Aug 06

GM Announces Brand New Compact Buick Crossover Plug-in Hybrid

 

Today things just got more interesting.

Besides the Chevy Volt, GM has been developing a 2-mode plug-in hybrid vehicle program since 2006. Originally set to debut in 2010 as a Saturn VUE, that particular vehicle was dropped along with the sale of the Saturn brand.

That didn’t stop the development though. A few weeks ago GM-Volt.com learned the new host vehicle would be an as yet unseen new compact Buick crossover.

Today GM has confirmed this and released a teaser image of the upcoming vehicle.

“Buick has always been at the forefront of new technology, so it is only fitting that the brand should debut our new plug-in hybrid technology in a beautiful new crossover,” said GM vice chairman Tom Stephens. “This will firmly put Buick, and GM, front and center in the advanced technology game.”

The unnamed car will be launched in 2010 with a Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder engine or an optional 3.0L direct-injected V-6 engine, and expectations of more than 30 MPG on highway driving.

The plug-in hybrid version will follow in 2011 and is expected to be the first commercially available plug-in hybrid SUV produced by a major automaker.

The hybrid will have an 8 kwh lithium-ion battery pack, using the same lithium manganese spinel cells as the Volt, supplied by LG Chem, who will be building a lithium-ion battery factory in Michigan set to open in 2012.

“LG Chem – the supplier of our battery cells for the Volt – has also been selected to supply the lithium-ion cells for the new Buick plug-in hybrid, and its Troy, Mich.-based subsidiary Compact Power will supply the pack,” said Stephens.

The plugin hybrid can operate on either gas, electricity or both depending on the driving conditions. It differs from the Volt in that the gas engine can be in operation at any time, not just after 40 miles. Using this technology the vehicle is expected to achieve at least double the efficiency of a gas version of that car. This could amount to more than 70 MPG.

The engine for the plug hybrid will be a 3.6L V-6 flex-fuel, and the car will also contain two powerful electric motors and sophisticated electronic controls.

The car can be recharged in 4 to 5 hours at 110V, and tests show it is capable of up to 10 miles of pure electric driving at low speeds.

Press Release below:
New Buick Crossover Will Feature Plug-In Hybrid System

* Five-passenger crossover arrives in 2010 with family of fuel-efficient direct-injected gas engines
* Plug-in hybrid model debuts in 2011
* Expected to be first commercially available plug-in hybrid SUV produced by a major automaker

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – General Motors’ plug-in hybrid technology will be introduced in a new Buick crossover vehicle in 2011, Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman of product development, announced here today during the Management Briefing Seminars.

The yet-to-be-named Buick crossover will launch in late 2010 offering a family of fuel-efficient direct-injected gasoline engines, followed in 2011 by the plug-in hybrid model.

“Buick has always been at the forefront of new technology, so it is only fitting that the brand should debut our new plug-in hybrid technology in a beautiful new crossover,” said Stephens. “This will firmly put Buick, and GM, front and center in the advanced technology game.”

A new Buick for a new customer

The new five-passenger crossover will build on the success of the Buick Enclave, offering the brand’s finely crafted execution and premium driving experience in a fuel-efficient package.

“Some customers who have been drawn to the Enclave were looking for something a little smaller, but they didn’t want to give up craftsmanship or a quiet ride to get there,” said Susan Docherty, general manager of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. “We believe this new Buick will excite those customers, and will continue to broaden the appeal of the brand.”

The Buick crossover will be powered by an Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder engine with an optional 3.0L direct-injected V-6, and is expected to deliver 30 miles per gallon or more on the highway. Final fuel economy estimates, as well as additional vehicle details such as name and pricing, will be announced later.

Plug-in hybrid model

The Buick plug-in hybrid is expected to be the first commercially available plug-in hybrid SUV produced by a major automaker.

The Buick plug-in hybrid has the potential to achieve double the fuel economy of comparably-sized SUVs on short trips. This significant boost is achieved by combining a modified version of GM’s proven 2-Mode Hybrid system with advanced lithium-ion battery cells and charging technology developed for GM’s Voltec system, which will debut in the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle in late 2010.

“LG Chem – the supplier of our battery cells for the Volt – has also been selected to supply the lithium-ion cells for the new Buick plug-in hybrid, and its Troy, Mich.-based subsidiary Compact Power will supply the pack,” Stephens said.

The Buick plug-in hybrid will use the same manganese-spinel based chemistry and polymer battery cells as the Volt. The 8 kwh battery – containing half the energy of the Volt battery pack – will be packaged in a rectangular-shaped box under the cargo floor.

The lithium-ion battery can be fully recharged in four to five hours by simply connecting the vehicle to any standard 110V household electrical outlet. By recharging rather than refueling, the Buick plug-in hybrid significantly improves fuel economy and reduces petroleum use. In early testing, the plug-in hybrid is capable of electric-only propulsion for more than 10 miles at low speeds.

On the road, GM’s 2-Mode plug-in hybrid system can use any combination of electric or gasoline engine power to move the vehicle, depending on the driving conditions. This differs from GM’s Voltec technology, which provides the Volt with up to 40 miles of emissions- and petroleum-free electric-only propulsion, and an overall range of more than 300 miles with its flex-fuel engine-generator.

In addition to the lithium-ion battery pack, the Buick plug-in hybrid’s powertrain features two powerful electric motors, sophisticated electronic controls and battery management systems and an efficient direct-injected 3.6L V-6 flex-fuel engine.

About General Motors: General Motors Company, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 235,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors Company acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors Company can be found at www.gm.com.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 6th, 2009 at 9:28 am and is filed under General. 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
    Zach

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:38 am)

    (click to show comment)


  2. 2
    Mike_FL

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:42 am)

    Nice! I was hoping for a crossover!


  3. 3
    SteveF

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:46 am)

    Why is the Buick plug-in hybrid sized with a 3.6L V-6 engine? With the help of the electric motor, would expect a Ecotec 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder engine. The larger size engine creates lower MPG and is over kill amount of power. Does not make since in today’s market. GM need to explain.


  4. 4
    CorvetteGuy

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:49 am)

    Step 1: Introduction

    Step 2: Lose Tiger Woods and the image that golfers and retirees are Buick’s mainline customers.

    Step 3: Many here will say, “E-Lectra” !!! (But that’s too cliche’)… Don’t do it!

    Step 4: Paint the pre-production promo car something other than Silver. Please!


  5. 5
    Fahrvergnugen Fanboy

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:50 am)

    For towing boats up Pikes Peak.


  6. 6
    Rashiid Amul

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    Rashiid Amul
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    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:54 am)

    Is a pickup truck next? I hope so. 4X4 or AWD will be fine with me.


  7. 7
    Eliezer

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:02 am)

    Great news… but from the teaser shot, the crossover looks rather mundane and ordinary. I hope the full reveal proves me wrong…


  8. 8
    Noel Park

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:04 am)

    Yeah, right.


  9. 9
    stuart22

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:05 am)

    I hope Buick comes up with a decent name. Don’t go trendy with a name like ‘Converj’ which sounds so much better than it looks spelled out.

    One other note: what’s with the green mole on the left cheek behind the front wheel?


  10. 10
    Noel Park

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:06 am)

    No thanks.

    1. I don’t want an SUV.

    2. I don’t want a V-6.

    3. I don’t want a Buick.

    LJGTVWOTR!!


  11. 11
    Tex-Arl

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    Tex-Arl
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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:10 am)

    Correct answer from ????? Fanboy.
    Lots of people want to save on use of petroleum but also don’t want to lose their lifestyle. For those who want a more stringent solution, go for the volt or in extreme cases the horse and buggy.


  12. 12
    Noel Park

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:11 am)

    A Chevy pickup with a 4 cyl engine would be great for the business commuting/errand running I have to do. I want the maximum possible mileage and AER for same.

    I’m not interested in trying to tow with it. Even with the V-6, it wouldn’t tow the loads we need to tow. That’s why we have a big block 1 ton truck.

    And a Buick pickup? I don’t think so.


  13. 13
    Mike-o-Matic

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    Mike-o-Matic
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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:12 am)

    PAGING NASAMAN … PAGING NASAMAN… Nasaman, please pick up the white courtesy phone…
    :D


  14. 14
    Gary

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:13 am)

    I predicted that Buick was going to get the plug-in Vue, since newer Saturns were starting to look more upscale, classy, and Buick-y.

    Just Google Image search “Saturn Aura”, “Opel Insignia”, and “2010 Buick LaCrosse”. A lot of similarities.


  15. 15
    jeff j

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:18 am)

    70 mhg !!!! This is the true game changing auto . Every family with kids knows that the Volt is just to small to fit there needs . I could see two buick crossovers in 75% of americans drive ways .

    #4 Rashhiid Amul . Hold your breath and you can bet your last dollar that GM was a couple of pick-ups on the drawing broad already. If gm can make a SUV I can’t see any reason why you couldn’t pull out a chain saw and cut off the roof and rip out the back seats LOL .


  16. 16
    merlin

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:18 am)

    I think GM got it wrong with the comment that they are targetting people that are drawn to the Enclave, but want something a little smaller. At least in terms of seating capacity, not having the third row option is a deal breaker for a lot of family people out there. This would have been a grand slam with the plug-in option and third row IMO. Personally we spent a lot of time shopping around all the three row SUVs for our family. If you don’t need the third row, fold it flat or buy one without the option. I think I would still give the buyer a choice. I guess we’ll see how much smaller they are actually talking about. It must not be practical to offer it as an option given the size of the vehicle they chose.


  17. 17
    Jim I

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:19 am)

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    That is really a good one….

    If GM does this right, it will be a Chevy Volt E-REV for me and a Buick Enclave Mini PHEV for the wife!

    Go GM!

    NPNS


  18. 18
    ash

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:22 am)

    Please make it give at lest 30 miles on all electric, let the revolution begin.


  19. 19
    DonC

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:32 am)

    Yes, moving the plug-in Vue from Saturn to Buick is what many had predicted. Makes sense. However, a plug-in an urban capable PHEV, and this will be one, competes more with the Prius than the Volt if you’re looking at emissions and gasoline usage. Sort of a weak sister.

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/02/13/autobloggreen-qanda-peter-savagian-talks-about-studying-driver-be/

    The good thing is that GM is starting to move on new vehicles. Ford is doing well, and many have said it’s because they didn’t accept a bailout, but to me the big difference between GM and Ford is that Ford is coming out with more new vehicles. (GM has new vehicles but many are related to the same vehicle in another brand. Releasing a Traverse doesn’t have the same zing as the hybrid Fusion). The new Chairman of GM is focused on changing the pace of the vehicle releases, and that seems like the right direction to take.


  20. 20
    Shawn Marshall

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:35 am)

    Hope GM can make it but it’s a sketchy proposition.

    Recently bought a used 2007 Malibu Maxx w/41k miles.(stretcher to XEV era).
    Needed a front license plate bracket. Advance Auto said call the dealer. Dealer said price = $46. Internet said price $23 but had to add shipping. Drat!
    Key fob didn’t function. Selling dealer sent a new one in the mail. You cannot program the key fob by performing a regimen of key/button tricks – you have to take it to the dealer for programming – Cost $24 and 1.5 hours of my time.
    While there at the dealer, asked the service writer if they could let me know why the cig lighter didn’t work(need to plug in GPS). Service writer says -You need to sign authorization for diagnosis- might cost up to $90 but could be less. I said no thank you. Poked around later in the back panel of the Maxx and found and replaced the blown fuse(2 min job for a Chevy Tech) (Took me 10 min to find the access doors and 2 fuses to test)
    While waiting the 1.5 hours for my newly programmed customer supplied Fob, got to be friendly with a Mr. Bailey in the waiting room. He got called out in the hallway for a consult. When he came back he told me they advised him to have a fuel system flush for $150. What year is your car? 2008.He’s 70. I think they thought he was simple. He said he’d put 1/2 can Coastal in. I said that sounds good.
    The question is “Can you really stay in business by constantly screwing your customers?”
    I’d say no, not if they don’t like being screwed, at least in a car.


  21. 21
    DonC

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:35 am)

    C’mon Noel

    1. This is a CUV not a SUV. Puuullease!

    2. The Volt has V-6 performance, doesn’t it?

    3. Keep in mind that Buick is ceding its title of “Old Man’s Car” to Mercedes!

    LJGVWOTR


  22. 22
    Dave B

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:36 am)

    Is there an all-electric mode on this? I’m not that interested…


  23. 23
    Tagamet

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:38 am)

    Noel,
    We’ll mark you down as a “no” on the suv and a “Yes” on the Volt (g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***********NPNS!


  24. 24
    DonC

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:38 am)

    OMG. The very thought of a Buick pickup made me laugh. That gives new meaning to “oxymoron”.

    On the subject of trucks, I see Smith Electric got some money yesterday to continue developing the large BEV trucks. I hope Bright Automotive also gets the money to develop it van. That looks promising.


  25. 25
    Howard Erickson

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    Howard Erickson
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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:39 am)

    Whats the love for the Gas engine. Breaks down more OH YA GM has to supply the parts. You would have thought they would have learned, GAS BAD, ELECTRIC GOOD your still moving the wrong way while trying to convince the public its OK. Its just a matter of time . Apparently not really to big to fail.


  26. 26
    RB

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:40 am)

    Nice 2 (smile). I like it.
    What an interesting niche chosen for this vehicle — seems to have been envisioned as primarily an ICE Buick, but it will have real plug-in capability, even though only 10 miles range “at low speed.” Still, for me it could be just right. I hope it really happens and proceeds quickly to dealers all over, with a competitive MSRP.


  27. 27
    Tagamet

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:40 am)

    ash,
    The hitch there is tat the AER is at “slow speeds” (maybe VERY slow speeds.) At 70 mpg, it shouldn’t hurt toooo much though. JMO.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***********NPNS!


  28. 28
    Rashiid Amul

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:41 am)

    Right Noel on the Buick Pickup. I doubt they would do that.
    But A Chevy pickup would be sweet.


  29. 29
    RB

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:41 am)

    Yes, I love the idea of a EREV Chevy pickup.
    Definitely would buy if price was at all workable.


  30. 30
    Tagamet

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:42 am)

    Mike,
    I was thinking that this would interest nasaman too. He does have a boat to haul around.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***********NPNS!


  31. 31
    Schmeltz

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:45 am)

    The spec’s for the vehicle look good so far, i.e. mid-sized crossover w/ 10 mile electric range with a feather foot, roughly 60-70 mpg. Not seeing the whole vehicle, from what we can see it looks decent IMO. I guess what has me hesitant here is the branding issue. Buick makes sense in getting customers who are more willing to pay the asking price (which I’m sure will be scary), but maybe this should have been a Cadillac? Don’t know, just throwing that out there.


  32. 32
    RB

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    RB
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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:45 am)

    Shawn Marshall –> Maybe you can find a better dealer. Only 20% have really good service (per Bob Lutz), but there is that 20%, if you can find one.


  33. 33
    Murray

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:47 am)

    I agree this is nasaman’s wheelhouse !!


  34. 34
    Chris

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    Chris
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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:47 am)

    (click to show comment)


  35. 35
    Larry M

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    Larry M
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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:49 am)

    An SUV by any other name is still and SUV.


  36. 36
    Shawn Marshall

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:49 am)

    Good Point Can you survive with 80% of your dealers screwing the customers?


  37. 37
    LauraM

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    LauraM
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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:50 am)

    I believe that we can recycle the lithium.


  38. 38
    Shawn Marshall

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:51 am)

    Lithium is recoverable & used batteries are useful for energy storage. Discussed whole lotta times here.
    Electric cars may have a very long service life relative to ICE.


  39. 39
    Larry M

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:51 am)

    Estimated price? Sounds and looks expensive, I would say another $40k+ car.

    It seems the new GM is only going after high end buyers now and leaving the average Joe out in the cold.


  40. 40
    Starcast

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:55 am)

    My question is how long before a full sized SUV/PU Plug in?

    This would save more gas then anything. Many are used less then 10 miles one way to work and only used more on weekends.

    GM Add the plug to your current SUV 2-modes and watch sales pick up.

    I could get rid of my s10 and my SUV and buy 1 new Plug in SUV. to tow the boat and the snowmobiles Hunting/fishing trips yet gas free back and forth to work and safe not like driving a smart car.


  41. 41
    dudley

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:56 am)

    I doubt the ratio is any less with Toyota, Honda, Ford, etc.


  42. 42
    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:03 am)

    Tag:

    Exactly. Thanks you. +1 to you, LOL.


  43. 43
    kdawg

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:03 am)

    “tests show it is capable of up to 10 miles of pure electric driving at low speeds.”

    Define low speeds please. 25mph, 45mph?


  44. 44
    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:04 am)

    Very good! LOL.


  45. 45
    BillR

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:06 am)

    This is a very popular market segment, the small to mid-size SUV.

    Many owners of full size SUV’s find they can live with a smaller SUV, and are looking to move into this category.

    Note, however, that this is a PHEV not an E-REV. So at some speed (~40 mph is my guess) the ICE will need to come on to supplement the electric drive. So if the 8 kwh battery pack has only 4 kwh usable (50% capacity like the Volt), then it will be used initially to drive the Buick when possible. After the 4 kwh is used, it becomes a 2-mode hybrid.

    Since the Volt is targeted for ~200 Wh/mile, I will estimate this SUV to need ~300 Wh/mile. With 4 kwh available, this equates to 13.3 miles. So if you daily trip is 25 miles, more than half of the energy might come from the battery (depends on your driving conditions). So if this SUV can get 30 mpg on the highway in ICE mode (the Saturn Vue was rated about 31 mpg on the highway), then 70 mpg for a 25 mile commute might be possible.

    I think the 3.6L V6 was selected for the plug-in version for several reasons;

    1) That was the original engine in the Saturn
    2) It provides up to 3500 lbs of towing capacity
    3) The plug-in version will be the most expensive, so that typically attracts customers who want more from their vehicles (i.e. performance).
    4) Nasaman lobbied for a Volt sized battery pack, and this was the compromise (good work, Nasaman).


  46. 46
    texas

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:11 am)

    OK, so:

    1) 2010 – new technology direct injection ICE – Pure ICE car.

    2) 2011 – Strong hybrid with 10 mile AER (below given speed).

    I would rather see the crossover have the 40 mile range and the same mission as the Volt (mostly electric) and have a simple and small ICE. Putting in the new direct injection system would probably be too expensive and also cause too many points for reliability issues (using too many new technologies).

    I personally see anything less than a true plug-in (over 20 miles AER) as a waste of time. Kind of like hooking up a horse to the first horseless carriage. Hey, do you think they did that in the beginning? A horse hybrid?

    Anyway, I think GM should just bite the bullet (I know it’s a huge risk and scary) and go full, hardcore electrification. The Voltec should be the least electrification they ever do again. Never, less. Period.


  47. 47
    BillR

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:12 am)

    Thanks. I got a good laugh from that one.

    Hopefully Nasaman will provide some of his insight on this puppy.


  48. 48
    texas

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:14 am)

    Is that Pikes Peak Oil? Yeah, that’s coming next. 3.6L!!! Why not just put a V8 in there?


  49. 49
    The Grump

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    Would somebody answer Zack’s question instead of changing the subject ? I, too, would LOVE to know how GM’s gonna squeeze 70 MPG out of this new mystery Buick.

    The Volt only gets 50 MPG with the ICE running, and the Volt’s aerodynamics have been optimized to get that 50 MPG. How is Buick gonna beat that with a crossover vehicle ? I don’t believe Buick can do it – GM has overpromised and underdelivered to me before. Many times before. I take GM promises with a truckload of salt, not just a grain of salt – just like EEStor. Anyone remember the phrase “nicely under $30,000.00″ ? Anyone ?

    Now that my rant is over, tell me – where will Buick get 70 MPG from a crossover vehicle ?


  50. 50
    texas

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    Yes, that Bright Automotive van is not as sexy as the Tesla but far more practical. It’s got all of the technologies that Amory Lovins from RMI has been talking about for a long time. Brilliant design that should get the funding. Light-weighting and electrification – the future.


  51. 51
    Magilla

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:29 am)

    I can’t help but wonder if this is setting the bar too low. If (and that’s a big IF) Chrysller rolls out a 40 mile AER Jeep Patriot, or a 40 mile AER Minivan, in the same timeframe GM could lose the “Green” momentum generated by the VOLT.

    While I take anything that Chrysler is claiming with a grain of salt, you can see the specs here::
    https://www.chryslergroupllc.com/pdf/envi/EV_3brands.pdf

    Why not use the 16KWh battery pack in as many iterations of plug ins as possible? This would be a way to get the volumes up and realize the benefits of scale as quickly as possible. I know that the battery pack software has been optimized for the VOLT application, but wouldn’t you be able to re-use much of the code to support the two-mode?

    I would love to see a 20 mile AER 7 passenger vehicle ASAP. If I could get one my wife would use almost no gas during the week.


  52. 52
    Dale

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:30 am)

    Volt/Converj for me and a 2-mode Buick SUV for my bride – can hardley wait.


  53. 53
    kdawg

     

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:31 am)

    Charging at 110V:
    the battery has 8Kwh (but let’s say 5Kwh usable)/4.5hours = 1.1Kw charger (same as the Volt, surprise)

    Which means at 240V you should be able to charge at 3.3Kw or in 1.5 hours. This would be great to have plugins at shopping malls, theaters, etc.


  54. 54
    Matt

    +2

     

    Matt
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:34 am)

    50 mpg for the Volt is a number thrown around without any supporting statements or documents. GM has only said that the Volt will surpass the current market leader (Prius) in range extending mode. I’m forecasting something closer to 70-80mpg for the Volt.


  55. 55
    ccombs

     

    ccombs
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:40 am)

    This number is almost certainly accurate because they are counting contributions of the battery. Note the “on short trips” qualifier. The Volt will get 50+ mpg only after the battery is fully depleted. It would get much more if you tried to factor in the battery. Note that this crossover is a PHEV with non-highway only all-electric capability so it doen’t really make sense to quote an AER (although this hasn’t stopped other manufacturers from posting misleading “electric range” numbers). Thus the 70+ mpg on short trips comes with a fully-charged battery. By short trips I assume they mean <50 or so miles.


  56. 56
    Schmeltz

     

    Schmeltz
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:41 am)

    Excellent question Larry. Lets make a wag since speculating is always fun to do. Looking at a Ford Escape Hybrid, the starting MSRP is $29,645. If I had to guess, (which is what I am doing), I would say GM could’ve done a a Saturn 2-mode hybrid for that, but since this is a Buick, you got to at least factor in an extra $2000 for the “mystique” of it being a Buick and not a Chevy or Saturn. So we are at $32,000 even before you add a plug. I’d wager that until you add the expensive Li-ion battery pack, the fancy shmancy controls, and a pitifully small allowance for 3 years plus of R&D, you’ll be adding another $7000 (minimum). Grand total for the PHEV Buick crossover I suspect will be around $39,000. Ohhhh….hey look at that, you’re in Volt territory there! Moral of the story is technology is going to be expensive folks. That is why I mentioned in one of my other posts that GM may better be served as making this vehicle a Cadillac. Most Cadillac customers probably wouldn’t wince at paying $40-50,000 on a snazzy (shnazzy?) crossover, especially with the bragging rights that go along with owning the first Plug-in vehicle to enter the mass market. I want to be clear that I’m not dead set against this PHEV being a Buick…this may work out very well for GM, but I just wonder given my reasoning above if they couldn’t recover their investment faster, and score profits on these things rather than taking another lump on the chin in the name of scoring that ever exalted green halo?


  57. 57
    Dale

     

    Dale
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:41 am)

    My understanding is below 30 mph or unless the extra torque is needed to climb a hill.

    I know this, I have been waiting for a long time for this product – it solves my needs – wife only commutes 12 Miles roundtrip mostly under 35 MPH and I only commute 6 miles roundtrip


  58. 58
    ccombs

     

    ccombs
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:47 am)

    btw, anyone catch the comment about the Volt:

    “overall range of more than 300 miles with its flex-fuel engine-generator.”

    Is this simply recycling the old corporate line, or are they getting more specific than “hundereds of miles”.

    300ish mile range is comparable to my current Nissan Versa, so I think it makes sense for a compact. I really don’t buy the “make it go 500 miles just for show” arguments, so I hope this sensible number is where they are aiming.


  59. 59
    Jon

    +4

     

    Jon
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:48 am)

    This is one reason why the industry is so resistant to electric cars and have fought them all the way. The wont have all these ICE repairs to screw customers with. An electric motor needs no maintenance. The Volt is no threat. Theres still a nice ICE in there to screw ppl with. (Not really related to your troubles with the key and the cig lighter ect, but the 70 year old man getting charged for a fuel system flush on a 1 year old car..)


  60. 60
    Norbert Nissel

    +4

     

    Norbert Nissel
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:48 am)

    Well I could not wait anylonger, so yesterday I picked up a new Ford Fusion Hybrid 502A $31940 from Citrus Ford in Ontario, CA drove it at night to Reno Nevada my home on 1/2 tank of gas.

    Needless to say I am very excited and satisfied.


  61. 61
    Vincent

     

    Vincent
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:49 am)

    Is that the new body style Fusion ?


  62. 62
    ash

    +2

     

    ash
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:51 am)

    Thank you both for the response. Instead of blowing money on the cash for clunkers, why not just give 4 of 5 K $ for all cars which can run on electric for at least 30 miles, but no, they want to replace gas guzzlers with little less gas guzzlers.

    What about people why have been driving 30 MPG cars for the past 10 years?


  63. 63
    ccombs

     

    ccombs
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:52 am)

    Unfortunately at this point there is no other way to go about it since this is new technology. I will be left out in the cold for quite some time, but thankfully I can look at it as rich old people subsidizing my gen III Volt.


  64. 64
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:55 am)

    I have to ask, why have two different “Hybrid” technologies that require totally differnt components? OK, maybe the battery pack is a scaled down Volt pack but the rest is foreign to the Volt.

    Why?


  65. 65
    Mike

    -5

     

    Mike
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    Seriously… only 30 mpg on the highway? In a compact? Who is GM kidding? I get 33 mpg in my 2008 Altima at 75 mph. 10 miles on pure electric. My golf cart can get that. Why on earth would I buy an overpriced piece of junk like this? I wouldn’t believe any due date from GM since the Volt is already behind by 2 years.


  66. 66
    Schmeltz

     

    Schmeltz
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:05 pm)

    Good for you. Let us know your avg. mpg once you have driven it for awhile. I also believe Lyle is going to test drive one of these soon. Stay tuned.


  67. 67
    vincent

     

    vincent
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:05 pm)

    Altima V6 gets 27 HWY at about the speed limit. You must be driving the econo 4cyl


  68. 68
    Mike

     

    Mike
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:15 pm)

    Yeah, I have the 4 banger. But it’s a good one. My average mileage with the onboard computer is 27.5 all the time, whether I reset it every fillup or let it go for a couple months.


  69. 69
    Tagamet

    +2

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:19 pm)

    Grump,
    The proposed vehicle sounds like a parallel hybrid in which the engine and electric motor work together a significant part of the time. In the volt, the wheels are only directly driven with the electric motor. That might help explain the improved MPG in the proposed vehicle. Just a thought.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***********NPNS!


  70. 70
    Tagamet

    +2

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:21 pm)

    stuart,
    Maybe they’ll call it the “Statik” (g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***********NPNS!


  71. 71
    jeffhre

    +7

     

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:22 pm)

    CUV’s are built on car platforms to look like SUV’s. Kinda like station wagons. SUV’s are built on truck platforms to look enclosed like cars, except they behave a lot like trucks. The platform makes the difference, and it looks like an SUV only because they are marketing it as an alternative to an SUV for folks who think vans and wagons are wimpy.


  72. 72
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:31 pm)

    Doesn’t the Ford Escape get the same thing in that little SUV?


  73. 73
    merlin

    +1

     

    merlin
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:33 pm)

    I think GM got it wrong with the comment that they are targetting people that are drawn to the Enclave, but want something a little smaller. At least in terms of seating capacity, not having the third row option is a deal breaker for a lot of family people out there. This would have been a grand slam with the plug-in option and third row IMO. Personally we spent a lot of time shopping around all the three row SUVs for our family. If you don’t need the third row, fold it flat or buy one without the option. I think I would still give the buyer a choice. I guess we’ll see how much smaller they are actually talking about. It must not be practical to offer it as an option given the size of the vehicle they chose.


  74. 74
    CaptJackSparrow

    -4

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:34 pm)

    I really don’t buy the “make it go 500 miles just for show” arguments.

    Yeah, screw the 350+ miles. I have to eat or piss or sh|t at some point.


  75. 75
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:35 pm)

    lol…
    I know huh, Too much generalizationing. Why do they do that? They know in code it has a set limit. Just tell us, fukinaye!


  76. 76
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:39 pm)

    schmeltz and ccombs,
    I’m hoping that the “under-promise, over-deliver” principle comes in on the Volt. With the govt pitching in for the specialized parts, battery tech, and rebate, the Volt COULD challenge the Prius prices (esp with the accessory packages on the Prius).
    JMO (again).
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***********NPNS!


  77. 77
    Jackson

    +2

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:45 pm)

    Agreed, Tag.

    As much as I hate to say it, the closest thing conceptually is the proposed plug-in Prius (though the Buick will be much larger, and styling may be less (being charitable here) “iconic.”


  78. 78
    vincent

     

    vincent
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:47 pm)

    Buddy I think it was refereeing to the 6 direct injection. That very refined engine has won international accolades and is no joke of a performer and efficiency.
    All car makers know people want the most horsepower they can comfortably afford so it’s not a bad deal. I bet if they drop in the Eco 4 it’s mid 30′s. It gets 30 in an suv application.

    Escape Hybrid isn’t too shabby either. Good one actually.

    Buick NEEDS to build this one to change image
    http://www.rsportscars.com/foto/11/riviera07.jpg


  79. 79
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:47 pm)

    “Why not just put a V8 in there?”

    They probably will, in the 2-mode full-size pickup version :-D

    Hey, Fahrvergnugen Fanboy;

    I’ve finally had a Fit ;-) (how’s yours?)


  80. 80
    Jackson

    +1

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:49 pm)

    “Many here will say, “E-Lectra” !!!”

    … or at least, save it for the full-on Voltec Buick.


  81. 81
    vincent

     

    vincent
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:49 pm)

    Actually I have to say I’m impressed with my older Audi A4
    Gets about 27 to 30 open road with all wheel drive depending on traffic conditions.


  82. 82
    CaptJackSparrow

    -1

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:51 pm)

    What about people why have been driving 30 MPG cars for the past 10 years?

    Exactly. It’s just like all the mortgage bailt sh|t. Those who have been driving efficient cars get the shaft. Those who drive big tank SUV’s get to benefit. Parallel to that is the mortgage, those who signe on these interest only adjustable mortgages benefit and those who did the right thing get the shaft.

    Sounds like socialism to me.


  83. 83
    Jackson

    +1

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    “Hopefully Nasaman will provide some of his insight on this puppy.”

    Perhaps he’ll even use bolded text!


  84. 84
    Amazed

     

    Amazed
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:54 pm)

    I’d assume the same reason that when you go from the Silverado 1500 pickup with the 5.3L V8 to the hybrid 1500 they up the engine to the 6.0L V8 in addition to the electric motors. The thing that really makes me laugh is that they also drop your towing capacity from 10,500 lbs to 6100lbs.


  85. 85
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    The Plug-In Buick is not Voltec, and not 2-mode (as we’ve known it up to now); it is a (brace yourself) hybridization of the two (a hybrid hybrid ?)

    I think I need to go lay down for awhile.


  86. 86
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    and expectations of more than 30 MPG on highway driving.

    And

    Using this technology the vehicle is expected to achieve at least double the efficiency of a gas version of that car. This could amount to more than 70 MPG.

    OK, someone is using “Fuzzy Logic” here. What gives? Does someone need a slide rule whoooopa$$?


  87. 87
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:57 pm)

    I think they’ve been saying in the 3 to 4 hundred mile range – probably closer to the 3 than the 4. A lot of folks wanted higher/tank, but I NEED to get out and stretch long before 300 miles on a trip.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***********NPNS!


  88. 88
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    PDNFTT.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***********NPNS!


  89. 89
    Detfan

    +2

     

    Detfan
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    My 2008 Chevy Malibu LTZ 6 cyl. routinely gets 31-33 MPG on the highway. Double checked by calculator and gas used.


  90. 90
    Mark L

    +1

     

    Mark L
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    Excellent car and good job supporting the only US company to not take our bailouts!


  91. 91
    VancouverJon

    +2

     

    VancouverJon
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    All of their 2-mode hybrids use the same engine (3.6L V6), which makes sense because they wouldn’t want to develop a wholly new technology. Decrease cost through the economies of scale.


  92. 92
    Jackson

    +1

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    With no Pontiac or Saturn (and an initially expensive Volt), look for the “traditional” niches of the remaining marquees to see some shaking up. They are already facing some cognitive dissonance if they try to mix the Pontiac “sporty” with the Buick “doctor’s car” paradigms.

    Hey, GM; you did keep Cadillac. There’s no need to push Buick further upscale.


  93. 93
    omnimoeish

    -12

     

    omnimoeish
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  94. 94
    Bill Walter

     

    Bill Walter
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:05 pm)

    Hopefully NONE of the components will be made or assembled in China or Mexico. All four of my 2000 LeSabre window drive mechanisms failed over a period of 3 years at a replacement cost of $500.00 each. They show a tag “made in China”. My head lamp electrical panel blew out the second year. It had a tag “assembled in Mexico”. The same window drive failures were experienced by a co-worker of mine. Accordingly, I choose to not buy another GM vehicle.


  95. 95
    Jackson

    +4

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:05 pm)

    I realize you’re a pirate, captain; but please


  96. 96
    Detfan

     

    Detfan
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:06 pm)

    Don’t forget that several iterations of the Volt worldwide will go into production shortly after the Volt launches, so GM will be spreading its tech. costs to several vehicles, rapidly bringing down the cost of technology. Including a Buick CRV in the mix will only help with lowering costs.


  97. 97
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:07 pm)

    Well, for one thing; they already have the 2-mode to do something with; it’s not like they’re developing the core of the vehicle from scratch.


  98. 98
    Detfan

     

    Detfan
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:07 pm)

    ccoobs, the third generation will be the one using Nano LI/On giving the Volt up to a 400 mile range on electric.


  99. 99
    Schmeltz

     

    Schmeltz
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    I agree Tag and I am always hoping the “under-promise, over-deliver” principle is applied with everything they do. I know the $7500 gov’t rebate is designed to shave off the ouch factor from the price of these vehicles, but the reality is even with the rebate, (and that’s a temporary limited time thing), any vehicle with a plug is going to be expensive in their first few years. Despite the reality, I’m still pleased to see the Automakers pursuing these vehicles. Yuo gotta start somewhere I guess.


  100. 100
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:14 pm)

    You guys do realize there’s already a Cadillac pickup?


  101. 101
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:18 pm)

    The dealer has always been the weakest link in the US made auto experience (within my lifetime, anyway), with the notable exception of the Saturn dealerships I dealt with. I’m not sure what GM intends to do about this (most likely, nothing?)


  102. 102
    CaptJackSparrow

    -1

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:18 pm)

    wha what? what?

    :-)


  103. 103
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:20 pm)

    “Nano LI/On giving the Volt up to a 400 mile range on electric”

    I can’t think of any legitimate source for this comment; GM’s stated position is that Voltec will always get 40 miles AER, with battery improvements resulting in smaller/lighter/less expensive battery packs.

    Still, I have no problem with being wrong about EEStor or a 400 AER Volt, I hope you’re right.


  104. 104
    jeffhre

     

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:23 pm)

    Always helpful to put a little thought into replies before hitting the ‘submit’ button. Even if it’s not a popular opinion, something that’s thought out extends the conversation and we all learn from it.


  105. 105
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:24 pm)

    FWIW, I consider “on the highway” numbers to be pretty meaningless sales gimmicks, for all but a very few drivers. In-town or cycle numbers are far more telling.


  106. 106
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:33 pm)

    “30 MPG on highway driving.” … for the non-plug-in.

    “This could amount to more than 70 MPG” .. for the plug-in.

    Any other questions? :-P


  107. 107
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:38 pm)

    Cap’n,

    When I traded my Saturn SL2 for the Fit it didn’t qualify for Cash for Clunkers. However, I was told that I will be able to deduct the tax on the Fit for buying a new car …

    Besides, someone will buy that Saturn; there’s no need to send it to the crusher.


  108. 108
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:39 pm)

    Ohhhh…..ahhh….
    .DUH, I getit now.
    :-P

    Thanks for the whooopin Jackson


  109. 109
    sgilson

    +1

     

    sgilson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:43 pm)

    Chevy has the Silverado 2 mode on dealer lots right now. I think it is a very impressive piece of technology.


  110. 110
    Exp_EngTech

     

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:44 pm)

    Sorry, but this vehicle just doesn’t interest me.

    I want a vehicle that can get me back and forth to work using NO GAS.

    The Voltec system can do this for about 80% of the driving public.


  111. 111
    ClarksonCote

     

    ClarksonCote
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (1:47 pm)

    If somebody already asked this, I apologize, but… Why is the plug-in hybrid going to have a larger engine than either option on the non-plug-in version??


  112. 112
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:04 pm)

    But isn’t the “Series-Hybrid”/Voltec the much more Superior hybrid over all? Isn’t this stepping down a level?
    I mean that’s what everyone in here ALWAYS sez. Voltec is the best/only way to go?

    It’s time for a beer. From Voltec Series Hybrid all back down to what everyone always sez is an inferior hybrid tech……wow, what a turnaround. Old GM.


  113. 113
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:15 pm)

    Could the “green mole” be the cover over the place where you plug it in?


  114. 114
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:17 pm)

    I’m thinking that Voltec won’t be up to powering that size of vehicle for awhile (especially with towing thrown in). Use what you have. Besides, is it possible that it could be sold for less than a Volt? Actually, it had better cost less, or everyone is likely to agree with you. GM take note.


  115. 115
    Matt

    +4

     

    Matt
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    It actually makes sense to use a larger engine. This is because the engine does no have to work as hard, so the hybrid controller can keep the engine in its efficient “sweet spot”. The 2010 Prius actually has a larger engine than the previous generation for this very reason, and the mpg ratings show the advantage.


  116. 116
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:22 pm)

    I’d like to know that, myself.

    Could it be that a larger engine can be tuned using the Atkinson cycle to burn less gas than a smaller engine not so tuned?

    Such an engine requires supplemental electric propulsion to make up for the loss of power.

    OTOH, could an Atkinson cycle engine be capable of towing?


  117. 117
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:24 pm)

    Cool. When does it get the plug-in treatment?


  118. 118
    Serpent2

     

    Serpent2
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:26 pm)

    so if they took the same designs and made them here in the usa they would never fail, right? I think it is more of a design flaw rather manufacturing flaw. And sham on GM for not testing the components before putting them in the cars. 500$ a piece for a window motor? ouch.. sorry to hear that. seems very pricy.


  119. 119
    stas peterson

     

    stas peterson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:40 pm)

    I suspect that GM wanted to accomplish three things quickly. One to expand the Buick portfolio ASAP; to maintain the Buick hard-earned reliability and Quality reputation by only offering a fully engineered version as the concept Saturn Vue 3.6 drive-train undoubtedly is; and to act as a future testbed for this “larger vehicle” PHEV drive-train.

    I suspect this PHEV combo will be showing up in future LaCross, Lucerne, Enclave, and Cadillac offerings. These vehicles are all too big, economically, for the present EREV with the still exorbitant cost of large battery packs.

    Meanwhile the second generation, lighter dual-modes designed for “smaller vehicles” will incorporate the Ecotec I-4-dual-mode II drive-train, in 2012-2013.


  120. 120
    Koz

    +1

     

    Koz
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:47 pm)

    Yes, the 8KWh is definitely where the 70mph is coming from and this mileage lasts only as long as the useable battery capacity lasts. Since it will not be providing total power needs except at lower draws, GM will probably open up more than 50% of the battery capacity. If they allow 70% or 5.6KWh and the car gets 30mpg as an ICE only and ~70mpg with plug-in energy, then about 65% of the energy is coming from the battery. A CUV like this would require @25% more energy than the volt, so we can guess that the 70mpg will last for about 35 miles of this type of mild driving equivalent to the driving that will produce 40 miles AER for the Volt.

    I know, I know, lots of speculation here. If you don’t like to speculate then skip over and wait 2 years for the real goods.


  121. 121
    Bob McCarver

    -3

     

    Bob McCarver
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:48 pm)

    Wow, if you choose to buy a car with zero components made in China or Mexico, I’m not sure you could actually buy another vehicle, ever. Nice ignorant statement. It matters not where something is built.


  122. 122
    jeffhre

     

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:51 pm)

    Dunno, but the displacement numbers can be deceiving combined with electric propulsion. As we know, the new Toyota hybrid has a bigger ICE and gets better mileage than before, and GM decided to use a larger ICE with the Volt than first announced.

    When ICE’s bigger than those that would have been chosen for maximum “ICE only” drive train efficiency, are combined with electrics they don’t seem to be crashing the bottom out of the mpg numbers.


  123. 123
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:54 pm)

    I was beaten out by Matt, by less than a minute; in a comment nearer the top:

    “It actually makes sense to use a larger engine. This is because the engine does no have to work as hard, so the hybrid controller can keep the engine in its efficient “sweet spot”. The 2010 Prius actually has a larger engine than the previous generation for this very reason, and the mpg ratings show the advantage.”

    Works for me.

    This possibly explains why other 2-modes have larger engines but lower towing capacities.


  124. 124
    Jim in PA

     

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (2:59 pm)

    Maybe the 70 mpg number is the EPA drive cycle number including 10 miles of all electric driving and the rest in ICE mode…. Kinda like the Volt will get 150 mpg in the EPA drive cycle even though in ICE mode it gets 50 mpg or so.


  125. 125
    Jim in PA

    +1

     

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:01 pm)

    Yeah but you can’t substantiate that. Maybe all four had poor electrical connection soldering, substandard wire insulation soecified in China, etc. There is no way to peg this as a design flaw without knowing more.


  126. 126
    Jim in PA

    +1

     

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:01 pm)

    LOL. I hear that’s great boating up there.


  127. 127
    Jim in PA

    +1

     

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:03 pm)

    I just saw a Lincoln pickup truck and thought it was equally stupid.


  128. 128
    Jim in PA

    +3

     

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:04 pm)

    You are absolutely correct. Think of a CUV as a poorly designed minivan. Same height, less room and access, no offroad capability, but better looks.


  129. 129
    Jim in PA

     

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:07 pm)

    They can still nail you for the battery cooling system flush in a BEV.


  130. 130
    Jim in PA

    +2

     

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:09 pm)

    Made in Mexico. Just sayin….


  131. 131
    stas peterson

     

    stas peterson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:09 pm)

    Your observation about the Volrt EREV showing uop elsewhere isi apt.

    I said elsewhere that this PHEV diual-mode drive-train will show up elsewhere. How long until the Caddy SRX gets it, 2012? And the new Caddy DTS repalcement as well? And the lambdas?


  132. 132
    Mitch

    +1

     

    Mitch
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:10 pm)

    Yes I did, and it confirms that the volt ICE is a FLEX FUEL. so it will run E85,

    electricity + E85 = serious reduction in my offshore petrol consumption


  133. 133
    Mitch

    +1

     

    Mitch
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:14 pm)

    use no gas??

    http://www.bikeaddict.com/manufacturers.html

    (just joshin ya)


  134. 134
    roosveltfd

    -2

     

    roosveltfd
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:19 pm)

    Who Killed The Electric Car?=GM==EXON==……..???


  135. 135
    stas peterson

    +4

     

    stas peterson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:19 pm)

    Different sizes for differnt sized cars.

    Why not make Freightliners and Peterbuilts run on I-4 2.0 liter engines? Ans: they don’t do fit the job.


  136. 136
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:20 pm)

    Hey, you know how GM is going to put 500 Volts to test drivers? Who/how are they going to pick the person?

    Jus curious.


  137. 137
    stas peterson

     

    stas peterson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:21 pm)

    What are you wasting your time here for, then? Go Away…


  138. 138
    ccombs

     

    ccombs
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:30 pm)

    This is why I bought my current car with purely mechanical door locks and windows. Less ways to fail. Then again, I can occasionally be a bit of a steam-punk.


  139. 139
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:30 pm)

    Lyle has a post on the Nisan LEAF at:
    http://www.allcarselectric.com/blog/1033970_nissan-confirms-it-will-begin-selling-first-5000-leaf-evs-in-2010

    In a new interview, Nissan direct of product development Mark Perry confimed it is his company’s intention to begin selling LEAF EVs by the end of next year.

    The first 5000 cars will be sold through US dealerships in five key markets felt to be most plug-in ready. These include Tennessee, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and the Phoenix/Tucson region.

    These will not be a test fleet but real cars that consumers will buy.

    There goes that phrase again “Plug in ready”. I have a plug at my trailer park therefore I AM PLUG IN READY!!!


  140. 140
    Luke

    +1

     

    Luke
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:31 pm)

    He could buy a used car. A very used car, as in “antique”.

    I’ve been working in the computer industry my entire career, and every circuit board I’ve ever seen has had parts from several countries. The components in any car’s engine/powertrain computer come from the same electronics industry that makes the tools I use every day.

    He probably doesn’t realize that computer that he used to post this comment contains hundreds of parts from China. It probably also Malaysia (Intel had a big fab there), Singapore, Taiwan, the US, Japan, and so on. And all of these parts usually work together in a perfect harmony. A lot of the design work for the chips and software is done in the US, though, which is nice — the stuff under the hood is usually in English. It’s like we live in a global economy or something.


  141. 141
    ccombs

     

    ccombs
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:37 pm)

    That is an incredibly long drive. Impressive, most impressive….


  142. 142
    old man

     

    old man
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:38 pm)

    And people actually buy it!!


  143. 143
    old man

    +2

     

    old man
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:43 pm)

    Even my 99 Buick Park Ave. does not qualify for the cash for clunkers program. Check it out.


  144. 144
    DonC

     

    DonC
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:49 pm)

    Yes you are plug in ready. What’s interesting is that the DOE just gave funding to put about 2000+ charging stations in the five regions you’ve identified. Not exactly sure but it seems that those will be doubled by commitments from other partners.

    If they’re not used all days by one car — and the LEAF does allow a quick charge — that’s a lot of charging stations. By way of comparison, in San Diego we have something like 19 Starbucks as of 2006. So you’re talking roughly of at least a 100:1 ratio of chargers to S coffee stores.


  145. 145
    Shock Me

     

    Shock Me
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:53 pm)

    Looks like the 2-mode Saturn Vue found a new home behind a waterfall grille.


  146. 146
    old man

     

    old man
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:53 pm)

    Me also, and how do I get to the head of the line?


  147. 147
    BillR

     

    BillR
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:54 pm)

    Check out fuel economy at this site.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm

    For 2009, check out both the Saturn Vue FWD and the Saturn Vue Hybrid.

    With the V6, the standard ICE car is rated 17/24 city/hwy.

    Under the hybrid listing, there are 2 options, the 2.4L engine which has the BAS, and the 3.6L option with 2-mode (called variable gear ratios).

    The 4 cyl (~175 hp) is rated 25/32, while the more powerful V6 (255 hp plus 50 kW electric) is rated 27/30. This should be close to the mpg for the new Buick without the plug-in capability.


  148. 148
    Shock Me

     

    Shock Me
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (3:54 pm)

    To maintain the 3500 lbs rated towing capacity?


  149. 149
    Volt45

     

    Volt45
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:04 pm)

    “However, a plug-in an urban capable PHEV, and this will be one, competes more with the Prius than the Volt if you’re looking at emissions and gasoline usage. Sort of a weak sister.”

    I was looking to see if someone mentioned this…. this car, more than a fusion or an insight, is a prius killer. Most of the efficiency with manifold capabilities….


  150. 150
    MetrologyFirst

    +1

     

    MetrologyFirst
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:08 pm)

    Thats what happens if you go to the dealer and not Autozone. I had same problem on a 98 Aurora. Was told the window motors were ~$500.

    They were 50 bucks(not OEM) at Autozone and I replaced them myself. Easy.

    This was a classic problem with that vintage GM Buick/Olds.


  151. 151
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:10 pm)

    To be fair, you can serve more coffee drinkers in one Starbucks than you can charge EVs at one plug-in! ;-)

    Of course, a charging “station” may imply more than just one plug per. I think we need more details.


  152. 152
    nasaman

    +1

     

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:18 pm)

    Great summary/overview, Bill! Thanks for saving me the trouble (actually, I’m tied up daily on extended national conference calls & today has been a bit tough, so I’m REALLY grateful for your insightful comments here!)

    ….and you’re right that I’ve lobbied heavily (& for quite a while) at the GM decision-making level (from Bob Lutz down) for a plug-in CUV with a drive train virtually identical to this —but with a Volt-sized 16 KWh battery. At least it seems we’re going to get an 8KWh Li-Ion battery!

    BTW, we need to remember that this 2-mode plug-in employs TWO 74 HP electric motors, which should allow it to operate it over a very wide range of speeds and loads in a purely-electric mode. Considering this and that it should at least approach 70mpg while being able to tow 3,500 lbs and haul lots of gear, it should fill the big gap between the smallish Volt at >100mpg & most other larger SUVs at <25-30mpg. I believe Buick will sell these plug-in CUVs like crazy –I’ll be one of first owners!


  153. 153
    CaptJackSparrow

    +1

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:18 pm)

    Yeah, my SL2 doesn’t qual either. Still runs though. I’m gonna clunkout my Ford Explorer. The stupid thing needs a tranny rebuild.


  154. 154
    Volt45

     

    Volt45
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:20 pm)

    If you live within 5,10 miles of work and you don’t need to get on a highway, and you want to be able to haul the kids and a travel trailer on 3 day weekends, this is it.


  155. 155
    Herm

     

    Herm
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:21 pm)

    apparently it is similar to the 2009 Saturn Vue 2 Mode Hybrid, but with an larger 8kwh pack. The cost should scale with the Volt, so perhaps a $4k premium over the Vue, final cost of $37k for the car.

    Here is the review of the 2009 Vue 2 Mode:

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/10/24/first-drive-2009-saturn-vue-2-mode-hybrid


  156. 156
    nasaman

    +1

     

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:28 pm)

    Hey Tag (& everybody) -

    I’ve been tied up all day in a tough series of nation-wide conference calls & just now discovered this fantastic topic/thread. Please skip down to my comment to BillR in #21 below –until I recover a bit I won’t have much more to post tonite.


  157. 157
    Dave K.

     

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:38 pm)

    Will be interesting to see a report on EREV vs 2.4L hybrid in trailer load pull testing.

    How well does the 150 hp EREV handle the temperature build up? How do the smaller motors in the hybrid transmission hold up to the load? What rpm are required and at what fuel cost? Which can better tolerate a long distance?

    What is the cost to upgrade failed parts after extreme testing?

    I place my bet on a RWD or an AWD EREV as the overall winner.

    =D~


  158. 158
    Mike-o-Matic

     

    Mike-o-Matic
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:39 pm)

    LMAO! +1 for you!!

    PS. BTW, you know we dig and respect you, Nasaman, right?!!


  159. 159
    Mike-o-Matic

     

    Mike-o-Matic
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:43 pm)

    They keep saying they’re focused on improving the customer experience, but the proof is in the pudding, not in the talking, now isn’t it?


  160. 160
    Mr. Lunchlady

     

    Mr. Lunchlady
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:46 pm)

    You do realize that there are lakes in the mountains…Even Pikes Peak.


  161. 161
    Mike-o-Matic

     

    Mike-o-Matic
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:46 pm)

    Maybe he’s referring to Dr. Yi Cui’s research at Stanford… reference:
    http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2008/january9/nanowire-010908.html

    By the way Detfan, if you ARE referring to that, bear in mind that GM’s top people have repeatedly said that future battery improvements will be utilized to reduce costs and mass, not to empower longer all-electric ranges. They’re very focused on that “sweet spot” of 40 miles AER.

    Of course, I have no problem with a cheaper/smaller/more reliable battery pack either… it’s all good.


  162. 162
    Luke

     

    Luke
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:50 pm)

    Wow, “Country Cadillac” isn’t even a euphemism now. :-)


  163. 163
    ug

    -2

     

    ug
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (4:57 pm)

    “tests show it is capable of up to 10 miles of pure electric driving at low speeds.”

    EPIC FAIL.

    Chrysler will kick GM’s asses with its fullsize plugins.


  164. 164
    Luke

     

    Luke
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (5:25 pm)

    My experience is that it’s about the same 80% for Ford, but about 20% for Toyota. The Toyota folks act like they’re seriously scared about what happens if you don’t check “excellent” on their customer satisfaction survey.

    I haven’t been to a Honda dealer in a long time, so I can’t say.


  165. 165
    Mark L

     

    Mark L
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (5:27 pm)

    I could care less where its made. I care about the $80 Billion dollars of tax money we spent on GM.


  166. 166
    Luke

     

    Luke
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (5:28 pm)

    My father-in-law says the same thing.

    I see where he’s coming from, but I do point out that some car manufacturers have made their name by building cars that require less service than the competition.


  167. 167
    Luke

    -2

     

    Luke
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (5:32 pm)

    Buick has always been a badge-engineered Chevy — at least for most of my life (I’m 30).

    It looks like that’s been changing a little bit over the last few years, though, but the badge engineering has shaped my perception of the Buick brand more than any “it’s your grandfather’s car” reputation ever could. My grandfather drove a Camry.


  168. 168
    Luke

     

    Luke
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (5:38 pm)

    I’ve driven the 2nd-gen Prius on electric-only at 70mph, downhill with a tailwind. But it’s hard to accelerate at all on electric-only.

    The maximum electric speed number for this Buick PHEV may be hazier than it first appears.


  169. 169
    Exp_EngTech

     

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (5:43 pm)

    Yarrr!! We may have to Keelhaul the Scallywag!


  170. 170
    ShawnQ

     

    ShawnQ
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (5:43 pm)

    It’s all fuzzy math. The more you plug in, the less the engine runs = more MPG.


  171. 171
    Luke

     

    Luke
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (5:44 pm)

    No need for joshing!

    If you’re fortunate enough to live close to work ( < 5 miles) and live in a town with a reasonably friendly set of roads, then t bicycle is a real alternative. The bicycle works pretty well for me in the summer, but I wussed out stopped riding last fall when the temperatures reached 12 degrees F. The weather’s been pretty good here this summer, though, so I’ve ridden to work for 13 of the last 15 business-days. I’ve also been in much better health since I started riding.

    The actual hippies in my family ride their bikes all winter in Colorado…. Brrr!


  172. 172
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:04 pm)

    “The actual hippies in my family ride their bikes all winter in Colorado…. Brrr!”

    Ouch, that’ll freeze your naynays off….


  173. 173
    Koz

    +1

     

    Koz
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:07 pm)

    But it can be pegged as a manufacturing flaw if the same part used to be made in the US or elsewhere without issue and then moved to China. This is happened over and over again in my experience. Manufacturing moved to a lower cost location but something gets lost in the translation and a more inferior product often results. While China has had very low labor rates, that is just the beginning of where the cost savings occur. The other savings often result in a lower quality product.


  174. 174
    Koz

     

    Koz
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:11 pm)

    That has not even been close to my experience with manufacturing origin. It is not that China is incapable of producing quality products (they are very capable of high quality production when that is the goal), but when manufacturing is moved there from eslewhere it is generally to save costs not produce quality. This mentality breeds shortcuts.


  175. 175
    Koz

     

    Koz
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:18 pm)

    I was thinking, “loose the green mole” when I saw the photo but if it is the plug-in port I can happily live with it.


  176. 176
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:23 pm)

    I think one of the characteristics of the nano tech wires (from MIT) is fragility. If so, car batteries will take a while to be functional in those conditions.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!***********NPNS!


  177. 177
    Koz

     

    Koz
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:24 pm)

    sounds like socialism to me


  178. 178
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:27 pm)

    Schmeltz,
    Never being one to be obsessive about my grasp of reality, it’s always possible that with the influx of so many of our dollars, even the first wave will be cheaper than expected.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


  179. 179
    Joe

     

    Joe
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:30 pm)

    EPA ratings. These will be the EPA rating. The Volt will get over 100 miles


  180. 180
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:31 pm)

    Jackson and koz,
    Beats me what it it, but that’s where the early schematics had it. I’d call it a frog, more than a mole. Like a GM Rorschach.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


  181. 181
    Joe

    -1

     

    Joe
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:35 pm)

    Being Buick has a great reliability rating, I find this story hard to believe. Any anti-GM person can invent stories.


  182. 182
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:35 pm)

    nasaman,
    It’s a sure sign of age when getting to the phone and back for a conference call is exhausting (lol)
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


  183. 183
    Tagamet

    +2

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:38 pm)

    Jackson,
    “Iconic” is the ultimate in being compassionate! I enjoyed that one!
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


  184. 184
    Joe

     

    Joe
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:40 pm)

    The two mode trans is made for engines that can haul heavy loads, not like the Volt or Prius.


  185. 185
    RickW

    -3

     

    RickW
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:41 pm)

    Cash for GM Crappers.
    Have you been to the salvage yard lately, they are littered with GM junk , soon to be GM Hybrid Junk. ;-)


  186. 186
    RickW

     

    RickW
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:43 pm)

    Right on Brother. That 80 billion will never be fully recovered. Such a shame. Many people should be in jail for that fiasco.


  187. 187
    Joe

     

    Joe
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:45 pm)

    Go GM go. Make all your classes of vehicles, the leader of MPG!!


  188. 188
    RickW

    -5

     

    RickW
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:46 pm)

    Dubious claim as there are no known Chevy that gets beyond 30 MPG. Don’t believe the marketing hype. Anyone buying a Chevy isn’t concerned about mileage anyhow. Its just the way it is. Mark it.


  189. 189
    Joe

     

    Joe
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:47 pm)

    Chrysler has license GM’s two mode transmission technology, but has not yet paid GM anything.


  190. 190
    carcus1

     

    carcus1
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (6:50 pm)

    This is the right answer.

    If you want a “do it all” vehicle then a plug-in series/parallel hybrid is the way to go for maximum fuel efficiency.

    As compared to a series hybrid, the dual mode s/p pih :
    - ability to tow
    - ability to right size battery,
    - smaller battery
    - less wear and tear on the battery
    - superior performance after “customer depletion”
    - once the battery capacity starts to go down (yr 5 or 6?) you still have the same performance (just lower mpg)

    – the important thing in this technology is the programming for operation in blended mode, AER is not the primary factor (although it would still be nice to have some AER capability if you know you’re doing short trips in-between charges)

    –once a little competition kicks in, this type of vehicle (with an 8kwh battery) should be priced in the high $20k’s to low 30k’s, imo
    (ford’s hybrid escape has been basically unchallenged up to this point, they can and do charge a premium)


  191. 191
    Xiaowei1

    +1

     

    Xiaowei1
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:12 pm)

    I fully agree with Koz. My own experience with goods produced in China is they are in general made by labour intensive work forces with little training, little quality control, often poor alternate design choices, and cheap internal parts (e.g. when protecting circuits from contact with above components – using gloss paper insulators instead of plastic sheets – the paper may do the job, but is more prone to tearing if a poor quality screw above the paper is not sitting flush against it or its head was damaged when it was inserted). Visit some factories there and you will immediately understand.

    The company I work for have changed suppliers numerous times in China simply because they are unable to follow through with quality control or keep cutting corners for the sake of a few cents. They do offer the best prices, but you should simply expect a high product failure rate.


  192. 192
    Xiaowei1

     

    Xiaowei1
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:19 pm)

    This is a double in hope Bob will be sent an email that his post has a reply – My own experience with goods produced in China is they are in general made by labour intensive work forces with little training, little quality control, often poor alternate design choices, and cheap internal parts (e.g. when protecting circuits from contact with above components – using gloss paper insulators instead of plastic sheets – the paper may do the job, but is more prone to tearing if a poor quality screw above the paper is not sitting flush against it or its head was damaged when it was inserted). Visit some factories there and you will immediately understand.

    The company I work for have changed suppliers numerous times in China simply because they are unable to follow through with quality control or keep cutting corners for the sake of a few cents. They do offer the best prices, but you should simply expect a high product failure rate.

    It can make a big difference where the product is produced; production will depend on the education level of the work force, pay rates, management, production culture, incentives, company policies, regulations for production of various goods, safety requirements, etc…


  193. 193
    Charlie H.

     

    Charlie H.
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:20 pm)

    GM will be “spreading its tech. costs” to as many as 20K vehicles per year by 2012.

    Woo. Hoo.

    Meanwhile, Toyota is “spreading its tech. costs” to 500K Priuses and an assortment of other hybrids this year. A lot of their development is fully amortized. HSD is extensible, so their PHEV will have very little in the way of development costs to recoup.

    Moreover, GM has a track record for producing hybrids that don’t sell because their unit manufacturing costs are high and the two-mode setup is very expensive. There’s no reason to expect their unit cost on this Buick PHEV will be dramatically cut and that they vehicle will be attractively priced. It’s going to be another Hybrid Lot Queen, alongside the Yukon, Tahoe and Escalade hybrids.


  194. 194
    Dave G

    -11

     

    Dave G
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    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:21 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  195. 195
    R2D2

     

    R2D2
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:24 pm)

    !
    !
    !
    Buick ppl can go EV too. Weeeeew!!!!
    !
    !
    !


  196. 196
    Charlie H.

     

    Charlie H.
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:29 pm)

    Larry, like Schmeltz says, that is an excellent questioin.

    The two-mode system, on which this is based, is extremely expensive. To price it, take a comparably equipped Saturn Vue (XR with leather, $27.5K), add $1K for some additional badge-engineering costs ($28.5K), $6K for the battery ($34.5) and $10K for the two-mode transmission ($44.5K).

    Buick would probably like to add another $2-3K for the Buick badge but, since this thing already cost more than a Lexus Hybrid, they probably won’t. Or, maybe they will.

    If they really build it, it will be interesting to see whose estimate is closest to reality.


  197. 197
    Dan Petit

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:35 pm)

    That’s really helpful to know, Tag. *Always* love all your posts.

    How are the cats doing?

    (You might give that “Afrin 12 hour all night” pump spray a try if you’ve got overnight nasal swelling like I do. Austin is the allergy capital of the world (lol). That has an emulsion of wax to physically block allergens, and, camomile that relaxes the swelling like nothing else. And it does not rebound whatsoever.)


  198. 198
    Charlie H.

     

    Charlie H.
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    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:37 pm)

    Whether or not the range is important for the Volt in 2011 is academic, as GM will build only 10K of them and they will certainly sell.

    If GM has a hope of marketing this car broadly, however, at anything near the current price point, it must appeal to more people with normal requirements.

    A short cruising range (and 300 miles is short for a regular sedan), is going to take it out of the picture for some people. The missing 5th seath takes out another chunk. For every dimension where a cheaper Prius or far cheaper Corolla or far, far cheaper Yaris, beats the Volt, sales are going to be lost.

    At 10K, the car is a curiosity. If GM wants to take it out of the curiosity realm and go up against the Prius in volume, it must perform. 300 Miles is not enough.

    I won’t buy a 300 mile car. I guess many of you never leave your neighborhood but I’ve been plenty of situations on plenty of trips where 300 miles would not be enough and 400 miles is marginal.

    And don’t forget, at the first stop and fillup, you’re not getting your 40 miles electric back, you just get the fuel tank filled. GM could be talking about 260 miles on gas alone.


  199. 199
    dagwood55

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:42 pm)

    Ooooh… Is is red? Has it broken the 25K mile barrier? Have you given it a “much needed rest?”

    And who did the math on that mileage calculation? Should I trust it?

    I have a really hard time believing 31-33mpg on a Malibu since the Cobalt I rented couldn’t manage 31mpg and I drive at very moderate speeds.

    Wait, is that it? Do you never drive faster than 45mph on the freeway? I admit, I took the Cobalt up to 65. Was that my mistake?


  200. 200
    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:42 pm)

    Thanks Dan,
    I think that post takes the record for your shortest! Cats are all good and don’t be such a stranger (seems like you were AFK for a day or so). Exciting times!
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


  201. 201
    Dave G

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    Dave G
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    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:45 pm)

    Let’s be clear: This car only has 10 miles of electric assist, and the ICE still turns on during that time for accelerating and highway speeds. The net result is that you don’t really decrease the amount of gas you use that much. So you have to plug in every night, and you still have to go to the gas station every week. This is more hassle than a regular ICE vehicle.

    With the Volt, you only have to go to the gas station every 2-3 months, so EREVs are actually less hassle than a regular ICE vehicle.

    My biggest concern is that PHEVs like this will give all plug-ins a bad reputation, and that could hurt sales for the Volt and other EREVs.

    Just having a plug doesn’t make it good…


  202. 202
    nasaman

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:52 pm)

    You’re right Tag, I sure do feel old after audibly/verbally arguing my point with often up to maybe 50 people that I can’t look in the eye —hey, maybe I should try doing it ONLY on this friendly blog from a keyboard with friends like you! :) BTW, I seem to recall that you love Jeeps & that the Jeep Cherokee (a compact SUV I’ve owned) is widely considered the vehicle that actually started the smaller SUV craze in the early 1980s ….so could “NPNS” mean that you might be a potential (“closet”) plug-in Buick CUV owner??? (LOL)


  203. 203
    Dave K.

     

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     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:55 pm)

    Understand how you feel Charlie. Still, 3.5 to 4 hours at freeway speed is pretty good for a gen 1 Volt. This is offset by the 80%+ of local driving distance which is gasoline use free. Hybrids burn gasoline each trip.

    My goal is to put down $20k on my next new car. If the monthly payments are $100 for one of the clone hybrids (fish or jellybean model), or $200 a month for an EREV. It’s no contest.

    Or maybe the 100 mile range electric Nissan? Buying AAA tow insurance will take some of the range anxiety away, but not a good decision at $30k.

    I have to go all time electric drive EREV, it’s the right thing to do IMO.

    =D~


  204. 204
    Dave G

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:58 pm)

    Magilla says:
    I would love to see a 20 mile AER 7 passenger vehicle ASAP.

    ————————————–
    How about a 35 mile AER 6 passenger vehicle? (a.k.a. EREV Orlando).


  205. 205
    Dan Petit

     

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     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (7:59 pm)

    Business is incredible!!! I’ selling 7 Genisys scanners per week.
    I had three 18 hour days in a row.

    I missed yesterdays’ fantastic topic, because I had a “three ring circus” going on with the (great) contractor I’ve got to rebuild the fireplace siding on the outside of the house.

    If I were fortunate enough to have a chance to be a Volt tester, I would post every incredible thing about it (if I got permission while conversing with GM via the OnStar.) (LOL, they would not ever get a chance to get a word in edgewise.)
    What I would do is to talk with GM about ideas and suggestions. They might have to get two full time shifts going just to deal with me. Then I would come home and post here a daily diary. I would relate who said what to me (the shop techs as well as passers-by), and it would be the most incredibly-fun thing I’ve ever done in my life.

    The other thing that has my health perfect, it seems to me, are some protein bars (that I have for breakfast) called MetRx.
    (Colossal 100 gram). They have a patented pre-broken-down protein, that makes me feel like I’m in my thirties, but being 57, I refuse to “act my age”, and refuse to accept “getting old”. (While I do get tired of the same tastes, I use different coffees for the changes). I’ve been using them for 7 years, and have no health problems except the allergies, which are nothing to complain about. I think those protein bars have the most to do with the good health.


  206. 206
    Dave K.

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (8:07 pm)

    DP .. business!

    Sounds good Dan. Took $3500 profit from The Market last week (medical services and golf stocks). And find that the boss just scheduled me for 48 hour work weeks through August. Moving closer to the EREV reality.

    =D~


  207. 207
    Dan Petit

     

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (8:14 pm)

    Dave K.

    That sounds really great. It’s that dynamic energy we write about that can transfer over to our work. When that happens for several weeks, the upper management pays close attention.
    (In my case, upper management of the shops, as well as the techs, pay close attention, then the techs learn better and faster themselves).

    The relentless enthusiasm we consistently project in our jobs has us increase our chances of succeeding to get our Volts, however and whenever it is meant for it to work out for us.


  208. 208
    Tagamet

     

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     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (8:20 pm)

    nasaman,
    Now you’ve gone and outed me! My Cherokee gets 20+ mpg, but 70 would really be sweet! I do have a (very small) boat that I tow now and again. I’m still a 90/10 Voltman, so does that make me “Bi”? Just kidding.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


  209. 209
    Tagamet

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (8:24 pm)

    And there’s money in there for thousands of 220V charging stations – but just in a few states.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


  210. 210
    Tagamet

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (8:37 pm)

    Since they have been working on the crossover about as long as the Volt, and we know so much less about the crossover, I’m not sure we should trash the cuv just yet. (I’m not sure *I* understand that – lol)
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


  211. 211
    Tex-Arl

     

    Tex-Arl
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (8:49 pm)

    The State of California when they backtracted on requiring 10 % of the cars sold to be electric.

    When GM was the only one, they couldn’t stand it and backed up on the regulation.


  212. 212
    Tagamet

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (8:56 pm)

    Old man
    You get there over a large pile of BODIES (just kidding). I have no idea how they’ll decide.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


  213. 213
    Dave K.

     

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (8:58 pm)

  214. 214
    Eric E

     

    Eric E
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:01 pm)

    Good news… but not great.

    This is an interim vehicle in my opinion. To complex.
    But at least it will increase demand for advanced battery storage technologies while reducing consumption of oil.

    Once people start driving electric vehicles like the Volt, they won’t want the clumsy ICE/transmission anymore.

    Nissan is installing 240 fast charging stations (30 minute/80% SOC) in 6 US cities. I believe BEVs are the future.

    I will consider this vehicle because it has a plug, and it’s an SUV. But if someone else offers an SUV with a serial-hybrid drive train like the Volt, or a BEV…

    ? We’ll see…


  215. 215
    jandpjandp

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:03 pm)

    I can confirm, my 2004 Malibu easily gets 32 MPG on my highway trips. That is an actual calculation. I live in the midwest. Maybe it is driving habits. I stick the cruise control at the speed limit and have not problem getting good mileage.


  216. 216
    Eric E

     

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     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:07 pm)

    Horse Hybrid… LOL
    That’s awesome!


  217. 217
    tom beaver

    +1

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:12 pm)

    I have a 1999 Buick Lesable with 291000+ miles on it and the engine has never had the head off. It has always had a combined milage in the 28-29mpg range. On long trips running 5-10 over the limit I get 30+. I’m sick of all the bull about only good cars are japanese or german. US cars have been stedily improving for years. You can buy American, convert to all synthic lubricants and have decent milage and be dependable. I agree that many dealers will burn you a new one every chance they get. My local Toyota dealer charged $3200 to rebuild a 22R 4 cyl. They even billed me for a new oil pan! I guess the antifreeze from the blown head gasket must have ate a hole in it. Burn me once it’s your fault burn me twice it’s my fault. Bought my last Toyota. Everybody builds a bad car once in a while. What counts is what you do for your customer when a lemon gets by.


  218. 218
    Tagamet

     

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     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:22 pm)

    DonC,
    The summary I linked to yesterday mentioned 12,500 plugin stations (220V), in ~5 states. If THEY are matched, things get really interesting!
    PS I’m 220V plugin ready at my house, so quick charging should be pretty slick!
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


  219. 219
    GXT

    +3

     

    GXT
     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:34 pm)

    Dave,

    Assuming all your numbers are correct….Just so I understand….
    Prius to Volt = 191 Gallons saved with a 16KWh battery = Worth It

    CUV HEV to CUV PHEV-10 = 87 Gallons saved for a 8KWh battery = Not Worth It

    ??

    Things the CUV PHEV-10 has over the Volt:
    1) Half the battery size apparently right now equals 1/4 the cost (as GM is apparently pricing in two batteries).
    2) The superior design allows the ICE to drive the car. That equals more power when you need it, 0 risk of limp mode, less need for battery reserve, less powerful electric motors needed.

    Regarding the “less hassle”, yes the Volt is less hassle than the CUV PHEV-10, but the Prius is less hassle yet than both of them (in a two month period perhaps two extra stops stops at the gas station with the Prius is less work in my book than 120 to 240 trips to the plug and as many times dealing with the power cord). But I wouldn’t exclude either on that basis.

    But most importantly with the CUV PHEV-10 vs the Volt, a greater percentage of drivers will use more of the battery capacity they have more often. Also it seems this CUV PHEV-10 will save 420 gallons/year over a V6 Traverse for 8KWh whereas according to your numbers a Volt will save “only” 343 Gallons/year over a Civic but take twice the amount of battery. Oh, and the Volt will use up to twice as much electricity as the CUV PHEV-10.


  220. 220
    GXT

    +1

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (9:49 pm)

    Uh…. it was 50MPG before GM changed the ICE to a more thirsty model. Sure they spun it as a better choice, but it wasn’t long before they started talking about Volt II having that “undesirable” engine that Volt I was apparently so lucky to avoid.

    The 70MPG number is about as silly as the 150 MPG Volt numbers.

    I’m not sure the exact source, but let’s engage in some mildly critical thinking, shall we?

    Lyle wrote: “Using this technology the vehicle is expected to achieve at least double the efficiency of a gas version of that car. This could amount to more than 70 MPG.

    The engine for the plug hybrid will be a 3.6L V-6 flex-fuel, and the car will also contain two powerful electric motors and sophisticated electronic controls.”

    Stop and think about it for a moment… a Chevy Traverse gets 16/23 with a 3.6L V6. Double that (big assumption?) and you get 32/46.

    How is that 70?


  221. 221
    LauraM

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:13 pm)

    I agree. For the EREV feature to be useful, I need at least 300 miles after the electric range. I refill whenever the gas is half empty, and I don’t want to have to stop more than every two hours. I’d prefer a 400 mile ICE range, but I can live without it.


  222. 222
    NZDavid

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:15 pm)

    Yep, that’s what I want as well.


  223. 223
    LauraM

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:17 pm)

    If it’s that expensive, why make it a Buick? Why not a Cadillac?


  224. 224
    carcus1

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:20 pm)

    There must be SOME way you can get back at that Toyota dealer.

    http://www.nerdtests.com/picsarea/d2150b0d2c213132e641bc18bef5c824.jpg


  225. 225
    Dave G

     

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     Says

     

    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:24 pm)

    GXT,
    Lots of points to respond to here:

    1) The cost of the battery is not the main thing driving the cost of the Volt. GM says it’s the other electrical components (HVAC, water pumps, electric motor, etc.) from specialized suppliers that drives the cost. If those parts cost the same as regular car parts, the Volt would cost around $25K. We just found that out here:
    http://gm-volt.com/2009/08/04/why-the-volt-will-cost-40000/

    2) I wouldn’t call parallel superior. A small induction motor can be VERY powerful. The Tesla Roadster motor is 248hp, weighs 70 pounds, and is about the size of a watermelon.

    3) How long does it take you to plug in at night? For me, it would be around 30 seconds. And then another 30 seconds to unplug in the morning. Now, how long does it take to fill up on gas? Remember to add the average time waiting in line, the time to drive to the gas station, and the time to pay. For me, this would be 10-15 minutes. So filling up on gas once a week is more hassle than plugging in every night. And obviously, doing both is more hassle than either one separately.

    4) The PHEV will be an option for the regular CUV hybrid, so that’s what you compare it to. For an extra $4000, you can get a plug-in option on the hybrid, which saves you some gas, but not enough to avoid most trips to the gas station. You could compare it to a V6 Traverse, a Silverado, or a Hummer, but that’s not a good comparison.


  226. 226
    LauraM

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (10:26 pm)

    So much for Lutz’s rich environmentalists on the coasts. Is it me, or is it strange that they’re not setting up any in LA, DC, San Francisco, Chicago or NY? Maybe Nissan doesn’t want to compete with Tesla? Because the only overlap they have dealershipwise is in Seattle.

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/tesla-opens-manhattan-dealership/

    But it’s great that they’re spreading out the EV availability.


  227. 227
    koz

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:04 pm)

    220V will get you a charge a lot faster than 120V but it doesn’t necessarily mean “quick” charging, besides batteries like slow charging. Temperature kills and the faster the charge the higher the temps. Your home 220V is probably 30A or 50A unless you had a special circuit put in.


  228. 228
    koz

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:12 pm)

    Yes, battery development is good but I think the most encouraging part is getting plug-ins on the road. Once they are on the road, plug-in points will follow. EREVs don’t require plug-in points for those with easy access at home but for the rest of the population they do, plus they become even more valuable for heavy drivers. This is the cheapest and fastest way to improve the functionality of batteries.


  229. 229
    Dave K.

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:12 pm)

    hey carcus1, calm down…

    http://garfwod.250free.com/rolloneup.jpg

    =D~


  230. 230
    DonC

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:22 pm)

    I think these are just the areas where they have partners committed to helping build the charging infrastructure (or helping to remove impediments like long permitting processes). The 100 range for the LEAF is not very realistic — it will probably be closer to 60 or 70 miles — so the chargers will be important.

    The only oddity is Tennessee but the LEAFs will be built there, which accounts for the local support. The lack of charging partners is why you don’t see San Francisco. NY and Chicago may be too cold for the initial roll out. Remember that the EV1 was only sold (I believe) in CA and AZ.


  231. 231
    DonC

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:25 pm)

    That’s great that you’re 220V ready. We really aren’t and I think our panel is maxed out so it might be an expensive upgrade. Hopefully we won’t have to upgrade the service. Then again if it’s for me I don’t drive enough miles to worry about needing a quick charge.

    Do you think the business place would put in a quick charge?


  232. 232
    NZDavid

    +1

     

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    Aug 6th, 2009 (11:40 pm)

    That pretty much covers where I’m at Noel.

    And what Tag said as well. lol.

    +1 from me.

    LJGTVWOTR
    NO Voltec Plug, NO Sale.


  233. 233
    Herm

     

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     Says

     

    Aug 7th, 2009 (1:01 am)

    The motors are active cooled:

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/05/2mode-fwd-20090509.html

    so they should remain cool.. but the transmission uses 5 clutches so those may become a problem with high miles and lots of towing.

    The larger 6 cyl ICE in the hybrid could be an atkinson cycle, it may end up with the same power as the 4 cyl.. but higher efficiency.


  234. 234
    BillR

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    Aug 7th, 2009 (5:48 am)

    Guess I’ll throw my 2c worth on this discussion.

    The EPA uses 15,000 miles per year as the average distance driven by a vehicle. Let’s assume since the Volt uses ~200 Wh/mile, that the Buick can get by with 250 Wh/mile. Still using only 4 of the 8 kwh in the battery, this equates to 16 miles electric boost (not true AER).

    The 15,000 miles per year equates to 41 miles per day of driving. If 16 miles per day can come from electric, this equates to 39% of your propulsion energy.

    At the EPA website, the 2-mode Saturn Vue is rated 27/30 for an EPA average of 28 mpg. So the ICE 2-mode model needs 536 gallons of gas per year. With the plug-in version, 39% of the energy is from electricity, so annual gasoline consumption drops to 327 gallons per year.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm

    (Look at 2009 Saturn Hybrid, the one with variable gear ratios)

    Although this is a savings of 200 gallons per year, the apparent fuel consumption is now 46 mpg!

    This is about on par with the Prissy. Compared to the Lambda vehicles (Enclave, Traverse, Acadia) at about 19 mpg composite, this is ~ 2.4 times the mpg.

    The 70 mpg is probably for a daily trip of perhaps 25 miles, where more than half of your propulsion energy comes from electricity. For instance, at 25 miles, if 16 is from electric drive, only 9 comes from gasoline. At 28 mpg, 9/28 = 0.32 gallons. For 25 miles driven, this equals 78 mpg.


  235. 235
    Don Miller

     

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    Aug 7th, 2009 (5:55 am)

    Enough already! PLeeease, let us get one good electric car on the road for a year, let the battery technology catch up, and then explore some intellegent options. No “E-hybrid semi-trailer SUV to pull someone’s gas-guzzling boat to ruin the lakes on weekends. Even hear of an “E-boat”? It’s a sailboat!

    The Volt was to get 150mpg on the highway on a long trip. Now you guys are talking 50-70 mpg. I am putting my money away for a Volt, but I am getting disillusioned. Will the rest of the country fail like California?


  236. 236
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Aug 7th, 2009 (6:01 am)

    Jeff J,.
    I’m holding. I hope it will be soon, before I turn blue and pass out. ;)


  237. 237
    Rashiid Amul

     

    Rashiid Amul
     Says

     

    Aug 7th, 2009 (6:04 am)

    What about people why have been driving 30 MPG cars for the past 10 years?

    Exactly. We get punished while the sinners get a break.
    Sup wit dat?


  238. 238
    BillR

     

    BillR
     Says

     

    Aug 7th, 2009 (6:10 am)

    The ICE in the Saturn Vue (which this Buick probably is designed from) was rated about 260 hp, maybe 240 ft-lb of torque.

    The electric motors are about 75 hp (55 kW), probably 140 ft-lb of torque (note, these values are about half of the 111 kW, 278 ft-lb for the Volt traction motor, and thus powered by a 1/2 sized battery).

    So the combined power with one electric motor (I believe they operate in different speed ranges) is 335 hp and 380 ft-lb of torque! This is the power output of GM’s 5.3L V8 that is in most trucks!

    Yet without the plug-in benefit, it gets comparable mileage to the 4 cyl BAS hybrid.

    So you are getting V8 performance with 4 cyl economy without the plug-in benefit. With the plug-in benefit, you can likely get 40 – 70 mpg, depending on your daily driving distance.


  239. 239
    Rashiid Amul

     

    Rashiid Amul
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    Aug 7th, 2009 (6:14 am)

    I disagree.
    I get 500 miles from my Elantra.
    300 miles means I have to stop and buy gas more often.
    I hate that but will have to live with it.


  240. 240
    koz

     

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    Aug 7th, 2009 (6:18 am)

    Yea, lots of angst in TN over this.


  241. 241
    Rashiid Amul

     

    Rashiid Amul
     Says

     

    Aug 7th, 2009 (6:23 am)

    So you traveled about 410 miles on 8.5 gallons of gas.
    I agree with ccombs. That is not bad at all.
    I do wish the Volt could do the same.


  242. 242
    koz

     

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     Says

     

    Aug 7th, 2009 (6:32 am)

    Rorschach? Had to google this one. If the plug goes there, I’ll call it the Cyndi Crawford. Simple tastes…


  243. 243
    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 7th, 2009 (6:48 am)

    koz,
    And VERY Freudian! (LOL).
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


  244. 244
    Tagamet

     

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Aug 7th, 2009 (6:52 am)

    Eventually, charging spots will replace parking meters (in towns) and be ubiquitous in the cities. There’s plenty of time for that to happen. We need the demand (cars) first, to create the demand.
    JMO
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!!!***********NPNS!


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    Shock Me

     

    Shock Me
     Says

     

    Aug 7th, 2009 (8:01 am)

    No thanks.

    1. I don’t want an SUV.

    2. I don’t want a V-6.

    3. I don’t want a Buick.

    ————————————————–

    The solution seems easy then. Buy a Volt instead.

    1. Don’t need a SUV or CUV but I understand the aspirational and practical value.

    2. Don’t mind a V6 if I could afford something fun to tow.

    3. Buicks with ICEs are awesome and super-comfortable long-distance rides. You may not like the outsides, but when you realize you spend most of your time INSIDE it you will learn to appreciate them.

    What I want and need is Buick coachwork on some variation of the Zeta platform along the lines of the Invicta or Velite but with a VOLTEC drivetrain.

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


  246. 246
    Jackson

     

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Aug 7th, 2009 (8:44 am)

    Same Li/Ion cells as in the Volt = higher overall cell volumes = lower cost for each = we all win.


  247. 247
    MCD

     

    MCD
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    Aug 7th, 2009 (8:47 am)

    I am confused. What are the positives to buying this versus the Volt or possibly the Orlando with Voltec? I understand the Voltec concept, I don’t understand the 2 mode hybrid and what it would give me. Any help clearing this up is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, Matt


  248. 248
    Shock Me

     

    Shock Me
     Says

     

    Aug 7th, 2009 (9:22 am)

    I think you are taking the compact portion of compact CUV way too seriously. This vehicle is not compact just a smaller SUV on a car chassis. For it’s capabilities 30 mpg would be a very good mileage on the highway.

    The prime benefit of this 2-mode system is the low-speed city performance.

    BTW my decade-old Buick Century with a 6-cylinder 3.1 Liter engine gets 30 mpg on the highway but it probably shouldn’t be towing anything (although it probably could if I installed the hitch).


  249. 249
    Larry McFall

     

    Larry McFall
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    Aug 7th, 2009 (11:33 am)

    A Buick. OK! Now, how about the Volt. Instead of sitting around with the competitive waste of time at GM in seeing what new hood ornament they can stick on their technology, I would like to see the VOLT out in the public for consumption. GM is up to there same old tricks in the divisions competing versus a unified effort in developing a FANTASTIC product.

    Get the Volt project smoothed out running right before you start sticking new confusion factors in the road of progress. I know! you probably believe that you are making progress.

    And also, how about the price issue or is it NOT, NO longer an issue because it will cost $40,000 Plus.


  250. 250
    Tony P

     

    Tony P
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    Aug 7th, 2009 (2:02 pm)

    Just say it isn’t going to cost $40,000. That seems to be the price for new green technology products.


  251. 251
    carcus1

     

    carcus1
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    Aug 7th, 2009 (3:52 pm)

    I’d like to take your advice, but in my work environment I have to keep my mind as sharp as my teeth.
    http://www.bagofnothing.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2006/07/Beaver.jpg


  252. 252
    nasaman

     

    nasaman
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    Aug 8th, 2009 (5:54 am)

    Meanwhile, the Ford Fusion hybrid’s TV blitz continues to brag about its 700 mile range!

    /Seriously, I have to wonder how many Volt sales might be lost to the Fusion hybrid merely for the lack of a truly inexpensive, somewhat-larger (i.e., normal-sized) fuel tank!?!

    //GM: Could it be that there’s simply no space left for a more standard size 15-gallon tank???


  253. 253
    koz

     

    koz
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    Aug 8th, 2009 (6:33 am)

    You must have misinterpreted something or been given bad info. The Volt has been 50mpg under charge sustaining mode, accoring to GM, since day one. 150mpg is the number used for what a typical driver’s overall, charge depeleting plus charge sustaining, mpg might be. There are apps the EREV is even better suited to than a small Chevy hatchback. They should green vehicles for those apps now since it will take at least 3 years to get to production.


  254. 254
    koz

     

    koz
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    Aug 8th, 2009 (6:55 am)

    Actually, it is a chicken and an egg problem IMO. Subsequently, we need both. There are a lot of people that will never, or very rarely, be able to take advantage of a plug-in vehicle without away from home charging. There are also many people that will not be able to take enough advantage of their plug-ins without this. Basically, your adding significant battery functionality without haveing to wait for the battery development or additional costs. Of course we have to make a commitment to the electrification of the automobile but this is inevitable and certainly for the common good IMO.

    Roadways are often built, and properly built, in advance of their need. Schoools too. How many railway cars existed when railroads started to be built. Industry can crank out a lot of cars in a hurry but we will still be building the core of our charging infrustrature 20 years from now. Solar retrofit installations cost about $3-10K more as a retrofit vs new construction. The same will be true for public charging. To add the capability for charge stations, not the actual stations themselves, would add a miniscule amount of cost to a parking garage or parking lot new construction project. To add them as a retrofit will cost at least 10 times and probably more like 100 times as much if not more. We should be changing the codes now to account for this. Every public parking project built today should be required to have at least a certain percentage of charge port ready spots. It is an ounce of prevention vs a pound of cure later on.


  255. [...] Source. [...]


  256. 256
    Captain Hybrid » Blog Archive » Buick To Roll Out Plug-In SUV

     

    Captain Hybrid » Blog Archive » Buick To Roll Out Plug-In SUV
     Says

     

    Aug 18th, 2009 (5:23 pm)

    [...] free from its long-held image as a manufacturer of cars for older drivers, Buick said recently it will roll out a plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicle in [...]


  257. [...] and this availability changes every week. In addition to the Nissan Leaf, you probably saw that Buick announced a plug-in for [...]