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At 100kW this is giving me deja vu of the Cadillac ELR except it's slower and has a significantly smaller fueling infrastructure to support it. What's also concerning is based on the FC system cost chart it seems like there won't be much additional cost reduction in the future (hopefully it's just a marketing error).
@HarveryD Since China is now the largest automotive market and the Chinese government wants to be increasingly involved in these new technologies, I doubt any global company would refuse this request. Plus as you mentioned, with the relatively cheap labor in China it would make sense to export to most countries.
Man you guys comment on these articles for a while! @Engineer-Poet "The EV-1 used twin induction motors, no rare-earths involved." The EV-1 might have been rare-earth metal free, but I'm pretty sure the Volt is not. "Replacing $3/gallon gasoline with $0.75/gallon-equivalent electricity will give us enough savings to fix the grid." How are you going to get that difference out of the consumer? Right now the lower operating cost is one of the main driving factors (really the only benefit in most American's minds) of electric cars. If a tax is implemented to help fix the grid that fuel/electricity difference will be reduced. Also, energy producers use the off peak hours for maintenance, upgrades, etc. Flattening out the electricity demand is not as simple as just moving the daytime peak to the nighttime, several other factors have to be considered.
@ Engineer-Poet I'm confused at what you are arguing. If you are concerned with our reliance on foreign oil, then electric vehicles only worsen our dependence. Right now China produces around 97% of the total rare earth metals with the remaining coming from some countries in the Middle East and South America. Even if petroleum is substituted with coal and natural gas, they will still produce harmful emissions. How does "the future Smart Grid work well with PEVs and make room for wind and nuclear"? The last I checked, the United States transmission infrastructure was in dire need of repairs let alone upgrades. To give you an example the transmission infrastructure in the US is twice as inefficient as it was in the 1970's. How are we going to pay to install miles and miles of new transmission lines to utilize wind turbines if we can't keep what we have now in decent shape?
@ Henrik Both the Prius and Volt are great engineering feats and I hope the Volt is very successful upon launch. However your statement, that the Volt is four times better than the Prius, is blatantly incorrect. That is like comparing apples and oranges. Using mile per gallon statistics for plug in vehicles is just a play on numbers. A more universal and accurate statistic should be used, such as energy consumed per mile (kWh/mile). Looking purely at the fuel economy of each vehicle, once the initial charge has run out, will show that the Prius gets 50mpg and the Volt gets around 33 mpg. Even a simple calculation to determine the annual gas consumed is not straightforward. The average annual vehicle mileage driven in the United States is a little over 12,000 miles. However, newer vehicles are driven much further annually than older vehicles. Disregarding these statistics, Volt drivers could be much more conservative driving to only accumulate all electric miles or they could completely ignore the fact. Furthermore, charging a vehicle from electricity in the grid in the United States is far from green. With a loose classification on what is considered a renewable energy source, very few states or metropolitan areas currently have above a 10% energy consumption rate from renewable sources. And this is not going to change significantly anytime soon! Meaning that the vast majority of energy used to charge any plug in or electric vehicle is from fossil fuels that produce harmful emissions. This idea that electric vehicles are “green” is only true if the majority of our energy generation is from renewable or clean energy sources and we utilize an efficient electricity infrastructure to distribute it. The Volt is a step in the right direction, but there are still several more steps that need to be taken.
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Oct 20, 2010