GM EV1

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GM EV1

Don Davidson
Each Friday evening I show my EV's at a local "Cruise In" See www.coppercitycruisers.org<http://www.coppercitycruisers.org/> & http://public.orb.com/cccruisers<http://public.orb.com/cccruisers>

Last evening I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman who worked many years ago at a Florida Saturn Dealership in the parts department. Says he had the opportunity to drive a GM EV1 He enjoyed driving it. Interesting comment he made. Claims he was paid a bonus for selling additional parts, also claimed he lost money (no bonus) as there were no parts required to replace on the GM EV1 when it came in for service. At most all the EV1 required when serviced was minor brake or alignment work...non of the typical parts required to keep an ICE engine running  Definitely,  a loss to the aftermarket parts supplier...EV's just do not require the maintenance that a typical ICE requires!  I love it!  From the perspective of a car owner-the basic reason why more EV's should be on the road! From the perspective of the parts supplier, a definite reason to keep EV's from being mass produced...............

Don B. Davidson III
[hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>
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Re: GM EV1

Doug Weathers

On Aug 18, 2007, at 4:50 AM, Don Davidson wrote:

>  At most all the EV1 required when serviced was minor brake or
> alignment work...non of the typical parts required to keep an ICE
> engine running  Definitely,  a loss to the aftermarket parts
> supplier...EV's just do not require the maintenance that a typical ICE
> requires!

Well, no, but if the EV1 had had the time, perhaps some very expensive
parts would have begun to fail.  The EV1 was chock full of expensive
parts.

And sometimes the automakers actually do start using parts that don't
need to be replaced as often.  Such as LED tail lights.

> I love it!  From the perspective of a car owner-the basic reason why
> more EV's should be on the road! From the perspective of the parts
> supplier, a definite reason to keep EV's from being mass
> produced...............

Or, a definite reason to get a bunch of them on the roads and keep them
running until the battery pack needs to be replaced :)

Others (such as "EV Basher" Mark Brueggeman) have pointed out that EV
conversions still have maintenance costs.  He notes that the increased
load of batteries shortens the life of the chassis and brakes.  Acid
from lead-acid batteries corrodes things.  There's (usually) still a
transmission, and it's subjected to loads it wasn't designed for.  Etc,
etc.

Anyway, at the risk of veering off-topic, it looks to me like GM wanted
the EV1 to be full of expensive, proprietary parts, so the buyers would
be locked into using GM for service and support.  I think they expected
to make a lot of money on the EV1.

I agree with you - EVs have fewer systems, and they generally require
less maintenance than the corresponding system in an ICE.  But it would
be a mistake to ignore the costs that definitely do exist, or to claim
that the long-term costs are less than that associated with a modern
ICE in advance of actually running the numbers.

Has someone run the numbers?  Say, compared a converted late-model
Honda to the identical car in ICE trim, over a span of a few years (or
miles)?  If you run a cost-per-mile comparison, the EV wouldn't look so
good, I bet.  They see so few miles by comparison to their ICE
brethren.

How exactly would you go about making a fair comparison?

>
> Don B. Davidson III
> [hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>
> _______________________________________________
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>
--
Doug Weathers
Las Cruces, NM, USA
http://www.gdunge.com/

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Re: GM EV1

Timothy Balcer
You're absolutely right that we shouldn't underestimate the costs
associated with running an EV.

That being said, I think you're underestimating the costs saved vs. an
ICE car :)

You're not ever having to replace: Exhaust system parts or engine
parts. No oil changes meaning no motor oil, nor oil filter changes. No
fuel issues. No fuel system replacements or filter changes. Brakes are
only an issue on cars without regenerative braking and it's likely
that full on production EVs will all have regen. And you won't have to
have bi annual tune ups.

This all represents a HUGE amount of the burden of owning an ICE. I
completely agree.. in a standard conversion you will be replacing
brakes and shock components more often.. HOW much more often depends
on who designed the thing. If you use robust components it should be
at a mild premium over ICE cars/trucks.

Controllers are the next big thing. They usually come with warranties
and can just be swapped out whole hog. Unless you've wedged it into a
wheel well, they are usually easily removed and replaced.

Motors are the next thing. They almost never go bad, ever (except at
the races ;). If one did, though, it could be pretty pricey. About as
much as a small ICE, new.

Battery replacement is the last big thing. This is a mixed bag, but it
usually goes cheaper = more often. And hopefully the conversion was
designed so you don't have to tear out too much to do it ;)

Transmission! Yeah, this is my sticking point too. That will have the
same maint woes of any transmission. EVs are normally manual though,
and they tend to be pretty tough.. I have over 100,000 miles on my
Golf VW trannie and never had an issue with it.

Bits and bobs can go too, but again.. contactors can be oversized
enough so they will almost never fail, and so on. High power
electrical components have become extremely reliable and since there
are almost no moving parts, that makes everything even more robust.

I don't think you -can- make a true comparison, though, until there is
an actual playing field on which to do it, with a few years of
maintenance reports from EVs to show cost differentials.

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Re: GM EV1

Zeke Yewdall
On 8/18/07, Timothy Balcer <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Transmission! Yeah, this is my sticking point too. That will have the
> same maint woes of any transmission. EVs are normally manual though,
> and they tend to be pretty tough.. I have over 100,000 miles on my
> Golf VW trannie and never had an issue with it.

Do people really consider a transmission a maintenance item?   I am
really only familiar with subaru manual transmissions, but people
regularly expect these to go 300k miles or more without any
maintenance at all. Sometimes this is with putting in newer engines
with 60% more torque than the original engine too.  I have over 200k
on several of them.   I have heard some bad things about some
particular ford and chevy transmissions, but I would hope they are
just lemons.

For brakes, I agree, any OEM EV is probably going to have regen.  But,
for non regen EV's, brakes are also the type of thing that takes an
hour and $40 to change yourself on the older cars, so even if they do
have to be changed more often, it's not like it's a head gasket or
something like that that takes a day or two do to.

The bombardier EV required a forklift to change the batteries... bad
design IMHO. EV's CAN be designed to be just as hard to swap
components out as ICE's... but there just tend to be fewer components.
 I've been thinking about this for when I do mine -- how to make it
easy to swap out the contactor, controller, etc, in case I ever need
to.

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