I'm impressed, but it also scared the Hell out of me looking at all those printed boards, and components that I can not identify. I hope the warranty is good and there are companies that will offer extended. It's a whole new world for auto mechanics, and guys like me who do most of our own repairs might have a real problem on their hands. Keeping dealers honest durring repairs can also become an issue, I would hate to have purchased an $800.00 electronic component disguised as a fuse?
All those controller boards would consern me as an owner because of the potential cost to repair it in the future. It looks like taking it to my locate mechanic would not be an option, so off to the very expencive dealer I would have to go. And as dealers will know that they are the only option, they will tend to charge even more.
My 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid has a select, specificially trained team that works on it for warranty service, inspection, etc.
I think that GM should have named this Volt after the old Chevy NoVa...doesn't go.. and doesn't go in the market place. Either that or rebadge it with the Fiero namebrand since that Pontiac vehicle was notorious for engine fires. Or, use the now abandoned Aveo name, as it signified the worst in its class for Chevy.
My vehicle cost $10,000 less that the Obavolt, I did not get a subsidy,although they did grease me with a declining tax credit (in order to get the full credit, which expired in March 2009, you would have had to buy the Ford Fusion Hybrid sight unseen, driver test undone as the local dealerships did not start getting them in until right around that deadline).
I'd buy it again, 3 years later. It is proof positive that Ford has punched their way out of the old Ford of the 70's when Toyota and Honda had their way due to overall arrogance and slothfulness in Detroit.
My signature Ford vehicle of that era that is the epitome of what went wrong with Ford? The 1976 Mercury Vomit, if you can imagine a worse driver experience let me know. I felt so bad for my Dad who owned one! I actually sold it years later to someone who absolutely sought it out becuase they told me they always liked the styling. ;-) Thus proving that there are as many useful idiots in the auto sector as there are for select people in DC.
Seeing the controller boards laid out and the complexity and size of the battery made me think about the folks servicing the Volt. Obviously, today's service professionals are a different breed than your traditional mechanic and need a whole lot more training in software (as Rob notes). But the battery technology muddies the waters even more. I'm curious if there is a whole new certification and training process for shops that can provide service for the Volt and other EVs or are you limited to just the dealership, which I assume has up-to-date training in the latest technologies?
At the end of the first video, when all the electronic modules are lined up side by side, it gives a real appreciation for the sheer volume of electronics in vehicles today, and in this vehicle, in particular. I'd be curious to know the total number of ECUs and microcontrollers. When we asked them during the rollout, GM said about 40 ECUs and 110 MCUs, but they were a little vague on those numbers. Also, those numbers really depend on how an ECU or MCU is defined.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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