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No problem making EVs without Rare earth magnets. Ferrite magnets (GM) or induction motors (GM and Tesla, both) are good alternatives. However, they do loose a few percent of efficiency and 20% or more torque density relative to rare earth type magnet motors.
Wow, not as good as the current or future Chevy Volt: 1) PHEV, not EREV. Unbalanced bias toward engine-on driving. Engine goes on and off based on power requested, or driving power is neutered with manual intervention to "ECO" mode. 2) Waaaay less electric range. Less than half of what is expected in the new Volt. This is in the critical commuter range between 20 and 50 miles. 3) A concept car, not a real car. This is a press release of ideas. Wheres the beef?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but ugly is universal. Delta wing is ugly. It may be "fun to drive" in the technical sense, but it would be not fun to have to explain why your car is so ugly. You would have to wear a disguise. Delta wing, why are you still here?
T2, Modern automotive electric drives are among the most advanced in the world. All major OEM machines are field oriented controlled and most are more than 4 poles. The Prius motors are 8 pole, the Leaf is 8 pole, Fusion motors are 6 and 8 pole, the Spark uses a 10 pole machine, and the Volt Motors are 12 and 16 pole. Even the little Buick eAssist motor uses an 8 pole (induction) design. The ferrite used in the motor brain and other motors have somewhat harder magnetic properties than the ferrite transformer cores that you are thinking about. Slightly different formulation. Ferrite magnets like these are used extensively - just about every car has a pound of the stuff in the starter motor. The problem is that ferrite has lower energy than a Nd based magnet, so for the same output, you need more silicon steel and more copper to get the job done. It is not necessarily cheaper overall, and certainly not as compact as conventional Nd magnet machines for the same torque and power. Agree that aero is the dominant factor for efficiency at speed. The adjustable ride height control, like the Tesla S, is a great idea that brings the car down at speed to improve Cd.
SJC - the Spark EV motor is designed and made by GM. Remy has nothing to do with it. Remy used to make the two mode motors for GM, but no longer make any motors for GM, I think. Arne - good homework on the price or rare earths. But my point is that the title of the article is plain wrong - "First “MotorBrain” prototype shown; lightweight electric motor system with no rare earth metals", since their are rare earth metals in this motor. Induction machines are fine, but efficiency and size lags PM motors by a solid 2% over the range of driving, even when using modern designs and variable frequency control. When EV batteries are cheap enough to enable high EV volume, the efficiency hit will be more tolerable, and induction or other motor tech will prevail.
Never mind that the ferrite magnets contain between 4 and 6% Lanthanum. Oh yeah, that is a rare earth.
sd, Great engine family. I will be anxious to see if a version of this ends up in the upcoming revision to the Chevy Volt. Nice professional response and challenge to Kelly's delusions about GM. He carries some deep scars from something in his past, apparently. Some people are energized by hate, unfortunately. Kelly subscribes to conspiracy theories like some of harebrained pages he links to as source material. Some things can be reasoned with in a blog.
Free piston linear alternators may not be a great enabler for PHEVs, considering the great economic barrier of entry of many $100Ms for a brand new kind of combustion engine and electric machine. It is more likly that a conventional crank with conventional rotating generator will do the the PHEV job almost as well, with the benefit of shared tooling with more conventional cars. But GM is leading in this space and this invention, and their other leading production work, like the Volt, as AD points out, is the evidence of the reality. GM haters can turn the reality of GM's progress and breakthroughs in green technology into their paranoid world world as evidence of the imagined evil. A large US company succeeding in green transportation doesn't fit their world view as the "US = bad and China = good" or support the "GM is the booegeyman" hypotheses.
So the GM haters don't acknowledge GMs cojones and chops for producing the Volt - now the worlds leading plug-in vehicle? Isn't that actual technical and business leadership in this space? Stop the name calling. It is not PR and it is not arrogance, but an actual car that actually drives 2/3 electric in the real world. People who own it love it, and thousands more buy them every month. The Volt is plug-in class-defining capability and GM did it first. You need to face the reality and stop the exagerations and the hate.
@ Pete - Seriously, no market for PHEVs? Lets see, the Volt by itself is outselling all Jaguar, outselling all Landrover and outselling all Suzuki. So no market for those either? This is an article about 20,000 actual cars - Volts, sold to people who love them more than 911 owners lovers love their 911s, (outsold those by 3x, btw) actually sold, earlier this year. Even at high prices, 20,000 people have bought them. This is news, relevant news to those that understand the business, especially given that most media outlets thought the Volt would flop, and the political hate-baggage loaded on the car from all angles. The plug-in market is now the most technologically intense segment of automotive competition. After it became clear that GM went all in, Toyota and Ford have scrambled and have just now reacted, and Honda went all the way back to the drawing board and will launch next summer. All other automakers are even further behind and looking for ways to be present. It is expensive technology to develop, and risky, too. But it's probably even riskier to sit out and wait for the game to get cheaper or simpler. The PHEV is a transitional vehicle form, but is the most relevant for technological leadership in this period before BEVs are economically useful for most driving. Customers dig PHEVs now, and want more. Of course they want them cheaper, that is the nature of business and technology. And we are on our way... For BEVs, we need a few breakthroughs - fully capable and economic BEV batteries and the ubiquitous availability of charging at homes and at work. The PHEV primes the business and technology pump for both needed breakthroughs that enable more and more transportation to be done with electrical energy.
Despite the fact that these cars are no longer hypothetical, this study fails to recognize the relationship between battery energy and battery power. The fact that small energy batteries lack the power to drive on all-electric power, hence their "AER" is a non-sequitor and a flimsy and inaccurate measure of what small capacity PHEVs do in the real world. When the power demanded exceeds what the little battery can do, the gallons of gas are not saved, they are burned. So the study exaggerates the utility of a small battery PHEV. This glaring error has been sitting in the middle of the CMU work for the past three years. All extrapolations into policy etc are technically unfounded. Their work also fails to recognize the durability consequence of overusing batteries (usable vs total energy) and wearing them out prematurely (Nissan Leaf, anyone?) The CMU author's inability or reluctance to model these simple real-world consequences of actual cars with actual batteries before moving on to making bold policy declarations calls into question the motivation for their work.
"1.2 miles at speeds up to 43 mph EV", and " 45 mpg", "As early as 2013" If VW made TVs they would introduce color. This is the weakest green car product. Ever. How embarrassing for VW.
83 mpg on the JC08 is only about 52 mpg combined EPA label. This means about 2 mpg better than the Prius. (EPA label numbers are rightfully discounted from test conditions to yield numbers that are 60%tile drivers in the US) Blog journalists need to do more homework before re-broadcasting manufacturer-reported "translations" of NEDC mpg numbers from Europe, or Japan JC08 or especially Japan 10-15 cycle, which yield numbers far, far beyond the real world in the US. Foreign maker press releases, like this one from Toyota, attempt to generate US pre-release "green buzz" a year ahead of US introduction with disingenuous translations. Blog journalists would be wise not to fall for this, over and over.
So it sounds like NHTSA has found a way to purposefully cut into the battery pack and then rotate the car that may make a fire in between 2 and 21 days later. It seems like NHTSA is suggesting that after a heavy crash and rollover, it is not safe to simply stay in the car for several days upsidedown. I though that this was what made a car safe?
This is another smokescreen piece of marketing from the German OEMS to try to distract everyone from how far behind they are relative to the OEMs that are making real plug in cars today. They are several years behind the leading companies after having not taken electrification seriously until about last year. "vee have de diesel, vhy do we need de hybrid?" was the word from the teutonic intelligensia from 2000 to 2010. Where are the herr doctors now? "vee have picked a specification framework for a shaky physical communication connection totally unnecessary in a gps enabled wirelessly connected world."
MPGe is a bogus unit and somehow tries to make electricity usage the same as gas usage. It panders to the lowest technical comprehension on a fourth grader level. This is not too surprising since the EPA has many decision makers that are themselves technically not literate. Petroleum and electrical consumption are fundamentally different, and this is exactly why why PHEVs and EVs are being developed.
here's the clue I have and will give you again,.. slowly. highest..... mpg.... c-segment.....stick.
Peeair, People who want "super" fuel economy but like being stickless = how many? So Ford has the best stickless C-segment FE. Proud to be the fastest dog on two legs. He would be faster on all four, but no longer remarkable. You use the 90% stickless stat for all cars, but this is a pretty specific segment. Penetration in the C segment is more like 40% for manual. Penetration is 100% for the highest FE car, The Cruze eco.
Almost as good as the Chevy Cruze Eco. Thanks for participating.
Kelly, thank you also for the info about GM, GM told us that since so many things are so new on the Volt, the first year is low volume, but I think GM said 45,000 then higher in '12 and beyond. I took that as the likely truth of the matter - hook, line, and sinker. But you see actual real truth, and I am starting to see that, too, thanks. The picture I have is that GM is the first carmaker to make an EREV so that they can patent the key technologies and will critically hobble the rest of the entire world from making practical personal transportation that does not use oil. This is because GM and the US gov't are in fact, controlled by a group of oil-loving evil doers. I think I get your point. Makes perfect sense to me now. Come to think of it, the US census I just did last April asked how many miles I drove to work each day. I am just connecting the dots now...... All this while, when I read Dan Neil's recent take on the Volt, I bit. Dan, writing for the LA Times has been one of GM's harshest critics over the years. I thought it was a fair analysis by a leading industry professional. But I now know that Dan is in on it, too. Dan wrote this about the Volt at the end of November: "I get it. A lot of people don't like GM because: 1) the bailout, or 1a) Obama; or 2) the United Auto Workers; or 3) because some Monte Carlo or Cutlass Sierra or deuce-and-a-quarter left them walking a long time ago. That's understandable. These are sour times. But for the moment, we should suspend our rancor and savor a little American pride. A bunch of Midwestern engineers in bad haircuts and cheap wristwatches just out-engineered every other car company on the planet. And they did it in 29 months while the company they worked for was falling apart around them. That was downright heroic. Somebody ought to make a movie." This page is loaded with links to propaganda designed to placate us into compliance about the Volt. Dan was lying to us the whole time. I am scared about the real, actual, bad intentions that GM and the US have for the earth and all of us. Thanks for making that clear. I feel a new vigilance against the Man. He is everywhere!
TT, So check out some of Kelly's links and judge for yourself about paranoia. And well yes, And if you want to buy a Korean car, buy the Hyundai, not the Kia (made by Hyundai). Quality of Hyundai in 2010 was good. A few brands JDP IQS scores: Ford 93 Hyundai 102 Chevy 111 Toyota 117 Subaru 121 BMW 121 Kia 126 Volkswagen 135 On the other hand, you see Chevy's cars in the pack, and some are absolutely great. But Kelly resents them because they went bankrupt, but were rescued by the only liquid capital in 2008/2009? And now, the US treasury's ownership stake in GM is probably going to make them a profit, A reason to hate your bank as well, since they were almost all propped up by the same govt a that time? I don't get it or care much why haters hate GM and root for foreign car companies. I thought some kind of unresolved father thing, but Kelly debunked that. Something deeper, I guess. The Volt drive system has a pure series mode for engine-on operation. But it has more than one extended range mode. It also has a powersplit mode (not parallel) that saves more fuel with the engine on. The car chooses which one is more efficient to use. It seemed like GM told the automotive press something new about the Volt everyday when it was in development. As you say, "marketing practice". I think they waited until production to tell a few big secrets like the actual drivetrain arrangement. Even though the Prius is also a powersplit, it is a different kind of powersplit. Also, the Prius is strictly a powersplit its only mode of operation. I don't see the Volt drivetrain so much as an evolution of the Prius', but rather a machine that was made to suit a new purpose, that is, to combine an great EV with a good hybrid system in a seamless manner.
TT, The Volt is "ahead" because it is has the combination of being practical and it drives mostly on electric energy. Even though you don't sound eager to be an early adopter for the technical package that does that, a lot of other real customers are ready to pay more for the initial outlay to help get us to a greener place. This combination primes the technology development of cars that will be ultimately more affordable that do the same. Key technologies like charging systems, high continuous duty electric drives, and large format cells are being developed because because the Volt exists as a viable product. As for the labor content, Really how can you begrudge a US worker a job at the new labor rates ($11.00/hr to start for unskilled work) I know that slave labor in China is compelling, but we can't import that forever, and I don't want slave labor wages in the US, do you? What kind of neighbors do folks that make $2.00 a day make, really?
TT, Don't pay much attention to SJC and Kelly - they are paranoid delusionals that see GM as the anti-Christ, not for what they are - just another automaker that has made made both great and terrible strategy and product moves over the years. These guys hang out on GCC just for an opportunity to troll hate on the "evil bogeyman" GM. They hate America or hate their dads or something....... And you may want to consider a GM car at this point. The Volt is a stunning and visionary product that is years ahead of competitors. Other cars are either primarily gas burners (like the Blended PHEV Prius) or offer a real compromise to vehicle utility ( like the the Leaf). It will be several years before there is a real, mostly electrically driven, un-compromised car from another automaker. The Volt has got universally great reviews for function, refinement, ease of us and style. So the Aztek was ugly, and GM should have followed up the EV1....but the Volt is an example of a great GM strategy and product move; you can probably go see one at your dealer.
MG, The GM system has full series capability, referred to as Mode 3; it's just that it also has a powersplit mode (mode 4) also, which is way more efficient at higher speeds and light loads. They had to keep some details private until production. The Severinsky patent is really not relevant to the Volt, since it is for boosted-voltage, low-current systems and also for systems that do not have clutch devices, it seems. I think GM is working off of an internal patent that was featured in GCC article,
Anti-GM conspiracy-theorist trolls are out in force. You guys really need to get a life. Combine the Volt, and third party assessment that “GM has higher average quality and newer green technology and patents than the other 14 automakers combined.” If not GM, which OEM leading vehicle electrification?