Aug 03

Lutz: GM Considering Voltec Chevy Orlando MPV

 

As you may be aware, it is not possible to find a high efficiency hybrid people mover. There is a glaring complete absence of hybrid minivans, large or small in the marketplace.  Needless to say, this is a popular and useful vehicle type in American society yet the creation of a fuel efficient version has been neglected by all automakers.

You might be interested in reading a piece I wrote about this on AllCarsElectric.com called Hybrid Minivans: the road not taken.

Inspired and concerned, I reached out to GM vice chairman Bob Lutz to share with him what I see as a significant need, and wrote him the following in an email:

I wanted to point out the lack of a aerodynamic high-tech hybrid people mover with seating for 6 or 7 in the marketplace.

Families looking for a crossover/minivan/microvan size car that can hold 3 adults + 3 or 4 children and contain a strong hybrid drivetrain, getting > 40MPG will find nothing at all.

Previously, GM had unveiled the Chevrolet Orlando concept.  It is a 7 seat multipurpose vehicle (MPV) that is built on the same compact Delta frame the Volt is.  Through the creative use of space, the car has significant storage potential and three rows of theater-style seating.  The concept was demonstrated as having a 2.0 L turbo diesel engine.

In January 2009, GM confirmed the Orlando would go to production and arrive in the US in 2011, but no mention was made of what powertrain it would get.

Although it would seem logical that the Orlando might work well for a Voltec extended range electric propulsion system, no such project has ever been confirmed…until now that is.

“We are actually studying the adaptation of Volt technology to the upcoming Orlando,” said Lutz.  “Which would be close to what you describe.”

It looks like I just found my next second car.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2009 at 6:16 am and is filed under Voltec. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 257


  1. 1
    Tagamet

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:18 am)

    Under-promise, over-deliver! Get the voltec in the larger vehicles ASAP.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  2. 2
    Herm

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:26 am)

    It must be very aerodynamic.. instead of making the car taller and wider just make it longer.. that will add more space and not affect drag too much because the frontal area remains the same.


  3. 3
    solo

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:30 am)

    The green crowd will bitch that G.M. isn’t building the type of cars American’s need. (Aka Al Gore mobiles like the Smart, or a commuter train).


  4. 4
    Rashiid Amul

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:31 am)

    Agreed. As I have stated many times, Voltec should be across all vehicle lines. I just don’t see the downside to my line of thinking.
    All their vehicles should go the way of the Volt.


  5. 5
    FME III

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:35 am)

    I suspect GM is counting on substantial improvements in battery tech (i.e., more power density and lower cost) to make at Voltec Orlando a reality.

    Assuming GM wants to hold to its self-proclaimed “magic number” of 40 miles all-electric range, the Orlando will need more battery power to compensate for higher aerodynamic drag.

    Then again, this could be a case of the old “promise it first, then figure out a way to make to happen” Lutz. Seems to me that’s how the Volt got started….


  6. 6
    koz

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:37 am)

    <$45K before tax rebate
    @30 miles AER
    @35mpg city/hwy

    Build it with good quality and they will sell.


  7. 7
    Tagamet

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:39 am)

    Actually I think it was Lyle that said “How ’bout you guys doing this” and then Lutz went along. (g)
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  8. 8
    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:40 am)

    And make the people shorter (just kidding).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  9. 9
    Tagamet

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:44 am)

    solo,
    Are you familiar with the phrase “Duck and cover”?
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  10. 10
    Chris

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:44 am)

    I think the green crowd would actually like this Orlando voltec. Everyone knows that Americans like the SUV/CUVs and to do a voltec that would get even 25-30 MPC would appeal to this group. Especially if the price were right. I know I’d get one and I’m pretty green.


  11. 11
    Flaninacupboard

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:51 am)

    GM already builds this car outide america, it’s called the Zafira, and we’ve had it since 1999. It’s even sold as Chevrolet Zafira in some markets. the common-rail turbo-diesel has 150bhp with 315nm torque, and gets ~45mpg. This would suit Lyle’s criteria nicely, but as we all know [sarcasm] Diesel is evil and european styling is terrible[/sarcasm]. Hence, not available in North America.

    Be even better with a Voltec system though, and the new Zafira will be on the delta platform, so here’s hoping the school run can be electric soon…


  12. 12
    Tagamet

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:54 am)

    Think of all the short trips a family makes around town “home” soccer games, etc. There could be substantial gas savings if they are either a large family or haul the team around.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  13. 13
    TALLPALL

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:58 am)

    This would be perfect for the wife. She would never use the range extender. The engine would get a little run on the weekend trip out.

    Perfect….. In our would with 3 kids, this is way more practical than the Volt..


  14. 14
    Schmeltz

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:59 am)

    A Voltec Orlando would make a very good efficient people mover. With Chrysler potentially moving forward with their Town & Country EREV, GM may have no other option but to move forward with this idea. There’s some incentive GM!


  15. 15
    jason M. Hendler

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:04 am)

    I think it is more prudent to optimize the Voltec drivetrain before they disseminate it across platforms.

    I believe battery tech needs to improve before minivans, trucks and SUV’s become viable. Otherwise, a plugin fuel cell vehicle would be a better configuration.


  16. 16
    ozonelevel

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:09 am)

    Where is my Voltec Tahoe????


  17. 17
    Dave K.

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:30 am)

    A good addition to the Voltec line. The heart of the Volt in a more family friendly vehicle.

    =D~


  18. 18
    Me (Ricky Bobby)

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:32 am)

    This is more like it. Now do it with the diesel range extender and that would be even more awesome. Any one against diesel should ride in a Jetta or Benz diesel. To keep the 40 electric just make the battery a little larger to make up for the size. They might want to consider an AWD for the north.


  19. 19
    MCD

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:34 am)

    I think this would have a large market segment. Right now my wife drives a suburban to tote our 3 kids to soccer games all week. I would buy the Voltec Orlando in a heartbeat! (Assuming price is reasonable). And you know what happens when you assume :)


  20. 20
    old man

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:36 am)

    The problem with waiting till Voltec is perfected is the competition will not wait on GM. I think getting this drive train on as many models as they can is a must. Even if the 40 mile range needs to be dropped to 25-30 miles all electric. That range would still save drivers many gallons of petro a year.


  21. 21
    Dale

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:44 am)

    How about a Voltec SRX or Equinox as already shown in the SRX concept. All Wheel Drive would be a great idea, for those of us in the cold climates of the world.


  22. 22
    Larry McFall

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:44 am)

    It sounds like a good idea however, GM needs to stay on track with the Volt. Get the Volt built as well as the VOLTEC concept allows and then after appropriate and proper marketing, add the concept to other models.

    Its not a bad thing to put these kind of ideas on the back burner and keep them cooking but, finish the meal that is presently being prepared before starting another one.

    We still need to see GM proactivety in Marketing the Volt. The dealerships that I have talked to, still claims that they know nothing.


  23. 23
    Lawrence

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:48 am)

    On a side note,

    Seeing how much effort and dedication Lyle is putting from so long time in all of this, there is no reason he shouldn’t deserve his long awaited Chevy Volt from GM as a sign of gratitude.

    There is no doubt that this discussion plateform he has set up, in his free time and own costs, has, is and will ever be a good source of – open – inspiration.

    Just to say, going back to work now ^^

    Lawrence


  24. 24
    Schmeltz

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:49 am)

    I’m with you on that. My guess is they need to give their 2-mode system a couple of years of breathing room before attempting a Voltec platform derivative like that. And also, a Voltec Silverado or Tahoe would be ridiculously expensive at this point in time. A $60,000 Tahoe wouldn’t be for the faint of heart! (LOL). Now done as a Cadillac, that may be a different matter entirily…


  25. 25
    Joe

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:57 am)

    The gas mileage you are suggesting has already been surpassed by the new Chevy Equinox,leader of it’s class….and it’s not a hybrid.! Expect every new GM vehicles to be not just as good as the competitors, but to be much better or consumers will not buy them. GM will knock your socks off with their new vehicles!

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/2010-chevrolet-equinox-posts-32-mpg-highway-rating.html


  26. 26
    Schmeltz

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:58 am)

    I agree with you Chris. I was just thinking about this a little further this morning and wonder if realistically speaking, is the Orlando even more relevant than the Volt, in terms of appealing to a wider audience? Don’t read this like “Schmeltz is saying kill the Volt in favor of the Orlando”. Not saying that at all. Just speculating that a CUV like the Orlando with more room for passengers and paraphenalia, comparable range to the Volt like the 25-30 mpc you mentioned, and a competitive price tag could very well be a high volume vehicle—to sell along side of the Volt.

    Personally, I’m of the attitude of Voltec for everything, but I understand we need to take baby steps.


  27. 27
    old man

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:01 am)

    IF, AND I DON’T KNOW, GM can’t GIVE one to Lyle then he should be able to buy AT DEALER COST, the first one and it should have a guanenteed trade in value of 100% price paid for his next one. Tho I can not believe he would ever part with it for so little.


  28. 28
    Joe

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:02 am)

    GM is taking all kinds of precaution with the Voltec system for that reason. The battery pack is an overkill, but GM being a large company, can not take a chance.


  29. 29
    Joe

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:13 am)

    Even better. How about GM using HCCI (homogeneous charge compression ignition) technology?

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/05/25/gms-hcci-engines-now-run-from-idle-to-60-mph/


  30. 30
    Joe

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:16 am)

    The problem by putting these ideas on the back burner allows the competitors to beat GM to the gun. GM can no longer afford that to happen.


  31. 31
    texas

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:22 am)

    One has to ask. Why. Why have there not been any hybrid minivans from Honda or Toyota? Perhaps because the people that buy them are housewives with children or families on a budget? Would a $40,000 + vehicle make sense?

    I have to admit it’s a great concept, if the price was affordable to the intended market. Imagine how many housewives could be well served, all electric, with such a vehicle. Going back and forth to school, to school activities, to the shopping mall, supermarket, beauty salon, etc. All probably well in the 20 mile radius.

    So, should GM put it all on the line? Not only a new and unproven drivetrain but a vehicle that is too expensive should gas prices stay low? Should they “Just Do it”?

    I might normally say wait a bit but today the IEA admitted they screwed up and were off by a huge amount with their petroleum production depletion rates. Thus, today they had to bring in their peak oil estimate by around 10 years! That’s around 2020 or only about 5 years after this E-REV minivan comes out.

    Therefore, I say start working on it for a 2015 release date. It won’t have to be such a big project right now but all the electrification bascis can be worked out as well as the aerodynamic groundwork.

    I would love to own one of these! lol. It looks cool and you could even take out all of the seats and have a roving electric office. Oh, the amount of solar roof space is a bonus – could even power that office. ;)


  32. 32
    Gsned57

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:23 am)

    I wish they would have announced that 1 week ago! I just got my federal bailout plus Chryslers match for my 86 Vanagon. I didn’t want to do it but to get a new 30K grand caravan with a lot of options for 17,500 I had to say yes. As Lyle said, there were 0 options for an EREV minivan so I felt I had no choice. I guess I shouldn’t hold my breath. I loved my Westy, but it needed a new clutch, upper and lower ball joints, CV joints, the heads leaked, the interior was trashed, and most of the seatbelts didn’t work. On top of that I didn’t feel safe driving with kids in it.

    GM, if I can make a suggestion! Escpecially in a recession there is a HUGE market for a compact camper van. I’m talking something that is a people mover %95 of the time but also doubles as sleeping for 4 with a very modest kitchen. VW makes the VW california only in Europe and families that want to go camping but don’t want to own an RV have no option in the states. I want something that I can take the kids to a campground for a weekend vacation during the summer. The late 80′s vanagon westfalia was the ultimate family vehicle and there is NOTHING on the market today that is equivelent. German Engineering made use of every square inch of that car. I know GM can do even better.

    Come on GM help families come back together through camping while at the same time reducing our dependence on foreign oil! I’d pay $40K for that in a second!


  33. 33
    statik

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:27 am)

    I really like this idea. This is were the EREV can really pay off, even if we are using the same 16 kWh pack, and even if it is only getting 20 miles.

    (I’m not sure that Lyle was saying specifically that, he was just looking for any hybrid people mover, or maybe even a plug-in assist hybrid, but I like the full electric propulsion application, extended range better)

    I’d wager most ‘mini-van’ trips are not much farther than this, and even if they are, as Lyle says 40MPG+ is pretty good, especially when you are talking about displacing something getting 16-20 MPG.

    Sidenote: I think we officially have to call this application a ER-EV…Chrysler definitely got here first with this idea.

    https://www.chryslergroupllc.com/en/innovation/envi/specs/chrysler_vehicles_tc.php


  34. 34
    Jim in PA

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:28 am)

    Dear GM – If you make an AWD EREV Orlando that I can afford it, I will buy it as my next car to replace my wife’s Aztek. Ok everyone, go ahead and make the standard cracks about the Aztek aesthetics, but I’ll tell you that I have never driven or rode in a more well though-out utilitarian vehicle. Honda has tried with the Element (a car much uglier yet less maligned than the Aztek), but in terms of usefulness, the Atzek kicks ass. Three years from now I could very well be looking for a replacement, and I am willing sacrifice some of the Aztek’s cavernous interior space for third row seating.


  35. 35
    Joe

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:29 am)

    Don’t worry about Lyle’s cost. He’s a brain surgeon, isn’t he? With just one brain operation, he probably makes more money than you make in a year’s time. LOL.

    I get that he loves automobiles and wants us to break our oil addiction just like you and I. I don’t think he particularly cares more about GM than over any other auto companies. but he does care about our environment.


  36. 36
    old man

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:34 am)

    A short while back a GM spokesperson said during an on line chat that they were working on the HCCI engine for the Volt.

    One question that [I] didn’t see in your link is, can the HCCI engine continue to operate with the spark plug above 60 mph? If it can then this will be a great ICE for MANY applications including the Volt!


  37. 37
    statik

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:44 am)

    Oh no Texas, you went there! The solar roof…and on the very first comment string.

    Lets do the math just for fun, using traditional efficiency panelling and a horizontal explsure, your going to average out at about 4.5 hours exposure in the south (closer to 4 in the north), meaning for your going to need about 16-18 feet of surface area for each kW (depending on your area)

    Just from looking at that picture, it looks like you might have a area of 5×7 to work with there…stripping out joint/frame losses, your probably looking at production of 1.7 to 2 kWh a day.

    Actually, thats a quarter charge on a Voltec 16 kWh pack. If it gets 20 miles in this pig, thats 5 miles. Pretty expensive option, that would never pay for itself I’m sure…but it would actually produce enough power to have some function. Three days abandoned in California in the summer would net you a full charge (getting about 7 hours on 30 square feet of 0° tilt)


  38. 38
    Randy

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:45 am)

    Vans as well as pickup trucks are everywhere and the first one out of the gate with either getting more than 30 MPG will bury the competition.
    PS toyota has a hybrid van getting 40 but is only sold in japan.
    Also i would not buy a toyota as my last one 1999 tacoma was a total waste of sheet metal and rubber.


  39. 39
    old man

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:49 am)

    I know they said they have this and even show cased one with a couple of other vehicles. But nearly dead silence since. If they actually have one that they are now working on I will be happy to give them all the credit for being first. But as of now I am STATIK doubtful.


  40. 40
    Tim

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:59 am)

    The Chevy Orlando MPV-Voltec Inside would be a great application for GM’s E-REV technology and the logical second step.

    Now, most Chevy S-10 size small pickups are used for “around town” duties by homeowners, contractors, and for local business delivery. A small pickup would be the best 3rd logical step for Voltec.


  41. 41
    psklenar

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:59 am)

    Personally Texas, I could more easily deal with spending $40K on a mini-van over a sedan due to the increased functionality the vehicle provides – able to move more and/or larger “stuff” (read: less need to ask friends with trucks to “help”), transport more people (family/friends), etc.


  42. 42
    statik

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:06 am)

    Your right, Americans always get the shaft on the diesel, especially from GM where the new ‘head of US sales’ Mark LaNeve doesn’t even know the price of diesel.

    However, it would be a b***** to make the Zafira, as it is, to accept Voltec technology. The Zafira rides is on the original Delta platform, and Orlando rides on the new Delta II, which is the same as the Volt. I’ve always thought GM would plug it into something like this if they really got behind EREV, because…well, it is a pretty simple (relatively speaking) thing to do.

    Only problem of course is in GM un-infinite wisdom thay canned the Orlando MPV out of Hamtramck plant (right beside the Volt), and I believe it will be built in South Korea now and shipped across the pond.
    —-
    Saying that;

    I personally can see GM ‘bringing it back’ (the Orlando) stateside, as part of the 10 billion+ package they want out of the DoE. It seems likely that the ‘third’ vehicle we keep hearing about besides the Volt and the Converj, isn’t really some fancy new platform, but rather another Delta II reskin of the Volt…this time the Orlando MPV masquerading as a Buick…for $50,000.

    /bookmark


  43. 43
    Larry B

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:10 am)

    Orlando?? What a terrible name for a car. Seriously, Orlando?


  44. 44
    LauraM

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:18 am)

    I don’t want a minivan at this point–too big to park in the city. But if I did, I would gladly buy the solar roof under your scenario. It doesn’t have to pay for itself anymore than Voltec does. The point is that way, I’m really driving without polluting. (Or at least coming closer to doing so.)

    And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who feels that way.


  45. 45
    DonC

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:32 am)

    Texas says I might normally say wait a bit but today the IEA admitted they screwed up and were off by a huge amount with their petroleum production depletion rates. Thus, today they had to bring in their peak oil estimate by around 10 years!

    At the end of the day it all comes down to the price of gas, doesn’t it? The only issue with the IEA is that if they missed the estimate the first time, so the question becomes: is this a solid correction or are they likely to have missed it again? I really don’t know.

    It has to drive car manufacturer nuts to be guessing the price of gas three or four years down the road. Horrible way to have to run a business — too much uncertainty.


  46. 46
    blakem

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:38 am)

    This is a great idea and gives GM a chance to be first to market in a class that has been totally ignored, yet offers a big opportunity for improvement in fuel economy. If sales took off, I’d expect to see the Toyota Estima in showrooms overnight which might pose a risk to GM, but it would be great for the consumer. Still, I’d take an EREV with 10 miles EV range over the Estima. Lets hope this materializes.


  47. 47
    DonC

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:40 am)

    It’s not obvious they could use the same sized pack. The range could be halved, that is not per se a problem. However, if the loads are such that the range would be halved then the charge/discharge cycles would be higher because of the range reduction, and, more importantly, the C rates would be higher because of the higher power requirments.

    The higher power demands might not allow the pack to be able to fulfill the 10/150,000 warranty requirement. GM would have a better idea about this given their ongoing testing in the battery lab. (Always surprising how important mundane things like testing can be).


  48. 48
    Gsned57

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:41 am)

    They should take the OR off and just call in the Lando. The leather pimped out version could be the Calrician edition.


  49. 49
    CorvetteGuy

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:44 am)

    Greetings, Program!

    It’s nice to see that TRON will soon be able to get an SUV for his better half. I think he will probably stick to his LIGHTCYCLE:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1IpPpB3iWI

    End of line.


  50. 50
    Johann

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:45 am)

    Not sure why the “thumbs down” for your post FME. I agree with you and would like to point out that since the Volt is a money loser temporarily (Hey Volt fan boys, I said TEMPORARILY) I’m sure they will want to wait till
    a) the technology matures and proves itself so they have real world data for the next vehicle to make it better
    b) cost to come down so the next one is a money maker

    I would love to have an Orlando (change the name please…try to google chevrolet orlando and you get horrible results). My Scion xB is a fantastic car. Small on the outside and big on the inside and handles well, not like an SUV. It looks that way for the Orlando.


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    N Riley

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:47 am)

    Just how many times have I suggested the Orlando as a Voltec vehicle? More times than I can remember. Of course, I am not the only one suggesting this. I hope GM can pull all the pieces together and put the Voltec system into the Orlando. It would be really great if they could do it and still get the vehicle out in 2011. Even if the Voltec power train is not ready, I hope the Orlando will still be introduced in 2011. Even with an internal combustion engine it will still be an important vehicle for GM. It would just be better with Voltec. To me a Voltec Orlando is much more important that a Voltec Cadillac or Buick. Both of these others are important, just not as much of an impact as a Voltec Orlando. IMO.


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    N Riley

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:49 am)

    While I don’t really have much problem with the Orlando name, it does seem GM is having some problem naming new vehicles. Some of the names it comes up with is pretty bad.


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    Starcast

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:49 am)

    This is not something I would buy. BUT I think it is a good idea. Price is of course a problem as mini-vans are not high priced veh an average people can’t afford a 50K veh.

    I think a plungin big SUV/PU maybe 10 mile all electric would be a bigger seller.


  54. 54
    DonC

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:51 am)

    Tag says Get the voltec in the larger vehicles ASAP.

    At some point you have to wonder about the demand for electric vehicles unless they can squeeze big price reductions out of the battery packs or the price of gas goes up significantly. Or both.

    If they did proceed with a vehicle like this and the Converj, GM would have a nice lineup of EREVs — a small sedan, a CUV, and a high end sporty car. A CUV doesn’t really interest me but there are a lot of people who just like hatchbacks, and seating for six or seven would be a plus for those with children.

    On the other hand, from a policy perspective, spending $500 to make the vehicle E100 capable seems like a better idea than spending $15K to make it EREV. We’re more likely to see biofuels become cost competitive with gasoline sooner than we see battery packs become cost competitive with gas tanks.


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    N Riley

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:58 am)

    A Voltec Orlando would be a great vehicle. It should not have to meet the 40-mile test, in my opinion. I would be very happy with it if it only got 20 miles per charge before the range extender came on. Anything over 10 would be acceptable to me.


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    kdawg

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:58 am)

    he was talking MPC, and you are talking MPG


  57. 57
    Thomas Magnum

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:59 am)

    (click to show comment)


  58. 58
    Jake Conduit

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:02 am)

    They will need to dump that diesel before bringing it to the U.S.
    American’s will not accept noisy diesels in their cars.
    Also, what the range on that bad boy. If it is still 40 miles we have a problem Houston.


  59. 59
    CaptJackSparrow

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:04 am)

    I want a Crew Cab Truck!
    .I want a Crew Cab Truck!!
    ..I want a Crew Cab Truck!!!
    …I want a Crew Cab Truck!!!!


  60. 60
    kdawg

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:06 am)

    Speaking of the Hamtramck plant, how about an update Lyle? I’m only hearing things about the engine plant in Flint. A guy I know is busy ripping stuff out to make the plant ready for new equipment. Someone else was working on something for the cam-shaft for it. So I at least hear about bits of progress, but I havent heard anything lately about Hamtramck.


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:07 am)

    statik says It seems likely that the ‘third’ vehicle we keep hearing about besides the Volt and the Converj, isn’t really some fancy new platform, but rather another Delta II reskin of the Volt…this time the Orlando MPV masquerading as a Buick…for $50,000.

    That would be the logical conclusion. A sedan, a sporty luxury sedan, and a CUV. No reason to make three sedans.

    I do believe that biodiesel will be here at competitive prices very shortly (actually I guess they’re hers but the quantities are limited). When you step back the price of biodiesel and the sources of making it seem to be coming into line much more rapidly than the price of batteries is falling. Just seems like the order of the steps should be Biofuels–>Electrification rather than the other way round.


  62. 62
    Mike-o-Matic

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:08 am)

    When you enter your search terms, try wrapping your search in doublequotes, e.g. “Chevrolet Orlando” or “Chevy Orlando” … and I repeat, WITH the quotes, not without.

    That should help Google… or any search engine worth its salt… to understand what you really want.


  63. 63
    Tim

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:09 am)

    Yep, the Voltec Orlando makes even more sense than the Volt:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gwa2E8xxCpU


  64. 64
    Jackson

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:09 am)

    Yes, it is getting close to lunchtime …


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    Schmeltz

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:09 am)

    “Orlando” doesn’t seem as bad to me as the Nissan “Leaf”. I mean, I know “Leaf” is an acronym, but still, Nissan wants to call their very first All-electric, game changing car none other than….wait for it….

    THE LEAF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That’s just plain Awesome.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:10 am)

    “American’s will not accept noisy stinky diesels in their cars.”

    “Also, what the range on that bad boy. If it is isn’t still 40 miles we have a problem Houston.”

    Fixed that for you.


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    Schmeltz

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:11 am)

    100% agreed. I love the look of the Converj, and a Voltec Buick MPV may be interesting and capable of paying for itself, but the Orlando stands a chance at scoring volume based on the utility it offers.


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    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:15 am)

    He said 25-30 MP**C**… not MPG.

    That’s “miles per charge” before the range extender kicks in. Presumably (my guess, not trying to speak for Chris), at 40+ MPG.


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    Vincent

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:17 am)

    Lyle your really doing a great job on this site, thanks.

    Voltec people mover would be great. Better yet Voltec SUV’s, Jeep types and sports cars. No brainer home runs. Give the people what they want and GM will be on top once again.
    For right now and the technology is here…New modern, ultra quiet, clean diesels are the fast answer. Why GM is asleep at the switch here is a mystery. Hybrid a clean diesel with a good electric drive.


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    Jackson

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:17 am)

    A car with limited area needs high-performance (think “Mars Exploration Rover”) type solar cells at approachable pricing before this kind of thing starts to be compelling for non-greenies.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting; I hope I live long enough to see it.


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    Jackson

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:19 am)

    … how about “Dawn?”

    Can’t imagine why that one occurred to me …


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    N Riley

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:19 am)

    Not so fast there LauraM. Of course you would be “polluting”. Unless you park that thing for days to build up enough charge to do some running around before the batteries run down, then park it until it recharges. Otherwise when you plug it in you will be getting your electrical energy from the grid which we all know causes pollution.

    I am not trying to be picky. I think if the option is offered and you can afford it, go ahead and do it. I don’t see anything wrong with the concept. It’s just not pollution free unless it sits a lot.


  73. 73
    Jackson

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:21 am)

    Trucks might a awhile coming, unfortunately.

    Seems like a CUV would be the (distantly) second-best thing, given it’s ability to haul more with the seats removed / stowed.

    I know, it just ain’t the same.


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    Jim in PA

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:23 am)

    Oh come on! Orlando is a great name! I can see it now:

    – Buick Tony
    – Chevy Orlando
    – Cadillac Dawn

    What’s not to love? Next up: The GMC “Wayne Newton”


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    N Riley

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:25 am)

    The IEA will continue to “miss” the date because crude oil availability is a moving target. No one really knows when peak oil will arrive. Several large finds have occurred in the past year and probably will have nore in the next year. We just don’t know to have more than a stab in the dark type guess. It’s just that some people like to believe what the guess is until it is proven wrong once again. Every time a “guess” has been made, it has been proven wrong within a year or two. For myself, I stopped listening to the “experts” a long time ago. I know the “end” is coming and to me it doesn’t really matter what some “expert” says. When it gets here it will be here. IMO.


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:28 am)

    >> With just one brain operation, he probably makes more money [...snip...]

    Hm, yet despite all that monetary incentive, he *still* manages to find time daily to feed our Volt addictions.

    For free. Go figure.

    He also is fundraising for the American Stroke Association by running in the NYC marathon coming up. Sidebar: We should all support him in that! Click the banner on the right for more info.

    Lyle, I wish I had HALF your energy, smarts, and resourcefulness!


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:31 am)

    It is interesting that Chrysler has been very quiet since they came out of BK. Didn’t they announce a couple of electric vehicles a couple of months ago?

    I think the company that invented the “minivan” has something up their sleeve. I don’t think Orlando will be alone in the Hybrid people-mover segment in 2012.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:34 am)

    “Knock three times on the EV if you want me…”

    GAD! I just made myself throw up in my mouth a little.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:35 am)

    I just want to post “for the record” that (until this post) this is one of the most focessed, on-topic threads in recent memory.
    Most Excellent!(lol)
    Be well
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***************NPNS!


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    Jackson

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:36 am)

    The reluctance of any US automaker to push a new generation of diesel is a little surprising. First, we reduced the sulfur content (which raised the price) of the fuel to get ready for them, then — nada.

    Perhaps this is a cautionary tale for those who think regulatory action always leads to the intended results.

    I’m sure we’re going to see plenty of diesel / electric stuff in Europe, where diesel has more of a consumer-friendly history.


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    Johann

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:36 am)

    Actually the Orlando is slightly shorter and narrower than the Volt according to wikipedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt
    Wheelbase 105.7 in (2,680 mm)[2]
    Length 177 in (4,500 mm)[2]
    Width 70.8 in (1,800 mm)
    Height 56.3 in (1,430 mm)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Orlando
    Wheelbase 108.6 in (2758 mm)
    Length 176.0 in (4470 mm)
    Width 70.0 in (1778 mm)
    Height 65.0 in (1651 mm)


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    Vincent

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:38 am)

    Anyone against Diesel has NOT driven a new breed Diesel. No one even knows my Touareg V10 is a Diesel. Always, without fail I am told two to three times while fueling “Hey your putting Diesel in there”. It is whisper quiet and smells FAR clean than Gas. Actually Gas vehicles STINK BADLY by comparison.


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    Sheltonjr

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:38 am)

    You have to remember the driving habits of this market. They make lots of short trips. So 20-25 miles I think would be good enough.

    Make 1 trip 10-25 miles, Return – plug in 220V for 1 Hour get 80% recharge, Make 2nd trip to pick up kids, Return Plug 80%, Take kids to practice Go to dinner, Return Plug in overnight for 100% recharge.

    When the next gen battery comes out. Then offer a 40 mile range Orlando for those that need it.


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    omnimoeish

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:48 am)

    I would estimate a 25 mile AER (if it uses about 60% more fuel than the Volt). I would still not use gas very often, and remember that the Orlando is built on the same Delta 2 platform as the Volt and Cruze. It would probably take a lot of the engineering costs out of making a Voltec Orlando.

    Although I think GM was smart to make the Orlando an SUV crossoverish vehicle. GM has stated the price will be around $30,000 for the Chevy Orlando. Unless they were thinking it would be Voltec, that would be a tough sell since the Toyota Siennas (bulletproof minivans BTW, I have a friend who bought a 2000 and the thing still looks and drives like new with over 120,000 miles on it) start at $25k.

    The cross over SUV meets minivan market (Chevy Orlando) isn’t really taking off either. The 7 seater Mazda 5 and Kia Rondo are dudding out with only about 30,000 sales last year with starting price of only $18,500 and $17,500 (you can barely get a Civic for that)!

    GM better get creative here. There is stiff competition everywhere and a weak market for everything.


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:52 am)

    Sounds like a fine vehicle in which to enjoy a smooth, refreshing Colt .45 Malt Liquor.

    … From the passenger seat, of course.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:54 am)

    What were we talking about, again?


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    texas

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:55 am)

    Statik, It won’t make sense for you and many others because you made the big mistake thinking I want to run the car with solar power for a cost that is competitive with roof mounted or coal-fired energy.

    I know you come and visit the forum section once in a while so the next time you are there, check out the hundreds of posts on SOTS (Solar On The Surface). You will learn it’s not all about driving the car, it’s not all about being competitive with stationary power infrastructure.

    Did you know that there is no other way to get energy to the battery in a remote location other than using regen (must be moving) or using solar panels? If you are stuck in an airport parking lot and can’t plug in, your battery can only drain. You won’t be able to continually monitor the systems, perhaps keep communication with your car via always-on Internet services, get updates, perhaps pre-cool the interior as you land, have extra security functionality, etc. There is a whole unexplored world that can come alive with SOTS.

    Also, If we bought cars the same way people grab the financial calculator every time they hear the world solar then we would all be driving GEO-Metros. To me it’s a luxury that gives me more Car 2.0 functionality, most of it not even imagined yet. I know it’s hard to see the mansion though the framing but maybe give it a try. ;)

    P.S. Your 5 miles of range using only the sun on a nice sunny day is about what we figured (in the forum threads) as well. Hey, how cost effective is that high-end stereo system with the pop-out DVD screen compared to a cheap home-based K-mart boom-box? What about those several thousand dollar alloy rims? Moon roof? Two-tone custom paint job? Man, us humans make some silly buying decisions. Why can’t we just live in a nice reasonable hut with a 20 inch CRT TV and a simple Ford Comet-like vehicle in the driveway? Now pass me that calculator.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:03 am)

    Orlando! Orlando! Orlando! Orlando! Orlando! Orlando! Orlando!Orlando!
    Be well Mr. Wizeguy,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***************NPNS!!


  89. 89
    Keith

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:03 am)

    Captain;

    Here you are Captain , I looked it up for you , I think it is just exactly what you want and at a price that you can not walk away from .
    You even can get the exchange on your American dollars in Vancouver Canada .

    http://www.rapidelectricvehicles.com/

    You can have it in days , none of this waiting for months or years either . Good Luck .
    Throw a gen-set in the back and drive it home .


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:10 am)

    That is why, until battery cost/performance enhancements are much improved over what is available today, GM needs a strong hybrid-gas combination similar to the Prius. That or a much improved two-mode hybrid system than what GM has been offering. Maybe they have the proverbial “cat to pull out of the bag” trick without it climbing up their arm and scratching their eyes out. To use a metaphor, so to speak.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:11 am)

    I’m siding with Laura on this one. I don’t want a minivan. As far as I’m concerned, in the long term, we will own a very small electric vehicule for the city and a bigger extended range vehicule (à la volt) for longer trips.

    Minivans are useful for certain people but not that many. They are not fun to drive and cumbersome.

    I believe it’s time to change the automotive landscape. When oil prices start to rise again, minivans won’t make much sense.

    As for the solar roof, well, prices will fall if we start mass producing the thing so they will make more sense as time goes by.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:12 am)

    Lando, or *who*, now??!?? Wat??!?

    You be well too, Tag! :-)
    omatic


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    texas

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:13 am)

    Yes, I hear you. Peak oil talk can drive people crazy. For most people, who don’t make long-term decisions for the country or for their company based on projected energy costs, your solution sounds great to me.

    However, for top decision makers, they better be thinking about peak oil and what that means. If we don’t start preparing for this it’s going to be very painful for a whole lot of people (more painful?). How come something that’s so sure to happen has so little prep work?

    Think about how much petroleum we use in this country (around 20 mbd) and what would happen should we find out that indeed we hit peak. It’s a real cluster****.

    So, I would recommend those that are thinking that buying one of those big trucks or SUVs because the price is so low right now might want to imagine what their budget would look like should we hit the same gas prices we hit last summer. No, it was not a fluke due to speculators that will not return. It’s coming and most likely will be worse as we finally figure out that exponential energy growth is unsustainable and we hit the limits with our beautiful black gold.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:14 am)

    LauraM:

    You’re right. You’re not the only person who feels that way.

    This would be a GREAT replacement for my S-10. Bring it on!


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    alex_md

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:17 am)

    The reason why Americans love SUVs is simple – they are such great vehicles. People like space and don’t like to be packed in small containers if they have a choice. Otherwise we all would be living in small apartments. I realize that many people in particular in Europe don’t really have a choice due to government policy. In Russia for example people are falling in love with big SUVs and are ready to pay extra partially due to the facts that is snows in most of the country and most of the roads are not really roads but “directions”. I don’t see how you can change that. Part of the reason why many still come to this country is because they don’t want state to dictate the way they live. So instead of downsizing I personally choose to work more and make more money to be able to afford stuff I want. Bottom line – make BIG cars and SUVs more efficient (not just 5 mpg improvement). Turbo diesel and diesel hybrids sound like a short term solution before battery tech matures and EREVs take off.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:17 am)

    Let me see if I get this right. The minivan is for the wife while the Converj is … for you. lol.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:23 am)

    I would be driving a GEO-Metro if they still made them, LOL. I looked at a few used ones, but they’re all junk by now. The parts to fix them are ridiculously expensive or unavailable. Too bad, because they got spectacular mileage. “Simplicate and add lightness”.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:24 am)

    While I tend to agree with LauraM and you about many people not wanting a mini-van, I don’t agree with your conclusion minivans being useful but not to many people and that they are not “fun” to drive. My wife has owned a Honda Odyssey for 5 years this month. She loves it. I see more minivans like the Odyssey on the road than you might think. They are very popular vehicles and they are fun to drive. When I get behind the wheel I find the Odyssey a pleasure to drive. It really holds the road good and feels very comfortable on short or long trips. For a family of four or more, it is a great vehicle for all around enjoyment. We get really great mileage on the highway and decent around town mileage. It has really been an unbeatable vehicle for us. Especially when carrying small kids that you need to get into car seats and lock them in along with all the gear those kids and women seem to need just to go shopping or on short trips.


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    Anthony BC

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:27 am)

    GREAT POST, but you missed the 8 track player !!! ;-)

    GO EV !!!


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    statik

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:31 am)

    I agree 100%. I have no clue if Chrysler can get this thing out, but they were certainly the first to put out the concept of/threaten to build a non-small passenger vehicle application for EREV/ER-EV, whether it be in a van or a Jeep.

    I think their success/failure comes with the approval of their own DoE bag of money. I’m sure the pure BEV is coming regardless (provided they don’t go bankrupt of course, lol), but if they get the government’s coin you have think the van is on tap next…I mean the platform (although too large) is practically perfect to ‘electrify,’ all that ‘stow N go’/under floor capacity room is just begging to get a pack.

    Chrysler gets credit for the concept of application in a van, whether or not they get credit for follow through, big mystery.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:32 am)

    Captain;

    You might have to talk nice to them since you are not a Vancouverite , but most Canadians are understanding people they will probably will let you be a certified tester for your region of the USA .

    Just don’t tell them that you live in a trailer court and drink allot . (smile)


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    Noel Park

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:33 am)

    If he is doing those procedures on Medicare patients, I doubt if he is getting rich at it, LOL. Plus the overhead of maintaining a staff to try to get paid by the insurance companies.

    As Tommy Lasorda so famously said:

    “This !@#$%^ job ain’t that !@#$%^ easy!”


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    Luke

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:33 am)

    Chris,

    You need to meet some of the actual green crowd. There are plenty self-righteous yuppies who like to tell people what to do — but the green people that I hang out with are a lot more practical.

    To be fair, one of the environmental activists that I know was the self-righteous “thou shalt recycle” green-yellers back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This particular person then got some real-world experience trying to affect change in real life, and has since become quite practical — and much more rational. I suspect that a lot of the green movement as matured similarly — at least the environmentally concerned folks that I know seem to have started to take a rational approach, now. I certainly stayed the hell away from anything that smacked of green-ness, until that happened. Now that full-on rational analysis can be applied to environmental issues, I now accept the label of “environmentally concerned”.

    Anyway, I once shared your attitude. But, times change, and the conditions that lead me that attitude have also changed.


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    Koz

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:37 am)

    Absolutely, and best of all we won’t be arguing ad naseum about whether it makes economic sense versus the Prius which is argued doesn’t make sense versus a Corolla, which doesn’t make….

    The point where it becomes financial beneficially is moved significantly when the comparison vehicles get @20mpg. I also think an EREV minivan or CUV makes a lot more sense than a BEV since it will be the family traveling vehicle.The bulk of the family people movers sell in the high $20s to low $30s.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:37 am)

    We rented a Vauxhall Zafira when we visited the UK a couple of years ago. It was a great size and shape for a vehicle, and it would match my needs perfectly now. Too bad it’s not available in the USA.

    To be fair, the rental Zafira that we rented did have a lot of cheap plastic in it. It wasn’t exactly the epitomize of luxury or technology, but it was a practical family-vehicle. But a few tweaks to the interior could have fixed that. I didn’t get to look at the higher trim-levels, either, since we didn’t spend much time visiting car dealerships.


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    statik

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:41 am)

    I agree with you Don that it is not a ‘for sure’ on usability on the 16 kWh pack. I think ideally you’d really want to bump that up a little bit, just to give you some play…good for both range and longevity.

    Chrysler lists the pack as 22 kWh…no clue how they expect to get a 40 mile AER out of that, feels more like 25-30ish if they are using 14 kWh of that.


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    BCC

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:41 am)

    I’ve been longing for a high MPG minivan for a LONG time. You can decry the impact of my 4 kids on global population, but I’m not giving them back and we need to move them around from time to time. ~20mpg in our ~230hp Sienna doesn’t cut it. My wife didn’t like the way it accelerated until I pointed out to her that she was BURNING RUBBER. Give me a hybrid (e.g. Fusion hybrid drivetrain) or plug-in hybrid and I’m there.
    For my own car, I’d even been over-served by a Volt; I’m pretty interested in Nissan’s just-announced Leaf. But I’ll certainly check out the Volt, as well..


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    Koz

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:41 am)

    Yes, they need a Buick model. Hopefully they can keep it “comfortably below” $50K by incorporating some of the cost saving ideas they already developed from the work on gen1 Volt.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:42 am)

    The name “Orlando” does seem like it would make more sense in Europe, since it sounds like a lot of UK families take a holiday to Disney. “Orlando” probably means “family fun” to people who haven’t had to drive much in Florida….


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    Anthony BC

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:45 am)

    LOL !!!!

    GO EV !!!


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    Anthony BC

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:46 am)

    LOL !!!!

    GO EV !!!!


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    old man

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:46 am)

    I agree completely.

    I am as my handle implys and yet I am a rational and practical Green type dude. By that I mean I have no desire to see the world stop rather than to use oil. But I do want to see the WORLD, not just us, do every thing that is financially feesable to help the enviorment and get off oil and anything else that will in time hurt my children and grand children

    I even expect to use solar to charge my Volt.


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    Anthony BC

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:47 am)

    But if it was all electric, there would be no engine knock! ;-)

    GO EV !!!


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    statik

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:47 am)

    The ‘solar option’ on the Orlando would seem to be functional, so if your goal is less/no gas and not financial sense. the application would sell to a lot of people….and for a lot of us that wouldn’t use anywhere near the 40 miles range per day, it would be pretty sweet.

    /I would probably sign up for that option if I bought this

    …within reason, say like sub $6,000 (raw cost to GM would probably be around $2,000 to $2,500 I figure)


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:48 am)

    Toyota does have the Highlander, but it doesn’t get significantly better mileage compared to my Jeep Grand Cherokee. I’m admittedly Jeep biased and have had 6 of my last (used) vehicles. I am hoping that the wheels stay on it until the Volt arrives (which can’t be soon enough).
    All those short AER trips will really add up and in a left-handed sense, if the wife’s experience is good, the likelihood of a second E-REV purchase improves dramatically (ducks and covers).
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***************NPNS!!


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:49 am)

    I imagine the Orlando would be using the 2nd-generation Voltec?

    At least if I were GM, that’s what I would do.


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    old man

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:51 am)

    I expect to use biofuels in my Volt as much as I can and hope to see the day when it is as available as petro is today. IMO a combination of Solar,Bio, and E-REV is the fast lane to the masses using oil free personal transportation.


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    Luke

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:52 am)

    The HCCI is decoupled from the wheels, so it just depends on what kind of power-output they need to maintain 60mph. So, they just need to size the engine so that the required power can be provided by the HCCI range of the engine.

    From what I’ve read about HCCI engines, an ER-EV really would be the perfect application for them.


  119. 119
    DonC

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (12:25 pm)

    N. Riley says No one really knows when peak oil will arrive. Several large finds have occurred in the past year and probably will have nore in the next year.

    I’d think it’s fairly clear that peak oil has come and gone. Keep in mind that peak oil has several facets. People generally think of it as “running out of oil.” That’s one way to look at it, but the better approach is to think of it as rising prices. As a concept peak oil is something of a no-brainer. All it means is that when you first start looking for a natural resource you find the stuff that’s easiest and cheapest first. IOW when they start building in a new area the best building lots get used first or when you start picking fruit the low hanging stuff gets picked first.

    As time goes on it cost more to build or pick or, in the case of oil, extract. While there is most definitely more oil around, the cost of finding and extracting that oil is going up. But as the price goes up you should be able to bring more online.

    The trick is that in order to fuel economic growth you can’t have ever increasing energy prices.


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    LauraM

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (12:37 pm)

    As far as political decision makers are concerned–all they need to care about is that peak oil is coming. And the sooner we invest in alternatives, the better and smoother the transition will be. So even if someone could hand me a written gaurantee that peak oil won’t occur for another 20 years (which I doubt), they should still invest money now. Of course, they wouldn’t, but it’s still much better to err on the side of sooner rather than later.

    For GM, on other hand, if they put all their eggs in the peak oil basket, and oil prices are still $2 a gallon in three years, they’re in serious trouble. I don’t think that will happen, but it could. Especially since our wonderful government doesn’t seem to have the political will to tax gasoline. So, they need to plan for both contingencies.


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    Tim

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:13 pm)

    Yea, the Orlando is going to come with a little segway called “Dawn”.


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    Jim in PA

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:14 pm)

    The other reason Americans love SUVs; it’s like being transported on your couch. Personally I detest SUVs regardless of their fuel economy, just because of what an abysmal driving experience they give. There’s a reason why my wife drives the SUV in our family. I will buy as big a car as I need and no bigger (Orlando would be perfect) so as to keep a vehicle with reasonable handling and cornering. If I need occassional extra cargo space… well, that’s what roof racks are for (or in an extreme rare situation, I’ll rent a van for $20).


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    omnimoeish

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:16 pm)

    One REALLY cool benefit to an EREV minivan is the fact that you could pull a tent trailer or camping trailer and plug it in to your 16+kWh battery and get juice anywhere you go! No need to buy a generator. Make it so that when the car is in accessory mode, the generator runs intermittently as needed somehow.

    I don’t think GM has realized the selling point that offers to people who like to go camping and don’t always have electricity.

    I am actually really perplexed why there are 120V inverters in normal cars. I bought one at Wal Mart for $30 (overpaid too) 3 years ago that plugs into the cigarette lighter. I use that thing ALL THE TIME. It works wonderfully, it is the coolest thing ever. My wife and I can charge/plug in the laptop. I plug it for watching movies on a small TV we have and play video games. We just used it on our trip to California with a 6 outlet powerstrip and had 3 laptops running at the same time (combine it with AT&T’s 3G internet USB cards and you’ve got a lot of fun!). We even run Nintendos and things with it. This $30 option seems like it would be a no brainer for auto makers to put standard outlets in vehicles, they could have it as a $200 option! Sort of like how a GPS costs $150 and a lot of auto makers charge 3 times that to put one in a car that already comes with an LCD screen as a standard (*cough* Prius *cough*).

    GM, you already decided to break the auto maker head game conspiracy of not giving people the option to buy electric cars at any price, now break this trend of not offering outlets in cars! And while you’re at it, make it an EREV!


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    Joshua Bretz

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:19 pm)

    Love it


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    Lemont Dummy

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:22 pm)

    The LEAF is only a 5 seater, may have to give up one of the rug rats.
    The Volt however will cost you your first born and more.


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    Vincent

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    My T Reg has a 110 volt outlet in back. Very Handy Just like you bought at wal mart only VW “packaged” it into the vehicle OEM. Cool to have. Should be standard issue on all cars. Good point.


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    stas peterson

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:32 pm)

    Laura is basing her decision on some inappropriate and and in other cases, outright wrong assumptions. They are:

    Laura assumes Solar is non polluting. Fact: You are altering the Albedo by a small amount and that is a Global Warming phenomenon about 10,000 times as effective as doubling CO2 on a per square meter basis. Furthermore is is cumulative to all other solar installations, commercial or individual.

    Laura assumes Fossil is in imminent chance of zero availability in a few years. The reality is that there are a few hundred years of fossil available, whatever the case. Immediate prospects for large increases in supply are very good too, relieving price pressures. For example, Iraqi Oil has not yet returned to the international oil markets. Nor have the new Anbar fields discovered during the war been tapped yet; although they hold prospect of doubling Iraq’s position as an Oil supplier, rivaling Saudi Arabia. This is easy oil to get and market, when Peace and Equity return,as they appear to be doing there. Ditto for Iran when the present regime departs and Iran resumes its status as a non-Pariah nation. Its fields are suffering from lack of investment for a few decades, due to UN mandated embargoes.

    Laura assumes Energy will always be in short supply, and high priced. The reality is that we are closer to limitless supplies than we are to the first oil Price crisis in 1973. And big supply won’t come from wind or solar dead-ends. Perfected fission is here, the Plants are being designed and built; and inexhaustible, clean Fusion is coming. Fusion will also solve the nuclear fission waste problem and permanently too, with industrial Actinide Burning. Today’s energy bleak outlook is merely a temporary blip of some 40-50 years duration, mostly completed. . Only the Clueless One can delay the US from doubling its contributions from nuclear in his eight years, while leading to a disproportionate cleanup of the Nation’s electric supply. Virtually all the KWH replaced by the new nukes ,a rise from 20% to 40% or a substitution of some 20% of the Nation’s supply will retire nothing but Coal generation, and the very dirtiest of those.

    In short Laura wants a solar collector becasue she thinks its pollution free; and its not, but no one told her that it wasn’t.


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    Ken Grubb

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:32 pm)

    I’ve got an ICE minivan and I’m not afraid to trade it in!

    Either someone builds an EREV minivan/CUV/MPV/crossdresser/whatever, or I buy a 2012 Ford Escape PHEV.

    Keep the Level 3 charging port in plain view, and no one gets hurt.


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    omnimoeish

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:33 pm)

    GM needs to find small ways to improve their vehicles so that they can compete.


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    Noel Park

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:42 pm)

    We have friend who has an Aztek. I have to confess that I was as guilty as anyone of making cracks about it. Then I drove it, and realized that everything you have said is true. After that, it even started to look better to me. Plus, didn’t they lose some of the typical Pontiac body cladding after awhile, and clean it up a bit?

    Anyway, now whenever I see an Aztek, I sort of smile and think that there is someone smart enough to know that form follows function. Not unlike the endless debate we had here after GM changed the styling of the Volt.


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    Noel Park

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:43 pm)

    Oh wait! I thought it was CaptJack for a second.


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    RickW

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:44 pm)

    That still can’t compete. They are losing money faster than you can say Porkulis.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:44 pm)

    Moose related fatalities are way to common in my corner of the woods and if I could lawfully buy a tank I would seriously think about it. Chances of surviving a collision with this animal are proportional to the size of your vehicle. I understand why you would not want an SUV in Manhattan, it is still all about choice. I drive a 4 cyl 3 door to work in summer about 40 moles round trip. It gets about 35 mpg (mostly open road). I also have a large European made SUV to transport the family and for driving in winter (last year we had 200 inches of snow – 100 year record, this one was the coldest on record too). So I might replace the summer driver with the volt, since I love the new tech, but it will never pay for itself. On the other hand I am thinking about the new Audi A3 diesel or a used MB S class diesel which will bring me close to 45-50 mpg mark, have AWD and hopefully start at -45F.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:45 pm)

    I think that they are too busy trying to figure out how to keep from going back in to worry about electric vehicles at the moment.


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    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:55 pm)

    Yes, you’re right, I should have said “supposed monetary incentive.”

    It’s tough to get virtual eye-rolling to come through in the written word.


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    It would have a larger frontal area since what you’re looking at is the height and width. The bigger issue would be weight. Some additional weight is not a huge deal really, but adding seven people and their stuff could make it a big deal on several fronts (electrical, chasis, etc.).


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    N Riley

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    I would expect Chrysler to modify the minivan’s form that is presently in use to take better advantage of aerodynamics. It can be done enough to give the vehicle some boost towards battery savings using a 22 KWh pack. The increase in battery output plus better aero just might let them squeeze enough miles to “qualify” as a 40 MPC vehicle. The changes to the minivan would be interesting, to say the least.


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    N Riley

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:03 pm)

    Those are the options that only individual buyers can make for themselves. That is why it definitely should be an option. Each person could decide if it made economic sense, “green” sense or no sense to him/herself. I would opt for a solar roof after it had been in production 3 or 4 years to garner the decrease in cost plus the increase in productivity. Then it would be much more sensible to me.


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    LauraM

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:04 pm)

    I have to admit–the thought of being able to recharge my own battery is very appealing. Even if it would take three days for a full charge. I’m sure I’d wind up using mostly grid energy. But I would still like the possibility of using solar.


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    N Riley

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    Why don’t you and Capt Jack get together and convert your old S-10 to electric drive. Got plenty of room for batteries.


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    DaveP

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:11 pm)

    Yes, you’re right. I’ve always puzzled about the mpg of the Highlander hybrid. The Mazda 5 could do better depending on how/where you drive. It’s rated at 22/28 mpg with the manual and standard wussy engine, which the HH is rated at 27/25 with automatic and admittedly more powerful engine.
    Still, when I look at the electric motor content in the HH, I get the feeling it just doesn’t have enough power capability from the battery pack to really maximize the use of its electric motors. Especially the AWD version which it looks like is the only (hybrid) version they make, anymore.

    I’ve always said a voltec minivan or suv would sell at least as well as or better than a voltec sedan. That may be the bet that Mitsubishi is making with their announcement (leak?) last week. I suppose we shall see.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:12 pm)

    I agree with you on this. Planning needs to be done as though it will happen over the next 5 – 10 years, not 25 – 35 years. For auto companies it really is a balancing trick to produce enough high mileage vehicles to sell without flooding the market when they will not sell. At the same time you have to produce enough of “work” trucks and SUVs to satisfy that market or lose sales to Ford or Toyota, both of which sell a lot of large trucks and SUVs. Guess wrong and the dealers are stuck with vehicles they can’t sell. I don’t see how any of them do it successfully. One way is to cut down on the different models of each kind (low and high mileage) of vehicle to reduce your foot print on the market in case it goes in the opposite direction than it did last year. Spread yourself too thin with too many types of vehicles and you could see none of them sell enough to cover production cost.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    Actually, it makes me think of Tony Orlando (& Dawn) and I can’t tell you how much I wish that it didn’t. :)


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:22 pm)

    Vincent,
    As someone driving a diesel, can you give me some idea of the mpg you get? I ask because it generally looks like it cost more per gallon than reg unleaded gas. I’m assuming that you get better mileage, I’m just curious how much?
    Thanks in advance.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***************NPNS!!


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:24 pm)

    You are correct. Of course, if you consider it we were running out of crude oil as soon as we started pumping our first barrel. As soon as you tap a resource you are in effect “running out of it”. Some peak oil advocates do think we have passed the peak while others say it is still “out there somewhere” in the future. Problem with peak oil is that no one has been able to determine just where the peak is. Your suggestion to use rising cost as the answer is probably correct more than using supply. But consider the price of crude in 1890 versus the cost of crude in 1990. The price per barrel is considerably higher in 1990 than in 1890, but the “peak” based on price was not met then or even based on last summer’s peak oil price. What I am saying is that price is like supply. We don’t know the amount of supply the world “really” has available nor do we know the “peak” price we have to pay for it.

    But yes, the price will continue to go up as we start plucking the higher fruit from the crude oil tree and the level of difficulty starts stretching our ability to do so. It is a natural fact of life. No one knows just where either peak is today. And we won’t know it next year or the year after that.


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    Jim in PA

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:25 pm)

    Ladies and gentlemen!!! In this corner… wearing black trunks and sporting a sloped forehead, we have the right-wing talking point that solar energy is bad for the environment! And in this corner, wearing green trunks and a pocket protector, we have Scientific Fact! Let’s get ready to ruuuummmbbble!!!!

    Ding ding ding!

    RIGHTWING TALKING POINT swings and misses! “Solar energy is bad for the environment because photovoltaic panels are black, which adversely lowers the Earths Albedo, or ability to reflect solar radiation back into space. This in turn leads to more global warming; which by the way, doesn’t exist. Understand?

    SCIENTIFIC FACT delivers an knockout punch to the rightwing’s glass jaw! “While in theory an ocean of dark photovoltaic panels could minutely affect the Albedo, this claim conveniently ignores the fact that the overwhelming majority of photovoltaic panels are installed on dark asphalt shingle roofs and tar roofs, resulting in a net Albedo change of approximately zero. Furthermore, the most promising solar technology for large-scale desert installations (where light colored sand would be covered) is in fact a mirror-based parabolic concentrator system where unused solar rays are reflected back into space at near 100% efficiency, resulting an a net increase in Albedo AND providing carbon free energy.”

    RIGHTWING TALKING POINT begins to flail about and aimlessly assert that wind power results in avian genocide and horribly disrupts the Earth’s wind patterns. The crowd streams for the doors…

    Match over.


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    LauraM

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:27 pm)

    First of all, I didn’t say it was non-polluting. I said it would get me closer to driving to non-poluting. There is a difference. For one thing, as a practical matter, I would probably mostly use grid energy.

    But secondly, yes, there are costs associated with using solar panels. There are costs associated with everything. The point is to minimize overall costs to acheive a certain amount of benefit. So, if it’s true that if I used gas to drive the five miles I would get every day during the summer, it would create less pollution than making the solar panel, then I would have to rethink my position. However, there are still other issues associated with using oil that I would have to take into account. (National security, repression in the middle east, balance of trade, etc.)

    Second, as far as peak oil–I didn’t say we had reached it. I believe that’s we won’t know for certain until at least five years after it happens. Hoewver, I think it’s probable that we either already have or will in the next ten years. Demand is growing from emerging nations. And Iraq’s oil isn’t going to make that much difference in the long run. And I would argue that Iraq is still too unstable to be a reliable source.

    Yes. There probably still is a hundred years left of oil in the ground. As DonC said, the point isn’t how much oil we have left. It’s how much we have to spend to get it.

    You may be right about fission. And clean fusion. It would great if that happens. However, I don’t think you can ever rely on a technological breakthrough of that magnitude before it happens. But even if it does happen, you’ll still need cheaper BEVs with 300 mile real world ranges and a fast charging infrastructure for that to substitute for oil.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:34 pm)

    Regardless of whether the Orlando becomes a Voltec vehicle sooner than later, GM needs to put it on the highway as soon as possible. Lets get it built as an ICE vehicle and worry about the Voltec part a little later. It is too important for GM to delay because it replaces some pretty “bad” vehicles that just did nothing for GM’s bottom line or for its credibility as a manufacturer of clean high mileage vehicles that also looked great. I say “Get the job done, GM”.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:36 pm)

    But the Orlando (either as an ICE or Voltec vehicle) is the type of vehicle Americans not only want but needs. Anyway, Al Gore doesn’t travel around in small vehicles. He goes with Limos and large SUVs along with private jets as do most of the “top” environmental people. “Do as I say, not as I do” should be required in gold plate on every one of their vehicles just so the public would for once get the straight scoop from them. IMO.


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    steel

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:37 pm)

    “Minivans are useful for certain people but not that many. They are not fun to drive and cumbersome.”

    Whoa there, slow down.

    Mini-Vans might not be fun to drive, but they are some of the most useful cars ever.

    In comparison to a SUV or CUV they typically
    Have more Interior Volume and Cargo Space
    Get better MPG
    Cost Less
    More accessable
    Smaller External Dimensions

    For example, a modest $25,000 Toyota Sienna has more than 145 cubic feet maximum cargo space. Thats more than even a GM Yukon XL! (~135 cubic feet)


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:49 pm)

    I forgot to add (and the editing time ran out), my car will probably be black, in any case, so albedo is irrelevant.


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    Jim in PA

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:52 pm)

    Stas sagely notes: “Only the Clueless One can delay the US from doubling its contributions from nuclear in his eight years.”

    I think that is crazy AM radio code referring to President Obama, but I’m not sure. If so… Dear sir, kindly illustrate how 12 years of Republican governance led to an expansion of American nuclear infrastructure. Be sure to cite specific projects. And after you fail to do that, understand that you can’t hang this around the neck of any particular party.

    Hugs and KIsses.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:58 pm)

    I didn’t accept a noisy stinky diesel when I owned my 2001 VW Jetta TDI. The engine did have a certain charming “ping” to it, though, which really turned the heads of the gasoline-powered-gear-heads in my neighborhood. :-)

    I just wish that car was made by someone other than Volkswagen. The diesel engine was great — the rest of the car was a basket-case. If Honda sold their diesel-powered Accord in the US, I’d have been all over it.

    You don’t notice the clean-diesel cars on the road unless you look for them. I spot them pretty regularly on US roads — but since they don’t make much noise, smell, or smoke, most people assume that they’re not diesel. But, hey, that’s 30 years of technological advancement for you.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (2:58 pm)

    Good sentiments, yes. I grew up on a farm in the 1950s. Having been raised on a farm gives a person some perspective others may not have. I grew up to love the land, its animals and its resources. As I matured to adulthood and left the farm I was shocked to see how some of the same people who grew up with me became farmers who could only farm one way. They used every available acre of land right down to the water’s edge to grow crops. I never could understand such a lack of understanding of what they were doing to the lakes and rivers as they became polluted with the run-off from the farm land. My grandfather, bless his soul, could have done the same thing, but he believed the rivers and lakes needed a barrier of timber and green plants to help filter the water run-off. Here was an uneducated man as opposed to college degree farmers who did not really understand a single thing about protecting the land – only about maximizing every available acre to increase production. The water resources were someone else’s problem. Now they are all our problem.

    A long story to make a quite point. Each of us owes the planet something that only we can pay. We owe it the time it takes to act responsibly. No one can do that for us. If we do our part then all the world will feel the effect of the world wide effort. Nothing that took generations to damage can be recovered and rebuilt over-night. But we can and should take individual steps towards protecting every bit of the planet that we can. Each of us has some impact on the world around us. We must think about our actions and then decide on a course of action that does the least damage. Too bad that is not second nature to all of us who are lucky enough to inhabit this wonderful, beautiful world. IMO.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:07 pm)

    This is not to say that I consider myself an environmentalist. I certainly do not! In the strongest of terms I detest labels being applied to people. I am just a human being who loves the land, its people and animals. I love everything about our world. Those that attach labels like “Environmentalist” to themselves are placing themselves on a so called “higher plain” than you and I. I don’t believe in placing others or myself on any plain higher than anyone else. Those who like labels usually want something for those labels and they generally want others to “pay” for the privileges that you and I should have for free. Be careful with people who claim “a higher calling” than you. Usually there is a reason and generally it is because they think they are better than you and I. Again, IMO.

    OK, I am stepping off the soap box for today. Sorry, but if you did not like what I had to say, you did not have to read it.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:16 pm)

    Jim in PA @ 2:25.

    That one was GOOOOD!!

    You really did some brainwork on that one!!

    +1.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:17 pm)

    Thanks, I sent them my contact info and some questions in their product.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:17 pm)

    During city driving the weight of the vehicle will only slightly affect the AER, as most of the energy used to accelerate is recovered when decelerating. The aerodynamics and rolling resistance (of the tires) have much more effect on the all-electric range. I’m hopeful that the Orlando could still get 30 miles AER. :-)

    If the Orlando gets the Voltec drivetrain – it will be my next vehicle!


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:18 pm)

    You are exactly correct while Jason is perfectly wrong. If GM waits they will lose market penetration. The early bird gets the worm, in this case, as well.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:18 pm)

    I’m not going to worry too much about the range of a non-green lit concept vehicle yet, heeh. We will have to revisit Chrysler’s ‘fleet’ of concepts and GM’s new fish after the DoE comes through.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:20 pm)

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!

    I’m an MGD and Long Island Iced tea kind of guy…..


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:24 pm)

    Bio-diesel would be a great fuel if we could produce enough to satisfy our needs. For some reason the bio-diesel market is just too up and down. Until the heavy hitters in petroleum production get behind bio-diesel we will continue to see shortfalls in the supply. We used to sell bio-diesel for highway and non-highway use. It got so we could not find suppliers after a year or so. Now, there is starting to be suppliers again, but the people we convinced to purchase it several years ago are snake-bitten. They want to buy it, but not this on and off situation.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:26 pm)

    Texas,

    I was really just funning with you, and moreso thinking about other people/past posts that envisioned throwing a little panel on the top of the Volt and driving everywhere for free.

    I agree 100% with all your points. It is not a dollars and cents thing, it is a statement and a way of life…one I very much endorse. (See my other post above)

    I’d hook up any Orlando puchase of mine with a functional solar roof for sure…and not worry about if it made the best financial decision (within reason). Most days I’d only be driving the thing 5-10 miles tops, so it would work for me pretty well, lol. I’d still be more inclined to just plug it into my home, powered by a solar system, but you can never have too much solar right?

    /sorry if I was misleading…I’m with you my friend
    (=


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:29 pm)

    Surely GM is capable of handling multiple projects at the same time. They have in the past and I don’t see anything preventing them doing so today. The Volt project is essentially finished. All the up-front design and engineering work is long finished. Little details, little changes are all that is left. The designers and engineers are already at work with new projects. Now is the time to soon start putting the Orlando’s wheels on the test track. GM can do more than one thing at a time.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:31 pm)

    JIMHO, if this Orlando was only an ICE vehicle, I wouldn’t even consider it. I would only consider it if Voltec was the drivetrain.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:32 pm)

    Datsun, Mitsubishi, Ford, Subaru, are all dumping their Electric cars the same time the Volt goes for sale. What chance does GM have? Unless they offer a 100,000 mile warranty, guarantee, covering the entire vehicle I don’t see much. Why would any of us take a chance on a GM product when the others have a proven good quality, reliability record. And GM is going to be the most expensive also. Give me a break.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:34 pm)

    Yes, Lyle has got to be a busy boy. I don’t see how he does it all, but he does. One day Lyle I hope to meet you and sit down and discuss just how you get through each day or what a “typical” day is like for you. It would be an interesting article to publish just to let us Volt-heads know. Not that we worship you or anything like that, Your Lordship.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:34 pm)

    I mentioned the peak oil thing myself on yesterday’s thread, and the IEA estimate of production from existing fields.

    Yeah they estimate more in 2007, when the price was skyrocketing, by the end of 2007 and into 2008 everyone was saying oil is going to $200 and never coming back down. Companies were working every scrap of capacity raw, and expanding them wherever they could, and as fast as they could…new production was coming online everywhere and a trillion dollars of new projects were penned.

    I quoted as a example of this being in the oil sands in Alberta (which is more costly to extract), in the past 12 months over 100 billion, thats BILLION dollars of projects have gotten shelved…and with actions like that, global production estimates change. And low and behold, now that oil is tracking back up, some of those projects are starting to come back.
    http://www.polarisinstitute.org/slow_down_development_of_alberta039s_oilsands_lougheed

    You show me $200 oil, and I’ll show you 6-7 million more barrels coming online within 5 years.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:40 pm)

    Great to see a thread about the highest and best use of EREV: large vehicles. It’s what Americans perfer to drive, it’s where the most profit is, and it’s where GM-Ford-Chrysler still have a competitive, although declining, advantage. It’s also where the largest percentage and absolute gas savings would occur.

    BTW, hope some of you took a look at BYD stock with my posts a few months ago–it’s up a lot recently.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:49 pm)

    A BEV Commuter is all I need by necessity.
    A BEV small pickup is all I need by desire.

    First out to market by fall 2010 get’s my $$$.

    That is if I haven’t finished my conversion by then.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:53 pm)

    I understand where ‘Texas’ is coming from- but forget charging the battery- here in Texas, a PV roof that would keep the car cooler while sitting in our 100 degree summers would be worth its weight in gold (black gold, that is, Texas T…)


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    statik

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (3:54 pm)

    I got this one.

    Hamtramck plant has three assembly lines. We had assumed because 2 of them were currently produce large quantities of dust, one of them would be resurrected… well, erm, not so much.

    GM has decided that it is NOT going to start a new line for the Volt. (They previously had one line aside for the Orlando, and the other made Buicks 5 years or so ago (LeSabres and Bonnevilles I believe)

    Currently the DTS and Lucerne is the only thing going at the plant. GM has decided that this line will be converted to make Volts, and Oshawa will get the Cadillac XTS which will be a new entry when the DTS goes the way of the dodo bird.

    Obviously because of this decision, very little if anything will be done there for awhile, other than throwing some new machine beside some old crappy machines waiting for them to build out the end of the DTS.

    As far as I know, GM has not said when the 2010 production of the DTS will cease…if I was guessing they probably build through Christmas and it gets shutdown and the switchover starts to happen late in the first quarter of 2010 (just a total WAG on that one though).


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (4:01 pm)

    Jimmy Carter (the first scientist in the White House, and former Naval nuclear plant operator) understood the importance of developing the Thorium cycle for nuclear energy — back in the 1970′s, but apparently didn’t lift a Presidential finger to make it happen.

    How different our energy dialogue might be today, if he had!


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (4:03 pm)

    JMHO, I’m in it for the 40 miles. Granted, I’m not what you’d consider a core demographic for minivans / CUVs; but I won’t give it a second look for a lower AER.

    It’s worth doing for the many who will take less electric range for the utility; more power to them (so to speak), but I’m not among them.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (4:09 pm)

    Where would you like your break, ‘no-name?’ We have a guy on this board named “Guido.” :-P

    But seriously, “dump” is no doubt the right word. With most of these guys, it’s a recent conversion to the “Government Money For Electrics” religion which has carmakers the world over shouting “Hallelujah!”

    It’s hard to find any of these projects with as much thought and research behind them as GM’s.

    Seriously, Datsun?!!


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    Dat Soon

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (4:26 pm)

    That would be Nissan. They will definitely beat the Volt to market. You can bank on it.


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    Dat Soon

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (4:31 pm)

    Get real man. The Volt is just cobbling existing hardware [Chassis (from Cruze), Engine (from Cruze), Battery (from Notebooks/PC but larger cell) to make a Volt. Where is this “research and thought” you speak of. Looks like off the shelf stuff to me, very similar to the way the F117 Stealth Fighter was created.


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (4:31 pm)

    Today… Orlando.
    Tomorrow… Cheboygan.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (4:39 pm)

    The current Aztek is completely different from the older ones that got all the bad press. The Aztek is made in the same plant that Toyota makes the same vehicle for themselves. Strangely, it does not get the same bad press as the Aztek even in its earlier form or the latter form. Must have something to do with the name plate on the vehicle because they are identical twins otherwise. Go figure. Do you think Consumer Reports and some of the other media are biased? Surely not.


  180. [...] ma&#121be. &#82espon&#100ing to &#106ust such a question f&#114om L&#121&#108e Dennis ove&#114 at GM-V&#111lt.c&#111m, L&#117&#116z admi&#116&#116ed, “We are a&#99&#116&#117ally s&#116&#117dying &#116&#104e [...]


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (4:56 pm)

    Re-phrase….

    From: “First out to market by fall 2010 get’s my $$$.”
    To: “First affordable out to market by fall 2010 get’s my $$$.”


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


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    Koz

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (5:15 pm)

    In volume for a company GM’s size (even post BK) isn’t $2k a little high for OEM cost? Are you conisdering thin film or polysilicon?


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (5:52 pm)

    Are you crazy man. Hybrids only make less than 1 percent of the market. Making all GM vehicles Hybrids would bankrupt this company a second time in less than a year.

    GM has already been selling a few hybrids for YEARS, without much success. No guarantee that Voltec cars will do much better, especially with their higher cost.

    Very Dangerous Thinking. (Are you sure you took all of your meds today ?


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (5:54 pm)

    Somebody forgot to take all their meds today. LMAO


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (5:56 pm)

    After close examination of the replies on this blog article it has become painfully obvious that many of you have forgotten to take all your meds today. Especially you old geezers (you know who you are).


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (5:58 pm)

    I think the only meaningful definition for peak oil is based on price or at least the only idea that I ever want to experience. We could reach a point where we are physically unable to bring enough new supply online more than offset the decline in production from existing facilities. Thankfully biofuels, conservation, higher efficiency usage, substution, etc will prevent this from occurring. So the only meaningful definition to me is peak production by type (price level). Will we ever pump more Light Sweet Crude (<$20/barrel in today’s $)? Etc.

    There is some cushion currently between supply capacity and demand but not much. The only reason for that cushion is the worldwide economic slump. As the economy improves, demand can return very quickly. The question is what level will it return to. There are areas like China and India that baseline demand has been growing even during the slump but there have also been changes that are permanent reductions. Personally, I don’t think there has been enough permanent reduction to offset increases, so a return to similar economic activity prior to the slowdown will actually mean more demand for oil than before. This is why the EIA depletion rates are particularly alarming. The question to me is not if oil will hit $140/barrel as the world economy recovers but how will it be timed and how will it affect the world economy? I believe the economies start bumping up against the cost of oil once it breaches $100/barrel. Basically, recovery will be stunted and continue to be until substition for oil is implemented that allows recovery beyond this cost of oil threshold. Oil might spike above $150 or $200 per barrel but that won’t be sustainable until the demand from high value use can hold it there. Basically, baseline world economic growth beyond a modest amount of recovery will be dictated by our ability to displace oil use with other energy sources that can deliver <$100-$120/barrel equavalent costs in today’s dollars. That should be the target for oil displacement efforts.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (5:58 pm)

    Yes, you’re right. I’ve always puzzled about the mpg of the Highlander hybrid. The Mazda 5 could do better depending on how/where you drive.

    The 2010 Subaru Outback with the CVT beats the Highlander Hybrid in MPG and price — and it’s just about the same size. Only difference is towing capacity.

    The difference? The Outback is 1000lbs lighter. Simplify and add lightness.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:00 pm)

    Thanks for the clarification, kdawg


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:10 pm)

    You had to go and bring up the Highlander Hybrid didn’t you? Now we are going have to debate how an Orlando could possibly get the same or better MPG under ER mode. Just joshing, I should have included that one since it and the Escape will probably be the first ones brought up in a comparison. The Highlander does start at $34,700, so between this and the lower mileage this allows an EREV Orlando some leeway.

    I’ll look forward to GM’s greenlighting of this project and the many discussions to follow.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:20 pm)

    Because of GM’s scale they have to be developing more than one vehicle at a time or they will die. This doesn’t mean they all have to be Voltec but since others need to be developed they may as well make it a Voltec. If they greenlight it now it is still 3 years out and would have the second generation Voltec. The dynamics of these types of vehicles and the market will allow GM to sell them for a profit sooner than the Volt or for more profit than the Volt.


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:25 pm)

    :) hmmm…Aaaaztek

    That is just too ripe. Sorry, just pulling your chain. Actually, I’ve always thought the Aztek was a pretty neat vehicle if they just hadn’t decided to make the skin look like a sneaker design gone bad.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:29 pm)

    Anyone know if diesel gets more mpg than regular unleaded gasoline? If so, on average, how much?
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***************NPNS!!


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:34 pm)

    My Vibe has 110V outlet too


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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:37 pm)

    Hey DonC at 9:40 am

    On the pack, where are you with the numbers if A123 tech is installed, and, if there is significant improvement to reduced degradation due to the “electron lanes” advancement regarding longevity and wider SOC/DOD?

    I have a hunch that this might be what the battery lab is up to regarding “considering” a small van.

    As well, CUV’s are also really popular. I’d get a VoltecTransverse type CUV in a heartbeat if one were offered. (Good next question Lyle).


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:47 pm)

    “My Vibe has 110V outlet too”
    That can go one WRONG way there dude or dudette?…
    lol
    :-P


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    Vincent

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:51 pm)

    Sure.
    For starters It’s my first Diesel and I too had the conception of Smelly, Bellowing black nasty clattering combustion. Till I drove it.
    Truth is it’s exhausts no black smoke, it smells remarkably cleaner than gas engines.

    None of that familiar stink you get when behind a gas car that hits the pedal pulling away from you and you have to open the windows to vent the cabin. Same on start up. No gas catalytic converter smell.

    Because Diesels spin much lower and produce tons of torque at amazing low rpm’s in my case 552 at 2,000 rpm much less fuel is consumed.

    VW has a new Diesel getting 45 to 50 mpg in a 3,200 pound car.

    The Touareg in gas V8 (had one before the diesel) gets 14 city and 16 open road maybe 17.

    Diesel gets 17 city and an easy 22 open road. Drive it carefully and I have hit 26 mpg.
    Pulling a trailer is a HUGE difference. Gas version about 6 to 8 mpg
    Diesel about 14 mpg same weight same road conditions.

    The Diesels you see Ie big 4wd pick ups blowing black smoke is actually a tune they do to the ECU and they like the black smoke. They do it on purpose as it’s cool for them.

    GM not doing clean Diesel is a shame.
    The hi MPG’s are there and you can’t tell the difference between gas and a modern diesel except when you accelerate. Diesel is more like electric instant torque pinning you to the seat.
    No winter issues warming up or starting living in New York weather.


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    Smokey

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:52 pm)

    Will the Orlando pass the future California stringent Emissions requirements ?

    Only two cars is currently known to pass it:

    The ZERO-EMISSION Nissan LEAF and the Tesla Roadster.

    As California further tightens emission requirements in the future look for cars like the Orlando to be banned from SoCal and NoCal.


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    Koz

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:55 pm)

    Yes, it has more energy content and the compression combustion cycle is more efficient. You do lose a little of that with the extra weight of the engine. High compression means thicker cylinder walls, etc. On average, I’ld guess the improved mpg is 50-60%.


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    Smokey

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:55 pm)

    Enjoy living in your 20-Mile-Bubble ! ;-)


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    Thanks Vincent. That cleared up at least 3 misconceptions I had about diesel. Logic said that the mileage had to be better given the diff in price of fuel, but the torque/rpm was news. I also thought that it struggled in the colder climes (like it froze solid, or something).
    Thanks again,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***************NPNS!


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:07 pm)

    Thanks, Koz,
    I’m gettin schooled good (g)
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!**********NPNS!!


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:14 pm)

    omnimoeish at 1:116 pm

    That’s a really great idea. While modified sine waves can power many things, (esp. resistance loads) (inexpensive but not great for electronics), the computer transformers like pure sine wave inverters (to not burn out).

    Also, electric motors also like pure sine waves (a smooth up and down wave exactly like your home 120 volt outlet).

    You can get higher wattage pure sine inverters that can run a small AC for a tent. I have seen that at a campground I sometimes visit, and am told a small 5 amp/5,000btu window unit works great for a small tent.

    Towing a pop up would be no problem, but, those usually need a 13,500 btu roof unit that can take 13 or so amps. I tried a 9,000 btu unit on a 8-foot-box pop up camper, and it was OK for up to about 90 degrees or so.


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    Wayne-O

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:23 pm)

    I currently drive a Pontiac Montana mini van. It gets 25 mpg on the hwy.
    I think if were to be E-rev’ed with the soon coming (I know there are un-believers) Eestor ultra-capacitor, and get >40 mpg it would be awesome.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (7:25 pm)

    Actually, the car which has been made in the “NUMMI” joint plant with Toyota is the Vibe, which is considerably smaller than the Aztek. The Vibe is a badge engineered Toyota Matrix. GM has recently announced that the Vibe will be discontinued. Toyota has announced that they will no longer use the plant. I think that all of this has been reported/discussed here at one time or another.


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    Smokey

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:00 pm)

    You currently drive a Pontiac.

    I feel sorrow for you, that is just so very sad.


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    Smokey

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:02 pm)

    BYD FTW !
    :-)


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    Jim in PA

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:05 pm)

    LOL. New to the site?


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    Dave G

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:45 pm)

    Lyle, I think your article may miss one of the most important points of the Orlando, and this class of vehicle in general.

    Please go to this page:
    http://www.chevrolet.com/pages/open/default/future/orlando.do
    and enlarge the picture from the rear with the seats folded down.

    This type of vehicle is not just for soccer-moms! It’s for getting stuff at Home Depot, or a new plasma TV, and skiing, and camping, and carrying guitars, amps, or drums. This is not just a family car!

    In fact, if GM wants to be successful marketing this thing, target everyone except soccer-moms! That will get more people interested, and the reverse psychology will bring in the soccer-moms as well…


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    JEC

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (8:55 pm)

    Tis the time for the Troll to stroll…


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    GM valora un Chevrolet Orlando Voltec - El acelerador

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:00 pm)

    [...] hace uso de la plataforma Delta II. El tema ha salido en una conversación iniciada por gm-volt.com, desde donde se le ha preguntando por qué diantres nadie ha sacado un monovolumen de gran [...]


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    Vincent

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:03 pm)

    My pleasure. be well.


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    omnimoeish

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:04 pm)

    If you look on the CIA’s website, we only have 40 more years of proven oil reserves in the entire world at current production rates. However how much oil is left is moot compared to production rates/consumption rates, production has been slowing down since 2005, and consumption is increasing. We were already at a world oil deficit (consumption has been more than production) from 2005-2008. Hence the ridiculous oil prices this time last year which coincidentally brought on the great recession. And world production rates aren’t even as big of a deal as US production/consumption rates (if you’re American anyway) because we are already importing 2/3rds of our oil.

    Cheers


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    JEC

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:08 pm)

    ..Assumptions are the mother of all F&%$ Ups.


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    JEC

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:14 pm)

    Koz,

    I think the general rule of thumb is that you’ll go about 30% further on a gal. of diesel vs. gasoline.

    Also, the energy content of diesel is known to vary significantly, by as much as 15%, depending upon the source.

    http://ask.cars.com/2008/04/diesel-and-gaso.html


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    texas

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:33 pm)

    “You show me $200 oil, and I’ll show you 6-7 million more barrels coming online within 5 years.”

    Yes! 6-7 mbd of biofuels! ;) When we hit $200 per barrel the whole world opens up for alternative energy. Unfortuately, the 5 years Statik talks about is correct and can be upwards of 10 years. That delay is what kills you. You can’t just let the economy sit while that extra capacity catches up. That’s 5 years of ression that can slip into depression.

    That’s the real problem. We use so much petroleum not only for transprotation (90 percent of world transportation) but for most of our food production and shipping as well as everything else. This black gold is truly amazing stuff. Option B is not nearly as good.

    In the past we went from wood to coal to oil and NG which are all improvements. Now we have to go backwards. Cleaner but less energy dense and harder to store and use.

    Not only that, it will take 50 years to transition. We use that much petroleum. Qubic miles of the stuff. You are not going to replace that anytime soon. Peak oil means an irriversible decline. Every year. If we can’t bring on enough alternatives then we can’t even hold our level of economic activity. Forget past rates of growth. We will have to struggle just to hold the line.

    Kind of like a fat person that enjoys their gluteny and steadily increase weight every year. Now ask them to not only hold steady but to lose weight. This causes almost unimagiable suffering for them. Same thing with our oil addition. We love it, feel good about it, have to have it. Will probably kill for it. That’s the real danger here. Resourse wars. You all know how we got out of the last depression – WWII.

    “You show me $200 oil, and I’ll show you 6-7 million more barrels coming online within 5 years.”

    Yes! 6-7 mbd of 2nd generation biofuels! ;) When we hit $200 per barrel the whole world opens up for alternative energy. Unfortunately, the 5 years Statik talks about is correct and can be upwards of 10 years. That delay is what kills you. You can’t just let the economy sit while that extra capacity catches up. That’s 5 years of recession that can slip into depression.

    That’s the real problem. We use so much petroleum not only for transportation (90 percent of world transportation) but for most of our food production and shipping as well as everything else. This black gold is truly amazing stuff. Option B is not nearly as good.

    In the past we went from wood to coal to oil and NG which are all improvements. Now we have to go backwards. Cleaner but less energy dense and harder to store and use.

    Not only that, it will take 50 years to transition. We use that much petroleum. Cubic miles of the stuff. You are not going to replace that anytime soon. Peak oil means an irreversible decline. Every year. If we can’t bring on enough alternatives then we can’t even hold our level of economic activity. Forget past rates of growth. We will have to struggle just to hold the line.

    Kind of like a fat person that enjoys their gluttony and steadily increase weight every year. Now ask them to not only hold steady but to lose weight. This causes almost unimaginable suffering for them. Same thing with our oil addiction. We love it, feel good about it, have to have it. Will probably kill for it. That’s the real danger here. Resource wars. You all know how we got out of the last depression – WWII… And we had petroleum to fuel our growth.


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    kdawg

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:36 pm)

    my SWAG would be 6months to convert an existing line, so maybe early next year we’ll see some action.


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    Dave G

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:39 pm)

    The solar car roof option is a total red herring.

    First, it doesn’t save any gas at all. It just runs a fan that is supposed to keep the car cool when it’s parked on a hot summer day. Lyle tried this on the Pruis, and he said it wasn’t very effective.

    Second, solar cells take gobs of energy to produce.

    So basically, you’re burning a ton of coal to make the cells, not saving any gas at all, and it doesn’t even cool the car that well. That’s what your $3500 car solar roof buys you.

    I think what’s happened is that some people have gone nuts for anything solar, regardless of whether it makes any sense or not.

    Bottom line: Solar cells belong on home roofs, angled 30° up toward the South. Solar cells on cars are ineffective and help contribute to global warming.


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    o,jeff

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:52 pm)

    I much prefer the Orlando form-factor over the Volt form factor. I would gladly trade some range and efficiency for the more upright and spacious and higher seating position that the Orlando would likely have.


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    Dave G

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (9:58 pm)

    Johann, yes good point.

    Many people see the styling and automatically assume it’s a SUV/CUV sized vehicle. But given that it’s built on a compact car chassis, its probably more along the lines of a Toyota Matrix.


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    Eric E

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:20 pm)

    Yes! I NEED that vehicle! Even if it’s only 20 miles AER.
    AWD is also a must…
    I would actually buy two.


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    statik

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:36 pm)

    So nice you said it twice!

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. The timing of replacements coming online is always the issue and the price of the black gold in the interm, moreso than if the replacement capacity can be found/actually exists. (at least that is the story for our lifetimes I feel).

    I’m not sure if oil of itself can spawn a depression, at least not the US, or other ‘first world countries’…it can certainly wreck havoc in a lot of places though (as it does now, and did so even more a year or so ago)

    A economic downturn can really pummel the price of oil and the market factors driving behind it. I think without this current crisis (mostly brought on by factors that had nothing to do with the price of oil itself for the most part…subprime, financials, credit market tightening, etc) that oil would still be plugging away at $150+.

    It does has a self-righting mechanism that basically destroys the underprivileged, the fringe consumers of the product, until it settles at a price where the capacity is only provided to the more well-heeled. If the US needs 5 million more barrels, it takes that capacity from someone else.

    But your right, when that happens, that is certainly a prime example of where wars are born…out of desperation.


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    statik

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (10:55 pm)

    I enjoyed that Neal, one of my favorite reads from you. A well crafted yarn to be sure.

    /nothing wrong with a little soapbox to put things in context from time to time


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    Michael Robinson

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:24 pm)

    J.D. Power says that battery electric cars won’t sell because nobody wants to pay a premium for an electric car that doesn’t have the range that their gasser does. Face it, the price per mile electric is still too high for BEVs and EREVs, especially when you have to run a heater or an air conditioner.

    Fuel cell cars are electric and they don’t have range problems. The Chevy Sequel prototypes hand built using very old tech cost about $250k a piece. Mass production, limiting the use of precious metals, and potentially other breakthroughs as well are going to bring that price way down by 2015. Don’t be surprised if there is a 10 fold reduction in price.

    I like the fuel cell SUV prototype that Toyota has. It can go 518 miles on a fill where it takes a matter of minutes, not hours, to fill the 10k PSI hydrogen tanks.

    No fuel cell, no sale. NFCNS.


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    statik

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:28 pm)

    I would say we could see any number of VOLTec applications, in the next 6-7 years…as long as it rides on the Delta II platfrom.

    I don’t know if the Orlando by itself can be that big of a player in the US. Will its higher MPG in a smaller size for a bigger price tag translate here? I dunno.

    Problem here is that it is a import. And attempting to import a vehicle to compete at the entry level of the small/ multi-people movers is tough for GM. Even if it ends up getting a extra 5-7 MPG, if the pricetag is even a few grand too high, it likely won’t be received well.

    I feel it is eventually doomed to suffer the same fate as the G8, if they don’t bring US production online. Good vehicle…bad execution on delivery/cost.

    Since the ‘panic’ has been taken out of the market, the US dollar has gone right back to trending down…and pretty quick at that. Which means the cost to import is going up.

    http://quotes.ino.com/chart/?s=NYBOT_DX&v=d6


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    Gary

     

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    Aug 3rd, 2009 (11:43 pm)

    OMG! OMG! OMG!!!

    I wish I got a chance to see this thread earlier today. Very few will read my comments at or near the bottom of this posting, except hopefully for some people who work for GM.

    I’d love a Volt but since I’m getting married soon with kids not long thereafter, a 4-seat vehicle would be a tight fit. The Orlando looks cool, and with an extra few seats, it would work perfect.

    Please, GM, if it’s not too late in the development process, leave the cool blue lights around the door handles and on the mirrors. It would look SO AWESOME at night when you unlock the car with keyless entry. Wow. Slick. The Tron look is in. GM, you are doing a fine job at making your new car interiors look great at night which pleases your customers, now let’s do the same thing for the exterior where potential customers will say, “whoah!”


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    Matthew_B

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (1:19 am)

    I carpool to work so my fuel use is low.

    My wife running around in our van burns the bulk of the fuel in our family. The first company to come out with a hybrid minivan will get our dollars as soon as it hits the market, I don’t care the brand.

    If it’s EREV, all the better.


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    Chevrolet est

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (1:31 am)

    [...] estudiando la adaptaci


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


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    Aug 4th, 2009 (2:05 am)

    It can be skinned a lot of different ways, but looking at rated fuel economy you get about a 45% improvement for the same car model (e.g. Volkswagen Jetta).

    http://www.vw.com/jetta/completespecs/en/us/#mileage


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    texas

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (5:45 am)

    Oh Dave G, you know your solar post is bunk. Modern solar cells like what Nanosolar produces are energy positive in less than a year (yes, when put in ideal conditions). Since you will have these on your car roof for as long as the vehicle in on the road (average 15 years) even if the cells are put on a flat roof they will end up producing more energy than what was used to create them. If you disagree, please give us your calculations.

    1) You are wrong on the net energy.

    2) You still don’t understand their total use. How come you decide what belongs where? We don’t tell you not to spend energy producing your iPhone, DVD entertainment system, V8 engine, etc. Do we?

    How about just let people check the option box if they want and explore what Car 2.0 and SOTS can do? While the first systems might just run a fan (if so, I’m not buying it). You have to start somewhere. The SOTS systems will only get better, more efficient, less expensive and have more functionality with every new design.

    You are going to have to just accept it. SOTS is coming, just as EVs are. You can fight it all you want. In fact, just don’t buy the option or any car that SOTS comes standard. You show them!


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    Dave K.

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (6:14 am)

    Solar cell paint (coating) has been available since 2005. As mentioned above, still not a huge amount of power generated.

    It’s a sure bet that someday we’ll see entire car bodies painted with this. Will probably be an EV station wagon of some sort. As texas says,”you have to start somewhere”.

    Hey texas, I have spoken to a few friends from Texas and they discount the EV as being impracticable for Texas driving. The main reply that I hear is, “You need a truck in Texas”. The EREV Orlando may fit this need.

    =D~


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (6:41 am)

    Here are some reasons why I think Dave G is 100% correct
    FOR THAT APPLICATION.
    It regards the JOB YOU ARE TRYING TO DO WELL, AND, TOTAL CARBON ACCOUNTED EFFICIENTLY, that tells us whether or not we want solar on our roofs for those reasons alone.

    In addition to those, here in Austin, we got golf ball sized hail in my part of town about 3 months ago.

    I had to drive my RV (which I placed 150 watts of panels on top) to a place 7 miles south of the oncoming hail storm. We had a National Weather Service radar image of the hail area and size specifications. I got back in time (in my 05 Element) to get it into the garage, because I have a 36 watt panel on top of it. (To run a 150 watt pure sine inverter powering an HP printer to print Genisys diagnostic waveforms which I teach shops).

    The hail hit hard like a hundred baseball bats hitting the roof of my house. (The National Weather Service Radar was perfectly accurate in the width and trajectory of the hail storm thank-you-VERY-much NWS).
    The roof and solar panels of the RV were spared.

    Lesson, your insurance company may more likely “total” your vehicle if a panel is integrated into the roof. This would not be at all carbon friendly to “total” a vehicle that otherwise could have the dents worked out (if done soon enough).
    Plus, the first time there is one of those “totals”, the cost of insuring it for the rest of us would certainly go up.

    (An externally-mounted panel, like the one I have mounted on the luggage rack on the roof of the Element, do not pose a widespread “class” rate exposure to everyone else, just to the “added options” class, as long as it is not deeply integrated into the bodywork itself.

    In solar, if THE JOB BEING PERFORMED, is not being performed well, then either the application is wrong, or the design itself is clearly insufficient, due to OEM inexperience.

    If Toyota is reducing interior temperatures of an enclosed vehicle from 140 degrees down to within 5 degrees of outside ambient, say 105 degrees interior-held, then it might be worth considering still if a damaged panel were an easy swap-out for/by the customer.

    But placing a panel into the bodywork is more of a concept car configuration than it likely is for a practicality.
    We had discussed solar on the roof many months ago. It is good that we do that. Otherwise, if it were not for this extremely valuable site, these points we make might not be gotten back to OEM’s in time before they make a mistake and place solar panels integrated within the body panels.


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    Jim I

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (6:41 am)

    I can only imagine what this type of vehicle would cost……

    A great idea, but the manufacturers really have to work on improving (lowering) the sticker price. A $50K mini-van isn’t going to sell well with most families at this point in time, don’t you think?


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    Aug 4th, 2009 (6:47 am)

    It just gets to the point where you are adding and adding and adding options to where a 40k Volt becomes out of reach at a 50k Volt cost. Then, you have collectively “optioned” my Volt baseline cost out of my reach, which I would not appreciate at all.

    Cap’n Jack!! YO! CAP’N JACK, WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU? LOL!


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    Darius

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (6:57 am)

    5 miles is very good distance. You should not avoid in your calculatio the battery cost for driving additional 5 miles. It would be 12% of daily AER. That would reduce battery cost as well. So you can count $1000 benefit.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (7:47 am)

    Jim I,
    Yep, The price will eventually (quickly) need to be competitive with other competitors like the Highlander, but when it CAN get there in price it’ll do well (I think).
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***NPNS!


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    omegaman66

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (7:47 am)

    I tend to go in the other direction. I think the size of the pack could be downsized some to bring the cost more inline with other minivans that it will be competeing against. Or better yet an option of various sizes.

    The volt will already be out, the technology will be proven. Those that want the most fuel efficient vehicle will want something like a volt or a prius. Practicality will be more of a concern to minivan crowd and cost will weigh heavily with their purchase decision.


  239. [...] wagon, currently held in Chevrolet’s lineup by the HHR.  When pressed about powertrains on GM-Volt.com, Bob Lutz reportedly admitted that they were studying the possibility of putting the Volt’s [...]


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    Jackson

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (8:37 am)

    Damned newbies.

    The engine comes on to power the car after the battery charge is depleted, you moron.

    (Old thread, who cares)


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    Jackson

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (8:40 am)

    ‘One trick pony:’ I prefer our resident ‘no-name’ troll to you. At least he offers up a different dish each time.


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    Lutz: Chevy Orlando coming, could get Voltec powertrain

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (10:00 am)

    [...] Lutz, the answer is a definite maybe. Responding to just such a question from Lyle Dennis over at GM-Volt.com, Lutz admitted, “We are actually studying the adaptation of Volt technology to the upcoming [...]


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    BBM

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (10:29 am)

    Thanks for bringing it up to Lutz, Lyle.

    That’s the vehicle I really wanted… I settled with a Town & Country (wife thought Mazda 5 was too small). But I’d be happy to trade it in in a few years for a Voltec minivan!

    One important factor for us, anyway, would be the inclusion of sliding doors. Hugely convenient.


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    Darius

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (12:05 pm)

    I think there is no magic figure $120. It is only 70% higher price than we have today. Oil price four or five yers ago was less $20. It means pice increase 400% with $70 per barrel. And you are speculating about possible 70% increase? That will be for sure and even without any recovery. The price shall go up until it starts efecting demand.


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    Dave G

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (4:00 pm)

    texas says: Modern solar cells like what Nanosolar produces are energy positive in less than a year
    ————————————————————————————–
    That assumes you are using the energy they produce in a meaningful way. The solar roof option doesn’t charge the battery. It just spins a fan that doesn’t really do much to cool the car. It’s a useless feature. If people weren’t so nuts for anything solar, nobody would even consider this application of solar cells.

    It’s like adding a solar panel to your house to stir the water in your toilet. It’s a useless feature.

    I have nothing against solar power, but this car solar roof option is nonsense. When will people see?


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    Aug 4th, 2009 (4:45 pm)

    All true and I like Subarus (I own a WRX). However, I don’t think the Outback has a 3rd row of seats (at least I couldn’t easily find any mention of it on Subaru’s website).

    Uncharacteristically for me, I was trying to keep to the “people movers” theme and stick to stuff with 3rd row seats. :)

    But in any case, your comment about lightness may not need apply so much anymore to vehicles with sufficient electrification, at least as far as MPG goes. The early volt discussions covered that the vehicle weight was much less of an issue for voltec than the vehicle drag. Handling is a different story, of course. :)


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    Jonathan

     

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    Aug 4th, 2009 (10:14 pm)

    I would so buy this car if it offered the Voltec technology!!! Our next car (which will be in the next 4 or 5 years) will be a 3 row SUV/crossover that holds 2 adults and 3 kids comfortably and have room for all the vacation bugs and such required for 2 adults and 3 kids.

    Although current SUVs/crossovers in that size don’t really get good gas mileage and with me really loving the Chevy Volt and it’s ability to run on nothing put electric as well as getting a really high MPG then this would be the perfect car for us to buy next.


  248. [...] The wagon shape isn’t a popular iteration for a commuter to chose but when the same bears a GM Moniker and promises to incorporate the Delta Platform from the Chevy Volt, we sure know we are in for something. The Orlando-a seven passenger multi-purpose vehicle which adorns the wagon shape was on track for a 2011 production but then bankruptcy changed everything for GM. Now the stalled Chevrolet model that was first seen at the Paris Motor Show is moving forward if Bob Lutz is to be believed. It hasn’t been confirmed but as per Lutz, GM is studying the adaptation of Volt technology to the upcoming Orlando. It may therefore be produced as an electric family commuter with an extended range based on the Delta platform of course. [via  GM-Volt.com] [...]


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    The Daily Five: Wednesday, 5 August, 2009 | EcoTech Daily

     

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    Aug 5th, 2009 (4:00 am)

    [...] GM Considering Voltec Chevy Orlando MPV GM might be building an EV minivan, which would be a real boon for families looking to go green and still travel together! [...]


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    NZDavid

     

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    Aug 5th, 2009 (8:16 am)

    I, on the other hand, find all the blue highlighting tacky. But for an Orlando I would still buy it.

    /Just build it already 30 MPC works 90% of the time for me. The other 10% tends to be 300 – 400 mile drives.


  251. [...] The wagon shape isn’t a popular iteration for a commuter to chose but when the same bears a GM Moniker and promises to incorporate the Delta Platform from the Chevy Volt, we sure know we are in for something. The Orlando-a seven passenger multi-purpose vehicle which adorns the wagon shape was on track for a 2011 production but then bankruptcy changed everything for GM. Now the stalled Chevrolet model that was first seen at the Paris Motor Show is moving forward if Bob Lutz is to be believed. It hasn’t been confirmed but as per Lutz, GM is studying the adaptation of Volt technology to the upcoming Orlando. It may therefore be produced as an electric family commuter with an extended range based on the Delta platform of course. [via  GM-Volt.com] [...]


  252. [...] para una versión final (algo que me ha gustado mucho).Todo esto empezó en una conversación en gm-volt.com, en donde se preguntaron por qué no ha sacado nadie un crossover eficiente con espacio para 6 o 7 [...]


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    jeffhre

     

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    Aug 8th, 2009 (1:59 am)

    Es un compacto (poquito) de la Delta II plataforma. Yo creo un crossover grande o SUV es despues. O’ hala una ‘trucka’ con Voltec es tercero! Or something like that, I’m not confident with my little Spanish and lo siento for the lack of punctuation :)


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


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    jacob R

     

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    Aug 17th, 2009 (12:51 pm)

    with the advancing technology, i dont think it would hurt to put an extra seat in the middle row of the chevy orlando. if it did, we would be up for it.


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    PJK

     

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    Sep 19th, 2009 (7:30 pm)

    Can’t wait for the electric driveline technology of the Volt to be applied to CUV’s like the Orlando. I just need a all electric… leave out the ICE and cut the price. I only need 40 miles a day range. Taking off the weight of the ICE will give it more range. Get that Hydrogen fuel cell out there.


  257. [...] Link: GM-VOLT : Chevy Volt Electric Car Site » Blog Archive » Lutz: GM … [...]