Jul 16

Obama Attends LG Chem Battery Plant Groundbreaking and Gets First Seat Time in the Chevy Volt

 


[ad#post_ad]President Obama visited Holland Michigan on Thursday to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony of the new LG Chem battery plant. This plant was funded in part by a DOE stimulus grant of $151 million with a matching $151 million provided by LG Chem. Once fully operational in 2012, the plant will be capable of producing enough cells for 200,000 hybrids and electric cars, and will specifically be making the cells both for the Chevrolet Volt and the upcoming Ford Focus Electric, expected to go on sale in 2011.

“This is about more than just building a new factory,” said Obama. “It’s about building a better future for this city, for this state, and for this country.”

The Obama administration has pledged a goal of putting 1 million electric cars on US roads by 2015. So far the Recovery Act has contributed $2.5 billion towards United States electric car battery and component plants, 26 of which are already in some stage of construction. Nine of these are battery plants, including ones from A123 Systems and Johnson Controls. These facilities can collectively expect to produce 500,000 electric cars annually, and are expected to help transform Michigan into the electric car battery capital of the country.

The 650,000 square foot LG Chem plant is expected to produce 300 jobs.

“The workers at this plant, already slated to produce batteries for the new Chevy Volt, learned the other day that they’re also going to be supplying batteries for the new electric Ford Focus as soon as this operation gears up,” said Obama. “That means that by 2012, the batteries will be manufactured here in Holland, Michigan. So when you buy one of these vehicles, the battery could be stamped “Made in America” -– just like the car.”

Obama also predicted that all this investment in electrification of the automobile, will lead to more affordable electric cars in the future.

“Because of advances in the manufacture of these batteries, their costs are expected to come down by nearly 70 percent in the next few years,” he said. “That’s going to make electric and hybrid cars and trucks more affordable for more Americans.”

“It also means we’re going to be less dependent on foreign oil,” he added.

During the event, Obama got to check out and sit in both the Ford Focus Electric and for the first time, the Chevrolet Volt.

We have come a very, very long way from January 2007.

Obama Meets President and Vice President of LG Chem

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 16th, 2010 at 6:20 am and is filed under Battery, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 145


  1. 1
    Rashiid Amul

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (6:24 am)

    More publicity is good.
    The plant is being built here and will employee Americans.
    God knows we need more jobs.


  2. 2
    Rashiid Amul

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (6:25 am)

    From the article:
    “Because of advances in the manufacture of these batteries, their costs are expected to come down by nearly 70 percent in the next few years,” he said. “That’s going to make electric and hybrid cars and trucks more affordable for more Americans.”

    “It also means we’re going to be less dependent on foreign oil,” he added.

    I hope he knows something I don’t. A price drop of 70% in a few years would be excellent.
    And wide adoption of these vehicles is not going to happen until the price comes down and the masses can afford it.


  3. 3
    JohnK

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (6:26 am)

    (click to show comment)


  4. 4
    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (6:28 am)

    Finally we can make something, we can build something. An industrial base is absolutely necessary for the survival of America as something other than a third world country. I can feel my electric car already. The time is so near. My Chevy Volt will be ordered by my dealer in November. I am so excited like a little kid at Christmas time.

    Take Care,
    TED


  5. 5
    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (6:32 am)

    JohnK: It is good that the USA is going to be building batteries, and in particular Michigan. But that is one ton of taxpayer money. There has to be a better way. I guess that capitalism is on the wane.  (Quote)

    The Government helps maufacturers in every part of the world. Why not in the United States?
    Beats the heck out of signs by the side of the freeway to tell us how the stimulus is financing road projects.

    Take Care,
    TED


  6. 6
    JohnK

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (6:33 am)

    Rashiid Amul: I hope he knows something I don’t. A price drop of 70% in a few years would be excellent.

    Not so sure that would be all that good. Many people would not volunteer to be early adopters if they thought that their $40,000 car was going to have a trade-in value of only $20,000.


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    JohnK

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (6:37 am)

    Any ideas on what color the Volt is? It seems to have a reddish tint when light hits it from the side. Of course that might be red lights that are shining on it.


  8. 8
    nuclearboy

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (6:45 am)

    JohnK: Not so sure that would be all that good. Many people would not volunteer to be early adopters if they thought that their $40,000 car was going to have a trade-in value of only $20,000.

    This might be another reason why mass producing Volt Version 1.0 is not the greatest idea. Version 2.0 could be cheaper and easier to produce.


  9. 9
    Rashiid Amul

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (6:45 am)

    In the third picture, President Obama looks like a cardboard figure.


  10. 10
    nuclearboy

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (6:46 am)

    JohnK: It seems to have a reddish tint when light hits it from the side. Of course that might be red lights that are shining on it.

    That tint is the reflection from the bright orange car sitting next to it.


  11. 11
    Chris C

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (6:54 am)

    Obama’s on the right track, so many presidents have talked about our oil addiction but he is the first to do something about it. Without him the Volt would not have been possible. Good job GM and welcome to LG Chem.


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    Jim in PA

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:00 am)

    The LG Chem Pres and VP look downright giddy. Too funny.

    Welcome LG Chem. With all of the investment the US has made in Asia it’s always good to see Asian companies return the favor and open facilities here. I still view Asian companies as our economic competitors, but the common ENEMY is the House of Saud.


  13. 13
    nuclearboy

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:04 am)

    Chris C: Obama’s on the right track, so many presidents have talked about our oil addiction but he is the first to do something about it. Without him the Volt would not have been possible. Good job GM and welcome to LG Chem.

    In reality, the Volt was started before he took office and the previous congress put up money for battery research and to help save the auto business. Obama followed up with an auto bailout for sure.

    The point is, the Volt is not an Obama project nor is it the project of any govt entity. GM made this happen and Lyle is probably more responsible than our govt.


  14. 14
    Optimist

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:04 am)

    I’m glad I got to see this article before people come on here and start mercilessly bashing Obama. I’m a registered republican who voted for the guy. Sure, some of the money spent is probably gonna be wasted but I honestly think the free market, every big company manufacturing their goods in China and the U.S. being a bunch of managers, designers and sales people is really bad for the long term of our country. Some people like to build, they’d love to put together an iphone all day. At least for a while. At least they are producing something and there is something to show for their days work. Our systems rewards companies for doing things with the least amount of people at the lowest wages. And with our country at a trade deficit and the rich getting richer that means the middle class is smaller. It’s unsustainable. I think we need someone to step in and lay down some rules. I think Obama is trying to do that.


  15. 15
    nuclearboy

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:06 am)

    Jim in PA: With all of the investment the US has made in Asia it’s always good to see Asian companies return the favor and open facilities here.

    I read elsewhere that after federal + state + local tax breaks and incentives, this plant was essentially a give away. I am glad we have it and hope Michigan becomes the battery building capital of the US and a major player world wide. I am just suggesting that an Asian Company did not do us any favors in this case.


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    Eco

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:08 am)

    JohnK: It is good that the USA is going to be building batteries, and in particular Michigan. But that is one ton of taxpayer money. There has to be a better way. I guess that capitalism is on the wane.  (Quote)

    yea, the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles was right out of the soviet 5 year plan.


  17. 17
    Chris

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:12 am)

    As someone else stated other countries (most) have provided government support to their industries for decades. Japan/Korea/China/Germany all come to mind. Instead we did nothing except for the politically connected industries (Banking/Finance/Oil) about time Americans woke up and used their rational senses rather than emotional and understand how the world really works rather than listening to some talking head pushing a political agenda. I’m predicting the Volt will be much more popular than most suspect.


  18. 18
    Jim in PA

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:12 am)

    nuclearboy: I read elsewhere that after federal + state + local tax breaks and incentives, this plant was essentially a give away. I am glad we have it and hope Michigan becomes the battery building capital of the US and a major player world wide. I am just suggesting that an Asian Company did not do us any favors in this case.

    Well geez, I try to be gracious at least once or twice a year, and look what happens! ;)

    I would argue that a Korean plant also would have been built with heavy Korean govt subsidies. My guess would be that it would have been a wash for them wherever they built it, and that we have GM to thank for this plant being built here, in all reality.


  19. 19
    ECO_Turbo

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:20 am)

    How many people paid $10,000 (2010 equivalent) for one of these?

    ibm_pc_xt.jpg


  20. 20
    Schmeltz

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:25 am)

    Let’s hope this is the first of many, many battery factories in the U.S.

    Does anyone know if there are more pics of this somewhere?


  21. 21
    nuclearboy

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:32 am)

    Jim in PA: we have GM to thank for this plant being built here, in all reality.

    Agreed.

    And stop being gracious so often :) .


  22. 22
    kdawg

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:32 am)

    It will be great to see truckloads of batteries going from Holland to Detroit down I-96.
    Grandholm is trying to make Michigan the battery center of the US. Hopefully her successor follows suit. We definately need the jobs here and any new industry helps. I also like the fact that this is a high-tech industry that requires a lot of research and most of the universities are participating in some way.

    I wonder if LG is also going to work w/any of the many windmill companies popping up in West Michigan.


  23. 23
    Faz

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:33 am)

    JohnK: It is good that the USA is going to be building batteries, and in particular Michigan.But that is one ton of taxpayer money.There has to be a better way.I guess that capitalism is on the wane.  

    It’s in the best interest of the country for the federal government to jumpstart particular industries. We did that with the space industry which yielded uncountable consumer products that benefited our country. Same with the Eisenhower national highway project. Could you imagine if we left the building of our highway infrastructure to private companies? The uncountable benefits we’ve received from those investments could not have occurred without the federal government. Of course, that should be the limit of involvement- we don’t want the government involved in private business or continuing to tell private companies how to “utilize” the highways they just built for the country. Other countries are spending billions upon billions on building a strong foundation for the electrification so that they can benefit in the future. It’s hard for private companies to compete with this in the beginning because of the massive amounts of capital needed.


  24. 24
    nuclearboy

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:33 am)

    ECO_Turbo: How many people paid $10,000 (2010 equivalent) for one of these?

    Many of us did. The price drop over the years has been incredible.


  25. 25
    RB

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:34 am)

    (click to show comment)


  26. 26
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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:34 am)

    OT, but GM should really go test the Volt on the Mt Washington Auto Road in NH. I wasn’t even allowed to drive my Civic on it recently because it didn’t have a locking first gear. Would be a great “Pike’s Peak” like test.

    (Interestingly, Honda has an agreement to pay for a guided tour if any of their cars don’t have the locking second gear, so I got a $58 tour for free. Now that’s standing behind your products!)

    Of course, if GM doesn’t do this, I might try to make history and be the first Volt owner to do so. Slot #5 at Nesenger Chevy on Long Island! :)


  27. 27
    Bryan

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:42 am)

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  28. 28
    Gsned57

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:43 am)

    Just to clarify a little it was President Bush who signed HR 1424 that gives a $7500 tax break for buying the Volt. That IMHO is about the only thing any politician has done in support of the volt. The LG Chem battery decision was made before there were stimulus dollars to build an American battery plant, and the Volt has been around since 2007 (Was President Obama even a senator at that point?) The one thing he has done aside from Photo ops is to let GM go bankrupt (I personally support that decision). I don’t think any president including our current one has put us on a real track to energy independence. I think GM is making a product that can get us on that track and that’s why I’m on this site. The politicians pay some lip service and take photo ops, but where is the plan with benchmarks and proper policy? Aside from HR1424 I see a lot of money thrown at different places and an arbitrary goal of 1,000,000 EV’s 2 years after his first term is up. The goverenment buys a lot of vehicles and they could put orders out to make them EREV’s or EV’s.

    Chris C: Obama’s on the right track, so many presidents have talked about our oil addiction but he is the first to do something about it.Without him the Volt would not have been possible.Good job GM and welcome to LG Chem.  


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    ClarksonCote

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:45 am)

    Err, #26 is supposed to say Honda pays if your car doesn’t have a locking first gear.

    join thE REVolution


  30. 30
    tom w

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:46 am)

    ECO_Turbo: How many people paid $10,000 (2010 equivalent) for one of these?

    I did! Guess i’m going to repeat that mistake with my Volt or Leaf or whatever I can get a hold of first.

    At least we’re moving in the right direction. I still think 2012 is the year where momentum will skyrocket (unless Israel attacks Iran). By 2012 they will have better designs, and thats about the longest they’ll be able to keep Oil prices as low as they currently are (unless world economies collapse of course).


  31. 31
    Gsned57

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:46 am)

    I drove that road before and when I got to test the Volt in NYC the maximum regen mode made me think how great it would have been to have a volt on that road. There would be very minimal braking on the MT. Washington Auto road in a Volt. I just wonder how much of a charge you would get on the way down!

    ClarksonCote: OT, but GM should really go test the Volt on the Mt Washington Auto Road in NH.I wasn’t even allowed to drive my Civic on it recently because it didn’t have a locking first gear.Would be a great “Pike’s Peak” like test.(Interestingly, has an agreement to pay for a guided tour if any of their cars don’t have the locking second gear, so I got a $58 tour for free.Now that’s standing behind your products!)Of course, if GM doesn’t do this, I might try to make history and be the first Volt owner to do so. Slot #5 at Nesenger Chevy on Long Island!   


  32. 32
    nuclearboy

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:47 am)

    RB: The question is how long Volt (or gm) will survive, if it does, once Obama leaves and government subsidies end.

    If the Volt cannot survive without Obama, then it is probably not a good idea. If the Volt is a good idea, it surely does not need the governments help. God help us if US companies cannot produce desired consumer products without the Govt ‘s help.

    IMO, The govt subsidy (7500 tax credit) is not needed to sell the Volt in the limited numbers that are currently planned for the first two years. I would also argue that the auto makers will bring the cost down on BEV’s and E-REVs to the point where no govt subsidies are needed.


  33. 33
    tom w

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (7:52 am)

    Gsned57: Just to clarify a little it was President Bush who signed HR 1424 that gives a $7500 tax break for buying the Volt

    During 2008 campaign McCain also promised as much money to support development of electric cars and batteries. At this point it isn’t hard to see electric cars are coming and they will create many American jobs (both building cars and batteries as well as keeping Oil money in our economy to create even more jobs), so it isn’t too hard to understand how great electric cars are for our economy. The only question is at what rate they need to ramp up production and what should government do to help. I sure hope government does not give any more money to specific companies (picking winners / losers), but I do think they should extend the rebates to more vehicles.

    The current 200,000 per manufacturer rebate does not give companies much incentive to produce 200,000 per year does it. Like to see these rebates extended to more vehicles and a slower wind down in rebate per vehicle. Though I also think all rebates should expire by about 2016.


  34. 34
    ClarksonCote

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:07 am)

    Gsned57: I drove that road before and when I got to test the Volt in NYC the maximum regen mode made me think how great it would have been to have a volt on that road. There would be very minimal braking on the MT. Washington Auto road in a Volt. I just wonder how much of a charge you would get on the way down!  (Quote)

    Nice, I hope I get to test drive the Volt before I get my own.

    The concern I have, is what if the battery fully charges halfway down the road? Does the motor just start dumping the energy as heat, or do you have to start using the disc brakes?


  35. 35
    Chuck B

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:17 am)

    Chris C: Obama’s on the right track, so many presidents have talked about our oil addiction but he is the first to do something about it. Without him the Volt would not have been possible. Good job GM and welcome to LG Chem.  (Quote)

    Also, didn’t good ol’ evil George W. led the biggest increase in wind and solar of any country in the world in his time in office? So tired of politicians stepping in and taking credit for everything good that happens while they are in office… yet blaming the previous administration for anything bad that happens on their watch…


  36. 36
    neutron

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:18 am)

    JohnK:
    Not so sure that would be all that good.Many people would not volunteer to be early adopters if they thought that their $40,000 car was going to have a trade-in value of only $20,000.  

    I do not mind being a early adopter even if there is a price drop. If you remember computers started out higher priced. They got more powerful and cheaper.

    I will put a lot of miles on my VOLT and 2 things will probably happen. I will probably drive it into the ground OR in 4 to 6 years just buy that 70% cheaper more powerful battery and keep going :=] …… or buy a new cheaper, more powerful VOLT (in a different color for variety) :+} :+}

    If one waits for the “cheaper” VOLT or other electric in the future….. how sad it would be to LOSE ALL OF THE FUN DRIVING ONE COULD HAVE NOW. Just like waiting on the more powerful computer tech in the future.

    Enjoy it now and the new stuff in the future.


  37. 37
    tom w

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:19 am)

    tom w: During 2008 campaign McCain also promised as much money to support development of electric cars and batteries. At this point it isn’t hard to see electric cars are coming and they will create many American jobs (both building cars and batteries as well as keeping Oil money in our economy to create even more jobs), so it isn’t too hard to understand how great electric cars are for our economy. The only question is at what rate they need to ramp up production and what should government do to help. I sure hope government does not give any more money to specific companies (picking winners / losers), but I do think they should extend the rebates to more vehicles.The current 200,000 per manufacturer rebate does not give companies much incentive to produce 200,000 per year does it. Like to see these rebates extended to more vehicles and a slower wind down in rebate per vehicle. Though I also think all rebates should expire by about 2016.  (Quote)

    My point is I’d like to see the rebates so that manufacturers aren’t dragging their feet for fear of using up their rebates too soon. I’d like them to have as many rebates as they could possibly sell, but start winding down the rebates so in 6 years or so these cars have to stand on their own. That way manufacturers would have the incentive to build as many as they can to get the economies of scale down, and not worry about using up their rebates too soon.


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    Mike D.

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:20 am)

    ClarksonCote:
    Nice, I hope I get to test drive the Volt before I get my own.The concern I have, is what if the battery fully charges halfway down the road?Does the motor just start dumping the energy as heat, or do you have to start using the disc brakes?  

    I doubt you’d be able to re-capture a full battery charge, unless you started at the top completely charged to begin with. There is a lot of energy loss, and regen only re-captures a small amount of it.


  39. 39
    Larry McFall

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:21 am)

    It is about time that the president of the United States visits the operation of the future. GM is at least making some effort toward being in the 21st Century and parting from the costly notion that oil is king.

    I imagine that oil will rule the day for a long time to come but, it is nice to reduce usage and carbon immisons. The Voltec is a great system however, it is a rather old system of provide traction power as we have used in on our locomotives for years.

    Keep up the good work GM. I would like a Volt but I would also like to know how much I would have to fork out for one. Assuming with the limited information that I have gotten is that it will be over $40,000.00.

    I hope this project does not become another EV1 trick.


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    jeff j

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:22 am)

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  41. 41
    question mark and the mysterions

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:29 am)

    Locking gears? What the heck is that?

    ClarksonCote: OT, but GM should really go test the Volt on the Mt Washington Auto Road in NH.I wasn’t even allowed to drive my Civic on it recently because it didn’t have a locking first gear.Would be a great “Pike’s Peak” like test.(Interestingly, Honda has an agreement to pay for a guided tour if any of their cars don’t have the locking second gear, so I got a $58 tour for free.Now that’s standing behind your products!)Of course, if GM doesn’t do this, I might try to make history and be the first Volt owner to do so. Slot #5 at Nesenger Chevy on Long Island!   


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:29 am)

    Mike D.: I doubt you’d be able to re-capture a full battery charge, unless you started at the top completely charged to begin with. There is a lot of energy loss, and regen only re-captures a small amount of it.  (Quote)

    Fair enough, I suppose it makes sense to assume that you’re not charging up top. How does the Volt handle other situations though with engine braking and a full battery? Anyone know?

    join thE REVolution


  43. 43
    neutron

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:29 am)

    kdawg: It will be great to see truckloads of batteries going from Holland to Detroit down I-96.
    Grandholm is trying to make Michigan the battery center of the US.Hopefully her successor follows suit.We definately need the jobs here and any new industry helps.I also like the fact that this is a high-tech industry that requires a lot of research and most of the universities are participating in some way.I wonder if LG is also going to work w/any of the many windmill companies popping up in West Michigan.  

    I agree. Michigan was a leader for automobiles. I would be great to get a little glory back especially with electric cars like the VOLT and Ford products built in MIchigan.

    I have read batteries are part of many storage options for wind and solar farms so let’s hope there is a connection here for LG.


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    neutron

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:30 am)

    jeff j: 150 million / 300 jobs = 500,000 per job
    The Government is great at taking your money and terrible at spending it !!!!!!500,000 * 4 million =$2,000,000,000,000 to spend to get back to 2008 job levels , Trust Obama still?  

    Let us see your plan.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:32 am)

    Been looking for a photo of Obama actually sitting inside the Volt – I’m sure they snapped some – But cannot find any so far.

    If you can find one – post it – and GM should post them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, heck, ALL OVER THE PLACE.

    You want to sell Volts by the truckload? – Show Obama in a Volt – job done.

    RECHARGE!

    James


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:37 am)

    nuclearboy: The point is, the Volt is not an Obama project nor is it the project of any govt entity. GM made this happen and Lyle is probably more responsible than our govt.

    What really helped create the Volt concept was:
    1) the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car”
    2) the success of the Toyota Prius
    3) the Tesla Roadster
    4) the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”

    All of these dominated the media in 2006, so GM was somewhat forced to come up with some type of response.

    Once the concept car was shown, Lyle helped spread the word. The public response to the Volt concept eneded up being 2-3 times what GM expected. That’s when they started developing a production version of the Volt.

    As for Obama, yes he did bail GM out, but I don’t think the Volt had much to do with it. That was more about saving 2-3 million jobs and preventing another depression. After the IPO, GM will eventually repay all of the taxpayer money from the backrupcy. So in the end it will cost taxpayers nothing. That’s a good deal.

    I believe capitolism is a very good thing, but too much of a good thing often causes problems. There needs to be some balance. For example, the U.S. has public roads, public schools, public parks, etc. These aspects of our government are socialist. In the end, no government is purely capitolist or purely socialist. Nothing is really black and white, its a matter of degree.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:39 am)

    ClarksonCote:
    Fair enough, I suppose it makes sense to assume that you’re not charging up top.How does the Volt handle other situations though with engine braking and a full battery?Anyone know?join thE REVolution  

    The Volt has standard mechanical brakes just like any other car. This is by law, as I recall Toyota was attempting to circumvent mechanical brakes and proposed only using the regen and motor braking, but that was shot down (fortunately) by the govt regulators.

    I also remember reading about a mechanic who inspected the pads from a Toyota Prius, which uses regen braking, and after serveral thousand miles, they were almost like new.

    After the Toyota fiasco, you can bet that GM and everyone else is not going to take any chances with relying on any thing other than proven technology, when it comes to stopping (and saving your life) your car.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:41 am)

    What the heck is UP with the Volt’s seams/joints in that first picture? That is horrible looking, especially near the outlet. Did the guy that designed the Aztec have a hand in that?

    I don’t want to be a buzkill, but I will not buy that.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:42 am)

    I see the civic money used to buy a qualifying car as a way of keeping manufacturing and development costs from prohibitively effecting MSRP. Is the number of $4 of MSRP is equal to $1 of vehicle cost? Cutting battery cost from 10 grand down to 3 will happen quicker with more cars being sold to the market demand with significant incentives. The Volt and Leaf are +$30 grand vehicles. What’s the market for them? +$20g is a heck of a lot more significant to get the vehicles rolling. How long will it take to have batteries expensed and retail priced with the rest of the car? Will 200,000 cars on the road do it? With the rapid advances in batteries, it just might.

    All down the line, the politicians, believe it or not, have somehow actually become a reflection of us. We’re the early adopters of a car and an automotive system that has a tremendous social impact.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:44 am)

    ClarksonCote:
    Nice, I hope I get to the Volt before I get my own.The concern I have, is what if the battery fully charges halfway down the road?Does the motor just start dumping the energy as heat, or do you have to start using the disc brakes?  

    I drove the Rocky mountains in my Prius.

    Going UP the battery drained fairly quickly.
    Then the engine took the full load and went over 5000+ rpm. ( my guess)

    Going DOWN the battery charged fairly quickly ( regeneration ) -no brakes needed – when fully charged the engine again revved to 5000 + rpm.
    Things smelled hot, but very little brakes were used. ( Brakes are still at 60% after 96K miles so I think “regen” works very well))

    When I checked the web for info about mountain driving the link said the engine activity was normal.

    So I suspect when the battery is charged, going down hills, the engine will probably give off the excess energy as heat.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:46 am)

    neutron: I agree. Michigan was a leader for automobiles. I would be great to get a little glory back especially with electric cars like the VOLT and Ford products built in MIchigan. I have read batteries are part of many storage options for wind and solar farms so let’s hope there is a connection here for LG.  (Quote)

    I believe the idea was that the energy companies would be buying EV batteries at the end of their life cycle from EV owners to use as an energy buffer on intermittant renewable energy sources like solar and wind. There will certainly be a market for used up batteries.


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    Sledgehammer Jones

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:47 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:48 am)

    Good progress being made this week. BP is beginning to turn the corner on the Gulf oil disaster. And Obama is continuing his electric car in every garage in America theme. Details on options and price are on the way.

    =D-Volt


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:50 am)

    James: Been looking for a photo of Obama actually sitting inside the Volt – I’m sure they snapped some – But cannot find any so far.
    If you can find one – post it – and GM should post them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, heck, ALL OVER THE PLACE.You want to sell Volts by the truckload? – Show Obama in a Volt – job done.RECHARGE!James  

    I think having someone like that transformer chick, wearing a string bikini, would sell more Volts. But that’s just me….


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:53 am)

    jeff j: 150 million / 300 jobs = 500,000 per jobThe Government is great at taking your money and terrible at spending it !!!!!!500,000 * 4 million = $2,000,000,000,000 to spend to get back to 2008 job levels , Trust Obama still?  (Quote)

    The government is great at wasting money. My personal all time favorite US Economic Stimulus Plan was: Give 100,000 people age 55 $1,000,000 with the stipulation they must immediately quit all work, buy a new car and buy a house. This creates jobs, sells cars and houses and stimulates the economy. A no-brainer!


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:53 am)

    Sledgehammer Jones: Without Mr. Musk and his company, Tesla, there would be NO VOLT PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE.

    Is that you “Holdin MyCrotch”

    I think you are wrong. It was Mr. Musk’s Father who got the balls rolling. Without him there would be no Mr. Musk. Oh wait, I think it was the grandfather…..

    On a serious note, it does sound like Musk is a player too. Just one more reason why we must be careful giving Obama all the credit.

    Politicians of all stripes like to find a parade and get out in front of it.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:54 am)

    Sledgehammer Jones:
    Without Mr. Musk and his company, Tesla, there would be NO VOLT

    More along the lines of no laptop, no cell phone, no Tesla. Mr rubberhammer.
    The progression would still be EV-1, Prius, Volt. The Panasonic battery being the common thread.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:55 am)

    JohnK:

    I take it you’re not aware of the steep decline in value of 40K cars by that comment. That is actually good compared to most luxury cars.


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    neutron

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Dave G:
    What really helped create the Volt concept was:
    1) the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car”
    2) the success of the Toyota Prius
    3) the Tesla Roadster
    4) the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”All of these dominated the media in 2006, so GM was somewhat forced to come up with some type of response.Once the concept car was shown, Lyle helped spread the word.The public response to the Volt concept eneded up being 2-3 times what GM expected.That’s when they started developing a production version of the Volt.As for Obama, yes he did bail GM out, but I don’t think the Volt had much to do with it.That was more about saving 2-3 million jobs and preventing another depression.After the IPO, GM will eventually repay all of the taxpayer money from the backrupcy.So in the end it will cost taxpayers nothing.That’s a good deal.I believe capitolism is a very good thing, but too much of a good thing often causes problems.There needs to be some balance.For example, the U.S. has public roads, public schools, public parks, etc.These aspects of our government are socialist.In the end, no government is purely capitolist or purely socialist.Nothing is really black and white, its a matter of degree.  

    Great post!

    IMHO very few things are “Black and White” A friend of mine calls it “Gray Mush”

    The bailout of GM was definitely about keeping jobs and surrounding economies going where the plants are. The VOLT just happened to be part of mix.

    If GM was not bailed out the development of the VOLT would have been set back. ( probably cancelled).

    This site may not have survived and there would one less place to discuss the benefits of electric cars.

    Actions that are done for the good of people generally workout best for all.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:57 am)

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I would have liked to see a picture with the Volt and the Focus sitting side by side to see which is bigger and looks better. I know, I should say the Volt looks better, but we all know it will not be the best looking electric or hybrid on the road next year or the next. It looks good. It looks like a Chevrolet. But it could look better, sleeker. IMO


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:57 am)

    Although I’m sure the photos are real, it sort of looks as though Obama and the others are Photoshopped into the pictures of the Volt–especially the one where everybody is standing behind the car–a la The Onion style. (www.theonion.com)


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:58 am)

    Chris C: Without him the Volt would not have been possible. Good job GM and welcome to LG Chem

    If you’re passing out credit, don’t forget to thank George W for using tarp funds to keep GM alive until “O” got into office. ;-)


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:59 am)

    neutron: Let us see your plan.

    see #33


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:02 am)

    JohnK: It is good that the USA is going to be building batteries, and in particular Michigan.But that is one ton of taxpayer money.There has to be a better way.I guess that capitalism is on the wane.  

    Boy JohnK,
    Never heard you be so negative.
    Putting gov money into something is not bad as long as they are bootstrapping a young industry. Gee even Republicans would agree with that.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:02 am)

    Re: Victory Red Volt

    I haven’t heard much chatter here about the final finished and tweaked interior of the Volt. Seems to me this is big news and the photos can be seen here: http://green.autoblog.com/photos/first-red-chevrolet-volt/#3172866

    There are a lot of observations and final details never seen before on this near ( 99.6% ) production Volt. I mentioned some 2 days ago, but for kicks I’ll mention some again…

    - The new non-knuckle-busting shifter. Is the new design better?

    - The new upholstered interior door panels. Hooray, Gone are the shiny plastic with Jetson’s graphics!

    - The bright blue ignition button.

    - Sport Mode button still on console. Is that a good design? Should be a paddle behind wheel or button on wheel IMO.

    - New function switch ( 2 buttons in center of console under touchscreen ). Rubber rings around the outer rims for tactile feel? Improvement? I think so.

    - First visual of tan leather interior and gray center console. I’m no fan of the white plastic console and would order the gray, but the shiny plastic is a dust magnet as you can see in the photos and white would not show the dust. Also, will all instrument binnacles be white as the picture indicates or will GM match it with the gray console? Is this a final tweak, as this Volt looks pretty much showroom ready. Will GM provide an anti static microfiber cloth in the glovebox? My ’07 Prius has shiny glossy plastic pieces on the center console cup holder covers and cubby cover on the center stack – total dust farms even when the interior is spotless. I’ve considered waxing them with a plastic wax to cut down the static cling. Volt looks like it’ll have the same issues. I notice the 2010 Prius has axed the shiny plastic.

    - Victory Red Volt looks sharp. Notice no parking sensors in bumpers? Is this feature dropped or just this particular unit not optioned with it?

    - Steering wheel has undergone slight detail/appearance upgrade – no more white shiney spokes. Yay!

    - What is everyone’s opinion of the nibs in lieu of buttons on the console? I’ve already seen testers quoted as calling them confusing and fiddly – and I think we’ll hear much more controversy on them. I like the backlit look of Volt’s console at night – but I think the design of the buttons will cause the driver’s eyes to be off the road more than normal when searching for functions.

    - Final version red Volt has 17″ wheels. GM’s latest promo shots show a silver Volt with 18″s or 19″s. Will that be an option?

    What’s your take? Like it better?

    RECHARGE!

    James


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:03 am)

    kdawg: It will be great to see truckloads of batteries going from Holland to Detroit down I-96.

    TRAINLOADS of batteries. Shipping everything by $%)(*$)!! trucks instead of trains is costing us at least 10% of our total petroleum use.

    A train burning diesel is 5 times more fuel efficient. That’s with today’s infrastructure.

    Rail electrification has been technically viable since 1920 and at $4 a gallon is even financially viable.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:04 am)

    James: Been looking for a photo of Obama actually sitting inside the Volt – I’m sure they snapped some – But cannot find any so far.
    If you can find one – post it – and GM should post them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, heck, ALL OVER THE PLACE.You want to sell Volts by the truckload? – Show Obama in a Volt – job done.RECHARGE!James  

    When Obama took office, he had to be politically correct and get rid of his red Chrysler 300C HEMI.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:04 am)

    Sledgehammer Jones:
    Wrong answer doofus. You sound like one of those wacko revisionist historians. Let it be known that ELON MUSK was the single most import individual in the creation of the Volt.
    Without Mr. Musk and his company, Tesla, there would be NO VOLT PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE.  

    ACTUALLY it was Bob Lutz that created the VOLT. He noted what was going on at Tesla and decided GM could do a lot better. And they will/are.
    AND without the GM Bailout the VOLT probably would not be here today.

    Plus TESLA needs Toyota and government grants to keep going so.. Elon has done good stuff but he needs outside help to make Tesla a going concern.

    Appears the “end of sentence” needs qualifying quotes…. :+}


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:05 am)

    Matthew B:
    TRAINLOADS of batteries.Shipping everything by $%)(*$)!! trucks instead of trains is costing us at least 10% of our total petroleum use.
    A train burning diesel is 5 times more fuel efficient.That’s with today’s infrastructure.Rail electrification has been technically viable since 1920 and at $4 a gallon is even financially viable.  

    How about both?


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:06 am)

    Nick D:
    I believe the idea was that the energy companies would be buying EV batteries at the end of their life cycle from EV owners to use as an energy buffer on intermittant renewable energy sources like solar and wind.There will certainly be a market for used up batteries.  

    I have heard this theory about using old batteries for storeage devices. In my opinion, this is very unlikely, except for maybe a few country nuts who are looking for a cheap way to power a still. After 10 years, maybe your battery has 70% of its charge window left.

    My reasoning is that since battery price is likely to drop over those 10 years, and the technology will likely obsolete the old chemistry, that anyone who is looking to invest in battery storage for wind/solar, is going to want something that will last a long time. Also, the battery in the Volt is designed for use in an automobile and has a lot of baggage that is not really necessary for a static storage device, and therefore targeted storage devices for wind/solar, would likely be less costly than an automotive device.

    I would expect that some batteries could be resold, but your likely not going to get much for them in 10 years. More likely GM/others will have a recycling/trade-in program.

    Anyway, in 10 years you can all tell me how wrong I was…. ;)


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:09 am)

    question mark and the mysterions: Locking gears? What the heck is that?  (Quote)

    My automatic transmission Civic has the following shifter positions: P/R/N/D/3/2… No “1″ (which is the ability to lock the transmission into first gear). With the steep grades on the auto road, second gear is (supposedly) insufficient engine braking to keep you from overheating your brakes.

    That’s why I was curious about the Volt; since the engine doesn’t directly slow the vehicle like a conventional engine, can the electric motor still hold you back in a full charge scenario? I know you have mechanical brakes too, but in the unlikely case of going down this mountain starting with a full battery, you’d still want the electric motor to be holding you back, even if it’s dumping the resulting energy as heat.

    snowcoach08_169WEB.jpg

    join thE REV olution


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:11 am)

    RB:
    It wasn’t when it started, but now it has become both.The question is how long Volt (or gm) will survive, if it does, once Obama leaves and government subsidies end.  

    Yes I wonder. Something tells me the Republicans will stop EV funding. The money could be better spent in Afghanistan.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:16 am)

    Actually truth be known, The Volt as originally envisioned by Robert “Maximum Bob” Lutz was to be a pure EV almost identical to Elon Musk’s Model S sedan. That’s right take a close intimate look at the Tesla Model S and you will see what the original Chevy Volt was supposed to be. Unfortunately to greenlight the program Mr. Lutz succumbed to bad advise from GM management and added the infamous ICE and turned the EV into and ER-EV which added cost, longer development time and undue complexity but it was supposedly the only way he could get the GM Board of Director’s to go along with it. Interesting to note that every single one of those stupid board member are now gone. I say good riddens to them a-holes. Anyways that is how it really went down folks.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:18 am)

    James: Sport Mode button still on console. Is that a good design? Should be a paddle behind wheel or button on wheel IMO.  (Quote)

    James, I don’t think sport mode is supposed to be like a gear. Much like the Tesla roadster’s modes, sport mode is supposed to be an all-around peppier ride than the alternative. Since the intent isn’t to briefly use it for passing, I think the console location makes more sense.

    If they had a “passing mode”, I could see it being on the wheel as you suggest. I would hope that, if one ever floors the accelerator, the Volt will give you all the energy it can, negating the need for a passing mode.

    join thE REVolution


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:22 am)

    ClarksonCote: My automatic transmission Civic has the following shifter positions: P/R/N/D/3/2… No “1″ (which is the ability to lock the transmission into first gear). With the steep grades on the auto road, second gear is (supposedly) insufficient engine braking to keep you from overheating your brakes.

    Thanks for the clarification. I had absolutely no idea what “locking gears” were either.
    On my recent drive down Mount Evans in Colorado, I noticed that ride was much easier than the Mt Washington ride down. I drive a standard shift and didn’t have to use the brakes much coming down MT. Evans, but MT Washington is another matter. It may be considerably shorter, but it is definitely steeper on the road.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:22 am)

    ECO_Turbo: How many people paid $10,000 (2010 equivalent) for one of these?  

    I bought a clone (8086 proc with 8087 math co-proc) for $2000 (1986ish money). DOS 2.1. Turbo button to go from 8MhZ to 12MhZ. Good times.

    In hindsight, that 2-grand would be a big pile of money now had I bought Microsoft stock instead.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:25 am)

    Matthew B:

    Matthew B: TRAINLOADS of batteries. Shipping everything by $%)(*$)!! trucks instead of trains is costing us at least 10% of our total petroleum use.

    A train burning diesel is 5 times more fuel efficient. That’s with today’s infrastructure.

    Rail electrification has been technically viable since 1920 and at $4 a gallon is even financially viable.

    train

    You lost me. “at $4 a gallon is even financially viable. ”

    Trains are the most efficient mode of transportation. It does not matter what the price of fuel is.

    Also, when it comes to locomotive versus semi transport, there are so many pluses to train over truck. One of the primary reasons that trucking is even able to compete with trains is that we (taxpayers) pay to build the entire infrastructure for trucks, but the train industry has to cover the whole bill when it comes to building railroad tracks. The degradation of our roads is primarily caused by heavy truck traffic, and therefore we are constantly paying reconstruction fees. Then you have the traffic congestion caused by trucking. A primary reason for traffic jams is large, slow accelerating vehicles, and trucks are the main contributor to this.

    While we still need trucking for local transport, most long haul transport of goods could/should be done using the locomotive.

    Investing in the locomotive industry would likely have a larger impact on petroleum use (at least near term, and the technology already exists), than the electrification of automobiles.

    But, why not do both?


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:25 am)

    Larry McFall: I imagine that oil will rule the day for a long time to come but, it is nice to reduce usage and carbon immisons. The Voltec is a great system however, it is a rather old system of provide traction power as we have used in on our locomotives for years.

    I like the gist of your thinking. But I will take a minute to criticize just one point. The technology for putting Voltec in a compact mass produced car is revolutionary. Have you seen many small cars sporting a GE based diesel electric locomotive scale propulsion system? Saying otherwise is like saying cell phones did not create an industrial advance because phones already existed.

    It’s been said that cell phones could have been made long before transistors were invented. A great idea? Of course, leaving the only problem with your portable phone, which would have been stuffed with delicate vacuum tubes, being that it was the size of the Washington monument!


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:25 am)

    N Riley: I don’t know about the rest of you, but I would have liked to see a picture with the Volt and the Focus sitting side by side to see which is bigger and looks better. I know, I should say the Volt looks better, but we all know it will not be the best looking electric or hybrid on the road next year or the next. It looks good. It looks like a Chevrolet. But it could look better, sleeker. IMO  (Quote)

    one word….

    Converj


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:26 am)

    ECO_Turbo: How many people paid $10,000 (2010 equivalent) for one of these?  

    Many did. But, it was $10,000 in 1980 dollars. It would be more like… Hmmm… $40,000 in 2010 dollars. Interesting… things that make you go Hmm…


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:27 am)

    Scoot McHenry:
    Actually truth be known, The Volt as originally envisioned by Robert “Maximum Bob” Lutz was to be a pure EV almost identical to Elon Musk’s Model S sedan. That’s right take a close intimate look at the Tesla Model S and you will see what the original Chevy Volt was supposed to be. Unfortunately to greenlight the program Mr. Lutz succumbed to bad advise from GM management and added the infamous ICE and turned the EV into and ER-EV which added cost, longer development time and undue complexity but it was supposedly the only way he could get the GM Board of Director’s to go along with it. Interesting to note that every single one of those stupid board member are now gone. I say good riddens to them a-holes. Anyways that is how it really went down folks.

    Lutz was the catalyst, no doubt. Being the product and marketing guy in GM made it real. The EV-1 crew made the Volt the significant car it is today. I don’t understand how some people make the Volt as a bad thing? Don’t have the money for one? The progression of a Voltec system has more potential than other modes of transportation. The Voltec has a real chance of making a significant dent in the SUV market. The BEV really can’t do that any time soon.


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    JohnJ

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:28 am)

    jeff j: 150 million / 300 jobs = 500,000 per job
    The Government is great at taking your money and terrible at spending it !!!!!!500,000 * 4 million =$2,000,000,000,000 to spend to get back to 2008 job levels , Trust Obama still?  

    The 300 jobs is steady-state. So take 300 jobs times, say, $10K per year per job in federal taxes times 20 years (probably an under-estimate) and $60 million of that $150MM is directly returned to the federal coffers. Some lesser amount is directly added to Michigan’s empty bank account.

    Now, add permanent jobs for the truckers that will haul the batteries to the car plants (and add truck sales & support jobs). Add more permanent jobs for suppliers of the parts or raw materials for the plant. Still more jobs for the 2-5 restaurants that will open or stay open due to the plant’s jobs. Add or retain jobs at other retail places that will sell goods to the plant employees. Retain a few jobs in the local school system. Add revenue for the local utility companies, cable or satellite providers, and other service providers. The domino effect of pumping money into an economy will provide a lot of lift beyond the plant’s doors.

    You can also add a bunch of temporary construction jobs for the building of the plant itself.

    Seems like a worthwhile investment to me even before you add the benefit of EVs and EREVs.


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    Alan

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:29 am)

    James: Been looking for a photo of Obama actually sitting inside the Volt – I’m sure they snapped some – But cannot find any so far.
    If you can find one – post it – and GM should post them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, heck, ALL OVER THE PLACE.You want to sell Volts by the truckload? – Show Obama in a Volt – job done.RECHARGE!James  

    Here is a gallery of President Obama at the plant opening, there is one of him sitting in the car in their somewhere

    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=C4&Dato=20100715&Kategori=NEWS&Lopenr=7150803&Ref=PH&Profile=1322&SectionCat=Obama-hails-new-plant


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    Rashiid Amul

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:30 am)

    Loboc:
    I bought a clone (8086 proc with 8087 math co-proc) for $2000 (1986ish money). DOS 2.1. Turbo button to go from 8MhZ to 12MhZ. Good times.In hindsight, that 2-grand would be a big pile of money now had I bought Microsoft stock instead.  

    Ah, if we could only go back, even just briefly. You and I would could then buy stock in Microsoft.


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    Johnny Mac

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:30 am)

    ECO_Turbo: How many people paid $10,000 (2010 equivalent) for one of these?  

    Hey I helped to build some of those back in the summer of ’81, fond memories. We built some of the original PCs in Huntsville, Alabama for IBM. I was actually building voice-recognition systems for the F-15 fighter jet at the same company but we all got to see some of those things they called “Personal Computers” being made at one of our new manufacturing plants we built near the Tennessee river.

    These days I live and breath MacIntosh as the PC just stopped innovating and became just a commodity item for the masses.


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    ClarksonCote

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:35 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Thanks for the clarification. I had absolutely no idea what “locking gears” were either.On my recent drive down Mount Evans in Colorado, I noticed that ride was much easier than the Mt Washington ride down. I drive a standard shift and didn’t have to use the brakes much coming down MT. Evans, but MT Washington is another matter. It may be considerably shorter, but it is definitely steeper on the road.  (Quote)

    Yeah I was surprised how steep it is too. Highest peak in the Northeast, but still relatively small compared to others in the US. Hoping to hike it this fall along with some other presidentials.

    I didn’t expect anyone else on this site to have driven up it. Maybe we can organize a Volt trip up Mt Washington sometime. We can all crash with my folks about 30 minutes away. ;)

    join thE REVolution


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    Loboc

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:39 am)

    “The 650,000 square foot LG Chem plant is expected to produce 300 jobs.”

    This plant must be highly automated. That’s over 2,100 sf per employee.


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    Nick D

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    JEC: I have heard this theory about using old batteries for storeage devices. In my opinion, this is very unlikely, except for maybe a few country nuts who are looking for a cheap way to power a still. After 10 years, maybe your battery has 70% of its charge window left.My reasoning is that since battery price is likely to drop over those 10 years, and the technology will likely obsolete the old chemistry, that anyone who is looking to invest in battery storage for wind/solar, is going to want something that will last a long time. Also, the battery in the Volt is designed for use in an automobile and has a lot of baggage that is not really necessary for a static storage device, and therefore targeted storage devices for wind/solar, would likely be less costly than an automotive device.I would expect that some batteries could be resold, but your likely not going to get much for them in 10 years. More likely GM/others will have a recycling/trade-in program. Anyway, in 10 years you can all tell me how wrong I was….   (Quote)

    Utility companies have already been negotiating these deals. Keep in mind a “Dead” volt battery wil still hold 8Kwh of energy. 60,000 “dead” volt batteries will hold 480 Mwh. Keep in mind that even a completely used volt battery will likely hold more energy than 8Kw becasue it will not be fully dead.

    Also at the current time these intermittant sources have no energy storage in place, something is better than nothing. If they can buy a used battery for 10% of the price of a new one and add a buffer to the grid, why not?

    I imagine days where a wind farm also has a warehouse full of old ev batteries. As they become useless to the energy company they can then be recycled.


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    DonC

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:45 am)

    Gsned57: The one thing he has done aside from Photo ops is to let GM go bankrupt (I personally support that decision). I don’t think any president including our current one has put us on a real track to energy independence.

    People hate change and they’ll avoid it if at all possible. The only real way to destroy oil as a strategic commodity is to make using it financially unpalatable. A gas tax would work. I’m thinking an excise tax at the time of purchase would be even better — assume the vehicle will go X miles using Y gallons of oil over its lifetime and pay an excise tax of $3/gallon. You’d very quickly see vehicles that didn’t use oil — CNG, LPG, bio-fuel, electrics, and so forth. (I always advocate CNG because I think it involves the least changes and so it the most likely to be accepted even though personally I’m more interested in EVs for the technology).

    The problem is that you have a huge base of people with a vested interest in the status quo and those people will feel losses disproportionately to gains. So the car dealer will go crazy thinking he/she will never sell another vehicle when in fact he/she would just be selling CNG trucks instead of gas or diesel powered ones. Plus the reality is that regardless of how big a gain there might be, there is never any gain without pain.

    As for which Administration has been more proactive in trying to move us away from oil, the Obama Administration has been far more active. That hardly seems arguable — in fact you don’t need to do anything except compare Bush’s Energy Secretary Sam Bodman to Steven Chu. The Bush Administration’s energy policy primarily consisted of invading Iraq to get more oil and in opening up more areas for drilling domestically. You can agree or disagree with how effective these policies were, but to my mind they were misguided because, at the end of the day, even if successful they could only serve to increase the power of oil as a strategic commodity.


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    Michael

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:46 am)

    James: Been looking for a photo of Obama actually sitting inside the Volt – I’m sure they snapped some – But cannot find any so far.

    Video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v15jBeeFmGo&feature=player_embedded


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    DonC

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:49 am)

    Loboc: This plant must be highly automated. That’s over 2,100 sf per employee.

    They are very automated. What’s interesting is that BYD has become very successful by gong the opposite route, avoiding automation, and substituting labor for capital. Lots of workers and much less equipment in a BYD plant. Not entirely clear if you can move that technology to a higher wage country or in fact how it works with rapidly rising wage rates in China.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:53 am)

    Dave G: What really helped create the Volt concept was:
    1) the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car”
    2) the success of the Toyota Prius
    3) the Tesla Roadster
    4) the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”

    I’d say the biggest motivator(s) was the advancement of Li-ion batteries with their lower cost and higher energy densities, and the price of oil escalating. This started to make a business case for a Volt-like vehicle.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (9:59 am)

    nuclearboy: God help us if US companies cannot produce desired consumer products without the Govt ’s help.

    I’m assuming you’re referring to car companies and not referring to the nuclear industry, which can’t produce anything without huge government subsidies and, even worse, without government guarantees.

    But yes, this type of support is like a war — easy to start and hard to end. Just look at all the useless farm subsidies.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:01 am)

    DonC:
    They are very automated. What’s interesting is that BYD has become very successful by gong the opposite route, avoiding automation, and substituting labor for capital. Lots of workers and much less equipment in a BYD plant. Not entirely clear if you can move that technology to a higher wage country or in fact how it works with rapidly rising wage rates in China.  

    I work for an AUTOMATION company as an engineer. We are actually “un-automating” (made up word), our automated production test equipment that is going to Asian countries.

    The Asian countries would much rather pay 10 people to manually test a product during manufacturing, than pay for skilled labor to maintain the highly automated equipment.

    It just seems so wrong in so many ways, but that is exactly what we are doing.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:03 am)

    ClarksonCote:
    Yeah I was surprised how steep it is too.Highest peak in the Northeast, but still relatively small compared to others in the US.Hoping to hike it this fall along with some other presidentials.I didn’t expect anyone else on this site to have driven up it.Maybe we can organize a Volt trip up Mt Washington sometime.We can all crash with my folks about 30 minutes away.
    join thE REVolution  

    Good luck on your hike.
    I live in Connecticut, so I have been to New Hampshire many many times.
    I usually stay in Gorham and do Mt. Washington, as well as take the kids to “Story Land” and “Santa’s Village”.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:05 am)

    Matthew B: TRAINLOADS of batteries. Shipping everything by $%)(*$)!! trucks instead of trains is costing us at least 10% of our total petroleum use.
    A train burning diesel is 5 times more fuel efficient. That’s with today’s infrastructure.
    Rail electrification has been technically viable since 1920 and at $4 a gallon is even financially viable.

    Oh, I meant CNG trucks :)

    Actually there are train routes between the cities, so I wouldn’t be surprised.
    And there’s always been this talk of a hi-speed electric rail between Detroit and Chicago. I’ve been hearing about it for years in Michigan, but nothing ever seems to happen.


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:06 am)

    I wonder if I should even try to wade in on a thread which has such potential for political strife. Perhaps I’d better just re-post my comment from yesterday:

    We should all be cautious when tempted to align any EV (especially the Volt) with any particular political interest. Today’s case in point: We have heard all week of Obama’s visit to the LG Battery Facility in Holland, MI. Apparently, his visit, and assertion there that the factory represents proof of the success of the controversial “stimulus”, has put the plant squarely in the cross-hairs of the “New Media.”

    We should never attempt to put vehicle electrification at the mercy of the election cycle.

    The Volt, the LEAF, and the PHVs are good for all America. I happen to think that the Volt is best because it alone (at this moment) is making meaningful progress as a US-owned enterprise.

    It is perhaps just as well that Lyle has put up a new item:

    http://gm-volt.com/2010/07/16/official-toyota-and-tesla-to-revive-the-rav-4ev/


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    DonC

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:11 am)

    kdawg: I’d say the biggest motivator(s) was the advancement of Li-ion batteries with their lower cost and higher energy densities, and the price of oil escalating.

    These seem more like reasons why, as you say, you can make a business case for the Volt. His reasons seem more like motivations for, as he said, the Volt concept.


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    EVNow

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:16 am)

    JohnK: It is good that the USA is going to be building batteries, and in particular Michigan. But that is one ton of taxpayer money. There has to be a better way. I guess that capitalism is on the wane.  (Quote)

    Remember, GM would be dead by now but for Obama. Bush had refused to bail out GM.

    We have never had “free market” capitalism ever – in any country. Industry has always benefitted enormously from governments all over. Infact governments essentially do things that lobbyists get them to do – and lobbyists are mostly paid by specific companies or industry associations. When I say government – I’m talking about both the executive & the legislature (and in many places judiciary as well).


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:18 am)

    I think a lot of it is storage. As cells need to age a little before use. (not sure how long)

    Loboc: “The 650,000 square foot LG Chem plant is expected to produce 300 jobs.”This plant must be highly automated. That’s over 2,100 sf per employee.  (Quote)


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:19 am)

    Loboc: When Obama took office, he had to be politically correct and get rid of his red Chrysler 300C H

    That had nothing to do with being politically correct. The president isn’t allowed to drive his own car. Too many security issues.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:24 am)

    neutron: ACTUALLY it was Bob Lutz that created the VOLT. He noted what was going on at Tesla and decided GM could do a lot better. And they will/are.
    AND without the GM Bailout the VOLT probably would not be here today.

    Plus TESLA needs Toyota and government grants to keep going so.. Elon has done good stuff but he needs outside help to make Tesla a going concern.

    Appears the “end of sentence” needs qualifying quotes…. :+}

    Yes. They need a lot of cash. Just like every other start-up. I don’t think there’s anything inherently superior about venture capital money…


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:25 am)

    JEC: I work for an AUTOMATION company as an engineer. We are actually “un-automating” (made up word), our automated production test equipment that is going to Asian countries.
    The Asian countries would much rather pay 10 people to manually test a product during manufacturing, than pay for skilled labor to maintain the highly automated equipment.
    It just seems so wrong in so many ways, but that is exactly what we are doing.

    LOL.. yeah, we had to dumb down some stuff installed in China too. Its counter-intuitive. While I was working there I was talking to some other Americans from another company, and they said they can’t put any of their hi-tech stuff in the plant. Some of the reasoning was due to the lack of knowledge of the workers, the rest was due to concern the Chinese would copy it and compete w/them.


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    Jim in PA

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:36 am)

    DonC: They are very automated. What’s interesting is that BYD has become very successful by gong the opposite route, avoiding automation, and substituting labor for capital. Lots of workers and much less equipment in a BYD plant. Not entirely clear if you can move that technology to a higher wage country or in fact how it works with rapidly rising wage rates in China.

    That should serve as a warning of potentially low quality for the BYD product. One significant reason why nearly all cars in America are high quality today (even the Koreans for godssake!) is the high degree of automation that has been worked into the manufacturing process. If I am buying a new guitar, I want a handcrafted instrument made by an artisan. But I will happily buy a car made by a robot (controlled, of course, by very very skilled assembly line technicians).


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    Tagamet

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:41 am)

    neutron: Sledgehammer Jones:
    Wrong answer doofus. You sound like one of those wacko revisionist historians. Let it be known that ELON MUSK was the single most import individual in the creation of the Volt.
    Without Mr. Musk and his company, Tesla, there would be NO VOLT PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE.

    ACTUALLY it was Bob Lutz that created the VOLT. He noted what was going on at Tesla and decided GM could do a lot better. And they will/are.
    AND without the GM Bailout the VOLT probably would not be here today.

    Plus TESLA needs Toyota and government grants to keep going so.. Elon has done good stuff but he needs outside help to make Tesla a going concern.

    Appears the “end of sentence” needs qualifying quotes…. :+}

    It wins.
    Tagamet


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:42 am)

    LauraM:
    That had nothing to do with being politically correct.The president isn’t allowed to drive his own car.Too many security issues.  

    Welcome back!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:46 am)

    nuclearboy: Sledge

    It wins.
    Tagamet


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (10:59 am)

    Ted in Fort Myers: The Government helps maufacturers in every part of the world. Why not in the United States?

    child: Mom, can I get a new iPhone?
    Mom: No.
    child: But mom, everyone else got one!!!!
    Mom: Well, if everyone jumped off a bridge……….


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    StevenU

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (11:05 am)

    Loboc: “The 650,000 square foot LG Chem plant is expected to produce 300 jobs.”This plant must be highly automated. That’s over 2,100 sf per employee.  (Quote)

    I assume there is lots of room for future expansion as needed. It is easier to get the equipment if the footprint can already accomodate it.


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    lousloot

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (11:26 am)

    (IBM PC) They should have waited for version XXVI to come out. large scale mass production of batteries is will drive battery prices down — If GM would build more Volts sooner, the 70% price reduction would show up sooner. Nice to hear Ford is going to help out with its battery purchases.

    I wish they would use the same cell, ha ha– I doubt it.

    ECO_Turbo: How many people paid $10,000 (2010 equivalent) for one of these?

    ibm_pc_xt.jpg


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    jeffhre

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (11:33 am)

    nuclearboy: The point is, the Volt is not an Obama project nor is it the project of any govt entity. GM made this happen and Lyle is probably more responsible than our govt.  

    And Lyle stuck his neck out as the decider to put aside 70 billion for GM, to save the economy and US manufacturing, plus the Volt. And he got Congress to shake $150 million loose from the EPA for the battery plant. Quick refresher dude, Lyle is the guy that started this web site and Obama is the guy in the oval.

    You might as well say you are more responsible than both of them because your comments here held both of their feet to the fire. We get that you don’t like the government…and your logic is still absurd.

    The GM that started this is long gone. Gone by tens of thousands from the board and CEO down, plus employees, investors, bondholders, shareholders.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (11:37 am)

    JohnK: It is good that the USA is going to be building batteries, and in particular Michigan.But that is one ton of taxpayer money.There has to be a better way.I guess that capitalism is on the wane.  

    151 million for LG Chem from the government is hardly a ton of tax payer money. It’s probably change they found in the couch.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (11:37 am)

    Rashiid Amul: More publicity is good.
    The plant is being built here and will employee Americans.
    God knows we need more jobs.  

    #1

    Amen. +1


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (11:40 am)

    Optimist: And with our country at a trade deficit and the rich getting richer that means the middle class is smaller. It’s unsustainable. I think we need someone to step in and lay down some rules. I think Obama is trying to do that.

    #14

    Thank you. +1


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (11:44 am)

    neutron: Plus TESLA needs Toyota and government grants to keep going so.. Elon has done good stuff but he needs outside help to make Tesla a going concern.

    They actually need the money to expand, at a time when other companies are contracting, car companies are collapsing, and banks are not lending money. Bad recession = new start ups need more help to expand, and start-up-car-company sounds more like a sophomoric joke than a real entity.

    If he just concentrated on building better Roadsters, rich boys toys, there would be no need for the funding from the outside sources. Quite an accomplishment in itself considering the economy.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (11:48 am)

    Frank B: 151 million for LG Chem from the government is hardly a ton of tax payer money. It’s probably change they found in the couch. 

    The assumption (hope) is the taxes and jobs generated will pay it back over the life of the loans or grants.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (11:57 am)

    EVNow: Remember, GM would be dead by now but for Obama. Bush had refused to bail out GM.

    Bush did not refuse to bail out GM. The bush Admin. logically said there is little time left and the next admin should decide.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (11:58 am)

    jeff j: 150 million / 300 jobs = 500,000 per job
    The Government is great at taking your money and terrible at spending it !!!!!!500,000 * 4 million =$2,000,000,000,000 to spend to get back to 2008 job levels , Trust Obama still?  

    Well now that you’ve shown all of us that you’re an idiot with overly simplistic thinking, kind of like Beck, here’s a chance to open your eyes and maybe even your mind. The 151M does not go to pay for the jobs created. It is applied to the design and construction of the plant. Do you understand construction and the associated costs? Doubtful. First you have the land cost, then the architect for the building and the required engineers to support the design, civil, structural, mechanical and electrical. Then their are the permit fees. Finally the project goes to bid, that’s when many contractors and their subs price the plans for the construction, generally the contractor with the lowest bid gets the project. Then construction starts, several months past and the owner finally has an empty building. Now he must purchase the equipment and supplies needed to make the batteries. Once the owner has everything in place he can now hire workers. Obviously that 151M is long gone by now, but it made possible the creation of these jobs.

    So welcome to the real world and yes, I still trust President Obama.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (12:00 pm)

    kdawg: I’d say the biggest motivator(s) was the advancement of Li-ion batteries with their lower cost and higher energy densities, and the price of oil escalating. This started to make a business case for a Volt-like vehicle.

    GM started working on the Volt concept car back in 2006. At that time, gas prices were about the same as they are today, and Li/Ion chemistries that didn’t catch fire or explode were in their infancy. So I believe the concept car was driven by bad press and competition.

    By the time GM approved the production version of the Volt, gas prices were soaring and more stable Li/Ion chemistries for automotive use were getting real. So I would agree that these were driving factors to take the Volt to production.


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    ClarksonCote

     

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (12:15 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: Good luck on your hike.I live in Connecticut, so I have been to New Hampshire many many times.I usually stay in Gorham and do Mt. Washington, as well as take the kids to “Story Land” and “Santa’s Village”.  (Quote)

    Nice! Have you eaten at the Yokohama Restaurant in Gorham? It’s always my favorite place to eat when I go back home.

    I grew up in Berlin, the next town north of Gorham… Small world it seems!

    join thE REVolution


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (12:31 pm)

    !!! GE based Diesel Electric for a small car?
    CooL, but.. You need the battery to do this well.

    I wonder why GE isn’t making electric motors for cars?

    “Current technology allows a locomotive to develop as much as 30 percent of its loaded driver weight in tractive force, amounting to some 120,000 pounds of drawbar pull for a large, six-axle freight (goods) unit.”

    jeffhre: Have you seen many small cars sporting a GE based diesel electric locomotive scale propulsion system?


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (12:46 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: From the article:“Because of advances in the manufacture of these batteries, their costs are expected to come down by nearly 70 percent in the next few years,” he said. “That’s going to make electric and hybrid cars and trucks more affordable for more Americans.”“It also means we’re going to be less dependent on foreign oil,” he added.I hope he knows something I don’t. A price drop of 70% in a few years would be excellent.And wide adoption of these vehicles is not going to happen until the price comes down and the masses can afford it.  (Quote)

    As someone very optimistic that the day has come for EV and other alternative propulsion options from the ICE, I think our President knows how to discourage further capital investment – at least for the interim… the 70% price drop is GREAT news for potential consumers, but I’m concerned that publicity like that may stall and delay further private/corporate investment in alternative fuel/EV design and production until the market proves out the demand is there. Its almost like advertising “hey, if you missed out on the billions of governement stimulus, don’t bother because the market pricing is about to plumet”. Yes, increased demand/production and continued advancements in battery technology will drive prices down over time, but lets not get ahead of ourselves!


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (1:12 pm)

    ClarksonCote:
    Nice!Have you eaten at the Yokohama Restaurant in Gorham?It’s always my favorite place to eat when I go back home.I grew up in Berlin, the next town north of Gorham… Small world it seems!join thE REVolution  

    Small world indeed.
    No, I haven’t eaten there. But it sounds like it might serve Sushi.
    I would have eaten there had I known.


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Jul 16th, 2010 (1:32 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: In the third picture, President Obama looks like a cardboard figure.  

    I hope y’all can forgive my political opining… but IMHO, president Obama is a cardboard figure.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    ECO_Turbo: How many people paid $10,000 (2010 equivalent) for one of these?  

    I +1′ed your point, but I also feel obliged to point out that there wasn’t a cheaper, more widely-accepted-yet-equally-capable gas-powered alternative at the time! (just sayin’ … :-)


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (1:37 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic: I hope y’all can forgive my political opining… but IMHO, president Obama is a cardboard cutout.  (Quote)

    What did cardboard ever do to you? Why call cardboard a dirty name like that? ;>)


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (1:57 pm)

    For those concerned about using TARP funds to subsidize this batter plant:

    http://www.good.is/post/our-lopsided-energy-subsidies-visualized/

    $70 billion subsidy to big oil vs $12 billion to renewable energy. $70 billion subsidy to big oil (not counting wars, etc.) is “free market” but a few million spent on this battery plant is a communist takeover of capitalism? Get real.

    And how long have we been talking about getting off oil dependence? A: since the 1970′s.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (2:01 pm)

    crew:
    More along the lines of no laptop, no cell phone, no Tesla. Mr rubberhammer.
    The progression would still be EV-1, Prius, Volt. The Panasonic battery being the common thread.  

    +++1 for use of “Mr. rubberhammer.” Best chuckle of the day ;-)

    Not drivin’ a lot of nails with that thing, is he?


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (2:04 pm)

    Chris C: Obama’s on the right track, so many presidents have talked about our oil addiction but he is the first to do something about it. Without him the Volt would not have been possible. Good job GM and welcome to LG Chem.  (Quote)

    What rubbish. Obama’s energy policy (if you can call it that) is about as stupid as it can get. These green technologies are a joke and will never work without government subsidies and you cannot subsidize forever. Solar and Wind will never produce more than a trivial amount of energy. 70% of oil in USA is used for transportation. Only 2% of oil is used for electrical energy and most of that is for portable sources. I’m a big fan of EREV but this was conceived of long before Obama came along. He’s trying to jump on the bandwagon. And GM should have gone through a standar Chap 11, not the crony UAW protection one that his administration produced. Obama’s executative order mandating fleet averages of 35.3mpg is stupidity squared. If he can get this by executative order why not 135.5mpg. No when it comes to energy (and just about everything else) the man is as dumb as a box of rocks and that goes double for the idiots who voted for this clown.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (2:22 pm)

    DonC: People hate change and they’ll avoid it if at all possible. The only real way to destroy oil as a strategic commodity is to make using it financially unpalatable. A gas tax would work. I’m thinking an excise tax at the time of purchase would be even better — assume the vehicle will go X miles using Y gallons of oil over its lifetime and pay an excise tax of $3/gallon. You’d very quickly see vehicles that didn’t use oil — CNG, LPG, bio-fuel, electrics, and so forth. (I always advocate CNG because I think it involves the least changes and so it the most likely to be accepted even though personally I’m more interested in EVs for the technology).The problem is that you have a huge base of people with a vested interest in the status quo and those people will feel losses disproportionately to gains. So the car dealer will go crazy thinking he/she will never sell another vehicle when in fact he/she would just be selling CNG trucks instead of gas or diesel powered ones. Plus the reality is that regardless of how big a gain there might be, there is never any gain without pain.As for which Administration has been more proactive in trying to move us away from oil, the Obama Administration has been far more active. That hardly seems arguable — in fact you don’t need to do anything except compare Bush’s Energy Secretary Sam Bodman to Steven Chu. The Bush Administration’s energy policy primarily consisted of invading Iraq to get more oil and in opening up more areas for drilling domestically. You can agree or disagree with how effective these policies were, but to my mind they were misguided because, at the end of the day, even if successful they could only serve to increase the power of oil as a strategic commodity.  (Quote)

    Your post is staggering in its stupidity. You proceed as if personal transportation is the only use of oil. Unbelievable. 70% of oil is used for transportation in US. But that breaks down into a number of components. There is aviation fuel. There is diesel for trucks, trains and farm equipment. There is fuel oil for ships. So gasoline for personnal transportation is only a part of that 70%. EREV technology will only make a small dent in reducing our dependency on oil at least for the time being. Yes, I’m in favor of it big time. It’s not a panacea. The other 30% is for a multitude of uses that are beyond the scope of this post. Please get educated. Posts like yours of so stupid they cause me physical pain.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (2:32 pm)

    TRUTHGUY: Your post is staggering in its stupidity. You proceed as if personal transportation is the only use of oil. Unbelievable. 70% of oil is used for transportation in US. But that breaks down into a number of components. There is aviation fuel. There is diesel for trucks, trains and farm equipment. There is fuel oil for ships. So gasoline for personnal transportation is only a part of that 70%. EREV technology will only make a small dent in reducing our dependency on oil at least for the time being. Yes, I’m in favor of it big time. It’s not a panacea. The other 30% is for a multitude of uses that are beyond the scope of this post. Please get educated. Posts like yours of so stupid they cause me physical pain.

    And EREV can, hopefully, eventually, substitute for many of those other uses. No. It’s not a panacea. But we have to start somewhere.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (2:41 pm)

    Chris C: Obama’s on the right track, so many presidents have talked about our oil addiction but he is the first to do something about it. Without him the Volt would not have been possible. Good job GM and welcome to LG Chem.  (Quote)

    About as much as he did about Deepwater. You’re giving credit to the wrong person.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (3:16 pm)

    A long way in a few short years Lyle.
    And with new leaders like the neurologist from new york.


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (4:14 pm)

    Chris C: Obama’s on the right track, so many presidents have talked about our oil addiction but he is the first to do something about it.Without him the Volt would not have been possible.Good job GM and welcome to LG Chem.  

    Carter. Carter did a lot about our oil additiction, but everybody’s forgotten. It certainly didn’t make him popular and everything was largely undone by later leaders. But it wasn’t that he didn’t do it, it was more that everybody else wasn’t ready, yet.
    http://hnn.us/articles/52030.html

    Unrelated and slightly more on topic, I’m OK with not quite a pure capitalist economy with our government spending on stuff like this. There’s some other things we as citizens care about other than just money, as our environment and national security are important, too. If helping to fund a bunch of battery plants in the US helps those out, I think it’s a good use of my taxpayer money. :)


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    Jul 16th, 2010 (8:39 pm)

    ClarksonCote: I didn’t expect anyone else on this site to have driven up it. Maybe we can organize a Volt trip up Mt Washington sometime. We can all crash with my folks about 30 minutes away. ;)

    join thE REVolution

    Hi Clarkson. I have been up number of times, walked, drove and took the train. Also I had stayed at the old hotel(now gone) at the summit. Volt trip?


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    Jul 17th, 2010 (12:06 am)

    JEC: You lost me. “at $4 a gallon is even financially viable. ”

    Trains are the most efficient mode of transportation. It does not matter what the price of fuel is

    Over $4 / gal for diesel fuel and electrification becomes viable on the main lines.

    JEC: One of the primary reasons that trucking is even able to compete with trains is that we (taxpayers) pay to build the entire infrastructure for trucks, but the train industry has to cover the whole bill when it comes to building railroad tracks.

    Some of the tracks were subsidized by giving the railroads one square mile of land for each mile of rail built. The value of those lands is comparable to the cost of building the interstates.


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    Jul 17th, 2010 (1:34 am)

    This is not Obama can take personaly. He should take personaly refusal gradualy increase fuel tax.


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    Jul 17th, 2010 (2:22 am)

    I wonder if Obama is asking the president of LG what the price of a VOLT will be in KOREA after they put all their TARIFFS on it!!! Do you thnk for one minute that GM would be allowed to build a plant in KOREA… and be given Korean gob money on top … this is GLOBAL trade… keep the American out and come here to get the American Taxpayer free money.


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    Jul 17th, 2010 (3:02 am)

    Great news ..yes O is the first President to help US manufacturers get back on their feet and compete ..Now it is up to GM to fight back on Quality and stick with it ..Quality is day in day out buisness …There is more competition out in the mkt Japanese & now Koreans … GM Ford Chrsyler need to change their buisness model spend $$$ on quality production rather than on Ads and super salesmen ..It will not cut it …Reduce the salaries of top heavy management and focus on engineers and workers ..provide incentives to them to produce quality cars …Alas it does not set well for the greedy CEO and wall st …so US suffers from jobs going to Far east .. O is trying but headwinds are set against him ..what a country …knowing it is better for the country the dum dumbs are hell bent to stop him ..& drill baby drill crowd dont care …
    One good thing about the oil spill ..the dum dumbs dont have to fry the fish it comes coated with oil just heat & enjoy ..Jinda boy says that seafood is not contaminated ..u go Jindal amazing US …


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    Jul 17th, 2010 (11:22 am)

    Pat: Great news ..yes O is the first President to help US manufacturers get back on their feet and compete

    If you define “help US manufacturers get back on their feet” as bailing them out, you have to dial up the way back machine to the Herbert Hoover administration.

    Hoover with Smoot and Hawley also enacted the toughest trade protection in our history (save for a brief period in the early 1800s).


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    Jul 17th, 2010 (1:13 pm)

    DaveP: here’s some other things we as citizens care about other than just money, as our environment and national security are important, too. If helping to fund a bunch of battery plants in the US helps those out, I think it’s a good use of my taxpayer money.

    You are right Dave. Investing in the electrification of transport invigorates US manufacturing, keeps cash for foreign oil at home, and dramatically improves our energy security picture. Next steps include expanding distributed energy systems to residential homes, and increasing the domestic mix of non-foreign fuels e.g. cellulosic E85, solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels grown at home. Oh, it’s also REAL good for the environment and moves us toward the big goal: energy independence.


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    Jul 17th, 2010 (1:22 pm)

    Steve: Chris C: Obama’s on the right track, so many presidents have talked about our oil addiction but he is the first to do something about it. Without him the Volt would not have been possible. Good job GM and welcome to LG Chem.  (Quote)
    About as much as he did about Deepwater. You’re giving credit to the wrong person.  

    Wrong Steve. BP and the big oils run the deepwater drilling show. There is nothing a President can do about a spill except to make ‘em pay. And BP is going to pay dearly. Ultimately Obama’s greatest contribution to the nation and world will be to break the US addiction to foreign oil which opens the door to 21st century energy. Especially the electrification of transportation.

    There’s also medical insurance reform, wall street, consumer product reform, and hopefully an end to blunders like Guantanamo and Iraq.


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    Jul 18th, 2010 (10:57 am)

    It would be fitting if A123 got the contract for batteries in a plug in Hyundai or KIA.

    RECHARGE!

    James


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    Jul 19th, 2010 (5:32 pm)

    jeff j: 150 million / 300 jobs = 500,000 per job
    The Government is great at taking your money and terrible at spending it !!!!!!500,000 * 4 million =$2,000,000,000,000 to spend to get back to 2008 job levels , Trust Obama still?  

    Yea, year one. Year 2 250,000 per job, year 4 125,00 per job, year 10 50,000 per job, year 20 25,000 per job. Now, consider how much oil the country will not have to buy. The plant will make between 80,000 and 200,000 batteries a year. Lets go with 100,000 to keep it simple for you. That is 100,000 cars on the road a year burning at least 50% less gas than other cars. The average person drives 12,000 miles per year. The average car gets 20mpg.

    Ok, so, breaking it down we have..

    6000 electric only miles per car (extremely conservative).
    100,000 cars

    That is 600,000,000 miles on electric power only per year from cars from this plant.

    Further breakdown..

    600,000,000 divided by 20 miles per gallon gives you 30,000,000 gallons of gas saved.

    at $2.76 a gallon Americans will save another $82,000,000 a year.

    2 years thats $164,000,000. 10 years it’s $820,000,000 more in Americans pockets and jobs are created to boot.

    Nevermind batteries will be get cheaper and more efficient. Nevermind that the number will likely be higher than 6000. Nevermind many will use almost no gas.

    Needles to say the return on investment from a national perspective is extremely positive. You were thinking on a mico-economic level. Need to go macro.


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    Jul 24th, 2010 (11:49 am)

    jeffhre:
    Bush did not refuse to bail out GM. The bush Admin. logically said there is little time left and the next admin should decide.  

    So you would admit that Obama saved GM, not Bush. It seems that Bush passed on the chance of success or failure to what could be seen would most likely be a Democratic Administration. Fortunately, the so called “bail out” has succeeded. Once the GM IPO is past, we, the taxpayers, will get most of our money back. That with the interest gained through the loans that have been paid back, makes the government “interference” a very sound investment in this countries future. Funny thing is: if the “bail out” failed would it have been a failure of only Obama’s Administration or would it have been a failure by both administrations? Since Obama put more into saving GM, and has succeeded, our current President should get the praise for having the guts to do so.

    As for those who say that Obama’s Administration can’t claim it’s place as the first administration to really do something about getting as off foreign oil – remember all the promises of previous administrations – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides $21.5 Billion for energy infrastructure, which includes the Smart Grid, and power transmission system upgrades in the Pacific Northwest and Central and Western U.S., and another $27.2 Billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research and investment. This, together with the support for automotive manufacturers like GM and Ford, shows us all real effort by this administration to wean us off of foreign oil.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.