Aug 25

Two American-owned automakers contemplate hybridization partnerships

 

An old English proverb says, “Adversity makes strange bedfellows,” and so it could be with both Ford and GM-owned Opel/Vauxhall, which are respectively eying alliances with others to more effectively tackle automobile electrification challenges.

In Ford’s case, this week it was reported it and Toyota have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to co-develop a hybrid light-duty truck powertrain this decade.

Fast on the heels of that news, yesterday Automotive News reported that Opel/Vauxhall is also looking for someone to team up with to share development costs for more gasoline-electric cars.


Opel Ampera.

The aforementioned “adversity” now compelling partnerships could be any or all factors adding up to high costs automakers must face as they attempt to prepare for challenging conditions.

What conditions are those? They could include altruistic intentions toward making the world a cleaner, less wasteful place, and helping humanity solve environmental and energy hurdles in light of waning petroleum and increased pollution.

Or, short of voluntary compliance with such noble ideals, the reality is they have to, regardless, as various legislative bodies are tightening the screws on automakers with efficiency mandates.

Yes, the writing is clearly on the wall pushing manufacturers to make expedient business decisions to stay ahead of the curve, if at all possible.

One specific looming incentive for the U.S Ford-Toyota deal is pending CAFE rules that by 2025 will mandate a “54.5 mpg” standard (equal to around 40 mpg on the window sticker).

Ford and Toyota

This week the two companies said they’d been talking for months since a chance meeting took place in an airport between Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Toyota President Akio Toyoda.

The exact airport and date wasn’t reported, but the story has it that they began discussing ideas, exchanged cards, and kept the dialogue going. Now, months later, the two companies are expected to announce a formal agreement next year.

The East-meets-West collaboration could very well see Ford putting something like a Prius drivetrain into its best-selling F-series pickups, and possibly other light-duty trucks. Toyota at the same time will hybridize its own Tundra and Sequoia-sized vehicles, and possibly others.


2012 Harley-Davidson Ford F-150. How would you like to see a hybrid version of this?

“We expect to create exciting and socially beneficial technologies with Ford, and we can do so because our two companies have enough experience to create a synergy effect in hybrid technology,” said Takeshi Uchiyamada, a Toyota executive vice president.

Note that his chosen words included two out of three of the proprietary words Toyota uses to describe its “Hybrid Synergy Drive.”

The timing for a formal Ford-Toyota agreement may be about when the Obama administration settles the details of its proposed doubling of current CAFE mandates.

As it stands, the CAFE plan calls for 5-percent annual increases that won’t immediately affect pickup trucks until 2019, unless a mid-year review to the plan in 2018 changes the mandates for those vehicles.

Whether the rules change mid-way or not, as tentative plans are now written, after 2019 annual efficiency increases would be required for pickups at a rate yet to be determined. By 2022, pickup trucks are expected to be mandated to achieve the same 5-percent annual increases as passenger vehicles will.

The CAFE rules also say light trucks other than full-sized pickups would have to make 3.5 percent increases in mileage standards in the 2017-21 model years and 5 percent annual increases in the 2022-25 model years.

In the months of talks prior to the rules being settled, the major thrust of objections by auto industry stakeholders to the Obama CAFE clamp being tightened was it would cost a fortune, and make their vehicles uncompetitive.

It was also said consumers would bypass potentially expensive-to-make vehicles in favor of what they wanted, further jeopardizing the profitability of automakers forced to improve efficiency for their vehicles.

Ford and Toyota appear to have found a way toward deflecting this threat by splitting development costs.

“By working together we will be able to serve our customers with the very best affordable, advanced powertrains, delivering even better fuel economy,” Ford CEO Alan Mulally said in a statement. “This is the kind of collaborative effort that is required to address the big global challenges of energy independence and environmental sustainability.”

While it is being said Ford F-Series pickups and possibly E-Series vans would be beneficiaries, Automotive News reported the companies did not release financial details or identify which specific vehicles will be involved.

What is known, according to Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s vice president of product development, is that product development teams from Ford and Toyota began meeting on the collaboration in April.

“This agreement brings together the capability of two global leaders in hybrid vehicles and hybrid technology to develop a better solution more quickly and affordably for our customers,” said Kuzak.

If it goes through, the deal looks like it could help Ford a lot, as Toyota knows how to squeak out efficiency. Its 2012 Camry Hybrid, for example, was just announced as gaining a 24-percent improvement in city driving efficiency, now pegged at 43 mpg. Not bad for a mid-size car. Merging that technology, combined with lessons yet to be learned in the next several years into a Ford truck might be just what the doctor ordered.

Incidentally, this will make the second hybrid/plug-in-tech collaboration for Toyota in recent news, as the company has also been working with Tesla in developing solutions, with a one $100 million contract already made, and reports of a $1 billion deal also having been discussed.

The dealings between Toyota – for now still the world’s largest automaker – have definitely been a leg-up for Tesla.

Opel/Vauxhall

There is less to report about this GM-controlled company as it is only now looking for a dance partner – but looking, it is.

“Hybrid technology is becoming increasingly more important. We are not holding any concrete talks but a cooperation would be certainly a good way to cut costs,” Opel CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke told the national German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung yesterday.

In this company’s case, the motivation to partner is essentially the same as it is between Ford and Toyota, but on a different continent, and considering different legislated mandates.

Stracke said European law insists by 2020 carmakers’ offerings must emit no more than 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer.


Note he calls the Apera a “pure electric vehicle.” That’s a bit more bold than trying to call it an “extended-range electric vehicle.”

“We need hybrid technology starting with compact cars and upwards,” Stracke said.

Opel will begin selling the U.S.-made Ampera in November for a pre-grant price of 42,900 euros As we previously reported, the vehicle is already well on its way toward being pre-sold for 10,000 initial units, and the company would like GM to cut loose some more.

“Maybe we even hit 12,000 or more,” Stracke said.

One advantage Europeans have that facilitates acceptance for plug-in vehicles is that ordinary household electric current is 230 volts, instead of the 120 found in the U.S..

This means recharging with the included charger will replenish a Volt or Ampera’s 16-kwh battery in under three hours, according to Vauxhall (see video).

How well the Ampera (and European Volt) does sales-wise will determine whether the company moves forward to begin assembly in Europe.

“We need a business case for maybe 40,000, 50,000, 60,000 vehicles a year, then maybe it makes sense to locally manufacturer it on the Continent or even in the UK,” Stracke said.

In the mean time, Opel/Vauxhall is weighing all options, including doing a deal like Ford and Toyota are working toward and which appears well underway toward settling.

AutoNews, AutoNews, AutoNews.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 25th, 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: 101


  1. 1
    Roy_H

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (6:20 am)

    I believe Ford already has licensed Toyota’s synergy hybrid drive for their existing hybrids. I have wondered if this also included buying parts from Toyota. In any case, I think the Ford-Toyota relationship pre-dates the chance meeting at the airport. On the surface, this looks like a one-way deal where Ford gets access to Toyota technology, I wonder what Ford is able to give Toyota? Money?


  2. 2
    WVhybrid

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (7:31 am)

    I think Ford likes to say they licensed the Toyota hybrid patents because they couldn’t figure a way around the Toyota patents and still get the performance needed. The truth is probably somewhere in between.


  3. 3
    joe

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (7:39 am)

    The Prius Senergy basic system does not lend itself for hauling heavy loads so it would not work well for pickup trucks. On the other hand, GM’s Two Mode transmission is design for hauling heavy loads.

    Toyota and Ford will collaborate and by the end of the decade, hopes of having a system. As it stands today, Toyota and Ford are ten years behind of GM’s Two Mode transmission…..they have their work cutout for them. Why Ford didn’t buy GM’s Two Mode technology is, in my opinion, a big mistake. With Japan, those deals never seems to work in favor of the American companies. Also, this will also tarnish Ford’s engineering expertise bragging rights and at the end, they will get burnt.


  4. 4
    T 1

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:20 am)

    Hope they didn’t meet in the men’s room. ;^0


  5. 5
    Loboc

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:23 am)

    joe: Toyota and Ford are ten years behind of GM’s Two Mode transmission

    I thought that GM, Chrysler and Ford were cooperating in this effort about 10 years ago. Chrysler actually announced plans to make a hybrid RAM based on this technology before the shjt hit the fan.


  6. 6
    At_Liberty

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:26 am)

    Sometimes you have to look at the pieces of the puzzle that are missing.
    You have here two giant behemoth global manufacturers that are shoving all ego aside to work out some future drivetrain tech to compete in the NA market…
    Ostensibly this is because of the new CAFE targets.
    Then you have Opel/Vauxhall casting about for partners, but that is just to target the Europe regulatory space.

    What’s missing? What’s silent? GM, that’s what.
    I think they are working and advancing on electrified trucks, and Ford and Toyota are spooked.
    I know it’s presumptuous but the silence is deafening.
    I think this is good news, fellas.

    Relatedly, the performance teams of Ford, GM and Chrysler… someone somewhere must have seen all the videos of homemade EVs smoking expensive BMWs and Corvettes and the like at the drag strips (I’m thinking of the White Zombie of Portland, Oregon, which video is already a few years old).
    It would be absolutely negligent if these R&D departments were not exploring the performance aspects of electric drivetrains… again, the silence is deafening…


  7. 7
    DonC

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:28 am)

    It makes sense for Ford and Toyota to collaborate on hybrid truck technology for two reasons. One is that they use a similar TRW hybrid technology for their cars. The other is that neither has a hybrid technology for their trucks. (And as the article points out they need one).

    Ford and Toyota already cross license their hybrid technology. What Toyota calls its hybrid split drive was invented by TRW in the 1960s. Both Ford and Toyota added a microprocessor to the TRW system and developed very similar planetary based hybrid systems. At some point Toyota sued Ford for infringement on its hybrid technology and Ford counter sued for infringement. Given that both companies’ technology was 100% derivative of the TRW patents, they quickly figured out that there was no chance that either would prevail and probably figured out there was a very good chance that all their patents would be found invalid. Whatever the reasons, they settled. No money changed hands and they agreed to cross license all their technology.

    IOW Ford is not a junior partner using Toyota technology any more than Toyota is a junior partner using Ford technology. The technologies are more or less equal. Both companies are going to have to step up their game if they are to extend their technology to trucks because the technology doesn’t scale well. In this regard, as mentioned, the GM two-mode system, based on earlier Allison technology, is much better suited for larger vehicles. (Interestingly Nissan follows GM in this area). Perhaps this is a reason why GM, knowing it has a technological lead and the technology to meet the new standards, didn’t resist the increased fuel economy standards for trucks.


  8. 8
    Raymondjram

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:33 am)

    WVhybrid:
    I think Ford likes to say they licensed the Toyota hybrid patents because they couldn’t figure a way around the Toyota patents and still get the performance needed.The truth is probably somewhere in between.

    Your first statement is true.

    Ford was searching through the patents while developing the Escape Hybrid, and saw Toyota’s ideas were similar to theirs, so they pay licensing fees to prevent legal issues, although Ford NEVER used Toyota’s ideas. This is to stop all those hybrid haters saying that Ford was using Toyota’s hybrid system, which is totally false.

    I know, because I researched Ford hybrid development on the Escape, planning to buy one (I have the Ford Escape Hybrid Service Manual), but no local Ford dealer had one for sale in 2009, so I bought a Chevy Equinox instead.

    I wish Ford can expand the battery pack on the Escape Hybrid, and make it a better plug-in SUV than what Toyota can do for its hybrids. Even a 20-mile CD range is good enough!

    Raymond


  9. 9
    Shawn Marshall

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:40 am)

    Fear of the CO2 boogeyman runs amok – and the taxpayer will bear the burden both in ludicrous taxes, higher energy costs and higher vehicle costs.

    I am a fan of all sorts of EV cars and trucks but they must make their own way in the marketplace. Government planning of our economy will inevitably result in disaster.
    Moderate levels of research support are definitely appropriate, especially if funded by a $1 a barrel tariff on foreign (not domestic) oil.

    Is the time coming when we all drive vintage cars as in Cuba? We live in Bizzaroworld.


  10. 10
    Nelson

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:44 am)

    OT,
    Seems like A123 (AONE) stock if heading to its 52 week hi on pure speculation or insider leak.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  11. 11
    LauraM

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:55 am)

    At_Liberty: What’s missing? What’s silent? GM, that’s what.
    I think they are working and advancing on electrified trucks, and Ford and Toyota are spooked.
    I know it’s presumptuous but the silence is deafening.
    I think this is good news, fellas

    GM owns Opel/Vauxhall. That means they have full access to anything GM comes up with.


  12. 12
    stuart22

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:00 am)

    The Ford/Toyota deal seems a bit of a desperation move for both. I’d say they both realize they’ve fallen behind GM in exploiting the green market and fear not being able to keep up. If they don’t, their products will risk being seen as obsolete when they hit the marketplace.

    The first ten years after WWII was a critical period in drivetrain development. The brands that kept up with the advances prospered while those that did not were doomed, such as Packard who kept using flathead straight-8 engines up until 1955.

    It’s going to be a similar story with green technology. Those automakers who are leading the way will prosper, those who fall back will suffer.


  13. 13
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:10 am)

    GM already has a huge jump on Toyota and Ford with their 2 mode truck transmission. This transmission is extremely advanced and, according to WOT there is an updated one in the works that makes it even more efficient. While some have said bad things about this transmission/ truck combo (ie it’s high cost), this is no reason to discredit it. GM will find ways to make it more cost effective. I believe part of the cost problem was the way it was packaged w/ other expensive features. That problem is easily solved.

    WOT said he was going to write an article on it.

    Hopefully either he or GM themselves will start talking this Hybrid up and let us know a little more of the companies plans in this regard.


  14. 14
    Jackson

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:14 am)

    How often have participants in this site lobbied GM for a light truck EREV? The answer we’ve always gotten is that the technology wasn’t ready for larger vehicles. Now, there is a deal with A123, and a greenlight for the EVR (Converj), which was also delayed for want of performance. Isn’t it time for GM to reconsider?

    Granted, a pickup (even a light one) would need to get plenty of engine power when needed; for heavy loads and/or towing (which would quickly deplete the pack). However, most of the people who buy these vehicles most often use them to carry one person to and fro commuting (or some other low-mileage errand), with heavy loads reserved for alternate weekends. An EREV system for these ‘commuting’ trips would add up to a lot of energy savings, in a vehicle which must also carry a sizable engine.

    It seems like GM could built two-mode into a PHEV truck at the very least — without a collaboration with another automaker.


  15. 15
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:18 am)

    DonC:

    Ford and Toyota already cross license their hybrid technology. What Toyota calls its hybrid split drive was invented by TRW in the 1960s. Both Ford and Toyota added a microprocessor to the TRW system and developed very similar planetary based hybrid systems. At some point Toyota sued Ford for infringement on its hybrid technology and Ford counter sued for infringement. Given that both companies’ technology was 100% derivative of the TRW patents, they quickly figured out that there was no chance that either would prevail and probably figured out there was a very good chance that all their patents would be found invalid. Whatever the reasons, they settled. No money changed hands and they agreed to cross license all their technology.

    Great input if true DonC


  16. 16
    George S. Bower

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:20 am)

    DonC:

    In this regard, as mentioned, the GM two-mode system is much better suited for larger vehicles. (Interestingly Nissan follows GM in this area). Perhaps this is a reason why GM, knowing it has a technological lead and the technology to meet the new standards, didn’t resist the increased standards for trucks.

    plus ten on that DonC!


  17. 17
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:25 am)

    DonC,

    I thought the 2 mode was jointly developed by General Motors, Daimler, and Chrysler LLC, with BMW joining in 2005.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Hybrid_Cooperation


  18. 18
    Mitch

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:32 am)

    OT

    How you drive matters a lot, I have said it over and over…take the most efficient car inthe world and drive like a maniac and you will not set any records.

    Unlike this Aussie couple in a Chev ECO Cruze…

    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/08/aussie-hypermilers-set-mileage-record/


  19. 19
    Jackson

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:33 am)

    More thoughts on a GM EREV truck:

    A battery pack behind the cab would move the center of gravity rearward: The inherent instability of a front-heavy/rear-drive design has been a problem for light-loaded driveability since the beginning of the type. (I have been told that RWD is default on pickups because of it’s advantages when towing).

    Under high load conditions, the EREV system would function as a PHEV; running the engine only when necessary, or adding electric power to engine power under acceleration.

    After the pack depletion point, the truck would behave like a strong hybrid (in a partial CS mode).

    Might it have an EREV system powering the front wheels, with the engine powering rear wheels through a shaft (from the modified EREV transmission)?


  20. 20
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:53 am)

    Jackson: More thoughts on a GM EREV truck:

    A battery pack behind the cab would move the center of gravity rearward:T

    I believe the GM 2mode Hybrid truck has the battery under the rear seat.

    Just slapping a Volt EREV system into a heavy duty truck won’t work. Way more torque is required…..thus the addition of more pg sets and the ability to mix straight gear shifting and the blending of the 2 MG’s in Hybrid mode.


  21. 21
    Jackson

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (12:00 pm)

    George S. Bower: I believe the GM 2mode Hybrid truck has the battery under the rear seat.

    Just slapping a Volt EREV system into a heavy duty truck won’t work. Way more torque is required…..thus the addition of more pg sets and the ability to mix straight gear shifting and the blending of the 2 MG’s in Hybrid mode.

    But perhaps not impossible for a light truck, which was the topic of both the article and the discussion. No one said anything about “heavy duty,” and I agree that any such thing isn’t likely for a long time.

    If you carefully re-read my #19, you’ll see that I wasn’t proposing “Just slapping a Volt EREV system” into a truck. The system I proposed would behave differently under different conditions; without additional motors or controllers: However, it would require a more robust pack to provide meaningful AER or PHEV range (which would probably push the pack further rearward). I concede that it would likely require a stronger form of the transmission. I was also suggesting that the built in differential character of the modified EREV transmission might allow engine power to be transferred to the rear wheels under heavy loads (instead of mixing it slightly into the front ones as in the Volt’s CS mode).

    I’m not sure what you mean by “more pg sets,” perhaps you should elaborate.


  22. 22
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (12:14 pm)

    Jackson: But perhaps not a light truck, which was the topic of both the article and the discussion.

    I don’t see that the article’s topic was a light truck. It was about partnering.

    article quote:

    “Opel/Vauxhall

    There is less to report about this GM-controlled company as it is only now looking for a dance partner – but looking, it is.”

    I guess I don’t understand why Opel/ Vauxhall would need to look for another partner. GM has everything they need.


  23. 23
    Jackson

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (12:18 pm)

    George S. Bower: don’t see that the article’s topic was a light truck. It was about partnering.

    article quote:

    “Opel/Vauxhall

    There is less to report about this GM-controlled company as it is only now looking for a dance partner – but looking, it is.”

    Let me help. Article quote:

    “In Ford’s case, this week it was reported it and Toyota have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to co-develop a hybrid light-duty truck powertrain this decade.”

    At the very least, this was a strong sub-topic. It was this I was responding to in #14. Apparently I didn’t make that clear enough.

    I also used “light truck” in that comment, which I was continuing in #19.

    George S. Bower: I guess I don’t understand why Opel/ Vauxhall would need to look for another partner. GM has everything they need.

    I fully agree.


  24. 24
    pjkPA

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (12:31 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  25. 25
    Jackson

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (12:37 pm)

    George S. Bower: Way more torque is required…..thus the addition of more pg sets and the ability to mix straight gear shifting and the blending of the 2 MG’s in Hybrid mode.

    OK. If you mean that the engine power needs multiple ratios to the wheels, I can see that. As you said, you cannot “Just” drop a Volt EREV transmission into a truck, but in many ways that design resembles a conventional automatic. Perhaps it would be possible to combine additional planetary ratios inside the case, in a specially designed EREV truck tranny (or EREV equipment added to a conventional tranny, it depends on how you look at it).

    The transmission I imagine would deliver engine power to the rear wheels, instead of blending it with the EV (which would drive the front wheels). The planetary gearsets we are already familiar with in the EREV transmission have a differential character to them; under heavy load conditions, most power would be diverted to the rear wheels sooner. Under light load, the power split to the rear wheels would be diverted later, and less often. (You would transfer the engine power from the split through the multiple ratios; and perhaps the front wheels (driven as in the Volt today) would be able to ‘help,’ to a degree). In light-loaded AER mode, the engine wouldn’t run at all, and the rear wheels would be unpowered (it would still be available if necessary). There would be no true “CS mode;” rear drive with front-wheel regenerative braking/start-off boost would operate after pack depletion.

    Maybe this isn’t a near-term project after all, but it would sure be a better product (and GM should start thinking about some kind of hybridized light truck now, if they aren’t already. Preferably without a “partnership”).


  26. 26
    DonC

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (12:50 pm)

    George S. Bower: Great input if true DonC

    How can you doubt me? LOL Actually it gets even funnier. Toyota was sued by a company claiming it held the patent for the microprocessor addition. The simplest thing would have been to just say that adding a microprocessor to an existing invention after microprocessors were invented was the embodiment of “obvious”. But Toyota couldn’t do this without in effect arguing to void it’s own patents. So it tried to argue something else, lost, and ultimately it paid up in order to avoid having imports of the Prius stopped. Paice LLC v. Toyota Motor Corp. Ford settled for a lot less, probably because without the import restriction leverage the patent holder figured they’d be SOL.

    George S. Bower: I thought the 2 mode was jointly developed by General Motors, Daimler, and Chrysler LLC, with BMW joining in 2005.

    Sort of. The underlying technology comes from Allison, which developed it for buses. The joint development you’re talking about involved taking the Allison work and applying the technology to passenger cars and trucks.


  27. 27
    stuart22

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (1:21 pm)

    Jackson:

    GM should start thinking about some kind of hybridized light truck now, if they aren’t already.

    I wonder how compatible an eAssist drivetrain would be with 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks.


  28. 28
    joe

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (1:27 pm)

    Loboc,

    GM holds the patent on the Two Mode transmission. The idea is GM’s and the others (Chrysler LLC, with BMW) were just there to share the cost.

    http://patents.com/us-7241242.html


  29. 29
    joe

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (1:35 pm)

    Loboc: joe

    Ford never was never involved in any way with the Two mode Hybrid trans. Look on line 28 for more info.


  30. 30
    jeffhre

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (2:27 pm)

    DonC: Paice LLC v. Toyota Motor Corp. Ford settled for a lot less, probably because without the import restriction leverage the patent holder figured they’d be SOL.

    Wasn’t so much a company as a guy living in Florida, with an idea…

    From Wikipedia – “Alexei “Alex” Severinsky is a Soviet emigre living in the United States. He is graduated from the Kharkiv University of Radioelectronics in 1967 and got his Candidate os Science degree (Ph.D.) in Electrical Engineering from Institute for Precision Measurements in Radioelectronics and Physics in Moscow (presently Russia) in 1975. Before the emigration he worked in Kharkiv (presently Ukraine). Severinsky emigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States in 1978.[1]

    Severinsky is the inventor of the Hyperdrive power-amplified internal combustion engine power train. He patented this invention in 1994. The system is used in hybrid cars, in particular in the Toyota Prius. On August 16, 2006, a U.S. federal judge required Toyota to pay Alex Severinsky $25 for every Prius II, Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX400h hybrid sold in the United States. On 21 July 2010 Severinsky and Toyota agreed on a settlement.”

    Yes, of course I trust every word in Wikipedia…Hey I think I’ve found a new tag line!


  31. 31
    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (2:29 pm)

    George S. Bower: I believe part of the cost problem was the way it was packaged w/ other expensive features.

    #13

    That’s my sense of it as well. +1 AFAIK, the 2 mode is only available in a top line loaded Silverado, Tahoe or Escalade. The pickup was $47K the last time I looked. The Escalade something like $72K, LMAO. The 2 mode is not available as an option on trucks with less content, again AFAIK. I don’t pretend to comprehend their marketing strategy, LOL.

    I would like to see it as an option which could be added on at any trim level. Maybe they don’t want to do that so that they can mask the high cost? Also, it’s not available with an 8 ft. bed, which does not work for me at all.

    I don’t sense a whole lot of marketing enthusiasm from GM for this concept. Again, I dunno why. Maybe this new CAFE will give them a kick in the butt.


  32. 32
    CorvetteGuy

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (2:33 pm)

    OT – WOO-HOO!

    The first 2012 VOLT has arrived! I’ll be taking close-up photos to document the changes for this year and get them posted later today after PDI is finished.

    [And, none too soon! This customer has been waiting patiently since January!]


  33. 33
    jeffhre

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (2:41 pm)

    Roy_H:
    I believe Ford already has licensed Toyota’s synergy hybrid drive for their existing hybrids. I have wondered if this also included buying parts from Toyota. In any case, I think the Ford-Toyota relationship pre-dates the chance meeting at the airport. On the surface, this looks like a one-way deal where Ford gets access to Toyota technology, I wonder what Ford is able to give Toyota? Money?

    I believe Ford developed their own and initially used it in the Escape Hybrid, plus there is cross licensing from the two companies from overlaps in their technologies, and third parties.

    Apologies to DonC, didn’t read your excellent post first…My AARP sponsored health plan soon will be sending me some reading glasses :)


  34. 34
    BLIND GUY

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (2:52 pm)

    #27 Stuart22 I wonder how compatible an eAssist drivetrain would be with 1/2 and 3/4 ton

    trucks.

    JMO for the purpose of “light duty” trucks, I think the addition of e-assist would be just right for now. GM already uses a umm 2.4 or 2.5L DI in the Terrain which will probably get e-assist as well, so there you go. Sharing DI & e-assist across more models makes more sense for main-stream customers; maybe Gen. II EREV will make more economic sense later. For “Heavy Duty” trucks; maybe GM will consider sharing the Cadillac Ciel drivetrain? The concept is a 425hp twin turbo hybrid hmm.


  35. 35
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    Aug 25th, 2011 (3:10 pm)

    jeffhre: Wasn’t so much a company as a guy living in Florida, with an idea…

    From Wikipedia – “Alexei “Alex” Severinsky is a Soviet emigre living in the United States. He is graduated from the Kharkiv University of Radioelectronics in 1967 and got his Candidate os Science degree (Ph.D.) in Electrical Engineering from Institute for Precision Measurements in Radioelectronics and Physics in Moscow (presently Russia) in 1975. Before the emigration he worked in Kharkiv (presently Ukraine). Severinsky emigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States in 1978.[1]

    Severinsky is the inventor of the Hyperdrive power-amplified internal combustion engine power train. He patented this invention in 1994. The system is used in hybrid cars, in particular in the Toyota Prius. On August 16, 2006, a U.S. federal judge required Toyota to pay Alex Severinsky $25 for every Prius II, Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX400h hybrid sold in the United States. On 21 July 2010 Severinsky and Toyota agreed on a settlement.”

    Yes, of course I trust every word in Wikipedia…Hey I think I’ve found a new tag line!

    So where does Paice LLC come into it??


  36. 36
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (3:21 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    OT – WOO-HOO!

    The first 2012 VOLT has arrived! I’ll be taking close-up photos to document the changes for this year and get them posted later today after PDI is finished.

    [And, none too soon! This customer has been waiting patiently since January!]

    All right!!
    Hurry up!!


  37. 37
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    Aug 25th, 2011 (3:32 pm)

    George S. Bower: All right!!
    Hurry up!!

    Yes, quickly, CorvetteGuy I can only give you one + 1, greatnews!

    George S. Bower: So where does Paice LLC come into it??

    Paice LLC received a patent for an improved hybrid vehicle with a controllable torque transfer unit (US patent 5343970, Severinsky; Alex J., “Hybrid electric vehicle”, issued 1994-09-06) Paice = Severinsky et al.


  38. 38
    James

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (4:05 pm)

    Ford is ….”crafty”. I mean, look, the boys from Dearborn came up with a risky financing scheme that paid off, saving them from the fate of their traditional rival GM. I’m not a Ford guy, I’ve owned a couple Fords in my life ( none purchased new ) and they never were the best vehicles, but – Mr. Mullaly has been incredibly clever in navigating today’s tumultuous automotive environment. They’ve made creative decisions to do a lot with less resources. They climbed into bed with Toyota with HSD, determining it to be the most promising drivetrain on deck to meet future gas efficiency regulations. They’ve hedged their bets with either A) current models retrofitted with HSD, B) current models gutted and fitted with electric motor and lithium batteries in the trunk, or C) leading the way with direct-injected fours and turbocharging in current model platforms and a couple new designs. Ford has juggled and manuevered, borrowed and sidestepped into their position today-with good profitability and no government intervention.

    Ford won’t do EREV or a Voltec-type PHEV. It’s too risky. Ford is not wired like that. None of us thought GM was either. GM went out on a limb where Ford would never dare. This will pay off for GM if they stick with it. So far, the verdict is far from in. Today, GM has made gains and looks much better than it did – but their roll out of Voltec has been extremely timid – and more PR than anything else up to this point. GM could be hiding the best for last though, as the light truck segment is the largest and most profitable of the lot. Remember most of us who own fullsized trucks only use the pulling or hauling capability part time. For most of us that means we drive a huge-framed beast down the highway to work and to the supermarket rarely carrying anything heavier than kids and a couple boxes from Costco. If GM builds a Voltec system that can work during those times, and a stratified charge, smaller cubic inch direct-injected traditional powerplant that can take over during heavy load bearing periods, they can shave the high expense of large battery packs and complex shared duty transmissions. This indeed would cause a conundrum for the EPA who thought they had reached the pinnacle of dilemmas figuring out how to rate the Volt’s mileage!

    Seriously – we know all these manufacturers will follow the historical modus they plied in the California state legislature, and attempt with attorneys and lobbyists to water down the C.A.F.E. requirements as much as possible. That said – if those attempts are not fruitious, why not produce a light truck drivetrain with performance perameters so complex that it’s nearly impossible to fit inside the fed’s guidllines?!! You see, while full-sized pickup trucks are the largest selling vehicle in the USA year after year, they also have the widest spectrum of buyer. Today, thin and pretty ladies can be seen bombing down the interstate in an F-150 or Chevy C/K. Dodge RAMs go to work with upper management types because he tows a boat on the weekend. Usage for trucks is all over the map and production costs of manufacturers gets spread out by producing behemoth SUVs on their platforms. This gravey train for the U.S. auto industry ( and Toyota …lesser so for Nissan..but for them as well ) will not end. If it did, it would mean the end of the American auto industry.

    I say GM can scale Voltec into a light duty mode so large pickup trucks and SUVs can travel short trips on pure EV, perhaps 10 miles or so. Direct induction charging underneath the vehicle will stay the large group of folks who don’t want to be “put out” by hauling a cord and plugging in their truck, and continued work on the injection and ignition systems on smaller displacement ICEs can insure the big beast we park in the driveway can pull a boat, a trailer or haul a load of topsoil when and if it needs to. This type of “dual mode” makes sense to me – as from what we’ve seen so far the collaborative result of the international “dual-mode transmission” as seen in today’s efforts cannot produce the economy that will be needed by today’s understanding of future C.A.F.E. requirements. Meanwhile, compact and midsize auto’s fuel economy will have to increase exponentially by using Voltec to a far greater degree in vehicles with higher practicality – namely – seat more than four and haul groceries.

    Ford can sell their souls overseas all they want, IMO – But neither Toyota nor Ford have anything close as yet to Voltec. GM took the biggest risk and they should reap the biggest reward.

    PUMP OUT THE VOLTECS! ,

    James


  39. 39
    James

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (5:02 pm)

    No doubt there is an ongoing two-pronged approach in Michigan and Washington D.C. as to the future and nature of C.A.F.E. requirements. Research and development will go on – strategic alliances be made while the never-ending struggle behind the scenes will continue relentlessly to alter or take down higher fuel mileage regulations entirely.

    As with government entitlement programs and government healthcare, nothing is etched in stone.
    As a staunch conservative-leaning independent, I shudder to think what will happen if the Republicans gain control of the White House, and both houses of Congress. This issue has really torn me because in nearly all other issues and respects, I agree with the right. I am more in favor of the Tea Party than against, especially supporting the protection and traditional interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. That said, the issues brought forth by the continued dependency on petroleum including the very survival of our economy and way of life has brought me into this “dual mode” whereupon I have no clue what I would do if an actual viable Republican presidential frontrunner ever surfaces from the dismal school of G.O.P. challengers that exists today.

    A few days ago I listened intently on CNN as some “political expert” expounded upon why the USA needs to go from our present form of democracy to a more U.K. form of Parliamentary government. I almost puked! My opinion is that despite our form of governance is far from perfect – there is none better found anywhere on earth. IMHO, “We The People” should be served by a small and efficient government, not serve a huge, innefficient and currupt one.

    We all must be vigilent, as when good things come – they can so easily fall to special interests and be watered down as seen in the bipartisan attempt ( McCain-Feingold ) to reign in campaign finance reform. We have a system today wherein gridlock and doubletalk occur hourly in D.C. with two opposing parties caught in a death struggle for control of the population’s minds. Don’t you feel instead that a three party system with an independent party would work best? Somehow a third party could exist and prosper – breaking up the logjam we have today when two parties fail to compromise for the good of the many? In fact, just a bit of tuning to our existing system could reap enormous results. Say a presidential term that is long enough so that the standing Commander in Chief does not spend nearly half of his term campaigning for the second? Say, perhaps a five year term instead of four?

    The dilemma I and many others, I presume, are under is that I abhor what oil is doing to our world. I abhor the atrocities oil companies dump upon us all. I abhor the wars and military presence we’ve succumbed to worldwide to insure our free access to crude oil. I also understand our nation’s largest profitable industries rely on war and war machines – which is sadly what we do best. No doubt America makes the best weapons systems – by far.

    I do not want our nation to be remembered for making the best swords. My dream is that we follow ideas like Voltec to their fullest – profiting greatly in the world marketplace by tapping into the huge braintrust America posesses to make the world a better, cleaner and more sensible place to live. You know – a place where our children and our children’s children can actually breathe clean air! There comes along only rarely in the average lifetime technologies that can clearly be seen as watershed. Sure, we’ve seen telecommunications and computer tech blossom in our lives. While amazing and groundbreaking, those technologies can arguably be accused of bringing the world down as much as “saving the world”. Clean technology, on the other hand, has nothing but upsides – as to our world, our economies and environment, as far as I can see.

    This is all great, but politics will surely see a chipping away of C.A.F.E. standards. I can’t see myself voting for Barack Obama, yet I just as clearly cannot see myself voting for Limbaughesque, Fox News bloviators who don’t take one minute of time researching Volt or Voltec, and see any EV as some kind of Liberal/Commie plot to overthrow our American way of life!

    To vote Republican, so far, means to toss away over half of all the miles-per-gallon gains that prudent governmental regulations have put into play. It’s sad we all cannot release the deathgrip of fossil fuels without governmental intervention, but that is the world we now live in. The interests of oil companies, auto manufacturers and whole economies balance upon the continued dependency to oil we now suffer. Fears and misinformation abounds on talk radio and biased news organizations as to what benefits and losses are to be had by marching towards a sustainable energy future. As years go by and administrations change, we’ll see the current 2025 C.A.F.E. standards wittled at, melted and watered down. It’s far more economical for a car company to hire lobbyists to march upon D.C. armed with bribes, legal threats and promises than it is for a car company to develop a new clean technology, or an oil company to develop new sustainable energy solutions.

    So here I sit with my dilemmas, as do many of you, I’m sure. Who is in the pocket of oil companies and foreign concerns and who is leveraging the fear of more governmental control to overturn the advances we’ve made to become more self-sustainable? Remember that many of the recent subsidies the Obama administration handed out since 2009 sold as money for “new domestic clean energy jobs” has gone overseas to China, the Middle East and S. Korea!

    Who do we trust? Where do we turn? One thing you and I know is that politics, dreaded politics will be key in the next twenty years as to whether we become more of a needy, taker nation, or a self-reliant prosperous one.

    What are you views?

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  40. 40
    Jackson

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (5:38 pm)

    James: Don’t you feel instead that a three party system with an independent party would work best?

    A third party in American politics is doomed. Check your history. The most that happens is that the new party vacuums support from one of the others, and inevitably fails (having thrown an election in a direction opposite to it’s interests).

    James: In fact, just a bit of tuning to our existing system could reap enormous results.

    Careful. It could be enormously dangerous if the wrong people do the tuning. That’s sort of where we are right now.

    James: Say a presidential term that is long enough so that the standing Commander in Chief does not spend nearly half of his term campaigning for the second? Say, perhaps a five year term instead of four?

    Six, with an option to vote the bum out and call for a new election in three (if necessary); a sort of ‘no confidence’ vote. Yes, a president will be on his P’s and Q’s the first three years, but he won’t be up against the other party, either.

    James: Who do we trust? Where do we turn? One thing you and I know is that politics, dreaded politics will be key in the next twenty years as to whether we become more of a needy, taker nation, or a self-reliant prosperous one.

    One miracle at a time. Let’s save the country and economy first, and worry about energy after that. The advantage to a Republican philosophy is that, with the market behind it, an energy renewal will move efficiently downstream if it is economically sustainable, and if people want it: as opposed to government regulations; which tend to waste resources trying to push change up a waterfall. The thing I fear is that, once in office, the Repubs will forget all about philosophy, and pick up their “takin’ care o’ business” right where they left off in 2008. In this, they must now answer to the Tea Party, so perhaps that’ll keep their $#|+ straight.

    Always remember, and never forget: People will buy the Volt because it’s better, and GM’s current priority is to bring the costs of the technology down. A lot can happen in this area in a year. I think they’ll do better than you may imagine (especially if the alternative is to let the economy collapse to the point where no one is able to buy new vehicles of any description). At the very least, I believe Voltec will be able to sustain itself without government impetus long enough to thrive altogether without it.

    James: Limbaughesque, Fox News bloviators who don’t take one minute of time researching Volt or Voltec, and see any EV as some kind of Liberal/Commie plot to overthrow our American way of life!

    I DO wish the ‘bloviators’ would get off the Volt’s back, and see it for what it is: a real step towards energy security, with direct political benefits for the US on the world stage (check out Herman Cain).


  41. 41
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (5:59 pm)

    James quote:

    “For most of us that means we drive a huge-framed beast down the highway to work and to the supermarket rarely carrying anything heavier than kids and a couple boxes from Costco. If GM builds a Voltec system that can work during those times,……….”

    Seems to me GM’s best approach is to use their current 2 mode. It’s already developed and tested. It just needs to be offered as a stand alone option as Noel said in # 31 so it isn’t so expensive. AFAIK they still are using Nicads in the current 2 mode so they will need to switch to Li bats and add plug.

    I can see the EREV design working in trucks that are short range drivers, but not for people that want to take off on longer trips w/ a big load.

    WOT has a 2 mode Hybrid and he loves it. GM just needs to get the cost down. They have a huge jump on the competition here.

    JMO


  42. 42
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (6:07 pm)

    James,

    Just a suggestion.
    Register as a Republican so you can vote in the Republican primary.
    You can always vote either way in the final election.


  43. 43
    Jackson

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (6:11 pm)

    George S. Bower:
    James,

    Just a suggestion.
    Register as a Republican so you can vote in the Republican primary.
    You can always vote either way in the final election.

    YES. The Primary is where the real battle will be won or lost.


  44. 44
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (6:13 pm)

    jeffhre,

    and DonC,

    Pretty interesting stuff. Toyota copied HSD. I never knew that. I guess before I say that I should study the two drives and look at the similarities though.


  45. 45
    BLIND GUY

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (6:22 pm)

    In response to #39 & 40
    Or…maybe we just need Congressmen/women who are willing to compromise with each other for the good of the middle-class first.
    Tea Party =no compromise/ NO thanks; that is not how government works best JMHO


  46. 46
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    Aug 25th, 2011 (6:33 pm)

    More on Herman Cain:

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4680853/herman-cain-on-energy-independence

    Yes, Herman Cain wants to drill for US oil. One could even characterize it as “drill baby, drill.” However, anyone willing to be honest must admit that oil use can only increase before alternative energy, and vehicles like the Volt, begin to make serious inroads. From his website:

    “Subsidies on agricultural products, like ethanol-producing corn, have become a mechanism for the government to pick and choose industries it favors, while doing little to enhance our ability to harness real alternative energy resources. Instead, we must allow all forms of energy the ability to develop in a free market system.

    “Alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar, nuclear and hydroelectric are certainly part of the solution long term, but private industry must take the lead for true innovation to be a bigger part of our future energy needs. If alternative energy sources are found to be inexpensive, safe and plentiful, then American consumers will choose to purchase them. Let the markets decide which forms of energy fuel our cars, heat our homes and which ones will keep America working.

    I wish I could find the comment from the recent debate in which Mr. Cain tied National Security to Economics and Energy Security. Except for this terrible sound clip, it doesn’t seem to exist:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVEArIs1ILI


  47. 47
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    Aug 25th, 2011 (6:35 pm)

    James: I am more in favor of the Tea Party

    Oh yes, the Tea Party. Two researchers have been looking at religion and politics for over a decade. Their book, which has nothing to do with the Tea Party is called AMERICAN GRACE: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. You can find a review of sorts here: http://kavvanah.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/american-grace-robert-d-putnam-and-david-e-campbell/ What’s interesting is that since they’ve been doing surveys and interviews for over a decade, they had a lot of raw data about current Tea Party members. Here is what they found:

    So what do Tea Partiers have in common? They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do.

    More important, they were disproportionately social conservatives in 2006 — opposing abortion, for example — and still are today. Next to being a Republican, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics. And Tea Partiers continue to hold these views: they seek “deeply religious” elected officials, approve of religious leaders’ engaging in politics and want religion brought into political debates. The Tea Party’s generals may say their overriding concern is a smaller government, but not their rank and file, who are more concerned about putting God in government.

    This inclination among the Tea Party faithful to mix religion and politics explains their support for Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Their appeal to Tea Partiers lies less in what they say about the budget or taxes, and more in their overt use of religious language and imagery, including Mrs. Bachmann’s lengthy prayers at campaign stops and Mr. Perry’s prayer rally in Houston.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/opinion/crashing-the-tea-party.html?_r=2


  48. 48
    Jackson

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (6:42 pm)

    DonC,

    The “TEA” in “Tea Party” is an acronym: It stands for “Taxed Enough Already.” The guiding principle behind it is one of reducing the wasteful spending which is mostly perpetrated in order to buy votes for the re-election of professional, ruling-class politicians.

    Despite the name, it is not a political party, nor does it have designs on becoming one. It sees itself as a grass-roots association of like-minded individuals following this ideal.

    Beyond this, it’s possible to say that many Tea Partiers are also disgruntled ex-members of “The Moral Majority,” but it is not possible to say that Tea Partiers are all Moral Majorettes, or that this kind of attitude represents some sort of diabolical Tea Party agenda. I believe most true Tea Partiers have agreed to put social issues aside in order to deal with The Main Thing: smaller government. Of course, you can’t always enforce what some members of any movement may choose to say …

    There is certainly no shortage of screed and hatred of the Tea Party (I’m sure others could dredge up more). However, it’s interesting to note that the Republicans hate the Tea Party as much as the Democrats do: Neither of the real political parties want to be held accountable. They want the money party to go on forever (but the creditors are at the door).

    Any assessment of the Tea Partiers should include this also.


  49. 49
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    Aug 25th, 2011 (6:54 pm)

    Once again I would suggest that any of you that are NOT registered Repubs should do so so that you can have a vote in the Republican primary.
    Time is running out….(DonC, James this means you)

    It is my opinion that an extreme right wing candidate can not win this next presidential election and is not good for the country. We need a more common sense middle of the road candidate. JMO this excludes both Perry and Bachman for the reasons that DonC stated.

    GSB


  50. 50
    Jackson

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (7:00 pm)

    George S. Bower:
    Once again I would suggest that any of you that are NOT registered Repubs should do so so that you can have a vote in the Republican primary.
    Time is running out….(DonC, James this means you)

    It is my opinion that an extreme right wing candidate can not win this next presidential election and is not good for the country. We need a more common sense middle of the road candidate. JMO this excludes both Perry and Bachman for the reasons that DonC stated.

    GSB

    With the Country almost run off the road into the Left ditch, perhaps an extreme Right-winger would be useful in getting us out of that ditch (on the way to the Right ditch). When the Car of State crosses the middle of the road, then it’s time to promote a middle-of-the-road milquetoast; who will hopefully be able to keep it between the trees for a few years.

    (removes tongue from cheek).

    Thanks, James. Was this political side trip really necessary?


  51. 51
    CorvetteGuy

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (7:01 pm)

    OT- Rats. The PDI will not be done until tomorrow. But, I did check out the 2012 VOLT even though it is on the rapid charger in the service bay.

    Interior improvements are minor, but will be very well received. For example: The ‘button text’ on the center console. Larger. Clearer. But not overwhelming so that it looks silly. It’s the way it should have been for 2011. [I hope this doesn't get my previous customers upset!]

    Anyway, the sold unit that just arrived is still covered with plastic and foam protection decals all over the inside of the car. No use taking photos until they are done.

    More to follow then.


  52. 52
    Jackson

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (7:15 pm)

    I tend to seek engineering and scientific solutions for the ills of Society, precisely because of this kind of Political polarization. Alas, I always seem to find only a Political morass lurking beneath any promising project, like a sludge (Volt included).

    It fills me with nothing but foreboding for the next twenty years; because the Country is now so divided that no effective consensus can be reached in the middle of the continuum: The two sides will remain locked in mortal combat, with the burning Ship of State sinking around them.

    “It’s all Bush’s Fault!”
    “Obama is out to destroy Capitalism!”
    “The Tea Partiers are Racist, Religious bastards!”
    “The Leftists are all Socialist, Communist bastards!”
    “Obama ran up ten times the debt that George Bush did!”
    “Drill baby, drill!”
    “Clean Energy! Clean jobs!”
    What jobs?”
    … scuffle ensues, punctuated by expletives …

    “Glug glug, gurgle gurgle, glorp;” (followed by loud sucking sound).

    Sigh.


  53. 53
    CorvetteGuy

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (7:19 pm)

    As you can see from these photos, VOLT customers will have no difficulty making out which button “starts the car”.

    bat1.jpg

    bat2.jpg

    bat3.jpg


  54. 54
    CorvetteGuy

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (7:42 pm)

    Final OT-

    We also got our first 2012 Chevy Cruze in the Blue Topaz Metallic color. For those of you who wished for a blue like “JOLT” from Transformers 2, this is your color! It sure looks like the same shade of blue from the movie. It’s hard to tell it from this photo:

    cruze.jpg


  55. 55
    Jackson

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (7:52 pm)

    CorvetteGuy,

    Rear end needs work, though.

    5a3j8m.jpg


  56. 56
    DonC

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (8:29 pm)

    Jackson: Despite the name, it is not a political party, nor does it have designs on becoming one. It sees itself as a grass-roots association of like-minded individuals following this ideal.

    You can’t really believe the Tea Party is not a political organization. Yes the Tea Party leadership claims that it is a grass roots organization formed from non-partisan “patriots”. If you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d LOVE to sell you! LOL The data says they are, more or less, white Republican activists who think people of color are inferior and who want to mix Church and state as much as possible, so long as the Church doing the mixing is their Church.


  57. 57
    DonC

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (8:37 pm)

    George S. Bower: Time is running out….(DonC, James this means you)

    Ha ha! You’re wasting your time. I am a registered Republican.

    George S. Bower: Pretty interesting stuff. Toyota copied HSD. I never knew that. I guess before I say that I should study the two drives and look at the similarities though.

    Here is the TRW patent: http://www.google.com/patents?id=sDtsAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4&source=gbs_overview_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false


  58. 58
    evnow

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (8:37 pm)

    DonC:
    Ford and Toyota already cross license their hybrid technology. What Toyota calls its hybrid split drive was invented by TRW in the 1960s.

    Here is some background research I did on this subject.

    “No, Ford doesn’t use Toyota’s Hybrid Drive System”
    http://www.c-maxenergi.com/2011/02/no-ford-doesnt-use-toyotas-hybrid-drive.html

    “George Gelb, Planetary Gear, Hybrid Drive and Ford”
    http://www.c-maxenergi.com/2011/02/george-gelb-planetary-gear-hybrid-drive.html

    Ford could have bought the patent from Gelb for a pittance when it had the chance …

    Gelb also adds this: In the 1990s, under the auspices of TRW’s Center for Automotive Technology, they visited a domestic automaker with an updated EMT design, only to be told it would never use the TRW system in place of its planned electric motor-assist design. Ironically, claims Gelb, that same automaker “now licenses Toyota’s technology for its small SUV, a design based on our original work.”


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (8:40 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    OT- Rats. The PDI will not be done until tomorrow. But, I did check out the 2012 VOLT even though it is on the rapid charger in the service bay.

    Interior improvements are minor, but will be very well received. For example: The ‘button text’ on the center console. Larger. Clearer. But not overwhelming so that it looks silly. It’s the way it should have been for 2011. [I hope this doesn't get my previous customers upset!]

    Anyway, the sold unit that just arrived is still covered with plastic and foam protection decals all over the inside of the car. No use taking photos until they are done.

    More to follow then.

    Jackson: With the Country almost run off the road into the Left ditch, perhaps an extreme Right-winger would be useful in getting us out of that ditch (on the way to the Right ditch).When the Car of State crosses the middle of the road, then it’s time to promote a middle-of-the-road milquetoast; who will hopefully be able to keep it between the trees for a few years.

    (removes tongue from cheek).


    Thanks, James.Was this political side trip really necessary?

    CorvetteGuy:
    Final OT-

    We also got our first 2012 Chevy Cruze in the Blue Topaz Metallic color. For those of you who wished for a blue like “JOLT” from Transformers 2, this is your color! It sure looks like the same shade of blue from the movie. It’s hard to tell it from this photo:

    I don’t know.
    I’m not thrilled about it.
    I guess it’s like all the colors.
    You have to see it in person.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (8:44 pm)

    Jackson: I tend to seek engineering and scientific solutions for the ills of Society, precisely because of this kind of Political polarization. Alas, I always seem to find only a Political morass lurking beneath any promising project, like a sludge (Volt included).

    Those require government funding for research and for implementation. That makes them political.

    Jackson: It fills me with nothing but foreboding for the next twenty years; because the Country is now so divided that no effective consensus can be reached in the middle of the continuum: The two sides will remain locked in mortal combat, with the burning Ship of State sinking around them.

    Unfortunately, I can only agree. Only, it’s more that they’re doing their level best to light that ship on fire. We’ve already had our debt downgraded because our politicians acted like five-year olds. Is to too much to ask that our representatives act like mature responsible adults?


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (8:48 pm)

    DonC,

    DonC,
    I am not wasting my time if I try to get people to vote for “the right candidate’.

    wink, wink


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (8:54 pm)

    Jackson: DonC, The “TEA” in “Tea Party” is an acronym: It stands for “Taxed Enough Already.” The guiding principle behind it is one of reducing the wasteful spending which is mostly perpetrated in order to buy votes for the re-election of professional, ruling-class politicians.Despite the name, it is not a political party, nor does it have designs on becoming one. It sees itself as a grass-roots association of like-minded individuals following this ideal.Beyond this, it’s possible to say that many Tea Partiers are also disgruntled ex-members of “The Moral Majority,” but it is not possible to say that Tea Partiers are all Moral Majorettes, or that this kind of attitude represents some sort of diabolical Tea Party agenda. I believe most true Tea Partiers have agreed to put social issues aside in order to deal with The Main Thing: smaller government. Of course, you can’t always enforce what some members of any movement may choose to say …There is certainly no shortage of screed and hatred of the Tea Party (I’m sure others could dredge up more). However, it’s interesting to note that the Republicans hate the Tea Party as much as the Democrats do: Neither of the real political parties want to be held accountable. They want the money party to go on forever (but the creditors are at the door).Any assessment of the Tea Partiers should include this also.

    YEAH! What he said!

    Thanks Jackson. That primarily sums up exactly what I feel about the Tea Party movement.

    I really didn’t intend for my OpEd to be a partisan piece. I think both Dems and Reps need a serious check up at the door. They work for us. They’re supposed to be attuned to our concerns. Most times it never seems this way at all. Instead, they’re in the business of playing con-person to get their jobs telling us what we want to hear ( if that’s “religion” or “progressive ideals” or whatever ) and once elected go on a campaign to embellish, enrich and promote themselves.

    Sadly, no politician will ever endorse slightly higher taxation on gasoline at the pump. It would mean political suicide. So with that in place, certain regulation has to be in place – which seriously unfairly places the entire burden of finding ways to decrease oil dependency upon the auto companies. Today we taxpayers then have to pay increased taxes to fund government programs like Cash For Clunkers and rebates to EV purchasers. Really the whole system is very messed up.

    As for the word “religion”, it has a negative connotation not only to non-religious folk, but also to Christians who believe a spiritual walk in life is what God asked us to be open to. People use the broad-brush term “religion” to encompass everyone who believes in spirituality. It should encompass only people who believe that all mankind should perform certain acts and deeds to appease an angry God. This is what I believe is known as “religiousity”. I oppose the word “religion” used in this way to frame all folks who seek to pursue the spiritual component in their lives. It’s the difference between people who are motivated by love – because they want to – and people who feel obligated to do certain things out of duty or obligation – big difference!

    Lately I’ve heard liberals name-calling in the media, even calling the Tea Party “terrorists”, “moral terrorists” and “freaks”. I don’t see how the movement is illicitly carrying out sneak attacks to somehow inject religion into politics. If that were the case, there would be an equally justifiable argument that progressive liberals head a movement to remove all moral compass from our lives except the ones they invent themselves: pretty much “anything goes”, morally speaking.

    It’s why partisan politics is so tricky. So many people suspicious of others attempting to perpetrate their own morals and values upon the majority of the population. I think morally dividing issues such as gay marriage, abortion and open borders and special rights for all illegal immigrants will always cause seperation depending upon what side of the fence you’ve chosen to be on. I think a third party can be beneficial in further difining what a greater majority truly wants. For instance, even if a third party candidateis popular but not popular enough to gain election, his views can make or break the campaign for someone from the dominant parties by forcing that person to reach out more to the concerns of the middle. Right now liberals spin a “tax the rich, they don’t need to be so rich”, and ”
    more rights for poor immigrants” schpiel to gain votes from the middle class, latins and minorities. When elected they pretty much act like the elite-class rich people they truly are. Status-quo Republicans reach out to the “religious” right with fear messages of what may happen if the other side wins and offer tax breaks and incentives for the wealthier class to vote for them. When they are elected, they again start spending the people’s money as if it were a bottomless pit! It’s about getting votes – it’s not about making our world a better place. Finance reform in politics is a must for me to even listen to a politician’s rhetoric.

    It also is relevant to mention that both sides use “morality” just in different ways. All presidential candidates try to pander to the religious. Barack Obama liked to spend time on the stump talking about his long life as a Christian until the Reverend Wright was discovered to be an A+ nutjob. This guy, infamous for statements blaming the Irish and Jew for all America’s problems, and his recorded sermons decrying, “God damn America! “. At which point Obama distanced himself from him quite quickly even though Mr. Wright baptised his two children and oversaw his wedding. We heard statements near to ” I never really knew the guy! ” and soon, Mr. Wright miraculously faded away – in fact, his own parisioners couldn’t get ahold of him until after the election – did someone fund a vacation to the Bahamas? Was he just told to crawl into a hole for awhile? You see, Democrats care what religious perceptions are about their own candidates as well, especially if they are controversial and could be used against them. Funny how when a candidate of the other party mentions God – how suddenly that is a “talking point” for the progressive!

    Government will reflect it’s population. There must be a seperation of church and state indeed – and it must go both ways. To some on the left, their “religion” is no religion. In fact, they proselytze this message in every way anytime they can. In this case, would we have an ideal government if our leaders abolished any decision made on moral grounds, or the basis for each individual’s moral grounds? This was a country founded by people fleeing religious persecution and like it or not, most of our founding fathers spoke about God quite frequently.

    OK, I said too much…But I take offense when someone seems to be implying because I support the Tea Party, I must be “religious”.

    Now back to the Volt, isn’t it fantastic? Perhaps we should focus on what we agree upon! : )

    RECHARGE! .

    James


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:00 pm)

    DonC: You can’t really believe the Tea Party is not a political organization. Yes the Tea Party leadership claims that it is a grass roots organization formed from non-partisan “patriots”. If you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d LOVE to sell you! LOL The data says they are, more or less, white Republican activists who think people of color are inferior and who want to mix Church and state as much as possible, so long as the Church doing the mixing is their Church.

    Okay, we’ll put you down as “undecided” then. :-P


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:03 pm)

    Jackson: There is certainly no shortage of screed and hatred of the Tea Party (I’m sure others could dredge up more). However, it’s interesting to note that the Republicans hate the Tea Party as much as the Democrats do: Neither of the real political parties want to be held accountable. They want the money party to go on forever (but the creditors are at the door).

    As far as I can tell, the only “success” the tea party has had has been to eliminate the republicans’ ability to compromise.

    The “accountable” republicans almost forced the government to default on our treasury debt. Now the entire world thinks the US is dangerously unstable. And our debt has been downgraded accordingly. Do you really think that’s an improvement?


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:03 pm)

    Jackson: With the Country almost run off the road into the Left ditch, perhaps an extreme Right-winger would be useful in getting us out of that ditch (on the way to the Right ditch).When the Car of State crosses the middle of the road, then it’s time to promote a middle-of-the-road milquetoast; who will hopefully be able to keep it between the trees for a few years.

    (removes tongue from cheek).


    Thanks, James.Was this political side trip really necessary?

    Jackson,
    An extreme right wing candidate will loose!!
    That’s my whole point.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:03 pm)

    LauraM: Is to too much to ask that our representatives act like mature responsible adults?

    Well, we do have to own some of this. After all, they’re called “representatives” for a reason …


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:05 pm)

    DonC: Ha ha! You’re wasting your time. I am a registered Republican.

    Really? Do you mind if I ask why? Are there any reasonable republican candidates worth voting for?

    George S. Bower: Jackson,
    An extreme right wing candidate will loose!!
    That’s my whole point.

    As opposed to?


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:09 pm)

    evnow: Ford could have bought the patent from Gelb for a pittance when it had the chance …

    This wouldn’t have helped actually. The Paice patent really covered the addition of a
    microprocessor and a controllable torque transfer unit to the TRW system. These two things are the essence of Toyota’s claim that it “invented” the HSD (which I guess true if by HSD you don’t mean the hybrid drive train).

    I’m not saying BTW that Toyota copied from Paice or even knew about the Paice patent. They probably did know about it, but, really, what’s not obvious about adding a microprocessor to a piece of car equipment. That’s about as original as selling two in a package rather than one. Plus thanks to the Federal Circuit these days they hand out patents like candy, so you could have hundreds of thousand of patents potentially applying to something you’re doing. It’s an impossible situation. (I will say though that whenever the parties agree as part of a settlement that one didn’t copy from the other that’s usually a good indicator that one did copy).

    Just to give you a bad time, I’ll just note that that car manufacturers rejected the TRW hybrid system because it was “too complicated”. Ever hear anyone say something similar about the Voltec? ;-)


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:10 pm)

    “The dealings between Toyota – for now still the world’s largest automaker”

    Actually GM retook the lead this year.

    —————————
    General Motors (GM) has outsold Toyota globally in the first six months to become the world’s largest automaker after the record March earthquake disrupted production in Japan, Bloomberg has reported. GM sales rose 8.9% to 4.536 million units in the half-year ended June 30, GM said. That compares with 4.13 million units at second-ranked Volkswagen and 3.71 million units for Toyota, including its luxury Lexus marque and affiliates Daihatsu and Hino Motors, according to statements by the companies.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:13 pm)

    George S. Bower: Jackson,
    An extreme right wing candidate will loose!!
    That’s my whole point.

    So certain are you. A Conservative craves not these things!

    (What part of “removing tongue from cheek” do you not understand?)

    But since you bring it up: You want a middle-of-the-road RINO, like McCain in 2008 — right? That sure worked out, didn’t it? You want put a bland party-liner up against the most extreme political figure of our day, and you expect a turnover? Thanks for playing anyway.

    This isn’t going to be a good election for the men in the middle. It’s going to be a no-holds-barred deathmatch between polarized extremes; and you’re naive to expect anything different.

    Face it. The “Middle of the Road” is getting thinner all the time.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:13 pm)

    LauraM: DonC: Ha ha! You’re wasting your time. I am a registered Republican.Really? Do you mind if I ask why? Are there any reasonable republican candidates worth voting for?

    To all my republicans.. make you write in your vote for Mark Parry!

    ;-)


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:17 pm)

    LauraM: As far as I can tell, the only “success” the tea party has had has been to eliminate the republicans’ ability to compromise.

    A lot of the republicans are trying to distance themselves from the tea party. I think they (tea party) have shown their true colors, and no one likes it. Republicans went along for the ride as long as it was helping their party. Now, not so much.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:17 pm)

    LauraM: Really? Do you mind if I ask why? Are there any reasonable republican candidates worth voting for?

    In CA the Democrats are fruit cakes and the Republicans, at least those who can survive where I am, are pretty reasonable and generally pretty smart. So I support them.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:21 pm)

    LauraM,

    Good one for sure.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:26 pm)

    Jackson: So certain are you??

    Yes


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:26 pm)

    James: In this case, would we have an ideal government if our leaders abolished any decision made on moral grounds, or the basis for each individual’s moral grounds? This was a country founded by people fleeing religious persecution and like it or not, most of our founding fathers spoke about God quite frequently.

    You don’t need religion to have morals.
    Our founding fathers also practiced slavery, had very little knowledge of the universe, and didn’t allow women to vote. I hate when people use the “Founding Fathers” arguement.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:27 pm)

    kdawg: I think they (tea party) have shown their true colors, and no one likes it. Republicans went along for the ride as long as it was helping their party. Now, not so much.

    The problem has been that in CA the wingnuts (aka Tea Party sorry Jackson and James) are more likely to vote in the primary, ensuring you almost never get a very good Republican candidate for a statewide office. Last time around we got Carly Fiorina who wasn’t competitive even against an unpopular Democrat because she was a Tea Party darling. They’ve now changed the law so that the top two vote getters in the primary face off in the general. It could be two Republicans or two Democrats or whatever.

    Not sure it will make a huge difference but we’ll see. The idea is that in relatively “safe” areas the more moderate candidates will be able to forge a majority. Right now it’s the more extreme the better cause that’s what it takes to appease the party faithful.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:27 pm)

    LauraM: The “accountable” republicans almost forced the government to default on our treasury debt. Now the entire world thinks the US is dangerously unstable. And our debt has been downgraded accordingly. Do you really think that’s an improvement?

    Just wondering. Are you agreeing with Don C in his Church-and-State Racist Tea Party Conspiracy monologue, or are you just asking a question?

    You blame it all on the Republicans, but we have a President who has literally pushed his ability to run up debt to it’s absolute limits. Accountable Republicans were in the position of having to “take the keys away” from someone drunk on spending. They caved.

    We were then downgraded because there is now not enough credit on the planet to cover our debts; and there is now no end in sight. Or do you think Obama won’t get further debt resources on demand, now that he has prevailed once?

    And by the way, the “Debt Ceiling” debacle was a made-up crisis for the benefit of the credible: There was a method in place to meet full faith and credit of the United States when faced with sending out entitlement checks. The Social Security Administration, faced with the need for funds, would have taken an IOU from the “airtight lockbox” (a filing cabinet in Maryland full of IOUs), and the Fed would have cashed it. This would’ve diluted the currency of course, but this was already inevitable with the “quantitative easing” already put forward (but has the advantage of being scalable to actual need).

    Watch and see if Obama doesn’t spend all the credit which the compromise bill (yes, compromise) gave him. And I’m sure he’ll make it sound very reasonable (and that the Press and Pundits will end up blaming the Republicans. Blame is all the Left has, um … left.

    You know, in the beginnings of this site, we quickly realized that we did not all agree politically. Nevertheless, we all did agree on the value of the Volt project:

    Warmers got greenhouse gas reduction.
    Peak Oilers got a promise of reductions in oil use.
    Energy Security zealots got less money payed out to foreign powers.
    Conservatives got industry-leading manufacture in the US.
    Tree huggers got reduced pollution,
    … and on and on.

    We are approaching a pivotal moment in US history, regardless of what we individually believe; and we’d do well to remember our samenesses when conversation necessarily becomes heated approaching November 2012.

    And yes, I’m as bad as anyone.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:30 pm)

    LauraM: As far as I can tell, the only “success” the tea party has had has been to eliminate the republicans’ ability to compromise.

    Totally agree.
    I see each party sitting in their corner w/ their arms crossed and ready to say no to anything that is proposed by the other side.

    A no win situation for the country as a whole!!


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:32 pm)

    James: As for the word “religion”, it has a negative connotation not only to non-religious folk, but also to Christians who believe a spiritual walk in life is what God asked us to be open to. People use the broad-brush term “religion” to encompass everyone who believes in spirituality. It should encompass only people who believe that all mankind should perform certain acts and deeds to appease an angry God. This is what I believe is known as “religiousity”. I oppose the word “religion” used in this way to frame all folks who seek to pursue the spiritual component in their lives. It’s the difference between people who are motivated by love – because they want to – and people who feel obligated to do certain things out of duty or obligation – big difference!

    I usually try not to discuss social issues on this board. Mainly because I don’t see the point. Mainly because there is no common ground there.

    But I think you have the left’s position on religion all wrong. Liberals believe in freedom of religion. That means that our relationship with God is none of the government’s business. If someone is Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Catholic or atheist–that’s their own business. The government needs to stay out of it. Nor does the government have any business proselytizing to my children. i.e. prayer in school..

    That’s not the same thing has not having a moral compass. If a politician wants to talk about praying, or God’s influence in their own life, that’s one thing. But don’t tell me how to pray. Or what to believe. We have the first amendment for a reason.

    And if something is forbidden by one interpretation of the bible, that does not justify making it illegal. Freedom of religion requires separation of church and state. Imagine living in a majority Muslim country and not being allowed to eat pork. I know I wouldn’t want to have to wear a burqa. For Muslims, I imagine they probably feel the same way about not being allowed to work on Sunday. I know if Christian Scientists became the majority and they threw out all the medical doctors, I’d be livid. I happen to appreciate access to modern medicine. Etc.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:35 pm)

    Jackson: Just wondering.Are you agreeing with Don C in his Church-and-State Racist Tea Party Conspiracy monologue, or are you just asking a question?

    You blame it all on the Republicans, but we have a President who has literally pushed his ability to run up debt to it’s absolute limits.

    Please Jackson,

    5 out of 7 Votes for raising the debt limit in this country were during repub presidencies so don’t start preaching to me about the fiscal responsibilities of the republican party.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:37 pm)

    James: At which point Obama distanced himself from him quite quickly even though Mr. Wright baptised his two children and oversaw his wedding. We heard statements near to ” I never really knew the guy! ” and soon, Mr. Wright miraculously faded away – in fact, his own parisioners couldn’t get ahold of him until after the election – did someone fund a vacation to the Bahamas? Was he just told to crawl into a hole for awhile?

    Here is what I don’t like about what you’re saying: Turn it around. How many Catholics sat in their pews and now claim that they didn’t know about all the kiddy diddling going on? Really? Reminds me of all the Germans saying they didn’t know about the concentration camps. Heck I went out of my way 15 years ago to see Via Coeli in New Mexico and I’m not Catholic.

    I think most people live in glass houses and it’s best if they just leave the stones on the ground.

    Also, just as a note, our Founding Fathers weren’t even Christians by the standards held up by conservative Christians. They didn’t believe in the resurrection. Thought it a joke only fools would believe. Maybe those guys were really smart.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:51 pm)

    George S. Bower: Please Jackson,

    5 out of 7 Votes for raising the debt limit in this country were during repub presidencies so don’t start preaching to me about the fiscal responsibilities of the republican party.

    The limits had not yet been reached under these Republican administrations. Obama spent (or obligated the US for) more in his first two years than in the eight years of George W Bush.

    In fact, from Washington to FDR, there was not as much debt incurred as during the Obama administration. Wake up. Your Country is burning.

    You are so comfortable in your beliefs. I wonder what it would take to make you question them? Or if anything could?


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (9:58 pm)

    jeffhre: I believe Ford developed their own and initially used it in the Escape Hybrid, plus there is cross licensing from the two companies from overlaps in their technologies, and third parties.

    You are correct also. See my previous post #8

    Raymond


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:00 pm)

    Jackson: The advantage to a Republican philosophy is that, with the market behind it, an energy renewal will move efficiently downstream if it is economically sustainable

    I would rephrase that to “economically advantageous to corporate America and its biggest/richest investors”. Thanks to the Citizens United case, corporations will continue to use their free $peech to make sure the system is rigged before this is allowed.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:04 pm)

    DonC: Also, just as a note, our Founding Fathers weren’t even Christians by the standards held up by conservative Christians. They didn’t believe in the resurrection. Thought it a joke only fools would believe. Maybe those guys were really smart.

    “The Fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”

    Psalm 14:1

    In fact, the founders were Deists; they believed in God, but didn’t presume to make any claims about Him. Incidentally, they were all hot about Religious freedom for those who did.

    LauraM: But I think you have the left’s position on religion all wrong. Liberals believe in freedom of religion. That means that our relationship with God is none of the government’s business. If someone is Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Catholic or atheist–that’s their own business. The government needs to stay out of it. Nor does the government have any business proselytizing to my children. i.e. prayer in school.

    That’s what Liberalism is supposed to embrace. These days, in actual practice, it’s become more of an attempt to crush traditional Christianity from the public discourse; to hold any other religion preferable for fair treatment; to remove all mention of it from US history in your child’s school (which it clearly affects).

    We’re to the point that Christmas displays and calls for public days of prayer are held in contempt and derision (though traditionally embraced by both Democrats and Republicans not that long ago). You can trace this new ethos back to Reagan’s coalition, which appealed to Conservative Christians for political support (and by the way, I was there warning fellow Christians that the Church would get raped if it got into bed with politics. The Republican party nowadays has dropped the Church like a spent whore for it’s trouble). It’s small wonder that we’ve become a target for political revenge, but I don’t feel that we should be demonized by Society because of it. Now I can take a joke as well as the next guy, but jeez! Give it up, already. Liberals! Live up to your true ideals again.

    Not that any of this has anything to do with the Tea Party, or electric cars.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:05 pm)

    evnow: Here is some background research I did on this subject.

    “No, Ford doesn’t use Toyota’s Hybrid Drive System”
    http://www.c-maxenergi.com/2011/02/no-ford-doesnt-use-toyotas-hybrid-drive.html

    Thanks for the newer reference about Ford developing its own hybrid transmission. I knew this many years ago, and I mention that in my previous post #8.

    Raymond


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:23 pm)

    kdawg: I would rephrase that to “economically advantageous to corporate America and its biggest/richest investors”.Thanks to the Citizens United case, corporations will continue to use their free $peech to make sure the system is rigged before this is allowed.

    You mean the way that Cossack Steve Jobs forced all those people to buy iPods, iPads and iPhones?

    You are right! Socialism is the only way!! Hail, Obama!!!

    … going back to read the second part of my own #78, since no one else has …


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:39 pm)

    Jackson,

    I think you are seeing anti-religious sentiment as an attack on “personal spirituality”. Libritarians just don’t want to be forced to see/hear/endure other’s religious practices. Yes, there are times and places for this, but there are also many places it should not be a part of society. I think practicing religious Christians, have over estimated their presence in the world. Every year society is slowly moving away from organized religion and focusing more on their own personal beliefs or lack there of. Here are some interesting stats from Wiki on athiesm (i’m not athiest btw). In my opinion, and based on the current trend, organized religion will become a very small part of society in the future, and bringing it up in any political situation, would be suicide for the political cause.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism

    (what was today’s topic about again? I logged in an hour ago, and stepped into politics & religion)


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    carcus3

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:40 pm)

    I, for one, am proud to know that “all-american” GM is NOT partnering with any of those nasty infidel asian companies in some lame azz attempt to stay head above water as the realization that cheap gas is gone, … gone …. GONE sets in.

    That’s right,… baseball, apple pie, and ….. oh

    wait a minute. ….

    GM and LG jointly to develop EVs; expanding corporate partnership in multiple areas
    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/08/gmlg-20110825.html


  91. 91
    Jackson

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (10:47 pm)

    kdawg: I think you are seeing anti-religious sentiment as an attack on “personal spirituality”. Libritarians just don’t want to be forced to see/hear/endure other’s religious practices.

    Funny how this always justifies the singling out of Churches for this “special” treatment, or seeing anything Christian as the New Profanity. You aren’t being forced to do anything. This oft-repeated dogma sure makes a great excuse though, doesn’t it?

    All religions are equal, but some are less equal than others, hey?

    “Libritarians.” You can’t even spell it, LOL. Libertarians believe in being left to do what they please without Government interference as long as it won’t abridge the rights of others, and above all believe in taking responsibility for their own actions. This leaves no place for the Nanny State, or self-appointed Social Sanitizers.


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:01 pm)

    Jackson: The limits had not yet been reached under these Republican administrations.

    Then maybe under the next. Geez Jackson it was in the WSJ. Do you really believe that they would try to reconfigure history in favor of the Dems??

    You have to admit that the Repubs are not any more fiscally responsible than the other side. Historically speaking that is.


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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:15 pm)

    Jackson: Funny how this always justifies the singling out of Churches for this “special” treatment, or seeing anything Christian as the New Profanity. You aren’t being forced to do anything. This oft-repeated dogma sure makes a great excuse though, doesn’t it?

    You lost me. And explain special treatment.

    Jackson: All religions are equal, but some are less equal than others, hey?

    What are you trying to say here? Personally, I don’t want to hear about any organized religions; equally. It’s just out of the religions, the most prominent one in the US, is Christianity. So it gets thrown in your face more.

    Jackson: “Libritarians.” You can’t even spell it, LOL.

    I’m an engineer, not an english major, and I don’t align myself with any ideology. I’d rather just think for myself.

    Jackson: This leaves no place for the Nanny State, or self-appointed Social Sanitizers.

    Not sure what you mean by social sanitizers, but look at it this way; people (in the US) have the right to try to shove religion in your face, and others have the same right to show their disgust in it, and/or try to stop it. I don’t think its an attack. I think it’s democracy at work. The majority will win, and the way things are going, organized religion is on the way out


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    BLIND GUY

     

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:20 pm)

    #90 carcus3 GM and LG jointly to develop EVs; expanding corporate partnership in multiple areas

    Sounds like a good topic for Friday JMO


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    Aug 26th, 2011 (1:16 am)

    Due to ‘baseline budgeting’, a mere deceleration in spending is considered a ‘cut’ in spending.
    So we never have actually made any real cuts in spending from Washington.
    Baseline Budgeting is built-in federal spending ‘inflation’.

    Tea Partiers would be absolutely thrilled, if we only spent one federal dollar, $1.00, less this year than we did last year — not a mere deceleration in spending but just, in actual numbers of dollars, one less.

    And yet… this is seen and defined as “extremist.” That’s why we are in trouble.


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    Aug 26th, 2011 (1:45 am)

    Jackson: You mean the way that Cossack Steve Jobs forced all those people to buy iPods, iPads and iPhones?

    You are right! Socialism is the only way!! Hail, Obama!!!

    Socialism means government ownership of the means of production. Or the abolishment of the means of production. Regulating businesses does not translate into government ownership. And taxing people and or businesses to pay for services does not translate into abolishing private property.

    Yes. Liberals want more government than conservatives. That does not make them socialists. Conservatives want less government than liberals. But that does not make them anarchists.


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    Aug 26th, 2011 (2:33 am)

    Jackson: You blame it all on the Republicans, but we have a President who has literally pushed his ability to run up debt to it’s absolute limits. Accountable Republicans were in the position of having to “take the keys away” from someone drunk on spending. They caved.

    We were then downgraded because there is now not enough credit on the planet to cover our debts; and there is now no end in sight. Or do you think Obama won’t get further debt resources on demand, now that he has prevailed once?

    The president does not control the amount of spending. Congress passes a budget each year. The president implements said budget. If anyone is “drunk on spending,” it’s congress.

    When S&P issued the downgrade, they said it was primarily due to political dysfunction. Specifically, “we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal
    consolidation plan that stabilizes the government’s debt dynamics any time soon.”

    The report is on their webpage in case you’re interested.

    http://www.standardandpoors.com/home/en/us

    As far as their not being enough credit on the planet to pay our debt–the US government is now paying a yield of 3.61 percent on 30 year treasuries…so it doesn’t look like we’re going to run out of buyers anytime soon.

    It’s true that we are currently benefiting from lack of creditable alternatives. And investors opinions can change–very quickly. But there is no immediate lack of credit.

    Jackson: And by the way, the “Debt Ceiling” debacle was a made-up crisis for the benefit of the credible: There was a method in place to meet full faith and credit of the United States when faced with sending out entitlement checks. The Social Security Administration, faced with the need for funds, would have taken an IOU from the “airtight lockbox” (a filing cabinet in Maryland full of IOUs), and the Fed would have cashed it. This would’ve diluted the currency of course, but this was already inevitable with the “quantitative easing” already put forward (but has the advantage of being scalable to actual need).

    That would have been one way to circumvent the debt ceiling. They wouldn’t even need to have the Fed cash the special issue bonds. Since they were using the money to “pay down debt” they could have auctioned off debt to the equity markets the way they normally do without raising the overall amount of debt. But it’s not entirely legal. And if they wanted to go that route (loopholes of questionable legality), there are other simpler ways of doing so. That’s not the sort of thing that instills confidence in one’s creditors though. And it’s kind of a stop gap measure. Not something you want to rely on for any period of time.

    Jackson: Watch and see if Obama doesn’t spend all the credit which the compromise bill (yes, compromise) gave him. And I’m sure he’ll make it sound very reasonable (and that the Press and Pundits will end up blaming the Republicans. Blame is all the Left has, um … left.

    Unless congress enacts substantial changes, then yes, Obama will “spend all the credit.” So would any president handed the budget that he was handed. And signed off on by the republican congress.

    That said, he did try to work out a compromise proposal (in his role as leader of the democrats.) He was willing to tackle entitlement reform in exchange for minor revenue increases. But the republicans weren’t willing to consider any revenue increases whatsoever. Including ending the tax deduction for CEO’s private jets.


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    Aug 26th, 2011 (5:44 am)

    Jackson: I tend to seek engineering and scientific solutions for the ills of Society, precisely because of this kind of Political polarization. Alas, I always seem to find only a Political morass lurking beneath any promising project, like a sludge (Volt included).It fills me with nothing but foreboding for the next twenty years; because the Country is now so divided that no effective consensus can be reached in the middle of the continuum: The two sides will remain locked in mortal combat, with the burning Ship of State sinking around them.“It’s all Bush’s Fault!”“Obama is out to destroy Capitalism!”“The Tea Partiers are Racist, Religious bastards!”“The Leftists are all Socialist, Communist bastards!”“Obama ran up ten times the debt that George Bush did!”“Drill baby, drill!”“Clean Energy! Clean jobs!”“What jobs?”… scuffle ensues, punctuated by expletives … “Glug glug, gurgle gurgle, glorp;” (followed by loud sucking sound).Sigh.

    In Asia they get in fist fights in Parliament – at least that would be more entertaining…

    RECHARGE! ,

    James

    Again, so sorry for the side trip through politics and religion ( I didn’t start it, btw…sounding like my 6 and 8 y.o. girls… ). Somehow lost in the shuffle whilst lighting off a match in the tinderbox was my point that Volt is genius, and GM not only could find redemption, but burst ahead into a resounding lead worldwide by finding more unique solutions like it in all forms of it’s best selling vehicles, namely SUVs and light duty trucks. If they can do Volt – man, isn’t it exciting what they are capable of if they put their minds to it?

    Ford’s taking the easy path. I don’t think their conservative approach will win the day. IMO the biggest enemies of future breakthroughs in personal transportation are not EV acceptance or the price of a barrel of crude. I believe the biggest enemy going forward is the propensity for big companies to manipulate the system through political means, lessoning their obligations to find the big answers to our biggest problems.

    No political party, religious affiliation or philosophical ideology has the corner on corruption – and Don C’s commentary on the Roman Catholic church certainly points this out – and adeptly highlights my point regarding liturgical religion vs faith from the heart.

    Cheers – let’s not breach these subjects at our first Volt reunion, OK? : )


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    Aug 26th, 2011 (6:22 am)

    Jackson: This isn’t going to be a good election for the men in the middle. It’s going to be a no-holds-barred deathmatch between polarized extremes; and you’re naive to expect anything different.Face it. The “Middle of the Road” is getting thinner all the time.

    It’s the first thing I’ve disagreed with you all day.

    In fact, I live in one of the more left-leaning states ( Washington State ), and more and more from the supermarket to the line at the post office I hear discontent from Democrats re: Obama’s performance. You see, personality and charisma will not make it for him this time. This time he has a track record. It’s very common around these parts to hear lifelong Democrats complain that we are still in Afghanistan and Iraq and in even larger numbers. Lots of folks are unemployed. Many I know have taken jobs with much lower incomes. Times are hard. Time and again I hear Democrats grumble that Obama spent all his significantly large political collateral on a two year campaign to adopt government healthcare!

    “It’s the economy, stupid!” is the mantra all politicos know is the power that makes or breaks a public servant’s campaign. Right now – people who are not partisan blind are open to new thinking and that makes the “middle” much larger than ever before, in my opinion. Lots of folks are plain tired of this possible double-dipping, lingering recession and no amount of partisanship or popularity puts bread on one’s family’s table.

    This is why I am so frustrated at the candidates who have decided to toss their hats in the ring. From right-wing whackjobs to Massachussets gov. healthcare washout pretty boys. When Palin tips in, it will become a full-blown circus sideshow. Chris Christie WHERE ARE YOU?!!!

    A Christie-Marco Rubio ticket would have a lot of traction against a very vulnerable Barack Obama.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


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    Aug 26th, 2011 (10:04 am)

    Jackson: You mean the way that Cossack Steve Jobs forced all those people to buy iPods, iPads and iPhones?

    There’s a difference between buying an Ipod, and say the food you need to live on, or housing, or energy, etc…


  101. 101
    jeffhre

     

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    Aug 26th, 2011 (4:06 pm)

    kdawg: You don’t need religion to have morals.
    Our founding fathers also practiced slavery, had very little knowledge of the universe, and didn’t allow women to vote. I hate when people use the “Founding Fathers” arguement.

    That should be ethics or ethical behavior.

    George S. Bower:
    jeffhre,

    and DonC,

    Pretty interesting stuff. Toyota copied HSD. I never knew that. I guess before I say that I should study the two drives and look at the similarities though.

    I wrote some other stuff too, lost in moderation though. Lost it twice, not going to try again. Maybe Jeff Cobb is working on something for a future issue. Or just too many brands for one short post… :)