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GM Volt versus Prius - Page 2

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Posted by Fast Freddy on August 23, 2009, 9:05 am

Lu R wrote:

plus I wonder how much charge current a system like could deliver, it
works fine for my battery driven toothbrush,

actually take that back, the General Motors EV1 used a inductive paddle
to charge it, you still had to plug it in, for an inductive system to
work properly it would have to have some method of getting the
transmitting and receiving coils close together, just getting someone to
park the car in the right place....... ;)

better to have some sort of automatic eject system for the plug, so if
someone does start the car and forgets to disconnect the plug is popped out.

Posted by DougSlug on August 30, 2009, 11:20 pm

Only easy on a conceptual level.  This type of system, although a cool idea,
would be hugely inefficient.  That is not to say that it couldn't be made to
work somehow, but it is definitely not a slam-dunk, especially for a large
scale implementation.  It works OK when the coils are very close together
and if a relatively low amount of power is needed (like an electric
toothbrush, which spends 23 hours and 55 minutes a day sitting in the

This is the kind of thing Tesla wanted to do (wireless power
transmission)--and 100 years later, it still hasn't happened.  There are
good reasons for that, and they're not political.  Even so, Tesla's work led
to the invention of radio, so it's all good.

 - Doug

Posted by Neo on September 2, 2009, 10:23 am

I once read in a Popular Science/Mechanic magazine about
electrical generation transmission via guided microwave it
sounded as if it would be electrically inefficient unless it was
for a very short distance.  .

Another futurist concept that keeps coming up is a satellite
that  generated power from solar arrays and then
transmitted that power (via a laser) back to earth.

What if there was a strong permanet magnetic field along a road
going down hill and there was a vehicle which could travel down
this road with a large coil of wire  connected to a battery and motor.
If that vehicle wash pushed downhill along that road  the force of
gravity pushed the vehicle's coils through the magnetic fields
at increasing faster rate as the vehicle travelled downhill. The
change in the magnet field would generate an electric current
in the coils that could either power the motor (making it go even
faster) or recharge the batteries in the vehicle. You could also
do the reverse. Put magnets on the vehicle and the coils on the
side of the road as it goes down hill. As the magnet fields
on the vehicle travel downhill it generates electrical currents
in the coils along the road.

Sounds like a neat roller coaster idea... :-)

Posted by Neo on August 28, 2009, 1:35 am

One major cost consideration of the Volt is the static
battery's lifespan  and the replacement cost of that battery.
Last I heard GM' is struggling to get the battery pack to last 6 to 8
Reports I've read suggest that the 2008 Toyota Prius static battery
appears to be designed to last much longer  - over 15 years
or about 200,000 miles. So while the Volt is a simpler design
- its lithium battery will unfortunately probably increase
the Volt's total ownership cost.

If the electric motor is very capable it should not need any
supplementary method of propulsion and  tuning the 1 liter
gas engine to be just a generator would make sense - albeit
I wonder why GM didn't design the Volt with a more effiicent
diesel generator instead?  That is another possible path
for higher energy efficiency might be for a Prius to use
a diesel engine instead of a gasoline engine.

Electric cars and plug are a viable second car alternative
if the driver has a driveway and/or a garage where recharging
can occur. Many do not.  The Toyota hybrid solution is more
universal in that sense.

Posted by Elmo P. Shagnasty on August 28, 2009, 9:59 am

In article

If you look carefully at the Prius design, you'll come to realize that a
diesel engine would bring nothing to the table.

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