• Feb 12, 2011
2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Back in October of 2010, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) rated the 2011 Chevrolet Volt as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV). That's below the SULEV and PZEV ratings of cars like the Jetta TDI, Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and Honda CR-Z. Unfortunately, the 2011 Volt's ULEV status and its inability to qualify as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) means that it's not eligible for California's $5,000 tax rebate.

However, reports indicate that General Motors is working on a modified Volt, to be launched in 2012 or 2013, that will qualify for California's substantial rebate. The General has reportedly decided to offer a version of the Volt that has a ten-year or 150,000-mile warranty, thus making the plug-in hybrid AT-PZEV compliant. GM currently backs the Volt's electric-drive and battery components with an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty.

If the reports pan out to be true, Volt's sold in California may eventually be eligible for both the $7,500 federal tax credit and the State's $5,000 rebate, effectively cutting the base price of Chevy's $41,000 plug-in by $12,500.



[Source: Care2]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 78 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe it'll pollute like a normal car then when the gas motor kicks in. Right now the emissions are comparable to a Subaru WRX STI.

      http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii-2010-prius-main-forum/64518-emission-comparison-prius-hs250h-insight-civic-hybrid-jetta-gas-tdi-wrx-sti-4.html

      I am glad they are getting their act together... but g'damn.
        • 3 Years Ago
        A subaru WRX STI is not a normal car!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Menace, I have no idea why a person would do this. I was merely pointing out the error in Randy C's comment, that the Volt works without the ICE. You seem to have misplaced this reply.

        danielbartz:
        In order to get the sticker, you must meet enhanced AT-PZEV. My understanding is that the Prius doesn't meet enchanced AT-PZEV, only AT-PZEV. The reason the Prius doesn't meet enhanced AT-PZEV is simply that it only runs on gas.

        http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/factsheets/2008zevfacts.pdf

        Carpool stickers are no longer given to AT-PZEVs, only enhanced AT-PZEVs.

        I understand the Volt has an evaporative problem. But 2x? That's nothing. It's 3x over on several other measures.

        I agree Toyota is way ahead on this measure and that unburned hydrocarbons are a serious concern.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The volt will also burn off some gas to prevent it from getting stale in the tank if you use it as all-electric. And keeping a gas tank dry is also a bad idea. Hello rust!

        Why would you spend $41k on a car that could only go for 40 miles and run the gas tank dry anyway. That would be a waste of $10k over an electric car like a Leaf, MiEV, etc.
        • 3 Years Ago
        PHV Prius' emission is way lower than the Volt. Interestingly, CARB already tested PHV Prius and California DMV certified it to get a HOV sticker as well. PHV Prius is supposed to come out as a 2012 model as well.
        • 3 Years Ago
        why not the LS2LS7?:

        You're right, the current Prius is at-PZEV, but not eat-PZEV (enhanced adavanced technology-PZEV). The goal for the Prius Plug-in (and presumable the Volt) is to get to eat-PZEV.

        The sticker I saw was for a regular at-PZEV, not eat-PZEV, but that was a few years ago.
        • 3 Years Ago
        2 Wheel:
        The Volt is a ULEV II when running in gas mode. "Normal cars" come in 3 emissions levels, LEV II, ULEV II and SULEV II. The Volt coming in the middle of these three categories makes it the same as other "normal cars".

        The Prius PHEV does come out in 2012 (August 2012, not MY2012), but since it has no regular-performance zero emissions range (city car only), it'll have a tough time keeping up with an enh AT-PZEV EREV, if one ever comes to be that is.
        • 3 Years Ago
        PHV Prius is the only car certified as Enhanced AT-PZEV and it is on the qualifying list for the sticker.

        http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm
        • 3 Years Ago
        Right now it pollutes like a normal car when the ICE kicks in. I guess you want it to be less it seems.
        • 3 Years Ago
        why not the LS2LS7?:

        The current Prius is already an meets atPZEV emission requirement. If you buy in a CARB state, you get a little sticker to show your friends.

        One of the Volt's biggest emission problems is evaporative emissions, that is the emissions that escape from the gas tank even if the car is parked. The Volt releases over twice the unburnt hydrocarbons into the atmosphere as the Prius, when both are parked. Keep in mind this is not CO2, but unburnt gasoline, which is much more hazardous to the environment than CO2.

        The Prius has a very sophisticated (read: expensive) fuel emissions management system:
        http://www.autoshop101.com/forms/Hybrid13.pdf

        Likely the Volt will adopt a similar fuel emissions strategy as the Prius when the atPZEV model comes out.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The qualification arrives with the 150k ten year warranty. There will not be much additional cost to this aside from set asides for battery refurb/replace toward lifecycle end. Most analysis projects these batteries to be 75-80% energy density at ten years. Likely then there will be no added cost for the AT-PZEV compliant model.

      $27,500 is just about where Volt wants to be in 2012. NY and Florida should match these incentives. Still, at $350/month lease this car is a bargain compared to Leaf - the only other production EV in the category.
        • 3 Years Ago
        whynot,

        1) Nissan does NOT use 100% of the pack. They just decided to only advertise the useful capacity of the pack, 24kwh. GM NEEDED to advertise the full size of their pack... since 16kwh was the minimum needed to qualify for the full $7500 federal tax credit.

        2) The Leaf doesn't have "poor temperature management". They use a different chemistry for the Leaf and did not feel the need to put active thermal management, and instead went with passive cooling. It remains to be seen how well their engineering works. They have proven with earlier Nissan EVs, that their Lithium Ion batteries can withstand cold weather.

        Also, Nissan will offer a cold weather package for colder climates. Very similar to what GM is doing. Why add the extra expense of more robust battery/active thermal management for locations that would not benefit much from it.

        For GM, California gets an option for more rebates. For Nissan, cold climates get an option for active thermal management.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ra Conteur:

        Which projects are those? I work with folks in the battery industry on a daily basis and I never seen data for that agrees with your claim. I've seen quite a different story, 50% of charge capacity in 5-8 years for advanced manganese spinel chemistry, the same chemsitry GM uses from the same supplier.
        http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/faq/list/technology

        It is commonly uderstood that GM and Nissan will have to replace the battery at least once under the life of the warrent given their current chemistry. Adding another 2 years and 50,000 miles means that a certain (small) percentage of the population may have their batteries replaced twice. GM's cost will go up accordingly. GM will either have to redesign something to mitigate this rising cost, they will have to price for it, or they will have to take an additional lose. Will will have to see what GM does


        Nissan even says on its website that the useful life of its batteries are only 5-10 years (i.e. some cars with as little as 5 and some as much as ten, with a distribution in between)
        bajohn3
        • 3 Years Ago
        LS2,
        Nissan does not use 100% of the pack. We don't know the actual pack size but it's larger than the advertised 24KWH. Since it has a larger pack than the Volt the LEAF will actually use LESS of the pack capacity in average daily use. 40 miles in the Volt will use 100% of available capacity but only about 40% of available capacity in the LEAF.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Joeviocoe:
        The entire point of the discussion was not to say that all Nissan batteries will die leaving cars stranded, but the Nissan knows it will have some batteries to replace during the life of its warranty. The question is how many? We don't know, neither (most likely) does Nissan for sure. The point is that extending the warranty will add costs and isn't free.

        As for my numbers, I was trying to avoid extrapolation. The 16 miles per day was literally dividing the 43,000 miles over 7 years to a daily basis. I did not try to extrapolate (or imply) what doubling the milage would do to battery life.

        As for the distribution of battery lifespan, it may be Bell curved. We don't know the distribution. Many electronics and some of the earlier NiMHs have bathtub shapped distributions, where either they died early or lasted a long time. [Toyota found with early NiMHs that a single failed-open cell would kill the entire pack just weeks after manufacture.] If Nissan's quality control is really good, it may be Chi-squared, meaning that that the group tends toward the high side.

        Also I don't think we know how much range reduction customers will tolerate before demanding a replacement. (What the official warranty says may not matter if Nissan wants to keep people happy, as is usually the case with "high visiblity products")

        What we do know is that Nissan is concerned enough about batteries to try to lower expections on their website and disclaimer, but confident enough to sell the car. Only time and customers sentiment will tell the rest.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "You really can't just extrapolate battery life for different vehicles"
        -DB

        He didn't. Nissan and NEC did that.

        "AESC has its EV batteries under test in the Subaru R1e vehicles..."
        and
        "Based on AESC’s testing, the cells will retain more than 80% capacity after 7 years, including 70,000 km (43,496 miles)."

        Are both in the same article... but separate points. The R1e was a test prototype vehicle. But the estimate of "more than 80% capacity after 7 years" is an extrapolated average regarding the cells longevity for any EV.

        They did not mention the R1e battery would last only that long. In fact, they did not test it for 7 years.

        -----------------

        Also, the 80% life cycle durability is a reflection of 7 years... putting twice as many miles on the battery probably won't reduce below 70%.... since calendar age is more destructive to Li-Ion batteries than cycle life

        *** Don't assume a linear relationship between miles and capacity loss. There are many factors that must be considered.

        Armchair engineering is nearly impossible since the important information is kept secret. Why cannot you just believe the engineers who actually built the thing? They have over a decade of experience.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes, David's extrapolation was not accurate when considering the context of the quoted statement.

        "I am taking AESC at their word, this is where I get the 16 miles/day."
        No, you are implying a linear relationship between cycle usage and degradation.

        "Based on AESC’s testing, the cells will retain more than 80% capacity after 7 years, including 70,000 km (43,496 miles)."

        ""including 43,000 miles"" does NOT suggest that if those miles were to double, that the capacity would degrade to 40%

        -----------------------

        Yes, Nissan does state 5 - 10 years.. which follows a bell curve (again not linear) which means over 75% will experience about 7 years before they reach 80% capacity.

        If you believe Nissan's statement here, why don't you believe it when they say that even with normal usage of 12K miles/year, drivers can expect 70% - 80% after about 7 years?

        It is not the best estimate in the world... but it isn't a problem either.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Mark Perry, Nissan’s director of product planning for the United States, dismissed the importance of active thermal management.

        “We don’t need thermal management for the U.S., but we are looking at the technology for Dubai and other locations like that…. We’ve gone on the record saying that the pack has a 70 to 80 percent capacity after 10 years,” he told Wired.com. Pressed on whether that is realistic for a passively cooled manganese oxide pack, Perry said yes.

        “If it wasn’t our pack and it wasn’t our engineers and we weren’t working on it for 17 years … we wouldn’t make the statement if we weren’t confident in our ability to do so,” he said.

        -------------------

        The U.S. doesn't get anywhere near as hot! Yes, I have been to Death Valley... and I have been to hottest parts of the Middle East... there is no comparison.

        Cold is not a big problem for the Nissan Cells. Heat maybe. But it is not as critical as former Tesla Marketing director, or GM-Volt.com want you to believe

        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        There ain't a known Lithium Ion battery assembly that uses 100%
        Sorry, but your "assumption" is wrong.

        http://americansolarchallenge.org/events/asc2010/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/high_cell_count.pdf
        http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?p=12774

        • 3 Years Ago
        joevicoe:
        The Wired article is using improper terminology at best. If the system manages the temperature of the pack, then it is active thermal management. Since this pack is being cooled, that's active thermal management. If it just had fins on it and the air blowing by it as the car moved cooled it, that'd be passive. But this is not the case, the pack wouldn't be cooled during charging (or any time the car isn't moving) if this were the case.

        It's just that Nissan declined to use liquid as the medium to move the heat out (and possibly in), they think that they can maintain the temperature sufficiently with just air. They have much poorer temperature control, because there is no guaranteed source of reasonably cool air to blow over the pack when it gets warm outside.

        Now, as you say, Nissan says they have a battery chemistry that means they don't have to keep the temperature well. I simply don't believe them. They'd say it whether it were true or not, because they want you to buy their car. So I'm going to have to wait and see the results, we'll find out how well the pack really does work over the next few years.

        So Nissan has an actively air cooled pack. And they say that's good enough. I'm unconvinced.

        As to your amount of pack used stuff, it's even weaker. There is not a significant amount of capacity in a LIon pack between 4.1V and 4.3V nor below 3.0V. That picture makes out like you're holding a lot of reserve below 3.0V, but you are not.

        http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=275159&page=1

        If Nissan is counting the below 3.0V portion as "reserve power" to be unleashed later in the pack's life, then they are snowing themselves and you. Not only is it a tiny percentage of the capacity of the pack, but it's not even accessible under high loads due to pack droop and as the pack gets older and the internal impedance goes up, it becomes even less accessible because pack droop goes up and so under equivalent loads, you will hit your low voltage cutoff even earlier (relative to real pack depletion) than on a new pack.
        • 3 Years Ago
        royharvie:

        I know that GM and Nissan use different chemistries, I didn't intend to imply they do.

        Talk to the GM sales people and they will tell you that the battery will be as good on year ten as on day 1. Talk to the engineers and you get a completely different story. They are under pressure to keep replacements to a minimum, but they will happen. A number of battery people left GM because they felt that marketing was making claims that engineering couldn't back.

        Don't forget the the 230 mpg came from marketing before (yes BEFORE) the first prototype had actually been run through a internal CAFE test. A few days later there was a meeting by the engineering staff to rinse their hands of 230 mpg claim.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I think we should take Nissan at its word as opposed to trying to guess, here is what their official website site:

        "Like all lithium ion batteries, the Nissan LEAF battery will experience a reduction in the amount of electricity or charge it can hold over time, resulting in a reduction in the vehicle's range. This is normal and expected. The rate of reduction cannot be assured however, the battery is expected to maintain approximately 80% of its initial capacity after 5 years of normal operation and recommended care, but this is not guaranteed. This number may be higher or lower depending upon usage and care."

        http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/battery-info/index#/leaf-electric-car/battery-info/index

        Similar language is in the disclaimer you have to sign to buy a Leaf:

        "Gradual loss of battery capacity. Like all lithium ion batteries, the Nissan LEAF battery will experience a reduction in the amount of electricity or charge it can hold over time, resulting in a reduction in the vehicle=92s range. This is normal and expected. The rate of reduction cannot be assured, however, the battery is expected to maintain approximately 80% of its=92 initial capacity after 5 years of normal operation and recommended care, but this is not guaranteed. This number may be higher or lower depending upon usage and care. Factors that will affect and may hasten the rate of capacity loss include, but are not limited to: very high (above 120=B0F) ambient outside temperature when the vehicle is operated or charged, driving habits, vehicle usage, and charging habits (Quick Charging the vehicle more than once per day)."
        • 3 Years Ago
        If I may attempt to summarize the gist of the arguments presented in this thread:

        Joeviocoe and David M: "Battery life isn't perfect but it's good enough, and improvements will happen rapidly once consumers catch on"

        Everyone else: "blah blah blah blah"
        • 3 Years Ago
        Why Not:
        1) The article was written by Darryl Siry (the former marketing director of Tesla). Although I agree with you that even Fans classify as "active cooling", the context here suggests a relative terminology. In battery pack management, fans seem pretty passive... comparatively.

        2) "They have much poorer temperature control"... agreed. if you had stated it this way from the beginning, my panties wouldn't be so bunched up. The have poorer control, but the management is sufficient. *You can manage something well while having less control (i.e. proper cell/pack design from the start and is considered management)

        All I am saying is that Nissan has more direct experience with Li-Ion battery packs and MnO2 cells and they determined that liquid cooling is not needed in the U.S... Dubai is another case.

        I understand if you are "unconvinced" by what Nissan is saying. But I don't think Ghosn is willing to risk the fate/reputation of the company by drastically overstating the battery. It would be corporate suicide of an epic proportion

        3) Umm... sorry if I did not clarify those links with an explanation. That was NOT a cell diagram for Nissan's batteries! That was generic. And only meant to show that all Li-ion cells have a common attribute of only allowing a percentage of usable capacity.

        The voltages are vastly different depending on the chemistry and manufacture of the battery. And that diagram reflects a very conservative system. The only thing I wanted to show, is that there is SOME unused portion of a Li-Ion battery... otherwise, it would not be rechargeable. It would go from 100% to 0% and could never be charged up again.

        -------------------------------------

        Nissan has not released any of the pertinent information that would make armchair engineering possible at this point. So any attempts to discredit the Leaf at this point is pointless. Just like trying to discredit the Volt based on misinformation regarding it's drivetrain proved to be pointless.
        • 3 Years Ago
        DB:
        Nissan has poor temperature management in their pack and uses 100% of the capacity. It is expected that with how the Volt treats the pack (staying between about 35% and 90% full all the time) the pack will last longer. I know from personal experience that if you only charge a sell to 4.1V instead of 4.2V it will last several times longer.

        With lower power draw (measured in C), narrower pack usage range and better temperature it is hope (expected?) that the Volt pack will last longer than other packs of the same chemistry.

        Even though they are NiMH instead of LIon, the experience with Prius packs (Priuses also underutilize their packs) seems to indicate that these projections have some merit to them.
        • 3 Years Ago
        ----
        DB, I keep missing your last posts before replying.

        "I think we should take Nissan at its word as opposed to trying to guess" -DB
        Yes, I completely agree.

        Their claims aren't spectacular.. nor are they detrimental.

        I don't want to overstate their longevity or performance... but I also wish people wouldn't claim or suggest (through uninformed armchair engineering) that the Leaf batteries will fail prematurely.
        • 3 Years Ago
        David Martin:

        You can't take the range of the R1e, which is a 1700 lb golf car, not even capable of driving US speeds and then multiple range by 2.6 to get life to the leaf. Bigger cars require bigger batteries to drive the same distance.

        Since the Leaf weighs twice as much as the R1e and has to travel at higher speeds, (drag is V^2 function) a multiplitier of 1.0 is probably generous. [Note: You really can't just extrapolate battery life for different vehicles]

        This would allow you to drive 16 miles per day over 7 years to meet AESC's claim. This presumable means no heater and no AC.
        • 3 Years Ago
        joeevicoe:
        Give me the real numbers on the Nissan pack and then we'll talk about how they don't use 100% of the pack. Until then, they are assumed to use all of it.

        The Leaf DOES have poor thermal management. You say they have a chemistry that means they don't need thermal management. I believe you are being mislead.

        Either way, Nissan DOES NOT have passive thermal management, they have active management, they just use air instead of liquid to cool.

        As to why make a car that can work in all (or even most) states? I would think that is obvious. Not only do people not want to have to sell their car when they move, also Nissan's competition (ICE, hybrid, and EREVs) also work nationwide, so they really should do so. Either way, the problems Nissan will face with their pack longevity/wear isn't so much heating the pack anyway, it's cooling it. And they already launched in hot areas...
        • 3 Years Ago
        My extrapolation of the BATTERY, not vehicle, test data to indicate that perhaps 114,000 miles might be got from the Leaf's 24kwh battery was hardly supposed to be precisely accurate, and clearly dealt with cycle life not calender life.
        It also clearly falls within the 5-10 years vehicle battery life quoted from the Nissan website.
        It would seem however that Nissan do not expect calender life to normally be a problem, as there would be little point in their putting money into developing second-use technology for their batteries if they thought that many would fail through calender life issues within that time frame.

        As for not all batteries going the distance, this is perfectly normal as there is always a MTBF, and some will come in at the shorter end of the range.
        The question is how many, and Nissan who after all are the only people who have access to the data on all the tests they have done, clearly think that they will get reasonable cycle life too, or they wouldn't have a viable business model.

        Most of the quibbles raised about the supposed problems due to passive cooling of the battery, cycle life and calender life really boil down to folk assuming that Nissan have not done their homework, and second guessing them without access to any real data on this battery at all.

        Guarantees are always phrased as cautiously as the company can get away with, and safeguard against very abusive usage, but any engineering department tries to build in a margin against this same unwise usage.

        Of course it is always possible that Nissan have screwed up with this new technology, and we won't finally know for many years, but there seems no particular reason to believe at present that they will not have an adequate performance, calender life and cycle life for the job they are intended for.

        • 3 Years Ago
        joeevicoe:
        I agree with a lot of what you say in there. And I see what you mean by fans being 'relatively' passive.

        But really active versus passive is whether there is a feedback-based system that tries to maintain a temperature. For example, if you always just turned on the fans, effectively just trying to get the pack as close to ambient as possible, not matter what ambient is, then you have a passive system. But if you measured the pack temperature and possibly the ambient temperature, and then turned on the fans only when blowing ambient air would put the pack closer to the temperature you want, then you have an active system.

        For example, PCs were traditionally passively cooled. They just circulated air. But now they usually have temperature sensors and turn the fans up or down to make the temperature as close to what optimal is as possible while not blowing more air than needed.

        I would suggest that the latter is what Nissan has. On a very cold day, they will take measures to heat the pack, instead of turning on the fans and blowing on cold air, they will turn down the fans, letting the pack heat itself. They might even blow in warmer air from the interior. I would have thought they had resistive heating too, although I kind of suspect they don't from the mention of a "cold weather pack" to come. I would strongly suspect that an Leaf with quick charging support also has to have fans that can come on even when the vehicle isn't moving.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Let me clarify.

        ""Based on AESC’s testing, the cells will retain more than 80% capacity after 7 years, including 70,000 km (43,496 miles).""

        The "including 43k miles" part of the statement suggests that 80% capacity is primarily the result of calendar life degradation and not cycle degradation.. nor high power discharges (which would come from being in a heavier, faster vehicle.

        Makes perfect sense since Nissan is claiming 70% - 80% depending on use.

        80% if you baby the car with few miles (less than 8k/yr), low speed (city only), and hardly any Level 3 charging (2/mo).

        70% if you put 14k/yr, full highway driving, and fast charge multiple times per day.

        -----------------

        Bottom line, the AESC highlighted the cell durability for calendar life.... the biggest killer of Lithium Ion cells, by far.
        • 3 Years Ago
        DB;
        Nissan makes their own lithium-ion spinel battery for the LEAF.
        GM buys lithium-ion polymer batteries from LG Chem. They are NOT the same. GM has no expectations of replacing large numbers of batteries at the end of warranty period despite the fact that their warranty includes a performance spec. Nissan's warranty on the other hand is only on materials and workmanship and specifically states that life expectancy is not warranted. Nissan also stated that all LEAFs returned from lease will get new batteries before being sold.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @evnow:

        We work with Tier 1s, their suppliers, Truck OEMs and the governement labs. My background is predictive controls, not batteries, but I've get a lot more hands on experiance that many "so called" battery experts on this board. How much of you "battery expertise" comes from reading articles vs. actually working with the real EV batteries?

        The Perry comments refer to usable capacity of an average vehicle. Nissan, like GM, don't use the full charge capacity of the battery at first. As the battery ages, its charge capacity decreases and the charge system uses a large percentage of that charge capacity so that the customer doesn't notice significant range reduction. The actual capacity of the battery will shrink more than what the customer notices.

        That being said, I'm sure tha 70% number only represents a nominal customer, not the worst case customer. Here is what Nissan says on its own website:

        "For general automotive purposes, Nissan anticipates a battery life of 5 to 10 years."

        http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/faq/list/technology

        • 3 Years Ago
        From Nissan's website:

        "Q: Towards the end of the battery's 5-year life, will the mileage decrease?
        A: We expect the battery to have a lifespan of 5-10 years. Like any battery, usage and age will lead to a gradual loss of capacity which will impact your driving range."

        http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/faq/list/performance#/leaf-electric-car/faq/list/performance
        • 3 Years Ago
        Joeviocoe:

        The comment follow comment is not in the article, so you can't attribute it to Nissan or NEC. This is additional extropolation done by Mr. Martin:
        "This is based on testing of a 9.2kwh battery pack. So a 24kwh battery should be good for about 114,000 miles."

        I am taking AESC at their word, this is where I get the 16 miles/day.
        This is using their numbers. You're right these numbers are design to stress the calendar life of the batteries, not the cycle capacity of the batteries. Please take your own advice and not extrapolate the the cycle life of the batteries, because there is no data here to support it.

        "since calendar age is more destructive to Li-Ion batteries than cycle life"
        This statement is sometimes true, sometimes its the other way around.
        Calendar age will decay battery capacity, cycling batteries will also decay capacity. Which is the bigger driver depends on how much the batteries are used and how they are maintained. This is also very dependant on chemsitry and the storage tempurature of the battery.

        Nissan says on their website 5-10 years. I tend to believe their website, which has been vetted by both engineering and legal. Some costumers will get ten years of useful life, others will get five.
        Nissan wouldn't use the 5 year number if 95% of their customers were going to see 10 years.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DB "I work with folks in the battery industry on a daily basis"

        And you have such poor grasp of EV batteries ? Ouch !!

        Nissan says about 70% of the capacity remains after 8 years. You can see several articles and interviews with Perry stating this. Are you just working with laptop / cellphone battery makers ?

        BTW, don't expect too much real information about Nissan's battery to be easily obtainable. It is for disclosing these details that the Renault executives have been charged with espionage.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Here is the life test data for the Nissan battery:
        'Based on AESC’s testing, the cells will retain more than 80% capacity after 7 years, including 70,000 km (43,496 miles).'

        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/05/aesc-lithium-io.html

        This is based on testing of a 9.2kwh battery pack. So a 24kwh battery should be good for about 114,000 miles.
        And:
        'Nissan has said it expects to Leaf drivers to have around 70 to 80 percent capacity left in the pack after ten years. What will get drivers to the upper or lower end of that range? The amount of fast charging one does. With regular Level 2 charging, drivers should expect 80 percent live left in the battery. With a lot of Level 3 charging – two or three times a day – the pack will only be at the 70 percent level. '

        http://green.autoblog.com/2010/05/27/details-on-nissan-leaf-battery-pack-including-how-recharging-sp/#thankYou

        Since most high mileage drivers are likely to need to travel often more than 100 miles in a day they will stick to petrol cars, so the life of the battery should be fine for the mainly urban running around it is designed for.

        In Europe the battery in the Renault's will mainly be leased. The notion that they are putting in batteries which have a very short lifespan even though they remain their responsibility throughout seems to be predicated on the assumption that they have completely lost their marbles.
      • 3 Years Ago
      DB, I keep missing your last posts before replying.

      "I think we should take Nissan at its word as opposed to trying to guess" -DB
      Yes, I completely agree.

      Their claims aren't spectacular.. nor are they detrimental.

      I don't want to overstate their longevity or performance... but I also wish people wouldn't claim or suggest (through uninformed armchair engineering) that the Leaf batteries will fail prematurely.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Doesn't California have a 20 billion dollar budget short fall? How about cutting this wastefull program instead of writing IOU's to government workers. They always say that there going to have to layoff teachers and fireman when there are plenty of wastefull programs just like this one that could be cut.
        • 3 Years Ago
        All they have to do is print more money to pay the deficit and voila, problem solved!
      • 3 Years Ago
      This story is not exactly new. GM has talked about this a couple of times.

      One thing to note is Volt will not get $5,000, since it is not a ZEV. It will get less than that, IIRC.
      • 3 Years Ago
      You're making the assumption the price doesn't go up for this model. I wouldn't be surprised if they add another $2000 for the equipment to make it AT-PZEV compliant. You would still net $3000 but its probably not going to be free.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I think it'll be a CA-only 10y/150k warranty on the relevant ULEV / PZEV compents to satisfy CARB requirements to qualify for the $5k rebate.

        Also, the Volt is currently being priced at cost, hence the "high" $41k price. GM set the price while they were bankrupt, and unable to subsidize the car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I think that is a pretty good assumption. GM is working hard at reducing costs for Gen II Volt, and I believe that a little of that cost reduction will be passed on to consumers. GM needs to make at least a small profit instead of loosing on each sale.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good grief! What's the matter with you guy's? It seems that the hatred for a GM product, or any real, practical, EV manufactured by a major automaker is to be found not among the oil companies, but EV advocates.

      Of course the Volt isn't an absolutely purist electric vehicle, nor is the Prius and hybrid technology of various degrees being adopted by most of the major automakers.

      The Volt is not a strictly a hybrid, (the first phase of auto-electrification) but an Ev with a range extender. Range concerns have been a real marketing concern for the average automobile purchaser and the success of the Prius hybrid ,(and big brother Lexus models) served to educate Joe Public in favour of EV transport.


      Why shouldn't the Volt receive every subsidy available to encourage sales of this product?

      If GM had built an all electric vehicle, the same purists would argue that its not really a ZEV because the electricity comes from a coal/nuclear/oil/gas fired power station! Prove that its charged only by solar, and the purist will argue that the tyres are made of an oil based compound! Or that the paint is environmentally harmful, or that the batteries have to be shipped using bunker oil etc etc ad nauseum ...

      In the end there's no pleasing such idiotic fanatics!

      I am pleased to see GM and Ford at the forefront of EV production! Especially heartening is a Ford Motor Co, whose current Chairman kept the EV concept alive for so many years when it had long been dismissed by major automakers in favour of other technologies.

      Toyota, single handedly, made the EV fashionable and desirable to the general populace with the Prius,and Lexus luxury brands.

      Listening to shrill, pedantic irritatingly trite comments by envious purist critics is why US makers lost interest in EV technology, and indeed lost confidence in any risky innovation.

      If the first US EV's, (including the two-wheel Vectrix) had been equipped with range extenders, EV acceptance would have occurred years before.

      Just enjoy the excitement of the first EV models, and encourage future development!

      I know its hard giving up hating GM and Ford, but sooner or later you have to let go of prejudice.
        bajohn3
        • 3 Years Ago
        I have no hatred at all, but don't put a gas motor in a vehicle and try to call it an EV. It's a hybrid, or a plug in hybrid, which is fine, but it's not the same thing as an EV. EV's don't have gas tanks.
      • 3 Years Ago
      @ Marco Polo

      Gosh, I didn't realize that California contributed so much to the manufacture of the Volt.

      Can you give me some examples of Volt components and assemblies manufactured in California ?
      Hello Jerry
      • 3 Years Ago
      The price of the Volt is just beyond my buget, even with the rebate, but my taxes go to give the more wealthy guy who can afforn one a $12,500 rebate. WTF. What happened to the "Change You Can Believe"?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hello Jerry
        They blow the bucks, you keep the change.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It shouldn't qualify. It's not the electric car GM promised back in 2007. It's just another parallel hybrid like the Prius. Granted it uses electricity more than the Prius does. But still the Volt will not work without the ICE. Don't believe me just unplug a couple of the sensors exclusive to the ICE. The car will not go therefore it's not electric, not advanced and certainly not environmentally friendly.
        • 3 Years Ago
        If you run the Volt on a dry gas tank you will also get moisture into your fuel system, causing rust, and causing you to wonder why you spent an extra $10k on something that only goes ~40 miles.

        Also when the Volt goes to try to burn the gasoline out of the tank periodically, i do wonder what will happen to the fuel system when it has no fuel to pump and burn.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LS: EREV describes one operational scenario. It is a marketing term. Do NOT confuse it with the official engineering term. Volt is a plugin hybrid. There is nothing wrong with being a hybrid. It is actually more efficient. As many Volt supporters agrees, the gas engine driving the wheels provides 5-10% extra efficiency. Stop confusing marketing term with a technical term.

        Regarding the Prius electric miles, per your logic Volt doesn't run on electricity. It runs off Coal, Natural Gas, Oil, Uranium, Sun, etc. Electricity doesn't exists by itself. It has to be created from something.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Fair enough.

        " I see Nissan's pack as a grand experiment. "

        I am a good enough engineer to know when enough data is missing, you don't try to estimate and do 'back of the napkin' calculations. You try to find the missing data.

        Nissan HAS experimented for over a decade now... I may not have their data, but I know that their engineers DO have that data already. Prototypes are made for testing. Not the billions of dollars (and the 3 factories that will build the Leaf) that Nissan has invested already. That signifies that they have finished 'experimenting'.

        Either Nissan is wrong (with many years of directly experimenting and collecting data) or you are (with months of internet research).

        Yeah... I'm gonna go with Nissan on this one. No need to prolong my gas guzzling days based on misinformed calculations.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You can run your Volt dry on gas and then continue driving indefinitely as long as you keep charging it. This has been indicated from GM sources multiple times.
        • 3 Years Ago
        usbseawolf2000:
        No, I know it is completely true. The energy it is recapturing during braking is motion energy. This energy is from the car being put in motion, it was put in motion by the use of gas.

        It's very very simply explained thusly: What forms of energy do you put into a Prius?

        Answer: gasoline and nothing else.

        If it doesn't have a plug, then all of its motion, every little bit, comes from gasoline. Take away the gasoline and it can't go anywhere.

        The Prius is very efficient gasoline car and nothing more.

        usbseawolf2000:
        The car operates as an EV when the ICE isn't running. That's where the "EV" comes from. The ICE runs in extended range mode, and that brings the "ER". The fact that the ICE is directly connected to the wheels doesn't change anything in EV mode. So no, it isn't "ERHV".

        I don't see why you think connecting the ICE to the wheels means "hybrid" anyway. The Volt is a hybrid. Series hybrids are also hybrids, so all EREVs are hybrids.
        • 3 Years Ago
        2 Wheeled Menace:
        Your fuel system is no more or less sealed when it is empty than full. And note that ethanol is hydrophilic, which means that if you gave E10 in your tank (and everyone does), you have moisture in there.

        GM said that if you have to gas to burn, it won't start the engine. It will complain about it with a message, but the car will never refuse to move just because you don't have gas, well, as long as you keep plugging it in periodically.

        Joeevicoe:
        If you run out of gas, then yes the car will have to use more electricity to heat the battery and that'll mean shorter range. You can condition your car remotely though, using wall power, just like as if you had gas. Either way, when you run out of gas, you are running in EV mode, it's not unreasonable to start to have to deal with EV downsides.
        • 3 Years Ago
        usbseawolf2000: You know that's not true right? Prius generates electricity from the regen brake which would otherwise be lost to the brake pads.

        Yes, regular brakes turn kinetic energy into thermal energy. Regen brakes on a Prius turn kinetic energy into electrical energy and send that to the onboard charger to store in the battery.

        Where does that kinetic energy come from?

        It comes from the Prius's ICE (and gas tank) which pushed the car from a standing start (your driveway, dealer lot, etc) to 50 - 60 MPH.

        • 3 Years Ago
        Hardly like the Prius, Randy. I think it only runs ICE to the road an the expressway, right? ...when EV are not at their best.

        Just unplug a couple of connections on your computer the next time you want to get onto Autoblog.
        • 3 Years Ago
        "the experiment begins now."

        Let's bring it on!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LS: "The Prius doesn't use electricity at all. EVERY MILLIMETER the Prius drives it drives on petroleum."

        You know that's not true right? Prius generates electricity from the regen brake which would otherwise be lost to the brake pads. That is used to drive in EV mode.

        Just to be clear, I am not counting the electricity generated by the gas engine turning the generator.

        Sure Prius will use gas to accelerate after braking - so will a non-hybrid. Therefore, the gain from regen brake is the "free" electricity.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Why Not:

        You are really showing your lack of research. Prairie EV!!

        One of the most unusual applications of the Prairie EV was the years it spent under extreme polar conditions as a support vehicle for the Japanese National North Pole Exploratory Team. In 2000, when the Prairie EV was undergoing cold weather testing at Nissan’s Hokkaido Proving Ground, the owner of the inn where the evaluation group was staying told them that the International Arctic Research team was looking for an EV to use at their research station in Ny-Alesund, Svalbard, Norway – which at 79°N is the world’s most Northerly settlement.

        http://www.modernracer.com/news/the-history-of-nissan-ev-development/1633/
        They have also tested in hot desert climates too.
        Also, Nissan (and GM) have labs where they can test for a variety of conditions.
        The experiments are over!

        Even as a GM fanboy, you still need to admit to yourself that Nissan has more experience in Li-Ion battery technology. In ALL conditions, hot and cold.

        Your lack of understanding is not evidence of a lack of understanding of Nissan engineers.

        • 3 Years Ago
        joe:
        Nissan's claim derives from small-scale, short term tests like the Altra. 30-120 units in the mild climate of California.

        Deploying thousands of EVs across the globe will be a great way to gather accurate data. No simulations, no accelerated aging estimates.

        In my opinion, Nissan's claims of LIon experience are self-serving and exaggerated and thus the experiment begins now.
        • 3 Years Ago
        If you run your Volt "dry on gas" The battery will not perform well in the cold. GM has stated that the gas engine "conditions" the battery pack to keep it warm when needed.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Sorry Randy, I clicked post too early.

        GM said at announcement that the car would have an ICE in it. If you somehow got the idea it didn't, then you don't really have GM to blame, you have yourself to blame.

        Why does it matter if it's parallel or serial in CS mode?

        The Prius doesn't use electricity at all. EVERY MILLIMETER the Prius drives it drives on petroleum. Even if you are driving at slow speed with the ICE off, when you deplete the small battery, the ICE will kick on and burn even more gas than a regular sustaining amount to fill the battery back up.
        • 3 Years Ago
        If the ICE drives the wheels, it becomes a drivetrain. It is no longer a generator to extend range. Due to that EREV becomes ERHV.
        • 3 Years Ago
        joeevicoe:
        Well, with the Leaf, it's simply erring on the side of caution. I agree it is possible that Nissan's reduced amount of temperature control will be sufficient for long pack (and thus vehicle) life. But I am skeptical, and the company telling me I shouldn't be just doesn't work. They make a lot of self-serving comments, and I'm not ready to just swallow them.

        Over time, we will find out how well Nissan's pack design works. I see Nissan's pack as a grand experiment. It is so much cheaper, smaller and lighter that if it works, everyone will adopt it and Nissan will have shown themselves to be geniuses. But if you're asking me right now, before the data is in, would I buy a car with that pack? The answer is not if I could avoid it. Could I recommend the pack? Nope. I think experiments are great, they are how we find out new things. But I don't want to pay $30K to be part of such an experiment.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ever since the Volt Concept was revealed in 2007 GM insisted the engine would not be connected to the wheels, only generate electricity. When the Volt was finally delivered it had the ability to directly connect the engine to the wheels and propel the car on gasoline. In my book that is not an ER-EV but just another hybrid

        Running the car out of gas is not the same as disabling or removing the ICE. The computer still knows the ICE is there and working. I only got to drive the Volt for at most 2 miles so I could not discover its many quirks. But a car with more lines of computer code than a Boeing jet liner is certainly going to throw a fit if its drive train is not working the way the engineer designed it to.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I do understand GM initially said the ICE only ran a generator and this is not the case in the final version.

        My question is why does this matter? It increases efficiency in both CS and CD modes. How is this a problem?

        Your point about removing the ICE and the software is pointless. If you are that serious about not having an ICE that you want to remove it, don't get a Volt. But this doesn't mean it isn't a useful vehicle and that it isn't a EREV (or PHEV 40 as SAE calls it).

        How do you know the Volt has many quirks? You seem awfully convinced this vehicle sucks, but lacking in data to back it up.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Why not:

        I understand your passion for the Volt. I really do. I admittedly do NOT like GM. But I think the Volt is very well engineered. GM marketing is at fault for all the nonsense. Such as 230 mpg, the engine never turning the wheels, and all of the snide bashing of pure EVs like the Leaf. The GM engineers are really good at what they do... it is just the upper level management that has proven to be the Achilles heel.

        "How do you know the Volt has many quirks? You seem awfully convinced this vehicle sucks, but lacking in data to back it up."

        Agreed. But I could say the same to you about the Leaf. Just because Nissan is taking a different approach to battery thermal management, doesn't mean it will suck. Nissan engineers are smart too. And have just as much experience with EVs as GM. And a bit more direct experience with Lithium Ion batteries than GM.
        • 3 Years Ago
        joe:
        Another 30 unit run. 150 units still isn't a lot of experience. You just don't get enough real-world data. Especially when you are talking about how much wear daily use will put on a vehicle.

        As to Svalbard:

        http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ny-Alesund,+Svalbard&aq=&sll=40.884494,-73.7757&sspn=0.603218,0.836334&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Ny-%C3%85lesund,+Svalbard+and+Jan+Mayen&ll=78.920832,11.925316&spn=0.019166,0.104542&t=h&z=13

        There is about 3 miles of road in that town. You're not exactly testing a vehicle much by driving it 1 mile round trip daily and 0.6 miles round trip to the airport once in a while. Even if cold sapped 80% of the battery capacity, it'd still make it with ease.

        You believe Nissan when they say the pack doesn't need tight temperature control. I disagree. And we used to use those NEC Tonkin batteries from the 2000 timeframe at my company. They were not the ones you wanted to point to when talking about performance over a wide temperature range. I think NEC quoted about 30C usable range to us, roughly 5C to 35C. We set the charger to not charge outside this range, but if you left the device in your hot car daily the battery would still drop to 25% capacity in two summers. I'm sure they are better now, but if Nissan says they had good results with them back then without good temperature control, then I'm even more skeptical than before. This is not to say they were worse than their competitors though.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can't say I've ever even come close to paying $5k in California State tax.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You get a "rebate" instantly. No need to pay it at all. The buyer doesn't need to be paying that much in taxes. I think it goes against the the automakers taxes.

        You are thinking of a tax "credit".
      • 3 Years Ago
      John, by your definition a sailing vessel with a small auxiliary engine for port manoeuvring emergency use is no longer a sailing vessel!

      The Volt is an EV (or for the pedantic a REEV) because it is primarily an electric vehicle.

      The Government incentive was created to assist the development of mass consumer, practical vehicles utilising technologies that would diminish reliance on fossil fuel. To limit such incentives to only those technologies that have no chance of reaching a mass market, would defeat the purpose of the incentive.

      Paul, the incentive programs are certainly not wasteful! Nor are such programs detrimental to the economy. In fact quite the opposite, any incentive to reduce Californian (US) dependence on oil imports, reduces the national debt. Likewise, Californian investment in cleaner air, cleaner water, etc, reduces health costs to the Californian taxpayer.

      California, and all America, benefits from the expansion of employment in the new technology industries growing through the expansion of EV production.

      Without such incentives GM, Ford would struggle to compete with Japan, Europe and more importantly, and the PRC, for a share of this important new technology. Without such incentives one more industry could be lost to the US.

      California, like the rest of the US, desperately needs to retain leadership in new technologies if the nation is to recover economically, and successfully lead its allies in competition with industrial trade rivals such as the PRC who are play by a set of very different rules.

      Every Volt , or Ford EV represents a victory for US industry. Every Volt, or Ford, (or any other US made EV product) represents meaningful employment for a Californian (US) family. Every Volt, or Ford EV, means a future for US workers, and US children in the US. Every, Volt, or Ford means confidence and support in US strength by US allies.

      Isn't the future of the Californian (US), worker, worth taxpayer investment? Isn't US industry and employment worth the support and encouragement of US citizens like yourself?

      The extremely small Californian incentive plan for EV production, is dwarfed by the massive state subsidies by the PRC to Chinese production, (including state sponsored espionage!).

      Japan and the European manufacturers have vastly greater government incentive programs.

      It's not a 'wasteful program' for California, its an economically essential investment in the welfare of the future of California!
        • 3 Years Ago
        @MarcoPolo

        All the "good" for California sounds great, except:

        1. California doesn't manufacture the Volt, or any GM product. So no additional CA jobs there except for some sales commissions.

        2. Air quality. Volt is not even a top performer in the emissions category. GM could have done better. Sure, zero pollution out the tailpipe when in EV mode, but some of that goes to coal power plants in Utah and such.

        3. To pay the $5000 subsidy? Write IOU's ? Float yet another bond issue (and their credit rating is going down every day = high interest rate borrowing).

        No, sorry, I'd have to say it is fiscally irresponsible to subsidize cars without any real benefit to the citizens and non-citizens of fiscally out-of-control California.

        If you can afford $30K for a Volt (after Fed rebate and State rebate), then you can afford $35k. Use your money, not our money.

        • 3 Years Ago
        Gene,

        You are quite right, there are no car plants in operating in California. However, there are hundreds of component and service providers to the auto industry based in California. No state exists in a trade vacuum. What's good for Michigan is good for intra-state trade with California.

        Are you saying that the Volt is more harmful to air quality than a ICE vehicle? Oh, holy bazooks, I forgot ! Silly me, of course forget all EV transport development, because of coal fired power stations! Dang, I really thought EV's might catch on, but thank goodness the pedantic naysayers pointed of the folly of my ways just in time. I'll keep the Hummer !

        $5000? Nah, don't waste that money, lets just borrow more from the PRC, and buy more foreign oil. When that runs out, why we can borrow from the PRC and use the money to buy some EV's manufactured by the PRC.

        A much wiser choice of expenditure!

        Let's just keep on doing what got the USA into this mess! Let's discourage US innovation,and industry. Let's ensure US consumers purchase foreign goods instead of US products, thereby weakening America.

        Have you lost so much pride in your nation, that you take no pride in the revival of GM, the resurgence of Ford?

        Do you think Japanese and German auto-workers and consumers delight in the misfortunes of their great corporations? When GM and Ford have moved off-shore, will you employ those all displaced workers and devastated communities?

        The subsidy is a small, affordable, and profitable investment to restore confidence to a threatened US industry.

        How did the US beget such small thinking, pettifogging, short-sighted citizens?

        What will you do with your miserly $5000, that is more important than your nations future?

        • 3 Years Ago
        John, it's obvious that you will cling to your purist, pedantic viewpoint no matter how unreasonable. So be it! I respect your right to be pedantic. The rest of the world will move on and appreciate the achievements of the Volt and other range extended EV's, while you can grumble into your anorak about how dismal it all is. God bless you!
        bajohn3
        • 3 Years Ago
        So by your definition a Prius that can maneuver at low speeds on it's electric motor is an EV. It's not, it's a hybrid, as is the Volt. Hybrids combine two systems working together, EV's have a single system. Since the Volt has more range using gas than it does using batteries your logic would label it an ICE, not an EV. Since you can run the Volt and never plug it in it's obviously not an EV. EV's have to be plugged in, hybrids don't.
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