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Old 08-28-2007, 08:36 PM   #61
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lol i could say just as many bad things about honda and toyotas too. alot of it has to do with who owned it before you and how well they maintained it. were the alternators you bought for your daughters car accualy brand new gm alternators? or were they rebuilt? or off brand? lol cant blame a remakers or off brand problem on gm just cuz its for a gm car...i could say the same about my sisters saturn. went thru 3 alternators in about 2 months. turns out all the rebuilt alternators the shop kept getting was a batch of defective ones.
Dealer replaced AC Delco, new.

My 78 Z28 new was so bad some idiot offered me 2 grand more than I paid for it I sold it right then and there. With less than a 1000 miles on it the door hinges were already failing and the windows floped so bad in the tracks. It was worse than driving a Russian Fiat.

I wanted to see Cobalt be a great car. It cant make it as good car. Its a tad better than a Cav. You can get one cheap. And what you get is a very cheap car. A buddy of mine has a Imp. SS in okc. He was so proud of it. A super charged beast. That a Civic SI can run circles around. My inlaws have a Equanax... the little suv. Within a few weeks of ownership. The engine had to be replaced. The head failed in it. The china made head warped. On a trip from Iowa to Oklahoma. Left them stranded.... Brand new car. The only thing that worked right was On Star. HELP!!!!

Let me ask you something. Why has it taken GM almost 40 years to bring a idea like Volt to the market place? EV1 was a failure... the tech wasn't there. But GM basically invented hybrid with its locomotive and marine systems in the modern market place. The only diff. between ElectroMotive ( there loco's ) and Volt is a damn battery. In one of Volts purist forums is a small ice making electric to power electric motors. Well hell they run diesels to generate electric to power electric motors to power trains with limited battery support. The only company to come close to GM in this area is FIAT. Volt is nothing new.... They have been setting on it for 40 years. Really I think its about 50 years.... Im trying to be nice. And what do they bring to market? BAS... A hack of something you could buy out of a JC Whitney catalog when I was a kid. You look at there skate board platform that was they hydrogen rage.... Duh,,, that came from electromotive.

GM is about doing the best junk money can buy. The only car they produce worth owning in Vette. It is a world class super car bargain. They have no car to compete with Accord or Civic,,,, Nothing.... Nothing that competes with Camry or Corolla,,,, they cant even compete with the Koreans. And they have China in there back pocket. What does that tell you about the company?
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:37 PM   #62
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A few years ago I took a new GM pickup on a test drive,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, my favorite test loop has a bit of washboard dirt road,,,,,,,,,,,, man did that truck shake, rattle, and roll! Got back to the lot and gave it a good look-over and was "impressed" at all the cost saving measures I found scattered throughout... NOT! Cheap plastic and thin gauge metal everywhere. No thanks.

EV1 vs. Volt: I'm not so sure EV1 was a failure. Not that I've studied the Volt in depth, but isn't the Volt more of a PR stunt than anything else? Cuz they're still waiting on batteries that don't exist to make it happen, right? Looks to me like EV1 had a superior package as far as aero, rolling resistance, probably weight, and to my eye, looks. Was it political crap that killed it?

I agree though- only new GM product I'd even consider is the Vette... and I have no use for that so that ain't gonna happen.
Volt doesn't need batterys... thats the point!!!! Its not a PR stunt.... Look at there locomotive history. They have the idiot US consumer set up to accept there prefailure and marketing blitz. Batterys are just a blessing if you can recharge from a hill or a power outlet. Look at the electromotive history.... These are the diesel hybrids that have been moving your freight for years. Everytime a GM locomotive goes by you... There design team and engineers are fingering the American public. There thought is,,, why should we care when there paying 100 times more than a Cobalt is worth.

Im done,,, Ive tried and tried to explain this for years to people.... We are our own worse enemy's. My damn wife understands the tech. Maybe its because Ive had her on locomotives and explained it to her. Its bone idle simple.....
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Old 08-28-2007, 09:52 PM   #63
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From the GM Blog itself:

Building the Plug-In Hybrid: The Battery Challenge
By Beth Lowery
Vice President, GM Environment and Energy

In January, GM caused great excitement when we revealed the Chevrolet Volt, our plug-in electric hybrid concept vehicle. Since that time, we have received many questions about the car, particularly relating to the challenges of battery technology.

Today, I led a discussion before 100 members of the media and bloggers who joined in person and by webcast. The battery briefing: (1) introduced GM’s new battery team and summarized where we’ve been — GM learned from its past work with the EV1 and lead acid batteries; (2) where we are — GM has evolved to nickel metal hydride batteries in vehicles like the current Saturn Vue Green Line; and (3) where we’re going — to make a production-worthy car, the vehicle must meet a potential car buyer’s expectations in terms of performance, cost, safety and reliability — and the battery is an integral part of that process.

Joining me were leaders from technology partners like Johnson Control–Saft, A123 Systems and Cobasys. Each spoke about the challenges in developing a lithium ion battery that is safe, low cost and as efficient and long-lasting as possible. Each is looking at refining materials and improving battery chemistry to develop a product that will be used in GM’s future vehicles.

Whatever the battery looks like, it will need to perform in all situations — from quick acceleration to climbing steep hills. The energy storage needed to give the vehicle its range is equivalent to the power needed to run a laptop continuously for weeks. Lithium ion is the best solution to provide the energy and packaging profile demanded by these vehicles.

************************************************** ******
OK so if there are no batteries what are they plugging in?

If there are no batteries why is there a battery challenge?

Get your wife on here to explain it to me.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:11 PM   #64
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I hadn't read anything about the Volt since March or so, so I looked for info on it:

GM’S CONCEPT ELECTRIC VEHICLE COULD NEARLY ELIMINATE TRIPS TO THE GAS STATION
DETROIT – General Motors Corp. unveiled a new electric vehicle concept that could nearly eliminate going to the gas station altogether.

The concept car, called the Chevrolet Volt, is a battery-powered electric vehicle that uses a gas engine to create additional electricity, thereby extending its range. The Chevy Volt draws from GM’s previous experience in starting the modern electric vehicle market when it launched the EV1 in 1996, according to GM Vice Chairman Robert A. Lutz.

“The EV1 ‘died’ because it had limited range, limited room for passengers or luggage, couldn’t climb a hill or run the air conditioning without depleting the battery and no device to get you home when your battery charge ran low,” Lutz said. “The Chevrolet Volt is a new type of electric vehicle. It addresses the range problem and has room for four to five passengers and their stuff. You can climb a hill or turn on the air conditioning and not worry about it.”

The Chevrolet Volt can be fully charged by plugging it into a 110-volt outlet for approximately six hours each day. When the lithium-ion battery is fully charged, the Volt can deliver 40 city miles of pure electric vehicle range. When the battery is depleted, a 1-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine spins at a constant speed, or revolutions per minute (rpm), to create electricity and replenish the battery. According to Lutz, this increases the fuel economy and range.

“If you lived within 30 miles from work (60 miles round trip) and charged your vehicle every night when you came home or during the day at work, you would get 150 miles per gallon,” Lutz said. “More than half of all Americans live within 20 miles of where they work (40 miles round trip). In that case, you might never burn a drop of gas in the life of the car.”

To further underscore the point, the Chevy Volt is designed to run on E85, a blend of 15 percent gas and 85 percent ethanol. With E85, fuel economy of 150 mpg using gasoline would translate into more than 525 miles per petroleum gallon.

In the event a driver forgets to charge the vehicle or goes on a vacation far from home, the Volt would still get 50 mpg by using the engine to convert gasoline into electricity and extend its range up to 640 miles, more than double that of today’s conventional vehicles.

One technological breakthrough required to make this concept a reality is a large lithium-ion battery. This type of electric car, which the technical community calls an “EV range-extender,” would require a battery pack that weighs nearly 400 pounds. Some experts predict that such a battery – or a similar battery – could be production-ready by 2010 to 2012.

Jon Lauckner, GM vice president of Global Program Management, said the Volt is uniquely built to accommodate a number of advanced technology propulsion solutions that can give GM a competitive advantage (Please see accompanying release on the GM E-flex System).

"Today's vehicles were designed around mechanical propulsion systems that use petroleum as their primary source of fuel." Lauckner said. Tomorrow's vehicles need to be developed around a new propulsion architecture with electricity in mind. The Volt is the first vehicle designed around GM's E-flex System.

“That’s why we are also showing a variant of the Chevrolet Volt with a hydrogen-powered fuel cell, instead of a gasoline engine EV range-extender,” said Lauckner. “Or, you might have a diesel engine driving the generator to create electricity, using bio-diesel. Finally, a gasoline engine using 100-percent ethanol might be factored into the mix. The point is, all of these alternatives are possible with the E-flex System.”

The Volt concept is built on a modified future architecture, Lauckner said, similar to the one GM uses for current small cars, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR.

According to Larry Burns, GM vice president for research and development and strategic planning, the world’s growing demand for energy and its dependence on oil for transportation is the common theme behind today’s headlines.

“Whether your concern is energy security, global climate change, natural disasters, the high price of gas or the volatile pricing of a barrel of oil and the effect that unpredictability has on Wall Street – all these issues point to a need for energy diversity,” Burns said.

“Today, there are more than 800 million cars and trucks in the world. In 15 years, that will grow to 1.1 billion vehicles. We can’t continue to be 98-percent dependent on oil to meet our transportation needs. Something has to give. We think the Chevy Volt helps bring about the diversity that is needed. If electricity met only 10 percent of the world’s transportation needs, the impact would be huge.”

http://media.gm.com/us/gm/en/news/ev...nvironment.htm - Straight from the horse's mouth- GM.

I must be stupid as it reads to me like the Volt is a plain old electric car, except with an on-board generator for use only after the batteries' charge is depleted. The intent is for the Volt to be pure electric for short trips, of which there are many, then it gets plugged in when you get home. This has much more in common with EV1 (in fact, they could have stretched an EV1 and shoved a generator into it and pretty much had the Volt) and not much at all in common with diesel locomotives which have no batteries and shunt the generated current directly to the traction motors.

Maybe this is why you are having such difficulty with people getting your "explanation".
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:50 AM   #65
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...

The Chevrolet Volt can be fully charged by plugging it into a 110-volt outlet for approximately six hours each day. When the lithium-ion battery is fully charged, the Volt can deliver 40 city miles of pure electric vehicle range. When the battery is depleted, a 1-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine spins at a constant speed, or revolutions per minute (rpm), to create electricity and replenish the battery. According to Lutz, this increases the fuel economy and range.

...
I think this is called the "Parallel series" hybrid design (right?). What I like about this is that when is in this mode, it will be (hopefully) be generating electricity at the engine's peak design efficiency.

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Old 08-29-2007, 08:55 AM   #66
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...

I must be stupid as it reads to me like the Volt is a plain old electric car, except with an on-board generator for use only after the batteries' charge is depleted. The intent is for the Volt to be pure electric for short trips, of which there are many, then it gets plugged in when you get home. This has much more in common with EV1 (in fact, they could have stretched an EV1 and shoved a generator into it and pretty much had the Volt) and not much at all in common with diesel locomotives which have no batteries and shunt the generated current directly to the traction motors.

Maybe this is why you are having such difficulty with people getting your "explanation".
One of my friend's knows one of the people that is working on the Volt.
What she said is that the Volt design team is practically a reunion of the EV1 design team.

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Old 08-29-2007, 10:18 AM   #67
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I think this is called the "Parallel series" hybrid design (right?).
That is a "series" hybrid. Parallel is like the Insight. The Prius is sorta series, sorta parallel.
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Old 08-30-2007, 11:33 PM   #68
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What I like about this is that when is in this mode, it will be (hopefully) be generating electricity at the engine's peak design efficiency.

CarloSW2
CarloSW2-

Certainly GM would have optimized the cam and whatnot for operation at a very narrow but efficient rpm range. That is good. But what I don't like about that is I'd think it's still less efficient than using the energy from the combusted fuel to power the wheels directly. Perhaps they decided to go with battery charging for simplicity, cost, complexity, and weight reasons; or perhaps due to the optimization of the 3-banger for narrow rpm duty the efficiency penalty of ice/gen/bat/controller/motor vs. ice/trans isn't as bad as I'm guessing it to be.

Know what I mean? Ifn I was building my own Volt I'd be inclined to have the batteries and motor(s) as on a pure electric, but my on-board "generator" wouldn't be a generator, it would be an ice power train, and the batteries would just have to sit there dead after they're run down until they get a little from regen braking and/or I get home to plug it in.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:46 AM   #69
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CarloSW2-

Certainly GM would have optimized the cam and whatnot for operation at a very narrow but efficient rpm range. That is good. But what I don't like about that is I'd think it's still less efficient than using the energy from the combusted fuel to power the wheels directly. Perhaps they decided to go with battery charging for simplicity, cost, complexity, and weight reasons; or perhaps due to the optimization of the 3-banger for narrow rpm duty the efficiency penalty of ice/gen/bat/controller/motor vs. ice/trans isn't as bad as I'm guessing it to be.
If the energy storage system captures most or all of the energy that the engine generates when it's humming along in its BFSC sweet-spot, then I think it could be more efficient. I think this is a "personal bugaboo" of mine because I like the idea of *someone* implementing what I like to think is the "original" definition of a hybrid (the "series" version that Bill corrected me in a previous post). I also think that the optimized engine could have super clean emissions. I say this because I think that a lot of the emissions are coming in the *transition* between different speeds on the engine. Once an engine is in steady-state RPM and cruising along, the ECU/PCM can get the fuel adjustment "just right" and have good emissions. I think the Honda VX is an example of that.

(maybe "I think" too much)

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Know what I mean? Ifn I was building my own Volt I'd be inclined to have the batteries and motor(s) as on a pure electric, but my on-board "generator" wouldn't be a generator, it would be an ice power train, and the batteries would just have to sit there dead after they're run down until they get a little from regen braking and/or I get home to plug it in.
This makes me think you are describing a "mild-hybrid"? If yes, then I have no problem with those. I keep crossing my fingers that someone will come up with a retro-fit kit I could bolt onto my car.

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Old 08-31-2007, 05:43 AM   #70
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from what I've understood (but can't back with evidence at the moment), series hybrids don't tend to be the most efficient route for highway type driving. They are good for stop and go use like garbage trucks and UPS delivery.
They have actually built and tested hydraulic type series hybrids for those exact uses. Instead of batteries they charge a high pressure accumulator off a pump hooked directly to the engine then a hydraulic motor drives the driveshaft. They use regen braking too. They get 60-70% gains in FE using this set-up. Looks like UPS will start building many trucks this way using Eaton hydraulics. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005...ton_and_p.html Supposedly the hydraulic system is more efficient at regen than the prius config.
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