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Much of the arguments against the EV truck have already been made in the last paradigm shift. With a vehicle you could only go certain places where with a horse you could go anywhere. With a vehicle you had to carry your gasoline with you in large cans because gas stations were far and few between whereas with a horse can eat gas along the way, no need to carry it's food. With a horse and buggy you could go over mountains (the horses were used to lower the buggies on steep hills/inclines, you can still see the marking on rock and trees in Oregon Trail and 8 other places) whereas with a vehicle you couldn't do that. Despite all these disadvantages, vehicles won because the disadvantages were addressed, just like today's supposed disadvantages of an EV truck, are and will be addressed.
 

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Not sure that the Chinese will have ownership of the technology. I certainly hope not. It is obvious that turning over IP to the Chinese was the biggest strategic blunder of American industry ever.
SAIC has it and everything else GM does in China. That's how the sell in China game works.
 

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I totally agree ... the logical place to keep using the voltec system — in larger SUVs and trucks. Whether they will ever do that or not, who knows ...
This is exactly what they should build.
A Voltec type Tahoe/Yukon would be PERFECT.
GM built hybrid Tahoes in 2007-2008. No one remembers them, because they didn't sell.

Largely because the greenies raked GM over the coals, it was sacrilegious to make hybrid large SUVs, even though one hybrid SUV with a 50% increase in fuel mileage would save more gas than two or three Priuses.

So before you call GM morons, remember they tried this, and it failed spectacularly, for reasons based on politics and market response, not engineering or innovation.
 

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GM built hybrid Tahoes in 2007-2008. No one remembers them, because they didn't sell.

Largely because the greenies raked GM over the coals, it was sacrilegious to make hybrid large SUVs, even though one hybrid SUV with a 50% increase in fuel mileage would save more gas than two or three Priuses.

So before you call GM morons, remember they tried this, and it failed spectacularly, for reasons based on politics and market response, not engineering or innovation.
The key is whether the fuel
Economy standards continue to tighten. If they do they will have to try something like this again. If they are rolled back, forget about it.


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The issue of reliability with respect to the Voltec system is partly related to testing. ICE cars have billions of miles of testing and failure analysis. This is true for both engines and transmissions. There is no way a company like GM can match this kind and degree of testing for the Voltec propulsion system.
How many miles do you want? VoltStats has been tracking 2500 of the approximately 125k Volts sold, and has nearly 110 million miles logged from those cars, so OnStar/GM have telemetry from (by math, assuming the 2500 are representative) 5 billion miles of driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
How many miles do you want? VoltStats has been tracking 2500 of the approximately 125k Volts sold, and has nearly 110 million miles logged from those cars, so OnStar/GM have telemetry from (by math, assuming the 2500 are representative) 5 billion miles of driving.
Compare that to the number of ICE miles driven and the 20 or so car companies that have made and tested ICE engines for 100 years - no comparison in the amount of the testing involved. Besides, getting a bunch of codes from an OnStar system in no way constitutes a comprehensive test system.

If GM had taken a few hundred Voltec systems (failed and running well) with a few hundred thousand miles on each apart and analyzed the wear and failure properties of these systems, that would still only constitute a small beginning to a valid testing regime.
 

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Compare that to the number of ICE miles driven and the 20 or so car companies that have made and tested ICE engines for 100 years - no comparison in the amount of the testing involved. Besides, getting a bunch of codes from an OnStar system in no way constitutes a comprehensive test system.

If GM had taken a few hundred Voltec systems (failed and running well) with a few hundred thousand miles on each apart and analyzed the wear and failure properties of these systems, that would still only constitute a small beginning to a valid testing regime.
But then they aren't starting with 10hp side valve engines and mechanical brakes.
 

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What about BEV or plug-in pickup trucks? I think with trucks load capacity becomes much more of an issue. It's fine to have a truck with 400 range, or 0-60 in 3 seconds, or having a towing capacity of 11,000 pounds. But you're not going to get all these capabilities at the same time. I doubt it you could pull a 11,000 pound trailer over the Rockies without having to recharge at a facility that currently doesn't exist. You could probably get to the other side if you skirt the high mountains by going south to Arizona, but that adds a thousand miles or more to your journey. The point I'm trying to make is if you use a truck like a truck, a BEV will severely limit how you can use it. For that reason I think an extended range plug-in truck makes more sense. It can provide outstanding operating costs in local operations by operating as a BEV and outstanding operating costs in long range trips and/or remote areas by operating as an efficient hybrid.

Just my 2 cents.
All good points. I suppose you're talking about the Rivian's specs, 400+mile range, 3 secs, 11k tow. The high power charging stations are just starting to get rolled out now, 350kW. Those are 3x faster than Tesla's 2nd-gen superchargers. Tesla's 3rd-gen superchargers are still being tested, but they are going to be rolled out in 2019. And in the future, the Germans are testing 800kW charging systems, though those still have problems to solve.

For the current fastest chargers at 350kW, a 10 to 15m charge could get you somewhere between 60kWh and 75kWh. That would give my Model 3 300miles, but a truck, maybe 100 to 150miles. That's enough range to get to your next rest break, and repeat. We're getting there fast, and GM needs to be a player.
 

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GM built hybrid Tahoes in 2007-2008. No one remembers them, because they didn't sell.
Yes, however the Voltec system is more powerful. Comparing it to a weak 2007 hybrid is not apples to apples.
 

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GM built hybrid Tahoes in 2007-2008. No one remembers them, because they didn't sell.

Largely because the greenies raked GM over the coals, it was sacrilegious to make hybrid large SUVs, even though one hybrid SUV with a 50% increase in fuel mileage would save more gas than two or three Priuses.

So before you call GM morons, remember they tried this, and it failed spectacularly, for reasons based on politics and market response, not engineering or innovation.
The '07-08 Tahoe hybrid was never going to be a big seller out of the gate. You go from maybe 1000-1200 gallons a year to 800-900 gallons of gas a year? Big deal, it's still a gas guzzler.

Put a 20-24 kWh Voltec system in it with either a Atkinson cycle turbo I4 or NA V6 and it'll give ~35 miles of genuine EV range and probably use 50-200 gallons of gas a year for the average family using it like they'd use any other Tahoe and plugging it in at night. That's a huge reduction from a pure ICE Tahoe, and it would likely be just as capable for 99% of the usage cases. I doubt you could tow a heavy load with big frontal area up a steep mountain as well, but at some point, people need to realize that this sort of capability will come with a big energy usage going forward as car drivetrains change over to more electrified options that don't "hide" inefficiencies as well as many modern ICEs do by fundamentally getting more efficient in certain usage scenarios (like low load highway driving).
 

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I don't think GM is full of morons, but rather I think dumping the Voltec system after this year means they have something else in mind. They're planning on a number of EVs coming up by about 2025 and thereafter, and the Bolt alone can't fill the EV gap till then. As much as I like the idea of scaled-up Voltec system for light-duty trucks and SUVs, I'm unaware of anything like that in the offing. I'd love to see the Bolt platform be available in a sporty little car -- a Model 3 competitor -- but car sales are in the crapper. SUVs and trucks dominate. So, what are they developing for Model Years 2020, 2021, etc that will both sell AND make money for them? With oil prices down and with no firming of the oil market in sight, I think it's going to be very interesting. GM is going EV; the only unknown is the timing.
 

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When the next oil shortage hits, we will all be able to sell our Volts for a premium. Americans have very short memories. Months after the last $5 a gallon of gas period ended, everyone was back to buying gas guzzling vehicles
 

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So the industry is going for 300, 400, 500+ mile range EVs, with super fast charging available in minutes. In the mean time, most people drive less than 50-100 miles per day, and their car sits in front of their house most days for 8+ hours/day. So the downsides of the industry trend are that everyone will be carrying around a huge battery they rarely use, that uses a lot of precious metals to make, that are hard to recycle and ultimately harm the environment in both extraction and disposal. And the ability to charge at lightning speed creates tremendous heat that they are now looking at having to liquid cool during the process (see Porsche).

If every new car were some form of Voltec system, the overall environmental impact would be much less. We might still be burning oil, but at 10% of what we are doing now. That's probably worth it to reduce precious metal mining, and the large battery recycling nightmare. And the need for an entire new infrastructure of a super chargers simply disappears. To me this sounds so easy, but alas too good to be true.
 

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You don't HAVE to charge super fast. In fact, it's better if you don't. Tesla estimates Supercharger use only 10% of the time. Porsche wants to charge at 800kW, which is something! That cable will be fat.

Clearly, no perfect solution, but are you arguing gas and oil extraction and fracking, etc., is better for the planet than battery production? It's a tricky argument to make, that a small battery is good, but a big battery is bad. If Voltecs are the future savior of the planet, shouldn't Mary be promoting that future? Shouldn't some engineer somewhere be pointing out our folly of going from ICE to BEV, and consigning the Voltec to the dustbin of history? Can the Science Guy help? Doesn't he drive a Volt?
So the industry is going for 300, 400, 500+ mile range EVs, with super fast charging available in minutes. In the mean time, most people drive less than 50-100 miles per day, and their car sits in front of their house most days for 8+ hours/day. So the downsides of the industry trend are that everyone will be carrying around a huge battery they rarely use, that uses a lot of precious metals to make, that are hard to recycle and ultimately harm the environment in both extraction and disposal. And the ability to charge at lightning speed creates tremendous heat that they are now looking at having to liquid cool during the process (see Porsche).

If every new car were some form of Voltec system, the overall environmental impact would be much less. We might still be burning oil, but at 10% of what we are doing now. That's probably worth it to reduce precious metal mining, and the large battery recycling nightmare. And the need for an entire new infrastructure of a super chargers simply disappears. To me this sounds so easy, but alas too good to be true.
 

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You don't HAVE to charge super fast. In fact, it's better if you don't. Tesla estimates Supercharger use only 10% of the time. Porsche wants to charge at 800kW, which is something! That cable will be fat.

Clearly, no perfect solution, but are you arguing gas and oil extraction and fracking, etc., is better for the planet than battery production? It's a tricky argument to make, that a small battery is good, but a big battery is bad. If Voltecs are the future savior of the planet, shouldn't Mary be promoting that future? Shouldn't some engineer somewhere be pointing out our folly of going from ICE to BEV, and consigning the Voltec to the dustbin of history? Can the Science Guy help? Doesn't he drive a Volt?
I'm only suggesting that a bunch of small batteries, coupled with an 80 percent reduction in oil use might be better for the environment than a bunch of huge batteries and all the infrastructure needed to support that.
 

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So the industry is going for 300, 400, 500+ mile range EVs, with super fast charging available in minutes. In the mean time, most people drive less than 50-100 miles per day, and their car sits in front of their house most days for 8+ hours/day. So the downsides of the industry trend are that everyone will be carrying around a huge battery they rarely use, that uses a lot of precious metals to make, that are hard to recycle and ultimately harm the environment in both extraction and disposal. And the ability to charge at lightning speed creates tremendous heat that they are now looking at having to liquid cool during the process (see Porsche).

If every new car were some form of Voltec system, the overall environmental impact would be much less. We might still be burning oil, but at 10% of what we are doing now. That's probably worth it to reduce precious metal mining, and the large battery recycling nightmare. And the need for an entire new infrastructure of a super chargers simply disappears. To me this sounds so easy, but alas too good to be true.
These super fast chargers would also overload the end user power grid if a bunch of people had home chargers. Night time would become the high demand power time. No one wants to admit that the power grid will have all kinds of issues if the goal of mostly electric vehicles is realized. Much of Europe is better off because home current is already 220 standard. Also really need three phase for most efficiency
 

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I'm only suggesting that a bunch of small batteries, coupled with an 80 percent reduction in oil use might be better for the environment than a bunch of huge batteries and all the infrastructure needed to support that.
You are very possibly right. I too think Voltec properly adapted could do the most good the quickest to help the environment, but it looks like the big battery ship has sailed.


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Discussion Starter · #38 · (Edited)
So the industry is going for 300, 400, 500+ mile range EVs, with super fast charging available in minutes. In the mean time, most people drive less than 50-100 miles per day, and their car sits in front of their house most days for 8+ hours/day. So the downsides of the industry trend are that everyone will be carrying around a huge battery they rarely use, that uses a lot of precious metals to make, that are hard to recycle and ultimately harm the environment in both extraction and disposal. And the ability to charge at lightning speed creates tremendous heat that they are now looking at having to liquid cool during the process (see Porsche).

If every new car were some form of Voltec system, the overall environmental impact would be much less. We might still be burning oil, but at 10% of what we are doing now. That's probably worth it to reduce precious metal mining, and the large battery recycling nightmare. And the need for an entire new infrastructure of a super chargers simply disappears. To me this sounds so easy, but alas too good to be true.
I completely agree. If people are trying to create an efficient car that reduces carbon emissions and is fun (reasonably light and agile) to drive, heavy cars with huge batteries that require massive charging infrastructure and expensive engineering to reduce the heat that is generated are not the way to go.

Think of all the engineering problems introduced by the need to cool ICE cars (tubes, radiators, water jackets, heavy water pumps) because they generated so much heat. Are we going this route to compensate for faster charging? The Volt's cooling system is small and easily managed. This may not be true for these new large battery cars.
 

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Think of all the engineering problems introduced by the need to cool ICE cars (tubes, radiators, water jackets, heavy water pumps) because they generated so much heat. Are we going this route to compensate for faster charging? The Volts cooling system is small and easily managed. This may not be true for these new large battery cars.
Batteries aren't that heavy and will get lighter (or energy density will get higher depending which way you want to look at it). The Bolt is 200 lbs. lighter than the Volt. One must be careful to not apply 2010 technology to 2020 or 2030 vehicles especially when we are on the onset of said new technology.
 

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These super fast chargers would also overload the end user power grid if a bunch of people had home chargers. Night time would become the high demand power time. No one wants to admit that the power grid will have all kinds of issues if the goal of mostly electric vehicles is realized. Much of Europe is better off because home current is already 220 standard. Also really need three phase for most efficiency

It's about time the grid is rebuilt anyway, along with bridges, water systems, etc. And while we are at it, add a lot more solar (with battery storage) to the mix.

Back to Voltec for trucks, SUV's, it makes a lot of sense, just like the Volt does. EV for X miles (great for city use) switching to gas for extended range.
 
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