Mar 08

CEO Akerson: GM working on 200-mile EV; asks Obama for 30-year energy policy

 

Speaking Wednesday at the IHS CERWeek energy conference in Houston, GM CEO Dan Akerson said the company is now testing a 200-mile range electric car.

The vehicle is one of two in development – the other is a 100 mile range car – and the researchers are evaluating the viability of each.

“We’re actually developing a car today which is really anathema to the way the auto industry works,” said Akerson of the two test vehicles, noting also battery energy density breakthroughs are right around the corner.

2014-Chevrolet-SparkEV-022-medium
 

Akerson reiterated GM aims to have a half million electrified vehicles on the road by 2017. These would include mild hybrids, other hybrids, EVs, and the plug-in variety like the Chevy Volt.

GM’s chief also took opportunity to call upon President Obama to appoint a commission to create a 30-year energy plan which would encompass all energy forms, including the renewable sustainable sources.

Aside from finding improved batteries, Akerson said the company has aggressive goals to reduce curb weight of its vehicles by up to 15 percent. A reduction of 10 percent, Akerson said, is worth a fuel consumption reduction of 6.5 percent.

Weight loss already accomplished with the Spark EV now allows that car to reach an extra five miles range from 75 miles previously, to now 80 miles, Akerson said.

Bloomberg

30-year Energy Policy

 

By Philippe Crowe

In Wednesday’s talk, Akreson said that the U.S is on the cusp of achieving long-term energy security because of the rise of fuel-efficient vehicles, more energy-efficient homes, factories, and the revolution in domestic oil and gas production.

Akerson added that the time is now for a consumer-driven national energy policy.

 

Akerson also said GM is developing the industry’s most technologically diverse range of fuel-efficient cars, trucks and crossovers to meet new fuel economy standards. These include clean diesel, battery-powered electric vehicles, extended-range electric vehicles, natural gas and a host of fuel-saving technologies such as light electrification, cylinder deactivation and turbo direct injection.

In his speech, Akerson called on President Obama to immediately appoint a Blue Ribbon Commission to develop a 30-year policy framework for energy security with progress reviews every five years. To truly understand and make these changes sustainable, Akerson said the presidential commission needs to include a broad cross-section of energy producers and energy consumers.

And the commission should have a straightforward charge: “Develop a plan to improve our standard of living by extending the duration of the natural gas and tight oil ‘dividend’ for as long as possible.”

Following are comments GM published following Akerson’s speech:

GM is committed to saving 12 billion gallons of fuel over the life of the vehicles it builds between 2011 and 2017, the equivalent of averting the need for 675 million barrels of oil – a figure nearly equal to U.S. oil imports from the Persian Gulf in 2011.

Mass reduction through the use of advanced materials, such as carbon fiber and magnesium, and investments in nano steels and resistance spot welding for aluminum structures, holds great promise.

“A good rule of thumb is that a 10-percent reduction in curb weight will reduce fuel consumption by about 6.5 percent,” Akerson said. “Our target is to reduce weight by up to 15 percent” by 2016.

GM also is doing its part on the energy and environmental fronts, efforts that were recognized Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency awarding the company its 2013 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year “Sustained Excellence” award.

From 2005 to 2010, GM reduced its energy intensity per vehicle produced by 28 percent with a goal of achieving a 20-percent reduction per vehicle in its global CO2 footprint by 2020.

GM leads the automotive industry in landfill-free facilities; its goal is to have 125 landfill-free facilities by 2025, up from 105 today. On average, more than 97 percent of waste material at landfill-free manufacturing facilities is recycled or reused. The balance is sent to waste-to-energy facilities. All of GM’s facilities combined – including landfill-free plants and all others – recycle or reuse 90 percent of their waste.

These activities generated about $1 billion in annual revenue, and in 2011 alone, 2.5 million metric tons of waste from landfills – the equivalent of 38 million garbage bags – were eliminated.

“Everywhere you look there are opportunities to seize the energy high ground,” Akerson said. “Indeed, our leaders have been presented with an historic opportunity to create a national energy policy from a position of strength and abundance.” The pillars of such a plan must include:

  • Energy diversity to avoid dependence on any one fuel or energy source. Continued development of all forms of domestic energy, including renewables, is required.
  • Energy efficiency should remain a core component to allow the impact of prosperity and population growth.
  • Continue to make meaningful, long-term investments in nascent technologies to drive CO2 emissions even lower.

 

This entry was posted on Friday, March 8th, 2013 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: 81


  1. 1
    kdawg-ông

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (6:06 am)

    80 mile AER Spark… I was guessing it would be 82.

    I won’t go full BEV for my only car until it can go 250 miles at 75mph in January 0 degree weather.

    However, as a second car, the Spark EV is great ( 200 miles AER is better though, so I’d opt for that)


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    kdawg-ông

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (6:09 am)

    Forgot to say, I didn’t see the H word used by Akerson.


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    Mark Z

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (6:22 am)

    Thank you GM. Now, more AC/DC public charge stations please!


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    James McQuaid

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (7:02 am)

    For the CEO of General Motors to call for the development of a 30-year policy framework for energy security with progress reviews every five years is a testament to just how far we’ve come. Consider how carefully G.M.’s leadership was avoiding politics less than a year ago. At that time, instead of discussing an energy policy, the debate was over whether to abolish the Energy Department. Thank God the stinking barbarians were banished back to the private equity industry. Thank God Dan Akerson is at the helm of G.M.


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    Bonaire

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (8:00 am)

    GM, Nissan and Ford could do one thing that would help with this.

    Get a task force out there talking to each large company who owns a sizeable parking lot to find ways to install at-work plugs. Whether 120V, L2 AC or AC/DC charging stations. This task force should include facilities-aware people who could talk to businesses’ facilities managers to assist in the decision-making tasks to get plugs out there. What will sell more EVs? Employees’ ability to plug in while at work.


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    Loboc

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (8:16 am)

    Both Ford and GM are calling them ‘electrified’ instead of hybrid. I like it.


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    Roy_H

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (8:16 am)

    kdawg-ông:
    Forgot to say, I didn’t see the H word used by Akerson.

    Yes, I took that as very good news. As batteries get better HFCs become a harder sell.


  8. 8
    Roy_H

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (8:35 am)

    If a new Energy Policy Commission is created, I hope it includes support for developing LFTRs.

    Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactors are inherently safe, because the fuel is already liquid and requires only gravity to drain into a safe configuration. Liquid fuel eliminates the possibility of a melt-down. A fan-cooled freeze plug leads to the safe containment tank and a loss of power allows the plug to un-freeze and drain the fuel. To shut this unit down, just turn off the fan.

    This also means there is no requirement for a large containment building (still need radio-active protection, just a lot smaller and therefore cheaper). LFTRs burn up over 99% of the thorium fuel, as apposed to current PWRs that are about 0.5% efficient so there is dramatically less waste. This small waste is different and requires only 300 years of safe storage instead of 10,000 years.

    Thorium is literally free from rare-earth mines that consider thorium to be a nuisance byproduct. Thorium for an LFTR requires only a simple refinement process, not the very expensive enrichment process required for uranium, and the thorium is introduced into the LFTR as a powder, whereas the uranium is packaged in very expensive precision pellets. The cost of building and running LFTRs promises to be dramatically cheaper than existing nuclear plants and even cheaper than coal.

    See http://flibe-energy.com/attributes/
    and http://energyfromthorium.com/


  9. 9
    Tim Hart

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (8:37 am)

    I love my Volt but I have to admit I would really love to have an affordable BEV as a second car and love the pretty rapid progress the industry, and especially GM is making in that area. I am also really impressed with GM’s environmental leadership in the auto industry. I pretty much can’t see myself buying anything other than a GM product.


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    Bonaire

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (8:57 am)

    #8 Roy_H – and include spent fuel rod recycling programs. USA does not due to Pres. Ford issuing an executive order to stop fuel rod recycling. This Must Be Overturned for a viable Nuclear energy future. Europe does it successfully. We bicker about Yucca Mtn and 10,000 years storage. We are dumb.


  11. 11
    Roy_H

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:05 am)

    Bonaire:
    #8 Roy_H – and include spent fuel rod recycling programs.USA does not due to Pres. Ford issuing an executive order to stop fuel rod recycling.This Must Be Overturned for a viable Nuclear energy future.Europe does it successfully.We bicker about Yucca Mtn and 10,000 years storage.We are dumb.

    Although re-cycling fuel rods is attractive (and expensive), it does not apply to LFTRs. The flouride has a positive temperature coefficient and this makes the LFTR naturally load following, there are no fuel rods. LFTRs are also capable of burning up spent fuel rods, a much cheaper process than current re-cycling.


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    Jackson

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:09 am)

    I used to say that if GM got into the BEV business, the cars should have some breakthrough advantage such as greater range than the >100 mile status quo. The Spark EV is a cute idea, but should be restricted to foreign markets where limited range is less of an issue (JMO). Let’s see the 200, or even a 150 mile version. Better yet, stick with EREV and strengthen the serial mode as battery cycle life is improved.

    kdawg-ông: I didn’t see the H word used by Akerson.

    This is stupendous news; a clear indication that GM has finally ditched the H2 cool-aid (or at least put the in-house zealots in their place).


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    Jackson

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:10 am)

    Jackson: the >100 mile status quo

    I meant <100 miles. Anybody know the admin password? :-P


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    Jackson

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:16 am)

    For now, weight reduction and electrification are incompatible bedfellows. Those advanced materials are EXS-PEN-SIVE. And so are the batteries. This will only push the cost-reduction solution further into the future.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:20 am)

    “cylinder deactivation”

    V8-6-4 anybody?

    Didn’t think so (or did they ever solve the ill-fated engine’s reliability problems?).


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:21 am)

    Roy_H: Although re-cycling fuel rods is attractive (and expensive), it does not apply to LFTRs. The flouride has a positive temperature coefficient and this makes the LFTR naturally load following, there are no fuel rods. LFTRs are also capable of burning up spent fuel rods, a much cheaper process than current re-cycling.

    Well, I’m basically saying use LFTR when and as it matures as well as continued fission reactors of today but utilize fuel rod recycling now rather than just storing them.


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    Steverino

     

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:26 am)

    I worry about winter range. 80 mile summer range would be fine for me. But what would I get in winter with heat on (no ICE)? 40 miles?


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    Mark Brooks

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:31 am)

    It’s good to know that GM , for that matter all the big boys, are working on EV technology with an affordable 200 mile plus promise, to take a Tesla like product from Baystreet to main street ( that’s a Toronto expression)

    But the volt and other phevs / Bevs are here now and blazing both a tech and market trail that will bring the dreams of tomorrow to life. All we have to do is keep clearing the fog away so that other consumers can see the future as clearly as we do…


  19. 19
    Jonathan Baker

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:41 am)

    Roy_H,

    I have yet to do any research on liquid fluorium thoride reactors. On first blush, the system appears to have a decided advantage over the current nuclear power plants. Are there any negatives involved with LFTR use? None?


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    Nelson

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:43 am)

    A 200 mile BEV from GM would mean some real competition for Tesla. Well, only if priced less and GM promised to make available “FREE” fast charging at rest stops across the country like Tesla is doing. If the 100 electric mile test vehicle is also an EREV, GM would have a BMW i3 competitor.
    Make it so Number One! :)

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  21. 21
    Jonathan Baker

     

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:45 am)

    Jonathan Baker,

    I meant to type liquid fluoride thorium reactors 8^)


  22. 22
    nasaman

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:47 am)

    Mark Brooks: It’s good to know that GM , for that matter all the big boys, are working on EV technology with an affordable 200 mile plus promise, to take a Tesla like product from Baystreet to main street (that’s a Toronto expression)

    Everyone has so far overlooked an important item shown in the video* of Dan Akerson’s 200 mile announcement yesterday: the longer-range battery is using NANOPHOSPHATE Li-Ion technology. My guess is that this new cell technology could very well reduce current Li-Ion battery size, weight (& perhaps also reduce battery thermal sensitivity)!

    *See :31 to 34 of video at http://www.autonews.com/article/20130307/VIDEO/303079854/first-shift-gm-seeking-200-mile-ev#axzz2MxWLjaJA


  23. 23
    Jackson

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:49 am)

    Jonathan Baker:
    Roy_H,

    I have yet to do any research on liquid fluorium thoride reactors.On first blush, the system appears to have a decided advantage over the current nuclear power plants.Are there any negatives involved with LFTR use?None?

    I’ve looked at it, and they’re a great idea. The only negatives are governmental inertia and disinterest. I wouldn’t hold my breath.


  24. 24
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (9:56 am)

    Bonaire:
    #8 Roy_H – and include spent fuel rod recycling programs.USA does not due to Pres. Ford issuing an executive order to stop fuel rod recycling.This Must Be Overturned for a viable Nuclear energy future.Europe does it successfully.We bicker about Yucca Mtn and 10,000 years storage.We are dumb.

    Bonaire: Well, I’m basically saying use LFTR when and as it matures as well as continued fission reactors of today but utilize fuel rod recycling now rather than just storing them.

    Glad to see there are some people here that are NOT members of the ANTI NUCLEAR FAN BOY CLUB. Interestingly our (probably) next energy secretary is pro nuclear.

    From World Nuclear News:

    “On nuclear power, Moniz takes a pragmatic view, saying it would be a “mistake… to let Fukushima cause governments to abandon nuclear power and its benefits.”

    “Chief among these are economic issues of high build and capital costs, which are exacerbated when problems occur during construction. Industry is working hard to address the issue for new build in Western countries. Elsewhere, in China and Russia for example, predictable construction costs and schedules are already a reality. In America, “the government and industry need to advance new designs that lower the financial risk of constructing nuclear power plants.”

    “Second on Moniz’s list was to fix the “dysfunctional” waste management system that had seen a $25 billion fund build up from industry contributions to finance a non-existent program after Yucca Mountain was pulled by Obama with collaboration from outgoing energy secretary Stephen Chu and former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Gregory Jazcko.”

    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP_Moniz_is_Obamas_new_man_for_energy_0503131.html

    I think small modular reactors will go a long way towards fixing problems with construction delays and cost over runs.

    Also, as Bonaire says there are ways to recycle nuclear wastes and also ways to use this “waste” which is not really waste but FUEL nuclear power plants. The technology exists today.


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    Loboc

     

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (10:10 am)

    Why would any power company go through the pain and expense of deploying new nukes when NG is almost free?

    As far as 200mi EVs, I need a 120mi nominal (which I guess a 200mi advertised would work out to be) that is larger than a mini coupe. Something the size of a Malibu or Impala. Or maybe a model ’5′?


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    DonC

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (10:19 am)

    Jackson: The Spark EV is a cute idea, but should be restricted to foreign markets where limited range is less of an issue (JMO).

    Agree that BEV with a range of less than 100 miles won’t work for everyone, but as as second car it can be fine. We can’t use the Leaf for everything but we’re driving it 14,000 miles a year. Five or six times in two years we’ve had to switch cars but that’s about it. Plus it costs less to lease and charge our Leaf than it did just to gas up our previous car, which was a sedan not an SUV. That’s about $7-$8K a year cheaper. The problem with BEV range is more imagined than real.

    Jackson: This will only push the cost-reduction solution further into the future.

    Once you can recapture the energy required to move mass, mass reduction becomes less important. Frank Weber explained a while ago that a 400 pound reduction only increased the Volt’s range by 2 miles on the City Cycle and 1 mile on the Highway Cycle. On the other hand, a 40 count reduction in the Cd increased the range by 6 miles on the Highway and 4 miles — double — on the City Cycle.

    So adding batteries and hence weight isn’t such a problem.

    Steverino:
    I worry about winter range. 80 mile summer range would be fine for me. But what would I get in winter with heat on (no ICE)? 40 miles?

    Just use the percentage change in your Volt range, only a bigger hit in winter because there isn’t a nice engine to fire up and keep the cabin toasty. For the reason you bring up I can’t see BEVs ever being a good idea in places where it gets really cold. (Volvo put a liquid heater on their concept BEV). That’s why Norway has the highest penetration of BEVs in the EU! LOL


  27. 27
    George S. Bower

     

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (10:43 am)

    Loboc:
    Why would any power company go through the pain and expense of deploying new nukes when NG is almost free?

    No reason at all Loboc. Way to cut right to the chase. I think the numbers are like 1500$/kw for a combined cycle NG plant and 5000-9000 for a big nuke.

    It’s pretty much ordained in this country that we will be going the gas backed renewables route.


  28. 28
    George S. Bower

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (10:47 am)

    DonC: The problem with BEV range is more imagined than real.

    That’s easy for you to say Mr. California. :)


  29. 29
    Steverino

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (11:00 am)

    Just use the percentage change in your Volt range, only a bigger hit in winter because there isn’t a nice engine to fire up and keep the cabin toasty. For the reason you bring up I can’t see BEVs ever being a good idea in places where it gets really cold. (Volvo put a liquid heater on their concept BEV). That’s why Norway has the highest penetration of BEVs in the EU! LOL

    Plus, you need to take eventual battery degradation into account. That’s why a BEV for me would need to have at least 2x my anticipated range need. So if I need 40 miles (winter), the car must have at least an 80 mile (summer) range. 100 would be better. Summer range is what the car makers are advertising.


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    Nelson

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (11:31 am)

    There are two problems with EV’s in the minds of the average driver.
    1. The vehicles total range.
    2. The lack of reasonably priced (.50/hour or less) charging stations.
    In their minds if a vehicle had the capability to drive 400 miles on one charge they would feel secure about driving without the fear of being stranded. (Which could still happen if you can’t find a charging station to recharge.)

    If they concentrated on building the charging station infrastructure, a 75-100 mile EV would suffice.
    Worth repeating….
    Once charging stations are found at locations where people park their cars while they shop, work, eat or sleep, it will become common place to have your plug-in vehicle topped off at all times. You won’t have to think about where your next charge will take place. You won’t have to worry about forgetting to plug in at home. You just drive off to your destination and when you park you plug-in…. You can’t top off an ice vehicle when you park but you can with an EV if we had enough charging stations. How many is enough? IMO, 1 out of 10 parking spots should have a charging station and more as more EV’s are sold.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


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    Bonaire

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (11:34 am)

    George S. Bower: No reason at all Loboc. Way to cut right to the chase. I think the numbers are like 1500$/kw for a combined cycle NG plant and 5000-9000 for a big nuke.

    It’s pretty much ordained in this country that we will be going the gas backed renewables route.

    So, how much free-flowing easy Natural Gas will there be in the year 2050, 2080 and 2100? NG is not infinite but the Thorium and Nuclear plants effectively very long term generators not influenced by natural gas ups and downs. Our cheap NG today is somewhat “new” to this economy. A really cold winter can cut supplies pretty quickly also.

    We need that new energy policy to begin the research and deployment of next-gen nuclear plants so that our great grand children in 2100 have a stable energy future. We can’t rely on what’s easy today to be easy down the road.


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    George S. Bower

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (11:43 am)

    Bonaire: So, how much free-flowing easy Natural Gas will there be in the year 2050, 2080 and 2100?NG is not infinite but the Thorium and Nuclear plants effectively very long term generators not influenced by natural gas ups and downs.Our cheap NG today is somewhat “new” to this economy.A really cold winter can cut supplies pretty quickly also.

    We need that new energy policy to begin the research and deployment of next-gen nuclear plants so that our great grand children in 2100 have a stable energy future.We can’t rely on what’s easy today to be easy down the road.

    The only way it’s going to happen is if we put a tax on carbon. Then the economics totally change.


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    Noel Park

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (11:51 am)

    Jackson: This is stupendous news; a clear indication that GM has finally ditched the H2 cool-aid (or at least put the in-house zealots in their place).

    #12

    I sure hope so. +1


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    BLINDGUY

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (11:53 am)

    Having a goal of 15% weight reduction. Hmm, sounds like a reasonable plan for me too ;) . I wonder which battery maker will provide these better batteries. Many of us just want to know when we can get an EREV CUV or minivan.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (11:54 am)

    Jackson: Didn’t think so (or did they ever solve the ill-fated engine’s reliability problems?).

    #15

    Yeah, they did. They have it on a number of cars now, and will on the 2014 Corvette. It works just fine due to the wonders of modern electronics. I believe that the old 8-6-4 was almost entirely based upon analog electro/mechanical systems which were failure prone and just not smart enough for the job.


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    hvacman

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (12:35 pm)

    This is great news, but as we have abundantly learned on this forum, the average Chevy dealer’s salesperson can’t even accurately grasp and explain the technical/economic aspects between the Volt and an ICE-based Cruze? How will they ever learn all these new technological options and be able to represent them on the sales floor?

    GM will have to radically change their marketing/sales techniques and dealer staff to match their technology, or innovative companies like Tesla will eat their lunch when it comes to closing sales.


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    Noel Park

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (12:44 pm)

    James McQuaid: Thank God Dan Akerson is at the helm of G.M.

    #4

    Well as much as it sticks in my throat to say anything nice about corporate CEOs, I’m just about forced to put in with you there. +1

    All of the above is very encouraging. Bring it on Dan!


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (12:51 pm)

    hvacman: GM will have to radically change their marketing/sales techniques and dealer staff to match their technology, or innovative companies like Tesla will eat their lunch when it comes to closing sales.

    #36

    I went by the local dealer last night to drop off my brother to pick up his car from service. I saw the pack of salesmen standing out front waiting to descend on the punters. I remarked to my brother how much that gives me the creeps and how I refuse to deal with it.

    Luckily we have a pretty good relationship through the parts department, so I go directly to the fleet manager and avoid all of that, but I have to believe that the customers hate it. I just make damned sure that I know exactly what I want and either go to that guy or shop the other dealerships via the internet.


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    DonC

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (1:34 pm)

    Nelson: There are two problems with EV’s in the minds of the average driver.
    1. The vehicles total range.
    2. The lack of reasonably priced (.50/hour or less) charging stations.

    Based on my experience they never get to 2. They get stuck at 1 and that’s the end of it.

    I don’t actually like the idea of installing a lot of 240v chargers. I think you’re better off with fewer DC chargers and, for the workplace where your car will sit for hours, slower 120v chargers. The DC chargers take care of emergencies much more quickly, so there isn’t an emergency, and the slower 120v chargers are well matched to how long the car will be parked. The 240v chargers are too slow for public places like stores because people aren’t there long enough, and faster than needed at the workplace where the car will be parked for hours.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (2:33 pm)

    DonC,

    DonC, you’ve touched on an interesting concept. Maybe what we need is a self regulating charger that varies its voltage based on the amount of time you expect to be parked and how much charge you need to top off the battery.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  41. 41
    WVhybrid

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    Mar 8th, 2013 (3:04 pm)

    When it comes to nuclear reactors, I prefer the one sitting about 93 million miles away right now. It seems to be pretty reliable, requires no maintenance, and has no waste disposal issues for the foreseeable future.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (3:23 pm)

    Noel Park: Yeah, they did. They have it on a number of cars now, and will on the 2014 Corvette. It works just fine due to the wonders of modern electronics. I believe that the old 8-6-4 was almost entirely based upon analog electro/mechanical systems which were failure prone and just not smart enough for the job.

    Noel Park: Yeah, they did. They have it on a number of cars now, and will on the 2014 Corvette. It works just fine due to the wonders of modern electronics. I believe that the old 8-6-4 was almost entirely based upon analog electro/mechanical systems which were failure prone and just not smart enough for the job.

    Glad to hear it!


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (3:26 pm)

    WVhybrid:
    When it comes to nuclear reactors, I prefer the one sitting about 93 million miles away right now.It seems to be pretty reliable, requires no maintenance, and has no waste disposal issues for the foreseeable future.

    #41

    Amen. +1

    There’s an interesting story on the MSN/Yahoo news page right now about Fukushima Daichi. They are estimating 30-40 YEARS to clean it up, assuming that certain new technologies mature which they don’t even have in place yet.

    Never mind the San Onofre fiasco in our own back yard here in SoCal.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (3:32 pm)

    DonC: I don’t actually like the idea of installing a lot of 240v chargers. I think you’re better off with fewer DC chargers and, for the workplace where your car will sit for hours, slower 120v chargers.

    #39

    I agree. +1

    If they just provided simple 120v plugs and let people use their own “chargers” that come with the cars it would be WAY cheaper. I’m thinking that you could install maybe 10 120v plugs for what one 240v charging unit would cost including the installation. Or maybe more.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (3:50 pm)

    Noel Park: #41

    Amen.+1

    There’s an interesting story on the MSN/Yahoo news page right now about Fukushima Daichi.They are estimating 30-40 YEARS to clean it up, assuming that certain new technologies mature which they don’t even have in place yet.

    Never mind the San Onofre fiasco in our own back yard here in SoCal.

    That does it. California is officially cut off from importing electricity from Arizonas very reliable Palo Verde Nuclear Power Station…..and by the way your rates just went up another 10 cents/kwh.

    You guys can burn natural gas (till it runs out).


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (3:54 pm)

    WVhybrid:
    When it comes to nuclear reactors, I prefer the one sitting about 93 million miles away right now.It seems to be pretty reliable, requires no maintenance, and has no waste disposal issues for the foreseeable future.

    Great. you’re cut off also. Go buy enough battery backup for your solar panels and let me know how cost effective your system is.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (4:02 pm)

    Noel Park: #41

    Amen.+1

    There’s an interesting story on the MSN/Yahoo news page right now about Fukushima Daichi.They are estimating 30-40 YEARS to clean it up, assuming that certain new technologies mature which they don’t even have in place yet.

    Never mind the San Onofre fiasco in our own back yard here in SoCal.

    Hmm. Let’s see. How about Exxon Valdez. How about the BP oil spill in the gulf. How many people died?? If you would actually do some research instead of just talking scare tactics you would find out that nuclear has the lowest death rates per Gwh.

    Honestly, when it comes to nuclear power you guys sound like people who put down Volt without knowing any of the facts.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (4:37 pm)

    Noel Park: If they just provided simple 120v plugs and let people use their own “chargers” that come with the cars it would be WAY cheaper.

    I’m kind arguing against my own idea here, but it’s probably not that much cheaper to run a 120v circuit than a 240v circuit. You can’t use standard 120v circuits because when the second EV plugs in … oops, there goes the breaker! You end up having to beef up and install separate circuits and one big cost is pulling the wire.

    But making the outlet BYO would save money and hassle of providing charge cords, and a 120v outlet is going to provide fewer potential safety issues than a 240v circuit. One big benefit is that since it will take all day to charge, you don’t lose all the worker productivity as people take and vacate the chargers. LOL

    Nelson: Maybe what we need is a self regulating charger that varies its voltage based on the amount of time you expect to be parked and how much charge you need to top off the battery.

    DC chargers are so expensive, I think it’s estimated to be $225,000 per, that it’s not likely you’re going to want to throttle that baby done once you’ve gone to the expense of installing it.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (4:40 pm)

    It comes down to cost and practicality. How many people drive 60-70 miles one way to work? Quite a few, and what does this cost them in gasoline?
    120 / 32 mpg = 3.75 gallons
    3.75 gallons X $4 = $15 per day
    250 working days per year = $3750

    Add local stops for food, entertainment, medical…. ect.

    Now if this person had a car which would provide 160+ battery miles under all conditions, including snow. And if this person had a free-to-use recharge plug at work. Their yearly savings would be more than $2000 with the added convenience of not having to fight the gas lines. And side benefit of low pollution and quiet neighborhoods.

    My Volt, #555 off the production line, has 26,000 smooth, clean, trouble free miles. It’s a great step forward that GM Engineering did such a good job on their second major EV model in GM history.

    I changed my oil in January of 2012 at 12,000 miles. 14 months later my oil life readout is stubbornly holding at 94% remaining. ‘Nuf said.

    =D~VOLT


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (5:10 pm)

    Any BEV with a minimum range of 30 miles will be enough for my present lifestyle. But I can burn some gas, and many of the hybrids qualify. Presently, my wife likes the new 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid (it looks like an Aston Martin model) which promotes a 47 MPG and a 20 mile EV range. My second car can be a small BEV, like the Chevy Spark EV and the Ford Focus EV.

    GM must produce more EVs and promote them as hard as possible to sell against all the imports that will take that market soon.

    Raymond


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (6:32 pm)

    Roy_H,

    Roy goes green for his LFTR post.!!!


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (6:45 pm)

    DonC: I’m kind arguing against my own idea here,

    Quote of the day.
    Good one DonC!


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (6:48 pm)

    A 200 mile range decreases the frequency of charging, but increases the amount of charge needed per charge. I hope Electric Utilities will step up to the plate in this regard. They could be key players in this electrification of transport endeavor. To date I’ve heard very little from them.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (6:51 pm)

    George S. Bower: Hmm. Let’s see. How about Exxon Valdez. How about the BP oil spill in the gulf. How many people died?? If you would actually do some research instead of just talking scare tactics you would find out that nuclear has the lowest death rates per Gwh.

    Honestly, when it comes to nuclear power you guys sound like people who put down Volt without knowing any of the facts.

    #47

    Well I’m no apologist for BP or Exxon but almost no one is burning oil in power plants any more so I don’t see the relevance. I’m trying to do my part to push back against oil consumption by driving a Volt.

    A lot of people are getting a lot of radiation in the Fukushima cleanup effort, so who knows what the death toll will be in the end.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (7:08 pm)

    Noel Park: #47

    Well I’m no apologist for BP or Exxon but almost no one is burning oil in power plants any more so I don’t see the relevance.I’m trying to do my part to push back against oil consumption by driving a Volt.

    A lot of people are getting a lot of radiation in the Fukushima cleanup effort, so who knows what the death toll will be in the end.

    Yes Noel and the world is flat. I give up.


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    Mar 8th, 2013 (7:25 pm)

    Jonathan Baker: Are there any negatives involved with LFTR use? None?

    Did you follow the links provided? There is a ton of information available and all backed up by bonafide nuclear scientists. I don’t understand the government’s reluctance to discuss LFTRs. In general people like Secretary Chu appear to not know such a technology exists. When asked about it he would respond by talking about other Gen 4 nuclear projects in progress. I think the existing nuclear, oil, and gas lobbies are all anti-LFTR, and exert major influence on the government. Only China has an LFTR program in place.

    One problem is that this seems to be too good to be true, and there are several other technologies making wild claims that I think are scams. So it stands to reason that many would think this is a scam too. This has real roots in that most of the theory has already been proven at Oakridge National Labs in the late 1960s. They didn’t call it an LFTR then, it was a Molten Salt Reactor. For political reasons it was shut down, because the existing PWR nuclear power plants were just starting and they didn’t want to be diverted by newer technology. The other issue was that LFTRs are not suitable for making bombs. Many nuclear scientists point to the shutdown of the MSR program with statements like “The US tried this in the early 1970s and stopped because it didn’t work.”

    There are still refinements and research to be done. The main one is finding the best materials for building the core. The MSR program used Hastealloy and carbon very successfully and estimated a design life of 15-20 years. A longer life is desirable and there has been dramatic increase in materials knowledge since then so it would seem likely that better materials could be found.

    China is the only country with an active LFTR research program, so it seems that this technology will be resurrected. After China has gleaned the benefits of zero pollution and low cost for a few years, maybe they will set up some LFTRs in our countries and sell us cheap electricity, after all we have to keep the money flowing from west to east, don’t we?


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    Mar 9th, 2013 (12:38 am)

    Roy_H: Did you follow the links provided? There is a ton of information available and all backed up by bonafide nuclear scientists. I don’t understand the government’s reluctance to discuss LFTRs

    Good point. Though LFTR turns the entire industry on it’s head and throws out the the advocates of the current technologies, their supporters, their lobbyists, their investors, their research experienc and sunk invstments. Who then is left to advocate for LFTR’s potential? Outsiders to the current industry, government and academic participants?


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    Mar 9th, 2013 (12:41 am)

    Noel Park: Well I’m no apologist for BP or Exxon but almost no one is burning oil in power plants any more so I don’t see the relevance. I’m trying to do my part to push back against oil consumption by driving a Volt.

    1% of our electricity has been generated from burning petroleum, mainly on islands!


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    Mar 9th, 2013 (12:48 am)

    George S. Bower: Hmm. Let’s see. How about Exxon Valdez. How about the BP oil spill in the gulf. How many people died?? If you would actually do some research instead of just talking scare tactics you would find out that nuclear has the lowest death rates per Gwh.Honestly, when it comes to nuclear power you guys sound like people who put down Volt without knowing any of the facts.

    George, it is statistically, far safer than solar. Just think, a few freshly trained guys walking around on roofs with their hands full of materials, supplies and a solar panel or two. A recipe for serious injuries. Yet and still, that does not address the issue of clean-up. Fukushima or any place else.


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    Mar 9th, 2013 (1:27 am)

    GM way to go!

    We need more EV’S with higher range but I do wish to see more of them with 250-300 miles of in the future.

    Still I think a mixture of EV,S EREVS, and PHEV’S will be a win! Win! Win!

    For sure but I do hope to see more of these in the future and I do hope gas keeps on going up so these sale even better but I do agree Bonaire that we need Charging Stations everywhere not just in certain areas so that these vehicles become more successful in the future as the technology progresses.

    Wouldn’t you agree with me?


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    Mar 9th, 2013 (1:15 pm)

    jeffhre: Good point. Though LFTR turns the entire industry on it’s head and throws out the the advocates of the current technologies, their supporters, their lobbyists, their investors, their research experienc and sunk invstments. Who then is left to advocate for LFTR’s potential? Outsiders to the current industry, government and academic participants?

    #57

    Right. +1

    I have nothing against LFTR or any other gee-whiz technology if it can prove that it lives up to its billings. I’m just saying that what I have seen of the cost and political climate around nuclear power leads me to believe that it ain’t gonna happen in my lifetime. So when people start talking it up I just sort of yawn get my “from Missouri” face on.

    I’m a Civil Engineer and I was raised to believe that if engineers say that something is failsafe and foolproof it must be. The history of the nuclear industry in terms of both cost overruns and accidents has caused me to severely question this belief.

    If someone gets an LFTR plant up and running in my lifetime and it does what it’s cracked up to do, I will be happy to be the first to stand up here and eat my words. But I’m not holding my breath.


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    Mar 9th, 2013 (1:18 pm)

    Roy_H: In general people like Secretary Chu appear to not know such a technology exists.

    #56

    Dr. Chu is a Nobel Laureate physicist. You’re kidding, right?

    Maybe he’s from Missouri too, LOL.


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    Mar 9th, 2013 (2:38 pm)

    I have very little knowledge of Chu’s accomplishments while in office. Other than overseeing of various loans and the one speach about talking about painting roofs white to chug energy absorbsion. The department did very little oversight of the monies given out and that’s where I find fault with his stay in DoE. Solydra’s design from the start was wrong and his team should have disallowed the loan. A123 also had issues similar in nature. My roof is currently not white.


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    Mar 9th, 2013 (2:40 pm)

    (Chug? Should be change). Must have edit…


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    Mar 9th, 2013 (5:04 pm)

    Bonaire:
    I have very little knowledge of Chu’s accomplishments while in office.Other than overseeing of various loans and the one speach about talking about painting roofs white to change energy absorbsion.

    My roof is white and I can say it has made a huge difference in energy absorption. I don’t need A/C as much. My house stays cooler longer. Perhaps if I lived in the arctic, using my roof as a solar collector frying pan would be desirable. Not so for most of the country.


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    Mar 9th, 2013 (9:01 pm)

    Saw a Chevy Captiva today. This would make a nice local MPV with EREV. LG wouldn’t have to ship the batteries too far, and GM has operations in Vietnam. With the shorter commutes here, and cheap electricity, this could also be the Spark EV’s big brother.

    2013-03-10_06-42-56_154_zps6433d947.jpg

    2013-03-10_06-45-39_986_zps79bfd0ca.jpg


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (5:23 am)

    Hey guys look what I found when I was on Plug-in-America!

    I know this is a concept vehicle but if all vehicles could use wireless charging technology we wouldn’t have to worry about people being shocked or worse of all being electrocuted especially if the auto industry wanted to increase the range up to 350-500 miles AER.

    So if this was done do you think it’s possible?

    The only way I could think this could be possible is if they charge the battery very quickly but it needs to be done in a way so it doesn’t discharge or damage the battery at all and here’s a video of that concept car I was talking about.

    http://www.infinitiusa.com/Infiniti-LE-Concept/#u=charging-video.html

    So what do you think let me know?

    Bye.


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (10:29 am)

    Sean: So what do you think let me know?

    You can sign up for Pluglesspower’s Apollo program.

    http://www.pluglesspower.com/


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (10:31 am)

    kdawg-ông,

    Ooops.. Apollo program is for fleets. But you can put in a rervation and get free electricity for 6 months.

    Reserve your Plugless Power system
    Be one of the first 500 Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt owners to join our Preferred Customer Group – and get six months free charging from Plugless Power

    http://www.pluglesspower.com/reserve/


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (11:11 am)

    Noel Park: Roy

    Thats why I said appears to. There are some on the EnergyFromThorium forum who have written letters and tried to contact Chu about LFTRs. There are articles in Popular Mechanics and Wired. I cannot believe Chu does not know about LFTRs, he just refuses to acknowledge there is such a thing in public.


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (12:46 pm)

    Sean: The only way I could think this could be possible is if they charge the battery very quickly but it needs to be done in a way so it doesn’t discharge or damage the battery at all and here’s a video of that concept car I was talking about.

    http://www.infinitiusa.com/Infiniti-LE-Concept/#u=charging-video.html

    So what do you think let me know?

    Sean, wireless charging is not only possible, IT’S INEVITABLE!* Regarding your first statement above, implying high charging rates without discharging or damaging a car’s battery are necessary, those provisos will be both obvious & inherent in any wireless charging system.

    *In my opinion as a life-long physicist & EE, there are NO fundamental technical reasons wireless charging isn’t both achievable and desirable; marketing issues will determine how soon it will become widely available.


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (7:10 pm)

    I’m not into buying these cars but I do understand because you can’t just simply market it like this and presto you’ve got your wireless charger!

    But the company who does sale them will have to prove how you install it but most likely a professional will install it for you, how quick it charges by not damaging the battery like I mentioned earlier and of course how much it will cost?

    Still I hope wireless charging will become a reality in the future when it comes to breaking the boundary lines when it comes to technical breakthroughs state of the art technology like this if ever possible.

    Can’t say if it will replace charging stations overnight but it would be awesome if they could put these on parking lots were people park when they go to eat, shop, work, etc.

    As long as the wireless chargers are water proof, freeze proof, and heat proof it should make things a lot easier then a conventional charger still I can’t say if this invention will be a success or a failure only time will tell?

    Still I would glad to see these in the future no mater what if it does become a success imagine how successful this would transform the EV, PHEV, and EREV market all together and no worries about chargers being taken out of your own vehicle when your charging it up.


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (7:29 pm)

    Also when I was mentioning about waterproof the chargers should be shock proof as in both when rain or snow hits it and I love this video from Plug-inAmerica.org wish Chevrolet advertised there Volt or other EVS, EREV’S, or new PHEV’S In the future.

    Here’s the clip enjoy.

    http://www.pluginamerica.org/why-plug-vehicles


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (7:30 pm)

    Like this.


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (7:32 pm)

    All the info I have seen on wireless chargers indicates they are more expensive and less efficient (cost more to charge due to losses). So, more expensive and more expensive just so I don’t have to spend 5 seconds plugging in?


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (7:43 pm)

    Well let’s hope the people who are making these will change them by improving them to be efficient, cheaper and more reliable then they are now only time will tell?


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (10:23 pm)

    I haven’t followed the links (sorry), but one of the most exciting things to me about wireless charging is the possibility of supplying electricity to an EV while it is moving. It would be very expensive to set up even a thin network, but this would have the potential, eventually, to completely replace petroleum as our power source for surface transportation.


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    Mar 10th, 2013 (10:26 pm)

    … a thin network …

    … of induction-charger “power” roads; probably along the Interstate Highway system (in the US).


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    Mar 11th, 2013 (2:08 am)

    That would be awesome if they did put wireless charging pads on the highway but still they would need to be highly durable like road reflectors so that they don’t get torn to shreds and with wires embedded into the pavement as the vehicle is being charged non stop of never having to worry about your vehicle of running out of juice and if this ever did become a reality we would never need charging stations at businesses or at home and best of all no gas pumps.

    Last but not least people with range anxiety would never worry about EV’S running out of juice ever again!


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    Mar 11th, 2013 (2:30 am)

    Or you know what!

    That would be even better the road reflector could be the wireless charger it’s self imagine that!

    So do you think this is possible?

    It just popped in my head as an idea.

    Who knows maybe this could make things more affordable so road projects don’t have to be so expensive so that the construction workers don’t have to put all these chargers in by making the project even more expensive then ever before.

    Do you think it could be possible to put the tech in the reflector and the wires connected to the reflector if so I think this would be brilliant!

    What do you think about that let me know?


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    Mar 11th, 2013 (10:17 pm)

    If Akerson really wants to conserve our precious US oil and gas,

    “And the commission should have a straightforward charge: “Develop a plan to improve our standard of living by extending the duration of the natural gas and tight oil ‘dividend’ for as long as possible.”

    then he should be in favor of shutting down the Cushing OK to Gulf section of the Keystone XL pipeline already approved which reverses the previous flow in order to pump US and Canadian oil products to the Gulf for export.