Dec 03

Electrical Energy Consumption in the Chevy Volt

 

[ad#post_ad]With the release of the EPA testing result we finally have a good idea how much electrical energy the Chevy Volt will consume.

Its lithium-ion battery back contains 288 cells which combine to a total of 16 kwh of energy storage capacity when full.  From the days of the concept GM said it would only use half of that energy to travel 40 miles, keeping the rest as a gradually receding buffer to keep the battery healthy.  Over time engineers realized they were comfortable using more of that energy safely.

In the final configuration, according to GM’s Director of Battery Systems Mickey Bly, “we moved the state of charge usage from 50% (8kwh) to around 65% (little over 10kwh) during the development and validation phase as we learned how capable this battery really was.”

Sixty-five percent of 16 is 10.4 kwh.

That is the exact amount of energy the Volt has at its disposal to complete its full range of pure electric driving.  The EPA has determined that will be 35 miles on average. They also report that energy use works out to 37 kwh/100 miles, or 2.7 miles per kwh.  This will depend on driving style, cabin climate control use, and terrain.  Most people will see between 25 and 50 miles of range.  In my experience at mostly high speed highway driving, I range from 32 to 38 miles of range (40 degrees outside and 72 degrees cabin mostly).

One member of the Volt consumer advisory board was able to get more than that when he really tried.  ”The most miles I drove on battery mode was 53.8 miles,” said NY CAB member Robert Becker. “It was 53 degrees outside during the trip.”

“I made an effort to drive as efficiently as I could during this trip,” he said. “I tried to keep the car between 40 and 50 mph and used as little braking as possible during the trip.”

The lowest range I have gotten was 31 miles when I was really hightailing it in the 70-75 mph range on the highway in sports mode and using 72 degree comfort mode HVAC setting on a 32 degree day.

It turns out, however, that the energy in the battery isn’t all the energy the car consumes.  The EPA’s testing shows that the car will consume 12.9 kwh from the grid to fully recharge a depleted battery, considerably more than the aforementioned 10.4 kwh.

“On the EPA rating of 12.9 kwh used, you need to remember they are measuring total energy pulled out of the wall, not what makes it to the battery,” said Bly.  ”(This is) so you know your consumption on electricity.”

“There are losses from the house to the battery from transportation and conversion over the cords, charger, conditioner, and inverter,” he added.

Thus when determining the cost of electricity in driving the Volt one must use the cost of 12.9 kwh divided by the total number of miles it allows you drive, even though the car is going those miles on only 10.4 kwh of on-board energy.

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 7:15 am and is filed under Battery, Efficiency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 167


  1. 1
    Dave G

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (7:30 am)

    Electricity is 100% domestic. Gasoline is 66% foreign. That matters to me a lot more than efficiency.

    And if you’re concerned about emissions, here’s what Nova says:
    http://video.pbs.org/video/980048834/
    “Skeptics say that all plug-ins do is shift the pollution source from the tailpipe to the smokestack, but studies show that powering cars with electricity from today’s mix of power plants could reduce greenhouse emissions by about 40 percent. Further reductions are possible if electric power gets cleaner.”


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    Loboc

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (7:34 am)

    Good numbers to have Lyle.

    These early real-world drive logs and other data will give GM a better idea about what is important to customers. In my development work, I often find that the end user doesn’t always use the product as designed. They figure out ways to make you crazy. :)

    The speculation is pretty much over since Lyle (and others) have Volts and unlimited access to examine every detail. Now we are mostly talking about future product (again. lol.).

    One thing though: Did anybody see an OnStar report yet?


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (7:45 am)

    I wonder what the electricity consumed difference is between the 240v charger and the 120v charger. At least I can use a “Kill-A-Watt” measurement device on the 120v charger. I will have to reimburse my friends when I plug my Volt in at their house, and the Kill-A-Watt will prove how much (or little) I owe them, probably will end up being about 50 cents each charge.


  4. 4
    Loboc

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (7:51 am)

    OT.

    Missed this one yesterday:

    “U.S. says got another $1.8 billion from GM offering”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B14VN20101202

    “Treasury said its stake in the automaker has been cut nearly in half to 33.3 percent from 60.8 percent as a result of the initial public offing of stock last month.”

    This was reported after close yesterday. Looks like the feds are getting out of the auto business quicker than anticipated.


  5. 5
    Robert

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:03 am)

    you’ll also use more then 12.9 kwh if you use the preheat feature, or plug in more then once a day to add more to your battery without filling it all the way, making determining your kwh/mile number very difficult.
    Would be nice if the Volt actually measured the energy coming in and would report you miles per kwh like it does for MPG.


  6. 6
    bt

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:09 am)

    So I need some electric expert to help on this:

    My parking garage has no outlet near my space, but we have overhead fluorescent light fixtures. What do I need to know about how much juice is running to those fixtures, so that I can have a qualified electrician install an outlet?
    How many other cars would it be feasible to put on that outlet?

    I’m just talking for a 120v, nothing fancy here.

    And slightly OT, I couldn’t help but smile at Lyle’s latest MPG #. Though ‘infinity’ is most impressive of all to those in the know, to put down the number ’2363′ has a kind of surreal feel to it.


  7. 7
    James

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:11 am)

    The availabilty of the Volt rolling out over the next 12 months dovetails so nicely with the daily news that photovoltaics and thin film solar are becoming more efficient and less expensive as volumes of production and better manufacturing and installing techniques take hold.

    New techs I have been tracking are plastic, thin film or nano ink solar panels, cheaper conventional PVs that have lighter, modular frames making DIY installation much easier along with built-in inverters for each panel eliminating or reducing the complexity and time required for implementation, future add-ons and upgrades.

    A solar charged Volt is a happy Volt and the incentives are rising via state and federal government programs. Wind tech is also improving and even more northern/cloudier climes can benefit from cheaper thin film solar over silicone PVs.

    Timing is everything. I think Volt’s time has come.

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ( in all 50 states ),

    James


  8. 8
    Loboc

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:12 am)

    doubledave: I wonder what the electricity consumed difference is between the 240v charger and the 120v charger.At least I can use a “Kill-A-Watt” measurement device on the 120v charger.I will have to reimburse my friends when I plug my Volt in at their house, and the Kill-A-Watt will prove how much (or little) I owe them, probably will end up being about 50 cents each charge.    

    This raises the whole question of social interaction and how it relates to electric cars. I can’t imagine plugging in to friends or relative’s electricity. I wouldn’t even have the chutzpah to ask!

    It’s not the micro-payment, it’s the principle/ethics of mooching a micro-payment. Seems really, really cheap/miserly/underhanded to plug in for a short time for a dubious benefit. Availability of an outlet could necessitate using a long extension cord. Asking people to move cars around so the electric car can plug in is in the realm of a faux pas as well.

    Now, demonstration of the Volt’s charger wouldn’t be all that bad. Kind of like the Chase bank commercial where the guy demonstrates the ATM by using his buddy’s $20 bill. But that’d be a one-time thing.

    Asking for electricity could be a hot button considering the electric bill discussions in my social circle. It’s not the same as asking for a cup of sugar or to borrow a shovel. How do you return 50c of electricity?


  9. 9
    James

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:22 am)

    The only think cooler than an EV is an EV that is charged from sustainable sources.

    If those sustainable sources become cheaper and more accessible, WOW! So much the better!

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ,

    James


  10. 10
    Dave G

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:27 am)

    bt: So I need some electric expert to help on this:

    My parking garage has no outlet near my space, but we have overhead fluorescent light fixtures. What do I need to know about how much juice is running to those fixtures, so that I can have a qualified electrician install an outlet?
    How many other cars would it be feasible to put on that outlet?

    I’m just talking for a 120v, nothing fancy here.

    There’s no pat answer. It all depends on how much each circuit is loaded, and that varies from one installation to another. For a rough calculation, figure 100 watts is about 1 amp. A normal 110 volt circuit is either 15 amps or 20 amps, depending on the thickness of the wire, and the circuit breaker value. The Volt has 2 charging levels at 110 volts. IIRC, the higher charging level draws 11-12 amps, which is about the same as a powerful hair dryer or vacuum cleaner.

    To play it safe, I would assume you’ll need to run separate wires from the breaker box to your parking garage space.

    For multiple cars, they could install a special wire, much thicker, with a larger breaker value. In that case, one wire from the breaker box might be able to handle 8 parking spaces.
    .


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:27 am)

    bt,

    I don’t consider myself an expert but the lighting in your parking garage is probably 277 volt.


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    Loboc

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:28 am)

    bt: I need to know about how much juice is running to those fixtures, so that I can have a qualified electrician install an outlet?
    How many other cars would it be feasible to put on that outlet?

    1. You should use a dedicated circuit back to the panel.
    2. You can only plug one car into a single circuit at a time.

    In general, it’s best to keep lighting circuits separate from outlets and other loads. You wouldn’t want to blow the lighting breaker in the dark.

    The Volt’s draw is either 8amps or 12amps depending on how the switch is set on the plug. You can technically use a shared circuit, but, it’s not a good practice.


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    Bungoman

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:28 am)

    Loboc,

    Unless you have some really kooky friends, I can’t imagine it being an issue. Sure, you don’t ask them to move around cars or run a cord through their lawn. But if you can easily plug in, just give them a nice 1 dollar bill, regardless of how much juice you take. Or hopefully they are happy to let you charge and want no money for it. Seriously, if your friends would even want 50 cents or a dollar from you, get new friends, they are cheap chiselers who will stab you in the back at some point.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:29 am)

    The 10.4kwh is delivered from the battery, I presume. I haven’t seen this actually stated but based 12.9kwh from the meter, it makes more sense. If true, then the battery charge and discharge losses are included in the 19.4% of total loss. If the battery losses average 5% each way then that leaves just over 10% for the other losses. Seems like there could be some improvement here in future versions. They should be able to get total losses down to around 15% unless the EPA is including cabin conditioning or other energy usage in the 12.9kwh.

    Still will be interesting to hear what Lyle’s Onstar report says, even though it won’t be from the meter values.


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    Tim Hart

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:32 am)

    It is such a thrill to be talking about details of filling up your car with electricity instead of gas! Having been there for almost a year with an EV truck, I promise you’ll love it.


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    bt

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:35 am)

    Thanks guys. So it would take a beefed up line to charge 4 cars at once, right? Unlikely I could run that at all off of the light fixture, I assume.

    OT Everyone: (again showing I am an analog guy in a digital world cuz I don’t know how to embed the link) Lyle is featured in today’s Record newspaper.

    Someone pls go to northjersey.com and put the link on here for everyone else.


  17. 17
    Dave4664

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:36 am)

    Dave G: Electricity is 100% domestic.Gasoline is 66% foreign.That matters to me a lot more than efficiency.And if you’re concerned about emissions, here’s what Nova says:
    http://video.pbs.org/video/980048834/
    “Skeptics say that all plug-ins do is shift the pollution source from the tailpipe to the smokestack, but studies show that powering cars with electricity from today’s mix of power plants could reduce greenhouse emissions by about 40 percent. Further reductions are possible if electric power gets cleaner.”    

    A +1 to you sir…..you are exactly correct! The “haters” who visit this tread “cant”…. or simply refuse to see the beauty of this concept. We CAN have our cake and eat it too! We can drive a car that’s fun….good looking and comfortable….and greatly reduce our dependence on oil too. That means less money goes to people who hate. Is there a connection between THAT hateful mentality and some of the negative and vile posts about the Volt and the good folks who are building our “dream car”?…. Possibly. ( See…I dont dislike union members…just the dumb ideas “some” of the leaders come up with. My own dad was a union man….it’s just not for me personally )

    Folks who believe in “man made” global warming” should also be loving this car….The potential reduction of carbon into the atmosphere is enormous! I believe pollution IS a HUGE problem. I lived in LA for a short time back in the early 80′s and was horrified at how bad the air was polluted in “The Southland”. I understand it’s somewhat better now due to better emission controls on the ICE powered cars….but just imagine how good it could be if most people drove a Volt…or even a Leaf if it fit your needs! The point is….even though many of us have differing views as to WHY it’s a great idea to drastically reduce oil consumption ….we have a common solution ( or a least a good step in the right direction ) to our favorite concerns….the breakthrough technology inside the Volt.

    As my old “hippy” friends say…”Peace Out Man!”


  18. 18
    James

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:39 am)

    Loboc: This raises the whole question of social interaction and how it relates to electric cars. I can’t imagine plugging in to friends or relative’s electricity. I wouldn’t even have the chutzpah to ask!It’s not the micro-payment, it’s the principle/ethics of mooching a micro-payment. Seems really, really cheap/miserly/underhanded to plug in for a short time for a dubious benefit. Availability of an outlet could necessitate using a long extension cord. Asking people to move cars around so the electric car can plug in is in the realm of a faux pas as well.Now, demonstration of the Volt’s charger wouldn’t be all that bad. Kind of like the Chase bank commercial where the guy demonstrates the ATM by using his buddy’s $20 bill. But that’d be a one-time thing.Asking for electricity could be a hot button considering the electric bill discussions in my social circle. It’s not the same as asking for a cup of sugar or to borrow a shovel. How do you return 50c of electricity?  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I don’t buy your take on social implications of asking for a charge.

    I might swim in different social circles than you – because my family and friends have already told me I could plug in any time I wanted. The Kill-A-Watt idea is perfect. Just plug in and toss ‘em a buck, no big deal.

    My brother is a character. You may have a friend or relative precisely like him. He’s the guy who says, “don’t buy me anything for Christmas” because he feels guilty and beholden to the giver – goes out and tries to match or barely beat the exact cost of the gift recieved. It’s a real pain, we’re Scottish ( read: frugal ) and you just have to live with it, lol. Given that he takes the buzz out of giving and birthday surprises and makes choosing a wine to bring over when family gets together for a visit complicated, he totally surprised me when I was musing about plugging my Volt or LEAF into his garage socket while visiting. He said: “Go for it! – I think that’s amazing! ”

    Maybe it’s because electricity is cheaper than gas, especially here in Washington State, and that appeals to us Scots. Perhaps it’s because he knows I’ll throw him an extra 50 cents or so…haha….I’m not sure. At any rate, other relatives I’ve spoken to live the same 30 miles away from my home as he does, and they have also given me the plug-in green light. I want to be able to make the round trip on all electric if at all possible. They all have outlets in the garage and I don’t think anyone feels I’m gauche or a wattage deadbeat…

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ( in all 50 states ),

    James


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    ronr64

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:45 am)

    BT I hate to be the bearer of bad news but most likely you cannot do what it is you are suggesting. I don’t know how big your parking garage is but the lighting circuit capacity is probably already reasonably consumed with the lights attached. Also I am fairly certain that it is against code to use a lighting circuit for a receptacle. But as always taking some dudes opinion from the internet is probably not the opinion you should rely on! Call up a reputable electrician and see what his suggestion is.


  20. 20
    Dave G

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:46 am)

    Loboc: In general, it’s best to keep lighting circuits separate from outlets and other loads. You wouldn’t want to blow the lighting breaker in the dark.

    Good point.

    In fact, this may be required by local electrical codes for shared areas, like hallways and parking areas for apartments or office buildings.


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    Dave G

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:56 am)

    ronr64: Also I am fairly certain that it is against code to use a lighting circuit for a receptacle.

    To be clear,

    For residential codes, you can share lighting and outlets on the same circuit. That’s common. This would include any home wiring, or most wiring within an apartment.

    But for office buildings and shared areas of an apartment complex, I think you’re right. Lighting needs to be on it’s own circuit.

    ronr64: But as always taking some dudes opinion from the internet is probably not the opinion you should rely on!

    True, but answers on the internet are often a good way to start learning about something new.


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    Baltimore17

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:57 am)

    Loboc: Asking for electricity could be a hot button considering the electric bill discussions in my social circle. It’s not the same as asking for a cup of sugar or to borrow a shovel. How do you return 50c of electricity?

    Sounds like the opportunity for an iPhone app. Is there enough info on-Volt between start and end of charging to calculate the energy added to the battery? Is there any kind of national data base of electric rates on-line that the app could tap into, given the GPS location of the charging? App says that you used 73 cents of electricity and you grandly hand your hosts three quarters and let them keep the change.


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    Darius

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:57 am)

    It would be good to have comparison with Leaf’s and Tesla’s kWh/mile and charging losses.


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    bt

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:57 am)

    Thanks guys. fyi, in high school I opted out of physics and went for art history. LOL!!!!

    But if you ever need info on Monet, I’m your guy. :)


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:00 am)

    Thanks Lyle. Have you received an energy usage summary from OnStar for November?

    join thE REVolution


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    Baltimore17

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:01 am)

    Dave G: For residential codes, you can share lighting and outlets. That’s common. This would include any home wiring, or any wiring within an apartment.

    Lighting and regular outlets, yes, but not all outlets. When I redid my kitchen, the codes required the refrigerator’s outlet be on a separate circuit. I found out why when the ‘fridge was temporarily relocated to the dining room, plugged into a regular outlet. Other lights on the same circuit would dim from the compressor’s startup load. That was 20 years ago. Given the size of the load, I wonder if the codes would eventually require a dedicated 120V outlet for EV charging, if they don’t already.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:03 am)

    James: I don’t buy your take on social implications of asking for a charge.

    I’m mostly with Loboc on this one. Driving five miles and then bothering someone to plug into their electrical power when there isn’t any need is socially weird. That’s what he’s talking about. Now if you have to go 40+ miles for a visit — so the house is a destination — that’s a different social situation and charging off the host’s power makes perfect sense. In fact if you’re driving a Leaf I’d think everyone would have an interest in your charging as much as possible.

    It’s the difference between being a cheapskate and mooching on the one hand and needing to charge after expending efforts to go see someone on the other. Miss Manners doesn’t see the situations as being equivalent. LOL


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:05 am)

    Bungoman: Loboc,
    Unless you have some really kooky friends, I can’t imagine it being an issue.Sure, you don’t ask them to move around cars or run a cord through their lawn.But if you can easily plug in, just give them a nice 1 dollar bill, regardless of how much juice you take.Or hopefully they are happy to let you charge and want no money for it.Seriously, if your friends would even want 50 cents or a dollar from you, get new friends, they are cheap chiselers who will stab you in the back at some point.    

    I’m worried about the same thing. I recently “acquired” a father in law who watches way to much Fox News. He’s not exactly a fan of the Volt, and despite being an engineer, knows very little about the Volt or its technology. I hate the idea of having to educate this man about how little it will cost to charge the Volt. If I do the math for him, he’ll feel like I’m talking down to him, but if I don’t he’ll never believe that I’m only using a couple bucks worth of electricity…and that’s for an overnight charge.


  29. 29
    James

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:07 am)

    Ok, it’s not 6am here PDT and Loboc got me going on this AC etiquette subject. I can’t remember when I haven’t been over to a friends, and he/she hasn’t offered me a beer, a snack or a meal. I’m in Seattle, so the latte or mocha has become a sort of barter. You know, a friend gives you a ride, and you say , “tommorrow I’ll get the lattes”…or whatever.

    Who is so stinkin’ prideful that they won’t be able to mention if there’s an available plug you can use? Obviously if it’s too much trouble – as you say, you don’t want to put people out, because obviously if you have a Volt you can travel on liquid foreign foul, I mean fuel, if you wish. But seriously, for a time, anyway – you’ll be looked at as forward-thinking and eco-sensitive by friends who’ll be green with envy as you plug into their socket. In fact, when we show folks we can run our car on AC, it’s even more likely they’ll adapt too sooner than later. In other words, we live by example. Seriously, you won’t be asking strangers for a plug ( unless you own a LEAF, iMiev or Tesla ), or even folks you don’t know well – get real!

    Us early adopters will likely have friends that also own an EV or plug in, so they’ll most likely take joy in offering you some juice. Then, it’s like an unspoken rule that they’ll plug in at your place when they’re over. Really the whole point is that you’re on juice and off oil – and who, in their right mind – doesn’t think that’s pretty darn cool?

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ,

    James

    * Sorry for the OT rant


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    DonC

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:14 am)

    The discussion about charging raises a major issues that will have to be solved going forward — charing in apartments and condos. I see this as a bigger barrier than even price. Lots of people live in condos and apartments, and if all those people are automatically taken out of the RV car buying market then the total market for EVs will be limited from the get-go. In this regard the Volt is better positioned than a Leaf because realistically the Volt can do quite well on a 120V outlet whereas a pure EV will be better off a 240V, though the West Coast Editor for Autoweek made it through several months with only a 120V outlet with the i-Miev.

    There is considerable activity centered around public chargers, which seem to have limited usefulness, but nothing around having chargers in condos and apartments which would enable those living there to buy and use an EV effectively.


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    DonC

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:23 am)

    James: Who is so stinkin’ prideful that they won’t be able to mention if there’s an available plug you can use? Obviously if it’s too much trouble – as you say, you don’t want to put people out, because obviously if you have a Volt you can travel on liquid foreign foul, I mean fuel, if you wish. But seriously, for a time, anyway – you’ll be looked at as forward-thinking and eco-sensitive by friends who’ll be green with envy as you plug into their socket. In fact, when we show folks we can run our car on AC, it’s even more likely they’ll adapt too sooner than later.

    It just depends on the situation. If you’ve driven 5 miles and have 35 miles of range left, and you’re planning just to drive another 5 miles home, what would be your motivation for charging up other than to put the electrical charge on someone else’s bill? That strikes me boorish. It’s not like accepting a beer at a friend’s house, it’s like grabbing a couple more from the fridge to take home with you so you won’t have to buy them. Now if you’ve driven 35 miles, and perhaps even given your friend a ride, then by all means charge up. You need to charge and there is a social exchange going on.

    Interesting topic BTW.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:24 am)

    Excellent post today. Lyle, great work posing questions to the right folks. These numbers help put electric use into laymans terms that consumers will understand. One look at your electric bill and you can quickly figure out what 12.9Kwh of electricity will cost you. That will equal the MAXIMUM cost to fully charge your VOLT. Important to remember that the vast majority of VOLT drivers will likely be plugging in to charge with only a partially depleted battery, thus they will spend less.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:29 am)

    Dave G: Electricity is 100% domestic.Gasoline is 66% foreign.That matters to me a lot more than efficiency.And if you’re concerned about emissions, here’s what Nova says:
    http://video.pbs.org/video/980048834/
    “Skeptics say that all plug-ins do is shift the pollution source from the tailpipe to the smokestack, but studies show that powering cars with electricity from today’s mix of power plants could reduce greenhouse emissions by about 40 percent. Further reductions are possible if electric power gets cleaner.”    

    Thanks so much for writing this today Dave G. So much said in so few words. It’s exactly what I need to share with some neighbors and friends who think it makes little difference just shifting from one form of energy to another. Clearly it makes a big difference immediately and benefits from ever-cleaner production of electricity in the future.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:30 am)

    DonC: If you’ve driven 5 miles and have 35 miles of range left, and you’re planning just to drive another 5 miles home, what would be your motivation for charging up other than to put the electrical charge on someone else’s bill? That strikes me boorish. It’s not like accepting a beer at a friend’s house, it’s like grabbing a couple more from the fridge to take home with you so you won’t have to buy them.

    The friend will find it hard to believe the top off is just 15 cents.

    NPNS


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:36 am)

    bt: So I need some electric expert to help on this:My parking garage has no outlet near my space, but we have overhead fluorescent light fixtures. What do I need to know about how much juice is running to those fixtures, so that I can have a qualified electrician install an outlet?How many other cars would it be feasible to put on that outlet? I’m just talking for a 120v, nothing fancy here. And slightly OT, I couldn’t help but smile at Lyle’s latest MPG #. Though ‘infinity’ is most impressive of all to those in the know, to put down the number ‘2363′ has a kind of surreal feel to it.    

    The responses you’ve received are fairly accurate. The only thing I would add is that you may be looking at this from a simple “hey i’m just plugging something in” perspective. Most people do.

    Your lighting circuit will be limited to 12 amps @120V so Aprox 1440W (1.44 KW). This is due to the breaker and wire size used on lighting loads. Most circuits will fall under the same capabilities. If you have a 20A dedicated circuit then you will be limited to 16 amps @120 or 1920W (1.92 KW).

    You can see that if your car needs 12 KW to charge fully, and your outlet can provide 1.44 KW it will take 8.3 hours to charge. That is the fastest charge time using the Volts 120V cord.

    Once you start plugging other things into the same circuit then they have to be factored into the equation. This is why the 120 Volt charge cord comes with a 6 or 8 amp setting. You can reduce the cars draw on your household circuit but it increases your charge time. Using the 8 amp setting would require 12.5 hr’s to fully recharge the Volt.

    The best ways are either:

    1) Use a circuit that has NO load on it (while charging the Volt)
    2) Run a dedicated circuit to the car (might as well use a 240V circuit and charger)
    ** #2 will need an electrician to come out and install**

    If you want to charge multiple cars, you will need multiple dedicated circuits or one BIG line and a sub panel located near the cars. If you go this route keep in mind that you may need to upgrade your main panel, service or other! It starts getting really costly. Try load sharing instead i.e. one or two cars on a 240V circuit for 4 hrs then the next one or two cars over the next 4 hrs.

    Just my two cents :)


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:38 am)

    bt: So I need some electric expert to help on this:My parking garage has no outlet near my space, but we have overhead fluorescent light fixtures. What do I need to know about how much juice is running to those fixtures, so that I can have a qualified electrician install an outlet?How many other cars would it be feasible to put on that outlet? I’m just talking for a 120v, nothing fancy here. And slightly OT, I couldn’t help but smile at Lyle’s latest MPG #. Though ‘infinity’ is most impressive of all to those in the know, to put down the number ‘2363′ has a kind of surreal feel to it.    

    Try this again…

    BT,
    The responses you’ve received are fairly accurate. The only thing I would add is that you may be looking at this from a simple “hey i’m just plugging something in” perspective. Most people do.

    Your lighting circuit will be limited to 12 amps @120V so Aprox 1440W (1.44 KW). This is due to the breaker and wire size used on lighting loads. Most circuits will fall under the same capabilities. If you have a 20A dedicated circuit then you will be limited to 16 amps @120 or 1920W (1.92 KW).

    You can see that if your car needs 12 KW to charge fully, and your outlet can provide 1.44 KW it will take 8.3 hours to charge. That is the fastest charge time using the Volts 120V cord.

    Once you start plugging other things into the same circuit (or there are already things on that circuit) then they have to be factored into the equation. This is why the 120 Volt charge cord comes with a 6 or 8 amp setting. You can reduce the cars draw on your household circuit but it increases your charge time. Using the 8 amp setting would require 12.5 hr’s to fully recharge the Volt.

    The best ways are either:

    1) Use a circuit that has NO load on it (while charging the Volt)
    2) Run a dedicated circuit to the car (might as well use a 240V circuit and charger)
    ** #2 will need an electrician to come out and install**

    If you want to charge multiple cars, you will need multiple dedicated circuits or one BIG line and a sub panel located near the cars. If you go this route keep in mind that you may need to upgrade your main panel, service or other! It starts getting really costly. Try load sharing instead i.e. one or two cars on a 240V circuit for 4 hrs then the next one or two cars over the next 4 hrs.

    Just my two cents :)


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:39 am)

    DonC: There is considerable activity centered around public chargers, which seem to have limited usefulness, but nothing around having chargers in condos and apartments which would enable those living there to buy and use an EV effectively.

    Excellent point, +1.

    Charging availability for apartments and condos is much more important than public charging.

    But this problem may take care of itself. Most people in the U.S. live in houses. Once EREVs become affordable to the masses, then apartment dwellers will want to get in on the action as well. And as power companies start to realize the added revenues from plug-ins, they will offer tax breaks to condo associations in order to get more outlets installed in parking spaces.

    So again, I believe the key is unit volume. As long as plug-ins are a small niche market, nothing much will happen. Once plug-ins go mainstream, you’ll have a lot more motivation to solve the issues with charging for apartments and condos.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:39 am)

    It’s important to know how much electricity is really being used. It is more important to know how far you can stick your middle finger up the middle east.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:45 am)

    DonC: It just depends on the situation. If you’ve driven 5 miles and have 35 miles of range left, and you’re planning just to drive another 5 miles home, what would be your motivation for charging up other than to put the electrical charge on someone else’s bill? That strikes me boorish. It’s not like accepting a beer at a friend’s house, it’s like grabbing a couple more from the fridge to take home with you so you won’t have to buy them. Now if you’ve driven 35 miles, and perhaps even given your friend a ride, then by all means charge up. You need to charge and there is a social exchange going on. Interesting topic BTW.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I agree. Thanks Loboc for opening up a previously un touched-upon subject. I agree with DonC completely – my point was in those cases as I mentioned where you’ve pretty much expended your electrons going one way and the charge for the roundtrip would be of great benefit. In a case where you don’t know the person very well, wouldn’t it be embarrassing if they countered your query with, “doesn’t that Volt you’re driving have a gas tank too?” ?

    This subject matter really will hit hard with BEV owners. I can imagine friends, colleagues and family members looking at someone as an “electricity mooch”! ” Oh man! You invited Dan to the football party?!!! – You know how that goes, the guy’ll suck up hours off your meter and then say he forgot his wallet! ” … LOL.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Volt owners will be EV evangelists of sorts – people watch people. When your boss gives you the spot next to the plug in the parking garage, or you regularly juice up while visiting a visable quick charging station – people will take notice. I remember taking a second glance, and the seeds planted in the early years seeing someone with a “portable phone”, and again later when I first thought a person was crazy for talking to themselves – then noticed they were wearing a Bluetooth earpiece. Of course, these days people are walking around all over talking on these items and it’s just part of the normal landscape. When I bought my first cellphone and Bluetooth, it wasn’t to be fashionable, but because the technology seed was planted in my head, and being without it became a shortcoming. This is what I feel plug in EVs will be in years to come. When you don’t have one, you’ll think back to the benefits that other guy is reaping from owning one ( esp. as you’re inhaling gas fumes and carbon monoxide pumping that expensive volatile liquid into your buggy ).

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ,

    James


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:51 am)

    Loboc: Seems really, really cheap/miserly/underhanded to plug in for a short time for a dubious benefit. Availability of an outlet could necessitate using a long extension cord.

    This is a great discussion!

    If you plan to charge at a friends location, I can think of several courtesies to avoid damaging the friendship. But remember, this is a Volt. You do not need to charge except for one excellent reason: offer to GIVE THEM AN EV TEST DRIVE. If your ICE is running and you are staying for awhile, this would be one offer that hopefully they would be glad to pay for. And don’t forget, you can use Mountain Mode to get some power into the battery for some EV test drive mileage without charging.

    Here are some of my thoughts to avoid damaging the friendship:

    Find a dedicated outlet. Don’t trip their breaker. If you damage their circuits, will their insurance cover it? Use the reduced setting on the charger to avoid that mess.

    Bring your own electrical cord and use it only if necessary.

    Use a Kill-A-Watt meter to measure the charge and enter their top tier rate. (Plug the charger into the meter and the meter into wall outlet.) The advanced model should calculate the cost. If they refuse the payment, then send them a gift card later.

    And only do this ONLY for the test drive unless your friend asks you to always plug in due to their “green” get-off-oil attitude. You risk damaging relationships if your charge sends their electric bill into the top tier for the first time in their history (especially in five tier areas like So. Cal.)


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:53 am)

    Dave G: Electricity is 100% domestic.Gasoline is 66% foreign.    

    I plus one and agree, but I’ll nitpick ;-)

    1,1% of US electricity is imported from Canada and a further .2% is imported from Mexico. I’m pretty certain that neither funnel the money to terrorists though.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:53 am)

    Loboc: This raises the whole question of social interaction and how it relates to electric cars. I can’t imagine plugging in to friends or relative’s electricity. I wouldn’t even have the chutzpah to ask!

    I would be more than happy to let a friend plug in for juice at my house! Hey, we’re all in this together. Who wouldn’t want to help have cleaner quieter streets and decrease money going out for imported octane? I have no desire to contribute to the riches of an oil sheik so he can build crazy expensive soccer stadiums in Qatar for the World Cup.

    (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-z2jtUS9-Y&playnext=1&list=PL292E3088E73C2AD5&index=4).

    -Book


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:55 am)

    Robert: you’ll also use more then 12.9 kwh if you use the preheat feature,

    I was wondering just the same thing myself. Has a CAB member figure out how much pre-heat adds? Not only that, how much does pre-heat extend range if you crank the heat during pre-heat and then go to economy for the trip?


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:56 am)

    Dave G: Electricity is 100% domestic. Gasoline is 66% foreign. That matters to me a lot more than efficiency.

    a minor quibble: The US does import electricity from Canada. See http://www.suite101.com/content/imported-electricity-sales-and-rates-comparison-for-us-and-canada-a270925

    You point is well taken, though, even if it’s not 100% domestic.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:04 am)

    bt: Thanks guys. fyi, in high school I opted out of physics and went for art history.

    Not to overdo this, but there are a couple of principles here:
    - in a single residence unit you will probably have 3 or 4 rooms electric outlets on one circuit (but codes tend to get tighter and tigher). So let’s say that you have 12 outlets. That does NOT mean that you can plug in a hair dryer in each outlet and turn them on at the same time. You could probably plug a radio into each one and turn them all on at one time. You could probably plug a table lamp into all of them and get most of them on at the same time (but the probablity of actually doing this is low). You probably could not get three plasma TV’s running at the same time on the same circuit. Getting the picture?
    - in a parking garage the wiring codes (and common sense) dictate that you plan for rougher use. So they use heavier gauge wire and fewer outlets per circuit. Two Volts on one traditional 15 amp circuit would blow a breaker. This might require two circuits just for one outlet (two receptacles in one outlet).


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:08 am)

    James: I’m in Seattle, so the latte or mocha has become a sort of barter. You know, a friend gives you a ride, and you say , “tommorrow I’ll get the lattes”…or whatever.

    I’ve already got several test-drives for lattes lined up for when I get my Volt ;)


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:13 am)

    12.9 kwh instead of 10.4 kwh.

    So does this mean my cost of charging would not be 80 cents
    but would be about 99 cents per full charge?
    (Based on average electricity cost in my area.)

    Still, paying about $1.00 to go 40 miles is way better than paying
    ($2.75 per gallon x 2) $5.50 for that 40 miles.

    But best yet is that it is AMERICAN fuel not foreign.
    The real cost savings of that are almost impossible to calculate!


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:20 am)

    Hi Lyle with the advent of the EPA millage document I decided to do some calculations using their methodology on the data that you have been collecting. I calculated some interesting results as follow:
    Hardest data to get was how far on average did you drive on a single full charge. I had to estimate this based on the data you provided in the above post.
    Assumptions: 32 to 38 miles to average this range = 35 miles per full charge of 12.9Kwh this results in a total of 33.74 charges for the present data given in your log. You equaled what the EPA measured for average EV range of 35 miles.
    This calculates out to 33.74 * 12.9= 435.3 kwh used for 1181 miles driven.
    From this we can now calculate the MPGe:
    1181/12.91= 91.5 MPGe only 1.5MPGe below the EPA rating of 93MPGe
    For Total MPG listed as 60MPG by the EPA we can calculate that as follows:
    392 CS miles/10.6 Gal used=37 MPG again you equaled the EPA figure of 37 MPG for CS mode.
    Since we know the MPGe, we just find the average.
    91.5+37/2=64.3 MPG very close to the 60 MPG that the EPA estimated and which may be incorrect as the average for 93 + 37 is 65MPG. So Lyle you came out to be exactly the average driver of a volt. All your data shows that you were right on the money.
    I also did some cost analysis but you can correct my numbers to make it more accurate.
    NY electric energy cost from the US Energy Information Administration put your cost at 19.03 cents per Kwh. So 435.3Kwhs of energy will cost $82.84 Gas cost for 10.6 gal of gasoline is $33.92 @ $3.20 gal.
    So the total energy cost is 82.84+33.92= $116.76
    If we compare that with a typical V6 auto at 20MPG average we get
    1573 total miles / 20MPG avg = 78.6 gal used at 3.20= $251.68
    Resulting in savings of $135.00 for the current miles driven in your log.

    Pat


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:31 am)

    Bungoman: Unless you have some really kooky friends, I can’t imagine it being an issue.

    It’s not my friends that would have any problems. It’s ethics that’s holding me back.

    I wouldn’t plug in at work or anywhere else without prior permission. I don’t treat my friends any differently.

    This is totally different socially than grabbing a beer out of their fridge or plugging in the laptop for a LAN party. I don’t see ‘make yourself at home’ extending to using their outlet for charging the car at this time. It’d be kind of like taking their gas from the lawnmower’s supply.

    Besides, if I offered them a buck or 50c, they’d be offended (heck, even highly pissed!). All transactions between my friends are barter or gifts. It’s just done with no questions. If there’s money involved (like getting pizza say) everyone throws in some cash. Nobody calculates down to the buck or 50c level. It’s just not done that way.

    In the future, we might have guest outlets installed. Kind of like a water trough for horses in the past. Right now, it’s a little tricky.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:37 am)

    Matthew B: I plus one and agree, but I’ll nitpick
    1.1% of US electricity is imported from Canada and a further .2% is imported from Mexico. I’m pretty certain that neither funnel the money to terrorists though.

    I’ll accept a 2% rounding error. No worries.

    The point is that we have enough of the current mix of fuels for electricity to last for generations. U.S. oil production peaked in 1973, and has been dwindling ever since.
    US_Oil_Production_and_Imports_1920_to_2005.png
    .


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:43 am)

    Here’s an interesting tidbit on how some of this energy can be lost. Twit did a piece on the Volt which includes an interview with Mickey Bly. He says that regen efficiency on the Volt is 30% – 35%. That’s interesting and it’s great we now have a number which we’ve never had before. FWIW that’s better than the 20% or so the Prius can do but it gives a good indication that when hill climbing or accelerating quickly you’re going to be losing 70% of your energy.

    http://twit.tv/gtt11


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:43 am)

    Mark Z: This is a great discussion!If you plan to charge at a friends location, I can think of several courtesies to avoid damaging the friendship. But remember, this is a Volt. You do not need to charge except for one excellent reason: offer to GIVE THEM AN EV TEST DRIVE. If your ICE is running and you are staying for awhile, this would be one offer that hopefully they would be glad to pay for. And don’t forget, you can use Mountain Mode to get some power into the battery for some EV test drive mileage without charging.Here are some of my thoughts to avoid damaging the friendship:Find a dedicated outlet. Don’t trip their breaker. If you damage their circuits, will their insurance cover it? Use the reduced setting on the charger to avoid that mess.Bring your own electrical cord and use it only if necessary.Use a Kill-A-Watt meter to measure the charge and enter their top tier rate. (Plug the charger into the meter and the meter into wall outlet.) The advanced model should calculate the cost. If they refuse the payment, then send them a gift card later.And only do this ONLY for the test drive unless your friend asks you to always plug in due to their “green” get-off-oil attitude. You risk damaging relationships if your charge sends their electric bill into the top tier for the first time in their history (especially in five tier areas like So. Cal.)  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Some good ideas. I have brought this concept up a few times before. Everyone here should view charging at a FRIEND or RELATIVE’s house as an OPPORTUNITY to talk up the EV concept. And when they see that ‘topping off’ costs just POCKET CHANGE, they will remember it. Most of us have enough common sense to know when the party we are visiting does not present a good case for this and we will just drive our way home on a bit of petrol. Otherwise, save the gas and ‘PLUG’ your EV (in more ways than one).


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:47 am)

    I’m betting jobs will be more then happy to let you plug in. My boss gives me plenty of time off, products that we make, use of the dumpster, and numerous other things. You want to know why? Because he can’t afford to give me a raise. I haven’t gotten one in over 6 years. We are a small business with worldwide customers. My point is plugging in at work is a benefit. Your boss will see it as a benefit just as much as you will.

    Hopefully plugging in at a friends won’t be an issue either. Since they will be plugging in at my house :) . I will only associate with those who have plug in vehicles from now on ;) JK. I don’t even have one :( . You can say I have plug envy. Even though my current 2009 ICE car has a way smaller cost to own then the leaf or the volt.

    I have been looking at the Volt and leaf for over a year now. Planning my trips and pretending if I had each. I would never need to plug in the Volt because I can just use the range extender and with the Leaf’s range I could easily just drive the car back home. Again this is “MY” trips so obviously it’s not the same for everyone.

    Can’t wait to see these VOLTS driving around CT. I’m going to try and convince the guy here at work to get one.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:55 am)

    DonC: charing in apartments and condos. I see this as a bigger barrier than even price.

    I was watching HGTV the other day about people relocating to India into an apartment there.

    They had an electric car in their underground parking. It seemed like they were not unique and it was all normal to have an electric car and charge in their parking spot.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:56 am)

    Pat: Hi Lyle with the advent of the EPA millage document I decided to do some calculations using their methodology on the data that you have been collecting.I calculated some interesting results as follow:
    Hardest data to get was how far on average did you drive on a single full charge.I had to estimate this based on the data you provided in the above post.
    Assumptions:32 to 38 miles to average this range = 35 miles per full charge of 12.9Kwh this results in a total of 33.74 charges for the present data given in your log.You equaled what the EPA measured for average EV range of 35 miles.
    This calculates out to33.74 * 12.9= 435.3 kwh used for 1181 miles driven.
    From this we can now calculate theMPGe:
    1181/12.91= 91.5 MPGeonly 1.5MPGe below the EPA rating of 93MPGe
    For Total MPG listed as 60MPG by the EPA we can calculate that as follows:
    392 CS miles/10.6 Gal used=37 MPG again you equaled the EPA figure of 37 MPG for CS mode.
    Since we know the MPGe,we just find the average. 91.5+37/2=64.3 MPG very close to the 60 MPG that the EPA estimated and which may be incorrect as the average for 93 + 37 is 65MPG.So Lyle you came out to be exactly the average driver of a volt.All your data shows that you were right on the money.
    I also did some cost analysis but you can correct my numbers to make it more accurate.
    NY electric energy cost from the US Energy Information Administration put your cost at19.03 cents per Kwh.So 435.3Kwhs of energy will cost $82.84 Gas cost for 10.6 gal of gasoline is $33.92 @ $3.20 gal.
    So the total energy cost is 82.84+33.92= $116.76
    If we compare that with a typical V6 auto at 20MPG average we get
    1573 total miles / 20MPG avg = 78.6 gal used at3.20=$251.68
    Resulting in savings of $135.00 for the current miles driven in your log.Pat    

    Great analysis, but you should probably use a high mileage car to be fair. Either a Prius or a Cruze. A 45 mpg Prius = 1573/45 *3.20 = $111. A 32 mpg Cruze = 1573/32*3.2 = $144.

    With the new efficiency numbers, I don’t believe there is a monetary gain in NY. The efficiency has dropped by ~60% from the initial assumptions (8kwH = 40 miles). The car efficiency lost 30%, going from 8 kWh to 10.6 kWh, and now we have a 20% charging loss.

    I still support the volt for eliminating gasoline usage, but it just isn’t a monetary gain at this point in high electricity cost states. In fact it is a monetary loss, since the volt is $5-10k more expensive than comparably equipped full gas cars (including rebate).

    Now if we could get cheap night time recharaging, the story would change.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:57 am)

    JohnK: Not to overdo this, but there are a couple of principles here:- in a single residence unit you will probably have 3 or 4 rooms electric outlets on one circuit (but codes tend to get tighter and tigher). So let’s say that you have 12 outlets. That does NOT mean that you can plug in a hair dryer in each outlet and turn them on at the same time. You could probably plug a radio into each one and turn them all on at one time. You could probably plug a table lamp into all of them and get most of them on at the same time (but the probablity of actually doing this is low). You probably could not get three plasma TV’s running at the same time on the same circuit. Getting the picture?- in a parking garage the wiring codes (and common sense) dictate that you plan for rougher use. So they use heavier gauge wire and fewer outlets per circuit. Two Volts on one traditional 15 amp circuit would blow a breaker. This might require two circuits just for one outlet (two receptacles in one outlet).  (Quote)  (Reply)

    The original question was about plugging into a lighting circuit at a place not your own. I would like to offer up a bit of commentary on LED (and CFL) lighting. I would assume that most codes assume incandescent lights are on the circuit (commercial may be a bit different- but the concept of switching over still applies).

    While I have switched MANY bulbs over to LED (not ALL because they just aren’t appropriate in some cases), many people have not stopped to consider the current draw that will NOT be there that was originally planned for. Pull those LED Christmas lights out of the box and you could easily see that the string uses <5W!! Before, you were limited to just THREE strings of lights before one of those little fuses blew. Now, you can find that you are safe up to and beyond FORTY strings.

    Existing lighting circuits are actually an EXCELLENT choice for charging your EV, after you have shifted away from those (already outlawed overseas) incandescent bulbs.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:01 am)

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:09 am)

    bookdabook: I would be more than happy to let a friend plug in for juice at my house! Hey, we’re all in this together.

    Loboc: I wouldn’t plug in at work or anywhere else without prior permission. I don’t treat my friends any differently.

    Loboc: In the future, we might have guest outlets installed. Kind of like a water trough for horses in the past. Right now, it’s a little tricky.

    We often said in this forum that the Volt is a game changer. There you have it. A new etiquette has to be set for when it’s OK to plug your car in an outlet and how should we ask for it.

    To me, it’s a matter of courtesy to your guests. It seems obvious that if a guest of mine would ask to plug his car and recharge while we banter, have dinner and so on, I would agree immediately. The cost would be, at most, a dollar in my area. I would be embarrassed to ask for a dollar.

    Bookdabook said : “we’re all in this together”. That’s so true. Opportunity charging the Volt as many times as possible will help decrease the demand for oil, which in turn decreases the necessity to send troops to protect the source. Using a fuzzy logic, one can say that charging the Volt saves lives.

    More than a courtesy, allowing a guest to charge will become a sort of duty to preserve our way of life.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:09 am)

    Loboc: It’s not my friends that would have any problems. It’s ethics that’s holding me back.

    Loboc (like probably a good many of us Volt fans) is an IT geek. We tend to be a little bit OCD and control freeks. “Begging” for a charge is tough.
    But, Loboc it used to be that “touching” was an icky thing for me. I did get over it though. Now hugging is just a normal thing (but I don’t kiss guys).


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:12 am)

    /Another OT (sorry, I couldn’t help myself): this Ad came up on Google: “Chevy Volt Overstock
    Chevrolet Volt Overstock Sale—
    Get Unbeatable Volt Deals Fast

    Volt.AutoDiscountGroup.com
    Michigan”


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:14 am)

    Loboc:
    I wouldn’t plug in at work or anywhere else without prior permission.

    Do you have a personal cell phone, and do you charge it at work? If so, do you ask for permission each time? Do you use a fan/coffee maker/hot pot/fridge/radio/etc. in your office or cubicle?

    Where is the line that determines what is ethical and what is not in terms of using electricity at work?

    Does your workplace offer programs to reimburse you for commuting via public transportation?

    Derek


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:18 am)

    I am glad these social interactions for plugging into outlets has been brought up. I would have to plan on staying at the house for more than 3 hours before asking if I could plug in. Unless I was in a pure EV, and then only if I was NOT going to make it back home without getting some juice.

    With friends/relatives and such that I visit on a regular basis, I would have a monthly transaction including a small (25-50%) profit for them. It would seem awkward to toss friends 2 quarters or whatever for plugging in each time but if that is what I felt was necessary I would. I I don’t think my Father/mother in Law would ever take money unless I started living at their house. Each person would have to be handled differently and hopefully I would recognize when plugging in became an ugly situation for both of us.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:19 am)

    James: The availabilty of the Volt rolling out over the next 12 months dovetails so nicely with the daily news that photovoltaics and thin film solar are becoming more efficient and less expensive as volumes of production and better manufacturing and installing techniques take hold.New techs I have been tracking are plastic, thin film or nano ink solar panels, cheaper conventional PVs that have lighter, modular frames making DIY installation much easier along with built-in inverters for each panel eliminating or reducing the complexity and time required for implementation, future add-ons and upgrades. A solar charged Volt is a happy Volt and the incentives are rising via state and federal government programs. Wind tech is also improving and even more northern/cloudier climes can benefit from cheaper thin film solar over silicone PVs.Timing is everything. I think Volt’s time has come.PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ( in all 50 states ),James  (Quote)  (Reply)

    By the time I got to the thread, many comments were already present, so I can just provide add-on at this point. But after reading the original post, my immediate response was

    Got Solar?

    There are two things pointed out here that people should keep in mind, and need a bit of extrapolation.

    1) While alternatives to traditional panel PV are making headway, keep in mind that PER UNIT AREA OF ROOF SPACE, traditional panels still win out- HANDS DOWN! My best roof space is already maxed out to get me my 5 KW, with a total of 31 panels. EV usage has me thinking of adding more, which takes me to the second point…

    2) Mentioned here was ‘built in inverters’. These are called ‘micro inverters’. These REVOLUTIONIZE your solar options. Before, you were stuck with one (big) inverter that had to service the entire array. This required advanced planning for both layout and power limits. And if just one panel suffered, the whole array was degraded. With micro inverters, you have lots of flexibility. You can use areas of your roof that are not first rate (different angles, intermittent shading, etc) and you can add just one panel at a time, if you like. Micro-inverters aren’t just about helping the DIY guy; they help you adopt solar on YOUR budget and YOUR schedule. They are game-changing technology.

    I’ll state it again- Got Solar?


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:25 am)

    Derek Taubert: Does your workplace offer programs to reimburse you for commuting via public transportation?

    Speaking of transportation to work, I’m late for work again and have to get out of here. Another thing, how much does your work allow for you to read and contribute to Volt blogs while your supposed to be doing actual work? (-:

    Damn, I love this website!


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:25 am)

    Borrowing a charge from a friend is a very simple procedure. You ask if you could plug in and tell the friend that you will use about $1 of electricity. You offer to pay him the dollar. He says go ahead and plug in and refuses the dollar.

    If you visit this friend a lot, after about every 10 visits, or so, you offer him $10. He may or may not refuse. If he refuses, accept graciously. If he takes the $10, that’s fine too.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:30 am)

    JeremyK: Bungo

    Oy vey! An old saying comes to mind: “you can’t fix stupid”.

    Good luck, man.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:30 am)

    This is a good read too :

    Japan has the GM jitters
    http://www.autonews.com/article/20101202/BLOG06/101209944/1261/BLOG14


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:31 am)

    Derek Taubert: Where is the line that determines what is ethical and what is not in terms of using electricity at work?

    That ethical line is different for everyone and every work place. It is up to the owner of the business and what ever they say is what the employee has to abide by. As an EV owner I would hope I did not start thinking it was my right to plug in just because I was “saving the planet”


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:35 am)

    #1 Dave G “Electricity is 100% domestic. Gasoline is 66% foreign. That matters to me a lot more than efficiency.”

    I gave you a plus one, but Gasoline is 100% foreign from an incremental perspective. You shouldn’t understate your case.

    Each additional gallon purchased comes from foreign sources.
    Each gallon we avoid purchasing reduces imports by one gallon.

    Thats 100%.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:57 am)

    Bid on the Volt is up to $185,000 now.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:58 am)

    tom w: #1 Dave G “Electricity is 100% domestic. Gasoline is 66% foreign. That matters to me a lot more than efficiency.”

    I gave you a plus one, but Gasoline is 100% foreign from an incremental perspective. You shouldn’t understate your case.

    Each additional gallon purchased comes from foreign sources.
    Each gallon we avoid purchasing reduces imports by one gallon.

    Just to head off the nitwits who will claim Lithium imports are the next oil imports, just remember, nitwits, that lithium is 100% recyclable. Oil burned as fuel, not so much, unless you’re willing to wait a few hundred million years.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (12:00 pm)

    JeremyK,

    I watch Fox News regularly, and still want a Volt very much! It seems Americans don’t really get the full sense of a crisis, unless they’re in the middle of it. Right now, with gas around $3 a gallon, everyone’s trundling about in their Tahoes and Range Rovers without much care to the geo-political energy resources balance. When (not if) gas goes up to $5, $6, $7 a gallon, everyone will jump on the Volt bandwagon and say what a brilliant car it is. But right now, it’s a multi-billion dollar “Government Motors” boondoggle to those that can’t see past the end of their nose.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (12:00 pm)

    Dave G: Electricity is 100% domestic.Gasoline is 66% foreign.That matters to me a lot more than efficiency.And if you’re concerned about emissions, here’s what Nova says:
    http://video.pbs.org/video/980048834/
    “Skeptics say that all plug-ins do is shift the pollution source from the tailpipe to the smokestack, but studies show that powering cars with electricity from today’s mix of power plants could reduce greenhouse emissions by about 40 percent. Further reductions are possible if electric power gets cleaner.”    

    Great link. Thanks. When all is said and done, the Volt is the right transitional technology. I hope GM expedites and focuses more resources on complete electrification of it’s models, sooner than later.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (12:11 pm)

    When a friend asks me why I didn’t buy a Leaf, the answer will be:

    “So I don’t have to plug in at your house while visiting!”


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    Tall Pete: This is a good read too :Japan has the GM jittershttp://www.autonews.com/article/20101202/BLOG06/101209944/1261/BLOG14  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Japan has a solution to those jitters: Get out of the U.S. market and sell elsewhere. What will Nissan do if they didn’t sell any Leafs to America? Go bankrupt? That is proof of their dependency of the American market. America doesn’t need the Japanese. They need us.

    America has sufficient local products to supply all our vehicle needs.

    Raymond


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (12:20 pm)

    Robert: you’ll also use more then 12.9 kwh if you use the preheat feature

    Not a big deal. You would also use more gas in a typical car if you used a remote starter.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (12:25 pm)

    bt: OT Everyone: (again showing I am an analog guy in a digital world cuz I don’t know how to embed the link) Lyle is featured in today’s Record newspaper.

    Someone pls go to northjersey.com and put the link on here for everyone else.

    OT but interesting article about Dr Lyle Dennis & his Volt, “New Jersey getting its first Volts” at:
    http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/111247744_Chevy_Volt_sparks_interest.html

    /Thanks for the tip, bt!


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (12:37 pm)

    mmcc,

    277 volt lighting is normally used only in commercial systems, where you have 480/277 volt 3-phase utility service available.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (12:37 pm)

    Derek Taubert: Do you have a personal cell phone, and do you charge it at work? If so, do you ask for permission each time? Do you use a fan/coffee maker/hot pot/fridge/radio/etc. in your office or cubicle?

    Yes, I have a cell phone. And no, I don’t charge it at work. And yes, I would ask permission first. But not each time. Once is enough. I don’t use my personal cell at work and usually leave it in the car.

    I also have a work-supplied phone that I DO charge at work. I don’t use it for personal calls and I don’t use work email for personal communication.

    I don’t have any of that other stuff. I have a small thermometer/clock/calendar on my desk that I brought from home, but, I supply the batteries for it. Everything else is supplied and they discourage bringing extraneous stuff to work.

    I’m in aerospace IT. Understand that I work in a controlled environment. Ya can’t even go to the bathroom without your card key. We have to take and pass an ethics course every year. Might as well be military since we have to comply with their rules.

    And yes, Internet access is specifically allowed in the personnel manual. External personal email is blocked, however, for security reasons. I usually can’t comment from work on anything with video because that is blocked as well.

    Thus, my friends are just like me. Ya wouldn’t just go over and plug something in without a directive, design and instructions.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (12:39 pm)

    Excellent topic…

    When 99% of all cars run on petroleum and 99% of us go to a station to purchase it, asking a friend/family member if you can “take” some of their electricity will be awkward (everyone is not as enamored about EVs as this forum group therefore you cannot assume offering a buck or a free ride in your Volt will be received positively).

    If someone has an older home with a questionable electrical system, I would not want to be the one to blow a circuit fuse or have the electricity box encounter a problem when I plug in my Volt to their home outlet. Plus having charging cords stretched about (where someone could trip) in an unfamiliar residence is not a good thing unless the charge is deemed essential. Unless a company has a sponsored charge-at-work program, ‘using’ a company electical outlet to me is verbotten. Charging a car is not the same as a cell phone or IPod.

    To me the opportunity charge request seems as uncomfortable as a visitor requesting to use my bathroom to shower and shave prior to a dinner because otherwise he would not get to the dinner on time. I would be peeved and my wife truly disgusted.

    Opportunity charge + 40K vehicle = Don’t come off as a boorish oaf and charge at home. Don’t put efficiency over good manners (to friends, family, and employers).

    Loboc: It’s not my friends that would have any problems. It’s ethics that’s holding me back.I wouldn’t plug in at work or anywhere else without prior permission. I don’t treat my friends any differently.This is totally different socially than grabbing a beer out of their fridge or plugging in the laptop for a LAN party. I don’t see ‘make yourself at home’ extending to using their outlet for charging the car at this time. It’d be kind of like taking their gas from the lawnmower’s supply.Besides, if I offered them a buck or 50c, they’d be offended (heck, even highly pissed!). All transactions between my friends are barter or gifts. It’s just done with no questions. If there’s money involved (like getting pizza say) everyone throws in some cash. Nobody calculates down to the buck or 50c level. It’s just not done that way. In the future, we might have guest outlets installed. Kind of like a water trough for horses in the past. Right now, it’s a little tricky.  (Quote)  (Reply)


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (12:42 pm)

    Lyle… from your drive log it looks like you are on track to use about 144 gallons of gas for a year.
    That would be about $460 for a year….

    … most people drive less than you …

    EPA sticker….. useless.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (1:06 pm)

    tom w: … Gasoline is 100% foreign from an incremental perspective.
    Each additional gallon purchased comes from foreign sources.
    Each gallon we avoid purchasing reduces imports by one gallon.

    Excellent point, +1.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (1:10 pm)

    bt: So I need some electric expert to help on this:

    My parking garage has no outlet near my space, but we have overhead fluorescent light fixtures. What do I need to know about how much juice is running to those fixtures, so that I can have a qualified electrician install an outlet?
    How many other cars would it be feasible to put on that outlet?

    I’m just talking for a 120v, nothing fancy here.

    Are we talking an apartment or condo with an assigned garage?

    In many of those there is a single 120V circuit for a bunch of the lights. It will be on a panel that is powered from a meter the landlord or owner’s association pays the bill on. This eliminates the problem of running power from the individual units down to each garage. That only creates a problem down the road when some horse trading goes on and then the wrong person is paying the power bill.

    There are no plugs because the owner’s association or the landlord doesn’t want to be paying the bill on anything more than some lights. I also doubt there is spare capacity on the circuit.

    I would inquire if you could get a circuit put in that is either fed from your unit or on its own meter at your expense.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (1:11 pm)

    Robert: you’ll also use more then 12.9 kwh if you use the preheat feature    

    When it is freezing cold using preheat to warm up the car and battery pack extends the electric range so I think you are using less kwh per mile in comparison with not using preheat.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (1:12 pm)

    mmcc: I don’t consider myself an expert but the lighting in your parking garage is probably 277 volt.

    If we are talking about a big free standing structure that is a very good possibility. If it is near a complex then there is a good chance it is fed off on of the transformers feeding the dwelling units and those will be 120/240V.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (1:15 pm)

    Loboc: It’s not my friends that would have any problems. It’s ethics that’s holding me back.

    I wouldn’t plug in at work or anywhere else without prior permission. I don’t treat my friends any differently.

    I’d always ask, but I wouldn’t be afraid to ask.

    A previous employer plus my present employer will provide charging at no cost. The don’t consider the amount used enough to worry about. If enough people got EVs then they might change their stance.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (1:18 pm)

    Dave G: I’ll accept a 2% rounding error. No worries.

    The point is that we have enough of the current mix of fuels for electricity to last for generations. U.S. oil production peaked in 1973, and has been dwindling ever since.

    It is why I said it is just a nitpick, I do agree with your overall premise.

    What does bother me is the shift to natural gas fired generation. I hear talk about how there is plenty of NG in North America… but it is just talk. If there was plenty we wouldn’t be building LNG import terminals to bring it from the middle east. I do not want yet another source from the middle east!

    That will in no way stop me from being a huge EV proponent. As far as I’m concerned, it is a matter of electricity being far more domestic and it will continue to be far more domestic.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (1:21 pm)

    Inversion these days costs less than 4%, losses from wiring are likely less than that, unless you have a long run and small gauge wire, neither of which is likely in this case. Generally folks
    concerned with storing juice in a battery assume an overall 25% penalty for doing so. So the numbers here are consistent with what’s been true for decades. Thus the Volt li ion batteries
    don’t represent any advancement in this regard.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (1:25 pm)

    LGA: mmcc,
    277 volt lighting is normally used only in commercial systems, where you have 480/277 volt 3-phase utility service available.    

    Many larger parking garages are wired for 277 lighting.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (1:30 pm)

    Matthew_B: What does bother me is the shift to natural gas fired generation. I hear talk about how there is plenty of NG in North America… but it is just talk. If there was plenty we wouldn’t be building LNG import terminals to bring it from the middle east. I do not want yet another source from the middle east!

    I’ve heard conflicting information on this, so any new insight is welcome.

    What I’ve heard is that new horizontal drilling techniques have the ability to tap into domestic natural gas reserves that were previously not accessible, and this means the outlook for energy independence with natural gas is good, even though we import some at the moment.

    I haven’t been able to confirm or deny the above statement, so again, I welcome more details in this area.

    I do know the the percentage of natural gas we currently import is relatively low compared to oil imports.
    .


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (1:47 pm)

    The US Dept of Energy estimated the green house gas (GHG) production and the cost of fuel for various types of vehicles. Here are their estimates:

    GHG emissions and fuel cost for a 100 mile trip

    Conventional – 75 lb GHG, $9.36 fuel cost
    Hybrid Electric – 52 lb GHG, $6.46 fuel cost
    Plug-in Hybrid Electric – 44 lb GHG, $4.84 fuel cost
    All-Electric – 32 lb GHG, $2.40 fuel cost

    Compared to conventional vehicles, plug-in hybrids like the Volt produced about 40% less GHG and paid only about 50% for the fuel. The full electric like the Leaf produced about 56% less GHG and is about 75% cheaper in fuel.

    Source: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/electric_emissions.html


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (1:55 pm)

    Volt gets about 40.95 MPG cost equivalent.
    See Nov 29 post “Living With the Chevy Volt: the First 1300 Miles”

    After 1291 miles the true cost of Volt is 40.95 MPGe for Lyle for 73% electric and 27% gas.

    At the 1291 mile mark it has cost Lyle $99 in gas and electricity costs to drive 1291 miles in the Volt.
    It also costs $3.34/gallon for gas (premium I suppose so regular is probably $3.14/gallon).
    So $99 dollars would buy 99/3.14 = 31.53 gallons of regular gas.
    So the Volt so far has a MPGe cost of 1291/31.53 = 40.95 MPGe

    If electricity cost was 12 cents/KWh like where I live and the charge efficiency was 90% then cost would be 65.5 MPGe

    The killer is the 20 cents/KWh electricity cost and the 82% charging efficiency.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:31 pm)

    Dave G: Electricity is 100% domestic.Gasoline is 66% foreign.

    Electricity is not a fuel. It is an energy carrier.

    The fuel can be wind, solar, nuclear which is all good. Or in some states like NY it can be oil or imported natural gas.

    So it’s a bit inaccurate to think that electricity is 100% domestic just because the fuel is burned here to generate the electricity.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:32 pm)

    igotzzoom: When (not if) gas goes up to $5, $6, $7 a gallon, everyone will jump on the Volt bandwagon and say what a brilliant car it is. But right now, it’s a multi-billion dollar “Government Motors” boondoggle to those that can’t see past the end of their nose.

    Exactly.

    It’s like telling your kid bad things will happen if they don’t change their behavior, but until something bad actually happens, they tend to ignore you, and often think you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Adults aren’t that different. Until something actually happens, we tend to ignore it. And sometimes even after it happens, people blame it on something else.

    I believe world oil production has already started to peak. I don’t think average production will ever exceed 90 million barrels per day, and will probably start to decline sometime in the next 5 years. As soon as the world economy picks up, oil prices will soar.
    Lardelli_09_04_23_1.jpg


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:35 pm)

    kent beuchert: So the numbers here are consistent with what’s been true for decades. Thus the Volt li ion batteries
    don’t represent any advancement in this regard.

    In this regard, nobody ever pretended it was. You can’t have breakthroughs in all domains at the same time.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:35 pm)

    Been lurking forever. Finally my 1st post and I am just wondering, how much $$ to build a solar system in CA to use exclusively for the Volt (daily commute is ~43 miles roundtrip) . I have been trying really hard to get my house consumption under the Tier 1 of SMUD’s kwh prices which are 10cents. Adding a new appliance would bump me into higher Tier costing me each kwh 17 cents.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:38 pm)

    Dave G: What I’ve heard is that new horizontal drilling techniques have the ability to tap into domestic natural gas reserves that were previously not accessible, and this means the outlook for energy independence with natural gas is good, even though we import some at the moment.

    The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, we can harness the rivers, the atom can be used for other purposes than bombs, why do we need to drill for energy ?


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:39 pm)

    jscott1: Electricity is not a fuel. It is an energy carrier.
    The fuel can be wind, solar, nuclear which is all good. Or in some states like NY it can be oil or imported natural gas.
    So it’s a bit inaccurate to think that electricity is 100% domestic just because the fuel is burned here to generate the electricity.

    What percentage of electricity comes from oil? What percentage comes from imported natural gas? These figures are so low, they’re below the margin of error.

    The point is that we have enough domestic fuel sources to make electricity for generations, while U.S. oil started running out back in 1973.
    .


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:43 pm)

    Banana: Been lurking forever. Finally my 1st post and I am just wondering, how much $$ to build a solar system in CA to use exclusively for the Volt (daily commute is ~43 miles roundtrip) .

    Start here:
    http://www.affordable-solar.com/gt-estimator.htm

    Also look at financing options from Solar City.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:47 pm)

    Dave G: I’ve heard conflicting information on this, so any new insight is welcome.What I’ve heard is that new horizontal drilling techniques have the ability to tap into domestic natural gas reserves that were previously not accessible, and this means the outlook for energy independence with natural gas is good, even though we import some at the moment.I haven’t been able to confirm or deny the above statement, so again, I welcome more details in this area.I do know the the percentage of natural gas we currently import is relatively low compared to oil imports..  (Quote)  (Reply)

    It’s been discussed here a number of times. Theoretically, we have lots of NG, but only if you consider the stuff locked in rocks available . It only becomes available if you use TONS of water mixed with TONS of chemicals to break up the rock under high pressure (hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’). These chemicals are toxic- and secretive. Lots of inside deals (amongst politicians) enabled drilling companies to avoid compliance with clean water regulations. Many folks are reporting contaminated drinking wells as a result. ‘Clean’ natural gas is an oxymoron when collected via fracking. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcellus_Formation#Economic_impact


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:49 pm)

    Tall Pete: The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, we can harness the rivers, the atom can be used for other purposes than bombs, why do we need to drill for energy ?

    Because it takes time to change things, and with oil we’re quite literally out of time. So we need to get away from oil first, and the best way to do that near term is by using plug-ins powered by electricity from our current mix of power plants.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:51 pm)

    Dave G: today’s mix of power plants could reduce greenhouse emissions by about 40 percent. Further reductions are possible if electric power gets cleaner.”

    Correct. AND many of us are far more interested in cutting the obscene annual payment of some $450 BILLION for foreign oil. Domestically produced energy (electric, E85, fossil) used in a Volt is FAR PREFERABLE to continued dishing out of huge payments to OPEC and friends.

    Our national goal should be full Energy Independence from imported sources. It will take a while, but the Volt is an important first step in the process.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:52 pm)

    flmark: ‘Clean’ natural gas is an oxymoron when collected via fracking.

    Yes, I’ve heard about fracking and agree it’s not a good option.

    But what about horizontal drilling? I’ve heard this can unlock domestic natural gas reserves without fracking. I’m not sure how true this is.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:57 pm)

    OK, I’ve scanned the comments and it doesn’t look like anyone mentioned this
    http://gas2.org/2010/12/02/cracker-barrel-to-install-ev-charging-stations-at-24-tennessee-locations/

    From the article:
    “Twelve of the Cracker Barrels will get Blink DC Faster Chargers that can charge a plug-in hybrids battery to 80% capacity in just 20 minutes, so Volt owners have that to look forward to.”

    Now I guess I’ll have to go look up these ‘Blink’ chargers and I believe we have been told that round one of the Volt will not accommodate DC charging. Well, at least things are moving forward.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (2:59 pm)

    Dave G: Yes, I’ve heard about fracking and agree it’s not a good option.But what about horizontal drilling? I’ve heard this can unlock domestic natural gas reserves without fracking. I’m not sure how true this is.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    The two are linked together. First you drill; then you pump the goo into the hole to break up the shale.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (3:01 pm)

    Wanna Wanna Volt,

    Agree with Loboc. If a house or dinner guest asks to recharge their laptop, cell phone OR EV – I am delighted to pony up the .50 cents or buck it’ll set me back. If I don’t think people are worth that – why invite them in the first place??


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (3:13 pm)

    Banana: Been lurking forever. Finally my 1st post and I am just wondering, how much $$ to build a solar system in CA to use exclusively for the Volt (daily commute is ~43 miles roundtrip) . I have been trying really hard to get my house consumption under the Tier 1 of SMUD’s kwh prices which are 10cents. Adding a new appliance would bump me into higher Tier costing me each kwh 17 cents.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    It is unlikely that a solar system used EXCLUSIVELY for the Volt would be worthwhile. While you may have this as your primary reasoning, it is better to just plan on a grid-tied solar PV system. When the PV output exceeds household use, you give it to the grid and make money (or earn credit) from the utility. Solar PV is DC and indeed the future holds that DC charging will be fast. You also avoid the energy losses as you convert DC to AC and back to DC in your EV. But the sun is not so predictable as to just give you enough energy (when you want it) for your EV. If you are worried about escalating your usage and being billed more, grid-tied is what you are looking for.

    I’ve got lots of PV (5kw at home 13kw at office), but prices are falling (since I got mine). Get in touch with solar contractors and get bids- and make sure you utilize micro-inverters as I discussed previously today.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (3:23 pm)

    OT: Want to see the trailer of the sequel to “Who Killed the Electric Car”? Click this link, then click on the photo like the one below this, and click “like” under that photo: http://www.facebook.com/revengeoftheelectriccar#!/revengeoftheelectriccar?v=photos

    74531_149228565121863_113193765392010_260464_6235090_n.jpg


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (3:27 pm)

    To prepare for emergencies EV owners should carry one of those 2000 watt automotive inverters. Then if you don’t see an outlet, just look for parked ICE cars. :) Of course you would have to run the engine in the parked car to keep it’s battery charged, using gasoline, but hey it would work, no?


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (3:50 pm)

    Loboc: And yes, Internet access is specifically allowed in the personnel manual.

    Ummm, I’m guessing your ethics class teaches you that it is OK to read and contribute to non-work related blogs during your workday. ;)


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (3:57 pm)

    bookdabook:
    Ummm, I’m guessing your ethics class teaches you that it is OK to read and contribute to non-work related blogs during your workday.     

    Since they specifically gave me permission to do it, then, yeah. Ethically, however, I don’t spend a lot of time on it.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (4:25 pm)

    Off topic

    The Shipping News:

    OK here’s the scoop. I got tired of just checking chevyconnects twice a day and since my Volt was finished (3800, VIN#135) 2 weeks ago I finally called a Volt Advisor just now to ask about shipping. When your unit has been sent to shipping your Status Code will change to 4000. At this time at least 5-10 future owners should have had their codes change to 4000. Unfortunately mine is not one of them but that’s OK. So the way they are doing it is to send out 5-10 at a time, monitor how the transport works and then start gradually increasing the out flow of cars. The advisor does not know the VINs of those that have shipped. There is no planned unified day one for Volt sales around the country so whenever your dealer gets it you can get it. What part of the country these 1st 5-10 are going is unknown to my advisor. There is no committment to having a certain total number of Volts in consumer hands before the end of the year. Lastly, I live in SD, CA so I asked about shipping time to CA and she said it is estimated to require 17 days from the time shipping is initiated to complete delivery to a CA site. And she confirmed like Larry of chevyconnects said, they are traveling by a mix of train and truck. When your unit ships (i.e. status code jump to 4000) you will get an email from your Volt Advisor.

    So now we need to hear if anyone monitoring this website has info on their Volt shipping yet.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (4:30 pm)

    Dave G:…here’s what Nova says:
    http://video.pbs.org/video/980048834/
    “Skeptics say that all plug-ins do is shift the pollution source from the tailpipe to the smokestack, but studies show that powering cars with electricity from today’s mix of power plants could reduce greenhouse emissions by about 40 percent. Further reductions are possible if electric power gets cleaner.”    

    That’s compared to a non-hybrid. Compare it to Prius and the result is about the same (Prius is slightly lower).


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (4:59 pm)

    New Commercial:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlAk79c9bmw&feature=player_embedded

    Breathe socket. (It’s a step up from a leaf blower.)


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (5:38 pm)

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (5:40 pm)

    Pat,

    Interesting comparison-

    If we look at a Prius over the 1573 miles driven. assuming a 45 MPG average, the total cost of gas used is ( 34.96 * 3.20) = $111.87 A $4.89 lower average cost than the VOLT.
    BUT the Prius number is for gas use only. My Prius is not a plugin.
    If one looks a the real gas the VOLT uses vs the Prius…. the Volt number is $33.92 where the Prius stays at $111.87. Which means a saving of $77.95 gasoline not burned from any source (foreign or domestic).

    Now is this significant?? If enough plugins get on the road vs “regular” hybrids the savings from less gasoline used could be ..significant.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (5:42 pm)

    Eco_Turbo,

    My wife would not let her ride in my Prius either … or my new VOLT for that matter LOL


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (5:45 pm)

    barry,

    Reason I picked 20 MPG is that my Chrysler gets that average. And I am not sure what Lyle drives when not Volting around. Also I believe that 20 MPG best represents the overall fleet average for all cars in the USA. I could be off, but not much. By the way the Cruze has an official rating of 28 MPG. Just wanted show Lyle how close he was to the EPA numbers.

    P


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (6:10 pm)

    Pat Joy,

    When I noted “interesting comparison” it was implying you did some good work and I agreed with your assumptions. 20 MPG may indeed be the better number. My Explorer MPG is lower.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (6:24 pm)

    flmark: OK, I’ve scanned the comments and it doesn’t look like anyone mentioned thishttp://gas2.org/2010/12/02/cracker-barrel-to-install-ev-charging-stations-at-24-tennessee-locations/From the article:“Twelve of the Cracker Barrels will get Blink DC Faster Chargers that can charge a plug-in hybrids battery to 80% capacity in just 20 minutes, so Volt owners have that to look forward to.”Now I guess I’ll have to go look up these ‘Blink’ chargers and I believe we have been told that round one of the Volt will not accommodate DC charging. Well, at least things are moving forward.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    ’bout time somebody listened to my yammering:

    From an old Tesla Blog (http://www.teslamotors.com/enthusiasts/blog/3929)

    David Kosowsky
    9:32pm | Apr 10, 2007
    “Re: Volt , EV’s and Alfred’s comments I agree technological advancements will shrink the benefits (and available market) for Volt like cars as time goes on. It will most likely be more than 3 years before a 500 mile battery pack is affordable for even a Roadster sized car, but it will happen. Keep in mind that those advancements will also benefit the Volt also, to a point. The Volt could certainly have its place and to start producing such a vehicle would not require much of redesign to become a BEV when technology permits it. Plugs won’t be so easy to come by as one would hope. You can’ t just put a 120V 20A (2400W) load on a streetpole designed for a 400W light fixture. The circuiting would need to be completely redone. This would only be practical for new projects or redesigns. Parking Garages would be a little easier, but still would require expensive upgrades. Parking meter projects are another great application, but again it is not pratical for existing equipment. Cracker Barrell, highway rest stops, hotels, and state/ federal parks would be some of the early plug providers. This is why it is so important that the government and utlilities get onboard ASAP. Ultimately, gettting cars with plugs on the road will be needed to “drive” the market.”


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (6:28 pm)

    flmark: OK, I’ve scanned the comments and it doesn’t look like anyone mentioned this
    http://gas2.org/2010/12/02/cracker-barrel-to-install-ev-charging-stations-at-24-tennessee-locations/From the article:
    “Twelve of the Cracker Barrels will get Blink DC Faster Chargers that can charge a plug-in hybrids battery to 80% capacity in just 20 minutes, so Volt owners have that to look forward to.”Now I guess I’ll have to go look up these ‘Blink’ chargers and I believe we have been told that round one of the Volt will not accommodate DC charging.Well, at least things are moving forward.    

    If the DC voltage is over 90, and (I am assuming here) the Volt charging circuit uses no input transformers (for AC only), you can charge the Volt. Most switching power supplied just rectify the input and then chops up the DC to convert up to a higher frequency AC that can be regulated, rectified again, and filtered. Taking the DC as input will not do any harm since it will pass through the rectifier but only in one direction. I accept any input or support from the other fellow EEs here.

    If anyone who has worked with the Volt charger can chip in, then that person can certify if a 90 to 300 DC voltage supply could be used to charge the Volt.

    Raymond


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (6:40 pm)

    Raymondjram,

    Don’t know if it has anything to do with present Volt, but the wires from the charge port of the display in NYC in March were very small.

    I think it has also been said that Volt has direct battery voltage connection capability, but not on first generation.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (6:54 pm)

    neutron:
    Interesting comparison-If we look at a Prius over the 1573 miles driven. assuming a 45 MPG average…

    35 is the estimate for Volt. And based on the mostly highway data available so far, especially since temps are still above freezing, that looks realistic. Yet, even though both real-world & estimate for Prius are 50, a lower value of 45 was used anyway.

    Bad assumptions are easy enough to correct.

    35 & 50 are the proper values to be using.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (6:58 pm)

    I found something that most Volt owners would want to measure their power consumption while charging at 240 VAC:
    http://www.weemscreeksolutions.com/ted.htm
    Scroll down to see how it is installed in the main distribution panel, so it can be installed in the local Volt charger box. I found this while looking at the Kill-A-Watt page:
    http://www.killawattplus.com/?gclid=CP6_jeOj0aUCFVVi2godq3I-lw

    It may be expensive , but it is the solution that some were asking for. I could install this in my home in less than 20 minutes.

    Raymond


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (7:10 pm)

    MichaelH: New Commercial:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlAk79c9bmw&feature=player_embeddedBreathe socket.(It’s a step up from a leaf blower.)    

    Nice ad, I really like it! Thanks for posting the link.

    With Tim Allen doing those voiceovers, I keep expecting him to say the Volt has “MORE POWER! AUGH–augh-augh!!” at some point.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (7:28 pm)

    Banana: Adding a new appliance would bump me into higher Tier costing me each kwh 17 cents.

    When you get your VIN number call SCE. They can install a separate meter on your EV outlet at a fixed rate of .095kwh. Your main electric bill will not be pushed into a higher tier. If this is the first time you have heard this news. Get yourself a bottle of California wine and enjoy the day. You’ll have the extra $ for it.

    GM_Voltec_240charger.jpg?t=1291422310


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (7:31 pm)

    neutron: Eco_Turbo, My wife would not let her ride in my Prius either … or my new VOLT for that matter LOL  (Quote)  (Reply)

    My wife would… thats why I married her!


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (7:57 pm)

    Loboc: It seemed like they were not unique and it was all normal to have an electric car and charge in their parking spot. 

    Ha ha. I actually know something about parking spots in India and I can assure you that electric vehicles are not common and parking spaces are definitely not common. I bought parking spaces there in maybe 2003 and people thought I was crazy because there was so little demand for them — mostly due to the fact that most people had scooters which they’d park ten or twelve to a space. That was then and this is now. Now cars are much more common and there is great demand and very limited supply of parking spaces.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:00 pm)

    Dave G:
    What percentage of electricity comes from oil?
    .    

    2% total. About 1.5% is consumed by Alaska and Hawaii. The rest is burned at gas turbine power plants that shift to diesel fuel during extreme cold spells when natural gas supplies run short.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:06 pm)

    usbseawolf2000: That’s compared to a non-hybrid. Compare it to Prius and the result is about the same (Prius is slightly lower).

    So you’ve decided just to keep making the same bogus argument even when it’s been explained why it’s wrong? We can do it again. It takes a lot of electricity to refine and deliver a gallon of gasoline to the tank of your Prius. The study you keep relying on did not count this electricity. Do the study the right way, assign a kWh of electricity to the gallon of gas, and you find that the Prius uses about the same amount of electricity as the Volt per mile. PLUS it uses gasoline.

    What is so hard to grasp here?


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:09 pm)

    MichaelH: New Commercial:

    Nice catch. +1. It’s not inspired but it’s OK and the “leaf blower” reference is subtle enough to be funny.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:22 pm)

    john1701a: 35 is the estimate for Volt. And based on the mostly highway data available so far, especially since temps are still above freezing, that looks realistic.

    I think 35 miles is definitely proving to be low. It may be that the reduction factor the EPA is applying doesn’t take account of the higher regen efficiency found on this generation of EVs. I don’t think the Leaf will get as little as 73 miles or range either — more like 80, excluding the hyper miler types who are getting over 100.

    But as Car & Driver has pointed out, it really doesn’t matter: “Either way, one thing’s for sure: Operating an EV can be exceptionally cheap. Assuming 35 miles of electric range for the Volt yields a cost per mile of just 4.6 cents. That’s almost 40 percent less than that of a Volkswagen Golf TDI diesel getting 40 mpg and 24 percent cheaper than a Prius getting 45 mpg.”

    So if saving a few bucks is more important than using less gasoline — and it’s not to me — then this is a reason to buy a Volt.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:26 pm)

    Dave G: The point is that we have enough domestic fuel sources to make electricity for generations, while U.S. oil started running out back in 1973.

    Actually, oil started running out when the first drop was used.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:33 pm)

    Who here can produce oil at home?

    Who here can produce electricity at home?

    enough said. Electricity is so common, it even falls from the skies!


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:39 pm)

    JEC: Electricity is so common, it even falls from the skies!    

    You can thank Benjamin Franklin for proving that!

    Raymond


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:40 pm)

    OT But Worth a Look: GE’s “Top 10 Signs EVs Have Gone Mainstream”:

    http://www.gereports.com/top-10-signs-evs-have-gone-mainstream/


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (8:44 pm)

    JEC: Who here can produce oil at home?Who here can produce electricity at home?enough said.Electricity is so common, it even falls from the skies!    

    That’s what I like about E-85, in a pinch, I can make 85% of it in my garage, out of mostly waste material.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:16 pm)

    flmark:
    It’s been discussed here a number of times.Theoretically, we have lots of NG, but only if you consider the stuff locked in rocks available .It only becomes available if you use TONS of water mixed with TONS of chemicals to break up the rock under high pressure (hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’).These chemicals are toxic- and secretive.Lots of inside deals (amongst politicians) enabled drilling companies to avoid compliance with clean water regulations.Many folks are reporting contaminated drinking wells as a result.‘Clean’ natural gas is an oxymoron when collected via fracking. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcellus_Formation#Economic_impact    

    The frackin gas companies are really ramping up here in your old stompin grounds of Penna. Dangling scores of jobs in front of the masses, seems an effective way to gain mineral access.
    Pray for our wells, rivers and streams.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!


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    Stas Peterson

     

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:19 pm)

    Dave G,

    Ask yourself why was the CAFE created? Why was the EPA tasked with producing Maroney Stickers?

    It was because the government wanted to reduce the consumption of foreign Oil.

    They did NOT do this for the academic reason of determining just how much electricity and how much gasoline or how much domestic ethanol that we consume in each vehicle. They wanted to reduce how many Gallons of Gasoline are consumed per year, by vehicles. Once again the government loses track of what it is all about, or what its original objective was.

    Now the EPA gives us these ridiculous Baloney/Maroney stickers!

    Fact 1) Ethanol production is now about 15% of our total gasoline demand.

    Fact 2) VOLT EREVS can create an unbalanced reduction and preferential substitute for gasoline of about 10-1. It does this through the strategy of using its electric miles, First. So each VOLT reduces its gasoline demand to 10% of a conventional ICE.

    Put Fact 1 and Fact 2 together, and an auto fleet of EREV Volts SOLVES the problem of foreign Oil, and US Energy Independence.


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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:23 pm)

    Raymondjram: JEC: Electricity is so common, it even falls from the skies!

    You can thank Benjamin Franklin for proving that!

    Another famous Pennsylvanian! Just in case you’re on Jeopardy, he also invented the catheter and the glass ‘armonica.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!


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    Stas Peterson

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (9:32 pm)

    James,

    Your Solar ideas have sunspots.

    Solar PPVv is only 10-12% effeicint in coverting solar energy into elctricity. But to get to that 12% engieneers have had to reduce the albedo or refelctivity of a solar cell to from 71% which is the averge reflectivityt of the’Earth to almostt zero reflectivity.

    That 88-90% of wasted energy is increased over what the Earth woudl normally face. So for every watt your polluting Solar cell produces it produce about 90% more thermal energy absorbed from tthe Sun. When we were concerned with GHGs, we speak of .005-.5 Watts per meter squared. Your polluiitng Solar produces almostt 350 Watts of waste heat for every squre meter of your cell!

    Stop Global Warming. Stop Polluting Solar!

    You polluting solar cellis anywhere from 750 -7500 watts .meter swaured of THERMAL POLLUTION.


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    Loboc

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:03 pm)

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    Brooklyn_Berger

     

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (10:08 pm)

    If everyone was buying plug-ins it would be the norm to do so. It would hearken back to the old days, when you pulled up to a friends house on your horse and he brought it grain and water.
    Loboc,


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    neutron

     

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:18 pm)

    Saw the new commercial and liked it


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    neutron

     

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:27 pm)

    Big Bird,

    YOU have a very understanding wife.


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    usbseawolf2000

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    Dec 3rd, 2010 (11:44 pm)

    DonC: The study you keep relying on did not count this electricity.

    Show me the source of your information that contradict with the WTW report from DOE. IAW, back up your claim.


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    jscott1000

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    Dec 4th, 2010 (12:55 am)

    Dave G: What percentage of electricity comes from oil? What percentage comes from imported natural gas? These figures are so low, they’re below the margin of error.

    In NY as much as 8% of electricity comes from oil. I don’t know how much of that is imported, but it it’s more than a drop then your statement is wrong.

    You perpetuate the myth that electricity is an energy source when you say it’s 100% domestic just because it’s generated here. Theoretically you could build a power plant that runs on 100% imported oil. I don’t know why anyone would, but there is nothing preventing that from happening.


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    Dec 4th, 2010 (1:17 am)

    Just to make sure I’m following the threads today….

    Solar energy is bad
    Electricity is bad

    wow.. so what options do we have…guess I’ll start building my bunker.


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    Dec 4th, 2010 (1:42 am)

    Tagamet: The frackin gas companies are really ramping up here in your old stompin grounds of Penna. Dangling scores of jobs in front of the masses, seems an effective way to gain mineral access.Pray for our wells, rivers and streams.Be well and believe,TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘ Wheels On The Road!!  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Tag,
    The vultures are out here in present stomping ground, too. I see hot and heavy PR campaign put up announcing, “What do you think of drilling for natural gas in New York State?” and of course, three ‘average’ joes (one is a geologist) are excited at the prospect. Yup, appeal to people in the pocket book and everything else becomes irrelevant. Well, at least NYC has enough political umph to protect their watershed (much of the Catskill Mountain area). That leaves the rest of us New Yorkers to drown in the fracking goo.


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    flmark

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    Dec 4th, 2010 (1:52 am)

    Stas Peterson: James,Your Solar ideas have sunspots. Solar PPVv is only 10-12% effeicint in coverting solar energy into elctricity. But to get to that 12% engieneers have had to reduce the albedo or refelctivity of a solar cell to from 71% which is the averge reflectivityt of the’Earth to almostt zero reflectivity. That 88-90% of wasted energy is increased over what the Earth woudl normally face. So for every watt your polluting Solar cell produces it produce about 90% more thermal energy absorbed from tthe Sun. When we were concerned with GHGs, we speak of .005-.5 Watts per meter squared. Your polluiitng Solar produces almostt 350 Watts of waste heat for every squre meter of your cell!Stop Global Warming. Stop Polluting Solar!You polluting solar cellis anywhere from 750 -7500 watts .meter swaured of THERMAL POLLUTION.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    You keep up with the same idiotic argument. First, most solar sits atop household roofs which, with the average DARK asphalt shingle material, completely nullifies what you state. Second, some companies are combining the best of both worlds. If you combine water HEATING with PV, you get electricity AND hot water. [The water lines are embedded beneath the PV layer] Don’t know where you got hung up on this off-base reasoning, but it is time to get the BIG picture.


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    john1701a

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    Dec 4th, 2010 (6:40 am)

    DonC: So if saving a few bucks is more important than using less gasoline — and it’s not to me — then this is a reason to buy a Volt.

    Operating cost is what they were referring to, not total ownership.

    The price difference alone should make that easy to see.


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    Dec 4th, 2010 (11:14 am)

    freetimecreation: To prepare for emergencies EV owners should carry one of those 2000 watt automotive inverters. Then if you don’t see an outlet, just look for parked ICE cars. Of course you would have to run the engine in the parked car to keep it’s battery charged, using gasoline, but hey it would work, no?    

    While it may work for some EV’s, don’t try it with the Volt. Read the following from the Chevrolet Volt Owner Manual on page 9-52:

    Notice: Do not use portable or stationary backup generating equipment to charge the vehicle. This may cause damage to the vehicle’s charging system. Only charge the vehicle from utility supplied power.


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    Matthew B

     

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    Dec 4th, 2010 (1:16 pm)

    flmark: First, most solar sits atop household roofs which, with the average DARK asphalt shingle material, completely nullifies what you state.

    My shingles are white. As are many others.


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    Dec 4th, 2010 (2:20 pm)

    Matthew B: My shingles are white. As are many others.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    While ‘many’ may be white, most aren’t. And it really doesn’t matter, from http://eetd.lbl.gov/coolroof/asshingl.htm, you find “The solar reflectance of all commercial asphalt shingles is rather low. Premium white shingles are only about 30% reflective, and other colors reflect less.”

    The point is not about what color choice you made. It is that this bozo is saying PV is BAD because it covers up the NATURAL reflectivity of the earth. However, the house (and it’s roof) are ALREADY doing this anyway. Unless he expects us to live UNDERGROUND, PV is a improving upon what we already have in place with our very presence.


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    Dec 4th, 2010 (2:29 pm)

    Mark Z:
    While it may work for some EV’s, don’t try it with the Volt. Read the following from the Chevrolet Volt Owner Manual on page 9-52:Notice: Do not use portable or stationary backup generating equipment to charge the vehicle. This may cause damage to the vehicle’s charging system. Only charge the vehicle from utility supplied power.    

    The main reasons for this requirement:

    -Most 12V inverters put out a SQUARE wave sign wave. This is hell on most electronic devices i.e. the Volts charging system
    -Most generators put out a horrible sign wave compared to your utility provider

    If you were to hook the Volt up to a Honda eu2000i (or similar) inverter generator or a “true sign wave” 12V inverter then the car wouldn’t know the difference and it would be fine. Both cost x2 as much as their cheaper cousins.

    Keep in mind, the Honda would have to be run for hrs and hrs (using gas) and so would the the car inverter. Plus if you use the car inverter, you aren’t plugging it into the cigarette lighter… it’s gotta be hard wired to the battery and you better have a hella big alternator in your car (200A) to run it. Most cars have 40-70A alternators if I’m not mistaken??

    Remember 12V @150A equals 120V @15A (excluding losses)

    neutron: Big Bird,
    YOU have a very understanding wife.    

    ** Thanks! I’ll let her know! She’s a sweetheart and I don’t tell her enough :)


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    freetimecreations

     

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    Dec 4th, 2010 (2:54 pm)

    Big Bird,

    So I can use an inverter or generator (true sine wave of course) to charge my Volt (EV) from another ICE car (engine running of course), No?


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    kdawg

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    Dec 4th, 2010 (4:01 pm)

    freetimecreations: So I can use an inverter or generator (true sine wave of course) to charge my Volt (EV) from another ICE car (engine running of course), No?

    Why wouldn’t you just siphon gas from the other car and run the generator in your Volt?


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    Dec 4th, 2010 (4:47 pm)

    larry4pyro: The US Dept of Energy estimated the green house gas (GHG) production and the cost of fuel for various types of vehicles. Here are their estimates:GHG emissions and fuel cost for a 100 mile tripConventional – 75 lb GHG, $9.36 fuel costHybrid Electric – 52 lb GHG, $6.46 fuel costPlug-in Hybrid Electric – 44 lb GHG, $4.84 fuel costAll-Electric – 32 lb GHG, $2.40 fuel costCompared to conventional vehicles, plug-in hybrids like the Volt produced about 40% less GHG and paid only about 50% for the fuel. The full electric like the Leaf produced about 56% less GHG and is about 75% cheaper in fuel.Source: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/electric_emissions.html  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Be careful with these assessment values.

    The primary assumption for plug-ins is 200 watt-hours per mile.

    Recalculating for the Volt values yields the following per 100 miles

    Conventional – 75 lb GHG, $9.36 fuel cost
    Hybrid Electric – 52 lb GHG, $6.46 fuel cost
    Plug-in Hybrid Electric – 53.4 lb GHG, $5.64 fuel cost
    [assumes 12.9 kWh/40 miles @ $012/kWh and 38.5 mpg @ $2.50/gallon]

    For comparison here is Ford’s 61 mpg(US) combined [NEDC test cycle] diesel Focus 5dr hatchback
    http://www.autocar.co.uk/SpecsPrices/SpecsAndPricesEdition/Ford-Focus-1.6-TDCi-109-ECOnetic-S/S/58784/

    Focus – 38 lb GHG, $5.33 fuel cost in mixed driving
    [assumes 61 mpg combined for the light-footed US driver @ $3.10/gallon for diesel]


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    Big Bird

     

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    Dec 4th, 2010 (5:47 pm)

    freetimecreations: Big Bird,
    So I can use an inverter or generator (true sine wave of course) to charge my Volt (EV) from another ICE car (engine running of course), No?    

    Yes you could do that but I have to say it would be very inefficient. For an inverter set up you would need:

    -A very very large alternator in the vehicle i.e. a HD pick-up truck or SUV and even then it would be close.
    -A 1800W inverter hooked directly to the battery of the truck
    -The truck would have to be running above idle
    -You would have to do this for 8 hrs to get a 40 mile charge

    If you use a smaller inverter and alternator combo then you could be looking at up to 16 hrs for a 40 mile charge :)

    I’d go with grabbing a $5 Jerry can and $5 worth of gas rather than all the trouble… kinda like kdawg says


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    Dec 4th, 2010 (6:01 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Another famous Pennsylvanian! Just in case you’re on Jeopardy, he also invented the catheter and the glass ‘armonica.Be well and believe,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘Wheels On The Road!!    

    He was born in Boston, but spend most of his life in Philadelphia. I have been in Philly many times, have visited his home and his tomb (and even left a few pennies!).

    Raymond


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    usbseawolf2000

     

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    Dec 4th, 2010 (6:19 pm)

    larry4pyro: The US Dept of Energy estimated the green house gas (GHG) production and the cost of fuel for various types of vehicles. Here are their estimates:

    If you plug in the official EPA numbers (Volt=360 Wh/mi for 35 EV miles and 37 MPG with Gas, Leaf=340 Wh/mi and Prius=50 MPG), you get this:

    26.7 MPG Conventional: 75 lbs CO2
    50 MPG Prius: 40 lbs CO2
    Volt: 55 lbs CO2
    Leaf: 53.8 lbs CO2


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    Dec 4th, 2010 (7:58 pm)

    Big Bird,

    Big Bird,

    Okay good, so it is possible to charge an EV with a true sine wave inverter sized to match the EV’s charger, hook it up to the battery of an automobile/truck with an appropriately sized alternator and keep the engine running for as long as needed for the amount of charge required for the EV, No?


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    Dec 4th, 2010 (9:33 pm)

    freetimecreations: Big Bird, Big Bird, Okay good, so it is possible to charge an EV with a true sine wave inverter sized to match the EV’s charger, hook it up to the battery of an automobile/truck with an appropriately sized alternator and keep the engine running for as long as needed for the amount of charge required for the EV, No?  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Possible, as said, with the PROPPER inverter and supplying vehicle configuration.

    The question is why?

    This would be VERY INEFFICIENT from an energy AND emissions point of view. Plugging in to the grid is probably at least 50% more efficient, 30% versus 15% best guess.

    So, simply fuel up the Volt and go.


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    Dec 5th, 2010 (12:14 am)

    50 mpg by 2010: The question is why?

    Same reason my kids fired up a 5000 watt generator to charge a cell phone, Because as I stated in #109 there is no outlet.


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    Zen

     

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    Dec 5th, 2010 (9:37 am)

    kdawg: Why wouldn’t you just siphon gas from the other car and run the generator in your Volt?  (Quote)  (Reply)

    You might want to be careful there – only siphon gas out of a car that uses 93 octane gas (Corvette, etc). The Volt is mighty picky about the gas it uses, though someone will inevitatably fill their Volt with the cheap stuff (87 or worse octane). Also, if you are caught by the car’s owner, they could be a bit upset by your “borrowing”. Police are even less understanding.


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    61 seven

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    Dec 5th, 2010 (5:15 pm)

    LeoK,

    My question is why GM and Nissan didn’t put alternators/ generators on the drive axles to do a sort of perpetual motion machine while moving. Replacing the power used with power that could be made running down the road not just regenerative braking.


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    freetimecreations

     

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    Dec 8th, 2010 (2:24 pm)

    An article about the Ampera and a future driver enabled switch to choose when the Volt will use battery or ICE.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-20024991-48.html