Last post on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:32 AM
You are in the Chevrolet Volt
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Volt, Electric Cars, Sedan
#98 of 140 Re: The electric cost? [gagrice]
Oct 26, 2010 (8:50 am)
Interesting story (no A/C from 5-8pm). The afternoon sun feels hottest.
Again, this makes the idea of a timer for charging all the more appealing. I'm sure GM has taken that in to consideration.
Can't you use your iPod to check the battery level? Or was that for the Leaf?
#99 of 140 press request
by kirstie_h HOST
Nov 29, 2010 (2:03 pm)
If you committed to purchasing or leasing a Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf, a reporter wants to interview you. Please email predmunds.com no later than Friday, December 3, 2010 and include your daytime contact information including a few words on your decision to get your new vehicle.
#101 of 140 Beyond the Volt?
by pf_flyer HOST
Nov 06, 2008 (11:13 am)
DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp is pressing ahead with investment in a range of electric vehicles beyond its Chevy Volt even as the automaker slashes spending in other areas, sources with knowledge of the plan said...
The electric-powered vehicles under development at GM include plug-ins for GM's luxury Cadillac brand, its Opel brand in Europe and a Chevy-branded vehicle with SUV styling, one of the sources said.
#102 of 140 Current technology VS pie in the sky (rant)
Mar 02, 2009 (1:36 pm)
Forgive me, this has been piling up inside me for-- years. Today, I watched T Boone Pickens going on and on about wind power and natural gas. I have read about plug in's, Hybrids and such, Hydrogen cell, natural gas, Bio fuels, wind power and solar power.
Let's keep it simple. I will assume we all know the basic concepts, benefits and drawbacks of each form of providing usable power. I have read, more than once and heard that if we were to convert every square inch of available space to solar and/or wind power, we still couldn't meet more than 20% of this countrys energy needs.
We talk about electric vehicles. Plug ins. We talk about Hybrids. Both have, currently, severe drawbacks. The plug ins drawback is-- the plug. The Hybrid (aside from the manufacturing process and accompanying pollution) is that it runs on the gas motor whenever you turn on the heater, run on the expressway or, (for now) turn on the air conditioner.
At the risk of throwing away a chance to be wealthy for my idea-- which I cannot believe is "my" idea alone-- why can't we make an electric car that runs on batteries, with a kerosene furnace for heat (the VW 412 had it in the early 70's. it ran off gasoline from the gas tank) and a RV camper refrigerator style air conditioner?
But, I'm not done.
California already has a problem with brown outs when everyone kicks on the home air conditioners. Whats going to happen when everyone gets home from work and plugs in ther Chevy Volt at 5PM?
How far can you go in a Chevy Volt? What if you want to take a 600 mile trip? What do you do, stop and plug it in for 4 hours?
Imagine this: Your driving along on the expressway, the volt meter shows you are getting low. Up ahead, you see a gas station. You exit the expressway, pull into the gas station and, instead of pulling up to the gas pump, you pull up to a long rack that stands next to a wind generator and topped off with a solar panel.
An attendant comes out. You throw a positive lock switch. Your electric car is now only powerd by a low voltage battery that keeps the computer, radio memory and instrument cluster powered up.
You reach down and pull a lever-- just like the lever you pull to release your trunk or hood. The attendant unplugs the battery pack, flips the latches holding the battery pack in place and attaches a hook to the pack strap. Using an electric hoist, he lifts out the battery pack, swings it over to an open slot in the rack, sides it onto the rack rollers and shoves it back with a clunk. A green light next to that slot starts flashing green. The connection is made, the battery pack is getting re-charged.Then he takes that hook, walks over to another slot in the rack, attaches the hook to a battery pack with a solid green light, pulls out a fully charged pack, sits it in your car, latches the battery pack tightly in place, reconnects the plugs and slams your hood shut. He then walks to your window, takes your $20.00 credit card or cash. You flip that positive lock switch in your car, your instrument cluster lights up and tells you you are good to go and you're off! As technology improves, you might be able to go 200 or 300 miles before you need to get another pack.
Got a big SUV or high performance car? Well, you might need to buy two or three battery packs. That's the price you pay for your big SUV or hot rod car! For most of us, in a sub compact size car, like a Corolla, Focus or Civic, one pack is enough-- thank you very much! When you do get home, you plug in your electric car to a solar powered charging station or the house current, just to "top off the tank" so to speak.
The one thing that needs to change is-- all manufacturers will need to standardize the battery pack and the receptacle. They do it now for fuel tank fill necks, it wouldn't be hard at all.
Think of it along the lines of a barbecue propane tank exhange or a welding torch tank exhange-- no different.
New technology? I'm all for it. But, before we go jumping into new technology with no certain outcome, why don't we use what we know works? This would work. Battery packs avialable at gas stations. Recharged with solar cells or wind turbines-- or, right off the grid. Got an old gas powered car? Buy gas. Got an electric car? Exhange a battery pack!
A plain old, current technology battery pack and one, two or four current technology electric motors could be installed in an existing body vehicle, take you at least 100 miles and be-- of all things-- PRACTICAL!! And, it wouldn't cost $40K or require years and millions of dollars worth of R & D.
If Ford comes out with a new electric motor that has more power and better range, whats the difference between that and trading in your old OHV gas guzzler V8 for a new 4 cylinder DOHC?
If new battery packs come out that last longer with more power, whats the difference between that and buying premium gas or, (for those of you that remember) the switch over from leaded to unleaded fuel? Until the old style batterys have worn out and are no longer available, you get a choice. heck, they could discount them for us cheapskates that would pay $10.00 to go 100 miles rather than $20.00-$25.00 to go 250 miles with the new type battery pack.
What's stopping this from happening? Technology? No-- we have it. Cost? The gas station owners will see the writing on the wall and invest in the "pack rack" and charging system. Just like they invested in gas pumps and storage tanks out in front of their blacksmith shops in the early 1900's.
I have looked, I have asked. No one seems to be able to tell me why this isn't feasable and do-able in a very short time. Maybe some one here can.
That's why I'm posting this-- I gotta know! Am I a visionary or am I just simple minded?
Thanks for letting me rant. I just had to do it.
#103 of 140 Re: Current technology VS pie in the sky (rant) [wozerd]
by pf_flyer HOST
Mar 02, 2009 (1:40 pm)
You hit on one of the big questions I've always had about EV's and plug-ins. Exactly WHERE is the electricty going to come from to charge up these cars that we are not charging up now, and what's going to be the effect on electric rates once this additional demand gets piled on?
It bothers me a bit that in their zeal for EV's, some proponents act as if this capacity is sitting there waiting to be tapped.
#104 of 140 Re: Current technology VS pie in the sky (rant) [pf_flyer]
Mar 02, 2009 (4:21 pm)
Although I live in the shadow of a nuke plant, our electricity comes from a dirty coal plant. So if I bought a Volt, or any other plug-in, that means more coal burned and noxious emissions and waste, more coal mined in the least sustainable way from hilltops in WV and eastern KY, more pollution from that mining.
This is the "green" solution?
#105 of 140 Re: Current technology VS pie in the sky (rant) [morin2]
Mar 04, 2009 (2:28 pm)
Quote: "our electricity comes from a dirty coal plant. So if I bought a Volt, or any other plug-in, that means more coal burned and noxious emissions and waste, more coal mined in the least sustainable way from hilltops in WV and eastern KY, more pollution from that mining. "
This is the "green" solution? Keep in mind that electricity from even the dirtiest sources (coal plants) produces less polution than the most efficient gasoline powered car when talking "well to wheel" numbers. So yes, this solution is more "green" than driving any gasoline engine. Now consider the amount of renewable resources coming online that produce electricity, and the potential for more in the future, and it just gets better from there.
#106 of 140 Re: Current technology VS pie in the sky (rant) [pf_flyer]
Mar 04, 2009 (2:31 pm)
Quote:"It bothers me a bit that in their zeal for EV's, some proponents act as if this capacity is sitting there waiting to be tapped. "
In many places, it is. Demand is so much less in the evenings that the industry has trouble dealing with the wide variance between daytime consumption and overnight. Electric vehicles that draw from the grid after a certain time would actually benefit the grid in evening out distribution, especially from sources than can not easily dump the extra power made around the clock, like wind farms.
#107 of 140 Re: Current technology VS pie in the sky (rant) [wozerd]
Mar 04, 2009 (3:00 pm)
Hi. I'll do my best to give you my opinion since you asked. And there are a few inaccuracies in your post I'd like to address as well.
"I have read, more than once and heard that if we were to convert every square inch of available space to solar and/or wind power, we still couldn't meet more than 20% of this countrys energy needs. "
That is wildly inaccurate. There are many renewable sources that could easily supply the entire country with plenty of power...even more so if people would just conserve a little bit. One example are the parabolic reflectors that heat the steam tubes to run steam turbines. This method has been in use for years and is quite efficient. Scaling estimates show the desert land in Nevada has enough sun and space (a few hundred square miles would be needed) to supply enough for much of the US.
The main problem would be the backbone and transport to the grid. That is the main issue with many renewable sources, though it's getting much better with investments continuing. Small town around the country are putting up a single 2.5 megawatt wind turbine and creating a town electric company to supply local renewable energy to entire townships. Big wind farms keep expanding. Households could easily supply 100% of their own electricity with combinations of solar panels, wind turbines, smart building designs, and conservation.
"California already has a problem with brown outs when everyone kicks on the home air conditioners. Whats going to happen when everyone gets home from work and plugs in ther Chevy Volt at 5PM? "
That would be easily solved with a timer so the car recharge automatically starts to draw later in the evening as demand decreases.
"How far can you go in a Chevy Volt? What if you want to take a 600 mile trip? What do you do, stop and plug it in for 4 hours? "
Chevy Volts will have unlimited mileage because they have a generator backup that kicks in. The only way you get stranded anywhere, with one, is the same with a current automobile...you don't keep gas in the tank.
" Imagine this: Your driving along on the expressway, the volt meter shows you are getting low. ...you pull up to a long rack...Using an electric hoist, he lifts out the battery pack, swings it over to an open slot in the rack, sides it onto the rack rollers and shoves it back with a clunk. ..."
Not a new idea. That has been proposed since the discussions of electric cars have been around and there are even prototypes. It's a matter of chicken and the egg. As you mention, someone has to come up with a design (preferably a group of several different manufacturers) and make a standard. Then everyone can adhere to it and all electric stations (vs gas stations) can use one exchange system. It will take building out the infrastructure. It all can be done, but will take time and investment. Investment capital is hard to come by in a recession, so it may be a while.
" A plain old, current technology battery pack and one, two or four current technology electric motors could be installed in an existing body vehicle, take you at least 100 miles and be-- of all things-- PRACTICAL!! And, it wouldn't cost $40K or require years and millions of dollars worth of R & D. "
I'm not sure it's that simple...or cheap. Look at the battery packs that you add to a Prius. They cost around $10,000 plus installation. Add that to the cost of a new prius, say $25,000, and now you are driving around a $35,000 prius that will get you about 40 miles down the road on electric only. That's on current battery technology. I don't think it's as cheap as you think to get 100+ miles of range with reasonable driving speed, particularly in any "existing body vehicle". To get that range takes a specific combination of things including large enough electric motor, large enough batter packs, special designs (aerodynamics, light weight materials, etc.). Often times to get the range, the top speed has to be reduced as well. Want to do range, speed, AND a large comfortable vehicle? Then your costs skyrocket and you'll be well over your $40,000 mark and yes, years of R&D.
"What's stopping this from happening? Technology? No-- we have it. Cost? The gas station owners will see the writing on the wall and invest in the "pack rack" and charging system. Just like they invested in gas pumps and storage tanks out in front of their blacksmith shops in the early 1900's.
Technology is there but consumers have to be willing to buy it and manufacturers have to be able to sell it for a profit and recoup the millions of R&D and venture capital invested (which there isn't any of right now). Also, it has to be cost prohibitive to use the existing fuel types and with gas prices back down, no one cares about mileage. Well, they do, but they aren't willing to pay for it unless the break even point is one or two years. At these temporarily cheap gas prices, there is, unfortunately, no incentive for manufatures or consumers. It's nice that all of us want to be green, but when it comes down to it, not enough of us are willing to pay more for it. So until costs (both dollars and environmental costs) of using gasoline, coal, etc. are too steap to pay, don't expect too many changes.