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GE To Buy 25,000 EVs, Starting With the Chevy Volt

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the private-sector-bailout dept.

Businesses 301

DeviceGuru writes "In what's claimed as the largest-ever single electric vehicle commitment, GE plans to acquire 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015. The buying spree will initially involve 12,000 GM vehicles, beginning with GM's Chevy Volt in 2011. By converting most of its own 30,000-strong global fleet, and promoting EV adoption among its 65,000 global fleet customers, GE hopes to be in a strong position to help deploy the vehicles' supporting infrastructure, including charging stations, circuit protection equipment, and transformers. In contrast to the all-electric Nissan Leaf, the Volt implements a small gas engine, which can recharge the vehicle's battery to extend its range beyond the 100 mile limit of all-electric cars like the Leaf, leading some to question the Volt's EV credentials."

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Bring back Neutron Jack (-1, Flamebait)

The Shootist (324679) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222340)

GE has lost its way; in bed with algore and all. Bring back Neutron Jack.

Re:Bring back Neutron Jack (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222604)

Maybe Neutron Jack knows where they are going to get the electricity for the charging stations.

Out here in California, where the grid is at max, they will get it from "clean and green" gas fired and diesel generating plants! Plenty of CO2 to feed our trees and weeds. "-)

Re:Bring back Neutron Jack (1, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222662)

Please do cite where those diesel electric plants are. Diesel is way to expensive to run even a decent size business generator on much less a power plant.

Re:Bring back Neutron Jack (3, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223000)

a diesel gas turbine (i.e. fuel oil turbine) is more efficient than your typical diesel generator. It's effectively a jet engine.

Re:Bring back Neutron Jack (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223228)

But a natural gas one is even better and cheaper to run.

Re:Bring back Neutron Jack (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223084)

Please do cite where those diesel electric plants are. Diesel is way to expensive to run even a decent size business generator on much less a power plant.

Depends. Self-generation can actually be cost-effective beyond a certain point, although local power companies will usually go to court to try and prevent it.

Re:Bring back Neutron Jack (2, Informative)

germansausage (682057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223270)

Only half as much CO2 if you get the power from fossil fuel generating plant. They are roughly twice as efficient as an internal combustion engine. Also, you are buying large and increasing amounts of power from British Columbia which is all zero emission Hydro-electric.

Tax credit (3, Interesting)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222384)

GE plans to acquire 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015.

Do corporations get the same tax break as consumers do for electric vehicles?

If so, then GE could get a $187,500,000 tax credit (25,000 * $7,500 [energy.gov] ) in the process.

Re:Tax credit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222438)

Yes and many states have them as well.

This also looks like a 'we want in on that' from GE. Makes sense they are one of the largest manufactures of industrial/home electrical fixtures and transformers. A good amount of 'lets eat our own dogfood' and see what our customers are talking about.

Re:Tax credit (4, Insightful)

wjwlsn (94460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222688)

Switching their fleet to plugin vehicles makes a lot of sense for GE, especially in the long run. If it actually helps accelerate the rate of plugin vehicle adoption, electricity demand could increase significantly. GE would absolutely love that... it would probably help them sell more nuclear reactors, like the ESBWR [gepower.com] (near-term) and the PRISM [nrc.gov] (long-term).

Re:Tax credit (4, Interesting)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223008)

GE also sells wind turbines and probably sells the so called Smart Grid components too.

So while I think this is all a marketing plan/investment it also has general value to promote greatly reducing our use of hydrocarbon based fuels.

LoB

UPS, fedex, city buses (2, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222480)

I was wondering for a long time why fleet vehicles that stop and start every couple blocks were not electric since it seems like electricity would work best in well managed systems more than for consumers. But instead it's the personal vehicle that is the first to do this at scale. I suspect the answer to my query is pretty basic: namely delivery vehicles have to travel more miles on one route than electric storage can sustain. Or does someone have a better explanation of this hole.

Re:UPS, fedex, city buses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222516)

UPS in atlanta utilize natural gas vehicles for delivery

Re:UPS, fedex, city buses (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222776)

I'm gonna guess that the fuel saving would not be significant enough to offset the costs of the electric system.
 

Re:UPS, fedex, city buses (2, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222830)

The ideal would be to do it when you retire vehicles and have to replace them anyway. Those fleets have pretty high turnover.

Re:Tax credit (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222556)

Depends. Are corporations subject to AMT or not? Probably not. An individual able to afford the $41,000 + tax will likely be subject to AMT and not able to take that $7500 tax credit.

Re:Tax credit (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223086)

Not necessarily. You'd be surprised how much more affordable things are if you pay in cash. You can always make yourself "loan" payments as soon as you pay for the vehicle. By the time your ready to replace it a couple decades later you could easily have that kind of money.

Re:Tax credit (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223112)

I say this to everyone I know, yet they still lease or get loans for cars.

If you need a car, but a cheap used one and then put the payments of the car you want in the bank. Then in 5 years buy it out right and you will still have money left over. Plus you can likely sell or trade that used car.

Re:Tax credit (3, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222650)

From www.mychevroletvolt.com : "The First 200,000 Chevrolet Volt’s qualify for $7500 in federal tax credits (After which there is a phase out schedule)."

So this consumes rebates from a limited pool that may have gone to individuals. I don't necessarily have a problem with that: first come, first served I guess. I like that GE is doing this to jump start infrastructure sales rather than a one time tax benefit.

Re:Tax credit (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223140)

It'll likely even out. GE is planning to work on the equipment that most electric care owners are going to want. Having better equipment and possibly more affordable could very easily result in a lower cost of ownership that would hit $7500.

GE=Georgia? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222410)

Does anyone else think it's a bit odd that the summary doesn't distinguish between General Electric and Georgia at all and only refers to GE?

Re:GE=Georgia? (3, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222422)

That's because Georgia is GA, not GE.

Re:GE=Georgia? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222488)

GA is the Georgia the American State, GE is the accepted abbreviation for the former soviet nation Georgia. Google it.

Re:GE=Georgia? (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222692)

Georgia the nation has a GDP of $20 Billion, General Electric has a revenue of $157 Billion. Odds are the government of Georgia could not afford 25,000 Chevy volts.

Everyone knows who GE is, no one cares about broke Soviet Bloc nations.

Re:GE=Georgia? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222460)

... moron ...

Re:GE=Georgia? (0, Redundant)

tsa (15680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222678)

These are the type of comments that I was blissfully unaware of when the old comments system was still in place and you could really filter everything that scored lower than 1 out. In the new system, that is not possible anymore. I keep seeing posts scoring 0 since the new system is in place. Or is there a trick that I don't know of to get rid of these posts?

Re:GE=Georgia? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222774)

penis

Re:GE=Georgia? (0, Redundant)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223100)

These are the type of comments that I was blissfully unaware of when the old comments system was still in place and you could really filter everything that scored lower than 1 out. In the new system, that is not possible anymore. I keep seeing posts scoring 0 since the new system is in place. Or is there a trick that I don't know of to get rid of these posts?

If you figure it out, let me know.

Re:GE=Georgia? (0, Redundant)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223132)

I've got it configured to only see 2 and above with karma bonus off.

I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

gQuigs (913879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222428)

It's a hybrid. Unfortunately hybrid is very unambiguous as well.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222454)

All that really need to be done is a clarification of "series hybrid" and "parallel hybrid".

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222620)

It's actually a parallel hybrid "with a twist." If the gasoline engine is running then it is (and must be) supplying mechanical energy directly to the wheels. However the gearing requires that the main electric motor must be driven at all times to provide vehicle motion - this is the hook GM uses to claim it's an EV+Extender and not a hybrid.

And thus qualify for all the tax credits. Barely.
=Smidge=

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222706)

Sounds like a design only a politician could love.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (4, Informative)

MikeMo (521697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222766)

This is not correct. If the gasoline engine is running, which it only does if the battery is depleted or the vehicle is going over 70MPH, then some of the energy from the engine is supplied to the wheels.

Under normal, battery-charged conditions and under 70 MPH, the gasoline engine does not run at all.

For most folks who commute less than 20 miles per day (80% of the population, according to GM), the vehicle will always be on the battery.

Sounds like an EV to me.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222804)

I commute less than 20 miles, but with this idiotic 70MPH = burn gas, I would be forced to burn gas.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

gregrah (1605707) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223144)

Correction: you would be forced to choose between driving less than 70 MPH or burning gas.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223240)

Awesome so I can then drive further and end up burning gas when I go farther since I "chose" to avoid the highway.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222876)

There is nothing in my post that is incorrect, nor is there anything in my post that contradicts what you said.

You probably think I said something I didn't.

It is a parallel hybrid "with a twist." If you consider the Volt to be an EV simply because it can run in battery-only mode then the Prius is an EV because it, too, has a battery-only (aka Silent) mode.
=Smidge=

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223038)

Stupid design. Should be using electric to accelerate (instant torque) and gas to cruise (geared up high, near idle).

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

cawpin (875453) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222938)

Wrong. There is NO MECHANICAL LINK between the engine and the wheels.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (2, Interesting)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223022)

Yes, there is. The last link in the summary even goes to a page with a diagram of the central planetary gear set. The engine can, and does, drive the wheels directly under certain conditions.

To quote said article:

"Once the Volt’s battery is depleted, the engine fires up and clutches to the generator to produce the power required to drive the car. Above 70 mph, when the generator couples to the ring gear, the engine gets a more efficient direct mechanical connection to the wheels."

=Smidge=

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223048)

At above 70 MPH (and perhaps at lower speeds), when the battery is depleted, the engine engages (via a clutch) to assist the traction motor.

So Chevy broke the clean EV design to allow you to drive at speeds that are usually illegal and always inefficient.

I will not buy one for this reason. It's unnecessary parts and complexity.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223138)

What the poster said was correct. You are Wrong. If the car goes over a certain speed then the GAS engine kicks in and charges the batteries faster than the draw on them. In essence the car is running on gasoline then.

Now for all the problems of this car.
1. You can get the same "gas" powered car for over 10k-20k less. 10k will buy a LOT of gas. I mean a freaking lot of gas.
2. Nobody knows what the EXTRA cost of maintaining the Volt will be. This does not include the batteries, but just the extra crap required for the car.
3. The batteries. I, and many others keep cars 10+ years. Will those batteries remain as good as they do day 1? Day 1000?
4. What happens to all those batteries when they are replaced? Yes GM and others can handle a "small" amount of cars, but what if this went large scale?

In my opinion someone would have to totally hate the environment and be rich to buy one of these things, or they have to be tricked in to thinking that it is actually good for the environment and given incentives to buy it from the government. So this car must be marketed to stupid rich green people.... I guess we will see how many of these things sell VS their gas only counterparts.
   

parralel or series (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222832)

Seems simple enough, but if you do not tell wat clarification then it does not help. YOu can make a parallel hybrid with a very small electric motor and a very powerful combustion engine, or the opposite, a very powerful electric engine and a combustion engine that is enough to limb home.

It all depends what the target of the car is.
If you want a zero-exhaust car then a all electric car would be the best option. This might be th eonly option to keep the centre of your town habitable.
If you want every efficiency then the parallel cars might be a good option. However they will have to rated on actual exhaust values in avarge use. Traditional small cars with a combustible engine might beat hybrids here. But that even depends on things like the climate. (In cold climates the heat of the engine is not lost because the car needs heating anyway, in hot climates you power the AC efficient with a battery).
If co2 is the concern then co2 exhaust of electricity generation will have to be taken into account. There is a lot of room to make that more efficient.

what clarification do you want law-maker to ask?

Well, it's a hybrid (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222486)

What self respecting all electric vehicle is going to admit having f_cked an all gas vehicle to produce that bastard child?

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222590)

Let's put it this way: if you remove the ICE in a Volt, will it still run? Of course, with about a 40 mile range. Seems like an electric vehicle to me. Can you do that in a Prius? Not without a conversion kit. As I see it, as it is, the Volt is an electric vehicle with an ICE tacked on whereas the Prius is not.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (2, Interesting)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222658)

Depends on where you are. In the Scandinavian regions, there is a huge tax break for electric vehicles. However, a Chevy Volt would not count as an electric vehicle there because it has an ICE that comes on automatically as part of normal operation. However, if they make a variant that forces the driver to manually turn on the ICE, then they will count it as an electric vehicle with a backup generator. There's one problem with the Volt though. The engine directly generates torque for the wheels. I will be very curious to find out if that will prevent it from being classified as an EV.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (2, Informative)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222854)

"Depends on where you are. In the Scandinavian regions, there is a huge tax break for electric vehicles. However, a Chevy Volt would not count as an electric vehicle there because it has an ICE that comes on automatically as part of normal operation."

ONLY if battery power is exhausted. You can have 100% gasoline-free operation if you don't travel more than 40 miles per charge.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223174)

It doesn't matter when the ICE turns on. It's a question of interpreting the laws that allow this tax break in these countries. The intent of the law was that if you have an all electric vehicle with a gas generator strapped to your roof for backup, it still counts as an electric vehicle. In series hybrids, this has generally been interpreted to mean that the ICE must be turned on manually.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223204)

I suspect that a simple manual engine switch will suffice for this law :)

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222714)

No, they dropped that plan. They now have the ICE coupled to the wheels as well as doing generator duty.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222754)

The ICE is coupled at above 70 mph because it's more efficient to drive the wheels directly at that speed rather than indirectly via the battery and electric motor. That doesn't change the fact that the vehicle can still be used if the ICE is ripped out.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (2, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222788)

It means the ICE does not run at a fixed rpm. This pretty much kills the whole point of a series hybrid.

You are also now going to have parasitic drag from that coupling or whatever you use to disconnect it at all times. The real losses is going ICE->Batts-> Elec motor-> drive train -> wheels.

A transmission in an Elec car seems pretty ass backwards.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222868)

"It means the ICE does not run at a fixed rpm. This pretty much kills the whole point of a series hybrid."

The engine in Volt works in several fixed RPM bands so it's pretty optimal. They use a planetary gear system, somewhat similar to Prius to achieve this.

And in future it's certainly possible that engine will be decoupled from wheels completely.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222954)

Sure the prius has the same short comings, and both for some reason burn gas. I really want to know why they do not use diesel or pure ethanol in a compression engine.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (2, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223012)

You can use your Volt in pure EV mode if your battery is not exhausted. Even at highway speed.

ICE is used only when battery is exhausted.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223030)

Nope, at 70MPH or above the ICE kicks in. This is due the the design of the car. Check out the wiki on it for some nice citations about GM lying about this all along.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223122)

No. It doesn't unless there's not enough energy in the battery.

I'm following gm-volt.com and allcarselectric.com :)

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223248)

Marketing. The US market tends not to be particularly friendly to diesel engines. Even though the fuel efficiency of them is so much better. The other problem is that diesel fuel isn't always the easiest to get. It's getting easier, but it's not offered at every fuel station.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (2, Interesting)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222816)

Let's put it this way: if you remove the ICE in a Volt, will it still run? Of course, with about a 40 mile range.

And with a top speed of ~70MPH. The gearing means the electric motor hits top RPM right around there, and without another source of power you're not going any faster.

Can you do that in a Prius? Not without a conversion kit.

Ignoring the fact that you'll need a "kit" to convert the Volt as well, the Prius can (and does) run just fine in all-electric mode. Basically the procedure is the same for both vehicles: remove the ICE and lock the shaft it used to be connected to. Presto, both are now pure EVs.

The only difference is the Prius uses an electrically assisted ICE, and the Volt uses an ICE assisted electric motor. It is also not possible to use the Volt's engine as a generator without the vehicle moving, which I'm not sure counts as a good thing or not.
=Smidge=

Actually, Meta-Hybrid! (volt is not a EV) (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222894)

It's a hybrid. Unfortunately hybrid is very unambiguous as well.

To be precise, the Chevy Volt was originally a Series Hybrid [wikipedia.org] that added a capability to add about 15% of total power output through a direct mechanical connection, because this turned out to be more efficient. So it's a combination between series hybrid and parallel hybrid which makes it a kind of hybrid of hybrids -- a meta-hybrid!

(The Volt could probably run just fine as a series hybrid, with most of its range, power, and efficiency if the direct mechanical linkage were disabled. In contrast, a Prius can run only on electric motors but with a pretty piddling range.)

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

cawpin (875453) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222928)

Please show me when the gas engine drives the wheels. The Volt is NOT a hybrid. It is driven ONLY by electric motors. It is exactly what GM says it is, an extended range electric.

Re:I agree, the chevy volt is not a EV (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222960)

This often occurs above 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) when the gasoline engine is almost always coupled for maximum efficiency helping the Volt to achieve its top speed of 101 miles per hour (163 km/h). The Volt also operates as a power-split or series-parallel hybrid

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt [wikipedia.org]

From wiki, but lots of good citations listed. You were fooled by GMs lies/PR.

Suck my troll cock (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222456)

Come on you fat linux users, you know you will never get a vagina so come and get a troll cock instead.

Tesla Roadster (2, Interesting)

srealm (157581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222476)

The new Tesla Roadster [teslamotors.com] claims that it can do 245 miles on a single charge ... and it's a hell of a lot cooler than a volt! 100 miles on a charge, pfft! :)

Re:Tesla Roadster (2, Insightful)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222570)

It's also a hell of a lot more expensive! We really want a vehicle for the masses!

Re:Tesla Roadster (4, Insightful)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222668)

$40,000 is still not a car for the masses.

Re:Tesla Roadster (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222746)

You know who built a car for the masses?

Henry Ford with his Model T. You thought I was gonna say Hitler didn't you? You NAZI bastard!

Re:Tesla Roadster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222942)

funny though... both hated Jews

Re:Tesla Roadster (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222810)

Teslas are cool as hell, but they are way too small to be practical for my daily use.

wow, leadership for a change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222528)

This goes beyond PR. PR is where you spend some money and use the media to try to convince the public you're good guys. This is about learning through experience and accumulating a critical mass of captive consumers for the infrastructure they're trying to develop.

Sounds like Immelt is finally moving the company past Jack Welch. But we'll see how this turns out.

Credentials? WTF (2, Insightful)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222552)

"leading some to question the Volt's EV credentials." ???

Let's be realistic here! It may not be a "pure" EV but the infrastructure is not here yet to support a pure EV. We are at the very start of a transition from gas stations to charging stations. Until charging stations can be found in most places at least a small gas engine to recharge the batteries is needed.

Re:Credentials? WTF (4, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222694)

You're right. There is no infrastructure to support electric vehicles.

What we need is some kind of nation-wide distribution network for electrical power. That's probably decades away assuming you can find someone willing to spend the billions of dollars to install one.

Oh wait...

What you're missing: You charge your vehicle primarily at home - where your car spends the vast majority of its unused time anyway. Charging stations external to that are a bonus but not strictly required. For example you might have an exterior outlet on your office building you can use in lieu of a dedicated charging bollard.

If you're one of the people who think there must be an exact gas station analog in place for electric vehicles, you are wrong. The entire premise of EVs is that the "energy economy" they work in is completely different; distributed instead of centralized. Every outlet is a potential "gas station."
=Smidge=

Re:Credentials? WTF (2, Insightful)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222822)

If you think electric heat is expensive just wait until you start charging an EV every night...

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222866)

Compared to powering a vehicle with gas that would be cheap.

Ever wonder why we don't all power our homes with gas fueled generators?

Re:Credentials? WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222996)

Probably because small-to-medium sized gas fueled generators are notoriously inefficient? They are designed for temporary power and low up-front cost, not long-term efficient use. Not to mention, it's slightly inconvenient to re-fuel them every so often.

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223058)

And a car engine is what again? Oh yeah, a small to medium sized gas power ICE, designed for temporary power and low up front cost.

Re:Credentials? WTF (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222984)

Solar + EV = win. A neighbor of mine did this and his average bill is negative $2/month. Having an EV car shortens the solar panel system installation ROI period considerably.

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223066)

Why do you think the energy companies are all quickly getting Time of Use( ToU ) meters installed on everyones home? Very soon there will be a way for them to start increasing the price of electricity used to charge electric vehicles. They will come up with some cockamamie reason way and those running the regional public energy committees will fall for it. Just as they fell for the hydrogen economy crap the Bush Administration pedaled.

LoB

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223102)

No, they are doing this so that customers can switch to hourly rated power. So peak power will be more expensive, but at night when most of our capacity goes unused lower priced power can be used to charge EVs. This will prevent them from having to build more power plants as the high peak prices will shift load to later in the day.

I had this at a previous home as my work hours meant I did most of my electric use during off peak hours. I saved a bundle.

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223120)

I've done the math before, using my personal driving habits, and worked out going with electric would cost me about 10%-15% the cost of gasoline per mile, at $3/gallon and $0.22/kWh.

Which, for me, ends up about $100/year in electricity versus $700/year in gasoline.
=Smidge=

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222888)

And now try to travel more than 100 miles.

Whoops. There are no outlets in the middle of this interstate road. And even if there was an outlet, you won't wait 6 hours until your car is charged.

And it's well known that people (somewhat stupidly) buy cars for the 'worst' case.

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222978)

It is well known, that rental car agencies are available to fulfill your short term worst case needs. Believe it or not you can even buy a normal car and rent a truck the one time a year you need it.

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223002)

I know this. But people still buy 'off-road' SUVs even if they are not taken off-road more than 1 day a year.

Also, 100 miles is just not that much. It's quite easy to exhaust this limit - just forget to plug-in once you get home.

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223052)

Your average car gets (or SHOULD get) about 300 miles per tank of gas.

300 miles is just not that much. It's quite easy to exhaust this limit - just forget to stop at a gas station.
=Smidge=

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223136)

Yes. But there are gas stations _everywhere_, so even if your fuel gauge reads 'zero' you most probably can still drive safely to the next gas station.

And then drive 300 miles after 5-minute stop to fill your tank.

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223218)

There are more electrical outlets than gas stations. I'm pretty sure I can find a few places where there are no gas stations for 300+ miles in any direction.

My point is any argument you make against EVs is an argument that can be, and has been, used against gasoline powered vehicles at some point.
=Smidge=

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223078)

I bet 90%+ of SUVs are never off road, and never will be. These are purchased only so some middle aged man can avoid driving a minivan.

Re:Credentials? WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223024)

it's well known that people (somewhat stupidly) buy cars for the 'worst' case

Well then the stupid people won't be the early adopters. Other people will figure out ways to make it work for them. For instance in a two-car household, one could be pure-electric (for commuting to/from work, shopping, etc.) and the other could be a hybrid (which is what would get used for road-trips). Or a person could own an all-electric vehicle and rent a gas or hybrid vehicle for longer trips (and still save money overall compared to owning a gas vehicle).

Those people who freak-out about limitations that don't apply to their lifestyle won't be the early adopters, but will adopt the technology when it has become better (better batteries or more charging infrastructure). But they will miss-out on the gains that the early adopters made.

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223082)

BEVs are commuter cars, you don't drive cross-country in them but to work and back every day. Most people don't drive more than 75 miles a day even including side trips for errands. For most people having a car that can drive 200 miles on a tank of gas is overkill for their actual driving needs. For everything a BEV commuter can't handle there's rental cars or a second family vehicle. The car transportation system would be on the whole more efficient if we bought cars closer to our actual needs and shared (rentals etc) cars whose utility was used only rarely.

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223186)

I'm keeping statistics of my trips. Usually I average at 30 miles per day. However, about once per month I need to travel about 90 miles.

So I'd have to rent a car at least 1 time a month. That's not acceptable, because I'll be spending more on rent than on fuel for a conventional car for this whole month. I suspect that quite a lot of people have the same situation.

Besides, there's a problem with ROI. Right now it's cheaper to produce a 40 miles range-extended car. It will still require gasoline, but it will require 10 times less of it than a 'normal' car. And it will give us time to build an EV-infrastructure.

So range-extended vehicles are the way to go for now.

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

hrvatska (790627) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223256)

It's also well known that many people own two cars. My family owns two cars. My wife and I have analyzed our car usage and concluded that we could easily get by with one of our two cars having a limit of 100 miles. An EV with a range of 100 miles or more would be a viable choice for our family, as it would be for millions of others. SUVs and pickup trucks are a bad choice for many, but they're the right choice for some. Small cars don't work for some families, but they're a good choice for others. Just because something doesn't work for everyone doesn't mean it's a bad choice for many.

Re:Credentials? WTF (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223212)

Every outlet is a potential "gas station."

nice in concept, and all, but that's unrealistic.

my house was built in 1954. it's a relatively new house, compared to many in the US and especially Europe. while many (if not most) of older houses have been renovated, not all have.

my house has had the power 'upgraded' several times. there is still substantial original wiring. if i were to get an EV, i'd have to redo the entire fuse box, put in a larger amperage master breaker, and re-wire the front side of my house in the process.

My grandmother owns several properties, most of which were made before 1930. One she grew up in; one her children grew up in. at least these two do not have 'modern' wiring sufficient for EVs. believe it or not, there are still quite a few properties out there with 30 or 50 amp mains on fuses.

Re:Credentials? WTF (4, Interesting)

The Phantom Mensch (52436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222818)

I can see a family with two cars getting one all-electric vehicle. Probably 90% of the driving my family does is within the round-trip range of an EV. But right now I'm not seeing a really mass-market EV. An EV should be cheaper to manufacture than a gasoline powered car if you compare the complexities of the drive systems. EV: Battery, electric motor, differential and final drive system. Gasoline engine: Battery, ignition system, fuel tank, fuel pumps, fuel injectors, air intake, air filter, intake manifold, pistons, crankshaft, valves, cam shaft, coolant pumps, radiator, coolant thermometer, exhaust pipes, EGR valves, muffler, catalytic converter, flywheel, clutch, transmission, differential and final drives. The number of moving parts in a gasoline engine that need lubrication is huge. In an electric motor there is one. Lithium batteries are somewhat exotic and expensive but so are the precious metals they put in your catalytic converter.

I think the manufacturers are happier selling you a hybrid vehicle with two engine systems and charging you more than a gasoline powered car instead of selling you an all electric vehicle and charging less. Or they'd rather make a pure EV that is so exotic they can charge Porsche prices for it, like the Tesla. The only possible exception coming soon is the Nissan Leaf. It'll be interesting to see how Nissan does with it.

 

If the Volt was a good idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222606)

It wouldn't need thousands of dollars per car in subsidies to get people or companies to buy it - from a company that was nationalized and is now owned by that very government.

Yay for statist government-imposed crony-capitalism "solutions".

This is effective, and efficient (1)

JumpingBull (551722) | more than 3 years ago | (#34222642)

Consider it this way, using the electric grid is the most effective use of energy transmission. By using large plants, we can use every trick that an engineer can conceive to wring the last watt out of fuel. So far, so good. But by combining the electrical storage potential of any hybrid, with a tuned engine for maximal efficiency gets the best of both worlds. It's easier to design to, also. It's an old trick called co-generation, used in pulp and paper plants. Now, if we can store the "waste heat" for our homes ... well, we just reduced the total energy demand. Any takers? JB

Re:This is effective, and efficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222846)

This is progress?

You may want to consider changing your sig ...

Anonymous Coward (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34222708)

GE is a huge supporter of the Obama administration and the Obama administration is desperate to prove that its takeover of GM and its pushing of "green jobs" wasn't just a bunch of unconstitutional meddling driven by a hunger for political power. The incestuousness of this is appalling. It calls to mind something that Benito Mussolini once said, something like, 'For the State, everything. For that outside the State, nothing.'

Re:Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223130)

what the fuck are you talking about?

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