Dec 30

How Will Air Conditioning Affect the Chevy Volt’s Electric Range?

 

The Chevy Volt has been designed to be able to drive for 40 miles on stored electricity when starting from the point of a fully charged battery. GM has specifically engineered the car around that goal. That range is based on a certain set of assumptions, which includes reasonable driving aggressiveness. Severe aggressive driving with frequent hard accelerations would be expected to reduce the electric-only range.

A question not fully answered is how air conditioning might affect range, considering how highly energy- demanding an application it is.

I recently had the chance to ask Frank Weber who is the Volt vehicle line executive.

Would you say running air conditioning at high capacity will reduce your electric range in the Volt?

It will.

Can you say how much?
It is so dependent on the ambient temperature and what your setting is.

How about maximum A/C on a hot day?
We haven’t discussed that (publicly).

Will it be less than 40 miles?
Absolutely. Physics are physics. Its like the electricity bill at your house. The moment you decide to switch the air conditioning on, it is a conscious choice that you will pay for it.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 at 7:15 am and is filed under Climate, Efficiency, Engineering. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 176


  1. 1
    jhape

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (7:52 am)

    Being from Arizona, it is discouraging but not surprising.


  2. 2
    Mike756

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (7:55 am)

    Dang it! My computer froze just as I was going to make the first comment.

    It would be nice to know the average AC load they assume.


  3. 3
    brad

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:05 am)

    Well if it works like the EV1 did, when it is plugged in the car will keep a certain temperature setting. This will reduce the need for a lot of energy to cool the car at first.

    Now if you go somewhere and leave your car in the sun you may need a lot of power to cool it down fast. But if they have solar panel options then the panels can provide temperature control all the time. Anyone in the south will definalty want to look at the solar panel on the roof option.


  4. 4
    GXT

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:07 am)

    Given that it gets ~32 miles highway without the AC, it looks like sub 30 Miles highway with the AC. What is the guess? Mid 20′s with the heater?

    Given the high cost of batteries I always thought 40 miles was a bad number to start Volt 1.0 with. The “~78% of drivers drive that far daily” was a silly argument when forced the price and volume into a range where only a couple % of drivers could get one. Now I think I see why they are doing it. If they went for a 20 Mile range it might end up being only 12 on the highway.


  5. 5
    Schmeltz

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:09 am)

    I would like to see more battery capacity installed to accomadate this energy load, much rather than see diminished driving range. If it knocks 10 miles off of your total range to run AC during driving, then install more battery capacity to account for your “worst case” driving conditions, I realize and accept that more battery = more money, but I think this 40 mile range threshold is the bar that muct be sustained. If I was buying a technological marvel for 40 grand, I would darn well want for 40 mile range no matter what. Just my feeling on that.


  6. 6
    D Lo

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:11 am)

    #5 GXT “32 miles highway’
    - – - -
    Where did that figure come from?


  7. 7
    RB

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:13 am)

    Trying to put some numbers on this question, my guess is that the AC will use about 2 KWH each hour it is in operation. If 40 miles AER requires 8 KWH over 1 hour nominally, then once the 2 KWH for the AC is removed, that leaves 6 KWH for electric drive, or a 25% reduction in the number of KWH available for the electric drive motor. The conclusion is that if the Volt gets 40 miles AER with the AC off, it will get about 30 miles AER with it on.

    Of course all this is guesswork, but perhaps it is in the right ballpark.


  8. 8
    TUT

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:23 am)

    What about integrating magnetic refrigeration since it is much more efficient?


  9. 9
    Joe

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:33 am)

    With the range extender the Volt will still get great gas mileage. I know many want to completely get away from oil but that won’t happen, yet. The Volt is only the beginning of a new technology so don’t expect it to be perfect right from the beginning. At least it’s a beginning and a huge risk to GM. Please give GM credit instead of complaining. They can not defy the law of physics.


  10. 10
    Dave G

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:43 am)

    #9 Joe Says: “I know many want to completely get away from oil but that won’t happen, yet.”
    ————————————————————————————-
    I believe we can replace gasoline very soon, and with cars like the Volt. Remember that the Volt also runs on E85. Although corn ethanol sucks (never understood why they did that), other sources of ethanol are perfectly viable. See here for details:
    http://www.coskata.com/EthanolFeedstockPotential.asp

    Bottom line:
    EREVs + Ethanol can completely replace gasoline, and both are within our reach.


  11. 11
    RB

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:43 am)

    #8 TUT says “What about integrating magnetic refrigeration since it is much more efficient?”
    =======================================

    My impression is that we don’t know what kind of AC system they plan to use. Without a starting point, it is hard to know what to compare to. My supposition is that GM is using the most traditional kind of AC to avoid having too many new elements in the car at once, but so far as I know for sure they may be using magnetic refrigeration already.

    In the end one has to pump some heat from the inside to the outside, and that’s going to require some kwh no matter how efficiently it is done, as Mr. Weber said.


  12. 12
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:45 am)

    As for the electric range, we did some calculations here on this site around 18 months ago, and found the that heating and air conditioning would probably affect range by around 10-20%.


  13. 13
    Mitch

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:46 am)

    Hey..here is a novel idea…when cooling a hot car down after sitting in the sun..instead of cranking the air right away..lets roll down the windows for a few minutes….

    In truth I see high humidity hot summers, and rarely use the air, moving air feel nice and comfortable even at 95 with a humidex of 80%


  14. 14
    charlie h

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:47 am)

    Speed will have an impact, too. Those who like the left lane will see range reduced.


  15. 15
    dc

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:48 am)

    This is real disappointing and yet not surprising. How many of us could run the Volt without a heater or without AC? More importantly, will you be willing to put up with a sub-optimal heating/AC system just to squeeze out another 2-3 miles on the range.

    How great a car is this going to look like when the “effective” range becomes 25-28 miles per charge?


  16. 16
    kdawg

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:50 am)

    255 air doesn’t use any electricity.


  17. 17
    Mitch

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:53 am)

    BTW I see GMAC got bank Holding status and 5 Billion, and the treasury tossed another Billion to GM

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28419386


  18. 18
    RB

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:54 am)

    #12 Dave G notes “As for the electric range, we did some calculations here on this site around 18 months ago, and found the that heating and air conditioning would probably affect range by around 10-20%”
    ====================================

    Yes, as a start that was a good thing to do. Moving to a better level of detail, it will be better to consider heat and AC separately.

    There is going to be waste heat, so it might be possible for the Volt to get most of the heat it needs with little battery use. Or, considering the limitations of battery power in the cold, it might be better simply to start the ICE and get heat from there. (I don’t know this for sure, but it is a possibility.)

    With AC, the Volt has to use some energy from the battery or the gas motor. So I think a better estimate is heating 10% and AC 25%. Still, just guessing.


  19. 19
    Schmeltz

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:56 am)

    Some more thoughts on this…

    If I just laid 40 grand down for this car and I had to explain to my friends and on lookers that “Well, it doesn’t reeeaaaalllllly get 40 miles range. To be honest, it only gets that kind of range when the outside ambient temperature is a precise 73.879 degrees F, you’re driving down a 45 degree or greater slope, the planets are perfectly aligned, and there are no solar storms adversely affecting the Earth’s gravitational poles”. What I’m getting at here is:

    “UNDER-PROMISE and OVER-DELIVER!!!!!!!”

    Side note: Nice to be talking about “Volt topics” again. I was really getting depressed reading the daily bankruptcy reports and rumors.

    Additional side note: GMAC just got a gov’t cash surge. Maybe they can start loaning again?


  20. 20
    BillR

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:09 am)

    Although I am not positive, I thought that the EPA driving cycle included a portion of the trip with the AC on.

    As mentioned by Brad #4, the EV1 had a preconditioning function to heat/cool the car while still charging. It also used a special solar glass. See link.

    http://www.eanet.com/ev1-club/evpics.htm

    One feature that could be added to the Volt is heated/cooled seats. With the cooled seats, the passengers feel cooler even with warmer air temperatures. This might lower the AC power consumption.

    In the end, a great deal will depend upon GM’s sizing of the AC system. Many US manufacturers oversize their AC systems so that the a hot car can cool down fast. This likely has an effect on system efficiency.

    I expect GM to take extra measures to limit heat input to the cabin (solar glass, roof insulation, cabin ventilation fan while parked). However, I expect the AC system will still be designed to cool the car relatively quickly, but not as fast as premium ICE driven vehicles like a Cadillac Escalade. I wouldn’t be surprised to see GM provide 2 AC compressors or some variable speed compressor to optimize both peak AC draw (hot car cool down) and steady state operation (maintian car’s cool condition). This might require 2 kW for the peak power, and 1 kW or less for steady state operation.


  21. 21
    k-dawg

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:16 am)

    #20 Bill R
    “One feature that could be added to the Volt is heated/cooled seats. With the cooled seats, the passengers feel cooler even with warmer air temperatures. This might lower the AC power consumption.”

    ————

    Its already known the seats will be heated. (I dunno about cooling them though)


  22. 22
    PayUp

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:16 am)

    Yep. It’s pretty much you gotto pay what you owe isn’t it? Unless of course you’re one of the elite in the world who think that services should come free. At what point does an owner come forward and actually PAY for what they get?

    Or do people expect the benefit of slave labor all their lazyas lives?


  23. 23
    Richard

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:21 am)

    Go for it.


  24. 24
    CDAVIS

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:22 am)

    _____________________________________________________
    JB Straubel of Tesla Motors recently published an interesting blog post titled Roadster Efficiency and Range. I particularly found the Range vs. Speed graph in the article interesting. I assume that the VOLT will have a similar Range vs. Speed dynamic. Perhaps Lyle can find out if the VOLT team has “Range vs. Speed” data available.

    Link: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/?p=70

    * Electric Cars + Nuclear Power = American Energy Independence!

    ______________________________________________________


  25. 25
    Tony Gray

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:23 am)

    Agree with #19 Schmeltz about under promise and over deliver. Let’s take a look at the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid that just came out of left field.

    How many people expected a 41 MPG (city EPA) midsize car out of one of the “distressed” Detroit 3? I for one have GREATLY raised my impressions of FoMoCo. Now Car and Driver only pulled down 34 MPG combined on their 300 mile test, compared with 32 for the Altima, 31 for the Camry and 29 for the Malibu hybrids, but the EPA number, a WHOPPING 15 more than the Chevy will get the big airplay.

    With a pretty loaded as tested price of around $33K, (same ballpark as the Nissan and Toyota but much higher than the bow tie) this may be a strong competitor….enough to put a real hurting on GM.


  26. 26
    NZDavid

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:31 am)

    IIRC the US06 city cycle, that the 40 mile EV range is based upon, does allow for some A/C load.


  27. 27
    statik

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:36 am)

    The fact is all of these numbers range numbers are ‘best case.’ They all do it.

    It is like when people disqualify plug-in parallels, “your not really going to go 10 miles all EV, when you mash the gas, the engine is going to flip on” -or- in the case of putting down all electric vehicles, “your not really going to get 100 miles out of it, if you have the a/c on the whole time and drive ‘normal’ your only going to go 80″

    This is the reality:
    Toyota Plug In: 10 miles range—when you drive aggressive you get ICE flipping on
    Mitsu i-Miev: 100 miles in Eco modo only–80 miles w/climate control
    Volt: 40 miles city–when your on the highway and A/C is on 25-30

    However, you can make your car do what the label says…it just takes sacrifice. Ease up on the gas, roll the window down and sweat (or wear a parka). Will people do it? Most won’t…some will.

    For myself, I think if I was driving my Volt home and had 5 miles to go with 5 miles of range left and I was getting warm…I would roll down my window and ‘tuff’ it out, just on principle (my mission would be to make it without hearing the engine, lol). However, if I was leaving home on a 40 mile trip and I hop inside my car to find out it is 120 degrees in there on a sunny/hot day…I’m jacking up that A/C…to heck with those lost few miles.


  28. 28
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:36 am)

    #11 RB Says: “My supposition is that GM is using the most traditional kind of AC to avoid having too many new elements in the car at once…”
    ————————————————————————————–
    I beleive Lyle asked GM this, and they said the A/C would be electric driven traditional (like in your house), but the heat would be something much more efficient than resistive heating elements.


  29. 29
    BillR

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:37 am)

    Note that the AC range effect is dependent upon many factors.

    First, it will take more power to cool a car in hot humid weather versus warm dry weather. For instance, to cool a car in Arizona (dry air) from 80 F to 70 F will require far less energy than to cool it in Florida on a humid 95 F day. So the amount of AC power draw will be dependent upon ambient conditions.

    Secondly, the range effect will depend upon your driving cycle.

    Let’s first look at the case of highway driving. At 60 mph, the Volt will require 12 kW (200 Wh/mile) for motive power. Let’s assume the car is already cooled by the pre-conditioning system, and is pulling 1 kW for the AC. This means you use 13 kW in lieu of 12 kW, and AER is reduced from 40 to 37 miles.

    Now let’s look at an urban cycle where you run errands during the day. Due to the start/stop scenario (more losses), but with lower speeds (less losses), I will still assume 200 Wh/mile for motive power and an average speed of 30 mph. So you leave the house with the car already cool and use 1 kW for AC. However, your car is only needs 6 kW motive, so for your first leg (6 miles) you draw 7 kW in lieu of 6 kW. Since 30 mph is 1 mile per 2 minutes, over the 0.2 hours you consume 1.4 kWh.

    After your first stop (1 hour duration), you come to the car and it is very hot. Over the next 6 mile leg, the AC is maxed, and you draw 2 kW for AC. For this leg, you draw 1.6 kWh. If this scenario is repeated (1.6 kWh for 6 miles) your AER will be ((8-1.4)/1.6)*6 + 6 = 30.75.

    So these calculations provide a feel for how the AC system will effect AER.


  30. 30
    Rashiid Amul

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:40 am)

    #4 GXT says,
    Given that it gets ~32 miles highway without the AC………

    ==============
    Did I miss another memo? Where did this come from?


  31. 31
    statik

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:40 am)

    #21 k-dawg

    Its already known the seats will be heated. (I dunno about cooling them though)
    ==================================
    But is it standard equipment?

    Or can you only get heated seats bundled with ’1SB-VT’ package, that also gives you leather, a special cluster pack, a fancy spoiler and 18″ wheels for $5,995 extra?


  32. 32
    john1701a

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:43 am)

    Yes, as a start that was a good thing to do. Moving to a better level of detail, it will be better to consider heat and AC separately.
    _________________________________

    Unfortunately, his spreadsheets makes no mention whatsoever, despite repeated requests. Ideal condition values are all that’s provided. Volt must be represented as accurately as possible; otherwise, it will lose credibility.

    RAV4-EV reports mention heater drain in winter conditions I routinely see (sub-zero) is quite heavy… reducing range by as much as a third.


  33. 33
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:44 am)

    #27 statik Says: “This is the reality:
    Toyota Plug In: 10 miles range—when you drive aggressive you get ICE flipping on
    Mitsu i-Miev: 100 miles in Eco modo only–80 miles w/climate control
    Volt: 40 miles city–when your on the highway and A/C is on 25-30″
    ————————————————————————————–
    For the Prius, I got the engine to flip on really easy during the test drive. It doesn’t require you to be that aggressive. Also, the Prius Plug-In engine comes on when you go faster than 62 MPH. So there really is no all-electric range on the Prius.

    But even when the engine flips on for extra power, it’s a strong hybrid, so most of the power is still being provided by the electric motor. A better way to rate the Prius Plug-In is to say that it gets 150 MPG for the first 15 miles. The Saturn Vue Plug-In would be rated similarly (i.e. x MPG for the first y miles).

    The 150 MPG part is fine. We can cover that easily with cellulosic ethanol. The 15 mile part is the problem. I don’t think this is enough to make pluging / unplugging worth the hassle. With only 15 miles, you’ll still need to make frequent trips to the gas station.


  34. 34
    statik

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:44 am)

    #24 CDAVIS Says:

    JB Straubel of Tesla Motors recently published an interesting blog post titled Roadster Efficiency and Range. I particularly found the Range vs. Speed graph in the article interesting. I assume that the VOLT will have a similar Range vs. Speed dynamic. Perhaps Lyle can find out if the VOLT team has “Range vs. Speed” data available.

    Link: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/?p=70
    ==========================

    Thanks for that link…very informative.

    Interesting to note that the Tesla goes 410 miles range at 17 MPH. I can just imagine myself now…slow riding past every mall, pizza place and ex-girlfriend’s house for 400+ miles.

    https://www.teslamotors.com/display_data.php?data_name=range_blog5


  35. 35
    Michael

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:45 am)

    #13 Mitch – lets roll down the windows for a few minutes
    #16 kdawg – 255 air doesn’t use any electricity.

    Actually, it probably will use some electricity. Open windows will increase drag coefficient, but it is still a good idea guys. Since this is a four seater, the Volt 1.0 actually comes with 455 air conditioning STANDARD. ;-)


  36. 36
    Van

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:47 am)

    We have already covered this topic. The electrical draw of the AC unit will probably vary from about 2 KW to perhaps 5 KW. So lets assume an average draw of 3.5 KW. And let us assume the AC unit operates for the whole duration of the trip. So the AC draw would be 3.5 KW and the drive draw would be 8 KW for a total of 11.5, which would use up the available power after about 28 miles of travel.

    If we use a more realistic electric mileage (4 miles per KWH), then instead of a 32 mile range, you would get with the AC operating 22 miles.

    Or another way to look at it, if you want a 40 mile AER with the AC drawing 3.5 KW, you need about 13.5 KWH of usable energy. :)


  37. 37
    Bob McGovern

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:49 am)

    statik Says:
    =====================================================
    For myself, I think if I was driving my Volt home and had 5 miles to go with 5 miles of range left and I was getting warm…I would roll down my window and ‘tuff’ it out, just on principle.
    =====================================================
    5 miles to go!!! I would keep coolin it and let the ICE take over. You would only use 1/10th of a gallon of fuel.


  38. 38
    statik

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:50 am)

    #33 Dave G said:

    For the Prius, I got the engine to flip on really easy during the test drive. It doesn’t require you to be that aggressive. Also, the Prius Plug-In engine comes on when you go faster than 62 MPH. So there really is no all-electric range on the Prius.

    But even when the engine flips on for extra power, it’s a strong hybrid, so most of the power is still being provided by the electric motor. A better way to rate the Prius Plug-In is to say that it gets 150 MPG for the first 15 miles.
    =========================

    Grats on driving the new, next gen Plug-In Prius and knowing how engine kicks in on the new PHEV set up.

    The whole point of my post was that, the numbers are all ‘best case,’ and in reality none of them are going to perform as advertised if you behave like a ‘normal driver’ The only way you get those numbers is if you coddle them, and it is easy to knock any of the competition unjustly.

    How about working your spreadsheet with ‘real’ driver behaviors? If I drive my Volt the way I drive the wife’s Z4, it is going to get about 20 miles tops. If I drive it like my G6, maybe 30. If I drive it like my Smart ForTwo (Diesel-TDI), I’m going to get 40…because the thing is a slug.


  39. 39
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:56 am)

    I don’t need heat and I don’t need AC, I’ve had cars that had neither. I’m just a Voltiac in need of a Volt. Put wires in the windows GM so I can deice if necessary and JGTVWOTR.

    GM. move me up on the list. Don’t sell your good car to namby-pamby whiners. I’ll drive it around with an LCD screen attached to tell everybody how good it is to go gasless; for X miles anyhow.


  40. 40
    Mike756

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:00 am)

    “JB Straubel of Tesla Motors recently published an interesting blog post titled Roadster Efficiency and Range. I particularly found the Range vs. Speed graph in the article interesting. ”

    Link: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/?p=70

    Peak efficiency is about 18 mph, eh?

    All Ahead Standard!


  41. 41
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:07 am)

    #29 BillR Says: “…So these calculations provide a feel for how the AC system will effect AER.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Nice work.

    Your calculations indicate the range decreases from 8-25% depending on your trip dynamics, which seems about right.

    By the way, where did you get your numbers for A/C power draw (1kw normal and 2kw max)? A 2kw draw would be around 20,000 BTU for a home air conditioner. That seems like a big air conditioner.

    Does anybody know the BTU or watt ratings for the A/C system on similarly sized cars? (Cobalt, Corolla, Prius, Civic)?


  42. 42
    Starcast

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:15 am)

    Who caries about AC it not even 20F today.


  43. 43
    RB

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:19 am)

    #28 Dave G said “#11 RB Says: “My supposition is that GM is using the most traditional kind of AC to avoid having too many new elements in the car at once…”
    ————————————————————————————–
    I beleive Lyle asked GM this, and they said the A/C would be electric driven traditional (like in your house), but the heat would be something much more efficient than resistive heating elements.”
    ==================================================

    I had forgotten but now I remember. Thank you.


  44. 44
    Ray

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:19 am)

    This is why GM should have test mules across the country., While someone in Florida is testing the milage with the AC… I would be testing the heating systems up here in Central Alberta, Canada… It has been below 0 Fairenheit since the middle of December. (-18C) and this morning the thermometer shows (-26C) about 10 below F. For weeks of endless cold… this would have been an ideal test for a Volt in “real world” conditions… Did I mention we also have about 15 inches of snow in the last 10 days ?


  45. 45
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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:27 am)

    #38 statik Says: “How about working your spreadsheet with ‘real’ driver behaviors?”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Too many unknowns here. If you give me some data, I’ll plug it in (hehe) to the spread sheet.

    Also, keep in mind that my spreadsheet is more of a ballpark estimate. Using the spread sheet, you can see that the Plug-in Prius and the Volt are in different ball parks, but figuring out exactly where they are in each ballpark requires more data.

    I suspect that the Volt’s electric drive train will degrade in efficiency less than the Plug-In Prius’s hybrid drive train when driven aggressively. In other words, if you drive both cars equally aggressive, I suspect that the Plug-In Prius will have a higher percentage of efficiency loss due to the engine flipping on and off, but there’s no hard data right now to confirm or deny this.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:28 am)

    #32 john1701a says “RAV4-EV reports mention heater drain in winter conditions I routinely see (sub-zero) is quite heavy… reducing range by as much as a third.”
    ——————————————————-

    Sub-zero presents a strong need for energy. Frozen drivers, however efficient, are a road hazard :) The reduction by a third seems reasonable. In the Volt, it might be deducted from the electric range, or maybe it will turn on the ICE. In some ways that’s a better solution, because it is an efficient way to get heat. We want to balance our idealism with some pragmatism on the heat and AC topics.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:29 am)

    #41 Dave G

    I agree that 2 kW is a lot. My home window AC unit draws about 1 kW and it is rated at 12,000 BTU. It can cool about half of my home. I just wanted to be conservative.


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    Cautious Fan

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:35 am)

    I hope GM suprises us with an A/C timer where the car can be programmed to cool the vehicle down while it’s still plugged in. That way you get in to a cool vehicle and don’t reduce your range.

    I’m hoping the windows will have a high-R coating to reduce heat flux. This cheap little extra would probably save more gas than a $3,000 solar panel option.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:46 am)

    The fact that the GM engineer will not disclose this number is a little disconcerting. They know what it is, and they know it’s not good. The biggest issue is that you are in big trouble if your running on a hot day in the middle of rush hour. Since you are barely moving, and expending so much energy, your range might be 1 mile!

    This all comes down to the fact that with a standard ICE your AC only consumes a small percent of the real energy, but for an electric, your percent of usage can be HUGE. The normal way for rating mileage works for ICE cars, but this is a different animal, and trying to apply the ICE method to electrics is not a good idea, and is misleading.

    I would not ever turn on the AC, but I also never turn on my AC in my normal ICE, because I squeeze every mile out of my car. I also live in WI where the number or real hot days are small. But for the real world they need to factor the AC into the equation.

    PS: I am interested in the heater draw, since in WI we have cold weather and I am not that cheap, that I would drive to work at -20 F w/o the heater on.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:49 am)

    I’ve noticed lately that there is a lot of discussion on the 40 mile AER.

    http://gm-volt.com/2008/12/24/future-volt-generations-will-offer-cheaper-smaller-batteries-not-longer-ranges/

    I am wondering if it is GM’s intent to just provide 40 AER, regardless of conditions (except for extenuating conditions like being stopped in traffic for hours on a hot day with the AC on). We know that the 80% to 30% usable battery charge is not cast in concrete, so perhaps GM plans to use software to just limit AER to 40 miles, regardless of the cycle.

    For instance, on a perfect day, with no AC required etc., you drive at 45 mph on a back road in Kansas (no hills) and use only 6 kWh to go 40 miles. However, at 40 miles, the program kicks on the ICE. This would be considered a “shallow” battery cycle.

    On the other end of the spectrum, you drive 75 mph on the highway with the AC blasting and use 10 kWh in 40 miles before the ICE starts. This would be considered a “deep” battery cycle.

    Of course, there will always be those days when you drive less than 40 miles, and only a fraction of the usable battery capacity is utilized.

    Perhaps, since some of these shallow and deep cycles will average out, I am wondering is GM will just program in a hard 40 mile limit, and let the battery absorb these swings.

    This definately may be better from a PR perspective, and eliminates a lot of the whining like “I only got 32 AER on the highway (going 75 mph)”.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (11:18 am)

    I was under the impression that the Volt would require a KWh for every 5 miles in the city and about every 4 miles on the highway cycle. GM’s EV-1 got 3-5 miles per kWh depending on speed and driving style, and was only 2970 pounds, due to it having just two seats, and had great aerodynamics but the Volt has about 10 years of technology improvements.
    It sounds like the Volt will get about 5 miles per kWh on the city cycle with AC on part of the time, (13% of the time, IIRC) as the new city cycle works it, if Weber’s statements last month are accurate. The car will be cooled, or heated before we get into it in the morning, so our morning commute will only require about 1 kW (or less) of AC or about half to 2/3′s of that if the we are using the supposedly more efficient heating system. So our city cycle will come to about a 35 miles AER for AC or 37-38 if we use the heat. Since we won’t be able to rely on always plugging in at work, those numbers might slide a bit coming home.
    If you drive to work at 65 mph for most of the trip, your AER would slide to 32-35 miles w/o AC or heat, and 28-30 and 30-32 respectively with medium AC or low AC/heat. If you need to drive a lot at 70 mph or more, the Volt might not be a good investment.
    If you live in Miami and need to use the AC on full all the time due to not being able to plug in at home, for example, I imagine the high AC setting would draw nearly 2 kW, which would drop your AER to 30 miles on the city cycle, which would suck. But 2 kW AC units can blow a lot of very cold air! Having lived in Miami and Palm Desert, I can speak with personal experience…
    I was just thinking what a 5 kW ac unit would feel like! Now that would blow your hair back!


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (11:22 am)

    We won’t actually know enough about how the Volt handles battery usage until GM releases more information. I don’t see GM doing this until after they have the test fleet on the road for several months. So, by my way of thinking, it will be next fall before we start getting any real world information out of GM. If we get any at all.

    At any way you look at the Volt, it will be a first step toward petroleum independence and towards electrifying our automobiles. Even if the Volt is not the first electric vehicle out of the starting gates of a global auto company, it has paved the way for the future of the automobile already. We thank you for that, GM. We wish you the best of luck. Now deliver on your promise as best you can. I hope you have been under-promising and can over-deliver. That would be great.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (11:23 am)

    Welcome to the world of EVs! This is completely expected and should be no surprise. There are, as mentioned, the laws of physics. No 40 mile range if you:
    1. Have many fast accelerations
    2. Go up steep hills a lot
    3. Drive aggressively
    4. Need to turn on the heat or AC

    The ideas that the range will be “best case” or “32 miles highway” are not the case. The Volt will get a 40 mile range using the standard EPA test cycle which is a combination of city and highway with a dose of very aggressive driving. (It will, however, be best case in that the tires and the battery pack will be new)

    FWIW 40 mile combined city/highway equates to about 28 mile US06. However, US06 is so aggressive that few people actually drive using that style, and only a few of those drive more than 20 miles or more on a daily basis, so this is not a very important standard. Also FWIW while the Volt graphs should be similar to the Tesla graphs so thoughtfully cited by Mike576, the graphs won’t be identical because, if for no other reason, the gearing of the two cars will not be the same. (And GM has that secret transmission …)

    Bottom line: This is why E-REVs are so superior to EVs at the present time.


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    Mike756

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (11:35 am)

    Thanks DocC, but credit for the link goes to CDAVIS #24.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (11:42 am)

    Well there goes GM again! WTF? Who the hell is running that company. No one is going to buy this crap! You can convert a REGULAR car on lead acid batteries and get 50 miles! The whole thing costs around $12,000 not including price of car. A regular mechanic can do this. Hundreds of highly trained engineers have been working on the Volt project and they still can come up with something better than the average mechanic can do? GM deserves to die! I know there’s a lot of supporters of the Volt project, so was I. I really wanted them to make this work. But lets face it. The concept version was sexier, now it’s mundane. The concept was for electric drive range that most Americans can use. Now it’s much lower and clearly needing to turn the gasoline generator on everyday. The price was supposed to be affordable at $30,000, Now it’s only reachable if a $7500 rebate is enacted and the new price is $40,000 (If it doesn’t change again).
    Get real GM. Just die and save the American people more headaches and money. Stay home and let regular people move forward with innovation that your slew of engineers can’t seam to conjure up. JUST DIE!


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (11:43 am)

    It’s my understanding that GM, Toyota, Nissan and others are going to use carbon dioxide (CO2) air conditioning units in their EV/PHEV etc. vehicles. These units are far more efficient than current R-134a AC units.

    DENSO & Toyota co-developed the first CO2 (R744) unit for cars back in 2002 and Toyota used it on several demo vehicles. It caught on and soon after and now US makers are on the bandwagon and the EU has mandated a full transition to CO2 units starting in 2011 and completing in 2017. German makers plan to transition even earlier. Even the US Army is looking at it as a high efficiency and more portable heating/cooling system.

    CO2 was the prevailing cooling system before Freon came along but was dropped because of the higher pressures required, dispite it being more energy efficient. Now cheaper, lighter high pressure plumbing is available so it’s making a huge resurgence.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (11:44 am)

    For the Prius, I got the engine to flip on really easy during the test drive. It doesn’t require you to be that aggressive.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Were you using the EV-BUTTON aftermarket upgrade or the factory setup? There’s a noticeable difference.

    Of course, who cares if the engine starts up? When it runs during times like acceleration, it typically produces more electricity than feeding the motor at the moment requires. So, the battery gets recharged. That’s a gain for motor use later, not a loss.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (11:49 am)

    Too many unknowns here. If you give me some data…
    ________________________________

    For crying out loud, just include disclaimers.

    No mention whatsoever that A/C or Heater use will affect range is extremely misleading.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (11:50 am)

    I will say it again. It is going to be a very interesting two years coming up. I wonder how many of us will stick it out and keep posting on this web-site. We have been at it almost two years already. Or at least some of us have. I have only been on the list for about 20 months, but it seems like more than that. Keep up the chatter and let’s see who is in it for the long haul.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (11:52 am)

    PS:

    Visteon has also come up with a CO2 auto heating/cooling heat pump. 2007 story here;

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=122720

    Quote:

    KERPEN, Germany — Automotive supplier Visteon Corp. has a growing demonstration fleet of vehicles from more than a dozen manufacturers testing a more efficient new air-conditioning system that uses carbon dioxide (CO2) as the working fluid.

    The company says that because the high-pressure (three times higher than today), CO2-based refrigerant — the fluid is called R744 — is more thermodynamically efficient than the R134a refrigerant currently used by almost all light vehicles, less power is required from the engine to operate the A/C system. The company says tests have demonstrated the new R744-based system can reduce the fuel used by the A/C system by about 25 percent.

    The CO2 cooling system has been under development by Visteon since 1999, and other manufacturers also are working on automotive heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems using R744, primarily to address pending European legislation regarding leakage of R134a refrigerant, a hydrofluorocarbon that is many times more potentially damaging to the atmosphere than CO2. Visteon says every 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of R134a released into the atmosphere is the equivalent of 2,866 pounds of CO2.

    Visteon also says the new R744 systems can employ an integrated heat pump that delivers supplemental cabin heat almost instantaneously in very cold temperatures, improving passenger comfort. The immediate supply of warm air also allows rapid windshield defrosting.

    Because of its reduced drag on the engine, the new CO2-based HVAC system also can be a boon for hybrid and mild-hybrid vehicles. Visteon says in a release that it is working with several automakers to develop a modular, electrically driven compressor that can easily be fitted for any type of hybrid vehicle.

    Visteon says the R744-based A/C system is production-ready.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (11:53 am)

    I assume GM has plans to make some changes to their battery and other components over the next two years as improvements come along and new technology appears. Or do you think they will just wait for Version 2 to make any changes. I hope they haven’t locked in Version 1′s technology. New technology can be applied so easily that it would be foolish to lock-in technology this early. Maybe that is another reason GM is some mum on Volt statistics.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    #31 Static
    ========
    #21 k-dawg

    Its already known the seats will be heated. (I dunno about cooling them though)
    ==================================
    But is it standard equipment?

    Or can you only get heated seats bundled with ‘1SB-VT’ package, that also gives you leather, a special cluster pack, a fancy spoiler and 18″ wheels for $5,995 extra?
    ========

    If i recall correctly (and i’m paraphrasing), the designers determined that a passenger feels warmer with a heated seat then with hot air, and that it was also a more effiecient way to heat the driver. Therefore standard on the Volt. This was discussed at the same time power windows were. The designers didnt want people blasting the AC when not needed because they had to roll down windows manually. It was better to put power windows in, to avoid unnecessary AC use.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (12:09 pm)

    #50 BillR

    Interesting idea, but I’m not sure how that would work. Do you consider “a drive” from the time the ON button is pushed – until the OFF button is pushed, or the time between charges? How will the car manage the 40 miles, when you take 10, 4-mile “drives”? My guess is that the engineers will always try to maximize the battery use. So,based on the conditions, one day (going downhill with the AC & radio off) you may go 45 miles on a charge, and 35 miles on another day with not as favorable conditions.


  64. 64
    BuckCherry

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (12:12 pm)

    Wow that was an enlightning interview!!

    “it will”
    “it depends”
    “we dont discuss that”
    and
    “physics are physics”

    Astounding answers, way to go GM!


  65. 65
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (12:19 pm)

    hi BillR #50,

    “I am wondering if it is GM’s intent to just provide 40 AER, regardless of conditions…”

    __________________________

    40 mile range on a flat surface using just 60% capacity of the T cell battery is a “given”. Yet GM continues to state “up to 40 miles per charge”.

    I suggest GM either increase the batteries ability to store or allow for deeper cycling to ensure at least a 35 mile range under high use conditions. If this number drops to 30 miles per charge (or lower) GM will need to talk high $20′s on the price.

    =D~


  66. 66
    Chevonly

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (12:24 pm)

    Gee whiz no free lunch no perpetual motion machine, a prime example of the ratio between common sense and stupidity. NO FREE LUNCH, If I get a Volt I will be one of the first to see how fast I can get the ICE to come on, Crank the tunes and turn on everything in the car. I live in the northwest where it rains so I will have the wipers on and the defroster with the AC going, the only way you can drive around here, I do expect it to cut the range in half, fortunately for me my boss has already told me I can plug in when I get to work, a drive of 10 miles one way. We will all have to suffer until the mini cold fusion generator goes on sale at Walmart.


  67. 67
    stas peterson

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (12:26 pm)

    Isn’t Visteon the old Ford Autolite spinoff of its parts making arm. Similar to Delphi for GM’s old AC Delco?

    Wouldn’t that mean that Ford should be able to get this very soon?


  68. 68
    noel park

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (12:28 pm)

    #16 kdawg & #35 Michael:

    Yeah, I am a great believer in 2/455. We call it 4/70, LOL. I was raised on cars with no AC, and survived it pretty well. Maybe I’ll get one of those ’50s vintage window mounted evaporative coolers. I believe that they are reproduced now, probably in China, LMAO.

    I read somewhere that the increased drag of the open windows cancels the savings on AC, but I can’t remember at what speed. Anyway, here in LA I turn on the AC in my shop truck maybe 10 times a year , so it’s not an issue for me.

    In the ’50s, heaters were optional. The mighty Corvette L-88 was not available with a heater. “It doesn’t make you go any faster”, we always used to say. We are wearing a lot more sweaters around the house now to try to keep the carbon footprint down. So the heat issue is not too big of a deal here either. Maybe I can order my Volt with the huge list of deletes like Capt Jack, hehehe.

    My brother has an electric vest that plugs into his motorcycle. How about that for a Volt option. I wonder how many KW to run that?

    If they get me a Volt, I swear to drive it around LA with no AC or heater and give a bragging rights testimonial on my 40 mile AER. Honest!

    #59 N Riley:

    Yeah, about once a week I swear to quit, but I just keep coming back. More exciting than a Hollywood disaster movie, if you ask me. Or a soap opera. Will Henry Paulson ride to the rescue before the train runs over Rick Wagoner? Tune in next episode.


  69. 69
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    Dec 30th, 2008 (12:43 pm)

    #53 DonC Says: “The ideas that the range will be “best case” or “32 miles highway” are not the case. The Volt will get a 40 mile range using the standard EPA test cycle which is a combination of city and highway with a dose of very aggressive driving. (It will, however, be best case in that the tires and the battery pack will be new)”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, I believe GM has said the 40-mile range will be for the EPA combined test. It seems some people here missed that.

    But GM has also said the 40-mile range will be at both beginning and end of battery life. In other words, as the battery ages, firmware will vary the customer low and high charge points, so that the battery should always produce a 40-mile range for the EPA combined test throughout it’s lifetime.

    As for tires, I don’t think tire wear makes for worse efficiency. In fact, it would probably be the opposite. Bald tires would probably be more efficient, but obviously less safe.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (12:47 pm)

    #59 N Riley Says: “I wonder how many of us will stick it out and keep posting on this web-site. We have been at it almost two years already. Or at least some of us have. I have only been on the list for about 20 months, but it seems like more than that.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    God, has it been that long already? Time flies…


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    Brian

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (12:58 pm)

    @55,
    Deep breath dude …inhale….exhale…


  72. 72
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    Dec 30th, 2008 (12:59 pm)

    #66 Chevonly Says: “If I get a Volt I will be one of the first to see how fast I can get the ICE to come on, Crank the tunes and turn on everything in the car. I live in the northwest where it rains so I will have the wipers on and the defroster with the AC going, the only way you can drive around here, I do expect it to cut the range in half…”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Actually, the other stuff in the car draws only a small fraction of the power that the HVAC system uses . Headlights, wipers, windows, radio, etc. are all in the weeds of most power calculations.

    Aggressive driving does affect range, so I guess if you drive like a total raving maniac it may be possible cut the range in half. But I seriously doubt that more normal aggressive driving would come anywhere near that type of range loss.


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    Cautious Fan

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:00 pm)

    In Iraq, the army developed portable coolers for the roof gunners. The roof gunners are a target for the bad guys so they’ve got lots of armor, but all the armor gets hot. So the army developed a liquid cooled vest that mounts under all the armor…just a radiator for people really.

    Now that’d be a fashion statement. If you want people to know how green you truly are, just show them your personal coolant vest and proceed to tell them how you never have to run the A/C at home or in the car.

    Sorry for such a lame post.


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:01 pm)

    #42 Starcast says,
    Who caries about AC it not even 20F today.

    —————
    Is it always cold where you live? If so, you are lucky as I hate the heat.
    If not, perhaps you are being a bit shortsighted and have forgotten how hot it gets in the summer?
    If I had my choice, I would skip the heat and have the A/C only.
    The windows would have to have defrosters built in though.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:04 pm)

    Aw man. You guys are killin me.
    You don’t need AC. Drive around in your sohrts, tank tops roll down the window and just cruuuuuuuuoooooze….

    ALL vehicles sold known to mankind gets an efficiency loss when th AC is turned on. Common law of physics. ALL auto manufacturers quote best case scenerios, basically feather footing the drive.

    Ahh…takes me back to the good ol days of cruising the blvd, picking up the ladies and jus kickin back.

    OK so here’s a thought of poor efficiency but I know it will work. Add some solar panels (free energy) on the roof and put peltier junction plates in the cieling of the car. This will cool the interior under the sun WITHOUT the use of the battery/Traction battery.
    Want to warm it up inside in the winter??? Reverse the polarity.
    Non efficient but it will bring the cabin temp to desireable.

    Now back to mu Kahlua and Coffee…..


  76. 76
    SamIam

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:06 pm)

    Re: “Who caries about AC it not even 20F today.”

    Who cares about headlights, its daylight out right now!


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    J Man

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:08 pm)

    If the would use the same system they use in the full size trucks you will never have to use the a/c as the cold air from the truck blows just as cold.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    @Cautious Fan 73

    Dude, that’s not a lame post. Consider the cooling vest for a momement. You know that annoying thing that straps around you when you close the door of your car? The seatbelt? Yeah that thing. What if, the seatbelt was more of a cover/small blanket of the vest you mention?

    Not a lame post after all homie.


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    KUD

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:18 pm)

    #59 NRiley

    I will say it again. It is going to be a very interesting two years coming up. I wonder how many of us will stick it out and keep posting on this web-site. We have been at it almost two years already. Or at least some of us have. I have only been on the list for about 20 months, but it seems like more than that. Keep up the chatter and let’s see who is in it for the long haul.

    ________________________________________________________________

    Well I post occasionally, but it is required daily reading :) .

    =D~~


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:18 pm)

    74 Rashiid Amul Says:

    If I had my choice, I would skip the heat and have the A/C only.
    The windows would have to have defrosters built in though.

    ———–

    You can have my AC, I’ll take your heater.


  81. 81
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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:22 pm)

    #75 CaptJackSparrow Says: “ALL auto manufacturers quote best case scenarios, basically feather footing the drive.”
    ————————————————————————————–
    I’m pretty sure all auto manufacturers quote EPA test figures, not their own tests.

    GM has said the Volt will get 40 miles of all-electric range on the EPA combined test cycle.


  82. 82
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:28 pm)

    @Dave G

    “GM has said the Volt will get 40 miles of all-electric range on the EPA combined test cycle.”

    That’s kind of opposite the value of 40 miles – ~20% loss of AC running. The EPA test uses the AC running in their tests, do thay not? Isn’t 40 miles AER just GM’s feather footing the drive in it’s “Best case scenario” then?
    OR
    Is it 40 miles AER with the AC on?
    OR
    Are they lying?
    OR
    Is GM re-establishing new EPA tests?
    OR
    Is it just “Theoretical” because there is no physical vehicle to even test on?


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:30 pm)

    So, what I’m inferring from this thread, that we can agree on, is that the amount of information from all the big players about their cars EV ranges is sorely lacking.

    /maybe we will get some blanks filled in at the NAIAS


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (1:44 pm)

    #73 Cautious Fan:

    Good idea. Actually, race car drivers have used them for years. Cool suits or cool vests. Check out pegasusautoracing.com for one source. They work by pumping cold water from a small ice chest through plastic tubes in the vest. I bet the Army just adapted them. Anyone smart enough to build a Volt ought to be able to devise a tiny AC gizmo to replace the ice, however.

    You’re right, it would be a cool (pun intended) fashion statement.

    Add my warm vest, and have a max AER all year round!


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:12 pm)

    30. Rashiid Amul,
    6. D Lo,
    53 DonC,

    There was a thread on this very site a couple of months(?) ago where Maximum Bob gave the distance he drove on the highway as well as the battery state of charge. It worked out to 32 miles for a full charge.

    Add to that the Tesla charts (http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/?p=70). Although not identical to the Volt, they probably give a ballpark idea:
    60MPH = 250Wh/Mile = 32 Miles per Volt-Sized Charge
    65MPH = 275Wh/Mile = 29.1 Miles per Volt-Sized Charge
    70MPH = 300Wh/Mile = 26.7 Miles per Volt-Sized Charge


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:16 pm)

    #59 N. Riley says ” I wonder how many of us will stick it out and keep posting on this web-site.”
    ———————————————————————–

    It’s a sticky site. Once your fingers touch it, it is hard to let it go :)


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:22 pm)

    53. DonC,

    You missed:
    “No 40 mile range if you: Drive on a flat highway with no AC/Heat.”

    I find it interesting that you dismiss the US06 as “this is not a very important standard” when that was the very basis GM used in the article you posted the other day to “prove” that E-REVs are superior to the PHEV. I’m not commenting on whether US06 is important or not, but you can’t have it both ways (i.e. is something really superior if its advantage exists in a situation that doesn’t/rarely happens?).

    I think you are being way to optimistic about the situations under which the Volt will get 40 miles. If there is one thing that GM PR demonstrates over and over, it is that they cannot be trusted.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:23 pm)

    The post says “Physics are physics.”
    ——————————————————–

    Let’s discuss this sentence. To me it seems doubtful. The word “physics” describes a subject. It takes a singular verb. Thereby, instead of what was said we should have Mr Weber saying (at least in English)

    Physics is physics.

    However, I don’t think that correction will make the AC run with any less energy :)


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:24 pm)

    I really dont see how they expect to get great results in their initial tests since its been noted here the initial test markets were some of the most congested markets in the country trafficwise. I can only imagine driving the Volt in a DC traffic jam in the middle of another humid summer with the AC blasting.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:26 pm)

    I have more questions :

    what about day time running lights ( its mandatory in Canada ) , Do this has an impact on electric range ?

    Second question : open windows driving for avoiding AC is efficient than putting AC on ?

    Third : I remember redirecting some engine heat ( yes, my Pontiac used to give some ammonia smell when heater was on and i give more acceleration.Somebody said its a byproduct of efficient catalytic converter and heater design ). Do volt carry the same smell or technology ?


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:28 pm)

    I dunno about anyone else in here but when i’m on the freeway, I rarely do 55 or even 60mph. Usually 65 – 70mph is the common traffic speed unless there’s a cop visible on the freeway/highway.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:28 pm)

    80 k-dawg

    I with you on that one.

    Rashiid, I am not sure where you live, but if you ever attempted to drive in -20 F temps, you may change your mind. You would quickly reach the point where you would not feel your feet or hands, and then it gets worse.

    Give me 110 any day with the windows down vs -20 with the windows up :)


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:34 pm)

    @Unni 90
    “what about day time running lights ( its mandatory in Canada ) , Do this has an impact on electric range ?”

    I think the quoted 40 miles AER is US daytime rate. No lights. Good question though. Anyone have an answer for Canada and also in some highways here in California headlights are required during the day. Any ideas? My thought is about 15%-18% loss in battery capacity unless the lights run on a different battery.

    “Second question : open windows driving for avoiding AC is efficient than putting AC on ?”
    There was a study some time back where they said that the wind drag co-efficient was more of a loss than running the AC.

    Third question: He11, I dunno. Anyone wnna give it a shot? My SWAG (Scientific Wild As$ Guess) guess is No.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:46 pm)

    80 k-dawg says,

    74 Rashiid Amul Says:

    If I had my choice, I would skip the heat and have the A/C only.
    The windows would have to have defrosters built in though.

    ———–

    You can have my AC, I’ll take your heater.

    =============
    It’s an even trade then. ;)


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:49 pm)

    #92 JEC says,
    Rashiid, I am not sure where you live, but if you ever attempted to drive in -20 F temps, you may change your mind. You would quickly reach the point where you would not feel your feet or hands, and then it gets worse.

    —————-
    JEC, I live in Connecticut. -20F is very rare, but does happen.
    I enjoy it when it does as I have the clothes to deal with it.
    But I do understand your point about being in the car and my feet becoming stiff as a board. Not good at all. Perhaps some heat would be nice after-all. But the A/C is mandatory for me. The humidity here is miserable.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:51 pm)

    Here is how Kw affect heating and cooling in general (Based on atmosphere conditioning and NOT the Volt in specific)

    1Kw = 3413 BTU’s in heating. (Not cooling) converting 1 Kw produces 3413 btus, plus your body generates an average of 350 btu’s so if you had a 20 kw electric furnace, it produces 28,260 btu’s of heat for your home.

    Now in A/C the Kw consumed to cool a place is not relevant to the btu capacity of the cooling unit. (someone earlier posted his 12000 btu a/c uses 1 kw. In A/C the Kw is used to drive the compressor. cooling capacity is determined by coil size, refrigerant pressure and temperature, and the temperature differntial to the air it is cooling. A/C is also a natural dehumidifier which is why A/C need a drain.

    The power consummed is directly proportional to the efficiency of the motor driving the compressor. This is why commercial 3 phase A/C units are more efficient as it is easier to drive a 3 ph motor than a single.

    The average car has about 12000 btu A/C capacity, and given the size and efficiency and TORQUE that the electric motor in the volt , its energy consumption to drive the A/C shold not be drastic, and with alternate refrigerants on the market, I would put the A/C draw at less than 0.5kw/hour


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (2:58 pm)

    #91 CaptJackSparrow said “Usually 65 – 70mph is the common traffic speed unless there’s a cop visible on the freeway/highway”
    ———————————————————————-

    While I wish it would be true, I think it is not realistic to expect 40 miles electric range in the Volt at that speed. But, if it is, then the electric range will be notable greater (maybe 2x as much or even more) at 35 mph.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (3:00 pm)

    JEC Says:@49
    December 30th, 2008 at 10:46 am

    “The fact that the GM engineer will not disclose this number is a little disconcerting. ”

    *************************************************************************************

    JEC, why do you think GM has to divulge these specifications? That would dumb on their part if they did. Why is so much expected from GM? I don’t see the competitor especially Toyota doing it. Let’s get real!


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (3:02 pm)

    #28
    Dave G Says:
    December 30th, 2008 at 9:36 am
    “I beleive Lyle asked GM this, and they said the A/C would be electric driven traditional (like in your house), but the heat would be something much more efficient than resistive heating elements.”

    No resistive heating elements themselves are pretty much 100% efficient at turning electricity to heat; no room for improvement there per se. What is inefficient (and therefore where there is room for improvement) is the delivery of that heat produced to your body while not delivering it where it’s not needed. What they’re probably investigating is the pro’s and cons of forced convection heaters vs. radiative/reflector heaters vs. seat conducting heaters, all employing electrical resistance heating elements but transferring the heat to you in much different ways.

    I’m betting they’ll pick a combination of either forced convetion or radiative heat combined with seat heat. They’d probably like to go with radiative from an efficiency point of view but may run into safety concerns as it requires exposed hot surfaces and hotter elements.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (3:06 pm)

    #96 Mitch (me)

    “so if you had a 20 kw electric furnace, it produces 28,260 btu’s of heat for your home.”

    Correction that should be 68,260…

    Also heat gain can be limited with tints and glazing and vent ports to circulate when the car is parked too…


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (3:31 pm)

    You guys made my lazy a55 go find the interview with Tim Grieg the Volt interior designer. This should answer some questions that have popped up again on this blog.

    ——————–

    Q: If you’re trying to reduce electric usage so much, why are there two 7-inch LCD screens, electric windows and heated seats?

    A: “We discovered it was more energy-efficient to provide power windows,” he said. “It was more efficient to roll all four windows down electrically and roll back up to cool a car down when you get in it on a warm day than to roll down just the driver’s side and ask the car to cool it down.”

    Q: And heated seats?

    A: “Again the sensation of comfort [warmth] from the heated seats draws less energy than to heat the air around the occupants,” Grieg said. “There is an instant sense of heat through the seat.”


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (3:38 pm)

    Since we’re on the subject of AC and heat, why don’t they design “Dual Pane” windows for the Volt? It’s not new technology, but it works.
    Ideally you want the outside pane tinted and the inside pane normal. That way the heat is confined outside of the second pane reducing the thermal conductivity.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (3:47 pm)

    #101 k-dawg:

    Well done. Thanks.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (4:07 pm)

    59. N Riley: Well, I’ll stick it out for sure, but I have a sickening feeling that what we are finally going to end up with is 25 miles electric; 30 mpg ICE; $50K after dealer mark up; available only in LA, CA or Ft. Lauderdale, FL. That doesn’t exactly make it a game changer, but at least it got some people thinking.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (4:08 pm)

    On reflection, if the AER with no heat and no AC is 40 miles, I’m OK with that. If it goes down when the AC or heat are on, I can live with it.

    Next case. LJGTVWOTR!! God willing and Henry Paulson, LOL.


  106. 106
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    Dec 30th, 2008 (4:09 pm)

    Enough of this endless waiting for a Volt that may never happen.

    As of today I’m on a new wait list for this baby, and I may have it by the end of 2009 :)

    http://autos.yahoo.com/auto-shows/detroit_auto_show_2009/791/2009-Fisker-Karma


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (4:18 pm)

    @Jason 106
    Link quote:
    “The price of the Karma will be $87,900, ”

    WTF? Obviously not for the common Joe like us. That’s 50K more. He11 MuthaF#$%^ no!


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (4:29 pm)

    I’m tired of ICEs. We need the next level of automotive technology to take over. Make me an E-REV. Develop the best battery you can. Remember, your competition is also working on E-REVs and BEVs. At a minimum, you need to be competitive.

    Give me an idea about how it will perform under average conditions. I can understand that my mileage may vary – I always have. There may be cold or hot times of the year where I will have little AER. I will still have my fuel efficient ICE, won’t I?

    We need automotive change.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (4:41 pm)

    #87 GXT says “I find it interesting that you dismiss the US06 as “this is not a very important standard” when that was the very basis GM used in the article you posted the other day to “prove” that E-REVs are superior to the PHEV. ”

    With all due respect, the only one who said US06 had anything to do with the superiority of E-REVs was you. After you made this mistaken claim, I told you that idea was incorrect. To quote:

    “In this regard, you are totally incorrect when claiming that “the advantage of the E-REV was shown by selecting an aggressive driving cycle (95th percentile) that highlighted the lack of capacity and power of the electric drive of the existing hybrids.” First they didn’t select the US06 driving cycle, or any other cycle for that matter …”

    I’m OK with my inconsistencies or mistakes, but to ask me to accept the burden of yours doesn’t seem reasonable. I’ll say this again: plug-in E-REVs are vastly superior to plug-in PHEVs by any measure. This superiority has nothing whatsoever to do with the US06 driving cycle.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (4:50 pm)

    #57 john1701a says “Of course, who cares if the engine starts up?”

    For starters you and everyone else should. Initial starts are responsible or most of the emissions.

    #58 john1701a says “No mention whatsoever that A/C or Heater use will affect range is extremely misleading.”

    Toyota doesn’t mention that gas mileage on the Prius goes down if you run the air conditioner (or turn on the lights for that matter). No mention of it. Are they being extremely misleading? Seems a stretch.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (4:56 pm)

    Just got patent able ideas : Please give me money (for GM – if you are doing patent for me ).

    1) Regenerative electricity from manual windows rolling .. If you car is out of range, move your glass up and down 50 times and rechage the battery

    2) Starter arm – kind of extension for regenerative charging.. If your home is out of electricity for plug in, you can tie you horse,Bull or even big dogs/cats or even you yourself and move this arm round and round, so that you can charge the battery. Can make use of streams near to you home also to have a rotating wheel and create motion ( use rain, wind, snowfall any even gravity to create motions and you can charge the battery – so if you run out of electricity and back up gas , still you have option to charge ). Remember the first cars , you have get out and rotate to get the car started ?

    3) Regenrative mode switch : Put car to this mode and push it or even use a slop for roll down , you car get charged )


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    #69 Dave G says “But GM has also said the 40-mile range will be at both beginning and end of battery life.”

    I think they said at EOL. Do you have a cite to the idea that they’ll less of the pack during the early years and then more as time goes on? Interesting idea but there would be many practical problems to implementation. I was assuming they’d just have more range at the beginning. (Tire tread wear will decrease the range as time goes on as well).

    #85 GXT says “It worked out to 32 miles for a full charge.”

    It was a test drive two years before production. Of course it wasn’t full range. That’s what development is about — getting more range and performance from the motor, battery pack, ICE, and drive train.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (5:16 pm)

    Toyota doesn’t mention that gas mileage on the Prius goes down if you run the air conditioner (or turn on the lights for that matter). No mention of it. Are they being extremely misleading? Seems a stretch.
    _________________________________________________________

    Actually, they do. Look closer at the window-sticker and advertisements. It’s required to mention that the EPA values are only estimates and that your mileage may vary. Of course, that is just a distraction anyway.

    ENTHUSIAST misrepresentation is what I’m concerned about. Damaging the credibility of any hybrid, including Volt, by excluding vital details is a serious concern.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (5:17 pm)

    Initial starts are responsible or most of the emissions.
    _________________________________

    That’s not how a FULL hybrid starts.

    FULL hybrids, like Prius, spin the engine up to idle speed and wait for oil pressure to be established before fuel & spark are applied. That’s dramatically different from the traditional approach… and quite a bit cleaner. It’s also much smoother too, almost seemless in fact.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (5:18 pm)

    #109 DonC says ” I’ll say this again: plug-in E-REVs are vastly superior to plug-in PHEVs by any measure”
    —————————————————————–

    It seems to me to be too much of a stretch to say that E-REVs are superior to plug-in PHEVs by *any measure. For example, if one measures by simplicity, then plug-in PHEVs are better, for the E-REV is more complicated. As a corollary, the E-REV will be more expensive and have more opportunities for failures.

    Even though I find it inferior by *some measures (by no means all), E-REV is the design I prefer, too, because it is superior in *other measures.


  116. [...] Go here to see the original:  How Will Air Conditioning Affect the Chevy Volt’s Electric Range … [...]


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (5:59 pm)

    @CaptJackSparrow

    I think its at least a $50k cooler car so I’m ok with it.

    Don’t forget I get a $7,500 credit off that. ;)


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (6:09 pm)

    I’ll say this again: plug-in E-REVs are vastly superior to plug-in PHEVs by any measure.
    _______________________________________

    Providing an explanation is highly advised.

    Remember where the “smug” label came from?


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (6:22 pm)

    ICE will keep me cool no matter how much battery power is left. It’s so nice to have that engine/generator to eliminate range anxiety and temperature frustration.

    For those of you who want a 40 mile VOLT BEV on a hot day, just cool off by sipping an ICE filled BEVerage while your A/C is off!


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (6:23 pm)

    How many of us are really at that 40 miles per day limit?

    For me, even if the range dropped to 20 miles, I would still be good for 5 out of 7 days per week. And even then, my gasoline consumption would still only be about 1.5 gallons per week.

    It is still a major improvement over what we are all doing now!!!

    And yes, I will still be reading this and posting here as we get to Nov, 2010………. Does that make us pathetic, or just way ahead of the curve???

    :)


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (6:38 pm)

    #120 Jim I asks “…. Does that make us pathetic, or just way ahead of the curve???”
    ——————————————

    We are way ahead :)
    It is an interesting subject that will affect the future of the USA and the world, whatever happens to GM or the Volt.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (6:39 pm)

    98 Joe

    JEC Says:@49
    December 30th, 2008 at 10:46 am

    “The fact that the GM engineer will not disclose this number is a little disconcerting. ”

    “JEC, why do you think GM has to divulge these specifications? That would dumb on their part if they did. Why is so much expected from GM? I don’t see the competitor especially Toyota doing it. Let’s get real!”
    ===================================================

    Joe,

    I understand what your saying, but GM has from the start said that they were going to provide information during the design of the Volt, and it would be one of the key differences on how a automaker designed its cars.

    The primary purpose of this site is dig deeper into issues and expect answers. If GM will not provide the information, then you have to live with all the suppositions that people will make.

    I expect answers from GM, not double speak, especially now that my taxes are being used to support them.

    I want the Volt to succeed, but more importantly, I want the technology to succeed.

    This is about as real as I get.


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (6:50 pm)

    I think the use of microwave heating would be an interesting option. Very efficient, and would warm you from the inside! :)


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (6:55 pm)

    119 Mark Z
    “For those of you who want a 40 mile VOLT BEV on a hot day, just cool off by sipping an ICE filled BEVerage while your A/C is off”
    ——————————

    I would just crank down the windows and live on the edge. I would be willing to sweat a little in the car to save so much in the long term.

    Eliminating the AC does so much…and yes I know those living in Arizona and Florida would want the ac, and I understand that, but the key is that everyone has differing needs/desires, and ac is not one of mine. I am willing to sacrifice in one area to gain in others.

    For the dozen or so days, that I experience 90+ temps, I will just deal with it.


  125. 125
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (7:25 pm)

    hi Mark Z #119,

    “For those of you who want a 40 mile VOLT BEV on a hot day, just cool off by sipping an ICE filled BEVerage while your A/C is off!”

    +++++++++++++

    hi JEC, #123

    “I think the use of microwave heating would be an interesting option.”

    “… 90+ temps, I will just deal with it.”

    ________________________

    When in doubt, touch the green leaf button.

    http://garfwod.250free.com/Photos/sweet_leaf.jpg

    =D~


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    Dec 30th, 2008 (7:48 pm)

    #106 Jason says,
    Enough of this endless waiting for a Volt that may never happen.

    As of today I’m on a new wait list for this baby, and I may have it by the end of 2009 :)

    ————–
    Although very beautiful, at that price, it is nothing more than a niche car.


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    Ed M

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (7:51 pm)

    jhape #1

    Its too bad they don’t say by how much the A/C will effect the range. I seems we won’t need it full tilt even in Arizona. Muggy places will need lots of A/C but not dry heat. Just enough to be comfortable.
    The body is cooled by sweating and when the sweat doesn’t evaporate its extremely uncomfortable. So providing your not from a muggy place you should be okay.
    I never turn my A/C off, This keeps it from turning moldy but I’m probably the exception. We’ll have to see what the economics are with the Volt. I don’t think when its on low it would use much power since its only a blower and a small compressor. I find it helpful to park in shady spots as much as possible.


  128. 128
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:01 pm)

    Ed M,

    I live in such an area you speak of.
    In my car, the A/C goes on in the beginning of May and shuts off around the end of October. I truly hate the heat.

    Now, I was in Colorado (Evergreen) in July 2007.
    The temperature there went up to 105F. Never did my wife and I imagine it was so “hot”. We were both very comfortable. Why? Very little humidity. It really make a big difference, like you said.


  129. 129
    Ed M

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:19 pm)

    GM: The 40 mile range is modeled on the EPA city cycle (federal test procedure) – and the 40 miles is GMs target for battery END OF LIFE. The EPA city cycle includes a range of starts, stops and accelerations but with no A/C.
    Since 40 miles is end of battery life, we could assume that when the battery is new it will be greater than 40 miles. In future there should be upgrades to the battery that will deliver 40 miles with the A/C on. The first generation batteries are likely to be primitive compared to future generations.

    Rashiid Amul #128 high humdity can make some places truly unbearable, it kind of works opposite to the wind chill factor in northern climates


  130. 130
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:20 pm)

    #115 RB Says: “For example, if one measures by simplicity, then plug-in PHEVs are better, for the E-REV is more complicated.”
    ————————————————————————————-
    Actually, EREVs are simpler, and PHEVs are more complicated.

    Think about it. Compare apples to apples. If an EREV and a PHEV have the same size battery, then the PHEV has everything the EREV has plus a lot more mechanical transmission type stuff. The EREV has fewer moving parts. The PHEV is heavier and more complicated.


  131. 131
    noel park

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:26 pm)

    #107 CaptJack Sparrow:

    Amen. I’ll believe the Fisker when I see on on the freeway. Delorean, Bricklin, Muntz Jet, Henry J, Hudson, Nash, Packard, Tucker……………………………..


  132. 132
    Biodieseljeep

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:27 pm)

    Why can’t they make a modern car where you can roll down the windows and drive without f-d up aerodynamcs making it a living he!! inside the vehicle?

    Just a thought….


  133. 133
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:33 pm)

    #129 Ed M,

    Three points:

    1) I heard GM was specifying the 40 miles AER on the EPA combined cycle (not city), but I could be off on that.

    2) I’m pretty sure GM said the 40 miles AER would be throughout the life of the battery. The software varies the battery high and low charge points to keep the 40 mile range. For example, at the beginning, the battery may only swing between 35-75%, and by the end it may be 25-85% to keep the same 40 mile AER.

    3) GM also said they would not use future better battery technology to increase range. There was a recent article on this.


  134. 134
    Dave G

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (8:37 pm)

    #132 Biodieseljeep Says: “Why can’t they make a modern car where you can roll down the windows and drive without f-d up aerodynamics making it a living he!! inside the vehicle?”
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, good point! Or maybe just an outside air vent system that actually worked…


  135. 135
    Jason

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (9:49 pm)

    @ noel park Get ready to see one on the freeway. The fisker is will be here soon. As the video says, they are way ahead of the Volt. They will probably even have their 40k version out by the time the Volt comes out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc7B11tOzik


  136. 136
    john1701a

     

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    Dec 30th, 2008 (10:05 pm)

    the PHEV has everything the EREV has plus a lot more mechanical transmission type stuff.
    ______________________________________

    The PSD is just a differential. The entire “transmission” is nothing but a few power-carriers. That’s it. An automatic transmission is quite a bit more complicated. But guess what. No one cares except the enthusiasts.

    Consumers buy automatics despite the complexity. It’s a non-issue for them.

    Just like first observed 1.5 years ago, this group is following the history of the original Insight… making issues out of nothing the consumer is actually concerned about and focusing on aspects that keep it from appealing to the mainstream.


  137. 137
    Master Yoda

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (12:14 am)

    Yoda says:

    Long journey it is. Air conditioner high power consumption that is.

    The white console ugly is. GM again did it.


  138. 138
    Unni

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (12:32 am)

    hi JEC, #123

    what about carrying logs with car so when ever needed people can fire it (old fire place style ).

    Second option is propane based cylinder and heater based on it ?

    Innovation …. :-)


  139. 139
    Michael D

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (1:30 am)

    Hi Jason!

    I’m also on the list for a Fisker – been on it for almost a year! – by the way, did you see that they are going to promote a new concept in Detroit – maybe a convertible???? Fisker Sunset. Hope to be seeing you driving around electric style


  140. 140
    GXT

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (2:02 am)

    109 DonC wrote:
    I’m OK with my inconsistencies or mistakes, but to ask me to accept the burden of yours doesn’t seem reasonable. I’ll say this again: plug-in E-REVs are vastly superior to plug-in PHEVs by any measure. This superiority has nothing whatsoever to do with the US06 driving cycle.
    “I’ll say this again: plug-in E-REVs are vastly superior to plug-in PHEVs by any measure.”
    ================================================
    Any measure? Cost? Availability?

    It was my mistake to assume that with all the talk of US06 that was where the comparisons came from. But you seem to be stating that it is E-REV that is the source of the measured benefits of the Volt design. However when you read that article you see that the benefits come from larger electric motors and batteries combined with (typically) aggressive driving.

    In that article GM said:
    “So you would say 70 percent of drivers in this population were driving more aggressively… maybe the median drivers somewhere between highway and US06 but I would daresay at my commute today, I was a US06 driver as were most everyone out on I-75 this morning.”

    Further, the summary of the article was “The limited power output of the electric motors in current hybrids restricts the ability to run at higher speeds and acceleration levels. As a result, even with larger batteries, few of the PHEVs currently being developed will be able to go as far as people might think without running the engine.”

    GM themselves said in that article that for their PHEV they took, “…a full hybrid vehicle that is capable of driving on electric power alone but albeit at limited power levels or limited speeds and simply add a battery and a capability to plug in and replenish the battery”. For their “Volt” they said, “… what if we modify that vehicle substantially, modified its powertrain, added a much bigger battery and extended the electric driving so that maybe higher vehicle speeds could be reached or higher power could be achieved on the electric power alone and we coined that an urban capable hybrid.”

    So what happens when you increase the battery and the electric output of a PHEV? Sometimes the nuances of the various acronyms escape me, but I fail to see why this is the domain only of E-REV and not a PHEV.


  141. 141
    GLV

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (2:31 am)

    I live in Houston, Texas…98 degrees and 90% humidity…darn tootin I’m going to be using the A/C in the summer…some of the fall and spring too…heck, sometimes on a warm day in December like today. Luckily, my daily commute is around 10 miles round trip…so, I’m cool with losing some AER in return for comfort. I think that most people will choose comfort over AER…that’s what makes the Volt so much better than the EV1…you have that choice. So, I use a little gas…if we can get cellulosic ethanol in mass production, it just won’t matter that much if I use a gallon or two every now and then.

    I’m good…I’m good. :D ~


  142. 142
    Mike756

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (2:35 am)

    “E-REV and not a PHEV”

    For the love of God.

    “What’s in a name?

    Who knows these days, when people try redefine words by bullying. Several posters have even looked up the word hybrid in the dictionary and used that to justify why the Volt is not a hybrid; because “two kinds of components” an electric motor and gasoline engine? DO NOT “produce the same or similar results.” The “same result” being the turning of the wheels. Yet the very definition of series hybrid dictates that only the electric motor turns the wheels; hint, look up series.

    These posters have accused myself and others of being trolls and anti-Volt. I resent that accusation and I resent the view that the people who post here should only be cheerleaders. Now I have no problem with calling the Volt’s architecture E-REV, not that it would matter if I did, but calling it that does not mean it is not a series hybrid. If we accept bullying and blatant misinformation, what else will we accept?”

    http://gm-volt.com/2007/11/23/gm-calls-the-volt-an-e-rev/

    Is this in the FAQ?


  143. 143
    kubel

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (3:53 am)

    It’s already been established that the 40 mile range is based on the EPA city cycle. That cycle takes into account some AC usage. Now they say if the AC is running, we won’t see 40 mile range. Which is it?

    If what Weber says is true, it means the “40 mile range” we’ve been hearing so much about is only realistic when you drive the car with a feather foot at low speeds and with no accessories running. So in real world driving, people are likely to see, what? 30 miles? With AC on, 20? What if it’s a cold winter night, I’m driving in the snow on the highway, and I need my defrost on (AC + heater), my lights on, my wipers on, and I have increased drag due to driving 70MPH. Does that mean I will only get about 10 miles?

    I really hope GM is not putting out best-case scenario numbers when they say “40 miles”, because if reviewers get their hands on this car and get something significantly less than what GM promised, the Volt will go down in flames. Oh, you want $40K for this? Pfff.

    I’m hoping Lyle will dig into this some more and get GM to be a little more transparent when it comes to range.


  144. 144
    tim-the-dreamer

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (4:58 am)

    Lyle,

    Please be so kind as to notify Mr. Wagner that I have the answer to this problem. The standard ICE vehicle has a motor, fuel, and electrical hardware. the electrical hardware does not take fuel to run it; it’s power comes from the battery charged by the alternator. Slave the main power pack to the motor only, incorperate an off the shelf high output alternator to the motor with a standard production battery and a 12 watt solar panel to supply power when the vehicle is not in motion. The vortec tube system provides hot and cold air with the only requirement being an air compressor. Run the hot and cold air through tubes to two small raidiators (such as those used on motorcycles or lawnmowers) with adjustible sleaves tied to the AC control. Total setup to resemble a sterling system therby utilizing the same air and reducing corrosion concerns. A standard blower motor would be used to cycle air through the radiators and into the cabin area to facilitate the cooling or heating based on user selection of sleeve coverage of said radiators via AC control on center command console; with the added benifite of eleminating the use of CFC’s for the Standard AC systems currently in production.

    The added benifite to said configuration could be a possible increase in range or acceleration of 1-5% plus the viability of the Volt being a showcase of useing old and new automotive technologies to advance the rapid acceptance of new vehicle concepts to a wider range of potential customers and usher in a brighter future for both the American motor companies and all peoples concerned for the environment and national security by removing the dependance of foreign oil. A massive PR boost.

    My price is a free volt to said specs and .10% of net profit. For heaven’s sake I’m on the low end of the income ladder at 21g’s a year(barely). How else can I get one, geese. I’m very serious about everything. Thank-you.


  145. 145
    tim-the-dreamer

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (5:25 am)

    P.S. The same vortec system can be ustilized for battery conditioning during various inclimant weather use via a bypass feed that would be computer controlled by relays and thermostat. Thereby removing or limiting customer concerns and added power consumption. Resulting in the promised and promoted 40-mile all electric range. Perhaps even reduction in price by reducing the number of main batteries needed for daily operations or maintaining price but with an unexpected increase in all electric range.

    When can I expect my Volt and pay-check? Considering I just gave GM a jump over other EV producers. No sarcassum insinuated. Just an honest attempt to help during these hard times.


  146. 146
    Dave K.  =D~

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (5:53 am)

    I spent about an hour at the Volt display during the last L.A. Auto Show. The GM spokeslady said, “The Volt will provide UP TO 40 miles on electric power without using gasoline”. I heard her say this 5 times to 5 different people who asked about it. GM has never said, “You WILL GET 40 miles travel from a fully charged battery”.

    There was a talkative fellow standing next to me as we viewed the L.A. Vot display. He knew many things about the workings of the Volt and seemed to have some inside knowledge of the battery development. He was VERY optimistic on the question of getting 40 miles per charge. He mentioned the reasons why. I don’t want to relay what he told me as it may be inaccurate information.

    I just hope GM goes easy on the sticker shock factor. It will be very wise to sell the Volt in high volume for a low price. A positive public response is key.

    =D~


  147. 147
    NZDavid

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (6:22 am)

    My first post of the new year!

    Happy New Year everyone.


  148. 148
    omegaman66

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (6:45 am)

    New year? Still says 2008! Is it 2009 where you live

    Wow an article on the ac and all it says it that it will affect the range of the vehicle. I could figure that one out myself.


  149. 149
    NZDavid

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (6:57 am)

    Nearly one hour in here :)

    Hot and sticky today, so I don’t really care about a few miles of EV range, I just want to be cool. There’s about six months of the year when I don’t need A/C or heat at all, so I’ll make up for it then.

    LJGTVWOTR
    NO plug, NO sale.


  150. 150
    Van

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (7:32 am)

    I see that my post @ 36 contained an assertion that the AC unit draws 2 to 5 KW and that appears to be in error. Another source indicates the Prius AC (electrically driven) draws from .9 to 1.6 KW, or an average of 1.25 KW. Again if we assume we could go 40 miles using 8 KWh in one hour (40 MPH rate) then we would use up the 8 KWH available after 35 miles. If we assume a more realistic 4 miles per kwh, the 32 mile range would be cut with the AC operating to 27 miles.


  151. 151
    Unni

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (8:10 am)

    Forgot to add : I think the 40 miles is from 50% of charge ( The battery is not allowed charge beyond 80% and not below 30 % – at 30 ICE generator kicks in and 80 percent charging stops )


  152. 152
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    Dec 31st, 2008 (8:40 am)

    One big advantage I see of a E-REV over a PHEV is the E-flex system. The battery is the main source of power, but you can “range extend” with any other means of producing electricity… ICE, biodiesel, fuel cell, natural gas, Mr. Fusion.. you name it. You are not tied to an ICE.


  153. 153
    koz

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (10:26 am)

    Dave G #133

    “3) GM also said they would not use future better battery technology to increase range. There was a recent article on this.”

    That article, http://gm-volt.com/2008/12/24/future-volt-generations-will-offer-cheaper-smaller-batteries-not-longer-ranges/, was written a little confusingly. It stated only 40 mile battery for the Volt and also that future generations may very well have modular battery capability that allows the consumer to choose higher or lower range configurations. This is an essential development in order to lead the plug-in market IMO. I believe Mr. Weber, the vehicle line exec, was stating that the Volt as they are working on it now and near term improvements will retain a 40 mile AER design goal. They will focus on reducing battery through refinement and improved technology. In the same article he’s quoted as saying, “He also notes that battery modularization will likely occur in the future…when you look at the core of the (E-Flex) program, once you can shrink the battery and make the cost of the battery more reasonable, the next generation will allow you to modularize the battery capacity. Because there are people who who might need 20 miles or 80 miles. Very different people have very different demands and so the next stage is to get different levels of batteries”. I hope he means sooner rather than later in the future. I think this will be a key development to allow EREV’s to proliferate into the mainstream and to other GM models much more rapidly than with just a single fixed AER. EREV Ver2 with 160KW motor and modular battery up to 24KWh and down to 10 or 12KWh would work in a lot of different models and better fit many more driver’s needs.

    But for how….LJGTVWOTR! NPNS!!


  154. 154
    Dutchman

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (10:44 am)

    It has always puzzled me that auto makers haven’t looked into using a 12 volt compressor instead of the ones that run off of the fan belt like they have since the 50s. A BD 35F or BD 50F, made by Danfuss, only draws 40 to 50 watts of energy. I have used them many times to convert a 120 Volt, 4 Cu Ft Frig, to 12 volt for RVs and found that they will run for 4 to 6 days on regular RV batterys without recharging. Adding a 25 watt Solat panel would let them run indeffinately.
    I know the envelope inside a car is different and will demand greater compassities but hey,,,we have engineers that can design a better compressor don’t we???
    It would make more sense then drawing 15 to 25 horsepower off the engine while running and the Altenator won’t work that hard especially is a solar panel in installed in the rear window sheft or on the dash.
    think about it…

    The dutchman


  155. 155
    john1701a

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (11:38 am)

    One big advantage I see of a E-REV over a PHEV is the E-flex system. The battery is the main source of power, but you can “range extend” with any other means of producing electricity… ICE, biodiesel, fuel cell, natural gas, Mr. Fusion.. you name it. You are not tied to an ICE.
    ________________________________________

    Then how do you explain the few Prius that were converted to use a fuel-cell for power?

    Of course, that’s still a long-term engineering argument that doesn’t address the current need of the mainstream.


  156. 156
    noel park

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (11:43 am)

    #135 Jason:

    Well good luck to them, and I hope I’m wrong.

    Of course all of the cars I listed did get a few onto the highway, but then……………….

    If and when the 40K model comes out, even I will be down in the showroom seriously kicking the tires.

    If they can become a viable business, I will be the first to take my hat off to them.


  157. 157
    N Riley

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (12:31 pm)

    As far as AC is concerned, I had to run my air this weekend on a trip in central Mississippi. It was mostly due to the car sitting in the sunshine for several hours, but we do have sunny and above 70 degree days here in December some years. Other years it is as cold as a well diggers ass, as they say. I have never actually felt of a well digger’s ass to see how cold that might be and don’t intend to try. Well, if she was female and looked good, maybe so.


  158. 158
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    Dec 31st, 2008 (12:37 pm)

    On a more serious note, most of the country will need to use the AC in the Volt and I suspect we will all use it rather than drive home or to work with our shirt getting wet from sweat. We need to let the ICE come on and use up some of that gas, anyway. I know I intend to take nice long trips around the countryside during the weekend at least once every couple of months just to burn up some or all of that gas.

    I don’t really see the AC as a problem for Volt owners. Sure, we all want to get 40, 50 or more miles per charge. I only have to travel about 10 miles one way to work. So a 20 mile round trip daily. You better believe I am going to use the AC and the heater when it is needed. And those of you who are at the limit of the battery in commute distance should not spend time worrying about whether or not the ICE will have to be used. This is not anything to be worrying about. Let’s just worry about GM getting those wheels on the road.


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    GXT

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (2:21 pm)

    DonC wrote at 112:

    It was a test drive two years before production. Of course it wasn’t full range. That’s what development is about — getting more range and performance from the motor, battery pack, ICE, and drive train.
    ===================================================

    As King’s County found out with GM’s hybrid buses, sometimes GM’s production hybrids do worse than the testers.

    We will see. GM can always tap into the 8KWh reserve to increase the range at the expense of battery longevity so they have lots of room to play. That is especially true if they really are building a second battery into the price.

    However I don’t know why anyone who has studied this would expect GM to get near 40 Miles on the highway. As Dave K. says @ 146, I believe the quote has always been “UP TO 40 MILES”. That implies 40 miles is near best case. As it would seem that highway is worst case, why would you expect it to get near best case numbers? At to that the Lutz data and the Tesla data and 32 with no AC seems reasonable.


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    GXT

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (2:27 pm)

    152. k-dawg wrote:
    One big advantage I see of a E-REV over a PHEV is the E-flex system. The battery is the main source of power, but you can “range extend” with any other means of producing electricity… ICE, biodiesel, fuel cell, natural gas, Mr. Fusion.. you name it. You are not tied to an ICE.
    =====================================================

    That is PR for you… doing something that is common sense and that everyone else has already done but giving it a new name and pretending that you are brilliant or have some sort of competitive advantage.

    How is swapping the gas engine out of the Volt any different than swapping the gas engine out of a Prius? Or out of most cars, for that matter? Trucks have been “EFLEX” with gas and diesel since the 80′s.


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    k-dawg

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (2:41 pm)

    155 john1701a Says:
    ————-
    One big advantage I see of a E-REV over a PHEV is the E-flex system. The battery is the main source of power, but you can “range extend” with any other means of producing electricity… ICE, biodiesel, fuel cell, natural gas, Mr. Fusion.. you name it. You are not tied to an ICE.
    ________________________________________

    Then how do you explain the few Prius that were converted to use a fuel-cell for power?

    Of course, that’s still a long-term engineering argument that doesn’t address the current need of the mainstream.

    ———————-

    I’m not familiar w/the fuel-cell Prius. Is the Fuel cell just providing power to charge the battery? What motor drives the wheels? As far as i know, the Prius uses an ICE as the powertrain and the battery is only an assist. That’s the way I understand a PHEV to work (Paralle Hybrid)… the Hybrid part only works in parallel to the ICE to assist the drive-train.

    I guess i could Google it, but i’m getting into Holiday mode already.


  162. [...] The definitive source for real-time news, information, and discussion about the Chevrolet Volt electric car. Air Conditioning News [...]


  163. 163
    carcus

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (2:58 pm)

    I can summarize Mr. Weber’s already short (terse?) responses to Lyle’s questions: “The volt’s All Electric Range will take a major hit when using the air conditioner. Our lawyers have advised me that is all the information I can give at this time.”

    Independent testing of a prototype to verify performance (real world AER, real world mpg after battery depletion, etc . . .) should have been required before any taxpayer dollars were lent to GM.

    To all of you delusional fanboys who say you’d sacrifice heat/air conditioning/highway speeds so your $40k plus volt could make it’s numbers and you could get back and forth to work without burning any gas, I say …… bullsh*t.

    If that were true you could go pay someone a 1/3 of the volt price to convert a compact car to an EV.


  164. 164
    Koz

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    Carcus #163,

    Do you have the name of a reliable company that will convert an subcompact to an EV for $9 with a 10 year warrantee on the battery and standard warrantees on the rest of the car? It’s a little silly that someone would suffer like that to save a few gallons of gas a year but that’s not my or your call.


  165. 165
    Koz

     

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    Dec 31st, 2008 (4:03 pm)

    By the way 2KW is too much for average AC load. According to this http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy00osti/28960.pdf 1KW would be an expected steady state load for a small sedan (note: ambient temperature and humidity aren’t given). GM has mentioned thermal coating and “high efficiency” mode which would produce a low power compromise for moderate cooling. For those that have to blast the AC, they will take a bigger range hit.

    By the way, all of you pessamists that like to dwell on how reduced the highway range may be should consider the “real world” driving situation. Yes, GM has said 40 miles AER for city so it will most likely not get this on the highway, especially if GM sticks to only 8KWh usable battery capacity. However, much of the actual highway driving will be done commuting to work. Most of these commuting miles (taking as a total for all of the active fleet) will be done in moderate to heavy traffic. Just as EV’s take a disproportionate hit in range from drag, they get a similar boost in range from disturbed air in traffic. There is less drag so they get the “lost” range back for this reduction in drag. Also, moderate traffic is mostly in the 55-75mph range. If GM is able to stick to their 40 miles AER goal (looks likely they will), then one could expect ranges of about 45-38 miles for these driving conditions without AC and 42-36 with AC.


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    Dec 31st, 2008 (4:37 pm)

    Koz @ 165, yes I too do not expect GM to stick with only 8 KWH usable battery capacity. That is like buying a spare 8 KWH battery and just lugging it around for a rainy day. If we assume a 30% loss of capacity over the 10 year life, then the SOC range can be expanded from 50% to 70%, or 11 KWH of usable battery capacity.

    And yes again for your source indicating 1 KW for the steady state draw. Note (post # 150) indicates the draw will vary from .9 KWh to 1.6 KWh based on the Prius electric AC unit, so if we use 1.25 KWh for the average draw because of the initial cooldown, the AER will be decreased by about 15%.


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    Dec 31st, 2008 (4:43 pm)

    Van #166

    You mean about 15% reduction for about 1KW AC load if averaging about 40mph, correct?


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    Dec 31st, 2008 (5:24 pm)

    Yes, my assumption is the driving cycle which yeilds the 40 miles using 8 KWh would have an average speed of 40 MPH or less. I was providing a ball park estimate that would mirror the real world.

    Lets say the average speed for the cycle was 20 MPH and took two hours and the average draw was 1 KW for the AC so the AC would burn 2 KWH leaving 6 for an AER of 30 miles. Or, if we could get 3.5 miles per KWh at 60 MPH, then you would burn through the 8 KWh in 40 minutes, so the AC would draw 1.25 kw on average (cooldown being a significant fraction of operating time) and you total range would be about 25 miles.

    So you are faced with a trade-off, where going to slow results in high AC loss, and going to fast results in high drag loss. The sweet spot I believe will yield about 28 miles of AER with the AC on.

    And that is about 15% less than the 32 AER I expect using 8 KWh in real world driving.


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    Dec 31st, 2008 (9:49 pm)

    You would have to setup the energy use in equations and solve for time. For your assumption of 20MPH and 40 miles AER (I assume this is what was meant by 20mph and cycle taking 2 hours) without AC or headlights (I don’t agree with this since it should be more like 60 but we stick with 40 to complete the scenario), the range would actually be reduced to 32 miles (total draw of 5kw means the 8kw lasts 1 hr 36 min).

    Tesla has a good post on their blog about energy consumption, speed, and range: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog4/. The Volt won’t be the same but should be similar. I would expect the auxiliary loads to be a little less and the overall efficiency to be a little better for the Volt but the Roadster weighs a little less. The CdA should be pretty similar as well. As you can see from the graph on the Tesla link, energy use will be about 140Wh/mile for 20mph travel or 57 miles/8KWh without AC. Getting back to my assertion that real world commuter driving in moderate to heavy traffic will yield 45-38 miles AER at 55-75mph. Tesla uses 230-330Wh/mile for 55-75mph speeds. This is based on traveling through “still” air and translates to 35-24miles/8KWh. Notice the aerodynamic for this speed range is 100-170Wh/mile. If the disturbed air in traffic reduces aerodynamic load by 50% (admittedly just a swag), then the total load range becomes 180-245Wh/mile which gives 44-33miles/8KWh. I try to find a study about aerodynamic affects of traffic but regardless commuting in traffic at 65mph is going have significantly more AER than calculations for still air driving predict, including EPA highway cycle.


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    Jan 1st, 2009 (12:10 pm)

    DaveG #10

    I believe we can replace gasoline very soon, and with cars like the Volt. Remember that the Volt also runs on E85. Although corn ethanol sucks (never understood why they did that), other sources of ethanol are perfectly viable. See here for details:
    http://www.coskata.com/EthanolFeedstockPotential.asp

    Bottom line:
    EREVs + Ethanol can completely replace gasoline, and both are within our reach.

    —————————————————————————
    Dave, when you review this site, you need to read with much more skepticism. The site owner merely claims that third party analysis indicates that his cost target of $1 per gallon is the best cost target in the industry. It does not offer ethanol for sale at $1 per gallon, or at any price. It offers no evidence whatsoever that that cost target will ever be achieved.

    While the laws of physics and chemistry, as we understand them today, do not rule out low cost mass produced cellulosic ethanol, no clear path to that goal has been identified.

    The beauty of range extended electric vehicles is that they involve little or no speculative technology. There is plenty of evidence to show they will work, and this thread simply quibbles about “suppose you are in Arizona on the hottest day of the year, do you get 35 miles or 40 miles AER”?


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    frayadjacent

     

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    Jan 1st, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    What I’d like to see is a ‘pre-warm’ or ‘pre-cool’ mode, so that when plugged in at home (or elsewhere if possible), you can set the Volt to achieve a particular inside temperature at a particular time.

    You could have it warmed up off of your home power in the morning while plugged in, then it will not take as much energy to maintain a warm temperature in cooler weather. The same with cooling – the largest load on a vehicles AC system in hot weather is cooling the interior. Once it’s cool, maintaining a cooler temperature is not as energy intensive.

    One thing I’ll be glad about is that if I were able to get a Volt in a couple years, both at home and at work, I can park in a garage, so the car will not be exposed to the hot Texas sun all day while I’m at work.


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    Jan 2nd, 2009 (7:34 pm)

    #85 GXT,

    I remember the thread you mention, but you have to remember that the Volt will most likely perform better, if not much better, than what Bob drove. That was the guts of the Volt, true, but not in a Volt body and also without the all important software to manage the battery.

    GM has staked FAR too much on the 40 mile AER for them to not make it. I’m fully confident that the Volt will give me a full 40 mile AER for ten years or more…..of course, when you turn the AC on it will diminish the range somewhat, but hey, my G6 is rated for 23 city/30 highway. With the AC on high it’s actually more like 21 city / 32 highway (I know, the car actually gets about 34-35 mpg highway without the AC on). My point being, you will rarely, if ever, get the mileage posted for a car, unless you try to. Its much more of an estimate than an exact figure, always has been and always will be.


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    Jan 4th, 2009 (9:41 pm)

    Hi Koz, I provided an estimate of a 15% reduction in AER with the AC on based on the energy use of the Prius electric AC unit (.9-1.6 KW).

    There is not significant difference whether you think the AER will be 32 miles or 45 miles, provided the 8 KWh is used up in about the same period of time.

    If your point is that my estimate was a rough order of magnitude estimate, that is true. These (ROM) estimates are expected to be in the ball park, not design calculations.

    If the drive cycle lasts about one hour, then 1.25 KWh will go into the AC, leaving 6.75 to drive the wheels. Without the AC, 8 KWh is available to drive the wheels. Thus about a 15% reduction in the AER.


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    Jan 10th, 2009 (7:05 am)

    Forget A/C you big girls blouses I am more concerned about heating the car up during the winter so your fingers and toes don’t go numb, compromising the car’s undoubtedly superb handling characteristics.

    How much of a drain on battery life will heating the car up be when it’s well below freezing outside in the morning?

    Does the passenger compartment have greater thermal insulation than a normal car to reduce this energy loss?

    Presumably if the car is plunged in overnight, then the cars heating system could automatically warm the car up at a user programmable pre-set time in the morning using electricity supplied directly from the plugged in cable and not the car’s batteries. Thus (besides increasing range) making the car nice and toasty (with defrosted windows) when you start off on your journey to work on a cold dark winter morning. A definite selling point for those of us climatically disadvantaged.


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    Aug 12th, 2009 (7:05 am)

    [...] Posted by galveston Will it have an air conditioner? Yes: How Will Air Conditioning Affect the Chevy Volt’s Electric Range? | GM-VOLT : Chevy Volt Elect… [...]


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    Chris

     

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    Mar 17th, 2010 (9:58 am)

    I do see a few options here. Batterys generate heat. You could come up with a way to pump that heat into the passenger area. They could go with the option of using the engine to run the climate system. When you have your ac or heater on it could draw electricity from the engine.