Print 38 comment(s) - last by Windogg.. on Nov 18 at 4:19 PM

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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By kleinma on 11/15/2012 9:02:29 PM , Rating: 2
As someone who just had no power for over a week, and had no power for 5 days during last October's storm, I am not against the concept, but 2 hours?? Not exactly going to keep the milk fresh.

RE: well
By Ringold on 11/15/2012 10:22:55 PM , Rating: 1
That's for 3 to 5 homes, and doesn't talk much about what sort of actual power would be output.

I did the math, and then DT ate my post, but I reckoned a semi-modern (post-2001 at least) side-by-side could last between 1 and 2 weeks easily off a Volt, assuming you turned most everything else off in the home except for cell phones and maybe a power-miserly tablet or laptop.

And assuming its whole battery is allowed to be used, the whole 16.5kwh. Scale appropriately if not.

And then that doesn't include if you can use the cars ICE to recharge the battery. Then you've got long enough that the milk would go bad regardless.

RE: well
By Jedi2155 on 11/15/2012 10:53:14 PM , Rating: 1
It says exactly how much power and energy in the article now. 25 kW and 50 kWh.

For reference, my 10 year old+ GE 26.7 cu. Ft. refrigerator uses about 2 kWh a day when half loaded with food, and a new 31 cu Ft. units probably use closer to 1 kWh a day. If people were only running their fridges and basic appliances/lighting during this time, then these systems could last a multiple days.

I know when I lived with my parents house of 6 people uses about 15-20 kWh/day for a 1400 sq. ft. home. 50 kWh can definitely power every home.

Regarding EV's during hurricane Sandy, there were a few smart owners who did plenty well using public chargers and home natural gas generators to charge their vehicles versus the millions who didn't have gasoline or power at their homes.

Seems EV win with Hurricane Sandy!

RE: well
By ebakke on 11/15/2012 11:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
Seems EV win with Hurricane Sandy!
Neat observation, and props for being a glass-half-full kind of person. All I could see before your post was the epic fail of government, and citizens.

RE: well
By Samus on 11/16/2012 1:34:17 AM , Rating: 2
GM also talked up the ability to have the Volt power your home in a power outage situation. So does Ford.

Doesn't the Volt have a 15kw battery or something? That means it stores 15,000 watts of power. Since a refrigerator/freezer uses ~600 watts of power, that means you could run it for at least 27 hours non-stop (which refrigerators don't do, realistically you'd get at least a week out of it with moderate opening/closing.)

A full home uses about 10kw/day (the average annual electric bill is around 300kw/h a month according to my ComEd bill with a statistic from the EPA. So these cars in "generator" mode would power your home for at least 1.5 days if you continued using everything as if the power never went out. That's pretty good!

RE: well
By Mint on 11/16/2012 3:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
You can certainly cut back as well. A modern refrigerator uses a little over 1kWh per day, and another kWh for lights, microwave, cellphone, etc should let you get by almost a week on an EV battery in emergency circumstances.

RE: well
By inperfectdarkness on 11/16/2012 4:23:29 AM , Rating: 2
if you really want uninterupted power, you need a disel generator & a sizable fuel tank (500 gallon or so).

i also recommend buying a shotgun and getting some guard dogs because unprepared people will want to leech off those who HAVE prepared.

RE: well
By PaFromFL on 11/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: well
By DanNeely on 11/16/2012 9:06:10 AM , Rating: 2
How reliable is natural gas after a hurricane? If it generally survives intact it seems like it would be a winner since the fuel is delivered directly to your house and doesn't need to be stored in advance.

RE: well
By PaFromFL on 11/16/2012 11:34:28 AM , Rating: 2
Natural gas is not available where I live, but some people have propane tanks. The problem with natural gas during major windstorms is that dwelling damage can cause leaks and fires (they need to develop natural gas "circuit breakers"). If a few homes are damaged, I'd suspect authorities would turn off the natural gas to the entire neighborhood.

BTW, the most reliable utility in my area is the telephone landline. City water is also pretty reliable but runs out after a few days with no electricity for the water pumps.

RE: well
By jimbojimbo on 11/16/2012 12:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, because you get 1 week power outages all the time right? Most outages only last a few hours so this would work just fine. I would love basically a giant UPS installed on my house.

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