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Discussion Starter #1
Just finished an excellent book detailing the history of the development of the EV1 and American EV technology in general. "The Car That Could" by Shnayerson in 1996. Truly eye opening. Amazing details on EV and battery tech. My gd these cars shuffle around 100,000 watts of electricity and, like radio stations, are approved by the FCC....

The book ends too soon, being from 1996, alas, and doesn't get into the demise of the car but still an excellent read. Truly remarkable.

I only wish someone had written something similar about the later development of the Volt -- which I'm sure was fraught with even more intrigue and chaos than the EV1. The one book I found on the Volt doesn't come close to this one.
 

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Is this the Volt book that you were talking about? "Chevrolet Volt: Charging into the Future"
I thought is was pretty good.
 

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Sounds interesting - Available from Amazon cheap used. I ordered a copy, we'll see. :)
 

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Is this the Volt book that you were talking about? "Chevrolet Volt: Charging into the Future"
I thought is was pretty good.
I.bought.my.Volt.three.weeks.and.2.days.ago.The.salesman.told.me.that.about.two.weeks.
after.one.buys.a.Volt,a.thankyou.gift.arrives.from.Generous.Motors(that.book).Two.weeks.after.we.
bought.the.car.we.got.a.thank.you.note.from.GM.but.no.book.Does.anyone.know.if.they.are.still.
sending.the.book.to.new.owners?Sorry.my.space.bar.is.not.working,except.for.spaces.I.cannot.control.
 

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Is this the Volt book that you were talking about? "Chevrolet Volt: Charging into the Future"
I thought is was pretty good.
"The Car That Could" is definitely not a "Volt book." It is about the EV1 and was published about the same time the EV1 was launched. The Volt was not even an idea then (however, Audi produced the "Duo" PHEV at that time).

GSP
 

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"The Car That Could" is definitely not a "Volt book." It is about the EV1 and was published about the same time the EV1 was launched. The Volt was not even an idea then (however, Audi produced the "Duo" PHEV at that time).

GSP
Huh. I'd never heard of that one before. One of the first hybrids produced, a plug-in, an Audi and a diesel? Specs are actually pretty similar to the much more recent Volvo V60 PHEV - although that car has a lot more power:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_hybrid_vehicles#Audi_A4_Duo_III
 

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"The Car That Could" is definitely not a "Volt book." It is about the EV1 and was published about the same time the EV1 was launched. The Volt was not even an idea then (however, Audi produced the "Duo" PHEV at that time).

GSP
I was responding to this statement by the OP, "I only wish someone had written something similar about the later development of the Volt -- which I'm sure was fraught with even more intrigue and chaos than the EV1. The one book I found on the Volt doesn't come close to this one."

I've never seen the book "The Car That Could".
 

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Volt Book

I.bought.my.Volt.three.weeks.and.2.days.ago.The.salesman.told.me.that.about.two.weeks.
after.one.buys.a.Volt,a.thankyou.gift.arrives.from.Generous.Motors(that.book).Two.weeks.after.we.
bought.the.car.we.got.a.thank.you.note.from.GM.but.no.book.Does.anyone.know.if.they.are.still.
sending.the.book.to.new.owners?Sorry.my.space.bar.is.not.working,except.for.spaces.I.cannot.control.

They quit sending the Volt History book. Not sure of the date, but we got one last year in May. It is available in the market place but not sure where.
 

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That was certainly an interesting book. I knew a good bit of the history, but I hadn't realized how tightly connected it all was, or how innovative the GM work was at the time.

The technology GM developed for the Impact was central to everything from the Ford Ranger EV to the Tesla Roadster.

It looks like if GM hadn't needed a demonstration project for their new Hughes satellite division, EVs would have taken a lot longer to show up. There's a lot of EV1 DNA in our Volts, and some in many of their competitors...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That was certainly an interesting book. I knew a good bit of the history, but I hadn't realized how tightly connected it all was, or how innovative the GM work was at the time.

The technology GM developed for the Impact was central to everything from the Ford Ranger EV to the Tesla Roadster.

It looks like if GM hadn't needed a demonstration project for their new Hughes satellite division, EVs would have taken a lot longer to show up. There's a lot of EV1 DNA in our Volts, and some in many of their competitors...
I enjoyed it, especially all the back room insights into the planning and challenges in developing the EV1. Fascinating look at the process, and the technical challenges in developing a production-ready EV1/Impact. I read the Volt book too, and while it has some bits and pieces of technical info, it's a rather sanitized, cursory look at the development of the vehicle and its history, etc. Given the controversy over the Volt and everything, it would be great to have a more in-depth look at the origins of the car, from an insider perspective, like in 'The Car That Could' re the EV1. I would really like to know what parts of the Volt, in fact, come directly from, or are adaptations of EV1 parts. Anything at all?
 

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I enjoyed it, especially all the back room insights into the planning and challenges in developing the EV1. Fascinating look at the process, and the technical challenges in developing a production-ready EV1/Impact. I read the Volt book too, and while it has some bits and pieces of technical info, it's a rather sanitized, cursory look at the development of the vehicle and its history, etc. Given the controversy over the Volt and everything, it would be great to have a more in-depth look at the origins of the car, from an insider perspective, like in 'The Car That Could' re the EV1. I would really like to know what parts of the Volt, in fact, come directly from, or are adaptations of EV1 parts. Anything at all?
I doubt if anything comes directly from the EV1 - too much time, too many new developments. On the other hand, I'm sure that the main drive motors and inverters are direct developments from the ones Hughes developed for the Impact program (probably third or fourth generation by way of the two mode hybrid program,) and I wouldn't be surprised if the electric air conditioning compressor was a direct evolution, too.

The Volt also inherited the T shaped battery pack between and behind the seats, though it's 2/3 the size and the contents are very different.
 

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The EV1 also had an EREV version. This is from Wikipedia.

EV1 series hybrid

The series hybrid prototype had a gas turbine engine APU placed in the trunk. A single-stage, single-shaft, recuperated gas turbine unit with a high-speed permanent-magnet AC generator was provided by Williams International; it weighed 220 lb (100 kg), measured 20 in (51 cm) in diameter by 22 in (56 cm) long and was running between 100,000 and 140,000 rpm.[68] The turbine could run on a number of high-octane[citation needed] alternative fuels, from octane-boosted gasoline to compressed natural gas. The APU started automatically when the battery charge dropped below 40% and delivered 54 bhp (40 kW) of electrical power, sufficient to simultaneously sustain the EV1's 80 mph top speed whilst returning the car's 44 NiMH cells to (and maintain them at) a 50% charge level.

A fuel tank capacity of 6.5 US gal (24.6 L; 5.4 imp gal) and fuel economy of 60 mpg-US (3.9 L/100 km; 72 mpg-imp) to 100 mpg-US (2.4 L/100 km; 120 mpg-imp) in hybrid mode, depending on the driving conditions, allowed for a highway range of more than 390 mi (630 km). The car accelerated to 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 9 seconds.

There was also a research program[69] that powered the series hybrid Gen2 version from a Stirling engine-based generator. The program demonstrated the technical feasibility of such a drive train, but it was concluded that commercial viability was out of reach at that time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1#Origins
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hughes I think did basically only the induction paddle charge system -- and, per the book, Delco Remy was absolutely furious they were given the job. I don't think that Hughes built the EV1 motor.

I bet dollars to donuts that the Volt's inverter system, chips, and, possibly core operating software, descends directly or very, very closely from the EV1. You don't take that kind of advanced tech and just toss it.

Oh if only we had an EV1 and Volt engineer here!!!!!!
 

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Hughes I think did basically only the induction paddle charge system -- and, per the book, Delco Remy was absolutely furious they were given the job. I don't think that Hughes built the EV1 motor.
I'm not sure about the motor itself - but it was almost certainly built to Hughes specifications, because Hughes was the group that redesigned the inverter with IGBTs and liquid cooling and pissed Al Cocconi off enough that he left and formed AC Propulsion to market an upgraded version of his original MOSFET based air cooled inverter which Tesla licensed for the Roadster.

Hughes building the inverter is mentioned in lots of places through the book, including them selling the inverters to converters like US Electricar during the Impact hiatus to defray costs - US Electricar was originally contracted to make the Ford Ranger EVs before they went bankrupt.
 
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