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Old 06-27-2008, 09:30 AM   #21
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The cynic in me would say that the Volt program is just to appear to make enough nano scale incremental advances to keep the cheques rolling in from the Freedom Car program. Therefore volt is already doing as designed, making GM income.
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:06 PM   #22
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The entire situation is frustrating being that many of us knew this day was coming. I bought a VX anticipating increased energy costs and haven't regretted it one bit. Car companies are making progress, but are taking their sweet time especially in GM's case.

I suspect the initial version of the Volt will be conservative and hopefully (like the Prius) lead to future improved models. Honestly I don't recommend buying the first production year of any car and in particular this stands true for the Volt.

The weight gains of new cars are out of control. It is one thing to be comfortable, but needing so much space and gizmos seems unreasonable given energy costs. Humans have not increased in size that much since the 70s. I suspect it is a matter of expectations of vehicle space changing as a result of the SUV "revolution" if you could call it that. Safety has played a secondary role and more SUVs on the road have not helped with this either.

I've been keeping an eye on Aptera (www.aptera.com) hoping that they will make their carbon fiber extreme efficiency three-wheeled vehicle a reality. They have a pure electric and a series hybrid in the works and the prices aren't supposed to be too bad. I'm starting to wondering if some of the smaller companies might get it together before the big guys. I suspect we'll be seeing more crazy aero-shaped vehicles like this in the future.

Overall, I think we need to encourage these companies despite some of their efforts being late and slow. We just have to get to the tipping point and the technology is likely to run away.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:38 PM   #23
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I'm amazed at all the hate for the Volt. They're making a genuine, honest effort that NOBODY ELSE IS MAKING, and people just dump on them constantly.

Folks, if we could go from the 12mpg 5000lb V8 SUV directly to 1500lb all-electric 500mi range instant recharge technology, somebody would have already done it. Instead, baby steps are necessary. The first was Prius, the next was hybrids like the Civic and GM's mild hybrids. Volt is the next step.

Volt is a few steps beyond Prius. Prius is EPA rated 48/45. If Volt gets EPA rated 50 in gas-generation mode it still beats the Prius without even having the plug-in ability that Prius lacks...and still offers additional value for plug-in ability!

GM's vision for Volt is NOT merely a plug-in hybrid. They want to use it as a basis for nearly modular electric car technology, where they could easily replace the gas generator with other power sources - diesel generator, fuel cell, additional batteries, whatever. It's the next step, but it's NOT the final destination. Think of it that way and it becomes worthwhile to support it, unless you really want ALL car companies to think the public hates the idea of alternative power -- because all this hate isn't just observed by GM; other companies look at it and say "To hell with that, let's not get involved."



Where do you get aluminum cheaper than steel?

haha my thoughts too aluminum is and has ALWAYS been more expensive than steel...sure its lighter and rust proof BUT you cannot attach aluminum to steel (by welding or mechanical) or it corrodes...

some people think that cars have had no changes since the dawn of car till now then get in a hissy fit when a new technology, (ie battery/ hybrid) technology comes into play they expect it to be instantly perfect and get a billion mpg, but wait! gotta have fancy seats, power everything, billion speaker radio that can pump out 200 watts, air conditioning (god forbid someone sweats in this country), and who knows what else!

noone would buy the thing if all it had was a bench seat, pedals, and a steering wheel...

sure car companies could be doing much better but gotta admit between the 1980's cars to todays cars theres ALOT of fancy features that people now expect to be on every new car(hell my chevette didnt even come with cupholders, now cars have like 20 of em), so its not 100% the automakers fault. they have to sell cars too...
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:20 AM   #24
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haha my thoughts too aluminum is and has ALWAYS been more expensive than steel...sure its lighter and rust proof BUT you cannot attach aluminum to steel (by welding or mechanical) or it corrodes...

some people think that cars have had no changes since the dawn of car till now then get in a hissy fit when a new technology, (ie battery/ hybrid) technology comes into play they expect it to be instantly perfect and get a billion mpg, but wait! gotta have fancy seats, power everything, billion speaker radio that can pump out 200 watts, air conditioning (god forbid someone sweats in this country), and who knows what else!

noone would buy the thing if all it had was a bench seat, pedals, and a steering wheel...

sure car companies could be doing much better but gotta admit between the 1980's cars to todays cars theres ALOT of fancy features that people now expect to be on every new car(hell my chevette didnt even come with cupholders, now cars have like 20 of em), so its not 100% the automakers fault. they have to sell cars too...
I think the problem that is more disturbing is not that everybody expects everything from their car, it's that we still don't have 42V electrical systems in our cars, facilitating ELECTRIC Air Conditioning which would have ZERO load on the car when it's not being used unlike the current situation as it stands.

We need 42V electric everything if we plan on reducing the amount of drag on the car, the amount of weight in copper wires running around the chassis and to increase the fuel efficiency of these cars. If we had higher voltage systems and more electric this and that, then all these amenities would be very insignificant in terms of its affects on mileage.

Power Steering=Electric
Power Brakes=Electric
Air Conditioning=Electric
Engine Cooling=Electric (We already have it somewhat)

Also with higher voltage, we could have more powerful starter motors which could instantly turn on the car, on demand when ever we come to a stop, all while not being a hybrid, so to speak. I mean adding 90% of the features a hybrid has such as regenerative braking to a non hybrid would dramatically increase city fuel economy without the large number of expensive batteries.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:31 AM   #25
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well if the cars small enough it doesnt need power steering dont need power brakes dont need air conditioning and why not air cooled? (hell VW did it in the 30's)
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:11 AM   #26
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Power Steering=Electric
Power Brakes=Electric
Air Conditioning=Electric
Engine Cooling=Electric (We already have it somewhat)

Also with higher voltage, we could have more powerful starter motors which could instantly turn on the car, on demand when ever we come to a stop, all while not being a hybrid, so to speak. I mean adding 90% of the features a hybrid has such as regenerative braking to a non hybrid would dramatically increase city fuel economy without the large number of expensive batteries.
You've just described the GM hybrid SUV/Truck that failed to sell a few years ago (the market didn't want it), and their "Mild Hybrid" system that's on Chevy Malibus on dealer lots right now for anyone to buy. Is 36v enough for you?

Many small cars come with electric power steering already, including my VW.
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:54 AM   #27
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You've just described the GM hybrid SUV/Truck that failed to sell a few years ago (the market didn't want it), and their "Mild Hybrid" system that's on Chevy Malibus on dealer lots right now for anyone to buy. Is 36v enough for you?

Many small cars come with electric power steering already, including my VW.
Yeah, on the full size trucks the old hybrid system only got 1 mpg better than the stock powertrain. Now with the full hybrid system the full size trucks are supposed to get the same mileage, highway or city.

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Old 06-28-2008, 08:42 AM   #28
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Power Steering=Electric
Power Brakes=Electric
Air Conditioning=Electric
Engine Cooling=Electric (We already have it somewhat)
Power steering = Most companies have gone to electric already. Even the Elantra has electric power steering.

Power Brakes = I really hope you are joking. Power brakes can't get much more efficient on a car nowadays than using the manifold vacuum they already use(and have used for decades). Hybrids usually use hydraulic power brakes using the electric power steering pump(not a loss-less system like manifold vacuum).

Air conditioning = Again, the Prius, Highlander, and Camry hybrids all do this. They also use battery pack voltage not 12v. Not sure about Honda.

Engine Cooling = In the Volt (the whole reason this thread exists) if you never use the engine this doesn't matter. I'm not sure what they've used but I don't see them using a mechanical water pump in this car. They may surprise me but that would mean a belt would need used. They'd save not only manufacturing costs but space not having to do that since no other belts will be needed seeing as the car has to be completely functional without the engine.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:54 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
You've just described the GM hybrid SUV/Truck that failed to sell a few years ago (the market didn't want it), and their "Mild Hybrid" system that's on Chevy Malibus on dealer lots right now for anyone to buy. Is 36v enough for you?

Many small cars come with electric power steering already, including my VW.
No I understand completely, unfortunately GM's mild hybrid system doesn't work for **** and or it works fine, it's just that it's a lost cause for a vehicle that is so inherently inefficient. My friend's dad has a chevrolet silverado hybrid and let me tell you, it being a "hybrid" doesn't do **** for mileage.
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:49 AM   #30
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No I understand completely, unfortunately GM's mild hybrid system doesn't work for **** and or it works fine, it's just that it's a lost cause for a vehicle that is so inherently inefficient. My friend's dad has a chevrolet silverado hybrid and let me tell you, it being a "hybrid" doesn't do **** for mileage.
Well, that's the result when something is built the way you described. You asked for it, GM did it, you still don't like it.
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