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GM unveils pre-production Volt


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#1 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 03:45 PM

The look; in a word, wow.

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Photo Courtesy of cars.com

Far less cartoonish than the show car, very slick. In musical terms, some could say they sampled quite a few lines from Honda on this one. Slated for a 2010 US production year release, they reportedly are going to also offer an Opel badged version to the EU market in 2011, and though this part is speculative on my part, likely a Holden variant to the Aussie market will come further down the road.

But let's face it folks, if we are looking at one of these, we aren't looking to buy a plug-in hybrid on looks alone, are we? Let's take a look at the specs.

Battery power is provided by lithium ion(LiO) cells as seen elsewhere in the Tesla roadster, rather than the nickel metal hydride(NiMH) cells seen in current production hybrids. The advantage? As a plug in, it takes only three hours to charge fully, vs a 5-6 hour charge on the NiMH packs. So if you only use it for bombing around town, up to 40 miles on one charge, you can do so gasoline free. The disadvantage; LiO packs run hotter than a NiMH, and if not cooled properly cooled, well, if you know anyone who owns a Sony laptop, you know why this could be a bad thing. They go boom.

Your 150hp combined drivetrain(electric and gasoline) yields you a top speed of 100 mph. The length at 177 inches is halfway between that of the Honda Civic and the Toyota Camry. The projected price, at about $40k, is nearly double that of the nearest offering from industry leader Toyota. But what you get for all that money inside are clean lines, enough video screens and tech gadgetry to make any geek feel right at home, and a quiet ride environment promised to be rivaling any luxury car on the market.

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Photo Courtesy of Cars.com


Nipping at it's heels and that of the industry leading Toyota Prius is Honda's new Insight hybrid, their first dedicated hybrid model since they introduced the original Insight to the US market in the late 1990's.

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Photo courtesy of consumerguideauto.com
The Insight concept, shown above, is rumored
to be a pre-production prototype slated for release in mid 2009
.


The new Insight is said to feature a lighter, simplified version of the Civic Hybrid’s basic Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) drive system. Unlike Toyota’s Synergy Drive system, IMA uses a battery-powered electric motor only to assist the 1000cc gasoline engine; the car does not run on electricity alone except in certain low-speed conditions. Also like the Prius, they deemed to stick with NiMH battery packs, but unlike Toyota and Chevrolet, will not be offering a plug-in model in 2010. But at $22,000, only about three thousand more than their entry level Civic, it is sure to get a look from buyers looking frantically for Hybrid technology in the US market with $5-6 /gal gasoline prices looming overhead.



Sources
Cnet.com
chevrolet.com
consumerguide.com
motortrend.com



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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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#2 louiskaty2

 

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 10:44 AM

I'll seriously look into getting one.
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#3 Pyrion

 

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 03:49 AM

No you won't. $40K for a Chevy that only gets ~40 miles to a charge before switching back to the gas engine? People have already modded their Priuses to accomplish a similar feat for half that price.
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#4 Captain_Hair

 

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 07:16 AM

No you won't. $40K for a Chevy that only gets ~40 miles to a charge before switching back to the gas engine? People have already modded their Priuses to accomplish a similar feat for half that price.

Most people don't (1) have the skills, time, or gumption to mod a modern car and (2) don't drive more than 40 miles in a day, thus making plugging the car in when they get home, recharging, and only using the gas-powered generator when they go to visit grandma and grandpa back in Wapakoneta.

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#5 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 08:40 AM

Most people don't (1) have the skills, time, or gumption to mod a modern car and (2) don't drive more than 40 miles in a day, thus making plugging the car in when they get home, recharging, and only using the gas-powered generator when they go to visit grandma and grandpa back in Wapakoneta.

Well that works fine in urban areas Hair, but when you are talking about people commuting from more rural/suburban neighborhoods to work in more industrial areas(my average commute one way for my last five jobs was 35 miles, one way) it isn't nearly as practical unless companies are willing to add charging stations for employee use in their lots.
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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#6 Captain_Hair

 

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 08:44 AM

Well that works fine in urban areas Hair, but when you are talking about people commuting from more rural/suburban neighborhoods to work in more industrial areas(my average commute one way for my last five jobs was 35 miles, one way) it isn't nearly as practical unless companies are willing to add charging stations for employee use in their lots.

Like I said: most people. Nobody makes a single car that's the perfect automobile for everybody. The Volt is a first generation vehicle for Chevy, we can expect marked improvements in future versions.

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#7 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 09:30 AM

For GM, second stab actually. They've had the Saturn Green line for a few years now. I will give you the fact though that it is a first for the industry to offer a full production, extended range plug-in hybrid, in a dedicated model. I was actually a little disappointed in Honda being the only one of the three I mentioned not offering an extended range hybrid.
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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#8 Pyrion

 

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 09:17 AM

Most people don't (1) have the skills, time, or gumption to mod a modern car and (2) don't drive more than 40 miles in a day, thus making plugging the car in when they get home, recharging, and only using the gas-powered generator when they go to visit grandma and grandpa back in Wapakoneta.


1. My point there is that there's effectively no point in plunking down $40K (let alone financing over several years for a car that costs that much) when one can get basically the same thing out of a Prius, which costs what, half of that or thereabouts? The people looking to save money on gas will, obviously, be looking to save money on the car as well. Go buy a Prius and use the money you save not buying a Volt to pay for gas. Duh.

2. Come to California sometime. 40 miles (or more) one way is typical. Most Californians, from what I've personally witnessed in my 24 years of sentience living here (I'm 26), don't even work in the same city as where they live. Some don't even work in the same county (and our counties are xbox hueg, unlike the east coast).
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#9 Captain_Hair

 

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 01:26 PM

The base Prius stars at $22,000. And does not plug into the wall. People who buy hybrids more often than not are not out to save money on gas - it takes 5-7 years of ownership to recoup the additional cost of the hybrid drive system in gas savings - more so they bought the hybrid because "It says something about who I am." Really.

Those who spend most of their time on the freeway are actually going to get worse mileage than a comparable non-hybrid vehicle, as I imagine most people who commute 80+ miles round-trip go. While hybrids get great mileage in the city - like a Volt will - they're usually worse on the highway. As I said in post #6 of this thread, The Volt isn't the perfect car for everybody; no automobile manufacturer would dare try to create the perfect vehicle for every person on the planet, because no car can be made to be the perfect car. Thus we have multiple models under for each manufacturer.

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#10 Russell Crowe

 

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 01:49 PM

If they could cut the price tag in half, I'd be on the waiting list for one of these right now.
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#11 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 02:39 PM

I would not be surprised if GM uses that drivetrain or some variant of in other things. Chrysler is evidently entering the fray as well with three EV model varieties in pre-prodution form Article The sports car, like the Tesla, was co-designed with Lotus. Looks as if they borrowed quite a bit from it as well.

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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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#12 Russell Crowe

 

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 04:28 PM

This seems like as good a place as any to plug the LincVolt, which I'm really hoping will be a functional production model someday. A lot of the work on this car is being done right here in Kansas, which I think is pretty cool.
Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd the
earth much? Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of
all poems...

#13 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 05:07 PM

Only if they own the old Lincoln stampings. Very cool though Mark.
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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#14 Cptn_Krunch

 

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 05:37 PM

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Yer favourite Cptn 'as been in contact wit' some o' the principles o'er t' Venture One in a attempt t' garner a dealership n service center for theys hybrid n all electric treble wheelers...
Thar'll be a small profferin' o' product roundabout 2010 in the great state o' Caliphournea initially wit a MSRP roundabout $25,000...though thar'll be no dealership franchises available fer the rest o' the nation 'til after 2011...arrrr


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#15 Pyrion

 

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 05:47 PM

The base Prius stars at $22,000. And does not plug into the wall. People who buy hybrids more often than not are not out to save money on gas - it takes 5-7 years of ownership to recoup the additional cost of the hybrid drive system in gas savings


I hate that argument. You know there's more to the cost of a car than the price of gas?

I wonder how much money you stand to save by relying on an electric motor for the vast majority of braking as opposed to conventional disc brakes that need to be replaced every so often? Or perhaps, how often a conventional ICE needs to have its oil changed compared to a hybrid? Conventional transmissions as opposed to eCV transmissions which are an exercise in simplicity?

As for hybrids somehow being "worse on highways," it depends on how you drive them. Jackrabbit starts and 80+ mph cruising will take its toll on one's mileage, and it always irks me how people buy hybrids only to drive them like sports cars. It completely defeats the purpose of owning a hybrid. My Escape Hybrid AWD's doing about 400 miles to a tank with some basic hypermiling despite my commute to school and back being predominantly highway driving.
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#16 Captain_Hair

 

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 05:54 PM

I hate that argument. You know there's more to the cost of a car than the price of gas?

The argument is that for the vast majority of drivers, gasoline is overwhelmingly the single most expensive recurring cost associated with vehicle maintenance. My Civic gets about 7500 miles per oil change. When I go in to have the oil changed they also perform some other preventative maintenance, usually totaling in the neighborhood of $100. For that same 7500 miles, up until recent weeks I would have spent close to $650 on fuel.

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#17 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 06:40 PM

The argument is that for the vast majority of drivers, gasoline is overwhelmingly the single most expensive recurring cost associated with vehicle maintenance. My Civic gets about 7500 miles per oil change. When I go in to have the oil changed they also perform some other preventative maintenance, usually totaling in the neighborhood of $100. For that same 7500 miles, up until recent weeks I would have spent close to $650 on fuel.

Correct me if I'm mistaken Hair. You're leasing, right? So you will never see any maintenance repairs associated with long term ownership unless you opt to buy out the lease at the end of term.

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Yer favourite Cptn 'as been in contact wit' some o' the principles o'er t' Venture One in a attempt t' garner a dealership n service center for theys hybrid n all electric treble wheelers...
Thar'll be a small profferin' o' product roundabout 2010 in the great state o' Caliphournea initially wit a MSRP roundabout $25,000...though thar'll be no dealership franchises available fer the rest o' the nation 'til after 2011...arrrr

That's a great looking little vehicle. But I'd be concerned with handling on greasy New England winter roads
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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#18 Captain_Hair

 

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 07:42 PM

Correct me if I'm mistaken Hair. You're leasing, right? So you will never see any maintenance repairs associated with long term ownership unless you opt to buy out the lease at the end of term.

Leasing? Hells to the no. I own that puppy. MINE.

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#19 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 07:54 PM

Leasing? Hells to the no. I own that puppy. MINE.

Oh that is right Mongo leased. :roflmao: I mixed you up with Mongo :P
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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#20 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 22 November 2008 - 08:00 PM

San Francisco enters into $1B public - private initiative to wire city for EV's
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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