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#763657 - 03/04/12 04:36 PM Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up [Re: enfoman]
Selden Offline
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Registered: 02/18/08
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Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: enfoman
My personal lament with these cars are simply the long term cost involved. If I am hanging on to it after 3 years and with that there would be the major cost of a new battery pack. People will seldom budget for that with life's other daily expenses being pressed so hard these days.

IF the Volt and Leaf battery systems are as reliable as those of Prius, that shouldn't be an issue, as there are Priuses (Prii?) out there with 10 years and a quarter million miles on the original battery pack.

GM had an assembly plant in Delaware, which they shuttered a few years ago as part of the great restructuring. Fisker bought the plant to build their "Nina" plug-in hybrid (although when I used that term with one of their executives, he was offended, and said the Fiskers are "Extended Range Electric Eehicles = EREV -- I'll take "plug-in hybrid" which has the benefit of not requiring explanation).

After the lawsuits between Fisker and Tesla, I was somewhat skeptical, because Fisker seemed more like a pyramid marketing scheme than a real manufacturer. So far, they have only imported a few of their $100,000 Karma (which is assembled in Finland), and the Nina remains vaporware. There's not an awfully big market (but Justin Bieber got one!) for a $100,000 hybrid sedan that gets crappy gas mileage. Fisker closed the Delaware assembly plant last month, due to schedule slippage (which meant they didn't receive any more government loan money, since they hadn't met production milestones).

I've always been skeptical of the total energy chain efficiency claims of hybrids and all-electric vehicles. On the other hand, I suspect that the author of the Forbes article, "The EPA's Electric Vehicle Mileage Fraud" did not calculate the total energy/carbon cost for gasoline vehicles from well head through transport. The biggest advantage of the electric vehicles is that, for the most part, non-US petroleum isn't required to produce the electricity they ultimately consume. Natural gas is rapidly changing the economics of energy production and consumption.

Even though the article I cite mentions the EPA in an unfavorable light, I do not consider this overtly political, so I hope my post doesn't get flagged. The Forbes article is the first that I have seen that tries to do a total energy cost calculation for electric powered vehicles, so I'm much more interested in the science/engineering/economics, rather than the politics.
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#763664 - 03/04/12 05:16 PM Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up [Re: moshe_levy]
moshe_levy Offline
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Selden, note the age of that article is now over a year old. Since then, you see several very scientific attempts to put "real world" consumption figures on EVs, extended range EVs, and such. Consumer Reports has a very comprehensive formula which they explain in this month's Auto Issue (and I've found their estimates of "real world" consumption more accurate than anyone else's. Motor Trend did a fantastic article as well, showing state-by-state consumption based on that state's primary source of electrical production. As expected, whether an EV makes sense economically or even from an environmental perspective is a complication question depending on personal factors such as driving habits and location.

I do resent the Forbes article's continual focus on politics, as though these vehicles haven't been in planning since well before the current administration, and as though the Leaf has no politics behind it (considering the amount that the state of TN poured into subsidizing Nissan to build Leafs there). The constant drumbeat of anti-EV politics is usually built upon a horribly inaccurate picture of selective subsidies on behalf of the few when in fact the entire industry is on the dole in one form or another.

Finally I caution you not to compare the Prius Nickel battery pack with the new gen Li-Ion packs in Volt, Leaf, Tesla, etc. Nobody really knows how Li-Ion will hold up. They have a HUGE advantage over Nickel in terms of capacity per size / mass, but there is no real reliability data - yet. We have to start somewhere.

And for the record, the figure of 250k miles on a Prius pack is nothing to brag about. Several taxi companies with Prius fleets are getting close to 500-600k miles per pack, still going strong. Canadian fleets have units with over 1 million KMs, still going. They trade maintenance tips on my Prius forum and all agree they are the most reliable vehicles they have ever used for commercial fleet duty. No mean feat.

-MKL
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#763686 - 03/04/12 06:51 PM Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up [Re: moshe_levy]
Selden Offline
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Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 4712
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Moshe, Can you provide some links to other articles on this? It's obviously a very controversial and complex subject. I could do my own searching, but I suspect that you have the information at your fingertips.

I agree that durability of the newer battery systems is unknown at this time. Toyota is also using Li ion batteries, and one would hope that with their experience in hybrid drive train engineering, they wouldn't go with a system that didn't at least equal what they've been building for the past decade, but we really won't have any answers until around 2020. Who knows what technology will be "hot" by then.
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#763691 - 03/04/12 07:09 PM Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up [Re: moshe_levy]
moshe_levy Offline
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Selden, you mean articles on MPGe or the Prius' reliability? Let me know.

Yes, Toyota is now using Li-Ion in the Prius plug-ins. Basically just copying what owners have done for years. On older models some owners shelled out some $10-15k i the early years to retrofit the Nickel batteries with Li-Ion in order to achieve plug in capability. Now you can get it straight from the factory, though there are still aftermarket companies that sell the cells for retrofit to older models.

-MKL
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#763719 - 03/04/12 09:16 PM Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) [Re: moshe_levy]
AviP Offline
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Registered: 12/01/04
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Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Sales have been on an uptick recently, though. Last month the Volt outsold the Leaf 2 to 1. Hopefully this will continue.

This just in: GM Will Stop Making Volt Plug-in for 5 Weeks. Read the section titled "Insufficient Demand".
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#763721 - 03/04/12 09:26 PM Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) [Re: AviP]
lawnchairboy Offline
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from the linky:

"The fact that GM is now facing an oversupply of Volts suggests that consumer demand is just not that strong for these vehicles, said Lacey Plache, chief economist for auto-research website Edmunds.com."

that about covers it.
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#763724 - 03/04/12 09:36 PM Re: GM Claims Volt Owners Seeing up to 1,000 Miles Range w/o Filling up [Re: moshe_levy]
Selden Offline
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Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 4712
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
Selden, you mean articles on MPGe or the Prius' reliability? Let me know.

MPGe
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#763726 - 03/04/12 09:46 PM Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) [Re: moshe_levy]
moshe_levy Offline
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Registered: 07/05/06
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OK. For MPGe, even the basic Wiki page is quite informative - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_per_gallon_gasoline_equivalent and note the May 2011 rule (joint per NHTSA and EPA) which the Forbes article precedes. I do not know of a Consumer Reports link to cover their calculations so it' sbest to subscribe to that magazine unless someone else knows of a link.

Re "real world" testing nobody I have read holds a candle to the Motor Trend report which IS online here http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alte...on/viewall.html This is a superb, comprehensive article. Note the state-by-state charting of emissions based on energy supply:



The text should list state-by-state energy supply and assume local supply (so coal for electric in midwestern states, more renewable supply on the east coast, etc.). It does in the magazine test, anyway.

Kudos to Motor Trend. They went from the crappiest to the best car mag under Australian editor Angus MacKensie's leadership. In depth reporting like this is why.

-MKL
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#763789 - 03/05/12 08:40 AM Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) [Re: moshe_levy]
philbytx Offline
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Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 6891
Loc: Kerrville, TX
Regarding the Volt lack of salability.

Why on earth the government didn't push for CNG I just can't fathom. Establish a larger infrastructure and concurrently have Government Motors build CNG vehicles!

Also, a Government mandate for CNG use in all public vehicles (a lot of municipalities have CNG buses now) plus tax incentives for existing diesel to CNG conversions.

We have CNG "up the wazoo" here and it is an established technology with clearly recognizable cost savings.





Edited by philbytx (03/05/12 08:41 AM)
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#763796 - 03/05/12 08:57 AM Re: Hybrid Hatred (Volt related) [Re: moshe_levy]
moshe_levy Offline
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Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 3730
Loc: NJ - God Help Me
CNG? What is that, natural gas?

-MKL
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