Apr 06

Tesla CEO Critical of the Chevy Volt

 

PayPal founder Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors.  Recently he unveiled the Model S 4 door all-electric sedan shown above to much fanfare.  The car exists only as a prototype but the company hopes to mass produce it if it can obtain a $350 million dollar government loan to build the assembly plant.

Tesla has already been producing the 2-seat electric Roadster and has plans to eventually build inexpensive electric cars and partner with automakers.  GM vice chairman Bob Lutz has even credited the company with inspiring him to develop the Volt.

But one thing that stands out is Tesla has no plans to build an extended range electric car like the Volt.

I had the chance to ask Elon Musk why.

What is your feelings about the range-extender concept of the Chevy Volt and why have you not considered it it any of your products?
We looked closely at a range extender architecture for Model S. It ends up costing about the same in vehicle unit cost, a lot more in R&D and a lot more in servicing. Also, although performance is ok when both battery and engine are active at the same time, it turns really bad when the battery runs out and an undersized engine is carrying all the dead weight of the pack. Essentially, a REV is neither fish nor fowl and ends up being worse (in our opinion) than either a gasoline or pure electric vehicle.

An important consideration that people without a technical background don’t understand is that you can either have a high power or a high energy cell chemistry, but not both. Since the battery pack in a plug in hybrid like the Volt has to generate the same *power* as a much larger battery pack in a pure electric vehicle, it has to use a low energy cell chemistry.

That means a 40 mile REV pack is not 1/5 the size of a 200 mile pure EV pack, as simple proportionality would suggest. Another factor is that the REV pack is forced to do three to four times more cycles that a pure EV pack and is (obviously) hit with five times the current per cell during acceleration and regen braking, which forces the REV pack to be derated considerably.

The net result is that a 40 mile REV pack is roughly half the size of a 200 mile EV pack. On top of that, you have to add the engine, generator and all the interconnects between engine and battery. It ends up having about the same mass and worse packing efficiency than a pure EV, plus you still have to deal with all the environmental issues of a gasoline engine.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 6th, 2009 at 5:59 am and is filed under Competitors, Engineering. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 406


  1. 1
    gsned57

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:09 am)

    That all sonds pretty true, and nobody here thought building the volt was easy, but personally I’m looking for a vehicle that can suit all of my needs. the 7 passenger versatility of the Model S sounds great, but I also want to travel 350 miles a few times during the summer to visit my parents and can’t do that without stopping in the Model S. With the Volt, I can have an EV for all my commuting needs and also have a car that will take me from Philly to up state New York without a serious delay.

    From a technical standpoint, based on GM only using %50 of the battery capacity I have no reason not to believe what Elon is saying. BUT, if I have 40 miles EV from 1 mile on the odometer to 150,000 miles on the odometer I really don’t care how much extra weight i’m carrying around.


  2. 2
    Joe

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:10 am)

    I think Tesla is a little bias.


  3. 3
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:13 am)

    I have immense respect for Elon Musk, but I have to disagree with him here.

    If you translate what he said from the article, it mostly boils down to this: Tesla doesn’t have the means to develop an entirely new battery chemistry, the R&D money to support an engine development and integration, or the means to do ICE servicing.

    By contrast, GM is very familiar with ICE R&D and servicing though their dealerships. And the battery chemistry that was developed specifically for GM by A123 and LG is very different than the common Lithium Cobalt Oxide cells that Tesla uses.

    As for the ICE having to haul around the weight of an empty battery, we have done the Pike’s Peak scenario here at GM-volt.com to death, and the fact is that there is no road in the U.S. that will allow the battery to get empty, so the battery and ICE are always producing electrical peak power together.


  4. 4
    nuclearboy

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:14 am)

    Ah yes, All those technical details. Clearly it is true that a pure electric is a much more elegant and simple design. Looks great on paper. He forgot to at least mention the reason that all of this extra “stuff” is put into the volt. Range anxiety. Life would really suck when you are driving home on that that hot day and traffic jams. You are left running the AC or heater and your battery pack starts to read 20% charge left (or less) and is dropping. At that time, you are really glad to have that gas engine to secure your ride home.

    I love the TESLA but this guy is just blowing smoke when he says that the range extender ICE is not a good idea.

    I would suggest that each tesla come with a tow bar on the front.


  5. 5
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:33 am)

    Thank you Nuclearboy #4,
    My thoughts exactly…..Range anxiety.

    Question: Why can’t I have both battery types?
    One for high power the other for high energy?
    Is it weight, space, cost, or all three?


  6. 6
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:33 am)

    Dave G

    I agree with everything Musk said technologically. But if I’m going to choose between the slick BEV with 160 mile DOE range for 57K and the 40k-more-or-less small sedan (before rebates), I’ll choose the range extended Volt.

    At one point Musk said Tesla would consider a range extender and Fisker’s work shows that it wouldn’t take unlimited resources to get them prototyped. Would have to give up the front trunk though.


  7. 7
    charlie h

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:34 am)

    Dave G: “Tesla doesn’t have the means to develop an entirely new battery chemistry,…”

    That’s irrelevant… they can buy any chemistry that works to the purpose. GM doesn’t own a battery chemistry, either. LG does.


  8. 8
    Lon Seidman

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:35 am)

    I like the Tesla vehicles a lot, but I don’t have much faith in the company’s ability to find more than just a niche audience for their vehicles.

    First, their vehicles are only available in California. The support infrastructure for these cars is so complex that they won’t even sell it to you if there’s no dealer nearby.

    It’s probably with good reason. If the car runs out of juice you’re stuck for a very long time. Because of the massive amount of battery power the car needs to operate, you’re likely waiting for eight to sixteen hours (or more) just to limp home. 110 charging on the Tesla is just not a feasible means of fast refueling. This same reason is exactly why the EV1 failed: people are not going to buy a car that has the potential to leave them stranded when the battery runs low.

    And then of course is the hardware. When you buy a Tesla the electricians have to come out and install a sizable charging station in the garage – another barrier to entry. As mentioned above 110 charging is just not feasible.

    I really do want Tesla to succeed. But they are making every one of the mistakes GM made with the EV1 and assuming the market will go along with it this time. They’re even down on Shai Agassi’s plan for a hot swappable battery infrastructure (something that would actually make the Tesla’s practical). They were so eager to criticize Agassi that their PR people logged into my low traffic blog to bash his plan. See that discussion here:

    http://www.lonseidman.com/2008/12/the-biblically-fast-electric-car-needs-a-practical-refueling-solution/

    People simply won’t buy an electric car that can’t be quickly refueled. End of story. Anything else is going to be a toy for wealthy buyers who drive the vehicle short distances as a secondary vehicle.


  9. 9
    Dave99

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:35 am)

    Not sure if I agree with all of Elon’s sayings, especially because Tesla had trouble getting a multiple-speed transmission to work. He does raise some OK points, but it sounds mostly like bashing comments. Wonder what he thinks about the plug-in Prius?

    5. Rashiid …
    “Question: Why can’t I have both battery types?”
    His explanation was wayyy oversimplified, there aren’t simply the two type of batteries. You can make a tradeoff decision between the two different attributes, google image search “Ragone Plot” and you’ll understand.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:42 am)

    The title says – There’s gonna be some bashing here, but I don’t see that in the article. The tech points are true. GM seems to have overcome everything except price, and they’re a bit ahead of Tesla on that issue.

    Lon Seidman – Tesla has said they will have swappable batteries for the Model S, whatever that will mean pragmatically.


  11. 11
    Inhaling in L.A.

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:43 am)

    Motorcycles deal with range anxiety by storing 25 miles of fuel in the reserve portion of the tank. Look at the Tesla roadster or the MS. The main battery provides over 100 miles of driving. During this time you have four wheels which can generate power to be stored in a reserve battery. The total range the public will be happy with is about 400 miles. “Up to 200 miles” doesn’t cut it.

    =D~


  12. 12
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:43 am)

    From the article: That means a 40 mile REV pack is not 1/5 the size of a 200 mile pure EV pack, as simple proportionality would suggest. Another factor is that the REV pack is forced to do three to four times more cycles that a pure EV pack and is (obviously) hit with five times the current per cell during acceleration and regen braking, which forces the REV pack to be derated considerably. The net result is that a 40 mile REV pack is roughly half the size of a 200 mile EV pack.
    ————————————————————————————–
    What this means is that Tesla doesn’t have the financial resources available to develop an entirely new chemistry from scratch, so they were forced to choose between existing chemistries, and the commercially available high power chemistry didn’t work well for an range extended version for the Tesla Model S.

    If I had the limitations of Tesla, I would come to the same conclusion. But to extrapolate that limited conclusion and say that range extended vehicles are not viable: That seem irresponsible to me.


  13. 13
    RB

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:49 am)

    Mr Musk gives us some excellent comments, especially about the trade offs between size, weight, energy and power. He may well be right that in the long term (when better proven batteries are available) that BEV will be the technology of choice, as it can be simpler.

    In the short to medium term, batteries do not hold enough energy for a long day of driving. That’s true of Volt and of Tesla. So the question is how to address that. One approach is to have a specialty vehicle such as a Tesla for “regular” days and something else for “long” days. No doubt Tesla customers have multiple vehicles and use the Tesla as their short-range car.

    Another approach is REV as in Volt. It does have considerably greater complexity, but it also offers longer range and immediate gas refills when needed, so for now it is much more versatile.

    Right now I can have neither. If I could have both, it would be a hard choice, but I have enough range anxiety to favor Volt.


  14. 14
    statik

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:51 am)

    I don’t know. He seems pretty level headed to me…and not all that critical of the Volt, considering Lyle asked him the question and he is defending his product.


  15. 15
    Jim I

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:55 am)

    It is simple – diferent cars for different people. If a Tesla works for your driving style, and you can afford it, buy it. That also goes for the Volt.

    In will be in the long term where we find out who is correct. With the warranty on the battery pack for the Volt going to be at 10 years, and the warranty on the pack for the Tesla at 5 years, it will be interesting to see which batery pack and design actually works out better for the consumers….

    And Rashiid, I think the answer to your question is: All Three! :-)


  16. 16
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:55 am)

    Dave G “What this means is that Tesla doesn’t have the financial resources available to develop an entirely new chemistry from scratch, so they were forced to choose between existing chemistries, and the commercially available high power chemistry didn’t work well for an range extended version for the Tesla Model S. ”
    ____________

    Since no car company has marketed or even announced a proprietary chemistry, I don’t see how it’s even relevant to vehicles coming out about the time of the Volt or Model S. They’re using what is available from suppliers, no more no less right?


  17. 17
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:02 am)

    #7 charlie h Says: That’s irrelevant… they can buy any chemistry that works to the purpose. GM doesn’t own a battery chemistry, either. LG does.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Actually, I believe GM does own the specific chemistry for the Volt.

    Here’s an analogy. Lotus manufactures the body and frame of the Tesla Roadster. Does that mean you can go to Lotus and buy Tesla parts? No. The designs of the Roadster are property of Tesla, regardless of who manufactures them.

    Also, while its true that Tesla can buy other available chemistries, many of these are not economically viable for a company the size of Tesla. So this effectively limits their choice of chemistry those that are already mass produced. By contrast, a company the size of GM can pretty much guarantee hundreds of thousands of battery packs over a 5-year period, so battery makers will give GM much better pricing for custom chemistries.

    In other words, Tesla has to choose an existing high volume chemistry, but for GM, any chemistry they chose will end up being high volume, and therefore competitively priced.


  18. 18
    BillR

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:04 am)

    I think he makes some good points, here. I didn’t realize a battery pack for a pure 200-mile EV might weigh only twice that of the Volt.

    However, he does tend to skip some of the other important issues:

    1) Range anxiety
    2) Cold weather operation
    3) Cabin heat and defrost
    4) Battery life

    With the range extending engine, we can overcome all of these issues listed above.

    Will the Tesla come with a 10 year/150,000 mile warranty on the battery pack?

    I will agree with Dave G, Tesla doesn’t have the resources to do a car as completely and thoroughly as GM. Between battery life tests in environmental chambers, ICE testing, meeting emission standards, and extensive systems integration, this is a daunting task for a small company.

    Lyle, you drove the Tesla. It looked like a cool day in NY on the day of the test. Did the car have cabin heat, and if so, how well did it work?


  19. 19
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:06 am)

    #16 jeffhre Says: They [GM] are using what is available from suppliers, no more no less right?
    ————————————————————————————–
    I’m pretty sure the chemistry that LG uses for Volt battery cells is specific to the Volt and is GM proprietary.


  20. 20
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:08 am)

    #18 BillR Says: I didn’t realize a battery pack for a pure 200-mile EV might weigh only twice that of the Volt.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Again, I believe this is only true for Tesla, who is effectively limited to chemistries that are already mass produced.

    Specifically, Elon Musk never said anything about the relative battery pack size of the Volt, but rather was making comparisons to a 40-mile range extended version of the Model S.


  21. 21
    Guy Incognito

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:09 am)

    21.
    Guy Incognito Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 7:09 am

    From the article:
    “The car exists only as a prototype but the company hopes to mass produce it if it can obtain a $350 million dollar government loan to build the assembly plant.”

    Ha!! Elon Musk you’re an idiot!!
    Only the Banks are getting Government (taxpayer) money right.
    Theres no money for your silly pure battery electric vehicle.
    If you’re looking for funding, why not ask Fisker?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=armOzfkwtCA4&refer=worldwide

    _-=


  22. 22
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:14 am)

    Dave G Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 7:08 am

    #18 BillR Says: I didn’t realize a battery pack for a pure 200-mile EV might weigh only twice that of the Volt.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Again, I believe this is only true for Tesla, who is effectively limited to chemistries that are already mass produced.
    ______________________

    They’re limited in chemistry choices so their packs are more efficient?

    The Volt pack is double the size of the 8kWh needed to maintain it’s end of life integrity. Far more full cycle charges and discharges are needed over the life of a 40 mile AER pack v. a 200 mile pack.


  23. 23
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:15 am)

    #18 BillR Says: However, he does tend to skip some of the other important issues:
    4) Battery life

    ————————————————————————————–
    To be fair, Elon does talk about battery life, and this was one of his reasons that their range extended pack had to be so large.

    But again, this assumes available massed produced chemistry for the range extended Model S. A custom chemistry will change this equation.


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    carcus1

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:17 am)

    ” it turns really bad when the battery runs out and an undersized engine is carrying all the dead weight of the pack.”
    _______________________________________________________

    This is what we’ve seen in practical experience from AC propulsion on their VW Jetta EREV as well as their range extender trailer and why the principals now support BEV over EREV. This is why Ford said they didn’t go any further with EREV.

    It is WELL past time to allow some independent verification of results (i.e. 50 mpg claim with decent performance after customer depletion) before GM’s snout gets buried any further in the government trough.


  25. 25
    statik

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:22 am)

    I also have to mention this statement leading into the article is clearly setting a tone for what is to follow:
    —”The car exists only as a prototype but the company hopes to mass produce it if it can obtain a $350 million dollar government loan to build the assembly plant.”

    It would be similar to starting a Volt article like this:
    —”Two years in, the car exists only as a mule, but the company hopes to produce a working prototype soon… and then mass produce it, if it can first obtain a $2 billion dollar government loan to fund the project, 4 billion in working capital for the next two months, and a further minimum of 22 billion dollars to be a viable concern going forward (assumed under the unlikely sales/SAAR scenario of 10.5 million autos).”

    …doesn’t really sound that good

    I know Tesla is using somewhat ‘inferior’ technology here and is a pretty simplistic company (and more than a little suspect financially), and are likely destined to be a mere footnote in history…but they still have the ‘street cred’ of not only being first in this new wave of electric vehicles, but they are also currently in production….in the US no less.

    I never really expected Tesla to amount to anything, other than a few cars for their extremely weathly ownership…so if anyone deserves a little benefit of the doubt, it’s them.

    The guy basically said it how it is, the R&D on a E-Rev is expensive, he can’t afford it. Besides that, he builds/wants fast cars–that is the image, and on that metric he is right, the pure BEV is the way to go. The E-Rev hurts his business model- which is sports cars.

    One could argue a pure BEV sports car, right now, offers equal to (if not better) performance for the buck as a ICE How many sub 4 second, 0-60 cars can you get for under 100K? (How many are over?) How many 7 seat, sport sedans are doing a mid 5 for $49K? (How many are over?) And as importantly, how many of those ICE sports vehicles are as hella cool? None. (ok, the McLaren F1 is cooler…but I digress)

    I think the quickest adoption/best application for battery technology (today) is in the ‘sports/performance’ sector. The existing price point in this segment is much higher (which covers the cost of the battery in a EV application), and the benefits of what you are buying/expecting out of this car are much clearer–speed/coolness (electricity very easily equals speed, ridiculous speed).


  26. 26
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:23 am)

    Dave G “To be fair, Elon does talk about battery life, and this was one of his reasons that their range extended pack had to be so large.

    But again, this assumes available massed produced chemistry for the range extended Model S. A custom chemistry will change this equation.”
    _____________

    GM’s LG chem pack doesn’t seem to be especially exotic. It appears to be more about cost saving than having the latest special chemistry. It has the range of an 8kWh pack with the bonus of the power of a 16kWh pack.


  27. 27
    Schmeltz

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:24 am)

    I have a great deal of respect for Tesla as a company, and the products they are bringing to market. Love the looks of the Tesla S. But for me, when it comes down to writing a check out for a Volt or Tesla, it would need to be the Volt because of range anxiety. IMO, GM has the right idea for right now for most people. Still love the Teslas and wish them success, but I wouldn’t be able to justify a Tesla for my own situation. One person posted here a few weeks ago and said something to the affect of having the feeling of security for himself or any member of his family driving a Volt, there’s that “warm blanket” security of the range extender, and that’s worth every penny. That statement sums it up best for me too.


  28. 28
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:28 am)

    #23 jeffhre Says: The Volt pack is double the size of the 8kWh needed to maintain end of life integrity.
    ————————————————————————————–
    First, end-of-life for a Volt is 10 years or 150,000 miles, and you still have the full range at that point. Compare this with Tesla.

    Second, the end-of-life issue only de-rates the battery by 70%. The remainder is for the operating margins, particularly in charge sustaining mode.

    With these operating margins, there is no mountain pass in the U.S. that will cause any reasonable driver to run out of available battery peak power.


  29. 29
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:30 am)

    #28 Schmeltz,

    Yes, well said.


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    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:35 am)

    #27 jeffhre Says: GM’s LG chem pack doesn’t seem to be especially exotic. It appears to be more about cost saving than having the latest special chemistry.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Just because a chemistry has been tuned to a particular application doesn’t mean its particularly exotic or the latest technology. It just means the chemistry was optimized for durability, safety, and performance issues associated with automobile traction applications.

    I don’t believe either battery chemistry Tesla is comparing has these types of optimizations.

    As for cost, this is affected most by unit volume.


  31. 31
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:38 am)

    Dave G

    Didn’t GM say they were designing the Volt battery to lose 50% or less of capacity at end of life. 70% is new to me.


  32. 32
    BillR

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:41 am)

    Another potential problem I see for the Tesla is not related to batteries per se, but the experience factor. Although Tesla certainly has a nicely styled vehicle, how well will it last?

    Many years ago I lusted for the Lotus Esprit. However, the car new cost about $20,000, which was a great deal of money in those days for a car, and beyond my means. However, several years later I noticed an ad for a used Esprit, and went to look at it.

    I couldn’t believe the number of issues the car had. The interior was terrible, and some of it was related to the problem of poor seals, so when it rained the car got soaked inside. The interior moldings were coming off, the carpet was coming unglued, and many other problems too numerous to remember. Given the likely cost for parts and repair for this niche vehicle, I didn’t even bother to make an offer (I don’t think it was even in driveable condition, because I never drove it).

    My point here is that GM (and other large manufacturers) have a great deal of experience even with the small mundane items like door seals. However, in the long run, this experience can make all the difference in the value of the product.

    Time will tell if Tesla can make a long-lasting, quality vehicle.


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    carcus1

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:45 am)

    Dave G.

    You’ve already got 1/3 of the posts on this thread. We’ve all read the advertising info (claims) from GM on the volt already. Perhaps you could look outside of GM sources to defend your positions. How about researching, and then getting back to us with technical information on LG Chem’s new battery chemistry?


  34. 34
    Dave B

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:47 am)

    Nasaman, please confirm the technical jargon of what Elon is saying… :)


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    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:50 am)

    Telsa = fun toys for the summer & short trips, but not a pratical 24/7 365days/year car (for me)

    I’m still glad he is pushing himself and the BEV market though. Once the battery technology is ready, and if it’s in my lifetime, I’ll buy a BEV. Some people’s current driving environment make a BEV feasible now, I think its just a small percentage of the public though.

    Regarding battery weight… we know the Volt battery is 400lbs. So does that mean the Tesla S battery weight 800lbs? Isn’t this readily available info? What does the Tesla Roadsters battery weigh? I saw it in Detroit, and it didnt look like it weighed even 800lbs.


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    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:56 am)

    33 Bill R

    Good point. My friend who’s an engineer at GM worked for 6 months with linemen and other engineers optimizing the door seal for 1 particular model of car. Its mundane, but important. Especially if its your car getting wet inside.


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    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:58 am)

    #32 jeffhre Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 7:38 am
    Dave G

    Didn’t GM say they were designing the Volt battery to lose 50% or less of capacity at end of life. 70% is new to me.
    ======

    I’ve read 70% before. May have even been an article posted here by Lyle


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:59 am)

    Dave G

    Normally I would be asking if carcus1 hates this so much why stick around. But for me, I know I am not in a position to know what obscure changes at the molecular level that LG chem has chosen to make on GM’s behalf for a limited run vehicle that is still in prototype stages. Seems like a lot of unfunded R&D would be required to make the kind of tweaks you’re referring to, and this does not seem to ring true from my limited experience. Since it could only be speculation on my part, I will leave this part of the discussion up to carcus1′s suggestion.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:06 am)

    #25 carcus1 Says: It is WELL past time to allow some independent verification of results (i.e. 50 mpg claim with decent performance after customer depletion) …
    ————————————————————————————–
    Many Prius owners have requested this, but this really misses the point. The Prius exists today. The Volt does not.

    I’m sure GM doesn’t know exactly what the final performance and efficiency figures will be. They haven’t even built a prototype of the production vehicle yet. That won’t happen until July. Then they will test it, modify some mechanical parts, and do a whole lot of embedded software optimization. Tweaking the algorithms that control the motor, battery, ICE, and generator could have a significant impact on efficiency and range.

    So don’t expect any detailed performance or efficiency data from GM until the spring or summer of 2010. Badgering people on this forum for more specific data before then is counterproductive.

    All we can do until then is make assumptions based on GM’s preliminary estimates, and see what affect that would have in real life scenarios.

    Bottom line: If you need a fuel efficient car right now, today, buy a Prius. It’s a great car, and its been on the market for 12 years, so its a mature technology. But if you are interested in the next generation of cars that eliminate most or all gasoline use, then look at the Volt, and try to see what kind of effect this type of car would have.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:26 am)

    #40 Dave G.

    Is your income GM related?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:31 am)

    #32 jeffhre Says: Didn’t GM say they were designing the Volt battery to lose 50% or less of capacity at end of life.
    ————————————————————————————–
    No. GM only said they would use 50% of battery capacity at beginning-of-life, and that the full 40-mile range would be available at end-of-life.

    The CEO of Compact Power, Inc., the subsidiary of LG Chem that currently builds the Volt battery packs, gave us much more information:
    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/02/profile-li-ion.html
    • First, … the ratio of end-of-life to beginning-of-life is 75%.

    • Second, the AT [automobile traction] application is sized for a 70% depth of discharge … which allows space on the high end for regenerative braking and space on the low end to provide enough power for charge sustaining operation.

    • Third, the AT market has more stringent requirements …

    • Fourth, a vehicle pack battery pack has non-cell costs such as a monitoring system.

    All four of these items together justify … approximately $1,000/available kWh … In the next 5-10 years we should be able to come down by an incremental 2-4x …

    From this we can deduce:

    1) The Volt’s battery de-rates to 75% of it’s capacity for end-of-life, and 70% for operating margins. 75% of 70% is right around 50%, which confirms GM’s numbers.

    2) The Volt’s battery currently costs around $8000 (8kWh available x $1,000/available kWh).

    3) The Volt’s battery pack will cost $2000 – $4000 in the next 5-10 years.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:31 am)

    Lyle, i would also like to hear details on the interior of the Tesla Roadster. Did it have a heater & air conditioner? A decent radio? Were the seats leather? What was it like using the displays in real driving conditions? For 100K, my expectations are high.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:37 am)

    GM? It’s damage control time. Your response?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:38 am)

    #40 carcus1 Says: Is your income GM related?
    ————————————————————————————–
    No. My income is not related to the automobile industry in any way, and I haven’t owned a GM vehicle since the 80s.

    Is your income related to the automobile industry ?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:38 am)

    Dave G

    Second, the end-of-life issue only de-rates the battery by 70%. The remainder is for the operating margins, particularly in charge sustaining mode.
    ________________

    Are you saying the battery will have 25 – 30% of it’s original capacity at end of life of or 70 – 75% of original capacity as I read in the statement 70% of 75% differs from each?


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    Jason The Saj

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:43 am)

    However, the Volt can get me all the way to Connecticut from Pennsylvania for the holidays. A Tesla S cannot…

    The Tesla’s are local drivers. And for many Americans that works great for their second car but not their primary or sole vehicle. The Volt will work for most people even if it is their only vehicle.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:44 am)

    Rather than Prius being an ally moving toward electrification in the fight against traditional vehicles, certain Volt enthusiasts have negatively labeled the smaller battery capacity offerings.

    It started with calling the plug option a “hassle“, even though that provided a substantial MPG boost.

    Then the switch was made to calling that “anemic“, without providing any detail to support the claim.

    There’s no attempt to be transparent. Certain people absolutely refuse to compare a Prius and a Volt with the same size battery-pack. That lack of objectivity says a lot. The insults make it worse. Some of us are really getting tired that. Unless discussions become constructive, much will be lost.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:45 am)

    I think wether people know it or not, most everyone’s income is ‘related’ to the auto industry. You just have to do the 6-degrees of Kevin Bacon thing.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:46 am)

    #44 Dave G.

    Nope.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:49 am)

    While power and energy would be difficult to balance on the cell level, there’s no fundamental reason I can think of (other than cost) for both power and energy optimized cells to be combined at the pack level. Since MIT’s announcement of super-power lithium chemistry, I’ve considered this somewhat inevitable.

    We are near enough to the beginning of electrification for a great many approaches; including some not seen yet. Let Mr. Musk have his shot, even though some of his criticisms of Volt sound a bit tacky to our ears.

    Whatever else you can say about the Model S, it’s not a “people’s car” at the post tax credit cost of $47,000.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:50 am)

    #44 Dave G.

    Nope. And I don’t own a prius.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:54 am)

    I love the Tesla. I would love to own one. BUT, I am also Married and I do not want my Wife and Kids stranded somewhere because the Battery is empty. Until there are fast charge stations all over the country I am more then willing to carry the extra weight of the ICE around.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:03 am)

    #45 jeffhre Says: Are you saying the battery will have 25 – 30% of it’s original capacity at end of life of or 70 – 75% of original capacity as I read in the statement 70% of 75% differs from each?
    ————————————————————————————–
    CPI is saying that the battery will have 75% of its original capacity at end of life. In other words, after 10 years or more, the Volt will only have a total capacity of 12kWh, not the original 16kWh.

    Additionally, they are saying that you will need 30% of that 12kWh for operating margins (regenerative braking and charge sustaining). This leaves 70% of the 12kWh available for use.

    70% of 12kWh is 8.4kWh, which is almost exactly the portion of the battery GM has said they would use at the beginning of its life.

    Does this help?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:06 am)

    I’m a little confused. I have seen 7 passengers and Tesla Model S in the same sentence and I have seen the photos of the prototype Model S. Has anyone seen a way to put 7 passengers in that 4 door sedan?


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    Herm

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:07 am)

    The Volts battery chemistry belongs to LG.. nowhere have I read that GM developed this (rightly so).. but LG can tweak the components to tweak certain features. No sure if LG makes the cathodes/anodes/separator and electrolyte in-house or sources it from other companies.

    GM developed and owns the battery box and associated electronics.


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    Tim

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:13 am)

    Can GM’s Volt Save the Company?
    The planned plug-in hybrid car is at the core of the automaker’s attempt to reinvent itself. But will the car be a commercial success?

    http://www.technologyreview.com/business/22392/?nlid=1914&a=f

    “Last week, President Obama said that GM had failed to present a convincing plan to turn around its decline, and he warned that the automaker may face bankruptcy. Part of the problem, according to a report by his administration, is that the company is not producing the right mix of vehicles to compete with other automakers. For example, the Volt, the company’s attempt to overcome Toyota’s lead in green vehicle technology, “is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable,” the report said.”

    How many companies are now working on E-REVs and what new technologies will the Automovive X-Prize offer us WITHOUT spending $Billions in taxpayer funds? Free competition = innovation at lower costs to the consumer!

    http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/

    How many new companies could flourish if they did NOT have to compete against a GM-Gov’t partnership with unlimited funding creating an unlevel playing field?

    We all want EVs (range-extended or not) but are these bailouts and the gov’t central planning the cure or are we just feeding the disease?


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    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:13 am)

    Micheal 54

    Jump seats!


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:15 am)

    jeffhre@57
    You’re kidding, right? I would believe a “rumble seat.”


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    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:17 am)

    #52 KUD Says: Until there are fast charge stations all over the country I am more then willing to carry the extra weight of the ICE around.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Fast-charging stations don’t seem to be viable with any technology available, either today or on the horizon.

    To fast charge a 200-mile BEV in 10 minutes, that would take 240,000 watts of power. And that’s for a small car. To charge a BEV SUV in 10 minutes would require twice that, or 480,000 watts of power. That’s the maximum electrical power going into 22 typical houses. Making that type of electrical connection with rain or snow dripping down the car, this is not practical.

    I believe Tesla has run these numbers and come to the same conclusion. So now they are talking about 7-minute battery swapping schemes.


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:22 am)

    The Chevy VOLT and Tesla S are clearly designed for 2 different market segments.

    I would like to see a poll of daily driving distances vs. vehicle price.

    I think it would find that drivers who regularly purchase cars over $45,000 to $50,000 (where I’m sure the Tesla will hit) rarely, if ever, drive over 200 miles per day. Where working-class folks who purchase a $25,000 to $30,000 car (maybe it’s the only vehicle in the family and use it daily for EVERYTHING) would easily go over the 40-mile mark and definitely want that range extender.

    You say TO-MAY-TOE.
    We say TO-MAH-TOE.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:24 am)

    #56 Tim

    The cure. We need EVs (range-extended or not) ASAFP. How fast will the Automotive X-Prize result in widespread EVs?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:26 am)

    More nonsense regarding fast charging..

    The only requirement is that the fast charge station is near a power company substation.. then you could easily charge dozens of cars at the same time at very high power levels.

    Substations are those things with transformers and lots of power wires.. usually behind a barbed wire fence, that you see around neighborhoods..

    Please stop worrying about rain/snow and high speed charging.. we know how to do it safely. Its all a red herring.

    I thought Musk gave very cogent answers.. the other thing he saved money on is not doing any emissions testing on a genset.. the part I like it no maintenance of an ice genset.


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    old man

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:31 am)

    I fear that battery swapping is long in the future due to cost of stocking all the different battery size, style, and configuration. Combine that with making a battery compartment in the car that would protect 200lb-600lb battery during a crash and yet be quickly accessable for a quick swap.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:31 am)

    ThombDbhomb (#61)

    How many gov’t backed companies have EVs on the road NOW?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:32 am)

    First, the end of life allowance for degradation is 25%, so you install 16 kWh to provide 12 kWh at end of life. To fit inside this window, you design the SOC window to be 70% or less. This leaves 5% operating margin at end of life and much more for nearly the whole life of the battery. The Volt’s current design use of 50% is overly conservative and I believe the SOC window will be expanded before the November 2010 limited availability release.

    Lets consider some of what Mr. Musk asserted. Will the Volt’s performance be “really bad” in charge sustaining mode? No. This is because the operating margin preserves ample battery capacity to immediately deliver the power needed to accelerate so the observable performance is the same whether in charge depleting or charge sustaining mode. Since the duration of “high demand” is short, the “relatively small on board engine” has ample time to recharge the battery for the infrequent “high demand” occurrences.

    Next, Mr. Musk asserted that designers must choose between a high power chemistry and a high energy chemistry. The lithion ion chemistry of A123 provides very high power and pretty good energy (100-120 wh/kg). And the next generation of lithium ion batteries may double the energy level to 200-240 wh/kg. Time will tell.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:34 am)

    I think more fundamentaly that Tesla is smarter to propose a BEV, because if they proposed a EREV, they would have to compete head-on with the Volt, which comes from a very experienced company with an extensive dealer network.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:37 am)

    A typical large department store in a mall might have a 2500 kVA transformer at 277Y/480 Volts three phase. This is about 3000 amps per phase and might be supplied by 10 -12 circuits of 750 kcmil AA conductors. This is everyday stuff – no big deal.

    A commercial electric fueling station for EVs with multi-paralleled 4/0 stranded copper cables could provide 600 amps at 480volts but the car would need one hell of a rectifier. So you need to supply DC current, maybe from Jackson’s big batteries to do fast charging and no reason you couldn’t if it proves to be advantageous at some time in the distant future assuming BATTERY DEVELOPMENT makes it a possibility.

    This site has deteriorated significantly over the past few months with folks insisting their apprehensions of the future are factual.


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    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:37 am)

    #47 john1701a Says: Certain people absolutely refuse to compare a Prius and a Volt with the same size battery-pack.
    ————————————————————————————–
    I’m not one of them. I did this before, but maybe you’ve forgotten, so I’ll do it again here:

    With a typical driving pattern, assuming you only charge overnight:
    Vehicle ……………… Gallons per year
    Volt (EREV-40) …….. 37
    Prius PHEV-40 …….. 100
    Prius PHEV-10 …….. 182
    Prius HEV …………… 228
    30 MPG car ………… 380
    20 MPG car ………… 570

    Assumptions:
    Prius: 150MPG on electric, 50MPG after that
    Volt: Infinite MPG on electric, 50MPG after that.

    Typical driving pattern is:
    • 30 days at 8 miles per day
    • 50 days at 16 miles per day
    • 240 days at 30 miles per day
    • 30 days at 60 miles per day
    • 3 days at 450 miles per day

    I’m sure you’ll try to bash these assumptions, but until we have more specific data on the production vehicles from GM and Toyota, I’m going to stick with these. The point is to get a ballpark estimate of how much gasoline is saved in real life using a typical driving pattern. Using these figures, we can see that the Volt is in a whole different league.

    As I’ve said before, if you disagree with these figures, you can use your own. Here’s the spreadsheet:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzenu6hr/ebay_pictures/GallonsPerYear.xls


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:39 am)

    Van – appreciate your thoughtful comments.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:41 am)

    A 100kwh battery pack would need a 100kw charger to charge it in one hour (assuming no losses).. or a 200kw charger to do in 30 minutes or a 400kw charger to do it in 15 minutes. The power company will be happy to bring a high voltage line to your facility.. they probably will even give you a discount on the power since you are an industrial user.. if you also have several kwh of battery capacity at your disposal then you can feed the power grid and prevent brownouts.. the power company will pay YOU for that.

    Then again a 100kwh pack would give you a range of 500 miles.. why do you need to charge it in 15 minutes?.. plan ahead.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:43 am)

    What Elon didn’t say was the real reason they are not building an EREV : they can’t. Tesla can’t just call Lotus like they did before and order a car. Tesla Motors didn’t even know how to certify an automobile – they had to hire a gas powered jobs) way, way too expensive to own.
    The problem Tesla faces is that they canot withstand any close inspection – it is that car which is “neither fish nor fowl” – it cannot perform the most elementary function of all – get the driver from here to there – with its 100 mile driving radius.

    Tesla cars simply make no sense when Volts and Fiskers are on the scene (and very little sense even if they weren’t). And THAT’S what Musk is really worried about. And exactly how, Mr Musk, is Fisker managing to produce those “costly” EREV cars of theirs at a lower price than your Tesla? The Fisker makes Tesla’s roadster look sick.
    He knows he has a weak product, but he’s a salesman, first and foremost.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:48 am)

    Michael see ( http://www.autoblog.com/2009/03/26/tesla-model-s-50-000-ev-sedan-seats-seven-300-mile-range-0-6/ )

    __________
    DaveG ” Fast-charging stations don’t seem to be viable with any technology available, either today or on the horizon.”

    For infrastructure, Tesla is working with a government-affiliated partner to set up battery changing stations at various locations. They will be able to change the battery in 5-8 minutes, “quicker than filling up your car with gas.” also at ( http://www.autoblog.com/2009/03/26/tesla-model-s-50-000-ev-sedan-seats-seven-300-mile-range-0-6/ )

    These guys seem to be all over the issues. Quite a coup if a tiny little company can spur even a demonstration facility for fast charging. BTW Hawaii has a fast charging station in use now. Although I agree the Volt shows fast charging won’t be a necessity for electrification, it is another tool against range anxiety. ( http://www.iconocast.com/00019/A3/News7.htm ) Skip down to the Island map.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:51 am)

    I’d like to take simple non-scientific survey…

    Assume you can choose from 2 cars identical in appearance and price.
    Car #1 goes 40 – 60 miles on electric then the gas motor kicks in for range extender.
    Car #2 goes ???? miles on pure electric.
    What would the range of car #2 have to be such that you would make choice it as a consumer over car #1.

    300 miles would be very tempting for me personally. 350 miles probable a done deal. 400 miles absolutely no question, I’m pure EV.

    Just my perspective..

    AlaEng


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    DonC

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:53 am)

    What Musk is saying is right. Perhaps not all the details but the general thrust is correct.

    However, there are two stores here. A technical story, which he is telling, and a business story, which he is not. The former head of sales and marketing has said that when the Volt was announced Tesla looked at the technology. The business types rapidly concluded it was a slam dunk good idea and decided that the Model S should be a serial hybrid.

    But the technical people pushed back. They pointed out the issues Musk has laid out above, plus — and most critically — they argued that Tesla simply didn’t have the technical expertise to produce a serial hybrid. Ultimately their arguments prevailed and, as we know, the Model S is strictly an EV.

    Consequently, Musk is simply making lemonade out of lemons. Every design has its pros and cons. If you can’t produce your first choice then the second choice will have its rationale.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:53 am)

    I could theoretically recharge my 40 mile range Volt in 10 minutes using 100amps @ 480VAC, which we have here at my work. But i dont think the battery chemistry or car circuitry allows for it (in the Volt).


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:54 am)

    kent beuchert 71

    Is there anything in this world you find favor with besides GM? BTW it’s an 80 mile radius for the base Model S, on a good day.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:54 am)

    #64 Tim

    I believe we are arguing about how to best achieve widespread EVs; Automotive X-Prize or GM. So far, neither have resulted in widespread EVs on the road now. GM plans on putting out about 10k Volts startting in late 2010. I ask again, how fast will the Automotive X-Prize result in widespread EVs?


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    voltman

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:54 am)

    I dont think the Model S can match the volts specs. It wont last 10 years or 150k miles for sure. Those laptop battteries will be dead long before that.

    Id much rather not have to worry about range than to have a fast car with 160 miles of range.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:56 am)

    71 kent beuchert Says:
    The Fisker makes Tesla’s roadster look sick.
    ——————–
    FYI , the kids are using “sick” as a good thing nowadays ;)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:56 am)

    AlabamaEng

    350 miles interstate hwy at 75 mph. Then I would only need to rent a car once a year.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:57 am)

    k-dawg

    Go for it. The chemistry won’t prevent it due to the large number of cells. GM has said they won’t provide support for anything higher than 240 Volts (no amps listed by Britta Gross) with Volt electronics.


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    Jorge

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:02 am)

    This is almost like reading a blog between Mac users and PC users. It’s hilarious actually. You are arguing about two non existing cars that are years away from production, (if they ever get produced), and who’s technology won’t be proven until they are out in the real world being driven by the average person.

    The best part is that they are both American vehicles , they both want to cut the American reliance on foreign oil and are aimed at completely different markets.

    As far as battery chemistry is concerned…. Come on people they both suck. We are talking behemoths with limited range and a life cycle yet to be proved in the “Real World”.

    They are however both a first step in the right direction.
    GO VOLT, GO TESLA


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:02 am)

    @73 AlabamaEng

    My personal preferences are a MIN of 250miles, from day 1 to 10 years later. I want to be able to drive that distance at highway speeds with my air conditioner and radio on. I want to be able to do this in -20degree winter weather, and not have to worry about range degredation or my car not starting or damaging the batteries. Meet these criteria (and affordability) and i’m a BEV customer.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:08 am)

    #67 Shawn Marshall Says: A commercial electric fueling station for EVs with multi-paralleled 4/0 stranded copper cables could provide 600 amps at 480volts
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, I was thinking something along these lines, but 600 amps at 480volts is only 288,000 watts, and to charge an SUV with a 200-mile electric range in 10 minutes, that would probably take 480,000 watts, so the cable might have to be bigger.

    In any event, assuming fast charging battery technology becomes cheap, how will people connect these huge power cables safely in various weather conditions? I haven’t been able to figure any solution to this problem, so I have come to the conclusion that fast charging stations aren’t viable.

    I’m sorry if I’ve stated this conclusion too forcefully. I’m not trying to upset people. I’m just trying to understand how this stuff would actually work in real life.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:11 am)

    RANGE ANXIETY!…

    it shud be named Tesla model SRA, RA as Range Anxiety…even you have a 200 mile Tesla, you just can’t keep your eyes checking out how much charge do you have left….a feeling that i don’t want while i’m driving…

    go Volt!


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:13 am)

    #84 Dave G

    I’ll bet a trained tecnician in a well-designed facility could connect huge power cables safely in various weather conditions.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:13 am)

    I like Tesla, but having one also mean I have to look for another car as soon as I go over 200 miles (and we don’t know how much it will be after 5 years). As a 2nd family/cummute car ok, but as the only car the EREV is the best practical solution.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:14 am)

    jeffhre @ 72

    Thanks. “Under the hatch,” those have got to be really small kids. Not my idea of a 7 passenger. That’s why it seemed like a joke. To me it still does. I would call that a 5 passenger.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:15 am)

    #75 k-dawg Says: I could theoretically recharge my 40 mile range Volt in 10 minutes using 100amps @ 480VAC, which we have here at my work. But i dont think the battery chemistry or car circuitry allows for it (in the Volt).
    ————————————————————————————–
    Correct. The battery chemistry could probably charge in less than 1 hour, but the Volt’s internal charger limits the charging current to around 11 amps at 220v max.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:17 am)

    naurthandareen

    What about the 300 mile version Model S?


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    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:18 am)

    @9, Dave99,

    >> google image search “Ragone Plot” and you’ll understand.
    Thanks for the info. I didn’t know there was a term for that!

    Some direct links…
    Image search: http://www.google.com/images?q=ragone+plot
    Wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragone_chart


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:22 am)

    86 ThombDbhomb Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 10:13 am
    #84 Dave G

    I’ll bet a trained tecnician in a well-designed facility could connect huge power cables safely in various weather conditions.
    ———-

    We use 100A+ quick plugs in our plant that are weather sealed (I dont know the standard #). If i can plug and unplug these, anyone can. Just push & twist.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:25 am)

    #92 k-dawg

    “If i can plug and unplug these, anyone can.”

    …especially considering dawgs don’t have opposable thumbs ;)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:33 am)

    Michael “That’s why it seemed like a joke. To me it still does. ”

    _____________
    That’s why I didn’t use emoticons, it speaks for itself. Well one mans trash is another’s treasure. Probably an upgrade price required to get those installed too! If that’s what some one needs though, it probably looks perfect to them, dunno!


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:41 am)

    #92 k-dawg Says: We use 100A+ quick plugs in our plant that are weather sealed (I don’t know the standard #). If i can plug and unplug these, anyone can. Just push & twist.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Two points:

    1) 100 amps is still a small fraction of what we’re talking about here. It will take 1000 amps at 480 volts to charge a 200-mile SUV in 10 minutes.

    2) Weather sealed connectors work great when you make the connection in dry weather. But if people are making 480 volt, 1000 amp connections with rain or snow dripping down all over the car, I highly suspect there will be safety issues that a rain-tight connector wont solve.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:48 am)

    #72 jeffhre Says: For infrastructure, Tesla is working with a government-affiliated partner to set up battery changing stations at various locations.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes. As I said earlier, it appears that Tesla has given up on the fast-charging idea, and they are now pursuing a fast battery swapping scheme to address the range issue.

    But note that battery swapping will have a whole host of other issues, most of which haven’t yet been discussed here. I’m not saying fast battery swapping is impossible, only that it has to be looked at in more detail.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:50 am)

    It makes sense for each company to do what they’re doing, I think (minus this silly sniping from Musk).

    The Model S is a lot cheaper than the Roadster, but still in a high price class. Most people spending that much on a car have the cash for a second (or third) car. So when they want to do a very long drive, they’ll just use their gasoline car.

    The Volt is trying to come in at a lower price point, and for a lot of people (including many families), it may be their only car, so it’s gotta be able to do those long-range trips, even if people only do them a few times a year for holiday visits or whatever.

    I don’t think either is a strictly “better” answer for everyone, and I’m glad there will be both. The more EVs (of any type) on the road, the better, as far as I’m concerned.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:56 am)

    Why doesn’t he just figure out how to build the car at the same plant as the roadster. It would make more sense as far as money is concerned. He could also buy a closed plant for less than that as well.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:57 am)

    I agree 100% with Mr Musk. I do not want a range extender of any kind. The added complexity, weight, cost, are just not necessary for what I want in an EV. I’m am thinking very seriously about the Model S.

    I think if GM is smart, they build the Volt and a pure EV with a 150+ mile range to cover the whole market of buyers. Those who need the security blanket of a range extender and those who want a pure EV communter vehicle.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:57 am)

    #46 Jason The Saj Says: … the Volt can get me all the way to Connecticut from Pennsylvania for the holidays. A Tesla S cannot…

    The Tesla’s are local drivers. And for many Americans that works great for their second car but not their primary or sole vehicle. The Volt will work for most people even if it is their only vehicle.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Right. Or if your wife is using your second car, you can still get anywhere you need to go with an EREV.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:58 am)

    The next generation “energy storage units” needs to combine a super dense, super high ENERGY battery that will give you good range with a good high POWER battery or ultracapacitor for acceleration and so forth. It would be great if GM could have such a “hybrid energy storage unit” for Volt 1.0.

    It looks like that is what GM has in mind according to this article:

    http://evworld.com/blogs/index.cfm?authorid=12&blogid=715&archive=1

    “He also indicated that GM is also investigating the possible use of ultracapacitors in future packs, an approach used by AFS Trinity in their plug-in hybrid design. The ultracaps could provide the fast discharge/recharge used to accelerate and slow the vehicle using regenerative braking, which would enable GM to reduce the capacity of the lithium side of the battery.

    Putting all these and other factors together, Posawatz confidently predicted that the next generation battery pack will be less expensive and that this is only the beginning of the process of refining and improving its Voltec drive system.”


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:02 am)

    #95 Dave G

    You keep harping on the charging stations. BEVs future doesn’t depend on charging stations. It depends on having a vehicle with a range such that you could reach your destination on a single charge and then be able to let it charge for an hour or more. If you left your house every morning with a full tank of gas you wouldn’t have to gas up during the day. It all brings us back to the battery having to improve.

    I believe BEVs are the future but I don’t believe in charging stations. As battery packs increase in density the person plugging in your car would at some point in the future have to be standing on a special platform using thick rubber gloves with a big “Danger High Voltage” sign overhead.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:03 am)

    ThombDbhomb (#77) Said:

    “I believe we are arguing about how to best achieve widespread EVs.”

    Correct and competition creates innovation, reduces cost and increases quality while gov’t sponsored (or any) monopolies do just the opposite.

    The best way to achieve OUR goals of widespread EV’s is to offer them at high quality and low cost which is only available through tough competition and MANY competitors.

    Tesla is a GM competitor which is now tying to just level the playing field by ALSO getting taxpayer money. Should we give ALL EV makers the SAME amount of taxpayer money so that the playing field remains level? Even those that make 2 and 3-wheel EVs? It’s only fair… (it’s just not fair to the taxpayer).

    The Auto X-prize uses pure competition to accomplish BETTER things WITHOUT using taxpayer money. This competition will produce innovation that the Statists bureaucrats have never dreamed of at a cost much lower than the bureaucratic central gov’t or giant car companies could accomplish.

    Bureaucracy is VERY expensive and most things designed by committees who lack true vision SUCK! This is doubly so when there is little competition taking them to task.

    Good try in the liberal ploy of changing the subject though…

    Please click on [Submit Comment] to play again.


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    Mark Z

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:08 am)

    #8 – Lon

    I don’t live in California at the current time and Tesla gladly accepted my 5K deposit. With a 300 mile range, 45 minute “QuickCharge” and 5 minute battery swap, the longer road trips will be possible when charging locations are available along well traveled routes. As testing is accomplished by Tesla and GM, a wealth of information will allow more careful analysis of what model electric car to park in the garage. Each person has different needs and desires. I will be open to all options. I don’t want to be at the end of the list if BEV is best for me.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:18 am)

    #103 Tim

    “Good try in the liberal ploy of changing the subject though…”

    I started my comment (#77) by saying, “I believe we are arguing about how to best achieve widespread EVs.” That was my attempt at getting you back on subject. How am I changing the subject by getting you back on subject?

    Speaking of changing the subject, how come you haven’t answered the question I posed twice (#61 and #71)? My #77 said, “GM plans on putting out about 10k Volts starting in late 2010. I ask again, how fast will the Automotive X-Prize result in widespread EVs?” As I understand your response, you claim GM can’t make a decent EV because it is getting government help. I disagree. I think GM can produce the Volt.


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    CDAVIS

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:20 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    Do you want an Apple or an Orange?

    GM VOLTEC = (+range, -performance, -low maintenance)
    TESLA = (-range, +performance, +low maintenance)

    I believe that GM VOLTEC and TESLA Motors each have their unique strengths in the mid term (next 5 to 10 years) but after that time frame battery chemistry and quick charge options will be evolved to the point that all Electric Cars will be BEV. This means that GM VOLTEC gets a running start at selling to consumers that require extended range and TESLA gets a running start at selling to consumers that are able to trade the extended range for higher performance and lower maintenance. The Electric Car Revolution is such that both GM VOLTEC and TESLA have an opportunity to sell as many cars as they can push through the line during the next five years.

    I personally am purchasing one of each.
    ______________________________________________________
    Electric Cars + Nuclear Energy = American Energy Independence!
    ______________________________________________________


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:23 am)

    GM’s Voltec engineering appears to surpass anything on the field for day-to-day practical convenience. IMO, more people probably will relate to the real world driving conveniences provided by the Voltec and Fisker designs. Those who can afford the niche market 100% EVs all the better.

    But for those on a budget why maintain two or more cars to achieve short and long range driving needs? With a single investment the Voltec design offers families both greatly reduced costs for their local commutes and highly fuel efficient cross country travel.

    With ongoing battery research new chemistries with even greater capability most likely will become part of the Voltec powertrain.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:25 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    That was excellent blog time that Lyle got w/ Mr. Elon Musk. Just goes to show how influential Lyle’s site has become within the Electric Car Revolution underground.
    ______________________________________________________


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:35 am)

    Well, I don’t know how technical Mr. Musk is, but he is certainly biased towards his company’s plans. He did not have to criticize the Volt’s power train. What he probably meant was they just didn’t have the technical skills to produce a Volt-like Model S.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:35 am)

    This AFS Trinity XH-150 “hybrid within a hybrid” technology sounds pretty damn good. It sounds like GM ought to be testing this technology in their new battery lab right now.

    http://www.afstrinity.com/press-coverage.htm

    http://powermanagementdesignline.com/212100835;jsessionid=WLRW4V1GCZP3IQSNDLQSKH0CJUNN2JVN?printableArticle=true

    “When a battery in a plug in hybrid is subjected to high current demands, which occurs every time the vehicle accelerates, either from a stop light or while merging from an on-ramp onto a freeway, resistive heating occurs in the battery. This resistive heating can easily become excessive with stop and go driving. Such excessive resistive heating damages a battery, and, in some cases can destroy it. In any event this phenomenon reduces the number of miles that can be driven during the life of the battery. In our system, however, the high current demand events are handled by the ultracapacitor, allowing the battery essentially to coast. Between such high current events, the battery trickled power into the ultracap, so that when the next acceleration occurs the ultracap is ready to handle it,” Furia said.”

    “Describing the prototypes, Furia said AFS Trinity’s XH150 is not only a roomy SUV but “a fully operational Extreme Hybrid that can go at least 40 miles without burning a drop of gasoline in the electric vehicle mode with a top EV speed of 87 MPH…and from zero to 60 in 11.6 seconds in all electric mode and 6.9 seconds in full hybrid mode. After 40 miles as an electric vehicle the Extreme Hybrid automatically converts to gas.”


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:41 am)

    #109 N Riley Says: Well, I don’t know how technical Mr. Musk is, but he is certainly biased towards his company’s plans.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Elon Musk is very, very technical. He is the CTO of SpaceX.

    But Elon Musk is also adept at choosing facts that show his companies in the best possible light.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:42 am)

    #95 Dave G & #102 Jorge

    If i had a blank sheet of paper, i’d love to design a charging station. It would be indoors/garage. You would not get out of your car (unless you wanted to), swipe your credit card, a robot w/vision system would locate the charging port/area and do the charging w/rods or some kind of protected high/current connector.

    This would cost a lot, however the technology is easy to implement (regarding the automation that is). I dont know about providing 1000amps though or how a battery could handle that (at least until some of that MIT research makes its way to the real world). I wouldnt want to go more than 200A. This would mean at least a 1/2hour to hour charge for “long range” BEV’s.


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    statik

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:42 am)

    Re: end of life battery performance

    I think it is unreasonable to expect to have the same end of life (10year/150,000 mile) performance than at the beginning. The CARB warranty does not say that initial performance has to be maintained throughout the warranty period, some degradation is allowed, the warranty is there primarily to keep the car in operation throughout that lifespan….this is the key.

    If anyone thinks there is not going to be a mile long rider in your GM/Volt warranty about just what the circumstances have to be to get a expensive pack warranty, then you are kidding yourself. You are not going to be able to stroll into your GM dealer in 2020 and say, hey I can only get 39 miles max range out of this…new battery please!


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:43 am)

    All his Tech ponts are true. Tesla is just a BEV car mfgr. Period. There’s no reason for them to engineer and ICE to their product. I would guess that if their customer can get up over $100K for a BEV, they’d be smart enough to understand how to properly use the car within it’s range of 239MPC, thus no range anxiety. I bet if they tuned the Roadster down they’d get a range much closer if not greater than 300MPC.

    The Volt is for us folks who meet GM’s research criteria and don’t have over $100K to spend on a car. The Volt uses proprietary battery design as well as battery chemistry, or at least the chemistry is qualified by GM and the OEM’s can’t deviate. Tesla can package those damn little 6000+ 18650 cells in any package they want and if a new chem comes out in the “commodity” market for 18650 batteries they can just plug them in. Of course some tweaking of the BMS may be required but it’s just that simple. Ever look into the battery array? It’s huge and looks like a honeycomb.

    I like the Volt, I want the Volt!
    The ICEAge is over, Embrace the VoltAge.

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


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    Tim

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:43 am)

    ThombDbhomb (#105) Said”

    Your Question: “How fast will the Automotive X-Prize result in widespread EVs?”

    My Answer: I don’t know but I’ll bet that they will be less expensive than GM’s Volt once you factor in the $20Billion PLUS we’ve given them so far.

    I know that FREE competition and a LEVEL playing field will produce better and less expensive EVs thus getting us closer to our goal of more “widespread EVs”.

    You also said: “GM plans on putting out about 10k Volts starting in late 2010″

    My Response: They were also “planned” on selling many EV-1s. In other words… plans change, GM is on the razor’s edge, their destiny is NOT their own and ONLY results count!

    Now, you can answer MY questions:

    How many gov’t backed companies have EVs on the road NOW? (3rd time is a charm)

    Can GM build the Volt without MORE taxpayer funds?

    If not, how does this make GMs business model sustainable because the Central Planners can decide at any time NOT to fund them due to political pressure?

    Rhetorical bonus question: (thinking cap req’d)

    *How many competitors (like Tesla, AFS Trinity, Aptera and many more) could the taxpayers have funded if we divided the $20 PLUS Billion into $200 Million parcels and distributed them evenly? What if we put $1 Billion into battery research and divied up the rest to new upstarts?

    *(I’m not advocating doing this, but it would have produced many competitors hiring ex-GM employees, buying up GM plants and fighting for OUR consumer $Dollars with LESS monopoly and LESS Bureaucracy expense, red tape and stalling. We would have had better, less expensive EV sooner and if some of these companies failed, others would succeed so all of our EV “eggs” would NOT be in ONE GM basket-case.)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:47 am)

    #102 Jorge Says: You keep harping on the charging stations. BEVs future doesn’t depend on charging stations. It depends on having a vehicle with a range such that you could reach your destination on a single charge …
    ————————————————————————————–
    I’ve driven over 860 miles with only a couple of 10-minute rest stops. This was with the air conditioning on and going 75-80 MPH. To be safe, I’d want 1000 miles of electric range. To be cost and space effective, that would be available around 2045.


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    GXT

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:48 am)

    68 Dave G,

    Why do you have the Prius PHEV-40 getting “only” 150 MPG? Shouldn’t it also get infinite MPG for the first 40 miles? Are you really just taking the MPG stated for the PHEV-10 and assuming it stays static even with 4 times the electric range?

    Perhaps there is some speed at which the ICE kicks in, but I don’t see how your spreadsheet accounts for that. Plus it assumes that that speed wouldn’t be increased with the extra battery or that a mildly larger electric motor wouldn’t resolve it.

    Please stop quoting these numbers given that they are not accurate.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:50 am)

    @Dave G 111

    “But Elon Musk is also adept at choosing facts that show his companies in the best possible light.”

    Isn’t that what they are supposed to do?
    If so then he’s doing his job.


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    HyperMiler

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:53 am)

    # 17 Dave G Says:

    > Actually, I believe GM does own the specific chemistry for the Volt.

    Gee, and Hyundai and Kia are launching their hybrids with battery packs of exactly same chemistry in four month. Of course GM’s not going to own LG’s trade secret. It is the very volume of supplying two automakers(GM and Hyundai/Kia) with same chemistry type from same line that enabled LG to lower cost below GM’s initial estimate.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:55 am)

    Like most techies, Elon is looking at it the wrong way. If his batteries were rapid recharge AND if there was a fully built out rapid recharge infrastructure, then he would have a point. Since neither of those things exist, his products don’t meet the needs of most drivers.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:02 pm)

    # 73 AlabamaEng

    Personally, I would want at least a 300 mile range before I’d even consider a pure BEV. And it would have to be 300 miles under real world driving conditions–with air conditioning, on a hilly road, etc.

    I would also need the option to charge some place other than home. Can I charge overnight if I’m staying in a hotel?

    That’s part of the reason the EREV is such a great idea. As EREVs become common, I’m sure the infrastructure will develop. Which will, in turn, make the eventual adoption of pure BEVs much easier.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    #115 Tim

    I am here to discuss EVs, especially the Volt. I don’t want to get dragged into your raving about communism, socialism, “the free market will save us” or whatever the fear mongers are blurting these days. We need to make energy advancements fast. I think GM is a better bet than Automotive X-Prize for quickly making EVs widespread. I’d rather our government spent $20 billion to do that than to find Iraq’s WMDs/liberate Iraq.

    JBFAalaska: please remind Tim about externalized costs that our government must bear to keep us in oil. Do you think those externalized costs exceed $20 billion?


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    coffeetime

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    I know, why doesn’t Tesla introduce a range-extender mini-trailer for those long trips! That way, you only pull the extra weight of the “Tesla Trailer ® ” when you have to. A good opportunity for 3rd party companies as well.


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    Adrian

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:10 pm)

    Tesla must be worried to take pot shots like that.

    For those who care, Purdue University made an advancement about engineering a quick refill design for hydrogen fuel cells.

    http://boilerstation.jconline.com/article/20090405/NEWS0501/904050364/1122/boiler


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:21 pm)

    @coffeetime 123
    “A good opportunity for 3rd party companies as well.”

    That’s a perfect thought. If you build the BEV’s, a new market will emerge for range extending small trailers. The TZero had one. Google it. There’s also another one for the Rav4-EV: http://www.evnut.com/rav_longranger.htm.

    I’ve looked into building one but the parts are friggin expensive or I have the wrong contacts…..lol. All you need is a small engine geared down for low RPM and high torque and a PMG or for some an AC induction Generator. A 80HP tuned to 65HP at max efficiency WILL be able to produce 65HP * .7453KW = 48.44KW.

    Wow, look. New jobs…..


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    All this battery EV talk is all garbage. Fuel Cells and EEStore will dominate the market. Zenn will be getting a storage unit in a few months and this will change the game completely to the point of GM being unarguably not viable. They will be locked into contract with LG and will not have the time, means and money to redesign the volt for this. I believe Zenn and Honda (FCX Clarity) will be the first to incorporate this. Zenn first then Honda. Fuell Cell is real and EEStore will flip the game.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:42 pm)

    ThombDbhomb (#122) said:

    “I think GM is a better (bottomless taxpayer pit) bet than Automotive X-Prize (because competition sucks) for quickly making EVs widespread.”

    I’ll do the math for you: $20 Billion divided by $35K/volt = 571,428 FREE Volts… Where is my FREE Volt? Show me the cars!

    Then you said: “I’d rather our government spent $20 billion to do that than to find Iraq’s WMDs/liberate Iraq.”

    I’d rather pay off our debt than do unconstitutional “nation building” or “corporate welfare” so that we can make sure our currency is sound and that there is real and free competition so we get the best EVs at the lowest net cost possible so they can be “widespread” which is YOUR (and my) stated goal.

    This post is about Tesla’s CEO being Critical of the Chevy Volt. He HAS to be critical because he’s asking the taxpayer to help level the playing field so he can sell his new Model S 4 door all-electric sedan at a price point competitive with the Volt.

    It’s a SALES job, period. He’s selling us on his EV and Congress on giving him OUR money!

    YOU, sir need start throwing facts instead of childish insults. When you run out of gas, you start blowing hot air.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:50 pm)

    Tim

    The X-billion loan to GM was not to just build the Volt. However, i wouldn’t mind the US gov buying Volts (or Voltec cars) directly as a means of support.

    Regardring even playing field, doesn’t Telsa gets the same $7500 tax credit for their cars?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:51 pm)

    #73 AlabamaEng –> 300 miles for me, too.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    Dave G Says:

    In any event, assuming fast charging battery technology becomes cheap, how will people connect these huge power cables safely in various weather conditions? I haven’t been able to figure any solution to this problem, so I have come to the conclusion that fast charging stations aren’t viable.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Have you thought about induction charging where one half is in the car
    ( pick up coils ) and the other half is buried in the charging spot concrete or asphalt .

    It could easily be done in a rest stop , a service center , or at home , without any wires showing to trip over and hurt yourself . Parking lots , supermarkets , restaurants , many commercial places could benefit from induction charging sites .

    There wouldn’t be any problem in the rain or snow , just drive over it and your car would be charged if you pushed the “charge” button on the dash through the induction coil(s) located on the underside of the car .

    A monitor light would indicate “charging” on the dash and with the smart charging technology you would get a bill from the power company sent to your home no matter where you lived or what state you were visiting from .

    The plug-in cord could be used for other times when induction charging wasn’t available .

    This same technology could be used on interstate highways as well so driving across America without any gasoline consumption could be a common thing in a couple of years . Energy independence using a makes work initiative from Obama with all these unemployed people available now who want to do something to make money to pay their bills and feel whole again . Engineers know how to do it in trains , the technology is proven , it just has to be developed for cars and implemented .

    Personally I would sooner have this at home than have to plug it in every time I come home . I would sooner just park the car , go into the house and the timer turns on the power and charges the car when the off peak rates are available and the car needs it . Just send me the bill or deduct it from my prepaid annual transportation account .

    We are in for some big exciting changes in the transportation industry .
    It goes without saying that this would work for Pure Electric vehicles as well .


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    ThombDbhomb (#122) said:

    “…please remind Tim about externalized costs that our government must bear to keep us in oil. Do you think those externalized costs exceed $20 billion?”

    Since YOU brought up the subject and I agree with you, let’s keep up the logic…

    If we, the taxpayer weren’t forced to bear those “externalized costs” then oil would have been well over $10/gal years ago and we would have been using EVs years ago instead of enriching the oil companies who spent $Millions to buy politicians who were then more than happy to “centrally plan” our oil addiction with a military presence occupying the middle east and interfering with THEIR sovereignty for over 50 years. (and we wonder why they hate us.)

    Here’s a little lesson on unintended consequences or “blow back”.

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

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD7dnFDdwu0

    FACTS man, facts!


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (12:57 pm)

    #117 GXT says “Why do you have the Prius PHEV-40 getting “only” 150 MPG?”

    Do you think, given the current split drive, that a Prius PHEV40 is possible? A PHEV10 or PHEV20 makes sense when you’re talking about a serial hybrid but not so much with a system like the Prius’. With the Prius you can’t guarantee that the gas engine won’t kick in within the first mile. Depends on how you’re driving.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    You can’t even compare Tesla to Volt, they aren’t even in the same league. The Tesla is a luxury performance car along the lines of a BMW 6, the Volt is an average 4 door sedan like a Dodge Stratus.

    I’d change Cdavis’s chart to:

    TESLA = (+range, +performance, +low maintenance, + luxury, – cost)
    GM VOLTEC = (-range, -performance, -low maintenance, + cost)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    k-dawg (#128) said:

    “Regardring even playing field, doesn’t Telsa gets the same $7500 tax credit for their cars?”

    Yep, Tesla and Volt buyers both get the tax credit on each car.

    BUT GM also $20+ Billion in direct taxpayer “loans” that Tesla does NOT get. How exactly is THIS level?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:06 pm)

    Since we’re talking about Volt competion:

    Chrysler to use A123 cells in its electric vehicles

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/04/06/chrysler-to-use-a123-cells-in-its-electric-vehicles/

    (sorry if I posted twice, the first time didn’t work for some odd reason)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:07 pm)

    #125 CaptJack,

    ” A 80HP tuned to 65HP at max efficiency WILL be able to produce 65HP * .7453KW = 48.44KW.”
    _____________________________________________________

    Sounds like a good idea, until you get in to generator efficiency losses (5% to 20%, maybe more?). Note how the listed source is vague when it comes to performance or mileage. If you can find the mentioned “white papers” on this RAV4 generator wagon I would really like to read them.

    What I found on the tzero trailer was that it had trouble with highway speeds and sustained hill climbing and mpg was not great.

    You’d think if this option was viable a lot of ev homebuilders would have jumped on it. I can find almost no examples on the internet.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:08 pm)

    I hear a CEO who believes his rationale may outweigh the economic laws of supply and demand. I’m certain he is wrong, and this may leave his products over-priced and in a niche market unlike his competitors.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    #115 Tim

    I think that autoprize is a great idea, but I’m not sure how it’s going to actually produce an EV. I mean, you need a car company to actually do that? Right? Maybe I’m missing something?

    By the way, I agree with you that competition in the market place is very important. Unfortunately, without government intervention, competition usually degenerates into either monopolies or cartels.

    And I assure you that without GM and Chrysler, the US auto market will become a lot less competitive, and none of the existing major players would have any incentive to build EVs. And Toyota’s plan for a plug-in lithium ion version of the Prius would evaporate. Tesla might eventually grow into a major player, but that will take a lot longer than the Volt.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:10 pm)

    Shawn Marshall (#67):

    “So you need to supply DC current, maybe from Jackson’s big batteries to do fast charging and no reason you couldn’t if it proves to be advantageous at some time in the distant future assuming BATTERY DEVELOPMENT makes it a possibility.”

    SOMEONE’S LISTENING!!!!

    (excuse me, there’s something in my eye)

    I do think giant utility-scale batteries cheap enough for quick charging will be something for a more distant future. You have to develop big batteries to even out intermittent alternative energy sources such as wind energy anyway, but it will be some time after that before they drop enough in price to do general grid-leveling or quick charging. Fortunately, grid-leveling and quick charging aren’t actually needed at this early stage (though they may emerge as a technological solution for “The EV Problem” when it begins to emerge in 20 – 30 years).

    “Jackson’s Big Batteries.” Hmm. Could I copyright that? ;-)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:11 pm)

    Take this thought a bit farther and buses and tractor trailer units could be charged along with cars on the fly as they drove down the highway and we could do away with gasoline and diesel fuel completely .

    This system is already in use in the ALRT subway transportation system in Vancouver BC Canada and the Shanghai rapid MEG Lift train from downtown Shanghai to the airport in China with great success .
    This is what Project Better Place should be considering instead of replacing batteries .


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:19 pm)

    Once again,

    Where in the world is the F3DM test drive? It’s been on sale for 3 1/2 months!


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    @Keith

    We’ve bounced around the magnetic resonance idea here a few times. I dont think enough energy can be transmitted. There’s also huge losses in efficiency. Only thing I could see working for power on the fly would be a bumper-car style pole, or a line of sight high power laser. Dont even bother blowing holes in these ideas.. i know they are not feasible.

    Now if you want to talk about mag-lift.. I like these guys. They are doing some really cool stuff. Not just with transportion of people, but moving stuff around in general.
    http://www.magnemotion.com


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:22 pm)

    Dave G

    You simply amaze me. You are all over this topic. You own it, man. Way to go. You show a depth of knowledge that far surpasses mine. I am enjoying just sitting back and watching the action. Thanks!!!


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:22 pm)

    #109 N. Riley said:
    “He did not have to criticize the Volt’s power train. What he probably meant was they just didn’t have the technical skills to produce a Volt-like Model S.”

    An EREV like the Volt is more costly and complex to develope than a pure BEV like the Model S—no question. I don’t know if it is so much a lack of technical skills as it is perhaps more an issue of Musk’s little company not having the time or resources to tackle an animal of that size. It was probably wise for them to stick with their already proven “cred” of pure BEV expertise. Nothing wrong with that in my eyes. I think there will be a market for the Model S, and there will also be a market for the Volt as well–just that the Volt will appeal to more people and more situations at this time.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:29 pm)

    I just wish the volt design could have been as sleek and smooth as the Tesla S. The Volt just looks complicated and tacky now. I wish they had time to restyle it.

    I think GM should have gone the route of Nissan with an urban EV and continued to develop hybrid technology to compete with Toyota for the longer range vehicles. In five years perhaps the EV batteries would allow that urban vehicle to go 300 miles on a charge. At that point they could design a Volt size sedan.

    Here is a question I wish Lyle would answer:

    What is the highway fuel mielage of a Volt that is driving on depleted batteries and a continuously operating engine to supply the charge? If it is no better than the Prius then a plug in Hybrid is just as good as the Volt. GM has wasted a lot of research and time on EREV and should have gone only urban EV and Hybrid Sedan.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    LauraM (#139) said:

    “Unfortunately, without government intervention, competition usually degenerates into either monopolies or cartels.”

    Agreed and well said! And since we’re talking about the Volt’s competition…

    Gov’t SHOULD keep monopolies from forming for the good of the “general welfare” but they often create monopolies because only large corporations can afford all the costly regulation from central planning.

    In fact, big Corp loves big Gov’t because all that central planning bureaucratic red tape kills their “little guy” mom & pop competitors. That’s why they spend so much time and money talking down regulation in the media while lobbing for it in the legislature. Less competition = higher costs, lower quality and more profits!

    Also, please keep in mind that the biggest monopoly of them all is gov’t which usually degenerates into an oligarchy if not checked by “We, the people” and that’s why we have the 1st Amendment (the right to bitch about it) and the 2nd Amendment (right to defend our freedoms FROM gov’t/oligarchy usurpation).

    How many political dynasties now control Congress?

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

    Plutocracy can easily collapse into a kleptocracy.

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

    Maybe that’s why they spend so much to get into Congress?

    Open, transparent and free competition is good and we need MORE, not less and we need a check and balance to keep ANY monopoly from forming. Our founders gave us that. All we have to do is read the documents and speak out against the evils of monopoly… ANY monopoly!


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:32 pm)

    @carcus1 140
    “Where in the world is the F3DM test drive? It’s been available for 3 1/2 months!”

    Man, I think they are only selling to “Municipalities” there. I think it’s a “Throw Lyle on the Plane” tour to go test drive the F3DM.

    135
    “What I found on the tzero trailer was that it had trouble with highway speeds and sustained hill climbing and mpg was not great.”

    It’s the same extender. I cant seem to find any more details on it either other than that AC Propulsion stoppped making them. Looks like a doable concept even for a garage manufacturer like me. But like I said, the PMG is expensive to the tune of $3 grand. The ICE is cheap and you can use many different types diesel, CNG, Regular Gas or Liquid Propane. I would opt for a diesel.

    Welp….
    Lunch time, Sushi and Saki Bombs……
    Disclaimer:
    I accept no responsibility for my actions after lunch…


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:36 pm)

    #116 DaveG said:

    I’ve driven over 860 miles with only a couple of 10-minute rest stops. This was with the air conditioning on and going 75-80 MPH. To be safe, I’d want 1000 miles of electric range. To be cost and space effective, that would be available around 2045.
    ========================
    ========================

    How come that kind of math never fits onto your graph?
    ——
    #68 Dave G said:

    With a typical driving pattern, assuming you only charge overnight:
    Vehicle ……………… Gallons per year
    Volt (EREV-40) …….. 37
    Assumptions: Volt: Infinite MPG on electric, 50MPG after that.

    Typical driving pattern is:
    • 30 days at 8 miles per day
    • 50 days at 16 miles per day
    • 240 days at 30 miles per day
    • 30 days at 60 miles per day
    • 3 days at 450 miles per day
    —-

    Let me tell you the result of what you just said you do…in relation to your ‘chart’…and why your chart is wrong.

    The average driver does have ‘their air conditioning on and goes 75-80 MPH’ on the highway, not just on long trips, but whenever they drive on the highway. And they won’t be getting anywhere near the 40 miles GM said they achieved in the city, with no A/C (which btw, you never allowed for after that statement came to light)…you will be getting about 25 miles range tops on the highway @ 80MPG with the A/C on.

    You don’t allow for anything but flawless perfect on the 40 miles range, or the most optimistic of ‘typical driving patterns’ that achieves 50MPG when you argue your point.

    Under just your one scenario you did this: Achieved maybe 25 miles electric…and then got MAYBE (big maybe) 35 mpg afterwards, dragging a extra 600 pounds of EV components down the road for another 835 miles.

    You blew 24 gallons in just this one trip…and thats why your ‘average driver’ using 37 gallons a year on the Volt is completely ridiculous. You allow for no diminished returns of any kind, on any metric (range or MPG) and 100% optimal driving scenarios.

    No one is driving your 11,400 miles a year in the Volt and using 37 gallons…nobody. Not now…not ever. (BTW, the EPA standard is 12,000)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:39 pm)

    #127 Tim

    Here is a fact: Private parties have been free to make EVs for quite a while now. They haven’t done it. If private parties need a $10M Automotive X-Prize as a reward, they are not focusing on larger profits from the sale of their “better” car. Your “free market” theory hasn’t played our so far, even with the promise/reward of billions in revenue.

    Pragmatically, it seems evident to me that GM is our best bet to get EVs in widespread use. Lament all you want about the lack of “free market” competition. The real world is more complex.

    Realistically, the US’s major auto manufacturer has something that looks very promising in the works. The potential success of Voltec technology seems worth the investment to me. If Voltec technology succeeds, the US stands to benefit more than $20Billion. Voltec technology will drive improvements in electrical infrastructure, including generation and storage. It will increase energy efficiency. It will reduce carbon emissions. It will reduce noise. It will spark the competiton you cherish.

    You talk about facts, yet you deal in an academic, theoretical world. Get real. Given the current situation and a desire for advancement, you would rely on Automotive X-Prize?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:41 pm)

    #144 Stan
    What is the highway fuel mielage of a Volt that is driving on depleted batteries and a continuously operating engine to supply the charge? If it is no better than the Prius then a plug in Hybrid is just as good as the Volt. GM has wasted a lot of research and time on EREV and should have gone only urban EV and Hybrid Sedan.
    ————-

    I’d like to know the answer to this as well as most of the readers on this site. If Lyle knew, he’d tell us. Dont expect to hear this number until the integration vehicles have been tested rigorously.. if even then.

    You comment on the Volt not being better; it is if you drive less than 40miles or less per day, which 80% of drivers do. Thats gas-free driving for 80% of the US.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:44 pm)

    #143 Schmeltz

    “I think there will be a market for the Model S, and there will also be a market for the Volt as well–just that the Volt will appeal to more people and more situations at this time.”
    —————————–

    I must say I agree with your statement. Both have a place, and hopefully, a future.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:45 pm)

    #145 Tim

    Are you saying that Tesla can’t compete because the government and GM are keeping them down?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:48 pm)

    #146 CaptJackSparrow

    “I accept no responsibility for my actions after lunch…”
    ———————–

    How is that different from your prior to lunch position? I thought you never accepted responsibility at any time. Better watch out, the beer fog is clearing.

    Edited: Just in case you didn’t understand me, but I am just kidding you. Pulling your chain, sort of.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    #144 Stan Says: What is the highway fuel mielage of a Volt that is driving on depleted batteries and a continuously operating engine to supply the charge?
    ————————————————————————————–
    First, they have to build a production prototype of the Volt. Then they have to tweak the mechanical design as necessary. Then they have to optimize the embedded software that controls the electric motor, battery pack, gas engine, and generator. They will probably finish that up around the summer of 2010. Then, and only then, will GM have final performance and efficiency numbers.

    Right now, we only have preliminary estimates of 50 MPG, and 40 miles of all-electric range.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    #147 statik says “Let me tell you the result of what you just said you do…in relation to your ‘chart’…and why your chart is wrong.”

    it’s hard to say whether his calculations about the Volt are right or wrong because at this point everything is speculation. Your point about driving styles is well taken but keep in mind that a lot of the energy needed to go 75-80 mph are drive train losses and the Volt may have a much more efficient drive train than something like the Tesla Roadster. In fact I’d bet on that one. There is a reason why Tesla desperately wanted GM to help them with the transmission.

    Personally I could see going 12,000 miles and never using any gas. Seems like a fun game actually, though it would probably result in doing or not doing some things differently.

    Likewise, keep in mind that there is no possible way I would get the mileage the chart assumes for the Prius. Way way too many freeway miles. With the Prius the more freeway miles the lower your mpg.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:54 pm)

    For all you BEV people, check out whats going on at Ford/Magna/Smith Electric Vehicles

    Ford stock up 21% today.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,512423,00.html
    (yes, i know its from foxnews)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:54 pm)

    #84 Dave G.,

    “… how will people connect these huge power cables safely in various weather conditions? I haven’t been able to figure any solution to this problem, so I have come to the conclusion that fast charging stations aren’t viable.”
    _____________________________________________________

    Maybe if you read some, you’ll discover somebody else figured it out long ago.

    http://www.ryerson.ca/~mctavish/Education/AER715/AER715_Topic_2_Power.pdf

    pps. 96, 97


  158. [...] Lyle Dennis of GM-Volt.com reported today that Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk is not a fan of the plug-in hybrid concept—specifically the Chevy Volt—saying that it is “neither fish [...]


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (1:55 pm)

    #147 statik Says: How come that kind of math never fits onto your graph?
    ————————————————————————————–
    I don’t consider myself a typical driver.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:01 pm)

    #155 k-dawg

    Absolutely nothing wrong with Fox News. I watch all of them, but I trust what Fox says a little more than I do the others. And I don’t really trust any of them very much. Same for politicians.

    Ford may do OK with that as a local delivery van. It will be a good test bed for them at any rate.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:04 pm)

    #156 carcus1 Says: Maybe if you read some, you’ll discover somebody else figured it out long ago.
    http://www.ryerson.ca/~mctavish/Education/AER715/AER715_Topic_2_Power.pdf
    pps. 96, 97

    ————————————————————————————–
    Do these connections carry 480,000 watts of power? That’s what you’ll need to charge a 200 mile SUV in 10 minutes.

    Are these connections being made by soccer-moms? If highly trained technicians are required to fill up your car, it will significantly change the economics of filling stations.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:07 pm)

    ThombDbhomb (#150) said:

    “You talk about facts, yet you deal in an academic, theoretical world. Get real. Given the current situation and a desire for advancement, you would rely on Automotive X-Prize?”

    My answer: Of course not and in your own words… get real!

    A product (any product) MUST make marketplace sense of profit for the investor/manufacturer because it fills a need for the buyer/owner. It this is only due to gov’t intervention, then it is ultimately doomed to failure once the political winds change and taxpayer subsidies end.

    If you REALLY want EVs like I do, then work to end our occupation of the Middle-East and stop ALL subsidies of ALL corporations. Oil will quickly shoot up to $6.00 plus/gal., the auto market field will level and EVs would make sense for investors, corporations and buyers. EV manufacturers would jump out of the woodwork, not just to get a piece of the pork pot pie, but to get into the free marketplace with fantastic new EVs that people WANT to buy at a price point they could afford. This is the ONLY sustainable business model!

    You also said: “Pragmatically, it seems evident to me that GM is our best bet to get EVs in widespread use.”

    If a company with $Billions in debt that can’t survive without taxpayer money is our best bet, then it’s time to sober up and find another dealer. If GM were allowed to reorganize under bankruptcy, there would be a LOT of other tables to gamble at.

    You also said: “Realistically, the US’s major auto manufacturer has something that looks very promising in the works.”

    Yes, there are other US auto manufacturers without all the baggage that GM is carrying around and many more will join the game once the US Gov’t steps out of their way. Investors FEAR political winds of “change”. Sometimes it’s just best to start all over. Voltec will survive, and I don’t care which symbol is on the hood. Hopefully “Voltec” E-REVs will come from MANY different manufacturers all fighting each other for MY sound $Dollar.


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    Todd

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:08 pm)

    Nice looking car, stupid way of thinking.

    I would never buy a non-REV ever.


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    naurthandareen

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:09 pm)

    jeffhre

    300 miles, i travel about 40 miles a day, so 300 mile tesla means weekly charging for me… yes, i agree 300 mile Tesla….but the price probably will shoot up to 100 k, i can’t afford that…shit!! poor me…


  165. 165
    Redeye

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:10 pm)

    I’m ok with all electric. Just make the range 1000 miles minimum before the need to recharge.


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    carcus1

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    #160 Dave G.

    You’ve analyzed my reference and its implications (and responded to statik’s post) in less than 10 minutes. That’s amazing.


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    Herm

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:12 pm)

    They changed the new 2010 Prius, gave it larger motors so it can go up to 60mph (I think, could be 62mph) before the ice turns on and they also put in an “EV Mode Only” switch on the dash.. supposedly this switch prevents the ICE from coming on.

    I suspect Toyota is getting ready to make a plug-in Prius.. with these two additions it would be easy to just add a larger battery pack. Voila, instant competition to the Volt.

    ………………………
    #132 DonC Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Do you think, given the current split drive, that a Prius PHEV40 is possible?. With the Prius you can’t guarantee that the gas engine won’t kick in within the first mile.


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    N Riley

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    As far as the Model S is concerned I think it is a beautiful car. If I could afford one, I would love to own it. I would prefer the Volt over the Model S as far as distance from home travel is concerned. As far as looks and passenger carrying capacity, the Model S wins hands down. Both cars will do very well on the market. The Volt is a better bet because GM is more likely able to produce it in enough volume to make any difference, even in their terrible financial position. Tesla may be able to get the Model S in production. Maybe.


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:20 pm)

    #161 Tim

    Yes, GM is getting government help to get through a tough spot. As I understand things, GM will either fail or emerge leaner and meaner. To characterize the situation as a “bottomless taxpayer pit,” as you did (in #127), seems incorrect and melodramatic.


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    ccombs

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:20 pm)

    I admire Musk, but he has just demonstrated where a narrow technical perspective fails. Of course a pure EV is the most elegant solution out there, but it just doesn’t account for “fuzzier” issues, like range anxiety. I love Tesla, but would never buy their cars even if I had the cash (and I have *far* less EV-phobia than the average person I meet). Frankly, a range extender is critical for me and I would say lack of one is a deal-breaker for the average person. I am looking forward to when pure EVs are a practical choice as my only car, but now is not the time. Voltec will wean people onto EVs, so Tesla should be happy. Or maybe they’re just bitter about Fisker :)

    PS. Musk, what about lugging around 200 miles of extra battery capacity around every short drive?


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    Herm

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:20 pm)

    It depends how you drive.. if on flat ground and gently driven then the Volt may get slightly lower MPG than the new Prius.

    If the highways are hilly and you are more agressive, passing other cars, weaving in an out etc.. then the Volt will get better highway mileage.

    The weight of the cars could affect this..

    Why is this? .. the Prius connects the engine directly to the wheels at highway speeds.. no motor, controller or genset losses come into play.

    In city stop-and-go and short cold trips, the Volt will wipe the Prius quickly, even with a depleted battery.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    #144 Stan Says: What is the highway fuel mielage of a Volt that is driving on depleted batteries and a continuously operating engine to supply the charge?


  172. 172
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:26 pm)

    #117 GXT Says: Why do you have the Prius PHEV-40 getting “only” 150 MPG? … Perhaps there is some speed at which the ICE kicks in, but I don’t see how your spreadsheet accounts for that.
    ————————————————————————————–
    150 MPG during electric boost is generally how PHEVs are measured, because the ICE still has to turn on for acceleration, uphill, and highway driving speeds. But even with the ICE on, the electric motor is usually doing the majority of the work. So that’s why they measure them this way.

    But a Prius PHEV-40 is a car in theory only. To properly fit a battery that big into the Prius would require major modifications to the chassis. I suppose they could fit in a 40-mile battery if they removed the spare tire, or perhaps cut into the rear seating and/or storage areas. But to do it properly for crash safety and weight distribution, it really should be low and centered like the Volt.

    So by the time Toyota designed a new chassis to fit in a 40-mile battery, it really wouldn’t be a Prius any more. In other words, they could also replace their permanent magnet electric motor with a much more powerful induction motor of the same size, and get 40 miles of all-electric range.

    Here’s what I’m trying to say: It doesn’t really matter if its series, parallel, series-parallel, or whatever – it’s the 40 miles of all-electric range that counts. If Toyota combined a 150hp electric motor with their planetary gear design and a 40 mile battery, that would compete very well with the Volt.


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    Keith

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:32 pm)

    k-dawg

    No what I am talking about is akin to a split transformer with one part being an electric coil powered by battery (in the vehicle ) and an electric coil ( in the concrete or asphalt) powered by the utility company to transfer electricity to the on-board battery and capacitors not linear induction motors or levitation .
    GM used an induction paddle with the EV1 and it had a loss of power , but not that much to be concerned about really .
    What I am talking about is power transmission of electricity to keep the battery powered on long trips . It will work great , it just has to be developed .


  174. 174
    Tim

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:33 pm)

    ThombDbhomb (#170) said:

    “To characterize the situation as a “bottomless taxpayer pit,” as you did, seems incorrect and melodramatic.”

    It would seem so, but they were given $20+Billion in taxpayer money BEFORE they realized that it wouldn’t work because of the legacy baggage so they are now suggesting that bankruptcy reorganization may be “the answer”.

    This is the SAME with the financial bailout. NOW THEY ALL WANT MORE!

    Beware rushed “emergency” legislation!!!

    Bankruptcy reorganization is a STARTING point and the fact that these central planners didn’t know that one can NOT borrow and spend their way our to debt and into prosperity does NOT fill me will “hope”.

    Melodramatic? maybe

    Incorrect? NOPE. It’s already down the drain…

    We should start a “GM Announcement Bankruptcy Reorganization pool. I’ll start by choosing June 1 for my day.

    Any takers?


  175. 175
    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:34 pm)

    While I can discuss technical details all day (I’m an engineer) Tesla vs Volt really comes down to a few things:

    Price: Volt maybe $35K out of pocket, Model S maybe $52K out of pocket, almost 50% more than Volt.

    Volume: Volt will have many more copies.

    Personal requirements: If you are a 1 car family with a requirement for 200+ miles maybe once a month, model S is not for you (without battery upgrade). If you need the extra trunk space (and I think 7 seats is a repeated misprint) and can afford it and can fit within the range limits, then model S is for you. If you can afford, like the look, hate maintenance, and want a second car, model S is for you.

    I could fit within Tesla’s range requirements, I rarely drive more than 100 miles round trip. If I was paying $20K or $25K for an EV only with 100+ range, I’d be prepared to rent a gasser for longer trips. But if I’m paying $50K plus, I just want it to be trouble free without any anxiety, and the base model S won’t get me from my house to the far end of Long Island (I live in middle of Long Island). I only drive off Long Island a couple of times a year.

    Now if even I who hardly ever leaves Long Island would suffer range anxiety with Model S, then I guess most would if it was their only car.

    To be fair to Musk, his original inspiration was seeing Priuses next to far more expensive cars in driveways — obviously a second car. That’s where I see Tesla’s potential — second family vehicle.

    It’s all an engineering trade off, and engineering is sensitive to costs. The ICE is cheaper than at least doubling the battery size. That is the key thing that Musk did not talk about.


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    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:34 pm)

    We use Hubbell connectors for our high-current connections in the plant. I did a quick check to see what else Hubbell has. Here’s a 900A connector. There’s lots out there.. i’m still digging.

    http://www.hubbellpowersystems.com/powertest/catalog_sections/PDF_cable/c4.pdf


  177. 177
    kgurnsey

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:36 pm)

    He is exactly correct, from his point of view. E-REV batteries do take a beating. An E-REV is more complex to design, build, and maintain. EVs are simpler systems, and are a more elegant and efficient designs. All of which is fine when you are designing a boutique car and only planning on producing a handful for your home market.

    HOWEVER… in order for any vehicle to be mainstream mass marketable (in the millions of units worldwide, something only the majors can pull off), EVs still fail miserably regarding one critical aspect, which is the ability to quickly refuel. It is the one linchpin that is holding back the possibility of completely supplanting the ICE under all possible conditions. Anyone who has ever commuted long distances, or ever planned a cross country road trip (or even a trip across Ontario) knows very quickly that, even ranges of 600-800 kms would still tie you to a radius around recharging station, where you will be required to stop for hours at a time. This is the one trump card that the ICE still holds over the battery EV, and GM realizes this, because they understand MASS market in a way that Tesla can only dream of. Anything designed for the mass market has to be a compromise, and the Volt is the best available compromise that is capable of providing ICE free driving for four people and cargo, as far a distance as reasonably possible, on a daily basis as a sole vehicle, reliably, with no major failures for at least a decade, under all foreseeable climatic conditions, and also offer a refuelable extended range capability when needed, at a price that many people will be willing and able to afford. The Tesla, by comparison, is a bespoke sports car for high net worth people who can afford to add another toy to their stable, and use it when it’s convenient, and can afford to fix anything that goes wrong. Both valid products, but for different markets, with different requirements. The mass market is decidedly the more complex of the two, and a market that Tesla would not likely have the financial or engineering resources to compete in. I don’t really hold much respect for the opinions of someone who does not understand mass manufacturing on the scale that GM, or any other major manufacturer, does.

    While I agree that the majority of most people’s commuting could be done by a current EV technology, there are many applications for which refueling on the fly is a very real requirement. An EV in the current state will not likely become the average person’s sole vehicle for this reason. In addition, without the ability to refuel quickly, the ICE will continue to dominate in some markets. Truckers need to refuel on the fly, taxis need to refuel on the fly, people take long trips need to refuel on the fly. It’s not the norm, but it is a reality that people have gotten used to having available, and common enough to be a sticking point. In order to make the ICE a mere footnote in the history of personal transportation, the ability to refuel is a must. The ability to quick charge is even ultimately more critical than range, considering that modern batteries can provide for distances around 250 miles under favorable conditions. We’ve hit the point where current battery technology provides enough range to provide for almost all commuting and errand getting needs, and also enough that recharging on longer trips wouldn’t be so frequent to be burdensome, provided is could be done quickly.

    The E-REV is a necessary inefficiency until such time when we can recharge a battery pack in less than 5 mins. This is a tall task, and will only be accomplished with future advances in battery and/or/ ultracapacitor technology, and development and construction of the quick-charging infrastructure to match. I’m curious what happened to the induction chargers the EV-1 had… but I digress. The beauty is that, even when we can quick charge on the fly when needed, we will still be able to overnight charge at home, which is a convenience that the ICE cannot offer (except perhaps to those running on homebrew biodiesel or SVO/WVO).

    Quick swapping is a non starter. One of the great advantages of EVs is the increased range of options regarding packaging configurations with a battery pack and motor, as opposed to gas tank and engine. Standardizing such a large and integral component of the vehicles design would basically take this option away to a large degree, much to the disbenefit of the final design and ultimately the consumer.

    These are issues that Tesla doesn’t currently need to concern themselves with, but GM does. Tesla’s cars will not likely be sole cars for their owners, they will produce few enough that they will consistently sell out to those people for whom the EV solution works well. By the time Tesla grows to the point of being able to mass manufacture at the scale the majors do (if ever), battery technology may have advanced enough such that the range extender is no longer necessary. GM on the other hand, is designing an EV for the masses, today, and that requires a method of refueling on the fly. GM’s solution, and the only real viable option today, is the range extender.


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    KUD

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:38 pm)

  179. 179
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    Some of you are saying 1000 miles is a good range for a BEV, and frankly, Tesla’s 300 miles probably isn’t with the A/C on, the audio blasting, with a lead foot on the freeway.

    Consider that an EREV with wheels on the ground will be a wonderful opportunity for research into new battery technology. Extensive real-world experience may lead to much faster engineering for traction batteries. For one thing, imagine the difference between getting a new battery concept up to 300 miles on the first iteration verses 40-ish for an EREV.

    I’d have to say that I’d be tempted by a real-world 300 miles in a BEV, but I won’t see that for years unless something leads to much faster engineering for traction batteries. Which brings us back to EREV …

    There’s that whole volume-production lowering final costs thing to consider, too.

    I would want some kind of range-extender/augmenter even at that; but it wouldn’t have to be as robust a genset as proposed for Volt if there was a lower chance of needing it with the increased electric range.


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    Tim

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:45 pm)

    Kud (#179)

    Read it carefully. It was an April Fools joke!


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    Tom H

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:47 pm)

    When he markets a car for under $40k, with a 150,000 mile battery warranty, he will be a player in the market for affodable family transportation.

    Right now, he is in the toy business.


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    KUD

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:48 pm)

    Tim (#0179 )

    That’s why I said read the Date


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    Herm

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:49 pm)

    You are talking about placing an inductive charger strip just under the pavement.. so that cars, busses and trucks would recharge their batteries as they drove.

    It would work well, since you just need a bit of power to keep the car going.. not nessesarily to fully recharge the battery.

    The strip section could power up just before you drove over it, and your bank account would be deducted for the electricity charge (and I’m sure also road usage taxes).

    You would only place these charge-o-matic strips on major highways since the car would rely on its battery once off the highway.

    There is a second way to do it, put conductive rails on the road, and there would be auto-tracking contact wipers under your car that would automatically make contact and transfer electricity to your car.. again in sections and your bank account gets charged. Regular cars and pedestrians would just ride over the rails with no problems since they are not powered-up.. the rails do not have to stick above the surface of the road.

    It would require major infrastructure changes.. I dont think it will be required because I think batteries will get a lot cheaper and better very soon..same way I think fast charging will never be needed or popular.

    But if battery tech never gets better than present then…

    BEV with small and cheap 40 mile range batteries would be truly inexpensive if such a system was implemented.. it would save a tremendous amount of money on each car.

    …………………………………..
    #172 Keith Says: April 6th, 2009 at 2:32 pm
    k-dawg
    No what I am talking about is akin to a split transformer with one part being an electric magnet powered by battery (in the vehicle ) and an electric magnet ( in the concrete or asphalt) powered by the utility company to transfer electricity to the onboard battery and capacitors not linear induction motors or levitation .


  184. 184
    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:52 pm)

    #173 Tim

    After your bankruptcy reorganization scenario occurs, do the taxpayers still keep GM alive? No. So, your “bottomless taxpayer pit” statement is incorrect, despite your assertions. You cannot claim you were correct just because some money was already spent. A bottomless taxpayer pit infers an ad infinitum situation.


  185. 185
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (2:53 pm)

    Many people say that EREVs are just a temporary step to a world of 100% electric vehicles, but after looking at all the issues, this doesn’t seem to make sense, for many reasons:

    • Liquid fuels have the highest energy density, by far.

    • We have a huge infrastructure of liquid fuel filling stations that took 50 years to build.

    • Charging a 200-mile BEV SUV in 10 minutes will require 480,000 watts of charging power. Try making that connection with rain or snow dripping down your car. Kaboom!

    • Fast-charging stations require batteries for storage and are not cheap to build. A new infrastructure of fast charging stations would cost trillions of dollars.

    • Using cellulosic gasification, ethanol can replace up to 35% of our gasoline consumption, without any affect on our food supply
    http://www.coskata.com/EthanolFeedstockPotential.asp
    Together with EREVs, that’s more than enough to completely replace gasoline.

    • Using cellulosic gasification, ethanol can be made for as little as $1 per gallon
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-9928810-54.html

    I believe the internal combustion engine will be a mainstream solution for the next 50 years.


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    N Riley

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:07 pm)

    #177 KUD

    Yeah, a real good April Fool’s Day spoof. Probably will be similar to their real test of the Volt next year. I don’t look for our friends at Consumer Reports to give the Volt any glowing words of praise. They really don’t like American autos. They are like Mr. Musk – just a little biased in their opinions.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:09 pm)

    Keith

    Ok i found a link on EV1 paddle charger
    http://www.hawkins.info/LPI.html

    It looks like it operates basically lika an isolation transformer to me.
    Those losses are actually very low. The problem I see with this now is the range. I think you would have to be within a fraction of an inch for efficient power transmission.


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    Sadik Parloon

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:09 pm)

    By making the statement that only 520 cars were booked in a set of weeks, Tesla is, basically, saying they are dead. With the current debt ratio, overhead and competitors they need to be booking 800 customers per day to even have a bare chance of surviving. The CEO of Tesla is detailed elsewhere online as doing over 40 things that are almost clinically insane, every investors has said they will never put money in Tesla again. The US DOE has already said that they have a failed financial model. They are gone. Bright and Fisker will crush them.


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    Tom H

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:10 pm)

    Right now, given a choice between an ICE car, a PHEV and a BEV, most people would choose an ICE because it is so much cheaper to buy. If gas prices triple, and battery prices fall by half, the PHEV is the best buy, but the BEV is still too expensive if you want a car with a good range.

    But this is a window. If battery prices fall by half again, the BEV is as cheap as the PHEV, saves a little on gas, and saves a lot on maintenance. If that ever happens, the BEV would start to supplant the PHEV.

    Range anxiety would still be an issue for some people, but I think it is overblown on this site for two reasons:

    1. Many families have two cars. Lots of people someday may have one BEV and one PHEV or ICE. We often have both spouses going different places in different cars, but not both on 200 mile journeys.
    2. I can plan my trips. I admit I often go farther in a day than I originally planned, but I always know where I am going to sleep tonite. I don’t start out in the morning thinking I will be home today, and turn it into an overnight trip.


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    Jackson

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:10 pm)

    #178 (me):

    “I’d have to say that I’d be tempted by a real-world 300 miles in a BEV, but I won’t see that for years”

    Sorry, should have been followed by:

    at a price I could afford to consider.

    =======
    Herm (#182):

    Induction efficiency drops rapidly as distances between the coils increase. I find it hard to believe that an open-air gap on-the-fly induction coupler for electric vehicles could ever be made practical.

    Physical contact strips or rails are another matter, and I’ve posted something very like your description on this site, though not recently.

    Plan A: Batteries get better.

    =======

    All those who dismiss quick charging on the basis of the connectors:

    If you take the idea of parking over an under-pavement coupler, and remove induction as the method, you could have a system which can detect the presence of a car, open guards in the space, and raise solid bars or pipes to engage sockets on the bottom of the car (separated from one another by the length of the battery pack) before powering up.

    At first, this would be under a roof or awning of some type. In fact, if I were just starting out in that business, I would try to find an old Minit Lube or similar establishment and put the “Jackson’s Big Batteries” ™ down in the pits.

    I agree that quick charging is not necessary for the adoption of electric vehicles. It’s something that’s likely to emerge sometime after EVs hit some kind of numerical ‘critical mass’ as a convenience service, or as a draw for a public destination; and only when charging technology becomes economic.


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    N Riley

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:11 pm)

    #184 Dave G

    I believe you are correct in all your points. We are a long way from total electrification of the automobile. May never get there, in fact. There will always be new technology that will breath new life into the ICE concept. My grandchildren (8 & 4) will grow up driving both kinds.


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    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:13 pm)

    Here’s a 200A watertight connector
    http://www.hubbell-wiring.com/Press/PDFS/H5273.pdf


  193. 193
    Anthony BC

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:15 pm)

    It’s good to have both types of vehicles for those that only need 200 miles a day and those who need 200+ miles a day.
    VOLT = 40 electric + infinite with gas (Oil Baron & Service Dept.’s happy)
    Model S = 200 electric, no backup (Oil Baron & Service Dept.’s sad )

    However, both are in the same price range – that’s really the problem for achieving MASS acceptance. Can’t wait for the VOLT Gen 2 & Model T for 2014/2015 under $30K.

    GO EV !!!!


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    Tim

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:18 pm)

    ThombDbhomb (#185)

    “After your bankruptcy reorganization scenario occurs, do the taxpayers still keep GM alive? No.” But MANY new competitors rise up to fill the void in the marketplace because the market HATES a vacuum! These new companies with new ideas and free market capital swoop in and buy up the assets of the bloated body of the now dead GM. They hire all the employees and compete with each other for our consumer dollar. This competition forces product innovation and competitive pricing. They MUST listen to their customers in order to survive. Competitive is what made America great!

    And:

    Fine, the pit is NOT bottomless (nothing really is), hence the melodrama. But it IS a black and depressing pit nonetheless and it was a horrible waste of taxpayer money which could have been better spent AFTER bankruptcy reorganization (if at all). This goes for the financial sector too!

    When one is spending other people’s tax money, it’s a LOT easier to leap before you look!

    Yet ANOTHER reason why central planning with other people’s tax money sucks! It’s just too easy (and seductive) to be irresponsible and so is not giving congress time to read a bill is before the scheduled vote and voting for a bill you have not even read is… irresponsible!

    Those who voted for these bailouts MUST be replaced with more responsible representatives who look before they leap. Action NOT reaction but ONLY within the framework of the Constitution which is our supreme law!


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    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:23 pm)

    #191 k-dawg Says: Here’s a 200A watertight connector
    http://www.hubbell-wiring.com/Press/PDFS/H5273.pdf

    ————————————————————————————–
    Thanks for the link. At 600 volts and 200 amps, thats 120,000 watts of power, and you see the connectors are getting pretty big.

    Now imagine 4 times that amount of power, 480,000 watts. That’s what it takes to charge a 200-mile SUV in 10 minutes. We’re talking huge cables and connectors here.

    And there’s still the issue of making the initial connection with snow and ice sliding down your car – not something most yacht owners have to worry about.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:26 pm)

    #194 Dave G

    I agree. Quick charging stations are going to be difficult to design, build and support. They are going to be extremely dangerous in the wrong type of environment. The one most of us operate in most of the time. I sure would not want to have my wife trying to quick charge her BEV on a rainy day in the Walmart parking lot. Not unless I have time to increase her life insurance coverage a few months earlier.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:27 pm)

    I would just like to say…for the record, I like threads that involve a competing product.

    Nothing like a couple hundred points of everyone jocking for position on the EV they firmly think is the best (and that no one is going to change their mind on) to keep a day lively.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:28 pm)

    #184 (Dave G):

    And an ICE needn’t be limited to the now-dominant crank and eccentric reciprocating engine, moving forward (I just can’t seem to resist these puns). Once, a car’s powerplant had to provide usable power at every speed and load; but with serial hybrid technology taking over the wheels, the engine becomes merely a power source: opening up many types which otherwise couldn’t be considered.

    #192 (Anthony B C):

    “Can’t wait for the VOLT Gen 2 & Model T for 2014/2015 under $30K.”

    I’m sure it was only a typo, but I think you’ve stumbled upon Tesla’s rationale for the name of this sedan: “S” comes after “T,” and they see the Model S as a latter-day “Model T:” First of it’s kind, and of many more to come (perhaps obvious to others, but wasn’t to me before now).


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:29 pm)

    #196 Statik

    If we are anything, we are stubborn. Once we make up our little bitty minds, it hard to change them. Kinda like Toyota and batteries.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:30 pm)

    Elon is as smart as they come.

    Do not underestimate this man, a true pioneer. (and the secret inspiration for the Volt).

    Without Mr. Musk I doubt the Volt project would have ever been approved.

    The Volt owes its creation to this great legendary man.

    The Government better give him his money !! (the best investment they could ever make).


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:31 pm)

    #197 Jackson

    We all should agree on what most of us have believed for a long time. GM’s CHEVROLET VOLT IS A GAME CHANGER. One day, we will all know that.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:31 pm)

    Using cellulosic gasification, ethanol can be made for as little as $1 per gallon
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-9928810-54.html

    I believe the internal combustion engine will be a mainstream solution for the next 50 years.

    ———————————————————————————
    Dave, I agree that if I could buy carbon neutral fuel for $1 per gallon, I would stick with an ICE. Why pay $40,000 for a $16,000 car with a $24,000 electrical system.

    However, I am still skeptical about $1/gal ethanol, solar cells as cheap as paint, capacitor powered cars, fusion power, water powered cars, air powered cars, rehabilitation of criminals and time travel.

    I once again followed your link, and it says they are building a pilot plant to produce 2 barrels of alcohol per day. I do not consider this a proof point that $1/gal cellulosic ethanol is possible.

    General media coverage indicates that there is no known scalable process for producing ethanol from cellulose, but many researchers are “optimisitic”.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:32 pm)

    Aw man, didn’t we cover this on the fly charge on the freeway thingy already? That’s a big he|| no. The loss of induction from transmission coil to induction coil is a logrithmic increment directly proportional to the air space between them. It’s not a viable solution. You’ll lose more energy trying to increase induction by turning up the juice on the tranitting coil. Plus, the cost of copper to stretch the mile or so is wht we like to call “Cost Prohibitive”. Charge by on the fly induction on the road = No.
    Charge by direct contact is a big no also. 220VAC sparking along the freeway……I don’t think so.

    Fast charging is going to be an after thought/effect of the wide spread use of BEV/EREV. You woun’t need it with the Volt so what’s the point of argumenting this? Teasla’s cars will but this isn’t a Tesla sight is it?

    I just want my Volt NOW so I can hack the battery to release it’s extra SOC!!!!! 60 Mile AER…….yeeeeehawwww!!!

    Ohhh……did I just say that?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:35 pm)

    #201 Tom H

    Jury is still out, but development continues. Maybe one day all those things you named will come about. I notice you left out “rehabilitation of politicians”. I don’t think there is any chance of that ever coming about. (But you did mention criminals.)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:37 pm)

    Dave G
    I sent a link on a 900A. Didnt look too big. Lots of options. I’m not too concerned about a connector, or the plugging part. Its more if the batteries/car can hadle that. And if the grid could handle 10 people charging at the same time in one spot.

    for a 200mi range battery it would take 10minutes to charge at 500Amps. (from my calculations)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:37 pm)

    #194 Dave G said:

    At 600 volts and 200 amps, thats 120,000 watts of power, and you see the connectors are getting pretty big.

    Now imagine 4 times that amount of power, 480,000 watts. That’s what it takes to charge a 200-mile SUV in 10 minutes. We’re talking huge cables and connectors here.

    And there’s still the issue of making the initial connection with snow and ice sliding down your car – not something most yacht owners have to worry about.
    ——————–
    #195 n riley said:

    I agree. Quick charging stations are going to be difficult to design, build and support. They are going to extremely dangerous in the wrong type of environment. The one most of us operate in most of the time. I sure would not want to have my wife trying to quick charge her BEV on a rainy day in the Walmart parking lot. Not unless I have time to increase her life insurance coverage a few months earlier.
    ======================

    I’m with you guys. I think we can agree quick charging is ‘teh suq’ (for a lot of reasons) compared to the advantages, very impractical…at least probably for our lifetimes.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:39 pm)

    @statik 196
    “jocking for position on the EV they firmly think is the best”

    “Best”?, man, I’m jockying for one that comes out first affordable with at least 40 AER. Just sell me the Volt Without the ICE and Generator, I just need a commuter car back/forth to work while I still have it…..lol

    And I WILL get to the proteced 45% SOC!
    :o P


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:42 pm)

    #197 Jackson said:

    I’m sure it was only a typo, but I think you’ve stumbled upon Tesla’s rationale for the name of this sedan: “S” comes after “T,” and they see the Model S as a latter-day “Model T:”
    ———————–

    …hrm


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:42 pm)

    202 CaptJack
    I just want my Volt NOW so I can hack the battery to release it’s extra SOC!!!!! 60 Mile AER…….yeeeeehawwww!!!

    Ohhh……did I just say that?
    ============

    Good job! You know they read this. Now you just delayed the Volt launch another 3 months so they can develop better “hack-proof” code.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:42 pm)

    #193 Tim

    Under your scenario, if GM and Chrysler go down, how long does it take for the void in the marketplace to fill up? Will there be pain in the interim? If so, how much? Do US companies fill the void?

    Maybe we bought some time to figure out the softest landing on our “touch and go.”


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:45 pm)

    Musk actually makes a lot of sense.

    Someone mentioned that he was biased… well that’s understandable, noting that he wants HIS company to make all the money, lol. He did mention it was in his companies opinion as well… so he sounds genuine.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:46 pm)

    Now yawll know the battery pack is only 40AH right? So what’s the big dealio on the fast charge when the most you will EVER be able to push into the pack is 400VDC @ 40A? That is 1C during charge.
    Why is that? Because Lithuim cells don’t really like being charged at the full 1C. Most lengthen their Cycle count by charging only at .5C (for the Volt it would be 20A) and the really expensive ones are 1C but recomended is .3C (for the Volt it would be 12A).

    So if the bat pack can’t EVER take 40A WTF’s the big deal?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:48 pm)

    #184 Dave G.

    “• Charging a 200-mile BEV SUV in 10 minutes will require 480,000 watts of charging power. Try making that connection with rain or snow dripping down your car. Kaboom!”
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
    My God man! How hard is your head?

    This statement is somewhere between way overblown to just flat wrong:

    1. 480,000 watts:
    Your 480,000 watts is assuming a 114 kwh battery. (10% to 80% = 70% of 114000 = 79,800 x 6 (10 minutes or 1/6th of an hour) = 478,800 or about 480,000 watts. Nobody is talking about 114kwh batteries in EV’s (except for you, when you suddenly switch over to SUV EV’s when talking about quick charge stations).

    2. Kaboom!
    There are plenty of ways to plug in high power cables safely. I gave you a good reference which you obviously barely read, or didn’t understand. I’m sure there are many other ways to skin this cat. Just because you can’t think of an answer off the top of your head, it doesn’t mean there is no answer available. (duh!)

    P.S. From your favorite chart, you’d save more gas driving a 100 mile range BEV and renting a prius for your 3 day vacation (only 27 gallons of gas a year vs. your 37 gallons in the volt). You’d just have to man up a little bit and face the range anxiety monster dead in the eye. Here’s a little mantra to help you when you’re feeling scared: 60 mile trip, 100 mile range, . . . I CAN DO THIS! 60 mile trip, 100 mile range, I CAN DO THIS! . … .. . .


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:49 pm)

    #2087 k-dawg

    No such thing as “hack-proof code”. At least not in my experience around computers for nearly 40 years. Capt Jack will probably pour his after dinner drink on the thing and it will start chirping out code faster than he can write it down on the dinner napkin. LOL.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:49 pm)

    #206 CaptJackSparrow said:

    @statik 196: “jocking for position on the EV they firmly think is the best”

    “Best”?, man, I’m jockying for one that comes out first affordable with at least 40 AER. Just sell me the Volt Without the ICE and Generator, I just need a commuter car back/forth to work while I still have it…..lol

    And I WILL get to the proteced 45% SOC!
    :o P
    ================================
    Well…not everyone I guess.

    We all have a sweet spot for our favorite though. For myself, of the cars that look to be ‘real,’ I would take the iMiev. Although, the Ford 2011 BEV could easily supplant it when I am confident it will be built.

    However, in the long run…some of us will take any flipping EV built by a major auto, favorite…or least favorite. Volt, iMiev, plug-in Prius, Ford BEV, Chrysler ENVI, Smart ed, Mini-e, Honda whatever, Nissan Cube…who cares.

    /anybody?
    (Where the heck is Hyundai’s EV concept already? lol)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:49 pm)

    N. Riley (#200):

    “We all should agree on what most of us have believed for a long time. GM’s CHEVROLET VOLT IS A GAME CHANGER. One day, we will all know that.”

    Perhaps even john1701a!!

    =======

    CaptJackSparrow (#202):

    “The loss of induction from transmission coil to induction coil is a logrithmic increment directly proportional to the air space between them. It’s not a viable solution.”

    I believe I said that, Captain.

    “Charge by direct contact is a big no also. 220VAC sparking along the freeway……I don’t think so.”

    220VAC would be out. I don’t think either of us were advocating a series of constantly-hot, wired-to-the-grid conductors. The conductive strips would have to electrically detect that an electric auto was present, and connected before delivering a controlled pulse to something like a capacitor or high-power lithium cell (for a more controlled delivery to the motor and battery). With contact already established, there would be no arcing.

    And you must control your human emotionalism, it will be your undoing.

    If Lutz can channel the Vulcans, why not yours truly?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:50 pm)

    Are we talking about fast-charging to 100%?

    What if we medium-charged to 75%? Could we do that?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:53 pm)

    #210 Zach

    I don’t question that Musk is genuine. I would feel the same way as he does, if I were in his shoes. He has a lot of time and money tied up in a BEV car company. He wants to take it to the next level (the model S) and he now sees the Volt technology of putting that investment into danger. Sure, I understand where he is coming from. The Volt is not any real danger for Tesla at this stage. Maybe not for another 20 years. They both will be able to co-exist very well in our current market environment. IMO.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:55 pm)

    @Dave G 194

    Hey dude, just an fyi, 480000W / 400VDC = 1200Amps, not 200Amps

    There is NO WAY you can fast charge the Volt’s bat pack faster than 40A. You will fry the sh|t out of the cells and I’m pretty sure the BMS will have “Throttling” electronics to stop you from doing that.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:55 pm)

    I think we are debating quick charging future cells that will be able to accept that kind of energy, not the current lithium cells used in the Volt.

    I think the fact that challenges facing the development of a safe, effective quick charging infrasructure highlights one of the reasons why gasoline, as a liquid fuel, gained so much traction so quickly over the past century. If quick charging is such a challenge, then we may well see the hydrogen fuel cell dominate as the future range extender, simply because of the fact that you can refuel one in much the same way as you fuel a conventional vehicle today. Hydrogen is not out of the game quite yet, and it’s because the real world is always more complex than the simplest, most elegant design can usually accomidate. The devil is in the details, and the details of quick charging are still quite challenging.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:56 pm)

    The BEV trailer seems like a possibility. Say you own a BEV with a 200 mile range, using a 50 kWh SOC window with an initial capacity of 65 kWh. And lets say you want to travel and rack up 600 to 800 miles a day. You go down to U-haul, and rent a range extender. They have cheap ones with an on board generator and fuel tank, or an expensive one with 200 kWh of battery capacity.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (3:58 pm)

    According to a 2006 EPA study the average household has 2.1 cars. EVs are perfect second cars. EVs don’t need a 400 mile or infinite range, that is what the second car could be for. Almost every buyer if a $30k+ car is from a multiple car household. It makes perfect sense to have a non range extended car.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:00 pm)

    All I know at this time about quick charging is that after reading all of these comments today, I need some quick charging myself. I am too tired to go on. I have enjoyed the comments. A lot of good opinions were stated here today. But, you know what they say about opinions, don’t you?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:02 pm)

    Say you had a 100-Mile BEV (don’t actually say it). You could go about 100 miles on it, partially charge it, then go another 50 miles or so. I undertand that it takes a lot less time to partially charge it, as opposed to fully charging it. Does that relieve some of your anxiety?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:02 pm)

    kgurnsey (#219):

    “I think we are debating quick charging future cells that will be able to accept that kind of energy, not the current lithium cells used in the Volt.”

    Yes.

    “I think the fact that challenges facing the development of a safe, effective quick charging infrasructure highlights one of the reasons why gasoline, as a liquid fuel, gained so much traction so quickly over the past century. If quick charging is such a challenge, then we may well see the hydrogen fuel cell dominate as the future range extender, simply because of the fact that you can refuel one in much the same way as you fuel a conventional vehicle today. Hydrogen is not out of the game quite yet, and it’s because the real world is always more complex than the simplest, most elegant design can usually accomidate. The devil is in the details, and the details of quick charging are still quite challenging.”

    No.

    I think you’ll find that the low-order demon in the details of quick charging is nowhere near the Lord of Darkness in the details of on-board hydrogen storage, infrastructure, and green creation; to say nothing of a connector system that can handle LH2 without freezing someone’s hand off (or the connector system for containing gaseous hydrogen at how many thousand atmospheres?)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:02 pm)

    #217 n riley said:

    I don’t question that Musk is genuine. I would feel the same way as he does, if I were in his shoes. He has a lot of time and money tied up in a BEV car company. He wants to take it to the next level (the model S) and he now sees the Volt technology of putting that investment into danger. Sure, I understand where he is coming from. The Volt is not any real danger for Tesla at this stage. Maybe not for another 20 years. They both will be able to co-exist very well in our current market environment. IMO.
    ==============================

    I agree with you. I don’t think they are a threat to each other…at all. The segment is clearly wide open, with a ton of demand. Besides all that, the Volt is a small 4 seat sedan, built to try to get into the hands of the ‘common man’…Tesla is clearly targeting the upscale market. It is kind of like comparing the Malibu with a BMW 5 series….apples and oranges.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:07 pm)

    Tokyo has projects in work for over 1,000 quick charge stations. Paris has a decent sized project underway as well. Many other cities too. I’m not necessarily advocating, I’m just sayin’, if you’ve got engineering proof that quick charge stations don’t work then you should get busy writing these municipalities around the world and save them a lot of trouble.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:08 pm)

    @ThombDbhomb 223
    “Say you had a 100-Mile BEV (don’t actually say it). You could go about 100 miles on it, partially charge it, then go another 50 miles or so. ”

    Everyone take note. Doing this is NOT a full cycle on a Lithium Ion battery pack. This is called “Short Cycling”. All battery manufacturers quote the cycle to be much deeper, close to empty and practically AT max charge voltage on a “per cell” basis. Most are 2000cycles.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:08 pm)

    Is Fast Charging for You?

    http://mhmonline.com/nID/5933/MHM/viewStory.asp

    I don’t really know what he is talking about, but it seems relevant.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:09 pm)

    The pickup pad on the car is the size of the car, lets say 12ft long * 4ft wide.. its a big pad!.. thus a transformer air gap of 6″ to 1ft is practical.. also the car could lower its ride height on the highway and further lower the losses. Dont make me take out my transformer books!

    The coils on the road strip modules could be made of aluminum, a lot cheaper than copper.. think of all that infrastructure money Obama could spend to get this built.. just make sure the components are not sourced to china.

    Economically it may make sense.. it would save a lot of money on batteries for 10 million cars, and all that money that they could suck out of your bank account.

    You have a link for the previous discussion?.. I missed it.

    …………………………………………

    #202 CaptJackSparrow Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 3:32 pm
    Aw man, didn’t we cover this on the fly charge on the freeway thingy already? That’s a big he|| no. The loss of induction from transmission coil to induction coil is a logrithmic increment directly proportional to the air space between them. It’s not a viable solution.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:10 pm)

    #217 N Riley

    Well said. Until the point that GM and other car manufactures stop making ICE REV, I don’t think there is going to be very much competition with them and Tesla. On top of that, I can’t see Tesla ever making an ICE REV, as battery technology (or something more advanced) will surely eliminate the need for ICE all together.

    Noting the advancements and R&D in batteries in the recent years, I doubt the ICE as we know it today will be selling in more than 10% of new vehicles in 20yrs from now (likely still in transports and such, but not in everyday drivers).


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:16 pm)

    “You had a 100-Mile BEV –” D’ohh!!

    (Sorry, Thomb)

    Actually, there is a point to be made about the ability to live with a 300-mile or larger range EV. You wouldn’t necessarily need a capability for fully charging a depleted battery in your garage overnight (indeed, that would be prohibitively expensive for most readers of this blog, as it would mean a vast re-engineering of our homes’ electrical service — if available in a residential neighborhood).

    Let’s say that you do drive something under 40 miles on an average weekday, but want to cut out oil use cold turkey: so, no Volt for you. At Volt-similar 110V charging rates, in 8 hours you can charge up the equivalent of 40 miles (say). If you drive 30 miles Mo – Fr, by Saturday morning you have accumulated Friday night’s charge plus the 50 miles you saved during the week: 90 miles. You’ve already mostly charged an iMiev, and you still have the weekend, or at least Sunday to charge; maybe all day. Now you have your electric only safety margin, and a little extra for an unplanned trip.

    If that doesn’t zap your pack, a 220V service is a lot easier to put in your garage than the Model S’s 440V.

    What I’m really getting at is that we needn’t have a quick-charge infrastructure for the adoption of mega-range EVs, just some judicious planning (I’d also imagine that the dealers for such cars would likely be more than happy to juice you up all the way — for a fee: Bwa hah hah hah!!!)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:16 pm)

    #230 Zach

    We can only hope you are correct. Maybe by then Statik will have his electric car and can stop harping on just get one built and he will take one. (ha ha) But, I feel the same way as he does. I would take a good BEV or EREV from a well positioned manufacture now, if it was available. It is coming. But, it just seems like it is taking FOREVER!


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:17 pm)

    Hmmm,
    230 responses, that touched a raw nerve!
    He really said he didnt have the ability to design a e-rev.
    I still think the Volt is the right design.
    And I believe that when the plugins hit the road, manufacturers will not be able to keep up with the demand.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:18 pm)

    I doubt they are 10 minute chargers, and I really would not want to do that to a several thousand $$ battery pack anyways.. but 1 hr charges are ok, with forced cooling of the pack.

    I really dont see the point, all you need is a handful of stations on the major highways for people that travel more than 300 miles in their BEV

    ……………………………..

    #226 carcus1 Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 4:07 pm
    Tokyo has projects in work for over 1,000 quick charge stations. Paris has a decent sized project underway as well. Many other cities too.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:18 pm)

    #231 Jackson

    “What I’m really getting at is that we needn’t have a quick-charge infrastructure for the adoption of mega-range EVs, just some judicious planning (I’d also imagine that the dealers for such cars would likely be more than happy to juice you up all the way — for a fee: Bwa hah hah hah!!!)”
    ——————

    Agreed. Agreed. Good points.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:18 pm)

    #227 CaptJackSparrow
    So, is “Short Cycling” a bad thing? If “All battery manufacturers quote the cycle to be much deeper, close to empty and practically AT max charge voltage on a “per cell” basis,” isn’t he Volt designed to short cycle (i.e., go between 35% SOC to 80% SOC, or whatever it is)?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:20 pm)

    ThombDbhomb (#211)

    Question: “Under your scenario, if GM and Chrysler go down, how long does it take for the void in the marketplace to fill up?”

    Answer, that void is filling as we speak. Just look at all the daily announcements of EVs to come from manufactures OTHER than GM and Chrysler. If investors were certain that they would NOT have to compete against the US taxpayer or ever-changing central planning (politicians and bureaucrats are notoriously fickle which scares investors), the pace would quicken. In the mean time, there is currently a huge glut in the supply of new cars and the interim would allow time for that glut to be absorbed by the market.

    Question: ”Will there be pain in the interim?” “If so, how much?

    Answer: Birth, even of a new market requires some pain but it would be much less than that produced by the protracted, ever-changing direction of political whim. The pain is in the temporary unemployment while new companies rise to hire the autoworkers. There are systems in place to handle that and it would cost MUCH less than these asinine bailouts.

    The risk and pain should NOT be born by the taxpayers but the manufacturers and investors who would also reap the rewards. That’s fair!

    Questions: “Do US companies fill the void?”

    Answer: There are already over a dozen US Companies trying to break into the market and nothing fills a void faster and better than free competition. Currently, bailouts and central planning is preventing new companies from successfully competing. Gov’t is keeping the Goliaths on life support!

    Statement: “Maybe we bought some time to figure out the softest landing on our “touch and go.”

    Response: We knew the answer BEFORE wasting all that taxpayer money. The bailouts were a knee-jerk reaction and a grab for central planning political power. Congressional Statists, like children, panicked when any responsible person with courage would say “let’s measure twice before we cut these huge taxpayer funded checks. It’s our fiduciary responsibility after all and we swore an OATH to the Constitution which says that we can’t do this to our taxpayer constituents.” Congressional members should have NOT allowed themselves to be threatened into a bad decision by a corrupt leadership in the house, the senate and the Whitehouse.

    They are getting ready to do it again! This has just begun.

    As Dennis J. Kucinich said during in a recent hearing: “We have no doubt that you are working hard, our question is who you’re working for?”


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:25 pm)

    @Herm
    “The pickup pad on the car is the size of the car, lets say 12ft long * 4ft wide.. its a big pad!.. thus a transformer air gap of 6″ to 1ft is practical.. ”

    Have you ever picked up a 220VAC 30A 1:1 normal operation Isolation transformer? Now multiply that times however many square feet you want covered as the “Pickup Pad” on the car. Now consider how much more energy is required to lug around that weight and how long it will take to induce a charge to replenish the battery. It’s not “Just” the coils to take in sonsideration, it’s the laminated metal material that helps in the magnetive induction as well. Also, in the magnitude of energy transfer, you’ll need additional coolong because as your massive charge of electrons flow, heat is generated therfore increasing internal resistance of your copper coils. More weight.

    Just stop at a Fueling station and do the “Bumper Car” contact points and you’ll never have to get out of the car.


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    N Riley

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:27 pm)

    Tim and ThombDbhomb

    If GM and Chrysler were to completely fail and be sold off there would be tremendous pain for many other companies and many, many employees. The aftermath of this would leave a very large void, I agree. But as the void is filled, it would be like back in the beginning of the 20th century when there was a new car company, it seemed, on every street corner. There would be a lot of “fly-by-night” car companies springing up that might be able to handle market demands, but I doubt it. Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and the remaining companies existing today would fill much of the void, but only over a period of several years and much, very much government aid to keep them from following GM and Chrysler. it is a future I don’t even want to think about.

    As much as I hate it, we are better off with the government aiding GM and Chrysler now than all the others later.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:32 pm)

    #197 Jackson Says: And an ICE needn’t be limited to the now-dominant crank and eccentric reciprocating engine, moving forward (I just can’t seem to resist these puns). Once, a car’s powerplant had to provide usable power at every speed and load; but with serial hybrid technology taking over the wheels, the engine becomes merely a power source: opening up many types which otherwise couldn’t be considered.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes. Moving forward, as batteries can handle increased charging and discharging, the ICE won’t need to match the demands of the electric motor very closely, which means other types of combustion engines can be used. In particular, small turbines may become popular in future EREVs.

    I guess people have come to associate internal combustion engines with foreign oil, pollution, and global warming – all bad things.

    But with EREVs and bio-fuels ramping up, I see internal combustion engines as part of the long-term solution to free ourselves from oil.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:33 pm)

    #239 N Riley

    Hey! We agree!


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:35 pm)

    @ThombDbhomb 236

    “So, is “Short Cycling” a bad thing?

    Nope. It’s a good. It increases longevity. That’s the only way GM can guarantee/offer a 10yr 150K mile warranty. And that’s why it is stated that the battery pack only uses 55% of the 16KWh pack. All the electronics does this as a BMS (Battery Management System). This ensures the owner NEVER deep cycles the bat pack.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:38 pm)

    #234 Herm

    “I doubt they are 10 minute chargers, …..”
    __________________________________
    They are reported to be 5 or 10 minute charges good for 40 or 60 km
    http://finallygreen.net/2008/08/14/tokyo-to-get-200-quick-charge-ev-stations-with-plans-for-more/

    “I really dont see the point, all you need is a handful of stations on the major highways for people that travel more than 300 miles in their BEV”
    _________________________________________________
    I agree, unless you’re in the business of selling electricity, or the large battery packs are too expensive.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:41 pm)

    N Riley (#241) said:

    “But as the void is filled, it would be like back in the beginning of the 20th century when there was a new car company, it seemed, on every street corner. There would be a lot of “fly-by-night” car companies springing up that might be able to handle market demands, but I doubt it.”

    Back in the beginning of the 20th century CARS were new. There were no parts suppliers or infrastructure at all. Many of the parts were hand-made. It all had to be made from scratch and that took decades of technological and supply-demand evolution. They were trying to replace the horse for God’s sake!

    NOW there is a huge, mature auto infrastructure. All the pieces are built. The collapse of the big-3 would leave many huge parts (divisions) in tact. Even if each brand went back to being it’s own independant company, these “parts” would be bought up by private investors who just have to reassemble them, NOT reproduce them from scratch. All these lean and mean companies would be competing for OUR consumer dollar instead of our tax dollar.

    This would happen within a couple of years (2010-2011)! Sound familiar?

    This is our chance to restructure the entire industry, NOT just put these 2 overgrown behemoths on perpetual taxpayer funded life support run by a committee in DC.

    N. Riley, you (respectfully) could not be more wrong!


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:43 pm)

    #242 CaptJackSparrow

    So, with all this talk about quick charging, is everybody talking about quick charging to 100% SOC? What about my idea of charging to less than 100% SOC? Doesn’t it take a lot longer to get that last 10 or 15%?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:44 pm)

    #244 Tim

    N. Riley, you (respectfully) could not be more wrong!”
    —————————

    I am no stranger when it comes to being wrong. It does happen to me all too often.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:45 pm)

    @234

    “I really dont see the point, all you need is a handful of stations on the major highways for people that travel more than 300 miles in their BEV”

    Yup. IN CA on I5 there is a gas station AT LEAST 150miles apart. Really most are 100miles apart and some only about 60 miles apart. If there is a place for fast charge it’s those gas…..eh err……fueling stations. It’s not like they don’t have the plumbing either. All those petrol pumps all require at the minimum 330VAC three phase at 60A each.
    But then again, if there’s no BEV or battery pack that can take the fast charge, what’s the point?


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    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:47 pm)

    #231 Jackson Says: Let’s say that you do drive something under 40 miles on an average weekday, but want to cut out oil use cold turkey:
    ————————————————————————————–
    To do this, you would have to:
    • stop using anything that is made of plastic
    • stop eating anything that uses petroleum based fertilizers.
    • stop buying any product that was shipped by air, land or sea

    In other words, there is no way cut out oil use cold turkey. The best you can do personally is to stop consuming gasoline, which only accounts for 44% of our total oil consumption.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:49 pm)

    #244 Tim

    “…put these 2 overgrown behemoths on perpetual taxpayer funded life support”

    As Ronald Reagan would say: well, there you go again. Didn’t you admit (in #193) that the pit is NOT bottomless (i.e., perpetual)? How can we build if we don’t stick to our agreements?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:51 pm)

    Side note: Baseball opens tonight…and I’m off to the ballpark (Rogers Centre/Skydome…whatever you want to call it)

    Toronto vs Detroit

    Opening night…when hope springs eternal, but looks to be another long year for my Tigers.

    (Note to GM staff reading here…I still have not heard about getting any comps for Tiger’s home opener/weekend series against Texas next week…you guys aren’t really going to make me sit down at field level with the ‘commoners’ at Comerica are you? hehe)

    /have a good one fellas…catch you later on


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    N Riley

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:51 pm)

    #248 Dave G

    I think Jackson was speaking only about automobiles not all things that use crude oil. That would not be possible, as you say.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:53 pm)

    #247 CaptJackSparrow Says: It’s not like they don’t have the plumbing either. All those petrol pumps all require at the minimum 330VAC three phase at 60A each.
    ————————————————————————————–
    For a 330VAC three phase at 60A circuit, it would take 4 hours to charge a 200-mile SUV.

    To charge that 200-mile SUV in 10 minutes, it would take over 1400 amps at 330 volts.

    As I said, when you look at the numbers, fast charging doesn’t look good.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:53 pm)

    @ThombDbhomb 245
    “So, with all this talk about quick charging, is everybody talking about quick charging to 100% SOC?”

    Someone correct me if my percentages are wrong but….
    For the Volt, 85% SOC is reported as 100% SOC to the driver and 35% SOC is reported as 0%SOC. So the car will actually “Lie by design” to trick you into thinking your battery is Full or Low. So your thinking is correct in saying to just “Short Cycle” the charging.

    For other manufacturers, they use the actual SOC but have a mrginal life of their batteries. Especially the DIY’rs. Most will try and squeeze range out of their pack. Not healthy but at 2000 cycles the pack will last at least 5 years if you cycle it once a day. 365 days X 5 = 1825 Cycles. Well within mfgrs specs.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:55 pm)

    I think what you’ll see from the new GM is a new philosophy, no longer will they make a 4 or 5 vehicles for every segment and brand for every buyer. Fewer vehilces, fewer brands, more concentration on building the best. and thats all I have to say about that.

    Oh and by the way batteries don’t like being fast charged or drained, they are chemical. CAPS exist for that reason, OMG please don’t talk about EESTOR


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:57 pm)

    #253 CaptJackSparrow

    But, during recharging, is SOC versus time a linear function?


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    popurls.com // popular today

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (4:59 pm)

    popurls.com // popular today…

    story has entered the popular today section on popurls.com…


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:02 pm)

    ThombDbhomb (#251)

    You’re right, I’m wrong and I stand corrected! Thank you.

    We could lack the courage to NOT interfere and squander this opportunity to remake transportation into a clean, electric one.

    This could be a bottomless pit like the one we’ve made for ourselves by spending over $1 Trillion each year just to maintain 550 military bases occupying almost every nation on Earth while trying to be the world’s “police man” and forcing them with bribes and bombs to accept OUR “democracy”.

    “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” -Thomas Jefferson

    “We need a strong president, strong enough to resist the temptation of taking power the President shouldn’t have.” –Dr. Ron Paul

    “The price of a free market is having the courage to leave well enough alone.” — Tim


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:04 pm)

    @Dave G 252
    “For a 330VAC three phase at 60A circuit, it would take 4 hours to charge a 200-mile SUV. Not what I’d call a fast charging station. To charge that 200-mile SUV in 10 minutes, it would take over 1400 amps at 330 volts.”

    That’s the beauty of DC Voltage Dave. If one circuit needs more current, you simply tap another. The battery won’t care where the current is flowing from. When you charge the any battery pack you are applying DC to it. Now if your 3 phase source is not enough, you plug in another charger to the other circuit to augment the charge current and another and another and another till you get your “Fasssssst Charger”. Those big a$$ green transformers in the back aren’t just sitting there to look pretty now are they? You can tap 880V on up from the transformers. He||, Maxwell technologies makes ultracaps, or some capacitors of a type, for high voltage use to help “Sag” conditions.


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    Michael Robinson

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:15 pm)

    Everyone is wrong, only a fuel cell vehicle makes sense if you want
    more than a 20 mile all electric range.


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    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:16 pm)

    Tim 244

    Infrastructure and intact auto divisions do exist as you say. In fact entire companies and industries will exist. They’re in Europe and Asia and are being helped by their respective governments. So you see, you wouldn’t even need to cobble together companies from the old US behemoths to continue to move market share, albeit rapidly and completely, in the same historical direction.

    And who would try to cobble together with enough funding at a time when no one is lending and few are willing to risk large uncertain major capital investments.

    The market has been cut in half, are you willing to risk a few billion on a failed auto company, any time soon in your estimation?


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:22 pm)

    @ThombDbhomb
    “But, during recharging, is SOC versus time a linear function?”

    The dynamics of electrochemical cells are not linear, however, for al intents and purposes of how the SOC is “Windowd” in the bat packs sweet spot, IMHO yes it is linear. You have to also keep in mind that SOC is used in different terms. Is it being used as SOC of the available charge capacity or is it used as SOC of the Stated/Rated charge capacity? For the Volt I think it is the available charge. But I could be wrong.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:24 pm)

    Michael Robinson

    Hi, good luck in your future endeavors, this one isn’t exactly working out for you, but keep trying.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:25 pm)

    Here we go again with another “marketer” who does not know how the Voltec technology works. Fallacy after fallacy is embedded within the commentary. Administrators should keep to administration, and not cause Tesla as embarrassing an image as did that silly Ford marketer we had to put up with a few weeks ago.
    Let’s just compare what you will have to go through when your Tesla battery pack has a fault.
    You call Tesla, and they will send a flatbed to haul your Tesla away.
    Then, you will be told how long it will be at the repair facility in some far away town or city. (Meanwhile, back at the ranch, your Voltec vehicle which you also bought, will be delivering a highly reliable and well-engineered experience from General Motors Corp, which means that your Voltec vehicle is also relentlessly backed-up with local Dealerships where you bought it). Your GM warranty will also allow for you to have temporary transportation.
    Since Musk very clearly does not know what “steady-state” “peak-power-efficiency” means in relationship to Voltec, it is clear that this “history-thinker” is someone who is simply a competitor who does not know even the simplest laws of physics as applies to a very streamlined set of efficiencies. A set of efficiencies which are taking brisk advantage of all new technological advancements (from MIT, for example), and, doing a vastly-wide set of parallel path prove-outs and developments for Voltec at breathtaking speeds.
    Musk is a business person, an administrator. He is not expected to be able to follow what a thing called “technological advancement” is, because you must first know how an entire set of technologies work in concert (if at all separately), to be able to form valid opinions about technology. Musk is a “history-channel” kinda guy who probably believes that if you are successful in lining up lots of paper instruments (leveraging stock, etc), that that is somehow some sort of qualification to have a valid technological opinion.
    ************
    NOT.
    ***********
    Technological expertise comes from decades of technological “get your hands dirty” field experience, and lab examinations of technologies which General Motors most certainly has.
    Virtual vehicles never count as any form of experience. Paper instruments to leverage an idea for a product which works on the internet, administratively, have absolutely nothing to do with the reality of even being qualified to give ANY kind of technological opinion on anything technological.
    Tesla made a real mistake this time.
    Worse than Ford’s.
    Dan Petit Austin TX.


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    Jeff Gordon

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:32 pm)

    Mr. Musk is a genius.

    I feel more comfortable giving Tesla $1 billion than giving GM tens of billions. GM has no sound business plan. None. They are making things up as they go to survive. The Feds need to give Elon any amount he needs. This man is a true visionary, one of the few in the entire auto industry. SHOW HIM THE MONEY !!!
    He is the guiding force in the American EV industry. Even GM is just sheep in his wake. Follow this man and…learn.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:34 pm)

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    Tim

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:37 pm)

    Jeffhre (#262) said:

    “And who would try to cobble together with enough funding at a time when no one is lending and few are willing to risk large uncertain major capital investments.”

    Answer: Those same capital firms and individual investors who are scared to death of the widely swinging stock market and power-drunk regulators. Many people are looking for places to put their capital which are not subject to the whim of the daily financial reports which create 500 point market swings and wipe people out.

    There is a LOT of capital out there and those who control it are growing weary of placing it in a stock market that is beyond their control. For example, many tech & energy companies are getting more investment offers than they can handle. If the gov’t would just get out of the way and stop micro-managing, the investors would pull their cash out of their (figurative) mattresses and invest it directly in a company hoping for a safe yet strong return.

    It is central planning & micro-managing that killed the USSR because people were too afraid to invest or there. A nation can only tax and spend and regulate so much before…

    “The right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of oppression, if they are strong enough, whether by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.”–Ulysses S. Grant


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:38 pm)

    Dan Petit. “Paper instruments to leverage an idea for a product which works on the internet, administratively, have absolutely nothing to do with the reality of even being qualified to give ANY kind of technological opinion on anything technological.
    Tesla made a real mistake this time.”

    Dan please don’t hold back any more – tell us how you really feel!
    ____________
    From a comment by TonyBelding at Tesla Motors Club from cnn.com.

    The New Power Play

    The Investor: Elon Musk, co-founder, PayPal

    What he’s backed: SpaceX, Tesla Motors

    What he wants now: As Musk’s two most recent investments – in a space rocket and an all-electric sports car – suggest, the 35-year-old entrepreneur likes to think big. So he’s intrigued by the promise of a next-generation battery called an ultracapacitor, capable of powering everything from cars to tractors. Unlike chemical batteries, ultracapacitors store energy as an electrical field between a pair of conducting plates. Theoretically, they can be charged in less than a second rather than hours, be recharged repeatedly without sacrificing performance, and far outlast anything now on the market.

    “I am convinced that the long-term solution to our energy needs lies with capacitors,” Musk says. “You can’t beat them for power, and they kick ass on any chemical battery.”

    Musk would know: He was doing Ph.D. work at Stanford on high-energy capacitors before he helped get PayPal off the ground. At least one startup, EEStor in Texas, and a larger company, Maxwell Technologies in California, are working on ultracapacitors. Yet Musk believes a university-based research group has an equal shot at a commercial breakthrough, since universities are where the most promising research is bubbling up. “The challenge is one of materials science, not money,” Musk says.

    The team to pull this off, he says, would need expertise in materials science, applied physics, and manufacturing. Musk wants to see a prototype that can power something small, like a boom box. “Make one and show me that it works,” Musk says. “Then tell me what’s wrong with it and how it can be fixed.”

    What he’ll invest: $4 million over two years for a working prototype


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    Don

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:40 pm)

    Musk is a clown. Look, a 4 cylinder engine is cheap. The massive battery in a Tesla costs almost the same amount as the entire Volt. I like the Tesla Roadster, but they are a bit unrealistic thinking we can all buy $100K or even $50K cars. We’ll be lucky if we can afford a Th!nk or an Aptera these days.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:43 pm)

    #263 Dan Petit,
    ” He is not expected to be able to follow what a thing called “technological advancement” is”
    ______________________________________________________

    I don’t want to get started defending Elon Musk, but surely we can give him credit for understanding “technological advancement”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX


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    Loan Shark

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:43 pm)

    I say whichever company that can come up with the all electric ta-ta with a price equivalent, say in the area of $5-7K will be the new leader.

    If GM has the plans for a small all electric grocery runner, then I say that is bailout money I’d be willing to get behind.

    Otherwise, as part stakeholder of GM, I’d say they just give a couple plants to Tesla, and grab a percentage of their gains to payback the loans.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:48 pm)

    Tim 265

    So the govt. is stopping everyone from investing in ventures that would be easily crushed by Toyota?

    The Soviet Union was doomed from the start. The ailing Lenin tried to initiate some market based reforms in the failing state early after their revolution, small scale version of what China did. Upon Lenin’s death Stalin simply killed everyone involved in or supporting loosening the grip of central planning. Slightly loose with your analogy.


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    Tim

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:53 pm)

    Here’s yet ANOTHER example of fickle regulators screwing up the market for investors who don’t know which way to run:

    Federal funds quitting hydrogen for plug-ins
    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/04/06/federal-funds-quitting-hydrogen-for-plug-ins/

    Why invest your cash when the Statists will just change the rules of the game and wipe you out? Ethanol good, no ethanol bad. Clean coal good, no clean coal bad. Nuclear good, no nuclear bad. CNG good, no CNG bad. Wind good, not in MY back yard…bad. What is the lobbing flavor de jure? Don’t worry, it won’t be the same tomorrow.

    Then… Why invest (in Plug-ins) when the Statists are betting taxpayer money (on H2) AGAINST you?

    Now… Why invest in BEVs when the Statists are investing in PHEVs & E-REVs?

    Don’t worry, this too will change…

    Why invest at all when you can get some Statist to give you someone else’s tax money? All gain, no pain!

    Why invest in a car company when the Statists are investing taxpayer money in that company’s competitor?

    Kind of makes investors dizzy if you know what I mean? Human nature is to avoid the dark because it is an unknown and it is FEAR that is keeping investors OUT of the market.

    Get it? (I doubt it)


  274. 274
    JP

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (5:53 pm)

    Why not have 2 cars? An electric one like the volt and keep your gas efficient car for long trips. Thats what i intend to do when the Teslas become a little more affordable. I mean really 2-300 miles. Will accomodate 90% of everyones driving


  275. 275
    carcus1

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:00 pm)

    Other news:

    Tesla Motors: An Interview With Founder Elon Musk – Car News
    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/car_shopping/latest_news_reviews/tesla_motors_an_interview_with_founder_elon_musk_car_news

    Ford cuts debt by 38%
    Shares jump after the carmaker says it has eliminated $9.9 billion in debt from its balance sheet.
    http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/06/news/companies/ford_debt.reut/index.htm?section=money_latest


  276. 276
    Tim

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:14 pm)

    carcus1 (#275) Good article, thanks

    “Ford, the only U.S. automaker not operating with emergency U.S. government loans, is using $2.4 billion in cash and 468 million shares of common stock to cut its automotive debt from the $25.8 billion it had at the end of 2008.

    Ford also was the first U.S. automaker to reach agreement with the United Auto Workers to slash cash payments for a union retiree health-care trust. GM and Chrysler remain in talks with the UAW to restructure their health-care trust obligations.”

    GM has NOT done this because they received $Billions of taxpayer money to “keep the party rolling”. GM would have had a LOT more barganing power with creditors and the UAW if they had NOT received all that bailout cash and it was truly sink or negotiate.

    Taxpayer funded bailouts are screwing up the markets and marketplaces!


  277. 277
    Bruce

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:16 pm)

    Its really not that complicated. If you are into interstate travel, hundreds of miles a day, a BEV isnt for you. Just like if you need to pull a boat, a subcompact isn’t for you. Or if you need to go offroad, a Corvette isn’t for you. Cars don’t have to fill every need to every person. A BEV is a perfect everyday metro area commuter. It just happens that it would fit the need of 90% of americans.


  278. 278
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:34 pm)

    #251 N Riley Says: I think Jackson was speaking only about automobiles not all things that use crude oil. That would not be possible, as you say.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Right.

    Maybe I’m mis-reading the mindset, but it seems to me that most pure EV advocates place a heavy emotional emphasis on the “pure” part. In other words, it seems that people who like pure BEVs see a big difference between replacing 85% of all gasoline with EREVs, and replacing 100% of all gasoline with BEVs.

    But when you step back and realize that only 44% of oil consumption is gasoline, and 66% of our oil is imported, then replacing 100% of all gasoline actually falls far short of the goal of energy Independence.

    To become energy independent, we will need plug-in vehicles PLUS bio-fuels from algae, crop residue, forest mill waste, municipal waste, and some energy crops using idle farmland. None of this will affect our food supply. So if we need bio-fuels to become energy independent anyway, and since bio-fuels are carbon neutral and domestically produced, why not also use bio-fuels to replace the remaining 15% of our gasoline consumption that EREVs don’t cover? We already have a huge infrastructure of liquid fuel filling stations.


  279. 279
    Vincent

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:39 pm)

    Just wondering if anyone actually read all 27X posts :)


  280. 280
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:45 pm)

    #259 Michael Robinson Says: Everyone is wrong, only a fuel cell vehicle makes sense if you want more than a 20 mile all electric range.
    ————————————————————————————–
    #219 kgurnsey Says: Hydrogen is not out of the game quite yet,…
    ————————————————————————————–
    #126 PoopyPantaloons Says: Fuel Cells and EEStore will dominate the market.
    ======================================================
    Hydrogen is the biggest scam going. It’s the big oil companies that are pushing hydrogen. They know it will probably never work out, but if it does, most hydrogen will be made from natural gas, like it is now. Classic red herring. That’s why they call them FOOL SELLs, because they are meant to deceive us.

    Or as Ulf Bossel, who heads the European Fuel Cell Forum, says:
    “There is a lot of money in the field now,” he continues. “I think that it was a mistake to start with a ‘Presidential Initiative’ rather with a thorough analysis like this one. Huge sums of money were committed too soon, and now even good scientists prostitute themselves to obtain research money for their students or laboratories—otherwise, they risk being fired. But the laws of physics are eternal and cannot be changed with additional research, venture capital or majority votes.”

    http://www.physorg.com/news85074285.html

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/01/13/the-hydrogen-economy-is-a-bad-idea-a-really-really-bad-idea/


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    Mark Z

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:45 pm)

    Only when Lyle can drive a VOLT for a full day up some steep hills and in the passing lane with the engine running will we be able to determine if the performance would be enjoyable on a cross country trip. What other car does the VOLT compare to while getting the electric from the ICE generator? If your currently owned ICE car has superior performance, what car will you drive on your cross country vacation?


  282. 282
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:46 pm)

    moderation duplicate


  283. 283
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:51 pm)

    Dave G:

    #231 Jackson Says: Let’s say that you do drive something under 40 miles on an average weekday, but want to cut out oil use cold turkey:
    ————————————————————————————–
    To do this, you would have to:
    • stop using anything that is made of plastic
    • stop eating anything that uses petroleum based fertilizers.
    • stop buying any product that was shipped by air, land or sea

    In other words, there is no way cut out oil use cold turkey. The best you can do personally is to stop consuming gasoline, which only accounts for 44% of our total oil consumption.

    OK, OK, “cut all oil usage as a propulsion fuel in an internal combustion engine in a rubber-tired road vehicle cold turkey.” SHEESH!!!!

    Was it not possible to infer that from context?!


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    2Wordz

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:52 pm)

    2 words: Power outage. If one is using a BEV as only car, what do you do when power is out? Get out your Honda gas/electric generator? Tesla S may be ok for short commuter car or “weekend novelty car”, but may be a challenge in locations that have frequent power outages or rolling black/brown-outs.


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    Unni

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (6:57 pm)

    GM guys should add some more test cases of volt behavior (if not existing ) with

    1) No battery at all ( battery got faulty)
    2) Battery is completely discharged
    3) Battery holds only 2% charge or so
    4) Battery holds 15- 20 percent charge
    5) Battery holds 30+ percent change
    6) Battery holds 50%+ charge
    7) With just a dummy battery of same weight but not a battery
    8) A battery with a short circuit on it.

    I am sure some cases may be covered and mostly all.the performance charecterstics need to be recorded for different driving/operating conditions.

    Believe me, Critics do good job than people who say its all great.
    He too want a sedan for masses. If battery technology comes fast and cheap, he has a chance ( he proved it by a Cd .26 good looking sedan compared to volt of Cd .27+ )

    Out of topic : City of Vancouver,BC is adding imiev to its fleet for testing and they are exploring possiblites of using it for the 2010 Olympics. Still imiev is to go through federal certification process.


  286. 286
    Steve K.

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:00 pm)

    The EV1 did not fail Lon Seidman. Every owner would have loved to keep theirs and keep using it. GM failed – not the car.


  287. 287
    Elon Musk doesn’t love the Chevy Volt | Only Hybrids

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:00 pm)

    [...] Click here to read the whole conversation over at GM-Volt.com. [...]


  288. 288
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:01 pm)

    #278 Mark Z Says: What other car does the VOLT compare to while getting all it’s electric from ICE? If your currently owned ICE car has superior performance, what car will you drive on your cross country vacation?
    ————————————————————————————–
    Any compact car with 150hp will have pretty good performance, but since electric motors have high torque across a wide range of RPMs, there is no shifting required, so the Volt will be much more responsive than a similar sized car with a 150hp gas engine. In fact, people who have taken mule test drives say it feels more like a 220hp ICE.

    As for hills, there is no real problem here. After the ICE turns on, you would have to go 80 miles per hour constantly up a steep 6% grade without slowing down for 15-20 straight before the Volt’s battery gets empty enough to stop powering the vehicle. There’s no road like that in the U.S.. There are always turns in there somewhere to slow you down. Mountains are mountains.

    So, given that I would have to pick a 220hp compact car to get equivalent performance to a Volt, and given how efficient this type of a vehicle would be, I would choose the Volt for a cross country trip.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:01 pm)

    @2Wordz 281
    “Tesla S may be ok for short commuter car or “weekend novelty car”, but may be a challenge in locations that have frequent power outages or rolling black/brown-outs.”

    Bro, if your power company goes out even long enough for that to happen once (charge in car dead) then your power company needs help.
    OK, I understand those living in the hills with snow on the power lines but that’s not the climate for a BEV and one would THINK the purchase decision kept that in mind. Well at least cold is not a healthy climate for the batteries. But to have range anxiety because you home power is out? Cmon dude.


  290. 290
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:01 pm)

    Dave G

    My guess is taking out 44% of US oil use will leave Alberta and Mexico as our foreign oil suppliers, Hugo and the Saudi Royal Princes will have to adjust. One small step to the garage plug for man, one giant leap for… oops sorry, I may have gotten a little carried away.


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    kdawg

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:04 pm)

    274 Bruce
    A BEV is a perfect everyday metro area commuter. It just happens that it would fit the need of 90% of americans.
    =========

    I think your 90% is high. Batteries do not like cold climates. How much energy would my heater use and my window defroster? How big will my battery have to be now, and I can still make my metro-commute? The technology or infrastructure is not there yet (for me) to drive a BEV. But I think it will be one day, hopefully in my lifetime.

    Vincent – I read them all. And posted a lot too. Slow day for me and I have MSU basketball on my mind.

    Off to the bar!


  292. 292
    2Wordz

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:06 pm)

    Ozone Hole:
    Elon should not try to steal more taxpayer money to consume more energy to build yet another car factory in an already over-capacitized landscape. Perhaps he can apply some of his “green” thinking to borrowing an idled plant from Chrysler or GM.


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    kdawg

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:06 pm)

    oops One more

    Unni where did you get “volt of Cd .27+”?


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    Jackson

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:07 pm)

    OK, I see N. Riley came to my rescue with Dave G. (thanks!)


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    kdawg

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:11 pm)

    and 1 more

    CaptJackSparrow Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 7:01 pm
    @2Wordz 281
    “Tesla S may be ok for short commuter car or “weekend novelty car”, but may be a challenge in locations that have frequent power outages or rolling black/brown-outs.”

    Bro, if your power company goes out even long enough for that to happen once (charge in car dead) then your power company needs help.
    OK, I understand those living in the hills with snow on the power lines but that’s not the climate for a BEV and one would THINK the purchase decision kept that in mind. Well at least cold is not a healthy climate for the batteries. But to have range anxiety because you home power is out? Cmon dude
    ========

    We got over 3″ of snow yesterday. We have about 10,000 people w/out power. DTE (Detroit) had over 19,000 w/out power in Livingston County. This is April. Sh!t happens.

    OK Beer:30


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    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:12 pm)

    Bruce 274

    ” Its really not that complicated. If you are into interstate travel, hundreds of miles a day, a BEV isnt for you. ”
    ______________________

    If GM is still saying the Volt will replace your 1st 40 miles with electric travel and get 50 mpg after, what vehicle could replace that performance during interstate travel. 40 mile range 5 days a week for 52 weeks takes 10,000 gas powered miles out of that drivers travel. I’m going to assume that’s nearly a worst case scenario unless he drives more than 40 miles a day on his weekends off! If he drives less than 250 mile a day though, Tesla has a luxury priced option for him, if spending the night on the road is common for our hypothetical road warrior.


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    stas peterson

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:15 pm)

    #41 Dave G.

    I liked your post, but you disregarded what the very same person said that you referenced.

    The present cost of a automotive traction battery is hundreds of dollars less than $1000 per available KWH.

    That CEO of CPI, would no agree that it is half yet ($500 per available KWH) but he said it would be there soon.

    For those still dreaming of fast charge. saying that as long as you are near a substation there is not a problem. You are almost correct. That substation IS WHAT you need for a “fast charge”.

    NO electrical code allows connections to such power that is not an approved “permanent connection”. Why ? Because of arcing that amounts to welding the connection into a permanent connection. So your attachment to the car terminal for a quick charge, either takes a lot of time, half hour or more is optimistic or as soon as you turned on the power it the connection wil arc, and either weld itself together; or burn away to an open-circuit to no connection; or short circuit barbecuing the high voltage rated electrician person serving as your equivalent of a “gas jockey”.

    Fast charge is just not in the cards people. Get over it.

    And I don’t give a damn that Tesla is fooling around with it. Tesla can’t repeal the Law of Gravity or repeal Maxwell’s Laws any more than ignorant Democrat hacks in the Congress could, by passing a law repealing the Law of Gravity.


  298. 298
    rleoin

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:21 pm)

    Dan Petit wrote: “Musk is a business person, an administrator. He is not expected to be able to follow what a thing called “technological advancement”


    You couldn’t be more wrong about Elon Musk’s technical skills.

    Elon Musk is a PHYSICIST. He has degrees in both Physics and Economics.

    More than that, Elon Musk actually IS a rocket scientist. He was both the chief engineer and is lead designer at SpaceX’s for their first years.

    Musk truly knows his stuff when it comes to rockets AND batteries.

    That said, Musk IS being rather evasive in his comments. My strong suspicion is that Musk’s negative comments about range extenders has absolutely nothing to do with his lack of knowledge and EVERYTHING to do with his lack of funding.

    I believe Musk knows that a ICE ranger extender is the best current, mass market solution. That said, Musk also knows that the development of a internal combustion range extender is many Orders of Magnitude more difficult than a purely electric vehicle. (or purely ICE vehicle)

    The fact is that Musk doesn’t have the Billion Dollars + he would need to develop a range extended Volt class vehicle, so he’s doing the best he can with the funds he has.

    That doesn’t mean the Tesla S won’t be a great car, it only means it will just be a very different car. For a certain market, the Tesla S should be very viable. Though I very much doubt it will ever become a mass market seller. Well, unless there’s an oil embargo or some other factor that pushes gas to $6 or $8 dollars per gallon.

    If Musk were to receive 1.1 billion in stimulus dollars, he could probably built a car with the mass market appeal of the Volt. Developing a car with an ICE extender is H A R D. It’s especially hard to solve the problem Musk focuses on, running the car at highway speeds when the battery is at zero. So while Musk is publicity dodging the real reason the Tesla S doesn’t have a range extender – money – the S could be a very fine car, though in a very different category.

    The Volt and the Tesla S are truly apples and oranges vehicles.


  299. 299
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:23 pm)

    #287 jeffhre Says: My guess is taking out 44% of US oil use will leave Alberta and Mexico as our foreign oil suppliers, …
    ————————————————————————————–
    It’s a world oil market.

    I’ll quote someone else here:
    Simply changing who we buy oil from will not solve our problem either, because oil is a fungible commodity. Think of the oil market as a swimming pool – producers pour oil in, consumers take oil out. We don’t import all or even most of our oil from the Persian Gulf today, yet the decisions of Persian Gulf oil suppliers have a profound impact on our economy.
    http://www.setamericafree.org/solution.html


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    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:29 pm)

    PoopyPantaloons 126

    Hasn’t Zenn been getting a storage unit in a few months for two years?


  301. 301
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:30 pm)

    #295 rleoin Says: The fact is that Musk doesn’t have the Billion Dollars + he would need to develop a range extended Volt class vehicle, so he’s doing the best he can with the funds he has.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, exactly.

    It looked like their third model BlueStar ($30K sedan) was going to be range extended, but with all this talk from Elon recently, it seems like they’ve backed away from that.

    In any case, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Tesla can’t compete head-on with a major car maker. They need boutique models to survive, at least for the moment.


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    Unni

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:34 pm)

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    kdawg

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:39 pm)

    293 stas peterson
    NO electrical code allows connections to such power that is not an approved “permanent connection”. Why ? Because of arcing that amounts to welding the connection into a permanent connection. So your attachment to the car terminal for a quick charge, either takes a lot of time, half hour or more is optimistic or as soon as you turned on the power it the connection wil arc, and either weld itself together; or burn away to an open-circuit to no connection; or short circuit barbecuing the high voltage rated electrician person serving as your equivalent of a “gas jockey”.
    ===============================

    You would make the connection w/no power to the plug obviously. Then after connected, you would either throw a disconnect, or better yet turn on a soft-start. No arcing

    Once again, i think the problem w/fast charging is the car itself, or too many people charging at 1 time at 1 spot on the grid.


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    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:42 pm)

    #297 stas peterson Says: I liked your post, but you disregarded what the very same person said that you referenced.

    That CEO of CPI, would no agree that it is half yet ($500 per available KWH) but he said it would be there soon.
    ————————————————————————————–
    The key word here is “available”. The Volt’s pack has 8kWh of available energy, 16kWh total. If you read his 4 points, this makes sense.


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    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:44 pm)

    #297 stas peterson Says: Fast charge is just not in the cards people. Get over it.
    ————————————————————————————–
    That’s my conclusion as well.


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    Bruce

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:45 pm)

    “I think your 90% is high. Batteries do not like cold climates. How much energy would my heater use and my window defroster?”

    3 of the top 5 metro areas in the USA never see snow or cold. LA, Houston, and Phoenix. And that percentage is only going to grow as sunbelt migrations continue.


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    carcus1

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (7:53 pm)

    #284 Dave G.,

    “As for hills, there is no real problem here. After the ICE turns on, you would have to go 80 miles per hour constantly up a steep 6% grade without slowing down for 15-20 straight before the Volt’s battery gets empty enough to stop powering the vehicle. There’s no road like that in the U.S.. There are always turns in there somewhere to slow you down. Mountains are mountains.
    So, given that I would have to pick a 220hp compact car to get equivalent performance to a Volt, and given how efficient this type of a vehicle would be, I would choose the Volt for a cross country trip.”
    ____________________________________________________

    ” up a steep 6% grade without slowing down for 15-20 straight”, “220hp compact car”???? — you’re making stuff up again.

    The volt, in it’s customer depletion mode (which will be anytime after driving 40 miles) will be roughly equivalent to a 87 to 67hp (65kw = 87hp, 50kw = 67 hp) subcompact car .

    Don’t believe me? Just ask the volt chief engineer. Oh, wait, . . . .somebody already did.

    “As I start up that hill, I’ll be going at 80 mph, no problem. I will be drawing roughly 50 kw of electrical energy from the generator and I’ll be drawing the additional energy required out of the battery. Lets say its another 10 or 15 kw out of the battery.
    At some point the battery will become depleted, completely. Or to within a reasonable margin of safety. Then the car wont be able to continue to go 80 mph. Its only going to be able to go as much as the roughly 50 kw generator will be able to take it.”
    http://gm-volt.com/2008/09/02/the-pikes-peak-question-chevy-volt-and-the-infinite-hill/

    A 220hp subcompact will be passing everything on the way up through Eisenhower tunnel. The volt will manage only a “reasonable speed”.


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    Elon Musk doesn't love the Chevy Volt » Hybrid News

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:00 pm)

    [...] C&#108i&#99k he&#114e &#116o re&#97d &#116&#104e w&#104ole convers&#97&#116ion over &#97&#116 GM-V&#111l&#116.c&#111m. [...]


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    Jackson

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:05 pm)

    Frankly, it’s the pure BEV that’s not in the cards — for a cold climate. You’re always going to need a supplemental on-board source of heat (that’s not to say that some new breakthrough won’t change the landscape, but it’s not in this particular deal off the deck). For this reason, I don’t think Model S or iMiev are going to enjoy continent-wide penetration.

    Fast charging needn’t be impossible from a physical point of view, depending on such things as “how fast is ‘fast’”, and engineering details concerning how one goes about it. The only relevent issue is from an economic point of view, and depends on what the ‘added value’ is likely to be worth in the marketplace. In this case, it isn’t likely for 20 – 30 years.

    The important distinction to be made is that fast charging won’t enable electric vehicles; electric vehicles will enable fast charging. Any other scenario is a mandated recipe for waste.


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    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:06 pm)

    #303 kdawg Says: You would make the connection w/no power to the plug obviously. Then after connected, you would either throw a disconnect, or better yet turn on a soft-start. No arcing
    ————————————————————————————–
    Right. I was assuming soft start.

    But if rain or snow got into the connector as you plugged in and then starts shorting the contacts after you’ve ramped to 480,000 watts – kaboom!


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    ThombDbhomb

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:08 pm)

    Some of us can get snarky. Pity.


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    Dave G

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:09 pm)

    #307 carcus1 Says: ” up a steep 6% grade without slowing down for 15-20 straight”, “220hp compact car”???? — you’re making stuff up again.
    ————————————————————————————–
    I don’t make stuff up.

    The 220hp was a direct quote from GM after the mule test drive.

    The 15-20 miles is calculated from the 30% SOC at the CDP, combined with data provided by GM from the Pike’s Peak article.


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    Joshua Santos

     

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:12 pm)

    I think I’m going to go with the Tesla, although my wife will probably get a Volt (she drives less). Here is my reasoning:

    1.) I drive about 75-80 miles per day for work. If I’m buying an electric car, one of the main selling points for me is never having to go to a gas station every again. The Model S has more than enough range for me on a daily basis. If we do a roadtrip, can take my wife’s car.

    2.) Vastly increased performance over the Volt. It’s literally like comparing a 2008 BMW 335 to a 1998 Toyota Camry V6. The S is built like a luxury sport sedan instead of a compact car.

    3.) The Model S is one of, if not the best looking sedan’s I’ve ever seen. The Volt looks great too, but the S looks stunning.

    4.) Lower maintenance costs on the S, no oil changes etc.

    5.) 17 inch touchscreen in the dash (wow).

    6.) Seating capacity for 7.. as rare as it might be. Really it should say seating for 5 + 2 small kids (they are basically sitting in the trunk).

    7.) I live in Santa Clara where electricity is 7 cents per kilowatt hour 24×7. I’m way better off going all electric from a financial perspective for commuting.

    Also, the real premium of the Tesla above the Volt will be $10-12k. Maybe less after factoring engine maintenance. For me, that’s a no brainer on the top 3 reasons alone. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Volt is great… but the Tesla Model S would be the perfect car for me. Hopefully I’ll have both sitting in my garage come 2012.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:15 pm)

    No, Dave G. I am not an “EV fanatic,” with a particular “mindset.” If you’ve paid attention, you know that I favor something in-between the Volt and an all-battery approach: I call it an “AREV” for Augmented Range Electric Vehicle. Rather than sustain a state of charge, the much smaller genset would stretch, or augment a rate of discharge. It would have a larger AER which could be doubled or tripled by running the engine. In day-to-day commuting, this wouldn’t be needed if round trip was under half the battery’s available rating. In every other respect, it would be a series hybrid. As you have observed in previous threads, an AREV with an engine half the size of Volt would still perform like Volt 96 -98% of the time.

    What I refuse to do is dismiss any possible technology’s future in absolute terms. It isn’t beyond reason that fast-charge (or bio-fuels, or even Hydrogen — horrors) could find a scenario for success.

    I guess what stings about this “cold turkey” business is that I’d just let down a Hydro-nista in the same thread!! ;-)

    Unfortunately for the AREV concept, I think a greater number of cycles is needed for it to be successful, and lower cost certainly is.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:22 pm)

    #206 statik said:

    I agree with you. I don’t think they are a threat to each other…at all. The segment is clearly wide open, with a ton of demand. Besides all that, the Volt is a small 4 seat sedan, built to try to get into the hands of the ‘common man’…Tesla is clearly targeting the upscale market. It is kind of like comparing the Malibu with a BMW 5 series….apples and oranges.

    —————————————————-

    I disagree. There are a lot of people out there who will take any electric car they can get. And I would imagine that this constitutes a large segment of Tesla’s target market. And for many of them, given the choice between a BEV from Tesla and a EREV from GM that costs $20,000 less–they’ll go with the Volt.

    If I lived in California, I would put a deposit on a Tesla roadster. I wouldn’t be happy about spending that kind of money, and I’m not thrilled about the limited range, but I really really want an electric car. But if the Volt were available at the same time as my projected Tesla–I would choose the Volt. No question. Even if it were the same amount of money. The roadster is a nicer car, but that doesn’t matter to me. Driving without polluting does. And I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels this way. And given Tesla’s financial position, I’m not sure they can afford to lose everyone like me. I hope they can, but I completely understand why Elon Musk is worried. His niche market is now a lot smaller.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:26 pm)

    Forgot to add in my previous post :

    A product is never good just because it passed all the positive test cases.

    Its quality depends on the survival on the number of negative test cases and pass of positive test cases and howz its executed and faults are corrected, re-verified in final product. recalls/corrections should be done as a part of regular maintenance.

    I think GM started to know it now very well. I think testers of GM should carry this in mind and contribute new test cases from their exp and intelligence and encash all the good critics ( there are a lot writing just to get attention)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:29 pm)

    Holy crap! 300+ posts.

    I started reading from #1, then my eyes blurred, and then started to bleed.

    During my “scan” I saw things like quick charge, and fuel cells(thanks DaveG, for countering that volley, again).

    My opinion on quick charge is that you will have quick charge, but not as quick as being discussed here. Quick charge of an hour or so, to reach 80% capacity is a more likely scenario.

    Also, the charging will be done with 3-phase power, not single phase.

    “Coffee breaks over, back on your heads.”


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:36 pm)

    #312 Dave G.

    Ok. Well, you don’t understand it then.

    You’re probably still thinking like you did on your post #44 of the pike’s peak thread. Your thinking is in error.

    - The volt battery does not have much of any excess capacity after the customer depletion mode. The generator just comes on and provides what’s necessary. It does not recharge the battery.
    - When Farah says 10 to 15 kw he means Kilowatts, NOT kwh or Kilowatt hours.
    - kw is a measurement of power (not battery capacity), Farah tells us that “At some point the battery will become depleted, completely.” [completely meaning somewhere around 30%SOC] How long? We don’t know, but we can safely assume it’s not a lot. It’s just whatever little bit of spare capacity is built into the 30% customer depletion point. (This would also mesh with Ford’s rep saying 3 or 4 hard accelerations and then you’re performance is diminished, but I suppose, from Ford, most GM fans could disregard their input)

    To recap,
    - On the pike’s peak thread Farah was talking about power, NOT battery capacity.
    - You mistakenly started using the 10 to 15 KW power as if it was an extra 10 to 15 KWH capacity in the battery.
    - You then took your old mistake and added on top that the volt has 220 hp because a GM employee on a mule test drive thought it “felt” like 220 hp.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:44 pm)

    Jackson & Dave G:

    On board hydrogen storage exists, as well as connector technology to transfer gaseous hydrogen at, if I remember correctly, about 30k psi (I’ve seem ‘em with my own two eyes and touched with my own two hands). It’s to the point where undergrad engineering students are playing around with this stuff. Big pretty lookin’ carbon fiber cylinders, safe enough to put in a vehicle and crash tested to boot. Hydrogen refueling infrastructure’s in the refinement stages of development. Implementation on a national scale is a different kettle of worms, but is an issue of money, not technological development. Quick charging an EV is still a development issue. It’s not even been worked out yet.

    Hydrogen fuel cells work, the issue again is with money. The elements are expensive, and the recearch and development at this point is towards finding subsititutes for platinum that are effective and less costly, and there has been success in that direction. Again, this is refinement level development. Batteries that can quick charge are still in the concept, development, and proving stages. Fuel cells are a more mature technology, though the road has been a lengthy one.

    While we can get a long way from dependance on oil with current technology and EVs, some day the oil will run out. While EVs with long recharge times can fill a very viable segment of the market, it won’t displace the ICE completely. Make no mistake, the ability to refuel is not negotiable. Unless we solve the quick charge issue, we will need a range extender of some sort on all mass market EVs in order for them to be a viable sole vehicle for the average person.

    As far as the other 66% of oil use goes, we wil have to solve those issues too. To date, we have made advances in vegetable based plastics (as used on the new Prius), and non petroleum fertilizers. We may need to rely on carbon neutral biofuels for flight purposes, it’s hard to get around burning something very energy dense in a jet engine, but in the end, we need to be off oil completely. If quick charge proves too difficult/costly/impractable/uncompetitive, then E-REVs will either be biofueled, or hydrogen fueled.

    Hydrogen is not as efficient an energy carrier as batteries, but fuel cells do not repeal the laws of physics. That is just absurd. The issue is not with physics, but finding a total replacement solution (or group of solutions) for oil. Hydrogen is an energy carrier that has the disadvantage of being less energy dense, and more of a pain to distribute than power lines and batteries, but has the distinct and overwhelming advantage of being a transportable fuel that can be dispensed quickly. Don’t mistake exchanging control by oil companies with control by power companies. Someone will control the distribution of energy, no matter what for it takes.

    I’m not a fuel cell advocate, I’m an advocate of whatever solution allows us to get away from oil and the ICE completely. I realise that it is going to be a process, with stages, over time, and EVs are a part of that. However, we need to keep an eye on the end goal, and not discount any technologies or paths that may get us there. Hydrogen is one, with advantages and disadvantages. Batteries are another, also with advantages and disadvantages. If we need hydrogen to fuel our cars, you can bet the infrastructure will come, both in distribution and production. There is successful recearch in the area of efficient hydrogen production as well.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:47 pm)

    Fortune magazine had a feature article on Tesla last July:

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/10/technology/copeland_tesla.fortune/index.htm


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:53 pm)

    #8 Lon Seidman Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 6:35 am
    “Because of the massive amount of battery power the car needs to operate, you’re likely waiting for eight to sixteen hours (or more) just to limp home. 110 charging on the Tesla is just not a feasible means of fast refueling. This same reason is exactly why the EV1 failed: people are not going to buy a car that has the potential to leave them stranded when the battery runs low.”

    Check out the movie, “Who killed the electric car”. The EV1 didn’t fail because didn’t want to buy the car. GM killed the project because they were in cahoots with the oil companies and making money hand over fist selling SUV’s. If you didn’t know, you couldn’t buy the EV1, it had to be leased. People wanted to buy the EV1 but GM wouldn’t let them. In fact, they crushed perfectly new electric vehicles for no other reason than they were electric cars. For whatever reason, GM has been dragging its feet on electric cars.

    I’m not surprised that it took a technology executive, an industry known for meritocracy, to do the sensible thing and build a car company that gives people what they really want. An electric car. Granted, Tesla’s road to profitability hasn’t been without its own bumps in the road but what growing business hasn’t had them? If you truly want Tesla to do well, cheer them on instead of saying it’s never going to work. Just because you can’t imagine it, it doesn’t mean that the science isn’t there.

    Also, “2011 Tesla Model S Concept Tech Deep Dive—300-Mile Range, Seven-Seat EV for Mass Market?” – Popular Mechanics
    Quote:
    …Tesla says they could set up a quick charge station between, say, Los Angeles and San Francisco, yielding a charge time of only 45 minutes. But expect considerably slower charge times, Tesla says, closer to 4 hours using the onboard adaptor that plugs into a standard 110-volt wall socket. The system is also compatible with 220, 240 or 400 volts. Up to a 240-volt, 70-amp charging setup is possible, they say, in home applications….


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:55 pm)

    Jackson:

    EVs (BEVs) can work just fine in cold climates. There are two aspects to making this work, a heater element for the battery, and INSULATION. Something that us in the north know all too well is, when it’s cold outside, PUT A COAT ON!

    A company in Ottawa, Ontario did testing on a pair of EVs that were retrofitted with cold weather heaters and insulation for the battery pack, and tested them in Environment Canada’s cold weather test facility. They deep cooled them both, to -17 degC for a full 18 hours with only the battery heaters on, then ran a test cycle. The result? No appreciable difference in range, even with old lead acid batteries. It’s all about proper winter prep.

    http://www.revconsultants.com/winterizing.html


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:56 pm)

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (8:58 pm)

    #318 Add,

    I’d be just about positive the GM employee’s reference to the volt feeling like 220 hp was before customer depletion (i.e. running on the batteries), not after (running on the genset).

    /enough snark, time for beer


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:05 pm)

    kgurnsey:

    Thanks for not being intimidated, we can really get into it at times. I agree that the solution that works is the right solution. I’m glad to hear about new work in these areas, especially on-board Hydrogen storage. How long does it take at 30 psi to completely recharge the carbon-fiber units you describe?

    That leaves only a means of making Hydrogen from water (in a manner more efficient than making electricity for electrolysis), as an insuperable show-stopper. I tend to think of a co-generation scheme using highly concentrated thermal dissociation, with conventional electrical generation on the back end; and figure that it’s at least 50 years away from commercial application.

    Speaking of insulation, I haven’t completely given up on hot (eutectic salt, sodium-sulfur and the like) batteries for the largest urban vehicles; which would be an even trickier challenge than Li-ion in the snow.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:06 pm)

    I will not buy from Tesla after it appears Elon stabbed the true founder of the company in the back. If he can’t resolve a simple personal dispute then why should I trust him as a customer. My opinion is that he did it out of greed, so he could have it all. With an ego like that at the head of the company I’ll stay away, thanks. Besides I can’t trust their home made battery pack. I think GM, Phoenix, Toyota and all the Major car companys will have a much better designed battery.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:13 pm)

    Bruce #306

    + 15M in Florida, etc, etc.

    Not that it matters much for a well insulated battery pack. A few watts and the battery can keep itself warm for a long time or design a supercap + battery or small low temp battery or ….


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:15 pm)

    kgurnsey:

    Practical on-board Hydrogen storage, in my opinion, will involve some kind of direct absorbsion at low pressures. Is this what you are describing?

    Even if a BEV can be made to run in the wintertime, there’s still the problem of passenger heat and defrosting in an environment where heat pumps are not practical.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:24 pm)

    kgumsey
    Who said u got to plug it in, in the cold? There’s no public plugs by me. I’m not worried about leaving my car plugged in at home overnight. But how about when I leave it for two weeks, at an airport, or a park & ride?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:39 pm)

    Bruce
    60% is a lot less than 90% and temps are only 1 issue against BEVs. Don’t get me wrong, I like them, but I think it’s a bit bold to say 90% of us could drive them. Especially when only 15% could probably afford one with a decent range. I’d type more to try to make my point more clear, but I’m on my iPod at the bar passing time at halftime.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:45 pm)

    #323 coffeetime Says:
    Dave G,
    What’s your take on this:
    http://gm-volt.com/2009/02/06/exclusive-ford-says-no-to-e-revs-and-explains-why/
    ————————————————————————————–
    I wrote many posts on this thread, but I think post #8 says it best.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (9:47 pm)

    kdawg #295

    Have you been to the gas station when the power is out? In most areas, they don’t have generators and the pumps are electric. No power, no gas either.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:28 pm)

    #318 carcus1 Says: Ok. Well, you don’t understand it then.

    - You mistakenly started using the 10 to 15 KW power as if it was an extra 10 to 15 KWH

    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, I know the difference between power and energy. Perhaps I didn’t explain things well enough the first time, so I’ll do this again.

    First, realize that when the ICE turns on, the battery is still in play, discharging to supply peak power, and then charging back up to the CDP to recover. These diagrams show this:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzenu6hr/ebay_pictures/Volt_Electrical_Block_Diagram.jpg

    GM says going 80 miles per hour up a 6% grade requires 10-15 kW of extra power from the battery. Let’s split that and make it 12 kW. This is power, and not energy.

    GM has also said the when the gas engine turns on, there is still 30% charge left on the battery. This is called the customer depletion point (CDP). 30% of 16kWh is 4.8kWh. This is energy, not power.

    The next question is: How much of that 4.8kWh of energy will GM allow to be used for supplying peak power before they shut off the battery. Andrew Farah said in the Pikes Peak article:
    At some point the battery will become depleted, completely. Or to within a reasonable margin of safety.
    I’m going to estimate around 3kWh of available energy in the battery after the CDP.

    So how long can 3kWh of energy supply 12kW of power? 3/12 = 0.25 hours or 15 minutes. At 80 miles per hour, that’s 20 miles.

    Now remember, for you to hit this limit, the 6% grade has to be constant for 20 miles straight, without any level or downhill spots where the battery can recharge. In addition, you have to go a constant 80 miles per hour for 20 miles straight up that hill, without ever slowing down for curves. I don’t believe there is a road in the United States that will allow any sane driver to do this.

    So that’s why I say mountain passes are not an issue for the Volt.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:33 pm)

    #275 carcus1 said:

    Ford cuts debt by 38%
    Shares jump after the carmaker says it has eliminated $9.9 billion in debt from its balance sheet.
    http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/06/news/companies/ford_debt.reut/index.htm?section=money_latest
    ————————————–

    #276 Tim said:

    GM has NOT done this because they received $Billions of taxpayer money to “keep the party rolling”. GM would have had a LOT more barganing power with creditors and the UAW if they had NOT received all that bailout cash and it was truly sink or negotiate.
    ============================

    Doesn’t really have anything to do with ‘billions of taxpayers money,’ GM could actually make their problems go away with more money.

    If the gov’t stays away there is a zero chance in hell they can negotiate with the creditors…as the peg value on the debt was about 30 cents on the dollar through the bankruptcy process.

    What is important in the Ford announcement is the price they paid in CASH to buy back debt. 1 billion for 2.2 of debt…or 47 cents on the dollar…and 1.1 to buy 3.4 of unsecured debt (32 cents). (The rest was a cash premium paid on senior notes tendered).

    Before the gov’t shot down GM’s viability plan, GM offered their debt holders 8 cents on the dollar in cash and 16 cents on the dollar for new unsecured debt…which was turned down (obviously). They think the next offer will be even worse.

    Most bondholders figured they could net about 30 cents on the dollar in bankruptcy…I have no clue how they peg the value now with a GSB on the table.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:37 pm)

    Dave G #331

    Post #8 starts out disengenuous and goes downhill from there. Just about every point grossly exaggerated or inaccurate.

    “First, their vehicles are only available in California.”
    http://www.teslamotors.com/media/press_room.php?id=1240

    “The support infrastructure for these cars is so complex that they won’t even sell it to you if there’s no dealer nearby.”
    They are accepting orders from US, Canadian, and European customers. They only want to deliver from authorized facilities, no different than most other car manufacturers. “So complex” is exceptionally misleading.

    “If the car runs out of juice you’re stuck for a very long time.”
    As apposed to the joyful and expedient experience of running your gastank drive. There is no rule or need to charge 100%. If you are careless enough to run out of juice, you would charge what you need. With an EV, at least you have a better option to extend your range than with an ICE because of the efficiency. If you are in the unfortunate or self inflicted position of not having enough range, slow down from 75mph to 40mph and you almost double your range.

    “Because of the massive amount of battery power the car needs to operate, you’re likely waiting for eight to sixteen hours (or more) just to limp home.”
    Huh? This is a distortion. See above link for energy requirements.

    “110 charging on the Tesla is just not a feasible means of fast refueling. This same reason is exactly why the EV1 failed: people are not going to buy a car that has the potential to leave them stranded when the battery runs low.”
    That is why you can charge with 240V now and also 480V announced to be standard on future models. Where is that road littered with “failed” mass marketed BEVs that were offered for sale?

    “And then of course is the hardware. When you buy a Tesla the electricians have to come out and install a sizable charging station in the garage – another barrier to entry.”
    Flat wrong. While I believe this is available as an option if you CHOOSE, it is neither a requirement nor a neccesity.

    “As mentioned above 110 charging is just not feasible.”
    120V is what the Volt will most often use and will most likely be true for all EVs. 120V @12A nets about 1.3KW into the battery (13kwh after 10hrs), 1.7KW for 16A (17kwh after 10hrs). Feasible for most, others could have any licensed electrician install a 240V circuit where they park their car if one isn’t already there.

    “People simply won’t buy an electric car that can’t be quickly refueled. End of story. Anything else is going to be a toy for wealthy buyers who drive the vehicle short distances as a secondary vehicle.”
    Well…this opinion will surely be shared by others that don’t think for themselves or similar choose to distort reality.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:37 pm)

    #251 statik said:

    Side note: Baseball opens tonight…and I’m off to the ballpark (Rogers Centre/Skydome…whatever you want to call it)

    Toronto vs Detroit

    Opening night…when hope springs eternal, but looks to be another long year for my Tigers.
    =============================
    In other news, I am back from the game (obviously) and unfortunately I am right about the season so far.

    Detroit lost 12-5…although they threatened to make the Blue Jays forfeit the game when the fans started throwing crap on the field….they actually had to abandon the field for awhile, lol


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:46 pm)

    #319 kgurnsey Says: I’m not a fuel cell advocate, I’m an advocate of whatever solution allows us to get away from oil and the ICE completely.
    ————————————————————————————–
    I’m in favor of getting rid of oil completely, so let’s look a jet airplanes. From this study:
    http://www.efcf.com/reports/E17.pdf
    “At least 25 nuclear power plants plus the entire water consumption of Frankfurt needed to serve all 520 jet aircrafts per day at Frankfurt Airport “

    So to get completely off of oil, we are going to need bio-fuels. From my point of view, a combination of EREVs and bio-fuels is the fastest solution.

    Bio-fuels are carbon neutral. Bio-diesel from algae can be grown in the desert:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxNeBQCRv1c

    Ethanol can be produced from crop residue, forest/mill waste, municipal waste, and energy crops on idle farmland, all without any effect on our food supply. Using cellulosic gasification, raw ethanol can be produced for $1 per gallon:
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-9928810-54.html

    So what’s wrong with the ICE? I believe the future is a combination of EREVs and bio-fuels.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:54 pm)

    #335 koz Says: Dave G #331

    Post #8 starts out disengenuous and goes downhill from there. Just about every point grossly exaggerated or inaccurate.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Sorry, I meant post # 8 from the old thread, not this current one. To clarify, post #8 from the old thread says:

    Vehicle …………………… Gallons per year
    Volt …………………….….. 37
    Prius PHEV-10 ……………182
    Prius ……..……………..… 228
    Ford Escape PHEV-10 …. 268
    30 MPG car ……………… 380
    20 MPG car ……………… 570


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:54 pm)

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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:54 pm)

    kdawg #339

    Have you ever left your car for 2 weeks at the airport, not that I think this is an insurmountable problem.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:58 pm)

    Dave G #338

    You’ve gotta be kidding me:) Thanks for the CTS:)


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (10:59 pm)

    RE: 313

    “4.) Lower maintenance costs on the S, no oil changes etc.”

    I’m a bit stunned that people don’t take into account the cost of the Tesla’s batteries. They are going to be prohibitively expensive and need to be replaced every few years. If Tesla covers the cost, they will probably go bankrupt. Comparatively, the maintenance costs of a generator are minuscule.

    The Volt should have a less expensive battery that should last longer because it should never get fully discharged (basically the opposite of what Musk is saying). In the long run, the battery costs will dwarf any other maintenance cost.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:12 pm)

    #324 carcus1 Says: I’d be just about positive the GM employee’s reference to the volt feeling like 220 hp was before customer depletion (i.e. running on the batteries), not after (running on the genset).
    ————————————————————————————–
    Perhaps you don’t understand how the Volt works.

    When the ICE turns on, the battery is still there with a 30% charge. That’s enough to supply 150hp of electricity all by itself. So if anything, the Volt has more electrical power after the ICE turns on, since the ICE/generator and the battery are working together at that point.

    See here for details:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzenu6hr/ebay_pictures/Volt_Electrical_Block_Diagram.jpg


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:20 pm)

    You realize the Volt has a gasoline engine and it does pollute?.. the Tesla Roadster is a pure electric, not a drop of gas anywhere.

    …………………………….

    #315 LauraM Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    But if the Volt were available at the same time as my projected Tesla–I would choose the Volt. No question. Even if it were the same amount of money. The roadster is a nicer car, but that doesn’t matter to me. Driving without polluting does.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:26 pm)

    #333 Dave G.,

    “I’m going to estimate around 3kWh of available energy in the battery after the CDP.”
    ____________________________________________________

    Ok, now I see where you get your math. But it’s still off of an unvalidated and very suspect premise – - that GM is going to let the battery cycle between 30% and 11.25% SOC (1.8/16 = 11.25). (you used 0% SOC back on the Pike’s peak post, which would most likely smoke the battery, but let’s move on)

    I don’t think GM’s going to let the battery continuously cycle 20% during a trip in customer depleted mode for extra power. Every 5 times it does that, that’s one battery cycle less the battery has to live.


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:49 pm)

    #113 statik Says: I think it is unreasonable to expect to have the same end of life (10year/150,000 mile) performance than at the beginning.
    ————————————————————————————–
    GM and CPI have both expalined this. The bottom line is that the software will vary the customer full and depletion points, so that you will always have 8kWh of available energy through end-of-life.

    Specifically, GM said the initial customer full and depletion points would be at 80% and 30%, meaning that only 50% of the 16kWh battery is available. But GM has also said that they will vary these points as the battery ages. Additionally, CPI has said that the total capacity at end-of-life will be 75% of new, or 12kWh of total capacity. So it looks like GM will set the customer full and depletion points to 87% and 20% at end-of-life in order to maintain the 8kWh.

    Does this help?


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    Apr 6th, 2009 (11:50 pm)

    #343 Dave G.,

    “Perhaps you don’t understand how the Volt works.
    When the ICE turns on, the battery is still there with a 30% charge. That’s enough to supply 150hp of electricity all by itself.”
    ______________________________________________________

    Or, perhaps you don’t understand electrical theory. (or common sense)

    Here’s a quiz:

    How long can a 16kwh battery that’s going from 30% to 10% SOC (your assumption) provide 150 hp?


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:01 am)

    #345 carcus1 Says: I don’t think GM’s going to let the battery continuously cycle 20% during a trip in customer depleted mode for extra power. Every 5 times it does that, that’s one battery cycle less the battery has to live.
    ————————————————————————————–
    The main point of my calculations was to show how ridiculous the mountain road would have to be before you would get anywhere near this problem. In other words, such a road doesn’t exist.

    But you have a point in that driving extreme mountain grades on a daily basis will tend to wear out the battery faster. So the question for GM is: how many people really do this? Most people will drive a mountain pass every once in a while, but how many drive extreme mountain passes 5 days a week? This has got to be way less than 1% of the population. If I were a GM bean counter, I wouldn’t be worried about replacing the battery under warranty for this small portion of drivers.


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    unni

     

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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:02 am)

    Off topic :

    For Green, 0 – 35 mile drive people Gm is getting new project with Segway ( lithium ion battery ) :

    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/04/07/gm-and-segway-working-on-new-balancing-2-wheeler/


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:04 am)

    Hydrogen is not a Republican verses Democrat issue or
    an Oil barons verses non Oil barons issue. To do an
    EV that goes more than 20 miles without using hydrogen
    is totally impractical at this time. Look at the cost of the
    Volt with that huge Lithium ION battery, that battery makes
    it prohibitively expensive. The Volt needs to sell in the
    millions to provide an environmental benefit.

    Elon Musk is right on to criticize the Volt for having all the downsides of being a gas powered vehicle. The engine
    is too small to power the car, so if the battery is depleted
    entirely how is the Volt suppose to go up a hill? The Volt,
    as long as the range extender is a gasoline engine and
    the production volume is low, doesn’t solve anything.
    I’m sure that GM knows this and that’s why there is a
    GM Volt Hydrogen in the works.

    Concerning the hydrogen is not efficient arguments:

    http://hydrogendiscoveries.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/fallacy-of-energy-efficiency-argument-against-hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles-by-plug-in-battery-advocates/

    I am sick and tired of crap arguments against hydrogen.
    Yes there are scammers, but there will always be crooks.
    The dateline show that came out against hydrogen
    injection kits exposed 1 scammer, not the whole
    entire hydrogen injection industry.

    Here are some non OIL hydrogen sources:

    1) Sea water.

    2) Waste water.

    3) Manure ( methane ).

    4) Organic waste ( methane ).

    5) Plants

    6) Cellulosic ethanol.

    7) Biodiesel ( algae based ).

    8) Left over cooking oil.

    It is possible to thermally crack water. Advanced solar
    technologies will allow for that removing the intermediate
    energy conversion of sunlight to electricity to hydrogen.

    There is enough solar energy in the warm deserts of the
    world alone to thermally crack enough water to provide
    all the hydrogen that the world will need in a hydrogen
    economy and a good deal of the electrical power as well.

    Hydrogen is the only fuel that can be burned cleanly.

    The electrochemical process of uniting hydrogen
    and oxygen to produce water is more efficient.
    Fuel cells are the future and they are NOT as far
    away as a decade. Non platinum carbon electrodes
    have been invented and exist now. They are better
    than platinum.

    If you crack a fossil fuel to get hydrogen, that releases
    less CO2 than a ICE does. That carbon can be captured
    since it is not being released by a moving vehicle.

    Ex President Bush did not make a mistake committing
    funds to hydrogen, but he did fail to commit enough
    money. Bush knows that we need cars that don’t
    use OIL at all. Fuel cell cars like the Chevy Volt
    Hydrogen are totally OIL free.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:04 am)

    wow – a lot of comments –

    these 2 cars won’t work out at all. Few will ever buy them. When people are forced to conserve they will buy smaller cars and drive less.

    I’m thoroughly convinced that hybrids will never make financial sense except as city taxis …. and BEV’s will only work in specific markets. A BEV needs to be a city car that never ventures out of the normal 15 mile radius and 25 miles a day that most people use most of the time. That will work. Forget the hwy electrics. Rent a car for highway trips and have a run around bev for everyday.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:10 am)

    #348 Dave G.

    You can’t have it both ways. Either you pick the big “customer depletion window” (i.e. 30 to 10% ) and get better hill climb performance and shorter battery life, or you pick the small customer depletion window (i.e. 30 to 25%) (which is more like what I think GM probably picked, nobody but GM knows) and get a poor hill climb and longer battery life.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:18 am)

    #347 carcus1 Says: How long can a 16kwh battery that’s going from 30% to 10% SOC (your assumption) provide 150 hp?
    ————————————————————————————–
    This depends on the specific battery chemistry formula. As I understand it, there are 3 levels of battery chemistry:

    1) Basic Type (Lithium, NiMH, Lead-Acid, etc)

    2) Variations within type (Lithium Cobalt Oxide, Lithium Iron Phosphate, Lithium Manganese Spinel, etc.)

    3) Specific formula (determines power density vs energy density, temperature behavior, durability, etc.)

    A manufacturer can tweak the specific formula for a particular customer, but still use the same assembly plant and machines for many different chemistry formulations.

    The formulation for the Volt is unique and proprietary to GM, so we have no real basis of comparison. So all we can do is guess. From what I’ve heard, Lithium chemistries in general have good power performance over their operating range.

    In any case, the battery doesn’t need to supply the full 150hp when the charge is at 10%, since the ICE provides 75hp. So I don’t believe there is an issue here.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:24 am)

    #350 Michael Robinson Says: Here are some non OIL hydrogen sources:
    1) Sea water.
    2) Waste water.
    3) Manure ( methane ).
    4) Organic waste ( methane ).
    5) Plants
    6) Cellulosic ethanol.
    7) Biodiesel ( algae based ).

    ————————————————————————————–
    First, water is not a fuel source for hydrogen. You need energy.

    Second, in all of your cases above, it would be much better to use the original fuel source than to convert it into hydrogen.

    Hydrogen can never compete with it’s own fuel source.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:24 am)

    #352 add,

    “So the Volt has that problem?
    Right. So from our point of view because you can never predict what the customer needs next, that doesn’t lead to a confident driving experience. The solution to that is a bigger battery, bigger engine, and then you get more weight etc.”
    http://gm-volt.com/2009/02/06/exclusive-ford-says-no-to-e-revs-and-explains-why/
    __________________________________________________

    This is why I think the ford rep explains the problem this way and doesn’t just say ; so we figured it out by always letting the genset run longer/harder for increased performance in case the customer wants it. It’s probably not so much because of reduced fuel efficiency, but more likely because they’re afraid to open up the “customer depletion window” and cycle out the battery too early.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:27 am)

    #352 carcus1 Says: You can’t have it both ways. Either you pick the big “customer depletion window” (i.e. 30 to 10% ) and get better hill climb performance and shorter battery life, or you pick the small customer depletion window (i.e. 30 to 25%) (which is more like what I think GM probably picked, nobody but GM knows) and get a poor hill climb and longer battery life.
    ————————————————————————————–
    As I said before, I believe GM will pick the big “customer depletion window” (i.e. 30 to 10% ), but GM will assume that hardly anyone will use this on a regular basis, so battery replacements under warranty resulting from this issue will be very few and far between. It’s a bean counter statistics type thing…


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:30 am)

    #355 carcus1,

    Of course Ford is going to bash the Volt. All they have are regular PHEVs.

    I think we have beaten this issue to death. Suffice it to say that we disagree, and leave it there.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:38 am)

    #347 (me)
    “How long can a 16kwh battery that’s going from 30% to 10% SOC (your assumption) provide 150 hp?”
    ______________________________________________________

    30% – 10% = 20%, .2 x 16kwh = 3.2 kwh, 150 hp = 111.85 kw, 3.2 kwh/111.85 kw = .0286 hr or 2.9%, 2.9% of 60 minutes = 1.7 minutes or about 1 minute and 42 seconds.

    You won’t be able to pull 150 hp out of your big “customer depletion window” for very long. Not to mention that this is a high, hot current draw which I think also shortens battery life.

    P.S. I’m assuming that the power curve on these batteries stays pretty consistent till the last little bit. But I’ve never worked with these batteries. Haven’t even looked at their performance charts ( if there are any available).


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:45 am)

    #350 Michael Robinson Says: Ex President Bush did not make a mistake committing funds to hydrogen, but he did fail to commit enough money.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Bush was an oil man. Under Bush, we had record oil profits, one after another. For politicians, hydrogen is mostly a way to defer or delay other more practical solutions. For example, they used the promise of hydrogen to kill the California Zero Emissions Mandate. That’s why they call them Fool Sells. They are meant to deceive us. Classic red herring…


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:52 am)

    #358 carcus1 Says: How long can a 16kwh battery that’s going from 30% to 10% SOC (your assumption) provide 150 hp?
    ————————————————————————————–
    As I said before, there is no need to provide 150hp at that point. Below 30% SOC, you have a 75hp ICE/genset running, so the most you would require is another 75hp from the battery.

    However, at 30% SOC and above, it’s obvious that the full 150hp would be required, since the ICE may not be running


  361. 361
    Shaft

     

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    Apr 7th, 2009 (12:54 am)

    Carcus1-347

    I don’t think Dave G. is suggesting that GM would allow the battery to generate 150 hp once the ICE kicks in at 30% SOC. Dave G. knows that once the ICE kicks in, the battery will not have to supply 150 hp. He is just exaggerating to make a point. Dave. G. was very clear in 333 that he is assuming that a draw of 12 kw from the battery is all that’s required for the scenario he’s describing, and then it will last 20 minutes. I suspect that Dave G.’s numbers are optimistic, but he’s probably not too far off. Of course a headwind and air conditioning will make the scenario worse.

    You stated in 318: “- The volt battery does not have much of any excess capacity after the customer depletion mode. The generator just comes on and provides what’s necessary. It does not recharge the battery.”

    This is not true. By design, the battery will go below the CDP when extra power is required, and will then be recharged by the ICE/generator back to the CDP. I suspect that you know that and just misspoke.

    Dave G. is providing a worst case scenario. In most cases, even on mountain roads, there are flats and downhills providing ample opportunity to get back to the CDP.

    And, I think that Dave G. will agree with you that if you could find a worst case road with other worst case conditions, eventually (as Farrah pointed out) you would be completely dependent on the ICE, and power supply would be pretty anemic. Dave G.’s point is that for most normal driving, even under mountain conditions, the Volt will perform just fine. Time will tell, but I think Dave G. has got it mostly right, even if a little optimistic.

    And (for my driving pattern) anemic power once in a blue moon, until I can get to a flat or downhill, is better than no power at all!

    And, by the way, gm-volt.com contributors have already solved this problem completely. We have advised GM to provide a “Pike’s Peak” mode. If you anticipate mountainous conditions, turn on this mode after you’ve recharged and just as you are pulling out of your driveway. It resets the CDP to 80% from 30%, and so turns on the ICE immediately. Now, when you hit those mountains, you are still at 80% SOC. There’s lots of power AND energy available. I’m sure that GM is listening!


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (1:06 am)

    #313 – Joshua Santos

    Perfectly Said!


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (1:20 am)

    #361 Shaft,

    Thanks for helping out here.

    Actually, the worst road I know of for this issue is going west up out of Death Valley. Once you get to the bottom of the mountain, there is a fairly constant 6% uphill grade that lasts around 16 miles, starting below sea level, and rising up over a mile in altitude. It’s a 2 lane road, fairly straight for the first 10 miles or so, so you could take that at 80 MPH if you don’t get caught. Then toward the top for the last 5 miles or so, it gets curvy. If you took that part at a constant 80 MPH, you’re likely to crash and die. As you point out, as soon as you slow down or brake for a curve, the battery starts recharging back to the CDP. So I don’t believe this would deplete the Volt’s battery, and this is the worst road I know of for this issue.

    I guess my main point here is that these worst case roads are mostly a theoretical argument that engineers will discuss, but very few, if any, will actually see this issue in real life.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (1:25 am)

    /holstering keyboard

    I’ll see you in hell, Dave G. ;/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2l4IKz3m7c&feature=related


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (1:31 am)

    #364 carcus1 Says: /holstering keyboard

    I’ll see you in hell, Dave G.
    ————————————————————————————–
    LOL!

    Or perhaps we can have a hellish race in Death Valley…


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (1:36 am)

    #365 Dave G.,

    yeah , you in your volt and me in my . . . . well, something electric


  367. 367
    iRoc

     

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    Apr 7th, 2009 (3:32 am)

    Range anxiety applies to gasoline too!!!

    I’ve had to stop and ask farmers for gas and hitch a ride with a gas can many times.

    I’d much prefer to ask to plug-in since electricity is virtually everywhere, and is cleaner, safer and cheaper.


  368. [...] responding to a question posed by Lyle Dennis at GM-Volt on his feelings about the range-extender concept behind the Chevy Volt and why he’s not [...]


  369. 369
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    Apr 7th, 2009 (7:00 am)

    Correction:

    The Tesla Model S is not a prototype, it is a pre-production unit. BIG difference!


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (7:15 am)

    #344 Herm

    Yes. I do know that the Tesla is completely electric. But if I had one, I’d also have to have a regular car for longer trips. It’s a trade-off. And, I’d rather have the Volt.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (7:24 am)

    340 koz Says:
    April 6th, 2009 at 10:54 pm
    kdawg #339

    Have you ever left your car for 2 weeks at the airport, not that I think this is an insurmountable problem.
    ——–

    Yep, all the time. And park and rides, and at various parking lots. I travel a lot.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (7:25 am)

    I find the comments about Elon Musk at the Car Advisory site in #368 above to be highly insightful & worth a quick read……

    http://blog.caradvisorynetwork.com/2009/04/07/teslas-elon-musk-continues-war-of-aggression-against-volt-revs-tesla/

    Musk is a dangerous mix of a self-proclaimed intellectual elite and a brash, immature neighbor bully. What makes him dangerous —to Tesla, to SpaceX, and to himself— is the same as another pragmatic genius of an earlier era….. Howard Hughes. And, like Hughes (who also saw himself as infallible) Musk overules his own competent scientific & engineering staff’s suggestions —and even their strong recommendations— like the wealthy playboy he’s become.

    I’ll offer two examples of Musk’s dangerous behavior….

    1) His comment from the above interview, “An important consideration that people without a technical background don’t understand is that you can either have a high power or a high energy cell chemistry, but not both.” THIS IS PATENTLY INCORRECT AND CAUSED TESLA TO DESIGN A DRIVE TRAIN FOR THE MODEL S WHICH (DESPITE THE PROTOTYPE’S GORGEOUS DESIGN) VIRTUALLY GUARANTEES IT’S FAILURE AS A HIGH-VOLUME PRODUCT!

    2. His firing of the brilliant (but well balanced) Tesla founder, Martin Eberhard. This was a serious, reckless & irresponsible management decision that threatened Tesla’s very success.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (7:36 am)

    Unni – you know the .27Cd you linked to is estimated right? I’m going to wait till the actual #’s come out from GM. 0.27 might be right.. but shouldnt be reported as fact.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (7:51 am)

    #113 statik Says: I think it is unreasonable to expect to have the same end of life (10year/150,000 mile) performance than at the beginning.
    ————————————————————————————–
    #346 DaveG said:
    GM and CPI have both expalined this. The bottom line is that the software will vary the customer full and depletion points, so that you will always have 8kWh of available energy through end-of-life .

    Specifically, GM said the initial customer full and depletion points would be at 80% and 30%, meaning that only 50% of the 16kWh battery is available. But GM has also said that they will vary these points as the battery ages. Additionally, CPI has said that the total capacity at end-of-life will be 75% of new, or 12kWh of total capacity. So it looks like GM will set the customer full and depletion points to 87% and 20% at end-of-life in order to maintain the 8kWh.

    Does this help?
    =====================
    I hear what you are saying…and it makes sense. Until you account for human nature and unreasonable expectation.

    You are the type of guy that seems to take GM at face value, to believe what they say, to give benefit of the doubt, to take whatever quote fits what you want to believe…then run with it.

    I can take GM at face value too—if they were making another 4 door sedan, a can opener or even deliciously tasty cookies, something that exists in the real world, something with benchmarks, something they probably know how to do.

    Quite frankly, a 30% loss after 10 years, in the outside environment and probably 3,500-5,000 cycles seems pretty optimistic…borderline utopia.

    I tend to look at things from both sides, whether I want to believe something or not…then assume the more logical conclusion. With that in mind here are two statements from GM…what they ‘say’ and waht they ‘do’:

    A) WHAT THEY SAY: GM says they will adjust the battery’s power band to give full usage after 10 years/150,000 miles, “so that you will always have 8kWh of available energy through end-of-life”

    B) WHAT THEY DO: “longevity is the unanswered question… For our cost calculations we’re assuming each car will need a replacement during the warranty period” – Lutz, September 3rd, 2008

    So hmm, these statements seem to be in conflict. Statement A seems to indicate, “no problemo” we just spin a little knob and everything is perfectly fine, not only is the pack still alive and well…it is operating at 100%. Now statement B seems to be saying, there is a very good chance the MAJORITY of packs don’t see their 10th birthday…even a outside chance NONE of them so…so we need to really cover our butts and price in a full extra pack on EVERY car.

    GM made both statements Dave…so which one is full of it?

    Is Lutz lying…making up random untrue statements about longevity concerns and being forced to price total failure into each pack? Was he just making stuff up and trying to create a s**tstorm of bad press?

    Or is the battery company that wants to sell GM probably a million batteries before the first Volt hits 10 years old, and the engineers whose job it is to make it work more likely to be pushing the envelope?

    IMO…it probably limps its way to 10 years, but just barely at a acceptable level. GM has to replace 10-15% of all packs….and hardly any packs survive to see year 15.


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    Apr 7th, 2009 (8:24 am)

    Jackson:

    Intimidation is not something I experience very easily, but thanks for the concern. It’s nice to know that a heated discussion can take place without resorting to childishness. In the end we all benefit from one another’s perspectives and expertise. While I don’t delude myself by thinking that I have all the answers, my background in engineering, coupled with the years of amateur research that I have done on the subject gives me the confidence to believe that I have something valuable to contribute to the discussion. Whether you all like it or not (joke).

    The fuel cell vehicle I am referring to uses a more or less conventional pressure tank, though constructed from carbon fiber, and in such a way as to be extremely resistant to impact and have a failure mode that ruptures progressively and releases any stored hydrogen without causing a massive explosion. Very safe, and rather pretty if you’re an engineering and materials geek, though still quite pricey at this pointIt takes about 5-10 mins to go from empty to full pressure if I remember correctly. I am familiar with some of the research in the area of direct absorption of hydrogen, which is very interesting and promising technology. There has also been some recent discoveries and development using bacteria for all sorts of fuel conversions, such as making ethanol, pentanol, and biodiesel fuels, and also … you guessed it, hydrogen.

    There are other options out there being tossed around as well, such as liquid batteries, where the electrolyte is pumped out and replaced, which has had some limited success in busses and larger vehicle platforms.

    Dave G:

    I am aware that hydrogen is not a fuel source, it is an energy carrier. It’s also not the most efficient energy carrier out there either, but there is more to the solution than just pure efficiency. It’s a complex issue with many compromises. The problem with the ICE is a rather extreme thermal inefficiency, as well as the problem that the combustion by products are not limited to CO2, and are emitted where the fuel is burned, such as in dense city cores. There is as much of an air pollution issue with the ICE as there is a climate change issue. Combustion by-products are nasty, and affect human health adversely. As well, using an energy carrier to power a vehicle, as opposed to an energy source directly may be less efficient, but it gives you many more options in terms of available energy sources. Hydrogen as a carrier can be produced from many different energy sources. Biofuels cannot. Once you put an ICE in a vehicle, you can only burn something compatible with that engine as a power source. A hydrogen E-REV can use energy from wind, solar, biofuels, nuclear, etc., etc., ad nauseum. Other than that, I have no problem with biofuels, I think they can be a very viable solution in some contexts, such as air travel or as an intermediate range extender fuel source, but ultimately the ICE does not work as a long term automotive solution in my opinion. The compromise in thermal efficiency and health is too great.

    kdawg:

    I’m pretty sure that if you don’t have access to a plug, a BEV is going to be a challenge for you in other ways before the cold climate issue ever comes up. Nevertheless, I expect that a BEV would have a battery warm up cycle to slowly bring the battery to operating temperature before setting off. A bit of an inconvenience, perhaps, but only relevant to the odd time that you leave the car out in the cold for an extended period of time. The benefit to insulating the battery pack is that it requires much less energy to heat and maintain the battery, since your losses are greatly reduced, and it takes a lot longer for it to cool off when you leave the car in the cold.


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    Billy G

     

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    Billy G
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    Apr 7th, 2009 (8:26 am)

    This is such an Apples v Oranges debate. I prefer pure EV but am also fond of the Volt design.
    A couple points I feel are worth mentioning … I, like the vast majority of Americans have multiple vehicles that serve various rolls. Typically drive an efficient city size car for day to day but also keep a van for trip to Home Depot. 200 mile Tesla range covers me for 99.9% of my range needs…