May 26

Volt Chief Engineer on Chevy Volt Gas Tank Size and Stale Gas Management

 

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.

COMMENTS: 211


  1. 1
    RB

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:06 am)

    New Volt information. Nice.


  2. 2
    Tagamet

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:07 am)

    Shoot. Almost #1 Today is the big day for bondholders. Fingers crossed.
    Be well,
    Tagamet


  3. 3
    RB

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:08 am)

    ” After that the car will get 50 MPG.”
    Where does this value come from?


  4. 4
    RB

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:10 am)

    Tag
    Please don’t shoot :)


  5. 5
    VOLTinME

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:15 am)

    Perhaps GM could include a free rubber tube (with a Volt purchase) to suck the old gas out just like I do with my snowblower in spring. Kidding, kidding.


  6. 6
    koz

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:16 am)

    Why so vague about what the space tradeoff’s are for the Volt?

    My 2C: there is good value in larger tank size up to 350 miles and it tails off after that for most people.

    Sounds like they are just planning to seal the Volt’s gas tank a little bit better than the average car. For me it’s not a concern since the generator will turn often enough.


  7. 7
    Tagamet

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:25 am)

    RB,
    Not to worry. I’m a lousy shot.
    Be well,
    Tagamet
    LJGTVWOTR!!**********NPNS


  8. 8
    Dave G

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:27 am)

    Lyle,

    Thanks for asking these questions. You make this a great site!


  9. 9
    nuclearboy

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:30 am)

    On another subject: There is an air powered car in the news today. It makes references to the Volt on energy use comparisons. Volt is more efficient but the Air car does not need a battery.

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D98DE2M82&show_article=1


  10. 10
    Herm

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:31 am)

    That is a very nice picture of the Volt ..


  11. 11
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:31 am)

    Just to be clear “It is not a secret,” he is “still balancing the decision” on the tanks right now
    …BUT we are building the first production intent prototype for testing right now and will be ready July 1st?

    —hi, these are mutually exclusive goals.

    I’m going to translate this as, “we want to do 6 gallons, because that is easy….it is half of the double bladder-12 gallon tanks we originally planned/made space for, and it is a easy solution, but we are kinda of worried about getting close to 50 MPG in the real world…and no one is thrilled about having the combination of only 6 gallons and 40MPG or less”


  12. 12
    nasaman

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:36 am)

    GM should use AT LEAST a 10 gallon tank —the marketing advantage of being able to “drive non-stop for over 500 miles”, completely removing any “range anxiety” concern, would be enormous!


  13. 13
    Dave G

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:42 am)

    #3 RB,

    50 MPG comes from GM, but I think it’s been over a year since they have mentioned that.

    Right now they are tuning all the variables. The software that drives the car will have a significant impact on MPG after 40 miles, and that won’t be finished until summer 2010, so don’t expect any final hard numbers until then. But 50 MPG is their target, so I’ve been running with that for now.

    Compared with the 50MPG 2009 Prius, the Volt has a few issues which will lower MPG, and a few things that should raise MPG. Efficiency losses in the generator and electric motor come into play here, but remember that larger electric motors are more efficient than smaller ones. I’ve heard these should be over 90 % efficiency each. In addition, the Volt doesn’t have any CVT transmission, so it’s a more direct connection between the electric motor and the wheels. Also, don’t forget that GM will be running the gas engine at a few fixed RPMs. The engine and exhaust system will be tuned for these fixed RPMs. This should increase efficiency a lot.

    But again, we probably won’t have final MPG numbers until next summer.


  14. 14
    Dave G

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:44 am)

    #12 nasaman Says: GM should use AT LEAST a 10 gallon tank…
    ————————————————————————————–
    A larger gas tank will lower MPG after 40 miles.


  15. 15
    Gsned57

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:49 am)

    I like how whenever the topic of stale gas came up in the past, we on this site would come up with all kinds of solutions and debate what they should do. In the end they said “eh, who the hell’s gonna spend $40K on a car and never go further than 20 miles away from their home? Besides this stuff has been buried under ground for the last 2 billion years so what’s another 6 months in a properly sealed tank!” I like it. Simple and effective.

    I guess if you do go 4 years as a shut in you can always call AAA, tow the car to a garage to change the fuel filter and replace the gas. Or if the GM dealer is within 40 miles from your house just drive there and get the ICE serviced.


  16. 16
    FME III

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:52 am)

    It seems pretty incredible (in the literal sense — not to be believed) that the size of the gas tank is not yet determined. I would think it would considerably affect the architecture of the car. If they’re about to start building IVs, one would think this has been determined.

    However, as I’ve said before, I’m not in the car business, so I will give them the benefit of my doubt.

    As for the Air car, nuclearboy, don’t get too excited. Last time I read up on them, they were getting pretty iffy reviews. Loud and slow.


  17. 17
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:56 am)

    Andrew Farrah said:

    “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.”

    Ahhh, feel the back peddle here. Yupe, we never had any numbers on the subject. Although, most of us are fairly strong with math, as we were told the tank was 12 gallons and got 50 MPG, then it was cut in half.

    Andrew, also had better start talking to the PR and marketing division…the Euro site is still saying the Ampera for 2011 (a twin of the Volt) is going to get, “…more than 500 km range, thats 310+ miles

    http://www.opel-ampera.com/english/

    And here is a press realease from GM North America,
    “…. For longer trips, the Volt’s on-board engine-generator set (range-extender), powered by gasoline or E85, generates additional electricity to power the car well beyond the 300-mile range customers have come to expect”
    http://media.gm.com/us/gm/en/news/events/volt_eflex/08_E-Flex%20Briefing_GM%20Global%20Technology%20Update.htm

    ==============================

    #14 Dave G said:

    A larger gas tank will lower MPG after 40 miles.

    —————
    You seem to always believe/take GM’s numbers at face value. They said they could pull 50 MPG at 12 gallons…so you really can’t use this as a ‘out’ as why they torched the extra tank.


  18. 18
    Tagamet

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:01 am)

    Just the idea that we need to talk about stale gas(oline) BEGS us to yell “I can go for months without burning enough fuel that a tankful might get stale!! Ain’t life great???”
    I know, I don’t get out much, but you get the point.
    Be well,
    Tag
    LJGTVWOTR**********NPNS


  19. 19
    nasaman

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:01 am)

    Re my #12, to use at least a 10 gal tank…………

    Weber says GM will use a tank between 6 & 10 gals. Increasing the tank from 6 gals to 10 gals would add very little mass:

    Approx additional tank weight (steel, straps)…. 3 lbs
    Approx added fuel (6.4 lbs/gal)…. 4 x 6.4 = 25.6 lbs

    So the added weight for a full 10 gal tank vs a full 6 gal tank would be <30 lbs, which is negligible!*

    * When comparing a petite female driver weighing 115 lbs to a big male driver at 230 lbs


  20. 20
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:11 am)

    #19 Nasaman said:

    Weber says GM will use a tank between 6 & 10 gals. Increasing the tank from 6 gals to 10 gals would add very little mass:

    Approx additional tank weight (steel, straps)…. 3 lbs
    Approx added fuel (6.4 lbs/gal)…. 4 x 6.4 = 25.6 lbs

    So the added weight for a full 10 gal tank vs a full 6 gal tank would be <30 lbs, which is negligible!*

    * When comparing a petite female driver weighing 115 lbs to a big male driver at 230 lbs
    ========================

    Very good point about the weight, what is 30 lbs compared to the the variance in the driver? …and the fact the car is north of 3,500 lbs. I think it is a case of the second tank being cut out of the design along time ago, and now they are wrestling with the implications of that decision…or being forced to re-examine it.

    ————–
    Oop, I got one more quote on the, “…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.”

    —”To reduce mass, the Volt is being engineered with a relatively small fuel tank. This reduces weight, but still provides a driving range in excess of 400 miles between fill-ups”-Frank Weber
    http://media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayServlet?target=http://image.emerald.gm.com/gmnews/viewpressreldetail.do?domain=74&docid=44828


  21. 21
    charlie h

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:18 am)

    #16, FME writes, “It seems pretty incredible (in the literal sense — not to be believed) that the size of the gas tank is not yet determined. I would think it would considerably affect the architecture of the car. If they’re about to start building IVs, one would think this has been determined.”

    I was thinking the same thing, myself.

    I have to wonder if they’re thinking they won’t get near 50mpg after customer depletion point and now believe they must consider a bigger fuel tank to get minimum reasonable range (350 miles to empty, IMHO).


  22. 22
    Dave G

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:22 am)

    #17 statik Says: You seem to always believe/take GM’s numbers at face value.
    ————————————————————————————–
    You always doubt GM’s numbers, so I guess we balance each other out!

    Actually, the 50MPG number from GM was an early estimate, so it’s not that I believe or dout it, it’s just that nobody really knows what the final hard MPG after 40 miles numbers will be. In the absence of any hard data, I’m running with their estimate for now, since that is all we have. As I said in post #13, there are some good reasons that 50 MPG is possible, but we will see…

    In any event, the the MPG doesn’t really affect things as much as you would think. With a typical driving pattern, assuming you only charge overnight:
    Vehicle ……………… Gallons per year
    Volt (50 MPG)………….. 37
    Volt (40 MPG)………….. 46
    Prius ………………… 228
    30 MPG car ………… 380
    20 MPG car ………… 570


  23. 23
    Dave G

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:23 am)

    #19 nasaman,

    If the weight is negligible and it doesn’t affect cargo space, then I would also vote for the 10 gallon tank.


  24. 24
    Schmeltz

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:26 am)

    I really can’t see GM’s engineers fretting a 4 gal. difference (from 6 – 10 gal. capacity). Put in the 10 gal. tank and be done with it. Seriously now…. If people buy a couple of “Big Gulps” at their local gas station, you’re soon at 4 gal. already. Will a measely 4 gal. sink the 40 mile AER on this thing??? If so, someone better make some room for more batteries in this thing.


  25. 25
    Joe

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:28 am)

    nasaman Says: @12

    “GM should use AT LEAST a 10 gallon tank —the marketing advantage of being able to “drive non-stop for over 500 miles”, completely removing any “range anxiety” concern, would be enormous!”

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

    How many individuals drive 500 plus miles w/o stopping? I would guess practically no one. So why carry all that extra weight and sacrifice performance and space? In my opinion, the bragging rights of better performance is more important than an unpractical range in distance. This is just my opinion.


  26. 26
    BillR

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:32 am)

    GM testified at a CARB hearing a year ago that the fuel system would be sealed.

    This probably presents some issues. If you fill your tank with gas (probably from a tank in the ground), the fuel temperature is probably ~50 F. If your Volt sits in the sun on a 95 F day, the gas will need to expand. Therefore, there will need to be some expansion tank or bladder to keep the tank at moderate pressures. The bigger the tank, the bigger the expansion system.

    Greg Ciesel has stated that the mule testing has shown that they can meet the performance targets that they have set, so I expect 50 mpg with ICE operation will be met.

    That puts the range in the 300 to 500 mile category, plus 40 AER.


  27. 27
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:37 am)

    Since I will be using gas, I am hoping for the 10 gallon tank.
    I will use at least 100 miles worth of gas in my 5 day commute.
    If I could fill up once a month, that would be great for me.
    This is obviously a personal preference.


  28. 28
    Jeff

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:41 am)

    GM should make every effort to disspell range anxiety…even between gasoline/E85 refills and without a full battery charge. If possible, the range should be more than the average ICE only vehicle. If Letterman is any proof, the biggest myth will be a 40 mile range before an electrical recharge is required.


  29. 29
    Gsned57

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:43 am)

    Nasaman, you of all people should appreciate weight savings (Aerospace related, I’m not saying you are fat). 30 lbs on a 3000 lb car is 1%. If you could save 1% of the weight on the space shuttle you would be a hero and Nasa would probably have a parade for you.

    That being said, I appreciate that this is a car and weight isn’t as critical as it is with something achieving lift. But if they make a few decisions to save 30lbs here and 10 lbs there I think soon we could be talking about real weight. The Geo Metro and the VW rabbit got such good milage because they were light. They were also light on safety features but weight does play a very large role in MPG. For a car that is trying to use as little fuel as possible I say go with the 6 gallon tank and I’ll fill up every 350 miles.


  30. 30
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:50 am)

    Joe # 25 asks,
    How many individuals drive 500 plus miles w/o stopping?

    ———–
    Me. Well up to now, not me, as none of my cars could go that far without stopping at the gas station. However, I live in CT and have driven to Washington State in 3.5 days. I have driven to Colorado in 2.5 days. I prefer to stop as little as possible. When I stop for gas, it is time to eat and do whatever. Then on the road until the next stop for gas. 500 plus miles would suit me perfectly. But I wouldn’t be surprised if I am in the minority.

    And if Nasaman is correct about the extra 30 pounds, shoot, I can just put myself on a badly needed diet and take care of that problem. But the ice cream place down the street might go out of business. ;)


  31. 31
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:57 am)

    #22 Dave G said:

    #17 statik Says: You seem to always believe/take GM’s numbers at face value.
    ————————————————————————————–
    You always doubt GM’s numbers, so I guess we balance each other out!

    Actually, the 50MPG number from GM was an early estimate, so it’s not that I believe or dout it, it’s just that nobody really knows what the final hard MPG after 40 miles numbers will be. In the absence of any hard data, I’m running with their estimate for now, since that is all we have. As I said in post #13, there are some good reasons that 50 MPG is possible, but we will see…
    ======================

    Yes…yes I do, hehe.

    It really isn’t anything personal I have against them…it is just the way I think. It is a track record thing…maybe I just get that from being in business for myself and living under the ‘fool me once…’ mantra.

    To me, once you represent or say one thing, then you don’t make good…and you repeat this action several times, you lose the benefit of the doubt.

    Again, I care very little about the extended range or the MPG on the ICE, but it is the ‘topic of the day,’….so we talk about it. If I get 40 miles of electric only driving, at the end of the day (which hopefully is in 2011) I will be as happy as yourself to have one.

    That goes to my first thought (#11) as to the status of building the first supposed production intent vehicle right now for July 1st, and they are still saying, ‘erm, well…I am still thinking about what size tank I want, so I can’t tell you’

    How many other decisions aren’t made at this point? Gas tank size would seem to be one of the most easy/basic decisions for a car like this.

    If I had to guess, I say that decision is made. I would say there is a 99% chance there is a 6 gallon tank ready to put into the prototype, but they are getting really nervous about that decision they made now they are actually looking at it, so ‘guy’ is giving himself some outs.

    And that is what is/has been happening all along. Everything is magical in the future, they have said/represented whatever they like when there was no proof of concept and 2010 was 3 years away…they now find that deadlines are coming fast and real world results/reality are not matching up to original claims.

    (imo)


  32. 32
    Van

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:01 am)

    Half way between 6 and 10 is 8. Just right.


  33. 33
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    May 26th, 2009 (8:05 am)

    I vote for an 8 gallon tank. 450 miles on a full charge and tank sounds good to me. Can’t we just not fill up all the way. I’m sure I’ll be putting in a couple gallons here and there when the prices are low and I would rarely fill up all the way regardless of the size of the tank.


  34. 34
    k-dawg

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:09 am)

    It seems to me that weight would not be as big of an issue in a car that has regenerative braking. The extra energy used to accelerate the car will be regained at the first red-light.


  35. 35
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:10 am)

    #25 Joe said:

    How many individuals drive 500 plus miles w/o stopping? I would guess practically no one. So why carry all that extra weight and sacrifice performance and space? In my opinion, the bragging rights of better performance is more important than an unpractical range in distance. This is just my opinion.
    ===============

    I think the question is, how many individuals want to go more than 200 miles w/o stopping…or go to the gas station every 200 miles. Not knowing the actual MPG and/or the driving habits of the person in the front seat we are presented with two extreme scenarios:

    Best case with a 6 gallon tank is 50 MPG, or 300 miles, and no one drives on the last 50 miles of the range (at least very few do)…so that leaves only 250 miles between fills.

    Worst case with a 6 gallon tank is 35 MPG, or 210 miles…not using the last 50 miles with the warning light on renders only a 160 mile range/distance between fills.

    160-250 mile range is a long way from the 600-odd miles we had when they were showing us the concept ‘brick’

    I’d have to agree with the consensus here and say that a 8 gallon tank is probably what the Volt ‘should’ have, I think most people expect 300 miles out of their car…hopefully it is still possible to fit something larger in without too much effort.


  36. 36
    carcus1

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:15 am)

    What would the impact on sales (once the novelty factor wore out) be if the Volt’s mpg in REM was 40 mpg, 30 mpg . . .?

    Is this a defining performance spec where the volt becomes “neither fish nor foul”?


  37. 37
    Tim

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:28 am)

    KISS… good!


  38. 38
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:31 am)

    #36 carcus1 said:

    What would the impact on sales (once the novelty factor wore out) be if the Volt’s mpg in REM was 40 mpg, 30 mpg . . .?

    Is this a defining performance spec where the volt becomes “neither fish nor foul”?
    ========================

    I think it has to be negligible. Maybe if you are down at 30MPG, you lose 10%? I don’t think the general population has a clue and/or expectations at all about the MPG, for most they’ll never even know 50 MPG existed if GM doesn’t hit it.

    Electric drive and pricing are really the only two factors that are in play in my mind when it comes to how many GM can sell.

    The two biggest numbers are $40,000 and 40 MPC. If they have a MSRP starting with a ’4′, they are in trouble…if they are getting a blended city/highway electric range less than anything starting with a ’4,’ they are in trouble.

    Good = $39,900, 40 miles
    Bad = $42,500, 35 miles


  39. 39
    k-dawg

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:36 am)

    #35 statik

    you forgot the most important part.. the 40miles of AER between fills


  40. 40
    Joe

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:42 am)

    k-dawg Says: @34

    “It seems to me that weight would not be as big of an issue in a car that has regenerative braking. The extra energy used to accelerate the car will be regained at the first red-light”

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

    I assume most worthwhile regenerative braking is done mostly on city streets—–at red lights. Traveling a long distance on a highway paints a different picture.


  41. 41
    k-dawg

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:46 am)

    40 Joe

    The issues w/highway driving efficiencies are much more related to aerodynamics, not weight. Weight becomes an issue for acceleration. (Unless you want to mention rolling resistance, but 30lbs has to be negligable on rolling resistance).


  42. 42
    engineer

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:48 am)

    re #34

    “It seems to me that weight would not be as big of an issue in a car that has regenerative braking. The extra energy used to accelerate the car will be regained at the first red-light.”

    thermodynamics and physics suggest otherwise.


  43. 43
    k-dawg

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:02 am)

    42, then explain the purpose of regen-braking? it obviously won’t be 100% recapture. However a 3000lb car w/regen braking will be much less affected by 30lbs, then a 1000lb car w/out regen braking.


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    Michael

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:12 am)

    I guess I’m having my own version of “range anxiety.” (I don’t drive to empty.) I’m over 60 years old now and have driven many cars and trucks with many different size fuel tanks. Even on long trips, I never run the tank down to close to empty. I’m having trouble deciding how low I would be willing to go on a 6 gallon tank. I wouldn’t take a 20 gallon tank down to one gallon or less, so I guess I wouldn’t feel too comfortable taking a 6 gallon tank down to less than a gallon either. I wouldn’t just do a mental proportional conversion of “almost empty.” The 6 gallon tank is close to the size of the tank on my Goldwing and I stop every 100 to 150 miles for fuel while riding it. I have driven it and will drive it more than 500 miles in a day. Putting this all together, I couldn’t see myself getting 340 miles using a 6 gallon tank. The 8 or 10 gallon options sound better.


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    Herm

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:14 am)

    Regenerative braking is not 100% effective in recovering the lost energy, some cars achieve 70% recovery.

    Weight still matters, the heavier the car the more gas it uses on the highway due to rolling resistance from the tires, special tires and high inflation pressures help with that.

    ………………………….
    #34 k-dawg Says:

    It seems to me that weight would not be as big of an issue in a car that has regenerative braking. The extra energy used to accelerate the car will be regained at the first red-light.


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    Starcast

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:14 am)

    This is the problem with being so open in the early stages of a car. Everyone wants to hold them to every thing one of them said.


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    Joe

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:16 am)

    We are talking about highway driving here. Aren’t we? How many lights do you see on the major highways? Regenerative braking will not work well on highways most of the time.
    How about long hills on the highway? My Corvette is very aerodynamic, but I do notice when going uphill, the computer shows a big increase in gas consumption. Why are the car builders constantly striving to lower the weight? The answer is for many good reasons. So, why add more weight just to say my car can go the farthest on a tank of gas.

    I can almost assure you that GM won’t opt for a large tank.


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    Edwin Mang

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:17 am)

    I hope that the GM board can share the plan with the bond holders but I know it is a sensitive issue .

    God Bless


  49. 49
    CorvetteGuy

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:18 am)

    #19 nasaman
    * When comparing a petite female driver weighing 115 lbs to a big male driver at 230 lbs
    _________________________

    Well that’s just great. Now passenger’s waistline is now part of the fuel economy equation. RATS!!! Now my wife has another reason to bag on me about my weight.


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    ThombDBhomb

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:19 am)

    Let’s see…

    6 gal tank is 40 Mi AER + (6 gal)(50 mpg)= 340 mi range
    10 gal tank is 40 Mi AER + (10 gal)(50 mpg)= 540 mi range

    Going 340 miles between fill-ups is okay with me. A lot of cars do that. It is not like I’m sacrificing range to get a E-REV. So, I don’t care that much.


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    May 26th, 2009 (9:23 am)

    #44 Michael (If that is your real name)

    I run my gas tank down to about 1/4 full. WIth a six gallon tank, that would be 1.5 gallons, which would get me 75 miles down the road.


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    Mark Bartosik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:26 am)

    Something like 15 or 20 years ago there was an Audi that was marketed in the UK as being able to travel something like 1000Km on a full tank. The ad I guess was Europe wide, but I lived in UK then. It said something like can travel from Dusseldorf to ??? without stopping.

    Probably a bit academic for a gas powered car, and in UK you sensibly cannot travel from A to B for that far anyway (country is too small).

    However, for an electric vehicle, I think that a long range is a powerful marketing point. Dave Letterman certainly proved that people who are supposedly intelligent can still completely get it wrong. So being able to advertise a large range with a simple figure like 400 miles or 500 miles will get enough people interested to find out more.

    Sample ad in a series of ads:
    Volt traveling between two well known places 500 miles or more apart, passing gas stations and conventional vehicles. “X miles on a full tank, and not a drop used for the first 40 miles”

    I do rather suspect that the non electric MPG figure is “under pressure”, until they have an actual production intent vehicle I guess they cannot measure MPG and any calculations based on mule drive train and CD aerodynamic figure for body are going to have some +/- error margin. Do the mules even use the production intent ICE or just something pretty close.

    If you really don’t use the gas after a few years, then potentially it could be removed at the next service point (if you cared). But then your next car ought to be a BEV.

    I think all cars for emissions reasons have a fuel pressure sensor, mine triggers the check engine light if the gas cap is not firmly put back.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:27 am)

    Some considerations from the independent servicing.
    The fuel pump is kept cool by fuel within the tank, therefore, I’d far, far prefer an 8 gallon minimum for this reason in the heat of Texas.
    Some top tier fuels go a year before any noticeable differences begin to become obvious in the oxygen sensor min-max ranges. Shell 87 octane (which has fewer additives to settle-out* than mid-grade and premium) is what this is based on. Motorhomes must use only 87 octane for this reason*. My ’91 Chevy chassis 454 motorhome (which I use for a centrally-located office between shop training seminars and sales) has had Shell 87 in it for the 8 years I’ve had it. Sometimes it sits for 8 months without a start-up. It is driven VERY LITTLE, and the kept-full 60 gallon tank remains mainly unused for a year. The fuel injectors have never needed cleaning nor have ever been off in 19 years, and, function perfectly.
    It uses only a 15 gallon top-off after an annual trip to the Renewable Energy Roundup in Fredericksburg TX. (I give a downloadable seminar with Austin Energy regarding the ICE in hybrids, etc, and give free diagnostic scans). (I have not checked the other 3 “top tier” brands of gasoline as to the oxygen sensor performance.)
    Cheap gas, (who isn’t going to get caught using that junk) is the main culprit for gas “going bad”. It already *was* bad before it was purchased. NEVER have that stuff remain for long in the tank.
    I suggest that GM publish onto the fuel door what brand/type gasoline is most preferred, and, please try to stay with an 8 gallon tank Have molded-in raised lettering, just like the listing on a Corvette that “Mobil 1 Synthetic” motor oil on the valve covers of the engine, that, for the type of gasoline to be used in the Voltec vehicle, “Fill up with Top Tier Fuel Only”.
    I have 109 auto repair shops which I teach advanced systems diagnostics. One shop owner comes up from Mexico to buy servicing and diagnostic equipment from me (because I teach how the equipment is used). He recently purchased (an OTC) fuel injection cleaning system because he states that gasoline in Mexico is “very bad”. They do lots of fuel injector cleanings in Mexico.
    This may be another reason for a large 8 gallon tank, so that there would be a greater chance that any residual (or minimal-added) bad/cheap gas (to get you home) might be sufficiently-diluted with Shell 87 top tier at your immediate-next fill-up. This brand has proven (in my relentless scanning) to be the best choice to run- clean to the fuel system.
    Those TV news stories about where to find the cheapest gas should be your
    “reverse-barometer” to,
    never go there.
    BAD DEALS!
    STUPIDLY- BAD DEALS!
    Also, have a warning on the fuel door “Never use additives of any kind” would help greatly, as the very many discount auto parts stores that have well-meaning but VERY UNtechnical counter”help” will always try to “upsell” the Voltec owner “junk additives”, unintentionally setting up the Voltec owner toward otherwise unnecessary services. Additives are another REALLY BAD DEAL.
    There also ought to be a recessed gasket for the locking fuel cap.
    That would be more secure, and, there would be far less chance that dirt would accumulate around the gasket. That longer-term-accumulated dirt could easily come between the rubber and the sealing surface, allowing for “breathing” in moist air due to the day-night temperature differences.
    The best thing for any fuel tank is to keep it full (when the pump clicks OFF, NEVER adding any more). That way, you eliminate the excess-part of the air pocket within the tank which would be subject to far more expansion and contraction. When filling up, never add more than when the pump clicks off, because the excess fuel will take up part of the “correct air pocket volume” and expand where it ought not to further expand, and may cause unnecessary servicing needs just like in all other vehicles.
    Long trips every once in a while are a good thing for the ICE. Sometimes there ought to be a
    “We need to use up the fuel by running the Engine for a few days”.
    “Is this OK?” “Y/N”
    (and “We need to get the oil and filter changed”) display advisory.
    A “We/Partnership” perspective on the display screen would be nice. This way, the owner feels that GM is right there with them as a green electric motoring partner.
    Dan Petit Austin TX.


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    Van

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:35 am)

    8 kWH SOC window @ 4 miles per kWh equals 32 AER, plus an 8 gallon tank with a 1 gallon reserve provides 7 gallons at 45 MPG equals 315 miles for a total actual range of 347 miles. So a drive to Phoenix from LA would be tight. Maybe 8 is not perfect, but anything smaller would be an odd choice.

    If we go 10 and 10, a 10 kWh SOC window and a 10 gallon tank, our actual range would be 40 AER plus 405 Miles on 9 gallons for a total of 445 miles. Now we are talking. :)


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    k-dawg

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:35 am)

    Why not just put some stabilizer in the fuel?


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    May 26th, 2009 (9:36 am)

    #52 Mark Bartosik

    I’m not a lawyer, but we could adverstise that the Volt will get 640 miles on one fill-up, even with a 6-gallon gas tank. All we need to do is put in fine print that says, “You must start with a full tank, run it down to empty, then fill it up (the one fill-up!) and run that to empty.”


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    May 26th, 2009 (9:39 am)

    RE #53 Dan Petit

    Very informative post!
    Just another reason for reading this site daily.


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    NASA-Eng

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:48 am)

    Maybe the tank is not symmetrical and will fit around other components. Items like the batteries, electric motor and generator are so heavy they need to be down the center line of the car or at least balanced in a way that makes for a good center of gravity.
    The gas tank may be off to one side and located around other items. My mid-80s Jeep Wagoneer has a side located tank that runs along the drive shaft on the opposite side of the exhaust system and the tank is not symmetrical at all. It’s the only place it can fit given the 4 wheel drive and full size spare tire location.
    I’m betting they will “Fit” the tank in and thus the exact volume is yet to be determined based on packaging more so then range. I concede that 30 lbs for 10 gallons versus 6 gallons is not a lot, but the volume may be an issue if your up against the trunk compartment, rear shocks, muffler, electric motor, generator, battery system, etc. Remember this car has A LOT of extra stuff not normally found in your 4 door sedan.


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    Lawrence

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    Picky picky :-)

    Make the 10 gallon tank, or even more if you can.

    Nothing obliges me to fill it completely, ha? so why bother about weight? Most user really don’t care if the car will have a few pounds “overweight” due to transporting some more gallons.

    Check it out: get to your car, open the trunk, get all things usually kept in out of it and weight it ;-)

    About MPG after battery depletion: I strongly believe the 50MPG is the strict minimum. There is a lot of room in improving the ICE when used as a simple generator. No lazyness allowed here ^^


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    charlie h

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    #25, Joe, “How many individuals drive 500 plus miles w/o stopping?”

    I’ve personally gone well over 450 miles without stopping for anything but tools on several occasions in different vehicles. In one case, I wasn’t alone.

    It’s also sometimes convenient to stop but not fuel up (either to save time or to avoid unusually expensive gas pumps). We’ve gone 450 miles between fillups in our minivan on a number of occasions.

    In the West, too, gas stations are sometimes hard to find. Driving in the West, I’d consider 300 miles of practical range to be rather inconvenient.

    To get a certain number of miles of practical range, the car must have some reserve beyond that. I’ve never put more than 85% of tank capacity into a car at any fillup. With the car we currently use for long trips, that’s about 60-70 miles left out of 450 miles total capability (that’s under perfect conditions, crosswinds and headwinds can kill fuel economy). Getting down to the last two gallons of fuel generally makes me very nervous and I find 450 miles of maximum range, 380-390 miles of practical range, to be inconvenient, especially when winds shorten that to 330-350 miles.

    I’d consider extra range to be a selling point, probably up to about 600 miles where the marginal utility becomes rather thin. I wouldn’t consider a car with just 250 miles of practical range to be a useful car for long-distance trips.


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    May 26th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    This is an interesting topic. The big deal, as Tag points out, is that one issue is how you keep the gas is getting stale. It’s nice that the solution sort of falls out of standard practice but even nicer that the issue exists.

    On the tank, I’ve never thought that the weight was a big deal because, as nasaman points out, a larger tank and some gas doesn’t add much weight. I’ve always assumed the issue is how much space there will be available to safely locate a tank. The last thing you want is a Ford Pinto type situation. With this perspective, I read his comments as saying that the engineers would like to put in a ten gallon tank and, if they can do it without compromising something more important, they’ll do it. Otherwise they’ll go with a six gallon tank.

    In any event it would not seem to be a compelling selling point. Obviously the EV mode is the big deal. After that, as statik points out, price will be the big issue. Even the safety of a dual propulsion system would seem more important than the size of the gas tank.

    Rashiid — Three and a half days to go across country is impressive. One day of that kind of driving is one thing. Three in a row is another. Perhaps you should take a tip from a a couple of your fellow CT denizens. Stop and smell the roses a bit more and then write a book like “Road Food Good Food”. Makes the trip deductible and provides gas money!


  62. 62
    maharguitar

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:59 am)

    My guess is that it is not the weight of the larger tank. It is the volume. It might be quite a challenge to find a place for an extra 4 gallons. That place would have to be contiguous with existing 6 gallons as well.

    On another point, I’m inclined to think that there is a difference between a design goal and a performance requirement. Any numbers that we may have heard over a year ago would be subject to change as the actual vehicle is built. GM seems to have felt that 40mi AER was a hard requirement and that all of the other numbers that were being tossed around were subject to change.


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    old man

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:01 am)

    I think the gas tank at 6,8,or 10 gallons is not that big of a deal to me. Having said that if I could be the one making the decision it would be an 8 gallon tank. I would as many others have said simply not fill it MOSTof the time. When it was nearly empty I would put in $5.00 worth. And most likely not need any more for another month.


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    May 26th, 2009 (10:06 am)

    Not to start a Prius/Volt debate, but the Prius has a 11.9 gallon tank. To get the same range (11.9 x 50mpg) = 595 miles the Volt would need a min of an 11.1 gallon tank. I could see Toyota using the range somehow as a selling point.. driving past more gas stations, or whatever.


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    Tall Pete

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:07 am)

    #20 Statik
    …and the fact the car is north of 3,500 lbs.
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    I don’t remember reading that figure before. I kept reading that they are trying to reduce mass to a minimum for obvious range reasons. When was that stated (3500 lbs) ?

    I believe they are trying to get the weight of the car as low as possible. 30 lbs of excess weight, although ‘insignificant’ is still an important gain and might give you a little more electric range or compensate for a more agressive driving style. Also, why keep that much fuel if, most of the time, you don’t need it ?

    I know I see the difference in my milleage when I DON’T fill up the tank completely but rather keep it half full. All things being equal, it does make a difference.


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    May 26th, 2009 (10:10 am)

    Has GM ever stated what octane fuel the Volt will use? I read E85 compatible. And i seem to remember 87 octane.. but can’t recall.


  67. 67
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:14 am)

    Everyone here is very smart and nice and has valuable things to say.

    The last American mainstream pickup truck that I owned, made in 1996, had an actual 200 mile range from a full tank of imported OPEC juice, less around town. The Tesla already beats that hands down. IMHO, more than a 200 mile everything full to everything needing to be recharged/refueled range is a waste of space and weight (though yes, that means you have to stop to get gas at Needles at $5/gallon or more on that part of your cross country trip).

    I’m looking forward to hearing about the college students who go across country in their parents Volts, and other EVs, without using a drop of imported from overseas, volatile parts of the world fuel.

    0-60 mpg in 19 seconds, while it’s predecessor did 0-60 mph in 30 seconds. That’s a spec from the vehicle that started the big three American automakers to eventually lose massive market share. It won American hearts and minds on reasonably average cost and very superior fuel and motor efficiency and smart styling and “easy to drive and park, and ‘quite well equipped’”. That it could squeeze so much performance (perky low end launch) from such a small yet robust motor was how it beat competitors.

    BTW, among sedans, the Volt’s conjectured price puts it firmly in the middle of the pack.


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    User Name

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:15 am)

    You guys still have’nt finalized the size of the fuel tank yet?


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    Lawrence

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:20 am)

    k-dawg @ 66

    According to

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating

    E85 (15% gas + 85% ethanol) has a value of 105 octane. I guess the ICE is properly designed for it.


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    Butch

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:23 am)

    Are we certain that its 50 MPG on engine power? Since the majority of the range of this car is normal gas powered operation, that is probably the most important number to find out. If it turns out to be something line 40 MPG, that means a Prius/Insight will be more effecient on a given 400 mile trip range That would be a huge detriment to sales.


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    Sheet4brains

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:24 am)

    GM sure is spending a lot of time on the gasoline side of the Volt, probably too much, as the electric side will be the future. The mighty Prius will shock the Volt to its core by 2011 (when the Volt goes into full production). I don’t see this antiquated Volt design lasting more than 3 years tops. GM already has 2nd gen down that will make this Volt look like something only a junkyard dog could love.


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    May 26th, 2009 (10:25 am)

    Once the integration platforms are built and they can see how much space is available THEN they will be able to determine how big the tank can be. Along with the available luggage space and subwoofer location!

    It’s basic engineering. I’m sure there are disks full of 3D drawing etc but you can never be 100% sure until you have the hardware in front of you.

    Some of the factors that will need to be considered just for the fuel tank (certainly not all of them); volume, heat (fuel expands when hot), weight, weight distribution, crash safety, interior space intrusion, drivetrain clearance, etc, etc…

    Patience!

    Keep up the good work Andrew and team.

    Personally I have no concerns about stale fuel, I do see driving 3 or 4 days a week without running the engine and I think that is absolutely cool!

    As for the long distance range, with multiple family members we have at the outside a 3 hour bladder limit so even the shortest driving range tossed out here is in reality not a huge problem! ;-)


  73. 73
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:27 am)

    Also, when is this going to be a thread on this site?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/reuterscomService5/idUSTRE54O3ER20090525

    VW, after previous letters of intent with Toshiba and Sanyo for electric vehicle development, now has an MOU with BYD (of already on the streets BYD F3DM dual mode electric vehicle hybrid fame) for fast tracking of same.

    Meanwhile, BMW is putting hundreds of AC Propulsion e-Minis on US streets now for the trial fast track launch, Daimler just joined with Tesla as they continue to expand electric vehicle offerings, factory plug in Priuses are hitting Europe this year, etc., etc, after.

    Tick-tock, GM. Little froggy leapfroggings all around you. It’s what’s on the road, in retail consumers hands, that counts.


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    DonC

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:27 am)

    #53 Dan Petit — Very informative post. When the Volt hits showrooms and as this site changes Lyle might want you to write up something as part of a Q&A for this site. This type of information would be invaluable. Really interesting. Thanks for taking the time to post.

    #67 EV Owner — The fastest way to get to your goal of not using OPEC oil is, as Dave G is wont to point out, to use bio-fuels. An acre planted in miscanthus might get you 4000 gallons of fuel (27 tons of miscanthus per acre and 160 gallons of fuel per ton), which, while not as energy dense as gasoline, would be enough for several lifetimes of cross country trips.


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    May 26th, 2009 (10:29 am)

    I don’t know the shelf life of E85. MPG is less w/it though, so probably better for GM not to use for the testing #’s. Wonder if we’ll ever see a diesel Volt in the US. I think the shelf-life of diesel is slightly better than gas.


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    CDAVIS

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:29 am)

    ______________________________________________________
    Can the Volt get 50MPG when running under ICE Range Extender mode?

    I posted on a prior thread part of an email I received from my Jaguar EREV contact:

    http://gm-volt.com/2009/05/15/gm-to-cut-1100-dealers-today/
    Comment Post: #62 CDAVIS

    The below is another part of that email that may lend some insight with regards if the Volt will be able to achieve 50MPG when running under ICE Range Extender mode. I’m personally skeptical about the 50MPG because it just sounds very high to me as a non-engineering guy. It would be one of those things I would have to see it to believe.

    Additional Email Snippets:
    “…turns out series setup even withougt plug-in, all petrol powered, is more fuel efficient than today’s more common parallel setup…added benefit that sereis more manufacturing component simple…my group predicts that there will be a migration towards series and away from parallel irrespective of if a hybrid car is plug-in capable…plug-in capability will be determinant by size of the battery store…Conceivable that cars will be sold in base model sans plug-in whereby the plug-in feature will be made available as optional feature or as higher model series (simply add battery store to the base model)…historical side note…original Ferdinand Porsche petrol/electric setup of over 100 years ago was a series setup that NASA’s engineers later studied in designing the Apollo Lunar Rover as a series hybrid…most modern railway locomotives employ series setup…my point being that the parallel setup may turn out to be a momentary engineering detour …”
    ______________________________________________________


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    engineer

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:32 am)

    #43

    “then explain the purpose of regen-braking? it obviously won’t be 100% recapture. However a 3000lb car w/regen braking will be much less affected by 30lbs, then a 1000lb car w/out regen braking.”

    You just did, my point was regenerative braking is not perfect. But it seems like you are suggesting something for regenerative braking that isn’t valid, I may be reading your comment wrong though. Regenerative braking is for recapturing energy that would normally be lost through heat and friction to brakes. This in effect allows us to recharge our battery a little.

    But lets take a look at that statement of yours, shall we?

    “It seems to me that weight would not be as big of an issue in a car that has regenerative braking. The extra energy used to accelerate the car will be regained at the first red-light.”

    Newtonian physics dictates that the amount of kinetic energy is equated to (1/2)*mass*velocity^2. and to figure out the energy required to accelerate our car or mass, we can use work energy. Work energy states that the energy require to move an object from point 1 to 2 shall be equal to the kinetic energy at point 2 minus the kinetic energy at point 1.

    This gives us:

    (1/2)*mass*velocity(at point 2)^2-(1/2)*mass*Velocity(at point 1)^2

    So lets use the example of accelerating a 3000lbm car and a 3030lbm car to 60 mph uniformly, starting from rest.

    =(1/2)*(3000lbm/32.2)*(88 ft/sec)^2-(1/2)*(3000lbm/32.2)*(0)
    =360745 ft-lbf

    Now lets look at a 3030lbm car

    =(1/2)*(3030lbm/32.2)*(88 ft/sec)^2-(1/2)*(3030lbm/32.2)*(0)
    =364352 ft-lbf

    That is a change of 3607 ft-lbf required to move that extra 30 lbm.

    Now if we do the same for a 1000lbm vehicle and a 1030lbm vehicle we get:

    =(1/2)*(1000lbm/32.2)*(88 ft/sec)^2-(1/2)*(1000lbm/32.2)*(0)
    =120248 ft-lbf

    Now 1030lbm car

    =(1/2)*(1030lbm/32.2)*(88 ft/sec)^2-(1/2)*(1030lbm/32.2)*(0)
    =123855 ft-lbf

    We see that the change in energy is 3607ft-lbf. The exact same amount as if it were in a larger vehicle. Regardless of the mass of the car the extra 30lbm will require the same amount of energy to accelerate to your desired speed. Thus The vehicles are affected the same by the mass change. The only difference is that the larger vehicle use much more energy overall to do the same job.

    But what is very apparent is that the larger vehicle requires nearly 3 times as much energy to accelerate to the same speed. But the point here is that we want to save as much weight as possible so we do not have to use more energy to accelerate unnecessary mass.


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    Joe

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:39 am)

    #
    charlie h Says: @60

    “I’d consider extra range to be a selling point, probably up to about 600 miles where the marginal utility becomes rather thin. I wouldn’t consider a car with just 250 miles of practical range to be a useful car for long-distance trips.”

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

    I agree, a car with just 250 mile range is not useful for a long distant trip. But, nobody has mentioned that the Volt would only have 250 mile including GM.

    Extra range up to about 600 miles to me is not much of a selling point. If it were, the auto companies would build them. Be real, carrying all that extra weight is not good.


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    k-dawg

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:43 am)

    77 engineer..

    I think you missed my point. Let me try from another angle.
    What energy would you recover from regenerative braking if the mass of your car, wheels, etc.. were 0?


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    engineer

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:55 am)

    79

    I guess I am still not following you there, what is the point you are trying to make? That regenerative braking is good?


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    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:57 am)

    #65 Tall Pete said:

    #20 Statik
    …and the fact the car is north of 3,500 lbs.
    ————————————

    I don’t remember reading that figure before. I kept reading that they are trying to reduce mass to a minimum for obvious range reasons. When was that stated (3500 lbs) ?

    I believe they are trying to get the weight of the car as low as possible. 30 lbs of excess weight, although ‘insignificant’ is still an important gain and might give you a little more electric range or compensate for a more agressive driving style. Also, why keep that much fuel if, most of the time, you don’t need it ?

    I know I see the difference in my milleage when I DON’T fill up the tank completely but rather keep it half full. All things being equal, it does make a difference.
    ========================

    It is pretty much a given. That has pretty much been the number since the concept and has carried through until now…it is referenced quite a bit, we had a thread here on it once:

    http://gm-volt.com/2008/08/21/chevy-volt-curb-weight-around-3520-pounds/

    We also know the curb weight on the Cruze (about 2,800), which is essentially the same car as the Volt…but then you have to tack on a 400 pound battery and all the perhiperals that go with that (engine, casing, harness, etc)


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    May 26th, 2009 (11:01 am)

    Lyle, can you ask GM, in all their mule testing, if they are still expecting 50 mpg range extended mpg, or if that was just a number they through out and it’s probably going to be less?


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    May 26th, 2009 (11:05 am)

    This is a side note, (apologies to Gary), but it seems significant enough to mention…re:bankruptcy.

    Today is the deadline for the bond exchange.

    GM was looking for a 90% reduction in the debt to avoid a bankruptcy filing, and Reuters is ‘hot off the press’ now with a release saying they got less than 9%…well, actually they said the response was, “…GM bondholders have only tendered a low single-digit percentage of the total debt available”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN2648146320090526?rpc=44

    Some people where hoping their might be a ‘last ditch’ effort to avoid the process, but if that report is accurate it looks like it is all but done.


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    May 26th, 2009 (11:09 am)

    @ Statik #31 you end up saying:

    And that is what is/has been happening all along. Everything is magical in the future, they have said/represented whatever they like when there was no proof of concept and 2010 was 3 years away…they now find that deadlines are coming fast and real world results/reality are not matching up to original claims
    ————————————————–

    And since you don’t have any fact to support what you are saying, you have as much credibility.

    You read incertitity in what he is saying, I read they have marging they can work with. Both position have value.

    Stick to the finance aspects, you are much better at it ;)


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    Flaninacupboard

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (11:10 am)

    #17
    “the Euro site is still saying the Ampera for 2011 (a twin of the Volt) is going to get, “…more than 500 km range, thats 310+ miles”

    And it will. lighter passengers and better quality (95, 97 or even 99ron) fuel all help us out in euroland. Plus OUR six gallon tank will be 27.5 litres, while your inferior six gallon tank is only 22.7 litres.


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    May 26th, 2009 (11:13 am)

    Oh and I may put myself off the list, just moved downtown and I can walk to my work… another way to stop using gaz and be green.


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    May 26th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    I have not read the whole thread, so my apologies if this has already been discussed, but it seems to me that there are other issues involved with not using gas for long periods of time. Stale gasoline might be only one.

    How long can you have an ICE under the hood that NEVER gets cranked up and still be confident that it will perform as needed, if needed?

    I always assumed that the VOLT software would detect a long period of lack of ICE activity and crank that baby up to both stir the fuel system and to keep the ICE properly lubricated and such.

    After a conventional auto sits for a year or two, one must take proper precautions in re-starting the engine or it could be damaged. (Besides recharging its battery, of course.)

    So I thought that Volt would use A LITTLE gasoline periodically, even for those who never go beyond 40 miles per day.

    Was I wrong here?


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    May 26th, 2009 (11:27 am)

    87, mikeinatl

    I would bet you are right on the money.

    Although I honestly believe most people are going to run the range extender at least once a month for some sort of ‘extra’ trip that wasn’t perhaps planned. I my case Thursday evenings my son has activities that have us well exceed 65 km driving so the fuel and oil will get a good stir then.


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    May 26th, 2009 (11:34 am)

    I’m going to take GM’s initial “50MPG” as a crock of sh|t. The reason they can’t give any numbers is because, and this is JIMHO, the Genset is not performing to par therefore a tank size has yet to be determined because the Genset hasn’t met it’s quota. Just like many other aspects of the Volt this is just another one that will be comprimised to a lower expectaion. Remember the the the initital Volt style, nice looking then, now it’s adequate. Will still work for me but there was still a drastic change. Remember the price “Low to mid 30′s”, now its in the $40K range.

    Here’s my SWAG at why the Genset is not cutting it. It has to propel both an EV and an ICE vehicle in an all in one package. The batt pack is 400lbs itself due to over engineering and GM HAD to do this because of the 10/100 warranty. If they drop the batt pack to a 5/50 then I think the Genset will be able to meet expectations. Laws of physics will prevail here, Expect either the Genset MPG to drop or they will have to make a change to the genset for a stronger generator AND ICE.

    I also blame it on all the weight required for the power everything they designed into the Volt.
    As for the stale Gas, lol…..I can gurantee it won’t happen because most will have this as their primary car. Why? because too fukin expensive to be just a personal commuter car.

    Personally I am getting very disappointed in GM and the Volt here.


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    May 26th, 2009 (11:35 am)

    For your information, auto critics Scott Burgess of The Detroit News and Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press will both be available on FastLane today Tuesday, May 26 at 2 p.m. to chat with Chevy Volt Enthousiasts and answer their questions about what it was like to drive the Voltec mules. You can also participate in the chat at detnews.com and freep.com. Please join us if you can.


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    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    #84 frankyB said:

    @ Statik #31 you end up saying: “And that is what is/has been happening all along. Everything is magical in the future, they have said/represented whatever they like when there was no proof of concept and 2010 was 3 years away…they now find that deadlines are coming fast and real world results/reality are not matching up to original claims”
    —————
    And since you don’t have any fact to support what you are saying, you have as much credibility.

    You read incertitity in what he is saying, I read they have marging they can work with. Both position have value.

    Stick to the finance aspects, you are much better at it
    ================================================

    Your saying I don’t have any facts to support that they are not following through on their original intent/plan for the Volt as they represented it to us?

    I think I do, lol.

    Concept, styling, pricing, components, timelines and production/capacity have all been compromised from original intent…and we don’t even have a prototype yet.

    As of yet, I’m not aware of anything arriving ‘as billed’ and ‘on time’ to my knowledge…or perhaps I’ve missed something? I am simply suggesting that the trend that is in motion, stays in motion.


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    May 26th, 2009 (11:41 am)

    @mikeinatl 87

    “I always assumed that the VOLT software would detect a long period of lack of ICE activity and crank that baby up to both stir the fuel system and to keep the ICE properly lubricated and such. ”

    So what I am hearing is that on top of the Volt being an EV which we all know is supposed to be very low in maintenance, at least 100% EV’s are, it must still be maintained like a standard ICE and now it must manage it’s state of inactivity/staleness?
    OK, so know I know why Elon Musk decided on going only to a BEV.

    Seriously, I hadn’t even though of that…..lol. OK, I’m lame.
    Thanks @mikeinatl 87!!!

    I should’ve had Kahlua in my Coffee….


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    k-dawg

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (11:43 am)

    80 engineer

    what i was trying to say is that weight matters less when you have regenerative braking. If you increase a car’s weight that doesnt have regenerative braking, all of the energy used to accelerate that weight will get lost to heat/friction when the car stops. But if you have regenerative braking, say 70% of that energy will be recovered. So the topic about the extra 30lbs for a gas tank, really is only about, say 10lbs, since the energy from acelerating the gas-tank, is conserved in its momemtum and recovered back thru regenerative braking. The actual percentage of recovery…. i do not know. Maybe a Prius expert can give us some figures. If GM employs ultra-caps, like we were discussing the other day.. that would help recovery even more.


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    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (11:47 am)

    #85 Flaninacupboard said:

    #17 Statik said:
    “the Euro site is still saying the Ampera for 2011 (a twin of the Volt) is going to get, “…more than 500 km range, thats 310+ miles”

    And it will. lighter passengers and better quality (95, 97 or even 99ron) fuel all help us out in euroland. Plus OUR six gallon tank will be 27.5 litres, while your inferior six gallon tank is only 22.7 litres.
    ===================

    Hehe, I’m pretty sure if we are getting a US 6 gallon tank, you will be receive the exact same ’5 gallon’ imperial tank.

    Your gas might be able to eek out that exta 10+ miles on range they are claiming though. Although, I think they just like the sound of saying 500km, lol. I think Euro standards on measuring mileage would be more of a benefit than the quality of the gas in the long run.

    (=


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    May 26th, 2009 (11:57 am)

    @k-dawg

    “But if you have regenerative braking, say 70% of that energy will be recovered. So the topic about the extra 30lbs for a gas tank, really is only about, say 10lbs, since the energy from acelerating the gas-tank, is conserved in its momemtum and recovered back thru regenerative braking.”

    It takes energy to move your weight and regenerative braking will NEVER get you back anything close to the same amount of energy used to accelerate. In a test of accelerating then immediately do regen braking you are lucky to get 60% especially in the Volt.
    Why?, there are a few reasons. If you accelerate to 60MPH and then start brake regen, the Generator may be able to produce 32KW of energy in brake regen BUT the batt pack can only absorb 16KW of it which is 400VDC * 40AH at a 1C rate. GM is not stupid. I am sure they know that a slower charge rate increases lipos cycle time so they won’t allow more than 1C rate of absorption. The other reason is the Volt does not have a transmission or CVT or anything like that. That means the generator is direc connection and the RPM of the generator is dependent on the wheels. We’ve all played with generators before right? The faster you spin it the more voltage you get and more current? This rule applies and at a certain point in MPH the generator will spin too slow to generate greater than 400VDC which means current flow to charge the batt pack will cease. I expect it to be around 25-35mph. A CVT can correct this but requires some major torque passthru mechanics to happen. So, it’s not gonna happen.
    Also, at the 25-35MPH feeling of brake regen, it’s most likely being shunted energy and not to the batt pack.

    Long boring answer. I know….


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    Jim I

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (11:57 am)

    I have been working on my house for the last few days, and I have missed alot! :)

    NASA-Eng #58 Says: “I’m betting they will “Fit” the tank in and thus the exact volume is yet to be determined based on packaging more so then range. I concede that 30 lbs for 10 gallons versus 6 gallons is not a lot, but the volume may be an issue if your up against the trunk compartment, rear shocks, muffler, electric motor, generator, battery system, etc. Remember this car has A LOT of extra stuff not normally found in your 4 door sedan.”

    I could not agree more! I do not think this is a weight issue as much as it relates to volume. Where do you put that extra 4-6 gallons of liquid fuel? I would rather have the storage space.

    My currect car goes about 400 miles on a higway trip per tank, and by that time I am hungry, and I really have to pee so bad that my back teeth are floating!!! So as long as we can get at least 350 miles total range before I run out of gas, I will be happy…..


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    kgurnsey

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    mikeinati:

    The argument is the same. It is extremely unlikely that anyone in the market for a Volt will not drive beyond 40 miles at least once per year, which is likely all that is needed. Thus stale gas and/or stale ICE is an issue that isn’t really an issue.

    For the few people out of tens of thousands (hopefully hundreds of thousands) of potential Volt owners who don’t drive more than 40 miles per trip for years on end, and are worried about thier gas going bad and thier ICE siezing up, I would suggest taking a long drive in the country twice a year. Good for the soul, good for your Volt.

    Problem, that isn’t really a problem, solved.

    On a totally different note, Volkswagen has been advertizing the extreme ranges of thier TDIs (over 600 miles per tank!) for all that message is worth for years (at least here in Canada).


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    Ajiao

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (12:03 pm)

    Too bad, my cousin is still working their as a tech support!


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    May 26th, 2009 (12:05 pm)

    @Jim I 96

    “My currect car goes about 400 miles on a higway trip per tank, and by that time I am hungry, and I really have to pee so bad that my back teeth are floating!!! ”

    AHAHAHAHAH!!!

    Yeah, when it comes to range for me it’s MPB & B (Miles Per Bladder & Bowels)
    lol…..


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    May 26th, 2009 (12:20 pm)

    Personally I commute 125 miles per day, so anything over a 2 gallon tank would be fine by me.

    Besides, as some others have elluded to, any trip over about 200 – 250 miles means there will be need for a stretch, pee break, or food, so it’s a good chance I’ll be able to fill up before I keep going.

    As for spending more R&D time on the ICE half of the Volt, I expect that is because the EV half is the easier half to engineer. I also agree that it sounds like more of a volume issue than weight for the tank design. Besides, a fuel tank is a bolt on compnent, so I’m sure they will be testing different configurations with the prototype volts that are being built shortly. Integration still involves considerable testing and tweaking.

    I’ll say it again (’cause I’ve said it before), the devil is in the details. The overall conceptual design is easy, making all the little bits and pieces work together off of a high volume assembly line, cost effectively, is the hard part.


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    May 26th, 2009 (12:34 pm)

    It is what I thought GM should do. Nothing. I just don’t see stale gasoline as any problem. GM is making the correct decision. No sense in building in checks and balances that could be costly to the purchaser when all you have to do is drive out in the country once every few months and use up the excess gas in the tank. Burn up enough that when you add some more back to what is left, it is good to go. No problem as far as I can see.

    The size of the gas tank is more important to me than the stale gas problem. I would rather have a 10 gallon gas tank on the occasional cross country trip to get me as far between fill-ups as I can go. When not going cross country, I would only keep three or four gallons in the tank. Maybe even less. Service stations are just too close. Keep the tank with just enough gas to get you home or to a station. One or two gallons would be sufficient for around home travel. IMO.


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (12:39 pm)

    This is sooooo entertaining…!

    Why all the fuss over size of the gas tank?
    It’s not the size that matters. It’s how you use it. Right, guys?!

    If you KNOW that you don’t go into gas mode at all, or just on occasion, then DON’T FILL THE TANK! Put in 1 gallon for emergencies. I’m sure the dashboard display tells you when gas mode starts up, and then you can go buy 1 more gallon.

    Problem solved…! SHeeeeeeesh!!!!!!


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    Luke

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (12:41 pm)

    Joe @ 25,

    How many individuals drive 500 plus miles w/o stopping? I would guess practically no one. So why carry all that extra weight and sacrifice performance and space? In my opinion, the bragging rights of better performance is more important than an unpractical range in distance. This is just my opinion.

    When my relationship was long-distance, she lived 320 miles away. Gas was a lot cheaper where I was living, and decent gas stations that are close to the Interstate are pretty sparse in Western Maryland (which was along the route that I was driving). I bought a Jetta TDI to make the trip, and being able to drive 550 miles on a tank was *very* nice. I was able to drive from my house, to her place, and about halfway back (where there were some decent gas stations with reasonable prices).

    At that time, I wanted 8-hours of un-refueled driving in my vehicle, and it was pretty likely that I’d actually be able to drive that in one sitting without stopping. Keep in mind that, unlike a professional truck driver, I was doing a marathon drive and then resting for a couple of days — truck drivers who have to do this day after day are in a very different fatigue situation.

    But now we’ve moved in together, and my needs have changed. Instead of pounding the pavement every other weekend, we now plan the occasional road-trip. When you’re not doing this kind of a trip every day, 250 miles of range seems like plenty. Covering 250 miles takes about 4 hours on the Interstate and, even with two experienced highway travelers in the car, someone’s going to need to stop at least every 4 hours. There is some benefit to being able to stop at a rest-stop rather than at a gas station, but meh. With a modern smartphone and an engaged passenger, you can get a lot of information about the towns you’re passing, so the person in the passenger seat can plan good stops that take you 2-3 miles into town for a good meal and cheaper gas.

    It sounds rather obvious, but the range I require varies based on my lifestyle. Like the Prius, the Volt probably won’t be a perfect match for everyone — those who drive a thousand miles a week will probably be better better served by an under-warranty VW Jetta TDI, or a Honda Accord (my dad had a Honda Accord when he was driving 1000 miles/week back and forth to his job). Those with more conventional lifestyles and shorter commutes (the me of today) ought to do fine with a 250-mile gas tank on the Volt.


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    May 26th, 2009 (12:44 pm)

    This rollercoster they call GM stock is fun to watch. Down 20% this morning, now its up 12%.. weeeeeeeee!

    edit: up 25% now


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    k-dawg

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (12:45 pm)

    Oh, gas spiked today too. $2.69/gallon by me now.


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    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    #101 N Riley said:

    The size of the gas tank is more important to me than the stale gas problem. I would rather have a 10 gallon gas tank on the occasional cross country trip to get me as far between fill-ups as I can go.
    ============

    I’d rather have the original 12 gallons myself. If I was worried about ‘performance’ because of the weight, nothing is making me fill it to the top if I don’t want to. My own personal reason on the 12 gallon tank is nothing so grandiose like travelling across Canada, or taking long trips in the country, or smuggling cheap Indian reserve cigarettes across the border. It is a intense desire to not see a gas station anymore than I have too…it is a petty thing, but I don’t care.

    Using the chart Dave G so loves to quote (#24) (even though I think he is ‘hella low on the estimates):

    Vehicle ……………… Gallons per year
    Volt (50 MPG)………….. 37
    Volt (40 MPG)………….. 46

    With Dave’s ‘uber’ numbers, (and assuming people won’t use the last 1-1.5 gallons in the tank to drive on), you are looking at:

    4 fills with a 12 gallon tank…once every three, four months
    -VS-
    10-11 fills at 6 gallons…almost a monthly trip.

    I only fill up my cars at the gas station now about once every 3 weeks/once a month. I want no trips to the gas station, but I will settle for ‘less’ trips…the same amount just doesn’t sit well with me.

    If someone asked me today when the last time I filled up my Volt was, I want to answer “I filled her up last in February, not three weeks ago” (and yes…my car is a girl)


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    May 26th, 2009 (12:53 pm)

    I agree with the guy from GM that stale gas won’t be a problem for most people. I know plenty of people who barely use their cars, and none of them have ever had a problem. There might be some people for whom this is an issue, but if they have to change their gas every six months, I don’t think it’s a big deal.

    As far as the gas tank–I’d strongly prefer at least 300 miles of range per gas tank on the range extender. Less than that, and it would be impractical for vacations. I tend to keep my tank half full, and I don’t want to have to stop every hour after the AER is exhausted. That means if they really get 50 mpg, then a 6 gallon gas tank is fine, but under that, not so much.


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    May 26th, 2009 (12:55 pm)

    For a different perspective on why the tank size might still be up in the air, here’s a potential conversation:

    “Well, we have two potential tank designs, both will work just fine, but the bigger one is oddly shaped, and will require an addition 10 seconds per unit to assemble. That will reduce our production capacity by about 1500 units per year. What do you want to do boss?”

    The math, for those who care, is based on 60,000 units per year and 250 working days per year, running 24 hours a day.

    Which do you choose? It’s a compromise that someone would have to make a call on, or change something else to get that production time back.

    A purely hypothetical case, of course, but it’s just to illustrate that it’s not just pure engineering of the car itself that drives the tweaks and compromises. You can be sure that they are taking manufacturing into account at this stage, and have been all along. It’s extremely difficult to manufacture a complex system in high volume without considering how the whole thing will be put together at the design stage. Time is volume, and volume is money (assuming you can sell what you produce), so it becomes an important part of the design/engineering equation.


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    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (12:56 pm)

    #74 DonC

    Thanks. Good point. I like switchgrass and camelina, too, anything renewable that’s domestic and local and relatively cheap. Maybe algae biofuel in co-generation applications at power plants (using waste heat and carbon as an input, thus creating a carbon sink) eventually, while we’re at it?

    However, I went out and looked at my electric motorcycle. Since it doesn’t have a liquid fuel tank, nor an ICE, nor pistons, I can’t figure out how to get bio-fuels into it directly. Oh, except through the plug in cord.

    Maybe if my local wind farm grew miscanthus on, harvested it and refined it at the marginal land between the turbines at my local wind farm and then used the resulting biofuel in a generator and plugged the generator into the wind farm output that powers my electric motorcycle? I don’t know – it sounds a little complicated to me, but still sure better and way more local than OPEC juice. I’ll let the folks who run the local wind farm figure it out with the local landowners. Perhaps Dave G can contact wind farms and their related land owners to press the idea. Maybe the local landowners under the wind turbines will actually like having more native plants, more wildlife and hunting opportunities and more money go to themselves, to local workers and local fuel and thus domestic economy and less money go overseas to fund volatile parts of the world for their nonrenewable fuel. Or maybe they prefer to stay in a domestic recession and keep sending our fuel dollars overseas.

    In the meantime, I’ll keep running my electric motorcycle off of local wind power.

    “#67 EV Owner — The fastest way to get to your goal of not using OPEC oil is, as Dave G is wont to point out, to use bio-fuels. An acre planted in miscanthus might get you 4000 gallons of fuel (27 tons of miscanthus per acre and 160 gallons of fuel per ton), which, while not as energy dense as gasoline, would be enough for several lifetimes of cross country trips.”


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    Voltair

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    It’s out of necessity that GM can’t tell us the size of the tank. Sure, they have an internal target. However, the final capacity of almost any car tank changes too much during development to reveal a number. Just as an example, it is possible to significantly change the capacity of the gas tank by only making a small design modification to the straps that hold it up…Squeeze it in a different way and you could loose 10% capacity!

    It would be a PR disaster to reveal a target, and then miss it by even a 1/2 gallon.


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    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:02 pm)

    @ Laura M

    My 1996 mainstream American pickup truck with the 200 mile factory range was perfectly practical for lots of vacations, camping, etc. I never felt like it was missing range that it needed. That’s only my personal experience and clearly doesn’t apply to you. I’m not arguing, just pointing out that different folks want different ranges and that millions and millions (based on model sales) have been historically just fine with a 200 mile or less range before refueling.


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    Adrian

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:05 pm)

    The Volt using gasoline?! Shock! I guess that cut the gasoline savings by at 25% if not 50%.

    This why the fuel cell is appealing…


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    Bill Marsh

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:08 pm)

    Good news for me. Since my 5 day work week driving consists of a 4-5 mile drive to the local metro stop and a side trip to the local gym 2X a week, I would not expect to hit the 40 (or even 30) mile mark very often, so gas ‘staleness’ might become an issue.


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    May 26th, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    Did some reading on regen-braking. Most sites say 10-25%. On wiki it had 17% for trains. Once again.. would be nice to have some real-world data from GM. In both “L” mode and “D” mode.


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    jonboinAR

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:09 pm)

    From the previous thread, Robert M. Sperry, at post #85 said:
    “The Pruis is a ICE with the added complexity of a small electric motor that acts only at very low speeds and increases gas mileage by about 10 mpg.”

    Uh, excuse me, but it would seem to me that a technology that gives a mileage increase of 25-30% is a little bit significant. That, in fact, is what I found to be most interesting about the Prius drive-train concept when I was reading about it. It uses an electric motor to boost the ICE at the moments when the ICE is less efficient than an electric motor. It appeared to me that it did so fairly elegantly. The Prius-type hybrid drive-train may or may not be something that GM should work with if it should have the opportunity, but it is not a piece of technology that can be dismissed glibly. From what I understand the Prius-type will tend to give higher mileage than the Voltec whenever the Voltec is running on its generator. It sounds to me like the Prius is a true contender.

    My guess is that through the “teens”, most big car companies will end up producing both parallel and series hybrids in significant quantities as each appears that it will have features the other lacks.


  116. 116
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:14 pm)

    #104 k-dawg said:

    This rollercoster they call GM stock is fun to watch. Down 20% this morning, now its up 12%.. weeeeeeeee!

    edit: up 25% now
    =====================

    Been a crazy day on the market…and GM is along for the ride.

    We had huge downward pressure pre-market…bad news, missile firings, Chinese USD concerns, etc. Then we had a terrible Case-Shiller National Home Price index report….average priced crashed over 19% in Q1, and half of California’s sales coming from foreclosures…qwashing people’s expectations that things has bottomed out.

    Then, we had Conference Board release numbers saying that ‘consumer sentiment’ jumped from 41 to 54.9 (highest since september) and everybody went crazy to buy, lol. Of course that had nothing to do with people’s reaction to the market itself stabilizing out of freefall from february and march with the aid of government cash and having 4 straight weeks of positive market results.

    Just to amuse myself, I bought some June puts on Nasdaq (well, the QQQQs) today to try and profit a little from some over zealous optimism….wife wants a trailer, maybe I can subsidize it a little, lol. (QQQQ-Jun-Put-Strike@$36…cost me $1.73)


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    May 26th, 2009 (1:22 pm)

    GM bondholders appear likely to reject equity swap
    May 26, 2009 13:59:00 (ET)

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The fate of General Motor Corp. hung Tuesday on the increasingly poor odds that the nation’s largest automaker would be able to convince enough of its bondholders that they would be better off swapping their holdings for stock than taking a chance in bankruptcy court.

    Under an April plan to rescue GM (GM, Trade ), bondholders would get 225 shares of common stock for every $1,000 in debt they hold. These bondholders-turned-stockholders would own 10% of the company, before a 100-to-1 reverse stock split.

    GM’s original deal has only been accepted by a “low-single-digit” percentage of holders, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations.

    The company wanted 90% of the bondholders to sign onto the deal.

    A spokeswoman for GM declined to confirm or deny the Reuters report, saying the company will be officially announcing results of the tender offer Wednesday morning.

    Some individual investors in GM bonds have previously said the company’s offer to swap their bonds for an equity stake in the restructured company was untenable and wiped out large swaths of their retirement savings or college funds for their children.

    GM has around 100,000 individual bondholders, holding about 20% of the company’s $27 billion in outstanding debt, according to 60 Plus, a senior advocacy group that lobbied lawmakers for individuals who hold GM bonds.
    ———–

    Do u think they will extend the deadline?


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    ccombs

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    This is why no car company ever lets a bunch of fanboys/ a few girls :) into their development process. I would NEVER do that as an engineer myself, but I’m glad they did that with the Volt for publicity’s sake. This is a fairly normal design process, not a “conspiracy” to give us misleading information. Things really are up in the air in terms of design and mpg. It is too early to know things like range and fuel economy while running on the range extender. No way GM can give us a number without more testing.


  119. 119
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:34 pm)

    Just as another reminder, the Volt fastlane blog interview with the press testers is going on right now…if you are so inclined to watch it:

    http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2009/05/webchat_journalists_to_discuss_the_volt.html


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:38 pm)

    @k-dawg 114

    “Did some reading on regen-braking. Most sites say 10-25%. On wiki it had 17% for trains. ”

    Parasitic losses are a killer bro!
    Unfortunately there is not much real data to get. Most people, even the DIY’rs dont track this. I dobt Tesla even tracks/graphs it. I’m hoping Ford will with their BEV Focus. Remember their crazy assed quote “We can reacpture 90% of the regen energy”, yeah something like that….NOT!


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    Evil Conservative

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:39 pm)

    I have an idea …. put in the 10 gal tank and tell people if you want to save some MPG only fill it 1/2 way.

    If space is an issue then put in the 6 gal tank and move on with production.


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    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:39 pm)

    #117 k-dawg said:

    Do u think they will extend the deadline?
    =======================

    Not likely, GM has some big notes due on May 31st, over a billion dollars worth….which they are going to default on.

    We are still probably looking at a bankruptcy filing on friday, likely after the market closes if GM has its way…although the PTFoA/administration likes to shoot its trap off about stuff like this, so we might get the “high noon” conference special again.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:46 pm)

    @Evil Conservative 121

    “I have an idea …. put in the 10 gal tank and tell people if you want to save some MPG only fill it 1/2 way.”

    I rarely ever fill up my car for work commute.
    I have a 24pack policy. I can cary a 12pack easier/efficiently to reach my 24pack than if I cary my 24 pack to reach my 12pack.

    This trailer park maggot aint no fool!


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    Dave K.

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:51 pm)

    nasaman 12,

    “10 gallon tank —completely removing any range anxiety concern”

    True, having a non stop range of 500 miles is a great feature. Even though the tank will usually be carrying just 3 or 4 gallons.

    The flip side is having a Volt owner mention how the last gasoline fill up cost just $20 @ $3.33 a gallon. I could live with a once per month gasoline stop of about $10.

    =D~


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    BillR

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (1:55 pm)

    k-dawg and Engineer,

    Here is a quote from Frank Weber concerning the Volt:

    “Frank Weber, the Vehicle Chief Engineer for the Volt, talked about the effect of aerodynamics and other factors on vehicle efficiency. Driver behavior is clearly a factor for both traditional and electric cars. Beyond that, on traditional cars, factors like mass, aero drag and rolling resistance come into play in that order. In testing and simulation GM has found that for electrically-driven vehicles mass actually drops to third on the list behind aerodynamics and electrical loads with rolling resistance coming in fourth.”

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/12/12/volt-aero-and-styling-touring-the-e-flex-design-studio-and-gm-w/

    So regenerative braking does play a role, since weight is not such a predominant factor for the Volt.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    @BillR 125

    “GM has found that for electrically-driven vehicles mass actually drops to third on the list behind aerodynamics and electrical loads with rolling resistance coming in fourth.””

    There is a threshold in where that formula is correct and it is during motion. At what speed I dunno. True that mass drops to third when aero dynamics is more of a hinderance during freeway speeds. It’s easier to keep an object in motion than to get it in motion. But the key is you have to get it in motion first which means mass is at it’s most negative effectivity. Personally I don’t believe his statement especially for a product that is both an EV and a ICE/Genset. You are carying BOTH technologies in one package as opposed to his example of an True EV. I believe his comparison is only in the effect that a less wind drag coefficience leaves more for regen braking.


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    BillR

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:06 pm)

    In regards to the 50 mpg, here is a quote from a speech by Troy Clarke of GM from about one year ago:

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

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

    This suggests greater than 45 mpg to me!


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    Dan Petit

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:07 pm)

    102 Corvetteguy.

    One of my customers did just about that, and only put in only 1 or 2 gallons of gasoline at a time in her 2006 Nissan SUV. It is one of those with the
    “distance to empty” computations on the LCD display.
    One day last Summer, I got a frantic call from her when she was stuck on the other side of town. She had just gotten an oil change and was concerned that they did something wrong.
    I got there and connected the Genisys scanner to the OBD2 port to see how the oxygen readings were. It was hard to start, but I managed to start it and get readings by fluttering the gas pedal. The engine was starving for fuel, as the oxygen readings could not achieve the “rich” end of the modulation.
    On the dash was the “distance to empty” reading. It said “4″.
    I asked her how she liked the “distance to empty feature, and, was it accurate?”.
    She said “Yes” “I like it a lot”, “I use it all the time”. “I am very efficient with gasoline and only purchase what I need for a few days to force myself to conserve”.
    “You have burned out your fuel pump in doing that” I said.
    Confirmed repair:. 1 Factory In-Tank electric fuel pump.
    $643.00.
    The fuel tank in the O5 Element I drive is 15.9 gallons. The dash light comes on when the tank needs 12.0 gallons. It takes the bottom 3 gallons to keep the in-tank electric fuel pump cool.
    The very best of intentions will pave you a financial road to hell and back. I see this at least 4 or 5 times every single day, 6 days a week with bad advice or improper servicing procedures. This is why everything GM does involves a very important set of considerations to help prevent you from having these sorts of expenses. So don’t just take anyone’s “off the cuff” advice. Keep it full at the click-stop with Shell 87 octane, which does not go stale for about a year.
    It will otherwise COST YOU A LOT.
    Dan Petit Austin TX.


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    BillR

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:12 pm)

    #126 CaptJack,

    From the next two paragraphs in the link,

    “Working from the Volt’s forty mile target range, it has been determined that a 400 lb. swing in mass only has a two-mile effect on range on the city driving cycle and only a one mile effect on the highway. While every mile and pound counts, this turned out to be much smaller than the effect of aerodynamic drag. Intuitively, most people expect that aerodynamic drag has an impact on the range and efficiency of a vehicle at highway speeds.

    This of course is true with a forty count reduction in drag coefficient (for example going from .300 to .260) having a six mile impact on range at highway speeds. The impact at city speeds is the big surprise. Here the same aerodynamic drag reduction causes the range to increase by four miles, more than double the effect of a 400 lb. weight reduction.”


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    Vats

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:14 pm)

    How about getting rid of the ICE and the gas tank all together and use that space to put a bigger battery or an additional battery. And get 100+ (closer to 200 would be perfect!) all electric miles out of it!

    We may get that with Volt 3.0 or may be when this air-fuelled battery comes out –

    http://www.gizmag.com/stair-air-fueled-battery/11761/

    I’m sure there is a big enough market out there who wants this configuration. I know I want one!

    #116 statik – I would amuse myself by going further out to July puts becoz June expiration is just around the corner. They get their (time component) air sucked out pretty quick in the last 3 weeks…so don’t hold them beyond this week unless the wind starts blowing in your favor.


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    Dan Petit

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:17 pm)

    Post script to my 128 above. We did put gas in it, but it was too late for the in-tank electric fuel pump. The vehicle was only 2 years old when it went out but it was beyond the 36K warranty. The wear was more time based than mileage based.
    Dan


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    stas peterson

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:18 pm)

    Gentel men,

    There is a California regulation that will mandate PZEV rated vehicles in the 2012. That consists of a fuel tank change to incorporate a closed system that traps their evaporation of a HVOCs from the fuel supply system, including the gas tank.

    It can be done with a rubber bladders inserted into the tank and that expands as the tank is filled and collapses as fuel empties. It prevents the gasoline from aging, (going stale) as the volatives evaporate off. A side benefit is that it is a safety factor in a crash.

    So all cars will need to do this, and all PZEV rated cars, some 56 2008 models and expanding in 2009 models, do it already. The Volt will do that too, as he implys, to achieve ZEV ratings. Even the CARB idiots admit that modern PZEV ICE powered cars have achieved zero pollution levels. They are cleaner driving by them, then the emissions from average parked car from the 1990s. So the Volt will have a built-in, anti-aging, gasoline vapors recovery system.


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:20 pm)

    128 Dan Petit

    Interesting. But then that begs the question: “Is the electric fuel pump on the VOLT running all of the time if the vehicle is in battery only mode”?


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    LauraM

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:21 pm)

    #117 k-dawg

    IMHO, this offer was designed to fail from the very beginning. No rational bondholder would accept it. I’d have been shocked if they got 40%, never mind the 90% they demanded.

    They’re declaring bankruptcy. It was just a matter of going through the motions until they do.


  135. 135
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:25 pm)

    #130 vats said:

    #116 statik – I would amuse myself by going further out to July puts becoz June expiration is just around the corner. They get their (time component) air sucked out pretty quick in the last 3 weeks…so don’t hold them beyond this week unless the wind starts blowing in your favor.

    ==================
    Oh heck yeah, I know what you mean. I’m doing it as much for entertainment as anything…any vehicle with a lifespan this short is a total WAG. Small enough amount as to I am willing to write off the whole thing if it goes the wrong way…just 30 contracts.

    I’ve been getting more than a little bored over the past 1+ year waiting to get back into the market, so every now and then I just dabble for fun.

    (Side note: expiration is actually a long one next month, June 29th)


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:29 pm)

    @Dan Petit 128

    Well, there’s one example of someone who has no “Range Anxiety”. Keeping the fuel tank low to save gas.
    So why would anyone engineer a pump to be thermally dependent/regulated on a liquid that is designed to be “Consumed”. Personally I think that is a design flaw.


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    BillR

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:38 pm)

    #132 Stas Peterson,

    Very interesting info on fuel tanks. Thanks.

    Was this new tank concept designed by Amory Lovins? (Sorry, couldn’t resist).


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    alex_md

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:40 pm)

    Current diesel gensets are not as efficient as some would like to think. As far as I am aware powerful gas gensets are not as prevalent. My guestimate for MPG in the genset mode on regular gas is probably in the range 30-40. Just does to show that pure EV with 150 mile per charge and a visit to your doctor for the treatment of anxiety will be better for most commuters. For those who drive a lot on highways the answer in short term is probably diesel (bio?)


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    Vats

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:41 pm)

    #135 statik -

    I know my friend what you mean by getting bored of being out of the market. I got out on Jan 7th of 2008 and I’m still out. Probably just as bored as you are or even worse.

    By the way, here is the Options Expiration cycle calendar because it is not June 29th but June 19th. (Must have been a typo out of boredom, I’m sure…)

    http://www.cboe.com/AboutCBOE/xcal2009.pdf


  140. 140
    stas peterson

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:48 pm)

    I find it ludicrous as an Engineer, to have people question whether an Atkinson cycle, 1.4 liter, running at a constant rpm, and tuned to make maximum Specific Fuel Consumption at that RPM, will have difficulty achieving 50 mpg.

    If an all-rpm, 1.8 liter Prius engine, 29% larger, operating at some inefficient operating rpms, can achieve 50 mpg, the smaller Volt engine,operating all the time at at its efficient maximum point, should be pushing 50-60 mpg or more, easily.

    Prius is a GASOLINE car with electric assist. Prius = 50 mpg.
    Volt is an ELECTRIC car with gasoline assist. Volt = 320 mpge.

    The ICE age is over. Embrace the Volt age.
    (With Thanks to the originator.)


  141. 141
    k-dawg

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (2:57 pm)

    If you disconnect the battery assist from the Prius, what kind of MPG does it get?


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    Lurker

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (3:02 pm)

    #140

    But doesn’t the car operate at “Several rpm ranges”?
    How would they determine the MPG between all the ranges for a total?

    Curious.


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    k-dawg

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (3:06 pm)

    I guess there’s a price war between the surviving Chrysler dealerships and the ones getting the axe. You can get a car, on average, $3000 cheaper from the axed dealerships.

    This was an intersting story too. Things to come for GM?
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30851123/


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    kgurnsey

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (3:29 pm)

    @ k-dawg #141

    My guess is roughly the same as the Prius’ hwy mileage, since the electric assist would be minimal at steady state hwy speed.


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    Van

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (3:35 pm)

    If the 2010 Prius gets about 48 highway, why would the Volt have trouble getting 50 MPG? An interesting question. In the Volt the ICE generates electrical power that drives a traction motor. In the Prius, the ICE drives the wheels, skipping the conversion to electrical power, then back to mechanical power. Maybe in July, when independent evaluators are allowed to drive the Volt for several hundred miles, we will know the answer. Now, we speculate.


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    bintoo

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (3:37 pm)

    #140
    stas peterson

    Prius is a GASOLINE car with electric assist.
    Volt is an ELECTRIC car with gasoline assist.

    This is such a critical difference it cannot be stated to many times, well done!

    Prius is a GASOLINE car with electric assist.
    Volt is an ELECTRIC car with gasoline assist.

    Prius is a GASOLINE car with electric assist.
    Volt is an ELECTRIC car with gasoline assist.

    Prius is a GASOLINE car with electric assist.
    Volt is an ELECTRIC car with gasoline assist.

    Prius is a GASOLINE car with electric assist.
    Volt is an ELECTRIC car with gasoline assist.


  147. 147
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (3:37 pm)

    #139 vats said:

    #135 statik -

    I know my friend what you mean by getting bored of being out of the market. I got out on Jan 7th of 2008 and I’m still out. Probably just as bored as you are or even worse.

    By the way, here is the Options Expiration cycle calendar because it is not June 29th but June 19th. (Must have been a typo out of boredom, I’m sure…)

    http://www.cboe.com/AboutCBOE/xcal2009.pdf
    =======================

    I’m not a strong proof reader…not much on the spell checker either, lol.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (3:48 pm)

    @Lurker 142

    “How would they determine the MPG between all the ranges for a total?”

    Hey! That’s a good question. Hadn’t thought about how they would calculate MPG if operating in different RPM ranges. Do they run at each RPM range for an X amount of time and just average them all out?
    I dunno….
    What say you!!!


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    May 26th, 2009 (4:02 pm)

    @ CaptJackSparrow #148

    The operating RPM of the genset would be determined by the power requirements at the time. Thus at steady state on the hwy cycle, the genset would likely only be operating at one of it’s preset speeds. Thus, the mpg figure would reflect the genset’s efficiency at that setting, but would be indicative of the mileage you would recieve at steady state at the tested speed.

    That is assuming, of course, that your driving conditons at the time matched the test conditions (i.e.: no massive headwinds, heater blasting at -20 degrees C, etc…).


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    Anthony BC

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (4:02 pm)

    The size will be a 10 gallon tank due to distance driven plus battery conditioning, plus unexpected less than 50 mpg, plus etc…..


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    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (4:07 pm)

    #140 stas said:

    I find it ludicrous as an Engineer, to have people question whether an Atkinson cycle, 1.4 liter, running at a constant rpm, and tuned to make maximum Specific Fuel Consumption at that RPM, will have difficulty achieving 50 mpg.

    If an all-rpm, 1.8 liter Prius engine, 29% larger, operating at some inefficient operating rpms, can achieve 50 mpg, the smaller Volt engine,operating all the time at at its efficient maximum point, should be pushing 50-60 mpg or more, easily.

    Prius is a GASOLINE car with electric assist. Prius = 50 mpg.
    Volt is an ELECTRIC car with gasoline assist. Volt = 320 mpge.

    The ICE age is over. Embrace the Volt age.
    (With Thanks to the originator.)
    =================

    Well, the Prius is at least 500 pounds lighter…with a Cd at .25 (the lowest in a high volume production car in the world), with systems that have been engineered, designed/tweeked for over a decade.

    Whereas the Volt is a 3,500lb car being pushed down the road with a 82hp, 4 banger that was not originally intended for the vehicle, and a Cd close to .3, so while we may be talking about it operating in the ‘optimal RPM’ for that engine, the engine itself may not be optimal…with exactly zero hours on the road of testing in production-alike form (and maybe even zero hours with 100% production ready components in the mule for all we know).

    /I think it is a reasonable question, 50 MPG is not a given in my mind by any stretch


  152. 152
    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (4:19 pm)

    @kgurnsey 149

    OK, that covers the treadmill test. How would it operate in the stop/gp city driving MPG test? I would assume the ICE would be shifting from one RPM position to the other and shouldn’t all the “RPM Ranges” be tested in measuring MPG?

    That dang lurker dude/dudet got me wondering now…..


  153. 153
    Michael C. Robinson

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (4:38 pm)

    There is range anxiety already. Chevy Volt 40 mile AER is just
    a guess, nothing more. If you are flooring it to get on the Interstate
    or running the A/C, will it still be 40 miles AER? Perhaps the engine
    will run to feed the peripherals. Less fuel means less room for waste when you well, floor it. Not only will the 40 mile AER get compromised, the extended range from the generator will be reduced.

    For fuel cell cars, you don’t hear about range anxiety. This is probably why the E-Flex system is fuel cell ready.

    Face it, how you drive is going to affect the range. The Toyota
    prius modified with extra batteries that is supposed to get 150
    mpg doesn’t. Why should I believe the 40 AER and 50 mpg
    after claims of GM for the Volt? Under what conditions, weather
    and driving style, will the Volt perform this well?

    Battery performance changes over time. Is 40 AER an average
    or a beginning of battery life range? Unlike gaseous hydrogen tanks, Lithium ION batteries lose capacity over time. A gaseous
    hydrogen tank slowly leaks, but not enough to be dangerous and
    losing gas does not reduce your capacity to hold gas. Coal plant
    CO2 emissions will be a feedstock for algae that will become a
    hydrogen source. Pollution will be used to increase hydrogen
    production. Most electricity, over half, comes from burning coal.
    Electricity is not clean and coming up with more to service all the
    plug-in vehicles that Obama wants is not going to be clean.
    Wind generation of electricity alone could be used to electrolyze
    water to produce all the hydrogen that is needed to fuel all light
    duty vehicles in the U.S. That isn’t the only option though. Solar
    collectors in death valley and solar to hydrogen in death valley
    are very realistic options. There is plenty of naturally decaying
    uranium around that could be used in nuclear plants. There is
    enough renewable energy capacity to produce all the hydrogen
    that will be needed for cars and half the electricity that is needed
    as well.

    Hydrogen pipelines are a reality today because hydrogen is needed
    for various industrial uses, agricultural uses, and H2 is needed to remove sulfur from gasoline. There are hundreds of miles of hydrogen pipelines. Hydrogen pipelines are cheaper than high
    voltage electric lines and they are buried underground, which is
    good for say forested areas.

    Steam reforming methane, natural gas, is good for the environment
    because methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Burning methane is also a good idea because this converts it to
    CO2, heat, and water. People scream fossil fuel when it comes to
    the most common pathway to getting hydrogen, but burning methane is actually an improvement greenhouse gases wise.
    Too bad methane isn’t all that great a fuel for cars because of
    the pressures you have to store it at and the limited range it
    gives you. Hydrogen stores at high pressure, but 200 to 500
    miles is more than reasonable for driving range. It’s better to
    lose hydrogen into the atmosophere than it is to leak methane.


  154. 154
    carcus1

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (4:45 pm)

    #140,

    Atkinson cycle ?


  155. 155
    Dave G

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (5:06 pm)

    #115 jonboinAR Says: [talking about the Prius] Uh, excuse me, but it would seem to me that a technology that gives a mileage increase of 25-30% is a little bit significant.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Yes, but with the Volt, we’re looking at numers close to 1000%.

    With a typical driving pattern, assuming you only charge overnight:
    Vehicle ……………… Gallons per year
    Volt ………………….. 37
    Prius ………………… 228
    40 MPG car ………… 285
    30 MPG car ………… 380
    20 MPG car ………… 570

    So the Volt is 1000% better than a 30MPG car.

    Assumptions:
    • Prius gets 50 MPG
    • Volt gets 40 miles AER (tested by GM for both City & Highway)
    • Volt gets 50 MPG after AER (early estimate from GM)

    Typical yearly driving pattern:
    • 30 days at 8 miles per day
    • 50 days at 16 miles per day
    • 240 days at 30 miles per day
    • 30 days at 60 miles per day
    • 3 days at 450 miles per day

    Total yearly miles: 11,390

    More info here:
    http://mysite.verizon.net/vzenu6hr/ebay_pictures/GallonsPerYear.xls


  156. 156
    carcus1

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (5:09 pm)

    Please don’t question my credentials. I have been credited for studies over C’s and have a B.S. Degree from Faksjuelerr University.


  157. 157
    Zach

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (5:09 pm)

    The Volt is seriously going to get 50mpg when run in the battery regeneration mode (combustion engine on)? If so, that’s no doubt impressive.

    Is 50mpg a combined, highway, or city calculation?


  158. 158
    StevePA

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (5:28 pm)

    GM – a tank large enough for this older gent would only need to match the frequency with which there’s a need to see a man about a horse. Its about four hours now. Used to be six. Expectin’ it’ll be droppin to three afore long…


  159. 159
    DonC

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (5:29 pm)

    #119 statik — Thanks for the cite. Some interesting info though mostly confirmations of what we thought we knew.

    #140 stas peterson — Good point on the mpg of the Prius.

    #92 CJS says “OK, so know I know why Elon Musk decided on going only to a BEV.”

    Actually Musk was trying to make quite a different point, though in fairness unless you understood where he was coming from it was a lot of Blah Blah Blah and Um, Er, Um. The point Must was trying to make was that the ICE on the Volt wouldn’t be large enough to power the vehicle. After 40 miles it would, in a sense, run like it had a lawnmower engine in it. (I think his actual quote included the word lawnmower). This was the reason, according to Musk, that Tesla decided to go fully electric.

    The problem of course is that this entire line of reasoning neglects the fact that the battery is still available even after the customer depletion point has been reached. Because the battery pack still retains a considerable charge, when the Volt needs peak power, say when passing on the expressway or climbing a hill or accelerating from a stop, the battery can chip in some power. Put another way, since the ICE doesn’t have to supply all the power, it can supply average power like an lawnmower but, because of the contribution of the battery pack when needed, the Volt will still have great performance even when it’s not in EV mode.

    Hopefully his engineers will pull him aside and explain this to him. FWIW the real reason Tesla didn’t go the hybrid route is that they don’t have the expertise to pull it off. A serial hybrid is far more difficult to engineer than an EV.


  160. 160
    Steel

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (5:36 pm)

    #151- Statik


    Whereas the Volt is a 3,500lb car being pushed down the road with a 82hp, 4 banger that was not originally intended for the vehicle, and a Cd close to .3, so while we may be talking about it operating in the ‘optimal RPM’ for that engine, the engine itself may not be optimal…with exactly zero hours on the road of testing in production-alike form (and maybe even zero hours with 100% production ready components in the mule for all we know).

    Statik, your pretty negative sometimes
    The car is being driven by a 111kw Electric Motor (~150hp) drawing power from a 53kw generator that is supplemented by a battery.


  161. 161
    noel park

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (5:44 pm)

    NPR just did a feature on the bidding for Opel. FIAT, Magna, some alphabet soup LBO/hedge fund group from Belgium (maybe J-C J knows them?), and a Chinese(!) car company. Supposedly, the German govt. has the final say as the whole thing turns on their loan guarantees.

    The NPR (BBC?) guy’s handicap:

    German govt. does not prefer FIAT as they will probably consolidate operations, costing German jobs. Belgians not thought to be very strong contenders. Chinese got into the game too late. Magna favored because they will bring $1 billion cash, have no European factories to consolidate, and have promised more, not less, German jobs.

    Who knows how accurate NPR’s handicap is, but it sure looks like Opel is gone. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that Ampera any time soon. Maybe The Captain will buy Saturn with his Indy winnings and bring them in that way, LOL.

    #99 CaptJackSparrow & #158 StevePA:

    Yeah, me too. Already dropped to 3 here, if that. 6 gallons is no problem. And I think that the weight counts, no matter what anybody says.


  162. 162
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:00 pm)

    #160 Steel said:

    Statik, your pretty negative sometimes
    The car is being driven by a 111kw Electric Motor (~150hp) drawing power from a 53kw generator that is supplemented by a battery.
    ======================

    We were talking strictly after the depletion point of the battery, in respect to it being ‘ludicrous’ to assume it might not achieve numbers @ 50 MPG, the same as a a Prius….I didn’t intend it to be brought up as a random negative ‘dig,’ but rather to show that there is a lot of ‘ifs’ left on the 50MPG benchmark.


  163. 163
    lwesson

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:01 pm)

    Just got back from a long trip. Non stop for fuel. The Saturn Hy-brid Vue can blast on past 500 miles.

    While on a motorcycle long ago getting off the iron horse to fill up was nice but I ran out of gas all too often on the long adventures.

    My guess is that the average gas mileage of a tanked up Volt and battery is what GM is eying. Less gas, greater mileage for that trip providing said trip is limited to a single tank. Again the Corp. Average is in the equation for GM not the range. Perhaps someone pointed this out but I have yet to scan such.

    On my cross country trips I am loaded up. 30 to 50 pounds means little but knowing that the mileage is going to drop then rational thinking would point to you needing the extra fuel!

    Gas treatment, put less gas in when you are tootling about the town or around some tiny New England states, but ten or twelve gallons would be heaven sent on long trips and not the measly tiny inane metricworld like quantities being tossed about.

    Here in Texas 600+ miles does turn heads.——-Lwesson


  164. 164
    nasaman

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:17 pm)

    ATTN: Frank Weber and Andrew Farah:

    k-dawg in #64 says, “Not to start a Prius/Volt debate, but the Prius has a 11.9 gallon tank. To get the same range (11.9 x 50mpg) = (595 miles) the Volt would need a min of an 11.1 gallon tank. I could see Toyota using the range somehow as a selling point… driving past more gas stations, or whatever.”

    kgurnsey in #97 says, “Volkswagen has been advertizing the extreme ranges of their TDIs (over 600 miles per tank!) for all that message is worth for years (at least here in Canada).”
    ============================================================================

    These are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FACTS —facts that should be seriously considered in the Volt tank sizing decision!!! Without a simple, very powerful marketing message like “the Volt can be driven non-stop for over 600 miles”, the misunderstanding on the Letterman show with Elon Musk will arise again & again! I had lunch today with a close engineering friend who’s been asking me details about the Volt for >1 1/2 yrs —he STILL thinks the Volt’s range is only 40 miles!!!

    Why not go back to the original 12 gals (perhaps as two separate 6 gal tanks connected by a pipe and a solenoid valve)? This way, a Volt owner could use only the primary 6 gal tank around town but fill both tanks to achieve a range of >600 mi when on a trip. It would be a marketing coup d’état that should save GM millions of advertising dollars explaining EREV range over & over & over again!


  165. 165
    RandyB

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:17 pm)

    Nobody says you have to run around with more than a gallon or so in the tank….I mean, if your that worried about it, keep a gallon or so in the tank for most of the time and then fill it up before you take a planned trip.


  166. 166
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:33 pm)

    Grats to CorvetteGuy:

    Now that the gov’t has all but signed off on the GSB, let GM draw down the extra cash…and thrown enough cash at the UAW to make everything ok, the Camaro convertible is back on…so more sales for you. This is a application/add-on with some nice margins, that GM can really use in the future.

    Originally, the Oshawa plant/chop shop was supposed to be tooling up now for late 2009 production…but it got canned/’delayed’ when things started to go south, but it is on again.

    Of course, nothing has been done on the project for ages…so you won’t be seeing any until early 2011, but good news for you just the same.

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20090525/ANA03/305259961
    (provided you have a subscription)

    This could be the start of seeing some other ‘hiatus’ projects coming back online, and maybe a battery plant and/or contract too?

    /crosses fingers. I think we can all agree we really need to get the battery production in gear…regardless of when we expect the car to be productd or what the specs will be


  167. 167
    DonC

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:35 pm)

    #151 statik says “and a Cd close to .3″

    Where the heck did that number come from? The only information I know about indicates the Cd will supposedly be “very close” to the EV-1′s. The Cd of the EV1 was .19 — the highest of any modern production car — so I’m thinking maybe .21 or so. Also note that the “A” part of CdA is equally important. That part will probably be roughly the same as the Prius’.

    #164 nasaman — You’ve changed my mind on several things like the plugs and the size of the wheels. This one not so much. You can only use so many points when marketing. Given how powerful messaging about the EV experience or the Green nature of the car or not depending on OPEC oil could be, I’m not sure the cruising range is salient.

    I’m also unsure how suitable for long trips the Volt is. The car seems more like a commuter car that could be used on trips than a cruiser. A longer range can’t hurt but it doesn’t seem critical for the intended demographic. Maybe if Voltec ends up in a different vehicle this might be different.


  168. 168
    Koz

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:38 pm)

    How could 600 miles miles range make people understand an EREV better than 400 miles range or 300 miles range. This argument makes no sense. 600 miles would be great as long as it doesn’t eat 1 cubic foot of cargo space. I believe cargo space in a hatchback is more important than range >350miles. Obviously plenty of people that drive >40 miles per day will disagree but the whole point of the Volt is that most people don’t drive that much.


  169. 169
    noel park

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:44 pm)

    #160 Steel:

    I was one of those who was disappointed when they dropped the 1.0 turbo 3 cyl in favor of the 1.4, LOL. Too big and heavy, IMHO. Just run the 1.0 however hard you have to to keep the battery topped up. I guess I’m just too simple to appreciate all of this “customer depletion point” and running around with the battery 30% charged stuff. Run down the flat Interstate on the ICE and tip into the battery when you hit a grade, what?

    #166 statik:

    Amen on the battery production. I try to remain optimistic about October 2010, but I dunno……………….


  170. 170
    Koz

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:46 pm)

    Donc #159

    True, an EREV (or REEV in the case of Tesla) is far more to engineer but on top of that it is far more expensive to pass emmissions testing, gas tank safety, etc. etc.


  171. 171
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:48 pm)

    #167 DonC said:

    #151 statik says “and a Cd close to .3″

    Where the heck did that number come from? The only information I know about indicates the Cd will supposedly be “very close” to the EV-1’s. The Cd of the EV1 was .19 — the highest of any modern production car — so I’m thinking maybe .21 or so. Also note that the “A” part of CdA is equally important. That part will probably be roughly the same as the Prius’.
    ======================

    As always, I am happy to post linkage to back up my statment of close to .3 Cd. It has been referenced on two occasions that I can recall:

    Bob Lutz generalizes it here – ” Lutz said for the first time in public that the current Volt has a coefficient of drag (CD) of between .27 to .28″ (it also has video of him saying it, while rocking the pink tie…worth a revisit just for that if you ask me, lol). You might recall this interview as also being the event that proved the ‘Volt will have a lower Cd than the Prius’ comment from Lutz as ending up inaccurate.

    http://gm-volt.com/2008/08/20/lutz-production-volt-has-a-cd-between-28-and-29-and-battery-extreme-cold-performance-is-good/

    Ed Welburn, VP Global Design…and uber nerd gets specific here:

    “I’m proud to say that after extensive aero development of the Volt, and more to come, we have achieved a vehicle that had a coefficient of drag that is more 30% lower in drag than the original concept,”…“It’s not easy, but it is a necessity.” Concept was .426 My humble math skills tell me that is .298

    http://gm-volt.com/2007/12/10/get-blown-away-first-peek-at-production-chevy-volt/


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    noel park

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:48 pm)

    BTW, my understanding that the engine in the current Prius is not a purpose built engine. It’s actually a generation old, out of the Echo. Different cams and fuel mapping, no doubt, but not unique to the Prius, any more than the 1.4 will be unique to the Volt. It has seemed to serve pretty well, however. Maybe this changes with the new 2010.


  173. 173
    kgurnsey

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    @ CaptainJackSparrow #152

    The problem with “real world” mpg is that nobody’s “real world” is the same. Daily variations in temperature, humidity, wind load, and other variables will ensure that no two mpg readings are truly, accurately, comparable. Thus the importance of standardized tests in order to assess a vehicles performance realitive to another vehicle, holding all possible variables constant. It’s only in a lab that you can control all the major variables.

    The only major caveat is the extent to which the test scenario actually resembles your personal usage. For most people, it doesn’t, but then again, it’s not supposed to. The mistake most people seem to make is to assume that fuel economy ratings are a proxy for thier own day to day mileage. They are not. They are nothing more than a way of measuring and comparing cars against each other under standardized conditions. That is to say, under these standard conditions, this vehicle gets better mileage than that one. They naturally won’t take into account all possible variables, nor take into account the individual quirks of various models. For example, diesels typically get better mileage as they age, and get “broken in”, but that’s not revealed when testing a new vehicle, so diesels generally score lower than most owners tend to report over time. Most diesel owners start getting their best mileage around 40-60k miles. Hybrids have had similar issues with standardized test not properly reflecting thier quirks. The point is, take standarized tests for what they are, and with a grain of salt.

    My solution then, would be to run the Volt through the same city test that the Prius went through, and see what mileage comes out. Thus you can be assured that at least both vehicles are compared under exactly the same conditions. It makes no difference what efficiency the genset gets at each RPM setting, since as the driver you won’t have any control over which the RPM is running at. It will run at the RPM that produces the power needed to sustain the battery charge at roughtly 30%. It would be an academic curiosity to know, but not ultimately useful.


  174. 174
    Donald

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:13 pm)

    I think its important to note that if the Volt gets signficantly less that other hybrids on engine power, it uses far more fuel that a hybrid on long trips.

    Say a 40 MPG Volt vs a 50 MPG Prius take a 200 mile trip (break even point) Anything after that 200 mile mark the Prius is more efficient. And as long as the trip keep going, the Prius widens that mileage gap. If most people drive past the 40 mile mark in their daily use the Prius (or equivalent car) will save them money. Not even considering how much the 1/2 purchase price could will buy in fuel. That extra $20k will buy over 9,000 gallons of gas with todays prices. That’s 450,000 miles of driving before you equal the cost of the Volt.


  175. 175
    kgurnsey

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:13 pm)

    @ CaptainJackSparrow #152

    I kinda got off on a tangent there, but to be more specific, I expect that the genset will have a much more consistent mileage rating from city to hwy than a conventional ICE vehicle, since it is essentially operating in “average” mode all the time, with acceleration demands being soaked up by the battery. I would expect that, if the hwy mpg is around 50, the city would be around 45 or so. I don’t expect that the 4-5 RPM settings would affect mileage much. There is a big difference from running an engine at 4-5 different steady state RPMs and running an engine through the entire RPM band under constantly varying loads.

    For the record, it’s dude, and I’ve posted quite a few times now. I just tend to keep my e-yap shut unless I have a decent idea what I’m talking about, and feel that I have something constructive to add to the discussion.

    In the end though, it’s the amount of gas it takes to get from A to B that matters, not what RPM the engine is running at. I’m confident that the engineers are optimizing the ICE as best as is reasonably possible.


  176. 176
    JEC

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:16 pm)

    140 stas peterson
    “I find it ludicrous as an Engineer, to have people question whether an Atkinson cycle, 1.4 liter, running at a constant rpm, and tuned to make maximum Specific Fuel Consumption at that RPM, will have difficulty achieving 50 mpg.”
    ====================================================
    As an engineer, you should always question everything.


  177. 177
    Dan Petit

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:24 pm)

    Answer to 133 Corvetteguy,

    Is the electric fuel pump going to run while the Voltec vehicle is in Battery Run mode?

    Not at all. Likely, GM might have a very small accumulator to get the ICE running if there is not enough volume in the pressurized lines. Or, it might run once to pressurize the lines when first going out on the initial BEV cycle, so that if the ICE needed to immediately cut on for some reason, there would be a small amount of fuel pressure available to fire it up for the first second or two.

    Also, bladders inside of fuel tanks are asking for all sorts of trouble. Flaking, aging, and on and on. Not a good idea.

    The overheating of the fuel pump often wears out the upper bearing on the opposite bias from the impeller output side of the scroll. Heated gasoline causes this to happen faster. The scroll begins to scrape the one side of the scroll chamber (loosing compression on the opposite side) and you begin to get a gradual reduction in available fuel pressure beyond the fuel pressure regulators setpoint to dump volume back to the tank as a method of controlling fuel pressure. (Sorry about another run-on sentence).
    The scroll can also just break apart and the sudden failure occurs.

    The relationship between time and mileage are not similar in high annual mileage vehicles compared to high clock-hours “idling in heavy traffic home” time-wise. As was in the case of the 2006 Nissan SUV, with the “distance to empty” indicator (which was actually correct and was utilized incorrectly), the pump runtime in relationship to the actual mileage accrued was the factor in that case.
    This case bolsters the fact that is desirable to keep the best quality gasoline in the small gas tank at least half full. But, If it were mine, I would just keep it full to keep the fuel tank from breathing in moist air.

    An engine runtime clockmeter is going to be needed with a matrix for anticipated things to do such as running the engine or changing the oil. It may be that in some driving circumstances, that it might be a year for that.
    Dan Petit Austin Tx.


  178. 178
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:30 pm)

    #171 DonC said:

    “Also note that the “A” part of CdA is equally important. That part will probably be roughly the same as the Prius’.”
    =======================
    Sorry, I glossed over this in my response. You of course are very right (not many people even know the difference). However, this is certainly a stat we are not going to know until…probably the day the Volt comes out, if not later, lol. So we have to compare the crude numbers we have to work with.

    I have no linkage for this, but I believe I recalling the ‘talking head’ at the autoshow saying that the 2010 Prius was at 6.1 compared to 6.25 for last gen (?). Which is pretty good…still no ‘old school’ Insight though, lol.

    I guess we can work from the dimensions of the Cruze vs new Prius to get a crude idea of what to expect.

    Width: 66.7 Prius vs. 70.4 Cruze
    Height 58.7 Prius vs. 58.1 Cruze

    …so a frontal displacement around 4% larger on the Cruze, and the cd is about 15% better on the 2010 Prius over the Volt (29 vs 25), so shaving off a little for the Volt over the Cruze, we are looking at a very crude guess on the CdA around 7.1?

    (maybe you want to do a guess-ti-mate yourself, or correct any mistakes I made in my assumptions…I don’t profess to be a expert on this subject by any stretch. I checked out a last gen Civic as a comparision as something I felt would be a similar number, but the Volt should beat, and a ’01 was 7.3).


  179. 179
    Tom Harwick

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:42 pm)

    Electric drive and pricing are really the only two factors that are in play in my mind when it comes to how many GM can sell.

    The two biggest numbers are $40,000 and 40 MPC. If they have a MSRP starting with a ‘4′, they are in trouble…if they are getting a blended city/highway electric range less than anything starting with a ‘4,’ they are in trouble.

    Good = $39,900, 40 miles
    Bad = $42,500, 35 miles
    —————————————————————-
    Glad to see posters looking at things in marketing terms. The Voltec drive train will only benefit society if it sells multiple millions per year, so consumer acceptance is everything.

    I would disagree that 40 miles AER or 50 MPG ICE are the critical statistics.

    The Volt has the potential to displace Prius type cars based on

    Prius 50 MPG
    Volt 105 MPG

    Any other statistic or claim is just noise. An of course, the price has to be lowered over time to $29,999 or better, or its Hello, Smithsonian for the Volt.


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    Tom Harwick

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:47 pm)

    “#67 EV Owner — The fastest way to get to your goal of not using OPEC oil is, as Dave G is wont to point out, to use bio-fuels. An acre planted in miscanthus might get you 4000 gallons of fuel (27 tons of miscanthus per acre and 160 gallons of fuel per ton), which, while not as energy dense as gasoline, would be enough for several lifetimes of cross country trips.”
    ——————————————————————————
    It would also take you several lifetimes to earn the money to pay for 4,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol, and that is not going to change until someone comes up with a commercial scale process for making cellulosic alcohol. So far no one has been able to do that.

    It might happen it might not.


  181. 181
    Kool Aid

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (7:59 pm)

    Breaking News:

    Chapter 11 filing is imminent, could happen at any time after 12:01AM midnight!


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    kdawg

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:02 pm)

    Regarding Cd of the Volt.. I ran across this the other day. Its on Wiki, so take it for what its worth

    0.301 Chevrolet Volt (0.43 w/ a 30% reduction)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile_drag_coefficients


  183. 183
    Ed M

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:03 pm)

    Tom #179

    I’ve often wondered about the Volt getting105 MPG. Where actually do that number come from ?


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    Dan Petit

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:10 pm)

    I just thought of an idea of why I might want the largest fuel tank possible in my Voltec Vehicle.

    (Excuse me for saying it this way, but)
    To piss off the oil speculators.
    How about a range of 640 miles with an optionally-large fuel tank.
    So here we are 6 months before the next presidential election cycle in
    3 years from now. Speculators once again want to have the oil barrel at $150 again. They fake all kinds of “doom and gloom”, everything except the gravity of the moon. Just to rip us all off. I really don’t think that it is due to the oil companies as greatly as most people think, I believe it is mostly those speculators (but the oil companies surely don’t object to any of them). But if ever some oil *interest* in the past had ever gotten over to GM and any other OEM to threaten them (as did happen once to me right in front of a witness and a camera), I would like to indeed have that 12 gallon fuel tank in a Voltec vehicle so that I would not be affected by the speculators “back-stab” crude oil “pump-up”. That seems to be the best reason to me to have the large gas tank as an option. Buying gas once every 3 to 5 months would be providing speculators with the proverbial singular digit indication that their “deal” is “no deal” with my Voltec Vehicle.
    Dan Petit Austin TX


  185. 185
    statik

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:14 pm)

    #181 kool aid said:

    Breaking News:

    Chapter 11 filing is imminent, could happen at any time after 12:01AM midnight!
    —-
    I think that is in reference from the debt exchange offer expiring tonight, which would seem to leave the bankruptcy option as a open window now…which is true.

    However, it is unlikey to happen ‘any time’ after 12:01 tonight.

    Once they go bankrupt, and everyone freaks out, and they lose self-control…that is exactly why they moved up supplier payments from the scheduled tuesday, June 2nd date to this thursday, May 28th. The filing will surely come after those payments are made.

    http://www.freep.com/article/20090513/BUSINESS01/90513093/

    Sidenote: It is going to be hard for Obama/PTFoA to paint the GM bondholder holdouts as a small group of manipulative hedge funds. Seems like everyone and their dog owns a piece of this debt…and everyone is turning them down (well 90%+ of them). It would also seem that anyone that is not beholden to the government on TARP money (ala Chrysler’s ‘good’ bondholders) is not too thrilled with the deal.
    ===========================
    #182 kdawg said:

    Regarding Cd of the Volt.. I ran across this the other day. Its on Wiki, so take it for what its worth

    0.301 Chevrolet Volt (0.43 w/ a 30% reduction)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automobile_drag_coefficients
    ——————
    Wiki is evil, and not to be trusted….that is all.

    j/k-it is a handy resource most of the time (but always double check the sources, lol)


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    kgurnsey

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (8:50 pm)

    @ JEC #176

    a big +1 on that comment.

    For all the scientists and engineers in the house, can we have a big round of applause for critical thinking!

    Always check and verify your source data, double check your calcs, state your assumptions, and do the above twice if you’re signing off on someone elses work. Assume everything you are working with is wrong until you can PROVE that it isn’t. Then question your own work, because you could be wrong too. Lather, rinse, and repeat ad nauseum.


  187. 187
    Timaaayyy!!!

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:02 pm)

    My BYDDY investment has been doing great, but the Yahoo message board isn’t usually very favorable to the Volt:

    http://messages.finance.yahoo.com/Stocks_%28A_to_Z%29/Stocks_B/threadview?m=tm&bn=55204&tid=417&mid=417&tof=1&frt=2

    Also, BYD may become a supplier to VW, and in a rumor, to Ford, too. Cost is evidently currently 1/2 of the Jap and Korean suppliers.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124331239762553635.html

    Hope GM truly keeps their battery supplier options open. Going to be very interesting to see how the world battery market evolves over the next several years. Rapidly changing technology vs economies of scale.

    And Chindia is knocking again:

    http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2009/02/kiss-saturn-goodbye-dealers-ponder-plan-to-sell-chinese-or-indian-made-cars.html


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    BillR

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:23 pm)

    #171 Statik,

    The Opel Insignia has a Cd of 0.26, so 0.3 would seem high for the Volt, since it will be the second most aerodynamic car the General has ever built (with the EV1 in first place).

    http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/04/21/vauxhall-launches-insignia-ecoflex-with-45-5-mpg-us-136-g-km/

    Greg Cesiel, in this interview, claims the Volt’s Cd is not as good as the EV1 (0.195), but it’s close.

    http://greenmonk.net/greenmonk-talks-to-general-motors-about-the-chevrolet-volt/

    So I’m with DonC, I expect the Cd to be about 0.22.


  189. 189
    GMguy

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (9:46 pm)

    You all need to take a chill pill.

    GM makes an unofficial comment about it and you all jump on it as real, criticizing them later when they change things. Hell, I saw Back to the Future again last night. I recall seeing hovering cars. I saw it in the movie, it must be true, cause I saw it. Oh, and wait. Because it so easy to design, develop and manufacture it, I can go to the local vending machine and buy it, tommarrow. That is how absurd a number of you sound. Wake up.

    Someone explain why everyone has the absurd expectation from GM that they would have this in production and sooner than any other typical vehicle? Especially one this complex.

    Until it’s production tooled, anything is game to change.


  190. 190
    kth142

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:09 pm)

    My vote is that they lean towards a larger tank. If this car gets 40-50 mpg while running off the ICE I would be inclined to use it for longer trips as well. And it would really anoy me to have to fill up any sooner than every 300 miles. As for weight savings I say just don’t fill it up all the way if that is your concern.

    As a side note I just today rented a prius for the next couple of weeks and let me say I hope the volt set a higher target than the prius. The controls are just annoying to me. And the drivetrain is anything but smooth in my opinion. I look forward to an all electric drivetrain like the volt that doesn’t have to switch back and forth.


  191. 191
    koz

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (10:59 pm)

    For those getting despondent about GM and the results on the Volt program, you should read this mule test drive pick-me-up:

    http://evchels.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/poker-faces/

    Hopefully this brings a little excitement and anticipation back to the project for Volt fans. A lot of the skepticism shown on this site is baseless or nearly so.


  192. 192
    jonboinAr

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (11:02 pm)

    #115 Dave:

    I understand all that, Bro-mine. I want a Volt in my garage. I want very much for GM to succeed with the Volt. I think it’s a perfect stepping-stone to a reduced-petrol future. However, it’s not the only valuable such “stepping-stone.” I did not mean to denigrate the Volt in any way by praising Toyota’s parallel hybrid concept.

    One advantage the parallel hybrid has is that, as far as I can tell, the production process should be more-or-less immediately scalable to making millions of Priuses (or any other hybrid) per year should the demand for very high mileage cars suddenly spike. We all know there’s a certain likelihood of that. With the Erev, however, is Lithium even available in that kind of quantity, let alone is anyone equipped to make that many cells that quickly?

    It seems to me that GM should be ready to make a very large number of cars that achieve 50 miles per gallon (taking that as an arbitrary standard) by hook or crook on fairly short notice. I’ll be surprised if Toyota isn’t ready.


  193. 193
    Mike D

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (11:02 pm)

    50 MPG in gas mode is well above what the many critics i’ve heard on this website say….

    I even assumed 40 MPG giving in on that partly.

    50 MPG was what the optomists thought!!

    Cheers to that!


  194. 194
    jonboinAr

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (11:17 pm)

    #164 Nasaman:
    “Why not go back to the original 12 gals (perhaps as two separate 6 gal tanks connected by a pipe and a solenoid valve)? This way, a Volt owner could use only the primary 6 gal tank around town but fill both tanks to achieve a range of >600 mi when on a trip. It would be a marketing coup d’état that should save GM millions of advertising dollars explaining EREV range over & over & over again!”

    Then you’d have people complaining that the Volt’s range is only 600 miles. Oi! You can’t win.


  195. 195
    solo

     

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    May 26th, 2009 (11:24 pm)

    193 comments on the size of the flippn gas tank! WOW. Some of us (Me included) really REALLY need to get a life!

    Lets face it. This car will weigh in at 3500+. It will get about 35 mpg in real world driving once the battery is dead. Maybe even 40+ on the highway if driven slowly.

    If you want my guess, I say at least 10 gallons. That will get you a real world 325 mile range before your needle is saying ‘feed me’.


  196. 196
    CorvetteGuy

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (12:08 am)

    #166 statik

    That is good news. Problem is… I gotta get my wife a VOLT before I can consider a Camaro Convertible.

    Decisions. Decisions.


  197. 197
    LazP

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (12:09 am)

    All this argument about the gas tank. I have been following this website almost from the beginning. I never thought that dealing with range anxiety meant we do not have to stop at a gas station. I thought it meant to be able to drive this electric car as far as we wish between recharge, recharge being an overnight charge most typically.. I do not see how the mpg or more correctly gmpg (gasoline miles per gallon) is affected by needing to stop in gas stations more often because of the size of the tank. In this respect we only need to match a typical ICE driven car. The closer one is to the targeted 40 mile daily driving range the higher the overall gmpg will be, I.e near infinite gmpg if less then that.


  198. 198
    DonC

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (1:40 am)

    #171 statik says “As always, I am happy to post linkage to back up my statment of close to .3 Cd. It has been referenced on two occasions that I can recall:”

    Well those are sources but I think they’re not very good. The Lutz interview has Lutz first saying “I don’t know [exactly", then physically waving his arms, and then coming up with the numbers .27 or .28. Not exactly something you want to take to the bank. The other reference comes from 2007, long before the design was finished.

    On the other hand, after the Volt design was revealed, Wired had this to say: After discovering the concept car’s wretched drag coefficient of .43 -- roughly the same aerodynamic efficiency as a Chevrolet Silverado pickup -- GM's designers and engineers spent more than 1,000 hours in the wind tunnel reworking the exterior. What they emerged with is, according to GM, more aerodynamic than the Toyota Prius or the Honda Civic Hybrid. "We spent three times longer on this car than any other car [in GM’s history],” says Nina Tortosa, the engineer who oversaw wind tunnel testing. “It will be one of the most aerodynamic cars out there.” [Boniface basically has said the same thing].

    Additionally we have Posawatz on record as saying that the Cd of the Volt will be “very close” to that of the EV1, which was .19.

    So the Cd of the Volt is better than the Prius at .25 and very close to the EV1 at .19. That doesn’t suggest a Cd of .3.

    Finally, you couldn’t have a car with a Cd of .3 needing only 200wh/mile which is what the 40 mile range requires. So you have to either reject the .3 Cd or the 40 mile range.


  199. 199
    Anthony BC

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (4:08 am)

    Ok, GM please make it 12 gallons just so we don’t go over 200 posts on a gas tank issue!!!


  200. 200
    Anthony BC

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (4:09 am)

    Unless it’s too big an issue, then just make it 11 gallons.

    Whew, just under 200 posts!


  201. 201
    Anthony BC

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (4:11 am)

    Ah crap, I forgot to add the usual

    “GO EV” !!! 201 posts!


  202. 202
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (5:17 am)

    DonC # 61 says,
    Rashiid — Three and a half days to go across country is impressive. One day of that kind of driving is one thing. Three in a row is another. Perhaps you should take a tip from a a couple of your fellow CT denizens. Stop and smell the roses a bit more and then write a book like “Road Food Good Food”. Makes the trip deductible and provides gas money!

    ———
    I know. I know. This is the story of my life. Always in a hurry to get there with everything. Well…..almost everything. ;)


  203. 203
    Dan Petit

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (6:30 am)

    #73

    You don’t have to be first to be the best.
    You don’t want to be first if you’re going to be last in quality.
    We don’t want anyone to make anything if it is an extremely
    terrible lemon, just so they can say they “have” something to sell you “first”. And believe me, they will certainly want to unload their terrible “tossed-together” experiment onto you to clear their financial books!! Everything you bought will become worthless all too quickly. Be skeptical as hell, my friends, if it ain’t GM’s careful engineers making it for you.
    Dan Petit Austin TX


  204. 204
    statik

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (8:48 am)

    #198 DonC said:

    “Well those are sources but I think they’re not very good”
    ====================

    Well I can’t do better than a direct video quote from the projects founder and a comment from the VP of design (and yes it was from December 2007, but that was when they ACTUALLY did the wind tunnel testing and came up with the design you see now…as the picture in the article clearly shows). You came at me with, “Where the heck did that number come from? The only information I know….” and I gave you two really good, hard sources. If you don’t want to acknowledge that…what can I do? I can’t get a sworn affidavit from someone who can certify the number.

    If you want to go with a Wired magazine article, and a loose, unspecific quote from Posawatz saying the Volt will be “very close” to that of the EV1, which was .19, and draw conculusions that it will surely be lower than the Prius’ .25….well, you go for it.

    Although you know darn well, that the Volt is going to be nowhere near the EV1, you understand how Cd/CdA works…it is impossible, just look at the two cars, lol

    http://www.gm-volt.com/e/ev1volt.jpg


  205. 205
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (9:42 am)

    @ #180 Tom Hardwick

    There’s no gas tank on my electric vehicle, so I don’t have anywhere on it to pour cellulosic ethanol/alchohol. Why do several folks on this thread want me to put bio-fuels in my all electric motorcycle? Weird.

    If my local large wind farm starts doing local bio-fuel feedstock harvests and refining and integrates the power from it to their output at a reasonable cost, I’ll consider using it. In the meantime, I’ll stick with my pure wind power.

    I had to do my first maintenance on my two year old electric motorcycle today. New front brake pads. It took me 5 minutes to replace them. Total cost – $15. Yes, I ride it like a total hoon.

    “#67 EV Owner — The fastest way to get to your goal of not using OPEC oil is, as Dave G is wont to point out, to use bio-fuels. An acre planted in miscanthus might get you 4000 gallons of fuel (27 tons of miscanthus per acre and 160 gallons of fuel per ton), which, while not as energy dense as gasoline, would be enough for several lifetimes of cross country trips.”
    ——————————————————————————
    It would also take you several lifetimes to earn the money to pay for 4,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol, and that is not going to change until someone comes up with a commercial scale process for making cellulosic alcohol. So far no one has been able to do that.

    It might happen it might not.


  206. 206
    Electric Vehicle Owner

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (9:47 am)

    BTW, I already met my goal of not using OPEC oil. You can’t get any faster than already did it, by my electric motorcycle purchase and daily use.


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    mikeinatl.

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (10:46 am)

    If the Volt is designed for 40 miles electric-only range based on the distance 80% of Americans drive daily, then why not calculate the tank size based on how long 80% of Americans drive on long trips between stops.

    In reality, I expect it has more to do the the size of a human’s “tank” than the car’s tank. Most people probably need a pit stop much more often than their car does on long trips.

    So a 500 or 600 mile range would be overkill from a biological standpoint. Seven or eight hours? I don’t think so. Lets not forget this all about transporting humans from place to place.


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    Lev

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (5:56 pm)

    Why not a bladder gas tank? It can be made of lighter material, and can only be inflated to the volume of present gas, so there is less evaporation and leaking.


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    Roger

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (7:17 pm)

    how often will oil be changed? will the engine have an hour meter? mileage will kinda be irrelevant.


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    Michael

     

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    May 27th, 2009 (10:26 pm)

    I can’t help but notice that everyone is debating the size of the fuel tank when it was clearly stated that they haven’t even gotten the battery pack right yet. Obviously, the battery pack will be the largest and heaviest part of the car and ultimately cause them to have to design around it. That will decide how much room is left over for the size of the fuel tank and other creature comforts. I am more interested in air conditioning, heat and stereo capabilities, etc. Any decent engine will fast idle for quite a while on just 1 gallon of gas to keep the charge at operating levels. How far you can go in that time will determine miles per gallon. Strap your mower to your car, put a gallon of gas in it, crank it up at fast idle and drive your car till the mower stops. Then you will know.LOL
    Michael.
    Michael


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    Michael

     

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    May 28th, 2009 (6:37 am)

    As an afterthought to my previous comment. If it is designed to go 40 miles before the engine engages. How will the heat and air and generator for dc power operate to keep me warm or cool and listen to the stereo during that time not to mention headlights and signals. The engine may have to operate all the time to ensure creature comforts and proper dc voltage anyway. Has anyone discussed this?