May 11

Chevy Volt Charging Functionality, Gen One and Beyond

 

The Volt will be primarily charged at home, although there is certain to be demand for public charging outlets for people who wish to charge at work and for those who live in apartments.

The Volt will have some capacity to regulate its charging function, but more advanced features are expected to be coming in future generations.

I had the chance to ask Britta Gross who is GM’s direct of infrastructure some questions about this.

Are you involved in what technology will actually be in the Gen-1 Volts to communicate with the grid?
There will be some capability in the first generation volts to key in charging preferences. It won’t have all the smarts and broad capability of future generations. But it will have the smarts for you to be able to go into the vehicle and key in, for example, that you prefer to be charged after 7PM at night because you know the rates will be lower.

I am also working on how to (facilitate) that relationship between the utility companies and the new Volt buyers so they will be knowledgeable about their particular utility company’s best off-peak rates. We’re setting up systems now for utility companies to communicate with their customers about this.

So you may come home at 6 PM and plug-in the car, but your preferences are for charging to begin at midnight, and so your car will delay charging until then.

And, for example, if there is a different situation say for two weeks you need to be charged right away, let’s say your wife is pregnant, then you could override it.

Will the Gen-1 Volt communicate to the utility companies?
We’re looking at a lot of studies with OnStar right now, but there are other ways to do it. Through SAE and EPRI and our relationships with the utilities, we are very actively engaged in how we would communicate with the vehicle.

There are wireless means already, such as Zigbee, we’d have to have a chip on the vehicle that allows wireless communication about the charging and what’s happening. There are many ways out there to do this, we are looking through all of them to figure out what is best for consumers.

Will the Gen-1 Volt have something in it along these lines?
Well Gen 1 is a little different. The Zigbee chips aren’t even available today. These are nice to haves, but not must to haves. Even if the chip were available it would have to go through our very rigorous validation process which takes at least a year.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 11th, 2009 at 5:44 am and is filed under Charging, Features, Grid. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 142


  1. 1
    kingofl337

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kingofl337
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (5:52 am)

    First

    I hope they do get remote communication worked out I’d love to modify settings on the car from my laptop in my room.


  2. 2
    nasaman

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (5:53 am)

    I’m still intrigued by the possibility that an aftermarket drive-on inductive charging device only about 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick will eventually be offered to homeowners. The device I visualise would consist of a thin plate to be attached permanently underneath the Volt between the front wheels and a driveway-mounted plate slightly wider than the car but only about 2 ft long with drive-on recesses for the wheels that would lift its mating plate to the car-mounted plate.


  3. 3
    RB

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:07 am)

    #2 nasaman — permanent underneath connections to charge could be really good. Such a system could be inductive, but it might be done better with direct contacts that could insert and release automatically.


  4. 4
    nasaman

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:08 am)

    ….the car mounted plate in #2 above would be the transformer secondary & this mating plate would be lifted automatically by driving the car onto the tire recesses of the driveway plate and would be the transformer primary. This basic technique has been used in Japan to recharge HEV buses and is both very practical (fully automatic) and highly efficient! Anyway, it’s fun to speculate! :)


  5. 5
    Dane

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dane
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:10 am)

    WHAT? zigbee chips are readily available today. Theve been around for years.

    cmon GM.


  6. 6
    RB

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:11 am)

    And, for example, if there is a different situation say for two weeks you need to be charged right away, let’s say your wife is pregnant, then you could override it.
    —————

    In this situation you might even want to use the ICE :)


  7. 7
    nuclearboy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nuclearboy
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:13 am)

    In the future, the utilities are talking about paying customers some type of rebate if their plugin is connected to the grid and allows the battery to supply to the grid during a peak deman. This is kind of like the Air Conditioner shut off devices that are installed for which the utility pays you.

    This all sounds good for the future. For right now, I don’t want my Volt to be that smart. I want to know when it is charging and don’t want the utilities controlling it or draining my battery. We don’t have enough cars for that now. Keep it simple for now and get the car on the road.


  8. 8
    FME III

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    FME III
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:19 am)

    I’ll leave discussions about inductive charging plates to the EEs.

    I’m just glad to hear that GM is thinking these issues through.


  9. 9
    Jim in PA

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:34 am)

    Driveway-mounted charge plates? I take it that you folks don’t live somewhere that requires regular snow shoveling and ice chipping of your driveway. Garage floor maybe (and only if I can be given a 100 percent assurance that it can’t kill my kids and pets if it malfunctions, both when it is operating and when it is dornant.)

    Regarding the utility using my car to supply the grid, doesn’t this seem like an inherently awful idea for batteries whose lifespan is determined by number of charge cycles? The utility better pay you a lot, since they will accelerating the demise of your battery.


  10. 10
    Jason M. Hendler

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jason M. Hendler
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:41 am)

    It’s going to be years before all this is sorted through, but I expect the Volt is going to be the test platform on which this is all sorted out – if for no other reason than it will be the cheapest and most abundant EV available.


  11. 11
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:42 am)

    Inside my head:

    Lyle asks,
    “Are you involved in what technology will actually be in the Gen-1 Volts to communicate with the grid?”
    “Will the Gen-1 Volt communicate to the utility companies?”
    “Will the Gen-1 Volt have something in it along these lines?”

    Britta Gross: “The Volt has a timer we took off a a 1980s GE stove…”

    —–

    Pretty weak sauce Britta, I still have no clue what you do…and I’m guessing you are still not that sure either.

    Side note:
    I wonder how Britta is feeling about job today after the gov’t basically saying hydrogen was done, after all her title is, ” GM’s manager of Hydrogen and Electrical Infrastructure Development and Strategic Commercialization”


  12. 12
    charlie h

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    charlie h
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:52 am)

    Jim in PA: “Regarding the utility using my car to supply the grid, doesn’t this seem like an inherently awful idea for batteries whose lifespan is determined by number of charge cycles? The utility better pay you a lot, since they will accelerating the demise of your battery.”

    You’re right and this has been discussed before but it seems that bad ideas are fully 100% recycleable.

    The electric car charge terminals/parking spaces should NOT be arranged so that they are all closest to the building. It would be likely to create some backlash. Especially if the production vehicles are expensive.


  13. 13
    Jim I

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:53 am)

    Statik: “Inside my head:”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! That appears to be a dark and very strange place….. You should really call Tag and get some Prozac.

    Now, what I got out of this was:

    We really need to get this car out the door. The next versions will have more bells and whistles, after we figure out what people really want, and the uitility companies will provide.

    As far as her title, they will only need to take out two words “Hydrogen and”, so she should still have a lot to do! :)


  14. 14
    Herm

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:59 am)

    It should have a training mode, it WILL zap you, but lightly.. after a while even your kids will learn.. the dog may even learn without being zapped.
    ……………………………..
    #9 Jim in PA Says:
    Garage floor maybe (and only if I can be given a 100 percent assurance that it can’t kill my kids and pets if it malfunctions, both when it is operating and when it is dornant.)


  15. 15
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (7:12 am)

    I plug the company GEM EV in each day or two. It takes about 10 seconds and is fun to do. Wooo hoooo no gas at all!

    =D~


  16. 16
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (7:14 am)

    #13 Jim I said:

    Statik: “Inside my head:”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! That appears to be a dark and very strange place….. You should really call Tag and get some Prozac.

    Now, what I got out of this was:

    We really need to get this car out the door. The next versions will have more bells and whistles, after we figure out what people really want, and the uitility companies will provide.

    As far as her title, they will only need to take out two words “Hydrogen and”, so she should still have a lot to do!
    ==========================

    It is funny because they just added the electric part recently…she used to just lead up the “Hydrogen Infrastructure Development ‘Team’”

    …good job on that over the last 5 years by the way.

    Every word she says about needing infrastructure and getting ‘government’s and utility companies’ on board works against the public’s image of electric cars.

    We all know what her job really is, to finagle as much cash/grants/rebates as she can, out of anyone who will do it…but c’mon, GM is getting 10s of billions right now, we don’t really need her scrounging around for 10s of millions while indirectly hurting the cause at the same time.


  17. 17
    Joe

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Joe
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (7:28 am)

    RB Says: @3

    permanent underneath connections to charge could be really good. Such a system could be inductive, but it might be done better with direct contacts that could insert and release automatically.

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

    I agree with you. Adding a secondary of a transformer on the Volt will add too much weight and complexity. The idea sounds good but is not very practical. This may work well on buses in Japan, like Nasaman mention, but the ratio/weight of the secondary transformer and the bus is much different than with the Volt.


  18. 18
    Shawn Marshall

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Shawn Marshall
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (7:32 am)

    Agree with Statik – GM has so many Titles working on Volt aspects that it seems like a corpo-octopussy is trying to develop our favorite Vehicle -to-be.

    Anybody ever hear of a book called “The Skunkworks”? Title may not be correct. It’s all about corporate structure, stricture and the boondoggles of poor organization. Very difficult to read but 20 years ago GM coulda’ used it.

    KISS me GM.


  19. 19
    Shawn Marshall

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Shawn Marshall
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (7:42 am)

    Lyle – Since she seems to know you can schedule your charge start time, does she know if you can prescribe the charging period, eg the next 8 hours. That way the Volt could distribute charge cycles over the period to make it possible to charge more vehicles without dumping all the load on the system at exactly the same time – no fancy dancy smart grid or exotic communications required. Easily done also – even GM could get that accomplished in the next year or so.
    If you do happen to follow up with her, how about the question of recharging the battery enroute on long trips.? Would it be advantageous to charge as much as possible to get back to 80% since your Volt knows you are going to make a 200 mile trip? Seems to me that could simplify some issues for them.


  20. 20
    Shawn Marshall

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Shawn Marshall
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (7:44 am)

    If the government is dumping H research, it makes you wonder if that might be the right thing to do.


  21. 21
    Cole

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Cole
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (7:50 am)

    Dane,

    Zigbee chips are available, but I don’t believe there are any that communicate from a device to a utility’s smart grid system. At least not for vehicles yet.


  22. 22
    k-dawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    k-dawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (7:58 am)

    If my car can “communicate” with the grid, I want it to communicate with me too. I want to “synch” my music/email/calendar. I want it to download the weather/news/stock market info. If they are going to do it…. do it right.


  23. 23
    Mitch

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mitch
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (7:59 am)

    #9 Jim in PA Says:
    Garage floor maybe (and only if I can be given a 100 percent assurance that it can’t kill my kids and pets if it malfunctions, both when it is operating and when it is dornant.)

    And what about interference with pace makers and the dogs “invisible fence?

    I can see it now..

    “mommy? I thought grandpa was taking rover for a walk…why are they laying down and twitching on the driveway?”


  24. 24
    Van

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Van
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (8:06 am)

    The assumed infrastructure is that the Volt owner has a “time of day” electric meter installed at the house. Thus the Volt would activate its previously connected charging system during the period of lowest cost.
    The system will also probably know the plug is connected, and preclude vehicle movement.

    Perhaps Lyle could interview the electric utility in his area and find out how to get a time of day meter installed to take advantage of the lower cost of overnight charging.


  25. 25
    ArkansasVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ArkansasVolt
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (8:33 am)

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk: Once The Electric Charge Dies, The Volt Is Like A Lawnmower…

    http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/siliconalley/green-tech/elon_musk_once_the_electric_charge_dies_the_volt_is_like_a_lawnmower_2009_5.html

    thought this might be of some interest… more publicity for the Volt; however negative it may be.


  26. 26
    dane

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    dane
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (8:46 am)

    @ Cole,

    I understand your perspective, the Zigbee spec for talking to a utility doesnt exist, but the hardware to do it does. Stating that the chips don’t exist is a bit off.

    ive used them to talk at high speeds over a few hundred feet. they are rather secure (no documented breaks) and i think certain variants are milspec
    http://www.mil-embedded.com/products/search/fm/id/?31938


  27. 27
    Tall Pete

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tall Pete
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (8:53 am)

    k-dawg @ 22 :
    If my car can “communicate” with the grid, I want it to communicate with me too. I want to “synch” my music/email/calendar. I want it to download the weather/news/stock market info. If they are going to do it…. do it right.
    —————————————————————————————————————–

    This is in part why it’s so difficult for a new technology to emerge these days. The standard to reach is so high it makes the cost of development prohibitive and the product very expensive.

    Gen 1 will be fine without that kind of goodies. We just need an EREV car that can charge at a precise moment and heat the cabin (or cool it, whichever is the case in your area) before we disconnect of the grid.

    Other than that, keep it simple. Better have less features that work flawlessly. At the best possible price under the circumstances.


  28. 28
    CorvetteGuy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CorvetteGuy
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (9:02 am)

    ‘Computer Controlled Interface to The Grid’ ?

    Sounds like another expensive piece of hardware/software that will make the car more expensive and yet another device to add to the failure rate of the vehicle increasing warranty costs which will also be passed down to the buyer.

    Not good. Just build the car without it for less and let’s get on the road!


  29. 29
    Jim I

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (9:06 am)

    statik #16: Ten million here, and ten million there, Pretty soon you are talking about a reasonably good petty cash fund! :)

    Why all this talk about Zigbee for communications? What I have read is that this is more for low data rate transfers of information, which is useful for HVAC automation, etc. Why not do something that supports connections to existing home networks? Then we would be able to some of the things like k-dawg @ #22 has mentioned. We should also be able to upload information from the car to see how well the batteries are performing, our actual AER and gasoline consumption, etc.

    Plus, we know there are going to be software updates out the kazoo for the first year. The car should be able to contact GM, download and install the updates without trips to the dealer.

    It will be interesting!!!!!


  30. 30
    Michael

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Michael
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (9:11 am)

    RB @ 6
    And, for example, if there is a different situation say for two weeks you need to be charged right away, let’s say your wife is pregnant, then you could override it.
    - In this situation you might even want to use the ICE :)

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

    I think it depends on “how pregnant” the wife is. If she’s only a little bit, you’re only going out for pickles and ice cream. ;-) If she’s actually “expecting any day,” you’re right on with the ICE. I’m guessing Britta had the latter in mind. :-)


  31. 31
    Frank B

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Frank B
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (9:20 am)

    Most utilities do not offer reduced rates at night for residential customers, that is something they offer to commercial customers. So they may be building in too much, just a thought.

    As far as charging stations, they should be located in prime parking spots next to the Handicap parking spaces and they should be provided in the same quantities as the required Handicap parking spaces at all public and private parking lots. This would also promote the use of electric cars.


  32. 32
    charlie h

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    charlie h
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (9:21 am)

    #13, Jim I, “As far as her title, they will only need to take out two words “Hydrogen and”, so she should still have a lot to do!”

    More appropriate to give her the boot, or offer her a job down in engineering, if she has talent. I’m appalled but not surprised by the number of overhead suits that GM still has, even though they’ve lost money for years and continue with negative quarterly cash flow of $10 billion.

    This is one example of how they got to the situation they’re in today; too many employees that aren’t part of the (potential) profit-making processes.


  33. 33
    k-dawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    k-dawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (9:28 am)

    @27 Tallpete

    I don’t think that’s a very high bar. And since they are talking doing this on Gen 2 or 3, they might as well put all the bells & whistles in there. Crap, this will be 5 years in the future. If my car doesn’t have WiFi or some type of communication besides OnStar, that will be sad. But if that’s the case, I guess i can turn to 3rd party vendors, however I prefer to have everything clean and factory OEM.


  34. 34
    charlie h

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    charlie h
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (9:31 am)

    #31, Frank, “As far as charging stations, they should be located in prime parking spots next to the Handicap parking spaces and they should be provided in the same quantities as the required Handicap parking spaces at all public and private parking lots. This would also promote the use of electric cars.”

    Since the Volt’s debut price is $40K, this translates to “preferred parking for the wealthy.” It’s bad enough that some spots will be reserved but the prime spots? This won’t do any good. Further, if people park electrics in those spots and do NOT plug in… how will that look?


  35. 35
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (9:40 am)

    This entire process of maximizing electrical usage is going to take a while, and to the extent cars like the Volt are involved they are not going to be the bottleneck. The electric utility in my area is only now beginning the process of replacing the old meters with new time of day meters. The new time of day meters won’t show up in my area until next year.

    nasaman, do the charging plates always draw electricity?

    It seems to me that Ms. Gross does have an important job, though it’s a long range project more than an immediate need. That said, GM does seem to have a lot of moving parts. Usually we call that the “cast of thousands”. As mentioned before, when you start involving the cast of thousands the development process stops flowing and turns to sludge as all the cast members co-ordinate their efforts. Hopefully they’ve sidelined the cast so, as CJS says, they can “just build my Volt”.


  36. 36
    k-dawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    k-dawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (9:57 am)

    35 DonC
    “nasaman, do the charging plates always draw electricity?”
    ———-
    If yes, then a simple switch that reads the car’s presence could be used to turn them on/off.


  37. 37
    Mike-o-Matic

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mike-o-Matic
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:01 am)

    @ 9 Jim in PA,
    >> Driveway-mounted charge plates? I take it that you folks don’t
    >> live somewhere that requires regular snow shoveling and ice
    >> chipping of your driveway.

    I strongly agree! I live in Wisconsin and nothing ‘fancy’ is going to work here. We have ice. We have snow. We have dead opossums/raccoons stuck in the bumper occasionally! Just gimme an easily replaceable (should it wear out or break) plug-in connection, and get the dang car out the door. I’m not too lazy to plug something in! Most people I know aren’t, either!

    I don’t need or want fancy inductive, wireless-communicatin’, Elvis-channelin’, auto-attaching jiggamawhutchers mounted on the thing. They’re just there to malfunction or get broken, as far as I’m concerned! Make them OPTIONAL if you must have them at all.


    Now… @ Lyle and the post:
    Nice try getting her to answer about whether advanced stuff would be in the gen-1 Volt. My read on the interview is that you tried several times without getting a real answer. Pretty evasive answers, if you ask me. But kudos to you, for persistence!

    Speaking of this, BTW, @ #11 Statik… x2! Spot on. She should be further along in this process. Maybe she just can’t disclose something at this point. If not, though… that’s sad.


    @ GM!…
    For crying out LOUD, provide an ability to leave OnStar out of the charging process. Arrrgh!!! It’s just juice. No need to over-complicate it. An easy-to-use dashboard timer screen works for most folks.

    Speaking for myself only first, and maybe some others second now: Where I live, we don’t even have variable electrical rates. There IS no off-peak discount. It’s about $0.13c/KWh here, 24x7x365. I could care less when the car decides to charge.

    I JUST WANT MY E-REV. Finish the powertrain, test everything, and START SELLING IT.

    I guess I’m starting to get a little impatient, aye? ;-)


  38. 38
    Tom H

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tom H
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:02 am)

    #31, Frank, “As far as charging stations, they should be located in prime parking spots next to the Handicap parking spaces and they should be provided in the same quantities as the required Handicap parking spaces at all public and private parking lots. This would also promote the use of electric cars.”

    Since the Volt’s debut price is $40K, this translates to “preferred parking for the wealthy.” It’s bad enough that some spots will be reserved but the prime spots? This won’t do any good. Further, if people park electrics in those spots and do NOT plug in… how will that look?

    ========================================
    If the Volt still costs $40k in two years, any discussion will be moot. At that price, it will never surpass 10,000 per year in sales, and will constitute 0.1% of the market. Everybody will be driving $25k 50 MPG Priuses.


  39. 39
    banjoez

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    banjoez
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:04 am)

  40. 40
    MikeD

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MikeD
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:06 am)

    Volt communicating to the utilities… Via OnStar or another means? Please, don’t. What’s the point? Really, it’s just a gadget to be abused for marketing purposed by anyone along the chain. Just deliver a simple non-communicating Volt. Drop all the other nonsense.


  41. 41
    dorp7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    dorp7
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:13 am)

    I’ve had the charging plate idea before as well nasaman, but I didn’t know that something like this existed in Japan for buses.

    With the proper electronics, you could make this charger the smart device (wifi equipped, etc.) and have more control than what GM will give you on version 1 of the Volt.

    /I would like to get my wife pregnant in a Volt – don’t care about the state of charge at that point.


  42. 42
    Mike-o-Matic

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mike-o-Matic
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:17 am)

    @24 Van,

    >> The system will also probably know the plug is connected,
    >> and preclude vehicle movement.

    I know this has been discussed before, but I have to add this: Any plug-in vehicle MUST have this feature. To leave it out would be the pinnacle of incompetence. I wouldn’t dream of buying an E-REV or BEV that doesn’t have this minimal level of functionality.

    IMO, GM’s engineers are far to smart to overlook this critical detail.


  43. 43
    naurthandareen

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    naurthandareen
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:21 am)

    What’s wrong with charging with plugs and cables?….

    charging plates my ass!!!!

    My Volt is not a toothbrush!!!


  44. 44
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:24 am)

    Just as a side note: Not sure if this was brought up, but late Friday night the last of the objecting bondholders dropped their “active opposition” to the sale of assets to the new Chrysler. (They’re still objecting but they’re not going to do anything. Not sure what that means but it’s a fig leaf of some sort.) This followed the announcement earlier in the day that two of the larger hedge funds, one of which was Oppenheimer, had dropped their opposition.

    So the bankruptcy plan now seems unopposed, which means the 363 sale will occur. Not sure why the bankruptcy was forced in the first place — it certainly didn’t help anyone — but the big losers would seem to be the dealers. The dealer agreements are kaput and the dealers now get to press their state based damage claims in a bankruptcy sans assets. Good luck with that.

    All this is relevant because the media coverage about a possible GM bankruptcy seems to be hurting GM’s sales to the extent that a bankruptcy now seems inevitable. Hopefully the GM case will turn out differently, and GM will not have to go Chapter 11, but that seems unlikely. Perhaps statik will have some news for us from the press conference.


  45. 45
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Electric Vehicle Owner
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:24 am)

    Most of the threads on this site are about planned or proposed luxury tweaks to electric vehicle design and use and social/infrastructure integration. This is forward thinking and admirable in the efforts to make electric drive extremely mainstream. In the meantime, though, we seem to have forgotten about demanding, producing and using electric vehicles on the road right now.

    Folks on this site who are not currently using a vehicle with electric drive in it already on a daily basis have low credibility on their being part of the solution.

    While you’re waiting for the Volt, place an order today for an existing electric drive vehicle that you can at least use some of the time. Make sure you do your your research first and that you are enthusiastic about making electric drive really work for you. It’s time for everyone here to start walking the talk.


  46. 46
    k-dawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    k-dawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:25 am)

    41 Dorp7 – GM’s EV1 used charging plates back in the 90′s


  47. 47
    k-dawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    k-dawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:28 am)

    To the impatient people… remember none of this is holding up production. These are just ideas being worked on for Gen 2 ALONGSIDE the Gen 1 production/testing.

    Also, I have no problem with ALL the bells & whistles being optional, as long as it doesnt drive the cost up too much because each car would be so specialized. I would like it all to be sold as a “Tech Package” or something like that.


  48. 48
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:32 am)

    #39 banjoez

    I’m actually not understanding why Musk is saying this (not that I understand why he says anything). The ICE would seem to be oversized.rather than undersized for its task. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, right-sizing the ICE by making it smaller was on the “to do” list for Gen 2. It was certainly has been the topic of many who believe that the engine is too large and that 4 cylinders aren’t needed.


  49. 49
    Mike-o-Matic

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mike-o-Matic
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:33 am)

    @42, myself…
    >> GM’s engineers are far to smart to overlook this critical detail.

    Arrgh! First “to” should be “too.”

    Apparently, I’m not “too” smart to miss that when proofreading my post. It’s one of my pet peeves as well, which makes it an even worse sin to commit.


  50. 50
    Brian

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Brian
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:37 am)

    GM stock taking another 10% haircut today. This may be the week it hits all time lows. Not good.


  51. 51
    naurthandareen

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    naurthandareen
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:37 am)

    seems like GM is just justifying the $40T price tag by adding so many nonsense that complicates the neccessity of owning one….

    please don’t over engineer my Volt…make it simple, affordable… JUST DO ITTTTTTTT!!!!!


  52. 52
    Todd

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Todd
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:37 am)

    ArkansasVolt Says:

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk: Once The Electric Charge Dies, The Volt Is Like A Lawnmower…

    http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/siliconalley/green-tech/elon_musk_once_the_electric_charge_dies_the_volt_is_like_a_lawnmower_2009_5.html

    thought this might be of some interest… more publicity for the Volt; however negative it may be.
    ————————————————————————————
    And how nice of him to fail to mention that when a Tesla runs out of electricity it becomes like a rock.

    Todd


  53. 53
    David K (CT)

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    David K (CT)
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:41 am)

    Electric Vehicle Owner @ 45

    I don’t want a two or three wheel vehicle…I need a REAL car, that’s why I’m waiting for the Volt.

    I’m sorry that I’m not part of the solution. :(


  54. 54
    nasaman

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:50 am)

    46 k-dawg…. “GM’s EV1 used charging plates back in the 90’s”
    ==========================================================================
    Right! And as an electrical engineer & physicist who has specialized in the area of high-efficiency transformers, I can assure everyone here that:

    1) the primary/secondary “plate” concept I describe in #2 & #4 above would easily achieve >95% efficiency

    2) electromagnetic “leakage” would be minimal; i.e., the magnetic field strength immediately outside the edges of the 2 plates would be very small and would drop off very rapidly with distance

    3) the system could readily be made water/snow/ice proof and absolutely safe even for “probing children” (much safer than a wall outlet) by use of double-insulation techniques

    4) the system would NOT replace the Volt’s plug-in charging path — it would simply supplement it for automatic charging primarily at home.


  55. 55
    ccombs

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ccombs
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:52 am)

    #52 lol, so true

    Musk, why must you knock other technology that isn’t even really competing in your segment of the market? Teslas and Volts both have their respective places. I think Teslas are awesome cars and EVs definitely have some advantages over PHEVs, but until there is a nationwide extremely quick-charging infrastructure I will never buy one (assuming they come down in price). Right now, series PHEVs just the way to go for most people. Musk should be happy that people are following his lead in promoting energy independence and lowering consumption.


  56. 56
    nasaman

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:57 am)

    re my point 2) in #54 above, the auto-charging plate concept would therefore be absolutely no threat to children running metal toys over it, persons with pacemakers, sensitive electronic devices, etc!


  57. 57
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:03 am)

    If she does nothing else, if she can insure that the Volt becomes the standard for connecting to the electrical utilities, she’s done enough. It will bear fruit in Gen 2, 3, 4, etc.
    Above ALL, we just need to GET THE VOLT’S WHEELS ON THE ROAD!! (/shout off)

    Re the inside of statks head, I’ve found it to be very large, very dark and that it holds very few discernible landmarks – kinda fluid actually. (g). Getting in is easy, but getting back out is tough!
    Be well,
    The Flashlight inside Statik’s head.

    LJGTVWOTR!!********NPNS


  58. 58
    noel park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    noel park
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:06 am)

    KISS!!!

    LJGTVWOTR!!

    NPNS!

    Next case.

    BTW, has anyone heard anything out of Mr. Henderson”s “fireside chat” yet?


  59. 59
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:13 am)

    #44 DonC said:

    So the bankruptcy plan now seems unopposed, which means the 363 sale will occur. Not sure why the bankruptcy was forced in the first place — it certainly didn’t help anyone — but the big losers would seem to be the dealers. The dealer agreements are kaput and the dealers now get to press their state based damage claims in a bankruptcy sans assets. Good luck with that.

    All this is relevant because the media coverage about a possible GM bankruptcy seems to be hurting GM’s sales to the extent that a bankruptcy now seems inevitable. Hopefully the GM case will turn out differently, and GM will not have to go Chapter 11, but that seems unlikely. Perhaps statik will have some news for us from the press conference.
    ====================
    Yeah, I listened to it. Fritz basically said, there is almost no way to avoid the bankruptcy process…that the jobs were ‘too large’ and too many to reasonably expect to get done in a couple weeks. He also said a lot of other crazy things:

    HUMMER only has two suitors now…not three
    –I didn’t know they had any

    Saturn has no official suitors or offers

    Saab has numerous interested parties…but it will take months.

    …he even left conceeded they may look at moving GM HQ out of Detroit


  60. 60
    Dave G

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave G
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:15 am)

    Looking at the charge port design here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXD30uA1th0
    it seems that the Volt is not really designed to be changed outside in the rain or snow.

    That will throw a big damper on any plans for public charging outlets…


  61. 61
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:15 am)

    Re: GM Bankruptcy

    AP has a ditty out on it now if you want to read it:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/GM-CEO-says-tasks-are-large-apf-15199778.html;_ylt=A0wNc85rSAhKDD4AhB67YWsA?sec=topStories&pos=2&asset=&ccode=

    They say this:

    DETROIT (AP) — Bankruptcy protection for the biggest U.S. automaker is becoming more probable with a deadline just over two weeks away, the company’s top executive told reporters Monday

    General Motors Corp. CEO Fritz Henderson is still holding out hope that the company can restructure without court protection, but he says the tasks to complete before a June 1 government-imposed deadline are large.

    The automaker, Henderson said, is looking at its operations country-by-country to determine where it might have file for bankruptcy, but he says a U.S. bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean that GM would file in other locations.


  62. 62
    texas

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    texas
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:19 am)

    How about talk to Better Place? They are already installing charge points that communicate with the vehicle and to their network.

    So much for having one standard. There are probably going to be several “HD-DVD” standards for charging in the first decade or so before a winner emerges. It’s a shame because that will only slow adoption.

    No wireless Zigbee chips are needed. The car is already electrically connected to the charge point. The signal can ride on the power lines or on separate communication lines. I was hoping this part of the design was much further down the road. Wishful thinking.


  63. 63
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:30 am)

    #59 statik

    Did you notice that last week GM moved the payment date to suppliers from June 1 to May 28th? That strongly suggested to me that GM had already decided a bankruptcy filing was inevitable and that it is very concerned about the supply chain.

    It’s still critical that they get a deal done with the bondholders. Not all of them, just most.


  64. 64
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    In other news, none of Chrysler’s non-tarp bondholders (the ones who refused the government’s offer), held credit default swaps.

    http://chapter11.epiqsystems.com/docket/docketlist.aspx

    (Check docket #379)


  65. 65
    DaV8or

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DaV8or
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:38 am)

    Statik #59-

    “…he even left conceeded they may look at moving GM HQ out of Detroit”

    ——————————————————————————————

    Excellent idea! Move to a location that is cheaper and outside the clutches of the UAW. GM needs to be working towards being a non union shop as fast as possible. Extracting themselves from Michigan would go a long ways towards that. There are lots of US states that would welcome them with open arms.


  66. 66
    Estero

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Estero
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:45 am)

    My bottom line is — I don’t want the utility company or the government involved in making decisions on when/where I choose to recharge my Volt.

    I use an electric golf cart, to the extent possible, for daily activities. I try to be responsible and have a routine to recharge it during night time hours. But, when it comes to the Volt, this may not always be possible. There are times when I will need to use my Volt at odd times (i.e. getiting to/from the airport a t midnight or whatever), making emergency trips to the hospital in the middle of the night, etc.) and I don’t want an imposed charging scheduled to interfere with my ability to do those things.

    If the utility company or government gets involved and takes away my freedom on this issue, there will be no Volt in my driveway.


  67. 67
    MuddyRoverRob

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MuddyRoverRob
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:53 am)

    #2 nasaman

    Absolutely a great idea! the charger would stay inert until the car parks overtop of it and communication is established.
    #66 Estero

    I took this to mean that it would allow you to schedule your charging at a reduced rate time of day. Allowing communication with your utility would allow finding out when the power ‘deals’ are. It is not the intention of forcing the issue and stopping you from charging at another time if your car requires a ‘top up’ at another time..


  68. 68
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (11:55 am)

    #63 DonC said:

    #59 statik

    Did you notice that last week GM moved the payment date to suppliers from June 1 to May 28th? That strongly suggested to me that GM had already decided a bankruptcy filing was inevitable and that it is very concerned about the supply chain.

    It’s still critical that they get a deal done with the bondholders. Not all of them, just most.
    ========================

    Yeah, I think despite public statements, that bankruptcy has been the ideal route for them…I mean honestly, if a fully funded GSB is on the table, why not take it? I would.

    To me the ‘Aha!’ moment for me was when they said a couple weeks ago they were going ramp up and eliminate dealers by the end of the month.

    I neglected to mention that Fritz also talked (briefly) about that today…saying/alluding to the fact up to 2,600 dealers will be getting notices telling them they are through in a couple days. There rights and future compensation will be minimal when GM files…good way to get around all those pesky state franchise laws.


  69. 69
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:02 pm)

    #65 DaV8or said:

    Excellent idea! Move to a location that is cheaper and outside the clutches of the UAW. GM needs to be working towards being a non union shop as fast as possible. Extracting themselves from Michigan would go a long ways towards that. There are lots of US states that would welcome them with open arms.
    ======================

    He was probably thinking more like the British Virgin Islands.


  70. 70
    Elvis P

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Elvis P
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    I really like the OnStar system. Must make this mandatory for Volt, otherwise crap city. OnStar Rulez. It will save your skin Volt owners!


  71. 71
    Jim I

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    Estero #66: I don’t read this as a “forced” issue. I think it is more of a way to schedule in advance to charge at a reduced rate, if you choose to do so.

    Edit: Sorry – nasaman beat me to it with his post….


  72. 72
    nuclearboy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nuclearboy
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:12 pm)

    “Elon Musk: Once The Electric Charge Dies, The Volt Is Like A Lawnmower”

    nuclearboy: “Once the Electric Charge Dies, The Tesla sports car is like a Broken Lawnmower.”


  73. 73
    Jim I

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:26 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic #37: We are all impatient. The release date is scheduled for Nov, 2010, and that is still a very short timeline for a new vehicle that was announced in Jan, 2007.

    If you do not like hi-tech accessories, that is fine. We have always said there should be different option packages available. But not to offer them is just as big a mistake as making them mandatory.


  74. 74
    Unni

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Unni
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    True or false ?

    One little misconception surrounding the Volt’s operation: the petrol engine does not actually recharge the batteries. It’s generator is connected directly to the electric motor and virtually all of its energy output is directed to providing the power train with electrical energy. Indeed, once the manganese lithium-ion battery is depleted to about 30 per cent of rated capacity, it stays there until recharged using an electrical outlet. It’s worth noting that, even though GM never lets the batteries get depleted below the 30 per cent mark or be charged over the 80 per cent level (the deeper a battery cycles, the quicker it wears out), that’s still a far wider range than that allowed in current hybrids.

    from : http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090509/MOTORING/705089972/1042

    So what happens to to the uphill mode on range extended, Uphill recovery modes etc of Dave G’s mode diagram ?

    Now which is misconception ? i am confused.


  75. 75
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    #74 Unni said:

    True or false ?

    One little misconception surrounding the Volt’s operation: the petrol engine does not actually recharge the batteries. It’s generator is connected directly to the electric motor and virtually all of its energy output is directed to providing the power train with electrical energy. Indeed, once the manganese lithium-ion battery is depleted to about 30 per cent of rated capacity, it stays there until recharged using an electrical outlet. It’s worth noting that, even though GM never lets the batteries get depleted below the 30 per cent mark or be charged over the 80 per cent level (the deeper a battery cycles, the quicker it wears out), that’s still a far wider range than that allowed in current hybrids.

    from : http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090509/MOTORING/705089972/1042

    So what happens to to the uphill mode on range extended, Uphill recovery modes etc of Dave G’s mode diagram ?

    Now which is misconception ? i am confused.
    ==============================

    In ‘extreme draw’ scenarios it dips past the ‘customer depletion point’

    The reserve is a hard cut-off for the driver ie) he can’t flick a switch or ease up on the gas and use the excess capacity However, when the ICE can not sustain/achieve the demand being placed on it, the battery comes back to life.

    I think many of us assume this (stressed ICE operation and battery reactivation) is where the ‘Volt team’ is having trouble with the development…and why they are not so keen on showing it off to anyone.

    As to the ICE ‘never’ charging the batteries, I guess that is false…although mostly true, lol.

    We often here there is a small or trickle charge to the battery during ICE operation. Sometimes it sounds like they are saying it is charging, other times it sounds like the charge is ‘maintaining’ the battery to the customer depletion point.

    I myself am a litte confused about what source the charge is coming from, whether it be direct from the ICE operation or coming indirectly from the ICE propelling the car and the regen supplying the trickle.

    /if anyone can link/source out a definitive answer from a GM talking head…it would be interesting to know


  76. 76
    Jim I

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:43 pm)

    Electric Vehicle Owner #45 Says: “While you’re waiting for the Volt, place an order today for an existing electric drive vehicle that you can at least use some of the time. Make sure you do your your research first and that you are enthusiastic about making electric drive really work for you. It’s time for everyone here to start walking the talk.”

    What exactly would you have me buy today? A Myers Motors NMG for $30K, a Tesla for $100K? Try to buy an Aptera outside of CA. There really are not that many options available for people that need real cars to drive everyday.

    If there was a kit available that I could buy that had all the necessary parts to convert my Chrysler Crossfire over to a BEV, and I could get 100-150 miles AER, I would do it right now. I have looked at all the sites that talk about conversions of ICE to BEV, and many of them seem to be engineers that are doing this as a hobby. But I simply do not have the time to put my car out of commission for six or seven months, and not really know if it would work in the end.

    So it looks to me like the Volt is the way for us to walk the talk. But I can’t do it until it is available.

    Or am I missing something?


  77. 77
    RB

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:46 pm)

    #41 dorp7 says
    I would like to get my wife pregnant in a Volt – don’t care about the state of charge at that point
    ————————————————————–

    As #57 Tag says
    … she can insure that the Volt becomes the standard for connecting :)


  78. 78
    Zach

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Zach
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:49 pm)

    Regarding infrastructure, RIGHT NOW, all new construction sites should have parking areas dedicated to plug-in vehicles. Especially mall renovations or new malls that may be built. With those areas dedicated, they can set them up for future charging stations and already have the infrastructure built into the ground to be ready to be tapped into.


  79. 79
    RB

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:51 pm)

    #63 DonC, who speaks only to statik, said
    Did you notice that last week GM moved the payment date to suppliers from June 1 to May 28th? That strongly suggested to me that GM had already decided a bankruptcy filing was inevitable and that it is very concerned about the supply chain.
    ———————————

    GM specifically denied that the change of date was for that reason. :)


  80. 80
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Electric Vehicle Owner
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    DavidK (CT) @ 53

    Define REAL. It seems that you are saying NO before you even consider YES. Don’t let the future be the enemy of the present. Act now. What are you scared of?

    “I don’t want a two or three wheel vehicle…I need a REAL car, that’s why I’m waiting for the Volt.
    I’m sorry that I’m not part of the solution.”

    A NEV is a REAL car (has four wheels and goes from point A to point B), perfectly appropriate for college towns, for example. Place an order for a Fisker Karma if you want a highway capable series hybrid this year, or any other of the pure four wheeled electric cars on tap and there you are. (Toss on a hitch and tow around an electric generator (such as Honda has made ubiquitous – make sure you get one with adequate specs) if you want a range extender on a pure BEV – it’s not exactly rocket science).

    If you aren’t ready to purchase a vehicle with electric drive now, what makes you think you’ll be ready when the Volt is available to retail consumers in over two years from now? It’s not a magical unicorn. Broad electric drive adoption is waiting for action from you, right now.

    Last, if you don’t already have a REAL car with electric drive, all the hybrids on the market now already have electric drive. Get one. It’ll be practice for the Volt. That’ll at least be a baby step towards plug in, which you can aftermarket onto your hybrid whenever you want, if you get one compatible with an aftermarket plug in installation.


  81. 81
    David K (CT)

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    David K (CT)
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (1:10 pm)

    Electric Vehicle Owner @ 80

    No thanks…not interested in anything you discussed (other than the Volt – that’s why I’m here), especially towing a generator.

    REAL – Four wheels, highway capable speeds, warrantee, service within 50 mile of my home, no jury rigging required. Oh, affordable (<$40k) and seat four.

    I don’t live in a college town.

    Your comment is very similar to the hundreds of e-mails I receive daily that many refer to as advertising spam.


  82. 82
    Brian

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Brian
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (1:16 pm)

    “nuclearboy: “Once the Electric Charge Dies, The Tesla sports car is like a Broken Lawnmower.”

    When any vehicle runs out of fuel it is useless, whether an ICE car, Volt, or Tesla.

    But when you up to 300 miles of range, running out doesn’t seem to be a problem.


  83. 83
    Jim I

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (1:19 pm)

    statik #75:

    I think you described it pretty well.

    I seem to remembr two different explanations:

    1. The generator would send power to the motor, and if there was more current being produced than was needed, it would be routed to the batteries to keep them at the 30% SOC. If the motor needed more power than the generator was able to deliver, then the additional would be drawn from the battery pack, which would temporarily lower the battery pack to less than the 30% minimum SOC.

    2. Generator would be sending the current to the batteries, and the electric motor would draw power from the batteries. The ICE would run as long as the pack was less than a 30% SOC.

    I guess it all depends on the wiring and control logic.


  84. 84
    k-dawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    k-dawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    #75 Statik
    /if anyone can link/source out a definitive answer from a GM talking head…it would be interesting to know
    ======================

    You answered your own request last Monday???

    ——–
    Here is the quote from Volt chief engineer Andrew Farah on it:

    “When you get to the customer depletion point, the engine will come on seamlessly as it’s supposed to. But when the engine comes on to spin the generator, it does so with the idea that we’re generating electric energy to drive the wheels, not to charge the battery. People say the engine comes on to charge the battery, but that’s not what really goes on. The engine comes on to make enough electric energy to turn the wheels, because the wheels are always turning electrically.”

    “…if you’re trying to go up a hill with only basically half the power capability? That’s where the battery comes back into play. Because the customer depletion point is not full depletion, there’s still energy available. That’s by design. The idea is during certain other peak situations such as climbing a hill or merging into traffic, you will actually take some more energy out of the battery. So you may actually come down a little bit below customer depletion level.”

    “And then when you take your foot off the gas, as an example when you’re done doing the merge, we had taken a little bit out and the battery has a little less in it. So what we’ll do then is we will opportunistically put that energy back into the battery either through regenerative braking or if we have to we will take some of the energy that’s not needed to turn the wheels and bring the battery up to the customer depletion level.”

    “So we don’t recharge the battery. The customer wont actually see any of this, as their electric range indicator in the car will only say zero. We are actually using that battery at that point as a peak buffer and we will keep trying to recapture energy as the opportunities allow.”

    http://gm-volt.com/2008/08/25/what-happens-in-the-chevy-volt-past-the-customer-depletion-point/


  85. 85
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (1:25 pm)

    #79 RB says “GM specifically denied that the change of date was for that reason. :)

    Yeah, I know they claimed that. Did I believe it? Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha! That was one of those denials that had all the earmarks of the denials issued by the guys caught by drug testing. Remotely possible but not remotely believable.


  86. 86
    BillR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BillR
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (1:34 pm)

    #37 Mike-o-Matic

    “Speaking for myself only first, and maybe some others second now: Where I live, we don’t even have variable electrical rates. There IS no off-peak discount. It’s about $0.13c/KWh here, 24×7×365. I could care less when the car decides to charge.”

    And this is one important reason why Britta has a job.

    Without any price differential, why would anyone worry about time-of-day charging?

    With widespread adoption of electric vehicles, added demand will have big impacts on the Electric Utility. More power will be consumed during peak periods, forcing utilities to add expensive capacity (new power plants) to meet this demand.

    Thus GM is working with EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) to examine ways to avoid the expense of added capacity, yet allow the utiliites to increase revenue by selling more power (at off peak times). The method to accomplish this is to offer Off Peak rates to customers at a discount rate. Then the customers will have incentive to charge during these hours. It will be in the best interest the electric utilities to offer off peak charging rates for EV’s.

    This likely will require a separate meter, and the utilities may want to limit this to EV charging (maybe not) and so I’m sure there are many issues to sort out concerning the best and most cost effective way to make off peak charging of EV’s a reality.


  87. 87
    noel park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    noel park
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (1:34 pm)

    #63 DonC:

    According to the AP article statik cited, there would be a 100:1 reverse stock split! The bondholders would end up with 10% of the stock. The shares would be so diluted that they would be just about good for papering the bathroom walls. No wonder they can’t get too excited. And the poor existing shareholders? Boohoohoo.

    #69 statik:

    Grand Cayman? Monaco is nice this time of year I’m told. Grand Prix in two weeks, don’t you know?

    #76 Jim I:

    Lotsa luck buying an Aptera IN CA. They quote a price of “Between $25 and $40K”. And I can’t find any kind of firm delivery date whatsoever. They look so cool that I was just about to send in my $500, but I think Ima wait just a little longer.

    Plus, it’s my understanding that, since they used the motorcycle designation to skate around the Federal safety standards, they aren’t eligible for the tax credits.


  88. 88
    omegaman66

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    omegaman66
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (1:41 pm)

    I don’t want any fancy onstar communication crap on any car I own. I simply want to be able to plug it in to charge and having it scheduled is via the cars computer is more than enough bells and whistles to me. I don’t think I need the internet or satillite communication to charge a freaking battery.


  89. 89
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    #84 k-dawg said:

    I was wondering if anyone was going to bring up my own quote actually, lol. However, and maybe it is just me not reading/interpreting it right, but it still seems obtuse to me, specifically this part:

    “So what we’ll do then is we will opportunistically put that energy back into the battery either through regenerative braking or if we have to we will take some of the energy that’s not needed to turn the wheels and bring the battery up to the customer depletion level.”

    Seems like they are still not sure. Like it is either regen or excess capacity from the ICE…not ‘and’ or both . I guess the ‘or if we have to’ is what gets me…does that mean if the regen plan doesn’t work out in development we do the other thing, or does the mean if the regen isn’t cutting it, this excess capacity subsystem kicks on…but that sounds like a back up system for a back up system to me, and therefore improbable.

    The quote certainly outlines that the battery will indeed receive a charge, but is kinda ambigous as to how. I’m thinking because that quote came out late last summer…they probably weren’t sure at the time, I’d wager they know now.

    (My money would be it comes from the regen braking, because it seems like that would be a process already 95% built in…whereas having excess cast-off from the ICE go to the battery when it is below the threashold sounds like a whole other subsystem…and a nightmare to program)

    /interesting nonetheless…and a Volt specific item for discussion, lol


  90. 90
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:02 pm)

    #87 noel park said:

    #69 statik:

    Grand Cayman? Monaco is nice this time of year I’m told. Grand Prix in two weeks, don’t you know?
    ======================

    Grand Cayman and Monaco are more of a personal tax shelter. Caymans don’t tax you on captial gains, Monaco has no personal income tax.

    Bermuda however, would be a nice option for the GM execs.

    Turks and Caicos is nice too, a little closer to home than the BVI as well…although I think it is a little too ‘iffy’ for something like GM (T&C always seem to be shuffling things around, they just rewrote their constitution not long ago…and the government seems like there are always being investigated).


  91. 91
    k-dawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    k-dawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    Statik & Noel,

    With Obama going after all the companies w/HQ’s located offshore, I think this loophole may be gone.

    Wasn’t there one island that was HQ’s for something like 18,000 companies?


  92. 92
    Stew

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Stew
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:10 pm)

    Like a few other here, I am just completely not interested in any type of vehicle to grid communication, OnStar either for that matter. I could see having wifi connectivity to goof with on your home network, but really, once you set the start/stop charging times how often are you really gonna change it?

    And does everyone from the utility company to GM to the kid down the block who connects to your wireless network need to know my charging schedule?

    If I want to charge off peak but can’t be troubled to look at my bill and see when that is and then program the start time from within the Volt’s console, then off peak charging is not that big of a concern.

    Well obviously this kind of topic is frustrating to me, I just don’t think everything needs to be interconnected with everything else, not everyone knows when I buy gas for my car now, why this great need when it comes to charging?

    Ok, I’m done complaining.

    Stew


  93. 93
    GmsAJoke

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    GmsAJoke
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    I want it to sync my e-mail and update it from my laptop and yada, yada, yada.

    This is why it will not be done on time, IF at all.

    Keep It Simple Stupid, and it will get done. Arrange it so a dumbass can read his e-mail and check his calender while he is driving and it may never be done. But you will sell more of them as the dumbass crashes it all the time killing anyone that interupts his web surfing.

    He GM cancel some meetings, Its easy to find out when the cheap rates are and most people know how to set a clock. The others, well they take their car to the shop just to have a light bulb changed, so you will get that extra OnStar monthly money out of them anyway.

    Old joke, but somehow it just seems relavetn today,

    There are three engineers in a car; an electrical engineer, a chemical engineer and a Microsoft engineer.

    Suddenly the car just stops by the side of the road, and the three engineers look at each other wondering what could be wrong.
    The electrical engineer suggests stripping down the electronics of the car and trying to trace where a fault might have occurred.
    The chemical engineeer, not knowing much about cars, suggests that maybe the fuel is becoming emulsified and getting blocked somewhere.
    Then, the Microsoft engineer, not knowing much about anything, comes up with a suggestion, “Why don`t we close all the windows, get out, get back in, open the windows again, and maybe it`ll work !?”

    By the time GM is done with all the addon crap we will have to pull the batteries after it stalls, just like a Compaq/HP laptop.

    Come on, don’t even try to pretend you’ve never had to pull the power just to get you windows system to run again. If GM keeps this up, you will have to do it to your Voltec aswell.


  94. 94
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Electric Vehicle Owner
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    @ DavidK (CT)

    You said: “No thanks…not interested in anything.”

    I deeply respect your desire to have the final perfect solution handed to you on a golden platter, first time out.

    With your restrictive attitude, however, you’ve made it clear that you would have never switched over from a horse to an automobile in the 20th century, until about 1958, about when the first interstate highway opened to the public use, making one of your criterea possible for a gasser, and when gasser automobile penetration was deep enough (about 50% of potenial market) to make your 50 mile requirement even remotely possible for the average American.

    It does seem that most folks on the site here are more interested in forestalling until the Volt is out, rather than being part of action now that guarantees that the Volt will see fruition in market penetration. If you aren’t part of electric drive now, you seem coat tailing bandwagon jumpers at best, at least to my backward looking perspective.

    Strangely, electric drive is so obviously the end game, that even all you foot draggers will evetually get what you want.


  95. 95
    CorvetteGuy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CorvetteGuy
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:20 pm)

    The Voltec ‘Cruze’ is looking better and better.
    The VOLT is gonna be priced like a BMW by the time they are done with all the ‘grid connectivity’ crap.


  96. 96
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:24 pm)

    #91 k-dawg says:

    Statik & Noel,

    With Obama going after all the companies w/HQ’s located offshore, I think this loophole may be gone.
    =====================

    At this point, I wouldn’t out it past him. However, he is opening a whole can a ‘whoopa**’ just with the credit card legislation and extended health care…so I would think it goes to the back burner for awhile

    The big problem now is credit cards and LoCs. The gov’t is tightening the noose when they already where going to get smoked this year…it is going to be ugly.

    The problem is people losing their jobs/houses etc are cycling/kiting their credit right now, their balances keep going up and up…until they tilt, which takes awhile to come to a head, it is a trailing reality to all the rest of this.

    In the last crisis, early in this millenium, credit card writeoffs got bad, sure…but people found them to not be their only refuge to seek shelter/capital from fallout of the markets/Nasdaq/tech. Previously, they could access the equity in their homes to offset a crushing loss…not so much this time.

    As for health care…the US already have less revenue coming in, more money going out, which equals bad timing. The upped the deficit today to a projected 1.84 trillion. There are only about 150 million taxpayers in the US…thats $12K a head. They are already looking for bipartisan support on health care…and why? Tax hikes of course, and they are trying to mitigate the damage from it being a ‘democratic plan’ that can be used against them later.

    They probably look to close tax havens as to increase revenue as some point…but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way at all, just puts more pressure on a system that is ready to explode

    …must stop talking politics


  97. 97
    k-dawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    k-dawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:32 pm)

    #96

    (I’ll let LauraM or DonC reply to that)
    :P


  98. 98
    k-dawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    k-dawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:36 pm)

    FWIW – Chrysler just put a hold on our project for their Brampton plant….. and the fun begins.


  99. 99
    Gary

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Gary
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:42 pm)

    In regards to the lawnmower comment at:
    http://gas2.org/2009/05/10/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-explains-why-fully-electric-cars-trump-plug-in-hybrids-video/

    …it becomes more apparent that Elon’s appearance on Letterman was staged. On that show he was very eloquent, as though he knew what questions he was going to answer. Here he’s stumbling and bumbling.


  100. 100
    k-dawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    k-dawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:46 pm)

    99 Gary

    Letterman seemed to be the one poking fun at the Volt. Elon basically just smiled and nodded. I dont know how staged it was because Letterman basically cut Elon off everytime he tried to talk, and then did/said something stupid trying to get a laugh.

    Oh well, old thread, sorry.


  101. 101
    David K (CT)

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    David K (CT)
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (2:54 pm)

    99 Gary
    100 k-dawg

    I hope that this “Lawnmower” thing is wrong.

    We all understand that he has a point with the battery pack comparison, because I certainly don’t want the ICE to fail.

    My commute is 40 miles one way, so either I charge at work or use gas for the trip home.


  102. 102
    Canada Man

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Canada Man
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (3:04 pm)

    Um, back to plug in electric infrastructure for a sec. Who has parking meters in there city’s?? What do these things run off of, batteries??

    I’m willing to guess they have some power running to them. Couldn’t the city’s just ‘modify’ some of the parking meters to have a normals, 110v outlet on there and then adopt a 2 payments systems. One for the time you spend parked there, then 2nd for any power you wish to consume?? We always hear about how much cheaper it will be to drive via electric, so a couple bucks in the meter get you parking time and an hour or two of charge time. What do you think of that??

    And on all the parking meters in town, they can have a small sticker that says “You want electricity with that??” :)


  103. 103
    k-dawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    k-dawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (3:15 pm)

    102 Canada Man
    As long as I get a refund somehow if I leave early.


  104. 104
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (3:21 pm)

    Hey, big, BIG news:

    Just opened today, VOLT…the bar. Yupe, and right in the Renaissance Center in Detroit.
    ———–
    New RenCen watering hole is tie-in with GM’s Volt

    The electric-drive car isn’t out yet, but the Chevrolet Volt has already inspired a bar to be named after it.

    The Volt bar opened in the lobby of the Marriott at the Renaissance Center earlier this year.

    The new lounge was part of the hotel’s $3-million renovation project, which included a new restaurant called forty-two degrees north.

    The hotel is in the same complex as GM’s world headquarters, and the automaker owns the hotel. It is managed by Marriott International.

    Marriott officials say they worked with GM on the new bar, using the Volt’s official logo over the bar, and used designers familiar with the automaker’s style to inspire the restaurant with Cadillac styling.

    “Obviously the name comes from the car,” said Jodie Kennedy, Marriott manager of marketing and e-commerce. “Not as many people as you think make the connection between the bar’s name and the car.”

    http://www.freep.com/article/20090510/BUSINESS01/905100476

    …how can this not be its own thread? lol


  105. 105
    David K (CT)

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    David K (CT)
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (3:25 pm)

    statik @104 says…

    …how can this not be its own thread? lol

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

    don’t worry…it will be soon! lol.

    Now this makes is real…for sure!


  106. 106
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (3:29 pm)

    #25 Arkansas Volt
    Thanks for posting that.
    Elon Musk is a very very silly and worried marketer.
    The redundancy of the Voltec Genset
    ************************************
    PROTECTS THE BATTERY
    ************************************
    from the unintended and unexpected co-variables of unintended abusive conditions, (both natural and man-made), and, for the very vast number of programming omissions that are bound to show up in
    *******************
    EVERYTHING
    *******************
    BEV.
    This means your products, Mr.Musk.
    And, if it were not so clear that you are greatly worried about these things, then you are likely the very best actor in covering up something far worse, that you are more likely in an all out panic about these things.
    Your
    ****************************************************
    SERIES CHRISTMAS TREE CIRCUITRY
    ****************************************************
    for accumulating voltages in series battery cells will give you precisely the same “pain in the butt” problems as did those
    series-circuit-lightsets that used to be so problematic every year.
    I say that BEV customers will ultimately not accept these frailties, and, the more Mr. Musk attempts to upstage and compare his very very risky products with Voltec, the harder the fall will be for Tesla Motors, as the technical public will be told by Mr. Musk to absolutely compare the very wise redundancy and very, very long warranties of GM to
    the very very service-cost-prohibitive concerns pending in the Tesla, once it is out of warranty.
    I challenge Mr. Musk to offer the exact same warranties as GM does on the Voltec powertrain. In fact, right now,
    ****************
    I demand it
    ****************
    on behalf of an industry standard 10 years 150,000 miles that GM will be including. Put up . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(ahem) a warranty bond or a trust of some sort so that whatever Tesla’s are produced by you, you will have in place a warranty trust fund of some sort to protect all your customers from financial devastation within 10 years or 150,000 miles in case you go out of business.
    Voltec technologies have the Genset
    ***********
    protect
    ***********
    the battery array for all those unforeseen possibilities for a new technology, and will not at all as likely leave the customer stranded.
    Dan Petit Austin TX.


  107. 107
    Jim I

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (3:34 pm)

    So do I have to wait until Nov, 2010 to get a drink at the Volt Bar???

    It would only seem right……

    Or would the Volt car be able to drive me home from the Volt Bar, if the built in alcohol sensor deemed me too “happy” to drive? (That one should tee off the KISS crowd!)

    Or maybe the Volt Bar could buy advertising from GM, to have ads pop-up on the Volt car’s display screen, letting me know what the Happy Hour specials are!!!

    OK, enough of this…..


  108. 108
    Red HHR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Red HHR
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (3:34 pm)

    Interesting, I use a Zigbee to communicate with my windmill. I can alter the software and chart the output with it. The Zigbee is a very handy and informative way of communicating with a device a hundreds of feet away. It will do a comprensive data update every second, and it is a lot easier than climbing the monopole! However I do not know what real use it would have on an automobile. I guess if you wanted to change the charge time and rate from outside of the car it would come in handy. A “Smart Outlet” could do the same thing. That is I am guessing that the intent would be to allow the utilities to take more control of the charge time in an exchange for a discounted rate???

    /Will my GM dealer survive?


  109. 109
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Electric Vehicle Owner
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (4:24 pm)

    Jim I

    “Or am I missing something?”

    Yes, lots. Please continue to do more product research. You will find that there are many, many more possibilities than mentioned on this website, even for straight up electric drive vehicles. I am not going to advertise brands nor tell you what your solution is. But if you are serious about electric drive, you can take the step any time you can figure out how to make it work in your life. I did and found the transition easy, fun and cheap. I now have first hand knowledge of how easy a plug in electric vehicle works for me as a result.

    Yes, there are also many, many, many other options. You could buy a used RAV4 EV, for example. At lunch today, I saw three new commercial full EVs running errands around town, neither of them was mine and neither of them has been mentioned by name on this site. Oh, and I don’t live in a college town.

    My goal is not to pick sides, nor to tell people what to do. It’s simply to let folks know that they can put electric drive vehicles into their
    lives any time they stop holding themselves back, including today.

    If you truly want the Volt in two years , show GM that there’s a market for electric drive vehicles, in any form your choose (hybrid or three wheeler or NEV or whatever) right now, today.

    If you don’t already have them, at least make your next lawnmower and power tools electric rechargeable ones – that’ll help both electric drive and power packs. C’mon folks, it’s easy to be part of the solution – that’ll all help make the Volt technology cheaper for GM and beef up the electric drive/power pack supply scale and chain in advance of the Volt. Get it yet?

    DavidK

    With half of all US automobile dealers to possibly go defunct this next year, that 50 mile non-negotiable service requirement of yours may be pretty hard to meet for current full gassers that use 1940′s technology for the average American .

    Are you sure that you are not simply being unreasonable in your requirements, since a typical full gasser used by a typical American in the last two centuries couldn’t meet them?


  110. 110
    solo

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    solo
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (4:27 pm)

    Nasaman: I like your idea of driving up and ‘docking’ with a charging device. a universal charging station installed in your garage would be an advantage in several ways:

    1: No hassle plugging it in.
    2: Less chance of getting zapped by a frayed power cord (esp at super high voltages).
    3: tire guides, similar to a drive thru car wash, would allign the car to match up with the charging dock.
    3.5: tire guides may make it possible for women to park in a garage without breaking off mirrors or punching holes in the sheetrock.

    Unfortunately, it will likely cost more than the car and won’t fit the next car.

    :(


  111. 111
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Electric Vehicle Owner
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (4:42 pm)

    Gotta start somehow, somewhere, sometime.

    The ball is in the court of the posters here. Are you going to act today to get electric drive in your life?


  112. 112
    Ed M

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Ed M
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (5:02 pm)

    Jim I #109

    Driving you home is coming or at least a version of Johnny Cab (Total Recall movie). The only problem is your Volt will be stripped if you stay too long in the Bar.


  113. 113
    statik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    statik
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (5:08 pm)

    If anyone is interested, here is a clip we can file under, “another EV project that is not the Volt, with a full working prototype that the press is driving” category.

    This time it is the Dodge Circuit, and driven by autoblog:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4BWbRAzs1Q


  114. 114
    Brian

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Brian
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (5:10 pm)

    #104 Statik

    A bar might be there, but GM headquarters might not be soon.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/GM-chief-leaves-door-open-to-apf-15207534.html


  115. 115
    naurthandareen

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    naurthandareen
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (5:15 pm)

    its gonna be a heavy inefficient car #82,..even if u have 1000 mile range, RANGE ANXIETY is a real problem, u just can’t stop looking at your juice meter…BEV in worst situation

    EREV is right solution for now, plug it or not, as long as u can find gas station which are evrywhere, u still consume like a prius and u have an option to have a 40 mile free without gas…


  116. 116
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (5:49 pm)

    104 Statik
    ———-
    Cool, the VOLT bar. I will check it out in a couple weeks at DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival). Its at Hart Plaza next to the Ren Cen, so I usually stay at the Mariott.

    ….. so many puns…. so little time….


  117. 117
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:02 pm)

    113 statik Says:
    May 11th, 2009 at 5:08 pm .If anyone is interested, here is a clip we can file under, “another EV project that is not the Volt, with a full working prototype that the press is driving” category.

    This time it is the Dodge Circuit, and driven by autoblog:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4BWbRAzs1Q
    =================

    A KEY to start it?! That’s so 2003. :P

    And NO giant E-stop button?


  118. 118
    JohnT

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnT
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:13 pm)

    #117 kdawg

    To borrow a phrase from my son, that car is SICK! Very impressive. I hope they can bring that to market, I would buy one in a heartbeat.


  119. 119
    GM-fan

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    GM-fan
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:14 pm)

  120. 120
    Mark Z

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mark Z
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:26 pm)

    #109 – Electric Vehicle Owner:

    Most everyone can rent a hybrid when they need a rental. My first Ford Escape Hybrid rental got me so excited about EV, that I researched the field and landed here. Tried to make a deposit at Chevrolet, but they said come back later. Sat in the Tesla Roadster last November and when I tried to climb out the saleslady said, “Come back when we have our Sedan!” I did return to the website and made my deposit because I wasn’t in California during the EV-1 rentals and I really want an EV.

    Gliding on a Segway PT for 6 years makes me realize how great plug in travel can be. Recently traded the old i176 in on an i2 and with a single charge can now travel over half the distance of the VOLT electric range at the cost of a Tesla S deposit!

    I look forward to driving the VOLT too. Rental or purchase, it should be great. But when more power is needed, that Tesla S should be ready for color selection and manufacture.

    Just wanted you to know that many of us are enjoying EV technology whenever possible.


  121. 121
    Ben

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Ben
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:27 pm)

    even at peak electricity is cheaper than gas so stop over complicating things, why can’t we just use some surge protector with a timer on it, like people do when they go on vacation and want the lights to come on at a certain time to pretend someone is home, geeze it’s not rocket science, and all of you iPod carrying techies, back off, if you let an iPod plug or no plug decide what vehicle to buy then this is not for you, can we just go back to basics and get a utilitarian two seater with manual windows, no AC, no power this no power that, less things to go wrong with, or break electric car


  122. 122
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (6:43 pm)

    Ben 121

    You make it sound like Ipod’s & LCD screens are new tech. Its the equivalent of having an FM radio in your car nowadays. If I’m spending 40K for a car, it better have fricken power windows and SOME bells & whistles. Power windows were explained as actually helping the efficiency BTW. You are going to need some feedback for battery/power management…. the more info, for me, the better.

    To each their own. Note these issues by no means are holding up production.


  123. 123
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (7:30 pm)

    GM brass selling stock @ $1.50 ~ Banks paying back into TARP:

    Three Big Banks to Repay TARP Funds

    05/11/09 – 07:50 AM EDT

    BB&T, US Bancorp and Capital One plan to sell common stock in public offerings and use the proceeds to repay the preferred stock and warrants the banks issued to the Treasury Department under Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.

    http://www.thestreet.com/story/10499092/1/three-big-banks-to-repay-tarp-funds.html

    =D~


  124. 124
    BillR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BillR
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (8:18 pm)

    Electric Vehicle Owner,

    Five years ago I bought my 3 year old son an electric John Deere tractor. He drove the wheels off that thing.

    After 2 years, I had to buy a new battery. It cost 25% of the cost of a new tractor. After tooling around the house for an hour of two, the battery would die, and my son would have to wait for HOURS (approx. 8 hours) before the battery was fully charged. I did do the battery switch thing (used the first battery) but it didn’t go for more than 30 minutes.

    So my son’s tractor never used any fossil fuel, never emitted any CO2, and had instant torque off the line. It was great for him.

    However, he did experience range anxiety many times, had to wait for extended periods for the battery to charge, and had performance and range issues on cold days.

    All in all, I would highly recommend this vehicle to another parent for their child. It was great fun and a great learning experience for my son. With that said, would I want a similar vehicle for myself?

    Since I can’t afford to pay 25% over the initial cost for a replacement battery pack, and I don’t like the idea of being stranded on the roadside, I will wait for the Voltec cars to arrive. It is only another 18 months, and as the expression goes, “good things come to those who wait!”


  125. 125
    ziv

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ziv
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (8:32 pm)

    K-dawg at #84 & Statik at #89.
    Just to add one other interpretation, back in early 2008, one of the engineers released a graph that showed the state of charge of the volt’s battery pack over a complete driving cycle of 60-70 miles. It showed a slow depletion from 80% to 30%, then a series of small up and down movements from 30% up to around 33%, then slowly down to 30% then relatively quickly up to around 33% again, repeat…. It looked like the ICE was producing more electricity than the electric motor needed most of the time and the excess electricity was being shunted into the battery pack. The only times the ICE didn’t supply more electricity than the motor needed was during rapid acceleration or hill climbing. They aren’t going to waste that power, and the 4 cylinder ICE is much more powerful than it needs to be. Which makes Musk’s comments about the lawnmower just that much more asinine…
    I think Farah was trying to be clear that the ICE isn’t there to totally recharge the battery, because it is much more efficiently recharged using the grid, not that the Volt ICE will never charge the battery pack. While trying to emphasize an important point, he totally botched the actual mechanism of the Volt’s charging process when at the Customer Depletion Point.
    The graph made it look like the Volt would use the ICE for 2 or 3 minutes powering the electric motor with the extra electricity going to charge the battery sufficiently to go 3 or 4 minutes with the ICE off, if you are driving around town. Repeat as necessary.


  126. 126
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (8:43 pm)

    When someone with a BEV has something in it that goes wrong, I know exactly what it is going to cost them, and the high financial stress it will cause the owner, as an ASE Examined Educator for advanced automotive systems.
    For Electric Vehicle Owners, please reveal exactly what you are paying per mile for, not the electricity to get you anywhere, but, instead, tell us all please what you have had to pay to go how far, and, how much you have to pay for repairs over how long and how many miles.
    Nothing a BEV “experienced” person has ever told me in the past 8 years that I have been listening to all the complaints of BEV owners and their extremely hard-working builders (whom I very highly respect), nothing in these last 8 years convinces me whatsoever that for the money paid for hand-built EV’s and the financial problems suffered by all of them, gives any credibility for any to say “walk the talk” and go buy an EV yourself before posting here.
    So, the dark secrets of very costly
    *************************************************
    non-production line experimentation
    ************************************************
    has no right to be represented to the motoring public that there are
    any
    “industry standards” whatsoever to protect the “customer” from economic pitfalls.
    “Walk the Talk?” How about some honest discussions about how few miles you are getting and have gotten to the dollars invested. You may experiment all you want with your own funds if your expectations are in line with the extremely limited trouble-free miles to the dollar. Implying that everyone here must take some sort of “hit” financially in buying some EV not built to GM standards in order to be able to contribute here is just plain unwise, uneconomical, dysfunctional, and is the very apex of technical dishonesty itself.
    The builders, Electrical Engineers, and others who are the hand-builders of EV’s will be the ones who will have the opportunities in the not-too-distant future to be employed in countless high-paying jobs if they so desire, as they are indeed very VERY valuable individuals. Cheap statements to try to motivate readers to immediately buy someone’s EV here, or to belittle contributors here, don’t belong here at all.
    I really think that the EREV will likely cause the demise of at least all the false expectations of BEV’s soon. The problem with BEV with no Genset-redundancy to protect the pack is that BEV builders are knowingly pushing the envelope of the Laws of Physics entirely too hard, and often do not fully disclose to prospective customers these very high risks. This I find inexcusable to imply any comparable “fitness of merchantability” of any non-major-OEM BEV, as compared to having a Genset in an EREV.
    But on the highly positive side, BEV builders and engineers are among the most valuable people to society right now and for the future of the planet. No one can argue about that.
    Dan Petit Austin TX.


  127. 127
    Van

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Van
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:02 pm)

    I did a little research for my area, Southern California, and found that our utility, SCE, plans to start installing “time of day” meters in late 2009, and expects to have all customers connected through these type of meters over a 4 year interval. So with the new “Smart Connect” meter and a 220 V outlet installed in the garage, I could be ready to go, if I lived in SCE service territory. What is the plan in your area? I live in the SDG&E service area and they expect to have all customers connected with time of day meters by the end of 2011. So by the time I could buy a Volt in 2012, I could take advantage of low rates at night. Goody for me.


  128. 128
    jeffhre

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    May 11th, 2009 (10:39 pm)

    #121Ben “even at peak electricity is cheaper than gas so stop over complicating things, why can’t we just use some surge protector with a timer on it”
    ______________________
    Why would you want to force someone into forcing you into only being able to pay peak electrical rates?


  129. 129
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    May 12th, 2009 (5:10 am)

    Car manufacturers need to lose the over sized “plug in” door and hood decals.

    Produce a basic E-REV with either a chrome or gold badge on the front quarter panel. A simple “E-REV” is fine. I suggest offering a choice two power/range packages. 150 HP @ 40 mile range or 180 HP @ 35 mile range. Most buyers will choose the 180 HP package.

    =D~


  130. 130
    Dick G.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dick G.
     Says

     

    May 12th, 2009 (5:18 am)

    I will be charging my volt in my off-grid “Solar Garage”, totally from sun and wind energy!!!

    “…We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars…”
    President Obama
    Inaugural Address, 2009


  131. 131
    Aaron

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Aaron
     Says

     

    May 12th, 2009 (3:08 pm)

    “The Zigbee chips aren’t even available today.” this is completely false …I have two in my desk right now. I have used them in multiple projects over the last 6 months (not sure how long they have been out previous to that) not only are they available but just about every microchip manufacture has one out (digi, TI, microchip, atmel, just to name a few). Ether he has no idea what he is talking about or he is just making excuses


  132. 132
    N Riley

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    N Riley
     Says

     

    May 12th, 2009 (3:09 pm)

    As expected, Gen 1 will do the minimum things to work properly with the charging sub-systems. All well and good. Gives GM more time to work with the utility companies. That alone, working with the utility companies, is a challenging project.


  133. [...] [Source: GM-Volt.com] [...]


  134. [...] called Zigbee that could wirelessly connect to a smart grid.Gallery: 2011 Chevy Volt[Source: GM-Volt.com]Filed under: Emerging Technologies, EV/Plug-in, Chevrolet, GMGM: First-gen Volts won’t communicate [...]


  135. [...] [Source: GM-Volt.com] [...]


  136. [...] [Sou&#114ce: G&#77-Volt.co&#109] [...]


  137. 137
    nuclearboy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nuclearboy
     Says

     

    May 12th, 2009 (8:39 pm)

    #82 Brian.

    The point is that the Volt will not leave you stranded because you can pump a gallon of gas in it almost anywhere in this country. Adding a gallon of gas (about 30 kWhrs of potential energy), once pulled into the station and parked, takes less than a minute.

    Recharging a battery, once pulled up to the plug and parked, takes hours.

    Many electric car owners will say that if you have an electric car, you may want to consider a tow bar on the front. You will be stranded at some point.

    The Volt solves this problem as we all know and Musk sounds like a slimey salesman when he discredits the E-Flex concept.

    As for the lawn mower quote. I guess Elon is referring to the constant hum of the engine and generator.

    1. These engines can be made fairly quiet. I just noticed a big Chevy Traverse passing me while accellerating the other day. The engine noise was very minor. The Volts engine is much smaller.

    2. Big deal. That constant hum of the engine is the sound of an advanced vehicle going by. Get used to it Elon.


  138. 138
    Luke

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Luke
     Says

     

    May 12th, 2009 (10:45 pm)

    From the article:

    Will the Gen-1 Volt communicate to the utility companies?
    We’re looking at a lot of studies with OnStar right now, but there are other ways to do it.

    Having OnStar in the car might be a dealbreaker for me. Seriously.

    You see, I’m an IT guy. Having any kind of communications network in the car means that I have to keep my IT security hat on at all times. OnStar and a WiFi monitoring system both qualify. Having either of these systems on the car means that I’d have to consider the following while I drive my car:

    Do I trust everyone who works at the General Motors callcenter to know my whereabouts at all times?
    If the OnStar system can be used to listen in on conversations of mobsters when the FBI has a search warrant, do I trust said callcenter employees not to abuse that privilege while I’m having a heart-to-heart with my girl?
    Will my car shut down as if it were stolen, if the GM callcenter were hacked?
    Will my car randomly unlock itself, if a callcenter employee gets bored?

    I’ve known people who’ve had the OnStar service who are thrilled with it. And I think it’s likely that GM has acceptable answers to these questions.

    However, that’s not the point… I want to be able to stop doing irritating-paranoid part of my job when I get into my car, so that I can relax — and as long as the OnStar communications hardware is in the dashboard, it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to think of it as just a car. I want my car to just be a car.


  139. 139
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Electric Vehicle Owner
     Says

     

    May 13th, 2009 (5:42 pm)

    @ Dan Petit 126
    “For Electric Vehicle Owners, please reveal exactly what you are paying per mile for, not the electricity to get you anywhere, but, instead, tell us all please what you have had to pay to go how far, and, how much you have to pay for repairs over how long and how many miles.”

    Sure, happy to. In its first year in operation, over 8,000 miles, my electric vehicle cost $0 in maintenance and repairs. Keep in mind that I plan to upgrade to a higher performing, cheaper power pack in less than 5 years, whether or not it needs it, and toss on a higher power motor and taller gear at the same time. Easy as pie plug and play upgrades is just one of the many areas where electric dominates gasser.

    Compare that to $1,500 in just owner manual mandatory maintenence for my comparable gasser, purchased at the same time, over the same time period, the first year, and same distance, 8,000 miles.

    So, electric, $0, gasser, $1,500. Electric stomps gasser in yet another area. Thanks for asking.


  140. 140
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Electric Vehicle Owner
     Says

     

    May 13th, 2009 (5:53 pm)

    @ DanPetit 126
    “Implying that everyone here must take some sort of “hit” financially in buying some EV not built to GM standards in order to be able to contribute here is just plain unwise, uneconomical, dysfunctional, and is the very apex of technical dishonesty itself.”

    No one here must do anything that they don’t want to. I simply pointed out that purchases of electric drive vehicles today help the Volt, when it comes out in two years, and are absolutely not in competition with it (an actual product cannot be in competition with one that cannot be bought in stores). Or are you another person interested in forestalling electric vehicles in general through wahtever means possible (don’t make the perfect be the enemy of the good enough for lots of folks in lots of situations, rigtht this second)?

    Quantity demanded is a prerequisite for market clearing quantity supplied. Shift demand out and it’ll meet supply at a higher quantity. That’s just economics 001 and a way that cosumers can show to show that there will be consumer demand for the GM Volt. You think lenders will be free with their money without a general past track record of electric drive vehicle sales as a proxy for Volt demand? Thus, folks who get electric drive now help the Volt when it gets in retail consumers hands a whole two years from now. Seems pretty clear.

    Gotta start somewhere, sometime, somehow. Sure, Volt later, as soon as it’s in production and available, in over two years.

    If folks want to help the Volt, show that there’s demand for power pack electric drive and buy a vehicle with one (or rechargeable electric implement, such as a lawnmower or power tool) today.


  141. 141
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Electric Vehicle Owner
     Says

     

    May 13th, 2009 (6:00 pm)

    @Dan Petit 126

    Last, there’s absolutely nothing experimental about my electric vehicle, so that part of your rant is way off the mark. It’s a US manufactured OEM production line vehicle, street legal, registered, with DOT approved and off the shelf tried, tru and well supported parts, very, very easy and cheap to replace, all true for quite a few other electric vehicle makes and models (ok, not all of them are US made, as mine is).

    Go ahead and continue to bash gold ‘ole American innovation and manufacturing if you want, but it got me my inexpensive, high performance electric drive vehicle now and it’s great.

    You folks go right ahead and limit yourself to just the Volt if you want. Me, I want several options, of which the Volt is one, but certainly not the only.


  142. 142
    Cadyadhethy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Cadyadhethy
     Says

     

    Jul 2nd, 2009 (9:50 am)

    Очень понравился ваш блог! Подписался на rss. Буду регулярно читать.