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The Volt May be First, But E-Flex is the Key

Although the first E-Flex concept—the Volt—is using a combustion engine genset, GM is also at work on a fuel-cell variant that will use the upcoming 5th generation stack. Click to enlarge.

While it was the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt—a plug-in series hybrid electric drive vehicle (earlier post)—that generated the most excitement at the North American International Auto Show, it is the accompanying announcement of the E-Flex system that is the key, according to Nick Zielinski, chief engineer for the Volt.

The Volt represents the first application of the E-Flex System, a developing vehicle architecture that will encompass a range of compact to intermediate vehicles with all-electric drive systems (the “E”) powered by electricity from a variety of sources (the “Flex”).

Broadly defined, the E-Flex architecture consists of an electric drive motor, on-board storage for electricity (battery or fuel cell), on-board mechanisms for producing electricity, grid charging (plug-in) capability, and the associated power electronics and control systems.

E-Flex vehicles can include the genset-powered plug-in series hybrid (such as the announced Volt), a fuel-cell hybrid, or a pure battery electric vehicle. GM envisions a range of genset options for the E-Flex vehicles, including engines optimized to run on E85 or E100 and biodiesel.

There is much overlap between E-Flex needs and work being done in other parts of GM—specifically fuel cell vehicle development and the mechanical hybrid systems. (In its evolving taxonomy of offerings, GM refers to its existing portfolio of hybrids as “mechanical hybrids”—i.e., the engine provides mechanical drive power in addition to the electric drive power.)

The drive motor in the Volt, for example, is the same system being used in the Equinox Fuel Cell Vehicle. The upcoming 5th generation fuel cell stack that will be applied in a GM fuel cell vehicle will also find its way onto an E-Flex platform.

And although it is not yet determined, it is possible that the battery pack work being done for the development of the Saturn VUE Green Line plug-in two-mode hybrid (earlier post) will also apply to E-Flex vehicles.

Of all the elements, the electric drive—the motor and the controller system—is the farthest along. The technology in the motor is already on the road in the Equinox fuel cell program. We’ve been working the details of those systems—the controls, the inverter—for the last three or four years. We’ve made major advances in motor efficiency, and also in the size of the controls and the inverter, which are substantially smaller than a few years ago. And we have plans in place [in the fuel cell program] for much more compact inverter packages.

The generator itself is technology very similar to the [drive] motor. We feel we can share a lot of the technology between the two—the electronics controls are very similar.

Least mature is the large energy store battery. The new work is more in the battery pack. The challenge is the systems integration of all those cells. One of the key elements of integrating the batter pack system is cooling, and understanding temperature deltas across the pack as your charge it.

—Nick Zielinski

In working through battery pack management and control, GM combines simulation-based analysis, hardware cycling tests and then into vehicles for road testing.

We depend very heavily on the computer simulation work, and also depend heavily on component-level testing.

—Nick Zielinski

Presumably, the work being done on integration and control—and the development of optimal operating strategies—for the battery packs in the VUE plug-in hybrid will support the more rapid deployment of E-Flex vehicles (and vice versa).

There are organizational intersections where work is done, that can merge together where it makes sense on the E-Flex. We need to come up with the most efficient and highest level of component sharing with E-Flex—and we are setting up the organization to make that happen.

—Nick Zielinski


Jack W Hildenbrand

The Steorn unit is totally different than my unit. My motor uses only about 300 watts of input power and produces better than 3 HP.

I have been working on this unit for about 27 years. Now I have one sitting in my shop. This unit uses the power of permanent magnets to creat the power output, the current it uses is there only to control the magnets. In other words this current will totally turn a permanent magnet ON/OFF.

Later,,,,Jack W Hildenbrand Hilden-Brand Energy LLC


I'll bet you $100,000 that you cannot demonstrate your device powering itself and producing your claimed net output (3 HP is about 2230 watts, so the net would be ~1930 watts) under controlled conditions of my specification.  Of course, if you really had something you'd just go for the Nobel prize; proving any violation of Maxwell's equations would earn that hands down.

(Hint:  When we turn a permanent magnet "OFF", it's called degaussing.  Any energy removed from the magnet with the loss of field must be put back in to restore it, and changing the magnet's state involves hysteresis losses.)

Jack W Hildenbrand

I'll take you up on your offer of the $100,000. Remember you made that offer on the enternet.

You are not correct, the device I created does not get rid of the gauss of the magnet, it just simply turns it ON/OFF. This can be done in a mater of micro seconds and can be continued for ever.

Some people still thinks the world is square, I think we found one.

Later,,,,Jack W Hildenbrand


Lovely!  Next round of the challenge will be posted at The Ergosphere.  We'll see if you have a substantial response.

Of course, given your own claim of poverty, it's doubtful that you can raise the money to meet your side of the bet.  But I'll be happy to separate fools from theirs in an honest contest.

Jack W Hildenbrand

I think you are copping out. There was no mention of me needing the $100,000. your bet was that I could not come up with a self running unit that would produce 3 hp. As I read the quote below from you.

"I'll bet you $100,000 that you cannot demonstrate your device powering itself and producing your claimed net output (3 HP is about 2230 watts, so the net would be ~1930 watts) under controlled conditions of my specification. "

And NO, You will need to sign an agreement that you will never talk about what you have seen. Thats how I get the bets. Never advertize. You and you alone will only see it work and then you keep your mouth shut.

I have no use for the Nobel prize, or the fame, the money is ok with me.

Later,,,,,Jack W Hildenbrand


My terms include controlled conditions and monitoring equipment not under your influence and not disclosed to you in advance, and the option of a retest at my expense.  Sites are to be specified by me and unknown to you until required for installation of the device for testing.  If you have a real device, it can perform regardless.  You may specify your own monitoring equipment (e.g. webcams) to rule out tampering, but I won't accept cheats or chiselers.

Neither will the public.  You say your device will work in the trunk of a car, so it better work in the trunk of a car, in a closet or in a renovated treehouse.  And it damn well shouldn't require you looking over its shoulder to keep "working".

Take it or leave it.  (You've already taken several pages out of Steorn's book.  Maybe I should save everyone some time and just report you to your state attorney general; attorneys general seem to have gotten a clue that magnet scams are really scams.)

Jack W Hildenbrand

Boy that was a copout if I ever seen one Ha Haa Haaa

Jack W Hildenbrand

Lighten up, It was all just a joke. I have no magnet motor. Just wanted to see how you reacted.

Later,,,,,Jack W Hildenbrand


Maybe you'd like to tell Peswiki that it's "all just a joke".

You might also mention this to anyone who responded to your request for funding your invention.

Jack W Hildenbrand

I have not excepted any money from anybody to help fund this invention. Alot of people responded but no money was taken. I only take money from people that has seen my invention and then they can make up there own mind. To this date no money has been taken. Thats my story and I'm sticken to it.

Later,,Jack W Hildenbrand


I am happy to see that North America is finally coming up with its own version of the French Cleanova.

Now, if eFlex offered the Japanese Subaru R1e combination of ultracaps and decent battery, I could live without a range extender. Just give me 80 miles of autonomy and highway speeds.

Now I would agree with the concept of having a generator that could also be used for emergencies (having spent some time in Florida).

I would also like to be able to re-use the battery in my electric snowmobile. If we can start thinking about reusing the components according to the seasons and needs, then I won't mind paying for that battery/batteries and generator.


they dont tell how long the batteries last and i bet you its not long. and it takes mor energy to make then you will prolly save on them.


they dont tell how long the batteries last and i bet you its not long. and it takes mor energy to make then you will prolly save on them.

gaby de wilde

I wanted to say it is really cool you have a page about Jack Hildenbrand's technology here. You would have to be mighty stupid to ignore an innovation like that. Or shall we say "deep into the oil"? :-)

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