Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

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Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

Lawrence Rhodes
http://www.minyanville.com/businessmarkets/articles/chevy-volt-chevy-volt-toyota-honda/4/1/2010/id/27590
Looks like Doug isn't the only GM naysayer.  Lawrence Rhodes.....

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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

David Dymaxion
I fear that the fact it is "government motors" means they'll screw it up! Ford Sales are way up, Toyota sales are way up despite the problems. GM sales are barely up, and Chrysler sales are down. Guess which 2 are owned by the government?




________________________________
From: Lawrence Rhodes <[hidden email]>
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List <[hidden email]>; "[hidden email]" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Thu, April 8, 2010 8:46:45 PM
Subject: [EVDL] Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

http://www.minyanville.com/businessmarkets/articles/chevy-volt-chevy-volt-toyota-honda/4/1/2010/id/27590
Looks like Doug isn't the only GM naysayer.  Lawrence Rhodes.....

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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

EVDL Administrator
On 8 Apr 2010 at 21:03, David Dymaxion wrote:

> Guess which 2 are owned by the government?

Oh, for goodness sake.  Let's belay the politics, please.  

The EVDL conventions strongly discourage political discussion for a reason -
it tends to shove the list way off topic, and almost always generates a fair
bit more heat than light.  Not to mention the cynicism and negativity (as
evidenced above) that floods the room every time politics comes up.  

Let's stick to discussing EVs, please.  Anybody who wants to discuss
politics is welcome to do so offlist.

Besides, isn't Chrysler now owned by Fiat?  If I'm not mistaken, Fiat is one
of the few automakers that have actually produced EVs for (perhaps limited)
sale, including a Panda model.  

David Roden
EVDL Administrator
http://www.evdl.org/


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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

Joseph Ashwood
In reply to this post by Lawrence Rhodes
--------------------------------------------------
From: "Lawrence Rhodes" <[hidden email]>
Subject: [EVDL] Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

> http://www.minyanville.com/businessmarkets/articles/chevy-volt-chevy-volt-toyota-honda/4/1/2010/id/27590
> Looks like Doug isn't the only GM naysayer.  Lawrence Rhodes.....

I disagree with some of the analysis, I don't disagree with the conclusion.
I think that GM started with a great idea with the Volt concept, and then
screwed up everything for the production version.

With that said, the comparison of the Volt as "a car that competes with a
Corolla" is incorrect, it competes rather obviously with the Prius.

The article is also generally negative on hybrid technologies, specifically
citing Nissan Altima Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid as requiring 22 and 15
years to repay respectively. I disagree, while neither vehicle represents my
personal preference, they both represent important early adopter stage
points, and notable valuable progress for everyone. Of course there's always
the feeling better about your life, and impact on the world.

I still think better examples of hybrid capabilities come from the recently
announced, not available for a while yet Porsche and Ferrari, but that's a
personal opinion.

Will the Volt save GM? I have no idea, but it will either save it or kill
it. Unfortunately, I agree that the excessively compromised design has left
a vehicle with no styling drive, and will only appeal to the narrowest of
consumers. It is design that drives the buying decision more than any other,
and the production Volt's styling that would've been cool in the late 90s
just doesn't cut it. I actually would've bought a concept Volt, I won't be
buying a production Volt.
                        Joe

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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

NeilBlanchard
In reply to this post by Lawrence Rhodes
Hello folks,

> Looks like Doug isn't the only GM naysayer.

I think we can all agree that GM has a lot riding on the Volt; and many people (including myself) have serious doubts about the design choices.  I'm not predicting failure, but the Volt has a lot to prove.

> I fear that the fact it is "government motors" means they'll screw it up!

C'mon -- the Volt design was started a long time before the bailout, and you don't seriously think that the government folks have made any design changes in the Volt, do you?  The government (and by extension, we the people of the US) are like any other stockholder -- we are a majority stockholder, right?  Since when do the stockholders have anything to do with the day-to-day decisions?

I think that GM did an amazing job with designing the EV-1, and maybe they have done it again with the Volt.  I think they should freshen up the EV-1 a bit, and put it back into production with a 28-32kWh lithium battery pack -- it could probably go well over 200 miles with a good stable battery pack, and an improved motor and controller.  The new Remy HVH250 motors are ~93% efficient and very compact:  http://www.remyinc.com/docs/HVH250R4.pdf and the new Borg-Warner transmissions are ~98% efficient.  There is a rumor that they had a 4-seat version of the EV-1 ready to go, and there are folks working on an serial hybrid version of the EV-1 (using a sensibly much smaller engine than the Volt).  So, I think that GM can actually *use* their prior experience in EV's to save themselves.  Which is the best thing for all of us stockholders, right?

Sincerely, Neil
http://neilblanchard.vox.com/library/posts/




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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

Lock Hughes
--- On Fri, 4/9/10, Neil Blanchard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The new Remy HVH250 motors are ~93% efficient and very
> compact:  http://www.remyinc.com/docs/HVH250R4.pdf
> and the new Borg-Warner transmissions are ~98%
> efficient.

...and TM4 are claiming "96% efficiency over a wide range of operating speeds" for their newest motors, spec sheet here:
http://www.tm4.com/electric_powertrain.aspx

tks
Lock


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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

Dave Hymers
Does that idiot Michalek know how far 40 miles is ?
I can't afford a Volt, but I commute 60 miles round trip to work, I'm pretty
darn sure I could charge at work and never have to use the generator.
I'm also pretty sure that the average commute is probably under 20 miles.
Ergo, NEVER having to use the generator you can start saving money from day
one. I don't know but Michalek's math seems off to me.

And, to beg the question, is there any other regular ICE car on the market
that even attempts to save you money over the lifespan of the vehicle ? (by
using NO gas, not just less gas)

As much as it pains me to defend the Volt* because *it's from GM I don't
think its being given a fair shout here.
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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub? Jury's still out?

Bob Rice-2
In reply to this post by Lawrence Rhodes
  Well;? Volt, Leaf, Tesla, EV's ARE appearing, wether Oil Shieks like it or
not? When it gets down to the NEXT national Emergency? We piss off the
Arabs, and they turn off the taps, and gas is rationed  (Hell?it WAS in
WW2!) we SOMEHOW survived? We had alota trains and trolleys still active ? I
remember the ration stickers in car windshields, being carried in a bike
basket back then, I was a tad SMALLER though<g>?!

   I think the Volt concept is sorta good. It takes care of .range anxiety?
You START out in the AM, and shit happens, and you are off on MORE mile
jaunts than you planned on? And since Plugs and charge stations are wet
dreams now? HAVE I the ONLY charge station in CT??IF I knew I could find a
nema 14-50 around the state I could plug in, I would be able to double my
range? So, we'll hafta settle for an EV with a Range "Extender". I think we
could call the Volt just that? You may NEVER fire up the gas engine? Be nice
IF you could open it's compartment, and yank it out! Put it on the garage
floor? IF ya THOUGHT you might need it? Pop it back in? They, Govt. Motors,
formarly General Murders  SHOULDA done this with the EV-1? The CAR was done
already! Just build the light gas "kicker" to put aboard as needed?Had
things taken a natural course, the EV-2's,3's,4's woulda improved the genre?
Sorta like the Fulton "North River  Steamboat" to the  first  Mauretania in
a 100 year span, with pleasure boats? A WW1 Jenny to a Concorde? Concorde
was a marvel! 23 MILES a minute, when on full boil!  It just took too much
cash to run, like the Space Shuttle?

   The Free Market Thing just wasn't allowed to happen, this is why we're
where were at? TRYING to stay away from Politics, but it keeps leaking out,
like acid in your Led Acid badd-erey packs! I mean it worked quite well for
Mr. Ford?  Mr Sony , Honda ,those enterprenurial guyz?

   See ya

   Bob
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lawrence Rhodes" <[hidden email]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[hidden email]>;
<[hidden email]>
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2010 10:46 PM
Subject: [EVDL] Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub


> http://www.minyanville.com/businessmarkets/articles/chevy-volt-chevy-volt-toyota-honda/4/1/2010/id/27590
> Looks like Doug isn't the only GM naysayer.  Lawrence Rhodes.....
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

Dave Hymers
In reply to this post by Dave Hymers
Some of the comments acknowledge this article is probably just a polemic
peice of GM hate, but one said

"This is brand new technology, a new paradigm. OF COURSE, it's expensive.
New technology always is"

I hope to reply if I can get the darn site to work with:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Transportation/1979-07-01/Electric-Car-Conversion.aspx
need I bring that up again ? it is NOT new technology, in fact its WW2
technology!
(with the obvious difference its not a production model, I concede that
fact, but the tech is not new)
And need this guy be reminded of the EV1 ?

sounds like I'm going to have to give myself forty lashes again for running
into somebody else who has
no clue about EV history. Face, meet palm.
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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

Bob Rice-2
  Hi Dave an' All;

  EV History? Theres a good topic? Sheeple are CLUELESS that EV's existed,
YEARS ago? That there were MORE EV's in NYC than gas rigs, in the teens,til
Henry's Model 'T" appeared? And WHERE are we gunna get GAS to run them? Gas
stations appeared as needed. As with EV's IF the Regularity Folks stand
down, and just let it happen, by natural selection, charging "Standards"
would work themselves out? So we could drive about with just one or two
adapters in the trunk rather than a big box full?! No pricy J-1772 for
ME(US?)

   But , education is the thing, nowadaze? You can actually engage sheeple
in conversation about Electric Cars! They HAVE heard of them, unlike the bad
old daze when Other Sheeple, lik in Vietnam, Taiwan and the good 'ol USA,
they THOUGHT I invented the EV?! Only a century too late to make THAT claim,
sigh! Tipping Point? I THINK at least a level playing field, coming in OUR
lifetime?

   EVerybody loves to hate GM, anyhow?Doug Korthoff comes to mind<g>? I'd be
glad to see them pull it off with the Volt, and IF they have any smarts
develop the whole line of EV "hybrids" if you will? Call it whatEVer?
Series, smireis, who cares? If the damn car works? Grandma can say; "I
haven't bought any gas in several months, had to get the gas station guy to
HELP me work the pump!"She just remembers to plug it in, like her cell fone
and electric can opener? How else would she call her cats, to eat?

   You buy one and the Genny fits ALL their models, you could take it or
leave it? In yur garage. So, let's see the order of selection thing work?

     Seeya

     Bob
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Hymers" <[hidden email]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2010 11:30 AM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub


> Some of the comments acknowledge this article is probably just a polemic
> peice of GM hate, but one said
>
> "This is brand new technology, a new paradigm. OF COURSE, it's expensive.
> New technology always is"
>
> I hope to reply if I can get the darn site to work with:
>
> http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Transportation/1979-07-01/Electric-Car-Conversion.aspx
> need I bring that up again ? it is NOT new technology, in fact its WW2
> technology!
> (with the obvious difference its not a production model, I concede that
> fact, but the tech is not new)
> And need this guy be reminded of the EV1 ?
>
> sounds like I'm going to have to give myself forty lashes again for
> running
> into somebody else who has
> no clue about EV history. Face, meet palm.
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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

David Dymaxion
In reply to this post by EVDL Administrator
My apologies I thought I was doing a private reply.


Let me twist it to be EV relevant minus government references. Which type of manufacturer is most likely to succeed making green vehicles? One that is more successful or less successful? Forget who owns what for a moment. It would be sad if the least
successful car companies were pushing electrics, and the most successful were not. (BTW Chrysler is only 20% owned by Fiat, the electric Panda was 20 years ago, and the Fiat electric 500 is vaporware right now.)



________________________________
From: EVDL Administrator <[hidden email]>
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List <[hidden email]>
Sent: Thu, April 8, 2010 11:14:49 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

On 8 Apr 2010 at 21:03, David Dymaxion wrote:

> Guess which 2 are owned by the government?

... Let's belay the politics, please. ...

Besides, isn't Chrysler now owned by Fiat?  If I'm not mistaken, Fiat is one of the few automakers that have actually produced EVs for (perhaps limited) sale, including a Panda model.


     
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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

Rick Beebe
In reply to this post by Dave Hymers
Dave Hymers wrote:

> Some of the comments acknowledge this article is probably just a polemic
> peice of GM hate, but one said
>
> "This is brand new technology, a new paradigm. OF COURSE, it's expensive.
> New technology always is"
>
> I hope to reply if I can get the darn site to work with:
>
> http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Transportation/1979-07-01/Electric-Car-Conversion.aspx
> need I bring that up again ? it is NOT new technology, in fact its WW2
> technology!
> (with the obvious difference its not a production model, I concede that
> fact, but the tech is not new)
> And need this guy be reminded of the EV1 ?

He's not wrong. Sure, the concept dates back to WWII (or before) but GM
has had to basically build the entire thing from scratch. Source the
batteries and build a factory to build the modules. Source motor and
design the drive train. Source a generator and figure out how to link it
with the ICE and design the controls to make it all work seamlessly. And
build the infrastructure to do it at least 10-400,000 more times each
year. In terms of cost per unit and GM building it, it's new technology
and a new paradigm and so it is going to be a lot more expensive than
building a car the way they've built hundreds of millions before.

--Rick

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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub

Rick Beebe
In reply to this post by David Dymaxion
David Dymaxion wrote:
> Let me twist it to be EV relevant minus government references. Which
> type of manufacturer is most likely to succeed making green vehicles?
> One that is more successful or less successful? Forget who owns what
> for a moment. It would be sad if the least successful car companies
> were pushing electrics, and the most successful were not. (BTW
> Chrysler is only 20% owned by Fiat, the electric Panda was 20 years
> ago, and the Fiat electric 500 is vaporware right now.)

Actually, if you believe the arguments put forth in "The Innovator's
Dilemma" (Clayton Christensen), it's the less successful that will
succeed (assuming they're not badly managed). Or completely new
companies. The existing successful companies are successful because
they're good at giving their customer's what they want. Not because they
"waste" money and resources on new technology without a proven market.
But we want "Green" you say? Maybe. Toyota sold almost 140,000 Priuses
in 2009. Ford sold over 413,000 F150 pickup trucks.

So, the companies that will make real inroads are those who have less to
lose and who are looking for a niche they can establish leadership in.


--Rick

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Re: Chevy Volt: GM's Next Big Flub? Jury's still out?

ambaker
In reply to this post by Bob Rice-2
Dunno about the removable engine bit.  Seems like more work and expense to
provide an option few will use.  It is like people who buy hard tops for
their convertible sports cars.  Usually, after a season or two, they wind up
in one position or other and stay that way.

In this case, it would mean supplying the suppor hoist, not a one or two
person manual job, and designing an engine and cooling system that can be
removed without leaving a gaping hole in the car, or affecting the balance
and handling.

Not to mention disconnecting and reconnecting the power terminals.

I think, perhaps, we are trying to run before we walk.  Get the electric
cars out there.  City cars at first, but get them out there and the natural
evolution will follow.  The first ICE cars did not come with cruise, and
A/C.

Get me into a car with a 75 - 100 mile reliable range, (none of this fantasy
down hill off a cliff with a tail wind rating stuff), for $20K or so and I'm
there.  I'll use the Prius for the long distance driving, or what we do now
for the real big family trips we rent a car.  If we are going an extremely
long trip we put the miles and wear on a rental.  We only do that about once
a year, so it makes sense for us.  My normal commute is about 56 miles a
day.  A little extra for errands, and I'm good for about 28 days a month.
When we go to the big city (300 miles round trip, plus whatever we do
there), and can use the hybrid.  But the rest of the time I wouldn't need
the ICE, so would rather not make the comprimise.

If I could find one of those RAV4 EVs in good condition I wouldn't even
bother thinking about a Volt.  It would be a done deal and I would be
happily on my way.

-alex
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