Apr 20

General Motors leads in US clean energy patents for 2010

 

Chevrolet Volt enthusiasts know GM is a leader in sustainable transportation, but the company has been on such a creative streak lately, some may not be aware of the extent of it.

Last month GM was ranked number one out of 700 entities that filed clean-energy patents in 2010. Of the 1,881 such patents recorded by the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index of U.S. patents, GM was responsible for 135.

In total, GM received 940 U.S. patents in 2010, placing it in the top 25 of all companies. These patents included those for information technology and consumer electronics.

With regards to clean energy, GM’s patents covered hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cells and solar energy, and focused on improvements to current and future technologies.


General Motors is really ramping up for the future. With 135 clean energy patents received last year, it intends to lead the way.

The Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) tracks the granting of U.S. patents in solar, wind, hybrid/electric vehicles, fuel cells, hydroelectric, tidal/wave, geothermal, biomass/biofuels and clean, renewable energy.

According to CEPGI, automobile companies dominated with six in the top 10 spots. Behind number one GM was Samsung, which took second place due to a number of fuel cell patents. Third place went to Honda, which had been last year’s winner. Toyota was fourth with 20 patents, GE was fifth, Nissan sixth, Ford eighth, and Hyundai was ninth.

“U.S. clean-energy patents were at an all-time high in 2010,” said Victor Cardona, co-chair of the Cleantech Group at Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti, publisher of the index. “GM has clearly put forth a lot of effort in a range of clean-energy technologies, resulting in its appearance at the top of the list for the first time.”

Following is a list of some of the more notable patents GM compiled:

Multi-injection combustion cycle systems for spark ignition direct injection engines: Improves fuel and air mixing, and reduces hydrocarbon emissions during engine startup and cranking.
Dynamically adaptive method for determining a battery’s state of charge: Improves fuel economy with a new algorithm that estimates a lithium-ion battery’s internal parameters in real time.
Electrically variable transmission having three planetary gear sets with two fixed interconnections: Ultra-efficient hybrid electric vehicle transmission design that features low electrical losses, high torque capacity and city and highway modes.
Variable active fuel management delay with hybrid start-stop: Control system that seamlessly integrates active fuel management with start-stop for additional fuel savings.
Control of hybrid power regeneration during cruise control: Uses regenerative braking so the onboard battery can be charged during vehicle operation, saving fuel.
Method of operating a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle: Involves operating a heater when the vehicle is cold to preheat the battery, improving electric driving range.

As can be determined by GM’s stated environmental commitment, the company is working to shift away from petroleum dependency. However, even as it develops advanced-tech solutions, this has not stopped it from continuing to refine internal combustion technology as well.


Behind the scenes, GM is researching and developing advanced propulsion technologies for hybrid and electric cars, and alternative sources of energy.

“The company is pursuing several options to best meet the needs of customers around the world – from gasoline, diesel, and biofuels to electrically driven vehicles such as hybrids, electric vehicles with extended range and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles,” GM said, “Ultimately, GM believes electrically driven vehicles offer the most long-term benefits to customers around the world.”

As for hybrid, electric and other advanced-tech transportation, the company intends to grow as a world leader, said Alan Taub, GM vice president of global research and development.

“GM is on a journey to reinvent the automotive DNA, and that’s driving a great amount of innovation and technological breakthroughs,” Taub said. “We will continue our aggressive focus on advanced propulsion technologies that will benefit our customers and the environment.”

Note that Taub was quoted yesterday saying the Volt is “on track” with cost cuts and improvements. In light of today’s story, it looks all the more likely GM is preparing to be able to back up his assertions with action.


GM-Volt.com will have a substitute writer for tomorrow and may even miss publishing Friday. I’m on assignment at the EDTA Conference in Washington, D.C.
– Jeff

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 175


  1. 1
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (6:36 am)

    “I’m on assignment at the EDTA Conference in Washington, D.C. – Jeff”

    Think you can work in a stop at the NY Auto Show on your way back?


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (6:42 am)

    I wonder when the Volt fleet will pass “most electric miles driven by a car type”? Maybe it already has?


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    Jim I

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (7:22 am)

    Research is good, there is no doubt about it.

    Getting products on the road from that research is even better!!!!!

    Go GM! Go GM Volt Team!!

    NPNS

    Looking forward to my 2012 blue Volt!!!

    :-)


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    Mark Z

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (7:26 am)

    Jeff, enjoy the conference. Looks like a lot of great companies will be involved. Looking forward to your report and the news of a brighter tomorrow in the world of eleclric vehicle transportation.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (8:40 am)

    What about the patent to change the electrolyte in a battery?

    I’m curious to see what GM comes up with for a more engineered range extender.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (8:59 am)

    kdawg: What about the patent to change the electrolyte in a battery?I’m curious to see what GM comes up with for a more engineered range extender.

    Me too. I would think the 50 mpg of the Prius would be a target. Would help those who’s driving habits exceed the battery range.

    Curious what (if any) changes will be made for 2012. 2011′s appearing on the dealers lots here in Michigan increase VES greatly…


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    Jeff Cobb

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (9:29 am)

    Eco_Turbo:
    “I’m on assignment at the EDTA Conference in Washington, D.C. – Jeff”
    Think you can work in a stop at the NY Auto Show on your way back?

    The NY Auto Show is not on my way back …


  8. 8
    Jeff Cobb

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (9:41 am)

    Mark Z:
    Jeff, enjoy the conference. Looks like a lot of great companies will be involved. Looking forward to your report and the news of a brighter tomorrow in the world of eleclric vehicle transportation.

    Thanks Mark. I’ll try to get the most out of it. -Jeff


  9. 9
    DonC

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (9:47 am)

    kdawg: I’m curious to see what GM comes up with for a more engineered range extender.

    This may be one of those rare instances where we disagree. Of all the advancements we might see I’d rank this one down at the bottom. Yes it would be great if they could increase the MPG, and I don’t doubt that they will, but the range extender isn’t important as a practical matter. Most times you won’t use it, and if they increase the AER, which is important, then it will happen even less.

    You’d burn 7 gallons more gas at 37 MPG than you would at 50 MPG over a 1000 miles, which is pretty minimal. On the other hand, going from 35 miles AER to 50 miles AER might eliminate half the cold starts and considerably more fuel.

    Unless changing the engine would reduce mass and therefore improve performance it’s not worth bothering with, IMHO.


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    LauraM

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (9:52 am)

    Jeff Cobb: The NY Auto Show is not on my way back …

    I’m going. I’ll try to post pics of the convertible, but I’m still not sure how…


  11. 11
    DonC

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (9:56 am)

    The patent for “Dynamically adaptive method for determining a battery’s state of charge” may be a really big deal. Nissan is having great trouble monitoring the SOC of the Leaf, which has lead to some folks ending up calling for the tow truck. The Volt is almost magically right on the range. You don’t think much about it, but when you’re driving an EV an accurate measurement of the remaining range is critical, and this is really a function of how well the car is measuring the battery SOC. In fact with a BEV if you can accurately measure the SOC you automatically increase the range because the driver doesn’t have to leave a larger buffer to prevent ending up with a flat battery.


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    Jackson

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (10:03 am)

    kdawg: I’m curious to see what GM comes up with for a more engineered range extender.

    gmtx2652: Me too. I would think the 50 mpg of the Prius would be a target. Would help those who’s driving habits exceed the battery range.

    In the sense that improved range-extender performance would help Volt bragging rights (and perhaps showroom traffic), you’re right. In the sense that it is actually necessary, perhaps not so much. Remember, the intention is for maximum electric use. If you compare the Volt to the Prius on pure miles per gallon, it could further dilute the “EV plus” message.

    If we could ‘wave a magic wand’ to get what we want in 2012, I’d pick greater electric range. The RE improvement which would help this most is a dedicated, for-EREV engine which might be lighter and smaller; even if it doesn’t actually get better economy. In EV mode, it would be less to carry (and perhaps result in more space for batteries).

    Just lightening the engine would result in some gas economy improvement.

    EDIT: Beaten to the punch at #9 (Don C)!


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    Alligam

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (10:04 am)

    DonC,

    In theory, Don has a point that the 50 mile AER would potentially have more impact.

    I, however, still want them to get the range extender as compact and as efficient as possible because 50 mile AER still doesn’t help me. I live in the DC area and commute 42 miles one way into DC on a daily basis. These commutes are notoriously slow, even in the HOV lane with my 2009 Nissan Altima Hybrid. And yes, it gets very cold and very hot, so I need the A/C and heat on as well.

    So when the 150 mile AER is part of the Volt, I will no longer care about the range extender. Until then, we need to get every part of the next generation of this car more efficient so that I can convince my wife that replacing my 4-5 year old Altima is worth the gain in efficiency in 2013/2014.


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    George S. Bower

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (10:06 am)

    • Electrically variable transmission having three planetary gear sets with two fixed interconnections: Ultra-efficient hybrid electric vehicle transmission design that features low electrical losses, high torque capacity and city and highway modes.

    This is an interesting one.
    Could it be GM’s latest version of the 2 mode used in the Chevy Hybrid truck??
    I think WOT mentioned something about this “tweak” to the 2 mode. (Did he call it a 4 mode?). Perhaps tomorrows guest writer will be WOT and he will explain this fascinating new transmission.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (10:11 am)

    Alligam,

    I think we can forget about any improvements for the RE at this time. GM’s priority is to get costs down not up. The batteries are the biggy in that department.

    I’m w/ DonC, It would be fascinating to know how GM’s battery SOC software/hardware package works.


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    Jackson

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (10:18 am)

    George S. Bower: I think we can forget about any improvements for the RE at this time. GM’s priority is to get costs down not up.

    Agreed. Perhaps no fundamentally new RE before 2020, based on what we read here yesterday.


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    kdawg

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (10:23 am)

    DonC: Unless changing the engine would reduce mass and therefore improve performance it’s not worth bothering with, IMHO.

    That’s what I was getting at. GM had tossed out the idea of a 3-cylinder engine and said nothing was off the table. If they can throw a motorcycle-sized engine in there, the car weight goes down, and cost goes down, and the size of everything associated with the engine can be reduced. But in order for it to work, it would have to be engineered to get as much HP out of it as efficiently as possible.


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    kdawg

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (10:25 am)

    George S. Bower: I think we can forget about any improvements for the RE at this time. GM’s priority is to get costs down not up

    A smaller engine reduces the cost.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (10:29 am)

    kdawg: A smaller engine reduces the costs.

    An engine with improved cycle efficiency will be more expensive.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (10:33 am)

    DonC:

    Unless changing the engine would reduce mass and therefore improve performance it’s not worth bothering with, IMHO.

    and the easiest way to remove mass is thru a battery with a higher kwh/kg. They better not lower AER. keep 40 and just drop the wt.


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    Jackson

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (10:51 am)

    George S. Bower: the easiest way to remove mass is thru a battery with a higher kwh/kg. They better not lower AER. keep 40 and just drop the wt.

    Lowering the weight, by itself, will lead to greater range; unless they also reduce battery capacity to achieve “40″ AER at that reduced weight. I strongly disagree with this philosophy. There are too many people failing to achieve that original target of 40 mpc. If GM is going to “stick with” this range, it had better by God be attainable under less than ideal conditions, at performance levels greater than a Prius’s. Provide for a real world 40 miles, GM; and lower battery costs from there.

    Greater targeted range would be even more preferable; as it would be the best way to increase the value of the concept. It’s the concept which seems hardest to get across, here at the beginning. Greater usable range would be the most effective way of bolstering the central idea behind the Volt, IMO.


  22. 22
    JohnK

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:22 am)

    Jackson: If we could ‘wave a magic wand’ to get what we want in 2012, I’d pick greater electric range. The RE improvement which would help this most is a dedicated, for-EREV engine which might be lighter and smaller; even if it doesn’t actually get better economy. In EV mode, it would be less to carry (and perhaps result in more space for batteries).

    I will second that sentiment. I’ve had my Volt now for almost three weeks. The cold weather has been keeping electric range in the 22-33 mile per charge area. Getting permission to charge at work was a big help, but not needing it will be even bigger. As for the range extender, I made a 380 mile round trip to Ohio on only gasoline and got 45.+ mpg. Even a major improvement over that will be a small savings in absolute numbers.


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    JohnK

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:25 am)

    George S. Bower: and the easiest way to remove mass is thru a battery with a higher kwh/kg. They better not lower AER. keep 40 and just drop the wt.

    Yes. But if they can make it less susceptible to the effects of the cold then that will be as good as reducing weight.


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    JohnK

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:29 am)

    George, any developments lately on the instrumentation front? What about just a simple power/energy monitor? I would like to know how much energy goes into the battery, how much comes out, how much goes into the two electric motors and how much comes out (when generating). So basically 3 devices that can each consume or put out energy.


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    LauraM

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:29 am)

    Jackson: Agreed. Perhaps no fundamentally new RE before 2020, based on what we read here yesterday.

    Maybe they can do a luxury version with an increased range extender? If they’re going to substantially reduce the price, they should do two separate models.


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    Jackson

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:34 am)

    LauraM: Maybe they can do a luxury version with an increased range extender?

    I’m thinking this might be some version of a plug-in two-mode. Pay more for a bigger engine, and you’re going to use it more.

    If they’re going to substantially reduce the price, they should do two separate models.

    Agreed, though I think this is a separate argument. If we do not have many models and variants by 2020 (covering a range of cost/performance needs), I’m going to be real disappointed.


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    JohnK

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:35 am)

    BTW, question for the general talent: when it is cold what are the various losses – greater friction in moving parts, lower efficiency of electric motors (seems unlikely), lower capacity to store electricity in the battery (or is energy actually lost due to the lower temp?), lower efficiency of power electronics, lower efficiency of the battery? I’m guessing that some of the talent out there knows at least some of the answers.


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    Jackson

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:39 am)

    JohnK: lower efficiency of the battery

    This, and the need for cabin heat, are the main culprits. Batteries don’t like cold, and cabin heat is resistive (think of powering a glowing-wire style heater with a battery; ouch). Always pre-condition, or get by with the seat heaters if you can, on a cold day.

    Others may have better or additional answers.

    BTW, GM; what about warming the cabin with a heat pump? I think this was omitted in the 2011 due primarily to cost and time. This could really help with Winter range.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:43 am)

    JohnK,

    Hi JohnK,

    The short answer is no. WOT is kind of in charge of that project (a community MDI). The problem is I don’t have a car yet…..so you guys that DO need to pool your efforts. Supposedly WOT has a list of people who are interested. Hope you are on it. I would definitely like to to see the group move on to delving into greater technical depth on how this vehicle works. It will happen. it is just a matter of time.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:45 am)

    Jackson,
    Don’t get me wrong I’m totally in favor of a little more AER. My driving cycle is 76 miles round trip for most of the time so it would work for me….


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:49 am)

    Jackson: This, and the need for cabin heat, are the main culprits.Batteries don’t like cold, and cabin heat is resistive (think of powering a glowing-wire style heater with a battery; ouch).Always pre-condition, or get by with the seat heaters if you can, on a cold day.

    • Method of operating a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle: Involves operating a heater when the vehicle is cold to preheat the battery, improving electric driving range.

    I wonder what this is??


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    Jackson

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:51 am)

    George S. Bower:
    Jackson,
    Don’t get me wrong I’m totally in favor of a little more AER. My driving cycle is 76 miles round trip for most of the time so it would work for me….

    Lowered weight, from any sorce, should improve CS-mode mpg; even from the same engine.

    More capable batteries might allow for a ‘stronger’ serial mode; which would demand less from the engine. It would then need minimal tweaking to achieve even greater fuel economy.

    I think we are basically in agreement. Sorry if it came across differently …

    George S. Bower: • Method of operating a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle: Involves operating a heater when the vehicle is cold to preheat the battery, improving electric driving range.

    I wonder what this is??

    Perhaps CorvetteGuy can elaborate, or correct me; but I believe the batteries can condition themselves when plugged in. In extreme cases, the engine will start just to keep the pack warm, and compensate for lowered battery efficiency (“Engine starting due to temperature”).


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:55 am)

    Jackson,
    I see what your saying about the compounding effect of reduced battery kwh/kg. So I guess I would have to say they should hold usable kwh the same not AER when battery specific energy is increased……but something tells me GM won’t do that as they can reduce cost MORE by holding AER.


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    Jackson

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:00 pm)

    George S. Bower:
    Jackson,
    I see what your saying about the compounding effect of reduced battery kwh/kg. So I guess I would have to say they should hold usable kwh the same not AER when battery specific energy is increased……but something tells me GM won’t do that as they can reduce cost MORE by holding AER.

    Sadly, you are most likely correct.


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    Noel Park

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:01 pm)

    kdawg: A smaller engine reduces the cost.

    #18

    I’m with you. +1

    They already have it in Europe. 3 cyl, 1.0L. They use it in a small Vauxhall in the UK that get 56 mpg with NO hybrid features. What’s the problem?


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    kdawg

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:05 pm)

    George S. Bower: Jackson,
    I see what your saying about the compounding effect of reduced battery kwh/kg. So I guess I would have to say they should hold usable kwh the same not AER when battery specific energy is increased……but something tells me GM won’t do that as they can reduce cost MORE by holding AER.

    Also, isnt the $7500 rebate tied to a 16Kwh battery?


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:06 pm)

    JohnK: BTW, question for the general talent: when it is cold what are the various losses

    Also increased air density causes more drag.


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    pjkPA

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:09 pm)

    Patents are good…. but letting Japanese compaies get American Patents is not.
    The Japanese market is closed. There is no way we should be giving them US patents until they open their markets to our cars.
    They come here and build plants .. pay no US taxes.. while keeping us out of their market…
    Then we borrow money off them and pay interest.


  39. 39
    Noel Park

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:11 pm)

    Good for GM. They are clearly seeing the future. Those who don’t will perish IMHO.

    “Lead, follow, or get out of the way”

    As to the RE issue, I believe that it is imperative to make progress on all fronts. The great race car engineer Steve Smith, speaking on the subject of weight (the enemy) said that you have to take it out ounce by ounce wherever you find the opportunity. All of the low hanging fruit has long since been picked. AER, RE mpg, everything counts and it is all interrelated. I have always wanted the mpg bragging rights over the Prius, and it makes me sad not to have them.

    I failed to capitalize Prius the first time. The spell check put up a warning and I clicked on it. One of the suggested replacements was “prissy”, LOL.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:12 pm)

    kdawg: A smaller engine reduces the cost.

    Noel Park: I’m with you. +1

    They already have it in Europe. 3 cyl, 1.0L. They use it in a small Vauxhall in the UK that get 56 mpg with NO hybrid features. What’s the problem?

    (Emphasis mine):

    Tooling and engine-line capacity, perhaps. The 4-cylinder was chosen originally because it was already in use, and it’s production was slated to increase for the Cruze.

    I’ve also heard from others here that a larger engine is more efficient when moderately loaded in the middle of it’s operating range (as it would be in the Volt) than a smaller engine operating over the wider range needed to power a car with no hybrid features. At what point would the lowered weight displace an inherent loss in efficiency? Could be less cut-and-dried than it seems.

    Stronger serial mode (made possible by better batteries) might allow a smaller engine to provide adequate power in the middle of it’s range. I’m guessing this would surpass a Prius for mpg (under depleted battery conditions)!


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    Noel Park

     

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:13 pm)

    kdawg: Also, isnt the $7500 rebate tied to a 16Kwh battery?

    #36

    True that. +1


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:16 pm)

    Jackson: Tooling and engine-line capacity, perhaps. The 4-cylinder was chosen originally because it was already in use, and production was slated to increase for the Cruze.

    #40

    Yeah, that’s what I thought too, but the engine in my Volt came from Austria where the 3 cyl is also built. Imagine my surprise.

    Jackson: I’ve also heard from others here that a larger engine is more efficient when moderately loaded in the middle of it’s operating range (as it would be in the Volt) than a smaller engine operating over the wider range needed to power a car with no hybrid features. At what point would the lowered weight displace an inherent loss in efficiency?

    Permit me to doubt.


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    Jackson

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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:28 pm)

    George S. Bower:
    Jackson,
    I see what your saying about the compounding effect of reduced battery kwh/kg. So I guess I would have to say they should hold usable kwh the same not AER when battery specific energy is increased……but something tells me GM won’t do that as they can reduce cost MORE by holding AER.

    Jackson: Sadly, you are most likely correct.

    kdawg: Also, isnt the $7500 rebate tied to a 16Kwh battery?

    Well that’s a relief! I didn’t think of that. GM may be forced to engineer for the rebate, which would result in greater range with lighter batteries. Maybe not a lot, but every little bit helps.

    Jackson: I’ve also heard from others here that a larger engine is more efficient when moderately loaded in the middle of it’s operating range (as it would be in the Volt) than a smaller engine operating over the wider range needed to power a car with no hybrid features. At what point would the lowered weight displace an inherent loss in efficiency? Could be less cut-and-dried than it seems.

    Noel Park: Permit me to doubt.

    Permission granted. Maybe those “others” will show up to defend this position.

    Noel Park: They already have it in Europe. 3 cyl, 1.0L. They use it in a small Vauxhall in the UK that get 56 mpg with NO hybrid features. What’s the problem?

    Jackson: Tooling and engine-line capacity, perhaps. The 4-cylinder was chosen originally because it was already in use, and it’s production was slated to increase for the Cruze.

    Noel Park: Yeah, that’s what I thought too, but the engine in my Volt came from Austria where the 3 cyl is also built. Imagine my surprise.

    Yes, but a US line for the 4 cyl was planned at the time the choice was made. It was never expected that the Volt engine would always be produced in Austria.

    As far as I know, no additional 3 cyl production is planned in the US (or anywhere for that matter). Of course, this could change before 2020 …


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:29 pm)

    gmtx2652: Curious what (if any) changes will be made for 2012. 2011′s appearing on the dealers lots here in Michigan increase VES greatly…

    Statik had a list, I think it was in the comments of yesterdays post by Jeff.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:31 pm)

    Noel Park: Good for GM. They are clearly seeing the future. Those who don’t will perish IMHO.

    Ohhhhh, it’s that vision thing isn’t it :)

    Seems amazing that car companies are dominating clean energy patents. Or maybe it just seems amazing because they believed there was no profit in innovations like this before. It’s clear that once Nader jumped all over GM for innovating with the Corvair, (Old) GM learned it’s lessons very well.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:31 pm)

    pjkPA: Patents are good…. but letting Japanese compaies get American Patents is not.
    The Japanese market is closed. There is no way we should be giving them US patents until they open their markets to our cars.
    They come here and build plants .. pay no US taxes.. while keeping us out of their market…
    Then we borrow money off them and pay interest.

    I’m all for industrial policy, but…If we don’t enforce the patents of Japanese companies, Japan won’t enforce the Japanese patents of American companies. And we’d wind up with an intellectual property free for all that wouldn’t be good for anyone.

    And, believe me, we have a lot to lose. Japanese exports depend a lot less on intellectual property laws and patents than ours. Software is extremely easy to copy if there’s government permission. Pharmaceuticals cost pennies to manufacture, but millions to develop. For cars and other electrics, on the other hand–design and R&D are a much smaller percentage of the cost, and they’re harder to copy.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:45 pm)

    LauraM: I’m going.I’ll try to post pics of the convertible, but I’m still not sure how…

    Which convertible? Volt or Camaro? Either will be welcome. Have a good time and we will be looking forward to your pictures. Thanks.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:49 pm)

    gmtx2652: Curious what (if any) changes will be made for 2012. 2011′s appearing on the dealers lots here in Michigan increase VES greatly

    jeffhre: Statik had a list, I think it was in the comments of yesterdays post by Jeff.

    Yes, but was the list real, or just something he pulled out of a bodily orifice? (It certainly looked real). I hope it is genuine, I like the sound of that “Topaz Blue.” ;-)


  49. 49
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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:52 pm)

    “GM-Volt.com will have a substitute writer for tomorrow and may even miss publishing Friday. I’m on assignment at the EDTA Conference in Washington, D.C. – Jeff”

    ————————————————————

    Jeff, you certainly deserve some time off now and again. You have been doing a great job for us and we really do appreciate it. Have a good time off and we will be looking forward to seeing your report when you get back. Could you tell us who is the guest writer for tomorrow?


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (12:59 pm)

    N Riley,

    Thank you. A dilemma is that AutoGuide’s people are busy with (or at) the NY Auto Show, so not sure who they will get, or what the topic will be.

    -Jeff


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (1:48 pm)

    Eco_Turbo:
    I wonder when the Volt fleet will pass “most electric miles driven by a car type”? Maybe it already has?

    Onstar telematics should be able to tell GM that. And as far as I know there are no other EREV’s on the roads.

    Although they’ve often been characterized as merely rich boys toys, GM would at least have to beat Tesla’s current total of almost 10,600,000 to have the highest all electric mileage.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (2:24 pm)

    Jackson: I’ve also heard from others here that a larger engine is more efficient when moderately loaded in the middle of it’s operating range (as it would be in the Volt) than a smaller engine operating over the wider range needed to power a car with no hybrid features. At what point would the lowered weight displace an inherent loss in efficiency? Could be less cut-and-dried than it seems.

    Noel Park: Permit me to doubt.

    Jackson:
    Permission granted.Maybe those “others” will show up to defend this position.

    The use of a larger engine running with a lesser RPM range is much more durable than a smaller engine running at a higher RPM range for the same load. The final decision will depend what is more important: durability or fuel economy. There isn’t that much of a weight savings than one may expect for less cylinders.

    My two V6-engine vehicles use the same Buick engine block (for 3.0L and 3.8L). The same two vehicles had a I4 engine option, but for the weight of the vehicle, the V6 actually runs easier and at a lesser RPM. My present V6 vehicle has an average idle RPM of 700, and my top RPM when cruising at 65 MPH is 1700. So a smaller engine will run a higher RPM and wear out sooner.

    The reason is torque. Having more or larger cylinders develops more torque and need less RPM for the same HP and load. So the V6 engine runs less (slower) and lasts longer than an I4. My older V6 ran for 26 years and my present V6 has 16 years. The only downside is less MPG. I spend more on gas but will save even more on maintenance and repairs as the vehicle gets older. This is also why many of the old V8 muscle cars are still around.

    Since the Volt uses its I4 engine at a much lesser rate than a normal ICE, that engine will last for more than ten years, and outlast the suggested I3. If I had the choice I will still buy the I4 version of the Chevy Volt.

    Raymond


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (2:37 pm)

    Raymondjram: Since the Volt uses its I4 engine at a much lesser rate than a normal ICE, that engine will last for more than ten years, and outlast the suggested I3. If I had the choice I will still buy the I4 version of the Chevy Volt.

    How long will those engines last if 80% of the cars have 70% of the work which is needed, accomplished 100% by the electric motors?

    Or, if I’m not burning gas nor pulling heavy torque duties with my engine, why would I require a particularly durable one, and would I expect a problem under these circumstances from a company making fairly durable ones for about a hundred years?


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (2:40 pm)

    N Riley: Which convertible? Volt or Camaro? Either will be welcome. Have a good time and we will be looking forward to your pictures. Thanks.

    I was planning on taking pictures of the Volt convertible. But I can take pictures of the Camaro too if you want me to.

    How do you post pictures? Cut and paste into the post text?


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (2:44 pm)

    LauraM: I was planning on taking pictures of the Volt convertible.But I can take pictures of the Camaro too if you want me to.

    How do you post pictures?Cut and paste into the post text?

    If you see a Volt convertible that will be the story of the year.

    You see the link right below the “submit Comment” button below the comment text box? Click that and follow the directions. I have not done any, but should be simple.

    Pictures of the Camaro would be good. Thanks….


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (2:54 pm)

    jeffhre: It’s clear that once Nader jumped all over GM for innovating with the Corvair, (Old) GM learned it’s lessons very well.

    #45

    I’m a great Corvair fan. +1

    I would have bought one out of college if the Chevy dealers had been interested in selling them. I guess they smelled the blood in the water. I have never forgiven Ralph Nader for the Corvair debacle although you could make a case that he has done a lot worse things subsequently.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (2:57 pm)

    Jackson: Yes, but was the list real

    #48

    I’m pretty sure it’s real. Somebody posted the same thing on one of the forum threads the other day, and I think it was a link to an official GM press release.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (3:04 pm)

    jeffhre: How long will those engines last if 80% of the cars have 70% of the work which is needed, accomplished 100% by the electric motors?

    #53

    Thank you. +1

    The 2.2L, I-4, engine in my S10 has 260K miles on it and runs just fine, thank you very much. And it gets run flat out a lot of the time, as it’s not exactly over endowed with horsepower, LOL.

    Engine longevity is a non-issue IMHO.

    Jackson is undoubtedly right that they are aiming for commonality with the Cruze. It just irritates me that the package is not optimized IMHO, especially considering what I paid for the !@#$% thing, hehehe.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (3:07 pm)

    N Riley: If you see a Volt convertible that will be the story of the year.

    #55

    Yeah, didn’t we decide that it was a photoshopped hoax? Has something come up in the meantime to indicate otherwise? If so, I completely missed it.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (3:09 pm)

    N Riley: If you see a Volt convertible that will be the story of the year.

    Oh. I should have checked the date of the news release….(I googled the volt and New York auto show.) Oops. Sorry.

    I’ll post pictures of the Camaro though. And the Nissan LEAF Nismo RC concept if anyone’s interested. (That’s the main reason I’m going.)


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (3:12 pm)

    Noel Park: Yeah, didn’t we decide that it was a photoshopped hoax? Has something come up in the meantime to indicate otherwise? If so, I completely missed it.

    I obviously missed that discussion. (Or I forgot.) But if it is there, I’ll definitely take pictures.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (4:10 pm)

    LauraM: Noel Park: Yeah, didn’t we decide that it was a photoshopped hoax? Has something come up in the meantime to indicate otherwise? If so, I completely missed it.

    I obviously missed that discussion. (Or I forgot.) But if it is there, I’ll definitely take pictures.

    Unfortunately, the Volt convertible was a Road & Track April Fool’s joke; but I’m hoping GM loved the photoshopped pics as much as I did. It couldn’t hurt to corner a GM Exec & tell him how much you liked the Road & Track 4/1/2011 hoax & how you wish GM could make it come true, Laura…
    volt-convertible-001_gallery_image_large.jpg
    volt-convertible-002_gallery_image_large.jpg


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (4:25 pm)

    I thought I was good with PhotoShop. Whoever did those photos is a master! ;)


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (6:03 pm)

    Patents. Use em or lose em!

    Volt convertible will never happen. It’d kill the range. Have to be an aftermarket thing.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (6:13 pm)

    Noel Park: They already have it in Europe. 3 cyl, 1.0L. They use it in a small Vauxhall in the UK that get 56 mpg with NO hybrid features. What’s the problem?

    I believe someone from GM said that they considered this engine but it didn’t produce sufficient kW and ran more roughly. The answer was quite specific but I can’t remember at all who said it. It was, however, in the last four months or so. If you’re interested you might ask WOT, no doubt he would know.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (8:07 pm)

    LauraM: I’m going. I’ll try to post pics of the convertible, but I’m still not sure how…

    Create an account on photobucket.com, upload the picture from your computer, they have a button to do that. Then go to your album and when you roll over the picture it provides a drop down where if you click the direct link it copies to the clipboard. then click the link on gm_volt below the post window, and you paste the clipboard to the box which shows up. Try it! If you like you could practice with a picture of yourself, we’d love to see it. Or you could just post a picture of NY.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (8:34 pm)

    DonC: I believe someone from GM said that they considered this engine but it didn’t produce sufficient kW and ran more roughly.

    I once drove a Daihatsu in Haiti, that had a turbocharged three cylinder, it might have been rough, but it was so fast you didn’t mind! Actually reminded me of the Saab 99 Turbo I had back home at the time.


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (10:16 pm)

    nasaman: Unfortunately, the Volt convertible was a Road & Track April Fool’s joke; but I’m hoping GM loved the photoshopped pics as much as I did. It couldn’t hurt to corner a GM Exec & tell him how much you liked the Road & Track 4/1/2011 hoax & how you wish GM could make it come true, Laura…

    I tried that with the converj, and it got me absolutely nowhere. But I’ll be sure to mention it…


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    Apr 20th, 2011 (11:51 pm)

    LauraM: I tried that with the converj, and it got me absolutely nowhere. But I’ll be sure to mention it…

    You never know. I could easily imagine Dan Ackerson saying at an upcoming GM Board meeting, “this lovely young woman came up to me at the NY autoshow to say how she loved Road & Track magazine’s April Fool’s article featuring their concept of a Volt convertible (hands out the photos) —if you all like it as much as I do I’ll go ahead with it! OK?”

    PS: And as EcoTurbo says in post #66, “If you like you could practice with a picture of yourself, we’d love to see it.” I agree —and I assure you everyone else here would as well! ;) ;) ;)


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (12:03 am)

    I read that the Volt isn’t selling well. Does anyone know if there’s truth to this ?


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (6:16 am)

    Ed M: I read that the Volt isn’t selling well. Does anyone know if there’s truth to this ?

    The local volume Chevy dealer was allocated 14 Volts for 2011. Sold out in pre-order. The waiting list is reportedly “in the dozens”.

    No Plug, No Sale


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (7:03 am)

    Ed M:
    I read that the Volt isn’t selling well. Does anyone know if there’s truth to this ?

    I would consider that it is selling well. GM is selling more Volts by orders than by showrooms.

    Raymond


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (10:14 am)

    JohnW Tampa: Volt convertible will never happen. It’d kill the range.

    I also have heard that convertibles are less aerodynamic (top up or down). They’re heavier too; because of the extra door bracing needed to compensate for the loss of the roof-and-side-pillar structure.

    Now (except for expense), here’s how they could pull off an EREV convertible:

    I think we all have an understanding that carbon fiber would be a great asset for weight reduction in a vehicle, if costs can be lowered (it is already making a difference in aircraft). I can’t say how the necessary cost reduction might be achieved (other than through volume production), but perhaps if a few key components can be made of these advanced materials it will make a major difference: in no vehicle more than in a convertible.

    I think doors, particularly, offer great promise for weight reduction. This would help weight for all vehicles, and they are simply bolted on (not integrated into a welded metal structure). They would be created in a separate facility and shipped to the assembly line. The advanced material would not only make them lighter, but much stronger (essential for a convertible). If you really want to get “out there,” consider salting in a few carbon nanotubes to add stiffness.

    Then, there is the top. I don’t believe that a ragtop will ever have the aerodynamics of an articulating roof made of solid segments (which will not vary shape with air pressure). Lightening of the mechanism means a less powerful motor is needed to power it, yet the top would be strong enough to provide some protection in a crash. Since we’re tossing cost concerns to the wind (for this thought experiment), photovoltaic cells could be integrated into the solid sections for whatever charge level they might provide (this could be a surprising amount, if you use a multi-junction design. Remember that the Mars Exploration Rovers are entirely powered by these cells, twice as far from the Sun).

    Even with all of this expensive material, nothing will help top-down aerodynamics. For this, I’d suggest using the expected higher-energy-density batteries while retaining the original “T” battery size and shape. You’d still get the target range with the top down (and lots more with the top up).

    If by now, you’re thinking “rubbish,” you’re absolutely right. This has all been a belabored way of saying, “not anytime soon.” But this isn’t impossible. What if GM attains proprietary processes for producing these materials and assembling components from them on automated equipment? Watch for developments in Materials and Manufacturing technology to get an idea of when a convertible (or overall improvements in all cars) becomes possible.

    … And (On Topic, ladies and gentlemen; it’s a miracle), these processes would lead to more patents of note, since they would save a lot of fuel and electricity a year.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (11:28 am)

    A Volt convertible would be very popular for parade routes. Turning off Mountain Mode just before parade time would allow for a super quiet ride for all who wave to the crowds as the parade viewers enjoy the clean air and great visibility of the riders.

    Just saw on TV that a new Leaf is on display at the New York Auto Show.

    http://www.geek.com/articles/news/nissan-leaf-rc-proves-electric-cars-can-race-20110420/

    20 minute range will make charge stations a needed Nissan necessity.

    Leaf-Nismo-RC.jpg


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (11:28 am)

    LauraM: How do you post pictures? Cut and paste into the post text?

    In addition to the methods already given, I have a different procedure for inserting pictures; but it is cumbersome for most.

    Get the pics online at photobucket, or tinypic. If you can’t get anything to work, someone here will get them up.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (11:44 am)

    Mark Z: 20 minute range will make charge stations a needed Nissan necessity.

    Yeah, I saw that on the Nissan Leaf site. It’s looks cool and all but I need the 4 doors. Even 20 minutes will get me to work with no prob but the 4 doors is a must.

    And what’s with the Blue color still? They need to start showing different colors, but that’s JMHO. :-)


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (12:05 pm)

    LauraM,

    You have to be kidding…
    When was the last time you saw us “enforcing” patent laws against the Japanese?

    Their economy is based on stealing technology…. I have never seen any “enforcement”.

    The fact that their market is totally closed to US autos is proof that the ” Global” economy is totally rigged and patents mean nothing… especially to the Japanese Koreans Chinese .

    A popular Major in Japanese colleges is “Patent Seaching” … they come to our patent offices and search for valuable patents they can use.

    Patent “enforcement” is a joke in the US.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (1:08 pm)

    OT, but exciting news: As of exactly 1 week ago, 4/14/11, the Volt had won 12 prestigious awards.* Just today two more important awards have been announced, which by my count now brings the total to 14 awards:**

    “Today (4/21/11) at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, the Chevy Volt was named World Green Car of the Year. The award is voted on by an international panel of 66 automotive journalists, which consider a vehicle’s ‘tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and use of a major advanced power plant technology (beyond engine componentry), aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle’s environmental responsibility’ in their decision.

    “In other news, the Volt’s technology won Edmunds’ 2011 Green Car Breakthrough Award, which is handed out each year to a “vehicle, technology or program that sets new standards in fuel efficiency, emissions reduction and/or sustainability, or that stands out for promoting public use and acceptance of such a vehicle or technology.”

    *See post #68 at http://gm-volt.com/2011/04/14/chevrolet-volt-wins-sae-best-engineered-vehicle-of-2011/ for the list of 12 awards as of last week
    **See http://www.chevroletvoltage.com/index.php/Volt/2011-chevy-volt-named-world-green-car.html for the two newest awards announced today
    ChevyVoltWorldGreenCarOfYear02_1.jpg


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (1:19 pm)

    pjkPA: When was the last time you saw us “enforcing” patent laws against the Japanese?

    Well last year Toyota, concerned that it wouldn’t be able to import any Prius into the US, settled after a finding that its HSD violated a patent. By way of comparison, Ford hasn’t settled.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (1:26 pm)

    Jeff Cobb (or Jeff’s “pinch hitter”): Please delete my post #78 (a duplicate) and unblock my #79, which is “in moderation”. Thanks!


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (1:51 pm)

    LauraM: How do you post pictures? Cut and paste into the post text?

    I always use tinypic.com, but I learned that from Jackson. You post the picture there and as soon as it is posted there is an image string available that you can copy and paste here. But you have to change the upper case IMG to lower case img at the beginning and end of the string after you paste it here.

    When you start you pick “Image” as what you want to upload, and browse to find it on your computer. When it is uploaded, copy the string at “IMG Code for Forums & Message Boards.”
    You get something like: [IMG]http://i51.tinypic.com/16iyz3d.jpg[/IMG]
    and when you change IMG to img you get:

    16iyz3d.jpg


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (2:14 pm)

    Mitsu just priced the i-MiEV (now called just the ‘i’) at $27,990 pre-rebate (+750ish dest)…which is, pretty darn good. Demos start arriving early November, deliveries in January.

    Sure it is smaller than the LEAF, and only goes around 80ish miles on a charge, but if you are just looking to beat $4+ gas, and can fit into into the family fleet…this would be the ticket.

    It also has a 16 kWh pack…so I think that brings up some questions for ‘other’ plug-in makers.
    /just saying

    http://media.mitsubishicars.com/releases/89b5cb15-e4d6-3752-a3b5-883c4dad9d1d


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (2:30 pm)

    statik: Sure it is smaller than the LEAF, and only goes around 80ish miles on a charge, but if you are just looking to beat $4+ gas, and can fit into into the family fleet…this would be the ticket.

    Very cool. That’s aggressive pricing!

    It’s pretty spartan though and “80ish miles” is only realistic if you’re going downhill with the climate controls off. Think 45+ because even at 4 mile per wh, which is 30% better than the Leaf or the Volt, you’d be looking at 52 miles. It would have to be for a customer with a certain driving pattern, but with rebates it would be dirt cheap, and Motor Trend found it far more engaging to drive than the PIP, so it should find a place in the market. Or put differently, CJS now has the car of his dreams at a trailer park price.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (2:39 pm)

    DonC: Very cool. That’s aggressive pricing!It’s pretty spartan though and “80ish miles” is only realistic if you’re going downhill with the climate controls off. Think 45+ because even at 4 mile per wh, which is 30% better than the Leaf or the Volt, you’d be looking at 52 miles. It would have to be for a customer with a certain driving pattern, but with rebates it would be dirt cheap, and Motor Trend found it far more engaging to drive than the PIP, so it should find a place in the market.

    Yeah, I really didn’t expect Mitsu to be able to price it so competitively.

    They have always said they expected to come in just under 30K, but the way things have gone so far in the EV world who would have thought they could do that, and by a couple thousand to boot.

    This vehicle certainly isn’t for everybody, but I think at 20K after rebates, it at least makes it financially accessible to any new car buyer…couple that with gas prices accelerating rapidly and it should do fine. /pizza delivery boys of the world rejoice

    I think this pricing (and that of the LEAF before it) answers the question of whether or not it pays to produce your own battery packs.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (2:45 pm)

    statik: Mitsu just priced the i-MiEV (now called just the ‘i’) at $27,990 pre-rebate (+750ish dest)…which is, pretty darn good. Demos start arriving early November, deliveries in January.Sure it is smaller than the LEAF, and only goes around 80ish miles on a charge, but if you are just looking to beat $4+ gas, and can fit into into the family fleet…this would be the ticket. It also has a 16 kWh pack…so I think that brings up some questions for ‘other’ plug-in makers./just sayinghttp://media.mitsubishicars.com/releases/89b5cb15-e4d6-3752-a3b5-883c4dad9d1d

    Random update to that, press now says:

    Deliveries to California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii by November 2011, followed by the northeastern U.S. market by March 2012 with nationwide availability expected by December 2012.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (2:47 pm)

    statik: This vehicle certainly isn’t for everybody, but I think at 20K after rebates, it at least makes it financially accessible to any new car buyer…couple that with gas prices accelerating rapidly and it should do fine. /pizza delivery boys of the world rejoice

    Well in CA it would be eligible for another $5K, bringing the price down to $15K. That’s amazing.

    We still disagree on the battery packs. Rather than suggesting a cost advantage of making the cells, I think what this pricing shows is that if you’re willing to sell at a loss in order to move some units you can make a lot of dreams come true! LOL


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (3:00 pm)

    DonC: Well in CA it would be eligible for another $5K, bringing the price down to $15K. That’s amazing.

    #85

    WOW!


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (3:19 pm)

    DonC: Well in CA it would be eligible for another $5K, bringing the price down to $15K. That’s amazing. We still disagree on the battery packs. Rather than suggesting a cost advantage of making the cells, I think what this pricing shows is that if you’re willing to sell at a loss in order to move some units you can make a lot of dreams come true! LOL

    Not sure how many rebates/how many $$$ will be left in the kitty for California by the time November rolls around…but a few people might qualify if they are fortunate.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (3:39 pm)

    statik: Not sure how many rebates/how many $$$ will be left in the kitty for California by the time November rolls around

    #87

    True that. Brokeazz CA as CJS would say. Although the 3011 Volt doesn’t qualify and I’m seeing damned few Leafs (Leaves?) on the SoCal streets so far. One to be exact.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (3:54 pm)

    Noel Park: #87True that. Brokeazz CA as CJS would say. Although the 3011 Volt doesn’t qualify and I’m seeing damned few Leafs (Leaves?) on the SoCal streets so far. One to be exact.

    …you’d think GM could meet the PZEV standards by 3011

    /couldn’t resist


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (4:40 pm)

    OT?
    On Topic?!!?
    Well, whatever topic but checkitout…..

    “Mitsubishi announced that the all-electric i will start at just $27,990. Once you take off the $7,500 federal tax credit, this drops the i’s price to an eye-catching $20,490. That’s the price for the entry-level ES trim.”

    On ABG: http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/21/new-york-2011-mitsubishi-sets-price-of-all-electric-i-at-27-99/

    Now with the BrokeAzz Kahl-e-Foneeya rebate of -$5,000.00 that makes the “Jelly Bean” car ~$15,490.00. Of course Tax, Lisc, Dest fees and your left nut.

    Sounds like a pretty good deal for an EV. I’d drive the “Jelly Bean”. I’d buy one if our dept wasn’t going to go through more cuts.

    /fukin brokeazz CA…..


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (4:41 pm)

    statik: Not sure how many rebates/how many $$$ will be left in the kitty for California by the time November rolls around…but a few people might qualify if they are fortunate.

    The money comes from something like fines on gross polluters, suggesting that, unless people decide to stop driving their pollution factories, more money should end up in the kitty.

    If there isn’t any money you can sign up and get in line. That means you have a decent chance of getting the rebate eventually but it might be a wait. Probably there won’t be any money available in November. I think there is only money sufficient for about another 1000 rebates. Given this, my guess is that by the end of summer at the latest we’ll see that many Leafs delivered in CA. Given your connections to Nissan you’d know better than I would. ;-)


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (4:44 pm)

    Noel Park: I’m seeing damned few Leafs (Leaves?) on the SoCal streets so far. One to be exact.

    I seent 2 of em!!
    One in the ugly azz light Blue and a Burgundy one. I liked the Burgundy one.
    seen 2 Volts too. a Dark Smoke greay and a white one. I liked the white one.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (4:50 pm)

    still waiting for an EV – any EV – in Canada…


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (4:54 pm)

    DonC: If there isn’t any money you can sign up and get in line. That means you have a decent chance of getting the rebate eventually but it might be a wait.

    IMHO, I think one will run out of time before CA runs out of $$$ for the rebate. As I understand, in brokeazz CA there weren’t that many cars sold (LEAF, Tesla, Large EV Trucks/Vans) sold in 2011 that qualified so far. Nissan delivered a few hundred more in the ports of LA but it wasn’t close to 1,000 cars…lol

    /It’s still early in the year, I could be wrong.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (5:05 pm)

    nasaman:
    Jeff Cobb (or Jeff’s “pinch hitter”): Please delete my post #78 (a duplicate) and unblock my #79, which is “in moderation”. Thanks!

    My apologies for no pinch hitter today. They must have been all tied up with the NY Auto Show. I’m on my way back from our nation’s capital, and have no story planned for tomorrow.

    Did get to meet some great people at GM; met also Chelsea Sexton and other nice people involved in the EV movement.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (5:12 pm)

    statik:
    Mitsu just priced the i-MiEV (now called just the ‘i’) at $27,990 pre-rebate (+750ish dest)…which is, pretty darn good.Demos start arriving early November, deliveries in January.

    Sure it is smaller than the LEAF, and only goes around 80ish miles on a charge, but if you are just looking to beat $4+ gas, and can fit into into the family fleet…this would be the ticket.

    It also has a 16 kWh pack…so I think that brings up some questions for ‘other’ plug-in makers.
    /just saying

    http://media.mitsubishicars.com/releases/89b5cb15-e4d6-3752-a3b5-883c4dad9d1d

    I saw the MiEV and might have driven one, but had to leave the demo area to cover a meeting. It is priced way better than the Think City EV, but that car I believe has a larger battery (and all ABS plastic through-molded bodywork).

    Had a good talk with a Mitsu rep. I said I could imagine it driving better than a golf cart. He laughed, and said it’s much better than a golf cart.

    I’d like to get this car and the Prius plug in and Volt of course, and evaluate them when possible.

    The Prius Plug-in offers 13 miles AER.

    Jeff


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (6:35 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: I liked the white one.

    #93

    Mine’s white. I like it too, LOL. +1

    I’d better, it’s $995 option! 2012 is going to have a no extra cost white as I understand it. Is my sense of timing great or what?


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (6:41 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: The Prius Plug-in offers 13 miles AER.

    #97

    A driving impression I read on the blog that shall remain nameless for fear of “moderation” said that the engine comes on if you accelerate very hard even during the “AER”. So maybe it’s “Sort Of AER”, (SOAER), or “Almost AER” (AAER)?


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (7:10 pm)

    Noel Park: A driving impression I read on the blog that shall remain nameless for fear of “moderation” said that the engine comes on if you accelerate very hard

    I’ve learned on my commute that it’s a waste of time to accel fast. You’ll have to slow down in 3 seconds anyway. My normal commute is 0 miles on the freeway. Just one long drive on one straight street and rarely ever reaches 50mph. The guy in the bike lane that has a small 2stroke engine on his bike get’s to his street always before me…..lol, he just chugs along probably laughing at all us “car drivers”.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (7:18 pm)

    N Riley:
    Pictures of the Camaro would be good. Thanks….

    Here is the Camaro Convertible form the NYIAC:
    http://www.autoshowny.com/images/galleries/photos/latest/2010/camaro-convertible.jpg

    Raymond


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (7:28 pm)

    jeffhre,

    Thanks Jeffhre. Interesting list.

    Good thread. Always good to see Statik’s insight too. Remember 20 years ago when the Canadian Dollar was like Monopoly money compared to US. Times are a changing…


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (7:30 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: The guy in the bike lane that has a small 2stroke engine on his bike

    …Only in California


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (7:37 pm)

    One of the most beautiful Volts ever produced, in front of Progress Energy’s headquarters in Raleigh. …Soon to be Duke Energy.
    This one is the result of too much wine.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (7:37 pm)

    One of the most beautiful Volts ever produced, in front of Progress Energy’s headquarters in Raleigh. …Soon to be Duke Energy.Volt_White.jpg


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (7:40 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow,

    That wouldn’t happen to be around Newport Beach, Calif., would it?


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (10:17 pm)

    Noel Park: #97

    A driving impression I read on the blog that shall remain nameless for fear of “moderation” said that the engine comes on if you accelerate very hard even during the “AER”.So maybe it’s “Sort Of AER”, (SOAER), or “Almost AER” (AAER)?

    I hadn’t heard that one. I believe it will kick on the engine over 70 MPH also.

    It charges in around 3 hrs on level 1, and 90 minutes at level 2, and you know they saved by using a smaller battery. After all the research GM did and is proving correct, you’d think they’d have wanted more electric range to hit a larger target market. Some people with short drives will still be able to keep it in EV mode. The Prius has a loyal following though, so early adopters will still buy them even if others think the (A)AER is short.


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (10:20 pm)

    OT, but fun. :-) “What to Do at a Gas Station.” ;-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrNhPKZR04A&


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (10:45 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: I saw the MiEV and might have driven one, but had to leave the demo area to cover a meeting. It is priced way better than the Think City EV, but that car I believe has a larger battery (and all ABS plastic through-molded bodywork).Had a good talk with a Mitsu rep. I said I could imagine it driving better than a golf cart. He laughed, and said it’s much better than a golf cart. I’d like to get this car and the Prius plug in and Volt of course, and evaluate them when possible. The Prius Plug-in offers 13 miles AER. Jeff

    I have actually had the opportunity to dive both the RHD original i-MiEV and the NA spec. Both the original i-MiEV and the newly extended version (for us fatties in NA) have a much better than anticipated driving feel…very solid. The car belays it small/slow dynamics behind the wheel. Although to be fair I have both owned a SMART tdi, and driven a SMART ed…so the bar was not set terribly high in my mind, lol.

    I have never driven or even sat in a Th!nk EV, but sight unseen I am with you on the Mitsu being a better value. The Th!nk’s 22 kWh pack certainly intimates a more realistic 99 miles of range given its diminutive size.

    The Th!nk is in the vein of the original i-MiEV, kei car category. Mitsu’s attempt at making the car more accessible to the average American by flaring it out shows they are serious about the car selling here. I really don’t think people would have been that accepting of the original i-MiEV…that extra foot of length is a big plus, and the interior is now tolerable for US standards. That being said, it is still really small. The LEAF backseat is cavernous compared to the ‘I’

    My problem with cars like the Th!nk, Tesla, Coda et al is I really don’t trust the manufacturer behind them enough to ever pull the trigger. Even if you do get past the trust issues, do these start ups have a local repair infrastructure to back you up? And if so…do they actually have to knowledge/components to repair your EV in a timely manner?


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (11:00 pm)

    Raymondjram: Here is the Camaro Convertible form the NYIAC:
    http://www.autoshowny.com/images/galleries/photos/latest/2010/camaro-convertible.jpg

    Raymond

    For those who won’t click links:

    14cz8k9.jpg


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    Apr 21st, 2011 (11:04 pm)

    MichaelH: I always use tinypic.com, but I learned that from Jackson.

    Cool! And I wasn’t going to post the procedure again. Not so cumbersome a technique as I thought, obviously. Thanks for jumping in there with the demonstration!

    The only tip I’ll add here is to keep a Notepad document handy where you can paste the image link from tinypic for later use. Here is what a line from my document looks like for the image posted in the item above:

    camaro_convertible [IMG]http://i53.tinypic.com/14cz8k9.jpg[/IMG]

    “camaro_convertible” is the jpeg file on my computer which I uploaded at tinypic; the link is what was provided. Keep the doc in the directory where you keep your pics. Remember to change IMG to img on the re-paste!

    This method allows you to put up a pic you’ve linked before without taking the time to go back to tinypic. I’ve never had one of the stored links stop working on a later paste from the Notepad doc. Here is one of a car we were talking about back in the site’s earliest days:

    9h11kn.jpg

    ;-)


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (12:36 am)

    Jeff Cobb: I hadn’t heard that one. I believe it will kick on the engine over 70 MPH also.

    There are two different issues. One is that the engine has to come on to assist the large motor-generator whenever the Prius undergoes more than a mild acceleration. Both the large traction motor and the wheels are connected to the ring gear. This means the traction motor has no mechanical advantage and the motor simply can’t provide enough force to accelerate the car and needs the engine to assist. You’re not looking at much of an acceleration either. For example, Motor Trend found the engine kicked on every time when you went up the ramp out of the parking garage (hills and accelerations are the same).

    The reason the engine has to kick on at higher speeds is different. At higher speeds the engine, which is connected to the planetary carrier, has to engage in order to prevent the small traction motor, which is connected to the sun gear, from burning out by slowing the rotation of the sun gear.

    FYI, because the Prius can never know when the engine will have to engage because of a hard acceleration, it has to start the engine whenever the car is turned on to avoid a cold start, which would produce a lot of pollution.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (8:22 am)

    Sorry to bring this back to the GM patent subject, but I wonder how many of GM’s patents will now have to be shared with a Chinese auto company under the new green-tech “partnering” (forced marriage) proposal in China?


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (9:50 am)

    DonC: For example, Motor Trend found the engine kicked on every time when you went up the ramp out of the parking garage (hills and accelerations are the same).

    That doesn’t even happen with the cordless Prius. I park in a ramp at work. Climbing up in EV mode is great. The 60 kW traction motor provides plenty of power for that. Also, I climbed a steep hill by my house with the PHV from a dead stop at the bottom to 40 MPH, then maintained that speed for the rest of the climb… without the engine ever starting.

    DonC: FYI, because the Prius can never know when the engine will have to engage because of a hard acceleration, it has to start the engine whenever the car is turned on to avoid a cold start, which would produce a lot of pollution.

    That is absolutely not true. We’ve even posted video of that showing the engine remains off until hitting about the 11.5 mile mark when just driving in the suburbs.

    I left my house, drove up out of the valley, over to McDonalds, through the drive-thru, then back home. It was about 5 miles round trip, there were quite a few stops, and the top speed was 45 MPH. The engine in the PHV never started the entire trip.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (9:58 am)

    john1701a: That doesn’t even happen with the cordless Prius.I park in a ramp at work.Climbing up in EV mode is great.The 60 kW traction motor provides plenty of power for that.I climbed a steep hill by my house wiht a PHV from a dead stop at the bottom to 40 MPH, then maintained that spped for the rest of the climb… without the engine ever starting.

    That is absolutely not true.We’ve even posted video of that showing the engine remains off until hitting about the 11.5 mile mark when just driving in the suburbs.

    I left my house, drove up out of the valley, over to McDonalds, through the drive-thru, then back home.It was about 5 miles round trip, there were quite a few stops, and the top speed was 45 MPH.The engine in the PHV never started the entire trip.

    Try making that drive at 6:30 AM, after the car has been sitting for a few days, and let us know the results. 8-)


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (10:07 am)

    Eco_Turbo: Try making that drive at 6:30 AM, after the car has been sitting for a few days, and let us know the results.

    Let you know what? The coolant temperature requirement for the cat is only 103°F anyway. Even without pre-conditioning available, the cordless Prius reaches that just 3 blocks from my house. The absolute of “no gas” isn’t true for Volt either.

    The reason for the engine starting just prior to EV depletion is to deliver a PZEV emission rating. How will Volt accomplish that?


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (10:16 am)

    Thread’s over:

    john1701a

    Time to flush, and head for the forums.

    ‘Bye.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (10:55 am)

    Jeff Cobb: The Prius Plug-in offers 13 miles AER.

    13 miles. How extremely lame. This is what happens when companies don’t innovate. Someone passes them out.
    Now Toyota is playing catch-up and this is all they come up with? 13 miles?!?

    I’m glad GM is back on top of their game with the Volt.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (11:43 am)

    CaptJackSparrow: The guy in the bike lane that has a small 2stroke engine on his bike get’s to his street always before me…..lol, he just chugs along probably laughing at all us “car drivers”.

    #100

    Yeah, there are few things more irritating than fighting LA traffic and having the same guy on a bicycle pull up next to you at several red lights in a row. Or maybe even pass you, which actually does happen. Or even pedestrians when it really gets bad. +1


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (11:45 am)

    Eco_Turbo: One of the most beautiful Volts ever produced

    #104

    Looks just like #1756, white with painted wheels. Thanks! +1


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (11:49 am)

    statik: My problem with cars like the Th!nk, Tesla, Coda et al is I really don’t trust the manufacturer behind them enough to ever pull the trigger. Even if you do get past the trust issues, do these start ups have a local repair infrastructure to back you up? And if so…do they actually have to knowledge/components to repair your EV in a timely manner?

    #109

    Amen. +1 Plus Fisker IMHO.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (11:55 am)

    Noel Park: #100

    Yeah, there are few things more irritating than fighting LA traffic and having the same guy on a bicycle pull up next to you at several red lights in a row.Or maybe even pass you, which actually does happen.Or even pedestrians when it really gets bad.+1

    … is he gone?

    How about the guy on a bicycle who makes car drivers on his side of the road burn more gas to safely pass him before an oncoming car blocks the way? Where there is no adequate provision for bicycling on a public right-of-way, these ‘gas-savers’ may end up costing much more fuel than they would use driving a car — just not theirs.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (12:02 pm)

    OT, but the first Edison bill showed up yesterday reflecting a full month of Volt charging. $68. The last 2 months were both about $33. So $35 additional to charge the Volt for a month. I figure that it offsets about one gallon of gas/day or $124 at $4/gal.

    Saving $89/month – cool, but not enough to justify $48K OTD for the Volt, LOL.

    Not dragging 31 gallons of gas from Saudi or some such and keeping the $$$ at home –

    PRICELESS!!!

    Plus, a little less air pollution in the dirtiest air basin in the US is a nice little bonus.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (12:04 pm)

    Jackson: … is he gone?

    #122

    Sorry if I stirred him up, LOL.

    What DonC said about the Prius!


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (12:08 pm)

    Jackson: Where there is no adequate provision for bicycling on a public right-of-way,

    Plus mixing bicycles with cars is EXTREMELY dangerous. Much more so than people seem to realize. I learned that lesson from my own bitter personal experience with my younger son. Bicycle commuting will not be a viable option until bicycles are separated from car traffic IMHO.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (12:18 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: 13 miles.How extremely lame.This is what happens when companies don’t innovate.Someone passes them out.
    Now Toyota is playing catch-up and this is all they come up with?13 miles?!?

    I’m glad GM is back on top of their game with the Volt.

    How is limiting capacity for an affordable price playing catch up? Haven’t you seen the placement of the battery-pack in the plus model? It’s between the two front seats, clearly demonstrating more could be offered.

    Also, need I point out the engine efficiency & emissions catching up GM is doing now?
    .


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (12:21 pm)

    statik,

    I was kidding about the golf cart. I’m sure the suspension works better. But some of the glorified golf carts I’ve seen trolling around SoCal towns made me think the Mitsu was just a couple steps above maybe?

    I asked if it would be a loss leader like the Leaf. The rep said yes, initially, that was the plan.

    I checked out the Coda too. Not exactly an inexpensive proposition there either. I hear you on the idea of no service infrastructure.

    They all will come up with good-better-best pitches to get around this in the salesmanship game.

    For example, Think has a 10 year warranty, at least on the body, if not also the car’s core components. Sorry, not sure of the specifics.

    Lack of dealer support will be a deal breaker for some. Others will take a chance.

    Is not Tesla supplying key components to Toyota for its Prius plug-in? Obviously Toyota trusts them.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (12:32 pm)

    DonC,

    Thanks Don. I’ll look this car up, but at the moment it’s a daily scramble to stay on top of other stuff. I like the Volt’s AER range as a better solution for more consumers, regardless if others disagree with you on some details of how the Prius plug in works.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (12:36 pm)

    john1701a: How is limiting capacity for an affordable price playing catch up?Haven’t you seen the placement of the battery-pack in the plus model?It’s between the two front seats, clearly demonstrating more could be offered.

    Also, need I point out the engine efficiency & emissions catching up GM is doing now?
    .

    John, remember back when Toyota was laughing at GM, saying GM couldn’t pull this off?
    While GM was busy designing the Volt, Toyota wasn’t doing much in the way of improvements on their Prius. Then they announce a 13 mile AER? With all of their engineering skills and know-how, they could have done better. If I recall correctly, Toyota initially lost money on every Prius they sold. That turned out to be an excellent strategy because the public believes they are the “green” company. They could have done the same thing now, while making their car have 40 AER miles, but chose not too. Thus, my 13 mile AER assertion that it is lame. Really, who cares about 13 miles when a 40 mile vehicle can be had?
    If Toyota wants to be on top, they need to innovate. I don’t consider a 13 mile AER to be innovation when a 40 mile AER is available.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (12:44 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: …regardless if others disagree with you on some details of how the Prius plug in works.

    But that’s not how it works. My drive to McDonald’s was for an Egg McMuffin, first thing in the morning with a cold engine in the PHV. It clearly never started. Neither the gauges in the Prius itself nor the ScanGaugeII indicated any engine activity the entire drive.

    And here’s the photo documenting the results of that particular trip as well as my running average with the PHV:

    Prius_PHV_Consumption_15MIN-100MPG.jpg


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (12:55 pm)

    Jeff Cobb:

    Thanks Don. I’ll look this car up, but at the moment it’s a daily scramble to stay on top of other stuff. I like the Volt’s AER range as a better solution for more consumers, regardless if others disagree with you on some details of how the Prius plug in works.

    john1701a: But that’s not how it works.

    Jeff Cobb,

    Please, please please please please ban john1701a from gm-volt.com. You simply have no idea of the history, the nagging and nay-saying, the denial, the demands to play by his rules or not play; the monomaniacal unswerving force of nature that this troll is. Today’s comments are positively mild compared to his worst (an example of which is likely coming. He starts out sounding semi-reasonable, then gradually dominates the conversation; ending piously aggrieved by the Volt’s very existence, or any support for it).

    Think I’m over the top? Fine. Just read back, or stay alert to his future comments. You may reach the same conclusions I have. I, for one, am sick of his commentary here. Perhaps, you’ve been able to pick up on this. :-P


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (1:04 pm)

    Noel Park: Plus mixing bicycles with cars is EXTREMELY dangerous.Much more so than people seem to realize.I learned that lesson from my own bitter personal experience with my younger son.Bicycle commuting will not be a viable option until bicycles are separated from car traffic IMHO.

    Having been in both the bicycle business and auto business (and motorcycle business while we’re at it), I have a balanced view on two wheelers in traffic.

    They have a right to be in traffic. This is the law. They also have a responsibility to ride decently, and not hog lanes, check behind them, signal, and so forth – if not out of legal responsibility, then simply out of common courtesy because they are slower, and are holding others up when they don’t.

    On the flip side, car and truck drivers need to be more vigilant and respectful. The DOT recognizes “distracted driving” as a national epidemic (like it’s a case of the flu we all caught or something).

    Part of why cycling is dangerous is negligent drivers. A big part.

    I was hit and run by a guy in a Camry three years ago when he did a sudden, non-signaled right and I could not brake in time from the right side bike lane, and clipped his right rear quarter panel. I got his plate number, and the cops found him. He was driving a car registered to his mother, and told the cop he had the AC blowing and stereo on, and never heard my body slam into his car.

    He never asked how I was doing, the cop said, which made the cop upset that this guy obviously was missing something.

    Regardless of my personal experience, it is both metaphorically and literally a two-way street.

    I know from both personal experience, and years of thought on the broader topic beyond me and my own personal feelings.

    It is really too bad things are the way they are, because two-wheelers are more efficient, less costly, and if our culture could better adapt to them like other cultures have, they could provide a very viable solution right now.

    Even when municipalities try to designate bicyclists their own lanes, other motorists drive in them. Actually cordoning off a separate lane is not especially practical. It narrows available space for car drivers (the majority) and costs money to do. It represents a compromise in my view that I’m not sure is really necessary – or it shouldn’t be necessary, anyway.

    The ideal solution would be waking up from our own personal wants, and being responsible for ourselves, and to other people. Easier said than done, I know.

    Much more is involved in the whole discussion, but these are a few factors.

    I get real sensitive around these issues, because some people tend to become very selfish about what is “right.” Car drivers feel based on their wants and needs, and cyclists can get their back up in the opposite direction.

    I knew a bicycle rider in his 50s who was confronted by three guys who from their truck told him he should be on the sidewalk. He argued with them, so they hopped out, beat him up, and put him in the hospital.

    Now he won’t ride without a firearm. He keeps it in his fanny pack, locked and loaded.

    What a mess. This is where extremes can go when we have ill-founded arguments. Solutions are possible, but we need a balanced presentation of the facts.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (1:17 pm)

    john1701a,

    That’s fine John. I am not contesting your assertions. I haven’t studied it, and that was not the thrust of what I was saying.

    To each his own. Drive your Prius, advocate for it, and believe it is a good solution all you want.

    People buy products for different sets of reasons. It is their right to feel what is important to them and it may not always line up with your sensibility.

    Even Toyota knows this, or it would not have a cross section of cars and trucks for a wide variety of people.

    Obviously most people here like the Volt. It suits them. Are you trying to convince them to consider a Prius instead? What are you trying to accomplish?


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (2:07 pm)

    Jeff Cobb:
    john1701a,

    Obviously most people here like the Volt. It suits them. Are you trying to convince them to consider a Prius instead? What are you trying to accomplish?

    John’s posts tend to bother because he is degrading the value of GM efforts in designing, manufacturing, and selling the Volt, especially on a forum for Volt followers and users. He could spend a better time posting in favor of the Prius at a Prius forum. I know that the present Volt owners will never visit a Prius forum and write bad posts about it, like John has been doing here. So he should be voted off and all his posts erased after passing the -10 mark.

    Personally I believe in the American right for free speech, but posting against an American vehicle isn’t what that right was intended for. His bashings are definitely un-American. I can’t tell if he is American born, because he doesn’t show respect to an American icon: the Chevy car.

    He is upset because GM has a better vehicle than his Prius, but he can’t sell or trade it so he uses this free forum as revenge. He probably couldn’t afford to post here if GM-Volt began a subscription-only forum and bill all members for every posting. Could he be angry at Toyota but projects his bashing at GM? If so, he needs professional help!

    Raymond


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (2:17 pm)

    Jeff Cobb:

    Obviously most people here like the Volt. It suits them. Are you trying to convince them to consider a Prius instead? What are you trying to accomplish?

    I’ve been pushing for an affordable model of Volt.

    Remember that original goal of $30,000?


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (2:26 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: Part of why cycling is dangerous is negligent drivers. A big part.

    #132

    Absolutely true. I’m not arguing with a thing you’re saying. +1 in fact. I’m just saying that it’s dangerous. When an unprotected human body on a spindly bike goes up against a 2 ton car, advantage car.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (2:27 pm)

    So are you saying the sole purpose of your posts has been to create interest for a $30,000 Volt? Or are there other reasons?

    Would you buy one at that price?


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (2:31 pm)

    Noel Park,

    No doubt Noel. It’s a sticky wicket to be sure, and I agree with you that they are dangerous to one degree or the other. We all pick our risk tolerance. People who gravitate to bikes, hopefully, do so because they are proficient at them which helps their odds, if so.

    Sorry I got so long winded on that post. It touches on an even broader topic of society calling for solutions for effects, and not causes.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (2:33 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: Are you trying to convince them to consider a Prius instead? What are you trying to accomplish?

    #133

    Compared to the abuse I’ve seen on other blogs, John is positively civil. I don’t agree with him but I just sort of grin and click “-1″ whenever he appears. I understand Jackson’s frustration, but I treasure the right to free speech. I would much rather endure John’s “contributions” than I would to see ANYONE banned. Don’t forget, we have had people posting here who were orders of magnitude more irritating than John. We just voted their comments “off the island” often enough, and ignored them long enough, and they just faded away on their own.

    I think that the blog would suffer a very serious loss of credibility if we started “banning” people we found irritating. After all, I could be next, LOL. Just grin and bear it is my advice.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (2:44 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: We all pick our risk tolerance.

    #138

    Well I’m a life long motorcyclist and a vintage race car driver, so my risk tolerance is pretty high.

    As I said, I’m hypersensitive about bicycles because we almost lost our son in what appeared to be a single bike crash, although nobody will ever know for sure. He suffered a very serious closed skull TBI. He was wearing a top line helmet or he almost certainly would have been killed instantly. The rehab process was a life changer for all of us. His recovery was noting short of miraculous IMHO, and a great tribute to his mental toughness and determination. And he was VERY fit from all of the bike riding, which certainly helped a lot.

    The rehab center had a psychologist who worked with the patients and the families. He said that of all of the sports related ER visits in the US, including football, motorcycle riding, boxing, hockey, you name it, by far the most result from bicycle accidents. This is clearly largely due to the relative rates of participation, but still……………………

    As I tell my motorcycle friends, you have to be an ultimate defensive driver/rider. Watch every car every second and ask yourself “What can that stupid SOB do to try to kill me?”. And then make damned sure that they can’t get it done.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (2:48 pm)

    Noel Park: I understand Jackson’s frustration, but I treasure the right to free speech. I would much rather endure John’s “contributions” than I would to see ANYONE banned. Don’t forget, we have had people posting here who were orders of magnitude more irritating than John. We just voted their comments “off the island” often enough, and ignored them long enough, and they just faded away on their own.

    The duration for all of those “who were orders of magnitude more irritating than John” put together would not stack up to half the reign of John the High Priust. His missives are kind of like Chinese water torture: drip … drip … drip without end (or do I mean Japanese water torture, lol?). I am tempted to suggest that voting is the price of this particular freedom; and that there are too many who tolerate John-boy without voting him down (the votes are also freedom of speech, don’t you think?).

    Even so, I’d gladly make an exception to give John a “lifetime achievement award” of being banned; but to satisfy the high-minded purists among us, how ’bout a compromise? More than 4 [-10]s in a thread dumps all comments by that user, and prevents more from being posted … for the duration of that thread. Everything gets reset for the next post. Of course, neither this or the present-day voting system will help much if his comments get quoted in replies.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (2:56 pm)

    Noel Park,

    That is perfectly understandable. I’m glad he pulled through. That must have been really hard on you. You’re right, being fit helps with injuries.

    Your advice about watching out and not trusting someone to be watching out for you is right on too.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (2:58 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: So are you [John1701a] saying the sole purpose of your posts has been to create interest for a $30,000 Volt?

    John has often expressed the attitude that failure of the first attempt to achieve the initial “comfortably under $30,000″ goal negates the entire project, and renders the Volt an irrecoverable failure for all time. Comparisons to the first Prius falls on deaf ears, and he steadfastly refuses to accept a future in which Volt prices drop.

    I mentioned “denial” in my plea for bannination; and I think you’ll find that this often manifests itself as a refusal to recognize his own lack of intellectual honesty, or of negative intent; at least in his written comments. He has always pretended to be a friend of this site, while representing the beliefs of a fiend; I think this is what most frustrates me as I read him.

    Jeff Cobb: What are you trying to accomplish?

    A clue may be found here:

    http://www.john1701a.com


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (3:42 pm)

    More on http://www.john1701a.com, courtesy of Bing and:

    http://seedspiller.com/john1701a.com

    “Contact the owner of this domain at john1701a at worldnet.att.net”

    John Fagnant

    (I believe this is John Matthew Fagnant of Apple Valley, MN; but who knows if People Finder { http://www.123people.com/s/john+fagnant } is accurate? Assuming it is, I wonder which one of those pictures is him?).

    (Back to http://www.john1701a.com): Dedicated hosting on a managed server with the address 75.167.217.158

    The domain name John1701a.com uses a generic TLD and has an Unknown hosting company.

    Will investigations continue? I don’t know; will John-boy ever return to gm-volt? Stay Tuned.

    72eflg.jpg


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (4:07 pm)

    Jackson: More on http://www.john1701a.com, courtesy of Bing and:

    Resorting to a personal attack rather than simply acknowledge the benefit of having a second more affordable model of Volt. That’s pretty sad.

    Happy Earth Day!


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (4:13 pm)

    john1701a: That’s pretty sad.

    Poor, sad, aggrieved little Prius boy; dragging his high horse all the way home.

    And a Happy Easter to you, too.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (4:15 pm)

    john1701a: I’ve been pushing for an affordable model of Volt.
    Remember that original goal of $30,000?

    Not to get roped into this one, but I believe I asked you, charlie h, and ericLG if you won a free car and had to choose to between the Volt & the Prius, no strings attached, all of you somehow rationalized accepting the Prius. So it’s not just the price you have problems with, but also the design (for whatever reason).


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (4:20 pm)

    We are not the only John-boy sufferers:

    http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f19/time-john1701a-get-chevrolet-volt-96629/

    I like “Plane.”


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    Like_Budda

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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (4:59 pm)

    Jackson,
    If you want an even bigger belly-laugh, follow the link you provided to john1701a.com, then use the “Prius Logs” link follow his most recent anti-Volt diatribe.

    Honestly I don’t know whether to hate him or feel sorry for him. He’s obviously dillusional but appears to believe he’s some sort of Eco-Christ come to save the world from big bad GM and their reign of Voltaic eco-terror!
    Now I know why WopOnTour in the forums refers to him as “John the Prius Apostle” lol
    .LB

    P.S. – In order to see his most recent rantings you have to follow the link to 2011 #506 on the left frame, and page forward from there.

    This poor kid needs help
    (or a perhaps just a good woman as from what I can tell he’s a hermit that lives with his Prius in a shack under a bridge in Minnesota)

    Jackson: More on http://www.john1701a.com, courtesy of Bing and:http://seedspiller.com/john1701a.com“Contact the owner of this domain at john1701a at worldnet.att.net” John Fagnant(I believe this is John Matthew Fagnant of Apple Valley, MN; but who knows if People Finder { http://www.123people.com/s/john+fagnant } is accurate? Assuming it is, I wonder which one of those pictures is him?).(Back to http://www.john1701a.com): Dedicated hosting on a managed server with the address 75.167.217.158The domain name John1701a.com uses a generic TLD and has an Unknown hosting company.Will investigations continue? I don’t know; will John-boy ever return to gm-volt? Stay Tuned.


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    Apr 22nd, 2011 (5:02 pm)

    PDNFTT. You’re just encouraging him IMHO


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Apr 23rd, 2011 (8:02 am)

    Like_Budda: (or a perhaps just a good woman as from what I can tell he’s a hermit that lives with his Prius in a shack under a bridge in Minnesota)

    With pictures of planetary gearsets under his pillow.

    pgearset.jpg


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    Apr 23rd, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    Like_Budda,

    LOL, you guys are way ahead of me.


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    Apr 23rd, 2011 (1:42 pm)

    Like_Budda,

    LOL, you guys are way ahead of me.

    Sometimes knowing who someone is helps to reduce and dismiss the peskiness.
    There just isn’t apparently a way to have anything technically-honest to discuss there.

    Back on topic,
    It sure would be nice to have a concrete topic regarding MSRP reductions of both the car and the extended warranty. It would carry the most credibility by hearing it exclusively from Dan Akerson himself. This is important at this point in time, because some tiredness is beginning to enter into the picture.

    I think that both the annual savings of gasoline and the tax credit ought to eliminate any concerns that a formally-announced MSRP in about a year or two that is much lower than what is being paid nowadays should not at all stop a concrete timeline discussion, since current owners are really saving lots of gas money and two out of three oil changes per year, which savings are perfectly consistently in comparison to what lower MSRP future promise that there needs to be out here (quite soon).


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    Apr 23rd, 2011 (2:06 pm)

    kdawg: Not to get roped into this one, but I believe I asked you, charlie h, and ericLG if you won a free car and had to choose to between the Volt & the Prius, no strings attached, all of you somehow rationalized accepting the Prius.

    They’re so full of it. By now I’m sure all of them have driven a VOLT and most certainly are aware that the VOLT is superior in Comfort, Performance and Features. They just can’t afford it. So of course they will rationalize a purchase of a lesser car. That thinking applies to any kind of car, gas or electric. It’s not their fault.


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    Apr 23rd, 2011 (7:42 pm)

    nasaman,

    14 MAJOR AWARDS… this has to be a record.

    GM should be jumping on this.

    There are so many real world drivers now… we should be posting these triple digit MPGs.

    GM should be advertising that they have doubled the MPG of the best MPG car to date.

    I cannot remember a single model in a single year achieving so much as the Chevy Volt… I was really excited about the EV1 when it came out… but no one knew about it and the press ignored it… I drove it… it was fantastic. I test drove the Volt two times….The Volt is better… d people actually know about it and the anti American press can’t ignore it… many are eating crow… the Volt is one very bright spot in a dark economy… Thanks again GM people … you are the most under rated company in the world. Give GM and FORD a level playing field and no body could touch them.


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    Apr 23rd, 2011 (7:48 pm)

    john1701a,

    If you are allowed to use the GM card money ($3500) the Volt would cost less than $30K.


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    Apr 23rd, 2011 (7:53 pm)

    john1701a,

    all level driving not going over 26mph…. not very practical… and you could have just rode a bycyle instead just as easy.


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    Apr 23rd, 2011 (9:25 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: They just can’t afford it. So of course they will rationalize a purchase of a lesser car.

    How many times has this question been asked: WHO IS THE MARKET FOR VOLT?

    What would my being able to afford one have to do with the price mainstream consumer need anyway? For that matter, how many former posters here left when they discovered it was priced beyond the reach of middle-market buyers? This one is too expensive to endorse for the masses.

    There’s nothing at all wrong with a high-end configuration, but the one currently available doesn’t meet the expectations for delivery in late 2010. Now gas is $4 per gallon and the focus has shifted to the next generation design. This is what the “too little, too slowly” concern was all about. Making it affordable is one of many requirements not met yet.

    Shoot the messenger all you want. Enjoy what this Volt offers. The model that will replace vehicles like Malibu & Cruze still awaits. Rather than being game-changer, Volt has is a game-player.


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    Apr 23rd, 2011 (10:30 pm)

    From http://www.john1701a.com -> Prius logs -> 3/12/2011 (with replies):

    Confusing Choices. A few Volt enthusiasts still attempt to differentiate “EREV” from being a plug-in hybrid… yet fail to ever explain why?”

    We’ve explained this to you until we’re blue in the face. Most have stopped trying, so here’s a review: EREV stands for Extended Range Electric Vehicle. What this means is that it’s an EV until the charge runs out; then the range is extended beyond the capacity of the battery with a gas-powered electric generator.

    A plug-in hybrid mixes electricity and engine power throughout the car’s driving cycles: More electricity than engine when the plug-in pack is charged, more engine power than electricity when it’s not. The engine must be available to supply supplemental energy at all times. In other words, a Plug-In Hybrid is always a hybrid; it just has a relatively short range within which it is a particularly good one.

    Yes, there is a difference, and a rather important one. The EV mode of the Volt uses almost no gas within the range of it’s battery (this range is around 3 times that of the Plug-In Prius). The “particularly good” hybrid mode of the Prius is still a hybrid mode — subject to the driveability issues inherent in such a car: much poorer performance.

    The fact is, you’ve refused to accept any explanation which does not equate the Volt with pure EVs or any projected version of the Prius. It also seems as though you work rather hard achieve this. It’s really not so difficult a concept to grasp as you’d have everyone believe.

    “Consumers are already confused about hybrids.”

    Well, that’s certainly true. And they don’t need help from screed like yours to feel that way.

    “What benefit is there for a marketing term like “EREV” when the typical consumer will see it as a plug-in hybrid anyway? After all, it has an engine.”

    Just because you cannot see the difference doesn’t mean that everyone else mustn’t either. That’s interesting phraseology, too. You said “the typical consumer will see it as” instead of “it is.” Seems like you actually know more than you’re willing to let on.

    As you delight in pointing out, the initial roll-out of the Volt has been very measured; as one might expect of any vehicle so new. As the flow of Volts increase, many people will the opportunity to learn more from the guy down the street or on the next block who owns one. This will settle a great deal of confusion; especially when they get a ride in a Volt. The benefits will be directly evident. No, this won’t happen quickly. Is this “too slowly?” Only to someone who, like you, refuses to consider any future for the concept. You’ve assumed that a lack of instant saturation at initially hoped-for prices exposes the Volt as a fraud. You’re delirious. Did freighter-loads of Prii begin arriving on our shores a year after the first full-function prototypes?

    More (probably) follows …


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    john1701a

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    Apr 23rd, 2011 (10:56 pm)

    http://www.wane.com/dpp/news/chevy-dealer-debuts-hybrid-electric-car

    The general manager at City Chevrolet in Columbia City thinks one solution is General Motors’ 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

    It’s a hybrid,” Jim Scarbeary said, City Chevrolet general manager. “It’s a half electric, half gas car and it can get over 100 miles per gallon.”


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    Jackson

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    Apr 23rd, 2011 (11:19 pm)

    More from john1701a.com:

    3-13-2011

    Blog Persistence. It certainly seemed to drag on for quite a long time. The supporters of GM on their big forum simply assumed I wanted anything they endorsed to fail, not even bothering to read what was actually posted. None of the other automaker supporters were making “game changer” claims or declaring to be “vastly superior”. It was only them. And with reasoning so weak, it was hard to believe they’d continue to be so narrow-minded about Volt. They absolutely refused to acknowledge any similarities to how expectation & delivery resembled the history of Two-Mode. So, I persisted… documenting much of what was said & done in these blogs. Now, those concerns pointed out are being validated. It’s an unfortunate reality. We watched the “over promise, under deliver” play out, yet again. As that sinks in, we have to consider the fallout. Last year’s smear campaign got ugly. But that’s what happens when the underdog gets desperate. Trying for a more practical outcome, the most sensible approach would be to offer a second model of Volt, one adapted to match mainstream consumers. The current model could become the “special edition”.

    John mentions “narrow minded” yet refuses to acknowledge his own tunnel-vision. Typical.

    They absolutely refused to acknowledge any similarities to how expectation & delivery resembled the history of Two-Mode. So, I persisted… documenting much of what was said & done in these blogs. Now, those concerns pointed out are being validated.

    This is only a possible outcome. We have all had the fear that the Volt would not be supported as we’d hoped. That’s why many of us (most notably Lyle) cultivated many contacts within the corporation, up to and including the head honchos what were (and are) in charge. We were skeptical enough to insist that GM show us something to negate the missives of the trolls — like you — who insist on piddling on the charcoal at our barbecue.

    At first, the Volt was “vaporware,” but then mules were spotted. Then, it was only a research program, until production-intent prototypes were fielded (I drove one of these myself). Now that actual cars are being delivered, it’s “too little, too slowly,” which is supposed to be synonymous with “ain’t gonna happen.” The history I’ve seen is that nay-sayers bray, and are debunked, only to bray another day. When Volts are available in quantity, you’ll simply move on to another argument, and continue to feign sadness or pity for us poor souls.

    Yes, the initial roll-out of two-mode was disappointing, but there is absolutely no reason to insist that history must play out in exactly the same way again. As a matter of fact, the story of two-mode isn’t over yet. The Volt’s story is so much shorter, and has begun so much better. Why do you refuse to see this?

    Trying for a more practical outcome, the most sensible approach would be to offer a second model of Volt, one adapted to match mainstream consumers. The current model could become the “special edition”.

    Good idea. A follow-on model of the Volt has been announced. And, a reduced-cost model after that. But again, it won’t happen instantly; so I guess we’re all still deluded fools in your eyes.

    The supporters of GM on their big forum simply assumed I wanted anything they endorsed to fail, not even bothering to read what was actually posted.

    As a matter of fact John; you do “want … anything [we] endorse … to fail,” and not “simply.” It is because “we bother … to read what [is] actually posted.” Your points are carefully crafted to reinforce your own rather narrow point of view; and you consistently refuse to accept equally relevant (though different) ones. More to the point: your mounting desperation, your wheedling and high-horse condescension, and thinly masked disgust for all others on this blog becomes more evident the later in any thread you post. These things are painfully obvious to us, but apparently invisible to you.

    john1701a: http://www.wane.com/dpp/news/chevy-dealer-debuts-hybrid-electric-car

    The general manager at City Chevrolet in Columbia City thinks one solution is General Motors’ 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

    “It’s a hybrid,” Jim Scarbeary said, City Chevrolet general manager. “It’s a half electric, half gas car and it can get over 100 miles per gallon.”

    How is the misinformed comment of one person relevant? Are you sure you are making reasoned arguments, and not just trying to prosecute on the strength of nit-picking details? In this very thread there is a video link to a Volt story which essentially gets all the facts absolutely right. I’m not going to help you find it, either; because I think you should stop driving from hot-spot to hot-spot voting yourself out of the cellar, long enough to actually read what other people actually post.


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    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 24th, 2011 (3:25 am)

    john1701a: “It’s a hybrid,” Jim Scarbeary said, City Chevrolet general manager. “It’s a half electric, half gas car and it can get over 100 miles per gallon.”

    John has a point here. Since one could say after an average of 40 miles of electric driving, the Volts switches over to driving as a “regular hybrid.”

    Initially an EV at about 25 to around 50 miles of all electric range depending on the season and driving style, and then you get the benefit of driving a normal hybrid from that point on, until you can recharge the battery fully. To then run on electricity from a plug, and not generated incidentally from gas, coasting downhill or regenerative braking only, as in a hybrid. Engine assist is rare in EV mode and only if it leads to higher efficiencies in energy use, or the engine has not run at all for months on end. No it’s not for every one. But a pretty dramatic departure all in all.

    I think it’s a major manufacturing leap to adopt this technology in a production car. But obviously not every one agrees.


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    Dan Petit

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    Apr 24th, 2011 (9:38 am)

    Don C at 112.

    Perfectly fine post, DonC. No need for the negative votes there whatsoever.
    Your contributions are the excellent intellectual value for today, yesterday, the day before, etc. Thanks.

    /..this small and really touchy keyboard is a challenge sometimes, lol. Apparently, I get “voting error” because I press the key too hard in trying to get your positive vote in, DonC. LOL.

    Maybe we could have an automatic double-positive voting capability when that happens, to give proper recognition to DonC!!


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    DonC

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    Apr 24th, 2011 (9:48 am)

    OK. 500 miles. One tenth of a gallon of gas (probably not that much, it’s just that a tenth is smallest increment the car will register). The dealer was nice and delivered the car with a full tank. He should have advertised that the car came with “a year’s worth of gas”.

    Having said that, an EPA range of 50 miles would be 50% than the existing range of 35 miles, especially in the cold weather states.


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    Apr 24th, 2011 (10:05 am)

    When I rode along with a friend in a converted Prius with the Hymotion 10,000 buck battery pack, (with the possible consideration for the study of the business model feasibility of those converstions) at the point where the Prius engine slammed on at only 38 miles an hour, (as I was scanning the PCM with Toyota access software in a Genisys (this is *****not***** spam, please),
    I nearly had a heart attack with the extreme lurching, horrifically-loud engine over revs, and the general total unacceptability of the setup. The conversion was not at all acceptable. So, I reaffirm that DonC knows exactly what is going on inside the Prius.


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    DonC

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    Apr 24th, 2011 (10:07 am)

    Can’t we agree that the Volt is plug-in hybrid? Seems obvious to me that it is. However, there is a world of difference between a plug-in serial hybrid and a plug-in parallel hybrid. No comparison. I don’t have a problem with GM calling the Volt a Extended Range Electric Vehicle, but technically it’s more or less a serial hybrid, even if it’s an EXTREMELY refined one, and I don’t see any reason not to recognize this fact.

    The big difference between an EREV and a traditional serial hybrid, and the reason GM doesn’t want the Volt to get lumped in with serial hybrids, is that in a true serial hybrid the drive characteristics between CD Mode and CS Mode will be significantly different. You run off the battery and then you run the generator. This would be illustrated by the BYD plug-in serial hybrid. It drives completely differently when in CD Mode when running off the battery than when it’s running in CD Mode and running the engine.

    The Volt doesn’t work this way. It seamlessly blends the engine with the battery when in CS Mode. The GM engineers made a big deal about the fact that the Volt drives EXACTLY the same way when in Charge Sustaining and Charge Depleting Modes. What may not be obvious is how great this is. To understand the advantages you have to appreciate how the driving characteristics of the Volt are so superior to a comparable ICE vehicle or a plug-in parallel hybrid. You know, Tag’s “butterfly kiss” line. (Once they get over the fact it’s not a golf cart, people who have driven my Volt are completely blown away by how quiet and smooth the drive is.) Given the superior ride characteristics, paying the penalty of “only” getting 37 MPG is well worth it, IMHO.


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    Apr 24th, 2011 (10:19 am)

    There is only one tragedy regarding Volt.
    People who have the opportunity to drive it just only once (then it is “all over”) may be afraid to drive it because of just that.
    I stopped by a dealership way out of town which looked very appealing because it was so new.

    I asked a person on the showroom floor if he had driven the Volt (which was only fifty feet away from him).
    *
    *
    *

    He said “No”.
    *
    *
    *
    “Why not?” I asked.
    *
    *
    *
    “I like to only drive pick ups” he replied.
    *
    *
    *
    Driving the Volt once ought to be a mandatory term for literally **JOB EXPERIENCE** for a sales position or for
    *****any other job at a Chevrolet dealership!!!!!********* to keep or to qualify for the sales or other job position, because the experience itself is the entire new standard of the NewGM.

    **Otherwise, a person is **NOT QUALIFIED TO PROPERLY REPRESENT CHEVROLET**. I am extremely serious about this. (I must confess to not thinking something very charitable when he said that and laughed with seeming contempt.) (No wonder why that magnificent showroom and spectacular new dealership had not one customer anywhere on the two separate days I visited. It was spooky even.)


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    MichaelH

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    Apr 24th, 2011 (10:32 am)

    Have a Happy and Blessed Easter everyone! :-)

    Michael in New Mexico, Volt #1761


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Apr 24th, 2011 (11:12 am)

    I still think “PEEPS” are gross. Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs are the best.
    Happy Easter.


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    Rashiid Amul

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    Apr 24th, 2011 (12:41 pm)

    john1701a: This one is too expensive to endorse for the masses.

    Ugg. This kills me to say, but you are correct. The price needs to drop before there is wide mass adoption. But it takes time. This Volt is a good start and will only get better. Can you recognize that it is at least a good start?


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    Rashiid Amul

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    Apr 24th, 2011 (12:54 pm)

    Dictionary.com has many definitions for the word Hybrid.
    The first one seems close to this subject.
    the offspring of two animals or plants of different breeds, varieties, species, or genera, especially as produced through human manipulation for specific genetic characteristics.

    The electric motor and the gas engine are very different from each other, and they are both in this car. I have been here from the beginning and I see our Extended Range Electric Vehicle as a hybrid.
    It has two distinctly different technologies under the hood.

    But in the end, does it really matter what we call it? As long as we adopt it en masse, that is what is important.


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    PJK

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    Apr 24th, 2011 (6:51 pm)

    DonC: Well last year Toyota, concerned that it wouldn’t be able to import any Prius into the US, settled after a finding that its HSD violated a patent. By way of comparison, Ford hasn’t settled.

    Settled with who?

    They already have sold hundreds of thousands of Prius in the US and sucked up hundreds of millions in taxpayer money…. this was probably nothing.

    “Wouldn’t be able to import the Prius?… that’s funny.
    While they keep ALL US cars OUT of the Japanese market.

    This is why nothing changes… nobody cares how many Americans lose their jobs… too many Americans work for the government and could care less. And the rest have been dumbed down so much by our media they think nothing is wrong.

    Here’s another Toyota law suit…. Toyota sued GM claiming GM had a “unfair advantage” because GM buildS cars and trucks with stainless steel exhausts and galvanized metal bodies…
    and Toyota won… GM is not allowed to advertise this advantage…. and GM tested one of those Toyota trucks… one night in the corrosion lab they had to bring in a high lift to get it out.. the frame collapsed…. But Consumers reports rated the trucks “superior” to the Chevy… which was totally wrong… the frames rusted out after just 6 years.

    We should tax the Japanese Germans Koreans just like they tax us… then we would start to see what a fair Global economy would be for the US. There will never be a FAIR “Global Economy” because they know they could never compete fairly with the US.


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    Apr 24th, 2011 (9:24 pm)

    PJK: We should tax the Japanese Germans Koreans just like they tax us… then we would start to see what a fair Global economy would be for the US. There will never be a FAIR “Global Economy” because they know they could never compete fairly with the US.

    This will never happen. We have way too many pansy a$$ed congresspeople in Washington. :(


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    gmtx2652

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    Apr 24th, 2011 (10:57 pm)

    #132 Was racing my brother on my new 10-speed one day, and it ticked me off that he was keeping up on his 1-speed. Geared down and apparently gripped the front brake. Bike and rider did a somersault, then I let go and watched the bike do a couple more. Had a couple scrapes but nothing major on the asphalt (no helmet-back in the 70′s or early 80′s). Also rode a dirt bike briefly, but failed to master the throttle and put the front wheel in the air. Deposited myself right on my a$$ and scuffed that one up too.

    Honda PCX looks interesting at 110 mpg and freeway-legal 125cc, but there is something to be said for doors, glass and sheet metal…

    Back in 2006 I purchased a Mercury Mariner Hybrid for the wife to drive, with the thought that I might get the Hymotion L-12 system. Sadly, it appears they discontinued it. Thought about getting a Prius and converting that, but the Volt is my No. 1 choice. After the earthquake, Prius prices have increased while availability has shrunk.

    http://www.insideline.com/toyota/prius/is-toyota-prius-falling-off-shopping-lists-in-quake-aftermath.html

    Meanwhile, there is a Volt coming in next week at a local dealership. Tempting.

    GM seems to have found a winner with it’s E-Assist package too. New Malibu specs are interesting. Now if they could only put it in a 2-door package…


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    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 25th, 2011 (9:00 am)

    DonC: However, there is a world of difference between a plug-in serial hybrid and a plug-in parallel hybrid. No comparison.

    Yet the Volt is both. The vehicle chooses whichever mode is most efficient. Seamlessly and without any effort from the driver.