Monday, November 17, 2008

GM Volt -- Charged with Fraud

Detroit lunacy grows. This pathetically limited vehicle is touted as one that travels more than 100 miles per gallon. The vice-chairman of GM claims it will go 150 miles per gallon. That's nonsense.

In one way, the nonsense favors the Volt. Why? It is an electric vehicle that is recharged by plugging into the nearest electrical outlet. Electricity in the US is made from coal, natural gas, hydropower and nuclear energy. Only 2% of US electricity is made from burning oil. Hence, it is fair to claim the Volt travels an almost unlimited number of miles per gallon of petroleum.

However, the Volt includes a tiny gasoline engine that will recharge the batteries if the car is too far from an electrical outlet. During those gasoline-powered recharging sessions, the car will travel exactly zero miles per gallon. Therefore, the distance it travels on oil will drop rapidly if the driver uses the gasoline engine to recharge it. Furthermore, when it comes to energy, there is no free lunch. Depending on the little gasoline engine to recharge the batteries is like filling a swimming pool with a garden hose. Eventually, you get there, but the amount of energy expended to recharge the batteries is greater than the amount of energy available to move the vehicle.

Or, if the driver runs out of juice in a creepy part of town in the middle of the night, with no headlights, no sound system, and none of the other amenities of modern driving, he or she might call AAA and request a tow truck rather than wait hours for the small engine to recharge the batteries.

In that case, the near infinite mileage per gallon will hold. That's the practical reality from the driver's point of view.

What does GM get from the Volt?

It gets a new gambit to skirt mileage requirements -- and remain in business. CAFE mileage standards apply to passenger cars. But not pick-up trucks. They are not passenger cars, which exempts them from the EPA standards. However, for years they have been selling briskly and profitably. Now, however, truck sales are falling. The cash cow is running out of milk. Hence, Detroit, especially GM, needs a new way around the mileage standards. It looks like the Volt offers the path of least resistance.

If the EPA accepts the claim that the Volt travels 100 or 150 miles per gallon, then for every Volt GM manufactures, it can produce 6, 8 or maybe even 10 vehicles that guzzle gas while still meeting CAFE requirements.

The Big Question for the Volt is the question of pricing. What is its value to GM and the union workforce? What is its optimum price? What is the price that results in enough sales to permit GM to build cars that have some chance of earning a profit for the company?


Cranking the Volt to 100 M.P.G.

WHEN Robert A. Lutz, vice chairman of General Motors, introduced a new wrinkle in hybrid electric cars to the automotive press at the 2007 Detroit auto show, he deftly offered a fuel-economy rating sure to grab headlines: 150 miles to the gallon, or at least its equivalent, based on a mix of driving conditions.

Nearly two years later that car, the Chevrolet Volt — designed to make most trips on battery power alone, but equipped with a gasoline engine to provide electricity when the lithium-ion cells are depleted — has advanced from a design study to a model headed for production. The time is fast approaching when Mr. Lutz’s teaser must be squared with the reality of government-approved ratings.

Around Detroit, the certainty of a Volt mileage rating above 100 m.p.g. is today’s worst-kept secret. The only unknown is how much more than 100 the window sticker will read, because the sticky process of deciding exactly how to rate a new generation of hybrid-powered cars is still being worked out.

Often criticized as the killer of kilowatt cars, G.M. is now the champion of their revival. The Volt, which the company plans to begin selling in November 2010, should easily double the fuel economy rating of today’s mileage hero, the Toyota Prius. The Prius, which carries a 46 m.p.g. rating in combined city and highway driving, is a conventional hybrid that uses modest amounts of electricity to minimize the fuel consumed by its gasoline engine.

The Volt takes the opposite approach, relying mainly on electric power, with its gasoline engine running only when needed to stretch the driving range. The 100 m.p.g. automobile, which once seemed an impossible dream, will become an official E.P.A.-rated reality with the Volt’s arrival.

G.M. calls the car an extended-range electric vehicle, or E-REV. For the first 40 miles after leaving home with a fully charged battery, the Volt will consume no gas at all, according to G.M.; when the gas engine does fire up, it will only drive a generator — the engine is not connected to the wheels. Owners will recharge the battery overnight from a wall socket, which brings the Volt into the category of plug-in hybrids.

Placing a meaningful mileage rating on a car capable of running through the government’s test cycles without using any gas at all is no simple matter. Still, the Volt will consume gas on trips longer than its 40-mile battery-powered range, so it must carry some guide to consumption on its window sticker.

Mileage ratings are one of the E.P.A.’s reasons for being. In 1975, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act heaped a thankless task on this agency’s plate: directing carmakers to attach labels to the vehicles they sell showing fuel economy, estimated annual fuel costs and the range of fuel economy achieved by comparable vehicles.

It is also the E.P.A.’s responsibility to help automakers determine the figures that go on those labels, a job only slightly less daunting than weather forecasting. The specific test procedures used to generate mileage figures can be revised only by an act of Congress, but the E.P.A. has made regular adjustments in the mileage reported to consumers in response to changes in driving habits, traffic conditions and vehicle design. Trimming the 2008 model-year mileage figures by about 20 percent from previous years’ results yielded the best correlation yet between what automakers post on window stickers and what consumers experience on the road, especially for hybrid vehicles.

The latest hybrids and electrics are not the first deviations from ordinary gasoline-fueled automobiles the E.P.A. has faced. Vehicles that run on pure electricity, mixtures of gasoline and E85 ethanol, compressed natural gas and hydrogen (fuel-cell vehicles now in the demonstration stage) all required adjustments — in layman’s terms, fudge factors — to the way energy consumption is reported. It is no longer a strictly scientific measurement, but takes into account compensating factors.

The Tesla Roadster, an all-electric sports car that is now being delivered to early customers, is an interesting example of this process. Because the Tesla never consumes petroleum while driving, the E.P.A.-required window sticker lists the energy consumed in kilowatt-hours of electricity. Translating the Roadster’s numbers — 32 kilowatt hours per 100 miles in town and 33 on the highway — to more familiar units using a textbook conversion factor yields impressive ratings of 105 m.p.g. in the city and 102 on the highway. But applying the adjustment factor devised by the Energy Department, which takes into account not only energy content but also such considerations as scarcity of the fuel and production and distribution efficiency, yields far more impressive mileage figures: 256 m.p.g. in the city and 249 on the highway.

In the electric-car realm, the prevailing attitude seems to be the more the merrier, in part because of provisions in the government’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules, which let automakers earn credits for exceeding the minimum requirements. While mileage credits cannot yet be swapped company to company, Tesla Motors hopes that will change, eventually permitting it to sell mileage credits to brands burdened with gas-guzzling models.

But the vehicle technologies already addressed by the E.P.A. do not provide a procedure suitable for measuring the mileage of a plug-in vehicle like the Chevy Volt. According to Jon Lauckner, vice president for global program management at G.M., the Volt can complete six of the 11-mile-long city cycles or the same number of 10.3-mile highway cycles on one battery charge.

The E.P.A. turned to the Argonne National Laboratory, one of 21 Energy Department research centers and a regular ally in mileage matters, to formulate a way to assess the new hyper-efficient vehicles using existing test procedures.

Michael Duoba, an engineer with the Center for Transportation Research at Argonne, about 25 miles from Chicago, explained the thinking behind the new methods his group is developing. “Our priority is instituting m.p.g. figures that are rational and reasonable,” he said. “The new results must be comparable to the mileage achieved by conventional vehicles of the past and present. Also, all of the new advanced technologies must be fairly represented.”

What makes this difficult is the way plug-in vehicles operate. Unlike gasoline, diesel, hybrid, flex-fuel and even fuel-cell vehicles, plug-in vehicles have two distinct operating routines.

“During the first 40 or so miles of driving, the Chevy Volt runs on energy from its battery in what we call a charge-depleting mode,” Mr. Duoba said. “Then, after the battery reaches the minimum acceptable state of charge, the Volt’s gasoline engine starts and this car continues in what we call its charge-sustaining mode.”

Mr. Duoba’s game plan is to repeatedly use the E.P.A.’s driving cycles to measure the Volt’s consumption in both of its operating modes. (In addition to the familiar city and highway tests, cycles for high speed, air-conditioning and cold temperature conditions were added to help bring the final label closer to real-world driving experience.)

First, the Volt is driven repeatedly on each E.P.A. test cycle until its battery is depleted to determine the number of kilowatt-hours of electricity consumed and the number of miles accumulated. Using an Energy Department Petroleum Equivalency Factor established for electrics and hybrids in 2000, the electric consumption is then converted to gallons of gasoline.

Next, the Volt is driven repeatedly on the same test cycle in its charge-sustaining mode, with the gasoline-powered generator, rather than the batteries, providing electricity. That yields a second set of gallons-consumed and miles-accumulated figures.

Now for the tough part: blending the total gallons consumed and miles driven together in some credible way to obtain final city and highway mileage figures suitable for posting on the Volt’s window sticker. Argonne’s intention is to use what it calls a utility factor, in essence a driving trip that consists of some charge-depleting miles and some charge-sustaining miles.

Plug-in hybrids with a long charge-depleting range like the Volt should not have any difficulty clearing the 100-m.p.g. hurdle, Mr. Duoba said. Preliminary tests of the plug-in Prius that Toyota plans to introduce in 2010 indicates that it will achieve 70 to 90 m.p.g.

Of course, the final results will depend on the utility factor. Mr. Duoba said that the Transportation Department’s National Highway Transportation Survey, current research studying consumer driving habits and input from carmakers would all factor into Argonne’s utility factor. Once there is consensus, the Society of Automotive Engineers will publish the Argonne-designed test procedure as its Standard J1711: Recommended Practice for Measuring Exhaust Emissions and Fuel Economy of Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

That leaves one last issue open for discussion. To separate the Volt from ordinary hybrids like the Prius, and to earn zero-emissions-vehicle credits in California, G.M. hopes to define its mileage hero as something truly different.

Because the Volt is always powered by electricity, G.M. says it should not be lumped into the same category as hybrids that use both gasoline and electric propulsion, preferring to call the Volt — and other products that will share its technology — extended-range electric vehicles.

Adding another category to the vehicular mix poses a knotty question: if the Volt is not a hybrid, as G.M. contends, how can the S.A.E.’s hybrid electric vehicle test procedure be used to tell the world that the Chevy is a genuine 100 m.p.g. automobile?

39 Comments:

Blogger Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

they need to just focus of looking at all the bad decisions they have had and re vamp completely

10:08 AM  
Blogger Tom Saxton said...

This "blog" plagarizes an article from the New York Times.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Don said...

1. EPA does not set CAFE standards. DOT does.
2. Trucks do have to meet CAFE standards. It is just a looser standard (23 mpg vs 27.5 mpg in 2008).
3. The Volt (if it gets built) will not be rendered immobile for hours once the battery is drained. If anything, acceleration performance will be weaker when the battery's drained, but that's all. Your scenario about running out of juice is just fear-mongering.
4. CAFE is calculated using a harmonic average. That means that a single 150 mpg vehicle will not enable dozens of gas guzzlers to continue to be sold.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WRONG! You dont stop, recharge, and then go again. It continues to travel while rechargiing. When using the battery, it drains to approxaimately 20%. Then, the "generator" kicks in which charges the battery to help maintain a charge (enough so that the powertrain system et al. continues to run). The battery can the n be recharged up to 100% when you reach the next outlet.

I expect another blog to come out with correct information.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Tom Saxton said...

You can't keep driving when the battery pack is dead.

Fact: the onboard engine isn't big enough to power the vehicle, at least not at freeway speeds. That's why GM says it has a limited range.

Fact: You have to pull energy out of the pack faster than the generator puts energy in, at least at freeway speeds.

Fact: Lithium Ion batteries don't like to be fully discharged. Once the battery pack gets to the lower limit of the healthy range, you'll want to wait for it to build up a significant charge before you resume draining it by barreling down the freeway.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Saxton:

Fact: You dont know what you're talking about. The vehicle has been designed to avoid the problems you mentioned.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Tom Saxton said...

Really? Show me.

If it doesn't have the problem I described, then why does it have a limited range?

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has a limited range becuase it has a limmted fuel capacity (just like all vehicles, which also have limited range). It will be able to run ~40miles on the battery alone (assuming the battery that is targeted remains), and then the "generator", which currently is planned to run on plain old gasoline, kicks in and charges the battery... while still in motion. Of course you can always run out of gas (just like all vehicles).

It's called a serial hybrid (different from the parallel hybrids that are being driven on roads today), do your research. No one, even GM, would build such a ridiculous notion of a car that is suggested in this blog, becuase no consumer would buy it.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Tom Saxton said...

Anonymous says I'm wrong, but cites no facts.

Wikipedia says the Volt has a 53kw generator and 111kw motor. Therefore, you can't fully power the motor with just the generator, instead you get only about half of the motor's power and torque using the generator with a depleted battery pack.

Therefore, you can't get full power until you have charged up the battery pack.

Don't say I haven't done my research if you're not willing to share your research, or even identify yourself.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blog implies that the battery will die, and you have to wait for the battery to be charged to drive it again. Again, that is simply not true.

I guess I dont know what you're debating. Even your reference says taht it has a range of 640 miles (Wikipedia... a reference... for real?). 640 miles will be without having to stop and recharge (although I think 640 is a rather optimistic).

I get it... 111-53=58. Ahh, if it were only that simple.

9:10 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

tom saxton, my blog plagiarizes nothing. I copied the article in full and never claimed it was mine.

10:11 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

don,

Batteries discharge to the point that they cannot power the device of which they are part. That does not mean the last electron has been drained. But it does mean they are discharged to the point of uselessness.

The Volt is not weightless or frictionless. It takes power to move it and the battery can reach a state of discharge when that is no longer possible.

As stated, due to the weaknesses of lithium-ion battery technology, it's a bad idea to run them down to low levels of charge.

As for the CAFE standard, and the implied mileage for the Volt, there is no doubt GM will use to increase the production of vehicles that have some possibility of earning profits.

GM is not a social service agency or an altruistic organization. It must return to profitability or file for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Of course a Chapter 11 filing is the best idea. Bankruptcy would reorganize the company into a corporation with the flexibility and capital structure to earn a profit from Volt sales.

That is the outcome the company, the industry and the country needs.

10:20 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

The Volt has a small gasoline engine that is not connected to the drive train.

That small engine powers a generator that recharges the battery.

You can run the small gasoline engine while the Volt is tooling along the highway or while it is sitting on the side of the road.

If you run the small gasoline engine while the car is moving down the highway, then you are putting water into a swimming pool through a tiny hose while water is running out rapidly through a huge drain at the bottom.

If you run the small engine while the car is sitting on the side of the road, then you are filling the swimming pool by running water into it through a small hose.

The energy issue is very simple and rather silly. The Volt may be the new Edsel.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me be blunt, your scenario of being stranded in a creepy city with no power for anything and having to wait is plain stupid and wrong. That is what I have a prblem with. Don is right; it is just fearmongering. It is pointless to debate with poeple like you, who enter with bias and then use faulty logic like your swimming pool analogy.

And re: fililng Chapter 11... dont tell me that GM isnt or already hasnt started the restructuring and innovation you call for, Im living it (FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS!).

Yes, you people pissed me off becuase you dont even know. Please I implore you to do real research (dont rely
on high school logic or wikipedia) or shut up.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous John said...

"The 53-kw generator, powered by the engine, can recharge the battery in about 30 minutes and, under certain driving conditions, send current directly to the motor." This explains all your confusion about how the generator cannot simply charge the battery alone. The electricity from the generator can be used to power the electric motor.

Check out:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4215492.html

1:23 AM  
Blogger Tom Saxton said...

no slappz: you put another person's work on your blog without crediting them. That's plagiarism.

john: nice find on the time to recharge the battery pack. The statement that the generator can send power directly to the motor "under certain driving conditions" confirms that you can't drive the vehicle at full capability off of the generator alone. But, a 30-minute charge time, probably less before you can start driving, isn't too bad.

1:32 AM  
Blogger Tom Saxton said...

Regarding using Wikipedia as a reference...

The specs I quoted were all backed up by references to GM press releases.

Don't knock it if you haven't read it.

1:59 AM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

anonymous,

With respect to GM and bankruptcy, there may be a lot of changes that have occurred over the last decaded.

But, the company is losing market share and it is losing money. Like it or not, the day of reckoning is here.

A company cannot lose market-share AND lose money indefinitely. It will implode at some point. That point is reached when the money runs out. According to the latest from GM management, that day is getting closer every time they speak about it.

Recently the Big Day was anticipated to fall in 2009 or 2010. However, the latest claims from management are suggesting that GM might run dry of cash before the end of this year.

Even if money is extorted from taxpayers to fund a deeply flawed company now, GM will continue along its path to an eventual implosion.

The ONLY way to save the Company and the American Car Industry is through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Virtually every gasbag commenting on Detroit uses terms like "failure" and "liquidation". Both terms are wrong. They do not apply.

Chapter 11 restores the health of troubled companies. A GM Ch 11 filing can be structured to maintain almost every job in the company and the industry. BUT, people like Wagoner and Gettelfinger will get booted.

The other option is for the UAW to buy GM. At its current share price of $3, the entire company can be bought for $1.8 billion.

If UAW members believe they know what they are doing, then their chance to prove it has arrived.

I would support a plan in which the government buys the stock and gives it to the UAW.

What do you think?

9:33 AM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

tom saxton,

I put other people's work on my blog all the time. Too bad if you don't like it. I don't care what you call it.

I use the commentaries of others because they offer good stuff to readers.

9:35 AM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

It appears that most of those who have commented about the Volt know very little about energy.

Long story short -- a battery can be discharged to the point that it will no longer power the device it is meant to power. Thus, it is possible for the Volt to stop moving due to a low level of charge in the battery.

Second, the little gasoline engine cannot recharge the battery as fast as the car can discharge it during normal operations.

Like I said, think of filling and draining a swimming pool. The gasoline engine is a little hose recharges the battery. And driving the Volt depletes the charge as though it is a big drain at the bottom of the pool.

The inflow from the little hose cannot keep up with the outflow of running the Volt. Period.

Thus, a 30-minute recharge will result in drive time of less than 10 minutes.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have driven an EV that would go 160 miles on less than a gallon of gas equivalent. When the battery gets low, you just go slower. You don't "die" as in a gas car, just slow down.
The point is, that driving a car at freeway speeds is not necessary in the ghetto. The little gas engine can very easily supply the motor. The motor DOES NOT have to use that much power for doing 25 mph. The gas engine will allow for freeway
speeds
I tend to agree. You don't really know what you are talking about, and you are not too swift with physics.
Robindalab

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Saxton said...

no slappz said "Thus, a 30-minute recharge will result in drive time of less than 10 minutes."

The 30-minute charge mentioned earlier was from the 53kw generator, which charges much faster than a wall outlet. A wall outlet is 115V * 12A = 1380w = 1.38kw.

With a charged battery pack, you can drive 40 miles. That's more than 10 minutes of driving.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous john said...

Debate how "energy" works all you want, but it's obvious you dont know anything about the e-flex platform and how it works. Now check out: http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/01/07/detroit-auto-show-general-motors-e-flex-platform/

Of course, you can choose not to educate yourself if you wish. This explains Tom and Slappz hard-line stance. However, if you take the time to truly understand the e-flex archtecture you'll realize that the analogies you've described are simply inappropriate.

1:41 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

From a Volt website:

"New era in automotive transportation

The Chevrolet Volt is leading a new era of electrification of the automobile by creating a new class of vehicle known as the Extended-Range Electric Vehicle, or E-REV.

The Volt uses electricity to move the wheels at all times and speeds. For trips up to 40 miles, the Volt is powered only by electricity stored in its 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery.

When the battery's energy is depleted, a gasoline/E85-powered engine generator seamlessly provides electricity to power the Volt's electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery.

This mode of operation extends the range of the Volt for several hundred additional miles, until the vehicle's battery can be charged. Unlike a conventional battery-electric vehicle, the Volt eliminates "range anxiety," giving the confidence and peace of mind that the driver will not be stranded by a depleted battery.

The Chevrolet Volt can be plugged either into a standard household 120v outlet or use 240v for charging. The vehicle's intelligent charging technology enables the Volt's battery to be charged in less than three hours on a 240v outlet or about eight hours on a 120v outlet.

Charge times are reduced if the battery has not been fully depleted. At a cost of about 80 cents per day (10 cents per kWh) for a full charge that will deliver up to 40 miles of electric driving, GM estimates that the Volt will be less expensive to recharge than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee.

Charging the Volt about once daily will consume less electric energy annually than the average home's refrigerator and freezer units.

Charge out of driving

The Chevrolet Volt offers spirited driving performance in a remarkably quiet interior.

More than 220 lithium-ion cells contained within the Volt's battery pack provide ample power. The Volt's electric drive unit delivers the equivalent of 150 horsepower, 273 lb-ft. (370 Nm) of instant torque, and a top speed of 100 miles per hour.

The lack of engine noise, combined with special sound-deadening materials, make the Chevrolet Volt an extremely quiet vehicle to drive.

GM estimates that the Volt will cost about two cents per mile to drive while under battery power compared to 12 cents per mile using gasoline priced at $3.60 per gallon.

For an average driver who drives 40 miles per day (or 15,000 miles per year), this amounts to a cost savings of $1,500 annually.

Using peak electric rates, GM estimates that an electrically driven mile in a Chevy Volt will be about one-sixth of the cost of a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle.

The cost savings are even greater when charging during off-peak hours, when electric rates are cheaper.

1:48 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

tom saxton,

Stating things more accurately:

Thirty minutes of recharging will not fully recharge the batteries if the recharge is begun when the battery charge is very low.

Moreover, 30 minutes of recharging will provide much less than 30 minutes of driving time -- about 10 minutes -- depending on speed and other factors draining the batteries.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Tom Saxton said...

no slappz,

Where are you getting this from? It doesn't make any sense.

The battery pack in the Volt hold 16 kwh. The generator produces 53kw. In one hour, the generator produces 53kw, enough to charge the battery pack completely from zero charge over three times! Even allowing for 10% losses during charging, the generator can easily charge the battery pack from zero charge in under 30 minutes.

Even when driving at low speeds, the generator has enough power to push the car AND charge the battery.

The only time a low battery pack is a problem is when speeds are high enough to need more than 53kw, somewhere in the freeway speed range.

1:59 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

From the Volt Website:

"When the battery's energy is depleted, a gasoline/E85-powered engine generator seamlessly provides electricity to power the Volt's electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery."

In other words, the little gasoline engine is a de facto energy reserve that will allow the driver to travel back to a recharging site at a slow speed.

Both submarines and train locomotives operate with engines and batteries. There's nothing new or unusual about this arrangement. It's good if you operate on a regular route, like trains and submarines. But it imposes serious limitations on the average American car driver.

Moreover, plenty of people have daily commutes greater than 40 miles. The idea of limping home every day with batteries that cannot keep the car moving at highway speeds is a lousy selling point.

2:03 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:08 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

I just realized something.

This crazy car is even less than I thought. It is a screwball hybrid that is masquerading as an all-electric vehicle.

Worse, it is meant to lull buyers into some sense of comfort with a gasoline engine that drives a 53-kilowatt generator.

53 kilowatts equals about 70 horsepower. Thus, if the engine can drive the generator to produce 53 kilowatts of power, then the engine develops more than 70 horsepower.

Now it's clear GM has been totally dishonest about this vehicle.

2:33 PM  
Blogger David B. Dancy said...

I see you have not learned a thing. The very points you have tried to make (No such thing as peak oil) over the last year have been the very issues that have buried our automakers.
Now you have the nerve to critique there eleventh hour Hail Mary business plan.
Idiots that own oil futures have managed to lobby our automakers into a suicidal business model...good riddance.

12:07 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

David Dancy,

GM, Ford and Chrysler are in trouble because it costs them more than Honda and Toyota to make good cars.

The US carmakers produce a number of good vehicles, but they lose money doing it. By definition, they are flawed.

If you can read financial statements, then look at the numbers from GM and Ford. They've been going downhill for years.

Chrysler is a private company, which means no numbers are available.

"Peak Oil" is a laugh. No such thing. Or, if it is possible for oil consumption to test the limits of true maximum production, then that day is far in the future.

With oil at $50 a barrel, it's clear that day is just someone's bad dream.

Detroit's problems have no connection to oil futures.

12:25 AM  
Blogger joshua said...

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Sharon

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12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol, no critical thinking abilities present in the blogger....Ok, so the engine is 111kw...News flash, that is PEAK consumption...just because it is rated at 111kw, does not mean that is how much power is uses 100% of the time. 111kw is pedal to the floor. Think about how much power even on the freeway you use in a regular car, do you hold the pedal more than 1/4 of the way? Once you reach cruising speed, it takes dramaticly less power to maintain it. The faster you go, the more power it takes because of drag and friction. I bet the car would have no problem recharging the battery and going 65-70 on 53kw power. If you put the pedal to the floor, just don't expect a lot of acceleration with a depleted battery. But since the battery charges so quickly off generator power, the odds that someone would not have acceleration power are slim to none. Your ideas only make sense if someone drives 100% of the time with the pedal to the floor. You have no logic or reasoning abilites to look at the entire picture. Your view of this is so narrow that Im sure you believe you are 100% right. Well take a step back and weight ALL the factors and not just one or two, because when you realize that your thinking is based on a situation that will never happen (100% acceleration all the time) you will be a better person when you admit you were wrong.

12:46 AM  
Blogger Gilbert Sollars said...

I read all the comments and I tend to agree with those that state that GM is a flawed company and that teh Bolt is a lousy car. Common sense from the buyer's perspective tells me that I will not buy a hybrid or this hoax (the bolt)until I can get similar performance from them as I can get from a gasoline engine powered car. Few peole are going to be willing to deal with this type of performance unless mandated by congress which might very well be the next step to ensure GM's survival. One thing I have noticed is that no one is discussing the cost of replacing the batteries whenever they die. I have read that the Prius batteries will cost almost $8,000 to replace when they die. Do you think a Prius owner will pony up $8,000 for a new set of batteries then? Or will the owner be able to sell that Prious to an unsuspecting buyer? If you are the buyer and are aware of the battery issue would you buy a used Prius that is on the verge of battery replacement? The answer is to get the government out of the car business and let those that understand it run the business to achieve profit and let the chips fall where they may. If GM can' compete in an open and free market, then it doesn't deserve to survive.

10:21 AM  
Blogger iamsamm said...

An now they will scratch their heads, and wonder why consumer confidence in GM has headed down the toilet. It's just this type if incident and lies to the public that have and continue to erode our confidence in our government, corporations, and politicians.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you will charge GM Volt battery at home and work, with electricity, which isn't cheap and clean, the life of battery set will be reduced drastically.
If you decide to buy an $8000 to $10000 battery set every 3 to 4 years buy a GM volt.
Overusing the hybrid car battery can dramatically shorten the battery life span.
Coal is used to create almost half of all electricity generated in the United States. ...
Who Needs a Hybrid When You Can Have a Diesel?
Volkswagen Jetta TDI turbo-diesel delivers 50 mpg.

8:52 PM  

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