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Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 30 Nov 2018, 12:26:43

Subjectivist wrote:If the government really wanted GM to keep building Volts all they have to do is order 25,000 units every year for replacements of existing government sedans.


The federal government can't specify what brand of car it will buy.

When the government needs to make a large purchase, like 25,000 cars, it has to ask for proposals, and then some bureaucrat analyzes the offers from carmakers and decides which is the best fit and best deal for the government.

Volts (and other EVs) aren't competitive with ICE cars right now because they cost more. The federal government can't give itself the $7,500 tax credit that it offers to private buyers, and base EVs (even the lowly Volt) cost significantly more then ICE cars in their class when compared straight up.

I think the federal government did buy some Volts during the Obama administration, but I suspect this was more in the way of PR to help promote GM and the Volt then anything that was useful to the government.

government-has-spent-a-lot-on-electric-cars-but-was-it-worth-it/

So the VOLT is dead as a worn out AA battery now unless Trump can bully GM into restarting it and the other sedans.

Cheers!
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 30 Nov 2018, 13:28:33

That's simply not much of a loss. The Volt was a halfway decent PHEV, but sales never were strong and got even worse when the Bolt (a real BEV without a fuel tank) entered production. Not to mention, GM has some real competition. But unless you live in California or Europe, you don't see many Hybrids or EVs, you would not appreciate that the Volt had failed in the marketplace.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 30 Nov 2018, 13:55:37

Well, the marketplace is fickle, and people do love those big climate-controlled SUVs, pickup trucks, and luxury cars with ground-pounding stereos and digital toys galore. GM cannot be blamed for building what people like to buy.

Then, after we go over that Seneca Cliff, they get to sell people EVs to replace those gas guzzlers. Win/win.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 30 Nov 2018, 14:32:07

I have been hinting to the wife that I want to drop $3k on one of these after we move to the island permanently:

https://electricbikereview.com/sun-seeker/fat-tad-electric-trike/

...because Nantucket has no traffic lights, it is gridlocked on crowded roads in the Summer, and my place is on an unpaved road and is 1/2 mile from the pavement and the paved bike path which is NEVER gridlocked.

Truth be told, I had a Senior Moment (otherwise known as a mini-stroke) a decade ago, and I have fallen off my conventional bike twice in the past year due to compromised balance. So the tadpole design makes sense, and the balloon tires make sense because the first and the last half mile of every trip will be on the dirt road without even gravel. My bones and joints are getting steadily compromised by RA, I need daily low intensity exercise. "Pedal assist mode" is just that, with 20 mile range and 20+ mph, this is a nice ride. The actual road test starts at 19 minutes in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t--JGQhvvlo&t=698s

This trike is rated for 40 lbs of groceries in rear paniers, and the grocery store on Nantucket is a 3-mile round trip, with the first and last half mile on dirt. Plus you can ride this on the beach.

Best of all, no fuel other than pennies for electricity, no insurance needed, no need to wait on foolish tourists in cars who don't know how to use a Rotary at every road intersection.

I mean talk about the right vehicle for the right application, this is it. Plus some solar PV to charge it, of course.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 30 Nov 2018, 15:20:12

pstarr wrote:Pretty cool, a cross-country recumbent! But I see no battery. Or motor.

Image
In this case, the hard case battery is key-locked inside the slide on the rear rack, 9Amp-Hr, with options for 10AH and 20AH soft packs in a nylon bag. (My choice is hard case option for security.) The motor is wholly inside the rear hub. The motor is rated 500w, with 1000w peak power, and 1hp = 746w. There are 3 forward derailler gears and 8 rear, so there are 24 speeds total with 0-5 levels of pedal assist, plus a throttle if you are too lazy to pedal at all. With the heavier 20AH battery, plus a spare battery in a pair or rear pannier bags, you have the possibility of a 50-mile round trip on electric power alone, or even more if you decide to pedal some. There are also a total of 4 sets of "boss" hardware for water bottles and other common bike style gear.

Two of these or similar panniers will clip on the rear rack and also double as grocery shopping bags:

Image

Plus strobes, flags, helmet, etc.
Image
Last edited by KaiserJeep on Fri 30 Nov 2018, 15:40:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 30 Nov 2018, 15:44:27

Well, that is the problem, the wife might see it as a toy. But it's totally ridiculous to make a round trip to a store that is 2+ hours long with traffic, or 15 minutes on the bike path. So there is justification.

OTOH, if it rains, there is no canopy and no fenders even. And the first and last 1/2 mile on a dirt road. 8O
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Fri 30 Nov 2018, 16:36:37

The motor has 5 programmable power levels, (or six if you count "0"). as you advance the power settings the motor assist increases, along with the power being drawn from the battery, decreasing range. This IS a heavy duty offroad trike, but it also has pedal assist. In a low enough gear, pedalling with the motor engaged, you should be able to climb quite handily.

As for the range, it is 10 miles or so with the 9AH or 10AH batteries, at rated 300lb capacity, or 20 miles with the bigger 20AH battery pack. These are pluggable units, you would parallel connect as many as you wish for added range (if you can solder), or even simpler, swap the battery with a spare using the existing Molex connector hardware. The motor controller is also programmable for custom batteries via the touch screen. If you wanted to fab a larger 48v battery and battery box for under the seat, easily done. Keep in mind that under the seat would reduce the seating capacity below 300lbs by whatever weight you mount under the seat, and adding more batteries to the rear rack would reduce the 40lbs rear wheel cargo capacity by the battery weight. Important not to exceed these limits offroad, don't want to break the frame (although you can buy all the parts individually including the assorted frame pieces).

More importantly, if you don't have balance issues like me, there are many fine new e-bikes built for offroad. I have not mountain biked many trails, but this tricycle is wider than any bike, and weighs 84 lbs so you won't be carrying it very far. So think about where you would ride. The island of Nantucket has a 230ft maximum elevation, and the bike paths are dead level, so the 10AH hard case battery will take me anywhere and back again.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby asg70 » Sat 01 Dec 2018, 01:55:50

Another thread derailed. Even a used Volt with 50% of its original battery range is 10x the utility of a battery-powered trike. That the Volt struggles in the market is simply more evidence that BAU continues apace, putting off the necessity of dropping down to a penalty vehicle like a battery-powered trike or NEV.

HALL OF SHAME:
-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 01 Dec 2018, 06:52:51

You forgot to add that a BEV with 1/10th the cost of a used Volt could be sold in at least 10X the volume of an unsuccessful Chevy Volt.

When the main problem is perceived value, the bottom line matters. On Nantucket Island, cars are fairly useless under the Summer traffic conditions, whereas bicycles, tricycles, and their electric brethren are still usable, and anything with a 10 mile range gets you there and back again on an island that is 7 miles long and 3 wide.

Actual usable and perceived utility is why people are not buying $100,000 Tesla's. Which is why they are still buying $50,000 SUVs and pickup trucks, which won't have much actual use when gas surpasses $10/gallon and filling the tank is $250, and fuel costs a buck a mile.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby asg70 » Sat 01 Dec 2018, 14:19:37

KaiserJeep wrote:a BEV with 1/10th the cost of a used Volt could be sold in at least 10X the volume of an unsuccessful Chevy Volt.


That's fine for 3rd world countries. We're not that poor yet.

Theorize all you like about emergency austerity measures to get us through a post peak dystopia, but we're not there yet.

BTW, for the record, the vast majority of Chevy's ~200,000 EVs were Volts. Considering how few EVs have been sold by others (other than Tesla or Nissan) I wouldn't be so quick to call it "unsuccessful".

HALL OF SHAME:
-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 01 Dec 2018, 14:57:22

By the standards of the major automakers, the Volt splatted face down on the road, in a major debacle. Recall that there are ZERO EVs or Hybrids in the most popular fifty vehicles. The only year that PHEVs and BEVs even exceeded 3% of sales was 2013.

Think about it. 97% of the vehicles sold cannot do anything except burn petroleum fuels. Then most of the 3% remainder are hybrids that burn petroleum for most miles, then electricity for some miles.

There's just nothing there to save us, other than the knowledge gained by building such EV designs. That will shorten the runway to widespread BEV manufacturing, if and when that ever happens.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby asg70 » Sat 01 Dec 2018, 20:38:19

KaiserJeep wrote:there are ZERO EVs or Hybrids in the most popular fifty vehicles. The only year that PHEVs and BEVs even exceeded 3% of sales was 2013.


The Geneva autoshow last year was a clear signal that the automakers realize that the transition to BEVs is inevitable. The Volt was sort of ahead of its time but the current sales figures of SUVs and trucks is really the last gasp. The writing is on the wall and, ironically, the move to shutter the Volt is actually part of GM's attempt to prepare for a full BEV future. The notion that we will drive headlong into the peak-oil wall with the majors selling nothing but big trucks and SUVs is wrong. In fact it's the sales of trucks and SUVs that need to subsidize EVs. The problem isn't carmakers. The problems is the consumers being slow to make the switch.

KaiserJeep wrote:There's just nothing there to save us


I really don't think the hyperventilating tone is justified. The current oil supply situation supports a more stately transition. In the meantime, those who want to be ahead of the curve just in case, still being the niche that they are, can obtain the vehicles of their choice, including long-range plugins such as the last gasp of the Volts or the Honda Clarity. The first batch of Hyundai Konas and eNiros are going to arrive in early 2019 and the next-next-gen Leaf with thermal management will come soon after. Then finally VW will start rolling out its ID line. And that's JUST the low-end.

https://insideevs.com/hyundai-kona-electric-u-s-demand/
https://www.motortrend.com/news/kia-int ... s-angeles/

If that's not enough, solid state batteries may solve a lot of the current problems. The Japanese automakers in particular have been waiting on solid state before they go all-in.

https://electrek.co/2018/11/20/china-pr ... batteries/

In addition to that, CCS fast-charging is rolling out in Europe and now in the US.

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/11/18/ti ... ica-video/
https://www.torquenews.com/3769/popular ... what-s-new

So the Volt announcement has been seized upon by doomers here as the death-knell for EVs when it's not.

HALL OF SHAME:
-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 02 Dec 2018, 14:35:42

Plug-in cars of all varieties have averaged less than 2% of vehicles sold for the last few years. When that figure reaches 25% or so, we'll have something to discuss. When it reaches 98% or more for several years, the age of oil is over.

I'm not holding my breath for that, I expect I'll be dead by then.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sun 02 Dec 2018, 17:04:36

Plantagenet wrote:
Subjectivist wrote:If the government really wanted GM to keep building Volts all they have to do is order 25,000 units every year for replacements of existing government sedans.


The federal government can't specify what brand of car it will buy.

When the government needs to make a large purchase, like 25,000 cars, it has to ask for proposals, and then some bureaucrat analyzes the offers from carmakers and decides which is the best fit and best deal for the government.

Volts (and other EVs) aren't competitive with ICE cars right now because they cost more. The federal government can't give itself the $7,500 tax credit that it offers to private buyers, and base EVs (even the lowly Volt) cost significantly more then ICE cars in their class when compared straight up.

I think the federal government did buy some Volts during the Obama administration, but I suspect this was more in the way of PR to help promote GM and the Volt then anything that was useful to the government.

government-has-spent-a-lot-on-electric-cars-but-was-it-worth-it/

So the VOLT is dead as a worn out AA battery now unless Trump can bully GM into restarting it and the other sedans.

Cheers!


Now who is being silly? Government RFP can specify whatever details they want. In this case the government could specify they desire to purchase 25,000 sedans that are PHEV's and then purchase those offered by the marketplace. If GM Volt just happens to perfectl fit the details of the RFP put forth well those things happen.
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Re: Why the Volt is the best Peak Oil Prep Car....

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 03 Dec 2018, 00:42:44

Subjectivist wrote:Government RFP can specify whatever details they want. In this case the government could specify they desire to purchase 25,000 sedans that are PHEV's and then purchase those offered by the marketplace. If GM Volt just happens to perfectl fit the details of the RFP put forth well those things happen.


Actually, it is illegal for the GSA to write up a RFP in such a way that only one supplier can fill the order. The other suppliers would surely protest, and so would their Congresscritters.

In any event, the GSA has already purchased a large number of EVs, and installed charging stations at government facilities across the USA.

.gsa.gov/buying-selling/products-services/transportation-logistics-services/vehicle-leasing/alternative-fuel-vehicles-technology/electric-vehicle-charging-stations
Unfortunately, the government purchases of EVs weren't enough to save the VOLT.

CHEERS!
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