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Discussion Starter #1
I posted about the GM-Volt on a local website to try and introduce them to my new found discovery. I have fallen for this vehicle and felt it may be a good option for others. I tried to justify the vehicle to the best of my ability but my lack of knowledge is getting the best of me.


Here is the website:

http://csramotorsports.com/site/forums/index.php?topic=35650.0

You may have to sign up if you feel the urge to respond. Keep in mind these are auto enthusiasts but more towards the performance aspect. Many of them are young and cannot afford a vehicle like this yet. I am trying to just help them plan for the future, thanks for looking!

Joshua Dotson
 

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Same thing in the other groups that I've been to. They're not that interested in the future of oil and cars.

The Volt, coupled with A123's most recent battery development combines both the safety of batteries in a crash and the range that suit most of people's needs. Without the A123's long battery recharge life cycle and very safe (relative to other lithium batteries), I would not believe than BEV's could finally be a reality. I hope that GM won't blow it this time.
 

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Keep in mind these are auto enthusiasts but more towards the performance aspect. Many of them are young and cannot afford a vehicle like this yet. I am trying to just help them plan for the future, thanks for looking!
Don't expend too much energy trying. Let's face it. The first Volts aren't going to be considered fast, they're not going to be super sexy to look at, they won't be real easy to mod with a thriving after market ready with a bunch of bolt ons, they're front wheel drive, they're probably not going to turn in high skid pad numbers and they're going to be very expensive. So what will they do? Save a lot on gas. Not super thrilling to young performance car enthusiasts. People will have to come to this car on their own terms.
 

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Don't expend too much energy trying. Let's face it. The first Volts aren't going to be considered fast, they're not going to be super sexy to look at, they won't be real easy to mod with a thriving after market ready with a bunch of bolt ons, they're front wheel drive, they're probably not going to turn in high skid pad numbers and they're going to be very expensive. So what will they do? Save a lot on gas. Not super thrilling to young performance car enthusiasts. People will have to come to this car on their own terms.
I'm not going to argue you with that. What you says is base on now. What I may see down the road will become a new hack performance car enthusiasts that may proof that it may able to push the hardware to the limited on the e-flex system. There may be many aftermarket for the volt. Some from young performance car enthusiasts will splt and find a new love for AER or EV car enthusiasts. It a new market for this type of car to come.
 

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Here’s an article about an analysis for USA TODAY by Edmunds.com. The higher the gas price, the quicker the payback.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/environment/2008-05-11-hybrids-gas-prices_N.htm

If the government is pushing for energy independence, then tax credits will also come into play, as an incentive to buy a plug in hybrid.

If plug in hybrids are phased in and capture most of the car market, we may not need to import any oil, in about 15 or 20 years, after most ICE cars go to the junk yard.

More people will own plug in hybrids when the used car market becomes available.

The US has the 12th largest oil reserves as shown on this interactive map.

“12. United States
21.8 billion barrels
Prudhoe Bay in Alaska remains the world's 13th largest field and by far the largest in America. It was discovered in 1968 and had about 13 billion barrels of recoverable reserves when production started in 1977.”

http://www.wired.com/special_multimedia/2008/oilreserves

We have over 300 years of proven coal reserves so we can control our own destiny, with electric powered cars, as more renewable generation comes on line.

I’m tired of getting jacked around by OPEC. I’ll buy a plug in hybrid even if gas drops below $2.00 per gallon.

Most plug in hybrids will be charged overnight. Electric utilities loads peak in the daytime and drop load at night, because the demand drops. This works out great for the plug in hybrids and the electric utilities, as the utilities can run their existing plants, base loaded 24x7 without the load swings. It will most likely not require more power plants to be built or more transmission lines to be installed, in order to charge electric cars at night.

The total pollution produced per mile should be much less with an electric car than with an ICE car, because of scrubbers and other pollutions controls being added to power plants.
 

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Prudhoe peaked in the late 80's. About 2/3 of its recoverable reserves are gone. Daily production is down to less than half what is used to be. If Alaska doesn't develop some new oil fields soon, the pipeline will only be economically viable to operate a few more years.

Current US oil consumption is about 21 million barrels/day. That's 7.6 BILLION barrels per year. If your number is correct of US reserves of 21 billion barrels, we could be energy independent for ....2 years, 9 months. Then we are absolutely oil-broke, even if we drill ANWR and the deep Gulf waters, suck down the strategic reserve to zero, etc. If we could, by some miracle, ramp up our production to tap all those reserves, we'd be 100% out of oil about the time the first Volt rolls onto the showroom floor.

We aren't anywhere close to a commercial implementation of a good carbon sequestration technology that could free us to ramp up coal power without significant global warming impacts. Most new US coal-fired power plant projects have been canceled because of that.

I've been dabbling in the PV business since the early 80's. It has always had an exciting new lab discovery floating around that promised to make solar "too cheap to meter" as soon as it is fully commercialized. Well, maybe one of these days that new discovery will actually pan out, but I'm not holding my breath.

From an energy perspective, we are in the phase where the water at the shore is making this strange retreat, exposing all sorts of interesting stuff previously hidden by the water that draws us to wade out further. We don't see the ominous wave cresting out in the distance....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My concern is not to make this car perform except in efficiency. My hot rod can run on ethanol and I can deal with that as I do not drive it that often.


For energy purposes I hope we start growing switchgrass and celluslosic ethanol picks up commercially. I think it would be great if we could grow our own fuel, stop paying farmers to subsidies, bring more jobs back into the U.S.
My largest concern is can we produce enough crop yields with switchgrass to produce our needs? Please do not comment if you only know about corn produced ethanol as it is horribly inefficient.
 

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My largest concern is can we produce enough crop yields with switchgrass to produce our needs? Please do not comment if you only know about corn produced ethanol as it is horribly inefficient.
In a word, nope. Bio fuels are an important contributer to oil consumption reduction but they are not the total answer. If we were to just trade our oil dependence for bio dependence we would be swapping one disaster for another. Think about the millions of acres required, the millions of tons of fertilizer required (much of it made with oil) the vast amounts of water needed and the horrific run off created. Ask any farmer what happens when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate and you get a bad harvest. We would all be looking for an alternate alternate fuel.

Lots of people like to point to the Brazilians and their ethanol success, but the truth is they have lots of land, a tiny fraction of the cars we do and they still have to produce and import oil. In addition, ethanol doesn't have the energy density that Gasoline or Diesel has so we would need even more quanities of it. Very hard to beat oil for portable energy.

I agree that E85 has to be part of our new energy landscape along with bio diesel, electricity from various sources such as nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and coal as well as gases like hydrogen, LPG, LNG. All of this and we will still need oil for a long time. The thing is to relieve oil from doing most of the work.
 

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My largest concern is can we produce enough crop yields with switchgrass to produce our needs? Please do not comment if you only know about corn produced ethanol as it is horribly inefficient.
In my view, ethanol will never able to replace oil it-self. It may solve a 15 to 20 years energy. Depend how popular ethanol is. With all the land that we have won't able to keep up with the demand for ethanol alone. Heck, Even oil itself can't keep up with the demand. I think a bigger picture is a mixture of ethanol, biodiesel, solar, wind power, water power, ect... All of these forms of energy can turn into electric. That shift from combustion to non-combustion become more efficiency in energy. Many people will says one is better then other and that may be the truth, but it won't able to keep up with the demand in energy alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry I wasn't specific in my worry and current outlook. I don't want ethanol to take the market 100%, diversity is the spice of life. We do not need to keep all of our eggs in one basket. I would however love to see ethanol doing the work so ICEs can live out their life and be put down in a regular fashion while solar/electric/hydrogen have a chance to catch up. Basically I want to be able to drive my volt for commuting and drive my weekend warrior (ethanol or gasoline capable) to the drag strip. I do see electricity as the future combined with solar power be it on our car or charing our cars off our roofs. Hydrogen makes me nervous of the long term effects but I also do not know enough about this product.


Debating on selling my weekend warrior just to help ensure I can afford the Volt with no hesitation. I am looking forward to this car!
 

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I would however love to see ethanol doing the work so ICEs can live out their life and be put down in a regular fashion while solar/electric/hydrogen have a chance to catch up. Basically I want to be able to drive my volt for commuting and drive my weekend warrior (ethanol or gasoline capable) to the drag strip.
Don't worry. I for see gasoline being available for the rest of my life and probably yours too. Ethanol will help us to reduce the amount of foreign oil we need, but oil will always be with us in our life times. As long as there is oil there will be gasoline, however it's going to get more and more expensive over time to the point it may become a specialty product for a limited market. There is still a lot of oil out there, it's just getting more and more expensive to go and get it. Even if the wells run dry, there are folks producing it in labs right now from algae.
 
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