An unknown area about the Chevy Volt is how much gas the tank will hold and how the possibility for stale gas will be dealt with. It is known the first 40 miles of driving will be from the electricity of a fully charged battery. After that the car will get 50 MPG.
I was recently told by Volt vehicle line executive Frank Weber that “the gas tank will be between 6 and 10 gallons.”
Below is some further detail I was given by Volt lead engineer, Andrew Farah:
A long standing secret seems to be how large the Volt’s gas tank will be, can you clarify?
Its not a secret. I’m still balancing (the decision). I can trade off fuel tank size for other things. As we’re taking the vehicle through this critical phase of development this calendar year, there’s a strong likelihood I’ll still be making changes to that variable. And rather than throw a number out, we have said the car is going to go several hundred miles. Exactly how much is something we’re going to be tuning and trading off for other things.
So the size of the gas tank affects the mass and thus may be varied according to your needs?
Certainly. Fuel is very heavy and it also takes up space so maybe we’re going to use some of that space for something else too.
Have you solved the stale gas problem?
I’m not so worried about that. Most people are going to use up some fuel at some rate, probably faster than six months. Fuel is certainly going to be good for six months without concern. Most people are going to take one or two long trips in six months. We’re not designing this vehicle as a pure EV for a reason. Most people realistically while they’re going to get their 40 miles and there’s going to be five days a week when they may never use any gas at all, there’s a strong likelihood that they are going to use enough gas that this isn’t going to be a significant problem for most people.
So you feel you don’t need to build in a system to deal with it?
I don’t think we need to build in a special system.
If somebody never uses their gas in a year and a half will the car remind them about it?
That’s one solution, but if you go read the regulations about fuel management and evaporative emissions, (you will see) we have to limit our evaporative emissions to almost nothing. If you limit your evaporative emissions to almost nothing, things don’t get stale very much.
Take any volatile fluid, in the sense that it has a low vapor pressure and keep a lid on it and what happens? Almost nothing. Its not the same as in a lawn mower where you don’t have a sealed system. We have a sealed system. So there is something we are doing, it is not particularly special, but thats what we’re going to do.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 5:58 am and is filed under Engineering, Fuel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.