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Old 10-13-2010, 02:06 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by Russell James View Post
When you have that much battery power, heat and A/C shouldn't be that much of a challenge. Electric A/C compressors have been around a while, so has electric heating, electric power steering, electric brake power assist...

My guess is it does all that stuff with electric motors.
Everything takes energy and then you end up with a car that can only go 10 miles.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:09 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Hylton View Post
Everything takes energy and then you end up with a car that can only go 10 miles.
I'm pretty sure the journalists and other testers that have been driving the car have went more than 10 miles on battery power, and they were probably using A/C, power steering, power brakes...

It works, they've thought of stuff like A/C
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:10 PM   #115
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For the record, I never considered it an EV. I always thought it to be a hybrid. And I believe that it is a superior hybrid system than what any other car uses. But there was some room for debate, since it could be argued that if it was always going to be driven electrically no matter what, then its an EV. But now? If the gas engine is designed to be able to directly assist in driving the car, there is no way it can be called an EV.
I'm waiting for the "pure" electric proponents, which would seem to be the Leaf camp, to be stranded on the side of the road after realizing that electric engines at this time simply can't provide adequate efficiency and performance in this price range.

In the Leaf vs. Volt, you're choosing between two EVs: one that is thoroughly pure, in the sense that gasoline doesn't assist in the driving operation of vehicle, and one that is an EV with a hybrid safeguard.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:13 PM   #116
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I'm pretty sure the journalists and other testers that have been driving the car have went more than 10 miles on battery power, and they were probably using A/C, power steering, power brakes...

It works, they've thought of stuff like A/C
My point was that when you take into account everything we all expect in terms of creature comfort as well as the fact that it doesn't look like sperm, 40 mpg is very impressive.

As Cab said, it would be interesting to find out how far the Voltage technology could go on a stripped down, lighter, better wind cutting platform.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:31 PM   #117
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How about the challenges? The biggest have already been mentioned here but others such as how does the Volt produce heat or A/C for the passengers when the generator is not on? How do you run braking and steering on an electric vehicle and still make it feel like a normal car? That sort of stuff is easier to accomplish in a hybrid.

It is just disappointing to find out that it is not 100% EV. "So what" say many but I guess you just won't understand where I'm coming from.
Heated seats are supposed to be standard, since that is a more efficient use of electricity than trying to heat the entire cabin. Also, I bet the thermal management system is somehow tied into the cabin heating system somehow. All pumps (AC compressor, power steering, etc) can easily be electrically driven, which is more efficient than a mechanical setup. In fact, more and more conventional cars are switching to electric accessory drives for this very reason. Lastly, I heard that before you leave for work, the Volt can be 'pre-conditioned' while its still plugged in, greatly reducing the heating/cooling demand on the batteries.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:44 PM   #118
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You are worried about the battery exploding, yet have no concern about gas tank in nearly every single car? Gasoline is far more dangerous than lithium ion batteries.

As for the battery longevity, its my understanding that there should be minimal degradation over the first 10 years since it will only use roughly half its capacity on a regular basis. This preserves the battery and provides a buffer as it slowly losses capacity
gasoline engines don't spontaneously combust, batteries have been known to do just that far more frequently. It is not my main concern, but it is one of them. I'm hoping you are correct in minimal degradation of the battery, however that still doesn't answer my question as to how much will it cost to buy and replace one of these batteries if it were to fail after warranty expires? Also since a battery is involved, how will the re-sale value be affected? Obviously we will not know the answers to these questions for quite awhile, but they cannot be ignored.

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Heated seats are supposed to be standard, since that is a more efficient use of electricity than trying to heat the entire cabin. Also, I bet the thermal management system is somehow tied into the cabin heating system somehow. All pumps (AC compressor, power steering, etc) can easily be electrically driven, which is more efficient than a mechanical setup. In fact, more and more conventional cars are switching to electric accessory drives for this very reason. Lastly, I heard that before you leave for work, the Volt can be 'pre-conditioned' while its still plugged in, greatly reducing the heating/cooling demand on the batteries.
All I can think of when I hear "more and more electrical vs mechanical", I think of my electric windows which have routinly died on me in almost every car I've ever owned. Oh how I miss the manual crank windows..
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:59 PM   #119
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All I can think of when I hear "more and more electrical vs mechanical", I think of my electric windows which have routinly died on me in almost every car I've ever owned. Oh how I miss the manual crank windows..
Bad luck?

We have power seats on our Malibu and that has never broken. The hand crank on the Sonoma, on the other hand, has snapped off.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:03 PM   #120
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gasoline engines don't spontaneously combust, batteries have been known to do just that far more frequently. It is not my main concern, but it is one of them. I'm hoping you are correct in minimal degradation of the battery, however that still doesn't answer my question as to how much will it cost to buy and replace one of these batteries if it were to fail after warranty expires? Also since a battery is involved, how will the re-sale value be affected? Obviously we will not know the answers to these questions for quite awhile, but they cannot be ignored.
Engines don't spontaneously ignite? Then why did Ferrari issue a recall about that very thing a few months ago?


Concerned about long term depreciation? Lease it, just like everyone else who has the same concern with other cars.

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All I can think of when I hear "more and more electrical vs mechanical", I think of my electric windows which have routinly died on me in almost every car I've ever owned. Oh how I miss the manual crank windows..
Typically, electrically components are less failure prone than mechanical components since they have fewer failure modes. I've had more manual cranks fall off in my hand than I've had power windows that fail.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:13 PM   #121
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Engines don't spontaneously ignite? Then why did Ferrari issue a recall about that very thing a few months ago?


Concerned about long term depreciation? Lease it, just like everyone else who has the same concern with other cars.


Typically, electrically components are less failure prone than mechanical components since they have fewer failure modes. I've had more manual cranks fall off in my hand than I've had power windows that fail.
trust me on this one, the more electrical components you have the the more failures you have. They add a lot of complexity to a rather simple system. One microprocessor has tens or hundreds of millions of components, and this one chip is connected to many other auxiliary electrical chips/components, all of which have a much lower tolerance for manufacturing/environmental issues than mechanical components. And then don't forget that they still suffer from the human factor in which a developer can program in a bug that causes an unexpected failure.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:17 PM   #122
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Personally, i dont really care about this. All i care about is whether the car gets results. Whether its a black cat, or a white cat, if it catches mice, its a good cat.

This car gets results. Who cares how it achieves its results. Motor trend got this car to put up 127mpg!! in mixed driving!

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/10/13/1...lt-in-the-rea/
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:38 PM   #123
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trust me on this one, the more electrical components you have the the more failures you have. They add a lot of complexity to a rather simple system. One microprocessor has tens or hundreds of millions of components, and this one chip is connected to many other auxiliary electrical chips/components, all of which have a much lower tolerance for manufacturing/environmental issues than mechanical components. And then don't forget that they still suffer from the human factor in which a developer can program in a bug that causes an unexpected failure.
You are describing complex electronic systems (such as what manages the operation of a cars engine), not a simple DC motor that runs a pump. There are significant and very important differences between the two.
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:54 PM   #124
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You are describing complex electronic systems (such as what manages the operation of a cars engine), not a simple DC motor that runs a pump. There are significant and very important differences between the two.
Well I guess we both avoided the original poster's concern about batteries. I do know that I've had to replace several batteries but not yet one engine, but I feel like I'm just being a stick in the mud in this thread, so I will take a break

go Chevy
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:50 PM   #125
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I'm always going between 70 and 80 on the turnpike so the system would be switching back and forth quite often if it is under my control and not on cruise. Hopefully the change back and forth is smooth and not so taxing on the system..
Well, then you're always driving at or above the speed limit, and aren't the type of driver car companies design their cars for. It's the other 99% of people out there I was referring to.

As for the system, it's seamless, and arguable in terms of "switching"...there does not seem to be an 'engagement' outside of a pretty standard hydraulic clutch like an auto transmission. The engine is the transmission is the generator is the motor...they've packaged everything together.

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This is not good enough for me at this point to take the plunge. Even a 30 minute charge is not as quick as simply filling up your tank at any gas station. I'll have to wait until the technology improves before I buy one of these over any gasoline powered vehicle.
Well, that's why the concept is overnight or while you're at work. And when those two things are not an option, you can still drive this car using the 120+mpg generator/motor combo...unlike the leaf where you're sh!t outta luck.

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I also don't like the risks of spontaneous battery explosions which seem to occur with cell phone lithium ion battery packs. A much larger one inside a car can spell trouble if there is any defect.
...riiight...............................

I'd be MUCH more afraid of my gas tank..."spontaneously exploding"...than a batter with an active thermal management system and more sensors than an E.R.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:31 PM   #126
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From Automotive News today...

Quote:
RICK KRANZ
Nissan begins dealing with the Leaf's ‘range anxiety'
Automotive News | October 14, 2010 - 4:10 pm EST


There's been a lot of talk about electric vehicles and that dreaded term, “range anxiety.”

Specifically, how far will an electric vehicle travel on a charge? Some would-be buyers are concerned about getting stranded when the batteries run out of juice, maybe at night, maybe in the middle of nowhere. Nearly all automakers are developing battery-powered vehicles for sale this decade.

To ease customers' worries, Nissan created what I would call a Rules of the Road primer that discusses the Leaf's range. The Leaf is Nissan's first mass-produced, electric vehicle. Winter driving, summer driving, high speeds, low speeds, several scenarios are described at the www.nissanusa.com Web site.

The intent is to prevent unpleasant surprises after a Leaf purchase. Sales of the Leaf begin later this year. This is a helpful site for understanding electric vehicle technology even if you are not in the market to buy a Leaf.

Nissan says the Leaf's range may vary from 62 to 138 miles. Why? It depends on several factors:

•Climate control. The more extreme the temperature is outside -- real hot, real cold -- the more energy that is used to heat or cool the cabin.

•Speed. Higher speeds require much more energy to overcome air resistance. Slow down.

•Driving style. Smooth acceleration and deceleration extend range; aggressive acceleration and deceleration decrease range. The same rules apply for a gasoline engine.

•Cargo and topography. Heavy cargo reduces range. I guess that also means four people vs. one in the passenger compartment. Driving up a steep hill reduces range, too.

Nissan also describes several trips to show how range varies. Nissan says these are estimates:

•Ideal driving conditions (according to Nissan): Flat surface; constant 38 mph; outside temperature 68 degrees; climate control off; 138-mile range. I wonder where that road is?

•Suburban driving, nice day (that's Nissan's description), running errands: Average speed 24 mph; outside temperature 72 degrees; climate control off; 105-mile range.

•Highway driving, summer: Average speed 55 mph; outside temperature 95 degrees; climate control on; 70-mile range.

•Crosstown commute, hot day, driving from a rural area into the city: Average speed 49 mph; outside temperature 110 degrees; climate control on; 68-mile range.

•Winter, urban stop-and-go, traffic jam: Average speed 15 mph; outside temperature 14 degrees; climate control on; 62-mile range. Nothing mentioned about snow, though.

Will this primer resolve the issue of range anxiety?

If so, stick all of this info on a Post-it note and attach it to the Leaf's steering wheel.
...or you can buy a Volt and never worry about any of that. But oh noes, it's not a pure EV sometimes.
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