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Chevrolet Volt
General Motors' all-electric Volt to reach consumers in late 2010

General Motors is quite confident these days. The company recently priced its highly-anticipated full-size hybrid SUVs and showed off a concept version of its full-size hybrid Chevrolet Silverado. GM CEO Rick Wagoner also noted that his company will release one hybrid per quarter for the next four years -- lofty goals indeed.

Likewise, the company's brand new Chevrolet Malibu mid-sized sedan has been generating an overabundance of praise and its new $32,000 second-generation Cadillac CTS just walked away with Motor Trend's Car of the Year award.

GM is hoping to use this momentum and high level of interest in its vehicles to push the electric motor-powered Chevrolet Volt to customers by the end of 2010.

GM vice chairman Bob Lutz has heard all of the critics who question GM's aggressive ramp for the Volt, but is still committed to moving forward.

"There is a lot of skepticism within the company about the timeline," said Lutz. "People are biting their nails, but those of us in a leadership position have said it has to be done."

GM is hoping to use the Volt as a halo car to further strengthen its brand and its commitment to fuel economy. Dodge used the Viper to enhance its image for performance and styling in the 1990s. Toyota used its Prius at the turn of the century to shroud the entire company with a green image despite the fact that gas guzzlers like the Tundra and Sequoia share the same showroom space.

"When they think of GM, the iconic brand is, unfortunately, the Hummer," continued Lutz. "That perception needs to change.

The GM Volt features a 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder gasoline engine which is solely used to recharge the onboard lithium-ion battery pack. The battery pack, which will be manufactured by Compact Power and Continental Automotive Systems, powers the Volt's electric motors for forward propulsion.

GM says that the Volt can travel for up to 40 miles on battery power alone. After the 40 mile threshold has been reached, the gasoline engine kicks back in again to recharge the battery pack.

The entire industry has its eyes on GM and its Volt. Toyota took a big risk with its Prius and it has paid off dearly for the company.

"We have since realized that letting Toyota gain that mantle of green respectability and technology leadership has really cost us dearly in the marketplace," Lutz added. "We have to reestablish GM's leadership and the Volt is, frankly, an effort to leapfrog anything that is done by any other competitor."



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Lets see real world performance
By Screwballl on 11/21/2007 3:07:02 PM , Rating: 3
I really do like the styling of that car. I would like to see some real world testing to see how it does in the frigid north, blistering heat southwest and the steamy southeast. Also I would like to see how it does on a long road trip of say 2000+ miles. Maybe after they get into the used car lots I will have to pick one up for me.




RE: Lets see real world performance
By Screwballl on 11/21/2007 3:10:04 PM , Rating: 1
One small issue I see is that I wonder if it REQUIRES E85 or would regular unleaded gas work??? I would assume it could but I don't know. Other stories and information all say it runs on E85 but considering ethanol is not available within 200+ miles of me, would be interesting to see how that plays out.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Martin Blank on 11/21/2007 3:43:35 PM , Rating: 3
GM's entire (or nearly entire) line is or will be flex-fuel, so it will probably be able to use anything from gasoline to E85.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Screwballl on 11/21/2007 3:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
Thats what I am hoping. I figured it would be fine but there are always exceptions to the rule.

Would also be nice to know if this is where the direction of cars are going, to use the gas engine for recharging only and eventually maybe go to a wind turbine behind the front grill or another source to charge it.
Mr Fusion here we come!


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Martin Blank on 11/21/2007 4:09:14 PM , Rating: 5
Another site I read today mentioned a six-hour recharge time for the Volt using a 110v outlet, with a capacity of about 16kWh, so it would be drawing about 24 amps. That's a pretty sharp power level (2600W) to get from a home production system such as a wind turbine, but it would be easily possible with a roof-mounted solar array.

The Volt would get a 40-mile range from this charge, so at 2.5 miles/kWh and using California's pricing of about $0.14/kWh average mid-day, you're looking at about 5.6 cents per mile. Compare this to a 30mpg car, which at $3 per gallon costs about 10 cents per mile.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Doormat on 11/21/2007 4:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
Don't most homes have a 20A breaker? Not saying you couldn't upgrade, I happen to have a spare 240V outlet in my garage on a 20A line (4800W), but that may not be true in all cases. Regardless, it might be a good idea to have an electrician come out and take a look at things, maybe install a higher capacity circuit for recharging vehicles.

Plus I would assume that recharging would be done at night for most people at cheaper rates.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Oregonian2 on 11/21/2007 5:12:05 PM , Rating: 3
I think there may be some 25A ones, but 20A is pretty standard for kitchens and the like I think.

However, note that there are some fuzzy's in the calculation. One is "about 6 hours", it may be 6.49 and rounded off. Also, "110V" lines are typically 117 to 120 Volts I think. 110 V may be only be where they've three-phase into homes rather than the standard split 240V single phase which I think is more common for homes.

Also a typical "recharge" probably isn't from a dead-zero dead doornail battery state. It might be assumed to be 20% charged or some such.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By bdewong on 11/23/2007 12:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
There are also 30A breakers as well. We had them installed for our UPS's.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Andrwken on 11/23/2007 4:55:11 PM , Rating: 2
208 3 phase systems generally tend to run at the 120 volt range as well. Generally if you see 110v on the line its due to poor wiring, or long runs of wiring incapable to transmit the full voltage. Residential wiring usually is delivered in the 120 volt range to avoid voltage drops that would cause excessive heat due to lower voltage, causing higher amperage draws on the equipment being run on that power. Once you hit 100v, most equipment, motors especially, will overheat and fail. I think the 110v designation is purely due to the commonly understood naming, not the actual voltage used to compute the time.

I wonder if it has the capability to manually run the motor, to charge the battery, say, on the ride home to not have to spend so much time charging off the pole?


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Alexvrb on 11/24/2007 10:17:40 PM , Rating: 3
"I wonder if it has the capability to manually run the motor, to charge the battery, say, on the ride home to not have to spend so much time charging off the pole?"

Charging the batteries via an AC outlet is completely and entirely optional. Its there so you can plug your car in when you get home, giving you a low-cost initial 40 mile charge. This would actually be enough for a lot of people's daily drive, or at least a large chunk of it. If you don't charge it up, or after your battery runs low, there's no need to manually run the engine. When the batteries reach a certain point, the engine will kick on and will charge the batteries while you drive. It's able to provide enough power to charge the batteries and propel the vehicle, so there's no need to ever run the engine manually as it will run and shut off as-needed.

They could have extended the battery-only range, but it would mean larger/more expensive batteries, as well as increased charging time. 40 miles is a good compromise between cost and usefulness, and again, the car will still be more efficient than a non-hybrid even after the initial charge runs out (due to the engine running at highly optimized ranges, regenerative braking, etc).

Also the drivetrain is designed to be flexible. It could be a turbo inline 3 flexfuel motor (E85 and regular gasoline), or it could be a diesel, etc. Any combustion engine that can be used to generate electricity, could be mated to their setup.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Locutus465 on 11/21/2007 4:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't CA under a constant power crisis? Would plugging in your car really help that situation?


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Hoser McMoose on 11/21/2007 5:45:40 PM , Rating: 4
Fortunately it's unlikely to have a huge impact on the power grid for two reasons. First of all we aren't talking about a huge number of vehicles to start with, maybe 60,000 if GM is lucky. Second, and perhaps more importantly, is that the electricity use patterns are likely to be rather different from peak use patterns, and peak use is what counts on the power grid.

Typical peak use in warm weather areas occurs on hot weekdays mid to late afternoon when air conditions are working full out. These vehicles are likely to be charge mostly when people get home from work, ie starting somewhere around 5:00-7:00pm and going for the next 6 hours. In areas where people are on "smart metering" systems (ie they pay a different rate for electricity depending on the time of day) then pretty much everyone is likely to charge their car at the time of minimum rates which, for obvious reasons, corresponds to the time of minimum usage as well.

In reality, these vehicles might actually HELP the power situation by providing more revenue with zero investment required in infrastructure. One of the trickiest parts of a power grid is that normally half of your generating capacity has to sit idle half of the time because demand fluctuates so much.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Spuke on 11/26/2007 1:07:10 AM , Rating: 3
Granted this is still quite a ways away but isn't part of the intended purpose of these vehicles to replace our current gas only engines? If everyone is charging their cars on off peak hours, then how long will take before off peak is no longer off peak? CA doesn't have any plans, that I'm aware of, to upgrade their infrastructure to accommodate future electricity usage. Shouldn't we be planning for this eventually now instead of adding to the burden?


By Hoser McMoose on 11/21/2007 5:04:18 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't read TOO much into the charging times just yet. First of all, the design of the battery seems to be to stay between 30 and 80% charge at all times. So the 40-mile range is definitely NOT for the entire 16kWh. It might actually be only 8kWh worth of electrical power, or at most 11.2kWh (from full charge down to 30% charge when the gas generator kicks in).

Also my understanding is that the idea is to get the charge under a fairly standard 115V/15A circuit, which suggests that they're pulling less current and therefore not getting a full charge cycle (empty to full) in six hours. That would work out to around 10kWh worth of juice, which is pretty close to getting it from it's 30% level (lowest it's supposed to reach during normal use) up to a full charge.

Either way you slice it though, MUCH cheaper than gasoline and likely to be more environmentally friendly as well, even if you get your electricity from coal (though coal power plants without scrubbers are still criminally dirty things in my books... but that's another rant).


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Alexstarfire on 11/21/2007 5:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
You also have to realize that that is only when you use nothing but electricity. Once that gas engine kicks in to start recharging the batteries the cost per mile starts increasing pretty fast. Haven't read much up on the Volt, but I wonder at what speed they got a 40-mile range.

Even at a modest 55 MPG on my current car it works out to $.0545 per mile at $3.00 a gallon. And I bet my car won't cost near as much as the Volt. Of course, I bet the electricity you get from the wall is a bit cleaner than my car, and that's what really matters. Wonder how much the difference really is though?


RE: Lets see real world performance
By TomZ on 11/21/2007 5:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, 55MPG is not "modest," it is exceptional. Most people are driving cars and getting 20-30MPG.

For an apples-to-apples efficiency/cost comparison, you really have to compare the Volt to a similar car with a traditional ICE.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Alexstarfire on 11/22/2007 4:20:00 PM , Rating: 2
I was saying it's modest for my car. It's not modest in general, hell no. That's damn good in general. It's just that I'm getting about 55 MPG right now, because of the colder weather, but my lifetime average is about 59 MPG, with my best MPG being like 64.

Why would you compare a Volt to a traditional ICE when the Volt uses electricity to power the car? I thought it'd make sense to compare it to a hybrid since they are VERY similar. The only real differences are how they use the power from the ICE and the types of batteries and such they use.

I have always wondered if it really is better to run the ICE the way the Volt does. I mean, it'll ALWAYS be in the absolute most efficient state, but then you have conversion loses. Does running in the most efficient state overcome the loses that incur from conversion? For that matter, will it provide enough juice for someone to drive normally or will the car end up having a slower top speed. I'm under the impression that because the ICE is running in the most efficient state that it doesn't produce enough power to drive the same as running just off the batteries. I could be wrong though. Hard to say since no one has test driven one yet, at least I don't believe anyone has.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By clovell on 11/23/2007 11:43:56 AM , Rating: 3
It's not hard to say. ICEs are highly inefficient when they operate outside their powerband. Using a generator that always runs in the powerband to power an electric motor makes a lot of sense as electric motors develop the same amount of torque throughout operation - they have no powerband. This principle is used today in diesel-electric trains.

Serial hybrids will also have less moving parts than parallel hybrids and probably more accessible to the home mechanic. It's my understanding that the Volt has a top speed of 100+ mph. Lastly, to make a fair comparison among hybrids to the Volt's 55 mpg figure, you have to take the highway mileage from a hybrid, which can be lower than its city fuel efficiency.


By Alexstarfire on 11/23/2007 2:56:18 PM , Rating: 1
And why do we HAVE to take the highway mileage?


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Oregonian2 on 11/21/2007 5:42:12 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I bet the electricity you get from the wall is a bit cleaner than my car, and that's what really matters.


Also, a lot of the time it may not come from oil. Around here, electricity is something vaguely like 40% hydro, 40% coal, 12% natural gas, and the rest being small portions of nuclear, wind, etc. None likely imported from the middle east.

Of course, they're trying to make coal illegal (releases the carbon that previously was in the atmosphere when the stuff that made coal was growing), so it should get interesting.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By TomZ on 11/21/2007 5:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure you realize already that Canada is the US's #1 supplier of crude, and that just a fraction of our oil comes from the Middle East. In other words, the dependence on the Middle East is kind of an exaggerated potential problem, if you ask me.

That's not to say that OPEC couldn't spoil the market and cause us lots of trouble, however. We just have to look to recent past history to see how this can happen.

As an analogy, we could say that we would face a large crisis in consumer goods if China decided to stop selling to us. That would have a huge short-term economic impact on the US just like oil could, but nobody seems concerned about that at all.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Hoser McMoose on 11/21/2007 6:27:16 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
and that just a fraction of our oil comes from the Middle East.

Two points. First off that "fraction" that comes from the middle east is actually about 25-30%. Yeah, Canada provides more as a single country (though not much more than Saudi Arabia), but the Middle East as a whole provides quite a bit more than Canada.

Second, just because that is where the U.S. gets it's oil doesn't really change much. The fact of the matter is that the Middle East is where about 50% of the worlds oil comes from and oil is an international market. If the Middle East stops selling all their oil than there will be 50% less oil to buy.


By masher2 (blog) on 11/22/2007 12:22:35 PM , Rating: 1
> "but the Middle East as a whole provides quite a bit more than Canada."

Actually, according to Sep 07 data, US imports from the entire Middle East are roughly equal to those from Canada.

> " The fact of the matter is that the Middle East is where about 50% of the worlds oil comes from "

No. All of OPEC combined (which includes all the major Middle Eastern suppliers, plus nations like Venezuela, Libya, Nigeria, etc) only accounts for some 40% of world oil production.

OPEC is important not because of the raw production numbers, however, but because it controls the vast majority of spare capacity. That means it has the ability to control prices, by and large. Other nations could potentially raise prices by cutting production, but only OPEC can lower them.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Hoser McMoose on 11/21/2007 6:13:27 PM , Rating: 5
FWIW the U.S. average power grid is made up roughly as follows:

Coal: 50%
Nuclear: 20%
Natural Gas: 17%
Hydro: 7%
Oil: 4%
Everything else: 2%

In Canada the breakdown is roughly:

Hydro: 60%
Coal, oil and gas: 28% (didn't see a breakdown, but probably 20% coal)
Nuclear: 10%
Everything else: 2%

Other countries will vary.

As for making coal plants illegal, I don't think most governments are going that far, but it sure as hell should be cleaned up at least! In the U.S. it's estimated that 26,000 people die prematurely every year from pollution from coal plants alone (in China that number is well into the hundreds of thousands). Coal pollution also costs HUGE amounts of money for the U.S. health care system, with estimates ranging from about $50B to a $160 BILLION dollars a year. That money is paid for through higher health insurance premiums and higher taxes (~50% of the health care system is paid for through taxes). It also costs several billion dollars worth of damages to the agricultural sector.

There's a LOT more coming out of those smoke stacks than just CO2!


RE: Lets see real world performance
By just4U on 11/25/2007 9:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
That's the key for Canada and one of the reasons our government doesnt like the Kyoto accord. Other countries can get huge bonuses by moving to more effiecient power grids (kinda like brownie points) but .. unfortunately our country doesn't have that luxury since we moved away from coal years ago... AND if I am not mistaken are one of the world leaders for alternative power (such as Hydro ect)

Coal no long plays a major factor in our power grid and If I had to guess I'd say it was significantly lower then 20% usage with it.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By NullSubroutine on 11/22/2007 5:34:13 AM , Rating: 2
Unless you are in a third world country coal power plants do not emit polution in the way you apparently believe. US coal power plants, like the one I lived a few miles from my whole life, have what is known as scrubbers which reduce take out 99.7% of all sulfer from the fires. All (if not almost all) of the material that burns or emitted from the fires is collected into what is known as fly ash, which is rather safe I assume as we used it to cover C-stone drive ways/roads on farms (good at keeping dust down on C-stone or gravel).

What you see come from those power plants are steam not smoke. I have not seen information on if these clean coal plants put out CO2 or not, or how much, so I cant comment on that.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Hoser McMoose on 11/22/2007 12:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
At last check only about 25% of all coal power plants in the United States have scrubbers on them. The remaining 75% are pumping a LOT of their waste into the air we breath.

This IS changing though, new regulations are finally forcing more and more plants to install scrubbers.

As for "clean coal" plants (aka "less dirty coal"), they generally emit little other than CO2 in their flue gas, and not even that if they use sequestration (though that is unlikely if/when large scale deployment occurs since sequestration is expensive). However they do this because they've already taken out the pollution in coal and captured it in waste water instead. Clean air, dirty water. Possibly not a bad trade-off since the water is easier to purify of pollutants. However calling the process "clean" is still a misnomer if you ask me, just less dirty.


By Oregonian2 on 11/26/2007 1:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
Problem nowadays (and why Coal is starting to by attacked by our state government and governor) has not to do with traditional sulfur and the like, but the new global warming anti-carbon attack. Burn carbon based stuff (including coal) and you get carbon dioxide in the air which is what they're against -- "scrubbing" doesn't get rid of the CO2.


By Screwballl on 11/23/2007 3:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
My dad has worked in a coal power plant in western South Dakota for as long as I have been alive (30 years). He stated that most of the power plants around the central plains have a recycle system (not an official scrubber) that recycles much of the pollution into a generator system that produces a bit more power from it before being released. Some of their most recent studies indicated this is much more efficient and better for the environment than the "scrubber system" you mention.

Perfect example of what it does as the primary pollution output industry in the area:

Air pollution trends in Rapid City, SD

Pollutant: Particulate Matter (PM10) Weighted Annual Mean at 2 sites: 21.3 µ/m3 in 2005 (it was 26.4 µ/m3 in 2000, 32.5 µ/m3 in 1990).
Pollutant: Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Weighted Annual Mean at 2 sites: 7.4 µ/m3 in 2005 (it was 8.3 µ/m3 in 2000).

taken from: http://www.city-data.com/city/Rapid-City-South-Dak...


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Hoser McMoose on 11/21/2007 5:57:30 PM , Rating: 3
The small electric generator on this vehicle can run at a constant RPM keeping the design very simple and efficient. The estimate from GM is that it should get 50mpg on the gas generator, which is quite exceptional, especially when considering that it has a 160hp electric motor driving the wheels.

As for you 55mpg vehicle, that is most certainly NOT modest! That mileage is not matched by ANY current production vehicle in North America (the Prius at 46mpg is the best available). Is that a European model? And if so, are you talking diesel or gasoline? US gallons or imperial gallons?

As a bit of a side note to this, the small generator in the Volt would be OUTSTANDING as a diesel generator rather than gasoline.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Lord 666 on 11/21/2007 10:16:23 PM , Rating: 1
Was thinking the same thing about using a diesel generator instead. Typical GM thinking however using the gasser instead of using diesel. Even Neil Youngs biodiesel/hybrid project will get better mileage. http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/11/20/green.hummers/i...

55mpg is not that uncommon, the OP might have a Insight or a VW TDI (I own TDI.) Even biodiesel conversions have been getting around 60mpg. The Mini Cooper D (UK) gets around 70mpg (imperial gallons).

Yes, there are very exciting things to come with diesel/hybrid cars.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Hoser McMoose on 11/22/2007 12:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
55mpg is not that uncommon

In North America it is!

The North American VW TDI (1.9L 4 cylinder on the Jetta, Golf and Bug) gets 33mpg on the new EPA test or 38mpg on the old test. The Mini Cooper D doesn't exist on this side of the pond, only the gasoline version. The Insight is the only mass-produced car sold here that could manage 55mpg+ in recent times, and it's been discontinued.

Keep in mind that that we're talking about U.S. gallons and not imperial gallons (1 US gallon ~= 0.8 imperial gallons). Also remember that even the old EPA fuel economy test was more stringent than the U.K. rating system.

Getting 50 miles to the U.S. gallon is definitely NOT the norm here and while it might happen in Europe sometimes, I'd challenge anyone to find a mass-produced car anywhere in the world that gets that fuel economy off gasoline with a 160hp engine.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Lord 666 on 11/22/2007 10:41:26 PM , Rating: 2
1. There is a whole world outside of the US, hope you are not just realizing that now. Typical American thinking! Just because the US doesn't offer it means it can't be done? My original post was to show 55mpg was not using some exotic experimental car but ones that were purchased off the shelf.

2. While I might come across as biased since I own a 06 TDI Jetta, all of VW TDIs are well recognized by actual owners for consistently achieving better than government tests for 2006. Our record with mostly highway driving is 54.3mpg and we average 44mpg combined since owning (23,000 in one year with 75% highway). That calculator on the http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm website just takes the numbers and reduces them by an estimated percentage. Why would the government test a car in 2007 when it wasn't produced that year?

3. When the new VW TDIs come out, current road tests have shown them achieving 65mpg on the highway in the US.


By Hoser McMoose on 11/22/2007 11:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is a whole world outside of the US, hope you are not just realizing that now. Typical American thinking!

I'm well aware that there IS a world outside of the U.S. and in fact I'm not even American and have lived in Europe.

Of course better than 55mpg CAN be done, but these cars don't generally sell to North American customers, and that's who this Chevy Volt is going to be marketed towards. It doesn't matter that a Peugeot 106 diesel can get better mileage because the two are unlikely to even sell in the same country, let alone directly compete against one another.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By clovell on 11/23/2007 11:49:31 AM , Rating: 3
Last I heard GM was considering Hydrogen/Gasoline/Ethanol/Flex-Fuel/Diesel generators. That's the beauty of serial hybrids - they're much more modular in this respect than parallel hybrids.


By Alexstarfire on 11/22/2007 4:31:41 PM , Rating: 2
It may be true that no production car is EPA rated at 55 MPG, except maybe the Insight, but I haven't looked at the new rating for that vehicle. What you need to realize though is that while the new EPA tests are more rigorous to match what drivers actually get, that's not how someone should drive to begin with. I'm sorry that my old model Prius, 2002 model, can beat the old EPA ratings on the new Prius, 60 MPG, but it can. 55 MPG may be pretty uncommon in general, but with the Prius and Insight it's pretty average unless you drive like the new EPA tests. I've seen mileage as low at 35 MPG in a Prius, not mine, but I've also seen over 90 on a Prius, lifetime average. I'm sure, more like hoping, that at least some of you have seen the world records for the highest MPG in a production car. They've driven an Insight over 2000 miles in one tank of gas and the world record for MPG is like over 150 MPG on a non-modified mass produced vehicle.

The numbers I get are only uncommon for those who drive like dumbasses and race to red light. If patience is a virtue then less than 1% of the American drivers have it.


By Screwballl on 11/23/2007 3:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
Lets make a big realization here, some people are speaking imperial gallons and others are speaking US gallons which are very different measurements.

55mpg Imp = 45.8mpg US
55mpg US = 66mpg Imp

The Prius is slated around 41mpg (US) real world average with high mpg around 54 and low at 31. This is with EPA estimate of 60 City and 51 Highway (all US measurements).

Taken from here:
http://www.edmunds.com/advice/fueleconomy/articles...
and US/Imp gallon conversions from here:
http://www.tdiclub.com/misc/conversions.html


RE: Lets see real world performance
By myocardia on 11/22/2007 1:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
If you people are interested in electric cars, you should be much more interested in real electric cars: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/03/bollor_bri...
BTW, why would anyone be interested in electric cars, when there is something that's already available, that's about 50 times as efficient: http://www.theaircar.com/thecar.html Of course, an air-powered car will never be sold in the U.S. You didn't think our elected officials were becoming multimillionaires on their measly $300,000 annual salary, did you?


By masher2 (blog) on 11/22/2007 12:39:37 PM , Rating: 1
> "BTW, why would anyone be interested in electric cars, when there is something that's already available, that's about 50 times as efficient"

Probably because they're *not* available now and, if and when they ever are, its very doubtful they meet those figures. The lofty design goals on that site appear crafted primarily to draw in investors.


By Hoser McMoose on 11/22/2007 12:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
The air-powered car will never be sold in North America because no one would buy a car with a 20hp engine in it!

Besides, the air car is simply an electric car that uses air as a "battery". It is much LESS efficient than using Li-Ion batteries and only seems good because they use such a tiny motor. It's also going to be horribly unreliable because one tiny pin-hole leak and you're "battery" is going to go dead in a matter of hours if not minutes.

Even that Bollore car you quoted only has a 40hp engine on it and has a 6-hour recharge time when your battery goes dead, so no long distance (more than 200km) trips.


By masher2 (blog) on 11/22/2007 12:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
> "so it would be drawing about 24 amps. That's a pretty sharp power level (2600W) "

At 110v, I doubt its going to draw more than 1600 watts/15 amps, which is the limit of a standard NEMA-15 electrical outlet.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By svenkesd on 11/26/2007 2:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
I think a wind turbine behind the grill to recharge the batteries kind of defeats the purpose. That is like shining a light bulb on a solar panel in order to power that same light.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By TITAN1080 on 11/21/2007 3:13:27 PM , Rating: 1
GM has been producing cars for over 100 years. I'm sure they are well aware of the kind of testing a new product like this requires.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Screwballl on 11/21/07, Rating: 0
RE: Lets see real world performance
By TomZ on 11/21/2007 3:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to make it sound like GM would have a choice as to whether or not to test their product before releasing it. Like they could somehow skip that step if they wanted. I guess I'm not sure what the point of your statement was.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Xerio on 11/21/2007 4:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
I think he is saying that he would like to see the results of those test. I, for one, would like to see those results. Technology on paper is all well and good, but until that technology is tested in the real world, it means nothing.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By TomZ on 11/21/2007 5:10:02 PM , Rating: 2
I see what you're saying, but on the other hand, GM won't release it as a product until it "passes" all the tests. Therefore, seeing the test results is a moot point.

In any case, automotive product test results are closely-guarded trade secrets, so I don't think test results on this particular vehicle will ever see the light of day.


RE: Lets see real world performance
By Oregonian2 on 11/21/07, Rating: 0
RE: Lets see real world performance
By mcnabney on 11/21/2007 8:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
EV1 a loser? They literally had to pry them out of the lease-holder's hands!


By Oregonian2 on 11/21/2007 8:34:22 PM , Rating: 1
I don't think the lease holders were paying full costs for what they had. They weren't "real" customers, paying real prices, as such, they were guinea pigs. They were "beta testers". If you take the amount of money GM spent in the making and support of those cars, I suspect the money paid by lease holders didn't cover very much of it (which they would have to in a "real" product, PLUS some profit for GM too). It's been documented here before how the car was very bad for the price they'd have to sell them for. Didn't go very far w/o a charge and took forever to charge (and as I recall didn't have a charging gas engine, you'd have to be towed home if the charge ran out) -- and would have to be obscenely expensive. Volt will be substantially better.


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