Aug 11

GM to Deploy Global BEV Test Fleet

 


[ad#post_ad]The Chevy Volt is a brilliant solution that allows mainstream drivers the opportunity to execute the majority of their driving using electricity as fuel.

Though GM believes in Voltec technology and has put its best foot forward with the Volt, it is still keeping the other foot in the pure EV game.

According to Karl Stracke who is GM’s Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering, the company will be establishing a global EV test fleet. The fleet will deployed in several regions around the world, and will consist of several different cars. A working prototype of an electric Chinese Chevrolet Sail already exists (shown above).

“These demo fleets will increase GM’s competitiveness in vehicle electrification by providing GM with real-world data on driving patterns, battery charging, market needs and customer acceptance while sharing costs and resources with supplier and government partners,” said GM in a statement.

I reached out to GM spokesperson Brain Corbett for further details.

“We’re launching multiple BEV demo fleets in various regions around the world using different types of vehicles,” said Corbett. “We’ll have more details going forward.”

Corbett acknowledged that the EV fleet will include many partners.

“We have many partners with these BEV demo fleets and can’t disclose everything at this time,” he said. “The partners do not include another automaker. In fact, the BEV demo fleet strategy mirrors our battery strategy — we’re partnering with suppliers, universities and government agencies. This allows us to share costs, resources and learnings.”

He explained the purpose of the demonstration fleet is to further the development and progress of core competencies and components.

“The primary goal of the BEV demo is to continue to develop our core vehicle electrification components: batteries, power controls and motors,” he said. “These components are needed for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles such as the Volt.”

“The BEV demo fleets will also provide real world data of customer acceptance of BEVs and use patterns and charging operations,” he added.

Unfortunately it appears the US won’t be included in the demonstration program

“Going forward, we will disclose the specific vehicles, number of vehicles and location of these demonstration fleets, although I will tell the US is not included,” he said.
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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 at 6:17 am and is filed under BEV. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 234


  1. 1
    Rashiid Amul

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:23 am)

    From the article:
    Going forward, we will disclose the specific vehicles, number of vehicles and location of these demonstration fleets, although I will tell the US is not included,” he said.

    Of course. (pure sarcasm)


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:25 am)

    From the article:
    “We have many partners with these BEV demo fleets and can’t disclose everything at this time,” he said. “The partners do not include another automaker. In fact, the BEV demo fleet strategy mirrors our battery strategy — we’re partnering with suppliers, universities and government agencies. This allows us to share costs, resources and learnings.”

    Knowledge is power. The more we know, the faster we can make improvements.
    This is an excellent idea.


  3. 3
    Rob

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:27 am)

    Ok, so who wants to register and run GM-EV2.com?…


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    Dave

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:35 am)

    Even though I dont think a pure BEV can compete with the Volts superior technology, I think GM is going to miss out on some market share by not getting serious with a “battery only” type vehicle here in the US.


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    barry252

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:39 am)

    The trip from EREV to BEV should be short and swift. GM has a nice battery pack in the Volt and a nice motor. Wouldn’t it make sense to dump the ICE in some version? Of course the controls would need to be set up differently, but if the Leaf and Tesla take off, GM would be smart to have a head’s up competitor.
    My Volt is on order, but I wouldn’t cancel it if GM offered a BEV too!!


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    JohnK

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:43 am)

    I’m impressed! This is good long-term planning. Way to go, GM!


  7. 7
    Jim I

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:44 am)

    I agree that a BEV program makes sense.

    I just don’t understand the “No USA” part of it……


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:44 am)

    Dave: Even though I dont think a pure BEV can compete with the Volts superior technology, I think GM is going to miss out on some market share by not getting serious with a “battery only” type vehicle here in the US.  

    I was thinking about this also. Then I thought I would wait and see how well the Leaf sells before I draw a conclusion. GM would be losing out if the Leaf turns into a huge hit.
    I’m just skeptical that will happen in this country.

    Two things need to happen before BEVs really take off here.

    1) Range needs to increase to at least 300 miles or so
    2) Charge time needs to be 10 minutes or less for full charge.


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    nuclearboy

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:52 am)

    Jim I: I just don’t understand the “No USA” part of it……

    This is not uncommon.
    My 2004 Colorado (1st year in USA) was sold as an 03 in Asia.

    The 2011 Cruze has been driving around in Europe and Asia for a while now. I saw a bunch of them on a recent trip.

    The Japanese frequently release products in Japan only prior to bringing them to the US.

    I think of this a beta testing. They can refine the product a little before they release it into the highly critical US market.


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    Jay

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:56 am)

    At first blush I have to think GM is keeping the BEV fleet away from the USA because they don’t want to a) steal the Volts thunder or b) create any confusion about their product offering here in the United States. The Volt is a truly unique vehicle and Chevy may be thinking (IMHO rightfully so) that the general public needs time to wrap their heads around exactly what this car is, before “muddying the waters” with more next-generation vehicles.


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    Gsned57

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:04 am)

    With the price of the volt and the fact that they said there will be no erev Orlando. I will keep my van and would be more interested in an ev as a second car. I think a lot of Americans would fall under the second car ev window if the price were right. Then again if the price were right I’d prefer the volt or a seven person equivelent


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    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:15 am)

    I ordered my Volt yesterday and I will love it. Still I wish GM had made a BEV instead or in addition. I still like the 100 MPC that the BEV would probably have. After the Volt is paid for the next car in our family will definately be a BEV for our midlength drives like down to Fort Myers Beach which is 45 miles one way perfect for a hundred mile BEV.

    Take Care,
    TED


  13. 13
    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:16 am)

    Jim I: I agree that a BEV program makes sense.I just don’t understand the “No USA” part of it……  (Quote)

    Neither do I.

    Take Care,
    TED


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    Tom M

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:25 am)

    Ted in Fort Myers: I ordered my Volt yesterday and I will love it.Still I wish GM had made a BEV instead or in addition.I still like the 100 MPC that the BEV would probably have.After the Volt is paid for the next car in our family will definately be a BEV for our midlength drives like down to Fort Myers Beach which is 45 miles one way perfect for a hundred mile BEV.Take Care,
    TED  

    Ted, They are making an all electric Volt just don’t expect to hare about it for a few months at least. The EREV Volt isn’t even on the roads yet so you can’t expect them to start announcing all electric cars just yet. Especially since a big part of their marketing is how the Volt is how the Volt is a “regular car” and you don’t have to worry about range anxiety. Here’s an article where Lutz himself said they are making a pure electric volt: http://blog.caranddriver.com/pure-ev-chevrolet-volt-in-the-works-according-to-lutz/


  15. 15
    Jimza Skeptic

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:27 am)

    Ted in Fort Myers: I ordered my Volt yesterday and I will love it. .Take Care,TED  (Quote)

    Ted, Maybe you already answered this… Did you order VOLT for MSRP?


  16. 16
    Eco_Turbo

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:29 am)

    They should sell BEVs here, and offer a free trade-up to a Volt within the first three months. (Plus roadside assistance) An interesting study would be how many miles (hours) the BEVs have on them when they come back.


  17. 17
    ziv

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:35 am)

    I don’t think a 90 mile real world AER BEV is going to sell in huge numbers with an MSRP over $30k, but as the range goes up and the MSRP goes down the numbers will climb quickly. The problem is that battery packs are simply too expensive, and the only way to get the price down is to build a lot of them. Which shows the brilliance of the EREV idea and, hard for this die hard conservative to say, the tax credit.
    But EREV’s will lose market share to and eventually be replaced (in large part) by BEV’s, probably within 10 or 12 years. And there will always be a niche for BEV’s which will allow the builder to continue to develop better batteries and to reduce pack prices. I hope that GM is gaining the economies of scale and building up the manufacturing base abroad by building BEV’s overseas, even if they don’t sell them here in the US, yet. But I really hope they build and sell them in the US soon.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:37 am)

    Ted in Fort Myers: I ordered my Volt yesterday and I will love it. Still I wish GM had made a BEV instead or in addition. I still like the 100 MPC that the BEV would probably have. After the Volt is paid for the next car in our family will definately be a BEV for our midlength drives like down to Fort Myers Beach which is 45 miles one way perfect for a hundred mile BEV. Take Care,
    TED  

    Congrats, Ted! And could you tell us just a little about your Volt? What options (if any) did you order? What color? Which interior? Did you get MSRP? Buy or lease? Thnx in advance!


  19. 19
    Texas

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:45 am)

    Dear GM,

    I’m hoping, and expecting, that you have a BEV in full development. If you don’t, what the heck are you thinking?! Nissan is working hard on V3.0 (and V4.0) right now.

    Many people have two or more cars in their fleet. Having a EREV and a BEV is a perfect combination that can take care of most people’s needs.

    In your marketing you explain it as what it is – limited, oil-free transport. You have the EREV for people that need that extra range yet still want that EV smile.

    I hope you are working on the “All Things Electrification” strategy. Transportation related electrification core technologies. That is your future, unless you resist it long enough for others, like GE or major Japanese companies, to take the lead. You have it now, I hope you don’t drop the ball.


  20. 20
    Tim Hart

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:50 am)

    As much as I love the Volt, I have to admit I’d rather have a 300 mile EV and quick charge stations all over the place. But we can’t just sit back and wait for that to happen. It will only happen if we make the Volt and other currently available EVs big success stories so the incentive for further development is ongoing.


  21. 21
    Super Big Volt Fan!!

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:51 am)

    From time to time I’ve thought to myself that I hope the Volt crushes the Leaf in competition. When I really think about it though I hope every electric, hybrid, and extended range car sells well for the next decade. We need both the Volt and the Leaf to sell well, especially in this country to help people realize that electric cars bla bla bla… bla bla bla bla bla.. I’m boring myself with this comment.

    GO E.V.!! GO VOLT!!!!


  22. 22
    John W (Tampa)

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:58 am)

    GM honeslty knows better than we here do. They have tons of market research. They’re trying to make an electric that can sell hundreds of thousands a year. The Volt at 25k can do that. Pure electrics are far from being able to sell hundreds of thousands a year here in the U.S. At least from one company. Maybe not in China though.


  23. 23
    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:58 am)

    The US is a very large country, optimized for road travel. An 80-90 real-world-mile BEV just won’t cut it for too many Americans to make it a priority here. EREV is a far better match. With one supplier for EREV and several (growing monthly) for 80-90 real-world-mile BEVs, it seems likely that it’s niche here will be filled relatively quickly.

    BEVs do need to be capable of more mileage per charge, but one quickly reaches the limits of what can be done from a home charger overnight. 220V for 10 – 11 hours would recharge a big pack, but not enough the often-cited 300 miles. You need a larger, widespread infrastructure to support that kind of range, and it will take more than a decade to establish. As batteries improve in terms of cycle-life, such infrastructure will have to compete with greater EREV all-electric ranges with smaller, more efficient engines. Without massive government intervention, this will make a hard sell out of establishing the BEV infrastructure.

    While it is true that volume production will bring pack pricing down, EREV technology provides the same or superior opportunities to improve the basic science and technology behind the battery cells (EREV cells would be worked harder without an ultracapacitor-based buffer). No matter how cheap cells get, an EREV will use fewer of them than a BEV. Volume production of EREV will eventually produce a cost advantage over BEVs, IMO.

    GM is definitely taking the correct course, here.

    EDIT: While I was taking my sweet time over this comment, several of you have pointed out pretty much the same things.


  24. 24
    James

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:58 am)

    Literally every major manufacturer has BEVs on the drawing board, or already cruising the streets in test fleets. China is a major motivator here. The Chinese government has stated plainly that it intends to go full-on towards an alternative fuel automotive industry since China, unlike the USA does not have access to “cheap oil”.

    GM has to keep moving forward with electrically motivated vehicles – no matter how badly it tries to snuff out the market here in the U.S. ( Putting 5 million into Bright being classic GM strategy to horse-collar a possible technological competitor ). If GM doesn’t have an EV ready for China it could lose it’s lead as an import auto manufacturer in that huge, and growing market. To us, it seems nearly anti-American that our citizens have bought and paid for GM’s literal survival, yet we always are last on the stick – in GM’s strategies, to get off the foreign crude oil spigot.

    The one defining factor that has seperated North America from everyone else is that we have long distances to commute and travel on a major federal interstate highway system. Other countrys are more adaptable to electricity since the average commutes are shorter. Leadership in Israel, for example, have quoted it’s drivers’ short average daily mileage as a factor in committing deeply to the Better Place electrification program. While China, geographically is much larger, it’s people are used to public transportation, walking or cycling to work daily. An EV to a family who previously has had no car, is not the major lifestyle-habit change it is for say, a family here in N. America.

    GM knows they will have to continue to stay current ( excuse the pun ) with EVs so that if the competition rolls out a popular electric model – they will be able to counter in a relatively short stretch of time. Right now the General is more excited about it’s “German engineered” Opel/Buick models such as it’s future America-bound stretch Opel minivan, and it’s Chinese-bound Buick Excelle Cruze variant. It’s odd how GM’s TV spots laud the new Buicks as “German engineered”… Remember their strategy to save Saturn – to market warmed-over Opels here as “new” models, even though over in Europe they were either already replaced, or at best on the last year or so of their current iteration. It didn’t work for Saturn, since the models were just behind the latest offerings from foreign brands, and in my opinion, that strategy won’t work today for GM.

    What will work is for GM to “go long”, so to speak. Today they have Voltec and it is their ace in the hole. Today, GM has working prototypes of small plug-in SUVs with tons of test miles under the hood ( see Lyle’s test drive video of the former Saturn-cum-Buick plug in SUV ). My biggest question is- if GM’s ties to Big Oil keep them from adopting an American strategy to electrify – why not?! Toyota demonstrated it could build and market gas pig Sequoia’s and Tundras alongside Prius and Highlander Hybrids and still cop the “green” image and make the oil tycoons and sheiks happy as well.

    Let’s hope the LEAF, Transit Connect EV, Focus EV and others will create a snowball-effect momentum of sales here in the USA that GM just cannot ignore in it’s mind, without losing very large market share.

    For me and my family – NO PLUG NO SALE

    RECHARGE!

    James


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    neutron

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:10 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    I was thinking about this also.Then I thought I would wait and see how well the Leaf sells before I draw a conclusion.GM would be losing out if the Leaf turns into a huge hit.
    I’m just skeptical that will happen in this country.Two things need to happen before BEVs really take off here.1) Range needs to increase to at least 300 miles or so
    2) Charge time needs to be 10 minutes or less for full charge.  

    So am I (thinking about it) and indeed your two points are the catalyst. Without fast charge (about the same time it takes to fill a conventional gas tank) and decent range BEV will have limited adoption potential in this country.
    If “new tech” ICEs come on the market the BEV current configuration (except for the ERBEV VOLT) will be at a major disadvantage.

    It is good to see GM competing against the Focus, the China Dream electric car, the Leaf, Toyota/Tesla etc. But without your points 1 and 2 above the adoption of the BEV only in all markets may be limited.

    While I love electric cars I do have a practical side in buying and use … ERBEVs first, Hybrids second, hi-tech ICE third, BEVs fourth.


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    carcus3

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:22 am)

    Jim I: I agree that a BEV program makes sense.
    I just don’t understand the “No USA” part of it……  

    This was explained a few days ago by GM management:

    Here in the U.S. we care about our sick kids. We want to be able to get them to the doctor and $41,000 is a very small price to pay to insure that we do.

    (in other countries, they just let their kids die)


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:29 am)

    Super Big Volt Fan!!: From time to time I’ve thought to myself that I hope the Volt crushes the Leaf in competition.When I really think about it though I hope every electric, hybrid, and extended range car sells well for the next decade.We need both the Volt and the Leaf to sell well, especially in this country to help people realize that electric cars bla bla bla… bla bla bla bla bla..I’m boring myself with this comment.GO E.V.!! GO VOLT!!!!  

    You are too funny. lol.
    I totally agree with you, except for the boring part. :)
    There is more than enough room for all these competing technologies to exist simultaneously.


  28. 28
    Rashiid Amul

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:31 am)

    carcus3:
    This was explained a few days ago by GM management:Here in the U.S. we care about our sick kids.We want to be able to get them to the doctor and $41,000 is a very small price to pay to insure that we do.(in other countries, they just let their kids die)  

    Well, it is cheaper on the medical system.
    But we have Jehovah Witnesses who let their child die if that child needs a blood transfusion.
    I could never figure that out. I would gladly give up my life to save my children. I would do anything to save them.


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    Mitch

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:41 am)

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    crew

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:43 am)

    I can’t think of a better way to develop a competitive supplier pool for batteries. As simple as a BEV is, the most determining factor for the success of a BEV line is the size of the battery for the market. European drivers typically travel just above half of the miles we do and China and the Island countries travel less.
    Along with battery capacity and weight is development cost, especially for such a dynamic technology. Data mining and product development in the US is expensive. Having a test fleet doing the grunt work overseas and forwarding the data to us just might be giving GM a fourfold return on the development dollar.

    And still another thought is that the US market isn’t as strong as it once was and we still have relatively cheap gasoline. The BEV just doesn’t make as much sense in the US as it would every place else.

    I don’t know about you but the effective range of the Leaf doesn’t cut it. The mini-e is better and perhaps the two seater configuration would be the most functional for the BEV use.
    We want to know what is in store for the US market. Our BEV’s are less needed, driven more, need a greater grid expansion and will definitely not be cheaper than electric cars sold in other markets.
    We are unique and perhaps a test fleet is already among us for chassis development but todays topic isn’t encouraging.


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    Timaaayyy!!!

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:44 am)

    Lyle,

    Do you think it’s time to have a “Buy List”? It could have some great info to continue to stir up interest in the site, IMO: price, availability, experience over time, number of purchases, etc.

    Thanks!


  32. 32
    Loboc

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:48 am)

    I see a lot of comments about ‘why’ GM won’t do BEVs in the US except for the major one:

    Americans won’t buy mini cars. It’s marketing 101.

    Also, there already is a 300 mile electric car in the works. The Tesla Model S.
    - 160, 230, or 300 mile range pack
    - 45 minute QuickCharge
    - 1 minute Battery Swap

    / Come on carcus. Really?


  33. 33
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:59 am)

    Loboc: I see a lot of comments about ‘why’ GM won’t do BEVs in the US except for the major one:Americans won’t buy mini cars. It’s marketing 101.Also, there already is a 300 mile electric car in the works. The Tesla Model S.
    - 160, 230, or 300 mile range pack
    - 45 minute QuickCharge
    - 1 minute Battery Swap/ Come on carcus. Really?  

    The car pictured above is big enough for my needs. I would have no issues with it.
    I would prefer AWD, but I can’t have everything.

    I still think 45 minutes is too long for a charge.
    A 1 minute battery swap would be fine if the price was right and the locations were as
    ubiquitous as gas stations are today.


  34. 34
    carcus3

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:01 am)

    Loboc: Americans won’t buy mini cars. It’s marketing 101.

    Ummm, the Leaf is bigger than the Volt.

    But on the no USA thing, I think you’d want to go right to the top. Ask Big Ed.

    Maybe next time he takes the Gulfstream back to Dallas he can kick it around the table with some of his good buds.

    http://www.exxonmobil.com/corporate/investor_governance_directors.aspx


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    NASA-Eng

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:12 am)

    Rashiid Amul: things need to happen before BEVs really take off here.1) Range needs to increase to at least 300 miles or so2) Charge time needs to be 10 minutes or less for full charge.  (Quote)

    I agree, however, if GM has the ability to make a 300 mile BEV then one would assume they could package that same battery storage technology into a 100 mile Volt. I don’t think the charge time can ever be much under 1 hour due to electrical/current energy transfer limitations, but I can see battery storage being expanded.

    I’d still take the 100 mile range Volt over a 300 mile BEV assuming the Volt cost comes down to a competitive level with volume sales going up. (I’m looking out 5 years and assuming eventually the cost of these cars moves closer together. )

    I was under the impression the cost to “Manufacture” the Volt and Leaf are similar and Nissan is choosing to sell at a loss while GM wants to make a profit right out of the gate? Eventually the 2 powertrain platforms move closer together in price and the consumer’s buying option is driven by non-cost factors. Does that make sense..? I’m assuming this because the cost of extra batteries is a-wash with the ICE. And I’m also assuming that with time you have similar class cars with 2 powertrain options and not the current situation with 2 cars separated in features/class so the price delta is skewed for the next few years.

    To be clear, I don’t care if it’s a LEAF, VOLT or XYZ eventually we end up with 2 identical cars and the choice is pure EV versus Range Extended EV. And I think Range Extended EV wins out.

    NASA-Eng


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    flmark

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:19 am)

    Got the documentary “Collapse” last night (from Netflix)- http://collapsemovie.com/ (trailer).

    God, it’s a depressingly practical view of where our heads ought to be. I can’t (let’s say hope) believe that the collapse is as imminent as this guy, but his projections are something we need to keep close to heart. Right now, I have two sets of work crews doing projects at my house. I have been PAINFULLY aware of each time I hear a gas/diesel powered item kick on to perform work. Our ENTIRE economic engine must begin its transition NOW if we are to avoid this kind of collapse. Each and every vendor should be looking (and pushing for) non-oil alternatives for its next equipment purchase.

    Thank God GM has these EV plans (and yes they would be nice to have in US sooner than later). I went back and looked at the thread from yesterday and was amazed at how much anti-Volt (and pro-Prius) garbage appeared. Hey, you folks in that camp, WISE UP! Buying a (new) car that still requires petrol seems foolhardy in light of the possibility that oil could be a scarce commodity before that vehicle lives out its useful life. It really doesn’t matter (in that case) what the overall MPG is. If it can’t move without petrol- it’s an albatross.

    My messages have usually been about protecting the environment, but peak oil (and precipitous decline thereafter) are equally as scary to play out. As mentioned in the movie, if the Saudis are supposed to have 1/4 of the world’s oil and they are actually drilling at sea (which is more expensive) than do they REALLY have all that was supposed to be there? I pointed out an article a couple weeks ago how the Saudis declared recently that they have stopped exploring for oil, because they are saving it for future generations. HOGWASH! They don’t have the oil.

    Quit bitching about Volt purchase price. Quit scrapping over Leaf vs Volt. And you petrol-still-always-required folks SHUT UP. Also, please shut up if are whining about the reason for not buying an EV is because of how the electricity was produced. If you are about to spend twenty grand or more on an auto, ask yourself what the resale value (or longer term utility) is of ANY petrol-REQUIRED vehicle in an era when a trip to the grocery store could cost a weeks wages.

    NPNS!! But also, NPRV (no petrol required vehicle)!! Go (ER or whatever) EV!


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:23 am)

    James:
    GM knows they will have to continue to stay current ( excuse the pun ) with EVs so that if the competition rolls out a popular electric model – they will be able to counter in a relatively short stretch of time. Right now the General is more excited about it’s “German engineered” Opel/Buick models such as it’s future America-bound stretch Opel minivan, and it’s Chinese-bound Buick Excelle Cruze variant. It’s odd how GM’s TV spots laud the new Buicks as “German engineered”… Remember their strategy to save Saturn – to market warmed-over Opels here as “new” models, even though over in Europe they were either already replaced, or at best on the last year or so of their current iteration. It didn’t work for Saturn, since the models were just behind the latest offerings from foreign brands, and in my opinion, that strategy won’t work today for GM.What will work is for GM to “go long”, so to speak. Today they have Voltec and it is their ace in the hole. Today, GM has working prototypes of small plug-in SUVs with tons of test miles under the hood ( see Lyle’s test drive video of the former Saturn-cum-Buick plug in SUV ). My biggest question is- if GM’s ties to Big Oil keep them from adopting an American strategy to electrify – why not?! Toyota demonstrated it could build and market gas pig Sequoia’s and Tundras alongside Prius and Highlander Hybrids and still cop the “green” image and make the oil tycoons and sheiks happy as well.
    Let’s hope the LEAF, Transit Connect EV, Focus EV and others will create a snowball-effect momentum of sales here in the USA that GM just cannot ignore in it’s mind, without losing very large market share.For me and my family – NO PLUG NO SALE RECHARGE!James  

    I completely disagree. The Saturn thing was a stop-gap measure. GM didn’t invest anything into Saturn and was merely looking for a way to dump excess European production somewhere, while they tried to figure out what to do with Saturn. GM killed Saturn long before they went bankrupt. The new Buicks are getting much more investment in design, engineering, and marketing support than Saturn could have ever dreamed of. The Buick Regal is going to make a killing. Other models are already doing very well. If I didn’t love the idea of a Volt so much, my next car would be the Regal GS.

    It’s important to remember that GM is probably getting a lot of money from the countries that are participating in the test fleet deployment. Here in the US we cry every time the government wants to spend money on stuff like this. We just don’t have our sh!t together compared to other countries when it comes to supporting new technology.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:29 am)

    carcus3:
    This was explained a few days ago by GM management:Here in the U.S. we care about our sick kids.We want to be able to get them to the doctor and $41,000 is a very small price to pay to insure that we do.(in other countries, they just let their kids die)  

    I think you forgot to finish your sentence “Here in the U.S. we care about our sick kids as long as their parents have enough money for treatment”. Up here in Canada we have these cool vehicles with lights and sirens and trained paramedics on board to take our sick kids to the hospital, we don’t require sick kids to be driven to the hospital in $41,000 personal cars.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:29 am)

    I’ve read all the posts and I’m still curious as to why the USA isn’t being used in the development process. Potential confusion with the Volt is just as much a factor overseas, since it will be sold there too. Yes, we’re a large country, but we certainly have many urban centers in which to field test BEV’s, and *surely* our colleges are capable of handling any developmental pilot programs, if they are needed.
    Maybe GM will clarify their reasoning, but for now, it’s not passing the sniff test. JMO

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:30 am)

    Mitch: Special rates for electric vehicles…in Michhttp://detnews.com/article/20100811/AUTO01/8110333/1148/rss25/Utility-sets-E-V-plug-in-price  (Quote)

    “We’re seeing utility companies like DTE take a progressive step to incentivize people to drive electrically,” said Rob Peterson, a GM spokesman. “They give customers more reason to go out and test-drive an electric vehicle.”

    WHO-YAW!!!


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:33 am)

    Loboc: Also, there already is a 300 mile electric car in the works. The Tesla Model S.

    At this point, I believe the “S” is vaporware. It will need to turn up for actual sale before I change my mind.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:37 am)

    GM,

    How many children do you think will die because of this Global BEV Test ?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:40 am)

    JeremyK: Here in the US we cry every time the government wants to spend money on stuff like this. We just don’t have our sh!t together compared to other countries when it comes to supporting new technology.< The new Buicks are getting much more investment in design, engineering, and marketing support than Saturn could have ever dreamed of. The Buick Regal is going to make a killing. Other models are already doing very well. If I didn’t love the idea of a Volt so much, my next car would be the Regal GS.  (Quote)

    GM’s hailing “German engineering” in it’s Buicks makes me ill. I didn’t see GTO or G8 ads on TV trumpeting “Australian Engineering”, and those vehicles tanked over here. The partially Aussie engineered Camaro, much like the Volt, had tons of hype and loads of pent-up anticipation, and it has sold well so far. Already Camaro sales are declining and it’s not even a year in. Every major U.S. automaker has tried the , rebadge-our-foreign-division’s-model approach and few, if any, have succeeded. Remember the Ford Mondeo, or Merkur? The list is long, and GM is right up at the top of Euro flops in America.

    Volt is American Engineered. I want to hear million dollar GM ads proclaiming: “Volt – engineered in America, built in America for Americans!” I’m proud Volt was dreamt, concieved and produced in America. I wish it’s batteries came from A123, yet it’s still an American dream come true ( on a limited basis ). I’m not going to buy some ICE Buick, advertised by GM as “German engineered”. I’m sorry – I’m not impressed. Opel didn’t invent Voltec. Neither did Holden. BMW, Audi or Mercedes don’t have cars for sale today that you can plug in. Why shouldn’t it be our turn once again to out-innovate, and lead the world, let them follow us/copy us for a change!

    RECHARGE!

    James


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    Why another test fleet? GM sold BEV S10′s to a utility company (APS) here is Arizona a few years back. My neighbor ended up buying one from them when they auctioned it off. GM is giving me the impression that they are not willing to sell a BEV in the USA unless the government mandates them to do so.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    NASA-Eng: I agree, however, if GM has the ability to make a 300 mile BEV then one would assume they could package that same battery storage technology into a 100 mile Volt. I don’t think the charge time can ever be much under 1 hour due to electrical/current energy transfer limitations, but I can see battery storage being expanded.

    I’d still take the 100 mile range Volt over a 300 mile BEV assuming the Volt cost comes down to a competitive level with volume sales going up. (I’m looking out 5 years and assuming eventually the cost of these cars moves closer together. )

    Welcome to the AER100 team! I agree absolutely. Whatever GM says today, I strongly believe that they (or someone) will come to this configuration eventually. Why 100 miles? It’s close to the limit of what you can reasonably get overnight at your house. EREV100 would not need (though would benefit from) any infrastructure installed for BEVs. They would satisfy nearly all daily urban driving needs (not just the 65 – 78% which is under 40 miles a day).


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:49 am)

    carcus3: This was explained a few days ago by GM management:Here in the U.S. we care about our sick kids. We want to be able to get them to the doctor and $41,000 is a very small price to pay to insure that we do.(in other countries, they just let their kids die)  (Quote)

    Brilliant.

    This also explains why GM crushed EV1. That was the correct punishment for killing so many children. Since Toyota is evil, they didn’t do the same with Rav4EV.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:50 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Two things need to happen before BEVs really take off here.
    1) Range needs to increase to at least 300 miles or so
    2) Charge time needs to be 10 minutes or less for full charge

    These things are not happening in the near future, but I don’t think either is that big of a deal. 100 miles is more than adequate for what most people need. You have an exceptionally long commute, but if you have your wife keep a “daily driving” log for a few weeks it will become clear that something like a Leaf will work just fine for her. I can see the benefits of increasing the range slightly, up to say 125 miles just for an extra cushion, but more range than this is simply on the wrong side of the 80-20 rule — too much cost for very little benefit.

    But the only way people are going to reach this conclusion is when they use the cars. That’s the issue.

    The Volt is also a great solution for people who only have access to one car. The problem here, as I see it, is that most people in the category don’t have a lot of extra money, and the Volt is expensive.

    But hey, it’s great to have a choice! A year ago the choices were a two seater that cost $125K or something not very practical like the NnG. In a few months we’ll have practical cars priced in the 20s and 30s that can help us kick the oil habit.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:51 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    I was thinking about this also.Then I thought I would wait and see how well the Leaf sells before I draw a conclusion.GM would be losing out if the Leaf turns into a huge hit.
    I’m just skeptical that will happen in this country.Two things need to happen before BEVs really take off here.1) Range needs to increase to at least 300 miles or so
    2) Charge time needs to be 10 minutes or less for full charge.  

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

    I have a differing view on this.

    The Volt can be sold as a primary vehicle, so it needs to be able to make a long trip without interruption. That is done, and I think it is a tremendous effort on the part of GM.

    A BEV needs to be sold at this time as a “Second” or a “Commuter” vehicle. That would eliminate the need for the quick charging station for now. That would get the market going now, instead of waiting for those stations to become available first.

    Now as far as range, I think that a BEV really needs to have about 125 REAL miles, in winter or summer for the US market. 70 miles (maybe?) will just not sell here. I sure would not send out my wife in a car where she may get stranded. But I can’t remember the last time she drove over 100 miles in one day. I do not think that is all that uncommon, and therefore a BEV would be a great second car.

    JMHO


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:52 am)

    NASA-Eng: I agree, however, if GM has the ability to make a 300 mile BEV then one would assume they could package that same battery storage technology into a 100 mile Volt. I don’t think the charge time can ever be much under 1 hour due to electrical/current energy transfer limitations, but I can see battery storage being expanded.I’d still take the 100 mile range Volt over a 300 mile BEV assuming the Volt cost comes down to a competitive level with volume sales going up. (I’m looking out 5 years and assuming eventually the cost of these cars moves closer together. ) I was under the impression the cost to “Manufacture” the Volt and Leaf are similar and Nissan is choosing to sell at a loss while GM wants to make a profit right out of the gate? Eventually the 2 powertrain platforms move closer together in price and the consumer’s buying option is driven by non-cost factors. Does that make sense..? I’m assuming this because the cost of extra batteries is a-wash with the ICE. And I’m also assuming that with time you have similar class cars with 2 powertrain options and not the current situation with 2 cars separated in features/class so the price delta is skewed for the next few years.To be clear, I don’t care if it’s a LEAF, VOLT or XYZ eventually we end up with 2 identical cars and the choice is pure EV versus Range Extended EV. And I think Range Extended EV wins out.NASA-Eng  (Quote)

    300 is not going to happen anytime soon (this decade or probably next) as that’s 3x the capacity and 3x the battery cost. If the cost and weight come down then hey’ll probably shrink the pack – not keep it the same.
    10 minutes is a colossal load. As it is the Leaf can do 26minutes to 80% capacity (400volts). As the battery is 24kWH that’s aprox 20KWH in 26 minutes… or 45kWH per hour… and that’s why this charge cable is a bit thicker than a petrol pump cable – to keep everything super safe… to make it 10 minutes means 150KWH per hour (if that’s the right unit) charge rate! That’s the load of 50 x 3kW kettles / washing machines / AC units. The installation cost would be a lot higher and I don’t know if there’d be as many places you could site chargers capable of supplying that juice.
    And charging a battery that fast might damage it.
    Currently there’s 2 standards for chargers. 220v and the 440v 3 phase ones. The Leaf has slots under its bonnet for both… there is no talk of anything more powerful than that.
    I think the car can sell in large numbers as a 2nd family car for doing short trips/commutes. And there’s lots of 2 car families who would like to try and get off oil!


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:54 am)

    James: I didn’t see GTO or G8 ads on TV trumpeting “Australian Engineering”, and those vehicles tanked over here.

    Huh? The G8 was named car of the year by many and would have been a huge hit had it not been discontinued when Pontiac was shut down. The only reason the design wasn’t carried over to one of the continuing brands was that rear drive isn’t so great for the new CAFE standards. Nothing wrong with the engineering or design for that matter. Likewise the G6 was a good seller until the dollar went south and it didn’t make any sense to keep importing them.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:55 am)

    barry252: The trip from EREV to BEV should be short and swift. GM has a nice battery pack in the Volt and a nice motor. Wouldn’t it make sense to dump the ICE in some version? Of course the controls would need to be set up differently, but if the Leaf and Tesla take off, GM would be smart to have a head’s up competitor.My Volt is on order, but I wouldn’t cancel it if GM offered a BEV too!!  (Quote)

    If you mean once you have a EREV it’s easy to build a BEV, I’d concur. I don’t know about BEV being the dominant vehicle though.

    Maybe it’s not going to be that quick a transition. Even if batteries were triple the capacity and half the cost tomorrow, charging them quickly enough to match the performance of EREV and ICE vehicles requires infrastructure that I don’t think even the specifications are finalized for.

    It’s possible a hybrid with batteries and a renewable fueled charge sustainer might be outperforming BEVs for some time.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:58 am)

    mark ysmith: 300 is not going to happen anytime soon (this decade or probably next) as that’s 3x the capacity and 3x the battery cost. If the cost and weight come down then hey’ll probably shrink the pack – not keep it the same.
    10 minutes is a colossal load. As it is the Leaf can do 26minutes to 80% capacity (400volts). As the battery is 24kWH that’s aprox 20KWH in 26 minutes… or 45kWH per hour… and that’s why this charge cable is a bit thicker than a petrol pump cable – to keep everything super safe… to make it 10 minutes means 150KWH per hour (if that’s the right unit) charge rate! That’s the load of 50 x 3kW kettles / washing machines / AC units. The installation cost would be ridiculous.

    Exactly. +1. Other than those in the Elon Musk reality distortion field, no one expects a 300 mile range BEV or the PBB quick change batteries. Guys like Agassi and Musk are trying to make a screwdriver into a hammer.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:00 am)

    Tagamet: I’ve read all the posts and I’m still curious as to why the USA isn’t being used in the development process.

    The Volt uses the smallest battery possible for the American market. Ask Nick Reilly about the Ampera battery size in Europe, it’s overkill there. Nick also spent 8 years in Western Asia.

    A hint about how GM spends development dollars can be seen with the Cruze, a much more volume significant car for GM. It was developed from an Opel drivetrain, manufactured there and in China first, and then finally brought to Ohio. With the penny pinching needed to sell a small car at a profit in the US, there is very little room for error.
    The biggest barrier to successfully selling a BEV to a market is battery size and cost. Our market is unique and the manufacturing expense is a higher gamble.
    What’s the purpose of test fleets overseas? A lot more than we see on the surface.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:07 am)

    Jim I: I agree that a BEV program makes sense.

    I just don’t understand the “No USA” part of it……

    #7

    My sentiments exactly. +1 I was pretty excited until the dreaded “No USA” appeared. Oh well, what else is new, LOL.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:09 am)

    NASA-Eng: I agree, however, if GM has the ability to make a 300 mile BEV then one would assume they could package that same battery storage technology into a 100 mile Volt. I don’t think the charge time can ever be much under 1 hour due to electrical/current energy transfer limitations, but I can see battery storage being expanded.

    Right. But let’s take a typical American today. Working, shuffling the kids, doctor appointments, shopping, fixing dinner, homework, etc. I don’t think there are too many of us who have time to stay plugged in for a few hours at the plug-in station. So it will be decades before BEVs gain wide adoption here in the USA.

    Rashiid’s laws for wide adoption of BEVs in the USA ;)
    1) Range needs to increase to at least 300 miles or so
    2) Charge time needs to be 10 minutes or less for full charge.
    3) Car needs to be able to hold at least 5 people and have good storage room.
    4) Cost must be comparable to a similar sized/optioned ICE vehicle.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:11 am)

    Jim I: I sure would not send out my wife in a car where she may get stranded. But I can’t remember the last time she drove over 100 miles in one day. I do not think that is all that uncommon, and therefore a BEV would be a great second car.

    Have her just keep a log for a couple of weeks. My guess is she doesn’t driver over 40 or 50 miles a day. Plus how often does she go, come home, and then go out again? That gives an opportunity to charge multiple times in a day – you get maybe a 7-10 mile charge every hour on a 120 V outlet and double that from a 240 V one. As GM found when testing the Volt on weekends when the testers had multiple charging opportunities, range is less of an issue when you can charge multiple times a day.

    If you have a second car available, BEVs will work like a charm for the overwhelming number of people who can afford them. And as for getting stranded, lots of people have gotten stranded in EVs, but not because the battery went flat. As for the dangers of getting stranded, women where I live are hardly at risk if their car breaks down since it’s not exactly a high crime area. In fact, to pass on a funny, the police department stations officers with multiple shooting incidents where I am because they know it will never happen again. The biggest issue is the occasional call for chasing high school kids smoking dope off the bluffs.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:12 am)

    nuclearboy:
    This is not uncommon.
    My 2004 Colorado (1st year in USA) was sold as an 03 in Asia.The 2011 Cruze has been driving around in Europe and Asia for a while now.I saw a bunch of them on a recent trip.The Japanese frequently release products in Japan only prior to bringing them to the US.I think of this a beta testing.They can refine the product a little before they release it into the highly critical US market.  

    This is kind of twisted logic, don’t you think?

    Japanese limit to Japan first. So why wouldn’t GM limit to the USA first?

    And if the US market is so critical, why introduce the Volt here?

    I guess a lot of it would depend upon where the engineering is being done. If it is done in China, then it would make sense to put them there first. But if this work is being done in Michigan, then the first cars should be rolling around here.

    JMHO


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:13 am)

    Noel Park: My sentiments exactly. +1 I was pretty excited until the dreaded “No USA” appeared. Oh well, what else is new, LOL.  

    Hi Noel, welcome back. You’ve been missed!


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:14 am)

    Amazed: I think you forgot to finish your sentence “Here in the U.S. we care about our sick kids as long as their parents have enough money for treatment”. Up here in Canada we have these cool vehicles with lights and sirens and trained paramedics on board to take our sick kids to the hospital, we don’t require sick kids to be driven to the hospital in $41,000 personal cars.

    I’m pretty sure Carcus was being sarcastic. Caring about your kids is universal.

    For the record, we have ambulances too. At least in urban areas. And suburban. Exurbia–not so much. I’d imagine it’s pretty much the same as Canada in that respect.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:17 am)

    EVNow: GM,How many children do you think will die because of this Global BEV Test ?  

    If I had to guess, I would say zero.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:18 am)

    Jim I: I agree that a BEV program makes sense.

    I just don’t understand the “No USA” part of it……

    Because the only time American companies care about the USA is when they need bailout money.

    Well, that, and gasoline is still a lot cheaper here than it is in pretty much every other country in the world. (Except Venezuela. And probably Saudi Arabia.)


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:21 am)

    flmark: Got the documentary “Collapse” last night (from Netflix)- http://collapsemovie.com/ (trailer).

    Mostly positive but mixed reviews. I ordered it. Thanks for the link!


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:23 am)

    I would like an EREV motorcycle. I’ve researched electric motorcycles for a few months and decided the Zero-S was the best. However, I just couldn’t force myself to drop the $9K for a motorcycle with a small range of 50 miles (when driving 50mph). How about a 4KW battery w/regen braking, and a small 250CC motor/generator as the range extender? This would solve my range issues and keep the benefits of an EV. I’m sure this bike would cost more than $10k, but I’d be much more willing to buy. I think it would be very obvious when the engine came on, so I think this should be a manual operation.

    Or if the serial hybrid is more efficient, just have a small motor that runs all the time at a single RPM providing power to the traction motor and use a small battery or a super capacitor as a buffer.

    Honda, how come you haven’t done this already? You make motorcycles and GM doesn’t. Open territory. How about even a hybrid motorcycle with just electric assist?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:24 am)

    DonC:
    Have her just keep a log for a couple of weeks. My guess is she doesn’t driver over 40 or 50 miles a day.   

    I guess the problem here is that we really do not know what the range will be for these BEV’s that are rated as 100 miles. There are reports as low as 40 and some say 125.

    Before I would spend the money, I would want to know that range is a non issue. And right now, I don’t know that….. But what would make me comfortable is a real range of over 100 miles with the A/C or heat on. But that is just me.

    And let’s not forget the old saying: “A happy wife is a happy life!”

    :-)


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:28 am)

    LauraM: gasoline is still a lot cheaper here

    This is probably the number one problem that will kill sales of EVs in the US.

    It looks like the economy is going to limp along at it’s current fantastic level for years if not decades. This means that demand for gasoline will also be lack-luster making the price stabilize (or even decrease) for some time.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:29 am)

    Jim I: A BEV needs to be sold at this time as a “Second” or a “Commuter” vehicle. That would eliminate the need for the quick charging station for now. That would get the market going now, instead of waiting for those stations to become available first.

    This is my point. How many cars today are being sold as a “Second” or a “Commuter” vehicle?
    Hardly any, if any. The Volt certainly doesn’t need to be sold has this. Wide adoption won’t take place until the BEV can stand shoulder to shoulder with an ICE vehicle.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:30 am)

    LauraM:
    Because the only time American companies care about the USA is when they need bailout money.  

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

    I was thinking that. You actually said it!!!!

    Didn’t Germany tell GM no????

    We really do have short memories, don’t we?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:31 am)

    James: Volt is American Engineered. I want to hear million dollar GM ads proclaiming: “Volt – engineered in America, built in America for Americans!” I’m proud Volt was dreamt, concieved and produced in America.

    Um, isn’t Frank Weber German?

    That said, I agree about those commercials. It’s like saying. Hello America. We finally figured out our problem. It’s that Americans are all basically stupid and completely incapable of doing anything remotely resembling decent engineering. So, we hired some German engineers to take care of it for us.

    Unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of people who feel that way. So the ads might actually work.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:34 am)

    Even at this website we constantly fall back to the discussion between the value of the Volt vs. a BEV. Many of us have stqted early on that the Volt is a transitional vehicle between the ICE and the BEV. There may be many twists and turns but the reality is the same. The mass market reflecting this change will take many years may be 20 years. The Volt can occupy a large space in this transition. The Leaf and other BEV-s can trim the Volt’s space but nothing can succeed better then the Volt. The Volt’s biggest assets are its overnight home rechargeability vs. the ICE and its flexibility vs. the BEV. The current existing infrastructure supports the Volt but only to a limited extent the Leaf. But for GM to succeed in the long run, they have to be able produce a much less expensive car.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:38 am)

    DonC: Likewise the G6 was a good seller until the dollar went south and it didn’t make any sense to keep importing them.

    G6 was made in Michigan, in the Orion plant


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:38 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    This is my point.How many cars today are being sold as a “Second” or a “Commuter” vehicle?
    Hardly any, if any. The Volt certainly doesn’t need to be sold has this. Wide adoption won’t take place until the BEV can stand shoulder to shoulder with an ICE vehicle.  

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

    But that may be an entirely new market segment that could be addressed, don’t you think?

    It all depends upon how the manufacturers advertise it!

    How about this for a slogan?

    Why buy a car that is designed to go 600 miles per day, when all you really need is 100? Plus you can help reduce our dependence on oil, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and not have to have that horrible gasoline smell on your hands ever again? It is time to think about an electric car as your second vehicle!!!!

    I know, I know. That is why I am not in advertising……………..

    ;-)


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:40 am)

    Loboc: This is probably the number one problem that will kill sales of EVs in the US.

    It looks like the economy is going to limp along at it’s current fantastic level for years if not decades. This means that demand for gasoline will also be lack-luster making the price stabilize (or even decrease) for some time.

    I agree about the economy. I don’t see a recovery to “normal” levels of unemployment for a very long time. How that will affect gas prices is anyone’s guess. China and India are still growing. And no one but the Saudis (and the other members of OPEC) know how large their reserves really are…


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:42 am)

    flmark: Got the documentary “Collapse” last night (from Netflix)- http://collapsemovie.com/ (trailer).As mentioned in the movie, if the Saudis are supposed to have 1/4 of the world’s oil and they are actually drilling at sea (which is more expensive) than do they REALLY have all that was supposed to be there? I pointed out an article a couple weeks ago how the Saudis declared recently that they have stopped exploring for oil, because they are saving it for future generations. HOGWASH! They don’t have the oil

    Not sure what I believe about the Saudi’s oil reserves. But, if they were truly running out of oil wouldnt they be constricting production to jack up the price? There would be no fear of accelerating our development of alternatives if they don’t have as much oil as generally thought….they would want to make sure they got the highest price for each remaining barrel possible since their supply would run out (in volume) prior to the world being able to switch anyway. We’ve had a lot of discussion that they need to keep U.S. prices below $4/gallon to keep us buying SUV’s…but why should they care about that if they don’t have nearly as much oil as commonly believed? That’s not to say I don’t believe in Peak Oil…I do.
    http://www.aspo-usa.com/

    As for 300 mile BEV’s with 10 minute charge vs. the Volt….give me a 100 mile AER Volt…I have to believe that is more likely to happen first. Of course if we were all driving 100 mile AER Volts, how many gas stations would stay in business….not many. Ok, lets get that quick charge ASAP!


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:47 am)

    LauraM: For the record, we have ambulances too. At least in urban areas. And suburban. Exurbia–not so much. I’d imagine it’s pretty much the same as Canada in that respect.

    Actually, even out here in no-where-ville, we have ambulances (and helicopters).
    Welcome back, LauraM!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:48 am)

    James: Volt is American Engineered. I want to hear million dollar GM ads proclaiming: “Volt – engineered in America, built in America for Americans!” I’m proud Volt was dreamt, concieved and produced in America.

    I’m pretty sure they are saying that at Zalinsky Chevrolet in Chicago. ;-)
    ray-zalinsky.jpg


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:49 am)

    Jim I: I was thinking that. You actually said it!!!!

    Didn’t Germany tell GM no????

    For the record, I’m pretty sure that most companies (American or otherwise) still care about the American market. They just take it a little bit too much for granted IMHO. But that’s partially because our wonderful politicians encourage them too.

    As far as Germany, they were fine with bailing out Opel when they thought GM was going to sell it. But if GM wanted to hang onto it–then the American taxpayer was stuck with the bill. And, yes, I’m still extremely annoyed about that.

    To be fair, Germany’s got its hands full bailing out (potentially) the whole EU…


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:56 am)

    LauraM: I agree about the economy. I don’t see a recovery to “normal” levels of unemployment for a very long time.

    Supposibly there are going to be a bunch of new plants opening in the 4th quater of this year, so it should help w/the manufacturing jobs, and all of the other companies that supply the plants.

    I cant find the link that had all the #’s but it was pretty impressive.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:01 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    Right.But let’s take a typical American today.Working, shuffling the kids, doctor appointments, shopping, fixing dinner, homework, etc.I don’t think there are too many of us who have time to stay plugged in for a few hours at the plug-in station.So it will be decades before BEVs gain wide adoption here in the USA.Rashiid’s laws for wide adoption of BEVs in the USA
    1) Range needs to increase to at least 300 miles or so
    2) Charge time needs to be 10 minutes or less for full charge.
    3) Car needs to be able to hold at least 5 people and have good storage room.
    4) Cost must be comparable to a similar sized/optioned ICE vehicle.  

    Very much disagree with this thinking. While there are people that do require some version of a ICE, I think BEV meet the needs of many more.

    For example, I consider our family to be pretty typical. Our middle of the middle class family of 3 lives in a first ring suburb. I work full time about 8 miles from home, my wife works part time about 10 miles from home. Our 6yo son is in soccer, baseball, swim lessons, etc. We take a trip out to see my mom who lives about 100miles away. We have two cars. Oh, and the hospital is 3 miles away (to address the sick kid argument). We also have a large dog and often take in foster dogs.

    I have been logging my miles since April. Outside of 4 trips to see grandma, the most I have driven in one day is 70mi. In fact I only went more that 50mi 3 times all summer. My average is 30mi. My wife, not being as nerdy as me, has not logged her miles, but I know from fill-ups that she drives about 25% less than me.

    There is ZERO reason why one of our cars cannot be a BEV. Four the second car we will likely keep driving our old Saturn wagon until she dies…hopefully by then there will be some version of a EREV or PHEV wagon or small SUV.

    Charging is going to be done exclusively at home, so it is not a matter of wasting time at the pump. Going to an EV will actually save me about 10-12 hours/year by avoiding pulling into a gas station.

    I really hope all alternatives to tradition ICE vehicles Volts, Leafs, etc., do sell extremely well, but we need to change our way of thinking. At any given time, my BEV will have at least 20 miles of range for any unexpected emergency..i.e…getting my sick kid to the hospital. My opinion is that if most people really understood their driving habits, they would find that they do not really need that ICE after all, especially if there are more than one car in the household.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:04 am)

    Tagamet: Actually, even out here in no-where-ville, we have ambulances (and helicopters).
    Welcome back, LauraM!

    You live within driving distance of New York City! There’s no way that counts as “no-where-ville.” Hence, the ambulances.

    After looking it up, I probably shouldn’t have said “exurban” I actually meant rural…Something like Alaska. (I know they have helicopters there too. But I presume people there would want a car with range just in case…)


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:07 am)

    Mitch: Special rates for electric vehicles…in Mich
    http://detnews.com/article/20100811/AUTO01/8110333/1148/rss25/Utility-sets-E-V-plug-in-price

    From The Detroit News: “A typical 220V charging station can retail for arbout $600.”

    That’s not as bad as I thought.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:09 am)

    Jim I: This is kind of twisted logic, don’t you think?
    Japanese limit to Japan first. So why wouldn’t GM limit to the USA first?
    And if the US market is so critical, why introduce the Volt here?

    Japan limits to Japan 1st because the market is smaller and they totally control it. If the car is bad at first in Japan, it is not like the Japanese will turn to American cars.

    When a car hits the US market, the press focuses on it and reliability issues and bugs can doom the car. You want to start off in the US market (much larger and more important than the Japanese market) with a product that is ready to go if you can. Having a limted production run in Asia or somewhere else is a good way to help reduce problems. If the Cruze in china has problems now, we will not hear about it. What we will hear about is if the 2011 Cruze (first year in the US) has problems.

    I consider this beta testing in limited markets before entering the highly contested US market. The japanese market is not highly contested. They buy Japanese cars anyway.

    That is an explanation of why the US and Japanese would both consider releasing outside of the US first.

    Of course this is not always the case for the US manufacturers. I was just suggesting that it is not uncommon and there may be a rationale for it.

    The Volt, of course, is starting out right in the US and I hate to be pessimistic but I would expect some first year issues. My 04 Colorado (first year in US) had recalls and it was a second year car. My new ’10 Equinox had two recalls already. These are standard run of the mill ICE machines. The Volt is more complicated and new. Sometimes it takes a year or two and tens of thousands of cars before problems can be properly identified. It would have been nice to have more testing but I am glad they are getting it on the roads ASAP>

    This outlook that I am putting forth helps explain why you might want to limit the first years production numbers of the VOLT. Start slowly and fix problems before you ramp up production.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:10 am)

    Jerome: Not sure what I believe about the Saudi’s oil reserves. But, if they were truly running out of oil wouldnt they be constricting production to jack up the price?   (Quote)

    Geo politics!

    The Saudis are a repressive regime that are always on the list of the ten worst human rights offenders. It is not about the money as much as it is about the power. Can you imagine the unrest in that country if its citizens knew its leaders were about to lose their world influence position? The US kow tows to them for one reason. If that reason was about to disappear, how do the think the US Government deals with this (absent oil) absolutely useless regime?

    No, those Saudi rulers want to keep us fooled for as long as they can to keep themselves from ending up like Nicolae Ceausescu before they figure a way to save their own hides.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:13 am)

    Hobbit: Very much disagree with this thinking. While there are people that do require some version of a ICE, I think BEV meet the needs of many more.
    For example, I consider our family to be pretty typical. Our middle of the middle class family of 3 lives in a first ring suburb. I work full time about 8 miles from home, my wife works part time about 10 miles from home. Our 6yo son is in soccer, baseball, swim lessons, etc. We take a trip out to see my mom who lives about 100miles away. We have two cars. Oh, and the hospital is 3 miles away (to address the sick kid argument). We also have a large dog and often take in foster dogs.
    I have been logging my miles since April. Outside of 4 trips to see grandma, the most I have driven in one day is 70mi. In fact I only went more that 50mi 3 times all summer. My average is 30mi. My wife, not being as nerdy as me, has not logged her miles, but I know from fill-ups that she drives about 25% less than me.
    There is ZERO reason why one of our cars cannot be a BEV. Four the second car we will likely keep driving our old Saturn wagon until she dies…hopefully by then there will be some version of a EREV or PHEV wagon or small SUV.
    Charging is going to be done exclusively at home, so it is not a matter of wasting time at the pump. Going to an EV will actually save me about 10-12 hours/year by avoiding pulling into a gas station.
    I really hope all alternatives to tradition ICE vehicles Volts, Leafs, etc., do sell extremely well, but we need to change our way of thinking. At any given time, my BEV will have at least 20 miles of range for any unexpected emergency..i.e…getting my sick kid to the hospital. My opinion is that if most people really understood their driving habits, they would find that they do not really need that ICE after all, especially if there are more than one car in the household.

    Just a quick question. If a 40mile EREV and a 100mile BEV cost exactly the same and looked exactly the same, which one would you buy and why?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:18 am)

    nuclearboy: Jim I: This is kind of twisted logic, don’t you think?
    Japanese limit to Japan first. So why wouldn’t GM limit to the USA first?
    And if the US market is so critical, why introduce the Volt here? Japan limits to Japan 1st because the market is smaller and they totally control it. If the car is bad at first in Japan, it is not like the Japanese will turn to American cars.

    And America is a much more litigious country too.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:20 am)

    kdawg:
    Just a quick question.If a 40mile EREV and a 100mile BEV cost exactly the same and looked exactly the same, which one would you buy and why?  

    For me, I would buy the BEV since I do have days that I go over 40 miles..and my goal is to burn as little oil as possible. However, if for some reason we only had one vehicle, it would most likely be the EREV.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:26 am)

    nuclearboy: This is not uncommon.My 2004 Colorado (1st year in USA) was sold as an 03 in Asia. The 2011 Cruze has been driving around in Europe and Asia for a while now. I saw a bunch of them on a recent trip.The Japanese frequently release products in Japan only prior to bringing them to the US.I think of this a beta testing. They can refine the product a little before they release it into the highly critical US market.  (Quote)

    …more likely, the highly “litigious” US market.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:26 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:27 am)

    Love that body style!

    The Volt is a get-around-town car. We need a get-around-town car BODY. That means a true easy-in, easy-out hatchback. Give me that body and the Voltec drive train = golden!


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:29 am)

    LauraM:
    You live within driving distance of New York City!There’s no way that counts as “no-where-ville.”Hence, the ambulances.
    After looking it up, I probably shouldn’t have said “exurban”I actually meant rural…Something like Alaska.(I know they have helicopters there too.But I presume people there would want a car with range just in case…)  

    I suspect that it’s been a while since you’ve been to a “rural” setting, or we just share different definitions of rural. Our school district is as large as Rhode Island (~1000 sq mi) and has only 5200 kids. From the center of the district it’s 30 miles in 3 directions to the outlying schools. Some kids board the bus at 5:30 a.m. But as you say, in 4 hours I can be in NYC (and yes, I have a lead foot). I’m not sure that that disqualifies my town from “rural” though. It’s 30 miles to the nearest “city” (State College, Williamsport). I definitely need range, but nowhere near what I’d need in Alaska.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:35 am)

    I think this means GM has turned over a new Leaf.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:37 am)

    #8 Rashiid Amul:
    I was thinking about this also.Then I thought I would wait and see how well the Leaf sells before I draw a conclusion.GM would be losing out if the Leaf turns into a huge hit.

    I’m just skeptical that will happen in this country.Two things need to happen before BEVs really take off here.1) Range needs to increase to at least 300 miles or so
    2) Charge time needs to be 10 minutes or less for full charge.  

    I agree with you, Rashiid. And that is a good thing.

    The reason it’s good, is because EV is such a disruptive technology. Many jobs will be replaced as a result of the transformation to an electric society. People will need to be retrained in the area of electronics. A mechanic will become an electrician, etc. etc.

    The test of our society will be how fast we can make the transition. With the forest fires in Russia, flooding in China, India, and Pakistan, and the USA as well, record high temperatures, glaciers melting at a rapid rate,and the high number of hurricanes predicted, how can global warming be denied. We need to take the necessary steps now to reduce human contribution to global warming.

    The challenge is on to convert over to solar and wind power, or other sources, and drive our industry through electric power. If we don’t the rest of the countries in the World will and leave our country in the throws. It is an opportunity for the U.S. to revitalize it’s manufacturing capability. China is already seizing every opportunity to gain the green market. True they have exceeded the U.S. as the most polluting country on the planet. But they see the result of heavy use of fossil fuels and are rapidly developing green technology industries. For example, many of the towers for wind turbines are made and sold by Chinese. On the positive side, many wind turbine companies have begun moving to the U.S.

    Will we, Americans, rise to the test facing our society and adopt electric technology quickly or will we become a second rate country?

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:38 am)

    EVNow: Brilliant.This also explains why GM crushed EV1. That was the correct punishment for killing so many children. Since Toyota is evil, they didn’t do the same with Rav4EV.  (Quote)

    What, GM crushed children in the EV1′s?!? Evil corporate jerks!!! (sarcasm)


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:40 am)

    Hobbit:
    Very much disagree with this thinking.While there are people that do require some version of a ICE, I think BEV meet the needs of many more.For example, I consider our family to be pretty typical.Our middle of the middle class family of 3 lives in a first ring suburb.I work full time about 8 miles from home, my wife works part time about 10 miles from home.Our 6yo son is in soccer, baseball, swim lessons, etc.We take a trip out to see my mom who lives about 100miles away.We have two cars.Oh, and the hospital is 3 miles away (to address the sick kid argument).We also have a large dog and often take in foster dogs.I have been logging my miles since April.Outside of 4 trips to see grandma, the most I have driven in one day is 70mi.In fact I only went more that 50mi 3 times all summer.My average is 30mi.My wife, not being as nerdy as me, has not logged her miles, but I know from fill-ups that she drives about 25% less than me.There is ZERO reason why one of our cars cannot be a BEV.Four the second car we will likely keep driving our old Saturn wagon until she dies…hopefully by then there will be some version of a EREV or PHEV wagon or small SUV.Charging is going to be done exclusively at home, so it is not a matter of wasting time at the pump.Going to an EV will actually save me about 10-12 hours/year by avoiding pulling into a gas station.I really hope all alternatives to tradition ICE vehicles Volts, Leafs, etc., do sell extremely well, but we need to change our way of thinking.At any given time, my BEV will have at least 20 miles of range for any unexpected emergency..i.e…getting my sick kid to the hospital.My opinion is that if most people really understood their driving habits, they would find that they do not really need that ICE after all, especially if there are more than one car in the household.  

    Hobbit, I don’t dispute anything that you are saying. I am very pleased to see you have discovered a way to own a BEV. What I am saying is that you are not in the majority of people in America who don’t want to sacrifice anything to purchase a BEV.
    For example. They are thousands and thousands of SUVs on the road. How many people actually need one vs. how many people want one, is anyone’s guess. But here they are.
    How many of these people will drop them for a tiny BEV? My gut feel: not many if any.
    Especially if gas stays relatively low. And remember, I’m talking about wide adoption. :)


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:43 am)

    DonC: Exactly. +1. Other than those in the Elon Musk reality distortion field, no one expects a 300 mile range BEV or the PBB quick change batteries. Guys like Agassi and Musk are trying to make a screwdriver into a hammer.

    +10 on that!

    I picked up the ‘September Issue’ of MotorTrend and was reading what Angus Mackenzie wrote in response to some of Elon Musk’s boasting. He ended with:

    “But perhaps the ultimate irony is it’s GM, long the Silicon Valley poster-child for all that’s wrong with the auto industry, that’s poised to launch a car that may be more significant than anything Tesla is ever likely to build. The Chevy VOLT is a thoughtful, innovative, technically advanced vehicle; the prototypes we’ve driven confirm it cleverly combines the best attributes of an electric motor and the gasoline internal-combustion engine. Disruptive technology? (<–quoting Musk) Sorry, Elon, there's more at GM than Tesla."


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:46 am)

    We get a lot of talk on here about how the batteries aren’t ready for 300 mile range, and about how even if they were, the charging infrastructure is difficult to move large amounts of power around quickly.

    We never talk about the cars themselves, and about how much power and energy they require.

    I’m quite confident that putting a LEAF battery into an Aptera would get you damned close to 300 miles of range.

    If GM is getting consumption of 200Wh/mile from a 3900lb Volt, surely there is room for improvement in an even more aerodynamic, and much lighter vehicle.

    Maybe we can meet in the middle somewhere? 50% improvement in vehicle energy requirement from the status-quo, and 50% higher-capacity per weight battery?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:48 am)

    Jerome: As for 300 mile BEV’s with 10 minute charge vs. the Volt….give me a 100 mile AER Volt…I have to believe that is more likely to happen first.

    Hooray! Let’s keep those comments coming!! GM will have to listen!!!

    Okay, I admit that EREV100 will be awhile happening: In a nutshell, I believe that the upper limit on an EREV’s all-electric range will eventually be set by the amount of charge a residential user can accumulate in one night, rather than by the expense and size of the batteries. When batteries become cheap enough (and small enough / light enough) for a 300 mile BEV, it will no longer make sense to restrict Voltec to 40 miles AER.

    Consider that in the soon-to-be present case, the Volt’s 40 miles is pitted against the LEAF’s 100 (to take the manufacturers’ claims at face value). That puts the LEAF’s mile capacity at 2 1/2 times the Volt’s, and the price is pretty similar considering the differing philosophies of the companies involved (GM intends to take more time, and make a profit from the get-go; Nissan seems in a hurry to “strike while the iron is hot,” even at a loss). What happens to basic cost differences when 100-mile Voltec* is using a smaller engine, at higher volumes, and a typical BEV has three times it’s mile capacity? This doesn’t sound like much of a change, but GM is currently being castigated for being “more expensive than the LEAF” by a couple of grand. How powerful will even a small difference be when Voltec is cheaper?

    *Keep in mind that by this time, it may not be as important to pamper the pack to the tune of a 50% of native capacity available. Volt and LEAF Gen 1.0 are actually only 33% apart in terms of native capacity. Improvement in battery quality / capability over this time will make much more of an EREV’s battery pack usable; and this change is very much to it’s advantage when compared to a BEV’s already-lax battery management. IOW, there is less benefit to BEV makers than EREV makers over improving the batteries. This is part of why I say that EREV provides a better environment for improving the batteries than does a market dominated by BEVs.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:52 am)

    WHy dont they just resurect the EV-1 and use lithium -ion batteries ? How hard can that be?


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    GM Volt Fan

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:57 am)

    Hmm … I wonder if the Volt 1.0 is going to have this new separator technology by DuPont. DuPont is a gigantic chemical company. This is big news when a company of that size decides to get into the battery business.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-03/dupont-building-plant-to-expand-in-materials-for-lithium-ion-car-batteries.html

    “To reduce the use of fossil fuels and to meet the growing demand for hybrid and electric vehicles, DuPont has introduced the first nanofiber-based polymeric battery separator that boosts the performance and safety of lithium ion batteries. DuPont™ Energain™ battery separators can INCREASE POWER 15 TO 30 PERCENT, INCREASE BATTERY LIFE BY UP TO 20 PERCENT and IMPROVE BATTERY SAFETY BY PROVIDING STABILITY AT HIGH TEMPERATURES.”

    I hope that DuPont and the other battery companies start making big breakthroughs for the lawn and garden power tools market. I also hope that when they finally start selling this new “Lithium WorxGT™ 24V 2-in-1 Trimmer/Edger” at my local Home Depot or Lowe’s it’s going to be a well thought out, good overall product.

    http://www.worxpowertools.com/lithium-cordless/24v-weed-trimmer-edger.html

    My weed whacker is getting old and I’m tired of having to fix it all the time and dealing with extension cords. I don’t like breathing exhaust from the gas powered weed whackers either.

    Hopefully, the battery technology on these cordless weed whackers is very durable, powerful, it charges up super fast and stays charged for (at least) 45 minutes or so. It sure looks like we’re about to enter a battery powered world in the next decade. I love it. Bye, bye gasoline and polluting IC engines! Electric power is about to rule the world. The battery technology is finally getting good enough.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:59 am)

    kdawg: Supposibly there are going to be a bunch of new plants opening in the 4th quater of this year, so it should help w/the manufacturing jobs, and all of the other companies that supply the plants.

    I cant find the link that had all the #’s but it was pretty impressive.

    Some manufacturing is coming back. But nowhere near enough to make up for all the jobs we’ve lost. Not to mention employ all the recent graduates who are trying to join the labor force. (Some with more success than others.)

    We lost jobs in June overall. (That’s mainly because of the lost census jobs. But the private sector isn’t adding jobs nearly as much as anticipated.)

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-06/company-payrolls-rose-by-71-000-in-july-u-s-jobless-rate-9-5-.html

    The trade deficit increased unexpectedly in June.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704901104575423051863102666.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    The fed recently engaged in “quantitative easing.” Well, basically they’re maintaining their (huge) balance sheet. So, it’s more like status quo. But they’re not doing it because they’re optimistic.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/11/business/economy/11fed.html?ref=economy

    Basically, we lost a lot of jobs during the recession that aren’t coming back. Unless the government does something to get them back. And it doesn’t look like that’s happening.

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_03/b4163032935448.htm


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:01 pm)

    Rob: We get a lot of talk on here about how the batteries aren’t ready for 300 mile range, and about how even if they were, the charging infrastructure is difficult to move large amounts of power around quickly.
    We never talk about the cars themselves, and about how much power and energy they require.
    I’m quite confident that putting a LEAF battery into an Aptera would get you damned close to 300 miles of range.
    If GM is getting consumption of 200Wh/mile from a 3900lb Volt, surely there is room for improvement in an even more aerodynamic, and much lighter vehicle.Maybe we can meet in the middle somewhere?50% improvement in vehicle energy requirement from the status-quo, and 50% higher-capacity per weight battery?  

    Oops, -1 by accident. In principle this argument makes sense.

    However, weight reduction on this scale is monumentally expensive; as it is directly related to the bulk materials, and the technologies used to form large parts from them. I doubt you could achieve such meaningful weight reduction from steel, as it’s experience base is such that any important savings have already been made.

    Keep in mind also that an Aptera has less usable space than the Volt; which is already highly criticized as being “too small.” My point is that it may actually be cheaper at this point to improve the batteries than to mainstream something like carbon-fiber for the cars’ bodies. Short of this or something similar, it’s hard to imagine even 20 – 30% weight improvements.

    Eventually, when the industry is ready, weight reduction will come; but not anytime soon, IMHO.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:03 pm)

    Tagamet: I suspect that it’s been a while since you’ve been to a “rural” setting, or we just share different definitions of rural. Our school district is as large as Rhode Island (~1000 sq mi) and has only 5200 kids. From the center of the district it’s 30 miles in 3 directions to the outlying schools. Some kids board the bus at 5:30 a.m. But as you say, in 4 hours I can be in NYC (and yes, I have a lead foot). I’m not sure that that disqualifies my town from “rural” though. It’s 30 miles to the nearest “city” (State College, Williamsport). I definitely need range, but nowhere near what I’d need in Alaska.

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    I went to Yellowstone last November. Does that count? They have ambulances there. At least in the park area. But my guess is that a lot of people would prefer to have their own cars. Just in case…


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:06 pm)

    Rashiid Amul:
    I was thinking about this also.Then I thought I would wait and see how well the Leaf sells before I draw a conclusion.GM would be losing out if the Leaf turns into a huge hit.
    I’m just skeptical that will happen in this country.Two things need to happen before BEVs really take off here.1) Range needs to increase to at least 300 miles or so
    2) Charge time needs to be 10 minutes or less for full charge.  

    I agree. People that say 75% of all daily driving is less than 40 miles and therefore a 100 mile BEV can meat nearly everyone’s needs completely miss the point.

    The point is that TODAY’S cars can go 300 miles without refueling and refueling only takes 10 minutes or less. Until a BEV can match those specs they won’t gain any traction in the USA…at least not in my opinion.


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    Timaaayyy!!!

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:12 pm)

    kdawg: I’m pretty sure they are saying that at Zalinsky Chevrolet in Chicago.   (Quote)

    Has everyone noticed the Volt ads prominently displayed at the top and top-right of this page? Very nice to see that here.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:15 pm)

    LauraM:
    I went to Yellowstone last November.Does that count?They have ambulances there.At least in the park area.But my guess is that a lot of people would prefer to have their own cars.Just in case…  

    LOL, yes, Yellowstone Park would count as rural. So you are agreeing that people in places like I’m in would need to have a car with some “legs”?
    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:19 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: How many cars today are being sold as a “Second” or a “Commuter” vehicle?
    Hardly any, if any.

    It’s getting to the point where having a specialized car for commuting is economically feasible. Especially if your primary car now gets 20mpg or less.

    Suppose you need that truck/SUV for weekends and are now driving it as your primary machine. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a BEV-100 for the 5 days it would be most efficient?

    I am running the numbers very hard on this. A BEV-100 could be an ideal 3rd or 4th car.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:20 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: The challenge is on to convert over to solar and wind power, or other sources, and drive our industry through electric power. If we don’t the rest of the countries in the World will and leave our country in the throws. It is an opportunity for the U.S. to revitalize it’s manufacturing capability. China is already seizing every opportunity to gain the green market. True they have exceeded the U.S. as the most polluting country on the planet. But they see the result of heavy use of fossil fuels and are rapidly developing green technology industries. For example, many of the towers for wind turbines are made and sold by Chinese. On the positive side, many wind turbine companies have begun moving to the U.S.

    Will we, Americans, rise to the test facing our society and adopt electric technology quickly or will we become a second rate country?

    We can’t compete with China as a market when they need so much more new electricity than we do.

    And even if we could, if goods were generally produced in the area of their largest market, the US wouldn’t have to worry about it’s manufacturing base. And we certainly wouldn’t run a trade deficit in pharmaceuticals. (We are the only country that lets the drug companies charge whatever they want. Which means we pay three times as much for the exact same drug. But they still prefer to produce in Ireland.)

    Corporations produce goods where it’s cheapest to do so. Regardless of where they plan to sell those goods. Unless, of course, the government in question charges admission to their markets. (Like, say, China.) Or gives local producers advantages in other ways. (Like pretty much every country except the US. But the US government is strongly committed to not interfering in the “free market”…


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:23 pm)

    Tagamet: It’s 30 miles to the nearest “city” (State College, Williamsport)

    Hey Tag, I know that area are you anywhere near the giant town of Trout Run?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:24 pm)

    Hobbit: For me, I would buy the BEV since I do have days that I go over 40 miles..and my goal is to burn as little oil as possible. However, if for some reason we only had one vehicle, it would most likely be the EREV.

    OK thanks for the response. Let me try this same question slightly tweaked a different way. Hypothetical: if you drove exactly 50 miles or less every day, and you could choose to buy an EREV that would always take care of your daily drive in electric mode. Or for the same price and looks, a 100 mile range BEV, which would you buy?

    I guess what i’m trying to get at is, if an EREV and a BEV will essentially be the same car for most people who have short/normal commutes, then would people want to spend the exact same amount of extra money on more battery or an ICE for a range extender. The BEV will get you a few more electric miles, but the ICE will get you infinite more miles. So for the same amount of money, what’s worth more?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:24 pm)

    Tagamet: LOL, yes, Yellowstone Park would count as rural. So you are agreeing that people in places like I’m in would need to have a car with some “legs”?

    Absolutely. Actually, that was my original point…That there are places in the US (and Canada) where you can’t rely on a BEV…At least not for your only car….


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:25 pm)

    Jim I: I agree that a BEV program makes sense.I just don’t understand the “No USA” part of it……  

    US of A prefers big vehicules : SUV, trucks and the likes. Volt is considered a compact car. GM is already under pressure to go larger and build a EREV truck.

    BEV, on the other hand, has to be small to increase range.

    US of A is not the best market to show you can build a BEV subcompact. Not yet. When gas reach 5$ a gallon (or more, it’s a question of time), it might be.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:27 pm)

    Loboc:
    It’s getting to the point where having a specialized car for commuting is economically feasible. Especially if your primary car now gets 20mpg or less.Suppose you need that truck/SUV for weekends and are now driving it as your primary machine. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a BEV-100 for the 5 days it would be most efficient?I am running the numbers very hard on this. A BEV-100 could be an ideal 3rd or 4th car.  

    Exactly, except for one thing…the Price. I have a truck that gets 20 mpg. When gas got to $4 a gallon it was killing me on my 50 mile daily commute. But here’s the thing, a $23,000 Leaf would never pay for itself. Even with $4 a gallon gas.

    I have an Aveo which cost me $12K off the lot and gets 36 mpg on the highway. I’m able to make the payments on the Aveo from the gas savings alone. Until a BEV costs the same as the equivalent ICE car it will be a niche product.


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    Rush, Hannity, and Beck Fan

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:28 pm)

    Volt Drop: Unless gasoline costs skyrocket, I don’t see the Nissan Leaf, the Volt or any other current hybrid as being the vehicle of choice for most buyers. We are a fickle country of car buyers. When gasoline was in the $4 a gallon range everybody was demanding something that would get 40MPG+ as the prices came down now people have gone back to that same old mode of “Who cares” If you add it up and your current vehicle is getting 25MPG avg or better you will have a long, long wait to recoup any real savings with gasoline at it’s current price. The hybrids overall are worse for the environment, in production, use, and end of use recycling. The pure plug in vehicles are only transferring their tailpipe emissions to the power company which unless they are nuclear, solar, hydro, or wind (only 28% of U.S. energy supply combined) the other 72% comes from fossil fuels and a large amount from the non-existent “clean coal” so overall unless petroleum prices go up the hybrids are losers in the market……..don’t worry the Obama regime will see to it that Government Motors (GM) gets that gas price hike that it needs to make the Volt the savior that they have played it out to be. What a JOKE!!  

    Never in my life have I heard a bigger idiot.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:31 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: But perhaps the ultimate irony is it’s GM, long the Silicon Valley poster-child for all that’s wrong with the auto industry, that’s poised to launch a car that may be more significant than anything Tesla is ever likely to build.

    CorvetteGuy – Good to see that understanding in the motoring press. Does the current leadership team at GM appreciate the opportunity they have with this vehicle? Will they market / support it (and later generations and Voltec spin-offs) accordingly? Hoping so, but skeptical of the prospects. Your dealership website’s Volt page is more creative and informative than most corporate efforts to date.


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:33 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: 2) Charge time needs to be 10 minutes or less for full charge.

    I really need to take issue with this. No, I wouldn’t refuse a good 10-minute charge technology, if it was economical enough. But the only reason for stating it as a prerequisite is based in a soon-to-be obsolete paradigm: The Gas Station (one can always hope).

    Unless you are on the open road, I would suggest that you’re not going to be seated in your car for the whole 300 miles; you’re going to park and go do something. Why wouldn’t parking garages go for the idea of providing a charge while you’re gone (once EV penetration allows)?

    If you are on the open road, will you really drive 300 miles at a stretch without stopping to eat, or go to the bathroom? Even today, there are exits consisting mainly of restaurants, motels and other over-the-road amenities. An association at such an exit might only add a “Charge ‘n Park” and a couple of loop trolleys to make it’s members fully EV relevant. (My guess is that this will begin to happen in order to make an exit more attractive to EREV drivers; who won’t need a universal network of chargers to reach it. In time, these privately-funded projects may eventually form that network).

    In my opinion, we won’t see a quick-charge* infrastructure out in the sticks, to compare with what we currently have with liquid fuel, until mid-century. However, if I’m wrong about that, I don’t believe I’ll be wrong about your second law. It’s only there because the “ten-minute charge” most resembles what we’re presently used to.

    *whatever “quick” turns out to mean


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:35 pm)

    Rashiid Amul:
    Hobbit, I don’t dispute anything that you are saying.I am very pleased to see you have discovered a way to own a BEV.What I am saying is that you are not in the majority of people in America who don’t want to sacrifice anything to purchase a BEV.
    For example.They are thousands and thousands of SUVs on the road.How many people actually need onevs. how many people want one, is anyone’s guess.But here they are.
    How many of these people will drop them for a tiny BEV?My gut feel:not many if any.
    Especially if gas stays relatively low.And remember, I’m talking about wide adoption.   

    Agreed…it’s the distinction between perceived and actual needs. Most Americans have a very distorted idea what they need…and until that changes WIDESPREAD adaption of any version of plug-in cars will be slow. The big question is how to change this thinking.

    What does frustrate me is some of this back and forth between the Volt, BEV, and PHEV crowds ends up feeding into the same old thinking….we should all be on the same page here. I really didn’t like the quote from GM the other day about getting a sick child to the hospital…that’s just fear mongering. It’s the same thinking that keeps us from real change. Charge time is a great example. People can’t get past the idea that they will no longer be pulling into a re-fueling station of any kind (except for very rare instances). Charge time is just not a issue assuming EV/EREV owners have a 220V charger.

    For awhile after the Gulf disaster (which put me over the edge and got me to plop down $99 for my Leaf registration) there was some real indication that people were ready to start thinking outside the box. That momentum seems to have unfortunately diminished..and unless gas prices jump up…like many on here have said…or there is some other calamity related to oil consumption, it is going to be hard to convince the general population that they really do not need 2 gas guzzlers in the driveway.

    In the meantime, I try to tell everyone I know that I am getting a BEV and why it will work for me, which is to say why it would probably work for them. I think we should all be doing the same whenever we can.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:35 pm)

    GM Volt Fan: My weed whacker is getting old and I’m tired of having to fix it all the time and dealing with extension cords. I don’t like breathing exhaust from the gas powered weed whackers either.

    I have a 36v B&D from Home Depot. It’s using old battery technology, but, it gets the job done. It has .080 dual line just like a gas version. The only problem is you need several batteries to equal one tank of gas operating time. Plus, with the batteries, it cost three times as much as an equivalent gas model. And it’s very heavy.

    I don’t think they make this one any more. Some of the 24v lithium ones look pretty good though. 18v might be too wimpy for some.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:36 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson):
    I really need to take issue with this.
    …If you are on the open road, will you really drive 300 miles at a stretch without stopping to eat, or go to the bathroom?Even today, there are exits consisting mainly of restaurants, motels and other over-the-road amenities.An association at such an exit might only add a “Charge ‘n Park” and a couple of loop trolleys to make it’s members fully EV relevant.In my opinion, we won’t see a quick-charge* infrastructure out in the sticks, to compare with what we currently have with liquid fuel, until mid-century.However, if I’m wrong about that, I don’t believe I’ll be wrong about your second law.It’s only there because the “ten-minute charge” most resembles what we’re presently used to.  

    The 10 minute refueling is what people have gotten used to over the last 100 years. To assume that people will overnight change to an overnight refueling system is naive at best. When I go on long drives I stop just long enough to refuel the car and use the restroom and I am back on the road. There is no BEV technology in existence that can replicate that experience. To assume that people will find that acceptable in large numbers is very naive.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:36 pm)

    Loboc: Americans won’t buy mini cars. It’s marketing 101.

    They will when they will have no other choice.

    As long as the military can secure the oil flow and as long as there are subsidies to keep oil cheap, you’re absolutely right.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:37 pm)

    Starcast: Tagamet: It’s 30 miles to the nearest “city” (State College, Williamsport)

    Hey Tag, I know that area are you anywhere near the giant town of Trout Run?

    “Near” is one of those “interpretable” terms (g). Yes, I consider it near enough to fish in it’s beautiful streams. but it’s about a 45 minute drive for me – it’s on the right as you drive east (lol). Trout Run doesn’t have any STREETS, does it? Half hour to Williamsport (Home of the Little League World Series) and then north to Trout Run. I really love my beautiful State!
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    PS We have an extra bed, if you need a base from which to fish (ESPECIALLY if you come in a Volt).


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:43 pm)

    Randy: WHy dont they just resurect the EV-1 and use lithium -ion batteries ? How hard can that be?

    There’s a lot of the EV1 resurrected in the Volt.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    Imagine if a car company came out with a car that powered by TAP water. It would be extremely inexpensive to operate, but there’s a catch…

    You can only fill it with an eye dropper so it takes all night to refuel, it only had a range of 100 miles on a good day, heat or a/c will considerably diminish it’s range. There was no infrastructure to refuel it anywhere except your house, (okay maybe you can find an eyedropper along the way but expect to stay overnight in that location), so don’t plan on driving too far or across country unless you are really patient. And the final catch it cost at least twice as much as a comparable car.

    Sure there would be a handful of people interested in such a car, but don’t expect widespread adoption.

    That’s how I view BEVs…and yes I have a deposit on a Leaf, just to see if it can somehow exceed my expectations.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:48 pm)

    Randy: WHy dont they just resurect the EV-1 and use lithium -ion batteries ? How hard can that be?  

    The EV-1 is like an “ex-wife”…
    You think it would be cool to get back together, but really… it’s not.

    EV1.jpg


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:48 pm)

    Jscott1000:
    The 10 minute refueling is what people have gotten used to over the last 100 years.To assume that people will overnight change to an overnight refueling system is naive at best.When I go on long drives I stop just long enough to refuel the car and use the restroom and I am back on the road. There is no BEV technology in existence that can replicate that experience.To assume that people will find that acceptable in large numbers is very naive.  

    1) I never said this would happen overnight.

    2) If you are correct, electrification of the automobile is doomed for anything other than a dedicated, short-range commuter.

    3) If I were to say “Google” to you 30 years ago (or “Blog” or “URL” or …) would you have done anything but stare at me? People are more flexible than you seem to think … provided the rewards are great enough. Will new paradigms of energy independence and environmentalism be powerful enough to begin displacing the Gas Station paradigm? All we need to do is begin the process. It may take our kids (or theirs) to realize the economic benefits, and finish it.

    4) If you think that using the word “naive” twice in a comment makes you sound intellectual, you’re being naive. ;-)


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:48 pm)

    LauraM: Some manufacturing is coming back. But nowhere near enough to make up for all the jobs we’ve lost. Not to mention employ all the recent graduates who are trying to join the labor force. (Some with more success than others.)

    True, but at least this is some good news and an upward trend. I also think the manufacturing sector seems to have a snowball effect too. Here’s the info:

    ——————-
    However, looking forward at plants that are under construction but scheduled to begin operations during the fourth quarter of 2010, there will be a spike in the number of jobs created by the manufacturing sector, with 250 new plants becoming operational during that time period.

    These plants represent more than 26,000 new jobs that will become available during the months of October, November or December in the U.S., a significant increase over the previous two quarters of 2010.

    The Industrial Manufacturing Industry will lead the way with 9,900 jobs, the largest gain for the quarter, as 49 plants become operational. The Metals and Minerals Industry will provide the second-largest jobs gains at 6,600, with 16 plants being brought online, while the Food & Beverage Industry also will add a significant number of new jobs, 4,900, with 55 new plants. The Power Industry will be home to 62 new plants, the most to become operational during the quarter, but the total number of new jobs will be low, just more than 600.

    The Southeast region of the country will be home to the most new jobs for the quarter, 8,200, in the form of 27 new plants. The Great Lakes region, which suffered almost historical numbers of job losses during the recession, and the Southwest region each will see about 4,500 jobs created, as each will have 41 plants become operational. The Mid-Atlantic region, with 20 new plants and 2,400 new jobs, and the Northeast region, with 21 new plants and 2,000 new jobs, will round out the top five regions.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:50 pm)

    Jscott1000: When I go on long drives I stop just long enough to refuel the car and use the restroom and I am back on the road. There is no BEV technology in existence that can replicate that experience.

    Batttery swap concepts exist and have been tested. They would be that fast.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:53 pm)

    LauraM:
    Because the only time American companies care about the USA is when they need bailout money.Well, that, and gasoline is still a lot cheaper here than it is in pretty much every other country in the world. (Except Venezuela. And probably Saudi Arabia.)  

    Sadly… a cheap shot that produces no relevance to the topics at hand. BTW FORD did not need a bailout.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:54 pm)

    kdawg:
    Batttery swap concepts exist and have been tested.They would be that fast.  

    how long before a BEV using that technology is for sale in the USA and battery swap stations are located in as many places as gas stations?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:55 pm)

    Noel Park: My sentiments exactly. +1 I was pretty excited until the dreaded “No USA” appeared. Oh well, what else is new, LOL.

    It will come here eventually…


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:56 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson):
    4)If you think that using the word “naive”twice in a comment makes you sound intellectual, you’re being naive.   

    I added “very” the second time. It’s called parallel sentence structure. :)

    I think the VOLT is the necessary bridge to the electrification of the automobile. Going from ICE to BEV is too big a leap for most people. At least the VOLT gives you benefits of both. No it’s not perfect, and is not the best ICE powered vehicle on the planet, and certainly not the best BEV.

    But until every last drop of oil is wrung from the Earth, most people are not going to switch to a far less capable BEV. Some, maybe a few, maybe a lot, but not most.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    Hobbit: In the meantime, I try to tell everyone I know that I am getting a BEV and why it will work for me, which is to say why it would probably work for them. I think we should all be doing the same whenever we can.

    True. I try to bring up the Volt, and by association other EV’s whenever I can. The more people talk about these things the better. Two hurdles I regularly hear are the cost of green technology and the implied “wimpyness” of beeing green. Usually then i bring up saving lives in the Middle East and that takes care of those hurdles.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    kdawg:
    OK thanks for the response.Let me try this same question slightly tweaked a different way.Hypothetical: if you drove exactly 50 miles or less every day, and you could choose to buy an EREV that would always take care of your daily drive in electric mode.Or for the same price and looks, a 100 mile range BEV, which would you buy?I guess what i’m trying to get at is, if an EREV and a BEV will essentially be the same car for most people who have short/normal commutes, then would people want to spend the exact same amount of extra money on more battery or an ICE for a range extender.The BEV will get you a few more electric miles, but the ICE will get you infinite more miles.So for the same amount of money, what’s worth more?  

    Most likely I would still go with the BEV..but it would really depend on a lot of factors. What is the millage (Kwh/m) of the two vehicles? How much extra maintenance does the EREV need because of its ICE? What’s the mpg of the EREV in CS mode? How likely is it that I would need to go beyond either the Electric range of the EREV or the range of the BEV?

    The answer of course is going to be different for everyone. For some, they will feel like they want the ‘insurance’ policy the EREV will give them. The other thing that, for me, tips the scales to a BEV is it’s inherent simplicity. While we do not of course know yet what if any issues any of these cars might have, intuitively the one with far less moving parts seems like the safer choice.

    Right now the price difference is of course a huge factor in my and I’m sure other peoples decisions. Take that away and much more subtle factors come into play.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:02 pm)

    Jscott1000: how long before a BEV using that technology is for sale in the USA and battery swap stations are located in as many places as gas stations?

    I’d guess a min of 10 years. It depends how much EREV’s & BEV’s take off. If they are a homerun, then we’ll see it sooner than later. If battery costs come down and the only holdback is the charge time, battery swap would be the way to go.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:07 pm)

    Loboc: I am running the numbers very hard on this. A BEV-100 could be an ideal 3rd or 4th car.

    OK. But not first or second car.
    Americans are just not ready to change their driving habits.
    They don’t want to sacrifice anything. Some might disagree with me here, but not all will.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:07 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): In my opinion, we won’t see a quick-charge* infrastructure out in the sticks, to compare with what we currently have with liquid fuel, until mid-century. However, if I’m wrong about that, I don’t believe I’ll be wrong about your second law. It’s only there because the “ten-minute charge” most resembles what we’re presently used to.

    *whatever “quick” turns out to mean

    Just because I think ten minute charging is unnecessary doesn’t mean it can’t be faster than overnight. In the scenario above, I’m assuming people will stop to eat, not spend the night at the exit. I think this is one of those areas where enlarging the target just a bit helps economics and engineering a lot. Would you be in favor of a ten minute full charge that costs as much as a gasoline fill-up (at future prices)? What if a “30 – 40 minutes to 3/4 full” charge only cost twice what you’d pay to slow-charge at home?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:07 pm)

    kdawg:
    I’d guess a min of 10 years.It depends how much EREV’s & BEV’s take off.If they are a homerun, then we’ll see it sooner than later.If battery costs come down and the only holdback is the charge time, battery swap would be the way to go.  

    I hope you are right. I would love to drive a capable BEV. If I had a leaf I would probably carry a small portable generator in the trunk so I could recharge my battery on the side of the road enough to maybe make it home.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:08 pm)

    Jscott1000: Exactly, except for one thing…the Price. I have a truck that gets 20 mpg. When gas got to $4 a gallon it was killing me on my 50 mile daily commute. But here’s the thing, a $23,000 Leaf would never pay for itself. Even with $4 a gallon gas.

    Mine gets 16mpg.

    16mpg @ 12000 miles x $3/gal = $2250 per year for gas
    BEV-100 @ $350/mo = $4200 per year
    Also, some number like $0.25/mile for wear and tear and maintenance on the truck = $3000 per year. A BEV-100 wouldn’t need any maintenance (0r very minimal) during the 3-year lease.
    (I own the truck, btw.)

    so:
    $2250 + 3000 – 4200 = $1050 savings driving a BEV-100 vs the truck.

    Factor in some extra insurance expense and miscellaneous makes the numbers look pretty good. (My insurance is very low because of two drivers over 50 and no incidents.)

    I’m working this up with real numbers to see if it’s really possible. I can’t get a quote on insurance for Volt or LEAF yet.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:09 pm)

    Where do I sign up?

    I will tell the US is not included

    Oh, nevermind.

    I guess my choice is a $41k Volt or to just go to the foreign competition, like usual? Bummer.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:14 pm)

    Jscott1000:
    how long before a BEV using that technology is for sale in the USA and battery swap stations are located in as many places as gas stations?  

    kdawg:
    I’d guess a min of 10 years.It depends how much EREV’s & BEV’s take off.If they are a homerun, then we’ll see it sooner than later.If battery costs come down and the only holdback is the charge time, battery swap would be the way to go.  

    I’d guess a maximum of never. Universal penetration for battery swap will only work if all the cars using it are the same size class, requiring the same shape/size of battery (probably all made by one manufacturer). I find it hard to believe that this can happen in the US, unless all choice is removed by governmental decree (I find it harder to believe that this can happen in the US … but I could be wrong). If EREV takes off and becomes economic (and eventually assumes greater AER ranges) it will be free from such networks and infrastructure; which will then be less needed, and therefor more difficult to introduce. If BEVs take the lion’s share of the market, the infrastructure (of whatever form) will still take close to half a century to become as universal as the one for gasoline today.

    Battery swap might work in a small island market, but on a continent-wide scale, I think it’s a losing proposition.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:16 pm)

    Loboc:
    Mine gets 16mpg.16mpg @ 12000 miles x $3/gal = $2250 per year for gas
    BEV-100 @ $350/mo = $4200 per year
    Also, some number like $0.25/mile for wear and tear and maintenance on the truck = $3000 per year. A BEV-100 wouldn’t need any maintenance (0r very minimal) during the 3-year lease.
    (I own the truck, btw.)so:
    $2250 + 3000 – 4200 = $1050 savings driving a BEV-100 vs the truck.Factor in some extra insurance expense and miscellaneous makes the numbers look pretty good. (My insurance is very low because of two drivers over 50 and no incidents.)I’m working this up with real numbers to see if it’s really possible. I can’t get a quote on insurance for Volt or LEAF yet.  

    Everybody’s situation is going to be different. Let’s say instead of owning the truck outright you are making $500 a month payments.

    An extra $350 a month lease payment is going to eat your lunch. Also you will find that your insurance is going to nearly double, even though you drive the same number of miles, (insurance is a rip-off in other words)

    …so factor in another $1000 a year or so. And electricity isn’t free, I didn’t see that in the figures anywhere.

    Also your maintenance costs are too high. $0.25 a mile would include depreciation. If your truck is paid for it’s already fully depreciated. I think your numbers are overly optimistic.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:17 pm)

    Rush, Hannity, and Beck Fan:
    Never in my life have I heard a bigger idiot.  

    I guess you ordered a new VOLT huh? I have my Impala that gets 26MPG on the hwy. and 23MPG around town and is paid for in full. You will break even on your volt by the time you reach about 500,000 miles if the batteries and other components hold up that long, but considering the Volt is a series hybrid I don’t expect that the batteries are going to hold up that well. I guess we will have to see who is the bigger idiot me or you.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:19 pm)

    kdawg: True, but at least this is some good news and an upward trend. I also think the manufacturing sector seems to have a snowball effect too. Here’s the info:

    Absolutely, manufacturing jobs have a higher multiplier than service jobs. And manufacturing is important for in recoveries. They’re “leading indicators.” So, yes, this is a positive sign.

    kdawg: These plants represent more than 26,000 new jobs that will become available during the months of October, November or December in the U.S., a significant increase over the previous two quarters of 2010.

    But 26,000 jobs is barely a drop in the proverbial bucket. Even manufacturing jobs. We lost 131,000 in July alone. 221,000 jobs in June. Etc. We’ve lost over 8 million jobs since the credit crisis started. That’s overwhelming.

    Of course, you have to start somewhere. And every new plant is good news…But we still haven’t fixed what I think of as the economies structural problems. And, as far as I can tell, these new plants don’t represent strong new growth industries…those plants tend to be built in Asia….

    I hope I’m wrong. I hope the economy bounces back stronger than ever. And everyone who wants a job can have one again. I hope that we invent a whole new industry that solves everything…


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    Noel Park: I was pretty excited until the dreaded “No USA” appeared. Oh well, what else is new, LOL.

    LauraM: It will come here eventually…

    … or something which can trace it’s ancestry back to it (and EV1) will …


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    Jscott1000: how long before a BEV using that technology is for sale in the USA and battery swap stations are located in as many places as gas stations?

    It will be 20 years before electric vehicles of any type constitute a large percentage of the US fleet. That’s more than enough time to deploy any of several solutions to the long-distance range issue:

    1. Range-extender trailer rental
    2. Electrified highways
    3. Battery swap stations
    4. Breakthrough fast-charge technology

    I like #2 myself. Forget 10 minute refueling stops – drive NY to LA and back without stopping once! Note that my first two solutions make EV-300s a waste of weight and money since they’d give no useful advantage over EV-100s.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    Loboc:
    Mine gets 16mpg.16mpg @ 12000 miles x $3/gal = $2250 per year for gas
    BEV-100 @ $350/mo = $4200 per year
    Also, some number like $0.25/mile for wear and tear and maintenance on the truck = $3000 per year. A BEV-100 wouldn’t need any maintenance (0r very minimal) during the 3-year lease.
    (I own the truck, btw.)so:
    $2250 + 3000 – 4200 = $1050 savings driving a BEV-100 vs the truck.Factor in some extra insurance expense and miscellaneous makes the numbers look pretty good. (My insurance is very low because of two drivers over 50 and no incidents.)I’m working this up with real numbers to see if it’s really possible. I can’t get a quote on insurance for Volt or LEAF yet.  

    Don’t forget to factor in your electric bill.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:32 pm)

    neutron: Sadly… a cheap shot that produces no relevance to the topics at hand. BTW FORD did not need a bailout.

    There are a lot of (nominally) US companies that didn’t need a bailout. IBM. Microsoft. Google. Apple. Intel. Genzyme. Exxon. DuPont. And, yes, Ford. (Although Ford got DOE loans…And they probably wouldn’t have survived if the government hadn’t bailed out GM….)

    My point was that they don’t care about the United States. Except as a “saturated” market. Due to the way we structure their corporate charters, “US” corporations show no loyalty whatsoever to this country. Even the ones that rely heavily on defense contracts like Boeing. Or the US’s unique unwillingness to collectively bargain on pharmaceutical prices. Like Pfizer, Amgen, J&J, etc.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:35 pm)

    GM Volt Fan: I hope that DuPont and the other battery companies start making big breakthroughs for the lawn and garden power tools market.I also hope that when they finally start selling this new “Lithium WorxGT™ 24V 2-in-1 Trimmer/Edger” at my local Home Depot or Lowe’s it’s going to be a well thought out, good overall product.http://www.worxpowertools.com/lithium-cordless/24v-weed-trimmer-edger.htmlMy weed whacker is getting old and I’m tired of having to fix it all the time and dealing with extension cords.I don’t like breathing exhaust from the gas powered weed whackers either.Hopefully, the battery technology on these cordless weed whackers is very durable, powerful, it charges up super fast and stays charged for (at least) 45 minutes or so.It sure looks like we’re about to enter a battery powered world in the next decade.I love it.Bye, bye gasoline and polluting IC engines!Electric power is about to rule the world.The battery technology is finally getting good enough.  

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

    Actually, all my cordless power tools are Ryobi, so when I saw they came out with a string trimmer that uses the same batteries, I picked one up at Home Depot. It was $99, and came with a lithium battery, so the trimmer was actually free.

    I really like it! It is light, has great power, and works as advertised. I have a large yard, with a lot of trimming, so it takes three batteries to get it all done, but it is still MUCH better than the old 2 stroke gas trimmer! I just charge one battery, while using the other. It does go through more string, as it uses a lighter string for trimming. But that is a more than acceptable trade off, IMHO.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:37 pm)

    doggydogworld: Jscott1000: how long before a BEV using that technology is for sale in the USA and battery swap stations are located in as many places as gas stations?

    It will be 20 years before electric vehicles of any type constitute a large percentage of the US fleet. That’s more than enough time to deploy any of several solutions to the long-distance range issue:

    As long as we’re guessing, I’ll take 50 years in the pool to get EV’s into the US fleet in double digit percentages. Remember, the fleet itself gets larger each year, too.
    And yes, I’m still an optimist! :-)

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (1:59 pm)

    Tagamet: Remember, the fleet itself gets larger each year, too.

    Oops, just checked and for the first time since WWII, the US fleet declined by 4 million last year (sold vs shredded). It went from 250 million to 246 million. ALMOST 5 cars for every 4 licensed drivers.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (2:00 pm)

    In fact, the BEV demo fleet strategy mirrors our battery strategy — we’re partnering with suppliers, universities and government agencies. This allows
    us to share costs, resources and learnings.”

    He explained the purpose of the demonstration fleet is to further the development and progress of core competencies and components.

    “The primary goal of the BEV demo is to continue to develop our core vehicle electrification components: batteries, power controls and motors,” he said.

    I would like to know if the manufacture of these core components will also be done outside the USA? We need as many good jobs at home, not just assembly jobs.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (2:10 pm)

    kdawg: Just a quick question. If a 40mile EREV and a 100mile BEV cost exactly the same and looked exactly the same, which one would you buy and why?  (Quote)

    The 40 mile EREV without question for me.

    80 mile EREV versus 200 mile EV…… Still taking the EREV.

    120 mile EREV versus 300 mile EV….. Not sure

    If I can recharge in under 1 hr while taking a trip, stopping at a restaurant with a charge station or something like that I might do the EV. I don’t need 10 min charge, but something under an 1 hr so my car has ~ 600 mile range would be highly desireable for me personally. If infustructure is coming along even at a limited pace I can be coaxed into the pure EV with a 300 mile range. Otherwise I need the ICE range extender.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (2:39 pm)

    Hobbit: Most likely I would still go with the BEV..but it would really depend on a lot of factors. What is the millage (Kwh/m) of the two vehicles? How much extra maintenance does the EREV need because of its ICE? What’s the mpg of the EREV in CS mode? How likely is it that I would need to go beyond either the Electric range of the EREV or the range of the BEV?
    The answer of course is going to be different for everyone. For some, they will feel like they want the ‘insurance’ policy the EREV will give them. The other thing that, for me, tips the scales to a BEV is it’s inherent simplicity. While we do not of course know yet what if any issues any of these cars might have, intuitively the one with far less moving parts seems like the safer choice.
    Right now the price difference is of course a huge factor in my and I’m sure other peoples decisions. Take that away and much more subtle factors come into play.

    Yes, all these will have to be weighed and everyone will weigh differently. This of course was hypothetical. We don’t know the actual real world ranges in these new cars, the performance, the repairs, etc. We just have to take it at face value. Obviously the looks & pricing are not the same either. I’m just trying to get a # on how many more Kwh (or electric miles) is an ICE worth to the averge person. I think once we know this number (approximately) then we will know what price the batteries will have to reach before it makes more sense to buy a BEV (regarding range, ignore charging issues for now).

    Right now you can buy a Leaf with a 24Kwh battery for $34500. Or a Volt that has a 16Kwh battery for $41,000, but also has an ICE. So is a 19% price premiumum worth getting a 33% smaller battery but gaining an ICE, and another 240 miles of range?

    Or another way, if you had a 40 mile AER BEV, how much more would you pay to add a range extender to it (forget renting the the a the generator-trailer idea)? How much more would you pay to double its AER?

    If an ICE will provide an additional 300 miles of range to the Volt, and it costs about $10,000?(this is a big guess on mfg costs and all the associated parts), that equals about $33/mile of range. The Volt uses 0.2Kwh to go 1 mile. That means 0.2kwh of battery would have to cost $33, and 1kwh would have to cost $165. Which is about 2/5ths of where it is now.

    Or if a person wanted a $25K BEV that went 300miles, and lets say the battery portion is $15K. Assuming 200wh/mile You would need about a 60Kwh battery, plus some extra battery for buffer, so lets say 70kwh. The price would then be about $214 per kwh, which is about 1/2 what it is now.

    So just thinking out loud, w/some napkin calculations, if the battery costs go to 1/2 where they are now, we could have an affordable 300mile range BEV. According to some experts the cost should go down by 1/2 in 5 to 10 years. Charging on long trips would still be an issue. This is I think will be the bigger hurdle and what keeps ICE’s around for some time. All i can come with on that one is battery swaps, and that would require batteries to come down another 50% aigain in cost. Another problem will be size. 70kwhr is going to take up a lot of space using current technology.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (2:57 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): I’d guess a maximum of never. Universal penetration for battery swap will only work if all the cars using it are the same size class, requiring the same shape/size of battery (probably all made by one manufacturer). I find it hard to believe that this can happen in the US, unless all choice is removed by governmental decree (I find it harder to believe that this can happen in the US … but I could be wrong). If EREV takes off and becomes economic (and eventually assumes greater AER ranges) it will be free from such networks and infrastructure; which will then be less needed, and therefor more difficult to introduce. If BEVs take the lion’s share of the market, the infrastructure (of whatever form) will still take close to half a century to become as universal as the one for gasoline today.
    Battery swap might work in a small island market, but on a continent-wide scale, I think it’s a losing proposition.

    I don’t like saying never. Especially when all the pieces to make it happen already exists. There’s no new technology needed to automate this process. But nationwide yes, it would take a long time. It would have to happen in target areas first, then expand, …baby steps. The automakers have standardized on a plug, I could see them standardizing on a battery size too, or maybe there would be 3 standard shapes & sizes that would give some design room. I guess I think of the batteries like the batteries in my flashlight. Some use D-size, some AA, and this allows for different flashlight designs, but many different manufacturers make batteries that will work. If you really want to drive the battery prices down, come up with a standard interface/size and let everyone in the world compete for best performaning cheapest battery.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (3:06 pm)

    doggydogworld: It will be 20 years before electric vehicles of any type constitute a large percentage of the US fleet. That’s more than enough time to deploy any of several solutions to the long-distance range issue:
    1. Range-extender trailer rental
    2. Electrified highways
    3. Battery swap stations
    4. Breakthrough fast-charge technology
    I like #2 myself. Forget 10 minute refueling stops – drive NY to LA and back without stopping once! Note that my first two solutions make EV-300s a waste of weight and money since they’d give no useful advantage over EV-100s.

    Electrified highways would be very cool/useful (but that would really cost some $$$). Someone posted a vid here the other day showing inductive charging thru the roads and parking spots, but I couldn’t find any numbers on the efficiency. I always thought something like bumper car poles could work, but obviously would have to be desinged for high-speeds.

    #4 also make’s EV300′s a waste. If you can recharge in 30 seconds, i think a lot of people would accept a 100-150 BEV.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (3:12 pm)

    Tagamet: Don’t forget to factor in your electric bill.Be well,Tagamet  (Quote)

    Which can be a $40 flat fee per car if you live in Michigan as of yesterday.

    http://nissan-leaf.net/2010/08/11/michigan-fights-back-free-chargers-and-40-a-month-flat-fee-for-energy-in-michigan/

    How do they know if you have more than one?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (3:28 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Don’t forget to factor in your electric bill.Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Oh all right. $0.80 /charge * 260 charges ~ 200 bucks. Electricity is really cheap in Texas.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (3:34 pm)

    LauraM: After looking it up, I probably shouldn’t have said “exurban” I actually meant rural…Something like Alaska.

    Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha! There aren’t that many roads actually. Most trips would be less than 20 miles. Plus there are plug-in spots everywhere.

    But AWD would be a very good idea, so out with NPNS and in with NAWDNS.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (3:36 pm)

    Rob: We get a lot of talk on here about how the batteries aren’t ready for 300 mile range, and about how even if they were, the charging infrastructure is difficult to move large amounts of power around quickly. We never talk about the cars themselves, and about how much power and energy they require. I’m quite confident that putting a LEAF battery into an Aptera would get you damned close to 300 miles of range. If GM is getting consumption of 200Wh/mile from a 3900lb Volt, surely there is room for improvement in an even more aerodynamic, and much lighter vehicle.Maybe we can meet in the middle somewhere? 50% improvement in vehicle energy requirement from the status-quo, and 50% higher-capacity per weight battery?  (Quote)

    The Aptera is a three wheel, two seater incapable of being a substitute for a average family car regardless of it’s range. It’s also not for sale yet and has an initial roll out market of just southern CA. It’s interesting and might be a cool commuter car, but I’m more likely to have a Volt available before the Aptera shows up in my state.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (3:47 pm)

    Jscott1000: your insurance is going to nearly double

    No it won’t. Going from 3 cars to 4 cars won’t even be $200/year. Like most people with multiple-vehicle discount, I also have home owners discount among others. The unknown is what will a Volt or LEAF’s collision and comprehensive be? Allstate won’t quote me on future cars.

    Jscott1000: And electricity isn’t free

    That’s about 200 bucks/year in Texas. (80cents*260 charges). If I can convince work to put in an outlet for me, it’d all be part of my compensation.

    And no, a paid-off vehicle is not fully depreciated. It still has residual value. I could sell it today for $8000 retail. It will depreciate a little less due to not driving it, but, not a whole lot.

    Like I said, I really haven’t put all this on paper yet to present to the CFO (wife), but, I expect to break even or come out a little ahead with what I have so far.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (3:51 pm)

    kdawg: Right now you can buy a Leaf with a 24Kwh battery for $34500. Or a Volt that has a 16Kwh battery for $41,000, but also has an ICE. So is a 19% price premiumum worth getting a 33% smaller battery but gaining an ICE, and another 240 miles of range?

    Nothing wrong with your exercise but you of all people understand that the price of the parts depends on volume. Nissan is getting prices based on something like 2M units while GM is getting prices on something like 200K units. If GM had made a commitment to 10X the volume then the price differential would probably evaporate. IOW I don’t think the Volt costs more because of the range extender, I think the Volt costs more because it’s being produced in lower volumes.

    When you look at the scattergram for daily trip length, there aren’t that many trips over 50 miles, and there are a lot less over 100 miles. So from a cost-benefit analysis EREV is a clear winner: It can cover all daily trip lengths for a fraction of the cost that you’d have to incur getting a BEV to do the same thing. This is the graph that Frank Weber presented, if you remember that. However, the problem with this analysis is that it doesn’t take into account multiple cars or rental cars. If you can use an ICE vehicle for longer trips then you don’t need the EREV because you’re never needing to go more than 100 miles.

    Also keep in mind that had GM used the A123 batteries it might have been able to use a 12 kWh pack rather than a 16 kWh pack since the A123 cells can handle many more cycles. To some extent the trade-offs are dependent on how the technology develops — if the cells get more robust faster than they get cheaper then EREV has a cost advantage. Or vice versa.


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (3:56 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: The EV-1 is like an “ex-wife”…
    You think it would be cool to get back together, but really… it’s not.

    Oh my LORD!! That’s hilarious, +1 to you CG!!

    Shucks, I’ve never even been MARRIED and I totally get the analogy…


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    flmark

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (3:59 pm)

    Loboc: I have a 36v B&D from Home Depot. It’s using old battery technology, but, it gets the job done. It has .080 dual line just like a gas version. The only problem is you need several batteries to equal one tank of gas operating time. Plus, with the batteries, it cost three times as much as an equivalent gas model. And it’s very heavy. I don’t think they make this one any more. Some of the 24v lithium ones look pretty good though. 18v might be too wimpy for some.  (Quote)

    I brought it up recently, but, what the heck…

    Not only do I have no more gas powered tools, I gave away my weedwacker
    http://www.foreverlawn.com/selectvr.html

    It may be expensive, but once you remove this weekly monkey from your back (and help the planet at the same time), you never look back :)


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (4:11 pm)

    Rob: I’m quite confident that putting a LEAF battery into an Aptera would get you damned close to 300 miles of range.

    Not even in the ballpark. Remember (1) that every 400 pounds adds 2 miles of range to city driving and 1 mile to highway driving and that (2) every 40 count reduction in the Cd adds 4 miles to the city driving range and 6 miles to the highway driving range. So reducing the Cd from .28 to .2 and eliminating 1600 pounds would increase the city range by 16 miles or the highway range by 16 miles.

    So you’re 92% short (1 – (16/200)). You can even make crazy assumptions about the A or the Cd or the mass and you’re never getting to 300 miles.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (4:14 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): In my opinion, we won’t see a quick-charge* infrastructure out in the sticks, to compare with what we currently have with liquid fuel, until mid-century.

    I don’t know about that. The newer Li-ion designs are getting so that they can recharge almost as fast as discharge.

    It might be that you can have a bank of charged batteries (or ultracaps) and do a dump of all that juice to the car’s battery in minutes not hours.

    Of course, this would probably require a drive-on type connection (large contacts like the third rail on an electric train) to avoid hauling a couple-hundred-pound cable around. (Ya might wanna not be in or near the car when this dump occurs.)

    Eventually, (And I’m in the camp of less than 50 years. Within some of our lifetimes.) we will be without oil to do anything with it economically. Much less drive around like maniacs. We gotta be thinking about these things and doing serious innovation to keep our lifestyle intact.

    It might also be impossible. In that case, see y’all back in the 12th century.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (4:16 pm)

    Tagamet: Oops, just checked and for the first time since WWII, the US fleet declined by 4 million last year (sold vs shredded).

    This year will be the second year. Don’t think it’s only the recession — it’s a secular trend. People are buying fewer cars and they are keeping them longer. It’s been happening for five or more years both in NA, the EU, and Japan.

    Which is one reason why GM needs global vehicles — there is no growth in the developed markets.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (4:20 pm)

    flmark: It may be expensive, but once you remove this weekly monkey from your back (and help the planet at the same time), you never look back

    Gravel and rock work too! Where I am water is very expensive and grass just eats water.

    Five years ago we took out the tropical landscape and went desert/Mediterranean. Less water. Less upkeep. No more ants. What’s not to like?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (4:24 pm)

    kdawg: Electrified highways would be very cool/useful (but that would really cost some $$$)

    It wouldn’t cost that much. The US has 50k miles of interstate highway, at $1m/mile that’s $50b. Add another 50b for major state highways for 100b total. What’s the incremental cost for EV-300 battery packs vs. EV-100?

    250 million vehicles * (90 kWh – 30 kWh pack) * $333/kWh = $5000 billion

    I’ll take $100b over $5000b any day. Heck, $100b is only a few months of oil imports. And electric highways can also power long-haul trucks, an impossibility for batteries. No need to use inductive transmission, as cool as that might be. Those bullet trains in Europe do fine with conductive.

    How about 120 mph electric sections in wide-open areas? 480 miles in 4 hours instead of 7 hours plus a 20 minute fillup with the 20th century technology of petroleum? Think that’d spur interest in EV-100s despite not meeting Rashid’s “requirements”? You betcha!


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (4:24 pm)

    Mitch: Special rates for electric vehicles…in Mich

    Yes, I’ve been keeping an eye out for things in this area. I suspect that if you call the local electric utility you will get a fair amount of confusion. Also, the one rate did not seem all that good, $40 per month I believe? You would have to do 2 charges a day to make that worthwhile or am I missing something?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (4:46 pm)

    DonC: Gravel and rock work too! Where I am water is very expensive and grass just eats water. Five years ago we took out the tropical landscape and went desert/Mediterranean. Less water. Less upkeep. No more ants. What’s not to like?  (Quote)

    You Bet!!

    The grass is too expensive to use everywhere anyway. I had to keep 1000 sq ft out front for the city right of way. I added 400 or so sq ft in the back as ‘features’. Otherwise, yes, the old crappy St Augustine was replaced with a) a circular driveway b) a paver patio c) crushed shell and paver pathways and lots and lots of drought resistant plants (oleander, mexican petunia, bouganvillea, etc.) And this spring, I made the jump into the forever mulch made of old tires.

    Little water, little fertilizer and greatly reduced effort- yards should be appreciated- not slaved over :)


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (4:50 pm)

    What I like to see most is the gas stations in the whole USA take out 2 gas pumps per station at a minimum and put in 2 quick chargers in its place that let you swipe your credit card.
    That would be the cheapest way to build a new infrastructure for Erevs and Bevs and there would be a place to charge every where you go and maybe the gas stations could stay in business in the long run.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (4:55 pm)

    off topic: Volts in red (desktop wallpaper).

    =D-Volt

    red-volts.jpg


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:11 pm)

    Jimza Skeptic: Ted, Maybe you already answered this… Did you order VOLT for MSRP?  (Quote)

    Jim,
    Yes I answered it yesterday but I did get it for MSRP.

    Take Care,
    TED


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:12 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): The US is a very large country, optimized for road travel.An 80-90 real-world-mile BEV just won’t cut it for too many Americans to make it a priority here.EREV is a far better match.With one supplier for EREV and several (growing monthly) for 80-90 real-world-mile BEVs, it seems likely that it’s niche here will be filled relatively quickly.BEVs do need to be capable of more mileage per charge, but one quickly reaches the limits of what can be done from a home charger overnight.220V for 10 – 11 hours would recharge a big pack, but not enough the often-cited 300 miles.You need a larger, widespread infrastructure to support that kind of range, and it will take more than a decade to establish.As batteries improve in terms of cycle-life, such infrastructure will have to compete with greater EREV all-electric ranges with smaller, more efficient engines.Without massive government intervention, this will make a hard sell out of establishing the BEV infrastructure.While it is true that volume production will bring pack pricing down, EREV technology provides the same or superior opportunities to improve the basic science and technology behind the battery cells (EREV cells would be worked harder without an ultracapacitor-based buffer).No matter how cheap cells get, an EREV will use fewer of them than a BEV.Volume production of EREV will eventually produce a cost advantage over BEVs, IMO.GM is definitely taking the correct course, here.EDIT:While I was taking my sweet time over this comment, several of you have pointed out pretty much the same things.  

    The Tesla S will have 300 mile range and charge in 3 to 4 hrs from home ,will be out in early 2012 $ $48000 AND UP WITH OPTIONS.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:14 pm)

    Dave K.: off topic: Volts in red (desktop wallpaper).

    Is that Chip Foose?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:15 pm)

    nasaman: Congrats, Ted! And could you tell us just a little about your Volt? What options (if any) did you order? What color? Which interior? Did you get MSRP? Buy or lease? Thnx in advance!  (Quote)

    White Diamond Pearl, Cloth seats with no trim package, polished wheels my only option. I would not lease from GM. Old habits die hard. At MSRP. I have to pick it up in Sterling Heights Michigan in March. Wanna ride along?

    Take Care, TED


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:16 pm)

    Donny B: What I like to see most is the gas stations in the whole USA take out 2 gas pumps per station at a minimum and put in 2 quick chargers in its place that let you swipe your credit card.
    That would be the cheapest way to build a new infrastructure for Erevs and Bevs and there would be a place to charge every where you go and maybe the gas stations could stay in business in the long run.

    They would probably make more $ too, since i’m told they dont make any $ on the gas, just the convenience items they sell.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:21 pm)

    Joe:
    The Tesla S will have 300 mile range and charge in 3 to 4 hrs from home ,will be out in early 2012 $ $48000 AND UP WITH OPTIONS.  

    Joe:
    The Tesla S will have 300 mile range and charge in 3 to 4 hrs from home ,will be out in early 2012 $ $48000 AND UP WITH OPTIONS.  

    Tesla S will have capability to swap battery out in 3 min.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:22 pm)

    Joe: The Tesla S will have 300 mile range and charge in 3 to 4 hrs from home ,will be out in early 2012 $ $48000 AND UP WITH OPTIONS.

    Please see my much-negged comment at #41 (and feel free to add to it, if you’d like). I realize that anything short of delighted anticipation of the “S” is anathema to this board, but frankly I see little sign that Tesla will ever be substantially able to produce such a car in anything beyond tiny numbers. GM, big as it is, will only produce 10,000 Volts the first year. I’ll be amazed if Tesla turns out 10,000 copies of any self-designed model in all.

    Can someone please change my mind (with supportable facts)? I hate being so unpopular, lol.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:29 pm)

    Joe: The Tesla S will have 300 mile range and charge in 3 to 4 hrs from home ,will be out in early 2012 $ $48000 AND UP WITH OPTIONS.  (Quote)

    The base Model S will have 160 miles range and they are “projecting” $49,999 after rebate. They also say they currently plan to start production in 2012, so best case for most people will be 2013. I like the Model S a LOT and think it will do very well if they hit these goals, but reality is what it is.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:33 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): Please see my much-negged comment at #41 (and feel free to add to it, if you’d like). I realize that anything short of delighted anticipation of the “S” is anathema to this board, but frankly I see little sign that Tesla will ever be substantially able to produce such a car in anything beyond tiny numbers. GM, big as it is, will only produce 10,000 Volts the first year. I’ll be amazed if Tesla turns out 10,000 copies of any self-designed model in all. Can someone please change my mind (with supportable facts)? I hate being so unpopular, lol.  (Quote)

    I am willing the bet the IF (big friggin’ if at this point) Tesla does make it to production with the Model S, that they will turn out more than 10,000 copies in the first 2 years of production and will be producing at greater than 10K per year in the 3rd year. I would also be surprised if production starts in earnest in 2012.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:38 pm)

    Joe: The Tesla S will have 300 mile range and charge in 3 to 4 hrs from home ,will be out in early 2012 $ $48000 AND UP WITH OPTIONS.

    I picked up the ‘September Issue’ of MotorTrend and was reading what Angus Mackenzie wrote in response to some of Elon Musk’s boasting. He ended with:

    “But perhaps the ultimate irony is it’s GM, long the Silicon Valley poster-child for all that’s wrong with the auto industry, that’s poised to launch a car that may be more significant than anything Tesla is ever likely to build. The Chevy VOLT is a thoughtful, innovative, technically advanced vehicle; the prototypes we’ve driven confirm it cleverly combines the best attributes of an electric motor and the gasoline internal-combustion engine. Disruptive technology? (<–quoting Musk) Sorry, Elon, there's more at GM than Tesla."


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:38 pm)

    kdawg: Is that Chip Foose?

    It doesn’t look like Chip, no.

    BTW:A guy I work with took an automotive class Chip is involved in. His goal is to update a (69?) Chevelle. Chip drew a sketch for him as part of the class. I have a 12″x18″ copy of it in my bedroom. The guy has amazing sketch skills. And a flair for low key accents that really class up his designs.

    =D-Volt


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:43 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): Please see my much-negged comment at #41 (and feel free to add to it, if you’d like). I realize that anything short of delighted anticipation of the “S” is anathema to this board, but frankly I see little sign that Tesla will ever be substantially able to produce such a car in anything beyond tiny numbers. GM, big as it is, will only produce 10,000 Volts the first year. I’ll be amazed if Tesla turns out 10,000 copies of any self-designed model in all. Can someone please change my mind (with supportable facts)? I hate being so unpopular, lol.  (Quote)

    Tesla has the advantage of being a VERY small company. They can probably sell 1000 to 2000 of the Model S and show a tidy profit. They don’t have THOUSANDS of employees and their related ‘pension plan baggage’ to have to pay for.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:54 pm)

    DonC: Tagamet: Oops, just checked and for the first time since WWII, the US fleet declined by 4 million last year (sold vs shredded).

    This year will be the second year. Don’t think it’s only the recession — it’s a secular trend. People are buying fewer cars and they are keeping them longer. It’s been happening for five or more years both in NA, the EU, and Japan.

    Do you mean 2010 as “this year” being the second? I think it’s hard to rule out the ecconomy as the primary cause of the fewer vehicles being bought. JMO.

    http://www.grist.org/article/u.s.-car-fleet-shrinks-by-four-million-in-2009/

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    GM tech

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (5:55 pm)

    I know this is a Volt fan site, and enthusiasts have “New Car Fever” just like the Camaro fans did, but as a technician the Camaro surge has pretty much died down and sales are leveling out. I have some real reservations about this vehicle, it is the first hybrid of it’s kind to use a series system, and although it has been through some serious testing I know from first hand experience that once a real world customer gets their hands on the vehicle all of the testing in the world cannot anticipate what and how the vehicle will perform in the hands of the public. I was there when Bob Lutz firmly told us that the car would be 20K, and I thought at last something hotter and cooler than the Toyota Prius, or the Honda Insight and we would have a leg up on the competition, because we had a plug in that could be a limited mileage EV. The next thing we were told is it wouldn’t be out until 2009/2010 and the styling had to be changed from the original and well the production cost had gone up and they were going to keep it around 30K, at the time I thought well if gas stays like it is it will still be a big competitor although the real buyer currently in the Malibu/Cobalt probably would not be able to afford it. Now here we are in late 2010 the price is 40K plus depending on how much the dealer gouges the purchaser for a vehicle that will still have to prove it lives up to all of the claims made about it. The EV1 was potentially the best option GM would have had as an experiment that could have given them the edge to keep developing it and probably have the most efficient technologically advanced vehicle on the planet, you may say whatever and call me crazy, but as a tech I hated these things, there was very little money from my side of the vehicle to be made, tire rotations, battery replacements especially on the first ones, and some minor electrical issues but the labor pay was terrible and the parts side of the business saw it as a loser too, I think that is why GM eliminated the vehicle and so did all of the other manufacturers in California. They were afraid that it would catch on and we would not need all of the parts/engines/transmission components to replace current ones as they fail and it would lead to a huge profit loss. Then GM got into financial trouble and things are still not great. I am afraid they are putting all of their hopes on this car saving the company and I just don’t see it from my standpoint it is going to be big surge and then fizzle out to nothing, if this car is not a big money maker it will end up just like the EV1. Toyota and Honda are on third and fourth generation parallel hybrids that have proven themselves to hold up and deliver acceptable life and performance, and here we are way behind on a first generation series hybrid. I really am concerned as to what the future holds for the Volt…………….You may now start bashing me.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:06 pm)

    Tagamet: Do you mean 2010 as “this year” being the second? I think it’s hard to rule out the ecconomy as the primary cause of the fewer vehicles being bought. JMO.

    Yes 2010 will be the second year. No question that the recession has played a role. My point was that the decrease in new car sales started five or six years ago in Japan and three or years ago in the EU. Some project a net scrapage of 5M units a year for the next five years. http://www.docstoc.com/docs/4628577/US-Auto-Sales-Will-Keep-Falling

    My guess is that this is too high and people will just hang on to their cars longer — which they’ve been doing for at least ten years. But new car sales aren’t returning to 17M SARS a year anytime soon.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:06 pm)

    Loboc: …It might also be impossible. In that case, see y’all back in the 12th century.

    You and your spouse would really RULE, if that happened (g).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:11 pm)

    DonC:… My guess is that this is too high and people will just hang on to their cars longer — which they’ve been doing for at least ten years. But new car sales aren’t returning to 17M SARS a year anytime soon.

    So what percent of 17M SARS is the Volt’s 10K? (G)

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:15 pm)

    GM tech: I just don’t see it from my standpoint it is going to be big surge and then fizzle out to nothing

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion and the fact is that no one has a crystal ball. So it’s hard to say you’re wrong.

    On the other hand sometimes things just come together and you have a wave of adoption. Personal computers, mobile phones, WiFi networks, MP3 players, digital cameras, smartphones, flash memory — in every case most people and invariably most of the experts didn’t think the new would catch on. I’m a late stage early adopter and I’m feeling a wave. My guess is it’s real because I don’t see myself as that special. Just not a visionary. My estimate is that 30% of the households in my neighborhood will have an EV within ten years, and that may be too pessimistic.


  189. 189
    DonC

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:19 pm)

    koz: I like the Model S a LOT and think it will do very well if they hit these goals, but reality is what it is.  

    Beware the Elon Must realty distortion field! Not happening. FWIW I love the Model S design. But the specs and price are just crazy. Love to be wrong.


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:21 pm)

    Tagamet: So what percent of 17M SARS is the Volt’s 10K

    30%, can’t you do math!


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:25 pm)

    DonC: Love to be wrong.

    You really hide that well (LOL). Just kidding, Don.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    john1701a

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:28 pm)

    GM tech: I have some real reservations about this vehicle, it is the first hybrid of it’s kind to use a series system, and although it has been through some serious testing I know from first hand experience that once a real world customer gets their hands on the vehicle all of the testing in the world cannot anticipate what and how the vehicle will perform in the hands of the public.

    Some here wonder why Toyota is taking an extra year to do real-world consumer testing prior to rollout of their plug-in. This is “drive it whatever way you normally would” data they are collecting that no in-house effort could ever achieve. In fact, I’ll get an opportunity next week to play with one.

    Getting 600 of them out on the road and in the hands of random drivers is priceless… none of that coned-lot, low-speed, no-CS-mode nonense. This is the real mccoy. They hand over a FOB and cord, wishing me a good time with the vehicle. Just think of the exposure to actual road conditions it gets.

    Even if they don’t find a single problem, it provides the opportunity to refine algorithms in the meantime to squeeze out even greater efficiency. They’ll probably be able to whittle down cost a little bit too.

    GM focus on November 2010 set a stage for the great unknown, with the whole world watching and paying consumers wondering what to actually expect.


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    koz

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:32 pm)

    Jscott1000: how long before a BEV using that technology is for sale in the USA and battery swap stations are located in as many places as gas stations?  (Quote)

    Did you spend much (any) time actually thinking about how many swap stations would make it a practical solution? On The Big Island, about 140 miles circumference, how many will it take? 2, 3, 4 swap stations? How many gas stations would be needed to support EREV100? Most charging will be done at home.

    I’m not saying swap stations are a slam dunk to get us off oil but they shouldn’t be discarded because of faulty reasoning.


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    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:33 pm)

    106 LauraM:
    We can’t compete with China as a market when they need so much more new electricity than we do.And even if we could, if goods were generally produced in the area of their largest market, the US wouldn’t have to worry about it’s manufacturing base.And we certainly wouldn’t run a trade deficit in pharmaceuticals.(We are the only country that lets the drug companies charge whatever they want.Which means we pay three times as much for the exact same drug.But they still prefer to produce in Ireland.)Corporations produce goods where it’s cheapest to do so.Regardless of where they plan to sell those goods.Unless, of course, the government in question charges admission to their markets.(Like, say, China.)Or gives local producers advantages in other ways.(Like pretty much every country except the US.But the US government is strongly committed to not interfering in the “free market”…  

    I was working on a reply to comment when I pressed a wrong key and lost everything.

    so here’s a shorter version. (Well no so short). I agree with much of what you said. China’s population is so large that it will consume most of its production in the near future. As time passes, their labor rates will rise and become comparable within all developed countries. Just as we find today in the U.S.; employers are stating that are finding enough people with the skills necessary to do the job. IMHO, they are just taking advantage to obtain lower labor costs. What will be necessary is the normalization of labor rates. I know it’s not popular to say something like this but the costs of labor in the United States are high. Economic forces will bring the labor rates down in the U.S.

    Judging from what Obama has said a number of times, the days of our government not intervening is over. We need our federal government supporting our manufacturing base! I think that the recent so called “bail -out” of the automotive industry was necessary. When you consider the “bail-outs” of past administrations for vital industries, what was done for the automotive industry is no different. Having been in the international trade business, I have seen how our give-away trade policy has hurt our industrial base and has had a part in the recession we are going through. We need our government to devise policy that will help give our industry an edge against those countries that are helping their industries. Balance the field!

    I would go as far as to say, the United States has interfered in free trade policy: to the benefit of Wall Street. It has resulted in local industry moving abroad in favor of lower labor rates and no import tariffs on the goods produced from the select countries given free duty rates. Although the trade agreements were meant to be reciprocal, often the foreign companies violated the requirements on their produce through so called “clerical errors. Often U.S. Customs was understaffed to be able to adequately enforce the laws on outright fraud. Its a sad state of affairs that our executive agencies are unable to enforce the very laws they were created for. And often the big corporations were in on it.

    The whole point of my post is: we have the opportunity to revitalize our manufacturing industry if Banking institutions and investors get behind the green technology revolution in a bigger way than is happening at present. As you have indicated, once it begins it will snowball. I am hopeful for our nation to survive the current upheaval in the global market.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:34 pm)

    DonC: Beware the Elon Must realty distortion field! Not happening. FWIW I love the Model S design. But the specs and price are just crazy. Love to be wrong.

    #189

    True that. +1


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:41 pm)

    DonC: Hi Noel, welcome back. You’ve been missed!

    #58

    Thanks. It’s been a rough couple of months. Hopefully, I’ll be getting back up to speed, or at least somewhere close to it.

    Best regards to all.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (6:42 pm)

    LauraM: Because the only time American companies care about the USA is when they need bailout money.

    Well, that, and gasoline is still a lot cheaper here than it is in pretty much every other country in the world. (Except Venezuela. And probably Saudi Arabia.)

    #61

    Too bloody right. +1


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    kent beuchert

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:03 pm)

    Calling the extended range Volt technology “brilliant” more or less destroys the meaning of that
    word. Call it “the only way to build a more or less mostly electric vehicle” that is also
    range-practical and you will at least have a plausible characterization. It’s also an expensive bet by GM that a practical battery is a long way off. That I doubt. We’ll just wait and see who’s right on that score. The technology itself is hardly earthbraking – off-the-grid solar homes have used it for decades, and any competent automaker can do as good or better a job at implementing
    range extension, both mechanically and in terms of looks. If GM thinks that the folks who are attracted to EV propulsion disregard looks, they are going, oncce again, to have their heads handed to them on a platter. Apparently going bankrupt didn’t teach the execs at GM very much.
    Bankruptcy means that you’re not running your business worth a damn.


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    nasaman

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:16 pm)

    Ted in Fort Myers, post #174: White Diamond Pearl, Cloth seats with no trim package, polished wheels my only option. I would not lease from GM. Old habits die hard. At MSRP. I have to pick it up in Sterling Heights Michigan in March. Wanna ride along?

    Take Care, TED

    Hey Ted — I emailed you my phone # & email address — re: your question, who knows —it might be possible, so call or email me to discuss it if you like.


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    usbseawolf2000

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:24 pm)

    john1701a: …none of that coned-lot, low-speed, no-CS-mode nonense.This is the real mccoy. They hand over a FOB and cord, wishing me a good time with the vehicle.Just think of the exposure to actual road conditions it gets.Even if they don’t find a single problem, it provides the opportunity to refine algorithms in the meantime to squeeze out even greater efficiency.

    Congrats John. It is great to see Toyota is handing you a PHV Prius for test driving it and allowing you to refine it. I wish they’ll give you again during winter so we have the data to compare with your regular Prius.

    I also wish GM to give you a Volt to compare with the PHV Prius as well.


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    dumdums

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (7:35 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    herm

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:02 pm)

    NASA-Eng: I was under the impression the cost to “Manufacture” the Volt and Leaf are similar and Nissan is choosing to sell at a loss while GM wants to make a profit right out of the gate?

    Actually Nissan has stated several times they will not take a loss.


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    Peter M

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:06 pm)

    This might be it.

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20100811/AUTO01/8110418/GM-to-file-for-IPO-Friday

    The paperwork needed for IPO could be filed with the SEC on friday. I think copies of this are public and could provide insight into GM’s plans, see link above.


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    pjkPA

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:20 pm)

    I’m going to guess that in a year or so we will see a electric only VOLT.
    I just want to see the MPV5 in the US… CUV electric.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:42 pm)

    pjkPA: I’m going to guess that in a year or so we will see a electric only VOLT.
    I just want to see the MPV5 in the US… CUV electric.  

    AMEN! +1

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (8:55 pm)

    DonC: Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha! There aren’t that many roads actually. Most trips would be less than 20 miles. Plus there are plug-in spots everywhere.

    But AWD would be a very good idea, so out with NPNS and in with NAWDNS.

    Really? When I was there, we drove quite a few five hour stretches. Maybe the roads are just for tourists?

    I didn’t notice any places to plug in, so they must have built them pretty recently. (As in the past five years). But good for them…


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:02 pm)

    koz: I’m not saying swap stations are a slam dunk to get us off oil but they shouldn’t be discarded because of faulty reasoning. 

    Forgetting about the technical problems and the standardization issues, I wouldn’t want to swap out my well cared for known quantity of a battery for someone else’s castoff. No thanks.


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:10 pm)

    LauraM: Really? When I was there, we drove quite a few five hour stretches. Maybe the roads are just for tourists?
    I didn’t notice any places to plug in, so they must have built them pretty recently. (As in the past five years). But good for them…  

    If you start in Anchorage you can go up to Fairbanks or down the Kenai but that’s it. If you’ve spent several days driving for 5 or 6 hours you’ve seen it all! Alaska only has about 1/3 the land mass of the continental US but only .17% of the paved roads. (Even smaller percentage of unpaved roads).

    There have been plugs all over the place for years. Did you see vehicles with electrical cords coming out of the front grills? Those plug into the outside electrical outlets.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:16 pm)

    john1701a: Some here wonder why Toyota is taking an extra year to do real-world consumer testing prior to rollout of their plug-in. This is “drive it whatever way you normally would” data they are collecting that no in-house effort could ever achieve. In fact, I’ll get an opportunity next week to play with one.
    Getting 600 of them out on the road and in the hands of random drivers is priceless… none of that coned-lot, low-speed, no-CS-mode nonense. This is the real mccoy. They hand over a FOB and cord, wishing me a good time with the vehicle. Just think of the exposure to actual road conditions it gets.
    Even if they don’t find a single problem, it provides the opportunity to refine algorithms in the meantime to squeeze out even greater efficiency. They’ll probably be able to whittle down cost a little bit too.
    GM focus on November 2010 set a stage for the great unknown, with the whole world watching and paying consumers wondering what to actually expect.

    GM is basically doing the same thing…. they are just doing it with 10,000 cars instead of just 600.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:24 pm)

    DonC: Forgetting about the technical problems and the standardization issues, I wouldn’t want to swap out my well cared for known quantity of a battery for someone else’s castoff. No thanks.

    What if the battery in your car wasn’t yours to begin with since you never had to buy it, and the value of the cell was only $500, and you swapped a new one every week or so, and your car could instantly tell you the health of the battery so you knew you were getting a good one?


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:35 pm)

    /Heading for the crib early.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  212. 212
    LauraM

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (9:47 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: I was working on a reply to comment when I pressed a wrong key and lost everything.

    That happens to me ALL the time. You’d think I’d learn to write shorter posts…

    LRGVProVolt: so here’s a shorter version. (Well no so short). I agree with much of what you said. China’s population is so large that it will consume most of its production in the near future. As time passes, their labor rates will rise and become comparable within all developed countries. Just as we find today in the U.S.; employers are stating that are finding enough people with the skills necessary to do the job. IMHO, they are just taking advantage to obtain lower labor costs. What will be necessary is the normalization of labor rates. I know it’s not popular to say something like this but the costs of labor in the United States are high. Economic forces will bring the labor rates down in the U.S.

    Labor costs are actually higher in Germany than they are in the US. And they have a rather large trade surplus. Labor costs are not the only factor. Very often they’re not even the most important factor. Tax structure. Infrastructure. Access to markets. Etc, all play a very important role as well.

    Also, we could bring down labor costs in the US without reducing actual income if we brought down the cost of health care. There is no reason we have to pay more for pharmaceuticals than anyone else. We could also build more public transportation, so that we wouldn’t be quite so dependent on the price of gasoline.

    LRGVProVolt: Judging from what Obama has said a number of times, the days of our government not intervening is over. We need our federal government supporting our manufacturing base! I think that the recent so called “bail -out” of the automotive industry was necessary. When you consider the “bail-outs” of past administrations for vital industries, what was done for the automotive industry is no different. Having been in the international trade business, I have seen how our give-away trade policy has hurt our industrial base and has had a part in the recession we are going through. We need our government to devise policy that will help give our industry an edge against those countries that are helping their industries. Balance the field!

    I really hope you’re right about this. Because I haven’t seen nearly enough moves in that direction.

    LRGVProVolt: I would go as far as to say, the United States has interfered in free trade policy: to the benefit of Wall Street. It has resulted in local industry moving abroad in favor of lower labor rates and no import tariffs on the goods produced from the select countries given free duty rates. Although the trade agreements were meant to be reciprocal, often the foreign companies violated the requirements on their produce through so called “clerical errors. Often U.S. Customs was understaffed to be able to adequately enforce the laws on outright fraud. Its a sad state of affairs that our executive agencies are unable to enforce the very laws they were created for. And often the big corporations were in on it.

    Wall Street. Yes. But also the wealthy in general. CEO pay has skyrocketed. And in there’s been a shift towards favoring capital over labor. (In general. Possibly, at least in part, to help bailout the chronically underfunded pension funds.)

    Also, short term gains over long term. Which is about Wall Street. But it’s also about election cycles. Politicians only look towards the next election. Not the next ten to twenty years.

    The US also routinely trades economic advantage for geopolitical favors. It was one thing to do that right after WWII when Stalin was a genuine threat, and the US’s economic advantage was so absolute we could afford to be generous. Now? Not so much.

    LRGVProVolt: The whole point of my post is: we have the opportunity to revitalize our manufacturing industry if Banking institutions and investors get behind the green technology revolution in a bigger way than is happening at present. As you have indicated, once it begins it will snowball. I am hopeful for our nation to survive the current upheaval in the global market.

    But they have to be willing to get behind it being manufactured in America. Spending our subsidies on Chinese windmills and solar panels is counterproductive. We’re helping their manufacturing base rather than ours. And increasing our trade deficit at the same time.

    Yes. We also become a little bit more energy secure. And we help the environment. Which is also important. But so is the US manufacturing base, and the sustainability of the American economy.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:04 pm)

    Noel Park: Thanks. It’s been a rough couple of months. Hopefully, I’ll be getting back up to speed, or at least somewhere close to it.

    Welcome back!


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    john1701a

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:08 pm)

    kdawg: GM is basically doing the same thing…. they are just doing it with 10,000 cars instead of just 600.

    No. The 600 don’t have to pay. GM is charging the 10,000 for their data.

    There aren’t any promises or expectations for the 600. It’s just a “here, drive it” agreement. Those who pay $41k will have quite a different perspective.

    Also, think about the dealer obligations for sales & service.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:12 pm)

    DonC: If you start in Anchorage you can go up to Fairbanks or down the Kenai but that’s it. If you’ve spent several days driving for 5 or 6 hours you’ve seen it all! Alaska only has about 1/3 the land mass of the continental US but only .17% of the paved roads. (Even smaller percentage of unpaved roads).

    Oh. Well, as tourists, we drove from Fairbanks to Denali. And then From Denali to Anchorage. And then from Anchorage to Seward….Like I said, it was a while ago, but I remember spending a rather lot of time in the car…And there were places that we couldn’t go because they were too far away, and therefore, only on the cruise routes…

    DonC: There have been plugs all over the place for years. Did you see vehicles with electrical cords coming out of the front grills? Those plug into the outside electrical outlets.

    No. But, then again, I might not have noticed. And it was a while ago…

    But are those outside electric outlets 240 volts? Because if not, the charging time could still be a problem…


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:13 pm)

    kdawg: What if the battery in your car wasn’t yours to begin with since you never had to buy it, and the value of the cell was only $500, and you swapped a new one every week or so, and your car could instantly tell you the health of the battery so you knew you were getting a good one? 

    Yeah, OK. But you know what? I’d probably only do a swap if I thought my pack was substandard.

    I’m trying to think of something that is similar that I don’t have an issue with and I’m not coming up with any good analogies. For example, in a car lease you don’t own the car, but I wouldn’t want to be swapping it out. One issue is that losses are felt more than gains, so people (including moi) generally don’t want to part with what they have.

    But really, if you can assume a $500 battery pack why not assume a two minute fast charger?


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:15 pm)

    john1701a: No. The 600 don’t have to pay. GM is charging the 10,000 for their data.

    There aren’t any promises or expectations for the 600. It’s just a “here, drive it” agreement. Those who pay $41k will have quite a different perspective.

    Unlike Toyota, GM can’t afford to hand out vehicles for free. At some point, the US government expects GM to perform independently. The Japanese government has no such demands for Toyota.


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:19 pm)

    LauraM: Oh. Well, as tourists, we drove from Fairbanks to Denali. And then From Denali to Anchorage. And then from Anchorage to Seward….

    Well you pretty much did it all! Actually not quite. You could have cut over to Homer from Seward but that’s about it. Hope you had a nice time. The global warming which isn’t happening has lead to an infestation of bark beetles throughout the Kenai so it’s pretty much a wasteland now. Probably not as scenic as when you went through.

    The plugs are just the standard 120 V. You plug in so you can heat and circulate the anti-freeze. Keeps the engine nice an warm. Some places have a switch indoors that let’s you turn the electricity on and off.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:37 pm)

    john1701a: No. The 600 don’t have to pay. GM is charging the 10,000 for their data.
    There aren’t any promises or expectations for the 600. It’s just a “here, drive it” agreement. Those who pay $41k will have quite a different perspective.
    Also, think about the dealer obligations for sales & service.

    GM also gave about 80~100 to employees to drive. The 10,000 will have a warranty. I guess i’m not getting your point. My point was that data from 10,000 cars is better than data from 600.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (10:49 pm)

    DonC: But really, if you can assume a $500 battery pack why not assume a two minute fast charger?

    True, it really is a technology race. I dont know which will come first. Cheap batteries, quick charging batteries, charging on the fly, or insert any other breakthrough. I would guess cheap first, just because more & more people are joining the battery bandwagon, and not only as manufacturing costs go down, the energy densities are increasing. Plus we are already seeing evidence of the cost going down. I don’t hear too much on the fast charging other than random news about Eestor or occasional articles on supercapacitors. On top of that, you would need some major voltage/current availble to do a quick charge. Now we are talking infrastructure. However a battery swap station would also need some infrastructure, and a lot of power as well to keep a lot of batteries charged. It will be intersting how it all unfolds. I’m not writing anything off at this point.


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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:00 pm)

    DonC: I’d probably only do a swap if I thought my pack was substandard.

    I was thinking people would swap when they were low on energy, driving something like a 100mile BEV. So people that had a 75 mile commute could swap when they got into town. They would only pay a swapping fee, and the difference in energy of the batteries. When they got home they would recharge. Ideally they would also charge at work, but maybe they are just running to the office for 1/2 hour and then need to take off. Other peole that may use a swapping station are people going on longer trips, say 500 miles. They would have to stop 5 times or more in a 100mile BEV, which would be somewhat annoying unless they get the swapping down to say 30 seconds near the side of the expressway, but nevertheless, they could get to where they were going gas free.


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    The Original James

     

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:11 pm)

    kdawg: I was thinking people would swap when they were low on energy, driving something like a 100mile BEV. So people that had a 75 mile commute could swap when they got into town. They would only pay a swapping fee, and the difference in energy of the batteries. When they got home they would recharge. Ideally they would also charge at work, but maybe they are just running to the office for 1/2 hour and then need to take off. Other peole that may use a swapping station are people going on longer trips, say 500 miles. They would have to stop 5 times or more in a 100mile BEV, which would be somewhat annoying unless they get the swapping down to say 30 seconds near the side of the expressway, but nevertheless, they could get to where they were going gas free.  (Quote)

    or just simply plug in when you get to work. I typicaly work an 9-10 hour day. My employeer already said I can plug in so I will leave work every day with a full charge. =)


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    WopOnTour

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:25 pm)

    Hmmm

    Some of your comments leave me to believe you may not be a GM dealer tech at all, and possibly just another TROLL.

    I certainly won’t take your comments seriously until you can “validate” your credentials.

    So riddle me this- What is the SI Document ID for a DTC P0010 Diagnosis on a 2011 Chevy Cruze with a 1.4 Turbo?

    Any GM Tech would be able to obtain that in a matter of a few seconds via Global Connect.

    Do so and we’ll discuss your thoughts and concerns.
    Otherwise we’ll just NEG you away like all the other trolls.

    WopOnTour

    GM tech: I know this is a Volt fan site, and enthusiasts have “New Car Fever” just like the Camaro fans did, but as a technician the Camaro surge has pretty much died down and sales are leveling out. I have some real reservations about this vehicle, it is the first hybrid of it’s kind to use a series system, and although it has been through some serious testing I know from first hand experience that once a real world customer gets their hands on the vehicle all of the testing in the world cannot anticipate what and how the vehicle will perform in the hands of the public. I was there when Bob Lutz firmly told us that the car would be 20K, and I thought at last something hotter and cooler than the Toyota Prius, or the Honda Insight and we would have a leg up on the competition, because we had a plug in that could be a limited mileage EV. The next thing we were told is it wouldn’t be out until 2009/2010 and the styling had to be changed from the original and well the production cost had gone up and they were going to keep it around 30K, at the time I thought well if gas stays like it is it will still be a big competitor although the real buyer currently in the Malibu/Cobalt probably would not be able to afford it. Now here we are in late 2010 the price is 40K plus depending on how much the dealer gouges the purchaser for a vehicle that will still have to prove it lives up to all of the claims made about it. The EV1 was potentially the best option GM would have had as an experiment that could have given them the edge to keep developing it and probably have the most efficient technologically advanced vehicle on the planet, you may say whatever and call me crazy, but as a tech I hated these things, there was very little money from my side of the vehicle to be made, tire rotations, battery replacements especially on the first ones, and some minor electrical issues but the labor pay was terrible and the parts side of the business saw it as a loser too, I think that is why GM eliminated the vehicle and so did all of the other manufacturers in California. They were afraid that it would catch on and we would not need all of the parts/engines/transmission components to replace current ones as they fail and it would lead to a huge profit loss. Then GM got into financial trouble and things are still not great. I am afraid they are putting all of their hopes on this car saving the company and I just don’t see it from my standpoint it is going to be big surge and then fizzle out to nothing, if this car is not a big money maker it will end up just like the EV1. Toyota and Honda are on third and fourth generation parallel hybrids that have proven themselves to hold up and deliver acceptable life and performance, and here we are way behind on a first generation series hybrid. I really am concerned as to what the future holds for the Volt…………….You may now start bashing me.


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    john1701a

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    Aug 11th, 2010 (11:39 pm)

    kdawg: My point was that data from 10,000 cars is better than data from 600.

    How many of those 10,000 will get taken apart and studied carefully by engineers after a year or so? For that matter, how much of the data can be shared here?


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    kdawg

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    Aug 12th, 2010 (12:00 am)

    john1701a: How many of those 10,000 will get taken apart and studied carefully by engineers after a year or so? For that matter, how much of the data can be shared here?

    Well GM has been abusing & taking apart Volts and its individual components for a year or more now. The data being collected from users is typical charging & use patterns which will be gathered via Onstar, which all 10,000 will have free for 5 years. All of that data can be shared here if any of the owners care to share it (which if even only 10% do, thats still 1000 data points). I’m not worried at all about the testing of the Volt. That is definitely one area where GM has been transparent. Again, I still don’t get your point. What are you trying to tell us?


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    Aug 12th, 2010 (12:05 am)

    The Original James: or just simply plug in when you get to work. I typicaly work an 9-10 hour day. My employeer already said I can plug in so I will leave work every day with a full charge. =)

    Thats great you can plug in at work. I looked around my office, and nada. I could charge at the plant (even w/480V 3ph), if only the Volt would accept it. Maybe I’ll have to do some “government work” and rig something up for 220V.

    I did mention charging at work in my post. I also gave the scenario where you might have to leave right away. Another scenario would be a 75mile trip to the shopping mall where there no plugs, or you are only going to shop for 1 hour. There’s also the lazy factor where people don’t want to plug in and would rather just grab a new battery before they head out of town.


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    jscott1000

     

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    Aug 12th, 2010 (12:05 am)

    Loboc:
    No it won’t. Going from 3 cars to 4 cars won’t even be $200/year.

    I don’t care what kind of discount you have, I want to see a policy with full coverage on a new car for $200 a year. I have 5 cars insured in my name (one driver) so I know a little about multi-car discounts.


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    Aug 12th, 2010 (5:52 am)

    Ted in Fort Myers: White Diamond Pearl, Cloth seats with no trim package, polished wheels my only option. I would not lease from GM. Old habits die hard. At MSRP. I have to pick it up in Sterling Heights Michigan in March.

    Ted, I hope to meet you when you pick it up — I should be picking mine up at the same time. Crystal Red, painted wheels, camera/parking assist.


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    nuclearboy

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    Aug 12th, 2010 (6:30 am)

    john1701a: Even if they don’t find a single problem, it provides the opportunity to refine algorithms in the meantime to squeeze out even greater efficiency. They’ll probably be able to whittle down cost a little bit too.

    You are such a Toyota fan boy. Did you grow up in the US. Do you think they are superior. I guess US engineers are not as bright, right.

    Toyota is actually fairly retarded (i.e. slow) in the plug in market, lets face it. They are good at making the same things over and over but as far as getting a plug, or truly innovating, they are not too impressive. They have been making money and they have the market lead but their engineers have not figured out how to put a plug on the car yet. Other people have added a plug, my uncle can add the plug, but not Toyota engineers.

    What was their response to the Volt? Lithium batteries are not ready.

    Toyota has proven themselves to be a follower in this instance. They have had the battery in the car for a decade. Where is the plug????? Your cheer-leading makes you look like a sycophant.


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    Aug 12th, 2010 (8:16 am)

    nuclearboy: What was their response to the Volt? Lithium batteries are not ready.

    Yet, they will be offering a hybrid with lithium batteries next spring anyway.

    nuclearboy: Toyota has proven themselves to be a follower in this instance.

    Who’s the market for Volt?


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    usbseawolf2000

     

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    Aug 12th, 2010 (2:23 pm)

    nuclearboy: Did you grow up in the US.Do you think they are superior.  

    In the era of globalization, stop turning it into US vs. Japan. I believe we are all here to reduce emission and fossil fuel consumption at an affordable price without compromises. May the best car dominate the sales right? It will then lead to the greatest reduction in fuel and emission.


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    Like_Budda

     

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    Aug 12th, 2010 (3:18 pm)

    usbseawolf2000: Congrats John. It is great to see Toyota is handing you a PHV Prius for test driving it and allowing you to refine it. I wish they’ll give you again during winter so we have the data to compare with your regular Prius.

    I also wish GM to give you a Volt to compare with the PHV Prius as well.

    It’s pretty obvious John and usbSeawolf are one and the same.
    Way to give yourself props! You self-serving asshat!!
    .LB


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    usbseawolf2000

     

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    Aug 12th, 2010 (3:59 pm)

    Like_Budda:
    It’s pretty obvious John and usbSeawolf are one and the same.
    Way to give yourself props! You self-serving asshat!!
    .LB  

    Look, I am only here to discuss about cars. I don’t need your attention on me or how I am so much like John. What can I say, great minds think alike.

    You are nothing like Budda. Buddha should be ashamed of you! Now, back to the topic and discuss about cars!


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    Ole EV Guy

     

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    Sep 9th, 2010 (11:55 pm)

    Rashiid Amul:
    I was thinking about this also.Then I thought I would wait and see how well the Leaf sells before I draw a conclusion.GM would be losing out if the Leaf turns into a huge hit.
    I’m just skeptical that will happen in this country.Two things need to happen before BEVs really take off here.1) Range needs to increase to at least 300 miles or so
    2) Charge time needs to be 10 minutes or less for full charge.  

    Dream on. You don’t need 300 mile range and 10 minute charge in a car to drive back and forth to work.