Jan 05

Chevy Volt Battery Temperature Control

 

The following is a recent exchange I had with Volt vehicle line director Frank Weber concerning battery temperature control in the Chevy Volt.

Does the battery always have some electronics running, even when the car is turned off?
No, there is a real sleep mode.

Did you hear about former CEO Martin Eberhard noting his Tesla Roadster was constantly burning energy when it sat in the garage unused?
Yes, his refrigerator. We don’t have this problem.

What we also will do is we will condition that battery for a certain period. When its plugged in and charging, and its really really cold, then you would probably spend a fraction of your grid energy just to keep your battery conditioned so that you can leave your garage or house in very very low temperatures, driving electrically.

What if you leave your Volt outside in the extreme cold?
You could still do this. The battery is fully insulated. Keeping the battery temperature for a while. To keep it just above freezing it can drive electric. Also the car will be smart. If you don’t use your car at some point you don’t want to spend energy anymore. At that point it will just stop conditioning.

The car will know that? Say if you leave it unused for a week?
No one will want to condition the battery for a week. What’s happening at low temperatures depends on what the state of charge is, we haven’t seen any major sensitivities. This car could sit there for two weeks, but without conditioning it again, it certainly wont start on electric. The engine would start and condition the battery for a few minutes.

So is there a delay when the car decides whether to start on gas or electric?
It would know this within a fraction of a second. The moment you open the door, the calculation starts, what is the battery temperature, what is the outside temperature and how should the car start.

So the gas engine will then heat the coolant?
It will propel the car and it will condition the battery. The moment you are running the engine you have the electric heater running in the battery.

So there is an electric heater in the battery?
Yes, you can chill and heat the battery.

Do you need to keep the battery at room temperature the whole time it is operating?
You don’t have to condition it to that level.

Can you say how low a temperature can the battery go on at?
No. A certain operating window that you have. You don’t have to always keep it at 71 degrees F. Ideally that is the temperature you would like it because that is where you have the maximum power output of the battery and you have the best life expectations.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 5th, 2009 at 7:19 am and is filed under Battery, Climate, Engineering. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 106


  1. 1
    Brett Pavel

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (7:32 am)

    Since it is 7 degrees this morning in Colorado this information seems
    especially timely! Amazing! With my Fiat Strada electric car
    conversion with lead acid batteries I made sure I kept the car in the heated garage if I was driving in January….otherwise my range was maybe 15 miles instead of 40!


  2. 2
    BreatheEasy

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (7:35 am)

    Sounds well thought out. Looking forward to having the technology in my garage.


  3. 3
    RB

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (7:41 am)

    The post Q&A is “Can you say how low a temperature can the battery go on at?”
    “No. A certain operating window that you have. You don’t have to always keep it at 71 degrees F. Ideally that is the temperature you would like it because that is where you have the maximum power output of the battery and you have the best life expectations”
    ————————————————————————

    This post is highly informative even though some sentences unfortunately became garbled versions of the original thoughts. Maybe it’s a translation issue.

    I wonder what the whole thought was that originated the fragment “A certain operating window that you have.” and what Mr Weber considers the “operating window” to be for satisfactory operation. The temperature issue seems to be a tough one.


  4. 4
    mmcc

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (7:58 am)

    I wonder if they will have a remote temperature sensor that can be mounted outside the garage and monitor ambient conditions? For instance if it’s 7 degrees outside but 45 in the garage where the Volt is parked. This would allow the Volt to precondition the battery based on actual conditions. Or maybe they can do it via OnStar.


  5. 5
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:01 am)

    From the article:
    Does the battery always have some electronics running, even when the car is turned off?
    No, there is a real sleep mode.

    ————
    I guess I will have to buy a watch since the electronic clock in the car won’t keep good time.


  6. 6
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:03 am)

    Nice job, Lyle, Great questions.

    It is exciting to learn how “intelligent” this car will be.


  7. 7
    David

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:05 am)

    There’s been some discussion about how optional roof solar panels could help maintain some kind of cabin temperature, especially when the Volt is sitting in a hot parking lot. It seems the same thing could apply to keeping the battery within the window Frank mentions.


  8. 8
    BillR

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:11 am)

    This just demonstrates GM’s commitment to providing good battery performance when you need it, and also providing a 10 year, 150,000 mile battery pack.

    Again, in cold weather, we see the distinct advantages of having the ICE on board (see post #1).


  9. 9
    Jim I

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:11 am)

    David #7:

    I doubt that the small solar panel would provide enough power to run the heating/cooling system for the battery pack, but it is a good thought.

    All this discussion shows how difficult a project this really is!

    Go GM – Go GM-Volt Team!!!


  10. 10
    RB

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:34 am)

    #5 Rashiid Amul says “I guess I will have to buy a watch since the electronic clock in the car won’t keep good time.”
    —————————————————————–

    It’s a little unbelievable that even the clock will turn off.
    Maybe the clock has its own battery! :)


  11. 11
    Zach

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:35 am)

    Rashiid Amul Says:
    January 5th, 2009 at 8:01 am

    From the article:
    Does the battery always have some electronics running, even when the car is turned off?
    No, there is a real sleep mode.

    ————
    I guess I will have to buy a watch since the electronic clock in the car won’t keep good time.
    ————

    I can’t tell if you’re trying to break a joke out, but I’m sure it’ll be similar to a computer, where the CMOS battery maintains power to the BIOS even when the computer is unplugged so the time is always the same.

    It’s the same with my removable audio deck in my car (actually I can’t confirm that… I don’t even recall taking the battery out since I installed it).


  12. 12
    Mitch

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:49 am)

    #5 Rashiid Amul says “I guess I will have to buy a watch since the electronic clock in the car won’t keep good time.”

    Rashid..

    Do you reeset your computer every time you turn it on too?

    Hope you were joking


  13. 13
    john1701a

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:50 am)

    To keep it just above freezing it can drive electric.
    __________________________________________

    That matches reports of the chemistry itself, which clearly state 32°F is the threshold. In other words, the engine will run for warmup throughout the entire winter in Minnesota when leaving work each day.

    Please add this to the Tech-FAQ. Later, we can find out long “a few minutes” is and how much gas that uses. Also, it will be interesting to find out the difference in consumption between idle-warmup and driving away immediately when the engine is running in the cold.


  14. 14
    RLM

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (9:12 am)

    As has been suggested several times, If a remote button were provided you could precondition both the battery temp. and the cabin temp. while the car is plugged in in the morning.


  15. 15
    Jason M. Hendler

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (9:13 am)

    Excellent system approach. Internal combustion engines have been designed to handle cold start conditions, and proven over decades, so no point reinventing the wheel at this point with batteries. Over time, battery tech will become more temperature tolerant, reducing the times you would need the engine to cold start and run the vehicle.


  16. 16
    DonC

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (9:54 am)

    Very informative article. Thanks Lyle. I gather from the interview that when GM says “condition” they mean heating and cooling so the battery temperature stays within a certain window.

    Rashiid, with respect to your clock question, don’t we know from somewhere that some of the electronics run on a separate battery like a standard 12V? (Maybe I’m imagining this).

    john1710a, in Minnesota there are a lot of plug in stations, which would eliminate the need for an initial start since you can use the power to heat the battery. Another reason to get to work early so you can grab one of those.


  17. 17
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:02 am)

    I suggest that GM allow our home network computers to communicate with our Volts. Then, we could have our computer awaken our Volt, wherein the Volt would seek temperature conditioning from the electrical grid instead of the ICE.


  18. 18
    BillR

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:08 am)

    “So there is an electric heater in the battery?
    Yes, you can chill and heat the battery.”

    ===================================

    Apparently not only does the battery have a heater, it may also have a system to cool the battery on hot days.

    I would imagine on cold days, if your Volt is garaged, you could start with a warm car and warm battery using energy from the grid. As you drive, the battery will generate heat, so the battery may only have to be maintained at maybe 50 F or so.

    If left outside, the same scenario would apply if it is plugged in. However, if it is outside without a plug, then the ICE would come on, not only to warm the battery, but to power the car and also provide heat for the occupants. This heat would initially be electrically heated seats, with energy from the coolant as the vehicle drives down the road (ICE coolant and battery coolant provide cabin heat). Once stabilized, I would guess that the ICE would turn off until required again (either at 30% SOC or after another extended stop).

    I’m not sure of the upper temperature limit for the battery pack, but it sounds like Tesla uses an active battery cooling system (refrigerator, mentioned above). Either GM has determined that the battery pack can withstand normal ambient conditions, or sees no need to cool the pack when stationary. We know that it shares coolant with the ICE and other systems in the car, so maybe a coolant pump and radiator fan are used at times, but the word “chill” makes me think that on hot days with high amperage draw from the battery pack, it may be necessary to use the AC to cool the batteries.

    Unlike a number of the BEV’s that are planned by other manufacturer’s, GM appears to be going to great lengths limit battery temperature excursions and to insure long term battery life.


  19. 19
    Tagamet

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:10 am)

    Assuming the Volt 1.0 requires a cmos battery, it’d be “cute” to have the sticker proclaim: “BATTERIES INCLUDED!”
    Be well,
    Tag
    LJGTVWOTR!! NPNS


  20. 20
    Mitch

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:15 am)

    #12 John1701a

    ” In other words, the engine will run for warmup throughout the entire winter in Minnesota when leaving work each day.”

    From what I read, unless you are not using it for about a week, the battery will be conditioned when its plugged in, at this time there will be a small amount of power diverted to keep the battery above 32°F.

    This makes sense, because being in an optimal temperature conditioning will likely improve charge performance as well..additionally, charging will likely produce enough heat. Once charging is complete, conditioning will likely occur as long as the unit is plugger for say upt to 4 days (I picked 4 because if I park it Friday, I may not need it until Monday or Tuesday if a Holiday weekend)

    Just my 2 cents, but that is how I think it would operate..meaning hte ICE should only kick in when it has sat cold for a number of days, or you don’t plug it in and park outside.

    If you do not plug it in, but have it in a garage, it will likely be above 32° anyway, meaning no ICE


  21. 21
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:17 am)

    Rashid,

    I guess you won’t make any more jokes – bloggers take themselves much too seriously!!!!!!

    This was good techno gobble. GM has certainly done a lot of thinking about a car they don’t intend to produce. I too look forward to having this game breaking marvel in my garage even if it is not economic compared to Toyota, Honda and Nissan products that will try to undermine the platform.

    I hope ‘Statik The SkeptiK’ and the other more negative bloggers turn out to be in error about GM’s intentions and their eventual ability to get into production. They’ve really got the right idea.


  22. 22
    Ray

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:28 am)

    I , for one, would be very interested as to how the Volt would have performed up here in Central Alberta, Canada.. I do not have a garage and the temperature here for the last 3 weeks has not been above 0 F (-15C). And for at least week the over night temperature had been below -35 C. I would have had the Volt plugged in of course..
    GM.. This area would have been an ideal test site for the cold weather conditions for the Volt.. ( winter is not over by a long shot so you still have time to get a Mule up here.)


  23. 23
    Right Lane Cruiser

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:31 am)

    Mitch, I think you are underestimating the temperature extremes here in MN. My fully enclosed (attached) but unheated garage stays below freezing for most of the winter. Parking in an open parking ramp provides no help with ambient temperatures. It is common to have highs in the low single digits. Without specifically heated shelter or an available outlet, the car will indeed need to be started at very low temperatures most every afternoon when leaving work.

    DonC, where are all these “plug in stations” you speak of? If you are referring to the once plentiful array of outlets for engine block heaters, most of those were removed decades ago when cars improved to the point of reliable starting at low temperatures.


  24. 24
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:32 am)

    Seems like GM is really thinking through this process. It does make me feel somewhat better for those of you who live in extreme cold climates. I never worried about us down here in the sunny South. But, it does get pretty cold here sometimes. Way to go, GM. Good post, Lyle. Thanks.


  25. 25
    Redeye

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:38 am)

    Sounds good. Sounds like the folks at GM know what they are doing.

    I beginning to trust them more all the time as these details are revealed.
    I don’t think they need engineering help from anyone on this site.


  26. 26
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:50 am)

    #5 Rashiid Amul says “I guess I will have to buy a watch since the electronic clock in the car won’t keep good time.”
    —————————————————————–

    I don’t know how the Volt will keep time, but I assume it will be a smart system. My 2009 Honda with Satellite Navigation keeps the clock set to the proper time including daylight savings time. I don’t have to worry about my car’s clock being accurate anymore. The Volt and any GM car with OnStar should be able to keep their clock accurate. All it takes is for GM to use what is available through OnStar. Or it should be available through OnStar.


  27. 27
    Mitch

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:52 am)

    #22 Right lane cruiser

    I understand of what you speak (I am in Canada, not Toronto..I can cope with the Cold)

    My home Garagre is attached and insulated, no heat, and only gets to about 35, My detached shed is about the same…good for keeping the beer cold without using hydro..

    But regardless, even if you have -40, a small diversion of power to condition the battery is nothing, and prevents ICE use unles you do not drive for x days (like a week in the article…my guess was 4)

    I see 3 (simplified) versions

    PLugged in and chrging & less than 4 days between drives (Charging maintains battery condition) = no ICE,

    plugged in & chrged but Volt parked for a week and battery below 32 = ICE.

    Battery above 32 = no ICE

    Mitch


  28. 28
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:53 am)

    I’d like to clock block this clock talk. He was joking.


  29. 29
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:56 am)

    #16 ThombDbhomb

    I can understand the desire for our home computer to be able to communicate with the Volt. But GM should provide programming in the Volt to allow you to set a time for it to wake up and condition itself. Should be a simple procedure easily accomplished with the electronics and software that will be on board the Volt.


  30. 30
    Tim

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:01 am)

    When addressing temperature conditioning, it’s really quite simple:

    The volt’s battery “conditioner” (resistance heater & heat pump) will work off the grid with plugged-in and off the pack/ICE when unplugged. An electric heater for the ICE will also increase efficiency because warm engines are more efficient (and warm oil lubricates better) than cold ones.

    This is no different than using the grid to power a diesel vehicle’s engine heater in a cold climate by plugging it in each night. Diesel engines won’t start in very cold weather because the fuel congeals and chemical batteries lose power when they are cold. (EEStor, if real, won’t have this limitation.)

    The grid/car roof solar panels will also power the cabin air conditioning when plugged-in and the pack/ICE/car roof solar panels will power it when unplugged.

    Of course, this gets better with home PV/Wind generation and V2G/V2H where the Volt’s pack can work as an extension to the home pack.


  31. 31
    nuclearboy

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:02 am)

    Just a thought,
    An electric vehicle may not be the best choice for the coldest of climates. It would seem like a lot of wasted energy to keep your battery warm in these conditions and the benefits of the electric car will be diminished.

    Of course I can say that easily because DC is not a really cold climate. My Garage rarely gets into the 40s.


  32. 32
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:03 am)

    #20 Shawn

    “I hope ‘Statik The SkeptiK’ and the other more negative bloggers turn out to be in error about GM’s intentions and their eventual ability to get into production. They’ve really got the right idea.”
    ———————————–

    I don’t think you should include Statik in the group of negative posters who do not think GM will produce the Volt. Statik only believes GM will have a very hard time even surviving long enough to produce the Volt. I am not sure what his opinion is at this point since GM has secured additional money with more possible from both the U.S. and Canadian governments. But, I guess, I should not be speaking out for Statik. He does very well by himself.


  33. 33
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    RB,
    Zach,
    Mitch,
    Shawn Marshall,
    N Riley,
    ThombDbhomb,

    Guys, I am so sorry. Yes, I was totally joking. I should have
    put a ;) after my comment to let everyone know. It is sometimes difficult to put tonal inflections in text. It is open to interpretation.
    Sorry about that.

    Zach, I am completely aware of the CMOS battery. I fix PC’s as a hobby. :)


  34. 34
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:19 am)

    N. Riley #28 says,

    #16 ThombDbhomb

    I can understand the desire for our home computer to be able to communicate with the Volt. But GM should provide programming in the Volt to allow you to set a time for it to wake up and condition itself. Should be a simple procedure easily accomplished with the electronics and software that will be on board the Volt.

    ———–
    I hope that at least one of you is correct. I think a scheduling plan is a great idea. The implementation will be important though. Many non techies may own this car.


  35. 35
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:26 am)

    #32 Rashiid Amul

    I figured you were joking, but my comment was still to the point about GM tying the clock to OnStar to keep it “on time”.

    #33 Rashiid Amul

    A scheduling program required to do this is a simple user interface. I know people say they can’t program their VCRs, but it should be a much easier process with an intelligent computer in the Volt. I know GM has the skills to do this, but the question is – will they?


  36. 36
    Nelson

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:32 am)

    RB #9
    “It’s a little unbelievable that even the clock will turn off.”

    Think 21st Century.
    When did you last set the time on your cell phone or portable NAV?

    NPNS!


  37. 37
    Mitch

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:33 am)

    #32 Rashid…

    You usually post intelligent comments, and I though tyou must be joking..but hey..we alll experience brain farts…

    GMVOLT!
    (GetMyVoltOnLineToday!)


  38. 38
    k-dawg

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:43 am)

    #16 ThombDbhomb

    I can understand the desire for our home computer to be able to communicate with the Volt. But GM should provide programming in the Volt to allow you to set a time for it to wake up and condition itself. Should be a simple procedure easily accomplished with the electronics and software that will be on board the Volt.

    ———

    Why not just a remote starter similiar to what is used on ICE cars today? I would also like to know how long it takes to condition the battery in a worse case scenario..30seconds, 30 minutes? And how much energy is being used? Frank Weber said you wouldn’t want to condition the battery for over a week, but maybe I would, it depends on the time & energy needed.


  39. 39
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:48 am)

    #37 k-dawg

    Different strokes for different folks. GM should be able to make it flexible enough to satisfy 80% of the people, maybe even 100%. We will just have to wait a little longer to see how many.


  40. 40
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:53 am)

    My commute distance is about 20 miles round trip. After I retire I will not drive as much, but will do a lot of shorter distance driving to and from the store or post office, etc. If you only drive, say, 10 miles a trip two or three times a week will it be better to plug up after each use to recharge (assuming no need to condition the battery because of cold weather) or wait until you reach close to the 40 mile limit or 30% charge level of the battery? With this type of battery it may not make any difference if you do a weekly recharge (assuming you do not plan an extended drive the next day) or a nightly recharge. I am just wondering and wanted to know what those of you who are battery experts thought was best.


  41. 41
    scott

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (11:54 am)

    The lengths they have to go to make this battery work reliably for 100k miles is starting to frighten me. The complexity is astounding. It makes you wonder if they are going to have issues with all of these controls. Complex systems always seem to have unforeseen issues. It looks like GM has thrown the KISS mantra out the door.


  42. 42
    noel park

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (12:10 pm)

    #24 Redeye:

    Well said.

    #31 N Riley:

    Well, you beat me to it again. I guess that’s one disadvantage of being on PST. You bright guys have all the answers up before I even start my computer!

    I don’t see statik as negative either, especially considering the number of times he has been right. I’m sort of in the same place now. I really want GM and the Volt to succeed, but the financial obstacles seem so huge that it’s hard to see past them.

    On a brighter note, there was an author on the CSPAN book program yesterday flogging his book about the coming oil shock. The presentation took place at a Jewish temple in Fullerton, CA. The author was extremely positive about the Volt, and it was amazing to see the level of knowledge, and the cogent questions, about the Volt coming from the audience. Very encouraging.

    Forgive me if I subject you to another of my book recommendations, but here it is:

    “The Shock Doctrine” – “The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism”, by Naomi Klein.

    IMHO, it goes a long way in helping to understand our present “reality” of bailouts and other unprecedented financial gyrations.

    #32 Rashiid Amul:

    Well maybe you need to emulate statik and throw in a few hehehes or LOLs as a signal. It’s tough when your sense of humor is so subtle that people think you’re serious.

    I read somewhere that the wrist watch is going away, as young people just use the clocks on their cell phones. I carry a cell phone, but I’m still lost without my trusty Timex “atomic” watch! As Nelson points out, I guess I have another one in my trusty Magellan. So, if I’ve got three gadgets tuned into WWV, I guess I ought to be able to figure out what time it is, LOL. The Timex only cost $20 at Big 5 on sale. I guess I could get another one and duct tape it to the dash on my Volt.


  43. 43
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (12:43 pm)

    #41 Noel Park

    This is the first time I have heard of the duct tape dispenser option for the Volt. I wonder where GM will place it. I always knew duct tape was going to be indispensable. About time GM recognized it too. LOL. HeHeHe. (Just in case, I am only joking.)


  44. 44
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (12:57 pm)

    # 41 Noel Park says,
    I guess I could get another one and duct tape it to the dash on my Volt.

    ———

    Funny you say that, Noel. I glued a small battery operated LCD clock to my rear view mirror on the 1974 Chevy Nova back when I was still a teen. So, so long ago.


  45. 45
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:07 pm)

    Technologically contradicting….

    “Does the battery always have some electronics running, even when the car is turned off?
    No, there is a real sleep mode.”
    AND
    “The moment you open the door, the calculation starts”

    In my oppinion, if it only takes a fraction of a second to make the calculations, then there is no way possible the “No, there is a real sleep mode.” can wake up and make the determination.

    I think his answer is flawed in a minor sense. I think there are onboard electronics running that may be connected to another battery source aside from the traction battery.


  46. 46
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    You guys are a lot better read when you are joking. Love the duct tape but in my world we use it to repair body panels!!!


  47. 47
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:12 pm)

    #44 CaptJackSparrow

    Even in a real sleep mode there is a program running monitoring the system to see if something is happening to cause it to “wake up”. Granted, that “program” can be complex or simple, depending on your needs as defined by the application creators. All sleep modes assume some computer activity is continuing. So, yes, calculations could start right away.


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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:13 pm)

    So the gas engine will then heat the coolant?

    It will propel the car and it will condition the battery.
    ————–

    I thought the engine was only to charge the battery. Does it actually propel the Volt too?


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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:15 pm)

    Duct tape comes in so many colors now days and that contributes to its usefulness. We would be surprised at how people use it, I am sure. That is why GM is providing a duct tape dispenser as an option, I bet.


  50. 50
    DonC

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:17 pm)

    Thinking about using the battery pack to heat itself brings up an interesting point. If you used the pack to pre-heat the catalysts before the ICE started you would eliminate virtually all hydrocarbon emissons, making the Volt a truly zero emission vehicle.

    Of course this would not work in situations where the temperature precluded the pack from doing this, but in the situation where you operated on the battery first and then, as your range extended, you switched to the ICE, it would. I’m sure GM has thought about this since, if implemented, it would add even more of a “green” aura to the car. Just not sure if it’s feasible.

    #22 Right Lane Cruiser – Yeah, I was talking about the plug-ins for the heater blocks. Obviously my information is out of date! Maybe they can bring them back. FWIW I never worried about the engine starting, I just didn’t like freezing until the heater actually started spewing hot air.


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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:18 pm)

    #47 NickG

    The ICE will provide electrical current when needed to the electric motor that will propel the vehicle. It does not provide power to the wheels directly. It will provide excess power to the battery to sustain its charge level at or slightly above the desired low state of charge which is at present 30%. It will not actually be used to re-charge the battery in the normal sense.


  52. 52
    S Wisinski

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:18 pm)

    Does anyone know if the Volt will be at the North Amer. Int’l Car Show in Detroit?


  53. 53
    statik

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:27 pm)

    It is also monthly auto sales day:

    December sales:

    Ford – 32%
    Volve – 47%
    Audi – 9.3%
    VW -14.4%
    Subaru – 7.7% (of note: up by +.3 for year still)


  54. 54
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:44 pm)

    Honda – 35 percent decline

    Daimler AG – 23.5 percent decline


  55. 55
    noel park

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:57 pm)

    #43 Rashiid Amul:

    My mother always says, “Watch out, you’re dating yourself.” I can say that, because I started it, LOL.

    #45 Shawn Marshall:

    Well Rashiid suggested glue, so maybe that’s a more sophisticated option. We have a white car and a yellow car, so we carry white, yellow and black duct tape, plus good old reliable gray for odd jobs around the pits when color doesn’t matter (it’s cheaper). Also pop rivets, tie wire, safety wire, sheet metal screws, and a 20+ year collection of “junk box” bolts and nuts. Sometimes it ain’t pretty, but we try to keep ‘em going.

    #52 statik:

    I just saw that on the Yahoo page and thought of you. I shudder to think what it will sound like when the other shoes of GM and Chrysler drop.


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    KentT

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (1:59 pm)

    mmcc #4

    On almost every GM car you can look at either the rear view mirror or the radio display and see the outside air temperature.

    Yes, the Volt will know what its surrounding air temperature is.


  57. 57
    noel park

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (2:01 pm)

    #48 N Riley:

    Well laugh all you want, but my friend has a very original show 57 Chevy. One of his proudest possessions is the highly collectible official Chevrolet optional Kleenex dispenser. So there! Maybe you are going to start a trend, or create a future highly sought after collectors’ item.

    Auction it off at Sotheby’s, LOL.


  58. 58
    Anthony BC

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (2:12 pm)

    Well, I guess if you live in colder climates the VOLTs will be visiting gas stations for years to come! ;-)

    But if the VOLT is in a garage or heated garage, then no gas consumption, right?

    GO EV!


  59. 59
    RB

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (2:16 pm)

    #32 Rashiid said, regarding his comment about even the clock going off, “Guys, I am so sorry. Yes, I was totally joking.”
    ————————————————————-

    Rashiid, I knew that all along. I guess I have read enough posts of yours to know that your good spirits and sense of humor is always on.

    My response was also in jest, as I’m sure you realized.

    Both perhaps too subtle for the passers-by, or perhaps they are too subtle for me :)


  60. 60
    statik

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (2:17 pm)

  61. 61
    RB

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (2:20 pm)

    Nelson says “RB #9
    “It’s a little unbelievable that even the clock will turn off.”
    Think 21st Century.
    When did you last set the time on your cell phone or portable NAV?”
    ————————————————————-

    Actually my cell phone, a Palm model, cannot be turned off, short of taking its battery out of the back, and I’m not too sure even then :)
    One can only turn its ringer off. I guess it is too curious about what’s happening out there in the world :)

    But you make a good point about time synchronization. It comes so naturally now that it is easy to forget about it, but I love it. Maybe that will happen instantly when the Volt’s door opens. :)


  62. 62
    RB

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    #59 statik said “GM Dec U.S. vehicle sales off 31.2 pct”
    ———————————————————

    Awful, but relatively not too bad. The incentives are destroying any profitably, but maybe they are helping the crisis in short-term cash flow.


  63. 63
    Casey

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (2:33 pm)

    Unlike the rest of you I have NOT been able to put a car in my garage for years, (no room) I guess its a good thing, my Volt wont be here for a couple of years, it will give me time to clean it out. I’m #33,772 on the list.

    NO PLUG NO SALE, LJGTVWOTR, DBNGCMEMEV, (my house)=D~~~(my volt


  64. 64
    Jeffhre

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (2:36 pm)

    N Riley #39 and others

    I have read that Li Ion batteries aren’t affected differantly if you charge them all at once or in short sessions. In terms of battery life, short charges could be summed as having the affect one full charge. It is my understanding that the Volt charging system will have a timer to allow it to take advantage of lower night time charging rates.


  65. 65
    Right Lane Cruiser

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (2:54 pm)

    #26 Mitch

    Ah. My garage isn’t insulated. :( I think you left out the relevant option for this question, though. Charged “enough” and not plugged in with ambient temperatures below 32F. I doubt the insulation around the battery is good enough to maintain above freezing temperatures after an 8hr “cold soak” while I’m working if the ambient temperature is around 0F. If I’m incorrect, wonderful! If not, I wonder if the vehicle might use some small current from the pack to maintain temperature for a set period of time?

    #49 DonC

    I certainly wish they would! The temperature hit to fuel economy can be significantly mitigated with an engine block heater and of course it would be an enabler for EV drivers. I drive a bit over 22mi each way for my work commute and the ability to plug in at work (and Church — that’s 17mi each way) would enable me to do 90%+ of my current driving with an AER of 25-30mi or so. I would have built an EV already but most reasonably priced DIY conversions end up only having about 15mi of range. So I continue squeezing as much out of my Elantra and Insight as I can.

    #63 Jeffhre

    Battery life is typically defined as a set number of charge cycles using a DoD (depth of discharge) extended to 80%. You can get significantly longer life by limiting DoD to smaller percentages. You can see this in the design GM has chosen… effectively only using half of the rated capacity of the battery pack. Batteries do not like to have their chemistry (charge) changed much.


  66. 66
    statik

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (3:12 pm)

    Toyota and Honda are out…-37% and -35% respectively.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/090105/auto_sales.html


  67. 67
    Big Picture

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (3:17 pm)

    Off-Topic: 12/08 sales of the Prius hybrid fell 45 percent as gas prices fell from their record highs in July.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090105/ap_on_bi_ge/auto_sales_6


  68. 68
    noel park

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (3:24 pm)

    #65 statik:

    Ouch!

    The Yahoo story I saw said that Prius sales were down 45%

    The Ford guy they interviewed said that the only good news was that, while year to year sales were way down, they sold more units in December 2008 than they had in November 2008. I coudn’t tell if tha was also true for GM. Can you tell from your source(s)?

    Always remembering RB’s comment about profitability (what’s that?) and incentives at #61.


  69. 69
    statik

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (4:33 pm)

    #67 noel park said:

    #65 statik:

    Ouch!

    The Yahoo story I saw said that Prius sales were down 45%

    The Ford guy they interviewed said that the only good news was that, while year to year sales were way down, they sold more units in December 2008 than they had in November 2008. I coudn’t tell if tha was also true for GM. Can you tell from your source(s)?

    Always remembering RB’s comment about profitability (what’s that?) and incentives at #61.
    ==================================
    A lot more deliveries in December…221,983, thats up 43% from november, about a 67,000 increase.

    Two factors on that:

    A)GM did not go bankrupt
    B)GMAC bailout, which heralded the return of 0% and credit to the ‘un-creditable’ at a FICO of 621…rather than 770+.

    I’m sure all the people that got ‘turned down’ over the last few months got calls…I’d love to see the breakdown of sales from Dec 1st to Dec 19th, then the amount of sales in the last few days of the year when GMAC decided to start doing what got them into trouble in the first place.

    I’m fairly confident January will be a even better improvement for GM…cars funded by your tax payer dollars, huzzah!

    In other news, Chrysler was off -53%.

    Side note: I’m only mildly interested in these numbers now. They really don’t mean anything now the gov’t controls the show. The real entertainment value is to come in early february, when they have to report on this quarter that just closed.


  70. 70
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    Jan 5th, 2009 (4:38 pm)

    There’s another Nick G out there? I’m going to have to extend my last name…


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    Mitch

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (4:38 pm)

    #64 Right lane cruiser

    You’re right, although in retrospect, I think that I left That option out because personnaly, if charging anytime you are not driving does no damage to the battery, (Which I hear Li-ion batteries can take) I would plug it in everytime I parked if I could to give MAX AER.


  72. 72
    statik

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (4:44 pm)

    Oh, I guess the actual breakdown by GM brand/car might be interesting to the thread:

    http://media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayServlet?target=http://image.emerald.gm.com/gmnews/viewpressreldetail.do?domain=2&docid=51161

    …enjoy
    ————–

    Winners:
    Malibu + 42.6%
    Impala +18.8%
    Yukon XL +3.1
    G5 -1.8%
    Suburban -10.6%
    Torrent -14.7%

    Losers:
    SRX -43.6%
    Acadia -49.8%
    Corvette -54.6%
    Sky -54.6%
    G6 -55%
    Outlook -57.1%
    DTS -57.2%
    LaCrosse -59%
    HUMMER -59.3%
    STS -60.8%
    Saab -62.7%
    Aveo -64.3%
    TrailBlazer -66.1%
    Solstice -68.8%
    Envoy -70.5%
    Uplander -87.7%
    (G8 continues to be a dog in its first year 1,479 sold in Dec/15,002 for ’08)

    I will note the losers are are ‘high margin’ cars, except for the Aveo and Kappa platforms (Solstice/Sky)


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    noel park

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (4:55 pm)

    #68 statik:

    Thanks. Chrysler -53%? Double ouch. I sense that the public has just about written them off.

    I hear you about the 4th – 1/4 financials. I figure that GM gets about one more good trip to the TARP, or whatever fund source, well. After that the public backlash is going to get so big that it’s going to get really hard for the Feds to keep bankrolling them.

    #70 Mitch:

    I have to agree. When they showed the Volt in Santa Monica a few months ago, I talked to some guys from Flagstaff, AZ who convert Aveos and Colorados to EVs. Of course they use conventional batteries, but still… They even have a term for it, “Opportunity Charging” (OC? hehehe). They said, “Absolutely, plug it in every chance you get and maximize the range.”


  74. 74
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    Jan 5th, 2009 (5:01 pm)

    #71 statik:

    Did they mention the Cobalt?


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    MarkinWI

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (5:08 pm)

    Here’s a quick summary of December sales for the majors:

    “Chrysler said Monday its December sales dropped 53 percent because of the recession and fewer fleet sales, while Toyota Motor Corp. reported a 37 percent slide and Honda Motor Co. said its sales tumbled 35 percent.

    Ford Motor Co.’s U.S. sales fell 32 percent in December. General Motors Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. both posted 31 percent declines.”


  76. 76
    DonC

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (5:18 pm)

    $68 statik says “GMAC bailout, which heralded the return of 0% and credit to the ‘un-creditable’ at a FICO of 621…rather than 770+.”

    This can’t really be over estimated. The GMAC bailout came in the nick of time. Dealers were reporting that 40% of their sales occurred in the last week, after the financing came back. Without the financing the month would have been truly horrid.

    Also note that the incentives for trucks were much higher than for cars so that will skew the numbers. Overall seems like a continued movement from trucks and crossovers to cars. Too bad about the G8, reviews say it’s actually a pretty good car. Seems like the Malibu is developing a following — when you look at surveys it gets very good reviews from its owners.

    But the truth is that until employment stabilizes these numbers are going to stay ugly.


  77. 77
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (5:26 pm)

    Maybe 2009 will be better for all concerned. 2008 was surely a DOG. And it went by too damn fast.


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    Jan 5th, 2009 (5:46 pm)

    Right Lane Cruiser #64 – yes, exactly why GM won’t have to include replacement cost of batteries in each vehicle, using a battery twice the size needed for minimum 40 mile AER allows both charge and discharge at less than 100% for the expected life of the battery.

    Right Lane Cruiser, Mitch, Noel Park

    Charging at night means using existing infrastructure, not adding to electrical grid overloading and building new plants for peak hours. That is why I am looking forward to higher ranges, lower prices and modularity in future versions of battery packs – when BEVs and range extended vehicles take off in popularity. Then we can take advantage of off peak rates for charging and not worry about the range or the opportunity to “bum a charge” from friends, family, church and employers.


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    statik

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (5:51 pm)

    #73 noel park

    #71 statik:

    Did they mention the Cobalt?
    ===================

    Cobalt
    Dec ’08 – 12,786
    Dec ’07 – 17,591
    -27.3%

    YTD – Cobalt
    Dec ’08 – 188,045
    Dec ’07 – 200,620
    -6.3%


  80. 80
    Koz

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (5:52 pm)

    This post begs some additional questions and comments.

    “To keep it just above freezing it can drive electric.” I thought they said it wouldn’t be a problem driving below freezing but maybe that was in regards to the heat pump. It was below -10F, or something like that, it might require additional heating from the ICE. Is this another indicator of LG winning the contract since I believe A123 can function OK below freezing.

    DonC mentioned a 12V standard auxiliary battery in an earlier comment. I too remember this being mentioned as being part of the design but it would be worthwhile to have a definitive answer here. How about those cold starts of the ICE when parked without plugging for enough hours for the battery to fall below freezing.

    And the NUMBER 1 questions. What power will be available until in these subfreezing battery conditions? Only ICE at 50KW to power auxiliary and acceleration until battery warms? How long to heat from -10F to battery use? I guess this is fine for snow and ice since you’ld just be spinning the wheels with more power. Does the ICE power suffer too in extreme cold?


  81. 81
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    Jan 5th, 2009 (6:07 pm)

    Back on the “conditioning issue”. Has anyone ever asked about the conditioning of the cabin compartment?

    I also live in MN and on cold winter mornings it would be really nice to have the cabin heated up using grid power before I ever got in. Not only would it really help my range, but it would make me feel a lot happier. A simple remote on the key chain would work just great.

    Nathan


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    Jan 5th, 2009 (6:25 pm)

    I wonder what the battery temperature range is for an parked VOLT that is not plugged in? Is the unused battery damaged if it gets too cold or hot? Solar panels could cool the batteries in hot summer sun and save the batteries from damage, but until then – what are the limits? Will GM require a VOLT to be plugged in at very low temperatures when the car is parked for an extended time? What extremes would cause a warranty to be void?


  83. 83
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (6:31 pm)

    Thank you Mr. Weber for the good work concerning the many details of Volt energy distribution and maintenance system.

    No doubt this R&D time will add to the final sticker price. Let’s hope for a good initial buyer interest and a pay off in lower prices on future GM E-REV. The Cruze mule, from Lyle’s Washington hearings post, will work for a lot of people.

    Please make the GM E-REV real world friendly by providing at least 6.5 inches of ground clearance. The China E-REV car number is 150 mm (5.9 “). This will not work for me. Southern California has a very short rainy season. This includes 5 day stretches of very hard rain. Our streets are designed to route this huge runoff to the ocean by incorporating deep dips in the intersections. You bottom out a standard belly-drag car at 25 MPH. It is depressing.

    http://garfwod.250free.com/Photos/cruze%20black.jpg

    =D~


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    Jan 5th, 2009 (6:51 pm)

    I would fully expect the Volt to have a customizable “prep” mode that would be available when plugged into the grid.

    Something like a Q&A where the Volt asks you questions and builds a custom prep.

    “What time do you want to leave in the morning?”

    “What is the cabin temperature that you would like to have the car when you leave?”

    Couple that with an “i’m going to be leaving really soon so get ready” button on the key fob and that should be all the info that is needed for the car to condition the battery and prep the cabin temperature.

    So there are 3 situations…

    - [best case] The car is plugged into the grid and it preps itself for you and you get in it and leave at the time it expected you to leave.

    - [middle case] You use the key fob “I’m going to be leaving really soon so get ready” button and the car is plugged into the grid but you get in it and leave either before or after the car was optimally ready.

    - [worst case] The car is plugged into the grid and you just open the door and start the car. This is the worst case because the car never had a chance to prep for you.

    Even the worst case isn’t all that bad. The ICE kicks on for a little while until the battery is either warmed or cooled such that it’s temperature is within the operating window. That should hopefully be rare enough and for a short enough time that it basically accomplishes just keeping the ICE in shape.


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    Leroy The Cable Guy

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (6:54 pm)

    Mama says that the only way the Volt will reach 40 miles via electrons is under perfect weather conditions and highly conditioned battery adjustments ain’t gonna cut it. Wise up GM engineers, you can do better than this. Remember your jobs depend on it !!!


  86. 86
    joe g.

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (7:14 pm)

    What I’ve been thinking for months now is that ideally, I would program in the charge times into my Volt, and it would condition the battery so it would be ready by the end of the charge time (when I leave for work), and if it’s not driven within an hour or so, stop conditioning it.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (7:26 pm)

    Man you guys are crakin me up. I’m glad I live in the Sunny California valley. We never get below 28F here and our hotest was 110F last summer. The battery climate control can handle that with little to no prob.

    Of course Taxes suck big dog here and State workers are getting furloughed 2 days a month and the budget is as$ broke. Other than that, get me the Volt and 5 panels of PV with charge controller and bablAM! I’m good.


  88. 88
    akojim

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (7:31 pm)

    #5 Rashiid Amul says “I guess I will have to buy a watch since the electronic clock in the car won’t keep good time.”
    ————————————–
    Ha! I was thinking the same thing except instead of buying a watch, I’m going solar – sundial on the roof!


  89. 89
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    Jan 5th, 2009 (7:51 pm)

    #77 jeffhre:

    I hear you, but it’s gonna happen. I commute 24 miles each way, and that’s not going to change. I use my now S-10 to run business errands during the day. So, I am going to plug the Volt in at the shop to maximize my electric driving.

    In Southern California, the highest peak is on summer afternoons when people run their AC to the max. So, if I arrive at work at 8 AM, and plug in to 220, I should be able to get the battery maxed out by noon. Maybe, if it’s a critical day for the grid, I might take mercy on the poor old grid and not plug in after noon. Or, Edison may devise some sort of variable pricing scheme to disincentivize my doing so.

    In any case I, for one, would gladly trade the oil problem for the overloaded grid problem. In any case, people will bum charges during the day. This problem will have to be dealt with eventually. but it’s a good problem, IMHO. When the batteries get as good as you hope for (so do I BTW) maybe we can just charge a spare at night and change them out like a cordless power tool, LOL.

    #78 statik:

    Thanks. I wonder how that compares with the Civic/Corrola/Sentra? It sounds pretty encouraging if Honda was off 35%, although maybe that’s the Pilot/Ridgeline type products.

    I keep wondering why they don’t incrementally upgrade the Cobalt if the Cruze/Volt aren’t going to get into serious production for what, 3 years? Maybe expand the xfe concept to the 4 door and gin up a better auto trans somehow?

    #83 xed:

    Yeah, get rid of the stale gas, LOL.

    Frankly, I don’t give a d**n if the ICE kicks on for a few minutes in the AM, as long as I do most of my driving with the battery.

    LJGTVWOTR!!, and sweat the little stuff later.


  90. 90
    noel park

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (7:59 pm)

    #86 CaptJackSparrow:

    Amen brother, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Did anybody watch the Rose Parade/Bowl? I rest my case.

    If Rick and Bob were smart, they’d just send the first 10,000 here and have it over with, LMAO.

    I’ll even throw in with you and do without the power windows and locks, AC, “Bluetooth”, and whatever else we can throw over the side to lighten the ship.

    Wait untill you see Brad and Angelina pull up to the Oscar red carpet in their Volt. Game over baby!!


  91. 91
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:06 pm)

    Awesome. These engineers sound competent and creative.


  92. 92
    noel park

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:09 pm)

    #90 Cautious Fan:

    I agree.


  93. 93
    Unni

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (8:59 pm)

    #82 The pic you put is a holden cruze, You can call it Suzuki Ignis also

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_Ignis

    I dont think that the cruze GM talks now. Any way Cruze i don’t think is a E-REV ,It should be a 1.4 ltr ICE engine one.

    Back to the post : Great question and answer, I like it.


  94. 94
    Dave B

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (9:12 pm)

    And nobody has said it yet (although Noel sounds like he was getting to it)–KISS please GM. Save all the high tech stuff for Volt 2.0.


  95. 95
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (9:54 pm)

    hi Unni #92,

    “Any way Cruze i don’t think is a E-REV”

    _____________________

    I realize that the initial Cruze will be solely gasoline powered. Thinking forward, this will be the perfect small truck model to build a basic E-REV at a low cost. Since most of the E-REV R&D was put into the Volt. And since the Cruze and Volt share many parts. We may be able to buy a basic E-REV Cruze priced in the mid $20′s.

    Remember how Toyota introduced the first small cars? They undercut the larger American cars in price. Just enough for the hard core patriots to buy a Toyota as their family “economy car”. My Dad didn’t want a Toyota, but the family couldn’t pass up a 35 MPG 2nd car for $2000 new. His Ford Galaxy had a 350c.i. V8 and started to cost real money to run. My first three cars were V8′s.

    Before long, the initial loss that Toyota took in establishing a market in the U.S.A. payed off big time. And people were willing to pay more for economy than for power.

    History will repeat itself as it always has. Either we will see a good deal on a very efficient Volt. Or the Volt may settle into the Dodge Viper class of having just a few buyers from an enthusiastic fan club. Is the BYD the new 74′ Corolla? Does GM realize the importance of producing the E-REV of choice? This is not a mystery, it is a math equation.

    http://garfwod.250free.com/Photos/toyota.corolla.early70s.jpg

    =D~


  96. 96
    Larry

     

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    Jan 5th, 2009 (10:28 pm)

    …so the ICE cranks up when conditions are ICY ;-)


  97. 97
    unni

     

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    Jan 6th, 2009 (12:46 am)

    Hi #94 Dave,

    If its all about choice, I love to get a Suzuki swift ( the Indian/Aus model/ Suzuki Swift Generation IV ). Its already 1.2 to 1.6 L engine variants.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_Swift

    Look at the “2008 Indian Suzuki Swift” , I think GM copies only non-hit models from Suzuki:-) . It’s more like an inexpensive mini. Look what even Suzuki gives as “Canadian Suzuki Swift+”. I pity my self to be in Canada.


  98. 98
    jeffhre

     

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    Jan 6th, 2009 (1:49 am)

    Noel Park #88

    Right, it’s still an order of magnitude better than burning oil to get to work. BTW Southern California Edison will be ready to send about a gigawatt of added wind generated juice into the LA Basin once their recently approved transmission lines are built out in the Tehachappi Area Renewable Transmission Project. ” http://www.sce.com/NR/rdonlyres/D92D6387-CF9A-4B60-868C-35EF45CE35E3/0/Greening_The_Grid_FINAL_0311.pdf


  99. 99
    Red HHR

     

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    Jan 6th, 2009 (2:03 am)

    So I leave my Volt in the snowbank for a week and the little clock stops…

    If I show up with a pickup and jumper cables and jump the Volt, what would happen???

    Interesting, the hands on my watch will stop when it is dark, when the light hits it they will move to the correct position. it is solar powered. It will last for something like a hundred years in the dark “sleep” mode.

    Red HHR (redneck joke)


  100. 100
    jeffhre

     

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    Jan 6th, 2009 (3:10 am)

    Red HHR

    Well,since you have a battery big enough to run your house whenever the snow snaps the power lines – hopefully that clock doesn’t run your Volt down that fast or else you’d better get some custom color duct tape and fasten a self contained clock to your dash before you abandon your 40 thousand dollar vehicle in a snow drift for a week. After all without that duct taped clock you could run into some real problems. Yep duct tape can save even the most techno-savvy-guy from a heap of disastrously cascading problems. It could happen.


  101. 101
    NZDavid

     

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    Jan 6th, 2009 (8:03 am)

    Great post Lyle.

    I think the clock will run off the 12V battery, just like in the Prius.

    In Auckland it never gets below freezing so the ICE will never start for me. I would like the passenger compartment conditioned for me to get into though, I like the remote fob idea.

    As for the 22K BYD thrashing the Volt, you are aware the average price for a new car in China is 11K.
    AM/FM radio=extra. Power anything=extra. A/C=extra. Seatbelts=extra. airbags not available, side impact what? They do get a heater though.

    I am certain by the time BYD complies with western safety standards / fit out, it will add 7-10k to the cost.


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    mmcc

     

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    Jan 6th, 2009 (8:31 am)

    #55 Kent
    Yeah, understand, but what I was referring to is if the car is in the garage it doesn’t know the temperature outside the garage.


  103. 103
    Jerome

     

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    Jan 6th, 2009 (10:35 am)

    Most of the discussion has been related to cold weather….for us desert dwellers….what’s the conditioning for >100 F weather? Does humidity level impact the battery (beyond the impact on running the A/C)?


  104. 104
    noel park

     

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    Jan 6th, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    #95 Larry:

    LOL.


  105. 105
    ccombs

     

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    Jan 6th, 2009 (2:41 pm)

    Impressively thought-out.


  106. 106
    chevonly

     

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    Jan 6th, 2009 (3:57 pm)

    While you guys are overthinking everything be aware that the ice in your car is controlled by a computer and more than one microprocessor that maintains a constant and correct air to fuel ratio. The Volt will be even smarter, why do you think that GM is also doing testing in severe cold and severe hot climates. The EV-1 was the best electric on the market at the time and so will the Volt when it comes out, GM has been building electric cars and proto-types longer than anyone else so I have NO WORRIES THAT THEY WILL GET IT RIGHT OUT OF THE GATE PERIOD……..