Last post on Dec 09, 2012 at 7:21 PM
You are in the Chevrolet Volt
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Chevrolet Volt, Automotive News, Hybrid Cars, Coupe, Hatchback, Truck, Sedan, SUV
#190 of 1015 Re: Moving target [tpe]
Jul 10, 2008 (10:32 am)
It will take 20-30 years for the fleet to transition. Plenty of time to expand the country's generating capacity.
That would be ambitious. Maybe 50 years from now. The biggest obstacle is the storage device for energy. The batteries are still too expensive to compete with very high priced fossil fuel. When GM awards the battery contract we will know more if the Volt is going to make its debut by 2010 or 2011. I do think it will be very limited the first few years. Maybe a few hundred leased like the hydrogen cars. It will take a major battery break through to get a large enough battery for under $20k. Toyota has pulled back from Li-Ion and is building a new NiMH factory. That would not be happening if they had anything promising with Lithium batteries.
Think about this. The NiMH battery in the Prius will maybe carry the car a couple miles. It weighs in just over 90 lbs. It costs somewhere between $2500 and $6000 to replace. Hard to get an honest figure from Toyota. Even at the least amount a Plug in Prius would be $25k more. There are some cheapo PHEV conversions supposedly coming out for $10k that will carry the car 10 miles on electric.
I'm with those that see more than just a few obstacles in the way of the Volt being mainstream.
#191 of 1015 Re: Moving target [gagrice]
Jul 10, 2008 (12:08 pm)
I didn't realize that Toyota had pulled back from Li-ion. Everything that I've read recently says that they still plan on going to this chemistry in 2010. I also thought that this new plant they were building would be producing both NiMH and Li-ion batteries.
The problem I see with Toyota is that they seem determined to produce their batteries in house, i.e. through Matsushita/Panasonic. That approach may ultimately end up being the best from a financial perspective but it won't necessarily get them to the market as quickly as a company like GM that looked outside amongst all the contenders. I believe there are companies who's Li-ion battery technology is considerably ahead of where Toyota is right now.
After all the negative PR GM got over it's EV1 leases I'd be very surprised if they leased the Volt. Maybe the battery pack.
#192 of 1015 Re: Moving target [tpe]
Jul 10, 2008 (1:35 pm)
They have not pulled back from lithium. This is as of June 11, 2008:
'Yota goes with lithium
TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp's (7203.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) battery joint venture will start producing longer-lasting lithium-ion batteries in 2009 as it aims to roll out more electric cars over the next few years.
Toyota, the world's top maker of gasoline-electric hybrids, is keen to bring such vehicles into the mainstream by lowering their costs as more consumers around the world demand higher fuel economy amid record-high energy prices.
The battery venture with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co (6752.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) currently produces nickel-metal hydride batteries used in Toyota's hybrid vehicles. It is building two new factories to bring annual output capacity to 1 million batteries around 2010.
Full-scale production of lithium-ion batteries would start in 2010, Toyota said on Wednesday, declining to disclose planned output capacity.
AND: They are also looking BEYOND lithium to "whatever is next":
'Yota plans for Future
If you can believe it (and we think you can), Toyota is already hard at work on a new battery system to replace its lithium-ion units currently slated for use in upcoming models. According to a report in Automotive News Europe, the company is hoping to adopt a more advanced battery for its hybrid vehicles in about 12 years as part of its Global Vision 2020 plan. The automaker won't say what technology it plans on moving towards, though it has suggested that air-zinc batteries could be a possible solution for maintaining its dominance in the hybrid vehicle market. In June the company will launch a new division dedicated to developing technologies for future cell power, while its lithium-ion vehicles will hit the roads around 2010.
#193 of 1015 Re: Moving target [larsb]
Jul 10, 2008 (9:57 pm)
Our resident Toyota guru says that we may not see Li-Ion except in specialty higher priced hybrids after 2010. That NiMH is the battery of choice for the next few years.
Like you always remind us. Unless you see it direct from Toyota DON"T believe it. So that kind of tosses what you posted.
This might interest you from the above article:
Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada, chief engineer for the original Prius, told Reuters Toyota would continue to make most of its hybrids in Japan due to the difficulty of making key components abroad.
#194 of 1015 Re: Moving target [gagrice]
Jul 11, 2008 (1:00 pm)
Gary says, "Our resident Toyota guru says that we may not see Li-Ion except in specialty higher priced hybrids after 2010. That NiMH is the battery of choice for the next few years."
That's true for NOW. But as soon as 'Yota gets what they believe to be an affordable, safe, and rightly sized Li-Ion battery, it will be in cars on the road. They are already promising it for fleets in Japan AND in the Good Ole U.S.of A.
As Gary requested - from the MOUTH OF 'YOTA
As a part of its commitment to the concept of sustainable mobility, Watanabe said that Toyota will build and deliver what he called "a significant fleet" of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) that rely on lithium-ion batteries to a variety of global fleet customers.
A large part of that PHEV fleet will be sent to fleet customers in the U.S., Watanabe said. Toyota will deliver its PHEVs as part of the acceleration of its global plug-in hybrid research and development program, scheduled to begin late next year.
Indeed, early iterations of the PHEVs were planned for use transporting Toyota executives to the show this week, Detroit's notorious January weather permitting, and also for limited use by select members of the media - again, weather permitting.
GM better hurry if they want to beat 'Yota to a production-worthy, usable Li-Ion technology. They are a little behind right now I think.
#195 of 1015 Re: Moving target [larsb]
Jul 11, 2008 (1:24 pm)
Even if Toyota and/or GM deliver vehicles with Li-ion battery packs in 2010 it will be dismissed by some people until they've been around for 10-15 years with bullet-proof reliability. And even if they accomplish this they will still be dismissed because there is some Mercedes or Lexus that is running great after 30 years.
#196 of 1015 Re: Moving target [tpe]
Jul 11, 2008 (3:16 pm)
You would think I was from Missouri. Of course that is all depending on price point. My skepticism grew about the Prius when they went through the ceiling price wise. I just don't see them as a safe buy for the average buyer. And especially the long term buyer. For the lease addict they are fine. I am just too tight with my cash to throw it away to be a first guinea pig for GM or Toyota. Although I did waste about $3 grand on that GMC Hybrid PU. Weak moment on my part.
#197 of 1015 Re: Moving target [gagrice]
Jul 11, 2008 (4:35 pm)
I'm personally not an early adopter. However I'm not totally averse to risk and am willing to be a fairly early adopter.
I want GM to meet it's schedule and I hope for the Volt to deliver on it's promise. I see myself as being a potential 2012 customer.
#198 of 1015 Re: Moving target [tpe]
Jul 11, 2008 (7:08 pm)
I am likewise hoping for GM to move back to the place of prominence. The Volt could be the key to that return. I would bet they beat Toyota on this one. Toyota is playing safe on the Li-Ion. They are taking a wait and see attitude.
#199 of 1015 Re: Moving target [gagrice]
Jul 14, 2008 (7:53 am)
I think Toyota knows the direction they will have to move. I think they just need to recoup more of the initial investment they made pioneering the tech we have now before they move on. It really makes business sense, they let GM make up some ground (it wil take years of good performance for GM Yota's green/quality creds), meanwhile reaping the return on their last investment and preparing for the launch that puts them on the cutting edge again.