Oct 06

Chevy Volt Display May Not Show Instantaneous MPG

 

The Chevy Volt has two configurable LCD screens, one behind the wheel where traditional gauges are typically found, and one atop the center stack. The latter will also be a touch screen. I have seen it in person in a pre-production car and was very impressed with its crispness, vividness and high definition.

We understand a lot of information will be available on those displays, they are configurable, and the driver will be able to choose among many options.

A primary function will be to provide the driver with feedback on how fuel efficient he/she is driving and utilizing accessory loads such as HVAC.

As anyone who like to hypermile hybrids knows, seeing real-time instantaneous MPG is a useful measure to adjust driving behavior as one moves along varying road conditions.

I asked Tony Posawatz who is the Volt vehicle line engineer if that value will be provided while the car is running in charge-sustaining (generator) mode.

“I don’t think we will show instantaneous mpg,” he said. “We are working a lot on what information to show and how to present it right now.”

“The OnStar capabilities with VOLT will be mind boggling,” he said. “Stay tuned.”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 at 6:12 am and is filed under Efficiency, Features, Interior. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 238


  1. 1
    Slavko Miladinovic

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:21 am)

    People shouldn’t be looking at the instantaneous MPG gauge to determine what acceleration they should engaged in. Driver speed is decided by posted limits, and most importantly by braking distance capability. Impeding the flow of traffic by non-professional drivers due to watching the instantaneous MPG could lead to a distraction and a safety hazard to others on the road. Let’s learn how to drive these electric vehicles first, and then add some non-safety info on the screen later.


  2. 2
    RB

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:29 am)

    ““I don’t think we will show instantaneous mpg,” he said.”
    —————————————–
    Half the interest in driving Toyota cars is seeing the “instantaneous” mpg.
    Maybe mpg is not the right measure, but something similar needs to be easily seen in the Volt’s display.
    Otherwise driving the Volt will not be half as much fun. :)


  3. 3
    Rashiid Amul

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:32 am)

    From the article.
    “The OnStar capabilities with VOLT will be mind boggling,” he said. “Stay tuned.”

    I do apologize for sounding negative. It is a shame that we have to spend even more money on the mind boggling capabilities of OnStar.
    Like the car isn’t expensive enough.


  4. 4
    Herto

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:32 am)

    As Fuel is not the traction energy, it’s more accurate to display mile per Wh (or Wh/mile) rather than MPG. If you’ve just recharged your car, you’d get an infinite MPG on the first miles.


  5. 5
    CMull

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:32 am)

    I disagree in that it should show instantaneous MPG (or equivalent). This is much of the ‘learning’ experience of how light-footed you need to be to achieve great MPG. At a minimum, this should be a configurable option, as most of the hybrids of today have this.


  6. 6
    RB

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:35 am)

    Rashiid ==
    Maybe with the Volt OnStar will be free.
    Hope springs eternal :)


  7. 7
    RB

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:37 am)

    Herto — We might enjoy watching that big infinity symbol for a while :)

    You are of course right, logically speaking.


  8. 8
    RB

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:38 am)

    CMull — Yes it does really help to have some immediate feedback, and incentive.


  9. 9
    RB

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:42 am)

    Lyle says regarding the display “I have seen it in person in a pre-production car and was very impressed with its crispness, vividness and high definition”

    *Very good news. Hope it also is visible in all sorts of lighting conditions.


  10. 10
    David

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:45 am)

    Driver speed is NOT decided by posted limits. Posted limits are valid when road conditions are perfect. Drivers should adjust speed depending on conditions.


  11. 11
    Kingofl337

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:47 am)

    Instead of MPG the Volt will probably display current draw.


  12. 12
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:51 am)

    Code has no recurring costs …


  13. 13
    Koz

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:52 am)

    I think the point is being missed here. GM is trying to say, mpg is really not that relevant to the Volt. Yes, they will shout an EPA estimate from the tops of mountains for chest thumping marketing purposes but instantaneous mpg means “what” to the Volt?

    I am confident KWh/mile or miles/KWh will be displayed and this is what matters. For those that don’t see much distinction between the Volt and conventional hybrids, this should crystallize it a bit for them.

    Personnal transportation from the EREV forward will ultimately be judged by KWh/mile or miles/KWh.


  14. 14
    Rashiid Amul

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:52 am)

    Well RB, that certainly would be nice. :)


  15. 15
    Herto

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:54 am)

    I mean, we have to release some of our oil-thinking reflexes. For a long trip, I don’t think mean MPG value is pointless. But as long as the instant ICE’s fuel consumption doesn’t link with the way of driving, instant MPG is a bad reference.
    Just take the case you’re driving at 50 mph in sustaining mode. The ICE will certainly switch on part of the time, let’s say 1 minute every 2 minutes. You’d get an MPG of something like 25 during 1 minute and infinite the rest of the time. Despite you were driving exactly the same way. This would confuse the user.
    Or you should use a conversion where MPG = x * mile per Wh, but it would be approximate, and, as ICE’s effectivity is not constant, false.


  16. 16
    NOAA

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:05 am)

    (click to show comment)


  17. 17
    Lunoir

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:13 am)

    I agree since there is always a draw. This info is releveant in both modes charge sustaining or battery only…
    NPNS!


  18. 18
    Lunoir

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:17 am)

    As said by Kingofl337 in #5, Current draw is the most significant number here If something is shown for instant car “fuel” usage I’d prefer that one.
    NPNS!


  19. 19
    ziv

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:36 am)

    David, posted speed limits are not always rational, in my area there are parkways with 40 mph limits and the traffic, including police, cruise at 55 mph. 35 mph on a divided boulevard is not rational, and therefore is seldom obeyed. Traffic on major 35 mph streets is usually around 40 mph and the police don’t pull you over until you are nearly 10 mph over the limit in most cases.
    Governments can pass illogical speed laws but citizens can refuse to obey stupid speed laws, and do.


  20. 20
    Larry McFall

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:38 am)

    By reading the comments so far posted does not show a lot of satisfacton with the notion that the product is not up to snuff. The New GM better get it together and not get so wrapped up in their self imposed destruction of high profits before good work.

    Make a good product and make it better than the others and the Volt will shine. Voltec is still a good and viable concept but it will depend on the “New GM” on how it is initiated. Don’t self destruct!

    And get some of them high paid executives down on the floor to earn a little of the big money. They could at least clean up after the workers, couldn’t they?


  21. 21
    JohnJ

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:40 am)

    But cellular plans do.

    Actually, code can have recurring costs as well. There is a maintenance and support aspect to it. You have to pay the programmers & support staff. There are also costs associated with maintaining a distribution capability. Granted, some of those are costs that are already being incurred so there may not be additional direct costs, but have no doubt that there are expenses to cover.


  22. 22
    Shock Me

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:50 am)

    NOAA you need to read the FAQ or one of the mileage threads.

    An instantaneous MPG reading would be different for everyone depending on trip length. Since the Volt will use electricity for first 40 miles of ALL of it’s trips, it won’t be burning ANY gas on trip under 40 miles. The most obvious explanation for the reading depicted above is that the vehicle was probably on a trip quite a bit longer than that.

    Since the Prius (at least the non-plugin version) starts burning gas as soon as you turn it on your personal MPG is not trip-dependent. It should turn in fairly consistent numbers for CITY and HWY MPG.

    However, since the Volt is designed to use the available electricity FIRST, before burning any gasoline, MPG numbers will start at infinite and go down as trip length increases until it reaches the plateau of the gasoline generator’s HWY and CITY MPG. Though we believe that number to be 50 MPG it has not been confirmed.

    The 230 MPG (CITY) number is derived from a proposed EPA measure where the average trip length is only 11 miles beyond the all-electric range of the Volt.


  23. 23
    Texas

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:00 am)

    Dear GM, Don’t be afraid of the low highway numbers. The instantaneous mpg number is needed for your core fanatical fans. It must be there. Period.

    I know the highway numbers are not going to be that good but don’t worry, it’s not that important if you explain it well. Don’t hide it, show it off. It has it’s own unique brilliance.


  24. 24
    Starcast

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:05 am)

    “We are a Nation of laws, poorly written and randomly inforced” Frank Zappa


  25. 25
    Shock Me

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:07 am)

    For those of you having trouble reading Larry’s post I humbly offer my translation:

    __________________________________________________

    “Based on my reading of the comments posted so far, I sense some dissatisfaction and the concern that the product is not up to snuff. The New GM better get it together and not fall back into the self-destructive practice of placing high profits above quality work.

    Build the Volt with quality first and the profits will come. The VOLTEC drivetrain is an excellent and highly sustainable concept. But, the success of VOLTEC will depend on how the “New GM” executes. Buid it right GM!

    I don’t understand what executives do, but they sure seem to sit around a lot. For the money the shareholders are paying them they could at least get off their ass and sweep up once in a while (if union rules permit).”

    _____________________________________________________

    I’m still a bit unsure about the first sentence so feel free to correct me.


  26. 26
    Starcast

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:09 am)

    I think most of GMs cars now have instant MPG. Every Gm car I have driven in the past few years has it. Every GM car I rent has it.


  27. 27
    ClarksonCote

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:11 am)

    Did anyone else notice that the little green car means “50 Wh regenerated”? That sounds like some interesting info. Sounds to me like the car will tell you when the motor has returned some energy to the battery (or through regen braking).


  28. 28
    Vlad the Impaler

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:12 am)

    So maybe the test driver in this case was climbing Pike’s Peak. How do we know what circumstances are present in the above scenario?

    One picture of current MPG doesn’t mean anything.


  29. 29
    john1701a

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:12 am)

    HSI = Hybrid System Indicator

    That’s a new gauge in the 2010 Prius.

    It shows you the amount of energy being drawn or recovered at that moment, without reference to MPG.


  30. 30
    carcus1

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:15 am)

    “I don’t think we will show instantaneous mpg,” he said. “We are working a lot on what information to show and how to present it right now.”
    ___________________

    For those of you having trouble reading Posawatz’s quote, I humbly offer my translation:

    “MPG in Range Extender mode kind of sucks and we don’t want people to think about that.”


  31. 31
    fredevad

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:15 am)

    Good point. To reiterate and add a point of my own:

    1. During the first 40 miles, MPG would peg at infinite, so there is no information that would be helpful to the driver for hypermiling.

    2. After the ICE kicks in, it runs at a few set RPM levels, consuming a few levels of constant gas consumption, which also would not be helpful to the driver for hypermiling.

    Miles per KW (MPKW?) seems like it would be more helpful to me.


  32. 32
    Dan Petit

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:16 am)

    A lot depends on how helpful the formula for “instantaneous” means for practical measurement, to consistently and repeatably mean the same thing.

    For example, if you are attempting to measure MPG downhill, it’s just not valid compared to a baseline understanding of a steady-state cruise on level ground, of course, because you must go back up the same elevation, and, likely loose more “efficiency” than was regenerated going down the hill.

    If someone wanted skewed MPG information for just bragging attention, it really doesn’t help to claim that “instantaneous” MPG’s are (falsely) reported “high” in statistically unrepeatable situations for the (display) formula’s.

    A very wide variety of true operating conditions, at least a longer term “accuracy buffering” of, say, several days would be more valid, because while wattages “in or out” of a battery might be closely measurable, they are not precisely measurable net of the total of the small accumulated inefficiencies.

    This is especially true where we are talking about a “hundreds of MPG” universe, where, the temptation for owner sensationalism ought to be factored out as much as possible. In addition, there must be care taken so that ridiculous numbers are not able to be displayed such as “700 mpg [going downhill]” (especially after “a” libation has been taken at a neighborhood club up the hill).

    Volt will be terrific enough.


  33. 33
    Right Lane Cruiser

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:21 am)

    The image displayed is from a Prius dash. Just in case anyone else didn’t realize that.


  34. 34
    Slavko Miladinovic

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:27 am)

    If you read the complete sentence you will have read that I said driver speed is most importantly decided by braking distance capability.

    Braking distance capability changes in different scenarios.

    If there is snow on the road then the braking distance will be less;therefore, the driver reduces their speed regardless of the posted speed limit to be able to brake in time.

    Same goes for rain (especially the first few minutes when oil and grease is brought to the surface of the road from between the worn in asphalt), leaves, slicks, gravel dust… etc.

    The same point is valid for visibility from fog, smoke, hail… etc.

    The same can be said for same-direction-bound traffic that is stopped or much slower in the lane next to you; as in, you must slow down your speed to a safe braking distance just in case a vehicle darts into your lane because its “faster”; Hence, you must slow down enough to be able to brake in time not to hit them. This also applies to objects, people and construction next to the road you are driving on.

    That is all determined by your braking distance capability. That is how professional drivers decide what speed to drive at. In the U.S.A., professional drivers are labeled as “commercial” drivers.

    If you can’t see the road than the braking distance is zero; therefore, a driver does not continue driving and pulls over to the side of the road safely. If a driver knows there is no visibility, or no braking distance, then there is no road trip plan for them to drive.

    And, yes, driving speed is also determined by posted speed limits, whether it is in the white, yellow or orange field.


  35. 35
    Tagamet

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:39 am)

    At the very least it’s free for the first year (now). Hopefully, on the Volt it’ll be free for the vehicle “lifetime” and stays with the car when traded in (for Gen III).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  36. 36
    CaffeineBuzz

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:39 am)

    A more accurate translation:

    “MPG is meaningless in the Volt’s case. Anyone asking for it doesn’t understand Voltec. But I can’t say that and offend potential buyers. So instead I will be PC and just say ‘We are working a lot on what information to show and how to present it right now’. “


  37. 37
    Shock Me

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:40 am)

    Ahhh that would explain a lot.

    Is that bar graph showing the change in MPG over the past 30 minutes?

    The other numbers look like trip length (237 miles) and average MPG (62.9).


  38. 38
    CorvetteGuy

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:51 am)

    Since cost of features continues to be no object for the VOLT, I insist that OnStar should be able to:

    - connect to ATM’s and show my checkbook balance
    - play “Guitar Hero” on the two hi-res screens
    - have a voice activated tv tuner to watch ‘Big Bang Theory’ reruns
    - a default button to view “GM-Volt.com” while stuck in traffic on the 10 freeway

    I love cool car gizmos, but can’t they get version 1 of the VOLT on the road first, then add the rest later as options?


  39. 39
    Mark Wagner

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:52 am)

    I certainly hope there will be good, useful feedback of vehicle effiency (both in charge sustaining mode and EV mode). Perhap MPG is not the best measure of that since this car will be powered by the batteries, but there needs to be good efficiency feedback info provided.

    …And I don’t want to hear that it’s unsafe to drive efficiently.


  40. 40
    carcus1

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:53 am)

    Take your Volt on it’s first extended road trip. When the low fuel light comes on, you’ll understand just how “meaningless MPG is” … even in your alternate Voltec Universe.


  41. 41
    Jackson

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:54 am)

    When people in the future look back to this time, they will no doubt view the Volt as an important developmental link to whatever becomes of personal transportation.

    I hope this will be because of the Volt’s first commercial success for the EREV architecture, and not because of the first glimmer of personal transportation as a subscription service. How far could you carry the OnStar model? If you can buy a car today, and still be required to pay a monthly fee to drive it, can you really be said to fully ‘own’ it? What can become of this beginning? Will monthly fees eventually displace purchase and fuel as the major expense? When technology allows, will you just press a button on a fob and summon whatever self-driving road-module is closest to come pick you up?


  42. 42
    Tagamet

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:55 am)

    Whatever GM decides to use as a measurement, I hope that they don’t “geek it up” too much. They need to use something that Joe Sixpack is going to understand during the test drive. Hopefully, prospective buyers would be able to drive in both all-electric and charge sustaining mode, to get a feel for the both modes.
    JMO,
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


  43. 43
    Bill

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:59 am)

    Folks, GM is a business and its purpose is to make money. We all want the Volt to be inexpensive but reality dictates otherwise. If the OnStar capabilities add more value to the car GM should charge for it.


  44. 44
    Jackson

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:59 am)

    Perhaps all that’s needed is some kind of ‘efficiency meter’ bar graph. That’s all an “instantaneous mpg” display is, really.


  45. 45
    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:00 am)

    Thanks Right Lane Cruiser.
    I was wondering.


  46. 46
    LandKurt

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:03 am)

    Your point 2 is an important point. When the ICE is running it won’t necessarily be providing exactly the power required to keep the Volt moving. If it tries to stick to most efficient power generation it will ignore brief fluctuations in power use and let the battery buffer it. Whenever power is going in or out of the battery instantaneous MPG gas usage will be misleading.


  47. 47
    Schmeltz

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:04 am)

    MPG on the Volt…so difficult to understand, not even a computer can figure it out! Doesn’t that say it all for this asinine formula being cooked up for this!!!

    Here I go with over-simplifying but why in the world can’t they just say:

    “40 miles all electric range, 40 mpg in range extender mode.”

    That’s just crazy talk I guess. Venting rant mode de-activated, (for now–LOL!).


  48. 48
    Ray

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:04 am)

    The Ford Fusion Hybrid (in one of the available user settings) can show a bar graph of how many L/100 (or mpg) at 10 , 20 , 30 , or 60 minute intervals (with a 10 row graph) So every minute.. 2 minutes…etc … a new bar will appear…
    If you let your car warm up for 5 minutes…. you are going to see bars extending all the way from the bottom to the top… But as you start driving…. depending on your driving… the bars get smaller and will settle on a level dependant on your driving..
    On the Fusion … when you shut the car off… and wait for about 5 seconds before exiting the car … you will get a display of how far you travelled on that trip.. the L/100 Kms averaged and your Life time average. The trip average will continue to take into account all your driving until it is reset…. Both the trip average and Life time averages can be reset by the driver… I reset the trip average monthly and leave the lifetime meter alone… So far life time average (after approximately 2 months) is 5.4 L/100 KMS .


  49. 49
    nasaman

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:06 am)

    I agree, RB —there’s nothing like an eye-witness appraisal by Lyle!

    Also, everyone should note that Lyle’s question was, “I asked Tony Posawatz who is the Volt vehicle line engineer if that value (i.e., mpg) will be provided while the car is running in charge-sustaining (generator) mode.” IOW, Lyle didn’t ask if mpg would be displayed in the charge-depleting mode, when the Volt is operating strictly as an EV.


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    MuddyRoverRob

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:06 am)

    Having a rough morning Rashiid?

    Honestly if somebody can actually afford a first gen ANYTHING they would be foolish to not get the ‘support’ contract.

    You are in IT… you have to know how important that is.

    I wouldn’t put up an Exchange server without software assurance to back it up. The Volt and Onstar are no different.


  51. 51
    Jackson

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:09 am)

    Slavko Miladinovic is entirely correct. However, few drivers show this kind of foresight and situational awareness; at least not where I routinely drive.

    The drivers around here look at the front bumper of the car ahead and pretend that the rest of the road doesn’t exist; they try to stay within one car length regardless of speed or conditions: rather like playing a video game. When the speed of the car ahead drops below what the tailgater desires (still above the posted speed limit), this driver is passed (with no turn signaling) so that the next car in line can be too closely followed.

    The drivers I see will pass in order go as fast as they can to a red light and slam on their brakes. Then they take off as fast as they can, and pester whoever is between them and the next light.

    I won’t even get into the SOBs on cellphones, or the kids who text while driving.

    Most people don’t drive so much as react; it is lamentable, unsafe and inefficient. Many of us know what should be done on the road, but are hampered by the low quality of the ‘average’ driver.


  52. 52
    Ray

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:20 am)

    The Ford Fusion Hybrid (in one of the available user settings) can show a bar graph of how many L/100 (or mpg) at 10 , 20 , 30 , or 60 minute intervals (with a 10 row graph) So every minute.. 2 minutes…etc … a new bar will appear…
    If you let your car warm up for 5 minutes…. you are going to see bars extending all the way from the bottom to the top… But as you start driving…. depending on your driving… the bars get smaller and will settle on a level dependant on your driving..
    On the Fusion … when you shut the car off… and wait for about 5 seconds before exiting the car … you will get a display of how far you travelled on that trip.. the L/100 Kms averaged and your Life time average. The trip average will continue to take into account all your driving until it is reset…. Both the trip average and Life time averages can be reset by the driver… I reset the trip average monthly and leave the lifetime meter alone… So far life time average (after approximately 2 months) is 5.4 L/100 KMS


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:21 am)

    Prospective buyers of the Volt may well suffer the “airplane cockpit” syndrome of just taking one look at all the complicated gewgaws and going “holy crap!”

    Another side of this is the person who works with and is comfortable with technology, but doesn’t want to keep fiddling with computers when the work day ends. I myself have found an increased appreciation and longing for real knobs.


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    volton

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:21 am)

    Certainly agree with that. GM please don’t hide the data in some seemingly “user friendly” way, you will have a significant percentage of geeks as customers who want the data. That includes me as well. If its not there then there will be an aftermarket spring up for current meters.


  55. 55
    N Riley

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:24 am)

    Slavko,

    We are all supposed to be “adults” when we drive, but some people want to act like they are the only ones on the road while they attempt to break some imaginary record for miles per gallon. I try to get good mileage when I drive, but I always drive with the traffic flow unless I am away from traffic. At that time I do watch my MPG indicator to some extent, but primarily I trust my feel for the speed I am going and how I accelerate when needed. Some of us have some more “growing-up” to do before we become adult drivers.


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    N Riley

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:28 am)

    Or portions of 50 Wh generated. Looks like the one on the left is only partially displayed like you did not generate the full 50 Wh.

    I like being able to see my MPG in the display. My 2009 Honda Accord EX does that and it is helpful. It is on an optional screen I can select and it is the one I usually use when driving.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:29 am)

    Schmeltz,
    I understand your feelings about the sticker numbers, but this has to do more with immediate feedback so the driver can actually improve their driving behavior “on the spot” – which is problematic with that AER in there.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    kdawg

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:30 am)

    Why not just an ammeter? We use them all the time in my industry. Its a great way to see instantaneous current. You could even show negative amps if regenerative brakes kicked in.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:33 am)

    Ray,
    That’s very cool data to have, but unless the Volt is in need of the generator, the Data would contain a lot of “zeros” (which would also be very cool). I guess this is where miles/km per KWh would come in (before the gas generator comes on)
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    DonC

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:38 am)

    Nice catch actually. My guess is that regen is for regen braking, how much of the car is visible tells you roughly how much regen you’re getting, and the 50 Wh number above is the sum of the regen episodes.

    On the main display, the X axis is the time broken down in five minute segments, and the Y axis is the amount of energy used in each segment.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:43 am)

    Hi Tag. Yeah, instead of just skimming over the article, maybe I should have actually read the article–LOL. The immediate performance readings I think should include DTE (Distance To Empty), SOC (State Of Charge), and MPG in charge sustaining mode when activated. The bases are pretty much covered with those numbers. And to indicate whether the driving behavior is “too harsh” or “good”, why not mimic the system some how that Ford has for its Fusion Hybrid? Their system seems pretty clever and well received. Just throwing that out there.


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    DonC

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:47 am)

    Yeah, that’s right. It’s a new technology, why not revisit the information that is shown? We’re used ot seeing instantaneous MPG but it’s not the only useful information which could be shown.


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    DonC

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:48 am)

    Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha. I had no idea.


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    DonC

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:50 am)

    “MPG in Range Extender mode kind of sucks and we don’t want people to think about that.”

    You’re stretching for the negative today.


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    Todd

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:52 am)

    Have you given up your cell phone distraction yet? There are always going to be distractions. Displaying this information is a very minor one compared to most others.

    I have instant MPG on my LCD display in my Avalanche. I use it on occasion and I like having that information available.

    I do agree with one thing you said but will take it a lot further – people need to learn how to drive, period!

    Todd


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:56 am)

    Schmeltz,
    Been there, done that (re skimming). Right after this post, Ray mentioned the Ford system too (g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Spin

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:56 am)

    If you need an instantaneous MPG display you could purchase a Scangauge for about $160. This device plugs in to your OBD II port and displays 4 gauges that you can choose from many.


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    N Riley

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:59 am)

    The part about the fob and coming to pick you up is part true in some people’s planning. There are some people who see the future somewhat as you described it. No one “owns” a car for personal transportation. You request a “service” and pick up your personal transporter at the nearest point of delivery to you. That may be the future one of these days, but I somehow don’t think it will be anytime soon.


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    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:00 am)

    >> it is lamentable, unsafe and inefficient

    Truth on all counts, Jackson!

    The worst part of my daily commute is the innumerable legion of jerks who think, either consciously or implicitly, that a tiny bit of *their* convenience is so much more important than *everybody’s* safety.


  70. 70
    N Riley

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:00 am)

    Don’t forget the popcorn dispenser while watching those re-runs.


  71. 71
    MuddyRoverRob

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:01 am)

    carcus1,

    Unless you take these trips everyday, the ‘long road trip’ scenario is just a cheap way to divert attention from the fantastic day to day economy the Volt will enjoy in it’s primary mission as a commuter car.

    The Volt will have a gas gauge, most people already know how to read those.
    Those who don’t likely wouldn’t plug in either. (they are probably the one’s that run out of gas now)

    Since we really don’t know what the gas usage in CS mode (genset running) will be all this is just guesswork.

    I believe that the economy in CS mode will be very good but like everyone else here do not really know.


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    Jaime

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:01 am)

    Instead of hypermiling, I like to do the opposite: hypo-mile. That is to see how few MPG I can get using full throttle starts and jamming on the brakes. I wonder if an accomplished hypomiler can deplete the AER range in less than 20 miles?


  73. 73
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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:02 am)

    The idea that the Volt will NOT show instantaneous mpg ‘somewhere’ in the menu is preposterous. The whole idea of the Volt is that it is supposed to excel in efficiency. MPG is the way we measure efficiency once the battery is depleted.

    The fact that so many Volt.commer’s defend the idea that no mpg should be displayed reveals the irrational Volt fanaticism present on the board.

    There will be other plug-in hybrids using grid electricity and petroleum coming to market and the volt will be subject to efficiency comparisons. GM can run, but they can’t hide.


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:03 am)

    I agree, OnStar should be optional. In fact, I’m OK with it being any of the following:

    1. Optional,
    2. Unintegrated,
    3. Not required,
    4. Permissible to let expire,
    5. Capable of not screwing up the Volt’s operation due to its absence.

    Is that asking too much??!?


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:03 am)

    I predict that On-Star will be so closely coupled with Volt that you wouldn’t want the Volt without it. It would be like having a smart phone without a network.

    Now if the On-Star service is included (no additional recurring charge) or not is another story.

    There are already major recurring charges for operating a car. If having the network enabled makes my experience richer, then, I will do it.

    The problem I see with this is there is no way to get a different network provider. OnStar or nothing.

    Anybody know if OnStar is it’s own network or running on someone elses?


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:07 am)

    yes aftermarket gauges will be an option if GM doesn’t include “hypermiling” information. That would be a real shame though since there is already a display in the car. Seems like there needs needs to be two modes, the minimal mode and the detailed “hypermiler” mode.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:08 am)

    While I agree with you to some extent, I hope GM does not become like the cable companies. As most of you know, the cable company has multiple tiers of service and you pay an additional amount for each tier. One of the things that happen with cable companies is that they are continually moving stations from the lower tier to a higher, more expensive, tier. Or they offer programming that it seems everyone really wants only on a higher tier which forces you to add the basic tier and all other tiers until you get to the tier where the programming you want is located.

    If GM offers On-Star service levels that offer special “programming” for Volt owners where you are “forced” to pay additional fees to gain access to the “programming” then GM should be held accountable for those actions. We should all hope that the basic needs of Volt owners will be met by programming within the Volt itself. We can also hope for more than just basic service from the Volt without having to pay for additional services to gain a few special functions that we all think should be part of the Volt experience. Time will tell how GM approaches this matter.


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:09 am)

    >> longing for real knobs.

    So many jokes… so little time… ;-)


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    jeffhre

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:13 am)

    “I have instant MPG on my LCD display in my Avalanche. I use it on occasion and I like having that information available. ”

    Wow that’s like getting instant updates for Cubs fans. All heartbreaks almost all the time.


  80. 80
    CaffeineBuzz

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:13 am)

    carcus1,

    mpg is applicable in CS mode (i.e. genset running), but not applicable in electric-only mode (i.e. mpg = infinity in this mode). So instead of ‘mpg’, I would much prefer to see miles per kWh. This is applicable in both CS mode and electric-only mode.

    Since the ICE will run at fixed RPM bands, hypermilers won’t be able to see fluctuations in instantaneous mpg while in CS mode due to driving behavior. But miles per kWh would be useful to them because it will vary with the current draw of the electric motor.


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    N Riley

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:17 am)

    I want to know how far I can expect to travel in EV mode as well as in Charge Sustaining mode. That figure should be adjusted based on how I am driving at any moment in time. My present car does this now (with out the EV part though).

    I don’t really car about how many miles per KW (or whatever electrical term we are supposed to use) I am getting or any such number as that. It is not something I can easily relate to. I can relate to MPG in C/S mode and how much farther I can expect to be able to travel before either re-charging or re-fueling. That is what is important to me. Can I make it to the next service station or back home in the mode the car is presently in.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:18 am)

    Someday we’ll find out whether it was a stretch or not.

    /ref. my post at 18


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    Jim I

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:21 am)

    I am a bit confused here.

    I thought the ICE was only going to run for charge sustaining mode at a few selected speeds, for the best efficiency. But they would build in a few variations for stop and go city driving. So how would hypermiling work on MPG?

    People are still thinking the ICE will work like the engine in their current vehicle. I don’t believe that to be the case, so therefore an instantaneous MPG meter would be meaningless.

    The real meter to watch is the currecnt draw, as has been mentioned above. This is an electric vehicle, so current draw is everything! The ICE is a backup, to keep you from getting stuck when the batteries go to a low SOC, or if you want to take the car on a long trip. On a long trip, it is the AVERAGE MPG that is important, as was stated by Ray in post #15 – 5.4 L/100 Km.

    I am at the top of the Geek-O-Meter when it comes to cool displays of information, but I just don’t see how an instant MPG is relevant for this vehicle. IT IS NOT A PRIUS!!!!!

    Or am I missing something here????


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:22 am)

    It is NOT unsafe to drive efficently, it is unsafe to impede traffic.
    Some don’t seem to ‘get’ this distinction.

    Although ‘real time’ gas usage is no where near an accurate indicator of average fuel use it would be an interesting bit of data to have.
    Although I suspect that it really will not be needed because of the very different way the Volt works in comparison with a conventional car.


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    CaffeineBuzz

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:24 am)

    mpg is applicable in CS mode (i.e. genset running), but not applicable in electric-only mode (i.e. mpg = infinity in this mode). So instead of ‘mpg’, I would much prefer to see miles per kWh. This is applicable in both CS mode and electric-only mode.

    Since the ICE will run at fixed RPM bands, hypermilers won’t be able to see fluctuations in instantaneous mpg while in CS mode due to driving behavior. But miles per kWh would be useful to them because it will vary with the current draw of the electric motor.

    It seems to me that while in CS mode, driving at maximum speed would maximize mpg while minimizing miles per kWh. So this maximum mpg would be misleading in this case.


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    N Riley

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:25 am)

    Very good explanation. I am not too sure he was really wanting to get a sensible explanation. I think he was just banging the drum for Toyota.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:27 am)

    I agree with Jackson whole-heartedly. Just give me some analog gauges in my commuter car (Images of gauges would be fine.). Ding and/or blink me if something is amiss. The simpler the better.

    Otherwise, leave me the heck alone to contemplate my after-rush-hour relaxation.

    My ’88 Cougar had an all electronic/digital dash (with instant MPG, ding if over speed limit, digital MPH, automatic headlight dimmers etc.) I hated it. The Pinto wagon (speed, tach and gas gauges only) was way better.

    It would be cool, however, to be able to download (maybe bluetooth?) data for analysis. I am a geek most of the time :)


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    Gary

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:29 am)

    HSI sounds like a fancy-pants add-on to make lemmings driving the Prius appear smarter and more sophisticated than they really are….

    “What’s that display do?”

    “That’s the HSI’s watt-hour indicator”

    “What’s a what-hour?”

    “I don’t know, but the salesman told me it helps save gas”

    “What’s that weird knob on the dash?”

    “That’s the gear selector.”

    “Why’s it look so weird?”

    “Only hybrid drivers are smart enough to figure it out.”

    “Oh.”


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:30 am)

    Sounds good, Ray, but what does it really mean? We Americans do not know if 5.4 L/100 KMS is good mileage, average mileage or poor mileage. Sorry, but we are stupid about metrics down here (and we like it that way). I am assuming you are satisfied with your Fusion up to now.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:34 am)

    That is a good interpretation, Shock Me. But I am sure union rules will not allow management to perform any duties normally performed by union members.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:39 am)

    Amen to that. Assuming GM will have a low fuel light. Maybe that will be an optional feature offered only through the extended On-Star contract at only $50.00 per month. LOL.

    All I know about MPG is that no matter what GM offers in a read-out display, I can always figure it myself when I have to add fuel to the tank. My MPG will always be based on how many miles I have traveled since I last added fuel to the tank (miles traveled / gallons added = MPG). I know. It will be a big number, but I am going to calculate it anyway. Just for fun.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:40 am)

    The time to start weaning ourselves off oil is now. We have less than 10 years before we really start to hurt.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/06/arab-states-have-launched_n_310826.html


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:41 am)

    I think you’re missing the point. The instantaneous MPG display in the Prius teaches the driver how to drive more efficiently. Once the novelty wears off, you ignore it — but you’ve already learned how to drive gently when you can.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:46 am)

    “The OnStar capabilities with VOLT will be mind boggling,” he said. “Stay tuned.”

    Aw FUK!


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    CaffeineBuzz

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:46 am)

    Each time you fill up with gas and calculate mpg it may vary dramatically depending on what % of time you were in CS mode vs. electric-only mode.


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    RVD

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:46 am)

    exactly my concern – where the heck is 230MPG on that display, huh?


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:46 am)

    Well, actually I am hoping the dealership will keep at least one Volt that I can drive in Charge Sustaining mode. I want to experience the switch over to the C/S mode from EV mode for myself before I purchase a Volt. If you purchase the Volt and later found the switch over was not to your liking or the performance was lacking in some manner, you would certainly want to bring it back and get your money back. I would rather find out about this before signing on the dotted line.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:48 am)

    The last thing we need is to turn the driving experience into a video game. What, are we going to have the high scores posted on some Volt site? I completely agree with GM, instantaneous MPG or energy consumption readings are silly and a temptation to some to just “game” their driving. All that is needed is an average or a trend not instant. To make use off the instant means that you have to watch the screen continuously, and that makes driving just that much more dangerous. Please GM, skip the games and just give us useful information. If it must be instant information, at least make it a HUD instead of a console display.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:49 am)

    You funni!


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    DaV8or

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:50 am)

    And it’s pretty useless isn’t it. What is useful is an observable trend, not numbers flying up and down with the throttle.


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    N Riley

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:55 am)

    No, you are not asking too much. If On-Star is required to perform some functions for the Volt, then it should be free to the extent it is required. If you decide to take on the additional programming offered by On-Star in its today’s form, then you should pay for that portion. Even if you are not a subscriber to the parts of On-Star that is not required for the Volt, On-Star is still functional on your vehicle and could help “manage” the vehicle in the necessary functions. This “basic” service should be part of the purchase and should never be charged for.


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    PeteVE

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:56 am)

    in my avalanche (obviously ICE genset), 90% of the time, i have my computer display at the instantenous mpg. while this is soo much different than the volt, i do expect there to be something that can be used to display how to drive better and use the car more effectively to get peak usage.

    a must have.

    now granted, your engineers are working on this and i’m sure you will be successful.


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    MuddyRoverRob

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:57 am)

    Right on Jim I.

    The genset is not connected to the pedal therefore it’s a new game with new rules.

    Some who are borderline slow speed fishermen dragging their lines here simply don’t understand this. The Volt is NOT a Prius.


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    CaffeineBuzz

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:57 am)

    Jim,

    I agree with you (+1), as I mentioned in post #20.

    It seems to me that while in CS mode (i.e. with ICE at fixed RPM), driving at maximum speed would maximize mpg while minimizing miles per kWh. So this maximum mpg would be misleading in this case.


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    MuddyRoverRob

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:01 am)

    “And it’s pretty useless isn’t it.”

    Yep


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:01 am)

    N. Riley,
    They’d almost need to have one with a minimal charge to show the instant torque and quiet of the electric, and yet have it switch over to charge sustaining mode to experience that too. Maybe the dealer demo models could have a switch that over-rides the remaining battery charge and forces charge sustaining mode. Just a thought.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Altazi

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:04 am)

    I don’t like the fact that On-Star requires a monthly fee. If I could buy it up front, that might change my mind. Even though I could afford it, I don’t like the sense of being “nickle-and-dimed.”


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:06 am)

    I don’t think On-Star is offered on any vehicles other than GM vehicles. I certainly can be wrong here. On-Star could be offered by other auto companies except for the “not invented here” thinking. On-Star is a GM service and probably would need to be split out before being offered.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:11 am)

    You know, I had that exact same conversation with a Prius owner just the other day. LOL.


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    GXT

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:13 am)

    “I am confident KWh/mile or miles/KWh will be displayed and this is what matters.”

    As we have been told the ICE will run at three different RPMS, there will almost certainly be varying amounts of fuel used to generate varying amounts of electricity. So I’m not sure if KWh/mile directly correlates to fuel usage. It might, but I’d like to have both.


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    Luke

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:13 am)

    As an IT guy, I can say that one of the things IT guys spend a lot of time thinking about is the flow of information — both who should have it, and who shouldn’t have it. I prefer Open Source software and I like to disclose as much as possible — but there are limits to what should be shared with 3rd parties.

    One particular limit are administrative passwords and private keys.

    A second limit is anything that the user might consider to be their private information — consider it sysadmin-client privilege.

    A third limit is anything that I’ve agreed not to disclose — wither it’s an NDA, or something that someone has told me in confidence (within the legal limits).

    And a fourth limit is that I would prefer that my machines not be able to tell giant industrial institutions every place I go throughout the day, or allowing someone in their callcenter to listen to the private conversations I have in my car. OnStar has the capability to do both — even though I’m sure there are procedures, policies, and some technical measures in place to prevent abuse. But since I don’t work at their callcenter, I don’t know what those policies/procedures/measure are, so I just don’t trust them with every detail of my life.

    I don’t have anything to hide, of course — I’m a normal guy with a white collar job and a baby on the way who believes that personal privacy is a vital component of freedom. I’m always aware of the capabilities of the equipment around me, and I modify my behavior around equipment that can bite. It’s the security-trained IT guy’s equivalent of keeping his hands away from a spinning saw-blade — you should always know what you’re putting on the network wire and onto those disk platters… And keeping that in-mind is fine when I’m on the clock — but when I’m driving home after a long day at the math-factory, I just want to be able to take off my IT-security hat and enjoy the drive.

    -Luke

    P.S. I wouldn’t put up an Exchange server at all! :-) I tend to have a lot of Linux/Unix and Mac OS X users, and Microsoft’s vertically-integrated software stacks often don’t play well with others — e-mail works fine though IMAP and SMTP, but their calendaring service doesn’t integrate with 3rd party clients very well, and WebOutlook is a client-of-last-resort.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:14 am)

    I predict that On-Star will be so closely coupled with Volt that you wouldn’t want the Volt without it. It would be like having a smart phone without a network.

    I sure hope not.


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    MuddyRoverRob

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:15 am)

    100 km is close to 60 miles.
    There are roughly 3.5 litres in a US gallon.

    5.4 litres per 100 KM means that Ray is getting better than 50 mpg.

    BTW 100 kph (~60 mph) is the speed limit on most Canadian highways.

    The Fusion does good.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:16 am)

    I agree.

    I’ve learnt so much from the instantaneous gauge on my wife’s CRV.

    Based on the discussion here about the MPG on the ICE, it seems many people believe that the RPM of the ICE actually dictates the fuel consumption.

    Anyone with an instantaneous meter knows that at any given RPM you could be using no fuel or absolutely massive amounts of fuel.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    Jim, Muddy, and Caffiene,
    I THINK the idea is to get some idea of how much “fuel” is used for the distance traveled at the time. It could be electrons or gasoline, but it’s taking SOMETHING to move the vehicle (other than gravity on down-slopes). Maybe the computer could compute it into a “cents cost per mile” based on the cost of the electricity and the gas? Or maybe *I’m* just missing something (again)(g).
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    ksuhwail

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:20 am)

    Almost all recent cars have this feature my friend.

    I can’t imagine the Chevy Aveo having this but the Volt not. Not having some sort of instantaneous energy consumption figure would be a stupid mistake.


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    N Riley

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:23 am)

    But that does not really matter. If I drive 2,000 miles in EV mode commuting to work and only 300 miles in charge sustaining mode, to me I only used 6 gallons of fuel while traveling 2,300 miles (assuming a 6 gallon fuel tank and an average of 50 MPG in C/S mode). If I fill-up each time the tank is nearly empty and it takes 6 gallons all I care about is that I only used 6 gallons of gasoline since the last time I filled-up the tank. Nothing else matters to me except how far can I go in EV mode and how much gasoline I use between fill-ups. I don’t have to have a MPG indicator in the car’s display to tell me I am not using as much gasoline as I would in an ordinary car. Most of us will use less than one tank of gas for every 5,000 miles of less than 40 miles round trip commuting. That is assuming of course that you only occasionally drive beyond the 40 mile EV range and use the car primarily as a commuter car. Everyone’s experience will be different because we each use our vehicles differently from others.

    So, GM can show consumption any way they want to because I don’t really care. I want to know how far I can expect to travel today based on what mode I am presently in and the way I am presently driving. Give me that and I can handle the rest.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:26 am)

    Of course it will vary widely.

    This is why the engineers are struggling with the interface, and sadly why there is so much troll fodder.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:30 am)

    It won’t be a constant for sure but it should vary a lot less than other cars, but this isn’t the issue being discussed. The issue raised was regarding instantaneous MPG. This is what doesn’t have much value for the Volt. For someone trying to maximize their efficiency, they need to minimize KW usage.

    I imagine the Volt will display trip MPG and/or gallons used. Acutally, it should SCREAM these values.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:32 am)

    “Not having some sort of instantaneous energy consumption figure would be a stupid mistake.”

    I concurred. That is what KWh/mile or miles/KWh shows.


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    Amazed

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:34 am)

    For the metrically challenged that works out to 43.5 mpg. Pretty impressive for a nice sized sedan.


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    Gary

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:34 am)

    I was thinking… and it appears that nobody else mentioned this… but:

    A logical reason why there wouldn’t be a instantaneous gas usage indicator is that it wouldn’t be determined by the driver, but rather the computer. The computer knows what the battery’s state of charge is, if it’s below ideal depletion, the battery has to recharge more, etc. For example, if you’ve just gone up a steep hill and the battery is at 10% charge, the engine will likely be running with high RPMs to ge the battery state of charge to 30%.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    GM didn’t say instantaneous energy consumption numbers are silly. They just said they don’t plan to display instantaneous MPG. Why would they? What does that mean for the Volt? It means nothing in charge depletion mode and since the engine consumption is not tied to the wheels, it means little in charge sustaining mode.

    The Toyota hybrid screens (which I believe is what is displayed above) have proven to be useful for their drivers.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:39 am)

    RB:

    I dunno, I have that feature on my 3500 pickup with the 8.1L V-8. If you look at it when you leave a stoplight, expecially while towing a heavy trailer, I could easily give you a heart attack, LOL.


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    Rashiid Amul

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:46 am)

    Luke,

    You are not supposed to mix Exchange Server with 3rd party clients.
    You are supposed to be 100% Microsoft. ;)

    Now I am putting my little carpet down, kneeling towards Redmond, WA, slamming my head against the floor, and praying to Bill Gates.
    With a little luck, I will knock myself out.


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    pdt

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:48 am)

    I agree, not showing this information would be a huge mistake.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:48 am)

    Instant isn’t really instant as it is now on most displays but trip info or last 10 minutes only gives you certain feedback. There is more detailed driving feedback that can be learned from more instantaneous (3 sec, 5 sec, or whatever short period is used) feedback. Between people texting, talking on the phone, tending to their kids, reading the paper, doing their makup, etc I’m not too concerned about some glances to the display until the driver has learned.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:49 am)

    No, you are not missing anything, Jim I. I assume GM will offer some optional screens that will display information in the format the driver thinks he will need it. To some extent. There is a limit to what GM can be expected to “build into” the gen 1 Volt. Our expectations may far exceed GM’s designs or it may be the other way around. Who knows outside of GM at this point. And none of them seem to be talking except in riddles.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:50 am)

    I have an Avalanche and a CTS. On both I used Instant MPG for a short time to see what my actions were. Then I switched to AVG MPG to continue to check that there is no degradation to the vehicle performance. As long as it stays within .1 or .2 MPG, I am OK.

    I think I can determine what actions cause effect and then don’t have to be reminded every second to do this or that.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:55 am)

    Are you suggesting that you don’t have much mind left to boggle? All those beers have taken quite a toll, eh?


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:56 am)

    Luke,

    I’m not getting into a ‘religious’ discussion here.

    But most corporate email travels through Exchange servers for good reason.

    —————————————————

    My point was that if you have leading edge version 1.0 software (The Gen 1 Volt and it’s OS are certainly that.) you want to get any required updates as they come out.

    As for listening in to conversations in the car, anyone who has SO little life that they want to listen in on what I have on the satelite radio that’s pretty damned sad for them! (for the record it’s usually classic rewind, but I do flip to other channels once in a while)


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    Herm

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:57 am)

    Keep it simple, all the dealer has to do is never charge the battery.. but then people would come in wanting to experience the CD mode!.. OH NEVER MIND..


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    Keep it simple, while in CD mode just show the estimated miles to depletion, that number would go up and down quickly depending on your foot, ac usage, hills etc.. it may even start increasing if you go downhill for a prolonged time.

    When the charge is depleted, the display switches over to an MPG mode.. and stays there until you recharge the battery..


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    LandKurt

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:06 pm)

    I’d certainly like to see an mpg figure displayed somewhere, but I don’t understand why instantaneous mpg is important. It seems to me that instantaneous mpg would be so affected by going up or down hill and accelerating and decelerating that it would be worthless.

    My car only gives me trip average mpg. Sometimes I reset it and for a while get a very short term nearly instantaneous mpg figure. If I’m coasting it gives me a max 99 mpg figure. If I’m accelerating from a stop it gives a minimum of 6 mpg. Amusing to do but basically worthless. Once I get back to steady state driving the figure drifts toward a reasonable value. It’s that average mpg over time that is important anyway.

    That fact that the Volt ICE isn’t directly tied to the accelerator pedal makes an instantaneous mpg figure even more irrelevant.


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    Tagamet

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    Herm,
    Hence the idea of a switch – or they could have a program that shifted between modes computerized in dealer demo vehicles.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:14 pm)

    You bring up an interesting point of view.
    You are correct. If GM insists on telling me the car will get 230 MPG, I will treat that as total bunk, and figure it out myself.
    With my commute, I don’t believe it will vary by much at all.
    I should use less than 1/2 a gallon a gas per day.


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    Genfixer

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:14 pm)

    On-Star was offered in other makes. Don’t know if it still is.

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


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    carcus1

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:32 pm)

    When China decouples from the dollar,. . . that’s when it all hits the fan.

    That’s when you go into wal-mart and discover everything in the store costs about 2 or 3 times more than it cost last year.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:34 pm)

    ziv:

    Damn right. I could go 150 mph on any freeway in perfect safety. It’s just THE MAN keepin’ us down.

    Puts me in the mind of one of my favorite bumper stickers of all time:

    “Speed on Brother, Hell ain’t half full.”


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    Noel Park

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:35 pm)

    jeffhre:

    No s**t! LOL

    See my comment above about my 8.1 V-8 3500 dually.


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    ClarksonCote

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:37 pm)

    I thought it could be regen from the breaks too, but it seems like this could also be for the generator if you’re, say, going down a long hill in charge sustaining mode and you don’t need all that energy from the ICE. I thought this might be a possibility since the display shows a convenient and even 100MPG, which is also what most cars today limit their displays to in such situations.

    Otherwise, it would seem like the MPG display would increase beyond 100MPG instead of energy being returned. I could be reading into this too much though.

    Either way, it’s pretty neat that they’re giving energy regenerated feedback as well. Makes me feel like this is the “ICE efficiency” display, with another display for WHr usage.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:39 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:

    I was just looking for the spot to quote your comment from yesterday, but you beat me to it.

    AMEN BROTHER, PREACH ON!!

    KISS

    Simplicate and add lightness.

    What ain’t there don’t give you no trouble – and it also does not increase the cost.

    LJGTVWOTR!! Before it’s too late, if possible.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:40 pm)

    I would like Onstar to access a cloudspace where I keep all my files/music/etc.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:40 pm)

    Sorry for double posting this.. I think this idea has merit. We only care about two things in the Volt, how far can you go before the ICE starts and what mpg you will get once it does.. these two numbers must be a default setting and prominent.

    ………………………………

    Keep it simple, while in CD mode just show the estimated miles to charge depletion, that number would go up and down quickly depending on your foot, ac usage, headlights, hills etc.. it may even start increasing if you go downhill for a prolonged time.

    When the charge is depleted, the genset starts, the display switches over to an MPG mode.. and stays there until you recharge the battery.. This would also serve to indicate the genset has started and you need to recharge the battery ASAP.

    By its nature, the mpg on the genset will change very slowly, it may take minutes for you to see a change as the computer chooses the best power generation sweet point.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    N Riley I could not agree more!
    “We are all supposed to be “adults” when we drive, but some people want to act like they are the only ones on the road while they attempt to break some imaginary record for miles per gallon. I try to get good mileage when I drive, but I always drive with the traffic flow unless I am away from traffic.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:52 pm)

    Being that it’s a Toyota display, ya’ll could just go search around on a prius forum for your answer.

    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-technical-discussion/41918-what-50wh-regenerated-mean.html

    http://www.ralphshotrains.com/Prius/3rdTank/P0005752.JPG


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:53 pm)

    Just the thought of having to purchase gasoline for a Chevy 3500 8.1L V-8 would give me a heart attack. How do you stand it?


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    tom

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    Yes the real message of these types of developments is that Europe, China and Japan are planning on a global economy after ours collapses. Our Currency is not included but everyone elses is.

    I wish we had 10 years but we don’t have that much time.

    So much damage has been done to our economy that we don’t have any more stimulus left to get through the next oil shock.

    We are in a race for our economic viablity and GM is twiddling their thumbs instead of racing to put multiple EREV/BEV vehicles into mass production within the next couple years.

    If we can’t siphon off that oil money into investments in our own economy then it is lights out for our standard of living with the next oil shock.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:59 pm)

    Semi OT.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10364352-54.html

    Discussion about how plug-in cars will be treated by the EPA sticker. Some of the same issues are raised as previous discussion here. Chevy Volt was specifically mentioned.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (12:59 pm)

    Little offtopic

    I just noticed that our national Chevrolet official web site has link on gm-volt.com.
    Congratulations, Lyle!

    See the bottom of the page bellow:
    http://www.chevrolet.ru/vse-o-chevrolet/avtomobili-buduwego/future-car-volt-production-model.html


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:00 pm)

    Sounds reasonable. I like it. Make it so, Mr. Data.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:08 pm)

    It’s not only China that wants to buy oil using something other than dollars. Probably won’t happen for a while, but, it could happen within a decade or so.

    In other words, it will hit the current generation. We could be in deep (name something bad) for not keeping our debts under control.

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/10/06/markets/dollar_oil_gold/?postversion=2009100613


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:21 pm)

    Noel, N.Riley —
    I have a truck also. Maybe just as well that it doesn’t have that meter. ROTFL


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:29 pm)

    N. Riley
    As a little aside, are you aware that with HD you can get numerous TV channels at higher quality with free over-the-air service than you can get from cable, in most locations? No one quite wants to say so out loud, but try it and see for yourself.


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    Wulf

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:30 pm)

    Sounds to me more like you would rather hear that GM’s failing, so you can be Oh! So Proud of your Prius.

    The reason that displaying instantaneous MPG would not be beneficial is because you do NOT change your engine RPM to adjust your miles to a gallon or KWh in the Volt. The engine would remain in the same RPM bands at all times, regardless of your hypermiling ways that work with an ICU-direct drive. The Volt will NOT have the ICU directly driving the wheels, therefore, the “Instantaneous MPG” would be a guessing estimate at best, and would also be grossly inaccurate, especially in low-speed areas, for its intended purpose: to help in adjusting driving needs to improve fuel economy.

    In regards to the “Volt fanaticism”: No one on the site is saying there should be absolutely NO measurement, just that MPG would be a very poor measurement for its actual performance, especially when actual MPG would vary based on how much you plug it in. GM has already stated that, on a full tank of gas and no additional charges, you could expect over 600 miles to a tank of gasoline. Regardless of what you drive, that’s not a small number to sneeze at.

    Also, since the vehicle is not out and in the real world yet for personal ownership, basing the idea that “There will be other plug-in hybrinds…” is flawed, because what will make the difference is how many of these plug-in hybrids will be using ICU-driven drive trains versus entirely electrically driven systems. Other plug-in hybrids benefit from having their numbers shown in an Instantaneous MPG for bragging rights or fuel consumption assistance. “My hybrid car gets X miles to the gallon when I drive like this,” or, “I’ve had my car at this high of a milage, check it out!” The bad news for you, my fully ICU motorcycle gets roughly the same milage, when I romp on it, costs about 10-20% of your Prius, and is considerably less carbon-emissive in its production. And I DON’T need instantaneous milage to tell you that. My neighbor’s Geo Metro (since I’m sure you’ll attack my motorcycle for not being a car) gets 43 MPG, again, without instantaneous milage, and that’s on average. Sure, not as “sexy” as your Prius (blech), but costs considerably less to maintain. The common factor, all three of these vehicles have ICU-Direct driven. The Volt will NOT be, making the only realistic MPG figure available be the one that you get after you fuel it up versus the milage you’ve driven. Even that won’t be overly acceptable for a standard, because you can charge your car or not, and it would affect your milage.

    Lastly, I’m sure that other companies will eventually mimic the idea of what GM is doing, a fully electric vehicle with a range-extending generator on-board, and they will also not want their performance based on “instantaneous milage.” Until they do so, many of their cars will still be what the Prius is now, a dual-mode driver, making MPG an important measure of how they drive, and still not be the same form of driving as the Volt. Twist it all you like, but the current hybrids are NOT electric-drive, they are dual-mode, and rely primarily on gasoline for their propulsion. THAT is why, no instantaneous milage for the electrically driven Volt.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:32 pm)

    OnStar has historically been over commercial cell-phone networks, such as Verizon, but I don’t know if there is one carrier on several.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:41 pm)

    Does Canada have an national highway system comparable to the inter-state highway system in the U.S.? Or are most highways in Canada regular two-lane highways and thereby the reason for the ~60 mph (100 kph) speed limit? Most two-lane roads in the U.S. are posted between 55 – 65 mph depending on the state, road conditions and such.

    Converting mileage in litres per 100 KM to miles per gallon is not something I want to do in my head. Thanks for the information.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:42 pm)

    How is that simple? Two different efficiency registers makes it simple? *scratches his head* I may be a little out-of-date on modern technologies, but I was under the impression that a single standard would be simpler…

    There are several very valid arguments against the use of MPG to register this vehicle’s efficiency. The biggest one was brought up by Caffiene ealier, that driving at maximum speed on a fixed RPM would do wonders to MPG, but decimate the KWh usage of the vehicle. It would look great for instantaneous MPG, but the overal MPG of the vehicle during CS mode would be very seriously reduced. I could be backwards about it, but that’s my understanding.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:46 pm)

    The fact that you would only use less than 1/2 gallon of gas per day is the truly important fact to be gleamed here. That is what we are all trying to do with the Volt and vehicles like it. Reduce our gasoline usage down to the bare minimum possible with current technology. So, it comes down to the fact that it does not really matter what GM decides to show on their displays. What does matter is can the Volt deliver what you want in today’s technology vehicle? If so, great. If not, then wait for the next announcement.

    What GM does display will just be “eye candy” as long as the Volt delivers on the promise.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:51 pm)

    A little more flesh

    The car uses Electricity to go forward. There are three possible states (when the car is even using gas)

    1. The generater is suppling less than total demand
    2. The generater is suppling exact the same as demand
    3. The generater is suppling more than demand

    So an MPG number has no meaning for approx 78% of the miles of the average volt. When it does have meaning, the instaneous method would only be accurate in 1/3 situations and maybe not even 33% of that time.

    Consider a situation where you go up and down a slight hill. The Volt’s instant MPG might never change in this situation due to fethering/regen requirements. This would make no sense and be counterproductive to the end goal.

    The method in the screen seems far better

    A running average over 5 minute intervals. I have a car which does instant and running average. The running average is fairly decent for the first 4-5 minutes in that if I increase load, a nearly instant drop in average MPG is noticable.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    Just keep one with the battery depleted. A potential customer could drive one with the battery charged to get that feeling then drive the other with the depleted battery or almost depleted battery so he could experience the switch over to CS mode. I want to experience that switch over for myself to see just how noticeable it might be or might not be. Hopefully might not be noticeable is what we will experience.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:55 pm)

    To know whether an instantaneous MPG display is critical you have to ask the question: Compared to what? IOW until we know what information will be displayed it’s impossible to know if it matters.

    At the end of the day you either have to stop at a gas station or not. You can’t fudge this, so I don’t subscribe to your thesis that GM is hiding the MPG in charge sustaining mode by not displaying an instantaneous MPG number. It wouldn’t work at all and GM isn’t silly enough to think it would.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    ” . . . my fully ICU motorcycle . . . ”
    ————

    You’ve got an “Intensive Care Unit” motorcycle? .. .. I’d think about getting rid of that.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (2:01 pm)

    I disagree. Fundamentally anyone who has taken physics understands that it takes -more- energy to accelerate something to higher speeds and that it takes -more- energy to maintain speeds.

    However, due to gearing etc this is not entirely clear in cars.

    Things I have learned how to do thanks in instant MPG
    1. Level of Throttle to maintain 10 mpg minimum
    2. Cruising at 46 mph is the most efficient speed for my car
    3. HWY speeds of 62 mph is the sweet spot for speeds between 55-75

    I presume that 2 and 3 corrospond to the 4th and 5th gear speeds that line up with maximum brake fuel consumption


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (2:04 pm)

    Well, people do call it a death trap. Mostly people in cages.

    And, come on, is that the best you’ve got? :D

    To be fair, I noticed after I posted, and it wouldn’t let me fix it.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (2:22 pm)

    I don’t like OnSh|t. Looks like they are going to highly integrate features with it.
    So what happens when the local cell systems change from operating within the 900-1800MHz PCS/PCN/EVDO/EDGE bands? If the Cellular networks move to either a higher operating freq or a new protocol of modulation is introduced and the old is phased out, your Volt is OnSh|it featureless. It’s been quite a few years since they did that last time. I think it’s close to round two for a new system. Mobile systems are more and more bandwidth hogs now and sooner or later a new broader bandwidth cellular telecom modulation scheme will come in. I say in the next three years. The fact that you can’t get the car without it is BS to me. Is the hardware free? Service free for life? Do I have to call or write to somewhere to cancel it? Do I get charged if I don’t cancel after the “Free” period?

    It’s all CRAP 2 me.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (2:44 pm)

    10-88. I am totally confident that the Volt displays will give me about 100 times more information than I care about or will probably ever access. Next case.

    BTW, the display in my 3500 recently switched itself into French, I know not how. And no, I am not making this up. It took me about 20 minutes with the owners manual to get it back into English. So KISS and save a few bucks off the price, as far as I’m concerned.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (2:46 pm)

    Ok. I’ll try to give you my position in a nutshell.

    I’m primarily interested in moving us (the U.S.) off of oil . . eventually, to no more than about 1/3 of what we use today. Electric cars are one of the most important pieces of technology that can help do that.

    In order for electric cars to have an impact, they have to be viable (workable, practical). They have to compete with other types of transportation. I see the volt as having some serious obstacles to overcome in order to be viable:

    1. Power fade in CS mode
    2. Purchase price
    3. Cost of operation (including vehicle maintenance as well as battery replacement at year x)
    4. Poor MPG in charge sustaining mode (poor being less than 30 mpg city/hwy combined)

    The series hybrid (volt) has to get in and compete against the plethora of other fuel saving technologies (parallel hybrids, series/parallel hybrids, plug-in series/parallel hybrids, fuel efficient gasoline, fuel efficient diesel, BEV’s, … just to name a few). If the volt can’t successfully overcome the obstacles I’ve mentioned, then it’s a Billion Dollar waste of my tax money and another nail in GM’s coffin.

    /We haven’t heard 600 miles on the volt in a long time, 300 miles is the number being mentioned now.
    // I’ve never owned a Toyota, I do own 2 motorcycles.


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    RB

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (2:55 pm)

    kdawg asks why not just an ammeter?
    =====
    sufficient “cool factor”?


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (2:57 pm)

    Looking at all these comments I am thinking that really the speed, the mileage, and the gas in the tank will be good enough, if we can just get the wheels on the road :)


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (3:08 pm)

    All your points are correct. The whole point of the volt was to get by with a smaller battery to make it more affordable. If it isn’t more affordable with a 16kwh battery then a comparably styled BEV with a 32kwh battery then the volt is going to be a niche car for folks that can charge at work and get their 50+ daily AER.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (3:10 pm)

    Jackson

    I agree with the efficiency bar type meter. I have 3 daughters and be assured they would look at MPKW with their eyes glazed over. Regarding an instant read out of kw being used, I am in favor of that. When my grand daughter was learning to drive I used the instant mpg info to show her what jack rabbit starts do to your mpg.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (3:15 pm)

    From todays thread and yesterdays, can we jus stay with KISS for the readouts?

    That’s way too much crap.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (3:17 pm)

    “…. I don’t subscribe to your thesis that GM is hiding the MPG in charge sustaining mode by not displaying an instantaneous MPG number. It wouldn’t work at all and GM isn’t silly enough to think it would.”
    __________
    Normally, I would agree with you. But these don’t seem to be “normal times” for GM.

    It’s possible that I’m over-the-top suspicious on this one — Lyle could probably provide insight with his recollection of the interview.

    If Posawatz had alluded that there will be a mpg display for CS mode, but just NOT instantaneous (i.e. an average mpg, or average for the last 5 minutes) then you’re right, I’m over-the-top. But if he was immediately switching the conversation to on-star in order to avoid the topic, then I’d say my suspicion is well-founded.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (3:18 pm)

    “Just keep one with the battery depleted”

    That should not present any difficulties.

    Does anyone remember the “Come to your Chevy Dealer and press the OnStar button to see if you’ve won a vehicle” promotion?

    I did drop by a Chevy dealer to press the infamous button (figuring that I might not want to ever buy a truck, but I might take one for ‘free’). When I got there, they had put the poor pickup truck directly on a charger to keep it’s electrical system alive for all those button-pushers (no truck for Jackson, alas).

    Given the time it will take to recharge a Volt (even at 220V), I’ll be surprised to find one available for test drive at a dealer in any other state but depleted (unless, as Tag suggests, GM provides a special software feature to dealers which makes the Volt act depleted on command — in addition to demonstrating the transition, it would prolong the charge over many test drives).


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (3:19 pm)

    Alright. I can see your point, and your argument is very solid in that the EV is a very important piece of a oil-minimal future. (Can’t say free, I love classic muscle too much) However, the worry about instantaneous MPG can still be rendered to be null if, and that’s a big if, the ICE generator (I used the right one this time ^_^) is always running once the initial depletion is hit. Imagine, first off, that the vehicle isn’t using much in the way of energy at a stop. The generator may still be running, which would show a lowered MPG, but, it’s still recharging your battery. Once it reaches a certain point, say, 80-100% charge, the ICE shuts off again, leaving you back to electric-only drive with no regeneration from the generator. Once you start driving again, would the instantaneous MPG meter show infinite again? That could end up leaving mixed ideas as to how much fuel you are actually using, causing more confusion. An additional point, if you are driving and the ICE kicks in while you’re on a 35 MPH highway, then it will have to factor for the speed of the vehicle, not the actual fuel usage, to figure instantaneous MPG, meaning once that speed limit changes and allows for up to 65MPH, your MPG suddenly shoots through the roof in comparison, or, worse, you come to a 25MPH area, and it shows worse MPG, even though your charge meter may be increasing! That’s the issue with instantaneous MPG on an electrically driven and ICE-charged vehicle. As for the city/highway usage, yes, it would be pertinant for GM to make this a high fuel efficiency vehicle, obviously. However, trying to base it off of instantaneous MPG is foolish at best. Simply because it CAN make the drive on charge sustaining mode doesn’t mean most people will force it to happen. At least, that’s GM’s hope for it.

    There are a lot of different factors that I haven’t seen in regards to how the ICE will charge the vehicle, and all of them would make instantaneous MPG a futility outside of estimations, including driving time in full electric mode. Would the generator continue to charge at stops? Can and will the generator produce enough energy, not just to drive the vehicle, but charge it as it’s rolling? Will the regenerative braking be factored in to the charging measures? Will the generator shut off once it breaks over the activation percentage? Will it allow you to charge the vehicle while sitting and not plugged in? (I know, that one would cause issues with the green crowd) These are some of the things that, because I haven’t been watching closely, I don’t honestly know, and would all affect the MPG of the vehicle, and the instantaneous moreso.

    I whole-heartedly agree, it’s going to be tough for the Volt, but it will also benefit from the fact that it IS an electric car. Many, MANY people have been looking for a car like this for quite some time, one that they know will get them where they’re going, without having to worry about battery limitations. I just hope GM is smart enough to not over-price it due to its novelty. They have the chance to get a jump on the EV market (again), and they need to do it right this time.

    As for the Prius comments, that was more or less based on your saying you were gonna get one. No insult meant.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (3:40 pm)

    Cable? Who has cable these days? :p

    (I’m antenna-only right now.. ;D)


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (3:51 pm)

    I did not read all the 100 plus posts on this thread, so sorry if this is redundant, but instantaneous mileage seems moot for the Volt. Instantaneous miles per kwh might train the driver to take it easy. But many posts seemed to think the accelerator pedal was attached to the ICE.

    Now I expect the ICE efficiency will be higher when operating at the low generation plateau and so driving with a light foot might keep the ICE on that plateau, but other than that I’m at a loss as to what the concern is. :)


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (3:54 pm)

    Guess we all got pwn3d there…


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (4:15 pm)

    Off Topic,

    Ev World is reporting the Leaf will be priced from $25,000 to $35,000 WITH the battery.

    I’m assuming that’s before the $7,500 tax credit, . . . pretty shaky ground here, but I’m basing my assumption mainly on Goshen’s attitude. He consistently sounds like he wants to jump into this with both barrels blazing.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (4:27 pm)

    The key is volume and projecting the impact of that volume on component costs.

    That is precisely what GM should do, at the latest with GEN 2 in 2012-2013.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (4:29 pm)

    Good article:

    Peak Oil: The End Of the Oil Age is Near, Deutsche Bank Says

    http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2009/10/05/peak-oil-the-end-of-the-oil-age-is-near-deutsche-bank-says/

    excerpts:

    ” oil to $175 a barrel by 2016″

    “Just as the explosion of digital cameras made the cost of film irrelevant, the growth of electric cars will make the price of oil (and gasoline) all but irrelevant for transportation.”

    “In a report filled with interesting tidbits, one in particular stands out: The cost of the Iraq war at the pump. Deutsche Bank figures the cost of the war at $1.5 trillion. Amortized over 20 years, that works out to $75 billion a year. “If the US government taxed US gasoline consumers purely to reflect the financial cost of the war in Iraq, gasoline prices should be some 54 cents per gallon higher,” the report notes.”


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (4:31 pm)

    This kind of stuff is parallel development that is not delaying the Volt’s arrival. What is delaying the Volt’s arrival? I don’t know, I’m not in the automotive engineering business, but I would guess creating tools, designing robots, training employees, contracting with parts makers who also have to do the previously mentioned things for each part. There is tweaking of the battery controller and ICE integration controller. They’ll be cranking them out in 12 months from now though!

    I agree though, make OnStar included with the vehicle for life. Just as the purchase of a GPS includes the positioning satellite system free for life.

    It should not be compulsory, and if they really want to charge for it, they should do like Apple does their warranty system, where the first year is free, but you can purchase it any time, except for just have OnStar not expire like a warranty does.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (4:41 pm)

    Read the posts since this morning. A gauge showing energy consumption is what people have been asking for.

    MPG is quite confusing when it comes to plug-in vehicles, which is why an eco-meter of some sort is needed.

    It’s unfortunate that the photo above isn’t of the new meter. Far too many incorrect assumptions have been made already…


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (4:47 pm)

    Cool. I’m on the contact list for the Nissan Leaf.

    Here’s where I think battery connectivity and geometry should get to a standard. If the industry can do that, then batt packs will come down in price. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, all batt packs should be able to operate as a standalone. Where BMS and charge management (HVC) is contained within the pack and some form of comm link to get SOC and other metrics to the car’s onboard computer or display. Make it open source so all mfgrs will be able to interface with it.

    Standardize and KISS!

    Did you catch that 2012 launch date? Is that right?


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:05 pm)

    Tag:

    How much fuel is used for distance traveled is quite different than instantaeous MPG display. I am sure there will be trip odometers that will show how far has been traveled with the batteries as well as when the ICE kicks in, and the remaining range for both the batteries and the ICE.

    Cost per mile would be really hard to do, as electric rates and gasoline costs vary all over the world. Figuring out what your particular vehicle costs to operate would still be a manual function, which most people do not do anyway…. They think they care, but are not willing to do the paperwork. I sure don’t. The only thing I do is keep track of the MPG of my cars. I have done it since my 1973 Mustang Mach 1. The current 2004 Chrysler Crossfire gets 28.5 Highway and 23 city.

    I am just not seeing the need for the instantaeous MPG display for a vehicle where the accelerator pedal does not correlate to the ICE when it is running in charge sustain mode.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:09 pm)

    Hey Cpt,

    From the Nissan website:

    Q:When will the LEAF be available in the U.S.?

    A:The LEAF will be on the road in some states in 2010. Mass-production will begin in 2012.

    Also:

    Q:Towards the end of the battery’s 5yr life, will the est. mileage decrease?

    A:We expect the battery to have a lifespan of about 5 years. By 6 years, it will have decreased to about 80% capacity.

    (They also answer a couple of times that 100 mile range is real world mixed hwy/city)

    http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/#/charging

    /being in one of the “fav five” cities, you might be able to get a leaf before 2012 (?)
    //if a base model Leaf was available for $17,500 (after tax credit) then that would most likely “seal the deal” up for me. I’d just have to paint some skulls or something on it to toughen it up a bit.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:11 pm)

    That it’s difficult is not in question – that’s why the computer would do it. Granted, it wouldn’t be precise, but my GPS does the calculation (I do have to punch in the price of gas), but OnStar could “know” both electric rates based on zipcode and gas prices in your area. After that, it’s just doing the math.
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:12 pm)

    N Riley:

    At this point, everyone at GM is going to go into silent stealth mode on the real details of the Volt. There is real competetive pressure in play here. Why give out all the specific details of your new vehicle for all of the competition to see????

    I sure don’t see any other manufacturers being as open as GM has been with the development of the Volt. But there is a limit as to how much information they are going to release, when the delivery of the first production Volts is just under fourteen months away…..

    I just know I can’t wait for that first test drive, even though I doubt I will even see a first year production Gen-1 Volt, unless GM wakes up and realizes that we would be the perfect owners for those first 10K cars!

    NPNS


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:16 pm)

    This ‘MPG display’ post amplifies why real people outside of NGMCO should be contacted to test drive the development Volt. Questions like “why does this do this?” and “would be great if this did this?” and “how about moving this closer” are huge factors in an accepted final system.

    =D~


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:17 pm)

    also they make their own batteries.. that has to help.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:24 pm)

    Capt:

    How many beers have you had today?

    Battery packs will be designed around the specific vehicle. Trucks and SUV’s will need the pack sized and placed differently than a Mini Cooper EV or the Volt. Youir idea is a good one, but just not workable. Just like we have AA, AAA, C, D, 9V, and 6V lantern batteries. They are designed for specific purposes.

    Now I could see where the might be able to get it down to five or six “standard” pack sizes that could be swapped between similar vehicles, but that is probably a few years away, until things settle out in this new marketplace. Kind of like Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD…

    JMHO


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:29 pm)

    Demo cars are not driven 100s of miles every day.. and test drives are not usually 40 miles long either. I would guess most Volts (you wont find one) that are test driven will have a fully charged battery.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:42 pm)

    I happily run Microsoft’s products when I’m being paid….

    But the main reason that corporate e-mail travels through corporate e-mail servers is because the group-calendering is very good, in a homogeneous 100% Microsoft environment. The e-mail service itself is nothing special, and it’s quite expensive. But once a group becomes dependent on the group-calendering (which doesn’t really work in WebOutlook), then Exchange provides a real benefit. But, I’ve never actually worked in a 100% Microsoft environment — so what ends up happening is that the managers, salespeople, and secretaries all use Exchange and everyone else manages their own calendars.

    My organization uses Zimbra, though, which works much better with 3rd party clients.

    ———————————–

    As for OnStar’s eavesdropping capabilities, you’re missing the point. I’m pretty sure my conversations are just as boring as yours are. But in every car that I’ve had up until this point, it was a technical impossibility that someone could eavesdrop using the car’s hardware. It was just a car — not a rolling IT issue.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:49 pm)

    I’ll put some front wheel curb feelers to solidify the “Catfish” image.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:50 pm)

    Yeah I nkw WTF was I thinkin…..lol


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (5:59 pm)

    Or . . .. Go with the look AND toughen it up.

    Best of both worlds ……. SKULL feelers!

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/CURB-FEELERS-Chrome-w-Skulls-Hot-Rod_W0QQitemZ250442070247QQcmdZViewItem


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (6:16 pm)

    Oh yeah, …and listen to some save the rainforest, leftcoast, catfish music along the way.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n81doCdMzwE


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:00 pm)

    It is possible that a simple change in speed/load could have one change in kW and a much more dramatic change in fuel usage. For example, going an extra few KM/h might force the ICE to run in a less efficient mode to be able to generate the needed power.

    But mostly: The input is fuel therefore I’d like to know how much fuel I am using now.


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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:11 pm)

    I have been thinking about this MPG thing and decided that for me I would like two displays for MPG. One to show the accumulated MPG is CS mode and the other to include all miles driven and the MPG for said miles.


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    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:24 pm)

    >> On-Star …[snip]… free to the extent it is required

    But sadly, that’ll never be the case, since nothing’s ever -really- free. They’ll say they’re giving you the essentials for free, maybe, but simply roll the costs into the up-front purchase price to compensate. Unfortunately, that’s already the case with the “free” first year GM buyers get right now… as well as the hardware costs.

    It should just not be needed, IMHO. But of course, there’s no way we’ll convince NGMCO of that.

    Sorry Neal, I’m just whining a bit now. It is what it is.


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    Let's Lie

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:26 pm)

    Let me tell you the following:
    1). The picture is from a 2010 Toyota Prius, not a GM Volt.
    2). The MPG during charge sustaining mode is not even as good as Prius, that is why GM and Lyle chose not to show the image, also remember the 230 MPG.
    3). Lyle actually saw the screen and not willing to reveal it here, so he is in the interest of GM, he is not willing to be straight forward to fans here.
    4). Both GM and Lyle are liars and can’t be trusted.
    5). It is reasonable to believe GM is secretively paying Lyle money and the whole thing is a PR stunt.
    6). May god pray for all those who are genuinely interested in (commercially viable) high mpg cars and screw oil tycoons and Iranians.


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    old man

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:40 pm)

    lets lie

    Let me guess, you got willy caught in your zipper. Right?


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    Mike-o-Matic

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (7:51 pm)

    There should be a top-level setting for “Simple Displays” and “Detailed Displays.” People will choose which they prefer.

    It’s not really so complicated to figure out that some people will want more information than others, and it’s not complicated to provide both options, either.


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    john1701a

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:04 pm)

    That is not a photo from a 2010 Prius. It’s from the older model, and the instant part isn’t even illuminated.

    As for the CS mode efficiency, that’s something GM has refused to say anything about recently. Whether do or not later won’t matter. ODB-II provides that information anyway. Owners can just plug in an aftermarket gauge to see instant MPG.

    Ultimately, MPG will obviously be shown in some fashion. And considering how confusing the “230″ advertising has been so far, we’ll obviously find out more as the powers above push for an estimate standard. Whatever GM offers will somehow reflect the outcome of those official decisions.


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    jefro

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:12 pm)

    Bunch of junk I will never play with


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    ziv

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:16 pm)

    Noel, I was talking about doing 42 in a 35, or 55 in a 40, and you got me doing 150 mph on the way to hell! I think urban speed limits are too low, but I have to admit, I am from Montana and we do drive a bit faster than most. Just not 150 mph, unless I am late for dinner!
    LOL


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:21 pm)

    RB,
    Amen to the wheels on the road!!!
    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Let’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS


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    koz

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:50 pm)

    As Steel explained in more detail what I was saying earlier, the foot position will very seldom have a direct correlation to the instantaneous fuel consumption. While you may have a curiosity to see it, there is no real value to it for the Volt.


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    James

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:57 pm)

    I think a real-time MPG equivelant is vital. It’s what eggs my wife and I on – to get the best mileage possible in our Prius.

    I understand it’s harder to do with a Range Extended Plug-In car, but some numeric value should be given for generator mode especially, IMHO. ONSTAR requires a monthly fee, reducing total economy and a bit too much info for the majority of users. After all, we can attach a suction cup to our windshield and use our smartphones to give us live traffic, gas and electric facilities, etc. Just think of all the cars ( including mine ) whose navigation systems are obsolete almost the week after you drive off the lot. Today’s cellphone nav systems update services several times per year and offer features most factory-installed or aftermarket navigation systems do not ( such as voice activation for just one ).

    Hope GM gets that part right. The Plug-In Prius is looking better and better as the estimated prices are considered vs. the utility of a five seater with a larger cargo area compared to a four seater with less utility.Plug-in Prius’ 12.4 miles on full electric, then automatically switching to a recharging mode en route while on ICE/electric vs Volt’s 30-40 miles on battery until having to find a plug.The latter seems a bit restrictive in today’s world without a receptacle on every corner. It will be very interesting seeing which vehicle is actually truly more efficient and convenient.And for me, the kicker is what kind of mileage can be obtained in range extender mode.

    For commuters who drive alone or fleet use I can see the advantage of a Volt, considering GM can approach Toyota reliabilty ( which is doubtful if we use history as a measure ). But it looks as if the Prius will raise some interesting value judgements when the two vehicles go head-to-head in the marketplace.


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    koz

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (8:58 pm)

    Exactly and instaneous kwh/mile or miles/kwh can do this for the Volt NOT mpg.


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    MuddyRoverRob

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:00 pm)

    LOL!

    Surprisingly enough I don’t live in an igloo.
    Calgary where I live has a good more than a million people.
    It ain’t New York but we are not exactly in the stone ages here.

    Most major highways are 4 lane highways much like the interstates, with the exception that we use tarmac instead of concrete so the ride is better.


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    James

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:15 pm)

    You all know that the picture displayed is one of the display screens on the CURRENT PRIUS don’t you?

    And I must repeat: THE INSTANTANEOUS MILEAGE FEATURE on our Prius is the SINGLE MOST USEFUL and MOTIVATING and ENTERTAINING feature on the ENTIRE car. It’s how the machine communicates it’s value to the operator. Not ONCE in our three years with our Prius has the mileage number changing away on the dash ever made us miss a turn or cause danger or miscue in driving.

    The 2010 Prius’ consumption display is higher in the dash and not part of the central nav display. So it seems Toyota was attempting to make it even more ergonomic taking less of a head or eye movement to check your progress/status. Some, me included, think the older display is easier to read and more graphically clear.

    At any rate, GM needs to drive a Prius a bit more, it seems, to realize the great value millions of us put in this one key indicator.

    Buying any EV, Hybrid or EREV involves some sacrifices and habit modification. Graphical, numerical interfaces have proven the best way to
    inform and entertain a driver , solidifying our decision to “do the right thing” for America and our planet. And, I believe, adding motivation to not only drive more efficiently, but to make our next vehicle a EV as well.


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    koz

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:19 pm)

    Been saying this too. The difficult part will be thermal control. Battery pack module standardization (voltage, size, connectivity, and communication) makes a lot of sense.


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    MuddyRoverRob

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:28 pm)

    You are not wrong Tag, I just think the Watts per mile (or 100 Kilometers) average is a better tool and much more accuate giving the same information but in a more meaningful context than instantanously.


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    Pat Joy

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (9:43 pm)

    Instantaneous MPG would not be useful or even attainable due to the fact that the generator motor (ICE) will run at a mostly constant rate, controlled by the computer. Then the computer will roll fuel usage average into the total energy usage and display it in some manner that is useful to the driver. Your foot will only control the flow of electricity to the electric motor via the computer.


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    DonC

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:11 pm)

    I haven’t given this any thought, but my thinking was along the lines that the power consumption might always be given in kWh. That would be quite exact and be very good feedback. The MPG might be given on a trip basis or from some point where you set it — something like the odometers you see on cars.


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    DonC

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:17 pm)

    We have one comment in this thread referencing Pike’s Peak, and over the last couple of years we’ve had a lot of discussion about how the Volt would handle such a climb in Charge Sustaining Mode.

    I’ve always thought this type of scenario was a bit overblown, but over at Voltage you have a report that GM did take some Volts up Pike’s Peak. Check it out.


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    Herm

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:21 pm)

    This is nonsense steel, cars do not drive in a vacuum.


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    EVO

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:22 pm)

    1. What is gearing?

    If you have your vehicle turned off, and then, while it’s in its top gear (without a clutch pushed in), turn it on and then a minute later engage the throttle very gently, what happens?

    In my case, my vehicle then moves forward very gently and smoothly, with maximum torque and linear acceleration.

    How about yours? If it’s a full gasser and has gearing (multiple gears and some kind of automatic/manual clutch) , it faintly lurches and immediately stalls, at best, in top gear when you turn it on and then a minute later, when you engage the throtte very gently, it stays put and starts to smell like leaking gasoline.

    You might buy something with one gear (or a top gear planetary gear system) sooner rather than later and rediscover the purity of physics. It’s more beautiful than full gasser cars would have you recall.

    What you take for granted as the norm “in cars” is becoming more obsolete faster every single day.

    2. Above about 55 mph, you start doing serious battle with air resistance on this planet, so behavior (other than foolishly speeding up or doing multiple aggressive accelerations or decelerations) starts to matter less.


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    EVO

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:24 pm)

    Then I guess electric vehicles are not for you, you slowpoke:

    http://www.killacycle.com/
    :)


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    EVO

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (10:48 pm)

    Or just do this to get in front of all that slow full gasser commuter traffic:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcLx9ENMorQ


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    ccombs

     

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    Oct 6th, 2009 (11:31 pm)

    Or the Kwhr/mile would suffice? It would save GM the pained explaining and still give people that care a number to work off of.


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    carcus1

     

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (12:18 am)

    Surely there is standardization already being discussed in these areas (thermal control, voltage, etc…) already being discussed. It would seem to obvious to be overlooked.


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    carcus1

     

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (12:32 am)

    Hey DonC,

    I thought the Pike’s Peak post from cheveroletvoltage was weak sauce:

    The reason I hit on the Pikes Peak scenario so hard (rate it as my #1 “volt obstacle” at post #18) is that I view it as an unpredicable in passing/merging scenarios. It (power fade) could actually be a safety hazard in certain scenarios. The lawyers would have a field day.

    I can’t think of any other automobile that could experience an unpredictable power fade. If any other car “loses power” it would mean that the car is in need of repair. The liability from this scenario (however infrequent it may be) could be devastating to the manufacturer.

    Can you imagine the repercussions should a family of four get “eliminated” while on a trip to Veil because their volt unpredictably lost power while trying to pass a sand truck during their family ski vacation?


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    GXT

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (12:52 am)

    First off, the “only 78%” of the time for the average Volt driver is irrelevant.

    And yes, going up or down a hill and the instantaneous fuel economy NOT changing is actually meaningful. I don’t care if the engine runs for a while and generates more power than is needed and then shuts off and doesn’t run for a while. Luckily I am not so stupid that I need to be “protected” from this.

    And if I am on a long flat highway then the current MPG is very relevant.


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    GXT

     

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (12:54 am)

    I should add that I can also see the benefit of a running average for the last x minutes.


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    Dave K.

     

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (5:11 am)

    Saving fuel is a team effort. Sure it’s fun to watch the digital MPG read out bounce between 45 and 47 as you decelerate to 60 MPH on the highway. It’s the long line of vehicles behind you that pays the price for it. They slow down and lose momentum. Then crank up the RPM’s to pass the slower vehicles. There is also the increased chance for accidents as the vehicles dodge and weave to get back to the normal 70 MPH pace.

    =D~


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    Rashiid Amul

     

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (5:26 am)

    Old man, I didn’t know you had it in you.
    That was brilliant. :)


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    stas peterson

     

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (5:39 am)

    An instantaneous mpg is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT in an EREV. Why would you want a TOTALLY MEANINGLESS figure to be presented, even if somehow such a number could be created?


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    stas peterson

     

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (5:46 am)

    Yes many primitive hybrids have had such a device as an instantaneous mpg display, because you as a driver can change your mileage slightly by hypermiling.

    You as a driver are unable to change it via hypermiling in a EREV.Other that is that then in th grossest sense by not doing jackrabbit starts and screeching brakes. Its computer control already does optimization better than you can ever do.

    That is one reason that EREVS get triple digit mileage, on average.


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    Texas

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (6:00 am)

    You mean like speed and ICE RPM? Perhaps they should just give averaged values for those as well. We don’t want people looking at the gauges. Right?

    Funny, It makes sense that you don’t want all the information.


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    Texas

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (6:05 am)

    Only to you is the information useless. A hyper miler lives on that info. Do you want them to go elsewhere when it’s an easy thing to add? How about a see-no-evil button for those that like their heads in the sand? It can also filter all uncomfortable news from the entertainment system. Corporate fraud? Destroying rain forests? Deleted! ;)

    It’s almost un-American not to give the information. Freedom of information act! :)


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    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (10:27 am)

    Captain:

    I’m with you.


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    Red HHR

     

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (8:23 pm)

    Agreed, Also I interpret this post as the extended range will not be totally independent of battery buffering. Only if the battery was taken out of the picture would a instantaneous mpg be relevant. Battery intervention between the crankshaft and the driven wheel makes any usage of fuel a simple rate of charge indicator.


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    Red HHR

     

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    Oct 7th, 2009 (8:44 pm)

    I consider each those little green cars to be the equivalent of a shot of gasoline. I like to imagine glass shots gas appearing on the dash. They are not for me, I do not like the taste, they are for the car. I just like free gasoline.

    I may be off a bit on what 50wh is, that is just what I think it is.


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    JonP.

     

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    Oct 9th, 2009 (12:05 pm)

    Maybe it’s me but the last part of the driving experience i’m hoping for with my new volt will be watching my efficiency gauge.

    I’m gonna be stomping the accelerator at every light showing the whole world how bad ass electric motor torque is.

    With a big vinyl decal on the back that says:

    “That’s right Bi*ch it’s Electric”


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    John

     

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    Oct 15th, 2009 (7:29 pm)

    I always wanted a programmable cruise control. I hate bumping the little buttons and seeing what the result is. Maybe some car has it that I’m not aware of. But how about being at a full stop and pre programming your desired speed with a mouse wheel. Then push it to enter it. Then if you press the accelerator down in a certain range it will accelerate at the most efficient rate to that speed. If you lift off of the accelerator or push it all the way down in an emergency then the automatic system will be overridden.

    If the lawyers thought that was too dangerous a little light display could be used to let you know if you are over or under the best acceleration profile.