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Old 01-08-2007, 05:02 PM   #1
Urthman
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Chevrolet Volt

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...ticleId=119088

General Motors' first plug-in hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt concept, introduces GM's new family of electric-drive propulsion systems
By Michelle Krebs Email


Date posted: 01-07-2007

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General Motors has unveiled the Chevrolet Volt concept, the company's first plug-in hybrid vehicle, at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Chevrolet Volt concept is the first vehicle to use GM's new E-flex family of propulsion systems. GM claims the Volt delivers triple-digit fuel economy and can travel up to 640 miles without a fuel fill-up or a battery recharge.

How the Volt works
By its own admission, GM is late to the party on hybrid vehicles. Yet the Volt still manages to turn conventional hybrid thinking on its ear. While current hybrids employ a battery-powered electric motor to supplement or complement a gasoline-powered engine, the Volt runs only on electric power until the battery runs down. Then and only then does the internal-combustion engine kick in.

Further, an onboard generator produces electricity while the car is operating. The electricity is then stored in the battery. Energy normally lost in braking also is recaptured and sent to the battery. The batteries can also be recharged by plugging into an electrical outlet.

The specs for triple-digit fuel economy
The Volt features a front-mounted electric motor that generates 120 kilowatts of power (160 horsepower) and 236 pound-feet of torque. Lithium-ion batteries are housed beneath the Volt's floor. Also onboard is a 53-kilowatt electric generator. The turbocharged, 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine also fits up front, while the 12-gallon fuel tank is in the rear.

The Volt will drive about 40 miles on pure electric power. Vehicle Line Director Tony Posawatz (whose name rhymes with "kilowatts"), says GM arbitrarily picked this distance because Department of Transportation studies show that half of U.S. households travel less than 30 miles per day, while 78 percent of commuters travel no more than 40 miles per day to work.

"Most Volt drivers would use little or no gasoline," Posawatz notes.

By the numbers
By GM's calculations, the Volt would save the typical driver 500 gallons of fuel a year, amounting to a net cost savings of $900 (assuming gas costs $2.40 a gallon). The addition to a home electric bill would be about $300.

In the bigger scheme of things, the Volt saves the environment some 4.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide that might otherwise be emitted into the air in a year, GM claims.

Flex for flexibility
The "flex" in the E-flex name stands for "flexibility." GM promises more concepts using the E-flex system will be unveiled at future auto shows. The automaker hints those could incorporate diesel generators, biodiesel and pure ethanol or E-100.

Further into the future, the E-flex system could accommodate hydrogen-powered fuel cells. GM confirmed it is working on a fuel-cell variant like that in the Sequel concept. Instead of a large battery and small engine like in the Volt, it would have a fuel-cell propulsion system with a small battery to capture energy from a regenerative braking system, and would need only half of the hydrogen storage of the original Sequel concept to achieve 300 miles of range.

GM engineers have designed the E-flex system so it can be tailored to meet the specific needs and fuel infrastructure of a given market. For instance, the E-flex system might use 100-percent ethanol in Brazil. In Sweden, it might use biodiesel made from wood.

The E-flex system uses common drive components so it can be adapted to a variety of chassis and vehicles.

Well, it's no EV1
The recent documentary film, Who Killed the Electric Car?, accused automakers (GM, in particular), of sabotaging the electric car, specifically GM's EV1.

GM engineers say the Volt and GM's E-flex wouldn't have been possible without the invaluable lessons learned from the EV1. In fact, many of the same engineers who worked on the EV1 are working on the Volt and E-flex.

"EV1 was a good idea, but the Volt is a better one," insists Posawatz.

The EV1 carried only two passengers; the Volt accommodates four. The Volt will take a quick charge and requires less than 6.5 hours to fully recharge; the EV1 took eight hours to recharge. The EV1 had no backup system when the batteries died, and its driving range was between 60 and 90 miles. The Volt has a small gasoline engine that kicks in when the battery runs down, delivering a total driving range of 640 miles.

"There would never be a situation in which you didn't get home," GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz assures us.

The Volt accelerates from a dead stop to 60 mph in less than 8.5 seconds (the EV1 took about a second longer), and has a top speed of 120 mph. (The EV1 would barely reach 80 mph.)

Challenge to battery developers
While GM's Jon Lauckner, vice president of global program management, insists E-flex and the Volt "are not science fair projects," nor publicity stunts, GM readily admits E-flex and the Chevrolet Volt are not ready for prime time. While GM says it intends to produce the E-flex systems, significant advancements must first be made in battery technology. Batteries for future cars must be able to last the full useful life of a vehicle and endure extreme hot and cold temperatures. In the Volt, GM has used a series of lithium-ion battery cells. The string of battery cells must continue working even if one cell fails.

GM won't provide details, but says it is working with major battery manufacturers.

In the meantime, GM has moved forward with the E-flex propulsion system and the Volt concept even though the batteries are not yet ready. The automaker didn't want to find itself in a situation where the batteries were ready but the car was not. After all, the plug-in future is almost here.


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Old 01-08-2007, 06:10 PM   #2
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nice

im not much of a fan of hybrids but it the best one ive ever seen, ide drive it

nice post
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:18 PM   #3
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Saw a pic. of the Volt on the news...looks pretty cool!
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Old 01-08-2007, 07:40 PM   #4
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http://www.gm.com/company/gm_exp_liv...?navID=3.0.1.1

http://gmtv.feedroom.com/ifr_main.js...345.0968463248
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Old 01-09-2007, 02:31 AM   #5
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That's actually cool! and 640 miles on top of that? Nice. I wonder how long it takes to recharge the battery to a full charge.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:48 AM   #6
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About 4-6 hours...it's designed to be an overnight thing.
Here's another Article:

Quote:
Chevrolet Volt could be GM's next step

makeCompatibleBookmark(); Justin Pritchard
Pacenews Published Thursday July 12th, 2007


"Where do you plug it in?" is an all time favorite question posed to many a hybrid owner. After all, those who make the transition to hybrid electric vehicles often find themselves educating those who haven't.

Having an on-board generator attached to the cars engine will recharge the batteries just as well as the trusty orange extension cord, no sacrifices required. After all, the more change a new technology presents from the norm, the harder it is to sell.

That's unless you're referring to the Chevrolet Volt. It's not on sale yet, and its status as an upcoming production vehicle has yet to be confirmed- but the GM team is proudly taking the step up from gas-electric hybrids to electron-sucking plug-in vehicles which could serve the masses.

Looking for a second car to help save fuel while commuting to and from work? It could be just the ticket. If you drive under 64 kilometres per day, you might wish your favorite gas-station attendant adieu, as you may never visit them again.

Unlike a hybrid, the Volt concept drives entirely on electricity. You'd drive it to and from work and to do your errands, and then plug it in before bed- not a hard ritual to get used to if you already own a cell phone, laptop and digital camera.

In about 6 hours, the Volt will have stored a full charge on board, ready to greet you in the morning with up to 40 miles of zero-emissions, zero-gasoline driving.

Of course, you can drive it more than 40 miles- as the Volt carries on board a range-extending power generator which recharges the batteries as needed.

It can be made to run on gasoline, diesel or ethanol, and fires up to revive the cells when they run low on juice.

The combustion-driven generator isn't hooked directly up to the drivetrain- so it's not like a Prius or Escape hybrid.

The sole purpose of the gas engine aboard the Volt is to recharge the battery pack- that's it.
It doesn't help assist the electric motor to drive the car along more quickly when you punch the accelerator.

So if you needed to make an out-of-town trip, GM claims while running on fuel, the Volt would consume a measly 50mpg. With a 12 gallon fuel tank, that's good for a range of over 630 miles.

This range-extended electrical system is called E-Flex, an umbrella technology enabling a wide range of future electric vehicle applications, including hydrogen fuel cells which GM believes might be closer than we think.

Responsible for the development and implementation of E-Flex in North America is a busy man named Nick Zielinsky.

He's the chief engineer of advanced vehicles development for the E-Flex system and the Volt prototype.
His excitement for being involved with the Volt, and that of his team, permeated last weeks event which had selected Canadian media in attendance to learn about the new vehicle.
"We have a strategy to reduce the need for petroleum" Zielisky said, drawing attention to the carmakers various accomplishments in alternative fuels and gas-saving technologies. These include current and upcoming hybrid vehicles, work on E85 ethanol fuel, cylinder de-activation and extensive progress on hydrogen fuel cells.

The E-Flex system which enables the range-extended operation of the Volt is another step towards a lowered dependence on fossil fuels, while being potentially more fuel efficient and simpler than a hybrid.
Zieliski explains "a hybrid is complicated and expensive. The system requires switching between two totally different propulsion systems. E-Flex is non-mechanical, using only electricity to start and maintain the vehicles momentum. Key here is that the system can create and store energy on board."

With the Volt, there's no switching between systems to be done. Propulsion is all electric, all the time.
Sounds great- but many questions remain. What will the performance be like? Will the Volt be a vehicle that can confidently cruise the busy highways at over 70mph? Will it catch on, or be doomed the same fate as its grandfather, the EV1? Will GM actually build it?

It's anyone's guess at this stage. A prototype was available for viewing, and if it's any indication of what the production model will look like, there's no reason to think its look couldn't catch on. There's a hint of GM's roadsters present in the front, while a glass roof, dual-pane glass side windows and an overall sleek and sporty look are the name of the Volt's game.

It rides the carmakers European-derived small car platform, which has been modified to accept the unique new hardware. The platform is also used in the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac Pursuit. Just don't expect the 21 inch wheels or hand-made suede interior to show up in showrooms.

GM has gone so far as to submit a request for proposal with a pair of battery suppliers, hoping that competition between the two would yield a reasonable price for the components.
Volt is a striking concept, both in person and on paper.

GM has some challenging times ahead of them in creating it, though it has undeniable potential to change the alternative-propulsion game if they do.
I have to be honest. This was a Canadian article. So I edited it a little for unit measurments...i.e. Litres to gallons, kilometers to miles...kept it as close to a whole number as I could.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:20 AM   #7
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dont know about that berger panel tho...lol
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:20 AM   #8
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Pretty cool for a hybrid... If desperate times called for desperate measures, I might actually consider that hybrid above the rest!! lol
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:58 AM   #9
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I've often wondered how much "influence" the gas/oil companies have on the engingeers that develop electric-car technology.

Ok, so I sorta get interested in conspiracy theories...so sue me...lol
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:20 PM   #10
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I've often wondered how much "influence" the gas/oil companies have on the engingeers that develop electric-car technology.

Ok, so I sorta get interested in conspiracy theories...so sue me...lol


how do you feel about the "plane" that hit the pentagon?
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Old 07-13-2007, 03:06 PM   #11
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how do you feel about the "plane" that hit the pentagon?
I'm honestly on the fence about it. There's just enough to make me wonder...namely the part about the light poles on the interstate being taken out by the wings of an airplane...that would normally chew right through a wing were somehow ripped out of the ground.
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Old 07-13-2007, 05:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I've often wondered how much "influence" the gas/oil companies have on the engingeers that develop electric-car technology.

Ok, so I sorta get interested in conspiracy theories...so sue me...lol
Well, the oil industry is a mega, mega, mega trillion dollar business. And with that kind of loot, you can afford to pay the big wigs at these major auto companies to NOT develop vehicles that use alternative fuels.
Check this out and ask yourself, "why aren't we driving cars that run on water? Cause someone's gettin' paid.
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Old 07-13-2007, 06:26 PM   #13
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Really its just common sense, I wrote a research paper for school on this very topic about 4 weeks ago. The cost of gasoline is to cheap for any other type of fuel/alternative to break its hold on the majority of the market. Thats really the only reason, we consumers don't want to spend the cash.

Even the EPA estimates that gas has to reach $5+ a gallon for over a year before any of the alternatives start to have a financial advantage over gasoline. (I can give you a direct quote from the lead guy on ethanol with the EPA)
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:00 PM   #14
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Here's the same thing; different news coverage
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:19 PM   #15
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Let's all try to keep the topic on the Volt! Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2007, 11:47 PM   #16
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yes, Volt...I really love this Car, (cough) I love the Camaro more, but what's great about this thing, is it really isn't a hybrid! This is a step in a totally different direction - and GM is at the helm. This technology will DEFINITLY give GM the lead above the other companies. It can be configured to have the generator run on anything from straight gasoline to Hydrogen!! That makes it one of the most versatile cars out there - it can be taylored to the location. If there is more Ethanol in the West, have the West Coast cars run on ethanol, Want a fuel cell for the eastern side of the country, do it!. I wouldn't be surprised if this makes it's way into biodiesel too!
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:26 AM   #17
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Info, anybody?

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