Jan 11

Lutz: Volt’s Range Will Vary Considerably, Pure Electric Volt Coming

 

Your Range Will Vary

[ad#post_ad]We have long heard that GM is targeting a 40 mile electric only range and a 300 mile gasoline range for the Chevrolet Volt.

Engineers have repeatedly said the Volt is meeting range expectations and have explained that the 40 miles can be achieved both on the city and highway cycles, which is fairly non aggressive, and doesn’t take into account significant electric accessory draws.

According to GM vice chairman Bob Lutz, the Volt’s electric range will vary considerably in the real world. He noted that some customers could become unpleasantly surprised and even “perplexed” at how drastic the range will be reduced under some driving conditions.

Though GM has in place special provisions to allow the car to be maximally consistent in range delivery, physics are physics, and 8 kwh is 8 kwh.

Lutz told a reporter from the Dow Jones that he drove the Volt for a weekend recently during the cold Detroit winter, and found he got only 28 miles of electric range.

Of course, with the Volt this will be far less important then in pure EVs, as the range extender will always be there to kick in and keep drivers going.

Pure Electric Volt

On the flipside, Lutz also told reporters at the Auto Show that GM is planning to build a pure electric version of the Volt too. This will be for that segment of people who want it and to compete against such vehicles as the Nissan Leaf.

For as long as the Volt concept has been in existence a certain contingency of people have expressed interest in such a vehicle as many comments on this site over the years can attest.

Lutz wouldn’t say when such a car would hit showrooms, but noted the process for building it would be “technologically trivial,” and just a matter of removing the range extender and expanding the battery pack.

“Once you’ve done the Volt, pure electric is trivial. You just leave some parts out,” Lutz said.

Source (ABC News)

This entry was posted on Monday, January 11th, 2010 at 4:58 pm and is filed under BEV, Efficiency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 135


  1. 1
    wow

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:04 pm)

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  2. 2
    Dan

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:07 pm)

    Wow there’s been a lot of big volt news in the last week or so.

    Financially, I don’t think a pure electric volt is going to make sense to many buyers. It would really only work for people who average about 60-80 miles daily instead of 40. With a pure electric Volt you’d save about a grand by leaving out the engine but spend another 10g or so on a larger battery pack. Most people would rarely use the larger pack since this wouldn’t work for long trips and most people’s daily drive is under 40 miles. You might even wind up using more gas because you’d need to use another car for longer trips that likely would be less efficient than a EREV Volt.


  3. 3
    Exp_EngTech

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:10 pm)

    Sweet.

    The “ICE-Less” Volt should be called “Volt-Tron” and fire missles out the grill !

    Just kidding…..


  4. 4
    Loboc

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:11 pm)

    The good news just keeps coming!

    This is great news! A BEV for the wife’s 5 miles-per-day and an EREV for my 50.

    Looks like a great pair to have in the garage.


  5. 5
    Todd Crenshaw

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:12 pm)

    I want the ICE. I don’t want to be at the mercy of a battery going flat just because instead running to the store I decided I wanted to take a trip to the lake, beyond the BEV’s performance level. Lutz is right – with the original Volt design I don’t have to worry about that at all.


  6. 6
    Jeffhre

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:12 pm)

    Dan: Wow there’s been a lot of big volt news in the last week or so.

    Wow the ist commentor or wow the amount of news? Lots of battery news, auto news OEM news and only ten days into 2010. No range extender, the more options the better.


  7. 7
    Keith

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:14 pm)

    The mileage will vary? Shocker!

    I really hope people don’t blow that out of proportion. It just makes sense that the mileage will vary.


  8. 8
    Loboc

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:15 pm)

    Lol. Just leave some parts out. Lutz, ur a nut!

    I hope this means that their batteries are way better than they are letting on. No release date, but, even if it’s three more years….


  9. 9
    Tagamet

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:16 pm)

    This is one of those threads that spawns more questions than it answers. Obviously, it announces an all electric Volt, but no mention of range, cost, time-line, numbers to be produced, etc. SHRUG.
    My “take” is predictable:
    LJGTVWOTR!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  10. 10
    Loboc

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:18 pm)

    Dan: 10g or so on a larger battery pack.

    If you have a 5-mile commute (like my wife) a 40-mile AER is still over-kill. I hope they have different battery option levels that are upgradeable.


  11. 11
    carcus1

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:19 pm)

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  12. 12
    nuclearboy

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:20 pm)

    I am glad to hear that the sans-ice model is being offered. I have always thought this would be trivial for GM given its Volt development work and I think this fills an “electric only” hole in the GM line up.

    IMO, I would like to have the Volt with a smaller/lighter ICE that may not run my fat arse up pikes peak at 75 mph but would generally suffice and would never leave me stranded.

    The Volt drive train is a premium system but reduced options are always good to consider.


  13. 13
    wow

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:21 pm)

    I really hope that the Volt will be coming to Georgia. Maybe atlanta, I average about 60 miles a day and it will save me at the pump significantly. Honestly, who do not thing the price of gas will not go up. It would not surprise me if gas is $4 per gallon by the end of next year just because of inflation.


  14. 14
    EVO

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:22 pm)

    With apologies to Dan (post #2):

    Financially, I don’t think an EREV volt is going to make sense to many buyers. It would really only work for people who average about 40 miles daily instead of 70-80 miles. With a pure electric Volt you’d save at least a grand plus significant ongoing maintenance costs by leaving out the engine and spend a little more on a larger battery pack. Most people who get this will rarely go on long trips as most people’s daily drive is under 40 miles. You might use the same gas for long trips because you might use an EREV for longer trips that likely would be less efficient that a pure EV Volt.


  15. 15
    EVO

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:23 pm)

    Of course, both ER-EV and pure electric Volts make lots of sense to lots of people. They don’t compete with each other, they complement each other.


  16. 16
    Tagamet

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:25 pm)

    nuclearboy: …IMO, I would like to have the Volt with a smaller/lighter ICE that may not run my fat arse up pikes peak at 75 mph but would generally suffice and would never leave me stranded. …

    And you could always lose a little weight before heading to Pike’s Peak (lol).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  17. 17
    LRGVProVolt

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:26 pm)

    I said before and now GM has indicated they will make an all electric Volt. The destiny of the Volt EREV is to become a Volt BEV.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  18. 18
    N Riley

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:28 pm)

    Once again, Bob Lutz is giving us some good scoop. I still think he is the man who will go down as to being the father of electric transportation transformation. IMO, of course. Way to go, Bob!!!


  19. 19
    carcus1

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:28 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  20. 20
    EVO

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:38 pm)

    Carcus1 is channeling Colin Chapman.

    chap03.jpg


  21. 21
    CorvetteGuy

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:39 pm)

    Didn’t the earlier post quote GM saying that the battery costs them $15,000 ?

    So, will the VOLT-ev sticker for $25,000 before fed tax credits and the VOLT-erev will stay at $40,000 ?

    And, how much tax credit can we expect for the VOLT-ev ?
    Will it still be $7500, making the car $17,500 net?

    One more thing, if the ICE comes out, would that space be filled with a supplemental battery pack?


  22. 22
    JohnK

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:39 pm)

    I’m so confused. If I stay away from this web site for more than a few hours everything changes!


  23. 23
    StevePA

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:48 pm)

    carcus1: Standby for mpg back peddling as well.  (Quote)

    Wouldn’t think this to be much of a suprise. As EREVs and BEVs become more commonplace the average driver will understand pure electric range in any such vehicle will change with driving habits, just as they do today with ICE engines. I’m guessing 40 may not be the norm in the desert southwest in summer months nor in the northern part of the country or Canada in winter. Just not a big deal.


  24. 24
    EVO

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:48 pm)

    Sorry all, the picture was supposed to be of Colin Chapman, but the location hijacked it.


  25. 25
    LRGVProVolt

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:50 pm)

    carcus1: I can’t even tell you how dumb this makes Lutz sound. Maybe he really is that dumb.

    Don’t you realize how dump your statements is? You took one part of his statement out of context. Just before that he said:

    “the process for building it would be “technologically trivial,” and just a matter of removing the range extender and expanding the battery pack.”

    So does that make you a dumb person?

    This time no Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  26. 26
    Jabroni

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:58 pm)

    A Pure electric Volt is the best news I have heard in three years……

    Good Going GM!


  27. 27
    Khadgars

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (5:59 pm)

    The current Volt drives as a pure EV, the ICE has nothing to do with the wheels. If you removed the ICE and kept the weight the same nothing would change.

    Now we don’t know how much battery weight they would add and how much weight would be lost from the ICE, but I doubt the difference will be massive enough to require a redesign in any fashion.

    carcus1: “…..and just a matter of removing the range extender and expanding the battery pack.
    “Once you’ve done the Volt, pure electric is trivial. You just leave some parts out,” Lutz said.”____Are they going to leave 1,500 pounds worth of parts out?I can’t even tell you how dumb this makes Lutz sound.Maybe he really is that dumb.YOU HAVE TO GET THE WEIGHT DOWN BOBBY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (hint, you better go get a clean sheet of paper and start all over)If you want to do a BEV right, you’ve got to get all the weight off you can.Sometimes I think GM’s forgotten more about electric cars than they know now.  


  28. 28
    DonC

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:06 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: So, will the VOLT-ev sticker for $25,000 before fed tax credits and the VOLT-erev will stay at $40,000 ?

    One more thing, if the ICE comes out, would that space be filled with a supplemental battery pack?

    The maximum credit is for a 16 kWh pack. Larger packs don’t get any greater credit. (Dingell wrote this for GM, remember?). IOW the Tesla Roadster qualifies for the same dollar credit as the Volt.

    There is plenty of room in the existing housing for more cells. GM could probably triple the number of cells. Of course they’d be tripling the pack cost as well ….


  29. 29
    Eric

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:11 pm)

    I am really glad to here there will be a electric only Volt coming down the pipeline(can’t come soon enough for me). I understand this could not be a car for people who only own 1 car, but for people who own 2 cars or more, this is a great option. The electric only Volt though should have different size battery pack options so you can customize it to the different ranges that people need. This also will allow for different prices ranges. I hope that they would have ranges from 100 to 200 actual miles(using AC or heat). Some people would be willing to pay extra bucks for the higher range version.


  30. 30
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:14 pm)

    JohnK: I’m so confused.If I stay away from this web site for more than a few hours everything changes!  

    Hey John K,

    That’s the absolutely terrific thing about Volt, electrification, Bob, and this incredible site!!

    The breakthroughs are happening now every other day. The electrification backlash has begun against the fossil energy stranglehold.

    It seems to me that once there are 7% electrics out there, whether or not the EREV is included, a compounded disuse of fossil enery will begin to happen.

    Let fossil/gas increase, fluctuate, go way up, go way down. But once 7% of mileage is electric, the game changes as a runaway for electrification.

    Bob’s confidence level on how easy it will be to just have no ICE is a great way to promise fullfilment of market interest in BEV only.

    Perhaps yesterday’s commentary on a $15,000 battery pack was to prep the public in ***this BEV*** larger battery regard that the pack for a non-ICE Volt flavor will indeed need a larger pack that costs more, simply to need to go further.

    The other factor in being pure electric, is that perhaps the second generation batteries are solid state (A123′s??), and, if they are being concurrently tested in the battery lab to the point of being at a sufficient longevity benchmark to promise a minimum acceptable EV-only range, then the indirect announcement time has happened with today’s topic possibly.

    I also like the fact that GM says that the new gen batteries will be
    “backwards compatible” to older Volt models when the need comes about. More and more incredible stuff from GM every other day!!!!

    More terrific news, Mr. Lutz. Thanks!

    PS, I really like the Granite, Bob. Voltec in it to go 50 ev miles would be really incredible and in keeping with the “professional grade” heavy duty reputation of GMC. I really like it a lot. Really nice interior too.
    D.P.


  31. 31
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:17 pm)

    To compete with the Nissan leaf the Volt should have a swappable battery.

    To repeat myself, I asked Nick Reilly his opinion about an Ampera with swappable batteries and for those who didn’t see his answer it is here :
    http://drivingconversations.gmblogs.com/2009/11/moving-fast.html
    and this an abstract :
    “With regards to the “swappable battery” I know that our engineering team has reviewed many different options.

    With the Ampera we want to offer a non-compromise compact sized vehicle for everyday use. To do so we need to ensure that some of the basic customer requirements are met and that the heart and soul of the car, the battery pack, is always functional. We need to consider safety topics such as making sure that the electronics management system of the battery (e.g. cooling,…) is running stable at all times. Other areas to consider are crash safety, long-term reliability and warranty and more. ”

    So time will tell … are those arguments still valid (they are less than three months old), will the Volt in one form or another be compatible finally with the betterplace model ?

    As Johnk wrote appropriately :

    JohnK: I’m so confused.If I stay away from this web site for more than a few hours everything changes!  

    Regards to all,

    JC NPNS


  32. 32
    DonC

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:18 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: So, will the VOLT-ev sticker for $25,000 before fed tax credits and the VOLT-erev will stay at $40,000 ?

    If you ditch the ICE you take costs out of the car. No doubt about that. But those cost reductions would be swamped by the additional costs attributable to increasing the size of the battery pack.

    Nissan is addressing this problem by pricing the Leaf just like an ICE equivalent vehicle, which you can do because the addition of the motor and electronics should just about equal the cost savings you get from deep sixing the engine and related parts, and then LEASING the pack.

    The pack will probably cost Nissan $18K+ so a lease will be pricey. Nissan is trying to get reduce the lease cost by finding an alternative market for the battery after it is no longer useful in the car and marketing the leased battery by saying that the lease payments will be in lieu of what you’d need to pay for gas. Personally I’m not sure whether this pencils out but that’s the plan.

    So unless a Volt BEV has a very limited range it would cost more than a Volt E-REV.


  33. 33
    Slave to OPEC

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:21 pm)

    Very few people are going to pay an additional premium ($10kish ?) for the extra battery capacity to drive 80 miles…

    Choice #1. EREV Volt w/ unlimited range (for $40k)
    Choice #2. BEV Volt w/ 80 mile range (for $50k)

    Which one would you choose ?


  34. 34
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:25 pm)

    Dan Petit:

    The other factor in being pure electric, is that perhaps the second generation batteries are solid state (A123’s??),
    D.P.  

    Hi Dan with solid state H2 storage and an efficient fuel cell this would be terrific and not too far away, have you seen this news (sorry in French) :
    http://www.enerzine.com/603/8974+ces-2010—le-premier-generateur-dhydrogene-domestique+.html

    regards,

    JC NPNS


  35. 35
    terryk

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:25 pm)

    The way I take what Lutz said was that it could go either way: We will love it or really hate it.

    But at least he provided us both options!

    28 miles in the cold doesn’t surprise me though. But it does tell me that it will likely only barely hit the 40 goal.


  36. 36
    carcus1

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:27 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: Don’t you realize how dump your statements is?

    You’ve clearly illustrated your point.

    /irony much?


  37. 37
    DonC

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:29 pm)

    OK, first he says that GM will build a BEV based on the Volt and then he explains why BEVs are a bad idea.

    My interpretation is that Lutz is saying that, if the regulators want it that way, a more or less otherwise useless BEV Volt might be useful for getting regulatory credits so GM can sell more Silverados without having to resort to expensive technology.

    It whacks me off that BMW is getting so many regulatory credits for the mini-E demo program. So why shouldn’t GM do something similar?


  38. 38
    Schmeltz

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:30 pm)

    I would have been A LOT happier if the 40 mile range would be provided in all reasonable circumstances (say in hilly terrain with the heater and radio blasting in the middle of winter). That confession of 28 mile range is pretty bewildering to be honest. I’m not any less enthusiastic about the car, but I would have been much happier to say “40 miles range no matter what” vs. “40 miles if your lucky”. Just being honest.


  39. 39
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:34 pm)

    Volt will never be “compatible” with a “better place” model.
    IMTO, PBP is a technical disaster in the making if it is not already a financial one. PBP would only be suited for Nissan’s business model for frequent replacement of BEV batteries very deeply cycled as they have planned, not due to the need for recharging only. (Swapping a battery pack for the purpose of recharging only is patently ridiculous in itself, due to the excessively repetitive extremely unsafe invasiveness to technical integrities by all measures of feasibility, if for only recharge purpose “swapping”.)

    Most importantly of all, if anyone or anything “breaches” safety software, hardware, electrical, or even installs an interfering accessory of any kind that interferes with communications in the Controller Area Network of a Voltec System, the system is designed to go into full fail-safe. PBP is totally out of the question in the GM business model and as regards GM technical specifications.


  40. 40
    Tagamet

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:43 pm)

    Information overload. My mind is officially boggled. I’m going to let the last 48 hours’ input digest cognitively for the night. Then again, the way things have been going, there may be another barrage tomorrow!
    Very exciting times.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    /name-calling begets more name-calling

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


  41. 41
    nuclearboy

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:43 pm)

    EVO: Most people who get this will rarely go on long trips as most people’s daily drive is under 40 miles.

    I would totally disagree. Range anxiety is a real pain and electrics will suffer from this. I want an electric car but I don’t want to be shackled by the range. Things change and you need to drive the extra mile. Who wants a car that can’t keep up.


  42. 42
    kent beuchert

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:45 pm)

    Well, I see that reality finally reins, now that a GM engineer (Lutz) has admitted that creating a pure battery
    version of the Volt would be trivial. A few months ago, one GM head engineer claimed that if EEStor capacitors were available, “It would take several YEARS to modify the
    Volt.” I claimed that was nonsense at the time and now Lutz has confirmed my opinion. Thanks, Bob.


  43. 43
    MDDave

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:46 pm)

    carcus1: I can’t even tell you how dumb this makes Lutz sound. Maybe he really is that dumb.

    Why don’t you come back when you’ve accomplished 1/10th of the things that Bob Lutz has accomplished.


  44. 44
    Tom M

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:53 pm)

    I would prefer a 100 mile EV Volt over the ICE extended range version, if they ever make it available. If the Volt went 40 to 60 miles instead of the 25 to 40 that it will go with a 8kwh pack I would probably get one. In it’s current form you’ll probably only get 25 miles at highway speed and even less in the cold weather and that’s just not good enough to justify the cost. I really don’t want to buy any oil anymore, but I do also want to support GM. I do wish the Leaf was a GM product, I’d definitely get one.


  45. 45
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:53 pm)

    Jean-Charles Jacquemin:
    Hi Dan with solid state H2 storage and an efficient fuel cell this would be terrific and not too far away, have you seen this news (sorry in French) :
    http://www.enerzine.com/603/8974+ces-2010—le-premier-generateur-dhydrogene-domestique+.htmlregards,JC NPNS  

    Although I don’t speak French (I’m French Canadian by heritage),
    I clearly remember a story about a year ago about this type of hydrogen storage. By todays’ rate of breakthroughs from GM at about every other day now, that might be old “news” indeed. Hydrogen is a very “weildy” and “wild” sort of way of doing things. We tend to become fascinated regarding hydrogen, it seems to me, because it “defy’s gravity”, which is, well, just too fascinating in itself, because, it always wants to “get away”.

    Reason:
    The molicule is so very very small, it penetrates EVERYTHING. It makes steel brittle over time (never safe in an auto crash test), it ruins gaskets, takes about 17% of energy just to compress it (that energy could just propel the Volt 7 miles), and on and on.

    Other bad:
    Hydrogen is so unmanageable on about fifty other different “problem fronts” in making it and distributing it, that it is just not worth the consideration in this next decade as I have been told by hydrogen experts (the candid ones). And, it is at least 30% less efficient than plain ol’ electricity coming out of your 120 volt outlet at your residence to go into your brand new Voltec vehicle.


  46. 46
    Dave K.

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:57 pm)

    Good to hear GM is working on electric drive variants. But, this news must be very confusing to people who are just now hearing about the Volt.

    If you had just heard about the Volt (“to be available this year”). And started to do research on it. How do announcements of varying range and “battery only” sound?

    GM is straying away from keeping the release of the Volt simple. People want the simple facts. They want to know how far the Volt will travel on a charge. They want to know the mpg rating on the Volt after the initial charge is used. They want to know if the car is safe in a crash. They want to know if insurance cost is on par with common cars of this size. They want to know about overall cost and financing. And about available options and accessories.

    Keep in mind that most of the people who visit this site in 2010 will be somewhat unfamiliar with the Volt.

    To conclude: I can’t see spending over 15k on any vehicle that won’t safely get me to L.A. and back. This is 200 miles. Even cars that boast 300 miles per charge marginally fit into this group. And these cost over $50k.

    Get your head back on straight GM. Wise up and focus. You have a winner in the Volt. Use the Voltec Delta platform to build additional Volt variants.

    =D~


  47. 47
    Tagamet

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (6:58 pm)

    Schmeltz: I would have been A LOT happier if the 40 mile range would be provided in all reasonable circumstances (say in hilly terrain with the heater and radio blasting in the middle of winter).That confession of 28 mile range is pretty bewildering to be honest.I’m not any less enthusiastic about the car,but I would have been much happier to say “40 miles range no matter what” vs. “40 miles if your lucky”.Just being honest.  

    That’s the problem with interpretable words like “reasonable”. Given how cold (read FRIGID) it has been in the upper mid-west, I think it’s a safe guess that Bob was using the heater full-bore. It’s also not hard to imagine him blasting the radio (something like the theme from Top Gun, or He’s a Maniac from Flashdance)(g). I have no idea how hilly the area is. Please remember that this is an electric car! Getting 28 mpc instead of 40 under these conditions _to ME_ seems reasonable. Since the CS mode is there as backup, I don’t see much of an issue. JMO,
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  48. 48
    Anthony

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:03 pm)

    Not completely unexpected about the worse range in the cold – I believe Lyle said something to the same effect when he talked about his E-Mini in the cold getting a range reduction of 20-30%. This is exactly 30%, and I would hope its worst case (how cold was it in Detroit this weekend?).


  49. 49
    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:07 pm)

    carcus1: I can’t even tell you how dumb this makes Lutz sound. Maybe he really is that dumb.

    #19

    I’ve always said so, LOL. +1 Sorry I can’t get you “back on the island”, but +1 for saying the truth anyway. It’s the best I can do.


  50. 50
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:11 pm)

    kent beuchert: Well,I see that reality finally reins, now that a GM engineer (Lutz) has admitted that creating a pure battery
    version of the Volt would be trivial. A few months ago, one GM head engineer claimed that if EEStor capacitors were available, “It would take several YEARS to modify the
    Volt.”I claimed that was nonsense at the time and now Lutz has confirmed my opinion. Thanks, Bob.  

    Hey Kent,
    The reason is to test for safety as well as reliability. That would take years *AFTER* EEStor’s power unit would initially pass the shaker test, the oven test, the cost test, the supply-reliability test, the safety tests, the crash tests and on and on.

    I’d worry about that voltage at 3,500 volts. Permitivity (the saturation of all those electrons into the electrolyte), is one thing, but, the fail-safe-containment of all that energy safely with all those proposed thousands of “cells” wired together is a concern just for the number of connections in each proposed unit.
    I just don’t like it.

    OTOH: Where GM *HAS* only 288 cells, that’s highly manageable quality control wise. But thousands and thousands of EESTOR power unit connections might not be as easily quality controlled. So, I’m not just a little bit skeptical.


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    MessInaDress

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:12 pm)

    Lutz told a reporter from the Dow Jones that he drove the Volt for a weekend recently during the cold Detroit winter, and found he got only 28 miles of electric range.

    I thought there were power electronics that corrected this.? Also doesn’t the car have thermal control of the battery pack which should’ve eliminated the “Colsnap” effect?
    At least that is what I have read from many of you posters. Were you wrong or misled?


  52. 52
    RonR64

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:15 pm)

    Schmeltz: I would have been A LOT happier if the 40 mile range would be provided in all reasonable circumstances (say in hilly terrain with the heater and radio blasting in the middle of winter). That confession of 28 mile range is pretty bewildering to be honest. I’m not any less enthusiastic about the car, but I would have been much happier to say “40 miles range no matter what” vs. “40 miles if your lucky”. Just being honest.  (Quote)

    I don’t understand your logic? What mileage do you get with your current car? What ever it is throw me the keys and I flat guarantee you I can get worse! So should the mfg have stated the mileage I got on the sticker when they sold it to you? Of course not. This is precisely why the EPA has standardized tests. And of course your mileage may vary. I would be willing to bet that we could get considerably less than 28 miles as well if we tried. So what? What is important is how far it will go on standardized tests and “normal” conditions. Last week on the way home from a hockey game it was -28F, yeah it happens here in Minnesota during January but it certainly isn’t normal.

    This really is “dog bites man” news.


  53. 53
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:24 pm)

    Tagamet:
    That’s the problem with interpretable words like “reasonable”. Given how cold (read FRIGID) it has been in the upper mid-west, I think it’s a safe guess that Bob was using the heater full-bore. It’s also not hard to imagine him blasting the radio (something like the theme from Top Gun, or He’s a Maniac from Flashdance)(g). I have no idea how hilly the area is. Please remember that this is an electric car! Getting 28 mpc instead of 40 under these conditions _to ME_ seems reasonable. Since the CS mode is there as backup, I don’t see much of an issue. JMO,
    Be well,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Once again Tag, your comment is *SCREAM* FUNNY!!
    YOU REALLY DESERVE A VOLT PURCHASE-ASSIGNMENT AT SOME CHEVY STORE NEAR YOU.

    (Stay well).
    Dan.


  54. 54
    Mike-o-Matic

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:29 pm)

    DonC:
    There is plenty of room in the existing housing for more cells.

    Seriously? The whole pack looks “all full up” to me, in every cutaway I’ve seen. If you can substantiate this statement, please do.


  55. 55
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:30 pm)

    Tagamet: Information overload. My mind is officially boggled. I’m going to let the last 48 hours’ input digest cognitively for the night. Then again, the way things have been going, there may be another barrage tomorrow!
    Very exciting times.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    /name-calling begets more name-callingLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Hey Tag,
    Which info is the overload? Or, is it just the entire mass of it all?


  56. 56
    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:30 pm)

    #40

    Tagamet: Information overload. My mind is officially boggled. I’m going to let the last 48 hours’ input digest cognitively for the night. Then again, the way things have been going, there may be another barrage tomorrow!
    Very exciting times.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    /name-calling begets more name-callingLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Once is enough. I guess we should just ignore him!

    Be well!

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  57. 57
    Stas Peterson

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:38 pm)

    Yes I see. You can buy an EREV Volt for $40k or a BEV Volt for only $60k. Yes I’m sure the 80 mile range BEV Volt, will sell like hotcakes…. Duh…


  58. 58
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:38 pm)

    Tagamet: Information overload. My mind is officially boggled. I’m going to let the last 48 hours’ input digest cognitively for the night. Then again, the way things have been going, there may be another barrage tomorrow!
    Very exciting times.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    /name-calling begets more name-callingLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Tag,
    He’s likely had too much alchohol to drink.
    I never **internalize** name calling at all. So, that sort of thing never
    “gets” to me. (Lots of practice (g.)(lol)).


  59. 59
    Stas Peterson

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:42 pm)

    Yes, I can see an EREV Volt for $40k. And a BEV Volt for $60k.

    I predict that everybody will want the 80 mile range BEV Volt. The BEV will sell like hotcakes! Duh…


  60. 60
    CorvetteGuy

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:46 pm)

    Okay. I did not think my question through earlier…

    If the VOLT-ev is the same as the VOLT-erev, but with the ICE and generator removed, how much is the price of the car reduced?

    How much does the ICE generator weigh?
    How much do those components cost?
    Isn’t there an immediate increase in range since the car weighs less?

    With a solid 40 miles of range (in comfortable Southern California weather conditions), the VOLT-ev is the perfect daily driver for me. [but today's post makes me wonder how much a CONVERJ-ev would be]

    If the price for VOLT-ev is lower, I see it becoming a HUGE seller.
    But that’s just me.


  61. 61
    Noel Park

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:51 pm)

    EVO: Carcus1 is channeling Colin Chapman.

    #20

    And nobody better to channel, IMHO. +1

    EVO: Carcus1 is channeling Colin Chapman.  


  62. 62
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (7:52 pm)

    Edit to my post #58.

    If we keep in mind that folks are at home sometimes “doing their own [drinking] thing” sometimes to “wind down” from a stressful day, if they had “one too many” and have become beligerant in what they type, I just pass it by as the “overdose talking”, because deep down, the person would not likely say it if they were, say, at work.

    (But I said this a lot better before my edit time clock ran out on me by only two seconds! (LOL!!). But you get the drift.)
    Dan.


  63. 63
    Schmeltz

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (8:01 pm)

    RonR64: I don’t understand your logic?

    I guess I look at the “Your range may vary” comment as counter to the “Under-Promise, Over-Deliver” mantra. What would’ve been the harm of figuring in 10 extra miles worth of extra battery capacity for the Cold Winter/Hot Summer scenarios? The car is already expensive, at least the 40 miles statement would be a concrete number. There wouldn’t be any of this loosey-goosey “your mileage will vary” kind of statements.

    I want to be clear that I think the Volt team, (and that includes Bob Lutz) has done a phenomenal job on this car. It is truly a game-changer in my eyes as it is, out of the box. I stand firm though that in my opinion, things like all electric ranges that are found to be considerably less than advertised, will be a stumbling block on the way to mass EV adoption. Hit me with minuses but as I said earlier, I’m just being honest.


  64. 64
    Noel Park

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (8:02 pm)

    MDDave: Why don’t you come back when you’ve accomplished 1/10th of the things that Bob Lutz has accomplished.

    You mean like being a senior executive and head of product development for one of the oldest corporations in America as it was driven into bankruptcy? Certainly very few of us will get a chance to accomplish that. -1


  65. 65
    Rashiid Amul

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (8:07 pm)

    Keith: The mileage will vary? Shocker!I really hope people don’t blow that out of proportion. It just makes sense that the mileage will vary.  

    Yup. Especially in winter when the air is much denser.


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    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (8:13 pm)

    GM’s product plan always showed the Volt developing into both a BEV and plug-in FCV.

    I am more excited about the other EREV concepts GM has announced – Converj, Granite and Orlando.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (8:15 pm)

    Stas Peterson: Yes, I can see an EREV Volt for $40k.And a BEV Volt for $60k.I predict that everybody will want the 80 mile range BEV Volt.The BEV will sell like hotcakes!Duh…  

    Stas,
    Where do you get the impression of only an 80 mile Volt BEV ER from?

    Where I would

    **estimate/totally speculate**

    a Volt BEV ER with **solid state cells** to be, is somewhere between 150 and 200 ER miles, rechargeable with dual internal step-up transforming capabilities:
    One from 220v. at 15 to 17 amps to 480 at 7 to 8 amps,
    and, another from 120 volts at 15 amps to 240 volts at 8 amps, to recharge from 90% DOD to 90% SOC in something like 8 to 10 hours, or 14 to 16 hours respectively, overnight. (Depending on the input volts).

    Being lighter for subtracting the ICE, gas tank, generator, and having, as a result of that hardware being eliminated, a little bit better CD potential stylewise.

    All speculative of course, but sometimes, these speculations, if made sufficiently tempting to the awsome GM engineers, maybe we can get another little fact set out for us here. (lol.).


  68. 68
    Rashiid Amul

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (8:16 pm)

    I don’t know guys. With a pure EV, we need an infrastructure that we don’t have. A pure EV today is nothing short of a niche market. I honestly don’t see this working very well. I do hope I am wrong and wish them luck. But I said the same thing in the last thread about Ford. It is too soon to have a pure EV because range anxiety is going to be huge. Especially when “electric range will vary considerably in the real world” and the charging infrastructure is no where in sight except for a few places.

    I’ll take the EREV.


  69. 69
    Dave K.

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (8:17 pm)

    Schmeltz: It is truly a game-changer in my eyes as it is, out of the box.

    It’s surprising that the Volt to this day continues to clear hurdle after hurdle in it’s development process. The battery system is fine. Handling, steering, safety all looks good. Total range, overall smoothness and quiet. 20 mph to 60 mph acceleration is reportedly outstanding. Styling and comfort are good. Price after State and Federal credits is within reason.

    The few issues that Volt engineers have mentioned are dealing with the twin information screens and software set up. These must be stable, easy to use, and dependable.

    We can be confident that GM will use the GM Volt dot com list in some way. My guess is that we will be first to hear about test drive locations. And we may be involved in a test-at-home “Project Driveway” type program this summer.

    You can have the Leaf … Voltec is where it’s at.

    =D~


  70. 70
    bill cosworth

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (8:26 pm)

    Again a must for GM to make a all electric Volt!

    It makes logical sense since the Nissan folks will keep annoying them with there “Zero Emissions” advertising.

    I think GM should offer this as an option NOW and just state the Battery will not last as long if you go past 40 miles. We know GM has plans for 50% of the capacity so why not just take the battery to 70% and make it lighter. The lighter weight will give it better range to being with.

    Making an all electric volt will make the volt a success in the scene it will use No oil. It might not sell very well but just having it as an option changes the perception of the vehicle and makes people realize this is not a hybrid. Just the word hybrid to me seems like a hack job something that is intern or not developed.


  71. 71
    Ed M

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (8:40 pm)

    With a pure electric vehicle in GM’s future I guess that it would be powered by something similar to an ultra capacitor or even better fast charging batteries.


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    k-dawg

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (9:02 pm)

    What happend to the Puma? ;-)


  73. 73
    SteveK9

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (9:03 pm)

    It seems that people are assuming this all-electric car is right around the corner, but the quotes from Lutz don’t sound like that. It’s hard to tell but I don’t think Lutz actually said anything about competing with the Leaf (which makes it sound like the car might be available near term). I would think that batteries will get better (higher density and/or lower cost), the electric range of the ‘EREVs’ will increase. At some point a pure EV will become feasible. The two types will coexist for a while and then it will be all EV. The question is the timing and Lutz wasn’t talking about that (and probably can’t know at this point).


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    k-dawg

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (9:09 pm)

    I guess if you’ve already done all of the engineering to create a Voltec car, you might as well do a little bit more and make a pure electric car. This way you can compete w/Nissan and Ford (in a niche market). It also adds to the halo factor.


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    BillR

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (9:17 pm)

    Since Bob has made no commitment on timing for the introduction of the BEV Volt, I wonder if this will wait until the next generation of batteries, when they hope to reduce battery cost to half of what it is now.


  76. 76
    RonR64

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (9:26 pm)

    Schmeltz: I guess I look at the “Your range may vary” comment as counter to the “Under-Promise, Over-Deliver” mantra. What would’ve been the harm of figuring in 10 extra miles worth of extra battery capacity for the Cold Winter/Hot Summer scenarios? The car is already expensive, at least the 40 miles statement would be a concrete number. There wouldn’t be any of this loosey-goosey “your mileage will vary” kind of statements.I want to be clear that I think the Volt team, (and that includes Bob Lutz) has done a phenomenal job on this car. It is truly a game-changer in my eyes as it is, out of the box. I stand firm though that in my opinion, things like all electric ranges that are found to be considerably less than advertised, will be a stumbling block on the way to mass EV adoption. Hit me with minuses but as I said earlier, I’m just being honest.  (Quote)

    For what it is worth I don’t give someone a neg just because I disagree with them – so I didn’t on yours either. I understand what your point is. But just like I can get worse mileage I also guarantee you that I could get better as well. And that is just the point. There is no way they could list a worst case scenario because someone could always beat it and do worse and then they would have the same complaint you do. There has to be a standard that each mfg is judged against. It will never be perfect and might favor one type slightly over another but it will be good enough. If a consumer finds that they always get X% less than advertised that is fine because they can adjust accordingly – for all mfgs. Personally I always get better mileage than listed and no I’m no hyper-miler, I just have good driving technique. So I have no doubt that I will routinely get better than the 40 that the Volt is being marketed as – except in the winter when there is little one can do. Mileage sucks when it is cold out – gas or electric.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (9:45 pm)

    Dave K.: We can be confident that GM will use the GM Volt dot com list in some way. My guess is that we will be first to hear about test drive locations. And we may be involved in a test-at-home “Project Driveway” type program this summer.

    Now *that* would be a good use of GM’s “seed corn”.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


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    Tagamet

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (9:59 pm)

    LRGVProVolt:
    Once is enough. I guess we should just ignore him!Be well!Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.  

    That’s an option. So is responding without the vituperation. It just doesn’t take much to sour the discussion and/or run off topic. This is such a great place to hang out that it’s a shame when a button pusher succeeds at getting someone’s goat. Statik and I disagreed about 90% of the time – passionately- and I think that the “worst” he called me was an optimist (g). JMO!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  79. 79
    Texas

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (10:04 pm)

    1) Why not explain that if a driver drives his car like a crazy person or tows his boat they also get very poor gas mileage. I think people fundamentally understand the concept of energy and that you don’t get something for nothing, even if our government makes it hard to remember that.

    2) An all electric Volt? OK, maybe as a special option but again, at $40,000 dollars (more for the BEV?) for a second car that is basically a toy? How big of market is that? My guess is about the same size as the EV1 market. Way too expensive for what you get. An inexpensive small ICE car would be multiple times less expensive. Multiple.

    3) The more I hear about real-world conditions (like getting only 28 miles in the snow and Lyle getting far less range in the winter), the more I understand just how great the Volt’s Voltec drive train really is. No hassle, no range worries, even in the cold, suck out in traffic and needing massive heat. Let’s face it, gasoline and diesel hold a massive amount of energy that is great for heating. That energy density is going to be hard to beat in weather like we are currently experiencing around the world.

    4) Will climate change bring more extreme weather in the future? If so, having that tank of petrol would relax the mind. Perhaps an EREV-B (EREV – Biofuel) is the way to renewable happiness.

    Thus, without swap or quick-charge infrastructure, I think the BEV is just a toy for geeky early adopters with money to burn. Even if gas prices go to the moon, the EREV will keep the fuel budget way down yet provide that invaluable range and bad weather security.

    People will learn that they have to move closer to their jobs. Period. Until we fix this energy problem (will take decades), it’s going to be localization over globalization. That includes globalization-like commutes to work.


  80. 80
    Kurt

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (10:06 pm)

    I doubt if there is much difference in range using electric vs. petrol. The only issue is that with the same percentage drawback you get when pulling higher power, like Lutz turning on the heat and spinning out over the icy roads, it’s much easier to see on 40 miles than on a usual 400-mile tank. You might see it in the course of a day and on the dash display rather than over a week and a month later on your credit card bill. Just saying, people have got to stop freaking out about that. Electric is more efficient, but we’re not claiming to beat laws of physics here.


  81. 81
    DaV8or

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (10:06 pm)

    carcus1: Standby for mpg back peddling as well.  

    I know it’s not popular here, but I agree that there will be back pedaling about the 40 miles AER. I think most people will fall short of the 40 miles and it will be one of the first things the automotive press points out to everyone. They’re going to have to try to do preemptive damage control on this one. However, there is nothing to back pedal about with reguards to MPG. They have never made any claims to my knowlege.


  82. 82
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    Jan 11th, 2010 (10:06 pm)

    Dan Petit:
    Hey Tag,Which info is the overload?Or, is it just the entire mass of it all?  

    I think it’s like a branching program where each new bit of info adds a whole new dimension and then the next one adds branches to that, and the next one, and the next one…
    The combinations and permutations of the possibilities are boggling. I *love* it! (g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  83. 83
    omnimoeish

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (10:09 pm)

    Let’s all think of the Volt like this…

    Approximating the cost of all parts including amortized engineering costs and warranty value.

    Body – $12-13,000
    Battery – $10,000 (assuming very little warranty costs built in)
    Electric Motor Components – $12,000
    ICE – – $2-3,000
    Dealer Fees – $3,000

    So taking out the ICE and doubling the battery is going to give you a car that costs more and will still have massive range anxiety problems for all but the shortest commutes which are better served by the Volt EREV (since it’s going to be cheaper anyway).


  84. 84
    Tagamet

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (10:11 pm)

    Texas: People will learn that they have to move closer to their jobs. Period. Until we fix this energy problem (will take decades), it’s going to be localization over globalization. That includes globalization-like commutes to work.

    With the EREV-B you mention, this may not be necessary. Solutions are on the way. JMO.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  85. 85
    Kurt

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (10:18 pm)

    omnimoeish: So taking out the ICE and doubling the battery is going to give you a car that costs more and will still probably have about 65-70 miles in the real world.  

    Yeah I feel like EREV-E85 or EREV-B takes the pie. All-electric just doesn’t make sense unless you have a commute near (but not too near) the full length of your commute. And there’s a charging infrastructure. Who has that situation?? So…nah.
    City driving is the worst on efficiency and in the city you can use a car like EREV and get the most out of it. Texas is right – liquid fuel holds a whole lot of power, and this model uses that potential, while cutting our needs to import, burn excessively, etc…
    Ford take note!


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    Blind Guy

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (10:26 pm)

    Variety is the American way. If GM can lower costs by offering more choices, then I say go for it. Obviously we all have different needs and wants for our vehicles and the ev’s will do better where infrastructure is about to be added. Upgrading our power grid needs to be done anyway, so we might as well add charging locations . Who knows some businesses might add chargers to attract more business. All plug ins can benefit from charging locations.


  87. 87
    Tim Hart

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (10:35 pm)

    It’s completely unrealistic to think the EV range should be a fixed number under all driving conditions. My gas car varies between 25 and 40 mpg. Why should electric drive not be equally as variable? Actually, I am confident I’ll be able to exceed the 40 mile AER with conservative driving during most of the year. You are going to love the car so much you won’t be too upset when you get a little less than 40 miles sometimes, I promise!


  88. 88
    Tagamet

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (10:52 pm)

    Tim Hart: It’s completely unrealistic to think the EV range should be a fixed number under all driving conditions. My gas car varies between 25 and 40 mpg. Why should electric drive not be equally as variable? Actually, I am confident I’ll be able to exceed the 40 mile AER with conservative driving during most of the year. You are going to love the car so much you won’t be too upset when you get a little less than 40 miles sometimes, I promise!  

    Now *that’s* reasonable. +1
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


  89. 89
    RonR64

     

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (11:29 pm)

    You know if you want an all electric Volt – Just don’t put any gas in it!

    Seriously someday EV will trump EREV. By that time your Volt will be a collector piece. The hurdles are fairly large for large scale penetration of pure electric vehicles. Range, recharge time and electric grid are all big obstacles. 20 years? 50? I have no idea and really no one does other than educated and not so educated guesses.


  90. 90
    Tagamet

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    Jan 11th, 2010 (11:48 pm)

    RonR64: You know if you want an all electric Volt – Just don’t put any gas in it!Seriously someday EV will trump EREV.By that time your Volt will be a collector piece.The hurdles are fairly large for large scale penetration of pure electric vehicles.Range, recharge time and electric grid are all big obstacles.20 years?50?I have no idea and really no one does other than educated and not so educated guesses.  

    Once we get cold fusion off the ground and portable, EV’s will be very wide-spread. That could take a while though. For now, the Volt is ideal.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


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    EVNow

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (2:25 am)

    If Nissan can make Leaf for $30k – why not GM ? Not sure why some think it will cost more than $40k.

    BTW, Leaf battery costs around $10k – they have said their cost is less than $500/kwh.


  92. 92
    Tibor

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (5:04 am)

    Take the Volt, keep its original 40-mile battery pack, remove the engine and place some bolt-holes and connector into its empty ICE engine bay.

    Now customers are free to mount whatever they want into that empty engine bay:
    a) additional battery pack they buy
    b) additional battery pack they lease
    c) ICE engine
    d) extra luggage space

    Now make the modules fitting into that space exchangeable (preferably automatically, from below) and voilá! You got a winner!

    You buy a cheap(“ish”) 40-mile electric car.
    If you want to travel further you lease an additional battery pack for a monthly fee.
    If you want to go on vacation you rent a drop-in ICE for the weekend.
    Changing between the packs is automated at your local Chevy dealer, done drive-through within 5 minutes.

    Please notice I am not speaking about daily battery swaps here (like better place), but swapping your extra battery pack to an ICE range extender twice a year when you go on vacation…


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (5:58 am)

    Ed M: With a pure in GM’s future I guess that it would be powered by something similar to an ultra capacitor or even better fast charging batteries.  

    ED M,

    The GM e-spark is a pure BEV and exists :
    Source :
    http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/wheels/the-e-spark-unveiled_434831.html

    new-delhi-2010-espark#5

    Regards,

    JC NPNS


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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (6:00 am)

    Ed M: With a pure in GM’s future I guess that it would be powered by something similar to an ultra capacitor or even better fast charging batteries.  

    http://green.autoblog.com/gallery/new-delhi-2010-espark#5


  95. 95
    Tagamet

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (7:29 am)

    EVNow: If Nissan can make Leaf for $30k – why not GM ? Not sure why some think it will cost more than $40k.BTW, Leaf battery costs around $10k – they have said their cost is less than $500/kwh.  

    The LEAF requires you to LEASE the battery. That’s a deal-breaker for many Volt fans.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


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    tom

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (7:31 am)

    omnimoeish: Body – $12-13,000
    Battery – $10,000 (assuming very little warranty costs built in)
    Electric Motor Components – $12,000
    ICE – – $2-3,000
    Dealer Fees – $3,000

    The fact that GM would say they are planning an EV version pretty much tells you what we already know, battery costs will fall dramatically in next couple of years. Otherwise a BEV couldn’t compete with an EREV pricewise (once you removed R&D costs).

    In 5 years the incremental cost of going from a 16kwh to a 40 kwh battery could be less than the cost of adding the EREV components.

    Thats why I think in 5 years all cars sold could be EREV or BEV but not ICE only.

    They just started making production battery packs in the last week. If todays cost for a 16 KWH battery pack is $10k after one week of production, why wouldn’t it be possible in 5 years with technical and manufacturing improvements to have a 40 KWH pattery back under 500 pounds and under $5,000?


  97. 97
    Tagamet

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (7:34 am)

    Tibor: Take the Volt, keep its original 40-mile battery pack, remove the engine and place some bolt-holes and connector into its empty ICE engine bay.Now customers are free to mount whatever they want into that empty engine bay:
    a) additional battery pack they buy
    b) additional battery pack they lease
    c) ICE engine
    d) extra luggage spaceNow make the modules fitting into that space exchangeable (preferably automatically, from below) and voilá! You got a winner!You buy a cheap(“ish”) 40-mile electric car.
    If you want to travel further you lease an additional battery pack for a monthly fee.
    If you want to go on vacation you rent a drop-in ICE for the weekend.
    Changing between the packs is automated at your local Chevy dealer, done drive-through within 5 minutes.Please notice I am not speaking about daily battery swaps here (like better place), but swapping your extra battery pack to an ICE range extender twice a year when you go on vacation…  

    Nice thoughts but it’s not as simple as that. The software alone is very complicated and would change per configuration. The batteries are not MADE for frequent removal – only for removal if defective, etc.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


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    tom

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (7:36 am)

    tom: Otherwise a BEV couldn’t compete with an EREV pricewise (once you removed R&D costs).

    Likewise, I don’t think the Leaf could compete with the Volt right now pricewise because of battery cost. The Volt has more R&D cost which will be passed to the early adopters. The Leaf may be sold at a loss to compete initially, but when battery prices come down in a few years the BEV segment winner will be the company that makes the best battery pack for the money (GM?).


  99. 99
    Tagamet

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (7:39 am)

    EVNow: If Nissan can make Leaf for $30k – why not GM ? Not sure why some think it will cost more than $40k.BTW, Leaf battery costs around $10k – they have said their cost is less than $500/kwh.  

    The Volt is exponentially more complex than the LEAF, so it will cost more (though I still think less than 35K).
    The LEAF requires LEASING the battery.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

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


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    Tibor

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (8:15 am)

    Tagamet:
    Nice thoughts but it’s not as simple as that. The software alone is very complicated and would change per configuration. The batteries are not MADE for frequent removal – only for removal if defective, etc.
    Be well,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    I am not speaking about the Volt’s built-in batteries. I am speaking about the EXTRA batteries that you could put in the engine bay instead of the ICE.

    Then it is up to you and what you want to do this week:
    short trips to the mall: extra luggage space
    medium trips around the city: extra battery (in addition to the Volt’s built-in one)
    long trips: ICE range extender

    Those batteries do not necessary need to be the same technology as the Volt’s built-in ones, and you could either buy or rent them, depending on your needs. And they could come in different sizes and ranges…


  101. 101
    Sal CPA MBA

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (8:32 am)

    Slave to OPEC: Very few people are going to pay an additional premium ($10kish ?) for the extra battery capacity to drive 80 miles…Choice #1. EREV Volt w/ unlimited range (for $40k)Choice #2. BEV Volt w/ 80 mile range (for $50k)Which one would you choose ?  (Quote)

    #c Nissan Leaf at $25k with 100 mile range.


  102. 102
    Lawrence

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (8:48 am)

    This just adds more confusion:

    The concept of the Volt is to address vehicle electrification without the range-anxiety issue. Period.

    Now they think about a full EV Volt based on the current, expensive Voltec plateform.

    Why, for Santa Maria da Cruz, can’t they just keep the Volt to what is has been designed for, and simply focus on battery swapabilities (i.e. in 5 years, new batt tech, 80 Miles EV range, in same shell design -> replace old batt pack, and there you get your enhanced Volt).

    Oh, yes, and a O-5 Miles AER Battery pack version.

    It’s hard to believe some keep the logics quite … fuzzy. Or is it me?


  103. 103
    dagman

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (8:59 am)

    An 8kWh battery = 25.6MJ. There are 32MJ in one litre of gasoline. Assuming you only get 20% of the energy in gasoline as useful energy an 8kWh battery is roughly equivalent to 1 gallon of gasoline! Would you want to drive around with a car that only had a one gallon gas tank?


  104. 104
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (9:13 am)

    Tagamet:
    I think it’s like a branching program where each new bit of info adds a whole new dimension and then the next one adds branches to that, and the next one, and the next one…
    The combinations and permutations of the possibilities are boggling. I *love* it! (g).
    Be well,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Tag,
    That proves you are a “Three Dimensional Thinker”.
    Depth of thinking is a must nowadays for anyone to survive, which is the third dimension beyond the “road map on the table” two dimensional thought process. It’s challenging at first in new areas that the thinker isn’t as practiced, but, it is always worth the constant effort to get the deeper contexts.


  105. 105
    EVO

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (10:16 am)

    dagman: An 8kWh battery = 25.6MJ. There are 32MJ in one litre of gasoline. Assuming you only get 20% of the energy in gasoline as useful energy an 8kWh battery is roughly equivalent to 1 gallon of gasoline! Would you want to drive around with a car that only had a one gallon gas tank?  (Quote)

    If that gallon of gas equivalent propelled you more than 100 miles, as it does in my case, why not?


  106. 106
    Blind Guy

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (10:30 am)

    In about a decade we will begin to have thousands of battery packs that could be used for other energy storage purposes after their vehicle life has been realized. At that time it will depend if it’s cost effective to use them for other purposes or simply recycle them. This is one reason why Nissan might lease their first batteries because they could recover some cost at the end of their vehicle use, thus keeping the lease price even lower. The reps. on the recent tour said the decision to lease battery or car has not been set in stone but that we should know by Spring or early Summer. One Nissan goal is to make these cars affordable for the masses. Obviously ev’s won’t meet everyone’s needs for a while, but they can work for many people. Competition leads to breakthroughs which we need to get off our dependancy of foreign oil.


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    Greg Simpson

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (11:14 am)

    If you just took out the engine from a Volt and made some software tweaks you should have about a 60 mile range BEV. Unlike in an EREV, range anxiety would mean almost no one would want to use over 75% of that range on a regular basis, so the typical depth of discharge would still only be 50%. Such a car would be significantly cheaper to build, but as a niche product I expect the price would only be slightly less.


  108. 108
    MetrologyFirst

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (11:22 am)

    I am sorry; an all electric Volt, at this stage of the game, is a bad idea.

    Sorry if I offend the electric only guys. Just trying to be practical.

    Why in the world do you want to put so much more of an already expensive battery in one car just to leave out the ICE? Is it ego with these people? Maybe in 5-10 yrs, but right now, we need to be as efficient as possible with the limited battery resources we have. Why have ALL that battery SITTING there in a car not being used hardly ever?? Thats like building an enormous house with all the relevant costs, and never even going into half of the rooms. Is it just for show???

    Exactly how big are the “significant ICE maintenance costs” of an ICE that is used to occasionally run a generator, not to actually PULL a vehicle?? According to my experience, not much. At least they don’t have to be if your not led around by the nose.

    I just do not understand the need of some people to hog a currently limited battery resource, batteries that could be spread into many cars and be used more efficiently, just so they can tell their friends they don’t ever buy gas. Talk about wasteful and greedy…

    The last thing we need is to have the current Volt avalilability reduced because we are putting more batteries into single cars just to eliminate the ICE and, in turn, make the available all electric Volts less useful than the EREV Volts. That is just stupid.


  109. 109
    Jim in PA

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (12:06 pm)

    The poor cold weather driving range actually does surprise me. It surprises me because the battery shouldn’t know that it’s cold outside if….

    1.) It was pre-heated during the charge-phase,
    2.) It is exothermic as it discharges, so it creates some heat
    3.) It is sufficiently insulated.

    So it seems to me that if you pull the car out of your garage on a cold day and drive your entire trip (as opposed to letting the car sit idle and cold at the mall for a couple of hours in between), then your battery performance shouldn’t suffer. Can someone clear this up for me?


  110. 110
    Shawn Marshall

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (12:50 pm)

    A BEVolt is good news – many here have hoped for a version like this – many die hard EREV only folks must now contemplate why GM projects very modest sales for EREVolt and is making plans for the BEVolt.

    I don’t like to argue with fence posts, but I suspect GM has very good reasons for considering the BEV option and I personally hope it promotes the electric car industry.

    Now if only GM were not a government entity…..

    Capn Jack – don’t know if you still play here but how is that Battery/ICE trailer project? It’s looking better today.


  111. 111
    NASA-Eng

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    “noted the process for building it would be “technologically trivial,” and just a matter of removing the range extender and expanding the battery pack.

    “Once you’ve done the Volt, pure electric is trivial. You just leave some parts out,” Lutz said”

    I don’t see what all the confusion is about. He clearly states that they would add in Battery Pack where the ICE is to help increase range. His “You just leave some parts out” is not meant to be taken so literally. He is effectively saying that an electric motor / ICE Plug In Hybrid that is in SERIES and not PARALLELL makes the process alot easier to offer an all BEV or EREV. Some of you need to take a Valium instead of Viagra. Jeeeesh….

    What I would suspect is 2 cars..

    #1) Volt as we know it today – roughly 40 miles of EV range, then ICE traditional gas range $32,000

    #2) Volt EV – roughly 100 miles of EV range. $ ?????

    Now maybe because GM has refined the drag and other factors of the VOLT and maybe with some small battery improvement they can stretch the EV range to 120…who knows.

    Look down the road at these 2 options
    1 – Volt with 80 miles EV and an ICE
    2 – Volt EV with 160 miles all EV…

    or

    1- Volt with 100 miles EV and an ICE
    2- Volt with 200 miles EV

    You get the point and you see where Bob is going. There comes a day when batteries get better and better, that maybe the buyer desides the ICE is not needed. The great aspect of the Volt is that it’s ALOT easier to build either version. The production cost is low because unlike Parallel hybrid cars of today, your just leaving the ICE out and adding additional batteries. A good design team can make that work fairly effeciently….

    NASA-Eng


  112. 112
    Blind Guy

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (1:31 pm)

    106 METROLOGYFIRST Yes, I am offended when I am called (stupid) or trying to label someone with a size or ego issue is not nice. There is not a shortage of materials to make these batteries. In fact more volume production will have a positive affect on the market. The capacity of these batteries will be used percentage wise just as much as erev if not more. There is no data that says bev’s batteries are less efficient than erev The cost and range are the current issues with ev’s not limited battery resources. Starting production of ev’s won’t slow the production of any other type vehicle. I support all alternative fuel vehicles that have an improved impact on the environment and decrease our dependency on oil.


  113. 113
    Streetlight

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (1:37 pm)

    To fellow engineer #109. You’re points are completely in-line based on present specs. However Lutz’s comments about just leaving out a few parts could well have struck a sour cord with VOLT”s engineering. I doubt GM would market a real car with less than 200-300 mile range. My take is GM leadership expects significant advances in Li-ion tech. What we’ll see is where a ‘pure’ EV has a quite different battery pack than the present config. Now on his comments about his experience in cold weather. I hope this pushes leadership to permit the ER ICE to fully charge its pack via a driver-enabled option for exactly the kind of difficult situations caused by unexpected traffic delays. cold weather, up-hill climbs; combinations thereto and so forth.


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    sudhaman

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    looks like a backup plan. this is good backup plan because they have invested billions on volt and if it fails to generate revenues it could be too harmful. but my only concern is for the fact that we need PURE EV but it could be a small car also or some other car .


  115. 115
    firehawk72

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (2:06 pm)

    There is nothing suprising about this comment unless you are out of touch with Hybrids and regular cars too. Cars always suffer mpg from cold weather. And it is not just a warming up time either. My Subaru Forester easily gets 25-26 in the summer, np. But drops to 21-22 in the winter. Our Saturn Outlook AWD easily gets 19-20 in the summer, but again it too drops to 16-17 in the winter. Nothing new here unless you try to make it. Many hybrids MPG easily drop as well in the winter.

    Hawk


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    Tall Pete

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (2:22 pm)

    kent beuchert: A few months ago, one GM head engineer claimed that if EEStor capacitors were available, “It would take several YEARS to modify the
    Volt.” I claimed that was nonsense at the time (…)

    Changing the battery technology implies to change the algorithms related to managing the battery. Software changes, in a car, have to be done very carefully. So it could be that such a major change of battery technology would indeed take months to implement and make sure it works. People are expecting their cars to work all the time, under all circumstances. You must test, test and test again and be very careful.


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    steel

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (2:37 pm)

    On Range in Cold Weather

    The Volt performs better than most other electric cars. Assuming Lutz drove at a “40 AER” rate for 75 degree weather, a 30% loss of range at ~20 degree weather seems acceptable, provided he was heating the greenhouse.

    An ICE car has left over engine heat to assist with the heating of the greenhouse. An EV does not. Even if the car was upto temperature from grid energy before driving, the facts remain

    #1. Rolling Resistence is Higher in Winter
    #2. Air Resistence is Higher in Winter
    #3. Heat Bleed is Higher in Winter
    #4. Drivetrain Resistence is Higher in Winter (Applies more to lubricated Joints)

    My ICE Car gets progressively worse mileage as the temperature falls. My garage is kept at ~55 degree F. Recently during a cold snap when daytime Temps were in the 15-20 degree F range, I receieve a reduction in MPG on my trip to work of approximate 23%. My trip home from work was reduced by 30%. (Compared to the 75 degree days) I would expect an electric to match these numbers in a best condition. Volt seems to be right around in there. (Maybe a bit high loss but we don’t know if the Volt started Cold or the normal AER Lutz’s drive would have acchieved).


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    Allan

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (4:31 pm)

    Great info. So now we know the Volt probably averages 28 electric miles in the cold.

    Now, what does it do with the AC blasting all day?


  119. 119
    MetrologyFirst

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (5:21 pm)

    Blind Guy: 106 METROLOGYFIRST Yes, I am offended when I am called (stupid) or trying to label someone with a size or ego issue is not nice. There is not a shortage of materials to make these batteries. In fact more volume production will have a positive affect on the market. The capacity of these batteries will be used percentage wise just as much as erev if not more. There is no data that says bev’s batteries are less efficient than erev The cost and range are the current issues with ev’s not limited battery resources.Starting production of ev’s won’t slow the production of any other type vehicle.I support all alternative fuel vehicles that have an improved impact on the environment and decrease our dependency on oil.  

    Look, the point is that these batteries and their components are not just sitting in big warehouses waiting for us. OF COURSE there is no shortage of materials to make these batteries. There is no shortage of anything to make anything! What we DO NOT have right now is maufacturing capacity. That won’t happen overnight, no matter how much we hope it will.

    When we have battery manufacturing capacity in excess so that batteries are sitting on shelves, and we have EREV Volts sitting in car lots because we have excess Volt assembly capacity, ONLY THEN will I feel like diverting battery capacity to making EV only Volts makes sense. Not before.

    We need as many EREV Volts on the road as possible to reduce our dependence on oil. Millions of them. That is not going to happen in a few years, and not because there is shortage of material…

    As far as efficient use and wasted range; I consider the current battery situation similar to water in the desert. We need to make efficient use of the water we have; and make sure there’s a stream nearby before we start taking baths in it.


  120. 120
    Pink Tie Guy

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (5:57 pm)

    PURE ELECTRIC VOLT – YESSS!


  121. 121
    Blind Guy

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (7:10 pm)

    #116 METROLOGYFIRST Look, you were the one that said that there are limited battery resources in post 106. You did not say that there is not enough manufacturing capability. You also said that the batteries would be wasted in bev’s not being used. It will take all the battery capability for most people with bev’s therefore not wasteing the battery. I live in the Desert southwest and your water analogy does not wash. Battery production can be ramped up rather quickly so don’t worry about having enough batteries. The EV Volt will probablyy not be produced at least until the gen. II Volt is made anyway. We live where infrastructure is being installed this year. Infrastructure for charging will spread as more plug ins are produced because all plug ins can benefit from charging away from home. There are several reasons manufacturers are going to make zero emission vehicles.


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    carcus1

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (8:14 pm)

    Noel Park: carcus

    Thanks for your support, but it looks like your +1 and my comments got washed away with the red tide.


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    Eric E

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (8:27 pm)

    How about a AWD BEV Express van for fleet use.

    That would ROCK! It would save me $thousands on fuel that I could give to GM to help offset the additional cost.


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    koz

     

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    Jan 12th, 2010 (11:41 pm)

    ICE+generator motor+motor mounts+gas tank+gas door+gas filling line+fuel pump+fuel lines+fuel filter+air filter+fuel sensors+ICE exhaust pipe+muffler+catalytic converter+ICE NVH mitigation materials+ICE cooling components+ICE related parts inventory management+ICE related components assembly+ICE related components installation+ICE control engineering+ICE related NVH engineering+ICE and related component engineering+ICE and ICE related component packaging and design+emmissions system design+emmissions testing and certification = MUCH GREATER THAN $2K per vehicle

    Leave the EREV battery as is and add a “battery rack” in the ICE’s place. Let the consumer choose from 3 battery module configurations (none, 6kwh add, or 12kwh add). Open up 70-80% of battery to be usable. Introduce in late 2011 with battery 1.5 and target price for the configurations -$6k/-$3.5K/-$1K from the EREV price. Much of the sales will be plus sales to the EREV version.


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    RogerE333

     

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    Jan 13th, 2010 (5:54 pm)

    Hmm, one other option I haven’t heard kicked around would be to have a small “putt-putt” generator on your pure-electric car which is only run in emergency conditions with the car stationary. It would sure beat walking home. I suppose keeping a little Honda generator in the trunk would be more or less the same thing. Perhaps I’m the only person out there with no cell phone and no wife/hubby to call…

    Having it integrated into the car would provoke less teasing!


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    Brian H

     

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    Jan 14th, 2010 (7:02 pm)

    Tim Hart:
    It’s completely unrealistic to think the EV range should be a fixed number under all driving conditions. My gas car varies between 25 and 40 mpg. Why should electric drive not be equally as variable? Actually, I am confident I’ll be able to exceed the 40 mile AER with conservative driving during most of the year. You are going to love the car so much you won’t be too upset when you get a little less than 40 miles sometimes, I promise!

    For the end of 2011: The TeslaMotors Model S will be pure BEV, hold 5 + luggage, or 7 with kiddie seats, get 300 miles range with the premium battery (160-240 with regular packs), top out at 130 mph, do 0-60 in 5.6, cost $50,000 and carry/operate/lease for about the same as a $33,000 ICE) — so, what was that about the Converj, etc.??

    2,000+ presold now. About 1,000 of their Roadsters already on the roads and streets. Meanwhile, GM still has vaporware only.


  127. 127
    Ian Pendergrast

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    Jan 14th, 2010 (10:13 pm)

    I agree with Roger E333, an option to add a small lightweight generator or a smaller ICE might be a good middle ground or realistic option. I would really like to see a small turbo diesel way under the half litre capacity. The diesel has superior torque at lower revs and more fuel efficient under load than a gasoline engine which would be ideal for generating more electricity when you are running out of range. Maybe the smaller power plant could be sized to leave enough room for adding more batteries if your needs change down the track.

    Ian


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    Michael Robinson

     

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    Jan 15th, 2010 (3:00 am)

    $100k, $50k, $40k, $35k is still too much for most people looking
    to buy a car.

    Fuel cell cars by about 2015 will be in the $30k or less category compared to the Volt which is likely to stay in the $40k+ category.
    The Volt is stuck at $40k with an 8kwh battery. If you try and double
    the amount of batteries, you are probably talking $50-$60k. The Volt won’t be petroleum free for taxi drivers and other people who go over 40 miles a day. Petroleum free is a necessity, not a luxury anymore. Biofuels will NEVER replace petroleum. 100s of billions of dollars are spent each year to import OIL. The government is being irresponsible pushing GM to produce only battery electric and gas/electric hybrid cars. There is no sign that the energy density of batteries will ever be sufficient for batteries to replace OIL in cars. There is the issue of what to do with large batteries
    when they wear out.


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    art1000

     

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    Jan 15th, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    For me the Volt ticks all the boxes and answers all the questions. Its a wonderful vehicle that represents the best in American industry and technology and stuffs the Japanese.

    In charge sustaining mode it might even be a better hybrid than the Prius. This car is a phenomenon and Bob Lutz is its daddy. I say to Bob do not let Whitacre (EXXON) screw it up. You owe it to us, Michigan, the USA and not forgetting the Planet Earth.


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    WopOnTour

     

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    Jan 15th, 2010 (12:54 pm)

    Lutz’s winter driving experience in the VOLT was based on allowing the VOLT (or more importantly the battery) to cool to winter ambient temperatures. It’s well known how batteries (L-A, NiMh, Lion or otherwise) respond to cold temperatures.Battery capacity is significantly reduced when battery temperature is any lower than 10-20F. Plus colder temperatures will mean the electrically powered (heat pump + PTC) heating system will have to draw more to warm and maintain the cabin temperature to comfortable levels.

    You’ll notice Lutz did not metion the extent of “preconditioning” that took place before is trip cycles. That’s because there likely wasnt any.However, the “smart” charging system can apparently base it’s precondition cycles and times on statistics gathered from regular use. So if the system “knows” on weekedays you typcally get in your car at 7:30am , it can commence a precondition period where the battery is warmed through a “top-up” charge and the car’s interior brought up to a comfortable temperature electrically (while still on the grid)


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    Constantin

     

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    Jan 15th, 2010 (1:28 pm)

    “Lutz: Volt’s Range Will Vary Considerably, Pure Electric Volt Coming”
    SURE HOPE SO ! 40 miles range isnt going to do it !


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    Constantin

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    Jan 15th, 2010 (1:34 pm)

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    kubel

     

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    Jan 16th, 2010 (9:12 pm)

    Only 28 miles? Disappointing, but not a shocker. Electric vehicles suck up here. Lots of wasted energy with traction control and heating, not to mention the temperature itself probably has a huge impact on the battery. I wish he would comment on the traction control system and the traction performance of the vehicle in the snow. I suspect the Volt will be like the Prius: A horrible winter car.


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    jim

     

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    Jan 23rd, 2010 (7:25 pm)

    I loved this well written article and great website. Very informative. Keep up the good work!


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    Burn Fat

     

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    Feb 3rd, 2010 (10:20 am)

    I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you