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The battery packs in these automobiles are expensive. If they will not last the lifetime of the vehicle, the owner will be faced with a horrendous replacement cost when they fail.
Not sure I can agree. I do not know what the NiMh packs cost GM. (I would think they get them cheaper since they bought the ovonics company) But I know what lead-acid batteries cost since that is what I used in my EV and I know how many they used and their specifications. My guess is that the batteries would cost somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000 to replace. You can bet if there were tons of these cars on the road, economies of scale would bring the price down to the lower end of that guess, especially if they could be purchased aftermarket and GM didn't use some kind of proprietary battery.

If you consider that the car would generally outlast the mechanical parts of the internal combustion engine, replacing the battery pack every 5 years would still be comparible to the cost of repair on an ICE vehicle over that same time period. if you figure in the gasoline savings, the math really works.
 

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Not sure I can agree. I do not know what the NiMh packs cost GM. (I would think they get them cheaper since they bought the ovonics company) But I know what lead-acid batteries cost since that is what I used in my EV and I know how many they used and their specifications. My guess is that the batteries would cost somewhere between $1,500 and $3,000 to replace. You can bet if there were tons of these cars on the road, economies of scale would bring the price down to the lower end of that guess, especially if they could be purchased aftermarket and GM didn't use some kind of proprietary battery.

If you consider that the car would generally outlast the mechanical parts of the internal combustion engine, replacing the battery pack every 5 years would still be comparible to the cost of repair on an ICE vehicle over that same time period. if you figure in the gasoline savings, the math really works.

Since you are familiar with the EV-1, you then know it had 26 lead-acid batteries connected to provide 60 amp-hours at 312 volts. The battery pack weighed 1310 lbs. Obviously, these are not ordinary automotive batteries, but ones which can withstand deep discharge cycles. Perhaps something close might be the Optima BlueTop, designed for Marine applications. Here is a link with a battery that is close, the D34M.

http://www.1st-optima-batteries.com/index.asp#deepbluespecs

It holds 55 amp-hours (not quite 60) and weighs 43.5 lbs. List price on this site with shipping is $199.95. Therefore, 26 batteries would be nominally $5200. I'm sure you can get quantity discounts at other sites, but my point is that this is for batteries only. Now add in labor fees, disposal fees for old batteries, and other associated costs, and you are talking about an expensive proposition.

Probably you don't purchase other GM vehicles, because I have owned about a dozen of them, and never have I had major problems with the ICE, and I usually keep my vehicles for 10 years and 150,000 miles. Even at that age, I haven't spent more than a few thousand on the ICE. Most of the expenses are for tires, brakes, shocks, and other items not related to the ICE.

As far as gas savings, I will get excellent gas savings when the new Volt arrives. The gas savings from getting it a few years early will not pay for the depreciation that I will experience from buying a Volt with lead-acid batteries instead of the Li-Ion.

GM is on the right path, and they are working to make the Volt an electric car that can be used by everyone.
 

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The battery pack weighed 1310 lbs. Obviously, these are not ordinary automotive batteries, but ones which can withstand deep discharge cycles.
Yes, I'm well aware. I drive an EV right now, and my battery pack costs about $1,200. Granted, my pack is half of the capacity of the EV-1, that is why I was guessing a little higher than that.
 
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