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The Future

Dear Click and Clack



What happens if the Federal Government passes a law that says on Jan 1, 2012 all new federal vehicle purchases will use an electric power train, such as the Chevy Volt, and use alternate power plants to only charge the batteries. Further, motor mounts for all vehicles will be standard so any source of motor, be it gas, diesel, ethanol, methane or even hydrogen fuel cell systems, can be retroactively mounted. Would this not supply the demand to begin breaking away from the present situation. This would allow evolutionary technology development to resolve the problem. It would also open the door for other companies to introduce better systems and allow better after market engines to be retrofit. If bold steps are not taken, I fear that 20 years from now we will still be using gasoline and arguing which is the best alternative.

The Government Will Ride In And Save Us All! This Question Is Not Worthy Of An Intelligent Response, Sorry!

It wont happen…rational heads that realize the overall affect on the economy of IC related job loss will prevail. A SLOW ORDERLY change over.

Petrol is here to stay in our lifetime…EVs for mass transit and war machines (and golf carts). The new electric ones are GREAT.

“The Government Will Ride In And Save Us All! This Question Is Not Worthy Of An Intelligent Response, Sorry!”

I’ve heard a lot less worthy questions get a lot more “air time”.

First, that is a big “if.” Second, those vehicles would be very expensive to purchase. Clearly, such a mandate would cost more than the government can currently afford. Balancing the budget will have a bigger impact on the economy than this kind of idea.

Sorry, I Just Get Tired Of …

… even hearing or reading about a government that is not capable of running itself, using our confiscated tax money, (government has no money) intervening in the lives of U.S. citizens. That is not the purpose of government. Furthermore, one has to realize that a huge percentage of Americans don’t buy into this manmade climate change theory, and therefore don’t see this a reason to panic and make drastic changes that will create problems bigger than what we have now. You are correct about this needing to be a “A SLOW ORDERLY change over.”

P.S. The O.P. did not make it clear whether this is a climate issue or an energy independence thing or other. Also, I don’t fear that 20 years from now we will be using gasoline.

Not practical from the stand point of people accepting it and that the current technology really is not worth it.

Now putting a additional tax and less efficient cars, and make that tax large enough would work better, but it also would not be politically possible.

I should add that there are many related factors. If we address the problems with cars, we also will need to address the problems of neighborhoods without mass transit options and no local stores in walking distance. And the habit of people not choosing where they work and live based on the cost in time and money of commuting. We will need to make these changes slowly, so we should start now.

"Not practical from the stand point of people accepting it and that the current technology really is not worth it. "

I can see that too for a few years as EVs slowly become viable with all the “golf cart” jokes. Then, like the Mustang/Camaro era and muscle cars caught on with a bang; a sudden realization when you find it impossible to out accelerate and out corner these little SoB’s. The performance crowd will then lead the “charge”. So to speak.

A scary thought when you realize that the first GM EV1’s had 80mph governors. when removed would top out over 150 mph…faster than their chassis could tolerate.

Disregarding the environment…these babies will offer an awesome driving experience. That will be the compelling force behind their development I feel.

“A scary thought when you realize that the first GM EV1’s had 80mph governors. when removed would top out over 150 mph…faster than their chassis could tolerate”

That’s a whopper! Any documentation for that?

I’m trying to figure out the Chevy Volt expected mileage assuming I had one. I go 40 miles each way so the first 40 would be on battery. The return trip would be on the generator. On the return I average (at best) about 40mph between slow traffic and highway. Chevy claims that mileage on the genset is 50mpg. Chevy says this is a 53KW genset. Googling genset fuel consumption I get a rule of thumb calculation for hourly fuel consumption at 75% load of 7% of KW. This puts the Volt at about 3.5 gallons an hour…so on my return trip I use about 3.5 gallons to go 40 miles - this is nowhere near the 50mpg that GM claims. Even if I split the difference with the battery only trip I don’t get much more than 20mpg plus I’ve gotta remember to plug the thing in at night. How does GM get such efficient fuel consumption out of a huge genset??? And if they can do that with a genset why can’t they just attach the engine directly to the wheels??? I am perplexed>>>>>

“How does GM get such efficient fuel consumption out of a huge genset??? And if they can do that with a genset why can’t they just attach the engine directly to the wheels??? I am perplexed>>>>>”

As you have figured out, the Volt is a scam. It’s a low tech (compared to Prius) series hybrid, that are not as efficient on petrol but advertised to make you think they might be inovative…It’s the reason the upper management should all be fired and let the engineers take over and produce the real cars they are capable of.

My very point is that the public will not jump on it. I am not a big fan of government intervention, but someone has to make the first move. My thought was that at least getting EVs out there was critical. With minimal demand we will get minimal development and nothing will change. I felt that allowing any sort of power plant to charge the batteries would let us evolve into alternate technology. I would think a 50HP gas engine would charge batteries and the electric power train is already out there. Richard Nixon noted 35 years ago that we had a severe oil crisis and we have done virtually nothing to respond. With the distances we drive because of the size of the country and our level of obesity, I don’t see small cars a solution as it helps in Europe. I don’t know how many fleet vehicles Uncle Sam buys per year but it should at least create demand. How is the Honda hydrogen car experiment doing in California?

Quote from http://www.ev1.pair.com/charge_across_america/charge_html/faqs.html

I felt their statement of 183 was too much, but given that an electric motor produces rated torque from 0 to max…for this car’s weight and acceleration, it was pretty safe assumption. No, I don’t believe everything I read; but my limited experience in driving EV’s (but not an EV1) leads me to not doubt the assumption.

This kind of performance is not unusual…just not worth it as W/O a governor, the charger would be deplete very quickly.

Official EV1 specs
Propulsion/Electronics

Configuration: Transverse-mounted, front-wheel drive

Motor Type: Three-phase, alternating current (AC) induction, electric

Power Rating: 102 kilowatts (137 horsepower) @ 7,000 rpm

Motor Torque: 150 Nm (110 lb-ft) @ 0-7,000 rpm

Transaxle Type: Single-speed with dual reduction gears

Drive Ratio: 10:946:1

The 183 mph value was for a specially prepped EV1 used by GM strictly to go after a speed record. More modifications than just removing the speed limiter.

Of course…the final drive in the leased version would not allow it…
They are capable; that was the point.

Same motor…same chassis. Does your Chevy Malibu go 183 with no modification to the motor…just the final drive ratio ?

If a plug in hybrid is so low tech, who doesn’t Toyota offer one?

There are two types of hybrids…one is
A plug in version of the parallel hybrid Prius is soon to be offered I’ve read. I feel the parallel drives are much more sophisticated then the low tech series of the Volt. After all, there are two drive motors for the Prius that have to coordinated, IC and electric.

In the end I think the series set up will win over the parallel system. Because of better flexibility in drive train, and the fact that the fueled engine will only needs to be efficient at turning a generator.

The only advantage I can see with a parallel is the car may still go if the Inverter takes a dump. But if the over complicated transmission in a parallel system takes a dump your screwed.

Agree…as soon as the better batteries are available.

With a company like GM, there will have to be an act of congress to get them to make a new anything. They cancelled the hybrid, pretended to be making the Volt and really faked the new Camaro. The retro Mustang isn’t killing GM; GM is killing itself. The first Camaro body wasn’t too complicated then. Why is it too challenging now? Back to the question: Don’t fear the Federal Government so much. The gun people still have guns. Talk radio can say anything and sports figures aren’t in soup lines yet. Our money is made of paper and we can still use it. Miracles go on and on. The only thing that will put an end to our way of life is if we can’t afford to buy guns, ipods replace radios and teams refuse to pay more than two million dollars per contract. If ATMs were on satellites, we would have to buy a spaceship to get our money. OK, I don’t know how that last remark fits in.

Good rant…good points.