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Confessions of a Volt Owner « Transportation « Industry Applications
 
Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 3:21pm #1
RmW
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Gives practical experience of owning a Volt. Also, some responses to Tec and Students FUD.

http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2012/02/28/n_ch...

Enjoy

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Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 4:01pm #2
StephenB
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His experience is much like my own. I have a lifetime gas mileage of about 180 mpg. In retrospect, I wish I had sprung for the fast home charger like he did.

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Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 4:06pm #3
Tec
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As it costs twice what a comparable diesel car would cost, I doubt he's making much of a saving.

However, as its a hybrid, he's not likely to find it is unavailable when he wants it, and he doesn't HAVE to remember to charge it.

I'd be interested in how often people with these cars drive off with them still plugged in (assuming they will let you do that). Narrowboats generally DO let you do this. I did it myself for the first and only time some months back. (It was my crew's fault!) damaging the hitching post.

I went to report the damage to the Marina office and on the way there looked at the other boats' hitching posts. About half had suffered the same characteristic damage! This is in the five years since the place has been opened.

When I shamefacedly 'fessed up to the receptionist, I was greeted with congratulations and incredulity as "You've only done it ONCE?"

I guess (hope) there is an interlock to prevent people as absent minded as narrowboat owners doing it in EVs and plug-in hybrids.

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Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 4:10pm #4
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"I didn't buy this car to save money. I bought this car because I wanted to use less gasoline, send less money out of the United States... for the cost of petroleum, put less carbon into the atmosphere."

This is a perfect example of an early adopter; the cost isn't his primary consideration for buying it.

Thanks, RmW!


We are the 99%. A better world is possible.

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Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 4:23pm #5
Tec
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I bought this car because I wanted to use less gasoline, send less money out of the United States... for the cost of petroleum, put less carbon into the atmosphere."

Well, he should have bought a Jetta or something and saved himself some money as well. But a hybrid is better than nothing.

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Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 4:32pm #6
Mite66
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Tec wrote:

I'd be interested in how often people with these cars drive off with them still plugged in (assuming they will let you do that).

I own a Prius with a PHEV kit and I once went off with my cord still plugged in. My teenage neighbor was kind enough to run after me until I noticed him in my rear view mirror. He really saved me from humiliating myself all around town.

Since then, I installed a system that beeps when I press my brake pedal while my cord is plugged in. Problem solved.

As for the Volt, they must have some kind of mechanism to prevent it to shift while still plugged. My guess.


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Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 4:41pm #7
cechilders
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I love early adopters. The bare the brunt of the cost to get a industry started. I remember when I thought the $30,000 plasma TVs were so cool. If no one had paid the 30K they would not have survived long enough to sell me one for 2K. I do not expect that kind of drop for the EV but it will drop.

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Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 4:43pm #8
Tec
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I once looked out of my bedroom window to see an aircraft (A Boeing 737) taking off from the local airport about five miles away. To my surprise it seemed to be followed by a light.

The aircraft banked and turned in my direction and as it passed our house - probabl;y about a mile away and about 5,000 to 10,000 feet high - I realised what it was. An inspection lamp - lit - dangling from it! I could fainly make out the cable. Somehow it had survived take off undamaged.

I phoned the airport, but had difficulty getting them to understand that it was NOT a UFO, but a very identifiable inspection lamp. They seemed rather disappointed that it was not an alien attack. I've no idea how it eventually panned out. Presumably it would not pose any danger to the plane.

Mistakes like this happen!

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Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 5:28pm #9
WalksOnDirt
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Tec wrote:

I guess (hope) there is an interlock to prevent people as absent minded as narrowboat owners doing it in EVs and plug-in hybrids.

Yes, there is.


Deasil is the right way to go.

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Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 5:45pm #10
WalksOnDirt
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Did anyone else see the review of the Prius V that followed? The reviewer didn't like it because, judging by his expression, it had cooties.


Deasil is the right way to go.

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Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 8:10pm #11
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As a mechanical designer and inventor when you hear reports of driving off with the cord etc. my imagination goes through the usual gyrations. Typically you think of all the "idiot lights" type solutions first but then the innovative possibilities kick in. It will not be long before a simple robotic boom will attend to your EV's needs without any human intervention. Rule #1 for this robot? turn off the juice and retract any time a person is around. Any physical jostling or motion sensing would be enough input to retract (upwards IMO).

Keep your confessions coming! smells like opportunity!


Thanks BTV for the blog

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Fri, 02 Mar 2012, 11:15pm #12
wcushman
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I saw someone drive off with a gas hose still stuck in his tank. When the hose became taught, it broke loose from the car with a loud metallic noise when the hose sprang back and crashed into the pump. I half way expected the pump to explode when I saw the hose stretch as far as it could go, but nothing happened. There did not appear to be any damage.


"All I want to know is where I will die so that I will never go there." Unknown wise man

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Sat, 03 Mar 2012, 12:23am #13
HEEman
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ricinro wrote:

As a mechanical designer and inventor when you hear reports of driving off with the cord etc. my imagination goes through the usual gyrations. Typically you think of all the "idiot lights" type solutions first but then the innovative possibilities kick in. It will not be long before a simple robotic boom will attend to your EV's needs without any human intervention. Rule #1 for this robot? turn off the juice and retract any time a person is around. Any physical jostling or motion sensing would be enough input to retract (upwards IMO).

Keep your confessions coming! smells like opportunity!
Good thinking Rick but this device already exists. We use them on our Firetrucks because they need to be plugged in all the time when they are in the station. It is an auto eject mechanism that pops the plug out of the socket when the ignition is turned on. It's like a spring loaded pin in the middle of the 3 prongs that trips. All new trucks have this cuz I suspect the fleet guys got sick of peeps going on calls and ripping outlets apart. I don't know if the volt has it though.


In a redneck sort a way, we only have so much ass to cash that check against.

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2011/06/n...

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Sat, 03 Mar 2012, 12:55am #14
wasmaba
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HEEman wrote:

ricinro wrote:

As a mechanical designer and inventor when you hear reports of driving off with the cord etc. my imagination goes through the usual gyrations. Typically you think of all the "idiot lights" type solutions first but then the innovative possibilities kick in. It will not be long before a simple robotic boom will attend to your EV's needs without any human intervention. Rule #1 for this robot? turn off the juice and retract any time a person is around. Any physical jostling or motion sensing would be enough input to retract (upwards IMO).

Keep your confessions coming! smells like opportunity!
Good thinking Rick but this device already exists. We use them on our Firetrucks because they need to be plugged in all the time when they are in the station. It is an auto eject mechanism that pops the plug out of the socket when the ignition is turned on. It's like a spring loaded pin in the middle of the 3 prongs that trips. All new trucks have this cuz I suspect the fleet guys got sick of peeps going on calls and ripping outlets apart. I don't know if the volt has it though.

Cool. You have a link or product name?


EEStor’s legitimacy is a job for Carl Sagan and Sherlock Holmes. Times are a changing.
http://theeestory.com/posts/47263 TY B,TV,Nekote. http://theeestory.com/topics/1949

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Sat, 03 Mar 2012, 2:16am #15
HEEman
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wasmaba wrote:

HEEman wrote:

ricinro wrote:

As a mechanical designer and inventor when you hear reports of driving off with the cord etc. my imagination goes through the usual gyrations. Typically you think of all the "idiot lights" type solutions first but then the innovative possibilities kick in. It will not be long before a simple robotic boom will attend to your EV's needs without any human intervention. Rule #1 for this robot? turn off the juice and retract any time a person is around. Any physical jostling or motion sensing would be enough input to retract (upwards IMO).

Keep your confessions coming! smells like opportunity!
Good thinking Rick but this device already exists. We use them on our Firetrucks because they need to be plugged in all the time when they are in the station. It is an auto eject mechanism that pops the plug out of the socket when the ignition is turned on. It's like a spring loaded pin in the middle of the 3 prongs that trips. All new trucks have this cuz I suspect the fleet guys got sick of peeps going on calls and ripping outlets apart. I don't know if the volt has it though.

Cool. You have a link or product name?
Found one but I couldn't find any video, sorry. I will say they are pretty much firemen proof and work wonderfully.

http://www.projectresponder.com/kussmaul-auto-e...


In a redneck sort a way, we only have so much ass to cash that check against.

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2011/06/n...

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Sat, 03 Mar 2012, 4:05am #16
Tec
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It will not be long before a simple robotic boom will attend to your EV's needs without any human intervention.

Oh yes? I doubt it will be that simple. And I doubt it will be that reliable either.

I notice that some older british fuel hoses have the remains of a latch allowing you to lock it in the 'on' position so you can put it into the tank inlet, lock it on and walk away whilst it fills. When the tank is full the automatic shut off mechanism presumably prevents it being over filled.

These have all now been disabled though. and newer hoses have no mechanism for locking it in the 'on' provision. I imagine this is intended to prevent people driving off without removing the hose. You have to stand there holding the handle all the time, so returning it to the pump when its full is a natural thing to do.

I don't know if this is the result of legislation in the UK or just that filling stations got fed up with their hoses being damaged.

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Sat, 03 Mar 2012, 2:33pm #17
wcushman
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A pure electric will prevent this deadly problem that is related to ICE cars with keyless ignitions belonging to disorganized or forgetful persons who have attached garages.

SEE: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/wes...

People with attached garages may be well advised to have carbon monoxide detectors (really loud ones) in their homes.


"All I want to know is where I will die so that I will never go there." Unknown wise man

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Sat, 03 Mar 2012, 2:48pm #18
teslafan49
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Auto eject may be a good idea for the emergency vehicles, but wouldn't designing the charging system so that it electronically disables the ignition systen, when the vehicle is plugged in for charging? It would seem to be a more durable resolution to the problem, and you wouldn't have the cord laying on the ground, especially on a rainy day. Who here would volunteer to plug that wet cord into their EV, for a charge? Might not be the EV that gets charged. It should be able to be achieved by simply reprogramming the vehicles computer to disable the ignition when the car is plugged in to the charging system.


'36 Roadster Pickup

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Sat, 03 Mar 2012, 3:05pm #19
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I think inevitably, the Wireless charging Mat will take over for Home charging at least. this will solve the problems with remembering to plug in, driving off while plugged in, etc. etc.

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Sat, 03 Mar 2012, 3:31pm #20
Tec
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Unfortunately, I think they are likely to be grossly inefficient. This dosen't matter too much if you have energy to spare I suppose, but you have to wonder where the wasted energy is going to end up.

Might be in the rebars in the concrete floor, or perhaps in a squashed coke can or dropped piece of wire?

I'd like to see it tried in a real world situation where the car is misaligned and there are miscellaneous pieces of dropped junk about before hailing it as 'the answer'

Actually I think simply disabling the car's ability to move whilst the plug is in place might do the job adequately. I wish I'd had such a system on the boat. What made it worse was that my rascally crew (Mrs Tec) mutinied and refused to accept any responsibility, blaming me for it!

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Sat, 03 Mar 2012, 4:45pm #21
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wcushman wrote:

I saw someone drive off with a gas hose still stuck in his tank. When the hose became taught, it broke loose from the car with a loud metallic noise when the hose sprang back and crashed into the pump. I half way expected the pump to explode when I saw the hose stretch as far as it could go, but nothing happened. There did not appear to be any damage.

My daughter witnessed just such an event about a month ago. Young kid drove off with the gas hose still attached to his car... ripped it right off the pump at a self-serve station. He kept driving, didn't even know he did it. The station attendant had to chase him down in his truck to get the hose back.


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Sat, 03 Mar 2012, 7:17pm #22
seslaprime
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Tec wrote:

Unfortunately, I think they are likely to be grossly inefficient. This dosen't matter too much if you have energy to spare I suppose, but you have to wonder where the wasted energy is going to end up.

Might be in the rebars in the concrete floor, or perhaps in a squashed coke can or dropped piece of wire?

I'd like to see it tried in a real world situation where the car is misaligned and there are miscellaneous pieces of dropped junk about before hailing it as 'the answer'

Actually I think simply disabling the car's ability to move whilst the plug is in place might do the job adequately. I wish I'd had such a system on the boat. What made it worse was that my rascally crew (Mrs Tec) mutinied and refused to accept any responsibility, blaming me for it!

Agree, it has a way to go but I think they are up to around 80% efficient when distance between transmitter and reciever are minimal. So you lose a little in efficiency but gain in convienience.

The biggest problem with Wireless charging is the cost. They need to bring cost down quite a bit to make it attractive.

I think Wireless will be cost effective in 3-5 years, and should be over 90% efficient by then.

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Sun, 04 Mar 2012, 2:05am #23
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seslaprime wrote:

Agree, it has a way to go but I think they are up to around 80% efficient when distance between transmitter and reciever are minimal.

Except that if you look to see how efficient actual, real-world inductive charge systems are... they simply are not that efficient. Not any of them, despite all the hype.


We are the 99%. A better world is possible.

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Mon, 05 Mar 2012, 5:30am #24
seslaprime
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Hmm, well I was wrong. it has been a while since I followed Inductive systems.

looks like they are above 90% efficient today.

Qualcomm Halo achieves over 90% charging efficiency @ 3.5 Kw in distances over hundreds of milimeters.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/248198/qualcomm_...

So, I think Inductive charging is ready now. Like I said, as long as gap between reciever and transmitter are minimal, High efficiencies are realized.

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Mon, 05 Mar 2012, 6:09am #25
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my plug in (prius with hymotion A123 systems conversion) will not start with the cord plugged in. SO not worried about driving off with the cord, however it will stay on and make no sound from the engine so the Co threat is real for folks who forget to turn off the car. But not the keyless ignitions fault, so would a car with keys in it. I think it si likely that since they were in the garage they use a garage opener to access the home so would not need to remove the keys to enter the house. SO keyless or no if you leave a car running in your garage that is bad they should have had Co detectors in the house. Every house should have them and smoke detectors but I am not for mandating it unless its a rental house or hotel. I am simply saying it should be standard equipment.
http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia11/os/co10...
"For 2007:
• There were an estimated 183 unintentional non-fire CO poisoning deaths associated with
consumer products under the CPSC’s jurisdiction. The estimated annual average from
2005 through 2007 was 184 deaths."


"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." T. R.

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Mon, 05 Mar 2012, 6:11am #26
BKK
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thought his was interesting unintentional consequences.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/288/8/988.full...

Results During 1968-1998, CO-related mortality rates in the United States declined
from 20.2 deaths to 8.8 deaths per 1 million person-years (an estimated decline of
57.8%; 95% confidence interval [CI], −62.4% to −52.6%). Following the introduction
of the catalytic converter to automobiles in 1975, CO emissions from automobiles
decreased by an estimated 76.3% of 1975 levels (95% CI, −82.0% to −70.4%) and
unintentional motor vehicle–related CO death rates declined from 4.0 to 0.9 deaths
per 1 million person-years (an estimated decline of 81.3%; 95% CI, −84.8% to
−77.0%). Rates of motor vehicle–related CO suicides declined from 10.0 to 4.9 deaths
per 1 million person-years (an estimated decline of 43.3%; 95% CI, −57.5% to
−24.3%). During 1975-1996, an annual decrease of 10 g/mile of estimated CO emissions from automobiles was associated with a 21.3% decrease (95% CI, −24.2% to
−18.4%) in the annual unintentional motor vehicle–related CO death rate and a 5.9%
decrease (95%CI, −10.0% to −1.8%) in the annual rate of motor vehicle–related CO
suicides.
Conclusions If rates of unintentional CO-related deaths had remained at pre-1975
levels, an estimated additional 11700 motor vehicle–related CO poisoning deaths might
have occurred by 1998. This decline in death rates appears to be a public health benefit associated with the enforcement of standards set by the 1970 Clean Air Act.
JAMA. 2002;288:988-995


"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." T. R.

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Mon, 05 Mar 2012, 6:14am #27
BKK
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interesting data from JAMA

Intent and Mechanism of Death From Non−Fire-Related Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 1968-1998*
Motor vehicle−related-----82370 (70.6%) (60868 Suicide)
Non–motor vehicle−related--7100 (6.1%) (261 Suicide)
Mechanism undetermined--27233 (23.3%) (12811 Suicide)

Last edited Mon, 05 Mar 2012, 6:25am by BKK


"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." T. R.

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Mon, 05 Mar 2012, 3:35pm #28
TLee
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ASFAIK, Leaf won't let you drive off while plugged in.

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Mon, 05 Mar 2012, 5:58pm #29
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cechilders wrote:

I love early adopters. The bare the brunt of the cost to get a industry started. I remember when I thought the $30,000 plasma TVs were so cool. If no one had paid the 30K they would not have survived long enough to sell me one for 2K. I do not expect that kind of drop for the EV but it will drop.

Yeah, after you spent 2k so they can upgrade the assembly lines, I bought one for $600. ;-P


I do not debate to prove you are wrong, but rather to test that my convictions live up to your scrutiny. --me

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