Apr 28

GM-Volt.com Chevy Volt Mule Test Drive w/ Video

 

There are a few events in every lifetime that will be remembered forever. In some cases these events are the celebration of an achievement, of a reward earned.

Such was that early Spring morning in 2009 that I pulled past the bold blue and white military-like sign that read Milford Proving Grounds. For this was the day I test drove the Chevy Volt mule.

From that in many ways distant day in January 2007, when I first saw a news report about the Chevy Volt  and was so inspired to register the domain GM-Volt.com to this day some 26 months and 900 articles later I and many of you my most revered readers and copilots have essentially been waiting for this landmark moment.

Inside the proving grounds I met my guide and co-pilot Greg Ceisel. Greg is the Chevy Volt program manager and had been involved since its early days.

After a brief tour of the Proving Grounds and and overview of it 130 or so miles of top secret test track, he took me into a building about the size of an airplane hanger. We walked into the electric vehicles section and there before me were a half a dozen Volt mules with varying appearance and states of disrepair and several plug-in Saturn Vues.

My Volt was silver blue and adorned with special white Volt graphics. This vehicle was the same one former CEO Rick Wagoner had famously driven through the streets of DC to testify before Congress, and the same one that members of the President’s Task Force on Autos had driven. Politics in these dire times for GM had to come before their fans.

This vehicle is in the second generation of test cars, having been built after the first batch which were cruder “Malivolts.” About 30-odd of these cars were in existence. They contained nearly finalized Volt powertrains including 16 kwh lithium-ion battery packs, 111 peak kw electric motors and 53 kw engine generators. This was not a Chevy Volt in interior or exterior design, but rather they were European-version Chevy Cruze compact sedans. The Cruze uses the same compact delta platform as the Volt and shares similar interior dimensions. Aerodynamically the Cruze has a higher coefficient of drag so true 40 mile AERs are not achieved but “come very close” per Mr. Ceisel.

After a brief tour, it was my turn to drive.

The car is started by a push button that lights green, no key is needed, and the turn-on process is utterly silent.

The interior was sufficiently roomy and comfortable, and nicely ergonomically designed. It was lacking the elegant high-tech and sophisticated double LCD display the production Volt has, and all the sure to be wonderful bells and whistles the production Volt will have. There was no engine/battery feedback for the driver. Technicians normally would connect a laptop to the mule to monitor, manage, and tweak the cars behavior. This interface had been removed for my drive. My only feedback was Km/h on the speedometer and number of miles driven.

The mule was like the Volt, functionally a four-seater, the T-shaped battery pack running down the middle was low enough that the rear seat bench had no bulge, but legroom in the center of the bench was replaced by the battery.

Once started there was only a very slightly scarcely audible and occasional whir within the engine compartment but was overall strikingly and serenely silent.

And then with one small step for man and one large step for mankind and with the collective goodwill of the thousands of you GM-Volt readers on this journey with me, I depressed the accelerator.

Instant silent and sustained torque ensued.

The car had considerable brisk acceleration and power. It was smooth as silk and utterly quiet. It was truly a marvelous thing of beauty. I sailed up hills and muscled around the curves of the sterile and peculiarly industrial landscape of the proving grounds. The car handled marvelously. Greg told me that this car wasn’t near final refinement yet and that the production Volt would handle even better. Hard to believe.

The braking had a customary feel. Regenerative braking was of course in effect, and every downhill grade and coast charged the pack. GM had cleverly built in two driving configuration options called D and L.  Both gave the same acceleration, but when you step off the accelerator you get strong regenerative drag if in L and coast in D, the former being best for city driving. As Greg said this could allow you to drive with one foot.

There was of course no transmission so whether driving 5 or 75 mph the same gear was maintained. This was pleasant and comfortable and provided appropriate dynamic power at all velocities, there was no perceived “need” to shift.

I found the car to be light, nimble, agile and very fun to drive. Acceleration was terrific and spirited.

I had the chance to take the car straight up a very treacherous-appearing pure 16-1/2% grade. It was a hill that I cannot recall seeing a similar version of in real life. The car had no trouble making it to the top, and with it floored could hit about 50 mph.

I drove the car a total of 15 miles through the test tracks. At this point in time I wasn’t permitted to experience the shift to generator mode. Greg said it was seamless and most drivers didn’t notice it, but GM was still shy about showing it off until some further tweaking had occurred. I was promised a chance to come back when the time was right for it.

The bottom line is that the car was a solid, pleasant, agile and sporty compact sedan. It handled and behaved like any car in its category should. It was as its own chief engineer Andrew Farah says, “unremarkable.”

I would expand that to remarkably unremarkable.

Unremarkable in that the average driver would experience driving it as they would any other small sporty sedan. It was not a toy a or some tinny weak neighborhood car.

What was remarkable and indeed profoundly so is that it does so without the use of gasoline.

It is a car that has absolutely no-compromises. Yet, it is electric.

That is a feat of monumental importance. This is a car that the masses will embrace because of the kind of car it is. That is uses no gas for 40 miles is the real breakthrough.

And so it was that I drove the Volt mule on that Spring day. A regular guy who just started a blog to influence the direction of US transportation and who now found himself at the very wheel of that future

GM has done what they set out to over two years ago and amazingly well I might add, despite all the trials and tribulations that have transpired.  The real Volt will be here in a few short weeks.  We’ll be waiting.
[flash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03-4zuUEPaM]

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 at 5:25 am and is filed under Test drive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 383


  1. 1
    Lawrence

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:37 am)

    Congratulation for your first drive Lyle ;-)

    Shame u couldn’t experience the post-battery depletion part of driving.

    In a side note, I believe they didn’t agree about posting some more details about your driving experience… all sounds “all good in a perfect world” ;-)

    Cheers

    Lawrence, Switzerland

    PS: wow, I’m first ^^ ok, I live in a different timezone


  2. 2
    Gary Goggin

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:47 am)

    Congratulations Lyle, well deserved my man:-)

    Gary, Ireland


  3. 3
    Richard

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:54 am)

    Fantastic review Lyle, it was brilliant to finally see it published here!

    Really enjoyed reading it, felt like I just experienced the test drive right alongside you. I’m a trained journalist yet I couldn’t have done better.

    Keep up the good work and props for a thoroughly enjoyable blog! I’ve got the RSS in my ticker feed, makes sure I don’t miss a beat of what’s happening around here.

    Regards..

    Richard, South Africa


  4. 4
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:57 am)

    Congrats Lyle. That was a great article you wrote.
    Very descriptive with lots of adjectives. It made me feel like I was there with you. And that was before I watched the video.

    You said it was a push button start with no key needed.
    I love that. My father had an International Pickup truck when I was kid. It was the only vehicle I have every seen with a push button start.

    Thank you very much, Lyle, for taking us on a very special ride.


  5. 5
    ERP

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:58 am)

    How would you compare it to your Tesla Roadster test drive? I would assume the Volt would have considerable understeer.


  6. 6
    guido

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:03 am)

    Real vaporware, eh ? Congratulations – yours is a great story!

    Guido, Clarkston, Michigan


  7. 7
    nuclearboy

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:06 am)

    Good for you Lyle. Good report.


  8. 8
    nuclearboy

     

    nuclearboy
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:07 am)

    The D and L mode is very interesting. I love the idea of city driving in L where the regen. is automatic when you let off the gas. This could be excellent in any stop and go traffic.


  9. 9
    RB

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:14 am)

    Sounds like a great ride. Your description was so good we were living it with you. Thanks. Indeed it is a great achievement.


  10. 10
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:15 am)

    From the article,
    Both gave the same acceleration, but when you step off the accelerator you get strong regenerative drag if in L and coast in D, the former being best for city driving. As Greg said this could allow you to drive with one foot.

    What does he mean by “one foot”? I thought you people who drive automatics only drive with one foot.


  11. 11
    BillR

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:15 am)

    Great job Lyle! Best test drive and feedback to date (the guys at the major networks should hire you as their special reporter).

    Glad to hear that the car is so refined and well-mannered.

    As you state, after all this time and devotion, it’s exciting to see the future of transportation unfolding before our eyes.

    Thanks for all your dedication and hard work, Lyle. Without you we wouldn’t have access to all this exciting news!


  12. 12
    Kagato

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:16 am)

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to do my own test drive at the dealership in 2010.
    :)


  13. 13
    AutoElectric

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:20 am)

    You drove through a stop sign.

    Seriously, though – EPIC!


  14. 14
    RB

     

    RB
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:25 am)

    This review leaves us looking forward to the next one, when the transition to the ICE can be tested too.


  15. 15
    Jim in PA

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:26 am)

    LOL. Am I the only one here who already drives an automatic with just one foot? Folks, never let your kids in the car with someone who keeps their left foot on the brake and the right foot on the gas!

    Great review. GM will get the most success from an unremarkable good car. I’ll take this over the EV1 any day. Oh, especially since it’s less than half the (real) cost. Who killed the electric car? Apparently nobody.


  16. 16
    RB

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:26 am)

    #10 Rashiid — Here “one foot” means depressing the foot to go, lifting your foot to slow down, without having to move it to another pedal.


  17. 17
    RB

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:29 am)

    I had the chance to take the car straight up a very treacherous-appearing pure 16-1/2% grade. It was a hill that I cannot recall seeing a similar version of in real life. The car had no trouble making it to the top, and with it floored could hit about 50 mph.
    ————————————

    Would it be expected that the top speed will be higher when the ICE is allowed to come on?


  18. 18
    Gsned57

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:31 am)

    Great report Lyle, glad to see you finally got the ride. I think you hit the nail on the head with the Remarkably unremarkable comment. If the car is similar to people’s other cars but doesn’t use gas it will be well received. If it’s under $30K with the bailout bonus ($7500) I see no reason why everyone of them wouldn’t sell out. GM, don’t slow down on the way to the finish line. LJGTVWOTR

    NPNS

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a real auto reporter ever get this excited about a car. It’s nice to see genuine interest and excitement


  19. 19
    BobArmstrong

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:31 am)

    Wonderful article. L driving mode sounds like ‘bumper car’ type driving? I wish you had told us how fast you were going at various times during the test drive. Although you were saying ‘silent’ we were hearing road or wind noise. Were the windows open?

    congratulations!


  20. 20
    Kevin R

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:32 am)

    Great report. I’m really looking forward to you driving an actual Volt in its complete form and for us to see it.


  21. 21
    Dave K.

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:33 am)

    Good going Lyle.

    =D~


  22. 22
    Lunoir

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:35 am)

    It’s about time… ;-)
    NPNS!


  23. 23
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:40 am)

    #10 Rashiid Amul Says: What does he mean by “one foot”? I thought you people who drive automatics only drive with one foot.
    ————————————————————————————–
    They taught us left-foot braking on automatics in driver’s ed, and that’s what I’ve used ever since.

    As for the article, I think they mean that with strong regenerative drag in L, you can get away without using the brake most of the time in city driving.

    The interesting thing here is that the shift lever settings are just activiting different software algorithms that control the electric motor. With this approach, I can envision all types of settings:
    • Glide Coast
    • Regenerative Coast
    • Aggressive Acceleration
    • Hypermiler mode
    • etc.


  24. 24
    statik

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:43 am)

    C’mon GM give Lyle a test drive, he deserves to finally…

    /oh, nevermind


  25. 25
    Dave G

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:44 am)

    #17 RB Says: Would it be expected that the top speed will be higher when the ICE is allowed to come on?
    ————————————————————————————–
    Probably not.

    The electric motor is 111 kW max. The battery can probably supply more than 111 kW of power for quite a while.


  26. 26
    Joe

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:45 am)

    Congratulation on your drive. Hope you get more of them!


  27. 27
    Dan Frederiksen

     

    Dan Frederiksen
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:50 am)

    they can put the electronic parts in an existing car platform and get it ready quicker that way? naah really??
    who knew
    GM assholes


  28. 28
    Malamute Wolf

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:52 am)

    Wow! Very awesome Lyle, Thanks!


  29. 29
    Jim I

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:53 am)

    Good job Lyle!

    Now we are looking forward to your test drive in a “production” mule, and seeing what the crossover to the ICE will be like!

    Now why in the world did GM put a non-disclosure on that article for so long?

    Jim – Youngstown, OH (The first posters here did this, so I will too!)

    Go GM! – Go GM Volt Team!!!

    NPNS


  30. 30
    Brett Pavel

     

    Brett Pavel
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:55 am)

    Well not only did you get an email reply from the new CEO but you also get to test drive! Maybe there is hope for GM!

    Congrats, Lyle!


  31. 31
    CM

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:12 am)

    Wow…this is what we all have been waiting for! Good to see the average Joe or Lyle get to test drive the much anticipated care of the next generation of GM. Excellent!


  32. 32
    FME III

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:18 am)

    Glad to finally get your review. Ditto on the comments about wanting to get an update when they let you experience the shift to the ICE.

    If GM can get this car out on schedule — AND deliver a solid product without glitches or recalls that kill consumer interest — I believe the word-of-mouth about the driving experience will create the kind of buzz that drive marketers to ecstasy.


  33. 33
    Andrew

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:19 am)

    I really can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the Volt!


  34. 34
    Ron

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:20 am)

    #17 RB, I think 50 MPH while climbing an incredibly unrealistic steep hill is remarkable. Of course, the Volt will get much higher top speed on level ground…

    Very much looking forward to “MY” first test drive in a Volt, but that’s probably still 2 years away.


  35. 35
    Guy Incognito

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:21 am)

    I saw this on The YouTube last night, great vid Lyle.

    If any of you are interested, gm-volt.com (Lyle) has a YouTube Channel:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/GMVolt


  36. 36
    NZDavid

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:24 am)

    Darn, just as I getting to like the meaningless funny monkey8r posts each day, Lyle, you just had to ruin it by posting something I wanted to read.

    /No wait.


  37. 37
    Natan

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:24 am)

    Great CAR Great Article Great BLOG.
    Hope to see/read more articles about driving experience.


  38. 38
    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:26 am)

    Thanks Lyle, I’ll show your video to my fellow citiziens who are still doubting it. I am waiting to have my turn at the wheel of a Volt or an Ampera. I already drove a REVA but it is not the same thing.

    Great.

    JC LJGTAWOTR !!!


  39. 39
    Bob

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:28 am)

    Nice California rolling stop at the 2-minute mark! ;)

    Seriously though, congratulations. I’m glad GM knows you’re such a vital part of the Volt program and most likely their continued existence.


  40. 40
    Schmeltz

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:31 am)

    Great report Lyle! Thanks for sharing.

    Personally, I like the look of the Cruze already…I wouldn’t mind an Electric Cruze like the one you drove. I mean the Volt has the hi-tech appeal pretty much nailed, but this Cruze bodied mule you drove isn’t a bad looking car either IMO.


  41. 41
    herman

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:34 am)

    Why not sell the cruze with this volt tech… =) ??


  42. 42
    FME III

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:37 am)

    The more I think about it, the more suspicious I become over the fact that GM has allowed NOT ONE REVIEWER to expereince the shift to the ICE.

    They say that it is “seamless,” but they want to do some tweaking. Yeah, sure. They also say they want to tweak the electric drive, but that hasn’t stopped them from letting reviewers experience the battery-only part of the cycle.

    Surely, if “to most drivers it is seamless” as claimed, it’s close enough for reviewers to experience that, too. They can still note that GM wants to refine it further.

    Unless…
    The electric to ICE transition has a long way to go and they’re working as fast as they can to fix it and they intend it to be seamless when they get the bugs worked out but in the meantime they’re just saying it’s seamless when it’s anything but…. (Don’t ya love run-on sentences?)

    Why do I think this? Because yesterday in my PR job someone wanted me to lie in a release about a computer crash that brought down our automated phone system. She wanted me to say it was down for an upgrade. Pffft.

    I have given GM the benefit of the doubt in most of my posts, and I’m not a skeptic by nature. But this absolute refusal to Iet anyone experience the ICE transition has me wondering….


  43. 43
    NZDavid

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:38 am)

    Lyle says: I had the chance to take the car straight up a very treacherous-appearing pure 16-1/2% grade. It was a hill that I cannot recall seeing a similar version of in real life. The car had no trouble making it to the top, and with it floored could hit about 50 mph.

    That’s just for beginners!
    http://www.ourshop.co.nz/baldwinstreet.htm

    PS: Lyle, if you ever get over this way, came and stay and tell me all about the drive.
    Regards
    http://www.mokaicottage.com/


  44. 44
    RB

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:42 am)

    #34 Ron says #17 RB, I think 50 MPH while climbing an incredibly unrealistic steep hill is remarkable. Of course, the Volt will get much higher top speed on level ground…
    ————————————————–

    Please keep in mind that I was not criticizing the Volt, just asking if the top speed would be different when the ICE was allowed to engage.

    Hills this steep are going to be local mountain roads. The speed on those roads is limited by twists and turns ( including the fear factor of very steep drop-offs ) as much as the car. At the same time, one sometimes has the car more heavily loaded than Lyle did, and sometimes one has to pass, so it is good to know the capabilities.


  45. 45
    Frank D

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:42 am)

    Pinch me! Am I dreaming??? General Motors is really building the every man/woman electric car! And in our lifetimes…Great to see, thanks Lyle!


  46. 46
    ClarksonCote

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:45 am)

    Wow, a 16.5% grade is pretty steep. I don’t recall seeing anything in ‘real world’ driving conditions over 8% here in the northeast.

    Great to hear you finally got that test drive Lyle!


  47. 47
    Phil

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:48 am)

    Nice review Lyle. Nice looking car. I love American cars but I am not a fan of GM ( the company ) at all and it really insults me to know that GM has gone down this road before with another Great electric car. Anybody out there remember the EV-1( great car and its track record was almost flawless). Anybody out there rember the poor build quality of most GM products ( thank you corprate bean counters ) and how GM did not stand behind it’s product !!!!!!! Have you guys looked at whats is in the show rooms at Buick & Pontiac now dead . Have you GM been looking at what all our WW2 vets have been buying. Has anyone read the reviews on the new German TDI’s has anyone seen what Honda has created. I can go on and on. Now GM wants us to get back to basics & pull together and purchase it’s product where were you before the S*%T hit the fan. Has anyone also considered where GM is going to price the Volt wait till it hits the show room floor you surely will get sticker shock from the Volt.


  48. 48
    RB

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:49 am)

    #42 FME III says Unless…
    The electric to ICE transition has a long way to go and they’re working as fast as they can to fix it and they intend it to be seamless when they get the bugs worked out but in the meantime they’re just saying it’s seamless when it’s anything but…. (Don’t ya love run-on sentences?)

    —————————————–

    One does wonder. My guess is that it does work ok, but it is not smooth (jerks or shakes sometimes), as Bob Lutz remarked. No cracks appear in the hood, so therefore it is “seamless”. It’s just bumpy. The ICE also may come in and out at times near the “customer depletion point” leaving the customer even more depleted :) We can wait, but of course it really does have to work smoothly by the time the real Volt is introduced, as this transition is one of the centerpiece aspects of the Volt design. Until that part is there, the demo is of the car operating as a BEV, minus the charging phase. But that is important, so Lyle’s report is still great.


  49. 49
    Exp_EngTech

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:52 am)

    Excellent report and video Lyle.

    Thank-You very much.

    Did anyone else notice the red capped High Voltage safety “kill – switch” on the dash above the left vent ? You push / punch them in to disconnect a motorized High Voltage circuit. Twist and pull out to re-enable. It’s identical to the ones on virtually all SMT (electronics) manfacturing machines.

    I will venture a guess that this disables the 220 VDC to the drive motor in this mule.

    Silly software glitches !


  50. 50
    NZDavid

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:53 am)

    Why is it, every time I look at the picture of Lyle beside the car, I see ME standing there?

    /sigh


  51. 51
    Jim Mbongo

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:54 am)

    Great report Lyle, glad to see you finally got the ride. I only hope GM will still bring this car next year as promised.


  52. 52
    monkeyh8r

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:58 am)

    Phew. I was running out of material. Thanks Lyle! Great article!


  53. 53
    Tim

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:00 am)

    Congratulations Lyle and THANK YOU for all your hard work.

    I can’t wait to test drive a Volt at my Chevy dealership right.


  54. 54
    Jim in PA

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:00 am)

    If the ICE transition is a problem, they should just use it to recharge the battery and not provide any juice directly to the electric motor. Then it truly would be seamless because there would be no transition. I wonder if GM is regretting not doing this. It sure seems like a simpler design. Can anyone tell me why this wasn’t done? Is it because the battery can’t recharge fast enough to keep up with the depletion rate while driving?


  55. 55
    statik

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:01 am)

    Already, I have been waiting for over a week to talk about this…and I didn’t want to spoil the mood early, so I left it on my clipboard, but FME III finally did it in #42.

    Please skip my next post if you like sunshine and lollipops, or you can watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_v468ptuXw

    …btw that bus is a E-Rev built by GM in the 60s


  56. 56
    statik

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:01 am)

    One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…ok, I just have to say it…whats up with the ICE already?

    From Lyle:
    “At this point in time I wasn’t permitted to experience the shift to generator mode. Greg said it was seamless and most drivers didn’t notice it, but GM was still shy about showing it off until some further tweaking had occurred. I was promised a chance to come back when the time was right for it.”

    CNN:
    “GM engineers are still tweaking the car’s performance under gasoline power…”

    Greg Ciesel’s response to Lyle:
    “We are continuing to develop that, and I mean, um, we will be ready to ah, demonstrate that to ya before long”
    —————————–

    GM has been running mules, whether they be in a Malibu or Cruze for almost a year and a half….and obviously the ICE is not performing. “Tweaking” and “developing” are not words that inspire confidence, nor is “we will demonstrate that before long,” especially when we are supposed to have a production intent model being started in 4 weeks.

    I remember Lutz after his first ‘public’ ride said, “our E-Flex System engineers will have a lot of integrating, tuning and tweaking to do before the Volt is ready for prime time…” – apparently they still do.

    The Volt is a special project, it is a E-Rev…and apparently because of that, it takes years and years to get a single working prototype out (at least thats what I keep hearing). But what Lyle got to drive is not a Volt by any stretch of the definition. Lyle got to ride in a overweight Cruze with a battery, lugging around a non-functioning ICE.

    Lyle basically drove a BEV, and not a original one either, just a converted model BEV. As comparison, Tesla went from sketch pad to working prototype of one of these in 6 months. On their timeline, week 10 probably saw them plunking their pack in a shell of another car like GM did here to see if it would move.

    Now I know, there are other mechanicals in there, and the work is progressing. But if this is all you show…this is all you get credit for. If you show me something that looks like dog poop…and then tell me it is cake, I’m probably not inclined to eat it. One and a half years of ‘mules’ to get to the point where you are still working it/developing/tweaking it, and won’t show it…is weak sauce.

    Side note: If the working production intent Volt is going to be out and zipping around reporters hands in two months….why suddenly do media rides in a unready car, after a year of not giving the media rides that were promised? Is it just for media attention in front of the financial events…or isn’t there any intention of giving out rides in the production intent car for a long time, so we better get people into whatever we have now to say they we have done it.


  57. 57
    Herm

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:02 am)

    contrats Lyle

    They will, it will be called a Volt :)

    …………………………
    #41 herman Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 7:34 am
    Why not sell the cruze with this volt tech… =) ??


  58. 58
    Ken Franklin

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:10 am)

    FWIW Dept.:

    - Lyle has done a great job of giving the rest of us a vicarious experience.

    - Those who post skepticism here are also performing a valid service, given the history of American car makers in general and GM in particular.

    - Considering that GM is looking at shrinking to less than 10 percent of its peak worker level, maybe the company should be renamed Private Motors.

    - Anyway, congratulations to the Volt team and to Lyle Dennis, its very capable Chief Cheerleader.

    Ken Franklin/Pomona,NY


  59. 59
    jet21x

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:15 am)

    It’s great to see that we are getting somewhere with the volt, this is something I have wanted for years, I even day dream about it, great job on the discription of your drive I could see the whole thing in my head.


  60. 60
    marlene christiano

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:16 am)

    Happy for you Lyle, now when is it my chance to do the same????I am just about ready, cash in hand , to buy a new car so keep me informed. Looks like even my hubby likes it as much as I have from the first time a photo was in TIME magizine. Hurry, hurry!!!
    Mommom Marlene


  61. 61
    frankyB

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:16 am)

    This quite a “feel good” post ;)

    Great post update, great video too. Keep them coming.

    The good old Statik is back, I disagree with you on this one. He clearly say in the video that it works. Now they are working to make it meet specific/optimal range. If it was easy, everybody would do it.


  62. 62
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:17 am)

    I’m concernced about the 50mph max w/it floored on the hill.

    Also, the max power the batteries will take is 3.3KW. Which is 15amps @ 220V. However what about @ 120V? Is it 1.65KW?


  63. 63
    PLJ

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:18 am)

    Congratulations Lyle,

    Great job!

    You confirmed something a few of us have been saying on this site for some time and that is that the Chevy Volt will be a FULL-TIME REAL CAR. It is not a “toy” or an extra car that you keep parked in your garage next to your other car, and take out only to scoot over to 7-eleven, or show-off to your friends how green you’ve become.

    In fact, as I have said before, the Volt could be anyone’s SOLE vehicle, if only one car is needed. You can drive anywhere – near or far, and anytime – day or night, without any concern about running our of battery power. There will be no lifestyle change required. Just plug it in when you get home. That’s it.

    Sweet!

    This is the dawn of a new age of motoring.

    You can be proud to be an important part of this all Lyle. Thanks for all the time and attention you put into this site.


  64. 64
    Jeff

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:18 am)

    I had the chance to take the car straight up a very treacherous-appearing pure 16-1/2% grade. It was a hill that I cannot recall seeing a similar version of in real life. The car had no trouble making it to the top, and with it floored could hit about 50 mph.

    —————————————————————————

    That is steep!…does anyone know of another paved roadway this steep in the wild and long enough to achieve 50 mph? What is the top speed of an ICE vehicle on the hill? I’ve driven a few 4 cylinder vehicles that could barely achieve 50 mph on a 4-6% grade.


  65. 65
    Don Weiser

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:21 am)

    Good review Lyle even if you sound more like an advertisement than a critical on-looker but I guess that can be overlooked.
    Almost makes me happy to own half of GM.
    Almost.
    But seriously, my next vehicle will be a plug-in and I’m rooting for GM to both survive and to make one.


  66. 66
    PLJ

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:21 am)

    Oh, and the D and L positions on the shifter remind me of the Chevy’s I grew up with that had the two-speed Powerglide transmissions.

    Who knew then how different it would be today.


  67. 67
    statik

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:22 am)

    After my long, winding post in #56, I just wanted to say for the record: “Gratz to Lyle”

    While not getting into a ‘E-Rev’ is disappointing, he has gotten to drive ‘another’ EV, and is building a great story here.

    /kudos my friend


  68. 68
    BobS

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:22 am)

    #48 RB My guess is that it does work ok, but it is not smooth (jerks or shakes sometimes),

    Remember the ICE runs at fairly low RPM and is not connected to the drivetrain so there should be no reason for it to shake or vibrate the car. It is just an electric generator under the front hood. I imagine it is a fairly straight forward process that is not as high on the priority list and has therefore not been the focus so it is not yet ready.


  69. 69
    Herm

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:26 am)

    Lol, you just described a Volt..

    I dont think we need to worry much about this, they literally are doing tweaking on it to optimize it.. this could be what they are doing:

    1. They are finding out if the Volt will have several discrete throttle settings or perhaps a smoothly variable throttle changes according to the power demands at the time..

    2. if discrete settings perhaps they are tweaking the parameters of each setting.. ignition timing, fuel injection, catalytic converter design, EGR recirculation… or perhaps they are finding the sweet optimun rpm of the engine and retuning everything around it.

    3. They could be tuning the resonances of the intake and exhaust system to achieve a supercharging effect at the sweet spot.. much like a tuned pipe on 2-stroke engine.

    4. they could be tuning the engine mounts to minimize vibrations and noise at the sweet spots or spot

    5. they may be collecting data to simulate all this and refine it on a computer model

    6. Some of these may involve physical changes on the equipment but most of it will “just” involve tweaking the parameters in the software of the Volt.. I suspect this will go on until the last moment, and they will have to club and drag the engineers away from the computers.

    7. they may be deciding on adding the “Pykes Hill Switch”

    ……………………………

    #56
    statik Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 8:01 am
    One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…ok, I just have to say it…whats up with the ICE already?
    But what you got to drive is not a Volt by any stretch of the definition. You got to ride in a overweight Cruze with a battery, lugging around a non-functioning ICE.


  70. 70
    Don

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:26 am)

    It is a little worrying that they still won’t let people experience the gas motor yet. EVs are well known & well established. It is the series hybrid aspect that is interesting.


  71. 71
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:31 am)

    True, Lyle only drove the mule in electric mode, but remember, 80% of Americans will only drive it in electric mode. If I had to choose, I would be much more concerned about the electric mode performance, than the range extending performance.


  72. 72
    LWesson

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:36 am)

    Congrads Lyle! On my 1950 vintage Pontiacs, key in and turn then it is just a push of a button resulting in the reassuring deep burble of the flat head straight eight merrily burning copious amounts of fossil fuel. I wonder if the sound of an engine running will be missed and that options for sound, vibration gear will be side options. LOL but what about that straight eight sound? Electric purists will want silent as the grave… but then there are some holdouts like me.

    Carcus1

    The 66 LeMans was my first car handed to me by my Father from my Grandfather’s Pontiac dealership in Smithville, Texas. It sits waiting for restoration in the proverbial barn. LWessonhiggens


  73. 73
    Michael

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:37 am)

    Absolutely GREAT Lyle. Good for you. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait!

    Phil@47 – You’re kinda’ new here aren’t you?

    LWesson@72 – I don’t think we need “engine noise,” but I think a ding or something when you push the “on button” would be good. Doesn’t the Tesla have that?


  74. 74
    charley497

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:37 am)

    Awesome.


  75. 75
    Todd

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:38 am)

    I have a renewed want for this car. When Lyle stepped on the accelerator and there was a slight whine sound up to speed, that was great. I like the two mode regenerative braking system. I plan on using my Volt to drive to and from work on surface streets (no highway driving). In my Avalanche I get much better gas mileage by getting the truck up to city speed and then coasting a lot. I can see doing the same in the Volt to maximize the travel on battery. I can also see two camps starting up – a performance camp (how quick can I make it get up to speed) and a mileage camp (how far can I get it to go on battery). Should be a lot of fun.

    Todd


  76. 76
    statik

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:39 am)

    #61 frankyB said:

    This quite a “feel good” post

    Great post update, great video too. Keep them coming.

    The good old Statik is back, I disagree with you on this one. He clearly say in the video that it works. Now they are working to make it meet specific/optimal range. If it was easy, everybody would do it.
    =======================
    …and it is good to be back, lol.

    I don’t debate that it works…as in that it is functional, it apparently worked, albeit clumsily, when Lutz drove the Mali-Volt over a year ago.. It just doesn’t work well enough to show it…otherwise they would have.

    You don’t say come drive my E-Rev, then not show the ‘Rev’ part if it is working as intended…for just the reason of people like me saying, “Hey…whats up with that?”

    Obviously, the “Hey…whats up with that?” disclaimers on all the test drives is the lessor evil for them to deal with than, “Hey…that doesn’t work so hot”


  77. 77
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:41 am)

    #73 LWesson
    I wonder if the sound of an engine running will be missed and that options for sound, vibration gear will be side options.
    ———————-

    Don’t be too surprised. Digital cameras still have the shutter sound added.


  78. 78
    Michael

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:44 am)

    Regarding the “L” and “D” settings, did I observe correctly that the driver can shift from one to the other at any speed?


  79. 79
    Schmeltz

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:49 am)

    Regarding concerns with the ICE, I don’t know if we need to read as much into it as we are doing. For starters, a mule is pretty crude, and absolutely nobody sees, drives, hears, or smells these cars in “normal” developement programs. An E-REV is the most difficult and complex scenario to design for, and is probably filled with little (or sometimes big) glitches and bugs to work out. How’s it going to look if some unforeseen computer glitch would shut the car off accidentally when the ICE comes on? (just an example). GM may just figure that if they aren’t at least 99% confident the ICE will work “seamlessly” for 100% of the times it is required to come on, that they may not want to expose media to a potential chance to be embarassed. To GM’s credit here, they are taking a chance by being so open and forthright by allowing ANY test drives of these vehicles at this stage of developement. If anything goes wrong, then GM has embarrassement to contend with. With that said, I too am a bit suprised that the developement isn’t a little further along, but then again, I have no idea what is involved to design, engineer, build, market, and ultimately sell a mass volume EREV. No other Company besides GM does really. Someone here already said it best, “if it was easy, everybody would be doing it.”


  80. 80
    Herm

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:52 am)

    You dont have to worry about controlling this, its automatic in an electric.. one of the benefits of electric cars. You dont have to worry about accelerating fast or slow either, should be no practical difference in mileage.
    Some EV have 70% brake energy recovery so you still have some losses on braking, so still you want to minimize this.
    I’m looking forward to lifetime brakes on the Volt.

    ……………………………………….
    #75
    Todd Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 8:38 am
    In my Avalanche I get much better gas mileage by getting the truck up to city speed and then coasting a lot. I can see doing the same in the Volt to maximize the travel on battery.


  81. 81
    DonC

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:53 am)

    Yeah Lyle! The biggest fan gets his ride. Congratulations.


  82. 82
    Zhang

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:55 am)

    The Volt is not only good for environment but also good for consumer, the fluctuation of the gas price won’t affect most of the Volt owners and there will be very little maintenance for the vehicle since most of the time ICE is never turn on. The only thing car owner needed to do is chassis lubrication. You don’t tune-up your electric motor, you only replace the motor when it dead. My Volkswagen electrical problem causes lots of headache for me and for the repair shop. American and Japanese car seems to be less of a problem regarding to the electrical (electronics) system. I wish the best for the GM and here in China, car buyers regard Buick as the premium brand. Once again, good luck GM. sorry about my English, I wish I can write more. Bye for now

    Zhang from China


  83. 83
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:55 am)

    Statik 56 “Lyle basically drove a BEV, and not a original one either, just a converted model BEV. As comparison, Tesla went from sketch pad to working prototype of one of these in 6 months. On their timeline, week 10 probably saw them plunking their pack in a shell of another car like GM did here to see if it would move.”
    ___________________________

    Tesla has it’s vehicle in production with hundreds of owners. However, if you look at early footage of their test mules you will see a national correspondent riding in the Roadster when there is a clunk clunk sound, a sudden stop and the CEO saying don’t worry a tow truck will be here soon.

    Something like that’s the LAST thing GM needs with critics waiting to pounce. And lets face it, mules are meant to tease out this kind of problem BEFORE production, not to give out joy rides to supporters.

    Thanks Lyle, and kudos to GM for taking completely unprecedented risks to make it happen!


  84. 84
    Starcast

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:55 am)

    “- Considering that GM is looking at shrinking to less than 10 percent of its peak worker level, maybe the company should be renamed Private Motors.”

    Sorry they will still be GM (Government Motors)


  85. 85
    Lou S.

     

    Lou S.
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:56 am)

    Who is really going to buy a $30,000+ Chevy Volt from a near bankrupt company. The price is too high and I seriously question the reliability. I have owned five new Chevy in the past. My family now has a Honda Pilot and I am strongly considering the Honda Insight.


  86. 86
    sudhaman

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:58 am)

    great man keep up the good work hope a day comes when cadillac converj also u test drive


  87. 87
    Herm

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:59 am)

    We need to have a contest about this.. I say a sexy female voice comes on and tells you all systems are go.. maybe with a short inspirational message regarding oil usage and buy GM

    ……………………….

    #73 Michael Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 8:37 am

    LWesson@72 – I don’t think we need “engine noise,” but I think a ding or something when you push the “on button” would be good.


  88. 88
    thoughtadventure

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:00 am)

    I’ve encountered hills like that in Michigan. I’m very glad the Volt can handle it.


  89. 89
    Murray

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:01 am)

    Very cool…although I agree w/ Statik… until we get that video of the moment this thing swtiches over to the on-board ICE….that we really havent seen the true “Volt-tech”

    Either way its great to see the progress happening!


  90. 90
    RB

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:01 am)

    #54 Jim in PA said
    If the ICE transition is a problem, they should just use it to recharge the battery and not provide any juice directly to the electric motor. Then it truly would be seamless because there would be no transition. I wonder if GM is regretting not doing this. It sure seems like a simpler design. Can anyone tell me why this wasn’t done?

    #68 Bob S said
    Remember the ICE runs at fairly low RPM and is not connected to the drivetrain so there should be no reason for it to shake or vibrate the car. It is just an electric generator under the front hood. I imagine it is a fairly straight forward process that is not as high on the priority list and has therefore not been the focus so it is not yet ready.
    ——————————

    So my guess is that to charge the battery one has to use the ICE to run a generator that puts out a higher voltage than the battery voltage at that moment. (The higher voltage is what is going to make the generator charge the battery or run the traction motor without further discharging the battery or whatever.) Further, in this situation there has to be the capability of high currents, so one cannot smooth out the voltage with resistors and capacitors in the simple manner used in a low current device like a transistor radio. Also, I don’t know how the ICE is triggered, but I suppose it is possible for it to come on and off more than one time, near the point of transition.

    Whenever the ICE comes on, there is going to be a voltage change at the drive motor, most likely, as it switches from the battery to the ICE or as the voltage from the battery changes some. If that change is significant there is going to be a jerk or bump or something. Traditionally these kinds of changes have been overcome mechanically with flywheels or electrically with inductances, but it may be that the parts required are too big, in this situation. It is not such a bad thing, but probably noticeable and annoying. At least that’s my guess.

    I don’t see small jerks or bumps as any kind of fatal flaw, but obviously they happened with Bob Lutz to a degree that he commented on it, so it may be a big jerk, or just an annoyance, or maybe just a characteristic that one gets to know and love :)


  91. 91
    GMG

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:01 am)

    Test driving the Volt on hills is going to be the make or break for the vehicle! Seemed to do well in the video, but left area of concern for someone who commutes over summits. It is still better then that old 70 Chevy that would go ptptpt up the hill at 6-8 miles a gallon!

    Either way still is a great step in the right direction!

    Should be fun to drive. Correct me if I am wrong, but I have heard that acceleration junkies will have fun with how well the electric side accelerates?

    Peace


  92. 92
    catbert

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:03 am)

    I will buy one, and so will others I know. The bankruptcy should be resolved by then.


  93. 93
    GLV

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:05 am)

    At Last! Your test drive has come along… :)

    Good on ya Dr. Dennis!


  94. 94
    Dr.Science #11 on the list

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:09 am)

    Very impressive Lyle, so far its as advertised.
    Will the E-stop button on the dash be on the production model ?


  95. 95
    RB

     

    RB
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:11 am)

    #56 statik asks
    why suddenly do media rides in a unready car, after a year of not giving the media rides that were promised? Is it just for media attention in front of the financial events…or isn’t there any intention of giving out rides in the production intent car for a long time, so we better get people into whatever we have now to say they we have done it.
    —————————————

    It’s for media attention in front of financial events, that is, why GM is so important we have to give the corp X billion dollars once again.

    But whatever, we are glad Lyle got a ride and gave us a report. It remains a remarkable achievement.


  96. 96
    TDM

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:16 am)

    I actually like the refined looks of the Cruze interior much better than the white plastic look of the Volt’s interior…


  97. 97
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:19 am)

    #85 Lou S. Says:
    Who is really going to buy a $30,000+ Chevy Volt from a near bankrupt company.
    ==========================

    me


  98. 98
    DonC

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:23 am)

    #56 statik

    Sometimes your anti-GM bias is just a little too obvious. I don’t know what you have against the company but sometimes your criticisms go beyond reasonable. This is one such occasion. What’s the deal? Mitsubishi drives a rinky dink i-Miev, which will never sell in NA, around the block and you’re ga-ga. GM demonstrates a car that will sell and all you can do is complain that it hasn’t demonstrated all the features.

    My guess is that you’ve never developed new products. If you did then you would understand that is happening with the Volt is fairly standard. Production is still a year and a half away. If all the features were ready to go, which is what you seem to think is necessary, then it wouldn’t be eighteen months away it would be six months away. All things in their time.

    The other question of course is: Compared to what? At this point I don’t think any other company has even shown a E-REV concept. GM has a demonstration vehicle that is near production intent. If it wanted to, it could throw a few more kWh in the battery pack, assert that the range was now “100 miles”, blow the i-Miev away, and declare victory. But it has greater aspirations than this. It wants to go further and deliver a car than a great number of people would be willing to drive. Doing this will take a bit more time.


  99. 99
    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:23 am)

    I’m confused! I thought “D” mode stood for “Dennis,” and “L” mode is short for “Lyle.”

    Congrats on your access, Lyle, and thanks for the report!


  100. 100
    Dan Frederiksen

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:28 am)

    Jim, GM killed the EV1. I’m trying to restrain myself from calling you a long list of names for suggesting that GM was innocent in that. if they were they wouldn’t lie at every turn, they wouldn’t have started the Volt campaign two months after they were massively shamed in the documentary, they wouldn’t have been so eager to crush the cars, they wouldn’t have denied people’s requests to buy them instead of crushing them, they wouldn’t have taken the electronics out of the few remaining museum pieces to ensure they couldn’t drive, they wouldn’t have made them sign papers that they would never try to make them run again. they knew that any running on the road would be a constant reminder of the potential and they wanted to destroy that. as did all the satanic car makers.

    GM is as guilty as can be on the murder of the EV1.

    An EV1 style car would be great today but they’re not going to make that unless Obama gets his head out of his ass and insist because making such a car again would be an admission that it could work in the first place and despite all their damage control since then they haven’t actually admitted to any wrong doing on the EV1. they wanted to pretend that the Volt had been in the works for a long time and had nothing to do with the documentary but of course that’s a lie. it was a design concept they pulled out and called an electric car. it was never designed to be an electric car which is why it looked like the old US idiotic retro hotrod mentality.
    and if Lyle wasn’t the most naive person on the planet he would ask such questions.
    GM is still so wicked that in their mindless rush to do damage control after ‘who killed the electric car’ I’d bet it even came as a surprise to them that they actually had to build the volt they paraded to fool the public. and if it wouldn’t result in a nasty PR backlash and they weren’t hat in hand before Obama you could be pretty sure that they’d find an excuse to make the Volt go away again.

    what all you sheep don’t understand is that if we don’t ask the tough questions these assholes don’t move. The Volt is still way too conventional and way too late. It’s still an archaic cast iron freight train. a token movement by the stagnant minds. The EV1 was actually a genuine attempt at progress and we need a new version of that way more than this piece of shit to be frank.

    what we need is ultra light, lean, fast and agile commuters. something where the energy consumption is in stark contrast to normal cast iron cars. 10, 15, 20 times less energy, cheaper to make and with acceleration like ferraris. all of that is easily possible with electric drive. but it wont happen if you all applaud very poor effort. think people.

    the Volt is an electric motor in a normal massively overweight car, costing a hell of a lot and with a 4 year delay. at the rate of progress it wont make a difference.

    a modern built EV1 with a tiny potent lithium pack would be a smash hit. The Volt will be a token succes with the well off soccer moms. a small step from the Prius ultimately amounting to nothing. a huge betrayal of what is actually possible with electric drive.

    what we need and what is possible is a series of cars that is to a Cruze like a hitech racing bicycle is to a harley davidson motorcycle weight wise. a 4kg carbon bicycle can carry a person without any risk of breaking just as a 250kg harley can. and with a few kg more of electric motor and battery it can easily outperform a harley too. you might be an idiot and say but that’s no fun but when the new breed runs circles around the old wasters at a fraction of the cost, that old sound and polution will quickly be associated with crudeness just like a steam locomotive is now.

    verily I say onto you that a fully enclosed comfortable fast 4 seater electric car can be made lighter than just the unsprung mass (wheels and hub) of a Chevy Malibu.

    ask them if the Volt was damage control.
    ask them if the EV1 was killed for nefarious reasons
    insist on a new EV1

    think


  101. 101
    LeoK

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:29 am)

    Lyle – its about time – my mother always said ‘patience is a virture’ and ‘good things come to those who wait’. We’ll, most of us don’t have much patience and we can’t wait until November 2010!

    Well written review. Thanks for sharing your excitement and energy.


  102. 102
    ROBERT M. SPERRY

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:33 am)

    Congratulations, Lyle. We have awaited your report on the test drive with almost as much eagerness as you awaited the actual drive. Your report is excellent and we look forward to your next drive and to seeing the production Volt. It looks like everything is on track and on target. GO GM! GO VOLT! I can’t wait for my first drive.


  103. 103
    Van

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:36 am)

    What did we learn or confirm? The performance is great for an urban driving experience. GM will not allow an independent evaluator to confirm the AER.


  104. 104
    solo

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:37 am)

    Good Job and thanks for the video.

    2 questions:

    1. Who was holding the camera in the back seat.
    2. IF you drive in “L” mode and release the gas, does the brake light automatically come on? If you are stopping a lot faster than a normal car coasts, it might be a necessary safety enhancement to avoid rear-enders, not to mention the inevitable lawsuit against G.M.


  105. 105
    David K (CT)

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:38 am)

    I believe the remark regarding the “one foot driving” refers to the fact that you don’t have to depress the brake peddle to slow down.

    Maybe it should be referred to as one peddle driving. Just my opinion. Not sure I’m correct.

    p.s. I haven’t had a chance to read all the post, so I apologize in advance if someone else posted the same conclusion.


  106. 106
    RB

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:38 am)

    #98 DonC takes issue with statik and says GM demonstrates a car that will sell and all you can do is complain that it hasn’t demonstrated all the features
    ———————————————–

    Perhaps you would agree that the ICE integration is the main thing that makes the Volt design special (it is why the Volt is E-REV not just EV), so when the ICE transition is not demonstrated it is a bigger deal than a missing hubcap or some such :)


  107. 107
    DaV8or

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:40 am)

    Congratulations Lyle! Thanks for taking us on the ride. I share Static’s and others concerns about no one being allowed to experience the REV part of E-REV. I can’t imagine what would be so bad about it, but it must be significant. All it would take would be one journalist from a non enthusiast source to hear a clunk, or vibration, be unhappy with the experience in any way, and the wonder car that GM has staked it’s future on will become a liability. The Volt is the only forward looking vehicle it has. Take that away, and GM is just another average car company with a lot of baggage. For their survival, the Volt has to appear nearly flawless at all times.

    Is it just me, or do others really wish they could get their Volt with the Cruze interior? I think the Cruze interior is Sooooo much better looking and probably more functional.


  108. 108
    Disgustipated

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:42 am)

    I will never buy a Gov’t Motors vehicle……….ever. I was stoked about this car when it was first announced and watching this company help fleece the country has just done it in for me. As a matter of fact, I will never buy another vehicle from GM or Chrysler. Did I say never? I meant it.


  109. 109
    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:46 am)

    CONGRATULATIONS LYLE!!! (yes, I’m shouting). I can only imagine how great the feeling of personal accomplishment is. Reminds me of the movie Rocky in the last seconds of the fight where his wife says “He’s gonna DO it!”

    All I can say about statik’s posts today are that he lived up(?) to the Yin sign, with the little positive dot of Yang and the overwhelming dark side, I guess that’s my little dot of Yin showing through. Sorry, but this thread SHOULD be Lollipops and Rainbows. One day out of 900 threads wouldn’t be too much to ask. If the Volt was totally ready for prime time, they’d release it THIS year.
    Be well,
    Tag
    /sigh, he DID try….

    LJGTVWOTR!!********NPNS********Independence (from oil) Day, 2010


  110. 110
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:46 am)

    Steep roads of the world.

    http://www.geographylists.com/list17y.html

    Below is a listing of at least some of the streets in the US which are steeper than the steepest San Francisco streets.

    1. Honokaa-Waipio Road (near Waipio, HI, maximum grade 45%)*
    2. Canton Avenue (between Coast and Hampshire, Pittsburgh, PA, 37%)
    3. 28th Street (between Gaffey and Peck, Los Angeles, CA, 33.3%)
    4. Eldred Street (west of Avenue 48, Los Angeles, CA, 33%)
    5. Baxter Street (between Alvarado and Allesandro, Los Angeles, CA, 32%)
    5. Fargo Street (between Alvarado and Allesandro, Los Angeles, CA, 32%)
    5. Maria Avenue (north of Chestnut, Spring Valley (near San Diego), CA, 32%)
    8. Dornbush Street (between Bricelyn and Vidette, Pittsburgh, PA, 31.98%)

    * Four-wheel-drive only.


  111. 111
    Thomas Gilling

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:48 am)

    When will they let people drive the REAL Chevy Volt?


  112. 112
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:50 am)

    108.
    Disgustipated Says:
    I will never buy a Gov’t Motors vehicle……….ever. I was stoked about this car when it was first announced and watching this company help fleece the country has just done it in for me. As a matter of fact, I will never buy another vehicle from GM or Chrysler. Did I say never? I meant it.
    =============

    Never open a bank account either. Good luck shoving all your cash under your mattress. Oh and dont use anything made of steel either.


  113. 113
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:51 am)

    111 Thomas Gilling Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 9:48 am .When will they let people drive the REAL Chevy Volt?
    ——————-

    Integration vehicles (aka The Chevy Volt) are to be completed by 4th of July. Your guess is as good as any, when they will give public test drives.


  114. 114
    Larry Parylla

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    I did a quick scan of replies and it looks like you people don’t understand driving with one foot. It has nothing to do with left foot braking.

    I own a Lexus GS450H. and most of the time I can drive with one foot because of the strong regenerative breaking (I also owned a Lexus RX400H that did not have as strong of an aggressive regenerative stetting so it was able to coast further ). Driving with one foot refers to the fact that you don’t have to step on the brake very often. When I take my foot of the pedal the regen kicks in aggressively and slows down the car so rapidly that unless you need to come to a full stop there is no need to step on the brake

    The point is even though you use one foot for brake and accelerator there isn’t a need to step on the brake because usually the regen while coasting mode is slowing you down.

    EDIT

    It looks like post #16 understood one foot driving


  115. 115
    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    Dan @100:

    All I can say about that is ” where are your meds”. :)

    Conspiracy theory is a powerful drug.

    And lastly, the EV1 was a car. Nothing more. Last I checked, you can’t “murder” a car. At least not in my reality. Get a grip.


  116. 116
    betty

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:53 am)

    “unremarkable” really? that the world’s second largest automaker with dozens of mechanical engineers at their disposal can convert an existing car to electric that goes 15 miles, look I want GM to succeed as much as you do, but hundred’s of people have done conversions similar to this one just check out EVAlbum.com, yes the Volt is supposed to go 40 miles on electric, but the facts are that Lyle only went 15 (for whaterver reason) also they did not let him experience the generator kicking in, I mean that is their claim to fame, thank you GM for finally allowing Lyle to drive the mule, but that’s all it is just a converted Cruze, I just expect more out of a major automobile company that’s all


  117. 117
    W. Ford

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:58 am)

    Nice ride. I still do not agree with spending billions of taxpayers dollars for a vehicle that will not show a profit. The is a very expensive project and although it may save some fuel, having a fleet of highly efficient small gasoline engines would arguably save much more fuel at a much lower consumer cost.


  118. 118
    ThombDBhomb

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:01 am)

    I remember when automatic transmission gear shifts were not seamless. It wasn’t so bad. I suspect that GM is going for seamless when the ICE kicks on/in. That shouldn’t be an insurmountable engineering task. Unnoticeable? That might be tough. Hearing/feeling an engine start can be annoying, especially when you are camping.


  119. 119
    Brewster

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:01 am)

    My guess as to why they don’t demo the ICE startup has nothing to do with how well it transitions, but rather how often.

    I heard the GM guy mention very quietly that it can actually switch off after being on, and I have played with some controlling software that had that problem.

    When it reaches the transition point, it could cycle back and forth. It could be a real bear to work out the transition points, and exactly how much delay to have in the system to make it all work smoothly.

    And it would be different for every user, depending upon how you mash the accelerator, brake etc, and driving conditions would also affect it…

    All in all, a lot of tweaking.


  120. 120
    Adrian

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:02 am)

    #45, a car an every man can’t afford to buy.

    With inflation coming (maybe hyper inflation) and a long extended (thanks Obama) recession of another two years. This car will lose a lot of money after the initial buys. Here is hoping for bankrupcty, otherwise there might not be a GM left for gen 3… There are countless amounts of people who will walk away from a government owned GM. GM should fear this. Ford is a perfectly good alternative who didn’t run to the government for tax payer money.

    So sad to see such good work in the Volt be wasted on GM.


  121. 121
    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:05 am)

    W. Ford @117:

    If saving gasoline was the primary goal here, GM should put their Tahoe hybrid drive into all the trucks and big vehicles. My guess is that would save more gas than any other bulk change. Going from 12mpg to 20-22 mpg is a powerful mathematical reality.

    I don’t think the goal is to save gas. It’s to not use it at all, if possible. That won’t be cheap to develop and maintain our expected levels of comfort, acceleration, and safety.


  122. 122
    David K (CT)

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:07 am)

    k-dawg @ 97 says…

    #85 Lou S. Says:
    Who is really going to buy a $30,000+ Chevy Volt from a near bankrupt company.
    ==========================

    me

    —————————–

    Me too!


  123. 123
    frankyB

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:07 am)

    @ Statik

    I do understand what you are saying, but to go as far as saying it doesn’t work, I think this is wrong. I too would like to get review of the full experience.

    But I think it wouldn’t be prudent for GM to provide an experience that is not 90% close to the real thing. The same way they didn’t give any rides while they put the battery in the Malibu. We know it worked and we know it was far from the reality.

    We can say is the RE part work, that it is fully integrated. And they want to make sure is works in any situation the way it was intended too, making sure they won’t stay stuck while doing a demo, they want it almost production ready, like they just did for the EV part.

    Give them credit for at least sharing with us the development. Have you heard of Fisker lately? They are still suppose to start delivery by then end of this year and yet nothing filter much. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t work? May be, may be not.

    Your predictions on the financial aspect were dead on (almost scary), but for the Volt, they do deliver, ease off a bit ;) Today is a good day for the Volt ;) Let’s celebrate. ;)


  124. 124
    Rich Cook

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:10 am)

    Congratulations Lyle. GM will sell EVERY Volt they produce! With good reason. Customers win by having to buy little or no gasoline. Our nation wins by having one less reason to import foreign oil. Our environment wins because in EV mode Volt is a Zero Emission Vehicle.

    Provided all the credits apply, the cost of a Volt will be a reasonable <$30k and the electrification of transportation will be well underway. A MAJOR achievement in just two years. Well done Lyle & GM!


  125. 125
    Mike

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:10 am)

    Thanks for report but unless they get more mileage off pure electric than 40 and get cost down, both to be accomplished by Ford (Canada Magma deal) and China (BYD) consumers will not buy enough of the cars to make profitable. Again GM behing the curve.


  126. 126
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:11 am)

    119 Brewster
    When it reaches the transition point, it could cycle back and forth. It could be a real bear to work out the transition points, and exactly how much delay to have in the system to make it all work smoothly.
    ============

    All you need to do is set up the deadband. I’m guessing +-2% of the battery would give you a pretty aggressive deadband that would minimize gas use. But it may be too frequent, so they may go with say 5%. These are just guestimates.


  127. 127
    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:11 am)

    Adrian @120:

    If GM goes to bankruptcy, Ford will be at a real disadvantage. They will still be stuck with the legacy costs that GM just shed. Now that my favorite Pontiac is gone, as far as I’m concerned, bankruptcy is probably the best option. GM could rise quickly with the legacy issues resolved.

    I am sure Ford is watching closely.


  128. 128
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:19 am)

    120 Adrian
    Ford is a perfectly good alternative who didn’t run to the government for tax payer money.
    ==============

    Don’t worry. All they people they layed off are. Along w/the ones from every other car manufacturer. You’re going to pay for it one way or another. Get over it.


  129. 129
    Gary

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:22 am)

    After reading Lyle’s review and viewing the video, I somehow feel tempted to put a down payment on a Volt right now. :-)

    Anyways, as for the doubters on the ICE engine and generator not being ready… how about a year or so back then the :”Mali-Volts” were being tested? The media wasn’t allowed to drive those since I’m pretty sure that the experience would have been pretty dreadful compared to what Lyle experienced above due to lack of refinement.


  130. 130
    Jim in PA

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:23 am)

    #108 Disgustipated – KDawg left a few things off his list of goods you will have to do without in your quest to boycott government subsidized goods… The biggest one being FOOD. American farmers all deal with a fairly expansive system of subsidies. You’re gonna get mighty skinny, son.


  131. 131
    Evil Conservative

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:26 am)

    Nice.

    I now want one ………………… of those plug in Vue’s. Will fit my needs more then the Volt but we have to start somewhere.

    Thanks for your work Lyle.


  132. 132
    Don

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:31 am)

    Sounds good? But it can’t be . . . this guy says that plug-in vehicles are a scam:
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/133466-the-plug-in-vehicle-scam

    Perhaps you should explain to him why that is not true if it isn’t.


  133. 133
    N Riley

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:36 am)

    Well, finally Lyle you were able to give us your mule driving report. It was great. Thank you and thanks to GM. We all needed that.


  134. 134
    Steve

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:40 am)

    Seems like more support for the idea that GM is on the right track on what the car should be like. Except for plugging it in and using less gas it’s pretty much a normal car like everyone is already familiar with. Make it a good car that people like regardless of the powertrain.

    Be interesting to know how regeneration is handled with cruise control. Does it just coast or use regeneration to keep downhill speed from creeping up too high?


  135. 135
    Jim in PA

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:43 am)

    #100 Dan Frederiksen

    Just because GM temporarily killed THEIR electric car doesn’t mean that they killed THE electric car. Notice a recent flurry of companies developing electric cars? Yeah, me too. My point is that if electric cars are currently alive, then they obviously couldn’t have been killed in the first place. It’s just a shame that these companies don’t make a practical EV1-like car with a lithium cell, instead of expensive sports cars (Tesla), a wingless airplane (Aptera), and clown car (Mitsubishi).

    I do think your strong feelings on the matter are clouding your judgement, though. I would venture to guess that fewer than 1% of people on the street could explain what the EV1 was or know anything about it or the movie that you claim shamed a multi-billion dollar corporation into action. GM spent alot of money developing the EV1, it wasn’t economically viable at $80K a pop, and they wanted to destroy the models to make sure other companies didn’t reverse engineer their advances. Selfish yes, stupid maybe, but evil no. And the last time I checked, a company has the right to modify or cancel its own product line. That is not “Murder” as you call it. They weren’t destroying some else’s innovation.

    And finally on the issue of evil; You call GM evil, but the fact is that a corporation is a piece of paper. It can’t be evil. Only evil people can do actions in its name. And most of the people who made the bad EV1 decisions are gone, whereas many of the good EV1 engineers are currently working on the Volt program. So why demonize GM as it exists today?

    Let go of the hate… let go of the hate…


  136. 136
    GMFAN

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:44 am)

    Congrats Lyle!

    I hope you had a good experience. I hope to see you drive an integration vehicle and give us feedback on that too.

    Seems very similar to GM’s Fuel Cell Equinox and EV-1 (Both of which I have driven)

    Thanks for your great reporting!


  137. 137
    Jonathan Cassidy

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:47 am)

    Congratulations Lyle!

    Does the final system have a sweet spot for free wheeling? Can we expect to do pulse and glide?

    I want the Volt Gen.2 and the PUMA.

    Jonathan


  138. 138
    David K (CT)

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:48 am)

    Jim in PA @ 135

    Well said…especially the part about the “clown car (Mitsubishi).” :)


  139. 139
    Ron in Seattle

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:49 am)

    Lyle:

    Thank you for your wonderful report on the Volt. I am so excited to to be one of the first Volt owners. With all the terrible news about GM’s problems and future, you can’t imagine how it good it is to read something as positive and exciting about GM as your story is about your maiden voyage on the Volt!

    Thanks for your website and your tenacity to follow this storyh

    Ron in Seattle


  140. 140
    Lawrence

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:49 am)

    I don’t want to cut off the optimism here, but as Statik pointed out very clearly (@56), it’s a BEV-like test-drive.

    Again, I’m happy Lyle could get the benefit to experience a Volt Mule drive, but, in fact, we’re all here talking about an EREV right? So the question is not if the car might be able to perform in full electric mode, but what are the issues when the ICE carries on.

    I hope Lyle will get a second, and REAL, test drive. Get that test VOLT for a couple of DAYS, travel, charge it during night at home, measure electricity consumed for full charge, do all kind of stuff most VOLT buyer would typically do (shopping, mad driving, city-drive, car-wash,…). This car is designed for the mass right?

    Cheers

    Lawrence


  141. 141
    omnimoeish

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:50 am)

    Awesome Lyle. I am so glad you got such a complete documentation of the experience with the videos and all of your questions were very helpful. I think a lot of us have been waiting for you to get a test drive so that we can get a experience like this, with all of the juicy details that we would ask, not just general ones that we all know like “so what does range extended mean?”

    From the article,
    Both gave the same acceleration, but when you step off the accelerator you get strong regenerative drag if in L and coast in D, the former being best for city driving. As Greg said this could allow you to drive with one foot.

    I found this interesting. I wonder if people will like this option, or find it confusing and “newfangled” or something. The driving with one foot, I assume you mean “one pedal” as someone else noted, almost all cars are automatics and thus driven with one foot.

    I wonder if that will present problems when people have to get used to their ICE cars again after commuting to work in their Volts. They might forget to brake, thinking the car is going to slow down for them. I can see a lot of Volt drivers rear ending people when they get in their other car.

    About the fact that the heater is electric. I don’t think anyone realizes how nice that will be to have instant heat. You get in the car on a cold morning. Not only will your car start right up, but your heater will be flooding the cabin with heat INSTANTLY, you don’t have to wait for the engine to heat up.


  142. 142
    Anthony BC

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:52 am)

    Gag-order lifted!

    Alright Lyle!

    GO EV!


  143. 143
    V=IR

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:01 am)

    Dan @100:

    All I can say about that is ” where are your meds”. :)
    Conspiracy theory is a powerful drug.

    And lastly, the EV1 was a car. Nothing more. Last I checked, you can’t “murder” a car. At least not in my reality. Get a grip.
    _________

    I was thinking: “You had me at ‘satanic car makers’.


  144. 144
    HowtoSaveGM

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:11 am)

    Nice to see Volt in action. As I’ve noted before on this site, GM really needs to get an early adopter program going to accept customer financing or prepayment for future deliverable on the VOLT.

    Every auto manufacturer in the World is now riding hard and fast on GM’s tail to out execute with plug-in, so I am glad GM is taking time to get it right, despite the troubles… But first mover only goes so far in this cut-throat industry. What GM needs is full force and might of the US government. -And thats what they got right now. :-) Best thing that could have ever happened. -Levels the playing field.

    I gaurantee you the Germans in particular are crapping in their ‘goosestepping’ boots at the thought of a highly engaged and heavy monetary supporting US Govt backed Auto Industry. -Dat button needs to be pushed A LOT harder.

    The Germans, French, Italians, Japanese, Koreans (and soon, Chinese) don’t fight fair when it comes to their Auto Industries. The STATE does the fighting for them.

    Now’s its time for the US to support GM to get lean, mean and out in the marketplace to kick some serious competitor a$$. I aint talkin about $15B bailout, I’m talking about $150-200B or more of seed capital to get several generations ahead with proprietary technologies to start knocking people out. If you fight with your State as a major shareholder, we can play that game too, and win.


  145. 145
    Edwin Mang

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:22 am)

    49% government and GM has about 58% chance at this moment of avoiding bankrupsey and getting stock value to the point I can get my Volt II . I had a chevey II Nova .

    God Bless


  146. 146
    N Riley

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:23 am)

    From the report: “The car had no trouble making it to the top, and with it floored could hit about 50 mph.”
    ——————-

    That part worries me some. My grand kids have electric 4-wheelers and I notice they lose a lot of momentum going up slopes. Not steep slopes, but gentle slopes. If Lyle had the accelerator floored and could only achieve 50 mph, what does that say about driving in hilly country? We have some hills that the slope up them are 3/4 to a mile in length. And I don’t live in really hilly country. What about traveling up mountains? Pike’s Peak? This leaves a big question mark. GM needs to do some mule testing at Pike’s Peak and publish the results. Get some real world experience. And soon, GM. While you still have time to fix the problem, if there is one.


  147. 147
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:29 am)

    Hmm….
    So there there is no pump for the brakes per the dude in the passenger seat, it’s all electric?
    That’s new to me.
    Did you guys know that?


  148. 148
    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:30 am)

    N Reily@146 re “Uphill” speed

    I noticed that too, but hope that with the lower coef of drag it should improve. Also, there were at least 3 people in the car for the drive. Maybe one was Yabba the Hut.
    Be well,
    Tag


  149. 149
    Dave99

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:31 am)

    :)


  150. 150
    Dave99

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    147. CaptJackSparrow

    … per the Ford Escape hybrid and Toyota Prius, regen braking is used up until the power limit for the drive motor/generator is met, and then traditional mechanical brakes take over. so as long as you don’t slam on the brakes, you’ll use primarily regen.

    (small caveat – the mechanical brakes are often used at the very lowest speeds as well because they have more precise control and can deliver a smoother feel, but this is likely ~5mph and under where there is not significant kinetic energy anyways)


  151. 151
    wbk

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:37 am)

    To bad the company (GM) will be bankrupt and out of business before this cars even makes it off the assembly line. I love this line from HowtosaveGm, I had to LMAO on this one.
    “Every auto manufacturer in the World is now riding hard and fast on GM’s tail to out execute with plug-in, so I am glad GM is taking time to get it right, despite the troubles”
    The only company playing catch up is GM and every other american auto maker.
    And the car(VOLT) is over priced compared to current hybrids from Toyota and Honda. Maybe this car will see the light of the day once a foreign buyer comes along and buys GM.

    Thats about the only good thing to come out of this.

    And for the statement for our govt to put 150B into a dysfunctional car maker, thats just simple ignorance. Govts of other countries put little to no money into auto makers. And if you have ever been to china and drove a chinese car, which I have, they are death traps and the least of our worries at this point.

    But one thing you can count on, is that if the chinese do make a knock off of the VOLT. Its probably going to be better than the american/canadian/mexico made product from GM.

    Why anyone contiues to support a company that crushed the only electric car EV1, is beyond me. The excuses are mind boggling coming from GM. Funny how people forget so quick and forgive a company so fast.

    I use to drive GM products since I was 16. And in my 30′s I wised up and started driving toyota(prius) and inifiniti(G35) products, right about the time GM crushed all those EV1′s.

    I have little faith that this car will be a success.


  152. 152
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:38 am)

    @N Riley 146

    “What about traveling up mountains? Pike’s Peak?”

    Yeah, that one kind of concerns me too. Not necessarily pikes peak but I5 on the “Grapevine” in SoCal. I would guess the Genset running with the battery will fix that but for the small hill he drove on and the fact he was floored on the pedal at 50MPH doesn’t bode well for I5 traffic on the Grapevine. Hopefully the genset will improve that. If not then bump the genset to a 75KW (get an xtra 26.834HP)rating instead of the 53KW.

    Thatill giterdone!


  153. 153
    Steve D.

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:40 am)

    When the Volt prototype rolled out I was all hyped-up about the car. Then as it evolved into the current design I cooled to the car. I doubt I will by a Volt until they come up with a winning design and not a Honda or Toyota knock-off.

    You all go buy your Volts and I will continue to drive my 98 C5 Corvette that gets 29.8 MPG on long trips….the secret is to stay off the LOUD pedal.


  154. 154
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:44 am)

    @Dave99 150

    I dunno dude. Lyle said specifically about the pumps and he said no, it’s electric.
    OK, so not enough to come to a real conclusion so I’ll apply my philosify of….
    If the Beers cold (the brakes work)…………..phukit (fogettaboutit).


  155. 155
    Brian

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:45 am)

    Breaking news: AP sources: Gov’t, Chrysler lenders reach deal – No bankrupcty.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_chrysler


  156. 156
    StevePA

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:52 am)

    Re: Lack of engine sounds…

    20 years or so down the road…Will be interesting to see what Hollywood does to achieve the excitement / tension / fun of movies like Bullit, Christine, assorted Bandits, Generals, CARS, Grand Prix, etc with no-tranny cars that go Hummmmm.
    As someone posted several weeks ago, there’s just nothing like the rebel howl of a cranked V-8 in full song.
    Oh well. Small guilty pleasure to give up for the benefit of cleaner air and not sending your kids off to fight for oil.
    Keep up the good work GM, and good luck.


  157. 157
    Dave99

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:56 am)

    154. CaptJackSparrow

    I don’t know what’s under the hood of the Volt mules … but that information was directly from a Ford engineer who worked on brakes for the Escape hybrid. he said they had to have the mechanical braking performance for safety reasons, as there is a much higher brake power limit on your disc brakes than on a motor/generator brake.

    of course with a bigger motor/generator in the Volt than the Escape or Prius (I think it is much bigger at least because it provides all traction power v. only a portion), it may be possible that the power limit is sufficiently high enough to use only regen.


  158. 158
    fas

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    Makes me wonder what if GM launch a hybrid Cruze? Instant success, you bet!


  159. 159
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:03 pm)

    Thanks for the peak motor output specs. Back of the napkin time:

    The Volt you tested, based on your reported specs, has 81% the peak output to weight (curb weight plus driver, guessing your mule’s weight at 3,500 pound) of my electric vehicle, so I’d expect a 0-30 mph time of about 3.8 seconds (so a 0-60 mph time of about 8 seconds, with is a little faster than a guesstimated average time of 8.4 seconds for the average 2009 vehicle model, such as a Jetta TDI or a Tacoma pickup) from that Volt, assuming a single electric drive gear ratio for maximum US speed limit plus 10 mph (mine has a different top speed, so a different ratio). A different gear ratio would provide different results on both low end launch and top speed, for sure. Peppiest at the start and when accelerating (instant response). Yep, sounds about right for electric drive. If the mule’s curb weight is a few hundred pounds more than I guessed, then an average 0-60 mph time, but quicker than average launch and acceleration initiation in general due to electric drive maximum torque at 0 rpm and all times to max power, would result, which seems plausible based on my real world commuting experience with highway capable electric vehicles. The description of the drive seems to be consistent with my napkin work.

    “Instant silent and sustained torque ensued. The car had considerable brisk acceleration and power … The bottom line is that the car was a solid, pleasant, agile and sporty compact sedan. It handled and behaved like any car in its category should. It was as its own chief engineer Andrew Farah says, “unremarkable.” I would expand that to remarkably unremarkable. Unremarkable in that the average driver would experience driving it as they would any other small sporty sedan.”

    In other words, it could mostly emulate (no completely disguising the capabilities of electric launch, accerelation and regenerative deceleration) crappy full gasser performance so that the average driver didn’t have to adjust to new driving possibities and techniques only possible with electric drive. I understand that’s what needed in generation one to wean the thumbsucking public off of pure gassers onto electric vehicles. But, I’m looking forward to when the public appreciates that some of the differences to electric are improvements, so that manufacturers can start installing proper perfromance components, tweaking the vehicle drive management for more performance and drivers learn techniques that will showcase the strengths of electric drive.

    My vehicle actually has an option to dampen the electric drive effects so that it feels more like the repeated pregnant pause, sluggish reposonse of a full gasser for those who can’t handle the high performance acceleration/deceleration of unmediated electric drive. I wonder if the Volt does the same?

    Utterly silent? They muffled the utterly cool and unique space fighteresque turbine like effect of the electric motor? Bummer.

    Make mine the OFL-FC model (off the line Ferarri crusher), 140 peak kw electric motor, gear ratio maximized for dead stop launch and top speed limited to 90 mph for maximum off the line punch. I also want the electric motor noise amplified to 92 db onto external speakers at the front of the car. Yee-Haw! Stop Light Grand Prix, here I come. Tire manufacturers better step up to the plate – they now appear to be the likely weakest links in getting some long tire mileage out of forthcoming performance electric vehicles.

    Personally, I don’t cares how it operates with the range extender, since it’s 100% electric drive all the time, what the tester experienced is how it performs. Range extended operation simply generates energy from the efficient, non-drive engine to ultimately use for the electric drive, so whatever. I’ve seen trains get ready to go up a very long upgrade, so I get the general idea. No big whoop.

    Re: seamless. Existing hybrids with the ICE integrally attached to the drivetrain are already seamless, so the engineers should be able to modify existing knowledge easily and appropriately, assuming they haven’t already years/decades ago.

    By the way, no big whoop is a huge gold star for the engineers that created that final perception. It seems that based on this drive that the Volt is ready for mainstream production immediately, and performance models (for a halo with little devil horns) at any time desired.

    hint: Always use L. It uses the performance capabilties of regenerative braking. D is lame. L will automatically teach drivers how to use an accelerator pedal properly and mindfully.


  160. 160
    vincent

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:05 pm)

    I noticed a red 2010 Camaro go by in the opposite lane.
    I too want to see more driving in a mountain setting.

    Hopefully there is a “mode” to place the generator in to boost output to the electric motor. There should be a set up where the battery and generator feed the electric drive so more than enough power is there if wanted. I’m sure you will still be getting 75MPG in this mode so kick it in and make it an option.
    I appreciate that GM is trying to make it as efficient as possible…however no one has all the answers. This is a good time to see others input and learn from it. Make a change for steep terrain and let the efficient generator kick in. Hope you see this Fritz and make the “BOOST MODE” a driver option at will. Don’t forget the CONVERJ I’m sure the Caddy will have this but don’t make that your “selling” point difference.
    GREAT Job Lyle. Thanks! :)


  161. 161
    eightzero

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:06 pm)

    Somewhere there must be a smart marketing person that can draft some sort of escrow/deposit agreement for advance purchase of a Volt. Lemme get this right:

    1. GM is having money trouble;
    2. There are many people that wish to buy a GM Volt;
    3. Many people that wish to buy a Volt have money;
    4. GM is promising Volt will be available in late 2010;
    5. If GM had some money now, delivery of the Volt would be more certain.

    Hmmm….


  162. 162
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    @Dave99 157

    Dude, if you take another class like the ones you mention, can you ask this question. I just want to see what they say….

    On regenerative braking, what is the voltage generated from the drive motor plotted on a rpm to volts or MPH to Volts chart and show at what point does the generated voltage ||=Traction Battery Voltage or less. (i.e ||=Traction Battery Voltage, means absolute generated voltage = Traction Battery Voltage and means the recapturing to store of any energy is no longer applicable to the battery charge.)

    Just curious.


  163. 163
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:08 pm)

    Dave99 / CaptJack regarding brakes,

    I caught that in the video too, and from that, i’m guessing the feeback signal from the brake pedal is electric. The signal then controls the regen braking and the mechanical braking. Is the mechanical braking still hydraulic? Do you still need brake fluid? Interesting….


  164. 164
    Dave99

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    159. EVO

    “Re: seamless. Existing hybrids with the ICE integrally attached to the drivetrain are already seamless, so the engineers should be able to modify existing knowledge easily and appropriately”

    very good point


  165. 165
    solo2500nt

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:11 pm)

    100 Dan Frederiksen

    1: You need to be taken into custody and be evaluated before being released into your community.

    2: The 50 pound car you are dreaming up in your mind is not possible with current technology and the evil bad government scientists at area 51 are keeping all that cool space alian technology for themselves.

    3: If you are so convinced this dream machine is possible and marketable:
    – why aren’t other companies building and selling it?
    – why aren’t YOU building it and selling it?

    From what I see, 1 company has built a new EV-1, It’s called a Tesla.

    - It costs 100,000 grand, about the same as an EV-1 cost G.M. to build in adjusted dollars.
    - It’s range is grossly over estimated by it’s manufacturer, like the EV-1.
    - It takes all day to charge up, like the EV-1
    - It is a toy for the wealthy to green wash themselves, like the EV-1.

    Noboby to buy a car they can’t refill (or recharge) on the road quickly. Only the rich who have multiple cars are going to buy a pure electric vehicle with current battery technology.


  166. 166
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:17 pm)

    @Electric Vehicle Owner 159

    You know what, you remind me of someone who tested his regenerative brake settings on the freeway for “when foot removed from pedal” setting and found the massive braking occurence shoking to a point of scaring you that you might get rearended on the freeway.
    Are you who I think you are? I won’t give names.


  167. 167
    KUD

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:18 pm)

    Lyle

    Congrats.

    And thank you for sharing with the rest of us that are waiting to hit the showrooms for our own test drive and more importantly our GAS FREE drive to work.


  168. 168
    Greg Simpson

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:18 pm)

    Comparing GM’s hill with a 16.5% grade to the Pike’s Peak road, which has a maximum grade of 10% and an average of 7%, I don’t think the Volt will have any trouble there. I was impressed by the 50 mph speed Lyle reported.


  169. 169
    Dan Frederiksen

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:21 pm)

    Jim, the way you know you’re wrong is that you try to pretend that attempted murder isn’t as bad as murder. and it’s no excuse that it’s a family member either.

    and while it’s true that a lot of you red state chip foose watching nitwits are entirely clueless about the crime because you like your super hick trucks and your dumbass V8s and electric cars are just liberal haisteria, the documentary was seen by just enough of the right people for GM to panic. they knew that even you shitheads would slowly drag along for the ride if the more intelligent masses cried foul so they hurried some damage control. Lyle probably wont ask GM about it because he has the 3 little monkeys on his dashboard.

    and I could tell you about evil and the way it works and how it permeates all your lives but it would take a lot more mental composure than you have going right now for you to understand it.

    and btw, nothing significantly wrong with the Aptera other than it’s not quite for sale yet. it has the kind of pure pursuit of improvement we need. but I guess that abstract concepts such as energy efficiency is overshadowed in your corn-fed mind by the immediate visual impression that leaves you with only one question, where do we put the hay bales.
    and while the tesla is way overweight and quite conventional in shaping it was however part of the trifecta that changed the world in 2006 along with the two documentaries.
    your assessment of the Mitsubishi is similarly inept.

    while I am a genius and you are a moron, you do however have the same God given potential to think as I do. I suggest you start using it and put away that urge you have just like on saturday night at the local bar when the guy at the next table says he drives a Ferguson tractor and you don’t like that.


  170. 170
    DonC

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:22 pm)

    Not to hijack a wonderful and informative thread, but Chrysler seems to have a deal with its bondholders. In a better position than the GM bondholders, the Chrylser bondholders appear to have taken roughly 28 or 29 cents on the dollar — cash. As they say, in these times cash is king.

    Contrary to what some have said, the offer to the GM bondholders, while certainly low, doesn’t seem all that far off the mark. More to come.


  171. 171
    coffeetime

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:26 pm)

    Congrats, Lyle, and thanks for posting the video (I’ve already emailed the link to several people I know). Hopefully once GM tweaks the ICE, they will feel comfortable releasing the car to reporters (and certain bloggers, we hope) for an extended test drive over the course of several days. I’m really curious how the 40 mile electric range will hold up in extreme weather (hot and cold).

    I’ve never owned a GM vehicle in my life (let’s see, 3 Fords, a VW, a Toyota, 2 Hondas, a Jeep, a Chrysler and a Dodge – all bought new), but the Volt might change that.


  172. 172
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    #54
    Jim in PA

    “If the ICE transition is a problem, they should just use it to recharge the battery and not provide any juice directly to the electric motor. Then it truly would be seamless because there would be no transition. I wonder if GM is regretting not doing this. It sure seems like a simpler design. Can anyone tell me why this wasn’t done? Is it because the battery can’t recharge fast enough to keep up with the depletion rate while driving?”
    ______________________
    The idea behind Volt charge sustaining was covered by Greg Ceisel in the video.


  173. 173
    Gas Electric Volt

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    Awsome review Lyle !

    Looking forward to more of them in the future !

    Thanks.


  174. 174
    Dan Frederiksen

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    solo2500nt (165), if the unsprung mass on a Chevy Malibu is 50lbs you can slap my ass and call me betty. a Malibu has 4 wheels. I know it’s a tricky thing.


  175. 175
    Marcus R. (WL #5275)

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:30 pm)

    Yay! Congrats Dr. Dennis. Now start a list for the rest of us to get test drives :D


  176. 176
    Ed

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:32 pm)

    This is great, I have a co-worker who has a civic-hybrid the car dies on 7% grades.

    Ed


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:32 pm)

    @jeffhre 172

    Electrically speaking it does that. I think Dave G has the diagram that does it. The only thing GM did was to not allow the juice from the genset to “Fully” charge the traction battery. I think as it is wired, it will run parallel to the battery and juice will be sucked from both sources. However, I also agree that not allowing the genset to fully charge the batts is a missed opportunity for GM. But i’m dure it’s just a matter of flashing the binaries in the controllers to make that adjustment.


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    DonC

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:36 pm)

    #146 N Riley & #148 Tagamet & #152 CaptJackSparrow

    Relax guys. This was as 16.5% grade. Roads don’t have grades like this. For example, Grapevine is a 6% grade. Since the power needed to go up an incline is strictly linear (it’s just Gravity X Mass X Incline), you’d have almost three times more power on the steepest of highways than you would on this test hill.

    My guess is the only time you see something like this is a driveway in the mountains or very hilly country, and you probably wouldn’t want to be going 55 up that in any event. Well, maybe Capt Jack would after a few beers … LOL


  179. 179
    Unni

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:37 pm)

    Great !!! .. Thanks Lyle ,it was good :-)

    Lyle: from one of your questions asked: about the breaks : Do this means that Volt does not have break pads or shoes ? .

    What i understood is the complete stop is using electric motors applied with reverse current which will act as generator and by increase of current , a complete stop on wheels are achieved.

    How the back wheels are stopped ? do they have re-gen motors attached ? does this means than volt has 2 ( front 1 – drive one and back 1 small ) electric motors or 3( front 1 – drive one , back 2 small ) electric motors ?

    If so with software tweak , Do volt is a 4×4 with out extra cost ?


  180. 180
    BILL MEYER

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:37 pm)

    ANY UPDATE IF THEY WILL ACCEPT YOUR LIST,FOR VOLT SENORITY IN ORDERING.


  181. 181
    Mike

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:40 pm)

    I so want to get one of these cars but I’m so scared that the price point will just be far too high. Most current “hybrids” cost more than the gas versions so that it takes years to recoup the extra cost. I know this isn’t exactly the same but if it costs what I’ve seen it might, it will seriously reduce the number of people who buy one.

    And as for the “one foot” comment.. Think of it as one pedal instead. No need to brake since the regenerative drag will slow you down.


  182. 182
    LauraM

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:45 pm)

    Congratulations Lyle! And thank you (and GM) for a “good news” post. I think we needed it right about now.

    And 50 mph on an 16.5% grade hill is very impressive.

    #151 wbk

    You do realize that every car manufacturer had an electric car? And they all pulled the plug on the program. GM tried the hardest, put the most money into it, and got the furthest. And, when they finally ended the program because it was too expensive–they’re the ones who get the blame.


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    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:45 pm)

    170 DonC Says:
    Chrylser bondholders appear to have taken roughly 28 or 29 cents on the dollar — cash.
    ———-

    I think 225 shares of GM or ($420) for every $1000 is a decent offer. Even if the UAW does get a bigger stake. Hopefully it goes thru, but 90% of the bondholders is a high number.


  184. 184
    Dave99

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:48 pm)

    162. CaptJackSparrow

    I believe the voltage output is generator-specific (generator being the traction motor ran backwards), aka the internal coil windings can be configured to be within the voltage range you want. I don’t know what a typical speed-voltage relationship would look like, though.

    In order to be putting energy into the battery, your motor output voltage must be greater than the battery voltage, otherwise no current will flow.

    as far as graphical relationships are concerned, I believe electric motors are generally charaterized like these more-or-less generic torque/power curves provided by Tesla:
    http://evme.com.au/performance/power

    and some useful equations:
    power (mechanical) = torque * speed
    power (electrical) = voltage * current

    … the mech. power into the motor is equivalent to the electrical power out (minus some efficiency losses)

    163. k-dawg

    good point. could be brake-by-wire, but the a computer controlled mechanical brake if there is one.

    mechanical braking = hydraulic / vacuum assisted disc or drum brakes (with a rare few exceptions on passenger vehicles)


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    statik

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:49 pm)

    #56 statik

    Sometimes your anti-GM bias is just a little too obvious. I don’t know what you have against the company but sometimes your criticisms go beyond reasonable. This is one such occasion. What’s the deal? Mitsubishi drives a rinky dink i-Miev, which will never sell in NA, around the block and you’re ga-ga. GM demonstrates a car that will sell and all you can do is complain that it hasn’t demonstrated all the features.

    My guess is that you’ve never developed new products. If you did then you would understand that is happening with the Volt is fairly standard. Production is still a year and a half away. If all the features were ready to go, which is what you seem to think is necessary, then it wouldn’t be eighteen months away it would be six months away. All things in their time.

    The other question of course is: Compared to what? At this point I don’t think any other company has even shown a E-REV concept. GM has a demonstration vehicle that is near production intent. If it wanted to, it could throw a few more kWh in the battery pack, assert that the range was now “100 miles”, blow the i-Miev away, and declare victory. But it has greater aspirations than this. It wants to go further and deliver a car than a great number of people would be willing to drive. Doing this will take a bit more time.
    ============

    Do you have this post on a clipboard and just rearrange petty adjectives and comments to try and get me to respond? It is not necessary, I can/will respond to calm, well articulated comments directed to me in exactly the same way.

    Onto your post…
    I don’t know why you think it is not acceptable for me to be unhappy about a year and a half of mules and GM still saying the ‘Rev’ part of E-Rev is still not ready.

    Also, again with the iMiev? How many times are you going to reference that, even when it appears no where else in a thread and is jejeune to the topic?

    I have made no bones about the fact that if the iMiev and the Volt where both in front of me and for sale, I would buy the iMiev…thats my personal preference. My first choice is a pure EV.

    But if you are going to put the iMiev back at me like it is a scarlett letter to not have the Volt as my number 1 choice, and then try to say that “I don’t understand,” and also that the stage GM is at is fairly standard for being 18 months out” then a contradiction is upon us.

    The iMiev (as a example you brought up) has had a working protoype almost identical to the concept since early 2006 (after debuting a WORKING concept in 2005). Thats a full 3+ years ahead of production. And they have had a internal test fleet going for 2 years, and a commercial test fleet in operation for 15 months now. That is how you build cars.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:51 pm)

    @DonC 178

    So if he had the accelerator slammed then it is assumed there was the 150HP applied. This equates to 112KW or 400VDC drawing 280A for the uphill climb. Man that’s a lot of juice. Which tells me that the batt pack runs at 70C which is a crazy high rating. That is assuming the rating of a 400VDC batt pack rated at 40A is correct. I think it’s closer to a 400VDC rated at 80A for a more reasonable 35C but still extremely high. Someone needs to clarify this,
    GM, what say YOU?!?!?


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    Dave99

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    179. Unni

    see post 150. to read what we know about other hybrids


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    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    178 DonC

    Read my post at 110. They do exist. But i assume rare. There’s a road outside my office that is 30degrees, but its only about 1 block long.


  189. 189
    coffeetime

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:53 pm)

    Interesting reading about the “two-speed” regen brakes. I wonder if GM is looking into regen shocks?

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/02/12/mit-students-develop-shocks-that-generate-electricity/


  190. 190
    MetrologyFirst

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:57 pm)

    Dan @ 169:

    Way to go. You just insulted everyone on the planet! I didn’t think it possible in so few words! You are obviously really smart!

    BTW: Your in over your head, dude, as far as intellect goes, on this board. You clearly have no idea who hangs around here.

    I don’t think anymore info needs to be offered.

    This is not the typical mindless chatter you see elsewhere. Now go off and find someone somewhere else to insult. We, quite simply, don’t care.

    I still am uncomfortable, though, with you thinking its possible to murder a car…..


  191. 191
    Dave99

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    184. Dave99

    c’mon, get your sources right. that wasn’t a link to Tesla’s power/torque curves, this is:
    http://www.teslamotors.com/performance/acceleration_and_torque.php


  192. 192
    statik

     

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     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    #185 Statik (me)

    Sorry I forgot the header, that comment was in replay to DonC in # 98…looks like I am responding to myself, lol.


  193. 193
    Dave99

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    192. statik

    a coincidence that we both reply to our own posts within a minute of each other? haha


  194. 194
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    @Dave99 184

    “In order to be putting energy into the battery, your motor output voltage must be greater than the battery voltage, otherwise no current will flow.”

    That’s where I am trying to get some figures on the threshold in MPH where it is “Regenerative to store/recapture energy” and the point where it is “Regenertaive for brake purposes only”.
    You’ve spun a generator before, most people know how one works. In order for you to achive high voltage, rpm must be high. Knowing you can not dynamically re-wire an operating coil for higher voltages, it is safe to assume that the motor used has a threshold, exactly where that is depends on the motor and no mfgr releases that info. I think Electric Car Owner knows but it would be specific to his AC Induction motor.

    My hypothesis is that 35MPH and under is “Regenertaive for brake purposes only” and anything over 35MPH is “Regenerative to store/recapture energy”.


  195. 195
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    @k-dawg 188

    Yeah, take a drive through San Francisco (Where the women are strong and the men are pretty). Lots of steep grades,not long but sh|t man, enough to make you sweat the climb or drop.


  196. 196
    statik

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:10 pm)

    #193 Dave99 Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    statik – a coincidence that we both reply to our own posts within a minute of each other? haha
    ===============

    ..so that is how you spell reply, lol


  197. 197
    Jay

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:11 pm)

    Cool!! Congratulations!


  198. 198
    BenHead

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    Freaking.
    Awesome.

    I am so glad to hear that you found its handling to be good. Personally, I’ll take a sports car’s handling over a muscle car’s power any day, so after an earlier report said it didn’t take the curves so good, I was worried.

    Now the next thing for us all to clamor for is when we can ALL test drive it at our local dealers!!


  199. 199
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:23 pm)

    The interior of the new Chevy Cruze looks great. I noticed that the steering wheel has similar audio controls on it like the new Camaro.

    I’m sure that the ‘transition’ that occurs when the ICE starts up is going to be quite similar to the gas engine start up on the 2-mode Tahoe or Silverado. I work with those vehicles and it is hardly noticable. Much like a soft shudder when a regular car changes from 3rd to 4th gear.

    It was exciting to see the VOLT/Cruze in action. It certainly proves that Chevrolet can have an EREV vehicle without all the expensive add-ons and still have a very nice, AFFORDABLE electric car.

    With all of the mule development under their belts, it almost makes more sense for GM to roll out the Cruze EREV first.

    I’m sure everyone here is jealous of Lyle’s ride.
    Great job!


  200. 200
    statik

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:24 pm)

    Side note on GM dealers:

    GM had a video conference call with its dealers this morning and told 1,000+ of them they were done…letters in the mail I suppose.
    ————-
    “In addition, the company expects to lose 500 Hummer and Saturn dealers when the brands close or are sold, and it expects 400 dealers to close voluntarily. Another 500 would be consolidated into other dealers”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/GM-to-force-more-than-1000-apf-15057408.html?.v=6


  201. 201
    Evil Conservative

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:28 pm)

    200 posts by 1:30?!?! This could be a record thread.


  202. 202
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    We hit a thousand a few month back, but not by 1:30.


  203. 203
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:35 pm)

    I give up. I can’t read all the entries before posting, you guys are too fast for me.

    Congratulations, Lyle; and well deserved.

    I like the choice between power-off drag and coasting; I got used to shifting into neutral on hills during last summer’s $4 gas. My only beef is with the choice of the letters “D” and “L” to describe the modes. I would have thought that “D” stood for “Drag,” not “roll when you release the accelerator” (and who knows what “L” might stand for?). Do you know what their reasoning is? (Beyond “Dennis” and “Lyle,” of course :-) !)

    I agree that the Cruze version looks much more like something I would buy and drive than the gee-whiz plastic-touch-panel Volt. Maybe this would be a way to go for a cheaper EREV20 version sometime later?

    I look forward to actually watching the video tonight (can’t really devote a full 10 minutes to it, now).

    =====

    Newbies: Most of us have been waiting for this day for a couple of years, and in that time you cannot conceive of how sick and d@mn tired we have all become of EV1 conspiracies. The car couldn’t pay it’s way, so it didn’t stay. The Volt is EV1′s direct descendant.

    (Movie promo announcer dude): “EV1 is back. And this time, it’s Rad.


  204. 204
    noel park

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:42 pm)

    Well done Dr. Dennis

    Did anybody notice that consumer confidence was up 12 points in April, to the highest point since November? The largest monthly increase since November 2005. Just a little more good news. Enjoy!


  205. 205
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:44 pm)

    #177
    CaptJackSparrow.
    Electrically speaking it does that. I think Dave G has the diagram that does it. The only thing GM did was to not allow the juice from the genset to “Fully” charge the traction battery. I think as it is wired, it will run parallel to the battery and juice will be sucked from both sources. However, I also agree that not allowing the genset to fully charge the batts is a missed opportunity for GM. But i’m dure it’s just a matter of flashing the binaries in the controllers to make that adjustment.
    _________________
    I could rely on the default position here and say in today’s world it’s easier to replenish gas/E85 on the road than electrons. But I actually do prefer the Voltec solution here. Use Gas/E85 only to extend the range and grid electrons to replenish the battery. It’s much more efficient, measured well to wheel.

    It may not be the most elegant solution viewed comprehensively from an engineered point of view, but getting to a plug with the least battery charge possible, will not only be most efficient, it will also tend to use the least gas possible.

    /don’t flash over your gas saving potential!


  206. 206
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:44 pm)

    195 CaptJackSparrow Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 1:09 pm .@k-dawg 188

    Yeah, take a drive through San Francisco (Where the women are strong and the men are pretty). Lots of steep grades,not long but sh|t man, enough to make you sweat the climb or drop.
    =============

    Yeah, i went there in November for the first time. I walked everywhere except when I could jump on a pull-car. That was a pretty interesting method of transportation, especially seeing the giant fly-wheels spinning below ground.


  207. 207
    k-dawg

     

    k-dawg
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:46 pm)

    CaptJack & Dave99 regarding braking;

    wouldnt the excitation field be increased at lower RPMs so that the voltage would be higher than the battery?


  208. 208
    sparks

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:47 pm)

    The design philosophy behind the range extender, as expressed in this test drive, is spot-on. Basically, they just squirt the minimum amount of energy into the battery to continue your driving, net-zero battery charge on average, until you get back to the grid. GM obviously put the A team on the engineering tasks.

    The transmission L mode is a great feature. It will bring a combination of battery charge regeneration and lowered brake wear. I would use the L mode a lot, especially on the highway. At highway speeds it takes a lot of brake wear to scrub off a few MPH (kinetic energy is proportional to speed-squared). Aero drag is rarely enough to scrub off that speed fast enough (for example, on a merge).

    Enough with the practical slant. I’m more focused on the fun factor. Having the Volt in L mode would be like highway driving in 3rd gear: Lots of torque, lots of engine compression for deceleration, but no increase in engine wear, and actually a small increase in effective “miles per gallon.” What’s not to like? Now “git – er- done!”.


  209. 209
    dorp7

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:47 pm)

    The ICE transition circuitry and controlling software must be very complex. Post #90 and others helped clarify for me why. There has to be a quick feedback loop to determine current voltage usage, and probably expected voltage usage in the next couple microseconds. Then there has to be software controlled power regulating circuitry that can quickly change output levels. In order to avoid a dangerous “lurch” condition when the ICE kicks in, the higher level software that controls all this has to match as closely as possible the power output from the battery alone, and keep matching it as the ICE spins up. There’s a similar complexity for when the transition happens in reverse (ICE kicks off again). Then there’s the even higher level software that controls when / how frequently these transitions happen. Several layers of complex software integration here on several embedded processors/controllers. I’m an electrical / software engineer, and I know that this development would not be easy. And so I completely understand why GM is not showing off this part yet. They want a lot more testing under their belt, a lot more code reviews, MC/DC coverage testing, etc. Man, I’d love to get an interview with the Volt software lead.


  210. 210
    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (1:50 pm)

    Lyle, congratulations – enjoyed your enthusiasm.

    Is GM being coy by holding back the ICE transition or is it something else?
    If seamless, what harm in showing it? Something there.


  211. 211
    coffeetime

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    Two things.

    First, the Washington Post has an anti-Volt column currently running on their website. For those here who really know their stuff about the Volt, you might want to rebut the author in the “comments” section. Here’s the link:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/28/AR2009042801191.html

    Second, has anyone seen this new “Z5″ gizmo? It sounds too good to be true, and I’m not really sure about how it works (if it works), but if it does work as advertised, I wonder if it would make the range-extender engine of the Volt even more efficient?

    http://greenprophet.com/2009/04/26/8541/z5-israel-retrofit/


  212. 212
    Tall Pete

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    Statik @ 56

    Good observation about the ‘ER’ part of ‘EREV’. But when at war, you don’t give too much to the opponents.

    You’re right that it’s the integration of the ICE in the car that makes it unique. That’s also the only edge GM will have until the competition catches up cause building a BEV doesn’t seem very hard – relatively speaking. So why reveal something unfinished and give away any hint on how to resolve the problems at hand ? Better yet, why reveal anything on the problems to solve ?

    So GM is right to not unveil anything about the ‘ER’ until it’s almost perfect. Image wise, it’s the right thing to do. Competition wise, it’s even more crucial.


  213. 213
    Jason

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:09 pm)

    Everyone tune in the the Late Show with David Letterman tomorrow night. The Tesla S is going to a guest! Its the first time this has happened on the show. Talk about a great PR and buzz campaign.

    Take note GM, this are the things you do to build buzz for a product in the new economy.


  214. 214
    ArkansasVolt

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:09 pm)

    Lyle, that is excellent to read! Thank you! It is very nice to get some good news… it was getting quite depressing.


  215. 215
    LauraM

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:12 pm)

    #160 DonC /#183 k-dawg

    This is probably not the thread to address this. But since you brought it up…GM bondholders were offered equity not cash. They didn’t really have a choice with Chrysler’s bondholders since they’re secured. That places them at the head of the line in a bankruptcy proceeding.

    Giving the UAW a better deal than secured bondholders would have been a clear subversion of the bankruptcy code. They could have done it, but it would be a very bad idea for the US economy in general. Not to mention a violation of separation of power and basically the rule of law on which this country is based. I’m very glad they’re not going down that road.

    By the way, GM has a lot more actual value than Chrysler, and doesn’t need Fiat to survive, which means there’s more to go around. So, even though GM bondholders are mostly unsecured, they still might expect more than the 28 cents on the dollar that the Chrysler secured creditors are getting. We’ll see how it plays out.


  216. 216
    ArkansasVolt

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:18 pm)

    #211 coffeetime

    woah! to the anti-Volt crazyness

    #212 Tall Pete

    I agree with you on the ER part. It is a good business decision.

    #201 Evil Conservative

    Have you seen the numbers on the most commented on threads (Home page near the middle of the center column)?
    http://gm-volt.com/2008/11/14/gm-voltcom-letter-to-the-us-government/
    I doubt we can touch the number 1 spot like the debate with the bailout and people initialing Lyle’s letter to the president.


  217. 217
    popurls.com // popular today

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:19 pm)

    popurls.com // popular today…

    story has entered the popular today section on popurls.com…


  218. 218
    nuclearboy

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    Dan Frederiksen Says

    “Think” It must be obvious GM killed the electric car.

    The EV1 was a government mandate. Think about it.

    It was produced to satisfy the Govt. GM did not want to produce it.
    They did produce it and made a wonderful car. The Government mandate for the car was pulled away and GM quit making the car.

    If the Govt. wanted the car to continue, they should have continued the mandate for these types of cars.

    Why did the Govt. pull the mandate. It must have been those evil GM lobbyists.

    Well, if they were lobbied into changing their mind, they are corrupt politicians.

    Once again, this is a govt. problem.

    If electric cars are such a good idea for the US, then they must be a great idea for Europe since their gas is higher.

    Take France. Flush with Electricity. Gas prices are high.

    Why did Peugeot not develop and electric car?? Are these capitalist pigs in bed with big oil. Oh the humanity.

    Why not BMW? Mercedes?? All companies at home where gas prices are much higher than the US.

    Your logic that GM killed the electric car is flawed.

    Because….
    1. The electric car came from a govt mandate. The govt. ended (killed) this mandate. (ie: govt. (CARB) killed the electric car).

    2. Electric cars were not economically viable at that time and no company that has any brains would mass produce them at that time. You don’t build things that only a few people want. Think.

    If electric cars were a good idea, why were they not produced in Europe where conditions for electric cars are more favorable. You have two logical choices. A. the European car makers are too stupid to make an electric car or B. the European car makers are in bed with big oil capitalist pigs just like GM.

    Think

    It is not and never has been GMs job to build somthing that some left wing film maker thinks is important.


  219. 219
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    203 Jackson

    D = Drive
    L = Low


  220. 220
    Matt

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:22 pm)

    How’s it do with the air conditioner running? Does it put any serious drag on the electrical system? I am very curious about this as that an air conditioning system is a very huge horsepower draw on a typical engine……………..


  221. 221
    Dianne

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:37 pm)

    Fantastic report, Lyle! Thanks for “taking us along for the ride”.


  222. 222
    Zach

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:37 pm)

    Awesome! You should compare how your driving experience was between the Volt and Tesla Roadster.


  223. 223
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:39 pm)

    221

    Wooohoo!


  224. 224
    Video: Chevy Volt Preview | Only Hybrids

     

    Video: Chevy Volt Preview | Only Hybrids
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:39 pm)

    [...] and electric car enthusiast Dr. Lyle Dennis got the thrill of a lifetime when he got a preview of the new Chevy Volt and the chance to take it for a [...]


  225. 225
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:40 pm)

    Darn you guys beat me!


  226. 226
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:46 pm)

    @k-dawg 207
    “wouldnt the excitation field be increased at lower RPMs so that the voltage would be higher than the battery?

    That’s “Robbing peter to pay Paul”….
    Use more energy to try and generate some energy.

    Now if only I can do that with my small paycheck.


  227. 227
    advertising_guru

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:48 pm)

    HELLO MARKETING DIP SHITS. Loose the stickers and put some wheels on it already. Make your product look as good as possible and MAYBE people would consider buying your over priced car. On the way into work I was thinking of the tag line that Chevrolet should start using. “Rethink American” Now I’m just thinking Chevy should just “Rethink”. Marketing 101 people. come on already.


  228. 228
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:55 pm)

    211 Coffeetime

    Link #1. Looks like another person who can’t see past the end of their nose.

    Link #2. i smell snake-oil


  229. 229
    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (2:56 pm)

    Jackson@203 re D&L
    k-dawg JUST beat me with the Drive and Low bit. That’s what we’re used to seeing on an automatic shifter (and with similar results when coasting.
    Be well
    Tag

    /insert typical letters here.


  230. 230
    Video: Chevy Volt Preview | EcoSilly

     

    Video: Chevy Volt Preview | EcoSilly
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:01 pm)

    [...] and electric car enthusiast Dr. Lyle Dennis got the thrill of a lifetime when he got a preview of the new Chevy Volt and the chance to take it for a [...]


  231. 231
    Jason

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:03 pm)

    #227 advertising_guru

    I don’t think GM has a functional marketing department. Or if they do they are all old dudes who still think marketing techniques from the 80s work. They are still taking out newspaper ads and advertising on AM radio!

    Internet? Social Media? Buzz and viral marketing? Never heard of em!


  232. 232
    John Davis

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:16 pm)

    Wow, thats pretty cool dude!

    RT
    http://www.anonymity.ru.tc


  233. 233
    Mark Z

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:20 pm)

    Lyle,

    Thanks for explaining the VOLT in a description so detailed and precise that we could share the experience as if we had been there ourselves.


  234. 234
    Dr James Millsap

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:23 pm)

    GM has screwed me on the last two new cars I purchased. Refused to fix major problems followed up by more lies and broken promises. I would never buy another car from these lairs again. A word of advice, don’t believe everything you read and hear from GM. All my best, Jim


  235. 235
    Evan

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:30 pm)

    Really enjoyed the write up…I get a great feel for the genuine individual enthusiasm.
    I really hope the Volt is a “score” for GM…they really need it. Ford’s Fusion Hybrid is a homerun for them…Toyota’s Prius…GM needs the Volt.


  236. 236
    k-dawg

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:32 pm)

    231 Jason
    ======
    I noticed an article in this month’s GQ. Journalist described his test drive of the Volt Mule.


  237. 237
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:35 pm)

    219 k-dawg & 229 Tag:

    D & L:

    Given that it’s possible to “Drive” at “High” speeds in either mode, I don’t feel that these letters are appropriate. I’ll have to put sticky notes on the shifter to remind me that “D” doesn’t stand for “Drag” for the first couple of weeks until I can run the shifter by feel.

    On the other hand, maybe the Cruze mule had that shifter already, and they just assigned the modes to those positions for test purposes. Which leaves open the question of how best to label the modes.

    Why be stuck with what used to be on the shifter back in the oil ages? The keyboard design we’re all using to type these entries was laid out as a convenience for the mechanical limitations of a manual typewriter. It’s been picked up over at least 4 subsequent technologies, and will probably end up on a starship’s control panel. P R N D 2 1 isn’t complex enough to carry over to a new paradigm, in my opinion.

    207 & 226

    Excitation current vs energy collected at a given speed is just one more complication in the algorithm for true electric drive which will frustrate those who imagine that EVs are “simple.”


  238. 238
    N Riley

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:40 pm)

    #178 DonC

    Thanks for the reassurance. I posted the comment early then read through the other comments. I was beginning to come around to that same conclusion. I am not really worried about the area where I live because there are no really tall hills or steep grades that are very long.

    I am ready for GM to come clean about the switch over to the ICE. Either it works generally OK or it doesn’t. What is the problem, GM, with letting someone like Lyle drive the mule and see, feel and hear it switch over? Lyle would be objective and would not go off on a rant and write articles about how bad the Volt is going to be. So, come on GM, get off the stick.


  239. 239
    statik

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:43 pm)

    #212 Tall Pete said:

    Statik @ 56

    Good observation about the ‘ER’ part of ‘EREV’. But when at war, you don’t give too much to the opponents.
    ——————————–

    Lol, I just noticed I put the quotes in the wrong spot, ‘ER’ part of EREV makes a lot more sense than ‘Rev’ part of EREV.

    What does EREV mean again? heeh

    /newbie moment there…apologies


  240. 240
    N Riley

     

    N Riley
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:44 pm)

    #234 Dr James Millsaps

    “GM has screwed me on the last two new cars I purchased. Refused to fix major problems followed up by more lies and broken promises. I would never buy another car from these lairs again. A word of advice, don’t believe everything you read and hear from GM. All my best, Jim”
    ————————–

    Is this GM screwing you or the dealer. There is a difference. If you are having problems with a dealer, contact GM. Or try a difference dealer. Some dealers are better than others. This is true for all auto companies. Good luck in the future.


  241. 241
    Mark

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:48 pm)

    Congratulations on your well earned test drive. Next I hope will be your well earned Volt parked in your driveway as a gift from GM for your huge contribution to their Volt Program.
    Off topic but there is big news regarding EESTOR. That mythical and perhaps now much more possible miracle battery from Cedar Parks: http://bariumtitanate.blogspot.com/


  242. 242
    N Riley

     

    N Riley
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:49 pm)

    I like the “idea” of the L and D settings for the forward shift, but I don’t know why they picked those particular letters (especially the L). I understand the D would be for “normal” driving, but why not us C for city driving? Or why not E for eco driving. Does any one know the reason for the use of the letter L? Lyle didn’t seem to ask the question. He seemed so blown away by the chance to drive the darn thing that he left his brain in neutral. Sorry, about that, Lyle. But I just had to say what I was thinking. I would have been just as bad off, I might add.


  243. 243
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:52 pm)

    @N Riley 242

    My SWAG is L=Lag.

    But of course the whole concept of brake regen is “Lenz Law”.


  244. 244
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:55 pm)

    @Mark 241

    EEStore only relaeses sh|t for “Hype maintenance”. Kind of like a campfire. As soon as the fire starts to die you throw in another log.


  245. 245
    Benajamin

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:57 pm)

    Hey Lyle,

    Just got your email. Sounds like a fantastic drive. I completely agree with you that the Volt will succeed because it is like a normal car for most people. Who doesn’t want a car with plenty of power that can save the planet at the same time? Thanks for the site and the email.

    Go Volt!


  246. 246
    David K (CT)

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (3:59 pm)

    How about…

    L=Local, Load, or just plain LOW?

    Ah, who cares…don’t sweat the small stuff.

    At least that Monkey Guy ain’t spamming us any longer.


  247. 247
    N Riley

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:02 pm)

    Maybe GM could have used the letter C for city driving and the letter H for highway driving. I suppose the letter L was used because of previous automatic transmissions having the letter L for low drive. Now days they use D, 3, 2 and 1. Just wondering. No telling what will appear on the final Volt at production time. I did like the push button start with the green glowing light. It doesn’t have to make a chiming sound for me, but it would be OK if it did. Maybe GM could give us the opportunity to down load sounds to use when the button is pushed and when you first press the accelerator to go. Maybe some Star Trek sounds would be appropriate.


  248. 248
    N Riley

     

    N Riley
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:05 pm)

    I know GM does not plan on having the big red kill switch on the final Volt. It is a good thing because how many of us fellas would have our wives hitting that switch every time she disagrees with the way we are driving? With that switch there and your wife aboard, you would never get out of the driveway. LOL.


  249. 249
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:07 pm)

    243 Cap’n:

    “L” for “Lag” actually does kind of make sense.

    They can’t use “R” for “Resistance,” because even on a nuclear powered hyper-wheeler of the 22nd century, “R” will still mean “Reverse.”

    “G” for “Glide” might do better than “D” (now refresh my memory; it was “D” for rolling without resistance when you let up your foot, and “L” for having simulated back pressure?)


  250. 250
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:08 pm)

    @David K (CT) 246

    Whatever they label for D, i’ll have to put my own sticker of “B” when my wife drive……BatOuttaHe||
    Of course my AER would be cut to 20 but she’d still make it to work on one charge.


  251. 251
    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:09 pm)

    Jackson re Typewriters(!)

    Actually, the current keyboard layout was devised to INconvenience typists on manual typewriters. If they typed as fast as they could with the old layout, the keys kept jamming. The mechanical machines couldn’t keep up.
    I still think that the D&L is a recognized convention and that there will be PLENTY of new issues for new Volt drivers to get used to – we don’t need even one more small one,
    JMO,
    Be well,
    Tag
    (/letters)


  252. 252
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:09 pm)

    248 N. Riley:

    No problem if you don’t snitch to the Witch which switch is which.


  253. 253
    Dan Frederiksen

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:10 pm)

    JackSparrow, 280A from a 40Ah pack is not 70C

    and pedal down doesn’t mean it uses its max rated power. because of the fixed gearing it can’t maximize its power at any speed, only max torque. but it might have been max power too if the speed was high enough to reach the typical breakpoint in the torque curve of a fixed voltage system. if it is such a system. not sure what power electronics scheme is used.


  254. 254
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:12 pm)

    Arrghh!! (facepalms).

    L = Local
    D = Distant

    (one would more likely need back pressure on local “surface streets” than on longer expressways).


  255. 255
    statik

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:12 pm)

    #244 CaptJackSparrow siad:

    EEStore only relaeses sh|t for “Hype maintenance”. Kind of like a campfire. As soon as the fire starts to die you throw in another log.
    ————-

    I think someone is reading Darryl Siry’s blog too, hehe (ex-CMO of Tesla). I don’t blame you, it is excellent–has lots of insight into the biz…and he updates it a lot. I love the terminology ‘hype maintenance’ and think a lot of company’s (GM included) subscribe to it

    If anyone else has too much time as well, you can check it out here:
    http://www.darrylsiry.com

    /worth a look


  256. 256
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:13 pm)

    251 Tag

    So what you’re saying is, the Government got involved.

    No, as I said; the layout was for the convenience of the mechanical limitations of a manual typewriter, not for the convenience of the manual typist.


  257. 257
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:16 pm)

    @Dan Frederiksen 253

    Yup, you’re right. I moved my slide rule over too much. Had one too many zeros. It’s 7C. That makes it a normal Pack.


  258. 258
    Dan Frederiksen

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:21 pm)

    nuclearboy, the EV1 was actually not a gov mandate. a part of GM actually made the car at their own initiative without the leadership of GM really being on top of it and CARB was inspired by the possibility and then created EV legislation. Then the ugly head of GM did some math and was scared of the possibility that EVs could actually gain popularity. Why exactly that scared them is unclear but one can speculate. What they did to kill it is not speculation though.

    the rest of your post is similarly misguided. if you can admit your first mistake I’ll tell you about your others


  259. 259
    Monroe

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:27 pm)

    Question: Could I drive from say LA to San Francisco in the Volt? Is the engine strong enough to power the motor all by itself for hours on the highway? I worry because the engine power is significantly lower than the motor peak power (53 kW vs. 111 kW). Will your acceleration and top speed be software-limited when you run down the battery?


  260. 260
    Chad S.

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:27 pm)

    One please!


  261. 261
    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:28 pm)

    Jackson@256
    I stand corrected. I apologize to the extent that one is owed – to paraphrase a govt official.
    I really don’t remember if it was a govt move or just a good capitalist trying to sell mechanical typewriters. The “lettering” issue really highlights how much older I am than most here, I remember the shift layout printed on the top of floor mounted manual stick shifts, and how “wonderful” automatic drive was. A real modern marvel! Sheesh, now they PARK themselves. LOL
    Be well,
    Tag


  262. 262
    stas peterson

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:31 pm)

    #100

    Go peddle your horse manure elsewhere. Loony leftist Hollyweird narcissists with s**t for brains blamed GM and Americans when every manufacturer worldwide, stopped building the EVs as soon as the CARBite idiots backed down on their their unrealistic threat to close the California market to non EV builders.

    The EV-1 was a billion dollar farce and mistake. GM should have saved a few $billion dollars and merely said to the cloacal cavities in the California Green bureacracy. Go Ahead. We dare you to close the California car market to an American firm. Electric cars are Not ready. All the other automamkers would have joyously joined in and the US taxpayer would be several billion dollars better off if GM and the others had saved their money.

    Instead GM spent more on its EV-1 than any else. Look at the farcical Electric RAV4 or the Electric Caravan, or the Electric Ranger. Were any of them anything but crude conversions of a conventional vehicle, and no different than the Mule that Lyle just drove?

    NO. So what credit do they get ? Hostile ant- American bovine excrement, from a brain-washed good litle national corporate socialist, like you. Herr Adoph nationalized lots of Companies, just like Barack is doing. And Mussolini made the trains run on time, idiot.

    Not all that different than today.


  263. 263
    Dan Petit

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:31 pm)

    Great review Lyle. A perfect editorial example for previous test drivers, and, now I know why the others had to write firstly: your superior editorial skill.
    I think that the main reason for the Electric-only drive this time is just to remain focused on the incredible sensations of that mode.
    I think it would be a great idea to download a short audio of the Volt drive at the various levels of acceleration and steady cruise. (Other proprietary s/w on my laptop prevents my use of a flash player, etc., so, likely I’ll just have to wait).
    Congratulations Dr. Dennis!!
    Dan Petit Austin TX.


  264. 264
    Monroe

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:33 pm)

    Question: Could I drive from say LA to San Francisco in the Volt? Is the engine strong enough to power the motor all by itself for hours on the highway? I worry because the engine power is significantly lower than the motor peak power (53 kW vs. 111 kW). Will your acceleration and top speed be software-limited when you run down the battery?


  265. 265
    solo2500nt

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:34 pm)

    MetrologyFirst: Thanks for your comment concerning Mr. Dan Frederiksen. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Now I think I’ll call it a day and drive home in my 12 mpg. V8 powered Ford Crown Vic, side swipe a Prius or 2, mow down people on bicycles, and maybe shoot a deer out the window.

    In all seriousness, this car (the Volt) is a near perfect design for the north american market. We still need to drive back and forth to work (many if not most of us do not live anywhere near public transportation). It’s small (4 seater) but big enough for most people’s transportatin needs. You don’t need to worry about running out of juice and calling a tow truck. You don’t need to cancel friendships with people who are just out of range. You can take it from the corn belt to Arizona on vacation like me. You can keep safe and dry during rain and snow because it is a CAR and not a scooter or a motorized egg shell. I hope and maybe even pray that GM and the other U.S. car companies survive and thrive. Large scale manufacturing by AMERICAN CONTROLLED interests is an absolute necessity unless you want to be forced to pray to a god you don’t believe in in order to keep your head on your shoulders.


  266. 266
    Luke

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:37 pm)

    Yay! This is a pretty cool video!

    I bet the Volt will be able to climb the hill easily, once they allow the generator to start. In the meantime, I live in the Midwest — we don’t have hills here, and I’ll happily trade a little hill-climbing power in order to get off of foreign oil.

    I feather the gas pedal enough already in the Prius, as I try to keep the gasoline engine from starting. Yeah, yeah, the energy in the battery all came from gasoline — but it’s just plain cool (and very pleasant) to make the last quarter mile of my morning or evening commute on an electric motor. :-)


  267. 267
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:44 pm)

    @Monroe 259

    Question: Could I drive from say LA to San Francisco in the Volt?

    Yes. As long as your bladder can take it.

    Is the engine strong enough to power the motor all by itself for hours on the highway?

    Yes. It doesn’t need full power to “sustain” freeway speeds.

    I worry because the engine power is significantly lower than the motor peak power (53 kW vs. 111 kW). Will your acceleration and top speed be software-limited when you run down the battery?

    Everything is limitted by software. OK maybe not everything but in your context of inquiry everything. From what I understand, although you the driver will have the perception of the battery being not full, it in fact is more full than you think. The batt pack is used only 50% of its capacity and performance. So if the Genset can’t handle it, the computer engages the batt pack to give you a little boost. Other than that, while on the freeway, you will not need more than 20KW to maintain your speed and when the gensset is running and you do not use the energy generated is dups the energy into the batt pack but it does NOT fully charge your battery.


  268. 268
    hayley

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:47 pm)

    looks good, hope I can afford one


  269. 269
    fredevad

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:49 pm)

    #242 N Riley Says:

    I like the “idea” of the L and D settings for the forward shift, but I don’t know why they picked those particular letters (especially the L).
    =====================
    My guess is that they are talking about D and L because they are riding in a Cruz mule, which has an automatic transmission shifter, which just happens to have a D and L on it (as well as a P, R, and N). I don’t remember the pictures of the interior of the production Volt showing a shifter like the one in the Cruz.

    Thanks for the post Lyle – glad to see you finally got your test drive. Looking forward to the future test drives.
    - Fred


  270. 270
    Al Dunstan

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:53 pm)

    Hi Lyle

    Great review on the Volt.

    I do have a few concerns about Plug-In electric vehicles though.

    Generating electricity from non-renewable sources such as Coal (no such thing as clean coal) may end up being as damaging to the environment as gas/hybrid vehicles. Can we produce enough wind, solar, and geothermal energy needed? If not, are we ready to start building nuclear power plants again to provide the power needed to charge these plug-in electric cars.

    The electric grid(s) in this country lose a tremendous amount of the energy produced (up to 50%) for it through age and inefficiences. Can it sustain the additional load of electric vehicles in any large quantities? We have to turn off air conditioners and other large electricity consuming devices in the summer so we don’t overload it already. Will we be forced to recharge these cars only when demand is low (at night), and how will we enforce this.

    Right now, we are looking at a very small percentage of electric vehicles out of the total cars which will be sold in the next few years. What happens in 2020 when this technology is ready to become mass produced? Will we be ready? If we don’t start now we won’t, and the plug-in electric vehicle will remain a minor player at best.


  271. 271
    AMillionBucks

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:55 pm)

    I want to want it. But I can’t.

    Here’s why:

    1 – Charge logic: I don’t understand why the engine doesn’t come on sooner vs waiting until it hits the buffer zone. If I *know* I”m driving 200 miles, I’d like it to start right away as soon as I can charge it up without cycling the engine. This lack of apparent logic causes doubt.

    2 – Buffer driving: It’s easy to believe the rave reviews of acceleration, handling, etc. <40 miles; without knowing how it works over 40 miles, I can’t rally any faith yet. And I am acknowledging that most of my driving (95% by mileage) is on days with total driving <40 miles.

    3 – Battery: No mention of batter longevity or replacement

    Settle these and it’s on my wish list.


  272. 272
    statik

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (4:56 pm)

    Tagamet:

    Don’t know how I missed your post to me in #109.

    I’d like to thank you for acknowledging I did try to wait it out a bit…lol. And 3 of 4 early post were positive (with a fair disclaimer to skip my long wided post in #56.

    But c’mon. I know you watched my, “Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows” link at youtube probably a couple times. That is a pure ‘Tag/Yang goldmine’ right there.

    I’ll put the link up again…just so you have a excuse to click it again:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_v468ptuXw


  273. 273
    stas peterson

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:10 pm)

    Many here don’t think that the American car industry wil live long enough for the Volt. You appear to be wrong.

    Unlike the typical anti-union or anti- management diatribes, I think what is happening merits further discussion here.

    The UAW has an obligation to meet transplant pay-scales, as part of the agreement, for the government to to finance a DIP bankruptcy filing. Or an out of court reorganization, akin to a bankruptcy.

    They have done so, for Chrysler. The CAW has agreed to the same concessionary contract with Chrysler reducing pay $19/hour to meet the transplant payscales, already. The CAW also agreed to set up a VEBA like assumptions of pensionand health obligatiosn,and remocve those legacy costs from the ;companies,as Ron Waggoner got the UAW to agree to in 2007. This is setting a pattern for them to comply also with GM and the Canadian government’s requirements, for more financing.

    GM is reducing to four brands, three car brands including a car brand Chevy that builds trucks and a separate Truck brand that relables the Chevy trucks and also manufactures commercial truck vehicles too. This brand reduction is long overdue. GM had too many brands that were possible when it had 60% of the market share. Today it has 20%. Mid luxury car dealers need access to crossovers and BOF SUVS. Buick-GMC in conjunction makes these dealers viable, in volume.

    The GM bond holders are being squeezed to accept a conversion of debt to equity. Unbelievably, it is working for Chrysler. Chrysler has achieved its targetted debt-equity conversion goal, set by the government. Thsi si by far the hardest to achiecve as their ar evulture financier shwio buy debt and at a deep discount and await liquidation to profit.

    The VEBA pension obligations are still being negotiated with Chrysler whose situation is worse, is more accelerated but it seems the UAW will agree to take half its money owed it in the form of stock. That is a TReasury requiremnt for the Government to provide further financing. Without it Chrysler is liquidated in bankruptcy court. So they will agree.

    Chrysler appears to be pulling off another much-tougher miracle on the schedule set by the Treasury. Furthermore it is setting precedents for GM to follow on a larger, but easier scale, a month later.

    In summary, Two of the domestic caramkers appear to be emerging with a fundamental reorganization akin to a Chapter 11 filing, that makes them viable for the current deep recession and with break evens, meeting this 50% smaller market. When the market turns, both will become enormously profitable in the high fixed-cost, highly-leveraged business of automaking. Ford will have a pattern to do likewise.

    This is as fundamental an industry reorganization, as that done to the American Steel industry 15 years ago. The US steel industry went from a a unionized, non-competitive high-cost business, competing with lots of low cost imports to the most modern, and highly profitable steel industry in the world. Using electric furnaces and recycled scrap, and basic oxygen for raw steelmaking processes, that is winning back markets and market share.

    A few years from now the patients will be healthy.


  274. 274
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:21 pm)

    fredevad #269

    #242 N Riley Says:

    I like the “idea” of the L and D settings for the forward shift, but I don’t know why they picked those particular letters (especially the L).
    =====================
    My guess is that they are talking about D and L because they are riding in a Cruz mule, which has an automatic transmission shifter, which just happens to have a D and L on it (as well as a P, R, and N). I don’t remember the pictures of the interior of the production Volt showing a shifter like the one in the Cruz.
    _______________
    PRNDL are already approved per SAE and govt regs. No reason to reinvent the wheel. Put something something else there and the lawyers will tell you that some one will get in an accident and sue GM because they thought the new designation meant “turn off traction control, fly over gigantic potholes, skim over black ice and slide through hairpin turns without a care in the world” safely with this new advanced technology.


  275. 275
    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:22 pm)

    Statik@272
    You somehow seem to think that “Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows” is in some manner unrealistic (shakes head slowly). Sometimes I just don’t understand you (g).
    Be (as) well (as you can),
    TagYangsan
    /letters
    /and this is post the “Happiest Place on Earth” vacation?


  276. 276
    Keith

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:25 pm)

    OK , So what do we have here ?
    It looks like Lyle and all others here were taken for a ride in a battery converted Cruze by GM .

    I am a mechanical Engineer and a Professor and I have to deal with reality all the time when I am teaching my students .

    Somebody asked earlier on this thread why not use the gen-set to maintain a charge to the battery as it would be seamless in feel and operation , the answer is simple , that is the way it should be and is the correct way to modulate the gen-set rpm as well , just like a gasoline powered welder .( the stronger the dead short through the stinger the more power the generator must produce ) ( the stinger is the part that holds the welding rod ) Thicker welding rods take more amperage to melt than thinner ones at the same voltage .

    The more I see on this Volt program the more it is starting to look like a poncy scheme , too many things just don’t add up when I take a step back and analyze it .

    We want it ( the technology ) so much that we are tricking our wisdom to believe that it is happening when in reality it is not happening at all .

    Take a look at what is happening for instance . Chrysler from out of nothing except a small group of Engineers comes up with four vehicles in no time at all . Ford and Magna announced that they are jointly going to produce a PEV . There is big money going to be allocated to massive battery production in USA and everybody who is anybody in the battery business is building factories .

    Then there is the class thing , Chevy is a working class persons car and the salaries or should I say incomes of the working class just does not support the price of the Volt .

    The engine in the gen-set is too big by a factor of at least two and will waste gas and a lot of it at that whenever it is operating .
    A gen-set of one liter in size would be much more practical and efficient .
    ( a one liter high compression four cylinder engine can easily produce over 100 hp ) A full sized car uses less than 25 hp to maintain highway speeds so what is the thinking using such a big engine for what is supposed to be the height of American know how ?

    I dont know if it is true , but a drinking poster here tells me that GM will not be using capacitors in these cars , what is with that , all acceleration could be done by them and not put any load on the battery . It also would extend the life of the battery as well . Go figure .

    Maybe we could buy a Cruze and convert it into battery operation and write Volt on the doors and be happy with that .

    As much as I would want a Converj and as much as I want to see this type of technology be developed in America , I am afraid that we have all been taken for a journey through the hall of smoke and mirrors .

    Maybe we could convert a Crize into battery power and be happy with that .


  277. 277
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:29 pm)

    #273
    stas peterson

    Many here don’t think that the American car industry wil live long enough for the Volt. You appear to be wrong…

    A few years from now the patients will be healthy.
    ________________________________
    HUH! Who kidnapped stas peterson, crammed the rose colored glasses on him and forced him to say these things? That sounds almost…like….uh, dare I say it…optimism!


  278. 278
    allen gibson

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:32 pm)

    Good for you Kyle and about time. now for the bad news. I am not impressed with the 40 miles before it needs gas to keep going. I have been doing my own research and my own company has experimented and hopefully soon will be making all electric cars our vehicle is being driven by the Connellsville police dept and gets up to 8 hours (depending how you drive it) on one charge. Also there is a little known company called Tesla that will be delivering an all electric sedan in 2011 that boasts over 300 miles per charge go to their website for more on specs.
    Don’t get me wrong I love the idea of having both options. Gas and electric but can’t get over the measely 40 miles per charge. I think GM is holding back again and not really trying to produce like I know an American Car company can and frankly if they won’t and companies like Tesla will. I say begone with any company that won’t bring us the future that we really want and hello to those that will.

    Al


  279. 279
    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:44 pm)

    Keith 276

    OK , So what do we have here ?” Parody follows

    -OK so we’re being taken for a ride here. Chevy, come on Chevy the everymans brand. Blue collar and cowboy boots right. These guys are gonna produce a carbon fiber component skinned sports car. A 200mph fire breathing tourer that runs with Ferraris and Porsches. Cough – Z06 – And that can, what? Z06. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, never mind!


  280. 280
    solo2500nt

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (5:47 pm)

    I noticed a few people concerned about the ability of the generator to keep the battery charged during severe driving (mountain driving, or up Pikes Peek, like we ALL drive up Pikes Peek). I’m not worried. You must remember, what goes up, must come down. I’m from Illinois and it’s so flat you can almost see the Sears Tower from Ciaro (IL).

    But I drive out west twice a year and I can’t think of any stretch of road where you are climbing so long you would run out of juice and have to slow down. You climb for 2 minutes, then descend for 2 minutes and so on. I’m sure the engine has enough time to recharge the battery in 90% of all normal driving. Even if you deplete the battery, big deal, you will still get up the hills, just maybe not at 70 mph+. Big trucks slow down up steep grades even in interstates, it’s no big deal and I doubt it will happen much. I can live with that. Also, being electric you won’t lose an ounce of power from the electric motor at altitude like you do in a gas car. Even at 4000 feet, the power drop off is pretty extreme with a normally aspirated gas engine.

    Keep in mind there are a number of companies that make hand held devices (BullyDog, Gail Banks) that re-program your ECM for more power. Dodge, GM, and Ford Diesel engines can gain 100+ H.P. with nothing more than a software upgrade. Given this, I’m sure someone will be able to build a device to allow you to change the depletion point of your battery or fine tune when the engine starts or stops, assuming the car is popular enough to build a market for the device.


  281. 281
    Herm

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:03 pm)

    I forget the exact numbers but I believe the spec is that the genset is strong enough to keep the Volt going 100mph on a level highway indefinetely.. at least until it runs out of gas, and that is with a depleted battery.. the battery will always reserve some power for a few minutes of 150hp performance.. the genset will slowly recharge it afterwards.. but not all the way to full recharge.

    ohh we need a FAQ

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>..
    #264 Monroe Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 4:33 pm
    Is the engine strong enough to power the motor all by itself for hours on the highway? I worry because the engine power is significantly lower than the motor peak power


  282. 282
    Jim

     

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    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:09 pm)

    Big Whoop – another expensive toy for Hollywood Celebs. Too big, too heavy, too complex, too fast. It won’t help us or GM. Pull the dam engine, generator, gas tank and ad another battery. Now you have an 80 mile car. Cut the weight – ever hear of a Volkswagen Bug – in production 70 years ago. Can’t we do better with 70 years progress. Government would defintely change safety standards for electric car. Do we need 6 airbags, 12 speaker stereo etc etc. NO We need LIGHT small electric cars geared for 65 max speed. Get the junk out of this car and it is EASILY a 100 Mile range car. First generation GM hybraid versus Toyota’s third generation hybraid. At TWICE THE COST – don’t think so.


  283. 283
    john1701a

     

    john1701a
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:12 pm)

    GM has been running mules, whether they be in a Malibu or Cruze for almost a year and a half….and obviously the ICE is not performing.
    ________________

    The motor/battery drive is the only thing reviewers have been allowed to experience, despite all the “range anxiety” promotion.

    Hearing nothing whatsoever about ICE efficiency since the before the switch to the larger one does lead you to believe it’s coming up quite short of the 50 MPG expectation.

    Transparency has vanished.


  284. 284
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:16 pm)

    Just build my Volt Dangit!!!

    No Power Windows
    No Power Adjust Seats
    No Power Side view mirrors
    No Power Sunroof (Actually No Sunroof at all)
    No Power Door Locks
    No Power Trunk lock
    No Radio (Remember that fiasco? – Get an iPod)
    No Heated Seats
    No OnStar!!!

    Make the garbage I listed, but another mans treasure, an “Upgrade” for those who want these creature comforts.

    Standard Features:
    4 Wheels
    Highway Capable
    AC
    Heater
    Defogger Front/Rear

    The ICEAge is over, Embrace the VoltAge.

    I’ll take my Volt with No Generator, No ICE, ShAkEn not StirreD…


  285. 285
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:19 pm)

    @john1701a 283

    “Hearing nothing whatsoever about ICE efficiency since the before the switch to the larger one does lead you to believe it’s coming up quite short of the 50 MPG expectation.”

    Even if it just got 40MPG on the genset I’m still a go for the buy. As long as I still have a job though.


  286. 286
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:23 pm)

    “Honda, Toyota make $3,100 profit on each hybrid sold”

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/04/28/honda-toyota-make-3-100-profit-on-each-hybrid-sold/


  287. 287
    noel park

     

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     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:28 pm)

    #273 stas peterson:

    Amen brother! Preach on!! God send that it shall be true.

    #277 jeffhre:

    Yeah, my jaw kinda dropped too. But I’ll take all the optimisim I can find, anywhere I can find it. You go stas!

    #274 jeffhre:

    All through this thread I have been thinking about the old joke about “PRNDL”. It sems a stick shift driving good old boy got into a drag race in a borrowed new auto trans car, circa 1959. He said, “I threw her into D for drag, but the guy started to pull away. So I shoved her into L for lunge, but he was still gaining. So finally I dropped her into R for race, and that’s when the trouble really started.”

    Nothing new under the sun.


  288. 288
    Stuart Hawkins

     

    Stuart Hawkins
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:36 pm)

    remarkably unremarkable, alright… a remarkable dream with the potential for remarkable technology…wrapped in a totally unremarkable body. C’mon guys, I still hafta be able to look at myself in the vehicle. Like it or not, first impressions are usually made by appearance.


  289. 289
    Herm

     

    Herm
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:48 pm)

    Most cars look the same to me, like a greased bar of soap.. I am more interested in other things such as economy, reliability and durability. I used to feel different when I was in High School.


  290. 290
    Ted in Fort Myers

     

    Ted in Fort Myers
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:56 pm)

    Congrats Lyle, Good video, I cannot wait.
    Take Care,
    TED


  291. 291
    Jason

     

    Jason
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:58 pm)

    #282 Jim

    I agree. I think GM is making an absolutley HUGE mistake not releasing a pure BEV version of the Volt. Strip all the ICE junk out, lighten it up, increase the range to 180 miles, and sell it for $25k. I’m guessing they would have an even bigger hit than the E-REV Volt on their hands. So many people want an EV without all the baggage of an ICE car, and having both models would cover everyone. Make a Volt-Lite for the purists who want an EV, and the Volt E-REV for “range anxiety” crowd.


  292. 292
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    More on the Mule test drive. Apparently AutoBlog also got a test drive…

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/04/28/first-drive-chevrolet-volt-powertrain-mule/


  293. 293
    Justin DT

     

    Justin DT
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    Congratulations Lyle! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer more deserving guy in our book. Hope they sell you the first Volt.


  294. 294
    zipdrive

     

    zipdrive
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:09 pm)

    D for Drive, L for Low.

    Just like the old Powerglide transmissions.

    :) OK, I know there’s no tranny in a Volt.


  295. 295
    Video: Chevy Volt Preview : Green Resouces

     

    Video: Chevy Volt Preview : Green Resouces
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    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:12 pm)

    [...] and electric car enthusiast Dr. Lyle Dennis got the thrill of a lifetime when he got a preview of the new Chevy Volt and the chance to take it for a [...]


  296. 296
    Herm

     

    Herm
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:15 pm)

    lets say the Volt comes out at $39,999 before the tax credit..

    Lets say engine, radiator, generator and gas tank is around $4,000.. we know the 40 mile range battery cost $8,000.. thus that 80 mile Volt would end up costing about $44,000.. minus the $7,500 tax credit then total $36,500

    Do you still want that 80 mile BEV at that price?.. I have no idea how GM came up with that price.

    The other way to look at it is that the Cruze is an $18,000 car, and that is what the Volt is based on.. so how much would it cost to electrify the Cruze?

    http://jalopnik.com/5039849/chevy-cruze-gets-full-detail-reveal-before-paris-unveil
    …………………………………………
    #291 Jason Says:
    April 28th, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    I agree. I think GM is making an absolutley HUGE mistake not releasing a pure BEV version of the Volt. Strip all the ICE junk out, lighten it up, increase the range to 180 miles, and sell it for $25k.


  297. 297
    Dave K.

     

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:33 pm)

    I read this weeks news about GM closing a huge number of dealerships. GM should consider offering a “build your Volt” menu system via the web. Buyers who use internet menu systems will order option rich vehicles. This translates into $ for GM.

    Locally, here in Southern California, we have GM freeway dealerships located about each 30 miles. The future way to go is with fewer larger Auto Nation type dealerships. This change can be sold to the buying public by offering frequent shuttle service and customer loyalty discounts.

    By using a direct internet ordering system the Volt manufacturing facility will have live streaming real time order information. This will allow for on the fly manufacturing calibration and cost savings. Parts ordering, door glass – steering wheels – computer systems, will be done automatically. Again, saving an hourly employee from having to check, key in, monitor, and follow up. Let’s face it, people have bad days and screw up. Computers efficiently count and relay.

    yes we can?

    =D~


  298. 298
    jeffhre

     

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:39 pm)

    Jason & Jim “I agree. I think GM is making an absolutley HUGE mistake not releasing a pure BEV version of the Volt. Strip all the ICE junk out, lighten it up, increase the range to 180 miles, and sell it for $25k. I’m guessing they would have an even bigger hit than the E-REV Volt on their hands. So many people want an EV without all the baggage of an ICE car, and having both models would cover everyone. Make a Volt-Lite for the purists who want an EV, and the Volt E-REV for “range anxiety” crowd”
    _______________
    I believe GM went with the range extender originally because a 25,000 dollar 4 seater would take about 25,000 dollars worth of Li Ion batteries at the time the Volt was announced. Hard to design, build market and sell that vehicle for $25k when you’ve already spent $25k just to source the batteries


  299. 299
    Business Writing

     

    Business Writing
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:41 pm)

    Sooo exciting! You gave me encouragement in the future. Thanks for the gift!


  300. 300
    Red HHR

     

    Red HHR
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (7:55 pm)

    Utterly Fantastic Lyle,
    Congratulations all around are in order!

    Anyway, have you ever been napping in your Winnebago when the neighbor fires up his Colman generator right under your window? Me neither…

    Generators when they come on have a tendency to full bore, or balls to the wall if you will. There may be a feeling of being on a runaway train when the ICE engine just starts up and takes off. The ICE may idle at start, however it will have to speed up. The brain (Gee Lyle what do you have to say about this) will have to learn that the engine speed is not related to vehicle speed. Maybe that is why GM is somewhat reluctant to allow the experience to be published.

    A positive side effect would be people are so unnerved by the experience that is they will recharge the Volt before THAT ever happens again.

    Once again most sincere of congratulations to ALL involved.
    Red HHR (The interplay between the engine revs, shifter and speed is a joyous thing)

    Wow post 300!


  301. 301
    jeffhre

     

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:03 pm)

    Noel Park. #287. That really is hilarious!

    I once drove my Miata up the coast to get a good deal on a computer in Santa Maria, but the clutch was going out and by the end of the trip I was slamming that shifter so hard I thought I might break my wrist. Then a couple days later I was on the 405 and I tried to slam the shifter into overdrive by habit. Only problem was that the Dodge I was driving had reverse right where 5th was in the Miata (ouch).

    I still have no reverse in that truck to this day! At least I wasn’t killed by flying shrapnel, but that reverse gear sure was. A side note, one reason EV’s don’t need transmissions is the motor can just run backwards through the reduction gear. That would definitely be helpful for me!


  302. 302
    john1701a

     

    john1701a
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:22 pm)

    Even if it just got 40MPG on the genset I’m still a go for the buy.
    ___________________________

    40 MPG and a target of “nicely under $30,000″ could turn out to be the magic formula.

    Remember how the restructure plan wasn’t accepted, saying it delivered too little too slowly?

    Making competitive products means finding a way to appeal to the consumer… even if it requires a big tradeoff. That ideal can be sought after later, using revenue coming from that very tradeoff. There’s nothing wrong with a balance of performance & price.


  303. 303
    Kubel

     

    Kubel
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:36 pm)

    Nice.


  304. 304
    JEC

     

    JEC
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:45 pm)

    Late to the thread, and I see an enormous response!

    Congrats to Lyle. Very interesting to hear your take on the Volt.

    I am really disappointed that GM did not allow you to run into the depletion mode, and have the engine kick in.

    If I was driving, I would have said “sure, no problem.”, then I would have just kept driving until the battery was dry, and the ICE came up.
    Hey, this is an EREV not a BEV, but you did not even get to experience the range extender! Your ride in the Tesla had to MUCH more exciting and they even let you run the battery out, re-charge and experience the “range anxiety” that everyone seems to think is the most dreadful experience.

    I say BOO to GM for not demonstrating the Volt as it supposed to be. This is NOT a minor issue, this is the WHOLE ISSUE, otherwise just go drive a BEV!

    I am now, more than ever, fearful that the EREV mode of operation is not going to be as “enjoyable” as GM has portended.

    SHOW ME THE EREV!


  305. 305
    Nemesio Montoto

     

    Nemesio Montoto
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:45 pm)

    The lease on my car ends in July I will be carpooling until the Volt comes out. This will be my next car.


  306. 306
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (8:49 pm)

    Hey guys, watch the video in the link I posted for Autobloggreen. After watching I got a glompse of the cutout of the battery pack. It looks like they are using the LiFePO4 Prismatic cells but the “Pouched” packs. Tup, not the typical Prismatic plastic cased cells you normally see. These are more expensive so that explains the cost. Also they are high C rating which further sustantiates the cost.


  307. 307
    Mike r

     

    Mike r
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:06 pm)

    I hope the make some kits to cunvert old cars


  308. 308
    Edwin Mang

     

    Edwin Mang
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:10 pm)

    Country music hit , When is the reality TV show , The made for TV movie , the Big screen movie ?

    I know some things will not make the cut but get some income going . K .


  309. 309
    Max

     

    Max
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:12 pm)

    I cannot wait for that car, and next, and next. That could be the near future of humankind. Unless some utter evil stupidity or greed derails it.


  310. 310
    Russell Albin

     

    Russell Albin
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:13 pm)

    Wow. Enough said.


  311. 311
    koz

     

    koz
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:15 pm)

    Not that many are reading after 290+ comments but I’ld like to wade in on a few issues. First, thanks for the review Lyle and congrats for the small satisfaction after all of your inspirational hard work.

    -Braking by wire. Could wrong but I’m guesing the comments about electric only braking was referring to the brake pedal actuation. I believe federal motor vehicle requirements dictate friction braking is also used. Maybe they can use electric motors for this but I believe the brake actuators are still hydraulic.

    -50mph max up the hill. This was a 16.5% grade hill, SIXTEEN AND 1/2% grade. Most cars would struggle up this slope. I don’t believe you will find this much slope on any state or interstate highway. I believe Interstate design guidlines are 6% max for most situations. There are some occasions for steeper grades but I don’t think they ever get close to 16% on the interstates. The geneator running shouldn’t make any difference to max speed. I think the battery is capable of the motor’s max sustained KW. This link provides some good grade and power requirement info for a vehicle similar in weight to the Volt: http://www.choruscars.com/ChorusCars_SMMA_presentation.pdf

    -RE operation not being allowed. This is dissapointing but probably not as telling as a lot of people think. Lyle ha his test drive around the same time the mainstream media got theirs. I imagine GM put the same limitations on all of them to keep the reporting opportunity fair and not upset any of the reporters. Perhaps they would have allowed Lyle to drive past the battery depletion point if he were the only tester. I imagine and can understand their reticence to let the general media experience RE until the production protypes are ready. The Cruze mules probably don’t have the same noise and vibration insulation that the production car will. These mules also probably don’t have the multitude of non-software mule learned tweaks to be incorporared into the production prototypes. Also, since the switch to the I4 Ice was done late in developement, they may not have the finalized version in the mules. There wasn’t much benefit to risking “their one chance to make a first impression” at this time.


  312. 312
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:18 pm)

    Hey guys, watch the video in the link I posted. After watching I got a glompse of the cutout of the battery pack. It looks like they are using the LiFePO4 Prismatic cells but the “Pouched” packs. Tup, not the typical Prismatic plastic cased cells you normally see. These are more expensive so that explains the cost. Also they are high C rating which further sustantiates the cost.


  313. 313
    EnergyByEarth.com » Video: Chevy Volt Preview

     

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     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:39 pm)

    [...] and electric car enthusiast Dr. Lyle Dennis got the thrill of a lifetime when he got a preview of the new Chevy Volt and the chance to take it for a [...]


  314. 314
    EnergyByEarth.com » Video: Chevy Volt Preview

     

    EnergyByEarth.com » Video: Chevy Volt Preview
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:39 pm)

    [...] and electric car enthusiast Dr. Lyle Dennis got the thrill of a lifetime when he got a preview of the new Chevy Volt and the chance to take it for a [...]


  315. 315
    Johna

     

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     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (9:55 pm)

    Let’s get this thing rolled out – I’m ready to buy an American car after years of Hondas (which I’ve loved, including my hybrid).


  316. 316
    hill

     

    hill
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:08 pm)

    The Feds now own GM … as it teeters on bankruptcy. GM ~ still bleeding red ink and holding out the tin cup for a few more billion dollars is getting the “NO WAY” from their new owner, the Feds. The new Fed owners say the U.S. doesn’t want Plug-ins even though tax credits exist for PHEV’s. Therefore, it won’t happen for GM unless billions appear out of thin air. So … will we continue to crank up the printing press? If not, sadly, this black hole of R & D will simply be more vapor ware.


  317. 317
    RD

     

    RD
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:10 pm)

    I just can’t wait for this car to come out. Awesome!!!!

    This will be my Muscle Car!

    Thanks GM!!!!!


  318. 318
    Stew

     

    Stew
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:19 pm)

    Dang phone button getting accidentally pressed in the beginning of the video “Say a command”, lol, I hate that! :)

    Stew


  319. 319
    buzzkill

     

    buzzkill
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:48 pm)

    Hey Lyle. Got an extra 40 grand you can part with? If not GM has priced me out of the market. GM has produced a car for lawyers and doctors.


  320. 320
    john1701a

     

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     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (10:53 pm)

    Watching the video footage provided, it looks like GM builds a great electric vehicle. There’s no reason not to be impressed with the operation of the electric motor for propulsion & braking.

    Unfortunately, that is all we’ve ever seen. Think about it. What has been provided about the generator? That part is still a complete mystery. No video or data is available yet. Volt is very much a concept with respect to that.

    Will the pre-production build in June finally reveal something… anything …about actual generator operation?


  321. 321
    koz

     

    koz
     Says

     

    Apr 28th, 2009 (11:24 pm)

    john1701a #319

    “Will the pre-production build in June finally reveal something… anything …about actual generator operation?”

    What if it does, John? Will that be a cataclysmic or catatonic event for you?

    buzzkill #318

    “Hey Lyle. Got an extra 40 grand you can part with? If not GM has priced me out of the market. GM has produced a car for lawyers and doctors.”

    So you have a grand total of $0 to spend and $0 income tax. Gee, GM is reeaaly gonna miss your business.


  322. 322
    KentT

     

    KentT
     Says

     

    Apr 29th, 2009 (12:05 am)

    Yeesh! 300+ posts before I get my two cents in! Sorry if I say things that have already been said but I just can’t get through every post!

    First, CONGRATULATIONS, LYLE! (Of course, and so well deserved! I think this is one of the best sites on the Web!)

    Second, so many smart people follow and comment on this site but you (all?) have the “electric brake” comment misunderstood. I’m conjecturing (as are all of you) but I’m sure the brakes are hydraulically actuated. All this talk of “mechanical brakes” are non-sense. There are no mass production cars currently being make using cables or rods to actuate the calipers or drums. What is causing the confusion is the brakes are electrically assisted. But instead of vacuum (most cars) assisted or hydraulic (most GM light trucks) there is an electric motor probably directly actuating the master cylinder reducing brake pedal pressure for a given deceleration. Electric power brakes. Right?

    On the cynicism regarding the ICE/Generator this is a non-issue as far as engineering/time table goes. I believe GM in that this is a matter of “tweeking.” Why? The generator does not add amps to the batteries to drive the electric motor. It has been stated repeatedly that the generator will drive the electric motor directly. Switching between the batteries and the generator smoothly under all loads and speeds is apparently a non-inconsequential task but one that I’m sure is just an engineering problem. I can suspect that the components used in the switching are not proving durable and that is causing a delay.

    What will add amps to the battery is the electric motor (and/or generator?) “running in reverse” or in other words regenerative braking. I’m really looking forward to seeing how GM will program the Volt to accept this form of energy. Driving my Honda Civic hybrid I can tell you a few miles of downhill will top off the battery where there is no more regenerative braking! Remember, if the battery is full there is no regen!!!!!!!!!!! Locomotives have the exact same drive train as the Volt but without batteries. A locomotive is in the E mode of E-REV all the time and without batteries it does go into regenerative braking but instead of creating amps and pumping that into a battery it pumps those amps into gigantic heat sinks turning electricity into heat. (GE has plans to make E-REV locomotives, fyi)
    With the relatively huge battery that the Volt has compared to my Honda Hybrid I expect the Volt will get a substantial boost in being able to capture the energy of mass x velocity in a way my hybrid just throws away as heat (as I step on my brakes). Any of you math whiz (Capt Jack or Electric Car Owner?) care to sharpen you pencils?


  323. 323
    LB

     

    LB
     Says

     

    Apr 29th, 2009 (12:12 am)

    Lyle – you are the man! Thanks for the excellent description of your experience and thanks for the video. Congratulations on driving the beast we all have been wondering about for all of this time. Your drive in the mule certainly makes it feel like it’s going to be the real deal, as long as GM keeps it’s head above the water. So sorry to see the end of Pontiac. Always have been a huge fan of Pontiacs. GM-Volt.com! Amazing what one little idea can turn into.


  324. 324
    Casey

     

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     Says

     

    Apr 29th, 2009 (12:16 am)

    It’s about time Lyle, GM finally did it. that was great, fantastic, you are a part of history.


  325. 325
    CDAVIS

     

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     Says

     

    Apr 29th, 2009 (12:46 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    The power of one!!!

    900 articles posted by Lyle to rally America around a car that has the potential of making both a profound positive environmental impact and profound shift towards American Energy Independence.

    That’s a Herculean effort.

    Thank you Lyle!!!
    ______________________________________________________
    Electric Cars + Nuclear Energy = American Energy Independence!
    ______________________________________________________


  326. 326
    Bert

     

    Bert
     Says

     

    Apr 29th, 2009 (2:37 am)

    Shame GM trashed the EV1 then really wasnt it…


  327. 327
    tim-the-dreamer

     

    tim-the-dreamer
     Says

     

    Apr 29th, 2009 (3:03 am)

    About freakin time! Congrates Lyle! Looking forward to your review of the completed unit.

    GM, we KNOW your reading this, as soon as you complete the final asembly; put Lyle behind that wheel asap! He’s got thousands of supporters who trust him and if he says it worth the money, guess what; you’ve got alot of customers knocking at your door. The trolls won’t be able to stop us and word shall spred. Lyle is the best spokesman you’ll ever have. Actors are paid, employees are paid; Lyle’s honesty is without reproach and has us backing him.


  328. 328
    The Grump

     

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     Says

     

    Apr 29th, 2009 (3:46 am)

    Late to the party again…damn, no one reads up to the 300th post. Oh well.
    ——————————————————-
    Lyle, dittos on the test drive, but I have to agree with Statik #56 – why no functional ICE by this point? That’s supposed to be the BIG thing about the EREV – the change from electric only to gasoline assist. Something stinks here, folks, and it ain’t my socks. OK, yeah, my socks DO smell bad, but this MIA EREV situation stinks even worse.

    It’s a shame – you finally get to drive a Volt, and you only get to drive a BEV. But congrats on the test drive anyway, Lyle. Maybe you’ll get to test drive a real Volt someday.
    ———————————————————–
    BTW, I finally did it. On April 22, 2009, I finally traded my 2005 Honda Odyssey – for a new 2009 Odyssey. I couldn’t wait on the Volt any longer. Why not the Honda Insight ? Two words – “tiny car”. After being in rent-a-car hell for a week in a rented Chevy HHR, I found that I truly HATE SMALL CARS.

    If the Volt is the same size as the Insight, I will have to wait on the Chevy Orlando hybrid, or Toyota Estima hybrid, to go on sale on the US. A hybrid minivan with a Voltec drive would be ideal, but Dodge is about to bite the dust, and their ENVI Voltec-type minivan will go with them.


  329. 329
    Kaan KIRAC

     

    Kaan KIRAC
     Says

     

    Apr 29th, 2009 (4:58 am)

    It’s very nice.
    Your comments show us that Volt is on the right development way.
    Some countries as Turkey totally depend to outsource for energy. This kind of cars will be very helpfull to developing countries.


  330. 330
    Ausmartin

     

    Ausmartin
     Says

     

    Apr 29th, 2009 (5:29 am)

    Excellent car really moves !
    Nice Drive with the mule Lyle
    Just have to picture the steering wheel on the right hand side for Australia LOL!


  331. 331
    Dan Frederiksen

     

    Dan Frederiksen
     Says

     

    Apr 29th, 2009 (5:47 am)

    I’m sorry everyone, I know I’m a douchebag but my parents were beatnicks and didn’t believe in punishing me. I can’t keep up with this thread as I’ve got to go stick my head back up my ass.

    GIANT DOUCHE


  332. 332
    Dave99

     

    Dave99
     Says

     

    Apr 29th, 2009 (6:18 am)

    @ CaptJackSparrow

    you seem to know a lot more about the specifics of the motors/generators than I do. my background is more centered around energy. with that, I think I can have some input about:

    “where it is ‘Regenerative to store/recapture energy’ and the point where it is ‘Regenerative for brake purposes only’”

    considering conservation of energy, the energy of the traveling vehicle needs to go somewhere. with conventional brakes, its turns into heat. with the electro-mechanical system, it turns into electricity. so you must “regen to store/recapture energy”, unless you burn that off that energy somewhere else (maybe a super-duty resistor?). if there were no mechanical brakes, the control system would always have to leave X% of battery capacity left otherwise there would be nowhere for the energy to go and the car wouldn’t stop.


  333. 333
    RB

     

    RB
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    Apr 29th, 2009 (6:21 am)

    Reading back through this long thread I realize that is very rare in one’s life to be a part of cheerleading an automotive idea (or any idea) from its fragile beginnings to a real car at this advanced stage of development. It all seems so much more unlikely, in retrospect, knowing what we now know about how tentatively Mr Lutz and GM put the original concept car out on display — it was a real one off, nice to see and never to be seen again.

    But with its various supporters, including most notably its core group within GM but also Lyle especially on the outside, an accidental time overlap with a major run-up in oil prices, and with somewhat random but sustained support from the rest of us, here we are, no longer talking concept but now a real car, one we hope will soon be for sale. Amazing.

    Congratulations GM, congratulations Lyle, and “good job” to the whole group posting here.


  334. 334
    Lunoir

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (6:51 am)

    My 2 cents onto why GM don’t let anyone outside GM live the transition to “consumer depletion point”. My guess is that you can barely hear the generator kicking in but it stops after a while (especially if you’re in city driving) and then starts again and stops again and after a few times it bugs people.
    NPNS!


  335. 335
    Jason

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (7:20 am)

    I’m so glad Lyle was given his opportunity to test drive a mule. After watching the video, I was grinning from ear to ear. I hope the price winds up in my price range (lower $30,000 before tax break). I want that car for so many reasons. It was very encouraging to watch the Volt drivetrain make it up that hill so easily. I’m curious if the car lost noticeable steam (or should I say surge) just before cresting the hill. What did that “feel” like behind the wheel?


  336. 336
    Ben Goddard

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (7:23 am)

    Thanks Lyle,- It was fun to take my first ride in a Volt! But I can see its still not ready for prime time, – and I doubt they will introduce by october 2010 as was originally predicted.

    With a Chrysler/Fiat merger we will finally have a small car being produced by American Workers, in the United States, and, probably for sale here ahead of the Volt. This might hurt. Ford is moving production of one of their, economical, European minivans to Detroit and that might hurt. And, of course, several other countries will be bringing in electrics BEFORE Volt, and that will hurt. Again GM has wasted resources on big, expensive and gas eating models and will wonder why its sales are down.


  337. 337
    Jeff

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (7:40 am)

    It seems the theme of this thread is “Where’s the GenSet?” or “Lyle STILL has not test driven a GM EREV”.

    I wonder if GM considers the GenSet config of an EREV too much info to release yet. It seems to me that ICE cycle should be user controlled to certain level.


  338. 338
    ArkansasVolt

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (7:51 am)

    #310 koz

    People are still reading the posts, but seem to get tired of the conversation or just posting, period.


  339. 339
    nuclearboy

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (7:59 am)

    Dan at 258 says “EV1 was actually not a gov mandate. a part of GM actually made the car at their own initiative without the leadership of GM really being on top of it and CARB was inspired by the possibility and then created EV legislation.”

    This is my point. GM made a concept car. OK. The CARB was inspired by the possiblity and then created EV legislation (ie: they mandated the programs).

    Electric cars were a bad idea in the late 90s and only Govt intervention could force them to be produced. CARB did that and GM responded as necessary. When CARB pulled the mandate, they effectively killed the EV programs.

    A similar analogy could be made with Fuel cell cars. These are great but they cannot be mass produced right now at a reasonable cost. GM has the great Equinox Fuel cell program. If congress wanted to, they could mandate a fraction of these be produced. GM would have to respond. No one would buy them without a subsidy and the Gov’t could pick up that tab.

    If the Govt. pulled the mandate and subsidy for a fuel cell, manufacturers would drop them. Again, in this example the Govt. would have killed the fuel cell car.


  340. 340
    statik

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:03 am)

    #337 ArkansasVolt says:

    —I dunno, I don’t read way down here

    Side note: Autoblog, apparently also under the ‘embargo’ for the interebs has their test drive up…and a video. Go check it out if your so inclined….they also have some really nice pictures, interiors, good shot of the plug/recepticle, etc.

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/04/28/first-drive-chevrolet-volt-powertrain-mule/

    (I assume Lyle has lots of pictures too, but we get to see them as header shots for new threads…a lot less photoshopping in the future, hehe)


  341. 341
    Herm

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:07 am)

    I’m sure the brakes (not breaks) are hydraulic.. there is a master cylinder attached to your brake pedal and pressure lines going to each wheel.

    The master cylinder may be electrically assisted (a small motor helps you push on the pedal) but most likely it uses vacuum, has a storage vacuum reservoir and an electric vacuum pump to top it off. There is a video of a Tesla where you can hear the vacuum pump cycle on and off. I’m not sure what GM is using.

    Electric cars could do without regular friction brakes and just depend on regenerative braking.. there would be a lot of unsprung weight saved in the front.. and cost savings also..you would still need a mechanical parking/emergency brake and this could be put on the rear wheels. Most likely GM lawyers are not ready for this.

    Earlier on GM said they only allowed the battery to be charged to 80% to leave room for regenerative brake energy when you first drove off in the morning.. this seemed kind of strange to me.


  342. 342
    statik

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:20 am)

    #337 ArkansasVolt Says:

    #310 koz-People are still reading the posts, but seem to get tired of the conversation or just posting, period.
    ———————————
    You only get the crazies this far down.

    Side note for people looking for ‘late-in-the-thread’ entertainment: Toyota apparently put out a promotional video on the solar powered ventilation system, and how it works. Here is the youtube link if you want to have a looksie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CchHIy7JgvA


  343. 343
    J. Muchagrove

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:24 am)

    #274:

    “What’s that?”

    “Oh, its the prunundle”

    “That what?”

    “Oh never mind”


  344. 344
    ArkansasVolt

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:31 am)

    btw, this post is now in the top ten most commented!!!


  345. 345
    old man

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:34 am)

    Static #340 DANG NOW I’M ONE OF THE CRAZYS

    I think the reason for the ICE not being part of the drive is, GM is trying to make it very smooth and IDIOT proof. Some will feel challanged to make it fail. Push the petal to floor and then instantly hit the brakes over and over. Others will have their sences on hyper alert trying to find something to gripe about, like some of our posters who seem to want this car and GM to fail.
    I would expect that the Volt is now ICE ready for those who want it to be a success and will drive it simply as a typical driver would. As I said many months ago, let a 17 year old boy drive it if you want to find out what could go wrong!


  346. 346
    David K (CT)

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:35 am)

    Static @ 340…Toyota apparently put out a promotional video on the solar powered ventilation system, and how it works. Here is the youtube link if you want to have a looksie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CchHIy7JgvA

    ——————————————————

    WOW! LOL.

    Now that is COOL! LOL

    Hmm, I wonder how much that option would cost? :(

    Doesn’t seem like something that would be anything other than a conversation piece, and I am definitely opposed to having it as a standard item on my Blue Volt.

    I hope I didn’t just start a war on the solar roof deal. LOL.


  347. 347
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:45 am)

    David K (CT). #344

    If I remember correctly, approx $3600 USD.

    Lyle did an article on this about 2-3 weeks ago.


  348. 348
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:48 am)

    Okay, I did finally see the video (last night, after I got home), and he really is saying “Drive” and “Low.”

    It occurred to me that perhaps GM is employing a bit of psychology to get more regeneration-friendly behavior at around-town speeds: the “back pressure” of the “L” setting probably reflects a pretty effective regeneration algorithm (as opposed to the lunk-heads, especially around here, who race to the red light and then slam on their brakes).

    The way most people drive at highway speeds, it’s not so much of an issue, I’m thinking. The only time you slam on your brakes on the Interstate is when you’re trying to avoid a crash. With no other instruction, people might be more likely to use “L” on surface streets, and “D” on the highway.

    After watching the video I haven’t been this excited by the Volt in a long time. I might even get the gee-whiz plastic touch-panel real Volt and not wait for the ‘electric Cruze’ model. ;-)

    No, I haven’t read the last hundred entries, yet; so apologies if someone else said, etc, yada yada yada.


  349. 349
    Mark Bartosik

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:53 am)

    Hey, I don’t need seamless change over.
    I understand the most people do, and it is desirable for acceptance and technical reasons, but I’d be happy if there was a beeping sound and a red flashing light warning me to flip the “engage ICE” switch at about 39 miles.

    I’ve posted at #1 before, but #340 is another record for me I think :-)


  350. 350
    statik

     

    statik
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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:54 am)

    #344 David K (CT) Says:

    WOW! LOL.

    Now that is COOL! LOL

    Hmm, I wonder how much that option would cost?

    Doesn’t seem like something that would be anything other than a conversation piece, and I am definitely opposed to having it as a standard item on my Blue Volt.

    I hope I didn’t just start a war on the solar roof deal. LOL.
    =======================

    Like all fancy, ‘thats kinda cool things,’ it is more expensive than it is worth….and only comes in a package w/the nav system, moonroof and a couple other things:

    Solar Roof Package $3,600

    Includes Navigation
    Package equipment
    plus power tilt/slide
    moonroof with Solar
    Powered Ventilation
    System and Remote Air
    Conditioning System


  351. 351
    David K (CT)

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:55 am)

    Rashiid Amul @ 345

    If I remember correctly, approx $3600 USD.

    Lyle did an article on this about 2-3 weeks ago.

    ——————————————————

    Thank you for the info.

    I think I would forego this “option” and elect to “crack” my windows for the couple months of the year that the cabin gets warm. :)


  352. 352
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (9:01 am)

    In the deep South, air conditioning is part of your life-support system; and it’s something I think about a lot in relation to the Volt.

    Conventional Automotive A/C is powered mechanically, so there’s a seal through which coolant can leak. Also, cooling capacity is set by the rpm of the engine. The compressor has to be sized to deliver usable cooling at idle, making it larger than it has to be.

    An electric A/C’s compressor and motor can be sealed, like in a home system, so there’s no leakage under normal circumstances. The compressor doesn’t have to be particularly hefty, since it can always run at an optimum speed. I really hope that the motor has it’s own controller so that it can run at varying speeds as cooling is required. Also, I hope that it can run like a heat pump in 40-50 degree weather we have for much of the winter, here.

    Because it is not mechanically powered off the engine, running the A/C should have no effect on performance, though it will have an effect on range. On a mid-summer day in Atlanta, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, that A/C will be cranking, even if it costs you one mile out of every four (though I hope it won’t be that bad).


  353. 353
    Guido

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (9:11 am)

    WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR ? I’ve posted this link before, but it is worthwhile reading for anyone who seriously questions this issue:

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/09/15/at-witz-end-gm-ev1-the-real-story-part-iv/

    Note that this link takes you to “part 4″ of a four part series. I suggest you follow the appropriate links in the first paragraph to start with “part 1″ , then follow his story sequentially.

    Of course, if you already know everything ( Dan F ), you may not want to bother…..


  354. 354
    Herm

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (9:36 am)

    Have you seen the 5000 BTU window units at Walmart? .. only $88, the compressor looks like a tall boy beer can and the whole thing only uses 500watts.. very cute.


  355. 355
    GM - Volt Test Drive ~ The Blade by Ron Schenone, MVP

     

    GM - Volt Test Drive ~ The Blade by Ron Schenone, MVP
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    Apr 29th, 2009 (9:46 am)

    [...] Full test review. [...]


  356. 356
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (10:43 am)

    Is this a concession to oil companies, brake suppliers and dealer mechanics? Everyone will put it in D for Drive all the time, thus no regenerative braking at all, so the brakes will wear down faster and need to be replaced sooner, more gas will be used in general, and vehicle performance will suffer.

    L = Lets you get better vehicle performance, higher mileage and more controlled stopping in bad road conditions.

    D = Dumb, Dishonest. I’ll never use this setting.

    I’ve found it takes about three months of solid full time driving experience in mixed traffic conditions to learn how to a feather an accelerator pedal well to really start controlling electric drive / regenerative braking in performance driving, so don’t expect short test drives by drivers who are used to full gassers to figure it out. I’m really hoping that the Volt comes in multiple regen settings, from mild (but never off), to maximum warning, will rogers, pickup truck with shot brakes behind you goes up your rear end when approaching the next red light (I suggest wearing a HANS unit for that setting and get ready to keep buying new Volts as the drivers behind you keep buying you new ones using their insurnace companies to do so.) I happen to like really strong regenerative braking, but maybe that’s just me.

    Here’s hoping that the Volt team has had a VR setup with all the equipment and a huge cadre of 12 year olds interacting with it in a biofeedback process, to come up with the ideal algorithms for some basic driver choices (such as, CGE – crappy gasser emulation, which sounds pretty close to the current D setting, ECO – minimizes overly heavy on the pedal (in both directions) efficiency robbing effects, NORM – optimized for acceleration and braking performance that isn’t much outside average 2009 gasser vehicle performance (sounds close to the current L setting), RED BUTTON (think MIB) – maximized performance for electric drive and regenerative braking – requires GM branded driving school training and successful tests to have this button activated. You can even have multiple settings there based on driving test results.) I can dream.


  357. 357
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (11:33 am)

    From autobloggreen:

    “when the time comes to slow, lifting your foot off the accelerator yields a small amount of regen braking to simulate the coast-down on a conventional vehicle. The transmission shift lever also has a low gear position that induces more aggressive lift-off regen, about 0.25-0.30 g of deceleration — equivalent to the braking most drivers regularly perform. When driving in stop-and-go traffic drivers could select L and just drive with one pedal much of the time, maximizing regenerative braking and range.”

    ok, now I’m on board. It just needed someone explaining it properly. I support the end result.


  358. 358
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (11:41 am)

    Except that there’s no low gear, so calling it a low gear position is misleading. Electric drive uses one gear (with rare exceptions).


  359. 359
    chris

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (11:50 am)

    Hi Volt Team,

    This car will change vehicule in near future. When will you put this tech. in 2500 truck ? Huge truck have more than enough room for battery pack and generator ! I can’t wait to see the first electric truck hitting showroom. I have for more than 1 year, a 2009 camry hybrid, and believe me, toyota don’t impress me with that car. Inside the car, all the plastics are cracking and vibrating like hell, sometime I listen my mp3 player directly in my ears to replace car audio system cause plastic vibrate too much with car sound system at 20-30% volume or on rough road like we have in Canada.

    Another thing with hybrid, they don’t work in temperature below 30 F or -5 C. The gas engine never stop when it’s cold because gas motor need to be warm to heat the inside of the car. So on freezing day say goodbye to fuel economy and hello to gas station.

    Chris
    Québec, Canada


  360. 360
    ricky

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (1:36 pm)

    One step closer to getting this car on the road for the working american i hope. Chevy should make sure everyone can afford this car.


  361. 361
    Monroe

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    allen gibson @278: “Gas and electric but can’t get over the measely 40 miles per charge. I think GM is holding back again and not really trying to produce like I know an American Car company can and frankly if they won’t and companies like Tesla will.”

    Response: Yes they are holding back on battery capacity, but it is for a reason. Batteries are expensive and heavy. Tesla cars are at least twice the cost of the Volt. GM’s logic is that since you won’t use more than 40 miles per day usually, it’s better to save the cost and weight of the extra lithium. And there are other reasons: (1) You’re never stranded because it only takes a few minutes to refill the gas tank, (2) The gas gives you much longer total range than Tesla ever could. I really don’t see what the big deal is about the AER being small because it’s sufficient for most people most of the time, and it’s not that big a deal to burn a little gas once in a while.


  362. 362
    Barry

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (6:32 pm)

    Is anyone quoting a 0 to 60 for the Volt? I realize this is not a race care, but there is no reason an electric motor has to be a slow dog like the Prius.


  363. 363
    Eugene

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:21 pm)

    The price point is the main concern. At first we were told this would be a vehicle comparable to most mid-size vehicles with a price point starting in the mid-20′s. Now we hear the cost will start around $40k, and for most normal folk, that will just not fly. I’m concerned this good idea may be sunk because of the great expense. Unless such a car could be had nicely equipped for no more than the upper 20′s; this thing will not fly.


  364. 364
    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:42 pm)

    Congratulations Lyle! Glad GM finally let you drive a Volt mule. I bet you felt like you were a teenager with your first car all over again. I’m sure you’ll be one of the first people to get to drive the final version of the Volt when it becomes available. Thanks for posting the video. It’s good to let us Volt fans get a feeling for what the real Volt is going to be like.

    Keep up the good work. Keep us posted on some of that “insider stuff” if they’ll let you tell us. You probably have one of the most popular blogs on the internet these days. There might be a huge number of posts on here by the time the Volt gets ready to be launched in 2010. :)


  365. 365
    Howard Buckalew

     

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    Apr 29th, 2009 (8:43 pm)

    Lyle,

    Thank you for this. I cannot wait for your second test drive. I hope the hill thing can be fixed. I do not want to be run over by an 18 wheeler on the 610 bridge, or being honked at on a graded on ramp. Hopefully one can finance for 6 to 7 years @ 0% , and take the tax credit as the down payment.


  366. 366
    autostry

     

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    Apr 30th, 2009 (2:48 am)

    Congratulations on a great review! I hope they would be able to fix the issues you saw on this one.


  367. 367
    the real james

     

    the real james
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    Apr 30th, 2009 (4:01 am)

    glad they finally let you drive one! nice report…

    god bless the chevy volt!!! a true american car!

    looking to see volt’s production, sales and profits skyrocket and mushroom!!!


  368. 368
    Bruce

     

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    Apr 30th, 2009 (10:20 am)

    BRING BACK THE EV1 !!!!!

    Seriously though, give me a 100% electric car purely for city commuting and I, along with 100 million others, would be happy.


  369. 369
    HowtoSaveGM

     

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    Apr 30th, 2009 (10:24 am)

    Too many people in GM Corporate office without a clue…..

    From what I read, lots of admin types jumping around trying to save money by eliminating staples and paperclips..

    GM needs Global savvy… LOTS of it. Needs to get it, and get it quick….

    In my opinion, if you cannot speak a 2nd language at least proficiently, you should not even be able to get an executive position at GM….. -Got to turn it around in a big way, small measures don’t mean jack’ and it starts with the culture and people.

    GM is a two bit ‘beer belly Texan relying on his big truck, belly and worst of all: ‘hope’, without a clue whatsoever about whats going on around his immediate self, town, county, State and Country…..

    Drastic times call for drastic measures…. And with significant US Govt backing, no better time. :-) -Unfortunately, the current path leads to high minority GM stake by the UAW… :-(

    Nothing, repeat NOTHING will ever change dramatically to the better for GM, or for that matter any other US auto manufacturer, as long as that is the case! -A Chapter 11 and quick 13 is better than that as it will free up the start ups in the US to grow to potentially more efficiently meet the needs of the Global marketplace.

    The progress with the GM VOLT, and prior EV1 (despite all the complaints for its demise) shows GM at its best, as a technological leader. And at it’s soul, GM is in fact a leader….. Unfortunately, GM get’s a bad rep, and attribute that to ineffective management over the years, stuck in ‘Troit’.

    GM should focus on: Leadership…
    - In every class, in every category.
    -That is the goal, and it is achievable.
    -But it requires a lot of difficult changes.
    -in my (idealistic) opinion, in addition to reducing power and stake of the UAW, they are as follows:

    1. Relocated Corporate GM HQ and all R&D to Silicon Valley, CA and environs as soon as possible. Bay Area, along with NYC and maybe Chicago, is the idea and talent capitals of the US. -Talent in Detroit and environs simply does not come close in this particular category. Sorry to hurt anyones feelings.

    2. For passenger vehicles, there are three broad categories:

    a. BCTBBA’s (Big Cars and Trucks for Big Butt Americans)
    a.1. All Design, Production, Manufacturing as well as parts supply for BCTBBA’s should predominately be done in the good ole’ USA.

    b. Ulra Efficient Small Cars (Global)
    b.1. Design is centered in Silicon Valley HQ.
    b.2. Majority production, manufacturing is done in China, for Global marketplace.
    b.3. GM buys large minority stake in BYD, and increases stakes in existing China partners. Stakes in all China manufacturers should be maximized to greatest extent as possible over time….
    b.4 GM opens up sizeable minority ownership stake to ‘China Investment Corp.’
    b.5. GM potentially sells its profitable South Korean Daewoo division to highest bidder to raise capital…
    b.6. GM seeks US Govt assistance at highest levels to replace majority VW taxi cabs in major Chinese cities with Chinese made GM or GM Chinese affiliate vehicles…
    b.7. Establish production dominance of Electric plug-in vehicles in China backed by US R&D, massed produced out of China, globally distributed.

    c. Luxury Cars (Global)
    c.1. Design, Production is done in Germany (Opel)
    c.2. This includes your grandaddy’s vaunted ‘Cadallac’.
    c.3. Opel to aggressively build luxury brand that competes in performance and quality but lower price to Diamler/Mercedes/BMW, worldwide…..-Here’s where you spend the most money to build brand image!

    So there are three centers of gravity:

    China
    SV-CA USA
    Germany

    Re-shuffling the deck doesn’t go as far as re-arranging the game..


  370. 370
    ArkansasVolt

     

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    Apr 30th, 2009 (3:03 pm)

    #369 HowtoSaveGM

    I cannot say that I agree completely.

    1. Relocating HQ might bring out different people, but I do not agree with SV-CA (maybe a Chicago or Dallas).

    2.
    a. your “Big Cars and Trucks for Big Butt Americans” would be a very large group of vehicles including Trucks/SUVs/CUVs/Large Cars I am assuming.
    a1. ok.

    b. Appealing group, though there will be a narrow range of cars to choose from here.
    b1. Yes.
    b2. It may be frowned upon to take jobs to other countries for plant production.
    b.3. BYD? I am skeptical here.
    b.4 This also is not an excellent choice trying to get too involved over seas.
    b.5. Yes, and maybe a few more subsidies.
    b.6. This may also be nice.
    b.7. Maybe too much overseas again, but it might work.

    c. Very necessary class (more bang for the buck from GMs point of view)
    c.1. Keep it in the US.
    c.2. Opel is not the luxury capitol of the cars.
    c.3. That is not a bad idea, i guess.

    So I would say the center of gravity needs to be kept here in US.


  371. 371
    George K

     

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    Apr 30th, 2009 (5:42 pm)

    Out of town, but had to comment on this momentous post!

    Congrats Lyle, on the drive! So many of us have been waiting for the comments on your first Volt drive.

    Yes, I felt as though I was in the passenger seat with you. I’m glad to hear the back seat is flat. That opens up some possibilities.

    “two driving configuration options called D and L. Both gave the same acceleration, but when you step off the accelerator you get strong regenerative drag if in L and coast in D, the former being best for city driving.”

    Would like to know more about this. I’m hoping that “D”, then, means I can be in a free glide, as in “pulse and glide”, which many Prius drivers use to increase their MPG. That will end up getting many people more then 40 miles on a charge… traffic permitting.

    Or, perhaps a 3rd “configuration option” will be needed to slightly slow the car, somewhat like a standard car?

    Go, Lyle!


  372. 372
    Steve G

     

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    Apr 30th, 2009 (6:23 pm)

    People seem to think that having regenerative breaking on all the time your not on the gas will improve mileage, and is therefore always disireable. I assure you it is not. Having the ability to coast is very useful and coasting to a stop is much more efficient then using the generator to slow you down, then speed you back up. For instance, Coasting down a hill on the highway. You would be able to maintain, or even gain speed going down the hill, if you had regnerative breaking you would end up having to take your foot off the go pedal, slow down, then speed up again, then slow down, then sped up. Much more efficient to just coast down the hill no? And easier too. The only time it comes in handy is in congested traffic, as was suggested. Then you are going to need to stop and go.

    I’m a hardcore hypermiler, and i can only imaging the milage i could wring out of a volt. /drool


  373. 373
    Bob G

     

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    Apr 30th, 2009 (6:38 pm)

    #291 Jason Says”… I think GM is making an absolutley HUGE mistake not releasing a pure BEV version of the Volt. Strip all the ICE junk out, lighten it up, increase the range to 180 miles, and sell it for $25k.”

    You want to add enough batteries to get 180 miles range, but somehow sell the car for a *lower* price!? Batteries are *very* expensive; far more expensive than the ICE (which explains Tesla’s high price).


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    Bob G

     

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    Apr 30th, 2009 (6:39 pm)

    #242 N Riley Says, “I like the “idea” of the L and D settings for the forward shift, but I don’t know why they picked those particular letters (especially the L). … Does any one know the reason for the use of the letter L?”

    I think it is because they behave similarly to the “D” (drive) and “L” (low) that have been on the automatic transmissions that drivers have been using for decades … part of the “no lifestyle change required” philosophy.


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    hate 2 pay

     

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    May 1st, 2009 (12:45 am)

    i agree with post 291 take out the ice and generator and run battery’s
    get it over 100 miles a charge and sell for under 20k, then you will have something. lead acid battery’s are cheaper and stronger than 10 years ago, or go nimh, way stronger and cheaper than in the 90′s
    here is a fun fact

    The EV1 came in two “flavors”: one using advanced NiMH batteries, and the other using cheaper lead-acid batteries. With PSB EV-EC1260 lead batteries, this EV1 had a range over 100 miles on a charge. The cost of this off-the-shelf battery pack is no more than $4,800.

    http://www.ev1.org/


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    Stbdtack

     

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    May 1st, 2009 (2:08 pm)

    What a brilliant coup by GM! A 40 mile commuter that looks, drives, and costs just like a compact luxury sport sedan. Looks like the engineers are close, but the marketing is more than a little bit off target. I got in line for one at $30,000, which was a stretch for a commuter car, but Hey, I want to support the US. Now we have an (apparently) expensive battery pack built in South Korea. Thud.

    I hope I’m wrong but I see a big flop for this car, which is a real shame because the drive train makes sense. One more for the Management Team at GM. I wondered what happened to Alfed E. Newman – guess he runs marketing and design at GM now. They need to decide on one or the other: a 40 mile commuter that is priced like a 40 mile commuter, or a hot rod luxury car that gets more than a smirk in passing from the Yuppies who have the dinero to buy, but are all headed toward, a Lexus or a BMW or Audi. What does GM perceive as a market for this car? They don’t even know whether to lease or sell the battery, let alone the whole vehicle.

    When this turns out to be another EV-1, will they blame the battery again?

    What a waste of talent and resources!


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    Video: Chevy Volt Preview | Go Green Park

     

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    May 1st, 2009 (10:59 pm)

    [...] Physician and electric car enthusiast Dr. Lyle Dennis got the thrill of a lifetime when he got a preview of the new Chevy Volt and the chance to take it for a [...]


  378. [...]   Also, a review on a GM website with video. GM-Volt.com Chevy Volt Mule Test Drive w/ Video | GM-VOLT : Chevy Volt Electric Car Site [...]


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    May 14th, 2009 (9:02 pm)

    The Concept Car Chevy Volt Looked way better then the production Model of the Chevy VoltI dont know why they changed it.


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    The Blog Planet - Car Technology change

     

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    May 25th, 2009 (3:59 am)

    [...] GM-Volt.com Chevy Volt Mule Test Drive w/ Video | GM-VOLT : Chevy … [...]


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    dieting tips

     

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    Jun 14th, 2009 (1:35 am)

    The Volt concept car was magnificent this is just another jellybean on wheels. Is it carved in stone that electrichybrid cars must be ugly?


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    Lwesson

     

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    Jun 25th, 2009 (3:49 pm)

    Right you are K-dawg about cameras. I think however that there is a certain want for whisper quite on this new era for the re-birth of electric cars. I imagine that later there will be more attention paid for the whole Fahrvergnugen experience and that might come from simple old fashion competition. Fisker autos have added some sound.

    Cheers! Higgins


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    machwhiskey6

     

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    Aug 11th, 2009 (1:05 pm)

    if this is the future body styling of the Volt, close the shop.