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The 2011 Chevy Volt has handled crash testing well, with the passenger compartment, and the battery system both being sufficiently safeguarded.  (Source: GM)

Noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) have been a more significant challenge for GM, though. The company still isn't happy with the vehicle's NVH performance and is still making changes.  (Source: GM)

GM has tweaked the Volt's battery chemistry and is currently satisfied with it. Its now working to optimize the supporting system and its software to provide maximum battery life. The vehicle is overweight, so an optimized system is even more critical.  (Source: GM)
GM's engineers are hard at work fixing the upcoming vehicle's flaws and improving the battery system

Chief Engineer Andrew Farah and Battery Engineering Group Manager Bill Wallace recently gave members of the press an update on the status of the 2011 Chevy Volt and its battery pack.  Designed with the goal of providing a 40 mile range from a 16 kWh (8 kWh usable) charge, the pack and its supporting systems have evolved greatly over the past couple years.

Initially, GM was considering a four-partner arrangement with LG Chem providing cells for CPI to assemble into packs, and A123 Systems producing cells for Continental (which owns the former Siemens VDO) to assemble into packs.  The arrangement was significantly altered when GM deemed A123 Systems not ready for this generation, opting to go solely with LG Chem.  Subsequently GM also decided to handle the battery pack assembly itself at a new assembly facility located in Brownstown, Michigan.

Since GM arrived at these decisions, it has been hard at work cooking up the Volt packs.  The packs it's currently producing are third generation packs -- the first generation was for the Malibu-body mules, the second generation for the Cruze-body mules, and the current generation for the pre-production (IVER) body Volts.  Thus far, the Brownstown facility has built 80 IVER Volts and 300 production battery packs.

When it comes to the Volt battery, tweaking the system's software and hardware to efficiently manage it is as important, or more so than the design of the battery itself, and that's what GM is currently focusing on.  With the first product and process validation vehicles (PPV) set to be produced at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in March 2010, and with the manufacturing validation build (MVB) landing between August and November of next year, GM has only a small window to perfect the battery system.

Still, the results thus far have been promising, with 300,000 miles logged in GM's Volt full vehicle simulator (more than the life of many components of the vehicle) and no major problems or failures reported thus far.  The batteries also completed a 65 percent calibration ride, recently, with no "show-stopping" issues.

With over 50,000 cells produced since the first generation, Mr. Wallace offers the impressive claim that not one failure (that he knows of) has occurred, on the cell level, module level, or pack level evaluations.  With so many miles of simulated road testing and charging cycles, GM and its partner LG Chem have gained some insight and tweaked the battery chemistry slightly to provide better life with similar performance.  The result design is now finalized, in terms of chemistry, according to Mr. Wallace.

The cells have thus far endured torturous testing under extreme conditions.  One test called the crush and impact test looks at the response to a collision, looking at whether the battery's seal is maintained.  A second test, looks at corrosion by smearing salt on the pack and putting it in a heated chamber.  Overcharge testing is also being performed.

These battery-specific tests are in addition to full-vehicle crash tests, rough road, and hot-cold testing.  Early indicates from the full vehicle tests look promising, with a 40 mph collision with a barrier at a 30 degree angle unable to intrude upon the pack's area.

The pack weighs in at a final weight of 200 kg (440 lb) according to GM.  The car as a whole, however, has a problem unfortunately shared by many Americans -- it weighs more than they would like.  GM at this point has conceded that it's probably too late to fully fix this by production time and hope to negate its effects on performance and roll out reductions over the vehicle's full production cycle.

One problem GM is looking to tackle is improving cold weather performance.  One strategy it is employing is to pre-warm the car while its J1772 connector is plugged in, to ready it for road use.  The vehicle employs an electric heater, as well as heated seats, which will sap the battery, likely reducing the all-electric mileage in the winter.

Aside from the cold, another major issue is noise, vibration and harshness when running with the range extender (gasoline engine).  To minimize the noise GM's engineers have come up with new bushings such as switching rubber for hydraulics for mounting the engine/generator.  The body's aerodynamics also produced unpleasant noises, so venting has been implemented, as well.  This work is ongoing and not complete.

A couple Volt-related questions still remain unanswered, though, in addition to the vehicle's final weight.  GM engineers still won't reveal the size of the final gas tank for use with the range extending gasoline engine.  They also stop short of saying whether The Detroit News report that GM had given the Converj concept a production go-ahead was true.  Mr. Farrah did comment that it was a great concept and that he was looking forward to getting to work on it, indicating that production indeed may be in store, though no official word has come yet.



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Promising
By bradmshannon on 11/18/2009 12:24:41 PM , Rating: 4
This is promising. I'll wait a few generations for the bugs to get worked out and the price to come down though. Keep it up!




RE: Promising
By walk2k on 11/18/09, Rating: 0
RE: Promising
By thorr2 on 11/18/2009 1:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
This is a completely new design with an on-board gasoline engine. Everything needs to be tested and tweaked. Tell me any invention that just worked on the first try. Innovation takes time.


RE: Promising
By ebakke on 11/18/2009 1:09:21 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Tell me any invention that just worked on the first try.
That's easy... the Snuggie!


RE: Promising
By Motoman on 11/18/2009 1:25:49 PM , Rating: 5
No, that wasn't their first try...the first try was called the "Flamie" - it was pretty much a Snuggie in design, but it came soaked in methanol and came with a automatic lighter that activated when you put it on.

Seemed like a good idea at the time, but it got bad reviews from the focus testing group.


RE: Promising
By theapparition on 11/18/2009 8:54:20 PM , Rating: 5
Actually, the Snuggie was preceded by the Slanket, a heavier and superior design. And to be quite honest, both were preceded by the dolt who just wore his bathrobe backwards.


RE: Promising
By sandhuatdt on 11/18/2009 1:27:53 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry, but what invention? Ferdinand Porsche built an electric car back in 1898 (yes, more than a century ago). Even recently, the BYD F3DM is already on sale in China and does 60 miles to a full charge.


RE: Promising
By walk2k on 11/18/2009 2:14:50 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly my point. GM had electric vehicles in 1996!

1996!!!

It's now 2009 and they are still saying "a few more years"...

Same as it ever was:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1


RE: Promising
By Masospaghetti on 11/19/2009 9:42:49 AM , Rating: 3
I agree that GM should have saved the EV1 technology, but the conspiracy you are perpetuating is ridiculous.

They have ALWAYS said the Volt was due out at "the end of 2010" and that is what they are STILL saying. The EV1 was a super-lightweight vehicle that sat 2 people, extensively used exotic materials like a magnesium frame, and had no onboard generator. The EV1, by today's standards, would be considered extremely unsafe. Someone already posted why GM crushed their EV1's - while saving them for R&D purposes would be smart, it was about saving on their taxes, not killing the planet.

The real-world range for the EV1 was about 80 miles. Useless as a primary vehicle for most people. And how much did the EV1 cost? Nobody knows, but it was at least an order of magnitude greater than what the Volt will sell for . It's not hard to make a revolutionary product when it costs half a million dollars - the trick is to make it affordable.


RE: Promising
By 91TTZ on 11/19/2009 1:07:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Exactly my point. GM had electric vehicles in 1996! 1996!!! It's now 2009 and they are still saying "a few more years"...


Gasoline was $1.30 in 1996 and nobody cared about electric cars. It wasn't a marketable idea. In fact, gas was so cheap that SUV sales were exploding.

A great idea without a market isn't going to make you any money.


RE: Promising
By knutjb on 11/19/2009 3:59:15 PM , Rating: 3
How easy it is to get lost in conspiracies. The EV1 was a prototype car for research and did not meet crash standards. The Corvettes the you see at Indianapolis for pace car are usually destroyed after wards for legal reasons. The company has been sued so many times they won't leave a prototype or a modified vehicle on the public highways. Same goes for cars damaged in shipment, the carriers will destroy them to prevent possible litigation. Union Pacific destroyed the contents of an autorack that derailed and was full of Porches that showed little to no damage solely for that reason.

How many of you are automotive engineers? Yep that's what I though. GM must get it right the first time and the single biggest problem is the battery. They don't like it too cold or too hot. People who modify cars from gas to electric don't meet crash standards so they don't count.

Has anyone driven a Tesla up north in 20 below? Does anyone have experience with electric cars in the southwest in the middle of summer? No a Prius doesn't really count but gas mileage does go down at the temperature extremes with hybrids too because of the batteries. GM and all other makers of mostly/all electric cars have this hurdle to cross. Their cars must be reliable under all conditions. I can just see the law suit from someone dying because their car failed to operate at those extremes.

If these large batteries were safe we would have electric cars in production in the US. China has little to no safety standards so they don't count.

Sure Jay Leno still drives his 100 year old Baker electric but I wouldn't want to be in an accident with all those lead acid batteries. Though it really is a cool car. http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/at-the-garage/electr...


RE: Promising
By William Gaatjes on 11/21/2009 5:20:20 AM , Rating: 2
Very true, Although electric motors where way back even then in 1900 vastly superior to ICE engines (when looking at all modern pro's and con's), the problem always have been energy storage. It is still our problem today. And energy storage is the sole reason why we are not all driving electric cars. However, i do see an uprising in electric bicycles, electric scooters. And pretty soon electric motorcycles will arrive. We will get again into the electric era. I am sure of it.


RE: Promising
By therealnickdanger on 11/18/2009 2:22:54 PM , Rating: 3
It's on sale... but nobody cares:
quote:
On December 15, 2008, the F3DM was selling for 149,800 yuan (about US$21,900). But in April 2009, the CEO Wang Chuanfu said he will lower the price to increase sales. ( only 80 had been sold in the 4 months since launch ). The new price is expected to be around 109,800 Yuan (US$16,062). He also wants an independent verification of the car's on-road performance.


RE: Promising
By Alexstarfire on 11/18/2009 6:07:28 PM , Rating: 2
It's in China, I'm not too surprised that they haven't sold many at that price point. It's obviously not a luxury car so it won't appeal to the upper class, and the middle and lower class can't afford it.


RE: Promising
By Ringold on 11/18/2009 11:37:13 PM , Rating: 2
They have a large enough number of relatively wealthy people that it should've still sold far more then 80 or whatever it was. Apparently, given the choice between Western style vehicles and electric toy cars, affluent Chinese opt for Hummers. As the guy said, its available but no one cares.


RE: Promising
By Alexstarfire on 11/19/2009 1:39:15 AM , Rating: 2
Why would an upper class person essentially buy a bottom of the line EV? That doesn't make any sense. That's why they don't give a crap. It's marketed towards the lower to middle classes, but they just can't afford it.


RE: Promising
By Masospaghetti on 11/19/2009 9:36:53 AM , Rating: 4
Do you really think that BYD is built to last? GM has publically stated that they are using only half of the Volt's battery capacity to improve longevity - GM could easily double the Volt's range to 80 miles if they weren't concerned with durability (like the Chinese - I can almost guarantee that BYD isn't taking the same longevity concerns as GM has)

Also...The Volt will weigh a LOT more than the BYD hybrid - a victim of crash safety standards. If that BYD were sold in the states, it would fail crash testing like every other Chinese car.


RE: Promising
By Fireshade on 11/20/2009 9:35:01 AM , Rating: 2
Do you really think that Volt is built to last?
Think again, no product is.


RE: Promising
By Bateluer on 11/18/2009 2:55:54 PM , Rating: 2
The Wheel.


RE: Promising
By AbsShek on 11/19/2009 9:08:12 AM , Rating: 2
Is that why they're still made of wood?


RE: Promising
By tviceman on 11/19/2009 1:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
The wheel was square first. It took the engineers many months of work, and a few delays. The first tried to round out the corners, but it proved ineffective. However, they learned much from converting the corner-rounded square to an oval. Excitement spread through Caveman Inc. before finally getting it right with the wheel. The rest, we say, is history.


RE: Promising
By therealnickdanger on 11/18/2009 2:11:04 PM , Rating: 4
Because we know that documentaries never have an agenda and always strive to deliver 100% facts and truth.

I always thought that $1,000,000,000 production costs for 800 leased units was really what killed the EV1. That's $1.25 million per car. That doesn't sound like a very profitable venture.

Can you tell us how much each EV1 cost to build? How many would GM have to sell and at what price in order to be profitable with each EV1 sale? Sources?


RE: Promising
By AEvangel on 11/18/2009 4:03:25 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Can you tell us how much each EV1 cost to build? How many would GM have to sell and at what price in order to be profitable with each EV1 sale? Sources?


No, because GM never released that info to the General Public, but I assume it's cheaper then the $50 billion we spent on bailing them out over the last year and I would assume it was less then what their now spending on rushing the Volt to market.

I'm sorry but there is no way you can defend GM's action in regards to the EV1, even their CEO admits it screwed up.

http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewarticle/a...


RE: Promising
By walk2k on 11/18/09, Rating: 0
RE: Promising
By Spuke on 11/18/2009 6:36:37 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
If they were so concerned how much they cost, why did GM refuse to extend the leases or let people buy out the leases of the EV1
How much do you charge people to make up the 1 billion in costs when you only have 800 cars?


RE: Promising
By Spuke on 11/19/2009 12:38:35 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If they were so concerned how much they cost, why did GM refuse to extend the leases or let people buy out the leases of the EV1
Instead of answering the question, your buddies rate me down instead. Nice retort!


RE: Promising
By theapparition on 11/18/2009 9:03:45 PM , Rating: 5
This is why uneducated and biased losers need to stop watching mockumentaries and get with the facts.

GM's actions were 100% logical for destroying the cars. If you had an ounce of business knowledge, you'd understand this.

If you scrap 1 billion worth of material, by law, you have to have proof that the products were destroyed. IRS regulations. Don't blame GM for government requirements. If you have proof, than you may deduct that 1 billion off your taxes. GM made a business decision to either get a tax break from scrapping material, or continue to lease (and more importantly support) 800 cars at a signifigant loss. Seems like a pretty clear business decision to me.

Guess you didn't see that part in the documentary, did you?


RE: Promising
By MrX8503 on 11/19/2009 8:11:14 AM , Rating: 3
While it is true that destroying the expensive EV 1's was probably the smarter move. It is entirely stupid of GM to not pour R&D into what they already had with the EV1 into a future cost effective electric vehicle. A decade later of stagnant innovations they are trying to scramble the Volt together within a few years.

Does GM really believe they can survive without innovation? It seems like they are taking one day at a time instead of looking ahead for the future.


RE: Promising
By lightfoot on 11/19/2009 2:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
What makes you think that they aren't using any of the knowledge gained from the EV1 in the Volt?

The EV1 probably is the very reason that the Volt has a relatively small battery pack and an onboard generator. As much as people loved the EV1 they all admited that it could not be their primary vehicle due to its limited range. Also there is very little demand for small two seat cars.


RE: Promising
By Alexvrb on 11/18/2009 9:33:10 PM , Rating: 2
Because legally they would have to support the car (sell replacement parts, perform repairs, etc) for a certain number of years - 5 years I believe. The only way out of that mess was to destroy them all. No cars sold or leased on the road, no legal responsibility.


RE: Promising
By jaaydeee on 11/18/2009 2:50:35 PM , Rating: 1
More delays? GM first announced this at the NAIAS January 2007 and announced production by the end of 2010. Nothing GM has released since (including the source of this article) suggests anything otherwise, so in other words, it never was delayed previously, nor is it now delayed.

I suggest you read the article before posting next time. Thanks.


40 miles on a full charge??!!
By sandhuatdt on 11/18/2009 1:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
Only 40 miles on a full charge? I don't think I will put good money in to anything like this. What will I do with this car when a couple of years later GM or some competitor puts out a car that does 400 miles on a full charge? Who will I then sell this junk to? 40 miles barely covers my commute one way. Sorry, come see me with the sales brochure when you can do at least 300 miles on a full charge. And, no, I don't care about your hybrid gas engine.




By ussfletcher on 11/18/2009 1:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well if it covers your commute in one direction you are in luck! .. you know because it is rechargeable so while you sit there at work you can mooch electricity for the drive home off your employer.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By rzrshrp on 11/18/2009 2:06:18 PM , Rating: 2
Calm down. If you don't want it, don't spend 40k on it. A couple of years from now, ev tech will probably make all current cars look pathetic. Same thing with computers though; it's how technology works.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By rvd2008 on 11/18/2009 2:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
I just watched "2001: Space Odyssey". Guess what - there were no Space Odyssey 8 years ago! Quite opposite, we could barely launch ANY ship into space.

I am afraid real EV is [light] years away.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By AssBall on 11/18/2009 2:33:38 PM , Rating: 2
I just watched "Attack of the Killer Clowns". It was set in the past too but I don't remember it actually happening either. WTF is your point?


By Alexstarfire on 11/18/2009 6:39:40 PM , Rating: 1
Is that there have been MANY MANY predictions on what the future is going to be and they've all come out completely wrong. EV tech is no where near getting 300-400 miles on a full charge, unless you put in a shit tons of batteries and don't care if they don't last long. We haven't had any REAL advances in battery technology in over a decade, if not longer. Sure, we've had a lot of theoretical and prototype breakthroughs, but nothing for the real world yet.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By jaaydeee on 11/18/2009 2:55:24 PM , Rating: 3
I know, only 40 miles compared the competitors from Toyota and Honda and Ford which get... wait, they don't any. If you don't like it fine, but geez stop whining when they're the only ones out there doing it. Don't diss the Volt just because you chose to live 40 miles away from where you work. You're in the vast minority.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By Bateluer on 11/18/2009 2:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
I diss the Volt for its 40,000 dollar price tag. If it was 20K, I'd be very very interested in it. Especially if it has some form of meaningful solar panels on it so it could charge a little while parked.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By jaaydeee on 11/18/2009 3:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
BREAKING NEWS!! Price hasn't been announced yet, but Bateluer has found it and is posting it as a comment on Daily Tech! Is this the base model $40k or does it have options included? Does it include the $7500 tax credit? Please tell us more.

Solar panels are and will be for quite some time be meaningless on cars. Not enough surface area to make up the overhead costs. Not even close.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By Bateluer on 11/18/2009 4:01:55 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't GM say it would likely cost ~40K? No need to be an ass.


By Alexstarfire on 11/18/2009 7:12:33 PM , Rating: 2
It's $40k for the base model and that's before the tax credit. I can go find a link if you want me to but this is pretty common knowledge if you've been following the news for the Volt.

Yea, solar panels are useless for a car. I don't think they'll ever be useful unless they get REALLY cheap and MUCH MORE efficient. Hell, the ones you can get equipped on the new Prius only keep the car cool, and from what I read it only powers a fan. Though it could do something with the AC, but I haven't read up on it very much because it's totally useless tech.


By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/19/2009 7:55:40 AM , Rating: 2
Even if you covered the car with solar panels it wouldn't make a dent in the charge needed to get the thing home. Of course it has an ICE generator on board, so there you go.

I have a 40 mile commute. Hybrid works fine - and costs less.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By JediJeb on 11/18/2009 3:53:24 PM , Rating: 3
I'm not sure how vast the majority is of people living close to where they work. I feel lucky that I only live 15 miles from work. Many people I know live almost 100 miles from work and the average is probably 40 miles or more. It's not just those of us living out in the rural areas either, my friend who works in Chicago lives about 25 miles from work because that was the only place he could find to live when he move there, unless he wanted to pay over %60 of his salary in rent.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By walk2k on 11/18/2009 5:38:29 PM , Rating: 2
The average daily driving distance in the US is 32 miles (round trip).

93% of Americans drive less than 70 miles a day..

So yes you're right, the electric car isn't for everyone, it's only for about 93% of us.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By Ringold on 11/18/2009 11:45:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So yes you're right, the electric car isn't for everyone, it's only for about 93% of us.


On an average day. The financial benefits of having the electric-only range drops off a bit for those who like weekend road trips to see family within a days drive, for example, because they'll be using todays technology for most of that trip versus the expensive battery system they're paying extra for.

And for people who drive much less than the average, the financial benefits also rapidly evaporate compared to cheap conventional but miserly cars that wouldn't get driven much and thus not burn much total gas anyway.

Sorry, no amount of 'green' math can spin the Volt as really being applicable to "93% of us."

Of course, there's a small number of people it'll appear to purely as a novelty, but businesses the size of GM cant exist profitably filling tiny niches. I don't know why you have such a hard time admitting to yourself this technology just isn't cheap enough for the mass market yet.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By Treckin on 11/19/2009 3:24:06 AM , Rating: 1
Except that that is exactly the argument in FAVOR of public transportation.

Funny, 80 years after being fucked in the ass by big auto, we Americans are still grabbing our buthole and trying to figure out what happened.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By Spuke on 11/19/2009 1:15:42 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Funny, 80 years after being fucked in the ass by big auto, we Americans are still grabbing our buthole and trying to figure out what happened.
YOU were f@#ked. I'm getting exactly what I asked for in a car.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/19/2009 7:58:38 AM , Rating: 2
Except when you turn on the radio, or heater, or AC, or windshield wipers... then the range starts to drop. If you live in the North East and get stuck in traffic and have to have the heater and windshield wipers on - oh yes, headlights too (morning and evening commutes in the winter) then we can expect perhaps 10 miles on the charge.


By Hoser McMoose on 11/21/2009 8:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Except when you turn on the radio, or heater, or AC, or windshield wipers... then the range starts to drop.

Right, because those things all just magically happen for free on a conventional vehicle.

Hint: Your range drops when you turn on the radio, AC or windshield wipers with an ICE car as well. Does your range get reduced by 75% with an ICE car when you do these things?

Also, to give a little perspective, your headlights use about 100 watts for the pair. The stereo uses probably 10 watts or less, windshield wipers are going to be a handful of watts. Even the heater is likely to be only about 1,000 watts.

The engine uses 120,000 watts (160hp).


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By Alexstarfire on 11/18/2009 7:16:55 PM , Rating: 1
If you live over 100 miles from work there are only a few reasons why. 1) You have a dangerous job that requires a lot of empty space. 2) You are getting paid a lot of money so you don't care about commute costs, perhaps in conjunction with #1. 3) You're a moron. Considering the kind of jobs that #1 and #2 make up I'd put most of the people driving 100 miles to work in the #3 category. You don't have to go very far from a city to see drastic drops in housing costs. New York and California might be the worst for those, cause even cheap is still quite expensive. Although, if you're trying to live in a place you can't afford you fall into #3.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By Omega215D on 11/18/2009 11:10:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yes because we all get the jobs we want, is that right? My dad works for the USPS and he started off not too far from home but as time went on he was shifted to offices and plants further away from our house (paid for) and just recently placed in a facility not too far but still about 25 miles from home. So you're telling me he should quit and find something closer since his benefits aren't all that important?

Not all of us who can find jobs find them near our homes or are willing to relocate which runs the risk of increase in rent and insurance (yes it counts against you if you move to a new address).


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By Alexstarfire on 11/19/09, Rating: 0
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/19/2009 8:01:05 AM , Rating: 2
You're Fired!


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By Spuke on 11/19/2009 1:44:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Depends on if the benefits outweigh the risks.
So why is one considered a "moron" if they've done this and decided a 100 mile commute is the best option? My wife and I have 50-60 mile round trip commutes and that's considered close where I live. Unless I want to work at Taco Bell, there is no acceptable job within the green approved distance from my house.

I live about 80 miles north of LA and although the pay would be MUCH better (it's not bad now), the commute down there is unacceptable (which the vast majority of people in my area do everyday) and quite a bit longer than mine (more than double). I am considered lucky that I have a good paying job and I don't have to commute to LA. And I would have to agree with those people.


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By Spuke on 11/19/2009 1:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
Oh forgot. Housing costs in LA are high. My house is worth somewhere in the low to mid $300's where I live. I have a custom 2000sf house, 2.5 acres of land, no gangs to worry about, and friendly neighbors. Hell, there aren't any 2.5 acre lots in LA. That kind of space is ONLY in the suburbs and the closest suburbs with that kind of space are well into the MILLIONS (not 1 or 2 million either...keep going).


RE: 40 miles on a full charge??!!
By Bagom on 11/18/2009 7:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
It says up to 40 miles on a charge. Does this factor in A/C, radio, lights, and hills? I am wondering if that 40 miles is in perfect conditions (i.e. no head wind, flat, not too cold, and nothing on in the car)


By Masospaghetti on 11/19/2009 9:45:08 AM , Rating: 2
Lutz had previously stated that the 40-mile range was for "average driving" and purposely wasn't a perfect-condition, inflated figure. That was a while ago, though - if the Volt is overweight, we'll see.


Where are the engineering ruby slippers?
By IcePickFreak on 11/18/2009 1:54:00 PM , Rating: 3
So we can just click our heals together for new technology. It's not like there's stringent testing needed for vehicles in the US. It's not like everyone is going to jump all over GM when a door lock doesn't work when the car is 5 years old, much less the drive-train. Throw an electric motor & batteries in and call it a day, easy!

I'm by no means saying this thing is the best thing since sliced bread, but it's pretty apparent there aren't many engineers on this site as not many understand what bringing out a new product with new technology entails - not even considering how much more convoluted the process is in the US auto industry. Comparing this to a Chinese made vehicle? LOL




RE: Where are the engineering ruby slippers?
By rvd2008 on 11/18/2009 2:30:24 PM , Rating: 2
when was the last time you looked ANY merchandise label up close? Most are "Made in China"! Just to add more weight, Warren Buffet invested billions into BYD.


By IcePickFreak on 11/18/2009 3:49:02 PM , Rating: 3
I'm well aware of that, but this article and my comment is referencing engineering and R&D in the US and China. Unless you're trying to say they do indeed have the engineering ruby slippers right there in the manufacturing plant.

I'm also not sure what you're suggesting with the Warren Buffet comment. Last I checked investors are in it to make money, they don't care how it's engineered/built except that it be the cheapest cost possible. I'm sure he will make a killing on it... in China. Go check some crash testing video's on BYD and tell me you think it's as safe as any car sold in the US, much less engineered here.

There is a ridiculous amount of testing for US cars, the testing fee's alone are ridiculously high.. of course all mandated by the government. I suspect in China, not so much.


RE: Where are the engineering ruby slippers?
By Oregonian2 on 11/18/2009 2:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
Might point out that GM is big in terms of their investment/involvement in car making in China. GM is doing very well there (they've a lot of partnerships there).


RE: Where are the engineering ruby slippers?
By IcePickFreak on 11/18/2009 3:54:48 PM , Rating: 5
Again, a totally different market. They're testing requirements are along the lines of "Can it drive from point A to B? If yes, approved!" It's much easier to engineer (and make money) on a product without a ton of restrictions and regulations.


RE: Where are the engineering ruby slippers?
By Obsoleet on 11/19/2009 3:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
So says Dailytech's resident Chinese regulations expert, IcePickFreak.


By IcePickFreak on 11/20/2009 2:31:23 AM , Rating: 3
Does that mean I get a raise?


Biggest Problem?
By moflaherty on 11/18/2009 12:33:50 PM , Rating: 5
I thought the biggest problem was price. As soon as they solve that problem, they should be able to sell more than 10 of them...




RE: Biggest Problem?
By Reclaimer77 on 11/18/2009 12:54:04 PM , Rating: 1
No that's the second biggest. The biggest problem is it's made by GM.

I love how this 'problem' magically appeared AFTER they got everyone hyped up about it and used the Volt as a reason they would turn the corner after the bailout...


RE: Biggest Problem?
By mcnabney on 11/18/2009 2:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't a 'problem'. This is the type of testing and refinement that goes into all cars prior to production. The engineering really isn't that difficult. It is just an electric car with a little electric generator - all old ideas, but new in a single GM vehicle.


RE: Biggest Problem?
By SublimeSimplicity on 11/18/2009 1:21:58 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the biggest problem was that they might go out of business before the first Volt hits a dealer's lot.


Get rid of the range extender engine
By 2tweeked on 11/19/2009 12:00:05 AM , Rating: 2
GM is worried about the weight of the battery pack and charge longevity during the winter. Drop the gasoline engine and replace it with a micro-turbine & alternator combo. Easily generate 30 KW. The turbine can burn most fuel types at its optimum RPM. A turbine would also mean a drop in part counts.




By Einy0 on 11/19/2009 3:18:03 AM , Rating: 2
I was just thinking that a few weeks ago. My guess is a turbine would be too loud.


expensive
By coolkev99 on 11/19/2009 8:06:24 AM , Rating: 2
This car is pretty damn expensive. No one over talks about the range of this car in the winter when the heat is on non-stop. I suspect that the real world mileage of this car to be disappointing. 40 miles max for electric is far too little for me. Until I can take road trips and not have to worry about finding a power hookups when batteries get low - I'll pass. Oh, and yeah, I know it has an on board gas engine for extended range, but then whats the point? and it's $40000!!




RE: expensive
By MrX8503 on 11/19/2009 8:20:41 AM , Rating: 2
Most car trips don't consist of "road trips". This car was made for people who have around 40mi of commute, which is the majority of people. There isn't a battery technology out today that could drive as far as a gasoline vehicle, so this is what we get.

The point of the gas engine for extended range is so that you aren't stranded if you do decide to drive out of range. A smart move IMO, although a hard concept for you to understand.


I'll worry about electric cars...
By Motoman on 11/18/2009 12:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
...when we're sure we've solved the issues of electrical generation and distribution to properly support them - in such a way that doesn't make them as ecologically challenging as ICE-mobiles.




Still unanswered questions
By kidboodah on 11/19/2009 3:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
The 2 big questions I have yet to get answer to:

--- these electric cars recharge using the same kind of plug that washing machines use, so what about people in an apartment complex? I can see how single family homeowners can recharge it...but what about the huge market of people in condos or that apts? That's a huge missed market.

--- 2nd...there are stories about McDonald's installing recharge units, etc...what happens when some kid or moron decides to take a hedge clipper (insulated I would hope) to some of these long cords all about? Is the cord detachable and easily replaced/cheap? or is it attached?




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