Archive for the ‘Volt’ Category

h1

New look of the Chevy Volt – a detailed look and analysis

December 11, 2007

The new look of the Chevy Volt concept made it’s debut today in the form of a vague teaser image of the front end.

However, a news report shot by a local Detroit news station got inside the design center and got to see a lot more in detail. Here are some decent-sized images of what they saw:

picture-4.pngpicture-7.pngpicture-8.pngsdf-4.pngvv-3.pngfef.pngcc-6.png

And here are my observations:

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Challenge X Equinox goes 40 miles per charge

December 9, 2007

Despite general, widespread enthusiasm, several sources in the automotive industry have thrown a lot of cold water on the Volt and non-HSD hybrids and EVs in general. Most prominently, Irv Miller of Toyota went on record describing the kind of batteries that could 1) Fit within a hybrid vehicle architecture and 2) capable of propelling the vehicle for 40+ miles as being “theoretical”.

I already took Irv to task in a prior post. However, here’s some additional evidence for why we can comfortably discount Irv as an authority on anything engineering-related. The Dept. of Energy and GM run an event called Challenge X, where university students are given a Chevy Equinox, some money, and told to go wild on improving the “green-ness” of the vehicle. One of those teams, UC Davis, has taken their Equinox, added a 1.5L Atkinson-cycle engine (pulled from a Prius, admittedly), beefed it up with bigger electric motors at each axle, and fitted some lithium ion batteries.

The result? Well, it’s a plug-in hybrid SUV that’s capable of going 40 miles on a charge!

Sorry, Irv.

Source: LA times.

h1

Images of Volt Prototype Pack from CPI

December 7, 2007

These are images of the Volt prototype pack from Compact Power, Inc. They are courtesy of Podtech, who filmed a presentation at EVS23.

compact-power-pack.jpgcpi3.jpg

Additionally, sharp eyes will notice one frame from the video where engineers appear to be fitting electric drive components under the hood of a Chevrolet Cobalt:

volt-cobalt.jpg

h1

LA Auto Show – Pictures and News

November 26, 2007

I finally made it out to the LA Auto Show. GM and Ford had pretty much taken over half of their respective exhibition halls. Chevy was playing up its hybrid/hydrogen/electric effort FULL FORCE. There were fuel cell cars, hybrid cars, bronzed models of hybrid tranmissions, and lots of flashy plasma TV displays playing “Gas Friendly to Gas Free” propaganda ad nauseum.

volt_inla-thumb.jpgvoltinla2thumb.jpgvoltpresentation.jpgp1010025thumb.jpgvoltinla3.jpgrechargeinla2.jpgrechargeinla3.jpgrechargeinla4.jpgp1010091thumb.jpg

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Safety of A123 battery cell

November 11, 2007

With all the conversation about lithium ion battery safety, I decided to do a little 5-minute, hands-on experiment of my own to see what’s what.

burningbattery.jpgp1010007thumb.jpgp1010011thumb.jpg

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Survey of USABC Contractor Lithium-ion Technology

October 20, 2007

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium is essentially a communal technology incubator for the domestic automakers, providing development funding for new technologies. At the moment, advanced lithium ion is in vogue, with several large and several small companies being contractors. However, when you take a look at the list, one rather striking feature is that the USABC chose a wide range of lithium ion approaches to fund. For example, each contractor has a very different chemistry and/or cell format. It stands to reason that the USABC isn’t putting all its eggs in one basket, and it chose to fund the most promising examples of each.

But how do the contractors stack up against one another, and what are the inherent compromises of each approach? Each company is understandably reticent to reveal their exact specifications, as it is competitive information. However, with a little clever research into published white papers and presentations, you can uncover their approximate progress relative to one another.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a work in progress that only uses publicly available information. Please submit rebuttals, corrections, etc, to ensure that this comparison is accurate and up to date. I have no commercial interest or financial connection to any of these companies, other than as an American consumer.

picture-13.png

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

The future of combustion

September 24, 2007

Despite the optimism over the electrification of the automobile, I predict that we will be using the internal combustion engine (ICE) in some form or another for many more years. For one, not everyone will be able to afford a pure EV or even a PHEV, and others may find that their needs simply do not match what the EV/PHEV market has to offer. However, for those who equally accept the ICE and the PHEV, this is actually a rather exciting time because the unique environment of the PHEV gives the ICE a chance to shine like it has never before.

Read the rest of this entry ?