Jul 20

GM CEO Confirms 4-Cylinder 1.4 L Engine Being Considered For the Volt’s Range Extender

 

The initial Chevy Volt concept model had a 3 cylinder 1.0 L engine as the generator to keep the battery charged. The model with this engine suggested the vehicle would get 50 mpg when running beyond the 40 mile EV range. Recently we heard rumors on this point, neither confirmed nor denied, that GM might be considering a 4 cylinder 1.4 L engine instead.

Now GM’s CEO Rick Wagoner has confirmed these rumors. The 1.4 L turbocharged ICE is expected to power the Chevy Cruze we’ve recently just seen photos of, the car Wagoner refers to as the next generation Chevy compact.

Wagoner answered the following question, among others posed of him by the Flint Journal, centered around the fact that GM was planning to built this engine’s assembly plant in Flint, Michigan:

Flint Journal: Are there opportunities for Flint to have a hand in the future production of the plug-in Volt?

Wagoner: The new, small displacement engine that is tentatively scheduled to be built in Flint will be used first in the next generation Chevy compact car. However, we are looking at other potential; vehicle applications, including an application as the range-extender engine in the Chevy Volt.

Wagoner also mentioned that the turbo 1.4 L “achieves a superb balance between fuel efficiency and power” and specifically tell us “when teamed with a manual transmission, the new engine will offer customers a 9 mile-per-gallon increase in fuel economy over Chevy’s current entry in this segment.”

It is possible that this engine change decision may not represent so much an engineering issue, but rather an economies of scale advantage. It is clearly a big decision since Wagoner himself is aware of the debate.

Source (MLive.com)

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 20th, 2008 at 7:38 am and is filed under Generator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 243


  1. 1
    Van

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (7:46 am)

    Lyle, yes the economy of scale argument for the 1.4 liter engine seems sound. As I recall, it was not going to be turbo-charged. I wonder if it will be mounted just as in the Cruze, but with the generator in the place of the transmission?


  2. 2
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (7:50 am)

    I will be needing a car in the next two – three years.
    If the Volt is unavailable or overpriced, the Chevy Cruze is sounding like a good alternative. Especially with the manual transmission.


  3. 3
    Arch

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (7:55 am)

    Well I sure hope GM has some logic for this call. Thats a much bigger engine than they need to drive the generator. JMHO

    Take Care
    Arch


  4. 4
    Dick G.

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:03 am)

    T. Boone Pickens would like to see the Volt powered by electricy generated by wind and then the range extender powered by natural gas……Check out his plan @ http://www.pickensplan.com………..


  5. 5
    Glen

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:05 am)

    Seems a bit strange to me that they would cut the size of the gas tank from 12 gal to 6 gal to save weight and then increase the size of the engine as reported. What about the added weight?


  6. 6
    Antranig

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:09 am)

    Waist of time and money. This shows GM is still interested in keeping the oil companies in business. With the ICE GM hopes it will keep itself in business by selling you spark plugs, wires, antifreeze, and exhaust system. The Volt will probably have a catalytic converter to meet federal emission standard. In California the vehicles will have to pass the smog check.
    I have purchased 9 GM vehicles in the past…my next vehicle will be a 100 % battery electric vehicle. I will charge the battery with PV cells on my garage. Goodbye oil! Goodbye GM!


  7. 7
    Todd

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:10 am)

    Is that 9MPG increase an increase over the 2009 Cobalt XFE’s numbers (currently 25 city, 37 highway, 30 combined)? If so, 34/46 or 39 combined is a damn solid effort, especially if that’s without a hybrid system.


  8. 8
    Spin

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:13 am)

    This is clearly a cost saving plan but will result in a less efficient drivetrain when running on ICE. It is looking more and more like I will have to wait for the second generation Volt.


  9. 9
    Froggy

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:21 am)

    For the Cruze anyway they had better consider the automatic transmission option. Look at the sales figures for the Pontiac Vibe manual transmission model versus automatic. Don’t tell me the Cruze auto tranny is going to be another antique 4 speed. If they can’t design a decent auto transmission maybe they can liscence the DSG selfshifting manual from Volkswaggen. At work opur fleet has to be automatic because of the large number of people who can’t drive a manual. People who post on car forums “car people” aren’t the general population.


  10. 10
    LyleL

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:22 am)

    Pardon the interruption, does anyone here understand Japanese? The link below points to a gm-volt post that points to a 15 minute Japanese news show which seems to be detailing Ultracapacitor technology, in cars, trucks and a solar car charging station. The package looks like lithium packs in size. If someone could view the video, explain whats being discussed and post to the link below I’d appreciate it.

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?p=8401#post8401


  11. 11
    TED in Fort Myers

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:30 am)

    !.4 liter. Way too large. Maybe it will cycle on and off during low battery just to do maintenance on the battery otherwise why so much.
    I hope they are still planning a BEV version of the volt. TED


  12. 12
    Grant

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:40 am)

    I for one CAN’T have a straight Electric Drive, I have to have the gas engine on many occasions. This just looks like a decent cost-cutting move, the increase in weight I can’t speak to as I have no idea what the difference is, but if they can use the same platform/engine combo, the price of the Volt WILL drop to a reasonable range as they will be able to easily parts-swap. If you want a truly unique drive train, you wind up with a truly expensive hybrid, like the Fisker. If you use existing components, you may loose some efficiency but you gain $40,000+ you can use to buy a taco or something when you are only commuting and using no gas ANYWAY.

    I’ve worked out on paper a 40 mile electric range, compared to my existing gas bill, and I’ve found that I could go up to $30,000 on a plug-in and still beak even with the car payment vs. my existing gas payment. In five years, it becomes profit. Your mileage may vary (sorry, had to say it…) but above $30,000, I couldn’t make it work. Yay, standardized components!


  13. 13
    TED in Fort Myers

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:48 am)

    Looks like someone has made some progress on ultracaps. We sure life in exciting times. TED


  14. 14
    JEC

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:04 am)

    And it keeps coming down.>>>>>

    Every new announcement seems to bring more bad news. They keep adding more traditional ICE and the specs keep getting worse. Pretty soon this will be just another hybrid. I am expecting the announcement soon that the Volt will now only run on batteries for certain speed bands, then it will switch to ICE for the more demanding tasks.

    Here we go again GM. Promise, promise, promise….followed by compromise, compromise, compromise.

    This is another bullet in the Volt. I am thinking I may starting calling this the Re-Volt, if GM keeps downing the original specs on this machine.

    A 1.4L engine is NOT a generator anymore, it’s a true ICE. So, you get to carry around all the “luggage” of an ICE plus the battery, motors and the sundry of electrical gadgets.


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    Estero

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:14 am)

    I agree with both #3 Arch & #5 Glen.

    I raised these same issues some time ago when the gas tank was cut in size from 12 gal to 6 gal and when the possibility of a 1.4 L engine was first raised. None of this makes sense!


  16. 16
    Dave G

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:17 am)

    I can understand why GM might want to share engine technology for cost and reliability reasons, but I would be really surprised if the Volt still gets 50 MPG with this engine.

    Lyle, could you ask at GM if the 50 MPG figure is still accurate?


  17. 17
    Dave G

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:22 am)

    #3 Arch says: “Thats a much bigger engine than they need to drive the generator. JMHO”
    ————————————————————————————–
    The originally specified engine was 1.0L with turbo. Now they are saying 1.4L without turbo. So both engines would have about the same power, but the 1.4L would be heavier, less efficient, and less expensive.


  18. 18
    R.V.

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:28 am)

    My commute to work is 40 miles. I’ll be able to plug in there, and remain electric-only no problem as long as there’s no
    crazy government mandated
    built in charge only at night-time
    so called off peak hours
    charging restrictions on this car that is potentially offering so much freedom.

    As for the ICE this 1.4L looks like a good option, maybe too good?


  19. 19
    Exp_EngTech

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:42 am)

    Personally, I’d prefer it if the ICE was only large enough for a fully loaded Volt to achieve….say 80 mph (under ICE power). I myself don’t need 100 mph capability (battery or ICE Genset). Saying that, I also appreciate the need for performance “headroom”. The Volt needs to be able to climb those pesky Rocky Mountains (fully loaded) under ICE generated power without breaking a sweat. I’m sure that the design team has taken every conceivable issue into the computer model of the Volt’s performance.

    I do hope that the design team has taken full advantage of the “serial” nature of the vehicle when it comes to servicing. Routine servicing and even an ICE Genset swap (quite rare) should be drop dead simple and fast.

    With servicing in mind, I always think back to the Monza with the V8 that GM produced back in the mid 70′s. You had to remove the motor mount bolts and jack up the engine to access certain spark plugs !

    I hope that removing & swapping the ICE Genset and/or “T Pack” are high priority items in the design. 2 hours max at the dealership ?

    I believe consumers will appreciate a “Solid State” Car.

    Go GM Volt !
    Go Mitsubishi iMiEV !
    Go Subaru R1e !


  20. 20
    ThomC

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:43 am)

    I sure hope the illustration is a stock image… It looks like a turbocharged twin-cam inline four. Great engine for a “normal” car, but a serial hybrid’s ICE should be something that just “turns on” at the optimum rpm (preferably really low speed) since it’s only function is to run the generator. The ICE needs only a paper-thin powerband.

    Talks of “economy of scale” don’t really apply here. The Volt, with a $40k price tag, is not going to be a loss-leader (hah! Lutz has already said they’ll lose money on every first year Volt). A projected build capacity below 7 figures annually prevents it from being a primary source of income.

    Let’s face it, for the first couple of years the Volt will be a halo car. It needs to out-green and out-mpg the Prius so that buyers who cannot affort or access a Volt will be induced to seriously consider other GM vehicles with more traditional drivetrains.

    Looking at the e-Flex platform (and the Volt in particular), GM should have three long-term goals for this car, in order of priority:
    1) Generate interest (buzz) in GM, something at which it has succeeded brilliantly… just look this web site.
    2) Maintain and advance GM’s existing superior experience with battery-powered vehicles (which started with the much maligned/sainted EV-1)… something that’s not trivial as Tesla is coming to understand.
    3) Make money on the platform as it matures and ONLY when it matures.

    What I want out of the e-Flex drivetrain is
    * A battery that will support driving the car IN THE REAL WORLD for at least 30 miles before needing a recharge (sure, Lutz wants 40 miles, but I’ll be happy with a bit less)
    * A battery that can be recharged to capacity in a reasonable amount of time (e.g. 6 hours from “flat” to “full”) with household current (115v 15A)
    * A generator system (ICE and generator) that will provide enough electrical power to both drive the drivetrain motors and charge the battery when the battery has been drained to its lowest safe level
    * The most fuel efficient ICE possible to drive the generator

    A high-reving, high-horsepower pseudo race car engine is just ridiculous in this application.

    Not that I have any opinion on the matter ;-)


  21. 21
    Estero

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:45 am)

    #17 Dave G says “The originally specified engine was 1.0L with turbo. Now they are saying 1.4L without turbo. So both engines would have about the same power, but the 1.4L would be heavier, less efficient, and less expensive.”

    Help me on this. Where is it that GM stated the 1.4L Volt engine will be w/o turbo?


  22. 22
    CDAVIS

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:50 am)

    _____________________________________________________
    I vote YES on GM using the standard 4C/1.4L in the VOLT.

    GM re-purposing the new upcoming standard GM 4C/1.4L engine for the VOLT makes a lot of sense because:

    1. The ICE per unit cost will be lower because of better economy of scale.
    2. More service technicians will already be trained to service this engine (not a specialty engine).
    3. This ICE is already engineered therefore quicker time to market for the VOLT.
    4. This ICE will allow GM to more easily ramp up higher production volume for the VOLT.
    5. Spare parts (if required) will be cheaper.
    6. It’s better to error slightly on over-powering rather than slightly on under-powering the range extender. If it was under-powered, that’s what you would hear in every automotive review (“except for the ICE range extender being under-powered…”).
    7. This engine offers an excellent weight/power ratio
    8. This engine offers an excellent mpg/power ratio.
    9. This engine will have a better after-market sale value for the hardcore EV nuts (you know who you are) wanting to take out the ICE and sale it on eBay.
    10. This engine will be more balanced (its more symmetrical) therefore quieter and less cabin vibration.
    _____________________________________________________


  23. 23
    RLM

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:50 am)

    Since the range extender (ICE,gas tank,generator) requires no mechanical connection to the vehicle, only electrical, why not have it removable. A removable range extender similar to streachers from ambulances would allow me to remove the R.E. for most days and only install for extended trips.
    I might even buy a Volt without the range extender if I could rent one as needed.


  24. 24
    JEC

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:51 am)

    Ok, maybe I missed this, but I thought the Volt would be a electric car with an ICE assist?

    So, why the need for so much power from the ICE? Should not the ICE really be just a generator, used to re-charge the batteries? Is that not the best way to get this thing done? The batteries are already their, and can store the energy that will be needed to meet the varying power requirements, and the ICE does NOT need to be able to put out peak power, just constant charging power. The car does not drive directly from the ICE, but from the electric motors, so you should never need to get peak power from the ICE.

    If you run the ICE at constant power output you should be able to easily maintain the charge on the batteries, right? I thought the 1.0L was overkill, now they need 1.4L engine.

    I am not a big believer in the conspiracy theories, but this just seems to not add up.

    Something smells at GM, and it’s starting to smell like burning OIL! (Maybe the Oil companies are helping GM design this now).


  25. 25
    Guy Incognito

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (10:09 am)

  26. 26
    Daveo

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (10:10 am)

    If you can, just for a moment, forget all you know about the Volt and all of these technologies. Then imagine you are hearing about this vehicle for the first time as the “average” consumer and you hear that the Volt has a 3-cylinder. A 4-cylinder is more recognizable to the average consumer. I thought it a bit strange when my buddy bought a 5-cylinder Colorado.

    I did a little research on wiki for 3-cylinder cars and found that there have only been a handful of small cars in N. America. I only recognize one – the Geo Metro.

    So, I agree with a previous post – 2nd or 3rd gen Volt will more than likely be the ticket for me, and I’ll seriously look at the Cruze in the interim.

    Go Volt!


  27. 27
    George B.

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (10:11 am)

    very disappointing….why would I buy a Volt if it is just a 4-banger with electric drive? I’ll just skip the whole thing and get a 4-banger and save the $15 grand……


  28. 28
    Li-ion

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (10:17 am)

    Once the battery is low the car must move on the ice solely, so think about it a diesel over electric locomotive dose not use a car engine to drive a generator to move, it uses one the size of a living room. I know that the Volt ice will stay at a cretin rpm to stay in its power band but it still has to make the same kWh to move a 4 door car with people up a hill.


  29. 29
    Jason C

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (10:17 am)

    To: GM executives…cut costs with volume, not quality…

    This feels like GM backing off of the commitment to the Volt by producing a more expensive and watered down version.

    If they made a specific ICE for the Volt (the same engine for other future EREV models) wouldn’t THAT become the cost saving standard? The difference is that now you have had it in several model years and it has been proven at a time when you can really ramp up production.

    For some reason (I can’t imagine what it could be), I think that a three liter engine would be more efficient for this task then a larger four liter engine. I’m no engineer but this ICE will be running at an optimum speed and not be tied to the drivetrain and thus would need less power and use less fuel. The only reason they would do this is money. It is just simpler and cheaper in the short term to use what they have on had to cobble this project together. Personally, I would rather pay to have a better product. This reminds me of Preston Tucker who wanted to create a really exciting, modern and safe car with a multitude of new features. Due to a multitude of reasons, many of those innovative features remained on the drawing board.

    With the new, larger engine can we expect them to go back to a 12 gallon tank? Will the total range come down from what we have been told now that we have a 6 gallon tank and a larger engine that will suck that fuel out at a faster rate?

    In summary….WTF?


  30. 30
    SteveF

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (10:35 am)

    Remember this is not just another 4-banger with electric drive. Remember if you only drive 40 miles the ICE will never turn on. Yes for longer trips maybe the Volt and Cruze will equal the same milage but the power of the Volt is that first 40 miles.


  31. 31
    Gary

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (10:38 am)

    14 JEC:

    “A 1.4L engine is NOT a generator anymore, it’s a true ICE.”

    What is that supposed to mean? An internal combusion engine, be it 1.0L or 1.4L is still an ICE. The size has nothing to do with it. The generator is an external device connnected to the ICE engine.

    That said, perhaps the engine had to be resized for highway-speed hill climbing capability. A 1.0L engine could be adequate for such an application if there was a driver-selecable hill climbing switch/option to turn on the generator so it runs to the point of charging the battery to its full state of charge, so if you run into a steep hill, there will be enough battery juice to climb it. It’s been my experience that the nastiest of hill grades that really tax an engine are only a few miles long before they scale back to a less of an uphill grade, which afterwards would allow the generator time to catch up and recharge the battery again for the next steep hill.

    The idea would work great for tech-friendly people who frequent this web site, but the problem is that the average driver, to be honest, would be too, uhh… stupid to remember when to turn on the hill climbing mode. The idea of the Volt is that it’s operated the same as any other car, and I can’t imagine grandma remembering turn on the hill-climb mode before the battery drains to the point where it can’t go any further uphill.


  32. 32
    JEC

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (10:45 am)

    @27 Li-Ion

    But, a locomotive runs off the electricity produced directly from the diesel engine (yes they do have batteries, but these are sized differently, and have more specific purpose than the Volt would use). The Volt has the very expensive “charge pump”, that can be used to store energy for when it is needed. The battery is already on-board, so why not use it in this manner.

    If, to meet some spec’s for hilly terrain, I would opt to have them begin charging the battery sooner, so it is not nearly discharged, so that they could meet the needs for climbing a mountain. Or at least give the option to me to only pay for what I need (I do not live in mountainous region, but I appreciate it for those who do).

    This auto is really encroaching into Prius territory, and we already have a Prius. GM needs a differentiator, and they are sadly moving away from it.

    Just my opinion, of course (you know what they say about opinions…)


  33. 33
    JEC

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (11:04 am)

    #30 Gary

    You are correct. An ICE is an ICE, no matter the size.

    This was not what I meant, but I meant that this vehicle is becoming more of the traditional ICE, since now the ICE is actually appearing to be sized to run the car directly. If this is the same engine that will be used in the Cruze, and the Cruze appears to be the same size as the Volt, then again, the ICE is now a “real ICE” in it’s application.

    It just seems like GM is not getting any benefit from installing all this new battery technology and electonics into the Volt. To get real benefits, you need to leverage the expensive battery, and keep it charged to meet the needs. If this cannot be done without installing a full size ICE, then this car is, in my opinion, a failure.

    So, I for one, will be looking/waiting for a true electric vehicle to be available.

    Funny, because Volt construes potential, but the direction that GM is taking this auto, it looks like it will be more hype than potential.


  34. 34
    TED in Fort Myers

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (11:25 am)

    Daveo #25
    My Honda has a three cylinder engine. TED


  35. 35
    BillR

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (11:25 am)

    First, some people need to leave their pre-conceived notions of ICE’s behind. Typically, larger engines are more efficient than smaller engines. Engines are typically most efficient a lower speeds, and at high load. The problem becomes the point of operation.

    https://www.mhi.co.jp/en/technology/review/pdf/e451/e451021.pdf

    In a conventional drive automobile, the engine directly drives the vehicle, and must modulate its power output to meet the demand. So as the car climbs a hill, it must be downshifted to a lower gear so that the engine can rev higher and produce more power. So an econo car like the Cobalt may use a 140 hp engine.

    However, on the open road at cruise speed, the car may only need about 20 hp to propel it forward. A higher gear drops the engine revs, but the throttle is still at part load, so the efficiency is not optimum.

    The E-Flex system alleviates some of these shortcomings by turning the ICE into a generator drive that does not drive the vehicle directly. I do not have info on the 1.4 liter engine, but see the attached link for info on a GM 1.6 L engine. Click on the “PL” link for a PDF of the engine characteristic.

    http://media.gm.com/us/powertrain/en/product_services/2009a/09car.htm

    Note that this engine produces a nominal 20 hp (15 kW) at 1500 rpm, 25 hp (19 kW) at 1800 rpm, and 70 hp (52 kW) at 3600 rpm. At VoltNation, we learned that the ICE will likely operate at 3 distinct load points, so these are the ones that I am suggesting for discussion purposes.

    So when the Volt’s battery pack discharges to 30% SOC, the ICE starts and operates at the best efficiency point (probably 15 kW). If the average power consumption over the next few minutes continues to drain the battery pack, the ICE will index up to the appropriate load (19 or 52 kW). When the SOC of the battery pack increases to 40%, the ICE will shut off.

    In any event, the ICE will be programmed to operate at the most efficient point possible to meet the demands of the vehicle. It should operate with the throttle wide open, and at the optimum speed.

    I see the 1.4 L as being more efficient than the 1.0 L turbo, and its already been established that weight is third behind aerodynamic drag and auxiliary loads in energy loss. So I don’t see the disadvantage of using a high volume production engine for the range extender.


  36. 36
    John Es

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (11:31 am)

    I am sincerely encouraged by all of the bright minds participating in this website.

    With this latest post, I’m afraid I am reminded of my intial reaction to the Volt concept. Maybe I was fortunate that my car buying schedule had me purchase a Corolla in the ’07 model year. I don’t think my next car will have an ICE.


  37. 37
    Jeff M

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (11:36 am)

    Glen, while “weight” was cited as one of the reasons for reducing the gas tank(s) capacity, the other reason was “volume” which I think is the bigger factor when you have limited space… in addition to reducing complexity (which increases cost) as I believe for 12 gallons the design required a dual tank design.

    For most daily driving the generator will either not come on at all or for only a small fraction of the drive. The heavier generator (ICE) will slightly (probably not even enough to notice) reduce BEV range.

    It would be interesting to know how much of the retail cost of the Volt will be for the generator and it’s integration with the rest of the Volt’s systems.


  38. 38
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (11:39 am)

    Certainly, there are economy of scale to be gained by doing this, but it may also be necessary for those climbs to Pike’s Peak.

    For those worrying about fuel economy, I suspect it is easier to balance a four cyclinder while shutting off two cylinders than balancing a three cylinder while shutting off one cylinder. Add turbos, and you will get a very powerful, very efficient 4 cylinder engine.

    Given that the Lumina’s used to sell so well, I suspect the new Cruze will sell very well, especially when put side by side with small foreign cars with equivalent fuel efficiencies.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (11:42 am)

    >> Well I sure hope GM has some logic for this call.

    It’s the same thing Toyota did with Echo. Reusing the engine that was already in Prius (though detuning it to deliver more power) allowed for greater production volume… which reduces cost.

    For Volt to become a game-changer, cost controller is absolutely critical. Being a niche won’t actually make a difference. $4 gas is here already.

    .
    >> Every new announcement seems to bring more bad news

    Realities of the automotive business, this in particular, were mentioned long ago. Finally acknowledging them is a step in the right direction. The fixation on engineering alone should have been an obvious path to disappoint.

    1,000,000 hybrids per year is Toyota’s next goal. Think about how grossly out-numbered Volt could be then, especially if GM pushes BAS+ as they’ve been hoping to do.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (11:52 am)

    ugggghhhh… Again it appears that everyone here thinks the Volt should be designed just for them. From the beginning the Volt was (and still is) targeted at being a vehicle that held no power or speed compromises, a car that the totally not with the electrification of the car people would drive and realize there doesn’t have to be compromises. Also basically everyone here raised hell when the price was said to NOT be about 30K. And now all I read for the most part is “wah wah wah they are cutting cost to keep the price from going even higher.”

    Give it a rest people. Get it through your head that this car is not and never has been about eeking every mile per gallon efficiency out of a car. It is too prove a concept to the average joe, which nobody here is with regard to this technology.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (11:57 am)

    With this ICE engine, I no longer see the advantage to the Volt in having the big battery and electric engine. If the ICE is big enough to drive the car up Pike’[s Peak— why not simply let it do it, without the increased weight of the auto-sized battery and the inefficiency of mechanical to electric to mechanical?

    That is, it seems to me that with this ICE engine it may be that GM has essentially given up on the EREV design.


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    Frank D

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (12:06 pm)

    I’m very disappointed. It’s obvious GM is depending on gasoline engines for their survival. This new larger engine will only make the consumer pay in more gasoline/oil related maintenance that could have been avoided if they really had the vision. I was hoping to give a US Company a chance by supporting them with my hard earned dollars. By 2010 there will be a company that will have the right car. Tesla has the right idea.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (12:28 pm)

    Come on, you cannot have the argument both ways!

    GM is saying they expect this car to be a high volume car. This is not supposed to be an experiment on how to build an electric car (series hybrid).

    So, by compromising again and just using traditional 1.4L ICE and then saying it’s all in the name of cost savings is bogus. If they are truly designing a long term, high volume auto, then you invest the engineering and money to design the right engine for the job. A high volume auto would absorb the engineering costs and it would be irrelevant.

    Maybe the original concept is not achievable with current technology, but just say it and don’t keep dumb-sizing this auto.

    How can you even call this a series hybrid, now that your using the same engine in your new Cruze. Let’s just put a damn transmission in the Volt and call it what it is going to be. A high priced PRIUS with lipstick!


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    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (12:35 pm)

    2008 Cobolt XFE – Extended Fuel Economy (XFE)
    This has 36 MPG highway, and a poster here says that 2009 a model has 37 MPG highway.
    This is with a 2.2L engine and 5 speed manual box.
    When using the 1.4L Rick Wagoner says add 9 mpg and you get 45 or 46 depending on which base figure you use.

    Now running the ICE at optimum RPM and using the battery to do load leveling is bound to yield an improvement and that improvement only needs to be 10% to hit the 50 mpg figure previously discussed.

    Also remember that GM can invest more time optimizing 1 ICE than 2 ICEs. This just sounds like a sensible business plan.

    If there are any comparable cars here are some engine sizes:
    Honda Insight (tiny hybrid – think 2 seats) 3 cyl 1l
    Civic hybrid 4 cyl 1.3L
    Prius 4 cyl 1.5L
    Mini 4 cyl 1.6L (although I remember the 4cyl 850cc 4cyl 998c and the 1248cc was big then – but that shows my age).

    When running in ICE mode other than the load leveling advantage (optimal RPM) I would expect the engine capacity needed to be not far from a Honda Civic. On highway I wonder how much saving the optimal RPM is able to give compared with a 5 speed manual box 20%?


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    seller

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (12:39 pm)

    perhaps gm came to a conclusion . That people will take the ICe out and sell it? OR WORSE cut gms profits more , by droping that ice in a different vehicle . GOD forbid we have 50 pmg like the old metros . Or run the volt without a ice , and get 50 milesbefore u run out of juice. Either way , would hurt those precious oil company .. and we dont want that do we? .Yes sarcasticly said.


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    2Snowboard

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (12:39 pm)

    The pessimism on this thread is bordering on ridiculous here people, stop being chicken littles.

    Its one freaking cylindar! 4 tenths of a liter! Chill!

    Case in point, #32 JEC,
    How precisely is GM not getting any benefit from installing all this new battery technology and electonics into the Volt? Does this mean it no longer runs on battery power or achieve 40 miles per charge? If you say the benefits are leveraging the expensive battery, what else would a switch to a stock engine in the car be as opposed to custom building a new engine? If this is about minor environmental impacts, I think its negligible. Why would using a 1.4 liter engine somehow be the breaking point of Volt “failure” exactly?

    You’re free to wait for the “true” electics, personally I never want to depend 100% on the grid for my car, but the only way to such advances in battery tech is through the success of the E-REV concept in my opinion.

    Point is, how does this change in any way effect the only relevant variables; range on electric only, mpg afterwards?

    BillR, thanks as always for injecting logic and reason into all debates here.


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    Rick

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (12:40 pm)

    Where’s statik?


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    law

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (12:40 pm)

    HCCI!!!!

    I’m wondering how the cruze could get 40 mpg on a non-hybrid, I’m very suspicious due to the fact the GM has their HCCI engine up and running:

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/08/26/abg-tech-analysis-and-driving-impression-gms-hcci-engine/

    that’s old news but if anyone doesn’t know what an HCCI engine is, it’s a gasoline engine that runs like a diesel (without spark plugs) but in reality the GM version runs like a diesel when you are easy on the gas and runs like a normal ICE when you floor it. It gets better fuel economy like a diesel when in HCCI mode and I can imagine that it needs a little more displacement and a turbo to get the same torque output so that you can stay in HCCI mode more often when you accelerate.

    Also GM needs to use every asset that it has in order to survive because lots of GM people like myself and my american car fanatic parents are now driving toyota prii, my brother has a civic. I’ll trade the prius in for a volt ;) and maybe also a very good HCCI powered cruze. I’ll even deal with any technical problems or bugs with tolerance as long as they are ironed out.

    I don’t see any way that the cruze with a 1.4L turbo will get 40 mpg even on highway without the HCCI, I think it’s impossible.

    I also think they won’t put the HCCI in the volt the first year, I think they will introduce both technologies, HCCI, and EREV at about the same time in different limited production vehicles so they work the problems out of each one individually before they put HCCI in the volt and EREV in the cruze. Then when they do that the 1.0 L turbo engine will have been a waste of money.

    Let GM do their job, stop being babies! If they screw it up they may go under or their stock may go down to 1 cent and another company will buy them out and many americans will be disapointed. If they do everything right then the market will reward them, I also think if obama is president this will be a turning point for oil and we will never ever have cheap gasoline again.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (12:44 pm)

    #45 snowboard asks “Point is, how does this change in any way effect the only relevant variables, range on electric only, mpg afterwards?”

    It’s unclear, but I think both are lower than with a smaller ICE.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (12:45 pm)

    Maybe GM can shift the Volt’s ICE a little more and just put in GM’s favorite engine, a V8.
    It will be good for Pike’s Peak, the new design criterion, and GM seems to have some extra V8s these days, so that will save money too. :)


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (12:49 pm)

    # 48 RB,
    How could the electric only range possibly be lower with this engine?

    #46 Rick,
    Don’t ever, EVER ask that. Its like talking to a pitcher in the middle of a perfect game.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (12:56 pm)

    #45 Snowboard

    Its one freaking cylindar! 4 tenths of a liter! Chill!

    True, but it’s a 40% increase in size, which you cannot just ignore. It’s not the end of the world, but it is just another compromise in this design. I do not want compromises, I want it done right, the first time.

    Why would doing that somehow translate into “failure” exactly?
    Failure is not achieving your goal. You cannot keep lowering the bar, again, and again, and call it success (This is what we now teach in school, so maybe it is not failure).

    —–
    Again, as I said previously, if GM is realizing they cannot meet the original goal, then tell everyone why, and how they are changing the goal to meet the new objective.

    This is just my opinion based on my area of expertise, and that’s the whole idea around this blog. I want more opinions and facts, so I can make my own judgment about what is and is not important. I respect the optimistic and pessimistic opinions that I read on this blog.


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    Larry Parylla

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:05 pm)

    All you arm chair engineers are regoddamndiculous, you all are throwing around numbers as if you know what the heck you are talking about. Don’t you think that GM has crunched the numbers and figured out how many KW the car will need to do a steady 65 MPH, how many KW will be need to move a car with 4 people up over a mountain road. What about how many KWs will have to be generated to get the car with 4 passengers over the Rocky Mts with the A/C on [and don't forget that an ICE produces less power at high altitudes so you have to factor in for HP loss at altitude]. How much HP the engine will need to make those KW. All you people that are amateur engineers throw around number probably don’t have any idea what the requirements are in KW and how many horses are needed to make those KW.

    Here is a hint one HP is equal to 3/4 KW but in the real world it is less due to loss from wire resistance and generator efficiency


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    pokey97988

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:15 pm)

    GM’s Volt will be a great car but I am disappointed in GM’s vision. It reminds me of IBM’s PC. IBM execs dropped the ball on the PC and allowed competitors to make lots of cash off IBM’s original PC idea. GM should have at least 3 models of plug-in hybrids in development right now and I only see one. Inventories of the Volt will be severely constrained for several years causing Chevy dealers to charge thousands over invoice and allowing Toyota, Honda, and other competitors time to bring their plug-in hybrids to market. The Volt is great but its future is being controlled by the kings of the gas hog SUV. Not a good sign.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:16 pm)

    #50 snowboard asks “How could the electric only range possibly be lower with this engine?”

    The new engine is more dead weight to carry, in electric only.


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    seller

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:16 pm)

    Didnt gm state they wanted a HOME run? not just a hit or a ground ball or a miss. i realize they need some Redundency to prove the tech works , but that works The other way too. TO much of the same makes everyone say so what? just another car big deal . They will then go with a brand they know and can trust in their opinion ,which isnt gm . honda or toyota anyone? ya..
    So its one of those dammed if u do.. Damed if u dont… Hopefully they can find the right balance to compinsate for all the normal car parts they are putting in. One way MOSTcorperations selling ice to eskimos .


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:25 pm)

    #52 Larry — Thanks, you are helping me with my argument for the small V8 :)

    More seriously, there are many advantages to the original concept of an electric car with ICE backup. There also are some disadvantages to such a car, e.g. perfomance on Pike’s Peak after the battery has run down. Now the design seems to be shifting to overcoming all disadvantages by making the Volt into an ICE car with an expensive electric transmission. I don’t see how that is better than the standard ICE Cruze, only more expensive.


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    Exp_EngTech

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:28 pm)

    Attention !

    This is the Volt 101 ICE/Generator and Battery Classroom.

    As your first assignment, please read this link from late last August….

    http://gm-volt.com/2007/08/29/latest-chevy-volt-battery-pack-and-generator-details-and-clarifications/

    Several people have been posting theories / speculations on how the Volt’s ICE/Generator might “charge the battery” while it’s running. The whole point of the ICE/Generator is to supply electrical power “on the fly” for the drive system only. Please note the term “Charge Sustaining Mode”. The ICE/Generator will not be “charging up” the battery above 30% SOC (State of Charge). GM and the 2 battery teams know how to treat the cells. In order to get the needed life expectancy out of the pack, the battery cells must not be exposed to quick, repeated partial charge/discharge cycles.

    The only charging of the pack occurs from the Grid in the garage at your home. Empty is 30% – Full is 80%. They are purposely protecting the cells from “abuse”.

    This is your instructor signing off.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:29 pm)

    Yeah, this does seem like a step in the wrong direction. 1.4L is overkill, a 3 cyl 1.0L Geo Metro with outdated speed density, throttle body injection has more than enough power. Now put more modern MAF, port injection on that same size engine and you have more than enough power to run a generator.

    How big of an engine do you need, for Pete’s sake? You can go to your local hardware store and buy a generator with a carbureted 1 cyl engine that would make enough power to be the genset for the Volt.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:34 pm)

    #56 Larry Parylla

    Here is a hint one HP is equal to 3/4 KW but in the real world it is less due to loss from wire resistance and generator efficiency
    ——————
    Well actually it’s 746 Watts. Also one HP is typically the shaft rated HP on an electric motor, so when you buy a 1HP motor, this is based on the output shaft power. You have losses in the motor due to electical IR drop and heating/losses due to eddy currents and other dynamics of the motor and wiring. But 1HP is always 1HP (or 746 Watts if you chose).

    I also would be careful about calling out the arm chair engineers. The posts I have read on this blog consist of many well thought out and technically sound ideas.

    I expect the GM has run all the numbers, wrt to required energy for all different scenarios. I am sure they are excellent engineers. This blog is not a design blog, but it is for disseminating information and ideas. Also, don’t hold any engineer to a level of deity. Sometimes even the best engineers can miss the most obvious deficiency. When your up to your ears in design, you can easily forget to open your eyes.


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    Four Banger

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:42 pm)

    This Volt must be a more powerful car than many people on this forum think. Turbocharged 4 should put out huge amouts of HP. Maybe their will be a manual override switch that combines ICE and battery power for even more power on demand.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:44 pm)

    #57 Exp_EngTech

    Ok. Thanks for the refresher. I forgot this “minor” fact that the ICE will not charge the battery, but only sustain.

    So, If you want this car to perform 100% of the time for all conditions, then you need the larger ICE. I understand but I don’t really like this (and no, GM did’nt conference me in the last conference call)

    Let me stew on this a while…my kids are screaming at me to get off the computer.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:48 pm)

    Sorry I meant 3/4 of a kilowatts [approximately]

    I believe most of the time that electric motors power is measured in KW


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:56 pm)

    There are some very well informed people here but I have also read a lot of comments from people that just throw numbers around without taking into account that GM has done a lot of testing with mules and they aren’t guessing how many horses will be need to get the job done. So unless the people that are telling us hat GM is putting more or less HP into the car than is needed have done tests of their own and can prove it with data they are just arm chair engineers to me

    Yes they engineers do make mistakes but thatnis why they have mules, to catch what they missed


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    1909 Baker Electric

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (1:59 pm)

    Of all the hundreds of cars and motorcycles Jay Leno owns his 1909 Baker Electric is the most RELIABLE vehicle he has. It has never needed repair, still runs great, and he even has the original Thomas Edison batteries and they STILL WORK. BTW, this car has a range of over 100 miles per charge.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (2:18 pm)

    #61 JEC wrote…..

    “So, If you want this car to perform 100% of the time for all conditions…”

    It’s not “me” wanting this level of performance. It’s the guy buying a Volt near Denver that FULLY EXPECTS his Volt to produce enough electrical “juice” on the fly from the ICE/Generator to cross the Continental Divide in a fully loaded car without braking a sweat. I guess that’s reasonable for him. Personally, I don’t live there and I rarely need to jump on an Interstate and cruise at 75 – 80+ mph. That’s just me.

    In order for the E-Flex Drivetrain to be accepted, it has to meet the performance expectations of the AVERAGE CONSUMER. I suspect that both you and I (and a lot of people on this site) have much lower performance needs of the Volt & E-Flex.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (2:21 pm)

    >> In order to get the needed life expectancy out of the pack, the battery cells must not be exposed to quick, repeated partial charge/discharge cycles. The only charging of the pack occurs from the Grid in the garage at your home…

    Clarification is most definitely needed.

    That seems to imply there is no regenerative braking.

    It also counters the whole idea of steady-state engine operation, since a constant amount of electricity will be generated even though the draw from the traction-motor frequently vary.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (2:21 pm)

    Ok, what is so hard about devising an algorithm to charge the battery at the normal 3hr rate while on the ICE generator. Current motor power+ optimal charge rate. No heating of battery and no rapid charge rate. That would work out that at 65MPH after 195 miles on ICE the fuel consumption at 50MPG would be about 4 gallon and then back to battery for 40 miles. 195 on gas, 80 on battery. 275 on about 4 gallons or 68+MPG! not bad. About 375 miles on a tank a gas. Now if only the VOLT price would be under $30k!


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (2:22 pm)

    The beauty and elegence of a series parallel hybrid drivetrain is that the prime generator for the vehicle is an electric motor that’s attached to a battery. The battery acts as a (chemical/electric) holding tank for the power that buffers the power requirement from the ultimate power generator. With a plug-in hybrid, the ultimate power generator can be 4-stroke, 2-stroke, diesel, rotary, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cell, hydro-electric, coal-fired, solar-power, nuclear, zero-point energy, black hole… (getting a little far out there…) whatever.

    The point is that the battery divorces the on-board power generator from the running power requirements just as thoroughly as it divorces drive motors from the type of power that’s suppling the electric grid. As long as the juice going into the battery meets the battery’s requirements, the battery just don’t care.

    Given that separation of responsibilites, the ICE should be purpose designed to fulfill the role of electrical generator… period. And don’t tell me that GM doesn’t have the ability to design a purpose built on-board engine in ANY configuration.

    Given western civilization’s established petrolium-based infrastructure, the only reason to go with a gasoline ICE is the ready access by civilians to gasoline fuel. Once alternative energy infrastructures are in place, GM can plop in whatever type of motor is consistent with that type of energy store… one of the stated design objectives of the e-Flex platform.

    My problem with the illustrated engine is that it’s designed to give usable power over a broad spectrum of engine speeds. Which is not what the e-Flex platform needs. e-Flex needs an engine that will produce target electrical power at an optimum engine speed. If/when the e-Flex platform takes off, that engine will be the basis for hundreds of MILLIONS of vehiciles. The engine that goes into the first production Volt should be purpose-designed for its intended use.

    GM claims to be betting the farm on this car, and I think its a good bet. Cheaping out on the ICE is irresponsible.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (2:23 pm)

    Having said all of that, wouldn’t it be ironic if GM put an existing engine design into the Volt because it wouldn’t have time to get a purpose-designed ICE past national/state emissions certifications :-O


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (2:24 pm)

    #51 JEC,
    Source please on this engine being a 40% increase in size? That makes no sense.

    “I do not want compromises, I want it done right, the first time.”

    I say +40G is a much bigger compromise. This does more to alleviate cost over runs then it would impact mpg.

    Again, you didn’t answer the question, how precisely does this engine change constitute “failure” exactly? Be specific.

    I see no evidence of this engine change in any way altering or lowering GM’s professed goal unless someone can show a demonstrable change in the 40 m electric range or the mpg because of this. Until that time opinions are like anal orifices. Everyone has one, and they all stink.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (2:29 pm)

    #54 RB,
    How much dead weight? As BillR pointed out in post #34
    weight is third behind aerodynamic drag and auxiliary loads in energy loss. We’re aren’t talking about weights so finely engineered that a man has to say no to his pregnant wife sitting in the passenger seat because it will affect his electric range.

    I think we need a better sense of proportion, if this engine change is meaning 400+ pounds maybe its relevant, less then that I fail to see the concern.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (2:39 pm)

    Clearly, GM is in a financial position where it is looking at costs first,
    as it should be. Unless that proposed 3 cylinder turbo can be used
    as powerplant in something other than E-Flexes, I would eliminate it from consideration. With 4 cylinders, it would no doubt be an intrinsically smoother engine to boot. We remember Lutz’s remark about the roughess when the range extender kicked in.
    I noticed that the proposed Fisker is taking a rather unique approach in order to achieve sportcar-like power while only
    having a small battery pack aboard – they will have a “high performance switch” which will quite obviously start up the range extender (even though the batteries are charged and producing power) in order to produce lots of juice and fast acceleration times. This is really neat – if you’re going somewhere outside of the Fisker’s 50 mile electric driving range anyway, why not go in style ? – it won’t make any difference in terms of the gas you’ll burn – you would have burned it getting there anyway. And even if you don’t,
    how many drag races can you get involved in in the next 40 miles?
    I predict that this feature will appear on an E-Flex, perhaps a Pontiac or Caddy version. How about a Solstice or Saturn Sky E-Flex variant, with just such an option and an ultra high performance electric motor? THAT would be something. Corvette next?
    If Tesla can con the younger public with speed, how about answering with both speed, economy, and practicality? And the
    ability to buy, insure, maintain and garage just one single car?


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    anonymous

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (2:42 pm)

    23 RLM
    That is an interesting idea. I had assumed that GM would consider the choice of ICE would be “optional” in the sense of it being chosen at the time of production, but you’re right. It needs no physical connection, therefore (in theory) it could be designed to be easily swappable unit, or even removable. I just think of all the import modders who customize their cars, those types of people would love this kind of car.

    Secondly, all you people insisting that the ICE be strong enough to climb Pike’s Peak? Do any of you live at higher altitude? Think for a minute. You have two power sources in a hybrid. One is dependent on oxygen. One isn’t. Insisting that a hybrid’s oxygen-dependent component be designed for an oxygen-starved environment is sensless. [/rant off]

    I actually have no opinion of the 1.0L vs 1.4L ICE. I just want the car to be well-made and affordable. Because I only like compacts and I grew up in the era of crappily-made American compact cars, I’ve never owned an American car.

    GM, please change my mind.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (2:44 pm)

    #64
    Thank you for bringing up the 1909 Baker Electric.
    Today the automotive industry is going through a revolution like it did 100 years ago. The horse and buggy companies were trying to make a better carriage to compete with the electric car back then, but they failed. The federal government did not bail out the horse and buggy companies. Is GM listening? If GM had any vision they would have invested their money on building a new Battery Electric Vehicle with no ICE. They have the expertise and knowledge.
    This Volt with the 4 cylinder should be called a hybrid. Why not just remove the electric motor with the batteries and the 4 cylinder could probably get more than 60 mpg.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:04 pm)

    “If GM had any vision they would have invested their money on building a new Battery Electric Vehicle with no ICE. They have the expertise and knowledge.
    This Volt with the 4 cylinder should be called a hybrid. Why not just remove the electric motor with the batteries and the 4 cylinder could probably get more than 60 mpg.”

    I’m sure after E-flex will come pure BEV’s, but right now they want to appeal to the masses.. if you told someone they could only go for 100miles before having to charge (for 12hrs+, even) they would say “forget it, I can go farther on my tank of gas now”
    But the volt says ‘you can go 40 miles without gas. If you go past it, keep on driving, because you can use the gas to run your car. If you never go over 40 miles before you charge up, you will never use gas.’

    This is a “transitional” item.. its the first of its kind in major production, so just sit back and watch its progress. If you don’t want to buy it because it has a gas engine, then don’t. Buy a full-battery car when its available. This is for the stubborn public that won’t give up their gas and long-range ability. (even if its only 2-3 times a year for most people)


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:16 pm)

    The 4 cyl family 0 engine has a weight of about 460 lbs. A 3 cyl is very likely no more than 1/3 (33%) lighter, so we’re talking about a difference of about 154 lbs in a vehicle that’s likely to weigh well over 3,000 lbs.

    Difference: about 0.51%, or less.

    Leave your golf clubs at home.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:22 pm)

    #6 Good Point!
    #8 My thoughts also.
    #14 YEP.

    I really want to purchase an american Volt but, I really want to stop using petroleum for my 40 mile work commute. Maybe the iMiEV is what I need? If GM makes a I gotta have more horsepower than you VOLT then I guess I’ll be shopping elsewhere. I just want to get off oil, not be faster, or more powerfull. or superior, or start a war to kill people to prove how retarded I can be.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:25 pm)

    76 DocM

    Actually thats 5.13%. Its still not a huge number.

    Also what about the volume increase, the gas tank size increase, the cost increase, the range decrease, etc…

    Its like a person on a diet, saying “oh, its just one doughnut”.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:33 pm)

    2Snowboard

    Is not 1.4L 140% the size of a 1.0L?
    —–
    I never said it was 140% in weight or physical size.
    =================================
    If you are going to quote me, please do me the courtesy of quoting me completely. A few missing or changed words can totally change the meaning of a statement.
    ————————-
    I said “If this cannot be done without installing a full size ICE, then this car is, in my opinion, a failure.” The words “in my opinion” indicate that I am expressing an opinion based on what I understand. You want specifics, you can ask, but please specify exactly what you want.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    #75 canehdian

    Will any sensible person pay $15K extra to get a car with (what will be understood by ordinary sales personnel and the layperson to be) an electric transmission rather than a mechanical transmission, if the car is the same size and has capabilities that otherwise are the same? Especially if the electric transmission is unproven, while the mechanical transmission is a proven product. That is, why buy a Volt instead of a Cruze? Both are going to be able to climb Pike’s Peak. Probably the Cruze will do it a little quicker, without the heavy battery.


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    CBK

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    I keep seeing the cry for using NG for fuel. Well, my natural gas bill is
    going up nearly 40% this year. Keep the NG for home heating. Not to
    mention it comes out of the ground usually from the same place oil does.
    If we all start using NG, I can bet it will be just as expensive as gasoline.

    I can assure you it will be a lot cooler in my home in the Chicagoland area
    this year as a result.

    JMHO


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:38 pm)

    #66 john1701a quoted and wrote…..

    >> In order to get the needed life expectancy out of the pack, the battery cells must not be exposed to quick, repeated partial charge/discharge cycles. The only charging of the pack occurs from the Grid in the garage at your home…

    Clarification is most definitely needed.

    That seems to imply there is no regenerative braking.

    It also counters the whole idea of steady-state engine operation, since a constant amount of electricity will be generated even though the draw from the traction-motor frequently vary.<<<

    End Quote

    Perhaps Lyle should quiz the Development Team on the issue.

    The FAQ states the following…
    Q; Does the car use regenerative braking?
    A: Yes. This means when the car is slowed, the kinetic or motion-based energy will be recaptured as electricity stored in the battery.

    I would like to see some technical specs on this. I can only venture a guess and say it’s got to be fairly inconsequential. So much so that it wasn’t mentioned last August in the info.

    As far as the “steady-state engine operation” statement….

    The info from last August stated…

    “Rather, it seems, the engine will continue to run, constantly matching the needs of the car to keep the battery at 30% until you stop driving.”

    To me, “Constantly matching the needs of the car” means throttling up and down the ICE/Generator to match the load.

    Did you read somewhere that the ICE/Generator was always going to run at a fixed RPM ?


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:42 pm)

    @21,

    GM currently has an older non-aspirated 1.4L Twinport Ecotec that gets about 90HP. The 1.4L turbo generates 140HP. Last I heard, it was in prototype stage and should be in a few European GMs first.

    ___________________________________________________

    @74,

    GM did try building a BEV with no ICE. It failed. People aren’t willing to drive a car that goes dead after a certain range. I don’t want a car that dies in the middle of a trip. I would have to borrow a friends car or tug a genset trailer or build a pusher trailer to go anywhere far. I want one car that will do everything for 10+ years. Not one BEV and one gas car. You can call the Volt a hybrid, but I agree with GM- the electric and genset motors do not both put mechanical energy to the wheels. Only electric does, even with the genset active.
    ___________________________________________________

    The first generation Volt will be a mutt of the most inefficient technologies one could ever imagine. I would like to see a few things from the second generation Volt (or Volt competition)…

    1) A smaller, lighter, more efficient genset design. Taking parts off the shelf is the economical way of doing things, so I think it’s acceptable for the first generation. But second generation should use a purpose built motor if they want to see E-Flex really take off.

    2) More genset fuel options. I would really like to see gasoline, E85 flex-fuel, (bio)diesel, CNG, and especially- CNG/gasoline dual-fuel gensets. As per the Picken’s Plan, CNG could offset a large chunk of our dependency on oil. Unlike hydrogen, it’s cheap and we already have the technology and infrastructure for refueling. We have several CNG stations in my area. So please, offer a CNG/gasoline genset! GM did this up until I think 2003 and then stopped with a few of their cars (I think the Sierra and Cavalier had dual fuel CNG/gasoline engines). Just imagine relying on 40-mile 100% clean all electric mode, then once that runs out, kick on the super clean and super cheap 180-mile CNG mode, then (and only then), kick on the dirty and expensive 400-mile gas mode.

    3) Upgrade the Volt with in-hub motors (or offer it as an upgrade). In-hub motors allow several benefits, such as all-wheel-drive, advanced and efficient traction-control, etc… All-wheel-drive is necessary if GM wants to extend the E-Flex platform to other vehicles (especially light trucks).


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:45 pm)

    #82 There was an article in Motor Trend about the Volt that had a graph from GM. It is referenced in the forum section of this blog.

    The graph showed that when the ICE came on the battery would charge gradually from about 30% to 50% charge. So the point was that the battery would stay in the lower percentages of charge due to the ICE, not that it would remain exactly constant.

    That was 2-3 months ago, so possibly GM thinking has evolved.


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    2Snowboard

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:54 pm)

    JEC, again, chill. Look back at the post I referenced, “but it’s a 40% increase in size” then looked at how I asked for a source that this means it is a 40% increase in size. How could I possibly have misquoted you?

    I don’t think that 1.4 = a 40% increase over 1.0. I could be wrong, I am no engineer, but it does not appear that the overall size/weight is defined with such a narrow 1:1 ratio. For sake of relevant argument, let’s say you are 100% right, so what? The relevant question would appear to be how does that affect mpg? (since no one has established, nor would GM allow, this to affect the electric range)

    –I said “If this cannot be done without installing a full size ICE, then this car is, in my opinion, a failure.” The words “in my opinion” indicate that I am expressing an opinion based on what I understand. You want specifics, you can ask, but please specify exactly what you want.

    Yeah, I got that it was your opinion, thanks for the recap, for the 3rd and final time, what did you base this opinion of failure due to this engine change of the Volt project on precisely? Supporting opinions makes them relevant, you have not supported why this alleged “full size” engine in any way constitute such an over arching conclusion.

    There is too much emotion in all this from the negative posters on this, as I said from the beginning, the sky is not falling.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (3:57 pm)

    kubel @83 says “GM did try building a BEV with no ICE. It failed. People aren’t willing to drive a car that goes dead after a certain range. I don’t want a car that dies in the middle of a trip. ”

    I agree that I don’t want a car that dies, so a backup ICE has a lot of attractiveness to me. The question is how well the car has to perform in ICE mode. I think GM has moved to the line of thinking that in ICE mode the car has to perform as well as a standard gas powered car under all circumstances, such as going up mountains. Perhaps that is what people will like the best. After all, you don’t give up anything except maybe $15K and some gallons of gas.

    I would rather have a car that was more nearly a BEV, with the capability to come home with the backup ICE, not roar home in a car where the battery power really is just a decoration. Certainly the present design is less and less in this direction.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (4:04 pm)

    Snowboard

    Let’s call this a stalemate.

    I am not sure I understand what you are asking. As you said, this is getting to emotional, and is not adding any value to this blog.

    Let’s move forward and see where it leads us.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (4:09 pm)

    #84 RB

    This must be what you’re talking about….

    http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2008/112_0804_chevrolet_volt_update/photo_03.html

    I hadn’t seen this one. Thanks for the info.

    Attn: john1701a
    This chart does show a small kick from Regenerative Breaking.

    I wish there was some numbering on the side of the chart.
    To me, it doesn’t appear that the pack gets anywhere close to 50% SOC.
    30% to 40% maybe.

    What do you think ?


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (4:17 pm)

    #88 Exp_Eng

    Yes, that’s the one. In earlier discussion, everyone wished for more on the left. After discussion, opinion was that the vertical axis went from 0% to 100%.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (4:29 pm)

    #88 Exp_Eng

    Looking at the chart again, I agree, range is maybe 20% to 35%. Hard to tell exactly, and it’s my impression that the illustration is a drawing, not a measurement, so apparently it only illustrates the idea rather than a precise range.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (4:29 pm)

    I remember one post where a GM exec said he was happy with his mule ride, except that it was a bit rough when the generator (ICE) cranked up. What if this move to a slightly larger motor was to allow them to not run with a turbo (more efficient at low rpms) to get rid of the vibration and noise of the smaller motor running on turbo. What if they found that they could generate the power they needed and use less gas with a lower reving slightly larger motor.

    This is all conjecture, but my point is that no engineering excercise ever goes exactly as planned and there could be sound engineering reasons for what they have done, it doesn’t have to be a cost cutting comprimise dictated by the front office.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (4:32 pm)

    #91 Len — These are good points. Maybe that’s what happened.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (4:42 pm)

    The all-electric car has been a persistent dream since the gasoline engine displaced the old Baker and City electrics — on the basis of performance and range, mainly. Since then, for decades, any attempt at making this a reality again faced a chicken-and-egg dillemma: Who would build such a car without an adequate battery, and who would go to the expense of developing such a battery without there being a ready market (electric cars)?

    Then, about a decade ago, the old ‘chicken-and-egg’ began to show some cracks with the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. Were these electric cars? Only in a very narrow sense. Did they even make a compelling case for the added expense of the hybrid system? Only for those seeking ideological benefits, not economic ones; but that was enough to squeak into a market for better batteries (NiMh).

    I submit to all the idea that the leap to a pure electric car was just to great to take all at one go. If nothing else, the Prius was an attainable step.

    Pure electric cars are closer today than before the parallel hybrids, but they’re still niche, tiny-volume vehicles at absolute best.

    Now, comes the Volt. This is actually pushing it as an attainable step; I hope it isn’t a stumble (I would have expected a parallel power train using Li-ion in between). Now we will have a car that functions as a pure electric for the majority of most drivers’ miles; with all the important components for a pure electric car except for overall range.

    As is often the case with such an ambitious reach, this step comes with some heavy economic penalties. What have we heard over and over in this blog? “Over $30K and I’m out.” “This will be a halo car for the rich.” “Too bad, this isn’t a car for the masses.”

    I can well imagine someone (Lutz? Wagonner?) asking Lyle, “What is the number one issue with your website fans?” The answer, based on virtually every thread is “COST” with a captial “C.” GM merely does something sound based on economic sense, and suddenly the show seems to be all over, based on most of these replies.

    The Volt as a short-range EV, serial hybrid, maybe-attainable step loses next to nothing from an engineering standpoint with an additional cylinder (try reading the thread where the new 1.4L world engine was first put forward as the range-extender).

    If the Volt fails, it will be due to high cost. Show some consistency, guys.

    I hate to have to make a speech like this, here.

    …hate…speech…

    D’oh!!


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (4:56 pm)

    I think going with the 4 banger is a smart move. Production costs are reduced by using a standardized engine and eliminating the turbo.

    The larger displacement engine should operate at a lower average RPM. The lower the average RPM, the higher the fuel efficiency.

    **********************************************************************
    An HCCI engine would seem to be a great fit for the Volt.
    **********************************************************************


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    Foot Pound McFly

    Help me out.
    “The larger displacement engine should operate at a lower average RPM. The lower the average RPM, the higher the fuel efficiency.”

    So why not move right to the V-8 from the Chevy Camaro?

    Am I not getting the point today?


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    #75 canehdian
    “if you told someone they could only go for 100miles before having to charge (for 12hrs+, even) they would say “forget it, I can go farther on my tank of gas now””
    70 % of the commuters drive less than 40 miles per day in the USA.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (5:15 pm)

    It will just add unnessessary weight to the EV … affecting the 40 mile EV range … GM trying to save $$ by using something they already have …. false economy…..


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (5:24 pm)

    JEC #95

    I think you’re on to something there. The 2007 Corvette gets 28 MPG highway (due to operating at a low RPM) which happens to be as good as many small cars (ie: my 2005 Kia Rio).

    Maybe GM should instead, skip the battery and drop an LS7 engine (with a gigantic generator) to power the Volt’s electric motor ?


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (5:30 pm)

    #98 McFly

    lol.

    My first chuckle of the day. Thanks!


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (5:38 pm)

    Anyone looking for a good read on engines, here is a great site. The guy who wrote this must be a real hoot! Sounds like the kind of neighbor you would love to have.

    You really should read it all, but he has an interesting take on “hybrids”, near the end, that makes you think.

    http://mb-soft.com/public2/engine.html


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (5:48 pm)

    As I posted before, it would be nice to reverse engineer the Honda Insight ICE that had the power needed to drive the Volt 53 KW generator but weighed in at less than 200 lbs. But if you wish in one hand…

    Post 57 provides info I had missed before, that the Volt ICE will operate in three modes, producing about 8 KW, 25, KW, and an unspecified high KW so that the battery charge is sustained even while climbing Pikes Peak. The 1.4 liter ICE will be able to operate at low RPM and supply any of these performance level requirements.

    So it sure looks like a win win decision for the Volt. Go Volt!


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (5:55 pm)

    #87 JEC
    This shall be taken as an admission that there was nothing behind the opinion expressed then. For the future, it behooves you, as well as the blog as a whole, to refrain from such emotionally charged words as “failure” without just cause.

    I agree that we need to focus on where the engine leads us, as in what are the final mpc and mpg #s.


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    akojim

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (6:07 pm)

    So GM’s NEXT generation car will get almost the fuel economy of Honda’s CURRENT generation and Toyota’s PREVIOUS generation? Amazing!

    After months of reading the posts on this board, I think many of us are overlooking an important fact. We (the engineery posters, not me) discuss technical issues like COD, optimal engine size, battery pack characteristics, the pros & cons of photo cells on the roof to run cooling fans and the not so technical posters wonder if they should connect their Volts to the grid or a windmill in the back yard, but none of that really matters coz few if any members of this board will ever even see a Volt let alone own one.

    Right now GM has a unique product even if it is not quit real yet, but 15 years from now when they are done fooling around with it and you might be able to walk into a dealership and actually buy one, it won’t be unique any longer – it will be obsolete.

    I saw the concept Volt and the Tesla on the news this evening. We were told that in only two years we would no longer be troubled by high gasoline prices because we will all be driving a $100,000 Tesla or a $40,000-$50,000 Volt. The newscaster was having trouble curtailing a belly laugh.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (6:24 pm)

    #93 Jackson

    I’m with you on this one (and I’m not even a grumpy old neocon scumbag).

    The standard rule is that you have cost, time, and quality. As you astutely point out, everyone here is screaming about cost, yet when GM suggests using an engine that may not be perfect in order to keep costs down, the complaining shakes the rafters.

    Time is another factor. It’s fine and well to say that a different drive system needs a unique engine, but spending the time developing one and getting it approved could effect a long delay.

    Better to get the first generation out and address special engine needs along with other issues later, if that proves necessary or desireable. Lord knows that there are enough other issues. Given that 90% of the time people don’t drive more than 40 miles a day — which means that 90% of the time the ICE won’t even be a factor — whether the engine is a 1.4L or not strikes me as a one or a two on a ten scale.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (6:58 pm)

    A message to Lutz:
    Hey Bob, I’d like to remind you that in the first iteration of the F-16, for cost and convenience, they slapped together a bunch of off the shelf avionics that were not designed to work together in such unique high performance platform. How many men died before McDonald Douglass finally admitted it, and purpose built avionics for it?

    #DA


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (7:02 pm)

    #95 JEC and McFly — You’re absolutely right, GM needs to move on promptly to the Camaro V8, or maybe the Silverado V8. We’ll never get up Pike’s quickly with half measures. The V8 also will solve the “too quiet” issue :)


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (7:05 pm)

    22. C. Davis

    If everything you say is correct, it looks like it makes sense to go with the 1.4 liter engine. As long as the tradeoffs for mpg, weight, and cost aren’t too much they ought to use it. Hopefully, this engine will be one of the best all around 4 cylinder engines in the world in 2010 as far as fuel economy, power, and cost goes. I suspect that GM has mastered the latest and greatest IC engine technologies and they could make it match up well against the best Toyota and the rest of the industry are planning for 2010.

    The more of these 1.4 liter engines they sell they cheaper they’ll get. I definitely want GM to use the highest technology they have available for this engine … as long as it’s not TOO expensive. I want it to be an engine that will easily last 200,000 miles … maybe even 400,000 miles since it won’t be running all the time. That will help with the resale value. I want the Volt to hold its value for a long time.

    I also would like GM to use a heavy duty muffler for this engine and some good noise reduction materials all over the Volt if possible. One appealing aspect of the Volt is that it is supposed to be a super quiet car … like in those Volt commercials on TV.

    People like cars that are quiet … the same people that buy the Rolls Royces and Bentleys, etc. Plenty of wealthy people in places like Hollywood and Miami will probably be buying a Volt you know. They’re used to those quiet cars. The Volt should have the decent 7-9 second acceleration that they like too. I’m hoping that they can get it to do 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds or better. The Volt will probably be one of THE cars to get in 2011 so GM better try to think of EVERYTHING that customers will most need and want. Some of the fancy features they come up with could go into a future Cadillac with an E-flex powertrain if they can’t get it into Volt 1.0.

    Lots of people will probably want to talk to their friends at parties about their new solar panels and electric cars, etc. Gotta have some “green cred” these days. Women will probably feel bad about driving a “gas pig” SUV … because they make them feel fat or something. They’ll feel a lot better about driving an ultra gas sipping, good performing, cutting edge Volt electric car. :)


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (7:08 pm)

    #104 DonC — With an ICE that grows heavier by the hour, AER may fall to only 33 miles or so, but that will be OK, yes? :)


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (7:27 pm)

    The WSJ has just posted a column, in the online edition, about electric cars, including the Volt. It quotes Stempel, a former GM leader. The column is skeptical that electric cars can be cost competitive with gas.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (7:27 pm)

    #21 Estero asks: “Help me on this. Where is it that GM stated the 1.4L Volt engine will be w/o turbo?”
    ————————————————————————————-
    Lyle mentions it here:
    http://gm-volt.com/2008/06/24/has-gm-increased-the-size-of-the-chevy-volts-ice-from-10-l-to-14-l-and-cylinders-from-3-to-4/

    It also makes sense. For the Volt, the gas engine only needs to deliver AVERAGE horsepower. Peak horsepower is provided by the electric motor and batteries, even when the gas engine is running. Since average horsepower is around 1/2 of peak horsepower, a 1.4L turbo would be overkill for the Volt.

    By contrast, the Chevy Cruise is a traditional ICE, which means the gas engine has to deliver peak horsepower. So a 1.4L turbo will be barley adequate. In other words, the Cruise will probably be a lot more sluggish than the Volt.

    In addition to the turbo, another difference between the 2 engines will be the cam cycle. The Volt’s engine will probably use Atkinson cycle, while the Cruise engine will use Otto cycle.


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    Jul 20th, 2008 (7:35 pm)

    Engine Gurus!,
    Is it easy to switch a engine from Otto Cycle to Atkinson cycle?
    Can I do it to my subaru legacy and save on gas?


  113. 113
    everything.imp

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:03 pm)

    I have been reading replies asking why the ICE has to be this large when it’s just an assist for the electric motor. Well, it isn’t an assist. Once the 40 mile charge is gone this ICE will have to create enough energy to A. effectively carry the load of the car and B. Gain charge on the battery at the same time. I can completely understand why you would need an ICE the size they are looking at. It will effectively have to be producing more energy to move the car than a normal ICE vehicle because it has to charge the batteries at the same time.

    This does lead me to wonder about the possibilities of an electric drive train vehicle with little to no batteries. If the volt can get 40mpg while having to carry this extremely heavy battery and having to charge it at the same time then…..couldn’t a light weight, electric drive, vehicle simply using the ICE as a generator get very good gas mileage? It would effectively be replacing the transmission and it looks like it would be doing it much more efficiently. Any, comments on this idea?


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    Morgan

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:05 pm)

    #DA:

    Are you seriously implying this change could, literally, KILL people?

    Honestly, I like this site but if this is the level of histrionics we can all expect into the future then I don’t see the value of this place to GM or to the vehicle we are purportedly fans of. I seriously don’t want to even glance at the posts that will be written when the production model design is released.

    This is recycled “news” that was hashed over several weeks ago. A knowledgeable poster last time wrote that the 1.0L intended, and in general, are made of cast steel vs 1.4L Aluminum…the weight difference will be negligible.


  115. 115
    Dave G

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:14 pm)

    #112 everything.imp says: “Once the 40 mile charge is gone this ICE will have to create enough energy to A. effectively carry the load of the car and B. Gain charge on the battery at the same time. I can completely understand why you would need an ICE the size they are looking at. It will effectively have to be producing more energy to move the car than a normal ICE vehicle because it has to charge the batteries at the same time.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    This isn’t quite right.

    The Volt’s ICE only has to carry the AVERAGE load of the car. PEAK horsepower is provided by the Volt’s batteries and electric motor, even when the gas engine is running. This is how you get 150 peak horsepower with only a 75 horsepower gas engine.

    Also, the ICE doesn’t significantly charge the batteries. Once the batteries get down to 30% state of charge, the ICE just maintains that 30%.


  116. 116
    JEC

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:20 pm)

    #112 everything.imp

    I have been having the same thoughts recently. I guess I was assuming that the battery would be used as a storeage device to eliminate the need for a larger ICE. But, I now understand, thanks to explanations from other posters, that the batteries will only be sustained once they reach 30% charge. So, basically it would appear to mean that the ICE MUST be as large, or even larger than an equivalent pure ICE, for reasons you stated (burden of heavy battery, charging to sustain, and generating enough power to move the vehicle).

    The worst cast seems to always point at mountains, so I guess we either flatten the mountains, or we put in a big ICE. Now that my eyes are opening, I think the 1.4L will likely be undersized. How can it not be if it has to be able to do everything the pure ICE plus pull the extra weight and charge batteries. (That V8 is sounding more likely than ever)

    Gary, help me out. If you are running up a mountain pulling your nice big boat, and the batteries are already at 30% charge, do you not need the ICE to provide full, peak power to the motors? You cannot accept average power, unless you are stealing power from the batteries, which you are not, and are actually trying to charge at the same time.

    I am not an engine expert, but I understand power, and it just does not add up.

    Any help in explaining this is appreciated.


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    canehdian

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:21 pm)

    #80, RB
    “Will any sensible person pay $15K extra to get a car”
    No, but if you tell them that if they’re in 80% of the population that will never need to get gas again, they might consider it.

    #96 Antranig,
    I’m aware of that, but people still like their range (for some reason…)
    When they talked of reducing the gas tank size, people were absolutely devastated that they would have to stop every 6 hours of driving for gas. (Oh no! What shall we ever do?!)
    All electric range I can understand, because when its done, its done.
    The gas range is kind of silly, you don’t need to go 640 miles in one bout
    (I’m not trying to start this debate up again, lol)
    The point is, if you run out of gas, you can get some easily. If your battery dies and you dont have a range extender, you’re stuck.

    The general public will be deterred from pure BEV’s until such time that they can either 1) quick charge or 2) get a long enough range on pure battery to get to where they’re going on a long trip (or.. halfway or something – plug in at a hotel or something)


  118. 118
    Dave G

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:24 pm)

    #111 bruce g asks: “Engine Gurus!,
    Is it easy to switch a engine from Otto Cycle to Atkinson cycle?
    Can I do it to my subaru legacy and save on gas?”
    ————————————————————————————-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atkinson_cycle
    “The Atkinson cycle is designed to provide efficiency at the expense of power, and is beginning to see applications in modern hybrid electric applications.”

    In other words, with a hybrid car, you don’t need so much torque or instantaneous power because the electric motor covers that fairly well.

    For the Volt, the ICE isn’t connected to the wheels at all, so torque and instantaneous power are total non-issues.

    But using an Atkinson cycle engine on a traditional ICE car (e.g. Subaru Legacy) would make it extremely sluggish. Think 0-60 in like 25 seconds. So this wouldn’t be practical.


  119. 119
    Dave G

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:29 pm)

    #115 JEC says: “So, basically it would appear to mean that the ICE MUST be as large, or even larger than an equivalent pure ICE, for reasons you stated…”
    ————————————————————————————–
    This is not right!

    The ICE for a series hybrid like the Volt only needs to be 1/2 the size of an equivalent pure ICE. For example, the Volt’s ICE only delivers 75hp, while the electric motor and batteries deliver 150 hp. The ICE in the Volt only needs to deliver AVERAGE hp. The electric motor and batteries deliver PEAK hp, even when the gas engine is running.

    See here for details on how the gas engine, batteries, and electric motor work together:
    http://gm-volt.com/2007/08/29/latest-chevy-volt-battery-pack-and-generator-details-and-clarifications/


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    DonC

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:41 pm)

    #108 RB
    “With an ICE that grows heavier by the hour, AER may fall to only 33 miles or so, but that will be OK, yes?”

    Interesting question. First of all I very much doubt we’re looking at a big difference in mileage due to the weight of the engine. We’d have to see how much this really is. I doubt it will be more than a couple of hundred pounds. To put this in perspective, a tank with 10 more gallons of gas would weight 80 pounds more, so the difference between a car with a low tank driven by my wife and the same car driven by me would weigh 200 pounds more.

    Second is that weight impacts mileage much less than other factors like drag. Put a bike rack on the roof of a Prius and you’re looking at losing 10 mpg. Put three more people in the car and you’re looking at a couple of mpg, maybe.

    Third is that the ICE of the Volt should be pointless most of the time. Hopefully you’ll stay under 40 miles per day and you’ll never use the ICE. And if you do, its effect is very limited. It’s not like an regular ICE which runs all the time. If once a week you turn on the ICE for ten or fifteen miles, so what? At 30 mpg you’d use 2 gallons a month instead of 1 gallon at 40 mpg. It just doesn’t matter very much.


  121. 121
    Statik

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:46 pm)

    To me, I could really care less. If the 4 banger gets it out quicker or easier/cheaper for GM, than thats A-OK in my books.

    The Volt is special because it’s a EV…I don’t plan on using the ICE more than a few times a year. Sure, it’s a failure to deliver on a promise if it doesn’t put out 50MPG…but I can live with that one.

    For all I care, make it a old big block 8 cyclinder if you like. I plan on going maybe 300 miles a year on the ICE…I don’t care if I get 15MPG or 50MPG.

    If I’m travelling with my family (or even by myself) a couple hundred miles in my car, I’m sure as heck not gonna take a Volt, lol. The thing would be pure torture.


  122. 122
    bruce g

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:53 pm)

    Thanks Dave,
    From that I can guess it is basically the same block with a different cam shaft.
    Interesting.


  123. 123
    JEC

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (8:56 pm)

    118 Dave G

    Sorry, but please help me out with this. I read the post you linked to previously, but my question is still the same.

    From Volt link:
    “..Rather, it seems, the engine will continue to run, constantly matching the needs of the car to keep the battery at 30% until you stop driving.”

    So, does not the ICE need to be sized large enough for extreme conditions, and therefore provide the peak power continously, in the following scenario:
    1) batteries are in 30% charge rate and need sustaining charge to be delivered from the ICE
    2) The vehicle is climbing a steep and long incline (ie: mountain) for an extended period of time. And the ICE must provide ALL power to make the climb.
    3) The ICE would not be delivering AVERAGE power, but would need to be able to supply PEAK power, right?

    An ordinary ICE with a 1.4L engine (like the new Cruze), would need all the power it can output (peak?) to make this same climb, so why would the Volt be any better? Would it not actually be worse than the Cruze?

    I just want to understand this point. Maybe it’s obvious to others, but I am not seeing the solution. Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks!


  124. 124
    john1701a

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:02 pm)

    >> Sure, it’s a failure to deliver on a promise if it doesn’t put out 50MPG…

    What promise? No clear design goals or target market have been committed to yet. Volt is a concept that continues to change as the design is refined.

    Things will get quite interesting once they do commit. Until then, the blogs will be kind of on the wild side. Some enthusiasts have very different priorities as others.


  125. 125
    JEC

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:12 pm)

    If we are not here to question the design and comment on the concepts, then what’s this blog for?

    No, GM has not provided any guarantee our promises for any of the specifications. We can only use the limited “specs” that are provided in various newsletters and releases.

    So, maybe we should all stop asking any questions, until GM provides the full written specification for the Volt.

    I don’t have all the answers to questions concerning the Volt, and you could say no one really does, because the Volt is still in the design phase. Is the 40 mile range that everyone talks about a specification or a promise?

    I have had enough for one day.

    Good night to all….


  126. 126
    anonymous

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:13 pm)

    113 Morgan: “if this is the level of histrionics we can all expect into the future then I don’t see the value of this place to GM or to the vehicle we are purportedly fans of”

    I happen to be a developer of something that also has some public interest, and there are message boards just like this one with messages by people of varying degrees of experience or relevant knowledge. Most of it is completely worthless. Almost all of it is completely wrong. We read them for entertainment value — and are glad that people are interested to the point of posting and getting in arguments over hypotheticals, etc. Interesting comments get copied&pasted into emails and passed around. But none of it discourages us. Sites like this occupy less than 1% of our attention because we’re busy making the best damn ‘thing’ we can possibly make.

    I’m sure the Volt people feel the same way.


  127. 127
    DonC

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:36 pm)

    #122 JEC

    I think BillR @ 34 did a very nice job of laying out how this works. Does this not answer your questions?

    My understanding (hopefully someone will help out if I’m worng) is that the ICE never powers the car, it only powers the battery pack, so it always delivers average power at one of three set points (and the power delivered can be half or so of what would be needed to power the car).


  128. 128
    The Anti-Oil Jihadi

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:39 pm)

    #6, Antranig:

    “Waist of time and money. This shows GM is still interested in keeping the oil companies in business.”

    Really? So a company headed towards bankruptcy is going to make a design decision on a car that represents their only hope for survival, and they’re going to…. take the best interests of some OTHER company into consideration? That’s the stupidest conspiracy theory I’ve heard in a long time, you obviously have no business sense.

    “With the ICE GM hopes it will keep itself in business by selling you spark plugs, wires, antifreeze, and exhaust system. ”

    Yeah, and we all know how profitable antifreeze and $4 sparkplugs are. Yeah, GM is going to build a car that sells for tens of thousands of dollars and they’re concerned about making lots of money selling spark plugs. You obviously have no business sense.

    “The Volt will probably have a catalytic converter to meet federal emission standard. In California the vehicles will have to pass the smog check.”

    And in other news today, the sky is blue and gravity pulls towards the center of the earth.

    death to oil


  129. 129
    JEC

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:53 pm)

    126 DonC

    No.

    You cannot have an ICE that only provides AVERAGE power and also expect it to meet the demands for PEAK. The math just does not jive.

    This is something I just realized today after several discussions on this thread. The key issue is the ICE is not used to charge the batteries up, but only to sustain. This means that the batteries will not be able to assist in those peak demand situations, because it will be sustaining charge to the batteries AND providing ALL power to the motors.

    If you re-read my earlier post #122 I think the scenario I explained clearly describes my issue. If anyone has an explanation, please post it.

    Ok. I said I was done earlier…now I promise I am done for the night.


  130. 130
    David L G

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (9:56 pm)

    An engine that is made in higher volume and with less complexity is more likely to be a success/reliable, and cheaper to maintain.

    Don’t turbocharged engines have more delicate moving parts that are prone to failure? The Volt needs a bulletproof generator that can withstand only being used a few times a year without maintenance issues.


  131. 131
    The Grump

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (10:12 pm)

    Would someone please tell me WHY we need an ICE capable on propelling a car on it’s own, just to turn the Volt’s generator? It’s just a stupid generator, and (according to Bob) was supposed on run at only ONE speed, the most efficient speed for the engine.

    I’m not an electrical engineer. I just buy stuff and hope it works. I had the idea that the Volt generator could be powered by a 5 horsepower, two-stroke lawn mower engine. Air-cooled, no radiator, small enough for a strong man to unbolt, lift out and replace on his own. Silly me. Unfortunately, four cylinders means “radiator”, and all the maintenance that goes with it. So much for my dream car.

    Why in Gods name does the Volt’s generator need 140 horsepower? There’s overcompensation, overkill, but this is GM attempting to swat a fly with a quarter stick of TNT – in a china shop. Perhaps Nasaman can make sense of GM’s decision, but I don’t see any sense at all in this decision. IMHO, it’s just good ol’ Bob, jerking us around again, getting our hopes up, then ruthlessly smashing them to the ground.

    Please, someone tell me why 140 hp for a generator makes sense. Thanks !


  132. 132
    Stew

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (10:40 pm)

    I am seeing posts where people want the Volt to do 0-60 in 7.5 seconds, they want to tow boats and all other kinds of absurd remarks. It sounds like the Volt is not the car for you people!

    With regards to the engine size, which plays a big role in fuel economy, people are expecting to be out of battery and be able to click off quarter mile times of 15 seconds or better. These cars already exist as gas cars, go buy one of those.

    The Volt is (or was) I thought being marketed as primarily a BEV with the engine to extend range with acceptable performance. This car isn’t supposed to compete with Mustang GTs, sheesh!


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (10:59 pm)

    Len #91 and Rb #92

    Yes…this point has been made before. Many, including myself thought that the turbo 3 banger was the solution to 50+ mpg in RE mode. This is just a matter of engineering, and it’s quite possible that the 1.4 normally aspirated engine can get it done at a lower RPM and w/o the turbo/heat/complexity/balancing/duty problems that the 3 banger might present.

    I believe that successive iterations of the Volt/E-Flex will concentrate heavily on the RE power plant and its efficiency. The 2010 Volt must roll off the assy line, and given the challenges, GM would probably prefer at this time that the ICE not be one of them. The plus of family zero engines is that they’re all direct injected. I believe this will have a tremendous effect on oxygenation of intake and will improve E-85 performance.


  134. 134
    unhappyGMowner

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (11:40 pm)

    Why can’t GM put in a 1.4L but then add the Displacement On Demand feature? If the car doesn’t need all the cylinders then it won’t use them, but if it does it there. Now you have a 2 cylinder ICE but when needed its a 4 cylinder ICE.


  135. 135
    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 20th, 2008 (11:47 pm)

    David LG # 129

    “Don’t turbocharged engines have more delicate moving parts that are prone to failure? The Volt needs a bulletproof generator that can withstand only being used a few times a year without maintenance issues.”

    *** *** ***

    Definitely a consideration. Turbos generate much more heat and generally require rpm to generate the boost required for increased power. Let’s look at this from an engineering perspective. The 1.4L 4-banger has exactly 33.3% more cylinders than the 3-banger and exactly 40% more displacement signifying that the 4-banger is essentially a non-turbo charged 3 with one more cylinder-give or take a small insignificant DELTA in total displacement.

    Given the engine’s operating range of essentially 1.9-3K rpm it is possible that in the lowest echelon of duty cycle that the turbo boost would not make up the difference in power required for the 3-banger. For the roll-out of the Volt I’m guessing that GM has decided that the more balanced and torque-ier 4 will fit the bill. Again…just a guess and as I’ve said, in the future there will be much work on the RE ICE.


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    omegaman66

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (12:01 am)

    Seems to be a lot of misinformation running around.

    The engine is NOT DESIGNED to charge the batteries… right we all know that right!!!! Wrong!!!! Well sort of…

    The battery will indeed get charged whenever the ICE puts out more power than is needed to run the car. Maybe this will happen more frequently now that the engine is 1.4L. Keeping cost down was a reason we are told to go with the larger engine but there were also hints that the 1.0L would not have been big enough when driving in the rain at night up a slope, with the heater running.

    OK don’t believe me? Take a look at one of Lyles charts from way way back. It showed the state of charge of the battery and it NEVER flatlined. There were dips and bumps taking it above and below the 30% mark. This can only happen if the battery does charge when using less energy such as at a stop light or going down hill.


  137. 137
    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (12:26 am)

    Omega #135

    “The engine is NOT DESIGNED to charge the batteries… right we all know that right!!!! Wrong!!!! Well sort of…

    The battery will indeed get charged whenever the ICE puts out more power than is needed to run the car.”

    *** *** ***

    It’s anyone’s guess. GM is working this out right now, and no it’s not engraved in stone. The pure BUS design may yet be modified and I’m sure even GM won’t disclose that, certainly not at this time :) .
    The good part is that GM has some of the best people working on this right now. 2010 is the target and regardless of the yield, I’m convinced they’ll meet it.


  138. 138
    NZDavid

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (12:35 am)

    2010 is the target and regardless of the yield, I’m convinced they’ll meet it.

    As per Lutz there are TWO marks/lines in the sand.

    1. Production to start in November 2010
    2. End of life (EOL) all electric range (AER) = 40 miles

    If GM can go with a stock standard engine that weighs a little more, BUT meets the above goals, and shaves a $1000 or so of the price, I have no problem with that.

    Weight can be optimised for V2.


  139. 139
    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (12:57 am)

    NZ #137

    No argument here. We AGREE that this is not as easy as has been suggested by some from the greener side of the west coast ;) .

    I don’t see the production start or the EOL AER as potential problems as much as system programming and integration. These will be worked out, and the initial 10K release is not only smart, but necessary!


  140. 140
    alex_md

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (1:00 am)

    Hello Everyone,

    Clearly there are several possible circumstances of running out of 40 mile charge. These are some of the possible scenario.

    1.The worst case scenario is battery discharged to 30% and you are at the foot of a mountain. In this case the battery will not be able to supply extra needed power to boost low output ICE to provide necessary performance without risking of depleting the charge significantly below 30% which will affect the battery life. So for these conditions the ICE must be strong, probably 140 is a minimum.
    2.You are running out of battery power on the more typical sort of rolling hills terrain. Then after the first descent the regen braking will increase the battery charge to more then 30% and thus provide adequate buffer for the next ascent, decreasing the power generation requirement to probably 50-70 HP.
    3.You are running out of power on the highway at 75 MPH. That should not be a problem at all. 50 HP should be more then enough to maintain the speed and also charge up the battery up to say 40% for quick moves.

    So actually it looks like you still need a high peak power ICE. The peak 140 HP will be used only in the worst case scenario when the battery and electric motor becomes just heavy and expensive electric transmission.

    There are several possible solutions to this as I see it
    1.Start charging the battery well above the safe level of 30%, say at 50% and still have 20% of charge left to handle the long uphills. Program it in cars computer and link it to GPS or On-STAR, so the car would go into this “mountain driving mode” without the user help. In this case you could probably get by with a 70 HP engine at the expense of 10 miles of AER. Make this mode also selectable manually
    2.Carry a larger engine capable of producing high peak HP for those rear worst case scenarios. This sounds like a low-tech play-it-safe approach which GM will likely choose.
    3.Accept low power at the worst-case scenario conditions. You will still be able to get over the mountain, just not at 80 MPH with full load in the car. And once you get there, going down should supply enough power back to the battery on downhill to make your next climb less painful


  141. 141
    Voltik

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (1:27 am)

    When all the talk about the 1.4L ICE instead of the 1L came out before I did set out to find how much that would hurt the fuel consumption. If you read the posts from last August you will see how they want for the ICE to operate.

    http://gm-volt.com/2007/08/29/latest-chevy-volt-battery-pack-and-generator-details-and-clarifications/

    I will not bore you with all the numbers but will say when I did run the two engines on the computer dyno I could not get enough torque from the 1L turbo engine to pull a 53KW alternator at 80% load from a 550 RPM idle. To get the 1L to pull the alternator up from its idle I did find that a 1.8 to 1 ratio did work.. meaning to pull the alternator at 1800 rpm sync point would take 3240 rpm for the 1L. On the other hand the 1.4L FI engine was able to pull up the alternator from 550 rpm idle at a 1:1 drive ratio. I then did a fuel consumption run on both pulling the alternator at the 1800 rpm sync. I was amazed to find that the 1.4L FI engine used 12% less fuel per hour then the 1L turbo.

    But Don’t take my word for it go and do your own research.

    Gooooooooooo GM
    Gooooooooooooooooooooo Volt :)


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (1:45 am)

    Voltik #140

    Can you elaborate? These are numbers that we all are interested in.

    What kind of RPM were necessary from the 1.4 to pull the same duty as the 3250 from the 3 banger? What were the shortages of boost WRT displacement? Details please….! ??


  143. 143
    omegaman66

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (1:51 am)

    #139 alex_md

    I don’t think you are correct in saying that once the battery reaches 30% SOC it will no longer be available for burst of energy. I think that the 30% is when the ICE starts. The batteries are still there if needed. It is just that with the engine running the shouldn’t needed all that much. And adjustments to the running rpm etc of the ICE will take up some of the slack so that it can run slower/more fuel efficient when full power isn’t needed.

    Like I said the graph showed that the battery does indeed get used when needed.


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    Super Cooling

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (2:17 am)

    The move to 4 cylinder power may be because of cooling requirements. This car is going to have a massive Air Conditioning system (similar to Tesla). ICE will automatically turn on when A/C actived for in-cabin cooling, otherwise A/C used to cool battery/motor. I think the entire front end of the Tesla is an A/C system, so they Volt may need a giant cooling tower.


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    jeremy

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (2:27 am)

    apearently stew didnt read why Bevs are better then gasoline cars like the GT …
    they preform alot better in every respect then a gas engine.. and more reliable the instant full torgue to the wheels is natural to electric engines look it up… tesela gets 3.8 sec 0 -60
    its not unrealistic that a volt could be half the preformance of a tesela and sitll pull 7.5ish 0-60
    always fantasized about ur gas hog stew? sorry to hear we are gunna leave u in the dust man ..bevs are better.. just shorter range.. for now..


  146. 146
    Dave G

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (6:20 am)

    #122 JEC
    #128 JEC

    The secret of the series hybrid design is that the electric motor and batteries always power the car. The gas engine and generator only supply enough electricity to keep the average battery level around 30%.

    If you are going fast up a steep hill, then the gas engine won’t keep up, and the batteries will drain. So the Volt can’t go fast uphill forever. But remember that 30% of a 16KWh battery is still 4.8KWh. 8KWh is enough to provide 40 miles of all electric range. So 30% battery is quite a buffer. Also remember that the gas engine is running at it’s max output, so the batteries are not supplying the full load.

    I remember a forum thread here around 9 months ago where we did rough calculations of how big a hill the Volt could go up before the batteries ran out. I seem to remember 4 miles on a 6% grade, or something like that.

    But again, the Volt won’t be able to go fast uphill forever. So on extreme hills, like going up Mount Washington, or coming West out of Death Valley, the Volt will have to pull over and rest – just like most other cars have to rest on these mountains. That’s why they numerous pull-off areas on these extreme climbs. But for regular mountain grades, 30% of the battery will be fine and the Volt will have no problems.


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    nasaman

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (6:22 am)

    We all need to remember that for well-designed electric drive trains like the Volt’s, the penalty in EV-only range for added mass is extremely modest. For example, GM’s drive train engineering guys, using a 9kWh Li-Ion battery with Volt technology for the Cadillac Provoq concept, calculate a decrease in EV-only range of merely 2.5 miles (from 22.5 miles for the Volt chassis to 20 miles for the Provoq chassis) …..although the Provoq’s much larger compact SUV chassis is close to 1,000 lbs heavier than the Volt’s chassis!

    Based on this, I would MUCH rather have the added margin of the 1.4L over the original 1.0L ICE! I would ALSO insist on the original 12 gal fuel tanks for the same reason — substantially-increased margin in overall range at virtually NO penalty in cost or EV-only range!

    ATTN GM: Use a non-turbo 1.4L 4cyl ICE + TWO 6 gal fuel tanks ….your dealers will thank you for the increased sales due to the fact a 640mi overall range will set the Volt apart from its competition!


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    Dave G

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (6:28 am)

    #140 Voltik,

    Do your calculations assume a Miller cycle engine for the 1.0L Turbo, and an Atkinson cycle engine for the 1.4L?

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atkinson_cycle
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller_cycle


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    Dave G

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (6:34 am)

    #135 omegaman66,

    The ICE will charge the batteries, but never beyond 30%. When the Volt accelerates or goes uphill, the ICE won’t keep up and the battery will drain. For normal driving, this drian will be very slight. For steep mountain uphill grades, the discharge on the battery will be significantly more.


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    Dave G

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (6:37 am)

    #146 nasaman,

    With regenerative braking, added mass does not affect range that much, but it will affect performance – acceleration in particular.


  151. 151
    Exp_EngTech

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (6:41 am)

    #129 David LG wrote and #134 Grizzly quoted…

    “Don’t turbocharged engines have more delicate moving parts that are prone to failure?”

    You bet (if not done right). The US auto industry learned these lessons about 30 years ago.

    I think back to the 1979 2.3L Turbo Mustang Indy Pace Car I bought new. At the time I was very concerned because a few early production units were experiencing “coking” of the turbo bearing. This happened because Ford didn’t use a turbo that allowed cooling from the engine’s antifreeze loop. All waste heat was transferred away with the oiled turbo bearing. For that reason, I switched over to synthetic oil.

    Chrysler’s turbo vehicles came out a few years later and did come with a water jacket around the turbo bearing. By doing this, they were able to get by with more aggressive use of boost (7+ pounds?). I believe the Ford design had the wastegate dumping all excess boost above 4 pounds. The Mustang used a conventional carburator / intake manifold setup so there was a lot of heating of the “charge”. When the weather was cool, damp and rainy (40′s F), the car’s behavior became quite different. Extra horsepower just when the road got slick. Real handy !


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    nasaman

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (6:51 am)

    #149 Dave G….

    You said, “With regenerative braking, added mass does not affect range that much, but it will affect performance – acceleration in particular.”

    Thanks for reminding me, Dave. I’d scale up the drive motor by about 20% for the same reason as I’d revert to two 6 gal fuel tanks ….marketing! This would more than offset the slight loss in acceleration of a 1.4L ICE & extra 6 gal tank. My seat-of-the-pants guesstimate is a 20% larger traction motor should drop the 0-60 time to < 7 secs ….a huge marketing advantage versus 8.5secs, and once again, at almost no penalty in cost or EV-only range!


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    j man

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (7:04 am)

    If you don’t like what GM is doing with the volt, GO BUILD YOUR OWN. Otherwise stop complaining. The 1.4L motor is an existing motor. Ever heard of Vauxhaul? The use this exact motor in the UK where they pay about double of what we do in gas. All the engineering is allready done for the engine so there is no additional cost for the company on that aspect which in turn would reduce the cost of the Volt. They are going to cast it in the USA, build it in the USA and then we will be able to drive it in the USA.

    Something else you need to remember is that the Volt is supposed to be the size of a Malibu or G6. Why? It fits within the needs of more consumers. I do not see any Pruis driving around with dad, mom and the 2 kids but I bet you will with the volt. So what if the engine is going to be a little bigger than origionally thought.Maybe GM decided that a 1.0L was not going to keep the price of the car in a range where a regular family could afford it, chang the ICE to a existing product, then reduce the cost by a couple thousand.

    As I stated before in another post, compare the weight of a 1.oL with turbo and a 1.4L without and the weight is going to be about the same. Have any of you ever had to replace a turbo on a car? I have, thay are not cheap. No turbo equals on less thing to go bad in a few years and one less thing to spend a couple thousand in repairs on.


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    Statik

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (7:34 am)

    #46 Rick

    “Where’s statik?”

    I missed your shoutout, sorry, lol. I’ve been a little busy the last two days…only one random comment per thread. Been out looking at distressed houses, beating up real estate agents, you know…that sort of thing.

    Put in a offer on one actually last night. Being a buyer right now is like being the King of Spain, I can have anything in the land, and everybody bows, lol.


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    NZDavid

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (8:01 am)

    Injection nozzles in the new 1.4L engine are positioned centrally in the combustion chamber for the direct injection (up to 200 bar) to make sure that a homogeneous mixture is produced and also ensure that the design will not become outdated, as it will also be suitable for other future developments such as HCCI.

    The two camshafts can be adjusted independently of one another. At medium load, the intake valves are closed late. At low engine speeds and high loads, on the other hand, the engine works with a higher valve overlap to improve the torque curve. Key features include a turbocharger integrated into the exhaust manifold, full variable valve timing, thermal management, flow-controlled oil pump, and a reinforced crankshaft and connecting rod.

    Source:http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/07/gm-may-build-ne.html#more


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    Foot Pound McFly

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (8:04 am)

    #130 The Grump

    I don’t think the normally aspirated 1.4L engine will be pumping out 140 HP. It will more likely make about 110HP of which half (at a 3500 rpm peak) will power the 53Kw generator.


  157. 157
    RB

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (8:07 am)

    @122 JEC asks
    “So, does not the ICE need to be sized large enough for extreme conditions, and therefore provide the peak power continously, in the following scenario:
    1) batteries are in 30% charge rate and need sustaining charge to be delivered from the ICE
    2) The vehicle is climbing a steep and long incline (ie: mountain) for an extended period of time. And the ICE must provide ALL power to make the climb.
    3) The ICE would not be delivering AVERAGE power, but would need to be able to supply PEAK power, right?
    An ordinary ICE with a 1.4L engine (like the new Cruze), would need all the power it can output (peak?) to make this same climb, so why would the Volt be any better? Would it not actually be worse than the Cruze?”

    These are good questions and deserve a more sytematic answer than has been given so far. Here is what I understand.

    1) If the batteries start at 30%, the control system will let them fall to about 20%. Then the ICE will come on and, over time, perhaps get back to 30%. If so, the ICE will then stop. This picture is what one gets from the Motor Trend graph from GM, cited in #88 from Exp_Eng.

    2) If the vehicle is climbing a steep incline for an extended period of time, then either the ICE or ICE plus remaining battery has to supply all the power. There is no rule that we have been given that says that the battery has to remain at 30% exactly, so the battery can supply part power for a time. Ultimately (if the mountain is high enough), though, all the power is going to have to come from the ICE, as there will be no more energy available to come from the battery.

    3) The ICE still will be delivering the average rather than peak in that the battery still is in the circuit. Maybe the drive moves up a little closer to the vehicle in front, taking just a second or two. However, going up the mountain, the average and peak power are nearly the same, so the difference is more just semantic than one has on the flat when comparing accelerating to get on the freeway with rolling evenly along the freeway at constant speed.

    Why would the Volt be better than the Cruze? Well maybe it would not be, as it wil be heavier and the ‘electric transmission’ will not be as efficient. On the other hand, presumably the Volt will start out going up with some level of residual battery capability that can be drawn down.

    Taking these conclusions as a whole, it seems to me that if one drives up and down high mountains all day, one is probably better off with a Cruze (or a car with a V8). Conversely, if one drives on a flat or rolling terrain, on trips of 50 miles or less between times when it is convenient to recharge, then the Volt would be better.

    It seems to me that it is misguided to go the direction the Volt design now seems to be going, where the Volt has to be able to do everything a gas car can do, and to do it just as well under any circumstances. It is one thing to say that the Volt should be able to get you home, over the mountain, but another to say that the Volt should perform just as well as any other car no matter how high the mountain.


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    Cire

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (8:09 am)

    Am I the only one here that expects excellent performance (power, not mpg) on the Volt? It will be so awesome when I pull up next to some fast looking car and just mop them with my ELECTRIC car. Electric has the potential, and id love to be one of the ones showing off with it before everyone has one, that’s part of the appeal. I think the Volt will really interest the younger market as long as it delivers the performance they have talked about. I guess I have always assumed the volt will be high performance, and that’s why I want it. I used to want a Tesla, but that’s changed, due to price and my lack of faith in their car (mainly battery pack) for now. In all reality I probably won’t buy either one, at least not first generation though. Anyways my point is that a lot of people expect GM to make a high powered car, so they better not do anything to make it any less powerful then it should be.


  159. 159
    Michael Slavitch

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (8:28 am)

    Post #140 has it correct.

    The point is to have the ICE drive the generator at 1600 rpm, which is not only the most fuel-efficient speed for an ICE but the one that puts least demands on the engine over time. One advantage of the ICE is that it will last a very very long time, albeit with use measured in the hours used by generator engines, boats and airplanes not the miles used by motor vehicles. 5000-10,000 hours is likely with good maintenance as it won’t be subject to the harsh peaks of a normal engine. It will have the service life of a well-maintained Diesel. Likewise electric motors have long service lives. One of GM’s biggest criticisms has been the reliability and lifespan of its vehicles. On paper at least this car could easily be driven a million miles before the engines give out, like those old Volvos and Mercedes you still see on the road. Lets hope that they are smart about the components so the rest of the car holds up.


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    nitpicker

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (8:30 am)

    #157 Cire
    There seems to be every reason to think of the Volt as very fast from 0 to 30, and probably better than average 0 to 60, though that’s more uncertain. But you should be first away from the stoplight :) On the other hand, it’s not a Tesla.


  161. 161
    Ed

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (8:41 am)

    To think this has anything to do with oil companies is crazy. GM is fighting for thier life and you think they care about oil companies.


  162. 162
    BillR

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (9:03 am)

    I think I may be setting a milestone here, in that I will agree with Statik #120, on one point, who cares if the engine is a 4-cyl 1.4 L or a V8, as long as it provides the necessary power and efficiency.

    I notice that lately, even though GM has been testing their mules and gathering data, we aren’t getting a lot of new information. It seems to me, that for competitive reasons, GM is keeping a great deal of the technical data secret.

    However, we are hearing more confirmation. Bob Lutz has assured us that the batteries will not be a problem. Rick Wagoner states that the Volt will have a composite fuel economy of more than 100 mpg (still some confusion over what this “composite” is). And a recent speech by Troy Clarke also indicates good performance for the Volt with the ICE in operation, so see the attached link for another good verification:

    http://media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayServlet?target=http://image.emerald.gm.com/gmnews/viewmediaspeechdetail.do?domain=588&docid=46353

    A quote from Troy Clarke’s speech”

    “And if the driver of a Volt needs to go beyond 40 miles, the engine kicks in to supply the electricity to recharge the battery and keep the vehicle moving. This allows the vehicle to drive as much as 400 additional miles, while getting significantly better fuel economy than any other car on the market today.”


  163. 163
    Mike

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (9:30 am)

    The more I hear about the Volt, the more I’m inclined to step away from buying one completely. 1.4l is overkill for a generator. Post #6 is completely correct; GM want to wear the “Green Hat” but just can’t quite get their greedy hands out of the ‘Legacy Way’ of making income by creating something that is engineered to fail and requires “maintenance” where none should be required.
    Sorry GM. I’ll wait for a Honda Fit hybrid, and I bet it’ll have less displacement/cylinders than the Volt range extender engine.


  164. 164
    Cire

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (9:39 am)

    To those saying that they are putting an engine in that wasn’t designed to run a generator.

    You realize that GM will tune the engine differently then how it would be in a normal car. This can be anywhere from just changing the Engine Control Module (ECM) to a few different parts here and there. They do this on all their engine lines, where they have one basic engine and they make several different variations of it.

    Also, I don’t plan on hauling boats up mountains with my volt, that is pretty ridiculous you know. Though come to think about it… you probably could because electric motors have more torque at lower RPMs, you would just have to drive slow.


  165. 165
    Dave G

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (9:46 am)

    #156 RB says: “If the vehicle is climbing a steep incline for an extended period of time, then either the ICE or ICE plus remaining battery has to supply all the power.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    The ICE plus remaining battery supplies the power.

    #156 RB says: “However, going up the mountain, the average and peak power are nearly the same, so the difference is more just semantic than one has on the flat when comparing accelerating…”
    ————————————————————————————–
    This depends on the time period over which you are averaging the power, which relates to how much battery you have left when the engine comes on. With the Volt, you have 4.8KWh, which is a lot. We did some rough calculations on a forum thread here around 9 months ago, and found that this amount of battery together with the ICE would cover all but the most extreme mountain slopes, like Mount Washington or Death Valley. Note that many other cars have problems on these extreme mountain slopes, so these roads have many pull off areas for cars to rest.

    #156 RB says: “…it seems to me that if one drives up and down high mountains all day, one is probably better off with a Cruze (or a car with a V8).”
    ————————————————————————————–
    I disagree. When the Volt goes downhill, the batteries charge quickly, so it will be ready for the next uphill climb.

    Bottom line: The Volt will be fine for up and down high mountains all day. The Cruze will have less peak power, so it will be worse on mountains.


  166. 166
    terryk

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (10:27 am)

    Does anyone know the physical size and supplier of the generator? If that baby dies you are in a world of hurt.


  167. 167
    Mitch

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (11:15 am)

    #103 akojim

    “So GM’s NEXT generation car will get almost the fuel economy of Honda’s CURRENT generation and Toyota’s PREVIOUS generation? Amazing!”

    Look at it realistically this way..

    I drive 30 miles to and from work everyday, fill the tank on Monday, use it for nothing else cost of gas $24.00 (6 gal) total gas use for the week, 0 zip, nada, miles/fuel used = infinite mpg. 50mpg for the “honda or Toyota 3 gal used (30miles 5 day = 150 miles) = 50 mpg, a bit lower than IN FRIGGIN FINITY!!

    you are comparing apples to hand grenades..the Hondsa and Toyota always use gas..the idea (if you check it out,there is some information here on this site about it) is that the volt only uses the ICE after 40 miles, less that the typical commute in the USA.

    Also as far as increased engine size 1.4l vs 1l, is based on water displaced. by the block. 1l of water weighs 2.2# the difference is 4/10ths of 2.2# or about15 ozs, convert to steel and add the piston etc, probably less than 50# of weight total.

    Think if you buy a volt, it has your coveted (by some) 1l, its shakes, is noisy, and actually has a hard time (it struggles on occasion, say with 4 people and a full trunk)..you’d all be moanin and bit**en they should have used a bigger ICE..

    Lets assume that, yes economies of scale are a factor, quiteness is a factor, needed power is also likely a factor..and assume that maybe GM KNOWS ALL the details..

    signing off..good luck.

    Mitch


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    noel park

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (11:33 am)

    #9 Froggy:

    Amen on the autotrans in the Cruze. It will be my wife’s car and she will NOT, repeat NOT, drive a stick any more.

    #106 RB:

    Yeah, too bad they discontinued the 8.1 V-8 in our 3500! It could power the volt and never come off idle. The mileage ain’t much though, LOL.

    #127 The Anti-Oil Jihadi:

    I was just wondering what had become of you. I was afraid that, since the State department had declared use of the word jihad to be politically incorrect, you might have changed your name. I’m too polite to speculate on which name that might be.

    Welcome back.

    #152 jman:

    My understanding was the the 1.0 turbo proposed for the Volt was an existing engine, part of what I believe Grizzly referred to as “family zero”. If you look at the Vauxhall website, they have at least one model powered by a 1.0 turbo. I think it’s the same engine, no doubt built in Europe.

    I guess if they can power the Volt with an engine built in Flint, I can live with it, but I sure would hate to see the mileage and/or performance compromised.


  169. 169
    Rikk

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (11:36 am)

    GM is starting to sound like the former self with this “extended” engine concept.

    The more I read about it, the less I am favourable of purchasing one.


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    rvd

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (11:44 am)

    just another nail to the Volt coffin. Totally expected! We were wrong – GM is not a revolutionary co and Volt will not be a revolutionary car. Too bad.


  171. 171
    Rikk

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (11:51 am)

    Amen rvd!


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    N Riley

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (11:52 am)

    A lot of comments about the size of the ICE. I’m just guessing here, but I assume some people are not satisfied unless the Volt’s ICE is the size of potato and only purrs when it is running.

    Let’s just wait awhile and see how it all shakes out. I don’t think the size of the ICE is as important as the efficiency and environmental effect of the ICE.

    The Volt may disappoint some of us. That is a given anytime a concept car is brought to production. But, there will be some many things good about the Volt that will out weigh the “bad” that I believe it will be a game changer just as we all previously believed. Else why do we stay with this site.

    If GM puts out a bad version of the Volt they will have tremendous “egg’ on their face, plus will lose the race towards tomorrow’s car. They are in a race for their life. Technology will not wait for anyone. They must serve up a great car or be left behind. So, Go Gm. Go Volt.


  173. 173
    doggydogworld

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (11:57 am)

    Approximate power requirements:

    40 mph cruise – 5 kW
    70 mph cruise – 15 kW
    70 mph @ 6% grade, full load – 50 kW
    Passing (50-70mph in 3 secs) – 140 kW

    The batteries are always available for short acceleration bursts, so the ICE does not need to put out 140 kW. Batteries are NOT always available for long highway hills so the ICE DOES need to put out 50 kW plus a little to overcome generator/motor losses. This is why GM originally specified a 53 kW ICE.

    GM is considering the 1.4L ICE purely for cost reasons, not power. If they go with 1.4L it will not be a 140 hp turbo version or even a 110 hp non-turbo, but a 70-ish hp Atkinson cycle version. This is perfectly analagous to Toyota’s 1.5L which makes 108 hp in Echo trim but only 76 hp in the Prius. Scale 76 hp down from 1.5L to 1.4L and you get 71 hp/53 kW which is EXACTLY GM’s original spec!


  174. 174
    doggydogworld

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (12:10 pm)

    40 mph cruise – 5 kW

    This is the interesting situation. 1.4-1.5L Atkinson cycle is near peak efficiency at 15 kW highway cruise, but very inefficient at 5 kW. Prius hypermilers use pulse-and-glide to avoid running the ICE at 5 kW. By alternating between 15 kW “pulse” and engine-off “glide” they achieve 120 mpg at around-town speeds. PnG requires considerable skill, however, and is annoying to passengers and other drivers since you are constantly accelerating and decelerating.

    Volt could alternate between efficient 15 kW output and engine-off automatically, without the annoying accel/decel. It wouldn’t be quite as efficient as Prius PnG due to battery losses, but 100 mpg could be possible. That’d be really cool, but I doubt they’ll bother since almost all ICE driving will be on the highway.


  175. 175
    Dave G

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (12:17 pm)

    #172 doggydogworld says: “Approximate power requirements:

    40 mph cruise – 5 kW
    70 mph cruise – 15 kW
    70 mph @ 6% grade, full load – 50 kW
    Passing (50-70mph in 3 secs) – 140 kW”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Where did you get these numbers?

    The only point of reference we’ve had until now is this article from last summer:
    http://gm-volt.com/2007/08/29/latest-chevy-volt-battery-pack-and-generator-details-and-clarifications/

    Here’s the relevant 2 paragraphs of that article:
    “In terms of the on-board generator, the peak power of 53 kW will rarely be used, only in extreme conditions. Peak efficiency will be at around 30 kW, which is what the car should require at 65 mph slightly uphill, although the actuals of mass and energy requirements are not final yet.

    The engine’s job will be to maintain the battery at a SOC of 30%, and will do so by continuously matching the average power requirement of the car once it is turned on. Those energy requirements will roughly be about 8 kWh in the city, and 25 kWh on the highway.”


  176. 176
    VancouverJon

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (12:36 pm)

    I completely disagree with this concept. I don’t know if someone has mentioned it (I didn’t read all of the posts). But GM already has a 55hp, 1.0L 3-cylinder engine. It was used for years in the Geo Metro and should be able to get 50mpg (it got 45mpg highway when working as a true ICE)…


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    Stew

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (12:44 pm)

    #144 Jeremy:
    I think you misunderstood what side of the argument I’m on here. I drive a Hyundai Accent and am for the Volt, not gas hogging muscle cars. My point was that it seems GM is slowly moving away from the original idea that got everyone so excited to begin with!


  178. 178
    omegaman66

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (12:57 pm)

    Dave G

    I disagree with the assertion that the battery will never be charged beyond 30% from the ICE. I know that is not its purpose but it will happen. The graph posted by Lyle showed the battery dropping and rising along the 30% line. HIS material not mine.


  179. 179
    terryk

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (12:58 pm)

    The larger displacement should give the 1.4L more low end torque so they don’t have to make it scream to start turning the generator (if the battery is down, it will be a big load to the ICE) and it might also be related to the transition problem Lutz mentioned before.

    Factor in the economies of scale and it makes a lot of sense.

    I don’t care if the Volt only gets 35MPG on ICE, the 40 miles of no gas makes it a big hit in my book.


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    BillR

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (1:15 pm)

    #174 Dave G

    DoggyDog seems to have reasonable numbers in his post, # 172.

    See this link for the EV-1:

    http://avt.inl.gov/pdf/fsev/eva/ev1_eva.pdf

    Note the EV-1 needed 127 Wh per mile at 45 mph. If the Volt can get by with the same power at 40 mph, for one hour of driving (40 miles) it would require (127)(40) or 5080 watt-hours or a power draw of 5.08 kW.

    If the Volt, when fully loaded weighs 4000 lb, travels up a 6% grade (6 foot rise in every 100 feet), after 1 mile (5280 feet) its elevation change is 317 feet. So the power required for the elevation change is (4000)(317)/44,235 or about 29 kW. Since we are talking 70 mph, (1 mile in less than a minute) multiply by 70/60 or 1.167. This now equates to about 34 kW for climbing, and 15 kW for drag, or a total of nearly 50 kW.


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    alex_md

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (1:33 pm)

    Once you battery is depleted the ICE is the only thing driving the car. So is it has max output of 70HP – that is all you get, till you can put some juice back into the battery. So why not programm two modes into the computer.

    1. Commute Mode. Start with full battery, go 40 miles, ICE starts and keeps the battery 30% charged. Take full advantage of plug-in and use least amount of gas.

    2. Long trip mode (or Prius mode if you will). Ice starts at 65% of charge (need to free up 20% of so for regenerative braking) and keeps working all the way (600 miles?). When you get to your destination you can switch back to commute mode and use AER for driving short trips and in city. Also during your trip you will have a large capacity batery power available for you to atack those mountain roads. The benefits you get by depleting your battery completely during the first 40 miles and then just hauling it around are doubtful for me if you planning on driving all day.


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    RB

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (1:39 pm)

    #164 DaveG You make very good arguments as to the superiority of the Volt vs Cruze for someone who goes up and down the mountain all day. I agree with you. I had not really thought about coming down the mountain and its benefits to recharge.


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    RB

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (1:43 pm)

    #167 noel — Agreed. Maybe GM has a lot of those big V8s in a warehouse somewhere, just waiting for a Volt :)


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    Ryan P

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (2:41 pm)

    “If you are running up a mountain pulling your nice big boat, and the batteries are already at 30% charge…”

    Are you KIDDING ME?!? You expect an electric car to pull a BOAT?


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    canehdian

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (2:43 pm)

    “Am I the only one here that expects excellent performance (power, not mpg) on the Volt? It will be so awesome when I pull up next to some fast looking car and just mop them with my ELECTRIC car. Electric has the potential, and id love to be one of the ones showing off with it before everyone has one, that’s part of the appeal. I think the Volt will really interest the younger market as long as it delivers the performance they have talked about. I guess I have always assumed the volt will be high performance, and that’s why I want it”

    Definitely. I want my friends to laugh at me having an electric car, and then flooring it and they’re pressed back in their seats with shocked looks on their faces.
    :D


  186. 186
    Fahrvergnugen Fanboy

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (2:50 pm)

    It would be straightforward to have GPS figure out whether there are any mountains in the vicinity and choose the mode appropriately. When you’re near the crest of a pass and there will be nowhere to go but downhill, it could anticipate and start drawing down the battery early.

    Also, the computer could “learn” where and when it usually “feeds”, and favor running down the battery (always keeping open the possibility of the unexpected) if it senses it’s likely to be on its way “home” for the night.

    And the plain-vanilla off-the-shelf ICE is totally the right way to go. How many engineering hours do you want pulled off the important stuff to make a specialized engine? How much extra do you want to pay for it? How much extra calendar time do you want before delivery? That’s what I thought.


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    nasaman

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (4:01 pm)

    180 alex_md……

    You suggest, “….why not program two modes into the computer:

    1. Commute Mode. Start with full battery, go 40 miles, ICE starts and keeps the battery 30% charged. Take full advantage of plug-in and use least amount of gas.

    2. Long-trip Mode (or Prius mode if you will). Ice starts at 65% of charge (need to free up 20% of so for regenerative braking) and keeps working all the way (600 miles?). When you get to your destination you can switch back to commute mode and use AER for driving short trips and in city. Also during your trip you will have a large capacity battery power available for you to attack those mountain roads. The benefits you get by depleting your battery completely during the first 40 miles and then just hauling it around are doubtful for me if you’re planning on driving all day.”

    NOTE TO GM: This idea is well worth considering as a driver-switchable control, a little like “Perf Mode” or “Econ Mode” controls transmssion shift points on some cars today.


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    j man

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    #167 Noel Park

    The 1.4L is a family zero engine as well. I was looking at GM sites for across the pond and they do their sizes in cc measurements. I didn’t take the time to convert any of the sizes to know exactly how big they are in L. They may have other family zero engines but I am not sure. Also most blocks can be two engines so the 1.4L may be a 1.0l as well.

    example
    4.8 and 5.3 V8 is the same block
    3.5 and 3.9 V6 is the same block.

    I would assume the the larger size of the engine at 1.4L will help with charging speed of the batteries as well as help GM streamline the manufacturing costs of the Volt/


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    j man

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (5:08 pm)

    #165 terryk

    The ICE, 1.4L motor is the generator and that will be supplied by GM. If you were refering the the electric motor on the Volt, I am not sure of who the supplier will be but it should be available at any dealership


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    Dave G

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (7:53 pm)

    #180 alex_md says: “Once you battery is depleted the ICE is the only thing driving the car. So is it has max output of 70HP – that is all you get, till you can put some juice back into the battery.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    The battery should never get depleted. The gas engine comes on when the charge on the battery gets down to 30%. The Volt then varies the gas engine output to keep the battery around 30%. Note that 30% of a 16KHh battery is still 4.8KWh. That’s a lot. So you still have plenty of battery for 150 peak horsepower after the gas engine comes on.


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    alex_md

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (8:47 pm)

    When I say “depleted” I actually mean discharged to the lower safety limit. If I understand it right, we do not want the battery to routinely go below 30%. So if you still going to count on it to do some heavy lifting at levels of charge below 30%, I think that can hurt the battery life. You can probably just let this happen once in a while without damaging the battery to much, but this should not be a routine.
    What really is interesting for me is just how efficient the energy conversion will be. Chemical (Gas) – mechanical (ICE) – electrical (Generator) – chemical (Battery charge) – electrical (Battery discharge) – mechanical (Motor). It would be interesting to see somebody try to give an estimate of energy losses in this process.


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    terryk

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (8:58 pm)

    188 J man,

    No, the ICE just drives the generator. The crankshaft of the ICE is connected to the generator to generate electricity to charge the batteries and drive the electric motor. No generator, no move.

    GM isn’t building the generator; they have to be buying it from someone. Just curious what the size and manufacturer is.


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    tomatolord

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (9:02 pm)

    ahh think back to the early days of “personal computers”
    vs
    today…

    In 4-6 years the 1.x gas motor will not make a bit of difference.

    Battery tech will keep moving ahead, probably dramatically.

    smart phone (iphone, blackberry) users are screaming for new battery tech.

    It will not matter what these early motors are, demand for the cars will prove that this is a viable market that other mfg need to get into sooner rather then later

    The thing is for gm to make a sound biz decesion now so that they can make profits to invest in the volts future.

    If the 1.0 liter is only vialbe in the volt that would really drive the price of the engine up…

    Tomatolord


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (9:11 pm)

    cire # 157

    “Anyways my point is that a lot of people expect GM to make a high powered car, so they better not do anything to make it any less powerful then it should be.”

    *** *** ***

    One should never put too much emphasis into the 0-60 thinking. The Volt will perform in this respect, but the crown jewel will be its 0-40 performance which is much more of what anyone who reasonably drives a car will experience. What this means is that the slowest portion of the Volt’s 0-60 run will be from 40-60mph. IMHO no big deal, and what it really means is that the Volt might just “out-bolt” an 5.0 ‘Mustang from 0-40! Not bad for a green car. ;)


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (9:28 pm)

    Mike #162

    “GM want to wear the “Green Hat” but just can’t quite get their greedy hands out of the ‘Legacy Way’ of making income by creating something that is engineered to fail and requires “maintenance” where none should be required.”

    *** *** ***

    If this were necessarily true, then the turbo 3-banger would be the *MUCH* better choice. My…my…my…how simple things are from the Lazy-boy comfort of “whack-O green” armchair engineering!


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    koz

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (10:11 pm)

    #164 DaveG
    “Bottom line: The Volt will be fine for up and down high mountains all day. The Cruze will have less peak power, so it will be worse on mountains.”

    Absolutely. I was just thinking about this the other day. Not only will mountain climbing power in nearly any practical scenario be more than many think, but the the relative economy of the volt vs non-plug-ins will be exaggerated in these scenarios. Standard ICE and hybrids don’t have the benefit of regen or large enough batteries to take advantage of substantial downslopes. Not only this, but the optimization benefits from only providing average power should also see some gains.

    I predict the relative fuel efficiency of an EREV to be highest in mountainous terrane vs a tradition ICE or hybrid.


  197. 197
    Eric E

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (10:30 pm)

    Duh.


  198. 198
    Eric E

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (10:32 pm)

    By the way Lyle. I must compliment your skills. Interesting info everyday.

    Nice job!


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    Larry Parylla

     

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    Jul 21st, 2008 (10:54 pm)

    Quoting #166 mitch July 21st, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Also as far as increased engine size 1.4l vs 1l, is based on water displaced. by the block. 1l of water weighs 2.2# the difference is 4/10ths of 2.2# or about15 ozs, convert to steel and add the piston etc, probably less than 50# of weight total.

    I am amazed at the misunderstanding some people have about engines. Displacement is the combined volume of all the cylinders, if you want to use water as an example you would fill each cylinder with water and measure the volume It has nothing to do with the size of the block. In fact you can theoretically have an engine with a higher displacement with a smaller block. Back in the 1940s and 50s when the straight 6 was the standard engine the V8 was advertised as a big break through because it gave you a larger displacement engine in a smaller block


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    Antranig

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (2:37 am)

    GM Sets Launch Target for Production Volt Electric Car
    http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=18742


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    J Man

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (4:19 am)

    191 Terryk

    I guess I have misunderstood the setup for the car. I thought the motor acted as the generator, I did not realize that they were seperate units.

    I know that some of the whole house generators you can get from Lowes uses a GM 4 cyl, Is it set up like those?


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    koz

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (6:17 am)

    #196 Eric E
    “Duh”

    I assume this was meant for my comment. Perhaps you were misundrstanding what I was trying to convey. Most people assume EV’s perform terribly in hilly terrain and so will the Volt. I was making the point that not only will the Volt be reasonably powered for this but it’s efficiency RELATIVE to other cars will shine best in these conditions vs other driving conditions. I’m not referring to just AER but overall relative efficiency compared to other technologies (mpg/mpg city vs mpg/mpg highway vs mpg/mpg mountainous). The Volt’s worst relative efficiency beyond AER will be for flat highway driving and it’s best will be in the mountains. I don’t think this is obvious to many people.


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    Darius

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (7:40 am)

    I would support GM for switching engines if GM engineers would explain what was the problem with smaller engine more in detail when Lutz told us that is was rough and bumpy. It looks that engine startup and power load regulation at constant RPM was problematic. Normally at big power plant “cold” or even “hot” startups take some time and genset shall be loaded gradually. May be load taking time is problematic for 1 L and it is difficult to work with generator. I expect for the most efficient genset it should take a while to start base load operation mode and may be some automatic control would be apreciated.

    Maintance of diesel power plants are based on operation hours and number of sturtups (each startup means 5 hours). The average maintanance period is arround 3000 hours of operation. Something like that should be for the Volt ICE engine.


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    Darius

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (8:02 am)

    I have a question to the participants – why any car engine producer not considering boosting engine efficiency by adding some water like some private ventures are advertizing some home made devices. The electrical power industry knows “TOP HAT” process when gas/diesel turbine efficiency can be boosted up to 60% by mixing steam with fuel. It simply cools down combustion chamber at the same time increaing preasure. For efficiency not temperature but realy preasure matters. On other hand ethanol contains some water and although carolific value of ethanol is lower than gasoline but MPG are almost the same due to lower combustion temperature.

    http://www.worldwide-discovery.com/saving-fuel.html&client=ca-pub-7986326907675573&nm=9


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    Larry Parylla

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (9:10 am)

    I have owned two hybrids, the current one is a Lexus GS450H. The electric motor that moves the car also acts as the generator, but I have read here the Volt’s will have to be separate in order for the battery to charge while the car is moving. When the Lexus battery needs to be charged and the engine kicks in it difficult for the driver to be able to tell when the engine is running or if it is off so Lexus has provided a dashboard display to let the drive know when the engine is running. So it is possible to start the engine and charge the battery without the driver being able to notice when it is happening. I guess GM has their reason for designing the Volt drive train the way they did but if they used a similar system to the Toyota / Lexus they would be able to use the electric motor as a generator while the car is moving and be able to eliminate the need for a separate generator.


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    Larry Parylla

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (9:34 am)

    Quoteing #202
    Darius
    July 22nd, 2008 at 8:02 am

    why any car engine producer not considering boosting engine efficiency by adding some water
    =====================================

    I would think that the principle of KISS could be the reason, Keep It Simple Stupid.. Adding water injection adds complexity and adds another component that can break. What will you gain by adding a more complex component? And since many people will not use the ICE often if at all you may have water sitting in a tank that make wind up growing algae so the owner has the additional task of testing the water and treating it for algae growth

    How many people want to have to have the additional task of adding water in addition to adding gas and plugging in., and how do you keep the water from freezing when the car is parked outside overnight in the winter?


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    Jose Burrito

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (10:11 am)

    BREAKING NEWS!!!:
    GM announces plug-in full electric Volt with 400 mile range!

    MORE BREAKING NEWS!:
    GM announces ICE/electric Volt with 600 mile range!

    Even more BREAKING NEWS:
    GM announces larger ICE for Volt with 300 mile range.

    and yet more Breaking News:
    GM announces V8 with electric accessories for Volt with 300 mile range.

    Another easy win for BIG OIL!


  208. 208
    Larry Parylla

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (10:22 am)

    Whiskey – Tango – Foxtrot, there must be a joke there somewhere but I missed it


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    Rikk

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (10:58 am)

    Serious question: does Bob Lutz or anyone at GM monitor this site (for feedback from would-be consumers)?


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    Allen R

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (12:29 pm)

    I’m sorry but I didn’t read all of the replies.
    Many of them I have seen are beating on the overkill for the engine.
    I thought the same at first, but then I changed my mind.
    Here is the theory. You get to 30% of battery capacity, or whatever they decide, and the engine starts and runs at optimal rpm range for best HP/gallon of fuel, be it 2800 rpm or whatever. When the charge on the battery reaches a certian point, say 50% charge, the engine shuts down and lets the battery drive you around till it reaches 30% again. Besides the extra weight of the engine, I don’t see any disadvantage at all to the larger engine. It will give you a buffer cusion for larger hill climbs, be more widely accepted to the masses and is a lower price to produce.


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    terryk

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (1:14 pm)

    J Man 199

    No worries! I am curious how this configuration looks physically. I assume the generator is bolted to the back of the engine (VS being chain driven like a transaxle) but you never know. The generator should be roughly the size of the electric motor.

    I looked at the various Volt see-thru’s and I can’t really tell.


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    Voltik

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (5:25 pm)

    Grizzly #142

    The rpm for the 1.4L was at 1800 as indicated by the 1:1 gear ratio.

    Yes the 1L is greatly affected at low rpm from not having boost, as I recall the effects of the tubo did not show up untill above 1500 rpm.


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    Voltik

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (5:55 pm)

    #148 Dave G

    My dyno runs were pure simple ICE runs. Looking only for the required torque to pull the 53KW alternator up from idle speed with a 80% load.


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    stas peterson

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (6:31 pm)

    It amazes me how little the true-believer treehuggers know, and how prone to instant Conspiracy theories.

    If GM wants to use a different power train for battery recharging, fine.

    If they want to reduce the gasoline tank to remove 30 lbs of useless weight, and prevent customer complaints suffering stale gas problems, I congratulate their engineering prowess.

    The Cruze I-4 is more modern than the Liberty I-4 & I3 engine. It is prepared for HCCI, as that technology develops. It has GDI. And VVT on both valves, as well as compound turbos.

    Given the age of the Liberty design, the new engine probably has a better SFC, specific fuel consumption, too.

    The new I4 will be built in America for the Cruze, so the exchange rate will make its utilization attractive. To reduce cost for the old Liberty, GM would probably have to erect a US factory for it. Why build a new factory for a relatively old engine design?

    To listen to the conspiricists, you would think it is difficult to bore or stroke the same engine on an assembly line. Transfer machines are dying or dead, with their inflexibility.

    Modern manufacturing lets GEMA build a 1.8, 2.0 or 2.4 I4s for Chrysler, Huyndai and Mitsu building each engine variably on as small a lot size as one single engine. The Flint plant will be no less efficient for the Cruze I4. Whether it will displace 1.4 liters for Cruzes, and 1.0 or 1.2 liters for Volts, (and 1.6 liters for Malibus?) should be a little decision that can be fine tuned later.

    The other thing the unkowledgeable don’t understand, is that the power of the ICE allows the charging rate or the time to recharge the batteries to decline.

    It takes power to push Amperes into a battery. The more “Push”, the faster the battery will re-charge. A more powerful engine just shortens the time it will run, and the higher the safety margin when climbing the Rockies.

    GM engineering probably found that the I-3 was a rough running engine, inherently unbalanced, and perhaps the power margin or specific fuel consumption was too poor. Once again I congratulate GM on a wise engineering decision.


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    john1701a

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (6:48 pm)

    >> I have owned two hybrids, the current one is a Lexus GS450H. The electric motor that moves the car also acts as the generator, but I have read here the Volt’s will have to be separate in order for the battery to charge while the car is moving…

    Sorry, but that is incorrect. The Toyota/Lexus hybrids also have two motors.

    The smaller motor (10kW in Prius) generates electricity 100% of the time the engine is providing thrust for propulsion. It also generates electricity whenever you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal. Additionally, it is used to spin the engine for combustion startup.

    The larger motor (50kW in Prius) is what provides thrust for propulsion and is what the brakes use for regeneration.

    Interestingly, having two motors available means electric travel is possible without the battery-pack contributing any electricity. In fact, during times of heavy load (like climbing a hill), it gets replenished rather than drained. That’s counter-intuative, and quite the opposite behavior of an ASSIST hybrid.


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    Larry Parylla

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (7:32 pm)

    #215
    July 22nd, 2008 at 6:48 pm john1701a

    I was all ready to insist you were wrong because after driving a RX400H for 2 years and a GS450H for 5 weeks I was positive that I knew how my car worked from reading the owners manual and operating the car. But I don’t like to get into a debate if I am not 100% sure of my facts so I did some research and learned something, you are correct.

    This PDF explains how it works

    http://www.lexus.com/hybriddrive/pdf/HybridPcktGuide.pdf

    I would like to thank you for correcting my mistake because it made me do some research and I learned something new about my car.

    PS I believe that my misunderstanding as to how my car works was due to an oversimplified animation on the Lexus site that I viewed


  217. 217
    Larry Parylla

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (7:57 pm)

    If anyone wants to get an idea of what it takes to power an electric vehicle go to a Lexus dealer and open the trunk of a GS model, The non-hybrid GS has a huge trunk, but the same vehicle in hybrid form has a very small trunk because the trunk is filled with batteries. Now when you take into consideration all the space that the battery consumes will only move the car for a couple miles with the A/C off. So if the battery in the Volt that is going to move the car 40 miles must be huge. Does anyone have any idea how big and how much the Volt battery will weigh?


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    Larry Parylla

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (8:14 pm)

    also the top of page 16 on the PDF

    http://www.lexus.com/hybriddrive/pdf/HybridPcktGuide.pdf

    shows the dashboard display and there is only one electric motor icon shown, that is what caused me to make the mistake into believing there is one motor


  219. 219
    Exp_EngTech

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (9:11 pm)

    I’m happy to hear that GM is apparently considerating the 4 cylinder normally aspirated 1.4L instead of the 3 cylinder 1.0L Turbo. As I mentioned back in my #151 post, I owned a car with a turbo.

    Turbos can experience serious problems if not treated carefully. If an engine has set for a long time without running, the turbo bearing will become dry. Several companies make aftermarket systems to pressurize the bearing between startups.

    Here is one…
    http://www.turbosafeplus.com/news_clips.html

    I may be wrong but I don’t think any currently produced car with a factory turbo comes with a “pre-lube” system like this.

    Now, imagine your Volt has been run exclusively off battery power for several months. You then pull onto Interstate 70 and head west out of Denver. The battery pack drains down after the first 40+ miles and then your 3 cylinder turbo is commanded to start and is instantly put under full load. The turbo bearing is going to spin for a little while until the oil reaches it. Not a good situation.

    Bring on the 1.4L 4 cylinder ICE !


  220. [...] Chevrolet Volt mystery may have unfolded just a bit more as GM-Volt.com is reporting that GM CEO Rick Wagoner has confirmed that the General is considering a 1.4L four [...]


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    nasaman

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (11:10 pm)

    219 Exp_EngTech…..

    I agree completely —the 1.4L non-turbo direct-injection engine is the best choice from every standpoint I’ve seen discussed in this thread!


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jul 22nd, 2008 (11:49 pm)

    Voltik # 212

    Understanding the dynamics, it makes one wonder why the engineers didn’t consider a super-charger as opposed to a turbo. Even w/o modeling this would seem to be the more logical choice.

    All said and done, the 4-banger NA makes more sense and if it can get it done @ 1.8K as opposed to 3K+ RPM, then 55+ MPG may very well be in the realm of possibility.


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    Darius

     

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    Jul 23rd, 2008 (2:14 am)

    Larry Parylla
    #206

    I agree concerning KISS principle. But concerning additional complexity – I do not. That might be only question of fuel type – wether you want use gasoline-water mixture (made by emulgation method) or pure one.Flex fuel type engine perfectly fits for this purpose. The question is what efficeincy gain might be and what would be optimal mixture.


  224. [...] Chevrolet Volt mystery may have unfolded just a bit more as GM-Volt.com is reporting that GM CEO Rick Wagoner has confirmed that the General is considering a 1.4L four [...]


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    john1701a

     

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    Jul 23rd, 2008 (8:02 am)

    KISS is the same reason for the screen only displaying a single motor. If you think about it, seeing arrows flowing to both the tires and the battery at the same time is impossible from just one. But showing a second really doesn’t provide any benefit. You get the point with the more simple approach anyway… which explains why GM chose to do the very same thing for Two-Mode.

    By the way, the lack of educational materials for Volt is an invitation to misconceptions. Someone needs to fill that rather obvious gap. Toyota invited the enthusiasts to create them for Prius, which proved very successful… hint, hint.


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    Steveo

     

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    Jul 23rd, 2008 (9:04 am)

    Yes, the 1.4L is way too big of a motor, but i’m sure GM’s take on it is that it’s req’ed to get the acceleration needed while all the gizmos are on. They prob could get away with a .6L but given that if they release it and it’s a total dog power-wise they’d rather not take the chance. It’s our spoiledness on responsiveness and power that causing it, not GM. They are just doing thier best too make it acceptable too the largest crowd. The sooner the collective of us show them we are willing to make concessions the sooner they will make cars with more modest mileage / displacement.

    Steveo


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    doggydogworld

     

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    Jul 23rd, 2008 (1:03 pm)

    #175 Dave G, my power numbers were derived from technical papers for cars of similar size plus some high school math. BillR gives some good examples in #180. My numbers include minimal accessory power, if you have the A/C cranked to max plus a 1500 W stereo add several kW.

    The GM article’s “30 kW @ 65 mph up a slight grade” probably refers to a 3% grade. I’m not sure how to interpret the 8 kW city/25 kW highway comment. That may refer to average engine power while the ICE actually runs (it won’t run constantly, especially in areas with rolling terrain). If the car really needs 25 kW to hold 65 mph on flat ground that comes to a pathetic 31 mpg assuming the ICE/generator manages to extract 12 kWh from each gallon of gasoline (35% efficiency).

    #215 John1701a – “The smaller motor (10kW in Prius) generates electricity 100% of the time the engine is providing thrust for propulsion”

    I appreciate your frequent technical contributions to this web site, especially when it comes to all matters Prius, but I have to call you out on this one. MG1 often acts as a motor (consuming electricity) when the ICE is providing thrust. It happens when driving a steady 60 mph on flat ground, to give just one example.


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    doggydogworld

     

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    Jul 23rd, 2008 (1:06 pm)

    #226 SteveO – engine size has nothing to do with acceleration. Surge power comes from the battery pack. The ICE is sized to handle sustained highway grades of 6-7% at full load with A/C.


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    Jul 23rd, 2008 (3:07 pm)

    >>…but I have to call you out on this one. MG1 often acts as a motor (consuming electricity) when the ICE is providing thrust.

    Which is a great example of KISS. Explaining the situation where MG1 & MG2 can flip-flop doesn’t accomplish a state of clearing up confusion… though, I s’pose saying that something is generating electricity almost constantly while the engine is providing thrust may have done the trick.

    Too bad these blogs are so short lived. Forum threads are far better for maintaining on-going educational exchanges.


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    mien green

     

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    Jul 23rd, 2008 (6:38 pm)

    204 Darius

    Here’s an interesting article relative to your water addition question.

    http://autospeed.com/cms/A_110615/article.html


  231. [...] Chevrolet Volt mystery may have unfolded just a bit more as GM-Volt.com is reporting that GM CEO Rick Wagoner has confirmed that the General is considering a 1.4L four [...]


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    Jul 24th, 2008 (9:51 am)

    Mien Green

    # 230

    Thank you for the refference. It means that for the Volt type systems water injection it is possible without complications because of slow ICE start/stop possibility.


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    John

     

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    Jul 24th, 2008 (3:10 pm)

    I do not like the idea of ICE driven generator. I would prefer if they offered Volt with and without generator. As to the generator should be just that, driven by small!!! 2 or 3 cylinder diesel engine. If GM does not know how to make it, look at Europe. Diesel is cleaner and a lot more efficient. The truth is that GM would like to pack V8 400 Hp just to sell it, so you have to pay for everything (service, parts, gas etc.). Simplicity is the name and that’s what Volt should be.


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    Steel

     

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    Jul 24th, 2008 (7:52 pm)

    A concept many people are overlooking is that things such as Size and Number of cylinders as not as important as the basic engine Efficiency. The gasoline has the same energy regardless of 3/4 or even 8 cylinder engine. See the Saturn Astra US Fuel Economy. 2.4L 4 cylinder is 30 MPG highway, 3.5L 6 cylinder is 29 MPG highway.

    I think that when you get to the meat of the situation, a NA 1.4L 4 cylinder may perform at ~99% of the efficiency on the Turbo 1.0L 3 cylinder with lower end costs, greater reliability, and lower repair costs.


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    Larry Parylla

     

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    Jul 25th, 2008 (1:08 am)

    Reguarding post #233 by John @ July 24th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    GM is not making this car just for you, That want the car to be something that the majority of drivers want and they have done their homework and realized that the biggest objection to their first try at making an electric vehicle was the limited range. In order for this car to be a success it must be something that most drivers want. GMs entire future depends on the success of the Volt and if the get it wrong the company may go under. The worst thing for GM would be to have Volts stuck on the side of the road because their battery was depleted. Can you imagine if people saw stranded Volts along the side of the road for everyone to see. How much confidence will the public have in this new technology if the see stranded Volt drivers trying to flag down a passing car for help all over the country. The best part of the Volt is you will never need to use the ICE if you don’t deplete the battery but if you mess up you won’t have to walk home. The ICE is a back up, the same way a reserve chute is to a sky diver. All cars have airbags but you still buckle up your belt just in case you need a back up device.

    Let’s assume that by getting rid of the ICE you can gain enough room for additional batteries that will increase the range to 100 miles. I think that if you tell most people they that they will need to buy and maintain a second vehicle with an ICE or rent a vehicle with and ICE every time you need to travel more than 100 miles they won’t buy the car.

    A lot of people have said there is a cut off point of $30,000 to $40,000 and anything over that is unaffordable. So what happens if they discover they need a second car for long trips.

    GM already built an electric only vehicle and they realized they made a mistake by not having a range extender.

    This car will appeal to the most people because it removes the fear that people have of being stranded late at night in a snow storm.

    By the way I have lived in a few different states and driven through most of the USA and there are a lot of places where even a 100 mile range won’t get you where you need to go and back home again


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    Jul 25th, 2008 (1:46 am)

    I agree with #234 by Steel @ July 24th, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    My 1996 Corvette got in the high 20′s any my 98 Vette got even better than that. From what I understand the newer ones are even better. If a V8 Vette engine delivers high MPG why would it matter to anyone care how many cylinders it has?

    All anyone should car about is if the Volt gets the job done and delivers the performance that was promised.

    It seems to me that some people have such an intense hate of gas engines and especially V8s that they have allowed the hate to cloud their judgment.

    All I care about and really all anyone should care about is if the car delivers the goods. I get the feeling that if GM delivers a volt with a battery range of 70n miles and an ICE that gets 40 mpg some people would call it a failure if it had 8 cylinders. Do not measure success or failure by counting engine cylinders, the only thing that matters is that it will be able to perform within the numbers we were promised.

    People are arguing over something that does not exist. Before you complain wait to see one in a showroom and take it for a ride to see how well it works.

    When you buy a new Hi-Deff TV do you care about how many wires and transistors it has, or do you even care what is inside? All I care about is how good is the picture. we should judge the Volt the same way. Please ignore how big the gas tank is, how many spark plugs, how many quarts of oil the ICE takes, all that matters is if it works


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    CS

     

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    Jul 25th, 2008 (8:11 am)

    Do they need such a big engine only to charge the batteries to expand range? Isn`t it much more efficient to use a small and light engine like this one for that purpose:

    http://www.ecomotors.com

    or

    http://www.propulsiontech.com

    Some European Volkswagen models are equipped with an 1.4 L TSI engine up to 170 hp. That´s nice sporty but is it really innovative too?
    If the Volt get´s an engine of such size there would be nothing revolutionary new on this story.


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    Larry Parylla

     

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    Jul 25th, 2008 (9:42 am)

    Again I ask, why do you care what engine is in it? If the car does every thing they said it would why should you care what engine is in it?

    Now on the other hand if they undersized the engine and it doesn’t have the power to charge the battery a lot of people will be disappointed.

    The only thing people should care about reguarding the engine is

    #1 will it get the job done?

    #2 will it deliver the MPG that they said it would while running smoothly and quietly

    everything else does not matter


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    BillInInd

     

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    Jul 25th, 2008 (11:03 am)

    I have been a GM man all my life. It has only been recently that I have got gone away from GM and that’s mainly because they won’t build me what I want. I have been driving diesels and in order to drive a car diesel I have turned to VW.

    The Volt looks to me to me a huge step in the right direction. Unfortunately money does mean something to me and if the Volt’s much over $30,000 I won’t be able to afford the Volt.

    I might wait for a couple reasons to buy the Volt. The first is that I need a battery only range of 60 miles. I know that would require a 22KW battery pack, but hopefully that might be an option in the future. The second is that hopefully someday GM would use a 1L diesel ICE to power their generator. The diesel would have more torque to handle the generator and the mileage increase would be very significant.

    I do hope for GM success. I would like to be back in a GM powered car someday. I sure wish someone would build a small (S10 sized) diesel powered truck too


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    doggydogworld

     

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    Jul 25th, 2008 (2:41 pm)

    Larry Nitz says GM selected the 1.4L non-turbo. This according to GreenCarCongress report from Plug-In 2008 conference in San Jose, CA.


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    Jul 26th, 2008 (8:58 am)

    Right now diesel is about a dollar a gallon more so I think gas is a better option, also as far as being able to afford the volt, in a few years gas prices may be so high you may not be able to afford to not have a Volt


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    Was muß ein E-Auto leisten? : Alternative Antriebe

     

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    Sep 10th, 2008 (1:16 pm)

    [...] http://gm-volt.com/…/ [...]


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    Jerry Wheeler

     

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    Mar 3rd, 2009 (4:42 pm)

    The move from the 1.4L from the 1.0L illustrates with perfect clarity what morons are running this company. When stupidity and arrogance take over a man, this is what you get- no common sense. I am NOT buying a GM P.O.S., I am buying an electric car.