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Is the Volt really a "Hybrid" or not?

larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
I think anyone classifying the Chevy Volt as a "hybrid car" has it all wrong.

GM calls it an "Extended Range Electric Vehicle" which is what it really is. It's not even a "Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle" either.

It's not a hybrid at all.

What do all the modern era ( 1999+ ) hybrid cars have in common?

1. The can be propelled by MORE than one method: electric motor OR gasoline engine OR a combination of both.

The Volt is not like that at all.

It is ALWAYS powered ONLY by the electric motor. Ever.

The "gasoline" part of the Volt is merely a generator to charge the electric battery which powers the electric motor which propels the car.

That means that it does NOT meet the criteria of every other hybrid car on the road in the world, which is "more than one method of propulsion ( i.e., making the wheels move )"

Anyone offer differences in my analysis? ( I'll bet there are )
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Comments

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,947
    http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSTRE4A4BCR20081105

    DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp is pressing ahead with investment in a range of electric vehicles beyond its Chevy Volt even as the automaker slashes spending in other areas, sources with knowledge of the plan said...

    The electric-powered vehicles under development at GM include plug-ins for GM's luxury Cadillac brand, its Opel brand in Europe and a Chevy-branded vehicle with SUV styling, one of the sources said.

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  • wozerdwozerd Posts: 2
    Hello all.
    Forgive me, this has been piling up inside me for-- years. Today, I watched T Boone Pickens going on and on about wind power and natural gas. I have read about plug in's, Hybrids and such, Hydrogen cell, natural gas, Bio fuels, wind power and solar power.
    Let's keep it simple. I will assume we all know the basic concepts, benefits and drawbacks of each form of providing usable power. I have read, more than once and heard that if we were to convert every square inch of available space to solar and/or wind power, we still couldn't meet more than 20% of this countrys energy needs.
    We talk about electric vehicles. Plug ins. We talk about Hybrids. Both have, currently, severe drawbacks. The plug ins drawback is-- the plug. The Hybrid (aside from the manufacturing process and accompanying pollution) is that it runs on the gas motor whenever you turn on the heater, run on the expressway or, (for now) turn on the air conditioner.
    At the risk of throwing away a chance to be wealthy for my idea-- which I cannot believe is "my" idea alone-- why can't we make an electric car that runs on batteries, with a kerosene furnace for heat (the VW 412 had it in the early 70's. it ran off gasoline from the gas tank) and a RV camper refrigerator style air conditioner?
    But, I'm not done.
    California already has a problem with brown outs when everyone kicks on the home air conditioners. Whats going to happen when everyone gets home from work and plugs in ther Chevy Volt at 5PM?
    How far can you go in a Chevy Volt? What if you want to take a 600 mile trip? What do you do, stop and plug it in for 4 hours?
    Imagine this: Your driving along on the expressway, the volt meter shows you are getting low. Up ahead, you see a gas station. You exit the expressway, pull into the gas station and, instead of pulling up to the gas pump, you pull up to a long rack that stands next to a wind generator and topped off with a solar panel.
    An attendant comes out. You throw a positive lock switch. Your electric car is now only powerd by a low voltage battery that keeps the computer, radio memory and instrument cluster powered up.
    You reach down and pull a lever-- just like the lever you pull to release your trunk or hood. The attendant unplugs the battery pack, flips the latches holding the battery pack in place and attaches a hook to the pack strap. Using an electric hoist, he lifts out the battery pack, swings it over to an open slot in the rack, sides it onto the rack rollers and shoves it back with a clunk. A green light next to that slot starts flashing green. The connection is made, the battery pack is getting re-charged.Then he takes that hook, walks over to another slot in the rack, attaches the hook to a battery pack with a solid green light, pulls out a fully charged pack, sits it in your car, latches the battery pack tightly in place, reconnects the plugs and slams your hood shut. He then walks to your window, takes your $20.00 credit card or cash. You flip that positive lock switch in your car, your instrument cluster lights up and tells you you are good to go and you're off! As technology improves, you might be able to go 200 or 300 miles before you need to get another pack.
    Got a big SUV or high performance car? Well, you might need to buy two or three battery packs. That's the price you pay for your big SUV or hot rod car! For most of us, in a sub compact size car, like a Corolla, Focus or Civic, one pack is enough-- thank you very much! When you do get home, you plug in your electric car to a solar powered charging station or the house current, just to "top off the tank" so to speak.
    The one thing that needs to change is-- all manufacturers will need to standardize the battery pack and the receptacle. They do it now for fuel tank fill necks, it wouldn't be hard at all.
    Think of it along the lines of a barbecue propane tank exhange or a welding torch tank exhange-- no different.
    New technology? I'm all for it. But, before we go jumping into new technology with no certain outcome, why don't we use what we know works? This would work. Battery packs avialable at gas stations. Recharged with solar cells or wind turbines-- or, right off the grid. Got an old gas powered car? Buy gas. Got an electric car? Exhange a battery pack!
    A plain old, current technology battery pack and one, two or four current technology electric motors could be installed in an existing body vehicle, take you at least 100 miles and be-- of all things-- PRACTICAL!! And, it wouldn't cost $40K or require years and millions of dollars worth of R & D.
    If Ford comes out with a new electric motor that has more power and better range, whats the difference between that and trading in your old OHV gas guzzler V8 for a new 4 cylinder DOHC?
    If new battery packs come out that last longer with more power, whats the difference between that and buying premium gas or, (for those of you that remember) the switch over from leaded to unleaded fuel? Until the old style batterys have worn out and are no longer available, you get a choice. heck, they could discount them for us cheapskates that would pay $10.00 to go 100 miles rather than $20.00-$25.00 to go 250 miles with the new type battery pack.

    What's stopping this from happening? Technology? No-- we have it. Cost? The gas station owners will see the writing on the wall and invest in the "pack rack" and charging system. Just like they invested in gas pumps and storage tanks out in front of their blacksmith shops in the early 1900's.

    I have looked, I have asked. No one seems to be able to tell me why this isn't feasable and do-able in a very short time. Maybe some one here can.
    That's why I'm posting this-- I gotta know! Am I a visionary or am I just simple minded?
    Thanks for letting me rant. I just had to do it.

    Wozerd
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,947
    You hit on one of the big questions I've always had about EV's and plug-ins. Exactly WHERE is the electricty going to come from to charge up these cars that we are not charging up now, and what's going to be the effect on electric rates once this additional demand gets piled on?

    It bothers me a bit that in their zeal for EV's, some proponents act as if this capacity is sitting there waiting to be tapped. :confuse:

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  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Although I live in the shadow of a nuke plant, our electricity comes from a dirty coal plant. So if I bought a Volt, or any other plug-in, that means more coal burned and noxious emissions and waste, more coal mined in the least sustainable way from hilltops in WV and eastern KY, more pollution from that mining.

    This is the "green" solution?
  • chadxchadx Posts: 153
    Quote: "our electricity comes from a dirty coal plant. So if I bought a Volt, or any other plug-in, that means more coal burned and noxious emissions and waste, more coal mined in the least sustainable way from hilltops in WV and eastern KY, more pollution from that mining. "

    This is the "green" solution? Keep in mind that electricity from even the dirtiest sources (coal plants) produces less polution than the most efficient gasoline powered car when talking "well to wheel" numbers. So yes, this solution is more "green" than driving any gasoline engine. Now consider the amount of renewable resources coming online that produce electricity, and the potential for more in the future, and it just gets better from there.
  • chadxchadx Posts: 153
    Quote:"It bothers me a bit that in their zeal for EV's, some proponents act as if this capacity is sitting there waiting to be tapped. "

    In many places, it is. Demand is so much less in the evenings that the industry has trouble dealing with the wide variance between daytime consumption and overnight. Electric vehicles that draw from the grid after a certain time would actually benefit the grid in evening out distribution, especially from sources than can not easily dump the extra power made around the clock, like wind farms.
  • chadxchadx Posts: 153
    Hi. I'll do my best to give you my opinion since you asked. And there are a few inaccuracies in your post I'd like to address as well.

    "I have read, more than once and heard that if we were to convert every square inch of available space to solar and/or wind power, we still couldn't meet more than 20% of this countrys energy needs. "

    That is wildly inaccurate. There are many renewable sources that could easily supply the entire country with plenty of power...even more so if people would just conserve a little bit. One example are the parabolic reflectors that heat the steam tubes to run steam turbines. This method has been in use for years and is quite efficient. Scaling estimates show the desert land in Nevada has enough sun and space (a few hundred square miles would be needed) to supply enough for much of the US.

    The main problem would be the backbone and transport to the grid. That is the main issue with many renewable sources, though it's getting much better with investments continuing. Small town around the country are putting up a single 2.5 megawatt wind turbine and creating a town electric company to supply local renewable energy to entire townships. Big wind farms keep expanding. Households could easily supply 100% of their own electricity with combinations of solar panels, wind turbines, smart building designs, and conservation.

    "California already has a problem with brown outs when everyone kicks on the home air conditioners. Whats going to happen when everyone gets home from work and plugs in ther Chevy Volt at 5PM? "

    That would be easily solved with a timer so the car recharge automatically starts to draw later in the evening as demand decreases.

    "How far can you go in a Chevy Volt? What if you want to take a 600 mile trip? What do you do, stop and plug it in for 4 hours? "

    Chevy Volts will have unlimited mileage because they have a generator backup that kicks in. The only way you get stranded anywhere, with one, is the same with a current automobile...you don't keep gas in the tank.

    " Imagine this: Your driving along on the expressway, the volt meter shows you are getting low. ...you pull up to a long rack...Using an electric hoist, he lifts out the battery pack, swings it over to an open slot in the rack, sides it onto the rack rollers and shoves it back with a clunk. ..."

    Not a new idea. That has been proposed since the discussions of electric cars have been around and there are even prototypes. It's a matter of chicken and the egg. As you mention, someone has to come up with a design (preferably a group of several different manufacturers) and make a standard. Then everyone can adhere to it and all electric stations (vs gas stations) can use one exchange system. It will take building out the infrastructure. It all can be done, but will take time and investment. Investment capital is hard to come by in a recession, so it may be a while.

    " A plain old, current technology battery pack and one, two or four current technology electric motors could be installed in an existing body vehicle, take you at least 100 miles and be-- of all things-- PRACTICAL!! And, it wouldn't cost $40K or require years and millions of dollars worth of R & D. "

    I'm not sure it's that simple...or cheap. Look at the battery packs that you add to a Prius. They cost around $10,000 plus installation. Add that to the cost of a new prius, say $25,000, and now you are driving around a $35,000 prius that will get you about 40 miles down the road on electric only. That's on current battery technology. I don't think it's as cheap as you think to get 100+ miles of range with reasonable driving speed, particularly in any "existing body vehicle". To get that range takes a specific combination of things including large enough electric motor, large enough batter packs, special designs (aerodynamics, light weight materials, etc.). Often times to get the range, the top speed has to be reduced as well. Want to do range, speed, AND a large comfortable vehicle? Then your costs skyrocket and you'll be well over your $40,000 mark and yes, years of R&D.

    "What's stopping this from happening? Technology? No-- we have it. Cost? The gas station owners will see the writing on the wall and invest in the "pack rack" and charging system. Just like they invested in gas pumps and storage tanks out in front of their blacksmith shops in the early 1900's.

    Technology is there but consumers have to be willing to buy it and manufacturers have to be able to sell it for a profit and recoup the millions of R&D and venture capital invested (which there isn't any of right now). Also, it has to be cost prohibitive to use the existing fuel types and with gas prices back down, no one cares about mileage. Well, they do, but they aren't willing to pay for it unless the break even point is one or two years. At these temporarily cheap gas prices, there is, unfortunately, no incentive for manufatures or consumers. It's nice that all of us want to be green, but when it comes down to it, not enough of us are willing to pay more for it. So until costs (both dollars and environmental costs) of using gasoline, coal, etc. are too steap to pay, don't expect too many changes.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,305
    "Battery breakthrough set to accelerate electric-car development

    By GREG KABLE

    A picture of General Motors engineers prepare a lithium-ion battery pack for testing. General Motors engineers prepare a lithium-ion battery pack for testing.A team of scientists working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are claiming a significant breakthrough in recharging times for lithium-ion batteries.

    According to findings published in the scientific journal Nature, MIT researchers Byoungwoo Kang and Gerbrand Ceder have unlocked the potential of lithium-ion batteries by patenting a unique process which is claimed to allow a typical laptop power pack to be fully recharged in less than a minute--an improvement in recharging performance of roughly 90 percent over existing lithium-ion batteries.

    Lithium-ion batteries generate electric current via the flow of lithium ions across an electrolyte, from an electrode to a cathode. Recharging them effectively reverses this process; lithium ions are sent from the cathode back to electrode.

    The recharge time of lithium-ion batteries in use today is limited by how quickly the lithium ions pass through the electrolyte.

    The process being championed by Kang and Ceder sees the lithium ions used in the cathode coated in lithium-phosphate glass to help speed up the time it takes for the ions to pass from cathode to electrode. Lithium-phosphate glass is a highly efficient lithium conductor, subsequently helping to accelerate the recharging process.

    Ceder says the new process creates "perfectly sized tunnels for lithium to move through." He adds, "We saw that we could reach ridiculously fast charging rates."

    Improving recharging times has long been considered the route to making hybrid drive systems more efficient. By taking advantage of the process developed by Kang and Ceder, lithium-ion batteries could be recharged in a matter of minutes via the gasoline engine and/or during braking while on the move. It also could make electric vehicles much more practical by extending their range and reducing the amount of time they need to be plugged in to external charging sources."
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,305
    Battery breakthrough set to accelerate electric-car development

    By GREG KABLE

    "A picture of General Motors engineers prepare a lithium-ion battery pack for testing. General Motors engineers prepare a lithium-ion battery pack for testing.A team of scientists working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are claiming a significant breakthrough in recharging times for lithium-ion batteries.

    According to findings published in the scientific journal Nature, MIT researchers Byoungwoo Kang and Gerbrand Ceder have unlocked the potential of lithium-ion batteries by patenting a unique process which is claimed to allow a typical laptop power pack to be fully recharged in less than a minute--an improvement in recharging performance of roughly 90 percent over existing lithium-ion batteries.

    Lithium-ion batteries generate electric current via the flow of lithium ions across an electrolyte, from an electrode to a cathode. Recharging them effectively reverses this process; lithium ions are sent from the cathode back to electrode.

    The recharge time of lithium-ion batteries in use today is limited by how quickly the lithium ions pass through the electrolyte.

    The process being championed by Kang and Ceder sees the lithium ions used in the cathode coated in lithium-phosphate glass to help speed up the time it takes for the ions to pass from cathode to electrode. Lithium-phosphate glass is a highly efficient lithium conductor, subsequently helping to accelerate the recharging process.

    Ceder says the new process creates "perfectly sized tunnels for lithium to move through." He adds, "We saw that we could reach ridiculously fast charging rates."

    Improving recharging times has long been considered the route to making hybrid drive systems more efficient. By taking advantage of the process developed by Kang and Ceder, lithium-ion batteries could be recharged in a matter of minutes via the gasoline engine and/or during braking while on the move. It also could make electric vehicles much more practical by extending their range and reducing the amount of time they need to be plugged in to external charging sources."
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,947
    While I might be able to make the case for it being called an EV since it only ever is moved by electricity, I'd still put it under the general umbrella of "hybrid" since that electricity won't necessarily always come just from the batteries. Sort of the same way a Prius or Insight isn't always moved only by the ICE.

    Multiple sources of power = hybrid

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The car is ALWAYS "powered" by the electric motor.

    The electric MOTOR is sometimes powered by the generator.

    The Volt is an "Extended Range Electric Vehicle" per the manufacturer.

    Seems like if it was a hybrid, the designer and seller of the car would call it a hybrid.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    "Here's a hybrid car definition: A hybrid car is a car which can run on two or more fuel sources."

    The Volt does not "run" on two sources of power.

    It runs on ONLY the electric motor.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,947
    An electric motor or ICE is not a "fuel source"

    Your own choice of definition for hybrid says the Volt is one. Two fuels... battery and gasoline. If one runs out, the other can keep you moving.

    So other than a good argument over semantics (and who doesn't love that?) :P this all seems a rather pointless point.

    It's a hybrid, what's the big deal?

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    It's a big deal because it's just wrong to call an Apple and Orange.

    The gas never keeps the car moving - it just charges the battery.

    I don't think it should be called a hybrid because it's an Extended Range Electric Vehicle.

    Just like hybrid cars don't want to be put into some other classification than they are in.

    It's an electric vehicle which uses a gas engine to provide extended range to the electric batteries.

    The gas generator is just a bonus. The car does not need it running to move.

    I could own a Volt with my commute and NEVER use any gasoline at ALL.

    Every hybrid car on the road needs an internal combustion engine which powers the wheels at some point.

    The Volt will NEVER have the "gas generator" powering the wheels.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    A-HA !!!

    pf_flyer says, "An electric motor or ICE is not a "fuel source" "

    In the Volt, the gasoline generator is JUST EXACTLY THAT !!! It's only a fuel source for the batteries !!!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,087
    How about if we just call the Volt an overpriced piece of crap from a bankrupt auto manufacturer?

    I am sure you have heard the term series hybrid. The electric motors turn the wheels of trains, buses and earth moving equipment. Some have batteries which get charged by diesel engines that never take part in moving the vehicle. They were around as hybrids long before a Prius hybrid was even thought of. The Volt could very well be considered a SERIES HYBRID. Same basic concept that drives a lot of equipment. Most of those series hybrids do not waste a lot of money on batteries that are really not useful in saving money.

    The parallel hybrid is a fairly recent concept to hit the market. No more or less a hybrid than a series hybrid which the Volt is. Unless you are bound and determined to listen to a bunch of goofballs from Government Motors.
  • mark_cmark_c Posts: 8
    Unlike a typical hybrid vehicle that uses two direct sources of energy/fuel to move a vehicle, the Volt uses one.

    An example of direct sources of power would be gasoline for the gasoline engine (which moves the vehicle) and electricity to power the electric motor (which moves the vehicle).

    The Volt uses one source of direct energy to power/move the car, electricity.

    The volt does use gasoline as an indirect power source (charge the batteries), but gasoline is not used to move the car (only electricity as it uses an electric motor to move the car). This means that if there is a plug-in for the Volt, that besides gasoline other indirect power sources could be nuclear, hydro, coal, thermal, solar, wind, etc. pending on where the electricity comes from that is delivered to the socket the Volt is plugged into.
  • gfr1gfr1 Posts: 55
    One correction (as I understand it). Several months ago, GM changed their plans about the gas driven generator recharging the battery. Supposedly, it does not. When the battery depletes to its allowed minimun charge, the ICE cranks up and takes over the propulsion by providing electricity to the drive motor. From that time on (until its plugged in), the only recharge the battery gets is a little decelleration and braking energy recovery. I guess the idea is to use plug-in to get max EPA credits for not running the gas engine except as needed to complete a journey to a plugin site. (The article used an expression of it having its own built-in "tow truck"). Pretty much a deal killer, from my point of view, unless it fills your bill (in range) for a daily commuter. -- GFR
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,947
    Interesting. If the ICE doesn't provide ANY recharging of the battery at all, then what's the point? And you'd think they could claim SOME recharging while the ICE is running when the car would be stopped at a traffic light for example... unless they shut down the ICE when the car isn't moving.

    You're right. "Built in tow truck" isn't going to sell this thing to anyone.

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  • gfr1gfr1 Posts: 55
    Well, as to "What's the Point?" It does keep you from being stranded and allows you to reach a destination beyond the range limits of the battery, which would be very comforting, I'd say. Their 40 mile electric range claim certainly won't hold up in all situations and batteries will deteriorate in time, as to taking & holding a charge. Eventually, drivers are going to count on a 40 mile round trip and run out of energy at say, 25 miles! So, the generator system does have great merit. I'd just prefer an ongoing recharge to make the vehicle more accomodating and give up a little of their outlandish EPA mileage claims. I'd prefer for even a commuter car to be able to travel interstate, if needed, since it has an ICE anyway. I have no idea how the government will eventuall evaluate and document the EPA values and assign the Corporate credits for hybrid and electric vehicles. Then there are other non-petroleum propulsion systems, also. I fear that eventually we will have to settle for less than desired vehicles due to how the government decides to establish those competitive numbers. We may get inferior mileage, fuel costs and driveability at the alter of EPA numbers bragging rights for sales purposes! -- GFR
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,947
    Another good point. That 40 mile range is under ideal conditions, something like temperatures in the mid 60's, etc. Anything outside those parameters degrades battery performance and cuts down range.

    I get the feeling this isn't a good basket for GM to put a whole lot of their eggs into.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,087
    I think that GM is banking on the Feds to subsidize their lame attempt at a high mileage car. The $7500k tax credit will give a few fat cats the incentive to put one in the garage. The ideal candidate makes lots of money and pays lots in taxes. They have a relatively short commute under 15 miles each way. They cannot live in an apartment without a garage and AC access.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The Volt is not a hybrid. It's powered ONLY by the electric motor.

    The Volt, however, is considered an extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV). It has a very powerful all-electric 161-horsepower 45KW (100 KW peak) motor that is the only motor to power the car at all times.

    Single method of propulsion = non-hybrid.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,087
    This company builds E-REV conversions. They use the term Plug-in Hybrid interchangeably with extended range EV. They consider them one in the same thing. All just semantics.

    Raser’s Plug-in Series Hybrid Drive System Architecture is designed to Light Trucks and SUV’s to achieve over 100 mpg in typical local daily driving with near zero emissions under full with electric power using an onboard range extender

    http://www.rasertech.com/media/pdfs/Series_PHEV_Drive_System_Flyer_07.pdf

    Series or serial-hybrid have also been referred to as a Extended Range Electric Vehicle or Range-Extended Electric Vehicle (EREV/REEV); however, range extension can be accomplished with either series or parallel hybrid layouts.

    Series-hybrid vehicles are driven by the electric motor with no mechanical connection to the engine. Instead there is an engine tuned for running a generator when the battery pack energy supply isn't sufficient for demands.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_vehicle
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Good post, but I just happen to agree with GM.

    A single method of propulsion to me indicates a non-hybrid - no matter how that propulsion energy is produced.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Quoting from the Volt website:

    Not A Hybrid

    The Chevrolet Volt is unique from a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid in that the vehicle's wheels are ALWAYS driven electrically by an electric drive unit.


    Taint a hybrid, fellas.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,087
    And what would GM know about it. They cannot even run a business without the tax payers bailing them out. The same government that owns them, call the Volt a plug-in hybrid. You know those folks at the EPA you are always defending.

    It is no different than a diesel electric train. They call them hybrids also. They should be called TRI-BRID. they have electric motor, gas motor and batteries.

    Not even a chance I would park that Li-Ion time bomb in my garage.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    edited August 2010
    Gary, you're not still holding to that silly fallacy that Li-Ion batteries in cars are going to be dangerous, are you?

    Sandia Labs in charge of battery safety testing - a LOT of smart folks out there.

    Of course, Sandia and the manufacturers want to prevent all possible dangers. But, Orendorff asserts, consumers forget that no car is completely hazard-proof. Lithium-ion batteries may have a higher chance of igniting than, say, standard lead-acid batteries, “but the chances of flammability are far less than what you have in a combustion vehicle that is carrying 15 gallons of gasoline onboard.”

    Your gasoline tank is far more dangerous than a battery pack.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,087
    What a phony comparison. We have cases of Li-Ion and NiMH batteries catching fire. When was the last time you heard of a gas tank exploding in a garage, just sitting there? And yes gas is very volatile. That is why I prefer diesel. It is NOT.

    Li-Ion has a history of catching fire in all sorts of devices while plugged in. You can take the chance. I will not. Sony just recently recalled over a million such batteries. The Tesla uses the same batteries. I do not know what Volt will be using. I do not look like a guinea pig, nor do I want to be one.
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