Feb 17

GM Says First Year Chevy Volts Will Not be E85 Capable, Calls for More E85 Stations

 

[ad#post_ad]Tom Stephens is GM’s vice chairman for global product development and spoke Tuesday at the Renewable Fuels Association conference in Florida.

He told attendees that GM is spending $100 million each year to develop cars that are E85 (85% ethanol/15% gasoline) or “flex-fuel” capable, and that “ethanol is the best near-term solution to displace petroleum.”

He said by 2012, half of the cars GM sells will be capable of running on E85.

The problem is, as Stephens sees it, there aren’t enough E85 pumps available to drivers.

“Today’s there’s 2,200 (ethanol fuel stations) that are out there but that’s not enough,” he said. “Two-thirds of the pumps are concentrated in 10 states and those 10 states have only about 19 percent of the flex-fuel vehicles that we have on the road.”

Stephens calls this discrepancy “a big problem for us.”

“GM is spending about $100 million a year adding flex-fuel capability to our vehicles. “We can’t afford to leave this capital stranded,” he added.

Stephens called for the installation of 10,000 additional E85 stations across America to “have ethanol fuel available for every one of our customers within about two miles of where they live.”

He said government intervention will be needed to achieve this goal.

“I think it would be very helpful if we could get government assistance,” he said. “But I really want the oil industry,…the government and…us to just work together to make ethanol a reality.”

With respect to the Volt, we also learn for the first time that the initial production run of the car will not be E85 capable.

“We are finalizing some of our options and the associated timing that goes with them,” said Volt executive Tony Posawatz. “The E85 capable emission package will have its timing finalized soon.”

“It will not be available for November 2010,” he confirmed.

This actually substantiates a rumor we first reported here in August of 2007.

According to Stephens, GM does eventually plan to introduce E85 capable Chevy Volts a year or so after production begins.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 at 7:19 am and is filed under Features, Fuel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 234


  1. 1
    Rashiid Amul

    +29

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Rashiid Amul
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:20 am)

    Their kidding, right?
    Just because there aren’t enough pumps now, doesn’t mean there won’t be a bunch more during the lifetime of first Volts.

    It adds only about $100 USD to the cost of a car for it being E85 capable. I don’t understand what the big deal is here to just make this setup the default when building it.

    This comes as a complete surprise to me.


  2. 2
    Dave K.

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:27 am)

    Good morning Rashiid. I am staying away from this topic. Have good day all.

    =D-Volt


  3. 3
    JohnK

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:28 am)

    Well, now that’s special. So much for under promising and over delivering.
    Hope that doesn’t happen much more.


  4. 4
    Tagamet

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:30 am)

    Doesn’t sound like it Rashiid. 100 million dollars is a lot for a bankrupt co. They’ll get bashed either way. I haven’t seen a single E85 station and I do a lot of driving within PA. Almost everything is E10 though.
    Less than 2 years to ramp up those stations is pretty ambitious anyway, go it sounds like GM will be ready when the stations are there.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  5. 5
    prowler

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:33 am)

    That’s ridiculous! ALL new designs should be E-85 capable (even though I’m no longer a fan of it since the United Nations called it “A Crime Against Humanity” http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/28/the_skinny/main3547831.shtml )


  6. 6
    Roy H

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Roy H
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:39 am)

    Could be something to do with the fuel being unused in the tank for months.

    I’m not a big E85 enthusiast as I think this is very minimal improvement given the large quantities of oil and electricity used to produce it and the extra pollution created.

    We should be promoting LFTRs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWUeBSoEnRk
    Safe small radioactive waste 300 years instead of 10000, and you can’t make bombs from it.
    Low cost reliable electricity for all.


  7. 7
    Exp_EngTech

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:42 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Their kidding, right?  (Quote)

    My thoughts exactly.

    If true, this would be quite a disappointment. I’ve been reading that a few Cellulosic Ethanol plants will be coming online in a couple more years. Cellulosic Ethanol perhaps under $2.00 a gallon.

    Note: I drive a 2000 GMC Sonoma Truck (2.2L) that was one of the early FlexFuel vehicles that GM produced. In the summer of 2008 when gas hit $4.20 a gallon here, I filled it up a few times on E85. It ran great. The motor seemed to run smoother.


  8. 8
    JohnK

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:43 am)

    OK, so if it increased the weight or decreased the range I concur. I just wish that they had not been claiming E85 for all this time. I will speculate that maybe it is as much a software tuning thing as hardware. I bet that they are actively tuning the software for CS mileage now and E85 fuel might interfere with optimizing.


  9. 9
    Dave G

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave G
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:46 am)

    This upsets me. E85 stations will only happen after most new cars are E85 capable. The cars have to come first.

    I guess this will take a government mandate.


  10. 10
    Jim I

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:48 am)

    There are always other methods to achieve the goals……

    http://www.change2e85.com/servlet/StoreFront

    I especially like the T-Shirt!!!!!!!

    ;-)

    So why is the Gen-1 Volt not going to be E-85 capable?


  11. 11
    koz

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    koz
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:53 am)

    Isn’t a car’s average lifetime 15 yrs? How easy would it be to convert aftermarket?


  12. 12
    Jon

    +8

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jon
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (7:56 am)

    Who cares? Ideally you won’t be using much fuel anyway. Yeah it would be great if my whole 10 gallons per year could be E85 instead of E10, but that’s only 7.5 gallons (85%-10% * 10) of gasoline that could replace ethanol per year for me. The difference in gas consumption from not needing gas is much greater than the gasoline consumption between E85 and E15.

    Tom Stephens – you are a bit of a moron. The best near-term replacement for petroleum is EREVs as they remove the majority of the need for petroleum at all and have the option to use a little when you really need to.


  13. 13
    JeffB

    -6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JeffB
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:01 am)

    JohnK: So much for under promising and over delivering.

    Yet another example of too much hype from GM…c’mon guys.


  14. 14
    Tagamet

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:03 am)

    prowler: That’s ridiculous! ALL new designs should be E-85 capable (even though I’m no longer a fan of it since the United Nations called it “A Crime Against Humanity” http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/28/the_skinny/main3547831.shtml )  

    Prowler,
    The link you cite is an op-ed and even *it* says the UN has backed away from that remark. It probably caught on to the idea that corn isn’t the only source of ethanol. Landfill material would be better used in making ethanol than corn anyway (Coskata). JMO
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  15. 15
    RonR64

    -2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RonR64
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:07 am)

    This is very disappointing. What does it take to make it E85 compatible?! Almost nothing when you are starting from new. Regardless of your political take on E85 it is here, whether it is here to stay is another matter for another day. I find this almost shocking that they would allow anything into new production that is incompatible with ethanol. Now if they just haven’t the time to optimize it to run on E85 is another story and perhaps that is what they meant.


  16. 16
    Neil

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Neil
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:10 am)

    I don’t think it’s that big a deal. There’s an E85 station near me but I never hear of anyone talking about using it as an alternative. And during the big gas crunch a couple years ago its price tracked with gas just as badly. If it doesn’t offer anything more than 10-20 cents less a gallon then it’s not very compelling to me. Sure, it displaces some oil but it still produces plenty of carbon and it doesn’t seem to make economic sense.


  17. 17
    Dan Petit

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:15 am)

    I appreciate the exclusive usage of gasoline for the first year or two of Volt production, because the engergy characteristics of gasoline are higher, and, for these first two or so years, there need not be extra power algorithms processed/or researched into the software yet (due to lower btu energy densities of E85), and, any unnecessary possible complication to be addressed at this first stage.

    (need to go to work, extremely busy day today. have a nice day everyone!!)


  18. 18
    Rob

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Rob
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:16 am)

    That’s a shame. E85 capability would reduce my work commute to 45 gallons of petroleum gasoline* a year from 560 a year today with my Prius.

    *And 255 gallons of EtOH and 2000kWh of electricity.


  19. 19
    SteveF

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    SteveF
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:19 am)

    Believe this is mistake for GM to delay E85 support. The Volt is greatly about image. The image of running electric and then when the engine kicks in that you still are only using 15% gasoline is a good marketing image. Help support the whole message of the vehicle minimizing the use of foreign oil. For me personally it will be couple of years before I can afford a Volt, so by then hopefully it will support E85. Also hoping the E85 by then will be created from Cellulosic Ethanol which will make it more of a viable fuel option.


  20. 20
    MRY6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MRY6
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:34 am)

    Wow, I really don’t care if its not E85 capable considering the idiocy of using Ethanol. Let’s start burning our own food for fuel…smart. Environmentally, its the worst alternative.


  21. 21
    ccombs

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ccombs
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:40 am)

    Much ado about nothing. 1 year of Volts without E-85 capability won’t kill anything. GM is not reneging on its promise completely, just with a small number of initial Volts. Perhaps they realize it is not crucial to have E85 since fuel use is so minimal anyway. I wonder how well the tests are going with average employees- perhaps they are getting even less fuel usage than they originally thought?


  22. 22
    Rashiid Amul

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Rashiid Amul
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:40 am)

    MRY6: Wow, I really don’t care if its not E85 capable considering the idiocy of using Ethanol.Let’s start burning our own food for fuel…smart.Environmentally, its the worst alternative.  

    Not very informed about E85, huh?
    I don’t think there is one person here that would support making E85 from food.
    But what about from garbage? God knows we have plenty of garbage here in the USA.
    One could say that garbage is a renewable resource. :)


  23. 23
    omnimoeish

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    omnimoeish
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:42 am)

    JohnK: I will speculate that maybe it is as much a software tuning thing as hardware. I bet that they are actively tuning the software for CS mileage now and E85 fuel might interfere with optimizing.

    I think you’re right. They probably will be using the same hardware in a year after production, but they will have gotten the software tweaked so that it runs E85. The problem is probably that the power output of the generator needs to be very predictable and if you’re running two different fuels, there could be discrepancies in the amount of power produced which gums up the whole thing.

    You can switch any car to E85 compatible, and it’ll be a very easy switch in the first year Volt, probably consisting of a firmware upgrade.

    Remember, they are only producing a handful of first year models anyway largely for beta testing. GM has as much incentive to get these going on ethanol as anyone since they are stakeholders in Coskata.


  24. 24
    omnimoeish

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    omnimoeish
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:49 am)

    As many have said, right now ethanol is burning more oil than it replaces and wasting tons of tax money on subsidies. Once Coskata’s cellulosic ethanol projects are underway, producing ethanol at $2/gallon, you better believe the stations will come.

    I know of one E85 station, about 45 minutes from my house, but I don’t know anyone that has an E85 car, although I’ve on very rare occasions seen them driving around.


  25. 25
    prowler

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:52 am)

    Tagamet: Prowler,The link you cite is an op-ed and even *it* says the UN has backed away from that remark. It probably caught on to the idea that corn isn’t the only source of ethanol. Landfill material would be better used in making ethanol than corn anyway (Coskata). JMOBe well,TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   (Quote)

    It’s not corn. If cellulosic ethanol catches on, the argument goes that it will displace food crops and increase poverty based on the economics of the rich. From a practical viewpoint, if corn-based ethanol plants are already shutting down (and some, even before they come online), how practical can cellulosic ethanol be, which is orders of magnitude more difficult than a high-starch feedstock?


  26. 26
    Johann

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Johann
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:55 am)

    I think it’s smart to use only one type of fuel on a totally new type of vehicle. There are so many real world unknowns in developing and delivering a car like this that it makes sense to limit it to petroleum only. These unknowns are also why GM is planning on a limited run the first year to iron out the bugs.


  27. 27
    prowler

    -3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Not very informed about E85, huh?I don’t think there is one person here that would support making E85 from food.But what about from garbage? God knows we have plenty of garbage here in the USA.One could say that garbage is a renewable resource.   (Quote)

    It’s YOU that’s not informed. The argument against cellulosic ethanol is that it displaces food crops. Garbage to ethanol is YEARS further out than cellulosic conversion from targeted farm crops.


  28. 28
    harrier1970

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    harrier1970
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:56 am)

    The first model year Volt is all about perception…. being green. That they CAN make the E85 engine but decided not to put it in this car is just strange. I would gladly pay the extra $100 for an E85 engine. I would pay an extra $200 for a diesel engine option in the Volt so that I could make my own bio diesel for it.

    We get the watered down version and hope that they make the change later. This is a disappointing turn of events.

    Harrier1970


  29. 29
    prowler

    -3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (8:57 am)

    harrier1970: The first model year Volt is all about perception…. being green. That they CAN make the E85 engine but decided not to put it in this car is just strange. I would gladly pay the extra $100 for an E85 engine. I would pay an extra $200 for a diesel so that I could make my own bio diesel for it.We get the watered down version and hope that they make the change later. This is a disappointing turn of events.Harrier1970  (Quote)

    make it out of what? used fryer grease, or something else? (what do you have in mind?)


  30. 30
    BJR

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BJR
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:01 am)

    Considering there is not a single public E85 pump in Connecticut, I am not terribly concerned about a Volt with this capability.


  31. 31
    prowler

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:03 am)

    I wonder if this is being reported correctly. The main headache of converting to ethanol is its corrosiveness to both certain metals and rubber in the fuel system. The cost to make these components ethanol-friendly is trivial on a new car. If it’s a matter of the “jetting” (these days it would be the range of output on the injectors), a future firmware upgrade would be easy as long as the fuel system componenents are ethanol non-corrosive. I can’t imagine that GM is using physical materials that will corrode on exposure to ethanol.


  32. 32
    Shock Me

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Shock Me
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:05 am)

    Well it was unlikely I would have enough saved for a first year Volt anyway. But it is a bit disheartening.


  33. 33
    Tagamet

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:08 am)

    omnimoeish:
    I think you’re right. They probably will be using the same hardware in a year after production, but they will have gotten the software tweaked so that it runs E85. The problem is probably that the power output of the generator needs to be very predictable and if you’re running two different fuels, there could be discrepancies in the amount of power produced which gums up the whole thing.  

    Well-said. Why add another variable for already very complex software/hardware to handle. KISS to the extent that the initial product is as bullet-proof as possible. GM *must* get the Volt “right” on the first go around. They only get one chance at a first impression – and it HAS to be great.
    If nothing else, the thread will allow the “Don’t starve people to make fuel” group to become a little better informed. Two of them in the first 20 posts or so.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  34. 34
    prowler

    -2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:10 am)

    Tagamet: If nothing else, the thread will allow the “Don’t starve people to make fuel” group to become a little better informed. Two of them in the first 20 posts or so.Be well,TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   (Quote)

    considering that cellulosic ethanol doesn’t exist in the current economy, what is your point?


  35. 35
    Van

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Van
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:15 am)

    The potential list of Volt 2.0 refinements continues to grow.

    1) 10 KWH vice 8.5 KWH utilization of battery

    2) Increased range between fuel tank fill-ups.

    3) Flex-fuel ICE that is smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient.

    4) More rear seat leg and head room.

    5) Higher energy density battery

    6) 125 KW traction motor


  36. 36
    John S.

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    John S.
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:15 am)

    For me, my Volt will be about having an electric car. Whether the extender is E-85, clean diesel (if that really exists), or any other power source you can think of, I really don’t care. It is all about the electricity stupid.


  37. 37
    Herm

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:24 am)

    omnimoeish: I think you’re right. They probably will be using the same hardware in a year after production, but they will have gotten the software tweaked so that it runs E85. The problem is probably that the power output of the generator needs to be very predictable and if you’re running two different fuels, there could be discrepancies in the amount of power produced which gums up the whole thing.
    You can switch any car to E85 compatible, and it’ll be a very easy switch in the first year Volt, probably consisting of a firmware upgrade.

    I agree with both of you.. I think all it will take is a software reflash to make it E85 compatible.. I am sure GM is using E85 grade components already.. mostly the fuel injectors.

    It could also be a stale fuel issue, and GM needs more time.. to see how customers use the Volt.. there will be a lot of people that will never refuel the Volt during its life.. a gas tank half filled with 10 year old gas could be trouble.


  38. 38
    John B

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    John B
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:24 am)

    Left side of the comments section is cut-off (2 or 3 characters) unless I copy and paste it to another document.


  39. 39
    Tagamet

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:27 am)

    prowler:
    It’s YOU that’s not informed. The argument against cellulosic ethanol is that it displaces food crops. Garbage to ethanol is YEARS further out than cellulosic conversion from targeted farm crops.  

    Coskata is already in field trials at landfills. Switchgrass is grown on farmland that is not going to be used for crops that year anyway and it requires no fertilizer or irrigation. Algae may take some time to scale up, but what DOESN’T? It also uses saltwater, so no impact on drinking water supplies. Although ethanol has less energy density, it may be a wee bit better than coal or oil.
    Then again, if it’s going to take YEARS to have an oil substitute, I guess you’re right. Stop all this ethanol talk immediately.
    It’s going to take DECADES for electrification of transportation to make any significant dent in oil use, so while we’re at it, let’s cancel all this “battery-car” stuff too.
    I suspect that we can just agree to disagree, and see how it all plays out (but I hope they don’t cancel the Volt – that’s *already* taken years and it’s not done yet….).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  40. 40
    James

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    James
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:33 am)

    In lieu of us realizing a Volt in our driveways – We will appreciate Lyle, as he gives us daily doses of Volt minutia – kind of like EV porn, doled out to us slaves who cannot have that temptress who tauntsus – the just-out-of-reach VOLT.

    For example: OUT OF LYLE’S VOLT LOG: 11-30-’10 – “The glove box seems quite spacious, placement of latch falls easy to the touch, tactile sensations pleasing”. Realized the pure pleasure in mashing the go pedal and feeling that EV torque rush! – And telling OPEC to kiss my trunklid”. NOTE TO SELF: Scan owners manual and post on GM-Volt site tomorrow, perhaps reading it will hold ‘em over!”

    lol. Hey, you can always reconfigure the early Volts to E-85 compatibility for about $90, no big deal.


  41. 41
    gmtx2652

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    gmtx2652
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:33 am)

    Flex-fuel isn’t an issue for me, hardly any stations around Michigan. Here is an article on an ethanol plant that went bankrupt, but reopened under new ownership:

    http://www.michiganfarmbureau.com/farmnews/transform.php?xml=20090815/ethanol.xml

    An E-85 station map is available at the following:

    http://find.mapmuse.com/interest/ethanol85

    I’m sure if it’s important enough to folks someone will come out with a retro kit.


  42. 42
    BDP

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BDP
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:35 am)

    I’m glad that GM is not supporting e85 in the volt! Ethanol is a joke in terms of energy in to energy out. It’s foolishness to support something that costs so much to produce and gives such little benefit. That’s why our government likes it i suppose! A nice little hand out to the farmers, disguised as an effort to show how green we are. Ethanol subsidies are nothing more than a tax that we all get to pay for. Even us non users. No thanks.

    We have lots of ethanol pumps here in north east SD, but the majority don’t use it because of it’s poor performance.

    Can’t argue with these number…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_gallon_equivalent


  43. 43
    Drake

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Drake
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:36 am)

    I know that it was originally going to have a 1 liter engine, but over time, they chose the 1.4 liter engine that they already had engineered and available, I believe.

    Could it be that this 1.4L engine isn’t E85 capable, and to make it so they would have to re-engineer an engine specifically for the Volt?


  44. 44
    prowler

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:40 am)

    Tagamet: Coskata is already in field trials at landfills. Switchgrass is grown on farmland that is not going to be used for crops that year anyway and it requires no fertilizer or irrigation. Algae may take some time to scale up, but what DOESN’T? It also uses saltwater, so no impact on drinking water supplies. Although ethanol has less energy density, it may be a wee bit better than coal or oil.Then again, if it’s going to take YEARS to have an oil substitute, I guess you’re right. Stop all this ethanol talk immediately.It’s going to take DECADES for electrification of transportation to make any significant dent in oil use, so while we’re at it, let’s cancel all this “battery-car” stuff too.I suspect that we can just agree to disagree, and see how it all plays out (but I hope they don’t cancel the Volt – that’s *already* taken years and it’s not done yet….).Be well,TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   (Quote)

    Rather than “agreeing to disagree”, this post actually shows that we have quite a bit of overlap:
    I’m talking short-term (3-5 years), you’re talking mid-to-longterm. Today, the 15% ethanol in “winter blend” gas is using foodcrops (BTW, if I listed the two things that I’m least concerned with on “going electric”, they would have to be global warming and ethanol – for all I care, run the powerplants on ethanol – it’s better than imported oil). But back to our overlap, in the short-term, any electric car you buy can be plugged in and charged overnight without an iota of impact on the grid. I consider it a “crime against humanity” for every ounce of used fryer grease that’s disposed of as hazardous waste – CONVERT IT TO BIODIESEL – even though it’s a VERY small percentage of our total transportation, there will always be a mix – in our lifetime, there will always be gasoline, diesel, ethanol, electric, natural gas, etc., etc., etc. I used to be a major advocate of ethanol to displace foreign oil until I researched it and found that it’s practicality for any significant displacement of foreign oil is small (your argument on arable land that’s not suitable for foodcrops – won’t do it. Better land will produce better output and we still have the displacement factor). Yes, I’d rather have ethanol than war in the Middle East, but it will displace food crops (and, again, I don’t care personally – but it’s a black mark against the industry and public perception).


  45. 45
    Tim

    -3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tim
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    GM says: (paraphrasing)

    the Volt is the most technologically advanced vehicle in the world.

    renewable liquid fuels are our future and EVs will be less than 10% of the fleet.

    The Gen-1 Volt will not use renewable fuel even though most of our fleet does.

    We need a stongger gov’t-businss partnership (crony corporatism).

    This is the “NEW” GM? (sounds like the OLD GM)


  46. 46
    prowler

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:42 am)

    BDP: I’m glad that GM is not supporting e85 in the volt! Ethanol is a joke in terms of energy in to energy out. It’s foolishness to support something that costs so much to produce and gives such little benefit. That’s why our government likes it i suppose! A nice little hand out to the farmers, disguised as an effort to show how green we are. Ethanol subsidies are nothing more than a tax that we all get to pay for. Even us non users. No thanks.We have lots of ethanol pumps here in north east SD, but the majority don’t use it because of it’s poor performance.Can’t argue with these number…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_gallon_equivalent  (Quote)

    didn’t I read that it takes a gallon of diesel to produce a gallon of ethanol? And that’s with the efficient feedstock of corn vs cellulose.


  47. 47
    Mark Wagner

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mark Wagner
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:48 am)

    I am all for getting off foreign oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (as I’m sure we all are), but E85 only reduces foreign oil dependancy while increasing total greenhouse gas emissions. I believe E85 is a distraction from much better domestic alternatives, like natural gas.

    I hope our government does not pay to add more unneeded E85 pumps on top of the current E85 subsidies so it can compete with gasoline (which is also subsidized with oil company tax breaks and wars to secure our oild supply). Until we achieve large scale cellulosic ethanol capability our government should not increase ethanol subsidies. We must be smarter about how to get off foreign oil or it will continue to be a distant dream.


  48. 48
    CorvetteGuy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CorvetteGuy
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:49 am)

    John B: Left side of the comments section is cut-off (2 or 3 characters) unless I copy and paste it to another document.  (Quote)

    The new format does not work well with old versions of Internet Explorer. Works great on FireFox, which I bet is what it was designed for.


  49. 49
    Rashiid Amul

    +6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Rashiid Amul
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:50 am)

    Prowler, Pardon me saying so, but you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?
    You are on a roll.

    Ethanol is coming. Sure it might take time, but cars last many years.
    I know in Evergreen, CO I can buy Ethanol today.
    I don’t like the fact that it comes from food. I do think that is a mistake.
    But it won’t always be that way. For the minuscule amount of money it takes to prepare a car
    for Ethanol why not make it so. If it is software, like some above have said, then there is absolutely no reason why the hardware can’t be in there now.


  50. 50
    George S. Bower

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    George S. Bower
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:51 am)

    John S.: For me, my Volt will be about having an .Whether the extender is E-85, clean diesel (if that really exists), or any other power source you can think of, I really don’t care.It is all about the electricity stupid.  

    Thankyou


  51. 51
    BDP

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BDP
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:53 am)

    prowler:
    didn’t I read that it takes a gallon of diesel to produce a gallon of ethanol? And that’s with the efficient feedstock of corn vs cellulose.  

    Not sure how much diesel is required, but it wastes lots of water to make each gallon…….
    http://www.minnpost.com/ronway/2009/04/15/8073/university_report_warns_water_consumption_for_corn-ethanol_on_the_rise


  52. 52
    CorvetteGuy

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CorvetteGuy
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:53 am)

    There are no E-85 stations in my town. You have to drive 30 miles east or west to get to the closest one. There’s convenience for you.


  53. 53
    Herto

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herto
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:54 am)

    Here in France E85 is about 30% cheaper than gasoline (0.85 EUR/l vs 1.27 EUR/l). That makes a big difference.


  54. 54
    BDP

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BDP
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:59 am)

    Herto: Here in France E85 is about 30% cheaper than gasoline (0.85 EUR/l vs 1.27 EUR/l). That makes a big difference.  

    Your fuel cost is less = true
    Your distance traveled is less = true

    Do the math….


  55. 55
    prowler

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:01 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Prowler, Pardon me saying so, but you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?.  (Quote)

    YEAH!


  56. 56
    James

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    James
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:02 am)

    Tagamet: Well-said. Why add another variable for already very complex software/hardware to handle. KISS to the extent that the initial product is as bullet-proof as possible. GM *must* get the Volt “right” on the first go around. They only get one chance at a first impression – and it HAS to be great.If nothing else, the thread will allow the “Don’t starve people to make fuel” group to become a little better informed. Two of them in the first 20 posts or so.Be well,TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   (Quote)

    Hi Tag, nice to see you. It seems every day you make mention that “GM has to get it right the first go around” – or else. I beg to differ that it has to be perfection on wheels. The only people that have expectations of grandeur for the Volt are those very famiiar with it’s concept and development. The average Joe out there really has no expectations other than what a sales pitch or magazine ad that will lead him in the showroom door will claim. Many will buy a Volt on testimony of a friend, family member or colleague. Almost everyone admits there will be some buyer’s remorse, such as those who bought hybrids based upon the pre-2008 EPA fuel economy ratings. Bob Lutz stated in an article posted here that many Volt owners will be surprised at their varying results in EV mode. Ask any hybrid Highlander or Escape owner if they got the advertised mileage and they’ll admit they were initially disappointed and had some level of buyer’s remorse when their mileage results were 10-15% below the window sticker. Yet, ask the same hybrid owner a year later and they’ve adjusted their expectations. It’s human nature. Surveys have shown that 85% of hybrid owners say they’ll purchase another hybrid as technology improves and their cars become more obsolete.

    If you need more proof that GM doesn’t “absolutely has to get it right the first time”, please read this very interesting article about the development of the first Prius and Hybrid Synergy Drive. I think you’ll be fascinated.

    http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/17/news/companies/mostadmired_fortune_toyota/index.htm


  57. 57
    BDP

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BDP
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:03 am)

    John S.: For me, my Volt will be about having an .Whether the extender is E-85, clean diesel (if that really exists), or any other power source you can think of, I really don’t care.It is all about the electricity stupid.  

    Amen brother! I just wish we didn’t have to shoot holes in our feet (subsidize ethanol) along the way!!!


  58. 58
    MuddyRoverRob

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MuddyRoverRob
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:04 am)

    I’ve never seen an E85 pump, ever.
    I understand fuel mileage is significantly less when running it.

    We have E10, it works in a regular engine without issue.

    No E85? no problem… moving along…


  59. 59
    prowler

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:05 am)

    Rashiid Amul: .For the minuscule amount of money it takes to prepare a carfor Ethanol why not make it so. If it is software, like some above have said, then there is absolutely no reason why the hardware can’t be in there now.  (Quote)

    Read my post #31, we’re saying EXACTLY the same thing.


  60. 60
    solo

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    solo
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:05 am)

    Who cares if the Volt can’t burn corn whiskey. Here in the great state of Illinois, the People’s Republic Of Illinois has decreed it won’t buy a car for government use unless it can burn E85.

    This eliminates competitive bidding by dealers/manufacturers who can’t provide an E85 product.

    To give you an example how this silly short sighted legislation is ineffective , the Illinois State Police cannot buy Dodge Charger police cars. This is by far the best police car platform of the 3 available, the other 2 being the Ford Crown Victoria and the Chevrolet Impala. If you drive through Illinois you will see very few Dodge Charger’s wearing state police markings. The ones you do see were purchased through various federal grant money programs but not with general revenue funds.

    The real issue is this. Nobody buys E85 even when it is available and their car will run on it. Even the People’s Republic makes no demands to use it in state vehicles even though they demand all cars they buy are capable of burning it.

    In case you are from out west and never heard of E85, It’s supposed to be 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. In reality the gasoline content is often much higher (read the label on the pump). Many but not all new cars can burn the stuff. It’s subsidized by the federal government to make it cheaper than gasoline. HOWEVER, if you burn it your fuel mileage will drop dramatically, by as much as 35%, wiping out any cost advantage, and decreasing your range if nothing else.

    Honestly I like E85, but it has to be cost competitive with gasoline without government subsidies to lower it’s price or taxes to raise the price of gasoline. Currently, ethanol is made from corn, the most abundant crop in the U.S. It’s not the best plant to make ethanol out of. More cost effective non-food crops are in the works as many have stated in this blog stream. However it will be many years before commercial quantities of these crops are available to distillers. Farmers have to buy planters, cultivators, and harvesters (or attachments) to process these crops. It’s a huge investment for them that may not pay off, esp. since new very large oil fields are being discovered on land and off shore in the U.S.


  61. 61
    Matthew B

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Matthew B
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:11 am)

    prowler:
    make it out of what? used fryer grease, or something else? (what do you have in mind?)  

    Biodiesel produces considerably more fuel than it consumes when made from oil seed crops, unlike ethanol. You could run all of the farm equipment on biodiesel and still have quite a bit left over. If you tried to run a corn farm on the ethanol produced, there would be no fuel left over to sell.

    The production of biodiesel from raw oil also takes far less energy than making ethanol from corn.


  62. 62
    prowler

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:15 am)

    Matthew B: Biodiesel produces considerably more fuel than it consumes when made from oil seed crops, unlike ethanol. You could run all of the farm equipment on biodiesel and still have quite a bit left over. If you tried to run a corn farm on the ethanol produced, there would be no fuel left over to sell.The production of biodiesel from raw oil also takes far less energy than making ethanol from corn.  (Quote)

    But the only way that I’ve seen to make it at home economically is if you can get the used fryer grease “free for hauling it away” (or, actually even better, if they pay you to haul it away and dispose of it legally). Are you saying that you can buy oil from seeds at a low enough price to make this work? (or, for all I know, you’re a farmer). I’m just looking for details of what you’re planning to do.


  63. 63
    prowler

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:24 am)

    I’m sorry, Matthew B, my previous question was directed as a follow-up to harrier1970 (thanks for jumping in with the clarification).


  64. 64
    joe

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    joe
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:34 am)

    JohnK: Well, now that’s special.So much for under promising and over delivering.
    Hope that doesn’t happen much more.  

    Yes, GM is screwing up again—over promised and under deliver. Here’s a quote from their own WEB site.

    “So Volt can go for several hundred additional miles, until you can plug it in or fill it up again. And Volt is even a FlexFuel vehicle as well, capable of running on the biofuel E85 ethanol (5).”

    http://www.chevrolet.com/pages/open/default/future/volt.do


  65. 65
    AnonymousProxy

    -13

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    AnonymousProxy
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:36 am)

    (click to show comment)


  66. 66
    MuddyRoverRob

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MuddyRoverRob
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:41 am)

    James:
    Hi Tag, nice to see you. It seems every day you make mention that “GM has to get it right the first go around” – or else. I beg to differ that it has to be perfection on wheels. The only people that have expectations of grandeur for the Volt are those very famiiar with it’s concept and development. The average Joe out there really has no expectations other than what a sales pitch or magazine ad that will lead him in the showroom door will claim. Many will buy a Volt on testimony of a friend, family member or colleague. Almost everyone admits there will be some buyer’s remorse, such as those who bought hybrids based upon the pre-2008 EPA fuel economy ratings. Bob Lutz stated in an article posted here that many Volt owners will be surprised at their varying results in EV mode. Ask any hybrid Highlander or Escape owner if they got the advertised mileage and they’ll admit they were initially disappointed and had some level of buyer’s remorse when their mileage results were 10-15% below the window sticker. Yet, ask the same hybrid owner a year later and they’ve adjusted their expectations. It’s human nature. Surveys have shown that 85% of hybrid owners say they’ll purchase another hybrid as technology improves and their cars become more obsolete.If you need more proof that GM doesn’t “absolutely has to get it right the first time”, please read this very interesting article about the development of the first Prius and Hybrid Synergy Drive. I think you’ll be fascinated.http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/17/news/companies/mostadmired_fortune_toyota/index.htm  

    You have some good points but that Tag (and I) have been getting at for a long time is that the “New GM” needs to change the public perception of them.

    To do this they absolutely HAVE TO hit a home run with the Volt.
    That means the car has to make it all the way ’round the bases without any problems.

    This goes for the Cruze and Lacross and all the other models too.

    When I was a kid I bought a ‘crappy’ Japanese car (’72 Datsun 1200, pile of rust… loved that little car!) because I couldn’t afford to get a good car (wanted a Camaro! no I didn’t have a mullet.)

    Oh how perception has changed.

    GM has an opportunity to change their public perception, they can’t afford to blow it.


  67. 67
    ClarksonCote

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ClarksonCote
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:44 am)

    Oy, there’s a lot of good things going on in ethanol land. It’s the stepping stones that suck, like using food crops as the starting point. Then again, at this point in the game, blaming higher food costs (or food shortages) on ethanol is like trying to plug a hairline crack on the titanic while it’s sinking.

    All the studies I’ve read a couple years back have said the real food shortage problems and cost increases are due to other factors besides ethanol production. From a cost standpoint, I think the studies had said Ethanol attributed 0.2% of the cost increase… Wow. ;)

    FWIW, to me it’s likely the Volt team is doing this because they don’t want to take yet another hit on range by allowing people to use E85, when their tank is already much smaller than promised. I don’t like the way they choose to slowly announce this stuff though… It’s not like they didn’t know this months ago.

    Just get me my Volt please, and build tens of thousands the first full year instead of 5-8k. They WILL be bought!


  68. 68
    AnonymousProxy

    -11

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    AnonymousProxy
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:46 am)

    (click to show comment)


  69. 69
    AnonymousProxy

    -10

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    AnonymousProxy
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:49 am)

    (click to show comment)


  70. 70
    Tim Hart

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tim Hart
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:50 am)

    Let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill. Corn ethanol is a hugely horrible idea. Making food into gas is not real smart. Cellulosic ethanol will be a big improvement but is years away. Just put the tiny bit of gas you’ll need for the Volt from U.S. sources, (Conoco, BP, and Phillips use Alaskan oil), and that is a better idea than corn ethanol by a long shot.


  71. 71
    EVNow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    EVNow
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:56 am)

    Ethonol = Pork. No subsidy, No ethonol. All who claim to be “conservative” should consider this.

    Those who think ethonol vs food is not a real issue, should wake up and get better educated. Start reading about EROI and how ethonol affects top soil & water. And how much “foreign oil” go into making ethonol.

    This is from just yesterday’s TheOilDrum.com

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/15/biofuels-food-production-developing-countries

    EU biofuels significantly harming food production in developing countries
    EU companies have taken millions of acres of land out of food production in Africa, central America and Asia to grow biofuels for transport, according to development campaigners. The consequences of European biofuel targets, said the report by ActionAid, could be up to 100 million more hungry people, increased food prices and landlessness.

    America’s Food-To-Fuel Problem

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/10/ethanol-environment-government-initiatives-opinions-contributors-art-carden.html (yes, that is in Forbes)

    Government enthusiasm for “green” initiatives has given us a series of allegedly well-intentioned programs that have been both environmental and economic disasters. Consider American ethanol. The two-headed beast that is good intentions and unintended consequences rears its ugly head in the form of environmental degradation and higher food prices–a source of inconvenience in rich countries but a matter of life and death in very poor ones.

    This gives a good insider’s look at biofuels industry

    The Magic of Technology and the President’s Biofuels Interagency Working Group

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6207

    Cellulosic ethanol will never be produced in large volumes for less money than corn ethanol can be produced for – and keep in mind that we are still subsidizing that after 30 years. What may happen is that it eventually can be mildly successful in certain very specific instances. But to think that a billion tons of U.S. biomass will contribute a major portion of the U.S. fuel supply via cellulosic ethanol? Hogwash from many people who have never scaled up anything. The reasons are not from lack of funding, they are fundamental based on physics, chemistry, and the nature of biomass. Technological breakthroughs won’t get around the laws of physics.


  72. 72
    Murray

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Murray
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:02 am)

    I think MuddyRoverRob hit the nail…E85 does not do as well on the MPG (no link – too lazy) and I think the concerns over the MPG while in CS mode is something GM is still a little skiddish about — only reason I think they are worried is because of all the secrecy about it…

    … I drive 53 miles 1 way to work and along the way I do pass 1 single E85 pump – and its on a toll road (PA trnpke)

    My opinion of this news is that its not really news for Gen1.


  73. 73
    Exp_EngTech

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:07 am)

    For me, it’s all about options.

    I’ll bet a lot of people will wish they owned an E85 capable vehicle if that 29 mile wide Strait of Hormuz gets closed down by the nut job in Tehran.

    Q: How many tanker Captains would want to “run the gauntlet” when bullets / missiles start flying?
    A: Not many.

    / just sayin…..

    xinsrc_122010507234870323341.jpg


  74. 74
    prowler

    -3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:17 am)

    Exp_EngTech: For me, it’s all about options.;(Quote)

    Hmmm. Options. How about ripping out the ICE and replacing it with a steam engine? In addition to what we’ve been talking about (gasoline, ethanol, biodiesel) you can use anything that creates heat – natural gas, woodchips, dried switchgrass, corncobs, municipal (sorted) waste, used fryer grease (without converting it to biodiesel), newspapers – the list is endless! Yes, a UNIVERSAL fuel vehicle (or even a raw nuclear reactor just providing heat, no need to convert it to electricity). Only thing that couldn’t run the boiler is a fuel cell.


  75. 75
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:19 am)

    The flex fuel capability would have been nice, but this isn’t a deal breaker for me.

    I’m not crazy about using ethanol right now either. While I agree that the next generation of ethanol from switchgrass and garbage, etc have a lot of promise, most E85 currently on the market comes from corn. Which should be stopped. The sooner the better.


  76. 76
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:27 am)

    Tagamet: It’s going to take DECADES for electrification of transportation to make any significant dent in oil use, so while we’re at it, let’s cancel all this “battery-car” stuff too.
    I suspect that we can just agree to disagree, and see how it all plays out (but I hope they don’t cancel the Volt – that’s *already* taken years and it’s not done yet….).

    But, as far as I can tell, using corn ethanol doesn’t help advance the second generation forms. Unlike with battery power.

    Also, the Volt reduces my personal carbon footprint and oil consumption right now. Using ethanol actually increases it. Big difference.


  77. 77
    Herm

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:39 am)

    prowler: Hmmm. Options. How about ripping out the ICE and replacing it with a steam engine? In addition to what we’ve been talking about (gasoline, ethanol, biodiesel) you can use anything that creates heat – natural gas, woodchips, dried switchgrass, corncobs, municipal (sorted) waste, used fryer grease (without converting it to biodiesel), newspapers – the list is endless! Yes, a UNIVERSAL fuel vehicle (or even a raw nuclear reactor just providing heat, no need to convert it to electricity). Only thing that couldn’t run the boiler is a fuel cell.  

    I am a big fan of steam engines, very clean, high torque without a transmission and like you say it can burn anything. Keep an eye on http://www.cyclonepower.com/


  78. 78
    Blind Guy

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Blind Guy
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:41 am)

    Roy H #6 Could be something to do with the fuel being unused in the tank for months.

    I’m not a big E85 enthusiast as I think this is very minimal improvement given the large quantities of oil and electricity used to produce it and the extra
    pollution created.

    We should be promoting LFTRs
    Hopefully the U.S. will have a better more practical type of ethinol in the near future. The Volt should not have a stael fuel issue. If I understand it correctly, the Volt’s engine will run periodically for conditioning purposes, which should take care of lubricating the engine and using some fuel keeping the supply fresher. I don’t understand why the U.S. aren’t building these LFTRS reactors. Those reactors sound like they would be a great alternative to current reactors.


  79. 79
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:44 am)

    James: Hi Tag, nice to see you. It seems every day you make mention that “GM has to get it right the first go around” – or else. I beg to differ that it has to be perfection on wheels. The only people that have expectations of grandeur for the Volt are those very famiiar with it’s concept and development. The average Joe out there really has no expectations other than what a sales pitch or magazine ad that will lead him in the showroom door will claim. Many will buy a Volt on testimony of a friend, family member or colleague. Almost everyone admits there will be some buyer’s remorse, such as those who bought hybrids based upon the pre-2008 EPA fuel economy ratings. Bob Lutz stated in an article posted here that many Volt owners will be surprised at their varying results in EV mode. Ask any hybrid Highlander or Escape owner if they got the advertised mileage and they’ll admit they were initially disappointed and had some level of buyer’s remorse when their mileage results were 10-15% below the window sticker. Yet, ask the same hybrid owner a year later and they’ve adjusted their expectations. It’s human nature. Surveys have shown that 85% of hybrid owners say they’ll purchase another hybrid as technology improves and their cars become more obsolete.

    If you need more proof that GM doesn’t “absolutely has to get it right the first time”, please read this very interesting article about the development of the first Prius and Hybrid Synergy Drive. I think you’ll be fascinated.

    First of all, people are a lot more willing to forgive Toyota for these things than they are GM. Toyota has, or at least had, a reputation for impeccable quality. So, any imperfections were regarded as being inevitable problems with new tech. GM not so much.

    Also, hybrids and finding substitutes for oil weren’t nearly as much on the public radar when Toyota first introduced the Prius. It was more a look what we can do. GM has built much of its public relations campaign around the Volt.


  80. 80
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:44 am)

    Canadian lithium stock down 4.5% today on triple the normal trading volume. No new headlines that I can see. Gold, Crude, and S&P all steady.

    =D-Volt


  81. 81
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:45 am)

    prowler: The cost to make these components ethanol-friendly is trivial on a new car.

    I’d like to see all cars ethanol ready but the cost is about $500. Steven Chu proposed that this be a requirement but his proposal was killed off in about a day because the cost was considered too burdensome. When looking at the alternatives it’s hard to figure out how you reach this conclusion but that’s the way it went down.


  82. 82
    Exp_EngTech

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:48 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Prowler, Pardon me saying so, but you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?You are on a roll.Ethanol is coming. Sure it might take time, but cars last many years.I know in Evergreen, CO I can buy Ethanol today.I don’t like the fact that it comes from food. I do think that is a mistake.But it won’t always be that way. For the minuscule amount of money it takes to prepare a carfor Ethanol why not make it so. If it is software, like some above have said, then there is absolutely no reason why the hardware can’t be in there now.  (Quote)

    Hmmmm….
    I think he fell out of bed.


  83. 83
    DonC

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:50 am)

    LauraM: But, as far as I can tell, using corn ethanol doesn’t help advance the second generation forms.

    But it does help in the Iowa caucuses. AFAIK this is about the primary reason why corn ethanol is still around. Corn ethanol would be gone if we took the tariff off sugar cane ethanol. But hey, Iowa goes first in the presidential primaries and it gets two Senators.


  84. 84
    MuddyRoverRob

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MuddyRoverRob
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:54 am)

    Exp_EngTech: For me, it’s all about options.I’ll bet a lot of people will wish they owned an E85 capable vehicle if that 29 mile wide Strait of Hormuz gets closed down by the nut job in Tehran.Q: How many tanker Captains would want to “run the gauntlet” when bullets / missiles start flying?
    A: Not many./ just sayin…..  

    No problem, buy our nice safe Alberta oilsands bounty.

    /just sayin’


  85. 85
    Starcast

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Starcast
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:55 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Not very informed about E85, huh?I don’t think there is one person here that would support making E85 from food.But what about from garbage? God knows we have plenty of garbage here in the USA.One could say that garbage is a renewable resource.   (Quote)

    How much of todays E85 here in the US is made from Garbage? How much is made from food (corn)?
    Today not what someone thinks may happen in the future.


  86. 86
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:58 am)

    CorvetteGuy: There are no E-85 stations in my town. You have to drive 30 miles east or west to get to the closest one. There’s convenience for you.  

    Me too. +1


  87. 87
    nuclearboy

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nuclearboy
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (11:59 am)

    Big deal on the ethanol

    So 10K or 70K new cars that average about 100+ mpg won’t use ethanol. This has no significance in the big picture.


  88. 88
    lousloot

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    lousloot
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:02 pm)

    Quick ratings:
    ( + or – towards Ethanol)

    (+) 1 gal of E85 has the energy of .8 gal of gasoliine, but is much higher octane, its better go-juice
    (+) Replaces Corn burners — firebox used by my neighbors (MN) to burn cow-corn for heat.
    (+) Filters that turns Ethanol into sipping whiskey, you HAVE to sip it.
    (?) My neighbors sell cow-corn for Ethanol, animal feed — if you are a vegan, its a win-win!
    (-) subsidies/grants/setaside program/gvmt’s part
    (-) Few pumps
    (-) Public belief that it is bad for the environment


  89. 89
    Herm

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:03 pm)

    Matthew B:
    Biodiesel produces considerably more fuel than it consumes when made from oil seed crops, unlike ethanol.You could run all of the farm equipment on biodiesel and still have quite a bit left over.If you tried to run a corn farm on the ethanol produced, there would be no fuel left over to sell.The production of biodiesel from raw oil also takes far less energy than making ethanol from corn.  

    Probably so, where are all the oil seed plantations in the US?.. I bet we could export all the bio-diesel we wanted to Europe.. but no subsidies please. Yes I know corn is also considered an oil seed.

    Corn ethanol works in the US because we already harvest huge crops of corn (since colonial times) and we can divert some of the starch for further re-processing into ethanol. It removes the need for some farm subsidies and the farmers can finally make some money. There is no shortage of corn. Go Ethanol.

    High octane ethanol blends will benefit the new generation of high fuel efficiency turbo engines that are becoming standard.

    New plants will process everything from the corn plant, hulks and stalks included… definitely lots of corn ethanol in the future… and dont worry, the farmers know how to take care of their soil. The oil used to manufacture the ethanol (tractors, combines etc) is minuscule compared to the amount of ethanol produced. Yes, they could also run on bio-diesel.


  90. 90
    JeffB

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JeffB
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:04 pm)

    JeffB: Yet another example of too much hype from GM…c’mon guys.  (Quote)

    Why so much fear to have this comment in the first 20 comments…-4 already :) ?

    E85 is a small addition on a conventional ICE vehicle. E 85 probably does take more effort to enable for an EREV. However, I’m guessing that GM wants to get a higher EPA mileage rating. Also, they want to avoid lower Charge Sustaining MPG (CS MPG) claims for the first release of the Volt from owners that have E85 pumps available in the area.

    GM should be smarter about releasing these details. If E85 is proving to difficult to implement for an EREV, just say it. Also say at the same time that E85 will reduce (or improve; most likely reduce based on other E85 vehicles) your MPG. If E85 is expected to reduce the EPA mileage rating, just say it now. Too many things can be read into this info.


  91. 91
    Tagamet

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:05 pm)

    James:
    Hi Tag, nice to see you. It seems every day you make mention that “GM has to get it right the first go around” – or else. I beg to differ that it has to be perfection on wheels. The only people that have expectations of grandeur for the Volt are those very famiiar with it’s concept and development. The average Joe out there really has no expectations other than what a sales pitch or magazine ad that will lead him in the showroom door will claim. Many will buy a Volt on testimony of a friend, family member or colleague. Almost everyone admits there will be some buyer’s remorse, such as those who bought hybrids based upon the pre-2008 EPA fuel economy ratings. Bob Lutz stated in an article posted here that many Volt owners will be surprised at their varying results in EV mode. Ask any hybrid Highlander or Escape owner if they got the advertised mileage and they’ll admit they were initially disappointed and had some level of buyer’s remorse when their mileage results were 10-15% below the window sticker. Yet, ask the same hybrid owner a year later and they’ve adjusted their expectations. It’s human nature. Surveys have shown that 85% of hybrid owners say they’ll purchase another hybrid as technology improves and their cars become more obsolete.If you need more proof that GM doesn’t “absolutely has to get it right the first time”, please read this very interesting article about the development of the first Prius and Hybrid Synergy Drive. I think you’ll be fascinated.http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/17/news/companies/mostadmired_fortune_toyota/index.htm  

    I think that we are talking about two different sets of issues. Long before GM’s bankruptcy, we’ve been talking about GM’s fading reputation for making reliable, quality vehicles and the flight of sales to foreign car maker’s products e.g. Prius, Honda, etc. The bankruptcy only magnifies the need for GM to be producing vehicles with great fit and finish, solid materials, reliable mechanical function, etc. I believe that the strong consensus remains that in order for GM to gain back market share it needs to polish its reputation for building *quality* vehicles. When I talk about GM’s vehicles being “Spot on”, I’m referring to quality. Add to that the introduction of the electrification of transportation, and the stakes increase exponentially. If the Volt fails, it’s certainly possible that other electric vehicles (not just GM’s) will become an even tougher sale.
    To me, it seems like you are talking more about the “Your mileage may vary” kinds of issues that are shared with ALL vehicles (and to which the average Joe *would* be understanding). I’m not saying that there will be no variation in AER or CS mpg. There WILL be. That IS to be expected – and will be tolerated pretty easily. But if the windows leak when it rains, or the wipers die after 6 months (even if the AER and CS modes are perfect), we’ll hear “NO WONDER GM WENT BANKRUPT”, or the much too common “Same old GM cr@p, I shoulda bought a foreign car – THEY know how to build a car!”
    Two very different issues. I still believe that it is very important that GM gets it “spot on”. Not surprisingly, way back in the days of VoltNation I, the engineering team – to a person – was saying the same thing.
    HTH.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  92. 92
    CaptJackSparrow

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:05 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: There are no E-85 stations in my town. You have to drive 30 miles east or west to get to the closest one. There’s convenience for you.

    I know of one e85 here but I know of 2 Charge stations here as well as a charge station at my work.

    I want my Volt BEV….
    No Power Windows
    No Power Adjust Seats
    No Power Side view mirrors
    No Power Sunroof (Actually No Sunroof at all!!)
    No Power Door Locks
    No Power Trunk lock
    No Radio (Remember that fiasco? – Get an iPod)
    No Heated Seats
    No OnStar!!!

    I’ll take my Volt BEV with No Generator, No ICE, ShAkEn not StirreD…


  93. 93
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:08 pm)

    EVNow: Those who think ethonol vs food is not a real issue, should wake up and get better educated.

    One interesting question you can ask is: How many acres have we taken out of agricultural production in NA over the last 20 years? If you look you’ll find that there is not a shortage of land. Water and fertilizers are different issues but so long as the raw stock doesn’t need to be irrigated or fertilized they don’t come into play.

    The biggest problem for many parts of the world is that we haven’t seen any real advances in food production for non-irrigated crops. Fifty years ago many people thought Africa would advance more rapidly than Asia. But science came up with ways to increase the yields of irrigated crops such as rice ten or a hundred fold, a development which has fueled the economic growth of countries like China, Indonesia, and India. Areas which don’t use irrigated crops, such as many parts of Africa, have been left out.

    The next biggest issue in agricultural are developed countries erecting trade barriers to protect domestic farmers and agribusiness. That’s been a big point of discussion at the World Trade talks for years.

    Of course what you’d like to see are synthetic plants that use the sun and other inputs to directly product ethanol, but we’re a ways away from that. However, finding a replacement for petroleum is going to be a multi-faceted solution, and cellulosic ethanol seems within reach and it is not a bad alternative.


  94. 94
    Loboc

    -4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    I give up. Just make it a BEV already.

    I won’t be back.


  95. 95
    Exp_EngTech

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:16 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: No problem, buy our nice safe Alberta oilsands bounty./just sayin’  (Quote)

    It will be an honor to buy your Alberta Oil Sands petroleum products once the modifications are complete at our nearby Whiting Refinery. I believe the pipeline is there and can handle that oil type.

    http://www.hydrocarbons-technology.com/projects/bt_whiting/

    I may learn the words to the Canadian National Anthem !


  96. 96
    DonC

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:20 pm)

    Tagamet: But if the windows leak when it rains, or the wipers die after 6 months (even if the AER and CS modes are perfect), we’ll hear “NO WONDER GM WENT BANKRUPT”, or the much too common “Same old GM cr@p, I shoulda bought a foreign car – THEY know how to build a car!”

    We have totally different takes on this. I think that people who will spend $45K on what is essentially a $20K car have to be motivated by the technology. The alternative for those people are not a Toyota Corolla but something different. For example, the Prius is not a very nice car, but the friends I have who downgraded from their Mercedes E series seem very happy. Ditto for the reaction to the mini-E, which is not in my view a very well implemented EV technology (and at a very high price as well). Not a great car but the people who have them like them despite all the problems.

    I think GM will rightfully get cut some slack on the Volt. It’s such new and exciting technology that a lot of minor faults will be overlooked, at least by the vast majority (doubtless there will be a few vocal critics). It’s not really impossible to do a groundbreaking car without a few issues cropping up. Heck, as the Prius shows us, car manufacturers have trouble releasing even a new model without some issues.

    That is not to say that GM should just toss the car out there and hope for the best. All the testing they are doing is great. But when the problems come up, as long as they are willing to listen and fix thing I think they’ll come out smelling like roses.


  97. 97
    Herm

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:23 pm)

    You can find stations that sell E85 here:

    http://e85prices.com/

    usually you lose about 15% on MPG* when you switch to E85, and the usual cost spread is 15% also so that the savings ends up being a wash. That could change quickly if the price of oil goes up again.

    I wonder what a 2010 Equinox would do on E85..

    http://www.chevrolet.com/experience/fuel-solutions/biofuels/

    * usually 15-20% loss in MPG since most gasoline engines are optimized for regular gasoline.. but when you have an engine optimized for a high octane alcohol blend then everything changes. Some people have experimented on different blends in their cars with good results.

    I used to run a 50-50 blend of E85 and reg gasoline in my pickup truck.. this high octane allowed me to increase the engine timing about 10 degrees and the final mileage was about 20% better. A higher blend of E85 will would light up the check-engine light since the injectors are not able to deliver the fuel volume needed. Ethanol corrosion is not an issue in any car newer than 1990 or so, but watch out for moisture. Dont use ethanol in a boat or a lawnmower.


  98. 98
    benion2

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    benion2
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:27 pm)

    Tim Hart: Making food into gas is not real smart.

    Especially when I’m making it.


  99. 99
    Mike-o-Matic

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mike-o-Matic
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:27 pm)

    Roy H: We should be promoting LFTRs

    Agreed. I recommend you search the forums for “LFTR” or “thorium” … we’ve had a couple of discussions about, this over there.


  100. 100
    Mike-o-Matic

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mike-o-Matic
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:31 pm)

    Exp_EngTech: In the summer of 2008 when gas hit $4.20 a gallon here, I filled it up a few times on E85. It ran great. The motor seemed to run smoother.

    I have a 2005 Sierra that’s flex-fuel capable. I’ve tried E85 a few times, but gave it up for two reasons:

    1. Around here, they raised the price in lock-step with E10 / normal gas. The miles-traveled-per-dollar equation never once worked in my favor!
    2. More frequent fill-ups due to the lower mileage of E85.

    Obviously, #2 can’t be altered, but #1 has gotta get fixed before Ethanol’s a reasonable alternative.


  101. 101
    Jackson

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:34 pm)

    gmtx2652: An E-85 station map is available at the following:http://find.mapmuse.com/interest/ethanol85 

    I was very surprised to see how many E85 stations there were just within 100 miles of Atlanta. I wasn’t aware of any. Fact is, if I had an E85 capable vehicle, it would cost much more money and fuel for me to fill up; 10 per 100 mile radius still isn’t exactly on my way to anywhere I go.

    What I have seen (in the southern part of the State) are stations which advertise no ethanol gasoline, on big signs, as something people would go out of their way maybe to find. Nearly every pump I know of in the northern part of Georgia is E10 (“May contain up to 10% Ethanol”).

    For contingency use, only occasionally, as a range-extension fuel; this E0 (pure gasoline) fuel would seem to be preferred even over E10; since it would deliver more range extension per tankful; though I haven’t seen a pump for it near Atlanta either.

    Yes, the lack of E85 capability is a disappointment at first blush, but will it really affect those who are best served by the Volt (mostly using it as an electric car)? On the other hand, it’s given fuel to the trolls, as we’ve seen. I agree that GM is likely looking at maximizing the CS-mode mpg, for image purposes; though it may come at the expense of image damage from the feature’s omission.

    E85 would be a useful feature to include, for contingency purposes. There’s a lively debate here on the pros and cons of ethanol, but we can’t really know what the energy supply future holds. A large part of the Volt’s appeal comes from it’s ability to function even with a lot of uncertainty in the world’s oil supplies. I’d look for an E85 capability’s inclusion in fairly short order, probably before 2014.


  102. 102
    bractus

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    bractus
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:35 pm)

    Is there any map shows locations of E85 stations?


  103. 103
    BDP

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BDP
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:39 pm)

    lousloot: Quick ratings:
    ( + or – towards Ethanol)(+)1 gal of E85 has the energy of .8 gal of gasoliine, but is much higher octane, its better go-juice
    (+)Replaces Corn burners — firebox used by my neighbors (MN) to burn cow-corn for heat.
    (+)Filters that turns Ethanol into sipping whiskey, you HAVE to sip it.
    (?) My neighbors sell cow-corn for Ethanol, animal feed — if you are a vegan, its a win-win!
    (-) subsidies/grants/setaside program/gvmt’s part
    (-) Few pumps
    (-) Public belief that it is bad for the environment  

    Higher octane does not in and of itself make it better. You are implying better mileage I think, but that is not the case.

    http://www.offroaders.com/tech/octane.htm


  104. 104
    LeoK

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LeoK
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:41 pm)

    MRY6: Wow, I really don’t care if its not E85 capable considering the idiocy of using Ethanol. Let’s start burning our own food for fuel…smart. Environmentally, its the worst alternative.  (Quote)

    MRY6, perhaps you are still working off some old myths… the only way to produce Ethanol is not just from food sources. You need to bring your Ethanol education up to date. Visit a site like http://www.coskata.com to see newer E85 production alternatives to food based ethanol.

    This is a classic ‘chicken vs egg’ case. Do we need the vehicles on the road first, or the pumps available for potential vehicles to use? It would seem that GM has invested wisely in building millions of Ethanol capable vehicles over many years that are now reaching a critical mass of current vehicles on the road. Along with Ford and Chrysler, the domestic manufacturers are far ahead of the imports on this front. I agree that more needs to be done NOW to entice local fuel stations to add and/or convert existing pumps to E85. There are now enough vehicles on the road to support this… however the next step will be to increase the production of E85 fuel. In reality, this is the third leg of the stool… vehicles that are E85 capable, fuel stations with E85 pumps, and finally the production of E85 fuel.

    Much like the batteries that will power the VOLT and other electric vehicles, there is significant research ongoing toward the advancement of E85 production. Each year, there will be new breakthroughs that allow E85 to be produced more efficiently, at lower cost, and with less environmental impact. Batteries will get smaller, more powerful, and longer lasting. So too will E85.

    Because of this, I do believe GM is making a mistake by not incorporating E85 capability into the Gen 1 VOLT. There may not be enough E85 pumps available today, but there likely will be tomorrow. And with the likely price tag of the VOLT where it will be, the additional cost for E85 capability is a much lower percentage of total cost than on a much less expensive car like the Cruze, which will most likely be E85 capable.

    I don’t believe first year VOLT sales will suffer, but it’s a case of doing the right thing for the first consumers who step up to this new technology. If GM is NOT including E85 capability for a specific reason, such as the expectation that fuel will sit in the tank longer than normal and E85 has a more limited shelf life than regular gasoline, then so be it – but they should come out and say that. Otherwise, IMHO, the pioneering first year VOLT customers deserve the best that GM has to offer, and that should include E85 capability.

    BTW… we still don’t have any E85 Ethanol stations here in CT!


  105. 105
    Herm

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:42 pm)

    DonC: We have totally different takes on this. I think that people who will spend $45K on what is essentially a $20K car have to be motivated by the technology.

    Don, try rose colored glasses.

    Why is the Volt essentially a $20k car?.. because it shares some parts with a $20k Cruze?.. Instead why not consider the Volt essentially like a 3 series BMW?.. it also has four wheels and other details, yet the Volt is far more luxurious and far more high tech.

    People that spend $32k on a Volt will be motivated by other things.. if they wanted to economize they would buy a used 2 year old Toyota Corolla.


  106. 106
    LeoK

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LeoK
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    bractus: Is there any map shows locations of E85 stations?  (Quote)

    Yes, there is very good information about E85 availability at http://www.e85refueling.com/


  107. 107
    Efried

    -6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Efried
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:49 pm)

    Volt not electric vehicle at all?
    Well in the end it is may be only a marketing gag. The vehicle will life alone from the 1.4l internal combustion engine and the electric motor is for climbing curbs only…


  108. 108
    mark yates

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    mark yates
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:52 pm)

    prowler: That’s ridiculous! ALL new designs should be E-85 capable (even though I’m no longer a fan of it since the United Nations called it “A Crime Against Humanity” http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/28/the_skinny/main3547831.shtml )  (Quote)

    Completely agree!
    I also suggest reading up on how much oil the US could “realistically” replace with biofuels. Currently I read the output is 1% of the 20 MILLION barrels a day of oil the US consumes. The EU (last I heard) is aiming for 10%. But I’ve heard some critics say:
    1. it’s a net energy loser EROEI or is very very poor (after fertilizer, and the fuel used for all the harvesting, processing) you get out not much more energy than what you put in – if it wasnt subsidised and taxed lower then the businesses would be bankrupt.
    2. that you’d need more arable land than there is in the world to equal 20 million bpd of output!

    Reference – the truly excellent lecture by this guy: http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/lectures/461


  109. 109
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:53 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: When I was a kid I bought a ‘crappy’ Japanese car (‘72 Datsun 1200, pile of rust… loved that little car!)

    #66

    We just got a Neighborhood Watch flash that one of these had been stolen in our neighborhood. I guess the survivors must be collectors’ items now, LOL.


  110. 110
    Noel Park

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:54 pm)

    AnonymousProxy: Is this the same Volt everyone has been drooling over?

    #65

    One of the more appropriate screen names I have seen, LOL. -1


  111. 111
    mark yates

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    mark yates
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:58 pm)

    mark yates: Completely agree!I also suggest reading up on how much oil the US could “realistically” replace with biofuels. Currently I read the output is 1% of the 20 MILLION barrels a day of oil the US consumes. The EU (last I heard) is aiming for 10%. But I’ve heard some critics say:1. it’s a net energy loser EROEI or is very very poor (after fertilizer, and the fuel used for all the harvesting, processing) you get out not much more energy than what you put in – if it wasnt subsidised and taxed lower then the businesses would be bankrupt.2. that you’d need more arable land than there is in the world to equal 20 million bpd of output!Reference – the truly excellent lecture by this guy: http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/lectures/461  (Quote)

    I think it would be more sensible to increase mpg that start turning what could be farmland (in a planet with a billion+ poorly fed people) into fuel for the richest billion. Increase mpg, reduce HP and go plugin electric/hybrid asafp.


  112. 112
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (12:58 pm)

    #38 John B: Left side of the comments section is cut-off (2 or 3 characters) unless I copy and paste it to another document.  

    John, what browser are you using? Lyle’s programmers need to know in order to correct the probem.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  113. 113
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:02 pm)

    Exp_EngTech: I’ll bet a lot of people will wish they owned an E85 capable vehicle if that 29 mile wide Strait of Hormuz gets closed down by the nut job in Tehran.

    #73

    Do you really think that Iran can shut down the Straits of Hormuz? If so, we are not getting much value for money from the carrier battle groups and all of the air capability we have in Iraq, Saudi, Afghanistan, Diego Garcia, Bahrain, Turkey, et al, ad nauseaum.


  114. 114
    Jackson

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:03 pm)

    I’ve thought about this for a few minutes, and if GM wants to give me a choice of 10 miles of extra, usable AER or E85 capability (for the same cost), I’ll happily take the 10 extra miles (50 total).

    At this moment, the prospects for improvements in battery performance and cost appear far greater than those for practical, large-scale cellulosic ethanol.


  115. 115
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:09 pm)

    DonC: But it does help in the Iowa caucuses. AFAIK this is about the primary reason why corn ethanol is still around. Corn ethanol would be gone if we took the tariff off sugar cane ethanol. But hey, Iowa goes first in the presidential primaries and it gets two Senators.

    #83

    Right. +1

    Plus, “Flex Fuel” has provided a priceless platform for GM to spoof CAFE. We have 1 (one) E85 pump in the LA area to serve a population of 12 million plus. There are tens of thousands of “Flex Fuel” Tahoes and Suburbans running around, but no E85. But GM still gets a giant credit against CAFE for every one of them. So it’s just been a shuck here.

    E85? 10-88


  116. 116
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:09 pm)

    LauraM:
    But, as far as I can tell,using corn ethanol doesn’t help advance the second generation forms.Unlike with battery power.Also, the Volt reduces my personal carbon footprint and oil consumption right now. Using ethanol actually increases it.Big difference.  

    Hi LauraM,
    You’d need to go back to the original post by Prowler to see that I was responding to a point he was making that seemed to be saying that because something was taking “Years” to accomplish, I was getting a bit (?) sarcastic about not continuing to work toward a long term goal. Surely you didn’t think that we should really discontinue the Volt, did you?
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  117. 117
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:13 pm)

    #42 BDP: It’s foolishness to support something that costs so much to produce and gives such little benefit. That’s why our government likes it i suppose!

    More government bashing. :( The government is supporting any means to end our dependence on foreign oil and also create new business to create jobs. I will agree with most here that say it doesn’t make much economic sense but it does contribute to using less foreign oil.

    Can’t argue with these number…

    The numbers do show how poor a substitute ethanol is.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  118. 118
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:15 pm)

    Starcast: Today not what someone thinks may happen in the future.

    How many Volt’s are being sold right now? Today, not what someone thinks may happen in the future.
    Same principal. It doesn’t mean that it won’t happen.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  119. 119
    Starcast

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Starcast
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:18 pm)

    LeoK: MRY6, perhaps you are still working off some old myths… the only way to produce Ethanol is not just from food sources. You need to bring your Ethanol education up to date. Visit a site like http://www.coskata.com to see newer E85 production alternatives to food based ethanol.

    The facility is a demonstration of “minimum scale engineering”,

    All most all E85 in the US comes from FOOD (corn) at this time. This fact sucks and untill we stop useing corn to make E85 count me out.


  120. 120
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:21 pm)

    DonC: That is not to say that GM should just toss the car out there and hope for the best. All the testing they are doing is great. But when the problems come up, as long as they are willing to listen and fix thing I think they’ll come out smelling like roses.

    You should go back and give James a +1 :-)
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  121. 121
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    bractus: Is there any map shows locations of E85 stations?  

    See post 97
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  122. 122
    prowler

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:34 pm)

    mark yates: Completely agree!I also suggest reading up on how much oil the US could “realistically” replace with biofuels. Currently I read the output is 1% of the 20 MILLION barrels a day of oil the US consumes. The EU (last I heard) is aiming for 10%. But I’ve heard some critics say:1. it’s a net energy loser EROEI or is very very poor (after fertilizer, and the fuel used for all the harvesting, processing) you get out not much more energy than what you put in – if it wasnt subsidised and taxed lower then the businesses would be bankrupt.2. that you’d need more arable land than there is in the world to equal 20 million bpd of output!Reference – the truly excellent lecture by this guy: http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/lectures/461  (Quote)

    BDP: Higher octane does not in and of itself make it better. You are implying better mileage I think, but that is not the case. http://www.offroaders.com/tech/octane.htm  (Quote)

    THANK YOU.

    Those are the type of statistics that I remember reading.


  123. 123
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:34 pm)

    Noel Park:
    #73Do you really think that Iran can shut down the Straits of Hormuz?If so, we are not getting much value for money from the carrier battle groups and all of the air capability we have in Iraq, Saudi, Afghanistan, Diego Garcia, Bahrain, Turkey, et al, ad nauseaum.  

    Just the THREAT of closing the straits balloons the price of a barrel of oil.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  124. 124
    MuddyRoverRob

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MuddyRoverRob
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:35 pm)

    Noel Park:
    #83Right.+1Plus, “Flex Fuel” has provided a priceless platform for GM to spoof CAFE.We have 1 (one) E85 pump in the LA area to serve a population of 12 million plus.There are tens of thousands of “Flex Fuel” Tahoes and Suburbans running around, but no E85.But GM still gets a giant credit against CAFE for every one of them.So it’s just been a shuck here.E85?10-88  

    I just checked that website for E85 stations.
    According to them there are 4 in Canada, all in Ontario.

    The closest is roughly 4000km from here.

    I don’t figure on going to those stations on a regular basis so no E85 remains a non-issue.


  125. 125
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic: Roy H: We should be promoting LFTRs

    Agreed. I recommend you search the forums for “LFTR” or “thorium” … we’ve had a couple of discussions about, this over there.

    AMEN. +1
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  126. 126
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:41 pm)

    DonC: But it does help in the Iowa caucuses. AFAIK this is about the primary reason why corn ethanol is still around. Corn ethanol would be gone if we took the tariff off sugar cane ethanol. But hey, Iowa goes first in the presidential primaries and it gets two Senators.

    ICAM about Iowa’s disproportionate power. But ending corn subsidies, or even just corn ethanol subsidies would do the same thing.

    I’m not crazy about the sugar cane ethanol tariff. However, that tariff does help protect the rain forest, which, I, for one, think is kind of important. And ending it would probably hurt second generation ethanol production as much as the corn ethanol production. Of course, we could get around that by increasing subsidies, but it would probably cost more to do that.


  127. 127
    Starcast

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Starcast
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:45 pm)

    Tagamet: How many Volt’s are being sold right now? Today, not what someone thinks may happen in the future.Same principal. It doesn’t mean that it won’t happen.Be well,TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   (Quote)

    LOL We know the Volt is going to happen!


  128. 128
    Peacmakr

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Peacmakr
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:48 pm)

    It is not really a huge deal since the vast majority of most folks driving won’t even use the ICE. Sounds like the reason is a regulatory problem though if getting emissions approval is the key: maybe the culprit here is the regulatory apparatchiks and not GM. In any event flex fuel will not be meaningful (except for midwest farmers) unless and until cellulosic ethanol (or alternatively cellulosic butanol) becomes available. Let’s not lose sight of the value of this platform due to a red herring.


  129. 129
    joe

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    joe
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    Roy H: Could be something to do with the fuel being unused in the tank for months.I’m not a big E85 enthusiast as I think this is very minimal improvement given the large quantities of oil and electricity used to produce it and the extra pollution created.We should be promoting LFTRs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWUeBSoEnRk
    Safe small radioactive waste 300 years instead of 10000, and you can’t make bombs from it.
    Low cost reliable electricity for all.  

    Could it be that the engine GM will use for the Volt is an HCCI and that they are running into some technological problem with it running on ethanol? I sure hope it’s not just the cost of the additional equiptment of an E85 engine…that would be ridiculous.


  130. 130
    Rashiid Amul

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Rashiid Amul
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:54 pm)

    Starcast:
    How much of todays E85 here in the US is made from Garbage? How much is made from food (corn)?
    Today not what someone thinks may happen in the future.  

    It doesn’t matter. Plan for the future if it is only $100.00 USD.
    We now have E10 in my State. If the State decides to go up to E20 of higher, this car will be ready for it.


  131. 131
    Jim I

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim I
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:56 pm)

    bractus: Is there any map shows locations of E85 stations?  

    ==========================

    Here is another link:

    http://e85vehicles.com/e85-stations.html

    It has a map of the US, and you click on your state to see where the stations are located.

    There are none that are convenient to Youngstown, OH, so this is really a non-issue for me at this time.

    But I look at this as a positive!!

    The movie star elite in Holly-Weird (Thanks CorvetteGuy – I like that one!!) may think that no E-85 for the Volt makes it a deal breaker (since they are so environmentally conscious and all), and therefore, the Volt supply may become more available to the rest of us here!!!!!

    Something to think about……

    ;-)


  132. 132
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:56 pm)

    benion2: Especially when I’m making it.

    #98 LOL +1


  133. 133
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:58 pm)

    DonC: finding a replacement for petroleum is going to be a multi-faceted solution, and cellulosic ethanol seems within reach and it is not a bad alternative.

    I agree. with the Volt, if you just used e85, you’re off OPEC juice.
    IMHO, the decision to not have an e85 Volt is just wrong?


  134. [...] GM-Volt | Image Credit: GM Tags: Chevrolet, Chevy, E85, Florida, Infrastructure, Obama, renewable fuels [...]


  135. 135
    Starcast

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Starcast
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:59 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: More government bashing. The government is supporting any means to end our dependence on foreign oil and also create new business to create jobs. I will agree with most here that say it doesn’t make much economic sense but it does contribute to using less foreign oil.

    The government is not trying “to end our dependence on foreign oil ” They are supporting Tom Dashell and his corn lobby friends.

    This government deserves a lot more “bashing” with the facts.

    As I have said before. Are you better off now then you were in 2006 when the Dems took charge of the house and senate (and government spending)?

    I am done for today “bashing” with the facts.


  136. 136
    LauraM

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (1:59 pm)

    Noel Park: Plus, “Flex Fuel” has provided a priceless platform for GM to spoof CAFE. We have 1 (one) E85 pump in the LA area to serve a population of 12 million plus. There are tens of thousands of “Flex Fuel” Tahoes and Suburbans running around, but no E85. But GM still gets a giant credit against CAFE for every one of them. So it’s just been a shuck here.

    If you believe in ethanol as a potential alternative to oil, then there’s a definite upside to all those flex fuel cars. No. The pumps aren’t readily available. But if the cars can’t use them, there never will be. No one’s going to build a pump for a fuel most cars can’t use.


  137. 137
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:01 pm)

    mark yates: I think it would be more sensible to increase mpg that start turning what could be farmland (in a planet with a billion+ poorly fed people) into fuel for the richest billion. Increase mpg, reduce HP and go plugin electric/hybrid asafp.

    #111

    Well said! +1


  138. 138
    Dylan

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dylan
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:02 pm)

    E-85 in its present form is a joke that should go away and the government should stop subsidizing.
    -First is uses 15% gas anyways (35% in winter blends)
    -It uses just as much gasoline as it produces in biofuel.
    -It raises food prices
    -Pollutes more then gasoline.
    -Government Subsidized

    There are other forms of ethanol from Sugar Cane or switch grass that provides 8-10 times more energy per farm acre then corn based ethanol (More economical, and requires less energy to produce). And I don’t believe the GM E-85 project is compatible with Cellulosic ethanol.

    Just my 2 cents.


  139. 139
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:04 pm)

    Jackson: At this moment, the prospects for improvements in battery performance and cost appear far greater than those for practical, large-scale cellulosic ethanol.

    #114

    I agree. +1


  140. 140
    Exp_EngTech

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:07 pm)

    Noel Park: #73Do you really think that Iran can shut down the Straits of Hormuz? If so, we are not getting much value for money from the carrier battle groups and all of the air capability we have in Iraq, Saudi, Afghanistan, Diego Garcia, Bahrain, Turkey, et al, ad nauseaum.  (Quote)

    Yes, and it could be soon.
    What makes anyone think a mideast conflict involving Iran would be “conventional” (and with advance notice?) The guy wants to erase Israel. The US investment in the area means nothing if he decides to pull the Nuclear trigger. After a point in time, he doesn’t need to make further threats.

    One of these anywhere close to the Strait will turn the world upside down…..

    mushroom-cloud.jpg


  141. 141
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:09 pm)

    Jim I: Here is another link:

    http://e85vehicles.com/e85-stations.html

    Thanks 4 the Jim, There’s actually more in my area than I thought. If I go further out about 35 miles there’s even more.
    e85 will work for me, but I prefer a BEV.


  142. 142
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:09 pm)

    In response to several on this thread:

    I am strongly in favor of developing a Thorium-based civilian nuclear power industry. In addition to manageable waste-destruction cycles, the Thorium itself is plentiful in N America.

    However, our friend in the nuclear industry, nuclearboy, thinks it would be difficult to get a research program; and nearly impossible to get the engineering program necessary for NRC regulation and approval processes (comment #152 in the following thread):

    http://gm-volt.com/2010/02/05/gm-sends-dealers-2011-model-year-ordering-guide-includes-volt/#comments

    Hopefully, there can be a turnaround in the thinking of Congress — perhaps, after the next election.


  143. 143
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:12 pm)

    Herm: Don, try rose colored glasses.

    I’m trying but I have a head cold! LOL


  144. 144
    Starcast

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Starcast
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:13 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: Starcast:
    How much of todays E85 here in the US is made from Garbage? How much is made from food (corn)?
    Today not what someone thinks may happen in the future. It doesn’t matter. Plan for the future if it is only $100.00 USD.
    We now have E10 in my State. If the State decides to go up to E20 of higher, this car will be ready for it.

    My point was all most all e85 today is made from corn. A lot of posters were making it sound like that was not true.

    When you start making E85 from waste not food it will be a good thing I agree. Thats just not true yet.


  145. 145
    SteveK9

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    SteveK9
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:16 pm)

    Ethanol is an immoral, stupid nightmare and that will not change if we switch to crabgrass or whatever other idiotic idea is out there. It is a creation of ADM and the fact that the first primary political test is in Iowa.


  146. 146
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:16 pm)

    Tagamet: You’d need to go back to the original post by Prowler to see that I was responding to a point he was making that seemed to be saying that because something was taking “Years” to accomplish, I was getting a bit (?) sarcastic about not continuing to work toward a long term goal. Surely you didn’t think that we should really discontinue the Volt, did you?

    No. Of course not. I misinterpreted his post. I’ll try to read more carefully in the future.


  147. 147
    BDP

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BDP
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:19 pm)

    LRGVProVolt:
    More government bashing. The government is supporting any means to end our dependence on foreign oil and also create new business to create jobs. I will agree with most here that say it doesn’t make much economic sense but it does contribute to using less foreign oil.The numbers do show how poor a substitute ethanol is.
    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.  

    I’d say the offset is minute in the big picture. We’re not getting much in return for our subsidy dollar. I’m definitely with you on the energy independence train. As for being a government basher, well I like to call a spade a spade.

    We can both agree though that a “plug in” is the most logical and best step toward energy independence. The trillion + dollars we spend annually on oil isn’t helping our economy. Keeping those dollars here could easily pay our national debt, or any number of good domestic causes, but our debt holders don’t want that! They like the interest payments! American tax payers are the mouse on a spinning wheel, but the mouse is sick and tired of it!!


  148. 148
    dave b

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    dave b
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:20 pm)

    I have to say, this is a disappointing. E-85 is an OPTION that I would want on any vehicle. So much for alternative fuel.


  149. 149
    UAE

    -6

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    UAE
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:21 pm)

    Please, US people buy the GM Volt. It the car to make sure US stay dependent on foreign oil. It make sure we will always got your money. So buy Volt in future in help support us. It good produkt for all. Thanks you for no E-85.

    United Arab Emirates


  150. 150
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:28 pm)

    Exp_EngTech: Yes, and it could be soon.
    What makes anyone think a mideast conflict involving Iran would be “conventional” (and with advance notice?) The guy wants to erase Israel. The US investment in the area means nothing if he decides to pull the Nuclear trigger. After a point in time, he doesn’t need to make further threats.

    One of these anywhere close to the Strait will turn the world upside down…..

    #140

    Same comment.

    mushroom-cloud.jpg


  151. 151
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:35 pm)

    LauraM: If you believe in ethanol as a potential alternative to oil, then there’s a definite upside to all those flex fuel cars. No. The pumps aren’t readily available. But if the cars can’t use them, there never will be. No one’s going to build a pump for a fuel most cars can’t use.

    #136

    I think that the current generation of “Flex Fuel” vehicles will be long gone to the scrap yard before sufficient E85 and/or the infrastructure to deliver it exists in LA to power them. Meanwhile, by allowing GM, et al, to skate around CAFE, it has have enabled another generation of their ilk. I would argue that one unintended consequence of this is that GM was able to continue upon its strategy of relying on same for it’s sales base, and contributed substantially to its demise when public taste switched away from same.


  152. 152
    DonC

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:36 pm)

    Starcast: The government is not trying “to end our dependence on foreign oil ” They are supporting Tom Dashell and his corn lobby friends.

    This government deserves a lot more “bashing” with the facts.

    As I have said before. Are you better off now then you were in 2006 when the Dems took charge of the house and senate (and government spending)?

    I am done for today “bashing” with the facts.

    It’s generally a good idea to have the facts right if you want to “bash” someone with them. First, elections occur in EVEN number years. Second, Democrats regained control in 2007 not 2005. Third and finally, the corn lobby is led by Republian Senators (not that it matters since this is more a farm state issue and there are more Republicans from farm states — but you seem to think so). From an article about the Bush Administration’s proposal to remove the tariff:

    “By lifting the ethanol tariff, we’d end up subsidizing Brazilian ethanol,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. “I can’t figure out why [Energy Secretary Samual] Bodman would want the United States to risk becoming dependent on Brazilian ethanol when we’re already dependent on Middle East oil.”

    Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. Last year, he and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., cosponsored a measure to extend the tariff until Jan. 1, 2011.

    Moreover, the entire gist of your comment is nonsensical because it commits the the logical fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc or, as it is generally know “after the fact, therefore because of the fact”. Hopefully you can figure this one out for yourself.


  153. 153
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:38 pm)

    Jackson: I’ve thought about this for a few minutes, and if GM wants to give me a choice of 10 miles of extra, usable AER or E85 capability (for the same cost), I’ll happily take the 10 extra miles (50 total).

    This isn’t as far-fetched a proposition as it may seem at first. Conventional assumptions would make E85 capability seem less expensive than increased battery capacity. However, we have heard here that future Volt batteries will be much more advanced than those slated for sale later this year:

    They will have a higher energy density, allowing them to be smaller while doing the same job (this will allow 3-across seating in the rear).

    We’ve also heard quotes that the future Volt battery may be based on a solid-state technology which should be able to support more charge / discharge cycles. This may mean that the next Volt pack will not have to be ‘coddled’ so much; more of it’s native capacity may be available for customer use, resulting in a greater AER for surprisingly little additional cost.

    Of course, GM has also said that 40 miles AER was the target for any future battery-pack (when all improvements are taken into account); to lower costs. I have to observe that the increase in value may be well worth a little less savings in cost (what we’re actually talking about).

    My challenge to GM is: take a little less cost reduction as greater electric range, and make up the difference by not offering E85 capability in Gen II.


  154. 154
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:38 pm)

    DonC:
    It’s generally a good idea to have the facts right if you want to “bash” someone with them. First, elections occur in EVEN number years. Second, Democrats regained control in 2007 not 2005. Third and finally, the corn lobby is led by Republian Senators (not that it matters since this is more a farm state issue and there are more Republicans from farm states — but you seem to think so). From an article about the Bush Administration’s proposal to remove the tariff:“By lifting the ethanol tariff, we’d end up subsidizing Brazilian ethanol,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. “I can’t figure out why [Energy Secretary Samual] Bodman would want the United States to risk becoming dependent on Brazilian ethanol when we’re already dependent on Middle East oil.”Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. Last year, he and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., cosponsored a measure to extend the tariff until Jan. 1, 2011.Moreover, the entire gist of your comment is nonsensical because it commits the the logical fallacy post hoc ergo propter hoc or, as it is generally know “after the fact, therefore because of the fact”. Hopefully you can figure this one out for yourself.  

    Thanks. +1


  155. 155
    LauraM

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:41 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: I agree. with the Volt, if you just used e85, you’re off OPEC juice.
    IMHO, the decision to not have an e85 Volt is just wrong?

    If you use corn based ethanol, you’re still using oil. Just not directly. The best case scenario is you’re improving your miles per barrel of oil. And there’s no guarantee that you’re actually doing that. You might be decreasing your miles per barrel.

    There is a lot of oil involved in fertilizing, growing, and harvesting corn, and in transforming it into into ethanol.


  156. 156
    LauraM

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:49 pm)

    Noel Park: I think that the current generation of “Flex Fuel” vehicles will be long gone to the scrap yard before sufficient E85 and/or the infrastructure to deliver it exists in LA to power them. Meanwhile, by allowing GM, et al, to skate around CAFE, it has have enabled another generation of their ilk. I would argue that one unintended consequence of this is that GM was able to continue upon its strategy of relying on same for it’s sales base, and contributed substantially to its demise when public taste switched away from same.

    The problem is that the government has no way of knowing when the fuel will be ready. And, even if they did, governments aren’t very good at timing these things. So they had to start the incentives immediately.

    This is one of the reasons that I think that a significant gas tax is a much better idea than cafe. Or ethanol mandates for that matter….


  157. 157
    prowler

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (2:57 pm)

    It’s just so gratifying to know that we’ve made such progress in all these years:
    240px-Late_model_Ford_Model_T.jpg
    The Ford Model T was the first commercial flex-fuel vehicle. The engine was capable of running on gasoline or ethanol, or a mix of both.


  158. 158
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:07 pm)

    Tagamet:
    You should go back and give James a +1
    Be well,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   

    I actually did give his comment a +1 but that was for the citation to the very interesting article. Maybe I should reword what I’m saying to go the fear route.

    If, then the inevitable problems arise, GM is not responsive and not transparent then they are going to suffer. Better? LOL


  159. 159
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:10 pm)

    prowler: The engine was capable of running on gasoline or ethanol, or a mix of both.

    Didn’t Prohibition substantially kill off ethanol? Doubtless it would have happened anyway but an interesting question to think about.


  160. 160
    BillR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BillR
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:12 pm)

    Here is a link providing more info on GM’s E85 plans.

    http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2010/02/even-with-the-volt-gm-remains-committed-to-ethanol.html

    An excerpt states:

    “In fact, while the company’s flex-fuel rollout plan initially focused on more traditional port fuel-injected engines, by next year GM also will provide flex-fuel versions of the direct-injected powertrains on recent models including the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers.

    The soon-to-debut Buick Regal and Chevrolet Cruze each will offer flex-fuel engines shortly after they hit the market: with ethanol-capable naturally aspirated and turbocharged direct-injection engines for the Regal and a downsized turbocharged engine in the compact Cruze.”

    So it seems the Cruze will have E85 capability by year end, but the Volt will need to wait for another year.

    But wait, doesn’t the Volt and Cruze use essentially the same engine (only the Volt’s has no turbocharger). Or could it be that the Volt’s engine is different?

    I still believe that it is possible we could see HCCI in the Volt’s engine, especially given its narrow range of operation. This link states that HCCI is E85 compatible.

    http://alternativefuels.about.com/od/researchdevelopment/a/HCCISaturnAura.htm

    Not only would HCCI make the Volt more efficient, it also would produce less emissions. I guess time will tell.


  161. 161
    Noel Park

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:15 pm)

    LauraM: There is a lot of oil involved in fertilizing, growing, and harvesting corn, and in transforming it into into ethanol.

    #155

    Right. +1

    Not to mention in delivering the ethanol to the point of sale. As I understand it, it can’t be transported through the existing petroleum products pipeline infrastructure because of cross contamination and/or corrosion problems. So it has to be trucked, railed, barged, or whatever. All of which are going to be powered by oil products for the foreseeable future, IMHO, Boone Pickens notwithstanding.


  162. 162
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:17 pm)

    Dylan: And I don’t believe the GM E-85 project is compatible with Cellulosic ethanol.

    Isn’t ethanol, uh, well, ethanol?

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  163. 163
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:20 pm)

    DonC:
    I actually did give his comment a +1 but that was for the citation to the very interesting article. Maybe I should reword what I’m saying to go the fear route.
    If, then the inevitable problems arise, GM is not responsive and not transparent then they are going to suffer. Better? LOL  

    The article was from 2006. And there’s nothing wrong with us seeing things differently. I just hate to see you be so wrong (g). I’m pretty sure it’s because I see GM’s reputation as being in a deeper hole than you do (which would explain the difference).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  164. 164
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:28 pm)

    Noel Park: Not to mention in delivering the ethanol to the point of sale. As I understand it, it can’t be transported through the existing petroleum products pipeline infrastructure because of cross contamination and/or corrosion problems. So it has to be trucked, railed, barged, or whatever. All of which are going to be powered by oil products for the foreseeable future, IMHO, Boone Pickens notwithstanding.

    Speaking of Boone Pickens, did you hear about how natural gas hydrofracking is contaminating water supplies (and aquifers) in Colorado and New Mexico? To the point where people can literally light their tap water on fire? We really are left with the least bad alternative for a bridge fuel…


  165. 165
    Allan

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Allan
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:35 pm)

    I’m not quite sold on E-85. The cost to produce it seems to be steep and impractical. The Volt already cuts out the majority of petroleum consumption, so why is E-85 even a blip on the radar?


  166. 166
    Dylan

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dylan
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    #162

    I was refering to the Project (problably poorly worded). Meaning that the entire infrastructure of making Ethanol from corn sources is not compatible with Cellulosic production.

    GM’s marketing campain has always been on corn based ethanol.


  167. 167
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    LauraM:
    Speaking of Boone Pickens, did you hear about how natural gas hydrofracking is contaminating water supplies (and aquifers)in Colorado and New Mexico?To the point where people can literally light their tap water on fire? We really are left with the least bad alternative for a bridge fuel…  

    #164

    Gee, why am I not surprised? Many days I believe that the law of unintended consequences rules the world – “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.”

    Plus, as I understand it, they inject a lot more than water when they “frack”, including some highly toxic chemicals. Of course that goes into “different aquifers”, so it doesn’t affect the drinking water supply. Uh-huh.


  168. 168
    MuddyRoverRob

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MuddyRoverRob
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:39 pm)

    Allan: I’m not quite sold on E-85.The cost to produce it seems to be steep and impractical. The Volt already cuts out the majority of petroleum consumption, so why is E-85 even a blip on the radar?  

    Agreed.


  169. 169
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:43 pm)

    BillR: So it seems the Cruze will have E85 capability by year end, but the Volt will need to wait for another year.

    But wait, doesn’t the Volt and Cruze use essentially the same engine (only the Volt’s has no turbocharger). Or could it be that the Volt’s engine is different?

    I still believe that it is possible we could see HCCI in the Volt’s engine, especially given its narrow range of operation. This link states that HCCI is E85 compatible.

    http://alternativefuels.about.com/od/researchdevelopment/a/HCCISaturnAura.htm

    Not only would HCCI make the Volt more efficient, it also would produce less emissions. I guess time will tell.

    OK, now I’m really confused. The article said that the Volt won’t be E85 compatible. And you’re saying the HCCI *is* E85 compatible, so the Volt *couldn’t* be HCCI, right?
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  170. 170
    benson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    benson
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:44 pm)

    Off Topic but tragic…

    Reports from the Calif. plane crash site say victims were Tesla executives.

    (Palo Alto, CA) — Three people are dead after a small plane crash into a neighborhood in Palo Alto, California. The Cessna 310 went down shortly after takeoff from the Palo Alto Airport. There’s no confirmation of the cause of the crash yet but indications are the aircraft hit a power line in heavy fog. Several cars on the ground were destroyed. The three fatalities are said to have been people who were on the plane. There are no reports of injuries or fatalities among people on the ground.

    KTVU Television in Oakland reports a man who was at the airport when the plane took off, Daniel Morales, said he knew the pilot as a high-ranking officer with Tesla Motors, the electric car company. The two others aboard are also believed to work for the company. Names haven’t been released.


  171. 171
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:49 pm)

    Allan: I’m not quite sold on E-85.The cost to produce it seems to be steep and impractical. The Volt already cuts out the majority of petroleum consumption, so why is E-85 even a blip on the radar?  

    Isn’t it one of those Calif CAFE mandated blips, mentioned above for the larger vehicles?
    I’m with you though, with a Volt the fuel savings are in the plug.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  172. 172
    Starcast

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Starcast
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:54 pm)

    DonC: It’s generally a good idea to have the facts right if you want to “bash” someone with them. First, elections occur in EVEN number years. Second, Democrats regained control in 2007 not 2005

    Facts right? Read my post I said the dems took over the house and Senate in 2006 not 2005. WOW just make things up. Talk about need to check your facts. Read the copy of my post below slowly then you can get your facts right.

    *”Are you better off now then you were in 2006 when the Dems took charge of the house and senate (and government spending)? “*

    “elections occur in EVEN number years” As I said 2006 election was when the dems gained control. If you want you can say the didn’t take office until the start of 2007. But I was correct that they gained control in 2006
    If it makes you happy: Are you better of now then you were in 2006 before the Dems took control of the house and senate (and government spending) at the start of 2007?

    The point is the same either way.


  173. 173
    DaveP

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DaveP
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:55 pm)

    This is kind of a disappointment for me but not a huge one. And not entirely unexpected, either. It does kind of support the theory that flex fuel is just a way to skirt CAFE. The Volt doesn’t need to skirt CAFE, therefore no flex fuel. Same for the Cruze, I’d bet.

    And it’s not that I’m all that keen on alcohol fuels at this point. But the technology to produce them is improving very rapidly, now. As a retail Volt customer, I’d take that $200 (approximate retail price) bet that it might be useful in the next 10 years. I’d probably lose, but I think my odds are still better than in Vegas. :)


  174. 174
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:56 pm)

    benson: Off Topic but tragic…

    Reports from the Calif. plane crash site say victims were Tesla executives.

    (Palo Alto, CA) — Three people are dead after a small plane crash into a neighborhood in Palo Alto, California. The Cessna 310 went down shortly after takeoff from the Palo Alto Airport. There’s no confirmation of the cause of the crash yet but indications are the aircraft hit a power line in heavy fog. Several cars on the ground were destroyed. The three fatalities are said to have been people who were on the plane.

    Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk was not on board, according to Fox Business News.

    The plane was registered to Air Unique Inc in Santa Clara, California. Air Unique was registered with Tesla senior engineer Doug Bourn.

    The plane left the Palo Alto Airport at about 7 a.m. PST bound for Hawthorne Municipal Airport in Southern California and lost power before striking the tower, breaking off a wing, Chalmers said.

    The wing fell into a house, causing a fire. The rest of the aircraft struck parked vehicles, Chalmers said. There were no reports of injuries on the ground, Chalmers said.

    =D-Volt


  175. 175
    MuddyRoverRob

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MuddyRoverRob
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (3:58 pm)

    Tagamet:
    OK, now I’m really confused. The article said that the Volt won’t be E85 compatible. And you’re saying the HCCI *is* E85 compatible, so the Volt *couldn’t* be HCCI, right?
    Be well,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   

    He did say “The E85 capable emission package will have its timing finalized soon.”

    It could be as simple as a packaging problem.

    I think this whole discussion is just a tempest in a teacup over a feature that is barely usable due to lack of E85 pumps.

    Tag, I don’t think there is any fundamental reason why the range extender can’t use E85, I just figure that it’s development is low priority compared to getting the Voltec system working flawlessly.


  176. 176
    jeffhre

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:01 pm)

    MRY6: Let’s start burning our own food for fuel…smart. Environmentally, its the worst alternative.

    I was told that the corn for livestock feed is used for ethanol, not the pretty stuff that’s on the July 4th picnic table. And that the solids are taken from the “mash” and still sold for animal feed. If that makes a difference.


  177. 177
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:01 pm)

    Dylan: #162
    I was refering to the Project (problably poorly worded).Meaning that the entire infrastructure of making Ethanol from corn sources is not compatible with Cellulosic production.GM’s marketing campain has always been on corn based ethanol.  

    My bad. I went back and re read your post and realized that you were referring to the PROCESS to make cellulosic vs non-cellulosic ethanol.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  178. 178
    JohnK

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:05 pm)

    Some breaking news (yes, I checked other websites).
    - cold weather testing has started. GM sent a fleet of Volts to someplace 500 miles north of Toronto. Unfortunately the weather there currently is only -5 celsius.
    - there is article on the Volt that has interesting takes on both the Volt and the Leaf (NY Times affiliated, Mother Nature Network): http://www.mnn.com/transportation/cars/blogs/nissan-leaf-and-chevrolet-volt-electric-cars-hit-the-mean-streets-of-new
    - and not the least: three high ranking executives of Tesla Motors were killed in a small plane crash in Palot Alto (AutoblogGreen.com)


  179. 179
    jeffhre

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:05 pm)

    omnimoeish: As many have said, right now ethanol is burning more oil than it replaces

    Which report is this information derived from?


  180. 180
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:08 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: I think this whole discussion is just a tempest in a teacup over a feature that is barely usable due to lack of E85 pumps.

    Tag, I don’t think there is any fundamental reason why the range extender can’t use E85, I just figure that it’s development is low priority compared to getting the Voltec system working flawlessly.

    Agreed.
    I *do* think that an additional factor is the lower mpg from E85 and GM’s desire to have an impressive CS mpg figure to advertise, right out of the shoot. It’s the kind of number that most people will compare to a Prius.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  181. 181
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:09 pm)

    JohnK: – and not the least: three high ranking executives of Tesla Motors were killed in a small plane crash in Palot Alto (AutoblogGreen.com)

    That was why back in my mfrging days, when any of the high ranking mucky mucks at HP ever traveled, they traveled separately. And we all chastized mgmt for doing this back then. Well, now we know why.


  182. 182
    BillR

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BillR
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:12 pm)

    Tagamet:

    BillR: So it seems the Cruze will have E85 capability by year end, but the Volt will need to wait for another year.
    But wait, doesn’t the Volt and Cruze use essentially the same engine(only the Volt’s has no turbocharger). Or could it be that the Volt’sengine is different?
    I still believe that it is possible we could see HCCI in the Volt’sengine, especially given its narrow range of operation. This linkstates that HCCI is E85 compatible.
    http://alternativefuels.about.com/od/researchdevelopment/a/HCCISaturnAura.htm
    Not only would HCCI make the Volt more efficient, it also would produce less emissions. I guess time will tell.

    OK, now I’m really confused. The article said that the Volt won’t beE85 compatible. And you’re saying the HCCI *is* E85 compatible, so theVolt *couldn’t* be HCCI, right?Be well,Tagamet
    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!   

    Tag,

    I’m trying to think of reasons why the Cruze will be E85 capable shortly after its introduction, but the Volt will need to wait for a year, even though both use the 1.4L engine (granted, the Cruze engine is turbocharged). Perhaps there is a lot of difference between the turbo and non-turbo E85 calibrations, but the other aspect could be the use of HCCI for the Volt’s engine.

    This would entail an entirely new set of design conditions, and it could be that they haven’t had sufficient time to test HCCI with E85.

    Maybe I’m just being an optimist.

    Bill


  183. 183
    prowler

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    prowler
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:13 pm)

    latest info is that the Tesla plane crash was two engineers and a manager, no executives. NOT Elon Musk or JB Straubel.


  184. 184
    JohnK

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:15 pm)

    Not sure if one of the three articles above or it is a fourth one talks about pricing (not set), that Ed Whitacre’s “low 30′s” remark was taking into account the $7500 rebate, that the Gen 1 Volt is highly over engineered and that great savings will be achieved when they cut out some of the redundancies. And the price of Gen2 will be much lower (and so will the quality).
    Link- http://industry.bnet.com/auto/10003664/gm-gets-ready-to-roll-out-the-revolutionary-chevrolet-volt/
    Sure does sound like they just are not listening to us.
    This is coming from Britta Gross, GM’s director of global energy systems and infrastructure commercialization. She even compared the Volt to a “plasma TV”.


  185. 185
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:18 pm)

    BillR: …Maybe I’m just being an optimist.

    Bill

    You say that like it’s a BAD thing (lol)!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  186. 186
    JohnK

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:21 pm)

    jeffhre: I was told that the corn for livestock feed is used for ethanol, not the pretty stuff that’s on the July 4th picnic table. And that the solids are taken from the “mash” and still sold for animal feed. If that makes a difference.  (Quote)

    Not only that, but I heard a radio program talking about this stuff. The claim was that the corn, after being used for alcohol production was better for animal feed than the original. The processing of the corn actually makes the remainder more digestible and more nutritious for the animals. The claim was made that “revenuers” used to look for bootleggers by looking for the fattest hogs in the area.


  187. 187
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:22 pm)

    Various colors of Leaf have been mentioned here this week. Found a few examples. People who have demo driven the Leaf during the national test drive tour (completed this week) have had good things to report.

    Leaf%20green.jpg

    Leaf%20purple.jpg

    Leaf%20silver.jpg

    Nissan says the Leaf will be offered in buy-it-all or lease-it-all options. With a tax credit price possibly below $20k. Interesting news to the EV community. Wonder how Ford’s Focus EV is coming along?

    =D-Volt

    What of the Dodge Circuit?

    http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play?p=Dodge+Circuit&ei=UTF-8&fr=yfp-t-701&vid=0001323629466

    Propelled by a completely electric ENVI drivetrain, the Dodge Circuit EV posts impressive performance numbers:

    • 0-60 mph in less than 5 seconds
    • _-mile in 13 seconds
    • Top speed of more than 120 mph

    Perhaps the most impressive Dodge Circuit EV number, however, is zero. That’s how much gasoline the vehicle consumes while providing exhilarating sports car performance. It’s also how much tailpipe emissions are produced.


  188. 188
    jeffhre

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:23 pm)

    Tim Hart: Just put the tiny bit of gas you’ll need for the Volt from U.S. sources, (Conoco, BP, and Phillips use Alaskan oil), and that is a better idea than corn ethanol by a long shot.

    Ethanol is made from NATO members capital investments, even if sugar cane ethanol has 10 times the energy advantage. Oil though, is fungible worldwide. The more US or NA oil you buy the more Perian Gulf oil is sold somewhere in the world.


  189. 189
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:32 pm)

    Dave K.: What of the Dodge Circuit?

    I think it got “Short Circuited”!!!!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!

    No seriously, last I heard is the project got put to the back freezer.

    Those Leaf colors are, ummmmm…..kindof……..uhhh….. well, ugly. I like the car but I’ll take the grey/gray or however it’s spelt. You see less dirt build up. :-P


  190. 190
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:37 pm)

    JohnK:
    Not only that, but I heard a radio program talking about this stuff.The claim was that the corn, after being used for alcohol production was better for animal feed than the original.The processing of the corn actually makes the remainder more digestible and more nutritious for the animals.The claim was made that “revenuers” used to look for bootleggers by looking for the fattest hogs in the area.  

    I can vouch for the “Fat Hog” part. During Prohibition, Clinton County had a Famous bootlegger. Google “Prince Farington” – sometimes spelled with two “r”s (hic).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  191. 191
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:42 pm)

    DonC: Didn’t Prohibition substantially kill off ethanol? Doubtless it would have happened anyway but an interesting question to think about.

    Waittaminute…
    You could drink that sh|t?!?!?!?!
    I can go to the station and fill up my frosty cold pitcher?!?!?!?
    Is it like “Everclear”?
    :-P


  192. 192
    jeffhre

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:45 pm)

    Some things are far better than burning petroleum in cars, even though when viewed rationally they are not great for the environment as standalone actions.

    Ethanol is not a great thing for the environment. Mining lithium is not a great thing for the environment. Driving an all electric personally owned car that just sits unused 80 to 90% of the day is not a great thing for the environment. These are better only, than driving cars that burn gasoline. They only move us toward sustainable or no net damage practices, they don’t provide ultimate solutions.

    Much if not most steel used is recycled. Renewables allow transport fuels and electricity distribution to move toward sustainable business models. This is moving in a sustainable direction. IMO it’s harder to change our beliefs and move past misinformation than to change technologies. If you told a GM executive six years ago to build electric cars, because that would become the focus of their marketing, public image and future direction, someone would have called security and said please remove the radical before he becomes violent.

    If you say that today, executives in GM would say, oh you mean the Voltec program, whether they believe in it as a viable business decision is another question.


  193. 193
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:50 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: I think it got “Short Circuited”!!!!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!

    No seriously, last I heard is the project got put to the back freezer.

    Understood, it’s best that the affordable American RWD 2 seat EV be crushed.

    Surprisingly, looks like Nissan has grabbed the EV torch and is now in full stride to delivery. Wish I had a chance to demo the Leaf during the national demo tour. Closest outlet was 100 miles South.

    Looking back a year or so. Never would have thought a Versa-like EV would be forging ahead as the affordable alternative to gasoline driven transportation. Especially with the option to buy outright.

    My guess is Korea will be the first to deliver a practical and desirable small SUV EV. They are on the leading edge in small truck engineering. And one of the leading providers of lithium batteries. Add the abundance of manpower and assembly experience.

    Let’s see how this game plays out.

    =D-Volt


  194. 194
    DonC

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (4:54 pm)

    Starcast: The point is the same either way.

    You are absolutely positively right on this. Your point IS the SAME either way, which is the problem. Because either way you commit the ad hoc ergo proctor hoc fallacy.

    I’m never quite sure if people who make these mistakes are dense or if they just assume that other people are so no one will notice. But just in case it’s the former, what you’re saying is something like: “Yesterday I bought a new 27″ iMac. Today when I tried to open the garage the door was broken. Therefore the iMac broke my garage door”. Yeah that’s plenty ridiculous but very illustrative of the fallacy you’re falling into. Just because one fact follows another doesn’t mean there is a logical connection. You need to connect the fact with the event.

    The fact that you can simply pick a different fact and come to a diametrically different conclusion should tell you just how fallacious your argument is. Applying a measure of “well off” to elections suggests that we should all vote for every possible Democrat. The day before the last election the Democrats held slim majorities in Congress and the S&P stood at 930. Then they increased their majorities and today the S&P 500 has zoomed to 1100. Just think how great it would be if there were ONLY Democrats in Congress. My God, the S&P would be at 1800 and we could all go back to buying McMansions with zero down, no interest, and negative amortization.


  195. 195
    RogerE333

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RogerE333
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:03 pm)

    No E85 capability on the Volt is a *positive*, if you ask me. Even a pro-Ethanol site (too lazy to look it up again) admitted that .75 energy units of fossil fuels were used for each 1 energy unit of ethanol produced. It’s really just a government-subsidized exercise in feelgood. “Oh look honey, I’m putting E85 into our hybrid, I feel so green right now!”

    Since all these crops really just harvest sunlight energy over the course of a growing season, why not just simplify things and go with solar cells? I know they are still inefficient and expensive, but they still make more sense than ethanol.

    As far as ethanol from garbage, dunno, I think I’ll put my money on cold fusion first…

    The problem with many of these “fuel from stuff” schemes is the amount of fuel (probably diesel) which gets burned in collecting the stuff and hauling it all to the magic ethanol/whatever plant. If someone can run the numbers and prove that a scheme puts out more fuel than it uses, then I’ll be all for it. The only reason ethanol seems reasonably priced is due to the huge gov’t subsidies, as opposed to the large taxes on gasoline and diesel. Cut the subsidies and let ethanol sink or swim based on its own merits (it will sink).

    I drive by an E85 pump right by the GM Tech Center every day, but I cringe when I see people using it. I fantasize about slapping a bumper sticker on the pump saying, “Each gallon lovingly created using one gallon of diesel fuel!”. As an engineer I really hate exercises in feelgood…


  196. 196
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:07 pm)

    Dave K.: Looking back a year or so. Never would have thought a Versa-like EV would be forging ahead as the affordable alternative to gasoline driven transportation. Especially with the option to buy outright.

    Personally I thought the Mitsu iMiEV was going to be the front runner but the hype on it seemed to die. Then the Ford Focus BEV but that’s been pretty quiet as well. Sure the Leaf isn’t the best looking car but for me, I don’t give a rats azz what anyone thinks of my ride. Like I said before, If I cared, I wouldn’t be driving a 96 Saturn SL2 with oxidized paint job.


  197. 197
    Cal

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Cal
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:10 pm)

    They need more government assistance? They already had way too much. Payback what you owe the taxpayers instead of blowing $100 million on equipping cars for the ethanol boondoggle pushed by corn state politicians!!! Nobody wants E-85 except the subsidized farmers.


  198. 198
    RB

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:13 pm)

    184 JohnK: Not sure if one of the three articles above or it is a fourth one talks about pricing (not set), that Ed Whitacre’s “low 30’s” remark was taking into account the $7500 rebate, that the Gen 1 Volt is highly over engineered and that great savings will be achieved when they cut out some of the redundancies.And the price of Gen2 will be much lower (and so will the quality).
    Link- http://industry.bnet.com/auto/10003664/gm-gets-ready-to-roll-out-the-revolutionary-chevrolet-volt/
    Sure does sound like they just are not listening to us.
    This is coming from Britta Gross, GM’s director of global energy systems and infrastructure commercialization.She even compared the Volt to a “plasma TV”.  

    Gross “…we want to get up to scale as quickly as we can—then expand nationally within several years.”” “Within several years” sounds like it could be a long long time for many of us.


  199. 199
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:16 pm)

    Starcast: The government is not trying “to end our dependence on foreign oil ”

    How wrong you are! Look at the grants given by DOE for charging infrastructure; look at the grants for new battery plants; look at the grants and loans to businesses in the solar and wind sector. That’s only a few ways the government is moving to lessen our consumption of foreign oil. You lack knowledge of the facts on what major industries and think tanks in this country are working on because of the peak oil. If you look at the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, you will see where the federal government has made investments regarding many of the subjects presented by GM-Volt.com such as GM Battery Assembly Plant and frequent discussions on what is happening with the Smart Grid projects and infrastructure building for Nissan Leaf and GM Volt.

    I am not pleased with the current unemployment situation but you have to admit that without the recovering act, there would be far worse employment. And that what this administration has done so far has greatly stemmed the flow of jobs to foreign countries. Many Americans are impatient. Given time we will all see positive results from this legislation.

    In the House of Representatives, “All but 11 Democrats voted for the bill, and 177 Republicans voted against it (one Republican, Ginny Brown-Waite, did not vote).” In the Senate, “all the Democrats voted in favor, but only three Republicans voted in favor (Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Arlen Specter). The lack of Republican support does not reflect their involvement and influence over the final bills. “Senate Republicans forced a near unprecedented level of changes (near $150 billion) in the House bill which had more closely followed the Obama plan. The biggest losers were States[19] (severely restricted Stabilization Fund) and the low income workers (reduced tax credit) with major gains for the elderly (largely left out of the Obama & House plans) and high income tax-payers.” The evidence of the recovery act can easily be seen on the American Automotive industry. IMHO, it is well on its way to full recovery as evidenced by market share increases for Ford and GM, and announcement of additional shifts at manufacturing plants and plans to open new plants and production of new components such as electric motors.
    ————————————————————————————————————————–All this is representative of what the federal government has been doing to lessen our use of foreign oil and covert over to domestic sources of energy. What we see here on this blog every day is evidence of positive effort by the federal government to improve the economy, and it only talks of the automotive industry. If you take the time to search on the internet, you can find many many more examples of the positive influence of the federal government. Foreign manufactures of wind turbine parts have begun moving to production here in the U.S.
    ————————————————————————————————————————–The anger demonstrated by many is being directed IMHO in the wrong direction. It should be pointed at those who created the problem! I could go much further but I venture that I have angered many who wish this blog could keep to the issue of Voltec technology. I fear that the saying “ugly American” will show up again in our politics. Many a foreigner has said to me Americans are stupid when it comes to politics. We so easily forget what happened a few year back and only look at the present. (Never learning from our mistakes). God save us and our stupid politics.

    No Happy trails on this subject but Happy trails to you all ’til we meet again.


  200. 200
    jeffhre

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:26 pm)

    Tagamet: I can vouch for the “Fat Hog” part. During Prohibition, Clinton County had a Famous bootlegger. Google “Prince Farington” – sometimes spelled with two “r”s (hic).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Geat story!!!

    JohnK: Not only that, but I heard a radio program talking about this stuff. The claim was that the corn, after being used for alcohol production was better for animal feed than the original. The processing of the corn actually makes the remainder more digestible and more nutritious for the animals. The claim was made that “revenuers” used to look for bootleggers by looking for the fattest hogs in the area.

    Great story also but like DonC said, ad hoc ergo proctor hoc. Looking for the nexxus that connects the result to the claim, there are also other reasons for fat pigs. Maybe the moonshiners can afford to give the pigs more feed, you know there’s a lot of corn mash sittin’ around.

    Any way just wanted to use some fancy words here, because my four year old son isn’t impressed by them at all. He just says, lets play, he has Jolt and he noticed Jolt’s brother Volt at the top of this page.


  201. 201
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:46 pm)

    hi CJS #196 …

    CaptJackSparrow: Personally I thought the Mitsu iMiEV was going to be the front runner but the hype on it seemed to die.

    I was also surprised by the initial interest in the iMiEV. As I mentioned last week. There is a hardcore EV base that rejects limited range being a negative factor in car ownership.

    For example: The GEM I drive at work is very basic. The battery level readout displays 8 bars side-by-side. 6 green bars, a yellow bar, and a red bar. The recharge time, per bar, is about 45 minutes @ 110v. Very easy to understand. Everyone who uses the GEM realizes that there is a circular area where the vehicle will operate before recharge. I have personally tested the range to the limit. And operate the GEM within the understood range circle with minor range anxiety issues. This takes time to learn and get used to. But the EV owner is able to adapt.

    =D-Volt

    iMiEV
    iMiEV%20LA.jpg


  202. 202
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:48 pm)

    Starcast: If it makes you happy: Are you better of now then you were in 2006 before the Dems took control of the house and senate (and government spending) at the start of 2007?

    #172

    Yes.


  203. 203
    Tim

    -3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tim
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:51 pm)

    Very disappointing GM. Over promise, under deliver.

    I think this might be the last bait and switch for me. Can we believe the “50% or more” of your production will be FFV by 2012?

    If you’d make the vehicles, the pumps will follow.

    Hope it will actually be a plug-in.


  204. 204
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:52 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: I think this whole discussion is just a tempest in a teacup over a feature that is barely usable due to lack of E85 pumps.

    #175

    Absolutely. You can’t get the stuff here anyway, so who cares? Somebody already said it above, but it’s worth saying again. If people some don’t buy it because it won’t run on 85, it just means more for the rest of us.

    LJGTVWOTR!! NPNS! NMST!


  205. 205
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (5:59 pm)

    Tim: If you’d make the vehicles, the pumps will follow.

    lol….
    THAT’S what I was trying to come up with for the past few hours. You beat me to it.

    /brain dead today :o (


  206. 206
    Noel Park

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (6:04 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: God save us and our stupid politics.

    #199

    Amen brother. Tell it like it is! +1


  207. 207
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (6:07 pm)

    jeffhre: Great story also but like DonC said, ad hoc ergo proctor hoc. Looking for the nexxus that connects the result to the claim, there are also other reasons for fat pigs.

    #200

    Yeah, kinda sounds like perpetual motion to me, LOL. +1


  208. 208
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (6:08 pm)

    Tim: Very disappointing GM.

    Understood. I am struggling with this issue as well. Some days I feel I’ll just pay what it cost to drive a Volt. On other days the ownership balloon deflates. The entire Volt project is as much about owner satisfaction. As it is Volt functionality.

    “What a long strange trip it’s been.” Jerry Garcia

    Whatever happens with the Volt. The image that will be forever in my mind. Is seeing former GM CEO Rick Wagoner tooling up to Congress in a taped together Volt mule sporting bare stock steel wheels. How strange is that?

    =D-Volt


  209. 209
    CaptJackSparrow

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (6:09 pm)

    Dave K.: I have personally tested the range to the limit. And operate the GEM within the understood range circle with minor range anxiety issues.

    You can apply that to the Leaf bcuz it has a NAV system that shows you the radius range you can go to.
    I’ve done some “Pimp my Golf cart” mods. They are as basic as an electric scooter you buy at Toys R Us. A charger, batt pack, small BMS, controller, throttle and brakes. I took a 48VDC cart and slapped in a 72VDC LiFePO4 TS with 100A BMS pack, small Kelly controller and a ADC9 motor. Needless to say, he had to be careful on the greens because he kept giving lawn jobs when he took off.
    An EV should be basic. Only the necessities to “getchathere”. Leave the extra’s for someone else who wants them. I hate when you have to get a package of crap to get just one thing from it.


  210. 210
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (6:12 pm)

    Is this great, or what? I go out, run my little errands, do my little “administration”, come back, agree with everybody who beat me to it on the comments, punch out a few “+1s”, and my work is done! You guys are awesome! Blog on!


  211. 211
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (6:14 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: I hate when you have to get a package of crap to get just one thing from it.

    #209

    See what I mean? +1


  212. 212
    Mike-o-Matic

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mike-o-Matic
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (6:27 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: You could drink that sh|t?!?!?!?!
    I can go to the station and fill up my frosty cold pitcher?!?!?!?
    Is it like “Everclear”?

    Well, as E85 is still 15% gasoline, I don’t think I’d try that. And E100 (racing fuel) has additives in it which would probably kill you (don’t want you doing that yourself so they’re handling it on your behalf! ;-) )


  213. 213
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:03 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    Waittaminute…
    You could drink that sh|t?!?!?!?!
    I can go to the station and fill up my frosty cold pitcher?!?!?!?
    Is it like “Everclear”?   

    They say that the 15% of E85 that is gasoline is the amount that it takes to make it “not palatable”. Otherwise, it’d be straight alcohol. Granted, they might not have counted on you (lol).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  214. 214
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:24 pm)

    RB: Gross “…we want to get up to scale as quickly as we can—then expand nationally within several years.”” “Within several years” sounds like it could be a long long time for many of us.

    Agreed about the “long, long time” but it’s all relative. 10 minutes waiting for a root canal is an eternity, but a century is an eye-blink in geological time. Long winded way of saying that I agree that *whenever* we get a Volt, it won’t be soon enough. The shiny side is that the Volt *will* be out there, and God Willing, someday we’ll actually have one. In the meantime we’re watching some history here in the USA.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  215. 215
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:33 pm)

    jeffhre:
    Geat story!!!
    Great story also but like DonC said, ad hoc ergo proctor hoc. Looking for the nexxus that connects the result to the claim, there are also other reasons for fat pigs. Maybe the moonshiners can afford to give the pigs more feed, you know there’s a lot of corn mash sittin’ around.
    Any way just wanted to use some fancy words here, because my four year old son isn’t impressed by them at all. He just says, lets play, he has Jolt and he noticed Jolt’s brother Volt at the top of this page.  

    I understand the reasoning, but the pigs were not just fat. They were drunk too!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


  216. 216
    JohnK

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (9:38 pm)

    I have an interesting hypothetical explanation for the E85 problem.
    I am a lifelong software developer, so this is me putting myself in the developers shoes.
    We know that GM has been obsessing about adjusting the software that controls the ICE and throttle transitions. Not sure why this is a problem, but it seems that it has taken a significant amount of time. All along I suspect that they assumed that because the “E85 hardware” was not a limiting factor and that any software developed would work for either fuel with probably one or two conversion factors. So now they get this to the point where it is reasonably working for the test case they are dealing with (gasoline) and now we sit down to test for the other case. Woops. When do we apply the conversion factors? Do we have to ask the driver every time he refuels what kind of fuel he is putting in? That would be a user interface change (a big one). Woops again, what do you mean it is not ALL gasoline or E85? You mean we have to allow for a third of a tank of gas when we put in E85. And what if we don’t fill the tank? And then of course there are the software routines that are meant to stir the fuel to keep it from stagnating. And those routines may not be a matter of simple conversion factors.


  217. 217
    James

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    James
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:12 pm)

    DonC: We have totally different takes on this. I think that people who will spend $45K on what is essentially a $20K car have to be motivated by the technology. The alternative for those people are not a but something different. For example, the Prius is not a very nice car, but the friends I have who downgraded from their Mercedes E series seem very happy. Ditto for the reaction to the mini-E, which is not in my view a very well implemented EV technology (and at a very high price as well). Not a great car but the people who have them like them despite all the problems.I think GM will rightfully get cut some slack on the Volt. It’s such new and exciting technology that a lot of minor faults will be overlooked, at least by the vast majority (doubtless there will be a few vocal critics). It’s not really impossible to do a groundbreaking car without a few issues cropping up. Heck, as the Prius shows us, car manufacturers have trouble releasing even a new model without some issues.That is not to say that GM should just toss the car out there and hope for the best. All the testing they are doing is great. But when the problems come up, as long as they are willing to listen and fix thing I think they’ll come out smelling like roses.  (Quote)

    Amen! I could not have said it better myself. Thanks Don for conveying my point to perfection.

    IMHO The perfect storm is developing here – Toyota is on the hot seat like never before. Today’s news was now the COROLLA has steering issues and the NHTSA is on it as we speak. Nissan and others took a wrong turn on BEVs. Not to mention my Prius with HID headights that I am sure will be the next major media safety alert.

    Let’s Get the VOLTS on the road ( as glitch-free as possible ). GM, please capitalize on the climate in the marketplace and the opportunity. It’s as if God has opened the door for the VOLT to bring GM back into solvency. DON’T BLOW IT BY DRIBBLING OUT VOLTS like molasses in January to only the privelaged few!!!!!!!


  218. 218
    James

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    James
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:31 pm)

    Hey Don C, I do have to say there is one observation you made I do disagree with although as a whole you nailed it, IMO.

    You said, ” The Prius is not a very nice car”, and you were framing that based upon a comparison with a Mercedes E class. It’s all about perception, of course. In my old vernacular as a “car guy” from birth – yes, I’d qualify an ICE E class as a solid, safe and technically advanced mode of transport. Today, I have “SEEN THE LIGHT” so to speak, and my entire scope of a “nice car” revolves around , “does it use nineteenth century, explosion and fumes technology as it’s main source of propulsion”? And, “is it aerodynamic, clean and efficient compared to competitor’s models?”.

    Using those criteria, the Mercedes is NOT a “nice car” at all. Be it that it crash tests well, and has nice leather and solid, yet antiquated dynamics.

    I have gripes with my Prius, as you’ve stated regarding future Volts, it’s evolving technology. It is a pleasant car on the highway. It’s lightweight, as for mileage purposes and price-point balanced with it’s expensive batteries and electronics. But it’s computer interface, it’s ergonomics ( steering wheel controls for HVAC, Defrost, Nav, Menu and Audio, and it’s quiet performance in ICE mode or EV is very very satisfying indeed.

    Ask any Prius owner. I wouldn’t trade my Prius with leather and power everything for any Mercedes no matter the cost.


  219. 219
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Feb 17th, 2010 (10:58 pm)

    James: Hey Don C, I do have to say there is one observation you made I do disagree with although as a whole you nailed it, IMO.You said, ” The Prius is not a very nice car”, and you were framing that based upon a comparison with a Mercedes E class. It’s all about perception, of course. In my old vernacular as a “car guy” from birth – yes, I’d qualify an ICE E class as a solid, safe and technically advanced mode of transport. Today, I have “SEEN THE LIGHT” so to speak, and my entire scope of a “nice car” revolves around , “does it use nineteenth century, explosion and fumes technology as it’s main source of propulsion”? And, “is it aerodynamic, clean and efficient compared to competitor’s models?”.Using those criteria, the Mercedes is NOT a “nice car” at all. Be it that it crash tests well, and has nice leather and solid, yet antiquated dynamics.I have gripes with my Prius, as you’ve stated regarding future Volts, it’s evolving technology. It is a pleasant car on the highway. It’s lightweight, as for mileage purposes and price-point balanced with it’s expensive batteries and electronics. But it’s computer interface, it’s ergonomics ( steering wheel controls for HVAC, Defrost, Nav, Menu and Audio, and it’s quiet performance in ICE mode or EV is very very satisfying indeed.Ask any Prius owner. I wouldn’t trade my Prius with leather and power everything for any Mercedes no matter the cost.  

    Finally something we can agree on: It’s not always about the money (or the amenities, or…)
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!****No More “Stay Tuned”!


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


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


  222. 222
    Herto

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herto
     Says

     

    Feb 18th, 2010 (4:32 am)

    BDP: Your fuel cost is less = true
    Your distance traveled is less = true
    Do the math….

    Your fuel cost is 30% less.
    Your distance traveled is 20% less.
    I did the math : driving E85 is cheaper.


  223. 223
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Feb 18th, 2010 (6:25 am)

    Plenty of E85 pumps in the Vegas area.

    Last visit saw a surprising number of Dodge Charger taxi cabs. The most popular vehicles used as taxi cabs here in Santa Barbara are the Prius and the Scion. Like most small cities. The early morning traffic is mostly delivery vehicles. Battery power is sure to replace gasoline for short haul delivery use. Quiet operation with no smoke.

    =D-Volt


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


  225. [...] The good news here is that it will be available later in 2011.  GM also says it would like more help from the government to push for more E85 stations.  Right now GM spends about $100 million a year to add E85 capability to its cars and trucks.  More stations might help encourage people to purchase E85 equipped vehicles.  For more details, head on over to GM-Volt.com. [...]


  226. 226
    Grouch

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Grouch
     Says

     

    Feb 18th, 2010 (1:40 pm)

    koz: koz
    Isn’t a car’s average lifetime 15 yrs? How easy would it be to convert aftermarket?

    Re: converting a conventional gasoline car to run on E85.

    It depends on how good you want the conversion to be.

    I’ve run an unmodified car on a fairly high Ethanol / Gas mixture, as high as 50% ethanol. I only did this for a couple of tanks, and it worked fine. The engine was quieter, and the engine had less power, and the fuel economy went down. But it also seems to have cleaned my throttle body for me. The risk of doing this, though, is that the fuel-lines and other plastic parts of the fuel system may rot much more quickly than the would on a car that was designed for E85. Also, the engine is effectively running “leaner” on E85 than it is on gasoline, so E85 is likely to put some extra stress on the engine’s cooling system, so I wouldn’t try this in Death Valley. A third risk is that the catalytic converter may not work properly, since the composition of the exhaust isn’t what the designers expected. I knowingly took all of these risks when I tried this.

    There are a lot of kits on the market for a couple of hundred dollars that just fake out the ECU when E85 is in the fuel line, to get it to richen the mixture. But, as far as my Internet-research has taken me, these kits don’t include ethanol compatible plastic/rubber parts of the fuel system, so the fuel lines and seals are still likely to rot before their time.

    A proper kit would probably include a new set of fuel lines, seals, filters, pump(s), and some electronics to detect the amount of ethanol in the fuel and adjust the engine’s mixture somehow. Also, a proper kit would give some consideration to the health of the catalytic converter and the tailpipe emissions. But, if you have an old car and you expect to replace all of the parts in the foreseeable future anyway, then all you need for the conversion is a way to adjust the mixture to match whatever the fuel happens to be that day.

    One other factor to consider is that E85 can run at a much higher compression than gasoline. So, an engine that was actually optimized to run on E85 and not gasoline would be a totally different engine. Running an engine optimized for gasoline on E85 is just that — not optimized, but it works OK.


  227. 227
    David

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    David
     Says

     

    Feb 18th, 2010 (3:37 pm)

    I can’t believe such an announcement! All it takes to make a modern engine run E85 is software and larger injectors! Early E85 models needed a sensor to determine the ethanol/gas mix ratio, but that sensor isn’t needed any more. It’s asinine that EVERY engine cannot be flex-fuel capable. It’s just the program in the ECU.

    Grouch:
    Re: converting a conventional gasoline car to run on E85.It depends on how good you want the conversion to be. …. The engine was quieter, and the engine had less power, and the fuel economy went down. …. the fuel-lines and other plastic parts of the fuel system may rot much more quickly than the would on a car that was designed for E85. Also, the engine is effectively running “leaner” on E85 than it is on gasoline, so E85 is likely to put some extra stress on the engine’s cooling system …. A third risk is that the catalytic converter may not work properly …. these kits don’t include ethanol compatible plastic/rubber parts of the fuel system, so the fuel lines and seals are still likely to rot before their time..  

    Don’t be confused by the myths. And every caveat you stated is a myth. If it’s done right, an engine will make more power with E85, but get less MPG. But with lower cost per gallon, the cost per mile should be the same or less.

    Almost every vehicle made since the mid-70′s should be able to handle E85 with no damage to plastic or rubber parts, because the old materials were being phased out at that time to handle the “gasohol” that was introduced then. Ethanol also burns cooler than gasoline, so even if it’s running lean, overheating is not an issue.

    Finally, the catalytic converter will be perfectly happy. The proper fuel mixture still presents the cat with the same ratios of hydrocarbon, oxygen, NOx, etc., whether running pure gas, E85, or any mixture in between.

    The main issue with converting older cars is compression. If the compression ratio is lower than about 9.3:1, then cold weather starting becomes an issue.

    I converted my 1988 Pontiac Firebird, with a 1976 400 cid engine, and 1982 302 heads, to run flex-fuel. I do have a switch that I have to adjust for different mix, but that’s ONLY because of a limitation of the software in the ECU I’m using. How about this? 480 ft-lbs and 380 horses on gas. 510 ft-lbs and 410 horses with E85. 0-60 in 4 seconds flat, and 12′s in the quarter mile. Oh…. And in an EPA fuel economy loop test, it gets 30 mpg with gas, 26 with E85. Not bad.


  228. 228
    First Chevy Volt cars will not be E85 ready | penlau software

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    First Chevy Volt cars will not be E85 ready | penlau software
     Says

     

    Feb 18th, 2010 (3:59 pm)

    [...] “We are finalizing some of our options and the associated timing that goes with them. The E85 capable emission package will have its timing finalized soon. It will not be available for November 2010,” Posawatz told GM-Volt.com. [...]


  229. 229
    kent beuchert

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kent beuchert
     Says

     

    Feb 19th, 2010 (9:47 pm)

    Biofuels are dead. Even the greenies now oppose them. Seems as though only the corn farmers of the Midwest still are eager to push ethanol. ehtanol.


  230. 230
    Jimza Skeptik

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jimza Skeptik
     Says

     

    Feb 20th, 2010 (8:57 am)

    I am not surprised by the lack of emphasis on E85. E85 came to Wisconsin with great fanfare years ago. However price, (Wisconsin) is only about 15% lower than regular unleaded. MPG on my Taurus Flex Fuel dropped by 27% based on 1 year of “normal” driving, so I was paying more for gas. (Side note: E85 is more like E65-E70 during winter in Wisconsin or performance would suffer.) The masses will not pay more for gas. Also, with government subsidies keeping E85 artificially low at some point that will stop. The cost and carbon footprint to convert corn to fuel is not pretty either. Finally using a low cost food source for fuel will are raising questions with hunger advocates. E85 availablity while strong in the cold midwest, will not grow significantly in the coming years. Volts will primarily be sold in non E85 states in the near future, so it is smart for GM not to worry about that feature for now. Once battery technology gets better for cold weather states (Midwest), and IF E85 can be low cost sourced from other products besides corn, then GM can think about that option.

    Rashiid Amul: Their kidding, right?Just because there aren’t enough pumps now, doesn’t mean there won’t be a bunch more during the lifetime of first Volts. It adds only about $100 USD to the cost of a car for it being E85 capable. I don’t understand what the big deal is here to just make this setup the default when building it.This comes as a complete surprise to me.  (Quote)


  231. 231
    First Chevy Volt cars will not be E85 ready

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    First Chevy Volt cars will not be E85 ready
     Says

     

    Feb 20th, 2010 (6:38 pm)

    [...] “We are finalizing some of our options and the associated timing that goes with them. The E85-capable emission package will have its timing finalized soon. It will not be available for November 2010,” Posawatz told GM-Volt.com. [...]


  232. [...] “We are finalizing some of our options and the associated timing that goes with them. The E85-capable emission package will have its timing finalized soon. It will not be available for November 2010,” Posawatz told GM-Volt.com. [...]


  233. 233
    Bill Jenkins

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Bill Jenkins
     Says

     

    Mar 28th, 2010 (9:19 pm)

    I’m going to bookmark this blogg on Mixx to get more clicks for you.


  234. 234
    iPad Accessories

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    iPad Accessories
     Says

     

    Apr 4th, 2010 (6:42 am)

    I am unable to wait until the particular apple ipad is out with friends in the united kingdom, i’ve come across some online reviews coming from All of us customers and yes it looks brilliant. I’ve come across some incredible accessories ^ around the corner also! ipad PWNS!