Jan 06

GM continues to ‘go the extra mile’ with Volt battery protection update

 

Yesterday GM announced it had engineered an expedient but effective solution to post-crash- test battery fires reported by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, and will ask Volt drivers to return to their dealers for the one-day reinforcing procedure.

Despite ongoing distortions of facts by critics including one Fox News pundit who suggested the vehicle might “blow up,” federal authorities have repeated that the Volt is safe and GM says its voluntary measure is intended to keep showing why the Volt is rated #1 in customer satisfaction.

 

According to Mary Barra, GM’s senior VP of global product development, the fire’s cause following a 20-mph side-impact into a pole involved rupturing the battery’s coolant lines that led to short circuiting.

“Testing and analysis revealed the fire was the result of a minor intrusion from a portion of the vehicle into a side section of the battery pack,” Barra said on Chevrolet VoltAge.com. “The intrusion resulted in a small coolant leak inside the battery, approximately 50 ml (one-quarter of a cup) of fluid.”

GM is not explaining in forensic detail exactly what circuit boards and conditions are required to reproduce sparks or fire in the battery pack. GM and NHTSA tried several times to replicate a fire in June that started three weeks after NHTSA smashed a Volt and stored it with its battery still charged.

Igniting another Volt battery in repeated side-impact tests was not at first an easy task, and it wasn’t until December that two crash tested stand-alone batteries showed how it’s done. Once that was understood, GM scrambled to put out the fire of public perception as fast as it could.

And to be sure, Barra confirmed GM quickly completed development and validation of its remedial measures, “thereby eliminating the chance for a post-crash electrical fire for this test condition.”

She then described the procedure GM dealers will offer Volt owners in its “Customer Satisfaction Program” beginning in February – it’s not a recall, thus not being done with federal oversight, and – the hope is – with less perceived stigma.

“First, we’re going to strengthen an existing portion of the vehicle’s safety structure that protects the battery pack in the event of a severe side collision,” Barra said. “The enhancements add to the robustness in protecting the battery and its coolant lines in the event of a severe side crash.”


GM installing a battery coolant sensor to monitor levels in the battery cooling system.


GM is adding a tamper-resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to prevent potential overfill.

Additional enhancements to the battery coolant system, include:

• Installing a sensor in the battery coolant system reservoir to monitor coolant levels.
• Adding a tamper resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill.

“These enhancements and modifications will address the concerns raised by the severe crash tests,” Barra said. “There are no changes to the Volt battery pack or cell chemistry as a result of these actions. We have tested the Volt’s battery system for more than 285,000 hours, or 25 years, of operation. We’re as confident as ever that the cell design is among the safest on the market.”

The company added that the Volt is a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and has earned other safety awards from key third-party organizations.

Although no fires like those created by NHTSA have been reported by Volt drivers, Barra said GM is now “choosing to go the extra mile to ensure our customers’ peace of mind.”

When the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant reopens Jan. 23, these same updates will be baked into all new Volts, GM said.


GM engineers fit structural modifications to further protect the Volt’s battery pack. The enhancements more evenly distribute crash energy following a severe side impact.

If it ain’t broke, fix it anyway

GM Spokesman Rob Peterson said when the fix was designed last month, four more Volts were crash tested between Dec. 9-21 with NHTSA, and the company determined it was an effective remediation to perceived issues.

Peterson said the Chevrolet dealership repair will require about six hours labor time, depending on scheduling customers might be without their car for a day, and naturally, it’s at no cost.

Undisclosed is how much it will cost GM, and Peterson said the company normally does not divulge these kinds of internal costs.

As it is, the fix does not appear overly involved, and is in all likelihood inexpensive in the scheme of things.

Observers note that GM needs to put this issue behind it, restore any lost confidence in its halo car and nascent market, and prepare to sell as many as 60,000 more Volts worldwide this year.

When asked, Peterson reiterated this move by GM is strictly of its own free will and said he was unaware of any discussions by NHTSA urging GM to do what it has, or saying a recall or other actions would follow if GM did not act proactively.

Nope, what some characterize as its bending over backwards to please is what you can expect from the New GM in general, and as an owner of the Volt in particular, Peterson said.

It’s about customer satisfaction

GM is presenting how it responded to NHTSA’s investigation as merely in keeping with its game plan to usher electrified vehicles into the mainstream.

As we reported months ago, Peterson said GM is grateful for its early adopters, wants to take very special care of them, intends to see the Volt accepted into the next round of buyers, and to keep this momentum going.


A GM engineer fits structural modifications to further protect the battery pack.

It’s a multi-stage approach heading toward mainstream, has been GM’s stated policy, yet it is still being overlooked by the likes of GM dealer and U.S. Rep Mike Kelly who may know this, but still decries lack of mainstream acceptance out of the starting gate.

But GM can only do what it can, and the primary fact is it has designed a well-regarded first extended-range electric vehicle, and is intent on backing it up.

“We’re trying to make clear to customers that their satisfaction is a priority,” Peterson said.

Peterson further clarified that not only is the battery update voluntary, GM was also not required to offer loaners to worried Volt drivers and even to buy back Volts after NHTSA’s investigation was opened.

Some have alleged GM has done what it has because secretly it knew there were bigger technical issues to cover itself against, but Peterson said this is not the case.

The big-enough issue is the same as it ever was – redeeming GM’s name from the bad rap it got in some quarters over the years, and proving the Volt is viable.

“People’s impressions of General Motors go back years and it will take time and it will take deeds – not necessarily words – to prove that having satisfied customers is what we’re out to achieve,” Peterson said.

He noted that the latest Consumer Reports’ 93-percent rating for the Volt makes it number one in owner satisfaction and exceeds even a runner up from Porsche costing twice as much.

This Volt rating also exceeds those for GM’s own premium brand, and we asked if GM is giving “Cadillac levels of service” as it launches the Volt?

Peterson said he would not compare service given to Chevy customers against GM’s own brand in a literal sense, but if we wanted to say it is “Cadillac level” – in a generic sense, using the name “as an adjective” – he said he could agree to that.

Source: GM

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 6th, 2012 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: 143


  1. 1
    nasaman

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (6:15 am)

    An excellent writeup of a timely topic, Jeff! I’m reminded by this of two other events: 1) Toyota’s serious misjudgement in minimizing the “sticking brake pedal” problem for which they simply had dealers install a hasty fix (shims in the pedal mechanism) —a quickie and often ineffective remedy that raised lots of customer’s eyebrows; and 2) Saturn’s factory antifreeze fiasco in the very early (1990, -91) production —for this, GM offered all Saturn buyers the choice of a replacement engine OR a brand new car, an approach applauded by their customers. (It made me a Saturn customer for as long as Saturn existed.) I’m sure GM management remembers both of these episodes and wisely chose to reject Toyota’s defensive approach & to instead embrace a Saturn-like “no stone unturned” approach. The result? Even Consumer Reports, which was initially very negative towards the Volt, has completely reversed its views in the face of the #1 satisfaction ranking by Volt customers. And the manner in which GM has thoroughly remedied this severe-crash vulnerability should make a very positive, long-lasting impression of the Volt, as well as other GM cars, on the car-buying public! Bravo, GM!!!


  2. 2
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (6:58 am)

    This is all part of the normal process of finalizing the quality of an entirely new technology within an applied and proven set of new technologies. Both GM and Honda do this correctly, thoroughly, and at the finest levels of customer satisfaction always.

    Bombshell to follow:

    From my research regarding processing shortcomings in the Toyota Prius, Toyota still has not done what it should have done regarding the root cause of Prius malfunctions, and, I am seriously disgusted with the isolated way that Toyota leadership apparently ignores discovery of *root cause* from every possible avenue to properly isolate this deficiency. It is my formal, qualified, and ASE L-1 Recertified professional opinion that very likely Toyota is aware of this root cause deficiency, but for different lower level cumulative reasons.
    But for this, I am completely disgusted with the arrogance apparent at Toyota for safety considerations.

    It is not safe to publicly disclose this, because DIYers, (do it yourselfers) will most certainly make the situation more dangerous, and, far more frequently, absolutely cause sets of conditions that instantly accelerate wear and instantly cause destruction of all the twelve volt motor armatures in it.

    And yes, I fully expect another round of negative thirteen votes as was tallied the last time I discussed this issue.


  3. 3
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (7:02 am)

    nasaman,

    Thanks Nasaman, right comment to a right post by Jeff, I’m imapatient to get my Ampera end March, I’ll check it for those new protections but I was not afraid.
    Best regards and best wishes for 2012.

    JC


  4. 4
    nasaman

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (7:04 am)

    NOTE: GM is hosting a web chat today (Friday, January 6) at Noon EST that will specifically address details of these modifications to prevent battery damage in severe crashes. The chat will
    be at http://www.chevroletvoltage.com/index.php/volt-blog/18-volt/2564-chevrolet-volt-battery-web-chat.html. If you can’t join the web chat in real time, you can read it later at the link above.


  5. 5
    nasaman

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (7:25 am)

    Jean-Charles Jacquemin: “…I’m impatient to get my Ampera end March, I’ll check it for those new protections but I was not afraid. Best regards and best wishes for 2012.

    JC”

    Thanks for commenting, JC —I’m delighted you’re going to be an Ampera owner & certainly hope you’ll give us your impressions of it, which will be a “first” here, I’m sure!

    All the best to you and your family in 2012 as well!


  6. 6
    Roy_H

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (7:35 am)

    I hope this puts the issue to rest. Just like there was an extreme amount of publicity concerning the cause of the fire, there needs to be equal publicity that GM has come up with a fix. Everyone needs to know that GM has acted pro-actively to assure customer satisfaction.


  7. 7
    Jim I

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (7:37 am)

    This will get fixed. I am sure of that.

    Will it help the Volt from being a political football? I am not so sure about that.

    Only time will tell.

    C-5277


  8. 8
    WVhybrid

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    WVhybrid
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    Jan 6th, 2012 (7:50 am)

    Speaking as someone who has had to replace the front radiator, I guess that instead of a sensor to turn on the CEL when the radiator has a leak I wish GM had put in a better screen in the cooling air intake to keep rocks out of the radiator in the first place. By the time the sensor actuates you already have drained the coolant.

    I usually opt for prevention instead of reaction. I’d like to know the reasoning behind this decision.


  9. 9
    Bonaire

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:03 am)

    If it wasn’t for that perpendicular strut and how it acted in the side-impact test via the “point of intrusion” – this issue wouldn’t be coming up.

    The pundits will want one thing (well who knows what else they really “want”).

    They’ll want the retrofitted unit to be:

    1) crash tested again, same way with side-impact pole test at NHTSA.
    2) fully-charged Volt used in the test kept fully charged (not all wrecker crews will drain charge)
    3) Volt rotated or left “in the same state” as the prior NHTSA test
    4) Time to pass of 3-weeks or so to ensure coolant does not pool
    5) Kept outside in the cold again and verify the crystallization issue is not occurring

    What I see:

    The structural integrity piece added to the undercarriage will help keep the strut from puncturing into the cells. That caused the leak and eventual drain of the coolant into the battery bay. As long as no breach of the coolant occurs, the batteries should never cause a fire even if fully charged. (actually, I don’t know if the cells have much thermal runaway if punctured themselves without coolant interaction – this is the “sparks after test” they had in November/December which didn’t result in fire) However, the post-crash “energy drain” process will be in effect in the real world and much of this is moot anyway.

    There are other ways for the cells to be punctured in a crash along with coolant leaking (rollover crashes ending up on rocks or whatever). One of the primary issues I see is the coolant itself and why is it conductive of electricity? Can a coolant be used that is never conductive even in the cold weather of upper Minnesota? Are all coolants going to end up with crystalization?

    Design: The battery coolant reservoir should be at or lower than the battery itself somehow in case the coolant line is breached. When a car is held after an accident, usually it is wheels-down, so the capacity of the radiator and lines should not have the opportunity to “flow” into the pack if there was a breach. Or perhaps a cut-off valve be used on both input and output lines from the pack. Maybe if the system had two pumps (one on input line, one on output line) the pumps would act as valves not allowing for flow?


  10. 10
    Marc Lee

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:07 am)

    Dear GM,

    Thanks for coming up with a “fix” for this “problem.” Should I ever ram my Volt sideways into a pole and then rotate it 90 degrees at a time, waiting minutes at each turn, and then fail to exit the vehicle for days…now I know I’m covered. Oh wait you already had a solution to this problem… discharge the battery.

    Think I will just go with your original solution.


  11. 11
    Baltimore17

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:13 am)

    Bolt-in reinforcement. No welding. I’m satisfied.

    But then again, I’ve been satisfied all along.


  12. 12
    gmtx2652

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:17 am)

    #1 wife owned a 03 Saturn Vue. GM lost a Saturn Customer when her transmission failed and they didn’t help replace it. CVT with multiple issues/customer concerns. Was a class action suit with old GM too.

    #7 shutting the car down is better than turning the CEL on. Wifes replacement Mercury Mariner Hybrid did that. Getting another tow (after the above two) put her in a foul mood, but saving the engine/battery put me in a good one. Replaced the radiator, back in business.

    Honda now faces a class action suit over mpg representation for Honda Civic Hybrids. May get a couple hundred bucks and rebate certificates. I agree normal driving conditions don’t receive the EPA ratings. Hypermiling can exceed them (from my experiences). Also received reimbursement for a catalytic converter replacement on the 03 HCHI that I owned, apparently due to a faulty 02 sensor.

    Glad to see GM’s level of customer service here. Volt’s still on the wish list (when feasible). Camaro is still tempting but mpg too low for super commuter driving (100 miles-160 miles day). 90′ IROC waiting for summer though (limited use due to fuel prices and Michigan weather…).


  13. 13
    kdawg

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:19 am)

    I wonder how many of the current ~10K Volt owners will go get this fix? I also wonder of the 250 people that asked for loaners or for GM to buy back their Volt, will now change their mind? Is GM going to end the loaner option now?


  14. 14
    Tim Hart

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:37 am)

    I am going to have to be convinced that my local dealer can accomplish this basically unnecessary “fix” without compromising the quality of the car. The last thing I’m worried about is our Volt catching fire.


  15. 15
    Loboc

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:46 am)

    Good to see GM stepping up. Even though this is a non-issue had proper discharge procedures been followed in the first place.


  16. 16
    Lyle

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:50 am)

    Fantastically and carefully detailed post Jeff. This site remains to go-to place to learn the truth and intimate specifics of all things Volt.

    There are many reports out there about the battery fix, which we knew would be soon in coming, but none seem to capture the exact nature as well as this post.

    I have no fear, but I’ll still bring my car in for the upgrade anyway.

    And let this be the final chapter of the batterygate affair (though perhaps not so much so for Fisker)

    Onwards and upwards to 60k Volts in 2012!


  17. 17
    Mitch

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (10:03 am)

    Dan Petit,

    Want to be disgusted? Go see how they maintain things in house…

    I did a consult for a heating system at a Toyota plant, the in house maintenance was horrible…they may preach routine maintenance for their cars, but they certainly did not practice it in house with the equipment. Every where I looked was spit a boaler wire repairs, missing items, broken gauges, thermometers, jerry rigged repairs….right there I said I would not ever buy a Toyota..and I have been in many auto plants for the same reason, Toyota stands out as THE worst.

    You should see the new plant in Ontario outside of cambridge…state of the art assembly, stupid, stupid mechanical planning (HVAC and plumbing)…already seeing jerry rigged repairs…


  18. 18
    BoultVolt

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (10:04 am)

    Nice post.

    Bonarie: you might note the NHSTA has already crashed the new design (no intrusion, no leak.)
    NHTSA is expected to close the investigation soon (i.e. after waiting 3 weeks just to ensure its not the same as before).

    [quote]
    NHTSA crashed a Chevy Volt retrofitted with GM’s newly designed steel reinforcement device in a side-pole impact test on December 22. The results of that crash test showed no intrusion into the vehicle’s battery compartment, and no coolant leakage was apparent. As a precaution, NHTSA has monitored the crashed vehicle since the test and will continue to do so for one more week. However, the preliminary results of the crash test indicate the remedy proposed by General Motors today should address the issue of battery intrusion.

    In the coming weeks, NHTSA will complete the analysis of the overall research undertaken since the initial fire incident in June. The agency will make public its conclusions and any corresponding implications for consumers, the emergency response community, and tow truck operators and storage facility managers upon closure of the safety defect investigation.
    [/quote]

    Full comment from them at

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2012/Statement+of+National+Highway+Traffic+Safety+Administration+On+General+Motors'+Plan+to+Address+Potential+Fire+Risk+in+Chevy+Volts


  19. 19
    Bob

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (10:12 am)

    WVhybrid:
    Speaking as someone who has had to replace the front radiator,I guess that instead of a sensor to turn on the CEL when the radiator has a leak I wish GM had put in a better screen in the cooling air intake to keep rocks out of the radiator in the first place.By the time the sensor actuates you already have drained the coolant.

    I usually opt for prevention instead of reaction.I’d like to know the reasoning behind this decision.

    A screen may sound like a simple and logical solution to rock intrusion, but such screens also can significantly reduce airflow to a radiator that is already designed to operate efficiently at a less restricted flow rate. In other words, a screen might require a bigger radiator.


  20. 20
    montgoss

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (10:17 am)

    I was never particularly concerned about my Volt bursting into flames, but it’s nice to have this to shove back at people attacking the Volt. It’s absurd how much press this issue got to start with!

    I suppose I’ll take my Volt in for this service some day when I’m not busy…


  21. 21
    nasaman

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (10:19 am)

    Lyle: Fantastically and carefully detailed post Jeff. This site remains to go-to place to learn the truth and intimate specifics of all things Volt.

    There are many reports out there about the battery fix, which we knew would be soon in coming, but none seem to capture the exact nature as well as this post.

    I have no fear, but I’ll still bring my car in for the upgrade anyway.

    And let this be the final chapter of the batterygate affair (though perhaps not so much so for Fisker)

    Onwards and upwards to 60k Volts in 2012!

    Nice to hear from you Lyle, gm-volt Founder and “Editor Emeritus”! I certainly concur with your comment, “Onwards and upwards to 60k Volts in 2012!” And odd as it may seem, I really think the large amount of publicity on “batterygate” and GM’s excellent resolution will help make it happen!

    Tim Hart: I am going to have to be convinced that my local dealer can accomplish this basically unnecessary “fix” without compromising the quality of the car. The last thing I’m worried about is our Volt catching fire.

    Tim, it’s likely that by the time your Volt is fixed, GM & its dealers will have LOTS of practice/
    experience removing/reinstalling batteries & installing the fixes. I see this as a real plus for owners!


  22. 22
    flmark

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (10:26 am)

    ” four more Volts were crash tested ”

    Oh the humanity. Should we not mourn the loss of more Volts to prove the worth of a solution to a non-problem? I will be wearing a black arm band today.


  23. 23
    T 1

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (10:47 am)

    Great job by GM to turn a negative into a positive! Looking AND acting like a world-class company.


  24. 24
    statik

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (10:49 am)

    Lyle: And let this be the final chapter of the batterygate affair (though perhaps not so much so for Fisker)Onwards and upwards to 60k Volts in 2012!

    Hey! What are you doing? Are you shorting my A123?

    (=


  25. 25
    atl-jb

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (11:01 am)

    Jim I:
    This will get fixed.I am sure of that.

    Will it help the Volt from being a political football?I am not so sure about that.

    Only time will tell.

    That’s my problem with GM’s response. They are in a political fight here – this has nothing to do with batteries and fires – we all know that. This ‘fix’ is all well-and-good, but the Haters out there will then just find something else to pick at I’m afraid.

    I’m not sure I have an answer, but I think GM needs to think very creatively here …


  26. 26
    Obin Olson

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (11:03 am)

    I think I will pass. I love the fact they “fixed” it but really I don’t want the local folks taking apart my car. I have NEVER had a car put back together the way it was meant to be. They ALWAYS miss a screw or more…..I can’t stand that. One reason I bought a NEW car for once. it’s not been “ruined” yet. :)


  27. 27
    DonC

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (11:05 am)

    Marc Lee: Think I will just go with your original solution.

    No kidding. These fixes seem to be a solution in search of a problem. At the chat today I want to ask if they have a real world scenario where the changes would benefit an owner/occupant or if they have a real world scenario where the changes would prevent a fire after the crash that would not be prevented by following protocols and discharging the battery.


  28. 28
    Bonaire

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (11:21 am)

    One real world scenario are crashes where people run redlights or stop signs at T-bone (broadside) someone at say 25mph or so. Those crashes tend to do so much damage as to “total” the car, though, but the passengers survive with good health. In those cases, the protection isn’t really for the occupant but rather the wrecker-crew who trailer and store the damaged car somewhere without following the protocol. Definitely bring that up at the Chat today. “real world” versus “perceived world”.

    The one case I think is real-world: It is the one test late in the year that stated “test ended with sparks after rotating, but no fire”. Sparks and gas fumes are not good to mix. If cells are pierced by the cross-member (without the new protection) these sparks could impose some sort of risk if the gas tank is also breached.


  29. 29
    Noel Park

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (11:25 am)

    flmark:
    ” four more Volts were crash tested ”

    Oh the humanity.Should we not mourn the loss of more Volts to prove the worth of a solution to a non-problem?I will be wearing a black arm band today.

    #21

    No kidding. What a total waste. +1


  30. 30
    Noel Park

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (11:27 am)

    atl-jb: I’m not sure I have an answer, but I think GM needs to think very creatively here …

    #24

    All they need to do is keep their heads down and keep making highly advanced cars like the Volt. The rest will take care of itself. Product, product, product!


  31. 31
    CorvetteGuy

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (11:36 am)

    Excellent Report! I am posting links to it from our dealership websites and blogs. Great job!


  32. 32
    Steverino

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (11:54 am)

    Bob,

    WOT has stated that there is already a screen over the air intake. However, it can’t stop everything. That would be called a solid wall.


  33. 33
    jeffhre

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (12:32 pm)

    Peterson said he would not compare service given to Chevy customers against GM’s own brand in a literal sense, but if we wanted to say it is “Cadillac level” – in a generic sense, using the name “as an adjective” – he said he could agree to that.

    Two generations ago that was a very popular adjective. Looks like GM’s second century is starting much better than the last one ended. The Volt is heading the quality pack and will complete it’s first generation with more awards and higher customer satisfaction than could ever be imagined before GM’s bankruptcy.


  34. 34
    pjkPA

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (12:36 pm)

    Another good article Jeff…

    New technology and new refinements… GM is refining the Volt before the customers see the problems… very good to see… I’m sure media will jump on this and we will see this in the news right?


  35. 35
    jeffhre

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (12:46 pm)

    Tim Hart:
    I am going to have to be convinced that my local dealer can accomplish this basically unnecessary “fix” without compromising the quality of the car. The last thing I’m worried about is our Volt catching fire.

    Disconnecting a battery and bolting on a bracket? Is this rocket science?


  36. 36
    DonC

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (1:01 pm)

    I did ask if there were any real world situations where the reinforcements would provide any benefits not offered by discharging the battery. The answer was that it would provide “peace of mind” which I’d interpret as meaning “No, none that we can think of”. If you discharge the battery then there won’t be any problems.

    On the other hand, it’s new technology and not everyone will do what they should and discharge the battery. Given that GM seems very determined to make sure the fixes are done correctly, and given that the pack will stay intact during the process, it doesn’t appear there is any downside to taking the car in and it might prevent a fire. Probably won’t matter but there is a small chance it would! LOL


  37. 37
    Mark Z

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (1:05 pm)

    jeffhre: Disconnecting a battery and bolting on a bracket? Is this rocket science?

    Yes, it is. GM requires technicians within 50 feet of the Volt to wear safety glasses with side shields when replacing the drive battery. Just like a rocket, there are a lot of safety procedures to follow.


  38. 38
    Shaft

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (1:14 pm)

    One of the fixes is “Adding a tamper resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill. … These enhancements and modifications will address the concerns raised by the severe crash tests …” Some questions:
    1. Why is coolant overfill a problem that needed to be addressed as part of this particular fix?
    2. How does the bracket help to prevent coolant overfill?


  39. 39
    Loboc

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (1:56 pm)

    OT. but good for Volt sales.

    What’s up with the ethanol subsidy expiring, but, the requirement to have 10% gasohol is still there? Gas in my area went up 23cents in a couple days!

    Rick Perry (Governor of Texas) tried to get the ethanol thing rescinded in Texas a couple years ago. With the decreased mpg and damage to small engines it’s just not worth it.


  40. 40
    Schmeltz

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (2:13 pm)

    Lyle: Fantastically and carefully detailed post Jeff. This site remains to go-to place to learn the truth and intimate specifics of all things Volt.

    Couldn’t agree more Lyle. This was THE best article along with explanation for the Volt battery crash test issue, and I read a bunch of them since this became news. Well done Jeff.

    And to add a comment to the 60000 Volts for 2012 subject, I truly hope that with Volts actually being available in all 50 states for all 12 months of the year vs. just the last 3 months of 2011, that we indeed see a sales projection hit instead of missed. Surpassing 60000 would be even better! :)


  41. 41
    kdawg

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (2:14 pm)

    Loboc: OT. but good for Volt sales.
    What’s up with the ethanol subsidy expiring, but, the requirement to have 10% gasohol is still there? Gas in my area went up 23cents in a couple days!
    Rick Perry (Governor of Texas) tried to get the ethanol thing rescinded in Texas a couple years ago. With the decreased mpg and damage to small engines it’s just not worth it.

    I wonder what would happen if instead of trying to enforce the CAFE, and fuel mpg requirements; the government instead required all cars to have some sort of battery assist and for the engine to be turned off when the vehicle is stopped? (yes this is very hypothetical and there would be some kinks). This would mean everyone would have to drive some sort of hybrid, BEV, or a big truck if they wanted, but it would have E-assist. Also, everyone’s engines would shut off at stop lights (unless the temps were cold, for cabin heat). I think a mandate like this, similiar to seat-belts, would allow car companies to still make high performance sports cars, yet still be green and meet the government requirements. It would also drive the cost of EV components down significantly.

    Let the bashing begin :)
    TGIF


  42. 42
    Loboc

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (2:46 pm)

    kdawg: but it would have E-assist.

    I can’t see the government supporting a specific design in legislation. They should set parameters such as safety, lighting, bumper height, etc. but stay away from promoting specific technologies over others.


  43. 43
    Jackson

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (2:51 pm)

    There are critics who have said (often on this site), that initial high costs and low unit rollout somehow invalidates the entire Volt program. Here we see the wisdom of that policy.

    Whether a serious problem (vs perception) or not, it is much easier to deal with at 8000 units than at 60,000. Not that GM could predict this specific issue, but prudent engineering practice and experience finds a post-release incident, requiring action, a high probability (for whatever reason). As Dan pointed out, new technology is an open invitation to the Unknown. It is a testimony to sound development engineering that there has not been more serious trouble.

    Add to all this the need for parts suppliers to build to an economic volume (as well as for GM itself), and you see how the expensive “early adopter” Volt has been an inevitable prerequisite of the more affordable vehicle we all hope for. Who is the primary beneficiary of the current Volt? All those who will make vehicle purchase decisions in the future. The initial Volt is proof that EREV can be done, can be sold, and can be dealt with in the field.

    Suggestions that the Volt should have instantly been low cost and high volume, from the beginning, are ludicrous.


  44. 44
    Noel Park

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (3:19 pm)

    kdawg: I wonder what would happen if instead of trying to enforce the CAFE, and fuel mpg requirements; the government instead required all cars to have some sort of battery assist and for the engine to be turned off when the vehicle is stopped?

    #41

    I turn the engine off in my S10 when I’m stopped. I use that thingie called the “ignition key”. I’ve replaced one starter in 265K miles. I can live with that. I don’t know if it does any good, but it makes me feel better, LOL.


  45. 45
    Jeff Cobb

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (3:21 pm)

    Thanks to everyone who said you liked the report. I just wanted to set the record straight.


  46. 46
    Bonaire

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (4:01 pm)

    Loboc:
    OT. but good for Volt sales.

    What’s up with the ethanol subsidy expiring, but, the requirement to have 10% gasohol is still there? Gas in my area went up 23cents in a couple days!

    Rick Perry (Governor of Texas) tried to get the ethanol thing rescinded in Texas a couple years ago. With the decreased mpg and damage to small engines it’s just not worth it.

    The ethanol blender’s tax credit would equate to a tax credit of 4.5 cents per output gallon as their tax credit was $0.45 per blended gallon of ethanol. That 4.5 cents showed up here in my area but was also added to by the higher oil prices of the last two weeks, speculation over Iran and other money-grubbing tactics to raise the pump price. Recently, jump was $3.319 to $3.439 and heading higher.

    The electricity prices of homes and businesses have all stayed the same through this entire year (except for the small boost in the summer time).

    What’s the clear picture here? EREV and BEVs are indeed a smart way to hedge against gas price increases.


  47. 47
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (4:02 pm)

    Loboc: I can’t see the government supporting a specific design in legislation. They should set parameters such as safety, lighting, bumper height, etc. but stay away from promoting specific technologies over others.

    This is the reply I expected, so I made the seat-belt comparison. I could also mention air-bags. What about turning the engine off at stop lights? Also, the battery does not have to be called e-assist. You could just say a “mild hybrid” with a battery of at least 3 kwh, with regenerative braking.


  48. 48
    Carl S

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (4:10 pm)

    I wasn’t worried about the possible severe post-crash issue before this fix came out, but I am definitely having this procedure done on my Volt. I plan on keeping the car as long as possible, so the addition of a battery collant level sensor and associated software update sound like the best way to let the driver know if the battery cooling system were ever to develop a leak. Radiators and hoses and pumps don’t last forever!

    2011 Volt #1515


  49. 49
    kdawg

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (4:55 pm)

    Did you guys participate in the GM web chat today? These are what I think were the most interesting questions. A lot of these topics have come up here on GM-Volt.com

    ——————–

    Comment From Billy
    Will a loaner vehicle be provided during the service to make the modifications?

    Cristi Landy:
    Billy,
    Yes, Volt owners will get a loaner vehicle while the vehicle is in for service. This service is expected to take about one day.
    ————————

    Comment From John
    The letter said that there would be some retrofits done to strengthen the battery case. How much will these retrofits add to the weight of the car? Is there any idea of impact, if any, to range?

    Doug Parks:
    John, the added structure will weigh about 2-3 pounds and will have no impact at all on your EV range or fuel economy.
    ———————————–

    Comment From Fulgerite
    Can you tell us approx. how many real world crashes that your technicians have responded to so far?

    Jim Federico:
    Fulgerite, we have responded to approximately six real world crashes severe enough for us to depower the battery. After review of all six we have been very pleased on how the Volt has performed in customer safety when considering the severity of the accident.
    —————-

    Comment From Farris Khan
    When will you go on Fox News to counterpoise the talking points? How did Mark Modica become the spokesperson for all things Volt? Can you go on there or somewhere else to provide facts?

    Cristi Landy:
    Farris-

    Modica’s reporting is politically motivatied, not always fact base. Our greatest opportunity is for our owners – like Eric Rothbard did last month – to join their discussions, because it’s highly unlikely they’ll welcome someone GM.
    —————–

    Comment From Joe
    I am especially interested in how the new structural elements will be attached. Is it by welding, by adhesive bonding, or by bolting? Will new undercoating be added, especially if the fix is by welding?

    Doug Parks:
    Thanks Joe. The new structure will be attached through adhesive and rivets into the tunnel structure of your car.
    ————————-

    Comment From scottf200
    This part of the fix has confused everyone? What is it for? “Add a tamper-resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill.”

    Doug Parks:
    Scott, on your battery coolant reservoir cap and in your owner’s manual, we state that you have to go to a dealer to service your battery coolant. This tamper-resistant bracket helps protect against overfilling of the coolant bottle and leaves any of this work to a highly-qualified service technician.
    ——————————–

    Comment From janice
    I have not seen a VOLT commercial since the crash hoopla began. I have had comments from ‘semi- informed’ friends and relatives about the safety of the volt. I have tried to educate them but I get a subtle eyeroll in response. I love the car and want to be proactive in my defense of it. How about some media help from Chevy?

    Rob Peterson:
    @Janice – Our media “buys” are made months in advance which is why you’ve seen few commercials of late. Volt commercials will begin to air again in February.


  50. 50
    Lyle

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (5:43 pm)

    statik,

    lol. not touching that one. Unfortunately I bought in on that stock early on.


  51. 51
    Shaft

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (6:27 pm)

    I posted this above (item 38):
    One of the fixes is “Adding a tamper resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill. … These enhancements and modifications will address the concerns raised by the severe crash tests …” Some questions:
    1. Why is coolant overfill a problem that needed to be addressed as part of this particular fix?
    2. How does the bracket help to prevent coolant overfill?

    Scottf200 effectively asked the second question at the GM chat today:
    “Comment From scottf200
    This part of the fix has confused everyone. What is it for? “Add a tamper-resistant bracket to the top of the battery coolant reservoir to help prevent potential coolant overfill.”
    Doug Parks:
    Scott, on your battery coolant reservoir cap and in your owner’s manual, we state that you have to go to a dealer to service your battery coolant. This tamper-resistant bracket helps protect against overfilling of the coolant bottle and leaves any of this work to a highly-qualified service technician.”

    OK, I think I get that. But I still do not have an answer to my first question, namely “Why is coolant overfill a problem that needed to be addressed as part of this particular fix?”

    Anybody have any ideas?


  52. 52
    nasaman

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (7:05 pm)

    Shaft: But I still do not have an answer to my first question, namely “Why is coolant overfill a problem that needed to be addressed as part of this particular fix?”

    Anybody have any ideas?

    I’ll hazard a guess, Shaft. The Volt’s battery thermal management system (TMS) employs a closed coolant system analogous to that used for many years by ICE cooling systems, which have also long used a plastic overflow tank that should be only partially filled to provide an air cushion to absorb the antifreeze/water mixture expansion/contraction. I believe the TMS is also a pressurized closed system, and also needs an air cushion to minimize pressure buildups that can cause leaks at hose seals, etc as the fluid is heated or cooled to maintain an optimal battery operating temperature. As with a traditional ICE’s closed coolant system, overfilling the system can cause loss of a needed air cushion, which can in turn cause the desired temperature range to be exceeded and/or cause leaks.


  53. 53
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (7:27 pm)

    Jeff,
    I just caught your article.
    It had good technical info in it as opposed to the usual political discussions.
    Thank You

    OT Since she won’t let me have my Volt the K1200S may get replaced by a K1600GT—an old man’s motorcycle that drives like a sports car……and that 6 is so sweet.


  54. 54
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (7:33 pm)

    nasaman: I’ll hazard a guess, Shaft. The Volt’s battery thermal management system (TMS) employs a closed coolant system analogous to that used for many years by ICE cooling systems, which have also long used a plastic overflow tank that should be only partially filled to provide an air cushion to absorb the antifreeze/water mixture expansion/contraction. I believe the TMS is also a pressurized closed system, and also needs an air cushion to minimize pressure buildups that can cause leaks at hose seals, etc as the fluid is heated or cooled to maintain an optimal battery operating temperature. As with a traditional ICE’s closed coolant system, overfilling the system can cause loss of a needed air cushion, which can in turn cause the desired temperature range to be exceeded and/or cause leaks.

    Thx for clearing that up.
    It makes sense.
    I was with Scottf about that and could not understand it but now I do.


  55. 55
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (7:45 pm)

    Mitch,

    Hi Mitch at 17 above.

    Those descriptions of relative abandonment of the care of the Toyota facility is consistent with what seems to me to be an overextended managerial span of control and managerial burn-out. IOW, they are not in control of organization as much as is projected in their commercials.

    Excessively rapid growth has its penalties and quality risks.

    Those situations just do not happen at GM facilities and Honda facilities.

    Careful growth is the imperative for new technological deployment as we have learned here.

    Also very sadly, what you say is consistent with the designs of the damaged nuclear facilities.


  56. 56
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (7:58 pm)

    nasaman,

    That is about as perfect a “guess” as I’ve seen in the matter, nasaman.
    Perfect explanation and technical scholarship.

    Plus +1.


  57. 57
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:06 pm)

    Lyle,

    Lyle,

    You and static ought to just hang tight with A123. The quality and performance of their
    chemistries are far ahead of all others when accurately configured in new designs.

    I am always astonished when their performance just stays consistently and powerfully the same over many years with these several test applications they are powering.


  58. 58
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:09 pm)

    Jeff Cobb,

    Jeff,

    How can everyone not deeply appreciate and like every report you provide?

    (Trolls don’t count, LOL.)


  59. 59
    atl-jb

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:16 pm)

    Noel Park: #24
    All they need to do is keep their heads down and keep making highly advanced cars like the Volt.The rest will take care of itself.Product, product, product!

    Ah were it so, I type on a QWERTY keyboard on a microsoft PC.
    Crap/politics/idiocy/herd-mentality wins more often than you think.

    I’ve been burned by the herd, and by politics, and by idiocy in my life recently. This is the reason I bought my Volt already – didn’t lease it. In fact, paid cash. Now I can rest a little easier. I own a Volt.


  60. 60
    Shaft

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:27 pm)

    nasaman: I’ll hazard a guess, Shaft. The Volt’s battery thermal management system (TMS) employs a closed coolant system analogous to that used for many years by ICE cooling systems, which have also long used a plastic overflow tank that should be only partially filled to provide an air cushion to absorb the antifreeze/water mixture expansion/contraction. I believe the TMS is also a pressurized closed system, and also needs an air cushion to minimize pressure buildups that can cause leaks at hose seals, etc as the fluid is heated or cooled to maintain an optimal battery operating temperature. As with a traditional ICE’s closed coolant system, overfilling the system can cause loss of a needed air cushion, which can in turn cause the desired temperature range to be exceeded and/or cause leaks.

    Makes sense Nasaman. Thanks.

    So, allow me to continue that discussion further and deeper. Related to the topic at hand (combustion potential weeks after a leak), I presume that leaks at joints (hose attachments, etc.) are not really what GM wants to monitor. It sounds like they really want to monitor (and alarm on) leaks into the battery pack. One can imagine that inevitably over time a small percentage of cooling fins and cooling passages in a small percentage of battery packs could develop a tiny (even a pinhole) leak. Without any alarm to identify the condition, drivers could continue on merrily for weeks without realizing that very small amounts of coolant are leaking and crystallizing in the battery and … well you know.

    So, the fix must also require a software change for the alarm. GM did not mention that.

    I wonder what the alarm says to ensure that the driver understands that a serious condition could result if he/she does not bring the vehicle in for servicing ASAP.

    This analysis also provides a clue as to why too much coolant (over-filling) is bad. It would delay the onset of the alarm condition.


  61. 61
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:42 pm)

    I can see we have some FMEA people in the crowd.
    Or do we??

    What is the fuel??
    I can’t seem to get an answer on that question.
    Is it the lithium??????
    Is that what was the fuel that the sparks ignited????

    I don’t think so… but I am just using an engineering guess.
    My bet is that GM already beat that one to death (but not sure about Tesla).

    It’s probably about maybe igniting some plastic in the pack.

    Soooo

    any of you geniuses know the answer ??


  62. 62
    Dan Petit

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (8:47 pm)

    Shaft,

    The sensor might be a smart one that could sense an overpressure, excessive pressure build up time, or slight vacuum. Or, it could just be a simple switch or a thermistor that is expecting a certain rate of temperature increase relative to the (minimum guess of) at least three or so that already are in the pack.
    A physical connection of the two terminals to a CAN buss generic electronic input would be an easy thing to program.

    The prevention of seepage due to overfill might just be (at least in part) that the ICE will always run instead of the pack needing to be significantly cooled.

    One other thing for the A123 stock price concerns for Lyle and Static,
    Did you guys know that A123 is building wind energy upramp and downramp capabilities for windfarms?
    This may be the more direct route for their profitability, because the cost of natural gas is estimated to become so low, that coal generation is no longer feasible. Gas generation can ramp up in about ten minutes, and, since deep well (safe) fracking (a half mile down) will cut the cost of natural gas to twenty five percent of what it is today, the natural combination of that quick ramp up and ramp down rate makes the A123 performance very viable and attractive in this application also.


  63. 63
    MichaelH

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (9:43 pm)

    Shaft: So, the fix must also require a software change for the alarm. GM did not mention that.

    I wonder what the alarm says to ensure that the driver understands that a serious condition could result if he/she does not bring the vehicle in for servicing ASAP.

    Shaft, one of the responders in the web-chat today pointed out that there would be a minor software upgrade just to handle the sensor. He said there would be no new displays, so it will be a “normal” “urgent” message in the DIC.

    Exact quote from Doug Parks: “The coolant sensor will also be added as well as an update to your vehicle software to monitor the coolant sensor. No new graphics or displays will be added. “


  64. 64
    KickinCanada

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (10:19 pm)

    What a great article Jeff!!! Totally agree with Lyle’s comments. GM has done a great job with this car and also in terms of customer satisfaction. Really above, over and beyond! Being a first time GM customer, longtime Ford and BMW owner (ok had an 1970 MGB for fun too), this kind of action will win GM lifelong customers again.

    I hate to play politics with the Volt but I am anxiously awaiting the debate when Obama throws Romney’s comment that the “Volt is an idea whose time has not come” in his
    face. Even my conservative American brother-in-law was incredulous when I told him about this last week (after he was blown away when he drove my Volt in Sault Ste Marie in -10 degrees Celsius weather this past holiday).

    Some people really do have their head in the sand!


  65. 65
    Dave K.

     

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    Jan 6th, 2012 (11:04 pm)

    nasaman: Even Consumer Reports, which was initially very negative towards the Volt, has completely reversed its views

    I can’t forgive Consumer Reports. They may be the best at grading coffee makers and leaf blowers. No car expertise at all.

    Grade F = CR = fail.


  66. 66
    Dave K.

     

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (12:34 am)

    The Republican party is decidedly anti-Volt. As an Independent I am struggling with this. 2012 is a very interesting election year. Obama is currenty a 3% favorite over any generic Republican. It’s going to be a close vote. Will the pro-EV ballot support reelection? I feel Independents will back a reduction of the EV credit. But, an attempt to kill EV’s is not a decision Solomon would approve of. I’m not in love with Obama. I definitely love my Chevy Volt.


  67. 67
    Shaft

     

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (12:40 am)

    MichaelH: Shaft, one of the responders in the web-chat today pointed out that there would be a minor software upgrade just to handle the sensor.He said there would be no new displays, so it will be a “normal” “urgent” message in the DIC.

    Exact quote from Doug Parks: “The coolant sensor will also be added as well as an update to your vehicle software to monitor the coolant sensor. No new graphics or displays will be added. ”

    Thanks MichaelH. I missed that.


  68. 68
    N Riley

     

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (1:43 am)

    In the end we all expect GM to get it right. Keep up the good work, GM. And thanks, Jeff for this fine report.


  69. 69
    Congressional Hearing

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (2:33 am)

    When will that happen?


  70. 70
    John

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (5:34 am)

    Congressional Hearing,

    Right after they talk about steroids in MLB again. I should just ignore that comment.

    Anyways, I haven’t had time to read all the comments so I’m probably repeating someone else. Some things you just don’t know about until years later. It’s amazing this has been the only real glitch with the project so far and I’m glad GM is fixing it expediantly. I’m still grateful to Lutz and GM for getting this awesome car out on time, in less than 5 years. I can’t wait for Gen 2!


  71. 71
    Texas

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (8:02 am)

    GM has an excellent strategy to address the issue. If something like that happens again, they should do the same thing. I am sure people understand that this is a very new technology and will give it a chance, especially the early adopters.

    Of course the nay-sayers will never be happy because they predicted doom. So sad for them. The Volt is an excellent design. let them deal with it.


  72. 72
    Dave K.

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (10:05 am)

    Several months ago a Volt was put through the high speed side impact test. The side of the car was struck via a test battering ram device on rails. A WEEK OR MORE LATER there was a coolant spill followed by a spark.

    If we take a cross section of American, German, Korean, Japanese, Italian, and Indian cars on the road. And allow these to be side impacted for testing. Most occupants would not be burned a week later. But a high percent would immediately be severely injured. With all the negative publicity over the Volt test. The Volt continues to hold a 5 star safety rating.

    We know near 100% of TV announcers have oil companies in their stock portfolio. Or in their retirement 401k. And many choose to drive lightweight Japanese cars which will fold and crush them like taco filling in a hard side impact crash test. These gasoline filled vehicles may also catch on fire. Yet this is kept away from the mainstream news desks. I am a lover of freedom and a follower of fair principal. Years ago I sold all oil and and cigarette stocks I held. Phillip Morris, Exxon, PB… all of them. And now invest in battery power, e-bikes, and personal entertainment devices (kindle,mp4,cell phones).

    I ask my fellow American’s and Canadian friends to reawaken to the love of freedom and the beauty of principals of fairness. We will not be beat down or broken by the continuing attack by unscrupulous news reporters. Honestly, are they misinformed? Or bought out? It’s hard to tell.

    No Plug, No Sale!


  73. 73
    nasaman

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (10:09 am)

    OT (slightly) but I believe this is a primary reason GM is overkilling the Volt battery fix:

    “Why Innovation is Dying in America” – ‘Unlike most countries, all new inventions in the U.S. are assigned a political party’. Here’s a short excerpt from the 1-pg WardsAuto article…

    “Actually, dying is too kind a word. Innovation is being murdered in America! Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of the Chevy Volt. It is the most innovative vehicle to come out of Detroit
    in a generation, yet Republicans are trying to kill it and Democrats and environmentalists are not digging into their own pockets to show it the support they say it deserves”.

    The complete article is at: http://wardsauto.com/commentary/why-innovation-dying-america :(


  74. 74
    Bonaire

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (10:22 am)

    73 nasaman: I have to believe it all starts in school. The “cool kids” harp on the “nerds” who are interested in science and tech and want to go to science fairs and discover the world. The “cool kids” go into media broadcasting and production or (gag) politics while the nerds go work at scientific endeavers (if you work at Nasa, you get that). Myself, I wanted to work at JPL when I was going through college. Ended up in IT in business, but have more of a scientific bent. As one nerd to another – I agree, that Innovation is dying in America. In a nation where people believe what they are told and not what they discover for themselves, we have quite a situation developing.

    America was built on innovation, design, free thinking and discovery. It can die due to apathy over those same means.


  75. 75
    Dave K.

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (10:34 am)

    Not looking very good Mitt… perhaps a late flip flop? Want to bet $10,000 on it?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/23/presidential-hopeful-mitt_n_1167427.html


  76. 76
    Jeff Cobb

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (11:44 am)

    George S. Bower,

    Hi George,

    That’s a really nice bike.

    J


  77. 77
    Jeff Cobb

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (11:48 am)

    Dan Petit,

    KickinCanada,

    N Riley,

    Thank you, much appreciated – and good to see you back Dan.


  78. 78
    CorvetteGuy

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (12:07 pm)

    Dave K.: Not looking very good Mitt… perhaps a late flip flop?

    Mitt should change that phrase quickly to “an idea that is still in its infancy”. The design of the VOLT is outstanding. The proof of which is the very long list of awards from the auto industry… But the next POTUS needs to (if he’s gonna throw out tax dollars for stimulus programs) create a ‘Manhattan Project’ for the battery industry. The main reason for slow adoption of any brand of electric car is the cost and the range capacity of its battery. I’m just imagining the lines of customers wanting to buy a VOLT or Voltec CRUZE that has a 200 mile AER and 400 more on Extended Range Mode… That would be a game changer. We need the ‘next big thing’ in battery capability.

    So Mitt, if you really want to help the economy, help the USA keep billions-of-dollars-per-year here at home instead of letting it go to Dubai to build super-cities for Tom Cruze to make movies in.


  79. 79
    CorvetteGuy

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (12:17 pm)

    Dave K.: The Republican party is decidedly anti-Volt.

    They’re not Anti-Volt, they are “anti-Obama-succeeding-at-anything” and his backing of the auto industry (Chrysler, GM and others) is what they disapprove of. The Republican leadership seems to be willing to watch the automakers fail rather than see Obama succeed. This is something that I have had a problem with these guys. Maybe they will wake up before election day.


  80. 80
    Tom

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (12:44 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  81. 81
    Tom

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (12:59 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  82. 82
    nasaman

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (1:14 pm)

    Tom: The Volt is an example of a (liberal) government designed program; I don’t think this car was driven by customer demand. I think that it is bizarre that this administration thinks that the answer to our environmental problems is to build what is, in effect, a coal-powered automobile.

    I don’t know who you are, Tom —BUT I KNOW YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY WRONG ABOUT THIS!!!


  83. 83
    Dave K.

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (1:39 pm)

    As a middle-of-the-road Independent. I am okay with reducing the EV credit from $7500 to $7000 per vehicle. That’s a 15% give back. But, let’s be fair and reduce oil subsidies by 15% as well.

    We must work with what is legally in place now. The $7500 EV credit is a legal tax break. As is the mortgage tax write off. As is depreciation on a computer used for business purposes. As are gifts to approved charities. I’m fine with lopping 15% off all of these.

    I would continue and cut 15% off ALL payments withdrawn from the taxpayers coffer. Including monthly payments to out-of-work and disabled. Including pay for ALL government employees. Including military development and supplies. Including spa perks and free flights on Air Force One. Including business lunches. You’ll have to make due with one glass of wine at lunch, not two (15% savings).

    If this isn’t done soon. The entire government system stands to be flushed out. Look at the Wall Street protests. These are not going away. And will grow through to the 2nd Tuesday in November.

    I am now middle aged. And it sickens me to see the prior generation continue to weight this country down. The next GM Volt Dot Com topic will very likely address this subject. His initials are LD, stay tuned.


  84. 84
    Tom

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (1:56 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  85. 85
    nasaman

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (2:32 pm)

    Tom: Nearly half (45%) of the power in the U.S. is generated by coal-fired power plants. This means that half of the energy used by the Volt, on average, comes from coal. It would make far more sense to build cars powered directly by natural gas and avoid all of the infrastructure costs and power losses in electrical power generation.

    This is NOT OPINION, it is FACT.

    What you’re overlooking, Tom, is that 1) almost all disruptive technology has always been driven by economic advantage and that the Volt’s operational cost using electricity is roughly only one-fourth that of existing cars using gasoline. In fact, the Volt’s operating cost is so low that studies such as done recently by Kiplinger’s show that an average American driver should save roughly $18-19,000 in fuel costs over a five year period (more if gas prices continue to climb). Also, 2) there’s NO added infrastructure required (as you mistakenly claim) —whereas existing refilling locations for natural gas are woefully inadequate across the US. Additionally, 3) both the operating costs using natural gas (a fossil fuel) and carbon dioxide emissions using natural gas
    are improved very little over those using gasoline. Finally, 4) there are numerous electric power companies already in the process of converting from coal to natural gas (not to mention solar, wind, and other both renewable and non-polluting energy sources).

    BTW, these facts are NOT something I’ve “pulled out of a hat”. They’re from major studies by DOE’s Argonne National Labs (and others).


  86. 86
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (3:19 pm)

    Tom,

    Yawn

    nasaman,

    PDNFTT


  87. 87
    pat

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (3:34 pm)

    have you looked at the -ve affects of fracking to extract N gas? take a serious look at it … it uses lot of water, chenicals and seeps into the water table… Homes in PA where fracking takes place in close quarter , folks have gas coming out of their drinking water. One can light a match to the water coz of the presence of gas in it … Something to think about.

    Amazing how goppers (the rightwingers) and their Fix news journalists will lie outright about Volt and benefits of alternate fuel sources such as wind, solar, nuclear etc …wow what a propaganda outlet Fox news is. Unbelievable.


  88. 88
    pat

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (3:38 pm)

    Tom – advice which makes sense one can look at but when advice is all BS and propaganda and political BS for the sheep in the pews and keep your followers angry, full of hatred and in line then it is not advice ..It is called BS with an agenda. Gop is full of this rehtroic Alas many fools can’t distinguish it from reality.


  89. 89
    Tom

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (3:43 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  90. 90
    WopOnTour

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (4:35 pm)

    nasaman: I’ll hazard a guess, Shaft. The Volt’s battery thermal management system (TMS) employs a closed coolant system analogous to that used for many years by ICE cooling systems, which have also long used a plastic overflow tank that should be only partially filled to provide an air cushion to absorb the antifreeze/water mixture expansion/contraction. I believe the TMS is also a pressurized closed system, and also needs an air cushion to minimize pressure buildups that can cause leaks at hose seals, etc as the fluid is heated or cooled to maintain an optimal battery operating temperature. As with a traditional ICE’s closed coolant system, overfilling the system can cause loss of a needed air cushion, which can in turn cause the desired temperature range to be exceeded and/or cause leaks.

    This is exactly correct nasaman.
    The bracket added to the battery coolant reservoir merely prevents the pressure cap from being removed without removing the the bracket first (and it is secured with a tamper-proof fastener similar to the “high-voltage risk” covers found underhood.) This helps to prevent routine or unnessesary coolant top-offs that could lead to over-filling and incorrect system pressure.

    The only reason coolant would ever need to be added to thsi reservoir would be if there was a leak, and the new sensor designed to detect and warn the operator in such an event. (which will of course require correct diagnosis and repair of any such leak- something best left to a trained professional, with the correct factory tools to do so)

    It’s important to point out that while the Volt’s Lithium Ion battery housing will need to be dropped down out of the car in order to install the structural enhancements. It will not need to be disassembled in any way, thus maintain such things as critical fasteners and the factory sealing. This process is as very unintrusive as possible and really no more challenging than dropping any other major assembly from a car or truck- all nuts and bolts.

    There will be a small harness addition to create the provision to connect the new coolant sensor to one of the system modules, and a reprogramming sequence to add the new sensor into the control strategy (including new DTCs for sensor circuit faults for the new sensor).

    While of course there will be certain electrical safety protocols to follow in order to complete the procedure, your typical fully trained Volt technician is sure to describe the completion of this campaign as “easy peasy” ;)
    WopOnTour


  91. 91
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (5:00 pm)

    Tom:
    . I think that it is bizarre that this administration thinks that the answer to our environmental problems is to build what is, in effect, a coal-powered automobile.

    You are wrong, because electricity can be generated from ANY source of energy, even from human power (handcranks, etc). The Volt uses the source of energy which comes directly (solar, wind, wave, biomass) and indirectly from the Sun (nuclear, fossil fuels, chemical, and gas).

    With the Chevy Volt we can use all this energy, and it doesn’t need coal.

    And you are forgetting that refined gasoline (and most of your own sources of energy) also uses electricity. If you want to rant about dirty energy, gasoline is on the top, because it uses coal-supplied electricity, and when it burns, it is as toxic as coal itself.

    Don’t blame the Volt because of your false pretense. Blame our ancestors who gave up the use of simple sources of power to adore the oil gods, and blame even more the politicians who accept oil money to prevent the progress of EVs, like the Volt.

    Now is when we are getting away from oil and using cleaner energy. My electricity isn’t from coal or petroleum, so I am cleaner than you are. And some of the Volt owners use solar power, so you have no excuse or reason at all!

    Raymond


  92. 92
    ewiggins

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (5:46 pm)

    ‘Let the market decide’ is good and bad, but it depends on the situation. Would you rather prevent cancer or get cancer and hope the treatment works? Should we wait until gas is $10.00/gallon to ‘think’ about alternative vehicles or start alternative vehicles in place now? Remember not everyone will be able to buy electric vehicle over night, it will take time and the people who will suffer the most if we wait will be the people who have the least amount of disposable income.

    Our transportation industry is too dependent on fossil fuels. Look what happened when gas was almost $4-$5. I have heard several people say ‘Amazing how when gas goes up everything goes up, but when gas dropped in price nothing came down.’ That is what happens when one industry is dependent on another industry.

    The Volt/Leaf may not be the perfect solution, but it is a good start. Electricity is almost a universal fuel in that it can be generated by various methods, yeah not all clean, but some are. I have solar panels on my house so I provide electricity to my house first, therefore I produce MY OWN FUEL and REDUCE MY LOAD ON THE ELECTRIC GRID. Based on my last two months, even if I had a Volt, the solar panels would produce more electricity than I would use charging the Volt for most of my driving.

    EV may not be the perfect solution for everyone, but it is a great solution for a lot of people.
    I hope the Volt/Leaf do really well because I WANT CHOICES and I hope to have that choice when I buy my Volt in a few months.

    I am sure cell phones and computers went though the same anti attitude EV are now going through. I remember in the early 80′s many people thought PCs were dump, overprice and would never have any practical use in the home. Cell phones required the building of a whole new infrastructure, more so than EVs will. At least at home I have a charge station already.


  93. 93
    kdawg

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (6:15 pm)

    Tom: The energy efficiency issues reduces down to whether it is more (or less) efficient to convert fossil fuel into work by:
    1. Burning it a coal-fired power plant, producing steam which turns a turbine, which turns an electric generator, which produces electric current, which is converted to high voltage, which is transmitted over large distances on copper wire, which is converted down to an intermediate voltage, which is transmitted over local distribution lines, which is converted down to a household voltage, which is converted into d.c., which charges a battery, which is converted by a power control circuit, which (finally) runs an electric motor.
    2. Burn the fuel in the vehicle which directly pushes a piston that turns a crank.
    The ONLY advantage an electric car has is that it can recover energy lost thru braking. But a hybrid can do this as well.
    You are DEAD WRONG about infrastructure costs. The electric power grid is INADEQUATE NOW to support a large fleet of fast chargers for electric cars. As few as two fast chargers can overload a neighborhood’s grid. This is being controlled (i.e. limited) by permitting. How many people are willing to wait 2-3 months to get a permit, and pay $4-6k, for their charging station?
    Our most plentiful fuel is natural gas. In fact, it is in an oversupply situation. It has none of the inherent problems of electric car (range, charging, high battery replacement and disposal costs, etc.). The cost of its infrastructure would be a fraction the cost of upgrading the entire electrical grid. PS: I am an electrical engineer.
    Coal, to repeat myself, IS a fossil fuel, and produces carbon dioxide when burned. Natural gas produces almost one half of the CO2 as coal per million BTUs, and ONE FOURTH of the carbon monoxide. Not to say that it produces ABSOLUTELY NONE of the mercury!
    Coal is here to stay for the foreseeable future, like it or not.

    Wow, you are one of the most mis-informed idividuals i’ve heard from in some time. Kind of embarrassing if you are an EE, not for you, but for me, since I’m an EE.

    Google base-load electricity and read about all the power not used at night.
    Google renewable energies (ie electricity)
    FYI Natural Gas IS a fossil fuel (do you work for a natural gas company?)
    “Permits” for a charging your car and 2 cars bringing down a neighborhood..HAHA.. thanks for the laugh. Gee, did i have to get a permit for my electric stove, or my plasma TV..hmm…


  94. 94
    CAPTBENTLY

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (7:04 pm)

    TOM – To say that the Volt is a Coal Car indicates that you are missing out on some important information.

    If the entire Country switched over to EVs, would you admit that the pollution for Gasoline and Diesel would disappear? But then, you ask, what would happen to load on the Grid? Well, actually, it would go down, not up. That may sound like an irrational statement, but it is true for many reasons:

    1) 10% of the energy in a gallon of Gasoline is needed using Electricity to just refine it. That 10% will drive an electric car 15-20 miles alone.
    2) Much of the charging of EV will take place as night when power companies have plenty of excess energy and often “dump load” to keep their generators with a minimum constant load.
    The charging will become a profit center for the power companies and much of the wasted load dumping will be eliminated.
    3) Everyone would be using time of date metering that would transfer additional load to off peak hours.
    4) The Government could institute a better incentive program by giving early EV buyers a prepaid credit card of $3750 which would be restricted to energy conserving purchases such as replacing old appliances with Energy Star units. A general rule of thumb is that for every dollar spent on these types of replacements will save approximately 1 kWh. So, A one time $3750 investment would save 3750 kWh per year, about the amount needed to run an electric car for one year.
    Buy the EV, get all new appliances and save all the expense of Gasoline and the pollution it creates.
    5) The Grid gets cleaner every day. The Oil industry is not so clean. It is highly subsidized and
    and it has taken trillions to protect with foreign wars, ramifications of terrorism, much due
    to the protection of oil, plus the results of pollution on our health, oil clean ups, and maybe worst of all, it’s damage to the ecosystem of out planet
    6) You can create you own electric using Solar or Wind. You don’t have an oil well or a refinery on your property.
    7) Every Volt owner that I have talked to realizes that everyone could be driving an EV.
    - anyone – please add to this list.


  95. 95
    George S. Bower

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (7:44 pm)

    Tom,

    It took me a while to figure out why you are all screwed up in your logic.
    The main reason is that you are an EE.
    If you were an ME you would be able to think more clearly.
    You must listen to your comrad kdawg.
    you have much to learn grasshopper.


  96. 96
    Tom

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (9:02 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  97. 97
    Tom

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (9:14 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  98. 98
    Herm

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (10:32 pm)

    I think the important thing about the recall is the coolant level sensor and the anti-tamper cap.. the mechanical reinforcements are pfff… crash damaged volts still have to be manually discharged.

    GM wants to know ASAP why your coolant level is going down, and the last thing they want is the helpful owner just adding coolant to “fix” that leak (until he adds a couple of gallons and the battery case is full). Just another little thing that GM has learned by doing.

    If the battery case fills up with leaked coolant it probably wont damage anything (unless it freezes), its not corrosive or conductive just messy.. luckily the coolant connections to the cooling plates are at the bottom of the case and the BMS electronic modules are at the top.

    I would mark the side of the reservoir at the coolant level when its cold, and keep an eye on it.. catch it before the sensor does.


  99. 99
    Storm

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (10:42 pm)

    Tom, your credibility would be increased if you actually read the responses that refute some of those statements you made.
    Storm


  100. 100
    Eco_Turbo

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    Jan 7th, 2012 (11:05 pm)

    Raymondjram,

    Once again GMVolt posters have taken an “interesting topic” and turned it in to a “damned interesting topic”.


  101. 101
    Tom

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (12:23 am)

    (click to show comment)


  102. 102
    Shaft

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (1:29 am)

    Herm:
    I think the important thing about the recall is the coolant level sensor and the anti-tamper cap.. the mechanical reinforcements are pfff… crash damaged volts still have to be manually discharged.

    GM wants to know ASAP why your coolant level is going down, and the last thing they want is the helpful owner just adding coolant to “fix” that leak (until he adds a couple of gallons and the battery case is full).Just another little thing that GM has learned by doing.

    If the battery case fills up with leaked coolant it probably wont damage anything (unless it freezes), its not corrosive or conductive just messy.. luckily the coolant connections to the cooling plates are at the bottom of the case and the BMS electronic modules are at the top.

    I would mark the side of the reservoir at the coolant level when its cold, and keep an eye on it.. catch it before the sensor does.

    Very interesting Herm. Spurred on by knowledgeable posts from Nasaman and WOT, I’ve been thinking about this all day. Like others, I’ve never believed there was a significant safety issue because given the time frames involved, draining the battery after a serious accident seemed like a reasonable solution. And the additional mechanical protection offered by GM’s fix made the crash related safety issue seem even more remote to me.

    Now I suspect that we’ve been focusing on the wrong problem and that there may be a more significant safety issue. The test results do prove that if you leak coolant into the battery case, then there is the possibility of crystallization, a short, followed by a potential fire. A severe crash is not necessary to reach that condition. Over the long term, for example, a corrosion induced leak is a distinct possibility. Who of us has not had some fluid leak from our aging cars at one time or another?

    So, to me (and I think Herm if I’m understanding him correctly), the more significant safety issue is being addressed by the tamper-proof cap and sensor. I now believe that these changes are intended (given the problem GM was solving) to reliably and quickly identify a possible leak into the battery casing. I’ll bet GM is notified via telecom of such a condition in a Volt and will take positive action rather than leaving it to the owner to bring his/her car in for maintenance in a timely manner. I hope so anyway.

    Some Volt owners have expressed their intention to not proceed with the fix. If the above analysis is accurate, then this is highly not advisable. Get the fix done. It’s a real safety issue as your car starts to age.

    I’d be interested if Nasaman and WOT and others would weigh in and tell us what they think about this way of looking at the issue.

    In Friday’s web chat, GM did actively encourage everyone to get the fix. But the reason given was “peace-of-mind”. I’m a little disappointed that GM did not deal with this a little more forthrightly (though overall I think they handled this no-win situation pretty well). Perhaps the GM web chat participants were given strategic or legal instructions to not open up the kimono too wide.

    Or maybe I’ve just got this all wrong.


  103. 103
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (8:00 am)

    Tom,

    Never have I seen anyone so completely wrong on everything stated out of context. Never.

    Even John with his petty, infantile contentiousness isn’t that closed-minded and totally brainwashed.
    (Totally conceited, but not quite totally brainwashed.)

    (The reason I am so bluntly and sharply critical of “head trip” posts is because you choose anonymity, and, what better way to help the general public know what bullshit is, in expedient and concise terms, as, after all, you have your anonymity. So you need not take anything personally.)

    Shell oil, the reputable and most honest of the oil firms, has demonstrated that very deep well extraction of natural gas at the depth of at least a half a mile down is a valid and safe depth. (Set your odometer in your car and drive a half a mile to see how much solid earth and rock that must be penetrated). If you really mean anything you say, you will do that just for your own trace of objectivity if you can remember to push the trip odometer button on the dashboard of your vehicle to observe this.

    Also, the water is recycled and the catalysts recovered.

    Those unregulated shallow well extractions were a grossly unregulated crime and must be prosecuted.

    (You are for safety regulations, aren’t you chuck, er, I mean Tom?)

    You have to start somewhere to cut carbon and clean up all these messy issues, but your
    writing style proves that you do not process the continuity in your sentences from one paragraph to another. You continually contradict yourself from one paragraph to the next. (Hmmm. Who has done that recently? Who could it be??).

    Discussions based on heated rhetorical brainwash never solve any problems ever.
    Seriously consider overnight oxygen deprivation as your current dilemma of confused lashing out. I sincerely suggest that Afrin 12 hour overnight nasal pump spray once again.


  104. 104
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (8:53 am)

    Jeff Cobb,

    Hi Jeff,

    I needed to completely attend to a new project in my business, but it looked
    like here for a while, there needed to be a reapplication of a positive reinforcement schedule for some of the sources of the confused statements posted. (I might not post, but I am always watching.)

    Your work is absolutely critical for the recognition and improvement of these many extremely dire issues the next generations face. (Which television media are now totally worthless and completely guilty in their abandonment of these extremely dire issues!!) Thanks for your relentless drive.

    Just a quick question, Jeff. What do the terms “strong” and “nofollow” (up at the top of the reply box) mean when replying to a post? Do they mean that a post strongly relates to the thread topic or do not relate or not follow the thread topic?


  105. 105
    HaroldC

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (10:08 am)

    Dan Petit…you say “Shell oil, the reputable and most honest of the oil firms”
    do you really think they are less criminal and/or conniving than any of the other
    multinational fossil-fuel advocates who are in bed with crude cartels ?
    l don’t think they are the good guys……but you are entitled to your opinions

    OT……l’m not sure you are not overdoing your criticism on Tom…..l really don’t think he deserves to be attacked as if he was a monster in our midst. you seem to go after him personaly.he does bring up a lot to think about and it is not ALL untrue…..one last point….what is this business about anonymity..? are we not pretty well anonymous on the net..?

    IMHO


  106. 106
    Voltgate

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (10:47 am)

    According to my sister who works for a news organization, the following has happened in the last 2 months

    1). One leading news organization has committed $1 million to do investigative report on the following subjects:
    a). GM’s ballyhooed Chevy volt program, so-called cronyism capitalism and potentially fraudulent IPO of GM in 2010 by misrepresenting long-term future of GM.
    b). Battery start-up companies, especially company failures etc. this organization had done extensive interviews in Asia.
    c). Fraudulent claims from battery researches, remember the claim from Stanford University?
    d). Abusive use of DOE’s funding.
    2). The republican congressional committee (who will interrogate GM and NHTSA) has been briefed by ex-GM employees about the true nature of this project and some leading figures are likely to be asked to testify under oath, “Does GM mislead the American public? Does GM insider really consider the Chevy Volt to be a viable product or something else?”

    2012 is election year, so this news report is similar to the CBS report of GWB in 2008, but they have been extremely careful to make this report “successful”. This news report will come out on their cable news program, business channel and broadcast channel simultaneously in early summer.


  107. 107
    kdawg

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (11:28 am)

    Tom: Well, you are wrong – when you plug into the grid you don’t know who or how the electricity was generated, and probably don’t care.

    Yes you do. Try this site.
    http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-and-you/how-clean.html


  108. 108
    kdawg

     

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (11:28 am)

    Tom: KDAWG, please learn how to spell (or at least use a spell checker) before you criticize me.

    Spell-checkers are for wimps.


  109. 109
    kdawg

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (11:29 am)

    Tom: have you tried to install a fast charger in YOUR home?

    No, and I dont plan to. 10hrs of charging at night at 120V is just fine.


  110. 110
    Jeff Cobb

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (11:43 am)

    Dan Petit,

    Hi Dan,

    I see. Well, glad you’re back.

    Not sure about those terms but will try to get an answer tomorrow.


  111. 111
    Eco_Turbo

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (11:44 am)

    Voltgate: Does GM insider really consider the Chevy Volt to be a viable product or something else?”

    Interesting that someone might think Volt isn’t a viable product given GM has sold around 8000 of them with little promotion.


  112. 112
    Tom

    -11

     

    Tom
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    Jan 8th, 2012 (11:58 am)

    (click to show comment)


  113. 113
    Tom

    -11

     

    Tom
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    Jan 8th, 2012 (12:01 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  114. 114
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (12:09 pm)

    Jeff Cobb,

    They come through on the Ajax Edit Comments function.
    I like the way they have improved the connective continuity when a broadband signal
    gets weak or there is a time out. (And you can re establish again quickly. Good work AJAX).
    Just wondering, but not that great a deal about those terms.


  115. 115
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (12:10 pm)

    Tom,

    You are just lashing out, and your case for anything is nothing but sloppy.
    So is your grossly obvious posting with different additional made-up names to fictitiously and pretentiously defend yourself against your own compositional sloppiness. Ingenuous positive statements to attempt to gain snippets of momentary credibility (aka the rl mo) in order to get your falsehoods read by others won’t work either.


  116. 116
    nanoman

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (12:40 pm)

    I hope you would invest a large chunk of your personal wealth in the stock of GM and AONE! I know I would not, I have collaborated with both of them!!!

    Eco_Turbo: Interesting that someone might think Volt isn’t a viable product given GM has sold around 8000 of them with little promotion.


  117. 117
    kdawg

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    kdawg
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    Jan 8th, 2012 (12:40 pm)

    Tom: I strongly support natural gas as a fuel source

    Trying to understand what planet you are coming from. Let me get this straight.

    You are against coal
    You are for natural gas
    You are against electricity?
    Therefore you are against the Volt?

    What if all electricity came from renewable resources, or natural gas?


  118. 118
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (12:43 pm)

    Dan Akerman mentioned recently that the cost of Volt will “come down appreciably” by next Summer. Even if that means just by four thousand dollars, with several thousand in profit for the dealer, then the goal is nearly reached or even actually reached!! This is especially true as the cost of gas goes higher, or even as people are increasingly weary of needing to adapt their gasoline budgets several times a year.

    In helping to suppress the demand for gasoline by just five percent as time goes by with more extended deployment, electric drive will go far to help suppress cost variances, which will help those that still will need to use gasoline.


  119. 119
    kdawg

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (12:46 pm)

    Tom: Well, then you should do your research before engaging your “mouth”; SPX is Chevy’s charger vendor and Step 4 (of a SIX STEP process) is called “Permitting”:
    https://www.homecharging.spx.com/portal/
    Residential neighborhood transformers simply don’t have the capacity to support very many fast chargers (in addition to their normal loads, even at night).

    Again, you are misinformed. This step is to make sure the charger is installed to code, not that the grid can handle it.


  120. 120
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (12:59 pm)

    At night, most grid power demand is down by eighty percent.
    One highly reputable Utility Engineer whom I know, stated at the Renewable Energy Roundup in Texas several years ago, that the grid can handle

    ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY FOUR MILLION EV’S FOR OVERNIGHT CHARGING.

    The average demand amp rate of a slow charge over five or so hours is just a measly eight to twelve amps anyway.

    That figure of a hundred and fifty four million ev’s is prone to be obsolete and too low by now, as more and more wind energy becomes available for overnight charging. This is as perfect a synergy as it gets.


  121. 121
    Shaft

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (1:22 pm)

    Hey everyone, can we get back on topic? I’d like some feedback on my post 102. Thanks!


  122. 122
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (1:30 pm)

    Volt is the most highly and precisely monitored vehicle on the planet.
    As nasaman has explained so well down through the years, the Volt has many redundant
    safety systems for nearly everything. And, the real time automated monitoring telemetry assures that all is well every second of the year.


  123. 123
    Koz

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (1:54 pm)

    -Kdawg’s point is that 240v charging such as that provided by the SPX installed equipement is not required for the Volt. It comes with a 120V charge cord that does not require installation of new equipment.

    -if one desires 240V charging, then a 240v charge unit will need to be installed per code. For the Volt, this is NOT a fast charger (Level III) nor could it even use one. ANY new electrical circuit requires a permit in most if not all jurisdictions but that has NOTHING to do with grid loading. Permitting for home 240v charging is NO different from permitting for a clothes dryer or 240v stove. The only loading concern is that of the home’s panel(s) load(s).

    -The point that loading of the grid is a concern and needs to be addressed at some point is a valid concern. Everything else being equal, just adding EV’s to the national fleet without any consideration will cause issues at some point. We are a long way from that point and everything is not being held equal. Appliances and lighting are much more efficient today and are even rapidly improving. Utilities are adding time of use (TOU) billing schedules which encourage off-peak electricity use. The smartening of the grid and the ability of load shedding that already exists gives the utilities the ability to avoid any issues that could be brought on by significant on-peak charging. Anyone not aware of all of these situations is either ignorant or in denial.

    -About 47% of the US NATIONAL utility power production is from Coal. Much of it from newer, cleaner coal plants or older plants retrofitted with emissions reduction technology. The generation percent also doesn’t factor in private on-site power generation so the actual percentage of coal is even less. Regardless, the national generation source breakdown is MEANINGLESS. Only ignorant individuals and biased or poorly conceived studies use this statistic. What matters, or at least what SHOULD matter to an individual’s purchasing decision in regards to the impact of buying an EV has on emissions, is their service area’s source breakdown. For Example, California’s had 21T of their total 1,749T BTU of electricity consumption come from coal. This one of the best utility electricity emission scenarios in the country but California is by far the largest car market by state (~20% of US market). Car ownership is higher per capita and the market share of EVs is significantly higher.

    -I have yet to see a comment, study, or news report distinguish between the “dirtiest” coal plants and the “cleanest” when tying to make the argument that plugins are worse or no better for emissions. Why is this?

    -The grid energy supply and emissions is not static. It is continually improving and a plug-in has the ability to choose what fuels their vehicle, whether by time of charging or adding renewables to their home. A gas only vehicle is for all intents and purposes locked in to it’s emissions profile for the LIFE of the car.

    Information, education, and understanding is on the side of the plug-in EV.


  124. 124
    Koz

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (2:04 pm)

    Shaft:
    Hey everyone, can we get back on topic? I’d like some feedback on my post 102. Thanks!

    Your post was very poignant. It mirrored what I was thinking. I remember a post on the forum by a Volt owner that developed a coolant leak outside of the battery pack but compromised the packs cooling capacity. His error codes indicated the battery was failing and he had no notification of a coolant leak or other potentially very serious issue. I didn’t follow up to see if the owner posted whether the battery did indeed need to be replaced but is nice to know that after this upgrade (fix) by GM, we will be notified of coolant leaks in the future. So the upgrade might not only avoid potentially dangerous situations but could also help avoid harm to the batteries.


  125. 125
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (2:27 pm)

    Koz,

    Completely correct, Koz,

    Even at level 2 charging, ninety nine percent of Volt and EV owners are not suddenly going to run home for lunch every day, plug in for two hours, then return back to work weekdays, (and then, also, the grid is only loading up toward capacity after three pm in the afternoon anyway on only the hottest days of the Summer).

    The overloading premise is as sound as a declaration of thermonuclear war upon the sun.


  126. 126
    kdawg

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    kdawg
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    Jan 8th, 2012 (2:33 pm)

    Shaft,

    Personally, i’m not worried about a corosion leak. Some info on the cooling circuit.

    1297709455693.jpg

    The Dana Corp-manufactured cooling fin consists of two lightweight aluminum plates joined by a proprietary clean nickel-brazing process. The carefully designed grooves stamped into the plates form channels that allow battery coolant that is pumped through the pack to flow over the entire cell surface.

    “Three different systems are used to regulate the temperature of the coolant,” said Wallace. “When the Volt is plugged in and charging in cold weather, an electric heater at the front of the battery pack is used to warm the coolant and pre-heat the battery. During normal operations, the coolant is passed through a heat exchanger at the front of the car, while a chiller in the air conditioning circuit can be used to dissipate heat from the battery when temperatures really climb.”

    The management system monitors feedback from 16 thermal sensors arranged throughout the battery pack to maintain a spread of no more than 2 degrees centigrade from the optimal temperature across the pack.


  127. 127
    Koz

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (2:36 pm)

    Koz: -About 47% of the US NATIONAL utility power production is from Coal. Much of it from newer, cleaner coal plants or older plants retrofitted with emissions reduction technology. The generation percent also doesn’t factor in private on-site power generation so the actual percentage of coal is even less. Regardless, the national generation source breakdown is MEANINGLESS. Only ignorant individuals and biased or poorly conceived studies use this statistic. What matters, or at least what SHOULD matter to an individual’s purchasing decision in regards to the impact of buying an EV has on emissions, is their service area’s source breakdown. For Example, California’s had 21T of their total 1,749T BTU of electricity consumption come from coal. This one of the best utility electricity emission scenarios in the country but California is by far the largest car market by state (~20% of US market). Car ownership is higher per capita and the market share of EVs is significantly higher.

    Oops, I was wrong. We are now down to 42.9% coal for electricity power generation for the first 9 months of 2011 (http://205.254.135.7/electricity/monthly/excel/epmxlfilees1_b.xls). This is another illustration of just one of the advantages of plug-ins. By the time plug-in cars reach substantial volumes, even the national grid will likely be <40% powered by coal and falling. That's not to say the national breakdown is most relevant, it isn't, but it better than many think and getting better all of the time.


  128. 128
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (2:38 pm)

    kdawg,

    Great reference, kdawg. I was guessing previously that there were at least three sensors, but it is good to know the actual count. As well, it is interesting to see the ingenious way that the cells are thermally conditioned and monitored.

    This is definitely the place to learn!!!!


  129. 129
    WopOnTour

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (2:51 pm)

    Voltgate:
    According to my sister who works for a news organization, the following has happened in the last 2 months

    1). One leading news organization has committed $1 million to do investigative report on the following subjects:
    a). GM’s ballyhooed Chevy volt program, so-called cronyism capitalism and potentially fraudulent IPO of GM in 2010 by misrepresenting long-term future of GM.
    b). Battery start-up companies, especially company failures etc. this organization had done extensive interviews in Asia.
    c). Fraudulent claims from battery researches, remember the claim from Stanford University?
    d). Abusive use of DOE’s funding.

    2). The republican congressional committee (who will interrogate GM and NHTSA)has been briefed by ex-GM employees about the true nature of this project and some leading figures are likely to be asked to testify under oath,
    “Does GM mislead the American public?
    Does GM insider really consider the Chevy Volt to be a viable product or something else?”

    2012 is election year, so this news report is similar to the CBS report of GWB in 2008, but they have been extremely careful to make this report “successful”. This news report will come out on their cable news program, business channel and broadcast channel simultaneously in early summer.

    Total hogwash. Get a life!
    WOT


  130. 130
    Tom

    -12

     

    Tom
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    Jan 8th, 2012 (3:56 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  131. 131
    Shaft

     

    Shaft
     Says

     

    Jan 8th, 2012 (4:18 pm)

    Trying to get things back on the topic again … :)

    Probably someone has already posted this link but here it is again just in case:
    http://www.nhtsa.gov/Press-Releases

    It’s the first 2012 press release from the NHTSA entitled:
    January 05, 2012 · Statement of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration On General Motors’ Plan to Address Potential Fire Risk in Chevy Volts

    Part of this says:
    ” … it appears that both battery intrusion and coolant leakage must be present to enable post-crash fire in the Volt.”

    The “intrusion” word is interesting. I’m guessing that the crystallization phenomenon needs oxygen. So, in addition to some hole in the cooling loop, would you also need some other defect that allows oxygen to flow to the battery pack?

    Or, again, I could be way off track.


  132. 132
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (5:00 pm)

    I’ve been called a “loose cannon” in the past, which, btw, is accurate when I know a situation is completely wrong. I doubt for that reason, at least in part, that very strong consideration might be given me and my company to provide/contract anything to GM, although they have excellent employees already in all departments, and need nothing from me and my company.

    Someone else in years past told me to “shut up”. But where there is bullshit, tom, there is bullshit. And you sling more of it than anyone else I’ve ever seen here.

    Except that I don’t put up with anyone’s deliberate bullshit when from people who are (all of these attributes combined in one person, which is rare;); completely selfish, self serving, conceited, and totally closed minded. You are not welcome here. Do these points get across to you Tom?


  133. 133
    Shaft

     

    Shaft
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    Jan 8th, 2012 (5:59 pm)

    Sigh …


  134. 134
    Bonaire

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (6:21 pm)

    Shaft
    I believe Intrusion means that the cell(s) have been breached where the side-beam penetrated the center cover of the pack as well as cell(s). “Intrusion” tends to mean “poked into”. But how a cut Li-Ion cell acts over time in tandem with coolant and crystalization – who knows. None of the stories talk about the specifics of the actual damage other than the latest story here with pictures of “intrusion point” and the strengthening of the area within the battery tunnel.


  135. 135
    Dave K.

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    Jan 8th, 2012 (6:22 pm)

    I recharged my Volt from empty to full in just 3 hours 25 minutes today @ 240V.

    It used to take 3 hours and 35 minutes. Think the software update has something to do with this? Recharge was made at about 58 degrees ambient garage temperature. The former longer recharge was made at 65 degrees ambient.

    http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/The-nanoscoop-on-battery-life-937390.php

    No Plug, No Sale!


  136. 136
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

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    Jan 9th, 2012 (3:46 am)

    Opel announces the fixes will be implemented on the Ampera also.
    http://opel-ampera.com/wp_en/2012/01/05/opel-ampera-modifications

    JC NPNS


  137. 137
    Tom

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    Jan 9th, 2012 (11:29 am)

    Dan Petit:
    I’ve been called a “loose cannon” in the past, which, btw, is accurate when I know a situation is completely wrong.I doubt for that reason, at least in part, that very strong consideration might be given me and my company to provide/contract anything to GM, although they have excellent employees already in all departments, and need nothing from me and my company.

    Someone else in years past told me to “shut up”.But where there is bullshit, tom, there is bullshit. And you sling more of it than anyone else I’ve ever seen here.

    Except that I don’t put up with anyone’s deliberate bullshit when from people who are (all of these attributes combined in one person, which is rare;); completely selfish, self serving, conceited, and totally closed minded. You are not welcome here.Do these points get across to you Tom?

    Trouble is you NEVER say what the “bullshit” is: EXACTLY which of my facts are wrong? I would respect that, but not some crap about my f%&king sentence structure.


  138. 138
    Sheffield

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    Jan 9th, 2012 (4:02 pm)

    Tom,

    kdawg: Again, you are misinformed.This step is to make sure the charger is installed to code, not that the grid can handle it.

    I think Tom is treating L2 chargers as though they were L3. If people were installing L3 then he would be right. But for L1 and L2 he is incorrect: they are less power than a typical central air conditioner. But they run at night.


  139. 139
    Dan Petit

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    Jan 9th, 2012 (5:00 pm)

    L3 is 480 Volt service, which is not available to residences for the most part.

    The charge time savings of one hour at L3 for the cost of installing it would not
    be worth it compared to the two and a half hours or so for L2 at 240 volts.


  140. 140
    Bob G

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    Jan 9th, 2012 (5:07 pm)

    Tom,

    Some more things to consider for your analysis in post 89:
    * Your analysis neglects the energy expended to refine and distribute the gasoline.
    * You seem to assume that fast chargers will draw off the grid in real time (rather than containing local energy storage).
    * The only time that fast chargers will be necessary is during long trips, so they won’t need to be on every street corner like existing gas stations.
    * Paying for any additional infrastructure for the electrical grid is not a problem. As people use more electricity, they pay higher electric bills. That extra revenue is now available for grid projects.
    * The vast majority of recharging will be done at home at night.
    * Large-scale, land-based electrical power generating plants can convert energy far more cleanly and efficiently than an automobile engine can.


  141. 141
    Tom

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    Jan 10th, 2012 (12:07 pm)

    Bob G:
    Tom,

    Some more things to consider for your analysis in post 89:
    * Your analysis neglects the energy expended to refine and distribute the gasoline.
    *You seem to assume that fast chargers will draw off the grid in real time (rather than containing local energy storage).
    * The only time that fast chargers will be necessary is during long trips, so they won’t need to be on every street corner like existing gas stations.
    * Paying for any additional infrastructure for the electrical grid is not a problem.As people use more electricity, they pay higher electric bills.That extra revenue is now available for grid projects.
    * The vast majority of recharging will be done at home at night.
    * Large-scale, land-based electrical power generating plants can convert energy far more cleanly and efficiently than an automobile engine can.

    Bob,

    If you will go back and check you will see that I never advocated gasoline as the fuel of the future. I clearly stated that natural gas is a much better fuel, especially as compared to coal (which is used to generate nearly half of the electric power in the U.S.). What I did state is that electric cars (at least half of them, in any case) are, in effect, coal powered. Coal is hardly the fuel that would be at the top of your list. One debatable advantage of coal is that it pushes your air pollution into your neighbor’s back yard, which, for California and the other left coast states, is downwind.

    The current administration is does not like coal, and wants older plants to be shut down. These plants are mostly used to supply peaking power, so shutting them down will aggravate everybody’s favorite infrastructure breakdown, brownouts. Adding significant additional electrical loads (i.e. electric cars) will worsen an already bad situation.

    Fast chargers will be needed more as electric cars are used more like normal vehicles, not just for commuting. This is why the Volt drags around its own motor-generator set. The Achilles’ heal of electric cars is, and always will be, their range. This forces people to own two cars; one for commuting and the other for long(er) distance trips. I tow a trailer with my Tahoe where even gasoline stations can be over 200 miles apart.

    Want more things to worry about? Just where does the rare earth metals used in electric cars come from? China. Now China is not exactly our closest buddy in the World, and they recently announced they were stopping exports of these materials! This becomes a National security issue.

    Natural gas needs no refining. But it does need to be distributed, but so does electricity. And NG can be stored efficiently (try doing that with electricity!), so if your distribution system goes down (i.e. the “B” word: blackout), you have a supply until your distribution system can be fixed. Pipelines are also very efficient methods of transport.

    As long as electric cars cost twice as much as other types, and go one quarter the distance, they will not be accepted by the American consumer. Proponents respond to this by using the non-polluting angle to appeal to people’s willingness to sacrifice for the common good. This sentiment will fade fast when the dirty truth about where the electricity comes from (coal) becomes common knowledge. The obvious way to fix that is to adopt nuclear power on a larger scale (which is a good idea regardless of the electric car issue), but the tree huggers oppose this.


  142. 142
    Steven J.

     

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    Jan 11th, 2012 (8:56 am)

    He’s been drinking too much. Not worth the response when he’s drunk.


  143. 143
    Tom

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    Jan 11th, 2012 (11:40 am)

    Steven J.:
    He’s been drinking too much.Not worth the response when he’s drunk.

    Translation: everything Tom is saying is accurate and I don’t have any meaningful response except to attack him in a non sequitur way.