Ford's electric van; GM's Volt goes Euro
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  1. #1
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    Ford's electric van; GM's Volt goes Euro

    Ford has just unveiled its first commercial electric vehicle available in late 2010. A pure electric without an on-board range extender ĺ la GM's Volt, it's targeted for commercial use in which structured daily route operation is in effect - this means 'range anxiety' which is the achilles heel of pure electric powered vehicles could have minimal impact. This seems a perfect fit for metropolitan, short hop deliveries and pickups; I see this choice of commercial application as being the perfect starting point for pure electric powered vehicles becoming mainstreamed into our lives.

    http://green.autoblog.com/2009/02/09...tric-for-2010/

    Meanwhile GM's Volt is headed to Europe as the Opel Ampera. It'll be interesting to follow its success there when it hits their roads next year. More and more population centers there are banning gasoline powered vehicles from designated areas within metropolitan boundaries, but allowing vehicles with ultra low emissons to enter. The Volt/Ampera expects to be among those vehicles which qualify for entry.

    The 3 minute clip in the link below has a good summary of what the Volt/Ampera is all about. Any comments on its looks?

    http://www.gmeurope.tv/index.php?cha...WeberAmpera_en
    Last edited by Starliner; 02-09-2010 at 09:24 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starliner
    Any comments on its looks?

    Looks a little too much like the Prius for my taste but aesthetics are one of the lowest criteria I base my vehicle purchases on.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenB
    Looks a little too much like the Prius for my taste but aesthetics are one of the lowest criteria I base my vehicle purchases on.
    Here's the Volt compared to the Ampera - interesting contrast. Opel's logo is ready-made for an electric car.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starliner
    Any comments on its looks?
    Ugly as a mud fence...but then that applies to most new cars IMO.
    Four wheels move your body, two wheels move your soul.

  5. #5
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    plug-in hybrids
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  6. #6
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    Wow that's an excellent video summary.
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  7. #7
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    Awesome video. While I do mostly bike commuting which is a lot better than any car on so may levels, I would not mind having a Electric Car for when I do drive.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bricoleur
    plug-in hybrids
    Great vid. I really like some of the ideas like the swappable batteries and the selling back of idle battery power to the provider. The problem I see with that is the hordes of selfish, retarded f*cks who will say "Ain't no damned commies usin' MY power!" regardless of the fact that it'll save them $.


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    Here is a article on the Volt going into production November 1:

    The beauty of the pure Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) is its simplicity. A lot of components are not necessary on a BEV. For example, the Transmission can be eliminated on the BEV (like Tesla did). This will lead to lower cost, less maintenance and better reliability.

    The Volt is a Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) to solve the “range anxiety problem”, the only rub is that the Volt will be $40,000 or Chevy will operate at low profit or negative profit to break into the market. Lutz has said this himself.

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    I'm a fan of Range Extending Trailers (RET) like this one hitched to a 2002 RAV4EV. This RET has a Kawasaki Ninja 500 cc motorcycle engine in it. That is all you need.



    I like this solution better than EREVs or Battery Swap (in video). This is the concept: Own a simple, inexpensive, low maintenance BEV. When you need to go beyond your 100 mile range between charges of your BEV, which for most is a small percentage of the time, rent a Range Extending Trailer form your Energy Station (Formerly Gas Station).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    I'm a fan of Range Extending Trailers (RET) like this one hitched to a 2002 RAV4EV. This RET has a Kawasaki Ninja 500 cc motorcycle engine in it. That is all you need. I like this solution better than EREVs or Battery Swap (in video).
    Too impractical - ever try to back up with a trailer? It takes practice to be able to do it at all.

    Parallel parking with a trailer is virtually impossible.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    The beauty of the pure Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) is its simplicity. A lot of components are not necessary on a BEV. For example, the Transmission can be eliminated on the BEV (like Tesla did). This will lead to lower cost, less maintenance and better reliability.

    The Volt is a Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) to solve the “range anxiety problem”, the only rub is that the Volt will be $40,000 or Chevy will operate at low profit or negative profit to break into the market. Lutz has said this himself.
    The EREV Volt has no transmission either. And it will cost less than BEVs with li-ion batteries because it uses a smaller and therefore less expensive battery than what the BEV needs in order to have a 100 mile range - which is 1/3 the total range of the Volt (40 mi. on battery, 250 mi. with generator charging battery).
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starliner
    Too impractical - ever try to back up with a trailer? It takes practice to be able to do it at all.

    Parallel parking with a trailer is virtually impossible.

    Most people have a problem going forward... in a straight line... in good weather... with nothing in tow. Put that many trailers on the road and we'll see the number of crashes start rising.


    supervillain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starliner
    Too impractical - ever try to back up with a trailer? It takes practice to be able to do it at all.

    Parallel parking with a trailer is virtually impossible.
    Trailer backing does not bother me, but AC Propulsion already solved that problem:

    https://www.evnut.com/rav_longranger.htm

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    Don't get me wrong, the Volt is cool. Once it depleats its all electric range, it will get around 48 MPG after that, which is good for a heavy-ish 3500 lb car. yet...

    Even though its a start-up, I'm liking the Aptera Type 2e. Its twice as energy efficient (96 Wh/mi vs. 200 Wh/mi) and its $15,000 cheaper. That means that I can have a Aptera AND a Conventional ICE Wagon for occasional road trip.




    The Aptera's battery pack is smaller too (~13 kWh vs 16 kWh) and the Aptera has a 60-80 mile LONGER range. Look at that extreme Ackermann steering!
    Last edited by Killroy; 02-10-2010 at 09:53 PM.

  16. #16
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    The best thing about the Aptera is its symbolism. Again, it is so impractible to be a road vehicle - way too wide and with the driver's seat located way inboard from the car's side it just won't be easy to keep it going within the boundaries of a driving lane - cyclists beware if one approaches from behind!! Those outboard wheels are pretty fearsome....

    Simply not a vehicle a drunk driver should ever take the wheel of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starliner
    Simply not a vehicle a drunk driver should ever take the wheel of.
    I'm curious which vehicle a drunk driver _should_ take the wheel of?
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  18. #18
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    Thanks for these updates Starliner. I think the Volt will be getting competition from many other companies.

    Here is a blog post criticizing the Washington Post for its misleading story on the Volt.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starliner
    Too impractical - ever try to back up with a trailer? It takes practice to be able to do it at all.

    Parallel parking with a trailer is virtually impossible.
    I think that's a great idea. Who drives more than 100 miles to back up? You only need one trailer for multiple cars.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by California L33
    I think that's a great idea. Who drives more than 100 miles to back up? You only need one trailer for multiple cars.
    I would just the RET when I need it. Who wants to own, store, and maintain a ICE if you don't need to?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by den bakker
    I'm curious which vehicle a drunk driver _should_ take the wheel of?
    Why, no vehicle of course. Admittedly I chose a rather clumsy way to make my point...
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art853
    Thanks for these updates Starliner. I think the Volt will be getting competition from many other companies.

    Here is a blog post criticizing the Washington Post for its misleading story on the Volt.
    I appreciate your acknowledgement of my spreading news on something I see as historical. As cars and the American way of life are synonymous, our #1 national priority arguably is to keep oil flowing and stable in cost.

    The Volt is to be the game changer in that dynamic and yes, it will open the door for other electric vehicles to come and help relieve our utter dependence upon oil. I'm going to go as far to say that someday history will look back upon GM's Volt as the spark that ignited this country's shifting its top priority away from keeping oil flowing and towards becoming energy independent.

    In other words, we'll stop hanging on to the past, and start looking ahead to create our future.
    Last edited by Starliner; 02-11-2010 at 08:33 AM.
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  23. #23
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    The 100 mile range, Nissan Leaf will be bike friendly with a hatch.


  24. #24
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    GMs last Electric Car

  25. #25
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    The electric cars just need to include a sail and a rudder to use when the electric is used up.
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