Chevy Volt. Another Obama Green Initiative Failure - Page 2
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  1. #14
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    Last year, I went to a Chevy dealer and looked over a Volt and drove it... here are my observations and impressions:

    First, it is kinda cramped inside for a 6 ft guy weighing in over 200#. And I suspect anyone over 5'6" would be cramped in the rear seats. The console goes through the foot area and between the rear seats... the battery is in there. It is STRICTLY a 4 person car... NO 5th person in the middle of the back.

    The luggage area is too small, and IMO the gas tank is too small also. Since the car is built on a chassis of another vehicle (I think the Cruz/Malibu), there were lots of compromises to make. IMO the car really needs about 1/2 again more luggage and gas tank space.

    On to driving. One thing I can say for the car... it is FAST! When driving in full elec mode (before the gas engine kicks in for true hybrid drive (like a train engine), one can get literally 245 HP into the drivetrain... And as we know; Elec motors develop full torque almost throughout their entire RPM range... thus the car literally LEAPS when you put your foot down!

    The car is nice to drive, nimble handling and good road feel. Rear quarter vision is not that good, given the hatchback design, however I learned quickly how to cover the blind spots in the mirrors. The cutesy panel on the center dash telling you what the drivetrain is doing (like in a Prius) is NOT well thought out... IMO GM needs to take some lessons from Toyota here.

    One complaint I had with the computer management of the drivetrain: There is NO WAY to recharge the battery while driving at freeway or highway speeds... on can only charge the battery by plugging it in... I read somewhere this was govt mandated (the not charging while driving). Not sure what goofy idea the govt had this time...

    Then there is the battery issue... having a battery catch on fire... well that needs to be fixed.

    Personally, the car costs too much IMO. Something around $27-28K would be reasonable... however IMO the car needs a lot better battery... like around 50-60 miles before gas usage. This is beyond GM's control, as I do not think the battery technology is there yet.

    IMO the idea is a good one, the R&D to develop the technology probably kept GM's engineers on GM's payroll (rather than China motors payroll), until the recession eased... not too bad a thing IMO.

    Is the car 'green? Yeah. Is it worthwhile... maybe to some.

    I believe there IS a market for this kind of car... albeit it is a specialty market... and will be a small segment of the auto world. Think about someone that lives in a city and drives short distances (a few miles at a time)... and they can plug in their car whenever they want. Theoretically they could go mos between buying gas. IMO good to take it on a 'sunday drive' to run the gas engine though.

    Personally, give me a BIG iron sled, with a HUGE V-8 with loads of torque and HP... and noisy exhaust... and I am happy... <grin>...
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  2. #15
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    The trouble with a fuel cell is that it's just another for of energy storage. Ultimately you have to generate electricity to produce Hydrogen or crack it from natural gas (we actually have a hydrogen plant at my work). Both represent efficiency losses. Not as bad as ethanol (to dumbest energy policy we have IMO... food for fuel, great idea.) but still better off directing resources towards conservation. I think Hybrids have a place there.

    The volt would have been better if it was a direct Prius competitor. Toyota has shown it can be profitable and has created a whole product line around the brand.

  3. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six View Post
    No the Govt would have slimed their way in and red tagged the plane for several arbitrary safety violations. ( made up on the spot)

    Then they would have forced the Wright Bros to install safety harness, forced them to wear parachutes,( even though there was one guy on the ground) forced them to purchase several permits and then fined them for not obtaining said permits that didn't exist beore they built the plane.

    If the Wright brothers actually paid their fines and bought the permits they would have been forced to wait 6 months due to general govt bureaucracy and wait for Government inspectors to inspect something that never existed before.

    After failing inspections multiple times and paying additional fines the Wright Brothers would have had to sit through mandated safety training that wasn't free.

    Before their first flight some new government agency would have commandeered the Wright flier for functional test and 0 to 30mph straight into a brick wall crash test to locate possible stress points.

    After finding said stress points this new agency would have fined the Wright Brothers again and then returned their Wright Flyer to them in a million pieces a wooden crate COD.
    No FAA or NTSB back then. Were not aware of this fact?


    Anyway, safety in airplanes?

    Hell, who needs something frivolous like safety in the air?
    Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.

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  4. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ga-hvac-tech View Post
    Personally, give me a BIG iron sled, with a HUGE V-8 with loads of torque and HP... and noisy exhaust... and I am happy... <grin>...
    I'll wave to you as you stand at the pump filling your ride for the third time in a week.
    Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.

    Chapman Cohen

  5. #18
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    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/9226

    Robert (Bob) Lutz the designer of the Chevy Volt and his team of engineers and other members of the design team have produced a superb vehicle.

    Lutz is a true car guy and everyone should take note.

    Now with that said, the Volt will be around for quite some time.

    The Volt was created to increase CAFE standards with a high point of 98 mpg.

    This will still permit GM to produce trucks and SUV's in the profit margines of 9K per vehicle. But the public has gravitated to smaller cars for fuel concerns. Smaller cars like the Cruize and the sub compact Sonic have a profit margine of 3K per vehicle and through innovation,automation and technology,less human labor is required for assembly therefore less wages will be needed to pay UAW members. This was Bob Kings brainchild.This was brought out by Bob King's 21st century GM speach at the SAE convention.

    GM in the near future will have to produce 3 times as many small cars to make up for 1 high profit vehicle.
    FEN

  6. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six View Post
    No the Govt would have slimed their way in and red tagged the plane for several arbitrary safety violations. ( made up on the spot)

    Then they would have forced the Wright Bros to install safety harness, forced them to wear parachutes,( even though there was one guy on the ground) forced them to purchase several permits and then fined them for not obtaining said permits that didn't exist beore they built the plane.

    If the Wright brothers actually paid their fines and bought the permits they would have been forced to wait 6 months due to general govt bureaucracy and wait for Government inspectors to inspect something that never existed before.

    After failing inspections multiple times and paying additional fines the Wright Brothers would have had to sit through mandated safety training that wasn't free.

    Before their first flight some new government agency would have commandeered the Wright flier for functional test and 0 to 30mph straight into a brick wall crash test to locate possible stress points.

    After finding said stress points this new agency would have fined the Wright Brothers again and then returned their Wright Flyer to them in a million pieces a wooden crate COD.

    How do you explain the sucess in developing technology in Germany in the 30's and 40's. They were almost exclusively state funded in aerospace and automotive R&D.

    within a short period of time it was army contracts, not private fudning that drove further aircraft development by the Wright Brothers. IT was obvious that it was primarily a novelty for the private sector initially, without enough practical applications, but for artillary spotting and recon it was a major development. Of course as we know, WWI came, and recon pilots for opposing sides decided to start carrying side arms and shooting at each other... then the inevitable arms race ensued that drove aircraft development in the US, England, France, Germany, Russia, Italy... and not long after Japan.

    To say that most all government funded enterprises end badly gives little credit to a lot of technocal innovations. Nuclear energy, firearms, plastics & composits, the list goes on, of technologies first developed for government applications that later trickeled down to the private sector.

    IF Nazi Germany hadn't had a vision to build a network of limted access highways, we might likely be driving smaller cars and utilizing a vast network of rail transportation as the primary mode of interstate travel. We wouldn't have the sprawling suburbs we have now. That netwrok of highways has also given the US a competitive advantage in logistics in manufacturing over the years.

  7. #20
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    The Germans were building an army and had imperial motivations.

    This was being done initially illegally under the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles. The German engineering predisposition was already a given.

    Nationalist motivations and maniacal leader can produce great jumps in technology. You touched on amother one of my personal hobbies. Researching anything amd everything about WII.

    So if you're trying to use that time period as a part of a rebutal I would suggest you study just a bit.

    And if you combine that with war and a huge budget the end result will be huge new advances in engineering and technology.

    Of course that has NOTHING to do with the post you quoted.

    Essentially what brings out the best in humans to build or create superior products is competition.

  8. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six View Post
    No the Govt would have slimed their way in and red tagged the plane for several arbitrary safety violations. ( made up on the spot)

    Then they would have forced the Wright Bros to install safety harness, forced them to wear parachutes,( even though there was one guy on the ground) forced them to purchase several permits and then fined them for not obtaining said permits that didn't exist beore they built the plane.

    If the Wright brothers actually paid their fines and bought the permits they would have been forced to wait 6 months due to general govt bureaucracy and wait for Government inspectors to inspect something that never existed before.

    After failing inspections multiple times and paying additional fines the Wright Brothers would have had to sit through mandated safety training that wasn't free.

    Before their first flight some new government agency would have commandeered the Wright flier for functional test and 0 to 30mph straight into a brick wall crash test to locate possible stress points.

    After finding said stress points this new agency would have fined the Wright Brothers again and then returned their Wright Flyer to them in a million pieces a wooden crate COD.
    So how do you explain one of the most ground breaking achievements of that same "bad" government - Arpanet.
    Fox News - Rich people paying rich people to tell middle class people to blame the poor.

  9. #22
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    My point was that you seem pretty one sided in your arguments, and I was just rying to point to example wre government intervention had positive results in developing new technologies which led to new consumer market. Private enterprise is motivated by profit, not advancing technology for strategic benefits.

    Government will build a road or a widget because it has value or is desired but the voting block that elected that official. Private industry won't lift a finger unless they can make money on it or it makes they leadership of the company look good or more powerful or influential.

    The current president has a energy policy and agenda. He's executing that agenda. I don't fully agree with those policies and therefore will likely not be voting for this administration in November. But you can't fault the administration to pandering to their voting block. They are politicans afterall whatever side they are on.

    I guess if it makes you feel better ot blame on the main head in charge, whci hdoes make sense, that great. But policy is created by the party and their special insterests and constituents.

    TO leave you with something unrealated.... Here's my logic on the green movement, espicailly in terms of anthrotropic global warming and climate change. If metorologists don't understand the vairables and have inadequate computer models to predict weather accurately within even 1-2days.. sometimes they can't get it right within a couple hours, why the h*** do we think they can predict how the entire climate will change within the course of years and decades. Last I heard we can't even accurately determine the earths rotation. Every few years we adjust the official atomic clock because the rotation or movement around the sun has changed. Sometimes it feels like we've taken on step forward and then gone back 1000 years. Global warming and climate change reminds me more of people arguing that the earth is flat rather than an accurate scientific obervation where we clearly identify and can measure ALL the vairables involved and make accurate predictions.

    In the scientific community, you should be able ot make an accurate prodiction based on you theory, then prove it by measuring the results. So they should be able ot say that the average tmeprature in Iowa will be 0.5F warmer next year. Instead the measure it, plot it on a chart and say...yup that pretty much follows our trend.


    Ok, ok. i went way of topic.

  10. #23
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by motoguy128 View Post
    My point was that you seem pretty one sided in your arguments, and I was just rying to point to example wre government intervention had positive results in developing new technologies which led to new consumer market. Private enterprise is motivated by profit, not advancing technology for strategic benefits.

    Government will build a road or a widget because it has value or is desired but the voting block that elected that official. Private industry won't lift a finger unless they can make money on it or it makes they leadership of the company look good or more powerful or influential.

    The current president has a energy policy and agenda. He's executing that agenda. I don't fully agree with those policies and therefore will likely not be voting for this administration in November. But you can't fault the administration to pandering to their voting block. They are politicans afterall whatever side they are on.

    I guess if it makes you feel better ot blame on the main head in charge, whci hdoes make sense, that great. But policy is created by the party and their special insterests and constituents.

    TO leave you with something unrealated.... Here's my logic on the green movement, espicailly in terms of anthrotropic global warming and climate change. If metorologists don't understand the vairables and have inadequate computer models to predict weather accurately within even 1-2days.. sometimes they can't get it right within a couple hours, why the h*** do we think they can predict how the entire climate will change within the course of years and decades. Last I heard we can't even accurately determine the earths rotation. Every few years we adjust the official atomic clock because the rotation or movement around the sun has changed. Sometimes it feels like we've taken on step forward and then gone back 1000 years. Global warming and climate change reminds me more of people arguing that the earth is flat rather than an accurate scientific obervation where we clearly identify and can measure ALL the vairables involved and make accurate predictions.

    In the scientific community, you should be able ot make an accurate prodiction based on you theory, then prove it by measuring the results. So they should be able ot say that the average tmeprature in Iowa will be 0.5F warmer next year. Instead the measure it, plot it on a chart and say...yup that pretty much follows our trend.


    Ok, ok. i went way of topic.
    I think you missed my point which was SINCERE motivation whether its derived from profit or derived from a Neo-nationalistic sense that was the product of years of hardship that the German people suffered after WWI due to the Treaty of Versailles is whats at the heart of all technological breakthroughs.

    Obama is a nobody. He has never been a part of the private industry, he doesn't understand the basic rules of economics( supply and demabd) and thinks throwing billions of dollars away will somehow create demand ?

    These are supposed to be educated people.

    You say after Obama attacked the Entrenpenuers saying they're not responsible for their. companies success that the reason you wont vote for Obama is his green initiatiave ?
    The only way a guy can make a statement like tgat is that he's never signed the feont of a payroll check.



    After 4 years of no growth with 1% in GDP every year and after he's borrowed another 6 trillion and his policies have destroyed our economy that your not going to support him because of his green initiative.

    Your priorities are backwards. You think its bad now.

    You guys need to understand the governmemt cant exist with out the private sector.

  11. #24
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    The Toyota Prius is a much better hybrid car, more room inside, smooth driving, the Toyota company has made many improvements to make even the production of the car more green, the car will charge the battery from the friction of the roters spinning....and the car is much much cheaper than the Volt.

    Sorry if you wanta buy American but Toyota builds a better and cheaper car, not to mention a lot of the money spent in production of that car was traded in US dollars AkA oil money...so get over it.

  12. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolwhip View Post
    Supported by the Pierce-Arrow Co. and General Electric in 1931, Nikola Tesla took the gasoline engine from a new Pierce-Arrow and replaced it with an 80-horsepower alternating-current electric motor with no external power source.
    At a local radio shop he bought 12 vacuum tubes, some wires and assorted resistors, and assembled them in a circuit box 24 inches long, 12 inches wide and 6 inches high, with a pair of 3-inch rods sticking out. Getting into the car with the circuit box in the front seat beside him, he pushed the rods in, announced, "We now have power," and proceeded to test drive the car for a week, often at speeds of up to 90 mph.


    The technology exists, but can the money changers profit from it?
    Just like Rudolf Diesel made the diesel engine to run off of peanut oil, shortly after doing so he went missing and his body was later found floating in the English Channel....after that big oil started producing diesel fuel from oil we suck out of the ground...this is why diesel engines can run off any type of oil with no conversion needed.

  13. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by AStudent View Post
    The Toyota Prius is a much better hybrid car, more room inside, smooth driving, the Toyota company has made many improvements to make even the production of the car more green, the car will charge the battery from the friction of the roters spinning....and the car is much much cheaper than the Volt.

    Sorry if you wanta buy American but Toyota builds a better and cheaper car, not to mention a lot of the money spent in production of that car was traded in US dollars AkA oil money...so get over it.
    But in 2015 they will start building them here!
    Don't worry zombies are looking for brains, you're safe...

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