Jul 12

Mitsubishi Prices the iMiEV Close to the Expected Price of the Chevy Volt

 

As many here may know, Mitsubishi has built working prototypes of a pure electric car it calls the iMiEV. These vehicles have been demonstrated in the U.S. and Japan, and are currently undergoing fleet monitoring tests.

The Nikkei recently reported that Mitsubishi plans on selling these cars in Japan beginning in 2009, with 2000 units produced in the first year and 10,000 units by 2011.

The vehicle is a 2300 pound 4-seater that uses a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack powering a 47 kw motor and is able to achieve a top speed of 85 mph. Whether it will come to the U.S. isn’t known, but the initial starting price in Japan will be $37,496 USD.

110V charge time is listed as 14 hours, max range is 100 miles, and there is no range extender.

Compared with the Volt, with its aggressive styling, 120 kw motor, 100 mph top speed, and range extender, it is worth noticing that both cars will be so similar in pricing.

Source (Trading Markets ), (GreenCarCongress ), and (Mitsubishi )

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 12th, 2008 at 8:07 pm and is filed under Competitors, Financial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 155


  1. 1
    RB

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:11 pm)

    It’s a very impressive car, a little more expensive than I had thought it would be, but less than the Volt is likely to be. (And not as good, either.) Perhaps we should wait to discuss comparative styling until we know what the Volt will look like.


  2. 2
    kent beuchert

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:18 pm)

    If Mitsubishi is smart, they’ll keep this away from direct competition with the Volt. You’d have to be pretty braindead …


  3. 3
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:18 pm)

    A 14 hour charge time would never fit with my schedule.
    100 miles max is too short for my 101 miles per day.
    No range extender means range anxiety.

    People in this country (if it is sold here) will most likely need a second car that was an ICE car. I see this car as an NEV mostly because of its limited range. But perhaps those commuters that commute less than I would appreciate it more.

    I believe I sat in one of these at Voltnation. I remember being impressed with how much room was inside.


  4. 4
    RB

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:28 pm)

    I’d prefer the Volt because it has an ICE backup. Even so, remembering that most people have commutes of 40 miles or less, I think there is a big potential market for this car in the US, if it costs significantly less than the Volt. Maybe even me.


  5. 5
    Arch

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:32 pm)

    They are all going to price these cars high till they get some history with them. Bean counters tend to do that with new concepts. JMHO

    Take Care
    Arch


  6. 6
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:34 pm)

    Arch, # 5.

    Agreed. I also think Supply and Demand will have something to do with the high price.


  7. 7
    Grant

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:36 pm)

    Keep in mind something that most people forget when they discuss electric cars, light rail, or the other stuff tht has taken off in more countrys then the US…we are MUCH bigger. The U.S. is MUCH larger then France and it’s great rail system, and far more rural then Japan and it’s highly compressed population and megacenters. I was just in Bermuda, an electric car would have been great there, you could have gone around the entire island five times with a 100 mile range. This is also why I get annoyed when everyone says we need a light rail system like France, and I have to point out that our cities are much further apart and there’s no way to make it cost effective for everyone who actually would need it.

    The issue in this country really boils down to there being a lot more of it that is actually worth seeing (Russia has had some sucess with electrics too, but mostly in the western parts where almost everything is concentrated, while Siberia is understandably ignored).


  8. 8
    Mark

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:38 pm)

    Personally, I don’t ‘need’ over 100 miles in range. But what I would need is a charging time shorter then 14 hours. If I was to the the iMiev instead of the Volt, I would also get an electrician to install a 220V socket.

    In either case..more electric cars = more competition = reducing prices.

    Consumer wins either way.


  9. 9
    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:39 pm)

    Yet another example of an EV destined to use Li-ion batts. No, this vehicle is not a hybrid! If our guest of honor from the previous thread doesn’t have an agenda I’d expect him to rain on this parade as well.


  10. 10
    jeff

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:42 pm)

    The Volt looks better than ever.


  11. 11
    RB

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:47 pm)

    From the iMiEV web site we also know that the prototype car has 200V, 100V, and a quick-charge connector, apparently for filling station type use, so it is not necessarily a 14-hour recharge time. Possibly it’s 7 hours, or possibly only a few minutes. We are Volt fans, but let us not sell the iMiEV short — it is a strong contender..


  12. 12
    Brett

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (8:57 pm)

    This is a solid step forward. Good job Mitsubishi. However, it is the perfect example of a car I think most of us would not want to drive here in the US. I’m sorry, I want to drive something that looks like the production volt. Every person I have told about the Volt shows only cursory interest until I show them the pictures of the production car. Then they sign up on the wait list! It is CRITICAL for the Volt to be cool looking. GO VOLT!

    Former Lancer OZ Rally owner.


  13. 13
    Mark H.

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (9:01 pm)

    My son says this looks like an inflated Prius. I want a Volt that will move, 47 KW is too small. I saw the testing video of this and I would need a can opener to get out of it.


  14. 14
    law

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (9:02 pm)

    This car is good for japan but not so good for the USA. Japan needs to get off oil also, so this is good news.


  15. 15
    Ziv

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (9:36 pm)

    I really like the IMiev as a second car but it is tiny, its wheelbase is 133″,
    which is more than a foot smaller than a Mini and about a foot and a half shorter than a Yaris. We are talking tiny, and they are going to ask $37,000+ for it in Japan? Color me skeptical, I bet it will be less, or it won’t be a success. And though it might take just a year or two more to get it to the US, they will find a way to make it a bit more roomy.
    First and foremost, this car plugs in and that is incredibly important! Kudos to Mitsubishi for that. 100 mile range is nice, but the lack of a range extender makes it problematic if it is your only car.

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/03/21/new-york-2008-autobloggreen-drives-the-mitsubishi-i-miev-w-vid/


  16. 16
    OhmExcited

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (9:40 pm)

    This is probably a practical car for many applications, but it looks like a dwarfed minivan.

    I am really happy some Japanese companies are committed to electric vehicles now. I hope more from Japan, US and Europe follow suit. Competition and free trade is a wonderful thing for the people.


  17. 17
    everything.imp

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (9:41 pm)

    I think this is an important bit of information. This shows how GM isn’t just making a science project. They are wanting to make a car that is comparable to a normal ICE vehicle. In terms of durability the volt is hoping to be similar to a normal car. The battery will degrade in a similar rate to an ICE. If this electric motor is made like any other large scale electric motor I have used, it should almost last forever. So, it will be interesting to see where the repairs for the volt will come from. Looking at iMiEv and it’s pricing just shows me that GM has took many more steps in turns of making this car comparable to standard ICE vehicles of the day.


  18. 18
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (9:57 pm)

    Well, ICE vehicle performance from an EV costs $109,000 from Tesla Motors. For $37,500, you get slow recharge, low top speed, satisfactory range.

    That said, I believe the iMiev will still sell in this current environment, so I look forward to it reaching the market.


  19. 19
    Jake

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (10:17 pm)

    Hahahah what Lyle, you don’t think the iMiev counts as “aggressive styling?” 🙂


  20. 20
    #da

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (10:47 pm)

    I think the volt might be too much muscle. I know GM is looking for something “uncompromising” that will get overcompensating boys excited, but they are clearly sacrificing efficiency for performance. From what i’ve seen about the interest here, we basically want a PHEV Prius except some more room and some style and performance. I don’t think any one here is really looking for a muscle car. What do i mean? Look at the volt specs: 120kw motor! 53kw ICE. Its ridiculous.

    At 60 mph, the 8kw of juice will carry the volt 40 miles. which means ergo, a 12 kw pack can carry the volt 60 miles @ 60mph. We therefore know that to maintain highway speed (~60mph) we only need 12kw. Of course thats on flat roads. Assuming the ICE is scaled to allow you to drive up the Rockies, you might need some more continuous oomph, but i seriously doubt anything more than 30kw is necessary to maintain the batt’s SOC even under demanding load, and certainly not if you can knock some serious weight out. So why is the genset scaled to put out 53 kw peak? Are they overbuilding for durability? I mean that certainly is the American Way for trucks/suvs and midsized cars. But thats the old way of building, we’re all shifting to economy with $4+ gas.

    If you are on the highway with this 53kw peak monster, the ICE prolly puts out 30kw at its effect fuel efficiency/torque ratio, then you’ll be cycling the ICE on and off and putting extra cycles on the batteries. If, the ICE scales down to only put out 12kw to avoid battery wear, you are certainly not at an efficient torque ratio with a 53kw monster. I don’t get it, why take such a trade off? Why not knock the ICE down to 0.8L- 30kw, and make it an air cooled solid aluminum flat 4….like the old beetle and those large displacement choppers from the 60s and 70s? They got 2 years left to design and do a limited build of an old and proven technology. Heck, they might even be able to digg up a few aging engineers who have some experience with it.

    With no radiator you’ll easily knock $400 of cost out, and maybe 500-$1000 of cost with the lighter engine and cheaper metal.
    You’d save fuel, cost, increase platform design flexibility and cut maybe 400lbs out, thus extending the AER and fuel efficiency in RE mode.

    Do i have this stuff right? I’d like to put this to automotive engineering brains on this board and maybe lyle could ask about this next time he chats with folks at GM.


    #DA


  21. 21
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (11:01 pm)

    Jake & da,

    The iMiev is a cute little bug, not an aggressively styled conventional vehicle. If you are “man enough” to wear pink polo shirts and drive cute cars, more power to you, but it is not overcompensating to like the aggressive looks of the Volt over the iMiev.


  22. 22
    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (11:05 pm)

    #20 da

    The Volt will use an off the shelf family zero engine in order to save cost. Designing a new engine specifically for the Volt would be too expensive.

    The specific output range of the ICE/genset is to keep the batt at a 30% SOC under virtually any driving conditions, including conditions which might include heavy acceleration and minimal regen. As far as muscle is concerned, WRT EVs, generally the larger the motor the more efficient it is.


  23. 23
    LazP

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (11:15 pm)

    I do not want to hea about BEV other than as a joke.. Might as well bring back the EV-1. when the BEV becames at least as advanced as a Pentium 4 then we may have something. This is just another expensive golf-cart. E-REV is the transformational current (PUN) technology not BEV. I predict that Mitsubishi will not sell this car here. Should this car break down, we will need a very long cord to plug-in and lots of patience (14 hrs). No sale for me thank you. If what I write sound harsh it is because I feel that any misstep will detract from the real deal which is the extender concept. No distance no competing with ICE. This is not the way to electrification of transportation.


  24. 24
    drivin98

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (11:32 pm)

    “but the initial starting price in Japan will be $37,496 USD.”
    The price for consumers will be more like $23,500 to 28,200 (or 2.5 to 3 million yen), no where near $37,496 because Mitsubishi knows no one would buy it for that price.
    It would be fair to pose the question, “Will Japanese subsidies cover units built for export?”, or “What are the the exact nature of the subsudies?” but the post doesn’t do that. Instead, it seems to aim to make Volt fans feel better about being charged $40,000 for a Chevy.


  25. 25
    #da

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (11:43 pm)

    #22 Grizzly,

    i understand all that but you didn’t address my questions. Light-weighting and costs reductions should not be dismissed so quickly out of hand. As per the cost of new engine tech, its irrelevant, as GM will be spending plenty of coin on new, redesigning and retooling anyhow for smaller, direct injection, vvt, turbo charged engines.

    The Flat-4 solid aluminum head engine i speak of is not new. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_air_cooled_engine

    Don’t underestimate the huge savings with such expensive metals prices, and the reduction of complexity by knocking out the active cooling system. The volts AC/Heater will be electrically driven and she will have no tranny, thus no tranny cooler. Therefore, you don’t have to radiator-mount condenser coil, you’ll have no radiator fluid circulating to a valved heater core, or tranny fluid cooler. So, who the F needs a radiator bro! Finned out aluminum head, properly sized with flat electric blowers can do all the cooling.

    Remember, the Volt’s Ice won’t take much wear over its life. Nonetheless, these engines are cost effective, light, and notoriously durable when done right. Just what the Volt needs. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are playing around with something like this in the lab, its not a big deal to recruit a few VW engineers. Or, forget developing it in house, its available off the shelf. Just contract out the small production run.


  26. 26
    Bryce

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (11:43 pm)

    What a piece of junk……just buy a Volt for endless potential range and a few hours of recharging. Not to mention the Volt doesn’t look like Bean, as this thing does.


  27. 27
    nasaman

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (11:48 pm)

    The last time I was in Japan a canteloupe (muskmelon) sold for about $100. I haven’t priced a car there, but my Japanese friends tell me virtually everything is extremely expensive compared to the US. My guess is that Mitsu would find it necessary to build this BEV here to avoid their high labor & shipping costs. GM, you can relax!


  28. 28
    #da

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (11:54 pm)

    Oh yeah, gm already did this engine in the Corvair..IN 1965!!!!

    Just don’t tell Ralph Nader about the engine… 😉


  29. 29
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (11:54 pm)

    I could spend $37,500 for a iMiEV, or I could spend about $10k less for a 40 mpg ICE. $10k can buy me 2,000 gallons of $5 gas, or 80k miles.


  30. 30
    Paul-R

     

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    Jul 12th, 2008 (11:56 pm)

    Regarding the $37.5K price…

    It could be cheaper than that price if/when it comes to the USA, as described in this very enlightening article:

    http://www.uwsa.com/issues/trade/japanyes.html

    As described in that article…

    Japanese companies tend to only deploy new products domestically until they can work all the bugs out. That way the product has a higher level of perceived quality (a few years later) when it finally reaches their foreign markets.

    In the mean time, Japanese companies can sell it domestically at an inflated price, since they (by design) don’t really compete with each other domestically. Their goal is to dominate foreign companies, not their fellow Japanese companies. Since competition from foreign companies is not really allowed within their domestic market, that works for them quite well. And their high domestic profits also allow them to undercut their foreign competition once their product sells outside of Japan.

    It’s this simple yet brilliant global strategy that has allowed Japan to transition (in less than 50 years) from a war-beaten third-world country to the world’s richest and most modern country. It’s also the recipe that has allowed Japan to now dominate or own so many industries. Unfortunately, in the USA, this same strategy would be considered racist and illegal, and thus is not allowed.


  31. 31
    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (12:08 am)

    Paul-R

    You or someone else keeps posting that same erroneous article. How can Japan be the World’s richest country when their GDP is about $4.4Trl and the United States’ is about $13.8Trillion? Not to mention that their per capita income is about $38K and the United States’ is about $44K??


  32. 32
    DonC

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (12:11 am)

    The price is high but it’s hard to compare Japanese domestic prices with US prices.

    This would seem to be a direct competitor to the Aptera given its size, range, and top speed, These cars might work for some people (myself included), but you’d also want/need another car for longer trips or for trips that involved freeway driving.

    The Volt is entirely different critter in that it can compete more directly against standard ICE sedans.


  33. 33
    Kevin fr NYC

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (12:44 am)

    I like to hear green news. But damb it really seems that Gm has been affecting the market world wide. It really does seem that Gm has set the standard and are the people to beat when it comes to mas marketed ev’s and extended range vehicles. Gm said that it woudl produce 10,000 volts and so are they , There battery compacity is half of the volts and the price is slightly under. Its not a bad thing that they are inventing new cars and creating competition. It actually is making it better for us the consumer. 🙂 . Its just something that i have noticed increasingly as more and more manufactures date new ev’s comuing out in 2010-2011. Everybody is out to be just as good as , near as , or better than the volt.. It has literally become much bigger than the volt, whether it turns out to a success of failure ( that woudl be breaking the camels back) there are going to be many mass market ev;s with range extenders out there available o the consumer that will still push for an electric world.


  34. 34
    canehdian

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (12:51 am)

    “until I show them the pictures of the production car. ”

    We have pics of it? Since when? o.O


  35. 35
    Jeff M

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (1:04 am)

    I have to admit that I really like the look of the car as in the image Lyle posted. It’s c-u-t-e, and I’m secure in my man hood to admit it. However like any prototype, the look of the production vehicle can look very different from the prototype(s).

    I am disappointed it, like the Volt, is only a 4 seater. I’m sure that meets the needs of most of the population, but I do on occasion carry 5 (myself and 4 passengers).

    For those worried about the 14 hour charge time at 110 volts… keep in mind that is for a full charge from the lower limit state of charge to the upper limit state of charge… so with a range of 100 miles/charge, unless you approach that range on a daily basis, if you plug-in every night, you won’t take 14 hours to bring it back up to full charge. And on top of that keep in mind that the longest part of a charging cycle is in getting to “full” charge.

    For me, 100 miles/charge and a top speed of 85 mph is more than enough 99.5% of the time.

    That said, if the prices of the iMiEV and the Volt are relatively close, and that I also rarely drive more than 40 miles in a given day, the Volt would be the better choice. However give me a iMiEV with only 50 miles of range and around $25k, and that would be very tempting to me. I’d keep my Volvo as a second care for the rare times I need more range. Of course if a plug-in Prius with 10 or 20 mile range before it reverts to it’s hybrid mode getting 50+ mpg is also $25k, and it seats 5, that may be more tempting than all the others. It’s still too far out, and other auto makers may have offerings by then, to really do a cost/benefit analysis for my circumstances (which could change by then to).


  36. 36
    Jeff M

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (1:18 am)

    Re: to Kevin fr NYC

    Yea, it’s interesting for a change that GM “seems” to be setting the standard… I do give them credit for being the first major automaker to plan to mass market a plug-in series hybrid (aka range extended EV). Even just 10,000 Volt’s in the 1st year is very impressive.

    However they are far from being innovators… the Volt is essentially the same design as their range extended 4 (or 5) seat EV1 prototype they had built back in 1999, except the genset then was powered by a flex fuel turbine engine… the same as Volvo’s ECC prototype 7 years earlier (1992) except the Volvo ECC got closer to 60 miles/charge on NiCad’s (the best tech available at the time) and was a full sized sedan (built on the 850 platform). Sadly Ford bought Volvo in 1999 and completely killed Volvo’s EV and hybrid programs.

    But even Volvo wasn’t the 1st to have prototype plug-in hybrids…. there have been many over the decades.

    The biggest thing “revolutionary” are using Li based battery systems which are more energy dense and lighter.


  37. 37
    Anthony BC

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (2:19 am)

    37K for such a small bubble?

    Nah, give me the VOLT @ 40K with range-extender ANY day!

    GO GM, GO VOLT!


  38. 38
    Richard

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (3:01 am)

    Great car! Most people only drive 40 miles per day. The price seems high, but a lease would resolve that issue. I hope to wake one morning to the silence of these electrics instead of the hum of ICEs…


  39. 39
    kubel

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (3:44 am)

    I happen to like the MiEV. It’s very practical and efficient (over twice the AER of the Volt with 16kWh). It’s just too expensive for what you get.


  40. 40
    Jim I

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (7:49 am)

    My problem with limited range BEV types is that you then have to plan which vehicle to drive each day, based on where you will have to go. And I do not know about the rest of you, but plans in my life are rarely static, so if I have the BEV outside, and I get a phone call asking me to go to an appointment that is 40+ miles away, I would then have to either borrow someone else’s car, or reschedule the appointment. In today’s business climate, that is not a good idea….

    So it is the Volt for me!!!! E-REV makes all this work!

    Go GM Volt Team!!!!!!!!!!


  41. 41
    jabroni

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:08 am)

    Actually, here is what’s worth noting:

    1. Same energy battery pack (16 kWh) produces 100 miles range in the iMiEV compare to 40 in a Volt.

    2. This car is infinitely closer to reality than the Volt. They will be on sale next year as opposed to something less determinate.

    I am very intrigued by the iMiEV and must say I would love to have one as a second car…with the primary car being a Volt, of course.


  42. 42
    Dave G

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:24 am)

    The iMiEV is what happens when marketing people think electric cars are only niche cars for tree huggers.

    The Volt is what happens when marketing people think electric cars are for the masses.

    Big difference…


  43. 43
    Statik

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:32 am)

    If it does land at $37K in the States, it is a monsterous blow to all EVs, it says, ‘rich only’ Seeing how Mitsu has said NOTHING about it…I’ll hold off judgement.

    The thread above quotes, “Whether it will come to the U.S. isn’t known, but the initial starting price in Japan will be $37,496 USD” Well, no. If you read the article, it guesses ‘around’ 4 million yen…and it also references the monster subsidy available in Japan now. Which somehow has been totally left out of the article here? Seeing how the actual heart of the link is only two sentences, you would think all the information should be presented here.

    “But government subsidies…are likely to reduce the actual retail price to ($28,000USD)”

    You can’t really quote a comparable USD price, when the gov’t is stirring the pot so much in Japan. You have everyone in this thread talking about $37,000 as the price people are actually going to pay…and that simply is not the case.

    Much like when the Prius has the gov’t subsidy of $4,000…it was $4,000 higher. The same time the subsidy was gone…magically the price was lowered. I said this before, but subsidies and rebates aren’t for the public. If the market will pay $30,000 and the subsidy is $5,000…the price will be set at $35,000. If the subsidy was $10,000, the price would be set at $40,000.

    That being said the original and ONLY time this has been stated is in a Japanese newspaper “The Nikkei,” in a opinion piece.

    Lyle has given three ‘sources’

    The first two ‘souces’ are just quoting from this third party opinion piece in the Japanese paper. The third is a random link to Mitsu’s faq on the i-Miev.

    Didn’t we just have a big post talking about the press twisting things? I believe that thread ended with this statement, “So lets focus on the facts folks, GM has enough challenges without having to be unfairly portrayed by the press.”

    /does the same standard not apply for Mitsubishi?


  44. 44
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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:33 am)

    This is an excellent car for a traffic jam (so please launch it on the Dutch market as well):
    – Low or no power loss at standstill;
    – Clean air;
    – No motornoise at standstill;
    – Smooth accelleration and decelleration (I assume);
    However powering the HVAC-system on hot days will probably drain the battery. Nevertheless I like this development of EV’s although I prefer the Volvo PHEV with in-wheel motor technology. Unfortunately that’s only a concept.


  45. 45
    Van

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:43 am)

    Yes the claimed range seems suspect. The range of the Volt, even we we accept the unreal conditions that give rise to the 40 AER claim, is based on 5 miles per KWH (8 KWH x 5 miles). Sixteen times 5 only gives you 80 miles.

    And if the iMiev does not offer a 220 Volt charging option, they would seem to be missing the obvious.

    GM has already indicated that the Volt will not have a 40 mile range if driven at 60 miles per hour, more like a 28 mile range, so I do not think “da” has it right on at least that point.

    Next the larger motor and generator do not of themselves cost too much in the way of energy efficiency, I expect the added weight is insignificant. Now the larger motor will allow a person to use more energy (more rapid acceleration, higher up hill speed, etc) per mile traveled, but if driven efficiently, due to responding to the efficiency nurturing instrumentation, then the additional capacity will have an insignificant effect.


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    JEC

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:56 am)

    The iMiEV looks to be a solidly designed car. I don’t think they designed this car for tree huggers, but for practicality. The areodynamics are critical, and yes this shape is aerodynamic. The size needs to be small, to make the batteries near affordable.

    Regarding 14 hour charge time. This can be halved by installing a 220V outlet in your garage. We already have 220V in our homes, our electric stoves and dryers use it today. The cost to install an outlet would probably be less than $1,000 (The Volt will have same issues). Also, they have the quick charge option, which can charge in 30 minutes. I don’t know if this would be an option for a homeowner, but most likely not, and would likely be very costly.

    The performance is what it’s all about. Looks, can be something that people with big pocketbooks can add on later (also, they will add more batteries, since they will reduce the aerodynamics and increase weight.).

    This car wont fit everyone’s needs, and no car does. BUT, this car is a mass market car. I would say the Volt is more likely to be a niche car. I am not convinced that the Volt will be available in 2010, and I think the price will end up being higher than the $40,000 I keep hearing. The Volt is a long way from reality, the iMiEV is here and is being announced for production. The iMiEV price is high mainly due to the cost of the Li-ion batteries. This could be more palattable if they could possibly lease the battery. The Volt will have the same pricing issue, plus they need to support the costs of the ICE and all the mechanical issues that go along with it. I see the Volt priced at $50k minimum, now that I see what the iMiEV is priced at.

    I do hope that Volt is a success, but I want to see more tangible evidence than just pictures of a Malibu mule running around a test track and pictures of a shell of a concept car.


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    NorthernPiker

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (9:18 am)

    The 100 mile range for a 16 kWh battery pack is an “aggressive” claim for a car with a weight (2300 lb.) that is 70 – 75% of that of the Volt (3,000 lb.) and aerodynamic drag that is at least 70 – 75% that of a Volt. Given that the Volt is expected to get around 6 miles per kWh, presumably with no A/C, lights, etc., the iMiEV would get about 8 miles per kWh, i.e., use 12.5 kWh per 100 miles. 12.5 kWh would equal a 78% DOD, which would be quite detrimental to battery life compared to the Volt’s 50% DOD.

    However, it should be noted that a BEV battery pack is not routinely subjected to deep discharges since it is likely recharged after any meaningful drive, whether it be 40 or 100 miles. The driving cycle used to determine this 100 mile claim and the iMiEV battery pack’s power and cycle life capabilities would be of interest for any meaningful comparison.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (9:42 am)

    #47 Northern Piker

    You bring up alot of interesting questions about just how the range is achieved in the i-Miev.

    I would be curious to see what the percentage of the battery is in use myself. We know the Volt is 50%, and some others have claimed higher efficiencies so they can use up to 90% (with no data to back it up).

    Mitsu has been fleet testing these things for ages now. Getting our hands on some of the raw data would be a fantastic look into the realities of Li-Ion in practical use….and the i-Miev itself.

    Something tells me we will have to wait until it is ‘on the road’ and into the hands of a 3rd parties (at least it won’t be that long to wait). Then we will see how it all shakes down. Should give us some really good ‘real world’ insight into some realties of the Volt.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (9:52 am)

    I for one will not count the MiEV out. It’s a BEV and that’s what I want. I think the price will be substantially lower if offered in the US for the reasons above, plus economy of scale, technolgy improvements, tax credits, etc.

    I don’t care for the size and appearance, but it’s the first viable option that meets my specs. I love the Volt, but this is a BEV and doesn’t use Petro AT ALL. BRING THIS TO THE STATES MITSU!


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (10:23 am)

    “You or someone else keeps posting that same erroneous article. How can Japan be the World’s richest country when their GDP is about $4.4Trl and the United States’ is about $13.8Trillion? Not to mention that their per capita income is about $38K and the United States’ is about $44K??”

    The US’s debt is the highest of all countries listed in the World Economic Outlook Database (summarized here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_current_account_balance )

    US has almost -$13T, Japan has +$201B, Mexico -$5.4B, Canada +$28B, etc. Most developed nations are on the +, but a few are “in the red”

    By this list, they’re technically second richest :p
    By raw number, China is first.
    But per capita (against china, at least) Japan is first.
    Adjusting other countries’ values may net someone else on top, but I couldn’t be bothered, really.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (10:30 am)

    GM needs to keep their eye on the ball. The MAIN competition that GM is going to have to match up well against is of course the new Priuses that are on the way … particularly the plug-in Prius which we probably won’t see in dealerships until mid 2011 or so.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/car_shopping/green_machines/2010_toyota_prius_car_news

    GM better get their marketing people in high gear and try to find out as much as possible about the new Priuses on the way. I want the Volt to be a very good VALUE and have features that are just as good if not better than what Toyota is going to put in their upcoming Priuses.

    The Volt vs. the plug-in Prius is probably going to be an ongoing battle in the next 10 years like with the midsize sedans … the Accord, Camry, Malibu, etc. You know the car magazines and Consumer Reports will do a head to head competition between them. I want GM to WIN those competitions for a change. I’m tired of seeing the Japanese cars get so many awards in those magazines. It’s time for AMERICAN cars to undergo a big resurgence and become THE premier cars that people want to buy year after year.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (10:35 am)

    For those wondering how they can get 100 miles out of a 16kwh pack, when the Volt is only 40 out of the same size pack….

    … remember the recent EnerDel thread… it’s a different battery chemistry. The Volt is actually only using 50% or 8kwh of the it’s battery’s capactity. EnerDel claims their’s can use 95% of raw capacity, or 15.2kwh.

    If the iMiEV uses EnerDel or another pack that can also have that much usable capacity then 80 mile range on that alone sounds possible. On top of that the iMiEV sounds lighter (someone mentions 2,300 pounds) than the Volt so more range can be had there. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the iMiEV, at least as pictured above, has less aerodynamic drag

    As for those saying the iMiEV, at least as pictured above, will only be liked by tree huggers…. they said the same thing about the Prius! Don’t under estimate the general public… even before gas prices got to their current level, now they can’t make enough of them to meet demand.

    Jim I… as has been already mentioned, there is no such thing as a one size fits all vehicle. While I don’t think you are the only one who lives such a dynamic life, I do think as you described it’s not the majority… and even though we all have a little variability in our fixed daily routines, some of it unplanned at the start of the day, for many or most we travel less than 100 miles per day.

    So give us all choices, and hopefully different prices (ie. something more affordable for the masses), so we all can drive an EV in one form or another within the next 10-15 years!


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (10:38 am)

    #43 Statik makes an important point. The actual price to the Japanese public will be (equivalent of) $28000 US. (The difference between that price and what’s give in Lyle’s post is the Japanese government’s subsidy.) At $28K, I think the iMiEV will sell out in Japan.

    Also, as Mitsu has been loaning these cars to power companies to get ready, it may be that stations for quick charge (full charge in a few minutes) will be available in Japan about the time the car is available for purchase. Maybe the best part is that there is no elecric vs ICE integration issue which greatly simplifies the issues of computer software and overall control.

    For a car that seems to be a “me too” follow up to the Volt, we have to admire Mitsu’s ability to move development forward so quickly.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (10:53 am)

    I have to agree with some of the opinions above. If the $37,496 USD rings true, it is too expensive for a BEV. The reason is, most people will need a second car. The Volt can stand on its own.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (10:57 am)

    This early bird BEV from Mitsubishi is really cute and could prove to be very popular in Asia and Europe and may be in US also. Since they have only replaced the power train from their production 660cc ICE i minicar with a electric power train to make the i MiEV without much modification it is clear that they have incurred little development cost for the body and the seemingly high price could point to the the high cost of the Li-ion battery.

    #3 Rashiid Amul

    Just see the site

    http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/special/ev/whatis/index.html

    If you could provide a 220V 15 Amp outlet from home using a step up transformer ,full battery recharging will take place in 7 hours, not to mention the possibility of a 30 minute quick charge to 80% from a 400v quick charge facility out side as mentioned in # 46

    #9 Grizzly
    If I read the post of the ‘ battery expert’ correctly what he mentioned was about the A123 batteries not about Li-ion batteries in general.I think at least a few honest posters here thought after all he/she was not a liar/hot air. I think we have another better hot air battery expert here 🙂

    I am also one who expressed concern about the life of Li-ion battery earlier . I still believe the real proof of the life of the battery will come only after its use in production cars.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (11:16 am)

    Statik:

    I brought this up the last time but are you NOW ready to apply your same level of skepticism (which is very valuable) to the i-Miev that you apply to the Volt?

    Its gone from $18,000 to $37,000 without Japanese government subsidies, the quick charge feature isn’t apparently there, and you still can’t walk into a dealership and buy one, and its at the same level of distribution that GM’s fuel cell hydrogen cars are in. (Project Driveway)

    And it still looks small and ugly 🙂


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (11:28 am)

    #49 DaveB

    If the 100 mile range is what you need, great. The iMiEV is for you and, I am sure, many others. It should be an excellent 2nd car, or primary vehicle if you rent a longer range vehicle when needed. However, you may want to wait for more details – price obviously, tax breaks and product reviews.

    For example, the 47 kW (64 hp) seems a bit low and may limit acceleration and energy re-capture during regenerative braking. Life cycle information on the battery pack should give you an indication of when you will need to replace the battery pack, hopefully at a much cheaper price than now. The slow (14 hour) recharge needs to be clarified. It may indicate a battery-based limit on acceleration and regenerative braking. A battery pack with robust power and life cycle capability would allow the iMiEV to expand its target market to include buyers with lower range requirement by the use of a smaller battery pack at a more affordable price.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (11:29 am)

    #41 jabroni makes a most important observation. The same 16 kW battery gets 250% more range/charge while carrying the same number of people.

    This is not a car designed to sell in America … or Canada … or Russia. But it could sell quite well in Japan, the EU, and most of Asia for that matter.

    Want to sell it in America (or Canada, etc.)? Slap on a small engine as a range extender (not so hard to do) or wait to see if a quick charge station infrastructure starts to emerge in the US. Meanwhile build experience in 10,000/yr volumes aimed at particular markets.

    Price? Get volume up and price will come down. This is priced for the Japanese market.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (11:34 am)

    #54 Vinayababu

    “If you could provide a 220V 15 Amp outlet from home using a step up transformer ,full battery recharging will take place in 7 hours, not to mention the possibility of a 30 minute quick charge to 80% from a 400v quick charge facility out side as mentioned in # 46”

    —————————————————————————–
    You really are unlikely to use a step up transformer to produce 220V from your 110V line. You could, but here are a couple things to consider:
    1) You need 15 Amps at 220V. Most US homes have standard 110V, 15Amp and also 110V, 20Amp available in normal outlets. You may have a larger size (amperage) outlet, but these would usually be 220V outlets (Like I said in post #46) for special appliances. So in your typical garage you probably have 110V/15amps outlets, so if you installed a step-up transformer, you could get the 220V easily enough, but you will only get approx. 7.5 amps. The issue is power, and at 110V/15amps you get about 110X15 = 1650 Watts, so at 220V, you would have 1650W/220V = 7.5 amps.

    2) You already have 220V at your circuit panel. So, what you would need would be for someone to wire a 220V, 15 amp service to your garage. You could add a 110V, 30 amp service, and then put in your step up transformer, but this would be crazy, since you need to spend more for copper (30 amps vs. 15 amps), and then you get to buy an expensive transformer, and also you lose efficiency for the transformer.

    So, bottom line would be, have an electrician wire in a 220V, 15 amp service.

    Oh yeah, your not going to get a 400V, 3-phase wired to your home without a lot of cash. This is a typical industrial service, and you wont find your average home owner with 3-phase (In the US, we have 220V, and usually a 100 or 200 amp service, but some may have different amperage rating). BUT, if you work in an industrial industry, maybe you could sweet talk your company to install some 400V, 3-phase stations in the parking lot. Maybe use the “green” card to convince them.

    The beauty of 3-phase ac, is in running 3-phase motors. Your efficiency is greatly increased if you run an equivalent HP, 3-phase motor, over your typical commercial single-phase motors. So all the motors in your house (fridge, freezer, HVAC fan, AC compressor) are single phase, and very inefficient. You could convert all your house to 3-phase, and then replace all your appliances with 3-phase motors, but good luck and I hope you have a pile of cash laying around.

    Ok, my fingers hurt!

    Bye.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (11:44 am)

    The iMiEV looks pretty good to me except for the price. I don’t see myself running out to purchase one at that price level. For a commuter BEV the price should be a lot closer to $20,000 to make it a real seller.

    The Volt has nothing to fear from this car at this price. I suspect it will be lower by the time it reaches the U.S. in 2011. I am guessing at 2011 the same way we are guessing about the U.S. version’s price.

    Let’s hope it does real good at a much lower price. We need it and the Volt plus a lot more BEV, PHEV, EREV and whatever to get us off oil.

    All I have to say is: Go GM and Go, Go, Go Volt.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (11:49 am)

    #50 GM Volt Fan

    In the nascent Volt vs Prius debate, one thing that has been overlooked as an inherent advantage of a Volt (a series hybrid) is that the power rating of its battery pack and its electric motor is larger than that of a Prius (a parallel hybrid). All other things being equal, a more powerful motor and battery pack implies the re-capture of more kinetic energy during regenerative braking. Specifically, the Volt has a 120 kW motor and the 2008 Prius has a 50 kW motor.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (12:02 pm)

    I know this is off topic, but the production version exterior of the Volt is about to be unveiled. I just came across this picture of what might be a future Honda Civic believe it or not. It looks similar to the Volt photos we’ve seen so far.

    http://www.autospies.com/news/photo.aspx?photoId=29248&galleryId=1281

    I wouldn’t mind at all if GM did the front end similar to this one … except for maybe the headlights. I’d try to make them look a bit more rounded like on the 2009 Mazda6 MPS:

    http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2008/04/car_photo_258126_25_450op.jpg


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (12:20 pm)

    There is some coverage of the Volt and its prospects in today’s Toronto Star http://www.thestar.com/article/459290


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (12:21 pm)

    #60 NorthernPiker

    I wonder what difference this would make? I guess you would need to know what the peak and average regen power output is for the vehicles.

    But the motor ratings are also the full load output ratings and will have overload ratings. Probably between 120 – 150%, maybe higher?

    Interesting to understand this concept, any experts out there? (be sure not to call yourself an expert though, as you may be the target of the next article :))

    Also, what impact would using capacitors storage on the regen process have? The capacitors would be the best fit for this application, since they can store energy spikes, and no where nearly bandwidth limited as a motor/battery combination.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (12:29 pm)

    Japanese Imiev buyer rebates from the government could be as high as 50%? If true the purchase price then becomes less than $20,000 (U.S.). A slightly larger Imiev for the U.S. market has been rumored. As a second town car Mitsubishi’s Imiev could be fun but GM’s E-REV platform (Volt), when it eventually appears, potentially has far more convenience.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (12:45 pm)

    So, no one actually figured out that this car has a 220 volt charging option that takes 7 hours? I realize the obvious bias of the site, but that’s pretty sad to overlook and mislead people about.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (12:54 pm)

    #65 Benjamin Jones

    Not sure if your saying it does not have 220V charging option, our are you saying that no one posted this option?

    Either way I think your mistaken. It does have a 220V option, and also quick charge option (3-phase, 400V). This is in several previous posts, including my own.

    Maybe I am misunderstanding your statement?


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (1:01 pm)

    GM Volt Fan@#61

    Nice job of noticing the new Honda. It will be interesting to compare the cars once the Volt design is released. I like the Honda myself. Pretty nice looking car.

    It wouldn’t be terribly surprising if a lot of these cars look similar. The physics of the design doesn’t change. I think Lutz said the Volt would have a drag coeffecient below the Prius (that’s 2.6 I think), but obviously not a lot lower like the Insigt (1.9). So something around the 2.5 or 2.4 range?

    In any event, Honda is committed to small cars, all of which have to have decent aerodynamics to get reasonable mpg. Consequently, they have a long history of successfully balancing aesthetics and drag, so having the Volt resemble these designs wouldn’t be a bad thing.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (1:25 pm)

    One thing folks also have to remember is that there is a big market for pure battery EV’s in fleets like for post offices, meter readers, etc around the world where a 100 mile range may even be too much. The reason is not just fuel costs, but the significant reduction in maint. costs.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (1:32 pm)

    Jeff M @68. Good point about the maintenance costs. Let’s not forget about the environmental impacts as well–although personally I could care less about the green aspects.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (2:24 pm)

    Where a BEV is otherwise satisfactory, that design also has the advantage of relative simplicity. Not so many things to build, install, adjust, keep operating. No radiator, no gas, no complex control system. Simplicity pays.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (2:33 pm)

    #61 GM Volt Fan

    Nice picture of the “future” Honda Civic. I would hope the Volt will be bigger than the Civic, more in line with the Honda Accord in size. The Civic and even the 2008 Chevy Malibu is a tight fit for a 6′ 2″ & over guy to get in the front seat or the back seat. It’s the low roof line that causes the trouble. I had no trouble at all getting into a 2008 Prius.
    Front or back.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (2:34 pm)

    #62 Bernie — thanks for the link to the excellent article in the Toronto newpaper


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (2:55 pm)

    I don’t think these folks are copying the Volt. I think they are ahead of them. These are not one off concept cars. There is something like 100 at utilities in Japan.

    Here is another, from Subaru:

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/03/subaru-electric-cars-r1e-g4e-new-york.php


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (3:05 pm)

    GM Volt Fan # 61. Those are both sharp looking cars. If the Volt is similar, it should sell very nicely.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    And an electric Mini Cooper:

    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/07/bmw-electric-mini-cooper-california.php

    Also at the bottom of the page are links to a number of other electric cars. The Chinese are even in on it with some large BYD E6 Electric Cars.

    I think by the time the Volt is out there will be lots of choice.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (3:52 pm)

    I’ve just come to the realization (I’m very slow with that 61 IQ)
    that I don’t care who comes out with the BEV or EREV first. As long as they do come out. If one person buys the iMiEV, that is one person not using oil. All of these cars need to come out and the next few years will be very interesting indeed.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (3:54 pm)

    Len #75. That electric Mini Cooper is very cool. The only thing I don’t like about it is this:

    “BMW to Make Electric Mini. Only in California. Only 500 of Them.”

    That above quote is complete crap and a total shame.
    I’m on the opposite coast and have no chance whatsoever.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (4:26 pm)

    Looks good, I hope they sell them here. Mitsubishi has legendary good quality. I had a 1990 Mirage, Could put a sheet of plywood in the car with the hatch open, started out 42-44 mpg, after 230,000 miles was getting 36 mpg at 80 mph. I’d buy a Mitsubishi again. I sure hope the Volt gets to market first because I really want to buy american. Right now I wish I still had the Mirage. Been using the 800cc motorcycle recently with 47 mpg so I’m conserving as much as I’m able. I’ve been thinking of stealing the wifes vino, it gets 80 mpg, I’m just a bit scared of being hit by a cell phone talking idiot with the vino. You kind of have to hug the side of the road with the vino so the suv’s can blast past. Sure wish we had bike paths on our roads then the vino would be used daily by me untill I get my VOLT. Just had relatives drive from AK to CT with a prius 26 gallons one way.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (4:37 pm)

    I meant AR not AK.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (4:46 pm)

    61. GM Volt Fan,
    67. DonC,
    71. N Riley,
    74. Rashiid Amul,
    etc.

    That car is the Sports4 concept from Honda which was unveiled in 2005. It was the inspiration for the recently released TSX and European Accord. It has nothing to do with the Civic.
    http://world.honda.com/Tokyo2005/sports4/

    So if it looks similar to the Volt, then GM is copying Honda 😉

    If you want to know more about the vehicle from Honda that the Volt will be competing with, look into the Global Small Hybrid from Honda. It will apparently be out 1st half 2009, get mid 50 MPG, and cost ~$18,000. For styling hints, take a look at the current FCX.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (4:56 pm)

    #76 Rashiid Amul says: “I’ve just come to the realization (I’m very slow with that 61 IQ)
    that I don’t care who comes out with the BEV or EREV first. As long as they do come out. If one person buys the iMiEV, that is one person not using oil. All of these cars need to come out and the next few years will be very interesting indeed.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Actually, for someone who claims to have a low IQ, your comments have been pretty much dead on.

    The only thing I have to add to this comment is that electric cars need mass appeal to make a difference. Cars like the iMiEV reinforce many peoples’ perception that an electric car is not something they would want. In this way, the iMiEV could actually be harmful for getting more people off of oil. We need more mainstream electric cars like the Volt.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (5:11 pm)

    Jeff M@#68
    Dave B@#69

    Do you have studies or papers to back up the lower maintenance claims for EV vehicles? It’s logical enough. All I have found is a RAND study that says the maintenance costs would be 65% – 70% of the costs of an ICE vehicle.

    I’m also not sure how significant this is given the ICE vehicles are very good these days.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (5:15 pm)

    #81
    The iMiEV would be perfect for me. I would have to remember to plug it in twice a week instead of every night with a VOLT


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (5:38 pm)

    GXT@#80

    Thanks for the clarification. I’m with Rashiid in that I welcome every high mileage vehicle to the market. If the goal is to enhance national security through oil demand destruction it matters not what company makes the car. The Volt is definitely a much better vehicle at getting us to our goal than these parallel hybrids, but they are much better than the average car. Bring them on.

    Having said that, I think the price may be a little dicey. The people I know who have gotten a Prius paid in the high 20’s even though the base price is in the low 20’s. And given that the Prius has a wait list measured in months, I don’t know why Honda would be overly aggressive pricing its hybrid.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (5:42 pm)

    I just moved to a medium-sized midwestern town. I’d really have to work to put 40 miles on in a typical day, so if this car can merge into 65mph traffic, then it would work for my daily driving. (And my girlfriend has a Prius that she’d like to keep, which would be good for highway driving.)

    I still want an electric sportwagon, though. 🙂

    A bike might be the best choice for me during the summer, now, though.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (5:55 pm)

    The more I read about EV cars and Extendend Range EV’s the more I want to throttle all the auto manufacturers. Everything is many years away AND everything is in numbers so low that it shouldn’t even count as the launch date AND the prices are always to high to make it economically justifiable without crunching numbers on a calculator.

    Why don’t any of these companies realize that there is a large market for a simple, unoptimized, cheap, electric or electric/gasoline car and truck right now.

    Can’t ANY of these idiots cut some tape and start rolling out vehicles within 6 months. With all the small conversion companies doing it I refuse to believe that GM or Ford or Honda can’t do it as well.

    Ex. GM could take one of the closed down truck building, make the same darn truck except make it a conversion just like lionev.com does and sell the trucks NOW.

    They could even make you buy your own batteries and use anything from lead acid to nimh to li-ion.

    There is no reason this would not work other than bloated big company red tape. Just need someone with a little intestinal fortitude and fire inside to get it done and push it through.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (5:57 pm)

    #55 Morgan

    “Statik:I brought this up the last time but are you NOW ready to apply your same level of skepticism (which is very valuable) to the i-Miev that you apply to the Volt?”

    “Its gone from $18,000 to $37,000 without Japanese government subsidies, the quick charge feature isn’t apparently there, and you still can’t walk into a dealership and buy one, and its at the same level of distribution that GM’s fuel cell hydrogen cars are in. (Project Driveway)”

    Not so much skepticism I think you were shooting for out of me…more like negativism? And definitely I am on the verge. Actually, I believe it was you who first brought this link to the last thread…and you did truly ‘bummed’ me out, lol.

    The low price that came out at around 24Kish (at the time of conversion) from the CEO’s mouth, the 18K was just conjecture. If a landed US price does indeed end up to the customer at 37K, I will be the first one to NOT buy one, 37K is ridiculous and make no sense in any universe. Much like I feel about a 45K Volt.

    If the cheapest price to a customer is $37K in 3-4 years, then I totally feel used. That means ‘real’ adoption by the masses is still 10-15 years out, and we are just following some kind of ’boutique’ line of cars. A EV, R-REV, QT-REV, Plug-in Serial/Parallel, SXT-EV, whatever you want to call it, has to be at 25K or less before it has any meanful impact.

    I will say I can’t fault Mitsu on delivery date still (“you still can’t walk into a dealership and buy one”) they have really gone to town getting this thing to market and are out a year ahead of schedule.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (6:08 pm)

    #81, Dave G says, “The only thing I have to add to this comment is that electric cars need mass appeal to make a difference. Cars like the iMiEV reinforce many peoples’ perception that an electric car is not something they would want. In this way, the iMiEV could actually be harmful for getting more people off of oil. We need more mainstream electric cars like the Volt.”

    ———–

    I hear you. But sometimes beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
    Some people on this site favor function over looks. For others, the opposite. I am somewhere in the middle, I think.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (6:16 pm)

    Dave G; I disagree that cars like the iMiEV will reinforce many peoples’ perception that an electric car is not something they would want…. 1st I don’t agree the premise that there is a (negative) “perception” to reinforce… 2nd we’ve heard the same things about the Prius, that it was funny (or different) looking, and would turn others away from hybrids but just the opposite happened (even before $3 or $4 gas). I think part of it is that once enough early adopters own (or lease) them, their friends, family, and neighbors all get used to seeing them that they are familiar looking and no longer look out of place. I remember when SUV’s looked so different, and not only that, drove rough like a truck (since they were all built on truck platforms originally), that I didn’t think they would catch on, and we know where that went.

    The biggest hurdle is getting the general public over the mind set that the range of a BEV is to be compared to the range of an ICEV, when it’s really comparing apples to oranges. A BEV really should be compared to a cell or cordless phone. You need to get used to plugging it in every (or every other) night.

    A 100 mile range BEV if driven every day could take you 36,500 miles/year. Even if only driven Mon-Fri that’s 26,000 miles/year!

    It sounds like these iMiEV’s have are quick charge capable… if enough of these and other BEV’s are on the road, I can see quick charge stations popping up, 1st in big urban areas (like LA, San Fran, etc), and farther out along major interstates. Sure witht this iMiEV you’d have to stop 2-3 times as often on a long distance trip as the Volt would, but from the comments in other threads, it sounds like lots of folks stop every 2 hours anyway for a bathroom break.

    In any case, I still think pure BEV’s will be sold 1st and foremost as fleet vehicles, that will drop prices as the batteries become more of a commodity, and then hopefully better understanding by the general public and acceptance. Similiar to solar PV’s…. those newest most cost effective PV panel makers are completely ignoring the residential market, you can’t get them if you want them. Everything they make is going into commercial sites.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (6:17 pm)

    #81 Dave G.

    The only thing holding back people converting over too electric drive is the automakers not making any. Regardless of any negative impressions that are being put out by any of the car companies and stupid article by ignorant writers as long as demand outstrips supply the negative effects of these things are not manifested in adoption rates.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (6:25 pm)

    #86 Omegaman66

    The best chance for something very quick is the Poulsen. Basically it’s a battery pack running two hub motor. It should work as a retrofit on almost any car so we don’t have to wait forever to start cutting demand. It’s hardly perfect but it would definitely move the needle. How much so? We’ll have to wait for the testing but it should be good.

    But to get something like this moving we need government involvement. If it were a priority we could do it quickly. I’m not necessarily a fan of big government but when you’re in a war it’s the only thing that works.

    On the rebates, I wonder if we should rethink the program. Right now the idea is for a flat fee to be paid to the purchaser. A better program might be to pay the manufacturer based on a sliding scale of how many were shipped in a calendar year. The more you ship the more you get paid per ship.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (6:26 pm)

    I would congratulate Mitsubishi on getting the car to market in 2009.
    The numbers are disappointing but lend a sense of reality to GM’s pricing and ramp up schedule.
    For the moment the diesels are our best bet(for those of us that live in countries with relaxed emissions standards)
    Toyota have released their Corolla diesels in New Zealand, they are economic cars ar 5l/100km but they are also asking a premium for the diesel engine. New Zealand diesel is quite cheap but I do not expect that to last.
    We have a convergence going on to $30,000 dollars US or there abouts


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (6:32 pm)

    Jeff M , #89

    “Similiar to solar PV’s…. those newest most cost effective PV panel makers are completely ignoring the residential market, you can’t get them if you want them. Everything they make is going into commercial sites.”

    ———-
    So true. And that really bites the big one.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (6:39 pm)

    I am tired of the whining about price. GM will sell 70,000 volts at $45,000 with no problems. Maybe not to the people on this list, but there are plenty of people who spend way more than $45,000 for their cars. If GM can make 10,000 on each car, that would be 700 million, not chump change, and GM would be foolish not to make the profit off the early sales. If Mass manufacture can lower the cost over time, then GM can start reducing the price, but they are in business to make money.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (6:43 pm)

    Hercule #94,

    Perhaps. But don’t forget the competition is right on their heals.
    They may not be able to sell it that high.

    Time will tell though. I can’t see a damn thing through this crystal ball.
    I should have known better though. It was made in China.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (6:53 pm)

    #46 JEC
    Regarding 14 hour charge time. This can be halved by installing a 220V outlet in your garage. We already have 220V in our homes, our electric stoves and dryers use it today. The cost to install an outlet would probably be less than $1,000 (The Volt will have same issues). Also, they have the quick charge option, which can charge in 30 minutes. I don’t know if this would be an option for a homeowner, but most likely not, and would likely be very costly.
    ===============
    If your electrical panel is located in the garage the max. cost for a 220 plug “below” the panel is $400. Electrical panels have knocks in the bottom and the electrican will not have to drill through studs for plug location.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (6:55 pm)

    This has ‘nothing to do with the price of cheese,’ so I waited until this thread got a little long in the tooth before I posted. I just felt I need to post it somewhere. Please do not feel the need to comment on it as I do not want to ‘hijack’ the thread at all…

    Merrill Lynch Q2 results are out this week (along with other big financials). However it is significant because there last round of capital raising from Merrill (after the CEO said they wouldn’t have to) guaranteed capital values. Meaning losses reported in quarter will force Merrill to sell other assests to offset, like its 20% of Bloomberg and part or all of the 48% of Blackrock, which is the the largest publicly traded U.S. asset management company. Merrill is expect to lose at least 5billion…but it could be much worse.

    Reports like this, which trigger chain reactions, especially in the financial/big bank sector are scary as heck. The potential for things to get our of hand quickly is prevelant.

    The fed has been out changing the rules/perception big time on government interventions the last 3-4 days. Even over the weekend they have been announcing steps to shore up mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose shares have plunged as losses from their mortgage holdings threatened their financial survival.

    Why is this of interest? Maybe it isn’t, but I just wanted to point out that this is potential the ‘heaviest’ week of lifting the market has seen to date. If you are considering taking up a position in the market, you might want to wait a bit longer…at least until the end of the week.

    BTW, Merrill losing Blackrock is akin to GM losing GMAC if that analogy helps.

    Side note: As it relates to GM…not that much. Could further hurt their access to capital and/or share price if it really tugs on the market. But it affects us (Joe Public) individually quite a whole heck of alot if it goes bad. It is for that reason I brought it up only.

    /please move along and continue with the thread as it was intended…apologies to Lyle


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (6:55 pm)

    I’m buying the first electric vehicle I can get my hands on! Hopefully it will be american made if not, oh well. Then our young soldiers can stop getting killed for retarded decisions and maybe come home.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (7:01 pm)

    #61 GM Volt Fan
    If the Volt ends up looking like your links instead of the Miev. I’ll wait for the Volt.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (7:10 pm)

    #81 Dave G
    The Miev to me is a utility car. Post office, Meter maid, City employee car. The “Smart” car type would probably buy it also, but the Average Joe will only want to drive something stylish unless gas hits $10/gallon.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (7:11 pm)

    DonC regarding maint. costs of BEV’s vs. ICEV’s…

    I was going to point you to my old standby “Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars That Will Recharge America” by Sherry Boschert, as I’m pretty sure there is some info in there regarding this subject… I just can’t find it in the index 🙁

    I can point out the obvious things… with a BEV there are no oil (or oil filter) changes, no spark plug changes, no spark plug wires, no ignition coil(s), no distributor, no fuel injectors, no fuel filter, no air mass meter, no air filter, no O2 sensor to fail, no catalytic converter, no muffler, no exhaust pipes, no gas tank, no engine coolant or radiator or water pump or thermostat, no fan belt, no timing belt, fewer brake pad replacements and brake work (due to regen breaking), possibly no transmission (and fluid), no alternator, no valves, no pistons & rings, no rocker arms, no cam shaft, no fly wheel, no connecting rods, no crankshaft, doesn’t have lots of the gaskets and seals that often start leaking in older cars, no starter (and starter solinoid), none of the many hoses, no turbo charger (like on most Volvo’s), no flywheel, etc.

    Keep in mind that the majority of things that fail in an ICEV are moving parts and others from wear and tear. A BEV with 70-90% fewer moving parts has that many fewer things likely to fail. It doesn’t mean a BEV is completely maint. free, you still have the same suspension systems, tires, friction brakes (though not doing all the breaking any longer), the AC, windshield wipers, power seats & locks, the electric motor (though those have a long history of being extremely reliable and most could last 10 car lifetimes), the potentiometer (which some ICEV’s now also use in place of direct linkage from gas pedal to the engine throttle), etc.

    I know I’ve seen data from fleet operators that had some of the EV’s from the era of California’s ZEV mandate, I just don’t have it handy. Hopefully someone else has some links, and if I find any in the mean time I’ll try to follow up and post here.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (7:15 pm)

    #34 canehdian.

    Oops. Of course, I meant concept car. I must be too excited by all the talk about unveiling the production car. Good call.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (7:19 pm)

    #88 Rashiid
    #81, Dave G says, “The only thing I have to add to this comment is that electric cars need mass appeal to make a difference. Cars like the iMiEV reinforce many peoples’ perception that an electric car is not something they would want. In this way, the iMiEV could actually be harmful for getting more people off of oil. We need more mainstream electric cars like the Volt.”

    ———–

    I hear you. But sometimes beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
    Some people on this site favor function over looks. For others, the opposite. I am somewhere in the middle, I think.
    ==============
    Rashiid, you mad man, I’ve posted with you long enough to know you want a stylish ride… Before you start going to the middle, wait until the Volt is unveiled to see what it looks like.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (7:25 pm)

    Brad G on the cost of installing a 220V plug below the breaker box in the garage for $400….

    … and most of that $400 is labor (and possibly permit fees). I believe it’s about $50 in parts (breaker, outlet, outlet box, wire strain reliever, and a short length of the appropriate wire) and something I’d do myself.

    Now if only the EEStor storage device becomes a reality that lives up the the hype (and pricing), putting in a quick charge setup could be feasible…. not that most folks would need to quick charge that often to justify the price.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (7:25 pm)

    Grizzly
    Some sources show USA per capita income as about 33K, or less than Japan, about 35K, but neither the highest in the world.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (7:28 pm)

    A couple of quotes from the Subaru article:

    “The battery pack, originally developed in partnership with NEC Corporation, uses lithium manganese oxide spinel (LiMn2O4) as the cathode active material. The crystalline spinel structure makes the battery resistant to overcharging and provides high thermal stability. A 346V battery pack powers the 40kW drive motor, and can recharge to 80% capacity in 15 minutes.”

    What I find interesting about this quote is that the LG Chem battery cathode description is very much the same. This is the first time I have felt positive about the LG Chem battery.

    “FHI said it plans to have its electric cars down to around ¥2 million (US$17,500) apiece by 2012 or 2013. Mori said that by the mid-2010s, mass production will significantly decrease the cost of batteries, enabling electric cars to come down to below ¥1.5 million (US$13,100).”

    Now we are starting to talk prices the average American can afford.

    I noticed the fed has made cash availability to the investment houses like it does banks, and has already bailed out or approved the takeover of troubled mortgage houses. Where oh where is the much touted “free market”.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (7:29 pm)

    GM (or any carmaker), has a lot to prove to the car buying public. Can an electric car really replace a normal car? Can it really ever be anything more than a tree-hugger’s glorified golf cart that can only sell in California?

    With the Volt, they risk (with Tesla) replacing this stereotype with another: “Rich man’s plaything.” Even if this is so, I think it will be easier to overcome this perception, once prices do fall: “money talks.” And who wouldn’t want a “Rich man’s plaything,” on a budget, for their very own.

    ===

    It seems to me that Lyle has a unique opportunity to capitalize on an emerging market need: Eventually, there will be a “Motor Trend” style magazine for Electric vehicles (maybe there already is one, in California). I could see such a mag arising from the topics and comments I read on this blog, though not specifically limited to a particular make.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (7:43 pm)

    -Jackson

    http://www.treehugger.com/cars_transportation/

    they really do a fine job of keeping up with electric cars and hybrids.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:01 pm)

    The iMiEV’s price will drop just before the competition starts to sell.
    If it and I were on the “Price is Right”, I’d guess $28,945.


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:03 pm)

    #104 Jeff M
    I agree that if you have your service panel installed in the garage, the cost will come down substantially. In the midwest the majority of homes have full basements, and the electrical panel is usually installed in the basement. But, I believe homes in the South usually don’t have a basement, so I assume the garage would be the logical location for the service panel.

    Also, if you can do the work yourself, that is definitely the lions share of the cost.

    Not that is that big of a difference, but I think $50 in parts would be insufficient, even if the service panel is located in your garage. You will want a GFCI, since you are in the garage and a definite possibility of electrocution exists. A 220V GFCI alone will cost you $75, and then you get to purchase the outlet and box and some 14/3 wire (of course you only need a few feet, but as I always find I dont have any lying around and end up buying 250′). Then it will probably get a little more pricey, because you now need to assemble the power cable that goes from the 220V outlet on the wall to that “special” outlet on the car. My guess is the mating connector to the car is going to be some special “idiot proofed” plug, which of course will be expensive (easily $100 or more…cause this won’t be an off the shelf connector).

    Oh, and maybe you want an emergency disconnect in the garage, $$ cha-ching…cha-ching $$.

    I always am amazed at how much it costs to wire in the simplest jobs. I always plan at least 2-3 trips to the hardware store to get that extra strain-relief, wire nut, or whatever. And unfortunately I am now driving an ICE and it sucks gas.

    PS: I cannot help but think how frustrated I will be with my new all electric car, going on a family Vacation. I stop to “quick charge”,but find out that the lightning storm that went through just knocked out the power, and it should be back in 3-4 hours. The kids stare at me like I am the biggest idiot to walk the earth, AND there DS’s batteries are running low!!!!! HELP ME….I awaken in a sweat as I realize this is just a dream.

    BUT, hopefully quick charge stations will have emergency backups, or at least I can pretend they do, so I can sleep at night.


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    Arch

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:06 pm)

    Well I have held my tongue on this one. There is a lot going on here. A electric motor is a heck of a lot cheaper to produce than a gas engine. Ditch the tranny, cooling system, exhaust system and a few
    other systems and the electric cars should be CHEAP! They will not be till the car companies get a grip on the batteries and all the other new systems. Sit back and watch it should be fun to watch them CHANGE! LOL JMHO

    Take Care
    Arch


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:18 pm)

    http://www.evworld.com/ also does a fine job of for the past 10 years of following EV related news stories, but also energy issues as well.

    In any case, regarding maint. costs of EV’s…. did find some info… it was Southern California Edison that I was thinking of… they had or still have a fleet of 320 Rav4-EV’s and did a focused study on 5 of them. Couldn’t find specific data on costs… the study focused instead on how long the NiMH batteries would last (they ran them over 100,000 miles and expect them to last 130-150,000), but the report does have the line:

    “Not only are the EVs meeting the employees’ driving needs, they are also very reliable, with little routine maintenance required.”

    The report can be found at:

    http://www.evchargernews.com/miscfiles/sce-rav4ev-100k.pdf


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:24 pm)

    http://www.evworld.com/ also does a fine job of for the past 10 years of following EV related news stories, but also energy issues as well.

    In any case, regarding maint. costs of EV’s…. did find some info… it was Southern California Edison that I was thinking of… they had or still have a fleet of 320 Rav4-EV’s and did a focused study on 5 of them. Couldn’t find specific data on costs… the study focused instead on how long the NiMH batteries would last (they ran them over 100,000 miles and expect them to last 130-150,000), but the report does have the line:

    “Not only are the EVs meeting the employees’ driving needs, they are also very reliable, with little routine maintenance required.”

    The report (PDF) can be found at:

    http://tinyurl.com/5rozmz


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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:30 pm)

    Re: JEC… I assumed a regular (non-GFCI) breaker… as I’d have the car in the garage when charging so don’t have to worry about wet conditions. Ie. same as a dryer or a stove plug… neither of those are GFCI in any home I know.

    Also you should check out home depot… they sell wire, including 14/3, by the foot (buying it by the 250′ box is usually cheaper per foot, but if you only need a small fraction of that length….)

    Yea, a special outlet to match the charging cable for the vehicle could be more expensive, but that would also raise the cost of having a pro do it as well.

    In any case, have to have an EV I want to buy be available to buy before I have to worry about it 🙂


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    Paul-R

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:33 pm)

    Grizzly (#31),

    Yeah, I’ve linked to that article (which you feel is erroneous) a couple times. I think Joe has too. It’s a long article with many many examples and references, so it’s not really fair (IMHO) to classify the whole article as “erroneous”.

    As for whether Japan is the world’s richest country, I’m curious whether you actually read the article. I ask because the article did provide a reference to support that claim, although I don’t have access to that reference.

    I’m an engineer, not a economist, but it appears there are many ways that one can define “richest country”. Economists cannot seem to agree on which definition to use, and I have no idea which definition the article used.

    As for GDP (or GDP per capita), it seems that would definitely not be the way to measure it. That’s because GDP includes the activity of foreign owned companies within the USA. For example, Toyota, Subaru, 7-Eleven convenience stores, Firestone Tires, Columbia Pictures, Maxell, Spencer’s, Westin Hotels, and even Pebble Beach Golf Course are all Japanese owned companies that factor into the USA GDP. Also, neither GDP or personal salaries factor in the USA’s rapidly growing $9.5 trillion debt, about a quarter of which is external/foreign debt.

    It’s my understanding that the USA’s trade deficit and Japan’s trade surplus result in a yearly net flow of wealth from the USA to Japan, and this has been going on for about 40 years. This accumulated Japanese wealth is then used to purchase more and more of the USA.

    Maybe I’m wrong, so if anyone has more insight into all this, I would love to hear it. Thanks


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    Vinayababu

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:34 pm)

    #58 JEC

    Oh Thanks JEC for that correction and explanations, you are right, in the 220V conversion the Amps comes down to 7.5.

    And let me also edit my last post #54 from
    “.I think at least a few honest posters here thought after all he/she was not a liar/hot air”
    to
    “I think at least a few posters here honestly thought after all he/she was not a liar/hot air”
    Bye


  118. 118
    Jeff M

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:42 pm)

    DonC, see my post a couple above for SCE’s EV fleet.

    There are also private individuals with some feedback on maint. costs… see http://tinyurl.com/6jwodk (on the Plug-in America website). The 1st guy has 131,000 miles on his Rav4-EV and said he has had “absolutely no repair or performance issues”, and the 3rd guy with 105,000 miles says his “RAV(4-EV) has had zero routine services, zero mechanical breakdowns, zero mechanical repairs, zero “strandings”, zero electrical problems and it continues to travel 100-plus miles on a single charge”

    I also just found another paper on the SCE fleet of EV’s that has a little more data on maint. costs… see (PDF) http://tinyurl.com/6xhcxf


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    omegaman66

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:43 pm)

    There is in every thread it seems talk of 220V connection. Wouldn’t it be less burdensome on the public to offer TWO 110 plugin instead of a single 220? That way each extension cord would charge half of the battery pack. Or in the case of the Volt with three distinct pacts a seperate plug for each one. Offering three times faster charging.

    In the above 2X110 senario you would need two seperate 110 chargers. To make things cheaper on the car manufactures you could have one simple plug/extention cord from GM that splits 110 to the two seperate plugs to supply each charger with 110 from a single outlet or another cord with doubles on both sides for when you want to charge from two outlets.


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    JEC

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (8:50 pm)

    Jeff M.

    If it snows or rains where you live, then your garage would not be a dry location. I am pretty sure that all outlets in the garage must be on GFCI’s, at least for the last decade or so.

    This discussion just got me thinking about another safety issue. Since the automobile is mounted on tires, which make good electrical insulators from the ground, then how do they protect the chassis of the auto from being LIVE? For a GFCI to operate, you need to create a very small imbalance (few milli-amps) between the line and nuetral wiring. So, if the line is connected to say a human, which has a fairly high impedance to ground, the GFCI can detect this small imbalance and trip the breaker. BUT, if the line shorts to the auto chassis, there is no imbalance….Ok, I just answered my own question….the imbalance occurs when someone touches the auto and conducts a small amount of current to ground. Also, interesting note. If your did have the line 110, 220, or 400V shorted to the auto and you were sitting in or on the auto, you would not get shocked or even know the auto chassis was live. Hmmm…..

    Like I mentioned, the lions share would be in the labor. Doing it yourself will definitely save you money, but if you don’t know what your doing you may kill yourself or worse yet someone else using the charging station. A GFCI could save a life, and is worth the couple extra bucks.

    Ok, I’m done now.


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    JEC

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (9:12 pm)

    117 omegaman66

    Well you could in theory do this. The issue is that you cannot just make a Y-plug that splits your standard 110 outlet, and creates 2, 110 outputs (well, you can, but you won’t, as I discuss). The standard 110V outlet is rated at 15 amps (you might have 20 amps for bathroom, if you followed code). So, if you just split the outlet, you would only get 1/2 the amperage per plug (7.5 amps each). This will not do you any good.

    Now you could use 2 totally seperate plugs, connected to different outlet, BUT then you need to be sure that this outlet is on a seperate branch from the other one. Because, even though the outlets are rated at 15 amps, you are sharing this 15 amps with whatever else the electrician decided to wire to this branch. Believe me, electricians will do the job the quickest and cheapest (some say the laziest, but I feel that is unfair, unless you specifically designed your electrical distribution, which I would and recommend for anyone build a new home…going off topic…stay focused). So, you can bet that all the outlets and probably the lighting are wired on the same branch.

    Now another issue that everyone will have IF they actually believe they can use an existing 110V outlet and just let it charge in the 14 hour time period. You will likely have problems. As I just discussed, the outlets in a home are NOT on a dedicated branch, they are shared. So, if you have your auto plugged in and charging (rough power guesstimates: 16KWhr, for 14 hours, gives about 1.2KWhr rate of charge, which is 1200/110 = 10.9 amps….this is VERY rough), you will be drawing nearly 11 amps continous on a 15 amp breaker. Now, you open your electric garage door, and maybe have a couple lights on….Bang, off goes your circuit breaker! You exceeded the 15 amp rating. Oh, and it will only get worse because the breaker will get weaker if you continue to punish it.

    So, bottom line is that you might as well plan on having an electrician ( or a competent do-it-yourselfer) plan on making a trip to your home to add the new 220V, dedicated outlet (you could have him put in a 110, but the price difference wont be much, so go big or stay home). This will make the electricians union happy, at least. : )


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    JEC

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (9:17 pm)

    118 JEC

    I just realized I was making a false statement. If you shorted the line to the auto chassis, you would trip the circuit breaker (duh). This would not be a ground fault event, just a normal short-circuit.

    This assumes that the plug does ground the auto chassis, which I cannot imagine why it would not. But, I guess you could have a faulty ground wire in the cable…so, then you could actually have the chassis at line voltage.

    Anyway, just wanted to clarify this.


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    omegaman66

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (10:17 pm)

    JEC help me out. I can dream up dozens of wierd configurations for chargers and plugs etc for charging an EV. Can you envision a 220 car set up that uses two seperate chargers that allows you to charge with one plug (110) or two (110×2).

    I can think of a couple of ways but they may not be practicle.

    I have an tankless electric hot water heater being put in my house. It draws a lot of current. For me I think I will forgo consideration of a 220 charging station unless it is via a dump from an EEStor home UPS system. That is another thing I can’t wait to get my hands on.


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    DonC

     

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    Jul 13th, 2008 (11:33 pm)

    Jeff M #112

    Thanks for taking the time to find those. The Rand study I found is more estimate than a retrospective look at costs and it has a lot of detail about the upfront costs rather than the maintenance costs. In any event you might want to look at it:

    http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1578/MR1578.ch4.pdf


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (12:21 am)

    Paul-R #114

    “I’m an engineer, not a economist, but it appears there are many ways that one can define “richest country”. Economists cannot seem to agree on which definition to use, and I have no idea which definition the article used.”

    *** *** ***

    There can indeed be many. Regardless of which you choose, Japan isn’t even close to the US. GDP, per capita income, per capita GDP…..etc… This is the point I’m trying to make. While the article you posted points out some very real concerns, like their government’s involvement in industries on the verge of world domination, it demeans itself with stupid trivial assumptions and superlatives.

    Regardless of which you choose, I think you’d agree that with a GDP that is more than 3 times Japan’s and a standard of living which the Japanese have never known, it’s easy to see that silly superlatives for the sake of journalism ring very hollow!

    I’ve said it before on this site that we need to stay focused on energy independence and do what Americans can do best if and when they REALLY want to…and that is to THINK. Even if that means putting down the “WSJ” like publications at the check-out counter. 😉


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    Eric

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (5:12 am)

    When it comes to the electric car party, the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. I like this Mitsubishi — at least what I’ve seen/read about it so far.


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    Jim I

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (6:58 am)

    Jef M #51: “Jim I… as has been already mentioned, there is no such thing as a one size fits all vehicle. While I don’t think you are the only one who lives such a dynamic life, I do think as you described it’s not the majority… and even though we all have a little variability in our fixed daily routines, some of it unplanned at the start of the day, for many or most we travel less than 100 miles per day.”

    I agree that in my business I need to have fexibility that many do not requre. But this is still the main problem with a “fixed” range BEV. The simple fact that there is a limitation that forces the driver to have to plan around the range of the car. IMHO, I think that if you put it that way to almost any car buyer (or especially the wife of the car buyer!), they will spend more to have the E-REV type capability.

    And as far as pricing, I think that most of you here are kidding yourselves if you think that any BEV or PHEV to be sold in the USA within the next six or seven years will be priced “for the masses”. The manufacturers have no large scale experience to determine the reliability of the components and there are no massive facilities to produce battery packs, so how can you expect commodity pricing right out of the starting gate?

    Lets take an example. Pricing from the Th!nk web site says the car will be priced at 20K Euros (about $31K) plus 200 Euros (about $310) per month for the battery pack. Pricing being thrown around at many web sites for the USA market have been $20K for the car and $200 per month for the battery pack. So lets use the lower pricing. That would still be a total monthly payment of about $600 per month plus insurance, which is hardly a payment “for the masses” for a car that can only go between 80 & 100 miles before needing to be charged……….

    Until there is so much manufacturing capacity for the battery packs that supply is greater than demand, the prices will be high. That is Economics 101. And unless there is some magic going on, does anyone actually see that being the case before 2015?


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    Brad G

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (7:23 am)

    #104 Jeff
    … and most of that $400 is labor (and possibly permit fees). I believe it’s about $50 in parts (breaker, outlet, outlet box, wire strain reliever, and a short length of the appropriate wire) and something I’d do myself.
    ===================
    Jeff,
    Yes, 1/2 of the cost is labor but if you do it yourself be careful because when you open the panel you are exposed to full electrical current. I highly recommend the liencsed electrician because it can KILL you when you open the panel up.

    In answering other electrical answers posted:
    – 220 outlet does need to be GFCI protected by code.
    – Every job is supposed to have a permit but no electrician I know would permit a job this small.
    -Yes, you can split up the charging cord and plug into 2-110 outlets but you need to make sure that plugs are on different circuits. Most plugs in the garage are all on the same circuit.
    – You can buy wire at homedepot by the foot on the electrical isle.

    Once again, I highly recommend to everyone using a liscensed electrican to do this job! The panel is HOT always.

    This is alot different from a honeydoo fixing the plug because you can turn the breaker to the plug off, if you don’t do it right the breaker trips when you turn it back on. The panel is HOT always. The only way to turn the panel off is to have your electricial supplier pull the meter and then you have to have an electrical inspection (which requires a licensed electrican) to release the meter to be reinstalled which highly increases the cost and hassles.

    In short, if you know what your doing in the panel and whats HOT in the panel… Do it yourself… If you have NEVER done panel work or ever openned the panel… HIRE AN ELECTRICAN…

    I know what to do in the panel and I’ll hire the electrican.


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    Brad G

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (7:35 am)

    #113 Jeff M
    #118 JEC

    Dryers, Washers, Frig plugs are “dedicated plugs” and do not have to be GFCI protected in the garage. (You don’t plug and unplug your dryer everyday to use it, it’s always plugged in)

    By electrical code the 220 to an EV would have to be GFCI protected because you will be plugging and unplugging the car everyday in your garage which is considered a “damp” location.

    As EV’s become popular builders will start putting these plugs in new homes.


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    Paul-R

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (9:28 am)

    Grizzly, thanks for the feedback.

    However, you seemed to ignore my primary point: The US GDP includes a large and growing number of foreign-owned companies in the USA, many of which are owned by Japan. Yes our GDP is much larger than Japan’s, but so what? Even if Japan owned the entire USA, our GDP would still be larger.

    No big deal … this discussion has been fun regardless. 🙂


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    Al M

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (10:54 am)

    After reading about the iMIEV cost, I came across this article at pluginwire.com about the Flextreme. It says that it will be 10k more Euro than the same gas only car. Since it’s 15k USD for 10k Euro, I can see why GM is struggling to get this car to market for less thank 40k USD. See the article here:
    http://www.pluginwire.com/


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    noel park

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (12:02 pm)

    #86 omegaman66:

    I agree. Somebody had better do something PDQ – not in 2011-2012. If Honda really arrives with the 55 mpg, sub-$20K, small hybrid in 2009, as GTX mentions again above, the game is over.

    I f GM has no answer for that, they are going to get killed in the marketplace while they wait around for the Volt.

    #94 Hercule:

    Yeah, that’s how it has always worked. I have no doubt that they will do it again. However, see above.

    #97 Statik:

    I do not think that your are “hijacking” the thread in any way. Your commentary just emphasizes the whole underlying context of our discussions here. Kevin Phillips discusses at lenght the conversion of our economy from a manufacturing base to a “financial products” base in the last several years. The fate of GM, Ford, Chrysler, et al, and the fate of Bear Stearns, Fannie mae, Freddie Mac, and whatever other financial institutions are next to fall or be bailed out, are all intertwined.

    Couple this with our disastrous foreign policy of ever expanding military “empire”, which goes back for many administrations, but has significantly worsened in the past 7 years, and you have the recipe for the true economic “perfect storm”. Can anyone say “Rome”?

    Professor Johnson, who I have referenced here many times, says that it is already too late for the United States. I refuse to believe that, but the hour is late.

    The Volt can help. come on GM – “lead, follow, or get out of the way.”


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    Arthur

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (12:42 pm)

    The UK has mirrored in miniature the US over the last decades. Absurdly high military spending, a focus on financial services, the run down of manufacturing , a runaway housing market and so on. I agree so much with Noel Park, the Volt is so important as it signifies a real enthusiasm for and spotlight on manufacturing as not just a source of real jobs but as a way of restoring pride and purpose to local communities, states and eventually the whole country.

    The Volt can lead the fightback and be a great example to us over here. Go Volt, go USA, just do it. Just win not just the US market but the world market. Beat Honda, beat Toyota. Personally I cannot wait to get the keys of my Chevy Volt here in Europe.


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    NorthernPiker

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (1:09 pm)

    If I were designing an iMiEV type vehicle, it would:
    o Be a 4-door hatchback that seats 5 adults
    o Have a 20 mile range
    o Weigh less than 2000 lb. (curb weight)
    o Have an 80 kW (~ 105 hp) motor for adequate acceleration and regenerative braking
    o Have a battery pack with a 3-minute charge/discharge, a.k.a. 20C, capability
    o Have a battery pack with 5,000 deep-discharge cycle life capability. This equates to about 15 years or 100,000 miles of battery life; replacement cost in 15 years should be under $2,000. (There is no peak lithium)
    o Have an auto-sensing 110V / 220V at-home charging port with programmable charging cycles that maximize battery life and minimize electrical cost, e.g., automatic off-peak charging
    o Have a 15A 110V plug for charging from a standard outlet, e.g., when visiting the in-laws
    o Have a fast charge (3-minute) DC port for charging at a service station

    This iMiEV would have:
    o Standardized battery modules available in nominal 10 mile increments of range up to an additional 80 miles. Each module would extend the battery warranty by 50,000 miles. At some range, these 50 lb. modules may reduce the seating to 4 adults and a medium sized dog – check with the marketing gurus on this…
    o A trailer hitch and battery access port to allow as-needed, range extension via a (rented) trailer equipped with a gas/diesel/fuel cell generator, or with extra batteries, or with a yet-to-be-designed inductive power pickup unit that gets power from cables yet-to-be-embedded in the yet-to-be-designated charging lanes of highways.
    o A 120 kW (~160 hp) motor for improved acceleration and regenerative braking. This option requires batteries for at least a nominal 30 miles of range; otherwise, the batteries will likely limit this improvement.
    o A road tax meter (sorry, it’s gonna happen)

    To help sell this iMiEV:
    o The government should provide economic support, e.g., tax breaks to buyers based on nominal kWh
    o The power utilities should also chip in with grants for (iMiEV flippers on eBay) or a further discount on off-peak power. After all, the extra revenue from the off-peak charging of EVs represents a windfall to power utilities since no additional power system infrastructure is required until EVs number well into the 10’s of millions across the US.


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    Raymond

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (1:32 pm)

    No bumpers? No thank you then, I’ll pass. I’d rather have a little less range and be safe. I don’t think this “thing” will pass collision tests as it is pictures above.

    Oh and by the way, in it’s defence, charging time (of 14 hours) is for a complete discharge. If you were to use it for 40 miles daily (like the volt) charging time should be about the same (about 7 hours).

    In anycase, for the same price the Volt (in theory) is a much more conveniant vehicle.


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    ug

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (2:37 pm)

    “100 miles max is too short for my 101 miles per day.”

    Your lifestyle is going to change whether you like it or not.


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    LiPower

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (4:23 pm)

    The Li-ion battery technology in the MiEV is also used in the Boeing 787.

    http://www.gsyuasa-lp.com/


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 14th, 2008 (7:53 pm)

    Paul-R #116 & 125

    You bring up some good points. I never stated that the entire article is erroneous or bogus, just parts and obviously so for embellishment. Some of the points within it have merit. Japan has never competed with the US (or the world for that matter) on a level playing field. I’ve said it before and again, if the US Govt had to bail out GM, Ford and Chrysler to the tune of double digit billions it would pale in comparison to the free aid the Japanese Govt has given Toyota alone in the past 40+ years.

    You are also correct about the complexity of defining the world’s richest country. However there is no doubt it is the US. I gave examples on both ends of the spectrum, both GDP and per capita income and GDP. If the average American family could be described as owning 2 cars and living in a modest $120K house (could vary by region) then the average Japanese family would be described as living downtown Tokyo, owning 1 car for long trips and living in a small rabbit hutch (their term…not mine!) on the 10th floor of an apartment building.

    There is nothing wrong with foreign investment in your country. Ask Ireland and China to keep the list short. It’s because of foreign investment that Ireland took off beginning in the 90’s and today enjoys growth like no other European country. Three decades ago it was one of the poorest countries in Europe. What squared this for Ireland was a VERY WELL educated population combined with a low cost of business. Ireland per capita is a wealthy country, and much of that came from foreign investment.

    Paul-R, the wealth of a nation is measured in the productivity of it’s workforce, not financial investment gains stored in gold ingot in a bank vault. No country’s workforce is more efficient or productive that that of the US.


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    j man

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (6:38 am)

    I like the fact that GM is making a regular sized car and not one of these micro things that everyone else is coming out with. I also think the range extender will help the Volt vs a car without a range extender. It does not help me if I have to stop every 100 miles to charge the battery for 14 hours when all my family lives more than 100 miles away. My mom lives 147 miles away. With this car I would have to drive 100 miles, stop and charge for 14 hours and then finish my trip. In other words a 3 hour trip would take me 17 hours with the Mitsu. Or I can buy a Volt and do it in 3 hours.


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    Jim in PA

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (7:31 am)

    Forget the range limitations; it’s the battery charge time that is the deal killer. I don’t know ANYONE who is consitently home 14 hrs at night, between work and errands. I think Mitsubishi has an optional rapid charger. That feature better become standard if they want to sell this thing in America.


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    Canuck

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (10:42 am)

    I agree with #da posts 100%

    It is unfortunate that Volt is under Chevy brand because it is designed more like a Cadillac. As DA points out it is overpowered in order to meet any power demands at any time without difficulties. So it doesn’t make any sacrificies there. Also battery management is conservative to ensure maximum lifespan. All this results in a much lower electric range while providing top performance and durability.

    Seems this car will use more of availabile battery capacity. Seems they are willing to take more risk regarding battery lifespan. In return they get a comfortable 100 mile range. Which brings us to range issues. For an average commute to work it is VERY hard to drive more than 100 miles. There are always exceptions, people who have to go to many different places during a day. However, for the majority 100 mile day limit is plenty.

    Many/most have 2+ cars these days. So for longer trips we have plenty of conventional cars giving you longer range. In the worst case you go and rent one. For city driving though 100 miles should suffice.

    In other words, this is a smaller car that DOES take some compromises (unlike Volt) while obtaining some benefits. As DA already explained a smaller electric motor is sufficient most of the time. Combines with less wight you gain more range. This is a design choice they made for more utilitiy. Volt goes for more fun (power). Thus this car is actually a different market from Volt. In terms of GM brands, Volt is a Cady while this car would be a Saturn.

    Pricing is all over the place for all these new design vehicles as copanies try to recoup as much of design costs as possible. So I wouldn’t really pay too much attention to early estimates. Even between much close markets like US and Canada we still have as much as $10K deltas.

    Charging time is simple. I am not sure where that 14 hour time came from.

    Typical circuit will provide steady 12A @ 120V = 1.4 kW
    We estimate about 5 miles / kWh
    So the math is simple.
    For my commute of about 70 miles = 70 / 5 = 12 kWh / 1.4 kW = 8.5 hrs

    Given about 12+ hours of down time between commutes to work looks like I have plenty of time to recharge. As for other odd trips, again there is 2nd car, etc.

    So charging is not an issue. Price can be a problem, but we won’t know until it is actually offered in our particular market.

    Finally, we *DO* want more choices, more competition, etc. Keep in mind that having additional models available will take some pressure from Volt sales, which as we already established will have a tight supply initially. So you may endup waiting less for your Volt 🙂


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    Brad

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (4:14 pm)

    For that to be worth it, the car would need to be a mini van, or have a range extender, the only car other than a volt that I would consider is the plug-in Ford Escape, it is supposed to be a range extended vehicle like the volt, but achieve around 120 mpg.


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    LiPower

     

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    Jul 15th, 2008 (5:02 pm)

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    Keith

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:41 am)

    I think Chevy is missing the boat with the Volt. I beleive it would sell in the millions if they could keep the price in the 20-26 K range. the extra 10k per vehicle would put it out of reach of the mainstream market.


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    j man

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (8:57 am)

    Sadly the price is what will hurt the volt the most


  146. 146
    kert

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (9:08 am)

    “Mitsubishi Motors intends to set the price for the i MiEV at around 4 million yen. But government subsidies for low-emission vehicles are likely to reduce the actual retail price to an estimated 3 million yen [US$28,000].”

    There, fixed that for you all


  147. 147
    j man

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (9:13 am)

    The mitsu could sell for $1 and I still would not buy it. We need am American made electric car, screw the Jap cars


  148. 148
    LiPower

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (11:29 am)

    Subaru G4e

    Bucking the industry trend towards Hydrogen fuel cells, Subaru has released a vastly improved second cut at a plug-in a battery-electric commuter car. The 65-kilowatt, 5-seaterG4e’s new high energy-density lithium-ion batteries give it a 200km range from a charge (more than double the previous R1e’s range) and using a quick-charger it can be topped up to 80% in only 15 minutes. The new Subaru’s stats make it an instantly viable commuter, while underlining the exciting potential this fledgling sector will offer.

    With 40 units of Subaru’s older EV R1e battery-electric vehicle already out and being evaluated by TEPCO’s regional sales team and local government officials, Subaru has announced the arrival of an updated 5-door version with more than twice the range thanks to advances in lithium-ion battery technology.

    The G4e (which apparently stands for “Good 4 Earth”) has a 65kw maintenance-free electric motor. The aerodynamically-efficient exterior helps to get the most from the battery pack, which is located under the floor of the vehicle to keep a low, stable center of gravity.

    Range and charging times are the current bugbears of plug-in battery-electric vehicles, and Subaru has taken a strong step forward in this area. Using a new high-capacity vanadium battery material, they are able to load two to three times more lithium ions onto the positive battery terminal, resulting in an energy density about double what was possible on the previous model.

    A normal full charge requires nothing more than a power point and takes around 8 hours to reach full capacity, which will deliver around 200km of normal driving. Subaru has also developed a quick-charger that would allow the battery to be brought up to 80% charge in around 15 minutes. The company envisages that such quick-chargers could be easily located in carparks outside supermarkets and other public facilities. Either way, energy per mile is a lot cheaper than gasoline – as low as a tenth of the price if using off-peak overnight rates.

    http://www.gizmag.com/go/8281/

    http://www.gizmag.com/go/8281/gallery/


  149. 149
    LiPower

     

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    Jul 16th, 2008 (4:52 pm)

    $16,000 Electric Car

    http://www.bgelectriccars.com/


  150. 150
    Andy

     

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    Jul 17th, 2008 (7:09 am)

    This BG Automotive Group has vaporware written all over it. Their product is being hyped in various blog comment sections: strategy similar to the late Spark-EV.


  151. […] It seems our favorite media darling, the Chevy Volt, will have  bit of competition when it comes time for it’s eventual release in 2010. Though we’re not sure if it will make it to the US (like the Smart Car EV), we do know that Mitsubishi’s iMiev will make it to market a year earlier than the Volt and be priced lower. […]


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    Derhaeg Ruben

     

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    Aug 9th, 2008 (6:38 am)

    The imiev its price is that high because of the battery its the most expensive part on the car and yes it takes 14 hours for us to charge but there will also be a quick charge 80% full battery in 30 mins the starting price in japan will be 25000 euro (24900 or something) the elektric car can drive 160km the chevy volt cant drive that far because its bigger heavy and stuff, the generator idea can be turned in a 3th party addon for imiev and i think it will personly im gonna buy the imiev because mitsubishi has been testing it for years long before the rest they are smart but thats just what i think.


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    RB

     

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    Aug 9th, 2008 (7:25 am)

    I like the iMiEV and hope it comes to the US as soon as possible.


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    sally

     

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    Feb 2nd, 2009 (10:11 am)

  155. 155
    Mitsubishi iMiev price | DWS Motor

     

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    Feb 15th, 2009 (6:02 am)

    […] all kinds of price stimates for the iMiev. One of the first price estimates we came across was here on 12 July, 2008 US $ 37,496. They also go on to add that the Mitsubishi iMiev will be similar to […]