Items tagged with: volt
The last Chevrolet Volt was built on Tuesday, ending a decade-long quest to make a breakthrough battery-powered car
Article word count: 761
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19236245
Posted by curtis (karma: 22711)
Post stats: Points: 99 - Comments: 77 - 2019-02-24T00:09:20Z
#HackerNews #assembly #chevrolets #chevy #discontinued #last #line #off #rolls #the #volt
February 22, 2019 / 6:11 PM / AP
As their company was swirling around the financial drain in the early 2000s, General Motors executives came up with an idea to counter its gas-guzzling image and point the way to transportation of the future: an electric car with a gas-engine backup that could travel anywhere.
At Detroitʼs auto show in 2007, they unveiled the Chevrolet Volt concept car, not knowing yet whether they had the technology to pull off a major breakthrough in battery-powered vehicles.
It took nearly four more years, but the first Volt — a longer-range version of a plug-in hybrid — rolled off the assembly line late in 2010. GM had hopes that customers would be ready for a car that could go 38 miles on electricity before a small internal combustion generator kicked in.
They werenʼt. On Tuesday, the last Volt was built with little ceremony at a Detroit factory thatʼs now slated to close. Sales averaged less than 20,000 per year, not enough to sustain the costly undertaking.
The Volt wasnʼt the first electric car, but it was the first to conquer anxiety over range at a reasonable cost. GMʼs limited-range EV1 came out in the 1990s, and Tesla put out its 200-plus-mile Roadster in 2008 for more than $100,000.
The Volt was among the first plug-in hybrids, many of which can go only 20 or so miles on electricity and havenʼt gained much popularity among consumers.
Yet the Volt did serve a purpose. It led to advances in lithium-ion batteries similar to those that power smart phones and computers. But such advances ultimately led to the Voltʼs demise as GM and other manufacturers developed fully electric vehicles that can go 200 more miles per charge.
"While it was a financial loser, it did what was intended," said retired GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, who shepherded the Volt into production. "We viewed it as a stepping stone to full electrics, which were totally out of reach due to the then-astronomical cost of lithium-ion batteries."
GM now has the Chevrolet Bolt, which can go 238 miles on a single charge, and it has promised many more electric vehicles in the future.
The Volt did develop a loyal fan base, many of whom are upset with the company for scrubbing the project.
Richard Winters, a 65-year-old physician from Poteau, Oklahoma, said the Volt still is useful in areas like Oklahoma and Arkansas where electric vehicle charging stations are few. He bought his first Volt in 2016 for the 120-mile round-trip commute from home to the Arkansas hospital where he works.
He bought another one last year, a revamped model that can go 50 miles on electricity before the gas generator starts. Because he can recharge at work, most of his commute is done on battery power. Winters routinely goes 1,400 miles between gas station fill-ups, which he likes. And it costs only around $1 worth of electricity to charge the battery, he said.
Winters had always wanted an electric car, but like many, was afraid heʼd run out of juice and get stranded. "When the Volt came out I was happy," he said of its nearly unlimited range.
GM, he said, should have spent more to promote the car. "Iʼve been really surprised at the lack of marketing," he said. "I would not have an electric car if I did not have that gas engine."
Originally, the Volt was to be a sleek, futuristic five-seat vehicle built to hold a battery and a new three-cylinder engine to generate electricity, said Navigant Research analyst Sam Abuelsamid. But because of GMʼs financial problems, the project was scaled back and became a modified version of the Chevrolet Cruze compact car with only four seats and many parts from other GM vehicles, he said.
"They made some huge strides with that car, but it wasnʼt all that it could have been and certainly not what they envisioned when they unveiled the concept," Abuelsamid said.
Although it would be nice to continue producing the Volt, GM needed to stop making it due in part to changing consumer preferences for SUVs, he said. The company also lost money on every Volt, cash that is needed for research on autonomous vehicles and more advanced electric cars, he said.
"Itʼs not the right vehicle for the market today," said Abuelsamid. "It doesnʼt really make sense to keep it going. As much as youʼd like to, itʼs probably better to let it go."
First published on February 22, 2019 / 6:11 PM
© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
HackerNewsBot debug: Calculated post rank: 91 - Loop: 91 - Rank min: 80 - Author rank: 102
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19145768
Posted by ahstilde (karma: 140)
Post stats: Points: 124 - Comments: 57 - 2019-02-12T17:54:35Z
#HackerNews #and #client #desktop #fast #for #native #skype #slack #volt
please manually move Volt.app to /Applications
Blazing fast Volt can handle hundreds of thousands of messages without lag. You can scroll to any point in the conversation instantly and search across thousands of messages in milliseconds.
Light Volt is a native desktop app that weighs about 200 KB and has minimal CPU and RAM usage.
All chats in one place You no longer need a dozen apps to reach all your contacts across various platforms.
What language is Volt written in?
V. Itʼs a new language I created to develop Volt. You can read about it here.
Volt uses native UI APIs: (Cocoa on macOS, Win32 API on Windows, GTK+ on Linux).
Are my passwords secure?
Volt doesnʼt ask for your passwords and doesnʼt store them anywhere. Authentication is performed in a browser directly on the messengerʼs website.
Is my data sent anywhere or shared with anyone?
No. Volt stores your messages and contacts on your machine for offline use and better performance. Thatʼs it.
Are there ads or any plans to introduce ads?
No, Volt will always be ad-free.
You donʼt have ads, and you donʼt sell user data. What is the sustainability model?
Hopefully as Volt grows, it will get more supporters on Patreon. There will also be an affordable premium plan for things like having more than 5 accounts. The base functionality will always be free.
Is it really only 200 KB? Or is it just an installer that downloads another 200 MB?
No, itʼs not an installer. The entire app fits into a ≈200 KB ZIP archive, and the only extra thing it downloads is ≈300 KB of high res icos, which are not required for the app to work.
In the age of 300 MB chat clients and 10 MB web pages we started to forget how powerful our computers are and how much can fit in 1 MB. A lot of time and resoures were spent to ensure the small size and great performance.
Is Volt open-source?
Not at the moment. Right now the development model is similar to that of Sublime Text. The app is going to be open-sourced in 2021.
If Volt is not open-source yet, how can I be sure my messages and accounts are secure?
The plan behind Volt is to build a light, fast, and reliable client for millions of users, not to spy on your data or sell it.
Volt doesnʼt send any of your data to us or any third party. This can be easily verified with tools like Wireshark and tcpdump.
A security audit by an external security company will be performed in the future.
Volt is a registered company, and all binaries are signed.
Is there a mobile app?
Right now the focus is on the native desktop clients. Development of Android and iOS apps will start in mid 2019.
Have an unanswered question? Contact us via email@example.com
HackerNewsBot debug: Calculated post rank: 101 - Loop: 451 - Rank min: 100 - Author rank: 17