Bob Kruse, GM's Executive Director of Hybrids, Electric Vehicles and Batteries talks with Engineering TV and Machine Design's Lee Teschler on the latest developments surrounding the Chevy Volt, GM's electric vehicle engineering efforts, and how they're addressing "range anxiety" with the Volt's range-extending engine. The Volt uses a lithium-ion battery with a gasoline-powered, range-extending engine that drives a generator to provide electric power when you drive beyond the 40-mile battery range.
Hosted by: Lee Teschler Videography by: Terry Knight Edited by: Curtis Ellzey
Anonymous commented on July 19, 2009
LISTEN TO ME PEOPLE!! It is NOT the "battery storage" that needs to be increased to obtain greater range in All Electric vehicles. Engineers think that because the electric motor is already 90+% efficient the answer must be to increase the energy source (battery storage) however they are completely ignoring one important part of the whole system and that is the "method" in which the mechanical energy developed be the electric motor is "transmitted" to the vehicle and that is the TRANSMISSION! Again the "engineers" think there can be no improvement in that area because electric motors are very efficient through their entire working range and any tweaking in efficiency can be done by a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). This is were they are again mistaken. There is a far superior method of applying available torque to a system that is rotating at a much higher rpm and I call it an AST (All Speed Transmission). When integrated with an electric motor I call it an ASTM (All Speed Transmission Motor). The ASTM can apply a low rpm torque to a higher rpm system(wheels) as if it were "standing still". In other words, regardless of, and independent of, the wheels rotational speed (rpm). This would be like peddling a bicycle at 40 miles per hour and every time you peddle you would apply the same torque that you had in 1st gear. Can you imagine what that means? This would mean much smaller motors could be used and still achieve adequate performance resulting in far greater range on far less battery storage. Impossible you say? Someone once said "Everything is easy, when someone shows you how". I can show you how. I can be contacted at ( email@example.com ) The ASTM propulsion system is the answer to the "All Electric" vehicle's range problem. There's no need to spend time that we don't have on development of better batteries only to have some small compact sporty vehicle as the only All electric transportation choice. All of our American automotive models could be "All Electric" right now with the ASTM propulsion system.. American's would dominate the world in automotive manufacturing, thousands would go back to work and we would end our oil dependency and over usage. And we would show the world that American Ingenuity is alive and well and always will be.
Anonymous commented on April 27, 2009
I have an idea / invention that would make an All Electric vehicle's propulsion system so efficient that it would be able to get the 200+ mile range that everyone has been looking for without any larger battery then is presently in the Volt. If anyone has any suggestions as to who or where I can present this concept please let me ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) know so that it may be evaluated and if they find it to be as exciting an idea as I believe it to be then we can move forward quickly with prototyping, testing and implementing to make the True All Electric Vehicle finally a reality.
Anonymous commented on April 13, 2009
The problem with the Volt, as well as with other PHEV, is that it has to carry the deadweight (and the dead cost, and the maintenance hastles) of a gas engine, mostly just for the peace of mindt. Note that for long distance driving, the mpg of the PHEV would be much lower than for the gas engine alone, because of the inefficiency of converting the mechanical output of the gas engine to electrical power, then the inefficiency of charging and discharging the battery, then the inefficiency of converting battery output back to mechanical energy. Anyway, if long distance travel is required, planes trains and buses are safer, cheaper and better for the environment than driving. It makes more sense to get rid of the gas engine to save cost, weight, room, hastles. If peace of mind is still an issue, add a cheap tiny DC-DC boost converter and a jumper cable. Whenever the PHEV runs out of juice along a highway, flag a passing motorist and ask for a battery jump to charge enough juice to straggle to the nearest 110v outlet. There are always good samaritans along the highways.
Anonymous commented on March 12, 2009
I hope the $40K price tag for the Volt is overstated or this thing will not fly. I am one of those 20% who commute more than 40 miles a day. My drive to work is 70 miles each way. I was excited about the Volt when I first heard about it, but the $40K price makes it non economic in my situation. I drive a 2004 Saturn Ion that I bought new for $10.6K in 2004. It delivers 36-37 mpg on the highway which is 96% of my commute. At the time I compared it to a $21K Prius and conluded that at $3/gal gas, it would take 15 years of my commute to break even on the cost difference of the vehicles. Even using $3/gal gas, the Volt will never compete with a $15K gasoline vehicle at 40 mpg. For those who commute longer than 40 miles, an efficient diesel makes more sense. I recently ran some calcuations comparing a new Jetta TDI against a high mpg compact like a Toyota Corolla and concluded that the TDI was not competitive even at an assumed 60 mpg highway due to the price differential of the diesel and diesel fuel. It looks like there will have to be some major breakthroughs in battery technology before electric cars are cost competitive. Until then, they are niche vehicles for those who want to exude a certain image.
Anonymous commented on February 05, 2009
@H... Shoot, I work at a commercial real estate company, and I'm constantly seeing brokers driving their Escalades, BMW's, Mercedes, Land Rovers, Hummer etc. Point of fact, most of the brokers I work with live within 10 miles of our offices, so $40k for a vehicle that'll do the commute with no use of gas is absolutely outstanding in my book! (And cheap when you consider there's is not a person I know who hasn't spent less than $60k on their 'mini-tanks'). Yes, outta reach for most (who'd prefer under $20k - Go w/the Honda Insight or used Prius), but it's a start, and can only get better/cheaper the more R&D that goes into it. I myself electrified my bike for less than $1,300, and it works great for commuting (plus keeps the pot belly at bay), could always go that route ;)
Anonymous commented on February 02, 2009
The VOLT is a beautiful family car but for $40K not one to commute to work every day. I would be interested in in an all-electric car for 5K because like 75% of the working population I live within 20 miles of my employment and the 40 mile range of the Lithium battery is enough. And for the 20% who live more than 20 miles of their employment the employer would provide an electric outlet to recharge the vehicle for a small fee. I just do not want the Chinese to fill this real need for a small all electric commuter car for 5K and steal the market from GM. So, I want GM to fill this real need with an all electric commuter car at a reasonable price.
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