1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Electric cars off to a big start in the wrong direction. IMHO

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Seasoned Oak, Nov 6, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,661
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,793
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Yep, our generation will be laughed (or cursed at) at for burning oil. Not just burning it though, burning all of it. We will have to hope whales make a good come back. Drill baby, drill.
  3. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Loc:
    Rolling Hills of Penn's Woods
    Agreed. Toyota positioned the Prius as the face of the company -- highly efficient, forward thinking technology that would identify Toyota as the leader in innovation. Everything counted on making Prius reliability above reproach (a general perception Toyota already enjoyed). They largely succeeded and gained enormous Green credibility, to the extent that many consumers gave little thought to the consideration that Toyota also makes the Sequoia, Land Cruiser, GX and LX; full size SUVs of the sort that domestic OEMs were excoriated for daily. It was a tremendously sucessful joint engineering and marketing campaign.

    I share your concern. GM may be wise to back away from positioning the Volt in the same manner, particularly since they don't enjoy the good graces of Consumer Reports. Opinions of CR differ among enthusiasts, but I tend to believe that their lackluster eval will have more traction with the public than Motor Trend's Car of the Year award.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,038
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Some of the reviews for the Prius I and II were sour grapes too. The market proved the reviewers wrong.
  5. Billy123

    Billy123 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Messages:
    74
    Loc:
    PA
    How does the heater work on the Volt?
  6. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    954
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921

    When it comes to frame rot Chevy is the KING. Just look at the the rails right at the base of the dip where they round down under the cab. That's where they rust out and crack every time. The mud and salt catch in there and they rust out right there. The 3/4 ton series is better because the frame is thicker so the rustout takes longer. Don't even get me started on Chevy electrical problems bypassing fuses that lost contact and melted loose in the cheap fuse boxes. I don't even bother fixing them anymore, just cut the wire and toss in a dollar inline fuse. Speedometer clusters also love to conk out on Chevy's too as do the radios for whatever reason. My buddy just got an 04 with 65K miles and it tossed the oil pump when his wife was driving it. Burned up the engine because she didn't stop but who ever heard of a car with that low mileage blowing an oil pump and that was a 5.3 no less. I never had any of these problems with any old Jap cars. About the only thing I can fault the Jap cars with is rusting out a bit faster. It's things like this that make me wonder why anyone would buy a volt for nearly double the price of a Prius (though I do hate that ugly assed rear end they have on them). Just a bit fugly to me. On the subject of the battery technology used by the Prius I read the report last year. Those batteries are so good they will live the entire life of the car. The failure rate was something like .0004% which roughly translated to near perfection. It means they have only lost a literal handfull to shorting out internally ect. Not bad at all especially for new technology.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,038
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Not sure, but I thought I read somewhere that it has a heatpump (AC run in reverse) for greater efficiency. When it gets below a certain temp, the engine comes on to help warm things up. Sounds like an ok solution for our climate, but not for really cold regions. The Leaf uses a straight resistance heater, which directly drains from the battery, therefore affecting range. They recommend preheating the car while it is plugged in to save power when untethered.
  8. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,661
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Its funny iv never had any of these problems in 35 years of GM cars and trucks,or my family in 45 years, with the exception of rust in the 80s that just about all Mfgs had and fixed with the exception of toyota which was still putting out rusting frames and bodies on their trucks right up top the 2000 model year. Just the usual starter here,or an alternator there,exhaust pipe and muffler and regular maintainence such as oil changes.

    GM must have a special factory where they build cars and trucks just for me.

    No electrical problems,never an engine or transmission failure,never a rust problem since the 80s. Trucks all have from 175000 to 250000 miles,still going fine.
    And i use these trucks for a contracting business for the last 23 years,not for going to bingo or commuting.

    As i said I think ALL Major Mfgs are putting out quality products today and ALL Mfgs have put out some junk in the past including toyota.
    For the REAL story on the volt go to gm-volt.com to read excerpts of ACTUAL owners of the car before making UNinformed comments
    If toyota were to put a 40 mile range battery in its prius it would cost $50000 for all those carping about the price of the volt.
  9. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,461
    Loc:
    Hayden, ID
    Except it's not a 40-mile range. It's an average 27-32 mile range.

    Yes all cars have gotten better but when you look at reliability of US cars GM and Chrysler are at the bottom of the pack overall with Ford being upper middle.
  10. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,661
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    If you read the ACTUAL post from volt owners on the gm-volt site many are getting between 50 and 60 electric miles on a regular basis.
    Im sure you could get bad MPG with a prius or any car under certain circumstances,My toyota got bad MPG on every trip.
    Its the nissan leaf that had drivers stranded with a dead battery after only a fraction of the stated range,cant happen with the volt.

    If you ck ten different rating lists you will find 10 different opinions,but it s not hard to find a top ten list with GM and ford and Dodges on it,these days.

    http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=top&subject=iqs&story=iqsCar
  11. SPhill

    SPhill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Loc:
    Rolling Hills of Penn's Woods
    Ya gotta do better than JD Powers. They maintain a financial relationship with the businesses they are supposed to be independantly evaluating.

    GM and the others pay for those awards and trophies. No credibility there.

    San Francisco Chronicle, JD Power Cozy with Winners
  12. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,661
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    I do much better. I take my opinions from ACTUAL ownership experience of the vehicle im commenting on.
    As far as CR i used to buy Products from their recommendations only to have them perform poorly and break down prematurely. I cancelled my subscription 5 years ago. Even when i was a member i never filled out their car survey.
    Based on past experience if i were to buy a new truck today it would be a GM HD 6.6 Duramax Diesel , truck is bulletproof No one has been able to match it since it came out in 2002. There are 2 in my family since 2002 and they rock.
  13. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Central New York State
    What does electric motor efficiency have to do with overall vehicle efficiency? You lost me on that one. Most electric power in the US comes from burning coal - that is mined and transported with equipment using petroleum.

    A gas or diesel internal combustion engine runs on petro-products directly.
    An electric powered car runs on coal, gas, and diesel products - indiirectly.

    I'd like to see some verifed facts and figures on that statement. You are claiming that . . . all the energy involved in making such an electtic car - along with all the energy used to produce the acutal grid electricity - to get that car down the road - is in total 1/2 of what a gas or diesel car uses for the same task? I do not believe that for one second.

    Yes, domestic coal mostly. And if we had to greatly increase our coal mining, coal transporting, and coal burning to fuel cars and trucks -what do you think might happen to our coal supply? Seems we already did that once with our "limitless" supply of domestic primary oil reserves.

    Hmmm. Tell me how to do that please. I live in central New York and already have 7000 watts worth of solar-electric panels. I cannot even run electric hot water heaters ,much less power electric cars and trucks. Granted that if I lived in New Mexico, or Arizona -I'd get much more from my solar array. But, not all of us live in sunny areas. To say "many of us" could produce that power seems to imply most of us live in sun and have the money to spend.
  14. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Central New York State
    Sounds like you are less demanding of your GMs than I am. Or perhaps you DID own special ones.

    I've worked as a mechanic, off and on, since the 1960s. Cars, trucks, HD diesels, heavy equipment, etc.

    As to brand-bias, I was a long-time Chevy and GM fan. 50s-early 70s.

    That being said. Let's see.
    GM camshaft failures 1970s up to the mid-80s. Huge problem that did not happen with any other make.
    GM valve-guide failures for the early years of non-leaded gas useage.
    Chevy Vega aluminun-bore engines - built like a Briggs & Stratton lawn-mower engine.
    70s Oldsmobile diesel engines built upon gas-engine platforms. Miserable failures until the new law-suit DX replacement engine came out in 1981.
    GMs 4-6-8 gas engines.
    GMs over-drive automatic that came out in 1982. The 700R4 that nobody had a good fix for until 1987 and up.
    GMs head-gasket failures with the first-year 1982 6.2 diesels that were designed by Detroit Diesel.
    GM 6.5 diesel trucks 1994 and up to late 90s - miserable electronic pump control failures with NO known fix for many years.

    And yes, of course GM made some good stuff.

    As to rust? I live in two places. Central New York and northern Michigan. In both places, road salt is used winter and summer. Ice control in the winter and dust control in the summer. Rust is a big issue. I just scrapped out a 2002 Dodge van due to severe rust. I recently replaced a two-foot long section of frame rail in my 98 Chevy truck. Had to do the same in my 95 Dodge truck. Note they are both 3/4 ton trucks with thicker frames then 1/2 tons. My wife's 2003 Subaru has rust holes in it. So - my conclusion? They still rust. Ford has a major recall going on right now with rear axles breaking from rust when less then 10 years old.

    No brand-loyality inferred here except. . . I am now a Ford fan simply because they are the only independent car/truck company in the USA and took NO bail-out money. Funny that Ford's quality ratings are at an all-time high, while GMs are low.

    If you think people only by GM because GM is the best - I suggest you look at the long history of poor quality issues for Mercedes and Audi over the years. People who like the brand buy them anyway.
  15. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,793
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Since I don't have your computer skills you must bear with me a little.

    First point, motor efficency. I don't know how I can explain it any better, but I will try. If your internal combustion engine is 20% efficent, and your electric engine is 90% efficient, then the electric motor with put more of the energy it uses into moving the car. Wasted energy in internal combustion engines is mostly heat, you know that they expel tremendous amounts of heat right? The reamainder of waste is mostly friction, the electric motor has only two bearings.

    Second point;Electric cars use half the energy. This is a long known, well established fact. This includes the fact that electric generating plants are only about 30% efficeint. I have no interest in doing your homework for you. Do some research.

    Third point, I am no proponent of burning coal. If you read more of my writing you would know that.

    Fourth point; I didn't even mention solar power. There are many other ways to generate electricity. Google is your freind. We have members here who have systems far over 30 KW. 7 KW is a tiny system these days.
  16. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Central New York State
    Sorry chief, but NO, Google is not my friend. In fact, Google can't even spell "Googol" correctly. So their first post ever - had their name spelled wrong. In case you don't already know GOOGOL is a big number and was the company name spelled wrong (and still is).

    Google is a tool and like any tool can help and can hinder. All depends on who is using it, why and how.

    My def of efficiency of a car goes something like this. How well a fuel - where ever it happens to be in raw form - can be transformed into a car or truck taking us down the road. There is a lot of stuff that has to go in that process, from start to finsh. The end-efficiency of an electric motor being compared to the end-efficiency of an internal combustion engine - in itself - is meaningless.

    And about solar electtric? If you think a 30KW system is the norm for a household, you and I are on different planets. Hey, maybe your planet is better?

    Solar incentives are offered by some states since few can afford solar-electric on their own. Most such incentive programs do not allow a solar array that can provide more then 110% of annual useage. So, if you think a 30KW system is normal to provide 110% useage to single-family households - your friends must be very wasteful and have houses like Al Gore's.
  17. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,793
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Like I said, solar is only one way to make electricity. Electricity is easier to make than gasoline for the average homeowner. You could choose to buy gasoline for the rest of your life, at ever increasing prices, or you can make an investment which will free you from energy costs. With the additional dramatic savings in maintainence costs of the electric car, long term payback is huge.
  18. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Central New York State
    Explain please how you - with the present state of technology - can easily make enough energy to run and heat your home, propel your car/truck, etc. Also tell me your plan to produce food for the masses with no petro-chemicals for fuel, fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides.

    I've got a couple of hundred acres with a lot of wind, some sun, water-power etc. and it still is no easy task. Many people live in apartments or 1/4 acre lots. I think your are misinformed - or having pipe dreams.

    As to your wld claims about "dramatic savings" with electric cars? Hey, they have NO record yet of any savings. So far, they've just eaten up a lot of tax-payer dollars.

    As to electric cars being highly efficient? Let's see. Coal fired plants run 25-35% efficient buring coal. 5%-7% of that electricity lost through the grid. Then you charge batteries in your car? Batteries means another 10% loss. Then wind drag at 2% more loss. Then rolling resistance another 4%-5% loss. But wait - at the end your electric motor is 80%-90% efficient and you think that makes it all much better?
  19. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,793
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    I never said heat your home with electricity. I never said anything about providing food. I wouldn't even try to heat water with solar generated electricity, but apparently you have, or at least done the math. It is far more efficient to heat the water directly from the sun, and easy to acomplish as well.

    Think it is no easy task now, wait till we run out of oil. My father ran his fishing boat on wood chunks or gasoline or kerosene or diesel with in a one off engine. It is you who is sadly mis-informed.

    If you really have the land with the wind, put up a bigger windmill and make some power. You can buy them any size you want, or, if you were a half decent mechanic, you could readily build your own.

    Any one who heats with wood could generate their own electricity with a gassifier, the same way my father ran his deisel fishing boat in Norway during WWII.

    As to your complete ignorance regarding electric cars, really, check into Google. At one time, one third of all motor vehicles and many boats were electric. Electric vehicles have a very long track record, with reliability and low maintaince being among their highest virtues.

    For the last time, the atmospheric carbon produced by driving an electric car is aproximatly half of that of a gasoline engined car. Deisel cars are about 50% more efficeint than gas, but are far less common in passenger cars. These are facts, not opinions to debate.
  20. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,661
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Never had the problems you mention,did not own those particular vehicles. Any company selling 6 million + cars and truck a year will have issues with some models,just like toyota the only other company selling that many vehicles does. I dont care what anyone else buys or likes,im doing what works for me and has worked well for 35 years.
    End of story.
  21. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Central New York State
    We all make decisions and form opinions on incomplete information. You are overtly guilty of that when you accuse me of being "ingorant." You know nothing about me, or what I might know. It seems that somehow, you think by calling me ignorant, it somehow enhances your arguments?

    Food is directly tied to energy use in this country, so I regard it as very relevant. Shift corn production to alchohol fuel instead of food, and food prices go wacky. When petroleum gets scarce and pricey - it effects it as a motor fuel and as an agricultural necessity.

    In regard to gassification? Yeah, it works for some things for some people. I've got a tractor and a 17KW genset that runs on wood-gas. NO, not everyone can do it. It takes fuel, equipment, and expertise. If tomorrow . . . everybody decided to do it - many if not most in the USA would fail to find enough to burn.

    If they were facts set-in-stone, there would be an inexorable consensus with the leading experts in the field, and there is not.
    And by the way, the best compression-igntion engines (that you call diesels) top out as 40% efficent, whereas gas engines top out at 30%. Your figure of "diesels" being 50% more efficient then gasoline engines is not supported by any verified facts.
    Depending on the level of tech, and if DI, IDI, etc. , in the real world you can expect 10%-20% better fuel mileage with a diesel car or truck over an equal powered gas vehicle. Since diesel often cost 40 cents more per gallon then gasoline in many states, there is often no monetary savings anymore.

    We could also discuss "net-yields"here, in regard to commonly used fuels. That changes all the time. At this moment, coal and petro give the biggest bang for the buck. When it comes to fuels we think are sustainable? For now there are none known to exist .

    I'm curiuos what your plan is - to "easily" make . . . lets say 800 KWH of electricity, per month, for each of the near 7 billion people on this earth. Same goes for making "easy" food, "easy" accessed fuel for cars and trucks, "easy" heat for homes, etc.
  22. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,661
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    There are some on this forum that heat their homes with electricity CHEAPER than burning wood pellets. So either wood pellets are incredibly overpriced or electricity is not so inefficiently delivered after all.
  23. jdemaris

    jdemaris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Central New York State
    You seem to be comparing "apples to oranges." That is, "expensive wood pellets" versus "efficient electicity." I doubt efficiency has anything to do with the reasons why . . . an end-user chooses one or the other.

    Just because electricity is cheaper per BTU, than a certain fuel at the time when it hits a consumers wallet - does not imply anything about how efficiently it is produced or delivered. All it reflects is price to the consumer.

    When I got my driver's license, regular gas was 25-32 cents per gallon and most cars got around 10-15 MPG. That being said, I would not look back and say "hey, they were efficient."

    Right now, LP is twice the price per pound or gallon in the northeast- as compared to the southwest. Does that mean LP is twice as efficient in the southwest? I don't think so. Just happens to cost less. In some areas, just the state fuel taxes and artificial price controls are a determining factor.
  24. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,404
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    Nothing better than a dueling tempest in a teapot! Why not find the things that you can agree upon that advance a sustainable energy future and energy independence for the US, as well as a safe world for living things, and then pursue that with a joint vengeance so that both the US and the world might be better off? Certainly, all the wasted "energy" in this tempest could be put to much better use.
  25. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,661
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    You could post that tomorrow there will be water in the ocean, and someone on here will dis-agree with you.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page