Jan 13

CEO: GM Also Working on Pure Electric Car for US Market

 

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback

[ad#post_ad]The Chevrolet Volt is an elegant solution.  It is a brilliant car that is a masterpiece both of design and engineering.  Understandably GM has focused its PR and marketing efforts on this nascent vehicle which is expected to reach high volumes as price comes down in the following years.

Other companies such as Nissan have focused instead on the less utilitarian pure electric car, filling the niche for would-be owners who are willing to make some sacrifices in order to be able to drive only on electricity at all times.

Ford for its part has announced it will offer both a pure electric Focus and a plugin hybrid C-MAX

Many pure-EV advocates have pushed for GM to offer a pure electric car in addition to the Volt.  Though there have been reports of global development of EVs for markets outside the US, there has never been any direct proof or quotes such a car would be built for the US.

Until now that is.

GM’s CEO Dan Akerson told reporters at the Detroit Auto Show, that indeed such a car was in the works.  Akerson said this car would be aimed primarily at drivers in big cities and would be a niche vehicle, with the Volt filling the more mainstream role.

“It’s more of a metro car or an urban car, where the extended-range electric vehicle, the Volt technology offers much more flexibility,” Akerson said.

It is not clear the timeline as to when this car will arrive. GM did announce it will begin selling a pure electric car in China within two years.

It seems likely the US electric car will be subcompact in size, similar to the new Chevy Sonic gas-powered vehicle the automaker just debuted.

Along with other comments from Akerson indicating GM will be building two additional EREVs and a PHEV, this car will complete a comprehensive suite of electrified vehicle offerings from the company for the US market over the next several years.

Source (Detroit News)

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 13th, 2011 at 7:22 am and is filed under BEV. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 94


  1. 1
    nuclearboy

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (7:34 am)

    GM reps stated earlier, and I agree, that building a pure EV will be easy since many of the issues have already been worked out with the EREV design (its not quite as simple as just remove the engine and increase the battery size but its close).

    GMs EVs and plug ins should benefit from all of the electric cars that GM has built from the EV1, to the fuel cell equinox, to the Volts. Hopefully GM will build a great reputation in the plug-in car space.

    They are off to a good start with the Volt.


  2. 2
    koz

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (7:42 am)

    Glad to see GM plans to offer a BEV but boooo on the choice. How many Leaves, Focii, IMievs, Thinks, etc do we need? Why waste all the money on BEV variant of a gas econobox. Why don’t like the idea of a BEV Volt? Weight would be my guess. They need a lightweight EV platform for future Votecs and BEVs. Why not make a Transit Connect-like or small pickup or just a BEV version of a lighter weight Volt compant. I suppose they are designing a BEV platform for a sub-compact or micro car for other coutries and it is easier to just modify that for the US market. It just frustrates me that everyone seems to be marching like zombies towards the same market niche.


  3. 3
    Jim I

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (7:53 am)

    I wonder what the range will be?

    If it is able to get a REAL AER of 100 miles, it would be a perfect second vehicle to the Volt for us.

    But if it comes in at 50 or so miles, I would never trust it to my wife……….

    And if GM is going for niche BEV vehicles, how about a 2 seater sports car? A BEV Solstice would be pretty cool, don’t you think?

    JMHO


  4. 4
    drivin98

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:00 am)

    So, if the Volt is “more car than electric”, what is an all-electric GM?

    While you ponder that, I’ve just had another thought. Perhaps GM should call their all-electric the Rake.


  5. 5
    nuclearboy

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:01 am)

    koz: Why not make a Transit Connect-like

    Apparently they are thinking about it.

    http://gm-volt.com/2010/09/22/gmopel-reveals-extended-range-electric-cargo-van-concept/


  6. 6
    Gsned57

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:08 am)

    If they are going the econobox route they should start with a base model no frills cheap as they can make it (but very reliable) car with 40 AER. Offer another variant with 80 AER. Go for the Ipod business model. And then you can offer all the add on’s people “Need”. Get a no frills 40 mile BEV that comes in under 15K or an 80 mile BEV that comes in under 20K after the Gov incentive and you’ve eaten Nissan’s lunch.


  7. 7
    Dave G

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:17 am)

    From the article: Along with other comments from Akerson indicating GM will be building two additional EREVs and a PHEV, this car will complete a comprehensive suite of electrified vehicle offerings from the company for the US market over the next several years.

    Did I miss something? What are the two additional EREVs? Any more details on this?
    .


  8. 8
    Dave K.

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:20 am)

    Half the Chevy’s sold are shipped outside of North America. A low cost reliable plug-in will do fine. Especially in the wake of the multi-award winning Volt.

    NPNS


  9. 9
    ziv

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:24 am)

    drivin98,

    Drivin 98, I think that was summed up pretty accurately by the statement, “It’s more of a metro car or an urban car, where the extended-range electric vehicle, the Volt technology offers much more flexibility,”

    For the next 5 or 6 years, the batteries for an all electric BEV will simply cost too much and weigh too much to give you a reasonable range. In 5 years a 40 kWh pack will give you a real world range of 120 miles most days, but instead of costing $20,000 and weighing 800 pounds, it will cost $10,000 and weigh 400 pounds. That is when real BEV’s will start to be more than metro cars for commuting and errands. But most households have 2 or more cars so there is a huge market for metro cars, like the Leaf or the future GM BEV.


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    greenWin

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:30 am)

    This is most likely whatever they are going to build for China. There is a deep need for EVs in China and as we have seen – they have no capability or desire to build them internally.

    koz: Glad to see GM plans to offer a BEV but boooo on the choice. How many Leaves, Focii, IMievs, Thinks, etc do we need? Why waste all the money on BEV variant of a gas econobox.

    Right. Let’s see how many of these little EV boxes sell. The first indicator will be Leaf. iMiEV should be the next box for sale. Most likely the people who buy these will use them as second car urban runabouts.


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    joe

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:36 am)

    Great! I’m glad GM understands that as it stands today, w/o the long range and quick charge batteries and lack of charge stations, the real useful purpose of an EV is for cities. If GM can build a beautiful EV, by using it’s superior experience, it will leave the Leaf in the dust. Nissan lives in a dream world with their Leafs which I think was rush to market.

    Building a pure electric car by GM should be easy to do by using their experience and existing software. Good luck GM! Build a beautiful EV and you will dominate that sector.


  12. 12
    Schmeltz

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:41 am)

    I wouldn’t be against the idea of a Chevrolet Sonic EV, but I thought perhaps a better route that would recover investment more quickly would be a Cadillac or even Buick EV. Imagine a vehicle similar in size to the Buick Regal, with All-Electric drivetrain, luxury amenities, and utilizing the revived “Buick Electra” nameplate. I think such a vehicle would draw more customers to the Buick showrooms, and enable GM to recover developement costs more quickly. It could be a mainstream competitor to the astonishing Tesla Model S, (excuse me while I gush). People with cash and clout could not only afford a Cadillac or Buick EV, but also prefer the looks of a premium EV to a mainstream choice such as a Leaf or upcoming Ford Focus EV. JMO.

    Or, doggonit, just do both and be done with it GM! :)


  13. 13
    Dave G

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:47 am)

    ziv: But most households have 2 or more cars so there is a huge market for metro cars, like the Leaf or the future GM BEV.

    Please quantify “huge market”. What percentage? How many cars annually?


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    Tom M

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:49 am)

    Personally I’d much rather see them just make a volt BEV. It’s such a nice car. It would help to lower production costs on both variants and engineering it would be easy, GM has already done all the hard work. Just leave out the ICE and double the size of the pack.


  15. 15
    Dwayne

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:56 am)

    I think that a BEV with a minimal range extender would be a good idea. In this case the range extender would not be designed to give the full performance of the car by it’s self. But rather, just push the car at 70 mph on a flat freeway. Anything extra would come from the battery. I would expect the range extender to be much smaller and lighter … perhaps even removable. It purpose woud be to extend range and nothing else.


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    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (9:01 am)

    I was hoping GM would wait a bit for battery technology to improve, so that they could make a BEV luxury sedan. If you are going to ask people to pay luxury car prices, then they should get something more than an econobox.


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    kdawg

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (9:20 am)

    I hate to say this, but I think for right now this will be the major demographic for these niche BEV’s

    hoveround.gif


  18. 18
    Sir Namesalot

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (9:20 am)

    I think they should name it the Chevy CapaCity.


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    John

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (9:28 am)

    For EV to work, it has to be cost effective. EV-only Volt is too luxury. You need a cloth seats, AM-radio, crank windows style EV out there for $17K and it will sell like crazy for markets like college towns, cities, etc. Ok, no AM-Radio but you get the point. Low-end EV has got to follow the luxury models as the mass-market cannot afford anything over $30K for new.


  20. 20
    TheRFMan

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (9:45 am)

    But most households have 2 or more cars so there is a huge market for metro cars, like the Leaf or the future GM BEV.    

    I’m not convinced of that, although personal transport is different in the US than in Canada. Many urban families don’t have two cars. In fact, it is quite common to only have one, which is primarily used for longer weekend trips and vacations. People that live in the city core don’t need a vehicle for their day-to-day tasks. They can walk to do their shopping and to go out with friends, and work is typically a short bus or subway ride if not walking distance. People with a lifestyle like that use their cars to drive a few hours to go see relatives or get to the ski hill, etc. A pure battery electric car wouldn’t really do any good for them. Neither would an EREV really. A Honda Civic is what they need, and tons of them are sold in Canada. Or even better, just rent a vehicle when needed and avoid all the other ownership costs.


  21. 21
    maharguitar

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (9:59 am)

    TheRFMan:
    I’m not convinced of that, although personal transport is different in the US than in Canada. Many urban families don’t have two cars.In fact, it is quite common to only have one, which is primarily used for longer weekend trips and vacations.People that live in the city core don’t need a vehicle for their day-to-day tasks.They can walk to do their shopping and to go out with friends, and work is typically a short bus or subway ride if not walking distance.People with a lifestyle like that use their cars to drive a few hours to go see relatives or get to the ski hill, etc.A pure battery electric car wouldn’t really do any good for them.Neither would an EREV really.A Honda Civic is what they need, and tons of them are sold in Canada.Or even better, just rent a vehicle when needed and avoid all the other ownership costs.    

    I think that you have to expand your definition of city. If you are thinking Manhattan or downtown Chicago, you are probably right. But, look out the window when you fly into these cities you will see miles upon miles suburban cities. Mostly these cities are single family homes with attached two car garages. They are within 10-15 miles of industrial parks where the people who live in these cities work. They could go months of commuting or soccer moming without driving over 80 miles in a single day.

    So, when thinking city for electric cars, think Sunnyvale CA, Waltham MA. or any of the cities surrounding LA.


  22. 22
    John

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (10:00 am)

    The BEV would be for cities without good mass transit or generally good driving conditions. Such as maybe Rochester NY, Omaha NE, Richmond, VA and so on. Where a commute may be 10-15 miles into work. But for top-20 cities where some form of train, bus and (like in GTA or San Francisco) cable-car services is available, far less need for center-city BEV ownership where parking alone is expensive.


  23. 23
    maharguitar

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (10:19 am)

    If I were in the position to start an electric car company, I would build a BEV taxi. Imagine if all the taxis in Manhattan were electric. The air quality would be completely different. I think that it is doable for a few reasons.

    The Nissan Leaf has a 480 Volt fast charge system that will charge the battery in under 30 minutes. Taxi garages are capable of installing this kind of charger. If a cab runs low during the day, it is only out of service for a short period of time.

    Electric vehicles need almost no maintenance compared with an ICE vehicle. This would be a huge win for cab companies.

    If the car is “good enough”, the taxi commission will likely offer incentives (later mandates) to make the switch. Look at the rules for New York. They are so strict that they allow only Crown Victorias and, you guessed it, any hybrid.

    The Leaf or the Volt probably wouldn’t work. You need to be able to carry 4 passengers plus luggage. A custom designed taxi would probably be needed. Checker made only cabs for decades so it is possible to have a dedicate vehicle for this market.


  24. 24
    Tim Hart

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (10:24 am)

    That is good news. Having decided to wait for the Gen II Volt, it will be interesting to see what else is available in a couple of years. We are definitely interested in much less complex EV that has less than 10,000,000 lines of computer code! A BEV or EREV with air, cruise, and a CD player is all I want. And crank windows to save on electricity. Waiting is painful, but whichever car we choose will be the car we live with for a VERY long time.


  25. 25
    CorvetteGuy

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (10:32 am)

    3 Facts Remain:

    Fact: More and more automakers will develope a ‘Plug-in Hybrid or EREV’ like the Volt.

    Fact: More and more automakers will develope an ‘All-electric’ car like the Leaf.

    Fact: No automaker will come out with a new hybrid that copies the old technology design of the Prius.

    And I would like to see GM drop the future ‘mild hybrid’ cars we have read about here, and focus on lowering costs and retail price of ‘Two-Mode’ Hybrid Trucks.


  26. 26
    Schmeltz

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (10:44 am)

    maharguitar: If I were in the position to start an electric car company, I would build a BEV taxi.

    Better Place is doing something along these lines already in Japan. They are utilizing battery switch stations to change the battery packs in under a minute though. You can see it here if you’re interested:

    http://www.betterplace.com/tokyo-electric-taxi-project-summary?awesm=btrp.lc_fVl&utm_content=awesm-site&utm_medium=btrp.lc-copypaste&utm_source=direct-btrp.lc


  27. 27
    DonC

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (10:48 am)

    Dave G: Did I miss something? What are the two additional EREVs? Any more details on this?

    I think that was yesterday’s topic, or maybe the day before’s. LOL Hatchback and CUV type. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/12/business/12volt.html?scp=2&sq=akerson&st=cse

    In any event, “Yeah!”


  28. 28
    DonC

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (10:51 am)

    kdawg: I hate to say this, but I think for right now this will be the major demographic for these niche BEV’s

    I resemble that remark! Ha ha. Anyway, Chrysler has sold a lot of GEMs, and I think the primary market has been 65+. A lot of these folks only go on short trips — sometimes within gated communities — and they don’t need 0-60 in under four seconds. A very small BEV could be attractive for this demographic.


  29. 29
    Mark Z

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (10:54 am)

    Having a 100 mile range should be the minimum. Optional battery modules in 50 mile increments could make the Sonic another winner like the Volt, especially if the dealer can install it later when the driver requires more range.


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (11:00 am)

    My thought is that the commercial market is where GM ought to place their focus with BEV’s. Delivery vehicles, taxis, buses, government car pools, etc. With purely basic comfort and convenience features to keep weight and cost down.

    Look at the solar industry – what’s driving it is commercial installations. Same scenario could happen with BEVs.

    An ideal commercial prospect would be one whose vehicle covers 75 or less miles on a daily basis, beginning and ending their day at the same location. There’s got to be a decent number of organizations having fleets of vehicles fitting this profile. If they can be convinced of operational cost savings by turning to electric power, it should be a slam dunk sale.


  31. 31
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (11:36 am)

    maharguitar: Checker made only cabs for decades so it is possible to have a dedicate vehicle for this market.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I like the taxi vehicle idea, too. I rode in a Checker taxi many times in New York City. But Checker also sold cars to private citizens, too. One of my old neighbors (when I was single) had a grey Checker and carried his family around in it (including his dog). I took a ride once in it. It did had the two fold-down seats in the back.

    Raymond


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    Noel Park

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (11:38 am)

    CorvetteGuy: 3 Facts Remain:Fact: More and more automakers will develope a ‘Plug-in Hybrid or EREV’ like the Volt.Fact: More and more automakers will develope an ‘All-electric’ car like the Leaf.Fact: No automaker will come out with a new hybrid that copies the old technology design of the Prius.
    And I would like to see GM drop the future ‘mild hybrid’ cars we have read about here, and focus on lowering costs and retail price of ‘Two-Mode’ Hybrid Trucks.    

    #25

    Amen to all. +1


  33. 33
    Noel Park

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (11:41 am)

    I could probably make this work, but the Volt is a lot more practical.

    LJGMVWOTR!!


  34. 34
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (11:43 am)

    stuart22: My thought is that the commercial market is where GM ought to place their focus with BEV’s. Delivery vehicles, taxis, buses, government car pools, etc. With purely basic comfort and convenience features to keep weight and cost down.Look at the solar industry – what’s driving it is commercial installations. Same scenario could happen with BEVs.An ideal commercial prospect would be one whose vehicle covers 75 or less miles on a daily basis, beginning and ending their day at the same location. There’s got to be a decent number of organizations having fleets of vehicles fitting this profile. If they can be convinced of operational cost savings by turning to electric power, it should be a slam dunk sale.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    The USPS is one very large potential government client for BEV delivery vehicles (both cars and vans). There is a huge amount of stop-and-go traffic involved. My Dad was a carrier for almost twenty years and he spent more gas per day in the USPS Jeeps than he did all week in his Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme! So he picked up two large mailbags, parked the Jeep at one corner of the street, filled up the bags with all the mail for that part of the route, and walked to each home to deliver the mail. The present day mail carriers still use stop-and-go.

    If GM can get a contract to build thousands of Voltec powed vehicles for the USPS, this will help bring down the prices for the Chevy Volt and other future Voltec vehicles.

    Raymond


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    Loboc

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (11:54 am)

    Schmeltz: Imagine a vehicle similar in size to the Buick Regal, with All-Electric drivetrain, luxury amenities, and utilizing the revived “Buick Electra” nameplate.

    Agreed.

    For us older folks, a tiny car isn’t practical. We can’t get in and out of the tiny things. A Buick Electra (size of a Regal) but all EV would have a huge market for people that stay mostly in their neighborhood. Go to grocery, church, hair dresser, shop,.. All short trips and all with garage time in between.

    And don’t give us any dang electronic read-outs, gadgets and stuff. Just a plain analog speedometer and a ‘gas gauge’ will be fine thank you very much. Do all the magic tricks, just don’t show me how ya are doing it.

    If ya want to give me some gadgetry, how about V2H capability for when the power goes out. With an H2 emergency backup fuel cell. And wireless charging.


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    unni

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (11:58 am)

    Lot general public has a perception : BEVs are more advanced than Voltec ( specially watch the test drives posted by Leaf customers ).

    Its a good move with near zero cost as most issues are tackled with volt.


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    pjkPA

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (12:13 pm)

    This all looks good…
    Just hope the economy picks up more than it is…
    Are we addressing unfair trade… national debt… it’s really sad what we are leaving our children.
    My fathers generation left us opportunity… low debt… and a export economy and a government that would never think of printing money or borrowing from our competitors.
    Health carw was not a issue because YOU HAD A JOB THAT PAID FOR IT!


  38. 38
    john1701a

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (12:47 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  39. 39
    Streetlight

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (1:02 pm)

    The burning question is range. Tesla sets a high bar.

    Its Roadster gets its 230+ mile rbc (range between charge) by what I call brute force. Basically a half-ton of batteries driving a gorgeous Lotus designed super light weight traditional sports car by way of world-class supervisory electronics. (Tesla marketed its Roadster originally as a Lotus design – now established that distinction being superseded with competing claims who did the design) Its selling price ensures keeping out the riffraff.

    If EV SONIC can be brought in with battery pack under 2500 lbs – and its batteries in the 20-25kW.h size – then all GM has to do is cut in thirds Nissan’s estimated cost of $9,000 per pack.
    ($250-$300/kW.h) And its not out of the question even this can be beat.


  40. 40
    CaptJackSparrow

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (1:20 pm)

    Streetlight: If EV SONIC can be brought in with battery pack under 2500 lbs – and its batteries in the 20-25kW.h size – then all GM has to do is cut in thirds Nissan’s estimated cost of $9,000 per pack.
    ($250-$300/kW.h) And its not out of the question even this can be beat.

    I thought the pack was 400lbs? Or is a 24KWh pack 2500lbs?……nah. Can’t be, can it?

    Anyway, I agree. Now if they just stay with KISS for this little BEV, that would also reduce cost. No need for fancy shmancy crap. Just get me from point “A” to Point H( . y . )TERS!!!

    :-P


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    DJQuick64

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (1:21 pm)

    john1701a:
    Of course that won’t happen.It’s called a patent.Geez!
    .    

    That didn’t stop Toyota from using the technology. Both Toyota and Ford(whose hybrid drive is similar to Toyota’s) were sued by a small company that invented the technology they use. Both Toyota and Ford lost their suits and had to pay the company for using their technology.


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    john1701a

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (1:44 pm)

    DJQuick64: invented the technology

    Vague generalizations like that are the very thing I was pointing out.

    Many attempts have been made to differentiate EREV from PHEV, without success.

    We’ve seen the purist perception of EREV vanish upon the reveal of direct-drive. What’s stopping a PHEV from including a clutch to offer a non-direct-drive ability?

    Since each automaker will have an approach somewhat different, the use of labels and arguing semantics doesn’t really mean much. It all boils down to emission & efficiency values, profitability, and actual sales.
    .


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    LauraM

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (2:14 pm)

    maharguitar: Imagine if all the taxis in Manhattan were electric. The air quality would be completely different.

    New York taxis don’t have enough downtime to be BEVs unless you have battery switching stations. They’re driven 24/7.


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (2:17 pm)

    drivin98: So, if the Volt is “more car than electric”, what is an all-electric GM? …

    Less than a Volt, of course.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    EVO

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (3:14 pm)

    kdawg: I hate to say this, but I think for right now this will be the major demographic for these niche BEV’s

    chip-yates-01.jpg

    There, fixed it for ya.

    That’s a generation 0 electric superbike going 158 mph beating top shelf liter gas supersports and superbikes in national level sanctioned races on their turf and within their rules, designed to showcase the strengths and hide the weaknesses of gassers.

    Nothing fits a short commute, functional around town errands and high intensity recreation simultaneously better than a BEV. Nothing beats every else like an EREV. eAssist is the new basic anything with less electric drive than that and you couldn’t really call it a modern vehicle.


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    Roy H

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (3:27 pm)

    Actually this is really good news. We new it was going to happen, just not when.

    The EV and EREV market is going to EXPLODE!!!

    npns


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    Streetlight

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (3:54 pm)

    Hi #40 CaptJackSparrow: There’s an ICE SONIC which replaces AVEO. It goes around 2500 lbs.
    Which is where I came up with that hypothetical weight. Note that EV SONIC if it does follow ICE AVEO has a wheelbase almost 10 inches shorter than LEAF – a compact. LEAF’s battery pack & Control Module comes in about 660 lbs.

    The point I had in mind is to highlight that with SONIC’s teenie (compared to LEAF) size GM needs to trade off range vs. size vs. MSRP
    Why not a goal of 200 mile range — its not out of the question – For example:

    Now that useful multi-thousand farad ultracapacitors (UC) (say 4000 Farads) are coming in under $50 GM engineering has a resource that wasn’t available for VOLT. (Please DON”T play around with these without engineering supervision.) Here’s a short rundown on UC’s

    www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/technologies/energy_storage/ultracapacitors.html

    Battery pack upgrade is a more involved topic for later.


  48. 48
    crf

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (3:56 pm)

    Your site is hard to navigate now. :-(


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (4:54 pm)

    Streetlight: Now that useful multi-thousand farad ultracapacitors (UC) (say 4000 Farads) are coming in under $50 GM engineering has a resource that wasn’t available for VOLT. (Please DON”T play around with these without engineering supervision.) Here’s a short rundown on UC’s

    Got a link to the 4000F caps? I only know of the 3000F caps: http://www.tecategroup.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=18_20_82&products_id=1259

    I’ve got 20 of the 350F caps for a 48-50V battery pack to “Harden” the acceleration.
    Dude,…….lol, you can arc weld with these!!!


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (4:55 pm)

    crf: Your site is hard to navigate now. :-(

    I agree…..
    :-(


  51. 51
    kent beuchert

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (5:09 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (5:20 pm)

    A fully BEV would be a good second vehicle to a Volt and if GM/Chevy can provide it all the better. Hell, isn’t there a guy in the forums (George?) buying a Volt AND a Leaf?


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (5:30 pm)

    Maybe a far-out idea butttt, why not make a Sonic sized BEV with a conventional 4,5 or 6 speed manual? Size the battery, traction motor & gearing appropriately and it may just be a performer with good range too. Oh, and no stalling when starting out from a stop ;-) Probably would be ok for flat towing behind RVs too.


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (5:55 pm)

    Volt:

    Industry-leading Eagle of conquest.

    Sonic BEV:

    Industry-following Lemming of conformity. At least it looks nice.

    At least GM admits up front that it’s a niche vehicle.

    OF COURSE WE DON’T KNOW very much about this car yet; but I’d hope that there was something less of the lemming and more of the eagle in it’s design (something which makes it intrinsically better than other little BEVs).

    Best of all would be a Sonic EREV; but I don’t think that will happen for a long, long time (GM would have to completely re-engineer a miniature version of the transmission: do-able, but not all that economic for them right now).

    .


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (5:55 pm)

    kent beuchert: So much of what’s in the Volt is tied to this particular battery pack, that an owner can’t just plop a new one in its place. This is called “proprietary designing,” something
    everyone should despise and reject.

    I totally agre. You mention this is an opprtunity to get away from that, I see it as an opportunity for them to extend that into EV’s. IMHO, The “T” battery pretty much eliminates a third middle seat in the rear seating, the LEAF’s battery allows for it. Unless GM decides to flip the “T” the other way they’ll get a third seat in the back until then no 5 seater EV.

    I have a feeling the batt pack Nissan uses is very close in dimension to the ones they use at better place. If so, Nissan already has an easy way to change out the battery pack. Of course I could be totally off……lol :-)

    I think this was a missed opportunity to standardize on batt pack dimensions. It would be too much to ask all the mfgr’s to collaborate together, especially when they are in competition from one another. Oh well…..


  56. 56
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    Jan 13th, 2011 (5:57 pm)

    Jackson: OF COURSE WE DON”T KNOW very much about this car yet; but I’d hope that there was something less of the lemming and more of the eagle in it’s design (something which makes it intrinsically better than other little BEVs).

    What ever happened to the Chevy Spark EV?


  57. 57
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    Jan 13th, 2011 (6:02 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow,

    This bears a striking resemblance to it all right. Maybe it’s just a name change? I would’ve thought “Spark” was a perfect name for GM’s small EV.

    … unless it comes in really cheap, in which case I’d call it the Sparrow

    ;-)

    .


  58. 58
    maharguitar

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (6:04 pm)

    LauraM:
    New York taxis don’t have enough downtime to be BEVs unless you have battery switching stations.They’re driven 24/7.    

    For a purposely designed cab, battery switching should OK. According to one article that I read, the average miles driven in a day by a New york cab is about 100. The test car they article talks about wasn’t up to that range and they discontinued the test. It was a converted PT Cruiser in 2007. A purpose built cab today should have better range. If a cab operator has to have three batteries for every cab, it might not be viable. Two batteries might be.

    If the 30 minute charge time at 480Volts that Nissan claims is true, cab companies can have their cars sit for a half hour a couple times a day. They have to factor in the cost of that when they size their fleets. It may be offset by the low maintenance costs.

    Bloomberg said just last month that he want the New York fleet to switch to electric.

    London is mandating that its black cabs be all electric by 2020. The major English cab manufacturer already has some prototypes. It will be interesting to see how that goes.


  59. 59
    Paul Stoller

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (6:06 pm)

    LauraM,

    Sounds like Project Better Place needs to setup shop in NYC.


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (6:10 pm)

    LauraM:
    New York taxis don’t have enough downtime to be BEVs unless you have battery switching stations.They’re driven 24/7.    

    Paul Stoller: Sounds like Project Better Place needs to setup shop in NYC.

    maharguitar: According to one article that I read, the average miles driven in a day by a New york cab is about 100.

    I’ve watched Taxis being driven in NYC (no, I’ve only been a visitor there), and I have doubts that one pack can turn in a real world day’s run under those conditions. A captive fleet like a taxi company’s is probably the only practical application for battery swap technology in the US. Even so, the range on one battery would need to be fairly high (or multiple swap stations scattered around a city) in order to handle the kind of service a cab company has come to expect: Those little around-town stops add up to a lot of miles quickly.

    .


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    DonC

     

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (6:27 pm)

    john1701a: Of course that won’t happen. It’s called a patent. Geez!

    AFAIK Toyota has no serious patent claims. The split power design is an expired TRW patent from the 60s. All Toyota and Ford did was put a microprocessor on the TRW design so that the torque was applied automatically rather than manually depending on speed, road conditions, and so forth. After the invention of the microprocessor that seems rather obvious actually. But to the extent that is isn’t, Toyota has been found to violate the patent held by Paice which controls how torque is applied by a microprocessor. IOW the Paice patent was found to be an earlier and equivalent patent.

    So no, there wouldn’t be much keeping someone from developing a parallel hybrid design based on the expired Paice patent. At worst all they’d have to do is license the Paice patent, and they probably wouldn’t even have to do that. (Note that Paice has not been successful to date in enforcing its patent claims against Ford and it better hurry because the patent is expiring).

    Plus the whole parallel design is a dead end. It’s too expensive for the benefits it delivers. The Prius was built on being the highest MPG car, but now with EREVs and BEVs it’s second or third best technology so it will have to pass a cost benefits test. In this regard, the serial design of the Volt is vastly superior to any plug-in you can build based on HSD, and there are much more cost effective designs for lower end solutions such as GM’s eAssist.


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (6:36 pm)

    kent beuchert: I take strong issue with this claim.

    I’m quite surprised that as an engineer you’d say this. The Volt isn’t simple but the design itself is in fact elegant. I won’t argue that a pure BEV isn’t simpler. It is. And I agree with you that if all things were equal it would be vastly better to have 8 moving parts you’ll have in a BEV rather than 800 moving parts you’ll have in an EREV. But things aren’t equal. The Volt has the range of an ICE vehicle and EVs have limited range. IOW the complexity you pay for is required by the task at hand. (The Volt will also work in a wide range of geographic areas whereas a BEV won’t).


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (6:44 pm)

    Jackson: CaptJackSparrow,
    This bears a striking resemblance to it all right.Maybe it’s just a name change?I would’ve thought “Spark” was a perfect name for GM’s small EV.… unless it comes in really cheap, in which case I’d call it the Sparrow
    .    

    “Hummingbird”, maybe? Naw, that’d be Hummer for short.
    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Jackson

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (7:09 pm)

    Tagamet,

    CaptainJackSparrow is forever pleading for an affordable, no-frills EV. So if the GM Spark (or Sonic or whatever) turns out to be low cost, we could call it the Sparrow because it would be the car wanted by Sparrow so that Sparrow can haul his you know what to H( . y . )TERS …

    … oh, never mind.

    :-P

    .
    .


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    T 1

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (7:46 pm)

    GM’s not really out in front on this one, so call it the Me-2.

    Other thought: the Sonic looks great, and is a classic example of, “I wish they already had it for sale.” Darn bankruptcy got in the way for a year, per GM. Oh well, more incentive to try even harder.


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:11 pm)

    DonC:
    In this regard, the serial design of the Volt is vastly superior to any plug-in you can build based on HSD, and there are much more cost effective designs for lower end solutions such as GM’s eAssist.

    Avoiding values is just another way of being vague.

    Fear of quantifying makes a very weak case for “vastly superior”.
    .


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:21 pm)

    john1701a: Fear of quantifying makes a very weak case for “vastly superior”.

    Sure I’ll be quite specific. If the goal is to displace gasoline a Volt will displace far more gasoline than a Prius. http://www.plugincars.com/epa-rates-chevy-volt-93-mpg-or-60-mpg-or-35-mpg-depending-106498.html#comment-2729 Will it be three times more? Four times? Five times? Or only twice? Depends on the driving pattern of course but it will be a multiple.


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    Dave K.

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:25 pm)

    Off topic:

    My workplace offers a monthly benefit for using alternative transportation. This includes the electric Volt. Will begin collecting $75 per month alternative transportation benefit starting this Saturday. Which is the first day I drive my new Volt to work. $75 will easily cover all recharge costs for the month. Oh what a feeling?

    NPNS


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    john1701a

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (8:58 pm)

    DonC: Sure I’ll be quite specific. If the goal is to displace gasoline a Volt will displace far more gasoline than a Prius.

    That’s horribly vague. It also dances around the big-picture reality.

    Overall production cannot simply be disregarded.

    How many Volts does it take just to offset the impact of 30 MPG vehicles compared to Prius?
    .


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    Jackson

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    Jan 13th, 2011 (10:58 pm)

    john1701a: horribly vague

    … for John1701, is defined as anything which opposes his unreasonable and highly prejudiced point of view.

    .


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    Jan 13th, 2011 (11:31 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Fact: More and more automakers will develop a ‘Plug-in Hybrid or EREV’ like the Volt.

    No other major car maker has announced a production EREV. In fact, no other major car maker has announced any type of production plug-in hybrid with 25-50 mile range. All we are seeing is more PHEVs with 10-15 mile range, and more pure EVs with 60-100 mile range.

    In other words, the Volt has no competition, and that’s a bad thing. It means people will question the validity of the Volt. They’ll say: “If the Volt is so great, how come nobody else makes one?” Competition validates the market, and therefore increases sales. Competition also tends to lower prices and improve the product, which further increases sales.

    When will the Volt get some competition?


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (12:00 am)

    LauraM: ew York taxis don’t have enough downtime to be BEVs unless you have battery switching stations. They’re driven 24/7.

    Exactly, and those exist and I’m guessing the numbers pencil out better not to mention the collective benefit to the city rsidents of drastically reduced pollution and noise. It only makes sense the cities should offer incenties to enjoy these benefits.


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    N2N Don

     

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    Jan 14th, 2011 (12:24 am)

    maharguitar,

    Right, I lived in Southern California with a 2mi commute, Silicon Valley (8mi), then Massachusetts with a 7mi commute. 30 years of small distance commuting with no effective mass transit. An 80mi AER would have been a wonderful solution (and saved me at least $4000 on gas plus countless dollars on engine maintenance).


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    Voltage

     

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    Jan 14th, 2011 (12:26 am)

    Has anyone thought of a gas station battery swap approach to pure EVs?

    Here’s the concept, you are low on charge, you stop at a battery station, they pull out your standardized car battery with a specially dolly, swap in one with a full charge, you pay the for the difference in charge levels, the old battery goes for a very controlled quick charge, and you drive off in less that 4 mins.

    It could be a solution for the short and long term. Even if batteries go 400 miles in the future, you may not be able to charge enough to get where you are going.


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    evnow

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    Jan 14th, 2011 (12:26 am)

    Dave G: No other major car maker has announced a production EREV. In fact, no other major car maker has announced any type of production plug-in hybrid with 25-50 mile range. All we are seeing is more PHEVs with 10-15 mile range, and more pure EVs with 60-100 mile range.

    C-Max Enrergi is a PHEV with I’d say atleast 25 miles of EV range, even though they have not talked about it. Ford says it will charge completely overnight – which means it is not a small battery that can be charged in a couple of hours @ 120V. The tax credit structure is such that 16 kwh is the optimal battery size. Any cost increase over a smaller (say 6 kwh) battery is offset by higher tax credit. So it is just a question of fitting the bigger battery (and more weight).


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    George

     

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    Jan 14th, 2011 (12:40 am)

    Dave G. says: “In other words, the Volt has no competition, and that’s a bad thing. It means people will question the validity of the Volt. They’ll say: “If the Volt is so great, how come nobody else makes one?” Competition validates the market, and therefore increases sales. Competition also tends to lower prices and improve the product, which further increases sales. When will the Volt get some competition?”

    What I suspect will occur is that automakers like Nissan will find that although there is some consumer demand for pure EV’s like the Leaf, there will be a much greater public acceptance of EREV’s like the Volt, due to their unlimited range and total absence of range-anxiety issues.

    When automakers see that the market for EREV’s is much more lucrative than that of pure EV’s, they will begin to come out with alternative versions of their EV’s which have a range-extending engine added on (Nissan has already hinted that they may do this for the Leaf).

    Similarly, if GM finds that it has underestimated the demand for pure EV’s, then it will acceleraate development of its own pure EV’s, which will be essentially EREV’s like the Volt, with a slightly larger battery and its range-extending engine having been removed (Bob Lutz has suggested that this would not be technologically very difficult to do in the Volt).

    In reality, the debate regarding how well EREV’s and EV’s will sell compared to each other may be somewhat moot, as the same model of car can be released in both pure EV and EREV models, with production volumes reflecting the relative demand for each. The pure EV would have the disadvantage of a restricted range, but with the advantage of a cheaper purchase price. Both styles of vehicles can share many of the same parts and suppliers, thus providing economies-of-scale.

    Now, as for PHEV’s with a 15-20 mile AER, I’m unsure how well they’ll do in the marketplace.

    It’s great to see Akerson’s strong committment to building EV’s of all varieties!

    Best Regards, George, Sudbury, Canada….go Volt!!


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (3:35 am)

    Doing the math, it’s easy to see that 1 Volt must be sold for every 2 Prius just to break even. And that’s at the current sales volume, without considering the plug-in model.

    Here’s the numbers:

    500,000 Prius at 150,000 miles each delivering 50 MPG will consume 1.50b gallons of gas.

    250,000 Volt at 150,000 miles each delivering 150 MPG will consume 0.25b gallons of gas.

    250,000 traditional vehicles at 150,000 miles each delivering 30 MPG will consume 1.25b gallons of gas.

    .


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (4:15 am)

    A ” comprehensive suite of electrified vehicle offerings “… ( from the article )

    I LOVE THAT!

    I believe each manufacturer must follow GM’s lead and offer such a full line of electrified offerings of all ranges and abilities in all pricepoints.

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ,

    James


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (5:55 am)

    Jackson: CaptJackSparrow, This bears a striking resemblance to it all right. Maybe it’s just a name change? I would’ve thought “Spark” was a perfect name for GM’s small EV.… unless it comes in really cheap, in which case I’d call it the Sparrow … .  (Quote)  (Reply)

    If the GM BEV is extremely small, then just call it an “Electron”.

    Raymond


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (6:39 am)

    john1701a:
    Of course that won’t happen.It’s called a patent.Geez!
    .    

    Dude — Patents only last 13 years. The fact of the matter is no one wants to copy a Prius. It was great in its day. Hey the mini spare tire was great in the day, made life a little easier if there was a flat… But now we have tires which can be run even if they are flat. The Prius is the mini-spare which is now almost a footnote in Automobile history.


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (7:39 am)

    evnow: C-Max Enrergi is a PHEV with I’d say at least 25 miles of EV range, even though they have not talked about it.

    I’d be surprised if it did. I suspect the Ford C-Max Enrergi has the typical 10-15 mile electric boost. In order to get higher range, you need a significantly larger battery, and that starts to affect crash safety and handling, so a proper design typically requires major changes in the chassis and interior. In other words, the typical PHEV is just an option on a regular (non-plug-in) hybrid, and that really limits the range. The Ford C-Max seems to follow this model.

    I hope I’m wrong though. 25 miles of range would be a serious contender.


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (10:59 am)

    Dave G: In order to get higher range, you need a significantly larger battery, and that starts to affect crash safety and handling, so a proper design typically requires major changes in the chassis and interior.

    Some are already built to handle that future capacity. An example is the new, larger Prius.
    .


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (11:55 am)

    john1701a:
    Avoiding values is just another way of being vague.Fear of quantifying makes a very weak case for “vastly superior”.
    .    

    For me Prius v. Vollt = 263 gallons of gas v. 46 gallons of gas per year. I don’t have a Prius or a Volt to test this, but I reject your fear of quantification :)


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (1:21 pm)

    jeffhre:
    For me Prius v. Vollt = 263 gallons of gas v. 46 gallons of gas per year. I don’t have a Prius or a Volt to test this, but I reject your fear of quantification     

    That’s great. Too bad we’re stuck with just estimates. Owner reports have grown silent.
    .


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (1:46 pm)

    “Elegant solution” the Volt is not. Elegant, in terms of engineering, means simple, a term that
    under no circumstances can be applied to the Volt’s EREV architecture. A pure EV is an elegant solution to the personal transportation problem. It only lacks a practical, cost-effective battery.
    It looks as though Toyota may be ready to come to market with their second Rav-4 EV, using a Tesla drivetrain and batteries (standard format) they are developing themselves, as well as a non-rare-Earth material electric motor. Toyota official claims the batteries will cost $200 per kilowatthour, about 1/3rd of what GM is paying to LG. GM, on the other hand, has travelled the large format, proprietary battery format. Remember when Tesla claimed that they were piggybacking onto laptop format batteries? The idea being that they are already in mass production, will be updated with the latest technology very quickly, and are readily available from any number of suppliers, meaning that they will not be tied to any particular odd format size (such as the Volt) and can be assured of the lowest prices. For example, if the magnesium-sulfur batteries reach potential, their Tesla can be updated with nothing more complicated than
    checking a different box on the battery order form. That would provide their roadster with
    an astounding capacity of over 120 kWhrs, or a driving range well over 500 miles, probably
    close to 600 and the ability to fully recharge in 3 1/2 hours. That, gentlemen, is an electric car
    that has long range capabilities good enough for practically everyone. The only imponderable
    left is cost. It looks like at least one of the several new battery technologies being pursued will
    come to commercialization in the near future. Think the practical EV is not that far away.
    Therefore I have no further interest in the Volt.


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (4:28 pm)

    kent beuchert: Think the practical EV is not that far away.
    Therefore I have no further interest in the Volt.

    So I guess that means you’ll be leaving us, then.

    .


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (4:36 pm)

    kent beuchert: “Elegant solution” the Volt is not. Elegant, in terms of engineering, means simple, a term that
    under no circumstances can be applied to the Volt’s EREV architecture.

    God save us from impractically “elegant” designs which are of interest only to engineers. What computer genius was it who slaved to get a mainboard down to one foot on a side because it was “elegant?” Wozniak, I think. Went nowhere: he was the only one who cared.

    A radar engineering firm thought that an elegantly simple system could be made by combining the sender and receiver into one unit (because microwave photons pass through each other, don’t they?) Didn’t work. At all. I wonder how many hours and dollars were spent chasing some engineer’s idea of elegance?

    When discussing EVs, one has to consider the whole picture: How do you live with a vehicle so dependent on public charging infrastructure (which won’t exist in any meaningful sense for over a decade)? The answer will be anything but elegant and simple.

    It’s the usage and idea of EREV which makes it elegantly suited to our current environment. The only real issue in engineering terms is making complication reliable and easy to use (kind of like a computer, speaking of complexity).

    The only real task remaining for GM engineering in the near term is making the system less expensive, without compromising this reliability and usability.

    kent beuchert: Think the practical EV is not that far away.
    Therefore I have no further interest in the Volt

    So I guess that means you’ll be leaving us, then.

    .


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    Jan 14th, 2011 (7:20 pm)

    This is nice. Now GM may finally give us a pure electric car but don’t you think pure electrics should have a battery that gives you a range of 250 to 300 miles? Well in my opinion it would be a great idea but at the same time GM would need to make the batteries cheaper plus charge at a pace like the Volt or quicker but without damaging the battery wouldn’t you have to agree with me? If you like this comment plus me.


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    Jan 15th, 2011 (1:56 pm)

    EVO: There, fixed it for ya.
    That’s a generation 0 electric superbike going 158 mph beating top shelf liter gas supersports and superbikes in national level sanctioned races on their turf and within their rules, designed to showcase the strengths and hide the weaknesses of gassers.
    Nothing fits a short commute, functional around town errands and high intensity recreation simultaneously better than a BEV. Nothing beats every else like an EREV. eAssist is the new basic anything with less electric drive than that and you couldn’t really call it a modern vehicle.

    I dont know what you fixed? What I’m saying is the #1 customer for BEV cars is going to be retired people or 60+ year olds. Yes, i’m sure some college kid will buy one, but the “major demographic” IMO is seniors. The car suits them well and they have the cash.


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    Jan 16th, 2011 (1:41 am)

    Well I thought people in there 20′S and 30′S were more into the revolution and would want to buy one yes I could see seniors using electric cars for short commute drives but in my opinion it seems more younger people are into it but that could change for the good for all ages when prices come down for the batteries whenever that’s going to happen agree?


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    Jan 16th, 2011 (1:49 am)

    Another reason why I wish that there were more pure electrics with further range is of course to not worry about range anxiety as well to get off foreign oil plus no gas when you don’t have to worry about staggering prices at the pump and last but not least I don’t fully believe in this one. But to decrease co2 emissions to control global warming these are the reason’s why I want to see more pure electrics on the road kdawg.


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    Jan 16th, 2011 (6:10 pm)

    Sean: Another reason why I wish that there were more pure electrics with further range is of course to not worry about range anxiety as well to get off foreign oil plus no gas when you don’t have to worry about staggering prices at the pump and last but not least I don’t fully believe in this one. But to decrease co2 emissions to control global warming these are the reason’s why I want to see more pure electrics on the road kdawg.

    I’d like to see more too, however I think the first/main adopters are going to be seniors regarding BEV’s. They are basically NEV’s with a bigger range. I think most NEV’s are driven by seniors now. I also think most, if not all, BEV buyers will have a second gasser car. Most young people can’t afford to own 2 cars.

    Im not trashing BEV’s, just making a prediction about the first adopters.


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    Jan 17th, 2011 (1:07 pm)

    I have to take exception to some of Lyle’s rather enthusiastic far-out claims, like the one about the Volt being a “masterpiece of design and elegant, to boot. In the looks department, which is
    about half of what successful automaking is all about, the Volt is strictly predestrian and far worse
    looking than one would expect for a car in this price range. It’s pretty blah. GM lies when it claims that aero considerations made it so. Oh, yeah, then let GM explain the Tesla Model S.
    In the engineering department, the Volt comes closest a car ever has to being an embodiment of
    the Rube Goldberg school of design. Never, in the age of modular engineering, was a design this
    un-modular. Everything is so tightly interconnected and “baked in” that this car cannot possibly be updated when the newer and better batteries make this design woefully obsolescent. That may just be around the corner. Better/cheaper batteries don’t help the Volt – they make it obsolete.
    The economics are simply horrible for this car – it sells primarily because of the presence of
    enough mind-numbed greenies walking around looking to improve their image (P.S. don’t let it slip
    out that in most parts of the country, electric driving produces more, not fewer greenhouse
    gases).
    And I’d like to know how it’s possible that GM managed to build a battery pack that cannot be rapidly charged? In researching the Tesla, I find that their 53kWhr battery pack can be
    recharged in 45 minutes. What is that? Twenty times faster than the Volt? That’s totally
    absurd. The Volt must have the most inconvenient battery on the planet. Now Tesla has designed
    a Model S, with a walkthru by its engineer available via YouTube. Styling by Franz von Helmholtz,
    the same guy who designed the only attractive cars GM has produced in the past half century -
    the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. Naturally GM let him go, thinking apparently that a car shouldn’t be very attractive. Might scare off the customers.
    Well, the Tesla Model S (a 7 passenger sedan) was designed from the ground up to be efficient and elegant in design. If Lyle or anybody else wants to see what a modular, elegant design looks like, check out the videos on YouTube. Note the brilliantly designed drivetrain, which is part and parcel of the rear axles. And it doesn’t require multiple gears. Now THAT’s an elegant design. Lyle, that’s what engineers like me mean when we say “elegant”. Simple, more efficient, more reliable, less costly. Everything that the Volt is NOT. Everything about that car is beautifully designed, as I’m sure you’ll all agree. This car would be desirable no matter which fuel powers it down the road. And it’s so much faster and more driveable than the Volt that any comparison between them would be apples and oranges. The Model S gets to 60MPH in less than 5.6 seconds, and is perfectly weight balanced, front to rear, with superb handling. And it was designed by a GM castoff, they felt couldn’t contribute. Any more claims about GM NOT being the most brainless company on the planet?
    As for practicality, claimed only possesssed by the Volt, well don’t look now, Lyle, but that view is , for all intents and purposes, a lie, at least in terms of do-ability. The Tesla roadster recently achieved (albeit at low driving speeds) 347 miles on a single charge. Conservatively the car
    tops 250 miles under normal driving conditions. Well, the Model S offers three battery pack
    size options, the largest boasts 300 miles of range, the standard, 160 miles. AND the standard can be recharged in less than 1/2 hour. The 250 mile pack in less than 45 minutes, and the 300 mile pack in about an hour. THAT, gentlemen, if not cash practicality, is a functionally practical electric car. Stopping for lunch or dinner at the 300 mile mark during a trip imposes zero inconveniences for the travelers. As for the ill effect of fast charges on battery life, keep in mind that long distance driving accounts for a tiny proportion of most car’s total mileage, and that only recharges during the day on a trip need be fast recharges. I guarantee that a Model S will be worth many times more than a Chevy Volt at the 10 year age mark because 1) it is going to be much more reliable and require tons less maintenance, 2) most importantly, it is a car people really want to own, and doesn’t depend, like the Volt, on environmentally conscience-stricken drivers. In other words, Tesla
    Corporation puts the horse before the cart : build a car to be electric from the ground up, and build a great car, regardless.


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    nasaman

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    Jan 17th, 2011 (5:00 pm)

    kent beuchert: I have to take exception to some of Lyle’s rather enthusiastic far-out claims, like the one about the Volt being a “masterpiece of design and elegant, to boot.In the looks department, which is
    about half of what successful automaking is all about, the Volt is strictly predestrian and far worse
    looking than one would expect for a car in this price range.It’s pretty blah.GM lies when it claims that aero considerations made it so. Oh, yeah, then let GM explain the Tesla Model S. In the engineering department, the Volt comes closest a car ever has to being an embodiment of
    the Rube Goldberg school of design. Never, in the age of modular engineering, was a design this
    un-modular. Everything is so tightly interconnected and “baked in” that this car cannot possibly be updated when the newer and better batteries make this design woefully obsolescent. That may just be around the corner. Better/cheaperbatteries don’t help the Volt – they make it obsolete.
    The economics are simply horrible for this car – it sells primarily because of the presence of
    enough mind-numbed greenies walking around looking to improve their image(P.S. don’t let it slip
    out that in most parts of the country, electric driving produces more, not fewer greenhouse
    gases).And I’d like to know how it’s possible that GM managed to build a battery pack that cannot be rapidly charged? In researching the Tesla, I find that their 53kWhr battery pack can be
    recharged in 45 minutes. What is that? Twenty times faster than the Volt? That’s totally
    absurd. The Volt must have the most inconvenient battery on the planet. Now Tesla has designed
    a Model S, with a walkthru by its engineer available via YouTube. Styling by Franz von Helmholtz,
    the same guy who designed the only attractive cars GM has produced in the past half century -
    the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. Naturally GM let him go, thinking apparently that a car shouldn’t be very attractive. Might scare off the customers. Well, the Tesla Model S (a 7 passenger sedan) was designed from the ground up to be efficient and elegant in design. If Lyle or anybody else wants to see what a modular, elegant design looks like, check out the videos on YouTube.Note the brilliantly designed drivetrain, which is part and parcel of the rear axles. And it doesn’t require multiple gears. Now THAT’s an elegant design. Lyle, that’s what engineers like me mean when we say “elegant”. Simple, more efficient, more reliable, less costly. Everything that the Volt is NOT.Everything about that car is beautifully designed, as I’m sure you’ll all agree. This car would be desirable no matter which fuel powers it down the road. And it’s so much faster and more driveable than the Volt that any comparison between them would be apples and oranges. The Model S gets to 60MPH in less than 5.6 seconds, and is perfectly weight balanced, front to rear, with superb handling. And it was designed by a GM castoff, they felt couldn’t contribute. Any more claims about GM NOT being the most brainless company on the planet? As for practicality, claimed only possesssed by the Volt, well don’t look now, Lyle, but that view is , for all intents and purposes, a lie, at least in terms of do-ability. The Tesla roadster recently achieved (albeit at low driving speeds) 347 miles on a single charge. Conservatively the car
    tops 250 miles under normal driving conditions. Well, the Model S offers three battery pack
    size options, the largest boasts 300 miles of range, the standard, 160 miles.AND the standard can be recharged in less than 1/2 hour. The 250 mile pack in less than 45 minutes, and the 300 mile pack in about an hour. THAT, gentlemen, if not cash practicality, is a functionally practical electric car. Stopping for lunch or dinner at the 300 mile mark during a trip imposes zero inconveniences for the travelers.As for the ill effect of fast charges on battery life, keep in mind that long distance driving accounts for a tiny proportion of most car’s total mileage, and that only recharges during the day on a trip need be fast recharges. I guarantee that a Model S will be worth many times more than a Chevy Volt at the 10 year age mark because 1) it is going to be much more reliable and require tons less maintenance, 2) most importantly, it is a car people really want to own, and doesn’t depend, like the Volt, on environmentally conscience-stricken drivers. In other words, Tesla
    Corporation puts the horse before the cart : build a car to be electric from the ground up, and build a great car, regardless.    

    UNADULTERATED BALDERDASH SPEWN FROM THE LIPS OF A SILVER-TONGUED DEVIL!!!

    .