GXT

Volt will likely never be as cost effective as today's hybrids.

78 posts in this topic

GXT    11

GM and Honda presented before the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Honda's presentation had some interesting items (http://energy.senate.gov/public/_files/germantestimony.doc), but buried deep inside are some stats from The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) on plug-in hybrids. According to a report from Sept 2006, a plug-in hybrid with a 40 mile range would require a $17,500 battery. As the Volt can go 64 miles, that would equate to roughly a $28,000 battery (a hybrid, by comparison, currently has a $2,000 battery)

Currently, according to the ACEEE and Honda, the payback for the hybrid portion of a hybrid is 7.3 years. The current payback for the plug-in hybrid portion of a car like the Volt would be roughly 42 years. (Assumptions: 12,000 miles/year, conventional vehicle fuel economy 30MPG, hybrid fuel economy of 50MPG, 50% of plug-in miles on electricity, $3.00/gallon gas, 4.0 miles/kWh, $0.09/kWh, no fuel economy penalty for the additional weight of the plug-in batteries, no battery replacement)

If they manage to cut the cost of the battery by 1/5, then the payback for a Volt would be ~9.4 years (and a hybrid would then be 2.9 years).

Even if the driver could stay under the 64 miles per day and use $0 in gas, the payback for the Volt would be ~32 years at today's battery costs, or ~7 years if the cost of the batteries was cut by 1/5.

The other item that was pointed out was that plug-in hybrid batteries will likely wear out more quickly than hybrid batteries as they are under less advantageous load conditions. If a hybrid battery only lasts ~7(?) years, then a plug-in hybrid battery would last perhaps 5(?) years. In other words, expect a $20,000+(?) maintenance stop after 5 years (which, of course, would be long before the break even point of the original battery, putting you that much father in the negative).

So, even if one were to travel only on electricity, and the cost of batteries were to be cut by 1/5, and they were able to extend battery life significantly, only then would you have a vehicle that is as cost effective as today's much-maligned hybrids.

Edited by GXT

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Camino LS6    866

This is the news section, not Op-Ed.

I take it you think Honda's word is gospel.

I don't, especially when they are tooting their own horn in front of a government commitee.

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Northstar    11

Oh, this is such a great source of info! I'm sure Honda knows everything about a GM vehicle that could possibly be produced, and has already done studies for GM about how much the vehicle would cost to develop! :rolleyes:

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GXT    11

This is the news section, not Op-Ed.

As GM implied and as I suggested in an earlier post, the idea of a plug-in hybrid isn't new or novel, just unfeasible. GM was being disingenuous when they presented the Volt concept. They have been bad-mouthing and passing over hybrids on economic reasons only to present a concept of a less economically viable option.

I would agree that this isn't news. However I took quite a beating in the other thread for not running out and putting a deposit down. Therefore for some it will be news.

I take it you think Honda's word is gospel.

I value reason.

Here is the ACEEE website:

http://www.aceee.org/

You already have the link to the Honda presentation. The calculations are reasonably trivial. Feel free to show how the numbers are wrong. (I would suggest using GM's numbers, but they haven't provided any. In fact, all they have done is confirm that it isn't possible. Now we have numbers that show just how impossible it is.)

I don't, especially when they are tooting their own horn in front of a government committee.

Honda and the ACEEE have no reason to lie about this. They are both promoting alternative to gas-only vehicles. Plus it isn't like GM has any sort of insight or technological advantage in this area. If anything, Toyota and Honda would be better equipped to build such a vehicle. If it were feasible, everyone (especially Honda and Toyota) would just build and sell them.

I liked the idea, and I am a little disappointed at just how unfeasible it is.

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haypops    0

To me the excitement was not the plug in capability specificaly, but rather the ability to put any number of energy devices down stream from the elctric propulsion motors. Regarding the question of GM vs. Toyota or Honda being in the lead, how many years ago did the EV1 exist?

Edited by haypops

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Drew Dowdell    5,000

Range of 75-150 miles... what?

Posted Image

"cost of the battery pack to GM was still in the $2-3,000 dollar region during the production phase of the EV1 program. Including delivery and installation, GM thought it unlikely an EV1 could be repowered for less than $6-7000 per unit)" from wikipedia....

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Range of 75-150 miles... what?

Posted Image

"cost of the battery pack to GM was still in the $2-3,000 dollar region during the production phase of the EV1 program. Including delivery and installation, GM thought it unlikely an EV1 could be repowered for less than $6-7000 per unit)" from wikipedia....

Good point. How did Honda skip over the EV1?

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aaaantoine    4

Range of 75-150 miles... what?

Posted Image

"cost of the battery pack to GM was still in the $2-3,000 dollar region during the production phase of the EV1 program. Including delivery and installation, GM thought it unlikely an EV1 could be repowered for less than $6-7000 per unit)" from wikipedia....

Those numbers are written in the Wiki article without citation.

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FUTURE_OF_GM    26

Looks like the parade of domestic haters is here...

Bloomberg had an article similar to this as well.

Import fans just can't stand the fact that GM has outclasses their companies in the ONE area that their companies excelled.

Oh well. :shrugs:

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sciguy_0504    0

Looks like the parade of domestic haters is here...

Bloomberg had an article similar to this as well.

Import fans just can't stand the fact that GM has outclasses their companies in the ONE area that their companies excelled.

Oh well. :shrugs:

Considering the fact that GM is seemingly years away from producing the Volt, if ever, the word "outclassed" is laughable. Has anyone even driven the Volt? Can it be driven? I haven't paid much attention to it other than the initial showing.

Like GXT said, if plug-in hybrids were worth it other companies, especially Toyota and Honda, would be all over it.

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Z-06    493
If they manage to cut the cost of the battery by 1/5, then the payback for a Volt would be ~9.4 years (and a hybrid would then be 2.9 years).

Both technologies are different animals, how can you directly relate both cost cuts and compare them? Hybrid battery is far more in the developmental stage compared to the plug in hybrid.

The other item that was pointed out was that plug-in hybrid batteries will likely wear out more quickly than hybrid batteries as they are under less advantageous load conditions.

Show me the money!!

So, even if one were to travel only on electricity, and the cost of batteries were to be cut by 1/5, and they were able to extend battery life significantly, only then would you have a vehicle that is as cost effective as today's much-maligned hybrids.

True. Is it not like trying to blame a new born that he will end up being a gangster so let us kill him now?

As GM implied and as I suggested in an earlier post, the idea of a plug-in hybrid isn't new or novel, just unfeasible. GM was being disingenuous when they presented the Volt concept. They have been bad-mouthing and passing over hybrids on economic reasons only to present a concept of a less economically viable option.

Uhh! based on your theory isn't Horn-dawg bad mouthing plug-ins too?

I liked the idea, and I am a little disappointed at just how unfeasible it is.

Son, it has been one month since the Detroit Auto Show is done. Give the technologists and the automakers some time

Like GXT said, if plug-in hybrids were worth it other companies, especially Toyota and Honda, would be all over it.

Just like how GM missed the boat for hybrids, the Japs missed the boats for plug-ins. Oh! yes they will be in the race trust me. But they are taking a two prong approach.

1. Beat its competitor for taking the lead. (Red Ocean Strategy)

2. Make covert developments of the technology. (Entrepreneurial Judo Strategy)

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toyoguy    0

Considering the fact that GM is seemingly years away from producing the Volt, if ever, the word "outclassed" is laughable. Has anyone even driven the Volt? Can it be driven? I haven't paid much attention to it other than the initial showing.

Like GXT said, if plug-in hybrids were worth it other companies, especially Toyota and Honda, would be all over it.

they would be if lithium-ion battery technology were available now. I imagine that is a major reason Toyota is preparing to takeover Fuji Heavy.

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GXT    11

Looks like the haters are already trying to downplay the vehicle even before it's produced. Typical.

I heard an interesting story about the Heaven's Gate cult. They bought a $4,000 telescope to try to view the alien spaceship that they were expecting to see in the tail of the Hale-Bop comet. When they didn't see the spaceship, they assumed the telescope was broken and returned it.

Take a look at their plans for the plug-in View:

http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums/index...showtopic=13786

Even in the very PR piece in which GM is trumpeting the plug-in hybrid, they have no idea when they will be able to create one with even 15% of the range of the Volt. They laid out their plans until 2009 and there is no plug-in hybrid shown.

And if you read the piece closely, you can see that GM is stuck with their poor-performing hybrid sedans until 2008. Take, for example, the Aura, which GM won't even announce the specific fuel economy of (probably because the vague percentage improvements that GM has indicated put the hybrid 4cyl Aura in the same fuel economy league as a non-hybrid 4cyl Accord). Let's be clear, even in the highly inflated fuel economy numbers of hybrids, GM can't break the 27MPG city mark (Hybrid Vue, and based on GM's numbers the Aura will not even make that). Even Ford managed 32 (Hybrid Escape).

GM is failing dismally, and in return they distract you with promises of future cars that they know full well they cannot build. And you assume that even if they could be built, GM would do so better than the other auto-makers? What possible reason would there be to believe that?

You can blame the "haters" all you want, but I'm letting you know that there really is no spaceship in the tail of that comet.

Edited by GXT

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aldw    4

The logic of the haters is to give up since everything GM does is hopeless, well the only ones to gain from such stupidity is the import competition and the numbnuts who get off of their pronouncements. As long as GM still has anything at all materially or financially left in it then it should fight tooth and nail to build the best damn product possible and nothing less and treat the naysayers like the trash they are (and this is from someone who drives a Toyota).

Edited by aldw

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Intrepidation    846

Here you go again, taking shots at the Volt. You just don't give up do you? If Honda or Toyota made this concept you'd be praising them all over the boards and defending it too and nail. The Volt was show a month ago, how do you think you can downplay it just recently bowed. Plus, it's the Volts flexibility combined with i's looks that make it sos pecial.

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CaddyXLR-V    3

After reading through the document, which we need to consider who is being written for, the government, you will see why the most pessimistic numbers were used.

"The government may also wish to explore ways to incentivize the full useful life savings to manufacturers or customers."

"As Honda has previously announced, we believe it is time for the Federal government to take action to improve vehicle economy. Given the rapid changes in technology, performance-based incentives are the best way to move the ball forward."

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Um.. the Volt doesn't technically have a battery yet. It hasn't been developed yet according to an article I read. They have a plan for it and specific goals for the battery according to an article I read...and a proper battery should be developed by 2010 (production date).

Basically, a production battery isn't ready yet.

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RBB    3

Um.. the Volt doesn't technically have a battery yet. It hasn't been developed yet according to an article I read. They have a plan for it and specific goals for the battery according to an article I read...and a proper battery should be developed by 2010 (production date).

Basically, a production battery isn't ready yet.

It's too bad technology isn't moving forward making batteries cheaper and smaller and we can't expect any further reduction in cost when these are produced en masse. :rolleyes:

[EDIT]vrazzhledazzle, I'm agreeing with you and disagreeing with the thread's author, in case I wasn't clear.[/EDIT]

Yes, GM is making some assumptions about battery technology, but there's reason to believe their assumptions are not too far off from where battery technology will be in a few years.

-RBB

Edited by RBB

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It's too bad technology isn't moving forward making batteries cheaper and smaller and we can't expect any further reduction in cost when these are produced en masse. :rolleyes:

[EDIT]vrazzhledazzle, I'm agreeing with you and disagreeing with the thread's author, in case I wasn't clear.[/EDIT]

Yes, GM is making some assumptions about battery technology, but there's reason to believe their assumptions are not too far off from where battery technology will be in a few years.

-RBB

Agreed, GM is making assumptions about the battery, but those assumption will be met or nearly met before GM builds the volt. The assumptions that the thread starter is making are on the other hand misleading since you can't know the facts about a car and a battery when neither actually exists yet. The only thing you can know is current hybrid batteries that cost $2000 but dont worry about those...Honda and Toyota easily overcome that cost thanks to weak Yen and no healthcare liabilities

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thegriffon    5

Considering the fact that GM is seemingly years away from producing the Volt, if ever, the word "outclassed" is laughable. Has anyone even driven the Volt? Can it be driven? I haven't paid much attention to it other than the initial showing.

Like GXT said, if plug-in hybrids were worth it other companies, especially Toyota and Honda, would be all over it.

It can be driven, there is a running video of the Volt quietly driving aroud a suburban street. GM has set battery copanies a target of meeting the battery specs within 12 months—if they can do that a rollout in line with the new-generation compact platform around 2009 is certainly possible. Significant but overlooked since details were sparse, but the Volt's 1.0 L 3-cyl turbo should see wider application in the near future.

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Camino LS6    866

The Volt is a major step forward and GM should be applauded for driving the technology toward production. The import-humping apologists have gotten it wrong on this one, very wrong.

Much to my delight.

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zhawk    0

Even if we don't see the Volt right away, you can be sure that some of the technologies will be incorporate into other vehicles.

Still, I wouldn't be surprised if GM have a section working with a timeline to make the battery available.

Don't forget, there is already one (though massively expensive) car out there running on Lithium Ion batteries.

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