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Discussion Starter #1
What if a VOLT owner needs to go more than 40 miles; what if (s)he needed to go 400 miles? Would you just go the first 40 on the battery charge, and would the gas-powered electric generator just kick-in? Alot of people I know drive 400 miles at 60 mph without stopping for more than 10 minutes. Can this car do that?
 

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What if a VOLT owner needs to go more than 40 miles; what if (s)he needed to go 400 miles? Would you just go the first 40 on the battery charge, and would the gas-powered electric generator just kick-in? Alot of people I know drive 400 miles at 60 mph without stopping for more than 10 minutes. Can this car do that?
That's exactly the proposed operation cycle. Keep adding gas and it'll keep on going.
 

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From reading the mainstream press about this vehicle, I didn't even know that! GM mostly seems to tout the "plug-in" aspect. This makes the car much bigger news! It gets about the same mileage as the Prius, and it's AMERICAN! Better yet, it doesn't have that ridiculous double drive train - it's all electric. Any plans to replace the electric generator with some kind of fuel cell that runs off ethanol or some kind of hydrocarbon? Think of what all this'll mean once the nanotech batteries are improved. The biggest problem will be to double the size of the nation's electric grid!
 

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From reading the mainstream press about this vehicle, I didn't even know that! GM mostly seems to tout the "plug-in" aspect. This makes the car much bigger news! It gets about the same mileage as the Prius, and it's AMERICAN! Better yet, it doesn't have that ridiculous double drive train - it's all electric. Any plans to replace the electric generator with some kind of fuel cell that runs off ethanol or some kind of hydrocarbon? Think of what all this'll mean once the nanotech batteries are improved. The biggest problem will be to double the size of the nation's electric grid!
Re: doubling the size of the grid: WRONG-O. All electric utilities need to do is shape demand. At the moment even in the most marginal markets, utilities have tremendous excess capacity at night. If they offer lower rates for nighttime use, everyone will tell their Volt to charge itself at night and voila! The power companies win because they don't have to idle as much capacity at night (this is inefficient and costs them money) and consumers win because they get to use lower rates to charge their car.

Google "e-flex" for information about the range extender. GM initially proposed a fuel cell range extender when they first publicized the concept, but fuel cells are still expensive for the capacity they offer, so the first range extenders will be proven, optimized internal combustion engines.
 

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Suggestion to GM would be to offer an extended battery.

I wonder if they will add an optional battery pack that can increase the milage beyond 40 miles before the gas engine kicks in? I think an "extra capacity" battery option would be great for those who drive more than 40 miles per day to work and other places. The only time they would have to use the range extender is for out of town trips, etc. If GM does not come up with this option i'm sure some after market option will be out there. I have read on-line about a company in Denver I think that will upgrade a Toyota Prius with a battery pack that would allow it to get about 100 miles per gallon. It's expensive though, I belive it costs around $25K.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the e-flex tip. There sure is a wealth of
great information out there. And I stand corrected
about my comment about the electric grid - for now, and
maybe for quite a while depending on how two different
technologies evolve. Those technologies are fuel cells
and batteries.

If fuel cell development surges ahead, I'd guess that
the various forms of hydrocarbons that they could
accept as fuel sources would be far simpler than the
inputs required by today's cars. Also, fuel cells won't
require pollution control systems.

Even if fuel cells don't advance, the literature
indicates that the kind of engines needed for the
e-flex concept are much less versatile than modern auto
engines are, and perhaps they, too, would require less
sophisticated fuels than modern gasoline.
In either case, the driver's first miles come from
overnight charging, with no need to expand the grid.

But, on the other hand, if battery technology runs
ahead of fuel cell development, maybe an all-electric
car will supercede the e-flex platform. I know that
isn't entirely science fiction, because last year I
read an article about an all-electric car that weighed
about 1500 lbs and stored enough energy to go about 250
miles at 75 mph. That's not big, fast, or far enough
for the main-stream American driver, and it was way,
way too expensive to be remotely practical. Also, it
didn't exactly use a battery, rather a nanotech-based
"ultracapacitor."

Anyhow, all indications are that these types of
"batteries" are years away. The e-flex, just as it is
now, has my vote as the most important
business-engineering concept of this decade.
 
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