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Chevy Volt
Old 07-27-2010, 01:23 PM   #1
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Chevy Volt

Looks like the new Chevy Volt is gonna cost around $41,000.

Chevy Volt will cost $41,000 before tax credits - Drive On: A conversation about the cars and trucks we drive - USATODAY.com

Are electrics here to stay?
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
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Quite frankly, our local power grid can barely handle it when we all turn our A/C at the same time... So it would have to be seriously upgraded before we can all plug our car in.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:35 PM   #3
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Quite frankly, our local power grid can barely handle it when we all turn our A/C at the same time... So it would have to be seriously upgraded before we can all plug our car in.
Not a problem - buy yourself a gasoline-powered generator.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:43 PM   #4
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Not a problem - buy yourself a gasoline-powered generator.
My Hummer has a built in 8 cylinder gasoline power generator.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:47 PM   #5
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Quite frankly, our local power grid can barely handle it when we all turn our A/C at the same time... So it would have to be seriously upgraded before we can all plug our car in.
This is a common misconception.
First, your supposition that the grid can't handle 'all' of us plugging our cars in, is not a reason for none of us to do so.
I agree that the current grid couldn't handle 100% EVs. However the current grid also couldn't handle the regular demand that will be present in 25 years (which is a guess at how long it would take until the entire light vehicle fleet to switch to EV).
Second, the majority of residential customers will be plugging in at night when there is plenty of spare capacity.
With a smart grid, EVs could even help with high demand times.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:14 PM   #6
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Looks like the new Chevy Volt is gonna cost around $41,000.
...
Are electrics here to stay?
no, not at that price; but yes for about half that.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:26 PM   #7
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From some Internet searching, it looks like it will require about 8 KWH to charge one up, over a period of 6.5 hours. That means that the car will draw 1,230 watts -- essentially like a hair dryer.

A room air conditioner draws about 1,000 watts, and a central AC about 2,000-5,000.

The fact that they are charging at night is a big factor. Also, they won't be charging all the way every night.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:28 PM   #8
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If more and more EVs hit the road, it will be inevitable that we will see more and more variable pricing of energy to encourage charging the cars overnight instead of at 4 PM on a summer afternoon in Texas. But for now a small number won't make much of a dent. And at $41,000 per the target market (greenies with a lot money to put where their mouths are) is rather limited.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:37 PM   #9
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Quite frankly, our local power grid can barely handle it when we all turn our A/C at the same time... So it would have to be seriously upgraded before we can all plug our car in.
Sounds like it's time to build some nuclear power plants in this country.
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Old 07-27-2010, 02:59 PM   #10
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relevant: Grid managers debate the effects of charging 1 million new electric vehicles — Autoblog Green

The volt is overly expensive; Chevy fails again. Meanwhile Tesla is going to be producing the 2012 Electric Rav 4 for Toyota.

You can get a roadster for a bit more than the Volt. You will also have the ~20k Nissan Leaf and the ~18k Smart Fortwo Electric.

We have to go to a smart grid anyway. I think they are here to stay this time. As a car lover; gas cars aren't going anywhere.

You could watch this, even though it is about a hydrogen; what Jay Leno has to say is pretty awesome:
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:08 PM   #11
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I really like Jay Leno's garage. He reviewed the Telsa too sometime back.

The Leaf would be a nice car for short errands. But 50 miles one way is too short until their are more charging stations around.

Just read recently that Honda decided to drop diesels and focus on Hybrids.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:53 PM   #12
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From some Internet searching, it looks like it will require about 8 KWH to charge one up, over a period of 6.5 hours. That means that the car will draw 1,230 watts -- essentially like a hair dryer.
I'm a little skeptical about that number of 8KwH. If 100% efficient, that would nominally let you run the car at 8KW for an hour. 8KW is 11HP. The car looks like a standard mid-range sedan to me, the kind that would have a 1.8-litre 140HP engine in Europe and a 2.7-litre V6 (with not much more power) in the US. At 11HP it would be going about 25mph for an hour. At highway speeds I've give it about 8 minutes.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:58 PM   #13
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Here we go. If in Californa, you can get one of these:

Aptera Homepage | Aptera Motors
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:18 PM   #14
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I'm a little skeptical about that number of 8KwH...
My understanding is the Volt has a 16KwH battery. However, for battery management to extend the life of the batteries, it is generally only discharged down to about 40% and only filled to about 90%.
I will be very interested to see the real life electric range as well as the mileage when in charge sustaining mode.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:25 PM   #15
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I think for a purely EV (I'm talking something like the Leaf, not Volt) what would be acceptable is as many charging stations as gas stations, a 250 mile range and a 10 minute recharge time. That's if the EV was used like a regular car.

On the other hand, as a second car, just to go and get groceries, something like the Leaf is tempting.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:32 PM   #16
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And at $41,000 per the target market (greenies with a lot money to put where their mouths are) is rather limited.
At that price, you could buy a Honda Insight hybrid (which looks similar and gets about 40 mpg), for about $20k, then use the additional $21k to buy 7000 gallons of gas at $3.00 per gallon, which would last you roughly 280,000 miles, or almost certainly more than the life of the car. And that doesn't even account for the gas the Volt will use to go more than 40 miles or the cost of the electricity to charge the battery. I don't see many sales at this price.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:01 PM   #17
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I am curious how well the hybrid and fully electric vehicles handle extreme cold conditions (40 below zero). I have my doubts about how well they would work in those situations.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:09 PM   #18
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I'm a little skeptical about that number of 8KwH. If 100% efficient, that would nominally let you run the car at 8KW for an hour. 8KW is 11HP. The car looks like a standard mid-range sedan to me, the kind that would have a 1.8-litre 140HP engine in Europe ...
The 8KW number is consistent. Like you say, 11HP for an hour, and they only claim 40 mile range in EV mode). A car that size, on average only uses about 11HP.

The flaw in your analysis is that a 140 HP conventional ICE car rarely ever produces 140 HP (only for an instant during hard acceleration at the peak of the torque/RPM curve, and then it's time to shift again). The torque/RPM curve of an electric motor means you don't need 140HP for acceleration, all those ponies in an ICE are to compensate for the lack of low end torque. An electric motor has max torque at stall (0 RPM).


For reference, the Tesla Roadster gets about 225 miles on 55KW. At 55mph, that's about 4 hours of driving, or 13.5 KW continuous, or about 18 HP (100% eff for simplicity) in a high end performance sports car.

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I don't see many sales at this price.
People will buy them to make a statement. I also don't think those are the kind of numbers that work for GM. But it helps them in the 'PR' war - people keep saying, "Why can't GM make a hybrid or an EV, etc, etc." So fine, here you go, want one - $41,000. If you can find a cheaper one, buy it.

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Old 07-27-2010, 09:10 PM   #19
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However the current grid also couldn't handle the regular demand that will be present in 25 years (which is a guess at how long it would take until the entire light vehicle fleet to switch to EV).
25 years for the entire light vehicle fleet? That seems kinda "optimistic." I'd bet we've got a much longer time to work out the power grid issues.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:21 AM   #20
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And that doesn't even account for the gas the Volt will use to go more than 40 miles or the cost of the electricity to charge the battery. I don't see many sales at this price.
I'm agnostic on the brand & model, but in 4-6 years I'm hoping to buy a three-year-old one from someone who's totally disillusioned with the concept.
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