Jun 08

GM Opens Global Battery Systems Lab

 

On Monday June 8th, GM despite being amidst a chapter 11 bankruptcy, formally opened its new expansive advanced automotive battery systems lab. I was present for the press conference and heard the announcement live.

The lab is the largest and most technologically advanced automotive battery lab in the United States.
Located in the sprawling 1 mile square Warren Technical Center, the lab occupies 33,000 square feet, 4 times the size of the old lab.

In attendance for the announcement was US Senators Levin, and Stabenow, Congressman Sander Levin, and Michigan Governor Granholm who along with their entourage were given tours of the lab.

CEO Henderson said today is “about the lifeblood of the future” for GM. He said the new GM will be a leader in electric cars.

This facility will advance GM’s knowledge and testing skills. Henderson said GM plans 14 hybrids in production by 2012, and to have 2/3 of their cars using alternative energy by 2013.

The Volt assembly plant will go online later this summer.

The lab is intended to advance new lithium ion and other battery development. Henderson noted there is also a related special curriculum to develop auto battery engineers at U of M in Ann Arbor.

GM VP of engineering Jim Queen said the official opening of the lab is part of GM’s effort to reduce dependence on petroleum reduction, improve fuel economy, and reduce emissions.

He talked of a comprehensive battery strategy to bolster GM’s portfolio of supply partners. In producing hybrids, plugin hybrids and electric cars, McQueen believes electrically-driven vehicles provides the best long term solution. Cells modules and systems will be developed in the lab.

Pack testing in the new lab started in January, nine months ahead of schedule.

Over half the lab is to test cells. Remaining floorspace is for evaluating battery packs, and the lab has 6 megawatts of capacity.

There are 160 test stands for batteries and 42 thermal chambers to duplicate extreme temperatures and humidity.

There is also a battery teardown area to assess competitors benchmarking. Automated systems allow around the clock testing, and there are other facilities in Germany and New York.

Rapid battery testing technological protocols have been developed.

The facility has green technology, and has a center hallway with LED lights and floor made from recycled tires. 90% of the battery electricity testing is returned to the grid and GM is experimenting with wind turbines to help power the lab.

Michigan Governor Granholm said she intends and aspires for Michigan to be the battery capital of the US a reinvention not only of GM but as the state as well. Comments of congratulations were made by Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.

Full Press Release:
* Reinforces the New GM’s commitment to advanced technology leadership
* Will accelerate the domestic development of advanced battery technology and lead GM’s network of existing battery labs in Honeoye Falls, N.Y.; Warren, Mich.; and Mainz-Kastel, Germany
* Capable of testing all current battery systems, including lithium-ion, as well as new energy storage technologies such as ultracapacitors for GM’s extended-range electric, plug-in, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles

WARREN, Mich. – General Motors expanded its significant battery research and development capabilities today by opening the largest and most technologically advanced battery lab in the United States on its Technical Center campus here.

The new Global Battery Systems Lab will lead GM’s global advanced battery engineering resources and expedite the introduction of electrically driven vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt, as well as plug-in hybrid and hybrid-electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.

“The new global GM battery lab will benefit consumers across America by helping us advance the development of battery technology in the United States and put cleaner, more efficient vehicles on the road more quickly and affordably,” said Fritz Henderson, GM president and CEO. “Our new lab improves GM’s competitiveness by speeding the development of our hybrid, plug-in and extended-range electric vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt.”

The Global Battery Systems Lab spans 33,000 sq. ft. – four times larger than GM’s previous Tech Center battery lab – and will be used by GM’s growing team of more than 1,000 engineers working on advanced batteries and electrically driven vehicles.

Planning began in December 2007 and construction started in August 2008. Operations began in January – nine months ahead of schedule. The lab became fully functional in May, equipped with 160 test channels and 42 thermal chambers duplicating extreme real-world driving patterns, hot and cold temperatures and calendar life. The lab’s maximum power capacity is 6 megawatts, or enough electricity to provide power to approximately 1,400 homes.

“This facility is state-of-the-art and represents one of the largest and most capable battery test labs in the world,” said Jim Queen, GM group vice president, Global Engineering. “More than half of the lab is dedicated to testing the electrochemical battery cells and their enclosures, known as modules, a capability not available in GM’s previous battery lab. The lab’s remaining floor space is committed to evaluating completed battery packs.”

The Global Battery Systems Lab was built within GM’s Alternative Energy Center facility, and includes many environmentally friendly features such as a center hallway with high-efficiency LED lighting and a floor made from recycled tires. Approximately 90 percent of the electricity used for battery testing can be returned to the local energy grid for use by homeowners and businesses.

Additional new benefits offered by the Global Battery Systems Lab include a thermal shaker table for battery structural integrity testing, a battery teardown area for failure analysis and competitor benchmarking, an integrated test automation system and improved Design of Experiments methodology – an information-gathering exercise that allows GM to perform more thorough battery tests more quickly.

The Global Battery Systems Lab complements GM’s other battery labs in Mainz-Kastel, Germany, Honeoye Falls, N.Y., and the Warren Technical Center’s Research Chemical Engineering facility. The opening of the Global Battery Systems Lab is the latest move in GM’s comprehensive battery strategy, which includes ramping up “in-house” responsibility for advanced battery technology and a broad portfolio of supplier partners.

At the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, GM:

* Announced plans to establish the world’s first lithium-ion battery pack manufacturing plant operated by a major automaker in the U.S.
* Selected LG Chem to supply lithium-ion battery cells, electronic components and control hardware for the Chevrolet Volt
* Signed a joint engineering development contract with Compact Power and LG Chem to further expedite the development of the Volt’s lithium-ion battery technology
* Joined with the University of Michigan to create a new automotive advanced battery lab in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a specialized curriculum within U of M’s College of Engineering to develop automotive battery engineers.

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

Facts: Global Battery Systems Battery Lab

Location

Alternative Energy Center, GM Technical Center, Warren, Mich.

Timing

* Battery system test area operational January, 2009
* Cell and module test area May, 2009

Size

Total floor space: 33,000 sq. ft.

* 14,400 sq. ft. – pack testing and development
* 17,400 sq. ft. – cell and module development
* 2,000 sq. ft. – technical support

Benefits

* Increased pack testing
o 32 cyclers (serve as treadmills for batteries)
o 64 test channels (available for individual battery tests)
o 25 thermal chambers (duplicates extreme temperature conditions)
* New cell and module testing
o 32 cyclers
o 96 test channels
o 16 small thermal chambers
* Environmental control capability – to allow for test correlation and repeatability
o New humidity-controlled walk-in chambers
o New air flow benches to provide specific temperatures and levels of humidity to test air-cooled battery packs
o New coolant chillers to cool or heat liquid-cooled battery packs

Enhanced capability

* Integrated test automation system enables around-the-clock standardized testing, customized test schedules and monitoring tests from desk or at home
* New thermal shaker table for structural integrity testing
* Improved Design of Experiments methodology – an information-gathering exercise that allows GM to perform more thorough battery tests in a shorter period of time
* Battery teardown area for failure analysis and competitor benchmarking

This entry was posted on Monday, June 8th, 2009 at 9:36 am and is filed under Battery, Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 126


  1. 1
    ArkansasVolt

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (9:39 am)

    1st!

    This is excellent news! more green jobs in the US as well as a promising future for the Volt and other EVs here in the US.

    nice, long thread btw.


  2. 2
    beachliving

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (9:42 am)

    Nice, Government Motors at it’s best. I wish it could have been with out the bankruptcy.


  3. 3
    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (9:47 am)

    >> 6 megawatts of capacity.

    6 down, only 1.204 Gigawatts to go! Keep it comin’, boys.


  4. 4
    fredevad

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    Can’t wait to hear more. Thanks, Lyle!


  5. 5
    CS Guy

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:12 am)

    My hope is that we will eventually have batteries for EREV and EV vehicles both tested here but also, much more importantly, MADE here in the US or Canada.

    Put Voltec into each vehicle you make; cars, trucks, SUVs/crossovers, or whatever else it is. I want at least 40 miles on electricity alone on all vehicles in the GM lineup.
    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
    =D~~NOPLUG=NOSALE!
    Electric cars + Nuclear Power 40% + Geothermal/Hydro 10% + Solar and Wind 50% + Coal/Gas/Fossil 0% = American Energy Independence and Environment Protection

    PS, let’s get rid of ICE. Children who live within 1/3 mile of a highway or major thoroughfare have a higher incidence of Asthma which can lead to death. What does that tell you? The internal combustion engine (ICE) is killing us, just too slowly for us to take note of it.


  6. 6
    ziv

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:15 am)

    Good news that things are still moving forward, and that they are getting support from Granholm, Levin and Stabenow. I remember that Obama’s car czar’s people were ‘expressing doubt’ about the viability of the Volt, so any political support is useful.
    I am hoping that Lyle will be posting about the IV’ers being driven around Michigan test tracks soon! The first ones are going to be built slowly but they may be finishing them up already.
    CS Guy, there are a lot of unknown factors regarding athsma and proximity to roads, i.e. one of the most persistent byproducts of traffic is aerosolized rubber fromt the tires. I see it all the time in homes that are within 500 yards of an interstate and that stuff is nasty. I like the flexibility and the compact nature of the power of gasoline as a backup to batteries in the medium term, but maybe in 10 or 15 years, an all BEV vehicle will be both possible and convenient.


  7. 7
    Gary

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:15 am)

    These are exciting times. Huge battery technology leaps are just around the corner. I can’t wait for time time when it’s possible to have 500 miles of range from a battery about 1 cubic foot in size, is safe in an accident, and non-degrading 5 minute battery charging stations are as commonplace as gas stations today. And oh yes, have the battery about the same as a 12V car battery today.

    It will happen eventually. Look at where other technology has come over the past 50, 25 or even 10 years.


  8. 8
    MarkH

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:15 am)

    Henderson said GM plans 14 hybrid in production by 2012, and 2/3 of cars using alternative energy by 2013.

    There is no way battery supply or market demand could allow for 2/3 of production cars to be hybrids by 2013. Is there a massive switch to gas/ethanol vehicles ahead or are they talking about hybrid prototypes for 2/3 of models?


  9. 9
    mikeinatl.

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:17 am)

    With gas prices chasing the $3.00 level again, electrification of the automobile might soon become much more relevant to the average American driver.

    The higher prices go, the better for the Volt and for America’s eventual energy independence.


  10. 10
    RB

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:24 am)

    Thanks for the long post. It is great that they now have a much more extensive testing capability than before. I was really enthuastic until I read the paragraph

    The facility has green technology, and has a enter hallway with LED lights and floor made from recycled tires. 90% of the battery electricity testing is returned to the grid and GM is experimenting with wind turbines to help power the lab.

    which brought back the feelings of symbolism, showmanship, tours, rather than substance. I hope those feelings were unjustified and there is a real interest underneath.


  11. 11
    Lwesson

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:24 am)

    The boys are barking! Zeus and Apollo are excited. But I want to know, was Lutz there babbling in circles after making a fly over strafing pass in a German fighter jet ;^) ???

    Great Volt news.

    Regards———Higgins


  12. 12
    CS Guy

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:26 am)

    From the post: Henderson said GM plans 14 hybrid in production by 2012, and 2/3 of cars using alternative energy by 2013.

    If you 14 “Serial” hybrids then good. If you mean 14 2-mode or “Parallel” hybrids then it’s just greenwashing. I have zero interest in driving a vehicle that cannot be driven at freeway speeds on electric power. That is the problem with the Prius that its ICE kicks on if you drive over 34 miles per hour. Where I live you couldn’t get anywhere in your Prius except the grocery store and gas station on electric power. Freeway speeds are a must.

    As for 2/3 of their cars using alternative energy by 2013 I applaud that as a good first step. I presume you are including “Flex-Fuel” cars in that number so it’s not all electric but I’ll still call that a move in the right direction.


  13. 13
    ROBERT M. SPERRY

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:33 am)

    One more step forward. GO VOLT! GO GM! Only 17 Months to go.


  14. 14
    Rick

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:41 am)

    It’s long past due that GM starts making more Hybrids, including the Volt. From a pure financial perspective they are not viable for the consumer because their extra costs will never be recovered by the individual owner. But something tells me that governments will slowly be mandating this type of technology much like they did with safety devices and emissions that greatly increased the average cost of a new car. So GM needs to start learning how to optimize the hybrid so they can become more competitive.


  15. 15
    Larry McFall

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:44 am)

    This is great! This is just what GM needs to be into secure the US Auto Industry of the Future. I knew that GM could think on their feet if they got away from the pocketing so much money. Yes! put money into the future instead of in the pockets of useless Executives and GM freeby parties. Let us get to work on the future, this is what the real Americans want.

    Keep the damn Union at bay and insist they represent their employees correctly instead of trying to be in charge of the whole GM business structure. The UNION has to demand a good sound product to ensure a good sound working environment for the long range.

    I believe we will get battery technology out of this that we can’t even imagine. I love it! I know that as VOLTEC is produced that the Petroleum Industry may have some bad times but, they have made many bad times for other people. OPEC with their crapola has gotten themselves in a possible corner that they may not enjoy, hopefully!


  16. 16
    Schmeltz

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:46 am)

    It stands to reason that any Company that is serious about the EV market needs a facility like this to experiment and master all of the technologies associated with advanced car batteries. This sounds like a move in a good direction to me.


  17. 17
    FME III

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:48 am)

    A curious juxtoposition — this post coming on the heels of the previous wiht Lutz’s musings on EVs.

    I found myself shaking my head when Lutz said that EVs couldn’t perform like the muscle cars of old. The Tesla, — for all its impracticalities, high price tag and cumbersome technology — absolutely proves that an EV can blow the doors off an ICE car.


  18. 18
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:52 am)

    This was one of the main stories on “Fox News” this morning where Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly poked fun at the thought of an electric car. I didn’t record it so I don’t have an exact quote, but Bill Hemmer said something to the effect that he would at least “take it for a test drive” but he really wants a Hummer. (Insert your own joke here.)

    If GM wants the launch of VOLT to go well, they had better spend more time inviting all members of the press to see, learn, drive the VOLT.

    It is crap journalism like I saw this morning that is where people’s perceptions get trained to think “American cars suck.”.


  19. 19
    vincent

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:55 am)

    Looks like the electric car is here to stay. Nice!
    Lyle you do a fantastic job at keeping new information flowing for us. Thanks buddy! I know we all appreciate your time and efforts.

    Any news about other vehicles and technologies coming to market from GM. We know there are new models coming. What new efficient engines do you hear about….it may be time to merge this info into this site or spin off another site….letting us know what the “New GM” is doing….

    I strongly feel all GM batteries should be built here in the US. Not Canada or any where else. The hard research work should pay off here, creating jobs here.
    Sorry other countries…we, the US can not keep supporting the world.


  20. 20
    Keith

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (10:59 am)

    So when are we going to get a Cruze EV with a 12 kw battery and a sixty mile driving range ?

    Everybody is all gaga over the Cruse Volt mules so lets see them go into production and service 90 % of the population .

    With a 60 mile highway speed driving range or 80 mile city driving range and a tiny little gas fired gen-set that only supplies heat for the winter (and fan , lights , radio , wipers etc) also to run the a/c compressor and fans with some going into the battery and capacitors should be an easy thing to incorporate into the Cruze without much trouble .

    I want to see a Cruze EV come from a factory . You will look pretty silly if you don’t do it and some after production company does it .

    Come on GM get us off the damn gas , build a Cruze EV


  21. 21
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:06 am)

    It is a good start. I wish GM all the luck in the world. I want to see GM become a world class auto maker again. They still make the best full sized pickup on the market, in my opinion. But they make some of the sorriest compact cars on the market. We look forward to improvements soon. GM needs big improvements with their “hybrid” vehicles. If you can call them that. Get the job done, GM.


  22. 22
    MuddyRoverRob

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:14 am)

    That looks like a great lab! Engineers need good tools to get the job done and this appears to fit the bill.

    #20 Keith, The Cruise appears to be a very nice small car, but I think if you really look at it a BEV version is not going to sell in sufficent quantity’s to be feasable. The Volt is the Voltec version of the cruise platform. I WILL buy a Voltec, I will NOT buy a BEV. The big cost is the batteries so Cruise BEV couldn’t be a lot cheaper than a Volt anyway. The other problem is then we’d be back to ‘bad old’ badge engineering.

    Lyle, while you are there maybe bug somebody for some ‘promo’ Volt IV pictures.. ;-) Thanks for your dedication my friend!


  23. 23
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:26 am)

    Chrysler’s Chapter 11 is hitting some road blocks. The same may happen for GM. I would not be surprised if the government sponsored bankruptcy doesn’t last a lot longer than the bureaucrats thought. You can always count on bureaucrats to screw things up and get it wrong.


  24. 24
    omnimoeish

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:27 am)

    #14 Rick says

    It’s long past due that GM starts making more Hybrids, including the Volt. From a pure financial perspective they are not viable for the consumer because their extra costs will never be recovered by the individual owner. But something tells me that governments will slowly be mandating this type of technology much like they did with safety devices and emissions that greatly increased the average cost of a new car. So GM needs to start learning how to optimize the hybrid so they can become more competitive.
    ______________________________________________________
    You do realize that the Toyota Prius not only costs the same price (or less) as a Chevy Malibu, for literally half of the cost of gas (26 mpg for the Malibu for the 4 cylinder version with the 6 speed automatic vs 50 for the Prius), but Toyota is making $3,100 profit on each Prius sold and GM is losing about that much per Malibu sold (hence the losing $30+ billion a year for the last few years when they’re only selling about 2 million cars and they lost LESS in 2008 than they did in 2007, because they sold fewer cars)?

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/04/28/honda-toyota-make-3-100-profit-on-each-hybrid-sold/

    It only costs about an extra $1,000-$1,500 to make a vehicle a hybrid, and that cost is recouped within the first 2 years at current gas prices. It would take about one year at $4/gallon gas prices. And the resale value of a Prius is such that you can always sell it for more than a regular car.

    Now think of the fact that the average new car will probably still be on the road 20 years from now, and you realize just how much savings buying a hybrid can offer.


  25. 25
    charlie h

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:29 am)

    Why is this a big deal? Don’t the battery manufacturers test their batteries?

    Do you know what has p1ss3d off generations of GM buyers? Brake rotors. Yep. Brake rotors. A tech that is easily 50 years old and, apparently, GM has not only never taken the time to test their brake rotors but has never sent someone, even a summer intern, to a few GM dealerships to see why 6 to 12 month old Chevvies actually come in for service and report back on what could be done to improve customer satisfaction.

    Soooo… I guess I’m glad GM is going to test something, for a change, even if it’s a part that enables them to build an unecomical car that costs the taxpayers money several different ways, but I find it hard to believe it’s going to make a material difference in whether or not the final product is any good.


  26. 26
    Keith

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:35 am)

    Response to MuddyRoverRob

    You know something I dont care what you will or will not buy or your reasons for your decisions .

    I am stating the obvious , the mules performed very well and were applauded by everybody who drove them .

    From a business point of view , if it is good and people respond to it favorably , it sure is worth looking into as a possible production even if you dont want it . The VOLT IS A SMALL CAR TOO .

    Most personal conversions to electric drive are done on small cars just in case you didn’t know .


  27. 27
    Thomas Gilling

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    Of course GM will have to make a battery plant. PR of course!


  28. 28
    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:38 am)

    @ #25 charlie h,

    >> Do you know what has p1ss3d off generations of GM buyers?
    >> Brake rotors. Yep. Brake rotors.

    In 20+ years of auto ownership, have never had problems with my GM vehicles’ brakes. I *have* had severe problems with Ford disc brakes though. Provided in an anecdotal vacuum, your argument doesn’t work.

    [ Aw, crap. IJFTT. My bad, sorry gang. ]


  29. 29
    Herm

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:48 am)

    #25 charlie h Says:

    Why is this a big deal? Don’t the battery manufacturers test their batteries?
    ……………………………………….

    They all lie, so you have to test them.. also a small change in the production line or a contamination issue and suddenly your batteries start catching fire on the road.


  30. 30
    MarkinWI

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:50 am)

    “Henderson said GM plans 14 hybrid in production by 2012, and 2/3 of cars using alternative energy by 2013.”

    Posters here had two major objections to the 2015 CAFE standards. First, that models take years to develop, and there was no way it could happen. Second, that there are not enough batteries available. At the time, I argued that the automakers would not have agreed to the standards unless they already knew that they could meet them. Assuming that this quote is not all puffing, the first objection has fallen. As for the second, time will tell, but government investment (you know, like the kind Tennesee and Alabama have been giving to automakers for decades) may make this feasible. In the meantime, I’d live to hear more about the planned models. I seem to recall that Fritz said a while back that we would be “blown away” by what they have planned. OK, blow me away! I’m waiting.


  31. 31
    MuddyRoverRob

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:53 am)

    #26 Keith; You are absolutely right most conversions are done to/with small cars. Small pickups too, they can more easily handle the battery weight.

    What I’m saying is that most people “Pat Lunchbucket” are NOT going to buy a car that only can go 60 miles before it runs out of go. I wouldn’t and most people I have talked to about this agree. You are right however, this isn’t scientific by any stretch but it does show a trend.

    For GM to produce a car to need to run much bigger numbers than the most optimistic sales estimates of a BEV Cruise could possibly be. The Cruise and the Volt are on the same platform (frame/suspension etc…) which is why the cruise bodies have been used for the mules.

    If you want an electric Cruise it will be called Volt. (I do!)


  32. 32
    Mark Z

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:58 am)

    Batteries are the heart of an EV, and GM is smart to have an advance lab for research, testing and development. No matter what the economy, safety and reliability is critical for personal transportation on the highways of the world.

    Perhaps President Obama will insist that ALL EV vehicles sold in the US must have their battery technology tested and certified by the GM lab. Only those EV manufacturers who meet government standards of safety and power output would be allowed to sell their vehicles in the US.


  33. 33
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    Aspires


  34. 34
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (12:11 pm)

    Mark Z
    Maybe the car Czar for our centrally planned economy could fulfill your dreams.
    Hopefully the market will decide.
    Long live freedom – down with the Bolsheviks.


  35. 35
    noel park

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (12:16 pm)

    I agree with FEW III at #17 about the strange juxtaposition of this with the maunderings of Mr. Lutz on the last thread. I sure hope that the thoughts expressed by GM brass here reflect their true policies.

    As to the 14 hybrids, I can only agree with N Riley at #21. If the 14 hybrids include products of the caliber of the current Malibu “hybrid”, it’s not gonna work.

    All that aside, this is good news. The only thing is that it somehow gives me a scary sense of time running out.


  36. 36
    RB

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (12:20 pm)

    The post says
    . …Henderson said GM plans 14 hybrid in production by 2012,
    ————————————-

    Adding some detail to Henderson’s statement these 14 will be the first 14 vehicles off the Volt integration vehicle line, and will be carefully numbered 1 to 14 on the side in the fashion of NASCAR and parked in 14 numbered spaces in front of GM HQ. [Other spaces will be reserved for Camaros.] (smile j/k)

    /maybe a little semantic confusion between 14 vehicles and 14 kinds (models) of vehicles? It’s really not clear what he’s counting….


  37. 37
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (12:24 pm)

    The battery lab is an extremely serious and very extensive proof to commitment for green electric motoring.

    I completely believe that GM will be bringing EREV Voltec propulsion systems to the majority of their vehicles. This battery lab is absolute proof of that. There is no fooling around here whatsoever.

    When GM can benchmark the performance of a competitors battery and chemistry, and, do it in a fully-committed, automated, state-of-the-art facility such as this, the competition’s commentaries increasingly-seems like marketing “whining”. And, other OEM’s ought to be just as increasingly worried if they are not at least on the pathway for EREV technologies.

    Most people looking at the above picture are not aware of what it is that they are looking at. It is likely that this picture only captures about one- tenth of one percent of what is in that battery facility, and, I am overestimating the overall percentage at that, because it is one of many battery research facilities GM has.

    This is the real deal. This site documents perfectly this
    ****************************************
    HISTORY IN THE MAKING
    ****************************************
    of our obnoxious fossil-fuel declination, to our green electric motoring ascendancy. It is all right here within
    ******
    this
    ******
    site for all of history to refer.

    The funny thing is that, as a poster above indicated, that there are media “techno-neanderthals” who still do not “get it” over at FOX (as well as elsewhere, for sure still).
    I just have to laugh at FOX, not “with them”, but “at them”.
    There is nothing on that network worth your time anyway.

    This battery research facility is the right stuff. More Federal funding ought to go into GM so that there might be the possibilities for more Voltec EREV production facilities brought online sooner, and, get the economy of scale brought about sooner for Voltec vehicles.
    Dan.


  38. 38
    Frank D

     

    Frank D
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    Great news for a monday morning!


  39. 39
    Unni

     

    Unni
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    Some Chinese company announced 250 mile EV for 16-20k range in couple of years. Old GM failed in 30 year competition with Japanese cars. The new GM is going to compete against Japanese and Chinese cars.

    Wondering how it can win over both other than govt putting import tax.

    Umm.. off the track

    GM stopped its Malibu hybrid production because more cars out and none buying. Reality strikes : Ford ,Toyota and Honda has rising Hybrid sales and GM has less because green washing didn’t work. Now let them learn to produce 2 mode Malibu which offer real difference in millage to ICE Malibu.


  40. 40
    DonC

     

    DonC
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    #36 RB says “these 14 will be the first 14 vehicles off the Volt integration vehicle line, and will be carefully numbered 1 to 14 on the side in the fashion of NASCAR and parked in 14 numbered spaces in front of GM HQ”

    Very funny. Had a good laugh.

    ************************************************
    On a more serious note, the battery facility is important. Battery suppliers will locate near the production facilities for EVs — and vice versa — so anything that encourages the formation of battery clusters in the US should be a big positive for the US and Canada (and Michigan and Ontario) if EVs pan out. This would also help Ford and Chrysler if they choose to make EVs.


  41. 41
    EVO

     

    EVO
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (1:02 pm)

  42. 42
    charlie h

     

    charlie h
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (1:07 pm)

    #28, mike-o-matic,

    Oh. My bad. Your GM experience is the sum total of all GM experience. If you have never experienced brake rotor issues, it must be that it’s never a problem.

    All those posts I’ve read on Edmunds from people complaining about brake rotors wearing out in the first 12K to 24K miles… they must be entirely imaginary.

    #29, herm,

    This doesn’t look like any QC lab program I’ve ever seen. I’ve done QC (software, not hardware, but we went to school and worked with the hardware guys to learn it how).

    Now, I must add, my concept for this as something other than a QC lab squares with the reponse Kruse offered on the webchat today (He was gracious enough to answer all my questions). Kruse says that GM has developed some proprietary knowledge in terms of battery testing.

    In fact, one of the reasons I have criticized the Volt project is because GM doesn’t own the key enabling technology. Kruse’ reponse changes that, at least a little bit. If GM really can predict what a battery chemistry can do more accurately or, more importantly, sooner than other companies, then they do have a slim margin in being able to adopt a better (longer-lasting, cheaper, energy-denser) battery tech in advance of others.

    The battery lab makes some sense in that regard but I’ll bet these algorithms aren’t patents; I’ll bet they are trade secrets. Other companies are free to develop the same algorithm as long as they don’t outright steal the algorithm.

    And there’s a risk; GM’s test algorithms might be wrong.

    On the bright side, it’s hard to be worse off than bankrupt. There’s nowhere to go but up.


  43. 43
    Evil Conservative

     

    Evil Conservative
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (1:10 pm)

    Well, at least they got the plant up and running before the bankruptcy to save some repayment money. Thus the reason I think it was finished 9 months ahead of schedule. It is amazing how fast a company can do something when they really want to.


  44. 44
    James E

     

    James E
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (1:24 pm)

    Lyle – Thank you for all the updates. It will be nice to see the US as a leader in the EV market!

    NPNS


  45. 45
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (1:24 pm)

    Remember how we talked (a year or so ago) about how much GM would learn from doing postmortems on the first real-world Volt packs? This is clearly where they’re going to do them.

    Keep in mind too what the relentless anti-GM “you-killed-the-EV1″ crowd would have said if there was no way to, say, send the test energy back out to the grid; or how they would treat GM’s alternate-energy aspirations if there were lots of quartz track lighting everywhere.

    GM would be lucky if they only had one impossible task; in fact they have several; they will find their solution to all in attention to detail: some details being more meaningful than others, perhaps; but none that can be ignored.

    I have to take this facility as a positive sign, but the future is not written; we must all take a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude, at this point.


  46. 46
    Mike-o-Matic

     

    Mike-o-Matic
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (1:28 pm)

    @ #42 charlie h,
    >> Oh. My bad. Your GM experience is the sum total of all GM
    >> experience. If you have never experienced brake rotor issues,
    >> it must be that it’s never a problem.

    Way to put words in my mouth, troll.


  47. 47
    Stephen, Chicagoland, IL

     

    Stephen, Chicagoland, IL
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (1:37 pm)

    You know, speaking as an engineer, we really don’t wear coats like that.


  48. 48
    jeffhre

     

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (1:44 pm)

    #45
    Jackson

    GM would be lucky if they only had one impossible task; in fact they have several; they will find their solution to all in attention to detail: some details being more meaningful than others, perhaps; but none that can be ignored.

    I have to take this facility as a positive sign, but the future is not written; we must all take a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude, at this point.
    ___________________

    I don’t know, this feels so much like the point where IBM “saw the light” and went into the PC business.

    There is so much here right now that GM hasn’t had to deal with for the last 60 to 80 years, and all the integrated auto companies, except for three, bit the dust during that period.

    Anyway, good luck to the new GM, in the new automotive world.


  49. 49
    Jason M. Hendler

     

    Jason M. Hendler
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    It will be interesting to see if the brute force method by GM, or the innovative venture capital model of Silicon Valley will yield the winning battery tech of the future.


  50. 50
    EVO

     

    EVO
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (2:02 pm)

    “The lab also features a thermal shaker table for testing the structural integrity of each pack .”

    Yeah, sure, whatever, but this is a more fun way to test even better for real world conditions:
    http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/electricross/

    In the above case, the participants used their own retail purchased electric vehicles. It doesn’t get more real world than that.


  51. 51
    Larry

     

    Larry
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (2:08 pm)

    I haven’t seen Static comment yet, so I feel obligated to point out:
    >>They have already started assembling *FINAL* Volt production-intent vehicles, but only NOW have a lab capable to fully testing the battery packs???
    Did they just now decide they need to “really” make the Volt work reliably?


  52. 52
    MuddyRoverRob

     

    MuddyRoverRob
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    #47 Stephen, Chicagoland, IL
    We used them in our electrical clean lab, usually they are protective from static discharge (protecting the components, not the person! Until those little components are soldered in they are very delicate!)

    Nortel back in the good days! ;-) Yes I know.. now another financial disaster…


  53. 53
    charlie h

     

    charlie h
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (2:12 pm)

    mike-o-matic,

    If you weren’t offering that as a refutation (as in, “your argument doesn’t work”), then what was your point?

    I interpreted your post correctly. In addition, I provided a way for you to determine whether or not I was substantially correct when I averred that crappy brake rotors have p1ss3d off many GM buyers.

    For this, I get called a “troll.” You do not have manners suitable for decent society.


  54. 54
    old man

     

    old man
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    #42 Charlie h

    Back to my 99 buick with 189,000 miles. So far the original set and 3 brake jobs. Question, Should I be upset with GM?


  55. 55
    N Riley

     

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (2:20 pm)

    #35 Noel Park

    The only thing is that it somehow gives me a scary sense of time running out.
    ————————————

    Double ditto for me, too. I get the same feeling most of the time about this situation. Time is running out faster than GM can act, I am afraid. But let’s hope not. I want to believe. I want to see GM succeed. I just have little faith in the “plan” being put forth by people who were part of the problem and with 535 members of congress wanting to get a piece of the action. That does not even count the interference GM will get from the auto task force and everyone who thinks they are someone in the white house. But, hey! We can always hope. Can’t we?


  56. 56
    old man

     

    old man
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (2:23 pm)

    Should have said they are mostly highway miles!!!


  57. 57
    charlie h

     

    charlie h
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (2:25 pm)

    #54, old man,

    If you haven’t had trouble with your Buick, then, no. YOU shouldn’t be upset. Did I say EVERYONE was upset?

    By the way, “old man” + Buick = laughter.


  58. 58
    old man

     

    old man
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (2:32 pm)

    Charlie h

    I seem to remember J D powers saying something positive about Buick. Read it and continue laughing.


  59. 59
    Jim I

     

    Jim I
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (2:40 pm)

    Looks good…..

    Now Show Me The Car!!!!

    NPNS

    Gas prices for Premium are punching back through the $3.00 per gallon mark locally. The sooner the better for all these new vehicles!


  60. 60
    Mike-o-Matic

     

    Mike-o-Matic
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (2:42 pm)

    @ #53 charlie h,
    >> I interpreted your post correctly.

    Spoken like a true egotist.

    >> For this, I get called a “troll.”
    >> You do not have manners suitable for decent society.

    Oh, right, but you hold some sort of high ground. Which reminds me…

    @ #57 charlie h, [in response to #54 by old man]
    >> By the way, “old man” + Buick = laughter.

    And you wonder why you get called a troll?


  61. 61
    N Riley

     

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (3:04 pm)

    I notice GM is still talking about fuel cell vehicles. Come on, GM. Give it up, will ya!


  62. 62
    charlie h

     

    charlie h
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (3:22 pm)

    #60, Mike-o-Matic, “@ #57 charlie h, [in response to #54 by old man] >> By the way, “old man” + Buick = laughter. And you wonder why you get called a troll?”

    Yes, I do wonder. Late-night comedians have observed, to laughter, that the average age of a Buick owner is “dead.”

    It’s called “humor.” I didn’t insult anyone.


  63. 63
    RB

     

    RB
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (3:28 pm)

    #57 charlie h said to old man at #45

    If you haven’t had trouble with your Buick, then, no. YOU shouldn’t be upset. Did I say EVERYONE was upset?
    By the way, “old man” + Buick = laughter.

    ——————————————————————–

    The bigger Buicks are smooth, quiet, and fast, something like starships. Look carefully at the one old man is driving before his tail lights quietly disappear.


  64. 64
    benion2

     

    benion2
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (3:42 pm)

    83,000 miles on my ION, original rotor’s. I don’t race to the next stop light, and I don’t tailgate. The car did not wobble to a stop.
    I got tired of a small car, traded it for the 09 Impala. Comfortable, average’s 28mpg back and forth to work. I do know that GM rotor’s can a problem if driven aggressively.


  65. 65
    Baghead Brendan

     

    Baghead Brendan
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (3:47 pm)

    I heard the Global Battery Systems Lab was built for testing EESTOR’s ceramic battery which is going to make lithium-ion batteries obsolete. Didn’t GM say they have a working relation with EESTOR :) ?


  66. 66
    zipdrive

     

    zipdrive
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (3:50 pm)

    ABSOLUTELY SUPERB!

    I am proud of GM for being the leader in the battery/electric field.

    GO GM!

    GO VOLT!


  67. 67
    RB

     

    RB
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    wsj — The Supreme Court delayed Chrysler’s sale to Fiat at the request of several pension funds and consumer groups opposed to the transaction.

    /quick rinse goes a little slower


  68. 68
    old man

     

    old man
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    #64 Benion 2

    I also do not drive aggressively which may be the reason I, like you, have no rotor problems. As I have stated many times I drive for milage and have found my car to be all I could hope for. Just hope it last till I can get my Volt!


  69. 69
    charlie h

     

    charlie h
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    RB,

    The LaCrosse has 12hp more than a Camry XLE-V6 but weighs 500lbs (15% more). I don’t think a lot of old men driving Buicks are going to be showing their taillights to a whole lot of Camrys.


  70. 70
    DaveP

     

    DaveP
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (4:23 pm)

    I like the clever touch of sending the battery test load power back to the grid. Beats dumping it into a bunch of resistors or something. On the plus side, if they need more money to fund operations they can probably make a few bucks charging their 6MW of test batteries at night (buying power at cheap night rates) and test the batteries during the day thus selling the energy back to the grid during peak hours. :)


  71. 71
    CorvetteGuy

     

    CorvetteGuy
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (5:00 pm)

    Lyle:

    Here are 2 videos from the GM “RE:invention” website.

    You should have these linked right on the Home Page here.

    VOLT Project – Battery Development
    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid22879159001?bclid=22378947001&bctid=24285612001

    VOLT Project – Styling
    http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid22879159001?bclid=22378947001&bctid=24285610001

    I thought they were interesting. Not a lot of details, but interesting.


  72. 72
    bruce g

     

    bruce g
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (5:05 pm)

    That is great.
    That is the GM we believe can do it.
    Good on ya mate


  73. 73
    Joe

     

    Joe
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (5:13 pm)

    Great job GM. Keep up the good work!!!


  74. 74
    Anthony BC

     

    Anthony BC
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (5:19 pm)

    “Henderson said GM plans 14 hybrid in production by 2012, and 2/3 of cars using alternative energy by 2013.”

    VOLT Gen 2 by 2013!!!

    GO EV!!!


  75. 75
    Monroe

     

    Monroe
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (5:33 pm)

    most excellent. can’t wait to see what happens with eestor.


  76. 76
    Joe

     

    Joe
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (5:35 pm)

    omnimoeish Says: @24

    “You do realize that the Toyota Prius not only costs the same price (or less) as a Chevy Malibu, for literally half of the cost of gas (26 mpg for the Malibu for the 4 cylinder version with the 6 speed automatic vs 50 for the Prius), but Toyota is making $3,100 profit on each Prius sold and GM is losing about that much per Malibu sold (hence the losing $30+ billion a year for the last few years when they’re only selling about 2 million cars and they lost LESS in 2008 than they did in 2007, because they sold fewer cars)?”

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

    Hey, get your facts straight. The Malibu 4 w/six speed auto gets 33 MPG.


  77. 77
    gil

     

    gil
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (5:35 pm)

    So, does this mean that Saturn’s new owner (Penske, I hope) will be able to lease the technology. I understand their focus is electric cars.

    Question? For those of us who cannot wait for the Volt and need to purchase within 4 months, what are the options?


  78. 78
    Dan Petit

     

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (5:51 pm)

    The battery lab certainly can test the EESTOR technology. Automated testing of an EESTOR ultracap would take longer than for the current batteries, because so little would be known about it in the first place.

    As well, even though testing of an EESTOR ultracap might be extrapolated forward, the precision with which they must be and can be manufactured will be key to safety.

    I would prefer the currently-known technologies GM has been testing for the last few years as a benchmark of safety, and leave the future advancements of EESTOR for there in the distant future.

    7 years would be the soonest I would expect an EESTOR commercial-grade product, but I would not mind being wrong. It is just that I do not want to be a “beta” tester for an EESTOR ultracap, because the research is being done by so few people there.

    Battery advancement from MIT for electron-lane-channels at the nano-tubes for the far faster charge and discharge rates have MIT ahead of EESTOR on many levels. The main perspective I have for EESTOR is that their advancements seem to be progressing at technical increments that do not seem to be as comparable to the huge battery milestones that MIT produces.

    But again, if EESTOR can get something marketable that is safe, then all the better.
    Dan.


  79. 79
    noel park

     

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     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (5:54 pm)

    #59 Jim I:

    The bottom line, as always.

    BTW, I have commented here a number of times before on how much I appreciate the courteous, friendly, and intelligent discourse on this blog. It has consistently been the best that I have seen, in sharp contrast to the amazing nastiness to be found on many (most?) political blogs.

    Today that excellent level of maturity seems to be slipping away. Come on guys, keep it together.


  80. 80
    kdawg

     

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (5:59 pm)

    Have you guys seen these?

    http://media.gm.com/volt/video/index.html


  81. 81
    Ed M

     

    Ed M
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (6:13 pm)

    This is quite the announcement. The current li-ion battery will seem primitive in a few years. It’s interesting how last years high gas prices have stimulated research for better batteries / ultra capacitors.

    Its clear that GM doesn’t want to be left behind by Japan.

    “Pack testing in the new lab started in January, nine months ahead of schedule.”

    We may soon have better batteries for the Volt. GO GM.


  82. 82
    RB

     

    RB
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (6:13 pm)

    #69 charlie h says, to me
    The LaCrosse has 12hp more than a Camry XLE-V6 but weighs 500lbs (15% more). I don’t think a lot of old men driving Buicks are going to be showing their taillights to a whole lot of Camrys.
    —————————————————————————-

    I’m not sure that’s true for the Buicks with the big V-8s, but whatever you say is fine with me.


  83. 83
    kdawg

     

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (6:13 pm)

  84. 84
    kdawg

     

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (6:25 pm)

    Info on the advanced battery coalition for drivetrains at U of M
    (lots of interesting stuff)
    http://abcd.engin.umich.edu/


  85. 85
    kdawg

     

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (6:30 pm)

    Regarding the debates on global warming and clean energy, I never saw this possible solution mentioned. A huge one is being constructed now in France. This could solve most, if not all, of our energy problems, but it will be a few decades.

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

    and

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


  86. 86
    CDAVIS

     

    CDAVIS
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (6:52 pm)

    ______________________________________________________
    Lyle, thanks for that excellent update.

    Electric Car Revolution is Here.
    PR Hype = 0% value.
    Production Delivery = 100% value.
    Time Will Tell if GM = PR Hype or Production Delivery.

    Early Bird Gets The Worm
    ____________________________________________________


  87. 87
    eightjack

     

    eightjack
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (6:56 pm)

  88. 88
    Shawn Marshall

     

    Shawn Marshall
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (7:03 pm)

    I was reading papers on Tokamak reactors 35 years ago.

    Also was reading papers then that affordable solar cells were just around the corner, merely a production problem.

    Not so much progress in the last 35 years.


  89. 89
    kdawg

     

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (7:10 pm)

    ITER started in 2006, 10 years to build, starts up in 2018. Progress, just takes time, have to keep pushing ahead.


  90. 90
    kdawg

     

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (7:20 pm)

    87.
    eightjack Says:
    June 8th, 2009 at 6:56 pm .TESLA delivers 500th Roadster.

    http://www.autotantra.in/general/2009/06/tesla-motors-to-open-seven-sales-and-service-centers-in-june/
    ————————

    From the link:
    “The company will start delivering Roadsters in Europe this summer.”
    Does this mean they will ship the Lotus bodies from Europe, assemble the Tesla in CA, then ship it back to Europe? Wouldnt it be easier just to assemble complete in Europe?

    Also, when will Tesla switch to a better battery?


  91. 91
    JEC

     

    JEC
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (7:26 pm)

    52 MuddyRoverRob

    “We used them in our electrical clean lab, usually they are protective from static discharge ”
    ====================================================
    Actually I believe the specific lab coat in the picture is more likely for personal protection not ESD. These lab coats are particularly designed to protect against arc blasts. The ESD coats can be very dangerous to anyone working in a high voltage environment, since they are both conductive and very flameable.

    Were I work we have both types of lab jackets (ESD and high voltage). I work in both the IC assembly area and high voltage areas. I have to suit up differently, depending on the lab I am in. I would also wear heel straps in an ESD area, but again the opposite of what you want in the high voltage labs (they make a nice path to ground for high voltage).

    This lab would definitely qualify as a high voltage work area. They will always error on the side of safety when determining if an area is either ESD or high voltage (nice of them to think of the employee)


  92. 92
    Dan Petit

     

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (7:33 pm)

    Solar power per watt has come down a lot in the last few years.
    The cost proportion of solar systems are slowly decreasing overall, due to lower panel costs, but Installation, inverters, etc, generally do not decrease in costs that much.

    An installed system costs somewhat less each few years due to price per watt coming down. But it is everything else needed and the installations of it all that also tend to cause Solar systems to not go down in overall costs as much as we would all hope.

    Mounting hardware, wiring, controllers, inverters, etc, and labor can be about 40 to 50 percent of the costs for a system. But costs can range quite widely too. Many readers here would be interested in Solar as a way to store power into the grid, and buy it back at lower power rates with smart metering for the Voltec vehicle.

    The orientation of the roof, shade trees present, and small neighboring trees that will eventually get big and shade your panels have a lot to do with the feasibility for you to get solar.

    It would not work over at my house, although there might come a day when it might make sense for me to custom build a new house, and, I would certainly set it up with all solar power and have a net zero electric bill (with HVAC operating) while also recharging my Voltec vehicle every night. (~10kw).

    Dan.


  93. 93
    JEC

     

    JEC
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (7:37 pm)

    Charlie H

    I did not read all the posts, but I did see the fireworks regarding your statement the GM designs poor rotors.

    I have had rotor problems on my Dodge Caravan, and when I replaced them I went to a high quality, vented rotor. Dodge also undersizes/under-designs its rotors. The killer for rotors is heat, so your either need large rotors or well vented rotors. Also, the brake pad will actually be the main cause of premature rotor failure. Those lifetime pads can be a rotor killer! The pads are designed wear less, and are therefore harder than a “cheaper” pad, and therefore put a lot of heat into your rotors. I prefer to use mid-grade pads, that wear and need replacement every 20-30k miles.

    Maybe your already aware of all these, but I find rotors a very misunderstood component on a car. It usually is not the rotor being poorly designed, but poorly applied, that causes issues.

    Just think of all the energy that MUST be dissapated into a brake rotor when your going 70 mph in a 4000 lbs vehicle and stump the brake pedal to the floor and stop in just a few seconds. I am actually amazed that pads and rotors last as long as they do (JMHO).


  94. 94
    Timaaayyy!!!

     

    Timaaayyy!!!
     Says

     

    Jun 8th, 2009 (7:59 pm)

    Nice juicy post, Lyle. Thanks.

    Speaking of juicy, is that technician getting his frozen burger out of the fridge?


  95. 95
    kdawg

     

    kdawg
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    Jun 8th, 2009 (8:01 pm)

    Pads get up to/over 2000 degrees F. Lots of wasted energy.
    Wouldnt regenerative braking severly reduce pad & rotor wear?


  96. 96
    kdawg

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (8:03 pm)

    Dan Petit, did you ever live in Michigan?


  97. 97
    BillR

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (8:25 pm)

    Great report, Lyle!

    Hope you’re having fun.

    Just a little tidbit from the media.gm.com website. They have added about 2 dozen photos of the lab and its opening ceremony. With one picture of the Volt battery, they had the following caption:

    “General Motors opens its new 33,000 sq-ft Global Battery Systems Lab – the largest automotive battery lab in the United States – Monday, June 8, 2009 at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan. The lab will accelerate the domestic development of advanced battery technology and expedite the introduction of electrically driven vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt, as well as plug-in hybrids, hybrid-electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. The Volt battery pack contains 150 unique parts and all but eight are designed and engineered by GM. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors) X09SN_SN112″

    This makes it more obvious why GM will build the battery pack themselves.


  98. 98
    statik

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (8:32 pm)

    Ok…I’m late to the party today (but I have a excuse I was out in ‘no man’s land’ beating up salesmen for a GM product, lol).

    This is a good thread Lyle, I appreciate the write up and effort…lots of good information.

    Every company that is serious about being in this business needs one of these…especially the part that doesn’t get much mention – the “battery teardown area to assess competitors benchmarking,” that is where the real action is…and where you ramp your learning curve.


  99. 99
    RB

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (8:46 pm)

    #79 noel park said
    Today that excellent level of maturity seems to be slipping away. Come on guys, keep it together.
    —————————————–

    Thank you for reminding us.


  100. 100
    JEC

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (8:57 pm)

    95 kdawg
    “Wouldnt regenerative braking severly reduce pad & rotor wear?”
    =================================================
    Absolutely! Mark that down as another good reason to have an electric. The benefits are growing and growing.

    I want one NOW! (well, ok, I am definitely on Gen II or Gen III, hoping the price drops to within my means)


  101. 101
    statik

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (9:01 pm)

    As for the quote, “Henderson said GM plans 14 hybrids in production by 2012…” I don’t think we should read much into that, until we hear more details.

    He said plans 14 hybrids in production, not 14 new hybrids, and couple that with GM’s penchant for rebadging, it is hard to put your finger on what he might actually be talking about.

    They already have 8 vehicles they tout as hybrids (Chevrolet Malibu, Tahoe and Silverado, GMC Yukon and Sierra, Cadillac Escalade, Saturn Aura and Vue hybrids).

    Add in the Volt and the ‘planned’ 2 other Volt-ish model (if they get a big bag of gov’t money) and the two-mode plug-in (which Saturn probably doesn’t get, but they said would find a homes somewhere) and that brings us up to 12. If the new theta premium lineup gets a hybrid tacked on (or the two mode at some point) you can see that crossing over to the other nameplates, like the new SRX, Terrain and Equinox.

    As far as I know they have the Volt in development and the two mode plug-in in hiatus…but nothing else is being worked atm. Thinking back to the last thread and ‘what to ask Fritz Henderson,’ this might be a good question:

    “You said you are planning 14 hybrids for 2012. Does that include the 8 you have already and the 3 Volt-ish cars? Could you please identify the 14? How many of those are unique, and how many are rebadges?”


  102. 102
    JEC

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (9:02 pm)

    Random thought…

    For the first Volt commercial (production Volt), I want to see the Volt run down that dam Energizer bunny and squish him like a bug.

    I said, “random thought”


  103. 103
    statik

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (9:24 pm)

    #23 N RIley said”

    “Chrysler’s Chapter 11 is hitting some road blocks. The same may happen for GM. I would not be surprised if the government sponsored bankruptcy doesn’t last a lot longer than the bureaucrats thought. You can always count on bureaucrats to screw things up and get it wrong.”
    ================
    Here is the article to go with, I doubt it is much of a delay at all, but we have had a few now…if it got really close, and the judge really decided to hear the case, they probably just buy them out (it isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things after all):

    Court adds uncertainty to Chrysler reorganization
    “Justice’s one-sentence order knocks Chrysler’s speedy bankruptcy process into uncertainty”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Court-adds-uncertainty-to-apf-15471534.html?sec=topStories&pos=1&asset=&ccode=

    DonC:
    April 30th – June 9th = 41 days and counting on Chrysler’s GSB

    /anything you want to rectify?


  104. 104
    DonC

     

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    Jun 8th, 2009 (11:30 pm)

    #103 statik “April 30th – June 9th = 41 days and counting on Chrysler’s GSB
    /anything you want to rectify?”

    I’m with you on the Ginsburg’s order. For a case in the headlines the Justice who is assigned the case (by the Circuit in which the case originates) frequently issues a stay so other Justices can be consulted to see if there is sufficient interest to justify the grant of certiorari. So issuing the stay doesn’t signify much, especially since the closing date is June 15th. On the other hand, if the Court agreed to take the case I doubt there would be a buyout because this case is being brought for political purposes by the Indiana Pension funds. They have no interest in a setlement.

    As to the question of how many days the Chrysler bankruptcy has taken, this is really your issue. My clock stopped when the Oppenheimer funds withdrew their objection on May 8th.


  105. 105
    Jeff

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (12:06 am)

    This GM lab just needs to find a safe, reliable, inexpensive electrical energy storage device that can be mass produced in the US…nothing to it. The next thread should be a press release for this new device…right? Just kidding…next week is fine. :)


  106. 106
    Ed M

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (2:20 am)

    static #101 Its being held up by the biggest communist ever on the US Supreme Court, Ginsberg a Bill Clinton appointment.


  107. 107
    Natan

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (3:53 am)

    Research and development is key in innovation it is investment in future. Good luck.


  108. 108
    RB

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (6:34 am)

    The post says “The lab is intended to advance new lithium ion and other battery development. ”
    ————————————————————–

    Reading through the details about the lab, I thought it performed important evaluations of cells and packs. By doing that the lab indirectly helped advance battery development. The lab did not seem to be directly involved in new lithium ion or other battery development, however. By analogy, it tested cars, but it did not conceive or build them.


  109. 109
    StevePA

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (7:18 am)

    charlieh
    Also interesting that Buick clearly outsells Toyota in China. Buyers of all ages – not just we old guys (nod to old guy) – believe they are the best quality vehicle available.


  110. 110
    CDAVIS

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (7:28 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    High profile Florida Toyota Dealer modifies Prius to have Volt’s 40 all electric plug-in miles ( Does this tell you something Toyota Corp?):

    “…The demonstration is intended to point out that hybrid [plug-in] electric vehicles are well suited to the average commute of 40 miles or less in a day…”

    Source:
    http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1021314_modified-plug-in-prius-attempting-1100-mile-trip-on-single-tank-of-gas

    Note: Because of the Prius Parallel “Must-Use-Gas” configuration, the first 40 miles of the modified Prius consumes some gas.
    ______________________________________________________


  111. 111
    statik

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (7:33 am)

    #104 DonC said:

    “As to the question of how many days the Chrysler bankruptcy has taken, this is really your issue. My clock stopped when the Oppenheimer funds withdrew their objection on May 8th.”
    —————————

    (EDIT)
    …alright


  112. 112
    Jackson

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (7:38 am)

    #45 (me):

    “the future is not written; we must all take a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude, at this point.”

    #48 (jeffhre):

    “I don’t know, this feels so much like the point where IBM “saw the light” and went into the PC business.”

    One reason why I cannot take news like this whole heartedly is that GM is no longer the master of it’s own fate. With the government a major stakeholder, it is now at the mercy of political expediency, to say nothing of the imminent bankruptcy proceedings.

    It’s been awhile, and I don’t recall where IBM was financially, but it was still IBM when it “saw the light,” and our world was changed forever.

    Yes, overall the news appears quite good; but it could all go South in a New York minute.


  113. 113
    David K (CT)

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (7:43 am)

    Static @ 111

    Edit and nothing?

    I just read your post before you wiped it clean!

    Your a better man than me.


  114. 114
    David K (CT)

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (8:15 am)

    Me @ 113 [David K (CT)]

    correction….

    You’re a better man than me.


  115. 115
    Larry McFall

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (8:17 am)

    I can’t see where GM can go wrong on their newly expanded Battery Research and development plant in Warren. GM appears to be taking the lead in the Electric Car Technology. Much like they did after WWII when they were a very exciting company to work for.

    Keep up the initiative, we all know that GM has what it takes.


  116. 116
    dorp7

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (8:49 am)

    JEC said
    “For the first Volt commercial (production Volt), I want to see the Volt run down that dam Energizer bunny and squish him like a bug.”
    ———————————————————————————————-

    I love it! This would be an awesome commercial if done right. Imagine the bunny, crossing the road, with a camera view close to the ground…. then out of nowhere, the Volt come streaking around the corner, squashes the bunny, then stops. Then there’s some kind of tagline: “you probably didn’t hear us coming, but we’re back”. And then a little static electricity sparking on the front of the Volt, as it takes off silently again. That would make the Volt the badass car of the electric revolution, and definately make a statement for GM.


  117. 117
    Tagamet

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (9:08 am)

    Any opinions about the Supreme Court hearing Chrysler? It seems like a possibility that the ruling could effect the WHOLE govt intervention scheme. Waaaaay back they ruled that the President couldn’t take over the steel industry…..
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    LJGTVWOTR


  118. 118
    statik

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (9:39 am)

    #114 David K (CT):

    /world peace

    (=


  119. 119
    joe obrien

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (9:44 am)

    1.21 Jigawatts!!!!!


  120. [...] GM release provides many details about the lab’s capabilities – be sure and check it out. Planning began in December 2007 and construction started in August [...]


  121. 121
    Adrian

     

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    Jun 9th, 2009 (2:03 pm)

    “and – ultimately – electrically driven extended-range electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. GM believes that electrically driven vehicles, based on battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology, offer the best long-term solution for providing sustainable personal transportation.”

    This is the only true hope for the future for individual/personal energy independence.

    Go Supreme Court! Save Chrysler from politicians. Penske buying Saturn proves a true Ch11 is better than the mess forced upon us by our fascist-socialist policy President.


  122. 122
    Getting a Jolt from the Chevy Volt! | Pro Life Organics

     

    Getting a Jolt from the Chevy Volt! | Pro Life Organics
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    Jun 10th, 2009 (12:28 pm)

    [...] but a $7,500 federal battery tax credit will ease the pain of buying one somewhat. We toured GM’s new and sprawling, 33,000-square-foot Global Battery Systems Lab and saw the actual 400-pound, 16-kilowatt-hour battery pack that resides underneath the car. The [...]


  123. 123
    Unfill The Land Fill

     

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    Jun 11th, 2009 (5:45 am)

    [...] but a $7,500 federal battery tax credit will ease the pain of buying one somewhat. We toured GM’s new and sprawling, 33,000-square-foot Global Battery Systems Lab and saw the actual 400-pound, 16-kilowatt-hour battery pack that resides underneath the car. The [...]


  124. 124
    DaveR

     

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    Jun 11th, 2009 (2:53 pm)

    I hope GM pokes Fox News and all of the other naysayers in the eye. The company that has the best battery or fuel cell shall be the leader. The infrastructure must exist prior to the creation of any vehicle because of the requirement to recharge or refuel. The electric grid is already in place for an electric vehicle. Cars would charge at night when energy demands are low. The issue is with the performance, density, weight and cost of mobile power storage. The fueled/electric hybrid is a bridge to all electrics. I hope GM pokes Fox News and the other naysayers in both eyes. GO GM!!!!


  125. 125
    phil

     

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    Jun 15th, 2009 (12:29 pm)

    Does anybody Know if these can be charged via pv?
    Or how long does charging take?


  126. [...] Lab.  On June 8th, GM finally opened its Global Battery Systems Lab.  What this mean is that the company can now concentrate on [...]