Nov 09

Are the Volt or 240-volt plug-in chargers a fire hazard?

 

By now GM-Volt forum readers know about the Volt that was caught in a Mooresville, N.C., fire last week and controversy surrounding it.

If you’ve not heard, both the Volt and the Siemens level II charger it was plugged into have been called into question as possible culprits.

In the fire, a house and garage sustained an estimated $800,000 damage. Besides the Volt and charger, a whole slew of other potential ways for a fire to start were also reported present.

 

Not least of the critics to suspect the Volt was the National Legal Policy Center. With characteristically questionable ethics, the self-appointed watchdog said GM might be guilty until proven innocent, just as it did when a Volt caught fire and was later cleared in Connecticut.

Where things actually stand is the investigation is ongoing. The media is nonetheless looking at the nascent electric vehicle industry under a microscope while many more fires happen regularly that arouse much less public scrutiny.

Yesterday we contacted the Iredell County Fire Marshal’s office, and learned only that the fire marshal was at the scene investigating. Also there were GM, as well as Duke Energy, insurance company investigators, Siemens, U.S. Department of Transportation and others with a stake in the outcome.

The PR damage began for the electric Chevy when Duke Energy issued a press release immediately after the fire, warning its customers of potential hazards from home charging. About 125 customers were asked to stop charging until Duke “out of an abundance of caution” could be sure of the risks.

While we are waiting like everyone else, our suspicion is the Volt will be cleared. In an interview yesterday, GM Spokesman Rob Peterson said that he could not go on record with any kind of definitive position.

He said only that the fire marshal is doing his job, and he asked for people to exercise patience and suspend judgment until the facts come out.

Reality check

Putting things into perspective would also help. According to a cursory analysis by greentechmedia.com, the odds of a fire occurring at a gasoline station were one in 23, whereas the odds of an EV fire at this point have been one in 3,750.

This roughly calculated determination was based on 5,020 fires per year at gasoline stations reported between 2004-2008 by the National Fire Protection Association. These were divided into 117,000 stations reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2007.

This perspective highlights the extreme vigilance taking place until the public can become comfortable with plug-in cars.

The subjective nature of the general public’s comfort zone was shown in stark relief considering that gasoline stations have had decades to get safety protocols under control, and their percentage of fires is still relatively high.

In contrast, EVs are brand new, and there are comparatively few. Greentechmedia.com estimated out of 15,000 EVs on the road, there have been four fires reported.

Of these four, one was rock star Neil Young’s custom-made LincVolt that burned a warehouse of memorabilia and that appeared to be the car’s fault. Another was a converted 2008 Prius plug-in which had its upholstery ignite after a loose wire contacted it. Another was the Volt in Connecticut about which the fire marshal told me it wasn’t the car’s fault.

And the fourth was this latest fire which the NLPC’s Mark Modica dutifully wrote about being that this involved another Volt, and he said it was becoming a suspicious trend.

Despite the Connecticut fire marshal having cleared the previous Volt, in his latest piece, Modica said that investigation was not done properly, and suggested the second one was starting to look like a cover up among other conspiracies:

The question arises, just how far will GM, the Obama Administration and green ideologues go to prove that the Chevy Volt (as well as electric cars in general) is the future of the American auto industry? Fluffing up the perception of huge demand for the Volt is one thing, but there should be no compromises when it comes to the safety of Americans who buy into the hype of the Chevy Volt and purchase the vehicles. All taxpayers are paying to subsidize purchases of the Volt and plug-in charging stations; it would be a shame to see that the money usurped is putting people at risk.

Are Modica’s insinuations nothing more than one ideologue falsely accusing an alleged other? According to Jalopnik’s Justin Hyde, in his article, “Haters to the Right” earlier this year about the alleged dealer tax rebate gaming scandal, it sure looks like it.

“National Legal and Policy Center is one of a number of groups which criticizes the Obama administration for a living,” Hyde wrote. “Funded in part by right-wing activist Richard Mellon Scaife, nearly all of its stories target Democrats in some fashion, and the Volt piece was part of the site’s ‘union corruption update’ series.”

In any case, the NLPC’s motives and tactics are transparent, so without giving it any more thought, a more realistic consideration would be that if EVs and charging stations are going to be problematic we’d be seeing more issues in the beginning, not fewer.

It is also pretty obvious that EVs are receiving inordinate scrutiny while society tolerates the collateral damage that is proven to be far worse to date from internal combustion vehicles.

Examining only some auto fires, of the 5,020 annual gasoline station fires cited above, around 61-percent were started by internal combustion vehicles on site.

Of these, costs were two lives on average, 48 fire injuries and $20 million in direct property damage per year, according the the National Fire Protection Association. To date plug-in cars have not seen such a death toll or costs.

 

One could go on looking at fire dangers from things like lint-filled clothes dryer traps, barbeque grilles, or other everyday close encounters with combustible materials.

Human society long ago dove into playing with fire, and when convenient, has deemed the risk and loss of life and property through inevitable accidents as part of acceptable chances taken.

As for flammable chemicals, many casualties, burns and losses later, we have learned things like not to look for a gas leak with a match and not to transfer gasoline from one container to another with a lighted cigarette dangling from one’s mouth.

It is possible that a 240-volt electric car charger if not done to code or otherwise compromised could overload an electrical system. If set up correctly, the actual current draw is on par with an electric dryer.

Shall we yank out dryers too since they could be as dangerous as chargers?

Or will we live and learn?

When we learn the cause of the North Carolina fire, we’ll let you know.

greentechmedia.com, NLPC, Jalopnik, WSOCTV.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 9th, 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: 84


  1. 1
    Russ

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (6:17 am)

    (click to show comment)


  2. 2
    Happy Go Lucky

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (6:34 am)

    I have to question the data in the article about the odds of a fire at a gas station being 1 in 23.

    What is that number and how did they get it? Every year you will hear about 10 people nationwide who have a fire because of static from something stupid like cell phone or they did not discharge from themselves before filling up. But 10 or even 20 fires a year out of millions of cars and trucks versus 3-4 fires in one year of about 10,000 electric vehicles is a fact, and the numbers stated don’t jive.


  3. 3
    jeffhre

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (6:46 am)

    Russ: Well for the few Volts that are out there this seems to be an very alarming trend. Li ion batteries have always had a bad rap for catching fire if something in manufacturing was incorrect. Do you think the pressures from GM and other companies to get production numbers up from the battery(lg) companies has something to do with quality control???

    No, I don’t. As for Li Ion catching fire, you would have to query Sony for the reason that their batteries had metal particles floating in the electrolytes that shorted and started the highly publicized fires and led to millions of Sony batteries being recalled.


  4. 4
    Bonaire

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (7:06 am)

    The number 1:23 came from a “cursory analysis” by greentechmedia.com. A better number would be to compare number of gas fill-ups to number of charging occurrences on a per-year basis. Fires per gas fill-ups would have to be 1:billions. Not yet in the billions for EVs, yet. 15,000 cars x 1.5 daily recharges x 365 = 1:8212500. Since the CT fire was deemed not a fault of the EV, and this fire review also is not yet conclusive, we may say we still have zero OEM EV fires once the fire marshall puts out a review. The one problem with comparing gas refills to EV recharging – the EV may be in an enclosed garage and if anything does go wrong, more than just a car and a pump-site would be at risk.

    Even if the Siemens ESVE is at fault – that is not a GM/Volt/EV issue. Won’t stop me from buying an EV. Might be trouble for Siemens or Duke. My bet is on trouble with the electrical configuration or wiring. If anything would worry me, it might be the original 120V cords that we’ve heard the stories about overheating.

    Consider the number of house fires started by:
    - Christmas tree lighting
    - corrosion and arcing of sockets
    - electric blanket/heating pad
    - space heaters
    - fireplace misuse
    - smokers
    - candles


  5. 5
    James

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (7:10 am)

    Russ: Well for the few Volts that are out there this seems to be an very alarming trend. Li ion batteries have always had a bad rap for catching fire if something in manufacturing was incorrect. Do you think the pressures from GM and other companies to get production numbers up from the battery(lg) companies has something to do with quality control??? Just a thought.

    I definately would not call two incidents a “trend”. In fact, only paranoia and fear-mongering could call this that. This morning I just realized how many tools Big Oil can use to foster fear amongst the masses re: electric cars, or any industry or lobby that wishes to protect it’s turf and snuff out a new emerging technology that it feels threatened by. Expect many mountains to be built from mere molehills if any EV enthusiast anywhere experiences a fire at his/her home.

    Any house fire is an emergency and an unfortunate situation, no matter the cause. One could dial up data on electrical fires each year also. One would find that 99.999% would NOT include an electric car, electric lawn mower or even a mobile phone or robo vaccume cleaner charging away at it’s outlet. If robo vaccumes threatened the conventional vaccume cleaner industry in the same way the onset of the EV revolution seems to threaten most carmakers and the replacement parts industry – I would think sometime, somewhere rumors would be generated about homes that ended up in firey peril due to that charging Roomba!

    Of course, any rational, thinking human would wait and get all the facts, and look for any possible motive and motivation of the loud voice in the room crying “FIRE! FIRE!”.

    On the positive side, this does bring into focus the DIY EV fan or EV buyer who wants to save a buck by having some unlicensed guy or Uncle Harry install his home charger. Is it worth risking your family and all your posessions to save a couple bucks on a charger installation?! Strangely, to some, it appears so. A scan of EV and even Volt forums usually turns up a couple guys stating, “hey, it’s just like a 240v dryer hookup, anybody can do it in an hour or so…”, etc etc.

    I’m of the opinion this story isn’t really even worthy of a raised eyebrow over the morning coffee – just like the current Herman Cain sideshow, or last week’s political scandalous muckraking or the week before, or the week before’s. Maybe I’ve just reached the age where I remember last year’s sensationalist “journalism” and the last decade’s. We know publications and broadcast firms need to sell soap to stay in the race. It’s just tedious to see how media gets it’s hooks into a questionable, non-substantiated “story” and runs with it, and runs and runs and wears it out until the next “horrible, terrible scandal” appears to blab about. Fear is a great “tool” to accomplish an intended goal. In this case, putting doubts in people’s minds re: electric vehicle charging will sell papers – stir public apprehension and bolster the old guard of infernal combustion. After all, it’s the devil we know as opposed to something new and….”scarey” that we just aren’t accustomed to. Perfect fodder to instill anxiety on an unsuspecting public.

    Let’s hope and pray these house fire stories don’t become the next Herman Cain story. Sheesh, it seems like the news media forgot about Bill Clinton, and how even after his Oval Office shenanigans under his desk, the lies and public denials – the trials and endless hours of gossip and media spotlights, it just faded away and after all that – nobody really cared all that much. Bill is stronger today than ever in public opinion, yet today – liberal and conservative media outlets alike blast headlines and hours of broadcast time on: “Could this …scandal…ruin Herman Cain’s career?!!” Oh yes, the fact somebody is accusing him of something that may have happened 14 years ago, but they just now have to speak up”….hmmmm….ARE WE REALLY THAT STUPID?

    Peak Oil is the glaring issue here, our enemies getting stronger – benefitting from our slow acceptance of change for good — toxins in the air we breathe, and perhaps, even the warming of the greenhouse we live in….But no…..no, we must look at these house fires and blame them on….OF COURSE!…..THE CHEVY VOLT!!!!

    If this becomes an issue —- we all really need to get a life.

    VOLT, IT’S MORE FREEDOM THAN ELECTRIC! ,

    James


  6. 6
    James

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (7:12 am)

    my post disappeared. > Poof! < Can u find it number one?

    Anyway – the press has to sell soap…The Herman Cain malarkey is wearing VERY thin…Plus, there are so many interests…Big Oil, Auto Industry that likes the status quo, huge entities that support the replacement parts industry…They all drool at the opportunity for stories like this to proliferate – crushing the EV industry in it's infancy. So many that can profit from this week's latest conspiracy or scandal…It's almost a wonder more of this type of smearing doesn't happen – anything to damage what, in my mind, is the inevetible adoption of the electric car.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James

    On a positive note: Perhaps stories like this will dissuade that all-too-familiar fella in nearly every EV forum ( including GM-Volt.com’s ) who states: “Hey, you can DIY – after all a charger is just like a clothes dryer hookup”. We all know him, Pennywise/Poundfoolish Pete – the guy who buys a Volt but gets Uncle Harry to come over and slap in a charger circuit. After all, the payoff to him is to save a couple bucks, but the big picture result may be a worldwide slam of EVs as fire hazards, and not worth the risk.


  7. 7
    Koz

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (7:30 am)

    Thankfully Mark Modica and like mindless zombies weren’t at the reins when the first automobiles, planes, electricity generators, clothes dryers, hand dryers, computers, etc, etc were being developed and first marketed.

    Mindless bashing like his, Cavuto’s, Limbaugh’s, etc is bad for everyone. I know there intents aren’t anti-American or to supress development but those are the results.


  8. 8
    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (7:34 am)

    I have a 220V EVSE from SPX and have not found it to be even warm during charging. I leave the AC on in the garage during hot summer weather in Florida and the door cracked open during cooler weather. There just seems to be no way in my opinion that this installation could be the cause of the fire.

    Like another said more likely the lint in the dryer discharge would catch fire. By the way is the laundry in this persons garage?

    Take Care, TED


  9. 9
    joe

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (7:36 am)

    Battery chargers have been around for as long as batteries, and they are not known to catch on

    fire. It is easy to blame the Volt whenever there is a fire in a garage. Many more likely things in

    the garage exists which could cause a fire. I don’t think the Volt cause this fire.

    My fear is this bad publicity might give the insurance companies an excuse to raise it’s premium.


  10. 10
    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (7:37 am)

    Are those who bash invested heavily in Petroleum. I think that this is more than likely.

    Take Care, TED


  11. 11
    Raymondjram

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (7:47 am)

    I feel bad about any news about fires, but worse if the headlines mention electric vehicles or any other electrical device. Thomas Edison was the first to realize that unprotected electrcal circuits can heat up wires and cause fires. That is why he invented the fuse (this is an uncredited invention, but true), using the same screw-in base as his light bulb. I bet some of you have seen these fuses, and probably have read that they can be defeated with a penny in the socket!

    The first home uses of electricity for illumination was also done with very little protection, and soon some homes were suffering the first electrical fires. I understand that the New York City firemen were the first to establish some type of regulations on the wiring to prevent future fires, and this grew into the first fire codes, later becoming the National Electric Code (NEC) rules and regulations, to whicjh all electrical engineers (like me) and electricians must follow to ensure consumer and equipment safety in any home or industry installations.

    I know that GM has an outstanding record of protecting electrical circuits in all of their vehicles against possible failures and fires, so I am very sure that the Volt will never be a cause of an electrical fire. But I know that the other devices, such as the charging stations, must also be covered by the NEC during their installations, and therefore must pass inspections. Yet the NEC and all the professionals in this field cannot prevent accidental failures or misuse of these devices, and that alone can cause these fires which are being reported, thus unprepared reporters (making their best headlines) find faults with these new devices and appliances, but never nvestigate the true cause.

    I hope these misinformed reportes really accept the facts and let America complete its electrification in the transportation area, as it has already done in home and industry illumination, heating, cooling, cooking, and entertainment.

    Raymond


  12. 12
    Fred

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (8:01 am)

    If you want to play around in the muck with that idiot that runs that NLPC website be prepared to be taken less seriously yourself. This post would have a lot more credibility if you didn’t bring up that ridiculous ‘cheerleading for GM’s failure’ website.


  13. 13
    Brett Pavel

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (8:07 am)

    I’ll tell ya my horses are terrified of them new horseless buggies running around belching smoke, making loud noise, and catching fire! In fact I heard tell they can even cause miscarriages and permanent nervous disorders! The country is sure heading in the wrong direction if they allow those four wheel abominations to continue to destroy our communities!


  14. 14
    Bonaire

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (8:18 am)

    Given all the devices we have and lack of real serious maintenance we do with our electrical circuits – I’m still surprised we have as few house fires as we do now. I’m just amazed at the safety record of our modern society.


  15. 15
    Darpa

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (8:22 am)

    A word to the wise. If you already have an alarm system installed at your home adding a smoke/temperature sensor in your garage can make the difference between an inconvenience and death.

    Driving a hot motorized vehicle (car, motorcycle, lawnmower, etc.) into your attached garage with oily rags, gas cans, and other vehicles has an element of risk. Modern cars are more complex and when turned off, many components keep running (water pumps for turbos, fans, etc.) after you have left the vehicle.

    A high voltage line charging a car daily in the garage is a much greater proposition than a laundry dryer in that same garage being used once/twice a week for a few hours.

    FYI: Garages used to not be attached to the main home for a reason beyond convenience


  16. 16
    Jeff Cobb

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (8:32 am)

    Darpa,

    True story – in the 80s I worked for a car dealer who had a Lamborghini Countach and a really well-appointed house. His brother took the car for a blast, rode it hard, put it away wet … or hot with a fluid drip. He said he parked it in the garage, heard hiss, hiss, hiss, them POOF! The car ignited suddenly and before the fire company could put it out, it had destroyed itself and much of the house.


  17. 17
    Ewiggins

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (8:41 am)

    I wonder who installed the charger at this house. Was it a do it yourself job or certified install. As far as vehicles catching fire. My brother’s Ford caught fire and burned his house and my coworker’s father’s Ford caught fire and burned up the vehicle in a matter of mintutes. Also we had a video card in a PC catch fire. We happened to be at work when it happened so we were able to unplug it.

    I wonder if these chargers have built in fuses. I may install my 240 charger in a metal box just to be safe.


  18. 18
    Bonaire

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (8:54 am)

    It has been suggested to use a 15A breaker for the circuit rather than 20A. The stories have said it was installed by Duke Power under an ESEV program.

    For me, I will probably be charging outside off of a circuit tied to a 50A service we have installed for our parents who visit with their RV.

    Semi-related question. Do we know of any homes with Solar PV systems which have had relate fire issues at all? Did that industry ever have any bad-press regarding that kind of trouble?


  19. 19
    Bonaire

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (9:04 am)

    I re-read the story from the news source.

    It clearly said: Fire investigators said there were other things plugged in where the fire started.

    Other things? Where the fire started? Clearly, this is not a solved case nor is it at all pointing at the Volt as a cause. But the car is an EV and it’s a garage fire and … let’s jump to conclusions by the media saying words like “may have” in the articles. How many other “may haves” could be dreamed up in this case? A cow may have lumbered in from a nearby farm and kicked over a lantern.

    The CT garage fire, as Jeff mentioned, was ruled not caused by the Volt or ESVE. When you lump “EVs and garage fires” we must remove the CT garage fire from any “ratios” of EVs and fires because once cause is ruled out, it is not a relevant statistic. At this point, no OEM EVs have caused any fires. Teslas, Volts, Leafs, and others have not yet ever been deemed of “causing a fire”.


  20. 20
    Tom W

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (9:25 am)

    Great article, Stupid that its an issue.

    We have 100 years of experience with plugging things in at home that are not watched (dryers, refrigerators etc.).

    Much more dangerous are the plug in electric heaters, same issue, must have safe circuit etc.

    Perhaps a nice feature though for the volt would be a VERY loud smoke alarm.


  21. 21
    kdawg

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:08 am)

    “but there should be no compromises when it comes to the safety of Americans who buy into the hype of the Chevy Volt and purchase the vehicles.” Mark Modica
    ——————————

    Since when do the current extreme-right republicans care about safety? All i hear from them is to get rid of regulations, get rid of the EPA, and if people want to kill themselves, that’s their business, not the government’s.


  22. 22
    kdawg

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:11 am)

    Jeff Cobb: True story – in the 80s I worked for a car dealer who had a Lamborghini Countach and a really well-appointed house. His brother took the car for a blast, rode it hard, put it away wet … or hot with a fluid drip. He said he parked it in the garage, heard hiss, hiss, hiss, them POOF! The car ignited suddenly and before the fire company could put it out, it had destroyed itself and much of the house.

    Also a true story from the 80′s. My friend’s family escaped a fire at night from a car fire in their garage. The investigators believed a dome light or glove compartment light stayed on causing the car to catch fire. Luckily one of them woke up and got everyone out of the house. It was a bad fire, but it didn’t make national news, as I bet most other car fires don’t.


  23. 23
    Tom W

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:13 am)

    kdawg: Since when do the current extreme-right republicans care about safety? All i hear from them is to get rid of regulations, get rid of the EPA, and if people want to kill themselves, that’s their business, not the government’s.

    As a country we will continue to be in decline as long as folks like you twist the words of others.
    All people do is twist the words of others to push their agenda.

    There are no republicans saying anything of the sort. There are some libertarians who say get rid of the EPA and let the states regulate safety which is a completely different statement.

    But most republicans are talking about things like sarbanes /oxley, Dodd/Frank bills that put excessive paper pushing, not local fire codes etc. Please look in the mirror and stop partisan attacks and putting words in peoples mouths.


  24. 24
    DonC

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:14 am)

    I think Mark Modica is a Al Qaeda operative. What evidence do we have? I don’t know, I’m sort of making it up, but more evidence than he has that the Volt is unsafe. Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!


  25. 25
    kdawg

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:20 am)

    Someone ask Mark Modica if he’s so concerned about safety why do we let people own guns? How many people die from shootings vs. electrical fires? Does he think those should be banned?

    Ask him if we should also ban 12V battery chargers?

    Ask him if he owns a refridgerator, or a plasma TV, and if he feels safe with those deadly devices in his home?

    Does he know his car also has an electrical system?

    Does he know his car has a tank full of gallons of flammable liquid?

    (sigh)


  26. 26
    DonC

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:21 am)

    On a serious note, it’s empirically true that human beings greatly underestimate large and known risks and greatly overestimate small new risks. There are roughly 35K traffic DEATHS a year. At this point there may be one fire and ZERO deaths attributable to EV charging. A rational person would worry about the first but not the second. They’d be more interested in the crash test numbers than about home charging since highway accidents post bigger risks than charging.

    But if we’re honest with ourselves we know that we have to control our instincts to worry more about the latter than the former. In fact while we may discount the possibility, fires at gas stations can and do happen, especially in winter. But we’ve all been to a gas station many times. We know how they work. Charging is new and hence scary. That’s why these stories get so much traction.


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    BLIND GUY

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:22 am)

    We don’t know what caused this fire at this point. I do know; when we get a plug-in-car; I will have a dedicated line installed to code by a licensed electrician. I will also be very careful about using just any plug for 110v charging away from home. Would it help to have a voltage, amp or other meter to test 110v outlets before using them, when you’re away from home? More precisely; what should people be testing for, when testing an outlet? Thx.


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    kdawg

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:23 am)

    DonC: I think Mark Modica is a Al Qaeda operative. What evidence do we have? I don’t know, I’m sort of making it up, but more evidence than he has that the Volt is unsafe. Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    You can say whatever you want, just follow it up with “this was not intended to be a factual statement.”

    Funny read
    http://politicalhumor.about.com/b/2011/04/13/stephen-colbert-top-10-non-factual-statements-about-jon-kyl.htm


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    DonC

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:29 am)

    kdawg: You can say whatever you want, just follow it up with “this was not intended to be a factual statement.”

    That was so funny. My favorite is:

    3. Jon Kyl calls the underside of his Senate seat: “The Booger Graveyard.”

    Yuck!


  30. 30
    Steve

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:35 am)

    Sounds all inconclusive to me. Makes me less enthusiastic about rapid charging becoming routine soon. The faster you try to charge them the more challenging it is to assure safety.


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    Jeff Cobb

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:38 am)

    kdawg,

    Do you want to see a video of how NOT to represent a Prius or any other advanced-tech car? (Stereotypical self-righteous owner confronts diesel pickup owner.) Say so, and I’ll post it.


  32. 32
    ronr64

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:44 am)

    I tried to find some statistics on garage fires to see if the 2 volts involved in garage fires represent normal car fire statistics. There were 190,500 car fires in 2009. In 2007 we had about 254,000,000 cars registered. This works out to 1 out of 1336 cars catching on fire. Surprisingly on the surface this would mean that even if the 2 Volts in question actually caused the fire it wouldn’t be statistically out of line. That is until you dig deeper in the statistics. Car fires have been steadily dropping at a fairly significant rate for at least the last 20 years. Since new cars are being added and old cars are dropping out that means that new cars today must be much less likely to catch on fire then old cars were when they were new much less when they are 10 years old or even 20. I have no idea what the odds of say a 1 year old or newer car catching on fire but safe to say it is significantly lower than 1:1336. I would speculated at least 10 times less likely but that is pure speculation.


  33. 33
    lousloot

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:46 am)

    Environmental dangers to the Volt: Makes sense for it to Honk or something! At least call OnStar.

    I wonder what the logic circuits thought when the battery packs reached 130 degrees — did it start the battery cooling loop?

    When the packs hit 200 degrees?

    The Volt must have “known” something was wrong in that garage.

    Since the Volt is monitoring its environment already, it should be able to raise the alarm.

    Think of the headliines:

    Chevy Volt Saves Family When Garage Catches Fire.

    Tom W: Perhaps a nice feature though for the volt would be a VERY loud smoke alarm.


  34. 34
    nasaman

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:51 am)

    BLIND GUY: More precisely; what should people be testing for, when testing an outlet? Thx.

    Every outlet inside/outside a home and garage should be tested for voltage drop under max load.
    I had an “engineering inspection” of my current home BEFORE entering a purchase contract for it. The inspector plugged a 20A load into every socket of every outlet rated at 20A to test for excess contact resistance under full load. As an electrical engineer myself, I strongly suggest every homeowner check the outlet he/she is charging from (or plugging a kitchen toaster oven, portable heater or other heavy load into) for either 1) excessive warmth or 2) insufficient insertion and/or extraction force with the load in place. If either 1) or 2) are suspect, go to Home Depot/Lowes/etc and get yourself a replacement socket (they’re extremely cheap compared to even a small fire).


  35. 35
    kdawg

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:55 am)

    lousloot: I wonder what the logic circuits thought when the battery packs reached 130 degrees — did it start the battery cooling loop?
    When the packs hit 200 degrees?
    The Volt must have “known” something was wrong in that garage.
    Since the Volt is monitoring its environment already, it should be able to raise the alarm.

    Find the black box. (j/k, but not a bad idea, or at least some Onstar reporting, have to be careful w/the liability lawyers though)


  36. 36
    kdawg

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:57 am)

    Jeff Cobb,

    Yes, i can always find time at lunch to watch a video


  37. 37
    Jeff Cobb

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (11:01 am)

    kdawg:
    Jeff Cobb,

    Yes, i can always find time at lunch to watch a video

    Not that I’m concerned about it from anyone here, but here’s how not to behave when you are the proud owner of a Prius or other efficient vehicle.

    Warning: some NSFW language –


  38. 38
    kdawg

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (11:42 am)

    Jeff Cobb,

    LOL. There’s so many ways to go w/this my head’s exploding. There’s a lot of irony, and also just plain funny antics. Somone was either having a bad day or forget their meds. This had to be in California (no offense California ;-) )


  39. 39
    Jeff Cobb

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (11:50 am)

    kdawg: LOL. There’s so many ways to go w/this my head’s exploding.

    I had to restrain myself, but anyone else, feel free, if you want to.
    :)


  40. 40
    volt11

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (11:51 am)

    Tom W,

    Tom W: As a country we will continue to be in decline as long as folks like you twist the words of others.All people do is twist the words of others to push their agenda. There are no republicans saying anything of the sort. There are some libertarians who say get rid of the EPA and let the states regulate safety which is a completely different statement.But most republicans are talking about things like sarbanes /oxley, Dodd/Frank bills that put excessive paper pushing, not local fire codes etc. Please look in the mirror and stop partisan attacks and putting words in peoples mouths.

    I understand your point, but I have to disagree. The Republicans and right wing have gone further and further off the deep end of irrationality in the past several years, and it seems Fox News is leading the charge. Their rhetoric just gets more and more ridiculous, often seeming to just make things up as they go along. Even if they’re not saying get rid of it, please show me ONE Republican politician in the last 2 years who has publicly come out in favor of the EPA, or the principles it operates by? Or in favor of alternative energy? Or who praised the USA for coming up with the Chevy Volt? Or with any statement, of any kind, that talks about conservation and preserving our environment for future generations? This is not putting words in people’s mouths, this is a flat, honest, objective read of what’s really happening in American politics, sometimes by omission. I sympathize with Republicans who don’t really want to align themselves with the lunatic fringe that has now become the mainstream party line in order to stay electable. The reality is we now live in a world where no Republican candidate will come out during a debate to criticize people in the audience who boo a gay serviceman or applaud the idea of letting the uninsured die. I believe that to reasonable people, this current state of affairs is downright horrifying.


  41. 41
    Brian

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (11:58 am)

    Just some points & answers about US power.

    Standard voltages are 120, 208, 240 & 277

    Europe is 230 only

    Breakers are designed to run at 50% overload for 1 hour before opening, so the wiring must be sized so not to exceed its max running temperature for 1 hour.

    Breakers are to protect the wiring not the equipment, they should have their own breaker/fuse to match their ampage.

    On any 120 volt cord DO NOT upsize the plug from 15amps ( which is only designed to carry 12 amps continusely) all US plugs are only rated 80% continuesly.
    In Europe they are 100% rated.
    So a US 40 amp European equivlant to a 32amp.

    If the plug is up sized say to 40 amps then under fault contions the cord could melt & catch fire.

    Would I check any unknown 120 volt supply before plugging in an expensive Volt. YES!

    Why, most houses in the US are wired 120 0 120. That is why you can have 120 and 240 volts.

    Note, both lines are hot on 240, use double pole switches not single pole.

    Now as many houses have overhead fed, with the 0 (neutral line)
    as the support wire, with the 2 hot wires wraped around it.
    The support 0 wire can break during storms or other mechanical damage,
    but the wires still stay up, so goes unnoticed.
    All the 240 devices are not worried, as do not use 0 line.

    If all the device are equaly distributed between the 2, 120 volt phases,
    then they still see 120 volts as the they act as a voltage deviders and the 0 line wanders around 0 volts.
    Now if you plug a Volt in with a constant 12 amp load this will pull the 0 line towards 120 volts
    lowering the feed voltage to the car.
    But all devices on the other 120 phase will see more than 120 volts
    and may fail/catch fire with overvoltage.
    This happens more often than you think.

    A big cause of fires is the twist nut device used to join wires as
    becomes loose over time and over heats.

    Brian.

    HP Power & Computer Environment Specalist retired.


  42. 42
    Mark Z

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (12:11 pm)

    I had a washer and gas dryer installed yesterday. I questioned the installer when he drilled one screw into the dryer vent with my comment, “that will collect lint.” Sure enough, later in the evening I read the installation instructions that state that screws must not be used due to lint catching on the threads.

    Labeling circuit breakers recently revealed a 240 volt air conditioner on two separate non-ganged breakers!

    How many appliances are installed incorrectly everyday?


  43. 43
    kdawg

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (12:34 pm)

    Tom W: There are no republicans saying anything of the sort.

    I clarified my statement by saying “extreme-right replublicans”. Do you want to stick to your statement that “no republicans” are calling for such actions?

    (note: I don’t like extreme-left democratic views either)


  44. 44
    Bobby Lutsy

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (12:39 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  45. 45
    George

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (12:47 pm)

    kdawg:

    This had to be in California (no offense California )

    Forget you Kdawg. That’s not CA and you can’t get away with stupid stereotyping by saying no offense. So much for keeping these comments constructive. Now I’ve broken my own rule.

    JCobb, thanks for the share, that was amazing and funny. What you drive is a personal choice, although I wish more people drove fuel efficient cars, I can’t force them to.


  46. 46
    JohnK

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (12:56 pm)

    nasaman: Every outlet inside/outside a home and garage should be tested for voltage drop under max load.I had an “engineering inspection” of my current home BEFORE entering a purchase contract for it. The inspector plugged a 20A load into every socket of every outlet rated at 20A to test for excess contact resistance under full load. As an electrical engineer myself, I strongly suggest every homeowner check the outlet he/she is charging from (or plugging a kitchen toaster oven, portable heater or other heavy load into) for either 1) excessive warmth or 2) insufficient insertion and/or extraction force with the load in place. If either 1) or 2) are suspect, go to Home Depot/Lowes/etc and get yourself a replacement socket (they’re extremely cheap compared to even a small fire).

    I believe that the two Voltec EVSE’s both have some serious diagnostic capabilities, including GFCI’s built in. When I visited my parents in Ohio I could not get the 120V EVSE to accept the power feed – just too dirty for some reason or other (maybe not properly grounded on third prong). Anyway, I suspect that the Volt will do a good deal of testing for you.


  47. 47
    scottf200

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (1:12 pm)

    Re: Mark Modica

    http://www.google.com/search?&q=Mark+Modica+saturn

    Mark Modica, a former Saturn dealer GM bondholder, has leveraged his financial loss at the hands of the government bailout nto a blogging position at the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative nonprofit that “promotes ethics in public life through research, investigation, education and legal action.” At the NLPC, Modica focuses on what he believes to be corruption surrounding the auto bailout, and has written a series of anti-GM posts that make TTAC look like a Detroit hometown newspaper.

    Mark Modica was a business manager at a now-closed Saturn dealership in Chalfont, Pa., and then a steering-committee member of Main Street Bondholders, a coa ition of small GM investors. He is an associate fellow at the National Legal and Policy Center.


  48. 48
    Loboc

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (1:14 pm)

    I think we will see quite a few fires that are related to EV charging.

    Most homes aren’t up to current code. I know mine isn’t since some of the wiring is ungrounded two-wire from the ’50s.

    An EV charges over a longer time using high amperage. It takes 4 hours at 240v to fully charge an EV. A dryer runs for maybe 30 minutes in ‘heat’ mode. Plus, it cycles on and off.

    An EV (any new high load) can unbalance the legs of the electrical system IF there is a neutral problem and using 110v charging. This can cause high/low voltage on all 110v systems. We’re talking 12 amps for 10 hours. A much higher load than anything else. Plus, the EV doesn’t cycle like a refrigerator.

    Neutral and grounding problems are more common than people realize. These are mechanical connections that can loosen over time causing arc faults.

    A garage is usually unconditioned space. This means that any outlets are subjected to swings in humidity and temperature which can cause corrosion and connection loosening.

    Home builders use the cheapest 110v outlets they can get. I have seen 20 amp circuits with 15 amp cheap outlets in new homes as well as older construction. They aren’t really designed to be plugged/unplugged daily. Usually, once you plug something in (like a lamp or a tv), it stays there for years. Even ones that you use for things like vacuum cleaners are cycled weekly, not daily.

    Rarely do you see a dedicated 20 amp/110v circuit in a garage. Usually there are 8 or so outlets daisy-chained together including outdoor ones.

    An EV needs to be plugged/unplugged every day. A dryer (or other existing load) does not. Just the act of plugging and unplugging can weaken the connectors.

    EVs are set up to charge unattended, unlike using an electric stove or clothes dryer. This means that any overheating/smoke/arcing is likely to go unnoticed.

    It may not be the EV itself, but, extra load, multiple plugs/unplugs and inattention can cause problems. Including fires.


  49. 49
    Bonaire

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (1:17 pm)

    George,
    The accents make me think either W. NY (I’m from there), Ohio or possibly lower Ontario. I could be entirely wrong, though.


  50. 50
    mitch

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (1:26 pm)

    I would not call it a trend…but if you want to, both fires had homes as sis many other house fires…so I think its houses that are the trend…we should all move to high rises as they have far fewer fires than home (primarily I believe because the residents don’t mess with the wiring.

    BAN HOMES!!!…keep the EV’s


  51. 51
    Tex-Arl

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (1:38 pm)

    It is a shame that environmentalists feel that a conservative can’t be concerned about buying energy from overseas. It is also a shame that conservatives can’t understand liberals desire to force everyone to ride a bike.

    Somewhere there is a vast middleground.


  52. 52
    kdawg

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (1:40 pm)

    OT: but related to the Volt Gen 2 discussion the other day. Design News article on the split-cycle engine and how it may be used for EREVs. 65.4mpg (not bad). The designers say they are working with 15 of the top 16 auto companies and theif first licensee will be this year or early 2012.

    http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=233750


  53. 53
    Loboc

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (1:55 pm)

    Mark Z: screws must not be used due to lint catching on the threads

    Not only that, but, holes in the GAS dryer vent can lead to Carbon Monoxide entering the space. A single screw is not sufficient to hold the connection together. These connections should be taped with metal tape (not plastic ‘duct’ tape).

    The lack of attention to detail with installers is appalling. I’ll bet most of them aren’t even licensed in any trade. And here they are touching your electrical, plumbing and venting systems.


  54. 54
    jeffhre

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (2:35 pm)

    Bobby Lutsy: CT fire a few months ago, don’t know why, maybe because of trade secret. Also the reporting abut this incident is subdued, don’t know why.

    Re-read the comment at #20. Reading comprehension is a learned skill. Be sure to thank a teacher for the capability to apply the skill.


  55. 55
    jeffhre

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (2:49 pm)

    Loboc: Home builders use the cheapest 110v outlets they can get. I have seen 20 amp circuits with 15 amp cheap outlets in new homes as well as older construction. They aren’t really designed to be plugged/unplugged daily. Usually, once you plug something in (like a lamp or a tv), it stays there for years. Even ones that you use for things like vacuum cleaners are cycled weekly, not daily.

    There will be a lot of EVSE’s plugged in, that stay plugged in for long periods of time or may even be hard wired.

    Loboc: An EV needs to be plugged/unplugged every day. A dryer (or other existing load) does not. Just the act of plugging and unplugging can weaken the connectors.

    Wouldn’t you think that it’s the J1772 that’s plugged into the car each day, and typically not the three prong AC plug that would constantly be put in and pulled out of a cheap outlet?


  56. 56
    kdawg

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (3:21 pm)

    George: Forget you Kdawg. That’s not CA and you can’t get away with stupid stereotyping by saying no offense. So much for keeping these comments constructive. Now I’ve broken my own rule.

    Didn’t mean to offend you George. I was guessing California based on the fact I’ve never seen 2 Prius’s parked next to each other in Michigan. I think I see 1 Prius/week if that, where Californians probably see 50/day.


  57. 57
    Loboc

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (3:52 pm)

    jeffhre: There will be a lot of EVSE’s plugged in, that stay plugged in for long periods of time or may even be hard wired.

    Wouldn’t you think that it’s the J1772 that’s plugged into the car each day, and typically not the three prong AC plug that would constantly be put in and pulled out of a cheap outlet?

    I would like to believe that either of these would be the case for 100% of EV owners. Doubtful that this is what will actually happen.

    Even GM’s own commercial (the leaf blower one) indicates that an existing outlet is fine with no testing.

    Plus, people do stupid things like using light extension cords for heavy amperage applications.

    Unfortunately, electrical fires will increase (imho) with increased EV deployment.


  58. 58
    kdawg

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (4:35 pm)

    Loboc: jeffhre: There will be a lot of EVSE’s plugged in, that stay plugged in for long periods of time or may even be hard wired.
    Wouldn’t you think that it’s the J1772 that’s plugged into the car each day, and typically not the three prong AC plug that would constantly be put in and pulled out of a cheap outlet?

    I would like to believe that either of these would be the case for 100% of EV owners. Doubtful that this is what will actually happen.
    Even GM’s own commercial (the leaf blower one) indicates that an existing outlet is fine with no testing.
    Plus, people do stupid things like using light extension cords for heavy amperage applications.
    Unfortunately, electrical fires will increase (imho) with increased EV deployment.

    Another argument for wireless charging. No wear & tear on your plug or receptacle.


  59. 59
    Jim I

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (5:05 pm)

    I am late to the party today…..

    I did hear that the Volt was not part of the reason for CT fire, but I never really heard what was listed as the cause of the fire. Does anyone have that information?

    I think I will wait to hear what caused this most recent fire, which is what most people, especially in the media should do. The race to be first to report, should not overrule factual information. If you want to report that a fire occurred, fine. But then come back when the official cause has been listed, and report that as well.

    The video? I am really tired of all the rudeness and bullies! That woman was so wrong!!! SHe comes charging up to this family, and then threatens with “don’t get so close to me”. Ridiculous.

    I drive a Volt because I want to. If you ask me why, I will be glad to discuss it with you. If you don’t, I keep my mouth shut. If you need or want to drive a V-12 truck that gets 5 mpg, fine. But stop complaining about the price of fuel. Seems kind of simple to me!

    I did install my 240V Voltec charger myself. I don’t like being told I have to use a licensed electrician. It is not required. What is required is to have the work inspected. Actually, the inspector told me he thought my installation was done better than 75% of the work done by the electricians, because I just didn’t use minimum codes to get the job done.

    All this is JMHO

    C-5277


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    kdawg

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (5:08 pm)

    OT: GM stock dropped almost 11% today

    General Motors said Wednesday it made $1.7 billion in the third quarter, down from $2 billion from a year earlier, as the auto maker’s operations outside North America struggled to get traction.


  61. 61
    James

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (5:26 pm)

    scottf200: Re: Mark Modicahttp://www.google.com/search?&q=Mark+Modica+saturnMark Modica, a former Saturn dealer GM bondholder, has leveraged his financial loss at the hands of the government bailout nto a blogging position at the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative nonprofit that “promotes ethics in public life through research, investigation, education and legal action.” At the NLPC, Modica focuses on what he believes to be corruption surrounding the auto bailout, and has written a series of anti-GM posts that make TTAC look like a Detroit hometown newspaper.Mark Modica was a business manager at a now-closed Saturn dealership in Chalfont, Pa., and then a steering-committee member of Main Street Bondholders, a coa ition of small GM investors. He is an associate fellow at the National Legal and Policy Center.

    Kinda bolsters the meaning of: “consider the source” don’t it?

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  62. 62
    James

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (5:30 pm)

    Jim I: Seems kind of simple to me!I did install my 240V Voltec charger myself. I don’t like being told I have to use a licensed electrician. It is not required. What is required is to have the work inspected. Actually, the inspector told me he thought my installation was done better than 75% of the work done by the electricians, because I just didn’t use minimum codes to get the job done.All this is JMHOC-5277

    See Jim? You had your work inspected, and you know what you’re doing. You definately don’t fall into the category of “Pennywise/Poundfoolish Pete” DIYer I typified! Nice job!

    Thanks Jeff for finding and posting that lost entry! I didn’t have time to shorten or edit it as usual, but it just shows how well you run the site that you read our rants and requests and look into the bucket to see what happened to lost posts! Sorry for post #7 as it was The Department of Redundency Department.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  63. 63
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (5:48 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: Not that I’m concerned about it from anyone here, but here’s how not to behave when you are the proud owner of a Prius or other efficient vehicle.

    Yeah. We know that she and others like her just love the smell of their own farts, like this guy:
    southpark.jpg


  64. 64
    Selliing Volts at Sundance Tom Thias

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (7:08 pm)

    kdawg:
    OT: GM stock dropped almost 11% today

    General Motors said Wednesday it made $1.7 billion in the third quarter, down from $2 billion from a year earlier, as the auto maker’s operations outside North America struggled to get traction.

    Deeper P&L look. AutomotiveNews.com Gm Climbing Back to Number 1. Great Article!

    http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111109/OEM/311099726/1131


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (7:35 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Yeah. We know that she and others like her just love the smell of their own farts, like this guy:

    Since you mentioned farts…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMX8L7Yxyfk


  66. 66
    WVhybrid

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (7:52 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: Not that I’m concerned about it from anyone here, but here’s how not to behave when you are the proud owner of a Prius or other efficient vehicle.

    WOW, I think I just lowered my IQ 10 points by watching that video. I need to go put my head in a vise.


  67. 67
    Jeff Cobb

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (9:31 pm)

    WVhybrid: WOW, I think I just lowered my IQ 10 points by watching that video.I need to go put my head in a vise.

    I just laughed. I lost count of how many ways she violated Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

    Brief partial list -

    *made it all about herself
    *prejudged strangers
    *acted with self-righteous indignation foisting her values on others who were within legal rights
    *swore in front of children
    *stood her ground in front of the mother she offended
    *turned around and told parents they were setting a bad example to their children after she had cussed and disrespected the parents in front of the children
    *was dumb enough to do it all while the guy held a video camera on the whole thing

    That’s enough, though I could go on.

    I got the video from VerticalScope sister publication, The Truth About Cars.

    They got 152 comments on it since yesterday, and had initially written –

    If You Already Thought Prius Owners Were Annoying, This Video Won’t Change Your Mind (Warning: NSFW language)
    By Jack Baruth on November 8, 2011

    I’m not sure what to say about this video other than it perfectly illustrates the problem with modern American discourse. The woman in the Prius has a point: it’s probably not necessary to run a diesel pickup while it’s stationary, even if there are children sleeping inside. Unfortunately for everyone involved, she never bothers to ask that they shut the pickup off. Instead, she immediately starts exhibiting every loathsome characteristic of stereotypical hybrid owners — except personal fitness. We’ve become a country of screamers, I suppose.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/11/if-you-already-thought-prius-owners-were-annoying-this-video-wont-change-your-mind-warning-nsfw-language/


  68. 68
    Jeff Cobb

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (9:46 pm)

    James: Thanks Jeff for finding and posting that lost entry! I didn’t have time to shorten or edit it as usual, but it just shows how well you run the site that you read our rants and requests and look into the bucket to see what happened to lost posts! Sorry for post #7 as it was The Department of Redundancy Department.

    Thanks James. I try. I thought about deleting the other post, but figured it would not hurt to leave it.


  69. 69
    Sean

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (9:56 pm)

    Volt fans I just wanted to mention to you guys that just a few days ago I was riding on a Hybrid-Electric Metro bus and they seem to be nicer looking quieter as well when it came to the older models they had no air conditioning at all can you believe that! Not me either and yes as I read on the website the buses that the King county metro bought two years ago are 35% more fuel efficient than a standard metro just to say. Okay here’s the official website where the Hybrid-Electric buses come from. http://www.orionbus.com/orion/0-867-584008-1-0-0-0-0-0-0-1-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.html Now here’s the old version and yes the same paint job is being used on the Hybrid-Electric Bus now image that paint job on the Hybrid-Electric bus. http://metro.kingcounty.gov/am/vehicles/gillig.html Also here’s a video of the standard diesel Gillig. Note) It’s not being driven at all but you can see how much smog is coming out of the bus and yes it’s noisy too guys here you go. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkNtTPvFQb0 Last but not least here’s an Orion 2010 Hybrid-Electric bus being driven in Detroit enjoy and tell me what you think of I’m glad that we don’t have smelly gas guzzling Metro Buses anymore well almost.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8wnS_DKDMI


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    solo2500nt

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (10:28 pm)

    Who’s the fat self-righteousness bitch in the video. If she was in Illinois, I would arrest her for assault (and tow her precious Prius). You don’t have to actually hit anybody to be arrested.


  71. 71
    Jackson

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (11:11 pm)

    I consider myself to be a Conservative on most issues, and I happen to think that the Volt is the greatest thing on four wheels since the flivver.

    Please do not be tempted to lump us all together with this sort of “hater” screed. (I think a lot of Lefties hate the Volt too; because it carries an engine, isn’t a Prius, etc; yet this certainly does not describe anyone here). At the end of the day, we are all individuals; not mindless components of some political group consciousness, as some would have it
    (“Resistance is futile” – ? ).

    People will buy the Volt because it is better, period.


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    Sean

     

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    Nov 9th, 2011 (11:55 pm)

    Oops my mistake I guess it’s not Detroit and I meant Diesel guzzler not gas guzzler.


  73. 73
    VoltSkeptic

     

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    Nov 10th, 2011 (1:17 am)

    Tom W:
    There are no republicans saying anything of the sort.There are some libertarians who say get rid of the EPA and let the states regulate safety which is a completely different statement.

    But most republicans are talking about things like sarbanes /oxley, Dodd/Frank bills that put excessive paper pushing, not local fire codes etc.Please look in the mirror and stop partisan attacks and putting words in peoples mouths.

    Huh? So Perry’s statement in the debate about getting rid of the EPA was because he’s a libertarian? Even though he needed other Republican candidates to remind him what the agency’s name was and then they cheered? The irony is that Nixon created the damn agency.

    The EPA was created because the states refused to regulate environmental safety, couldn’t negotiate across borders (Connecticut: How the Merrimac isn’t drinkable anymore, NH: your downstream too bad, riverbed is fine for us ), and most importantly couldn’t afford to do the research to even remotely figure out what is safe and what isn’t (DDT, Fluourocarbons, Ozone, etc). Our state’s DEQ is so underfunded they don’t even investigate pollution cases anymore unless the EPA forces them to do it. Sure the Republican’s want to get rid of “excessive regulations”, unfortunately businesses seem to be the only ones who are benefiting and not us individuals who don’t fall into a special interest category.

    Our problems aren’t about twisting words, it’s about individuals too lazy to really listen, investigate those words, and call out people who say outright lies, omit the truth, or just plain don’t think about the ramifications of what they are spewing, like Mr. Modica. Most of all our problems are about politicians who are thinking only about themselves and next year and not about the country and what happens when they, if ever, get out of office. “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president” – Mitch McConnell, Oct 2010. Really? I could have sworn it was to earn his salary and serve his country, e.g. create laws to help us (his employers) and get them passed, naive me.

    Cheers to Tom W for catching an excessive stereotyping of conservative trends that was no 100% accurate. Unfortunately if you watch FOX news for longer than five minutes you will see that it is mostly accurate. BTW far-left liberals are in the same league but don’t count because they are utterly powerless.


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    NZDavid

     

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    Nov 10th, 2011 (4:08 am)

    Here”s the answer Nasaman and others have sought! NO pluging and unpluging!


    Wireless charging that works inside, outside through ice, even with the cat walking under the car!

    As others have said, the CT fire was NOT connected to the Volt. The wiring must be to code at a MINIMUM, and we should wait for the fire marshal to complete his report to see what happened to this Volt.


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    Raymondjram

     

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    Nov 10th, 2011 (5:46 am)

    kdawg: Didn’t mean to offend you George.I was guessing California based on the fact I’ve never seen 2 Prius’s parked next to each other in Michigan.I think I see 1 Prius/week if that, where Californians probably see 50/day.

    That is because California is closer to Japan than Michigan. Transporting the Prius to another state increases its price so much that it cannot compete with American cars.

    The arrival of the Chevy Volt brought some of those Prius owners back to their senses. Soon we will be seeing used Japanese cars being shipped back for sale, since they have production problems.

    Raymond


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    nasaman

     

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    Nov 10th, 2011 (5:56 am)

    NZDavid:

    Here’s the answer Nasaman and others have sought! NO plugging and unplugging!

    Wireless charging that works inside, outside through ice, even with the cat walking under the car! http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10764975

    Thanks, David! The video is also worthwhile… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnePffoZs_k


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    xiaowei1

     

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    Nov 10th, 2011 (6:34 am)

    Hi Jeff, i came back to this page to see if there was anything new, and my post #2 is gone, being replaced by “happy go lucky” who was under my post.


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    ronr64

     

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    Nov 10th, 2011 (8:34 am)

    Jeff Cobb,

    Dang that is so funny. The huge irony (pun definitely intended) is that she is complaining about others using more than their share of resources! Ha! You could probably feed the other family for a week with just the “Little Debbies” she was discretely wolfing down in her car at the park. Nah, I’m probably wrong she was really just stretching before going on a 5K warm up and was planning on doing some speed drills afterwards…


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    Shock Me

     

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    Nov 10th, 2011 (9:46 am)

    Jeff Cobb,

    Given the manner in which she was speaking, in a similar situation I would have brought everyone inside the car revved the engine to drown her out and phoned the authorities about the released mental patient.


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    Bruce Embry

     

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    Nov 10th, 2011 (12:59 pm)

    Hi all,
    I heard on the news this morning that Duke Energy the supplier of the charger located in house that caught fire, is requesting that people stop user these changers. This applies to all owners of electric veihicles including the Volt and Leaf.


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    kdawg

     

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    Nov 10th, 2011 (10:24 pm)

    nasaman: NZDavid:
    Here’s the answer Nasaman and others have sought! NO plugging and unplugging!
    Wireless charging that works inside, outside through ice, even with the cat walking under the car! http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10764975Thanks, David! The video is also worthwhile… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnePffoZs_k

    Check out Plugless Power and the Volt
    http://green.autoblog.com/2011/08/01/plugless-power-getting-ready-for-real-wireless-chevy-volt-charg/

    Also Witricity
    http://www.witricity.com/index.html


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    kdawg

     

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    Nov 10th, 2011 (10:28 pm)

    Raymondjram: That is because California is closer to Japan than Michigan. Transporting the Prius to another state increases its price so much that it cannot compete with American cars.

    In general, there’s a lot less Asian cars in Michigan (we are home of Motor City). Even the ones made in Tennessee or other US states are in fewer #’s than Ford/GM/Chryslers. It always takes me a minute to adjust when I go to the coasts and hardly see a US car. Sometimes I challenge myself to find one.


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    lousloot

     

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    Nov 11th, 2011 (8:36 am)

    The little things you don’t think about…

    I know my garage has 20A service daisy chained between all the outlets and lights. 12 of them. It was installed 3 years ago. Thats a lot of connections.

    Remember that when getting a recharge off of someone. An ounce of prevention and all that…

    Loboc: Rarely do you see a dedicated 20 amp/110v circuit in a garage. Usually there are 8 or so outlets daisy-chained together including outdoor ones.


  84. 84
    lousloot

     

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    Nov 11th, 2011 (8:57 am)

    I like the cordlless charging option — but when I’m visiting friends, see an open 120v plug… tempting.

    in summantion:

    I believe that anything with a cord can and by Murpy — will start an electrical fire.

    As a responsible Volt owner, just think about the current draw — and be safe. Some times it is not worth the risk to
    get a bit of a charge… Loose out on the 25c of charge.