Is it fair to say GM will eat a lot of money on battery warranty work?

Discussion in 'Chevrolet Volt' started by Skoorbmax, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Lyle was the founder of gm-volt site. It was THE source about the Volt prior to the launch. He was (still is?) one of the CAB member.

    Unless you have a contradicting information from a more credible source, we'll have to go with that.
     
  2. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    The average Volt that has accumulated 60k battery miles by the time the warranty runs out will not cause GM heartache if they are semi-competent, but I think the resale value is going to be awful.
     
  3. mfennell

    mfennell New Member

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    So the only source is a neurologist who liked to post about the Volt? No independent corroboration from anyone who actually works for GM? Neither of the Volt "deep dives" on Youtube (powertrain & battery) mention it. I've never seen it mentioned anywhere else.
     
  4. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I wonder if GM will try to charge people for battery degradation at the end of their lease?

    As mentioned elsewhere, NOBODY guarantees battery pack capacity. Apparently GM guarantees EV range, and does it by using an increasing portion of the pack, which will lead to early pack death, while maintaining range up until near the end.

    As far as Tesla's batteries, there are both positives and negatives to Tesla's use of commodity laptop batteries. One of the positives is that it's the only lithium chemistry being used in EVs that has a long history of experience and data. This makes estimates of durability more reliable.

    I trust some companies more than others. Toyota has a long and excellent history of making quality cars. GM has a long and abominable history of screwing the consumer. Tesla doesn't have much of a history. But it's run by idealists who have invested personal fortunes in a project they believe in. GM is run by crooks with obscene salaries and golden parachutes for when they bankrupt their own company.

    Of the three companies, I trust Toyota most (I'd have bought a Toyota EV in a heartbeat if they'd had one available 4 years ago). I trust Tesla, but with a lower level of confidence than Toyota. And I do not trust GM at all, except to screw their customers and stockholders both.
     
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  5. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    I am trying to get GM to tell us the answer. So far I got a response from the "marketing" team saying they have no idea but here is big blurb on how chevy is great and the warranty on the drivetrain and it is a class leader and yadda yadda yadda. Useless. I wrote them back asking to have the question to a firmware engineer that was involved in the voltec project and I don't mind waiting.

    So far Toyota does the same thing. You ask anything not found in the brochure and they say "we do not know, here is the brochure". But then the next step when you ask again they actually dig for an answer. Hopefully chevy will do the same.
     
  6. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

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    Yes and no.

    Yes, I agree that the point of having a battery is to use it and GM's 65% SoC range cap seems like a reasonable limit. I don't see the point of engaging Mountain Mode to further attempt to narrow the SoC range during a daily commute unless it allows you to focus gasoline use for highway driving and reserve battery driving at the destination and the total trip is longer than your total battery range and there is no opportunity charging available.

    From another perspective, a person driving a lot of miles between charging opportunities on a road-trip might actually want to consider engaging Mountain Mode from the very beginning of the trip. Doing that means you won't have to remember to do it later before driving up an unusually steep mountain pass. It also means that the typical shallow 1-5% cycling of the battery in hybrid mode across a large number of miles will occur with the battery at around 50% SoC rather than around 20% and that is probably somewhat less stressful to the battery. Shallow cycling at 20% in hybrid mode makes sense when you are actually making use of the battery range to avoid gas but on a long trip between charging it makes sense to shallow cycle in the middle of the pack and then turn off Mountain Mode to gain access to the final 15 miles or so of battery range as you get near to the next charging opportunity.
     
  7. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    20% is what they do normally. It can go down to 15% before the car slows down because of the pack SOC. This is an unlikely condition. The car will also allow 5 more miles on a low pack if its out of gas. I'm sure they set these things to have good pack life regardless of driver behavior. Mountain Mode can be set on the fly. GM has done a great deal of cycle testing, and these SOC should be safe. What they can not do is aging, and without the 10 years there is no reason to give a CARB warranty on mileage. They complied with the same warranty prius drivers get in non-CARB states.
     
  8. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    FUD - I'm not a Volt fan by any means (I own a LEAF and a Prius) but there's no reason to worry about battery health of a leased Volt any more than a leased Prius. That battery pack is extremely well taken care of by it's BMS. It has active temperature control and the BMS very strictly regulates it's maximum and minimum charge. The pack is designed to be fully cycled on a daily basis and GM will warranty the pack for 8 years and 100k miles.

    The LEAF's battery on the other hand is much easier to abuse - just charge it to "100%" and let it sit in a hot environment for a long time. That will significantly increase the rate of capacity loss. The Volt doesn't have this issue since it's
    "100%" charge is a lot lower than the LEAFs, not to mention that the battery's temperature is managed.

    But even then - it should be easy for a dealer to tell how much battery capacity has been lost on a used battery by running diagnostics, although the customer reports that I've seen from battery health checks so far are quite lacking in detail.
     
  9. Roadburner440

    Roadburner440 Member

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    Think by them saying the warranty does not cover range loss is basically saying none of these companies are going to stand behind the batteries.. Cause to me range loss is degradation of the battery. I know there will be some, but I think that is a blanket statement that they are going to refer to even if someone loses 50% of their range. So far though GM seems to be doing a good job, and has replaced 2 main batteries that I know of... I think as time goes on though there will be a tendancy for them to shy away from doing this. Especially as more and more automakers come out with EV/PHEV/EREV vehicles and the newness/specialness wears off. Maybe I will be wrong, but somehow I doubt it which is why I leased until I can see what the end trend is with customer service.
     
  10. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Their website, as unusable as it is now, says "We expect the battery to last over 10 years, however, there may be a gradual loss of capacity of 30% or more depending on your driving patterns" which to be completely candid doesn't mean a damn thing. However, I am quite positive in the past at the nissan leaf site I've read expectation of 80% capacity after five years.

    Regarding Daniel's Tesla, I would be very surprised indeed if after 15 years the battery can still motivate that car 150 miles.

    Battery life was a concern for years on hybrids. I think being used in this new capacity it will continue to be a concern for many.
     
  11. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I'll be very surprised if I'm still driving in 15 years. I'll be lucky if I'm still alive in 15 years. But we've seen how maintaining a narrow range of charge in the Prius allows the battery to last the life of the car, and my driving pattern, typically between 3 and 30 miles 5 or 6 days a week, with the occasional 50-to-60-mile drive (40% DoD if I charge in Standard mode, as I always do, so the battery goes from 90% SoC to 60% SoC) I will be surprised if my range is much less than 150 miles with these well-proven batteries in this temperature-controlled system.

    Note that Tesla is the only company using well-known and well-studied batteries with many years of experience in a very broad market. All the others are using proprietary battery chemestries developed specifically for them and are the first consumer market uses for them. I.e., lots of testing but no prior real-world experience.

    Of course, talking about expectations, we can all expect whatever we like. What I really expect is that before ten years are up I'll be too stiff and arthritic to get in and out of the Roadster and I'll have traded it for whatever is the best (for my uses) EV then available.
     
  12. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    That Neurologist had direct tele lines to head marketing and engineering at GM, and was honest in a way GM could never fathom. His articles redacting GM claims of 200 wh/mile energy consumption and EV serial mode only drivetrain design were brilliant.

    I would not be so quick to denigrate the one Volt fan who could be trusted to know what he was talking about if I were you.



    [​IMG]
     
  13. Roadburner440

    Roadburner440 Member

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    I know personally that my luck with Li-Ion batteries is better than most.. I had a Motorola Razr that I bought when me and my wife got married that I just had to give up 2 months ago because the battery & antenna were starting to fail after almost 6 years. My laptop is almost just as old with the original battery and I still get close to the amount of time out of it as when it was new. Granted I do not abuse devices like most people, and I try to take the best care of them I can.. Still the car is uncharted territory. I agree with Daniel that at least Tesla's batteries are proven tech, and I would feel a lot better driving that than anything else... I think a lot of people are opting to lease the Volt due to mistrust of GM and/or the technology behind it. For me that was my #1 reason in doing so. I think given the choice I would have purchased the PiP vs leasing the Volt as I have had nothing but good experiences with our 11' Prius after 12,000 miles.

    We are definately in uncharted territory.. It seems at least once a month I am reading a new article about some new EV battery technology that has cropped up. So this stuff is constantly evolving. In the end we may not even have a battery in the sense of what we think of it. It wasn't but a few years ago that we only had lead-acid batteries in our gadgets/gizmo's. The 90's brought us Li-Ion, and I am sure the future holds better stuff for us. Seeing as Lithium is an extremely limited resource to begin with we will have no choice but to find something else. In the mean time the ball is at least rolling.. Heck just yesterday I found out Smart has their own EV. Things are creeping up everywhere.
     
  14. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    SageBrush: You might want to fix the link in your above post.
     
  15. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Appears to be a software quirk. I did not intentionally put that link in my post, and 3 attempts to delete it in edit mode failed.

    I wondered if it is malware, but I do not think so. Maybe a rogue smiley ?
     
  16. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Batteries can last that long and obviously do. Although I think the reason most people gave up their 6 year old cell phones was because it more than 3 months old. :)

    Personally I think that the quasi-new "lithium in liquid bubbles" approach that came out of the MIT research labs is the best bet for consumers to pick up on. Then it doesn't matter how long it takes to charge or if you will run out of range. Just go to the nearest goo-station and swap. That's something everyone can understand, and doesn't require forethought and planning meaning mass appeal.
     
  17. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I don't know how old my RAZR is since I bought it used, but the replacement battery was quite inexpensive ;)
     
  18. Roadburner440

    Roadburner440 Member

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    I did manage I think to get an actual BR-50 from Motorola for about $20 (not one of the knock offs). Antenna was unfortunately going though. I loved the phone, and searched high and low to get an actual real Motorola Razr to replace it. All are Chinese knock offs now though. I still have it as a backup... Granted upgrading to my HTC Sensation worked out cause I can now use the Onstar Remotelink application for the Volt. :cool: Unfortunately now because I was an idiot and felt better to leave it unplugged while we are gone I will be losing communications with it tomorrow... I just hope the 12V battery survives till we return to Virginia at the end of the month.
     
  19. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Maybe so ... but since Honda as a whole are priced where greater volumes of consumers can afford to buy them (compared to the $40k Volt) the Volts potential to further damage GM's reputation won't be as dramatic IMO.
     
  20. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Comparing the Prius traction battery to EV is apples and oranges. In the Prius, the battery is parasitic/symbiotic -- the tape worm that gives back, while in an EV it is the heart and muscle. Sustained current draw is a primary factor in battery life. Unless you climb mountains all the time, the Prius gives/receives sustained heavy current a few times a day for half a minute at most, and chugs along at 60% +/- SoC otherwise. Prii that do climb mountains all the time have been known to have a higher failure rate.

    Anyway, Daniel, I think your approach will yield close to maximum battery life in your Tesla, and you are almost guaranteed to outlast the average Volt. The different between 40% and 65% DoD is about a factor of 3 in cycle life for lithium-based chemistry.
     
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