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Chevrolet Volt
GM is predicted to sell a total of 50,000 cars with electrification technologies this year

General Motors is looking to take huge strides in the way of electric vehicles (EV) and electric batteries: it wants to produce 500,000 EVs per year, and it wants to use Chevrolet Volt batteries to power homes during blackouts.

According to GM, it wants to sell 500,000 vehicles equipped with its electric technologies (plug-ins, EVs, hybrids) annually by 2017. If GM is able to do this, EVs would make up 5.5 percent of its total annual sales.

This is a pretty big jump considering GM is predicted to sell a total of 50,000 cars with electrification technologies this year.

GM is taking EVs very seriously, and is proving that by focusing on its next generation propulsion technology that is currently powering the Volt. GM is looking into new ways of using extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) technology.

Speaking of the Volt, GM is looking to use the EV's battery pack in an innovative way: powering homes in the event of an outage.

GM partnered with automation and power technologies company ABB Group as well as Duke Energy to find useful applications for EV batteries after they've been exhausted in vehicles.

The end result was a unit that contains five Volt lithium-ion battery packs that can provide two hours of electricity to three to five U.S. homes during a blackout. According to GM, the unit can provide 25 kilowatt hours of power and 50 kilowatt hours of energy.

"This is an industry first to be able to do secondary automotive batteries in a grid-based application," said Pablo Valencia, GM's senior manager of battery lifecycle management.

GM said the battery could last 10 years on the road and another 10 years as part of the power unit for blackouts.

Duke Energy is looking to install the unit in a North Carolina neighborhood for testing in 2013.

Source: The Detroit News

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I'm ready
By aurareturn on 11/15/2012 8:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'm ready to switch to EVs. I am so sick of the gas price game. I hate having gas prices to control our economy. Build some nuclear plants and let's all go EV.

I'm even willing to forgo the low miles per charge rating. Just give me a well made and cheap EV. I'm ready to jump.

RE: I'm ready
By Hector256 on 11/15/2012 8:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
The vehicle you're looking for doesn't exist. There's no such thing as a well-made, cheap EV. We're stuck with expensive cars with low miles per charge and batteries that don't last. There's not much of a market for these things.

Maybe in a few years..... but I'm not holding my breath.

btw, to the author: kw/hr is a unit of energy, not power. Should be 25 kw of power, 50 kw/hr of energy.

RE: I'm ready
By havoti97 on 11/15/2012 9:30:56 PM , Rating: 1
Dude, power x time = energy, ie Kw*hr

Kw/hr is a unit of power per time

RE: I'm ready
By avxo on 11/16/2012 6:10:25 AM , Rating: 2
Let's take a step back:

The watt is a unit of power, and measures the rate of energy transfer. It is defined to be equal to 1 Joules per second.

A watt-hour (W•h) is a unit of energy. It tells you how much energy something consumes.

Watts per hour (W/h) is a unit of change of power per hour.

RE: I'm ready
By HoosierEngineer5 on 11/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: I'm ready
By Mint on 11/16/2012 2:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
Why on earth are you blaming GM instead of Tiffany?

RE: I'm ready
By poi2 on 11/16/2012 3:07:56 PM , Rating: 2
Because GM stands for Godzilla Mobster

RE: I'm ready
By avxo on 11/16/2012 7:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless, I wouldn't buy anything from a company that measures power in kilowatt-hours. They have no clue as to what they are talking about.

But they aren't measuring power - they are measuring energy. It's sad to see an engineer (any kind of engineer) who doesn't know the difference between power and energy...

For measuring energy, kW·h is a perfectly appropriate unit. It's true that kW·h isn't the usual metric for batteries (which are described in terms of Ampere Hours) to account for the fact that voltage varies during discharging, making the conversion to kW·h approximate.

But considering that all the electrical utilities I know use kW·h for the amount of "electricity" people use, using it in this context makes perfect sense.

RE: I'm ready
By Mint on 11/16/2012 2:53:51 PM , Rating: 4
You're being short-sighted by looking only at pure EVs.

Plugin hybrids (PHEVs) offload 50-90% of their fuel usage to the grid while using a fraction of the battery capacity of a pure EV. On top of that, they have no range limitation due to our gas infrastructure.

The cost is really minimal now. The CMax Energi is only $1000 more than the similarly equipped CMax Hybrid SEL after tax credit, and only $4750 more without the credit. That's an easy lifetime win on gas savings. The Fusion Energi has the same powertrain, so I expect similar calculations there.

There's more advances to come as well. It's much, much cheaper to double electric motor power than combustion engine power. Now that we're clearing the initial hurdle, progress is going to come rapidly.

Yeah, an EV with a low MSRP would be nice, but used PHEVs should be very reliable due to the limited miles on the gas engine and proven industry robustness of electric motors, so let the trickle down effect work there. With 200M cars in the US, it was never going to be a quick fix to get off gas/diesel.

RE: I'm ready
By freedom4556 on 11/16/2012 3:19:11 AM , Rating: 2
I hate having gas prices to control our economy.
It's not going to matter one whit to the economy until they figure out how to power the 18-wheelers for 12 hours a day and a million miles between rebuilds on something other than diesel.

RE: I'm ready
By FITCamaro on 11/16/2012 7:39:18 AM , Rating: 1

RE: I'm ready
By DanNeely on 11/16/2012 9:02:18 AM , Rating: 3
Big trucks might use a disproportionate share of fuel/vehicle; but they only consume 20% of the US total. While the much larger fraction of TCO fuel makes up in that vehicle class means they'll jump on anything that can boost their fuel economy much faster than typical consumers will; increases in passenger car efficiency have 4x the room to reduce energy consumption/emissions.

RE: I'm ready
By DanNeely on 11/16/2012 9:09:36 AM , Rating: 2
Can't edit so...

Looking a bit more closely at the chart in the paper instead of just the text it looks like I misinterpreted it; the total being compared against includes non-vehicle use. Big trucks are 20% of fuel use in the US, but lighter are only a bit more than twice as large a consumption share at ~45%.

RE: I'm ready
By Spuke on 11/16/2012 12:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
Big trucks are 20% of fuel use in the US, but lighter are only a bit more than twice as large a consumption share at ~45%.
Not knowing what you mean by this.

RE: I'm ready
By acer905 on 11/16/2012 6:46:17 PM , Rating: 2
... Algae derived Bio-diesel/electric hybrid?

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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