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Here's a wacky idea for the GM engineering folks. How about designing the Chevy Volt with an onboard location which consists of slots for additional "add-on" lithium batteries of a preconfigured shape and size. GM, and aftermarket companies, could sell these range extending slot batteries which Volt owners, or dealerships, could install the same way we pop our cell-phone batteries in and out. It would be a wonderful way to incrementally increase the "electric only" range of the vehicle, without dramatically increasing the initial purchase price of the car.
 

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How about designing the Chevy Volt with an onboard location which consists of slots for additional "add-on" lithium batteries of a preconfigured shape and size.
There's not a lot of unused space inside a Volt, unless you want to make it a two-seater. More likely what will happen is as battery energy densities go up, a battery pack to replace the current battery will get smaller and lighter. So in some presumed future version of the car, if they continue to reserve as much space for the battery as they are now, you'd be able to add packs for more EV range.

But honestly I suspect the first thing they'd do with a physically smaller 40 mile battery is get rid of the tunnel between the back seat.
 

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The heating and cooling requirements for the batteries would make this more expensive than replacing the cell phone battery. Tesla plans to have 160, 230 and 300 mile configurations for their Model S. The ability to add or remove battery packs will allow a driver who has a short commute to use the least number of cells and have the dealer add them later when needed.
 

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The heating and cooling requirements for the batteries would make this more expensive than replacing the cell phone battery. Tesla plans to have 160, 230 and 300 mile configurations for their Model S. The ability to add or remove battery packs will allow a driver who has a short commute to use the least number of cells and have the dealer add them later when needed.
Do you know what the price will be for each of the range limits? The Model S is a good looking sedan. Tesla is a smart company. It will be interesting to see if they can make good on all their future products. They will have to either keep getting cash infusions (from taxpayers or companies like Toyota) or get gobbled up by a company like Toyota. Interesting set of possibilities.
 

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I like the idea of extra slots. I have a slightly longer commute than the national average. In ideal conditions I'm predicting I'll be able to make 3/4 of my commute on electric. It sure would be nice to be able to bump up my capacity to make that 100%. I'd give up a bit of trunk space for that! I also saw a spot on tv yesterday where they were talking about lithium/polymer batteries that have just be developed that improves on lithium/ion by 20-30% capacity with half the weight/volume. I was thinking that maybe in 5-6 years when the Volts battery is spent I could replace it with a longer range lithium/polymer battery in the same space!
 

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This seems like the most likely possibility.

You could be willing to give up your trunk space for an additional battery, but besides the heating/cooling requirements of the battery, it probably wouldn't work out from a safety perspective anyway.


I like the idea of extra slots. I have a slightly longer commute than the national average. In ideal conditions I'm predicting I'll be able to make 3/4 of my commute on electric. It sure would be nice to be able to bump up my capacity to make that 100%. I'd give up a bit of trunk space for that! I also saw a spot on tv yesterday where they were talking about lithium/polymer batteries that have just be developed that improves on lithium/ion by 20-30% capacity with half the weight/volume. I was thinking that maybe in 5-6 years when the Volts battery is spent I could replace it with a longer range lithium/polymer battery in the same space!
 

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I was thinking that maybe in 5-6 years when the Volts battery is spent I could replace it with a longer range lithium/polymer battery in the same space!
Given that the ICE should last comparatively forever, that's *my* hoped for plan for the 7-8 year kicker...
 

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Given that the ICE should last comparatively forever, that's *my* hoped for plan for the 7-8 year kicker...
Thats my hope too. And realistically with my mileage, 7-8 years is probably low for what I would guess the usable life of the battery pack is. But I would be seriously tempted to replace the battery early if it could be replaced with something that would give me 60-80miles range. Of course cost would have to be factored in too. I'm sure that a lithium polymer battery wouldn't be cheap.
 
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