Jan 20

GM North American President on the Importance of the Chevy Volt

 

The Chevy Volt is here, and hundreds of Americans are beginning to buy and drive them. We’ve watched the car develop from a concept over the past fours years. Now that the car is actually out among us it is important to understand what it means to GM and the company’s future

Mark Reuss is GM’s President of North American, a high ranking executive position that oversees all four brands from sales, marketing and development standpoints.  Gary Witzenburg is a reporter who had the chance to interview him about the Volt and its importance.

Reuss admitted the Volt is “very important in the market and to our customers,” but cautions “it’s not the only thing that’s important.” Reuss says customers ask not what happened yesterday but instead “What have you done for me today?”  He explains the automotive industry is a “long-lead business” and that things can quickly “flip and turn bad.”  GM must carefully try to predict where things are going to be years from now and not make the mistakes of the past.

He says the Volt represents ”the soul of the company” meaning vehicles that have “high desirability, technical leadership, (and) breakthrough technology.”

Reuss feels the awards the Volt has achieved are warranted. “People can see and taste success with something like the Volt, which no one else has, that addresses a whole different set of customer needs,” he said.

Reuss explained how GM is looking at the downstream future of the Volt both from a vehicle as well as technology perspective.   He said of Voltec propulsion, GM plans to “take that technology and get the maximum out of it.”    To achieve that “we can begin to take a lot more mass and money out of it and create the next hyper-efficient Voltec drivetrain,” he said. As mass is removed from the car, “the mass of the battery pack and what you’re asking it to do become less.”

Through incremental improvements of the current configuration, “you get efficiencies out of both the car and the battery without asking for a complete breakthrough in battery technology,” he said.

He appears to suggest the company hasn’t firmly decided exactly what the next Voltec vehicle will be after the volt. “We want to take this technology and do other things with it,” he said. “So we’re looking at how and where to do that.”

Reuss was asked why GM is being so slow in ramping up Volt production, considering how much demand there is. “We’re building it at a very low rate to begin with…on purpose,” he said. “When you do something like this that’s breakthrough, quality is extremely important,” he added. “We do not want to risk screwing it up.”

“Lithium-ion is not something to be taken lightly when you bring it to production,” said Reuss. “We want the production process and the stability of that to be perfect, and we are going to be perfect with it.”

“Chasing volume would be irresponsible,” he added.

Source (Autoblog)

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011 at 7:17 am and is filed under Engineering, Next Generation, Production. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 91


  1. 1
    Jim I

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:38 am)

    Isn’t volume what car sales are all about????

    That one confused me…………..

    And please tell us when the rest of the country will be opened up for Volt sales!


  2. 2
    koz

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:43 am)

    “He appears to suggest the company hasn’t firmly decided exactly what the next Voltec vehicle will be after the volt. “We want to take this technology and do other things with it,” he said. “So we’re looking at how and where to do that.””

    C’mon!!! Develop a Voltec platform, if they haven’t started already, and build 2 more models to start.


  3. 3
    nasaman

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:48 am)

    It’s obvious Mr. Reuss knows he’s witnessed the birth of a thoroughbred by the creative geniuses at GM. He knows Voltec is a champion that can win much more than a triple crown or a place in history, but that can also revolutionize the entire automotive industry. And he knows it’s GM’s job (his and everyone else’s) to nurture and develop this creation to assure it returns General Motors to a position of worldwide leadership in the automobile industry —early in its second century.


  4. 4
    Rashiid Amul

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:48 am)

    From the article:
    “We’re building it at a very low rate to begin with…on purpose,” he said. “When you do something like this that’s breakthrough, quality is extremely important,” he added. “We do not want to risk screwing it up.”

    At the risk of repeating myself yet again, quality is always extremely important and you don’t want to screw anything up.


  5. 5
    Rashiid Amul

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:52 am)

    From the article:
    He says the Volt represents ”the soul of the company” meaning vehicles that have “high desirability, technical leadership, (and) breakthrough technology.

    Long live Bob Lutz!!!


  6. 6
    Shawn Marshall

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:59 am)

    And is the real story (despite the first blush of new love) ..we know we need to get the cost down and the EV miles up to really go mainstream?


  7. 7
    ziv

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (8:27 am)

    Shawn, truer words were ne’er spoke.

    Shawn Marshall: And is the real story (despite the first blush of new love)..we know we need to get the cost down and the EV miles up to really go mainstream?    


  8. 8
    Roy H

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (8:27 am)

    Good to hear GM is working hard to expand Voltec to other lines and models. I think there has to be a lot of caution expressed by all representatives of auto companies in terms of expressing future plans. Witness all the top executives (of other car companies) who have up until a few months ago have expressed that EVs are only a tiny niche market to be ignored and then announce their own roll-out of EVs and PHEVs which they must have been working hard on for years. This about-face is quite deliberate, as they do not want to loose sales of ICEs. This all fits in with predictions of only small market penetration of PHEVs and BEVs by 2020 or even 2030 when in fact these cars will be by far dominant by then. If 17% of new car buyers want EVs now it will only be a few years before the demand is close to 100%. I think all automakers recognize that this revolution is going to happen with extreme rapidity, limited only by the rate they can produce EVs and reduce costs. They just don’t want to admit this publicly because they are not ready yet and still waiting on battery break through.


  9. 9
    Marc Lee

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (8:33 am)

    It was interesting to me that he mentioned shaving weight and then reducing the mass of the battery pack. I’d like to see more EV miles out the battery pack or maybe they should consider 2 or 3 battery pack sizing options depending on the needs/climate of the customer.

    Also to the long live “Bob Lutz.” I know Bob was the “driving” force that got this thing rolling, and brought it to the finish line, but Bob’s idea of a pure EV was a non-starter. The guy who pushed Bob to make it an EV with engine backup is to my mind the one we should be hailing. Great ideas frequently seem simple and obvious in retrospect.


  10. 10
    Dave G

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (8:36 am)

    Jim I: Reuss explained how GM is looking at the downstream future of the Volt both from a vehicle as well as technology perspective. He said of Voltec propulsion, GM plans to “take that technology and get the maximum out of it.” …

    Through incremental improvements of the current configuration, “you get efficiencies out of both the car and the battery without asking for a complete breakthrough in battery technology,” he said.

    I like this guy! Good to know GM has people at the top that understand this.


  11. 11
    Dave K.

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (8:49 am)

    Mark Reuss is right. The core to long term success for EV is quality. We can worry about more HP and longer range batteries later. As far as “getting the cost down” goes. Is $33.5k really that far off the mark? Look at the value of the dollar. And at the MSRP of most of the desirable new vehicles on the market. Let’s hope the price of the 2012 Volt and later GEN2 Volt is attractive. And that tax credits continue.

    Fusion Hybrid with options $33k
    Flex with options $38k
    Challenger with options $40k

    =D-Volt


  12. 12
    Sasparilla

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (9:02 am)

    For anyone interested a more extensive detailing of the interview is located here:

    http://green.autoblog.com/2011/01/19/in-deep-with-gms-mark-reuss-at-naias/

    My favorite quote from that is:

    I don’t want to do things that are “competitive” any more, in product or in service. We’re going to do it best, or we’re not going to do it.

    Enjoy…


  13. 13
    muv66

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (9:14 am)

    Jim I: Isn’t volume what car sales are all about????That one confused me…………..And please tell us when the rest of the country will be opened up for Volt sales!    

    Well said! The car has been tested extensively and people are driving them all over the country. The quality is there; the Volt is ready for mass consumption – ROLL THE SUCKER OUT!!!


  14. 14
    JeremyK

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (9:23 am)

    I was really hoping to see the Chevy Amp revealed at this years Detroit Auto Show. Looks like GM is holding their cards close to their chest on the next Volt variant. I wonder if they’re waiting to see what Ford is going to do first.


  15. 15
    VancouverJon

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (9:59 am)

    Jim I: Isn’t volume what car sales are all about????That one confused me…………..And please tell us when the rest of the country will be opened up for Volt sales!    

    People may not realize how much he actually said with, “Lithium-ion is not something to be taken lightly when you bring it to production.” I have a colleague who used to work for an advanced battery company and he said they used regularly have fires in their dumpsters because people would accidentally put small amounts of waste lithium in the normal trash. It is an extremely reactive and flammable, which is exactly why it is good in batteries and is never found isolated in nature. You have to make sure your processes for working with it are tightly controlled and well understood…

    Just look at this video (just lithium and water). This is why lithium-air batteries, while extremely attractive, are still years away. You can’t let ANY water vapor enter the battery…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ypUVpwgcAA


  16. 16
    theflew

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (10:26 am)

    muv66:
    Well said! The car has been tested extensively and people are driving them all over the country. The quality is there; the Volt is ready for mass consumption – ROLL THE SUCKER OUT!!!    

    You don’t judge quality by having a car out for a little over 30 days to a few hundred people (fans). GM is riding a Press wave right now and Nissan’s problem with getting the Leaf out has only helped. Slow and steady wins the race. You don’t want to run out of tax credits before you can get the price down.

    GM and Nissan both know there are great rewards if they execute successfully. They have a year or two lead on their competition. When Ford and Toyota are releasing their first PHEV/EV, GM and Nissan will be in their 2nd or 3rd model year – that is huge. That’s why Ford and Toyota had to announce several vehicles to “hold” the market.

    If GM and Nissan can keep quality up, reduce cost and increase production Ford, Toyota, etc will be playing catch up for years.


  17. 17
    Mark Z

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (10:27 am)

    muv66: Well said! The car has been tested extensively and people are driving them all over the country. The quality is there; the Volt is ready for mass consumption – ROLL THE SUCKER OUT!!!    

    Not so fast. The reason for the slow roll out; giving time to the pharmaceutical industry to develop, manufacture and release a drug to combat the effects of VES (Volt Envy Syndrome).

    I took the only known cure to the malady last year. The doctor could only take a limited number of patents, the wait seemed endless and the complete cure with all the suggested options and taxes cost almost $50,000. The result was better than expected. A joyful smile and relaxed attitude are part of daily life, especially when driving.


  18. 18
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (10:33 am)

    JeremyK: I was really hoping to see the Chevy Amp revealed at this years Detroit Auto Show. Looks like GM is holding their cards close to their chest on the next Volt variant. I wonder if they’re waiting to see what Ford is going to do first.

    Me too. Oh well. The Sonic Hatchback was kinda cool.

    I also checked out the Focus EV. They had the trunk locked and wouldnt open it. I wanted to see (in person) how much room there was w/that big battery back there.


  19. 19
    neutron

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (10:35 am)

    “Chasing volume would be irresponsible,” he added.

    I believe your competitors like this kind of thinking. It gives them more time to get their products into the market to take away potential VOLT customers.

    The Auto Show in Detroit is awash in new electric cars, electric car concept vehicles and new higher efficiency hybrids.

    In my opinion Chevy is wasting time. They have the expertise to build this car in volume. They are not new to the game of making cars.

    I believe potential Volt buyers, including me, will not wait a needless amount of time to their car.

    So to Chevy —- build, build, build as fast a possible.


  20. 20
    Steve

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (10:54 am)

    Sounds like they’re still apprehensive whether about success in the long term. I suppose if anyone has an idea of the challenges making this a profitable high volume technology, it’s GM


  21. 21
    kent beuchert

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (10:59 am)

    (click to show comment)


  22. 22
    kdawg

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:09 am)

    kent beuchert: Their battery technology is so superior to GM’s that both Toyota and Daimler invested in Tesla

    kent beuchert: unlike the Tesla, where the owners themselves can go out and buy laptop cells from any of a dozen competitors (and cheap – 1/3rd the cost of Volt batteries) to add/replace their battery pack

    You are saying conflicting things. Cheapo-laptop-batteries are not “superior” battery tech.


  23. 23
    haroldc

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:12 am)

    neutron,

    l think you are right on….the longer we have to wait around praying fur the opportunity to buy , not even counting the devastating and dreaded “VES or CVES” ,more and more of us will end up buying an alternative substitution to the volt and be stuck with it for quite a few years before thay come around to GM.
    Maybe l could get a llama to console me and my wife in the meantime.

    NOTE TO GM….BUILD THEM…WE’LL BUY THEM!!!


  24. 24
    Loboc

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:18 am)

    kent beuchert,

    ROFLMAO. This is the most mis-information in a single post I have seen for quite some time.

    Good effort. Minus-one.


  25. 25
    Texas

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:21 am)

    Mark, I like the way you are taking the time in the beginning to make sure the resources are there to make the Volt launch perfect. That is exactly right, you only get one chance and this is the Volt’s first impression.

    One thing I didn’t see in your sentence, “high desirability, technical leadership, (and) breakthrough technology.” Was the importance on forecasting the energy situation. That is actually the most important thing. You can have a super desirable race car with the best fuel injection system on earth, that everyone is impressed with, but if the world is moving away from fossil fuels, the model will be a dude.

    Thus, even if it’s not PC to acknowledge the bumpy plateau we are riding with global crude production, I hope it’s in the front of everyone’s minds. The electrification of transportation (or other fuel that is not derived from petroleum) should be the highest priority.

    Some automotive companies will bet the farm on hydrogen, like Honda, some will think the best way to go is improved efficiency like many others, some think that weak hybrids will do the trick like Hyundai, BMW, etc., some will do nothing and hope for the best and some will be totally visionary like Renault and Nissan (driven by the genius Carlos Ghosn).

    The question is, who will make the right bet. I like where GM is going and the large lead they now command puts them in the driver seat. Let’s hope the executives don’t relax and think this game is won. The electrification of transportation will not only change every vehicle but probably every company within this decade.

    It is time to be like Old Blood and Guts, only don’t slap the employees. ;)


  26. 26
    Nelson

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:32 am)

    “We want to take this technology and do other things with it,” he said. “So we’re looking at how and where to do that.”

    What they want to do is create a Voltec variant that is always in CS mode, with maybe no plug. They will use a smaller ICE and smaller battery. If they get the combination right they could achieve 70 mpg.

    NPNS!


  27. 27
    Noel Park

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:32 am)

    kdawg: You are saying conflicting things. Cheapo-laptop-batteries are not “superior” battery tech.

    #22

    True that. +1


  28. 28
    jeffhre

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:32 am)

    kent beuchert, “I defy anyone to compare the Volt and the Tesla Model S and make a plausible case for the Volt. It can’t be done. I know, I tried.”

    Volt $40,280 (destination not included)

    Model S $57,000 (base price reported)

    Nice try, it’s very difficult to take the troll / FUD role and make it sound sensible. At this point it’s really kind of sad more than anything offensive…


  29. 29
    Noel Park

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:34 am)

    Rashiid Amul: At the risk of repeating myself yet again, quality is always extremely important and you don’t want to screw anything up.

    #4

    On message, as always. It looks to me like GM completely agrees with you. +1


  30. 30
    jeffhre

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:35 am)

    Loboc: kent beuchert,
    ROFLMAO. This is the most mis-information in a single post I have seen for quite some time.Good effort. Minus-one.    

    Oops, Loboc you beat me to it :)


  31. 31
    Noel Park

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:35 am)

    Loboc: kent beuchert,

    ROFLMAO. This is the most mis-information in a single post I have seen for quite some time.

    Good effort. Minus-one.

    #24

    Amen. +1


  32. 32
    Noel Park

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:38 am)

    jeffhre: Nice try, it’s very difficult to take the troll / FUD role and make it sound sensible. At this point it’s really kind of sad more than anything offensive…

    #28

    Amen to that too. +1 Tesla? LOL!


  33. 33
    Tall Pete

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:40 am)

    Rashiid Amul: From the article:
    “We’re building it at a very low rate to begin with…on purpose,” he said. “When you do something like this that’s breakthrough, quality is extremely important,” he added. “We do not want to risk screwing it up.”

    Quality is always important. But when establishing a new technology, quality is crucial to build customer confidence. One slip here could be desastrous. Since they do not manufacture the battery cells, they want to monitor closely that what happened in the labs is true to reality. JMHO.


  34. 34
    pjkPA

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (12:17 pm)

    Lets see … GM has already built more VOLTs than Tesla has made cars ….
    But somehow that is not good enough…

    It’s new technology … How many Electric cars has Honda WV Toyota etc put out in the first few months?

    GM is producing more electric cars faster than any other company.

    This is not a cell phone .. it’s a ground breaking new form of transportation… GM is doing it right.

    Quality is job one… not numbers…. I appreciate that… that is the right way to go.

    The people who criticize GM for not “ramping up” would be the first ones to criticize any problems that come up.


  35. 35
    k-dawg

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (12:21 pm)

    Nelson: If they get the combination right they could achieve 70 mpg.

    Why would they want to do that when drivers are getting 150mpg + now?


  36. 36
    shortale

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (12:24 pm)

    I like that we are now hearing more aggressive talk about deploying the Voltec from GM execs. A year ago you were still hearing about how it would be limited to small cars.

    The intrinsic simplicity of the EREV model can prove to be a huge competitive advantage for GM if they push it hard enough. Ford’s annnounced PHEV entry looks to be their version of Toyota’s HSD with a plug, with all the extra gears, tightly coupled parts, and limited AER that implies. Pure EV’s need a charging infrastructure, and we now live in a time of (misplaced IMO) budget deficit vigilantism that virtually guarantees that there will not be a comprehensive one built, even if one were to get the time down to 15 or 20 minutes for an 100 miles. A big if. Range anxiety is real.

    A few days ago, we were talking about weight in one of the threads. I proposed that since the Volt seems well capable of authoritatively pushing around its 3800 lbs, and that is slightly more than what my 2002 Lincoln Continental (as large and solid a car as most anyone could possibly need) weighs, all that was needed to get the weight of the Voltec’s genset/motor/battery down to the weight of the Continental’s huge V8 and transaxle.

    That looks very doable. Here’s the sheet from the Boston Power “Swing 4400″ used in the Saab 9-3 pure EV.
    http://www.boston-power.com/sites/default/files/documents/BPOW0008%20Swing4400%20DS_L.pdf

    At 180 WH/kg (420 WH/l) and its apparent capability to to tolerate greater depth of disharge, this looks to be pretty much half of what the Volt’s current (har!) battery weighs to hold the 10-11 usable kWH needed for the 40 mile AER. GM is supposedly working with Sakti and the numbers I usuallly see for that are in the 200′s. It also would seem to fit in the space of about 10 gallons, which if carved out of an 18 gallon tank would still leave you 400 miles of driving with a (3 cyl 1L turbo) genset capable of 50 MPG.

    The Volt has proven the EREV platform can power any light duty vehicle. The EREV platform can also fit easily into just about anything once the battery and genset are small enough.

    Cost is, of course, king but I don’t see oil coming down. The batteries are just getting simpler with time so, though while not quite in Moore’s Law range, they’re not that far off from affordable now.


  37. 37
    Tall Pete

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (12:26 pm)

    kent beuchert,

    Please make sure to post a picture of your Model S car as soon as you can buy one. I hope to live long enough to see that.


  38. 38
    Bob S

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (12:36 pm)

    Chasing volume in the past hasn’t worked well for GM, so I actually think they’re smart going slowly. If you consider that the current version of the Volt will not be profitable, what would the incentive be to ramp up production. Let them tune it a bit.

    On the availability side, I moved from Texas to Oklahoma (bad timing for Volt availability), but my local dealer says they may receive some Volts by the end of this month or sometime next month.

    I can’t wait!


  39. 39
    Streetlight

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (12:44 pm)

    Hi #21 kent beuchert: I suggest you read Motley Fool’s analysis of Tesla’s prospects…
    http://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2011/01/18/1-star-stocks-poised-to-plunge-tesla-motors.aspx

    Assuming you’ve digested Fool’s explanation in the foregoing about Tesla’s one-star rating–now shimmy over to GM a four-star prospect:

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/01/18/general-motors-wait-till-next-year.aspx?source=irasitlnk0000001&lidx=3

    Let’s compare production numbers: Tesla Roadster maybe 2000-2500; and that’s max – no mo Roadster past 2011 – period.

    On the other hand: GM VOLT 2000+ as we speak-in less than 90 days. 2011 – 15,000 min.

    Engineering: Just look at VOLT’s awards by the auto world. This year!!! In one year!!! (As shown in Lyle’s feature article photo today.)

    Now from the same auto world let’s compare Tesla: Its 1 (one) – the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough in 2007 – that’s it. (The few other Tesla 2006-2008 awards being from non-auto industry like Time mag)

    Comparing GM’s extensive and proven-competent engineering to Tesla’s rather limited engineering group – and no question its Tesla’s engineering as the sole reason its survived even this far – is simply apples and oranges.

    Now here in the East Bay where unemployment exceeds 25%, Tesla holds the immediate future to rebuilding this area’s auto industry employment. Tesla must succeed – but reality is reality; Tesla and its Model S continue to be a work-in-progress with maybe 200-300 hires at the revitalized NUMMI plant. And with the exception of a few hundred if that 2011 Roadsters to be assembled there’s zero prospects for any Tesla car 2011 revenue. All other 2011 revenue coming mainly from contracting to Toyota and Mercedes. Which is what Motley Fool’s red-circle clients point out.


  40. 40
    Red HHR

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (12:47 pm)

    Voltec HHR pickup?
    As in “Hybrid Hot Rod”
    Lighter is faster, Oh Yea!


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (1:06 pm)

    pjkPA: The people who criticize GM for not “ramping up” would be the first ones to criticize any problems that come up.    

    Not True. Those of us that are brave enough to adopt new technology understand that there may be glitches in the first batch and are willing to accept them or work with the manufacturer to remedy them. Listen: The car is out; it has been test-driven hundreds of thousands of miles in real-world conditions. If the assembly line has the capacity to make these vehicles for everyone who wants one, then they should do so. If they were the least bit unsure of the quality or reliability then they wouldn’t have released the vehicle to the public in the first place.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (1:07 pm)

    Nelson: What they want to do is create a Voltec variant that is always in CS mode, with maybe no plug. They will use a smaller ICE and smaller battery. If they get the combination right they could achieve 70 mpg.

    This will require a superior battery to any known today. It will need to be capable of perhaps several hundred charge/discharge cycles per hundred miles. Only such a battery will allow the tiny, restricted-rpm engine required for the “plug-free Volt” to get 70+ mpg.

    I have no doubt that such a superior battery will be developed, but by that time “conventional” Lithium Ion storage batteries (the kind we have today) will be so much cheaper that we’ll be talking about adding a small, dedicated “super” battery to a pack, just for improved EV performance (and greater mileage in CS mode), in a lower-cost EREV with superior all-electric range.

    The pure serial hybrid you describe might well be offered someday, but by that time the advantages of the plug, at a reasonable premium, may make the CS-mode-all-the-time car a non-starter.

    +1 for thinking outside the box, though.

    .


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (1:11 pm)

    kent beuchert,

    I thought you weren’t interested in the Volt any more. Why are you even here?

    .


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (1:31 pm)

    k-dawg,

    Lower cost! —- If you think about it the Volt battery allows 25 to 40 miles before it gets to CS mode. Then in CS mode the ICE just maintains the battery at its current state of charge, while dragging around the extra weight of the battery that supplies the initial 25 to 40 miles. How much weight is that? Is that enough weight reduction to get the current ICE from 37mpg to 50+mpg? All very interesting tests for GM’s R&D.

    NPNS!


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (1:34 pm)

    Jackson: This will require a superior battery to any known today.

    Allow me elaborate on this point:

    Because of the many cycles needed to “buffer” the engine output to the driving demand load, and the cycle limitations of current battery technology, a very large pack is currently needed (to safely use 1 – 2% for a “weak serial mode”). If you have a pack that large, it makes no sense to never plug it in. As batteries get better, you can get by with a smaller pack using a greater percentage of it’s capacity for this buffer. I think this is what’s behind the projection of EREV20 by some at GM.

    By the time a pack can use most or all of it’s capacity as a buffer for a “strong serial mode,” the batteries we use in the Volt today will have been relieved of any need to act as a buffer at all; and might have evolved into an “energy storage mode” only, at a considerable cost reduction. They would feed this super battery in EV mode, and a midget powerplant-style engine would take over for long distance travel.

    Given what Mark Reuss said, Through incremental improvements of the current configuration, “you get efficiencies out of both the car and the battery without asking for a complete breakthrough in battery technology,” I don’t see such a development happening anytime soon.

    Also, by the time it’s possible to make a plug-free-Volt, a gallon of gas will likely cost 5 – 7 dollars a gallon; and 70+ mpg won’t be quite the amazing thing we imagine today.

    .


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (1:54 pm)

    Great comments today bloggers! MANY +1s

    OT, but I just got an email from the dealer saying that my Volt will be built the week of February 14. The order number they gave me doesn’t show up on the GM tracking site though. Can anyone help me to navigate that?


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (2:40 pm)

    Nelson,

    That may work as some type of hybrid, but to reduce cost I’d rather GM focus on reducing the ICE size. The goal (for me anyway) is maximum EV driving and also gasoline displacement. A 70mpg car that uses the ICE all the time doesnt really fall in line w/that. I denfinately want a plug too (or to refer to earlier articles, wireless power). I don’t want to have to keep filling my car w/gasoline.

    Now for others, they may go for a pure serial hybrid, which gets about 35mpg currently in the Volt. Removing 400lbs of battery may increase that figure, but I doubt it would be 70mpg. There’s also the issue of not enough power; for example driving over 70mph, or during harsh accelerations. I think GM would have to increase the size of the ICE/generator, thus adding the weight back that you removed w/the battery. I dont know how quick the generator could respond as well. I think you would still need some kind of super capacitor or small battery (again adding weight & cost).

    I’d have to guess GM has played w/the #’s a lot, and have optimized the design.. AKA, the Volt.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (2:45 pm)

    I completely agree with the cautious pace that Mr. Reuss describes.

    Keeping any breakthrough at the highest level of quality, reliability, consistency, for the long term as well as initially is completely requisite.

    This is why I think it is important for there to be patience and perseverance for these critically-important changes.

    I like this site best for the technical contributions of the many who contribute technically.
    That makes this site a professionally-necessary education, especially for *ALL* automotive technicians.

    (I tried to go back to that fantastic post by WOT regarding the Volt cooling system, but, there wasn’t an apparent way to do that [yet?]). (You see, many of us techs have to learn in a different sort of parallel way, which makes us have to go back once or twice to read the same excellent content, because there are different “locus” areas in the brain that are energized to learn/connect different attributes of the new technologies at different times in those different places. Sometimes, that excellent illustration posted by WOT has to be visually recalled several times and then the details re-imprinted by re-reading again. That’s why I like to be able to easily go back an view the excellent technical content here.)

    This site also has a way of helping technicians re-evaluate the need for precision and dedication in their working efforts. So, there really are some very very incredible and positive other spin-off good things that this wonderful site causes out here in the independent servicing market.

    /…back to work. Have a great day everyone.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (3:05 pm)

    Nelson: “We want to take this technology and do other things with it,” he said. “So we’re looking at how and where to do that.”What they want to do is create a Voltec variant that is always in CS mode, with maybe no plug.They will use a smaller ICE and smaller battery.If they get the combination right they could achieve 70 mpg.NPNS!    

    This sounds a lot like a Prius (g).

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Founder, NAVES-F and NAVES-FAux
    “Providing Thera-Volt help for the victims of VES since 2011. NAVES-F.net NAVES-FA.net


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (3:11 pm)

    Jim I: Isn’t volume what car sales are all about????That one confused me…………..And please tell us when the rest of the country will be opened up for Volt sales!  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I agree. We’ve been hearing the “we don’t want to screw this thing up” quotes for a long time. Also, we here discuss the “it’s got to be perfect” thing quite a bit. We do have to be realistic here – what this is about is cost and profit margin. The Volt is obviously worth the $33,000 – $35,000 people are paying, yet it’s the $7500 tax gimme that has to be whittled down to make this technology truly mainstream.

    If it were a perfect world, there would be specific tax rebate programs for EVs and EREV/hybrids. Hybrids carry the extra expense of having two powerplants were EVs fall into a category of commuter vehicles. GM has to look at replacing the current cast iron 1.4 litre with something lighter and cheaper to build. Anything aluminum is going to be light, but a three cylinder aluminum range extender will be expensive to develop. It’s going to be touch-and-go for Volt because as it stands, the government rebates are for the first 200,000 EVs. If the Nissan LEAF sales are brisk, this will put Volt’s future in jeopardy, at least in it’s current state. The battery pack puts the Volt too far above a price point wherein it will gain a foothold if sold for a full $41-44,000 sans any rebate from the taxpayer.

    I know Mr. Reuss and GM has to take a corporate stance for pr. Bet we, the general public, need to be realistic about what this type of corporate-speak is really all about.

    For me, I’m hoping for an extension of tax breaks to help the industry find solutions to cost cutting with battery packs, and to allow the volume of Volt sales to rise, thus making a better business case for GM to sprout Voltec offshoots.

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ,

    James


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (3:34 pm)

    James: It’s going to be touch-and-go for Volt because as it stands, the government rebates are for the first 200,000 EVs. If the Nissan LEAF sales are brisk, this will put Volt’s future in jeopardy, at least in it’s current state.

    Are you sure that the tax credits aren’t for 200K vehicles from each mfg?

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Founder, NAVES-F and NAVES-FAux
    “Providing Thera-Volt help for the victims of VES since 2011. NAVES-F.net NAVES-FA.net


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (3:53 pm)

    Tagamet: Are you sure that the tax credits aren’t for 200K vehicles from each mfg?

    #51

    Right you are. +1

    Plus, I would be astonished if the 1.4 block is cast iron. Even the Ecotec block in my 2008 Cobalt is aluminum.

    Finally, GM already has a 1.0 3 cyl engine in Europe. If we remember back it was originally going to be used in the Volt. The change to the 1.4 came later. My guess is that they decided that there were enough economies of scale in running the Volt engines on the same line as the Cruze’s to justify the weight/fuel economy penalties. They were going to have to import the first batch of the 1.0s from Austria, and then gear up later to produce them here.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (4:21 pm)

    Dan Petit: (I tried to go back to that fantastic post by WOT regarding the Volt cooling system, but, there wasn’t an apparent way to do that [yet?]).

    There are old posts I would like to find as well. I usually have the best luck trying Google from outside the site (and not much luck, at that).

    Here is a suggestion (and I’ll put it on the forum for suggestions also); how about a list by screen name? You get a list of screen names (who have made more than 20 or so comments), alphabetically arranged. Selecting one populates a list (from newest to oldest) for that contributor as you scroll down (straight text stripped of html would do). I’ve seen a similar arrangement on at least one other site.

    .


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (4:33 pm)

    Jackson: This will require a superior battery to any known today. It will need to be capable of perhaps several hundred charge/discharge cycles per hundred miles. Only such a battery will allow the tiny, restricted-rpm engine required for the “plug-free Volt” to get 70+ mpg.

    Any Lithium pack can do that when a high capacity bank of Ultracaps are in parallel.
    :-P


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (4:50 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    Any Lithium pack can do that when a high capacity bank of Ultracaps are in parallel.     

    There are at least three reasons why this won’t work:

    1) Voltage. Any capacitor will operate at a very high voltage (thousands of volts), vs a battery pack (hundreds of volts).

    “This is your battery. This is your battery on ultracaps. [kaboom] …Any questions?”

    2) Size. For a given amount of energy storage, an ultracap requires much more space than an equivalent-rated battery. Space in the Volt is already a precious commodity …

    3) Cost. Show me an ultracapacitor up to this job, and I’ll show you an unreasonable price tag. You’ll never get your “stripper” Volt down this road.

    Of course, something might still pop out of the lab to address these factors, but it would still have to catch up with an already-on-the-ground/running-fast battery research and application movement. Color me “skeptical.”

    .


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (5:14 pm)

    Tagamet: Are you sure that the tax credits aren’t for 200K vehicles from each mfg?Be well,TagametFounder, NAVES-F and NAVES-FAux“Providing Thera-Volt help for the victims of VES since 2011. NAVES-F.net NAVES-FA.net  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Thanks Tag for watching my back – You are right, GM has been pushing for extended tax credits as well as the “front loading” of the credits as to provide better incentive for folks at the point of purchase. The 200,000 number of vehicles covered is as you’ve stated, for each manufacturer. Good call. My research to date still has it that people filing as married will still have to have an adjusted gross income of $67,000 to recieve the full $7500 Plug-In Vehicle tax credit. If I’m wrong on this, I’d appreciate more input – I haven’t gone to my tax man on this because I’m still debating trying to obtain a Volt out of state.

    Noel Park: #51Right you are. +1Plus, I would be astonished if the 1.4 block is cast iron. Even the Ecotec block in my 2008 Cobalt is aluminum. Finally, GM already has a 1.0 3 cyl engine in Europe. If we remember back it was originally going to be used in the Volt. The change to the 1.4 came later. My guess is that they decided that there were enough economies of scale in running the Volt engines on the same line as the Cruze’s to justify the weight/fuel economy penalties. They were going to have to import the first batch of the 1.0s from Austria, and then gear up later to produce them here.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    According to the excellent SAE publication Vehicle Electrification published re: Volt, the ICE in the Volt is a hollow-frame iron cylinder block with thin wall casting, making it nearly as light as a comparable aluminum casting while maintaining it’s inherent qualities of strength and noise damping. The Volt’s ICE has an aluminum head.

    Here’s the quote from GM powertrain engineer Pam Fletcher regarding the current ICE in Volt: “She explained that ideally a purpose-built power unit would optimize the Voltec propulsion system , and likely be more compact and lighter in the car. But opting for the available Family Zero four saved development time, vs. developing a clean sheet engine to meet the aggressive production timetable. This was the smallest engine in GM’s global portfolio capable of developing the necessary horsepower for Volt she said.” She also said the engineers were not particularly happy about the premium fuel spec, and that 2012 MY Volts would be E85 capable.

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTS! ,

    James


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (5:27 pm)

    Tagamet: Are you sure that the tax credits aren’t for 200K vehicles from each mfg?

    As Noel says, per manufacturer. It’s also actually more than 200K since there is a phase out period when the credit goes down for a couple of quarters I think. However, to put this in perspective, Ghosn has said the yearly volume needed to get costs down so that they’re comparable to a standard ICE vehicle in the same class is 500K.

    Personally I don’t get the impression that GM is actually on board with Voltec. It has rolled the Volt out and is now standing around and wondering what will happen. If you look at Reuss’ remarks about the Volt not being the only important thing because customers ask “what have you done for me today” you have to wonder what dots he can’t connect. Is he really suggesting we’re panting for the next gas guzzling boring ICE vehicle from Cadillac? Or look at the incredibly dumb tag line of “More Car Than Electric”. What’s up with that? GM squandered the lead it had when it built the EV1 and it still doesn’t seem to understand what it has.

    People don’t like electric cars. They love electric cars. Every time a GM exec opens their mouth it’s fairly clear GM still doesn’t understand the market.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (5:28 pm)

    Jackson: 1) Voltage. Any capacitor will operate at a very high voltage (thousands of volts), vs a battery pack (hundreds of volts).

    These operate at 12V – 300V…
    http://www.tavrima.com/products.htm

    And these are the ones I use…
    http://www.tecategroup.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=18_20

    Any of them can be linked to whatever voltage the battery is. They would simply be used to “Harden” the drain performance of the battery.

    Jackson: 2) Size. For a given amount of energy storage, an ultracap requires much more space than an equivalent-rated battery. Space in the Volt is already a precious commodity

    That one’s a given there bro!!!
    These mofo’s aint gonna be light. Lighter than the battery but still heavy.

    Jackson: 3) Cost. Show me an ultracapacitor up to this job, and I’ll show you an unreasonable price tag.

    Of course anything that is additional will cost but you’d have to weigh the pro’s and cons to see the cost benefits. The benefit is it will work as the shock buffer for heavy drain and heavy brake regen which everyone knows that draining a battery slower increases the cycle time/life.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (5:30 pm)

    OT:

    Sheesh! My local NBC affiliate TV station just did a noon news story on the first Seattle family to pick up their new Nissan LEAF – at the end of the story, they tagged on, ” Ford Focus EV customers will begin picking up their cars this week also”.

    HUH?!!!! I called the station to correct that last part – to which they asked if I was a Ford employee, and when I stated I was not, but an EV enthusiast and quoted facts he should look up for accuracy, he just grunted and said, “OK, bye”… So much for accuracy in our TV news….’

    It would be interesting to see if they edit the story for the 5 o’clock broadcast and beyond, but I highly doubt it from their response.

    PUMP UP THE VOLTS! ,

    James


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (5:51 pm)

    James: So much for accuracy in our TV news

    Lol. Since when is TV news accurate?

    I’m sitting more on the side of the hacker-dude that thinks the news is ‘completely manipulated’. This isn’t far from the truth since they depend on advertising dollars to exist.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (6:01 pm)

    Tall Pete: kent beuchert,
    Please make sure to post a picture of your Model S car as soon as you can buy one. I hope to live long enough to see that.    

    I don’t believe kent can buy one, unless he robs a bank…

    Ramond


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (6:21 pm)

    What is the cost of the ICE and related material to support it?
    How much does all that weigh?

    Now … how much does a small fuel cell weigh and cost?

    One mfr was working on a home hydrogen generator… could that be powered by solar?

    Seems to me that a small relatively light hydrogen fuel cell would extend the range of the battery while keeping the weight down.

    I think it would be right to keep our eyes on the ultimate goal of a affordable hydrogen fuel cell powered electric means of transportation. Fuel cells are relatively light and small…. and hydrogen can be generated in a variety of ways.

    Have not heard about how the 400 hydrogen fuel cell powered Suvs are doing that GM has on the road.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (6:28 pm)

    James: the ICE in the Volt is a hollow-frame iron cylinder block with thin wall casting,

    #56

    I stand corrected. +1 Who knew? I’ll be damned.

    I think that the European 3 cyl is part of Family Zero as well and will show up in a web search pretty quickly.

    Check with your tax adviser, but I think that the $7500 is a straight up tax credit and, if you don’t owe any tax, you get a “refund” check for $7500 anyway. I know that this has been discussed at length here in the past.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (6:29 pm)

    James said “If the Nissan LEAF sales are brisk, this will put Volt’s future in jeopardy, at least in it’s current state.”

    Yes I agree… the rebates should be changed to reflect the global market.

    Yes I do think this rebate should be for FORD and GM only. The Japanese will be putting a $20,000 tariff on any Volt we try to sell in JAPAN… there is no way we should be giving them $7500 … in fact we should be putting a tariff on any Japanese car just like they do to us… use that money to fund more incentives for electrics.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (6:32 pm)

    DonC: Every time a GM exec opens their mouth it’s fairly clear GM still doesn’t understand the market.

    #57

    Well I guess that we just have to show them, LOL. I’m going to do my bit, even though I think some times I must be crazy. And yeah, go ahead and hit that softball if you want to. Who could argue?


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (6:34 pm)

    Raymondjram: I don’t believe kent can buy one, unless he robs a bank…

    #61

    Prolly goes for all of us, LOL. +1 But I’m not too worried about it, LMAO.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (6:34 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow,

    I did not know there were commercial ultra capacitors which operate at low voltages. I still have some questions about power storage capability:

    http://www.tavrima.com/products.htm

    The largest of these is a cylinder about 1 x 2 feet, weighing almost 84 pounds (I picked it since it was rated at the Volt pack’s 300V, and because efficient CS-mode with buffering for a strong serial mode would need quite a lot of storage, I would think). It gives it’s “energy” as 90,000 joules.

    That appears (to an Internet calculator) to be: 0.025 kilowatt hours

    For the wattage of the Volt motors how many seconds does that work out to? Not saying it’s unreasonable, just that I don’t have an intuitive grasp of the numbers.

    http://www.tecategroup.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=18_20

    These guys only seem to give ratings in Farads.

    Can you give me a WAG based on your actual experience (and also, what do these things cost?)

    I’m here to learn if I can, and teach if I must.

    .


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (6:35 pm)

    pjkPA: Yes I do think this rebate should be for FORD and GM only.

    #64

    Amen. +1


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (6:49 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow,

    (Edit timer ran out)

    Obviously, an ultra-capacitor would make a good substitute for my “super battery” if cost, size and power concerns can be addressed. However, I believe it would need something more complex than a parallel circuit, in a production car. Ideally, this ‘surge bucket’ should be fully capable of doing all of the buffering an EV requires by itself; whether for regen or for strong serial operation (if it is to be used in a “Plug-free Volt.” I can’t see GM doing the engineering for this without migrating it to all of it’s EV-drive platforms, in order to fully protect the vehicles’ more conventional Li/Ion batteries).

    .


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (6:51 pm)

    pjkPA: One mfr was working on a home hydrogen generator… could that be powered by solar?
    Seems to me that a small relatively light hydrogen fuel cell would extend the range of the battery while keeping the weight down.
    I think it would be right to keep our eyes on the ultimate goal of a affordable hydrogen fuel cell powered electric means of transportation.

    Honda had a home unit solar powered generator for H that accumulated the H, and sent it to a home unit that would fill your H powered car. Good for 15 to 20 miles a day though I may not recall that correctly. Funny thing, no mention of price though.


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:14 pm)

    Noel Park: Check with your tax adviser, but I think that the $7500 is a straight up tax credit and, if you don’t owe any tax, you get a “refund” check for $7500 anyway. I know that this has been discussed at length here in the past.

    Sorry Noel, but you’re battin .0000 today. You have to OWE the gubment the $7500 in order to get it sent back.
    It’s ok, some days are like that. (g).

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Founder, NAVES-F and NAVES-FAux
    “Providing Thera-Volt help for the victims of VES since 2011. NAVES-F.net NAVES-FA.net


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:17 pm)

    jeffhre: pjkPA: One mfr was working on a home hydrogen generator… could that be powered by solar?
    Seems to me that a small relatively light hydrogen fuel cell would extend the range of the battery while keeping the weight down.
    I think it would be right to keep our eyes on the ultimate goal of a affordable hydrogen fuel cell powered electric means of transportation.

    Honda had a home unit solar powered generator for H that accumulated the H, and sent it to a home unit that would fill your H powered car. Good for 15 to 20 miles a day though I may not recall that correctly. Funny thing, no mention of price though.

    By the time you ran your solar H *compressor* to get the accumulated H under 5000-10000 psi, you’re using up more energy than the benefit you get. Way simpler to just store the sunlight in your Volt.

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Founder, NAVES-F and NAVES-FAux
    “Providing Thera-Volt help for the victims of VES since 2011. NAVES-F.net NAVES-FA.net


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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:29 pm)

    DonC: …Personally I don’t get the impression that GM is actually on board with Voltec. It has rolled the Volt out and is now standing around and wondering what will happen. If you look at Reuss’ remarks about the Volt not being the only important thing because customers ask “what have you done for me today” you have to wonder what dots he can’t connect…

    I’m a little concerned that you may be correct (sooner or later, you *had* to be)(lol). It seems that it’s a scent that many of the upper echelon at GM exude. Sumptin’s not smellin just right. At best it might just be fear… but I think not. I sure hope we’re wrong.

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Founder, NAVES-F and NAVES-FAux
    “Providing Thera-Volt help for the victims of VES since 2011. NAVES-F.net NAVES-FA.net


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    CaptJackSparrow_3rdtry

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:42 pm)

    OK, sup with that?
    I’m trying to reply to Jackson but my post goes to “Oblivion”?


  75. 75
    CaptJackSparrow_3rdtry

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:46 pm)

    Jackson: http://www.tecategroup.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=18_20

    These guys only seem to give ratings in Farads.

    Can you give me a WAG based on your actual experience (and also, what do these things cost?)

    I’m here to learn if I can, and teach if I must.

    3rd try!!!

    The ones I use are these:
    http://www.tecategroup.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=18_20_32&products_id=1221
    Datasheet:
    http://www.tecategroup.com/capacitors/datasheets/maxwell/BCAP0350-E270-T11.pdf

    I use them 18 in series for a 48VDC (actually 48.6VDC) pack for a total capacity of 350F / 18 = 19.444F
    My DC-DC converter only goes to 47.9, so no worries of over charging the caps. Besides, they have a suge VDC max of 2.85V per cell.

    My pack converted to Joules it’s…
    .5 * C * (V2)
    Where C=Farads and V2=Volts * Volts
    So we have….
    .5 * 19.44 * 2304 = 22394.88Joules

    I have this wired in parallel to my 48VDC DC-DC converter. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s enough to get my fat a$$ to 30mph on a modified Scwhin/Currie scooter!
    The Ultracap pack is enough to deliver 25A @ 48VDC = 1200W to get me to cruising speed in a few seconds. After that, the DC-DC and Batt pack kicks in thus buffering the “STRESS” from the acceleration drain.
    The Ucaps cost much less than the 24VDC 40AH LiFePO4 pack.
    My batt pack never drains over 1.5C (60Ah) because the UCaps augment the juice when needed.

    /it’s all fun & games down at this level but the principles remain the same.


  76. 76
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (7:47 pm)

    Seems like a similar breakthrough to the Corvair, when it came out, in 1960. A modernized version of that would still be a masterpiece, IMO.

    Just pump out the Volts.


  77. 77
    VoltSkeptic

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (8:06 pm)

    kdawg,

    Check out the Engadget review. It looks pretty bad. I think they did this so that you can still get to the spare from the trunk. Kind of shows the benefits of designing the EV from scratch.


  78. 78
    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (8:26 pm)

    Tagamet: Sorry Noel, but you’re battin .0000 today.

    #71

    Well, not quite .0000. I got the 200K part right anyway. I sure hope I’m right on the tax credit. If 2011 is anything like 2010, I won’t get my $7500 back, LOL.


  79. 79
    EVO

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (8:31 pm)

    I’m trying to think what type of motorcycle would result from the existing Voltec drivetrain with the ICE left off. It’s still heavy, so I’m thinking an intown cruiser/drag bike. With a 16k powerpack, you’d probably get around 60 miles of range at a whack at an average speed of 25 mph (generous for in town traffic), but the motor would be grossly overpowered for the weight. Maybe put drag slicks on it, then and go cruch gas egos at the drag strip? I imagine there’s a niche market for high performance electric drag bikes like Killacycle. It’d be different to see GM get into that world.


  80. 80
    Tagamet

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (9:01 pm)

    Noel Park:
    #71Well, not quite .0000.I got the 200K part right anyway.I sure hope I’m right on the tax credit.If 2011 is anything like 2010, I won’t get my $7500 back, LOL.    

    Until the actual price was announced, I’d planned on having to raid my retirement fund so that the taxes on it as income would get my tax liability *up* (so I’d get the $7500 back).
    We might have “co-posted” the 200K factoid, so I’ll give you half of that one (lol).

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Founder, NAVES-F and NAVES-FAux
    “Providing Thera-Volt help for the victims of VES since 2011. NAVES-F.net NAVES-FA.net


  81. 81
    BC EV Driver

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (9:05 pm)

  82. 82
    Tagamet

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (9:24 pm)

    BC EV Driver,

    Never shoulda given them the right to vote! (I wonder if LauraM is around….)

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Founder, NAVES-F and NAVES-FAux
    “Providing Thera-Volt help for the victims of VES since 2011. NAVES-F.net NAVES-FA.net


  83. 83
    DonC

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:07 pm)

    Tagamet: I’m a little concerned that you may be correct (sooner or later, you *had* to be)

    My wife says the same thing only it’s more like “someday you’ll eventually have to be right!”. The good thing is that I don’t take being wrong personally. LOL

    FWIW I did look at the phaseout of the credit. First of all, it’s not really a credit for the first 200,000 cars. It’s a credit good until you get to the second quarter AFTER the quarter in which the 200,000th car was sold in the USA. As I read it, technically, if the 200,000th Volt came off the line in January, everyone buying a Volt until June 30th would be eligible for the full $7500. The phase out period is 6 months at 50% and 6 months at 25%. The second quarter piece is probably there so customers will have some warning about when the credits disappear and not end up buying thinking they would get the credit and then have it turn out that they don’t qualify.

    I wonder if Reuss is one of those who believe in the “Hydrogen Unicorn”?


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    Tagamet

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:20 pm)

    I’d forgotten the specifics of the phase out of the tax credits. Thanks for the info. “In a perfect world” we wouldn’t need them.
    Maybe someday soon.

    Be well,
    Tagamet
    /Night

    Founder, NAVES-F and NAVES-FAux
    “Providing Thera-Volt help for the victims of VES since 2011. NAVES-F.net NAVES-FA.net


  85. 85
    Jackson

     

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    Jan 20th, 2011 (11:44 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow_3rdtry: http://www.tecategroup.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=18_20_32&products_id=1221

    “Over 500,000 duty cycles”

    Now that sounds like what we’re talking about … I wonder if someone could make these in a prismatic format? Thanks for your perseverance!

    :-)

    .


  86. 86
    jeffhre

     

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    Jan 21st, 2011 (12:48 am)

    CaptJackSparrow_3rdtry,

    …your posts always go to oblivion. Hey thanks for showing me how to spell oblivion :)


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    jeffhre

     

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    Jan 21st, 2011 (12:54 am)

    Tagamet: By the time you ran your solar H *compressor* to get the accumulated H under 5000-10000 psi, you’re using up more energy than the benefit you get. Way simpler to just store the sunlight in your Volt.

    Who cares if it takes 6 times more energy than putting it in your battery. And that battery cars are on the roads right now. Sunlight is free. Heck, if you can afford more for a couple of driveway gadgets than I paid for my whole driveway, and car, and house, and everything inside, combined, go for it! As long as you can handle Shawn Marshall in your ear about albedo all night and day, then go for it. Be a big energy spender – it’s your daylight dag nabit :)


  88. 88
    KentT

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    Jan 21st, 2011 (3:29 am)

    “…chasing volume would be irresponsible.”

    Wha..? What? What happened to the old GM? What happened to “nothing matters but the next quarter’s balance sheet…” What happened to “Quality? What’s that? Something the Japanese do, right?”

    “…we’re going to be perfect…” Okay. You win. Old dogs CAN learn new tricks. Now THAT’S “Change I can believe in!”


  89. 89
    Raymondjram

     

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    Jan 21st, 2011 (7:31 am)

    EVO: I’m trying to think what type of motorcycle would result from the existing Voltec drivetrain with the ICE left off. It’s still heavy, so I’m thinking an intown cruiser/drag bike. With a 16k powerpack, you’d probably get around 60 miles of range at a whack at an average speed of 25 mph (generous for in town traffic), but the motor would be grossly overpowered for the weight. Maybe put drag slicks on it, then and go cruch gas egos at the drag strip? I imagine there’s a niche market for high performance electric drag bikes like Killacycle. It’d be different to see GM get into that world.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I posted before that GM should manufacture their Voltec motor and transmission design in different sizes, down to the R/C model size, or license the design out to an American manufacturer to do so. Then you may buy a smaller Voltec drivetrain that will fit your motorcycle. And we can do EV conversions with GM technology.

    Raymond


  90. 90
    greenWin

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    Jan 21st, 2011 (6:03 pm)

    Reuss appears to be taking the pragmatic approach, which is cautious and even a little defensive while determining the next path. What they need to do is study the rate at which oil prices rise which is the gateway to mass sales. AND keep their biggest asset Triple Crown thoroughbred VOLT, rolling steadily forward. We see this as recognition they need breathing room and after a four year breakneck push – to rest their team a bit.

    Don’t think they will back off the Voltech drivetrain. They do want to keep other breakthrough options open and Reuss points out:

    “… the Volt represents ”the soul of the company” meaning vehicles that have “high desirability, technical leadership, (and) breakthrough technology.”

    Very positive signs for the EV future at GM.


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    Sean

     

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    Jan 21st, 2011 (9:42 pm)

    Shawn Marshal I totally agree with you how about a pure electric with a range of 250 to 300 miles of range but without by adding any significant weight, charging time, and of course by not breaking the bank to keep the price affordable for the battery. Now that would be a great starting area were more people would feel more comfortable with electric cars agree with me?