Oct 03

GM Launches EV Test Fleet to Study Fast Charging and V2G

 


[ad#post_ad]The Volt is weeks away from its consumer launch, with the first retail production car expected to roll off the assembly line on November 11th. GM has announced they expect to begin an advertising blitz for the car which will start during the World Series.

Though GM has made it clear form the beginning , the purpose of the Volt is freedom form range anxiety, and it is clearly the major  focus of their US marketing efforts, the automaker is quietly leveraging its global reach to develop a pure EV program as well.

So far we have heard of a fleet of Cruze EVs undergoing tests in Korea, and a pure electric Chevrolet New Sail for production in China next year.

Earlier this week GM Europe announced it was beginning a small scale test fleet of electric crossovers. The vehicles are based on the Opel Meriva which is a small MPV in production in Europe. The test fleet has been developed by GM/Opel in conjunction with MeRegioMobil which is an e-mobility project, and is funded in part by the German government.

The fleet consists of three of electrified Merivas and is indented to study the effects of 4o0-v fast charging and the ability of the vehicle to participate in vehicle-to-grid technology. This is the scenario where the car itself acts as an energy buffer, allowing energy to flow back into the grid when demand calls for it, and the driver doesn’t need it.

The vehicle uses a Volt-sized 16 kwh lithium-ion battery pack and an 80 kw electric motor. The motor is dampened to 60 kw in eco-mode. It has a maximum range of 40 miles and a 0 to 60 time of 11 seconds.

The 400-v fast charger can refill the battery in 1 hour.

“These demonstration vehicles, along with others GM has announced in other markets, will be used to study the practicality, user friendliness, and acceptance of electric vehicles among consumers. With our demonstration, we are making an important contribution to the definition of European standards for energy infrastructure, electricity saving technology and data communications,” said Opel Vice President of Engineering Rita Forst.

Though obviously low in volume this fleet illustrates how GM is leveraging global opportunities to simultaneously study several key aspects of electric cars, in this case fast charging and V2G.  When the market calls for it, GM will be more than ready to launch a pure electric for global sale.

“Electric mobility opens for Opel and the entire automotive industry the door to greater independence from fossil fuels and can deliver transportation with zero vehicle emissions.” said Forst. “Our contribution to MeRegioMobil is embedded in GM’s global corporate strategy of developing and demonstrating electric vehicles in daily use.”

Source (GM)
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This entry was posted on Sunday, October 3rd, 2010 at 7:34 am and is filed under BEV, Charging, Grid. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 102


  1. 1
    Ron

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (7:44 am)

    Something we’ve all been discussing and hoping for. It’s good to see them working on something that will take EVs up another notch!


  2. 2
    bt

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (7:44 am)

    I don’t know why I remain a skeptic about jumping on the V2G bandwagon, but I am.

    The complexity of taking juice from a car during peak demand times(late afternoon usually) is also just before most EV(or EREV) owners would be getting in their cars to drive home, and need the full charge from their cars.

    What am I missing?


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    bookdabook

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (7:46 am)

    Three is a magic number, but to me it doesn’t constitute a “fleet”, maybe a few test vehicles. GM could easily sell a BEV in Europe and the US. Come on GM be a leader and put 100 of those out on the road.

    Also 400-v is coming to a few places in CA. I think the Harris Ranch Shell in the central valley which is 200 miles from anywhere, according to the Tesla driver I met there charging his roadster. Electrified transport is coming.

    -Book


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    herm

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (7:51 am)

    Before V2G takes over the utilities will have to prove something, 1. the life of the battery will not shortened, and 2. the owner of the car will be paid for his effort. Meanwhile I still want to have the equipment installed in the car, so I can at least power my house when utility power is down due to a storm or other problems.

    bt: #2
    The complexity of taking juice from a car during peak demand times(late afternoon usually) is also just before most EV(or EREV) owners would be getting in their cars to drive home, and need the full charge from their cars.

    You are looking at a minor side of V2G, I believe its called “Peak Shifting”.. the most important need for this is to do “Grid Stabilization”, the total energy flow into and out of your battery ends up being near zero, what your car is doing is feeding a few watts into the grid at a milliseconds notice and/or perhaps sucking those few watts back in.. transients when people turn on their tv tend to destabilize the grid.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (7:59 am)

    (click to show comment)


  6. 6
    SteveK9

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (7:59 am)

    V2G may be the most idiotic idea in the history of idiotic ideas. I don’t always agree with this guy, but this seemed like a very reasonable analysis to me.

    http://depletedcranium.com/why-vehicle-to-grid-is-a-horrible-idea/

    Some of the comments give even more reasons why this is ridiculous.


  7. 7
    Jim Morrison

     

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (8:12 am)

    When does Lyle get his Volt from GM again? Go RAYS!


  8. 8
    herm

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (8:37 am)

    Have you ever noticed momentary power fluctuations?.. you are working on your computer and you suddenly see the lights and fans dim out for about 1 second.. your computer keeps on going without notice because you are hopefully using a UPS (but there is always some reserve time built-in to computers). There are many fluctuations like this all the time, but so fast that you never notice them. Utilities are now building Grid Stabilization facilities using large lithium ion battery banks, A123 is a big player in that industry. In an alternate reality your Volt would have noticed this fluctuation and stepped-in to boost the grid voltage for a brief time.. and then you receive a check or credit from the power utility every year. There are reports that this service is worth about $4k per year to the utility, probably exaggerated.

    Recently we talked about selling used Volt batteries to the utility companies.. the reason these old and worn-out batteries can be used is that they dont need to store a lot of power, but they can still (nearly) deliver about 117kw of power for a short time.. and they can last a long time at this light duty. Its about the same duty that this V2G would entail.

    Its a way to get double duty out of your investment.. but it will be a heavy investment.. the bi-directional inverter/charger in your car will have to provide very clean grid-quality power, it will be an expensive inverter.. not your typical $100 square wave inverter.


  9. 9
    Shawn Marshall

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (8:42 am)

    herm: Before V2G takes over the utilities will have to prove something, 1. the life of the battery will not shortened, and 2. the owner of the car will be paid for his effort. Meanwhile I still want to have the equipment installed in the car, so I can at least power my house when utility power is down due to a storm or other problems.
    You are looking at a minor side of V2G, I believe its called “Peak Shifting”.. the most important need for this is to do “Grid Stabilization”, the total energy flow into and out of your battery ends up being near zero, what your car is doing is feeding a few watts into the grid at a milliseconds notice and/or perhaps sucking those few watts back in.. transients when people turn on their tv tend to destabilize the grid.  

    Herm
    I read your posts with great interest and you are a very knowledgeable guy but the grid thing is absurd – There is no stability issue with radial distribution circuits – the grid is AC so you have inverter losses and battery losses on all energy transfers. Turning on your TV is not a stability issue – but if you think you are going to eliminate a voltage sag by using your Volt for a UPS I think a few capacitors would serve as well. All this smart grid stuff has a strange odor to it. It seems to be a government-corporate connivance to control energy usage at the residential level. If the batteries develop sufficiently to significantly impact autos, this will all be a moot point. If not, why worry with it. The cart is in front of the Trojan horse.IMHO


  10. 10
    Exp_EngTech

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (8:52 am)

    The article uses the phrase “400v fast charging”. To avoid any confusion for the less technical folks that visit this site, I thought I’d take the time to explain just what that is.

    Both an E-REV like the Volt or an all electric car like the Tesla have an on-board charger. Think of it as the “power brick” that you plug in to your laptop computer. That power brick can use either 120v or 240v AC to create the necessary DC voltages to slow charge the various modules of cells within the battery assembly.

    In contrast, “400v Fast Charging” is accomplished using DC (Direct Current). It isolates the battery and completely bypasses the vehicles on-board charging system during the charging process. In Japan, a Fast Charging standard has been developed. It was developed by TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co.) and is now considered the world standard for “Fast Charging” (Level 3 / TEPCO).

    FYI, THINK issued a press release early this year stating their THINK City car with the EnerDel pack can be Fast Charged from 0% to 80% in just 15 minutes (that’s 80+ miles of range). The reason Fast Charging is capped at the 80% level is to avoid the natural “heating” of the individual battery cells as they approach the high end of their SOC (state of charge) during the charging process.

    Due to their cost and power draw off the grid, Fast Chargers will likely never be as convenient as the gas stations we have today.

    I just hope over time they begin to appear at truly important locations.
    Like Dunkin’ Donuts !


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    Loboc

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (8:52 am)

    I want not only V2G, but V2H and V2W (Vehicle to Work Site).

    - stabilization of the grid during peak (or even off peak, but, high demand spike). These would be micro second response with a short duration. 23 hours of the day, the car is just sitting there.

    - ability to have emergency power during outages. Storms in my area cause more outages than brownout or blackout. A 53kw generator (such as Volt) can run an entire house. If not two.

    - having a mobile super generator for job site work would be a big plus. EREV in a truck format so you can run compressors, electric tools, chargers etc. while on the job site.

    It may seem like GM is taking their eye off the ball, but, GM is a huge company and can assign people and sub-divisions to do this work without impacting job 1. If you don’t have a future-proof diversified corporate structure you are destined to dinosaur out.


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    ProfessorGordon

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (9:22 am)

    herm: Before V2G takes over the utilities will have to prove something, 1. the life of the battery will not shortened, and 2. the owner of the car will be paid for his effort. Meanwhile I still want to have the equipment installed in the car, so I can at least power my house when utility power is down due to a storm or other problems.
    You are looking at a minor side of V2G, I believe its called “Peak Shifting”.. the most important need for this is to do “Grid Stabilization”, the total energy flow into and out of your battery ends up being near zero, what your car is doing is feeding a few watts into the grid at a milliseconds notice and/or perhaps sucking those few watts back in.. transients when people turn on their tv tend to destabilize the grid.  

    That’s right Herm, V2G would act like a giant capacitor to smooth out the ripples on the grid, not replace generating capacity. I would be very interested in V2H, however, for powering my home in power outages.


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    flmark

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (9:24 am)

    Shawn Marshall: HermI read your posts with great interest and you are a very knowledgeable guy but the grid thing is absurd – There is no stability issue with radial distribution circuits – the grid is AC so you have inverter losses and battery losses on all energy transfers. Turning on your TV is not a stability issue – but if you think you are going to eliminate a voltage sag by using your Volt for a UPS I think a few capacitors would serve as well. All this smart grid stuff has a strange odor to it. It seems to be a government-corporate connivance to control energy usage at the residential level. If the batteries develop sufficiently to significantly impact autos, this will all be a moot point. If not, why worry with it. The cart is in front of the Trojan horse.IMHO  (Quote)

    I find it nearly unbelievable that anyone would doubt either the value of, or the practical implementation of, V2G. Active grid management has already been in place for YEARS in Florida with a program called “On Call”. I have participated in it since the beginning. In this program, the utility has a special controller on your hot water heater, pool pump and AC unit. The utility can shut off power to any of these devices for limited times during peak demand. As you can see by the type of equipment mentioned, temporary loss of power to any of these items should not create any real difficulty. And you do get credit on your bill for being a participant. I found a link from someone in Oregon doing a presentation on FPL’s program
    http://www.oregon.gov/PUC/electric_gas/010605/malemezian.pdf?ga=t

    V2G is only one step removed from this concept. Instead of just cutting (thousands) of minor loads, now you could get small amounts of power from thousands of places to smooth peak demand needs.

    Don’t know why you can’t wrap your head around this, but the industry already has had YEARS to study a practical implementation. V2G is coming and I welcome it.


  14. 14
    Loboc

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (9:27 am)

    SteveK9: V2G may be the most idiotic idea in the history of idiotic ideas.I don’t always agree with this guy, but this seemed like a very reasonable analysis to me.http://depletedcranium.com/why-vehicle-to-grid-is-a-horrible-idea/Some of the comments give even more reasons why this is ridiculous.  

    This journalist has a few problems with understanding the premise.

    - The vehicle does not kick in it’s generator. This is battery only and for minutes not complete drain.

    - “It’s too complicated.” This argument assumes that the command control is centralized at the current power generation plants and is human controlled. Modern computer controls make this thinking obsolete. He also assumes that we are talking millions of generators, not millions of battery buffers.

    - “It’s too expensive.” We’re talking a couple more lines of computer code here. Individuals will be encouraged financially to make the investment on a home by home basis. Millions of people investing a little instead of a few power companies investing millions. Smart meters are already being rolled out. Normalizing the grid will help delay or eliminate billions for new power plants.

    - “It’s too unreliable.” There will be millions of neighborhood buffers in place. Most cars would be online when they are not mobile for 23 hours a day. If you take a couple hundred on/off line it won’t substantially impact the entire system. 16Kwh x millions is a bunch of buffer. This is more reliable than having a power plant or grid segment go offline. Cascading failures would be a thing of the past.

    - “It will cause the battery to fail sooner.” Not any sooner than normal regen or charging. We’re talking a micro-second response kind of like punching the accelerator not continuous draw and deep cycle.

    - “no environmental benefit”. He is again assuming micro-generation instead of buffering. Yeah, if you generate power with millions of gasoline/diesel small engines rather than centralized power generation, then, it’s a problem. This is entirely wrong. A buffering system will allow power companies to have more normalized power on the grid rather than having to bring NG generation on/off line quickly. The buffers will reduce emissions not increase them.

    / telling me something is a horrible idea won’t stop me from having ideas :)


  15. 15
    Tom W

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (9:34 am)

    bt: The complexity of taking juice from a car during peak demand times(late afternoon usually) is also just before most EV(or EREV) owners would be getting in their cars to drive home, and need the full charge from their cars.
    What am I missing?

    What you are missing is over 90% of EV charging will always be done overnight and less than 10% during the day. That will over time be a dramatic peak leveling influence. Also EV charging will lead to time of day metering which will get those housewives to run those dryers and and dishwasher at night instead of during the day (which makes more heat and requires more air conditioning).

    Over time, the demand can be controlled by pricing. Higher prices during peak demand will level out the demand and lead to lower prices for all.

    It is a complex thing, but consumers will always be able to adjust to getting the best deal.

    So What you are missing is EV charging is the solution to the problem of peak demand not the problem. This will lead to lower electric rates (in 15 years when most passenger miles are driven electrically) and more jobs for Americans (paid for with the oil money that we’re currently giving to Iran, Saudi Arabia Venezuala etc.)


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (9:38 am)

    “Electric Crossover”… I like it. They should get a copyright on that one.


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    Loboc

     

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (9:42 am)

    bt: The complexity of taking juice from a car

    Complexity does not translate into impossible. V2G is coming. People obviously want it and are willing to pay for it.

    The price of a whole-house generator (43kw or so) is $15,000 or more. If I can roll that cost into a mobile device (car or better yet a truck) the total to me is less, not more.


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    Tom M

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (9:56 am)

    Loboc: This journalist has a few problems with understanding the premise.

    Correct you are. Plus, I wouldn’t call him a journalist. He manages a blog called Depleted Cranium. Blogs are really a great means of communication, and many have lots of useful information, but we need to understand that just because someone blogs about something, it doesn’t mean they actually know anything about the subject. I could start a blog about quantum physics and since I know a little (very little!) about it, I may get some people that know even less than I do think I am an expert. That doesn’t make me an expert any more than than this guy is about V2G. Journalists are accountable for the accuracy of the information they provide, bloggers can basically write anything they want to and say it’s fact. This can be very dangerous.


  19. 19
    crew

     

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (10:05 am)

    SteveK9: V2G may be the most idiotic idea in the history of idiotic ideas.I don’t always agree with this guy, but this seemed like a very reasonable analysis to me.

    The points are clear but seem to be directed at vehicles being built only in the near future and only mentions the Volt specifically. To project EV’s as a viable replacement of vehicles with an ICE wouldn’t a battery with a comparable range to a car with a fuel tank, about 300 miles, need to be included? How far into the future would we need to project for that to happen?

    At this range, there will be a considerable amount of unused storage available for V2G use. If it becomes economically viable for power companies to have the consumer invest in the peak demand power source, then the drawbacks to V2G are more isolated, regional, and manageable.

    I give GM kudos for taking the Volt battery, not the Korean Cruze battery, and playing with voltage options. If a conditioned battery is the best option for BEV’s and longevity is an issue, then the best time to explore voltage and cycle issues is now.


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    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (10:16 am)

    SteveK9: V2G may be the most idiotic idea in the history of idiotic ideas.I don’t always agree with this guy, but this seemed like a very reasonable analysis to me.http://depletedcranium.com/why-vehicle-to-grid-is-a-horrible-idea/Some of the comments give even more reasons why this is ridiculous.  

    I would say that the he makes a lot of hypothetical negative cases based on assumptions against V2G. The concept of V2G is not that the vehicles connected to the grid would have their batteries drained but rather would supply small amounts of current to the grid. When one considers the large number of vehicles in use, you can see how small amounts of electricity from each will help balance the grid. This is not being proposed as a final solution to the problem of spikes in peak demand but as part of the overall solution taking all means in combination.

    For example, he states, “They’d need to know where they are located and whether the local transmission lines had the capacity to transmit electricity to the areas where it is needed.” They are already doing this on a constant basis. There is no new problem because of V2G. Plugging EVs into the grid with V2G capability will make their current available which will be reflected in what the operators see. Equipment already takes care of the transmission.

    He talks about the ICE being used to produce electricity that is then put on the grid. This scenario will never happen. It might be used to generate power after a hurricane when the power lines are down but never when the vehicle is connected to the grid. To do so would be counter productive. So he proposes this as an argument against V2G.

    In general, he states a lot of facts and finds something in every one of them to talk against V2G. V2G may not be the total answer to power demand spikes but it is possibly part of the solution. The author of the article seems to think that one perfect solution to the problem should be found and implemented. IMHO, there is nothing idiotic about this idea.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Rooster

     

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (10:21 am)

    I would love to have V2G capability in my Volt combined with demand pricing from my power company. It would give me control, not the local goverment. Buy low, sell high.

    For example, I have a 20 mile commute to work, each way:

    I recharge my Volt over night when the rates are cheap: (8 x $.08 = $.64)

    I get to work early, plug my V2G volt into the grid to recharge to full SOC before 1000 hrs, while the rates are still relatively low: (4 x $.10) = $.40

    I then program my Volt to sell 4 KWh back to the grid during peak demand, my ultility will pay me $.16/KWh during peak demand: 4 X $.16 = $.64

    I then drive home on the remain 4 KWh in the battery, and know I have my ICE available for piece of mind.

    Total trip cost: $.64 + $.40 – $.64 = $.40 or $.05/KWh

    I rather like that idea.


  22. 22
    crew

     

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (10:38 am)

    LRGVProVolt:
    I would say that the he makes a lot of hypothetical negative cases based on assumptions against V2G. The concept of V2G is not that the vehicles connected to the grid would have their batteries drained but rather would supply small amounts of current to the grid. When one considers the large number of vehicles in use, you can see how small amounts of electricity to each will help balance the grid. This is not being proposed as a final solution to the problem of spikes in peak demand but as part of the overall solution taking all means in combination.

    I agree that the blog seems to be more of a knee jerk reaction against V2G but one of the points he makes is of the economics. I remember reading that the purpose of V2G hinges on the desire to reduce the expense of buying a car with a battery. Tony Posawats has eluded to that a while ago. The actual situation of having a BEV supply power to the grid isn’t so important as is the potential of available power. Having a power company contractually lease the spare capacity helps reduce the expense of a battery, especially if electric cars need conditioned batteries.

    If a battery becomes a disposable commodity and is as easily replaceable as a flashlight battery then V2G is pointless for the end user (although it may work for the battery storage facility). But if a battery is an integral part of the vehicle as it is with the Volt (and future variants) then V2G is definitely worth looking into to sell a car that competes with the fast food equivalents.


  23. 23
    Chris C.

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (10:41 am)

    SteveK9: V2G may be the most idiotic idea in the history of idiotic ideas.I don’t always agree with this guy, but this seemed like a very reasonable analysis to me.http://depletedcranium.com/why-vehicle-to-grid-is-a-horrible-idea/Some of the comments give even more reasons why this is ridiculous.  

    Just to add to the growing chorus here … I checked out the article and all of the concerns can be dismissed trivially, as shown above by Tom M, Loboc et al. It’s almost as if he wrote this in early 2007, not early 2010, when these were indeed worries. Today? These are solved problems, or solutions are in progress. For evidence, go read any IEEE PES journal or attend an IEEE PES meeting (I’ve been doing both) and see how heavily focused they are on smart grid issues right now (including V2G).

    I’m glad to see that these ideas are starting to reach the mainstream.

    Lately, especially when poorly researched positions like this come to light, I am reminded of the old saying:

    First they ignore you,
    then they laugh as you,
    then they fight you,
    then you win.


  24. 24
    Texas

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (10:52 am)

    Dear GM, What about battery swap? A one hour recharge is as useful as a 4 hour recharge because nobody is going to wait an hour every 50 miles. Nobody.

    Please consider Better Place’s model. The main advantages are:

    1) Two minute recharge (better than filling a fuel tank)
    2) De-coupling of the battery to the owner (too many advantages to list here)
    3) Advanced V2G network that is open.
    4) Can subsidize the price of the vehicle like a cell phone with a contract (people put more weight on the initial purchase price rather than the monthly fees.
    5) Overall operating costs are less than a fossil fuel powered vehicle (for gas prices over $2 / gallon – expect to see that price anytime soon?)

    Think about this, even when we have quick charge batteries, it will take years for the charging procedure to be safe and accepted by drivers. That battery is directly under their most precious cargo. The batteries can be quick-charged in a safe and protected area within the swap station structure. I think this point is never considered. The swap stations will transition to quick charge stations at a pace that people can be comfortable with.

    From the weak battery technology we have today to advanced quick charge systems, the swap station modle is clearly a great way to go.


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    crew

     

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (10:53 am)

    Chris C.:
    First they ignore you,
    then they laugh as you,
    then they fight you,
    then you win.

    +1 and the smart grid evolution. Just a note to that, the smart grid is more than a smart meter, I believe that it is combining electricity with 2 way communication throughout the grid and most definitely includes the end user and his car.


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    stuart22

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (11:00 am)

    “When the market calls for it, GM will be more than ready to launch a pure electric for global sale.”

    * * * * * * * * * * * *

    GM’s approach to EVs is very ‘business smart’ because it is grounded in reality. They realize current BEV ranges and recharging times are problematic for the average consumer.

    The average consumer is programmed to expect their car to have the following rhythm — drive for 6-7 hours; stop for 10 minutes to refuel; drive for 6-7 hours; stop for 10 minutes to refuel; etc., etc…..

    BEVs based upon current tech such as Nissan’s LEAF have an entirely different, substantially more demanding rhythm — drive for 1-2 hours; stop for 10 hours to recharge; drive for 1-2 hours; stop for 10 hours to recharge; etc., etc…….

    With all due respect for those EV adherents among us, to think BEVs as they exist now are ready for the mass market is simply being in denial. I am amazed at the risk Nissan is taking with the LEAF, and am concerned that should it fail to find sales success beyond the early adopter stage, the EV movement in general will be hurt.

    Ironically, it’s the company that ‘killed’ the electric car that in reality is going to save the electric car from being swept back into the dustbin and forgotten for another generation. General Motors and the Volt will finally and firmly establish EV’s as a market segment that will endure over time. Without the Volt, the LEAF would quite soon wither up and die; with the Volt providing the arena, BEVs will have a better chance to bloom. I’m happy to see GM continue its testing of BEVs and seeking out their eventual ‘comfort zone’ within this new EV market segment.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (11:06 am)

    Bah. 1 hour isn’t fast charging. Especially with a 40 mile pack and the batteries that are now becoming available to manufacturers. I’d rather see them testing 1000v 100 amp 15 min fast charging on a 20-30KW/h capacity usable pack. Still a step in the right direction, but not even close to what they could be doing with the latest Chemistries.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (11:25 am)

    ok, i withdraw the complexity angle. but who would want a depleted battery at the end of the day to get home, do errands, go to kids soccer game?help me here.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (11:34 am)

    Thanks for Ext_Eng Tech @10 for explaining DC charging. I’ve thought that there would be less confusion if everyone used “DC charging” rather than “fast charging” or “Level 3″ charging when describing … DC charging.

    Other tidbits: The Volt range seems to be confirmed at 310 miles. That from a recent test drive review by Discovery News. http://news.discovery.com/tech/my-test-drive-of-the-chevy-volt-and-as-to-your-qs.html So at this point we know that the tank is 9.3 gallons and the range is 310 miles. What we don’t know is how much of the tank is/isn’t counted in the range figure, something which is complicated by the fact that the Volt tank is pressurized. With Lyle we’ll know soon enough.

    Not that anyone should stress about the MPG in CS Mode, unless of course you’re a Prius diehard looking for some reason the Prius isn’t tech toast. In this regard, note that the person who broke the news about the size of the gas tank also had this revelation about MPG:

    One of the cars I drove at the Milford Proving grounds was an executive’s own car. She had already been commuting in it for a couple weeks. On the display (I love to play with the displays) it said: “Lifetime mileage: 93.1mpg” I think that’s what people are going to be seeing. And I hope to do a lot better than that.

    Let the MPG contests begin!


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (11:40 am)

    bt: I don’t know why I remain a skeptic about jumping on the V2G bandwagon, but I am.

    It’s perfectly feasible. However, given the current state of the grid — it’s not even remotely secure — it’s hard to get too excited about V2G. Time of day pricing is probably a more realistic solution.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (11:45 am)

    bt: ok, i withdraw the complexity angle. but who would want a depleted battery at the end of the day to get home, do errands, go to kids soccer game?help me here.

    Nobody wants to explore the limits of range anxiety ™?! first hand. But aren’t we just dipping our toes in the water with EV’s? Whether they be BEV’s or EREV’s or PHEV’s, now’s the time to turn over every stone for the possibilities of making batteries in cars legitimate.

    What’s going to happen when the civil underwriting disappears?

    There are a lot of possibilities being explored for drivetrains and battery usefulness.
    Just when we thought GM was appearing to be floundering, it goes into production with technologies that no one else even has on the drawing boards. Perhaps V2G might not work and GM is late in the game with high voltage charging, but they are there now. Seeing the groundwork being done in house is good new in itself.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (12:07 pm)

    crew: If a battery becomes a disposable commodity and is as easily replaceable as a flashlight battery then V2G is pointless for the end user (although it may work for the battery storage facility). But if a battery is an integral part of the vehicle as it is with the Volt (and future variants) then V2G is definitely worth looking into to sell a car that competes with the fast food equivalents.

    Good point regarding the relative cost of the battery and the economics of V2G. If you take it one step further and conclude that batteries will be cheap and disposable then the big ongoing expense of future electric cars will be in charging the car. If consumers get a better deal from utilities for allowing them to gain some load leveling capabilities, then some consumers will go for the deal, like flmark said about FLP customers at comment # 13.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (12:17 pm)

    bt: ok, i withdraw the complexity angle. but who would want a depleted battery at the end of the day to get home, do errands, go to kids soccer game?help me here

    You set the parameters. What times to allow the utility to stop charging the battery, what times to allow the utility to take 100 W/hr for load leveling, one of the two or none at all.

    Currently, in California, SCE offers me better rates if I allow them to shut off my AC during peak periods. They have percentages of time I would allow, and the more I allow them to use, the lower the rate. You might ask why would anyone want to come home or go to work with no AC? Most people chose to say I’ll control my own AC. But enough do sign up to make a difference.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (12:29 pm)

    stuart22, #26: …GM’s approach to EVs is very ‘business smart’ because it is grounded in reality. They realize current BEV ranges and recharging times are problematic for the average consumer.

    The average consumer is programmed to expect their car to have the following rhythm — drive for 6-7 hours; stop for 10 minutes to refuel; drive for 6-7 hours; stop for 10 minutes to refuel; etc., etc…..

    BEVs based upon current tech such as Nissan’s LEAF have an entirely different, substantially more demanding rhythm — drive for 1-2 hours; stop for 10 hours to recharge; drive for 1-2 hours; stop for 10 hours to recharge; etc., etc…….

    With all due respect for those EV adherents among us, to think BEVs as they exist now are ready for the mass market is simply being in denial. I am amazed at the risk Nissan is taking with the LEAF, and am concerned that should it fail to find sales success beyond the early adopter stage, the EV movement in general will be hurt.

    Ironically, it’s the company that ‘killed’ the electric car that in reality is going to save the electric car from being swept back into the dustbin and forgotten for another generation. General Motors and the Volt will finally and firmly establish EV’s as a market segment that will endure over time. Without the Volt, the LEAF would quite soon wither up and die; with the Volt providing the arena, BEVs will have a better chance to bloom. I’m happy to see GM continue its testing of BEVs and seeking out their eventual ‘comfort zone’ within this new EV market segment.

    You’ve explained my concerns about current-market support for BEVs very well, Stuart. I would only add that I think automakers will also find that it’s less costly (and more practical) to achieve a total range of 300 miles the way the Volt does than the way the Tesla S model proposes to. Simply because 260 miles worth of Li-Ion batteries should cost a LOT MORE than a cost-optimized ICE/Gen should cost for that added range —at least for another decade or so, if not longer.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (12:47 pm)

    V2G is an interesting topic I would like to learn more about. My impression at the moment is that it can mean different things to different vested parties, and the pros/cons differ accordingly.

    At least *potentially*, V2G might be used for the following reasons:

    1. A giant capacitor to prevent brown/black outs from demand spikes
    2. A means to shift energy production from day to night, aka NG to coal.

    I suspect (1) would have broad support, (2) is debatable and I think the source of dispute. While many people will happily burn coal to save money, I personally would not find that offer attractive or would I tend to trust the utility to not abuse my battery.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (12:49 pm)

    Regarding V2G, I have a very personal opinion… The EV makers, electric power corporations and regulatory agencies will have to work V2G all out —if it even proves to be feasible at all in the near term. My own selfish desire would be as a few others here have expressed: that my future EREV (or EV) offer an option for a V2H (120Vac) output at up to 15A. My admittedly-biased preference for V2H is because I live in ‘hurricane gulch’ (Florida), where 2-4 day power outages cause most people to chase around all over town almost daily for ice, or dry ice, to minimize food spoilage. In my own case, I use a high-power inverter to run our refrigerator off the car’s 12V battery, and I’d be a customer for it if GM offered a V2H option in future generation EREVs.*

    *Hurricanes aren’t accompanied by excessively hot OR cold temperatures, so HVAC is not essential. And for at least a few days no one really has to use an electric clothes dryer, oven, or cook stove (a microwave oven heats soup, beverages & frozen meals & draws a very modest amount of current)


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (12:54 pm)

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (12:57 pm)

    Nasaman, I have read multiple reports of people using the Prius in a V2H mode. I do not know details but I did not get the impression it is a big deal to pull off. Try googling hobbit’s website if you are interested in details — I think he is one of the folks who has used it before.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (1:13 pm)

    nasaman:
    Simply because 260 miles worth of Li-Ion batteries should cost a LOT MORE than a cost-optimized ICE/Gen should cost for that added range —at least for another decade or so, if not longer.

    One of the tenets of the Volt is just that, range and the expense of going green. I’m assuming that the Meriva is using a Volt battery as the sole power supply. With this car, a 40 mile range makes no sense except to market an electric car within the same MSRP as the ICE equivalent. It is clearly a second car in the driveway and good for all climates. But this car as it is outfitted might not be something to bring to market. It’s a test mule.

    Has GM cut the battery cost in half and is near ready to manufacture a 32 kwh, or larger, conditioned battery that might go into the commercial van Opel has on show for one?

    Testing the Meriva, to me isn’t for conventional thinking. I think that the testing being done here is for a much higher capacity battery but uses one that’s off the shelf. How high the capacity of a cheap battery will be is mostly vaporware right now. How much longer it will take for the vapor to turn solid is what’s exciting to me. V2G, quick charging, storage for peak electricity, smart grids and what not are all a part of being ready for the cheap battery (or our desires to buy expensive ones in quantity).

    If the Volt is a production success and helps make EV’s common in our driveways, then everything we see on the drawing board today will be more valid than the hybrid was 10 years ago.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    stuart22: With all due respect for those EV adherents among us, to think BEVs as they exist now are ready for the mass market is simply being in denial. I am amazed at the risk Nissan is taking with the LEAF, and am concerned that should it fail to find sales success beyond the early adopter stage, the EV movement in general will be hurt.

    Right now oil is over $80/bbl and the economy is in the toilet. What happens if world economies pick up? If oil is over $200/bbl then you may not be able to afford driving anything but an EV.

    While it’s true an EV won’t work for everyone, it’s also true that for most of the people it won’t work for an EREV won’t work for either — because the issue will be charging in apartments or condos or so forth. The mistake most often made when focusing on the limitations of EVs is thinking that you need one car for all trips. I was just talking to a neighbor who has four cars — a Porshe, a BMW, a Civic, and a Sequoia. He is thinking about dumping the BMW (and maybe the Sequoia) and getting a Leaf — which would be more than adequate for his commute of three miles. But even if his commute was fifty miles the Leaf would still work. Likewise another neighbor has a Porshe, a Pilot, and a Prius. He’s thinking about getting a Leaf and dumping both the Porshe and the Pilot and just renting an SUV for the once a week trip to Tahoe.

    The point would be that people looking at EVs will have several different vehicles to choose from, so the fact that the EV has some limits is not actually a limitation. Put another way, just as the fact that a Porshe or a BMW is worse than useless when going to the desert doesn’t mean they’re not useful when going to work, so the fact that an EV is next to useless when going 200 miles doesn’t mean it’s not useful when commuting or running errands. Time to forget about having one vehicle which is suitable for every drive.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (1:34 pm)

    nasaman: Hurricanes aren’t accompanied by excessively hot OR cold temperatures, so HVAC is not essential. And for at least a few days no one really has to use an electric clothes dryer, oven, or cook stove (a microwave oven heats soup, beverages & frozen meals & draws a very modest amount of current)  (Quote)

    Huh? What? You couldn’t be more wrong with this assessment. Hurricane Charley came in mid August. We suffered for WEEKS with 100+ heat indexes afterward. Additionally, peak of hurricane season is September 10th. LOTS of heat still around at that point. To say that HVAC is not essential in wake of hurricane is in GROSS error.

    …and also, up north, many power outages come at COLD times of year. HVAC should ALWAYS be considered when thinking about power back up.

    In this regard, this provides good argument for 220v connection for EV. This would provide sufficient current to run substantial loads- including HVAC- with juice stored in car battery.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (1:39 pm)

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (1:41 pm)

    DonC:
    I was just talking to a neighbor who has four cars — a Porshe, a BMW, a Civic, and a Sequoia. He is thinking about dumping the BMW (and maybe the Sequoia) and getting a Leaf.

    LOL for relevance to the average Chevy buyer. But if I were your neighbor, I’d dump the Sequoia, BMW, and Civic for a Tahoe hybrid, Leaf and a Volt.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (1:53 pm)

    Charlie H: Not “infinite” mpg? I thought CS mode fuel economy didn’t matter because no one would be using it? 

    Not the author says that he hopes to do “a lot better” than that. If he uses the same methodology that was used to get the plug-in Prius up to 85 MPG (twice a day charging on a not terribly long commute) he will be getting be getting the “infinite” MPG you’re referring to. BTW how long has the average Prius driver been getting over 90 MPG? Oh, I forgot, they don’t ever get over 90 MPG. Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha!


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (1:56 pm)

    Two things about the article strike me as peculiar…

    Presumably, without the weight of the ICE and all its support equipment (radiator, gas tank, etc), the BEV should be lighter. Yet a “maximum” range of just 40 miles from a battery the same size as the Volt battery? We’re led to guess that the car IS lighter, or a 80/60KW motor wouldn’t yield acceptable performance. Why can’t GM wring some extra range out of this? Or is the Volt’s EV range overstated?

    Second, with V2G, I’m going to bring home the vehicle, plug it in and I might go to use it and find LESS “fuel” in it than when I first plugged it in? This is entirely impractical. For a BEV, this would be unacceptable. Even an EREV could be problematic under this scenario (bring it home with very little gas on board, plug in and then later go out to find that you also have very little charge on board. Better keep a gas can handy in your garage.

    Plans change; sometimes you get home and then discover you want to go out again (“We’re out of milk” or “Bobby has a fever, take him to Urgent Care”). Finding that your vehicle has less “fuel” on board than when you first plugged it in is going to be a nuisance.

    The general use pattern of an BEV/EREV works against this, anyway. Unless demand patterns have changed radically since I left the electric industry, peak times for almost all sectors of the electric grid tend to be later afternoon/evening when temps are peaking and A/C demand is highest and the lights, TVs, ovens and ranges turn on. This is also the time of day when a typical use BEV/EREV have the lowest SOC. EREVs, in particular, are likely to pull into the garage with a flat can (why buy more battery than you need?). As a practical matter, the amount of electricity available for peaking demands is going to be lowest when it’s most desireable to have some.

    Now, a Smart Grid still makes a lot of sense. Rather than signal for overnight charging, a BEV/EREV could be plugged in and signal for “Smart Charging.” With a grid that starts to lean heavily towards renewables, cheap power might be available at times other than overnight (when it’s windy or sunny). The car could be programmed to charge either when cheap power is available (signal from Smart Grid tells it this) or “by 7:00AM.” Certain household appliances could probably be set up to work this way (the dishwasher, the dryer and the washing machine) and peak demand could be trimmed by having these devices use power at optimal times instead of when the start button is pushed.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:00 pm)

    herm:
    Have you ever noticed momentary power fluctuations?.. you are working on your computer and you suddenly see the lights and fans dim out for about 1 second.. your computer keeps on going without notice because you are hopefully using a UPS (but there is always some reserve time built-in to computers). There are many fluctuations like this all the time, but so fast that you never notice them. Utilities are now building Grid Stabilization facilities using large lithium ion battery banks, A123 is a big player in that industry. In an alternate reality your Volt would have noticed this fluctuation and stepped-in to boost the grid voltage for a brief time.. and then you receive a check or credit from the power utility every year. There are reports that this service is worth about $4k per year to the utility, probably exaggerated.
    Recently we talked about selling used Volt batteries to the utility companies.. the reason these old and worn-out batteries can be used is that they dont need to store a lot of power, but they can still (nearly) deliver about 117kw of power for a short time.. and they can last a long time at this light duty. Its about the same duty that this V2G would entail.
    Its a way to get double duty out of your investment.. but it will be a heavy investment.. the bi-directional inverter/charger in your car will have to provide very clean grid-quality power, it will be an expensive inverter.. not your typical $100 square wave inverter.

    I think bidirectional charger shall be isntalled not in EV but stationary at fast charging point providing DC charging service will available. That would allow to use multipoint invertor and reduce overal costs. The analysis showed that power quality is most essental at bigg office and industrial locations. Residential locations are not sensitive to power quality therefore most important to have power regulation at your job location and EV may have some benefit.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:01 pm)

    stuart22: The average consumer is programmed to expect their car to have the following rhythm — drive for 6-7 hours; stop for 10 minutes to refuel; drive for 6-7 hours; stop for 10 minutes to refuel; etc., etc…..

    Actually the avg consumer’s expectation is – drive for 1/2 hour; stop for 8 hours to work; drive for 1/2 hour; stop for 14 hours to eat, watch tv, sleep; (add a couple of short errands …)

    After quite a bit of planning, perhpas 10-15 days a year they will go on road trips, where the scenario you setout is expected.

    That is why it makes so much sense to replace one of your ICE cars with a BEV and another with a PHEV. For most families both these cars will be used daily as commute cars (i.e. primary cars). Only one will be used for road trips.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:01 pm)

    crew: LOL for relevance to the average Chevy buyer. But if I were your neighbor, I’d dump the Sequoia, BMW, and Civic for a Tahoe hybrid, Leaf and a Volt.  

    Tee hee. Yeah. If it makes you feel any better he asked if I thought the Tesla would be a good idea. Actually, along the lines you suggest, the neighbor with the Porshe, Prius, and Pilot would like to dump all three and replace them with a Leaf and a Volt. But he still has a year or so on the Prius lease and he can’t get a Volt. So he’s on Plan B.

    As for these situations not being typical of Chevy buyers, I don’t think very many traditional Chevy customers are going to be buying Volts. Do you think Lyle owned a GM vehicle before he started this site? (I have no idea but my guess would be that surgeons don’t buy Chevys). That’s one of the advantages for GM. In fact, that’s why it’s a “halo” vehicle. In this regard, even Nissan has said that 90% of its Leaf customers do currently own or lease a Nissan vehicle, though something like 70% do have a Prius.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:02 pm)

    flmark: Huh? What? You couldn’t be more wrong with this assessment. Hurricane Charley came in mid August. We suffered for WEEKS with 100+ heat indexes afterward. Additionally, peak of hurricane season is September 10th. LOTS of heat still around at that point. To say that HVAC is not essential in wake of hurricane is in GROSS error.…and also, up north, many power outages come at COLD times of year. HVAC should ALWAYS be considered when thinking about power back up.In this regard, this provides good argument for 220v connection for EV. This would provide sufficient current to run substantial loads- including HVAC- with juice stored in car battery.  (Quote)

    It has long been my position that home power generation capacity should be part of the nation’s Emergency Preparedness/Civil Defense plans.

    An ice storm a few years back cut power to almost the entire population of Maine for a day or so and to parts of the state for weeks (maybe longer). Solar panels and a little local storage battery that can provide enough power for the home’s most essential services would do a lot to help people ride out the aftermath of bad weather. Or a terrorist attack. Solar heating would be similarly helpful. Home wind turbines could be similarly useful (although they’d require defense against the ice storm, too).


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:02 pm)

    SteveK9: V2G may be the most idiotic idea in the history of idiotic ideas. I don’t always agree with this guy, but this seemed like a very reasonable analysis to me.

    http://depletedcranium.com/why-vehicle-to-grid-is-a-horrible-idea/

    We have to agree with many of the Depleted Cranium reasons that V2G is a bad idea. But at the end of the article they deride distributed energy. This is NOT the same as V2G. Making energy at home via Combined Heating and Power micro-turbines or FCs is the wave of the future. It is a GOOD idea because it removes the most inefficient parts of a grid – transmission wires, transformers, light poles, towers, etc. This improves our over all energy security by de-centralizing power production. Lots of little power modules make for a lot less demand on the grid.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:03 pm)

    Loboc: / telling me something is a horrible idea won’t stop me from having ideas :)

    +10 for being thorough in your analysis and responce to the author. My comment generally agrees what you said but didn’t go into the depth you have.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:07 pm)

    Charlie H: Unless demand patterns have changed radically since I left the electric industry, peak times for almost all sectors of the electric grid tend to be later afternoon/evening when temps are peaking and A/C demand is highest and the lights, TVs, ovens and ranges turn on.

    I thought peak electrical demand in places like CA was in summer during late afternoon and that peak electrical demand for places like NY was in the winter between 6 PM and 8 PM. Given that the most logical time to charge EVs is between midnight and the morning hours I’m not seeing the conflict.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:07 pm)

    DonC: Not the author says that he hopes to do “a lot better” than that.

    Yeah, and I “hope” to win the lottery. The fact of the matter, this is what the car achieved. The Volt Fanboyz have been way off the mark in estimating the real value of this vehicle to achieve any kind of useful strategic purpose.

    Oh, right, pointing out facts is “trolling.” I keep forgetting that.

    Here:

    Go Volt! V2G Roolz! The Volt gets us off oil in 2011!


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:12 pm)

    DonC: I thought peak electrical demand in places like CA was in summer during late afternoon and that peak electrical demand for places like NY was in the winter between 6 PM and 8 PM. Given that the most logical time to charge EVs is between midnight and the morning hours I’m not seeing the conflict.  (Quote)

    If you take the time to read what I said carefully, that’s exactly what I implied.

    The conflict is that most cars won’t be on the grid at that time or won’t have significant charge to contribute to the grid. You can’t supplement the traditional power sources with charge that is either off line or already spent.

    It would make more sense to spend our money getting serious about SPV/STP, pave the sunny Wetern deserts with it, and build enough long-distance transmission lines to get CA’s sunny afternoon power production across the country to NYC to help meet their peak demands.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:15 pm)

    DonC:
    Right now oil is over $80/bbl and the economy is in the toilet. What happens if world economies pick up? If oil is over $200/bbl then you may not be able to afford driving anything but an EV.While it’s true an EV won’t work for everyone, it’s also true that for most of the people it won’t work for an EREV won’t work for either — because the issue will be charging in apartments or condos or so forth. The mistake most often made when focusing on the limitations of EVs is thinking that you need one car for all trips. I was just talking to a neighbor who has four cars — a Porshe, a BMW, a Civic, and a Sequoia. He is thinking about dumping the BMW (and maybe the Sequoia) and getting a Leaf — which would be more than adequate for his commute of three miles. But even if his commute was fifty miles the Leaf would still work. Likewise another neighbor has a Porshe, a Pilot, and a Prius. He’s thinking about getting a Leaf and dumping both the Porshe and the Pilot and just renting an SUV for the once a week trip to Tahoe.
    The point would be that people looking at EVs will have several different vehicles to choose from, so the fact that the EV has some limits is not actually a limitation. Put another way, just as the fact that a Porshe or a BMW is worse than useless when going to the desert doesn’t mean they’re not useful when going to work, so the fact that an EV is next to useless when going 200 miles doesn’t mean it’s not useful when commuting or running errands. Time to forget about having one vehicle which is suitable for every drive.  

    Lots of denial here, DonC, I don’t know if one can respond but why not try…

    First, on the price of oil – the scenarios you mention may happen within the next 10 years….. and they might not. Fact is however, it isn’t happening now. I’m not interested in speculating, nor would I let fear of a worst case scenario cause me to make business decisions that in today’s world would be risky.

    GM’s EREV concept is IMO a brilliant business decision based upon the realities of today, and it’s smart of them to continue development of BEVs.

    I think you are overplaying what you call the limitations of ICE vehicles and underplaying those of BEVs like the LEAF – which translates into the denial I talk about. Saying ‘that the EV has some limits is not exactly a limitation’ is too precious; your neighbor thinking nothing about renting an SUV every weekend so he can go to Tahoe is equally precious. Too precious to be convincing.

    Today’s mass market is not ready for today’s EVs.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:20 pm)

    flmark: Huh? What? You couldn’t be more wrong with this assessment. Hurricane Charley came in mid August. We suffered for WEEKS with 100+ heat indexes afterward. Additionally, peak of hurricane season is September 10th. LOTS of heat still around at that point. To say that HVAC is not essential in wake of hurricane is in GROSS error.

    …and also, up north, many power outages come at COLD times of year. HVAC should ALWAYS be considered when thinking about power back up.

    In this regard, this provides good argument for 220v connection for EV. This would provide sufficient current to run substantial loads- including HVAC- with juice stored in car battery.

    I won’t argue with a fellow Floridan beyond simply describing what I (my family & many others living inland at least 30 miles) have experienced here. I presume you live near Florida’s coast somewhere, probably not too far from Port Charlotte, where the damage from Charlie to buildings, homes, power lines, etc was much worse than in the greater Orlando area where I am. In Orlando, the damage from Charlie (& the 3 others that closely followed it) was HUGE —my lakefront home suffered major damage to its roof and we lost 2 large trees. But with numerous ‘bucket trucks’ coming from other out-of-state power companies the power outages were limited to several days, not weeks, following each storm. So, as is usual for inland areas of Florida, the power outages were much shorter than you must have experienced —and easily tolerated, as I described above. Not having 220V was never really a big deal for people here, and it hasn’t been for my >50 years here.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:26 pm)

    DonC:
    As for these situations not being typical of Chevy buyers, I don’t think very many traditional Chevy customers are going to be buying Volts.

    Well, no, you’re probably right. I was mostly referring to what used to be the typical middle class American, baseball, hot dogs,… and what not. The Volt will be the single vehicle to have the most conquest buyers that GM has in it’s lineup today. But, still, it’s hard for me to imagine any BMW owner (like my own brother) walking into a Chevy showroom with a checkbook. A snicker would be more like it, thus the Leaf!

    I own three cars myself two domestics and an import. I have uses for all three. I’ll gladly trade in two of them for the Voltec that works for me. Maybe a used Leaf would work in there too if the Volt MPV5 goes into production.

    Still, going electric will be in quite a few driveways and for each his own. More than anything, I would enjoy watching a domestic manufacturer prove to be a competitive manufacturer. There’s a lot of baggage that comes with buying a Chevy. The sheer number of vehicles on the road has created quite a few dissatisfied owners. The Volt has the opportunity to create a little positive cache for the company and bring some owners back to the showroom if not for the Volt but for another car worthy of consideration.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:36 pm)

    EVNow:
    Actually the avg consumer’s expectation is – drive for 1/2 hour; stop for 8 hours to work; drive for 1/2 hour;stop for 14 hours to eat, watch tv, sleep; (add a couple of short errands …)After quite a bit of planning, perhpas 10-15 days a year they will go on road trips, where the scenario you setout is expected.That is why it makes so much sense to replace one of your ICE cars with a BEV and another with a PHEV. For most families both these cars will be used daily as commute cars (i.e. primary cars). Only one will be used for road trips.  

    Realistically, you are correct about typical driving habits being broken up into smaller chunks than 6-7 hours. Nevertheless, knowing the capabilities of a car and living with them are very different tasks with EVs and ICEs. I think the average buyer is averse to change.

    And yes, it would make sense to replace an ICE car with an EREV, or if possible an EV and EREV. But is this kind of sense really used in an average buyer’s decision to buy? I doubt it. Not until gas becomes $5 a gallon will such sense become common.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (2:47 pm)

    stuart22: Realistically, you are correct about typical driving habits being broken up into smaller chunks than 6-7 hours. Nevertheless, knowing the capabilities of a car and living with them are very different tasks with EVs and ICEs. I think the average buyer is averse to change.And yes, it would make sense to replace an ICE car with an EREV, or if possible an EV and EREV. But is this kind of sense really used in an average buyer’s decision to buy? I doubt it. Not until gas becomes $5 a gallon will such sense become common.  (Quote)

    Go sit at the local coffee shop and look for people that pull up in 5+ liter vehicles with two or more passengers. In some cases, one of the occupants will get out and go inside (about half the cases in my experience). Of these, check the percentage that leave the engine running while they wait (about 80% in my experience). Sometimes, people arrive in cars by themselves and leave it running (presumably locked) while they’re inside.

    Right now, the vast bulk of the American population (and if you weigh us, you’ll find that our bulk is, indeed, vast) couldn’t care less about reducing oil consumption or reducing GHGs and have no interest in cutting their use of petroleum.

    Until Americans’ attitudes towards petroleum consumption changes, BEVs and EREVs that cost more than a vehicle of similar capability will be vehicles for the .0001% of the population that could be described as “zealots.”


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (3:15 pm)

    I didn’t see the link to the GM press release for this BEV anywhere so here it is:

    http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/news/news_detail.brand_gm.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2010/Sept/0929_meriva

    Here’s an interesting tidbit:

    “KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) will use the first electric Meriva. Two more will soon enter service at Stadtwerke Karlsruhe and EnBW. KIT and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research have built a “Smart Home” on the south campus of Karlsruhe University. The home’s 60-square meter building area is equipped with the usual appliances including refrigerator, oven, dishwasher and washing machine and gets its energy from a photovoltaic cell as well as a micro combined heat and power plant. A charging station connects the Meriva as a storage unit to this local energy grid.”

    Neat little microgrid they have going there.

    ps. DonC posted it a couple of days ago and noted the charge door being in an unusual spot. It’s where the fuel filler door was!


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (3:24 pm)

    DonC: I thought peak electrical demand in places like CA was in summer during late afternoon and that peak electrical demand for places like NY was in the winter between 6 PM and 8 PM. Given that the most logical time to charge EVs is between midnight and the morning hours I’m not seeing the conflict.  (Quote)

    I am in the desert (Palm Springs) in SC and am on the SCE AC cycling program. In 2010 we have been cut off 10 times with 5 of the times 30 min duration or less. All most all of the disruptions have occurred early to mid afternoon. They give you a rebate for 4 summer months June thru Sept and if you are on the max program they pay $200 per year. Time of use here will not work as most have to have the AC on when the rates are the greatest and the billing is 57 cents per KWH. There is a separate meter program for EVs to charge after 9pm at 11 to 12cents depending on time of year.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (3:28 pm)

    “Right now, the vast bulk of the American population (and if you weigh us, you’ll find that our bulk is, indeed, vast) couldn’t care less about reducing oil consumption or reducing GHGs and have no interest in cutting their use of petroleum.”

    Hah! You finally said something I disagree with. Americans LOVE the idea of cutting fossil fuel use, it just has to meet a few requirements: more money in their pocket, no thought, no inconvenience, and definitely no effort.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (3:41 pm)

    DonC: One of the cars I drove at the Milford Proving grounds was an executive’s own car. She had already been commuting in it for a couple weeks. On the display (I love to play with the displays) it said: “Lifetime mileage: 93.1mpg” I think that’s what people are going to be seeing. And I hope to do a lot better than that.

    I’ll pick up my new Volt in Ventura which is 23 miles from my home. The distance involves 20 miles of highway at 72 mph. And 3 miles of surface street at 30 mph. Do not plan on entering CS to determine range until it’s necessary. The numbers reported by the Consumer Advisory Board will be fairly solid. C.A.B. testing begins in three weeks.

    The Opel Mervia Electric looks good. A basic, light, economical electric vehicle. World economy is on the upswing. This means higher wages for workers. And, of course, higher gas prices. Bring on the electrics. End the weekly need to pump gasoline.

    =D-Volt

    2011-Opel-Meriva-interior.jpg

    opel_meriva.jpg


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (3:43 pm)

    EricLG: “Right now, the vast bulk of the American population (and if you weigh us, you’ll find that our bulk is, indeed, vast) couldn’t care less about reducing oil consumption or reducing GHGs and have no interest in cutting their use of petroleum.”Hah! You finally said something I disagree with. Americans LOVE the idea of cutting fossil fuel use, it just has to meet a few requirements: more money in their pocket, no thought, no inconvenience, and definitely no effort.  (Quote)

    OK… You got me. We do love the IDEA.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (3:48 pm)

    nasaman: I won’t argue with a fellow Floridan beyond simply describing what I (my family & many others living inland at least 30 miles) have experienced here. I presume you live near Florida’s coast somewhere, probably not too far from Port Charlotte, where the damage from Charlie to buildings, homes, power lines, etc was much worse than in the greater Orlando area where I am. In Orlando, the damage from Charlie (& the 3 others that closely followed it) was HUGE —my lakefront home suffered major damage to its roof and we lost 2 large trees. But with numerous ‘bucket trucks’ coming from other out-of-state power companies the power outages were limited to several days, not weeks, following each storm. So, as is usual for inland areas of Florida, the power outages were much shorter than you must have experienced —and easily tolerated, as I described above. Not having 220V was never really a big deal for people here, and it hasn’t been for my >50 years here.  (Quote)

    Yes, home in Punta Gorda and business in Port Charlotte when Charley hit on Friday the 13th of August of 2004. Oh yeah, and as I pointed out previously, I was in Charleston for Hugo in 1989. Hugo hit 9/22. First few days were abysmal- like Charley, with HOT temperatures. If you can use this word- fortunately- after THREE WEEKS without power (during that occurrence), it was mid October and the temperature effects dissipated. Just because YOU did not experience it, it is EXTREMELY bad advice to tell people not to worry about HVAC in the wake of a lengthy power outage.

    Up north, you get ice storms that knock out power- WHEN IT IS COLD. When I was a kid, ovens had pilot lights and you could count on gas appliances that made heat to keep making heat without electricity. Those days are gone. Electricity, these days, is essential to all climate control (save wood). And if one can say I am a freaking lightening rod for disaster, I was staying with relatives in Buffalo, NY, on Friday the 13th of October (noticing a pattern here), 2006 when 2 feet of snow fell on still foliated trees and knocked out power for a few weeks. I think I can speak with more experience than anyone here about extended power outages. HVAC is important!!!!!!!!

    With that being said, there is only upside to EV during loss of power. While we typically think about a conventional (gas) generator for electrical backup, we now have the opportunity to drive beyond a (possibly very localized) power outage, plug in, recharge and bring our juice back home with us in the EV. And again, planning for such an event makes one realize the advantage of a 220v hookup for the EV.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (4:40 pm)

    Fast charging is great, V2x and all smart grid ideas are great . Distributed power generation ( like bloom box -specially in north america where all homes have gas pipe coming in ) and EREV works great on this big picuture. ) Electrification of automobile is great.

    i do think all this are we call as future ( with out trying new things , we will never reach future ).


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (4:41 pm)

    DonC:
    As for these situations not being typical of Chevy buyers, I don’t think very many traditional Chevy customers are going to be buying Volts. Do you think Lyle owned a GM vehicle before he started this site?   

    I owe two GM autos and one is a Chevy Equinox. So I am a traditional Chevy buyer who will buy a Chevy Volt to replace a Buick Regal. I believe I am not alone here. There are other Chevy owners on this forum who will buy a Volt when it becomes available in their market area.

    Raymond


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (5:16 pm)

    US terror warning could hurt Europe’s economy (AP 10/03/10)

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101003/ap_on_bi_ge/europe_terror_threat

    MADRID – A rare advisory for U.S. travelers to beware of potential terrorist threats in Europe drew American shrugs Sunday from Paris to Rome…

    Do you think the latest headline is an honest heads up concerning a threat? Or is it another way to prime Americans to fist up for more war? Just yesterday the name Bin Laden made it to the news again. Where is the price of oil heading?

    =D-Volt


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (5:57 pm)

    Is the car pictured at the top of this page a GM ? I cannot tell it from a LEAF


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (5:59 pm)

    EricLG: Is the car pictured at the top of this page a GM ? I cannot tell it from a LEAF  

    What does it matter – ugly is ugly no matter whose name is on it.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (6:46 pm)

    crew: Still, going electric will be in quite a few driveways and for each his own. More than anything, I would enjoy watching a domestic manufacturer prove to be a competitive manufacturer. There’s a lot of ba

    You may have your hopes fulfilled. Here is what the guy over a Voltaday had to say about the Volt:

    When it was my turn I was shocked. We had a chance to crawl through the car while it was stopped, and I had sat in the back for six laps around the track, but I wasn’t ready. It’s not a GM car. I say that having rented GM cars in the past ten years frequently enough to know what one is. Even recent models feel loose, plasticky, and like the people designing them didn’t really drive them. Or didn’t pay full price for them. It’s hard to say. The difference between a low-end Japanese car like a Mazda and a similarly priced GM car was so startling. And I was expecting a GM car.

    Actually, there are no GM cars. The EV1 was the only car that ever got a badge that said GM on it. The rest come out under Saturn (not any more), Chevy, Pontiac (not any more), Cadillac and so on. The Volt will be a Chevy, which is a shame because it is as stunning as the Volt and should really get the same sort of badge that the EV1 did.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (6:53 pm)

    Raymondjram: So I am a traditional Chevy buyer who will buy a Chevy Volt to replace a Buick Regal. I believe I am not alone here.

    I didn’t say “not any”. I said “not many”. Too expensive and too high tech for your traditional chevy buyer. I’m assuming, however, that you realize that this isn’t a bad thing since this is exactly what GM was aiming for.

    Too bad GM isn’t making more units, is using its dealer network for the rollout (bad because the existing dealer network doesn’t have a clue how to sell this car), and so far has stunk up the place with lousy marketing.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (7:32 pm)

    DonC:
    The Volt will be a Chevy, which is a shame because it is as stunning as the Volt and should really get the same sort of badge that the EV1 did.

    Living out of GM rentals is rough! The base models just don’t seem to be put together too well and that is what the rentals seem to be. A nicely optioned Impala is a pretty decent ride and compares well with smaller sedans in the same price range. One of the nicest cars I sold was a top of the line Cobalt sedan. The ride was smooth, the interior seemed to be a notch better than the base model, and the interior quiet just seemed to justify the price. The entire car felt like is was put together with a little more care than the cheapest ones we normally sold.

    The press gets a Cruze LTZ but it’s not what the dealers sell too many of. I’d like to test drive the base model against a Civic.

    Thanks, Raymond, for standing up for the Chevy guy and proudly plunking down the cash for a Volt. Have you been to a Buick dealer to see the new Regal? That car would make a nice PHEV for Buick better than the Vuick would have.

    The Volt is a great step up for Chevy and for GM. Hope they can actually build them as well as they have been engineered.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (8:06 pm)

    re: V2G
    I can see a lot more education is needed. People with little or no electrical education admit they don’t know… but know what is not good. How can you know what is not good if you admit you don’t know.
    Ignorance is bliss.

    re: Threats..
    Maybe if more countries would get involved in Anti Terrorism.. we would have gotten rid of the problem… seems to many countries want to sit back and watch the US and our allies do the dirty work.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (8:23 pm)

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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (9:21 pm)

    SteveK9: V2G may be the most idiotic idea in the history of idiotic ideas. I don’t always agree with this guy, but this seemed like a very reasonable analysis to me.http://depletedcranium.com/why-vehicle-to-grid-is-a-horrible-idea/Some of the comments give even more reasons why this is ridiculous.  (Quote)

    Perhaps you and your source should spend a little effort and actually learn what is being proposed for V2G before using terms like “most idiotic”.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (9:32 pm)

    I was listening to Sci Fri on NPR on Oct 1 and they had an article on a Worm that was found in several places including in Irans power facility. This worm was very complex and targeted industrial sites. It was stated that this worm could have been transmited by someone using something as simple as a thumb drive or charging their smart phone with a USB port. My point is how safe would our vehicles be connected to a V2G system with possible threats like that worm? I don’t understand why individual load controlers at home and business couldn’t help balance load requirements instead of V2G? P. S. the worm I mentioned about was said to have been extremely complex and had to have been created by several experts and alot of financial backing. Intergration of tech. could be a double edged sword and precautions should always be taken IMHO.


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    Oct 3rd, 2010 (9:41 pm)

    flmark: Yes, home in Punta Gorda and business in Port Charlotte when Charley hit on Friday the 13th of August of 2004. Oh yeah, and as I pointed out previously, I was in Charleston for Hugo in 1989. Hugo hit 9/22. First few days were abysmal- like Charley, with HOT temperatures. If you can use this word- fortunately- after THREE WEEKS without power (during that occurrence), it was mid October and the temperature effects dissipated. Just because YOU did not experience it, it is EXTREMELY bad advice to tell people not to worry about HVAC in the wake of a lengthy power outage.Up north, you get ice storms that knock out power- WHEN IT IS COLD. When I was a kid, ovens had pilot lights and you could count on gas appliances that made heat to keep making heat without electricity. Those days are gone. Electricity, these days, is essential to all climate control (save wood). And if one can say I am a freaking lightening rod for disaster, I was staying with relatives in Buffalo, NY, on Friday the 13th of October (noticing a pattern here), 2006 when 2 feet of snow fell on still foliated trees and knocked out power for a few weeks. I think I can speak with more experience than anyone here about extended power outages. HVAC is important!!!!!!!!With that being said, there is only upside to EV during loss of power. While we typically think about a conventional (gas) generator for electrical backup, we now have the opportunity to drive beyond a (possibly very localized) power outage, plug in, recharge and bring our juice back home with us in the EV. And again, planning for such an event makes one realize the advantage of a 220v hookup for the EV.  (Quote)

    I’m in South Florida and have had my share of power outages. Personally, I can soldier through without too much pain but my wife will get violent if we’re without AC next time.

    It’s been a while but seems like a good time to bring this up again. V2House is an $8-$10k value add for the Volt that would cost GM peanuts. They really stubbed their tow, IMO, by not at least offering this as an option on GEN1. The generator will be in regular use, have a large gas tank with aging gas management, an inverter, and a large battery to smooth motors starts.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (6:13 am)

    koz, #79: I’m in South Florida and have had my share of power outages. Personally, I can soldier through without too much pain but my wife will get violent if we’re without AC next time.

    It’s been a while but seems like a good time to bring this up again. V2House is an $8-$10k value add for the Volt that would cost GM peanuts. They really stubbed their tow, IMO, by not at least offering this as an option on GEN1. The generator will be in regular use, have a large gas tank with aging gas management, an inverter, and a large battery to smooth motors starts.

    ATTN GM: Good to hear from you Koz, regarding V2H. I agree it should be easy for GM to include at least as an option in Gen 2 Volts. Lets hope they’re still reading our comments here!


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (6:24 am)

    OT. (but not far)

    / conspiracy theory mode on

    OPEC starter Iraq has raised it’s known reserves by 24%. This may be the start of an OPEC initiative against electric car development by lowering oil prices.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-04/iraq-lifts-oil-reserves-estimate-overtakes-iran-update1-.html


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (6:25 am)

    BAGHDAD (AP) Monday October 4, 2010, 6:50 am
    Iraq raises oil reserve estimate 24 pct

    Iraq oil minister revises up estimate of proven oil reserves to 143.1 billion barrels

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Iraq-raises-oil-reserve-apf-1870949299.html?x=0

    =D-Volt


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (6:32 am)

    crew: Living out of GM rentals is rough! The base models just don’t seem to be put together too well and that is what the rentals seem to be. A nicely optioned Impala is a pretty decent ride and compares well with smaller sedans in the same price range. One of the nicest cars I sold was a top of the line Cobalt sedan. The ride was smooth, the interior seemed to be a notch better than the base model, and the interior quiet just seemed to justify the price. The entire car felt like is was put together with a little more care than the cheapest ones we normally sold. The press gets a Cruze LTZ but it’s not what the dealers sell too many of. I’d like to test drive the base model against a Civic. Thanks, Raymond, for standing up for the Chevy guy and proudly plunking down the cash for a Volt. Have you been to a Buick dealer to see the new Regal? That car would make a nice PHEV for Buick better than the Vuick would have.The Volt is a great step up for Chevy and for GM. Hope they can actually build them as well as they have been engineered.  (Quote)

    Thanks for the comments. I haven’t “plunked down” any cash yet because I m waiting for the Volt to beome available in Puerto Rico, probably by the 2012 calendar year (in time for the 2013 models). I haven’t seen the new Buicks yet, especialy the redesigned Regal. But I am intrigued that as of today, October 4th, GM has not done any local presentation of their yearly models (2011). Usually the cars are shown at the end of August or the beginning of September. It could be a local dealer issue, but I have been a GM watcher since 1963 when I began building scale car models, and the Impala of each calendar year was always the reference model to compare the rest with.

    Related to rentals. in January 2009 during a Florida visit, I rented a Impala at Enterprise in Orlando. My wife and I loved the car with all its features, and that motivated us to buy the Chevy Equinox in February. GM has surely made a great comback.

    Raymond


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (6:35 am)

    Dave K.: Iraq raises oil reserve

    Ha. I clicked submit first. Ha.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (6:49 am)

    Raymondjram: I rented a Impala at Enterprise in Orlando. My wife and I loved the car with all its features

    Impala is still a good, solid buy (but getting long in the tooth). I have one that used to be a rental. It’s an LT, so, it’s not a lower-end trim. It’s a very comfortable car especially for longish trips.

    Things I don’t like about it:

    - lots of complex things like TPM, antilock, antiskid, anti-simplicity
    - cost cutting: they took off all the external locks except the driver’s door. Ya need the fob to do anything.
    - headrests on front seats annoying.
    - trim falling off. There’s a little cover under the door handle that keeps escaping.

    Things I like about it:

    - Cheap. Picked this car up (1 year old) at 1/2 price of a new one. (Less than 14k.)
    - Good solid ride.
    - It’s her car and she really likes it.
    - Fits in the garage. Trucks and SUV/CUV won’t fit in an 1951 era garage.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (7:02 am)

    BLIND GUY: I was listening to Sci Fri on NPR on Oct 1 and they had an article on a Worm that was found in several places including in Irans power facility. This worm was very complex and targeted industrial sites. It was stated that this worm could have been transmited by someone using something as simple as a thumb drive or charging their smart phone with a USB port. My point is how safe would our vehicles be connected to a V2G system with possible threats like that worm? I don’t understand why individual load controlers at home and business couldn’t help balance load requirements instead of V2G? P. S. the worm I mentioned about was said to have been extremely complex and had to have been created by several experts and alot of financial backing. Intergration of tech. could be a double edged sword and precautions should always be taken IMHO.  (Quote)

    Computer “worms” are programs, and they have to be coded in a language that a specifc computer must understand. I know because I work with many computers every day for the last 36 years, from IBM mainframes and Sun, HP, and IBM Unix servers to many of the personal computers out there. I don’t know what processor is used in the Volt, but GM tends to be propietary in their designs, which means that they don’t use the common Intel/AMD x86 type of processors in their cars. So I doubt any computer virus or “worm” that could pass through the charging port from the grid will affect it.

    But since newer GM cars have WiFi, someone could use the OBD2 access codes to hack into the ECU, including the Volt. It has been done on a Chevy sedan and the hackers could control the car’s functions, including the brakes.

    Raymond


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (7:14 am)

    Loboc: Impala is still a good, solid buy (but getting long in the tooth). I have one that used to be a rental. It’s an LT, so, it’s not a lower-end trim. It’s a very comfortable car especially for longish trips.Things I don’t like about it:- lots of complex things like TPM, antilock, antiskid, anti-simplicity- cost cutting: they took off all the external locks except the driver’s door. Ya need the fob to do anything.- headrests on front seats annoying.- trim falling off. There’s a little cover under the door handle that keeps escaping.Things I like about it:- Cheap. Picked this car up (1 year old) at 1/2 price of a new one. (Less than 14k.)- Good solid ride.- It’s her car and she really likes it.- Fits in the garage. Trucks and SUV/CUV won’t fit in an 1951 era garage.  (Quote)

    Now that you mentioned it, that rented Impara had a problem with the TPM. The left rear tire sensor reported low pressure (under 28 PSI), so I bought an electric air pump, which I needed for another purpose anyway. It came with a mechanical pressure gauge, and I read the air pressue at 30 which is correct. The other three tires had 30 PSI which matched thier sensor readings. I added another PSI (up to 31) but the sensor was stll reporting under 28 PSI. When I returned the Impala to Enterprise, I reported that problem.

    My 2009 Chevy Equinox also has TPM, which I check every time I turn the key on. But every weekend I do a mechanical air pressure check. Up to now, the car sensors are correct, but I will not stop doing manual mechanical readings, knowing that a sensor may fail. It only takes a few seconds per wheel to check. I understand that a TPM sensor replacement is costly, especially for the labor.

    Raymond


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (10:21 am)

    “GM has announced they expect to begin an advertising blitz for the car which will start during the World Series.”

    Based on the 2 adds that we’ve seen so far(ahem- they stunk), I suggest they let Lyle post the add here, and let us vote on, and give feed back on the add in time to make changes.

    =D~~~


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (10:25 am)

    Back on topic. Take a look at all of the ICE’s on the road. People pay quite a bit for extra capacity and put a lot of miles on V-6′s and V-8′s. That extra capacity is wasted in a daily commute.
    A fair price 300 mile BEV will be on the road and what do we do with the extra capacity for our commute? V2G is absolutely worth testing now.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (10:35 am)

    crew: Back on topic. Take a look at all of the ICE’s on the road. People pay quite a bit for extra capacity and put a lot of miles on V-6’s and V-8’s. That extra capacity is wasted in a daily commute.A fair price 300 mile BEV will be on the road and what do we do with the extra capacity for our commute? V2G is absolutely worth testing now.  (Quote)

    Thank you for pointing out that many people don’t care about fuel economy.

    However, in the midsize vehicle market, about 75% of Accords and Camrys ship with the 4-cylinder engine. Not everybody pays for this extra capacity. And you might bear in mind what that extra capacity does cost – peanuts, generally. It’s not like an Accord with a V6 is $10K more than an Accord with an I4. Some of the V6s go on clearance and cost a negligible amount more than an I4 (this is why two of my friends have Accord V6s).

    Extra capacity in a BEV, however, is a serious financial matter. 8KWH is probably on the order of $4K – minimum. The extra 8KWH is also going to be heavy and bulky and those characteristics affect overall vehicle construction, capacity and performance. The V6 on the other hand, generally improves vehicle performance and capability without significant adverse weight or capacity impact.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (10:42 am)

    Charlie H:
    Thank you for pointing out that many people don’t care about fuel economy.However, in the midsize vehicle market, about 75% of Accords and Camrys ship with the 4-cylinder engine.Not everybody pays for this extra capacity.And you might bear in mind what that extra capacity does cost – peanuts, generally.It’s not like an Accord with a V6 is $10K more than an Accord with an I4.Some of the V6s go on clearance and cost a negligible amount more than an I4 (this is why two of my friends have Accord V6s).Extra capacity in a BEV, however, is a serious financial matter.8KWH is probably on the order of $4K – minimum.The extra 8KWH is also going to be heavy and bulky and those characteristics affect overall vehicle construction, capacity and performance.The V6 on the other hand, generally improves vehicle performance and capability without significant adverse weight or capacity impact.

    You’re thinking short term. V2G will become more viable with the decrease in battery cost and increase in capacity. Already before the Volt battery plant went online the next battery will cost half of what we have today. And that’s the plant manager quote!

    Perhaps your personal vehicle is relatively economical but it uses gasoline. We’re getting away from that here.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (11:04 am)

    crew: You’re thinking short term. V2G will become more viable with the decrease in battery cost and increase in capacity. Already before the Volt battery plant went online the next battery will cost half of what we have today. And that’s the plant manager quote!Perhaps your personal vehicle is relatively economical but it uses gasoline. We’re getting away from that here.  (Quote)

    Unless the price of gas goes up – way up – a $41K “solution” to imported oil (never mind that it actually increases GHGs) is not getting us away from gasoline.

    Here’s what we should do:

    - Tax the h3ll out of gas (and oil, generally, and coal). Since we’re far and away the biggest consumer of oil, this will have an immediate impact on the worldwide price of oil. Unfortunately, the Chinese are now racing us to see who can use the most. Eventually they’ll win but, in the short term, we could probably depress the price of oil. This will, naturally, increase general consumer interest in electric cars.
    - Green up the grid, fostering greater employment and reduced GHGs.
    - Decrease domestic drilling and production as much as possible while still decreasing imports somewhat.
    - For all of our essential oil needs, we burn THEIR oil at OUR prices.
    - Run them out of oil FIRST. Keep at least some of ours as a long-term strategic reserve.

    Starving terrorists of funds doesn’t mean not buying their oil, it just means buying their oil at bargain prices. The OPEC countries, and I think there’s a couple non-OPEC countries that export oil, are generally very hungry for revenue and, often enough, corrupt enough that the politicians in charge want the revenue NOW, for their Swiss bank accounts. If we slash demand, OPEC will likely try to cut production to keep the price up but is extremely likely to fail. Cheating (increasing production to recover lost revenue) will likely further depress the price of oil.

    Twenty years ago, this would have been a sure-fire win. Now, I’m not so sure; the competition from China has changed the calculus. But we should give it a try. The switch to renewables makes sense, anyway, and we certainly won’t cut oil consumption and get serious about electric cars without taxing it.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (11:10 am)

    crew: You’re thinking short term.

    You’re entirely wrong about that. I never think short term over anything other than meal choices.

    You’re thinking short-term. You haven’t considered how to keep selling Volts after the absurd subsidy expires. Or even with it to people who embrade the idea of reducing oil dependence but wouldn’t give 2 cents or walk an extra step to actually do something about it.

    And that’s MOST of the people in the US. The ones that care enough to make some small change in their lifestyle of spend a small amount of extra money, that’s a very small group. The ones that are willing to pony up an extra $20K for a compact car because it’s a part-time EV with bad CS mode fuel economy – that group is *tiny*.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (11:14 am)

    I share your conclusions to a tee, Charlie. But how do you think elections will go for the politician planning to heavily tax fossil fuel ?


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (1:40 pm)

    EricLG: I share your conclusions to a tee, Charlie. But how do you think elections will go for the politician planning to heavily tax fossil fuel ?  (Quote)

    Pretty badly, I think.

    That’s the difference between politicians and statesmen, I guess. And it doesn’t help if you get your politicians from the shallow end of the gene pool.

    The voters are just as bad; everybody’s looking for a tax cut and nobody’s willing to accept the spending cuts that will go with it. It was abundantly clear that the country was running seriously in the red from ’01 on and nobody bothered to turn the rascals out.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (3:23 pm)

    V2G HAS to shorten the life of the battery. That’s not in debate. How much depends , obviously, upon how many times and to what extent this juice extraction occurs. Since there are far more cost effective types of batteries for the utilities to use, and would be ones they themselves can control completely and, added to the networking expenses otherwise incurred, one would doubt that using EV batteries makes any sense, in any respect.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (8:12 pm)

    Charlie H:
    You’re thinking short-term.You haven’t considered how to keep selling Volts after the absurd subsidy expires.Or even with it to people who embrade the idea of reducing oil dependence but wouldn’t give 2 cents or walk an extra step to actually do something about it.

    Take a deep breath and focus CH. You’re all over the place.
    The topic is V2G, not the Volt per se and the oil economy.
    When do you think we will actually see 300 mile BEV’s? Then tell me about long or short term opinions.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (10:26 pm)

    crew: Take a deep breath and focus CH. You’re all over the place.The topic is V2G, not the Volt per se and the oil economy.When do you think we will actually see 300 mile BEV’s? Then tell me about long or short term opinions.  (Quote)

    Using late ’90′s technology and batteries, GM could build an EV that was capable of 80-120 miles for $80K per copy.

    Using late ’10′s technology and batteries, GM could build an EREV that may be capable of 40 miles for $40K per copy and Nissan can build a BEV that is capable of 100 miles for $24K per copy.

    Drawing a line through that… the price is trending down while range isn’t improving by much. I’d be surprised to see an economically* viable EV capable of 300 miles prior to 2020 – more like 2025.

    * – Of course, economically viable depends on the price of gas. With $10 gas, even a pricey BEV may start to look good.


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    Oct 4th, 2010 (11:00 pm)

    Charlie H:
    I’d be surprised to see an economically* viable EV capable of 300 miles prior to 2020 – more like 2025.* –

    Grab a brown paper bag, you’re hyperventilating again.
    And not to egg you on to your soap box some more but this relates to V2G by…


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    Oct 5th, 2010 (7:13 am)

    crew: Grab a brown paper bag, you’re hyperventilating again.

    That happens when people waste my money.

    V2G is a bad idea. EVs and EREVs will be available to help with peak demand when they are at their lowest dailyi SOC. There’s nothing to take from the battery that makes the project worthwhile.

    If battery prices come down, pumping sunshine into them during the daytime to distribute in the early evening will make sense. Batteries stored in your home won’t need climate control and their use pattern can be tailored to your home’s needs.


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    Oct 5th, 2010 (3:21 pm)

    SteveK9: V2G may be the most idiotic idea in the history of idiotic ideas.I don’t always agree with this guy, but this seemed like a very reasonable analysis to me.http://depletedcranium.com/why-vehicle-to-grid-is-a-horrible-idea/Some of the comments give even more reasons why this is ridiculous.  

    I agree.

    I might not agree with everything he said, but the conclusion is valid…under today’s scenario V2G makes no sense. It’s not like battery electric vehicles have all this extra capacity. They barely have enough battery capacity to operate satisfactorily as it is.

    Dedicated storage for the grid makes a whole lot more sense. If you want to use millions of
    ‘out of life” Volt batteries, then so much the better.


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    Oct 5th, 2010 (7:07 pm)

    Charlie H:
    If battery prices come down,

    Which way are you thinking here, long or short term?
    V2G today really isn’t much to think about, but there will be scenarios, no doubt, where the process will be usefull.
    “If battery prices come down,” capacity goes up.
    The reason a battery will evolve into a 2 or 3 hundred mile one is to lessen the anxiety of running out of charge for the occasional trip that we all like to take. BEV’s will take off when we can get them at justifiable prices. Ask anyone who has lived with a BEV. (and by the way GM has more years of stats from BEV drivers than any manufacturer out there!) Just as GM has figured out, most commutes are less than 40 miles but sometimes we travel farther. A 300 mile battery will rarely reach a 5,000 cycle point for the average first owner. Why not give back electrons and help the grid actually plan expansion rather than be forced into processes that are not very green?


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    Oct 6th, 2010 (1:31 am)

    If GM really will sell pure electric cars in the future for the United States Of America then I’m sold. Let’s get the Volt wheels on the road and let’s start a new revolution an electric revolution in fact! Bring it on don’t give up GM you can do it!