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Hello Everyone,
I am new to this sight and I think GM is finally headed in the right direction with the CHEVY VOLT. But 40 measly miles on the first charge without the generator kicking in. tsk tsk I have also been an Industrial Electronics Engineer Ffor about 20 years using many Brands of variable motor speed contollers, soft starts and regenerative braking 480-600 volt 3 phase ac all controlled by Allen Bradley PLC or SLC computers and I have written several programs making all this speed controlled equipment easy enough to run that a monkey could operate this piece of equipment.
I plan to purchase the Chevy Volt with it's Camaro look. Bravo to the engineers who designed the body lines and the Electric Motor only for propulsion and using a generator to keep the batteries powered. Hopefully we can get a choice of a multi fuel powered generator, Bio Diesel, Ethanol etc...

GM what about the Elicia and it's performance?
Has anybody heard of the Japanese 8 wheeled Elicia all electric car led by Professor Hiroshi Shimizu.
"The Eliica (or the Electric Lithium-Ion Car) is a battery electric vehicle prototype, or concept car designed by a team at Keio University in Tokyo, led by Professor Hiroshi Shimizu. The 16.7 feet car runs on a lithium-ion battery and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in four seconds. In 2004, the Eliica reached a speed of 230 mph on Italy's Nardo High Speed Track.

The Eliica weighs in at 5291 lbs and seats the driver and three passengers. The body of the four door car has a futuristic, bullet shape design which was tested in a wind tunnel. The front doors open forward and the rear doors open upward like wings. The car's platform contains 4 tracks of 80 batteries, which make for one third of the vehicle's cost. They currently require about 10 hours of recharging from empty to full charge, and can be easily charged off of a residential power grid.

The car has eight wheels enabling it to be closer to the ground for better traction. Each of the wheels has a 80 hp electric motor, giving a 640 hp eight wheel drive which can tackle all kinds of road surfaces. The four front wheels steer. The electric motors mean that the Eliica can deliver a smooth acceleration free from gear shifts of about 0.8 g. Each wheel contains a disc brake and employs a regenerative brake system to recover energy. [ Each motor is mounted just behind each wheel and is quite small for a 80 hp electric motor

There are currently (as of 2005) two versions of the Eliica: a Speed model and an Acceleration model. The Speed model is made to challenge gasoline-based records and has a top speed of 230 mph with a range of 125 miles. The Acceleration model is made for the street and has a top speed of 120 mph with a range of 200 miles.

The estimated cost of development was in excess of US $320,000. Once the team receives corporate sponsorship, they plan to produce at least 200 units. As of early 2007, the projected pricetag was
 

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I think you just answered you own question. The two examples that you used cost 10 times and 3 times as much respectively.

The range extender is the primary technology that allows the cost to be kept down. Since batteries are so expensive, and most people drive less than 40 miles a day anyway? Why not shoot for a reasonable and cost effective all EV range.

Pure EV vehicles do not have the option because when your batteries are dead your stuck for the next 5 -10 hours. With the volt you don't even have to slow down.

While i wish the battery range was farther i know that the additional cost would put the volt out of my price range. So i'll take sipping a little gas each day at the end of my commute (50 miles) so i can acually afford the car.
 

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I agree with Fourflush. The batteries are one of the most expensive parts. The 40 mile range is plenty for most people. My electric vehicle only has 20 miles range and I drive it everyday to take my daughter to school, go to work, and then back to her school, then home. I am quite sure that 40 miles will work well for tha majority of the driving public.

Although.. I wish they would come out with more than one version. maybe an all-electric with 40 miles that is cheaper (no engine) and maybe also a version that has double the battery capacity (80 miles) and no engine. Then for people who really need that extra range, buy the version with the range extender.
 

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At the Volt Nation in New York Javits 3/19/08 a GM Executive told me the Volt battery would not be allowed to run down to zero charge. She explained that when the battery was at 30% charge the range extending device, be it fuel cell, gas, or diesel engine, would kick in at a steady rate to keep the battery pack at its 30% charge. The range extender is not there to fully recharge the battery. The next morning, if the car had not been plugged in, the range extender would start and bring the battery to 30% again. By the way it was mentioned that the performance would be the same at 30% as at 100% charged. The not plugging in scenario makes the vehicle a 50 to 60 mpg with a range of about 550 to 600 miles on a tank full of gas. I think this works for those apartment dwellers that were concerned about not plugging in. :)
 
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