Jun 28

Lutz Explains Why the EV-1 Can’t Simply Be Reintroduced

 

After GM first introduced the Chevy Volt concept in January 2007, there was a lot of ire and skepticism from the former EV-1 crowd.  Most vocal among them was Doug Korthoff who appeared in the film Who Killed the Electric Car?

Doug has since filled the web with extensive anti-GM rhetoric and used to make appearances on this site.  He and I had a chance to meet in LA last year as well, quite cordially.

In response to an article in the LA Times outlining the Big 3 automakers financial difficulties, Doug has reappeared with a letter to the editor that he copied to GM vice-chair Bob Lutz.

Doug’s letter:

"GM has been seriously looking for options for getting more fuel-efficient cars on the market quickly, because there is some question about its financial health after 2008.  Rebranding foreign cars has become more expensive as the dollar falls.  GM has proposed producing the VOLT, described as an Electric car with a range-extender, but it isn’t planned for earlier than 2011, and it depends on Lithium batteries which don’t yet exist.

There is one option GM has not considered, which would turn things around, both in image and in reality.

GM could resume production of the 1999 EV1, using Panasonic lead-acid batteries.  These were leased in Arizona in 2000, and regularly attained a range of over 100 miles on a charge.

Resumption of production would be simple; the EV1 plant is empty, the former assembly workers have been laid off and are idly drawing "jobs bank" salaries, the batteries are available off-the-shelf in any quantities over 1000, and the design is proven successful.

Production of the EV1 does not depend on an expensive product design cycle, new engineering, questionable battery testing and recalls; it’s a proven winner.

This is the GM car that fans watched over in a rain-plagued vigil for 28 days.  Here’s an example where would-be purchasers clamored for a chance to buy GM products, hoping for the faint chance that GM would sell six-year-old used versions for $25,000 cash.

Supposedly, GM is now bemoaning the lack of enthusiasm for its current products; why not re-activate the EV1 fan club, recharge the excitement of the "21st century test pilot" GM fans, and turn GM around?  Spend scarce engineering dollars on new versions of the EV1: four-passenger, pickups, serial hybrid with range-extender; but the current version could be in showrooms in six months.

If GM had re-started the EV1 line, instead of starting design work on the VOLT, the EV1 would already be generating revenue right now.

Fresh off the assembly line, these cars would sell for no less than $35,000, perhaps as much as $50,000 or more.  But the morale value would be even greater.

Revival of the EV1 would quiet GM’s critics, make GM some money, and attract new customers as well as increase floor traffic for other models.  New and improved versions of the basic Electric car, year after year, would expand GM’s footprint on the world market, leveraging scarce investment dollars, maximizing profit and leading the way forward.

And we could say once again that our cars were "made in America and fueled by American Electrons".

Is it a measure of GM’s past failure that resumption of EV1 production is not even under consideration?"

Apparently having heard enough of this Mr. Lutz in his earnest no-nonsense way decided to respond:

"The EV will not meet any current safety laws. Putting a version into production that meets regulations would put us out to ’11 or ’12. They cost us well over $80,000 to produce, and, being a two-seater, we could only sell 800 in four years. We lost over one billion dollars on that experiment.

I don’t know why you insist that lithium-ion doesn’t exist. We are getting packs from our suppliers, they test well in both hot and cold, they store the energy as claimed, we are fast-cycling them to make sure they last, we are doing high-temp, high-load testing with the cooling system shut down and are experiencing no thermal problems. Trust me, the battery will not delay the car."

Source (LA Times ) and thanks to our reader KFO18 for Doug’s letter.

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 28th, 2008 at 8:34 pm and is filed under Battery, EV-1, Public Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 169


  1. 1
    Rashiid Amul

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (8:35 pm)

    Interesting. This EV-1 simply won’t die. Why can’t they just give it up and move on. The car is gone gone gone. It doesn’t work for today’s market. Washed up. Finished. Doesn’t Doug get it? Good grief. Let’s get the Volt perfected and released to the public. That is what we really need. Not some dead car from the past.


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    DonC

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (8:44 pm)

    You have to love Bob Lutz. He obviously dediced that sometimes it’s worth the time it takes to respond to off the wall stuff in order to at least take the edge off the wingnuts.


  3. 3
    kubel

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (8:57 pm)

    I agree with Lutz. Range costs money no matter what battery you use. The EV1 (though an awesome car) was a total failure because very few wanted the car until after the project was crushed. If it were re-released, it would be a much bigger success, but would still be too expensive. I think GM is looking to produce a superior product that the masses (not just environmentalists) will buy.

    Though Doug does post a lot of anti-GM stuff, I think he has every right to. I don’t blame him for hating GM. GM really made a stupid mistake with how they ended the EV1 project. And even they admit, from a PR view, they couldn’t have handled it any worse.

    GM needs to show people like Doug Korthoff and Chris Paine (the outspoken GM haters) that they are serious with the Volt. Their voices go a long way. I think GM should take steps to win over these people. And I think they are doing their best by being transparent with Volt progress. I hope that continues.


  4. 4
    cyclop

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:20 pm)

    The EV-1 was and remains a disaster for GM. The movie was a great movie. Like most documentaries, the movie was far from balanced, but it was well done, and there was enough truth to it to give it lasting effectiveness. For many of us, the EV-1 left such bad memories because so much of what GM has said about the EV-1 has been, at best, only one part of the whole truth.

    Even so, it makes no sense to try to bring the EV-1 back now. For GM, the bad memories of the EV-1 have to be expanded by association with good memories of a new and successful car, the Volt, so that the long-term trend line for GM electric cars can go in a positive direction.


  5. 5
    bruce g

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:20 pm)

    The EV1 is not applicable any longer, GM have paid their penance and are planning to produce the E-REV concept.It should be possible for the EV1 believers to transfer their belief to the Volt.

    GM has a huge believer base, EV1 believers plus the 30,000 on the GM-Volt believer list.
    Perhaps as a act of faith they should throw away their marketing and production planning and just do what the believers want.
    The results could be startling.
    Lets face it, the first sixty thousand are already sold to believers that will forgive any foibles, in fact love them.

    OK,OK Im exagerating…Too much coffee…


  6. 6
    Statik

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:24 pm)

    Somebody else is coming to market with the EV-1 Doug Korthoff…it’s the Mitsu i-Miev.

    Except they somehow are managing to get 4 seats, and 100 mile range for 25K…go figure.


  7. 7
    cyclop

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:28 pm)

    If the Mitsu i-Miev turns out as promised, it will be a big success and big competition for the Volt if the Mitsu is readily available.


  8. 8
    John

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:30 pm)

    I LOVE Bob Lutz.

    I have a deep crush on him.

    I have a theory that belief in “Who Killed the Electric Car” is inversely proportional to levels of common sense.


  9. 9
    Electric Cars

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:39 pm)

    Electric automobiles outsold both gasoline and steam powered cars in the United States in the year 1900 !
    The main reason that gas cars took over was because of PRICE. It was Ford that started making affordable gas-powerd cars ($650) that were half the price of the popular electrics. Thomas Edison spent the vast majority of his wealth trying to perfect the Electric Car without success, but he knew it was the better technology, he just couldn’t conquer the chemical barriers in battery technology at the time. I hope the Electric Car makes a BIG comeback, because I also believe it was always the better technology.


  10. 10
    TBK

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:41 pm)

    For the Mitsu i-Miev, they said 2010 for Japan only. I would assume the US version would pack on two years. It would work as a great little commuter car.


  11. 11
    Young

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:52 pm)

    EV1 is the best car I have ever driven!
    I would love to see GM make them again.
    I do not understand why Bob keeps repeating the lie that they could sell only 800 of them. They were never sold, and they never put sincere efforts to market them.


  12. 12
    Jimmy

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:52 pm)

    Doug just can’t get on the lithium battery bandwagon. He is stuck in the past and realizes once GM builds the Volt he won’t have anything to protest. Doug posted on this site several times that the Volt will never be produced. I could be wrong, but my money is on GM.


  13. 13
    bruce g

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:55 pm)

    #6 Statik,
    Its reasonable to believe the EV1 supporters would transfer their loyalty to the i-miev.
    But it will be in the US market maybe 2012 as it needs a rebuild to meet the US safety requirements.
    It will arrive at the same time as the Volt and the projected Nissan

    The sooner the Volt is out and visible the better.


  14. 14
    Statik

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:55 pm)

    #7 cyclop

    Like all things new, it won’t be readily available at all. Will probably be 3-4 years before you see your first one…will be even a couple years before they are readily available in Japan.

    By the same token it will be 5-6 years before you see a Volt readily at your Atlanta GM-Chrysler dealership.

    We spend alot of time bashing Ford for their Fusion hybrid to fight the Prius in the last thread, but no one seems to want to consider what the full EV means to the Volt (…and all the hybrids).

    If Mitsu is to market next year with a 100 mile, 4 seater at 25K, how much longer will it be until they plunk in another pack and we see a 200 miler at 29K? How does a 40K+ Volt with a 40 mile range and a gas engine stack up?

    Everyone keeps talking about how the battery pack price is dropping so fast…that the pack should only cost $4,000. Doesn’t this mean that the true EVs costs will drop even faster as proportional to any vehicle with a ICE component.

    I guess my point is, the Volt is a great go between, the same as the other hybrids. They all have a spot, they can all survive for awhile. But ANY car manufacturer that thumbs it’s nose at the power behind pure EV is a car company that will not survive.

    The end game of all of these cars is the EV.

    When the first EV from a major auto player hits the market, we will witness a tsunami of change, the likes of which have never been seen in the auto industry. And it will be a great day. GM would be best to be a player, and not a spectator.


  15. 15
    ross

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (9:59 pm)

    Is it just me, or does the iMiEV look like a warped VW Bug?

    http://www.hybridcars.com/electric-cars/miitsubishi-all-electric-car-2010-imiev.html

    It’s cute, the ladies will love it.


  16. 16
    bruce g

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (10:03 pm)

    #9 Electric Cars,
    We should be able to learn a lot from that.
    I believe gas was relatively expensive then but perhaps the distances they expected to travel were not great.
    Did the extended range of a gas vehicle have any bearing?


  17. 17
    Statik

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (10:08 pm)

    #10 TBK
    #13 Bruce G

    The thread moves fast. Yes, I agree on your timelines for the i-Miev 100%. They are going to pump out a few thousand in 2009…then ramp into 2010, 2011.

    They have already decided (like everyone else) that their big ‘showoff’ will be at the Detroit Auto Show…so we won’t know the expected roll out here until then. I would wager you would see them trickling in late 2011, early 2012.

    By the same token, you might be lucky enough to see a couple Volts popping around California/NY in late 2011, 2012. But you probably aren’t going to see one in Georgia until 2014ish.

    With anything hot and new, you have to wait…and wait…and wait. Whatever any of these auto manufacturers say is the ‘official roll-out date’ you have to tack on a couple years for us in the real world.

    The Prius is probably the only car any of us will be able acquire (with significant effort) and plug-in in 2010/2011, because as was said here many times before, it isn’t a ‘true electric’ hybrid (whatever that means). The next gen comes ‘wired’ to accept the pack and the plug, and capacity on the platform is not a issue. They are capable of building 600,000+ in year 1. Trick will be getting the battery. No one can pull that off in 2009 for sure, maybe 2010, but 2011 looks to truly be the year the Li-Ion is widely produced.


  18. 18
    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (10:14 pm)

    If EV1 was to delay Volt by only a month due to distracting GM it would be bad. Since EV1 cost $80K, anyone with $80K to drop on a car can get a Tesla for a little more. If EV1 was available in 2009, and Volt in 2010 who would not wait a year for the Volt?


  19. 19
    bruce g

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (10:30 pm)

    The model years is part of the malaise of the automotive industry.
    Surely the glam of those shows could be replaced with, say, two monthly product reviews for software and interior trim details.
    Then use, say, two yearly reviews of the exterior, as has happened in the past anyway.

    NO!


  20. 20
    Mark H

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (10:38 pm)

    The EV1 was great, but the volt will be better by far. I can’t wait to get a CUV with E-Flex. I really think that GM should come out with an Equinox that has an ICE and a battery rather than the H2- Fool Sell. It would sell like hot cakes. It would be neat to have one, and they have already made 100 H2 versions to test how about putting an ICE in it and put it in my driveway!


  21. 21
    Young

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (10:38 pm)

    Bob’s crdibility is in question when he repeats wrong information. Am I supposed to believe that Tesla makes money on the Roadster at $100k, but GM’s cost on EV1 is $80k? Come on.
    GM once led the pack in technology with EV1. If it can not wait to be on that spot again until 2010, it should consider bring it back again.
    I will be among the first to buy one. No thanks to lease, though.
    I like and admire my RAV4-EV, I fell in love with EV1.


  22. 22
    Nelson

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (10:45 pm)

    Well Bob is correct in saying they lost money on the EV1 project. As I understand it “800″ were leased “in four years” and after the lease was up, instead of selling them to the owners that wanted to buy them, GM decided it would be more profitable to take them back and junk them. I wonder what the lease payment for the EV1 was.

    Let’s see:
    EV1 cost to produce ~= $90,000
    3 Year Lease @ $450/m / $4,000 due at signing = $20,200
    Buy option at end of lease = $70,000

    Does anyone have the real EV1 deal scenario?

    Did anyone get the opportunity to buy the EV1 for $70K at the end of the lease?

    Honda is leasing their hydrogen fuel cell FCX for $600 a month. I wonder if Honda will make the same mistake GM did.


  23. 23
    Gary

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (10:50 pm)

    The EV-1 was ugly and had only 2 seats. Around the same time that the EV-1 was discontinued, Honda introduced the Insight. In Japanese fashion, it’s styling was a copy of the EV-1… just as ugly and also had two seats. It didn’t sell very well either and was discontinued. At least Toyota got the formula on the number of seats right, and it a became a much better seller… although it is still pretty ugly.


  24. 24
    Paul B.

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (11:13 pm)

    Ugly is in the eyes of the beholder….


  25. 25
    sschrier

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (11:18 pm)

    A four passenger EV-1 was developed and shown in the late 1990s. By 2001 one of the divisions at GM had also developed a high mileage (reportedly 80 MPG) car, the “Precept”. See the attached “Precept” story. Let’s hope the E-REV “Volt” platform succeeds this time around.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/1266481.html

    Mitsubishi’s “jelly bean” styled all-electric four passenger I-Miev may be introduced by 2009 in Japan for around $24,000. (before government rebates or credits). Other reports suggest Mitsu’s considering a slightly larger version of the I-Miev for the U.S by 2010.


  26. 26
    Flash

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (11:26 pm)

    I watched a video recently of a guy in Europe quick charging an EV equipped with Lithium-Titanate batteries. It only took 8 minutes for a full charge, but wow was the connector on that battery cable HUGE. Anyway it seems to me that Europe in way ahead in actual battery-powered vehicles being used on their roads. IMO it is going to take us many years to surpass them in actual real use, even if you include the thousands of Volts that are coming.


  27. 27
    EV1 Speed

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (11:38 pm)

    The EV-1 was a very fast car. I know it could totally embarrass a Nissan 300Z sports car at the time, which was pretty impressive. Yeah, that machine was way cool, I think most people just didn’t know about it or understand its capabilities, so it never got a fair chance to achieve greatness.


  28. 28
    NZDavid

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (11:39 pm)

    The EV1 has been replaced by the Tesla Roadster.

    Now is not the time to divert scarce resources away from the Volt. The Mitusi will make a great second car. Sorry Ford.


  29. 29
    Super Size Me

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (11:45 pm)

    I noticed that most EV are rather smallish in size. To gain market share in the U.S. the makers had better UpSize those cars because the rest of the world knows that the USA is the land of fat McAsses, many who have trouble just fitting in your typical airline seat.


  30. 30
    matt986

     

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    Jun 28th, 2008 (11:52 pm)

    I wonder how, at this point in time, anyone can say ‘the battery doesn’t exist’.

    GM is already testing them in lab, and has at least one running an actual vehicle!

    This Doug Korthoff is a pie-in-the-sky douche with more hope than intelligence. (much like one of our presidential candidates. Remember, hope is an emotion, not a plan)


  31. 31
    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:12 am)

    Doug Korthof is delusional. He is wrong on so many things and believes he’s the world’s expert on EVs. He also talks out of both sides of his mouth. He clamors about GM selling the Nimh patent to Chevron and now no car can use those batteries, and then claims that GM should use these NIMH batteries instead of Li-ion because they’re available! Which is it?

    He also has this idea in his head that GM doesn’t want anyone to know that there are 300+ Rav4 EVs out there. In his words, “GM denies their existence”. I don’t think anyone denies they’re out there, GM included. In fact I’ll just betcha’ GM has more important things to worry about. ;)

    I think everyone is tired of the EV-1 saga. Companies in business to make money make decisions based on the almighty dollar. They also make mistakes. Just ask Coke about the mid 80′s “new coke” and Ford about the Edsel. Are we going to keep bringing these up forever?

    Let’s talk about the Volt and what we can do to get it on the road!


  32. 32
    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:22 am)

    Statik #14

    When are you going to understand that the Volt is an EV?


  33. 33
    KentT

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:32 am)

    NZDavid, you’re totally right. Anyone who wants an EV1 should buy a Tesla! Supercar performance and a 200 mile range. Who wants 1999 technology? Also, Doug Korthoff doesn’t know what he’s talking about regarding the Panasonic lead-acid batteries. Sure, if you were some techno-nerd you MIGHT squeeze 100 miles from that pack if: You have a tailwind, a full charge, a balanced battery pack, a flat or downhill grade, don’t drive freeway speeds… Wait, my fingers are giving out. ;-) You get my drift. The EV1 club webpage is still up. Read the OWNER’S (ok, make that leasee’s) blogs about range! BUT you say, a hundred grand for a Tesla? Sure, EV1′s in the numbers produced were more like million dollar prototypes. Here we are 10 years later. Don’t you think a hundred grand is kind of a bargain? Admit it! And the Tesla meets all 2009 government requirements!

    Lutz is right. Forget the EV1. That was 1999. 2008 gives us the Tesla roadster. Two years and we will have a 4 seat “EV2″ with built in range extender (the “enthusiasts” talked about range extender TRAILERS! Ridiculous, when compared to what the Volt will be!) at a price most people can afford. (Maybe. $40K total (tax, license, etc.) so say $4000 down, finance $36K for 72 months is $614 at 7% but lets hope GM will do 0% financing so that is $500 a month. Okay, I hope you all have a trade-in and the government will have some sort of tax incentive! Whew! This puppy is expensive! But hey! 40K for an EV2? What is Doug whinning about??????)

    On with the Revolution!


  34. 34
    TBK

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:46 am)

    I don’t believe GM even has much in excess stock of parts for the EV1 (although a few parts were from their standard product lines).

    I somewhat understand GM’s position about not selling them. They would have to provide spare parts for 5 years and I don’t think that was in the cards. I know many people said they didn’t care, but just wait until a controller or motor died and GM said “sorry, no spare parts”. People would go through the roof. Certainly someone would retrofit controllers and motors to them but there is more to it than just welding and drilling.

    A guy at work had an EV1 and while it worked fine it definitely had a “production prototype” feeling to it. He said it ran great but was always wondering what the next version would be like. It was as if he knew it wasn’t really ready-for-prime-time. It was so butt ugly that while I was enamored with the technology I personally thought GM made it as ugly as possible to kill off any interest (it’s a joke folks). Styling-wise, I hated it. The fit and finish was pretty good for the time but there were little things that just didn’t look production. He also said he was told up front that buying it outright was out of the question (remember the Chrysler Turbine? You only got three months with that baby. Chrysler crushed all of them too to avoid paying duty since the bodies were make in Italy.)

    I’m sure GM also knew it was going to be a money loser and worked to get the law changed in California. I might have done the same thing if I knew I was headed into a money pit. Think about it, if GM could have made a PROFIT they would have built a billion of them. It’s like the “cure for cancer” being kept a secret by the big pharmaceutical companies. Think of the marketing if they could claim; they cured cancer! They couldn’t make drugs of any type fast enough!

    Certainly if I could get one to play with it would be a fun project car.


  35. 35
    R.V.

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:51 am)

    The eyes I be holden also says “ugly”.

    Hey GM, why not bring back that 1912 GMTC Electric?

    May I pretty please see what My Volts are going to look like first.


  36. 36
    Jeff M

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:53 am)

    I must 1st say I agree with GM in that it’s too late to revive the EV-1, and especially not with lead acid batteries!

    The Volt is essentially the prototype ranged extended EV-1 that GM demostrated (also a 4 seater as the body was stretched) but with an ICE powering the generator instead of a turbine engine, and a smaller EV only range.

    However I also agree with Young that Lutz needs to repeat GM’s mis-information campain better than he is. As already mentioned, the EV-1 was never for sale, only lease…. and 1,135 were actually made, but GM only let 842 of them be leased.

    In addition, GM for years denied the existence of the waiting list (which the former employees leasing them for a while were under non-disclosure until 2005 when a GM exec finally acknowledged the waiting list existed). Demand exceeded supply… the specalists leasing EV-1′s had a list 5,000 names long, and those that wanted to lease them had to jump through hoops (such as couldn’t be your only car). Also keep in mind that GM did almost no marketing. The 1st 660 EV-1′s made had the defective Delco lead acid batteries, but they were all leased ($600/month I believe).

    It’s no coincidence GM canceled the EV-1 just one month after buying the Hummer brand.

    In any case, Young, you really loved the EV-1 more than the Rav4-EV? I’ve never seen either in person, never been lucky enough to try driving either one, but if I had a choice of either one I would have (and still would) liked the Rav4-EV. 5 seater over a 2 seater wins it for me over the modest (from my understanding) extra range of the EV-1.

    And I’d like to thank Sherry Boschert once again for her book “Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars That Will Recharge America”, from which I looked up the above info (it’s in the 1st chapter about Chelsea Sexton, one of the 3 GM specialists who leased the EV-1, and from the sounds of it worked on them under the hood with her to be future husband… got to love a woman who doesn’t mind doing that!)


  37. 37
    TBK

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (1:00 am)

    The past truly is prolog.


  38. 38
    Jason C

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (2:42 am)

    #14 Statik

    Right on brother!


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (3:16 am)

    I’m still waiting on a pure EV midsize car.
    100 mile in the $28K range
    or
    150 mil in the $35K range.

    I’m not rich.
    I’m not short.
    I have need for a back seat.
    I don’t need a sports car.
    I don’t want to do an oil change, tune ups, emmisions testing, etc. when you just don’t need it in an EV (I don’t want E-REV for a car….maybe SUV, but not car)
    I hate all these commercials advertising “over 30 MPG” and “guaranteed $2.99 gas for x years” as if that is a good threshold for a petro car and as if the cost of running these terrible gas guzzlers for only 3 years is the selling point.

    Some company..please make an affordable mid-size EV.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (4:24 am)

    Gawd, I hope this puts an end to the “beating the dead horse” that was the EV-1. This is about the Volt right? Join up…………and let’s go!!


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (4:53 am)

    Oh man, does no one realise the Volt is nothing other than an up to date EV1?

    The battery is also T-shaped, and in R&D they even tested an IC Engine as range extender at the EV1!

    So the true answer is:
    They won´t build any EV1 because they started the Volt by taking the old ev1 construction, adding rear seats…
    and if they weren´t so stupid so destroy the ev1´s and instead kept them for trials on new battery technology, the Volt would have been on the road at least an year earlier!


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (6:56 am)

    #41 Matthias:

    The gas engine range extender used in the EV-1 prototype was nothing like the Volt. It was a small gas turbine, constant RPM, located in the rear trunk. This was an idea that became an experiment – nothing more.

    But I’m sure GM did leverage EV-1 technology for the Volt’s AC induction electric motor. Note that Tesla hired engineers that worked on the EV-1 for this same reason. The control code for a variable speed, variable load, AC induction motor with regenerative braking is extremely complex.

    All current hybrids use brushless (i.e. magnet based) electric motors. The control code for brushless is much easier, but these magnet based motors don’t scale well. See here for details:
    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/?p=45

    For an electric motor that powers the whole vehicle with decent acceleration, induction is more efficient and more cost effective. This is where GM’s experience with the EV-1 is particularly beneficial to the Volt.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (8:06 am)

    Doug Korthoff isn’t a very good Christian, or he would welcome back the prodigal son, GM. The first mistake that GM made with the EV1, which led to every other mistake, is running to the microphones with promises of an electric future, before they had actually developed a vehicle and market tested it – the rest is history:

    - CARB took GM at their word and mandated the vehicles GM described

    - GM developed the vehicle, but found it fell short of all their predictions of performance and cost

    - automakers and oil companies fought the mandates

    - GM losts their butts on leases and suffered a hit to their image

    The good news is, that both GM and CARB are now doing things right, and all should be applauded.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (8:42 am)

    14 Statik…..
    You say, “….the Volt is a great go between, the same as the other hybrids. They all have a spot, they can all survive for awhile. But ANY car manufacturer that thumbs it’s nose at the power behind pure EV is a car company that will not survive. The end game of all of these cars is the EV.” Several others here have also said this.

    I have to respectfully but strenuously disagree! A pure EV is like having a power boat or a sail boat without an auxiliary “kicker”. And it makes almost NO SENSE as all-around transportation from a cost standpoint. Here’s why…. It’s almost impossible to anticipate an emergency such as your wife calling on the cell phone to say your daughter’s had an accident and is on the way to the ER at a hospital well outside the remaining range of your EV. Or after a trip from Santa Monica to Palm Springs, you want to go on to Las Vegas the next day without back-tracking for your other car because your EV can’t make it. Dozens of other unpredictable things will happen in this complex world we live in that make a pure EV impractical for the vast majority of drivers.

    The real genius of the E-REV architecture is that it consists of TWO power sources and propulsion systems, not one, which greatly reduces your likelihood of ever being stranded in a dangerous spot such as alongside a freeway’s fast lane next to the center divider or even just off on the shoulder —motorists and police are killed every day this way.

    Finally, the real clincher is that a range-extending ICE/Gen set will both COST LESS AND WEIGH LESS than a battery 4-5 times the size of the Volt’s (i.e., 64-80kWh that would be needed to give an EV a practical range of 160-200miles)!


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (8:46 am)

    #43 Jason M Hendler

    I believe…and get ready for this, your totally right. Wait for it…wait…no buts, or anything.

    GM tried something, they tried to build a solution that would satisfy the CARB ZEV 2%, and got ‘totally owned’ trying to make it a reality. Yes, they could have made them, but at significant cost.

    I do believe they had a list of 5,000 odd waiting, sure why not, seems reasonable, and I’m sure they are ‘finking’ a bit on the $80,000 a unit number, probably $50,000 was more like it. But it doesn’t take a person very long to see that they couldn’t sell the minimum requirements of this product at $50,000 a pop…not with gas at $1/gallon. They knew it too.

    1 out of every 50 cars sold in their lineup had to be this jelly bean, $50,000+, no profit car? When a fill-up of a similar car was around $12 bucks? (2% of 5.5 million–110,000/year if all the states adopted it…or 50K if only California stuck with it)

    Once GM realized how impossible it was to hit this mandate, and how they were the best of the pack, they simply stopped making them and turned their attention (and money) to the law against itself, specifically that states can’t regulate fuel economy (when they modified it to include hybrid credits)

    Alot of people blame GM because they were the closest to attempting this feat…and to be fair, they weren’t completely honest about the process to be sure. However, the fault ultimately lies with the ZEV mandate, they set the bar so high on a platform that was nowhere to be seen, 2% of all cars by 1998, and 10% by 2003?

    If the ZEV mandate would have been something reasonable like .5% in 2000, 1% in 2005, 3% in 2010. We’d all have electric cars today.

    Under that scenario, of a small, but easily attainable goal, the automakers would have all came to market, they would have build electric car infrastructures, and through competition and slowly increasing requirements, would continually build a better, more streamlined, most cost efficient product.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (8:48 am)

    Why did GM crush EV1 vehicles? GM could have reduced their financial loss in the EV1 program if they sold the EV1 to people who were willing to puchase the vehicles.
    Can someone ask Mr. Wagoner is GM going to crush the Hummers because no one is buying them?


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (8:48 am)

    We need to be fair here. From an environmental viewpoint, we need to judge companies not by what they say, but what they do. GM is paying its shareholders by building thousands of gas guzzling Hummers every day. That’s what GM does best. Is ANYONE truly gullible enough to believe that the Volt will ever actually hit the show room floors!? Get real folks, it’s all an “environmental image” smoke screen. This is GM we’re talking about, and if you want to know what they will do in the future, look to their past! They will continue to trash the world for profit because that’s what pays!


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (8:56 am)

    #44 Nasaman

    I hear you argument, and despite your bold type, I still disagree.

    Your example:
    “It’s almost impossible to anticipate an emergency such as your wife calling on the cell phone to say your daughter’s had an accident and is on the way to the ER at a hospital well outside the remaining range of your EV”

    This is very true. Today! I said it has a limmited shelf-life. I said the Volt will be out available to all in 5-6 years. I figure it is viable for another 6-7 years on top.

    Working for Nasa, and proporting the decreasing cost of battery packs, you would think you believe in the future and the advancement of the craft.

    Do you believe that in 2020, EVs will still have the 100 mile range of the very first electric car, 2009 i-Miev? EVs with have 300 mile ranges wil be uncommon. So the only way you’d be in trouble ‘rushing to the ER’ if you happened to get a call, would be just after just driving 300 miles, (and of course you’d have to be close enough to home, but still too far away from the hospital under that scenario).


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (9:02 am)

    #44 Nasaman

    Lastly this quote:

    “Finally, the real clincher is that a range-extending ICE/Gen set will both cost less and weigh less than a battery 4-5 times the size of the Volt’s (i.e., 64-80kWh needed to give an EV a practical range of 160-200miles)!”

    What are you talking about? Are you proving the Volt is impractical? This is a argument for my side.

    The i-Miev has 4 seats and goes 100 miles on 20kw,.
    At 64kWh the i-Miev would go 300.
    At 80kWh it goes FOUR HUNDRED MILES!

    Today! And at your stated cost of $3,500 for 16kWh pack, that still puts the 80kWh/400 miler i-Miev at like $36,000 (100 miles at 25K)

    (You might say that the weight gain could cut down the range, so I could conceed 375ish miles range…of course the ‘unused’ buffer band in the 80kW pack would be a much smaller percentage of the whole…so it might be still the same. Hard to say).

    Side note:
    If your car breaks down, you call a tow truck. No one out there is stressing that their gas car has no redundant system…or you take a cab.
    Side, side note:
    Even if by some freak happening your EV was totally on empty (who does that a gas car?), most people that pay over 40K for a new car…have more than one.

    Your ‘sudden phone’ call, exacty at the end of trip, exactly out of gas is the ‘perfect storm’ kind of scenario to begin with…insurance salesmen use those kind of statments.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (9:13 am)

    The Perfect Solution!

    Here’s a thought on how to make everyone happy.

    1. Doug and his EV friends get together and Buy or lease GM’s Factory

    2. Doug and his EV friends Buy a license to Produce the EV1

    3 They make and sell them.

    Everyone wins! GM gets money for a plant they are not using. The workers get jobs. Doug and the EV’ers get their EV-1.The marketplace dictates whether they stay in business.

    Don’t you just love free enterprise!


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (9:20 am)

    #48 and #49 Me

    Your grammar, spelling and syntax blows. Try going back and proofreading sometime!

    Sorry about that. I was rushing to make two seperate posts that connected to each other, because of my long-windedness.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (9:27 am)

    GM did nothing wrong with the EV-1, at all, and didn’t make a mistake crushing it.

    GM’s mistake was to invest in the research in the first place. The technology wasn’t ready for the car, and the population wasn’t ready for the technology.

    It’s as simple as that. Toyota saw an opportunity to create a hybrid, and sell some few. That was a good thing for Toyota. I wish GM/Ford or another US company had seen the opportunity, but it doesn’t mean they were wrong not to.

    GM lost the lead because of some very simple, but large manufacturing basics. Their equipment was old, their overhead was high, their design cycle was long, and their quality control was complacent.

    Part of Toyota’s success was simply that the Japanese government provided free technology. In Japan they have a department devoted to new technology, like we have one devoted to defense. Their equipment is all new, newly designed and using modern technology.

    One last statement I’ll make about the comparison is that the EV-1 and the Prius did not kill, or even significantly hurt GM. The Accord was the first huge bash, the Camry the second.

    That’s very clear if you look at the sales numbers. Even with the gas prices shooting higher than almost anyone thought the Prius isn’t a gnat on the bum of the Camry in terms of sales.

    The Volt is the right car to show that GM has turned things around.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (9:47 am)

    I live in Quebec. We generate 4 times as much clean Hydro-electric energy as we use, lots of clean energy for electric cars. I drive 75 klms. to work and stay 8 hours. Would the Volt be useful for me?


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (10:06 am)

    #52 greg woulf

    I agree completely except hindsight is 20/20. California basically was forcing their hand so they could continue to sell cars in their state. After the mandate was lifted the that is when the program was ended.

    Inconsistent laws basically gave GM the black-eye. Sure it could have been handled differently. One option would have been to pull out of California altogether. Not suggesting that should have been done but it was another option.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (10:08 am)

    I really cant stand Doug, he is the biggest naySayer of anything GM does. And frankly Doug needs to get his high and mighty EV-1 touting nose out of the clouds.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (10:19 am)

    There are a couple of people on here that could join Doug. I would imagine that bashing GM and the EV-1 is a source of income. He’s the Richard Hoagland of EV-1s.

    It’s over. Let it go.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (10:24 am)

    I am very familiar with Doug Korthoff. He is a one-man band who believes that NiMH batteries are our salvation and argues against
    li ion batteries (and any others) and any attempts by the automakers to use them as part of some global conspiracy – let’s call it the li ion cabal. Naturally, he lives in England, as I recall. His website is a mountain of polemical diatribes that indicate that the NiMH industry is missing something by not paying him to write propaganda for their technology, obsolete though it may be. He wrote hundreds of threatening emails to GM and was finally ordered to desist from harrassing them. Apparently , for some bizarre reason
    (like the film “Who Killed the Electric Car?”) Korthoff argues strongly for the patently insane idea that GM does now and has in the past controlled the destiny of the electric car. Gee, and I thought Toyota, Honda and others built electrics. I must have been dreaming.
    Without an internet, or with an internet that actually makes some attempt to weed out the lies perpetually occuring on this “modern wonder” the Doug Korthoffs of the world would be where they always have been historically – ignored by society and taken care of by kindly relatives.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (10:33 am)

    48, 49 Statik……
    I was just listening to Tom Brokaw interview the “Governator”, who described how it’s sometimes unnerving when his wife puts news clippings on Obama beside his place at the dinner table. As you probably know, he & his wife agreed to disagree on politics long ago —maybe, since you & I don’t live together, Statik, we could more easily cope with differing views on EVs vs E-REVs. :)

    My view is that, even if the i MiEV is HUGELY successful in Japan, Europe & even perhaps in Canada, it will be much less so in the US. Why? Because most people in the US make less-reasoned, more spontaneous and more emotional purchase decisions about cars and they won’t be able to get past the appearance of the i MiEV. So no matter how cost effective and practical it is, it won’t sell here in significant numbers —certainly not compared to Asia & Europe.

    Regarding batteries, it happens that one of my specialites is long-life spacecraft batteries —NiCd, NiMh & most recently, NiH2. We’re now getting 20 years out of Nickle-Hydrogen batteries (they outlast the hydrazine station-keeping/propulsion fuel, which limits spacecraft lifetimes, so there’s no real need to do better). I can say that “Moore’s law” that people often mention here does NOT apply to batteries! By contrast, battery state-of-the-art improvements progress at a “glacial” rate. And while you’re right that the Volt’s 16kWh batteries should not cost >$3,500, that is not likely to improve dramatically in 10 or even 25 years because of the sheer number of cells & interconnections in a ~300V battery. Likewise, no matter how much money we throw at it, battery weight is unlikely to be reduced dramatically in 10 or even 25 years. EEStor (et al) ultra capacitors are not credible battery replacements even if they achieve big gains in energy density because BaTiO3 leakage rates are MUCH to high —it’s simply fundamental physics.)

    So I come back to my earlier conclusion that a range-extending ICE/Gen set will both COST LESS AND WEIGH LESS than a battery 4-5 times the size of the Volt’s (i.e., 64-80kWh that would be needed to give an EV a practical range of 160-200miles) —and I’m convinced this ICE/Gen cost & weight advantage will persist for a very long time —certainly 10 years and perhaps as long as 25 years if not more! IMO the E-REV design will be around a long time!

    In other words, again, I respectfully disagree. :)


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (10:42 am)

    nasaman #44

    Thank you very much. You mention but didn’t expound on one of your own points, that being fail safe redundancy of both power sources. If the ICE fails, you’ve still got a BEV, and if the batt. pack fails you’ve still got locomotive type power. No pure BEV can do this.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (10:47 am)

    #47

    Uhhh Folks….

    P.D.F.T.T


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (10:53 am)

    My initial response to this posting is that the EV1 proponents just need to “get over it”. I can say the very same thing about the hydrogen proponents. Let’s get over it and get on with the Volt and its successors. Now is not the time to stare the past in the face and spend valuable resources second guessing. This is now and we must move forward based on today’s requirements and resources available.

    Go GM and Go, Go, Go Volt. And thank you Mr Lutz.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (10:59 am)

    Kent #57

    The unmentionable one is definitely not a well man. He lives in Calif. not England. My first reaction to this topic was that it’s just feeding a troll. That said I’m guessing that Lyle felt as did Maximum Bob that it was finally time to put this one to rest.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (10:59 am)

    My second thoughts on this is that maybe Mr Lutz could invited Doug and a few more of his cronies to sit down and look at the Volt from a more inside view. I would like to see GM convert these people to Volt proponents rather than GM haters. We have enough of those already and those that have such an influence as Doug has should be given an opportunity to change his views. Maybe he would change views and maybe he would not. If not, he could and should be viewed by most of us as someone who cares more about hating GM than about moving forward.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (11:08 am)

    59 Grizzly…..
    As you say, “….(the Volt has) fail safe redundancy of both power sources. If the ICE fails, you’ve still got a BEV, and if the batt. pack fails you’ve still got locomotive type power. No pure BEV can do this.”

    Thanks, Grizzly! The ability to get home (or at least “limp” to the next service station and out of moving traffic) is a very important feature that NO pure EV or BEV has (including the EV-1)!

    I agree —Go GM and Go, Go, Go Volt! And thank you Mr Lutz!


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (11:08 am)

    N Riley #63

    The unmentionable one is well aware that every manufacturer from Honda to GM to Toyota to Nissan crushed their EV’s when CARB repealed the mandate. Since he has never even mentioned this or badmouthed any of these other companies, what makes you think anything will change his mind, and therefore why should anyone care?


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (11:18 am)

    In hindsight, it was definitely a mistake to drop the EV1. For that, I fault GM for having less than optimal foresight.

    Although not an economic winner in its own right, the EV1 technology forms much of the core competence that will make the Volt possible. The EV1 will still be leased by celebrities, who provide free advertising to the next generation of exciting technology Americans need to get behind. If they could buy it, lots of people would be tinkering with aftermarket conversions, which GM would learn a lot from.

    If GM kept the electric team going, they certainly could have built a high performance electric Corvette or new Pontiac convertible long before the Tesla Roadster. And they would have continued to learn that much more, making the Volt better yet.

    Sorry, but all around, knowing what we know today, GM blew it. But, it’s never too late to do the right thing, and at this point, GM can’t be doing anything more than they’re doing now to bring electric drive to us en masse.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (11:20 am)

    #14 Statik

    Once again, on another post, I find myself agreeing with you. This could become a habit. Your comments were very down to earth and without the usual negativism. Keep up the good work. You are completely on target.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (11:23 am)

    #65 Grizzly

    If he does not become convinced of GM’s commitment, we will know that hate is what drives him and not the desire for a better environmental vehicle. Doug and his like should be fore warned.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (11:27 am)

    About six months ago, Korthoff must have gotten all thrilled and thought that things were finally going his way. Toyota had claimed that they were going to build a plug-in and NOT use those scary
    li ions batteries, but were simply going to add more NiMH batteries to those already doing hybrid duty in the Prius. They even built several such vehicles and sent them to prominent places in the U.S. for “testing” (apparently Totoya doesn’t have the ability to test a vehicle).
    They claimed GM’s use of li ions was “risky” and fraught with danger for their poor customer/victims that would presumably be roasted
    alive by rampaging battery packs totally out of control. Then we found out that even deleting the spare tire to allow for more NiMH batteries, those thrown together Prius plug-ins : 1) couldn’t move around on battery power alone, the NiMH packs producing way too little power to accelerate even a lightweight Prius, 2) had an electric driving range of 8 miles (!!!). Apparently even eternally stubborn Toyota execs finally realized that they had better admit that li ions were the only game in town. Which they did so a few weeks ago. Bye, bye NiMH batteries for the future. Funny, but I never saw any reaction from Korthoff to those Toyota actions. Perhaps he was confined to his bed, with a splitting headache. For the past ten years, Korthoff’s entire life has seemingly been devoted to shilling for the obsolete NiMH technology. Now what reason does he have for getting out of bed?


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (11:27 am)

    nasaman #58 and your other posts
    Thanks, you addressed many of my concerns about the technology. Are you neglecting to mention the nano-tech battery so much in the news out of Stanford?
    I find the MiEV unacceptable for the reasons you state. I hope your price estimate for the Volt’s batteries are accurate. I think the Volt 40 is the best of all the EV vehicles at or coming to market.
    Now if I could figure out how to get one of the 10,000 being produced, no chance of that though. Maybe they should have a lottery of some sort for them. Please GM, don’t give them all to “Hollywood” and politicians.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (11:31 am)

    Doug was with lonely few protesters in support of electric vehicles at a time when it wasn’t popular. Yes, he was saying outrageous things about GM, but people who say outrageous things turn a fight into action. He is casting extreme doubt on GM’s plans to bring the Volt by 2010, which motivates GM all the more to prove him wrong.

    Unfortunately, his words of late do not have a ring of truth to me. Specifically, his loyalty to all things nickel metal hydride and derision of all things lithium ion. He also makes videos on Youtube making very personal attacks on individuals like Lutz, which is not helpful.

    We need him on our side. I hope to see him driving a Volt someday.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (11:38 am)

    #49 Statik, I have great respect for you, but I disagree with your statement “If your car breaks down, you call a tow truck. No one out there is stressing that their gas car has no redundant system”

    Mechanical breakdown seldom happens, on the average. My Honda, at 99,500 miles, has never broken down. A gasoline car or a PHEV can stop at the next gas station and fill up in minutes. An EV takes much longer to refill, if you can find an outlet.

    Never underestimate “Range Anxiety”. Californians loved the EV1, because of their climate. The EV1 would have never sold well in northern America, much less Canada, due to reduced range from cold lead-acid batteries. I HAVE to plan for worst-case scenerios, as a responsible family man. I would listen to the insurance person you mentioned. The Volt sounds close to perfect, if GM can bring it to market, eventually.

    I will have to get either a Prius or a Civic Hybrid between now and then. As you said in #14, “Will probably be 3-4 years before you see your first one”. I agree, especially at $40,000.00 each. Meanwhile, Toyota wins with the Prius, and Honda’s Civic Hybrid is a close second, both “comfortably under $30,000.00″. How ironic is that?


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (11:47 am)

    By the way, for those of you who have not seen the movie Who Killed the Electric Car, you can see it here:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7202740060236675590


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:11 pm)

    Jeff #70

    “Now if I could figure out how to get one of the 10,000 being produced, no chance of that though. Maybe they should have a lottery of some sort for them. Please GM, don’t give them all to “Hollywood” and politicians.”

    *** *** ***

    Jeff, If you do get one please be forewarned that you’re going to pay a lofty price. I’m now convinced that most of that money will go to GM as I believe it was Nasaman who spoke w/ GM about the plug in Vue and found out that dealers will not be allowed to charge more than the MSRP. This is good news, and for those who do buy one of the initial releases you’re helping make this vehicle more affordable to the masses!


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:17 pm)

    ______________________________________________________
    Breaking News:
    OPEC President predicts OIL to go to $170 before end of 2008.

    Prices already up 38% this quarter.

    Source (Bloomberg.com June 28, 2008):
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aq_sRQH22HdY&refer=worldwide

    In 1999 oil averaged $14. Today it’s $140. Some experts predict $200+ inside 2009, $250+ inside 2010, and $300+ after 2010. For those of you thinking that there is no way oil can go past $300, keep in mind that back in 2000 it was commonly believed that oil prices would self correct and not allow itself to get past $20. What American is going to go out and buy a new ICE vehicle if gas is over $7 when they have an option to purchase an EV/EREV?

    Lutz over at GM is correct when he states that GM moving quickly to be able to apply an EV/EREV platform to its portfolio lines is about being able to sell cars in the future.

    Anybody arguing that the VOLT program is some kind of PR sham and that GM is not seriously looking to radically and quickly transition to an EV/EREV centric platform is not understanding of what is taking place at GM.
    _____________________________________________________


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:25 pm)

    Why are so many of you under the impression that if the battery fails you still have locamotive power?

    The battery is charged by a “SINGLE” RPM generator (very similar to the ones used in the trunk of the EV-1, except it is part of the car design in the Volt). The battery acts like a buffer to eliminate the need for a transmission. Also, contradicting to other posts, there is only one propulsion system in the Volt…the battery!!!! Not the ICE. The ICE only has one job and that is to charge the battery.

    If the battery fails…your whole car fails.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:29 pm)

    #51 Statik

    I pay less attention to your spelling and grammar as I do to what you (and others) are saying. Keep it up.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    The only thing that would make a pure EV pratical is rapid recharge.

    You can run out of gas just as easily as your battery can die. The difference is that you can pull into a gas station and in 10 minutes be on your way. Until the day when a rapid recharge infrastructure is implemented nation wide I will be more then content with vehicles like the Volt.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:42 pm)

    Hey TBK !!

    “Richard Hoagland” Now THAT’S funny!!!

    (Not too many here would even know what or who you speak of but those of us that do can appreciate that statement.)


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    MW

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:43 pm)

    Why is it taking so long for GM to produce the EV system? Thousands of people don’t need all the bells and whistles, we just need a plug-in communing car today!! If they don’t beat 2010 or 2011, their competition will eat them.


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    Statik

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:47 pm)

    #58 Nasaman

    I respect you and your opinion a great deal. We certainly can co-exist with no trouble at all.

    You said, “I’m convinced this ICE/Gen cost & weight advantage will persist for a very long time —certainly 10 years and perhaps as long as 25 years if not more! IMO the E-REV design will be around a long time!”

    Are we arguing over the same side of the coin anyhow? I think maybe we are, lol.

    I said 5-6 years to get to market and another 7 where it is the choice that makes sense. I’m conservatively pegging the Volt as the best idea for around 15 years, then the slow shift to pure EV.

    (I’m still not sure about why we are doing the math on a 80kWh/200 mile Volt, over the 20kWh/100 miles i-Miev, but it doesn’t really matter that much)

    Your one of the good guys!
    Hugs and kisses,
    Stat


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:54 pm)

    Grizzly #74
    Thanks for the warning about price. That’s good news about the MSRP. I’m thinking Fed & State rebates will cover most of the premium. All this goes against the common sense rule of “never buy a first year car” cuz of all the recalls. But we’re talking history making tech here, not a Mustang II. hehe


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (12:55 pm)

    #77 N Riley

    “#51 Statik..I pay less attention to your spelling and grammar as I do to what you (and others) are saying. Keep it up.”

    Lol, thanks Riley.

    I have a real complex about having unintentional spelling or syntax get through on my posts. I find it generally shows a lack of real thought or care about the subject you are posting about, so I try to avoid doing it as much as I can. ie) Nasa has a near flawless record

    Side note: I think most of us are pretty ok with purchasing just about anything that comes to market in this field; whether it be the Volt, the plug-in Prius, the i-Miev. They all have very unique characteristics…good and bad points about them.

    Just get me anything that lets me decide if I want to go to the pumps again or not. (At the very least, lets me visit them alot less).


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (1:13 pm)

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (1:20 pm)

    jes #76

    “Why are so many of you under the impression that if the battery fails you still have locamotive power?….The battery is charged by a “SINGLE” RPM generator”

    *** *** ***
    Jes,

    The specs for the Volt indicate that the genset will not be single rpm, but rather it will operate over a fairly narrow range. GM engineers also indicated that the system would operate on a pure bus and therefore juice would flow towards least resistance. This makes sense in one respect as it would allow for fail safe operation as discussed. However, since the Volt is an ever evolving project I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if things change.


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    Fahrvergnugen Fanboy

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (1:21 pm)

    #15 Ross:

    Wow! It looks like the love child of a ’68 Beetle and a ’68 Mustang fastback!

    You say you want a revolution?

    If they can put this thing on the road — profitably — with the specs stated in the article, the world will never be the same.


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    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (1:39 pm)

    EV-1
    Much Ado About nothing.
    Ah do bid you Adieu,
    But wonder why all the sturm und drang on this site?
    Aren’t we all just waiting for GM to play its hole card?
    What’s the price gonna be?
    Won’t know until 2011.
    Cuz GM has to sandbag it,
    Peace til then.


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    Ed M

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (1:48 pm)

    Grizzly (yesterdays comment #84)

    “I don’t really think it’s a bad idea that GM work with them (Ford) or eventually license E-flex. It would be a way to share costs”.

    I was just reading through some of yesterdays comments and I came across this one by you. I think it bears a little genius. How better to get E-flex on the road to customers around the world than for GM, Ford and maybe even Chrysler to share in the production. That way there would be more R&D $ to get the best E-flex possible. It may be many years before most American drivers can own the E-flex and get the oil monkey off our backs if GM goes it alone.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (1:51 pm)

    #86 Fahrvergnugen Fanboy

    Thats not actually the i-Miev in production, that is the ‘sport’ version and look nothing like the initial 4-door ‘actual’ production version.

    Linky goodness to the ‘real deal’

    http://www.motordehidrogeno.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/mitsubishi-imiev-430.jpg


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (2:01 pm)

    Statik, #89. While at VoltNation, I had to opportunity to sit in the i-Miev. Your link provides the correct picture. Inside it is small, yet roomy.
    It reminded me of the Mini I road in while visiting England in 1991.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (2:03 pm)

    #89 Statik

    Oh. Looks like a vacuum cleaner.

    Nonetheless, if it meets its specs at a profit, it’s enormous.


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    DA

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (2:28 pm)

    Either Lutz is full of sh*t, or he’s got dim witted executives advising him.

    I’m not saying that he’s wrong per say on the acutual reintroduction of the EV-1 being impractical.

    BUT i do know that there is a garage in Cali that will buy a brand new base model ford ranger for 15k, spend hours of undoing a good portion of the factory labor by tearing out all the ICE components and selling them as used parts. Custom machine mating parts for the electric motor to a clutch that was optimized for ICE torque. Buy all the components as a small buyer and install and test them tediously by hand. Buy a load of ‘bandit’ large format NIMH batteries, and then sell the thing for 40k and make about 5k of profit for all the hard work and expertise they put in it.

    Now consider, the vehicle will go 60 miles WITHOUT regen breaking, power management or drive train optimization, and should go at least 80-100k miles before battery performance degrades slightly.

    Lutz could do the same with a slightly modified chevy malibu frame, same countless labor hours, machine parts efficiently, buy in bulk, and optimize the drive train, and power management and easily put out a profitable car for 30k or so, and it would fly off the shelves, and draw people back into the GM showroom.

    $80k to build a pure EV! What an ass!


    DA


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (2:52 pm)

    My mistake, its 200 miles of range for 40K.

    http://www.lionev.com/Trucks.html


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (3:03 pm)

    76 Jes……
    You say, “Why are so many of you under the impression that if the battery fails you still have locomotive power? …..If the battery fails…your whole car fails.” ….WRONG!

    Much as I dislike disputing anyone’s views in this forum, the subject of the Volt’s inherent power source redundancy is too important to risk it being misunderstood. Actually, I talked at length in NYC (at Volt Nation in March) to Andrew Farah, the Volt Chief Engineer, about this very matter.

    One could of course postulate certain failure modes that could defeat this inherent advantage of the E-REV architecture —an example would be if the drive motor itself failed (e.g., due to a seized bearing or shorted windings). However, an electric motor’s failure rate is so low historically that such a failure is normally classified as “non-credible” —i.e., extremely unlikely to happen. (By contrast, other much more likely failures such as a flat tire can be avoided by use of “run-flat” tires such as some BMW models use).

    More specifically, as Grizzly implies in post 85, batteries (especially those with large numbers of cells in series) can NOT exhibit a hard short failure across the entire battery, which is a non-credible failure. So even if the battery totally discharges and perhaps also loses so many cells that it can’t be recharged, the ICE/GEN is designed to bring the battery power buss up to its normal operating voltage AND to supply sufficient current to the controller/motor to propel the car. Mr. Farrah assured me that GM has in fact done the FMECAs (failure mode & effects analyses) necessary to assure full power source redundancy is actually achieved even after all credible failures occur.

    By contrast, if a serpentine belt or a water pump fails in a conventional car, or the battery in a BEV dies, you’ll being calling AAA or a friend from the roadside within a few miles. So as Grizzly correctly said in post 59, “(In an E-REV) …if the ICE fails, you’ve still got a BEV, and if the batt. pack fails you’ve still got locomotive type power. No pure BEV can do this.”


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (3:16 pm)

    nasaman

    If what you say is true, then that does not describe a serial configuration; it implies parallel configuration.

    And still, if the battery goes, as mentioned in previous posts, the ICE in the Volt will not be able to do all the shifting and maneuvering necessary on the streets today. It may be able to supplement power, or even provide all power needed at max, but it cannot do all functions needed on a car without a transmission it by itself, rendering the car useless. Whether or not all batteries fail at the same time is a different story that can be debated, but if the battery fails, you will still be calling AAA.

    So as I stated before and your post does not change the statement, “if the battery fails, the whole car fails.”

    Just give me a pure BEV and be done with it already.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (3:17 pm)

    Let’s get real!

    I’m neither a GM sympathizer nor an EV1 fanatic. Let’s see if this can add some perspective for everyone. The EV1 was killed (yes GM killed their baby) because without the California mandate there was no MASS market. Yes, there would have been a decent niche market at the price it was leased (much bigger niche market today)but at $80,000 (if that amount is accurate) it would have been an extremely small niche. GM probably realized before the EV1 was produced that it was not going to make it on the open market for the quantities they needed to produce it in to be successful on any level.

    If you want to be angry with GM, take a stockholders perspective with the benefit of hindsight. They had the lead in EV technology at the time the EV1 program was axed and they through this lead and their investment away. The EV1 had to go but the baby didn’t have to be thrown out with the bathwater. They should have lobbied with the Feds and California for legislation that took “practical business” advantage of their lead in EVs. They had developed a EREV version of the EV1 and should have seen the potential then of this platform as well has a more basic BEV version. They would have had to start much more humbly than they are now with the Volt. It would have taken patience and years of losses, but they would be reaping the rewards now. So, don’t blame GM for bad morals, blame them for poor business decisions. This means a lot more to the people in this process that matter.

    In any case, all of this is water under the bridge now. The issue now is if the EREV Eflex is the best path to non-oil powered miles. This is much more worthy of debate than what should have been.

    Speaking of paths to non-oil powered miles, the I-miev has been brought up in the discussion here. I fail to see how this is much more of a solution than other existing NEV BEVs. Just because it is supposed to be highway legal and obtain highway speeds, doesn’t make it a practical all-purpose replacement. Even if you could get 100 highway miles (never with only 20KWh), that is not enough slow charging range for the mainland US. It will be a real good island option, however. Who wants to place their child in the rear seat of a car like that? 20KWh, is this usable or 100% capacity. Even if 100% capacity, it only translates to 76 higway miles based on the EV1 specs. I highly doubt the car shown in Static’s link will have the same or better aerodynamics and parasitic losses than the EV1. Also, I would guess the EV1 specs were based on 55MPH. What does that translate to for 70mph? We keep seeing single ranges bantered about for different vehicles, but realistically we should be seeing two (city & highway). This is true for any vehicle with AER range. Who cares if a vehicle has 100 miles range in the city, if it only gets 70 miles range on the highway. City range beyond 50 miles doesn’t mean much. It is the highway range that really matters for those that want >50 miles range. I think once the highway range for BEVs drops below 150 miles, the market shrinks dramatically.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (3:43 pm)

    95 jes…….
    It doesn’t matter what you CALL the Volt architecture, series, parallel, or whatever. I’ll try once more….. There are thousands of satellites in orbit around the earth. Most of them have solar arrays that keep their batteries charged, and as a guy who has worked for years in failure analysis and chaired/conducted detailed design reviews of many of these satellites and of other spacecraft, I can assure you their batteries can either fully discharge or fail catastrophically and their solar arrays will still supply uninterrupted power to all subsystems (except during earth eclipse, of course).

    So, after you’ve studied the Volt’s E-REV design, and discussed this subject in detail with the Volt’s Chief Engineer, I’ll discuss it further with you if you’re still unconvinced. Until then, let me reassure everyone here that the Volt can be driven virtually unimpaired with its battery completely disabled, or with its ICE totally disabled, and that this represents a major advantage over either a conventional car OR a BEV!

    If you still want to debate this, Jes, let’s take it offline rather than waste space here:
    ….write me at nasaman@earthlink.net


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    Statik

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (4:00 pm)

    This thread has the highest word count per post ever.

    /just saying


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (4:38 pm)

    Problem with the EV1 is that Hollywood made a movie about it saying it was great, so even if it’s a death trap and an ecological nightmare as well as overpriced as all-hell… Hollywood’s ego will never allow them to simply be wrong…

    Additionally Hollywood has already made movies about how evil GM is…

    Egotism overrides Eco-friendly in this case…


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    Just a heads up on the lionev.com! Someone posted in the forum here that they we scammed out of a bunch of money by them. I wouldn’t risk my money. One of the owners is supposedly in jail right now. Do your research on them or anyone before forking over a pile of money.


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    Anthony BC

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (5:13 pm)

    No more EV-1 (Let that car RIP) or Hydrogen PLEASE !

    Good points & well presented NASAMAN !

    THX for the t-shirt, Great work Lyle !

    Hey Bob, are the pics ready for July 4th!?!?!

    GO GM, GO VOLT !


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (5:41 pm)

    A martyr and hero…EV1 and VOLT.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (6:12 pm)

    Paul @ 79

    But the fact that we do speaks volumes about our worldliness!


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (7:09 pm)

    Put all of the politics aside. The economy is frail and failing fast.
    The cash flow to the war and super high gas prices will kill our economy. GM could still go bankrupt in 2009 if gas/food prices rise double to what they are today and people quit buying anything related to a gas powered car and sit at home broke with barely enough money to eat. The Volt could make it if it was here today, but 2011 will be too damn late to inspire a economy in total collapse.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (7:12 pm)

    Nasaman and Jes, thank you for that exchange.

    Nasaman, I have learned a lot from you and continue to do so.
    I am not an engineer. My degree is in IT.
    Thank you for being an excellent teacher.

    Statik, Grizzly, Noel, ThombDbhomb, N.Riley, etc.
    I learn from all you. Thank you.


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    Ghost

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (7:16 pm)

    Have we forgot the REAL reason GM can’t just start producing the EV-1?

    They sold the technology. To big oil.

    ” The EV-1 doesn’t meet any current safety laws…”

    Really? And since 1999 we have developed super force field technology that cannot be retro-fitted?? Why don’t you simply MAKE the EV-1 meet standards ( if it doesn’t already )

    100miles FULL EV range vs 40miles AND engine maintenance. This way GM loses NO buisness. You still need oil changes – and you still have engine problems – and yes, the engine will falt apart one day.
    You still need filters upon filters and this and that.
    Otherwise – money for GM. This is understandable from a business perspective though.

    If you believe the response from Mr.Lutz you really need to give your head a shake.

    The EV-1 *could* have been something huge. It was never marketed properly – and I find it *very* hard to believe that it would cost LESS than a vehicle that was designed from the ground up.

    Give your head a shake.

    I want GM to scucceed with the Volt as much as you all do – but *never* forget that GM sold the future of the automobile.

    They already HAD the electric car.

    They chose hummer instead and don’t you forget it.

    that being said.

    I am still rooting for the General.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (7:20 pm)

    The large number of posts here demonstrates just how many of us are interested in this Chevy Volt concept. I have noted that the vast majority of posts are well written and very technically informed. Absent for the most part is the emotionally charged hatred for G.M. that you often see. The posts have been refreshing and informative to read. Thanks to all of you for the information you have provided.

    To the folks at GM, I for one am tired of seeing the word “concept” precluding every new innovation that you introduce, and then NEVER seeing any real results from it. It remains a concept until it quietly disappears. Not only GM, but the so called big three seem to have lost their confidence! Hey, this is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Start showing some courage and ingenuity.

    GM, here’s a chalenge for you: Promise the VOLT no later than 2010, at a price not to exceed $40,000. Then deliver it in 2009 for $30,000. You say it can’t be done? Then speak with the engineers from Apollo 13.

    Ran


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (7:37 pm)

    106 Ran……
    I’d like to throw my hat into the same ring, Ran……..!
    ATTN GM: Here’s a challenge for you: Promise the VOLT no later than 2010, at a price not to exceed $40,000. Then deliver it in 2009 for $30,000. You say it can’t be done? Then speak with the engineers from Apollo 13.*

    *Be glad to help out, GM —if you want to talk about Apollo 13 or anything else write me anytime at nasaman@earthlink.net


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (7:44 pm)

    NASA didn’t have to produce a consumer products. Hell, the stuff only had to work once up until the shuttle and that thing is creaky at best. The sentiment is nice but the situations is far different.

    I am pulling for GM because I like the Volt technical design. If someone else beats them to it, I will buy there. Certainly there is a bit of “GO GM” in my heart but capitalism is a two-way street.


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    Jun 29th, 2008 (7:59 pm)

    DP #99

    Correct. A shame it is that so many can be swayed by a biased film. However it’s no different than being swayed by a newspaper article, book, or TV show. It’s unfortunate that by and large our society doesn’t have enough intellectual curiosity so as to motivate people even slightly interested in a topic to learn more. Everyone would benefit.

    If one didn’t know any better they’d believe that the Prius is the future, and that the Volt is a hybrid. They would also believe that Li-ion isn’t possible because Toyota and their keiretsu partner Panasonic couldn’t make it work. They’d believe that you should never put a drop of E-85 in your vehicle because people are “starving”. They’d believe that Toyota has superior engineers and that if they can’t do it, GM has no chance.

    I can’t stop laughing, and I don’t know whether that’s because it’s funny or because it’s better than crying.


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    Guy Incognito

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (8:05 pm)

    I don’t have a problem with Doug Korthoff, he’s an EV activist, and like all activists, its his job to agitate and make people aware.
    Doug drives a 1997 Toyota RAV-4EV with over 100,000 miles on it powered by the same Nickel Metal Hydride battery pack it came with.
    He recharges his EV with a rooftop photovoltaic array.
    Doug would still be driving the EV1 that he leased, but he can’t because GM took it away & crushed it, he practices what he preaches.

    I’m not going to add to the debate on the EV1, this thread already has over 108 comments.
    Any of you EV1 fans that are reading this, click on the links below.

    http://www.seattleeva.org/wiki/GM_EV1_WWU_Resurrection#False_YouTube_Comment

    http://www.mindspring.com/~larry.paul/EV1_Pictures.html


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    Antranig

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (8:06 pm)

    #50
    The Perfect Solution!
    Here’s a thought on how to make everyone happy.
    1. Bob Lutz and his Hummer friends get together and Buy or lease GM’s Factory
    2. Bob Lutz and his Hummer friends Buy a license to Produce the Hummer
    3 They make and sell them.
    Everyone wins! GM gets money for a plant they are not using. The workers get jobs. Bob Lutz and the Hummer supporters get their Hummer.The marketplace dictates whether they stay in business.
    Don’t you just love free enterprise!

    I guess GM is not going to stay in business to long :) .

    #52 Greg Woulf
    Is GM going to crush the Hummer?


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    TBK

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (8:33 pm)

    I hope so.


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    Ran

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (9:28 pm)

    TBK wrote: NASA didn’t have to produce a consumer products. Hell, the stuff only had to work once up until the shuttle and that thing is creaky at best. The sentiment is nice but the situations is far different.

    Right on TBK. And GM’s job is to produce a consumer product that functions properly and competes. NASA did their job. What about GM? I also have a bit of “GO GM” in my heart. I am frustrated to see them continuiously fail!


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    TBK

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (10:09 pm)

    Well, I kinda meant that NASA got to throw huge sums of money at the problem without having to worry about mass production.


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    JohnM.

     

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    Jun 29th, 2008 (11:26 pm)

    109 Grizzly

    Sh**! I guess I’m guilty. IF your right then my thoughts are wrong! Never thought a US company could lead, still not sure!

    John!


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    Randy C.

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (12:08 am)

    What galls me about the whole EV-1 experience is that special rules were applied to the car that guaranteed GM would have a hard time selling it, if it was ever intended to be sold. GM used these special rules that ONLY applied to the EV-1 and not a single one of their other cars to justify the destruction.

    The thing that has angered Doug, the other EV-1 drivers, and most of the people who saw the film “Who Killed the Electric Car” is the way the people willing to put up with GM’s anti EV actions to drive the EV-1 were treated. GM took a lot of little actions to try to put people off from driving the EV-1, expensive chargers that you had to pay the installation on, expensive leases, you had to meet an extensive list of requirements, wait a long time to get a car, you were not allowed to buy the car at any price etc.

    GM pulled stunts like this: You take the car in because there is a failure in the braking system. They tell you the next day you aren’t getting the car back the lease has been terminated, no offer of a replacement car no nothing. You have a car one day, the next day it is gone because the company that made it never did want you to have it. This has happened! I’m not making this up. Would you like to do business with a company that treats its customers like this?

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=120497&title=chris-paine


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    TED in Fort Myers

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (7:14 am)

    GM-Are you still considering a BEV version of the volt? Nasaman are you in Florida? Come on GM roll em out. Them remember the advetising (how far, how fast, how much?). I know eight people at my place of employment alone that would buy one for $30,000.00. At $40,000.00 only a fanatic like me would buy one. Hell I would drive a mule for $40,000.00.


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    Bill

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (8:56 am)

    The EV1′s battery lead-acid pack (most EV1s used the lead-acid pack) weighed 1310 lbs. vs. 375 lb. projected for the Volt pack (even the NiMH pack was close to 1200 lb.)

    Savings nearly 1000 lb. goes a long way to a more efficient EV.

    Lead-acid is really a terrible chemistry for electric propulsion – limited range, and short lifespan under heavy load.

    It’s difficult to take anyone seriously who still claims lead-acid batteries can power a modern, 4-seat, mass-market EV.


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (9:03 am)

    The EV1 is DEAD. It will stay DEAD. Except that it lives on in the form of the Volt. They are similar and not similar. But the fact remains that the EV1 is DEAD. Drop the subject. You are wasting time even discussing it. That is the past. This is the future. Let’s discuss the Volt. It is the present and future. It will give birth to a wide range of vehicles that will inherit its features and improve on its capabilities.

    Go GM and Go, Go, Go Volt.


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    Jason The Saj

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (9:13 am)

    Doug Korthoff and Chris Paine are idiots…

    I swear, sometimes I think Toyota financed “Who Killed the electric car”. And all these dumb people buy into it hook line and sinker like a Michael Moore film. Idiots too stupid to take a few moments and research what’s written and see if the truth or logic might otherwise point elsewhere.

    If they were true to their claimed callings then they’d be trying to build support for the Chevy Volt. Toyota and Honda did far worse sins. They’re the ones who got California’s zero emissions requirement eradicated (thus killing GM’s EV1 project). But they’re given a free ride….

    The EV1 unsell-able as a production car:
    - 2 seater
    - Limited range and long re-fueling time
    - Does not meet modern safety standards
    - $80,000

    The Honda Insight was also unsell-able as a production car:
    - 2 seater
    - 75mpg
    - $25,000

    No longer in production.

    ***

    OMG, GM is EVIL!!! They crushed the cars.

    You mean rather than have a billion dollars of research get taken apart by a rival company? You mean rather than be sued after some idiot abandoned a car laden with lead batteries in a lake when it died?


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    Robert

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (9:29 am)

    The GM Volt is Dead. Drill for more oil and pay $10 gas is the future.


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (10:42 am)

    I saw the film “Who Killed The Electric Car” and it was ok as a documentary. But like all documentaries of a political or environmental nature, I know to believe only part of it. You have to have enough sense to weed out those parts that do not hold true to the facts of the real world. It was interesting and somewhat entertaining, but that is all I really got from it. I did not go away believing GM was the evil company out to wreak havoc on the world.

    I truly do not blame GM for doing what they did, but I do wish they could have handled it differently. Hindsight is just wonderful.


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (10:49 am)

    Honda is supposed to start leasing their hydrogen fueled car, the FCX, later this year, it seems I heard. I wonder what they will do with those test vehicles when the “testing” period is over. I would put money on it that they will be taken up when the lease period is over and not sold to person leasing it. There may not even be a stated lease period. Honda may reserve the right to call the lease in at any time. I guess we will see.


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (10:53 am)

    #120 Robert

    You may pay $10 a gallon for gasoline whether the Volt is dead or not. Do I assume you want the Volt to be dead and gasoline to be $10 a gallon? Sounds like it from your statement. Why stop at $10. Why not hope for a real price of $25 dollars a gallon so only the government and the extremely rich could afford to drive. That would satisfy some wackos. Not saying you are a wacko, Robert.


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    jabroni

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (11:42 am)

    Of course, Bob Lutz is wrong on all of his assertions.


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    Jun 30th, 2008 (12:12 pm)

    #123
    The reason why I want $10 fuel is to have the USA wake up! To force change of how we live. Iam 100% for electric cars live closer to work and commute less. I want to see the US succed. All I see is our society getting lazy and fat. Hey if people are dump enough to pay $5 for starbucks I guess they are dump enough to pay for $10 gallon.


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    noel park

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (12:43 pm)

    #105 Rashiid Amul:

    Likewise, I’m sure. Thanks for your kind words.

    As to Mr. Lutz, I just picked up a copy of Elmore Leonard’s “Maximum Bob”. It was laying up on top of the bookcase looking decidely second hand. My wife, who is a bit of an EL fan, must have picked it up at a garage sale, LOL.

    Anyway, as many of EL’s novels are set in Detroit, I thought that such might be the basis of BL’s nickname. No such luck, as “Maximum Bob” is set in Florida, another favorite EL venue. I haven’t gotten very far, but “Maximum Bob” has already emerged as an arrogant and thoroughly unlikeable criminal court judge. His nickname is derived from his sentencing habits. Already, the future doesn’t look very bright for “Maximum Bob”.

    If you haven’t read the book already, I know that you must all be fascinated to learn about the adventures of Mr. Lutz’s namesake! I will keep you posted, while trying my best not to give away the ending.


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    Jeff

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (3:54 pm)

    The internal Combustion Engine is Dead.
    Only slow changing corporations keep it going.
    Get over it and move on.
    Or do you still use a typewriter, an icebox, an adding machine?
    How would you like a gasoline powered cell phone?
    A hydrogen fuel cell laptop?

    Battery Electric Cars are in your future in a big way, believe me.

    Check out the caution sign at the new Shell hydrogen refueling station in Santa Monica, CA. I’ve neveer seen a sign like this!

    http://homepage.mac.com/jeffuren/ShellHydrogenStation/PhotoAlbum39.html


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    Jim West

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    Gas prices were less than a dollar in 1999. Given today’s gas prices, the EV1 would be a huge success today. Lithium-Ion batteries are too expensive to be practical. GM should offer the Volt with regular lead-acit batteries, AGM batteries, no batteries at all, or Lithium-Ion batteries. Offering the Volt only with $16K Lithium-Ion batteries is not much of a serious offering. Anyone willing to pay $16K for a Lithium-Ion battery probably is not hurting from $4 a gallon gas. If the Volt success depends on Lithium-Ion batteries, it will be DOA, and you can use your GM stock to heat your fireplace next winter. Once again GM is about to take good technology and blow it. That’s sad.


  131. 131
    Jeff

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (5:15 pm)

    You are forgetting the economy of scale.
    My first cell phone/ car phone cost me $1400.
    Now you can get a much better one for almost free.
    Why?
    Millions of users.
    The first CD players were over $800.
    In just a few years they were under $200.
    So GM needs to offer a car with battery options and or battery upgrades.
    But I’ll take the best first.


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    Ken

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (5:45 pm)

    Just viewed the movie who killed the electric car. It can only happen in USA. The power of the petro dollar how conceited are these greedy individuals? As far as Mr James Woolsley who has conflict of interest sitting on the board of California fuel cell and chairing the CARB just un believable.
    The EV ! is a proven product and can be providing a solution to the world right now. Just imagine if these vehicles could be used in China how it wouls assist the impact of C02.
    If GM doesn’t want the produce this car give the patents to some one else to start manufacturing this marvelous machine. It can be solving the solution whilst a better one comes along. Power of the people in USA up rise and demand this is to happen don’t just take it from these greedy sons of bitches.
    Hydrogen is not the answer as all they want to do is to substitute petrol or (Gas) for the hydrogen so as to charge us suckers.
    Why not a hydrogen cell vehicle where the motorvehicle becomes the cell? because they cant sell us the hydrogen…The EV 1 means no revenue for the oil companies obviously. Who cars about the planet?


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    Bryan

     

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    Jul 1st, 2008 (11:38 am)

    I very rarely post but Doug’s letter is a simple testament of either stupidity or ignorance. In either case, the danger is that he may sound like he knows what he’s talking about to someone unfamiliar with the subject. Keep spreading the truth.


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    Ken

     

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    Jul 1st, 2008 (7:16 pm)

    Mr. Lutz’s response is utter B….sh..t. He must think that the average consumer is totally brain dead! or are a lot of mushrooms.
    The hybrid is just an alternative to satify the oil companies again in that to reduce the quantity of (gas) petrol to each consummer but at a much higher price and therefore the super profits are retained by the companies. A moral offering to the overall problem and retained profits..yeh yeh yeh…
    Come on you Americans get out of your comfy chairs and put preasure on your government to legislate and demand the reintroduction of electric vehicles. All the oil companies are wanting to do is to force the price of petrol (gas) up to an acceptable level to introduce hydrogen so us bunny’s can pay the manufactured price of the day which allows the massive super profit similar to what they are already enjoying.
    The alternantive is to produce a hydrogen cell within the vehicle which we will never see as it means no on going profits to the oil companies.
    Guess who is in control of western society???


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    Jeff

     

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    Jul 1st, 2008 (7:17 pm)

    Everyone seems to be focusing on the dispute between GM and the “EV1 diehards”. The comments about the battery pack from Lutz should be the focal point.

    “We are getting packs from our suppliers, they test well in both hot and cold, they store the energy as claimed, we are fast-cycling them to make sure they last, we are doing high-temp, high-load testing with the cooling system shut down and are experiencing no thermal problems. Trust me, the battery will not delay the car.”

    Sounds like an “GO” on the battery pack to me. Maybe Lyle can ask for a affirmative “GO” or “NO GO” from Lutz. Better yet, Lutz could stop by this “Doug fellow’s” house in a mule for a test drive. Nothing like your worse critic to endorse something. It does not mean though Doug gets to slide into the top of the waiting list. :)


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    j man

     

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    Jul 1st, 2008 (8:22 pm)

    What I do not understand is why GM just did away with the program. If they would have put more research, development and money into we would now have a EV2 or 3 that could get 100 miles to a charge and seat 4 or more people. Rather than waiting for allmost 2 more years we could have the Volt now.


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    Ken

     

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    Jul 1st, 2008 (9:58 pm)

    hI j man,

    Your question is simple! GM folded under the pressure of the oil companies due to their conflict of interest. Why do you think they repossessed all of the vehicles and crushed them?
    Obviously if they were genuine and marketed the product world wide they would sell millions but this would affect the oil companies’ profits due to no income from the sale of electricity to the electric cars.
    What is really disturbing is the $Billion’s of US dollars being spent on defence in middle east to procure the crude oil for the benefit of the oil companies at the expense of the US citizens who now have to pay the increased price of fuel.
    The agenda is to inflate the cost of petrol (Gas) to accommodate the cost of hydrogen which will be substituted at the gas stations to us all. Get the picture?


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 1st, 2008 (10:14 pm)

    Ken #135

    “Your question is simple! GM folded under the pressure of the oil companies due to their conflict of interest. Why do you think they repossessed all of the vehicles and crushed them?”

    *** *** ***

    Why would Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Honda…and a host of others have done the same? What do you think? Do you think? Or..do you just watch movies? Millions…millions in 1996 when the cost of regular was about $1.29/gal ???

    Do society a favor. Promise us you’ll read a book for the first time in your life! Thanks!


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    Ken

     

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    Jul 1st, 2008 (11:03 pm)

    Hi Grizzyly,
    Do you live in the Rockies mate?
    Do your self a favour and check out who the directors are on the various oil companies and the association they have with the politicians and manufacturers.

    Do you know why there is no official audit on the world crude recourses? Work it out pal because there are so many tapped sites through out the world which we are not privy to. But I have it on good authority since 1978 there are thousands of wells off shore plugged.
    The oil companies hold all the strings and have in your own country reversed the legislation in California of requirement of motor vehicle manufacturers to produce a percentage of Co2 free emissions.
    James Woolsley chairman of CARB who has taken up position with California Fuel Cell Partnership which is a hydrogen technology company had conflict of interest when the vote was made to remove the legislation.
    In respect to the other manufacturers you mentioned if the cap fits then ware it. No difference mate it still gets back to the petro dollar which now has become a commodity of fair trade which has made a massive impact on the world economy. So much that I believe your country will enter a depression not a recession.


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    xman1

     

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    Jul 2nd, 2008 (6:35 pm)

    You should have kept the EV-1′s and shredded the Hummers. You will lose way more than 1B when the Hummer, Tahoe, Suburban, Escalade and similar vehicles have their sales grind to a screeching halt.


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    Stew

     

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    Jul 2nd, 2008 (9:58 pm)

    Headline USA Today 8/09/2006:
    GM’s Wagoner doesn’t fear $4 pump prices, Despite the speculation about how high prices could run after the cutoff this week of BP’s Alaskan crude, Wagoner says he thinks vehicle sales are unlikely to nose-dive.

    And you are comforted by the soothing words of Mr. Lutz? Have you gone mad? GM’s stock today: 54 year low.

    You’ll forgive me if I don’t have much confidence in Mr. Lutz’s response. Yeah, it’s much cheaper to design a whole new vehicle then add a passenger side airbag and stick side impact beams in an EV1.


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    Whistleteeth

     

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    Jul 3rd, 2008 (7:02 pm)

    Why spend $80k on an EV-1 when you can by a Tesla for $96K? If I had the cash I would deffinately by haulin’ around in a Tesla. Make the Volt for under $40K, under $30K whatever, and you’ll sell well over a million units.


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    Jul 3rd, 2008 (8:12 pm)

    Whistleteeth

    Get serious here. China could build the EV-1 for $US10k or less under Lic for GM and supply the whole world. probably for $20 k.


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    Allan

     

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    Jul 3rd, 2008 (8:14 pm)

    I understand the argument of not being able to revive the EV-1, but it does seem to be a mistake to crush perfectly working vehicles and prevent people from paying enormous amounts of money for them.


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    Dale Wallace

     

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    Jul 4th, 2008 (6:59 am)

    Remember the objective. No middle east oil. No exhaust. Stay focused. If it is 2010, we can wait. This $4.00 to $5.00 gas is draining everyone dry. For the commuter, this works. We will always need diesel for the big rigs, road equipment, etc.


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    Jul 5th, 2008 (6:25 pm)

    Get serious, Lutz is lying. If the EV1 cost “$80K” to build, that makes GM’s relentless hunting down and destruction of each and every one even less understandable.

    Toyota wasn’t afraid of selling the RAV4-EV for cash, and letting go of it, letting buyers actually own a production EV. Why was GM afraid to let the EV1 go, afraid to sell it for cash? Was it GM’s friend, Chevron, which had colluded to kill the NiMH batteries needed for the RAV4-EV?

    Lutz says of the VOLT “GM really needs this car” and at the same time “GM will lose money on it for years”. It isn’t planned before 2011, it will be in limited numbers, probably with leased batteries (You pay for 16 kWh of Lithium, but you can only use 8 kWh — whereas NiMH or Lead would only need 8 kWh) . This doesn’t make any sense, and belies the fact that GM’s own existence by 2011 is in doubt by some financial analysts. So how can it afford years of pain??

    Those who believe that it would take GM 3 years to “fix it for safety requirements” are probably also stupid enough to believe that GM crushed the EV1 “for liability issues”. Like Honda claimed it crushed the HondaEV for “insurance reasons”. Lies are easy to make up.

    For those who believe that Lutz knows batteries, you might look into the BANKRUPTCY of Exide Battery, where Lutz also pumped Lion Batteries (Lithium batteries for EVs). Just after Lutz jumped ship to flee to GM, Exide went Bankrupt, partially due to being saddled with too much debt, arguably because Lutz knew nothing of the battery business.

    So what’s his claim to knowledge anyway?

    The Lead and NiMH batteries work every day, are the most researched EV batteries, and are the lowest life-cycle cost batteries ever made.

    Lutz is just not telling the truth, and should be regarded as highly questionable.

    If GM wanted to make an EV, it already had a serial-hybrid version of the EV1 back in 1998. GM could at least allow volunteer engineers to restore museum versions of the EV1 which were crushed; instead, GM ordered them to suppress the restored EV1, to keep it off the streets, and not to run it as a full Electric car.

    So GM is obviously lying about the VOLT, as you will discover when it’s cancelled and Lutz flies on to his next dirty deed.


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    Jul 5th, 2008 (11:50 pm)

    Doug
    I totally agree with you on your comments. It is a conspiracy to protect the deluge of sales by the oil companies in my opinion.
    A blatant disregard to the future existence of our western society. Total greed which will bring our planet to its knees.
    There are a lot of companies prospering from the escalation of oil prices and inflation will also become a huge problem world wide. The electric car would have been just one alternative to reduce the dependence of fossil fuel which taken in context a benefit to C02 reduction even though an increase on electrical power demand from the power supply grid.
    Solar power, geothermal and Co2 absorption from coal producing power plants are all sources that this planet will need to use. In Australia I see eventually the use of nuclear power stations.
    There are numerous small time inventors who are going to solve the viability of a hydrogen cell within the vehicle and the technology will be free to all just like the internet so eventually the monopoly will fall just like goliath and the giant. Push people too far and you have to deal with the consequences.
    The race is on and if we can beat the major companies at their own game and produce the hydrogen cell capable of generating sufficient gas within the vehicle there will be no need to buy it at the gas station as the majors are working towards.
    Once this cell has been produced the technology provided to the Chinese a turn around will happen I feel and I hope to see this in my life time.


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    Chelsea

     

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    Jul 7th, 2008 (3:52 am)

    For balance I thought this needed to be stated. Doug Korthof leased a vehicle some years ago from GM. That vehicle was an EV-1. Doug fell short on his financial obligations as set forth in the lease and despite every effort on behalf of GM, Doug could/would not favorably resolve the issue. GM had no choice but to properly footnote Doug’s credit report.

    I felt this omission was necessary.

    CS


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    Ken

     

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    Jul 7th, 2008 (7:20 pm)

    Chelsea,
    In regards to Doug’s arrangement with GE who cares. Stick to the subject.
    You no doubt were involved in the supply or finance of the EV-1’s seeing you have made a statement of fact in regards to Doug’s leasing arrangements.
    Obviously the intellectual property and the patterns to the EV-! are still available so why doesn’t GM pass them onto another manufacturer preferably a Chinese company who can then make an economically viable version of the vehicle?
    There seems to be a moral issue here and the average intelligent human being can read through the B…dust.


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    Stanley

     

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    Jul 8th, 2008 (9:06 pm)

    It’s obvious that Doug has a beef with GM. Thanks Chelsea for pointing that out, I always wondered about that and why. Finally it’s clear! This guy is not exactly playing with a full deck.

    Stan W.


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    Doug Korthof

     

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    Jul 9th, 2008 (10:23 am)

    Just another GM lie. We have excellent credit, and never were late on payments on BOTH of our EV1. So “CS” is ignorant of the fact that we had TWO EV1.

    But GM is compelled to lie, and its paid “sockpuppet” posters make up things.

    We did have a dispute with GM, which charged former EV lessees for “scratches” on the cars that they crushed; these charges were impossible to make sense of, because GM had crushed the cars, instead of selling them to us for the residual value.

    GM just made these charges up.

    An EV driver, D. G., contacted a lawyer who wrote a letter to GM demanding that they prove any charges (pretty tough, since they crushed the cars!). Instead of meeting us in open court, GM violated FCRA and reported it as a “chargeoff”, which damaged our credit and could have resulted in a statutory penalty of $5000 against GM. But GM removed their illegal attempt to damage our credit, and we dropped the issue.

    Some EV1 lessees wound up paying GM for damages to the EV1 that GM crushed, it added insult to injury.

    We’d like to see GM redeem itself by building an EV, and coming clean with the truth about the EV1. It’s not true that “cost” is the reason GM won’t build one; volunteer engineers, at no cost to GM, restored one to fully electric mode.

    Instead of letting it go, GM stopped them from showing it, reminding them of the conditions under which GM had donated it (as gutted and inoperative).

    So if GM won’t even let an EV1 be restored, at no cost to GM, COST is obviously NOT the reason GM won’t build the EV1.

    GM just hates Electric cars, that’s the indication.


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    Jul 9th, 2008 (10:53 am)

    PROOF that GM is still killing the EV: When volunteer engineers restored an EV1 from “gutted and destroyed” to full Electric operation, GM stopped it from being shown or operated on the roads, and “reminded” WWU of the conditions of its donation, that it NEVER be restored to a full electric car.

    So the reason that GM refuses to build the EV1 has nothing to do with cost, GM just wants to suppress the Electric car.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=UjKG5bVeCDs

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YCBc8pL1SGc


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    Jul 9th, 2008 (1:46 pm)

    The 1997 EV1, when refitted with the Panasonic Storage Battery EV-EC1260 battery pack, had a little over 18 kWh of accessible energy. The EV1 went up to 6 miles per kWh (if you don’t believe that, you need to study). Hence, it was possible (and we did) get up to 110 miles (18 times 6 is 108) on a charge.

    For those of us who had two EVs, the 1999 using Ovonics-GM NiMH batteries often had, after 50,000 miles, about the same range as the 1997 with the lead-acid batteries. This was noted by more than one lessee.

    The same batteries were used on the 1999 version for lease in Arizona, because of the high heat; they also got more than 100 miles on a charge.

    Most importantly, the PSB batteries never failed (as the original Delco batteries had often failed). The PSB lead batteries were very reliable.

    So why not resume production of a 100-mile-range EV, using cheap lead-acid batteries, which could be made available right now?

    Lutz is a battery ignoramus, of course; recall that he left EXIDE slide into bankruptcy (he fled to GM from Exide just before it went under). So he’s not expected to know about batteries.

    But Lutz’ explanation for why GM didn’t sell the EV1 is faulty, and shows that he’s more than just ignorant about EVs.

    There are still people walking around who were unable to get on the so-called ‘waiting list’ for the EV1; in fact, there WAS NO waiting list, it was an informal thing that overwhelmed “EV1 specialists” did to relieve the pressure. It was NOT something that GM sanctioned; GM consistently told would-be lessees, such as Jerry S., that there was no chance that they could get an EV1 and they should just forget about it.

    That’s GM’s customer service. And Jerry never did get to a specialist, let alone get his name on a “waiting list”. The point is, there was ALWAYS more demand for EVs than there were EVs.

    The fact that the GM-VOLT website is ignorant of these facts, and that they’ve been withheld from you, should indicate that GM is not coming clean about the EV1 or its intentions.

    Lutz, of course, just makes stuff up on the fly, like saying that GM only “sold” 800 EV1 (in fact, it was only a lease that had special no-sale provisions, and there were 1115 or more of them that were “leased” under these bad conditions). So they are lying to you.

    And why would anyone believe Lutz’ implication that it would cost “$80,000″ to build the EV1 today? In mass production, the cost would come down; and there’s little reason to believe Lutz is any more accurate about costing than he is about the number of EV1 or the lease terms.


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    Jul 9th, 2008 (7:10 pm)

    Doug,
    Your comments are believable from my camp in Australia. We are currently paying $US1.68 a litre which represents approx $US5.88 a US gallon.
    Iran produces 40% of the world’s production and is on the edge of a war with Israel.
    If this becomes actual what do you think the price of fuel will be?
    What impact will this be on the world economy??? Forget recession you better believe it, we will have a depression. 1930’s all over again.
    The moral issue is for the government to demand the production of alternative energy vehicles to be made hence the reintroduction of the EV or release the technology to the Chinese. You would have vehicles mass manufactured for less than $US10, 000.
    India has released the Tat Ta for under $A10, 000 and we are 0.95 to 1 $US as at today I believe.
    Doug how long did you have the EV-1 for? What did the battery charging device cost or was this a leased item? What were the lease costs on the vehicle? Did you have to pay for replacement batteries and if so what were the cost? The hybrids over here are very expensive and the major issue is battery replacements of which have been spouted in thousands of dollars.


  155. 155
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    Jul 10th, 2008 (7:44 am)

    Ken,
    We looked at the 1997 EV1 (with defective Delco batteries) in Spring, 1997, for $599/month lease, but we compared it with the HondaEV ($499/month lease) and decided to lease that instead.

    The 1997 EV1′s original Delco lead-acid batteries were demonstrably defective, whereas the NiMH batteries in the HondaEV took it up to 140 miles on a charge, and never failed.

    The HondaEV and RAV4-EV were released in Spring, 1997; it took until Sept. 1997 before Honda would release the HondaEV to us. That’s when we realized that the auto makers really hated EVs, and were going to make it as difficult as possible to get one.

    After seeing what a dream the HondaEV was, how reliable the batteries, we knew that the problem with the EV1 was just GM batteries. GM had, we thought, sabotaged the EV1 with its bad batteries. So we leased an EV1 anyway, for $250/month (it was a demonstrator), even knowing the batteries were bad. After a while, GM finally gave in, and upgraded their defective batteries to PSB EV-EC1260 lead-acid batteries, and the problems vanished: the range went up to 110 miles, and they never failed. We loved this car. GM confiscated it for 14 months on a “voluntary recall”, but finally had to give it back, and we drove it for two years until GM crushed it. It was great, a fun car to drive, and charged on either a regular household plug or a 220 dryer plug. We hooked up a 10 kW fast charger to one, and it could refill in a little more than an hour.

    When they started taking EVs away from us, we got on the informal “waiting list” for the 1999 NiMH EV1, but GM was supposedly holding them back. Finally, in Dec., 1999, our “ev specialist” was authorized to release one to us. It was $499/month, and we kept it for 3 years until GM forceably took it away and eventually crushed it. This car had all the problems resolved: it once registered an indicated range of 200 miles, but always could be counted on for more than 140 miles on a charge. It had (what we now know are) inferior GM-Ovonics batteries, which slowly lost range, but they never failed. This was perhaps the most enjoyable EV to drive; it ALWAYS beat everything else off the line, because an EV has maximum torque at 0 RPM; after about 30 mph, a big mercedes could catch us, because the EV1 only had 100 kW of power, but no production car could beat us off the line. So on most city streets, you were up to the speed limit before most cars got moving!

    If there were EV1 on the road, now, people would demand them; it’s not true that you were limited to the local area, we often drove to SF or LV, up to Big Bear, and with the fast charger, to Toronto, New York, and a trip to Florida through Texas. You could charge at any house, just plug-in the fast charger (or carry a magnechager in the huge trunk), or charge at any RV park. Or your friends home.

    Usually, we charged at home, slowly, using off-peak power at night.

    After we got our solar system, we could drive a car made in America, and fueled entirely by American electrons. Our daytime solar electric production helped the grid meet daytime peak summer usage, and our nightly charging helped use off-peak electric that usually goes begging, they shut down big generators at night, a costly and dirty process.

    So all you need is to buy an EV1, the AVOIDED COST you don’t spend on gasoline more than pays for your rooftop solar system. Our family has driven 600,000 miles in the HondaEV, EV1, RangerEV, Rav4-EV and conversions; that avoids, at our fleet average of 20 mpg, 30,000 gallons of gasoline. At $2/gallon, we saved at least $60,000; our solar system originally cost only $12,000.

    So now, we drive on our own excess electric, and we drive free of pollution and free of cost, since the solar system is paid for; and we get our domestic electric for free.

    To travel 1000 miles per month in an EV1, it only takes 200 kWh (the EV1 gets up to 6 miles per kWh); the average home uses 1000 kWh per month.

    Why not you? Why can’t you be allowed to do this?


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    Jul 10th, 2008 (7:32 pm)

    Doug,
    I have only recently become aware of the EV-! After watching the movie and I must say it amazing how this technology has been suppressed.
    What speed was the EV-1 capable of travelling?
    Does Honda still sell or lease the EV?
    Do you still gave the Honda EV?
    This morning a representative of GM in Adelaide Australia announced that GM is capable of producing alternative fuel vehicles provide the market was there. Can you believe it?


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    Jul 11th, 2008 (6:55 pm)

    The EV1, like the RAV4-EV and HondaEV, was limited by an electronic governor to 80 mph.

    Our HondaEV was taken away under false pretenses by Honda, the lease cancelled, and it was crushed. At the time we had the high-mileage HondaEV. Honda now brags about the HondaEV but doesn’t make it; Honda is pushing fuel cell cars, a delaying tactic.

    Yesterday, GM announced that the VOLT would be present in only limited quantities prior to 2015, and would therefore have no appreciable effect on GM’s MPG (“cafe”) standards.

    This indicates that once again, EV enthusiasts such as the poor souls signed up for the Volt Nation will be doomed to disappointment.

    If GM releases only a few hundred VOLT, and if they are leased batteries, and if the engine comes on to protect the delicate battery during acceleration, then you will truly experience the kind of disillusionment that once-enthusiastic EV1 lessees feel.


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    Aug 24th, 2008 (12:23 pm)

    Interesting, so many lies and so much misinformation.

    The EV1 was not the only EV that was crushed; it was also not the only EV, and some EVs were not crushed. But that’s too complicated for the GM sock-puppets who post slander and lies.

    Lutz is not “no nonsense”, he’s just stone IGNORANT. Lutz knows nothing about EVs, and exhibits profound arrogance and ignorance. It’s a lot different powering a 100 kW EV from Lithium than powering a 100 W laptop, as Lutz is going to find out.

    Sure the batteries are improving, but Lithium is so far behind NiMH or Lead-acid that it would be decades before they are practical in the ONE dimension that counts: LIFE-CYCLE COST.

    The Tesla will work; but we know how and how long it works, and it’s a bit more complicated than an ignoramus like Lutz can understand. It’s far too expensive for mass production, although they would sell out all they could make even at $100K.

    And that would have been the EV1, if GM had not crushed it, but instead had improved it, year after year.

    THE TESLA IS THE GEN-III SUCCESSOR TO THE EV1, it has the same inventor — Alan Cocconi — behind it, but he started using Lithium when Tom Gage was working with Aerovironment’s Lithium airplanes, and when they could not get good lead-acid batteries for the GEN-II successor to the EV1 (an affiliate of GM bought up the Optima company and derated the batteries they were using).

    Lithium took a lot of work, but they made it work, at a certain expense. But Lutz knows nothing of this, nor does he care about what the cost is, since the VOLT will only be produced, if at all, in tiny quantities (GM submission to NHTSB).

    The point is, NiMH is practical now, and Lithium requires research; so why delay an EV when it could be made now?

    Lutz shuts out the EV1 because he knows nothing about it; he’s so unhip, he thinks EV1 drivers were worried about running out of juice. That was the GM party line back in 1996, when they issued it with defective Delco batteries; but with good Lead-acid batteries (PSB EV-EC 1260), it never failed and had 100 miles range (up to 110).

    It was Toyota’s release of the EV-95 battery in Spring, 1997 that forced GM to lower its exhorbitant lease price for the EV1, and to upgrade the batteries first to PSB lead, and then to GM-Ovonics NiMH.

    The NiMH version had an EPA range of 140, better than the HondaEV’s 120 and the Toyota RAV4-EV’s 125.

    But you’ll never know, because GM crushed all of them. The only ones gutted, wires torn out and stripped, to schools were the 1997 version, not the NiMH version. And GM won’t even let third parties restore these donated EV1 to their former running glory, GM put out a cease and desist order against a university that restored one and ran it on the street. Now, you can’t see it.


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    Aug 30th, 2008 (10:38 pm)

    My GOD people…the EV1 is a no brainer! It’s like they just keep trying to reinvent the wheel when there’s one already rolling. Just accept it! GM FAILED! …and continues to do so…


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    Sep 14th, 2008 (9:24 am)

    Jeff 129.

    Here in Australia we have even more comprehensive warning signs regarding smoking, mobile phone use etc on our unleaded petrol bowsers.


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    Sep 21st, 2008 (8:20 pm)

    It seems like Mr. Lutz always leaves out the fact, when talking about electric batteries and why they can’t produce them. That is, they sold the EV-95 nickel metal Hydride battery patents to Texaco which later became Chevron for a reported $100 million. This battery powered the Toyota RAV4-EV until they got sued for patent infringement to stop production of the car.
    It appears that Toyota was able to license a low capacity battery from Chevron to put in the Prius but cant’ use the EV95 battery. Which could probably make the Prius an all electric car. But you can’t argue that Mr. Ovshinsky design for GM didn’t work as Toyota has done a good job of proving it does work in the Prius.
    It is funny though you never here about the air car which is proved to work and for all the great automotive engineers in the world this idea has never been brought forward as a simple solution to all of the problems. Heaven knows their is plenty of hot air in Washington to power many fleets of these cars.
    But realistically GM is not going to produce an electric car that works in the $20,000- $30,000 range where it could make a difference. The volt gets about 40 miles per charge who wants a car over $50,000 that can only go about 40 miles.


  162. 162
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    Oct 16th, 2008 (7:50 pm)

    So .. why didn’t any other mfr make a car that was equal to or better than the EV1 and sell it?
    Hmmm … maybe they couldn’t… but somehow GM’s the bad guy?
    I think we are better off that they did… at least we know the electric drive is the way to go… get rid of the ICE engine and transmission.
    It’s a shame we haven’t progressed past the model T.

    I’ve never seen a Prius that is 10 years old and still on the road.
    And if there is one… it is costing the owner many times more than my 17 year old Pontiac that still has it’s original exhaust … no rust and shinny original paint… total repairs in 17 years less than $800 and still runs and looks very good… no Hybrid that’s on the road can come close to the cost effectiveness even if you add mpg.

    We are headed towards a Hydrogen fuel cell that may beat my Pontiac… the VOLT is a good step. Only a few mild hybrids like the Saturns and the FORD Escape hybrid make any sense today.


  163. 163
    Dan Petit

     

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    Oct 21st, 2008 (7:57 pm)

    Let us all offer to make real bets with anyone skeptical about the coming of the Volt. That way, let those who are skeptical about the terrific advancements in energy density of the new lithium-ion-nano-phosphate batteries, AND THEIR EXISTENCE be forced to do some homework and find out how wrong they are. I HAVE SIX OF THE A123 LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES RIGHT HERE THAT I’LL SELL TO ANYONE, WHICH I BOUGHT DIRECTLY FROM GM’S POTENTIAL SUPPLIER A123 IN WATERTOWN MASS. (You can buy them directly as a “Developer Pack”, and prove to yourself that they indeed exist.) You’d better be careful with them, however. I embarrassed myself by accidentally touching the positives and negatives of two cells in “short” to each other during a showing of “Who Killed the Electric Car” here in Austin, Texas, (at the Arbor Theater), where, in the parking lot at the same time were exhibited a very fine set of examples of home-built electrics and OEM plug-in electrics.
    I had carelessly touched two sets of terminal tabs of 2 (of the 6), cells of a “Developer Pack” in short-circuit for only a quarter of a second, and the tabs heated up to burning temperature in the quarter-second-touching, which burned a line into my left thumb in one quarter of a second. These little batteries (just taller than a “C” flashlight cell), each can unleash an astonishing 100 amperes! So that was 200 amps at 3.30 volts, which produced about 660 watts instantly. Being both Astonished as much as I was Embarrassed, I kept my composure as if nothing had happened, yet became COMPLETELY CONVINCED as to the extreme power capability of this new technology. Each of four tabs on each cell have two semi-circular cuts in it that is actually a 100 amp fuse! That way, an overload can pop the tab fuse no matter from which direction the overload is presented.
    If anyone REALLY is at all open minded about this, then they would immediately go to the A123.com site and investigate for themselves. Otherwise, the lesson of the universe is that there will always be change. Much for the worse, much for the better, and finally, one little breakthrough in technology for a change for an astonishing “BETTER”.
    I hope GM chooses A123 as their Lithium Ion battery supplier, because I believe that there is a synergistic economic benefit for keeping the money circulating on the North American Continent. It’s not a question of “having the battery” , it is a business question of how the physics of the battery chemistry hold up in relation to GM’s promise as to how they expect that they will hold up as represented in the Battery Warranty, and also as to how the many other warranty aspects of the breakthrough will need to be set up,
    The phrase “having a battery” means all these things for the very best interests of the General Motors Chevy Volt owner.
    Lead is Dead, because it just takes too damn long to change out 39 worn out 8 volt SLA (sealed-lead-acid) batteries from, say, a Ford Electric Ranger, (although it represents an historical lesson-learned about SLA’s not being economically-serviceable WHATSOEVER. The EV1, and all the other EV’s are our most valuable GREEN HERITAGE because of these hard lessons learned). Recycling 39 dead lead batteries every 18 months is crazy. Paying $4,000 for Nickel Metal Hydride Hybrid (very short distance Prius) batteries is also unacceptable.
    The Nickel Metal Hydride chemistry and physics just will not last long enough. 5 or 6 years is just not long enough and the serviceability economics just aren’t good enough either.
    As in Prius, their customers will NOT usually pay 4,000 bucks for a new traction battery. (The owner “BAILS OUT” to buy a non-Prius as I have repeatedly seen).

    Check out the battery specs at
    A123.com,
    and you’ll see for yourselves.
    Get your hopes up.
    If you won’t be able to afford it sooner, you’ll likely be more able to afford one later. Increasing affordability IS ONE THING OEM’S DO A GREAT JOB WITH.

    Dan Petit, Austin, TX.


  164. 164
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    Oct 29th, 2008 (7:24 pm)

    Doug is just needing to sell his movie. Royalties are a powerful motivator against reality. I saw Doug’s movie and there was not one single fact regarding any cost-effectiveness of those obsolete technologies in an independent servicing situation then or now.
    While very few people know about those sorts of economics, I can easily see that Doug makes up his politics as he goes and will be proven WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, and I believe he knows it.
    Therefore, that is why I believe he must step up his “anything but a Volt” stance because his royalties will soon drop off to little or nothing.
    I was never impressed with Dougs movie whatsoever.
    While it may have brought some energy to the market on behalf of plug-ins, he has fulfilled his purpose for that and should be apreciated for that but forgotten once the Volt comes out if he’s got nothing new ,AND TRUE. (Publish or perish).
    Being “anchored” into one strictly-fixed political EV position like that is the “poisoning of one’s own well”, as the only constant in the universe is change, where the Universe is entirely in opposition to any rigidly-fixed belief, sooner rather than later. (What remains as an audience , then, are those very, very few who “can be fooled all of the time”.)
    From a viewpoint wherein I daily witness the exceptional cost-effectiveness of the singe-owner-”mom & pop” auto repair shops (and independently/individually-owned “chain” outlets),
    whose owners are there also protecting their reputations as listed on their business name signs out front, I can tell you that the rating I give Dougs movie for motivating the market to buy plug-ins is a 9 out of 10. The technical rating of Dougs work is a 1 out of 10, The overall rating of Dougs movie is a 5 out of 10. The rating of the silly politics of Doug thereafter, in context with economic serviceability (after the warranties would have run out of those obsolete technologies), in the context even today, of what replacement Prius traction NiMh batteries cost the current owners at a dealer, for example, I rate Dougs current technological position as a ZERO out of 10.
    In THE VERY REAL WORLD of professional DAILY experiences within 85 trained & supported independent shops wherein I have trained over 280 technicians in Advanced Processor and Drive Systems, Doug has no technical context or professional work experience whatsoever, as clearly evident in the “bouncing-around-for-anything-Anti-Volt” statements. He is compromising his very own VERY SERIOUS GOOD that he did in fact do, in getting the public focused onto Plug-ins.

    Dan Peit
    ASE-Examined as Educator (99X “Educator/ALL”)
    A6,A7, A8 C1 & L-1

    Dan Petit .


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    Nov 14th, 2008 (8:18 pm)

    GM had its chance and has shown to be years in the dark. Billions to prolong what it’s grasp that its cars are ugly and consumer rejects. It has proven that technology is possible and proven and was so ignorant and closed minded that consumers are also not willing to waste their time and money on what one possible VOLT which is not even being sold right now. They are bankrupt already in supporters and ideas. They do not care about consumers needs and future innovations. So they are going broke that makes sense. Also there reliability in a Global Economy can not beg it’s citizens to throw them a bone when there loyality in return is in their greed and unsuccess. Capitalism has ups and downs the grip has loosened time for new companies to prove and prosper.


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    Dec 3rd, 2008 (6:15 pm)

    The simple reason very large companies can not “turn-on-a-dime” in
    order for consumers to “get it now”, is that they can not realistically do business at what I call “direct-tier”, one-to-one business contracting. They can not possibly have the infinitely-direct, one-to-one direct communications at every level of product development in any entirely new redirection of the industry like many would hope. That just can not happen ever.
    Our personal direct involvements regarding products we decide to buy are instantaneous on the ‘net. The simple economics and direct transactions we perform every day are at one end of a nearly infinite spectrum of simplicity on our end, and compound-complex transactions, contracts, long-term obligations (from suppliers whom hopefully will stay solvent), and a vast number of other considerations on GM’s end. (Hence, they can not easily stop building large vehicles when in only one year, fuel costs skyrocket).
    Therefore it is not fair to compare the past with the present, the relative design simplicity of the past with the vast array of optional equipment, for example, that motorists demand in the present.
    While we do NOT want something coming out prematurely which may have a flaw, (and raise heck about it all over creation), the time it takes to build an entirely new set of industries in the decarbonizing of the planet and the satisfaction of the customer can not be reduced to the expressions of frustrations (which frustration energy may be spilling over to the Volt from elsewhere in peoples’ lives). GM has ALWAYS done the right thing. ALWAYS.
    While most can not understand that previous technologies just were not at all cost-efficient, AND, if you TOTAL-CARBON-ACCOUNTED for those old attempts in relation to what it would cost today to fix them, you would know that GM and others certainly did the right thing.
    Dan Petit Austin TX


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    Mar 23rd, 2009 (12:46 am)

    Lutz gets away with lies because no one questions his crap.

    Sure, Lithium batteries exist, but they don’t (yet) meet the requirements of an EV:

    1. High power draw, at least 40 kW;
    2. Deep cycle, at least 25 kWh;
    3. High cycle-life, at least 1000, or an indicated life of 100,000 miles.

    Lithium may someday work, but the only proven battery that lasts longer then the life of the car is NiMH. Lithium is far more expensive, and doesn’t last as long.

    So if Lutz weren’t lying, he might explain why GM doesn’t release the VOLT with lead, and upgrade to NiMH or Lithium when and if it becomes available.

    The 1999 EV1 with PSB 1260 lead-acid batteries had more than 100 miles range; Lutz is still not admitting this simple fact.

    We are still driving Toyota RAV4-EV, last sold in Nov., 2002, the only Electric car ever offered for sale (for six months) by the Auto Alliance; but GM sold control of NiMH to Chevron, on Oct. 10, 2000, and Chevron sued Toyota, winning $30 million — and no more NiMH batteries for RAV4-EV were ever made. The RAV4-EV program was stopped; the agreement with Chevron’s unit “Chevron Ovonics Battery Systems” apparently only allows Toyota to use NiMH for hybrids that can’t plug in.

    That;s the reason that car companies are pretending, fooling with Lithium, they can’t pr won’t use NiMH.


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    May 3rd, 2009 (8:34 am)

    The simple reason GM cant start making EV1 this year is that they also destroyed the plans on how to make it. Simply put they need 3 years to re-engineer it… THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE THE EV1 Anymore then do Toyota or anyone else wanting to make it.. The plans do not exist. When Obama heard of this he asked Wagner to step down. Thats the story on EV. The Volt will ultimately fail as the large majority of Former EV drivers will not trust GM….


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    May 26th, 2009 (8:15 pm)

    Lutz was nothing more that a front man for GM to lie to the American People. Obama was right to get rid of Lutz but more should have been sent packing. GM should sink to the bottom of the ocean. The battery story is interesting, but of course no one at GM is willing to tell the truth. GM and Chevron together tried to kill the battery company that made a good battery that really did work. I agree, nobody should trust GM