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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After owning a GM volt (let's say for 5 years) I am assuming it would be time to replace the lithium ion batteries. AND HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST?
 

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I agree

I agree with your analysis. Yes, what is the cost of the battery replacement and how often, and how does that relate to cost to mpg.

Also, first read that cost of Volt would be $30k. On CNN news recently quoted cost would be $40k-$50k. I am in shock at the cost of autos today. Seems the American way of 1st introductions to innovations is the highest cost possible, factoring in greed and failure.
Success and competition forces competitive pricing but the consumer must first endure the initial sticker price (i.e. iphone). Considering this car hits the market at $40k-$50k, plus within 3-5 yrs replacement of batteries, is it really worth it? Or is chevy going to be realistic with a great product at an affordable price? Once the product hits the market there will definitely be others fast on the trail to produce price appeal to the masses. Chevy may be 1st but will come in last.

I find it amazing that Europe has been producing fuel efficient cars for years. We just woke up... and are now playing catch up. We are bombarded on TV with ads of autos getting 30mpg....what a joke! No wonder the auto industry is in the toilet! Wake up guys!
 

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I don't have a full analysis of such a situation but in my opinion I would have to say that the cost of operating a diesel over 5 years would likely be less than a Volt for 5 years with a battery replacement.

For one, the diesel should run well over 100,000 miles without needing more than regular maintenance (oil and fluid changes.) We don't know if a lithium ion would need to be replaced after 100,000 miles but assuming it does I'll assume a replacement cost of $5000.

The cost to operate the diesel would be $17,500 over 5 years with 100,000 miles. I assumed 40 miles per gallon fuel economy (2,500 gallons of diesel needed) at a cost of $6.00 per gallon. I also added $500 per year ($2,500 total) for maintenance.

If the Volt was solely run of battery and charged with electricity at a rate of $0.10 per kwh a 16kw battery would cost $1.60 to charge. This would go a distance of 40 miles. So 2,500 charge cycles would cost $4,000.

So based on these simple assumptions and numbers the Volt operating budget for 5 years with a battery replacement would cost $9,000. The diesel operation would cost $17,500.

Once, you factor in going beyond the Volts electric range and you start to operate the ICE you have to factor in fuel costs which would bring the operating costs much more in line with each other.
 

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Of course a smart Volt Owner at the end of 4 years would sell their Volt to an unsuspecting person on Ebay, who didn't do their homework... and let the bozo buyer pay for a new lithium battery pack.
I for one will be buying a 4 year old Volt on Ebay, but it will be me taking advantage of your perception of the battery pack reliability. If everything else on the Volt is designed to last (cross my fingers) then the powertrain will last and last and last and no one realizes this yet because they're calibrated their expectations on a machine with thousands of moving parts just in the automatic transmission. We're talking two moving parts here - the left side rotor, and the right side rotor. As for the battery pack, I'd be happy to inherit it with 40000 electric miles - that corresponds to 500 cycles on this chart (because it's 100% DOD)

http://www.a123systems.com/#/technology/life/lchart1/

I don't need a new Volt because I live 4 minutes from work and go the entire way there without turning on my Honda Civic but having built an EV, I can't wait to recapture that SMILE on my face the first time that I drove it. And I'm going to be laughing all the way to the bank while driving my used Volt in 2016 (I'm buying the 2013 model year - trust me - that's the big thing if you want reliability - don't buy the 1st or even the 2nd model year)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I do suspect the price of kilowatt hours to remain stable in the coming years (unlike oil) so there is some reason to believe electric cars DO/CAN make (cents) sense.
 

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I'll admit to being in group #2:
#2. People who hate foreign oil suppliers.
Further, I can only assume and hope that GM is addressing battery life and any possible replacment affordability issues as they design the Volt. That's because I tend to keep my cars for a VERY VERY long time compared to the average American consumer. I usually purchase used vehicles because the overall value is better. But I have bought 3 new vehicles in my life. Those were/are, a 73 Corvette, a 79 Camaro, and a 04 Colorado. Of those I still own and drive 2 of them, the 73 Vette and the 04 Colorado. I did sell the Camaro after driving it for 16 years.

So you see, I've come to expect longevity and reliabity from my Chevy vehicles. I'll expect no less from the Volt, and I suspect that I'll keep it until they pry my drivers license out of my wallet in 20 or 25 years. At that point I want a good hot rodded electric wheel chair.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The Volt can't afford to be a good looking DOG.

Hopefully the boys at GM will know the Volt not only has to turn heads (and turn a profit) this vehicle is paradigm shift to a radically powered car has got to be one really "smart" move on the part of the worlds largest automaker.
 

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EPRI / DeJong Learning Curve Projection for Li Ion Battery

After owning a GM volt (let's say for 5 years) I am assuming it would be time to replace the lithium ion batteries. AND HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST?
The Electric Power Research Institute (http://my.epri.com/portal/server.pt?) did a recent analysis on the projected cost of Li ion batteries. Using this data and the DeJong learning curve gives the learning curve below. We note that the curve flattens out at volumes of 100,000 and greater, which corresponds to the Volt's third year production and beyond volumes. The Volt (16KWHr) battery cost for the third year and beyond is projected to level out at about $5000.

GM and EPRI have a major collaborative effort going http://gm-volt.com/2008/07/21/gm-launches-major-collaboration-with-epri-and-30-utility-companies-to-ready-the-grid-for-the-volt/, so these numbers have some credibility.

Attached is a spreadsheet of comparative maintenance costs. Tire and brake wear of E-REV is different from ICE.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
"cost of autos today"

I am in shock at the cost of autos today. Or is chevy going to be realistic with a great product at an affordable price?

I find it amazing that Europe has been producing fuel efficient cars for years. We just woke up... and are now playing catch up. We are bombarded on TV with ads of autos getting 30mpg....what a joke! No wonder the auto industry is in the toilet! Wake up guys!
About 20 years ago, I read an article in one of the news magazines (probably in US NEWS & WORLD REPORT) that stated one of the reasons cars made in the US cost more than foreign made vehicles was the labor cost. The article shocked me when it suggested that employees doing basically unskilled tasks like installing bumpers all day long were getting $56 per hour (factored in the perks) and the job required no higher than a GED. The article also stated Union employees were granted a slew of breaks during their shift. The article said cars could in essence be "log jammed" on the assembly line while the employee was off on a break reading magazines. God only knows what these Union people make in the year 2008, because the article I read was about two decades ago.

During the days of Jurgis Rudkis (I might have misspelled the name) a character in Upton Sinclair's book, The Jungle ... unions were needed to stop the abuses of greedy business owners and sweat-shop owners. Today, it seems that greedy Labor Unions have totally screwed up the car business. I mean, there are people graduating from college with a Master's degree that won't be seeing $56 per hour, and yet a guy with a GED can work for GM and make more money than a person with a Master's degree by doing "non-brainy" repetitive tasks for GM, Ford or Chrysler.

But that being said, I think there is some fault at the management level. They have approved the designs of some really crappy small American cars like the Chevy Monza and Chevette. The Monza, when they decided to put a V6 engine in it, they didn't realize in order to do an oil change, a motor-mount had to be dislodged in order to remove and replace the oil filter. The Chevette... the driver didn't sit exactly behind the steering wheel. The steering column was about 6 inches too far to the right and as a result, the driver sat way far to the left. Those were only two of the issues with these crappy cars. I owned a Chevette in the late 70s, and it also got TERRIBLE gas mileage. The VW Rabbit got TWICE as good MPG, ran faster, had more efficient use of interior space and felt like driving a sports car. I was the "patriotic American" driving a Chevette that felt like driving an overloaded grocery cart on cobblestone roads. I think a good CEO would be a guy who once a month, shows up on the assembly line, gets greasy, and does someones job for 8 hours. Then and only then might the CEO see there are some design issues that might need to be changed. I wonder if the CEO of GM knows how to change a spark plug or do an oil change on a 1977 Monza?

Blunders are "a-plenty" concerning the "olden days" of US car business. I hope the labor unions will wake up and loosen their strangle-hold on GM, Ford and Chrysler and I hope the executives of these corporations will also realize they too are not earning their multi-million dollar perks because they have been asleep at the wheel in regard to churning out vehicles that American consumers want... Come on guys, this is America. We sent a man to the moon, won WW2 and we can't beat the Germans and Asians in designing and building cars? I hope the GM Volt kicks some serious butt in regard to foreign made cars.
 

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Doesn't anybody read what Lyle posts in his blog? Info straight from GM? They have told us more than once that they are designing the battery pack so that it will supply power enough to go 40 miles EV range for 10 years! This means that the brand new Volt battery will no doubt do better than 40 miles. They have always said this. In fact, now they are saying that they want to provide a ten year 150,000 mile warranty on the battery pack. Where you guys got the five year replacement schedule is beyond me. It wasn't from any GM press release. This car is having a tough enough time making it to market without us starting mis information about it. Here read up: http://gm-volt.com/2008/08/05/gm-says-chevy-volt-battery-will-have-a-10-year-150000-mile-warranty/
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Tongue Lashing (DaV8or)

I think you are being a tad harsh for those of us relatively new to this forum. I know for me, I recently joined after seeing a snip on a news segment, got excited, "Googled" GM Volt, came here and simply asked some questions. No, I haven't done as much homework as you "senior" members, I am a newbie. I am however a guy who drove a 1/4 of a million dollar electric van in a public relations and media capacity here in Texas in the mid 1990s. I probably know more about batteries than the average consumer who is interested in an EV, but I suspect 95% of people who are interested in a GM Volt, don't have any idea what a metal-hydride or lithium battery (or even maybe a lead-acid battery) is. That's the beauty of this forum... potential consumers get to ask questions and they shouldn't be flamed, chided or ostracized for asking a question that needs to be addressed. The fact remains, NOBODY HAS STATED HOW MUCH A NEW BATTERY PACK WILL OR COULD COST (that I am aware of) after the batteries have exhausted their (unknown) service life. It might be impossible at this juncture to even estimate the cost and labor to replace the battery pack, but still, this is a legitimate and intelligent question to ask as a potential consumer.

I know for those of us who have been following the Prius for a much longer time-frame (it is a REAL car and basically HAS a track record, unlike the Volt) the big issue is the longevity of the Prius batteries and the steep price to replace them (typically 4 to 5 years) and we "newbies" have been equating this to batteries in general. Typically, consumers know they have to buy a new battery in an "old technology" vehicle every 4 to 5 years. Our mindset then makes us wonder how much a slew of batteries would cost (basically in that same time frame) for a Prius OR a Volt. I know the batteries in the $200,000+ Dodge Electric Mini Van I had as one of my two company cars in my PR job for a large electric company here in Texas --- they had to be replaced after 2.5 years!

No, I have not seen ANYTHING about the 10 year life span, nor anything about costs. I also think for most of us on this site, we are reading posts in the Forum. We might not simply know where to look.

Maybe someone needs to simply post a new topic " BIG NEWS, LONG BATTERY LIFE FOR THE VOLT."

Here is one other topic, Obama wants to give everyone a $7,000 tax credit for buying a "hybrid." I assume since GM isn't marketing the Volt as "hybrid" technically would this exclude the GM product and favor the Prius? Has someone already answered this? or is it buried somewhere where only a "senior" member knows where to access it?

My main complaint is GET THE COST DOWN so thousands of these will be be roaming the streets. I'd rather flood the highways with an American product over the Toyota. And by getting the cost down, the Unions need to make some concessions and let their folks work in the real world, like the rest of us working stiffs who can't afford a $50,000 electric car, made by some guy with a GED making $60 an hour, getting paid to take breaks while slowing down the assembly line as he/she is reading a magazine.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
DaV8or! Check the date of the original question.

Doesn't anybody read what Lyle posts in his blog? Info straight from GM? This car is having a tough enough time making it to market without us starting mis information about it. Here read up: http://gm-volt.com/2008/08/05/gm-says-chevy-volt-battery-will-have-a-10-year-150000-mile-warranty/
My original question was posted 7-21. In looking at this link you provided, it suggests the info was put out by GM or Lyle TODAY, 8-5. So what is the hollering about? My question was NOT mis-information. Did I or anybody else state what the projection was for battery life in the Volt? No, I asked if batteries were going to last more than 4 to 5 years.

It looks like an executive from GM read my post and decided to address a very legitimate concern on the part of a potential (and LOYAL Chevy owner since 1970, my first being a Z-28 for combo-present for graduation from High School and joining the Army, signing up for Nam) I still own a 1983 GMC Diesel Van... that chugs along (ugly as sin, but in the family since day 1).

I think this forum is helpful for people to post concerns because it allows GM an opportunity to determine potential marketing problems and GM can head this stuff off in advance. Lyle DID in fact catch a bad post I submitted last week about a really BAD Google glitch I had. I'm glad he caught it and removed my question there, because my original data from Google was corrupted.

I hope someone from GM read my grievance about the Chevette steering wheel NOT being placed directly in front of the driver (off set by 4 to 6 inches) and the fact the engine on the 1977 Monza V6 had to be dislodged in order to remove the oil filter... That's what got US car makers in a bind in the first place, not listening to the consumer, or checking their very own work and their own designs.

The folks from Japan LIKE to hear concerns, grievances and gripes... It gives their design people and management team an opportunity to head-off errors and make products that consumers WANT to buy and become loyal to.

This started NOT as a rumor or misleading information, but as a simple question 2 full weeks in advance of GM making the info available on 8-5-2008.
 

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In fact, now they are saying that they want to provide a ten year 150,000 mile warranty on the battery pack.

I don't see that anywhere. Where did they say that? One thing I don't like about Lyle's reporting style is he uses too many phrases like "suggests" and "points to" and in this case "indicating". GM never indicated they are going to provide a 10 year / 150,000 mile warranty on the battery pack. Here's the exact quote:

But one of the important challenges remaining is proving ten-year, 150,000-mile life when we're developing the battery over a three-year timeframe.
What they are building a car for, and what they plan to back it up with are two different things. Many auto makers build cars to last 15 years and 200,000 miles, but they only back it up with a 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty.
 

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My original question was posted 7-21. In looking at this link you provided, it suggests the info was put out by GM or Lyle TODAY, 8-5. So what is the hollering about?
Jeez, I'm sorry. My comment was too quick and perhaps a tad strong, but I was not really directing it at you as I recognized that you are new and may not be up to speed. My disappointment was with other older members going along and not pointing out that ten years has always been the goal. I thought for sure someone would let you know that after a few posts. You're new, so you don't realize that Lyle's post today is purely coincidental (I was stunned that when I went to the home page to search for past postings on the blog about the battery pack life, I found that today's post was exactly this topic!) and that the main point of it is that GM now feels confident in the battery packs enough that they are planning to warranty them for 10 years or 150,000 miles. The stated goal for months has been 10 years of battery life.

Anyhow, again I apologize. I really don't try to beat up on new folks. I guess I'm just frustrated with all the negativity that people seem to have about the Volt lately. GM has not released one single fact or figure with regards to it's price or performance. Only loose estimates and design goals. Yet people here seem to want take these wobbly figures and try to turn them into hard facts. Can anybody tell me any hard performance or pricing facts about the next generation Prius? Probably not, because Toyota isn't saying anything. I personally love this intimate view into the design and development process that GM is allowing us, just we can't take every new bump or ripple build it into cloud of doom without hard facts.
 
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