Jan 12

GM Chooses LG Chem to Supply Chevy Volt’s Lithium-ion Batteries and Will Build the Packs Themselves

 

GM first announced in the summer of 07 that they had chosen two supplier teams to compete against one another to build the Chevy Volt’s battery packs. From an initial field of 27 applicants, LG Chem and Compact Power Inc were one team and A123 Systems/Continental were the other.

We began hearing rumors as early as this summer that it was the LG/CPI packs that were the only ones in use in all the Volt mules, but an official announcement was not forthcoming at that time, despite it being the initial plan. Later we heard the announcement could come by year end, but the financial catastrophe delayed it

And as I sat in the press conference audience here in Detroit today, just moments ago, GM finally announced the contract had been awarded to LG chem of Korea using special large format lithium ion cells. The cells will be made in Korea, and shipped to the battery pack assembly plant in Michigan. More importantly GM will be building the packs themselves. although Compact Power will stay on as a collaborator.

Rick Wagoner noted how GM set a challenge to build the battery “that couldn’t be built”. He noted GMs confidence in the batteries has grown dramatically. He showed a model of the pack.

He announced that GM will manufacture the battery pack “right here in the United States”. He said the facility will be the first lithium-ion battery plant in the US operated by a major automaker, and will be built in Michigan. He noted the overall Volt investment has been over $1 billion so far.

He said LG Chem’s cells met has “performance, production readiness, durability and exceptional quality.”

He also noted GM is developing core-competence in automotive battery engineering that will improve their competitiveness. GM will actually create a new facility just for the manufacture of battery packs that will be distinct from the Volt assembly plant.

He said GM will also open the largest 31,000 square feet battery development laboratory in the US later this year, also in Michigan, and donate money to the U of M to develop a battery engineer training program.

Full Release:

DETROIT – The Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range electric vehicle that delivers up to 40 miles of gasoline- and emissions-free electric driving, will use battery packs manufactured in the United States by General Motors, Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner announced at the North American International Auto Show.

GM will establish the first lithium-ion battery pack manufacturing facility operated by a major automaker in the United States to produce the Volt’s battery pack system. It consists of lithium-ion cells that are grouped into modules, along with other key battery components.

The plant will be located in Michigan, subject to negotiations with state and local government authorities. Facility preparation will begin in early 2009, with production tooling to be installed mid-year and output starting in 2010.

“The design, development and production of advanced batteries must be a core competency for GM, and we’ve been rapidly building our capability and resources to support this direction,” Wagoner said. “This is a further demonstration of our commitment to the electrification of the automobile and to the Chevrolet Volt – a commitment that now totals more than $1 billion.”

The Volt’s lithium-ion battery cells will be supplied by LG Chem. Compact Power Inc., a subsidiary of LG Chem based in Troy, Mich., will build battery packs for Volt prototype vehicles until GM’s battery facility is operational. A joint engineering contract with Compact Power and LG Chem also has been signed to further expedite the development of the Volt’s lithium-ion battery technology.

GM has been testing battery packs for the Volt, powered by cells from LG Chem, for the past 16 months. These tests – both on the road and in the lab – have provided invaluable insight into lithium-ion battery technology.

“Our selection of LG Chem was based on performance, production readiness, efficiency, durability and LG Chem’s demonstrated track record of exceptional quality,” Wagoner said. “At GM, we believe the technical strengths of LG Chem, combined with our own engineering and manufacturing expertise, will help position us as a key player in the development of electrically driven vehicles today and in the future.”

GM’s advanced battery strategy

“Our announcements are part of a comprehensive advanced battery strategy for GM that is expanding along two pathways,” Wagoner said. “First, we’re identifying core competencies – such as battery research, development and assembly – and integrating these fundamentals into our product development and manufacturing operations. We believe this will become a competitive advantage for GM, and will be critical to GM’s long-term success. Secondly, we’re building a roster of battery suppliers and academic experts from around the globe, and leveraging their specialized abilities to develop battery chemistries and cell designs, as well as future automotive battery engineers.”

Key elements of GM’s advanced battery strategy include:

* Opening the largest automotive battery lab in the United States (31,000 square feet / 3,251 square meters) that will be capable of testing new energy storage system technologies, as well as lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride batteries, to accelerate the domestic development of advanced battery technology and lead GM’s network of existing labs in Honeoye Falls, N.Y.; Warren, Mich.; Torrance, Calif.; and Mainz-Kastel, Germany. This new battery lab will be located in Michigan, subject to final negotiations with state and local authorities
* Continuing to ramp-up “in-house” battery-development capability by increasing the staff of GM’s global hybrid, electric vehicle and advanced battery organization to several hundred engineers in 2009, including more than 200 currently dedicated to advanced battery technologies
* Joining with the University of Michigan to create a new automotive advanced battery lab in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a specialized curriculum within U of M’s College of Engineering to develop automotive battery engineers
* Continuing to grow and establish a robust lineup of battery suppliers for cell development and manufacturing and battery integration expertise, with companies such as LG Chem, A123Systems, Hitachi Ltd., Compact Power and Cobasys
* Collaborating with government organizations and industry consortia, such as the U.S. Department of Energy; United States Council for Automotive Research; the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC; and Electric Power Research Institute to advance the development of hybrids, plug-ins and electric vehicles, and related electric infrastructure to support those vehicles

Energy alternatives and advanced technologies that reduce dependency on petroleum, improve fuel economy and reduce emissions are the keys to developing sustainable transportation. GM is pursuing several options to best meet the varied needs of customers around the world – from advanced gasoline, diesel and biofuel technology to electrically assisted vehicles such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids and – ultimately -electrically driven extended-range electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. GM believes that electrically driven vehicles, based on battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology, offer the best long-term solution for providing sustainable personal transportation.

In June 2008, the GM Board of Directors approved the Chevrolet Volt program and Voltec™ propulsion system for production starting in late 2010. For trips of up to 40 miles, the Volt is powered by electricity from the grid and stored in its lithium-ion battery pack. Beyond 40 miles, a small engine-generator creates additional electricity to extend the range of the Volt several hundred additional miles. The development of the Volt’s 16 kWh T-shaped lithium-ion battery, which is roughly 6 feet long (1.8 meters) and weighs nearly 400 pounds (181 kg), is key to the Volt’s success. The production-intent design was revealed in September 2008.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 252,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 34 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 12th, 2009 at 10:32 am and is filed under Battery, Converj, General, Public Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 175


  1. 1
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (10:36 am)

    From the press conference, I got the impression that CPI was out, and GM would manufacture the packs themselves using LG cells. The New York Times article implied this as well.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/automobiles/autoshow/11BATTERY.html?bl&ex=1231822800&en=9c2448c6a8abb31c&ei=5087

    Am I missing something here?


  2. 2
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (10:42 am)

    Dave G #1,

    No GM will assemble the batteries, LG Chem will supply the cells and all the other will be embedded in – it seems, this is my interpretation – in some sort of collaborative-competitive research team.

    But the most important announcement is the collaboration with the University of Michigan, I think we are only at the beginning of a new area of battery developments.

    Regards and many thanks again to Lyle.

    JC


  3. 3
    JonP.

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (10:43 am)

    First?

    Battery contract finally….

    One step closer, hard to back away from now.
    I do remember the CEO of one of these companies saying 2 years from the signing of the deal to get the plant built, tooled, and ready to go… but this deal might of been inked weeks ago just waiting for the goverment check to keep everything green lighted.


  4. 4
    nuclearboy

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (10:52 am)

    I saw an interview with GM officials during the time they were begging for money last month and they implied that they don’t need any of the Volt factories (engine, battery, etc) to be up an running in order to still get the Volt out by Nov 2010. The official basically stated that GM would get the initial run of parts from other factories if needed and that the initial low production numbers were not a problem to build even without all of the factories running.

    This is good because It may take awile for the battery production and engine plant to be running smoothly.


  5. 5
    jeremy

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (10:53 am)

    well folks if gm can stay afloat it looks like gm will adopt the voltec family eagerly i hope obama sees this and includes this with his new deal…can bring alotta jobs to america along with the other green tech hes promoting . Hybrid/ or electric range extenders are vital for oil independence.
    go gm
    go volt
    npns!


  6. 6
    DonC

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (10:57 am)

    My first reaction was: “Bummer, the A123 packs would be safer and offer a longer range”. My guess is that it came down to price. Not saying the choice was wrong, just lamenting the outcome. But then I’ve never heard of formate lithium cells. The notion was that LG would make manganese spinel batteries. So perhaps this is a new technology with great performance. Looking forward to learning more about this battery technology.

    In any event, one more step closer to having the car in production. For that we can be thankful.


  7. 7
    HyperMiler

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:03 am)

    http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=AP&date=20090111&id=9503315

    “Poswatz said GM chose LG Chem because of its flat-cell design that dissipates heat better and stores more energy than competitors’ cylinder-shaped cells.

    The competition from A123 Systems Inc. was very capable, Poswatz said, but “one has to be the lead.” “


  8. 8
    jeff j

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:10 am)

    Sure is nice to hear Good news for a change , The Volt is for real , this technology is for real and GM will be a around for another 100 years . I might add 100 more years with 80% less fossil fuels (in the personal transportation sector ), I can live with that !!!


  9. 9
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:15 am)

    I feel bad for CPI, who essentially just got pushed out of this whole deal by the UAW. Now GM will be held hostage for batteries by the UAW. I can’t imagine any Tier 1 supplier would be able to competitively bid against GM’s internal sourcing for batteries, so look for PHEV’s, EV’s and PFCV’s to be more expensive than they otherwise would have been.

    The partnership with U of M is again another payoff to liberals. I just don’t see the benefit of GM paying for something that venture capitalists ought to be pursuing for them. Let the VC’s weed through all the technologies, don’t pay for development upfront – pay for those who deliver it.


  10. 10
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:16 am)

    #2 Jean-Charles Jacquemin Says: “…GM will assemble the batteries, LG Chem will supply the cells…”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, that’s what I thought. The article has been corrected now.

    This is great news. By bringing the battery pack integration in-house, GM is obviously serious about mass producing EREVs. This is not green washing.


  11. 11
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    As for A123 – they shouldn’t have dawdled and waited until the very last day to deliver their battery packs. LG Chem ate their lunch as a result. Now A123 has to hump like mad to merely convert a bunch of Prius’s. That is a lesson they will NEVER forget.


  12. 12
    Gary

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:19 am)

    I hope that they will start to make the cells as well as the batteries in Michigan eventually.


  13. 13
    Tim

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:19 am)

    Fantastic! It really appears that GM is getting their EV act together.

    The future of automotive transportation IS electric.


  14. 14
    statik

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:25 am)

    I don’t need to say it.

    …but I’m glad to finally get this done.

    /onward and upward


  15. 15
    Red HHR

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:28 am)

    The stone age did not end for the lack of stones.

    Red HHR (a reference to the oil age)


  16. 16
    KentT

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:29 am)

    Okay all you anti-GM, big business haters; here is what a giant corporation can do when it has managers (thank you Lutz and Wagner!) that can look past the next quarter’s balance sheet.

    As hoped for we have it all, a real product (Chevy Volt, not vaporware), education to make the US a leader an innovator for the 21st century (education grants and programs to the U of MI) and jobs, jobs, jobs (Production lines for the Volt, a new battery factory, a new engine line). So what can AIG/Citicorp and all the other robber barons show for the hundreds of billions of dollar of OUR money GIVEN to them???????? I say let’s take that money back and give it to manufacturers like GM! Positive results we can not only see in new factories and jobs but we will be driving the results in a largely non-polluting 21st century car! Now that’s what I want from my taxpayer dollars!

    Shame on all you skeptics.

    Oh, and for all those lamenting no concept car styling for the Volt, take a look at the Cadillac Converj! Patience. You WILL have it all!

    And lastly for all the A123 fans out there. There seems to be an issue between power density and energy density. Tesla didn’t pick the A123 battery technology either and here’s why: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog2/?p=24

    Go GM and thanks Lyle for one of the best sites on the Web!!!!!


  17. 17
    Arch

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:30 am)

  18. 18
    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:32 am)

    @ 15 Red HHR,

    >> The stone age did not end for the lack of stones.

    Damn, that’s profound, Red!

    Let’s hope oil-for-personal-transport goes the way of the dinosaur, too… and soon.

    (wait… oil… dinosaur… did I just make some kind of joke?)


  19. 19
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    #9 Jason M. Hendler Says: “I feel bad for CPI, who essentially just got pushed out of this whole deal by the UAW.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    CPI is making the packs for the Volt prototypes, and they are consulting with GM for the production packs, so it appears they have been very successful at helping their parent company LG Chem increase sales. I hope LG compensates them well for this.

    I used to work for a company that had a division like this. The division made products that showed customers how it can be done. The division never made a lot of money, but they created a lot more sales for the whole company, so employees in this division were compensated well.

    As for the UAW, I don’t know if this is a big issue for GM deciding to build the battery themselves. Battery pack integration is complicated in terms of design, but comparatively simple in terms of manufacturing. I don’t think integrating battery cells into packs requires a lot of UAW workers. Most likely, the bigger issue for GM is being able to control the pack design themselves, particularly the battery pack control firmware.


  20. 20
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:38 am)

    Well we now know who will manufacture the batteries. It is about time to get started. Time is running out. I wonder how much work has been done prior to this announcement? Hopefully both companies have been working on all the off-site details of the deal and are close to having shovels on the ground of the plant site.


  21. 21
    MarkinWI

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:41 am)

    Great day! Taxpayer loans translated into American jobs. I could not be happier.


  22. 22
    Jim in PA

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:43 am)

    Great news. And it sounds like GM is serious about keeping manufacturing and intellectual property in the US (and even closer to home in Michigan).

    I am a little puzzled about an above comment trying to link university research funding to a liberal conspiracy. The US is falling behind to China and India daily on producing engineers. I warmly welcome any collaboration between US industry and US universities to help produce more engineers trained in relevant and growing fields. Efforts like that are about as partisan as a ham sandwich. So now funding an engineering program is fodder for political argument? What is this country coming to?


  23. 23
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:44 am)

    #6 DonC Says: “My first reaction was: “Bummer, the A123 packs would be safer and offer a longer range”. My guess is that it came down to price.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    A123 is a small company. LG is a big company. Big companies like to do business with other big companies.

    For myself, I would rather have the cells made by LG Chem in South Korea than by A123 in China.


  24. 24
    Darius

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:49 am)

    #70 Dave G.
    Status of the 2-Mode Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Saturn VUE

    It is surprising for me that major part of energy is used to grow corn. On other hand you have to grow corn anyway because you have to feed cows and pigs. And you don’t loose any food when extracting ethanol. In fact you can totally avoid this energy usage in your calculations.

    On other hand you have to use lot of energy to grow cellulose (trees) especially when cutting and transporting from remote places. Evaluation and comparison of those figures very problematic.

    P.S. Sorry for being too hesitant.


  25. 25
    Arch

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:49 am)

  26. 26
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:53 am)

    Having another company manufacture the cells with GM assembling the battery packs from those cells may be a flexible way for GM to allow other companies to get into the manufacturing process later as volumes increase. It does give flexibility, but I wonder if it doesn’t increase the per battery pack cost. I hope not.


  27. 27
    HyperMiler

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:57 am)

    @ N Riley Says:

    GM’s press release confirms they were working with 4 battery makers. LG, A123, Hitachi and Cobasys.


  28. 28
    DonC

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    #9 Jason Hendler says “Let the VC’s weed through all the technologies, don’t pay for development upfront – pay for those who deliver it.”

    Actually the way it’s been working is that the engineers working on the research start the companies which are VC funded. The VCs don’t look through technology they weed through companies. I can see why GM would want this type of collaboration — if nothing else it gives them a supply of qualified employees.

    #16 KentT says “Tesla didn’t pick the A123 battery technology either and here’s why: ”

    Lutz has said that GM is only using one third of the available space in the battery pack with either A123, so it doesn’t seem that energy density was an issue. Greater power density is desirable because it means better acceleration and better regen braking. Moreover the A123 batteries would seem to give better range because they take charge/discharge cycles better, thereby allowing for use of a greater percentage of the battery pack.


  29. 29
    Jeff

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    A123 may have “lost this round”…but GM is wise to keep a relationship with them. Hopefully, a relationship that supplies product to vehicle owners in the future. Based on current info, I know that I would have a better opinion of GM hybrid vehicle’s predicted reliability if they used A123 cells. The GM hybrid designs are a different story…but I do like the EREV concept. Hopefully, GM’s EREVs perform (and priced) well in production versions.

    But who knows…LG Chem may have a better “mousetrap”. We need more info on their batteries. Are the cells in the hands of a consumer yet?


  30. 30
    Frank B

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (12:10 pm)

    FINALLY!! This is great news, finally a concrete move to make the electric cars a reality instead of just hype. A great day!


  31. 31
    George in Berkeley

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (12:11 pm)

    From the designs I’ve seen, the battery looks easy to remove. Perhaps if they don’t perform as advertised, GM will swap them with ones that do (“Batteries sold separately”) ? And maybe even switch manufacturers?

    (PS: Nice site, Lyle. I don’t contribute much, but read it like crazy!)


  32. 32
    statik

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (12:15 pm)

    Side note/other NAIAS news:
    Toyota just wrapped their press conference for the next gen Prius.

    The number we all want to know….what is it rated?
    50MPG (and yes, thats a combined number), which is up about 4-5 from the current iteration.

    Other ‘schtuff:
    Cd dropped to .25
    Sliding moonroof (with solar panels) that powers a air circulation fan when the car is off…and remote A/C/heat (now reworked to draw less power) if you want to get into a more ‘friendly’ environment
    0-60 in 9.8 (about a second better)

    Two things lacking:
    -nothing on price…other than cheaper than this one
    -nothing on future plug-in option

    http://naias.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=413


  33. 33
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (12:17 pm)

    From Business Week –

    “LG Chem CEO Peter Kim said the company may eventually build cells in Michigan and anticipates that the company’s U.S. subsidiary, Compact Power Inc., will add to its 100 person work force in Troy, Mich.”

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D95LMHT00.htm


  34. 34
    k-dawg

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (12:25 pm)

    I like the idea more jobs are cominging to Michigan. Maybe we wont be #1 in unemployment sometime soon. It was also nice to read that LG may eventually end up making the cells in Michigan too. Kind of shows the snowball effect of the auto-industry.

    LG got the contract, but what are the details? Like GM said, as technology changes, they may go a different route. Maybe Energizer still has a shot, and they will have a pink-bunny Volt.

    keeps going .. and going..


  35. 35
    Fujio Cho

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (12:30 pm)

    It’s about time GM made this public as automotive insiders have known this for quite some time. Welcome aboard GM to the next wave of automotive development. Hope to see you at the finish line.

    - Fujio


  36. 36
    Jeff

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (12:41 pm)

    19 Dave G
    Most likely, the bigger issue for GM is being able to control the pack design themselves, particularly the battery pack control firmware.

    I believe GM needs to move in this direction. GM is called General MOTORS for a reason…the main product has been the ICE. And it is the same for other auto assemblers…BMW, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Company, etc.

    The battery pack will be the most expensive…and IMHO…most important component on an EREV. The posts on this site are similar to discussions of ICE design and performance on other auto sites. The ICE has taken a back seat here.

    Of course, auto industry could transform to the model of the personal computer industry with 1 or 2 companies producing the main component for the assemblers. And the battery cells (not the battery pack) could be considered the main component of an EREV.


  37. 37
    DonC

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (12:42 pm)

    Side note/other NAIAS news: Ford says that January sales are running 20% – 30% ahead of internal forecasts.

    “It’s very, very surprising, I have no idea why it’s happening,” Farley said. “But I think across all manufacturers, across all segments, we are seeing a surprising trend rate on sales, beyond our expectations. We don’t know if it will last all month…we are not sure of the underlying cause,” Farley said. “But we are seeing, during the first week or two, really strong business across the country.”

    http://www.freep.com/article/20090112/BUSINESS03/90112031/1016/Ford++Early+January+sales+surprising

    Statik — how am I doing as the good news bearing anti-statik? LOL

    More background on the Converj design (hate the cutesy spelling) — was designed to be production:

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?AR=236882


  38. 38
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    This is very very good news. If there was every any doubt in the Volt happening, in my mind at least, it’s gone.


  39. 39
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    #37 DonC

    I’ve gotta wonder if Ford is getting some “goodwill” customers lost from GM & Chysler’s bailout.


  40. 40
    noel park

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    GOOD NEWS!!! LJGTVWOTR!! NPNS!

    #22 Jim in PA:

    EVERYTHING is fodder for political argument. My advice? Just ignore it. It discourages them when there’s no response, and it’s much better for your mental health. You’re absolutely right of course, but it’s just a sad fact of life, and it’s not going away.

    #37 DonC:

    I am guardedly optimistic that there is going to be a substantial uptick in public confidence after the events of January 20. Maybe this is a bit of advance notice. God send that it shall be true.


  41. 41
    Dave B

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:05 pm)

    Wow. So what on cost? I’ll assume the in-house move will save the consumer money in the long-run?


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:14 pm)

    #37 DonC said:

    Side note/other NAIAS news: Ford says that January sales are running 20% – 30% ahead of internal forecasts.

    “It’s very, very surprising, I have no idea why it’s happening,” Farley said. “But I think across all manufacturers, across all segments, we are seeing a surprising trend rate on sales, beyond our expectations. We don’t know if it will last all month…we are not sure of the underlying cause,” Farley said. “But we are seeing, during the first week or two, really strong business across the country.”

    Statik — how am I doing as the good news bearing anti-statik? LOL
    ===================

    Your doing pretty well.

    However, now you have forced me to post a snippet out of Ford’s mouth from almost exactly a month ago, hehe:

    DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co.’s December sales are faring well, at least through the first two weeks of the month, Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said Tuesday. “December for us is turning out relatively well,” Ford said. “So far it doesn’t look so bad.”
    http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081216/BUSINESS02/812160219

    They then went on to post a -33%…their ALL-TIME worst showing.
    —–
    Although, I do expect to see more ‘moderately’ devasting numbers for January…not the ‘OMG, the world is ending, we are all going bankrupt’ special we have been treated to for Q4. Probably back to the ‘just’ off 20-odd percent.

    Percentage gain/loss numbers are not always a good barometer…for instance we are now starting to comp against year over year suckiness. In January Ford lost 19 percent year over year…so they are competing against a new/lower standard, so it doesn’t seem as bad. 20% down from the previous year when they were also down 20, doesn’t seem as bad as being off 35% from a uptick year.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:24 pm)

    #39 Cautious Fan asks “I’ve gotta wonder if Ford is getting some “goodwill” customers lost from GM & Chysler’s bailout.”

    They said all manufacturers across all segments so I’d say no. Actually GM has done better, probably because GMAC is making loans. But see below:

    #42 Statik says “now you have forced me to post a snippet out of Ford’s mouth from almost exactly a month ago, hehe:”

    Curses! Foiled again.

    #40 noel park says “I am guardedly optimistic that there is going to be a substantial uptick in public confidence”

    Certainly Obama is trying to avoid Bush’s mistake of not really explaining the financial problems or what he was trying to do with TARP. Then again the Obama team has had a few months to chew on things. But we can all hope that things turn around.


  44. 44
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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:27 pm)

    #42 Statik (me) siad:

    Percentage gain/loss numbers are not always a good barometer…for instance we are now starting to comp against year over year suckiness. In January Ford lost 19 percent year over year…so they are competing against a new/lower standard, so it doesn’t seem as bad. 20% down from the previous year when they were also down 20, doesn’t seem as bad as being off 35% from a uptick year.

    ————–
    I didn’t get time to fix/edit this, looked like I was quoting real numbers there…it was supposed to just be a example. That should have read,

    “If in January Ford lost 19 percent year over year…they are competing against a new/lower standard, so it doesn’t seem as bad. 20% down from the previous year when they were also down 20, doesn’t seem as bad as being off 35% from a uptick year.

    Just as FYI, the comps from last year are -5% January, -7% in February and -14% in March.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:37 pm)

    I’m thinking CPI built the BMS for the Volt packs. Even if GM builds the packs and develops the software, it does not necessarily mean they will build the BMS from the ground up. I’m sure CPI will have a role there somewhere.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:37 pm)

    #44 Statik

    In this economic environment, market share is a better indicator and the ability of a company to adjust their business accordingly. The need for government loans is a significant indication that the Big 3 are not able to adjust easily to a changing market.

    Do you have those numbers?


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:39 pm)

    @statik 44

    This a perfect comparison scenario of how the Obama administration will be weighed. They will start from the bottom and there”s really only one way to go. Up. Then all will “Praise the Mesiah – Obama”.
    Just watch…..lol…..All the Obamabies will say he fixed everything.

    Well, now that we have a battery source (and i’m sure they have a backup, say A123), let’s build my VOLT DANGIT!


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:43 pm)

    I hope all three domestic automakers have much improved sales figures over this month last year and over last month (Dec 08). People have been holding off buying long enough that there may be a pent-up demand increase for future sales. Once Bush goes back to Texas and the new team takes over everything will be rosy once more. No problems, no worries and nothing but good times are here again.

    An auto show like the Detroit Auto Show does spark interest and enthusiasm for car purchasing. Maybe it will work out for the good this year also.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:50 pm)

    Interesting decision by GM to make the batteries themselves. As someone else pointed out in this thread, we (as a country) are still beholden to other countries to make the cells that go into those batteries, but a domestic battery maker — IF it can be competitive — is a step in the right direction.

    With all the testing GM has done, I imagine that GM has a very good idea of the technical requirements of their battery pack — much better than any likely outside supplier. IF GM does not repeat the mistakes of its past (e.g. burdensome labor contracts) with the new battery plant, this could be a winner. OTOH, if it turns out that an analytical chemist needs the permission of a pipe-fitter to calibrate his thermogravimetric unit, this could (as with several previous GM enterprises) turn out to be an exercise in stupidity.

    Bottom line: the move in-house to save money will probably not save money on production costs, but it might be prudent for quality and technological reasons.

    JFFT,

    D’Artagnon


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:51 pm)

    #46 Jeff said,

    #44 Statik,,In this economic environment, market share is a better indicator and the ability of a company to adjust their business accordingly. The need for government loans is a significant indication that the Big 3 are not able to adjust easily to a changing market.

    Do you have those numbers?
    ====
    #47 CaptJackSparrow
    #48 N Riley

    I do have the numbers…but maybe better for another thread…there will be lots of those again soon enough. I didn’t really want to displace the topic, I was just “funning” with DonC.

    /back to ‘car stuff,’ lol


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    Does anybody have thoughts on how an in-house Lithium battery assembly plant might potentially affect other kinds of cars?

    Could smaller Lithium batteries made from these same cells replace NiMH 2-mode hybrid packs?

    Could smaller-still Lithium (4-cell) batteries replace Lead Acid (6-cell) starter batteries? Consider 1/2 the volume, 1/10 the weight, twice the life (at probably twice the cost) of lead-acid (my guesstimates).

    This would make GM the master of it’s fate again for it’s other hybrids, and rapidly push large-format Lithium cell markets into the stratosphere.

    …or, would the temperature control issues make such batteries too complex for such smaller-scale usage?


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:56 pm)

    It is a good day. “The sun is warm, the grass is green” (somewhere).
    And the cherry on top: SIH! (Statik is happy – kinda like a “Blue Moon”) (lol)
    Be very well,
    Tag
    LJGTVWOTR!! NPNS SIH!!! hehe


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    A co-worker was firmly in the “they ruined the Volt concept car” camp, and had dropped all interest in the Production Intent model.

    I sent him a link to a story on the Caddillac Converj (hope they change the name), and he was excited again.

    Assuming they avoid the dreaded “blandification” GM is infamous for, we may now have the best of both worlds: One (more expensive) model for the “Car People,” and a more reasonably-priced Volt for “the average buyer.”


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:00 pm)

    #15 Red HHR

    “The stone age did not end for the lack of stones.”

    Thanks, I got a good laugh from that one.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:02 pm)

    @ #16 Kent:

    WOW! How to put it in any better words? You hit the nail on the head. Yeah. GM hits a home run with this announcement and leads the world in the electrification of transport. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Certainly not Bob Lutz.

    Keep up the good work GM. We’re proud.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:02 pm)

    Who will supply the supercaps?


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:03 pm)

    @Jackson 51

    Could smaller Lithium batteries made from these same cells replace NiMH 2-mode hybrid packs?
    Yes.

    Could smaller-still Lithium (4-cell) batteries replace Lead Acid (6-cell) starter batteries? Consider 1/2 the volume, 1/10 the weight, twice the life (at probably twice the cost) of lead-acid (my guesstimates).
    Yes.

    The Volt battery is a series of smaller cells in some form of “Series” & “Parallel” configuration. This is where I have mentioned before where a battery “Standard” for EV’s need to be addressed. That way other third party vendors can join in the market and share the wealth driving cost down for us consumers.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    #52 Tag

    It is a good day. “The sun is warm, the grass is green” (somewhere).
    And the cherry on top: SIH! (Statik is happy – kinda like a “Blue Moon”) (lol)
    Be very well,
    Tag
    LJGTVWOTR!! NPNS SIH!!! hehe
    —————————

    I will not be anconym-itzed!

    I am in a good mood today though…market is falling (4th day in a row) and I (very, very luckily) just got out of my January SPY/QQQQ puts this morning that I had cost averaged down about a week and a half ago. Only made about $500 after settlement, but that was a lot better than the 20K hit I was looking at taking only a week ago (they would have expired friday).

    Huzzah! Sometimes, not losing money feels as good as making it, lol.

    Side note: Gas is off another 7-10% today…currently $37.90 -$2.93. So $1.50 and less at the pumps would seem to be the order of the day.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    You need to understand one thing, if I am correct. GM is not making the batteries. They are only assembling the battery packs. That is a long way from making batteries. I don’t foresee GM getting into the manufacturing of batteries. Assembling, research and design absolutely. But not making the batteries.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    @ThombDbhomb 56

    As far as I know of there are no UltraCaps/SuperCaps involved. It really should’ve in the design because these devices could have buffered/soften the blow on the batteries on heavy drain instances thus extending life and maybe range by absorbig ALL regen braking energy.

    Maybe some other anouncement somewhere I missed but to my limitted knowledge there are none.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:10 pm)

    GM did an amazing job on the Camaro by keeping pretty close to the concept. I don’t see any reason the new Cadillac won’t stay close to the concept also. The Volt concept was just too far off base to be an acceptable car. I loved the aggressive look of the Volt concept, but hated the door panels and the low roof. It looked like you would have to squeeze yourself to get into the car. The Caddy looks great, except for the stupid name.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    So, Lyle, are you or someone else going to create a GM-Converj.com site? I don’t think as many people will be as interested in the Cadillac as in the Volt. Even at $40,000 the Volt will be half of what the Converj ends up costing, I suspect. I haven’t seen any pricing for the Converj yet, but $80,000 would not be far off. Might be a little low.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:28 pm)

    Insight numbers are out. Although EPA estimates are “only” 40/43, reviewers seem to be getting into the 60′s quite easily. Jeff from VTEC.NET even managed in the 70s and everyone else at the drive got in the 60′s.
    http://www.vtec.net/forums/one-message?message_id=808676&news_item_id=808664

    C&D drove as tough as they could (which I imagine was still a fairly underwhelming event) and they still got low 40s.

    63.4:
    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/01/11/abg-first-drive-2010-honda-insight-63-4-mpg/

    If these numbers do play out then 60MPG for sub $20,000 is pretty compelling.

    It sounds like the driving feedback features will be helpful as well.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:40 pm)

    First, the real news here is the pack assembly by GM in MI. I think we have known for some time that LG Chem would be the battery vendor. Either the assembly issue or Gov’t loan issue has just thrown off the timing for this announcement. In other words, GM IS ON SCHEDULE FOR THE VOLT. Today’s announcement is merely a formality.

    Second, GM’s press release states they have invested over $1 billion in developing the Volt/E-Flex. That certainly is a lot of money for VAPORWARE.

    The third item of interest is the way GM is now advertising the AER. I thought they used to state “about 40 miles” a “nominal 40 miles” or something like that. This left us to believe that perhaps AER might be more (Bob Lutz stated 50 with a new battery, and 40 at end of life at VoltNation last March).

    Recently, I have noticed the wording has changed to “up to 40 miles”, of gasoline and emissions-free electric driving. Again, as I have stated in recent posts, this leads me to believe that GM will limit AER to 40 miles.

    So even under ideal conditions (flat terrain, no AC, 40 mph, wind at your back), once the car’s ECM clocks 40 miles, the ICE starts. You may have only used 160 Wh/mile or 6.4 kWh, but 40 miles is the limit. By the same token, you hop on the highway and do 70 mph and pull 250 Wh/mile, and at 40 miles you have used 10 kWh. At this point the ICE starts. For extreme duty (highway driving at 100 mph with AC blasting), you would not reach 40 miles.

    I am wondering if GM is looking to provide 40 miles AER in most circumstances (city, hwy, or mixed) cycle, and expecting the average use to preserve battery life. This way city drivers don’t always get 50 AER, while highway commuters only get 32. Just something that makes me wonder.

    Just like the range with a 12 gallon fuel tank and the ICE used to be 640 miles. Now we don’t know the actual fuel tank capacity or MPG with the ICE on, so its just “several hundred additional miles”.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:42 pm)

    Last nights 60 Minutes story on the price spike in oil was very interesting:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4713382n

    It elucidated who our Wall Street bailout went too. 700 billion to bailout the people who stole half a trillion from us in oil prices and were the very same people who brought us the Enron story. I don’t remember the cost of that little game.

    Spending a few tens of billions to save our manufacturing industry who actually deliver a usable product to us when we voluntarily exchange money for it is a lot more palatable to me. And our auto manufacturers didn’t hire all the co-conspirators from one of the biggest crime rings in history either.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    #63 GXT

    To me, any sub 20K car that can get a combined 40MPG is a winner.

    The only fly is the new Prius. It is confirmed today at 50MPG combined…and ‘cheaper’ than last gen.

    If that ends up meaning $21,999 and they are scarce, so you still end up paying 25K…not as big a threat (although still pretty big). However, if they mean $19,999 and they actually stock them/customer can get them at that price…that is another story.

    Either way Honda has a winner I think, just with varying degrees of success…provided they can actually make a profit at that low a MSRP.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:44 pm)

    I wish some of you had some technical and business perspective like Statik does with his financial accounting.

    It is a well known scandal that Sanyo shafted Ford, with Escape hybrid batteries. Sanyo, despite Ford contracts in hand, diverted some battery production to fellow Japanese firms and cited “production problems” to Ford.

    All automakers deem ICE engine designs to be a needed in-house technology. In light of the Sanyo example, all the automakers deem battery manufacture a similar needed in-house technology. All the major automakers are bringing it in-house except the US automakers, because they don’t have the money. But that does not mean they do not want to do so. When they get healthy, (and the massive cost cutting will quickly swing profitability), they probably will. Meanwhile GM is starting the process. Its bringing in-house the battery pack assembly, and farming out research, creating battery chemistry labs, and hiring battery engineers.

    Just like Toyota and Nissan and others are doing.

    As to why A123 did not win the contract, it is easy to see. They are small, and don’t manufacture anything. They cannot respond easily to a ramp up in demand should one occur outside forecasts. A123 “toll” the manufacture to a Chinese firm which is thus obtaining their technology and developing the manufacturing ability to make the A123 battery cells, and maybe not sharing it all with A123. So A123 might become a shell and the “tolling companies” will be free to sell to a Chinese auto company like BYD. If A123 had that Michigan battery factory that it is seeking to build, it would have been a more likely winner. Meanwhile A123 is working with Chrysler who always has histrotically had a more open relationship with suppliers. The output of the Michigan factory may end up powering Chrysler-GM and other automaker offerings. Or perhaps power the PHEV VUe or this Converj.

    Frankly in the electronic business most components are dual-sourced, and I could easily envision any one or all auto designs eventually taking multi-manufacturer cells/packs.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (2:58 pm)

    #64 BillR

    Ii would be nice to know just what size gasoline tank GM is putting in the Chevy Volt. The last I remember is 6 or 7 gallons. Maybe there will be an after market kit to replace the smaller tank with a larger one. But, if I go on a trip and get the first 40 miles free of gas and then travel another 300 miles (at 50 mpg for a 6 gal tank) I would be ready to stop and rest by the time the gas tank was running low of fuel. With a gasoline range of 300 miles at an average speed of 65, that gives me 4.62 hours not counting the time to travel the first 40 miles. Yeah, I would be more than ready to get out and stretch my legs. So, maybe a 6 gallon fuel tank is all any of us would ever really need.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (3:00 pm)

    Sending money for batteries or Fossil Fuel OUT of the country is STUPID and another fine example why Rick needs to go.
    Congress pressed Fords exec’s to make hardware fasteners here in the US for cars and not farm it to China.
    How and why is a battery any different when our tax dollars make other countries money and employ non US workers and factories.

    If this has already been said forgive me. It just burns me up.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (3:03 pm)

    I am not surprised that auto sales are rebounding. Some of it is the discounting on trucks that after all are work vehicles. Deals are just too attractive, and business still buy. Some is just the revived liquidity allowing sales to return to the normal depressed levels of a recession, rather than the artificially reduced levels, where would be buyers just could not be financed.

    Every time that there has a been a price disruption in oil prices in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s or now, that has acted like a massive tax hike across the World and created a Recession.

    That is nothing new. Despite out politicians clamoring that the new Depressionisupon us. The out wonn and that talk by their media has immediately died.. The liquidity crisis is not unlike what happended to the Savings and Loans back in the ’80s but extending over more than housing.

    The World’s monetary authorities have re-liquified the Banks not only here but all around the World. There are no holdouts like Japan tried to be. If you hadn’t noticed the Gas price episode is over, and prices have returned to merely obscene levels.

    So the “reverse stimuli” to create a Recession are now gone. They have been gone for 6 months or so, and counting. It should not be surprising that the economies are now stirring. By mid-year, the US economy should show real signs of regrowth. The inevitable inflation, will still be coming. You cannot add all that liquidity without it happening, but that will be a problem for 2010-2011, and not 2009.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (3:07 pm)

    There was really quite a bit of coverage of the Detroit show on our local (LA, CA) news programs last night, with almost total emphasis on various electric cars and PHEVS. Volt, Mitsu MIEV and the new Chrysler thing predominated. Not even much on the Prius or Insight. All good, IMHO.

    #52 Tagamet:

    Well the grass is green here, at least for the moment. Alas, rainfall is falling behind again, and we’re almost out of water. Maybe we’ll have to start painting it green again this summer, LOL. Possible record high today, could top 90 degrees.

    #65 Lektriktadpole:

    Yeah, I saw it. I really liked the part where the guy from the oil industry explained that, prior to and during the price spike, supply had been rising and demand had been falling. He said something to the of “I always thought that when supply went up and demand went down, the price was supposed to fall, but not this time.”

    Pretty irritating.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (3:12 pm)

    #68 N Riley:

    Yeah, 6 gallons is fine for me. We can’t get past Bakersfield without hitting the first rest stop anyway, so over 300 mile range is just hauling gas (weight) around for nothing.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (3:14 pm)

    #69 Vincent

    Are you telling me that you never purchase anything that is made from outside of the U.S.? If you do, then isn’t that stupid also and you should just go too? Go where, I don’t know. Every company purchases raw material, supplies, or finished goods from a foreign supplier. GM is no different. I don’t imagine Rick Wagoner has any real say-so over where purchases come from. They have a negotiated contract that was handled by another part of GM and Wagoner probably had little to do with it. Get real, for a change.

    And incidentally, congress is part of the reason many companies have to look overseas for supplies and finished goods. There rules and regulations have run many businesses out of business in the States.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (3:42 pm)

    Lyle, keep the good news and progress coming. Don’t get drunk – we need your brain working optimally.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (3:43 pm)

    @vincent 69

    Posted by a person who’s PC they’re typing on (probably his/hers) has most of the parts manufactured outside of the US…..


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (3:55 pm)

    @ Lektriktadpole 65

    “Spending a few tens of billions to save our manufacturing industry who actually deliver a usable product to us…”

    I haven’t seen anything in “Useable” products delivered in “New Hybrid Technology” yet. Other than a release sell date of the Ford Hybrid, but this tech is not new, and considered old/proven/mature.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (4:04 pm)

    #66 Statik

    Honda dealers have been taking waiting list entries with a $500 price to get on the Honda Insight list. To me that tells me that the first several hundred buyers are going to get ripped off some by the dealers adding markups. Don’t you think?


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (4:05 pm)

    #68 N Riley,

    My point is not the capacity of the fuel tank nor the MPG in charge sustaining mode. It’s that some of the original specs are changing, and they are sometimes noted in a subtle way.

    Yes, we know the tank is less than 12 gallons (but don’t accurately know the new amount). GM just states “several hundred additional miles”, so without knowing the fuel tank capacity, we don’t know if 50 mpg is correct or not either.

    My point is that AER is now stated as “up to 40 miles”. That to me implies it is never more than 40 miles. Just something to think about.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (4:08 pm)

    ______________________________________________________
    Thanks Lyle. That’s very good news.

    My Wish List:
    2010 Production: Chevy VOLT
    2011 Production: Cadillac Converj
    2012 Production: VOLTEC platform in 5+ GM model lines.
    _____________________________________________________
    Electric Cars + Nuclear Power = American Energy Independence!
    _____________________________________________________


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (4:15 pm)

    66. Statik,

    I think Honda must be planning on making a profit per vehicle if they are planning on selling 200,000 units in 2009. I just hope the cost doesn’t end up being higher than expected.

    Apparently the battery pack is only 0.58 KWh!


  81. 81
    stas peterson

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (4:21 pm)

    @ 65 Lektripole,

    Please don’t be negative. Obamasiah may have hired all the co-conspirators from this this enormous crime but they are really nice, good-hearted, people. Just ask Fred Raines, looter of Fannie Mae; Tim Johnson, looter of Freddie Mac; or Jamie Gorelik, looter of EF Hutton. They will all tell you that. And they give lots to Charity too. Like their campaign contributions to elect Demagogues.

    It is a calumny on human nature to think they did that to protect themselves, so they won’t be prosecuted.

    Have you no Faith in your fellow man or woman?


  82. 82
    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (4:27 pm)

    I hope GM builds this new battery pack assembly plant with HIGH EFFICIENCY and reasonable COSTS in mind. Like in most industries it’s all about manufacturing the highest quality, cutting edge products at competitive PRICES. Value for the customer. Bang for the buck.

    They’ll have to compete with the low labor costs in places like China you know. I wouldn’t underestimate the Chinese by the way. Chinese companies like BYD might be new to the car business, but they’ll probably learn how to build good quality cars quicker than people think.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123172034731572313.html?mod=article-outset-box#video%3D556B9EB4-8E51-4F32-8009-5A6994ACA8F2%26articleTabs%3Darticle

    They need to design this first pack assembly plant carefully. GM hasn’t done a plant like this before. It needs to be built to be flexible and EVOLVE as new battery technologies emerge in the next 10 years. GM should get the best battery plant design engineers possible. I want this first GM battery pack assembly plant to be world class. World class in high tech automation, efficiency, cost, etc.


  83. 83
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (4:28 pm)

    The auto industry is currently focused on producing $40,000 – $80,000 electric family vehicles.

    But, the basic EV delivery vans and trucks are coming. With big flat roofs for optional solar energy collection.

    The manufacturing savings from eliminating the ICE, transmission, and exhaust system should offset the battery cost. Less assembly plant employees, with high volume sales, will raise profit margins.

    Vehicles can easily be outfitting with modular post-in-hole, snap-in, “lego” battery cubes. Larger vehicles can “lego” 2 ,4, 6 or 8 cubes in line.

    When will we see the first solar assist big rig? Hauling a huge solar cell trailer from L.A. to Las Vegas and back. Maybe with “MGM” “Trump” or “Wynn” lettering on the side? Talk about savings and low cost advertising in one package.

    Noise, smoke, gasoline….see ya’. Sorry Big Oil, it’s just a matter of time. Forget wind mills, sink some of the oil profits into solar trailers and lego systems technology now.

    =D~


  84. 84
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (4:29 pm)

    #69 vincent Says: “Sending money for batteries or Fossil Fuel OUT of the country is STUPID and another fine example why Rick needs to go.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    We import a lot of natural gas, so maybe Pickens should go as well (humor).

    The reality is that we live in a global economy. We should worry less about how much we import, and more about how little we export. The Volt looks to be a popular product the world over, so I think that’s a net gain.

    Ideally, the U.S. should develop it’s own Li/Ion manufacturing capability, but that won’t happen anytime soon, so the only choice available is to import the Li/Ion cells.

    I would rather have the Volt’s Li/Ion cells made by LG Chem in South Korea than by A123 in China. South Korea is a thriving freely elected democracy. China has communist government that seeks to control everything.


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (4:37 pm)

    #78 BillR

    “My point is that AER is now stated as ‘up to 40 miles’. That to me implies it is never more than 40 miles. Just something to think about.”

    We’ve already thought about it:

    http://gm-volt.com/2008/10/30/the-chevy-volts-all-electric-range-aer-will-be-40-miles-both-at-beginning-and-end-of-life/


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (4:38 pm)

    @GXT 80
    “Apparently the battery pack is only 0.58 KWh!”

    Well, that doesn’t qualify for the fake $7500 tax incentive does it?


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    Len

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (4:54 pm)

    I am a little suprised at the folks that think the rising oil prices will do in the hybrid vehicles. Clearly there is a segment of the population that does not care what the price of oil is, they don’t want to be in a position to be held hostage by the oil companies or they want to reduce their consumption footprint.

    A123 has the better battery, if it had been used GM would not have had to price in a replacement. A123 is not hurting, they are working with more than a half dozen car companies. They are building several manufacturing facilities in the US. The LG Chem batteries will still be manufactured in Korea, the battery packs will be assembled in the US. A123 will be manufacturing the batteries and assembling packs in the US.

    The Volt is still overpriced at 40k. The Insight and Prius will dominate in volume.

    There is still another wave of defaults, bigger than what has happened, coming. The option ARMs, those are the ones that you didn’t even have to pay interest on (but it got added back on the principle) when they reset the monthly payment can double. Then there is the credit card debt. We will see lots of defaults there too.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:07 pm)

    We don’t know all the ins and outs about GM’s decision to go with LG Chem over A123. I know that they made what they thought was the best decision for GM at the time. I could not imagine even GM doing something totally against their best interest as choosing a battery supplier that would be second to another. I have to believe LG Chem was the best choice. Those of you who keep saying the A123 battery is better, either put up or shut up.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:09 pm)

    #62, N. Riley: So, Lyle, are you or someone else going to create a GM-Converj.com site?

    Maybe he should just change it to gm-voltec.com (only have to add two letters)!


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:14 pm)

    #89 Jackson

    Yeah, I had thought about that after submitting my post. But, I don’t think Lyle will do that. We are all pretty well vested in gm-volt.com. It would be hard to think of it any differently. Let the Cadillac people try t create a rival site. I don’t think they can muster many interested parties. Although I believe the Converj will sell fairly well among the well-to-done and those who like to appear well-to-do. Still, a stupid name, I think. Converj! Blah, blah.


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    statik

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:16 pm)

    #77 N Riley said:

    #66 Statik–Honda dealers have been taking waiting list entries with a $500 price to get on the Honda Insight list. To me that tells me that the first several hundred buyers are going to get ripped off some by the dealers adding markups. Don’t you think?
    —————————–
    Yes, this could easily happen depending on the dealer.

    They certainly are going to get full markup. The arrangement I have with my dealer is strictly, I am first on the list, and when he gets a inventory manifest I can choose the one I want and pay the according MSRP price…no dealer ‘added’ value to jack it up.

    Doesn’t seem very ‘official’ to me…but what can I do? At least I’m dealing directing with the owner…and he has a ‘monster’ dealership.

    Side note: He also got me to plunk down $500


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:16 pm)

    Maybe Cadillac owners will not call their Converj by its name. They probably will just call it “my Caddie”. I can’t imagine some dud at the country club saying to the parking attendant, “Hey, mine is the green Converj”.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:17 pm)

    Maybe all the “they killed the Concept Volt with the production intent model” people can all band together to make a Cadillac site. We can have a (hopefully friendly) ‘inter-service’ rivalry.

    As far as I can tell, the two cars are different implementations of the same basic technology.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:18 pm)

    #88 N Riley Says:

    Read this and all your questions are answered.

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2290
    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2291

    These comments from CPI CEO and Bob Lutz are very damning to the prospects of US-based battery production in the future. Basically, the race for advanced battery is over before it began, it will be fought between China Vs Japan Vs Korea, with US and Europe out of picture.


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    Estero

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:19 pm)

    The topic of discussion back on Dec. 29, 2007 was — Will GM Use One or Both Battery Pack Teams for the Production Chevy Volt? It now appears my posting was not too far off:

    “It would not surprise me the least if the eventual manufacturer of the Volt battery pack one day becomes a Division of GM …”.

    I continue to wonder about the future of lithium ion battery packs. The evidence at this juncture suggests it is nothing more than a short term solution. Comments?


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    ccombs

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:24 pm)

    Wait! GM you forgot about EEStor?!?!? Should’ve given them some more time…. :)


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:26 pm)

    We need cars like the Volt so that the fatcat OPEC Middle East oil shieks and the Wall Street schemers cannot rip us off at the pump anymore with this product we call gasoline. Watch this very enlightening “60 Minutes” episode about the prices of oil in 2008. Surprise … if was NOT “supply and demand” like the oil fatcats want you to believe. That was BS and they KNOW it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO6HUwlIS_Y

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9dA8pUpeV8&feature=related

    The “petrodictators” like Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin just love it when there’s turmoil in the oil and energy industry. I read in the Wall Street Journal that Putin and his oil buddies want to stir up mayhem in the Middle East because it might cause another huge spike in the price of oil like we had last summer. It’s all about the OIL MONEY … EASY money for Putin and his cronies.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123172143660372413.html

    Trust me, Hugo Chavez and Putin loved the first 9 months of 2008 when the price of oil was over $100 a barrel. There are PLENTY of schemers out there that want to drive the price of oil sky high again so they can get more and more money out of your bank account every month.

    The world will not have to worry about petrodictators, Wall Street schemers and Middle East OPEC oil fat cats once we are running on ELECTRICITY. Good for us consumers. BAD for them. I love it. It’s coming. The electrification of the automobile is gearing up for mass production in the next 10 years. Millions of cars like the Chevy Volt getting 100+ miles per gallon. It’s going to be tough to be a petrodictator in 5-10 years. :)


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    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:27 pm)

    hi N Riley #92,

    “Maybe Cadillac owners will not call their Converj by its name.”

    ________________________________

    Caddie Vergie sounds like an Italian dish. Maybe snails and nuts boiled in an oregano chicken broth served over steamed green vegetable noodles with a garnish of parsley?

    I digress.

    =D~


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:30 pm)

    OK, I am ready for another topic to discuss. Come on Lyle. What are you doing? Just smuzzing with the auto big wigs? Have fun, anyway.


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    Len

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:35 pm)

    N. Riley – Those of you who keep saying the A123 battery is better, either put up or shut up.

    —————

    I use the A123 batteries and I know how tough they are. Compared to any other batteries that I have used they are far superior in their ability to accept a charge fast, to give up high current and to tolerate abuse that ruins other lithium based batteries (like discharging below 20% ). Their low internal resistance means they generate far less heat in use. They are also not suseptable to thermal runaway. I have not used the LG-Chem batteries, but I read their own power point presentation that talked to test results and they mentioned the batteries “slight puffing”. Most of us that use the lithium batteries for power consider a battery ruined if it shows puffing.

    There are many considerations when chosing a battery supplier and A123 has quite a few companies working with it, A123 is also supplying batteries for the Prius conversions. Maybe that is a few negative things in the eyes of GM management. Maybe they cost a bit more. Who knows.

    I have said all I am going to say on this subject, it is a done deal. In the end it is just my opinion. Perhaps time will tell.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:36 pm)

    Speaking of someone having to go, I think the person or persons who thought up this new Cadillac’s name should go. This is a ridiculous name for a car. Does it mean something? I googled it and found nothing except in relation to the new Cadillac. Come on GM. Where did you drag this name up from.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:38 pm)

    #100 Len

    We all hope GM made the right battery manufacturer decision. We will know….. “in 10 or 12 years”, as John Wayne would say.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (5:50 pm)

    Maybe sooner. I think we will know 3 to 5 years after delivery.

    I agree the Converj is a stupid name. :) but the car looks pretty nice.


  104. 104
    Koz

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (6:29 pm)

    “Our selection of LG Chem was based on performance, production readiness, efficiency, durability and LG Chem’s demonstrated track record of exceptional quality,” Wagoner said.

    Since Statik is apparantly taking the day off from his anointed duties, I’ll take a stab at his job. Sure seems one metric is missing from this list. Hmmm…ummm…what could it possbily be…hmmm…OH now I remember. How about the most important one, PRICE. Not that this is necessarily a good or bad thing, but don’t be fooled. LG won this contract because of price and price and perhaps a little bit of production capacity. There are plenty of testimonials from people that have actually used (and abused) A123 batteries, so don’t believe there product isn’t up to snuff. You won’t find these testimonials for the LG batteries to be used (or maybe you can if you know what the batteries chemistry is). LG delivered on time and they do have capacity on hand which helped. Even so, I was born but not yesterday, they were chosen for price. It would have been refreshing for this little nugget to be included in the reasons list but se la vie. This is all good as long as they deliver the performance and reliability goods as stated. Time will tell but I’m happy this is done and we can move on to the next biggie, “real” prototypes.

    I am happy to here GM will be bringing the battery pack production in house. This makes sense for a lot of reasons. The manufacturing expertise and pack integration technology expertise will carry through as cell technology evolves and improves. We can also feel a little more comfortable that as long as GM is around, replacement packs will likely be available and will have a better chance of being improved. Cell development and prodcution, on the other hand, belongs outside of GM. They would be better suited putting any money intended for this on black at the nearest casino.

    NPNS! LJGTVWOTR!


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    Jabroni

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (6:40 pm)

    This will get everyone going…..

    Think it would have taken $1B to revive the EV1? Think it would have taken 4 years?

    What will the total cost to production be for the Volt? $3B?


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    statik

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (6:41 pm)

    #104 Koz said:

    “Our selection of LG Chem was based on performance, production readiness, efficiency, durability and LG Chem’s demonstrated track record of exceptional quality,” Wagoner said.

    Since Statik is apparantly taking the day off from his anointed duties, I’ll take a stab at his job….
    ===================================

    I’m just lying low while Lyle is toiling away 24/7 at the auto show for us…right now he is probably painfully downing fancy shrimp cocktails and drinking Samuel Adams’ Utopias (love those copper bottles) with Wags and Lutz.

    I promise to pick up the slack when Lyle gets home on tuesday. I’ll hit you with a quickie to get you through:

    “GM exec says automaker may need more gov’t money”
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/GM-exec-says-automaker-may-apf-14029205.html

    …shocker


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (6:45 pm)

    @Koz 104

    True.
    If anyone has ever priced any Lithium Ion Polymer batteries or any large format lithium Ion batteries you see very few US manufacturers but NO US mfgrs are close in the price comparison. I have asked Valence to just purchase 4 of their 13.8 volt products and they wanted ~$750 each for a 110Ah battery.

    @Len
    You have some purchasing experience with A123, how much were your batteries compared to identical Volt and Ah packs/cells? I’ll bet you paid a handsome buck for it. That’s why most EV conversion shops use Thundersky or Everspring or other non US suppliers.
    Sure they don’t have stringent Eco cops patrolling but it’s all about the mighty (or not so mighty anymore) Dollar.


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    Casey

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (6:47 pm)

    IMHO, The batteries are very important for a EV car, maybe a electric motor might be important too, lets see, yeah a plug would be real important to keep it charged,

    Has anyone been call off the list yet? nobodys call me so far.

    GM where’s my Volt?

    NO PLUG NO SALE, LJGTVWOTR, DBNGCMEMEV, (my house)=D~~~(my volt #33,772


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    State workers in CA Furloughed 2 days = 10% pay cut.
    http://www.kcra.com/money/18450687/detail.html

    It is to last 18 months.
    Hope GM keeps with the ~$30K price tag.

    The funy part it the Union is fighting it. WTF? There’s no MONEY!
    Typical Union, Sucking it’s host dead\dry.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:05 pm)

    BillR Says @ 54:

    So even under ideal conditions (flat terrain, no AC, 40 mph, wind at your back), once the car’s ECM clocks 40 miles, the ICE starts. You may have only used 160 Wh/mile or 6.4 kWh, but 40 miles is the limit. By the same token, you hop on the highway and do 70 mph and pull 250 Wh/mile, and at 40 miles you have used 10 kWh. At this point the ICE starts. For extreme duty (highway driving at 100 mph with AC blasting), you would not reach 40 miles.

    ————–

    How would GM benefit by enforcing an arbitrary limit of 40 miles, especially if the battery hasn’t reached the depletion point (i.e., 30-35% SOC)? Everything up to this point has indicated that the battery SOC will determine when the ICE kicks in.


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:14 pm)

    104. Koz

    Here’s another reason that GM went with LG Chem over A123:

    “Posawatz said GM chose LG Chem because of its flat-cell design that dissipates heat better and stores more energy than competitors’ cylinder-shaped cells.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jeFSyHgOJ6sflOBiUpAHO8bsb-WAD95LQ9L00


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:25 pm)

    #109 CaptJackSparrow

    Are you blaming California employees for California’s budget problem? The employees didn’t create the budget problem.

    Typical scapegoating.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:26 pm)

    From GM Volt #111 Link…
    “Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz said GM also will open a new battery lab at its Warren technical center.”

    Why do they need 2 big as$ed battery labs? If GM is not going into the biz of manufacturing cells/batteries why spend more money on another lab?

    GM, quit wasting money!
    Just build my Volt dangit!


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:33 pm)

    @ThombDbhomb 112

    Where in the He11 did you get the idea I was blaming the state employees?
    The Unions created this. Looks kind of like the GM thing. The Politicians by extension are state employees so by your thought you’re correct.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:39 pm)

    #113 CaptJackSparrow
    “Why do they need 2 big as$ed battery labs?”

    I assume that your question is rhetorical, since you conclude with, “GM, quit wasting money!”

    In these difficult economic times, it is a wonder nobody at GM caught such a glaring waste of money…or, maybe there is a good reason for a battery lab at the Warren technical center and you are going off half-cocked.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:40 pm)

    #112 ThombDbhomb:

    Yeah, blame the victims for the crime.

    One more time:

    “The Shock Doctrine”

    “The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”

    Naomi Klein

    It’s all there. Outsource the !@#$% state employees and get rid of their sorry a**es once and for all. I’m sure that Blackwater, Lockheed-Martin, Carlyle Group and CH2M Hill will do it a lot cheaper.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:41 pm)

    #114 CaptJackSparrow

    “The Unions created this.”

    The Unions created what? The California budget problem?


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:45 pm)

    @ThombDbhomb
    “maybe there is a good reason for a battery lab at the Warren technical center and you are going off half-cocked.”

    You might be right.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:54 pm)

    #118 CaptJackSparrow

    Ja, Voll(t)! Thanks for that.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:54 pm)

    @ThombDbhomb
    Gonna nip this at the bud as this is not the forum. I’ll just give my appologies on the sore subject. Been in too may Union negos and it may just bring up my blood pressure up……lol
    Besides, someone might recognise me with what I blurt out.


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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:55 pm)

    #120 CaptJackSparrow

    We cool


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    Ed M

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (7:57 pm)

    #2
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

    “But the most important announcement is the collaboration with the University of Michigan, I think we are only at the beginning of a new area of battery developments.”

    You are so right. With the full commitment of GM and others for EV production, the race is on to see who can produce the best batteries. The best batteries will come from the best R&D and survival for those car makers. If some wait to copy, they’ll be gone.


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    Dave G

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (8:32 pm)

    #95 Estero Says: “I continue to wonder about the future of lithium ion battery packs. The evidence at this juncture suggests it is nothing more than a short term solution. Comments?”
    ————————————————————————————–
    God knows if there will be a better battery technology next year.

    The real question for me is: Will the current Li/Ion cells work well for electric cars? I think the answer is yes. Li/Ion has twice the energy density of NiMH, so you can have a 40-mile range in a reasonably sized package. The only issues with Li/Ion are:
    1) price
    2) durability
    3) temperature

    Durability and temperature can be overcome by building and managing the pack with these issues in mind.

    The remaining issue is price. Lithium is not a precious element. It’s fairly abundant, non-toxic, and can be recycled fairly easily. From what I understand, Li/Ion batteries don’t require extremely purified materials or extremely high amounts of energy to produce.

    So it looks to me like the main issue with price is simply that they haven’t yet ramped up car battery volumes. In manufacturing engineering, it’s often the case that you don’t figure out how to make something a lot cheaper until you start making a lot of them. That’s usually when people start figuring ways to make the thing more efficiently.

    Then once it gets cheaper to make, Li/Ion car sales will increase. This will trigger more investments in Li/Ion cell research, which will make Li/Ion even better, which will eventually make them even cheaper, and so on. My point is that the trigger to making the whole thing take off is some decent production volume.

    Here’s an analogy: Fifteen years ago, people would think you were crazy for wanting an LCD TV. LCD didn’t look so good back then. But today you go to Costco and they have 20 of them on display, and they all look pretty good. There have been many improvements in LCDs along the way, but the basic technology is the same. I think this can happen with Li/Ion as well.

    But it’s equally possible that some new technology will come along next year and make Li/Ion obsolete.

    Either way, the main thing is to get the ball rolling. Get some EREV cars on the road…


  124. 124
    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (8:42 pm)

    This is probably where you want to go to school if want to work on the “cars of the future” like the Volt:

    http://automotiveeng.engin.umich.edu/index.html

    http://www.interpro.engin.umich.edu/website/igp.htm?id=9

    I bet you’d be in HIGH demand in the job market and make good money if you got into these master’s degree programs at the Univ. of MIchigan. You’ll probably already have 3-4 job offers before you graduate.


  125. 125
    Brandon

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (8:47 pm)

    Yay switching oil for batteries! At least Korea isn’t in the middle east… but I think GM missed the point of the American electric car…


  126. 126
    BillR

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (8:49 pm)

    #110 MDDave

    I’m not sure GM is limiting AER to 40 miles, but subtle hints I read here and there make me wonder.

    The reasons would not be so much technical, but more commercial. This way, most everyone could expect to get 40 miles of electric driving (except for extreme cases).

    So if you commute in mostly city driving, you might use less kWh, but for highway driving you would use more. Perhaps most weekdays you only go to work and back, some weekends you stay home and watch the ball game with a short trip to the grocery store. These deep discharge cycles may average out with the shallow discharge cycles to maintain good battery life.

    But ultimately, if GM has tested these batteries and feels for most driving scenarios they can allow 40 miles (but no more), rather than get too complicated with trying to calculate 30% SOC, then from a marketing perspective, the Volt’s story becomes “up to 40 miles of gasoline-free, emissions-free electric driving”. And most people will get 40 miles AER day-after-day regardless of their individual driving need (city, highway, mixed).

    Seems like good marketing to me. Doesn’t necessarily scare away anyone, but promises 40 miles AER for most everyone.


  127. 127
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (8:53 pm)

  128. 128
    Ed M

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (8:54 pm)

    #95
    Estero

    “I continue to wonder about the future of lithium ion battery packs. The evidence at this juncture suggests it is nothing more than a short term solution. Comments?”

    You and I think a like on this one. I believe that a series of super capacitors may be installed in future vehicles that will end the need for the ICE milleage extender. If EEstor can get 250 miles with one supercapacitor what would two or three get.

    Also much larger supercapacitors may one day propel our very largest road vehicles. Now if only we could do something about those boats and airplanes ?


  129. 129
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (9:12 pm)

    BillR – you have posted on the 40miles AER limit before.. but i still dont understand how this can work. What determines a 40mile trip? 40 miles between charges, 40 miles in an on/off cycle, 40 miles in a 24 hour period? How would the software handle the car driving downhill for 50 miles in 10 mile increments?


  130. 130
    Marty

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (9:20 pm)

    LG chem may be around in 2010, but I doubt GM will so this is a mute point… Unless we give them another 100 billion dollars.


  131. 131
    ksuhwail

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (9:22 pm)

    +1 Michigan! +1 US!


  132. 132
    vincent

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (9:32 pm)

    #’s 73 and 75.
    I’m frustrated that the very thing trying to make us independent from over seas energy and all it’s wars and politics along with the bankruptcy of America….you know what I am saying…
    It makes me very frustrated that mine and your tax money is in effect by bailing out GM….profiting another country.

    And as far as me purchasing items not made in the US and my Key Board along with over seas phone calls for service answers….is EXACTLY the point. Thanks for helping illustrate it and perhaps enlightening yourself.

    America is in debt for $175K per person in this country. Wake up people. If this country isn’t turned around as soon as possible…well if you do not get it I respectfully ask you to read and educate yourself more. Not an insult….rather trying to get the point across as a fellow enthusiast on this site.
    I do want GM to make it and our country. Farming out energy supplies should get the tree huggers as angry as a Hummer does.


  133. 133
    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (9:42 pm)

    131. ksuhwail

    This company from Ann Arbor, Mich. called Sakti3 might have something better than either A123 or LGChem. It’s the brainchild of a Univ. of Michigan professor.

    http://earth2tech.com/2008/12/18/a-few-tidbits-on-khosla-backed-battery-startup-sakti3/

    GM is going to evaluate a LOT of different battery chemistries and technologies at their new battery research and testing facility. They’ll even test new battery technologies that companies are developing for free. GM clearly wants to stay on the cutting edge of battery technology. They’ll work with anyone if they have a better battery technology. GM would probably like to invent the next big battery chemistry “in house” if they could.

    I’m sure they’d prefer to have an American company invent and supply the batteries for their cars, but they’re probably just going to use the best battery available if the price is reasonable. That’s why more American companies need to get on the bandwagon and start learning and developing battery technologies bigtime. Other countries are. Korea’s government is putting big money into their battery industry. We should too.

    http://earth2tech.com/2009/01/12/why-a123systems-lost-the-volt-battery-deal/#more-19878


  134. 134
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (9:44 pm)

    #129 kdawg
    40 miles between charges sounds reasonable to me.

    charge up,
    go 40 miles AER before ICE turns on,
    recharging before 40 miles AER resets counter


  135. 135
    16falcon

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (9:47 pm)

    #78 BillR says:
    My point is that AER is now stated as “up to 40 miles”. That to me implies it is never more than 40 miles. Just something to think about.
    #126 Seems like good marketing to me. Doesn’t necessarily scare away anyone, but promises 40 miles AER for most everyone.
    ======================================================

    I would think it is more likely that the AER will vary depending on your individual driving conditions. I believe the battery SOC will ultimately determine when the ICE engages. You may be able to get better than 40 miles AER in optimum conditions. It is good marketing to under promise and over deliver. If it is stated that I can get “up to 40 miles” AER and in excellent conditions I actually get 44 miles AER, then as a consumer I’m really happy even if I often only get 37 miles AER due to my driving style or circumstances. It’s all psycology, “up to 40″ includes my normal 37 miles, but my occasional 44 miles seems like it’s even better than advertised so I feel like I got a better product. Just my take on it, I could be way off base.


  136. 136
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (9:58 pm)

    I take my #134 back. It is too simplistic.


  137. 137
    D Lo

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (10:19 pm)

    This is great news. I was particularly impressed by the GM press release. For GM to refer to electric as the only sustainable solution they have come a very long way in a short period. I think the current leadership team gets what people like us have been saying. I hope the Obama administration and congress alike will give them a leash. If they hang themselves, it appears to be with the best of intentions. If not, like most massive innovations, a great many (Americans) stand to benefit.

    Go GM
    Go Volt


  138. 138
    canehdian

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (10:34 pm)

    Looks like ford might get my money if they come through.
    Heard on the radio they are planning a 160km BEV and are partnering with a canadian parts company to do so.

    http://www.canadiandriver.com/2009/01/11/ford-and-magna-will-partner-on-electric-car.htm


  139. 139
    name

     

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    Jan 12th, 2009 (11:14 pm)

    @111

    Here’s another reason that GM went with LG Chem over A123:
    “Posawatz said GM chose LG Chem because of its flat-cell design that dissipates heat better and stores more energy than competitors’ cylinder-shaped cells.”
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jeFSyHgOJ6sflOBiUpAHO8bsb-WAD95LQ9L00

    *****

    You know both LG and A123 were using prismatic for the volt right? :P


  140. 140
    bucurja

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (12:15 am)

    Now we are coming to the marketing. Who are the clients for a car basically runing of your outlet (means half of the dollars for your comuting) but it costs $40,000. Unless Mr.Obama comes with a good incentive (oil independency is a major US economic goal) not many will buy Volt. I personally will buy just for the hell of it, but I can afford. Other folks will again visit unfortunately Honda/Toyota outlets for their Civic/Corollas. Yes we need to buy American, but when people are sqeezed on the pocket already Volt is not the best bang for the buck. Mr.President should take his calculator and multiply 1million Volts/year by $10,000 incentive, which means a mere 10billions i.e. much less than the Congress (or AIG) are stilling from our pockets. If in 10 years 50% of our cars will be AMERICAN electrical we will not need to import oil with money borrowed from the Chinese/Japanese.


  141. 141
    jbfalaska

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (12:32 am)

    Well, although having just bought two Lincoln MKX autos after hearing GM put the Chevy Volt engine plant on hold, I’m still in for a Chevy Volt, or Cadillac, or something – anything – purely electric, made in America. Getting tougher to wait. Although GM announced first, as is typical of GM, they will probably be last o roll a real car out. Personally, I hope they put an electric engine in a Buick someday. The new Lacrosse 2010 looks like a gem. The Volt looks like an enhanced Prius.


  142. 142
    Ed M

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (12:43 am)

    #78 BillR

    40 mpc is the end life of the battery (10 years). That could mean more than 40 mpc with the air off when the battery is new.


  143. 143
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (1:11 am)

    To all who are complaining about a non-US company making the battery cells – I don’t get it! What would you rather have GM do? A123′s cells are made in China. The U.S. currently has no Li/Ion manufacturing plants that could build that many cells. Would you delay the Volt 3 years while the U.S. gets the necessary Li/Ion manufacturing plants up and running smoothly?

    Also, comparisons of importing foreign made Li/Ion cells and importing foreign oil are ludicrous. Oil is a natural resource that the U.S. simply doesn’t have enough of to meet current demand. So if OPEC or Russia cut output and raise prices, we can’t do anything about it. We are total slaves to foreign oil. They set the price, and we pay it.

    But importing foreign made Li/Ion cells, if they raise the price too high, we’ll build plants in the U.S. and make them ourselves. We’re not slaves to foreign battery cells. We just use them right now because they are available, reliable, and cheap.

    Also, look at the government of South Korea compared to Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia, Algeria, Angola, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, etc..

    I really don’t see the comparison…


  144. 144
    GM=Walmart

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (1:12 am)

    As an American tax payer, and a ctizen who lives in the home state of A123, and one of those suckers who just handed GM billions of my money, I am really pissed off that they decided to spend my money over in SOUTH KOREA. I know South Korea is underwriting their battery industry and we could use the jobs here. GM had better have their sh*t staight in March because I’m one of many angry taxpayers who are calling their senators, and telling them to punch GM’s ticket if they don’t. Enough sending jobs overseas.


  145. 145
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (1:15 am)

    #142 Ed M Says: “40 mpc is the end life of the battery (10 years). That could mean more than 40 mpc with the air off when the battery is new.”
    ————————————————————————————-
    I used to think the same thing, until GM told us otherwise:
    http://gm-volt.com/2008/10/30/the-chevy-volts-all-electric-range-aer-will-be-40-miles-both-at-beginning-and-end-of-life/


  146. 146
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (1:19 am)

    #144 GM=Walmart Says: “As an American tax payer, and a citizen who lives in the home state of A123, and one of those suckers who just handed GM billions of my money, I am really pissed off that they decided to spend my money over in SOUTH KOREA.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    I don’t get it! A123′s cells are made in China. You would rather have the cells made in China than South Korea? If we lived in China, we’d probably be thrown in jail for the things we say on this forum – no joke…


  147. 147
    Ed M

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (1:26 am)

    #146
    Dave G

    Thanks for the correction. No matter how one tries to stay current, we always miss something :)


  148. 148
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (1:29 am)

    #138 canehdian Says: “Looks like ford might get my money if they come through. Heard on the radio they are planning a 160km BEV …”
    ————————————————————————————–
    I would never buy a pure BEV, especially if I lived in a cold climate…


  149. 149
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (1:37 am)

    #140 bucurja Says: “Mr.President should take his calculator and multiply 1million Volts/year by $10,000 incentive, which means a mere 10 billion”
    ————————————————————————————–
    President Bush already signed a $7,500 incentive for a quarter million plug-in vehciles just a few months ago, which means just under 2 billion.


  150. 150
    GM sending bailout money to Korea « America, You Asked For It!

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (1:41 am)

    [...] Detroit’s North American International Auto Show today, Little Piggy Wagoner announced that GM would bypass an American supplier to spend our money in Korea.  The battery cells for GM’s long overdue Chevy Volt, will be [...]


  151. 151
    Dave G

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (2:34 am)

    #150 says “Little Piggy Wagoner announced that GM would bypass an American supplier to spend our money in Korea.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    What American supplier? A123’s cells are made in China. There are no American suppliers capable of manufacturing the Volt’s battery cells. What would have GM do? Would you delay the Volt until 2013 while the U.S. gets the necessary Li/Ion manufacturing plants up and running smoothly?


  152. 152
    Curtis

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (3:08 am)

    #64 Bill
    The reason for the change to “up to 40 miles” is to more accurately reflect that AER is totally dependant on ambient condtions and operating factors that affect the rate of discharge. (such as vehicle speed) GM has always been forth-coming that the 40 mile AER was based on an urban commute scenario that focuses on specific EPA drive cycles. Obviously if you headed out directly to the Interstate and 60mph + you wont be getting 40-mile AER. Duh!

    #150
    You obviously know absolutly NOTHING about the subject matter. Bravo


  153. 153
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (3:35 am)

    Hypermiller #94,

    Except that Johnson Controls and Saft operate a lithium battery plant in France since last year to supply batteries to BMW, Ford, etc. even to the US Army ….

    See :

    http://ecologie.caradisiac.com/Johnson-Controls-Saft-en-France-premiere-usine-dans-le-monde-dediee-a-la-production-de-batteries-lithium-ion-pour-vehicules-hybrides-et-electriques-284

    Do not be so pessimistic ….

    regards and NPNS,

    JC


  154. 154
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (3:46 am)

    Vincent #132

    I tried not to answer but I cannot resist :

    Negative protectionism never saved a country and can be be very inefficient (negative protectionism of the ’30s led to WWII) , positive protectionism (like government support to some kind of research, or investment ) has worked in France, Germany, Japan, Korea, India, Brazil, China, etc..

    Moreover in 1977, Paul Samuelson, Stanley Fisher and Rudiger Dornbusch have shown that a productivity gain in a trade partner benefit the importing nation, but I recognize that it is in a perfect competition framework, and the automobile sector is more in a monopolistic competition situation.

    Simple negative protectionist policies hurt more that they temporarily help.

    GM recent moves seem very clever.

    regards,

    JC


  155. 155
    NZDavid

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (8:59 am)

    Red HHR @15 says The stone age did not end for the lack of stones.

    Actually, that’s not quite true. The one that mattered, flint, was running out. The easy to access supplies were becoming exhausted, they were having to mine for flint, and were even importing supplies from Europe. So in a way the stone age did end due to resource depletion.

    Tagamet @52 says It is a good day. “The sun is warm, the grass is green” (somewhere).

    Hey, that’s my place you are talking about Tag. It is indeed a good day.

    LJGTVWOTR
    NO plug, NO sale.


  156. 156
    BillR

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (9:12 am)

    #152 Curtis et al,

    The question at hand: a) Will GM use 8 kWh of energy from the battery pack, or b) will they take a different approach?

    The original intent was that GM would monitor the battery pack and use from about 80% to 30% SOC. This left some uncharged capacity in the battery in case you lived on a hill and would capture regen braking energy immediately after an overnight charge. Also, as the battery reached 30%, the ICE would start. So the 50% usable energy equates to 8 kWh for a 16 kWh pack.

    If this scenario holds true, for light moderate speed driving, you should see greater than 40 miles AER. For lead-foot high speed driving, you should see less. I think we can all agree on this.

    Now let’s look at GM’s second option. If through months of extensive testing, GM has determined, for instance, that the battery can readliy discharge from 85% to 25% SOC with no detrimental effects. Also, the battery pack is specified as “16 kWh minimum”. To meet the spec, LG Chem may be providing something like 18 kWh. Therefore, the potential usable energy now becomes 10.8 kWh.

    If there is some margin (the above just provides an example), then GM is at liberty to decide how to use this energy. They can stay with option A, however, to broaden their market appeal, they may be setting a limit of 40 miles with a charged battery. And as I mentioned in post #64, you will get 40 miles AER whether you do city or highway driving.

    I’m not trying to say I know what GM has planned, or what they should do. I’m just stating that “up to 40 miles” doesn’t imply 44 AER in light driving. And it will be more difficult to sell the Volt if you tell highway commuters (of which there are many) that they will only get 32 miles AER.


  157. 157
    16falcon

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (9:32 am)

    #138 canehdian Says:
    Looks like ford might get my money if they come through.

    #148 Dave G Says:
    I would never buy a pure BEV, especially if I lived in a cold climate…
    ======================================================

    Here is a link to Lyle’s other website with an article about the new Ford:
    http://allcarselectric.com/2009/01/ford-project-m-electric-car-production-planned-in-2011/

    I am starting to think seriously about the Ford BEV too (100 mile range). My wife and I have always had 2 vehicles so 1 could easily be a BEV. Her work comute is only about 10 miles one way, mine is about 20 one way. So the BEV will work well for either commute. We would still have the Ford Escape Hybrid for longer trips around town or cross country. I am anxious to see what it will really look like and at what price point. If it is substantially cheaper than the Volt (it should also qualify for the tax credit), then I may pass on the higher cost and complexity of the Volt and go for the pure BEV. When the Escape wears out I would be in the market for a Volt 2 or Volt 3.
    Regarding temperatures, it’s supposed to be a low in the 20s (F) on Thursday but the normal temperatures here in North Texas are ideal for a BEV or P-HEV.


  158. 158
    16falcon

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (9:49 am)

    #156 BillR Says:
    I’m not trying to say I know what GM has planned, or what they should do. I’m just stating that “up to 40 miles” doesn’t imply 44 AER in light driving. And it will be more difficult to sell the Volt if you tell highway commuters (of which there are many) that they will only get 32 miles AER.

    ======================================================
    I certainly don’t know what they have planned either, and you are correct, “up to 40 miles” doesn’t imply that you could ever get 44 but until we know exactly what they are planning I still believe it might be possible in the right conditions. To me it just doesn’t make sense to turn the ICE on after 40 miles if the battery is only at 45% because you started your day in the Rockies and have a long downhill start to your day.
    I also think GM better be upfront with all those highway commuters. If they are only going to get 32 miles AER then they had best know that before they plop down $40K thinking they are going to go 70MPH on the interstate (with the AC blasting) for 40 miles AER. When they then find out ,after the fact, that they can only go 32 the Volt will get a bad rap. Honesty is really the best policy, it’s better than disappointing your customer who may never return.


  159. 159
    Eco

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (10:33 am)

    A123 has no comment on their website about losing this opportunity. I wonder if they ever will.

    I have read that A123 has prospects with other car makers, I don’t know how true that is.

    But I sense that GM is prolonging the longer-term competition. If they do the packing, and buy the cells, they can buy cells from several suppliers over the longer term.

    The price of oil is under 40 dollars a barrel, and we are less than 24 months from one or more of us driving a Volt, sold retail. I read in another post here, that the next Prius will get 50 mpg.

    If EESTOR is not lying and they invent a device that stores energy between a wind turbine or solar panel and the grid, it will be a very interesting two years.


  160. 160
    Dan Frederiksen

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    Transcript of the press conference (took me 2 damned hours :)

    The chairman and CEO of General Motors, Rick Wagoner:

    Hey, good morning and welcome back everyone, appreciate you joining us again today. Yesterday we offered a rolling review of today’s General Motors, 17 cars, crossovers and concepts that mark the start of GM’s second century. We started with a production version of the Chevy volt and ended with the Cadillac Converge concept, two vehicles that really symbolize a new General Motors, and the kind of technology and innovation to which we are committed. The volt is powered by our exclusive Volttech electric propulsion system. When running off its battery the Volt operates as a traditional battery electric vehicle with a driving of up to 40 miles which is more than the average daily commute for 3/4 of Americans. And when the driver of a volt needs to go beyond the 40 miles, a small engine generator kicks in to generate enough electricity to keep the car going for hundreds of additional miles. Now the key to getting the Chevy Volt, our plugged in Saturn Vue, a concept like the Converge, and other electrically driven vehicles, in to the hands of consumers, is advanced lithium ion battery technology. Two years ago we set ourselves a tough challenge to develop a battery that some people said at the time couldn’t be built. Well we went to work with some of the best battery cell manufacturers, and battery pack integrators from around the world and just over a year ago we began testing two different battery solutions for the Volt, since then we’ve run prototype packs through countless tests and our confidence in their ability to deliver the required power, range, safety and durability has grown dramatically. In the process we’ve determined that the design, development and production of advanced batteries must be a core competency for general motors and we’ve been rapidly building our own capability and resources to support this important strategic direction. What you see here is the full size model of a lithium ion battery pack, the one that will actually power the Chevy Volt beginnig late next year. And this morning I’m pleased to announce that GM will manufacture the battery pack, right hear in the United States. Yes [applause], thank you. Yes General Motors is getting back in the battery business. Our facility will be the first lithium ion battery manufacturing plant, operated by a major auto maker in the US. And of course it will create new green jobs. This is a further demonstration of our commitment to the electrification of the automobile and the Chevy Volt. A commitment which now totals over 1bn$.
    Subject to final negotiation with state and local authorities we are planning to locate the battery manufacturing site right here in michigan [applause]. we’ll provide more details as we move through the process but let me take this opportunity to recognize michigan governor jennifer granhole, and the michigan house and senate leadership for their key roles in passing new legislation that provides state insentives for battery development in michigan. I’d like to recognize michigan senate majority leader mike biship, speaker of the house of rep Andy Dylan, and Jim Appolito of Michigan Economic Development Corporation all of which are here with us today. Thank you very much for your leadership, we wouldn’t be here without you. I’m also pleased to announce today that after literally thousands of hours of evaluation and testing we’ve selected LG chem to supply the lithium ion cells for the volt battery pack. Our selection of LG chem was based on their demonstrated track record of performance, production readiness, efficiency, durability and exceptional quality. the CEO of LG chem Peter Kim is here with us, Mr . Kim will you please stand? [applause.] Really appreciate your support and great to have you with us for today’s announcement. Our announcements this morning are part of our comprehensive advanced battery strategy for GM, that is expanding along two primary pathways. First we’re identifying core competencies, such as battery research, development and manufacturing and integrating these fundamental into our General Motors product development and manufacturing operations. we believe over time this will become a significant competitive advantage for us in this important new technology. second we are building a roster our battery suppliers and academic experts around the world. and leveraging their specialized abilities to develop battery chemistries and cell designs. in support of these two pathways and our overall battery strategy, we’re also pleased to make several additional announcements this morning. First GM will open the largest automotive battery laboratory in the us later this year, with a footprint of about 31.000 square feet, roughly the size of the Chevy display area that you see here at this year?s show. This new lab will accelerate our development of advanced battery technology and leave GM’s network of existing battery labs in the US and Germany. Our intention, again subject to negotiation with state and local government authorities, is to locate this new lab in the state of Michigan. We’ll provide more details as we move through that process. Second we’ll continue to ramp up our in-house battery development capability. By adding this year, further to our roster of hybrid electric vehicles and advanced battery engineers, researchers and technicians including more than 200 dedicated to advanced battery technologies alone. Third, in addition to our partnership with LG chem, we will continue to grow and establish a robust line-up of battery suppliers for cell development and manufacturing, including companies such as A123systems and Hitachi as well as for battery integration with Compact Power and Cobasys. And finally this morning I’d like to announce that GM will form a partnership with the university of Michigan to establish a new advanced battery lab at its Ann Arbor campus, including the creation of a specialized curriculum to develop future automotive battery engineers within the university’s prestigious college of engineering. With us today is the director of the university of Michigan’s energy systems engineering program, and a huge proponent of advanced battery development, Dr. Anne Marie Sastri. Dr. Sastri will you please stand? [applause]. Really great to have you and your leadership as part of our dynamic battery team. Dr. Sastri will be available to answer questions immediately following our press conference. So taken together today’s announcements are a next important step in GM’s commitment to the electrification of the automobile. The fact they involve close collaboration with all the key players, governments, suppliers and universities is an example of the kind of team work that we believe is necessary for the advancement of this important technology. we look forward to working closely with the new administration as well as other partners to accelerate the electrification of the automobile. With that I’d like to invite GM vice chairman Bob Lutz, LG Chem CEO Peter Kim and university of Michigan professor Ann Marie Sastri to join me on stage, I’d also like to invite our friends from the media to join us, we’ll be happy to answer your questions about GM’s advanced battery strategy. Thank you very much.


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    Jan 13th, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    156. BillR<

    “If this scenario holds true, for light moderate speed driving, you should see greater than 40 miles AER. For lead-foot high speed driving, you should see less. I think we can all agree on this.”

    I don’t agree :)

    I think you are making this too complicated. “Up to 40 miles” AER means that nothing more than what it states: under certain situations you will get 40 miles AER. It isn’t an average or a forced limit. It is best case (but hopefully a reasonable one).


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    Dan Frederiksen #160

    Thanks for your effort Dan, this is better than the official GM communique.

    NPNS
    JC


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    Jan 13th, 2009 (12:10 pm)

    16falcon #157

    Same with me except that we have two Opel cars.

    Regards, NPNS,

    JC


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (12:15 pm)

    Biiir #156

    Well perhaps we should – all of us who want a Volt – learn a little of the computer language used in the Volt and take a degree in Computer science, so that we could program our car the way we would, like some have done with their Prii to make them pluggable and run only on their batteries.

    Regards, NPNS,

    JC


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    HyperMiler

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    # 159 Eco :

    > But I sense that GM is prolonging the longer-term competition.

    Of course the battle for dominance in PHEV batteries will be fought hard between Panasonic+Sanyo, LG, Samsung, and BYD. The only one out of picture is Sony, whose exploding laptop batteries has ruined its reputation for good.

    > If they do the packing, and buy the cells, they can buy cells from several suppliers over the longer term.

    The pack is nothing more than a shell, a container. All the cells and battery control units are shipped from Korea as CKD, which is again specific to LG battery cells. If GM wanted to switch, it would be one hell of engineering nightmare. Recall why Ford stayed with Sanyo for Escape and Fusion hybrids, even though Sanyo was treating Ford like crap; because it wasn’t possible to switch.


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    canehdian

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    #157, I’m with you there as well.
    Even if the cold saps half my range, 80km is still more than enough for a daily trip. (it would definitely not be that drastic)

    Also, I’m not in northern territories or something. Southern Ontario is actually quite warm (warmer than most northern states)

    If anything, cold is better for a BEV in that the cells lives are “preserved” in cold. Leave a lithium battery at 30C forever and you lose capacity FAST.
    Put it in the fridge and it pretty much maintains it’s levels.

    So let’s see:
    -slightly reduced range in winter (still more than enough)
    -increased overall life of batteries when left idle
    -no gas

    seems like a win to me, unless price is severely inflated.


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    16falcon

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (2:50 pm)

    Dan Frederiksen #160

    Ditto! Thanks for your effort Dan.

    NPNS


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    Dave G

     

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    Jan 13th, 2009 (9:01 pm)

    #157 16falcon Says: “Her work commute is only about 10 miles one way, mine is about 20 one way. So the BEV will work well for either commute. We would still have the Ford Escape Hybrid for longer trips around town or cross country.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    So just to be clear, you’re thinking about owning 3 cars, 2 BEVs and a hybrid. This would probably work fine, but you would have to maintain and insure 3 cars.

    Alternatively, you could just have 2 EREVs. Less insurance. More room in the driveway.


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    Jan 14th, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    #168 Dave G Says:

    So just to be clear, you’re thinking about owning 3 cars, 2 BEVs and a hybrid. This would probably work fine, but you would have to maintain and insure 3 cars.
    ======================================================
    No, you misunderstood. I already own the hybrid, plus 2 other cars actually. I would like to get rid of my 2 non-hybrid ICE cars and get either a BEV or a P-HEV to go with the Hybrid for a total of 2 vehicles. I’m saying that with our commutes, either one of us could use the Ford BEV while the other uses the Escape Hybrid. If one of us has to drive more than 100 miles in a day they could take the Hybrid. Vacation or road trip would be in the Hybrid. I get around 30MPG now in the winter with the Escape which isn’t bad for a small SUV, so while not being totally free of imported oil, my consumption will be much lower than it has ever been. And when the Ecape wears out then I’ll definitely replace it with a P-HEV.

    The bottom line is that my personal situation is such that I can consider a 100 AER BEV as my second car without “range anxiety” since I have the Hybrid for any longer trips. I think there are many couples that have 2 ICE cars now that could easily replace one with a BEV without serious “range anxiety”. The BEV vs P-HEV decision for me will likely be determined by price and availability with some styling thrown in too.


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    Jan 14th, 2009 (1:40 pm)

    I seem to be having problems with acronyms today. In my post above replace P-HEV with E-REV…

    I would like to get rid of my 2 non-hybrid ICE cars and get either a BEV or a E-REV to go with the Hybrid for a total of 2 vehicles.

    And when the Ecape wears out then I’ll definitely replace it with a E-REV.

    The BEV vs E-REV decision for me will likely be determined by price and availability with some styling thrown in too.

    My bad!


  171. [...]  Official Press Release [...]


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    Of Corvettes And Green Electrons | EcoSilly

     

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    Feb 7th, 2009 (4:01 pm)

    [...] is importing the lithium-ion battery packs for its new extended-range electric car, the Volt, from Korea and assembling them in Michigan.  The gasoline engines that kick in to recharge the Volt [...]


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    Red, White, Blue and Green | EcoSilly

     

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    Feb 26th, 2009 (4:11 pm)

    [...] turbine parts that we need to move to a clean energy economy are made overseas.  So is the battery for the much-touted all-electric Chevrolet Volt.  And it’s not price that is driving [...]


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    David Isaacs

     

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    Apr 14th, 2009 (12:47 am)

    I see the same old BS from GM. Hybrid cars with gas belching motors! What in the world are the majors doing developing hybrids which get 50 miles per gallon when all electrics get 140 miles/gallon equivalent. Also, GM has been screwing around with fuel cells with no infrastructrure for hydrogen and with expensive construction when they had the know how with EV-1. Why are they developing the VOLT when they can buy batteries from A123 and Altairnano that would give them 125 mile ranges or more just as Tesla is coming out with their Model S that can get 300 miles with the right battery pack???


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    Dee Welch,PE

     

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    Aug 13th, 2009 (2:49 pm)

    How about some real facts on the battery? Rather than “upto” so many charges, how about the real average # of charges? Rather than “upto” 40 miles/ charge, how about the real average miles/charge? With +/- 300 cells, what it the reliability? What is the expected degradation over the +/- 4 year life? What will a replacement battery cost?……$15,000? What is average battery amortization per mile? It has to be at least $0.30/mile. That is more than it cost to drive my Suburban for gas alone.