Volt Battery Plant Workers Paid To Play

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by zenMachine, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    3,355
    298
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Federally Funded Chevy Volt Battery Plant Paid Workers to Play, Not Make Batteries | Wired Business | Wired.com

    In a report released this week by Gregory Friedman, inspector general at the Department of Energy, some LG Chem workers were discovered to have spent their paid work time during the last three months of 2012 watching movies and playing board, card and videogames. The more civic-minded used the work day to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, at animal shelters and outdoor nature centers. Friedman found that the amount of time spent volunteering ranged from one to five days a week. Between the cards, videogames and volunteer hours, Friedman estimates the government paid $842,189 for “questionable” labor. (It shared half of all labor costs with LG Chem Michigan.)
     
  2. John H

    John H Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    2,208
    556
    0
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Misleading headline. It's not a Chevy Plant it's an LG Chem Plant.

    LG Chem's idle Michigan battery plant slammed by federal audit - MSN Autos

     
  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    12,544
    2,113
    1
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
  4. phvdriv3r

    phvdriv3r Defender of the Glass - Lemon-ed a 2012 PHV

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    127
    30
    0
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Nothing new... the gov't hands out tons of cash to people for questionable (if that) labor.

    Shame that the Volt can't seem to get off the negative side of the media... but then again, the tech is just not quite right. Prius Plug-in still kicks its nice person in the engine efficiency department.
     
  5. John H

    John H Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    2,208
    556
    0
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    it's just a shame it doesn't have a larger battery so that overall effeciency is as good as the Volt.
     
  6. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    3,938
    1,351
    28
    Location:
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    LG Chem is not a GM or Volt Plant, it supplies the battery pack for the Volt just like A123 to Fisker Karma or any other supplier.
     
  7. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    12,040
    4,745
    57
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    It truly boggles the mind that such a basic economic reality is so easily traded for bragging rights. That quote is a classic example. Misplaced priorities continue to be a problem.

    The point of idle-worker report was to bring attention to the consequences of not meeting sales expectations. Profit comes from meeting production goals. Workers get paid whether they build anything or not. Sitting there playing games and watching movies instead of increasing inventory results in financial losses.

    Remember, the automaker chooses what to produce. Not meeting their own goals results in a profit penalty. Having a trophy for highest MPG does not pay the bills.

    The smaller size of the plug-in Prius battery keeps cost in check, making it a premium package option rather than a substantial price differential. The 4.4 kWh of capacity is clearly more market-competitive than the 16.5 in Volt.

    Reality is, waiting for the next generation of Volt is turning into a costly risk. Reports like this will continue to point that out.

    Suppliers are directly affected by choices of the automaker.
     
    DadofHedgehog likes this.
  8. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    12,875
    3,516
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    N/A
    Sure but this has to do with the DOE, not GM. The DOE's strings attached were to build the plant and hire the workers. LG Chem is shipping the cells from korea, and using US government money to pay the workers.

    This is part of the sad story of the government not managing grants and loans properely. There should have been a clause that they actually got paid to make batteries, not the stuff they asked for. LG chem would have to lay off workers in korea to produce them in Michigan. With the US government paying the workers here, why would they do that.
     
  9. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    2,107
    723
    0
    Location:
    Portugal
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    It has been explained before: overall efficiency of the Volt can be, in many situations, lower than Prius PHV.
     
    dbcassidy likes this.
  10. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    12,875
    3,516
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    N/A
    There is only one easy to define case where the prius phv is more efficient than the volt and that is on long drives. I expect the gen IV based prius phv to have a bigger battery and be more efficient. The rumor is around 20 miles of range.
     
  11. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    2,107
    723
    0
    Location:
    Portugal
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The other one is small drives, roughly up to 12 miles between charges.
     
  12. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    12,875
    3,516
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    N/A
    The current volt is 98 mpge, last I checked that was higher than the prius phv's 95 mpge. Really, I don't think most people will notice that difference. If you are driving very slow the prius might give you a smidge more efficiency, if you drive fast some worse efficiency. Not really anything to talk about, nor important to this story.
     
  13. John H

    John H Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    2,208
    556
    0
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    explained but not demonstrated.

    there are tons of threads that enlist mathematics and epa test results to theorize cases where the different phvs might perform better or worse than the other. The switcheroo thread is one of the only actual comparisons.

    my own experience of taking a genII prius and a volt on a 180 mile trip (austin to houston) alongside each other seemed to throw water on the mathematical extensions of epa ratings. my mathematical extension of that 180 mile experience indicated it might take as much as a 500 mile drive (austin to new orleans) before the gen II prius would cross under the volt's gasoline consumption, at which point most journeys would allow another full charge of the volt and perhaps another 500 miles.

    I don't have a PiP with which to do the same comparison but these mathematical extrapolations are just that ... extrapolations.

    for the short trips, ie. less than 12 miles, it would be interesting to have a PiP and Volt travel together and then measure the actual energy consumed. The trip would have to be restricted to less than 62mph, modest limits on acceleration, relatively flat terrain, and a moderate climate to keep the PiP from enlisting the gasoline motor. Under those PiP imposed constraints, I am not sure the PiP would outperform the Volt, but in theory it should. If we remove the constraints, I am confident the Volt would outperform.

    I think the PiP can benefit quiet a bit from a larger battery, even with the current speed, power, and heating constraints. trading electric driven miles for gasoline driven miles is an efficiency win.
     
  14. spwolf

    spwolf Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    3,156
    440
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Europe
    well kind of, with Volt selling way less than GM planned, GM is at fault for LG Chem plant being underutilized. right?
     
  15. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    12,875
    3,516
    0
    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    Vehicle:
    2018 Tesla Model 3
    Model:
    N/A
    I didn't think it would ever be highly utilized. When LG won the bid it was likely going to be shipping the batteries from Korea. The volume is not very different than projected when bids were out, it is very much less than the inflated DOE figures. LG should have never been subsidized.
     
  16. dbcassidy

    dbcassidy Toyota Hybrid Nation, 8 Million Strong

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    1,581
    290
    3
    Location:
    Middlesex County, MA
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Hmmm,

    The thread sounds like Solyndra.:eek:

    DBCassidy
     
  17. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    2,107
    723
    0
    Location:
    Portugal
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    See? Not always, as I said before.

    Agree here, but cost is a limitation. And federal benefits are not permanent.
     
  18. John H

    John H Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    2,208
    556
    0
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Have you seen a thread with a side-by-side test of a PiP and a Volt for a 12mile or less pure EV run?

    The EPA did one but the PiP fired up the gas motor for a hill climb. The results from that test rated the PiP 95MPGe and the Volt 98MPGe.

    If your concern is about the cost of the battery and the payback economics of the additional cost, you have a claim. But I would ask you to apply the same analysis as you would to evaluate the payback economics of a hybrid drive versus a non-hybrid model of a similar vehicle. These analysis are very dependent on the price of fuel, including the impact of price spikes and inflation over the projected life of the vehicle, often projected to 200,000 miles and 15 years, or more.
     
  19. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    19,011
    4,064
    50
    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA.
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    In the long run, I think it will be money well spent if cars like the Volt catch on with the general population. I see more and more people I know buying Volts, CMAX and Prii. People who I never would have thought would consider such cars. They end up loving the car and do not regret the purchase. That is what we need right now. If it costs us more in the short term so be it. The payback in the end is greater.
     
  20. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    2,107
    723
    0
    Location:
    Portugal
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    There is one thread "switcheroo", not side-by-side.
    About the same electricity consumption...
    PiP/Volt January 7-11 Switcheroo | PriusChat
     
Loading...