: Chevy Volt - Extensive article.



Jesda
06-11-08, 11:20 AM
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/general-motors

A very nice read.

dwight.j.carter
06-11-08, 12:06 PM
I think that car has some real potential !

The Tony Show
06-11-08, 03:00 PM
The whole process surrounding the Volt could very well revolutionize General Motors. Let's hope that it's a huge success, and that the company takes notice of what happens when you make a product the right way.

Playdrv4me
06-11-08, 04:29 PM
That was a fantastic article. Let's hope the car ends up the same way.

dkozloski
06-11-08, 05:12 PM
The whole article was fluff and BS about people and relationships rather than about the hardware. Let's have some engineering details rather than feeeelllings.

Brett
06-11-08, 08:04 PM
OK, some engineer type who understands batteries and Kwh's please give me a round about guess as to how much it costs to plug in every night.

Lord Cadillac
06-11-08, 09:17 PM
Toyota has one coming as well - and it just may be here before the Volt.. We'll have to see..

Playdrv4me
06-11-08, 10:29 PM
The whole article was fluff and BS about people and relationships rather than about the hardware. Let's have some engineering details rather than feeeelllings.

Losing the "people and relationships" and BECOMING a stale piece of hardware is exactly what ran GM into the ground in the first place. It's actually nice to see the human side of the equation for once to get an idea of how serious the company is as a whole to bring this thing to market -REGARDLESS- of the TECHNICAL hurdles that would break any other rigid operation down.

I guess you call it "feelings"... but to me it was more like the "Rudy" of the automotive world... Kind of weird to think of GM as the -underdog- in this race.

I know I'm pissing in the wind here but I really appreciated the angle of this article.

dkozloski
06-11-08, 10:58 PM
If the vehicle is technically sound they'll sell like hot cakes. If it isn't, they'll tank no matter how enthusiastic the GM organization is. What nobody addresses is how they plan on keeping the windows clear and the passengers warm in the Northern tier of states in the winter and keep owners from dieing of heatstroke in the South in the summer. It's going to be a niche vehicle that will be practical only in a very limited market. I don't see it as anything other than a gimmick and loss leader to get people into the showrooms so they can be sold something else.

Jesda
06-11-08, 11:33 PM
If the vehicle is technically sound they'll sell like hot cakes. If it isn't, they'll tank no matter how enthusiastic the GM organization is. What nobody addresses is how they plan on keeping the windows clear and the passengers warm in the Northern tier of states in the winter and keep owners from dieing of heatstroke in the South in the summer. It's going to be a niche vehicle that will be practical only in a very limited market. I don't see it as anything other than a gimmick and loss leader to get people into the showrooms so they can be sold something else.

I don't see anything that says it will lack climate controls. Its a locomotive-style hybrid, not a full electric car.

Playdrv4me
06-11-08, 11:41 PM
I don't see anything that says it will lack climate controls. Its a locomotive-style hybrid, not a full electric car.

That's what I thought, I wasn't sure what DK meant either :hmm:

Only thing I can see in his original point is the absolutely disastrous traction this torque monster is going to have in snow and ice.

blue07cts
06-11-08, 11:46 PM
If the vehicle is technically sound they'll sell like hot cakes. If it isn't, they'll tank no matter how enthusiastic the GM organization is. What nobody addresses is how they plan on keeping the windows clear and the passengers warm in the Northern tier of states in the winter and keep owners from dieing of heatstroke in the South in the summer. It's going to be a niche vehicle that will be practical only in a very limited market. I don't see it as anything other than a gimmick and loss leader to get people into the showrooms so they can be sold something else.

wow aren't we just a big ball of sunshine....:canttalk: LOL anyways i think this car is a success already, it's cause more companies and people to take notice and sit at attention that even if the car itself is a flop the concept seems here too stay..

dkozloski
06-12-08, 12:17 AM
I don't see anything that says it will lack climate controls. Its a locomotive-style hybrid, not a full electric car.
All indications are that the internal combustion engine is going to be tiny with very little excess oomph to run an A/C or a heater.

"It will go 40 miles on a charge. Then a small gasoline engine will ignite. The engine’s sole job will be to drive a generator, whose sole job will be to maintain the battery’s charge—not to drive the wheels, which will never see anything but electricity. In generator mode, the car will drive hundreds of miles on a tank of gas, at about 50 miles per gallon. But about three-fourths of Americans commute less than 40 miles a day, so on most days most Volt drivers would use no gas at all".

If that engine ain't running there ain't no heat or A/C.

The trouble with you guys is that you don't read anything in the article except what you want to enthuse over.

AMGoff
06-12-08, 12:23 AM
The whole article was fluff and BS about people and relationships rather than about the hardware. Let's have some engineering details rather than feeeelllings.

Then I dare to even point out the obvious... in that you completely missed the point of the entire article. It wasn't meant to be some extensive white-paper on all of the engineering details of the car... once the car nears its launch date, I'm sure there will be more than enough articles covering every mundane detail to your heart's desire.

For someone who fancies himself as a keen student of history, I'm surprised you view this all as "fluff." The article is highlighting just how much the General is pouring into this project and more importantly, how unprecedented it is, especially in its execution.

There's more to the world than black and white and when one puts their blinders on to see only that... there's a whole lot of stuff that can be missed. There's a lot riding on this whole venture, which means there's a lot of emotion surrounding it.. and it's nice to see a company like GM exposing some of that emotion. Just like Ian said... the "old" GM got itself into a lot of trouble... sometimes thinking "different" can lead to a lot of great things.


If the vehicle is technically sound they'll sell like hot cakes. If it isn't, they'll tank no matter how enthusiastic the GM organization is. What nobody addresses is how they plan on keeping the windows clear and the passengers warm in the Northern tier of states in the winter and keep owners from dieing of heatstroke in the South in the summer. It's going to be a niche vehicle that will be practical only in a very limited market. I don't see it as anything other than a gimmick and loss leader to get people into the showrooms so they can be sold something else.

You're right, if it's sound it will sell like hotcakes and if it's not, it will "tank" big time... hence some of the "fluff" you were complaining about.

Why do they even need to address "keeping the windows clear... the passengers warm... keep owners from [dying]???" Do you honestly think that will be an issue or even more importantly, that GM will release a car in the year 2010-11 without something so basic as climate controls?? They'll implement such in the same way as they do in all of their conventional cars... the drastic change will be in the vehicle's method of power production, so how on earth could one assume that there will be drastic changes in the car's ancillary systems?

A gimmick?? Please... if GM was so foolish, reckless, and irresponsible to be pouring so many resources into what you think is nothing more than a gimmick, then they should just close up shop immediately.

The Volt, as a singular model, may very well end up being a "niche" vehicle... but the Volt itself is not what's really important - it's the underlying platform and the technology of which it's comprised that's what really important.

This technology is going to trickle down through GM's entire lineup, especially as the price of gas goes up and the price of the technology will come down - which it will from the sheer economy of scale.

Frankly, if my circumstances were the same as yours, I wouldn't give a rat's ass about this car, nor anything which will come from it. However... this car... this technology isn't for the world of the 1950/60/70s. The world is changing... it's very different now from what it was then and it's rate of change is only increasing.

This isn't a "gimmick." You're confusing it for what it really is - a stopgap... and a much needed one at that. If nothing else, this technology can be seen as the last great "hurrah" of the internal combustion engine as a means of primary propulsion.

Technologies such as fuel cells are the future... but that technology isn't quite there yet. Vehicles like the Volt are coming on the scene to merely hold us over until we get "there."

I wish we were already at the point where we didn't depend on oil, especially for automobiles... but we're not, so anything that will help to at least diminish the need for such crude, crude is both needed and appreciated.

Either way, none of this should really be of any consequence to you anyway... other than Alaska having to come up with a new means of making the bulk of it's money.

dkozloski
06-12-08, 12:40 AM
The AV-1 was deemed to be suitable for "warm states" only because it had no provisions for heat. There is no way in hell they are going to be able to keep people warm with any form of electric heater and still have battery power available to get anywhere without a sizable generator powering some kind of combustion heater. This whole deal sounds like some kind of government boondoggle. This thing will be relegated to warm climates and as such will be useless for about 75% of the U.S. or will be strictly a summertime play toy. As a 500 employee operation it doesn't measure up to Roush Racing. I think we're looking at a tempest in a teapot.

dkozloski
06-12-08, 12:58 AM
The thing is a loser from the word go for anything beyond 40 miles that will require the use of the generator to keep it moving and that's assuming you don't have to climb any hills. You have the loss of efficiency right off the bat with the gasoline engine that drives the generator. Then you have the loss of efficiency in the generator itself. Then you have the loss of efficiency in the battery charging process. Then you have the loss of efficiency getting the electricity back out of the battery. Then you have the loss of efficiency in the power convertor for the drive motor. Then you have the loss of efficiency in the drive motor itself. This thing is a turkey.

dkozloski
06-12-08, 01:05 AM
What this thing amounts to if you're going to try to drive beyond the initial 40 miles on your trip is a half-assed Prius with a really weak internal combustion engine plus you're having to drag along a big battery that is now dead unless you stop to let it recharge for a couple of hours. I can't believe that anyone would take this idea seriously.

dkozloski
06-12-08, 01:24 AM
When I see these fluff pieces on engineering projects the first thing that pops into my mind is, it's a stock promotion with just enough details to pique your interest but not enough hard details to disclose the secret that it really isn't going to be practical like the paper one-use cell phone that was around for a while. The only reason this stuff gets any traction at all in the media is that nobody writing these articles has the background required to put a pencil and a piece of paper to them.

dkozloski
06-12-08, 01:28 AM
How soon we forget the Bill Lear steam car that depended on the magic "Learium", had the full backing of General Motors, and never had a prayer in hell of getting off the ground. GM has presented the world with guaranteed duds before.

AMGoff
06-12-08, 01:29 AM
And I can't believe someone would get their panties so twisted over this car... Why don't you save your stubborn bashing until after it's released??

dkozloski
06-12-08, 01:35 AM
Ford struck out on an electric car years ago that was designed around a battery that used molten sulphur as an electrolyte. About the same time Chrysler had a turbine car and GM had their steam car. What a glorious collision that would have made.

dkozloski
06-12-08, 01:38 AM
And I can't believe someone would get their panties so twisted over this car... Why don't you save your stubborn bashing until after it's released??
Since when is presenting an opinion that differs with yours bashing? Explain to me where my reasoning has gone wrong. I'm ready to listen and if you're right I'll be the first to admit it.

Playdrv4me
06-12-08, 01:47 AM
If that engine ain't running there ain't no heat or A/C.

The trouble with you guys is that you don't read anything in the article except what you want to enthuse over.

Ahh quite the observer you are Koz... What you fail to realize my cold weathered friend, is that it isn't as if this is the only article I have ever read about the stupid car... I merely stated it was an enjoyable piece of literature...

However... if you *must* know, Bob Lutz stated this -past- week that this little project was no mere -project- anymore. A major hurdle has finally been passed with the batteries which are no longer the stumbling block they had been for so long...

The last piece they are working on? Supplier agreements for the unique electrically powered heat and A/C climate control system and a few other ancillary bits that are the finishing parts of the car. While I don't put anything past GM... I find it absolutely laughable that you actually believe they would turn the world inside-out doing the IMPOSSIBLE with something as rudimentary as a BATTERY and then leave a weaka$$ climate control system in place to immediately destroy the perception of such an important vehicle.

To pick on Cadillac for a moment... I've owned Cadillacs in the past I didn't trust to go down the BLOCK, and yet you've managed to own at least TWO now that somehow are as reliable as the winter solstice in -40* temperatures EVERY day. That's a pretty amazing accomplishment as it is... I don't think electric heating and cooling is a real leap from that.

Please tell me that the meat locker you're in up there 24/7 has not frozen you through so thoroughly that you have absolutely and utterly lost the spirit of innovation I know you must have had for a while.

dkozloski
06-12-08, 01:59 AM
Ahh quite the observer you are Koz... What you fail to realize my cold weathered friend, is that it isn't as if this is the only article I have ever read about the stupid car... I merely stated it was an enjoyable piece of literature...

However... if you *must* know, Bob Lutz stated this -past- week that this little project was no mere -project- anymore. A major hurdle has finally been passed with the batteries which are no longer the stumbling block they had been for so long...

The last piece they are working on? Supplier agreements for the unique electrically powered heat and A/C climate control system and a few other ancillary bits that are the finishing parts of the car. While I don't put anything past GM... I find it absolutely laughable that you actually believe they would turn the world inside-out doing the IMPOSSIBLE with something as rudimentary as a BATTERY and then leave a weaka$$ climate control system in place to immediately destroy the perception of such an important vehicle.

Please tell me that the meat locker you're in up there 24/7 has not frozen you through so thoroughly that you have absolutely and utterly lost the spirit of innovation I know you must have had for a while.
Any kind of climate control is going to have to be powered by either the engine or the battery at the expense of considerable amounts of energy that otherwise would run this thing down the road. That was the drawback to the EV-1. Why is it that I'm expressing doubts about this thing from an engineering point of view and you and AMGoff are resorting to personal remarks to counter my points. Is it because you are starting to realize that the numbers don't add up? I admire innovation when you can show me that it's going to work in a truly practical way. The problem is that I've seen this kind of pie in the sky before that flopped in a big way. Remember the Tucker? How about the "fabricated furnace brazed motor"? The air car? The steam bus? The Bourke Scotch-yoke motor? The Fish carburetor? All these things hit the scene with credible backing but failed in the details. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

The fact still remains that once the battery in this thing is fully discharged you either park it until it recharges or you grind it out at a snails pace on the little combustion motor. If you're using the climate controls it goes dead sooner. The whole basis for this project is the little gas engine generator that prolongs the agony as you reach and/or exceed the practical range. Every time you complete a charge/discharge cycle on the battery it's going to degrade just like the battery in your laptop, which it strongly resembles chemistry wise. I expect this thing to operate marginally and have limited usefullness. I expect it to be more a gimmick than the great saviour of General Motors.

heavymetals
06-12-08, 02:02 AM
I worked on the EV1 and I thought it was a loser.

I am buying GM stock now because of the VOLT and IMHO this is a great buying opportunity.

The VOLT will be the 21st century version of the VW bug or the 2CV IMHO.

The article was written in the style that was made so successful by the author of "Soul of a New Machine", nothing more or less.

Playdrv4me
06-12-08, 02:07 AM
Any kind of climate control is going to have to be powered by either the engine or the battery at the expense of considerable amounts of energy that otherwise would run this thing down the road. That was the drawback to the EV-1. Why is it that I'm expressing doubts about this thing from an engineering point of view and you and AMGoff are resorting to personal remarks to counter my points. Is it because you are starting to realize that the numbers don't add up? I admire innovation when you can show me that it's going to work in a truly practical way.

Because you're missing the entire point that the mere existence of this car has everything to do with the fact that things AREN'T expected to happen in a "truly practical way" at every turn! It has required a worldwide effort and a purposeful abandon of EXACTLY that kind of thinking to get it where it is to begin with. I merely have more faith than you do in what you seem to think is a "by the numbers" impossibility. For all you know the electrical system in the car may truly be OVER-engineered.. capable of EIGHTY miles of travel yet "limited" to forty taking into ACCOUNT these loads of which you speak.

You can't possibly make a certain and qualified judgement about the implausability of these details without having all of the facts, and they have already released PLENTY of inside information on a normally behind-closed-doors process as it is. What's wrong with just believing the damn thing might just work. GM has been pulling alot of rabbits out of dusty hats lately.

dkozloski
06-12-08, 02:50 AM
Because you're missing the entire point that the mere existence of this car has everything to do with the fact that things AREN'T expected to happen in a "truly practical way" at every turn! It has required a worldwide effort and a purposeful abandon of EXACTLY that kind of thinking to get it where it is to begin with. I merely have more faith than you do in what you seem to think is a "by the numbers" impossibility. For all you know the electrical system in the car may truly be OVER-engineered.. capable of EIGHTY miles of travel yet "limited" to forty taking into ACCOUNT these loads of which you speak.

You can't possibly make a certain and qualified judgement about the implausability of these details without having all of the facts, and they have already released PLENTY of inside information on a normally behind-closed-doors process as it is. What's wrong with just believing the damn thing might just work. GM has been pulling alot of rabbits out of dusty hats lately.
Everything you say may be true. It is also just as possible that it's a marginal deal that will barely work in a niche market. Somehow these electric car proposals all seem to hinge on the performance of a magic battery that is just over the horizon. Mother Nature is a bitch.

dkozloski
06-12-08, 03:05 AM
Some of the range problems can be answered by making the gas engine bigger at the expense of dragging more weight along if it isn't running. Lithium-ion batteries are limited to 300-500 charge/discharge cycles, then they are used up. If you are commuting 5 days a week that could happen in less that two years. Who pays for the replacement? The closer you look at this deal the more iffy it becomes.

Jesda
06-12-08, 03:43 AM
The thing is a loser from the word go for anything beyond 40 miles that will require the use of the generator to keep it moving and that's assuming you don't have to climb any hills. You have the loss of efficiency right off the bat with the gasoline engine that drives the generator. Then you have the loss of efficiency in the generator itself. Then you have the loss of efficiency in the battery charging process. Then you have the loss of efficiency getting the electricity back out of the battery. Then you have the loss of efficiency in the power convertor for the drive motor. Then you have the loss of efficiency in the drive motor itself. This thing is a turkey.

LOL, then the GE locomotives that carry our favorite goods, including cars, are losing efficiency left and right!

[Actually, the generator-powered hybrid configuration is tremendously efficient.]

The original Volt concept was supposed to offer 10 miles, so anything approaching 30-40 would be fabulous. The big improvement with this car will be in overall gasoline fuel efficiency, since the engine isn't expected to do the bulk of the work the bulk of the time.

dkozloski
06-12-08, 04:26 AM
LOL, then the GE locomotives that carry our favorite goods, including cars, are losing efficiency left and right!

[Actually, the generator-powered hybrid configuration is tremendously efficient.]

The original Volt concept was supposed to offer 10 miles, so anything approaching 30-40 would be fabulous. The big improvement with this car will be in overall gasoline fuel efficiency, since the engine isn't expected to do the bulk of the work the bulk of the time.
The diesel electric locomotive drives the wheels with an electric motor that gets its juice directly from the diesel generator and there is no battery anywhere in the system. With the Volt, it is hoped that the thing would have sufficient range with the battery that the motor would never have to run at all unless the car was at the very limit of its range and it would burn no gas at all. The motor is intended to extend the range by recharging the battery as required in which case all the inefficiencies of energy conversion rear their ugly heads. It's a half-assed Prius. The Prius can power itself with the battery, the motor, or with both working together.

Jesda
06-12-08, 07:32 AM
The diesel electric locomotive drives the wheels with an electric motor that gets its juice directly from the diesel generator and there is no battery anywhere in the system. With the Volt, it is hoped that the thing would have sufficient range with the battery that the motor would never have to run at all unless the car was at the very limit of its range and it would burn no gas at all. The motor is intended to extend the range by recharging the battery as required in which case all the inefficiencies of energy conversion rear their ugly heads. It's a half-assed Prius. The Prius can power itself with the battery, the motor, or with both working together.

Actually, its a reverse of the Prius, putting the full burden on the batteries to power the vehicle with a generator serving as a charging source instead of a power soruce. Please read the specifications.

The Volt could easily flop if the battery technology isn't ready or if testing takes too long and Toyota beats GM to market, but it won't be because the concept is flawed.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-12-08, 10:24 AM
Well either way, I'm excited to see it and am hoping that it does very well. And that really means something from me, considering how much I hate this "going green" hubbub nowadays.

Playdrv4me
06-12-08, 11:18 AM
Yea, I couldn't give one left nut over "green" anything but money is money, and not having to spend it on gas makes life good.

Brett
06-12-08, 11:23 AM
But will it add 3 or 4 bucks a day to your electric bill? negating the cost savings.

Playdrv4me
06-12-08, 11:30 AM
But will it add 3 or 4 bucks a day to your electric bill? negating the cost savings.

That depends on how long it takes to charge when it's finally done I guess. The Tesla Roadster charges completely in less than 4 hours.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-12-08, 11:36 AM
If you leave it plugged in overnight and overcharge it, will it wreck the batteries? If I had one, I'd leave it on the charger overnight, otherwise it's too much of a hassle to sit and watch it for a few hours.

Brett
06-12-08, 11:54 AM
If you leave it plugged in overnight and overcharge it, will it wreck the batteries? If I had one, I'd leave it on the charger overnight, otherwise it's too much of a hassle to sit and watch it for a few hours.

Im sure the technology would exist to cut off the power when the battery is full.

Playdrv4me
06-12-08, 11:56 AM
If you leave it plugged in overnight and overcharge it, will it wreck the batteries? If I had one, I'd leave it on the charger overnight, otherwise it's too much of a hassle to sit and watch it for a few hours.

LOL Yea that would suck... The "ipod" of cars.

But like Brett said that technology already exists, some products like the ipod don't take advantage of it or implement it poorly.

Brett
06-12-08, 12:09 PM
This car definitely intrigues me. My wife has a 30 mile round trip commute every day and this would really be perfect.

Jesda
06-12-08, 12:18 PM
Like a laptop, you can electronically control the charger to stop when the battery is full. And if everyone buys a Volt, I do wonder what will happen to electricity costs. On the plus side, electricity is more efficiently distributed and more flexible (nukes, hydro, coal, etc) than gas, which is highly dependent on one resource.

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
06-12-08, 12:27 PM
Well either way, I'm excited to see it and am hoping that it does very well. And that really means something from me, considering how much I hate this "going green" hubbub nowadays.

I freakin hate when people say they are "going green". We sell those reusable bags at walmart and when people say they are trying to go green I wanna punch them in the face. Did you know there is a TV channel devoted to going green now? http://planetgreen.discovery.com/

I am all for doing something because I do believe that there is a problem, but I refuse to call it going green. I recycle, hang my clothes outside to dry, ride my bike to work when I can and that satisfies me. I don't litter and on occasion I am the one picking up other people's garbage, but I just wanna punch those green bastards.

AMGoff
06-13-08, 12:12 AM
But will it add 3 or 4 bucks a day to your electric bill? negating the cost savings.

I'm not sure what you pay for your electricity... but we're talking literally pennies per kW hour. While we won't know what exactly this thing will draw for a while longer yet... I wouldn't be surprised if it would take less than a buck's worth of electricity to charge it up.

Either way... they're saying "overnight," so I'm guessing that means 6-8 hours.

All I know is that there's an outdoor power receptacle right where I park my car at work... 6 hours or so 'til charged and I'm good to go 'til the next day :lildevil:

dkozloski
06-13-08, 12:24 AM
Where in the world do you pay pennies/Kwh? I just got my electric bill, it's close to 20 cents/Kwh, and is going up again shortly. That's roughly equivilant to $8.00/gallon gasoline but battery recharging is a lossy operation so it's closer to $10.00/gal gas.

Playdrv4me
06-13-08, 12:38 AM
Like a laptop, you can electronically control the charger to stop when the battery is full. And if everyone buys a Volt, I do wonder what will happen to electricity costs. On the plus side, electricity is more efficiently distributed and more flexible (nukes, hydro, coal, etc) than gas, which is highly dependent on one resource.

Watch... there's going to be an entire sub-culture of "Volties", and the only problem I REALLY see with it is wtf apartment and condo dwellers are going to do. I can already see the hilarities that will ensue when people just jack into any old plug they find outside their apartments and the complex's electricity rates suddenly take an unexpected hike :cool2:

orconn
06-13-08, 12:40 AM
I'm not sure what you pay for your electricity... but we're talking literally pennies per kW hour. While we won't know what exactly this thing will draw for a while longer yet... I wouldn't be surprised if it would take less than a buck's worth of electricity to charge it up.

Either way... they're saying "overnight," so I'm guessing that means 6-8 hours.

All I know is that there's an outdoor power receptacle right where I park my car at work... 6 hours or so 'til charged and I'm good to go 'til the next day :lildevil:

Do you really, think that the electrical infra-structure, has sufficient surplus power to supply the automotive needs that even exists in South Jersey? Hell, with your parochial (look up definition my learned friend) disdain for your Summer tourist's roadway needs (despite the huge monetary infusion they make into N.J.'s economy), I doubt that your state or county, much less private resources are even close, nor mentally prepared to comprehend the cost of provididing the infrastructure for electrically fueled transportation. Some of our readers may not be aware of the relatively low gas taxes paid by purchasers of gas in N.J.....among the lowest in the nation ........ this is , all the while, opposing off-shore drilling of the bland and lackluster New Jersey Shore! I would suggest, that along with many other parochial subsets (localities) of the United Staes we all take a look at what we can do to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Oil is not the answer, but it can make transition easier on all of us!