnStar tells the car it is close to home, is there a way for it to tell the engine to charge the engine just enough to get home and plug in versus charging the whole battery using gasoline in the last 15 minutes? How does it handle wide variations in temperatures with accessories on?”

    From the above paragraph it sounds like GM has not settled on how much to charge the battery with the ICE. I though it was settled that the ICE would just sustain the battery at about the 30% level while ICE is running. Does anyone else have the same question? When Volt was first announced GM had advertised that you could charge the battery while in Park, but it sounds like GM is thinking of charging while driving, at least in some cases.


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    blazink5

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (9:09 pm)

    Thats awesome! Yah, it may seem like a step backward, but how many people do you personally know that own a EV1?…oh thats right they never sold them to anyone…then crushed them…so its only 40 miles, for now. 40 miles on lectric is much better than say…30 mpg in a malibu at $4.00 freakin dollars a gallon.


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    Paul

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (9:16 pm)

    This is exciting news indeed!!!

    My biggest concern is HEAT.
    Ambient heat.
    Having the vehicle sitting in the sun in a Wal-Mart parking lot when it’s 117f outside and 145f on the inside worries me.

    HOWEVER,
    I’m sure that GM would not deliver a vehicle system that would not be capable of managing this heat.

    In the past, it’s this heat that has prevented me from buying an AC propulsion’s eBox or others. (They informed me that the battery would not be very happy in this environment)

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed and my wallet ready.


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    Nick Yarnes

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (9:30 pm)

    40 miles…Common GM lest push it a little harder. This mileage should be doubled. At least.


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (9:37 pm)

    ..another thought on my #83 comment: maybe the prototype didn’t have A/C, power steering, audio, wipers, and the like.

    The AutoObserver article said, “the vehicle’s innovative gas-electric powertrain is being test-driven for the first time on public roads.” Is that different from Lyle’s “the test track?”


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    Arch

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (9:43 pm)

    Paul

    I agree if we have power at the batteries then why should we have hot cars to come back to? Give us cool cars to come back to as we leave Wal-Mart. LOL

    Take Care
    Arch


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    Grizzly

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (9:45 pm)

    Dave G #61, C.C. #81

    Absolutely correct. Even if the battery right now only using 50% can do 60 miles with A/C, there is still a long way to go.

    There will be so many conditions, states, contingencies that will need to be tested, and retested etc regardless of whether or not the battery pans out at this point. However, getting over the battery hurdle this early is definitely a plus, now the real work can begin to get this car working and on the road by 2010.


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    Mike

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (9:47 pm)

    I NEED this car my propane bill to heat my house now cost 1,000 every 4 weeks i work 43 miles from home. Keep up the good work & don’t over price it or so help me i will buy a mini cooper!


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    Paul-R

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (9:55 pm)

    I’ve read several posts about the heating/cooling issues.

    As mentioned, a simple gas space heater solves the heating issue without affecting battery range.

    To solve the cooling issue, just add an insulated ice-bath and heat exchanger. The ice-bath will provide plenty of cooling while running on batteries, and the water can be automatically re-frozen while plugged-in or running off the ICE. Simple and inexpensive.

    As for the software now being a big issue, I don’t think the issue is so much writing the software. The issue will be tuning the 100 or so (that’s a guess) software parameters that will control when things start, when things stop, power delivery, etc. Tuning those parameters will require lots of simulations, experimentation, and driving that take a lot of time.


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    Ron

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (10:07 pm)

    40 miles with all the wrong stuff is good enough for me. I’d pay $35,000 today for a Malibu with the mule package installed. The software tweaks could easily be downloaded to the car as new releases are tested and finalized. Package up 50,000 of ‘em to sell this summer and let us trade up for the final Volt in 2-3 years when it’s finished. Don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “good”!


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    May 14th, 2008 (10:08 pm)

    Lyle, has GM set a date to run a mule through the EPA mileage tests yet?

    I would think that the EPA tests should be executed with a FULL battery charge and an EMPTY battery charge. Also, I’m wondering about the mileage if the Volt is NEVER plugged into an electrical outlet.

    Of course, a software algorithm needs to exist for the ICE cycle for these tests. The GM testers may be just manually turning on the ICE in the mule…or based on this blog, the ICE may not be in play yet.


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    May 14th, 2008 (10:09 pm)

    Gary Goggin #64,

    The Tesla Roadster gets around 250 mpc (not 200), but the wait list is around 1 year and the cost is around $100,000. Let me know when you buy one! As I mentioned, there will be a few pure EVs at the high end for those who can afford them.

    But speaking of Tesla, their 3rd generation car is supposed to be a $30,000 plug-in hybrid with around 40 MPC. Tesla’s stated business plan is to start with high-end sports cars and then work their way down to affordable cars for the masses. When you get down to $30,000, then a plug-in hybrid with around 40 MPC is the only thing that works.


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    J.D.

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (10:15 pm)

    I would still like to have a chance of a test pilot of the car out here in the dead set Middle of the U.S.A.
    Weather conditions here vary and would allow for good test data. Certainly at various times of the seasons. Winter time with the elements will be a real challenge.


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    Jeff

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (10:17 pm)

    94 Ron

    I agree…

    But any detail news on the rollout plan to the dealers? When will dealer techs start training on the vehicle? Will the sales people know anything about the vehicle when it arrives on the lot?

    I would think everyone would like to hear news on the “rollout” plan. Is it premature to ask such questions?


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    Danno

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (10:22 pm)

    WOW, very impressive!

    What can I do to help speed-up the delivery of this vehicle?

    We need to propel this concept into reality well before 2011.

    Please pool more resources into this project (you are missing the boat as we type)…


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    J sousa

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (10:28 pm)

    This is what GM needs to put them back on top, this is what this country needs to cut the dependency on petroleum. Get in line now. At $4.00 a gallon how can you afford not to buy one. Now, I just want the government to give me a tax credit to put up my own wind generator to make my own electricity for this plug in marvel.


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    May 14th, 2008 (10:31 pm)

    my son is in school right now learning about alt fuel vehicles(ie. electric hybrid) I’m sure the dealerships will have at least one tech that they send for special training if they can’t hire someone right out of an automotive school.


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    Robert

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (10:48 pm)

    All the work being done on this is a huge step in the right direction. There are going to be failures. That is a part of the learning process. Yes; that 40 miles figure is somewhat subjective. Traffic in Houston at 5pm on a typical 97 degree summer afternoon with pavement temperatures nearing 125 degrees will be challenging. I am curious about the physics though. Heat on a cold day without the 190 degree radiator water will be an even worse battery drain.

    To produce a range of 75-150 horsepower for x number of miles will require an awful lot of juice from a typical 15 amp wall outlet even with 70% energy recovery from braking and 85% efficiency in the batteries. Only so much can flow in 6-8 hours. If you want to go even more miles and still charge overnight, I’m not sure how much further than 40 miles all-electric will ever be feasible. The battery pack also has to remain small enough to remain inside the frame rails in order to pass the crash tests without exploding.

    I have no problem with a 30amp-230volt charger to get more miles as battery technology matures but that will sure turn a lot of people off initially until those charger outlets are as standard by the driveway as a dryer/stove plug or a stub-out for an air-conditioner . . . . .


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    mien green

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (10:57 pm)

    Ed M @ 69:
    Doubtful. More like making do with our oil quota by utilizing every alternative energy source we can muster.

    Also, Americans seem to follow their pocketbook and/or quality issues more so than patriotic allegiance when it comes to their own personal purchases. Most “American” companies outsource parts and labor and even assembly to third world countries, anyway.


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    Marman

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (10:57 pm)

    This is Great News!!! I want to buy !!!!


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    Gary N

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (10:57 pm)

    I agree with #94 Ron as well. Roll it out, and upload the free upgrades with a drive-by at the dealership when it’s ready. We are all used to Microsoft’s imcomplete products and service packs. We all wouldn’t be on this site if we were happy with the gas prices and/or environmental impacts of regular cars.

    GM, you want sales don’t you, get it out there before somebody else over seas steals the scene.

    I drive a truck 70 miles each day and plan on upgrading my daily driver this coming fall. GM, you better hurry before I go shopping for something with a little better leg room than a Prius. Hook me up with one so I can test it in this summers heat and humidity in Houston


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    May 14th, 2008 (11:00 pm)

    Hi Robert (101),

    The battery systems being engineered by GM and their suppliers do not explode. They use a different safer chemistry than laptop cells.

    As mentioned in previous posts, during battery operation, heat could be supplied from a small fuel space-heater, and cooling could be provided by an ice-bath.


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    Bernie Lewis

     

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    May 14th, 2008 (11:20 pm)

    Why not make that onboard generator diesel powered and able to run on biofuel or veggie oil then we could be gasoline free! At least make it optional! I am ready to trade up!
    A Prius owner


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    The Cack

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:08 am)

    Why is it that GM can make a full production electric vehicle in the early 90′s (close to 20yrs ago now) yet it’s 2008 and they can’t seem to get this thing into production? i originally heard that GM would have an electric car like this around 2007, no 2008, no 2009…wait, now it’s Nov 2010?!?!? that’s a 2011 model…hang on a minute!!! someone’s keeping us low to the ground here….originally i was excited about this…now i think it’s a joke to improve their ‘Humming’ image…”software challenge”…LMAO —-> (if battery=low then start motor otherwise don’t) my optimism has turned due to these stalling tactics of high hopes. What?!?! You’re telling me that google owns every talented software engineer this planet has to offer….i have one thing to say to GM ……… “ooooooooooooookaaaay…..right”


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    omegaman66

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:19 am)

    “Why not double or triple the range?”

    Because it is not needed most of the time by MOST drivers. Battery supply is possibly going to be a limiting factor. If that is the case GM can sell twice as many cars with a 40 mile range as with an 80 in that case. And did your read all the angry post when the possible price increase was announced? Cost of the battery is currently a huge part of the cars cost. Why compound that cost issue to give more range that will often go unused and push the price into the range of a toy only for the rich!


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    Jesse McGuire

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:57 am)

    the system they have to use has prolly 50 moving parts, a batt pak, controler for throttle control-charging-discharging-power distribution,and 1-4 motors ac-inducton 3-phase for generator braking aswell as standard car items window motors turn signals brake light etc. my question is when 8 people can desigh implement and move a vehical on to the market in less than 2 years how many people are working on this how much is gm spending do they have anyone from the old EV1 team on this team why dont they put the ev1 on the market i bet people would pay for a 50+mpg car at 22cents a “charge”
    these are the same geniues that invented the modern electric vehical(EV) and then did there damnest to eraticate it they took the EV out of the one they let a musem hav i hate to be negitive but WTF get the lead out i could convert every car in my family to EV with lead-acid batts for they get the fist ev gimic(by the time gas get so expensive it will be to late for this car we’ll all be broke) if GM continous to give this kind of effort watch out were in store for a great dipression(sorry 2nd) with great power comes great resposiblity (corn) get off your @$$ GM


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    Paul

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:59 am)

    I have great news. My homemade $2000 EV get’s 40 miles per charge! Yay, what an achievement.


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    Jesse McGuire

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:00 am)

    GO PAUL!!!!!!!!


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    Jesse McGuire

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:01 am)

    start a car CO.


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    Jon

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:09 am)

    Fantastic , want one now please……hurry up


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    RichardF

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:10 am)

    This is good news indeed…. I suspect GM will be planning for worst case scenario, they almost have to… 40miles of mixed semi-freeway/city/hilly stop and go driving with a lead-foot driver honking it away from every stop light. I see 90 to 100km with steady driving at 100kmph on the open road… the kind of driving I do. Cut back to 90kmph (the speed limit around these here parts) and I suspect you will add 5lkm more to that range. If GM ‘guarantees’ 40 miles, I am willing to bet that many will be able to eke out 30 -50% more range with steady open road driving before the gen-set in the back kicks in.


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    Robert

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:55 am)

    Hi Paul-R (105) I’m totally onboard with this but there are physics things to be overcome that are being glossed over. I’m going to guess one of the software challenges will be determining the ambient temperature of the vehicle when the driver enters. Most folks don’t realize that car AC compressors can cool a 1500 sq ft house. They just ramp back once the car is cooled off.

    It is not just the air in the car that is 125 degrees in that Wal-Mart parking lot. So is the dash and the seats and the glass. You said ice bath. You could set a 50lb block of ice in a car in Texas in the summer and within an hour all you would have is wet carpet and still a very hot car. Users will expect the same ability to remove or add a tremendous amount of heat into or out of the passenger cabin within 5 minutes of closing the driver side door for the vehicle to be viable.

    A 3-ton AC unit is about 3 horse power which a 150 HP gasoline engine barely notices but wouldn’t even work with a 15 amp wall outlet the battery charger will use. A regular car has a huge amount of energy it can throw at a really hot or cold vehicle. It wouldn’t be so bad if the gasoline engine had to start to initially heat up or cool off one of these vehicles. Once they are at temperature, the energy requirement is very low.

    As for the batteries not exploding; hmmmm, you might wanna read up on that. A tremendous amount of energy will be stored in the battery pack. Probably 10,000 times that of a laptop computer. If you dropped 10,000 laptop computer batteries into a hydraulic press and all of those + and – terminals came in contact with one another creating short circuits, you would be surprised at the fireworks.


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    Richard Easton

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:56 am)

    I love the fact that GM ate crow and is coming back with a viable ev, even though it will use an ice to extend the range.
    Why o Why are they striving for perfection–we need half as much car at half the price. But they still have to make money. I would buy a Volt anytime, and cheer GM on, but cut the deluxe complexity crap and give us a battery Volt NOW at a lower price (since you leave out the ice).
    Best wishes, GM.


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    aruby

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:02 am)

    people won’t buy a city car.


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    aruby

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:04 am)

    regarding AC, there are glass windows with excellent ability to allow light in but not heat.


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    aruby

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:05 am)

    By the way, if “Walmart” adds charging stations, your car WILL be climate controlled when you come back out… just like it will be in the morning at home. Beat that!


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    nate

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:09 am)

    i’d REALLY like to see 100 miles on all electric… and i’d be willing to pay more for it :)


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    aruby

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:11 am)

    would you pay $10,000 more?
    that’s about what it would cost…


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    skeptikool

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:37 am)

    Great, great news. If it’s cold I’ll throw on an extra sweater. Just keep the windows from fogging up. Got this little thing in my pocket that takes a couple of AA batteries, so hold the boom box.


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    Robert

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:41 am)

    Aruby (118) – Yes, they make glass that lets little heat in but try smashing it with a baseball bat. It breaks in to jagged pieces that will lacerate you in a crash. Triple pane glass with argon filler is fine for a house where few windows get direct sun. Again, there are physics at play.

    Go look at the outside of your house and compare the % of exterior that is glass vs solid surfaces then do the same for your car. Now compare how many cubic feet of air you have inside your house per sq ft of glass compared to your car. BINGO. You have way more glass and way less cubic feet of air in your vehicle which is why a car heats up so fast in the sun compared to a house.

    Plus a house has a continuous climate control system more or less so heat is added and removed gradually so you never or seldom have a huge amount to deal with either way. Not so with a car. Open your trunk. No insulation on the lid and very little between the trunk and the back seat. Maybe a 1/4″ of foam between the ceiling and the roof in a car.

    Bottom line is it is cheap to heat up or cool down a vehicle with a V8 engine and something similar will need to be possible with the Volt but I’m guessing it won’t ever be feasible to make that huge initial climate change with battery power and still go some 40 or 50 miles.

    Oh, and Wal-Mart will be the very very very last store that ever installs charging stations for their customers. What will keep the dude next door at What-a-Burger from charging his car up during his lunch at Wal-Mart without ever going in ???? The logistics of that prevetion would be night marish to inforce . . . . . .


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    May 15th, 2008 (3:34 am)

    Robert (123)

    First of all, it’s nice that we’re at the point where these are the big problems…

    Regarding the glass, sorry for being so vague. I wasn’t referring to double pane glass which insulates against conduction.
    I was talking about technologies like this

    http://www.southwall.com/southwall/Home/Products/Automotive/XIRLaminatedGlass.html

    that are already in use in some cars from Renault and Mercedes. They reflect much of the sun’s heat, stopping “radiation” heat.

    My general point is that once you’re running an energy efficient car, you start to look at ways to use energy efficiently. Using an ICE to heat and cool works very well, but it’s like using a sledgehammer on a fly. Also, I doubt EPA MPG tests are run in the baking sun, which would demonstrate the substantial loss of efficiency AC’s can cause in a mobile greenhouse.
    Example: in the above link, a test car with reflective film was found to be cooler- plus a 3% fuel economy improvement.
    An extra MPG might not sound huge, but it certainly will make a difference when running an air conditioner off of batteries.

    Regarding WalMart charging, how about a Charging meter? (like a parking meter). A couple quarters should go a long way! :)


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    May 15th, 2008 (3:48 am)

    FYI,
    see http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid192.php for a great look at many different areas that can be improved.
    With a regular car, you don’t see exactly how many MPG you’re getting, but with the Volt, you’ll know exactly when you’re battery is low. Your actual mileage is the key, not the EPA’s mileage.

    BTW, Another development that may also help is “self-inflating” tires with a built in peristaltic pump http://www.selfinflatingtire.com/
    (or something similar). This would also save about 3% of energy, but wouldn’t help Big Auto on the EPA test.


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    Ian P

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:54 am)

    The software issue sounds a bit of a crok to me. What inputs do they need to look at? Throttle posn, speed. accel/decel, power demand, wheel distribution (related to turning radius), battery state of charge. It’s not rocket science. To that end, NASA put a man on the moon with a computer with the processing capacity of a digital. They should use the KISS principal and keep it simple stupid. I’m sure battery technology really IS the problem of all EVs if they are only prepared to admit it.


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    aruby

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:57 am)

    I would bet a modern car is more complicated than a 60′s moon rocket…


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    Robert

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (4:09 am)

    Aruby (124) – OK I read your link and it says at best this vastly more expensive glass reduces heat influx by 33%. Since about 1/3 of the heat that enters a car in a parking lot comes from the glass, 1/3 of 1/3 means that after say 10 hours in the sun, a normally 140 degree car will only be about 130 degrees.

    I’ll admit to being the only frigging stupid nubie many of you have made me out to be but not knowing what in the world you are talking about when you say you can heat and cool a car with something you people call an ICE.

    I assure you if it worked 5% as much as many of you think it will it would already be in service. Why is it when I enter 15 variations of ICE – heating – cooling – vehicle in Google all I get back is stupid stuff and nothing even remotely in reference to a practical automobile heating and cooling technology ????


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    Remzi

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (4:23 am)

    when can i buy this car?


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    May 15th, 2008 (4:31 am)

    Excuse the abbreviation. I.C.E. = Internal Combustion engine.


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    mmcc

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (4:38 am)

    Great news GM. I wonder what GM’s stock price would be if all their dealerships had E-flex vehicles on the lot.

    #124 aruby… Re: Charging meter — I like that idea.


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    Billy

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (4:40 am)

    I still think they need to ditch the 9V battery they are trying to use and put some real juice in it. Maybe take the engine all the way out.


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    May 15th, 2008 (5:01 am)

    Thanks Aruby. Use “Ice” as in the cold stuff in a sack to cool a car in Houston ???? BA-HaHaHaHaHaHa. My bad. I’m up to speed now.

    Yes. Charging meters perhaps on their own row someplace in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Anything that would take cash would get stolen. Perhaps a pre-paid tap-type card like a Kroger key chain deal-ey plus a keypad where you can key in the maximum amount.

    To my knowledge we aren’t importing actual electricity in from the middle east yet so all of these are good ideas . . . . . .


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    aruby

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (5:04 am)

    mmcc: thanks :) GM: keep the patent :P

    Hey Robert, I looked into more of those numbers, and this is what I understand so far.
    The specific product I linked to reflects 94% of infrared radiation. It is 35% more efficient than “tinted glass”. Regular glass lets in much more infrared, about 80% of total infrared shining at it. (Infrared is what mostly makes us hot from the sun).
    Also, the main reason cars get so hot is because of the windows. Whatever the percentage of area windows are, I think we can agree that the reason the car gets hot is mostly the “greenhouse effect”. Better windows would help a lot.


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    Dave G

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (5:13 am)

    Bernie Lewis – #106
    The volt runs on electricity, gasoline, or E85. E85 is mostly ethanol, which can be made from any sort of biomass. In the U.S., emissions standards for Diesel engines make them more costly, heavier, and less efficient than European Diesel engines.

    Robert – #115
    The Volt doesn’t use the same battery chemistry as laptop batteries, so they wont explode. A good example of this is the recent KillaCycle accident. I believe the battery pack was ruptured, shorting the + and – plates, and nothing happened. By contrast, Tesla is using laptop batteries. They say their pack cooling system will deal with thermal events, but I wonder what a real crash would do. As for AC, the Volt design guys have already told us 40 MPC is with the AC off, and it looks like there will be a 20-30% hit on MPC with the AC on.

    nate – #120
    100 mpc would cost around $10,000 extra, and you would lose the back seats and/or the trunk. The good news is that your 0-60 times would be much faster. More batteries not only makes more range, but more horsepower as well. Do you still want 100 mpc?

    Ian P – #126
    There is a ton of software for just the AC induction motor. There are also a lot of battery management issues. Don’t underestimate software.


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    greg woulf

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (5:28 am)

    Great Job GM!

    I wish they were selling a Malibu Volt. I’m 6’5″ and the Volt’s going to be too small in the first version.

    For now I’m just glad a company is building a car the right way.


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    Zeme

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (6:00 am)

    Everybody knows that GM can build the VOLT. They built the EV1. The question is: Will they actually do it? Is this just a tease? After all, if you ever saw the movie “Who killed the electric car”, you will know that there are many factors at work against building such a car.
    My prediction is that some other car company (Not beholding or intimidated by OIL) will build that functional and reasonably price electric car long before GM will.
    Look at what Renault is about to do in Israel?
    The shame of it is that GM, if they were truly sincere, could do a lot for America, Americans and to the glut of BIG OIL and the politicians that keep helping them. Wake up America… WE own the OIL in Iraq (and what a price we are paying there), and OIL companies still stick it to us.
    Zeme


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    ArcLight

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (6:18 am)

    I’ll believe it when I see it…on a lot.
    If GM was capable or interested in a vehicle like this they would have worked directly off of the EV1 project long ago. The minute the lobbyists overturned the CA requirements for EV production, they pulled out.
    Why in the world would they build themselves out of jobs with cars that last long and work cleanly? Why would they build themselves out of big oil lobby money?
    They want you to drive a car that will break and need things. Thats business. Same as your appliances.
    Cable companies are glad to give you a FREE box, the cell phone companies are happy to give you FREE phones… because they know you’ll need services and want for more and more. They can keep you paying a bill for years to come.
    This thing will have issues built right in to keep you on a string.
    Take all of this fake press release non sense with a grain of salt.
    Insist that you see it before you fall for it. The only thing that matters is mass production, not a fancy skin or a test mule or a battery. In 1897 the first commercial application (of EV) was established as a fleet of New York City taxis. Over 100 years ago people. We can send satellites to space and see 100 million light years away.
    For more information on the history and past capabilities of Elec. vehicles please cut an paste the link below to the US department of energy.
    Question Everything! We are not sheep or cash cows.

    http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/avta/light_duty/fsev/fsev_history.html


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    Steve D

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (6:39 am)

    Congrats GM and the entire Volt project staff.

    Now…don’t put a Cavalier body on this chassis. Stick to the car show design package and you have a winner.


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    Dave Austin

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (6:43 am)

    oh please! The critics here are completely clueless. They have no idea that it all has to do with technology and making money. The EV1 didn’t have a chance because the technology cost too much back then, no matter what you thought. In case you didn’t know … technology is what transformed the world into what it is, and will continue to do so.

    Frankly I can’t believe GM was so jaded against Advanced Li-Ion batteries in the the first place. It’s like they never read any of the technical journals.


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    May 15th, 2008 (6:47 am)

    The actual software coding work is probably not as big an issue as determining the algorithms which that software will use. Algorithms are the math used to set things like when the ICE comes on and what the most efficient and battery-friendly discharge depth should be. Finding the optimal values for this math will take a good deal of research and old fashioned testing.


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    Mikel

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (6:59 am)

    Would it be possible to install a solar film in the roof to assist in charging the battery. Solar film has come a long way recently. I don’t know if this would be practical, just an idea. Tha car may be parked for 7 to 8 hours in the sun and could be recharging. Any thoughts in this regard?


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    May 15th, 2008 (7:00 am)

    GM would say- maybe as an add-on. We won’t get involved…


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    Jim B

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:05 am)

    Now it’s time to start the Manhattan type project to build many nuclear power plants on the “design once, copy exactly” principal to power these babies with “carbon free” power!


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    May 15th, 2008 (7:05 am)

    Hey GM…a willing Minneapolis driver with years of R&D test experience is waiting! Get off yer butts, build that thing and get your cold-weather data here! :)


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    TOM M

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:10 am)

    #142 Mikel

    The soon to be released Aptera has a solar panel in the roof that runs the A/C unit while parked to keep the interior of the auto cool.
    For us in the deep south, this is a great feature. We have already reached 100 + last week. I’m sure GM is looking at all options. We’ll just have to patient and wait for the final VOLT product.

    Tom


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    brad

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:13 am)

    Sure the automakers might lose money from replacement parts (they build in foreign countries) on EVs but they have huge potential to make money on software updates, part upgrades, even newer better batteries (make em last only 8 -10 years then well have to buy newer ones) and many of these things are best built right here in the U.S.A. Instead of forming alliances with Oil Companies they need to focus on Software companies, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Apple etc. Soon we might be able to have tons of technology in our cars. There will be shift in the way money is made but it can still be made.


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    Essie

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:14 am)

    Good to get 40 miles from the battery. The Chevy Sprint consistently got 50 miles per gallon. I drove one for 10 years without any repairs, (until the carburetor died). I loved that little car but couldn’t get another one because the Sprint was discontinued. If the Volt is to get 55 mpg, that is not very spectacular in light of the mileage gotten by a car 20 years ago.


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    Statik

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:14 am)

    #138 Arc

    And people people think I’m pessimistic!

    /you have so much to teach sensai!


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    Dan

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:18 am)

    I think the difference is “NO” sales of gas guzzlers for GM and Ford etc. and most models on the road to-day.The New tech to replace the old tech is now, as Prius at 1,000,000 sold proves.

    Oil is not going to get cheaper and the only way to deal with this is don’t buy it.

    GM,Ford and the rest start again with a level playing field and see if the Asian market can keep up. All things being equal I would buy North American everytime. Technology is where North America shines and the everybody else either buys or steals it….this time around lets keep it.


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:21 am)

    If there is a lot of software to control the car, then there will be opportunities for bugs to exist. GM may need to have an easy way for drivers to download authorized patches directly to the car. Similar to what Microsoft does to our Windows machines about once every other week or so.


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    Storm

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:30 am)

    I would assume that the heater would not be resistance based. They will almost certainly use a heat pump for both heating and cooling.


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    Scott

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:32 am)

    I drive a 03 jetta TDI. It gets about 50mpg. Also had a 1985 Rabbit diesel that got about 47mpg.

    THERE IS NO COMPARISON.

    The Jetta is a real car, solid built with real safety features and roomy, with reasonably clean emissions for a non-filtered diesel. The Rabbit was a smoking tin can, noisy, chintzy, dirty, slow…in comparison, it was a toy.

    55mpg with today’s construction and standard level of refinement is a definite improvement over the craptastic ****boxes of the 70′s and 80′s, even if they got the same MPG.


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    Max

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:51 am)

    IS THAT THE NEW 2009 YUGO?
    Although I am a huge Volt fan, I was very dissappointed to see the unquestionably UGLY body in the attached story. Could GM have possibly pick an uglier color? Within my circle of Volt followers, I was not shocked to see how many stated “if that is what is is going to look like, I won’t buy it”! It’s kind of like “Bait and Switch.” The picture looks like nothing more than an updated Cavalier…..and we all know how attractive they were. Tell me they won’t look like the Maroon Bomb above, otherwise I may have to look at the Honda FCV or the BMW Hybrid. Styling is important, especially when you are trying to sell the gas-loving American public on a green electric vehicle. I want the Silver Volt with the Classy futuristic styling!


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    KP

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:57 am)

    I expect the Volt to be a reliable work horse of a vehicle. A 40 mile charge is a huge achievement! Why stop there? Maybe the battery can be improved to get more more MPC (miles per charge) by the time we are able to purchase this thing. The body style definitely needs improvement. I do however, look forward to purchasing this vehicle, if it delivers at the very least 40 MPC. We do most our driving within 40 miles of our home, so we will get a lot of driving time just on a charge. Once we are finally off the grid, the driving will be even more affordable. Kudos to you for not only helping us clean up the environment but helping our country be that much closer to being less dependant on imported oil. Won’t it be great when our country finally moves to clean energy and energy independence.


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    Tom

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:26 am)

    I have a business opportunity — parking meter style charging stations. Wal-Mart could indeed have charging stations in the parking lot if they were set up like parking meters — pump in your quarters (or slide your visa card) for them to operate and you pay by the charge you take. Heck, I can see having these things at office buildings for companies — particularly any that are environmentally conscious; reserved spots for electric cars. Put an awning over the spots to keep them cooler in the summer…


  160. 160
    Jerry RInehart

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:35 am)

    This car is truly the giant killer! The one that will work and break the chain that has America choked by the OPEC.
    I cannot wait to have one, not only from the savins, but the design is awesome. I have a restored 75 vette and the Volt looks just as good.


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    gomech

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:45 am)

    Good progress…looking forward to seeing more.


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    Steve

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:51 am)

    Software upgrade will likely all be done through an OnStar-like service without the car owner even knowing it happened.


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    Richard Wismer

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:52 am)

    I hope the series alternator will be flex fuel. Also a switch to start the alternator when leaving on a longer than 40 mile trip. This car will do more for our energy independance than the goverment has ever done. Try to beat the Nov. 2010 date. Thanks.


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    Darius

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:53 am)

    Georg K #31

    Personally I do not believe software issue is serious. It’s 2,5 year from now for adjustments. Moreover you can update your software whenever a problem occurs. There are lot of small ventures which can adjust motor capacity, ignition angle or other things any time you want and how you want and even make your family car roar as Formula 1. It sounds to me as well known 2000 Y “problem”.


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    Schmeltz

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:53 am)

    Nice to see encouraging progress. Keep plugging away GM!


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    Rocky

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:00 am)

    Power… energy? Still, where will it all come from? Fill’er up or plug it in and charge it up. Hybrid green? All electric? Which is the mean machine.
    The volt is truly a beautiful way of approaching the necessities of modern human survival… but, until we find a truly beautiful renewable resource… we’re all still in the same boat.
    Give it a an absorbent solar shell… do something. Put it in the paint… anything! Some how cover it with a skin that can receive what is all around us… power from the sun!
    Don’t tell me we don’t have the technology. That’s just what the “Giants” want us to believe.
    I love the car!!! I’m going to buy one… maybe two. Can’t wait to charge it from my solar powered home.


  167. 167
    Steve

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:00 am)

    What’s wrong with the ICE doing the bulk of the interior heating and/or AC? It seems like the most efficient method, even though it may not feel right to those who never want the ICE to fire up.

    Also, can’t battery heat contribute in the winter?


  168. 168
    BillR

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:15 am)

    #141 Scott

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    The “software” or actual computer programming is the minor portion of the work ahead.

    The real work is testing the Volt in cold snowy climates, hot arrid climates, to deeper discharge cycles, determining how to operate the ICE (full load, part load, continuous operation versus on/off duty cycles, etc.), and so on.

    At the VoltNation meeting, I learned that the Volt will have one common cooling system for the ICE, battery pack, and the power electronics. On a frigid day, the ICE may start as soon as you enter the car to get the battery pack up to temperature.

    From the source article, it appears to me that GM is contemplating letting the ICE completely recharge the battery pack on long trips (versus maintaining a minimum SOC). There is a great deal of work left for GM to do.

    However, this news represents a major milestone!


  169. 169
    Dale

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:30 am)

    Build it and find tune the software later if need be. Bill gates can show you how service pack 1, service pack 2 etc


  170. 170
    Steve

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:31 am)

    Following up on #164 above, maybe using the ICE for climate control actually solves the stale gas issue in most places on the planet.


  171. 171
    Voltmania

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:33 am)

    154. Max

    The picture you see is of a MULE. This is a test platform utilizing a couple year old Malibu so the Volt components can be tested on the road. I’m sure GM could care less what the color of the MULE is! That car body style is no longer even in production. The actual Volt to be built in 2010 has not been shown to the public yet. Trust me it will look much different (and better) than the MULE picture.


  172. 172
    Murray

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:41 am)

    Good Progress = Good News…

    As someone who has been keeping an eye on Tesla Motors and what they are doing (while not being able to afford their flagship in production now) I’m extremely hopeful that GM can pull this together and get something viable to those of us who care enough to take the risks of dealing w/ the inevitable bugs and bumps along the way.

    Its always scary to buy a vehicle in its first model year especially one being powered by a new concept but I will be one willing to take that plunge!

    I drive a BMW right now (an ’01) and it has been my favorite ‘driving machine’ since the day I got it, I understand where the extra $$$ goes…. I’m a car guy and cant bring myself to go from Bimmer to Prius or HybridCivic even though I desperately want to get into some sort of EV… at this time I can see myself having little trouble dropping the Bimmer for the Volt …..I’m watching and waiting !!!


  173. 173
    Rick

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:44 am)

    Now, let’s hope the futuristic cool design holds and we don’t get some old standard looking car that we have seen time and time again. It’s time that an American car company leaps beyond the Japanese and Europeans and really makes a mark. We want a quality made car that looks great, rides great and that is reliable. I want to buy Amerian again, so please give me a reason.


  174. 174
    Hank Williamson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:44 am)

    I hope that the production model runs 60 miles on a change. I wonder what will be the effect on the electric grid when lots of people start plugging their cars in. Other than that: Go Volt!


  175. 175
    Raymond

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:48 am)

    Yes good news!

    About the question of when to engage the gas (etc.) engine to recharge the battery, I think there should be 3 selectable modes.

    1) Regular, the charging starts just when your horse-power is about to decrease (my educated guess, around 20-25% Battery charge level).

    2) Long trip, which would turn on and “top-off” the batteries when they are still in the 70-80% charge level. Thus increasing their life and maximum efficiency).

    3) Manual, for those of us who know they are going to make it home after the batteries reach the “Regular” charge level, but before complete battery depletion. This would avoid having the “gas” engine turn on when you know you will plug-in your car 5 minutes later…


  176. 176
    Sean

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:51 am)

    I think the Zeo has better specs….

    0-60 mph: 5.7 seconds
    Standing ¼ mile: 11.0 seconds
    Top speed: 130 mph
    All-electric range: 250 miles
    Equivalent mpg: 120 mpg

    Source: http://www.dodgezeo.net/

    wonder what the price difference will be though?


  177. 177
    Rick Cassoni

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:52 am)

    GM,
    This is amazing! You could revolutionize, Detroit and America. This is a huge win for American engineering.

    Go Chevy and Go Lutz Team!

    Best,
    Rick


  178. 178
    David

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:53 am)

    Honestly, if Phoenix SUTs and SUVs are getting over 100 mile ranges, Volt should be getting more than 40 at this point. And we all know what Tesla is getting. If the goal for GM is to reach low mile ranges, then we should expect a very low retail price. Or, Volt will not be very successful.
    I really don’t see this as a “milestone”, but more like a stepping stone.

    Keep up the good work!!!


  179. 179
    David

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:55 am)

    Is the ZEO still a reality? I read somewhere that Dodge wasn’t going to produce the ZEO, but use some of the tech in future vehicles.


  180. 180
    Drew Fitting

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:59 am)

    Hey GM,

    As a current owner of two EVs (a Sparrow and a conversion), I am very excited about your progress on the Volt; I swear that if you pull this off, I will buy TWO just to make sure GM’s Volt division makes money… And I won’t be alone!

    Keep up the great work, and

    Take Care,
    Drew


  181. 181
    Nelson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:09 am)

    I hope GM can make it through 2010 on lease renewals and fleet sales because a large amount of folks are “watching and WAITING”.

    I vote for Volt in 2009.


  182. 182
    Max

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:10 am)

    Voltmania,

    That is truely what I am hoping. I think the correct internal design with an attractive external design will go a long way to selling the public on the concept of changing from fuel to electric. As for the picture, my point was, that not everyone is a pseudo car designer and up to speed on the lingo (I.E. MULE). What the average person sees is a beautiful car at the top of the page and drastically different and extremely ugly car at the bottom ogf the page (with a caption saying “Chevy Volt goes 40.”) This is kind of a Public Relations faux pas. There sould have been a caption clarifying that the vehicle pictured was in fact a 2006 Malibu that had been outfitted with Volt technology. With out that, what you are left with is a bunch of misinformed people spreading rumors that the Volt does not look like the advertised prototype, thus damaging the program momentum. Personally, I want the whole world to come to their collective senses and get off the fuel, and thank God a manufacturer has finally stepped up to the plate to make it happen. I got my downpayment ready and waiting!


  183. 183
    Rick

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:12 am)

    One more question. The Tesla motor gets 200 – 250 miles on one charge. Tesla has sold all their first 100 cars at a 100,000.00 a pop, so they have made their money back. Why doesn’t GM simply buy the Tesla technology and put it in the Volt? Has anyone tried this approach? When are American companies going to start working together as a team to solve the problems we face today vs. always working against each other, trying to buy up each other and put the other guy out of business. Help each other guys and help Americans.


  184. 184
    Troy

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:15 am)

    I drivew 52 miles one-way every day. All freeway. I am looking forward to buying a volt and saving $400.00 a month in fuel prices!


  185. 185
    big Mac

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:20 am)

    40 miles on a charge seems to be set in stone. But if GM used Dynamic braking to recharge the battery during braking of the car, it would greatly extend the distance the Volt could travel on the battery.
    Has GM concidered this????


  186. 186
    Mike in Kentucky

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:22 am)

    I drive about 65 miles round-trip per day. If the car can’t make a complete day’s travel without having to be plugged in, it’s useless to me. 40 miles is darn good, but if you can get the range up to 60-75 miles on a charge and keep the price reasonable I will absolutely give the Volt consideration. I need a car that can get me to work and back home again to be useful.


  187. 187
    Jason The Saj

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:27 am)

    Dear GM,

    PLEASE READ…

    As a Prius owner, I will tell you that one thing that frustrates me is that there is no engine kill switch button. Let me explain, there are many times that I am cruising and am on all electric, but then I’ll have just a mere 2-4 second incline, this will kick my Prius’ engine on. I don’t want it too, as by the time I hit the hump I’m almost over it. Then the motor’s running for a couple of seconds.

    There are times we humans have more info than the computer (ie: I am almost home, just a 1/2 mile to go before I can re-charge. Let me be able to tell the generator NOT to kick in.

    ***

    Another thing that would be really helpful is with cruise control, allow us to put a primary speed and a secondary speed. (ie: a = my primary desired speed, let’s say 65mph, but b = the speed I’ll accept during heavy inclines, etc. Let’s say 55mph.

    As I always hate when I hit a hill and my cruise control ramps up the engine really high so it can maintain the speed when if it just casually allowed the vehicle to lose a few mph gradually over the incline I could make it to the top and only decline from 65mph to about 60mph or maybe 58mph. But maintain high efficiency.

    Hope these ideas get implemented because such behavior allowances can make the Volt blow the Prius away.


  188. 188
    Larry

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:28 am)

    Good news indeed. While I prefer greater range over smaller battery, I trust Chevy to live up to their reputation and make the Volt the best, longest lasting, most dependable vehicle possible. Keep up the good work.


  189. 189
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:34 am)

    #159 Steve says, “Software upgrade will likely all be done through an OnStar-like service without the car owner even knowing it happened. ”

    I hope not. Does that mean the people that don’t want to pay for OnStar won’t get a software update? I think OnStar or anything else that requires payment should not be part of a warranty service. Now make OnStar free so everyone can have it, then your idea is a good one.


  190. 190
    Ed Maggio

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:35 am)

    I’m a Lexus or Lincoln/Ford man by habbit but my next car will be a plug-in hybrid irrespective of maker. I saw the Volt at the San Diego auto show. If you are first on the market, you have a guaranteed sale.
    Ed, San Diego


  191. 191
    MarkinWI

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:43 am)

    Mike #183, that is why there is a small gas engine on Board: so you go more than 40 miles without charging up. It is not useless for you. Nearly 2/3 of your daily commute will be gas free. The remainder will be at 50+ mpg, better than the current ratings for the Prius. The Volt will still be your best choice for fuel efficiency.

    40 electric miles * 365 days per year = 14,600 gas free miles per year. The rest you may have to buy gas for, if you can’t plug in at work.


  192. 192
    goodguy

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:45 am)

    I am going to buy a Volt IF it is not too expensive. I have heard that the expected price has jumped a lot. PLEASE keep it about 25K, and absolutely DON’T let it be above 30K.

    Also, PLEASE consider the Volt technology for the HHR.


  193. 193
    Eric

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:46 am)

    If this car is being launched in roughly two years why isn’t the hype being blown out of proportion. GM- please start selling the sizzle!


  194. 194
    Brian Bulat

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:48 am)

    Is this lithium battery the battery that will be used in the car as sold? Is this battery capable of being manufactured cheaply? Is this battery safe and free of the overheating problems that have plagued lithium batteries? We don’t know much about this battery other than its publicity.

    Before making statements about US cars reliability, read the only source that judges reliability based on car owner’s reports: Consumer Reports.


  195. 195
    omegaman66

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:52 am)

    Uggghhhh. It looks like we are regressing here in what we know!
    or
    Yippeeee more new people are discovering this site and the volt like never before

    *********************************
    People people people. The concept vehicle was initiated before the concept vehicle was even unveiled. At the time gas was much cheaper. At the time all the ev’s were pieces of crap or the few that weren’t were too expensive for 98% of us. The whole goal and thrust of the Volt was to hit a freaking home run and convince us that an electric vehicle IS the way of the future…. can meet all our needs and most importantly NOT CAUSE us to have to make concessions with limited range, poor power, super high cost, freaky driving quirks, lack of proper heating or cooling etc etc.

    The price of gas has changed part of the equation and GM couldn’t have known this was coming. The high gas prices has changed the landscape and the CONVINCING us part of the ev problem has basically been already done.

    The volt may not have the exact range you need all electric… It can’t have the right range for everyone. Quit calling for 100 mile range. YES GM could easily make the volt so that it gets 100 miles per charge. In the future they will. Yes they could use this or that material in the glass or in the body or the frame. And in the future somebody will. The volt can not and will not be everything to everyone. That is just not possible.

    Solar panels will probably only add about a mile of range to the battery charge while you are at work on a sunny day.

    I too would like half the car at half the price. Give me the volt with a 20 mile all electric range and without all the bells and whistles or an BEV for less money and no ice. But… that isn’t going to happen with the volt. Yes GM could do that more easily than what they are doing and GM knows those are in demand. Hopefully GM will offer more and more options in the future but understand how GM got to the design specs of the Volt and don’t demand that the volt be all things to all people.


  196. 196
    aruby

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:00 am)

    Maybe its time to re-vamp the FAQs and give them a very prominent position.


  197. 197
    noel park

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:01 am)

    Is is just me, or are there a lot of new names here today? If so, great! It’s the best thing that could happen.

    #178 Nelson:

    No s**t!

    On the other hand, if not for the knowledge of the upcoming Volt, we would have probably bought a Prius or some such by now. And we keep our cars for 10+ years. So maybe this “process” is actually saving a few sales for GM. Or at least I hope so. Although, patience does wear thin.


  198. 198
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:04 am)

    I’m still standing by with my deposit & GMcard points and I’ll place ad decals on the body. Call a loyal customer GM and let’s make a deal.


  199. 199
    Darius

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:06 am)

    1.I think first Volt has to be just reliable enough without any so called “added values”. Just like it was done with Toyota Prius and shall be on the market as soon as possible due to the market maturity and expected fierce competition.
    2.Later models can contain:
    i) touch screen (like navigator screen) for regulating the generator switch and remaining power charge level, heating/cooling switching on when you are connected to the grid timing (7 a.m.) and climate control options etc.
    ii) flex fuel pack/diesel generator pack/turbine generator pack options. The motor torque will be not relevant at all like ICE case. It will remain capacitor/battery/ electric motor feature. Power generator pack unit will become standard (more standard than battery pack) and will be outsourced to power equipment manufacturers (i.e. Caterpillar, Siemens or GE) which have been making such stuff for hundred years or will be replaced by advanced batteries/suppercapacitors.
    iii) different battery pack options (on average it is enough to have 40 miles for daily commute, but some would like to have large and pay extra)
    iv) photovoltaic film option on the roof to generate additional up to 1000 kWh per annum deepening on the roof size. For example this would be useful during summer (or even winter) because of cooling or heating can be switched on when batteries are fully charged and you are not plugged on the grid. This option would help keeping vehicle in due thermal condition for the most of time. Would be some challenge for designers – but that it is most efficient photovoltaic energy utilization way and will be very attractive for greens!!!
    v) in-wheel drive option (for advanced consumers) (4X4) which later become mainstream due to better driving conditions, weight reduction and transmission energy losses elimination.


  200. 200
    noel park

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:08 am)

    #184 Jason The Saj:

    Amen on the cruise control.

    Even my 3500 trailer tower does that. You are rolling along in 5th gear, start up a grade, and all of a sudden it will kick down into 3rd and bounce the tach needle off the redline. I HATE it. Of course now I have learned to just turn the damn thing off when I see the hint of a hill, but still it’s really dumb.


  201. 201
    Ernie

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:13 am)

    Technology will always be tweaked and improve as time goes on. I own a 2006 Malibu Maxx. I want to see a similar body with an electric motor at a good price that can handle my daily 22 mile stop and go work trip. Otherwise, I’ll run this Maxx which I love until it falls apart no matter what the price of gas is.


  202. 202
    MetrologyFirst

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:15 am)

    omegaman – nice tie up to this exploding thread. It needed that.

    Did I see someone say they thought the Mule photo was the production Volt? Yikes!

    I do forget at times there are multiple levels of Volt knowledge on this site. But I agree, it seems to be going backward in a hurry.


  203. 203
    mien green

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:16 am)

    Huzzah on the major upturn in membership with the announcement of this milestone. However, the FAQ page should be required reading before allowing newbies to post comments.


  204. 204
    Phonebook Man

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:20 am)

    I continue to be impressed by GM’s attitude and engineering. Just took delivery of an ’08 Corvette which got a steady 30-31 mpg coming back from the Corvette Museum and factory in Bowling Green, KY to our home in Colorado.

    I guess that until the Volt is actually built, my wife and I will have to park her Subaru Forester when we hit the road, and drive our economy car…Chevy’s 435 hp Corvette!

    Keep it up GM…but don’t over promise. Just deliver.


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    yawn

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:21 am)

    Hobbyists have been getting better results than this for years in converting gasoline powered cars to electric. This announcement may represent a milestone for managed-like-stoneage Detroit, but measured by world standards and world competition, it is a huge YAWN.


  206. 206
    Swede

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:26 am)

    40miles.. Is that much?
    Well I don’t think this is rocket-seine, is it?
    The news is that manufacturers are actually thinking they can make money building a car like this, and that is great news.
    Compared to the Volvo C30 plug-in hybrid, the Volt is, just like the Opel plug in, a low-tech car, with traditional transition dish-breaks etc. No wheel-hubs-motors.
    But I will still consider a Volt, two main reasons; It’s probably closer to actual production and the looks! The concept car sure looks like something I want! I hope the red car above, in the picture is just an experimental platform.


  207. 207
    TLJ

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:31 am)

    All along, the GM folks were saying they would parallel engineer the car with the specs of the battery pack in mind. Now to find out that the battery pack is good, but very little of the “other” engineering being completed (or started?), is surprising. It’s almost like they were actually dragging their feet waiting for the battery.

    I was very enthused with the concept, but when the target price moved up $5000, and the hangups at the time were with “Windshield Wiper Demands” on the system, that showed improper management of the parallel engineering concept. Will this now be a “2011″ model with a Nov 2010 release deadline? 2011 seems a long way away!

    I kinda wonder if this early release pack is similar to the A123-HyMotion Plug-In add-on Li pack for the Prius that is being marketed for October release (a full 2 years before the Volt).


  208. 208
    Tom Driscoll

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:32 am)

    Great news!
    Now GM needs to drop its fight against the higher mileage rules proposed by California (and many other states) so that GM can kick butt in the marketplace when other manufacturers can’t keep up.
    Also, this resistance to a much needed improvement over the milder federal standards is generating enormous ill will in the environmental community.


  209. 209
    jabroni

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:33 am)

    Titillating and tantalizing info.

    Wow, I sure hope that GM uses this good news as impetus for them to work feverishly down the homestretch….


  210. 210
    voltman

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:41 am)

    >If GM was capable or interested in a vehicle like this they would have worked directly off of the EV1 project long ago.

    Why does everyone assume that just because the EV1 worked, that it was a viable commercial vehicle.

    1) It was ugly. When was the last time you bought a car that you didnt like the shape of.

    2) Gas was a bit over a dollar a gallon at the time and carbon wasnt a huge deal. Why would anyone want to plug something in when it is basically a wash. Times have changed obviously.

    3) It cost $80,0000 which is why they leased it. Nuff said.

    4) It used lead acid batteries that would not last 5 years, much less 10. Note: Tesla’s batteries have to be completely replaced after 5 years as well.

    5) It was a 2 seater. Generally speaking, not a mass market car.


  211. 211
    SR

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:45 am)

    Thanks for the update! Can’t wait for my own.


  212. 212
    Anti-Oil Jihadi

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:49 am)

    Praise be to Allah!

    The second phase of the jihad has been accomplished.

    Death to oil,
    the Iranian economy, the Saudi economy, the Venezuelan economy, and the Russian economy.

    http://www.oiljihad.org


  213. 213
    Schmeltz

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:50 am)

    Omegaman:
    Yeah…a lot of newbies here today, but that’s a good thing and we welcome them. If you are new to this site, recommend to read over the FAQ and some of the recent previous articles posted here to get you up to speed. Learn as much as you can and tell your friends too!


  214. 214
    eric

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:53 am)

    UHHG My brain hurts after reading some of these post, and to yawn (202) above, can a hobbyist make a car from scratch with lithium-ion AC drive that can last no less than 10 years 150k miles so suzy Q grand maw can drive it to the drugstore with out and special procedure’s and all for around 30k?

    also I am sure there will have regen braking just like every other GM ev and hybrid ever made and the cruise control will be economy friendly like the tahoe hybrid and the AC will be electric like to tahoe or heat pump like the ev1, s-10 E


  215. 215
    ug

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    It’s not that big news until he shows the mule off to the press.


  216. 216
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    Anti-Oil Jihadi. Welcome back. Haven’t “seen” you in a very long time.


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    cicero

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:11 pm)

    Dear BigCityCat,

    Stop attacking the unions or their elected representatives. If it weren’t for unions or their sacrifice, you wouldn’t have had a middle class lifestyle. Do you really think that management gave up money and benefits to average workers out of the goodness of their hearts. Wake up! As unions continue to decline, you can expect management to expect more concessions from workers. This will continue to erode the already fragile middle class of this country. Start directing your anger and actions toward the real antagonist in this story, the upper class.


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    TOM M

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:16 pm)

    211 Schmeltz

    Great comment !! If all the newbies will follow your instructions and get up to speed with this site we won’t be rehashing old news. It is great to see all the new interest in this site.
    One that has been absent the last few days is Nasaman. Are you OK ??

    Tom


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    Eco

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:18 pm)

    Max,

    Are you TRYING to get this site shut down? Do you WANT GM management to issue a moratorium on information about the Volt until it’s done?

    Your comments give the GM marketing department all the ammunition they need to do just that.

    This website is not designed to sell you a car, it’s designed to show people interested in the concept, a view of the development from nearly the start, to the finish.

    This website is a near real-time sonogram. Do you look at a sonogram and say “eeewww, those parents are going to want to leave the baby at the hospital!”

    I’m going to set aside more nefarious motiviation for your comments, with the advice that you not give GM marketing people a reason to discontinue GM’s relationship to the operator of this site.


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    ItsMe

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:32 pm)

    I apologize if this has already been commented upon but is everyone really surprised that everything is going as planned so far with the Volt?? GM has had this technology for years now and then they destroyed it… now miraculously there bringing it back!!! WOW…how naive can we be. I applaud GM for being the first to create a fully functional electric car back in the day, but HATE the fact that they destroyed them all under preasure from various source’s unnamed. If you do not know what I am talking about, please go and purchase or rent “Who killed the electric car”.
    I promise you it’s not a waite of your time!

    Other then that complaint, I really can’t wait to maybe get my hands on a VOLT, but it baffles me that they can only get 40 miles out of the batteries as we all know that battery technology is way better now, then in the 90′s.

    Thanks for allowing me my 2 cents!


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    Frank

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:33 pm)

    Great Going GM… I put off buying a toyota hybird, I,m wating for the Volt…Mabe some day you will make a small Pickup Like the S-10
    extended or Double Cab some Day.. Had to buy a Nessan in 2007..


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    Joe B

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:36 pm)

    Where is the photo of the pickup version?


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    Firefly

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    As Omegaman has said, I too welcome the newcomers. Not too long ago, I was one who had only heard rumors of the Volt’s creation. While some people here do not always agree with me, most do not spout ignorant rhetoric, but counter my posts with genuine fact and knowledge. So to the new guys, not all disagreements are insults. Someone may know just a little more than you do, just as so many here know more about something than I do and vice-versa. It’s the fact that I try to respect the other posters regardless of if I agree with them or not. It’s all about maturity and a common interest.

    As far as the cruise control issue goes, I’m a little stumped on a few comments about that one. Historically, the computer senses resistance to constant speed (i.e. incline) and tells the powertrain to adjust variables to keep that velocity. But I figure that with the Volt, that would be a moot point since there is no dynamic connection between the drive motor and the ICE. Also, with the consistent torque production of an electric motor, the Volt should pretty much be able to handle inclines without losing speed. After all, horsepower sells cars but torque moves them (something the electric motors have in abundance. Unlike the ICE, there is no need to spool up RPMs to get to the torque peak.

    As far as the pic above, obviously it is a disguised mule. Be kind of a b!#(h if the car is still in the testing phase and they let the design out of the bag 2 years too early (thereby giving others a chance to copy or beat its looks). Now you wouldn’t want thatnow, would you?

    Some people seem to be complaining about the 40 mile range. Here comes the part where not everyone will like what I’m about to say: If you want 100 miles per charge, forget the Volt and buy an Aptera. That simple. Obviously there is a lot of stuff to developing a car, especially one that while the varoius technologies that make it up have existed, it is the way in which they are used COLLECTIVELY that is the innovation. Your VW TDI gets 50 miles per gallon and you can’t see where the Volt is any better? Fine. Don’t buy it. Keep driving your VW. As long as you’re happy. It is marvelous because GM (of all people) are trying to do it. That must count for something.

    As a society, ecologically we still have a long way to go, and new technologies don’t just pop up overnight. Be patient. Give GM time to make good on their promises. If you cant wait? Buy a Jetta TDI or a Prius and be happy. I’ll wait…


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    Paul Elzey

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:42 pm)

    Nov 2010! I want one, I want one, I want one!!! I don’t understand what is taking so long, other than a complete lack of any urgency feelings – or are the oil co’s influencing this? At any rate, make mine one of the first and I’ll be additionally proud of it if GM beats the foreign makers on this one. I’ll take kiwi green with a buckskin interior, please! Also, it doesn’t have to be overly endowed with all kinds of electronic gadgets that I won’t understand or use anyway.
    THANKS GM GO GO GO!!


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    Hermann

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:56 pm)

    WHEN WILL THE ALL-ELECTRIC VOLT COME OUT…???


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    BigCityCat

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (12:57 pm)

    Yawn
    I think your wrong.

    What GM is trying to do is bring a production line vehicle to market. A vehicle like this to hundreds of thousands of people will have a huge impact. That is nothing to yawn at. If the people you say are already doing this (like hymotion), to 100′s of 1,000′s of vehicles. Then what you say might make sense.

    For this to make a difference GM has to make the vehicle available to everyone. Other wise it is a yawn.


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    Sasparilla

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    This is fantastic news, keep the process rolling.

    In response to a couple of questions, for this type of vehicle GM is having to design from the ground up (relatively) so it takes time (3 years is a very very short time for a new vehicle).

    Toyota could create and rollout a Plug in Prius using NiMH currently if they wanted to, makes you wonder why they don’t.

    >> Considering the GM (actually Aerovironment) EV1 got 140 miles per charge on older battery technology and older software technology, 40 miles on pure electric is a HUGE step backwards. I have always wondered why they are only shooting for 40 miles. Why not 100? <<

    The cost. The battery pack for the 40 mile range will be many thousands of dollars and having a pack for 100 miles won’t just double the cost, because of all the added weight the car would have to be bigger to handle it necessitating a bigger pack which would be more expensive.

    The average amount of mileage a US driver goes in a day is 29 miles. 40 Should cover most people’s needs. GM is also talking of a battery only Volt (no gas engine) presumably with 100 mile range or so to meet the California requirements for a zero emission vehicle. I’ll jump for that.


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    DaveP

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:26 pm)

    I think the cruise control annoyances with ICE cars are going to be non issues on the Volt. The mpc you get is going to be a function of the speed you go (ideally constant with cruise control) due to various resistances and the height difference you travel. The two will be largely unrelated. The speed losses will be relatively constant with speed and invariant with elevation change. The elevation related losses (or gains :) will be relatively constant with elevation change regardless of speed.
    Therefore, the cruise control will just keep the electric motor chugging up (or down) the hill at the same speed, you won’t notice a difference in mpc or up-revving or anything like you would in an ICE powered car.
    I am SO looking forward to an electric drivetrain!


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    Noah Nehm

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:27 pm)

    #210 Voltman

    Your list of EV1 deficiencies is all good, but I’d add:

    6) Suited only for drivers shorter than 6′, unless you wanted the sardine experience while driving.

    7) Unbelievably annoying intrusion of the battery well in the interior space of the car.

    As for your 2), not only was gas cheap, but there was no possibility of any supply disruptions. In a world where gas rationing or gas lines is a real possibility, electric cars start to look really good, regardless of the price.


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    nasaman

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:40 pm)

    216 TOM M

    To paraphrase Mark Twain, Tom, my demise has been grossly exaggerated!

    Actually, I’ve been more involved in GM’s Plug-in EV program than I’m able to reveal here. In fact, I’ve just this morning followed up by email on an earlier exchange with a leading E-FLEX engineer at GM. Regarding your question about my not necessarily posting daily here*, my primary interest is in posts that I think could contribute to the Volt’s design, operation or market appeal ….and that I would hope might be noticed and perhaps even acted on by GM management, engineering or marketing.

    I can say this about the current topic related to the Volt’s 40-mile battery range, however, based on reliable sources (that I won’t identify)….

    1) The final production Volt battery should weigh <300Lbs (NOT 400Lbs or more, as often reported) —Lithium-Ion cells and full-up batteries alike are deceptively light in weight for their size/volume

    2) The battery’s EOL (end of life) should reach at least 15 years when fully cycled daily (i.e., 365 x 15 = 5,475 full chrg/dschrg cycles)

    3) The Volt’s EV-only range at EOL in normal driving should exceed 50 miles & its BOL (beginning of life) range should exceed 65 miles

    Again, although these figures are based on reliable sources, not on outright speculation, they are NOT based on inside information from GM!

    * However, I DO scan over almost all posts when I’m not traveling, to stay somewhat informed —which I want to encourage our less-frequent posters here to also do, rather than clutter up gm-volt.com threads with uninformed comments/questions!


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    Chuck

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:42 pm)

    I will put $1,000.00 down today, cash, for a spot in line to buy a Chevy Volt at an additional $28,500.00 at launch.

    I will put down $2,500 today, cash, for one of the first 50 spots in line to buy a Chevy Volt at $24,900.00 at launch.

    My calculations tell me that the $34K barrier will cram the car into the dead zone of “nice, but didn’t quite grab the market,” and that at <$25K, you will take over as US sales leader. When can I buy one?

    Can we start putting money on the table right now? Tell us how…


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    Lars Hansen

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:46 pm)

    How about a roof made of solar panels to charge while sitting in parking lots.


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    nasaman

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:48 pm)

    Re: My post #230, I’ll add that the final production price to GM of the full-up battery for the gen 1 Volt should be less than $3,500.


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    Rich

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:49 pm)

    I want one now! Any news on the seats and other creature comforts?


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    marlene christiano

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:53 pm)

    Hurry Hurry I’m getting older every day, I want a Volt, but can’t wait too long. By the way , why didn’t you call me to test drive the car,??? I’ll give all of you the most honest results.


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    John Petti

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (1:58 pm)

    5/15/08

    As of today regular gas is selling locally (Westchester, NY) at $4.12/gallon. This good news milestone regarding VOLT test track results is causing me to delay the purchase of a Ford Hybrid (Fusion) slated for 2009. Keep on pushing GM.

    Has there been discussion regarding the anticipated Federal Tax Credits when purchasing a VOLT? Currently it’s $3,500 for a hybrid with lots of conditions tied to it.

    Regards,
    John


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    TOM M

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:02 pm)

    For all you late enthusiasts wanting to make deposits. Please get in line on this site and sign up . Ya’ll are first after me and about ten thousand others.

    Have a Great Day.

    Tom


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:04 pm)

    Dear nasaman #230 and 233,

    Wasn’t I close to the tuth when I suggested we risked to loose you to GM when the Volt Nation event took place ?

    Thanks for those very useful informations especially on the weight and cost of the battery. When I check older posts I observe that we were thinking about a 10,000 $ battery.

    Being European this reduction in the anticipated weight opens some pespectives on the integration of such batteries in smaller car bodies.

    We are very grateful to your comments.

    JC


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    Sasparilla

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:10 pm)

    #210 Voltman

    Some of your EV1 deficiencies are valid, but a couple leave out important details.

    >> 3) It cost $80,0000 which is why they leased it. Nuff said. <> 4) It used lead acid batteries that would not last 5 years, much less 10 <<

    Again this leaves out important details. The 2nd Gen EV1 delivered in 1999 (I think) had the NiMH batteries which doubled the range and would last 10 years easy (age doesn’t affect NiMH like other battery technologies). California Edison, which had 300 or so Toyota Rav4 EV’s, did a study and concluded that the NiMH packs in their vehicles would last productively through 150,000 miles (considered the lifespan of an average vehicle) and unlike existing Li Ion, age doesn’t harm NiMH. This issue was fixed for the last two years of EV1 production.

    There was a reason GM didn’t allow anyone to buy their EV1′s after they came off of lease and then destroyed them, the 2nd Gen NiMH EV1 was a viable commuter vehicle (it had its flaws, but it was viable), and at that point GM didn’t want to go down the path of making it available to the US consumer. Once the car companies got EV requirement dropped from the CARB rules, they all stopped EV production, rounded up their EV’s and destroyed them (although there were some consumer actions that ended up saving some Ford and Toyota vehicles). The GM CEO who made the EV1 happen to begin with, was long gone by that point, and GM had invested in Hummer.


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    Dave B

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:17 pm)

    I’ll echo Jean-Charles Jacquemin @ 238:

    Nasaman, keep up the good work.

    If you are already assisting on gen 2, there’s an awfully large number of us that wouldn’t mind the extra weight (or cost) for extended range. Perhaps a BEV for gen 2. Heck, I wouldn’t mind it for gen 1, but I don’t want to gum up the works.

    Your battery estimate would suggest a lower price as well…but I won’t get my hopes up. Thanks again.


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    Schmeltz

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:22 pm)

    Nasaman:
    Nice to see you here again. Those battery performance numbers are pretty thought provoking, and very encouraging if your sources are correct. I think the consumers would love nothing more than GM to produce a plethora of pleasant suprises with the introduction of the Volt. Provide a longer all-electric range, eye pleasing design, and lower than $30,000 price tag, and GM won’t be able to make enough of them. I’ve said many times, always, always, always under-promise and over-deliver!


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    Sasparilla

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:22 pm)

    For this one on the EV1 (my post above was abbreviated)

    >> 3) It cost $80,0000 which is why they leased it. Nuff said. <<

    This leaves out that there were only 800 or so vehicles produced over 4 years (yeah basically hand build custom vehicle numbers) to spread the development costs of a totally new (to GM) technology. So in that light $80k a piece isn’t bad.

    Now GM could have produced many more EV1′s than they did (mass production anyone) and spread those dev costs out over more cars (lowering their per car price significantly) and also lowering component costs (from mass production), but they didn’t. GM produced just enough EV1′s to meet the California CARB regs and get the credits they needed until they could get the regulation turned over. This was why there were waiting lists, and only movie stars could qualify for a EV1 towards the end…GM wasn’t producing for demand.

    The CEO who pushed the EV1 into reality was long gone by the time GM killed the EV1 and GM was investing in Hummer. GM didn’t want to go down EV path at that time. Today, the world is a different place and GM appears to want to do the Volt right. I’m rooting for them, although I would buy a NiMH EV1 today if they were available.


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    Theoldguy

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:26 pm)

    Ernie # 201… I too love my MAXX (07) My 04 Maxx ran really well but when a vehicle gets to around 200 K KMS.. I usually up grade.. and I just went out and got another Maxx. Too bad 07 was the last year for them. I don’t see any reason why GM could not put the “volt” power train onto the Maxx chassis with a bigger battery pack to compensate for the larger vehicle weight and still get 40+ (I am hoping for 60 +) MPC. They will probably do this with the Saturn Arura as it is built on the same chassis.. Either a Volt or an Opel… ASAP
    Come on GM…. giterdone


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    AES

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:29 pm)

    The numbers nasaman indicates would correspond to a pack energy density of 117Wh/kg, which is far above that of the initial prototypes, and also the packs from Mitsubishi’s GS Yuasa venture – both are at around 80Wh/kg. That would seem to suggest that because of the cells’ inherent thermal stability, they were able to cut down on the “packaging”.

    As for ranges upwards of 65miles, is that on a 50% discharge? If so, it would imply some monumental improvements in drivetrain efficiency, plus the aero.


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    AlliCanSayis

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:41 pm)

    Welcome to the world of the GWIZ idiots


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    Phonebook Man

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:43 pm)

    Has anybody found a dealer willing to take a deposit yet?


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    Neutron Flux

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:44 pm)

    Yes great news but I would not count my chickens just yet. We know they can build the cells but thus far the integration into a fully functional battery has been by hand. Until they can automate, with quality , the assembly of the entire battery we will not have a Volt. When I hear that, I will then uncork the champaign, for now I am just sniffing the cork and although the smell is very aromatic I have not yet had a taste. Lyle that will be the next “BIG” break through news keep your ears & eyes open for anything on that front to share! I have not heard GM has issued a purchase contract for the batteries but when they do, regardless of price you will know the assembly and cost issues have been solved. GM will not issue a purchase agreement unless the vender can demonstrate ability to deliver quality & quantity within cost!


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    GripperDon

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:50 pm)

    Paraphrasing what another idiot said “It”s the price stupid” $40,000 nuts $30,000 good for them. Good for the country not really. We will not get one we can afford itll 2015 at the earliest.


  249. 249
    Jack

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:53 pm)

    Good, now maybe oil companies will lower price on gas before they are out of business.


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    N Riley

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (2:58 pm)

    There ARE a lot of new people on this post.
    That is a good thing.
    May I suggest to you newbies before you start making comments, please review this post from top to bottom. It would be good if you could review several of the other subject post before commenting.
    That by itself will help bring you up to speed and educate you. Your first comment will be based on good information and make you seem like the intelligent future Volt buyer that I am sure you are.
    And THAT will be a good thing.


  251. 251
    Tom

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:00 pm)

    Does anybody know what the approximate electric cost is to charge the car to run 40 miles?…and if possible in specific the Baltimore/Washington electric market?


  252. 252
    Tom

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:00 pm)

    Does anybody know what the approximate electric cost is to charge the car to run 40 miles?…and if possible in specific the Baltimore/Washington electric market?


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    nasaman

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:05 pm)

    251 Tom

    If your KWh cost is 10 cents, say, the cost for 40 miles will be 8kWhx $0.10 = 80 cents


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    N Riley

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:05 pm)

    Firefly #223

    You are EXACTLY on beam. I don’t think it could have been said any better. Listen up you guys and listen to Firefly. He (assuming here) is a steady contributor to this site with a lot of good things to say.

    Thanks, Firefly.


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    N Riley

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:13 pm)

    I think it is about time Lyle places the word EV1 into moderation then delete the post. Come on guys. Let it go. This is not the EV1. This is a much different vehicle with tremendously more capabilities and complexities. The EV1 was an expensive DOG compared to the concept Volt.

    Let us discuss the Volt and not the EV1. Give GM credit for the Volt concept and the plans to get it into mass production. This is not an easy thing to do. Let’s try to be as positive as possible. We need to give GM as much encouragement as possible. This car is very important to you, me and GM.


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    N Riley

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:19 pm)

    nasaman

    Good to hear from you. Very interesting information. That is what I was hoping to hear about mileage per charge. I thought all along we would see 50+ miles on electric before ICE involvement. That is great, to say the least.

    Keep us updated. Always good to read your comments.


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    N Riley

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:28 pm)

    Is this the largest number of comments to any of the Volt posts? Now at 257 and still climbing.


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    JJS

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:33 pm)

    Great! I can’t wait for a real answer to this countries’ problems!


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    CANADIAN

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:35 pm)

    CLEANOVA III ALL ELECTRIC 150KM = 93 MILES. 100KM/H PEAK
    THEY ARE ALREADY ON THE ROAD (FRENCH POST BOUGHT THEM).
    PRODUCTION 2009 FOR ISRAEL AND DANEMARK.


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    Firefly

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:40 pm)

    #247 Neutron Flux is correct on an issue I had mentioned a while back (about a month, I think-I’m not too sure.) I think that GM is making good strides towards a production goal, and for that accolades are well deserved. But as Neutron Flux pointed out as well as the blog, this was achieved running with roughed-in hardware and a basic software format (GM Beta1, anyone?). Truth is, mass producing the batteries will probably be the biggest hurdle in Volt production. Many of the components are pretty much off-the-shelf with the exception of a few engineered items. I’m probably being presumptuous here but I’d like to believe that for the first 10,000 to 50,000 Volts, both battery manufacturers will be used. I said this about 3 weeks ago in a different post that I believe that GM will “over-deliver” on the battery. Having it supply enough juice for 40 miles would not be smart as with any man-made thing there is ALWAYS the possibility of error.

    My guess is get the battery to deliver (gross) 55 to 63 miles within operating tolerance. That way, you get the 40 to 50 you promised and still have an emergency buffer just in case, sort of a limp-home mode.

    #251/252 Tom- I agree with Nasaman with the $.10, as my parents live in Towson, Maryland and that’s about what they pay I believe. Also, Tom, that question is right on the money and should be one of the more relovent FAQ’s about the Volt. Upon purchase, you will now have TWO power options. This will be just as if not more important as the cost of a gallon of reg. unl., except that you will pay for your fill-up once per month. My suggestion is to make your home as energy efficient as possible as to lessen the Volt’s charging load.

    #254 N Riley- While I thank you for the positive reply (which is very much appreciated) there are so many people on this site that I still learn from every day. I’m just one of many. Nasaman, Estero and so many others here keep me just as informed. So it’s not just me. I’m just looking forward to finally meeting some of you in about 2 years. (Man, that sounds funny…)


  261. 261
    omegaman66

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:43 pm)

    251 and 252 Tom

    Yes!


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    Luckysteve13

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (3:47 pm)

    This car is a technical masterpiece. However, they better keep the concept look!!!


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    totrecal

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (4:25 pm)

    I’ve been critical of GM and the other US automakers since the 70′s. Their lack of taking the long range view has caused nothing but disaster for them and the country. If GM can pull this off with the Volt, I might start believing again.

    Could be what’s good for GM is good for the country, again!


  264. 264
    omegaman66

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (4:32 pm)

    “I have always wondered why they are only shooting for 40 miles. Why not 100? ”

    Short answer because this isn’t a BEV (battery powered vehicle with no other means of propulsion)

    Long answer: Because it would be stupid for GM to target 100 mpc! Why stupid? because that would raise the cost. And that additional benefit to most people (target market for THIS car) would not be beneficial to those people EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY THINK OTHERWISE!


  265. 265
    Len

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (4:36 pm)

    Here is a link to a post by a fellow who severly overcharged his A123 cells. They vented and are certainly ruined, but no fire. This is one of the reasons I would like to see A123 cells in the Volt. You can put all kinds of safeguards on but the watch dog microprocessor can fail. I want a battery that is inherently safe.

    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=862110


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    26ChampsYanks

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (4:50 pm)

    If you visit the GM web site you may see sort of an EV panel. May this be the Volt?
    Gm.com


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    26ChampsYanks

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    By the way, just keep refreshing the page if you do not see the pic once you visit the page.


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    noel park

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (4:57 pm)

    #255 N Riley:

    Speaking of moderation, I would like to see “newbies” go into moderation. I certainly do not presume to call anyone a “newbie”, or any such thing. Having an influence on GM, and the advertisers who support this blog come to that, is a numbers game. Every participant is valuable. No question is a dumb question. God love you all and welcome, IMHO.

    I hasten to add that this is not directed at you. I just liked your idea of “moderation”.

    #257 N Riley:

    One post some weeks ago, on the price issue if memory serves, generated over 500 comments. If you scroll down the right side of the pages, I think that there is a ranking of the posts which have generated the most comments.


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    noel park

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (5:03 pm)

    #257 N Riley:

    Yeah, I found it. This one is currently tied for 3rd. Not bad. Of course, the night is young!


  270. 270
    Trent

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (5:17 pm)

    I want one now. Can I go ahead and pay for it?


  271. 271
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (5:45 pm)

    Why did the comments explode on this non-controversial topic? The two other posts dealt with giving GM direct input. I could see why we all came out of the woodwork for those. But this? We must be growing. I’m glad there are more voices. This Volt is really something to rally behind.

    New people want to learn and they want to be heard. They want to be part of the conversation. But, with more voices comes more clutter. For those of you that want to learn, could you please go to the home page and do a search for your topic? A lot of things have already been asked and debated. For those of you that want to be heard, if your position has already been stated, please refrain from stating it yourself (I know, I’m repeating things that have already been said in this post). If we can keep this site informative, respectful, and concise, it will be more interesting for all.


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    Eric

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (5:50 pm)

    26ChampsYanks

    There is an hydrogen tank level but it dose not look like a equinox


  273. 273
    Ernie

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (5:58 pm)

    Stop sending all the email followup comments.


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    Jon

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (6:02 pm)

    AWESOME!!!! Keep at it GM! I will be at the dealership waiting on the first shipment to get here. It will do wonders for my morale to drive right by the gas stations that are gouging everybody. This is the first MAJOR step toward fighting back against the oil bullies!!


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    Kevin

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (6:19 pm)

    that’s awesome news, im so stoked now.
    i can’t wait to get myself a volt.


  276. 276
    bruce g

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (6:49 pm)

    The influx of new people may be linked to the readership of Edmunds, the company that Bob Lutz gave the interview to.
    I think something similar happened when Lyle was involved in that TV interview in New York.


  277. 277
    KIRK

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (6:50 pm)

    AWESOME GM KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE REAL THING. I HAVE YOUR PROTOTYPE MODEL ON MY DRESSER, SO THAT I STAY FOCUSED.


  278. 278
    BigCityCat

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:05 pm)

    ok I will stop attacking the lazy union workers now.


  279. 279
    Koz

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (7:07 pm)

    Nasaman,

    “2) The battery’s EOL (end of life) should reach at least 15 years when fully cycled daily (i.e., 365 x 15 = 5,475 full chrg/dschrg cycles)

    3) The Volt’s EV-only range at EOL in normal driving should exceed 50 miles & its BOL (beginning of life) range should exceed 65 miles”

    Very exciting comments. If this is accurate, it is tremendous. I have some questions related to the above items.

    2) Do you mean full pack cycles (0% – 100%) or Volt discharge cycles (~30%-80%)? I assume from your math that this is considering the Volt’s cycle. Plenty good either way. Does this mean both vendors batteries meet this or only one?

    3) What are you considering “normal” driving? Sounds like the pack will be larger than 16KWh or they are planning to expand the Volt discharge cycle or both.


  280. 280
    omegaman66

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:01 pm)

    I doubt they are considering expanding the battery pak and I doubt they have yet to expand the upper and lower SOC limits. They made conservative estimates on the range after ~10 years of use. Longshot battery perfomance has so far come through with flying colors. Batteries are apparently performing better or as well as expected. GM did not want to contend with a promise of 40 miles that turned into 35 and have to deal with all the negative press. So they simply lowballed the figure, something we were all aware of from the beginning. So the news here is that the batteries are perfoming like they should be expected to giving us more range when not using lights, ac, wipers, radio all the time.


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    PJK

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:03 pm)

    This is the best news since the first time I heard about the EV1.

    Maybe GM will make a super version of the Volt and start producing a updated EV1 again with these new batteries…it would be the “Vette” version….probably get 300 miles on a charge…with max batteries… but what if you only wanted to get 75 miles a day … the batteries would probably be the same size of the Volt.

    You know…. I would actually donate money to help this car along.
    The Japanese government gives the Japanese companies tons of free money… I would like to see our companies helped.

    Congratulations GM engineers… keep up the good work.


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    BigBuck

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:19 pm)

    Great work, Great news. A breakthrough like this could transform our country, economy, evironment, ect. Other than the Honda FCX, i have not heard of any other automakers attempting to produce anything other than a hybrid. Hybrids are not the answer for people like me that drive sixty miles to work one way on an interstate.
    Very Good work GM, hope to see the product on the lot soon.


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    Jackson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:32 pm)

    I normally like to read the replies before I post, but there are already too many at 9:30 PM Eastern. Yes, this is exciting news; and a 45 mile electric range would get me to work and back, if I don’t go out to lunch.

    In the deep South, I’m much more concerned by the drain caused by airconditioning (at times, it is a necessity!) I wonder if an all-electric heat pump might be an answer for most climates? Able to extract heat from the air rather than fall back on resistance.

    Another idea for cold climates might be some kind of “heat battery.” When the ICE generator is running, waste heat could drive hydrogen out of a small, sealed hydride cell, to collect in a tank. When it’s cold, and you’re running all electric, the hydrogen could be let back into the hydride cell, releasing heat. Perhaps another chemical couple/system would be more efficient, or less expensive than this.

    I’ve recently heard of GM research into HCCI combustion for ICE, which sounds impressive all by itself. HCCI generator, anyone?

    Whatever is achieved in terms of daily range, the cause of battery longevity mustn’t suffer any loss as a result. I can just see someone in 20 years saying, “Yeah, I had one of those plug ins, back in the teens, and the @#$% battery had to be replaced after 6 years. It cost more than the car’s resale value! Never again.”

    It pleases me to no end that an American company is stepping up to bring such urgently needed technology to the road, but it’s not a task I envy them. It has to be compelling, it has to work first time; and it’s a lot harder to lead than follow.

    Good luck, guys!


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    Carl

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:33 pm)

    Hmmm, all the comments seem suspiciously positive. I wonder if someone is filtering out the negative ones. I bought a GM vehicle and it was a total lemon. Three transmissions in two years. I bet the Volt will be severely lacking in quality. I’d much rather buy a Smart car or even a Toyota Prius.


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    Canuk

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:39 pm)

    Absolutely excellent news! Regular gas here near Toronto is now at $1.25/Litre (approx. $4.75/gal). I’m can hardly wait for the day when I can drive by those vampire oil company gas stations without a care for what they are charging for their transport fuel, as I’ll be getting my car’s energy out of my wall plug! he, he, he


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    Mike Veteto

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:50 pm)

    This is great news. The Volt is the first car in the last 20 years that I just can’t wait to drive!

    Guys, keep up the great work. There will be a big crowd waiting to get their hands on the wheel and feet on the pedals of this one!


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    Canuk

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:50 pm)

    PJK @281

    Yes! A renewed/updated EV1 using the new Lion cells. I wonder if this would be icing on GM’s cake in terms of redeeming itself from the whole EV1 debaucle? It would make for a really nice niche city/urban commuter car for those interested, which for places like L.A, NY city, Toronto etc., I would think there would be sufficient numbers interested, that such a vehicle would be profitable.


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    john

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:51 pm)

    Can’t wait for this car to be in the showroom.


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    koz

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (8:53 pm)

    omegaman66

    8KWh is 8KWh. There are no miracle cures to squeeze that much more range out of it. Anything close to the Cd that has been discussed for the Volt can only get about 40 miles AER at 60 MPH on 8KWh.


  290. 290
    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:04 pm)

    Len stated, “A123 cells are capable of accepting the charge very rapidly. I think the limit will be what your house is willing to give. We use the cells to power model airplanes and charge them at multiples of their capacity. If you roughly estimate that you can go 40 miles in an hour and the battery is depleted, it would be possible to charge it in 15 or twenty minutes, but the amps needed would be prohibitive. It would be like the on demand hot water heaters, 70 amps to charge a 140 amp hour battery in two hours.”

    Ok, so I have a question for you electronics gurus. Does it cost any more to charge the vehicle faster vs. slower? Forget about off-peak/on-peak electric. Meaning, if you need to charge the 140 amp-hr battery, will it cost any more to charge it faster? I would think not, as long as the electric can pump it out. A typical home is 200 amps, correct? So what would the max charging rate be that wouldn’t affect home products? Maybe 100 amp?


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:06 pm)

    And on that same note, are there any limits to the typical 110-volt (household socket) vs. a 220-volt socket used for large appliances such as driers or electric stoves?

    Clarification: What are the limits for a 110-volt socket vs 220-volt? 220 would mean faster charging right? And if I recall, 220-volt electric heaters are cheaper to run than 110-volt.

    So wouldn’t that mean 220-volt chargers would charge your car quicker AND be cheaper??


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    Vxr

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:08 pm)

    If the Volt comes out looking anything like the vehicle picture above, please take me off your email list.
    What a shame if it wasnt anything as shown in the prototype.


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:15 pm)

    BigRedFed,

    I just read an article that states that “Chevy Volt mules are based on old Malibu, production cars on smaller Cobalt”.

    The malibu weighs 3436 lbs. It is 57.1″ heigh, and 191.8″ long, and basically 60″ wide. The wheelbase is 112.3″.

    The cobalt weighs 3216 lbs. It is 57.1″ heigh, and 180.3″ long, and 58″ wide. The wheelbase is 103.3″.

    So, in comparison, the malibu is 220 heavier than the volt.

    Ok, physics gurus, can we throw that into a formula and come up with a new estimate for pulling 220 lbs less?

    Source: http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/11/16/chevy-volt-mules-are-based-on-old-malibu-production-cars-on-sma/


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    Rocco Denami ~ Nashville, TN

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:35 pm)

    Software is the easiest! Allow the onboard computer to store and analyze every recorded route to optimize the “coast” coefficient (when battery power is not needed) to the point where the vehicle can no longer “coast” up-hill and the accelerator (battery power) needs to be applied to maintain a desired speed. Changing of speed/braking due to traffic conditions would be excluded for each maximized programmed route for the minimal power distribution formula calculation.


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    Andrew

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (9:45 pm)

    @Rocco –

    Great! Very creative ideal – too bad most SW engineers are dead to the world. With GPS and a few cheap sensors they could practically make the car drive itself…


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    swimdad623

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:00 pm)

    290 Michael

    A typical home outlet is 110V/15A, or about 1.6KW. This means that it takes about 5 hours to pump 8KWH into the Volt, or 10 hours for a full 16KWH charge. The big outlets in a home are 220V/30A (electric dryer) or 220V/50A (electric oven or resistance heater). 220V/30A feeds about 6KW, which would fill the 8KWH half-charge in 80 minutes, or full charge in 160 minutes. The 220V/50A would be even faster, but electrical codes usually don’t allow these to use an outlet – they have to be permanenty wired to the device (not feasible for an electric car).

    292 Michael

    We don’t have all of the details from GM, but IMHO the 220 lb difference between the Cobalt and the Malibu isn’t a big deal. Weight has a small impact on the rolling resistance, and the extra energy needed to get the weight up to speed would only come back in the regenerative braking. However, I think we’ll see a BIG difference in the production Volt because of aerodynamic improvements.

    In another post, the GM engineers said that 70% of the Volt’s energy was consumed in wind resistance. This is much bigger than in a standard car because the electric drive recovers most of the energy lost in braking losses. Toyota knew this when they made the Prius look like an overgrown jellybean.

    Most likely, the aero design is the biggest difference between the Malibu and the Volt. The Malibu was built for cheap manufacture, while the Volt is built for economy. I have no doubt that the aero design of the Volt will dramatically improve that 40 mile number in the end.


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:00 pm)

    Gary Goggin stated, “9 years ago i paid €3000 for a 400mhz Pentium 3 computer, it was state of the art then! today you can get get a computer that’s 10 times as powerful for a tenth of the price. The most costly part of the volt is the battery and i predict that with the weight of the major car companies behind this technology, by 2015 you will be able to buy a 200 mile range Ev for the same relative price of a gasoline car!”

    I agree completely. Once enough volts sell, hopefully of good quality so that others will want one as well, they can be mass produced for a much cheaper price! We just need to get through phase 1. Build the car, run little man, run!


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:14 pm)

    #87: Computer-codger

    “From the above paragraph it sounds like GM has not settled on how much to charge the battery with the ICE. I though it was settled that the ICE would just sustain the battery at about the 30% level while ICE is running. Does anyone else have the same question? When Volt was first announced GM had advertised that you could charge the battery while in Park, but it sounds like GM is thinking of charging while driving, at least in some cases.”

    I don’t think it really matters whether the car is being driven or parked. An alternator would charge the batteries regardless wouldn’t it? Or maybe GM should let this be a menu option or push button (Similar to the traction control button on GM cars with the shifter on the floor, a button could allow for “charging while in park”. Good idea!

    I also like the idea that you could program your address into the GPS, and the computer would check to see how far from home you are–and it could decide if it needs to keep the engine running steadily or just kicking on and off to recharge enough to get home.

    Regardless, this is all a software issue. Let’s let them build the car. If they have to tweak it later, we can get a firmware upgrade. :-)


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    omegaman66

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:18 pm)

    Koz: “There are no miracle cures to squeeze that much more range out of it.”

    I agree there are no miracle cures but the engineers could easily discover the batteries can be used to 65% of their full charge status instead of 50%. Nothing miraculous as that. That is version 2.0 or later most probably.

    The mules are meeting expectation and the volt will do better than the mules. That much we know. That means more than 40 mpc.

    GM has consistantly said they batteries are meeting all expectations so far. That means 40 miles at end of life. That means more than 40 at beginning of life.

    For all I know the volt only gets 1 mpc just going by what is being released.

    I think over 40 miles at inception is pretty much a given without all the accessories running and hopefully with them running.


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:25 pm)

    294 swimdad623

    I’m currently remodeling my home. The code states that we had to have a drier “outlet” at 220v, i forget the amperage.

    Granted the drier is fairly heavy and not easily or often moved, I see no harm in having an extra “outlet” for Volt charging.

    Even the smaller, 220/30a would charge the car in 160 minutes (or 2.66 hours). This is a huge improvement over 5 hours. You might not stay at your inlaws for 5 hours, but 2-3 for dinner and chat is average and completely acceptable!

    Do you think it would be a problem for GM to implement this? Are these higher rate chargers much more expensive? If so, how much more expensive?

    Isn’t this similar to the type of connections on home generators that plug into a transfer switch on a home. I can’t imagine the code inspectors caring one bit…

    30 amps is like nothing. All of the electric heaters in my house run off a 30 amp circuit.


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:36 pm)

    And to add to my last post…about 10 years ago I bought an Energizer NiCad battery charger and batteries. It took FOREVER to charge…3-5 hours.

    Nowadays, I spent the extra 5 bucks and got a 15-minute charger. We’re talking AA’s and AAA batteries, but you get the point. My digital camera eats them up. But I have extra sets, even a car adapter so I can always have a fresh set.

    Now we all want the Volt to give us great gas mileage. I think the charging mechanism should be the thing we are all curious about.

    If the car got 500 mpg, but took 2 days to charge, what good would it do us? But if it got the 50 mpg but could be charged in 2 hours, it would be more for our money…way cheaper overall.

    You can charge via solar panels or windmills, or by plugging into your wall outlet. WE MUST HAVE FAIRLY QUICK CHARGES!

    Most people want a car to go to work and back, which is great. But after work you need to run errands. You might go get groceries, go to the movies, etc. That 3 hour mark is really sticking in my mind! Anything more is just mad!

    Now back to our earlier discussion, can anyone do a cost comparison on using TWO 110v charging mechanisms vs ONE 220v?

    Does the 220v still win? I’ve always heard that 220v is better. But i have to see it in dollars to believe it. Again, the only thing I can think of is the house heater example on a 30 amp 220v circuit.

    What if the house heaters were on a 110v circuit?

    As for the car heater, why is everyone so worried about this? Just let the gas engine heat the car. Most of you will already have your vehicle in a garage right? I mean you have to plug it in so it only makes sense. So the temperature should be decent (not too hot, not too cold).

    So then the heater would only need to kick on and off occasionally to hold that 70 degree perfect temperature, right?


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    KEN

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:40 pm)

    HMM, EV-1 got over 100 miles to a charge 10 years ago. Im happy to see we are at least trying to get electric cars on the road again. My geo metro that i just converted myself gets 40 miles on wal-mart boat batteries (only 6 of them) And they are cheap lead-acid not lithium. Check it out on evalbum.com


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    koz

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (10:43 pm)

    Michael Thompson,

    Faster recharging rates (Watts not Votage by itself) would use more energy, so theoretically it will cost more but not much if at all. Higher charge rates lead to higher inefficiencies but at the rates being discussed it should not be noticeable.

    The components and purpose of space heaters or in great contrast to battery charging. The intent of charging is to transfer energy to the battery with as little loss (heat) as possible. Unfortunately, the higher the power rating the components have, the more expensive they are. They have to be “beefier” to handle the power.


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:05 pm)

    143 Dave Austin

    Perhaps GM was jaded on the Li-Ion batteries. But they sold the patent (majority vote) for the battery that would have been a hit…and who was it sold to? Chevron Texaco, an oil company.

    So GM made a huge mistake. But they’re jumping on the horse to try to get it right. And if they don’t, GM won’t be around to make any more mistakes. I think we all realize that now.

    GM has a lot riding on this project, so it MUST be a hit. People must believe and trust in them.

    I guess time will tell…put the pedal to the medal GM! Beat that estimated timeframe.


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    Duts Repus

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:18 pm)

    What an opporuntity for GM to get back on top of the car market in a big way. Predictions….2010 Gas prices $7.50-$8.25 per gallon, GM stock goes through the roof as well!!!!!!!!!


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 15th, 2008 (11:37 pm)

    Here’s a little research on batteries:

    As you can see, the EV1 used NiMH batteries. But since the patent majority rights are held by Chevron-Texaco since GM sold them in October 2000, Li-Ions are basically all that is left.

    Summary:
    GM EV1:
    1997 Gen1 models used lead acid batteries
    1999 Gen2 models used nickel metal hydride batteries (NiMH)
    Priuis: NiMH
    GM Volt: Li-Ion

    Details:

    Prius: A Sealed 38 module nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack providing 273.6 volts, 6.5 A·h capacity and weighing 53.3 kg (118 lb) [3] is supplied by Japan’s Panasonic.

    “Toyota had planned to replace the Prius NiMH batteries with lithium-ion batteries, but have since been cancelled this plan. Lithium-ion batteries have a higher energy capacity-to-weight ratio, but cost more and operate at higher temperatures, raising safety concerns.”

    “Toyota has laboratory reports that some Prius battery packs have lasted the equivalent of 180,000 miles (290,000 km) [15] As the cars start to age, early reports have shown that in at least some cases the batteries can last in excess of 250,000 miles (400,000 km)[16] [17] Individual battery longevity will vary depending upon the treatment and use history of the battery pack. A degraded battery pack will reduce performance and fuel economy, but not leave the car inoperable.”

    Prius Batteries and Car Specs to Compare to Malibu/Volt Chassis:
    Production 2004–present
    Assembly Tsusumi, Japan[3]
    Class Midsize car
    Body style(s) 5-door hatchback
    Engine(s) Toyota Hybrid System II
    Gasoline: 1.5 L DOHC I4 VVT-i
    57 kW (76 hp) @ 5000 rpm
    115 N·m (85 ft·lbf) @ 4200 rpm
    Electric: 500 V
    50 kW (67 hp) @ 1200 rpm
    400 N·m (295 ft·lbf) @ 0 rpm
    AT-PZEV
    Net power: 110 hp (82 kW)
    Transmission(s) 1-speed planetary gear
    Wheelbase 2700 mm (106.3 in)
    Length 4450 mm (175.33 in)
    Width 1725 mm (67.97 in)
    Height 1490 mm (58.71 in)
    Curb weight 1325 kg (2921 lb)

    Sources:
    http://www.ev1.org/


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    May 15th, 2008 (11:44 pm)

    Battery Distances:
    1997 EV1 with lead batteries from Panasonic Storage Battery Co., up to 110 miles at up to 80 mph;

    1997 HondaEV with NiMH batteries from Panasonic Energy PEVE, up to 140 miles at up to 80 mph;

    1999 EV1 with NiMH batteries from GM-Ovonics, up to 160 miles (140 EPA certified) at up to 80 mph;

    When you add the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), that plays a big factor in reducing distance on battery only.

    EV1′s problem was that when the battery’s charge hit “empty”, there was no way to power the car making it dangerous.

    I’d say GM is doing decent. Would love to see the Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries in the Volt be able to reach 100 miles. Give it time, and it might.

    GM just needs to get this car on the road. Aim for June of 2009!

    Perhaps GM could pick 200 of us 20,000 (1% of us) to help them “beta test”.


  308. 308
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    May 15th, 2008 (11:55 pm)

    Ok last post for tonight.

    So we’ve talked about the engine and battery specifics.

    What about the human factor? Is someone at GM actively seeking out political candidates for:

    1. Funding for this research
    2. Tax breaks for GM for keeping this research, jobs, and company in the US
    3. Tax breaks for the buyers to purchase the vehicle
    4. Federal Government support to keep a timeline with decreased CO2 emissions and increased Mpg

    If not, hire a group to work on it. We’ve proved that the car can sell itself. But, as learned with EV1 model 1 and 2, we need the help of the government so that the oil companies cannot crush this dream.

    The oil companies have money to throw around. As with EV1, they will not hesitate to display false information to confuse the public.

    Let it be known [a friend of mine works in the oil business] that it is estimated that there is another 80% left in the oil wells that are supposedly “drying up”. Think of putting a straw into a cup, but only 20% down. There’s a whole lot of oil left down there.

    But the oil companies have everyone fooled for the most part. If the public thinks that oil is harder to come by, then they can justify raising the price to themselves.

    This is where the politicians can help. it won’t be easy. Look at how some politicians still believe that global warming isn’t occurring. I guess i’d say that too if I had huge stock in the oil companies.

    So all I can say is, RUN GM, RUN! Put it into high gear, offer your workers Overtime (OT) and bonuses to complete early!


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    May 16th, 2008 (1:11 am)

    NASAMAN-
    Great to hear from you again!
    As a long-time mostly lurker, I’m a big fan of yours.
    Congratulations on your officially contributing to yet another “world technology event”.
    Your figures are very encouraging, and I’m glad to be corrected on battery cost estimates.
    The bottom line I hear is that no single Volt element is disproportionately costly/difficult.
    GM can spend the next year fine-tuning, and adding enhancements, similar to all those little changes that have been made to the ICE over the years.
    GM’s strategy of starting slow and somewhat expensive is a good idea for any first generation technology. I hope they’re preparing to ramp up quickly, though!
    Another point: Now that GM has seen the utility of spending $1 Billion on this exciting platform, and they see the poor market for light trucks, why not try to undercut the competition by actively supporting higher CAFE standards? A faster change away from the widely available ICE tech could work towards GM’s financial benefit (as well as being good PR).

    P.S. OIL JIHADI- All hail Electra! :D


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    May 16th, 2008 (1:46 am)

    Referring to 26ChampsYanks’s suggestion of going to gm.com for an “Ev panel” and while refreshing the page to get the different images, I noticed that the guy working on a clay car model is probably working on the Volt’s final production styling. The taillights, door handles, high beltline, and even the fender flares that echo what’s found on the concept car and the mule.


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    May 16th, 2008 (2:29 am)

    Dave B #240,

    Thanks Dave, I agree with you, I do not want a car for commuting and another for traveling.

    The more I drive with ICE cars now, the more I feel guilty of not having pushed the carmarkers to move earlier to EV vehicles and the more I don’t want to use fossil fuels anymore.


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    May 16th, 2008 (4:20 am)

    … a question came to mind…and it deals with how the Volt will be marketed down the road… assuming you have a fine tuned product as aerodynamically perfect as possible… this creates just one body style. Marketing and saleability are big factors here… traditionally I believe that each body style is somewhere around 5 years behind the current production model.

    Question is this: When a style is fine tuned and considered “perfect” aerodynamically for minimum drag coefficent… how do you keep it “perfect” yet come up with a product design that makes yesterdays model “look” old for marketing purposes?

    Back in the olde days, VW started with the Beetle… Herr Hitler rode down the streets of Berlin in one in 1936, and that body style remained basically the same until the late 80′s… in Mexico until just very recently.

    Will today’s Volt become yesterdays Beetle because tinkering with the aerodynamically perfect body style may well result in a higher drag coefficient and as a result the (MPC) performance will begin to suffer… or will technological advances that would normally result in a better MPC be thrown to the wind because of a need to make changes in body style to improve ‘performance’ and visual appearance for marketing purposes?

    Remember.. bean counters, lawyers and sales guys drive big cars, artists and engineers starve…


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    May 16th, 2008 (4:43 am)

    I think that as the traditional components that make up the drive train change, the body will be able to change as well.
    For example, a car with wheel motors and a large, flat battery pack might not need a hood. Or you can move the trunk to the fore to provide a nice crumple zone.
    Also, the styling can still vary greatly and still have great aerodynamics.
    compare the Mercedes Bionic concept
    tinyurl.com/8c6ek
    with the Aptera, Prius, or EV-1…
    There’s still quite a range!


  314. [...] Volt Tested: Goes 40 Miles, No Gas Expended GM-VOLT : Chevy Volt Concept Site


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    May 16th, 2008 (6:50 am)

    you guys need to use the teslamotor car verasion of battery power.. 200 miles mper charge not 40..check out http://www.teslamotors.com


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    May 16th, 2008 (7:03 am)

    The batteries in the Volt probably won’t be much different than the Tesla’s batteries. The difference is that the Volt needs to be able to move 4 people around in a steel (not carbon fiber) body.


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    May 16th, 2008 (8:18 am)

    This could be GM’s way back to the top..Finally someone is listening to the little guy..Gas is almost becoming a luxury item..80 or 90 dollars a week thats a car payment in a month $360 plus the $370 car payment now and you have 730 dollars to throw at a payment on a volt considering you don’t use any gas…love it tired of giving hard earned money to opec..


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    May 16th, 2008 (8:24 am)

    #309 Richard-excellent point. I don’t think many peoplel thought of that one. I guess it would depend on the buyer. Toyota made news yesterday about selling the 1 millionth Prius, but to me they still look like a dumpling. But that hasn’t stopped people from buying them. I hope the Volt will look like a really nice sports sedan/coupe (a la RX-8) with a little too much future in it. That way, the design will still be fresh for a good while to give analysis time on a redesign if necessary. It’s really about asthetic staying power. The Beetle hadn’t changed greatly in over 50 years because everyone thought it was cute and practical, I suppose.

    The Lamborghini Diablo came out in 1991 as a 92 model and retained its appearance until 2001 or so when they scrapped it in favor of the Murcielago. The Countach Prototype was made in the early 70′s and ran until 1989 with only minor design changes. My point is that if the Volt’s designed to have staying power it would to a degree negate the need for a redesign in 5 years. It worked for Lamborghini and Volkswagen (now the same company) and I hope that like the EV-1, Volt owners would see the benefits of not messing up a good thing just for the sake of messing it up.

    I only hope that GM will give their accountants six month of unpaid leave and let the designers have as much creative fun in the wind tunnel as possible.


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    May 16th, 2008 (11:08 am)

    Don’t overlook State and local governments when thinking about potential roadblocks to the adoption of plug-ins. Road maintenance and construction is funded, in most places, by State gasoline tax; for example. There have already been attempts by local officials to get more out of the owners of existing hybrids, because they pay less tax at the pump. Throw a decent mass-produced plug-in into the mix, and local lawmakers will become extremely vocal about this.

    The issue, I believe, is similar to the situation with Internet commerce, which is also exempt to local Sales tax: So far, that’s considered to be in the best interests of the public at large, to help bolster support for the new technology. I hope that will end up being the consensus with the Volt, as well.

    It probably wouldn’t hurt to start working that angle now, though …


  320. 320
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    May 16th, 2008 (11:25 am)

    As an alternative to restyling, they can continue to improve the AER, and range extender gas mileage to differentiate the newer models.

    There will also be opportunities to reduce weight and further improve aero. NASCAR teams spend hours in wind tunnels, oh so subtly massaging the COT, which is essentially a spec body. Little things add up.

    Also, multiple opportunities for new products based upon the basic technology beckon. Many have suggested an S-10 sized pickup. I believe that there will be a substantial market for same as gas prices continue to climb. I would take one Volt for my wife and one small pickup for my work. Or maybe even a very slick van if the aero was better than a pickup. Pickup with easily removable “camper shell”?
    We run a fiberglass bed cover on our S-10, but that flat back window looks like an aero disaster to me.


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    May 16th, 2008 (11:51 am)

    With over 315 remarks on this posting and still going strong here I cannot resist my urge to take the plunge.

    In fact I am not excited with the post as taking a mole road test using a different car does not show much details from what GM got in lab tests, but it is a logical next step. I will be excited only when GM allow an outsider to test a prototype Volt.

    #230 Nasaman

    Thanks for the ‘reliable if not inside’ info on the Li-ion battery pack, which always troubles me. The only area GM does not have a say, other wise all other Volt developments like drive train integration,production etc are not all a big deal for a company like GM
    when Toyota have already done it in a more complicated hybrid system.

    How can the 15 year life or over 5000 cycle full charge/ discharge can be assured by testing it in two or three years, can a computer pro gramme reliably mimic the result .I think Li-ion battery being a recent development, have not seen lasted that long in any gadget or PC where it is so far used.

    If the information that Li-ion battery pack of A123 is going to be available at a cost of only $3500 that is a very interesting news-and I have read some where that manufactures can supply this in the range of $3000-$3500.If true that will be a major factor for the success of Volt . Remember, the Hymotion L5 battery ( 5kwh) module of A123 Li-ion battery pack for the plug-in conversion of Toyota Prius is sold for $ 10,000 , including installation charges and is given only a guarantee of 3 years .

    see the link for more details

    http://hybridreview.blogspot.com/2008/04/volt-finishes-design-changes-continues.html

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4261451.html?series=19
    .
    Another point is that Volt will be programmed to tap only 50% charge initially before the ICE kicks in to charge it. It is well known that a partial charge/discharge of battery will enhance the life of battery. So is the 15 years based on this aspect or is the battery capable of a 15 years life of deep cycle charge/discharge.

    Also once the battery runs down 50% the ICE should only be used to drive the Volt further and not for charging the on board battery also . Using ICE to charge the Volt battery is not a smart idea when the cheap Grid power is available at home . Also I wish GM avoid the GPS integration attempt also, all this will reduce the complexity of software

    I wish Lyle gets a chance to talk to a technical hand at GM rather than Bob Lutz or Wagoner on software problems on integrating power train.I cannot believe that it is a big problem for GM.
    The latest post shows Lyle has met Mickey Bly GM’s technical Director. Hope we get more details though we should not expect GM to give out critical technical details two ears in advance.


  322. 322
    omegaman66

     

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    May 16th, 2008 (12:57 pm)

    #312 george kuhns

    Why would we want to pay lots of extra money for the Volt to get 200 mpc like tesla when that extra money will only be put to use a few times a year. Makes much more sense to use the ICE engine a few times a year and save those thousands of dollars.

    Hey George Kuhns you need to take a look at the Volt it doesn’t have the problems that the tesla car has when driving long distance. The volt can drive from New York to Los Angeles without needing to recharge!!!

    Michael Thompson it is my understanding that GM doesn’t want super fast charges because that shortens the batteries life. Fast charge on a BEV is needed/wanted but on a E-Flex vehicle isn’t so neccessary. Most times the fast charge isn’t needed at all. When it is needed… np just use the ~50 mpg ICE!


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    May 16th, 2008 (1:28 pm)

    I noticed on the gm.com site the picture of the Cadillic Provoq Concept showed solar panels on the roof. I would imagine that is to keep the car warm or cool while parked out in the open. So, maybe we will see the same on the Volt. That would be great.


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    May 16th, 2008 (1:52 pm)

    The Volt’s styling can be slightly modified every couple years by some changes in headlights, taillights and molded curves on the panels. It would not take much to make it look “different”. GM could do this only when thy have some significant modifications to the power train, etc. That would be an easy way to distinguish them.

    If they kept the Volt the same on the outside for 10 or 12 years, that would tend to make older Volts be worth more because they would look the same.


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    Ben

     

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    May 16th, 2008 (3:16 pm)

    Awesome, America needs the Volt!!! People will line up a dealers for this car as gas hits $5 -$6 a gallon!!


  326. 326
    Paul-R

     

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    May 16th, 2008 (4:55 pm)

    Hi Robert (at 118). As for the viability of using an ice-bath (ice as in frozen water) as a heat sink, you seem to be underestimating the amount of heat absorbed by ice as it changes phase to water. Using your example, 50 lbs of ice can absorb enough heat to raise the temp of 50 lbs of water by about 80 degrees. Or 100 lbs of water by about 40 degrees. Since water has a specific heat capacity about 4x to 5x that of most metals/plastics, that 50 lbs of ice can cool 400-500 lbs of metal/plastic by that same amount, or from 125F down to 85F. Of course, the ice doesn’t have to do all the cooling, since the ambient air (probably cooler than 125F) would help some too.

    Of course the ice-bath will be a sealed contain and heat-exchanger, so nothing will get wet. And it would only be re-frozen when power was plentiful … that is, when plugged in or when running off the generator. I’m not saying this ice-bath approach is the best approach, just viable. One might be better off simply running a compressor off the battery in exchange for less electric range. Or simply running a compressor off the engine and burning extra gas to keep cool.

    LCD privacy glass could also be used to minimize the greenhouse affect while the car is parked.

    IMHO, the interior heating/cooling issue is just a new engineering challenge to be solved. This challenge should be quite simple compared to the many engineering challenges the auto industry has solved in the past 100 years.


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    May 16th, 2008 (5:00 pm)

    Does anyone know yet who will get the contract for the battery
    production? Or who most likely based on the players involved
    now?


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    May 16th, 2008 (7:38 pm)

    #292 Vxr

    You’re kidding right? Have you read the multitudes of posts here or read what GM has had to say or are you just reacting without reading?

    The Volt electrical system and battery is being tested in a MULE. Another car body, NOT THE VOLT BODY. The final design hasn’t even been released yet.

    Please read before jumping to conclusions and making statements that show you haven’t.


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    May 16th, 2008 (8:09 pm)

    Hey, I cant wait and I will be in line to buy one. I will want to hear about serious cold winter / weather testing: interior heating / window defrost etc, though. My Volt will be outside, on a hill overlooking a windy NW vista. It will have to be ‘like a rock’ as I wont be pampering it.

    I cannot wait to hear about the winter weather testing.


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    May 16th, 2008 (8:13 pm)

    Just a note on the battery pack.

    If you look at the specifications for the original concept (go to home page, click on full specifications on the right hand side of the page), the battery energy is specified as “16 kWh (minimum)”.

    So it is quite conceivable that the battery suppliers have delivered a battery pack that actually holds more than16 kWh.


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    May 16th, 2008 (9:15 pm)

    I predict that plug-in cars like the Volt will force photovoltaic Solar cell research into two divergent directions: the existing “cheapest way” cells and thin-films which may only convert 8 – 9% of the sun which hits them, but don’t cost much (for application on buildings and arrays); but also create more demand for high performance photovoltaic cells that produce “most power” (for application on more limited real estate, like vehicles).

    Such high-performance multi-junction cells power the Mars Exploration Rovers today, at huge expense; and conversion efficiency claims have been made for laboratory prototype cells which exceed 50%. It will take a long time for the cost for these high-efficiency cells to drop to anything like a reasonable cost, but the incentive of a ready, waiting market for on-board solar car chargers could speed this process up.

    I expect the tipping point will come when an on-board array could power the airconditioner during the hottest, full-sun days. An array topping 50% solar-conversion efficiency would add far more range than “a mile” when the vehicle is parked all day, but not many will pay for it — at first.


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    May 16th, 2008 (10:08 pm)

    The pure and innocent GM Company, please stop your promotion and “Big Pitch” on the future Volt car. We all know what you did with the promising EV-1 electric car and his dissapearing conneted with the big oil companies, (Exxon). Since your first experiment Volt in 2001, your bla bla bla is committed now to 2011, 2012 or 2013…

    Enough is enough. Actually, your cars are unsafe, non competitive, and your sales are far behind Japanese cars and Corean cars.
    You are still blindind naive american buyers. A second time.
    Please, stop fooling around people for once !

    Is it possible for GM to be honest ?


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    May 16th, 2008 (10:29 pm)

    With 330 remarks and still going strong, I felt very bad for not being at the party and so here I am taking the plunge.

    In fact I was not excited with this post of Lyle as taking a mole road
    test using a different car does not show much details from what
    GM got in lab tests, from dynamo. but it is a logical next step. I will
    be excited only when GM allow an outsider to test a prototype Volt.

    #230 nasaman

    Thanks for the the ‘reliable if not inside’ info on the Li-ion battery pack, which is what always troubles me and so a few questions arises.
    How can the 15 year life or over 5000 cycle full charge/ discharge can be assured by testing it in two or three years, can a computer pro gramme reliably mimic the result .I think Li-ion battery being a recent development, have not seen lasted that long in any gadget or PC where it is so far used.
    Another point is that Volt will be programmed to tap only 50% charge initially before the ICE kicks in to charge it. It is a known fact that a partial charge/discharge of battery will enhance the life of battery. So is the 15 years based on this aspect or is the battery capable of a 15 years life of deep cycle charge/discharge.

    If the information that Li-ion battery pack of A123 is going to be available for $3500 is correct that is a very interesting news-and I myself have read some where that manufactures can supply this in the range of $3000-$3500. If so then it will be a major factor for the success of Volt . Remember, the Hymotion L5 Li-ion battery ( 5kwh) module of A123 used for the plug-in conversion of Toyota Prius is sold for $ 10,000 ,of course that include installation charges also,but it is given only a guarantee of 3 years .

    The only area GM cannot use their expertise is the battery development other wise all other Volt developments like drive train integration,production etc are not at all a big deal for GM .Toyota have alredy done it ,in what I believe, is an equally if not more complicated a hybrid system .

    And on what Bob Lutz said on software
    Once the battery runs down 50% the ICE should only be used to drive the Volt further and not for charging the on board battery also Using ICE to charge the Volt battery is not a smart idea when the cheap Grid power is available at home . Also I wish GM avoid the GPS integration attempt also, all this will reduce the complexity of software

    I wish Lyle gets a chance to talk to a technical hand at GM rather than Bob Lutz or Wagoner on software problems on integrating power train.I cannot believe that it is a big problem for GM.
    The next post shows Lyle has met Mickey Bly GM’s technical Director. Hope we get more details though we should not expect GM to give out critical technical details two years in advance

    see the link for more details
    http://hybridreview.blogspot.com/2008/04/volt-finishes-design-changes-continues.html

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4261451.html?series=19


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    May 17th, 2008 (4:47 am)

    SOS to Lyle.
    This site is refusing to accept my remarks on the post. Made a 4th attempt today, once it has even warned me that I am repeating the same remarks. Did I make or do something wrong here !!!!


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    May 17th, 2008 (12:25 pm)

    #330 Jackson:

    Good thinking. The idea of solar panels on the roof has been pretty much dismissed here, but maybe a little too soon, eh?

    As to another cheapie range saver, I modestly offer the following. When I park my truck on a really hot day, I crack the windows just a bit. It really makes a difference to the interior temperature when I come back. I just take the risk that somebody won’t slide a slim jim through the crack in broad daylight. It’s got 200K miles on it anyway so, if the steal it, it serves them right.

    Most auto supplies sell a cheapie solar powered fan which goes in an even narrower crack at the top of the window to circulate the air. Didn’t Mazda or somebody offer a built in one as an option at one time? Cheap and dirty ways to lessen the initial huge air conditioning load.

    Of course cheap guys like me roll down the windows for a few minutes to get the interior down to ambient before turning on the AC anyway.

    As to heating on cold mornings, i assume that a timer can turn on a little space heater while the Volt is still plugged in, to damp down the large initial heater demand.


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    May 17th, 2008 (1:14 pm)

    Test message. I can’t seem to post either.


  337. 337
    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (1:15 pm)

    Mythbusters did a study on having the tailgate up or down on a truck. They found that trucks were actually designed to have the tailgate intact, and gas mileage is better WITH the tailgate up.

    In addition, there is a pocket of wind that circulates behind the cab of the vehicle. When the tailgate is down, that airflow circulation does not occur.

    I have a hard tonneau (pronounced ton-know) cover on my Silverado pickup. It keeps groceries, luggage, even kitchen cabinets dry…while still providing plenty of room in the cab for the family.

    But back to Volt, what would it take for Chevy to speed up the timeline to June 2009? If they could do that I think they’d be where they need to be. What was Prius’s version 3 (plug in hybrid) release date? — Looks like 2010, link below. I’ve seen other articles stating they’re attempting 2009, but can’t seem to find any as of the moment.

    “This plug-in hybrid — a version of the Prius, and not the vehicle Toyota announced it would build — differs from the Prius in four ways. It has two nickel-metal hydride batteries under the floor of its trunk, instead the conventional Prius’s single battery.” So Prius’s are still using NiMH, and probably still paying Chevron Texaco the royalties, right? Can anyone verify that?


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    May 17th, 2008 (1:16 pm)

    The site seems to be having a problem with web links. Once I took the link out, the post succeeded. Otherwise, I received a message stating that I had already posted the same comment when i hadn’t.


  339. 339
    Kevin R

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (1:17 pm)

    #331 Robert V. Canada

    Well Robert, your tirade is off base first of all. GM is making quality cars and independent experts have deemed them as such. The 2008 Cadillac CTS is rated car of the year by Motor Trend.

    “Superiority? The CTS’s winning ways go far beyond its fetching facade. Significance? Not only is the CTS the star of a new GM revival (including such standouts as the 2008 Chevy Malibu and Buick Enclave, to name just two), it’s a true world car –Motor Trend”

    http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/car/112_0801_2008_cadillac_cts/index.html

    GM’s reliability and quality are exactly on par with the Japanese and Korean manufacturers. Just because you don’t like GM , or have had a bad experience with a GM product does not make your position valid and authoritative.

    Your comments carry even less weight when one examines your inability to spell correctly (corean?) or use the English language properly. It undermines your credibility and no one will take you seriously especially on this website.

    Please bash elsewhere.


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (1:24 pm)

    #331 Robert V

    See my post in #304. GM has to succeed with the Volt, or all its customers will have lost complete faith and GM will go bankrupt.

    I see your point in that the timeline keeps shifting. Look at it in 2 ways. GM either succeeds with this car in a timely fashion, hopefully beating its late 2010 deadline, or Toyota/Honda creep in there with an earlier model and steal the competition.

    True, faithful GM owners are willing to wait until 2010 but want this car earlier. If the car arrival shifts past 2010, we will buy the Toyota or Honda.

    So let’s keep the site to helpful information and research.


  341. 341
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    May 17th, 2008 (1:37 pm)

    SUMMARY from November 2003 Article:

    I think this is the answer I was looking for earlier.

    The batteries in the hybrid Toyota Prius are supplied by Matsushita, which ECD is suing for patent infringement.

    “The battery venture, called Texaco Ovonic Battery Systems, built a plant in Springboro, Ohio with the capacity to produce enough nickel-metal-hydride batteries to fill 60,000 hybrid automobiles a year. But before that can happen, Detroit must decide to sell hybrids, and they must choose Texaco Ovonic to supply them. (The batteries in the hybrid Toyota Prius are supplied by Matsushita, which ECD is suing for patent infringement.) ”

    OTHER INTERESTING INFO:

    The energy crisis turned into a fund-raising opportunity for Ovshinsky. There were all those oil producers with an embarrassment of profits and a desperate need to look as if all they cared about was finding alternative energy sources.

    Ovshinsky and his scientists had found a way to use thin films of amorphous silicon to turn the sun’s energy into electrical power. Between 1976 and 2003 Ovshinsky convinced a series of five companies to put up $290 million to develop the material. ECD now has, it says, a factory with the capacity to produce enough film to turn out 30 megawatts of generating power per year. Ovshinsky is trolling for another partner to replace Bekaert. He and Chairman Stempel claim the plant will be profitable at two-thirds capacity and enjoy margins over 30% at full capacity.

    The company’s research into batteries took a similar path through several companies, ending with ChevronTexaco, which has committed to spend $282 million developing batteries and hydrogen storage systems through two joint ventures. Ovshinsky’s firm didn’t put in a dime but owns half of the joint venture and will get half of any profits.

    The battery venture, called Texaco Ovonic Battery Systems, built a plant in Springboro, Ohio with the capacity to produce enough nickel-metal-hydride batteries to fill 60,000 hybrid automobiles a year. But before that can happen, Detroit must decide to sell hybrids, and they must choose Texaco Ovonic to supply them. (The batteries in the hybrid Toyota Prius are supplied by Matsushita, which ECD is suing for patent infringement.)

    ChevronTexaco declined to comment about its ventures with ECD.James Metzger, ECD’s chief operating officer since 2002, was Texaco’s chief technical officer when the oil firm decided to invest in ECD. “We were not looking at ECD as a financial entity or as a company,” Metzger says. “We were simply looking at the technology and whether it will someday be beneficial to Texaco.” Metzger is confident he can stabilize ECD’s finances.

    Like the powerful nickel-metal-hydride battery in the Toyota Prius that he drives to work every day, the one with the license plate OVONIC. Ovshinsky proudly takes credit for the car, claiming he invented the “enabling technology” that helps power the gas-electric hybrid. Could be, but it doesn’t earn him a cent.

    Timeline:
    1994-2000 GM GM puts $70 million into nickel-metal-hydride BATTERIES for electric vehicles and hybrids. Batteries are used in GM’s EV-1 electric car, but GM sells its interest to Texaco.

    2000-2003 ChevronTexaco Texaco buys 20% of ECD and starts three joint ventures. It commits $40 million to a FUEL CELL venture, but sells out to ECD for $1.

    2000-Present Chevron-Texaco Texaco commits a total of $282 million to two joint ventures that are producing BATTERIES and developing HYDROGEN STORAGE systems.

    Source: http://www.californiasolarcenter.org/solareclips/2004.02/20040210-13.html


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    May 17th, 2008 (2:01 pm)

    ECD’S Battery Subsidiary Grants Patent License to Guangzhou Great Power

    Rochester Hills, Mich., March 13, 2008 – Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD) (NASDAQ:ENER) announced today that its subsidiary, Ovonic Battery Company, Inc. (Ovonic Battery), has entered into a patent license agreement in connection with its proprietary nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery technology with Guangzhou Great Power Battery Co. Ltd. (Great Power) of the People’s Republic of China. Under the consumer battery license grant, Great Power has a royalty-bearing, nonexclusive right to manufacture NiMH batteries in China and use and sell NiMH batteries worldwide. No propulsion battery rights were granted.


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    May 17th, 2008 (2:01 pm)

    So the plot thickens:

    2001: GM sold the NiMH battery patent to Texaco. Patent expires in 2016.

    2002: Texaco merged with Chevron to make ChevronTexaco.

    2003: ChevronTexaco buys 20% of Energy Conversion Devices (ECD). James Metzger, ECD’s chief operating officer since 2002, was Texaco’s chief technical officer when the oil firm decided to invest in ECD.

    ChevronTexaco declined to comment about its ventures with ECD. At the time, while working for ChevronTexaco, Metzger stated, “We were not looking at ECD as a financial entity or as a company…We were simply looking at the technology and whether it will someday be beneficial to Texaco.”

    2008: ECD (www.ovonic.com) announces that its subsidiary, Ovonic Battery Company, Inc. has entered into a patent license agreement in connection with its proprietary NiMH battery technology with Guangzhou Great Power Battery Co. Ltd. (Great Power) of the People’s Republic of China.

    Under the consumer battery license grant, Great Power (www.greatpower.net) has a royalty-bearing, nonexclusive right to manufacture NiMH batteries in China and use and sell NiMH batteries worldwide. No propulsion battery rights were granted.

    Definition of propulsion: a force that moves (something) forward

    So this means that ECD can sell NiMH batteries to consumers, but the batteries can’t be sold to companies that will use them for propulsion–cars. ChevronTexaco must still own this part of the patent.


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    May 17th, 2008 (2:36 pm)

    Man, seems like every business is connected to another somehow.

    On the ECD Ovioncs page, there is a link that states “ECD in the news”.

    The headline reads “July 2, 2007. Solar Integrated Wins US$3.3 Million Order From Dachland for Toyota Germany Project
    (Solar Integrated uses UNI-SOLAR PV Laminates for its award-winning product).”

    When you click it, you are takekn to Solar Integrated’s webpage, who is a Los Angeles, California company. So how is Solar Integrated connected to ECD?

    ECD has several sub-companies associated with it. The solar division is called Uni Solar. If you go to Uni Solar’s website, you will see that Solar Integrated is a strategic partner of ECD.

    So, in a way, ECD/ChevronTexaco are connected to…Toyota?! This just keeps looking worse and worse for GM.

    Source: http://www.uni-solar.com/interior.asp?id=94


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    May 17th, 2008 (2:40 pm)

    Ok, so in the next election…which of the 3 (Dumb, Dumber, or Dumbest) do you think will be most reluctant to help the big oil companies out?

    We need a leader that will support keeping jobs in the US, and research in the US. We need someone who believes in going GREEN and will actually refuse the political pressure from the oil buffs.

    Hmmm, can we write in some names? LOL.


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (2:46 pm)

    Article 1:

    ECD Awarded $30M in Battery Patent Dispute / Chevron Texaco Awarded $30M as well.

    Some three years after Energy Conversion Devices filed suit against Matsushita, Panasonic EV Energy Co., and Toyota Motor Corp. for patent infringement on its nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) battery technology used in hybrid electric vehicles, the dispute and accompanying counterclaims have been resolved. According to papers filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Energy Conversion Devices (ECD Ovonics) and COBASYS LLC, its 50-50 manufacturing joint venture with ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures LLC, will receive a $30 million settlement. No party admitted liability.

    The suit was heard before the International Chamber of Commerce, International Court of Arbitration. Under the terms of the settlement, COBASYS and Panasonic EV Energy will cross license their current and future patents to avoid the potential for future legal entanglement. Also, the two companies have agreed to collaborate on development of next-generation NiMH batteries for hybrid vehicles, a move that can only be viewed as a positive thing for furthering the commercial success of high fuel efficiency, low emission hybrids.

    This is not the first time that Energy Conversion Devices has vigorously sought to defend its advanced battery patents, which are based on the pioneering work of ECD founder and president Stanford Ovshinsky in the 1950s. After warnings from ECD that Matsushita was infringing on its patents in early 1996, Matsushita filed suit against ECD in U.S. District Court in Delaware seeking to have some of ECD’s NiMH patents declared invalid. ECD answered that action by filing for a preliminary injunction in federal district court in Detroit that sought to enjoin Toyota from fleet testing its Matsushita NiMH-equipped RAV4 electric vehicles. A year earlier, ECD filed an unrelated patent infringement suit against Sanyo Electric, Toshiba, and Yuasa Battery Co. that went before the Federal Trade Commission, resulting in the three companies settling with ECD.

    Source: http://www.greencar.com/news/ecd-nets-30m-in-battery-dispute


  347. 347
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    May 17th, 2008 (3:18 pm)

    Article #2:

    I. EV TERMS:

    a. EV–electric vehicle

    b. BEV–battery electric vehicle; most leased BEV vehicles crushed by their manufacturers, and replacement batteries unavailable for remaining vehicles.

    c. ZEV–zero emissions vehicle

    d. PEVE–Panasonic EV Energy, who formed a joint venture between Matsushita and Toyota begun in 1996, and supplied higher capacity (28Ah-95Ah) NiMH batteries for use in Toyota, Honda, and Ford battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that began production in 1997

    e.HEV–hybrid electric vehicle; prius is an example, using battery and an internal combustion engine (ICE)

    f. NiMH–nickel metal hydride batteries; used in GM’s EV1 and most other cars until GM sold the technology patent to ChevronTexaco

    g. LiON–lithium ion battery; what GM and others are looking at to bring EV’s back, since ChevronTexaco/ECD holds patent rights to NiMH batteries until 2014/2016

    II. TEXACO OVONIC BATTERY SYSTEMS, AND COBASYS:

    In October 2000, Texaco Inc. bought GM’s 60% share in GM Ovonics Battery Systems, adding to their existing 20% share in the company, and restructured the joint venture as a 50-50 partnership with ECD Ovonics, renamed Texaco Ovonic Battery Systems LLC.

    Less than a week later, Texaco and Chevron Corporation announced a merger plan, which was completed a year later as they became ChevronTexaco Corporation.

    In 2004 this joint venture was renamed Cobasys LLC.

    In addition to holding a 50% share of Cobasys, Chevron holds a 19.99% interest in ECD Ovonics.

    Chevron maintains veto power over any sale or licensing of Cobasys’ NiMH technology. In addition, Chevron maintains the right to seize all of Cobasys’ intellectual property rights in the event that ECD Ovonics does not fulfill its contractual obligations.

    On September 10, 2007, Chevron filed a legal claim that ECD Ovonics has not fulfilled its obligations. ECD Ovonics disputes this claim.

    Two other 50/50 joint ventures between Texaco and EVD Ovonics were created shortly before and after Texaco’s acquisition of GM’s shares in what became Cobasys. One focused on regenerative fuel cell technology, the other on metal hydride hydrogen technology.

    III. PATENT DISPUTE:
    Panasonic EV Energy (PEVE), a joint venture between Matsushita and Toyota begun in 1996, pioneered several advances in large-format NiMH batteries suitable for electric vehicles.

    PEVE supplied higher capacity (28Ah-95Ah) NiMH batteries for use in Toyota, Honda, and Ford battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that began production in 1997.

    PEVE’s lower capacity batteries powered the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) Toyota Prius, which was introduced in Japan in 1997, and sold 18,000 units in its first year of production, as well as the first Honda Insight and Civic hybrid models.

    BEV production by major automakers ceased in the early 2000s, with most leased BEV vehicles crushed by their manufacturers, and replacement batteries unavailable for remaining vehicles.

    A 2001 patent infringement lawsuit brought by ECD Ovonics and Ovonic Battery Company, Inc. against Matsushita, Toyota, and PEVE was settled in July 2004. Settlement terms called for cross-licensing between parties of current and future NiMH-related patents filed through December 31, 2014.

    The terms did not allow Matushita, Toyota, and PEVE to sell certain NiMH batteries for transportation applications in North America until the second half of 2007, and commercial quantities of certain NiMH batteries in North America until the second half of 2010.

    Additionally, Ovonic Battery Co. and ECD Ovonics received a $10 million patent license fee, Cobasys received a $20 million patent license fee, $16 million of which was earmarked to reimburse legal expenses, and Cobasys would receive royalties on certain batteries sold by Matushita/PEVE in North America.

    Licensing terms were expanded in 2005, with PEVE granted further license to sell NiMH batteries for certain transportation applications in North America, in exchange for royalties paid to Cobasys through 2014.

    PEVE currently makes batteries for several Toyota brands, Daihatsu, Hyundai/Kia, and Hino.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobasys

    IV. My Comments: Hmmm. So is it safe to say that NiMH technology is a monopoly and should be broken up? Why yes, i believe the gov’t should intervene.


  348. 348
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    May 17th, 2008 (3:19 pm)

    Article #2:

    I. EV TERMS:

    a. EV–electric vehicle

    b. BEV–battery electric vehicle; most leased BEV vehicles crushed by their manufacturers, and replacement batteries unavailable for remaining vehicles.

    c. ZEV–zero emissions vehicle

    d. PEVE–Panasonic EV Energy, who formed a joint venture between Matsushita and Toyota begun in 1996, and supplied higher capacity (28Ah-95Ah) NiMH batteries for use in Toyota, Honda, and Ford battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that began production in 1997

    e.HEV–hybrid electric vehicle; prius is an example, using battery and an internal combustion engine (ICE)

    f. NiMH–nickel metal hydride batteries; used in GM’s EV1 and most other cars until GM sold the technology patent to ChevronTexaco

    g. LiON–lithium ion battery; what GM and others are looking at to bring EV’s back, since ChevronTexaco/ECD holds patent rights to NiMH batteries until 2014/2016

    II. TEXACO OVONIC BATTERY SYSTEMS, AND COBASYS:

    In October 2000, Texaco Inc. bought GM’s 60% share in GM Ovonics Battery Systems, adding to their existing 20% share in the company, and restructured the joint venture as a 50-50 partnership with ECD Ovonics, renamed Texaco Ovonic Battery Systems LLC.

    Less than a week later, Texaco and Chevron Corporation announced a merger plan, which was completed a year later as they became ChevronTexaco Corporation.

    In 2004 this joint venture was renamed Cobasys LLC.

    In addition to holding a 50% share of Cobasys, Chevron holds a 19.99% interest in ECD Ovonics.

    Chevron maintains veto power over any sale or licensing of Cobasys’ NiMH technology. In addition, Chevron maintains the right to seize all of Cobasys’ intellectual property rights in the event that ECD Ovonics does not fulfill its contractual obligations.

    On September 10, 2007, Chevron filed a legal claim that ECD Ovonics has not fulfilled its obligations. ECD Ovonics disputes this claim.

    Two other 50/50 joint ventures between Texaco and EVD Ovonics were created shortly before and after Texaco’s acquisition of GM’s shares in what became Cobasys. One focused on regenerative fuel cell technology, the other on metal hydride hydrogen technology.


  349. 349
    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (3:20 pm)

    III. PATENT DISPUTE:
    Panasonic EV Energy (PEVE), a joint venture between Matsushita and Toyota begun in 1996, pioneered several advances in large-format NiMH batteries suitable for electric vehicles.

    PEVE supplied higher capacity (28Ah-95Ah) NiMH batteries for use in Toyota, Honda, and Ford battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that began production in 1997.

    PEVE’s lower capacity batteries powered the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) Toyota Prius, which was introduced in Japan in 1997, and sold 18,000 units in its first year of production, as well as the first Honda Insight and Civic hybrid models.

    BEV production by major automakers ceased in the early 2000s, with most leased BEV vehicles crushed by their manufacturers, and replacement batteries unavailable for remaining vehicles.

    A 2001 patent infringement lawsuit brought by ECD Ovonics and Ovonic Battery Company, Inc. against Matsushita, Toyota, and PEVE was settled in July 2004. Settlement terms called for cross-licensing between parties of current and future NiMH-related patents filed through December 31, 2014.

    The terms did not allow Matushita, Toyota, and PEVE to sell certain NiMH batteries for transportation applications in North America until the second half of 2007, and commercial quantities of certain NiMH batteries in North America until the second half of 2010.

    Additionally, Ovonic Battery Co. and ECD Ovonics received a $10 million patent license fee, Cobasys received a $20 million patent license fee, $16 million of which was earmarked to reimburse legal expenses, and Cobasys would receive royalties on certain batteries sold by Matushita/PEVE in North America.

    Licensing terms were expanded in 2005, with PEVE granted further license to sell NiMH batteries for certain transportation applications in North America, in exchange for royalties paid to Cobasys through 2014.

    PEVE currently makes batteries for several Toyota brands, Daihatsu, Hyundai/Kia, and Hino.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobasys

    IV. My Comments: Hmmm. So is it safe to say that NiMH technology is a monopoly and should be broken up? Why yes, i believe the gov’t should intervene. :-)


  350. 350
    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (3:20 pm)

    III. PATENT DISPUTE:
    Panasonic EV Energy (PEVE), a joint venture between Matsushita and Toyota begun in 1996, pioneered several advances in large-format NiMH batteries suitable for electric vehicles.

    PEVE supplied higher capacity (28Ah-95Ah) NiMH batteries for use in Toyota, Honda, and Ford battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that began production in 1997.

    PEVE’s lower capacity batteries powered the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) Toyota Prius, which was introduced in Japan in 1997, and sold 18,000 units in its first year of production, as well as the first Honda Insight and Civic hybrid models.

    BEV production by major automakers ceased in the early 2000s, with most leased BEV vehicles crushed by their manufacturers, and replacement batteries unavailable for remaining vehicles.

    A 2001 patent infringement lawsuit brought by ECD Ovonics and Ovonic Battery Company, Inc. against Matsushita, Toyota, and PEVE was settled in July 2004. Settlement terms called for cross-licensing between parties of current and future NiMH-related patents filed through December 31, 2014.

    The terms did not allow Matushita, Toyota, and PEVE to sell certain NiMH batteries for transportation applications in North America until the second half of 2007, and commercial quantities of certain NiMH batteries in North America until the second half of 2010.

    Additionally, Ovonic Battery Co. and ECD Ovonics received a $10 million patent license fee, Cobasys received a $20 million patent license fee, $16 million of which was earmarked to reimburse legal expenses, and Cobasys would receive royalties on certain batteries sold by Matushita/PEVE in North America.

    Licensing terms were expanded in 2005, with PEVE granted further license to sell NiMH batteries for certain transportation applications in North America, in exchange for royalties paid to Cobasys through 2014.

    PEVE currently makes batteries for several Toyota brands, Daihatsu, Hyundai/Kia, and Hino.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobasys

    IV. My Comments: Hmmm. So is it safe to say that NiMH technology is a monopoly and should be broken up? Why yes, i believe the gov’t should intervene.


  351. 351
    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (3:22 pm)

    III. PATENT DISPUTE:
    Panasonic EV Energy (PEVE), a joint venture between Matsushita and Toyota begun in 1996, pioneered several advances in large-format NiMH batteries suitable for electric vehicles.

    PEVE supplied higher capacity (28Ah-95Ah) NiMH batteries for use in Toyota, Honda, and Ford battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that began production in 1997.

    PEVE’s lower capacity batteries powered the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) Toyota Prius, which was introduced in Japan in 1997, and sold 18,000 units in its first year of production, as well as the first Honda Insight and Civic hybrid models.

    BEV production by major automakers ceased in the early 2000s, with most leased BEV vehicles crushed by their manufacturers, and replacement batteries unavailable for remaining vehicles.

    A 2001 patent infringement lawsuit brought by ECD Ovonics and Ovonic Battery Company, Inc. against Matsushita, Toyota, and PEVE was settled in July 2004. Settlement terms called for cross-licensing between parties of current and future NiMH-related patents filed through December 31, 2014.

    The terms did not allow Matushita, Toyota, and PEVE to sell certain NiMH batteries for transportation applications in North America until the second half of 2007, and commercial quantities of certain NiMH batteries in North America until the second half of 2010.

    Additionally, Ovonic Battery Co. and ECD Ovonics received a $10 million patent license fee, Cobasys received a $20 million patent license fee, $16 million of which was earmarked to reimburse legal expenses, and Cobasys would receive royalties on certain batteries sold by Matushita/PEVE in North America.

    Licensing terms were expanded in 2005, with PEVE granted further license to sell NiMH batteries for certain transportation applications in North America, in exchange for royalties paid to Cobasys through 2014.

    PEVE currently makes batteries for several Toyota brands, Daihatsu, Hyundai/Kia, and Hino.

    IV. My Comments: Hmmm. So is it safe to say that NiMH technology is a monopoly and should be broken up? Why yes, i believe the gov’t should intervene


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (5:42 pm)

    AFS has an SUV that supposedly will be able to go 40 miles on battery. So GM definitely better top 50 with a lightweight car.

    http://www.greencar.com/features/afs-trinity/


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (5:47 pm)

    Michael #348 and before,

    Thanks, and you are right monopolies always harm the people, producing less that it is efficient to do.

    They must be splitted, and better destroyed.


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (5:49 pm)

    Kelvin #338,

    I agree with you Kelvin. We try – since the beginning of this site -to keep the wording respectful, informed and serious.


  355. 355
    Don Lemna

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (6:05 pm)

    The battery is the hard part. Car bodies, electric motors, software–all that is within relatively easy reach. But the battery… Where are the “settled” details on the battery system?


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    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (10:51 pm)

    The battery details? Probably not going to be released….Toyota/Honda would just take the research and beat us to the final punch.


  357. 357
    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (10:52 pm)

    So if we can’t see the sensitive stuff, what can we ask for? There must be some kind of results that they can publish…results that we would know aren’t tampered with or the numbers fudged.


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    nasaman

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (11:25 pm)

    352 Michael Thompson

    A few days ago I posted some state-of-the-art Li-Ion battery data on another thread that I’ll provide again here. The final production version of the Volt’s battery, based on reliable (published) sources that I won’t identify should meet or exceed the following*….

    1) The complete battery should weigh <300Lbs (NOT 400Lbs or more, as often reported) —Lithium-Ion cells and full-up batteries alike are deceptively light in weight for their size/volume

    2) The battery’s EOL (end of life) should reach at least 15 years when fully cycled daily (i.e., 365 x 15 = 5,475 full chrg/dschrg cycles)

    3) The Volt’s EV-only range at EOL in normal driving should exceed 50 miles & its BOL (beginning of life) range should exceed 65 miles

    4) The final production price to GM of the full-up battery for the Gen 1 Volt should be less than $3,500 in the quantities I expect they will contract to purchase

    *Again, although these figures are based on reliable sources, not on outright speculation, they are NOT based on inside information from GM. The data above is based on my best judgement and my specific experience in the US space program (one of my specialties is long-life, high-power batteries). It would be reckless and irresponsible for GM to release battery performance data.


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    Gair meister

     

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    May 17th, 2008 (11:28 pm)

    I hope this is true. I hope they do away with the ICE all together, and simply bring back their wonderful pure EV … only leave it as a 4 door. With so many PR Volt statements from Lutz, many look on with caution. If the Volt gets released as promised, and Toyota bests GM with an even longer EV range car, well the Volt may end up looking like the Titanic next to USS Enterprise … blowing ‘em out of the water. It better be good.


  360. 360
    koz

     

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    May 18th, 2008 (12:20 am)

    Nasaman,

    I posted this a little earlier in this thread. Are you at liberty to answer these questions?

    “2) The battery’s EOL (end of life) should reach at least 15 years when fully cycled daily (i.e., 365 x 15 = 5,475 full chrg/dschrg cycles)

    3) The Volt’s EV-only range at EOL in normal driving should exceed 50 miles & its BOL (beginning of life) range should exceed 65 miles”

    Very exciting comments. If this is accurate, it is tremendous. I have some questions related to the above items.

    2) Do you mean full pack cycles (0% – 100%) or Volt discharge cycles (~30%-80%)? I assume from your math that this is considering the Volt’s cycle. Plenty good either way. Does this mean both vendors batteries meet this or only one?

    3) What are you considering “normal” driving? Sounds like the pack will be larger than 16KWh or they are planning to expand the Volt discharge cycle or both. Do you know which is the case?


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    Lon

     

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    May 18th, 2008 (12:30 am)

    Just bring back the best electric car ever the EV-1. By the time you get the Volt out the Japs will have been selling them for several years and everyone who is tired of being raped by the oil companies will have bought one already. And anyone that hasn’t will be out of work, too broke to buy one or you’ll be bankrupped. Most of us long time GM fans are tired of hearing or seeing these wonderful concept vehicles that we will never get a chance to own. Give us American made quality and stand behind it.


  362. 362
    Jerry

     

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    May 18th, 2008 (8:09 am)

    Some of the forum posting seem to be concerned with heating the car in cold climates. I have an electric oil filled heater in my home that works well. I suggest that as the Volt charges overnight some of that electricity is used to heat the engine oil. ( after making a complete charge of the batteries ) The hot engine oilf can have a heat exchanger running through it which can supply instant heat. Maybe this heating can even be automated to work by sensing outside temp. and heat needs.


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    Joe

     

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    May 18th, 2008 (10:28 am)

    I like the drive design. it’s what I’ve wanted for some time. It separates the drive and power generation.

    An electric powered car with a small piston engine gas generator. I’m hoping the engineers do the smart thing and make the power generator (relatively) easily changeable.

    Then you could use a gas turbine instead of a piston engine. Or a small diesel engine. Or a fuel cell (using some of MITs new trick technology). or simply more batteries, for those who are not using it as a long range vehicle (ie: greater than a single change with max batteries).

    This would allow them to sell the car into markets with different energy distribution infrastructures. Europe could go diesel generator. Japan could go all electric. South America, bio-diesel.

    If I could load the thing up with bigger stack of A123 batteries, it would serve all my driving needs. I never drive more than about 250 miles in a day (only at holidays, to see grandparents). And rarely over 100 (my round trip commute plus a few side trips).

    I’d *so* prefer doing those drives in a hot electric roadster. Say, a Solstice body with a better interior (sorry GM. “A+” for body, “B+” for handling, “C” for power, “D-” for interior. Have the interior designers go drive some Japanese cars then come back and re-design it, please. 6″ sunk gauges with chrome trim? Ugly *and* dysfunctional. Is this where the “Aztec” team was re-assigned?)

    And congrats to the engineers on their technical work. But don’t forget, the devil is in the details.

    If this is done right, it could not only be GMs defining moment but could be *the* historic point of the auto industry.

    An idea: For each of the first editions (first model year in each country) include a metal plate (something that won’t rust), visible in the motor compartment, etched with the signatures and names of the engineering design team. Include them all. And perhaps an appropriate quote from Bob.


  364. 364
    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 18th, 2008 (5:02 pm)

    How’d you get a C for power? The electric vehicles seemed to have quite a bit of power from what I have read. Of course, I never knew about the EV’s in the late 90′s and early 00′s because it was never advertised here.

    I happen to like the GM interior’s. Perhaps GM can put a few more screws in the dash and side panels so things don’t rattle. That seems to be where the major concern has been.

    The problem I find with foreign cars (Honda, Toyota) is that they’re all alike. It’s the same boring style. In my opinion, that’s why GM has been so popular.

    People started going to Honda, Toyota, Kia, and Hyundai because they were cheaper. It’s all about money. Of course, in the early days, the foreign car makers had to include a 100,000 mile warranty and things like that to get people to buy them.

    Chevy/GM is in a new generation. They’ve started including the 100,000 mile warranty too. So if they don’t build things properly, they end up forking out the money.

    Yes, perhaps GM was a bit slow, but I’ve seen GM’s outperform and out stand the foreign cars. Of course i’m in Pennsylvania and the winters come with lots of snow, cold, ice, cinders, and salt.

    Note that when I say foreign, i mean where is the “mothership”? Where is the main headquarters? I realize that Honda, Toyota, etc. have US secondary headquarters now. But the primary hq is overseas. Hence, when people buy those vehicles, it might be possible that an American has worked on the vehicle, but many of the parts and the bulk of the money for the vehicle goes overseas.

    So the real question is, how can GM lure back customers? And what can it guarantee to the customers who do decide to by US vehicles again?


  365. 365
    Robert V. (Canada)

     

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    May 18th, 2008 (5:27 pm)

    Michael Thompson #340,
    You seem to have a lot of spare in life, or you must be on the pay roll of GM, but your bashing is equivalent to mine. Yes, Korean, that kind of mistake happens when you speak 3 languages.

    Here some topics that you should know !

    General Motors used many advanced technologies in developing the EV1, considering 1996. These included:

    Aluminium frame
    Dent resistant side panels
    Anti-lock brakes
    Traction control
    Heat pump (Heater/AC)
    Keyless entry and keyless ignition
    Special one-way thermal glass to allow for better heat rejection
    Regenerative braking
    Very low drag coefficient – Cd~0.19, CdA~0.36 m² (3.95 ft²)
    Super light magnesium alloy wheels
    Self-sealing & low rolling resistance tires (developed by Michelin)
    Automated tire pressure loss warning system
    Magnesium framed seats
    Time programmable HVAC (cabin heating or cooling) settings
    Most of these technologies were included to improve the overall efficiency of the EV1.

    The first generation EV1s used lead-acid batteries in 1996 (as model year 1997) and a second generation batch with nickel metal hydride batteries in 1999. Some of the Gen 1 EV1s were refurbished and upgraded to Panasonic lead-acid batteries.

    The Gen 1 cars got 55 to 75 miles (90 to 120 km) per charge with the Delco-manufactured lead-acid batteries, 75 to 100 miles (120-to-160 km) with the Gen 2 Panasonic lead-acid batteries, and 75 to 150 miles (120 to 240 km) per charge with Gen 2 Ovonic nickel-metal hydride batteries. Recharging took as much as eight hours for a full charge (although one could get an 80% charge in two to three hours). The battery pack consisted of 26 12-volt lead-acid batteries holding 67.4 MJ (18.7 kWh) of energy or 26 13.2-volt nickel-metal hydride batteries which held 95.1 MJ (26.4 kWh) of energy.

    The Gen.1 could go on 55 to 75 miles per charge on simple lead-acid batteries. Now, they are stalling production for much powerful batteries (lithium-ion), but down to 40 miles per charge. Poor GM staff cannot make his mind on styling, tires, size of tires, solar top or not, the approx. price, 4 or 5 seating cars and the list is just beginning…

    Mr. Thompson, you are so naive to believe Motor Trend or whatever American magazine that elect the CTS; “Car of the Year”!!!
    And Car and Driver chooses the Malibu as “Car of the Year”!!!
    This is a real joke ! Remember when the American magazines elected, at that time, the CORVAIR, “Car of the Year”. One thing though, to swallow everything like this, you are a pathetic guy at least…

    Wait… in 2015; the VOLT will be “Car of the Year”! Meanwhile the Japanese cars are selling far above Am. K cars!!!
    Bash yourself to your empty bla bla bla!


  366. 366
    Jim Liljegren

     

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    May 18th, 2008 (5:56 pm)

    As a mechanical engineer myself, I’d like to congratulate the engineers at GM who made this work! I look forward to purchasing a Volt. Now that gas prices are over $4 per gallon (here in Chicago), it should not be hard to achieve the sales goal of 50,000 per year. But don’t everyone plug into the grid at once (that is, when you get home at night). Will the Volt have a way to delay charging the battery? That is, say I plug in when I get home around 6 pm because it’s convenient — will I be able to set charging not to start until 10 pm when electric use (and hourly rates) drop? Although most people now pay average electric rates, it is possible to sign up for hourly rates, and I think more people will do this as average rates rise.


  367. 367
    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 19th, 2008 (8:07 am)

    #365 Robert V

    Nah, I don’t work for GM. Not even close. I work in Information Technology as an IT Auditor.

    This site interests me. Most everyone brings something new to the table that I didn’t know before. We all do research and come back and share the results with each other. That’s the point of this site, to educate each other so we know what this VOLT car does and know the history to its challenges.

    I never knew of EV1 until late 2000′s. I find it ironic and odd that such a great revolution was kept from so many people. Infact nobody in the area that I live in ever heard of EV1.

    And by the way, that was Kevin R in #339 that mentioned Cadillac CTS. Although I do like the new style caddy’s as well. GM puts out a decent looking car. If they can make them more reliable, which by going to electric should definitely help, then GM might survive.

    The only point I was trying to make is that


  368. 368
    Michael Thompson

     

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    May 19th, 2008 (8:12 am)

    Sorry this cut me off.

    To complete my last sentence…

    The only point I was trying to make is that GM puts out decent cars. Maybe not the top of the line, but decent. I’d take a GM body over a foreign vehicle.

    My mother had a Chevy Lumina and it hit 180,000 miles. The body itself started to rust after 14 years. The engine still runs and was purchased by someone to put in their vehicle. I know plenty of people with Grand Prix’s that have put 250k or more miles on them…in the North even.

    I’d say that’s pretty good for any vehicle.


  369. 369
    Mariasu

     

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    May 19th, 2008 (10:39 pm)

    Judging the Tesla Roadster and Chevy Volt by different standards

    There has long been an engaging absurdity in the province of cars. For some peculiar intellect, tribe who bribe really dear cars are inclined to make more compromises to the foibles of the car and chop them more remiss. How else to explain affliction that owners of Italian exotics withstood for decades in provisions of trustworthiness, ergonomics and erect quality. Buyers of mainstream cars that often have far fewer problems like a percentage of the enumerate of vehicles built have a paroxysm at every little thing that goes unfair. That identical absurdity exists today. The Tesla pad by power of its price and accomplishment falls into entry flat of extraneous cars. malevolence large delays in acquirement the car into produce, and liable compromised in provisions of its functionality, most tribe have been inclined to chop the car and the company a doom of remiss, myself included. In my covering my experience in the auto industry allows me to perceive the impediment of the labor Tesla had. I never truly expected them to meet their assailing timing targets and I’ve written ward large occasions around the potential problems they might have. Nonetheless most tribe believed in the company.


  370. 370
    daniel

     

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    May 19th, 2008 (11:45 pm)

    Why doesn’t GM just go and get an EV1 out of a museum. It got over 100 mpg and had full regeneration and didn’t have the aerodynamics of a brick.

    GM made the biggest mistake they could ever make when they canceled the EV1.


  371. 371
    Steve

     

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    May 20th, 2008 (4:09 am)

    There’s alot of us retired baby boomers who drive short distances and live on fixed incomes that are sick of paying terrorist for their damn expensive gas.
    I would like to make 2 suggestions: We don’t need an electric car that can compete with the speed and luxury of a gas hog. For marketing purposes, how about making a bare bones electric car (minimun electrical features, manual windows, no a/c) Yeah, I know this sounds like a golf cart, but try to build a truely efficient vehicle and see if people are willing to forgo a little luxury for economy.
    Also, how about embeding solar cells in all top surfaces so we wouldn’t have to plug into the grid. Thank you.


  372. 372
    Michael Travaline

     

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    May 20th, 2008 (5:43 am)

    II agree with Daniel – Comment # 370 – GM had a working model in the past that they scrapped; I am waiting for the 1st “totally electric” street legal car from Asian, Canada or Europe to be sold to the public in Canada.


  373. 373
    Robert V. (Canada)

     

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    May 20th, 2008 (3:19 pm)

    Since we are all talking about Hybrid cars; I am suggesting you to take a look at a different, but similar, way of enjoying transportation.

    Enjoy the animation complemented with music and sound.

    Those that do not have to go to work every day.
    Baby Boomers maybe? See for yourself how an engineer from Quebec (Canada), transformed an old idea to a new one.

    And it on sale for a few years, on the market.

    http://www.verdier.ca/

    You are welcome.


  374. 374
    Ian P

     

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    May 20th, 2008 (11:18 pm)

    Mariasu Comment 369. You sound like a politician. I just read your reply and wonder WTF you are talking about :-)


  375. 375
    Ed M

     

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    May 21st, 2008 (4:32 pm)

    The Chevy Volt will be the death knell for most hybrids. Who would drive a hybrid over an electric car with extention. It wouldn’t surprise me to see batteries advancing at even more rapid rates than over the next 10 years. I would expect to see much greater mileage between charges and quicker charge rates, now that full attention is being paid to them. There could be a problem getting enough lithium but we’ll leave that one to the geologists.
    I wonder if an electric truck can be made with enough power and torque to pull RV trailor ? Anybody got a comment ?


  376. 376
    Dan

     

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    May 21st, 2008 (9:28 pm)

    This is fantastic news,
    When can we buy one.


  377. 377
    Arch

     

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    May 21st, 2008 (10:11 pm)

    #375 Ed M

    You may well be right.

    Take Care
    Arch


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    P²

     

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    May 22nd, 2008 (1:34 pm)

    Bravo Steve, I wished that GM would keep it simple and and get it to market sooner.
    Luxury can come later.

    We as a country need this soon.


  379. 379
    Robert V. (Canada)

     

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    May 22nd, 2008 (4:24 pm)

    #375 / Ed M,

    “The Chevy Volt will be the death knell for most hybrids”…

    The early EV1 was a real electric car. Do not be mistaken Mr Ed.
    The Volt with rechargeable batteries will still depend on the small engine for longer trips.

    The only difference with the actual American Hybrids cars and trucks is that they are not rechargeable and less efficient than the Japaneese counterpart.
    The Volt is still an Hybrid in a way and depend on gasoline, unless you are not traveling within the 40 miles between batteries recharges.
    Now, the Prius recharge the batteries while using the braking system. I hope that the Volt will use the same approach to stretch the autonomy of the car to at least 50 miles before a replug.

    Interpretation could be confusing sometimes, I understand !


  380. 380
    Ed M

     

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    May 22nd, 2008 (5:03 pm)

    Robert V. (Canada) #375
    While I agree with your post, what I was trying to say was that I see a bigger future for the Chevy Volt concept than I do for any hybid built today. I don’t own a hybid so I’m not completely familiar with them. But my understanding is the moment you start moving the hybid’s are using gas whereas the Volt isn’t. Most drivers rarely drive over 100 mile/day. With better battery technology looming, the volt could meet a 100 mile requirement within a few years.
    With much better batteries, ev owners could pull into electric stalls along the freeway to charge their batteries in a few minutes, much like we gas up now. Motels could also provide charging hookups for clients, the possibilities are endless. Gasoline usage may go the way of the horse.


  381. 381
    Joe B

     

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    May 22nd, 2008 (5:28 pm)

    Ed M

    Unlike most hybrids that require the ICE to move the new two mode hybrid from GM uses electric motor only up to 30 MPH. At 30 MPH the ICE kicks in but the electric remains and switches to the 2nd electric motor at higher speeds. The 2nd electric motor ir geared for the highway and the first for lower speeds around town. GM is the first manufacturer to come out with a hybrid offering fuel savings not only in city driving but also highway. This new system can be found in the Tahoo and Yukon now and the Silverado 2nd half of 08.

    This is a really good video to watch (Jay Leno showing off the Yukon two mode hybrid): http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/video_player.shtml?vid=236922
    Link to the GM website: http://www.chevrolet.com/hybrid/


  382. 382
    Dave Komorowski

     

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    May 22nd, 2008 (10:59 pm)

    Hey thats awesome but Super capicitor technology is here,, chevy needs to power the volt with super caps smaqller in size and hold many times more energy and can be recharged in litte as 10 min and probably get about 350 miles to a charge , come on GM. I know you can do It Im so Excited to see Us car manufacturer doing this , Please dont let us down ..Its more than just an electric Car…


  383. 383
    Matt

     

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    May 23rd, 2008 (4:11 pm)

    I don’t want to be a put down, but why is everyone so excited about a car that can travel a meager 40 miles per charge? They could to so much better!

    Tesla Motors has had the Tesla Roadster for 2 years now. It is a pure electric sports car and it gets 250 miles per charge! and they are a small start up company. Yet a massive company like GM with all of its resources can only come up with 40 miles? They did 40 miles with the EV1 back in 99 or has everone forgotten about that?


  384. 384
    Robert V. (Canada)

     

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    May 23rd, 2008 (4:45 pm)

    Joe B #381,

    What you are explaining to Ed M is a new and different hybrid than The Saturn Aura Hybrid and the Malibu Hybrid selling right now. After many tests, these two cars are not the equivalent of the Japanese approach.

    1- The GM Hybrids are using 6 hp of power batteries to start and the engine. The engine is cut off standing in the traffic. (A bit of fuel economy, but not that much. Less than an Honda Accord 4 cyl., but not by much.

    2- Example : The Prius from Toyota stops the engine too at a red light but do not use the engine power to restart at the green light. Unless you push the pedal on the floor to accelerate to get more performance from the engine and the batteries together.
    If not, the acceleration is smoothly powered by the batteries up to 30 mph (50kmh), the limited speed in any city.

    Ed M is right when he writes that the Volt will not use any engine power up to 40 miles, whatever the demand on acceleration. A plus for economy.

    RVC


  385. 385
    Ed M

     

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    May 24th, 2008 (12:29 am)

    Matt 383:  it comes down to 3 numbers, the Tesla roadster (a 2 seater) about $100,000.  EV1(I think it was also a 2 seater with 1200 pounds of batteries)  about $80,000. Chevy Volt, a 4 seater with 400 pounds of batteries about $30,000.
    I’m sure GM could install another $50,000 worth of batteries in the Volt’s back seat and get better electric mileage,  but most folks could not afford the car. Also the ease of charging and charge times might differ with more batteries.
    I believe the Chevy li-ion battery will be more advanced than the Tesla batteries and we may all get a big mileage surprise when it finally arrives. At the rate that battery technology is advancing, Chevy Volt drivers may be able to upgrade in a few years for better mileage and charge rates.


  386. 386
    John

     

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    May 25th, 2008 (7:54 am)

    reply to # 25:
    BigCityCat, I am sorry , but I just cannot ignore something you posted . You  seem to think that an assembly line worker making $ 50.00 is having a hard time. I did the math to be sure, and that gives a gross annual salary if $104,000 , based on an 8 hour work day, 5 days a week.
    What planet are you from ?


  387. 387
    Apex

     

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    May 26th, 2008 (1:53 pm)

    And they say we Volt enthusiasts are a bunch of kooks, cult members with too much faith in a pipe dream.
    Prove em wrong GM ! Prove em wrong !
     
     


  388. 388
    Robert V. (Canada)

     

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    May 28th, 2008 (2:58 pm)

    After killing the EV1, which pleased many owners in its original configuration, GM is trying very hard to accommodate everybody in various aspects to reconstruct the electric car.

    The last news would be that this car could cost a minimum of $45,000 to please the first buyers previewed on its first year sale in 2010 !

    Another one is that you would buy the car, but the batteries could only be rented !

    How many surprises are waiting the enthusiasts since the first 10,000 cars produced for the public for the first year of production ?  I wonder…


  389. 389
    Robert Stolting

     

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    May 28th, 2008 (3:56 pm)

    It looks very encouraging.  One thought though….Has GM considered the possibility of installing solar panels on the roof of the VOLT to allow the batteries to charge while the car sits in the parking lot all day.  This could be like a sunroof that could be withdrawn during bad weather (hail, etc.)  8-10 hours in the Texas sun should give a pretty good charge to those batteries!


  390. 390
    AHK

     

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    May 29th, 2008 (1:59 pm)

    The GM EV-1 got approximately 100 miles per charge 10 or more years ago (before they killed the electric car).  Why the excitement for the Volt which gets 40 miles per charge???

    More lameness from the General.
     


  391. 391
    DM

     

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    May 30th, 2008 (5:29 am)

    This is what our country needs most right now!!!! Innovation!!!


  392. 392
    Robert V. (Canada)

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (6:16 pm)

    Robert Stolting #389,

    As you may know, Texas is not the center of America ! Even not the center of the world… T.G.

    If you want removable solar energy, be ready to pay for quite an expensive option from GM. They are the king in that domain… Don’t you know ? That is why this guarantee you all, that Volt, if sees the day, will cost over 45,000$.

    They have to work on the coefficient of air, that is actually incompatible, redesign the whole concept from front to end.

    Your country needs more than “innovation”, right now, this country is on decline…! And it is not an electric car of a production of 10,000 cars that will change America. Stop the wars FIRST !


  393. 393
    don

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (10:37 am)

    At 30,000 they will sell a ton of these cars, at 40,000 people will start to sit on the fence trying to decide is it really worth it and at the current estimated price of 48,000 it is only those that want something different or enviromentally friendly and not looking at recovering their costs. Also with a life expectancy of only 10 years for the batteries and a cost of $10,000 currently, it will be something to consider when thinking your going to save money on gas.


  394. 394
    Robert V. (Canada)

     

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    Jun 4th, 2008 (6:19 pm)

    Don, you are absolutely right,

    Every average North American family is focused on the price they will have to pay. With millions of American families who losted their home with another financial “crap” from the banks and other “sharks” in that business; they will not get-in that Electric Dream. GM is laying off workers in plant producing Suvs and Trucks. Do you think that these ex-workers will still buy American cars ???
    If Americans earning over 150,000$ per year are shopping to Wall-Mart to save a bit of money… They don’t hesitate for prestige and value when it is time to buy a car.

    They won’t be afraid to pay for luxury cars: Lexus, BMW, Mercedes and they will overpass the CTS; “The supposedly Car of the Year”……. What a joke ! Only 2 cars in my luxury project of 500 houses.
    Average 3-car garages. Topic Gimmick Again !

    Gm has a lot to prove in the years to come…


  395. 395
    stas peterson

     

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    Jun 4th, 2008 (7:32 pm)

    To all the conspiracy theorists that think the EV-1 and lead acid 3 year batteries for $80,000 was viable, your are all whacked out on smoking too much rope. No automaker persisted in making EV1 generation cars, not GM, not Ford, not Toyota, not Honda, not anyone. Car collector’s will collect anything. Why I saw someone who was proud of his pile of junk that was crushed under an Evil Knieval’s cycle jump. The one that he didn’t quite make.

    GM’s only mistake was to crush EV-1s, since they didn’t want to pay warranty claims. Otherwise they would be collector’s items amd some a$$ wipe wouldn’t have been develop a conspiracy movie and make a bundle, milking the eco-wackos. They’re dumb enough to believe anything.

    As the fellow in the movie said: “If God didn’t want them to be sheared, he would not have made them sheep!”

    To the usual Tesla proponents. Despite all the hype, they haven’t built any production Teslas. They have a couple of prototypes that all the press gets to drive around in for a day or two. Its a Vapor-car!

    No one yet has produced a truly super cap that has been handed to anyone else for independent evaluation. These are the “super caps” that hold a 100+ miles of charge, are commonly talked about, and as rare to see and touch, as the 100mpg carburetors, or a gross of chicken lips.

    There are super caps that can hold a few seconds of power but nothing that wil hold even a few miles of charge. These are useful to allow buffer storage of lots of high regen rate power, and to provide momentary high power assist at takeoff, but that is all.

    To all the discussion for recharge. It is common to get a 20A, 110v circuit. Using that woud cut recharge time by one quarter over a 15A,110v circuit.


  396. 396
    Ian P

     

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    Jun 4th, 2008 (9:01 pm)

    Re Post 394 Robert V.

    1) Capacitors will remain in their domain for what they are – high-energy capacity devices, not watt/hour storage devices. They will help the EV reach it’s peak demand as your post says, but they will probably never be watt/hour storage devices as the physics just does’nt stack up.

    2) Interesting that the Americas are 15 or 20A houshold circuits when most of the rest of the world is 15-20A also – but at more than double the voltage (254V where I live!), hence more than double the available power and halving of the charge time. Is the US going to be at a disadvantage by their network then if recharging at home is the approach?.


  397. 397
    Joe B

     

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    Jun 4th, 2008 (9:10 pm)

    Re Post 396 Ian P

    Hi Ian, I am not sure where you live but where I live in the U.S. I have 300 amp service at 240 volts to my house. My 2 fuse boxes break down the 240v to 120v (30 and 20 amp) where needed. I have many 30 amp 240 volt connections in my house and garage. I am sure one of them can handle a GM Volt if needed. You might say I have options. And one of them is my little kids will not burn a hand off if they put something in one of the 120v plugs.

    Thanks
    Joe


  398. 398
    Ian P

     

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    Jun 4th, 2008 (9:41 pm)

    Re Post 397 Joe B

    Im in Australia and hope they bring the Volt here. If they don’t, I fully intend to import one myself.

    I believe a lot of houses have 3-phase power too, but those that don’t wil be stuck.

    Our kids don’t get their hands burned due to earth leakage circuit breakers which my wife made me prove to her work :-) I actually tested that it worked first, then shocked myself to prove it’s safe. Hardly a tingle :-)

    Another thought about EVs is the silence is deafening. I will be so pleased that the big V8 so-called super-car noise will one day be a thing of the past!


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    Flux Capacitor

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (8:36 pm)

    The Chevy Volt is awesome. For the software development, do NOT let more than 6 developers work on a single module. EVERY great piece of software ever written has been done with 6 or fewer coders, with 4 being the sweet spot. Most SW projects today are riddled with problems because they put too many people in the kitchen. The “agile” methodology deployed today has the HIGHEST FAILURE RATE in the history of programming (~62%), just remember that GM !!


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    USA Powa

     

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (8:52 pm)

    FYI, ALL power supplied to homes in the United States is 220 VOLTS. No homes are supplied with 110-115 volts. The outlets INSIDE the home use 115 volts (one phase). Also, no power is DISTRIBUTED to the home site at 220, usually it is 660 VOLTS or higher at the driveway. So, my point is that USA is well positioned for EV charging at home. My concern would be that the local governments will start using the Utility Companies as “cash cows” once EV usage takes off. In other words they will “tax-the-hell” out of electricity, just like they do gasoline at the pump.


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    AJS

     

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    Jul 5th, 2008 (8:28 am)

    If GM is moving forward on this, then I applaud them for their advances. Not too long ago, they were a bit pessimistic about when this would be ready. Please go to the website: http://oilfreellc.com and view the 8.5 minutes preview of the CNN special: “We were warned: Out of Gas” , broadcast on May 18, 2008. Bob Lutz is interviewed and gives a slightly different picture of their progress at that time (probably taped at NAIAS in January). If they are making progress on the Volt, then they deserve our attention…it could be a very good alternative for those who can afford it.


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    Mel

     

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    Aug 10th, 2008 (9:25 pm)

    Just get the price closer to $20K…otherwise, I’m in!


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    Anonymous

     

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    Oct 8th, 2008 (7:25 pm)

    Funny isnt it….this is NOT NEW TECHNOLOGY. Saturn introduced the FIRST REAL ELECTRIC VEHICLE BACK IN 1996…..But what did GM do…they caved to political presure and destroyed the vehicle….which I assume they do the same to the VOLT….GM has a habit of killing projects that sell well.


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    idk

     

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    Nov 30th, 2008 (11:37 am)

    cool, but why cant ford do something like this


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    DaveB

     

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    Aug 15th, 2009 (6:07 pm)

    After reviewing numerous documents regarding the upcoming 2011 Chevy Volt being designed by GM I perceive the following problems:

    BACKGROUND: the car Is being designed to be used only for short trips of about 40 miles powered by a 400 pound Lithium Ion battery and a 149hp electric motor. It has been estimated that this will serve the daily needs of most users going to and from work. The car is then to be plugged into a standard AC electric
    outlet and recharged during the night and be ready in the morning for another daily 40 mile trip. Learning from their previous electric car disaster the EV1, GM is also including a 100hp gasoline engine with 7gal gas tank that will drive a large generator that will power the electric motor if/when the battery can no longer do so. This is take place primarily if the driver continues to operate the vehicle after driving it for 40mi and not recharging it. The gas powered generator is not allowed to recharge the battery under any circumstances.

    PROBLEM 1: is purchase price. I do not know many people who are ready, willing and able to pay $40,000 for a small car to drive back and forth to work on a daily basis. Sure there are a few that will buy it but not nearly enough to make this product profitable. And all of the current “hype” that it gets 230mpg is all smoke and mirrors as new measurement standards are being developed by the EPA.

    PROBLEM 2: is operating costs. Most areas of the country have tiered electrical rates. In other words recharging their Volt on a daily basis adds to highest rate that they are paying for all other utilities which is greater than the baseline rate quoted estimated a $.03 per mile cost. Realistically it is more like $.05 per mile which “equates” to about 60mpg Additionally, today’s gasoline prices are going down and electric rates going up putting a damper on the long term outlook. When driven more than 40 miles the volt is no better than most hybrids on the market today that cost a whole lot less and deliver about 50mpg.

    PROBLEM 3: when everything is running according to plan the gasoline engine, tank and generator are “excess baggage and costs” used only for an emergency. I think that it would be a lot smarter to eliminate them and have warning lights indicating when the battery is getting low and will need recharging. The EV1 was too limited in mileage for this to be effective.

    PROBLEM 4: if the driver wishes to use this car for much longer trips or on vacation the battery becomes 400lbs of excess weight and there is no easy way to temporarily remove it for this usage. I think that GM should include a switch that will allow the driver to recharge the battery while driving more than the 40 mile limit making it more like all of the hybrid vehicles that are now available.

    PROBLEM 5. most people are not going to like having to plug in their car every night to recharge it especially in the winter or when it is raining. Additionally many drivers do not have easy access to an AC outlet, especially those who live in apartments and some condominiums.

    PROBLEM 6: we have all been using Lithium Ion batteries for the last 10 years in our cell phones and laptop computers and have not experienced one to last more than 3 years with good functionality. And we do not subject these devices to outdoor summers of Arizona or winters of North Dakota. The battery in the Volt costs about $8,000 and will have to be replaced about every 3 years regardless of what the warrantee states. GM will not be able to continue to support or sell additional Volts until this problem is solved which will require a totally new design which is being partially funded by our government at this time.

    PROBLEM 7: is depreciation. With technology changing so rapidly the value of a 2011 Volt will decrease rapidly. What else is new?


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    Issac

     

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    Nov 29th, 2009 (8:58 pm)

    Between my family we’ve had more prepaid credit cards over time than I can total, including Netspend, Greendot, etc. But, the last few years we have found that this one is the best for are family AccountNow Visa. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and no trouble to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) AccountNow Visa’s are.


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    Gregory Despain

     

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    Nov 29th, 2009 (8:58 pm)

    Between me and my wife we’ve owned more prepaid credit cards over time than we can total, including Rushcard, Greendot, etc. But, the last few years we have found that one is the best for our needs AccountNow Visa. Why? Because I was thrilled to discover how well-designed and easy to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) AccountNow Visa’s are.


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    Denna Gaus

     

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    Dec 28th, 2009 (1:28 pm)

    Dear admin; I conclude u r a dumbass motherfocker stoopid sh1t. I despise you for the evil things you say in your blog!!! LONG LIVE THE TURKISH FEDERATION!!!!