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I will be driving my volt 48 weeks of the year, within the 40mile range. I would like to hear about stale gas issues, and a discussion on the feasibilty of a dock-able Range Extender. Also if the RE was dockable, what kind of performance increases would be had by removing the 4 cyclinder. (Weight advantage.)
 

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This is a VERY good idea.

Even if I had to pay the dealership a $100 fee to remove the range extender + fuel tank module, and then another $100 to slide it back into place, I would LOVE to have the capacity to do this.

Why lug around the ICE and the gas all the time if you aren't even using it?
 

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I will be driving my volt 48 weeks of the year, within the 40mile range. I would like to hear about stale gas issues, and a discussion on the feasibilty of a dock-able Range Extender. Also if the RE was dockable, what kind of performance increases would be had by removing the 4 cyclinder. (Weight advantage.)
At Volt Nation in NYC, I asked the Volt designers about the stale gas issue. One thing they noted was that they were looking at a pressurized gas tank (positive pressure, versus the venting that current tanks use). That prevents the volatiles from evaporating from the gas, and keeps the gas from going stale as quickly.

Personally, my driving habits are the same as yours. I'm just going to put some Sta-Bill (gas stabilizer) into each tank of gas. I use this on my snowblower gas, and I'm running it on 2-year-old gas without problems.

As for making the range extender dockable, don't bother. Have you ever removed an engine from a car? It's really tough to get one out, so I can only assume that the hardware needed to make it easily removable is going to add a lot of weight and complication to the car. In addition, the engine also factors into the crashworthiness of the car. The mass of the engine protects the passengers in a serious accident. When they crash test the car, they'll do it with the engine installed.

Finally, one of the most important uses of the range extender is as a heat source. It gets below zero here in the winter, and when I get back to the train station at 10:00 PM, the range extender is going to be the source of heat to warm the car and the batteries. The Li-Ion batteries used in the Volt don't work very well in sub-zero temperatures, and a heat-pump defroster is not going to generate enough heat to get the ice off the windshield. When it's cold and icy, I'll happily let the ICE run to heat the car and defrost the windshield.
 

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Some time I think people just pick number out of their butt, how do you figure $100 to pull an engine? I doubt if the engine could be pulled for less the $500 out and $500 back in, but $750 to $1,000 each way is more realistic..

Most dealers charge $100 to $160 an hour for labor. With all the electrical / computer connections, plus draining the engine coolant and gasoline I would be shocked if they can do it in 4 hours. Plus what are they going to do with the engine and gas tank after they remove it. The dealer won’t have the room to store it unless he builds a storage shed and charges you rent to cover his costs and the insurance liability. Or maybe you can hire a tow truck to bring it to your house. I just hired a tow truck a few weeks ago to pick up a car lift and the charge for the wrecker was $160 so $100 won‘t even cover the cost of removing it from the dealers premises after it has been removed. Don’t even think about leaving it at the dealers

I doubt the dealer would want to be responsible for damaged engines, haz-mat storage of the gasoline. Don’t forget even small amounts of gasoline can explode or combust in a storage building that isn’t air conditioned. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have 50 gas tanks in a non air conditioned building in AZ where the temps are over a 100 degrees. Or what dealer wants to keep track of which engine goes with what car, and I doubt a rental place will allow you to store gasoline in a rent a room at a storage rental place so your only option is to store it in your garage (I wonder how our homeowners will like the fact you are storing large amounts of gas in your garage, the gas tank in our car is shielded and protected by the car frame and sheet metal. Also I doubt a rent-a-store place will allow you to store gasoline in a rent a room at a storage rental place
 

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Actually I pulled the $100 number out of the air, a little less aromatic that way. :D

I was just stating that it would be great if possible. If not possible or plausable for cost, oh well. If a large battery module of the same size ans shape of the engine/fuel tank were available, it would be nice for those who want (again our of the air) an additional 20 miles daily range giving up the many-hundreds-of-miles the range extender ICE provides.

If you could lift the hood, hook up a winch, unlock a series of mounts, and pull out the ICE and fuel tank, and then replace it with a battery module, it would be great... but if it's impossible, oh well. I never claimed to be an engineer, just a dreamer, who would never offer you something that I obtained from my solid waste disposal unit.
 

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In my younger days I have pulled a few engines with the help of some friends. It took a twos days and 3 or 4 people working in a friends driveway or my garage to get it done. A good mechanic with the right tools could cut the time down, and the Volt would have a lot less connections to work on, but it will still cost you $100 to $200 for a tow truck to remove the engine from the dealers premises. I live in Anderson SC so $160 may be a low number for a two truck. Big city tow trucks charge big city prices.

PS How many married guys have wives that would not complain about having an engine and gas tank taking up space in the garage that they have to step over and around?
 

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My dad and I swapped out the engine of my first car, a 1962 Ford Falcon Station Wagon, so I'm aware of the effort involved in pulling a standard ICE.

But the engine of the Volt will not be connected to the drive train. Corvette, even you will have to admit that this simplifies the possibilities greatly. The ICE on the Volt will be much lighter than the rear-wheel drive engines of the past, and the engine/transmission combinations in front-wheel drive modern vehicles.

I'm still willing to admit that making the engine and fuel tank swappable for the Volt may be a hard order to fill... but I remember that they are planning somewhat in this direction already, because they want the e-flex design to be able to easily support a diesel or a hydrogen fuel-cell component instead of the ICE (if for no other purpose than for overseas consumption).
 

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Swapping the engine in the Volt will be a lot easier in the volt than a regular car but even if it only takes a few hours your a talking about $500 if the dealer charges $150 and hour. No matter how easy they make it I doubt the labor time will be less than 3 to 4 hours, and transporting and storing the pulled engine will add to the cost.

One more thing unless you own two cars do you really want to risk being without transportation if an emergency comes up?

What happens if you come home from work at almost zero charge and your wife or kid has a medical emergency?
 

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Hehe...

If there is a medical emergency involving anyone in my family (most of whom live within about a 500ft radius actually), we pile into the 1994 Chevrolet Caprice Classic parked next to the volt, which sadly gets only 14 miles to the gallon, but with the corvette engine/tranny and police package will get us to the hospital a darn side faster than the Volt would anyway (boy does that car hug a corner, and the cops tend to look longingly at it).

But I'll drop the subject at this point, since I know that GM will not make the swapping of major components something that could be done in a layman's garage anyway, since it is hard to do most any work under your own hood anymore.
 

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Thank You, very intelligent response, Swimdad623.

What do you think of EEStor?

http://media.cleantech.com/3174/eestors-weir-speaks-about-ultracapacitor-milestone

If this is real, I don't want a volt without one.
If EESTOR is real, it's a game changer. The claim is that it holds 53KWH in a $3300 energy storage unit. By comparison, the Volt holds 16KWH in a $10,000 battery. If EESTOR is real, there's no comparison.

Up until recently, I had given up on EESTOR. The secrecy, and the connection with ZENN motors convinced me that this was a classic "pump and dump" - where someone buys shares in a small company (in this case, ZENN), releases some optimistic information, lets the stock price go up, and then sells the shares. Every time someone said something good about EESTOR, ZENN stock went up 10% the next day. It looked like "pump and dump", and may still be.

One interesting piece of news is the blog by the mysterious "B", who is apparently in insider in EESTOR. Here's the link:

http://bariumtitanate.blogspot.com/

According to "B", the issue with EESTOR is that the extreme purity requirements of the EESTOR ESU required that the unit could not be built by hand, but had to be made on an automated production line. Given this, they built a few small low-voltage stacks, but can't test a full unit until the automated line is built. He also said that the line is close to completion, so we should see something soon.

Even given this, I still have some issues regarding the EESTOR ESU in the Volt. The biggest one is that the unit operates at 3500 volts (rather than the 330 volts in the Volt), and that it's a big capacitor, rather than a battery. Big voltage and fast discharge could mean potential safety issues. Keep in mind that a stick of dynamite has 1/2KHW of energy, so the EESTOR ESU has the energy of over 100 sticks of dynamite. I'm not sure if this makes it a safe product in the event of an accident. I wouldn't want to be the rescue EMT using the "jaws of life" on an EESTOR-powered Volt.

My opinion is that GM should stick with the batteries for the first few years. Even if EESTOR comes through, there's a lot of better uses for the ESU. I would definitely put one in my basement and charge it on off-peak electricity and discharge it all day. Also, the most natural use I can think of is in railroad locomotives. They already run on up to 25,000 volts and hundreds of amps, so they know how to handle this kind of power. Outside of the Northeast and Chicago corridors, almost all of the railroad lines in the US are diesel-driven, so a stack of EESTORs in a locomotive would eliminate the need for diesel in trains. I'm into the Volt to reduce the use of imported oil, so saving a gallon in a train is no different than saving a gallon in a car.
 

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At Volt Nation in NYC, I asked the Volt designers about the stale gas issue. One thing they noted was that they were looking at a pressurized gas tank (positive pressure, versus the venting that current tanks use). That prevents the volatiles from evaporating from the gas, and keeps the gas from going stale as quickly.
That's interesting. If the Volt used a pressurized system for storing its gas, I wonder what effect it would have on the fuel pump and on refueling the vehicle.
 

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Pulling the ICE (weight) out of the car will seriously upset the chassis tuning and make the car unsafe. Sure, you could replace the weight with batteries, but man would that be expensive.

Sure, GM could make the ICE fit in a cradle(with quick disco electrical umbilical cord...no need for mechanical linkages/connections) that could be pulled by simply releasing a few restraints/latches and fuel line, but handling and storage would always be an issue. Just look at how clumsly it is to handle/store convertible hard tops.

Also, you have the added cost...need to keep that cost down....
 

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This would work better if we were talking about a homemade EV with a little gas generator sitting in the trunk. Something I would like to see more of actually.
 

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Falcons

I too had a Falcon Wagon. It was a 1961. Straight 6, 3 in the tree, Armstrong Steering, Iron Leg Brakes, AM one speaker radio-no push button channel change either and on rainy days the famous Vacuum Wipers! 23 cents a gallon gas. Quite a change from the Volt!!


My dad and I swapped out the engine of my first car, a 1962 Ford Falcon Station Wagon, so I'm aware of the effort involved in pulling a standard ICE.
 
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