Feb 23

GM-Volt.com Exclusive Tesla Roadster Electric Car One Day Test Drive With Video

 

I had one of the greatest indulgent pleasures of my life the other day. For one day, Tesla Motors gave me a Tesla Roadster to do with what I wish. This was a 2008 prototype model in red.

From simply setting up a blog about the Volt concept two years ago, unbelievably I was now being handed the keys to one of the most remarkable vehicles in the history of the industry, because I it turns out, have become a voice for the advocacy of electrification of the automobile. Below is my account of the experience, and DON’T MISS my video at the bottom of the post.

It was a beautiful crisp and cold Winter morning when I drove down to a midtown Manhattan parking garage that seemed like any other. I took along a friend of mine, a fellow doctor with a deep knowledge of automotive engineering and who happens to be a surgeon with very good hands.

After dropping off my car and giving the attendant the secret password, within minutes a shiny red Tesla Roadster was the feast before my eyes.

At first sight the car seemed strikingly smaller than I imagined it to be, and not surprisingly looked a lot like a Lotus Elise. This should not be too surprising as Lotus designed the $109,000 Tesla’s body. Here before me was the car that by most accounts and in most experts opinions represent the turning point in automotive history. The vehicle is the link I think it shall one day be known as between the ancient gas powered automobiles and the future electric fleets to come.

Getting into the car required a little gymnastics as it is small and extremely low to the ground. Once inside though it was like being in another world. It had a raw yet exclusive feel, and gave one the impression of being inside a race car. I sat very snugly in my seat and in that narrow space found myself quite thrilled.

The steering wheel struck me because of its very narrow radius and hearty grips, again what one would expect for a performance car. There was no power steering, so steering the car a low speeds required a bit of effort.

The displays were also unlike anything you’d see in a typical car. To the left was a battery silhouette- shaped LCD meter that displayed how much charge remained, on the left it told you how far you could drive if you kept driving at the level of aggressiveness of the previous mile, to the right was how far you could drive if you followed the EPA schedule. For me, I started at around 100 miles EPA. You see the car wasn’t fully charged, as full capacity is 244 miles. Tesla had only days before gotten it into New York from California, and did not yet have 220v access nor a 110v charger. My ride north to my suburban town would be about 50 miles.

Controls were found along a thin center console along the floor which included the shifter and parking brake, as well as climate controls. The housing was a raw carbon fiber mat. The leather seats were comfortable and taught. Turning to look back and there was the rear windshield; neither back seat nor semblance of storage space could be found. There was no glovebox either but a short receded shelf was available on the passenger side, adequate for some storage. Though I didn’t notice it, there is a cupholder which swings out from the driver’s side of the center console.

Turning the key lit up the displays and triggered the emission of a light chime indicating the car was ready for driving. Then the fun began.

Stepping on that accelerator on that certain Saturday in February was something I’ll never forget. The tremendous powerhouse of electric tension pent up in that gigantic lithium battery pack seemed at my most immediate disposal. I was afraid the car would be uncontrollable, remembering some Internet photo of a Tesla front end crumpled into the car ahead of it. But fortunately that wasn’t the case. The acceleration was easily controlled with light effort on the throttle. A throttle I might add that was delightfully responsive.

Once I got out of the parking garage and onto a wide open street, my moment had finally arrived.

With the gusto of ten decades of oil burning cars behind me I slammed that accelerator down.
One word describes the result…unworldly.

The little race car literally exploded though space with a mid-tone throaty electrical whine that sounded more like a spaceship than any car I’d ever heard.

The profound acceleration pinned me back into the seat and made me want to yell like you would on a rollercoaster. Surely I had the Tesla grin.

Letting off the accelerator was unique as well. You see you could feel the intense regenerative drag which caused the vehicle to quickly slow, and would continue to the point of stopping even without hitting the brakes. Braking itself was effective and not overly intense.

The car handled like a performance vehicle. The tight manual steering enabled precision and brisk turns and the car hugged the road well. The double wishbone suspension allowed for great handling but also caused you to feel every pothole and bump in the road and produced quite a few loud pavement slams.

I took the car through the streets of Manhattan and stopped for a few photo ops in Times Square and by the Met Life building on Park Ave.

I drove it up the highways towards upstate New York. The acceleration continued to marvel and thrill me. The car could accelerate well even starting out at 50 to 60 mph. Top speed is 125 mph, something I didn’t try to achieve.

Another very unworldly feeling from driving the car was the lack of a transmission and gears, one of the hallmarks of electric cars that comes as a bonus in addition to the instantaneous torque. You see the motor’s redline is 13000 RPMs, not the usual 6000 or so of conventional cars. Your mind tells you to expect to shift, but it doesn’t happen, you can just keep going faster and faster. This is something that takes a while for the brain’s circuits to adjust to.

The car was fascinatingly quiet at slow speeds though at high velocities wind noise was very audible due to the removable top. The car was entirely made of hand-crafted ultralight carbon fiber, which made closing the hood and trunk a little challenging as they had nearly no weight. With the massive 53 kwh battery pack in its center, the car weighed in just under 2700 pounds including the battery pack.

After about two hours of driving fun I arrived back at my house with 16 miles of estimated range and 25 miles of EPA range. There was no way I was getting back to the city to drop the car off! And there was the three-headed, or should I say three-pronged monster that I’d only heard of, staring me right in the face…Range Anxiety!

Fortunately my doctor friend and co-pilot had a friend with an arc-welder in his garage. And so too, as it need be, a 220V 50 amp power outlet. After a few unanswered calls we finally got a hold of him and drove to his house. At this point my little range gauge told me “power reduced” and “battery almost empty.”

The small trunk of the Tesla, which at best could hold a small bag of golf clubs, held a potpourri of chargers and adapters. We finally found a male plug that would fit in our friend’s outlet, but this required some reattaching of it to the copper wiring.

Finally the plug went into the wall. We opened the door of the Tesla which of course wasn’t a gas tank but a unique four pronged charge port. The other end of the charger slid in twisted and locked. Some clicking and whirring sound were heard along with an eerie flashing green light, and then those most comforting of words popped up on the cars screen…charging.

After about four hours running 220 V at 50 amps I found the car about 80% full and indicating a range of 168 miles. And so it was that I could deliver the car back to Manhattan. And so I did for another glorious ride, and the occasional gawking stare and thumbs up of people in passing cars who recognized this amazing car. Passing the tolls on the George Washington Bridge I could hear the shout of joy from one of the toll-collectors “that’s an electric car.” I sat in some heavy Manhattan traffic getting back to the parking garage and felt serene knowing no emissions were spewing from my car despite the sea of fumes around me. I imagined the day all of those cars too were electric.

The Tesla Roadster is a sheer phenomenon, the remarkable product of start-up can-do mentality and brute force determination, proof to the world that electric cars can work, are incredibly fun to drive, and will change the future for the better. They can and should be credited for triggering the big automakers including GM to begin developing electric cars.

Thank you Tesla Motors for this invention and opportunity , for helping to spur an automotive revolution and taking those first ginger steps to a world without oil.

[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7U3W7sDZxY]


This entry was posted on Monday, February 23rd, 2009 at 6:33 am and is filed under Competitors, Test drive, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 217


  1. 1
    Xiaowei1

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (6:36 am)

    Do they export to Australia? I think most of us on the forum will be very envious right about now.

    Great review!


  2. 2
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (6:46 am)

    Great Lyle,

    What a drive !
    I just hope to be a rock or movie star (banker is not fashionable those days) in my next life to be able to afford the purchase.

    Regards,

    JC NPNS


  3. 3
    Zach

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (6:50 am)

    I haven’t watched/read it yet, but AWESOME!

    (I just wanted to be #3)


  4. 4
    David

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (6:54 am)

    As usual, another great job Lyle. Communicating the excitement of the electrified car is a worthy position to assume and you do it justice.


  5. 5
    Arthur

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (6:56 am)

    Unbelievable Kyle. The video was great. I really felt I was in the car with you. This really is the turning point. Thanks also to Tesla for giving the you the opportunity to communicate its wonders.

    btw. Did anybody happen to see the Tesla at the Oscars?

    Go Tesla, Go Volt, Go Michigan, Go USA
    NPNS


  6. 6
    mmcc

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:05 am)

    Great report and video. I had the “grin” just watching you drive it. I’m curious as to what the estimate cost of the 4 hour charge might have been?


  7. 7
    nuclearboy

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:07 am)

    Good for you Lyle.

    GM??? When are you going to schedule time for Lyle to have a Volt for the day??? Are you waiting until it’s perfect?? Lyle is a big boy. Give him a Cruze mule and tell him the flaws. He can report on what is working now. Are you guys completely tone deaf?? Ford and Tesla gave him a ride. Its your turn.


  8. 8
    RB

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:17 am)

    Fantastic! Thank you for the commentary and the video


  9. 9
    Alex S

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:23 am)

    F*** YEAH !!! This is awesome ! The electric car works!
    Common Elon, do something so you can build the cars faster, you got the orders!


  10. 10
    TED in Fort Myers

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:27 am)

    Nice job Lyle. I just saw one myself this weekend in West Palm Beach at the FLEAA Battery Beach Burnout. It is truly a remarkable piece of engineering. The future is upon us and the future of cars is electric. I have seen it. There was a motorcycle at the Moroso drag strip which turned 9.6 and 9.5 in the quarter mile. Thats fast. GM can no longer deny you the opportunity to drive a Volt.
    Take Care,
    TED


  11. 11
    Kevin

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:35 am)

    Lyle, you really need to invest in a remote noise canceling microphone. Also, run it through iMovie ’09 to help eliminate your camera bounce.

    Oh, the car? I can’t wait for the silent driving experience!


  12. 12
    Jeff

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:37 am)

    Interesting video…

    Lyle…one theme of video seemed to be Telsa’s method of giving the driver range data. Do you have new info for the Volt on range data? Will the Volt have a “40 mile EPA range” or will it be greater so everyone can acheive 40 miles?

    I know…these questions have been asked many times. :)


  13. 13
    FME III

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:40 am)

    Lyle’s comments explain perfectly why GM is approaching the Volt the way it is — and why it departed from the concept vehicle.

    As wonderful as the Tesla is, it is NOT a car for the mass market:
    - No creature comforts.
    - Hard to get in.
    - No trunk or storage.
    - And most of all, he was out of range and had to wait four hours to get back to the city.

    The Volt will address all these issue and still offer the “Tesla grin” moment when the driver stomps down on the accelerator.

    I can’t wait.

    GM was a pretty sorry company for way too long — no, make that way, way too long. But they’ve had their Road to Damascus moment. For this, I give them credit where it is due.


  14. 14
    NZDavid

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:43 am)

    Well done Lyle. This is the best review of a Tesla I have read in a long time. I feel really proud that you have had this opportunity.

    I do wonder, though, why the hell has GM not let you drive a Volt mule yet? I mean really, I just don’t understand.

    I started lurking here mid 2007 and posting late that year. Along the journey I have learnt many things, taken steps I normally would not do, wondered why Statik was tryng to kill the Volt, learnt and understood his reasoning, sold all my shares, and went long term short on the markets.

    Today Statik has gone from being reviled to someone we look to with hope as the market meltdown sorts itself out. Lyle, you have gone from being a key Volt supporter pushing GM to turn the concept into a true production vehicle, to a EV hero. Whatever happens to GM or the Volt, know you, through this site, have had an impact in my life.

    What a fantastic video, I am so, so, jealous. Really well done.

    TO GM PR. When the hell is Lyle going to get his Volt ride?????

    /must be the same paperwork holding up Q4 maybe?

    LJGTVWOTR
    NO plug, NO sale.


  15. 15
    Anderson

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:48 am)

    Does it have cruise control? It would be very easy for me to drive it well over 40 miles/hr over the speed limit, not being able to hear the engine roar.
    Oh, wait! I forgot I can’t afford this car, anyway. I guess I’m safe.

    Great video and review. It’s very encouraging to see Tesla’ s vehicle out on the streets. I wish them (Tesla, this vehicle, and their upcoming sedan) all the luck in this world: swift sales to well-heeled Americans and other wealthy denizens of this world. And, Lyle, I’m looking forward to your upcoming video report on the Volt–hopefully before the end of 2009. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


  16. 16
    FME III

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:51 am)

    An edit to my previous post: Make that “small trunk and little storage.”

    And ditto to # 7 Nuclearboy. Let Lyle drive a mule. However, I suspect that they plan to offer advance drives as the launch approaches, say late spring/early summer of 2010, to get a buzz going.


  17. 17
    Jason

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:56 am)

    Lyle,

    I smiled during the entire thing. Thanks for sharing this experience with us. I felt like I was there. Man, I can’t wait for my own electric car.


  18. 18
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:02 am)

    Lyle, that is such a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing your awesome ride. It sent chills down my spine. I will watch the video later when I get home.

    You are a very luck guy Lyle. I bet when you started this site, you didn’t expect to be doing this ride. Well done, doctor. Well done.


  19. 19
    rick

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:08 am)

    I think that my favorite part of the experience was the Jetsons-like “whirring” noise during acceleration. How cool is that???

    8-) Tesla Grin


  20. 20
    Dave B

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:09 am)

    So Lyle, have you placed, or do you plan on placing an order for a Roadster or Model S??? Come on now…


  21. 21
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:12 am)

    That’s a good report. Happy to see you covered the minuses as well as the plusses. And I like the final scene where you busted the balls of that station attendant New York style.

    =D~


  22. 22
    Joe

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:12 am)

    Being an advocate of electric cars, you were a great pick of choice for driving one. I envy you!

    You brought out a very important point,”range anxiety.” As for myself I could never find myself owning one for that reason. For me GM’s range extender is the only way to go and maybe for most people.


  23. 23
    GXT

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:22 am)

    Range anxiety, huh? Didn’t see that one coming…

    To flip the script a little, I guess GM really screwed up when they made the range 40 miles. If Lyle had driven the Volt under these circumstances he would only have had ~20 miles electric and then he would have been burning gas and hauling a huge, largely-useless battery around.


  24. 24
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:28 am)

    Great job Lyle, enjoyed reading your account.

    If you haven’t driven a Volt it is probably due to this web site; anything negative in your review would get blown out of proportion and second guessed to death. GM is sinking and trying to survive and they cannot feed the road kill warriors.

    Your experience validates Carcus1′s point from yesterday, a cheap BEV would sell despite the shortcomings and especially as a second car. The Volt is a better concept overall.

    If we had a huge initiative to build nuclear power in the USA, we could see the sun rising on our economic horizon. Energy is the foundation of the economy – nothing happens without it. It should be plentiful and affordable and there is only one way there as of this date.


  25. 25
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:32 am)

    PS – Lyle, you seem too nice to be a doctor. Change taught to taut before the teacher gets ya.


  26. 26
    carcus1

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:39 am)

    Great video. Loved the ending.


  27. 27
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:49 am)

    #11 Kevin Says: Lyle, you really need to invest in a remote noise canceling microphone.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Hey Lyle, I have a nice wireless lavaliere microphone, a $6000 camcorder, and a Steadicam stabilizer, so next time you test drive a Tesla, you should take me along… Please? I live 45 min. from Manhattan. Pretty please??

    Anyway, great article and video. As usual, you make us proud.


  28. 28
    nasaman

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:50 am)

    There’s just ONE word for your superb story & video, Lyle…….

    ……………………………………………….SENSATIONAL!!!……………………………………………


  29. 29
    TALLPALL

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:52 am)

    *** 645 days to go ***


  30. 30
    nasaman

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:52 am)

    ……….it reminds me of the day I sat in a launch-ready Space Shuttle!


  31. 31
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:54 am)

    #12 Jeff Says: Will the Volt have a “40 mile EPA range” or will it be greater so everyone can achieve 40 miles?
    ————————————————————————————–
    http://gm-volt.com/2007/10/22/under-what-conditions-is-the-chevy-volts-quoted-40-mile-electric-range-modelled/
    GM: The 40 mile range is modelled on the EPA city cycle (federal test procedure) – and the 40 miles is our target for battery END OF LIFE. The EPA city cycle includes a range of starts, stops and accelerations.”


  32. 32
    Arch

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:00 am)

    I loved hearing the whine again.

    Take Care
    Arch


  33. 33
    Tim

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:02 am)

    “… I wish I could afford it.”


  34. 34
    Van

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:04 am)

    Lyle, great report. I thank you and one day a grateful nation will thank you.


  35. 35
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:13 am)

    #13 FME III Says: As wonderful as the Tesla is, it is NOT a car for the mass market:
    - No creature comforts.
    - Hard to get in.
    - No trunk or storage.
    - And most of all, he was out of range and had to wait four hours to get back to the city.

    The Volt will address all these issue and still offer the “Tesla grin” moment when the driver stomps down on the accelerator.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, well said.

    Many of the folks at GM who have taken a test drive of the Volt mule also talk about the grin. I’m sure it’s not the rocket-ship grin of the Tesla, but I sense that people within GM who were skeptical of an electric car were much more enthusiastic after test driving the Volt mule. Although it’s only a 150HP electric motor, they say it has the feel of a much more powerful engine. Let’s hope that grin makes it’s way to the mass market…


  36. 36
    Right Lane Cruiser

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:21 am)

    Very nice, Lyle. :)

    I’d like to point out that range anxiety wouldn’t have been an issue at all had he started out with a fully charged vehicle. Most people will top off the battery every night so there shouldn’t be any issues at all with a 244mi range… unless a really long trip was required, but that’s what rented hybrids are for, right? ;)


  37. 37
    dbK

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:29 am)

    Nice write up, only thing that bothered me was the three “you see”‘s… seemed out of your writing character, Lyle.


  38. 38
    brad

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:39 am)

    There was a poll that 46% of Americans are interested in driving an electric car. The funny thing is there are so little electric cars on the road. Once they start hitting the roads there is no turning back. When I get my Volt. I will be showing it off to everyone and offering some to test drive it. If it puts a grin on their face they will certainly be going to get one theirselves. I can’t wait. The feature I love most is the fact I can change it at home. To me, That is what I call freedom.


  39. 39
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:44 am)

    #36 Right Lane Cruiser Says: Most people will top off the battery every night so there shouldn’t be any issues at all with a 244mi range… unless a really long trip was required, but that’s what rented hybrids are for, right?
    ————————————————————————————–
    That only works if you know ahead of time that you will be going beyond your range.

    What if you get a late night call that your brother just went into the emergency room, and all the rental car places are closed?

    Or what if you charge your car in your driveway, and a neighborhood kid runs through and trips over the cord, but is too ashamed to tell anybody?

    What if there is a prolonged power outage because too many people plugged in during the day?

    What if I come home one day with a million things on my mind and forget to plug in? This is far more likely to happen than forgetting to fill up on gas once a week.

    Bottom line: There are way too many what-ifs for most people to feel comfortable with a pure BEV. Range anxiety is real.


  40. 40
    Gordon

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:48 am)

    On my way to 7-11 now for a Lotto ticket. Gotta have one.


  41. 41
    CDAVIS

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:56 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    Great post Lyle! Congratulations on your Tesla ride.

    Hey, all of you traditional car maker executives that occasionally visit this site…I hope you clearly heard and believe the prophetic words from Lyle’s above video: “It’s a new world coming….no more gasoline”.
    ______________________________________________________
    Electric Cars + Nuclear Power = American Energy Independence!
    ______________________________________________________


  42. 42
    Sheltonjr

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:00 am)

    #6 mmc

    Alot of assumptions here, but this is how I calculate it out.

    50A*220V = 11KwH * 4H = 44KWhrs (Sounds about right)
    44KWhrs * $0.14 = $6.16 (Guessed high on $.14 in NY during the day)
    168 Miles / $6.16 = 27 miles/$
    Gas here was $1.80 this morning. 27miles/$*$1.80 = 48.6 miles of pollution free high performance driving for the equivalient cost of a gallon of gasoline. (Not bad)

    #23 GXT,
    The Volt was designed to meet %80 of commuters range requirements. My commute is only 20 miles round trip. But lets go ahead and calculate out the above 100 mile round trip commute above.

    1st scenario. He/she can only carge at home. That would require 1 charge of 40 miles and 60 miles of range extended driving. At the published Extended range efficiency of 50Mpg would require 1.2 gallons of gas. Which put the Volt traveling an equivelent 83.3 mpg for this commuter. This would save alot of money and smog.

    2nd scenario. He/she can charge at work. Now we have 80 miles of electric driving and 20 miles of extended driving this would require 0.4 gallons of gas. An equivelent of 250 mpg.

    Both scenarios would slightly cost more if I included the cost of electricity for the charge. But the most important purpose for the Volt is to get this country of foreign oil. If Americans can start getting this level of fuel effeiciency we will be well on our way.

    Two more notes:
    Volt Generation 2 will still have only a 40 mile range but hopefully lower cost. But I believe GM and others will provide an option in future generations for the other 20% of the populace that has a need greater than the 40 miles.

    My brother lives in New York and has about a 50 mile commute into Manhatten each day. But he takes the train into the city each day and the train station is only 8 miles from his house. So the Volt will be perfect for him and many other commuters like him that use the available Mass Transit.

    This is how people need to take the range factor into the equation. I would much rather carry the extra weight of the engine that would enable me to take this car to California from Maryland, than to have an extra 300 lb of batteries that I would hardly every use and only adds 30-40 miles to my range.


  43. 43
    S Baker

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:02 am)

    I agree with FME III, the Volt is going to be a better fit for 95% of Americans. Besides, a good portion of Americans are overweight and wouldn’t fit into a TESLA nor could they afford the 100+K price tag.

    Long Live the VOLT!


  44. 44
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:03 am)

    I told you not to drive it! I knew it would be way to cool. Now, how can driving a Volt sedan compare to driving a high performance sports car?

    I guess I’d do it too. Stupid temptation – gets me almost every time.


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    sudhaman

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:05 am)

    dont worry man one day you will drive the volt and say how it is. the days are not far away. no gasoline car means foreign oil independence.but the biggest question is while we are goanna have a foreign oil independence ,can the gulf countries have their foreign food independence


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    VaBchJim

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:10 am)

    VERY COOL! It does make you realize that men have nipples too!


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:14 am)

    We NEED EV’s not just because of the imported oil/exported money/energy security or pollution problems but because our current inability to level grid loads is causing power shortages and wasting precious resources with “spinning reserves”.

    Here is a VERY good article regarding what may be the most important benefit of replacing ICEs with EVs instead of biofuels or H2 fool cells.

    http://pesn.com/2009/02/22/9501527_Peak_Loading/

    “The economy isn’t the only woe the U.S. faces. It’s grid is also in dire straights due to its pending inability to meet peak load. Meanwhile, off-peak lulls, presently largely wasted, are enough to power our vehicles.”

    Perhaps if we had more truly free competition and gov’t had been doing their job by protecting us from the car and oil monopolies and foreign central planning instead of propping them up with redistribution, regulation and imbalanced trade agreements like NAFTA and GATT, we would have been driving electric cars years ago because oil would have simply been too expensive.

    Keep working it Lyle. WELL DONE… you’re making progress!


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:17 am)

    GXT@23 says

    “Range anxiety, huh? Didn’t see that one coming…

    To flip the script a little, I guess GM really screwed up when they made the range 40 miles. If Lyle had driven the Volt under these circumstances he would only have had ~20 miles electric and then he would have been burning gas and hauling a huge, largely-useless battery around.”

    *******************************************************************************

    With the range extender, the Volt will still get 50 MPG. What’s wrong with that? I agree, one day the engine will be eliminated…..only when the batteries get better and cheaper but today is not the time. You have to live in a realistic world. Lyle uses this car only one day and runs the battery down and had to make an emergency stop to a friends house.This is the scenario that would happen constantly on the road. Don’t kid yourself!


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    Marcus R. (WL# 5275)

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:27 am)

    You took it to the gas station?
    NERD! :D
    That was amazing Lyle, you deserve it. Congrats


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    RB

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:27 am)

    #14 NZDavid asks
    “TO GM PR. When the hell is Lyle going to get his Volt ride?????”
    ————————————————-

    Pretty obviously: GM does not yet have a Volt that works well enough to lend to him, even for 24 hours.

    [It is hard to make an electric car when all your own electricity has been turned off :) ]


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    N Riley

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:41 am)

    Great report and video, Lyle. Thanks and keep up the good work.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:47 am)

    #42 Sheltonjr:

    Don’t forget the one-time charge to add a 50A 220V circuit to your garage. That cost would be spread across the life of the vehicle. Of course if you can afford a Tesla you can afford the grand or so it’d take to get a 220V circuit installed.

    Of course some older homes only have 100A service and may require an upgrade to the home’s power feed before being able to handle this kind of load. Many newer homes have 200A service and are probably OK. Again, for the average Telsla buyer this is probably less of an issue.

    Now, foregoing the 220V circuit, if the charging rate scales linearly, that means about 8 hours on a 110V circuit if you can maintain 50A.

    But on the more common 20-30A 110V many garages have, you’d be looking at what, a 16ish hour charge time? At max current draw. After which you’re not even fully charged. Ouch.


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    ROBERT M. SPERRY

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:48 am)

    Thanks, Lyle, that was GREAT! Now, when do we get to hear about your test drive of the VOlt? And whn can we get on line to buy one?


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:49 am)

    RB Says: Pretty obviously: GM does not yet have a Volt that works well enough to lend to him, even for 24 hours.
    ————————————————————————————–
    GM let Chris Paine (the director of “Who Killed the Electric Car”) test drive a Volt mule. If the mule didn’t work well, I doubt GM would have given Chris Paine a test drive. I suspect GM is not letting the press test drive Volt mules for some other reason.

    But hey, Lyle is not like other press, he is the Volt’s #1 public advocate on the web. He should get a Volt mule test drive now…


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    Mike

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:50 am)

    So, why can’t domestic auto companies make a car with this range and performance? Because they think we are stupid enough to want a car that only gets 40 miles on a battery and the rest on Middle East oil. OK, the price for the Tesla is high, right now, but stop treating the American public like fools and start building these in mass quantities, and the cost will come down.
    Until we start strongly demanding cars that perform and operate like the Tesla we will be the lackys of the auto industry and their partners in the oil companies.


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    old man

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:53 am)

    #35 Brad

    I totally agree with you. I don’t remember how long ago I posted that in 10 years an auto with only an ICE would be a speciality car or truck. And as I have posted many times, they will not be able to build the Volt type cars fast enough for several years.

    I love to think about driving in L A in the future and only seeing the smog that was present 50 years ago.

    Kids in school will look at photos in history books and see smog and assume the pictures have been doctored as they know that no one would live in such conditions.

    DANG BUT I WANT MY VOLT!!!!


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    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:57 am)

    #52 JohnJ Says: But on the more common 20-30A 110V many garages have, you’d be looking at what, a 16ish hour charge time? At max current draw. After which you’re not even fully charged. Ouch.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Most house/garage circuits are either 15 or 20 amps, and they may be running other stuff like lights and such. The Volt’s charging rate is around 11 amps. So the 16ish hour charge time for the Tesla on a normal home circuit may be optimistic. It may be more like 32ish hours.

    This is one reason the Volt is fantastic. The 40 miles of all-electric range is perfect for an overnight charge on any common home circuit, which means you can charge it anywhere. No special outlet required.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:04 am)

    #52 JohnJ

    Yeah! Ouch!!!!. I dont think alot of people who want the greater range realize this.

    16 KWH is about the biggest a battery can get and still be able to charge of a standard 110V 20-30A service connection and still get a full charge during off-peak hours. Any bigger really pushes for 220V service.

    This may not be a big deal for a home owner. But when EREVs get popular! Apartments, Condos and parking garages will have to install charging ports (or lose tenates and customers) and there will be a big difference in cost between a 100 110V charge ports and 220V charge ports.


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    solo2500nt

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:05 am)

    Cool COOL car, but like many here have said, it is not a mass market vehicle.

    Interesting to see the advertised range of 220 miles is really almost impossible to achieve. The miles to empty readout compares EPA driving to real world driving and the difference is dramatic, 112 miles to 68 miles. Yea I know it was NY city but still a bit of a difference. Fuel economy in NY is measured in gallons per hour, not miles per gallon since you spend so much time trapped in gridlock.

    It took a 50 amp charger 4 hours to get the battery up to 85%.
    For the uninformed, that’s a LOT of current. An electric drier typically has a 30 amp outlet. A range may have a 40 amp outlet. Self cleaning ranges will require a 50 or 60 amp outlet. That’s 50% of a 100 amp service panel found in most homes.


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    tman

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:05 am)

    Yep!
    Nice car.
    Don’t think the pump jockey was too impressed.
    Guess I’ll have to work a second & third job to afford this baby.
    Not!


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    Jethro Bodine

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:08 am)

    No Cup Holder No Sale!

    NCHNS


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:11 am)

    How is Arnold Schwarzenegger going to fit into a Tesla Roadster? He is big and not particularly limber.


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    Roger

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:17 am)

    Rejoice, the end is near! Interersting that the legacy of two the greatest minds of the 20 th century that were bitter rivals now converge. Tesla provides the AC induction motor and Edison provides the DC battery and one of the first electric cars. Power to the people. NPNS


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    Mark

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:20 am)

    So why dont you buy one, your a doctor right?


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    TALLPALL

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:25 am)

    GM, give Lyle a damn test drive….

    This site has been running for 2 years. We log on daily to get our fix of the work-in-progress. So let Lyle SEE, FEEL and DRIVE the Volt.

    Why should we have to rely on faith that the Volt project is actually progressing? This is not EESTOR. We actually do have hardware, so what is the problem?

    GMs PR are having a nightmare again. But from what I read, that is no surprise.


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    Randy

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:27 am)

    For the uninformed and electrically challenged posting here, every home in america has 220V , any garage can be wired for it if not already done costing little more than 110 circuit,just a bit more for the heavier wire. Any garage with a dryer outlet ,or welder outlet already has what you need. If you need to run a new 220V circuit to your garage from your house your tralking less than $100 worth of materials. Its so easy a caveman could do it.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:30 am)

    #55 Mike Says: So, why can’t domestic auto companies make a car with this range and performance? Because they think we are stupid enough to want a car that only gets 40 miles on a battery and the rest on Middle East oil.
    ————————————————————————————–
    First, electric cars are about saving gasoline, not oil. Only 44% of our oil consumption is gasoline. So to eliminate foreign oil, we’ll need more than just electric cars.

    Second, the Volt runs on electricity, gasoline, or E85. So after the first 40 miles, you don’t have to run on Middle East oil. Steven Chu, our new secretary of energy, is a strong supporter of bio-fuels. He is debunking many of the myths about ethanol. Ethanol from non-food sources doesn’t require fossil fuels to produce. GM is investing in a company called Coskata. Their gasification process can mass produce cellulosic ethanol for $1 per gallon. They are already building a large-scale plant in Pennsylvania:
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-9928810-54.html


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:31 am)

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    DonC

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:32 am)

    Great fun Lyle! Congratulations on your test drive.

    On the substantive front, the range you actually got makes clear that all the stated BEV ranges should probably be halved and that E-REVs and PHEVs are at least the near and medium term solutions. You just can’t afford to size the battery to anything other than everyday driving ranges. Even $100K for a 56 kWh pack doesn’t do it.

    As for links in the electrification of transportation, I’d look at the EV-1 as the first foray, the Insight and Prius as the first commercially successful attempts, and the Volt as the first real answer.


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    frayadjacent

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:37 am)

    Lyle, congrats on the memorable day! We’re all jealous!


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    100% electric vehicle owner

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:38 am)

    Not bad, considering Lyle started with the thing more than half empty.

    I’m surpised he had such a hard time finding a house that has a clothes washer or dryer or oven. Doesn’t Tesla provide the correct plug for all those outlets? I can here it now – “Just a minute before you start the clothes washer, honey. I’m topping off the sports car for our after dinner cruise around the development.” (I never say that, as I always use a timer for my charging between 3 and 5 am, so I always start the day with a full power pack).

    #6 mmcc

    Since Lyle had more than enough juice to get back after a four hour recharge, if he’d also planned some thoughtful V2G of about 50 miles of his spare 68 miles (using either a peak/non-peak differential or alt/residential differential), the cost to recharge would be $0.

    The easiest way to do that (V2G), while the utility companies slowly catch up to reality, is to find a residence or business with a grid connected solar system and bonk the car plug into their inverter (if they have a set up for that) so that their system thinks that your car is another solar panel giving it juice. Just make sure to leave your car connected to their inverter for a short time (I’m guessing less than half an hour, depends on their system configuration, inverter and your spare miles) so it doesn’t vampire your car empty. Then ask the solar system owner for the $ for the power you just gave them (at the on peak rates utilities pay for solar plus a premium for allowing your race car’s presence to spruce up their neighborhood’s value) .

    Since Lyle didn’t do V2G, it probably cost about $1.30 for the amount he stuck in (assumptions: (SOC from 30% (bottom – no miles left) to 80% of 53kWh power pack) = 13 kWh of juice added at assumed 0.10 per kWh). Actually, I did a bunch of assumptions and scenarios and came up with between $1.00 and $1.70 as credible. An equivalent performing gasser car gets about 13 mpg combined EPA rating, so for the 168 miles that Lyle received from his recharge (at 0 miles remaining) we have 168 mile / 13 mpg = 12.9 gallons of gasoline at $2.00 a gallon (the yo-yo’s going up back up) for $25.80 in gasoline for a similar performing gasser compared to Lyle’s probable $1.30 (or $0 if he had done some V2G).

    So Lyle’s fill up cost was about 5% what it would have been in an equivalent performing gasser and could have been nothing.

    Nice.


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    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:41 am)

    #66 Randy Says: If you need to run a new 220V circuit to your garage from your house your talking less than $100 worth of materials. Its so easy a caveman could do it.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, but since most people don’t do their own electrical wiring, the electricians labor will bring the cost up to $300-$500, depending on where you live.

    Then there is the bigger issue. Why do people want to charge the Volt at 220? As plug-ins catch on, charging during the day will wreak havoc on our electrical grid. Plug-in experts agree that most people should only consider charging at night. The Volt has a built in charging timer for this very reason. Besides, night time rates are much cheaper is many areas, and most other areas are in the process of converting to the 2-rate system.

    I see little advantage to night-time 220v charging. It’s better to spread out the charge through the night. As plug-ins catch on, day-time 220v charging will cause massive power outages, so I’m sure the power companies will do everything possible to discourage it.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:44 am)

    #67 Dave G

    You doubtless will be able to power fuel cells from ethanol, eliminating the ICE entirely. So you could have your Volt run for 40 miles on charge from the grid and then on a fuel cell afterwards. That would be very sweet but whether that will be economically practical seems dubious. What we do know is that you never know until you try.

    #72 Dave G

    As many familiar with solar systems know, upgrading the service may also involve trenching. Upgrading the box is the simple part, but even then $100 is a very low estimate.


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    Kevin

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:44 am)

    Thanks for the nice review and video! I, too, would like to drive that, just like I’d like to try some hot rod Ferrari, but that isn’t likely. What is likely is that the Tesla Roadster provides inspiration for other great things, and I hope that the Volt is one of those great things. I test drove mules for the EV-1 back in the early 1990s and I have been longing for EVs and HEVs ever since. I also drove an EV to a gas station, where I picked up a kid with a bike tire that had gone flat and gave him a ride home. His reaction to EVs was just as pleasing. Thanks again for the vicarious Tesla ride!


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:48 am)

    #71 100% electric vehicle owner,

    I think V2G is a bad idea. Battery wear increases linearly with the number of charges and discharges. Making charging ports V2G capable introduces all sorts of privacy/big-brother issues.

    It would be better to funnel the V2G effort into rooftop solar panels, which output the most power during peak periods on the grid.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:54 am)

    Statik …. we’re waiting on the Ford-UAW news! Where are you? It’s been several hours.

    OK, the deal is that Ford can use stock to fund up to half the health care costs for retired UAW workers. Pretty big deal actually.


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    Ken

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:56 am)

    My only concern would be getting rear ended on the highway during rush hour. If the car quickly slows just letting off of the accelerator, then the brake lights would need to engage even though the brakes are not pressed. If not, someone tailing you would not know you were quickly slowing. Do the brake lights come on when taking your foot quickly off the accelerator?


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    BillR1

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:00 pm)

    Great job, Lyle! I guess this is one of the benefits you get for all the hard work you put into this site. You deserve it!

    If I’m not mistaken, the Tesla’s drive system is similar to the EV1, only with a larger 150 kW motor (vs. about 103 kW for the EV1). Wasn’t it supplied by AC Propulsion, who has a core group from the EV1 days?

    Just something to think about, as GM will likely have a similar drive system as well (one that’s also close the the drive system in the fuel cell Equinox that Lyle drove about a year ago).


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    Good for you Lyle!!!

    Nice car but not for me. It’s “Cost Prohibitive”.
    I don’t have enough aluminum cans or plastic bottles to recycle to buy one.
    Doesn’t GM see that they’re being made a fool after the drive?

    I’ll take my Volt with No Generator, No ICE ShAkEn not StirreD…


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:04 pm)

    @Ken 77
    “If the car quickly slows just letting off of the accelerator, then the brake lights would need to engage even though the brakes are not pressed.”

    I think it does do that. I read it a while back but cant remember the link. I do know as a fact that the Mini-E was designed to do that.

    I’ll take my Volt with No Generator, No ICE ShAkEn not StirreD…


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    Lyle,

    How many cars do you think they just shold from this video. The part where your punching it and grinning like a school boy is priceless. They couldn’t make a commercial with that type of grab to it. You look like your having so much fun the person watching the video has to smile!

    Thanks Tesla for all you have done to get us headed in the right direction. Even though a pure EV won’t work for my lifestyle i more than appreciate your contribution to the Electric marketplace!


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    Tagamet

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:10 pm)

    Lyle
    That must have been awesome! I watched the video 4 times before being able to tear myself away to comment. The only thing missing was the Spielberg special effects of a star field turning to streaks of light when you accelerated.
    I think that the “Lyle branding” ought to expand to all of the electric vehicles, so you could market “Lyle was right” T-Shirts. Hmmm, or even “Lyle got to drive (insert various company names) electric car, and all I got was this crummy T-Shirt!”.
    Seriously, no one deserves it more and I’m really happy for you.
    Be well,
    Tag
    PS I saw that lane change from “Tunnel only lane” to the lane on the right (lol) Jersey drivers….


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:11 pm)

    #72 Dave G

    I agree that most folks wouldn’t start the day with their vehicle at less than half full. Lyle made the best, given no advance preparation, preformed habits or long term experience with electric vehicle use, of an unusual situation in which he wanted to relatively quickly recharge an empty vehicle in the middle of the day. I suggest that you not use his one time, half full Tesla experience to generalize about how electric vehicle use and recharging will occur with substantial market penetration.

    The inevitable slow penetration of plug in vehicles (it’ll take regular hybrids more than 15 years to get 10% market penetration), regional utilities increasingly offering a substantial on/off peak differential and more V2G opportunities and alt/retail power differentials and new electric vehicle owners learning how to $ and convenience (while asleep) maximize their recharge timing will easily deal with peak issues.

    It took me about 6 months to figure out how to best optimize my electric vehicle V2G with my regional grid as is and now they are getting peak shaving from me every day and utterly failing to track that shaving.

    I suggest that dealers have new Volts full at the time of customer pickup or delivery (unlike their present ghastly practice of delivering a new gasser to you on fumes). If not, after you get through your fist night with your electric vehicle at home, your charging time patterns and behavior will become immediately more sensible, naturally.


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    kent beuchert

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:12 pm)

    I’d say impractical, $109K vehicles can’t ever represent a turning point. Especially considering that the car is not qualitatively any practical advancement over previous electric cars. The Model T was a turning point. The first cars with automatics and electric starters
    represented turning points. The Tesla is in large part a con job. It doesn’t solve any of the problems that make electric cars impractical. Never has more press been devoted to something so unimportant. And batty California keeps referring to this as a “zero emissions vehicle,” while calling the plants that produce the juice that propels it “horribly polluted.” Only in California can a state government make such logically nonsensical claims and get away with it.
    But then, California has also managed to go bankrupt.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:13 pm)

    #66 Randy

    Agreed about the availability of 220V. However, around here electrical work must be in conduit. I’m not sure if a licensed electrician is also required but I know that is a requirement in some places. Even if not required, many people who are modestly handy around the house don’t care to take on electrical projects beyond replacing a light fixture or rewiring a lamp. I doubt the average Geico caveman will want to take on the task even if the skills required are available. IMO I’ll do plumbing – the worst that can happen is I flood my home – but I leave electrical to the experts as the worst that can happen is me ending up dead.

    Other considerations include the case of the detached garage with a current above-ground 110V feed. Cost to run 220V there is going to be higher and take significantly more effort over an attached garage with essentially all-interior wiring.

    And there’s still the apartment/town home-dweller issue. If they have no garage available, they are reliant on an outside outlet like those that would be used for electric trimmers and whatnot. Those are pretty much always 110V.

    Most of the homes around here do not have garage-based dryers (we have dedicated laundry rooms or the washer/dryer is in the basement) and I’ve never even heard of a garage welder’s outlet. No doubt they exist but you may be overestimating how common they are. Maybe it’s a regional thing; I’m in the Chicago suburbs in a 12ish year old subdivision.

    All that aside, I’m also concerned about a 50A draw. Most newer homes that aren’t too extravagant have 200A service. So fully a quarter of my potential consumption is allocated to vehicle charging. Add another 40-60A for the HVAC (I’ve dual-30A circuits for my AC + more for the blower fan for instance) and you’re drawing some serious juice. An older home with 100A service is already at/beyond the limit.

    And forget doing a charge when an electric stove & oven might be running along with a clothes dryer and the AC (90 degree day at dinner time). Toss on some other things in the all-electric home like a water heater (recouping hot water used by the clothes washer before the dryer started). Even 200A service might start to get strained if you tack on another 50A draw.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:14 pm)

    #75 Dave,

    I am also not much in favor of the V2G concept. I don’t want to use my car as a power plant or a source of revenue. I would like to be able to have it as an emergency backup generator for my house though. Some sort of system where i plug my car into a receptacle that goes into a transfer switch. I’m not sure of the mechanics of it but for 35K i would like to keep my fridge running if the power goes out for an extended period.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:15 pm)

    The Tesla is not the kind of mass market vehicle that GM needs – and neither is the Volt. With a $40K price, and GM losing money at that price point, GM was looking long term. Seems the economy has made the short term more important. I hope the Volt happens, but it won’t if GM bites the big one. Let’s all go out and buy a Cobalt to trade in on the Volt.


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    Gordon

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:15 pm)

    I get “the grin” everyday with my Insight. Eight years old and still getting 55+ mpg. It cost only 21 grand in 2000 and serves my 90 mile daily commute perfectly (and I can put my bicycle in the back).


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    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:16 pm)

    #58 Sheltonjr Says: …when EREVs get popular! Apartments, Condos and parking garages will have to install charging ports (or lose tenets and customers) and there will be a big difference in cost between a 100 110V charge ports and 220V charge ports.
    ————————————————————————————–
    If you’re installing a new outlet box anyway, I don’t think there is a big cost difference between 220v and 110v. Most of the cost is in the labor, and possible security devices (e.g. key covers) associated with these installations.

    But like I said before, 220v charging is a bad idea, regardless of the cost. Plug-in experts agree that most people should only consider charging overnight. As plug-ins become popular, day-time charging will wreak havoc on the grid. I can’t see any advantage with charging the Volt overnight at 220v.


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    Roadster Review in All Cars Electric - Tesla Motors Club Forum

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:20 pm)

    [...] of his review here GM-Volt.com Exclusive Tesla Roadster Electric Car One Day Test Drive With Video | GM-VOLT : Chevy Vo… __________________ . . . . . . The world loves to be [...]


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:22 pm)

    #24 Shawn

    Your experience validates Carcus1’s point from yesterday, a cheap BEV would sell despite the shortcomings and especially as a second car. The Volt is a better concept overall.
    ===============================================
    Of course a cheap BEV would sell. So would a cheap 10 carat diamond. The problem is, there are no cheap BEVs and there will not be until a still unforseeable technology breakthrough is made. This may or may not ever happen.

    Unless you work for NASA, the essence of engineering is designing a good solution that meets needs AND has an affordable price. That is why the Volt is at least close to being a cost effective solution, while the Telsa, visionary as it may be, is a bauble for the rich.


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    Nick G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:24 pm)

    At the Chicago Auto Show I asked the woman introducing the Volt if it had a real drive-train, and yes, the Volt on display is a working model! And, there’s another as well! So, there are two completely finished Volt prototypes!

    A milestone.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:24 pm)

    Electric Cars are the future. I embrace that.
    I would love to buy a Tesla. They’ve got it right, its good for the environment AND its a very cool car that anyone would want.

    But, has anyone wondered how the Government will replace the huge amount of Tax dollars it will no longer get from Gas Taxes?

    Tax electricity? Probably. But what if we all begin producing our own Solar or Wind Power. I’m not going to pay Tax on energy I am producing for myself.

    I’ve always wondered if this is the main reason the Government has never really supported the idea of electric cars…


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    George in Berkeley

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:29 pm)

    To use our hippie Berkeley parlance — that was TOTALLY AWESOME DUDE. Stoked and can’t wait for my Volt. Great job. Go GM!


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:33 pm)

    #58 Sheltonjr Says: …when EREVs get popular! Apartments, Condos and parking garages will have to install charging ports (or lose tenets and customers) and there will be a big difference in cost between a 100 110V charge ports and 220V charge ports.

    Most apartments I see and It’s in the ghetto, have plenty of covered spaces that has lights. This means 110V there. No prob, just wire a NEMA 15A plug and you’re good.


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    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:34 pm)

    #86 JonP. Says: I would like to be able to have it as an emergency backup generator for my house though… I’m not sure of the mechanics of it but for 35K i would like to keep my fridge running if the power goes out for an extended period.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes. This has been requested before, many times, and I hope GM will add this feature.

    But keep in mind that the charging port works only 1 way, from the grid to the car. Making the charging port work 2 ways would be prohibitively expensive.

    So a much more likely scheme to cover a power outage would be 110v convenience outlets in the Volt, with around 15 amps of service. In other words, if your power goes out for an extended period, you would have to run a separate extension cord out to your Volt and then plug in only the items you want to power (refrigerator, radio, TV, Phones, etc.).

    Also note that convenience outlets in the Volt would have many other purposes, such as running consumer electronics for passengers during long trips, running power tools on construction sites, powering stuff in remote locations, etc..

    Note that you can do this with your current car by purchasing a 12v inverter and hooking it up to your battery. But since the Volt’s battery pack is around 400 volts DC, commercially available inverters won’t work with the Volt. So this is something only GM can provide.


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    statik

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    I only have one thing to say after seeing that video:
    “I hate Lyle Dennis”

    /that is all, (=
    ======================
    ======================
    #14 NZDavid

    Thanks for the kind words…and glad you have saved/made some money this year.

    Lyle is to be commended, he has brought the site along way through a lot of hard work…I know myself it is practically a full time job…at least now he is finally getting some payback in the form of free rides. Hope there is more to come for you Lyle.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:44 pm)

    Very nice. I wonder if you could wangle a ride in an Aptera? A bit more in my price class.

    As GM circles the drain, I’m getting more and more interested in the Aptera. Made in USA, and a perfect size for carpool lane kamikazes in LA. Unless you’re worried about getting run over by a hybrid Tahoe, LOL.


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    Tom H

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:44 pm)

    #58 Sheltonjr Says: …when EREVs get popular! Apartments, Condos and parking garages will have to install charging ports (or lose tenets and customers) and there will be a big difference in cost between a 100 110V charge ports and 220V charge ports.
    ————————————————————————————–
    If you’re installing a new outlet box anyway, I don’t think there is a big cost difference between 220v and 110v. Most of the cost is in the labor, and possible security devices (e.g. key covers) associated with these installations.

    But like I said before, 220v charging is a bad idea, regardless of the cost. Plug-in experts agree that most people should only consider charging overnight. As plug-ins become popular, day-time charging will wreak havoc on the grid. I can’t see any advantage with charging the Volt overnight at 220v.
    —————————————————————————–
    This is a good post and response. I agree that while 220v components cost more on a percentage basis, in the scheme of things, including labor, 220v charging ports will often be well worth the extra cost.

    If you think a little more long term about 220v charging, you might step back from the term “wreak havoc” If we added 10 million EREV/BEVs overnight, and charged them all at 220v, in the daytime, everyday, that would be havoc.

    I fully appreciate the extent to which 110v overnight charging is an elegant solution. Lighter components, lower (or zero) install cost, still gets the job done in 8 hours, zero need to add grid capacity, and when tapping hydro or nuclear power, virtually no power cost at all.

    And I understand that day time charging, expecially at 220v, adds load to a grid which is already fully loaded, and does so in the worst possible way– at peak times rather than spread out over the day.

    But the grid is there to be used, and needs to be expanded as requirements expand. As we rollout electric cars over many years, and as some fraction of them charge during the day, expanding the grid to support this is well worth it, because every daytime charge saves fossil fuel.

    With day time charging, EREV owners with long commutes will burn no gas, and a greater percentage of people will be able to use BEVs and burn no gas ever.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:45 pm)

    @ Dave G 95
    “Making the charging port work 2 ways would be prohibitively expensive. ”

    I disagree with you bro. All you need is a DC/DC converter for a step down from 400V to 48/24/12 (whichever you want) and use one or two PureSine 3KW inverter to your home. Technically all you will need to connect to in the Volt is either thr output of the Genset or the output of the battery. The DC/DC converter and PureSine inverter can be mounted on the wall of your garage.

    Now If you want, you can get a “Grid Tie” and sell juice back to your electric provider.

    I’ll take my Volt with No Generator, No ICE ShAkEn not StirreD…


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:47 pm)

    Want


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    George K

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:50 pm)

    Lyle,

    What a great post and video! Very very cool! As great as it is, it does point out the advantages of the Voltec (E-Rev) Volt. Now, when will we see the video with you driving it!!?

    GM is getting some 400 LG Chem batteries for Volts in ’09, so I would expect this will happen this year.


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    statik

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    #76 DonC

    Statik …. we’re waiting on the Ford-UAW news! Where are you? It’s been several hours.

    OK, the deal is that Ford can use stock to fund up to half the health care costs for retired UAW workers. Pretty big deal actually.
    =============================
    =============================

    Well…truth be told, my trusty GM steed decided to take the day off, so I had to cart her (yes, it is a female) back to the dealership for some ‘warranty service’. I’d like to also mention that my Mr. Goodwrench both looks and acts nothing like his tv counterpart.

    Onto the Ford/UAW-VEBA deal. I really don’t understand it yet, so I wasn’t going to comment. There seems to be a lot of ‘ifs’ littered in there, and the UAW statement is obtuse at best:

    http://uaw.org/news/newsarticle.cfm?ArtId=524

    The wording of the tenative deal is that they can do ‘up to 50%’ at each payment, but not that they will…and the Ford guy (Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s group vice president of global manufacturing and labor affairs) said this, “We will consider each payment when it is due and use our discretion in determining whether cash or stock makes sense at the time, balancing our liquidity needs and preserving shareholder value”

    I still wonder in the back of my head if there isn’t some kind of trade-off down the line for the UAW to get a larger cash portion in exchange for something else.

    I think the UAW will certainly end of doing the 50% deal with them all, they don’t really have a choice, but it would be nice to just have a clean blanket statement on the matter…feels like there is a lot of backroom shuffling still happening to meet the gov’t mandated benchmarks.


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    Schmeltz

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (12:57 pm)

    I’m jealous Lyle! That was awesome, and thank you for sharing your test drive.

    Best part of the video for me was “the Tesla Grin”.


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    statik

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    DonC, (and whoever else is interesting in GM’s financial future), further to the UAW/Detroit auto VEBA:

    I think they (UAW) are starting to get more than a little concerned now that the gov’t is (not so quietly) working with Citi and JP Morgan to possibly provide some C11 DIP financing should it come to that (in theory, this would be channeled from TARP/stimulus money that now follows thru their blood).

    Nutshell: C11/GSB (government sponsored bankruptcy) is becoming a “very real option,” so it is time for the UAW (et all) to start actually capitulating…if they are ever going to. Personally, I think it is still a “scare tactic” for benefit of the UAW/bondholders at this point…but things can change from a tactic to reality very, very quickly in this environment.

    Good article (and about friggin time we started seeing these):
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123535613910745405.html?mod=testMod


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    Tom H

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (1:20 pm)

    Dave G

    Steven Chu, our new secretary of energy, is a strong supporter of bio-fuels. He is debunking many of the myths about ethanol. Ethanol from non-food sources doesn’t require fossil fuels to produce. GM is investing in a company called Coskata. Their gasification process can mass produce cellulosic ethanol for $1 per gallon. They are already building a large-scale plant in Pennsylvania:

    ———————————————————————-
    Dave G, every week or so you post and repost the claim that Coskata can produce ethanol for $1/gallon. Their site does not even claim this. They state they have a cost TARGET of $1/gallon.

    Hardly the same thing. I have a cost target of producing gasoline at 1 cent per gallon, but you cannot buy it at that price anywhere.

    The reality is that ethanol is very expensive to produce, that is why it is so highly subsidized. To produce it with non-food feedstocks is much, much more expensive, because no scalable process has ever been demonstrated.

    Subsidizing ethanol is a boondoggle that really hurts our potential to become energy self sufficient because it distracts us from what we really need, and is truly cost effective, nuclear power.

    David Chu is a charlatan and an idealogical captive of the environmental left.


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    Lars Hastrup

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    I tried it here in Denmark in August – it was the first time I drove a car where my ears went backwards when accelerating !!!!!!!!!!!!
    A good friend of mine joined the testing – he had tried to buy the new ZR1 Corvette the day before but was glad he couldn´t get one as he after the testdrive said : WOW – phantastic – this is the future – my next sportscar will be electric !


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    unni

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (1:24 pm)

    Kool car, and liked it but if i buy it – no i don’t think so, not just money, I have a kid and wife and we like more space.

    Congrats Lyle, It was great !!

    I think GM is doing PR is back ground, I think Lyle also may got a drive but instructed not to write on it till they are ready for mass production . Remember the cars.com report where meter shows 120 and 30 miles. I think they were doing tests and results will be published only at time of launch or so :-)


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (1:33 pm)

    Nice little article from Hybridcar.com:

    Excerpt:

    FORD Accelerate Commercialization of Plug-In Hybrids

    Drivers of the demonstration Ford Escape PHEV will make far fewer trips to the gas station. It uses common household current (120 volts) for charging, with a full charge of the battery completed within six to eight hours. When driven on surface streets for the first 30 miles following a full charge, the Ford Escape PHEV can achieve up to 120 mpg – roughly 4.5 times its traditional gas internal combustion engine-powered counterpart.

    A fully charged Ford Escape PHEV operates in two modes, electric drive and blended electric/engine drive. It is not range-limited by the amount of charge available in the high-voltage lithium-ion battery. Once the charge in the battery has been depleted, the vehicle continues to operate as a fuel-efficient, standard Ford Escape Hybrid.

    http://www.hybridcar.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=708&Itemid=2


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    carcus1

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (1:34 pm)

    Lyle,

    What’s next? How about a road trip to Hong Kong for a F3DM test drive?


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    N Riley

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (1:56 pm)

    #77 Ken

    Good point about the brake lights when slowing down by letting off the accelerator. Had not thought about that. Seems like a good idea to have them come on when letting off the accelerator or putting on the brakes.


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    Mike

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:01 pm)

    The Tesla isn’t the only electric car out there. Trouble is, not nmany are made in the US. I may be wrong but I remember reading somewhere that the Volt was originally intended to be out in Nov. 2009. I remember this because my current lease was up then. Now, I have to wait a year? Sorry. I’ll look elsewhere.
    Great you got to drive a Tesla, Lyle. But why? Do they honestly think the Volt is the same thing? I think you’re being blackmailed. “Ooh… here’s a Tesla, Lyle. Please say something nice about the Volt in the next blog.”
    #67 Dave, sorry I didn’t have the same false statistics that you did about the $1 a gallon fuel some unknown company is trying to make. And I’m sorry I didn’t state that only 40% of the Middle East oil goes to vehicles. Get your head out of the sand and take a look around at Dubai. We, the American driver, built that. Construction slows, even slave labor paid construction, when gas prices drop at the pump. We, the American driver, have given enough money to Exxon that they set world record profits for 3 quarters in a row. Middle east oil. Gas powered cars. Until the auto makers, foreign and domestic, come out with a full electric car we will always be dependent on the Middle East. At least now we don’t have an oil guy in charge of the country.
    40 miles on a charge, then you need gas to recharge it on the road? Keep it. It’s not worth the lip service that GM is putting to the Volt and cars like it. All electric is the only way.
    And for those worried about a 220 line in their homes? If you have an oven or an electric range you already have a 220 line. Just have an electrician come in to run an outlet to your garage. $100 tops. You’d pay for that in 4 tanks of gas.


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    Dave B

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    Carcus1 @ 109,

    Good call–let’s push for Lyle’s test drive of a F3DM…that would really be interesting, wouldn’t it????


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    DaV8or

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    From Lyle’s post:

    “Here before me was the car that by most accounts and in most experts opinions represent the turning point in automotive history. The vehicle is the link I think it shall one day be known as between the ancient gas powered automobiles and the future electric fleets to come.”
    ———————————————————————————————
    I have to totally disagree. The Tesla is just a refinement of the EV that has been around for decades and still suffers from the same pit falls. The Volt, and cars like it with their E-REV drive trains will be known in the future as the historical “link” to the EV fleets of the future.
    ——————————————————————————————
    Lyle continues:

    ” You see the car wasn’t fully charged, as full capacity is 244 miles. Tesla had only days before gotten it into New York from California, and did not yet have 220v access nor a 110v charger. My ride north to my suburban town would be about 50 miles.”

    and…

    “After about two hours of driving fun I arrived back at my house with 16 miles of estimated range and 25 miles of EPA range. There was no way I was getting back to the city to drop the car off! And there was the three-headed, or should I say three-pronged monster that I’d only heard of, staring me right in the face…Range Anxiety!

    Fortunately my doctor friend and co-pilot had a friend with an arc-welder in his garage. And so too, as it need be, a 220V 50 amp power outlet. After a few unanswered calls we finally got a hold of him and drove to his house. At this point my little range gauge told me “power reduced” and “battery almost empty.””

    Followed by:

    “After about FOUR hours running 220 V at 50 amps I found the car about 80% full and indicating a range of 168 miles.”
    ——————————————————————————————
    This is why the Tesla, or any EV of our times is not the link or bridge to the future of electric transportation. These issues will keep cars like this from gaining wide spread acceptance. I really don’t see the automotive revolution coming until the Volt arrives or similar vehicle.


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    Jason

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:20 pm)

    I encourage everyone to go to one of the Tesla road shows and drive one yourself. I did last year and it was a great.


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    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:33 pm)

    There is no such thing as 110VAC or 220VAC for residential service in the USA. (this is almost a true statement,probably 99.9% true)

    The proper designation is 120/240 VAC and has been for many years. For all the techie pretension abounding here, you might want to try to use the correct designation.

    Wiring in a 240 circuit takes little more than a 120 circuit if you have the space for the double breaker and the cost differs trivially for most modern services i.e. no upgrade needed.

    Since the Volt “knows” the scheduled charging time interval, it “could” be programmed to randomly distribute small charging intervals over the allotted time to even out the load curve on distribution facilities in the aggregate. This could occur day or night while avoiding daily peaks or temperature extremes during daytime by programming off times or off temperatures.
    This scheme is easier to do with 240 volts since the intervals could be shorter. This scheme would benefit utilities and their customers and help to reduce the increase in electric rates.


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    Marcus R. (WL# 5275)

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:39 pm)

    from Twitter:
    ShinyHat (me):
    @GMBlogs A lot of commentors at gm-volt.com want to know when site organizer Dr. Lyle Dennis might get “Cruze” in a Volt prototype?
    Response from GMBlogs:
    @ShinyHat Lyle should be able to experience the Voltec system soon. -Phil

    So there you go. “soon”


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    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    #99 CaptJackSparrow Says: @ Dave G 95
    “Making the charging port work 2 ways would be prohibitively expensive. ”

    I disagree with you bro. All you need is a DC/DC converter for a step down from 400V to 48/24/12 (whichever you want) and use one or two PureSine 3KW inverter to your home.
    ————————————————————————————–
    I know what you’re talking about. I happen to own an AIMS PureSine 1.5KW inverter.

    What I was talking about is making the charge port work 2 ways, which implies that the inverter would be connected to the grid. That’s a whole different type of inverter. Here’s a typical 2.8KW grid-tie inverter:
    http://www.affordable-solar.com/xantrex-gt-28-inverter.grid.intertie.htm
    Cost is $1900, just for the inverter. It’s also fairly large and heavy.

    So that’s why I keep talking about convenience outlets, since that would only require a simple PureSine inverter. In other words, you would use one wire for charging the Volt from the grid, and another wire for use as backup power when necessary.

    As for connecting to the 400 volt DC bus, I don’t think GM will make that easy to do, for obvious safety reasons, so it would have to be something GM would provide.


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    Right Lane Cruiser

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    #39 Dave G, I don’t dispute that the phenomenon doesn’t exist, but I do think that the incidents you list are rather less likely than otherwise.

    It is interesting how often the “overloaded circuit” argument is brought up. I can’t see any way that market penetration could be fast enough for this to become a widespread issue. As for other concerns, what if you forgot to fill up your tank the night before and there wasn’t enough to start the car? What if you lost your keys and couldn’t go anywhere? I don’t know about you but I manage to handle such thing through the use of habits. It is a habit of mine to make sure I have my keys in hand before closing the car door, and also to put them in same place every time I enter the house. I also check the mail right after I get home.

    So far, adding plugging in the block heater (which is on a timer) as the thing I do as soon as I get out of the car in my garage hasn’t failed to work for me. There are of course occasional flubs (especially when trying to establish the habit), but nothing ridiculous.

    In other words, I’m not too concerned because the problems at a personal level can be dealt with through the expedient use of a little logical habit forming, and the large scale problems aren’t likely to be severe because we aren’t going to do a wholesale swap in half a year. ;)


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    Christopher Phelan

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    I had a similar apocolypic moment when the ‘auto stop’ feature on my new Yukon Hybrid engaged for the first time and I found myself cruising Main St on electric power alone. I can go up to about 30 mph for a couple of miles before the V8 kicks in. No recharge anxiety in this outfit, but now I want a big lithium battery instead of the NiCade and a 220 volt charger so I can start out with a hot battery. Are you listening GM?


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    Marcus R. (WL# 5275)

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:45 pm)

    According to their (rather thick) owner’s manual, the Tesla Roadster actually has at least one cupholder, but it looks like a pair of calipers and shouldn’t be extended when entering the vehicle.


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    Don

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:55 pm)

    The Tesla is a great ambassador for EVs.


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    firehawk72

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (2:59 pm)

    The part at the gas station was absolutely hillarious!!
    Thanks, Lyle

    Hawk


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    100% electric vehicle owner

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (3:00 pm)

    #75 Dave G and #86 KenP

    If you don’t like V2G, then don’t use your plug in electric vehicles to do it. Issue resolved. It seems that your views are at odds with energy agencies, electric utilities, cities, automobile companies and actual plug in electric vehice users on this, however.

    If you don’t have a plug in electric vehicle, you are projecting your mental concepts, while I am reporting actual real world events, which include V2G.

    Thanks for agreeing with me that grid connected solar makes V2G easier with the grid as is, although where the panels are placed is irrelevant to using a plug in vehicle with an inverter.


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    Christopher Phelan

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (3:06 pm)

    Oh yes, I forgot to mention the Fischer Karma. Hope you get a test drive soon. Why can Fischer produce an extended range electric car using a GM engine and a GM supplier based system (Q-drive), while GM makes us wait forever for the Volt? Has the world’s largest automaker forgotten how to make cars? If i don’t see a Volt before you test drive the Karma, I will read your review and I just might send them the $5000 deposit. Thanks


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    k-dawg

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (3:13 pm)

    Lyle, make a trip over to the Milford proving grounds (bing your snow boots). Tell them you want to take a mule for a few laps around the track. Seems reasonable.


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    Ole EV Guy

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (3:18 pm)

    This is the best video I’ve seen on driving an EV. NO MUSIC TO SPOIL THE QUIET!!!!!!


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (3:29 pm)

    Kent

    The Model T version that you descibe debuted in 1912. It’s price would be about $12,500 in today’s dollars, so accordingly to your logic no vehicle that cost more than $12,500 could have any impact on the automotive industry. Whew! I’m so glad that the expensive full size SUV craze never happened ove the last 20 years. Also, you can’t buy a cheap, well regarded pickup truck these days for less than around $15,000 MSP, so no pickup trucks have an impact either according to your logic.

    Thanks for describing to us how you see reality. Thank goodness it doesn’t match reality itself.

    New technology starts at a high cost and then gets cheaper (examples – cell phones, video players, computers).


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    Mr Tight

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (3:39 pm)

    Just one question re the video. Was the car tight?


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (3:55 pm)

    2 similarities between the Fisker Karma and the Volt:

    1. They both have drastically downgraded the cars range after “customer depletion” of the battery.
    2. Neither will tell you what size fuel tank they’re using.

    hmm.


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    Mr Nerd

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (3:56 pm)

    Dude, you’re a freaking nerd and a half! So was it tight, snug, sporty? duh, it’s based on the Lotus Elise!

    Stick to your day job.


  132. 132
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (4:05 pm)

    #111 Mike Says: Until the auto makers, foreign and domestic, come out with a full electric car we will always be dependent on the Middle East.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Even if electric cars completely eliminate gasoline, we will still be dependent on the Middle Eastern oil. So we will need something in addition to electric cars…


  133. 133
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (4:08 pm)

    #123 100% electric vehicle owner Says: If you don’t like V2G, then don’t use your plug in electric vehicles to do it. Issue resolved.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Sorry I misunderstood. Most V2G proponents talk about standardizing the plug so that all users are forced into V2G, whether they like it or not.


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    Cautious Fan

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (4:10 pm)

    Not that anyone cares, but I’ve found that I’ve been spending too much time on this site, including time at work. So this is me signing off. Not going to post anymore. DonC will have to find someone else to argue with ;) I figure I’m not going get you to give up socialism anyways so why bother. To each his own.

    This is the first site I’ve ever really posted to. It was fun. I learned a lot (I think) about online etiquette and such.


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    Nelson

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (4:11 pm)

    Lyle you lucky bum, :)
    This was fantastic, I’m so happy you can bring this to us via the internet. I agree that Tesla is one big component of ushering in a new world of transportation.

    I do feel the greatest component of the formula, to bring about this change, is the publics resolve not to buy or lease New Gasoline only powered vehicles.

    Sure history will give credit to the timing of high gas prices.
    It will also mention the collapse of the World economy, but the true power is in peoples wallets.

    NPNS!


  136. [...] Source [...]


  137. 137
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (4:24 pm)

    Lyle,

    Congrats on the test drive – glad you had fun. Hopefully, GM will let you drive one of the Volt mules soon, when they are ready to move onto building real Volt prototypes.


  138. 138
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (4:41 pm)

    The auto brake function isn’t a problem. If you drive in traffic there will be a dozen other cars with brakes lights coming on. Especially being that it’s a small car which is easy to see over.

    The rear light on my Ninja doesn’t come on until really jump on the brakes. Haven’t had a problem in 12 years. Just stay ahead of the flow of traffic. This is usually about 74mph-78mph on the freeway.

    After seeing the video, the issue of “too quiet” seems to be real. Bright exterior colors should be standard. Red, white, or florescent. No gray, cream, or bronze.

    =D~


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (4:55 pm)

    @carcus1 109

    “What’s next? How about a road trip to Hong Kong for a F3DM test drive?”

    I second that!!! I’d like to see some reviews of that car. Shlt, I’d donate a few $$$ to send his butt there.

    Call it the “Throw Lyle on the Plane” tour.


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    DonC

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (5:09 pm)

    #104 statik says “I think they (UAW) are starting to get more than a little concerned now that the gov’t is (not so quietly) working with Citi and JP Morgan to possibly provide some C11 DIP financing should it come to that”

    So now we have Rattner’s appointment along with Bloom’s. Definitely not the “B” team.

    I have no doubt that the Obama Administration would like to restructure outside of bankruptcy. It’s just a very messy and glacially moving process. But there can be no doubt that if the concessions aren’t forthcoming then the Administration will force the bankruptcy.


  141. 141
    statik

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (5:21 pm)

    #133 Cautious Fan said

    Not that anyone cares, but I’ve found that I’ve been spending too much time on this site, including time at work. So this is me signing off. Not going to post anymore. DonC will have to find someone else to argue with I figure I’m not going get you to give up socialism anyways so why bother. To each his own.

    This is the first site I’ve ever really posted to. It was fun. I learned a lot (I think) about online etiquette and such.
    ===================
    The site does take up some time…I should know, but I do care about the people behind the posts (like yourself), that I feel I have come to know (and probably annoyed) over the past couple years.

    You bring a unique perspective to the boards and it would be a loss to lose you (ok, that sounds a little redundant).

    Hopefully you reconsider, and maybe just take a little bit of a step back if you think it is interfering with your psyche/free time.

    /what is this online etiquette you speak of?


  142. 142
    Greg Reich

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (5:25 pm)

    I have been interested in the Tesla Motors Roadster from the time I first heard about it (seems like two years ago now, but I’m fuzzy on time), but then I checked into how much the insurance would be. In Michigan, it’s as high as my house payment! If it weren’t for the astronomically high insurance premium, it would actually be worth it for me to shell out $109,000 for this car, as much as I drive per year.


  143. 143
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (5:39 pm)

    hi DonC #139,

    “more than a little concerned…very messy”

    __________________________

    Don C and statik. I don’t like what the Market did today. Expected a decent pop for Ford on the Fusion hybrid news. And also a 1% lift in the S&P. S&P finished down over 3% (ouch).

    The government is going to wake up one morning and realize that dealing out loan after spending plan after buy-back isn’t what the economy needs.

    Sticking with the law of the land. And standing firm when threatened by the demands of hostile or unrealistic organizations is the path to take. If anything, the government should be adding jobs by quietly building a public support industry. Not handing out feed worms to the chirping carnage around them.

    _________________________

    Now the big question. One $109,000 Tesla in the garage or three Volt. That’s an easy one, I’ll take the Volt. Very exciting times.

    =D~


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    Jim I

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (6:11 pm)

    Lyle:

    It was very obvious that you were having a great time!

    I do look forward to your VOLT test drive!!!

    Go GM! Go GM Volt Team!!!

    NPNS!


  145. 145
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (6:22 pm)

    I finally saw the video. Absolutely awesome, Lyle.


  146. 146
    DonC

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (6:27 pm)

    #133 Cautious Fan says “So this is me signing off. Not going to post anymore.”

    Oh no. You’ll be missed.

    Sometimes it just works to take a break. Everyone does that from time to time. Usually you get to a point that you’re learning less and spending (wasting?) to much time. But you can pick it up after a break and it’s fresh again.

    So do stop by!


  147. 147
    kubel

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (6:28 pm)

    Great video. Kind of sad that you’ve been able to drive a Ford EV and a Tesla EV, but no GM EV. I would think they would want to give some bloggers and enthusiasts at least a test drive to show off how far they have come, but perhaps their fear is that they will show off how far they have to go.

    So you’ve driven and reviewed the Ford Focus EV, now the Tesla Roadster, but still no Volt.


  148. 148
    Mike Young

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (6:29 pm)

    Lyle,

    Totally awesome video! Will have to get me one someday and have the Telsa grin to show for it everyday.

    Mike


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:02 pm)

    I finally watched the video….lol
    The first guy asked “did you lift it?”….
    Dude asked if he stole it….lol….
    Aw man that was great. Lyle, man, you don’t look like that type…lol.


  150. 150
    Jim

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:13 pm)

    Bob and Rick let Lyle have a ride! You guy’s are dropping the ball not getting behind your #1 supporter and publicist!

    #138 Cpt. Jack has a good idea. Let Lyle drive the BYD. I believe there are going to be some in the country for Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha.

    Why not electrify the interstates. That would take care of the range issu


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:16 pm)

    #67 Dave G

    Here is another way to reduce oil consumption; go longer than 3,000 miles between oil changes.

    http://skepticblog.org/2009/02/22/oilchange-rant/


  152. 152
    100% electric vehicle owner

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:17 pm)

    #132 Dave G

    No worries. I like more options.

    For those who do want to do it, all V2G takes is a cheap converter or existing compatibilty between female plug from inverter and male plug from electric vehicle and maybe a little experience with inverters and tracking the suckage on your vehicle ’cause the grid is a hungry heifer. Existing plugs (we’ve had electricity in this country since about 1888 – no big deal) work great has been my real world experience.

    I feel that the whole “OMG – we first need a whole new infrastructure everywhere instantly for plug in electric cars (or V2G) to work at all” is waaaayyyyy overblown (thanks, GM). Adoption of new vehicles takes time, time in which the grid and infrastructure will respond, just as it did for plasma TVs (I don’t recall a huge shrieky debate over the production of those). Increasing numbers of residential and commerical grid connected solar systems is part of that response, but only one the hundreds of tiny silver bullets that are all working together to get us less dependent on imported oil.

    I’m not saying that a modernized smart grid that better incorporates alternative and renewable energy sources wouldn’t be nice in general, though. But it would really be a marginal luxury convenience to me personally, not at all a necessity. Maybe that’ll be different with millions of users – I’m not qualified to say.


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    JohnS

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:31 pm)

    Now this is a car to get excited about. OEM’s should take note and quit building the overpriced Malibu looking volt and Prius.


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    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:50 pm)

    #133 Cautious Fan Says: Not that anyone cares, but I’ve found that I’ve been spending too much time on this site, including time at work. So this is me signing off.
    ————————————————————————————–
    We’ll miss you. Check back from time to time if you can manage it.


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    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (7:57 pm)

    #139 DonC Says: I have no doubt that the Obama Administration would like to restructure outside of bankruptcy. It’s just a very messy and glacially moving process. But there can be no doubt that if the concessions aren’t forthcoming then the Administration will force the bankruptcy.
    ————————————————————————————–
    I agree. March 31st is the drop dead date. If GM’s creditors, dealers, suppliers, and the UAW can’t work out a deal by then, GM will go C11, which will probably lead to C7.


  156. 156
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:07 pm)

    #140 statik Says: /what is this online etiquette you speak of?
    ————————————————————————————–
    LOL!


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    noel park

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:13 pm)

    #150 ThombDbhomb:

    Good point.

    I was raised on 3000 miles too. Since we started with Mobil 1, I have been gradually stretching it out, with no visible downside. Our 3500 pickup has one of those oil life readouts. I have read that they actually work pretty well, and sort of track the results in the link. If you do much highway driving, it will give you a life of 10K miles.

    When you multiply it by millions of cars, it is a lot of oil. Thanks.


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    Koz

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:16 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow #94

    you can’t just throw a bunch of 120V plugs intended for 8A devices on an existing circuit. Undoubtably code will require individual circuits or factor in the charging loads, and they should. Most lighting circuits are 20A.


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    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:16 pm)

    #129 carcus1 Says:
    2 similarities between the Fisker Karma and the Volt:

    1. They both have drastically downgraded the cars range after “customer depletion” of the battery.
    2. Neither will tell you what size fuel tank they’re using.
    ———————————————————————————–
    Right. They did downgrade the Volt’s gas tank size. I thought GM said the production Volt’s tank would be somewhere between 6 and 7 gallons.

    I would guess that both Fisker and GM under-estimated the weight of the battery and had to cut back on the size of the gas tank to compensate.

    Also, given that the Volt only uses 37 gallons of gas per year with a typical driving pattern, a bigger gas tank probably didn’t make a lot of sense anyway. A bigger tank also increases the chance of the gas going stale.


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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:20 pm)

    Tom H

    Subsidizing ethanol is a boondoggle that really hurts our potential to become energy self sufficient because it distracts us from what we really need, and is truly cost effective, nuclear power.
    _______________________________________
    Oh man, you had me worried about what the punch line was, for a minute there. Glad you picked one that isn’t subsidized.

    Government’s cost of never used Nevada storage site, ( http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/110.htm )


  161. 161
    Martin

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:22 pm)

    Great vid Lyle…..

    the electric car revolution has started….! i am completely ready to turn my keys in for a volt.


  162. 162
    DonC

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:22 pm)

    #142 Dave K says “I don’t like what the Market did today.”

    I keep reminding Statik that there are two types of people on WS: Those who know they don’t know what the market will do and those who don’t know they don’t know what the market will do. All this means is that while the market tends to be rational in the long run you can go broke waiting for the market to come to its senses. (Most “explanations” of maket moves are more rationalization than explanation — my favorite is “profit taking”)

    I started buying in October. Was that smart? Well so far not really. (I get reminded of this from day to day). But I have a 10-15 year time horizon. In the long run I’m quite bullish. I really have no idea of what will happen tomorrow or next week or next month. But I’m very confident that 15 years from now we’ll be far ahead of where we are today.


  163. 163
    Dave G

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:23 pm)

    #156 noel park Says: Our 3500 pickup has one of those oil life readouts. I have read that they actually work pretty well, and sort of track the results in the link. If you do much highway driving, it will give you a life of 10K miles.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Right. Oil life seems to depend on:
    1) the type of driving (city / highway)
    2) the number of miles
    3) The age of the oil. For example, if you only drive 1000 miles a year, you’ll still need to change your oil.

    I believe the oil-life monitors that are built into the cars take all of this into account, although I’m not sure about the age.


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    jim

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:24 pm)

    My brother has a Lotus Exige with an aftermarket intercooler and exhaust. I’ll bet it’s way faster than the Tesla. For the difference in price between it and the Tesla, my brother could buy gas for the next 100 years.

    The Volt is a similarly overpriced lost cause — only overpaid doctors will buy it. It will cost almost as much as a ‘Vette and will still lose money for GM (and now us taxpayers). I’ll take the ‘Vette over the Volt any day.

    Gasoline rules!


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    JEC

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:31 pm)

    #133 Cautious Fan says “So this is me signing off. Not going to post anymore.”
    ====================================================

    I have found that I also spend excessive time on this site. I have attempted to quell my visits, but I still like to dip in and catch the latest.

    Cautious, well leave a light on for you. (Well, maybe we need to turn it off occasionally when we plug in our Tesla)


  166. 166
    Drake

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:33 pm)

    Congrats Lyle!! What an awesome video!!!


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    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:36 pm)

    hi DonC #161,

    “we’ll be far ahead of where we are today”

    __________________________

    Those who have practiced restraint through this last “flip that house” and “triple your money fast” period are well positioned.

    Purchased another $800 today in metal recycling and saw the stock gain four cents per share. My strategy now is to build thousands of shares of individual stock that has had no reason to drop except that everything else has. An example of this is a clean energy stock holding (9000 shares) that pops 15-20 cents on an odd day ($1600). This will buy my Volt in 2011.

    You’re a sharp guy Don, and I am sure you’ll win in the long run.

    NRLSPNS

    No Rich Lutzonian Side Panels, No Sale!

    =D~


  168. 168
    BillR1

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:54 pm)

    Lyle,

    It didn’t look like a very warm day in NY on the day of your test drive. Did the Tesla have heated seats and/or a heater, and if so, do you think they may have affected the range?


  169. 169
    Dan Petit

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (8:56 pm)

    For anyone concerned about the power demand at any homes’ circuitry, there are simple subroutines (in a 12 volt auto charge pulsewidth program in 1996 and later autos, which technology, when applied to a 120/240 AC system) can quickly detect any voltage drop (due to the very slightest overloading of DC circuitry as well as any AC circuitry). This established technology can very easily analyze a home’s safety compromises in terms of one one-hundreth of a volt sensitivity/unexpected-rate-of-loss (say, as opposed to an old circuit breaker) which loss would “ramp-down” beyond supply tolerances from expected supply-side (your 120 or 240 voltages) in any one-hundreth of a volt irregularity increments (from what it has “learned” to be normal).
    These tolerances could be very easily seen with, say, a special 20 amp sensing circuit breaker for the 240 charge system, (which an electrician could install for 60 bucks labor). A 120 volt sensing circuit breaker could be done the same way. Uncomplicated electronics inside of this sort of circuit breaker, (which could have only those typical two screws to remove and to install), ought not be a significant cost. (But the “learn” process monitored by an electrician for the first charge-up).
    So, any charge circuit for the Volt might just have a sensing circuit breaker installed where ever you need it.
    Over the last one hundred years of vast numbers of design hours for Internal Combustion Engines, we have come to the point where we are flogging very expensive sets of technologies (Controller Area Networks, or CAN Systems) which have gotten so complicated, I have found that teaching L-1 Advanced Systems techs is far more easily done by those whom are completely open-minded and eager to learn. (Surprisingly, far over 25 years of experience may not be as helpful if they are too self-satisfied that their experience is all they need). (My seminars simply re-organize their experience far more efficiently with the proper scan system).
    The point here is that the new E-REV technologies will likely be more easily learned and successfully applied with those whom have
    ***LESS**** experience (starting with a somewhat experienced person of 10 years full time, who does not have an excessively willful esteem or overextended-overhead agenda, or is already “burned-out” beyond optimism).
    Internal Combustion is on the way out as a primary propulsion paradigm. The very finest of L-1 Advanced Systems technicians will advance further into the plug-in servicing business simply because they are completely open-minded about learning and immediately accept the need-to-know safety issues.
    Not only do I have to only mention any concept just once, but these gifted techs finish the topic-conversations for me with what I was going to say in the first place.
    These very highly gifted individuals will be honored to service your vehicles, and, it is my mission to have them properly recognized down through the next 4 years before you need them. I personally have trained about 40 of these very gifted individuals of the 390 techs that I have trained in the last 6 years with the Genisys Scan system, which downloads General Motors (and the other OEM) analysis software. The General Motors Logo is contained in it. The use of it proves that these techs (as well as myself) loyally rely upon the methods of testing as prescribed and proven by General Motors engineers down through the last 30 years of computerized engines. This is why I can say these several things:
    GM is the by far the best when it comes to supporting the independents.
    And, GM is by far the best where it comes to the complete numbers and types of data streams required for techs to understand these compound and complex systems, so they may test them properly and thoroughly, and, to be able to do their best to make you satisfied and happy to be a GM vehicle owner.
    GM is number 1 regarding these data streams.
    (There is no number 2).
    Dan Petit Austin Texas.


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    Anderson

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:01 pm)

    Entry #166 (or later), so I doubt anyone will read this.

    However, it’s interesting to note how this web site and this topic (electric, plug-in hybrids, and, of course, range-extended electric vehicles) seems to unite left and right like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Comments posted here range from left-leaning, environmentalist liberals to fiscally conservative, nuclear-power-championing, right-wing republicans. For different reasons, perhaps, but we are all inspired by the Volt and the future promise of the electric vehicle.

    Lyle should be proud of this fact: he has managed to unite America, an almost impossible task. Just ask Obama, who, by the way, is already showing the signs of aging brought on by the responsibility, the inevitable rookie mistakes, and the need to renege on campaign promises due to realities he wouldn’t acknowledge before.


  171. 171
    Casey

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:10 pm)

    GM, make Lyle a Volt and GIVE it to him, NOW, he deserves it

    #133 Cautious Fan, you are one of the ICONS around here, hope you come back soon and post again, but not from work, very dangerous

    NO PLUG, NO SALE, JGTVWOTR, DBNGCMEMEV, (my house) =D~~~(my volt)————————-STOP THE BAILOUTS———————-oooops too late


  172. 172
    Unni

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:13 pm)

    Some comments in http://www.twitter.com/gmblogs says that Lyle will be getting volt soon for a drive ,

    I believe they may be GM insiders , way to go ….


  173. 173
    Ed M

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (9:16 pm)

    Lyle

    Thank you for sharing a truly wonderful video with us. The roadster is truly a beauty in every aspect. Boy oh boy, you could really see the acceleration in the vid. I’m glad that Tesler bestowed this prestigious honor on you as an advocate for electric vehicles.

    My big body doesn’t fold like yours so I’ll be waiting for the Volt.
    ___________________________________________________________
    #169 Anderson

    Wow Anderson, that was a really loaded comment.


  174. [...] Lyle Tesla Roadster Test Drive (gm-volt.com) Lyle from gm-volt.com gives the Tesla Roadster a test drive. The reaction from the gm-volt members should be interesting quite a few aren’t exactly Tesla fans. Related article here:GM-Volt.com Exclusive Tesla Roadster Electric Car One Day Test Drive With Video | GM-VOLT : Chevy Vo… [...]


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    the real james

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:02 pm)

    nice!


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    solo2500nt

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:09 pm)

    Tagamet:

    FYI. In case you haven’t seen it, Jay Leno also did a clip on his Tesla. He has a web sight called http://WWW.JAYLENOSGARAGE.COM.

    The web sight is all about Jay driving various cars from his extensive collection in a little mini road test review. Very interesting for car guys.

    You may want to check that out as well if you haven’t already.


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    carcus1

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:18 pm)

    #158 Dave g

    “I would guess that both Fisker and GM under-estimated the weight of the battery and had to cut back on the size of the gas tank to compensate.”
    _______________________________________________________

    I would guess the mpg after customer depletion of the battery is no where near 50 mpg for the volt, and far less than what was hoped for in the Karma.

    I can find no reference that says the Karma downgraded the size of the gas tank. They just cut there overall range by about 1/2. I can find no reference where they say the size of the fuel tank.

    GM has said the volt gas tank shrunk and the range dropped. But they went from telling us it was a 12 gallon tank to not telling us what the new tank size would be at all.

    As far as outside working examples go of EREV battery depleted fuel efficiency, I can only find AC propulsion’s range extender trailer behind the tzero and an erev conversion of a jetta. Neither one got close to 50 mpg, and both were limited on performance.

    Fisker’s got a turbocharged 2.0 litre 260hp motor turning their generator so that it doesn’t have “limp home” performance as described by Fisker’s CEO when contrasting engine size vs. what’s in the volt. If they needed a 260 hp motor, then that means they’re planning on loading it up, and that means they’re going to be pumping a fair amount of fuel through it.

    So. . . relating this back to the subject of real world test drives . . I think it’s high time GM offered up some real world performance data on what they’ve got going so far . . . being that they’re still asking for government money and all.


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    Jim

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (10:25 pm)

    Hey, what happened to the video?


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    Thomas

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:06 pm)

    I’m still sold on the Volt… But I have to say… Good on you for bringing your web-site fans all the news you can. I know people who would be interested in a Tesla, but for me, the four-seater comfort machine that can limp home after I expend it’s electricity is definately what I’m waiting for. (And in my little town, where I travle about 30 to 40 miles a week, I’m thinking my Volt won’t be plugged in everyday. lol!!)
    Thanks again Lyle, I’m glad you had a chance to experiance all electric drive and share it with us!


  180. [...] Lyle Tesla Roadster Test Drive (gm-volt.com) Lyle from gm-volt.com gives the Tesla Roadster a test drive. The reaction from the gm-volt members should be interesting given quite a few aren’t exactly Tesla fans. Related article here:GM-Volt.com Exclusive Tesla Roadster Electric Car One Day Test Drive With Video | GM-VOLT : Chevy Vo… [...]


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    statik

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:09 pm)

    #151 DonC said:

    I keep reminding Statik that there are two types of people on WS: Those who know they don’t know what the market will do and those who don’t know they don’t know what the market will do. All this means is that while the market tends to be rational in the long run you can go broke waiting for the market to come to its senses. (Most “explanations” of maket moves are more rationalization than explanation — my favorite is “profit taking”)

    I started buying in October. Was that smart? Well so far not really. (I get reminded of this from day to day). But I have a 10-15 year time horizon. In the long run I’m quite bullish. I really have no idea of what will happen tomorrow or next week or next month. But I’m very confident that 15 years from now we’ll be far ahead of where we are today.

    =======================
    My motto is, “If I don’t understand it, I don’t invest in it, lol” I agree with you that no one can know what the market will do…or how it will react, your best bet is to just educate yourselves as best you can and try to maximize/minimize its movements.

    I have been 100% out for well over a year…until about 10 days ago. I thought I was starting to figure things out, I thought the direct backing of mortgages (coupled with the new stimulus) might put in a floor of sorts (or at least a short term rally to make a buck or two), I put about 2% back into equities (GE & RY) and promptly got my a** handed to me, a tidy -17%.

    GE @ $11.25, now trading @ $8.85
    RY @ $23.75, now trading @ $20.62 (still feeling good about this one)

    My 2% is now, 1.6%. Not sayingthey are going to kept going down (and making me look like a goof) or won’t come back…but none too smart timing either I suppose.

    I like to think of myself as a ‘long term’ investor, I know I’m a pretty patient guy, but I just couldn’t see being in this market (or real estate) the last 12-18 months (sometimes the signs are just there), and after this minor hand smack for being over-zealous and getting jumpy wanting to trade…I’m going to stay sitting out a little longer and just be content making 4+% on guaranteed returns.

    /it is killing me to have them sitting in my portfolio now, I should have just kept trading the odd put here and there as opportunities presented themselves…I’m not selling them though, going to use them as a ‘reminder’


  182. 182
    koz

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:19 pm)

    Carcus #176

    “So. . . relating this back to the subject of real world test drives . . I think it’s high time GM offered up some real world performance data on what they’ve got going so far . . . being that they’re still asking for government money and all.”

    Being government money, aka taxpayer backed loans, I’m kinda hoping they tell you, me, and everyone else as little as possible until as late as possible. Naturally I’ld love to know the answers now, but that risk adverse little green man on my shoulder wants them to keep their trap shut and divulge as little as possible to the competition. Just think if they had kept the Volt a secrete (never would have happened because most of the braindead management didn’t foresee the value in EREVs), how many plug-in competitors would they be looking at in 2011…ooops…(dang Statik)…2010)?


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    stopcrazypp

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:31 pm)

    About the range anxiety everyone is posting about, I feel eventually the battery capacity will grow to the point that it’s not much of an issue (400+ miles, even 300+ miles would be good). Add rapid chargers (will be built for BEVs, if they get adopted) & slower street chargers (which will have to be built to support any plug-in car market, not just BEVs) and it’ll address the problem. There’s also that idea of external range extenders.

    Certainly there will need to be gas cars or other types of fuel based car around as cars for emergencies (at least in the near future, until rapid chargers are widespread). BEVs will probably start as second cars for people, except for those who live in the city (where they are near every place they need to travel in an emergency). But I feel eventually we will get over this “range anxiety” thing and go “all in” with BEVs.


  184. 184
    David L

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:44 pm)

    Lyle – you lucky dog! The text and video are great, and the rapid acceleration is just amazing! You deserve the chance to test drive the Tesla Roadster for all the hard work that you’ve put into this site …


  185. 185
    David L

     

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    Feb 23rd, 2009 (11:54 pm)

    #180 – Statik
    About a year ago, I just started putting my investment money into “safe” guaranteed investments. I lost almost all faith in the stock market. (I just wish I’d cashed out other investments before the “crash”.) However, one bright note has been alternative energy funds. Monies that I invested for the kids’ RESPs grew by 142% in 2008 (check out CAM400). Of course, alternative energy is all about generating clean electricity – which is why this posting still relates to the Volt and other EREVs. :-)


  186. 186
    tim-the-dreamer

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (12:01 am)

    Congratulations, Lyle!

    If anyone deserves to take a spin in a hot elect. sports car it’s you. Thanks for taking us along buddy! Hope to see that grin when you get behind the volt’s wheel! Hey GM, hint, hint, ;-) .


  187. 187
    carcus1

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (1:18 am)

    BREAKING NEWS (from 2003): AC Propulsion’s study confirms Ford’s claim that Plug in parallel hybrids are more fuel efficient than plug in series hybrids:

    6.3.1. Series vs. Parallel designs

    “Fuel economy can be improved by allowing the APU engine to drive the wheels directly in some modes of operation so that the conversion losses from electric generation and propulsion are avoided. This is done in parallel and combined hybrid systems such as the Prius. Compared to a series hybrid such as the project vehicle, the measured fuel economy gains can be significant, ……”

    pg. 41
    http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/icat/projects/acprop.pdf

    These are the guys that essentially started the EV1 and Volt programs, saying that parallel hybrids beat series hybrids in fuel economy.

    As far as I’m concerned, that’s a VERY QUALIFIED verification that the volt is NOT going to get 50 mpg after battery depletion.

    (Can’t believe I just now found this report dated Dec. 2003. You’d think somebody on this board would have mentioned it by now.)


  188. 188
    jeffhre

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (1:24 am)

    Correction @ # 159

    ( http://www.aip.org/fyi/2007/110.html )


  189. 189
    wtiger

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (1:32 am)

    Pretty awesome. I’m still disappointed about the lack of a 2 speed tranny though. A 100k+ sports car should at least do180mph. After all a car like that isn’t a commuter it’s an awesome toy we all wish we could afford.


  190. 190
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (7:02 am)

    I look forward to the day when ICEs are no longer need.
    But being 45 years old, I don’t have high hopes I will be around long enough to see it.


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    BillR1

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (7:09 am)

    #186 Carcus1

    Not sure how valid your argument us regarding mpg with the ICE in operation, but here is some info on the Opel Ampera’s projected overall mileage,

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/238332/

    Note also that the EPA sticker for the Volt is projected to be in excess of 100 mpg. If the test will be as suggested by some in the industry, the Volt will drive the US06 cycle until the ICE kicks in. At that point, it will continue for the same number of miles that it did under electric power. So, if you do the math, the EPA sticker will be 2 times the mpg with the ICE running.

    Not sure if this will be the actual EPA test, but if so, it means the Volt’s mpg with the ICE in operation will be more than 50 mpg.


  192. 192
    NZDavid

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (7:10 am)

    Rashiid, my friend, I am 48 years old and I fully expect to see that day.

    Trust me, OPEC is not your friend. They are running out of oil.


  193. 193
    statik

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (8:13 am)

    Truth About Cars has Lyle’s piece up, (and the pithy commentary one would expect to go along with it, heeh):

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/the-tesla-roadster-is-more-about-what-it-is-than-what-it-does/?cp=all#comments


  194. 194
    Dan

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (8:59 am)

    That was funny, asking the gas station attendant…”whaddya think of that”?…haha.

    Nice car and all, but I can’t imagine driving that on a long trip…doesn’t look comfortable, especially for someone of my height. I’ll wait for the Volt.


  195. 195
    Pat

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (9:16 am)

    We tested the Roadster too last summer, if anyone is interested:

    http://www.newcarnet.co.uk/Tesla-Roadster_car_video.html?section=interactive&id=544


  196. 196
    Anderson

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (9:30 am)

    I read some of their comments and…

    Those people over at “The Truth About Cars” sure seem to be soured at the world. Everything’s looked at in a negative, embittered way; everything is doom and gloom. I hope they recover from their depression… eventually.


  197. 197
    Murray

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (10:10 am)

    Ahh, the dream to have the permanent “Tesla smile” and to be so uber-rich as to be able to afford it….but alas….the reality…

    still I do love what Tesla has done and what they continue to try to do, they are actually where I was focusing my attention before I found GM-Volt.

    Congrats Lyle on getting that opportunity, it looked like loads of fun.


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    wwskinn3

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (10:17 am)

    Nice article Lyle. Can’t afford a Tesla but perhaps GM should consider putting it’s electric drive in a Saturn Sky. Seems a company in Cincinatti is doing it and getting 150 mpg. You already have the cars and components. Should be able to get this sporty vehicle on the market very quick.

    150 miles per charge. http://www.ampmotorworks.com/index.html


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    Betered

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (11:03 am)

    BEAUTIFUL!! Good ol’ American innovation launches the electric automobile industry. Thanks Lyle – everyone who drives a Tesla raves (except comedians from Top Gear, etc.).

    If it wasn’t for Tesla – wouldn’t be a Volt.


  200. 200
    Dennis

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (12:12 pm)

    Can’t wait for the day the common family can have an all electric solution.


  201. 201
    Red HHR

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (6:53 pm)

    YAHOO! Way to go Lyle!!!
    Now if GM would make a cheaper knock off copy that I could afford…
    Yes wishful thinking, OK.

    Chevy is a red state car. Like apple pie…
    Now the blue state government is socializing the red state car, I just do not get it???

    New job, not much time to post.

    Cheers, Red HHR


  202. 202
    statik

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (7:11 pm)

    #180 statik (me) said:

    I have been 100% out for well over a year…until about 10 days ago. I thought I was starting to figure things out, I thought the direct backing of mortgages (coupled with the new stimulus) might put in a floor of sorts (or at least a short term rally to make a buck or two), I put about 2% back into equities (GE & RY) and promptly got my a** handed to me, a tidy -17%.

    GE @ $11.25, now trading @ $8.85
    RY @ $23.75, now trading @ $20.62 (still feeling good about this one)

    =====================
    Just wanted to say RY moved up $2.15 today (10.5%) to $22.77, so all hope is not lost on the ‘getting my toes wet again’ experiment. (GE was a big puss today…and only went up 2.6% – $9.09). Cuts my ‘on paper’ loss almost in half…down around 10% now.

    /c’mon two more days like today, hehe


  203. 203
    Red HHR

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (7:41 pm)

    #201 Statik,

    I am never 100% anything, however I was pretty much out till the election. Then I went about half in. I do have a tendency to pick up the alternatives to oil, the drop in oil really clobbered…

    I even had a really cool job lined up in the alternative field…

    Oh well, I am employed.

    Red HHR (Looking at the insight)


  204. 204
    Eric Edgar

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (8:14 pm)

    Lyle, Is it OK if I upload this photo to the Tesla facebook page?

    http://www.gm-volt.com/j/Lyle_Tesla2.jpg

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=39876531624


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    Mac

     

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    Feb 24th, 2009 (11:57 pm)

    I’m so jealous!

    Great report and video, Kyle – thank you!


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    Texas

     

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    Feb 25th, 2009 (8:04 am)

    I think we found our spokesperson! Great job Lyle!


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    John Meschede

     

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    Feb 25th, 2009 (12:13 pm)

    GM could have come out with the Volt LAST YEAR. I can’t wait until congressional hearings come out on the oil industry and the subsequent sentencings. Europe and India are going electric, we do not want to wait another day for full electric cars.


  208. 208
    statik

     

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    Feb 25th, 2009 (4:49 pm)

    #180 statik (me) said:

    I have been 100% out for well over a year…until about 10 days ago. I thought I was starting to figure things out, I thought the direct backing of mortgages (coupled with the new stimulus) might put in a floor of sorts (or at least a short term rally to make a buck or two), I put about 2% back into equities (GE & RY) and promptly got my a** handed to me, a tidy -17%.

    GE @ $11.25, now trading @ $8.85
    RY @ $23.75, now trading @ $20.62 (still feeling good about this one)

    =====================
    #201 statik (me) said:
    Just wanted to say RY moved up $2.15 today (10.5%) to $22.77, so all hope is not lost on the ‘getting my toes wet again’ experiment. (GE was a big puss today…and only went up 2.6% – $9.09). Cuts my ‘on paper’ loss almost in half…down around 10% now.

    /c’mon two more days like today, hehe

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

    RY up another 5% today, bringing it to $23.91…and I’m up 16 cents…huzzah!

    /crazy world right now


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    ERP

     

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    Feb 25th, 2009 (9:25 pm)

    Great video Lyle. Well done. I can’t til the classic car club gets one for keeps!!!!


  210. 210
    Steve Taylor

     

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    Feb 26th, 2009 (8:10 pm)

    I dream of a day when there are clean, effective electric vehicles for everyone. But…

    “The little race car literally exploded though space…”

    …I also dream of a day when people will learn what the word “literally” means. I suspect the first dream will come true sooner.


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    Test driving a Tesla Roadster | Whixy

     

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    Feb 27th, 2009 (3:16 am)

    [...] Test driving a Tesla Roadster [...]


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    Johnsenclan » Blog Archive

     

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    Feb 27th, 2009 (12:06 pm)

    [...] day with the Tesla electric [...]


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    robert saint amour

     

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    Feb 28th, 2009 (1:26 pm)

    i have to wonder if the author is sleeping with a dealer

    this is a love affair with flawed technology…he obviously drove this toy in warm weather…electric cars don’t have effective heaters, hybrids do but use way more fuel
    great for the stars in california that drive in warm weather, but for the rest of north america…where’s the heat going to come from on a minus ten morning??? a long extension would work i suppose or a wood stove in the trunk


  214. [...] anything that four hours of being attached to a jerryrigged 220v plug couldn’t fix [GM-Volt, via [...]


  215. 215
    J. Simmons

     

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    Mar 2nd, 2009 (7:17 pm)

    You can win a free Tesla Roadster test drive through The Rundown. Really cool.

    http://www.rundown.com/article.php?article_id=455&article_title=Give-\%27Em-The-Rundown…and-win


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    Jeremy Harrison

     

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    Mar 23rd, 2009 (7:02 am)

    i love taylor!


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    John C.

     

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    May 3rd, 2009 (9:10 pm)

    Great review! I had the pleasure of taking out the car for a couple of hours a few months back as well. A friend of mine knew someone at Tesla so he hooked us up. our experience was quite the same as yours. I really, really want to get one. The experience really changes you.

    Thanks for sharing.