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Discussion Starter #1
Dear GM (or any GM forum moderators who may be viewing),

I'd like to make a real suggestion to you, so that perhaps you can view it, and decide that aside from squeezing money out of the average American's pocket, you can instead decided to rally other car-makers behind you, make this country independent from oil, and keep American dollars buying American cars instead of looking to imports.

I would like you to stop producing the Volt.

I want this to stop because it's an extremely huge waste of time, money, and effort. The reason that I say this is because what your average estimates are for people who commute, are in fact skewed. Especially if you look at cities like New York, Chicago, LA, etc... Yes, those are greater populations, and normally you would think that, "We should pander to the greater population because that is where the money is." Unfortunately not everyone lives in a metropolitan area, where not only is low mile commuting possible, but also the use of public transportation in the event that commuting isn't an option.

Chicago for example, to drive from the suburbs to the city is rougly 35mi. In this scenario, the Volt would be able to get that person to work, and they could use the gas motor to get home there after. So the car has saved them 1/2 the distance per day. Assuming there is a charging station where they park (which I don't believe to be a popular option among Chicago parking garages) they would be able to save the cost both downtown and back out. Now that's looking at a suburb like Schaumburg, which is on average, but I also know people who have commuted from Rockford down to Chicago. That is a distance of 45-55mi. In that scenario, as is with most anyone who has to commute a long distance. The Volt has failed before the driver has even reached their destination. You will still have to consume some gas per day, and will still have to rely on oil.

Me personally, I drive 125 miles per day (hence the nickname). Your car simply is not a solution to my problem. Nor is the Insight, nor any other car that I have seen on the market. Instead, what I am considering is buying an ethanol conversion kit for my current Honda (an already high mpg rated vehicle) so that I might be able to attain 50-55mpg out of my tank of gas, vs the average 30-35mpg. This would save me a great deal overtime, in fact the cost estimates are currently looking to save me over $1,800/year on fuel. Am I still dependent on oil? Yes. Did I have to buy a new GM vehicle to get the same performance? No.

What's my point?

Stop spending money on project cars that aren't going to solve the problem long run. Start working on cars that either run completely on ethanol, or run completely on HHO. These technologies have been around IN THIS COUNTRY since 1970, and likely even before that time. It sickens me that because of politics and greed, that car makers like yourself only look to what they can turn a profit on instead of what would be better for the nation in the end. Can you make a profit on E85 or HHO technology? HELL YES YOU CAN! I know that GM has planned on having a fleet of E85 cars at the DNC, and I congratulate you on making a half-assed effort. Why do I say half-assed? Well because instead of obviously pushing your cars at a political rally, which is completely unnecissary, perhaps you should push them where they are NEEDED.

I know, aside from myself, MANY Floridians who make the same commute if not drive further than I do, on a daily basis. WE are your market base. WE are the people who are BEGGING YOU to come up with a solution that will suit our needs and make us believe that our American cars, and American car companies mean something in today's market.

Why do I say that? Because instead of going to GM's website and seeing these E85 cars, I have to go to MSNBC, and read about it in their articles on how Coor's has been producing Ethanol gas for over 10 years now, and only now has it come out that they are partnering with GM to create E85 fuels for GM cars. Did it really take 10years to develop the technology? Does it even matter? I can go to Honda's website right now, and read about the FCX and how it's being PUBLICLY tested in California. A car that gets an estimated 65mpg on a single HHO fuel cell.

Don't let it happen again GM. Don't let Honda and Toyota, beat you out on the car market. Don't let them import their cars that will save us from the oil dependency that we have allowed ourselves to be slaves to for so many years.

Please, I beg you to consider releasing your E85 cars as a mainstream solution to the fuel crisis, and bagging this ridiculous Volt concept.

Edit:

If asked, I will and can provide facts for all figures/statistics mentioned.
 

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E85 is not a good fuel alternative. I'm sorry that you feel strongly about it but if you want to reduce dependency on foreign oil then electric is your best bet. HHO isn't going to cut it either. All you're doing is shifting the electricity to another container. The technology has evolved and this is GMs best chance to reclaim the market.
 

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What's YOUR time worth?

The Volt and other electric cars (with or without range-extender technology) will work for a vast number of drivers in the U.S., including me and my wife.

125 miles per day? :eek: That has to be at least two hours of your time cut from your day. Wouldn't it be easier to telecommute, get a job closer to home, or just move house? I couldn't stand to waste that much time out of every workday.

Separate topic: I think we'd all be better off if there was a tax incentive for employers to further the practice of telecommuting. I do it every day, working from my home office. The only time I am traveling is when I am visiting a local customer or heading to the airport.

BTW, a lot of people on this site love statistics, graphs, curves, and numbers of any kind. Don't be bashful, put it up for our review.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
E85 is not a good fuel alternative. I'm sorry that you feel strongly about it but if you want to reduce dependency on foreign oil then electric is your best bet. HHO isn't going to cut it either. All you're doing is shifting the electricity to another container. The technology has evolved and this is GMs best chance to reclaim the market.
Battery technology hasn't evolved. Lithium-Ion batteries are NOT cutting it in today's market. At best the cars can achieve a 220 mile/charge capacity, and that's driving at 65mph which is an average for most commuters.

The Volt is a complete joke, boasting... I can't believe they'd even use the term, 40miles of battery power, then a gas engine that will go another 310miles. Might as well just use the gas engine.

As for your claims with regard to what I said about GM using E85 fuel, I'd advise you to do a bit of research:

"Uplander gives environmentally-conscious families another great choice for their transportation needs," Peper said. GM doesn't plan on stopping there. "Eventually, GM plans to build half its fleet as E85 compatible, and Chevy will be the brand to take us there," Peper said.
Also Liquid Propane is becoming a more viable source of fuel as well. Though it is a byproduct of oil, it's still far cheaper to produce, and gets as good, and in some cases, better performance than gasoline at 1/3 the cost.
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/hot_lists/high_performance/specialty_files_tuner_cars/propane_v_10_ford_crown_victoria_police_interceptor_specialty_file
Though that is an article from 2002, studies today show that over 190k cars run on liquid propane today.

The reason that I favor HHO over a battery/hybrid car is because Ethanol is a fuel which we can get cheaply. It's a byproduct of many things which we use today, and that's not even including corn.

Also, Japan has already made the jump to creating cars which run strictly on water. Any type, any grade, even salt water.
http://uk.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=84561

So it boggles my mind that our car companies are so far behind on making a conversion from oil based gasoline to ANY other source of fuel.
 

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Welcome to the forums!

Instead of being vehemently opposed to the Volt, why not simply suggest that GM release a E100 genset in the Volt. That would solve all of your issues entirely and give you the benefit of cheap 40-mile AER. Most likely, though, the Volt will come with an E85 flex fuel genset.

But I'm sure if you have found a way to easily convert a Honda to E100 with a kit, I'm sure you could do the same with the Volt genset. Just be aware that you will experience a 34% drop in fuel efficiency. You need a higher compression ratio to increase MPG with ethanol, something that isn't possible with a simple "kit", because ethanol has lower energy density per volume compared to gasoline.

One thing you should consider: Mild hybrids today are all-gas powered cars that use electricity to improve fuel efficiency. Serial hybrids of tomorrow (like the Volt) will be all-electric powered cars that use gas to extend range. The idea is to slowly encourage the shift from gas to electric by providing an all-electric drive with a variety of genset options (gas, ethanol, natural gas, hydrogen, etc...).

The Volt isn't a total solution to getting off of our dependence on oil. But it's a step in that direction by flipping the concept of the "hybrid" around. If the cost of batteries can come down, I'm sure that serial hybrids will catch on, even for long distance commuters like yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Volt and other electric cars (with or without range-extender technology) will work for a vast number of drivers in the U.S., including me and my wife.
Well, I guess you don't have to drive much more than 40mi/day, honestly, good for you two. As I said above, not all of us are in a similar situation.

125 miles per day? :eek: That has to be at least two hours of your time cut from your day. Wouldn't it be easier to telecommute, get a job closer to home, or just move house? I couldn't stand to waste that much time out of every workday.
I can't telecommute my job, I have to have meetings with numerous people, most of which aren't even at the location which I'm currently at. Also there's the chance (which happens often) when someone needs to have something done quickly or immediately, and as I work as a Graphic Designer, I have to create proofs for them which are then made into plates for printing. Something I cannot do from home.


Separate topic: I think we'd all be better off if there was a tax incentive for employers to further the practice of telecommuting. I do it every day, working from my home office. The only time I am traveling is when I am visiting a local customer or heading to the airport.

BTW, a lot of people on this site love statistics, graphs, curves, and numbers of any kind. Don't be bashful, put it up for our review.
Unfortunately (and not to make this a political debate) our government is far too focused on becoming more socialized to realize that the people who live in this country do not favor their course of action. If Coor's has been producing ethanol since 1996 from it's unused beer:
http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_id=43806
then why would the government, or farm industry for that matter, even bother to use corn as a base for ethanol? Not to mention the fact that beer based ethanol (as I'll refer to it) is FAR safer for the environment than the fertilizers that are used to create corn based ethanol. It's the main reason for the dead zone that we currently have in the Gulf of Mexico:
http://www.smm.org/deadzone/causes/top.html
Cheap display, but it gets my point across.

While I would love for my employer to think about telecommuting as an option for me, I don't think it would work out in the long run.

As for closer employment, quite literally, there is none. And if anyone out there does have contacts, I would love to hear from you, as the commute is definitely beginning to take it's toll.

I will be doing far more research into HHO>Gas conversion for my own vehicle, and I will post updates if/when I get this procedure completed. As of now, I've read enough documentation and talked to enough experts who say that it is not only safe, viable, but will save me about 25-30% in costs/year on gas. Bear in mind that I'm also not one of those HHO nuts who only sees that as a solution and is looking to sell something. I'm simply someone who's wondering why alternative fuels that are available now, aren't being utilized by those companies who could make the most gain from them.

I mean honestly, if GM sold a car tomorrow that ran on water alone, got lets say 20% less efficiency as far as power is concerned (200hp as opposed to 240hp), but would give you as good if not better gas mileage. Wouldn't you make the switch?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Welcome to the forums!

Instead of being vehemently opposed to the Volt, why not simply suggest that GM release a E100 genset in the Volt. That would solve all of your issues entirely and give you the benefit of cheap 40-mile AER, without sounding like a troll. Most likely, though, the Volt will come with an E85 flex fuel genset.

But I'm sure if you have found a way to easily convert a Honda to E100 with a kit, I'm sure you could do the same with the Volt genset. Just be aware that you will experience a 34% drop in fuel efficiency. You need a higher compression ratio to increase MPG with ethanol, something that isn't possible with a simple "kit", because ethanol has lower energy density per volume compared to gasoline.

One thing you should consider: Mild hybrids today are all-gas powered cars that use electricity to improve fuel efficiency. Serial hybrids of tomorrow (like the Volt) will be all-electric powered cars that use gas to extend range. The idea is to slowly encourage the shift from gas to electric by providing an all-electric drive with a variety of genset options (gas, ethanol, natural gas, hydrogen, etc...).

The Volt isn't a total solution to getting off of our dependence on oil. But it's a step in that direction by flipping the concept of the "hybrid" around. If the cost of batteries can come down, I'm sure that serial hybrids will catch on, even for long distance commuters like yourself.
I'm not against the Volt per say. More just confused at what the idea was behind it? "Oh, well a handful of people only drive 40mi round trip, so we'll just create a vehicle that goes that far on batteries, and if they need to go further, well then we'll use gas." Just doesn't make sense, why not just make it a compete hybrid?

I was referring to converting my honda to an HHO-Gas kit. So no, compression ratio won't be an issue at all.

Hybrids are a complete waste of time, not to mention how costly they are not only to your pocket but to the environment:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_vehicle#Environmental_issues

Now, MIT is actually on the verge of creating a new Lithium Nickel Magnesium Oxide battery source, which may or may not take off. The problem currently is charging the battery in a "consumer" amount of time (aka 6-8hrs).
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2006/battery-hybrid.html
 

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Discussion Starter #9
A handful? According to DOT and NHTSA data, 85% of American drivers travel 40 miles or less in a given day.

If 85% is a handful, what is the remaining 15%?
They're the ones complaining about gas prices :)

If I had to drive 40mi/day or less in my car... I'd go 2 weeks easily without having to refuel. As it stands, I refuel every 2.5 days, and that's using several mileage extending techniques of driving.
 

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But that's it. This car is designed for 85% of Americans who drive less than 40 miles.

And it'll probably have an E-flex genset in it as mentioned above.

This is about producing the most economical car which is why it isn't pure electricity or pure petroleum.
 

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Do you have figures that dispute the claim that most Americans commute less than 40-miles per day? Also, how do you plan to generate HHO? If you have a way to produce HHO and burn it (100%) in your car for less than the cost of gas ($4), please let us know (I'm not challenging you, I'm truly interested). So far, everything I've seen on HHO is a scam (free energy) or is too costly or too slow to produce, and too impractical to store in a vehicle.

The idea of a serial hybrid is to use cheap domestic energy by means of the already established grid (no need for a new fueling infrastructure) to power our cars using cheap electricity from the comfort and convenience of our own homes. This electricity powers our cars for 40-miles, which for most of us is all we need for a majority of our driving. If we go beyond 40-miles, we will have a "range extender", which can be fueled by anything you can think of that can spin something (gas, hydrogen fool sells, HHO, ethanol, natural gas, wood gas, hamsters).

The problem, as most of us are aware of, is the cost of energy storage. I keep saying this: We are in an energy storage crisis, not an energy supply crisis. There exists no cheap and dense electrical energy storage device that is suitable for most Americans.

Most of us have done Volt cost analysis of our own (based on our own electricity prices, local gas prices, commute lengths, etc...). For me, at $35K+, the Volt is not cheap enough for it to make economic sense. It might make environmental sense, but unlike some people, that's not my motivator. If a serial hybrid can come down to $30,000 or less, and gas prices go up just a little more, I will buy it. We aren't too far from that, especially if we get tax credits. So I might not be able to be one of the first to own a Volt, but I expect my next new car will be a serial hybrid that I can afford.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
But that's it. This car is designed for 85% of Americans who drive less than 40 miles.

And it'll probably have an E-flex genset in it as mentioned above.

This is about producing the most economical car which is why it isn't pure electricity or pure petroleum.
And Ethanol has worse fuel economy than regular gasoline, so your point is?
 

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And Ethanol has worse fuel economy than regular gasoline, so your point is?
In flex fuel (flexible fuel) engines, ethanol is optional up to 85%, but you have the option of using 100% gasoline.
 

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They're the ones complaining about gas prices :)

If I had to drive 40mi/day or less in my car... I'd go 2 weeks easily without having to refuel. As it stands, I refuel every 2.5 days, and that's using several mileage extending techniques of driving.
Ah, so your beef isn't that the car is being designed to meet the driving requirements of the majority of drivers - but because the technology isn't being specifically tailored to your needs.

Fair enough, but that doesn't mean everyone else is a "handful of people".
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Exactly, so again it's 25% less effective than gasoline, hence less gas mileage, hence more ethanol needed to go the same distance as a 100% gasoline. I'm sorry, but no matter how you phrase it, ethanol is not the answer, it's a probable solution. Here are just a few things that I have read on Ethanol:
http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/esthag/2007/41/i11/abs/es062085v.html
Ethanol can cause cancer?

http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/952749
The high cost of Ethanol
"The cost of operation was calculated to be 90.9% greater for E-95."

http://www.edmunds.com/advice/alternativefuels/articles/120863/article.html
Again, E85 fails the test of cost vs energy.


So I guess I'd like to see some facts from you folks where E85 or even E95, or pure Ethanol based engines are more cost effective?


Kubel, as for your question about creating/converting HHO gas, here are some facts:


Genepax Official Website


As far as costs go, how much would it cost you to fill up a gallon of water from your sink?
 

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Exactly, so again it's 25% less effective than gasoline, hence less gas mileage, hence more ethanol needed to go the same distance as a 100% gasoline. I'm sorry, but no matter how you phrase it, ethanol is not the answer, it's a probable solution. Here are just a few things that I have read on Ethanol:
http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/esthag/2007/41/i11/abs/es062085v.html
Ethanol can cause cancer?

http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/952749
The high cost of Ethanol
"The cost of operation was calculated to be 90.9% greater for E-95."

http://www.edmunds.com/advice/alternativefuels/articles/120863/article.html
Again, E85 fails the test of cost vs energy.


So I guess I'd like to see some facts from you folks where E85 or even E95, or pure Ethanol based engines are more cost effective?


Kubel, as for your question about creating/converting HHO gas, here are some facts:


Genepax Official Website


As far as costs go, how much would it cost you to fill up a gallon of water from your sink?
Like I said, ethonol is entirely optional in a flex fuel engine. You can use any concentration of ethanol from 0% to 85% in an E85 engine. And the Volt can use a variety of gensets, it doesn't have to burn gas or ethanol.

As far as the link you provided, I've seen this before. If it passes through a "cell", it's probably using gallium and aluminum (this process was just discovered recently, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is what they are claiming to use). The process produces aluminum oxide, which cannot be reclaimed in a closed system without over unity. Meaning not only will you be refueling this with water, but you will also be fueling it with expensive aluminum, and will be forced to take out the alumina.

The other possibility is this is simple electrolysis. If this is the case, you need an energy source to produce electricity. Again, can't be done in a closed system without over unity.

Genepax = perpetual motion = SCAM.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Actually I wasn't. I was wondering why E85 hadn't been released until just now, since Coor's has been bottling Ethanol since '96. The fuel, and system could have been much improved upon if they had started sooner. I also mentioned the Japanese company Genepax which has produced a car that runs on water, and Honda which has produced a car that uses only HHO fuel cells.

My concerns, for people to better understand, is why GM is so facinated in technologies that won't get them much further than we already are, when other car makers are using future technologies? Why would a company like GM allow foriegn car makers to create the solution for them? Why waste time on a car that only gets 40mi to the charge (which I find ridiculous), when you could have spent the time and money helping MIT develop it's new battery power, which could potentially replace the gas engine altogether, and provide not only the same power, but also the same mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Like I said, ethonol is entirely optional in a flex fuel engine. You can use any concentration of ethanol from 0% to 85% in an E85 engine. And the Volt can use a variety of gensets, it doesn't have to burn gas or ethanol.

As far as the link you provided, I've seen this before. If it passes through a "cell", it's probably using gallium and aluminum (this process was just discovered recently, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is what they are claiming to use). The process produces aluminum oxide, which cannot be reclaimed in a closed system without over unity. Meaning not only will you be refueling this with water, but you will also be fueling it with expensive aluminum, and will be forced to take out the alumina.

The other possibility is this is simple electrolysis. If this is the case, you need an energy source to produce electricity. Again, can't be done in a closed system without over unity.

Genepax = perpetual motion = SCAM.
It's not a scam. The car has been tested again and again. The same system has also been used in trucks and SUV's in Japan. I really hate when people call it a scam simply because they don't want to believe that the technology is possible. You are talking about a country which has literally developed some of the worlds greatest electronic innovations. I don't see why the same cannot be true for energy. This is also not a recent technology, it was developed in this nation in roughly 1998 by Stan Meyer, and was used in a buggy that he built to run on water alone. With 1 gallon of water, his buggy could travel up to 100 miles before refueling.

People like to call it a scam and a hoax simply because it hasn't been implemented today. Well there are many, many reasons behind that, namely our government and the fact that they get 15c tax for every gallon of gas that you buy at the pump. More so for Diesel. So they have absolutely no incentives to allow for a "free" fuel to hit the market, and bleed them of their millions of dollars they accrue daily.
 

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Sounds like you have a living location, not an automobile or a General Motors problem. Any mode that you employ, any engineering alternative will take energy enough to move several thousand pounds of mass more than 100 miles. The easy, logical and certain way to lessen all costs and effects is to shorten the commute. :) You will get back at least 10% of your life currently spent in sitting in an automobile. :) If the VOLT doesn't work for you, it's because its designed to work for the overwhelming majority. You will have to deal with the situation as energy costs head upward. Most Americans can not afford the luxury of living 60 miles from their job. That's why cities were originally built in the first place. To centralize the population for work, culture, and defense. Your situation undoes that dynamic. It's your choice. The only change is that it will cost you more in the future.
 
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