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Volt


auggybendoggy
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Teslas have been out for a few years. They're sweet, but only 2 doors and they cost $95,000:

 

The Volt, on the other hand, should come in just under 40k. Why can't they make it all electric and give it a 200 mile range? I have no idea except the technology to do so seems to be incredibly expensive.

It maybe expense but if they are doing it with the tesla and it manages to go 220miles before a recharge. Shouldn't you expect at least 100 miles from say a GM, Toyota, Honda, etc car? I realize there was a lot of money invested into this technology. To not make full use of it seems like a waste though or at least build on the idea.

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I'm not saying it's impossible, but look there's a reason they chose the lightest car in the world as their base starting point: the Lotus Elise.

 

The Tesla weighs 2,500 lbs. (approximately)

 

To give you some comparisons:

 

My Grand Prix GXP (with the rather large V8 up front) weighs 3,632 lbs

Accord Hybrid: 3,501 lbs.

Prius: 2,932 lbs.

Camry Hybrid: 3,680 lbs. (wow, more than my car)

 

 

Note the differences in weight? Quite simply put, the larger and heavier the vehicle, the harder the motor has to work to move the thing. If we wanted GM to build a tiny Roadster (and I mean tiny, I've stood next to an Elise before) and we cut out all the space the rear seats and internal combustion engine would have taken up, I'm fairly certain they could get close to the same numbers. Personally, if I could afford a Tesla right now, I'd buy one on principal alone--but there's no way it could be my only car because I couldn't even go on a heavy shopping trip at the food store and fit it all in the trunk!

 

That's why the Volt's so appealing. Sure, if they took out the back seat and crammed more battery space in there, we would have a HECK of a lot more range, but the car would instantly become less versatile and a HECK of a lot more expensive. Go ahead and look at how big the Tesla's battery center is--it's HUGE. Now go look at how big the Volt's is...it's pretty tiny--in fact, I believe it's just a tad smaller than the battery bank that's in Accord Hybrids, which sure impresses the crap out of me. They're getting a ton of power out of a rather small battery.

 

Do I wish it got better range on battery? Of course I do! Am I disappointed that they're coming out with a car under 40k that runs at least 40 miles on electricity? Hell no.

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Well, I stay think it will flop. If it were coming out in 2009 I wouldn't say that it would. I just think GM will be too late with the idea as I'm there will be better ones out there.

 

Something just to think about with car size. Majority of the time when you see people headed to work in the morning how many of them are by themselves? I'd say 9/10 if not more. How often do you truly have someone else ride in your car? I bet 75+% of your miles are by yourself. Point is these new cars will be smaller and of course lighter. If you expecting to be able to go to wally world and buy a bunch of crap and fit it all in your trunk I'm sorry but I wouldn't count on fitting a ton of stuff back there. As I'm sure the trunks on these cars will also shrink down as well as the rest of the car.

 

I'm sit going to bet that volt isn't going to be as big of hit as you think mav :)

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hahaha...to each their own, and yes, I'd love to have a tiny efficient car for my daily driver..but I do occasionally like to go on road trips. Hard to do in a roadster--even if you're by yourself as you can barely fit your crap in your trunk.

 

That being said, I bet the waiting list fills up a week after they allow sign-ups :)

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hahaha...to each their own, and yes, I'd love to have a tiny efficient car for my daily driver..but I do occasionally like to go on road trips. Hard to do in a roadster--even if you're by yourself as you can barely fit your crap in your trunk.

 

That being said, I bet the waiting list fills up a week after they allow sign-ups :)

yeah you will probably be right. here is an interesting article on GM, i think it also may show how GM was expecting there to be such a case when the average american didn't want an SUV or truck. please don't reply with garbage saying we need to support the American car company.

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The reason GM (another example of genuis IMHO) is that the reason GM keeps it at 40 miles is to keep the batter from being bigger than the titanic. When the batteries go bad on hybrids they cost ohhhhhh anywhere from 3-5000 dollars because their a bit larger. GM has reduced the size of the battery to keep the cost on replacement down. At the same time they sacrifice miles on it. So they settle for 40 miles on the size of the battery but thats brilliant, and I'm not alone in that opinion.

If you read reviews on it, you'll find it's gained RESPECT for it's revolutionary design. Sacrificing miles for a smaller battery to settle for 40 miles IS SO ANTITHETICAL to what Toyota and Honda have been conjuring up...which is..."an electric car has to go 300 miles in order for people to take seriously". The reason why it's so brilliant is MOST PEOPLE don't drive 300 miles to get to work. MOST people don't drive 50 miles to get to work. So the smaller battery is PERFECT for people to take it to work. Now you address (as lawmaker did above) what about people who drive 80 miles to work. Well the first 40 are on battery solely, meaning you drive 40 miles on gas (as a generator).

Now the volt gets 50 miles per gallong so you use a bit more than 1 1/2 gallons of gas to drive 80 miles to work for the day. AND THEIR THE MINORITY.

 

The other catch which is brilliant was being driven by electricity THERE IS NO TRANSMISSION. Being driven completely off electricity dismisses the need of a transmission. It's direct drive so the car is lighter making the smaller battery more manageable.

 

I tend to think GM is as smart as what I've read.

 

I'm no GM fan but like Nvidia who was getting owned for quite some time, they have arrived and this may be it for GM.

They might be the nividia of automobiles for a shortwhile at least : )

 

Aug

Edited by auggybendoggy
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I'm not rooting so hard for the Volt because I'm one of those people that say "Buy American or else," but do you have any idea how badly it could hurt our economy if GM goes completely down the tubes?

 

Anyway, that being said, I'm rooting for the Volt because the design is absolute genius. :)

 

I posted up though because Tesla has announced an electric sedan! That's pretty sweet, but from what I've read on their website, the earliest they expect thing to launch is 8 years from now...so I'll just buy a Volt in the mean time. :)

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Seeing as how my commute is a grand total of 3 miles every work day, something like this could have a very dramatic impact on my gas budget. Even now with my Accord (24/34 mpg), I only have to fill up a little over once a month if I don't take any weekend trips.

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Seeing as how my commute is a grand total of 3 miles every work day, something like this could have a very dramatic impact on my gas budget. Even now with my Accord (24/34 mpg), I only have to fill up a little over once a month if I don't take any weekend trips.

ever consider riding a bicycle to work with that short of commute?

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

 

A top speed of 60 mph and a range of 40 miles built with batteries that pollute more than than Li-Ion when produced is not exactly a Volt killer. Not to mention, you buy a 15,000 and put a 12,000 modification into it in just parts? If you pay someone else to do it, you're up to Volt Prices without Volt features.

 

The concept Volt has a top speed of 80 mph (there's talk of raising that) and a range of 40 miles. Oh, and guess what, after that you're not out of luck like you would be with a complete conversion because you have a back-up generator to provide the power you need.

 

I see nothing in that article that makes me think the Volt is overrated.

 

 

Oh, and I'm on that waiting list already Auggy :boing:http://gm-volt.com

Edited by [LaW]Maverick
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  • 3 weeks later...

Mav,

right on! Yea I didn't see that link as a volt killer either. I saw it as a piece of junk which made me want a volt even more :) LOL!

 

On a serious note, I wish I could make a care like that. But heak the volt is going to be a breakthrough and change it all. In 20 years we could see cars which are affordable and electric like the volt. NO TRANSMISSION!!! AWSOME!

 

Aug

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Just thought you guys might be interested, they "unveiled" the Volt today, and there are some very high resolution pics of it.

 

You can see the pictures HERE

 

The links to the pictures are below the "VOLT" logo on the right. I think it looks pretty sweet! I was hoping for something a bit more aggressive (I like sports cars), but I'm impressed with the overall design. What do you guys think? Oh, and the interior is AWESOME.

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I just ran across this thread, saw an article on CNN yesterday. SJ, its pure electric range is 40 miles, so if you drive less than that each day, you buy no gas and the cost to charge the thing in an outlet is considerably less than the cost of gas. It does have a generator that runs on gas that will extend the range. I think its a great start into the EV genre.

 

Now, since I have little knowledge other than what I've read in the last day or so, I have at least one question for the moment, may come up with others. Has anyone addressed battery life and replacement yet? The "volt-killer" article mentioned that Li batteries were on the order of $10k to $20k. The volts Li battery is a "T" shaped battery across the back and up the middle of the car. Its got to be heavy as hell. How often am I going to have to replace this battery and how much is it going to cost to do it?

 

All of the hype has been on saving gas, which is great. But start plugging millions of these things into outlets and here come the rolling blackouts. What is going to increase on the energy production side of the power grid to combat all of these plug-ins? I will grant you that its not an over night issue type deal, but neither was foreign dependence on gas. I work in the power sector these days, and deal with mostly coal burning power plants. With the current public aversion to nuclear power, are we setting ourselves up for basically switching from one dependence to the another in coal?

 

I'm just trying to think ahead a bit. There's no doubt its a necessary change in the right direction. But man, just think about the implications as a whole of going from gas to electric. The infrastructure change is mind blowing.

 

***I see that a bit of this discussion has already taken place as I read back

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bubble,

I read a while ago that the battery is very small and if I remember it's not lion but lead. I might be wrong however as my memoery on that is old. I do remember reading they kept it small and low on cost for replacement reasons. The 40 mile range not only has it's advantage over traditional hybrids but also on battery expenses as well.

 

thanks for the pics mav.

 

Aug

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No, it's definitely a Li-Ion battery, not lead.

 

The battery is going to be very expensive to replace, but GM is planning on covering the battery for 150,000 miles.

 

GM has also been in talks with the government and power officials addressing the new demands that will crop up once the Volt launches. In addition, GM has been in round-table discussions with the government and major parking complex and lot developers to set up charging stations in parking lots with tax incentives so it won't cost us more to shop at those stores and the charging stations will be free.

 

The battery is the T-shape you saw. It runs through the center console and across the back behind the rear seats.

 

They've also just announced that a Photovoltaic roof will be available to re-capture energy for running things like the A/C which should hopefully give you an extra couple of miles. :)

 

 

40 miles on electric is better than 40 miles on gasoline, to answer your question SJ, and if these things start selling like hot-cakes then they could make a real impact on how much we, as a country, consume in oil each year. Not to mention that once you're on gasoline, you get 48 to 50 mpg in a nice steady line as the gasoline engine only turns hard enough to power a generator for your electric motors.

 

In addition, say goodbye to the slow accelleration and what not--this won't be a Ferrari, but it'll be faster than any hybrid on the market because you'll have instant torque and no transmission. Gotta love it.

 

 

If you have any other questions--fire away--I read about this bloody car every day. :)

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