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Is the Volt really a "Hybrid" or not?



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I prefer the term "Remote Emissions", because they simply happen somewhere else, i.e. not at the tail pipe.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,046
    I looked in the Leaf thread to see if anyone there is worrying about the cost for recharging over there. No one is concerned about the cost over there yet. The Leaf must use a different electric source than the Volt?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I want to see a bicycle-powered generator charging the battery. That plus solar and wind. Then you've really got zero emissions.

    If you've never seen Living with Ed, it's a great show. He makes toast by riding on his bicycle. It's a funny show, most the of humor coming from his relationship with his wife. They drive each other crazy.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Nobody anywhere seems to be worried about recharging costs as if there is going to be zero impact on electric rates when the demand of charging electric vehciles is added to the load on the grid. I just don't get how that can NOT be looked at. :confuse:

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  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Even if I got free solar and paid zero for electricity, I'd have to make up the $151/month discrepancy in the lease cost, or about $6.86 for each of those 22 working days. Even if gas prices doubled it wouldn't add up.

    But you're not counting the value of the smug grins that Volt drivers get to enjoy! Surely thinking "I'm so virtuous" is worth $151/month!

    /end sarcasm
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    edited October 2010
    My opinion on this is taken from my gut feeling, along with things I have read about this situation.

    First, in the beginning, almost ALL the charging will be done at night, when the demands on the grid are at their lowest.

    And in addition, the number of EVs on the road will ramp up slowly.

    Most people who will buy them as early adopters will be people who are confident they can do their commute mostly or entirely on electric power. This will leave them as "night chargers" only.

    So because of those reasons, I'm almost certain that "Grid Impact" will be small at first.

    Later, say five years from now, things might change.

    By then, ASSUMING THAT EVs take off in popularity similar to what happened to Hybrids in the first 5 years, there will be more of a Grid Impact.

    There will be charging stations at random locations, Interstates, and at workplaces. This will be the era when more people WILL start charging during the daytime. This WILL affect the Grid.

    Hoping that by then, utilities will have ramped up their non-coal alternative sources and will have enough capacity to handle it.

    Only Time Will Tell.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I had a concern, too, when not too long ago Cali had rolling black-outs, but the point about most charging going on overnight is a good one.

    I think it would make sense to have timers for them, though. It's not like you get home at 6pm and wait until midnight to plug it in, most would forget.

    There should (probably will) be a way to program it to charge at a specific time, say, midnight to 6am.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That's a concern for sure, but my take on that is that after about the 2nd time someone forgets to plug their EV in when they get home, they will take measures to make sure they don't forget anymore. Like setting an alarm or alert on their phone or something.

    And yes, I bet the cars will allow for "timer charging" at some point. Good thought.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Question is - can you get the $7500 credit on a lease?

    The way I read the IRS take on the subject, the person leasing does not get the credit unless GM takes it off the price and claims it for them selves. Which is kind of the way I read their $350 lease offer.

    In addition to certification, the following requirements must be met to qualify for the credit:
    ● You are the owner of the vehicle. If the vehicle is leased,
    only the lessor and not the lessee, is entitled to the credit;
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    OK, so no such thing as a free lunch, as expected.

    Back to my math, I'd have to save about $7 a day on gas, which is not possible given the 40 mile range.

    So it'll cost more than the bigger Cruze that it's (loosely) based on pretty much no matter what.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    The only reason I can see to buy or lease the Volt is to look green. Even if you are not. Kind of like De Caprio driving a Prius to be seen and flying a Gulf Stream as his main transportation.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, actually it is a free lunch.

    If you do not buy the Volt, you still get a lower lease payment because GM is getting the $7500. Your payment would be far higher than $350 is they were passing the rebate on to you.

    So it's a win-win for GM and the Volt driver (whether or not you buy or lease) and a lose-lose for the taxpayers who are funding the $7500 rebate.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good point.

    If you buy, I think the residuals on these will be a HUUUUUGE gamble, as we really have no idea at all what they'll be worth 5 years from now.

    If it flops, values will plunge.

    If they're a hit, manufacturers will make huge improvements on batteries and other technologies, and people will want to buy the new and improved ones.

    How many people do you know who are looking for Gen I Priuses used? Nobody? That's what I thought.

    That's why the lease makes sense, to mitigate risks.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    edited October 2010
    I don't think it matters WHEN the charging will take place, as it's charging that is not taking place now. It's a new load on the grid. Yes, it's true that it's not going to be a lot of vehicles for now, but if numbers increase it IS going to affect power rates, and not just for EV owners.

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I'm not sure I agree.

    At what level can the utility companies "blame" any increase in usage on EV charging?

    5,000 EVs sold?

    10,000 EVs sold?

    5 % increase in electric usage?

    10 % increase in electric usage?

    15 % increase in electric usage?

    And how would they even be able to quantify that?

    How is increased usage not just a function of more people owning more electronic devices, which are becoming ubiquitous these days - iPads, iPhones, laptops. Just about every level of economic classifications in the USA now have multiple electronic devices in the family.

    How much increased usage can be attributed to population growth?

    How much is increased cooling/heating loads?

    I just think there are far too many "unknowns" at this juncture for the utility companies to say ANYTHING about increased usage.

    I think the ONLY WAY they could attribute any increases in load to EV charging is in the cities where the Volt and Leaf are sold first, and ONLY by measuring nighttime usage in those areas.

    But then again - If they see a 3% increase in nighttime usage, how can they attribute that directly to EV charging anyway?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Didn't the rolling black-outs occur during peak use periods? In other words, during business hours?

    I don't think the Volt will add much burden to the grid because everyone's going to charge them at night. Especially since it has the gas engine to extend range.

    The Leaf and other pure electrics may use charging stations during the day, and indeed that could be a valid concern if the grid is already at capacity.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I think your earlier post was closer to reality. People will come home and plug in the Volt at 6 PM. That is a peak usage time in So CA where the Volt will be sold. Rolling blackouts did not occur this year for two reasons. First we averaged about 10 degrees below normal all summer long. Second, in San Diego the utility offered a discount if you allowed them to install a device on your AC unit. When the load gets too high they turn off your AC until the load comes back down. We were visiting an 83 year old friend on one of the few hot days last summer. At 7 PM her home was at 85 degrees and she was suffering in the heat. They had shut off her AC at 5 PM. It did not come back on till 8 PM. I refused the option as it was not worth the risk that woman felt compelled to take.

    The Volt plugged into 110 volts will draw over one KW per hour. A few hundred of them could have an impact on the current grid. Most people are not going to worry about plugging it in after that peak as we have NO night rates for electric usage.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,046
    The draw at 1000 watts is less than two normal size TVs. Less than 1 big screen plasma, I am guessing. Slightly more than toaster.

    I don't see those as being huge current draws. That's about 8 amperes.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I am figuring that it takes 8 hours to charge about 8 KWs. Give a little to loss in the charging. A standard 20 amp breaker would be more than adequate. I would expect most owners to install a 220 Volt outlet to shorten the charging time.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Has nothing at all to do with blame. It's just simple supply and demand. The quantification is simply going to be the increased load, which can be measured. It's not a conspiracy to punish EV's, just a consequence that nobody seems to want to see.

    We're about to go through deregulation of electric rates here in PA because forcing "competition" didn't work. A few years back, they gave everyone a choice of electric companies to use. You would have had to be an idiot to not choose the company with the lowest rates. Well, SURPRISE, as I said at the time, there was no way that company would have the capacity to supply everyone who might choose to get their power from them. So what's the company to do? They have to buy the more expensive power from the other companies to meet the demand. Do you think they're going to sell that power to customers at a loss?

    Now the government is telling me forced competition didn't work. I'm SHOCKED I tell ya.

    So pardon me for getting edgy when people start talking about how adding demand to the grid isn't really going to affect anything. Electric power is a commodity just like unleaded gas. And gas does a pretty good job of fluctuating around times of increased demand like holiday weekends and summer driving season, right?

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