Sent: Sun 4/6/2008 6:53 PM

To: Gilbert, Jeffery D

Subject: Chevy Volt Laboratory on YouTube



I enjoyed seeing your piece about the Chevy Volt Laboratory on You Tube.


Of particular note were the two battery packs.  The larger NiMH on the left and the smaller Lithium Ion on the right.


I find it unremarkable that the battery pack from a vehicle that goes 40 miles would be smaller than one that goes over a hundred miles.


If the design point of the Volt is 40 mile range, why not just put a smaller NiMH pack in it?


You may have seen "Who Killed the Electric Car".  It has a great deal of information.  There is a lot to absorb there.  The key points are that we have the technology to build Battery Electric Vehicles that work and last. The Toyota RAV4 EV is extant evidence of this.  The EV1s were called back and crushed by GM.  They would be further evidence, if they had not been crushed and would belie claims by GM that their Volt is waiting for battery technology.


The EV1 and the RAV4 EV were powered by NiMH batteries (nickel Metal Hydride batteries).  We have these same batteries, in a smaller form factor, in the Prius hybrid.  They work and they last.  They hold twice the energy of lead acid batteries in half the weight.   We have the technology.  There are hundreds of RAV4 EVs on the road today with their original batteries traveling over a hundred miles on a charge.


For $13,000 dollars, the Prius Hybrid car can be modified today, to do what the Volt promises to do.  If it was mass produced as a Plug-in Hybrid, it would be much cheaper.  The Ford Ranger that I converted myself has been driven 41 miles on a single charge ending with a 50% state of charge.


Ironically, GM held the patent for those batteries, the ones in the Prius Hybrid car, and they sold it to Chevron. Why?


In the movie "Who Killed The Electric Car", a list of suspects is proposed. Perhaps it is the media who is responsible.Each time General Motors gets up and says we will have Plug in Electric vehicles in two years or five years because we don't have the battery technology, its news, but who is asking the hard questions?


There seems to be almost universal acceptance of the concept that we don't have the battery technology to put Battery Electric Vehicles into mass production.


Here is a link to my web site.  It shows what an individual can do on his own.  We need only look at the EV1 and the Toyota RAV4 EV to see what corporate technology is capable of.  We don't need Auto Industry spokes people to tell us.  It's already been done. 


I invite you to do a story on what has been accomplished by Corporate Auto Makers and by individual EV Enthusiasts.  Hold this up to the current corporate promises presented in the wake of GM's car crushing binge.


The Tesla roadster is proof that a high performance car can be offered at a very high price based on Lithium Ion technology.  But Lithium is not the technology for the masses.  These batteries will need to be replaced at least once or twice in the life of the car at a current price of $25,000.  NiMH on the other hand are tried and proven in the Toyota RAV4 EV to last for the life of the car.


A resourceful reporter will have no trouble finding RAV4 EVs or private conversions to film.  I would be happy to show you my car and introduce you to others who have done as I have, as well as owners of the RAV4 EV.






Al Lococo




Re: Chevy Volt Laboratory on YouTube

Sunday, April 06, 2008 10:41 PM




Thanks for your feedback.  I have talked with several people who have converted their vehicles to plug ins, and done stories on it in the past.  I've also been out to California and talked to the Tesla people.


Thanks again.  I appreciate hearing from you...and I'll be sure to check out your web site.


Jeff Gilbert

WWJ Newsradio 950 





Re: Chevy Volt Laboratory on YouTube

Monday, April 07, 2008 1:22 AM




Thanks for the reply.  It is not often that I receive, even acknowledgment,

from the media.


It seems you are well versed in EV technology and its implementation by

individuals and the industry.


Apparently you are not puzzled as I am by GM's behavior in particular and

why they sold their interest in NiMH technology to Chevron.


I take that you don't see NiMH technology as appropriate for a vehicle like

the Volt.  Why not ask GM the question?


We have boys and girls dying in Iraq to guarantee Middle Eastern stability

and the flow of oil.  Apparently you don't see our dependence on foreign oil

as a national security issue solvable by putting sufficient BEV's on the

road to replace 10, 20 or 30% of ICE's.


I see articles in newspapers as prominent as the New Your Times saying

things about BEV technology that, at best, are irresponsible.


Following the recent CARB meeting, not a single network reported the results

on the evening news.  I sent emails to all the networks asking for coverage.


I am sure you are a competent, dedicated and honorable man.  I hope you do

spend some time looking at the letters I have written which are posted on my

web site.  The issues of Coal fired generation, NiMH proven battery

technology, Lack of consumer demand, and Lack of sufficient lead time, as

presented by GM, are not real, and do not justify crushing cars, disposing

of the patent necessary to build them. Then, pretending they need to develop

new Lithium Ion technology before they can deliver the vehicles this country

needs. This needs to be questioned.  Simply quoting what GM says as news,

without asking the hard questions, gives their point of view the appearance

of fact.


GM seems to be adept at dragging their feet without leaving tracks in the

sand.  At least there do not seem to be any tracks the media can detect.


So have you done report on a test drive in a RAV4 EV recently?  What

conclusions did you draw from it?  Is Lithium Ion battery technology the

only way to deliver BEV's to the consumer?  Should the government step in

and liberate the NiMH patent?


I apologize for not simply accepting your reply with out one more try at a

response.  I am sure you are busy and receive this type of correspondence

from many people like me, who simply because they have converted, own and

drive one or more BEV's are intolerant of GM's real world problems in

bringing a product to the market.


I wish I could help the media get the hard questions to corporate oil and

corporate auto.  Perhaps the media doesn't need my help, but I don't see the

questions being asked either.  I do see lots of reporting simply presenting

the corporate view as fact.



Al Lococo