Feb 05

GM Denies San Francisco and Washington DC Have Been Chosen Yet to Get First Chevy Volts

 

Wednesday when GM made its announcement encouraging communities to become “plug-in ready” they noted that Washington DC and San Francisco were two prime examples of places already making strides in that direction. This has led many to assume that GM had already decided that these cities were chosen to get initial production Chevy Volts when they roll off the assembly lines in November 2010.

According to GM spokesperson Pete Barkey, however, that isn’t the case.

He noted that the announcement was more of a “call to action” for places around the country to begin the dialog necessary to prepare the country to begin mass adoption of electric vehicles.

“We have not determined first markets yet,” said Barkey, “I wouldn’t infer that these would be the only two-or even the first two.”

Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz agreed stating “we haven’t decided” where the first Volts will be launched though encouraged “if communities show readiness they will be given special consideration.”

GM advises it certainly isn’t too late and the process to make communities plug-in ready has only just begun. Britta Gross is GM’s Manager of Fuel Cells, Hydrogen, & Electrical Infrastructure.  She offers us the following plug-in readiness checklist for use at the local level:

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 5th, 2009 at 6:50 am and is filed under Charging, Grid, Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 195


  1. 1
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:14 am)

    From the article:
    Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz agreed stating “we haven’t decided” where the first Volts will be launched though encouraged “if communities show readiness they will be given special consideration.”

    ———
    Of course that leaves me out. I don’t see Connecticut jumping to the cause any time soon.


  2. 2
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:39 am)

    hi Rashiid Amul #1,

    Do you really want one of the first 10,000 Volt? I will be very happy with a new 2012 Volt from the second production year. I expect the 2012 Ford E-REV to be an Escape or Edge. “Plug-in Edge” has a nice ring to it. I think the Focus wagon is too small to carry a 300 lb battery.

    =D~


  3. 3
    Jim I

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:50 am)

    And here I was thinking that maybe Lyle would still have some influence with his list…………

    :-)


  4. 4
    Van

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:06 am)

    Of course they are not the first two or the only two. But they are among the cities for the limited distribution of the first Volts to hit dealer showrooms. California buys lots of hybrids, so LA and Frisco will be among the first cities, as does DC on a per capita basis.


  5. 5
    statik

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:15 am)

    “We have not determined first markets yet,” said Barkey, “I wouldn’t infer that these would be the only two-or even the first two.”

    Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz agreed stating “we haven’t decided” where the first Volts will be launched though encouraged “if communities show readiness they will be given special consideration.”
    ==============

    Can’t you just feel a historical revision happening on this one too?
    “It has always been our plan to only release the Volt in New York and selected California locations”

    Side note: Really, shouldn’t you (at least) know by know? The car is supposed to be out in 22 months. Was marketing and research involved at any point during this project? We can assume they weren’t around for the re-design or the pricing decision…I guess the same can be said for demographics.

    I can almost hear them, “Lets build a electric car…cool. We will worry about if people will like, be able to pay for it, or even be able to get it…um, ah, later”

    How about a little planning ahead…like you did when you pulled all the tooling equipment from 50-odd of your suppliers over the past 2 months while you/they were in shutdown, because you thought THEY weren’t stable enough…irony.

    (sub req’d)
    http://www.autonews.com/article/20090202/ANA03/902020363

    …and good morning, (=


  6. 6
    charlie h

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:17 am)

    So, in addition to the $7500/vehicle tax Federal credit, we’re also responsible for untold $billions more in public infrastructure and tax credit expense to get the Volt on the road?


  7. 7
    charlie h

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:21 am)

    Minnesota, like many other states, is looking forward to a $billions tax deficit this year. They’re just going to love the idea of additional tax credits for this, coupled with infrastructure expense.


  8. 8
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:25 am)

    Good morning Dave K #2.

    No. I don’t see me getting one even in 2012. I think there will be a premium and the car will be hot seller.
    But I doubt my State will move quickly for something like this.
    You may have heard. We are currently broke. No surprise there really. I think we need higher taxes to help pay for government waste, don’t you. ;)


  9. 9
    BillR1

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:29 am)

    I still expect GM to target California, Florida, Washington DC, and New York City as its initial sales locales.

    This makes sense for several reasons:

    1) Warm climates like CA and FL will not have the severe cold weather duty like a car in northern climates. This gives GM more time to evaluate the batteries in real world applications and test mules in colder climates. Even DC and NYC don’t have severely cold winters like Alaska, for instance.

    2) My guess is that the median income in these locales is higher than the US average, so there are more people who can afford the Volt and take full advantage of the tax credit.

    3) These areas have many businesses and large populations, so there are many gov’t offices, medium to large corporations, universities, and others that may want to buy a fleet of Volt’s.

    4) CA is the environmental driver in this country. DC is the political card to get the attention of gov’t regulators. NYC is the investment capital. Florida probably makes sense because of its climate and the number of retirees who have large disposable incomes.

    5) Finally, there is the dealer network issue. To sell the Volt, a dealership must go through rigorous training and be prepared to support the Volt. This is probably best done at large dealerships in high population density areas like these, versus say a small Chevy dealership in Woodstock, New Hampshire.

    So I’m not sure how GM will select the dealers and locales that get the first Volts, but these locales that were previously mentioned make a lot of sense.


  10. 10
    Tony Gray

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:30 am)

    This is just trash. GM is overreaching on this and I think will reap a tremendous backlash if they continue to meddle in these types of affairs.

    They were happy saying that they were taking the automobile out of the CO2 debate by developing an electric car, yet here they are putting the automobile right in the middle of another problem, the current financial tsunami.

    Just build the damn thing, and sell it wherever in the country somebody wants to buy it and leave this stuff go! The deal with a plug in is that I can charge it at HOME with little additional infrastructure expense to me and ZERO to the community. I don’t need HOV lanes, I don’t mind paying my FAIR SHARE of registration fees or such to maintain roads, I don’t need charging stations all over the place in the rare instance that God forbid I deplete my battery so far that my ICE has to kick in.

    I don’t know why I’m so testy this morning, but this post has me ready to hit the roof! Ford came out with a nice 41MPG city Fusion, without a dime (so far) of government help and you don’t see them asking for a laundry list of additionial crap like this.


  11. 11
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:31 am)

    Good morning to you too, Statik, #5.

    Great form as usual, my friend. :)


  12. 12
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:33 am)

    From the article: “Britta Gross is GM’s Manager of Fuel Cells, Hydrogen, & Electrical Infrastructure. She offers us the following plug-in readiness checklist for use at the local level:
    ————————————————————————————–
    Again, this is exactly the wrong message to be sending about the Volt.

    But then again, when you throw Fool Sells into the equation, it’s bound to get screwed up.


  13. 13
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:38 am)

    #10 Tony Gray Says: “This is just trash. GM is overreaching on this and I think will reap a tremendous backlash if they continue to meddle in these types of affairs…
    Just build the damn thing, and sell it wherever in the country somebody wants to buy it and leave this stuff go!”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, well said.


  14. 14
    statik

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:42 am)

    #11 Rashiid Amul

    Good morning to you too, Statik, #5.

    Great form as usual, my friend.
    ==================================

    /I’m looking to put Michael Buffer on retainer for whenever I post here…we need sound imbedded GIFS here, lol.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPCU05UjdqE&fmt=18


  15. 15
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:44 am)

    #2 Dave K. =D~ Says: “I expect the 2012 Ford E-REV to be an Escape or Edge.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    During the Senate hearings, Ford’s CEO said they would be focusing on increasing gas engine efficiency, not electrification.

    Do you have any specific news on EREVs from Ford?


  16. 16
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:53 am)

    I always try to stay as positive as possible on this site but looking at that list makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland. Our whole country has gone berserk;multiple rebates, free electricity, give us this and that before we sell you cars?
    They are trying to take advantage of GreenMania. Sorry Statik.


  17. 17
    Kagato

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:07 am)

    What happened to the idea of having a standard 110V retractable cord like in a vacuum cleaner?
    These photos give me the impression that special dedicated plugs will have to be installed everywhere.
    The promise of standard 110V meant I could charge up while visiting friends and family.
    For me, this is a deal-breaker!


  18. 18
    Matt

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:09 am)

    Didn’t they already announce that CA, DC, NYC and FL were their primary first markets? And now, several months later, they suddenly haven’t decided where the initial releases will be? Gimme a break.

    And this checklist…this is sounding more and more like GM is pulling thinly-veiled CYA moves so when they blow the release date by 6-12 months they can just say “well, its not our fault, none of our markets were ready to support a car like this.”

    JUST BUILD THE FREAKIN CAR!


  19. 19
    fredevad

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:15 am)

    Anyone else find it interesting that half of Britta’s Strategy points included “Commit/fund [...] fleet purchases”? Sounds to me like GM’s priority for Volts is fleet purchases.


  20. 20
    Bob McGovern

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:21 am)

    With this placement issue they sound like they are only going to produce 3 a week. Why not get into production and scatter them around the country. You can’t very well check the market by selling to 2 or 3 locations. I haven’t seen them pick a few cities for all the different models in the past. Is this possibly another GM reason to keep stalling any output of the Volt? The ad’s they are selling are all over the country, why not make the product available as well. Sales figures will be made by the ones running up and down the hiway not by web sites and TV ads. People want them in real life doing what they are made to do.


  21. 21
    Eco

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:25 am)

    GM is not over-reaching, or doing anything other than…sitting down at the poker table.

    1. CA is likely to be setting their own vehicle standards within a short time.

    2. Once they have that green light, GM will go to Sacramento with the other car makers and beg for new, slightly relaxed standards than what CA has already adopted, but are being held up by federal preemption.

    3. Sen. Boxer, the most powerful person in the Senate on environmental matters, derives most of her support from the SF area.

    4. Henry Waxman, also from CA, was just elevated to committee head in the house over environmental matters, and will be drafting climate legislation.

    5. DC is visible.

    This is about CA ghg.vehicle mileage standards, and nothing more.


  22. 22
    Mitch

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:26 am)

    #6 Charlie H

    “So, in addition to the $7500/vehicle tax Federal credit, we’re also responsible for untold $billions more in public infrastructure and tax credit expense to get the Volt on the road?”

    ummm your proctologist called..he found your head…

    lets see if I can go slow enough here so you get it.

    the tax credit APPLIES to the volt, and any other car meeting the criteria..it is NOT a volt only credit,

    Billions in public infrastructure…yes, and you already do..they are called roads, and apply to all cars, as for volt specific, I doubt that SF and W-DC are doing it for the volt, they are being proactive and forward viewing to the electrification of transportation. Historically there is no specific infrastructure for electric cars, and recharging at home overnight is the only option..its like putting oh i dont know if there is an analogue for ICE cars that applies..oh wait!! I thought of one..yes its a G-A-S- S-T-A-T-I-O-N..I knew it…and if you think about it..your taxes went to that too..because the intertates were funded federally..causing the basic I-N-F-R-A-S-T-R-U-C-T-U-R-E to be in place for C-A-R-S to travel all over…

    lets face it..your taxes are mainly for infrastructure spending…you’re just a volt basher…

    I could go on..but really…you come across as an ignornt..un-inormed moron…

    think please…


  23. 23
    carcus1

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:27 am)

    I’d like to offer the following plug-in readiness checklist for use at the GM level:

    1. Build the car
    2. Keep the price down
    3. Sell the car

    _________________________________

    And uh, Ms. Gross. Perhaps you’re not familiar with how the Volt works. An E-REV vehicle doesn’t need 30 public charging spots. That was the point to start with — elimination of “range anxiety” and all.


  24. 24
    Jeff

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:34 am)

    The Washington Post is reporting something different…

    GM’s Volt to Debut in Washington, Bay Area

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/04/AR2009020402680.html


  25. 25
    Guido

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:49 am)

    LOL – I see the standard cast of anti-GM trolls are on the prowl, as usual, finding some way to bash GM on this awesome project.

    GM has literally bet their future on the success of this effort, and they are trying to leverage it as completely as possible to maximize it’s benefits. It looks to me like they are doing a masterful job.
    They are “all in” on this one.

    They’ve even hooked you trolls – you can’t resist ! I see you here every day, backpeddling by the minute ( what …. no more “vaporware” screams ? ).

    The whole world is watching GM on this one, and most of the naysayers ( READ: TOYOTA ) have quietly scuttled their pessimism and have now scurried into line behind them.

    If you don’t like it, keep driving your Prius – nobody asked for your help to try and sabatoge the effort. Makes me wonder how many of you are actually Toyota salesmen.


  26. 26
    Dr.Science #11 on the list

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:51 am)

    That leaves me out too even though I have my own recharging station ready and waiting. I’m on a net metering program with the power company and had planed on useing my excess solar generated power to recharge my VOLT. Las Vegas will be among the last areas to provide charging stations. We may have to consider an alternate EV.


  27. 27
    Tagamet

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:54 am)

    Dave G@15 re Ford (and other car maker’s plans,
    ]This site has a list of 23 car makers status/plans.

    http://www.calcars.org/carmakers/

    Kagato@17

    The Volt will accept BOTH voltages and automatically sense what’s been attached.
    Be well,
    Tag
    PS Please God, protect us from our govt leaders.
    Amen.

    LJGTVWOTR!!***************NPNS***************Independence Day 2010


  28. 28
    Ray

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:54 am)

    If it is going to be 2012 before any real number of Volts are going to be out there in the USA…. How long will I have to wait here in Central Alberta Canada for my Volt.? Looks like it is going to be a Ford Fusion Hybrid in my driveway later on this year and a Volt in 201? …
    Come on GM… just get the Volt out there… The interest is there…. people want the car…. but (like everything esle) they are not going to wait for years and years….
    Hello Ford?? In Black please.. and yes I do have deposit in hand…


  29. 29
    Bryan

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:59 am)

    It’s no wonder they were almost bankrupt with stupidity like this. The whole point was to be able to plug your vehicle in anywhere and use the range extender when electric charging wasn’t immediately available. My money is just as green. Obviously, the local dealerships will need to be ready to service the Volts. Other than that, this is just a list of obstacles that can used as a scapegoat for any problems that may arise.


  30. 30
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:03 am)

    #1 Rashiid Amul

    Your state is called Connect.i.cut. With a name like that, they should be the first state to make communities ready to connect.

    I know, I know, that was “hack” material – cheap comedy. But, then again, your #8′s “government waste” swipe seems broad and just as hacky. Certainly, there is corporate waste also. For that matter, I don’t run the most efficient household. Pitting people against the government can cheaply incite a crowd, but it’s not particularly insightful.


  31. 31
    charlie h

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:06 am)

    #22, Mitch,

    FYI – Not possible, I keep mine on my shoulders. If a proctologist is finding it, he’s a very confused man.

    If you’re going to be as rude as you were, I recommend you pay a little extra attention to your grammar, punctuation, spelling, typographic errors and sentence structure, all of which could stand improvement.

    Tell me, how many gas stations were funded by the federal government to get the Model T on the road?

    Electricity already goes to homes, workplaces, many other locations. If a Volt needs recharging, electricity will be available to do so. At 10K units the first year and 40-60K units/year for the foreseeable future, the Volt will sell out before the market of people who have the capacity to charge the Volt in their homes is exhausted.

    If I’m going to fund $billions in infrastructure expense, I do not want to add to surface congestion. I want subways and monorails and fast inter-city rail transport. In addition to avoiding emissions and potentially using green power, additional effective mass transit will cut down on congestion and allows me to do something useful with my commute time. As of today, there’s no effective bus service from where I live to where I go. I don’t want to sit in traffic driving a car, I want to sit in traffic reading a book or getting something useful done. A program to encourage the Volt does none of that.

    If GM’s looking for additional federal and state subsidies to get their car on the road, we should be asking, “what’s wrong with your car that it otherwise can’t be sold to people as a transportation solution?”

    If we’re going to spend $billions on electric charging infrastructure all over the country, why is GM building an RE-EV that takes “range anxiety” out of the equation instead of a simpler and cheaper BEV (that would have longer range with the same battery pack)? After all, ubiquitous charging ALSO takes range anxiety out of the equation. Why pay twice for the elimination of range anxiety?

    Mitusbishi, which intends to deliver a BEV, isn’t asking for all this and a BEV, according to GM, is in more desperate need of these subsidies.

    If GM needs more than that direct subsidy of $7500/car (precision-tuned to maximize the giveback for a Volt), then they should rethink their plan.


  32. 32
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:06 am)

    #17 Kagato Says: “What happened to the idea of having a standard 110V retractable cord like in a vacuum cleaner? … For me, this is a deal-breaker!”
    ————————————————————————————–
    You see – it’s happening already. This strategy to create plug-in friendly cities is already turning people away from the Volt.

    Kagato,
    The Volt does have a regular 110v plug on the other side of the cord. Please ignore GM’s campaign to create plug-in friendly cities, as this really has nothing to do with the Volt.

    By the way, how much does Britta Gross make a year? Could be some cost savings there…


  33. 33
    Adrian

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:08 am)

    Why not give us all our tax money back too? I’d like that over this. Good grief, if government goes for this we are so screwed.

    If the people want the car demand will drive the charging stations! Don’t force a already in over its head government system to mismanage yet another government program. The government needs to spend less money not more.

    I like the Volt, and I would like to own one someday. Just don’t shove it down my throat through government activism. Let the market adapt to customer demand (see the Ipod or plasma/LCD TVs for how this should work).


  34. 34
    charlie h

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:09 am)

    #23, Carcust,

    Brilliant and witty! Well done.


  35. 35
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:09 am)

    #23 carcus1 Says: “I’d like to offer the following plug-in readiness checklist for use at the GM level:
    1. Build the car
    2. Keep the price down
    3. Sell the car

    And uh, Ms. Gross. Perhaps you’re not familiar with how the Volt works. An E-REV vehicle doesn’t need 30 public charging spots. That was the point to start with — elimination of “range anxiety” and all.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, well put.


  36. 36
    Mitch

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:09 am)

    #29

    welcome to the troll park….

    “It’s no wonder they were almost bankrupt with stupidity like this”

    what? that GM denies that SF and W-DC are not first??

    or did you not read that (its the title by the way..you know..the HUGE font and the very beginning?)..and if you did, you did not understand?

    if so…Try this:

    http://www.hookedonphonics.com/

    GM is p-r-o-m-o-t-i-n-g a required infrastructure if the futur of transprtation is to be electrified…encouraging communities to be ready, and it benefits ALL electric vehicles..

    or is the “stupidity” comment jsut about you….because that is all I see…

    (and yes…someone pissed in my corflakes this morning and I am taking out on the trolls…)


  37. 37
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:12 am)

    CHECK OUT THIS LINK!!! No breaking news, but great Volt info.

    1 – a new Volt pick, at least for me
    2 – (-)10C (I assume battery temp, not air) given as the threshold temp where the ICE starts up to warm the battery
    3 – article claims Wagoner wants battery development to be a “core competency.”

    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/02/05/gm_on_li_ion_battery_tech/


  38. 38
    Starcast

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:13 am)

    This still sounds like it is for an all electric vehicle not the Volt.

    If GM is not planing an all electric vehicle why would they be pushing charging stations?

    Is something up we don’t know?

    70% of the people can charge the volt just once a day at home on 110 plug.


  39. 39
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:14 am)

    Some of those required enablers are a joke. Free parking, no sales task on car sales….sounds more like a wish list.


  40. 40
    Mitch

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:19 am)

    Charlie h

    whatever..go teach english, you act a troll talk like a troll and post like a troll…you’re a troll, every post is bashing…(see last line in #36)

    generally it is beneath notice..but hey..today sunshine..you guys are special, and I will post….personnaly dont give a crap about your crap……the article is about GM denying who is first..you jump on money..talk about GM asking for funding..where the Frig did you read that??..it is about electrification of transport…you want mono rails, and better public transport..go to Europe..Gm is encouraging infrastructure for electric cars…not for the Volt alone…

    Have a nice day….:-}


  41. 41
    Cautious Fan

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:19 am)

    I hope Volt has a geographically disbursed distribution. If it goes to San Fran and DC, that sounds like an “snobby” vehicle and may give it a hard to shake reputation. For maximum “green halo” and to really change the world, I’m rooting for a few volts in every major metropolitan area, including mine.

    Problem is the dealer training costs. GM would make more near term profit selling all the the Volts in SoCal and only training a few dealers on repair.


  42. 42
    Starcast

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:21 am)

    Rashiid Amul Says:
    February 5th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    But I doubt my State will move quickly for something like this.
    You may have heard. We are currently broke. No surprise there really. I think we need higher taxes to help pay for government waste, don’t you.

    Right on the money. By the way when did Government waste become stimulus?


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:24 am)

    #31 charlie h Says: “At 10K units the first year and 40-60K units/year for the foreseeable future, the Volt will sell out before the market of people who have the capacity to charge the Volt in their homes is exhausted.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Right.

    “Our existing electric utility system could handle tens of millions of plug-in hybrid vehicles if they would be recharged during off-peak times, such as at night.”
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/programs/ht/tm/3507.html?site=22&pl=wmp&rate=hi&ch=5

    Tens of millions. We wont see that many plug-ins until 2020 or later. By that time, I’m sure the market will have provided solutions for apartment dwellers, work places, shopping malls, etc.

    Bottom line: GM’s plug-in readiness checklist is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. I’m sure there are much better ways for GM to spend their money.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:29 am)

    #38 Starcast Says: “This still sounds like it is for an all electric vehicle not the Volt. If GM is not planing an all electric vehicle why would they be pushing charging stations?”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Right. This readiness campaign will do more harm than good, mark my words.


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:36 am)

    Ever notice how long it takes construction companies to get a road paved once they’ve gotten it started? I bet the reason GM is getting started early on this readiness campaign is because it tends to take a LONG time for government bureaucracies and other corporate bureaucracies to get in gear with this stuff. Governments and the various companies involved need to at least be doing the PLANNING phases. Gotta get all those little legal “i’s and t’s” dotted and all that. Gotta get all the materials and equipment in the pipeline ready for deployment, etc.


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:48 am)

    Peace be with you.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:51 am)

    #36 Mitch Says: “GM is p-r-o-m-o-t-i-n-g a required infrastructure if the future of transportation is to be electrified…encouraging communities to be ready, and it benefits ALL electric vehicles..”
    ————————————————————————————–
    I see it just the opposite.

    This promotion will wrongly convince many people that the Volt and other EREVs require an infrastructure of charging stations throughout the community to be viable. This type of misinformation will hold back EREV sales.

    I believe EREVs are the key to electrification of the automobile. Anything that could delay the adoption of EREVs is a bad thing. So I see GM’s plug-in readiness checklist as a bad thing.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:53 am)

    #15 Dave G Says:

    #2 Dave K. =D~ Says: “I expect the 2012 Ford E-REV to be an Escape or Edge.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    During the Senate hearings, Ford’s CEO said they would be focusing on increasing gas engine efficiency, not electrification.

    Do you have any specific news on EREVs from Ford?

    —————————

    I posted this on this site a couple days ago.. i dont know if anyone read it. I think everyone was bitching about Troy Clarke or the economy again.
    http://www.detroitnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090202/AUTO01/902020354


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:58 am)

    #40, Mitch,

    Maybe you should go back and read the entire article. Especially…

    “Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz agreed stating “we haven’t decided” where the first Volts will be launched though encouraged “if communities show readiness they will be given special consideration.””
    …and…
    “GM advises it certainly isn’t too late and the process to make communities plug-in ready has only just begun. Britta Gross is GM’s Manager of Fuel Cells, Hydrogen, & Electrical Infrastructure. She offers us the following plug-in readiness checklist for use at the local level:”

    And then there’s a lengthy list of NEW expenditures (not just maintenance of roads) that GM wants for “plug-in ready cities.” Every item on that list is a hit to some governmental agency’s budget except the one that may be a hit to every new home purchaser.

    GM is sending a poor message; that the world is not ready for their Volt. They’re echoing this message over on FastLane and I’d bet a quarter they’re actually wasting company money pushing the message and lobbying for these upgrades elsewhere, too.

    There’s a reason I’m not the only one who’s asking, “Why are they addressing range anxiety when the whole point of their RE-EV is that it eliminates range anxiety?”

    In fact, I’ll go further… if GM is committed to their RE-EV, as they have so many times said they are, then the elimination of range anxiety is a selling point for this car over any BEV that might hit the market before November 2010. It’s an advantage. It’s an advantage that’s eroded by additional infrastructure that favors BEVs. So, why do it?

    When Toyota introduced the Prius (and I know how you love to hear about Toyota but sometimes it’s better to study the winners for ideas on product development and launch), they set up an internet-based ordering system and simply sent Priuses to wherever they would sell. None of this “selected markets” business, just sell the cars to as many early adopters as they could, as fast as they could.

    GM, by comparison, is doing everything they can to ensure restricted demand for the Volt. It’s bad enough we know that supply will be restricted, it’s baffling that GM is also going to throttle demand.

    Let’s look at GM’s current gas/electric drive efforts… Check GM’s website… all are “limited availability.” This is 12 years after the worldwide launch of the first production hybrid (Toyota), 10 years after the US introduction of a production hybrid (Honda), 6 years after hybrids turned profitable (Toyota), 5 years after the introduction of a US-branded, domestically engineered and produced full hybrid (Ford) and more than 1 year after Toyota sold its millionth hybrid.

    GM doesn’t need to spend any more time and energy talking about what people can’t have and where they can’t it and what your community should do to be more deserving of consideration.

    GM needs to shut up, build the blasted car and sell it to anyone who is willing to plunk down $40K, wherever they are and whoever they may be, for the privilege of owning an RE-EV from an automaker that’s functionally bankrupt and being propped up by our tax dollars.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:59 am)

    Yeah, I’m sorry but I’ll probably just buy a new BMW 335i that year, because I will be due for a new vehicle. If GM doesn’t want to make the Volt available to the greater America, and allow all of America to adopt it, then they can just forget me.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:01 am)

    I mean, they don’t do this crap with their gas cars. The above poster #49 sums it up completely. This is 12 years after the mass distributed Toyota. If I can go to the dealer, and buy a Prius now, or wait several MORE years for the Volt, guess what I’m getting.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:07 am)

    #48 k-dawg Says:
    #15 Dave G Says:
    Do you have any specific news on EREVs from Ford?
    —————————
    I posted this on this site a couple days ago.. i dont know if anyone read it. I think everyone was bitching about Troy Clarke or the economy again.
    http://www.detroitnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090202/AUTO01/902020354
    ————————————————————————————–
    Thanks for the link! Looks like Ford is starting to play with the idea of PHEVs and BEVs, but there’s no mention of an EREV, REEV, or series hybrid yet. Let’s hope they change their mind.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:15 am)

    Don’t plan your life around getting your Volt. There is more to it than that.
    Ease up. Relax. Enjoy what you have.

    The Volt will eventually show up at your friendly local dealer.
    It just might take awhile.

    Have a happy day !


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    It’s going to be tough for them to launch the Volt in San Francisco, because THERE IS NO CHEVROLET OR GM DEALER IN SAN FRANCISCO! The last GM dealer there stopped selling new cars last year. The good progressive people of San Francisco have said their final F-U to GM. It does not deserve the Volt. They should launch it in the area they did the original studies about vehicle usage that led to the Volt’s design, LA. This is where it belongs, not SF.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    #37 Cautious Fan – Thanks for the link. I think we had this all before but not in one place.

    #5 Statik — More grumpy than usual. Are you irritated that your solar system isn’t producing? Here in sunny SoCal my puny 3.85 kW system is producing over 18 kWh/day. What’s up in your frozen north? ;-)

    #1 Rashiid — Here is an interesting blurb about a new diesel car called the Avion that gets over 100 mpg using diesel, and therefore biodiesel. I think with your very long commute something like this would be a better choice for you than a Volt.
    http://blog.wired.com/cars/2009/02/automotive-x-pr.html


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:20 am)

    Hey, if they can cajole all of these governments at various levels to do any or all of this stuff, it will make the car easier to sell. As one of my old bosses used to say, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

    #50 & #51 Bruce Horton:

    Well I’m just going to spend some money on maintenance and keep driving my old Chevy until I can get a Volt, but it basically amounts to the same thing. I have the money put away. Give me a car to buy and I will buy it. Until then, have a nice day, and good luck figuring out how to keep any cash coming in. I guess it’ll just have to be the next “tranche”.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:21 am)

    #22 Mitch

    Nicely put! On multiple posts. Charlie H troll, just wants to whine about the Fed having to take some responsibility for its past transgressions. Like allowing the Fannie and Freddie debacle to bankrupt the housing industry. See, what Charlie is really wimpering about is that the Fed tax credits for EVs and PHEVs mean LESS tax revenue for the FAT bureauc-rats. That means the lumbering pigs will have to tighten their overbloated Federal belts and maybe do some work of value.

    Likewise for State incentives. All government fat cats get nervous when they have to pony up tax credits. They don’t want to consider the benefit to the “masses” by cutting dependency on foreign oil via electrification. Which only suggests that Charlie H troll and ilk are on the big oil dole – trying desperately to diminish the efforts of GM’s turnaround and leadership in electrification.

    Bureauc-rats take notice. You too will have to slim your fatted lifestyle if energy independence is to be achieved.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:23 am)

    Just as a side note on demographics and the tax credit. AFAIK the tax credit is subject to the AMT so its usefulness is limited to those in higher income brackets. Of course it doesn’t affect those in lower brackets or those with the very highest incomes.

    Congress changed the solar credit so it is no longer subject to the AMT, and I’d like to see the same action on the fuel efficient car front. Or they could just fix the AMT but that doesn’t seem likely.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:24 am)

    #53 redeye:

    Good advice. Thanks.

    #54 DaV8or:

    That’s what I’m talking about!


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:26 am)

    #49 charlie h Says: “When Toyota introduced the Prius (and I know how you love to hear about Toyota but sometimes it’s better to study the winners for ideas on product development and launch), they set up an internet-based ordering system and simply sent Priuses to wherever they would sell. None of this “selected markets” business, just sell the cars to as many early adopters as they could, as fast as they could.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    If I understand correctly, GM intends to limit the initial November 2010 launch to a few metro areas so that the service technicians can be trained to properly repair and maintain with the Volt. Then within 6-9 months, service technicians in most other metro areas will be trained as well, and it will spread to all other dealers soon thereafter.

    By comparison, Toyota launched the Prius in 1997 for sale in Japan only. The Prius didn’t come to the U.S. for another 3 years, and then only at 5,562 cars in 2000, and 15,556 cars in 2001.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prius

    So GM’s plan to sell 10,000 Volts in the first year and 50,000 in the second is very aggressive.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:34 am)

    #52, Dave G, [provides a link to DetNews]

    Thanks. Ford’s apparently doing both BEV and RE-EV, with at least the RE-EV due out in ’12. Good job, Ford!

    I noticed this in the article:

    “Analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics LLP in Birmingham disagrees. “There still is not a viable market for a pure electric vehicle because of the range limitations,” he said, pointing to studies that show most consumers would only consider one with three times the range of Ford’s. “It’s psychological. They’re going to have to re-educate consumers.”"

    At home, we have 3 drivers and 3 cars. We live in an inner-ring suburb. I work relatively nearby and so do my wife and child. I don’t see any reason why one of our cars couldn’t be a 40-mile BEV; it would have four times the daily range I need and three times the daily range my wife needs. If one of us had unusual driving needs on any given day, we’d just arrange not to take the BEV.

    There’s more than one registered vehicle for every licensed driver in the US. Most families are multi-car. All the families I can think of have at least two cars. Most of the families I know with driving-age kids got at least a 3rd car when one or more of the kids reached driving age. To think that a large chunk of those families couldn’t get by with one 100-mile BEV (or even a 40, as in our case) among the cars in their stable is nuts.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:34 am)

    Mitch,

    Keep up the good work! Got a great laugh at the Proctologist line!

    ——————————————-

    Regarding all this hoopla about infrastructure, it will happen with time, just like many airports, hotels, and restaurants now offer wireless internet service.

    If someone lives 40 miles away from the city and comes to see a major league ball game, maybe they can get a charge out of the game and the Volt can get a charge at the same time. This just helps to reduce fuel usage and lessen the pollution in the city.

    But as others have mentioned, this can be used by all electric cars, not just the Volt. So just as cities have spent money to create HOV lanes to reduce traffic and smog, this infrastructure helps to reduce smog, CO2 emissions, and fossil fuel consumption.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    I just figure GM will sell the Volt where and in quantities they think will be best for their bottom line (right or wrong, no matter if we agree or not).

    And for me, I’ll buy what’s best for my bottom line – the first to offer an EREV/REEV that’s affordable, practical, and available for me will get my business – no matter if it’s in 2010 or 2015 (although I do hope it is sooner rather than later).

    When there is a need for these charging stations and other infrastructure, I’m sure there will be plenty of venture capitalists that will be working on these issues.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:37 am)

    Charlie..I got nothing against Toyota..and you can check..I have NEVER bashed them…and as the infrastructure does not benefit the VOLT as much as a Battery only car..why do it? because it pasves the way for the futur where range anxiety is removed as charging can be as fast and cheap as a fueling station..it is also to improve the attractiveness of full long lasting electric cars..regardless of who, they will not be cheap (please don’t mention BYD’s el cheapo, meets no NA standard or crash rating car..)

    and still, your comments do not fit the article…yes GM is encouraging it.. and if they may give better odds to a place with infrastructure in place, why not? isn’t that smart? if a place is investing in infrastructure, then it follows that it will be better market for that product..

    lets face it putting a pork farm and deli in a strictly enforced jewish community is not being geared for success…at least locally…

    #47 Dave G.

    I am stating what I think they are doing..but I did not say whether the strategy was a good one…lol


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:39 am)

    Now wait just a minute. Why do cities have to have plug-in capability to sell Chevy Volts? I thought the reason for the range extender engine was to get the Volt back home or to its destination if the battery SOC went below the lower limit and the ICE was turned on. Now why is GM pushing so hard for cities to get plug ready? This just does not make sense. It is going to make people think that if their city doesn’t have a charge port infrastructure they can’t purchase Volts. That is stupid, GM. You are making the job of selling Voltec vehicles much harder than necessary. If nearly 80% of commuters drive less than 40 miles round trip I don’t see the need for charging stations to handle the other 20% at this time.

    Am I missing something here. Why are you shooting yourself in the foot, GM?


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:40 am)

    “getting plug in ready”

    WTF, seriously, my garage is already plug in ready, just I haven’t been able to buy a vehicle that was capable of pluggin in because of Bu$hCo.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:44 am)

    If i were GM the last palce I’d sell initial Volts would be in hilly San Francisco. The Volts would never achieve their 40 miles on elctricity, creating all kinds of negative press, by anti-American bashers, climbing all those hills. Besides as was pointed out, our stupid moronic San Francisco weenies, don’t have a GM Chevy dealer to buy one from.

    When oh When. will SF gets its next big one, and become seafront, while taking the Goricle’s $5 million dollar seafront mansion with it, that is supposed to be under 20 feet of water soon, anyway?

    Sarcasm [off]


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:46 am)

    #60, Dave G,

    The Prius’ calendar year 2000 rate was about 15K vehicles per year, because the car was only on sale the last third of that year.

    Toyota apparently trained technicians wherever the car sold.

    They just sold the cars, as fast as they could, to whomever was willing to buy them.

    And, bear in mind, Toyota did that 8 and 9 years ago. Battery + ICE is old news; it’s mainstream tech. The Volt uses electricity (available everywhere) and/or gasoline (ditto). There’s no infrastructure to develop (or the RE aspect is pointless).

    GM should just build the blasted car and sell it to whoever wants it. Take orders with deposits. Train techs in order of whichever location has taken the most deposits.

    GM could take the money they’re spending on pointless bureaucratic maneuvering to “determine markets” and spend it on imrpoving the aerodynamic drag of some of their current product offerings. Or to pull in the first sale date of the Vue two-mode. Or to improve the effectiveness of the BAS system. Or do a careful reliability review of some of their current products and engineer reliability enhancements that will reduce warranty costs. Or just lose money less fast than they’re losing it now.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:55 am)

    Dave G@47 said:
    “#36 Mitch Says: “GM is p-r-o-m-o-t-i-n-g a required infrastructure if the future of transportation is to be electrified…encouraging communities to be ready, and it benefits ALL electric vehicles..”
    ————————————————————————————–
    I see it just the opposite.
    This promotion will wrongly convince many people that the Volt and other EREVs require an infrastructure of charging stations throughout the community to be viable. This type of misinformation will hold back EREV sales.
    I believe EREVs are the key to electrification of the automobile. Anything that could delay the adoption of EREVs is a bad thing. So I see GM’s plug-in readiness checklist as a bad thing.
    ************************************************************************************

    The idea of encouraging the adoption of plugin vehicles has been going on for years and is far from GM specific. In fact, AFAIK Calcars was initially trying to gin up demand for Toyota to launch a plugin Prius. The suggestions are not requirements. They are intended as “perks” to get Joe Bagodonuts interested in plugins. Most of us here are already on board with the concept, but a broad public education and motivation effort still remains.
    I don’t see it as a bad thing to promote plugins. I also don’t think that we should pay to promote them. The places that provide them will likely do so to get people to use their business. Walmart is looking at adding charging ports, parking garages are as well. Downtown shopping areas, losing business to malls may want to “draw” people back to shop in the downtown areas, etc.
    This whole “issue” is WAY ahead of itself. First we need to get thousands of plugins on the road, produced by as many mfg’s as possible and THEN we can worry about additional infrastructure (or perks). I think that it’ll be a moot point because there are already companies pushing plugin receptacles that will charge the electricity to your home bill.
    Be well,
    Tag
    LJGTVWOTR!! ***************NPNS*************** Independence Day 2010


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:57 am)

    While this plan may or may not be a great one…lets face it..

    I think there are no shortages of people saying..”GM did not learn..GM never plans for the futur, GM needs to be smarter…” ad hoc ad nauseum

    lets see..I have seen posters knock them for offering a 4 cyl in the new Equinox, saying thing like “what..no V8?” why are they doing this?…consistant…

    or another fave//”why are they working on Gen 2..gen 1 isn’t out yet!!” but hey..GM should plan for the futur..

    another..”Just build the car!!” they are..that is why the design is frozen..anything else must go to Gen 2…if you ever worked in manufacturing (complex, like a car) it takes time to get everything right which GM MUST DO..this car is going to be looked at , scrutinized, micromemtered, inspected and critiqued on fit, finish, noise, operation …2 years to make sure all the panels fit right, the appeal is right, operation and handling etc…

    GM is FOREWARD thinking with this..making electrics more attractive..once they are established, all the items on the list can change..they are develloping a friggin PLAN..is project better place a waste?

    GM CANNOT operate in fail mode, or here and now mode..or futur mode..it has to do ALL 3!! survive, and thrive..and it has to look at here and now, toromorrw and 10 years from now..

    Incentives to stop paying all the terroroists…you know what..go for it..if giving students free on campus charging staions moves the electrification of transport to a point where my money is not going to pay for terrorist activities, where my brothers and sisters are not dying on foreign soil to fuel cars, where we can live on OUR resources..then use some of my $$..

    I am all for it..


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (12:05 pm)

    Maybe I am being naive, but initial building out of charging infrastructure can and should be handled by private companies. Charging stations in parking lots at malls, service stations, businesses and such could be done by private companies doing it to make money for themselves and the businesses that allow the stations on their property. I just don’t see the need for much city involvement in the early stages. Once, and if, charging stations need to be put on city property, like street parking spaces, then the city needs to be involved. Other than approving the construction of the charging stations on private property and insuring codes are observed, cities should be out of the loop.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    Joe Obrien,

    Isn’t it nice to blame evertyhing on Mr. Bush? I got news for you he isn’t President anymore and we have O’Dummy and his Tax Cheats and “ethically challenged” Liars instead. Not to mention his Three eco- Stooges,idiotic Browner, Holdren and Chu.

    Unfortunately it is not true. It was Mr. Bush, who started the the U S Automotive Battery Consortium, USABC, that developed and advanced the Li-Ion battery for automotive applications.

    That Consortia wasn’t loaded with politically-connected types feeding at the public trough, with nothing useful to add. The only people working on it were private industry types from the battery makers and auto companies who really wanted to advance the state of the art, including making them affordable, and they DID.

    It wasn’t you precious a$$wipes who rewarded political friends and payed them off with useless contraact for “improvements” to the governmentally run Program for a NGPV. Truly a car designed by a Government Committee.Those payoffs made the subsequent product, at an estimated manufacturing cost of only $750,000 each to produce, never mind the selling price, making it wholly a fantasy.

    BTW, I didn’t see you putting down your deposit for a $1,000,000 dollar ,(selling price), car from PNGV. What are you? Just another phony green, all talk and no action?


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (12:10 pm)

    I think it would be great for people to plug in at work. It wouldn’t cost all that much for the company in the first 3-4 years probably. It would be a nice perk. Good for the company’s reputation in the community for “going green” and so forth. Having charging ports closer to the building would be good too. Stressed out workers don’t like walking too much unless they are doing it on purpose for exercise. The key to saving money with your Volt is to keep that sucker plugged in as often as possible. Electric fuel will always be cheaper than gasoline. Pennies per mile.

    The more you can roll out the red carpet and make life easier for the early Volt owners, the more OTHER people will want to go and buy themselves one. Lower federal & state taxes, fees, low cost or free electric “fuel”, free parking … all those little things add up. It makes the “total cost of ownership” lower. The more things that GM and the government can do to lower the “total cost of ownership” the better.

    That leads to more Volts sold and more battery plants built. I recall reading about an LG Chem manager saying that the price of the batteries should go down dramatically after they make over 100,000 of them. That’s when “economies of scale” kick in. By then, they will have optimized their manufacturing processes and found all sorts of ways to reduce costs, etc.

    People will get their Volt a good bit cheaper in 2014 or whatever because of the cars that get sold in 2011-2013. The people in 2015+ might not get the super generous tax breaks and other perks though. We basically need to give the first Volts coming off the production line an UNFAIR ADVANTAGE vs. all the other kinds of cars on the road. That will get those first 100,000 cars sold a lot quicker and the electric car era will be in full swing by 2014 or so. Who knows, maybe a million Voltec cars a year sold by then.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (12:13 pm)

    For all those who cannot see the GM play here, it is to SPUR the foot-dragging, lazy, oil-addicted government bureauc-rats to electrification. In all probability it will be the utilities (both public and private) that pay for the first plug-in stations. And it is absolutely TRUE that most Volt owners will recharge at home or at work. But for eventual full BEVs we will need charge stations. An infrastructure. Which is why GM is working with EPRI representing the utility industry which generate 95% of all NA electricity.

    http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/07/gm-joins-utilit.html

    Rather than whine about efforts that help wean Americans off foreign oil – try a little VISION. Just maybe GM, Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, Mitsubishi, etc., etc. are planning to build full EVs in the not too distant future!! DOH! Isn’t that the ever-lovin’ GOAL here??? Get the country off friggin foreign oil??? Damn! The whiners around here!


  75. 75
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    Feb 5th, 2009 (12:17 pm)

    “Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz agreed stating “we haven’t decided” where the first Volts will be launched though encouraged “if communities show readiness they will be given special consideration.” ”

    Yeah, I know it isn’t official or anything but isn’t the “Wait List” on this site a really good starting point for them? Heck if they build 10K of them per year it would take them at least a few years just to get through this list… and that’s if a substantial number of individuals back out. Seems that artificially limiting it to a few select markets (at least for awhile) is just a way to set it up for failure.

    And what’s with the “Readiness” ? Readiness for what? It’s a car, you go to a dealer and buy one. No special infrastructure needed. No modifications to your home electrical system needed. Nothing to get ready for. Echoing other sentiments… JUST BUILD THE FREAKING THING ALREADY!


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (12:34 pm)

    #10 Tony Gray

    I agree with you. If Ford can do it then GM needs to do it too. If GM keeps harping on the need of building charging infrastructure before selling Volts, they will lose a lot of business. IMO


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    #67 stas peterson

    Hey, i was going to post that :)
    too many hills for the initial launch IMO.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (12:44 pm)

    NYC should be on the top of the list….
    Cause that where i live.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (12:44 pm)

    Instead of city plugs, how about power lines? (I know this is out there but..) You know how bumper cars and trollies have power poles.. how about something like that to power cars or charge them?

    Ok, back to work


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    79. k-dawg

    I’m looking forward to seeing some “automatic WIRELESS car charging systems”. They already make them for power tools and cell phones, etc. You could just pull into the garage or the driveway and a light comes on in dash saying “charging now” or “set to charge later”. It doesn’t get more “no brainer” than that. People wouldn’t even have to think about charging the car up. Maybe someday the wireless charging range will get good enough for people in apartment parking lots and office parking lots/towers. Who knows?

    http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?ch=specialsections&sc=emerging08&id=20248

    http://www.ecoupled.com/


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (1:07 pm)

    #57 Rasmutin says “Like allowing the Fannie and Freddie debacle to bankrupt the housing industry.”

    This is one of those myths perpetrated by Fox News and talk radio, those reliable sources of disinformation. While Fannie and Freddie did accept borrowers with FICO scores that suggested they were poor credit risks, those borrowers actually defaulted at lower rates than borrowers in the same FICO cohort whose paper was held by private banks. Basically while it’s true that Fannie and Freddie bought Alt-A mortgage paper, and even guaranteed a nominal number of Alt-A borrowers, the data shows that high default rates were a function of how much involvement the private sector had with loan. IOW the farther away a borrower of a given FICO score was from the GSE’s due diligence process, the more likely that borrower was to default.

    How poorly did the private sector perform? Criminally poor. Look at Table 12 in this St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank Working Paper (which astonishing enough Fox News has cited as support for its claim that the GSEs were to blame — obviously they don’t expect any of their viewers to ever look at the data for themselves). What that table shows is that for the FICO cohort 660-720, first-year mortgage default rates increased slightly 2004, doubled in 2005, quintupled in 2006, and by 2007 were eight times the historical average.

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2008/2008-036.pdf

    And what did the private sector bankers and the co-opted rating agencies do when they saw these trends, which would be just about impossible to ignore? THEY KEPT LENDING. So even though by 2006 these masters of the universe had shocking data, they just kept on doctoring loans and taking the money.

    And now they expect bonuses and want their sympathetic “news” outlets to blame the GSEs. Perfect.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (1:10 pm)

    #55 DonC said:

    #5 Statik — More grumpy than usual. Are you irritated that your solar system isn’t producing? Here in sunny SoCal my puny 3.85 kW system is producing over 18 kWh/day. What’s up in your frozen north?
    =======================
    People were starting to talk, saying I was off my game lately…I ramped it up a bit, heeh.

    Side note: I have no solar system for my new “not a big overpriced house, because I liquidated all my assets before the economy went to crap” place.

    I’m jealous that you still have one though, lol. I’ve been thinking about throwing up some panels on the roof, but I’m not sure about the return on the investment on a smaller place. The payback on selling power back to the Ontario gov’t is great (.42/kW)….but I’m only living here as long as the recession/depression goes on, then I’m going to buy back my old place (or something similar) for half price. I’m also delaying my decision on whether to do it or not because it is like -14C here today (6F), and I like to do stuff myself….so maybe in the spring.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (1:11 pm)

    WTF infrastructure do they need to build for a car that has an ICE Genset in it? I understand if you need to charge at work, but at home you’ll have your charge station. It’s not a d@mn BEV for pete’s sake!

    CMON GM! Build my Volt! Why are they wasting time and money on this? This is getting frustrating.

    I live in CA, hope they sell here initially. My first drive will be to stomp on the gas….uhhmmmm……Accelerator for my whole drive. And yes I will buy the first Gen Volt.

    OK, back to my Kahlua & Coffee.

    I’ll take my Volt, No Generator, No ICE, Shaken not stirred…


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (1:15 pm)

    #74 Rasmutin.

    Amen..I said almost the same thing in 70

    if the thought of a few billion in infrastructure si bad..what about the 700 billion we are spending to keep our black crack flowing here..monies paid to countries that want us dead,

    anyone ever deal with drug addicts? they do not control their life..the pusher does..they need help to break the addiction, and lets face it..if big daddy OPEC snaps his fingers..the USA will jump, like an addict..it may not want to, it may be reluctant, but as long as she needs her black crack..she will not jeapordize the supply…

    here is an ineresting article..maybe our next power supply..and yes its nuclear, but not traditional…

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4971

    I apologize for any who feel offended about the USA jumping..but if you ever deal with an addict..you will know what I mean..denying it is like the father or mother wondering who did it to their child..because there isno way he/she is an addict…


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    @GM Volt Fan 80
    “I’m looking forward to seeing some “automatic WIRELESS car charging systems”. They already make them for power tools and cell phones, etc.”

    That is an awesome concept, great for small electronics. However, the magnatude of current and voltage required for “Magnetic Induction” will require large massive coils on the ground or somewhere and the “Inducting” coils on the car will have to be just as big for at best 1:.80 efficiency/transfer and that’s assuming the coils are right next/smashed to each other.
    Direct connect is the most efficient with minimal loss.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible but it’s just not practical because you’ll be adding weight to the car and wasting energy through the natural inductive “Loss” of the air core transformer effect.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (1:29 pm)

    #65 N Riley Says: “Why do cities have to have plug-in capability to sell Chevy Volts? … This just does not make sense. It is going to make people think that if their city doesn’t have a charge port infrastructure they can’t purchase Volts. That is stupid, GM. You are making the job of selling Voltec vehicles much harder than necessary… Why are you shooting yourself in the foot, GM?”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Right. Seems like a really bone-headed decision by GM. Let’s hope they wake up and stop this readiness program before it damages Volt sales.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (1:54 pm)

    #85 CaptJackSparrow,

    I agree. Wireless magnetic induction for charging the Volt is not practical.

    However, it may be possible to meet the same basic requirement using a direct connection. As I understand it, the basic idea is to pull into your garage and have the charging port connect automatically.

    For example, let’s say you pull in your garage, and you have a special charging connection unit laying on the floor. This unit could use some type of wireless comm link with the Volt to assist in making the direct connection. When the Volt senses the charging unit below, it might lower some type of motorized connector. The floor unit might then move the mating connection to connect with the lowering connection from the Volt, guided by the wireless comm link.

    GM could sell this as a luxury convenience option.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (2:25 pm)

    NOT to move us back towards the political name-calling found above, but I did notice an AP story re the stimulus. Apparently there is a provision in there to allow folks who buy new cars in 2009 to deduct the interest and sales tax from their taxable income. This coupled with an AMT fix, may help push upper-middle income buyers to the show rooms. Too bad there won’t be a Volt there when they arrive. Sorry if this is not news to anyone.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (2:32 pm)

    @Dave G 87

    Yes, that is most likely the best method. There are a few hurdles which can be overcome.

    1: Contact point protection – Need something to cover and uncover on use automatically.

    2: Need guiding method to ensure contacts never cross.

    3: How do you ensure someone parks in relatively the same spot all the time?

    This is entirely possible, someone just needs to spend some time designing it and making it.
    For #3 I would think the same method as going into a car wash would work.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (2:40 pm)

    I have never wanted to say more than I do today that we must have a lot more “stupid” people on this site than I thought. That or either they are saying stupid things to help confuse some of the rest of us. Many comments that I have read are saying essentially that “I won’t be able to buy a Volt unless my city agrees to spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars developing a charging station infrastructure”. How dumb is this? How dumb are the ones who are saying this or how dumb are those of us who might be taken in by this? You only need access to an electrical plug in your garage or where you park your car at night to be able to charge your Volt. Then you drive 40 miles without the use of petroleum. If you need to drive over 40 miles the ICE comes on and you drive the car like a regular car is driven today. Now, why do we need charging stations to do this.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (2:48 pm)

    DonC #81 – Just out of curiosity, what are your reliable sources of information. Just wondering, since you’re so sure about FOX. Not specifically here, but your always reliable sources.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (2:59 pm)

    My understandingis the Volt will accept 115 VAC from a standard outlet and is designed primarily for the 80% of commuters who drive R/T less than 40 miles /day. With that said 80% of households in America are plug in ready now, unless they are running DC on the farm. The entire concept was suppose to be charge it at home at night when the grid utilization was low. Installing plug in stations so people can charge during the day is completely contrary to all initial use and benefit analysis. By charging during the day you increase global warming by increasing the number of power plants needed during peak summer demand to both meet the AC demand and to charge hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles. If they are talking about people living in an apartment, do you honestly think they can afford / finance a Volt if they are renting after this housing crash? Your either in bancrupcy for 7 years or prices on homes have fallen so low you will own one. What am I missing with a $40,000.00 Volt and communities needing to be “plug in ready”?


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (3:10 pm)

    @Neutron Flux 92
    “do you honestly think they can afford / finance a Volt if they are renting after this housing crash?”

    Considering most of the cars I see in these apartments/rentals in the Ghetto, If they can afford a Caddy Escalade and/or a friggin Lexus or Acura or even those Nissan Armada’s on their driveways, they could afford it. Now will they be smart enough to buy one is the question.

    You gotta wonder how the hell they can afford these cars. Of course their house looks like shlt but the cars look nice. Priorities I guess….


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (3:30 pm)

    DonC: #81

    Trying to excuse the Washington elite on the fed teat who ran, supervised and drove Fannie & Freddie into the ground is a fiction: Fannie paid 20 fat cat execs more than $1 million each to run a GOVERNMENT agency.

    “Fan and Fred also couldn’t prosper for as long as they have without the support of the political left, both in Congress and the intellectual class. This includes Mr. Frank and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Capitol Hill, as well as Mr. Krugman and the Washington Post’s Steven Pearlstein in the press. Their claim is that the companies are essential for homeownership.

    Yet as studies have shown, about half of the implicit taxpayer subsidy for Fan and Fred is pocketed by shareholders and management. According to the Federal Reserve, the half that goes to homeowners adds up to a mere seven basis points on mortgages. In return for this, Fannie was able to pay no fewer than 21 of its executives more than $1 million in 2002, and in 2003 Mr. Raines pocketed more than $20 million. Fannie’s left-wing defenders are underwriters of crony capitalism, not affordable housing.

    So here we are …, with the House and Senate preparing to commit taxpayer money to save Fannie and Freddie. The implicit taxpayer guarantee that Messrs. Gray and Raines and so many others said didn’t exist has become explicit. Taxpayers end up having to inject capital into the companies, in addition to guaranteeing their debt.

    The abiding lesson here is what happens when you combine private profit with government power. You create political monsters that are protected both by journalists on the left and pseudo-capitalists on Wall Street, by liberal Democrats and country-club Republicans. Even now, after all of their dishonesty and failure, Fannie and Freddie could emerge from this taxpayer rescue more powerful than ever. Campaigning to spare taxpayers from that result would represent genuine “change,”
    Wall Street Journal

    Talk of $20 billion for the auto industry? THIS real pillage of the taxpayer cost people $700 billion! One entire year of foreign oil imports. Perfect.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (3:35 pm)

    GM Volt Fan Says:

    79. k-dawg

    I’m looking forward to seeing some “automatic WIRELESS car charging systems”. They already make them for power tools and cell phones, etc. You could just pull into the garage or the driveway and a light comes on in dash saying “charging now” or “set to charge later”. It doesn’t get more “no brainer” than that. People wouldn’t even have to think about charging the car up. Maybe someday the wireless charging range will get good enough for people in apartment parking lots and office parking lots/towers. Who knows?

    http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?ch=specialsections&sc=emerging08&id=20248

    http://www.ecoupled.com/

    —————

    Yeah, i’ve broght that one up before, but i dont think there’s enough current. I believe its magnetic resonance (have’nt read the links yet). My watch charges this way. If you had a very larger charger, i could see it working in the garage, but not sure how it would work while moving down the road. How low would the car’s clearance have to be, and what if someone with steel toes walked over it? It would be a fun engineering challenge though. I like the stuff being done by Magnemotion in Boston. No gas, batteries, or motor needed. The less parts, espciall moving parts, the better.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (3:36 pm)

    Once upon a time a man appeared in a village and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.

    The villagers, knowing there were many monkeys, went to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and, as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort.

    He then announced that he would buy monkeys at $20 each. This renewed the villagers efforts and they started catching monkeys again.

    Soon the supply diminished and people started going back to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so scarce it was an effort to even find a monkey, let alone catch it!

    The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50 each! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would buy o n his behalf.

    The assistant told the villagers, “Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that my boss has already collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when my boss returns, you can sell them to him for $50.”

    The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys for 700 billion dollars.

    They never saw the man or his assistant again, only lots and lots of monkeys!

    Now you have a better understanding of how the
    WALL STREET BAILOUT PLAN WORKS !!!

    It doesn’t get much clearer than this……..


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (3:37 pm)

    N Riley and Neutron Flux:

    Too bad GM doesn’t back up your understandings. We’re all still waiting for them to show the consumer end plug(s) to see if it’s(they’re) compatible with either existing common 110 and 220 outlets or existing cheap adaptors. If not, whoever sets up the home, business and work “charging stations” that are compatible with the Volt consumer end plug will have the consumer by the short hairs, depending on how they price the electricity and certainly on the restrictions of new infrastructure installation “required”.

    Is this GM’s play for revenue minded utilities and local governments to get on board (charge to private companies for charging station locations, electric fee going from EV user to utility at utiltity set price (rather than making a deal directly with your local merchants for their outlets) and parking space revenues with higher rates for EV spots with electric recharging costs included even if it sucks from your car during peak shaving, etc., etc.) or to wean us onto the “necessity of new infrastrucure” for the pointless, backward on energy, non-economic, business as usual raping of consumers that is the hydrogen fool cell (typo intended)? Either way, it’s noxious of GM and bad PR.

    If GM doesn’t put out a mainstream functioning electric vehicle (ie. street legal, highway functional, works/looks like any old coupe/sedan) that interfaces with the existing grid and the existing common 110 and 220 electrical outlets exactly as they are now in the critical, initial market penetation phase, consumers are going to step on GM’s head rushing to whatever other company does. Where do I sign up to purchase my BYD F3DM?

    Time to cough up some more details, GM. Already two years behind on plug in hybrid on the streets and ticking….


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (3:50 pm)

    58: DaV8or: “It’s going to be tough for them to launch the Volt in San Francisco, because THERE IS NO CHEVROLET OR GM DEALER IN SAN FRANCISCO! The last GM dealer there stopped selling new cars last year. The good progressive people of San Francisco have said their final F-U to GM. It does not deserve the Volt. They should launch it in the area they did the original studies about vehicle usage that led to the Volt’s design, LA. This is where it belongs, not SF.”

    I agree. I know someone who lives in the San Fran area and he once made a comment of “who’d want to buy a Chevy?”. Since he’s a Mini Convertible-driving, San Pellegrino-drinking dork, I’m not surprised at his comment.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (4:01 pm)

    #87 Dave G Says:
    February 5th, 2009 at 1:54 pm
    #85 CaptJackSparrow,

    I agree. Wireless magnetic induction for charging the Volt is not practical.

    However, it may be possible to meet the same basic requirement using a direct connection. As I understand it, the basic idea is to pull into your garage and have the charging port connect automatically.

    For example, let’s say you pull in your garage, and you have a special charging connection unit laying on the floor. This unit could use some type of wireless comm link with the Volt to assist in making the direct connection. When the Volt senses the charging unit below, it might lower some type of motorized connector. The floor unit might then move the mating connection to connect with the lowering connection from the Volt, guided by the wireless comm link.

    GM could sell this as a luxury convenience option.
    ——————–

    I think you could use a couple linear actuators (for 2 dimensions), and a cheap vision system. The system would auto-locate the plug port and connect.

    But for a really dirty solution, just make it like a bumper car.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (4:02 pm)

    @Mitch 96

    That was good, thanks for that. I spammed my buddies with it…..lol….


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (4:32 pm)

    #96 Mitch

    That was really good. Thanks. I agree with the story and what is happening right now. Wall Street, the federal politicians and bankers have it all figured out. Only thing is we the taxpayers are getting the shaft for their corruption and theft. People doing this to us should be going to some serious jail time, but not a damn one will ever see the inside to the jail and will still be place to continue doing it to us.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (4:40 pm)

    Translation of GM talking point #2:

    The electric vehicle can only work if you live in a city AND if that city becomes more like San Francisco or Washington, DC (or maybe, NYC) FIRST. What city wants to sign up for that?

    San Francisco is cultural shorthand for widely loathed extreme liberals, Washington, DC is defined by a government body with a 17% approval rating and NYC is the home to the now hated Wall Street, cause of the current economic crisis, and considered by many as now the enemy of Main Street USA. In one brief PR foray, GM just effectively drove off 90% of the potential market and painted all electric vehicles negatively, compelety falselessly and unecessarily. Way to go, GM.

    The Prius, when it came to market in the US, worked with existing infrastructure, as is, and was sold to whoever wanted one and could afford it (mostly not apartment/condo dwellers). Imagine that, supplying a product that was demanded in a free market method at free market prices, obviously a plot by foreigners to undermine the time honored American value of obstructionist can’t-do.

    Who killed the electric car, redux. GM’s biggest failure with the EV-1 was negative marketing and they have certainly ramped that up again.

    Here’s a hint of how to market successfully – make a product that consumers want, tell them broadly that it exists (never done for the EV-1) defend it’s good points, shut up about anything else, SELL it to consumers (also never done for the EV-1) and let them be the voice of how good it is – word of mouth from consumers to their freinds, neighbors, co-workers, etc. based on personal, actual experience is far more powerful than any Superbowl advertisement, and way cheaper. Oh wait, isn’t that the Japanese method of overdelivering, quietly? To be fair, the domestics’ interiors, fit and finish (it not rational engineering (as opposed to over, and on weight, for example)) have improved dramatically in the last several years and are quite good now.

    Guess what – most people have never heard of the Chevy Volt and have no idea that it is going to be produced or will be available for sale around the US – maybe they know something we don’t.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (5:08 pm)

    #102 Zero X Owner

    Agreed. Good points. Most people I mention the Volt to either don’t know anything at all about it or they think it is a car limited to 40 miles of driving before you have to stop to get it recharged. They wonder why in the world would anyone buy such a car. The sad truth about people is that even though GM advertises the Volt pretty heavily along with their other green cars, as if they really have them, most people only hear part of what is said and don’t really care to understand what part they did hear. It is just a sad situation that the majority of Americans are essentially brain dead. Just look around you as you go about your daily life and try to watch your fellow Americans. They are so shallow and don’t really care about much but satisfying there needs at the moment.


  104. [...] GM-Volt and Greentech Media Share and [...]


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (5:44 pm)

    hi Zero X Owner # 102,

    “most people have never heard of the Chevy Volt and have no idea that it is going to be produced”

    ___________________________

    With just 10,000 Volt being available in 2010, it doesn’t matter.

    +++++++++++++++++

    Oil ends above $41 on stimulus hopes
    Crude prices climb past $41 with hopes for stimulus bill passage in Senate

    * Thursday February 5, 2009, 4:01 pm EST

    DENVER (AP) — Oil prices pushed past $41 a barrel Thursday after languishing for most of the day near $40, on hopes the Obama administration’s economic stimulus plan would soon clear the Senate.

    =D~


  106. 106
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    Feb 5th, 2009 (6:12 pm)

    #97 Zero X Owner Says: “We’re all still waiting for them to show the consumer end plug(s) to see if it’s(they’re) compatible with either existing common 110 and 220 outlets or existing cheap adaptors.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    If you need a picture, here it is:
    http://gm-volt.com/2009/01/23/gm-qa-with-bob-kruse-on-the-chevy-volts-batteries/

    GM told us 2 years ago that it was 110v compatible.

    Then they told us around around 15 months ago that it would take either 110v or 220v without having to flip a switch or anything. 110v takes 6.5 hours to charge, and 220v takes a little over 3 hours to charge. If you do the math, that works out to around 11 amps of charging current on both cases.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (6:28 pm)

    What were we talking about? Oh, yeah. GM hasn’t commited to roll-out cities yet.That is what I’d do. Why limit your options?


  108. 108
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    Feb 5th, 2009 (6:55 pm)

    96 Mitch

    Yes, but at least when it was done, the villagers had a monkey to spank, what did we get? :)


  109. 109
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (6:57 pm)

    #103 N Riley Says: “Most people I mention the Volt to either don’t know anything at all about it or they think it is a car limited to 40 miles of driving before you have to stop to get it recharged. They wonder why in the world would anyone buy such a car.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, I’ve found the same thing. People have this preconceived notion that all electric vehicles have range issues, and its very difficult for them to shake it. They just don’t seem to listen.

    This is why its so disturbing to hear GM’s “Get Communities Plug-in Ready for the Volt” promotion. It just reinforces peoples existing misconceptions.

    And what good would it really do anyway? With a typical yearly driving pattern, assuming you only charge overnight, the amount of gas saved with the Volt is dramatic.

    Vehicle ……………… Gallons per year
    Volt ……………….….. 37
    Prius ……..………..… 228
    30 MPG car ………… 380
    20 MPG car ………… 570

    At 37 gallons per vehicle per year, bio-fuels become extremely viable. Why go through the expense of changing our community infrastructure?

    I see no upside to this program, and a lot of downside.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    99 k-dawg

    Here is something to keep in mind when engineering a solution.

    “Never any mechanism simply, when a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful”

    An old engineering “tongue-in-cheek” adage.


  111. 111
    chevonly

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:01 pm)

    You can forget California, you will not be able to drive anywhere in the state, the National Guard will need complete access to stop the rioting and the looting. The state is broke 42 billion in the hole and cannot pay its bills. So stop your guessing on whoda coulda shoulda and don’t blame GM. Maybe instead of blogging all day long you should be calling your reps in congress and get some backbone and give them some input before the whole country goes down the tubes, but the end game is almost over enjoy the ride. As the republinazis say spend spend spend and dont stop the taxcuts, WHAT A FREAKIN JOKE.


  112. 112
    JEC

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:03 pm)

    110 edit Self

    “Never make any mechanism simple, when a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful”


  113. 113
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:18 pm)

    I believe GM’s plan is to limit the initial November 2010 roll out to a few metro areas, then increase the availability to many other metro areas within 6 months, and then make it available to most everywhere in the U.S. within the first year.

    I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the first few thousand Volts will sell, even if they limit it to a few metro areas, so there’s no real downside there. The upside of limiting the initial few months of release is the ability to have sales and service people at the dealers trained on the Volt when its available for sale.

    So GM has no real downside and a very real upside to limiting the initial release.

    As for me personally, I would much rather wait until things calm down a bit before I go to a dealer anyway. I can wait a few months…


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    Ed M

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:22 pm)

    Dave G #109

    Thanks for the neat matrix. I’ve never really compared the vehicles that way before. The more info I get the more sense the Volt makes. Good Job.


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    Van

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:25 pm)

    Dave K, I understand that the 10,000 Volts will be available starting in November 2010, but in reality, will show up primarily in California dealers during 2011.

    Dave G, where is the gallonage for the plug-in Prius, going on sale to fleet buyers before the end of 2009?


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    Ed M

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:36 pm)

    Mitch #96

    Didn’t Charlton Heston star in that story ? I particularly remember Wall Street getting overrun by monkeys because the Statue of Liberty had collapsed. :)


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:37 pm)

    DonC #55,

    Thank you for thinking of me.
    Yes, I’m thinking the my 101 mile commute is too much for the Volt.
    I will have to charge it twice a day to take full advantage of the EV part.
    I’m thinking I will shorten the life of the battery by half in terms of years.
    Some here say that is not true. I’m not sure what to believe at this point.


  118. 118
    N Riley

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:41 pm)

    #109 Dave G

    You are so right. And the chart is interesting.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:47 pm)

    #117 Rashiid Amul

    If I had to commute 101 miles I would buy myself the best mileage ICE car I could find (Gas or Diesel) for the least money and try to keep my cost down. I assume you mean round trip is 101 miles? I would buy myself a Volt later when cost comes down and use it for non-commute drives. My round trip commute is about 20 miles.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:56 pm)

    N. Riley #119,

    Yes. 101 round trip.

    My Hyundai Elantra cost me $13.5K out the door in 2002.
    It has 180,000 miles and gets 39 MPG when I baby it.
    31 MPG when I don’t.


  121. 121
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (7:59 pm)

    #115 Van Says: “Dave G, where is the gallonage for the plug-in Prius, going on sale to fleet buyers before the end of 2009?”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Vehicle ……………… Gallons per year
    Volt ……………….….. 37
    Prius PHEV-10 ………182
    Prius ……..………..… 228
    30 MPG car ………… 380
    20 MPG car ………… 570

    Here is my spreadsheet:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzenu6hr/ebay_pictures/Plugin_mileage.xls

    Using the average yearly driving pattern built into the spreadsheet, you can calculate for any plugin vehicle, or any regular car, by simply changing the following 3 input variables:
    • miles electric assist range
    • MPG during electric assist
    • MPG after electric assist

    For a regular gas engine car or HEV, just set the miles electric assist range parameter to zero. For EREVs like the Volt, set the MPG during electric assist parameter to some really big number (all electric = infinate MPG). For PHEVs, I set the MPG during electric assist parameter somewhere between 100 MPG and 150 MPG, depending on the efficiency of the vehicle.

    For the Prius PHEV, I assumed 10 miles of electric boost, 150MPG during the boost, and 50 MPG after the boost.

    Note that this spread sheet only intends to provide a rough idea of how much gas would be used by an average driver based on the information we have available. Its only a ballpark estimate. But using this tool, we can see that EREVs are in a whole different league.


  122. 122
    Zero X Owner

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:00 pm)

    The picture looks like a standard 110 cord and covered but standard male plug (wild guess). If so, whew! Can anyone confirm if that’s the case?

    Dave G just made my day:

    http://gm-volt.com/2009/01/23/gm-qa-with-bob-kruse-on-the-chevy-volts-batteries/

    I follow EVs and I totally missed that. Way to have it hidden on the back page (sorry, GM-Volt site).

    They need to MARKET THAT information, and that it works like a regular car with hundreds of miles range. Most folks don’t know anything about it, and most of those that do, think that it runs out of it battery and has to recharged overnight every 40 miles – the concept of range extended is lost on the general public. Put it up against a huge SUV with a 5 gallon tank and film the part where the SUV runs out of gas next to a remote farmhouse with only an electrical outlet within reach?

    Yes, I’m from Missouri. GM needs to also show the 3 most common 220 plugs, so everyone knows it can also charge twice as fast (or do they not plan on having that option, as the on the road already BYD F3DM already does)?


  123. 123
    Jackson

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:01 pm)

    Great link, k-dawg (#48), worth ducking into the shooting gallery to find. Perhaps it deserves it’s own posting (Lyle?) since it answers many of the questions we had when Ford first announced.

    On topic: It does seem unlikely that GM would be willing to undertake a plan which would mostly benefit it’s competitors, unless it is just a ‘chess move’ with the California dept of fruits and nuts. Still, supider things have happened there, which accounts for so much furor, here.

    Decaffeinated Coffee, let me show you it.

    On the subject of getting power from the road to an electric vehicle which some have mentioned:

    Commentors who have been here a long time may recall my frequent lament that “the electric car has been 10 years away for over 50 years.”

    One consequence of this lifelong interest/disappointment cycle is having seen many, many schemes put forward for public charging stations and from-the-road electric power. I even recall a hotel in the middle of nowhere which, if it still exists, probably still has rusting plugin poles, installed in the ’60s; that as far as I know, were never used.

    You know, because at that time, experts were saying that “the electric car is only 10 years away.”

    One from-the-road power scheme that I particularly liked was one which would have treated the roadway like a slot car track, but with a key difference: Instead of the side-by-side conductors of a toy car’s track (which would be a nightmare at full scale), there would have been alternating conductive strips striped down the middle of each lane: Odd numbered strips for positive, even ones for negative.

    A vehicle using this system would have a pair of under-car brushes; one near the front, the other near the back. At any given moment, driving down the lane, one of three things would be true:

    1) both brushes would be on the same odd or even numbered strip

    2) only one brush would be on a strip

    3) both brushes would be on different strips.

    Under condition #3, a chip in the car would send a uniquely coded signal which would be picked up by the roadway, the ground state would be detected (to prevent frying pedestrians, igniting leaves or the odd squirrel), and power would be switched on. The unique code would take care of who gets the bill for the power.

    As the car goes along, through it’s 3 possible contact states, pulses of power would be delivered to a battery pack just large enough to even these out to an electric motor. This would involve a much lighter contribution to the vehicle, and would be at least physically simpler to install and engineer into the road.

    This idea is over 25 years old, and probably isn’t findable on the Internet (I’d love to see someone find it — hint).

    Of course, in today’s world, you would have a much heftier battery pack, and probably a range extender (which means even regional or widely separated stretches of “power road” could still be useful). Also, an ultracapacitor could mean quickly absorbing even quite hefty pulses. Using the system exclusively on limited-access roadways would help limit that incendiary squirrel problem as well as to empower (pun intended) longer-distance electric-only travel.

    NOTE: don’t listen to AM radio ;-) .


  124. 124
    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:09 pm)

    Who knows …. using hydrogen fuel cells for the range extender in future Voltec cars might be viable after all. Probably in 2020 or so though.

    There’s a bit of good news about fuel cells lately. The price of fuel cells might have just been cut in HALF. There’s no telling what might happen with the new nanotech stuff that’s coming out with carbon nanotubes and nanowires, etc. It might be VERY big. Nanotech could dramatically improve fuel cells AND the batteries.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22074/

    “Researchers have shown that arrays of vertically grown carbon nanotubes could be used as the catalyst in fuel cells. The carbon nanotubes, which are doped with nitrogen, would be much cheaper and longer lasting than the expensive platinum catalysts used now.

    More than HALF the cost of fuel-cell stacks comes from platinum, according to the Department of Energy. “Fuel cells haven’t been commercialized for larger-scale applications because platinum is too expensive,”

    As Dave G shows in his chart, you only need to buy about 37 gallons of gasoline per Volt per YEAR. The same thing could apply to buying hydrogen if a fuel cell was the “range extender”. Even if there’s not a lot of hydrogen fueling stations out there, you wouldn’t need all that many because you’d only be adding hydrogen to your tank maybe once a month. A big city might could have only 5 or 10 hydrogen stations in the early years. One fairly long drive to the hydrogen station a month is not a big deal.

    In the future (say 2020) GM could have super batteries that get you maybe 80 miles of all electric range. You get that electricity everyday from the wall for city driving. If you need to go on a long trip, there might be adequate interstate hydrogen fueling stations available by 2020. Who knows? If not, you and your family could just rent another kind of car.

    I bet someday there will be vehicles like this … call em Hydrogen Extended Range Electric Vehicles … HE-REVs. Fill er up with electricity in a couple hours via a 220V electrical outlet … OR instantly with some hydrogen. With a new “smart grid” there might be plenty of hydrogen. “Clean hydrogen” that you get by electrolyzing water using electricity from wind turbines, solar, nuclear plant waste heat, etc. Mother nature will be a happy camper once we get millions of these kinds of cars. Only water vapor comes out the tailpipe …. and only if you go past your “all electric miles” range.


  125. 125
    Zero X Owner

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:15 pm)

    Hydrogen takes more energy to seperate out than the energy it provides, so that makes it a perpetual motion machine. Just use that orginal energy in lowest cost, high performance energy carrier available at any time (choose your battery chemistry, will likely change over the next several decades) for much cheaper results. Fool cell, indeed. Electric drive is the end game as it is efficient and energy source omnivorous (use the cheapest, high performing compatible with electric drive). Hydrogen, not so much.


  126. 126
    Youda Farmer

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:15 pm)

    Don’t forget NYC, another liberal wacko city like San Fran. These towns do NOT represent real America. They are melting pot cities with massive foreign born population base that have warped ideas that they brought from their (or their parents) homeland. We need EVs in America’s heartland more than these wierd cities and the freaks that live in them.


  127. [...] GM-Volt and Greentech Media EcoTech, EcoTech [...]


  128. 128
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:26 pm)

    #126 Youda Farmer Says: “Don’t forget NYC, another liberal wacko city like San Fran. These towns do NOT represent real America.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    This is exactly how Sarah Palin lost the election. Remember, most people live in or near big cities.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:26 pm)

    Here’s an idea for the apartment-dweller, urban-driver problem; and it goes hand-in-hand with the idea of “quick charging” that’s frequently mentioned here:

    Assuming that quick charge capability is built into BEVs and EREVs (at first this would be a bit like building in E85 capability is today; an investment in future technology), an enterprising entreprenuer might turn the whole idea of a gas station on it’s head — by bringing the power to you.

    The idea would work like this: A very large truck, probably a tractor trailer, would carry around tons of Sodium Nickel-Chloride batteries, Sodium-Sulfur batteries, or other heavy-duty high power cells in it’s trailer. From the Internet or cellphones, EV owners would contract for regular deliveries of juice. The truck would stop by and juice up vehicles where ever the cars’ GPS systems report their locations to be (within a service area).

    There are already full-sized busses running on Sodium Nickel Chloride “ZEBRA” batteries, so perhaps even the tractor for this rig would be electric (no need for high speed, surface streets only, and enough range to get from a sub-station linked-trailer-charger out to a limited supply area). Apartment dwellers could get their daily jolt at night, when the streets are mostly empty, and the electric tractor wouldn’t make much noise doing it.

    The idea is readily scalable, it could be literally be started with one truck and trailer/charger; municipalities wouldn’t be out a red cent.

    Politics is usually invoked when cleverness fails; frequently to our detriment.


  130. 130
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:28 pm)

    #125 Zero X Owner Says: “Hydrogen takes more energy to seperate out than the energy it provides, so that makes it a perpetual motion machine.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes.

    Why a hydrogen economy doesn’t make sense
    http://www.physorg.com/news85074285.html


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    texas

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:31 pm)

    And Austria has a great labor situation. Here is a quote from a business website:

    “Regulatory reform
    Several economic reforms have also helped the Austrian auto industry.

    Liberalized regulations for labor hours now allow for flexible employment and reduction of labor costs. The new regulations, under certain conditions, allow plants to operate around the clock every day.

    Austria has also shortened the time required for authorization of a new plant. The majority of new facilities will be approved within three months. ”

    Now why would they want to put a new plant in the U.S. when they have all these benefits already in place? Even if they ship the engines across the ocean they are still cheaper and can ramp up to running the factory around the clock if demand spikes and they need more engines. The UAW would just laugh at GM if they requested that, I imagine.


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:31 pm)

    #123 Jackson
    “NOTE: don’t listen to AM radio”

    I like that. AM radio is good at whipping the mob into a frenzy. Unfortunately, that succesful format is spreading to TV.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:34 pm)

    Thomb (#132)

    “AM radio is good at whipping the mob into a frenzy.”

    Of course, I meant that you’d be pretty much unable to listen to AM because of the electrical interference from the power-road I described.

    Here’s a thought; get your buddies in power to push for this system as a super-secret way to get rid of talk radio for good!!

    After all, money is tight these days, and we’ll take funding any way we can get it; right?

    /removing tongue from cheek


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:36 pm)

    125. Zero X Owner

    The thing you get with hydrogen is a LOT of “energy density” in a very lightweight, small container. Weight is a bad thing with cars. The engineers might come up with really small hydrogen tanks in the early years because of cost reasons. Just enough hydrogen to get you an extra 150 miles maybe. Big 18 wheeler trucks might be able to carry much bigger hydrogen tanks someday and keep driving til the driver has to stop to get some sleep. :) All kinds of possibilities in the next 20 years. Never know what these scientists and engineers are dreaming up in their labs right now.

    I can visualize cheap hydrogen being made using the electricity generated from huge solar thermal farms in the deserts or wind farms. A lot of the heat in nuclear plants is wasted. It goes right up in the atmosphere as water vapor. Where’s there’s heat, you have the potential to make electricity. Add that electricity to some water and you get your hydrogen … and oxygen. No problem releasing extra oxygen in the atmosphere. We probably need more oxygen anyway because of all the trees we’ve cut down in the last 100 years.


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    OhCanada

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:40 pm)

    Does anyone know when the volt will be scheduled to arrive in Ontario showrooms?
    Also, what will stop the charging stations from being stolen, vandalized, etc.? What companies will be building the stations and how soon will they be placed in smaller Canadian cities like Kitchener, London, Waterloo, Sudbury…?
    Thanks!


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:46 pm)

    A co-generation scheme with high-temperature nuclear reactors thermally splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen (and then heating steam for conventional electric power) is probably the best hope for large-scale hydrogen generation. If it’s power you have on hand anyway, it doesn’t really matter that it isn’t perfectly efficient (especially if much of that power would otherwise be wasted).

    All these cited improvements in fuel cells still don’t address the issue of hydrogen storage, especially on board a vehicle. For this reason, I doubt we will see HE-REVs as soon as 2020. 2040, maybe (remember how long it takes to certify new nuclear technology, never mind individual nuclear plants: this should give researchers plenty of time to solve that pesky storage problem).

    That’s barring a wild card, like some new way to photochemically dissociate water with a greater efficiency than photovoltaics-to-electricity-to-electrolysis.

    …and maybe 2050 before Super Hydrogen Extended Range Electric Vehicles — SHE-REVs ;-) !


  137. 137
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:54 pm)

    #134 GM Volt Fan Says: “The thing you get with hydrogen is a LOT of “energy density” in a very lightweight, small container.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes. That’s why fuel cells are great for niche applications like spacecraft and nuclear submarines.

    But fuel cells waste way too much energy to make them viable for cars.

    Ulf Bossel is a fuel cell expert, and a leader of the European Fuel Cell Forum. He says:
    “The large amount of energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the energy carrier to the user, plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for practical use — an unacceptable value to run an economy in a sustainable future. Only niche applications like submarines and spacecraft might use hydrogen.”

    http://www.physorg.com/news85074285.html
    http://www.efcf.com/reports/E17.pdf


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    Unni

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:58 pm)

    GM should choose Vancouver Canada , where almost all taxis are hybrids and there is 2010 Olympics :-)


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    Jackson

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (8:59 pm)

    Sorry, edit ran out.

    Solar thermal would have to generate much higher temperatures than that required for steam generation to thermally dissociate water into hydrogen. I don’t see the “trough-and-tube” solar thermal system ever being able to generate and deliver that kind of heat.

    The “field of heliostats and central tower” type of solar thermal plant is another matter; and the tail end of the thermal water dissociation process would still be more than hot enough to generate steam for electrical turbines.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:03 pm)

    #123 Jackson Says: “Commentors who have been here a long time may recall my frequent lament that “the electric car has been 10 years away for over 50 years.” One consequence of this lifelong interest/disappointment cycle is having seen many, many schemes put forward for public charging stations and from-the-road electric power.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Right. One surefire way to make an electric car project fail is to suggest you need a whole new infrastructure of charging stations to support it. This is a time-tested recipe for disaster…


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:04 pm)

    137. Dave G.

    Believe me, I’d much rather have some uber-genius come up super ultra mega battery/ultracapacitor that quick charges in 10 minutes, gets you 400 miles of range and doesn’t weigh very much. Is this realistic? I don’t know. It would be great I know that. No hydrogen needed. No range extender needed. The best EV is a quick charging 400+ mile range Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).

    I just want to get rid of the IC engine … for all sorts of reasons like energy independence, political problems and potential wars because we’re fighting over oil, the environment, OPEC and Wall Street schemers manipulating the price of oil, etc.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:05 pm)

    Dave G

    I’m not deliberately ignoring you, it’s just that we’ve hashed through this a few times.

    Don’t forget that there are all sorts of well-thought-out studies and reports suggesting that the

    Nuclear economy

    Electric Car

    Solar Energy

    Wind Energy

    concepts won’t work either.

    I’ll go with you this far: I don’t think we’ll see practical hydrogen in our lifetimes. What nanotechnology does for hydrogen will be dwarfed in the near term by what it does for battery technology.

    But hydrogen’s day is probably coming. What is the fundamental difference between electricity and hydrogen? It’s electrons vs protons. Right now, electrons have a 100+ year head start: it would be unwise to bet against them in the near term.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:07 pm)

    If GM wants to show the Feds that it has a plan to profitability, it has a waiting list right here for selling 45K Volts…why the hell wouldn’t it launch right here? Granted distribution and warranty issies may be difficult, but isn’t this supposed to be a GLOBAL LAUNCH?

    Throw us a bone GM, we bailed your asses out with tax dollars. No, really.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:12 pm)

    #122 Zero X Owner Says: “The picture looks like a standard 110 cord… They need to MARKET THAT information, and that it works like a regular car with hundreds of miles range. Most folks don’t know anything about it…”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes. GM should be marketing the message that the Volt requires nothing but the power outlets and filling stations we already have. But instead they are promoting an “Initiative to Get Communities “Plug-in Ready” for the Volt”, which is exactly the wrong message to send.

    Lyle has done a great job creating and maintaining this site, but it could all be in vain if GM persists with this initiative. Misinformation is a big deal. Once people hear it, they don’t know who to believe.

    Let’s just hope that GM gets smart and stops this initiative.


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    Dave G

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:15 pm)

    #142 Jackson Says: “I’ll go with you this far: I don’t think we’ll see practical hydrogen in our lifetimes.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    OK. Peace.


  146. 146
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:28 pm)

    hi OhCanada #135,

    “Does anyone know when the volt will be scheduled to arrive in Ontario showrooms?”

    __________________________________

    A realistic date is summer of 2011. The first several thousand Volts, available in late 2010, will be reserved for high profile people.

    Think about it, the very rich that seek ownership of a Volt will pay a premium for it. My guess is a delivered price of $50,000. Most of us (here) won’t even consider this price, so we’re out of the mix until spring or summer of 2011. There will be 4 or 5 E-REV models to choose from in 2012. This is why it is critical to get the wheels of the Volt on the road in 2010.

    The winning auto manufacturer will offer both cargo space and competitive price. A sedan from China won’t get it done. A Ford Edge or Chevy Cruze SUV may be the ultimate E-REV winner. Don’t forget the dark horse Phoenix of Southern California. Phoenix trucks and SUV’s are already on California freeways. They look like a common Korean-style truck/SUV and currently run on full electric power.

    If you listened to President Obama’s address today he is obviously pushing the nation away from petroleum. He keeps talking about wind turbines and solar. And has the savvy and the guts to verbally link our oil demand directly to a hostile pack of OPEC suppliers. So far, I like the man.

    =D~


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    Zero X Owner

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:42 pm)

    Electric drive is now and for thousands of years. We can continue to debate the best future energy carriers and optimal combinations of them ad infinitum, as that changes with improvements. For the next many decades, it’s batteries, with ENERGY and COST effective compressed gases and diesel on the fringe for the generators for the thumb suckers. Stay on task.

    Hydrogen is currently a perpetual motion machine, has no 127 year old infrastructure already ready to go, as is, as electricity does, and only has benefits to the big oil companies who will treat it like they have liquid fuel the last 100 years. How’s that working for you? It has no place in discussions in how to get the Chevy Volt fast market penetration, as other automakers are already starting to eat its worldwide market lunch. Please stay on task.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:46 pm)

    That great little picture of the Volt’s chassis with the range extender, battery, wiring, etc, has been a great help for me to introduce the Volt to the 360 or so advanced technicians I’ve taught so far.
    They are intensely attentive to the basic introductory descriptions I describe to them.
    I can tell you that once the safety protocols are understood by the tech, then you have their complete attention thereafter. If you download that picture and just keep looking at it, (not that Do-it-yourself work can be done on highly electrically-powered vehicles), but when you just keep on looking at that picture, you become more and more aware of the really straightforward way GM has been designing it. I’ll bet that GM ‘s Service Techs will all just “immediately soak up” everything possible that GM has to offer them in the form of the Service Manual. I’d like to get my hands on the very first one printed. The energy I have to study it has me wanting to memorize every single color coded circuit and internal component of it. Just like when you were in High School and you would remember every single detail of every car coming down the road (which represented your independence from Mom and Dad).
    The difference nowadays is that the Volt is our independence from the (g-d) oil/gas/natural gas marketeers, speculators, and other fossil stakeholders whom are still apparently highly coercive. (I was threatened on camera in front of a witness at a local electronics store computer sales counter by a complete stranger who said to me three times
    “people who oppose the oil companies get murdered”.) This is how some companies get their way, or have been getting their way with our public officials. This is another reason why I am so aligned with electrification of the auto. Wouldn’t you be as well?
    (Yes, I complained to my Congressman, but do not know if anything was done about it.)
    To all the other OEM’s who are also building Plug-ins,
    *THANK YOU ALSO*
    Dan Petit Austin, TX.


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (9:48 pm)

    Rashiid Amul #1

    Congrats on being first. Maybe you should be a community organizer in Connecticut.

    GM Volt Fan #124

    Sounds good. Today it’s 2020. In 1990 it was 2010. In 1980 it was 1990. In 1970 it was 1980, hold on a minute I think I see a pattern here. If fuel cells are adopted In 2200 AD, hydrogen will still be an energy carrier that is made from something else and not a primary fuel.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_economy ),

    Today it takes of ton of electricity to make hydrogen, why not skip the conversion losses and use electrons. Nat gas is reformed to make most of the available hydrogen, if gas is going to be burned why not skip that step and burn nat gas. Hydrogen only seems to work well if oil companies absolutely must keep their margins when passenger transport switches to electricity.
    _______________

    For the irate just do it posts. Electrical distribution, ending oil imports, managing cities transport and infrastructure needs are slightly more complicated than someones daily commute. That’s why GM is trying at least to cooperate and if possible to take the lead and not just put the Volt out and say, “here, react to it”. Here is just one small example ( http://www.rdmag.com/ShowPR.aspx?PUBCODE=014&ACCT=1400000101&ISSUE=0901&RELTYPE=PR&PRODCODE=00000000&PRODLETT=HS&CommonCount=0 )


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:35 pm)

    We’ve had electrical infrastructure keep pace with us for the last 127 years. In addition to the hundreds of millions of existing electrical outlets in the US at home, work, shopping centers, stores, public places, parking garages, corporate parks, restaurants, hotels, parking lots and malls just get your local town to put up a dozen or so charging stations (ka-ching moolah for for them and extra convenience (not required, but appreciated) for EV drivers), and Bob’s your uncle, I guess. I guess if towns can do thousands of pay-fer parking meters, they can manage a few pay-fer charging stations each year.


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    Zero X Owner

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:41 pm)

    Just one example, from a year ago:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-9996353-54.html

    Besides already being in San Jose, the charging station company said it is working with “customers in other California cities, as well as in Texas, Colorado, Florida, and New York.”

    Looks like GM is trying to play catch up to reality again and better add some Texas, Colorado and Florida locations to their early releases. Hurry up, GM, you’re falling further behind.


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    Arch

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:42 pm)

    Come on folks. 70% of the USA population lives within 100 miles of an ocean. If you want to have impact thats where you target. We are
    not going to get many here in IL except maybe for Chi. I will just sit here and watch.

    Take Care
    Arch


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    Feb 5th, 2009 (10:56 pm)

    Until the first one is bought by an individual consumer and that consumer is driving it down the street with a license plate on the back and a registration in the glovebox, the GM Volt is total vaporware, unlike the 2008 and 2009 Tesla Roadster and the 2008 BYD F3DM. GM is a day late and a dollar short as always, what a bum. I still plan on buying a Chevy Volt the very first day that GM will accept my money. So far, they refuse to take it.


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:37 pm)

    Wouldn’t surprise me if SF gets the VOLT first.
    Isn’t that Pelosi’s town? Isn’t that nut job Speaker of the House?
    What she says…goes. No matter how dumb it is.


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    Ed M

     

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    Feb 5th, 2009 (11:56 pm)

    Where should the first volts go ?

    I vote for the areas with the most pollution and high gas prices:

    In the US it would be LA and

    In Canada, Vancouver


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (12:55 am)

    @ Dave G

    It’s the marketing of it, not the initiative that I have a problem with. If it was me, I would release the first one in Midland, Texas, with a full military parade and give it free to the family of a soldier who was in Iraq. They deserve no less.

    As for the initiative for “plug-in ready” communities, that should be done below the radar, quietly, positively and with gentle persistent and help, not bellowed from the rooftops with cries for volunteers to harass their city councils to put in special, new infrastructure or else. Sheesh, talk about counterproductive. GM should be funding conferences for city parking department officers and council members to attend to put THEIR input into how they want to see plug ins to integrate with THEIR community’s pay-for services for extra city revenue and convenience of EV owners, etc.

    I actually think it’s a great initiative and that ever increasing numbers of charging stations will make the adoption hugely more penetrative beyond year 10. But the way that GM is mis-marketing it, it comes across as a huge distraction from the core message (the GM Volt works just like any other car you’ve ever used and has hundreds of miles of range before you need to gas it up and go, but you can also bonk its cord into your garage at night or any old outlet you have access to, wherever you want, any time). The first part of the message is CRITICAL (the Chev Volt is a regular car with hundreds of miles of range before you need to gas and go), and NOT getting out to the general public (they’ve never even heard of the Chevy Volt), the second is optional.

    In an additional miscue, GM focused on San Francisco, Washington DC and New York City as examples to follow, the three most disliked cities in the US, thanks to perceptions of extreme, weird liberals in the first, an unpopular Congress in the second and dishonest investment scum in the third that caused the current recession. Based on preparedness and a broader population and demographic base, GM could (should) have focused on Texas, Florida and Colorado. The PR damage is already done, it’s spread all over how GM picked SF and DC for the Volt in the major media, with predictable hate filled responses where the vehicle is now connected with disliked cities and cultural memes, and this frantic backpedaling today by GM is reported nowhere but on this site.


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (12:57 am)

    Here’s a couple of Lithium-ion reasons why GM might want San Francisco to get the first volts:

    1. Cold temperature charging

    2. Shelf Life

    From Battery University:
    Another safety issue is cold temperature charging. Consumer grade lithium-ion batteries cannot be charged below 0°C (32°F). Although the packs appear to be charging normally, plating of metallic lithium occurs on the anode while on a sub-freezing charge. The plating is permanent and cannot be removed. If done repeatedly, such damage can compromise the safety of the pack. The battery will become more vulnerable to failure if subjected to impact, crush or high rate charging.
    http://www.buchmann.ca/article28-page1.asp

    From Wiki:
    At a 100% charge level, a typical Li-ion laptop battery that is full most of the time at 25 °C or 77 °F will irreversibly lose approximately 20% capacity per year. However, a battery in a poorly ventilated laptop may be subject to a prolonged exposure to much higher temperatures, which will significantly shorten its life. Different storage temperatures produce different loss results: 6% loss at 0 °C (32 °F), 20% at 25 °C (77 °F), and 35% at 40 °C (104 °F). When stored at 40%–60% charge level, the capacity loss is reduced to 2%, 4%, 15% at 0, 25 and 40 degrees Celsius respectively.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_ion_battery#Shelf_life

    From somebody’s post on city data . com:
    Here’s a chart showing the weather patterns of San Francisco, in terms of temperature and rain fall. You can see it can be close to 80 any time of year or as mid 40s any time of year.

    Ah, can’t make it pretty.

    1st colum is month – obviously
    2nd – average high
    3rd – average low
    4th – average mean low
    5th – average percipiation
    6th – record high (date)
    7th – record low (date)

    Jan 58°F 46°F 52°F 4.72 in. 79°F (1962) 32°F (1962)
    Feb 61°F 49°F 55°F 4.15 in. 81°F (1986) 31°F (1989)
    Mar 62°F 49°F 56°F 3.40 in. 84°F (2004) 39°F (1966)
    Apr 65°F 50°F 57°F 1.25 in. 94°F (1989) 23°F (1996)
    May 65°F 51°F 58°F 0.54 in. 101°F (2001) 43°F (2003)
    Jun 68°F 53°F 61°F 0.13 in. 103°F (2000) 47°F (1999)
    Jul 68°F 54°F 61°F 0.04 in. 103°F (1988) 47°F (1953)
    Aug 69°F 56°F 62°F 0.09 in. 98°F (1993) 48°F (1969)
    Sep 71°F 56°F 64°F 0.28 in. 101°F (1971) 48°F (1955)
    Oct 70°F 55°F 63°F 1.19 in. 102°F (1987) 45°F (1949)
    Nov 64°F 51°F 58°F 3.31 in. 86°F (1966) 40°F (1994)
    Dec 59°F 47°F 53°F 3.18 in. 76°F (1958) 28°F (1990)
    http://www.city-data.com/forum/san-francisco/156163-winter-weather-how-cold-does-get.html


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    Zero X Owner

     

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    Feb 6th, 2009 (1:24 am)

    Yes, we know that Florida and Texas are so cold (it was in the 90′s in south Texas this week and it’s February) and that New York City (the third city that GM mentioned is so warm.

    ok, here’s Marketing 001. Who made full size SUVs giant sellers in the 90′s and 00′s?

    1. Ralph Nader, in a misguided misunderstanding that huger might be safer. It turns out that crumplier, so long as the soft, chewy primates in the center are protected with soft, light packing material (airbags – can’t get softer and lighter than air) are much safer for the occupants than a solid, inflexible metal beast. You want the vehicle destroyed in an impact, not the people inside, rather than the other way around. That’s why cries of Japanese and Chinese cars being cheap because they crumple are dishonest – vehicles are safer if they take one for the team (the human occupants).

    2. Women. Women have driven SUV sales, wrongly perceiving them, thanks to devious advertising, as strong, protective wombs for their precious cargo (I saw a HUGE Yukon the other day, never seen dirt, towing air, hauling nothing but a tiny tot to preschool). The manly, rugged, outdoorsy image of full size SUVs cultivated by the advertising for them is directed at women so they will perceive full size SUVs as competent protectors. Slimy and primal methods, huh?

    If you want to market hybrids to women, I suggest this as the model:
    Here’s the Army’s hybrid (diesel electric) NLOS (non line of sight) cannon:

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/nlos.htm/printable

    That’s your useful marketing image for a hybrid. Show it crushing nature and taking you to beautiful vistas and recreation, with recreational equipment strapped to the top and getting yanked out of the trunk. That’ll sell to women. Can anyone here improve on this?

    For the male audience, show the hybrid as the NLOS cannon pictured above with the shell from the barrel blowing up large SUVs from great distance. Put the image on urinal cakes in gay bars. Very hetero male construction workers will be buying them within a week (isn’t marketing strange?). Again, alternative ideas welcome.

    Disclaimer: I am a fan of SMALL SUVs like the andFord Escape hybrid and a huge fan of crossovers, especially the feisty diesel ones that crushed the Hummers in the Dakar rac ethis year (in race results, performance, and efficiency, the trifecta).


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (6:15 am)

    Jeffhre #149 says,
    Maybe you should be a community organizer in Connecticut.

    ————————-
    If only I had the time and energy. With my hours of work, coaching, helping the kids with homework, and my bedtime at 8:00PM, there just aren’t enough hours in a day. But I have contacted my representative, and I am waiting for a call back.


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (9:16 am)

    Dave G @ 121, thanks for the update and I appreciate your effort to provide a ballpark estimate to provide a reality check on our expectations.

    My way of estimation differs but we end up in the same ballpark. About 2/3 of the miles driven in the Volt should for the average driver be plug in miles, with the other 1/3 being 50 MPG miles. So if we assume a 15,000 mile yearly drive distance, then 5000 @ 50 means the Volt would burn about 100 gallons, compared with your estimate of 37 gallons. Using the same method, a plug in Prius with a 15 mile AER would get 1/3 of its miles all electric and then 50 MPG so it would burn about 200 gallons, compared with your estimate of 182.

    Your estimate makes the Volt appear to be about 5 times better than the plug in Prius, and my estimate makes the Volt appear to be 2 times better than the plug in Prius. So we are both in the “the Volt is way better” ballpark. :)


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    Zero X Owner

     

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    Feb 6th, 2009 (10:23 am)

    MPG is an obsolete metric, meaningless for directly comparing vehicle efficiency, especially for anything that uses electric drive. The correct (DOE/EPA, since the late 1980s) metric for direct comparion of vehicle efficiency is number of kilowatt hours per 100 miles ( # kWh / 100 miles), the smaller the number the more efficient the vehicle. GM claims the Volt will use about 33 kWh / 100 miles (dubious as that’s the same as the 2008 v.1 Tesla Roadster) unless there really are large (ca. 8%) annual improvements in battery technology and series plug in hybrids really are 50% more efficient than parallel plug in hybrids (based on real world aftermarket lithium plug in Prius results of about 50 kWh /100 miles (CR)). My estimate is that the Volt is claimed to be 1.5 times more efficient than a current aftermarket lithium plug in Prius. Against the 2010 more aerodynamic plug in Prius with incremental battery improvement, anybody’s guess right now. It’s closer than you think, Van and Dave G, but I agree that the Volt series hybrid is a leapfrog past Prius technology, just as the Prius full parallel beats current weak Honda and GM parallel (not the 2-mode) hybrid tech.


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (11:41 am)

    Hi Zero X Owner @ 161. Not sure the source for “GM claims the Volt will use about 33 KWh / 100 miles. GM claims the Volt will get “up to” 40 miles on 8 KWh of charge or 5 miles per KWh. That works out to 20 KWh / 100 miles, and I agree that claim is dubious. 3 miles per KWh is quite realistic even though it seems to border on pessimistic, because I expect the actual performance to range from 3.5 to 4 miles per KWh for the Volt.


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (12:40 pm)

    @ Van

    That would be the pure electric mode, the first forty miles. I’m doing the average of the entire range, full electric and mixed mode with support from the less efficient gasoline gerentor. Your number for the full electric only mode portion supports GM’s claim for the mixed mode and my guesstimates. 20 kWh / 100 miles is dubiously efficient as the 2009 Telsa Roadster has gotten around 28 kWh /100 miles on the EPA-06 cycle and the Volt weighs more.


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (1:14 pm)

    To be crystal clear here, Van is measuring the electric drive only portion in kWh / 100 miles, which prevents any direct vehicle to vehicle comparisons, while I consider the entire actual vehicle operation, electric, gas based and mixed modes in kWh /100 miles, which allows for direct vehicle to vehicle comparison between any kinds of vehicles. Van’s method is incomplete.


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (2:44 pm)

    [...] GM-Vo­lt­a­n­­d Gr­een­tech­ Med­ia « Yes, she did it again: [...]


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (2:44 pm)

    [...] GM­-Vo­lt­an­­d Gr­een­t­ech­ Media « Yes, she did it again: Daryl [...]


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (5:53 pm)

    SF already has a recharging infrastructure. Connect the VOLT frame to the moving cable used by the cable car system and haul it to the top of the hill. Let regenerative breaking charge the battery on the way down.

    I was happy to read that DC and SF are not the exclusive premiere cities for first time VOLT buyers.


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (6:36 pm)

    Lets see, to be crystal, Zero X Owner informs us that “the Tesla Roadster has gotten around 28 KWh / 100 (3.5 miles per KWh) but my estimate for the Volt of 3.5 to 4 miles / KWh in charge depleting mode is “incomplete.” So 28 is complete when done according to X but incomplete when done according to non X.

    After the first 30 miles or so, when the Volt switches from charge depleting mode (ICE off) to charge sustaining mode (ICE cycles on and off to sustain charge around 30 to 35%) then to ignore the fuel usage seems incomplete because the electrical usage (miles per KWh) will remain the same, but those KWh will be replenished by fuel usage.


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (6:38 pm)

    I agree with most of these comments that GM is asking way too much of communities. Demand is the best way to drive new ideas. If gas was still 25 cents per gallon, and we were oblivious to pollution nobody would even be interested in the Volt.

    I think GM should encourage Volt buyers to charge their Volts at night when electrical demand is low. Put a timer right in the chargers or something so its easy for people to follow this advice.

    Other than that GM should concentrate on building a good, fuel efficient, American car that people can afford.


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (6:56 pm)

    It seems the Tesla Roadster packs a 53 KWh battery and gets about 4.6 miles per KWh for an AER of 244 miles. It is lighter than the Volt, weighing about 2725 versus the 3140 for the Volt. Thus the Volt electric mileage of 3.5 to 4 is consistent with the lighterTesla Roadster performance at 4.6.


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    Zero X Owner

     

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    Feb 6th, 2009 (7:30 pm)

    Apparently not as clear and obvious as I thought. This is in detail, using Van’s terminology. Since the US DOE understands how this works, perhaps we can get there together.

    Van, in both cases my analysis reports full vehicle cycle energy average efficiency so that you can do a direct comparison between any types of vehicles. Yes, complete when done for the entire vehicle cycle (battery full to needing recharge for the Tesla), which is your X, and incomplete when done only for the electric portion of the Volt (your 40 miles reported), not including the gas generator mixed mode portion, which is your not X. X for the Volt would be going from a full battery and full gas tank to an empty gas tank and a battery needing recharging, the full vehicle cycle, which is around 33 kWh / 100 miles average based on GMs reported specs and claims. Then you are comparing apples to apples. Your analysis does not include the mixed mode (generator recharging) portion of the vehicle cycle, so it is incomplete. Why are you surprised that a full BEV is more efficient than any kind of hybrid? That’s obvious and does nothing to take away from the Volt’s excellent (indeed, kinda unbeleivable) efficiency. It still crushed the current Prius mixed mode guesstimate of average 75 kWh / 100 miles and is better than
    the current Prius aftermarket plug in guesstimate of 50 kWh / 100 miles. So chill.

    Reporting only a portion (gas only or electric only) of the vehicle cycle efficiency is incomplete and prevents direct comparions. The Telsa figure provided is correct for direct comparison for full vehicle cycle as it is 100% electric, not part one thing, part another.

    Get it? GM was just trying to game EPA on the obsolete MPG metric for marketing or talk up the electic only effciciency potrion (it’s the most efficient part of operation, so no surprise there) and Van seems to fallen for it, while I am interested in scientific direct comparisons of energy efficiency. I have problem with GM (or Van) engaging in talking up their product, but let’s not prevent ourselves from using proper metrics to do proper direct energy efficiency comparisons.


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    Zero X Owner

     

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    Feb 6th, 2009 (7:38 pm)

    @ Van

    You insist on comparing apples to oranges. I already said that the Volt is heavier than the Tesla, which I why I doubted that in full vehicle cycle it’s effciency based on GM claims exactly matched the old 2008 v.1 Tesla number of 33 kWh / 100 miles.

    If you want to directly compare 2 vehicle’s efficiency, you have to look at how the vehicle system operates over its full energy cycle (full to depleted battery for the Tesla and full gas tank and full baterry to empty gas tank and depleted battert in the Volt) (apples to aples) , not just when the Volt is in it’s most efficient mode to the compete vehcile cycle of the other vehicle (oranges to apples).

    The Volt still has excellent overall energy efficiency, so it really doens’t have to cheat to fluff up it’s reported efficiency.

    Again, the US DOE understands this concept of directly comparing full energy use, in kWh, over an equivalent cycle (complete vehicle range in this case) and they are the US experts on energy efficiency.


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    Zero X Owner

     

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    Feb 6th, 2009 (7:41 pm)

    Er, I have no problem with GM (or Van) talking up their product – I just dislike misinformation that prevents direct comparisons.


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (7:51 pm)

    Van, I do not ignore the gas usage on the Volt – that’s exactly why I estimate worse total cycle Volt efficiency than your electric only estimate.


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    Zero X Owner

     

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    Feb 6th, 2009 (7:58 pm)

    I can also report all pure gassers’ vehicle cycle average energy efficiency in # of kWh / 100 miles (on the EPA-06 cycle) for direct comparisons, but why do the EPA’s job for it?

    Remember, the lower that metric number is, the more efficient the vehicle is.


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    Feb 6th, 2009 (10:56 pm)

    What part of charge sustaining mode is omitted when it is said the Volt should get about 3.5 to 4 miles per KWh? That is 28 to 25 KWh / 100 miles, not 33! The electric drive will operate the same whether its gets its KWh from the battery or from the generator. A Kilowatt is a kilowatt.


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    Feb 7th, 2009 (9:29 am)

    Van – include the energy in the gas used as it translates to miles (in kWh / 100 miles) and you’ll be making progress from your incomplete analysis in #162. Then, report total average results in kWh / 100 miles. I guarantee you it won’t be 20 kWh / 100 miles, as you stated in #162. I’m through with you.


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    Feb 7th, 2009 (5:35 pm)

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/science/energy_calculator.html
    http://www.unitconversion.org/energy/megajoules-to-kilowatt-hours-conversion.html

    Gasoline contains about 36.6 kWh/US gallon (DOE/EPA actually say 36.4, but I’m feeling generous towards Van), or 0.0273 gallons per kWh.

    Van says in #176 that the Volt should go about 3.5 to 4 miles for each 0.0273 gallon of gasoline. Multiply each side by 36.6 and that gives you 128 to 146 miles per gallon of gasoline. That cannot be the case after the first 40 miles is past, the battery is depleted and the energy source is entirely gasoline powering a generator to repower the battery. Van tracked it back to the generator in #176 and then left out the gasoline to ICE to generator portion, the least efficient portion. Van has to calculate the miles on KWh from the battery portion (which Van did superbly), then calculate the miles on the gasoline driving the ICE driving the generator on kWh to repower the battery once the battery is initially depleted (which Van has NOT done and refuses to, even though that is part of the vehicle’s normal operation to reach its full range for one vehicle cycle), total up the miles and total the kwH and calibrate the results to # kWh / 100 miles to be able to compare apples to apples, to directly compare of any types of vehicles on a vehicle cycle (max range, full of everything to empty of everything). Van has emphatically NOT done that.

    Van forgets (I’m feeling generous, remember) that gasoline, run through an intenal combustion engine to power the generator, is not converted into miles with 100% efficiency. ICEs at best, theoretically, run about 37% efficient and in real world average about 18 – 20%. So Van’s numbers are still too low (too efficient) to be credible. It’s literally unbelievable that a heavier, part ICE (remember, 18 to 20% efficiency for that part) backup generator driven vehicle cycle could use only 28 to 25 kWh / 100 miles on the entirely gas engine powering the generator part of its travel cycle when a much lighter pure battery 2009 EV on the road uses only 28 kWh / 100 miles. GM would have to improve battery performance by 25% in less than 24 months just for weight difference AND another 18% to 32% improvement to get the Volt from the best guess results based on various GM 2008 specs and claims to the numbers that Van claims in #176. That’s asking too much of me to believe, as current active solar PV panels commercially produced are gaining efficiency improvements at about 2% per year in real world installations.

    I’m very open to being corrected if someone has better numbers on TOTAL # kWh /100 miles number for THE ENTIRE VEHICLE RANGE, but I’d like Van to take another whack at the gas -> miles portion of the Volt’s operation and tell us some fresh numbers, showing that Van has considered the gas portion of the vehicle cycle.

    Another way to understand this is that if you take the battery out of the middle, Van’s #’s in #176 is telling us that the Volt running on it’s gas motor to generator to electric motor to drivetrain to wheels to tires to miles produces more than 120 mpg, gas only, for a car over 3000 pounds. That’s just not credible and does more harm to GM’s believability than good.

    Any high school physics, chemistry or economics teachers want to chime in on this, please?


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    Feb 7th, 2009 (10:07 pm)

    Lets see, first it is “irrelevant” to use MPG to compare hybrids, because something is wrong with converting energy into equivalent “gallons” but it is ok to go the other way and convert gallons into equivalent KWh.

    Next I estimate the Volt at 25 to 28 KWh / 100 miles and Zero X implies my assertion was 20. Give me a break.

    Next, I made no assertion as to gasoline usage of the Volt, and Zero X implies I did. Once a poster starts going down the road of misrepresentation, the discussion is over.

    But the conversion is simple, the Volt is claimed to get 50 MPG, and lets say it does this at 28 KWh per 100 miles. That works out to about .07 gallons per KWh. This does not change the energy usage stated in KWh / 100 miles.

    Electricity from a wall plug is produced by burning fuel or using solar energy via wind or hydro or solar panels. To import one efficiency an apply it to the Tesla and another efficiency and apply it to the Volt is comparing apples to oranges.

    And finally, to repeat the obvious, the Volt is claimed to get about 50 MPG when operating in the charge sustaining mode, not 120 MPG.


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    Feb 8th, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    Van,

    Thank you for your info. WIth some sweat equity I can now report the Volt efficieny, based on VAN’s numbers, in a metric that allows for comparison to any vehicle type:

    67.5 kWh / 100 miles for the Volt for an entire vehicle cycle (which I will hereafter and forever call mixed mode for clarity) and 25 kWh / 100 miles if you drive a Volt less than 40 miles. I will ignore henceforth the 73.2 kWh / 100 miles for the gas only (what Van calls the charge sustaining mode), as you have to go through the more efficient first 40 milres first to get there, so completely separating it is unfairly negative to GM (you’re welcome, Van).

    How did I get those results from Van’s numbers and address the logical fallcies and mischaracterizations of my prior postings in #179? Here:

    1. Your report of 20 kWh / 100 miles is in your posted comment #162.
    “Van Says:
    February 6th, 2009 at 11:41 am
    Hi Zero X Owner @ 161. Not sure the source for “GM claims the Volt will use about 33 KWh / 100 miles. GM claims the Volt will get “up to” 40 miles on 8 KWh of charge or 5 miles per KWh. That works out to 20 KWh / 100 miles.”

    2. Miles per gallons is the old metric, it’s not irrelevent, it’s obsolete and prevents direct comparison of different vehicle types, especially anything with electric drive or using both gasoline and batteries. As we are moving towards all electric drive, and the convention for measuring electricity is kWh, the formal metric that the US DOE and EPA uses, # kWh / 100 miles, is correct and forward looking. I gave you the simple translation of gasoline to kilowatts – it’s not rocket science (it’s on the DOE KIDS Page). If you want to continue to look backwards at vehicle efficiency metrics, go right ahead.

    3. I agree that you made absolutely no assertion as to gasoline usage of the Volt and I explicitly pointed that out as the fatal flaw in your analysis. Please inlcude the gasoline usage and report it in # kWh / 100 miles and we’ll start to get towards the truth and a total vehicle metris that allows for direct comparison of vehicle efficiency for any types of vehicles based on their opaerating cycle (everything full to everything needing to be recharged (battery)/refilled (gas tank)). Since you seem unwilling or unable to do the math, I did it for you here.

    4. I forgive Dave G. (focusing on gas use only) and Van (focusing on battery use only) for what they are doing. It’s the equivalent of a used car salesman showing how great the sound system sounds when the car isn’t running or moving. If that’s the image that Dave G. and Van think that GM should be projecting, they are being helpful.

    5. The question in debate is VEHICLE effeciency, NOT efficency going from the outlet back to the original energy source, Van. Now Van goes from the socket back to the original energy source, but still refuses to go from the gasoline through the ICE to the generator. I’ll be generous yet again and do the math for Van. Van says that the “Volt is claimed to get about 50 MPG when operating in the charge sustaining mode.”

    I’m assuming a 340 mile total cycle range (from various sources), with 40 miles (11.76%) in all electric mode and the rest of the miles coming (88.24%) from gasoline to fuel the ICE which runs the generator which recharges the battery repeatedely for the rest of the range until the gas tank runs dry.

    Only now can we put the two pieces together for total vehicle cycle.

    Van “expect[s] the actual performance to range from 3.5 to 4 miles per KWh for the Volt.” (post #162). That’s 28.5174 to 25 kWh / 100 miles for the first 40 miles (11.76% of total vehicle cycle range) . Then Van says that the “Volt is claimed to get about 50 MPG when operating in the charge sustaining mode.” Based on the US DOE conversion (again, I’ll use 36.6 kWh per gallon to be generous to Van and GM), that 36.6 kWh per 50 miles or 73.2 kWh per 100 miles for the remaining 300 miles (88.24%)of vehicle cycle range.
    So, we now have a range for total vehicle cycle efficiency, from 28.5174*11.76% + 73.2*88.24% / 100 miles, to 25*11.76% + 73.2*88.24%, which is 3.3536+64.5917 / 100 miles to 2.94+64.5917 / 100 miles, or 67.9 to 67.5 / 100 miles. Let’s give Van and GM the benefit of the doubt and call it 67.5 kWh / 100 miles, the more efficient result, for the Volt for an entire vehicle cycle and 25 kWh / 100 miles if you drive a Volt less than 40 miles. This allows us to do direct vehicle efficiency comparison for any vehicle types.

    If anyone can improve on my work, with results reported in # kWh / 100 miles, please take a whack at it here. I don’t claim superior knowledge or perfection.


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    Feb 8th, 2009 (2:58 pm)

    Now that we have the correct Volt efficiency metric, thanks to Van, we can do some direct comparisons to any other type of vehicle. For this exercise, for other vehicles I will use the DOE 36.4 kWh per gallon of gasoline, slight less efficient than the assumption I used with Van’s num,bers for the Volt.

    Volt efficiency based on Van’s numbers:
    67.5 kWh / 100 miles for the Volt, mixed mode, for an entire vehicle cycle and 25 kWh / 100 miles if you drive a Volt less than 40 miles.

    Entire vehicle cycle estimates:

    2008 Camry Hybrid, Jetta TDI, Ford Escape Hybrid: 107.1 kWh / 100 miles

    2009 Ford Fusion Hybrid mixed mode (ful vehicle cycle): 94.6 kWh /100 miles

    Curent Prius mixed mode (full vehicle cycle): 79.1 kWh / 100 miles.
    This mean that the Volt will be 15% more efficient than the current Prius when directly compared with everything fill on both cars going to everything depleted on both cars (gas tank empty and battery needing recharging). Good job, GM!

    Current Prius with an aftermarket plug in power pack; According to Consumer Reports testing, 56 kWh / 100 miles. Hmmm.

    2010 Prius Specs: 72.8 kWh / 100 miles. This mean that the Volt will be 7% more efficient than the next generation Prius when directly compared with everything fill on both cars going to everything depleted on both cars (gas tank empty and battery needing recharging). Good job, GM!

    GM’s efficiency leapfrog appear validated by suspicious consumer holding their feet to the fire.

    What the comparisons tell us about company positionings:

    The Volt is not a direct competitor to the Prius, as it is superior in (efficiency) preformance, at a higher price.

    The new Ford Fusion Hybrid is not a Prius fighter, as it is less efficient for a higher price.

    The new Ford Fusion Hybrid is a Camry hybrid fighter, as it is more efficient for about the same price and snugs into the Ford lineup well on efficiency and price, relative to the Ford Escape hybrid.

    It’s hard to say how hybrids stack up against diesel (TDI), as the Jetta TDI gets relatively superior highway mileage to its city numbers relative to hybrids, just beats Camry hybrid at overall efficiency if lots of highway driving, but gives you a smaller car at a lower price. Probably different enough on enough items that they are not direct competitors.

    I don’t consider Honda or some GM offerings as they only produce weak hybrids (engine moves at all times, so never pure EV, while stop/start only technology is also not considered, based no true electric drive basis), nor the full size GM dual mode products, on absolute efficiancy numbers out of the ball park compared to these efficient sedans.

    Is someone can do a better job with all this, please step up to the plate. All I ask is that you use the not new metric of kWh / 100 miles, so that we can make direct comparisons of full vehicle cycle use.


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    Feb 9th, 2009 (8:32 am)

    Repeating the fallacy does not turn the fallacy into truth. Using the potential energy of gasoline, 36.6 KWh per gallon, is going back to efficiency of conversion to electricity. If you charge the Tesla from the wall plug, but omit the loss of KWh in the conversion of that power to electricity, and then compare the efficiency of the Tesla to the Volt, you compare apples to oranges.

    Both claims, 33 KWh / 100 miles for the 2008 Tesla, post # 161 and 28 KWh / 100 miles for the 2009 Tesla, post # 163, did not address the loss of KWh in the conversion to KWh at the source. They simply addressed the efficiency of the vehicle to convert the KWh stored in the battery into miles. Hence, comparing the Tesla at 28 to 33 KWh / 100 miles with the Volt at 67.5 is completely bogus, because it includes the conversion of gasoline to kWh for the Volt but does not include that initial conversion for the Tesla.

    But wait, it gets worse. How many of the 100 miles are derived from battery power and how many from burning gasoline? If a Plug-in hybrid has more than a 30 mile range, it is sound to assume 2/3 of the miles driven will be from the battery and 1/3 from the gasoline.
    So we would use about 19 KWh from the battery, and about 24 potential KWh from the gas tank, for a total of 43 KWh / 100 miles on average in the Volt.

    Bottom line, throwing the potential energy held in the gasoline into the mix confuses rather than clarifies the comparison. Or so it seems to me. :)


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    Feb 9th, 2009 (10:42 am)

    Van

    Maybe market the Volt “as efficient as a Tesla Roadster for the forty miles, not so much with longer trips”?

    I also reported your 25 kWh / 100 miles, if you drive less than 40 miles, so that puts the Volt equal in efficiency in the initial 40 miles to the Tesla, even though the Volt weighs about 25% more. After those 40 miles, though, you have to look at how much energy the Volt is using when it runs gas through the generator to recharge the battery, based on your 50 mpg report of GM claims. I’ve done that for you in #181. Nothing dishonest there.

    There is no fallacy in my calculations, only Tesla’s certified EPA vehicle efficiency over the US-06 cycle, GM’s claims reported by you, and scientifically verified US DOE conversions of gasoline energy to magajoules to kWh.

    You charge the Volt from a wall plug too, Van. I am reporting miles on kWh used at the vehicle level, so all losses within vehicle systems are included in the results. What happens outside the vehicle has nothing to do with vehicle efficiency. Loss of kWh to kWh at the source, outside the vehicle, has nothing to do with vehicle efficiency. What I am measuring is the average vehicle use of kWh (a measure of energy ever time) to go a fixed distance (100 miles) for the entire range of the vehicle from everything full to everthing needing to be refilled and recharged. It’s very straightforward and allows direct comparison of total vehicle cycle efficiency between any types of vehicles.

    Vehicle efficiency is about what how much energy the vehicle uses, stand alone, and the miles it goes, not the source. It is not bogus to include the energy used in the gas in the Volt if you go more than 40 miles, because it uses gas to move, running the gas through an ICE to a generator to recharge the battery.

    You are correct in identifying that the Volt has much lower vehicle efficiency than the Tesla for the maximum range of both vehicles, and that’s because the ICE between the gasoline nad the generator has real world efficiency of 18 to 20% (37% theoretic maximum). I’m not knocking range extenders, though. They definitely have their role in the transportation mix and no one solution is best in all situtaions. Further, they are THE step to get us average joes onto 100% electric drive without range anxiety, a step I fully support.

    I already answered your question in #182 in #181. Based on a 340 mile range and the forty miles battery only from the start, you have 11.76% on battery only in the Volt and 88.2% on gas entirely recharging the battery. If anyone has a different total range or battery only range they can redo the calculations using their different percentages and report the numbers here. Obviously, the larger the battery only range to total range to more efficient the average total vehicle cycle effeciency will be, so GM is clearly maximizing that ratio at the cheapest level people can afford for the expensive battery component.

    “That’s 28.5174 to 25 kWh / 100 miles for the first 40 miles (11.76% of total vehicle cycle range) . Then Van says that the “Volt is claimed to get about 50 MPG when operating in the charge sustaining mode.” Based on the US DOE conversion (again, I’ll use 36.6 kWh per gallon to be generous to Van and GM), that 36.6 kWh per 50 miles or 73.2 kWh per 100 miles for the remaining 300 miles (88.24%) of vehicle cycle range.”

    Using the actual energy in the gasoline to power the miles in the car in necessary to make a direct comparison.

    You are correct that if you used 2/3 battery (40 miles) and 1/3 charge sustaining mode (20 miles) for a total of 60 miles traveled in the Volt that would be 28.5174*66.67% + 73.2*33.33% kWh / 100 miles or 43.4 kWh / 100 miles. We agree. So the AVERAGE Volt vehicle efficiency depends on how far you drive the Volt and varies from a maximum efficiency of 25 kWh / 100 miles over the first 40 miles to a minimum of 67.5 kWh / 100 miles if you drive the full vehicle range.

    Since I am comparing all cars against each other at their AVERAGE vehicle efficiency for their FULL range, the only method that allows for direct comparison of vehicle cycle energy efficiency the correct number for DIRECT comparison to all other vehicle types is 67.5 kWh / 100 miles. If you are not including the energy used in all modes of operation over a complete vehicle cycle, averaged over that cycle, you will not be able to make a direct comparison to other vehicle types with different modes of opearation.

    EPA reports efficiency over an entire vehicle cycle (US-06) and that’s the method that they certify, so I think you can make the leap to grasp the concept – we’ve all been using it for decades. We just have to make sure to include all the energy the vehicle uses when we are confronted with a hybrid.

    This has been a great discussion, with Dave G holding hard to looking only at gas usage and you focusing mostly on the most efficient part of the Volt energy usage, the first forty miles on battery only. I hope I have provided folks here with a bridge of complete analysis between those two extremes.


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    Feb 9th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    Adding the potential energy of gasoline into the mix confuses the comparison. Lets say the Tesla is charged from power supplied by a nuclear electrical generation plant which operates at 36% efficiency. And lets say between generation and storage in the battery, the transmission loss is 10%, so it takes about 160 KWh of potential KWh to supply the Tesla with 53 KWh in the battery. So instead of 28 KWh, the potential energy used per 100 miles is 84 KWh / 100 miles. If we triple the 19 KWh and add it the 24,we get 81 potential KWh / 100 miles with the Volt.

    The point is the whole approach is bogus. Lets stick with the Tesla gets about 4.6 miles per KWh, and the Volt is expected to get 3.5 to 4.miles per KWh.


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    Feb 9th, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    Van,

    What happens outside the vehicle has absolutely nothing to do with vehicle efficiency and vehicle efficiency is what we want to compare. The in vehicle losses are already included in the analyis. Your figures are only for the first 40 miles for the Volt. Adding in the actual energy in the gas to go beyond 40 miles is correct, as the vehicle requires gas use when driven beyond 40 miles.

    Unless you are looking at each vehicle’s complete vehicle cycle when comparing vehicles you are leaving something out, in this case, the lowest efficiency part of the Volt’s opeartion and are lying to consumers. You think we are stupid?

    Your approach only compares part of the Volt operation (the most efficient) to the Tesla’s total average efficiency and tries to bring in information (nuclear power plants) that has nothing to do with vehicle efficiency. Who’s bogus?


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    Feb 9th, 2009 (12:42 pm)

    Van,

    Why don’t you just use the official EPA metric for electric, # kWh / 100 miles for the full vehicle cycle average, as the Volt is 100% electric drive?


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    Feb 9th, 2009 (12:50 pm)

    Van,

    Adding in the actual energy required from gas to move the Volt beyond 40 miles allows for direct comparison with others vehicles that have a range of greater than 40 miles (all of them). Leaving it out prevents comparison, except for the battery only portion of operation ( that’s only 11.76% of the Volt’s total range).


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    Feb 9th, 2009 (1:16 pm)

    This is why MPG as a metric is meaningless for the Volt:

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-10037173-48.html


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    Feb 10th, 2009 (2:39 am)

    The EPA method seems sound for a non-plugin Hybrid being compared with a non-Hybrid. However, the method ignores, as the linked article observed, the charge depleting mode of the plug-in. If they assume the average driver will drive in the AER mode 2/3 of the miles for vehicles with an AER of 30 or more, 1/2 of the miles for an AER of 20 to 30, and 1/3 of the miles for less than 20, then a comparison can be made. Lets say the EPA mileage test cycle is 48 miles, then driving it for 32 miles in charge depleting mode would use no gasoline, but say 8 KWh of energy, followed by 16 miles in charge sustaining mode, burning .33 gallons of gas. So the mileage, if you ignore the KWh depletion is 145 miles per gallon. But if you say 8 KWh costs about one dollar and therefore is worth about 1/2 gallon of gas, for a total of about .7 equivalent gallons for the 48 mile test (68 MPGe for the Volt.)

    Lets compare with an imaginary Plug-in Prius with a 16 mile AER and a charge sustaining mileage of 48 MPG. It would burn gas for 32 miles of the test in charge sustaining mode, and kWh for 16 miles in charge depleting mode. If you run the numbers, the imaginary vehicle gets about 52 MPGe. And like the Volt, if you ignore the depletion of the KWh, you could claim 72 MPG. But it would also be a bogus claim.

    And finally, the Tesla would “burn” 10 KWh over the 48 miles and would thus get 77 MPGe. This method of comparison is simple and accurate from the “fuel cost” perspective.


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    Feb 10th, 2009 (10:27 am)

    Van,

    You’re mixing fuel use with dollars and cost and refering to energy “depletion”, who knows what you mean by that, which is all gibberish.

    What we are trying to measure is the average total energy used at the vehicle level to go a measured distance for a complete vehicle cycle. It’s not rocket science, The official US DOE/EPA metric for that is kilowatt hours (kWh, a measure of energy over time) per a set number of miles (KWh / 100 miles), at the vehicle level for an everage over a complete vehicle cycle. For the gas portion, simply convert the gasoline energy to kWh and measure the miles that energy takes you. You already reported the gas to miles portion of the Volt and I already did the simple conversion for you of gasoline energy in kWh (1 gallon gas = 36.4 kWh per the US DOE (actually I cut you and GM some slack and gave you 36.6)). Are you trying to tell us that the US DOE is wrong?

    Your work is also riddled with mixture assumptions, while I already reported the kWh /100 mile results for regular and plug in hybrids and electric cars, using certified EPA-06 vehicle cycles that already considered all combinations actually used over a complete vehicle cycle.

    The old EPA method of MPG is useless for comparing all types of vehicle directly against each other, unlike using kWh / 100 miles, counting ALL at-vehicle energy use for the COMPLETE vehicle cycle, which allows for direct comparison of vehicle cycle energy efficiency for all types of vehicles. I’ve already done the analyses and reported the results to you for direct comparison, with an interpretation of how various automakers are positioned relative to each other.

    I do agree with you that MPG is bogus.

    Costs and dollars are a completely separate topic. We are still trying to get you to understand measuring vehicle cycle energy efficiency, the energy used at the vehicle to move it for a measured number of miles for the complete vehicle cycle. kWh / 100 miles is the official metric for that.


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    Feb 10th, 2009 (10:50 am)

    Van

    I’m very hesitant to post this, as I don’t think you are clear yet that energy efficiency and cost should be considered separately, as soon as you introduce hybrid transportation (yes, EPA is running about a decade late on updating their webiste). But, I’m all for transparency and accountability.

    Hint on the costs and dollars. Just as you can do average energy efficiency on a vehicle cycle basis, you can SEPARATELY do averge cost on a vehicle cycle basis, in some common unit, such as $ / 100 miles. SImple take the two parts of the energy efficiency calculations I did for you and mulktpliy each part by the cost per kWh (cost of gas/kWh is $/gallon/36.4). The cost / 100 miles for different vehicles will fluctuate hugely over time, as gas prices are extremly volatile and much more volatile than electricty prices.

    Thus, average cost of energy is a very poor method for trying to directly compare vehicles, as it varies widely. Because electric prices are more stable than gasoline prices, if you want more consistent costs with lower likelihood of nasty surpises and cost spikes, more electric drive and more battery is clearly superior to less electric drive and more gas on a cost stability basis.

    Even if we went to 100% non-gas electric everywhere in the US, we would still want to consider cost separately from energy efficiency, as electric rates vary quite a bit from region to region in the US.

    Sorry. MPG just isn’t adequate any more (it never really was, but now it’s truly broken).


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    Feb 10th, 2009 (7:55 pm)

    Lets see, fuel cost comparison is meaningless when comparing vehicles. If you say so. I think it is spot on. :)

    Assigning a cost to energy depletion, for a plug in operating in the charge depletion mode, is gibberish. If you say so. :)

    Class dismissed. :)


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    Feb 10th, 2009 (9:02 pm)

    Van,

    1. Yes, when measuring only energy efficiency, and when some of the energy comes from something other than liquid fuel, fuel cost is meaningless.

    2. Yes, when only trying to measure energy efficiency, cost is irrelevant. Energy “depletion” is goobledegook. Perhaps you mean energy use, which is reported in kWh / 100 miles. Perhaps you mean cost efficiency, a different concept.

    3. I’m so glad that you finally understand how energy efficiency works. Good luck with your homework.


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    Jul 29th, 2009 (1:45 pm)

    [...] GM Denies San Francisco and Washington DC Have Been Chosen Yet to … [...]


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    Apr 1st, 2010 (1:21 pm)

    Charging Stations?? Gas Stations ?? Ummm let me think a bit…DONE…Inverters/Converters/Step Down/UP…Let me think…110v house current 20amp circuit….Ummmm I need a Charging Station(s)…Oh yes forgot…CHEVRON still holding Pat. on Battery Tech?? they BOUGHT from GM..
    There is a way…INEXPENSIVE……WAKE UP PEOPLE…..
    EV1.ORG…or even the concept LOTUS ZAP was working on….it’s layout and concept>>cheaply>>could happen<<