Aug 30

BMW Vision Plug-in Hybrid Concept Car

 

BMW has released the details of its Vision concept car which will be unveiled in Frankfurt in September.

The car is a technological tour-de-force that borrows some of the Volt concept but expands it in new directions.

The car is a 2+2 seater sports car that has stunning performance, aerodynamics, design and fuel efficiency.

It is a plug-in hybrid vehicle not an extended range electric vehilce, but appears to share the best of both architectures..  It uses a 10.8 kwh lithium ion battery pack of which 8.6 kwh hours is usable.  Instead of taking GMs approach of only using 50% of a 16 kwh pack, BMW is using 8.6 kwh (80%) of a 10.8 kwh pack, allowing the pack to be smaller and lighter, weighing in at only 187 pounds.

The powerplant is a 3 cylinder 1.5 liter turbo-diesel engine that is supplemented by 2 electric motors.  BMW indicates the vehilce is capable of driving on electricity alone, the combustion engine alone or an infinite number of combinations of them.  For brief bursts the cumulative output of all three powerplants can be as high as 356 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque.

The car can do 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

It gets 62.6 MPG in the European cycle when running only on the diesel engine but is capable of traveling 31 miles purely on electricity when the battery has been fully charged.  This configuration will allow the vehilce very high MPG estimates when using the new PHEV measurements under developed.

Charging takes 2-1/2 hours at 240V, 16 amps.  A 380 v 32 amp fast charging option is available allowing the car to be recharged in 44 minutes.

There is a 6.6 gallon fuel tank giving the car a 400 (diesel) + 31 (EV) total driving range of 431 miles.

The car also has an astounding coefficient of drag of .22 making it extremely aerodynamic.

It uses lightweight construction techniques and has a cur weight of 3056 pounds.

Styling is aggressive and stunning, there are overhead doors and 3 heads up driver displays.

PRESS RELEASE BELOW:

THE BMW VISION EFFICIENTDYNAMICS CONCEPT

The latest BMW Concept Car for the EfficientDynamics philosophy.

Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, 29 August 2009, 6pm Eastern… For decades, BMW has made the reduction of emissions and fuel consumption a key part of its product development strategy, just as enhancements to the dynamic ability of each BMW have been a lasting, sustained brand value. BMW’s EfficientDynamics engineering philosophy – the pursuit of an enhanced, athletic driving experience while simultaneously lowering the consumption and emissions of each vehicle – resulted in the most dramatic drop in fleet consumption of any automaker from 1990 through 2005, according to an Environmental Defense study.

Now, the BMW Vision concept car clearly demonstrates that the EfficientDynamics objectives are fully compatible when applied to a sports car. Conceived as a 2+2-seater with plug-in full-hybrid technology, this unique car combines the performance of a BMW M vehicle with a standard of fuel efficiency and emission management that exceeds even the current levels achieved by the latest small cars. This outstanding result is made possible by the combination of BMW ActiveHybrid components with an extremely economical combustion engine, and outstanding aerodynamic qualities.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is the result of a “clean-sheet” development process to ensure that the correct achievements were made in the areas of efficiency, driving pleasure, technology, and emotional design. BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is the most comprehensive implementation of the EfficientDynamics philosophy seen so far. The powertrain provides a top speed limited electronically to 155 mph, with acceleration to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. Average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 3.76 liters/100 kilometers, equal to 62.6 mpg, and the CO2 emission rating is 99 grams per kilometer. CO2 emission management is even more outstanding when driving in the all-electric mode after charging the battery from a plug-in source: Taking all emissions in the generation of electricity into account, as prescribed by the EU formula, the car’s emission rating is just 50 grams per kilometer.

Through this unique balance of driving pleasure and fuel efficiency, the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car clearly demonstrates the potential of BMW ActiveHybrid technology, which makes its world debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show in the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 and BMW ActiveHybrid 7 production models.

The power and performance are made possible by combining a fuel-efficient 3-cylinder turbodiesel with one electric motor on each axle. The intelligent combination of these units, together with precisely controlled energy management, simultaneously enhances the dynamic performance and the efficiency of the car. Overall system output is 356 horsepower, and peak torque is 590 lb-ft. The special arrangement of the two motors and diesel engine allows all-wheel drive when driving in all-electric mode. The result is minimum power loss and a harmonious transmission of the power available under all conditions.

In its design, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics for the first time conveys the dynamic look of a BMW sports car to a hybrid vehicle. Developed with decades of experience in Motorsport, the body of this unique sports car is a result of intelligent lightweight technology and aerodynamic efficiency. In the design of the interior, the focus was likewise on both the fascinating driving experience and, in particular, on transparent, hands-on technology and maximum reduction of weight.

Turbodiesel engine with unprecedented specific output.

The combustion engine is a cutting-edge turbodiesel featured for the first time in the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car. Displacing 1.5 liters on three cylinders, the engine consistently follows the downsizing principle of using a relatively small engine combined with a turbocharger to reduce fuel consumption.

Through its compact dimensions, the 3-cylinder fits conveniently in front of the rear axle like in an agile mid-engine sports car, despite the two seats at the rear. Fuel is injected by the latest generation of High Precision Direct Injection, and the turbocharger features variable intake geometry for maximum efficiency. Engine output is 163 hp with peak torque of 214 lb-ft.

The specific output of 109 hp per liter sets a new benchmark in diesel technology. The power delivered by the turbodiesel is conveyed to the rear axle by means of a double-clutch transmission (DCT). This advanced transmission technology, which already offers a particularly dynamic driving experience in BMW’s M3 and Z4 Roadster, allows the driver to shift gears without the slightest interruption of power. BMW Vision EfficientDynamics features a newly-developed version of BMW’s DCT with six speeds for maximum efficiency and flexibility.

Two electric motors for full-hybrid drive.

The combustion engine is supplemented by two electric motors. Consistently applying the BMW ActiveHybrid philosophy, development engineers followed the principle of “Best of Hybrid,” choosing the optimum combination of a hybrid synchronous motor on the front axle and a full-hybrid system at the rear.

In this concept, the driver benefits from the efficiency of the electric motors over a far wider speed range than with a conventional hybrid car. The rear axle comes with a second-generation full-hybrid system corresponding to the technology in the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 production model. The compact electric motor positioned between the diesel engine and the DCT outputs a consistent 33 horsepower and is able to reach a peak of up to 51 hp. Maximum torque for the rear electric motor is 214 lb-ft, the power, either supporting the diesel engine or in all-electric motoring. When coasting or applying the brakes, the electric motor acts as a generator and feeds electric power to the lithium-polymer battery in the car. The electric energy developed in this way is therefore captured without any additional consumption of fuel through the principle of Brake Energy Regeneration. Energy wasted on the brakes of a conventional car is thus saved within the new power system for subsequent use in driving the car.

A second electric motor acts on the front axle. This engine, a hybrid synchronous motor, offers continuous output of 80 horsepower and peak torque of 162 lb-ft. Extra power of 112 horsepower is available for a period of up to 30 seconds, and, for a 10-second “burst,” the electric motor is able to develop 139 horsepower. The power is transmitted through a 2-stage, single-speed reduction gearbox.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is able to run completely under electric power, with the power of the turbodiesel engine alone, or through an infinite combination of the three power sources. Depending on driving conditions, the two electric motors may be used both for accelerating and for regenerating energy when applying the brakes and while coasting. This principle ensures efficient energy management, with the charge status of the lithium-polymer battery constantly remaining within the optimum range. When accelerating, the electric motors help to boost the car for even greater performance, ensuring immediate response and a significant reduction in fuel consumption. For a short time, such as in passing maneuvers, the cumulative maximum output of all three engines increases to 356 hp, with maximum torque generated by the three engines reaching 590 lb-ft.

Lithium-polymer battery for electrical energy.

The energy cells featured in BMW Vision EfficientDynamics are housed in a chassis element running from front to rear through the middle of the car. The front unit is the lithium-polymer complex, an ongoing development of the lithium-ion battery. Overall, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics comes with a total of 98 lithium-polymer cells, each offering a capacity of 30 amp/hours and developing continuous output of 600 Amps at a voltage of 3.7 V. For a period of 30 seconds, each cell is even able to develop maximum output of 1,200 Amps.

Serial arrangement of the lithium-polymer cells serves to generate nominal voltage of 364 volts, the gross storage capacity of the battery is 10.8 kW/h. With an unusually high discharge capacity of 80 percent, the battery delivers 8.6 kW/h for driving the car. This superior performance comes on overall weight of the entire energy storage system of just 187 lb. A further advantage is that through their optimum dimensions tailored to the specific qualities and features of the car, the lithium-polymer cells, together with the operating strategy chosen with a concept of “forward looking” energy management, reduces the thermal load acting on the battery to such an extent that there is no need for active cooling.

Plug-in solution: convenient charging of the electric power system from a conventional power socket.

Brake Energy Regeneration captures electric power generated while driving without additional fuel consumption, which is subsequently used to supply power to the electric motors and on-board network. A further option is to connect the lithium-polymer cells to a conventional power socket for a simple and efficient charge process, using a plug-in connector in the front-right wing of the car. Connected to a standard EU power outlet (220 V, 16 Amps), the system requires a maximum of 2 ½ hours to fully charge the lithium-polymer cells. And wherever a power source with higher voltage and amperage (380 V, 32 Amps) is available, the charge time is an even shorter 44 minutes.

In addition to electrical energy storage, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics comes with a conventional fuel tank at the rear end of the central chassis tunnel, offering a capacity of 6.6 gallons. Running on diesel fuel alone, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is able to cover a distance of approximately 400 miles with its combustion engine. Benefitting from an extra range of up to 31 miles in the all-electric mode, the car offers an overall range of approximately 431 miles. As a result, this unique concept car offers all the requirements for using energy with maximum efficiency and at the same time experiencing the dynamic performance typical of BMW without any restriction of everyday driving qualities.

Performance, fuel efficiency and emission management opening new dimensions in hybrid technology.

The power delivered by the two electric motors and single diesel 3-cylinder engine gives the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept a level of performance superior to anything provided so far by a hybrid vehicle. Acceleration from a standstill to 100 km/h, for example, comes in just 4.8 seconds and the car could exceed its electronically-limited 155 mph top speed.

At the same time fuel efficiency and emission management now reach a standard only achieved, if at all, by far less powerful small cars conceived for city traffic and short distances. Applying the criteria of the EU test cycle, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics offers average fuel consumption equal to 62.6 mpg. CO2 emissions, in turn, are 99 grams per kilometer. These consumption and emission figures are measured on a consistent internal power balance, meaning that the batteries and storage media for electrical energy maintain the same charge level throughout the entire test cycle (with the same level at the beginning and end) and are charged while driving only by the car’s on-board systems.

As a plug-in hybrid, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is able to cover the entire drive cycle for measuring fuel consumption also with its combustion engine completely switched off. Then, to subsequently charge the lithium-polymer cells to the same status as when setting off, all the driver has to do is connect the car to an external power grid. To determine the consumption of electric power, the only requirement is to compare the charge level of the battery before and after the test cycle. Applying this measurement process, the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car consumes 17.5 kW/h per 100 kilometers, equal to a CO2 emission rating of just 50 grams per kilometer in the EU test cycle.

To determine the total volume of CO2 emissions when driving in the all-electric mode, new legal standards for measuring the level of fuel consumption are currently being prepared for hybrid and electric cars with a plug-in power supply. Applying this calculation method, the CO2 emission ratings generated by BMW Vision EfficientDynamics are reduced further to just one-third of the original figure of 99 grams per kilometer. Clearly, this significant reduction of emissions opens up a new dimension in BMW’s EfficientDynamics development strategy in this unique concept car.

Aerodynamic qualities reflecting BMW’s Motorsport experience.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics also takes a new approach in its design and streamlining, the body and the interior clearly expressing the unique combination of supreme efficiency and the sporting performance of the brand. Following BMW’s design language, this concept car visualizes both highly efficient aerodynamics and intelligent lightweight construction.

In its design, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics differs from the usual low-emission car concepts. The principle of “form follows function” is not just for the overall look of the car, but embraces each and every detail. Measuring 48.8″ in height and boasting a sweeping, arch-like roofline, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics offers the slender silhouette of a classic Gran Turismo. With the combustion engine fitted in front of the rear axle, the designers have succeeded in giving the car a very low front end, with the flow of air being further smoothened by active louvers in front of the radiator, which close completely when the need for cooling air is low. This efficient function follows in the footsteps of the active air flap control already used as a feature of BMW EfficientDynamics in some of BMW’s current production models. As a further highlight, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics guides air smoothly and exactly as required into the car through an active air intake at the front.

Numerous details in the design of the body are based on the know-how BMW has gained in Motorsport, a number of body elements serving as air deflectors and guide vanes. Designed as ducts, for example, the A-pillars serve to channel the flow of air in the same way as the rear lights with their wing profile. The floor of the car is fully covered from front to rear and from one side to the other, thus maintaining a smooth surface to avoid any air swirl liable to increase fuel consumption. Slender openings around the front air dam guide the air flowing specifically into two closed ducts leading inside the front air dam to the wheel arches where the air comes out again through a very slim aperture at high speed, flowing just next to the outer wheel flanks. This air jet rests on the front wheels like a curtain and is therefore referred to most appropriately as the “air curtain.” It provides a highly stabilizing effect.

Overall vehicle concept for a drag coefficient of just 0.22.

To further optimize the aerodynamic qualities of the entire vehicle and keep rolling resistance to a minimum, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics comes with tires and wheels of quite unusual size on a sports car. The tires measure 195/55, while large 21-inch wheels provide a contact surface on the road otherwise offered only by a much wider tire. In combination with the sophisticated axle geometry, this ensures agile driving behavior.

The extra-large wheel covers extending over part of the tire flanks add to the unique, very different look of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics from the side. The blade profile integrated in the wheels serves furthermore to reduce the negative effect of the turning wheels on the overall aerodynamics of the car. In all, these features optimizing the aerodynamic qualities of the car give the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car a very low drag factor (CX) of just 0.22.

Technological look as a strong impression of intelligent lightweight construction.

In both exterior and interior design, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics stands out clearly as a strong spearhead in technology. Many components of the vehicle are presented in full view expressing the “transparent” character of the car as a powerful visual feature of lightweight technology. The chassis and suspension of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics are made completely of aluminum; the roof and the outer skin on the doors are made almost completely of a special polycarbonate glass automatically darkening as a function of the light shining on the car.

Measuring 181.1″ in length, 74.8″ in width and 48.8″ in height, this unique concept car offers ample space for up to four passengers and their luggage. Thanks to the consistent lightweight construction strategy applied on the car, curb weight is 3,076 lb, with the center of gravity remaining very low. In its power-to-weight ratio, the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car is far superior to all other hybrid cars, achieving the same standard as extremely dynamic sports cars with a conventional combustion engine.

Carrying a maximum payload of 981 lb, this unique 2+2-seater is fully suited for everyday traffic. Luggage capacity of 5.3 cu ft, in turn, allows the driver and passengers to conveniently take along two golf bags. And to meet additional loading requirements the backrests of the two rear seats may be tilted down individually to provide extra storage space.

Emotional design through sculptural shapes and layering technology.

Reflecting the innovative drive concept of this unique car, the design of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics likewise takes a new approach in combining functional progress with a most powerful emotional impact.

This has been achieved through the close cooperation of BMW’s Design and Technical Development Divisions starting at an early point and continuing consistently throughout the entire development process. The result is a brand-new vehicle architecture with the drive components as well as the body and interior elements perfectly coordinated and matched to one another with maximum flexibility and individual style.

A fully integrated design philosophy also provided new options in using harmonized design principles connecting the exterior and the interior and providing an interacting effect between the two areas.

Sculptural design language giving BMW Vision EfficientDynamics a fully harmonized, complete look ensures the proportions typical of a BMW sports car. The front, side, rear and roof areas, for example, flow smoothly into one another. Dynamically contoured surfaces and shapes, in turn, create highly attractive light and shade effects accentuating the light and sporting character of the car in an emotional manner.

Layering technology developed by the BMW Group Design Division acts as the fundamental guideline in designing the exterior and interior. Applied for the first time in exterior design, this technology layers one surface on top of the other, creating very smooth seams and joints to reduce the number of components and, accordingly, the weight of the car. As a result, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics meets the most demanding aerodynamic requirements without using any additional body elements, simply through the structure of the surfaces optimized for a smooth flow of air.

Interior: innovative lightweight construction and unprecedented orientation to the driver.

In the design of the interior, innovative layering technology provides an unprecedented symbiosis of function and stylish shapes intentionally reduced to a minimum, consistently implementing and visualizing the lightweight principle also inside the car.

Specific components such as the central air vent not only serving to enhance motoring comfort but also acting as part of the cockpit, perform several functions in one. This multi-functionality is then presented visibly within the car, the use of particularly sophisticated materials providing a highly attractive combination of innovation in technology and quality clear to the eye and the touch of the surface.

This interaction of lightweight construction and individual well-being also comes out clearly in the design of the controls and switches, with a leather band, for example, running round the aluminum gear selector lever on the center console. Materials combining lightweight technology and all the qualities required are also to be admired all round the cockpit of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, giving the car an unusually generous feeling of space for a 2+2-seater. The body-contoured seats, for example, are made up of a kevlar shell, a backbone structure, and seat padding with personalized fillings. Clearly, this combination alone ensures comfort at a minimum weight. The driver’s and front passenger’s seats are connected firmly to the center console to form a joint interior “landscape”, while the rear seats anchored on the floor would appear to be hovering in space. Natural materials and light colors on the seat upholstery and all interior linings underline the light, sophisticated and sustainability-oriented atmosphere within the passenger compartment.

The instrument panel is deliberately padded only where technical components have to be appropriately covered, thus making an important contribution to passenger safety in the event of a collision. The instrument cluster played a fundamental role right from the start in the design process, serving as the starting point for all surfaces within the interior and thus creating a particularly powerful rendition of that driver orientation typical of BMW.

Innovative light technology: providing clear signals to the outside and offering soothing ambient illumination inside in a unique symbiosis.

LED lights at both the front and rear end of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics provide an innovative combination of the symbols typical of the brand and clear design language oriented towards trendsetting technology. The distinctive look of the dual round headlights characteristic of a BMW is emphasized in particular by the use of LED technology. The rear lights are integrated also in their function into the design of the entire rear section, forming part of the rear air deflector and thus merging completely into the rear contour.

Extremely flat and compact, the rear lights are made up of innovative LED units forming a smooth and consistent red surface when not in use. Only when used do the respective light chambers take on the appropriate color such as yellow on the direction indicators. This innovative light technology also provides an intense symbiosis of the exterior and interior, again promoting and further refining the driving experience.

This is also why the ambient illumination of the interior comes with new features and qualities, the light sources within the passenger compartment being fed from the positioning lights at the side, the rear lights and the brake lights, thus changing the atmosphere created by the lights within the car as a function of driving conditions.

The optical impression conveyed by BMW Vision EfficientDynamics also results in other areas from the symbiosis of the exterior and interior, eliminating the conventional barriers between the two. The lines within the interior, for example, continue on to the innovative design of the engine compartment lid, while in its shape the third brake light positioned higher up on the car follows the structure of the glass roof and tapers to the outside where the roofline moves down gently to the rear.

Overhead doors for convenient access to all seats.

The doors on BMW Vision EfficientDynamics open up like bird’s wings, turning on pivots in the front roof column at the level of the side direction indicators. Since the car has no B-pillars, the large door cutouts ensure convenient entry also to the rear seats. The pivots on the doors also provide the base for the exterior mirrors, thus forming an ideal combination of function and aesthetic design. The structure of the doors is also characterized by several layers of materials on top of one another and the optical and functional symbiosis of the interior and exterior this technology is able to offer. Made up of three layers, the overall structure comprises the outer glass surface, an interim load-bearing layer, and the interior cover with its particularly smooth shapes and fl owing forms clearly visible to the passengers, layering technology again, therefore, opening up new perspectives.

The large glass surfaces extending far down on the body also provide a strong optical impression of the low seating position close to the road. And at the same time a stable sidebar ensures the body stiffness and crash safety naturally required on every vehicle. Flowing to the inside at its central point, this safety element also serves as an armrest. This interplay of the three layers also helping to minimize the weight of the car continues on the trim bar running along the door and extending out of the armrest, finally flowing into the outer door opener on its path from inside to outside.

Clear focus on the essential: 3-dimensional Head-Up Display.

Layering technology is also used on the displays in the instrument cluster and in the Head-Up Display developed to an even higher standard on BMW’s new concept car. The Display now creates a powerful impression of three dimensions, at the same time providing the option to present various signals more in the front or more in the background, depending on their relevance and current driving conditions.

The Head-Up Display projects information important to the driver on to the windscreen. Indeed, innovative presentation technology even allows the superimposed presentation of several views in three dimensions, keeping, the gauge graphics visible in the background while the latest information on route guidance or warning signals from BMW Night Vision, for example, are shown in the foreground.

The sequence in which such signals appear depends on the driving mode chosen by the driver, the display technology, again depending on the driver’s personal preference, enhancing a particularly sporting, a more comfort oriented, or an efficiency-based style of motoring. Through its design alone, the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car clearly shows that highly efficient individual mobility may by all means be presented in emotional style. BMW already offers models in all vehicle segments which, compared with the competition, ensure the lowest level of fuel consumption and emissions combined with superior power and performance.

And now BMW Vision EfficientDynamics confirms BMW’s commitment to offer a perfect combination in future of unique driving pleasure and optimum qualities in the responsible use of natural resources.

In the design process the need for sustainable management is borne out most clearly by the GINA (Geometry and Functions in N-fold Augmentation) concept developed by the BMW Group. In this case maximum creative freedom sets the foundation for innovative solutions challenging the conventional and meeting the requirements of the future. This makes the GINA principle particularly well-suited for developing visions for the future reflecting both the wish for emotional style and individual character as well as the quest for sustainable management and efficiency. From the dimensions of its wheels through the design of the rear lights and all the way to the configuration of the cockpit, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics therefore boasts a number of details both outside and inside which, going far beyond conventional solutions, open up a new approach to maximum efficiency and that Dynamic ability typical of BMW.

Forward-looking energy management adjusting to individual requirements.

With the individual system components on board BMW Vision EfficientDynamics being networked with one another, conditions are perfect for implementing a forward-looking system of energy management using information gathered by the sensors of the driver assistance units fitted in the car. Data provided, for example, by the rain sensor or Active Cruise Control with its Stop & Go function as well as by the navigation system, and subsequently evaluated by the central control unit, offers an overview of current and upcoming driving conditions. Then, evaluating such data, the on-board computer is able to forecast driving conditions on the stretch of road immediately ahead, such calculations serving to prepare the car for upcoming requirements and make efficient use of the energy available through optimum operation of all systems.

Should the high-performance central computer establish, for example, that the driver is about to take the motorway, the power used for running the cooling system is reduced for a certain period in advance, on the assumption that the short increase in coolant temperature resulting from such an energy-saving measure will quickly be set off by the higher speed of the car on the motorway. Another example of such pre-conditioning is the regeneration of energy from the air conditioning, from Electronic Power Steering and the Brake Assistant.

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 30th, 2009 at 7:29 am and is filed under Competitors, PHEV. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 188


  1. 1
    Keith Rogers

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (7:32 am)

    It looks like a NIKE shoe!

    The production car will look nothing like it!


  2. 2
    Jim I

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (7:36 am)

    That has about as much chance of being built by BMW as the original Volt concept….

    Even if it is, it would probably be priced at about $150K!

    🙂


  3. 3
    old man

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (7:46 am)

    I really like the looks of the car but, I agree it will never be built looking anything like the concept. Do you want to be the one driving it during a side impact test.


  4. 4
    omnimoeish

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:05 am)

    Insanely complicated looking car. Sounds really cool though. Nice use of “tour de force”. That totally got me pumped up :-). 62 mpg in diesel only mode is incredible. Hopefully they build it and put some decently long lasting batteries in it and not some low baller ones that only last 5 years.


  5. 5
    jason M. Hendler

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:10 am)

    Usually concept cars just push a single emphasis, but this one combines countless advances through a single holistic theme.

    I suspect the Asians will learn a great deal from this and field a product before BMW does.


  6. 6
    old man

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:11 am)

    Lyle

    Is this troll bait?

    I expect at least a dozen post like why can’t GM and the other U S builders design a car Americans want to buy? After all it is merely a matter of superior engineering to make this concept safe for the driver, passengers, and those walking in its path.


  7. 7
    Darius

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:17 am)

    Lyle,
    I have a note to your article – 380 V 32 A 3 phase is standard service for private customers in Europe as you have 220 V service voltage in US. This is not for fast charging.


  8. 8
    nasaman

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:18 am)

    It looks like a NIKE shoe! <<<If so, NIKE should be extremely flattered!

    No, after studying this concept car my conclusion instead is that it looks like an inspired design exercise that one of the world’s leading automakers asked its most talented engineers, designers & stylists to apply their creative skills to —it may look frivolous at first, but in reality this “Vision EfficientDynamics” concept embodies numerous serious ideas that I believe will stun the automotive world. Even their own arch rivals —Mercedes!

    It embodies some concepts (like thermally-controlled louvers in the grill) that I have always felt the Volt should have taken advantage of to improve aerodynamics.


  9. 9
    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:35 am)

    It’s a good thing that Frank Weber and Lyle are on GM’s side. If BMW had Lyle doing a BMW-Vision.com site going to move it from concept they’d just as well surrender and produce the darn thing. (g). Frank’s vision (sorry) and tenacity would have made this vision even sharper. They obviously pulled out all the stops on this CONCEPT vehicle, and I think it’s great that they showed what’s CONCEIVABLE. Who knows, maybe they will produce it. Since they say they’ve already wind tunnel tested it – what more do they need! Oh yeah all that battery testing and stuff…. Shrug. Bring on the VOLT!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  10. 10
    nasaman

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:43 am)

    PS: Another example of an important concept, one I still hope GM has included in the Volt, is that the “33 horsepower (motor) … is able to reach a peak of up to 51 hp” and the “80 horsepower (motor with a) peak torque of 162 lb-ft (has) extra power of 112 horsepower … available for a period of up to 30 seconds, and, for a 10-second “burst,” the electric motor is able to develop 139 horsepower.” They note that this allows the car to accelerate for passing (and it no doubt also helps it get 0-62mph times of 4.8 sec, comparable to the Tesla Roadster without use of a mechanical transmission).


  11. 11
    Johann

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:47 am)

    How would one drive to the opera without their pants on so they don’t get wrinkled?


  12. 12
    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:47 am)

    old man,
    My thoughts exactly. Lyle must be grinning. Sometimes I think he stirs the pot just to see what new troll names come up.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  13. 13
    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:51 am)

    Yeah they went for the whole ball of wax, and for that they deserve credit. Given Murphy’s Law and that complexity, I wouldn’t want to drive it cross country.
    I’d love to see if the 80% battery use could hold up for 10 years though. I know it’s different chemistry, but it could shed light allowing the volt’s battery to be “opened up” a bit farther.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  14. 14
    Todd

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:51 am)

    It’s too conceptish to ever make it to production like that and I don’t agree with some, it won’t be 150K, it’ll be more like 200 to 250K. After all, it is a BMW and all BMW owners pay for those three letters out the wazoo!


  15. 15
    Tagamet

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:53 am)

    No need for hood impact zones – the person would fly right over the top….(tough on the ankles though).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  16. 16
    Dan Petit

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:54 am)

    While carefully reading and completely comprehending, (sometimes re-reading a sentence up to three times to process-through the well-constructed sentences for the “range of meanings”), BMW is sending the other OEM’s a set of technological messages regarding the ultimate ways that they can design and co-vary the many systemic operations in the name of efficiency.

    I am glad that the construction of the sentences was not unduly verbose, (understanding that, in part, the motive was “techno-mercial”, which is ok by me,) making the reading fairly technically-easy.

    They avoided extending excessively the concept of “forward looking” as a adjective, which is a very risky term to use out of the normal context of “required-by-law” developmental-experimentation “disclosure statements” at the bottom of an investment prospectus.

    It is a concept car. The sentence structure “tense” was too frequently “present tense” instead of “future tense”. This is very important for readers to keep in mind in their assessment of how “down to earth” and “close to production intent” a concept car is to the possibility of something like that being in their driveways/garages. “Concept” is just a way to display all the engineering and software ideas, all these of which, GM engineers have *already known*
    * all of the above *
    down through the last 29 years since the 4-C “Computer Combustion Control Carburetors”, all the way through the current software logic MOST CERTAINLY ALREADY considered to possibly be selected for inclusion within VOLTec.

    I look at the article not as a way to display BMW engineering capabilities (less a bit too much “techno-fluff” in the article), but rather, from a practical manner, as a call to other OEM’s (excepting GM, of course), that they need to begin to consider more aggressive and progressive “plunges” toward efficiencies that both GM and BMW are in the process of achieving already, along with, IN MY TECHNICAL OPINION: ***NECESSARY long term warranties which are the consumers’ only solid-state protection against very sudden devaluations from newly-designed and initially-expensive component failures, battery, motors, controller/inverters, and on and on.***

    Conclusion? WTW. = “What’s the Warranty”.

    Is it as good as GM’s 10 year 150,000 battery warranty and the optional 100,000 mile “bumper to bumper warranty?” (Which optional 100k bumper to bumper extended warranty you ALWAYS also buy with new models and new technologies).

    I am impressed that BMW has technical writers can set content levels toward a particular audience. (Just reduce the “appreciation-techno-fluff” to only two instances per article, a third of the way into it, and, two thirds the way into it, so it doesn’t seem too soft in contrast to the hardware).

    Comparing a nearly final production Volt to the above “forward-looking” concept would not at all be fair to the above concept, Volt being far superior due to the developmental progression in reality because of the vast lab and field tests confirming reliabilities of each component.

    Concepts are supposed to be sensational.

    VOLTec in production-reality will be THE true sensation, it’s clear to me.

    What do you think?


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    Carcus1

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:54 am)

    !I agree, Comrade!

    True believers will not stand for the invasion of disruptive information on competing technologies!

    /I have some connections with the Politburo and expect to have this website closed down by Monday morning.
    //Perhaps after some “reorganization” there can be allowances made for a proper GM-volt.com.!


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    Starcast

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:55 am)

    Sorry I have to agree it looks like a nike shoe. A lot of good stuff here though.

    Anyone want to guess on price? 120K?


  19. 19
    nasaman

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:01 am)

    PS#2: Still another example the Volt could have benefited from (and I lobbied for here)…. BMW says, “To further optimize the aerodynamic qualities of the entire vehicle and keep rolling resistance to a minimum, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics comes with tires and wheels of quite unusual size on a sports car. The tires measure 195/55, while large 21-inch wheels provide a contact surface on the road otherwise offered only by a much wider tire.”

    The Volt should have used larger diameter, narrower tires (rolling resistance decreases with larger tires) having a contact patch comparable to the smaller tires they selected.


  20. 20
    Dan Petit

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:06 am)

    Tag,

    “Opening up” the range a bit might be something possibly worth considering as the years go by after Volt has been in the field for awhile, and the person’s individual driving characteristics and accessories-needs are charted within the PCM. Still you have to be conservative if you are in business and are on the hook for possible warranty fulfillment if it is unwise to change original specifications. The range-difference might not be worth the risk to the battery beyond the original specifications.


  21. 21
    Tagamet

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:09 am)

    Agreed. And in the unlikely event that someone traded or sold their Volt, those driving patterns would change. I’d assume that the warranty followed the car?
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  22. 22
    nasaman

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:09 am)

    PS#3: On the other hand, the Vision embodies a couple of concepts the Volt pioneered……

    Both designs locate the Li-Ion battery pack under the “central tunnel” of the floor, and both provide 4 bucket seats in a 2+2 configuration. I see this as a clear endorsement of the Volt’s overall interior architecture!


  23. 23
    Tagamet

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:13 am)

    nasaman,
    All good thoughts as usual, but I’ve always pushed to KISS the Volt out the door and
    First get the wheels on the road!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:24 am)

    Johann,
    Excellent point! Cancel my order.(g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Tagamet

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:34 am)

    Dan,
    I noticed that the tense was more present than future and was a little confused by that. It “read” like it was ready for the showroom floor, to the point where I backed up to re-read that it was,in fact, a concept car. I think they deserve creds for the plumage, but GM gets the blue ribbon (Golden Plug?) for actually completing the “Concept-to-Wheels on the road” process.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  26. 26
    Lurtz (Lawrence Makoare)

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:35 am)

    Dan Petit: [Doctoral thesis snipped] “What do you think?

    … Fire bad, tree pretty …

    😉


  27. 27
    nasaman

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:36 am)

    Dan Petit says, “Concepts are supposed to be sensational. VOLTec in production-reality will be THE true sensation, it’s clear to me.”

    I agree with both statements, Dan! It strikes me that marketing people always have a heavy hand in press releases & this one is no exception! And despite all my criticisms in post #1 here (Volt needed active louvers in its grill, increased drive current to its traction motor for rapid 0-60 times & passing, larger wheels for improved rolling resistance, etc), I agree that the actual production of the Volt will be the automotive world’s true sensation!


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    Jim I

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:37 am)

    Dan:

    I had to re-read some of your sentences a few times myself…….

    🙂


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    Jim I

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:46 am)

    nasaman:

    Those large tires you are talking about look great, and probably do help the rolling resistance, but:

    In the real world on real roads, they are horrible. If you hit anything, like a large pothole or a rock on the road, it destroys the tire AND the wheel! My Crossfire has 18″ wheels on the front and 19″ on the rear, and I have had to replace 4 tires and wheels in the six years I have owned this vehicle. That is three more than I replaced ever on all the other vehicles I have owned since 1971.

    And they are not cheap. Tires are about $250 each, and the wheels are $350 front / $450 rear.

    Sometimes, the most efficient, is not the best practically.

    Just something to consider………


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:48 am)

    Tag:

    I think KISS went out the window on the Volt a long time ago…..

    I would imagine that this car has some of the most advanced harware and software systems ever to go into a production vehicle.

    Can’t wait to drive mine!!!!

    😉


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    jdsv

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    Heh, I think you’ve got this one spot on, old man. At post #5, they probably won’t make it down this far, so we’ll be able to sit back and watch it happen.

    I’ll leave the engineering to the vulturous trolls and say that the eyebrow mirrors sure are neat.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:53 am)

    I agree, it could probably be 200K – if they made 5 million of them.


  33. 33
    Tagamet

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:56 am)

    Well, there’s KISS and then there’s kiss. How about Keep It As Simple As Possible? At least avoid *unnecessary* complexity.
    (I can’t wait to drive mine either!).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  34. 34
    Keith Tomilson

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:56 am)

    It was a long read , but a very interesting one .
    It is nice to see that the European Engineers are really thinking ahead about Hybrid technology and vehicle design .


  35. 35
    Tagamet

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:05 am)

    Jim I,
    LOL, me too, but that’s part of Dan’s charm. Verbosity vs succinct, hmmmm. Sometimes it just takes a lot of words to get a complex issue “across”. Nasaman usually does that pretty well. Personally, I try to avoid the complex and cling to “folksy” (g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  36. 36
    Van

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:11 am)

    Lets see, the BMW weighs less than the Volt, has lower rolling resistance tires than the Volt, has a lower Cd than the Volt, has a larger SOC window than the Volt (8.6 versus 8 ) yet its AER is 31 miles whereas the Volt claims 40. Can anyone explain this other than say the BMW claim is based on a more realistic model?


  37. 37
    Dan Petit

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:22 am)

    Tag,
    That’s a really good question where if the warranty is transferable.
    Usually it would be from what I understand except for Chrysler’s.
    That, Tag, was a really important point to bring up!!

    With so many very new technologies involved here, Warranty Transferability is something that automatically (along with all other positive aspects of the deal) ought to be placed “front and center” for the potential buyer who must begin to process so very much new kinds of information they never understood before in the purchase of this new array of technology.


  38. 38
    Tagamet

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:23 am)

    nasaman or anyone,
    What size tire did they end up with on the Volt?
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  39. 39
    CorvetteGuy

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:23 am)

    If the BMW is a Nike Racing Shoe, then the VOLT is an old brown Hush Puppy.

    It’s bang the drum time again:

    High MPG’s alone will NOT sell a $40k+ vehicle. It has got to have style and performance to back it up. The GM team that designed the Camaro understands both. Why didn’t they get a crack at the VOLT?

    The BMW will not arrive in the showroom looking like the concept, just like the VOLT, but I’ll bet a Monster Energy Drink that they won’t do an entire makeover and disappoint the followers on their blog!

    I’m hoping for a Gen2 VOLT Coupe more like the Converj but with Chevy Corvette-like styling cues. If only I could time travel to 2013 to see if my wish comes true.


  40. 40
    nasaman

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:24 am)

    I hear you loud & clear, Jim! Where I live (Central Florida), I never encounter potholes or rocks on the streets/roads/highways thanks to the mild weather, which is easy on all kinds of road surfaces. I just wanted the Volt to have large enough wheel wells to accomodate 2-3 sizes larger wheels/narrower tires, at least as an option.


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    Tagamet

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:24 am)

    Dan,
    Uh-oh. (g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  42. 42
    Dan Petit

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:41 am)

    You guys are right. I often have to apologize for my run-on sentences. And, yes, very often, those complex statements must be that way for the engineering types everywhere. I have to do that in order to assure the technical point gets through for them.

    It’s always intended only to help convey concerns of technical risk from out here in the field where the customer who has to *pay* for the repairs, is given a voice right here, for them, “front and center”.

    (Not to mention every hard-working technician out here, who has to figure this stuff out (after warranties expire) in these hellish service bays, which, in Austin, have ranged from 103 degrees to 118 degrees for 67 of the last 90 or so days.)


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:50 am)

    It’d be interesting (to me) for Lyle to try to poll the occupations of the folks here. I know that we are “heavy” with engineers/computer vocations, and at least a few retired types. Just curious.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  44. 44
    Dan Petit

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:58 am)

    Does “Uh-oh” mean you have a vehicle which has a warranty that is not transferable?


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    Carcus1

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:02 am)

    “….a couple of concepts the Volt pioneered……”

    The T shaped battery pack was in the 1996 EV1.

    I used to own a 1965 ford with a 2+2 seating configuration.

    I’m not claiming either one of these cars were “pioneers” in interior architecture, but they both certainly pre-date the volt by decades.


  46. 46
    CDAVIS

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:05 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    Cool Concept Car but…

    The old-school marketing ploy of floating out fantasy “Concept Cars” is coming to an end…consumers want to know what they can buy now or what will be availablefor in the next model year…not what would be cool but never built.
    ______________________________________________________


  47. […] post: BMW Vision Plug-in bHybrid/b Concept bCar/b | GM-VOLT : Chevy Volt b…/b Share and […]


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:08 am)

    Dan,
    No uh-oh means that if it’s an important question, I probably shouldn’t have brought it up.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    JEC

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:13 am)

    I find the 62 mpg a interesting little tid bit. One could transpose this to the Volt model, and come up with a guesstimated mpg.

    So, diesel gets you up to 30% more range, so that 62 mpg would reduce to 43.4 mpg. (Diesel is one of the fuels that seem to be a no brainer but you need to understand that in terms of OIL consumption, it takes about 25% more oil to produce a gallon of diesel for every gallon of gasoline. Also, the large particulate pollution is a concern for health reasons.)

    With the .22 drag coef. we could say the Volt will be in the .24 to .25 area (total guess), so then you have a non-linear term to deal with. So, for estimates purposes lets say we lose about 5% more due to higher drag and also heavier vehicle.

    That brings the mpg of the equivalent Volt down to about 41 mpg (EU cycle, so I would expect this to drop further for US equivalent, maybe 37-38 mpg?)

    Sounds about right for a ballpark, to me….


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:15 am)

    Corvetteguy,
    While you’re in the future, please bring back a Volt for me. I’ll pay you when you get back.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    TimG

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:26 am)

    But was not the Volt concept car critical in generating interest for the Volt production car?


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:38 am)

    But I’m really glad you did! That helps retained values tremendously, which could impact consumer confidences.

    Good question for Lyle and Corvetteguy.


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    Van

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:50 am)

    Are you saying we will get less than 40 MPG in charge sustaining mode in a Volt, based on the Vision getting 62 on diesel fuel? I had not heard that it takes more crude oil to produce a gallon of diesel, but I have of course heard there is more potential energy in a gallon of diesel fuel.

    Bottom line, if the Volt gets near 40 MPG in charge sustaining mode, it will still be a great step toward energy independence due to being able to go most days without operating the ICE. And it would not surprise me if the Volt actually delivers near 50 MPG in charge sustaining mode. Time will tell.


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    old man

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:56 am)

    Carcus 1

    Great wit!!! I loved it.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:03 pm)

    Good answer!!!


  56. 56
    nasaman

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:12 pm)

    I stand corrected, Carcus1 — I should probably have qualified the Volt as being the ‘modern-day pioneer’ for these concepts.


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    JEC

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:15 pm)

    Van,

    Here is an article that describes the amount of oil to produce diesel vs gasoline.

    http://www.grinningplanet.com/2005/04-12/diesel-vs-gasoline-article.htm

    See:
    “The improved efficiency of diesel engines can also help reduce oil consumption. It should be noted, however, that it takes about 25% more oil to make a gallon of diesel fuel than a gallon of gasoline, so we should really look at how a vehicle does on fuel efficiency in terms of “oil equivalents.” Thus, we need to adjust the mileage claims for diesel vehicles downward by about 20% when comparing them to gasoline-powered vehicles.”

    I was just trying to put some logic into what the Volt’s mpg rating may be. Since GM is holding this tight to the vest, it think it is fair game to attempt to formulate based upon evidence given.


  58. 58
    Carcus1

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:26 pm)

    I’m trying to decide which super-hero this car belongs to.

    Kind of “batman-esque” but the colors are all wrong . . . perhaps Captain America (assuming they would produce the car in Spartanburg SC, of course).

    Live out your Captain America demolishes the competition fantasy here:

    http://gameosome.com/game/captain-america-car-demolition/


  59. 59
    nuclearboy

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    Concept cars are always really cool to look at and think about.

    I find them just as realistic as the goofy outfits that models wear on the Paris runways. I have never seen a woman wearing most of that goofy stuff out on the streets and likewise I don’t see concept cars being produced.

    I find this similar to articles on microprocessors that I read now and then. Typically it will be some Russian company who has designed a chip that is 100 times faster than anything that INTEL can build and at the same time it uses only 2% of the power. Wonderful.. These stories come and go but I keep buying INTEL for my Linux Clusters.

    The point is that all of the automakers have talented people that can design cool futuristic concept cars. The real key is to produce somthing that people can afford and that will be reliable. With this in mind, the Volt is far more appealing than this German dream car.

    I still like to look at the concepts and dream myself. I just don’t get too excited about it.


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    JEC

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:32 pm)

    My real point is that IF you could make an electric car, that uses a small generator to keep you within an AVERAGE power over use, and provides +50mpg, then build me an affordable one.

    So, build a car that has a small engine/generator and uses a “smaller” battery (8 kWhr total?) and can get +50 mpg, for an affordable price (say less than $25k).

    I have repeatedly mentioned that the real issue (IMO) is what the car does in extended range mode. I REALLY want to know how much more efficient it will be, to use an ICE to run a generator, to charge batteries and run the motors.

    I know this is not the solution that many Voltee’s care about, but for me, it is my most important one (Again, this is just me, and everyone will differ).

    But, even if I still need to consume oil to propel my vehicle, maybe I can use 30-50% less, which would equate to a better world for all (except OPEC!).

    LJGTEMPG (Lets Just Get The EREV MPG’s)!


  61. 61
    ozonelevel

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:34 pm)

    Easy, battery is about half the size of the Volt!


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    omnimoeish

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:38 pm)

    I agree, I’m glad someone else with top notch engineering departments is stepping up to the plate to compete in this arena of super hybrids. Electric cars might be decades before they can truly compete with fossil fuels as far as range and rapidness of refuel. BMW has really done a great job to keep the other auto makers on their toes. It will be difficult to top this, even if the production vehicle isn’t so concepty.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:39 pm)

    fine. . . . can’t talk now .. demolishing cars.


  64. 64
    omnimoeish

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:43 pm)

    I thought the looks of the concept detracted from whole point of the Volt. The fact that people need a practical size car, with a practical amount of power, and practical handling etc. That’s what they did. I was glad they toned it down a little and didn’t go with the Tahoe platform.


  65. 65
    omnimoeish

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    Interesting JEC, you are obviously quite a mather :-), but the 62 mpg is mated to a double-clutch transmission (DCT) and the Volt’s system is of course completely different with no transmission, that’s also a turbo charged system in the BMW, with a larger wheel size (and a host of other variables, some of which you mentioned).


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    Vincent

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    ….I have only been saying Turbo Diesel with Battery for what …a year now and GM is still sleeping….
    Oh well there will not be a second bail out.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (1:03 pm)

    Oh crap, your right. I somehow missed the fact that the vehicle uses a mechanical transmission to drive from the diesel engine.

    Forget my numbers above. They are apples to summer sausages.


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    omnimoeish

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (1:07 pm)

    ozonelevel, the battery for the Volt is bigger but GM is limiting it to 8kWh, and the BMW is limited to 8.6kWh, hence why Van points that out.

    Probably the electric motors are less efficient? Or it could be that BMW wants to under promise and over deliver, and GM likes going the other way around.

    / *shares head and holds forehead*


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    Hi JEC, I see your source and lets leave it that I am dubious of the validity of your source. According to other sources, we get about 44 gallons of product out of a 42 gallon barrel of crude, due to additives and density changes during refining, with about 19 gallons of product being gasoline and about 9 gallons being diesel. Other products make up the other 16 gallons or so. Thus, it looks to me like it takes about a gallon of crude to make a gallon of diesel or a gallon of gas, but the diesel gallon contains more potential energy. In any event, thanks for providing an interesting analysis of Volt performance in light the BMW claims.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:08 pm)

    Somehow I do not think that offering a “Turbo Diesel with Battery” will dramatically change a large corporation like GM.

    Suggestions like effectively curbing Volt “limited quantity markup” profits from going to dealers, but to the GM EREV program instead would help ensure the success of the Volt . However, the dealer maintenance/repair shops should get some of these profits for training and needed special equipment/tools. Hopefully the Volt team has effectively limited the amount of special equipment/tools and training required to service a Volt.


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    Scooter

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:10 pm)

    You must have “GM” stamped on your forehead or something. Just because no GM concept has ever looked like their production model doesn’t apply to a true leader of automotive innovation like BMW. The Bavarians have Automotive Engineering in their blood unlike Government Motors. Apples and Oranges as the saying goes.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:14 pm)

    I believe this BMW concept is too “over the top” for actual production, but I just love the technical details they provide. I’ve been reading GM-Volt.com for over a year:

    *** Why can’t GM provide as much up-front technical information on the Volt as BMW just did for their concept? I don’t think they ever revealed the size of the Volt’s gas tank!


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:16 pm)

    Motor efficiency has something to do with it…but it also tells you that the 50% SOC window in the Volt will be the first thing to go, in order to meet the 40 mile AER.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    Before my main point, you picked up on the 20% reduction rather than the 30% reduction for diesel fuel, which takes the number up, but you didn’t pick up on the difference in drive cycles, which takes the number down. The Prius gets something over 70 MPG on the UK combined test whereas it gets under 50 MPG on the combined US test. So the MPG would be less than what you’re suggesting.

    That said, this MPG number is really meaningless because the engine is not putting out average power. (The energy in the battery is the same at the end of the cycle as at the beginning.) Open the throttle and it will ramp the RPMs to match the power requirements, and it will use standard linkage to the wheels, except that it uses BMW’s double clutch technology which is not energy efficient.

    So while the idea was interesting I don’t think looking at the MPG for the BMW concept gives any helpful indications about what we might expect from the Volt in charge sustaining mode.


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    Bull McPhearson

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:42 pm)

    This is a true Volt Killer.

    – Lighter than a Volt
    – More HP than a Volt
    – More Torque than a Volt
    – Faster than a Volt
    – Better styling than a Volt
    – Better breaking than a Volt
    – Lower CoD than a Volt
    – Faster Charging than a Volt
    – More efficient battery than a Volt
    – More reliable than a Volt (its a BMW folks)
    – Bavarian Motor Works nameplate
    – German Engineering

    Even at twice the price of a Volt this will sell, fortunately it will likely be the same price as a Volt when it hits the road. Be afraid, very afraid of this car.


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:45 pm)

    Given Murphy’s Law and that complexity, I wouldn’t want to drive it cross country.

    High end German manufacturers are known for the occasional (or not so) problem with over-engineering, and this seems like a good example. A few interesting breakthrougs which may make their way into mainstream years down the road, but overall you have to conclude that this is a design with a too specific purpose in mind, resulting in a product that is far more complicated than necessary,

    If you like the KISS principle this is a loser. A BEV has the simplest design. EREV the next simplest. Then you jump to the strong hybrids and split drives. And then you get to this thing. It has all the complexity of a strong hybrid and all the complexity of an EREV and all the complexity of two motors with different types of mechanical linkages. My head hurts.


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    Bull McPhearson

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:45 pm)

    Very stupid statement seeing as the Volt was a concept too. Stupid is as stupid does.


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    Peter M

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:46 pm)

    What strikes me about the article is that the battery has no thermal management. This removes an entire level of complexity. They say they can use 80% of battery power, with no thermal management. I don’t know of of any battery that will have a long life under that scenario.

    Peter M


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    Tagamet

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:53 pm)

    Re DonC’s headache:

    “Take two aspirins and a friend to bed”. Repeat as necessary.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Speed Racer

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:56 pm)

    Just got passed by the State Highway Patrol officer who was strapped behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger and proceeded to blow the doors off my GM truck while chasing a motorcycle on the interstate. He was going at least 160 MPH in my estimation (he made a u-turn behind me and was trying to catch the two-wheeler that was only going about 80-85 mph imo). Dang I didn’t know those cars could go that fast. Yeah about 5 minutes up the road he had the rider pulled over and spread eagle against his squad car. Clearly a case of Abuse of Power if I ever saw one. Get them Hemis off the road…
    BTW, trooper had to go much further down the road before he could make a u-turn because of concrete barrier dividing highway but he made up ground faster than Obama can spend money.


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    JEC

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (2:57 pm)

    Now that’s not a very nice thing to say…Do you speak like this when your face-to-face with someone?

    {I didn’t think so.}


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:09 pm)

    nuclearboy,
    Yep looking at the concept cars is fun, but it all comes back to reality (or with me at least the neighborhood of reality). A little like a spouse evolves from spike heels to comfy fuzzy slippers – on a lot of levels.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:12 pm)

    Vincent,
    There won’t be a turbo-diesel BMW Vision either.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:13 pm)

    comparable to the Tesla Roadster without use of a mechanical transmission

    Here’s the rub. You have to assume that to get those 0-60 times the BMW uses both the combustion engine and at least the front motor (probably both). The Tesla just uses one motor and a single reduction gear gets to 60 MPH a bit quicker. The BMW uses a motor and a two stage reduction gear on the front wheels and a combustion engine and a motor and a double clutch transmission on the rear wheels to get to 60 MPH a bit slower.

    I’m not seeing the beauty in this design.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:15 pm)

    If you took the plug away (no grid charge) from the:

    1. Prius: 50 mpg
    2. Volt: GM says 50 mpg ( I say mid 30’s)
    3. BMW concept about 47 mpg (my guess, from observing other eu mpg’s on stateside autos)

    You’re going to get similar mpg of around 50 mpg U.S. combined. (I don’t actually believe this for the volt, but I’ll allow it for this comparison).

    The really big difference here is performance. The max HP available is:

    1. Prius: 134 hp Atkinson engine and electric motor combined
    2. Volt: 149 hp Electric motor
    3. BMW concept: 356 hp diesel engine and electric motor(s) combined

    At their weakest (all battery reserve depleted) they then fall back to:

    1. Prius: 98 hp atkinson
    2. Volt: 71 hp generator (powered by 1.4l)
    3. BMW concept: 163 hp

    Using the 356 hp available will drain the bimmer’s battery quickly, but the 163 hp diesel will fill the gap much more nicely while the battery “buffer zone” is recovered by on board charging.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:19 pm)

    Peter M
    I spotted that too and am amazed. I thought that it might have something to do with a different chemistry. I don’t know WHAT the “polymer” is. It’d be great if it really did have long life, low temp-control demands AND the ability to discharge to within an inch of it’s life – but I think that that’s the cool part of being a concept vehicle.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    SteveK9

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:21 pm)

    Sorry, not afraid


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    CDAVIS

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:22 pm)

    ______________________________________________________
    TimG,
    I agree The Chevy VOLT concept did serve GM well in terms of generating initial consumer interest towards the Voltec concept…but the concept Volt also served as a let-down for those that believe the production Volt is bland compared to the concept Volt.

    Consumer adoption of Electric Cars will inevitably cause consumers to think of electric cars along the lines of other consumer electronic appliances such as computers, plasma tvs, and digital cameras. Electric Cars will have a development cycle much shorter than traditional ICE cars therefore consumers will be more interested in seeing what improvements are available in the near term rather than being pitched fantasy “concepts” of what may be available in the distant future. It is a useless activity for a computer laptop maker or a tv maker to make it a ritual to appear at trade shows to unveil “concept” product that they are “considering” selling in the distant future…this will also hold true for Electric Car makers.
    ______________________________________________________


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:23 pm)

    ??


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:30 pm)

    …. random . . .but the “abuse of power” part was good.

    /Can’t we all just get along?


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:32 pm)

    SteveK9
    LOL, well put!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:44 pm)

    As the BMW Vision is not yet introduced, I suppose we are seeing the vision of the Vision 🙂

    Whatever, it makes the Volt all the more important. Everyone is going to be looking at the Volt demand to get a sense of how much demand for electric cars really exists in the world of real people.

    I’m sure the demand is real, but I have no idea how big it is, in terms of cars per year at various price points. As we are seeing so many concepts, and the BMW Vision is an exciting one, there must be a lot of people who want to test the water.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:46 pm)

    The Volt should have used larger diameter, narrower tires (rolling resistance decreases with larger tires) having a contact patch comparable to the smaller tires they selected.

    Assuming the same pressure, the contact patch of a wide and narrow tire should be the same since the contact patch area will have to balance the downward force.

    The large tires are all about looks. If you read the press release carefully BMW doesn’t claim a lower RR, it claims the larger wheels reduce the drag. But that’s only because the wheel wells are larger. If they were smaller then a smaller tire would fill them and the Cd would be the same. (GM found that so long as the wheels occupy the well then even adding skirts doesn’t cut the Cd).

    All the evidence I’ve seen, including the report you so kindly cited previously suggests that tires larger than 18″ have higher rather than lower RR, but granted there are a lot of variables in this regard. Given that we’re talking looks not performance, seems like smaller wheels would be fine on the Volt given that its supposed to be a sensible Chevy. The larger wheels would fit better on something like the Converj, which is aimed more at the vroom vroom crowd.

    Personally I’m not a fan of very low profile tires. They are more agile, but they also provide a very rough ride, and, as mentioned, are prone to flats (not punctures). I live in the most temperate climate in the country and friends who drive the Z4 end up with flat tires way too often for my tastes.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:48 pm)

    nasaman — this use of burst power is a thoughtful way to addressing the need for quick acceleration for passing, as you have mentioned several times. It really is a necessity, sometimes as a convenience, and on occasion as a way to avoid a fatality.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:49 pm)

    Not $120K. Maybe $70K. Of course we are seeing a concept car, not a production car, which even from BMW will be somewhat calmer.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:52 pm)

    Every wheel-tire combination is a special case, and I don’t know about the Crossfire. In general though bigger wheels are better over bumps and can be as durable or more so. That’s why bigger wheels and tires are on trucks.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (3:56 pm)

    CorvetteGuy —> you are exactly right on the styling downshift in the final Volt. It basically looks like a Cruze, nice but not a $40K car. I can only assume that gm found itself in a position where it could not pay for a newly styled low volume car, so it did what it did with the Volt, making it fine but not distinctive.

    So with the Volt either the price comes way down, or there has to be a gen 2 replacement very quickly. Otherwise the Volts are going to be sitting out beside the Cruzes and gathering dust. (That outcome is not what I hope for, but what I’m afraid is going to happen.)


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:01 pm)

    Aren’t these numbers really “marketing” HP? They wouldn’t necessarily be what was measured on the dnyo, would they?

    Seems to me the real numbers are the 0-60 times. The Volt will be a lot faster than the Prius and this BMW concept would be much faster than the Volt — a lot faster.

    For most people I don’t think the Volt will ever operate when the battery is truly depleted. You can come up with a scenario where they would but these never seem very realistic to me.


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    RB

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:05 pm)

    Van — Taking some comparisons step by step

    1) The BMW uses a higher fraction of the battery capacity, which will lead to shorter term battery replacement. That’s fine, but it costs more.

    2) The BMW uses more high-tech metals and other materials that are both light and strong, which is great, except they cost more.

    3) The BMW is dimensioned as a sports car, which is great, except that it is less practical as a day to day car.

    So the BMW has a greater excitement factor, will be more expensive to buy, more expensive to operate, and will be less practical in performing real-life tasks. At the same time, it is exciting as a concept.

    In favor of the Volt, reality is even more exciting.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:12 pm)

    Not afraid because BMW will be two or three times the price. That’s a different and much smaller market, one that has been shrinking not only in absolute terms (as have all segments) but as a fraction of total auto sales.


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    DonC

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:13 pm)

    A few points:

    1. BMWs are more reliable than Mercedes but that’s probably about it. All GM brands are more reliable than BMW.

    2. “it’s a BMW” means you pay 2x-5x more for the same service. Been there. Done that. No thanks.

    3. It has a “Bavarian Motor Works nameplate” means the car has value if you’re a poser. If you’re not then the value of the nameplate is greatly exaggerated.

    4. “German engineering” in this case means an over-engineered car whose complexity makes it less robust and reliable than it needs to be.

    5. On a variety of the points — battery efficiency and so forth — BMW is probably three to five years behind GM in drive train efficiency. The fact that BMW is so far behind is evidenced by the fact that they had to license AC Propulsion’s technology for the Mini-E. And even after licensing the technology BMW wasn’t able to make it work very well.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:21 pm)

    Actually,

    The Volt concept is gone. It had more advanced materials and a smaller engine and a more futuristic cockpit etc. etc.

    My point is that a concept car can be anything you want. Hell, lets make it have vertical take off and hover too. That would be very cool. I am pointing out that comparisons are not really fair since one is an anything goes concept car and the other is a production intent vehicle.

    On this site, we are discussing the Chevy Volt which is going to be a mass produced vehicle.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:26 pm)

    I think the Germans measure DIN which is roughly equivalent to US SAE net hp. These numbers come from the flywheel with accessory losses, not the tires (chassis dyno). I don’t know how they measure the electric motors hp, but I would think it would just be at the shaft.

    Horsepower explained
    http://www.madabout-kitcars.com/kitcar/kb.php?aid=350

    Torque is probably just as important as hp. But it’s easier to discuss hp.

    / I think if the Volt was trying to keep up with the BMW’s on the autobahn, you’d find the battery depletion point.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:27 pm)

    At this point in time a battery chemistry that doesn’t need thermal management would use a “Pixie Dust” polymer.

    They said it wouldn’t require “active cooling.” That can mean a lot of things. I read it as saying that when the combustion engine is running you don’t need to use the motors but it probably means that when it’s a concept you can claim most anything you want. (See Tesla S).

    Both Tesla and Mini have had problems with overheating. (The solution is to just pull over and chill for a while. Seems like it might be hard to chill when its 100 degrees out). My guess is that the engineers at GM understand the fragility of current battery technology better than folks new to the game.


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    Vincent

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:40 pm)

    I am saying that the technology is certainly there for efficient fun, exciting and fast cars that don’t look good… only because they look better than a prius when parked next to a Prius.

    Standing alone in a crown they look like econo boxes.

    Build exciting, efficient vehicles. Do it now GM as there will be no second bail out.
    Have a great Sunday people.


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    nasaman

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:42 pm)

    Sorry, DonC, but I have no choice but to call you on two points….

    1) You said, “If you read the press release carefully BMW doesn’t claim a lower RR”. But from the BMW press release itself (above): “To further optimize the aerodynamic qualities of the entire vehicle and keep rolling resistance to a minimum, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics comes with tires and wheels of quite unusual size on a sports car.” Perhaps YOU should read the press release more carefully!

    2) You said, “All the evidence I’ve seen, including the report you so kindly cited previously suggests that tires larger than 18″ have higher rather than lower RR”. I strongly and cordially suggest you revisit all that “evidence” you reference, because it is simply a fact that, all else (such as rubber compositions & tread patterns) being equal, larger diameter tires have LOWER rolling resistance than smaller tires.

    Maybe we should just step outside to the alley so we don’t disrupt the party! 😉


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:43 pm)

    “Active” means there is a power source, like a fan, a water pump, etc.

    From the release, the passive cooling involves adjustable cooling fins in the front of the car and “forward looking energy management”. No power source is directly involved in cooling the battery.

    The “forward looking energy management” stuff sounds pretty cutting edge to me.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:55 pm)

    Vincent,
    You have a great Sunday too.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (4:56 pm)

    BTW, I’m assuming all the generator, electric motor, battery liquid cooling on the volt is “active”.

    Will one electric pump supply cooling exchange for all? Is this system separate or combined with the ICE cooling?

    (Lyle?)


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (5:11 pm)

    DonC
    And to make matters even worse, the USA relies almost entirely on *imported* Pixie Dust. We need to do everything in our power to remedy this untenable situation. Rumor has it that Alaska may have some reserves, but the vast majority of it remains outside the US. All available Pixie Dust is currently being used on and in Concept vehicles.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (5:17 pm)

    Carcus1
    Couldn’t “forward looking energy management” just refer to something on the front of the car? Like the grill? I’m not trying to be sarcastic, it just could be read both ways.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    nuclearboy

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (5:19 pm)

    you probably dated the spouse in spike heels for a while anyway 😉

    This car will never see the road.


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    Tagamet

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (5:25 pm)

    nuclearboy,
    My Dearone and I were “together” from Jr. Hi through college (even went to the same schools). We definitely knew each other (not in the Biblical sense) from late childhood through adulthood. Except for one short stint during college (my jackass period) we dated until we wed. I know, I know, TMI.
    And now back to the VOLT!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (5:30 pm)

    Sorry CDAVIS, I have to disagree. You say, “It is a useless activity for a computer laptop maker or a tv maker to make it a ritual to appear at trade shows to unveil “concept” product that they are “considering” selling in the distant future…this will also hold true for Electric Car makers.”

    This is simply not true —For example, the International CES is the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow, and is so important that GM’s former CEO (Wagoner) gave the keynote CES speech last year and also introduced the Cadillac Provog concept (which the new Caddy SRX is styled like) at this same CES!


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    Jerry

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (6:05 pm)

    Wow, I was thinking about posting the exact same thing about the nike shoe. Rats, you beat me to it, lol. Just Do It!!!!!!!!!


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    Ed M

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (6:33 pm)

    I think I’ve learned more about the BMW phev after one blog than the Volt after many months of blogs. It would seem that this car is a little more sporty than the Volt but the Volt may have the all around edge.
    By the time this car comes to market the Volt may have raised the bar. That’s the advantage of being the first out of the gate. Thanks to Lyle, this website and the people who contribute I’ve learned considerable about phev’s and am considered somewhat of an expert when it comes to the Volt.


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    Ed M

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (6:41 pm)

    Engineering systems analyst, now retired. How about you ?


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (6:45 pm)

    Hey Larry,
    I have a strong hunch that the tank is 8 gallons by volume, one gallon (not usable) of which might be for gasoline expansion, and, one gallon (unwisely usable to absolute empty) for electric in-tank fuel pump cooling reserve. That would be leaving a volume of 6 usable gallons for approximate practical capacity considerations possibly. But, I might be wrong on the 8 total gallon volume number, or, it might be changed for some reason before production possibly. But GM has valid reasons for needing to not say how much at this time, I’m sure.
    (Never add more gas than when the gas pump clicks off!!! It can mess up the EVAP system (nearly immediately in some other makes)).


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    Ed M

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (6:46 pm)

    be well


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (6:50 pm)

    Ed M,
    I’m a retired clinical psychologist, who used to work mostly with special needs kids and their parents (34 years). Also had a private practice with adults (14 years). This site is just like I never retired (g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Ed M

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (6:51 pm)

    You can be sure the cruiser’s power plant and suspension are heavily modified to catch those shiners. 🙂


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    Ed M

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (6:53 pm)

    Slow down turbo, wait at least until you see both cars side by side


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (7:19 pm)

    Per the active cooling of various systems, many weeks ago, when I asked a question about the Volts front grille being a functional open one, if it was open for ram-air to help cool all those heat exchangers, (not directly answered), and, was wondering if the three visually obvious heat exchangers were for the ICE coolant (in back), the AC (in the middle), and the Battery pack(?), (in front), there was not a detailed identification of the various systems. But the stated answer was “There are 5 heat exchangers.”

    But most likely, they all have their own independent heat carriers. The engine has purified water/antifreeze, the AC likely may have R134a with an electric AC compressor. A small heat exchanger the size of a heater core (which was in front of the left front tire) is likely the cooler for the controller/inverter (water/antifreeze). But the one in the very front was not identifiable to me. Possibly for the pack somehow, but I am not sure. Nor have I a clue as to the thermal carrier (possibly either heated or A/C evaporator-cooled water/antifreeze mixture, but I am not sure at all about that.)
    The other heat exchangers very closely identify as I’ve mentioned, as it seems to me, from my GM experience.


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    Carcus1

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (7:32 pm)

    I think it’s GPS + radar.

    Here’s a link talking about the radar used in BMW’s active cruise control.
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2351707,00.asp

    Endless possibilities here on how “FLEM” could be used to manage the two (or three) powertrains, the battery reserve, charging, and cooling.

    /It’s just not a very good acronym . . . FLEM probably means something else in German.


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    Carcus1

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (7:40 pm)

    Add,

    Ford has been claiming 80 to 120 mpg on their plug in escape (10kwh) in the blended mode. Would be nice to know how they are doing their programming to “blend in the battery”. Have they got some “forward looking” technology going on? I’d be (pleasantly) surprised if Ford was getting that sophisticated.


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    zim wolfe

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (7:40 pm)

    How many composite cars are there on the market for under $150,000?

    I think the new Saturn company might expand into this market. Although from what I have seen in the news Boeing is having delays in their new airplane composite bodies made in Europe…. This technology is something that Congress needs to fund in the future. America needs battery plants in the US but ultra strong light weight chassis will go hand and hand with MPG too. Obviously we cannot depend on outsourcing new technology we have to build this with sweat equity in the US.


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    Carcus1

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (7:43 pm)

    Ok, thanks. I was guessing the prominent one (left front) might be for the generator. Figured they’d want a lot of cooling on that to minimize efficiency losses.


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    Red HHR

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (7:47 pm)

    If it only had a Pink Bow Tie….

    & a bigger better badder battery!!!


  129. 129
    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (7:53 pm)

    Carcus1,
    That’s a great idea. Talk about complexity! And yes, FLEM is not the best acronym for anything except, well, FLEM, as in cough cough, spit.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    old man

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:03 pm)

    Machine tool sales, 31 years


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    nuclearboy

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:19 pm)

    It’s funny that most of us end up having that J.A. period in our lives.


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    nuclearboy

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:23 pm)

    This car, as specified, will never come to market. Some of the concepts within the car may eventually be produced in something but this car is just what it is, “a concept”.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:26 pm)

    nb,
    The lucky ones find a way out of it. (g)
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Carcus1

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (8:40 pm)

    Add,

    Or . . . .

    You could just download the “dynolicious” app., tape your iphone to your car’s dash, and find out for yourself what kind of horsepower your car is putting out.

    http://gizmodo.com/5030749/iphone-apps-we-like-dynolicious-car-performance-meter

    (heard about this from a gearhead who claimed it worked as advertised)


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    WopOnTour

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:19 pm)

    The 195/55R21 spec’d on this Bimmer are the same as originally displayed on th concept Volt. They have a diameter of 29.44 inches but due to the 21″ wheel have only a 4.25″ sidewall height. By comparison the 235/65R17 Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires have a diameter that is only slightly smaller (29.1″) but have a sidewall of 6.1″ which will dramatically improve ride comfort (something that low rolling resstance tires are generally NOT know for) The Fuel Max tires aredesigned to operate at 51psi and are considered to be some of the most fuel efficient passenger car tires.


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    WopOnTour

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:19 pm)

    @nasaman
    The 195/55R21 spec’d on this Bimmer are the same as originally displayed on th concept Volt. They have a diameter of 29.44 inches but due to the 21″ wheel have only a 4.25″ sidewall height. By comparison the 235/65R17 Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires have a diameter that is only slightly smaller (29.1″) but have a sidewall of 6.1″ which will dramatically improve ride comfort (something that low rolling resstance tires are generally NOT know for) The Fuel Max tires aredesigned to operate at 51psi and are considered to be some of the most fuel efficient passenger car tires.


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    grat

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:26 pm)

    No, if BMW can’t make a car that looks like the concept… they don’t make the car.

    This is more of a design study than a concept car. The chances of it being built in a recognizable form to this concept are pretty slim.


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    grat

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:30 pm)

    Well, the gas tank on the Volt concept was probably a 2 gallon can duct-taped to the rear subframe….

    But, all indications are that the car will have 300 miles of range, and 50mpg on the ICE, so a 6 gallon usable tank seems to be in line with some of the comments from GM.

    Usually they’re in the style of “well, it’s about 6 gallons, but we’re still fine-tuning it”. They’ve been pretty consistent on the 300 mile range, though.


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    grat

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:37 pm)

    What’s the resistance on the Volt tires? What’s the coefficient of drag of the Volt? What’s the curb weight of the Volt? How long have you been working for GM (since only they know some of this information that you claim to “know”)? What’s the frontal surface area of both vehicles?

    And what you didn’t mention is the size and type of motor in each case, or how much energy can be reclaimed by regenerative braking.

    We don’t have enough information about the Volt, or (really) the Vision to decide why the AER is less. One question is how efficient are the two drivetrains? In the volt, it’s battery -> motor -> wheel(s). In the vision, it’s battery -> motor -> transmission -> wheel(s).


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    grat

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (9:58 pm)

    First off, the diesel production is a bit off– If you’re using fuel catalytic cracking, you want more gasoline, and thus you get more gasoline. If you want more diesel/kerosene, you use a different method (hydrocracking), and you get more diesel/kerosene per barrel.

    Carbon (and other) pollutants can be controlled fairly easily (see “blue motion” and “bluetec” from VW and Mercedes).

    Typical difference in efficiency today is closer to 20%– don’t forget that diesel, per gallon, has more potential energy in it (38 KWh vs. 34), and of course, technologies like Direct Injection and HCCI get gasoline engines much, much closer to diesel in terms of efficiency.

    Ignoring the vision for a moment… Assuming the 25KWh / 100 miles figure GM has tossed around is valid, and assuming that the engine/generator in the volt is 35% efficient, and assuming that a gallon of gas has roughly 34.9 KWh, then you get 12.8 KWh / gallon, or, 51.2 mpg.

    That’s a lotta assumptions, I grant you. 🙂


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    nasaman

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:00 pm)

    Thanks for this important input, WopOnTour! Goodyear clearly rose to the occasion for our Volt, although I’m not surprised at all that 51 psi achieves low RR for these tires!


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    Guy Incognito

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:01 pm)

    25.
    Guy Incognito Says:
    August 30th, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    SARCASM: ON
    Just one look and any fool can tell that this is a car for the masses.
    This is a true family car…everyone will want this car.
    SARCASM: OFF

    Unless its a Serial Plug-In Hybrid, I can’t be bothered with it.
    This things a concept car and its already obsolete.

    Not to mention that it looks like something right out of Star Trek, and in reality, nobody drives cars that look like there right out of Star Trek.

    _-=


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    Carcus1

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:40 pm)

    “…… and in reality, nobody drives cars that look like there right out of Star Trek.”
    _____________

    Oooooh, but they will, … they will.

    Aptera Electric Car Featured in Star Trek XI Scene
    http://greenjibe.wordpress.com/2009/05/10/aptera-300mpg-electric-car-featured-in-star-trek-xi-scene/


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    WopOnTour

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:45 pm)

    Well, that’s their maximum pressure proving their maximum load rating, so it’s all about compromise between mpg and ride…


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    Michael Robinson

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (10:48 pm)

    I’m not impressed at all. It doesn’t run on hydrogen.
    Nobody needs a car that can go 155 miles an hour to commute in.
    BMW is trying to sell a souped up internal combustion engine, not an electric car. The gas/electric Volt is a gas car too, not a true electric. The fuel cell Volt however is a very different story.

    The only internal combustion engine based vehicle that I find interesting is the BMW hydrogen 7 thank you very much.

    If I had $70k to spend on a car, I’d call Hyundai/Kia and request a fuel cell car from them.


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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:14 pm)

    errrrrr… providing LOL


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    WopOnTour

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:36 pm)

    THAT is NOT a CAR!
    (more like a go-cart/tricycle with a battery)
    LOL
    I would not take that toy out on a public roadway unless it was dedicated to similar vehicles… rediculous


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    Jim I

     

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    Aug 30th, 2009 (11:51 pm)

    The larger wheels they put on cars reduce the sidewall size of the tire.

    It is much different that the BIG tires they put on trucks….

    Here is a picture. Look how little tire sidewall there is between the wheel and the road.

    http://www.thetorquereport.com/04.chrysler.crossfire.500-thumb.jpg

    I think they look great. But I don’t like how they are destroyed so easily!


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    jeffhre

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (12:00 am)

    Besides Tesla’s Roadster – Dunno, I find I’m only willing to spend time researching cars that have been at least somewhat electrified now-a-days. If an article is right there on an interesting ICE I’ll read it but that’s about it, I don’t follow up on them any more.


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    Timaaayyy!!!

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (12:22 am)

    Expect every manufacturer and their brother to try to outdo each other w/ wild electric concepts. Will be fun to watch unfold.

    I think the end game is still the battery. Way too early to tell who the winners will be there, as everyone piles in. Looks like this is going to be the most interesting vehicle competition in my adult lifetime.

    Can’t wait!


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    Aug 31st, 2009 (12:26 am)

    Aptera 2e Exterior dimensions compared to a Volt:

    Height: -3in
    Length -4 in
    Width +20 in
    Wheelbase +3 in

    I guess that puts the volt in go-cart territory as well.

    http://www.gizmag.com/aptera-2e-specification-released/10903/


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (1:53 am)

    No big deal but:

    1. A close reading of the press release reveals that the tires are not at all about RR. The first clue is that the discussion of the tires occurs under the heading Overall vehicle concept for a drag coefficient of just 0.22.. Note there’s nothing in the heading that mentions rolling resistance. Then it says this: The tires measure 195/55, while large 21-inch wheels provide a contact surface on the road otherwise offered only by a much wider tire. In combination with the sophisticated axle geometry, this ensures agile driving behavior.

    To translate, low aspect ratio tires mounted on large rims allows BMW to provide superior performance and a minimal rolling resistance consistent with this enhanced performance. FWIW the current fashion of mounting rubber bands on large wheels supposedly give you better cornering on the plus side and a harsher ride and more tire problems on the downside. It shouldn’t do anything for RR.

    2. Three issues here. One would be whether we’re talking about larger tires or larger rims. You can have the same size wheels with different rims sizes by varying the aspect ratio of the tire. Two would be that in the real world you can’t keep everything but one variable constant. For example, if you keep everything but rim size constant, going to larger rims also means you end up with more unsprung weight and a larger moment of inertia. Third would be that the real world data doesn’t suggest larger rims (I’m assuming when you say tires you mean rims) are associated with lower RR. Quite the opposite. Here is the report you’ve cited:

    http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/sr/sr286.pdf

    Page 72 has a graph of rim size versus RR. Just eyeballing this, it looks like RR is higher at 17″ than at 16″ and higher at 18″ than at 17″. Do you have a cite to the fact that tires on larger rims have lower RR?


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (2:06 am)

    So, assuming the cars were the same, a 145 hp motor would deliver more power to the wheels than a combustion engine which delivered 145 hp?

    Interesting app!


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (2:30 am)

    From the release, the passive cooling involves adjustable cooling fins in the front of the car and “forward looking energy management”.

    Forward looking energy management seems like a euphemism for not having a high C rate for the discharge. Not sure how that will work in practice.


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (4:53 am)

    Gosh, this car is gorgeous.


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    Aug 31st, 2009 (5:16 am)

    Uh, ya. Good luck with that.


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    nasaman

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (7:14 am)

    Don I genuinely enjoy & respect your many contributions here, but on the issue of tire RR vs rim size we’ll have to agree to disagree….

    From the Transportation Research Board report you reminded me of above, in the last paragraph on page 84 they make the summary statement “….RRCs tend to decline as rim diameter increases.” And in the chart on page 85 where they plot RRC vs rim diameters it is simply indisputable that RRC decreases significantly as rim diameters increase.

    PS: The chart you noted on page 72 is much harder to interpret because it includes very old data from 1982-83, yet a careful analysis of it also shows a decrease in RRC as rim diameters increase


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    max_headroom

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (7:32 am)

    Hey Bull:

    you said it’s “Better breaking than a Volt”, yet you also said it’s “More reliable than a Volt”

    Those two points DO NOT work together. If it is better “breaking” than a Volt, as you say, then the Volt IS the more reliable car.


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    carcus1

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (8:41 am)

    If drivetrain losses were equal , then theyshould both show the same peak wheel hp, but the hp delivered at specific time/speed points and torque curves would be different.


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    WopOnTour

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (8:41 am)

    It’s got more to do with structure, more than dimensions…


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (9:53 am)

    Wow. That’s about all you can say. This BMW concept is going to be AWESOME. No doubt about it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLGygbCr3sg&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fgreen.autoblog.com%2F2009%2F08%2F29%2Ffrankfurt-preview-bmw-vision-efficientdynamics-concept-turbodi%2F&feature=player_embedded#t=229

    Like the Tesla, it will obviously be very expensive though. It’s nice to dream about getting one someday I guess. BMW is definitely “raising the bar” in the electrification of the automobile. Tesla and GM will have their work cut out for them competing with this BMW “Vision” car.

    I think GM needs to get the Cadillac Converj program going again and make a high end electric car similar to this BMW. If GM can sell a $90,000 Corvette ZR-1, then why NOT build a high performance luxury car like this BMW. It will be another “halo car”. Something for people to look forward to. People will look at cars like this and HOPE that the technology “trickles down” to under $40,000 cars in the next 10 years.


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    N Riley

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (9:55 am)

    Welcome to the party BMW and what a coming out you are giving us. I am in agreement with those of you who have said the production vehicle will look nothing like this concept. The exterior will change considerably, I am sure. Other than that it seems to be a technological marvel. GM might get some really good ideas for its Voltec Corvette version. Let’s hope so anyway.

    Great report again, Lyle.


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    Loboc

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (10:15 am)

    Must be pretty strong glass to pass side-impact crash tests.


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    Murray

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (10:42 am)

    Agreed…as an owner myself I can tell you that my wazoo really hurts with some of the maintenance.

    But at the same time I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for…..

    I, of course, think this concept is sweet and love that BMW is exploring ALL alternatives.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (10:54 am)

    Or not.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (10:56 am)

    Twice the price? LOL. Not in this lifetime.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (10:58 am)

    Corvette??


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    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (11:04 am)

    BMW? 10-88. Next case.

    Although it is interesting that their latest cover story for pulling out of F1 is that they are going to use the budget to develop fuel efficient vehicles. The fact that they have spent $100s of millions and are totally uncompetitive has nothing to do with it, of course.

    Irionic that they had their best result of the season yesterday at Spa, 3rd and 4th, after announcing that this is their last season. Shades of poor old Honda.


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    Murray

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (11:12 am)

    how does kool-aid taste when it is infused with hydrogen?


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    Murray

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (11:22 am)

    …but it’s the ultimate driving machine !

    I drive a 3-series (manual) and I will heartily agree with you that the cost of services are certainly a huge negative to owning a BMW.

    Bottom line for me is that the car just simply “drives” better – end of story.


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    Murray

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (12:40 pm)

    I agree….so much so that I will go so far as to say

    Damn, this car is gorgeous.


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    Shock Me

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (9:34 pm)

    They mussa got theyselves sum a dat transparent aluminum.


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    Shock Me

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (9:37 pm)

    Yeah that would work. A car with TWO power sources I can’t replenish easily at my apartment.


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    Shock Me

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (9:39 pm)

    Love that Aptera shape. I’ll take mine with the range extender please.


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    Shock Me

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (9:40 pm)

    I’m guessing you are referencing the semi-open wheel design? Because most go-karts I’ve seen have four wheels.


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    Shock Me

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (9:43 pm)

    mmmm Hemis!


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    Shock Me

     

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    Aug 31st, 2009 (9:46 pm)

    I think they meant the use of a location-aware central computer in the vehicle that minimizes harsh power demands by spooling up in anticipation of a greater demand.


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    akojim

     

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    Sep 1st, 2009 (2:07 pm)

    This vehicle may be put into production early in 2020, a few years before we can actually buy a Volt. Unfortunately, it will be available only in communities which have demonstrated sufficient BMW readiness.


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    Michael C. Robinson

     

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    Sep 1st, 2009 (5:19 pm)

    Hyundai/Kia has said that it could sell fuel cell cars for $50k a piece today if they were mass produced.

    At $50k, a fuel cell car is still quite expensive, but it is less than the Tesla and only a tad bit more than what the Volt will cost.


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    Michael C. Robinson

     

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    Sep 1st, 2009 (5:28 pm)

    Faith in batteries does not make batteries the ultimate answer to bring about the electrification of the automobile. If reality were simply a matter of what we believe to be true, the world would be quite different indeed. I am not going to say that silicon nanowires won’t allow for the production of impressive batteries, but I am not going to say that they will be the breakthrough for better batteries either. There are a lot of promises with regards to batteries that just haven’t come true. In regards to hydrogen, $30k or less for
    a fuel cell car is a realistic prediction for 2015.

    The fuel cell Volt has not been abandoned by GM because GM knows that a battery plus hydrogen plus a fuel cell has the
    potential to propel an electric car further than a battery alone can. Hydrogen, unlike a Lithium ION battery, is incredibly light. If hydrnol or something similar is used to at least lower the cost of distributing hydrogen, the infrastructure will be much cheaper than initially predicted.


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    Michael C. Robinson

     

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    Sep 1st, 2009 (5:52 pm)

    The fuel cell Volt has a battery, plug it in, and a fuel cell. Compressed hydrogen gas tanks can be filled in 3 minutes at the appropriate station. Honda sells the home energy station IV that can fuel a fuel cell car using 5k PSI hydrogen tanks for about $50k. That price may come down in time.

    The fuel cell Volt’s battery is smaller than the one in the gas/electric hybrid version, but the fuel cell more than makes up for that. If I
    remember right, the range of the fuel cell Volt is at least 300 miles.

    GM has been making huge improvements to their fuel cell technology, so the Volt fuel cell car if produced today would probably go further than 300 miles.

    Aside from needing to compress hydrogen gas to fuel the fuel
    cell Volt, there are many ways to get hydrogen. Hydrogen, because the earth is 3/4 covered with water, is one of the most abundant elements there is. It isn’t free in nature, it is always bonded to something else. That said, there are many ways to extract hydrogen from: water, ethanol, plants, etcetera. If you live 10 miles from a hydrogen fueling station, you can probably plug the fuel cell Volt in and drive it on battery power alone to the station. The fuel cell Volt gets around long refueling times and petroleum use. Even a miracle battery that could power a car at freeway speeds for 300+ miles and not fill the trunk is most likely going to take hours to recharge.

    Hydrogen is the only fuel I know of that burns or runs through a fuel cell producing very little to no pollution. Hydrogen can be produced domestically and is. Solar to hydrogen is very realistic for example in places like death valley. Wind driven electrolysis is practical because wind generators often produce electricity when it isn’t needed. These are only two examples of how to get hydrogen, blue-green algae offers another way.

    Hydrogen fuel cell hybrid cars are very easy to refuel. The best prototype on the planet, the Toyota Highlander FCHV adv, can go 500+ miles on a fill of hydrogen.

    If hydrnol or something similar becomes the standard means of carrying hydrogen on a car, refueling at home may become a lot more practical. Hydrnol is a lot like gasoline in the way it can be handled.

    I wish GM would scale down the Volt to being a 10 mile AER car and focus more on getting the fuel cell version to market. The Volt right now is just too expensive for most people to buy it.


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    Michael C. Robinson

     

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    Sep 1st, 2009 (5:59 pm)

    The fuel cell Volt will be on the market by 2015 most likely as GM does not want to be the only car manufacturer that doesn’t have a hydrogen car offering.


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    Jeffhre

     

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    Sep 1st, 2009 (6:10 pm)

    Michael C. Robinson, Perhaps that’s true. Darn I wish I knew, that dang crystal ball is broken again!

    Since Toyota and GM are the only ones preparing to do this and Toyota is the only one with a date definite anounced (2016 so you’d guess MY-2017) it’s hard to tell what the other OEM’s will decide. Although clearly no one in the auto business ever likes being left out of the next new game.

    Hydrogen is not the only fuel cell type in development though, and hydrogen FC’s are just one of the range extenders available for future EV’s.


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    Lwesson

     

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    Sep 1st, 2009 (6:26 pm)

    I well recall the time that Magnum was so captivated by playing some computer game, what was it, oh yes, PONG, that he nearly was ambushed by an assorted group of native Hawaiians. Very ugly indeed. He could however, Captain America UP.

    Carcus 1 I have been in a memory hole that reminds me of a time when we were building a certain bridge for the Nipponese as I have been most sick. But duty calls and they prod me with their “bayonets”. Again, thank you for the Mr. Death titillations.

    The continued discourse over the concept Volt is MOST revealing. I remember the ’57 Chevy I once saw and recall a distinct resemblance to the dash of the original Volt. Ah, too bad. It was, ah, titillating.

    Do keep in contact. Lwesson@hotmail.com or Face Book which is a useful connect as I have found for the movie biz. Lwesson

    Back to the fever oh, and a nice glass of red wine.

    Regards from the still “living”, Higgins and the Lads


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    Sep 1st, 2009 (8:07 pm)

    With Toyota saying it might come out before 2015 with a commercial fuel cell offering, chances are, 2015 is the year that GM will do so if not sooner.

    As far as the idea that there are fuel cells that don’t use hydrogen,
    they aren’t clean and they primarily use fossil fuels. Hydrogen is the fuel of choice if you know how to renewably produce it, dispense it, and use it with a fuel cell. Solar to hydrogen, not electrolysis mind you, is very promising.


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    Sep 2nd, 2009 (1:54 am)

    Why Jeffhre are you so antagonistic towards hydrogen and fuel cells? Will you admit that this site is devoted generally speaking to the Volt and all versions of the Volt including the fuel cell version?

    The output temperature of PEM fuel cells, 80-100C, is not hot enough typically for reforming hydrogen rich fuel. That said, hydrnol can be used with ICE’s replacing gasoline and diesel.
    The beauty of hydrnol is that it acts like gasoline and diesel
    when you go to transport it. This is also an advantage with Magnesium Hydride Slurry.

    The ideal way to fuel fuel cells is to release hydrogen from a solid which will effectively act as a battery. Lithium Borohydride, or some other hydride, may eventually make it’s way onto cars. Currently,
    solid storage systems for hydrogen are too heavy, the release rate may not be adequate, and the temperature that the hydride releases hydrogen at may also pose a problem. Solid storage of hydrogen is the safest way to store the largest amount of the gas
    for the longest period of time. I’m hopeful that a solid storage system will make it onto cars and obviate the need to compress hydrogen gas storing it in high pressure tanks. At least hydrogen stations can store enough hydrogen to fill a 1000 cars in theory if they use special metal hydride tanks.

    Let’s look at one angle I haven’t discussed and that is the pollution angle. If you steam reform methane and use the hydrogen to displace gasoline use, that will result in a net reduction in CO2 emissions. Not good enough? Solar to hydrogen, blue green algae to hydrogen, using catalysts to attack the oxygen in water, using lasers to release hydrogen from water, thermally cracking water using a nuclear reactor with very high output temperatures,
    and the list can probably go on for a long time. The length this
    list can be stretched out to gives me confidence that there are
    enough good ways to get, distribute, and use hydrogen that it is worthwhile to pursue the gas while scientists pursue better batteries.

    Let say it takes 50 kilowatt hours of electricity to electrolyze enough water to completely fill a fuel cell car’s high pressure tanks. It takes 300 billion gallons of water to manufacture all the gasoline that the cars in the U.S. use where it would take only 100 billion gallons of water to replace all that gasoline with hydrogen. An important point to realize is that many methods of releasing hydrogen from water also release the oxygen which is another useful gas. I believe a single wind mill in the Columbia River Gorge produces 20 kw of electricity at full speed. So 2 1/2 wind mills at full speed will run an electrolyzer long enough to produce enough hydrogen to fill a fuel cell car. Let’s say that these 2 1/2 wind mills are running at full speed for 6 hours, how many fuel cell cars will be filled? Some of the electricity produced has to be used directly let’s say. But during off peak hours if there is a really good wind storm… It isn’t impossible to get multiples of 50 kw from the wind farms in the Columbia River Gorge. Let’s say that these wind mills typically run at 25% output. That is very pessimistic. That means you need 10 wind mills to electrolyze enough water to fill one car under normal conditions. A storm hits, those 10 wind mills might produce enough power to fill 4 fuel cell cars.

    If you have to burn a fuel or use it in an electrochemical process, the best choice is hydrogen. Hydrogen is the best choice because it is the only fuel known to man that will not harm the environment when it is burned or used electrochemically. Ethanol fails the not harmful when burned test. Wood fails. Coal definitely fails.
    Gasoline fails. Biodiesel fails. Diesel fails. Methanol fails. How many gases/liquids are there that can be burned without CO2 being emitted? I believe that there are only 2 gases, hydrogen
    and oxygen, which are not hydrocarbons. If I’m wrong, somebody please step up and explain providing scientific proof.

    There is this myth that people who believe in hydrogen don’t believe in cleaning up the transportation sector. There is this
    myth that hydrogen is an idea from big OIL. How is some fuel
    that every country in the world can produce domestically
    something that OPEC has an incredibly huge interest in?
    If gasoline is reformed to get hydrogen, that is unacceptable.
    If natural gas is reformed to get hydrogen, that is better than
    reforming gasoline but still not an ideal solution. If water in
    one way or another using clean energy is cracked to get
    hydrogen, that is a beautiful thing. If most or even some of the
    renewable clean methods of getting hydrogen get commercialized,
    hydrogen will not be something that any country in the world will be able to have a monopoly over.

    If every major gas station with four lanes or more is outfitted with
    a natural gas pump and a reformation system that dispenses compressed hydrogen gas and these stations remain profitable,
    there will be a net improvement in air quality. If there is a source
    of hydrogen, it is more likely that there will be hydrogen cars. If
    there are hydrogen cars, it is more likely that there will be hydrogen
    stations. The government needs to step in and solve this chicken and the egg problem. It wouldn’t take converting every major station to see if it is worthwhile to do so nation wide. I am proposing that the U.S. government subsidize one hydrogen/natural gas filling station near a major thoroughfare in every single state for 10 years. If after 10 years hydrogen cars have not hit the commercial market at reasonable prices, the government can shift to whatever makes the most sense. This act by the U.S. government of guaranteeing that there will be at least one hydrogen station in every single state near a major thoroughfare would reduce the risk for the auto companies
    of mass producing hydrogen cars.


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    BMW Vision Plug-in Hybrid Concept Car | Car Blog Green

     

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    Sep 5th, 2009 (6:01 am)

    […] post:  BMW Vision Plug-in Hybrid Concept Car […]


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    jason

     

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    Oct 2nd, 2009 (11:58 am)

    Someone mentioned that the chevy volt will determine the demand for electric cars. I don’t think that this is the case due to the fact that chevy is making the volt. Upcoming generations are more into import cars and American cars are fading out of the picture. American car companies are going to have to earn back the countries trust and show that they can make a quality product that will hold up like the import counterparts. Personally I would not buy an American car and I am not alone in that opinion. There is a good reason why the American car industry is in the trouble its in. I do think it is great that they are finally trying to move forward and put out a product inline with the times but it may be to little to late. I would feel more comfortable purchasing an import hybrid if I was in the market. I have owned a few American cars and had horrible luck with them. I have since owned all Toyota’s and had excellent luck and the resale value is much higher than any American car. Fewer breakdowns and higher resale lowers the cost of ownership greatly and up until recently they have crushed American cars on MPG. I admit American car companies are starting to think of these things but they now have to play catch up while everyone else keeps moving forward.