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The U.S. wants to buy the first 100 Chevy Volts that GM produces.
The government is a big fan of GM's new electric vehicle

On Wednesday the 2011 Chevy Volt achieved an important milestone, with a pre-production model rolling off the assembly line in Hamtramck, Michigan.  Previously pre-production Volts have been built by hand and tested.  Porting the process over onto the assembly line was a critical step in preparing to commercially deploy the vehicle.

States GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant manager, Teri Quigley, "We have a very experienced workforce at this plant and through all of their preparation and training workers here have been given the privilege to take GM into the future with this car."

The plant is expected to continue to build pre-production models until late this year, when it will jump to a production build in preparation for the November 10 launch.

In other news, in order to meet its fuel efficiency goals, according to 
Ward's Auto the government says it wants to buy the first 100 Chevy Volts produced by GM.  The government has vowed to cut its fleet's fuel footprint by 30 percent by 2020.  The government also expressed interest in Chrysler's upcoming plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) Dodge Ram.  It, however, has not yet expressed interest in the top-selling Ford Fusion Hybrid.

GM has responded to the government's intent to purchase the first 100 Volts.  It released a statement remarking:

We are pleased to see that the Federal government is interested in the greening of their vehicle fleet. Media speculation has led to reports that the GSA and DOE will be buying the first 100 Chevrolet Volt's because we will meet this criteria. At this time we have no further details regarding these purchases.

The Chevy Volt is the first electric vehicle to be mass produced in America (Tesla Roadsters are manufactured overseas and in small batches, while the mass produced 2011 Nissan Leaf will initially be produced in Japan).  It gets 40 miles on a charge, thanks to its 16 kWh battery.  It can be charged from a 120-240VAC standard residential outlet using the SAE's new standards compliant SAE-J1722 adapter.  It can also extend its range to over 300 miles, by employing a small built in 4-cylinder gas engine.



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What that statement really said
By Lord 666 on 4/2/2010 8:57:46 AM , Rating: 5
"We are pleased to see our parent company is interested in the greening of their vehicle fleet. Media speculation has led to reports that the GSA and DOE will be buying the first 100 Chevrolet Volt's because we need someone to buy them for quality testing"




RE: What that statement really said
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/2/2010 10:24:08 AM , Rating: 5
The government owns some 500,000 plus postal trucks that go house to house across the USA everyday burning a ton of fuel. These trucks are next to nothing equipment wise (frame, 4 tires, steering wheel, engine and that's about it). Would it not make sense to have GM build a mega super simple postal truck using this type of power and save money all over the place? It should also lower cost of building this type of vehicle. Save enough enough in fuel cost and they will not have to let go of some 300,000 employees that will lose their jobs if they cut the Saturday delivery....

I don't know, maybe it's a bad idea to use what you have to help other things you have.... :P


RE: What that statement really said
By Slaimus on 4/2/2010 2:17:28 PM , Rating: 5
The USPS has long since been independent of the federal government in terms of funding for its daily operations. It would not be any government agency that tells the USPS to do such a thing.


RE: What that statement really said
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/2/2010 2:51:36 PM , Rating: 2
Were the USPS receives it's funding is from the stamps they sell (not taxes) so yes they have always been separate from the Federal Government financially speaking. However, it is a Federal office, that is why all USPS are Federal employees and it is why USPS had to go to congress to ask to cut Saturday deliveries. The Federal Government controls how the USPS spends their money.. what and where money can be spent.


RE: What that statement really said
By porkpie on 4/2/2010 3:06:57 PM , Rating: 3
To correct a few things.

a) Until 1970, the USPS was a federal agency.
b) Even today, the USPS receives about $100M in annual funding from the government (the Postal Service Fund).

As for using a Volt-like vehicle for delivery, postal vehicles drive far more than 40 miles per day. I don't know that the economics would pay off in that situation.


By JediJeb on 4/2/2010 3:41:29 PM , Rating: 2
My uncle worked for GE back in the 1970s and one of his projects then was building a electric version of the normal Mail Jeep they use. Problem was they just couldn't get enough batteries in them to travel a full route, though I think some did see service back then for short trips.

Also most rural mail carriers use their personal vehicle and get paid so much per mile for that instead of using a USPS owned vehicle.


RE: What that statement really said
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/2/2010 3:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
most routes are around 18 to 40 miles... Once in a while you have a 50 mile route. I carry for the Post office part time, 3 different towns, only one route over 40 miles. However, there are thousands of towns and the mileage could change. So, a little better distance would be a plus, however it would seem like a big cost cutter...


RE: What that statement really said
By porkpie on 4/2/2010 4:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like I'm actually wrong on this point then. I stand corrected.

And furthermore, given the highly stop-and-go nature of postal delivery, a regenerative-braking vehicle would probably be ideal.


RE: What that statement really said
By Keeir on 4/2/2010 5:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
Furthermore, a Volt-like would probably not be the ideal solution. A Leaf-like with BEV-100 mile range and "fast" 480V recharge would probably work well in Urban areas. Could probably get 200-300 miles of travel in a single day pending unloading time.


By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/2/2010 5:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
agreed... regenerative-braking vehicle would be even better... but it's things like that they should focus on... Help GM, help the Federal Government, Help the USPS, and help the tax payer in long run - if less support needed. It's a major win overall


RE: What that statement really said
By icanhascpu on 4/2/2010 5:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
What do you mean "actually" wrong?

Like its some rare event for you.


RE: What that statement really said
By porkpie on 4/2/10, Rating: 0
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/2/2010 5:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
Hey my sample pool is from about 200 routes in Illinois near Chicago. If you travel out to Montana or Wyoming they may have less house to deliver to but much further apart and therefore more miles. Like that 50 mile route I work is only 300 homes, and in the same city a 22 mile route has 700 homes. Both take about the same time to work but one is more mail to sort the other more time on the road. So, maybe the national average is over 40 miles, but it takes a long time to go 40 miles at around average speed when work in stop times of 5 to 10 miles per hour.


RE: What that statement really said
By MadMan007 on 4/3/2010 1:29:31 AM , Rating: 1
It's easy to maintain such a record when the vast majority of posts are grounded in opinion.


By whiskerwill on 4/3/2010 1:48:03 AM , Rating: 3
I'm pretty sure he's made more than "one" error in 2000 posts, but he provides more facts and figures than anyone else on the board. All I've ever seen from you though is childish insults.


By knutjb on 4/3/2010 2:46:43 PM , Rating: 2
Why wait for GM and Obama to build what Ford already has. http://www.caranddriver.com/news/car/10q1/2011_for...
I know a guy who drives a regular one and loves it, it's ugly but very practical and comes in useful derivatives, propane, natural gas and EV.


RE: What that statement really said
By bhieb on 4/2/2010 10:48:51 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
It, however, has not yet expressed interest in the top-selling Ford Fusion Hybrid.

I love this line. Well DUH the Pepsi corporate office does not have Coke vending machines either.

When you own/invest in a company you tend to want to spend your money their first.


RE: What that statement really said
By Keeir on 4/2/2010 11:39:27 AM , Rating: 1
Alright, the Ford Fusion we can all agree is a fantastic car. But its also fairly expensive.

if the price premium over a base C/D-segment 25 MPG car is $10,000 for the Fusion and $20,000 for the Volt (remember no government subsidy)

And your Goal is to reduce -gasoline- usage as much as possible, over 100,000 miles, the Fusion reduces gasoline usage at a cost ~6.67 dollars per gallon. The Volt reduces gasoline usage at a cost of ~5.75 dollars per gallon. (Note this is if we -ignore- the increase in electricity)

As expected service life of car increases, the Volt becomes a better and better bargin

If the End goal is to reduce gasoline consumption as much as possible per dollar, the Government should buy Prii, Leafs, Volts, and Fusions in that order.

If the end goal is a compromise between buying American and effectively reducing total gasoline usage, Volts would be the best.

Assumed Numbers over 100,000 miles

Car      Premium    Gas Savings    Dollars/Gal
Volt     20,000     3,500 gal      5.75
Leaf     15,000     4,000 gal      3.75
Fusion 10,000     1,500 gal      6.67
Prius    7,000      2,000 gal      3.50
Leaf^   16,700     4,000 gal    4.18
Volt^    21,700     3,500 gal      6.20
Leaf*    8,500      4,000 gal      2.12
Volt*    13,500     3,500 gal      3.87

^ Includes approximate electricity required valued at Industrial Average Rate per DOE of 6.8 cents per kWh
* Includes Government 7,500 Credit and 1,000 charge for installation of 220V charger


RE: What that statement really said
By JediJeb on 4/2/2010 3:46:16 PM , Rating: 2
What about the new Hyundai Sonata hybrid?


RE: What that statement really said
By Keeir on 4/2/2010 5:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
As far as I understand, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid starts at ~28,000 dollars (Hyundai Site does not yet have offical MSRP). This puts it at a 9,000-10,000 premium over a comparable Sonata/25 MPG car.

Since its fuel economy is roughly the same as the Fusion and the premium is rouhgly the same, it falls in the 6.50-7.00 dollar a gallon range.

(Now, I am assuming that for the most part the Government will want to purchase base model cars without alot of the frills a personal car might have. Heated seats for example, do not provide significant more utility to the government, but might be a feature you value...)


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