Dec 28

MINI E Electric Car Performance in Cold and Ice is Not Good

 

[ad#post_ad]Recent snowfall gave me a chance to experience driving the MINI E electric car in snow and ice conditions, and the frigid northeast weather has been a test of its batteries.

I am leasing the MINI E for a one year period as a part of BMW’s field test trial, and am among 449 other drivers in California, New Jersey, and New York.    At this point, after six months of driving, the car has just over 7700 miles.

There has been a pronounced decline in battery range in the cold weather.  On a recent trip at a temperature of 23 degrees Fahrenheit and including a two-hour 110 volt charge in the middle, the battery meter hit zero miles/zero percent after just 55 miles (see graphic). The car is billed as having a 100 mile range.

According to a report in the Washington Post MINI E drivers are noticing about a 20% reduction in range in cold weather.  A MINI E driver in New Jersey with an 85 mile commute found this out the hard way during a cold snap. “Towed! After only 87.8 miles…Sheesh!” he wrote in a blog post.

My commute is 60 miles round-trip, mostly highway and at about 60 to 65 MPH with accessory heat running. It isn’t clear if the battery charge level detection circuitry has become more inaccurate in the cold, whether the battery is aging and losing range, or if range is actually reduced in the cold. I suspect all three factors are in play with the latter being most important. In 65 degree weather, I can extrapolate roughly 75 to 80 miles of range on the same commuting cycle.

So in the cold weather even with a 2 hour charge at my office in the midpoint of my 27 mile each-way commute, I find myself regularly drving for the last several miles with the battery meter measuring zero miles and zero percent. It is disconcerting. There is also some noticeable power fade, though I dont push it much in that situation as you might imagine. After stopping the car and letting it rest though, I find the meter could come up to as high as 10 to 15 percent.

Now on to driving performance.

On mild slightly icy and snowy hills the car performs poorly.

The front wheel spins with minimal traction, and the car can barely be made to creep along only by taking the foot on and off the accelerator. On another more snowy higher incline, the car got stuck altogether and had to be turned around.

I believe the performance to be significantly poorer than an ICE car of the same size.

MINI recommends changing the car’s all-weather tires for specific winter tires, obviously recognizing the car’s poor performance metrics in this environment.  I have not done that yet.  Though the car is front wheel drive, part of the problem is the instantaneous torque and the rear-axle placed center of gravity due to the 500 pound lithium battery sitting over it.

In all fairness, the MINI E is really a test prototype or mule, and is not optimized. BMW says these learnings will go into future cars.

The Chevy Volt will of course be very well winter-tested before it gets into real drivers hands.

“We have a number of VOLTs being tested as we speak in Kapuskasing, Ontario,” notes Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz.  ”All Chevy VOLTs will have stabilitrak standard, which includes traction control.”

This entry was posted on Monday, December 28th, 2009 at 7:50 am and is filed under BEV. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 168


  1. 1
    nuclearboy

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nuclearboy
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (7:57 am)

    The traction control should make the Volt perform decently in the snow. I wonder if you turn it off if you can feather the pedal to creep along without spinning the wheels.

    This battery range issue is going to be a real problem for EVs (apparently for some time to come). Much of the US has to deal with cold weather days.


  2. 2
    Herm

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:05 am)

    “On a recent trip at a temperature of 23 degrees Fahrenheit and including a two-hour 110 volt charge in the middle, the battery meter hit zero miles/zero percent after just 55 miles (see graphic). The car is billed as having a 100 mile range.”

    I bet the software generating the “state of charge status” is not accounting properly for battery temperature.. low temps will decrease the voltage of the battery and this will fool the computer if its not accounted for.. same way that high temperatures will increase the voltage of the pack. Its a chemical reaction and cold will slow it down.

    I read somewhere that GM has lots of know-how in battery management, including this issue. Valuable intellectual property.

    Is the Mini pack insulated?


  3. 3
    MDDave

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MDDave
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:06 am)

    Your review is a little discouraging. Luckily, the Volt will have the ICE, so range anxiety won’t be a factor. It will be interesting to see if performance of the battery improves with the warmer weather in the spring.


  4. 4
    mikeinatl.

    +18

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    mikeinatl.
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:10 am)

    Lyle provides real-world proof that having an ICE generator and a tank of gas is a very good idea in an electric car. You just never know what might reduce your mileage or lengthen your expected trip.

    Very few Volts will ever get towed back home to recharge.

    GO VOLT!


  5. 5
    kdawg

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:15 am)

    Lyle – what kind of battery insulation/conditioning does BMW do? I think GM has already tackled this problem.


  6. 6
    ziv

    +10

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ziv
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:16 am)

    This isn’t a surprise, BEV owners have known of cold weather problems for years, but it is useful for Lyle to nail it down with the exact numbers. Cold weather reduces ICE mileage as well, we just don’t notice it as much. Obviously, cabin preheating while still plugged in will, or does, help slightly.
    The instant torque tire slippage issue in snowy conditions is easily remedied, as GM is doing, and as BMW will assuredly do in the next generation.
    I have always figured that my Volt would get me around 35-36 miles AER with the tunes on and the AC working, in the winter it might be closer to 32-3 miles AER. No Worries. This is why EREV is going to rule for the next 5-10 years and BEV’s will be second cars.


  7. 7
    nasaman

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    nasaman
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:19 am)

    Lyle: Any comments on how much you used the car’s heater? I realize heater use is pretty subjective, but I can’t imagine toughing it out with gloves and a heavy coat in 23F weather, even to avoid battery drain. (Heck, it was 50F here in Florida yesterday morning & I wore driving gloves for the few minutes it took the car’s interior to warm up.)


  8. 8
    pdt

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    pdt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:26 am)

    Argonne wrote a pretty good paper about the operation of the Prius (or maybe the Camry Hybrid, can’t remember) and Escape Hybrid in cold and hot weather. If I recall correctly, they didn’t use the battery at all in cold weather until they warmed up significantly. Batteries don’t like cold. The internal resistance rises, lowering terminal voltage and dissipating more energy inside the battery. I’m pretty sure the Volt is designed to keep the batteries warm when plugged in and it will definitely keep them warm during operation to protect battery life, but this in itself will reduce range.


  9. 9
    o.jeff

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    o.jeff
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:36 am)

    “I’m pretty sure the Volt is designed to keep the batteries warm when plugged in…”

    I also recall one of the GM engineers telling us this. It sounds like this is a Very Good Idea.


  10. 10
    kdawg

    +11

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:39 am)

    nasaman: Heck, it was 50F here in Florida yesterday morning & I wore driving gloves for the few minutes it took the car’s interior to warm up.)  (Quote)

    LOL, i wear shorts when its 50 out. Its interesting how everyone has a different concept of “cold”.


  11. 11
    Dan Petit

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:41 am)

    All batteries are chemical energy sources. The electricity available is what I call “temperature-elastic” dependent on temperature. The energy is there still, but it takes longer for that energy to move to the anodes and cathodes the colder the electrolyte is. (That’s why the battery meter came up to 10 percent after a while). That’s why GM “babies the batteries” at a comfy-cozy 77 degrees.

    Then, no matter what happens, hot, cold, higher demand, etc, the generator can make up for all the other unforseen situations.

    As well, GM is used to “getting it all done, all at the same time, all systems very well interfaced with each other”, from it’s vast arrays of (specifically-technically) dedicated experts.

    (off to work). Have a great day everyone!


  12. 12
    BillR

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BillR
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:41 am)

    Although many here don’t like ICE’s, I love ‘em!

    Granted, we need to diversify our energy sources, and EV’s will help in that regard, but Lyle demonstrates that they aren’t quite ready to become mainstream replacements for our current vehicles.

    Hence E-REV exploits the synergies of electric driving and proven ICE reliability. When it’s cold, the Volt’s ICE will start, providing electric power for the traction motor, and also using heat from the engine to heat the passenger compartment as well as the battery pack.

    I’m not sure if this is correct, but I believe that taking large currents from a cold battery will also reduce its life expectancy.

    This will be even more pronouned in areas north of NYC where the temperatures will be sub-zero F on many occasions during the winter.


  13. 13
    Bearclaw

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Bearclaw
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:45 am)

    The decrease in millage is not a surprise to me. Having the heat on and lower temps affect my 05 Insight by about 3-5mpg at least and the battery gauge will be full when I come home and the next morning it can be 1-3 bars lower when it’s super cold.

    The Mini E driver who got towed said he drove longer then his normal commute. Sounds like it’s as much his fault as it is the battery having a lower range.

    People just need to get used to it. Parking in a warm garage might help when possible too.


  14. 14
    omnimoeish

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    omnimoeish
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:46 am)

    The first gen Volts MIGHT suffer slightly in the cold depending on the circumstances of where you charge it etc., but I wonder if GM’s solid state batteries to be used in future gen versions will remedy this issue even further. As for the performance, obviously the Volt will perform better with it’s much better weight distribution, probably equivalent to a normal FWD vehicle, but it would probably still be a good idea to go for snow tires I’m sure for those who deal with snow and ice (I’m not one of them).


  15. 15
    Van

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Van
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:49 am)

    So just what is the weight distribution of the Volt? (60% front wheels, 40% rear wheels?) That should provide traction similar to other front wheel drive vehicles. The “low” gear software setting should provide the “gas” pedal with the ability to nudge the car along with a drive wheel speed of say 3 RPM.


  16. 16
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:56 am)

    omnimoeish: The first gen Volts MIGHT suffer slightly in the cold depending on the circumstances of where you charge it etc., but I wonder if GM’s solid state batteries to be used in future gen versions will remedy this issue even further. As for the performance, obviously the Volt will perform better with it’s much better weight distribution, probably equivalent to a normal FWD vehicle, but it would probably still be a good idea to go for snow tires I’m sure for those who deal with snow and ice (I’m not one of them).  (Quote)

    FWD w/an ICE engine up front should be no problem in the snow. If the Volt was RWD, I’d be concerned. The 400lb battery in the middle would probably help, but RWD would still be a deal breaker for me.


  17. 17
    Jim in PA

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:14 am)

    Traction Control is a must. Living in western PA with snow and very very steep hills, I can personally attest to the fact that some of us consider it a necessity. Without it, you literally can’t get up some hills. (Folks, I’m talking about streets where the adjacent sidewalk is actually stairs). Plus, that low central center of gravity created by the battery takes the center of gravity off of the front wheels (although having that range extending engine still under the hood may minimize the weight distribution problem). That probably makes for poorer hill climbing in slippery weather, no? That may be the problem with the electric Mini. Where is the battery? Where is the center of gravity?


  18. 18
    Jim in PA

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:17 am)

    Shudder. I just had a terrible thought regarding the law of unintended consequences and electric cars. What if eliminating engines and replacing them with centrally-located batteries moves a car’s center of gravity so far off the front wheels that FWD becomes less reliable on slippery roads? Are we looking at a return to the 1970s, where everyone had bags of sand and cinder blocks in their trunk from traction (but now we’ll need them under our hood for FWD vehicles)?


  19. 19
    Jim in PA

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:19 am)

    omnimoeish: obviously the Volt will perform better with it’s much better weight distribution, probably equivalent to a normal FWD vehicle, but it would probably still be a good idea to go for snow tires I’m sure for those who deal with snow and ice (I’m not one of them).

    Doesn’t the Volt come with special low-resistance tires for maximum mileage? I wonder how those perform in the snow. I am reassured by the fact that the car is being maufactured by a company headquartered in a very snowy cold state.


  20. 20
    jeff j

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeff j
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:21 am)

    Down to 55 miles WOW ! 45% loss of range , I can see a lot of happy tow truck drivers and a increase number of AAA Gold members ! I am looking forward to see if the range goes back to normal when the weather warms up ! Your real world test of the elec. mini shows us the need for the Volt platform . I can surmise that alot of MIni drivers that are completely pissed off that there $500 dollar month car can’t get them to work and back with out a tow !!


  21. 21
    BillR

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BillR
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:31 am)

    jeff j:
    Down to 55 miles WOW ! 45% loss of range , I can see a lot of happytow truck drivers and a increase number of AAA Gold members ! I amlooking forward to see if the range goes back to normal when theweather warms up ! Your real world test of the elec. mini shows us theneed for the Volt platform . I can surmise that alot of MIni driversthat are completely pissed off that there $500 dollar month car can’tget them to work and back with out a tow !!  

    I thought it was more like $850 per month. Maybe Lyle can verify.


  22. 22
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:46 am)

    Jim in PA: Doesn’t the Volt come with special low-resistance tires for maximum mileage? I wonder how those perform in the snow.

    Recently had my wife’s car in for front alignment. While there I asked the tire shop owner about low rolling resistance tires. He said they are like any other tire. Some better than others. He recommends the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max. He said it scores a performance grade average of “B”.

    http://www.automobilemag.com/green/news/0904_goodyear_assurance_fuel_max_tires/index.html

    =D~


  23. 23
    joe obrien

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    joe obrien
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:49 am)

    Isn’t the volt battery in a controlled environment? kept from freezing?


  24. 24
    BobS

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BobS
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:57 am)

    omnimoeish: The first gen Volts MIGHT suffer slightly in the cold depending on the circumstances of where you charge it etc., but I wonder if GM’s solid state batteries to be used in future gen versions will remedy this issue even further.

    “GM’s Solid State batteries”? Where did you hear about these? Are you referring to an EEStor-type devise?


  25. 25
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:59 am)

    I’d say Lyle’s experience is about what should be expected in winter conditions, at least as far as EV range is concerned. It is entirely consistent with the EV-1 experience.

    Apart from the battery, in cold weather the air is denser, tires stick to the road more, and there are more losses in the car parts. As john as mentioned, he doesn’t get the same MPG in winter in his Prius as he does during warmer months, and for the same reasons EVs will have a shorter range. A 20% hit would be a good guess since that’s about what drives of ICE vehicles experience.


  26. 26
    CorvetteGuy

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CorvetteGuy
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:00 am)

    We have no such problems here in CA.
    No wonder the VOLT is showing up here first.

    For everyone else, don’t worry!
    EEStor will magically cure this problem. :)

    And today’s BEST news?
    2009 will be over in 3.5 days!
    This year sucked for car sales.
    Thank the maker it is almost over!


  27. 27
    Exp_EngTech

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:03 am)

    Please consider the following from…..

    http://www.onelectriccars.com/category/bmw/mini-e/

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

    More details:
    Lithium pack maximum capacity 35kWh.
    Nominal 380 Volts to motor.
    Contains 5,088 cells grouped into 48 modules.

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

    5,088 cells ….. important info.

    Does anyone have any futher details on the cell chemistry ?

    These can’t be “automotive grade” prismatic cells. Very likely they’re the same cylindrical format, consumer grade, hand soldered cells used in the Tesla.

    We need to see some tech details on the cells used in the MINI E.


  28. 28
    Schmeltz

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Schmeltz
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:05 am)

    Jim in PA: Traction Control is a must. Living in western PA with snow and very very steep hills, I can personally attest to the fact that some of us consider it a necessity. Without it, you literally can’t get up some hills.

    Hi Jim! From what you are saying, it sounds like you are from Tag’s territory. Maybe you two could approach the same Chevy dealer and get a volume discount–lol.


  29. 29
    Ray

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Ray
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:09 am)

    Lyle.. update on Cold weather affecting my 2010 Fusion Hybrid…

    Here, in Central Alberta Canada, the temperature has be hanging around -15C to -36 C (0 F to -35 F) for most of December…. we did have a “heat wave” of -6 C for a couple of days and then back into the cold.

    The 2010 Fusion Hybrid does use the hybrid battery to start the car (no mechanical stater). I find that at -25 C. the ICE runs for about 7 – 8 minutes before the battery warms up enough to help out.

    There is a small temperature gauge for the battery that is white when cold, green when warm. After driving for a couple of minutes after warmup, the battery temperature gauge goes back to white and the engine will run while driving till the battery is warm again…(just a couple of minutes)

    In this cold weather it will do that 2 or 3 times until it is truly warmed up ( usually 15 – 20 minutes of normal driving)

    After that, the car performs almost the same as summer driving (electrically)..
    If you park some where for a couple of hours,,, the car is cold of course but does not take nearly as long for the battery to “warm up”.. It is just first thing in the morning. NO garage but I do have the block heater plugged in.

    Driving the Fusion in the icey and snowy conditions here (and there is lots of that) is a joy…. with its bigger stance, traction and stability controls, going anywhere is a breese… no problems what so ever.

    And the milage…. even with the ICE running more… I am still averaging just over 38 MPG Canadian (30 mpg US). Certainly a lot less than the summer driving but still impressive for a car this size.

    This is definetly a car that surpasses those “other” hybrids out there.


  30. 30
    omnimoeish

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    omnimoeish
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:10 am)

    BobS: “GM’s Solid State batteries”? Where did you hear about these? Are you referring to an EEStor-type devise?

    Not EEStor, one of the head engineers at GM indicated to Lyle they would be used in the 3rd gen I believe.

    Here’s some info about it.

    http://michiganwllz.com/2009/08/ann-arbor-company-developing-next-generation-of-electric-vehicle-battery-technology/

    Jim in PA:
    Doesn’t the Volt come with special low-resistance tires for maximum mileage?I wonder how those perform in the snow.I am reassured by the fact that the car is being maufactured by a company headquartered in a very snowy cold state.  

    Exactly, the stock tires would likely not be good for winter.

    kdawg:
    FWD w/an ICE engine up front should be no problem in the snow.If the Volt was RWD, I’d be concerned.The 400lb battery in the middle would probably help, but RWD would still be a deal breaker for me.  

    I was thinking the same thing, of course the Volt does have an ICE in the front, but in that future EV utopia where BEVs have 400 mile range and quick charge in 5 minutes, that may become an issue. Probably what will happen is the weight distribution can be manipulated by where they put the battery.

    Van: So just what is the weight distribution of the Volt?(60% front wheels, 40% rear wheels?)That should provide traction similar to other front wheel drive vehicles.The “low” gear software setting should provide the “gas” pedal with the ability to nudge the car along with a drive wheel speed of say 3 RPM.  

    I should think 60 Front, 40 Rear is about right.


  31. 31
    Lurker

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Lurker
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:12 am)

    So it looks like on the average in EV you get 75-80% of the range in spec?


  32. 32
    Hypermiler

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Hypermiler
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:23 am)

    Mini E uses AC Propulsion’s battery and drive system.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini_E#AC_Propulsion

    BMW will switch to Samsung battery with BMW 1-series EV and Megacity.


  33. 33
    Dave G

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave G
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:25 am)

    BillR: When it’s cold, the Volt’s ICE will start, providing electric power for the traction motor, and also using heat from the engine to heat the passenger compartment as well as the battery pack.

    If I remember correctly, the engine heat does not warm the battery, so the only way to heat the battery is electric.

    I also believe the battery warms itself somewhat after it gets going. In other words, the battery is not 100% efficient, and this energy loss appears in the form of heat. Since the Volt’s battery is liquid cooled, it may take advantage of this waste heat more than the MINI E pack in the winter.

    Engine coolant is available to heat the passenger cabin, so the cabin has 2 sources for heat.


  34. 34
    GSP

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    GSP
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:41 am)

    Winter tires are a good idea, and they are required by law in some European countries. These countries require “OEM recommended” winter tires and wheels to be used. Tesla Roadster owners in Europe had a fit when winter came, and Tesla did not have a winter tire recommendation. Driving their newly delivered Roadsters was illegal until Tesla came out with a winter tire recommendation!

    When I get my Volt, I will order a set of winter tires and wheels from TheTireRack.com. I’d recommend to Lyle to do the same for his mini-E, if he can adapt to the reduced range in the winter.

    With 244 miles ideal range (EPA combined cycle), the Roadster is suitable for winter use. However, the big OEMs are all coming out with 100 mile range, or less, EVs. I see many commenters saying that 100 miles is enough, but they are not considering the need for up to 200 miles ideal range to insure traveling 100 miles in winter conditions. Also, using most of the available range is not good for battery life, an important financial consideration.

    The range extender is an ideal solution for winter, and much more economical than a huge battery. Tesla Roadster owners need to budget $20,000-40,000 every 5 years for battery replacement. A four seat car will need an even bigger, more expensive, battery.

    GSP


  35. 35
    stuart22

    +5

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    stuart22
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:51 am)

    EV’s aren’t ready to be mass marketed now and won’t be until years have passed by. Why? Because they need a recharging infrastructure to make them realistically feasible for the average Joe and Jane to use, and that is many dollars and many years away from happening.

    I’ve said it long before here, but Nissan’s Leaf is going to be dead on arrival because it carries all the limitations of an EV because it is one. Even if relegated to ‘second car’ duty, at $25K it is simply too expensive to play such a limited role in most people’s lives.

    People don’t want to plunk down substantial $$ for something that is full of tradeoffs. However they will plunk down $$ for something that provides something more than they can get from others. The Volt is that, and I can’t wait for it to hit the road.


  36. 36
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:52 am)

    Jim in PA: Traction Control is a must. Living in western PA with snow and very very steep hills, I can personally attest to the fact that some of us consider it a necessity.Without it, you literally can’t get up some hills.(Folks, I’m talking about streets where the adjacent sidewalk is actually stairs).Plus, that low central center of gravity created by the battery takes the center of gravity off of the front wheels (although having that range extending engine still under the hood may minimize the weight distribution problem).That probably makes for poorer hill climbing in slippery weather, no?That may be the problem with the electric Mini.Where is the battery? Where is the center of gravity?  

    Steep streets seem to be the rule in western PA, rather than the exception. It’s often like that here in central PA too, but Calif has it’s share too (minus the snow). That “instant torque” looks like a double edged sword unless the traction control is able to handle it. Given that GM is testing the Volt in a wide variety of weather/road conditions, I hope all the adjustments are in place on day one.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  37. 37
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:00 am)

    stuart22: EV’s aren’t ready to be mass marketed now and won’t be until years have passed by. Why? Because they need a recharging infrastructure to make them realistically feasible for the average Joe and Jane to use, and that is many dollars and many years away from happening…

    It may be that BEV’s can find acceptance in the southern tier/warmer parts of the US, at least in states that are “pushing” the infrastructure. As the battery technology evolves parallel to the infrastructure implementation, they may be able to creep northward. I agree that this will take years, but it’s got to start somewhere.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  38. 38
    Tagamet

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:01 am)

    stuart22: People don’t want to plunk down substantial $$ for something that is full of tradeoffs. However they will plunk down $$ for something that provides something more than they can get from others. The Volt is that, and I can’t wait for it to hit the road.

    AMEN!
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  39. 39
    Schmeltz

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Schmeltz
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:07 am)

    Extreme cold and extreme heat are going to be problems for EV’s unless they are designed to handle these cases. If I recall correctly, GM is taking the approach of controlling the climate inside the battery packs of the Volts to keep it a “happy place”—otherwise the range suffers and the durability suffers. Is BMW taking this approach as well or are they just slapping a big battery in a car and wishing customers the best of luck? I suppose a company could sell EV’s without climate controlled battery packs, but they would need to figure in added battery capacity to maintain a claim of 100 mile range.

    It just seems the more I hear about this, I really think BMW has to do A LOT more homework on this car.


  40. 40
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:23 am)

    Exp_EngTech: We need to see some tech details on the cells used in the MINI E.

    Standard laptop batteries.


  41. 41
    RB

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    RB
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:23 am)

    With hard, narrow tires and a weight distribution more to the back, and low ground clearance, Volt may not be good in ice an snow either. I am thinking that Posawatz’s “traction control” is a good addition but applies power to the front two wheels only, that is, not 4-wheel system.

    Let’s hope that with Detroit area experience in their own lives, Volt engineers will have done better than one might expect. Maybe so. :)


  42. 42
    Exp_EngTech

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:27 am)

    ….Follow up to my #27 post….

    Regarding cell chemistries and operating temperature range, fellow techies out there like me might want to read this EnerDel related link……

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/12/enerdel-to-mark.html

    Though I’ve followed the Volt here since about day one of this web site, I’m really, really starting to “THINK” seriously about a BEV in my future.

    Why do you ask?

    http://green.autoblog.com/2009/12/23/report-think-gets-tax-abatement-deal-for-manufacturing-facility/

    It looks like the US “THINK” assembly site may well end up being in my backyard ! I live less than 10 miles from the most likely site. I attended the special meeting of the Elkhart County Council last Tuesday to give THINK (North America) Tax abatement. This was a preliminary vote. The final vote I believe is January 9th. I guess it’s possible that THINK may choose a Michigan site or one in Oregon but I seriously doubt it. This place has soooo much going for it. Including dozens of 220V breaker boxes already present around the perimeter of the parking areas! A high tech aluminum foundry (automotive supplier) within 2 miles of the site. EnerDel (THINK battery supplier and 31% owner) also is here in Indiana – down in Indianapolis (2 ½ hours by Interstate).

    Ironically, the site is about ½ mile south of the Michigan state line.

    I’m hopeful that THINK will pick this facility around mid January.
    I’d like to work for THINK or EnerDel.

    My fingers are crossed very hard.


  43. 43
    David

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    David
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:32 am)

    Jim in PA:

    Jim in PA:
    Doesn’t the Volt come with special low-resistance tires for maximum mileage?I wonder how those perform in the snow.I am reassured by the fact that the car is being maufactured by a company headquartered in a very snowy cold state.  

    perform in the snow

    For my part of the world (Wisconsin), I plan on swapping out to snow tires in the winter and just accepting the AER/gas mileage hit as the price I pay for greater safety.


  44. 44
    Loboc

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:36 am)

    Thanks for the real-world update Lyle.

    I hope some of you early Volt owners will give us a blog of your experience as well :) I will probably do one, but, I get bored easily. I could never be one to record the temperature and rain fall history, for example.


  45. 45
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:37 am)

    Is there such a thing as all-weather, low rolling resistance tires? That’s what I’d need.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  46. 46
    Electroman

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Electroman
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:42 am)

    This discussion underscores a point I tried to make several months ago – the ICE range extender has a very clear practical value in colder climates not just as a range extender but also as a heater. The ineffeciency of the ICE is mostly heat, but it not “waste” heat if it can be used to heat the cabin or batteries. This in turn means the batteries can be used for propoulsion and not for heating – further extending EV range. This is an area where the volt will shine in cooler real world conditions compared to pure plug ins like the Leaf.


  47. 47
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:46 am)

    Wow, I was just thinking about the effect of cold on the AER of the mild plugins. (g)
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  48. 48
    Tagamet

    +4

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:56 am)

    Given the topic of this thread, the transparency of GM during the Volt’s development is really paying off. We *know* that they have dealt with battery temperature issues related to a very wide range of ambient temperatures. Lacking that transparency, they’d be painted with the same brush as cars with a pile of laptop batteries.
    Although I think that the Volt will perform better in warmer climes, it’ll be fine in the cold too.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  49. 49
    JohnK

    +7

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:01 pm)

    Schmeltz: It just seems the more I hear about this, I really think BMW has to do A LOT more homework on this car.

    The more I think of it the more it seems like the EV1 was NOT a lesson lost — almost seems like GM has been continuously thinking of ways to solve those “difficulties” that were pointed out by the EV1. In that regard GM may be a lot further ahead than just 2 years. Other car companies can come out with products in 2 years, but they just won’t have solved as many issues as the Volt. Go for it, GM!


  50. 50
    Jim in PA

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim in PA
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:09 pm)

    kdawg: LOL, i wear shorts when its 50 out. Its interesting how everyone has a different concept of “cold”.

    LOL. This weekend it hit 40F in PA and my neighborhood was full of people washing their cars!


  51. 51
    Jaime

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jaime
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:14 pm)

    I haven’t driven in snow in years. I don’t know how you guys deal with living in cold locations!

    No thanks, I’ll stay in SoCal.


  52. 52
    JohnK

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:14 pm)

    Recently I suggested that shouldn’t it be possible to have an optional supplemental battery that would be the equivalent of a 5 gallon gas can. This could be left at home and brought to you by another family member when the emergency presents itself. Could also be brought to you by roadside services, with return guaranteed. Of course you could “put it in the trunk” for longer trips. Most likely then you would run out of charge because of false sense of security.


  53. 53
    Tagamet

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:18 pm)

    Jim in PA: kdawg: LOL, i wear shorts when its 50 out. Its interesting how everyone has a different concept of “cold”.

    LOL. This weekend it hit 40F in PA and my neighborhood was full of people washing their cars!

    Yeah, that was great T-shirt weather!
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  54. 54
    JohnK

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:18 pm)

    It was 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) last night (Detroit suburb) when I did a 12 mile walk/run, very pleasant. Some sidewalks had slick spots though.


  55. 55
    Tagamet

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:21 pm)

    Jaime: I haven’t driven in snow in years.I don’t know how you guys deal with living in cold locations!No thanks, I’ll stay in SoCal.  

    I think that it’s all what you get used to (or grow up with). I don’t know how you deal with all those earthquakes! At least PA isn’t in much danger of falling into the ocean.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  56. 56
    Texas

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Texas
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:22 pm)

    This is why old-style BEVs are going to have more than a hard time. I hope GM marketing executives are reading this and thinking up more ways to “help” customers pick the Volt.

    Until we have quick-charge and or swap capability and infrastructure for BEVs, they are only toys. The Volt and other plug-in vehicles are the great transition before advanced BEV systems are up and running.


  57. 57
    JohnK

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:22 pm)

    BTW, a friend did a bycicle ride this summer from Atlanta to Main. The hills in PA were definitely steeper than the roads through the rockie mountains (he did the rockies twice, once north to south, once west to east). Nothing like a grade of 18% in PA.


  58. 58
    Redeye

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Redeye
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:23 pm)

    Global Warming will be a big help. Soon the USA will be warm like CA and FL.
    What I heard anyway.


  59. 59
    CaptJackSparrow

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:26 pm)

    GSP: I see many commenters saying that 100 miles is enough, but they are not considering the need for up to 200 miles ideal range to insure traveling 100 miles in winter conditions. Also, using most of the available range is not good for battery life, an important financial consideration.

    For me a BEV is a vehicle for a purpose. Commute. Even if the Leaf got 60 miles out of the 100 it will still work for me. 25 miles is more than enough but I need to be able to go freeway. Range isn’t an issue if you use it for the purpose it’s for.

    As for the battery life, 70% SOC is max drain for most if not all Li batteries. All power electronics will take care of that. If it’s not good to drain taht losw, then why do mfgrs spec 80% to 70% SOC.? 70% get’s you the best use of the cells. Cycle count has gone from 3000 cycles @ 70% SOC to 5000 @ 70% SOC.
    Draining to Spec is perfectly fine. If you try and overprotect a batt pack by minimizing DOD then you just eliminated the advantages of what Li cells were designed for.

    Of course that’s JMHO.


  60. 60
    Noel Park

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:27 pm)

    Jim in PA: What if eliminating engines and replacing them with centrally-located batteries moves a car’s center of gravity so far off the front wheels that FWD becomes less reliable on slippery roads? Are we looking at a return to the 1970s, where everyone had bags of sand and cinder blocks in their trunk from traction (but now we’ll need them under our hood for FWD vehicles)?  

    9:17 am

    AWD. It’s gotta come. The beauty of the Volt is that you can just run a cable to the rear axle and power it with another motor. No transfer case/central differential needed. Or motors at the wheels, as so many have suggested here.

    We jut got back from Yosemite, one of the few times during the year when we need to drive on snow and ice. We can get by fine without awd in SoCal, but it would sure be a blessing in snow country.

    As to the range loss in cold weather, it’s a pain in the butt, but we are going to have to learn to deal with it if we’re going to get off imported oil. Dr. Dennis is just that much more of an earlier adopter/beta tester than the rest of us, so he’s going through the worst of the learning curve. What a guy!

    LJGTVWOTR!!


  61. 61
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:29 pm)

    Redeye: Global Warming will be a big help. Soon the USA will be warm like CA and FL.

    12:23 pm

    Unless you’re under water from the snow/ice melt, LOL.


  62. 62
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:38 pm)

    Tagamet: Yeah, that was great T-shirt weather!

    Get the neighbors wives out there for a wet T-Shirt in that weather!!!
    Then you’ll really know how cold it is!!!!!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!

    Back to my Kahlua n coffee……


  63. 63
    BillR

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BillR
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:40 pm)

    Dave G:

    BillR:When it’s cold, the Volt’s ICE will start, providing electric power forthe traction motor, and also using heat from the engine to heat thepassenger compartment as well as the battery pack.

    If I remember correctly, the engine heat does not warm the battery,so the only way to heat the battery is electric.
    I also believe the battery warms itself somewhat after it getsgoing. In other words, the battery is not 100% efficient, and thisenergy loss appears in the form of heat. Since the Volt’s battery isliquid cooled, it may take advantage of this waste heat more than theMINI E pack in the winter.
    Engine coolant is available to heat the passenger cabin, so the cabin has 2 sources for heat.  

    At VoltNation, we were told that the ICE and battery pack would share a common cooling system. That was 18 months ago, so maybe that has changed, but if not, coolant from the ICE could be circulated to the battery pack.


  64. 64
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:41 pm)

    Lurker: So it looks like on the average in EV you get 75-80% of the range in spec?

    From what I have been hearing it’s 80% warm weather and maybe 70% in cold for Li packs.

    So I guess if we apply those numbers to 40 we get…

    80% of 40 = 32 Miles AER
    70% of 40 = 28 Miles AER

    Remember, GM says “Up to 40…”.


  65. 65
    Evil Conservative

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Evil Conservative
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:43 pm)

    Jaime: I haven’t driven in snow in years. I don’t know how you guys deal with living in cold locations! No thanks, I’ll stay in SoCal.  (Quote)

    I love driving in Snow as it adds a bit of a challenge. Of course I have a 4×4 truck so even 14 inches is no problem. Driving on dry roads in warm climates is boring.:-) I do have a Trans Am for the summer when the roads are dry in Ohio, however.


  66. 66
    EVNow

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    EVNow
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:43 pm)


    A MINI E driver in New Jersey with an 85 mile commute found this out the hard way during a cold snap. “Towed! After only 87.8 miles…Sheesh!” he wrote in a blog post.

    This guy is really optimistic. What kind of a person does 85 miles commute daily anyway ? What he needs is not a BEV – he needs to rethink his lifestyle.


  67. 67
    CaptJackSparrow

    +3

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:46 pm)

    EVNow: he needs to rethink his lifestyle.

    Or his commuter car.


  68. 68
    Peder

    +2

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Peder
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:48 pm)

    Lyle,

    Mini-E #183 from the west coast, 8700 miles.

    Thanks for the good info.

    The batts in the Mini are air cooled as oppossed to liquid cooled. In the upcoming BMW Active E 1 series electric car they are using liquid cooling.

    Liquid cooling is superior in my view for handeling the extremes.

    Air cooling works great for temps in the moderate ranges of 40 degrees to 100 degrees but in my opinion based on experiance and other drivers input not so well higher or lower than that.

    With the liquid cooled they can prewarm or precool the batts and keep them at a happy temp.

    I was seeing a 10% loss in range in the mild winter here, and then my tire indicator light came on. All four of my tires had lower air pressure. Once inflated to spec my range increased back to normal. So check tire pressure if you have not already done so.

    It looks like the AC has a minimal drag on the range in the 5% area but the heater is a major drag in the 10%-20% range.

    As far as the batts losing range, IMO that is not an issue.

    Cheers
    peder


  69. 69
    pdt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    pdt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:49 pm)

    Dave G:
    If I remember correctly, the engine heat does not warm the battery,so the only way to heat the battery is electric.I also believe the battery warms itself somewhat after it gets going.In other words, the battery is not 100% efficient, and this energy loss appears in the form of heat.Since the Volt’s battery is liquid cooled, it may take advantage of this waste heat more than theMINI E pack in the winter.Engine coolant is available to heat the passenger cabin, so the cabin has 2 sources for heat.  

    This may be outdated information, but I specifically asked about the Volt using engine waste heat for heating the battery at Volt Nation and the answer was that engine waste heat would be used. I remember at some point after that one of the Volt engineers talking about the large number of heat exchangers on the Volt, that’s probably one of them.


  70. 70
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (12:51 pm)

    Peder: Cheers
    peder

    Hey, thanks for the info bro!!!!


  71. 71
    Van

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Van
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (1:06 pm)

    I remember an article with a picture of various sized electric water pumps, one for the loop cooling the ICE, one for the loop cooling the battery. So the waste heat from the ICE could heat the coolant above ambient, and the the battery coolant loop would heat the battery with waste heat.


  72. 72
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (1:17 pm)

    Shoving off for a movie with the family. BBL.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  73. 73
    Loboc

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (1:29 pm)

    JohnK: optional supplemental battery that would be the equivalent of a 5 gallon gas can

    The size of this battery with the energy density of 5 gallons of gas would be enormous! I don’t think you need one THAT big.

    Just back of the napkin:
    8KWh = about 40 miles = about one gallon (Current Volt/Cruze specs)
    You would need a battery FIVE TIMES the size of the Volt’s or 1200 pounds to equal 5 gallons of gas equivalent. (using 50% of the battery’s capacity).


  74. 74
    Loboc

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (1:52 pm)

    Texas: This is why old-style BEVs are going to have more than a hard time. I hope GM marketing executives are reading this and thinking up more ways to “help” customers pick the Volt.
    Until we have quick-charge and or swap capability and infrastructure for BEVs, they are only toys. The Volt and other plug-in vehicles are the great transition before advanced BEV systems are up and running.  

    Lol. BEVs are ‘old-style’ now? :)

    Current BEV designs available the time of the Volt (like Leaf) would be a perfect second car for me. My wife drives less than 25 miles PER WEEK!.

    Too bad all BEVs look like an electric or ‘different’ car. Give me one that has 4 doors that looks like a Malibu (or Taurus or 200C or Volt) and it’s a real possibility.

    I’m still thinking I can convert her Dodge Intrepid to electric. She really likes that car. Yeah, it gets cold sometimes in North Texas, but, the daytime average for this time of year is 53 degrees F. My problem will be the batteries cooking during the summer months.


  75. 75
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (1:59 pm)

    Exp_EngTech: ….A high tech aluminum foundry (automotive supplier) within 2 miles of the site. .  (Quote)

    Are you talking about Elkhart Brass? I’ve installed equipment there. Or Bremen… which i’ve also worked at.


  76. 76
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (2:06 pm)

    JohnK: Recently I suggested that shouldn’t it be possible to have an optional supplemental battery that would be the equivalent of a 5 gallon gas can. This could be left at home and brought to you by another family member when the emergency presents itself. Could also be brought to you by roadside services, with return guaranteed. Of course you could “put it in the trunk” for longer trips. Most likely then you would run out of charge because of false sense of security.  (Quote)

    That would be an expensive gas can. Just sayin…


  77. 77
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (2:10 pm)

    Redeye: Global Warming will be a big help. Soon the USA will be warm like CA and FL.What I heard anyway.  (Quote)

    Aren’t CA & FL part of the USA? We had a very cold summer in Michigan this year. I’m hoping the winter is mild and not the crazy snow we’ve had the last 2 years.


  78. [...] Performance in Cold and Ice is Not Good December 28th, 2009 | Posted in: BEV From GM-Volt.com: http://gm-volt.com/2009/12/28/mini-e…e-is-not-good/ Recent snowfall gave me a chance to experience driving the MINI E electric car in snow and ice [...]


  79. 79
    Lars Hastrup - Denmark

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Lars Hastrup - Denmark
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (3:03 pm)

    That was a long drive – here in Denmark electric C1´s were tested the other day – they both only drove 10 miles !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=da&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fmsnmand.dk%2Farticle%2F36035&sl=da&tl=en


  80. 80
    Steel

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Steel
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (3:05 pm)

    I agree 100%. AWD. 50/50 wieght. 4-wheel regen braking…
    Would 2x 100 hp motors really be much more expensive than 1x 150hp? Probably, but AWD typically commands a 2,000 premium on ICE cars…. And electric AWD could be programmed superior in all ways I think


  81. 81
    LauraM

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LauraM
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (3:21 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: We have no such problems here in CA.
    No wonder the VOLT is showing up here first.

    I agree. GM wants the best reports on the Volt they can manage. They don’t want peoplet talking about how cold reducing the range. And, given the current lack of electric cars on the market, they’re more worried about competing wtih ICEs than than BEVs. At least for now.


  82. 82
    Herm

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (3:30 pm)

    Steel: I agree 100%. AWD. 50/50 wieght. 4-wheel regen braking…
    Would 2x 100 hp motors really be much more expensive than 1x 150hp? Probably, but AWD typically commands a 2,000 premium on ICE cars…. And electric AWD could be programmed superior in all ways I think  

    Guessing an additional motor, differential and inverter would probably add $6k to the cost.. the rear suspension would have to be changed radically also.


  83. 83
    Herm

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (3:36 pm)

    Van: I remember an article with a picture of various sized electric water pumps, one for the loop cooling the ICE, one for the loop cooling the battery. So the waste heat from the ICE could heat the coolant above ambient, and the the battery coolant loop would heat the battery with waste heat.  

    You would need a heat exchanger between the two loops, since you dont want to run 200 deg F coolant past the batteries.. adding more things to go wrong 10 years down the road.. keep warming up the batteries using electric heaters please… what the heck, give up a few miles of range and heat up the cabin with electric heat also, in addition to the heat pump and the heated seats.


  84. 84
    Exp_EngTech

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (3:51 pm)

    #75 kdawg wrote:
    “Are you talking about Elkhart Brass?”

    No….
    Diversified Machine Inc. (Bristol, Indiana site)
    http://www.divmi.com
    This is in the northeast corner of Elkhart County.

    kdawg…
    Where are you located ?


  85. 85
    kdawg

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    kdawg
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (4:14 pm)

    Exp_EngTech: kdawg…Where are you located ?  (Quote)

    In Michigan, about an hour from Detroit


  86. 86
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (6:03 pm)

    Jim in PA: This weekend it hit 40F in PA and my neighborhood was full of people washing their cars!

    Where I am it was 60 yesterday and some people were wearing mufflers.


  87. 87
    Pat

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Pat
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (6:08 pm)

    the EV revolution is here ..some locations in US, canada cold temps ..folks may go the hybrid route …still much better gas milage than regular ICE car …however, it seems that EV like Leaf with 100 miles range should be ideal for commuting to office & running errands..eagerly looking forward to Leaf introduction to the world …


  88. 88
    Exp_EngTech

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (6:11 pm)

    kdawg: In Michigan, about an hour from Detroit  (Quote)

    kdawg: Are you east or west of Interstate 69 ?

    I’m about 10 miles from the junction of US 131 and US 12 in Michigan (White Pigeon). The potential Indiana THINK site is just a few miles south from there. It’s about 1/2 mile south of the Indiana / Michigan border.


  89. 89
    iSlate2010

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    iSlate2010
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (6:16 pm)

    Nothing a warm blanket can’t solve. I am sure the Volt will have cold weather issues regardless of GM corporate speak.


  90. 90
    Mike

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mike
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (6:18 pm)

    Let’s not forget the ICE engines loose 4-5 MPG in cold weather as well, they also take a long time to warm the cabin.


  91. 91
    JohnK

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    JohnK
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (6:33 pm)

    Exp_EngTech: It’s about 1/2 mile south of the Indiana / Michigan border.

    Now what does that say about Michigan’s governor, who acts like Michigan government is the most business friendly thing there is?


  92. 92
    Nelson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Nelson
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (6:33 pm)

    Lyle,
    This was a very informative post. Could you find out from GM how the Volt would react on start up, after driving 40 miles and having been parked for 8 hours outdoors in 28 degree weather?
    Would the ICE come on at a high RPM to compensate for cold weather battery drain?
    Would the Volt require a few minutes of ICE run time to bring the battery back to 30% SOC?

    Thanks.

    NPNS!


  93. 93
    Exp_EngTech

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Exp_EngTech
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    JohnK: Now what does that say about Michigan’s governor, who acts like Michigan government is the most business friendly thing there is?  (Quote)

    Concerning jobs……

    Michigan’s Granholm has been and is a joke.
    I think the average Michigan resident understands that now.

    In contrast, Indiana’s Daniels is very pro business.
    It also helps that EnerDel is in Indianapolis.
    EnerDel recently took a 31% stake in THINK.
    Last but not least……Indiana is a “Right To Work” state.


  94. 94
    jeremy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeremy
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (6:59 pm)

    Didn’t someone say that the Volt would always run the ICE in cold weather if for nothing else than to keep the battery at the optimum temperature? This would reduce or eliminate the cold weather issues. Sure it’ll use a small amount of fuel, but babying the batteries on these early electric and hybrid cars seems like it should be a priority. All you need is for electric cars to get the reputation for being garbage in the winter. Especially with most of the US having to contend with at least a small period of winter weather every year.


  95. 95
    Dave K.

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dave K.
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (7:24 pm)

    Pat: eagerly looking forward to Leaf introduction to the world …

    I agree Pat 88… Nearly all of the hybrids on the road today work great in parking lots. Gliding along on electric power. It’s the 20mph-100mph range that needs filling.

    Throughout the past 3000 years up to just 100 years ago. Man’s main transportation was wooden cart with a beast to pull it. Exciting times in the making. What will we see in 2025?

    =D~


  96. 96
    CaptJackSparrow

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    CaptJackSparrow
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (7:29 pm)

    Dave K.: Throughout the past 3000 years up to just 100 years ago. Man’s main transportation was wooden cart with a beast to pull it. Exciting times in the making. What will we see in 2025?

    Well……
    After Dec21, 2012 it just might be back to a beast pulling a cart.
    :-P
    ————————————————————————————————————
    carbackfire.jpg


  97. 97
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (7:33 pm)

    #21

    BillR:
    I thought it was more like $850 per month.Maybe Lyle can verify.  

    The following article states a lease price of $820 but that article was printed before they were actually released; Lyle can verify what the lease cost him.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  98. 98
    solo

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    solo
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (7:33 pm)

    nuclearboy: The traction control should make the Volt perform decently in the snow. I wonder if you turn it off if you can feather the pedal to creep along without spinning the wheels.

    I’m not sure traction control will make any car perform dramatically better in low traction conditions. It doesn’t change the weight or balance of the vehicle. It just prevents the wheels from spinning (much). I have had traction control on 2 cars. The first was a 2000 Saturn LS with a v6 and front drive. It had 65% of its weight over the drive wheels. It was a breeze to drive in the snow and ice even with the traction control turned off.

    My 1998 Ford Crown Victoria is a different animal all together. It is much heaver than the Saturn but it is rear drive. Traction is so poor traction control does nothing to improve it’s performance. It literally will not move in certain conditions because it can’t hook up, even with 300 pounds of cop gear in the trunk. I have a sloped drive and last week we had a couple of inches of snow. Late at night a neighbor knocked on the door to tell me my car had slid down the drive and into the street (while in park). When I went out to move it, I couldn’t get up the hill of my street because the car would NOT hook up. I had to go around the block and get a good run at it, with the traction control fighting me all the way. I really think spinning the tires gets you better traction in some situations. Same for anti lock brakes. I can stop MUCH MUCH faster in the snow without them. Anybody who drives in the winter will attest to this. ABS and traction control are in many respects, overrated. They are popular because the public at large has such poor driving skills they completely panic and crash at the first hint of a skid.


  99. 99
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:03 pm)

    BillR:

    If you see this, many thanks for the awesome link at 8:03 pm on 12/24. The best Christmas greeting I have seen this year for sure. I put more of a comment at the end of the thread, but I suppose the world has moved on, and I just wanted to express my appreciation.

    We have a Jack Russell. Enuff said.


  100. 100
    LITEbru12

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LITEbru12
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:03 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow:
    Well……
    After Dec21,2012 it just might be back to a beast pulling a cart.
    ————————————————————————————————————
      

    Haha! Really funny on that pic.
    Why did you say Dec 21, 2012?


  101. 101
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:19 pm)

    #33

    Dave G: If I remember correctly, the engine heat does not warm the battery, so the only way to heat the battery is electric.

    This question and others have mentioned in this post have been answered in an interview with then line director Frank Weber in the following GM-Volt article:

    http://gm-volt.com/2009/01/05/chevy-volt-battery-temperature-control/

    “So the gas engine will then heat the coolant?
    It will propel the car and it will condition the battery. The moment you are running the engine you have the electric heater You don’t have to always keep it at 71 degrees F. Ideally that is the temperature you would like it because that is where you have the maximum power output of the battery and you have the best life expectations.
    running in the battery.”

    Also, GM has designed the system to condition the battery since lower temperature will effect effect power output and the life of the battery. ” You don’t have to always keep it at 71 degrees F. Ideally that is the temperature you would like it because that is where you have the maximum power output of the battery and you have the best life expectations.”

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  102. 102
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:49 pm)

    LITEbru12:
    Haha!Really funny on that pic.
    Why did you say Dec 21,2012?  

    That’s when the Aztec calendar ends.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  103. 103
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:56 pm)

    #35

    stuart22: EV’s aren’t ready to be mass marketed now and won’t be until years have passed by.Why?Because they need a recharging infrastructure to make them realistically feasible for the average Joe and Jane to use, and that is many dollars and many years away from happening.I’ve said it long before here, but Nissan’s Leaf is going to be dead on arrival because it carries all the limitations of an EV because it is one.Even if relegated to ’second car’ duty, at $25K it is simply too expensive to play such a limited role in most people’s lives.People don’t want to plunk down substantial $$ for something that is full of tradeoffs.However they will plunk down $$ for something that provides something more than they can get from others.The Volt is that, and I can’t wait for it to hit the road.  

    I disagree with you. If approximately 78% of the driving population drive 40 miles or less per day, the Nissan Leaf with its perported range of 100 miles is more than adequate for all those people. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for the Vote! But your argument doesn’t hold water if so many people never drive that further each day.

    In the five cities that Nissan will be introducing the Leaf, those cities have committed to installing infrastructure around the city. DOE has given them grants so that we will know what factors in building that infrastructure are important and maximize our investment in it. People who live close to those cities will be able to travel into the urban areas, go to work and back home, as well as stop along the way to shop. The DOE grant provides for 4,700 level 2 home chargers Not all of the 5,000 earlier users of the Leaf will have a home charger: there will be some people that do not own a home. These individuals will be able to use public charge stations.

    As for myself’ and my wife, we need a vehicle such as the Volt that is not limited to 100 mile range. But do not be deceived, there will be many people who will consider the Nissan Leaf.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  104. 104
    Herm

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Herm
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (8:57 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: This question and others have mentioned in this post have been answered in an interview with then line director Frank Weber in the following GM-Volt article:
    http://gm-volt.com/2009/01/05/chevy-volt-battery-temperature-control/

    Thanks for that link, it definitely clears things up. I guess some of you lucky folks that live in the hellish north will enjoy programming the Volt to turn the heater on 15 minutes before they drive off in the morning.. nice toasty warm car.


  105. 105
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:01 pm)

    LRGVProVolt:
    This question and others have mentioned in this post have been answered in an interview with then line director Frank Weber in the following GM-Volt article:http://gm-volt.com/2009/01/05/chevy-volt-battery-temperature-control/“So the gas engine will then heat the coolant?
    It will propel the car and it will condition the battery. The moment you are running the engine you have the electric heater You don’t have to always keep it at 71 degrees F. Ideally that is the temperature you would like it because that is where you have the maximum power output of the battery and you have the best life expectations.running in the battery.”Also, GM has designed the system to condition the battery since lower temperature will effect effect power output and the life of the battery. ” You don’t have to always keep it at 71 degrees F. Ideally that is the temperature you would like it because that is where you have the maximum power output of the battery and you have the best life expectations.”Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.  

    Another comment from a GM engineer stated the optimal condition of the battery was 77 degrees if I’m not mistaken.

    Perhaps what Mr. Webber was saying was that the discharging of the battery might have it heat up towards the 77 degrees at some point of depth-of-discharge, then, warm up a slight number of degrees further to tend to stay close to the 77 degrees at discharge midrange.

    That might imply an optimal **range** of operations between 71 degrees and something above the 77 degrees (to max out life expectancy) that I remember being stated in one of the live chats here.

    It’s really good that these different statements from GM experts get brought up by posters so that we can conceptually place these “pieces of the puzzle” in their correct places in order to learn how the Volt works. (Especially from all the different engineering requirements of the systems we talk about.)

    Speculative or not, the facts ultimately come out more and more clearly no matter what speculation initially gets tossed out here. And, the final true technical contexts are what finally count for our deeper understandings after all.

    Lots of fun here every day!

    That’s what makes this site
    ********
    * the*
    ********
    very best ever, it seems to me.


  106. 106
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:12 pm)

    #36

    Tagamet: Given that GM is testing the Volt in a wide variety of weather/road conditions, I hope all the adjustments are in place on day one.

    Tag,

    It won’t be long before we will be getting feedback on this point of concern. It will be enlightening to see how GM handles it. The Wikipedia sight makes this statement: “The brakes are electro-hydraulic, with “by-wire” activation and a normal fluid reservoir for antilock control and antiskid/traction control.” This may be an indication that fly-by-wire system will be able to control traction on slippery roads and allow good traction in snow without pedalling the throttle.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  107. 107
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:14 pm)

    Tagamet:
    That’s when the Aztec calendar ends.
    Happy New Year!
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Hey Tag,
    I remeber a PBS story on that. There was this big stone block that was their calendar. The problem with a big stone block being a calendar is that there are only so many sides to it (it has to end somewhere, duh/doh! lol). I remember that the calendar stone block was said to have been tipped over on the side. (As maybe it was wrong for the context of the people at that time for that society at that time, for the dry envirionmental conditionas at that time).

    Was there anything on the bottom of that stone calendar? Maybe that suggests that we can change the future by tipping over conventional ways of thinking **now**. (One of the things I work hardest to do, is to change conventional ways of thinking in order to solve unconventional/new kinds of (auto) problems.)

    Trying to solve new kinds of problems with old types of solutions for old types of problems will tend to end your effectiveness to solve new kinds of problems very quickly. Voltec will solve many kinds of twenty-first century problems, don’t you think?


  108. 108
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:23 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: It won’t be long before we will be getting feedback on this point of concern. It will be enlightening to see how GM handles it…

    Soon. :-)
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  109. 109
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:26 pm)

    #104

    Herm: Thanks for that link, it definitely clears things up.

    Your welcome Herm. Some misconceptions or pondering requires clarifying facts.

    Those lucky people up North definitely will be able to precondition the Volt on those cold days. My hope is that on the other side of the scale that the battery will be cooled down when subject to the extremely hot weather of the south.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  110. 110
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:30 pm)

    Dan Petit: …Trying to solve new kinds of problems with old types of solutions for old types of problems will tend to end your effectiveness to solve new kinds of problems very quickly. Voltec will solve many kinds of twenty-first century problems, don’t you think?

    Absolutely! Although sometimes old solutions can be used to fix new problems, too. IIRC, electric vehicles preceded ICE ones, so maybe we are headed for an old solution to a “new” problem(s).
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  111. 111
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:39 pm)

    #105

    Dan Petit: so that we can conceptually place these “pieces of the puzzle” in their correct places in order to learn how the Volt works. (Especially from all the different engineering requirements of the systems we talk about.)Lots of fun here every day!

    Wheeew! The comments are coming fast and furious!

    Dan, this is one site where we can make a differerence on the perceptions that people have of GM and there new current products. I hear of problems that owners of Toyota Prius vehicles have with headlights going out on dark roads and motors just stopping on highways and other problems that Toyota just can’t or won’t explain to those owners. Granted the Prius drivetrain is complex. Most Prius owners probably don’t know the HSD workings. We are fortunate that GM is so open about the Volt. It seems the more information we get the more questions need to be answered. And we are lucky that Lyle has given us this medium to share and learn together with GM engineers an management.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  112. 112
    omnimoeish

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    omnimoeish
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:43 pm)

    Exp_EngTech:
    Concerning jobs……Michigan’s Granholm has been and is a joke.
    I think the average Michigan resident understands that now.In contrast, Indiana’s Daniels is very pro business.
    It also helps that EnerDel is in Indianapolis.
    EnerDel recently took a 31% stake in THINK.
    Last but not least……Indiana is a “Right To Work” state.  

    Any right to work state will statistically have incredibly less unemployment. It would be interesting to compare blue state unemployment to red state unemployment, right to work and union friendly states. I can guarantee a striking correlation.


  113. 113
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:47 pm)

    LRGVProVolt:
    Your welcome Herm. Some misconceptions or pondering requires clarifying facts.Thise lucky people up North definitely will be able to precondition the Volt on those cold days. My hope is that on the other side of the scale that the battery will be cooled down when subject to the extemely hot weather of the south.Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.  

    Hey Lower Rio Grand Valley (Texas) Pro Volt
    You and me both regarding that hellish heat like we had last Summer!! Those poor auto servicing techs all over Austin were working in a living PURGATORY last Summer (God bless every one of them!), (and roasting me along with them).

    The Volt won’t have any problem with the temperature difference from 77 degrees in the morning when the battery is to be discharged for most drivers, toward that 105 degree mark at three in the afternoon for when the engine takes over to run the A/C anyway, since the battery itself will be doing its work most likely in the morning commute when the average morning Summertime temperature in Texas is right at that 77 degrees during the periods of our very hottest Summer.
    For us in Texas, Volt will not at all likely have a problem whatsoever, since we are discharging at a very nice morning temperature.

    The **ONLY** problem is likely **only** for way up NORTH, because when the battery likes a 71 to 77 degree temperature, and, Northern overnight temperatures are ONE HUNDRED OR SO DEGREES COLDER in Winter, then you have some *conditioning factors* to address, contantly.

    But in Texas, we will not have a problem at all, because the battery will have already done its job in the cool (**perfect ambient morning 77 degree temperatures** of the Texas ovenight lows) for its moring “work out”.

    It is likely the same story in Arizona, New Mexico, and all the other arid States, because overnight lows in dry air drop really fast, allowing for a very-Volt-friendly “morning workout” the next morning at 75 to 79 degrees. And, as we know here in Central and SouthTexas, our Winters are the most “Volt-friendly” as well.


  114. 114
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:47 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: …We are fortunate that GM is so open about the Volt…

    This (to me) is a *HUGE* decision by GM that has, and will continue to pay big dividends. Without that decision on their part, we’d all be largely in the dark. Instead, we’ve been able to literally follow the step-by-step growth of a bit of history. Thanks again to GM and to Lyle.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  115. 115
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:48 pm)

    #39

    Schmeltz: Extreme cold and extreme heat are going to be problems for EV’s unless they are designed to handle these cases.If I recall correctly, GM is taking the approach of controlling the climate inside the battery packs of the Volts to keep it a “happy place”—otherwise the range suffers and the durability suffers.Is BMW taking this approach as well or are they just slapping a big battery in a car and wishing customers the best of luck?I suppose a company could sell EV’s without climate controlled battery packs, but they would need to figure in added battery capacity to maintain a claim of 100 mile range.
    It just seems the more I hear about this, I really think BMW has to do A LOT more homework on this car.  

    Schmeltz,

    Nissan has provided for AC of the battery pack off of home AC while the battery is being charged. This indicates that they have taken the issue of optimum battery temperature into consideeration. How they go about controlling temperature while the vehicle is traveling, I do not know but will be following whatever information they make available on the Leaf.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  116. 116
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:53 pm)

    Dan Petit: It is likely the same story in Arizona, New Mexico, and all the other arid States, because overnight lows in dry air drop really fast, allowing for a very-Volt-friendly “morning workout” the next mornning at 75 to 79 degrees. And, as we know here in Central and SouthTexas, our Winters are the most “Volt-friendly” as well.

    Don’t Texans have to drive *home* during the hot part of the day? (G).
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  117. 117
    jeffhre

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    jeffhre
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:56 pm)

    Noel Park: We can get by fine without awd in SoCal, but it would sure be a blessing in snow country.

    CorvetteGuy: We have no such problems here in CA.

    Isn’t Donner Pass in California? ( http://www.artnet.com/Galleries/Artwork_Detail.asp?G=&gid=424079904&which=&ViewArtistBy=&aid=5355&wid=425900578&source=artist&rta=http://www.artnet.com )

    ( http://oneiguy.com/thistle/usa_work_tour_pictures.htm )


  118. 118
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (9:57 pm)

    Dan Petit: For us in Texas, Volt will not have a problem whatsoever, since we are discharging at a very nice morning temperature.

    I hope you are right. I do remember seeing a statement that the high temperatures of the south may be a problem that will effect the battery’s longevity. Hopefully GM engineers will have allowed for AC cooling off of the grid where an outlet is available while the car is parked. Does anyone have an answer about AC conditioning of the battery in hotter climates?

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  119. 119
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:04 pm)

    #116

    Tagamet: at 75 to 79 degrees

    Tag is right! Dan, in addition, we are about ten degrees hotter than Austin!

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  120. 120
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:11 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: #116

    Tagamet: at 75 to 79 degrees

    Tag is right! Dan, in addition, we are about ten degrees hotter than Austin!

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.

    HEY! *I* didn’t say that – it was a “quote”! LOL
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  121. 121
    Loboc

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Loboc
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:14 pm)

    solo: 2000 Saturn LS with a v6 and front drive. It had 65% of its weight over the drive wheels. It was a breeze to drive in the snow and ice even with the traction control turned off.

    My best ‘snow car’ was a ’70 Olds Toronado. FWD with a 455 V-8 and heavy chain-drive turbo-hydro transmission holding down the front end. That thing would out-drive a 4×4 in heavy snow. The wheels and tires weighed 60 lbs each! It was a tank. Nothing stopped it except a gas station.
    1970-Oldsmobile-Toronado_photo.aspx


  122. 122
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:17 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Don’t Texans have to drive *home* during the hot part of the day? (G).
    Happy New Year!
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Hey Tag,
    Yes, Texans have to drive home in the heat of the day, but don’t forget,
    *******************************
    *EVERYTHING*
    *******************************
    is bigger in Texas, and, the electric range
    *********
    *TO*
    *********
    work is far more distant for most people here too.
    For Texans, “around the block” is just fifty miles. (No kidding at all whatsoever).

    The discharge temperature of the battery for when returning home in the most hellish Texas afternoon can take into account that the internal battery temperature is initially somewhere around 80 degrees because the battery is insulated. It’s the temperature differential at time of discharge from the ideal operating temperature that counts. All batteries are more energetic at warmer temps than colder temps. It is far far easier to cut the ICE on for when the battery is depleted on a hot afternoon, and also to run the Air Conditioner, than for when the battery is very cold and the ICE is very cold (no pun intended (LOL)).

    Texas companies will go all out to populate 120 volt plugs anywhere there is a Volt-owning employee, just because that employee has a Volt, and, just for the “fun of it” to “LIVE VOLT”-educate all the other employees all about Volt. (And, for the boss to have bragging rights that they their firm provides power for a Volt employee as a company benefit (lol)).


  123. 123
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:23 pm)

    Dan Petit: Texas companies will go all out to populate 120 volt plugs anywhere there is a Volt-owning employee, just because that employee has a Volt, and, just for the “fun of it” to educate all the other employees all about Volt.

    I’ve *heard* that Texans need more education (g), but so do us Northerners!
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  124. 124
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:24 pm)

    Tagamet: Is there such a thing as all-weather, low rolling resistance tires? That’s what I’d need.
    Happy New Year!
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Found this link to lightly rolling tyres for SUV’s. Sounds like low rolling resistance tires to me:

    http://www.nokiantyres.com/release?id=11194365

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  125. 125
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:35 pm)

    LRGVProVolt:
    Found this link to lightly rolling tyres for SUV’s. Sounds like low rolling resistance tires to me:http://www.nokiantyres.com/release?id=11194365Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.  

    Thanks for the link, but I’d hesitate to buy tyres from a company that can’t even spell it correctly (g).
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  126. 126
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:35 pm)

    Dan Petit: Texas companies will go all out to populate 120 volt plugs anywhere there is a Volt-owning employee,

    Dan,

    LRGV must not be part of Texas if what you say is correct! ;)
    None- the-less Texas is pretty high up on the “Want List”

    We will no doubt not realize 40 AER because of the need to run AC. If you haven’t been down to the LRGV, I can understand your thinking that our high temperatures won’t be of concern. If you haven’t been down here, you are welcome to come and visit. Life here in the valley is a little lade back compared to Austin. Not so many social events or locations but beginning to pick up as time goes by. :)

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  127. 127
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:36 pm)

    Tagamet:
    I’ve *heard* that Texans need more education (g), but so do us Northerners!
    Happy New Year!
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    As long as ***ALL TECHNICAL EDUCATION** immediately answers direct “on hand” problems and immediately makes the audience happy (or relieved) to know the right answers for the problem right there right now.
    The sad thing about lots of so called technical education (esp. auto tech education), is that otherwise well-meaning (auto parts stores) actually cause more “normal function (endless design info) worthless wearing out” of all these hard working techs just because they are some “big corporate name” that has charmed the administrative/business owner.
    This is the site for the future Volt owner to learn about Volt.
    This is the site for the future Volt servicer to initially learn about Volt.

    You couldn’t be more right, Tag, that we all need more technical education. Sadly, here in the Great State of Texas, we have a Governor who is only obscessed with keeping in his job to usurp more power, than to allow for more technical education in schools for Texans to be available to attract major excellent firms like GM.
    Our Governor has a dentist that promotes creationism.
    Sorry, but the good Lord is not going to pop up in a service bay, go “ding” to an under technically educated person to “divine ‘the’ answers” to a set of three to four deep technical problems with any given vehicle. Texas needs a different Governor.


  128. 128
    Mini E range plummets as winter hits the northeast | cars burner

    -1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Mini E range plummets as winter hits the northeast | cars burner
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:37 pm)

    [...] friend Dr. Lyle Dennis of GM-Volt.com is one of 450 privateers in the regions of New York or Southern California who managed to get on [...]


  129. 129
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:46 pm)

    Dan Petit: This is the site for the future Volt owner to learn about Volt.
    This is the site for the future Volt servicer to initially learn about Volt.

    It’ll be interesting to see how GM goes about tech training in advance of the release. At least I *hope* we get some of Lyle’s fast-track info on the process. Time is running short to get all of the support services in place (but it may already be happening). I’m surprised that GM hasn’t emailed you already.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  130. 130
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:53 pm)

    #51

    Jaime: I haven’t driven in snow in years.I don’t know how you guys deal with living in cold locations!No thanks, I’ll stay in SoCal.  

    Jaime,

    Your post reminded me of the time I visited friends near Cincinnati, Ohio. around Thanks Giving Day. Going down there was no problem: but invariably the weather turned nasty on day going back home.Heading out on 75 going to Columbus, a truck would jackknife and tie up traffic. So what do you do? Get out the snow tires and change them!?! ;) I sware, the Ohio governor announced over the radio for every Ohioian to get out on the highway and cause a traffic jam just to get all those fly-by tourists into the local hotels and motels! Mind you, this happened more than once. LOL.

    Stay safe in SoCal. :)

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  131. 131
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (10:59 pm)

    Tagamet:
    It’ll be interesting to see how GM goes about tech training in advance of the release. At least I *hope* we get some of Lyle’s fast-track info on the process. Time is running short to get all of the support services in place (but it may already be happening). I’m surprised that GM hasn’t emailed you already.
    Happy New Year!
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Tag,
    Thank you very much for your kind comment.
    Shockingly, I do not use email. (My phone number is listed in the white pages along with my snail-mail address if anyone wants to call me or write to me. I’d be really happy to recieve regular mail!!).

    You also might be astonished to know that the Volt will be extremely easy for GM to teach all the GM techs. The Volt will also be astonishingly reliable given normal driving usage patterns.

    Why?

    When I first saw that open chassis design of the Volt several years ago, I was absolutely speechless because GM used all the most reliable GM hardware designs from down through all the decades.

    I can accurately represent this as an ASE-Examined Advanced L-1 Systems Educator with GM experience statistically represented in my work history, and, my educational materials publishing history (14 e-books in the ’80′s).

    America is going to go wild about Volt in about a year, just as we here are wild about it now. You’ll see.


  132. 132
    LRGVProVolt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:01 pm)

    #125

    Tagamet:
    Thanks for the link, but I’d hesitate to buy tyres from a company that can’t even spell it correctly (g).
    Happy New Year!
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    Which came first the chicken or the egg? Over in Europe they use the English spelling of the word. In the cause of good will, I used both. :)

    Be well my friend and stay warm by the fireplace.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  133. 133
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:02 pm)

    LRGVProVolt:
    Jaime,Your post reminded me of the time I visited friends near Cincinnati, Ohio. around Thanks Giving Day. Going down there was no problem: but invariably the weather turned nasty on day going back home.Heading out on 75 going to Columbus, a truck would jackknife and tie up traffic. So what do you do? Get out the snow tires and change them!?! I sware, the Ohio governor announced over the radio for every Ohioian to get out on the highway and cause a traffic jam just to get all those fly-by tourists into the local hotels and motels! Mind you, this happened more than once. LOL.Stay safe in SoCal.
    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.  

    Ohio governors are notorious for their collusion with their citizens’ efforts to fleece out-of-state tourists.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  134. 134
    canehdian

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    canehdian
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:05 pm)

    Loboc:

    JohnK: optional supplemental battery that would be the equivalent of a 5 gallon gas can

    The size of this battery with the energy density of 5 gallons of gas would be enormous! I don’t think you need one THAT big.

    Just back of the napkin:
    8KWh = about 40 miles = about one gallon (Current Volt/Cruze specs)
    You would need a battery FIVE TIMES the size of the Volt’s or 1200 pounds to equal 5 gallons of gas equivalent. (using 50% of the battery’s capacity).

    Err, I don’t think he meant LITERALLY a “5 gallon” equivalent.
    But rather it’s like having a 5 gallon can in the back – an emergency supply. Obviously you couldn’t hold 40 miles of charge that easily (with today’s tech, at least), but maybe a few miles’ range (5?) to get you somewhere to charge.


  135. 135
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:10 pm)

    LRGVProVolt:
    Which came first the chicken or the egg? Over in Europe they use the English spelling of the word. In the cause of good will, I used both.
    Be well my friend and stay warm by the fireplace.Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.  

    You should work at the UN.
    The high temp tomorrow is to be a balmy 20. Time to put away the shorts and get the long pants out.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  136. 136
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:13 pm)

    Dan Petit: America is going to go wild about Volt in about a year, just as we here are wild about it now. You’ll see.

    UNCONTESTED.
    And yes, I’m shocked and amazed that someone with your credentials does not have an email address!
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  137. 137
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:15 pm)

    canehdian:
    The size of this battery with the energy density of 5 gallons of gas would be enormous! I don’t think you need one THAT big.Just back of the napkin:
    8KWh = about 40 miles = about one gallon (Current Volt/Cruze specs)
    You would need a battery FIVE TIMES the size of the Volt’s or 1200 pounds to equal 5 gallons of gas equivalent. (using 50% of the battery’s capacity).
    Err, I don’t think he meant LITERALLY a “5 gallon” equivalent.
    But rather it’s like having a 5 gallon can in the back – an emergency supply. Obviously you couldn’t hold 40 miles of charge that easily (with today’s tech, at least), but maybe a few miles’ range (5?) to get you somewhere to charge.  

    Well said.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet

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


  138. 138
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:28 pm)

    Tagamet:
    UNCONTESTED.
    And yes, I’m shocked and amazed that someone with your credentials does not have an email address!
    Happy New Year!
    TagametLet’s Just Get The Volts’ Wheels On The Road!!**********NPNS   

    I had one for a year or so, and I realized that it wasn’t worth all the distractions, virus-management concerns, junk ads, attatchment filings, encumbering and time-consuming usurpations, email-return guilt trips, intellectual manipulations, and on and on.
    The only way I would start up email is if a company I was contracting with actually **paid** me for a contract, and, that would be the
    *********
    *only*
    ********
    party that would have an email address for me. That way, they would be assured of having my complete “due dilligence”. That is what I think email ought to be used for; only your contractor or employer. That’s one of several ways you stay in control of your intellectual properties. My friends and relatives use the phone.


  139. 139
    LRGVProVolt

    +1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    LRGVProVolt
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:31 pm)

    Lurker: So it looks like on the average in EV you get 75-80% of the range in spec?

    #64

    CaptJackSparrow:
    From what I have been hearing it’s 80% warm weather and maybe 70% in cold for Li packs.So I guess if we apply those numbers to 40 we get…80% of 40 = 32 Miles AER
    70% of 40 = 28 Miles AERRemember, GM says “Up to 40…”.  

    CaptJackSparrow,

    that’s 80% SOC in warm weather and the 70% doesn’t seem to relate to SOC. Remember that GM is using the middle of the battery 100% to %0 SOC; 80% down to 30%. In the colder weather, the batteries chemical reaction rate slows, thereby reducing power availability. This causes the battery to drain down faster. Newer technology has found ways to allow a normal chemical reaction at these lower temperatures and therefore doesn’t harm power output. An example is Altairnano Technologies battery.

    So 80% is 80% SOC = 40 AER which is based upon “16 kW·h of energy,[1][75] but will be restricted to use only 8.8 kW·h”
    But %70 = ? What is your understanding of how much power is lost to lower temperature?

    This problem, IMHO, has been addressed by GM engineering and should not be a problem in the Volt.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  140. 140
    Tagamet

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Tagamet
     Says

     

    Dec 28th, 2009 (11:38 pm)

    Dan Petit:
    I had one for a year or so, and I realized that it wasn’t worth all the distractions, virus-management concerns, junk ads, attatchment filings, encumbering and time-consuming usurpations, email-return guilt trips, intellectual manipulations, and on and on.The only way I would start up email is if a company I was contracting with actually **paid** me for a contract, and, that would be the
    *********
    *only*
    ********party that would have an email address for me.That way, they would be assured of having my complete “due dilligence”. That is what I think email ought to be used for;only your contractor or employer. That’s one of several ways you stay in control of your intellectual properties. My friends and relatives use the phone.  

    Fair enough.
    Happy New Year!
    Tagamet
    /Night all

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


  141. 141
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (12:37 am)

    omnimoeish: Any right to work state will statistically have incredibly less unemployment

    Income and education levels are certainly lower so the advantages are not necessarily obvious. Most likely we’re just looking at an inconsequential intervening variable, such as how agricultural the states are.

    As but one example, neither Alaska nor Hawaii is a right to work state. Alaska historically has had high wage rates and high unemployment. Hawaii historically has had low wage rates and low unemployment. The right to work states are generally low wage states, so they follow the Hawaii model. Unless of course you believe that unions are so terrific that they can permanently change the law of supply and demand. IOW, right to work states have the greatest potential for wind power, but somehow I don’t think that they have great potential for wind power because they are right to work states.

    Moreover, just eyeballing the numbers indicates that your claim for a strong correlation between right to work laws and unemployment doesn’t wash. Of those states with unemployment above the national 10% average, four are right to work states and five aren’t. Since only 22 states are right to work states and 38 are not, the right to work states are over-represented in the high unemployment states (ever so slightly of course).

    This is not my area but when people hold views that are easily debunked you invariably find a campaign designed to sell a preconceived narrative to all those willing to sell kool aid to all willing to drink. (BTW I’m not a fan of unions).


  142. 142
    DonC

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    DonC
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (12:51 am)

    Dan Petit: My friends and relatives use the phone.  

    Phone? You mean people call you? WOW! But not to worry, very few people use email either so you’re probably not missing out. It’s all about SMS and texting these days.

    This reminds me of how technology changes. A few years ago an exchange student looked at my stored LP collection and said: “I’ve heard of these, but I’ve never actually SEEN ONE before’” It was sooooooooo funny.


  143. 143
    carcus1

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    carcus1
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (12:58 am)

    ” At this point, after six months of driving, the car has just over 7700 miles.”
    __________

    So over 15,000 miles annually on a BEV. . sounds like you haven’t let the range anxiety hold you back too much.


  144. 144
    MINI E - Poor cold weather performance | Cars UK | UK Car News

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    MINI E - Poor cold weather performance | Cars UK | UK Car News
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (4:12 am)

    [...] GM Volt addthis_url = 'http%3A%2F%2Fwww.carsuk.net%2Fmini-e-poor-cold-weather-performance%2F'; [...]


  145. 145
    Pink Tie Guy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Pink Tie Guy
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (5:20 am)

    Gas backup will be required for a long time coming until electric only cars can stand the test of time….

    mikeinatl.: Lyle provides real-world proof that having an ICE generator and a tank of is a very good idea in an electric car. You just never know what might reduce your or lengthen your expected trip. Very few Volts will ever get towed back home to recharge. GO VOLT!  (Quote)


  146. 146
    El frío le sienta mal al Mini E eléctrico — Diariomotor

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    El frío le sienta mal al Mini E eléctrico — Diariomotor
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (9:05 am)

    [...] GM Volt | Autoblog En Diariomotor: Mini E | 500 mini eléctricos en California | Mini One,Cooper, [...]


  147. 147
    Dan Petit

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Dan Petit
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (9:29 am)

    DonC:
    Phone? You mean people call you? WOW! But not to worry, very few people use email either so you’re probably not missing out. It’s all about SMS and texting these days.This reminds me of how technology changes. A few years ago an exchange student looked at my stored LP collection and said: “I’ve heard of these, but I’ve never actually SEEN ONE before’” It was sooooooooo funny.  

    Phone is far more efficient to take care of matters in just one immediate conversation. What percent of people use email? Do you actually have a number on that one?

    This site is the only one worth texting from my perspective, because it represents an entirely wide array of various concerns about what is most important to people. (Off Topic interests if somehow connected to subject matter are also a measure of what is on people’s minds.)

    If anyone that posts here also works for GM, and can get permission from upper management, they are very welcome to look my number up in the white pages in Austin, Texas (on Europa Lane) and call me if there is a mutual interest of any kind. I’d like to talk to someone in authority at GM, I’d be really honored to have a conversation about anything useful to GM.


  148. 148
    El frío le sienta mal al Mini E eléctrico : Blogografia

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    El frío le sienta mal al Mini E eléctrico : Blogografia
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (10:20 am)

    [...] GM Volt | Autoblog En Diariomotor: Mini E | 500 mini eléctricos en California | Mini One,Cooper, [...]


  149. 149
    Noel Park

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Noel Park
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (11:17 am)

    jeffhre: Isn’t Donner Pass in California?

    9:56 pm

    Very cool link, no pun intended, of course! You will note that I added the mandatory “So” before the “Cal”. Even so, we do have Big Bear Lake and environs, where you can’t get around without chains or awd much of the winter. Also, we have Tejon Pass on the I-5 and Cajon Pass on the I-15, which get closed at the most inconvenient times when it snows up there. The low in the state has consistently been below zero in Bridgeport and thereabout for the last couple of weeks. So it’s an issue for CA as well.

    We were in Yosemite weekend before last, so we got a good reminder of what slipping around on the ice is like. Try it in an S-10 with no weight in the bed and an open rear end sometime. What a joke.

    My younger son lives in Sacramento. He went to Tahoe to snowboard a couple of weeks and ended up spun off of Highway 50 in a snowbank, LOL. No harm no foul though. Nobody hurt and no damage to the car that he could see.

    But here in LA we have the luxury of avoiding such inconveniences if we want to. Many of you don’t have that luxury, so we count ourselves lucky. Although we might trade it for cleaner air and less traffic some days.


  150. [...] with cold temps But this is the ultimate in poor journalism.. You can go to a blog post here and see that the range of 55 miles was quoted by one driver on one event. The owner also added 2 [...]


  151. 151
    rb

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    rb
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (2:35 pm)

    Lyle you need some of my TwistyBlltz MINI E long sleeve T’Shirts or a hoodie.


  152. 152
    BMW Mini E sees huge mileage drop in cold weather

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    BMW Mini E sees huge mileage drop in cold weather
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (2:38 pm)

    [...] Remember that time you left your phone in the car on a cold night when you went to dinner, and when you got back to it, the battery was nearly dead because it had gotten so cold? Yeah, that would be happening a lot if you had an electric car that didn’t take temperature into account. And so the testers of BMW Mini Es are finding out in cold weather: range seems to be reduced by half in 23° temperatures. [...]


  153. [...] [So&#117rc&#101: GM-Volt] [...]


  154. 154
    Jackson

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jackson
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (3:29 pm)

    Day late and a comment short, lol.

    Thank you, Lyle; I was pretty much expecting this result, which is why I’ve asked for this report so often.

    BEVs face some uphill challenges in the colder States. EREV will rule the roost for many more years than most people seem to think, even here. Prediction: BEV makers (particularly European ones, such as BMW) will offer gas-fired heaters, similar to the ones Volkswagen offered years ago, to try and mitigate some of these problems. At that point, the absurdity of the cold weather BEV with a fire on board will become obvious; and the value of burning fuel for electricity and heat will win out until the next major EV breakthrough is made.


  155. 155
    El Mini E no se lleva bien con el frío

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    El Mini E no se lleva bien con el frío
     Says

     

    Dec 29th, 2009 (4:20 pm)

    [...] Vía | GM Volt [...]


  156. [...] [Source: GM-Volt] [...]


  157. [...] tem sido problemático nos testes que estão a ser feitos com o Mini-E. Segundo algumas fontes do GM-Volt, embora nos últimos 6 meses não tenha havido grandes problemas com a condução do Mini [...]


  158. 158
    Fahrvergnugen Fanboy

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Fahrvergnugen Fanboy
     Says

     

    Dec 30th, 2009 (7:36 pm)

    Herm:
    Guessing an additional motor, differential and inverter would probably add $6k to the cost.. the rear suspension would have to be changed radically also.  

    For the Converj: Volt motors fore and aft, and maybe some Corvette pieces in the rear suspension…


  159. 159
    Darius

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Darius
     Says

     

    Dec 31st, 2009 (3:12 am)

    For me 23F quite normal temperature during winter season. What would happen in case 0 or minus temperatures?


  160. 160
    EVO

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    EVO
     Says

     

    Jan 1st, 2010 (3:56 pm)

    How sad that BMW doesn’t seem to take the potential of electric drive seriously or professionally. Properly engineered electric drive configurations can provide superior snow and ice performance, thanks to near linear acceleration and deceleration available, for drivers who know what they are doing (Lyle might consider some specialized ice racing training for FWD vehicles or start watching some Norwegian winter rallying videos) and how to use the different characteristics of electric drive positively, rather than negatively. I gather that the mini E has no decent automatic traction control, a topic touched on in earlier posts, for those who don’t have strong ELECTRIC driving skills from professional training?

    I just spent the last week using all electric drive in plenty of ice and snow and had no problems at all. My vehicle with the air cooled motor especially likes winter conditions.

    The biggest remaining challenges for electrics, other than smaller, cheaper, lighter, higher capacity energy carriers, increasingly appear to be good programming and figuring out optimal drivetrains configurations and management systems for a huge variety of conditions. Racing series will help develop the latter.


  161. 161
    EVO

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    EVO
     Says

     

    Jan 1st, 2010 (8:12 pm)

    On reflection, the title might be more accurate if it read “Summer tires are not the best for winter driving.”

    Duh.

    Millions of Priuses seem to do ok, for a front wheel drive small crossover, in winter driving, so long as you toss some decent mud and snow tires on and know how to drive in winter conditions, so why would any other electric drive vehicle be any different?


  162. 162
    Jim

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Jim
     Says

     

    Jan 2nd, 2010 (11:17 pm)

    Lyle, I am still getting over 100 mile range in Mini E # 458. If you can’t get 60 miles in the Mini E, you probably won’t get 20 electric miles in the Volt.

    If you want lessons in how to get range, look me up on the charger sharing list:

    http://www.waterway4.com/mini-e/

    You sound like you have turned into a battery basher. What gives? It is not a combustion powered car with tons of waste heat, and that is an advantage. But you have to dress reasonably and drive reasonably to get that advantage.

    And the snow driving comment is just plain ignorant if you can’t bother to get the free snow tires! In parts of Canada you can get a $300 fine for not getting snow tires!


  163. 163
    EVO

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    EVO
     Says

     

    Jan 5th, 2010 (3:58 am)

    Maybe this driver could give Lyle a winter driving lesson for a reasonable fee?

    http://www.teslamotors.com/roadtrip/2010/01/a-snowy-start-to-the-new-year/


  164. 164
    Cold weather performance of plug-in battery cars is poor

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Cold weather performance of plug-in battery cars is poor
     Says

     

    Jan 5th, 2010 (10:36 am)

    [...] is test driving the Mini E.  If the temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit, he says he gets about 75 to 80 miles of driving range during his commute which is mostly highway driving at 60 to 65 miles per [...]


  165. 165
    Matt

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Matt
     Says

     

    Jan 8th, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    Also note that an ICE engine gets poor economy is colder weather but that may be more due to the winter blend. Of course the winter blend can’t be avoided in winter.


  166. 166
    ken barbour

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    ken barbour
     Says

     

    Jan 17th, 2010 (1:13 am)

    I love how Lyle trashes the MINI E every time i read something here. Now for the real truth. I live in New Jersey where it also has been 23 degrees and we got 24 inches of snow recently. My MINI E has 15k miles on it and has never let me down. I rescued my parents who couldnt get their full size pickup down their driveway because of the 24 inches of snow. MINI offered me FREE snow tires and i havent got them yet. the car performed great without them. My range has went down some also. However I get 130-140 miles in the summer and im only getting 85-95 miles in the winter. Still way more range than i need. Chose whoever you wish to believe but i wouldnt believe the guy who is probably getting a free volt from chevy. BTW nothing against Chevrolet. My favorite car to drive other than my MINI E is my Corvette. Im just not a believer in a car that only goes 40 miles on electric when my MINI E has gone 140 miles.


  167. 167
    Category GM | Mini E range plummets as winter hits the northeast

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    Category GM | Mini E range plummets as winter hits the northeast
     Says

     

    Feb 25th, 2010 (12:50 am)

    [...] friend Dr. Lyle Dennis of GM-Volt.com is one of 450 privateers in the regions of New York or Southern California who managed to get on [...]


  168. 168
    EVO

     

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    EVO
     Says

     

    Feb 26th, 2010 (3:06 pm)

    The headline to this article is wrong. It should read range, not performance. Electric motor performance improves in cold weather.