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A pre production volt cruises the streets looking for some hot power plugs to get a charge off of.  (Source: AutoBlogGreen)
GM hopes of an electric future move forward

GM's Chevy Volt is a survivor.  It has survived the critics who argued that the market wasn't ready for mass production electric vehicles.  It survived an economic downturn and the bankruptcy of its producer.  And it survived the peril of being put up on the pedestal as the darling of the green tech news community.

It survived all that and recently entered pre-production in preparation for a modest full scale 2011 deployment in the tens of thousands of units.  Now at last the first of 75 pre-production integration prototypes has been completed and is out cruising the streets looking for some hot plugs.

The almost-finished vehicles are being tested at GM's Pre-Production operations center at the Warren, MI tech center.  The car is virtually identical to the planned production model, only lacking the sculpting on the instrument clusters as some other minor interior aesthetics.

The only major change to be noted in the pre-production vehicle is that the charge port has been moved.  In press shots and prototypes, the charge port was always near the front of the car, typically under the mirror.  The freshly produced pre-production moves this port to the rear, below the back fender.  It is covered by a flap that looks like a gas cover.  Volt spokesman David Darovitz confirmed that this is the production intent.

Chief engineer Andrew Farah took the new car -- the IVER #1 (that's Integration Vehicle Engineering Release #1) -- out for a spin and says it performed great.  In coming months his fellow engineers will be building more Volts and pushing them to the limit, even (gasp!) crashing them.


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Yeah, but what's the price?
By Spivonious on 6/26/2009 9:50:49 AM , Rating: 4
Are they still planning on selling this for $40k?

Based on its looks alone, I'd estimate the selling cost at $18k-$22k. It is still a Chevy after all.




RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By invidious on 6/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/26/2009 10:04:53 AM , Rating: 5
Actually I like the look a lot better than a Prius. Remember the preproduction has less snazzy body work, though the molding will remaining similar.

It will likely costs around $32,500 after a $7,500 tax credit.

I'm not buying one because I don't have that kind of money to blow, but if I was in the market for a luxury sedan, and couldn't afford a Tesla, it might be my pick.

That said I must admit that both the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Smart Car (as far as green picks) both impressed me (despite the Smart Car's "I'm a tiny deathtrap" feel). And before you knock me for praising the Smart Car, try riding in one -- my friend has one and it really changed my opinion -- they're surprisingly roomy. More practical for city living, though.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By tallcool1 on 6/26/2009 10:12:13 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Actually I like the look a lot better than a Prius.
That is not hard to accomplish...


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By austinag on 6/26/2009 11:26:02 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, the Prius is joke in the styling department. My 3 year old daughter burst out laughing at one one the street and called it a "pretend car".

My concern with chevy is that they'll follow the same logic they apply to the Malibu Hybrid: if some one chooses a hybrid, it must be for economic reasons, therefore strip the car of the luxury options. Ford at least got that right with the Fusion.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Mitch101 on 6/26/2009 12:06:20 PM , Rating: 5
I think its a chick magnet.

Provided your into girls that don't shave their armpits or legs.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Zaphod Beeblebrox on 6/26/2009 1:40:01 PM , Rating: 5
As long as they don't need to shave their adams apple.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Cypherdude1 on 6/27/2009 6:39:38 AM , Rating: 2
Make no mistake people, when the Chevy Volt arrives, it will sell out and at a premium. There's a huge pent up demand for an American-made all electric vehicle and GM knows it. Why do you think they haven't changed their plans to produce it? That being said, I wouldn't buy one for 2 reasons:
1) It's too expensive
2) Lithium battery power will double through new innovations with sulfur in the future.

If you want a great mileage car, get a used Volkswagen Jetta. It's much cheaper.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Jeffk464 on 6/27/2009 6:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, clean diesel jetta very tempting indeed. I love the looks and mileage but I'm a little scared of VW reliability.


By GlassHouse69 on 6/28/2009 4:10:12 AM , Rating: 1
ew


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Jedi2155 on 6/26/2009 12:07:25 PM , Rating: 3
The Ford Fusion Hybrid is very luxurious in my opinion. The company I work at purchased a fleet of about 20 of them to test and provide to managers and everyone who's seen them seem to love it. I would compare it to a lower end Lexus personally.

As for the Volt, I am seriously considering buying one when they are released. I guess I'm different from everyone else in the sense that I like the new styling a lot more over the concept but I love the idea of PHEV's.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By teldar on 6/27/2009 9:06:23 AM , Rating: 2
If by PHEV you mean parallel, this isn't it. That's what the Prius is.

This is a serial hybrid.


By shadowofthesun on 6/28/2009 5:46:30 AM , Rating: 3
I assume by PHEV he meant Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, which is a category that (AFAIK) the Volt fits into.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By brybir on 6/26/2009 12:10:24 PM , Rating: 1
And your daughter will be the one that drives around in a VW "new beetle" oval thing I see all the teenage girls driving these days.

Not that their is anything wrong with the car as far as I know, I just think it looks even more ridiculous than a Prius.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By austinag on 6/26/2009 1:27:23 PM , Rating: 1
I have never seen a New Beetle on the road without a flower, or some similar decoration sticking out of it's dashboard flower vase. I'd bet the majority of it's buyers were highly swayed by the addition of that simple interior trinket.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By MrPoletski on 6/29/2009 5:44:49 AM , Rating: 2
There once was a day that people bought cars because of what was under the hood, what kind of service and support they got how reliable it was.... not because they thought it made everyone they drive past think they had a larger penis.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Yawgm0th on 6/26/2009 10:51:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That said I must admit that both the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Smart Car (as far as green picks) both impressed me
I'd say the Ford Fusion Hybrid is a much better option all-around than the Volt. If you're really concerned your car getting between 40 and 50 MPG is too damaging to the environment, go get that Volt. But for all practical purposes, the Fusion makes so much more sense.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By brybir on 6/26/2009 12:17:46 PM , Rating: 2
If I was in the market right now for a hybrid I would also get the Ford Fusion Hybird.

Neat styling, good reviews, excellent gas mileage and from what I hear it is very nice to drive. Cant beat that.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Kunikos on 6/26/2009 2:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
I agree except for the styling comment. I think it looks like they strapped a Gillette Fusion to the front end.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Jeffk464 on 6/27/2009 6:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, I have seen lots of studies that prove the lighter the hybrid the better the pay off. So something like the Fusion, camry, or altima hybrids are probably the best deal for the bank account. I would be tempted to buy the volt to support the technology like I'm sure a lot of buyer will do.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Hare on 6/26/2009 2:45:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I was in the market for a luxury sedan, and couldn't afford a Tesla, it might be my pick.


Luxury? Where would you put the Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus etc? I would consider them "premium".


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Hyperion1400 on 6/27/2009 12:51:40 AM , Rating: 3
I'll be sticking with my '94 Nissan Sentra. It gets 36 MPG highway, has 40 more HP than a Smart(70 vs 110), it was made by a reputable company and works like a Swiss watch, and the best part is that I won't die in a 30 MPH collision! Oh, and I payed 1/6th the price of a base model Smart for it!


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Fireshade on 6/29/2009 11:22:48 AM , Rating: 2
@Hyperion1400:
1. The Smart gets 40 MPG on the highway (EPA). Yours 36.

2. Why do you need 110 HP in a city? 70 HP is perfectly alright for a 55 MPH freeway. Yes, that includes overtaking other cars. You see, the Smart is very lightweight.

3. What makes you think the Smart is not made by an equally reputable company? The Smart (an acronym for Swatch Mercedes ART) is built by Mercedes-Benz.

4. The Smart is pretty good at surviving a 30 MPH collission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_(automobile)#Sa...


By Hyperion1400 on 6/30/2009 10:51:03 AM , Rating: 2
Your missing the point.

I get 36 MPG on a car that is 15 years older than a brand new Smart. Not only that, it weights 500 lbs more and has a significantly more powerful engine. My fuel econ. to weight ratio and fuel econ. to power ratio FAR exceeds the Smart's at a cost of only 4 MPG.

There ain't no way you are overtaking anybody it that thing while driving 55 MPH. My Sentra is right on the threshold. I wouldn't be comfortable trying to overtake @ highway speeds with anything less.

Mercedes are not know for their reliability, but rather their build quality and luxury. Now if Volkswagen made them...

Did the math, the price difference in fuel consumption per year at highway speeds(I live in rural AL, so 95 percent of my driving is highway) is 100 dollars. So it would take 100 years for me to make up the price difference. Yeah, I don't think either car is going to last that long.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Jeffk464 on 6/27/2009 6:47:17 PM , Rating: 3
I think you guys are missing the point of this car. Yes its pricey, but its basically the first of its type. Hopefully in 5-10 years their will be a bunch of cars like this at more affordable prices. I have seen lots of people buying the prius when they could afford much more luxurious cars just to buy green. I think their will definitely be a market for this car, will it outsell the honda civic? no.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By tlampen on 7/2/2009 12:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
SO Eeffing Ugly what the He!! did they do to it? It looks like a smaller Pontiac Aztech combined with the ugly ass Prius. Bring back the prototype! This is the problem with GM, they come out with a great looking prototype but then murder it just before production.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Screwballl on 6/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Screwballl on 6/26/2009 10:06:31 AM , Rating: 1
forgot to add... I wish they would have kept the concept stylings... more of a sports car type of look to it which would be much more likely to fetch the $40K price tag.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Fenixgoon on 6/26/2009 10:11:27 AM , Rating: 5
NEWS FLASH!

The laws of aerodynamics apply to everyone. More at 11.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By kellehair on 6/26/2009 12:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
The real news flash is that laws of aerodynamics regarding car design are still not fully understood. I was reading Motor Trend the other day and I noticed the new Mercedes-Benz E-class has the same coefficient of drag (.26 if I recall) as the new Honda Insight. This despite the fact that the 2 cars look just a little different...

http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/#/classLanding/?vc=E


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 1:30:53 PM , Rating: 3
mmmmm.... no, actually they are fairly well understood. What is not understood is that in making a car there are many many trade offs.

Something that is known to help Cd is ensuring proper laminer flow adhesion to the car. Longer cars have an advantage over shorter cars in this respect. But on the flip side, the longer cars wiegh more, which also reduces fuel economy.

Cars like the Insight, Prius, and Volt are not just about lowering Air Resistence to a minimum, but also lower mass and increasing interior volume.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Solandri on 6/28/2009 4:25:04 PM , Rating: 3
Cd (drag coefficient) is just the number you have to multiply the car's front cross-sectional area with to get the actual drag under idealized flow. Two very different shapes can easily have the same Cd; it doesn't mean they have the same air resistance. Cd is just a number used by engineers to compare different shapes with the same cross-sectional area.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By nvalhalla on 6/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Jeffk464 on 6/27/2009 6:56:50 PM , Rating: 3
Your not talking less MPG on this thing but less battery range. Going for extreme efficiency makes sense on these types of cars. If you want styling buy a camaro.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 6/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By rudolphna on 6/26/2009 11:08:12 AM , Rating: 1
Wait a second, other than the tesla, what car gets "Not Applicable" miles to the gallon?


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Kunikos on 6/26/2009 2:57:35 PM , Rating: 2
Fisker Karma?


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By MrPoletski on 6/29/2009 5:46:38 AM , Rating: 3
The dodge Neon?

because the ***ker never runs?


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By mezman on 6/26/2009 4:16:54 PM , Rating: 2
These aren't built for the average economy car consumer. They are for middle-class hippies who are willing to spend money to "be a part of the solution." It's about spending more to absolve themselves of their environmental sin. Similar to buying indulgences from the Catholic Church way back when.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Aeonic on 6/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 11:35:34 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I agree, sadly. 40k should look beter than a prius. And especially when the concept images looked pretty hot.
Are we gonna go through this BS again? FOR THE FUCKING LAST TIME, THE CONCEPT WAS AS AERODYNAMIC AS A BRICK!!!!! They COULD NOT get even close to the mileage requirements with the concepts design. Hell, the car was essentially a chop top with the low roof. That's not gonna fly with anyone remotely tall. I swear to God some of you have psychotic breaks when touch your keyboards.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 12:23:33 PM , Rating: 3
Unfortunely, old school Engineering is not really in favor these days. Even "technology" people are profoundly blind about many basic limitations of the old mechanical and aero technology.

For Better Information

The Concept was a 115+ inch wheel base design car with an Cd around .43 to .48. Based on primilary WAG numbers, if the current volt ~.27 and 105.3 wheel base gets 40 miles on EPA city on electricity. The Concept Volt would have acchieved more like 25-30.

I agree the concept Volt looked alot more muscle and a lot eco-box. However, compared to an Insight or Prius the Volt is pretty nice! (Seriously, look at side by side pictures)


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Aeonic on 6/26/2009 2:00:35 PM , Rating: 1
First, to the original reply of my post, reread your reply and enjoy the irony.

Do you have a source for those numbers, the 25/30/40 comparson? I'm not trying to pull a "gotcha" here, I'd genuinely like to read more about it.

I do appreciate the engineering limitations. But surely you admit there's more to this than just the numbers. If it were just about the numbers, then all cars would look like the Prius. That they don't (and are successful) says a lot. If this technology won't work unless the car has that shape, with no frills, then it's just not ready... because you might have to drive into a headwind someday, you know?

A 40 grand prius is a pretty big pill to swallow. A 40 grand, aggressively styled opposite-sex magnet head-turner would have been a better move, IMO, even if the efficiency were slightly less. It's hard to start a revolution by copying someone else.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 2:44:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do you have a source for those numbers, the 25/30/40 comparson? I'm not trying to pull a "gotcha" here, I'd genuinely like to read more about it.


They are WAG (Wild A** Guess) numbers based on the dribbles that have come out. But its fairly simple really.

Work (Energy)= Force * distance

Force= Rolling Resistence + Air Resistence (At steady State Only!)

Rolling Resistence is a function of mass

Air Resistence is a function of Cross Section, Cd, and speed

For an example, lets find out how fast the Volt could travel and go 40 miles on 8.8 kWh of Energy (Usable battery)

Assumptions:
Wieght=3,500 lbs (GM has curb wieght excess of 3,000)
Rolling Resistance Coefficient= 0.010 (Good Normal Tires)
A= 2.57m^2 (Wikipedia)
Cd=0.27 (Lutz Interview)

Energy = Force * Distance

Force= W * RRC + 0.5 * Density of Air * Cd * A * Velocity squared

3.16*10^7 N*m = (156 N + 0.448 kg/m * V^2) * 64,360 m

V= sqrt(686 m^2/s^2) = 26 m/s --> 58.2 mph! Very Resonable

Concept Volt
Wieght= 4,000 lbs (Longer Wheel Base, More Glass, etc)
Cd= 0.43 (Lutz Interview)
Assume the rest is the same

V= sqrt(438 m^2/s^2) = 21 m/s --> 47 mph... Guess we can't expect 40 miles at Highway speeds.

How far would the concept go if traveling at 58.2 mph?

3.16*10^7 N*m = (178 N + 482 N) * D

D= 47,870 m --> 29.8 miles

BTW, This is really back of the envelope numbers and is not ment to repersent the actual performance nor to capture all the things that go into actual mpg/distance performance.

Lets look at what GM wants to do with the Volt. They want a car that is hands down "greener" than the Prius AND more normal than the Prius.

To acchieve the "Greener" mark, they set the goals of 40 miles City EPA and 45-55 MPG for gasoline power.

They can use different shapes, its true. But they absolutely must meet thier MPG and Distance targets. Why? The Volt is, was, and will be about reducing usage of gasoline. Not meeting the targets to add lipstick is a betryal of the underlying purpose. When a Volt pulls up next to a Prius or Insight at a stop light, and you ask the question "Which Car would I want to be in?"... the Answer for most people will be the Volt. Thats whats required...


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By deputc26 on 6/26/2009 5:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
While I liked the old volt styling much better, it did have to go. While I think the cd estimate of .48 to .43 is a little high (for reference the hummer is .57 and a yaris is .29) it was definitely well above .33. cd is the #1 factor in highway mpg (mpWh for electric mode) a good rule of thumb is that 70% of your energy is lost to aerodynamic drag when you are going 70mph. I think the new volt looks awright but could be better.

As mentioned before THE OLD STYLING PARADIGM IS NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE due to sharp boxy corners having unacceptably high cd. As somewhat of an aerodynamics guru I personally tend to think that aerodynamic shapes are almost always beautiful. You can bash the prius but the fact is that it is a very good shape for a car, both structurally, volumetrically and aerodynamically more efficient than the standard shape.

The Serial hybrid powertrain architecture is (in my opinion) by far the best when it comes to efficiency and performance (until you can re-charge pure electrics in ~10min). Because the majority of our trips are under 40 miles, we use zero gas the majority of the time. BUT the vehicle is still roadtrip ready and the driver will not get range anxiety. A common misconception is that electric vehicles have poor performance, they do have poor long-distance high-speed performance but acceleration is exceptional; not just because of 100% torque at zero rpm but because the power density of vehicle batteries (like a123's) is near 1.9hp/lb which is MUCH better than the average car engine. Of course energy density is still more than 10x worse.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Starcub on 6/26/2009 5:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
The concept car looks pretty aerodynamic to me, if this is what you are referring to this: http://www.dailytech.com/GM+to+Assemble+Volt+Batte...

In any case, the grill design (they could at least have kept the concept headlights) certainly has little if any change to the aerodynmic properties. My guess is that they choose to use the design they did for cost reasons (either it's close to, or is identical to pre-existing designs). I think it was a poor move myself, the concept version looks far more appealing.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 5:26:46 PM , Rating: 2
No....

http://gm-volt.com/2008/09/17/poll-chevy-volt-conc...

Production Version is Top. Picture of IV Auto on this article is not 100% production as apparently some trim/detail parts are not finished yet.

Concept is bottom. Notice the following
#1. Much longer wheelbase needed to create "4" person interior volume
#2. Giant Wheels with protruding covers
#3. Very Blunt Front End.
#4. Open Grill
#5. Much Smaller Windshield
#6. Tiny No Functional Side Mirrors

People still love it, but it was never going to be made... its terribly impractical. GM decided to build an electric car first, not an electric camaro


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Uncle on 6/26/2009 8:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
Someone should take the frame and guts and put together a kit car, now that would sell. Heck we did it with the old VW frames.


RE: Yeah, but what's the price?
By Noya on 6/28/2009 7:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are they still planning on selling this for $40k? Based on its looks alone, I'd estimate the selling cost at $18k-$22k. It is still a Chevy after all.


That's basically what it is, then tack on the extra $16-18k for the battery and its electronics = $40k+.


Who is going to buy this thing
By Insomniator on 6/26/2009 10:11:37 AM , Rating: 1
I just don't get it...

Even at 32k, its still a 30 thousand dollar tiny chevy. What is the market? Do they think anyone outside of California is buying into this?

I'm not bashing the car or the concept, I just don't understand how they are banking the company on this car when there (imo) is no market.

The insight is 20k and gets 40mpg, the new prius is what, 24k and gets like 45mpg? Does the honda fit and civic/corolla not outsell both of them by a wiiiidddddeeee margin?

How many of these are they gonna sell?




RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By tallcool1 on 6/26/2009 10:15:20 AM , Rating: 1
A better buy might be a VW TDI, 30-40MPG at about $25k.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By corduroygt on 6/26/2009 11:26:45 AM , Rating: 2
Or buy a Honda Fit for $15k, it's almost as efficient, much cheaper initial cost, and much more fun to drive.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 12:38:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Or buy a Honda Fit for $15k, it's almost as efficient, much cheaper initial cost, and much more fun to drive.
Or buy a used car for even cheaper.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By EglsFly on 6/28/2009 11:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
The TDI is much more efficient:
(Manual Trans)
FIT: 27/33 MPG
TDI: 30/41 MPG

But the FIT is about $8K (starting price) cheaper.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By coolkev99 on 6/26/2009 10:49:03 AM , Rating: 2
New prius gets over 50.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 10:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
Indeed. My Sienna was in the shop again, and the local Toyota dealer loaned me a Prius for the day. I drove about 60 miles - 1/2 highway and 1/2 city - and the Prius averaged 58MPG for that trip. Pretty impressive.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Kunikos on 6/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 3:10:11 PM , Rating: 2
So you just created a new account at DT so you could entertain us with such illuminating remarks like this and some of the others on this article? Way to make a first impression.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Bubbacub on 6/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Kunikos on 6/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 3:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
Nice FUD attempt.

Reality: As I mentioned in my post above, I drove one for an hour earlier in the week, which hardly qualifies me as an expert, but I was on the highway at around 80MPH and it had no problems. Really, apart from start and stop, it drives just like any other small car.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 3:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But can it go /faster/ than 50? Seriously those things are about as fast as a go-kart. Where are the diesel hybrids? I'm looking for 50+ MPG that hauls ass.


Didn't Al Gore's Son get busted for driving like 100mph in a Prius?

The 2010 Prius 0-60 time is around 10 seconds. Which is not good, but its not the end of the world either. Perfectably drivable. I drove a 2008 Prius for more than 100 miles. Would never trade my A4 for it, but still better than the Cobalts/Focuses I usually get for rental cars.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Danger D on 6/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By 67STANG on 6/26/2009 12:07:56 PM , Rating: 1
No joke there. Every time I see their commercials that say "Chevy is starting a new chapter.." I think to myself, yeah... Chapter 11.

WTF. We are paying for these commercials. I want dancing girls in them. Not stupid catch phrases and ugly ass cars that myself and no one else is ever going to buy. Get a clue GM.

And oh yeah, saw the new transformers which is basically a 2 hour long Chevy commercial. Is it me, or is the Camaro the only decent looking car in that they are trying to push? Don't get me wrong, I like the Corvette too, but the concept one in the movie looks like garbage.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 11:38:24 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
How many of these are they gonna sell?
Every question in this thread has been answered 6 billion times in the numerous other Volt threads.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 1:03:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not bashing the car or the concept, I just don't understand how they are banking the company on this car when there (imo) is no market.


Man, people. The Volt is a HALO product. Its just there to prove that GM CAN produce a "green" car. The numbers we are talking about <50,000 for the life of Gen1 are less than single month sales in the United States. Let alone the world.

Keep that in mind. World. In France for example, they pay around 10-15 cents per kWH for electrity (I am assuming Cheap Rate which would be like overnight charging). They pay ~6.50 dollars for a US gallon of gas. First Fourty miles of savings: 6.50*40/50 - 8.8kWh*.15 = 3.88 --> 3.75 dollars a day. Assuming 250 days a year (of driving) thats close to a 1,000 dollars a year fuel savings over a PRIUS (equivalent mileage after 40). When comparing to Civics/Corollas, the savings is even more... closer to 1,500-2,000 dollars a year. I really think GM will have no problem selling the all the Volts it currently plans on building.... even if most end up as European cars.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By imaheadcase on 6/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 1:35:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If its just to prove they can make a "green" car. Give me billions of dollars to so I can make a greener car.


Sigh... you know, Volt qualifies for some RD money, but similar money was given to Chrysler and Ford. The Volt was not required to acchieve those. Chrysler doesn't have the Volt, yet it recieved bailouts. The Volt Concept was introduced and the go-ahead given for production program long before it was required to have a bail-out. The Volt IVs on the road today indicate that GM has been following a course of introducing a production volt for more than 3 years... thats very typical for the time from inception of program to IV testing


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 1:55:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If its just to prove they can make a "green" car. Give me billions of dollars to so I can make a greener car.
With an idiot statement like this one, would you even know where to start?


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 1:54:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
even if most end up as European cars.
There's a waiting list for them here in the US. GM will sell every single one of them.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 1:58:25 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
There's a waiting list for them here in the US.


I agree on the first 10,000 or so... but after that there is a limit to the number of people that will pay 10,000 out of pocket (even if lifetime its more like 2-5,000) to drive a Volt. My guess is that although gm-volt.com reports 30,000+ waiting list, thats less than 5,000 actual sales when people have to actually put down the cash.

Conversely, the European car will end up as being cheaper than its compeditors at current prices... I bet the demand in Europe is larger and will last into the 100,000s of Units.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 3:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree on the first 10,000 or so... but after that there is a limit to the number of people that will pay 10,000 out of pocket
Demand for niche cars is more like a curve but more than 10k units will be sold in CA alone. There's a ton of people that want to be on the cutting edge of "green" auto tech.

quote:
I bet the demand in Europe is larger and will last into the 100,000s of Units.
There won't be 100,000s of units sold. We're talking sports car numbers here. GM isn't intending this car to be a normal volume car.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 3:18:35 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
There won't be 100,000s of units sold. We're talking sports car numbers here. GM isn't intending this car to be a normal volume car.


Really? The plans were to ramp upto 60,000 a year (World Wide). I doublt Gen 1 will really hit 200,000 (or even much more than 100,000), but within 10 years I think "Volts" in Gen 1,2, and 3 will be in the 500,000 + range sold. Again, because Europe would see the most benifit, I image 3/5 or more being European.

quote:
Demand for niche cars is more like a curve but more than 10k units will be sold in CA alone. There's a ton of people that want to be on the cutting edge of "green" auto tech.


Its really tough. During these times, I am not sure of that figure. Look at the Tesla Roadster. Its having trouble getting beyond 1,500 units sold and although its 100,000 +, it doesn't carry the "Chevy" stigma


By Cheesew1z69 on 6/26/2009 4:04:15 PM , Rating: 2
Gee. I couldn't imagine that the 100,000+ price tag has anything to do with how many are being sold...

/sarcasm


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 4:22:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but within 10 years I think "Volts" in Gen 1,2, and 3 will be in the 500,000 + range sold.
I agree here but from what I read, the Volt won't be a normal volume car initially. Has that changed?

quote:
Its really tough. During these times, I am not sure of that figure. Look at the Tesla Roadster.
Can't compare the two. We're talking a $100k plus niche sports car to a more practical "high" volume sedan. Not the same thing. I expect the Volt market would be BMW/Audi/Cadillac owners or potential owners looking for a "green" car. I also expect the Volt to be a third or fourth car, not a primary vehicle or an only vehicle. The badge of this car is irrelevant as GM got a LOT of conquest sales with the Solstice/Sky cars. It's not like the normal lineup so people will overlook that.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 4:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I expect the Volt market would be BMW/Audi/Cadillac owners or potential owners looking for a "green" car.
I disagree - those cars you mention are luxury/performance brands, whereas the Volt is a small, green econobox car. A BMW owner might have some technical interest in these types of hybrids, but I don't see them turning in a 3- or 5-series to drive a Volt instead. Unless they have the budget for an extra car, but even then, I'm not sure. Let's see, should I take the 530 or the Volt to the market...?


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 4:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
Well... in fairness, A new BMW 328i will run well over 40,000 when configured like the Volt. 10 year ownership costs for that BMW 328i will likely be 50% to 100% higher.

The first thing that needs to be reasonably done is place the Volt in comparison to normal cars. Assuming Volt buyer gets the 7,500 tax credit, his ten year ownership costs will be less than a V6 Accord, slightly more than a I4 Civic and more than a Prius. When all are configured similarly

I think the market will be the same as the Camry Hybrid or the "loaded" Prius cars or that Lexus HS (I don't see that car's market...)


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Bubbacub on 6/26/2009 5:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
yeah but the beemer is actually a nice car!


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 4:35:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The badge of this car is irrelevant as GM got a LOT of conquest sales with the Solstice/Sky cars. It's not like the normal lineup so people will overlook that.


No offense, but the Solstice and Sky together sell less than 20,000 a year... like 15,000 right? Thats not really a game changer type of seller. Especially when -both- are no longer part of the line-up moving forward. I think people still mistrust GM about quality, electric cars, and first run cars. Heck, every time I get a Cobalt at rent reminds me why people would mistrust GM.

quote:
I agree here but from what I read, the Volt won't be a normal volume car initially. Has that changed?


The production line will supposedly be capable (PR) of 60,000 a year. Current WAG of the known plans is more like 30,000 max. Year 1 will be 10,000 goal though.

quote:
Can't compare the two. We're talking a $100k plus niche sports car to a more practical "high" volume sedan.


While I agree, you can't directly compare the two... Tesla original planned on being well past the 2,000 order mark at this time. That they are falling behind thier projections is an indication that maybe California is not ready to spend on bleeding edge car technology in this economic climate in comparison to 2-5 years ago. But in the end, I image they will sell all 10,000 initial cars and should be able to move all they can reasonably produce for years.... just not in California alone.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 6:08:16 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The production line will supposedly be capable (PR) of 60,000 a year. Current WAG of the known plans is more like 30,000 max. Year 1 will be 10,000 goal though.
Ok. That's what I read too. I thought something had changed.

quote:
No offense, but the Solstice and Sky together sell less than 20,000 a year... like 15,000 right?
Peaked at somewhere under 30k units per year. Sold better than most other roadsters (including the Miata) so I would call that a success. Off topic and not the reason I mentioned those cars.

quote:
That they are falling behind thier projections is an indication that maybe California is not ready to spend on bleeding edge car technology in this economic climate in comparison to 2-5 years ago.
I chalk that up to them not producing enough cars to supply the demand they have. There are supposedly 1500 people waiting for their cars. And Tesla has only produced 500. No shock to me as they are small and new to the market but, for some reason, it's a shock to DTers. They will not sell 10,000 Roadsters unless they're in business for the next 30 years.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By MrPoletski on 6/29/2009 5:58:18 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention we'd probably opt for a decent car make, like a bimmer or a merc, both of which (and more) are developing their own all electric cars.


By MrPoletski on 6/29/2009 6:03:16 AM , Rating: 2
and there is this ffs, not exactly a style car but it would be fantastic for London driving.

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/cartech/0,250000513,493021...

60mph top speed wont matter for anything whent he top speed of London is 12mph.

No tax, no congestion charge, no parking charge and even FREE RECHARGE POINTS around the city.

omgwtfbbqpwnt


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By gregpet on 6/26/2009 2:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
This car is not going up against the Prius or Insight. This car will come standard with luxury options like heated seats, bluetooth, upgraded sound system, etc. Chevy is smart enough to know they can't sell a prius for $30k-$35k. It was mentioned earlier - go to gm-volt.com and do some reading. This car will be a technology leader in more than just drivetrain. One of the technologies that they are working on is for the car to be smart enough to store cheap energy that is available at night and then sell it back to the grid during the day at a higher price (good if you are on vacation and the car is sitting at home). Suffice to say Chevy is thinking this through and I for one hope they hit a homerun...


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 2:50:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This car will be a technology leader in more than just drivetrain. One of the technologies that they are working on is for the car to be smart enough to store cheap energy that is available at night and then sell it back to the grid during the day at a higher price (good if you are on vacation and the car is sitting at home). Suffice to say Chevy is thinking this through and I for one hope they hit a homerun...


Unfortunetly that has been cut from the Generation 1 Volt. Nor would it really be desirable since Battery wears out as you use it. Would be nice to have such a device to get the most out of the Battery once it degrades to the point where its not useful in the car...

Another feature cut which I think would have been awesome. High Efficiency Mobile Generator. Ability to use gasoline/generator combo as a portable generator for camping/etc. Yes, you can do this with most cars already, but the Volt would have been alot more efficient at this task.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 2:56:52 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, I like the Volt. I like the Volt because if you slap in a Higher Power Electric Motor, you could get a car that goes 0-60 in 5-6 seconds AND gets 50 mpg when driven "normally". Thats because electric motors often have a very high efficieny over a very wide band. As long as Hybrids like the Prius rely primarily on Gasoline/ICE technology, they will have to limit the upper performance to acchieve High mpg. I like the Volt because if you add a second motor, you can have High efficieny AWD. Although the Prius type hybrid could do something similar, yet again if they are relying on the Gasoline/ICE as the primary driver, they can not make a High efficieny AWD system. I like the Volt because the concept has a much higher limit on efficieny, performance, flexibility, and reliability than the Prius type Hybrid. Compare Gen 1 Volt versus Gen 1 Prius (not entirely fair since there is a decade in there) and this becomes more clear.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By martinw on 6/28/2009 4:29:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This car is not going up against the Prius or Insight. This car will come standard with luxury options like heated seats, bluetooth, upgraded sound system, etc.


But you can get those options on a Prius (don't know about Insight.) Admittedly not in the base model, but in a package that is still well under $26k. So those features in themselves are not going to be sufficient differentiation.


RE: Who is going to buy this thing
By docinct on 6/27/2009 12:50:09 PM , Rating: 2
With Prius US sales above 230,000 year I don't think the 85,000 Fit Honda expects to sell is even close. Yes the Corolla has sales of 350,000 but at a much lower price point and no limitations on supply.


question.
By Finnkc on 6/26/2009 10:35:00 AM , Rating: 1
So GM is going to be the first to the table with the all electric?

Even tho the big Asian manufactures have had the tech for years to do the same, and yet they have held back.

What giant hole does GM think it is filling here? Given that Toyota and Honda have not felt the urge to get such a car to market yet, makes me think GM is again out to lunch with the rest of North America.

dunno what do you think?




RE: question.
By jimbojimbo on 6/26/2009 11:19:45 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
So GM is going to be the first to the table with the all electric?

Never heard of Tesla? Also, the Volt isn't all electric. Where have you been? It's got a little gasoline engine to charge the batteries when they get low.


RE: question.
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 2:05:03 PM , Rating: 3
Well... since Tesla has delievered 500 Roadsters so far, I think its fair to say GM will be the first to the Table with a mass market Electric Car. 500 works out be around 1 day since production started. Boutique electric cars have existed before, and at 1 car a day.... I would call the Roadster a Boutique car, albiet a very popular one.


RE: question.
By corduroygt on 6/26/2009 11:23:27 AM , Rating: 2
They were indeed the first. Remember EV1?


RE: question.
By Kunikos on 6/26/2009 2:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
Don't think that counts since it wasn't officially available.


RE: question.
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 11:39:52 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
So GM is going to be the first to the table with the all electric?
It's not an all-electric. Good God, lol! Did anyone read the other 7 billion Volt threads?


RE: question.
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 12:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
Technically the Volt is an "extended-range electric vehicle," and even GM is not calling it a hybrid, hence the confusion.


RE: question.
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 12:35:21 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Technically the Volt is an "extended-range electric vehicle," and even GM is not calling it a hybrid, hence the confusion.
Technically, it's a friggin hybrid. I don't care what GM's marketing dept calls it. Is the Mercedes CLS a 4 door coupe?


RE: question.
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 12:55:13 PM , Rating: 4
No, it is not a hybrid, at least according to the SAE definition:

A hybrid is defined by SAE [4] as: “A vehicle with two or more energy storage systems both of which must provide propulsion power – either together or independently.”
http://media.gm.com/volt/eflex/docs/paper.pdf

The Prius is a hybrid because both the engine and the motor are connected to the drivetrain. In the Volt only the motor is connected.

You can call it a hybrid if you want - I don't care - I probably would call it a hybrid too. But the point I was originally making is that the use of the term "hybrid" not being applied to the Volt is probably a source of confusion.


RE: question.
By Spuke on 6/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: question.
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 2:12:02 PM , Rating: 5
The engine doesn't provide propulsion power; instead, it only charges the battery. Only the motor provides propulsion power.

To quote you: Reading comprehension fails you .


RE: question.
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 3:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The engine doesn't provide propulsion power; instead, it only charges the battery. Only the motor provides propulsion power.


No... the ICE Engine, a 1.4L 4 Cyclinder will run a Generator that produces Electric Power. This Electrical Power will directly power the Electric Motor. Excess Electrical Power (produced because the ICE engine will be running in very specific bands to increase efficieny) will be placed into the Battery. If the Battery becomes "too full", the ICE will produce less power and power will be again taken from the battery (in combination with the power from the generator driven by the ICE) and given to the Electric Motor.

The Volt is a Serial Hybrid. The word Hybrid is acceptable because the ICE+Generator and the battery both provide electrical power to the Wheel Driving Electric Motor. IE, at one time, propulsion power will be drawn from a battery source and a liquid fuel source.


RE: question.
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 3:42:18 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously GM's view is that only the electric motor is directly providing propulsion power, and therefore, per the SAE definition, the Volt is not a hybrid. Whether the electricity comes from a battery or ICE/genset is irrelevant to that definition.

But as I said earlier, I'm comfortable calling it a serial hybrid (I think the SAE definition is too strict), and again, my point is that GM is following the SAE definition and not calling it a hybrid, which has generated some confusion to many casual observers (such as myself).

And possibly GM also wants to diffentiate the Volt from the Prius and Insight - and rightly so since it uses a different architecture.


RE: question.
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 4:02:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Obviously GM's view is that only the electric motor is directly providing propulsion power, and therefore, per the SAE definition, the Volt is not a hybrid.


What? No. Give me a quote from a GM source that says that. I'll give you dozens of examples of Volt spokesmen saying the opposite. Just check Gm-volt for quotes directly from GM/Volt Program.

quote:
And possibly GM also wants to diffentiate the Volt from the Prius and Insight - and rightly so since it uses a different architecture.


I think this is much more likely the reason for the change in terms. The SAE defination for Hybrid fits the Volt. What doesn't fit is the public concept of a Hybrid which is Gas/Electric parrelel hyrbid. Rather than trying to re-define an existing term, GM is trying to create a new one.


RE: question.
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 4:34:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What? No. Give me a quote from a GM source that says that


NOT A “HYBRID”: In practice, hybrid vehicles typically require both sources – engine and battery - to provide full vehicle performance capability. ... An E-REV like the Chevrolet Volt is unique from a hybrid or plug-in hybrid in that the vehicle’s wheels are always driven electrically by an electric drive unit.
http://media.gm.com/volt/eflex/index.html


RE: question.
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 4:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
Wow... that link is overall confusing. Your selected quote is very direct, yet appearing in the same document

quote:
The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is a front-wheel-drive, four-passenger Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) that uses electricity as its primary power source and gasoline as its secondary power source to propel the vehicle.

An E-REV like the Chevrolet Volt represents a significant departure from conventional hybrids.... A new and distinct propulsion system category that would comprehend E-REVs has been proposed by the California Air Resources Board, which GM expects that the Chevrolet Volt will become the first to qualify.


Why call them "convential hybrids"? That statement indicates that E-REV is a "non-convential hybrid".

My conclusion is thats a marketing site. And right now the Volt is a "Hybrid", but GM wants a new defination for it, to ensure that consumer veiw it differently.


RE: question.
By foolsgambit11 on 6/26/2009 3:41:06 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, while it is possible you have the SAE's intent correct, I seriously doubt it. From the quote you gave us, the Volt would be a hybrid. From the additional quote GM gives us, it would be a plug-in hybrid (P-HEV):

(from your same source, 1 paragraph down) "A hybrid vehicle with the ability to store and use off-board electrical energy in the RESS (rechargeable energy storage system)."

To determine if it meets this definition, you must ask first, is it a hybrid? The answer is clearly yes.

"A vehicle (check) with two or more energy storage systems (gas tank and batteries) both of which must provide propulsion power – either together or independently."

Both of the energy storage systems provide electricity (power) to the electric motor. (See, for example the Wikipedia article, which notes that, when the batteries are depleted, and power is needed at the wheels, the electronics control unit routes the power directly from the engine/generator to the motor.) Note that the definition doesn't require two separate propulsion systems, only two different sources of power for that propulsion, i.e. 'propulsion power'. Even if the power was always routed through the batteries, I'm pretty sure that would count as two propulsion power sources.

Now, to continue to whether it is a P-HEV. Does it have "the ability to store and use off-board electrical energy in the RESS (rechargeable energy storage system)." The batteries (a rechargeable energy storage system) on the Volt can store and use off-board electrical energy (i.e., grid power), thus meeting the qualifications of a plug-in hybrid. I'm sure the SAE has a specific definition for a RESS, so that a gas tank doesn't count as a rechargeable energy storage system, even though it could be thought of as one. But I'm equally sure that batteries meet the definition.

And as a final nail in the coffin, GM's nomenclature of an 'Extended Range Electric Vehicle' isn't supported by the SAE at all - probably because they consider it a 'Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle', which is a sub-category of hybrids. Of course, GM's approach to the P-HEV is pretty unique, but it is at best a sub-category of P-HEVs, and can and should still be called a hybrid.


RE: question.
By adiposity on 6/26/2009 12:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
All electric drive train, I guess...

Although, he's forgetting EV1 and Tesla. But maybe he means "among the big manufacturers" and "with a car that actually was for sale."

-Dan


RE: question.
By Danger D on 6/26/2009 11:42:24 AM , Rating: 2
GM was not planning mass production of this technology any time soon. They rushed this out because Obama wants to see something innovative to he can let the American people know that it was a great idea to bail these jokers out.


RE: question.
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 12:37:27 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
They rushed this out because Obama wants to see something innovative to he can let the American people know that it was a great idea to bail these jokers out.
LOL! Some of you guys are just idiots.


RE: question.
By ianweck on 6/26/2009 12:56:17 PM , Rating: 4
No kidding. The concept Volt was announced in January 2007. Who here even knew who Obama was in January 2007?


RE: question.
By Danger D on 6/26/2009 2:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, they rolled out ev1 for mass consumption pretty quickly too, right? They showed a big commitment. How are sales right now?


RE: question.
By Kunikos on 6/26/2009 3:00:44 PM , Rating: 2
EV1 were all leased, weren't they?


RE: question.
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 3:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. As I understand it, GM effectively subsidized the EV1 fleet because they would have been otherwise too costly for people to purchase.


RE: question.
By Danger D on 6/26/2009 3:34:06 PM , Rating: 2
I was being sarcastic.


RE: question.
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 3:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah, they rolled out ev1 for mass consumption pretty quickly too, right? They showed a big commitment. How are sales right now?


What now? EV1 were -LEASED- with no option given for purchase at the end of the lease. No offical document was ever published that promised EV1 leasors that they would be able to purchase thier EV1 at the end of the lease. In fact, they were warned several times that GM could and potentially would refuse to even re-lease the cars.


40k?
By Astral Abyss on 6/26/2009 2:11:45 PM , Rating: 2
For 40k, in an all electric car, I'd like to see solar panels on the top so at least when my car is sitting in the parking lot for 9 hours while I'm at work it's recharging itself for free. Otherwise, it's not really any "greener" than a hybrid since I'd have to plug it in every night, which adds to my electric bill and my electricity company generates it's electricity from burning oil.

Seems like just a gimmick to me at this point.




RE: 40k?
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 4:27:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
For 40k, in an all electric car, I'd like to see solar panels on the top so at least when my car is sitting in the parking lot for 9 hours while I'm at work it's recharging itself for free. Otherwise, it's not really any "greener" than a hybrid since I'd have to plug it in every night, which adds to my electric bill and my electricity company generates it's electricity from burning oil.


So many wrongs...

#1. Your a very rare person if your electric company burns oil to produce power. Less than 2% of US electric power is provided by burning oil.

#2. Solar Panels on a roof are silly at the current cost. At most a roof of a car is 1m2... but lets be generous and go with 2 square meters. Panels are around 20% efficient at the most. At most we are talkin 250 W/square meter at noon in Arizona. At best , nine hours would result in ~.8 kWh. More reasonably ~.3 kWh... and thats in Arizona in the Summer. GM is making the right call by limiting solar cell use in a "base" Volt. They will never be remotely economical, and in most of the US, even if your parking outside every day all day, we are talking less than 100 kWh... roughly ~15 dollars of electricity or 40 dollars go gasoline a year.

#3. Its about the different costs. If you get 40 miles from 8.8 kWh of electricity, you displace .8 gallons of gas. For me and large parts of the US 8.8 kWh of electricity will be 1.50 cheaper at current gas prices. Its true though that this value is as little as 1.00 and as much as 2.00 (across the US). In the last year, 2.44 was the maximum price difference for me. In foriegn countries, it can be as great as 4.00 dollars or more.

#4. mmm... Actually, it is "greener" in operation than a Hybrid. The source of electricity makes a big difference, but using US power sources as an aggregrate, a Volt Plug-in will release 40-50% less CO2 and pollution per mile for the first 40 miles in comparison to a Toyota Prius (2nd generation, haven't see any numbers for 2010 on).


RE: 40k?
By Starcub on 6/26/2009 5:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
By my calculations, assuming you get the same amount of power from whatever panels are incorporated in the car as you would from a standard 200W rooftop solar panel, the car panels would need to cost less than $700 to be economically viable. My calculations assume that you can get 1kw per day from the panels, your power company charges an average of 10 cents per kilowatt hour, and panel lifetime is the same as a rooftop panel (~20 years).

Things I did not take into consideration with my figures, but will act to counterbalance each other:

- Panel performance starts out at 1 kw/day but will probably deline by about 20% over the 20 year period -- performing at about 80% at end of life.

- Power rates start out at 10 cents per kwh, but are likely to increase over time.

- To get full return, the car would have a 20 year operational lifetime.

I don't think any of the assumptions I made are unreasonable.


RE: 40k?
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 6:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1 kw/day
1 kWh?

I think thats pretty high. Keep in mind that

A. Flexible type solar panels often have poor efficieny ~10% if they are lucky. Usually around 1/2 the "rooftop" type

B. Angle to Sun will be poor. Angle will get worse the further north you go. Potentially parking facing south would help but...

C. Area of Roof and Hood is typically very small. Sure the total area is like 5 m^2, but subtract windshield/glass, hinge lines, etc and I think it would be hard to locate more than 1 m^2 on either Hood or Roof...

Solar Isolation peaks in Arizona around 300 W/m^2. Even at 16 hours of sunlight, each square meter can havest a maximum of 4.8 kWh. I think you'd be lucky to get even .25 kWh per m^2 in Arizona in Summer over 16 hours of daylight....

In comparison the same square meter on a roof top tilted correctly might harvest .75 kWh or more... Solar panel on cars are just a poor application of the technology.


RE: 40k?
By dagamer34 on 6/28/2009 9:56:24 AM , Rating: 2
Plus, you would need to leave your $30,000 car outside to charge that sunlight. Such a smart move.


RE: 40k?
By Starcub on 7/17/2009 3:52:03 PM , Rating: 2
Most people do, locked, pretty much all day long, unless they have covered parking where they work, which most people don't. Your point is?


RE: 40k?
By Starcub on 7/17/2009 4:17:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
1 kWh? I think thats pretty high.

I don't think so. The panel's are rated at 200W and they produce pretty close to their rated power in full sunlight. You get about 8-10 hours of useable sunlight during the day. Four of those hours are pretty close to peak output, the rest drop off according to a bell curve, so I used 5 hours in my calc.

quote:
Flexible type solar panels often have poor efficieny ~10% if they are lucky. Usually around 1/2 the "rooftop" type.

Maybe, but they are much cheaper as well. So the same logic of analysis applies.

quote:
B. Angle to Sun will be poor. Angle will get worse the further north you go. Potentially parking facing south would help but...

Yes, you would have to be selective about where you parked your car.

quote:
Area of Roof and Hood is typically very small. Sure the total area is like 5 m^2, but subtract windshield/glass, hinge lines, etc and I think it would be hard to locate more than 1 m^2 on either Hood or Roof...

I think even on an economy car you could find at least 2 or 3 square meters of space on the top of the car to cover with panels.

quote:
Solar Isolation...

I'm sure that was "insolation". In any case, there is something wrong with your numbers, either in efficiency or insolation. Your typical 200W panel is very close to 2 square meters in area, so somehow they are managing 100W/m^2, which is 33% efficiency at 300W/m^2 insolation. I think the highest efficiencies right now are at about 40%, but I don't think you can get that high of effiency at current market prices ~$350/m^2. So either insolation or efficiency is higher than you suspect.

quote:
In comparison the same square meter on a roof top tilted correctly might harvest .75 kWh or more... Solar panel on cars are just a poor application of the technology.

I don't think it matters as much as you suspect. The 4 hours of prime sunlight per day occur when the sun is pretty much directly overhead, which is where the paneling will be facing.


RE: 40k?
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 4:29:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd like to see solar panels on the top so at least when my car is sitting in the parking lot for 9 hours while I'm at work it's recharging itself for free.
It's already been shown in the numerous solar power threads that rooftop panels can't charge your battery enough to make any difference.


RE: 40k?
By Starcub on 6/26/2009 5:30:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's already been shown in the numerous solar power threads that rooftop panels can't charge your battery enough to make any difference.

Sure they can. All that matters is cost.


In the rear
By Spookster on 6/26/2009 9:46:21 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe that's where there heads are at? I would think you'd want the plug on or near the front to make it closer to where it is likely an electric outlet will be when they pull into a garage or a parking space fitted with charging points.




RE: In the rear
By rcabor on 6/26/2009 10:09:40 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, the front makes more sense to me too.


RE: In the rear
By omnicronx on 6/26/2009 11:38:16 AM , Rating: 2
I guess that picture is not real then, as you can clearly see the plug-in right under the mirror / above the wheel in the front of the car. (that big circle cutout).


RE: In the rear
By omnicronx on 6/26/2009 11:40:15 AM , Rating: 2
I guess they also could have moved it and just filled in the hole.


RE: In the rear
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 1:54:19 PM , Rating: 2
Picture is correct. There will be typically gas door mechanism covering a "standard" plug that has been adopted by some public power meter stations. This will be on the driver side, right in front of the door.


RE: In the rear
By Spookster on 6/26/2009 6:58:58 PM , Rating: 2
The story says they moved it to the rear of the vehicle for the pre-production model and will do so for the production model.


RE: In the rear
By jimbojimbo on 6/26/2009 11:13:52 AM , Rating: 2
I think it made more sense to them that as you walk up to your car, you'll see the cable and unplug it, rather than forgetting about it, backing up and yanking the cord out which most people would do. I know I would.

They needed something in the front with a Roomba like robot that can talk with your car and know where your recharge jack is. That way you can pull in, car talks to robot, robot moves into position and plugs cord in. Then when you leave just back out and it automatically dettaches.


RE: In the rear
By corduroygt on 6/26/2009 11:22:24 AM , Rating: 3
Just make the car unable to shift out of Park as long as it's plugged in. Problem solved.


100MPG
By ClockerXP on 6/26/2009 10:14:54 AM , Rating: 2
It will have 100MPG on the sticker




RE: 100MPG
By jimbojimbo on 6/26/2009 11:16:17 AM , Rating: 2
They need to think of new gauges. Someone could say they get 1000MPG if they drive just a few miles each day and plug it in every night but that's a misleading number. Energy is still used and someone's paying for it.


Documentary
By ashegam on 6/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Documentary
By imaheadcase on 6/26/09, Rating: 0
RE: Documentary
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 2:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
Both of you guys are morons.


RE: Documentary
By lightfoot on 6/27/2009 3:23:06 PM , Rating: 2
The US Government will never allow a $1,000 - $5,000 car to be sold here. Between safety and environmental standards the minimum price is likely to be no less than about $8,000 (and that is supremely optimistic.)

It's politically convenient to legislate more expensive cars and then blame auto manufacturers for the high prices that effectively push the general population out of the new car market. This concept is central to Obama's environmental policy, just as inflation is central to his economic policy. (The best way to eliminate bad debt is to pay it off using less valuable dollars.)


Economy Car at a Luxury Price
By lightfoot on 6/27/2009 3:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
What's not to love?

Other than the fact that economy by definition means efficient - efficient use of all resources (including money.)

I just don't see anything in this car that is either economic nor luxurious.




I like it
By DeepBlue1975 on 6/28/2009 12:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
I like the looks pretty much.

But anyway, for those up there who where talking about aerodynamic drag conditioning the shape of the car...

This Volt obviously needs a good drag coeff., but as an electric car, it also needs a look that can make it stand out from normal cars.
It's not true that it needs to have a Prius like appearance to be aerodynamic... In fact, there are lots of European cars about the same size as the volt is, featuring CDs between 0.27 and 0.32, and none of them look like a Prius.




By Floorbit on 6/30/2009 11:53:29 AM , Rating: 2
These electrics need to specify testing in cold weather-ice ...-0 tempuratures. Wet weather,and off road situations. For example the regenerative breaking in winter,rust exposing electrical parts in older(aged then) vehicles. Then something I've seen no one ask :EMR or radio interferance. Kind of concerned about the electronic stabalization for winter weather- something where the environment does not have a previous program input.

What this does this do for the DIY engineer. When one battery is good,why not two,or if one engine is good why not two. Or if I want the engine upgraded what about it ?
A comment too,on the fact that the 'ground clearance'needs to be focal point in many different environments. Kind of think that with the comparison between utilization of fossil energy,and electric (through a utility) ,that electricity having an inherent efficient distribution system.

Cant top some of these posts here. I dont see regenerative breaking mentioned here anywhere. Think with an 800lb trailer* you get as must generated 'down the same hill as you did going up it " ?
*ahhhaa.
Interesting cars. Tesla should make an offer for Pontiac.




I wouldn't buy it..
By coolkev99 on 6/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By jimbojimbo on 6/26/09, Rating: -1
RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By 91TTZ on 6/26/2009 11:53:06 AM , Rating: 2
1 hp is equal to 746 watts. It's doubtful that your accessories use that much power.


RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 12:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Their actual numbers are probably all with windows closed, nothing turned on, tire pressure over the recommended psi.


Go read gm-volt.com

GM's promise for the Volt has been since the production intent concept was announced

40 miles on EPA 2008 City Cycle.

Yes with other accessories or etc running, you will get less range. But guess what? You will get less range out of ANY car in such situation.

Choose to drive gently and with smaller loads... get more range! I regularly exceed the 2008 EPA cycles for my car by 20%. Maybe my volt will go 48 miles on a charge.


RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By superflex on 6/26/2009 11:52:21 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, and battery life decreases in extreme temperatures.
Go buy a TDI. At least you wont look like a douchebag.


RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By DigitalFreak on 6/26/2009 12:38:19 PM , Rating: 4
Last time I looked at VW, they were junk. Have they really gotten any better?


RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 1:33:18 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Last time I looked at VW, they were junk. Have they really gotten any better?
Nope.


RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 2:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, my wife owned a '99 Passat which was a pretty good car.


RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By Xenoterranos on 6/26/2009 3:37:32 PM , Rating: 2
IMHO, if you're going to pay 10K+ for something, it damned well better last a good, long time. I drove my 95 isuzu rodeo (which was bought used in 97) until it had 300K+ miles on it and the driveshaft fell off. Sparks everywhere.

Sadly, I don't think many people really care if their car will last past 5 years because many don't think of them as more than a fasion statement. I hope that the volt lasts for a *long* time, considering the relatively light load the engine will be under, and the solid state nature of most of the other components. That would make me want to pay 35K for one.


RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 4:07:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sadly, I don't think many people really care if their car will last past 5 years because many don't think of them as more than a fasion statement. I hope that the volt lasts for a *long* time, considering the relatively light load the engine will be under, and the solid state nature of most of the other components. That would make me want to pay 35K for one.


Well, GM is offering a 10 year, 150,000 mile battery warrenty. Since the battery is the most expensive initial part and probably the most expensive replacement part, I think they are planing for long term 150,000 + life.


RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By Spuke on 6/26/2009 4:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
IMHO, if you're going to pay 10K+ for something, it damned well better last a good, long time.
10k for a car is nothing and doesn't put you in the high quality class. In that market, people are mostly concerned with price. And manufacturers don't put much money into cars in that class. At least not here in the US.


RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By Kunikos on 6/26/2009 2:54:29 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, yes you will still /look/ like a pretentious douchebag, since VW still suffers from Mac syndrome.

The Volt driver looks like a moron, not a douche.

Electric cars (either partial or full) are an incredibly stupid choice at this time, as the source for their power is burning fossil fuels that are many times more polluting (coal, primarily, but also nuclear in other countries) than gasoline or diesel ever will be. That and their batteries will be just one more hazardous thing to dispose of when they die from being recharged continuously.


RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By TomZ on 6/26/2009 3:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
The reality is that the centralized electricity power-generation stations, even when burning "dirty coal," are still more efficient and less polluting than individual engines within vehicles. There are lots of studies that show this - just google for them.

It seems to me you have some kind of irrational hatrid towards non-traditional auto technology. Might be a good time to start getting over that, since hybrids etc. are here to stay.


RE: I wouldn't buy it..
By Keeir on 6/26/2009 3:55:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Electric cars (either partial or full) are an incredibly stupid choice at this time, as the source for their power is burning fossil fuels that are many times more polluting (coal, primarily, but also nuclear in other countries) than gasoline or diesel ever will be. That and their batteries will be just one more hazardous thing to dispose of when they die from being recharged continuously.


So many wrongs...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sources_of_elect...

US makes close to 30% of its power from non-polluting sources (at least during operation). Natural Gas at ~20% is singificantly better Pollution (and CO2 wise) than Otto Cycle ICEs. Coal is roughly on par. New clean coal is better than Otto Cycle ICE, by a significant enough margin that most sources agree even after transmission and storage losses, Coal + Battery is cleaner and more efficient than ICE. Using power drawn in general from the US will result reduction in pollution and C02 in the order of 40-50% compared to Otto ICE. If you live in a State like Washington, and charge overnight, the actual figure would be more like 70%+.

You are right in that there are many older coal plants that produce power with unacceptable levels of pollution and low levels of efficieny. These are being replaced however, and if the US wises up and allows Nuclear Power more flexibility, the older coal plants can actually be taken offline.

On Batteries....
http://www.green-energy-news.com/arch/nrgs2009/200...

Its in work. Lithium is very recyclable, its more of a question of when the commodity price makes it viable to recycle a battery and in what sizes. Obviosly, an automotive battery will provide better returns than cell phone batteries for recycling...


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