Apr 13

Update: Chevy Volt is Meeting Electric Range and Charge-Sustaining MPG Goals

 

General Motors Executive Director Global Electrical Systems, Hybrids, Electric Vehicles And Batteries Micky Bly

[ad#post_ad]I had the chance to attend a Chevy Volt developmental update for the media. It was a brief web presentation followed by Q&A that was hosted by Mickey Bly, GM’s Executive Director Global Electrical Systems, Hybrids, Electric Vehicles And Batteries and Andrew Farah, Volt Chief Engineer.

As in every update I’ve attended since early 2007, the team once again stated the program is going extremely well and on track. Bly noted the whole process has not exactly been “a walk in the park,” but at this point the production infrastructure is “fully ready” and there are “no issues in the way” of a successful Volt launch in November.

Range Goals Met or Exceeded

Th team was questioned about whether the Volt prototypes are achieving their stated goal of 40 miles of pure electric range from a full charge. Farah replied that “things are going well.”   He said “we are regularly hitting our 40 mile target and exceeding it.”

He expects consumers too “will be able to do that depending on terrain and weather.” As an example, Farah spoke about his experience in one of the pre-production prototypes. “This weekend I got 41.5 and 42.5 cycles around town,” he said.

“I’m not speeding, I’m not taking it particularly easy either, because I’m driving the way I would normally drive,” he added.

He is “very confident the batteries are delivering the range they need to deliver,” though adds at this point there are “still some last minute tweaks and tunes on aero(dynamics)” the team is engaged in.

Farah did explain that consumers will experience about a 20% variability in electric range depending on three variables in the following order of importance:

“Driving aggressiveness is number one, terrain is number two, weather and temperature is number three,” he said.   Bly noted in cold weather a car consumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.

Nonetheless even if circumstances reduce range below 40 miles, the whole design of the range extender obviates any concerns or loss of consumer comfort and confidence.

“We’re always trying to provide that consistent experience,” said Farah. “Even if you get twenty percent less range you’ve got that range extender to fall back on,” he said.  ”So day to day you’re not inconvenienced.”

50 MPG Still on Target

For three years we’ve conjectured about what the Volt’s miles per gallon in charge sustaining mode will turn out to be.

The team was again asked this question. Farah explained the team is still using the original 2007 concept’s goal of 50 mpg, and for the first time provided a clue as to how it will turn out.

“I still use the target of 50 MPG as the bogey,” said Farah. “So far I haven’t been disappointed.”

He clarified that the 50 MPG target is unadjusted, and that the official number will be “released closer to production.”  Fuel tank size remains a secret, but the official spec at this point is 300 miles of range on a full tank of gas in charge sustaining mode, starting after the 40 miles of battery electric range.

It remains unclear as to how the EPA will officially rate the Volt’s fuel economy, and the controversial 230 mpg average fuel economy taking into account average combined electric and gas driving, remains unofficial.

“The 230 mpg number talked about a few months ago was based on some preliminary discussion with the EPA,” said Farah. “Those conversations have been continuing and have not yet come to a conclusion.”

See the very first Volt roll off the Detroit-Hamtramck line in the video below:

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 at 6:21 am and is filed under Engineering. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 368


  1. 1
    Rashiid Amul

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:30 am)

    50 mile MPG in CS.
    I love that. This is really going to help the car sell.
    40 in Electric Mode, 50 MPG.

    Hmmm. Let’s see what that gives us.
    Assuming a 6 gallon tank (I’m hoping for bigger)

    40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck.

    Still too low IMO. A ten gallon tank would provide 540.
    That is a good number.


  2. 2
    Baltimore17

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:31 am)

    “we are regularly hitting our 40 mile target and exceeding it.”

    A whole new game for hypermilers to compete at.

    “Driving aggressiveness is number one”

    Looks like I’ll be getting about 20 miles on the battery :-)


  3. 3
    Dave K.

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:33 am)

    All good news. If CS performance is over 42mpg then Voltec system is a homerun. Is it too late to have the “very first Volt roll” video fade to green?

    =D-Volt


  4. 4
    Neil Chapman

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:41 am)

    In the video, there are cars in front and behind the Volt. They don’t look like Volts. Does the same “line” produce different cars simultaneously?

    NC


  5. 5
    dano

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:42 am)

    You have to wonder if GM might be holding back, 50 miles on a charge would be sweet. Maybe this is wishful thinking.


  6. 6
    Joe

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:44 am)

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    Jean-Charles Jacquemin

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:45 am)

    Thanks Lyle, great info as usual and encouraging.

    JC NPNS


  8. 8
    250 volts

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:46 am)

    My sense of it is that GM will not disappoint us in the volts specs. I think we’ll be plesantly surprised


  9. 9
    Joe Cascarelli

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:48 am)

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  10. 10
    Rashiid Amul

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:50 am)

    Joe: Sad when u look at and compare this to a Prius 45+mpg and the Prius is half the price!  

    But I can’t go 40 mile on electric with the Prius.
    That is a huge difference when most people commute less than 40 miles.


  11. 11
    Randy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:50 am)

    Rashiid Amul: 50 mile MPG in CS.
    I love that.This is really going to help the car sell.
    40 in Electric Mode, 50 MPG.Hmmm.Let’s see what that gives us.
    Assuming a 6 gallon tank (I’m hoping for bigger)40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck.Still too low IMO.A ten gallon tank would provide 540.
    That is a good number.  

    GM has stated a large gas tank full of gas is very heavy to be dragging around 100% of the tme while possibly being actually used only a fraction of the time. 350 miles is plenty. THe extra weight of a 10 gallon tank full of gas will cut the electric range so its a weight issue.


  12. 12
    Rashiid Amul

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:58 am)

    Randy:
    GM has stated a large gas tank full of gas is very heavy to be dragging around 100% of the tme while possibly being actually used only a fraction of the time. 350 miles is plenty. THe extra weight of a 10 gallon tank full of gas will cut the electric range so its a weight issue.  

    Ya I get that. But I didn’t say I would keep it filled.
    On long trips I would though. :)


  13. 13
    Magilla

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:05 am)

    “I still use the target of 50 MPG as the bogey,” said Farah. “So far I haven’t been disappointed.”

    With 50 MPG CS, and a goal of 300 miles, sounds like a 6 gallon tank.

    This would be a step down from 510 mile range on my Nissan Altima Hybrid (driving at an average of 70 on the highway) but should be better in the long run with a few overnight charges thrown in.

    I drive 40 miles one way 3 days a week, 75 miles one way the other 2.


  14. 14
    Mark A

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:11 am)

    Why does the EPA need to come up with some BS MPG number? Why can’t it just be “40 miles electric, after that 50 mpg highway, 35 city, 40 combined” for example. Coming up with a single number of “230 mpg” is just downright misleading. If they need some kind of official EPA number for legal reasons then just keep it way down in the fine print.


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    mikeinatl.

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:12 am)

    Excellent news.
    After years of speculation, its great to have these goals for VOLT confirmed.

    40+ Electric range is achieveable in most instances.
    50 Miles per gallon is realistic for much of our driving.

    For most VOLT owners, gas mileage of well over 200 miles per gallon should be easily achieved,
    with no changes needed in America’s fueling infrastructure to make that happen.

    All in a very attractive car that will provide a “normal” driving experience
    for what is said be a post-rebate price under $30,000.

    This is the automotive version of the IPhone, a truely new paradigm.
    Like the IPhone, it will set new standards and the industry will race to immulate it.
    But unlike the IPhone, VOLTEC technology will most likely be very important to our country’s future security.

    VOLT has landed.
    That’s one small car for a car company, one giant leap for America.

    GO VOLT!


  16. 16
    Herm

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:12 am)

    I still think it would be neat if you could fill the tank completely with a 5 gallon can of gas.. pretty soon that will cost you $30 and thats plenty of $$ to fill up the tank.. I dont want no $60 bill.

    I wonder when the 60/80 club will start, for those careful Volt owners that get 60 miles of E range and 80mpg in the CS mode, and then you have the 80/100 club for the true gods among us.

    If a hypermiler can get 168mpg out of an Insight, what could they do with a Volt?


  17. 17
    Dorp

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:15 am)

    “Farah did explain that consumers will experience about a 20% variability in electric range depending on four variables in the following order of importance:

    “Driving aggressiveness is number one, terrain is number two, weather and terrain is number three,” he said. Bly noted in cold weather a car consumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.”

    What’s number four? Did I miss it?


  18. 18
    Martin

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:16 am)

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  19. 19
    Corum

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:21 am)

    I dont care about the size of the fuel tank, my job is 30 km far for my home. So 40 miles are enough for a day use. Maybe short on energy in winter, but I’m sure they’ll manage to improve battery life…
    Wait and see


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    Taser

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:24 am)

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    joe

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:28 am)

    Joe: Sad when u look at and compare this to a Prius 45+mpg and the Prius is half the price!  

    I own the name “Joe” on this site. I did not write the above blog. Whoever is using joe, please stop it.

    Now, here is my thought of the Volt. I think the Volt will make the Prius look bad in many ways and the Voltec system is the future. GM will be able to use the Voltec system in all other vehicles so it can meet the new EPA ratings.

    GO GM GO!


  22. 22
    Sheltonjr

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:29 am)

    I remember 2 years ago when we saw our first batter pack. We were so excited.

    Now look at the room full of battery packs in the picture above. There littered everywhere.


  23. 23
    Nick D

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:30 am)

    Joe: a Prius 45+mpg and the Prius is half the price!

    With a 0 Mile All Electric range…..

    I will use gasoline maybe once per week on the weekend. I can see myself filling the gas tank every other month or so. Do that with the Prius…


  24. 24
    Loboc

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:31 am)

    Rashiid Amul: 50 mile MPG in CS.
    I love that.This is really going to help the car sell.
    40 in Electric Mode, 50 MPG.Hmmm.Let’s see what that gives us.
    Assuming a 6 gallon tank (I’m hoping for bigger)40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck.Still too low IMO.A ten gallon tank would provide 540.
    That is a good number.  

    I doubt they would size the tank for 300 miles with zero reserve. I think it will be around 8 gallons for this reason alone.

    The best case would be a bladder tank that you could keep a couple gallons for emergencies and fill all the way for trips. (the bladder would keep the gas from sloshing around) It’d be counter-productive to haul around 10 gals (65lbs) of fuel if you hardly ever use it.


  25. 25
    Schmeltz

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:31 am)

    Lots of great news today…

    Approximately 40 miles AER.
    Approximately 50 mpg in charge sustaining mode.
    Expansion of the battery lab.
    Pre-production Volts rolling off the line at Detroit-Ham.
    Forecasting on-time November launch.

    Great job GM and great job Lyle!


  26. 26
    Brian

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:32 am)

    Not that I care a whole lot but, I have a hard time believing in CS mode the car will get 50mpg. Engineering 101 when you take one form of energy to make another there is always big losses. Taking an ICE to make electricity to drive electric motors is more efficient than afront wheel drive ICE directly coupled to the wheels the math just doesn’t work. I would put the CS mpg at 40-45 at best. That said the Volt is a great car the transparency GM has displayed in allowing us to watch its development has been alot fun. As soon as they become available in our area I will buy one


  27. 27
    statik

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:34 am)

    Neil Chapman: In the video, there are cars in front and behind the Volt. They don’t look like Volts. Does the same “line” produce different cars simultaneously?NC  (Quote)

    Those are ’10 Lucernes in front and back.

    112_0808_01z+2009_buick_lucerne+rear_three_quarters_view.jpg


  28. 28
    Dave G

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:34 am)

    Excellent news. Thanks Lyle!


  29. 29
    Dorp

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:35 am)

    Taser: Our chief weapon is surprise

    Very nice Monty Python reference. Thanks for the laugh.


  30. 30
    FME III

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:35 am)

    Neil Chapman: In the video, there are cars in front and behind the Volt. They don’t look like Volts. Does the same “line” produce different cars simultaneously?NC  (Quote)

    Yes, the same line builds three different models.


  31. 31
    BillR

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:39 am)

    If you want to listen to the entire podcast, it is available here. I listened to it and it is 55 minutes in length.

    http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/

    Besides the fact that the Volt is on schedule, is meeting the 40 mile AER range, should attain 50 mpg in CS mode; the other note of interest is that the Ampera IVers are currently being built in Warren, MI, I believe at the same facility where the Volt IVers were built.


  32. 32
    FME III

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:41 am)

    Joe Cascarelli: So, you guys have made a nice little town car for those who live in flat states south of the Mason-Dixon line. I live in Westcliffe CO at 7800 feet. One must drive over a pass with a 9% grade to get here from Pueblo. This year we had a very cold winter which lasts about 5 months. It was typically zero at first light and rose to the 20s by 3 PM. My guess is that you won’t sell many VOLTS here. But, I could be wrong. It is unlikely that any new power plants will be built in the near future. The good citizens of Colorado amended our constitution recently to demand that 20% of all electricity must come from renewables by 2020. Our governor wants the state assembly to up that to 30%. It looks like the cost of electricity will go up 50% to 65% in the next few years as utilities try to meet those goals.  (Quote)

    Adjust your dosage. No, the Volt is not for everyone. No single car is. But I’ll be there are plenty of folks in Colorado Springs who will find the Volt much more practical than a pure BEV for the very reason that they will not risk being stranded when severe cold reduces their electric range.


  33. 33
    Guido

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:42 am)

    50 MPG in charge-sustaining mode ! This just keeps getting better ! GO VOLT !


  34. 34
    tom w

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:43 am)

    Rashiid Amul: Still too low IMO. A ten gallon tank would provide 540.
    That is a good number

    The tank size is less important than in regular ICE cars simply because you charge it every night in your garage. With a regular ICE car you stop at gas station every 4-5 days. With the volt it would only be when you go out of town unless you have a long commute to work (in which case you need to find a way to charge it at work).

    A 10 gallon tank instead of a 6 gallon tank will just lead to people rarely stopping at the gas station. If average person fills their tank with 2 gallons left, they’d be filling up every time 8 gallons are used.

    A 6 gallon tank means the average person would fill it when there are 2 gallons left, so every 4 gallons of gas used would lead to another stop at a gas station.

    I would think 8 gallons would be the best compromise, but they may intentionally want folks to not have that gas sit in there for a long time. Not to mention less wait and cheaper tank that takes up less space.

    So to me 6-10 gallon tanks all work, there are tradeoffs and it is all good.

    Bigger issues are when will they be for sale in Ohio, and Utilities need to get the advanced meters installed on everyone’s home so we can have the cheaper overnight rates to charge our cars.

    And it would be nice if large employers have charging stations in their parking lots for folks with long commutes.


  35. 35
    Daniel

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:46 am)

    Rashiid Amul: 50 mile MPG in CS.I love that. This is really going to help the car sell.40 in Electric Mode, 50 MPG.Hmmm. Let’s see what that gives us.Assuming a 6 gallon tank (I’m hoping for bigger)40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck.Still too low IMO. A ten gallon tank would provide 540.That is a good number.  (Quote)

    Wouldn’t stopping at a gas station before running out of fuel be a better idea than calling a tow truck after having run out of fuel? Just throwing it out there.


  36. 36
    BillR

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:47 am)

    statik:
    Those are ‘10 Lucernes in front and back.  

    I have an ’09 Lucerne almost identical in color and wheel design to the one pictured. It is an incredibly smooth and quiet vehicle, and will get 30 mpg on the highway. After 18 months of ownership, the average fuel economy is 25 mpg.

    I have had one problem with a door handle (covered under the 4 yr, 50,000 mile warranty), otherwise, no issues or defects.


  37. 37
    Mark

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:47 am)

    “….a car consumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.”

    What? An ordinary car uses ZERO energy to keep it’s occupants warm, as heat, lots of it, is a byproduct of internal combustion. I was always under the impression that discharging large battery packs produces a lot of waste heat as well. Is this not the case?


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    Exp_EngTech

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:52 am)

    Nick D: With a 0 Mile All Electric range…..I will use gasoline maybe once per week on the weekend. I can see myself filling the gas tank every other month or so. Do that with the Prius…  (Quote)

    Now you’ve done it !
    Let the “Prius Troll Wars” Begin !

    265121_1_M.jpg


  39. 39
    Storm

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:56 am)

    Rashiid Amul: 40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck.

    Do you always call a towtruck when you run out of fuel???


  40. 40
    Ace Myers

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:59 am)

    (click to show comment)


  41. 41
    LRGVProVolt

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:04 am)

    #18 Martin: So all that talk about 230 (they even name the freaking website after it) was a crock?There’s a big difference between 50mpg and 230mpg.  

    Your right about a big difference between 50 mpg and 230mpg; the difference is that the 50 covers the millage when using only gasoline but the 230 covers the expected milage using electric mode and gasoline mode combined. It clear that you don’t understand what is going on between the two different modes.

    <b<Happy trails to you 'til we meet again.


  42. 42
    BillR

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:04 am)

    Mark: “….a carconsumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.”What?An ordinary car uses ZERO energy to keep it’s occupants warm, as heat, lots of it, is a byproduct of internal combustion.I was always under the impression that discharging large battery packs produces a lot of waste heat as well.Is this not the case?  

    If I remember correctly, this comment was made regarding operation on a cold day. No mention was made regarding the driving speed, or if heat was available from the battery pack.

    So on a 32 F morning when first getting in the Volt, all 4 occupants turn on their seat heaters to full power. In city driving at 30 mph, the Volt may only need 4 kW of power to propel the car. If all 4 seats are heated, and they are at full power, this too could consume 4 kW.

    But I don’t believe specifics were given for this scenario.


  43. 43
    Dan Petit

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:05 am)

    Mark: “….a carconsumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.”What?An ordinary car uses ZERO energy to keep it’s occupants warm, as heat, lots of it, is a byproduct of internal combustion.I was always under the impression that discharging large battery packs produces a lot of waste heat as well.Is this not the case?  

    The battery is so efficient, and, the motor is so efficient, that not much heat is produced at all.

    There are so many efficiencies that GM has gained with electrification, and, when you add all of that up, you can realize two things that have been happening, especially for the last 100 years of automotive mass production;

    1. That fossil energy is so cheap and concentrated, waste heat had always been there to throw away.

    2. That huge abundance of cheap, concentrated fossil energy that has been around since James Watt invented the (coal fired) steam engine (~1751), that, more and more climatologists have defined our new climate period of the last 200 years, as the Anthropocene.


  44. 44
    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:06 am)

    The Prius is not half as much. Go to a dealer and pricew one. I did and it damn near 30K. With the 7.5K rebate the Volt will be near the same price. I like the Prius as I rented one in Vegas and used less than a tank of gas in a week. BUT it is no Volt. I currently get 60 MPG with my 06 Honda Insight but it is no Volt. I cannot wait for my trip to Michigan as soon as I am notified my Volt has been delivered.

    Take Care,

    TED


  45. 45
    BLDude

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:06 am)

    Its funny how in the above video no one there watching gives a rip about the car coming off the line directly in front of the first Volt coming off the line. They know who the big dawg is!


  46. 46
    LRGVProVolt

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:08 am)

    #40 Ace Myers: Yeah… Prius goes 0 miles electric only.Volt goes zero miles ever as you can’t buy one if I’m chebby I’m pretty much scared out of my mind as to what will bring to market next.Japan KNOWS what north america is working on… it just doesn’t work the other way… I wonder what version II of the volt will be.. a re-volt i guess? Anyway..hope this car actually gets released and does what it’s supposed to…. because at the moment GM has nothing close to Prius technology on the road.  

    Your hopes are being fulfilled as we speak! And right on nothing close to Prius with its recent problems! It will be a long time before Toyota brings anything close to the Volt to market.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  47. 47
    BLDude

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:11 am)

    Joe Cascarelli: So, you guys have made a nice little town car for those who live in flat states south of the Mason-Dixon line. I live in Westcliffe CO at 7800 feet. One must drive over a pass with a 9% grade to get here from Pueblo. This year we had a very cold winter which lasts about 5 months. It was typically zero at first light and rose to the 20s by 3 PM. My guess is that you won’t sell many VOLTS here. But, I could be wrong.
    It is unlikely that any new power plants will be built in the near future. The good citizens of Colorado amended our constitution recently to demand that 20% of all electricity must come from renewables by 2020. Our governor wants the state assembly to up that to 30%. It looks like the cost of electricity will go up 50% to 65% in the next few years as utilities try to meet those goals.  

    I live in Iowa and we already get 20% of our electricity by renewables: wind generated power. More wind power capacity is being added each year. If Iowa can get there, Colorado easily can with all the windy high plains in the eastern half of Colorado.


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    Dan

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:12 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Jim in PA

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:12 am)

    Joe Cascarelli: My guess is that you won’t sell many VOLTS here. But, I could be wrong.

    Yup. And they don’t sell many Silverados in Boston, NYC, Philly, DC, Baltimore, LA, San Francisco, Hawaii…… That’s why a car company offers a wide portfolio of vehicles. Nothing wrong with that.


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    Herm

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:15 am)

    Dorp:
    17 Dorp Says
    Farah did explain that consumers will experience about a 20% variability in electric range depending on four variables in the following order of importance:
    “Driving aggressiveness is number one, terrain is number two, weather and terrain is number three,” he said. Bly noted in cold weather a car consumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.”
    What’s number four? Did I miss it?  

    Number 4 is speed, blast along the hwy at 80mph and expect your range to drop in half.


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    BLDude

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:17 am)

    Herm: I still think it would be neat if you could fill the tank completely with a 5 gallon can of gas.. pretty soon that will cost you $30 and thats plenty of $$ to fill up the tank.. I dont want no $60 bill.I wonder when the 60/80 club will start, for those careful Volt owners that get 60 miles of E range and 80mpg in the CS mode, and then you have the 80/100 club for the true gods among us.If a hypermiler can get 168mpg out of an Insight, what could they do with a Volt?  

    If you want a 5 gallon tank on your Chevy Volt then when you go to get gas, never put more than 5 gallons in it. I believe some story published here some months ago described the gas “tank” as actually being a bladder that would reduce the amount of empty air space in the gas tank. So think of the Chevy Volt allowing you to customize -up to a point – the size of your own gas tank.


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    carcus1

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:20 am)

    I have been estimating 30 to 35 mpg in CS mode for quite a while now. If GM’s really getting 50 mpg then that’s great.

    However, I’ll hold off on concession and congratulations until the results are proven under 2008 epa testing standards.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/ratings2008.shtml


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    Anthony

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:21 am)

    I’d presume the tank wont be 6 gallons even, probably 6.5-6.7 gal to allow for 300 miles plus a little gas left in the tank. From what I understand most American cars have a somewhat large margin on their gas tanks, even when it says E its still got a gallon or so left (though I’d never know, I always fill up with 1/4 of a tank left).


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    Dan Petit

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:23 am)

    BillR:
    If I remember correctly, this comment was made regarding operation on a cold day.No mention was made regarding the driving speed, or if heat was available from the battery pack.So on a 32 F morning when first getting in the Volt, all 4 occupants turn on their seat heaters to full power.In city driving at 30 mph, the Volt may only need 4 kW of power to propel the car.If all 4 seats are heated, and they are at full power, this too could consume 4 kW.But I don’t believe specifics were given for this scenario.  

    Hi BillR,

    Electric heating of seats will not take very much power at all, since the space between the heating element and your body is very close, and, heat will not be lost to the air. It may be possible for the seats to be pre-warmed even before you get into in on a frigid morning or for when you leave work in the late afternoon.
    Each seat, in my estimation, might take less than twenty watts at first, then fall off to about ten watts after the first five minutes. One great thing about resistance heating, is that your own body heat will help to increase the resistance of the elements, automatically reducing demand, and after you are comfortable, the power may reduce to nearly nothing.

    When I drove the Volt on March 13th, Saturday, the seat was so comfortable, I could not tell I was sitting down. That is how perfected GM has the ergonomics of the Volt.

    It really is so incredibly designed, anyone who drives it will be as astonished as I still am.


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    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:24 am)

    I have wanted an electric car since seeing the movie who killed the electric car. I August 2006 the only electric available fro a major car company (well there wasn’t one so I bought my last gas powered car.) My next car will be electric. That car in the video is beautiful. Thanks to the Americans we can be competitive again. Love you GM for giving us the Volt.

    Take Care,

    TED


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    Jim in PA

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:25 am)

    Dan: The ZENN car achieved these figurwes for the past 4 years too. The issue EVERYONE commented on about that car is the lack of driving distance on a battery. the 40 miles is nowhere near enough. ZENN has been promising a 200+miles range and is due out this fall. But I heard that one from them for nearly two years now.
    GM still has nothing to brag about yet.

    Not to point out the obvious, but the Volt drives like a 150 hp car with souped up torque, whereas the Zenn can hit 75 mph only in the vertical descent off a cliff. I’d qualify that as bragging rights.


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    Raymondjram

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:27 am)

    Most of those who have a job also has a parking space somewhere and might have a AC outlet nearby. If I recharge my car at work, I don’t have to recharge at home, and I could drive almost for free. and if all Volt buyers install solar panels and/or wind generators at their homes, we could all be traveling free, and lessen the oil dependency.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:31 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    But I can’t go 40 mile on electric with the Prius.
    That is a huge difference when most people commute less than 40 miles.  

    That makes ALL the difference. I have driven a Prius since early 2003 and I am hungry for all electric drive. I have to creep through my neighborhood to drive all electric today and I want more.


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    john

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:33 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    Ya I get that.But I didn’t say I would keep it filled.
    On long trips I would though.   

    Sitting in a car for 4-5 hours is plenty before I need to get out and stretch. For the maybe four times a year that you drive 300+ miles you are going to need this option?


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:34 am)

    Rashiid Amul: 40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck.
    Still too low IMO. A ten gallon tank would provide 540.
    That is a good number.

    This debate will never end. What is important is the “distance traveled between recharges”, and the average in my household is 30 miles per day… tops. Which is what the VOLT was designed for.

    Yes, there is the ‘occasional’ trip that we take to visit family or friends where the round trip is 80 miles. Maybe once or twice a month that happens. But 540 miles in 1 day? That’s almost Los Angeles to Phoenix. Talk about your tired butt at the end of the day!


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    BobS

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:34 am)

    Randy:
    GM has stated a large gas tank full of gas is very heavy to be dragging around 100% of the tme while possibly being actually used only a fraction of the time. 350 miles is plenty. THe extra weight of a 10 gallon tank full of gas will cut the electric range so its a weight issue.  

    If the gas tank has a bladder you would not have to fill it up. You could keep like 2 gallons in a 10 gallon bladder tank for city driving and fill it up to full capacity for an extended trip.


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    NZDavid

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:36 am)

    Nope, I run a diesel. When I run out I need a mechanic to get going again!

    Tends to focus the mind.

    I am really happy about this post. I truly believe that Volt is a winner at 50 MPG in CS mode.
    I regard 40+ as barely acceptable;
    45+ as OK, after all its all about the EV range;
    50+ We are talking leading edge here, the big money number.
    At 55+ we are talking about an out of the park “home run” IMHO.

    Storm:
    Do you always call a towtruck when you run out of fuel???  


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    john

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:37 am)

    Mark: “….a carconsumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.”What?An ordinary car uses ZERO energy to keep it’s occupants warm, as heat, lots of it, is a byproduct of internal combustion.I was always under the impression that discharging large battery packs produces a lot of waste heat as well.Is this not the case?  

    No, it the wires are sized right then resistance is low and the wires do not overheat.


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    NASA-Eng

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:40 am)

    Assume day for the Volt… I noticed that Bly asserted “in cold weather a car consumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.”

    It would be nice if GM offered an optioni to “power up” the cars heaters on a timer/alarm in the morning. I don’t think it would be a complicated addition to have the cars seats or internal heat come on at a set time before you go to work while the car is still plugged. It may not yield all that much battery range, but I think it would be easy to add via software plus I think a decent amount of consumers like those kinds of Techno Features in stuff we buy today.

    Go Volt


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    CDAVIS

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:43 am)

    _______________________________________________________________________
    From Lyle’s Article:
    “I still use the target of 50 MPG as the bogey,” said Farah. “So far I haven’t been disappointed.”
    _____________________________________

    The Volt achieving 40 miles AER & ~50MPG in RE would be a very BIG +1 score for GM.

    That means the average Volt driver would use NO gas 80% of the time and would be as fuel efficient as the Ford Fusion Hybrid (41 city / 36 hwy) or Toyota Prius (est 51city / 48 hwy) when the Volt occasionally is in RE mode. All this in a sporty fun-to-drive sedan with already excellent reviews.

    The Volt just might snatch the “Motor Trend Car of the Year” mantel away from the Ford Fusion.

    Sign me up!

    Side Note: The GM guys need to deep 6 that 230 mpg number… it’s fraught with folly.


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    Nick D

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:44 am)

    BLDude: I live in Iowa and we already get 20% of our electricity by renewables: wind generated power. More wind power capacity is being added each year. If Iowa can get there, Colorado easily can with all the windy high plains in the eastern half of Colorado.  (Quote)

    Is it not awesome driving down the highway and seeing the wind turbines all over in the cornfields! BTW when the first volt hits Iowa – best of luck – you will be fighting me and many others to get it!


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    Tom

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:45 am)

    I see a huge problem with the volt that will stop sales cold . With a 6 gal tank How will we get a free car wash !
    Tom


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:49 am)

    I would like to point out that having the smaller 6 gallon fuel tank has a strong psychological effect….. On the stinking Oil Shieks!!! That’s right, you parasites…! Cry like little girls!!! In 20 years, who’s going to give a rat’s about you?! We won’t! [insert sinister evil laughing here]


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    statik

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:00 am)

    BillR: I have an ‘09 Lucerne almost identical in color and wheel design to the one pictured. It is an incredibly smooth and quiet vehicle, and will get 30 mpg on the highway. After 18 months of ownership, the average fuel economy is 25 mpg.I have had one problem with a door handle (covered under the 4 yr, 50,000 mile warranty), otherwise, no issues or defects.  (Quote)

    Congratulations on your recent and/or upcoming retirement.

    (j/k…couldn’t resist)


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    Ralph

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:01 am)

    Ace Myers: Yeah… I’m pretty much scared out of my mind as to what Toyota will bring to market next.Japan KNOWS what north america is working on… it just doesn’t work the other way… …. because at the moment GM has nothing close to Prius technology on the road.  

    Actually we do know which direction Prius is heading.. They will have a plug in capability very soon.. to charge the batteries.. Also, it will run for a short distance purely on electric charge before the hybrid synergy engine kicks in.. and I mean a very short distance.


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    Neromancer

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:03 am)

    Brian: Not that I care a whole lot but, I have a hard time believing in CS mode the car will get 50mpg. Engineering 101 when you take one form of energy to make another there is always big losses. Taking an ICE to make electricity to drive electric motors is more efficient than afront wheel drive ICE directly coupled to the wheels the math just doesn’t work. I would put the CS mpg at 40-45 at best. That said the Volt is a great car the transparency GM has displayed in allowing us to watch its development has been alot fun. As soon as they become available in our area I will buy one  (Quote)

    You obvously don’t understand how an ICE works. Yes there will be loses between the generator and the wheels and those losses will be a little higher than the losses between and ICE and wheels using a transmission. But your forgetting the most important part of the equation. How the ICE is run. The biggest losses in a car has always been the engine (by far) and the the method of transmission is comparably minor. In the Volt the generator is run more independent and alows them to feather the ICE over a range of more efficient operating limits. In a conventional car the ICE is forced to run in less efficient modes of operation. The whole purpose of hybrids is to use electrical power to suplant the less efficient modes of the ICE to improve efficiency.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:04 am)

    Herm: I still think it would be neat if you could fill the tank completely with a 5 gallon can of gas.. pretty soon that will cost you $30 and thats plenty of $$ to fill up the tank.. I dont want no $60 bill.I wonder when the 60/80 club will start, for those careful Volt owners that get 60 miles of E range and 80mpg in the CS mode, and then you have the 80/100 club for the true gods among us.If a hypermiler can get 168mpg out of an Insight, what could they do with a Volt?  (Quote)

    Get run over. (Sorry just pulling your chain :>)


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    Exp_EngTech

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:05 am)

    50 MPG in CS Mode is very impressive.

    It would be even more impressive if that was with E85 fuel.

    Alas, we have already learned the initial Volt’s won’t have E85 capability.

    Cellulosic Ethanol is coming folks ! Trust me.


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    lousloot

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:08 am)

    -5? I thought Taser was funny!

    Taser: . Our *four*…no… *Amongst* our weapons…. Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again.

    Only 20 miles at 80? I think Volt will have better aero than that — but point taken.

    Herm: Number 4 is speed, blast along the hwy at 80mph and expect your range to drop in half.

    I thought I read somewhere that the Volt would use household current to pre-heat itself, part of the functions on the iphone?

    NASA-Eng: It would be nice if GM offered an option to “power up” the cars heaters on a timer/alarm in the morning. I don’t think it would be a complicated addition to have the cars seats or internal heat come on at a set time before you go to work while the car is still plugged.

    A Manual, A Manual! I need a Volt Manual!


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:09 am)

    POW! HAUUUUUGE!


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:11 am)

    statik:
    Congratulations on your recent and/or upcoming retirement.(j/k…couldn’t resist)  

    That is just not nice. I did feel obligated to give plus one as payment for the laugh, however.


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    Jeff C

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:16 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    But I can’t go 40 mile on electric with the Prius.
    That is a huge difference when most people commute less than 40 miles.  

    What is even more sad is there are pure gas cars available that exceed the MPG of the prius and volt for a fraction of the cost. I regularly get 45-50 in my Smart fortwo ($12k) and in my 1991 Geo Metro ($400 used), I was getting 55mpg. Also, the Ford Model A (The second production car on the planet) got 30 mpg. What the hell has happened to this industry?!?!


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:18 am)

    Herm: Number 4 is speed, blast along the hwy at 80mph and expect your range to drop in half.

    I thought that was covered by #1, aggressive driving, but perhaps expressway driving is a separate reason. I was thinking number 4 was weather and the resulting HVAC requirements.


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    Tex-Arl

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:18 am)

    Neil Chapman: In the video, there are cars in front and behind the Volt. They don’t look like Volts. Does the same “line” produce different cars simultaneously?NC  (Quote)

    It seems to be hard to get across to everyone that multiple car LINES can and are built on the same conveyor LINE. Same word – different meaning.

    Still say that at 60JPH split evenly you would see Buick, Cadillac, Volt repeat.

    You don’t want to build them on separate LINES because if you need more Volts ,for example,
    you would obtain that by say Buick, Cadillac, Volt, Volt and repeat.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:20 am)

    koz: That is just not nice. I did feel obligated to give plus one as payment for the laugh, however.  (Quote)

    I know, but my sense of humoUr just couldn’t let it pass.

    To be fair the last two times I travelled somewhere cold/snowy, I specifically rented one of these for myself, so there is a little self-deprecation in there too (although I’m not close to 65 yet). It is great in the snow, and I like cars with big interiors when I am away from home…the Buick does those two things about as well as you can hope for.

    /just don’t ask it to make a tight turn…I’ve done the three-point parking lot stop a couple times expecting to squeeze in


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    Matthew B

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:22 am)

    Brian: Engineering 101 when you take one form of energy to make another there is always big losses. Taking an ICE to make electricity to drive electric motors is more efficient than afront wheel drive ICE directly coupled to the wheels the math just doesn’t work.

    You should have continued to engineering 102!

    There you would have learned about how inefficient an Otto cycle engine is at part load. Then about how a small engine sized much closer to the load results in a much more efficient engine.


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:25 am)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:25 am)

    NZDavid: I am really happy about this post. I truly believe that Volt is a winner at 50 MPG in CS mode.

    I agree with you that 50 MPG is great news. But in NA where most cars are sold the CS Mode number is not going to be a big deal since there will be plenty of opportunity charging and mostly short hops at lower speed. Farrah expanded slightly on his weekend of getting over 40 miles in EV mode and it was running errands where you end up back at home between trips. Of course when you’re at home you can also be charging. To a great extent this is typical, so I don’t expect that CS Mode will be a big factor in actual use.

    But it’s still great if it is 50 MPG.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:25 am)

    Neil Chapman: In the video, there are cars in front and behind the Volt. They don’t look like Volts. Does the same “line” produce different cars simultaneously?NC  (Quote)

    Most likely


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    Starcast

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:25 am)

    Of topic but interesting.
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/auto_industry/april_2010/toyota_owners_still_more_loyal_than_gm_drivers

    “Thirty-four percent (34%) of Americans say they’re at least somewhat likely to buy a GM car next, but that’s down 10 points from September of last year. The new number includes 14% who say they’re very likely to buy their next car from GM, virtually unchanged from the earlier survey. Fifty-four percent (54%) are not as likely to buy GM, with 28% who say it’s not at all likely.

    Only 29% say their next car is likely to be a Toyota, with 12% who say it’s very likely. Sixty-one percent (61%) are unlikely to buy a Toyota next, including 39% who are not at all likely to do so. Last September, Toyota was the car Americans were more likely to consider next, with 54% saying it was at least somewhat likely that they would buy one.”

    ?


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    RogerE333

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:28 am)

    Mark: “….a car consumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.” What? An ordinary car uses ZERO energy to keep it’s occupants warm, as heat, lots of it, is a byproduct of internal combustion. I was always under the impression that discharging large battery packs produces a lot of waste heat as well. Is this not the case?  (Quote)

    This is about the 10th time I’ve posted this, but here goes again. Lithium batteries don’t get hot during charging (charging actually is endothermic), and don’t get hot on discharge *except*:

    1) for very high discharge rates (not going to happen with a car unless it’s a drag racer)
    2) below 30% or so discharged (Volt never goes that low)

    I agree with others that the combined numbers like 230 mpg should NOT be used for the Volt, as they are so incredibly range dependent. These numbers make for good advertising perhaps, but only lead to confused and p***ed off customers.

    50 mpg highway, if it happens, would be great. I’d be happy to eat crow regarding my far lower predictions (32). Even if the all-electric range turned out poor, this good gas mileage would sell a lot of Volts.

    ““This weekend I got 41.5 and 42.5 cycles around town,” he said.” So… how is a mile a “cycle”, if that’s what he meant? Starting to sound like management instead of an engineer, I think. Happens all the time at my place of work, they begin to speak in tongues once in management — “strategic agile paradigms”, etc…


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:32 am)

    Exp_EngTech: It would be even more impressive if that was with E85 fuel.
    Alas, we have already learned the initial Volt’s won’t have E85 capability.
    Cellulosic Ethanol is coming folks ! Trust me.  

    The Volt and every other car on the road runs partly on ethanol, and ethanol is already in every gallon of gas sold today. It will be hard to know whether what’s in the tank is ethanol or cellulosic ethanol.

    That isn’t the nit picky response it may seem. While celluosic ethanol is coming, for many years it will all be mixed in standard gasoline rather than E85 simply because production will be so limited.


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:34 am)

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    nasaman

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:34 am)

    Dan Petit, post #54:
    …When I drove the Volt on March 13th, Saturday, the seat was so comfortable, I could not tell I was sitting down. That is how perfected GM has the ergonomics of the Volt. It really is so incredibly designed, anyone who drives it will be as astonished as I still am.  

    Dan, although it’s slightly off topic, I HEARTILY agree with your comments. My test drive on Mar 29 in NYC (which was the subject my lengthy Fri, 4/2 topic here) could be briefly summarized just as you did above! Thanks!

    PS: We have something in common, Dan —expounding at length about certain technical matters. It’s refreshing to see you can also be quite succinct. I’ll try to follow your example! :)


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    Michael

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:38 am)

    Well, at least we are living in interesting times! :-)


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    Unni

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:40 am)

    Some times i have the nature of saying king is nude ;-)

    GMs EPA economy numbers can be only produced by GM and there own drives , not anybody else.

    ex: Equinox /terrain – no third party tests never gone above 26-27 mpg.

    Most other non GM cars get more than EPA in real driving conditions. Let volt be first exception which gives more mpg than epa in real life.


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    LazP

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    Just to remind you all. The Volt’s greatest advantage is measured on the basis of daily use and recharge in ones own garage. On that basis I do not see anything wrong with the 230 mile designation for the Volt (just also include to corresponding electricity cost) I am really surprised at some of the old timers on this website complaining about the size of the gas tank.


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    Brian

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:44 am)

    You obvously don’t understand how an ICE works. Yes there will be loses between the generator and the wheels and those losses will be a little higher than the losses between and ICE and wheels using a transmission. But your forgetting the most important part of the equation. How the ICE is run. The biggest losses in a car has always been the engine (by far) and the the method of transmission is comparably minor. In the Volt the generator is run more independent and alows them to feather the ICE over a range of more efficient operating limits. In a conventional car the ICE is forced to run in less efficient modes of operation. The whole purpose of hybrids is to use electrical power to suplant the less efficient modes of the ICE to improve efficiency.

    You make some good points but, Time will tell as real world test numbers come out. At a constant speed (hydrids are useless at constant spreeds) of say 70mph I’d be really suprized if we saw 50mpg out of the Volt. It would be nice to be wrong!! Also the Volts ICE doesn’t run at a constant speed it changes with load.


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    Scott laguna

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:45 am)

    Solar electric.. No gas. That’s the future. Why are we still working with gas? There are ways to do solar electric.


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    Richard Yeager-Stiver

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:46 am)

    Based on first 40 electric used then 50mpg with gas means:
    miles total gallons mpg
    w/gas drvn used
    40 50 90 1 90
    40 100 140 2 70
    40 150 190 3 63.3
    40 200 240 4 60
    40 250 290 5 58
    40 300 340 6 56.6
    40 350 390 7 55.7
    40 400 440 8 55
    40 450 490 9 54.4
    40 500 540 10 54
    40 550 590 11 53.6
    40 600 640 12 53.3
    40 650 690 13 53
    40 700 740 14 52.8
    40 750 790 15 52.6
    40 800 840 16 52.5
    40 850 890 17 52.3
    40 900 940 18 52.2
    I can’t imagine anyone driving more than 940 miles in one trip without stopping at a hotel to recharge over-night.
    These numbers are far higher than my Prius. Excellent job GM!!! I can’t wait to purchase one.
    (My Prius highway mileage is usually around 48-50mpg).


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    nasaman

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:47 am)

    In the spirit of brevity I expressed in post #89…

    GM is well aware that “under promising & over delivering” is a vital marketing principle — & I remain convinced they’ll easily achieve both 40mi AER and 50mpg CS, as this topic reaffirms.


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    Exp_EngTech

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:48 am)

    AnonymousProxy: Doesn’t the Prius get 51MPG? Volt already beat before it comes out. Slightly, but beat after billions spent on it, still got beat.Edit: I retract. I will wait for the official numbers to come out before a comparison is made.  (Quote)

    Hmmmm….the Prius can’t cruise at 65 MPH in EV mode for 40 miles. Volt likely will (no gas used).
    Nuff said.

    Begone !

    265121_1_M.jpg


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    AnthonyC

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:50 am)

    Rashiid Amul: 50 mile MPG in CS.
    I love that.This is really going to help the car sell.
    40 in Electric Mode, 50 MPG.Hmmm.Let’s see what that gives us.
    Assuming a 6 gallon tank (I’m hoping for bigger)40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck.

    Unless, of course, you stop at a gas station at mile 339…


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:52 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    Assuming a 6 gallon tank (I’m hoping for bigger)40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck stopping at a gas station.

    Good morning, Rashiid my friend, I hope you don’t mind that I fixed this for you :-)

    Sorry if anybody said this already, I’m late for an appointment and must read >90% of this thread later.


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    dbrusiee

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:55 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    DonC

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:57 am)

    Ted in Fort Myers: I August 2006 the only electric available fro a major car company (well there wasn’t one so I bought my last gas powered car.) My next car will be electric. That car in the video is beautiful. Thanks to the Americans we can be competitive again. Love you GM for giving us the Volt.

    I think you’ve expressed the sentiments of many who post here. +1


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    Auto Engineer

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:59 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:59 am)

    I would like to point out that having the smaller 6 gallon fuel tank has a strong psychological effect….. On the stinking Oil Shieks!!! That’s right, you parasites…! Cry like little girls!!! In 20 years, who’s going to give a rat’s about you?! We won’t! [insert sinister evil laughing here]

    (Quote)

    LOL , you nail IT !!!


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    Rashiid Amul

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:00 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    This debate will never end. What is important is the “distance traveled between recharges”, and the average in my household is 30 miles per day… tops. Which is what the VOLT was designed for.Yes, there is the ‘occasional’ trip that we take to visit family or friends where the round trip is 80 miles. Maybe once or twice a month that happens. But 540 miles in 1 day? That’s almost Los Angeles to Phoenix. Talk about your tired butt at the end of the day!  

    My longest day drive was 850 miles. Somewhere between Ohio and Kansas.
    The Focus will get 700 miles on a tank….I think it is the Focus anyway.
    I just like visiting the gas station less often. But I am vying for a local job that is three miles away instead of 50. I will be extremely happy with the 40 miles electric.

    And to everyone else, I was referring to maximum range. lol.
    Yes, I do prefer to stop at a gas station before needing to call a tow truck. :)
    However, if I really wanted to be cheap, AAA offers a free gallon of gas. ;)
    Of course, they make you wait an hour to get it. :(


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    Rashiid Amul

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:02 am)

    Mike-o-Matic:
    Good morning, Rashiid my friend, I hope you don’t mind that I fixed this for you
    Sorry if anybody said this already, I’m late for an appointment and must read >90% of this thread later.  

    lol. Thank you, my friend. I obviously didn’t word that correctly but many people seem to be having fun with it. Enjoy your day. :)


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    CarolinaVolt

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:03 am)

    From previos comments:

    40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck.

    Still too low IMO. A ten gallon tank would provide 540.
    That is a good number.

    Sorry, but as a dumb redneck from North Carolina, we wouldn’t call a tow truck. Wouldn’t we just pull into a gas station and fill ‘er up? I mean there is a gasoline filler cap, right? Seems to me the only time barring mechanical failure that you tow a Volt is where there is neither gasoline nor electricity.


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    Rashiid Amul

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:05 am)

    Scott laguna: Solar electric.. No gas.That’s the future.Why are we still working with gas?There are ways to do solar electric.  

    Right. Keyword is future.


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    Jim in AR

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:12 am)

    Farah did explain that consumers will experience about a 20% variability in electric range depending on FOUR variables in the following order of importance:
    “Driving aggressiveness is number one, terrain is number two, weather and terrain is number three,” he said.

    FOUR? And isn’t terrain counted twice really?


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    Anthony

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:23 am)

    Number 3 should be “weather and temperature”. I just listened to the podcast on the GM Fastlane blog.


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    John Desmond

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:26 am)

    Very nice; long range mileage equivalent to the latest generation European diesels in a somewhat larger car. But the big question: how much will it cost?


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    Hmmm

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:31 am)

    I agree that they should have two fuel efficiency ratings, separated for each mode:

    miles/kwh
    miles/gallon

    After all that’s how they will present the range.
    People can figure out their own combined hypotheticals; it’s easy math. Or EPA should let GM present a table of combined mileages based on different distances driven.

    “still some last minute tweaks and tunes on aero(dynamics)”
    Wonder what those are?


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    Herm

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:34 am)

    dbrusiee: “Bly noted in cold weather a car consumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.”
    This is really BAD news. It means that the Volt will only get about 20mpg in cold weather when in electric mode and with a “new” battery. I would expect after a few years this will be reduced to 10mpg as the battery ages. I wonder why GM never mentions this? I hope that nobody thinks they have defied the laws of physics when it comes to battery life…  

    That statement was not clear or was not reported properly.

    On the hwy I guarantee you the Volt consumes more power going at 60mph than heating the cabin.. after all you would literally be BOILED ALIVE if the Volt dumped 20kw of heat into the cabin. What he meant was that under slow travel (lets say under 10mph stop and go) the Volt consumes 4kw in the motors and 4kw in the heater.. or something like that.

    40 miles range is warrantied for 10 years/150k miles..

    No one expects long range in cold conditions, be reasonable. The Volts battery is probably good for 15 years.


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    PIJoe

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:36 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Sasparilla

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:40 am)

    It will be a huge achievement if GM can get close to 50mpg with the ICE on the Volt as it is a really heavy (for good reasons) vehicle for its size – great news they are still shooting for it.

    For those up at high altitudes, while grades will definitely impact range, altitude will as well. Unlike ICE vehicles that are gasping for breath, an electric motor shouldn’t care about the thin air – and with significantly reduced aerodynamic drag, range should increase for higher speeds (minus any grades you have to drive over over of course).


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    Herm

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:42 am)

    John Desmond: But the big question: how much will it cost?  

    Comfortably under $30k, and you get a high tech luxurious sedan.. very quiet and with great handling. Plus if things get really bad you will still be able to get to work and earn a paycheck.. while your neighbors are waiting in line at the gas stations. Peace of mind is worth a lot.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:44 am)

    Mark A: Why does the EPA need to come up with some BS MPG number? Why can’t it just be “40 miles electric, after that 50 mpg highway, 35 city, 40 combined” for example. Coming up with a single number of “230 mpg” is just downright misleading. If they need some kind of official EPA number for legal reasons then just keep it way down in the fine print.

    Where does the 35 mpg city come from, if the vast majority of trips in city driving use no gas. Many have said it’s not right to include electric range in the mpg totals w/o accounting for the energy used. Your city number does the exact opposite and throws out all energy and gas savings from the all electric range. If the aggregate of drivers nationwide will average between 180 and 250 miles per gallon for all city miles driven (including energy equivalent with electricity use) why would you bury this good news in lawyer speak.


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    Craig

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:47 am)

    OK, I’ve read everything (EVERYTHING!) and I’m kinda late to the party, but: When I was at the Detroit Auto Show I learned that the Volt gas engine WON’T recharge the batteries. It will only drive the electric motors. That was a surprise to me at the time. Could anyone explain why the change. Any thought of taking a Volt on a trip from Detroit to Florida just went out the window — unless motels start putting electrical outlets on the outside of their buildings.
    Ideas? Explanations?
    Thanks,
    C


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    Ross Nicholson

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:49 am)

    Most of us will need to flush out our gas tanks to get rid of the unusable old fuel. Hopefully the car’s build will be of nice enough quality to outlast replacements to the ICE & battery power generation system. Hopefully that process will be as painless as possible. They should have used a removable generator rather than their bolt on, as that would have allowed better packaging for replacement technology as it comes out. Plus they could have sold millions of volts by now, too.


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    Tom C

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:51 am)

    Instead of trying to translate to MPG, why not call it what it is? You get 50 MPG in gas and X MPkW (Miles per Kilowatt) on electric. I understand they want to translate the savings you get with electric, however that needs to be shown with dollars, not miles per gallon. Can’t wait to own a volt!


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:53 am)

    There is enough careful phrasing in how GM addressed the CS-mode mpg to allow for a prediction of greater than 50 mpg. They used the 50 mpg figure as a “bogey,” then said they were on track with it. Doesn’t that mean that 50mpg in CS-mode is a minimum?


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:54 am)

    Craig: OK, I’ve read everything (EVERYTHING!) and I’m kinda late to the party, but: When I was at the Detroit Auto Show I learned that the Volt gas engine WON’T recharge the batteries. It will only drive the electric motors. That was a surprise to me at the time. Could anyone explain why the change. Any thought of taking a Volt on a trip from Detroit to Florida just went out the window — unless motels start putting electrical outlets on the outside of their buildings.
    Ideas? Explanations?

    No change in there bro. It has always been said that when the genset kiscks on it will only “sustain” the SOC/charge it is in at that moment it kicks on. It will not charge much past that, hence “Charge Sustaining” Mode. GM’s stance is that it will only sustain till you get to a plug. but it will allow draining more when required.

    Technically you can still take your long distance drive because in theory you will get 50mpg from the genset and when you get to your destination, hope there’s a plug there you can get to. If I take a long drive, I plan on bringing at least a 50 foot cord. :-P
    Opportunity charging is what they call it.


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    Clark Krent

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:57 am)

    I applaud GM for moving their technology base forward, although I see the sales figures of the Volt hinging one two things; total cost per mile driven and long term durability of the vehicle (compared to competition). Personally I’d like to see GM offer an optional (extra) plug-in battery which would offer the customer the option of sacrificing cargo space, for addition battery (only) run time.

    I also applaud GM for continuing to also cater to the sport cars enthusiast (Corvette, Camaro, etc). Keep up the great work and thank you!


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    Herm

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:58 am)

    DonC: I thought that was covered by #1, aggressive driving, but perhaps expressway driving is a separate reason. I was thinking number 4 was weather and the resulting HVAC requirements.  

    Aggressive driving in my opinion is hard acceleration and hard braking, tailgating the guy in front of you and so on.. fast driving by itself kills range due to aerodynamic losses


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:59 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    Ya I get that.But I didn’t say I would keep it filled.
    On long trips I would though.   

    And on those long trips you are going to need to drive more than 6 hours continuously without stopping for 5 minutes? Obviously you have a right to your preferences, but I sure don’t think that they are the norm – especially with the aging population.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    ProfessorGordon

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:00 am)

    How exciting! A 50 MPG confirmation is great news! I view the Volt as a hands-down leapfrog technology over current hybrid technology already but wanting it to be better in *every* way I was preparing myself to accept that possibly Gen 1 CS mode MPG might not be quite as good as the competition. Sounds like it may prove as good or better! Even though for most Volt drivers this is hardly relevant since they will likely use CS mode so little, still, psychologically this 50 MPG figure will be a great selling point. Many will superficially just compare the MPG figures and price of the vehicles.

    To illustrate the Volt’s fuel cost advantages and how little difference its CS mode MPG makes check out this excel I worked up. I have shared this with the forum before but wanted to offer it again. It helps compare fuel cost for your customized driving scenario between the Volt and a PHEV (Prius) and a pure ICE. You plug in your own variables to see how much you’ll save in fuel costs.

    http://www.4shared.com/document/JH4EIh80/Your_Mileage_May_Vary.html


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    jeffhre

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:01 am)

    Mike-o-Matic: Rashiid Amul:
    Assuming a 6 gallon tank (I’m hoping for bigger)40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck stopping at a gas station.

    Good morning, Rashiid my friend, I hope you don’t mind that I fixed this for you
    Sorry if anybody said this already, I’m late for an appointment and must read >90% of this thread later.

    If we’ve learned anything about Rashiid, it’s that he really really hates stopping at gas stations!!!


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:02 am)

    Craig: OK, I’ve read everything (EVERYTHING!) and I’m kinda late to the party, but: When I was at the Detroit Auto Show I learned that the Volt gas engine WON’T recharge the batteries. It will only drive the electric motors. That was a surprise to me at the time. Could anyone explain why the change. Any thought of taking a Volt on a trip from Detroit to Florida just went out the window — unless motels start putting electrical outlets on the outside of their buildings.
    Ideas? Explanations?
    Thanks,
    C  

    This is not a change. It was always designed to work that way.

    The gas engine does nothing for the car except to turn a generator. When the gas engine runs, it replaces the battery for all intents and purposes, so that the electric drive can continue operating. There may be a tiny amount of give and take to the battery, but not enough to amount to anything.

    Consider this: when you plug in to recharge the battery, you are using relatively inexpensive electricity. If the Volt were designed to allow the engine to recharge the battery, you would be using much more expensive gasoline.

    The point of the engine is that you don’t need to recharge the battery if it runs down on the road. Just keep going until you need to pull into a gas station.

    If you commute daily less than 40 (or so!) miles a day, you may not need gas at all. But if you do want to go from Detroit to Florida, go right ahead. Just be prepared to refuel on the trip as you would with any car.


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    Herm

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:02 am)

    Tom: I see a huge problem with the volt that will stop sales cold . With a 6 gal tank How will we get a free car wash !
    Tom  

    Think about it, you really want to ride an electric car into a carwash? :)


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    The Grump

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:03 am)

    Actually, the fourth variable is probably the sound system. All those electronics and speakers pull a lot of power.

    You want subwoofers ? Get a Camero.

    You want to screw over oil shieks til they squeal like a hog ? Get a Volt. ( i am soooo looking forward to that !) I pay over $360.00 a month in gas – my Volt (hopefully I can get one) should pay for itself very quickly.

    I’ll learn to like classical music – at VERY low volume.

    It’s hard to drive agressively in DC anyway – they bought a ton of revenue enhancement – err – I mean speed safety cameras recently. You can’t excape the unblinking eyes of our new metal overlords, so a Volt would do well here (if it doesn’t get stolen, LOL !)


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:05 am)

    Magilla: “I still use the target of 50 MPG as the bogey,” said Farah. “So far I haven’t been disappointed.”With 50 MPG CS, and a goal of 300 miles, sounds like a 6 gallon tank.This would be a step down from 510 mile range on my Nissan Altima Hybrid (driving at an average of 70 on the highway) but should be better in the long run with a few overnight charges thrown in.I drive 40 miles one way 3 days a week, 75 miles one way the other 2.  

    It still totally baffles me why a short gas stop due to the two 75 mile trip days, isn’t offset by the other days of less than 40 – no stops at all.
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Noel Park

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:06 am)

    Dorp: Taser: Our chief weapon is surprise

    Very nice Monty Python reference. Thanks for the laugh.

    #29

    Who knew? I gave it a +1 anyway, just because i thought it was so cool. Thanks for the reference. +1 to you too.


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    tom w

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:06 am)

    Joe Cascarelli: Colorado amended our constitution recently to demand that 20% of all electricity must come from renewables by 2020. Our governor wants the state assembly to up that to 30%. It looks like the cost of electricity will go up 50% to 65% in the next few years as utilities try to meet those goals

    Wind power will save money in electric rates over time. Just like nuclear the vast majority of the cost is up front, no fuel costs.

    Charging cars at night will also reduce electric rates over time. There are other factors that make rates go up, but keep your eye on the big picture.

    Heck in Cleveland Water rates went up because people started using less water, so they had to charge more. There are always unintended consequences, but renewable energy and electric cars have wonderful consequences, like, creating American jobs, keeping American money and investment in our country, defunding our enemies and eventually allowing us to scale back the size of our navy (we’ll let Iran patrol the persian gulf).


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    Noel Park

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:08 am)

    Guido: 50 MPG in charge-sustaining mode ! This just keeps getting better ! GO VOLT !

    #33

    My sentiments exactly. +1

    Better and better. Well done Dr. Dennis. Keep it coming.


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    Billy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:09 am)

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    tom w

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:09 am)

    Tom: I see a huge problem with the volt that will stop sales cold . With a 6 gal tank How will we get a free car wash !
    Tom

    In Northeast Ohio I earn fuelperks at Giant Eagle to earn free fillups. guess I”ll have to shop at different grocery store.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:10 am)

    Jean-Charles Jacquemin: Thanks Lyle, great info as usual and encouraging.

    JC NPNS

    #7

    Hi JC. Nice to “see” you as always. +1


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:11 am)

    Billy: ugly car  

    Where? Where? Oh, did you see a LEAF go by?

    :-P


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    Noel Park

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:17 am)

    LRGVProVolt: And right on nothing close to Prius with its recent problems!

    #46

    True that! +1 There was an article in our local paper yesterday about Toyota’s legal tactics in its many crash related lawsuits that would scare you to death. The truth is not in them. The chickens are coming home to roost.


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    MrBmm

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:17 am)

    What is interesting is that the 40-50 mile pure electric range is right out of the box. I can’t wait to see what the “home garage tweakers” might be able to do with that. I foresee and amazing aftermarket potential given American’s love of tinkering and innovation.


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    Evil Conservative

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:19 am)

    I am not really sure why the Prius people think that anything less then 500 Miles per tank is a fail? Count the number of times you go to a gas station in 2 months and see who is there more …. My bet the Volt WILL BE there less.

    If you have to drive more then 300 miles a day with out stopping then you must have an iron badder because I need to stop, stretch my legs and take a break at least once every 4 hours.


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    Dave K.

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:19 am)

    hi Craig #117…

    Craig: …I learned that the Volt gas engine WON’T recharge the batteries. It will only drive the electric motors. That was a surprise to me at the time. Could anyone explain why the change?

    Refer to the Jay Leno demo drive video. GM engineering clearly states that the ICE will generate just enough to satisfy demand from the 150hp electric drive motor. The reason being that producing more will be a waste. A battery reserve will be available to offset short periods of high demand from the electric motor (throttle floored position). Braking regen will maintain the minimum battery level anticipating another high demand draw. The overall idea is to run the Voltec system as efficiently as possible. Which means not burning gasoline to charge the battery. Finding a 120V or 220V receptacle is the means to charge the battery back to full.

    =D-Volt


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    StevenU

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:20 am)

    Jeff C: What the hell has happened to this industry?!?!  (Quote)

    People want a lot more power and size than those vehicles can deliver.


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    Jim in PA

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:24 am)

    LOL. Nissan and Toyota obviously just increased funding for the troll brigades! Go pick up your paychecks, gentlemen! You’re doing a bang-up job. Oh, except for that whole “not being able to get in a word edgewise because your talking points are so lame and easily refuted” part. Other than THAT… good job!


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    Noel Park

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:27 am)

    Jim in PA: Yup. And they don’t sell many Silverados in Boston, NYC, Philly, DC, Baltimore, LA, San Francisco, Hawaii…… That’s why a car company offers a wide portfolio of vehicles. Nothing wrong with that.

    #49

    You are 100% right about the need for a wide portfolio. +1 Having said that, I bet they sell as many Silveradoes in LA as they do in the whole state of Colorado. Most of them driving around with one person inside and nothing in the bed, LOL.

    But it’s still not enough to sustain a company the size of GM, and the fad is definitely dying off as the price of gas continues its inexorable climb. If they don’t get their EREV/BEV/small car house in order, GM will surely perish.


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:27 am)

    Brian: Not that I care a whole lot but, I have a hard time believing in CS mode the car will get 50mpg.

    I don’t believe it either. It’ll definitely be greater than 50 mpg.
    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    LauraM

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:28 am)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): There is enough careful phrasing in how GM addressed the CS-mode mpg to allow for a prediction of greater than 50 mpg. They used the 50 mpg figure as a “bogey,” then said they were on track with it. Doesn’t that mean that 50mpg in CS-mode is a minimum?

    I’m normally not an optimist. But I read it the same way. Can you imagine 60mpg?

    Of course, 50mpg gallon is pretty amazing in and of itself. This car just gets better and better. IMHO, well worth whatever premium they decide to charge over the LEAF.


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    LazP

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:28 am)

    Just to reiterate my earlier point. (#92)This car is to conserve petroleum energy not total energy. Volt as just an ICE vehicle is probably just an average small car. Its uniqueness rest on the fact that if gives you a bonus – 40 gas free – miles. No ICE can do that. No hybrid (Prius) can do that. The Volt is uniquely positioned with a huge advantage for those who drove between 30 to 60 miles per day (daily driving and recharging is key). and yes the controversial 230 mpg fits in this profile.
    Drive 30 miles per day and this mileage is (gasoline mileage is infinite [zero gas], drive 60 miles a day and the gasoline mileage is ~120 mpg. Only a BEV can compete with this but with the well accepted limitations of range.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:29 am)

    Anthony: From what I understand most American cars have a somewhat large margin on their gas tanks, even when it says E its still got a gallon or so left (though I’d never know, I always fill up with 1/4 of a tank left).

    #53

    My S-10 will run over 125 miles after the gage says “E” and the red light comes on, LOL.


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:29 am)

    Joe: Sad when u look at and compare this to a Prius 45+mpg and the Prius is half the price!

    Jeff C:
    What is even more sad is there are pure gas cars available that exceed the MPG of the prius and volt for a fraction of the cost. I regularly get 45-50 in my Smart fortwo ($12k) and in my 1991 Geo Metro ($400 used), I was getting 55mpg.Also, the Ford Model A (The second production car on the planet) got 30 mpg.What the hell has happened to this industry?!?!  

    When it becomes possible to do so, try comparing the performance of the Volt with any high-efficiency car you can name. As someone who has experienced it first hand, I think many will buy a Volt just for the performance. You can drive yesterday’s econobox (or today’s hybrids) if you really want to, but you’ll enjoy the Volt a whole lot more. Surely that is worth some extra money (and not all that much extra, as it turns out).

    I can see Voltec evolving in three directions:

    Cheaper/More Thrifty,
    Bigger/Same Price,
    Faster/High Performance/More Expensive.

    The Cadillac Converj would have taken an early step in the High Performance direction. Don’t expect it to be the last high performance Voltec proposal.


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    CaptJackSparrow

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:29 am)

    Hmmm: I agree that they should have two fuel efficiency ratings, separated for each mode:

    miles/kwh
    miles/gallon

    After all that’s how they will present the range.

    I agre……well, sort of.
    If the BEV range is completely different from the CD mode, then I think they should publish the EV range in MPC then publish the CS mode range in MPG. Here’s why. At full charge, you never use the genset. Even at half charge. BEV mode never uses the genset. Once the charge is at “customer empty”, then the genset is engaged and batt pack use is very limitted to only required burst of energy. So in CS mode, it should be im MPG.

    What’s so hard about making that distinction? Think of the Volt as a “Transformer”. It first starts as a BEV then after 40 AER, it “Transforms” to a car that runs on a “Generator”…..a “Transfomenrator thingy….or whatever. :-P


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:29 am)

    Martin: So all that talk about 230 (they even name the freaking website after it) was a crock? There’s a big difference between 50mpg and 230mpg.

    Funny how that one was switched around. Before it was vaporware. Then it was an epic fail compared to the Prius. Now it’s well, Andrew Farah isn’t walking on water for 230 miles while testing the Volt’s mpg, while writing a best selling epic novel and while single handedly ending the US trade deficit with China, what a crock!!!


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    Eric

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:32 am)

    Rashiid Amul:
    Ya I get that. But I didn’t say I would keep it filled.
    On long trips I would though. :)

    If you would like to drive for more than 5 hours without stopping at a gas station or a power outlet, then perhaps you should bring along a gas can. A 5 gallon container of gas would give you an extra 250 miles. The gas capacity doesn’t have to be overbuilt into the vehicle.

    I would also like to note that I have never been driving for 5 hours without seeing a gas station.

    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_40444_40444


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    Roy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:33 am)

    NASA-Eng: Assume day for the Volt… I noticed that Bly asserted “in cold weather a car consumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.”It would be nice if GM offered an optioni to “power up” the cars heaters on a timer/alarm in the morning. I don’t think it would be a complicated addition to have the cars seats or internal heat come on at a set time before you go to work while the car is still plugged. It may not yield all that much battery range, but I think it would be easy to add via software plus I think a decent amount of consumers like those kinds of Techno Features in stuff we buy today.Go Volt  (Quote)

    The i-phone app has that feature. when you touch the temp it says “Your vehicle cabin temperature is being set for optimal comfort” so GM is ahead of us here.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:34 am)

    NZDavid: Nope, I run a diesel. When I run out I need a mechanic to get going again!

    Tends to focus the mind.

    #62

    Hi NZDavid. Nice to “see” you here too. +1

    It’s great fun to have such good GM-Volt.com friends around the world.


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    Noel Park

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:36 am)

    CDAVIS: The Volt just might snatch the “Motor Trend Car of the Year” mantel away from the Ford Fusion.

    #65

    I don’t doubt that for a minute. +1


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:38 am)

    Noel Park: #49
    You are 100% right about the need for a wide portfolio. +1 Having said that, I bet they sell as many Silveradoes in LA as they do in the whole state of Colorado. Most of them driving around with one person inside and nothing in the bed, LOL.
    But it’s still not enough to sustain a company the size of GM, and the fad is definitely dying off as the price of gas continues its inexorable climb. If they don’t get their EREV/BEV/small car house in order, GM will surely perish.

    I read the end of your comment first so I nearly jumped out of my seat to note you definitely know they sell huge numbers of Silverado’s in LA. Then I saw that you had already written it. Always makes me chuckle when people say an EREV truck will sell in big numbers :)


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    Loboc

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:39 am)

    AnonymousProxy: “I still use the target of 50 MPG as the bogey,”Which means they have not met the 50MPG. They are still chasing the “bogey”. When it gets “adjusted” it will be below 50 mpg, well below. Chances are, they test on a straigtaway/treadmill.As for the 230mpg, let’s have a simple test between a 100 mile BEV. Put one gallon of gas in the Volt and one full charge of a 100 mile BEV, go 50 miles one way non stop and 50 miles back non stop. Which one achieves the 230 mpg? NEITHER! The 230mpg is all smoke and mirrors BS.  

    Monday 32 miles – recharge
    Tuesday 35 miles – recharge
    Wednesday 33 miles – recharge
    Thursday 36 miles – recharge
    Friday 44 miles – recharge (got lucky, RE didn’t come on.)
    Saturday 20 miles – recharge
    Sunday 5 miles – recharge
    Monday 32 miles – recharge
    Tuesday 35 miles – recharge
    Wednesday 33 miles – recharge
    Thursday 36 miles – recharge
    Friday 45 miles – use 1/10 gal of gas – recharge
    Saturday 120 miles – use 1.6 gal of gas – recharge (BEV would crap out at 100 miles)
    Sunday 5 miles – recharge
    ————————————————
    511 miles – use 1.7 gal of gas = 300.59 mpg.

    Are your mirrors smoked yet? I know mine are all hot-n-bothered.


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    bob

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:43 am)

    Great this is only 40 years overdue hope fuel does not get too cheap again and we go through another Hummer ,Explorer, Ram, manufacturing explosion and invasion. I know we Americans like everything SUPER SIZE our McMansion homes, Our Meals and our Viagra enhanced sex lives.


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    Former Detroiter & GMer

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:44 am)

    Noel Park:
    #46True that!+1There was an article in our local paper yesterday about Toyota’s legal tactics in its many crash related lawsuits that would scare you to death.The truth is not in them.The chickens are coming home to roost.  

    Toyota is acting no differently than GM would have. In fact GM IS acting this way right now with a little known steering recall. However, you can’t see it because the Toyota thing is overshadowing the big GM recall at the moment.


  160. 160
    Ole EV Guy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:45 am)

    BillR:
    If I remember correctly, this comment was made regarding operation on a cold day.No mention was made regarding the driving speed, or if heat was available from the battery pack.So on a 32 F morning when first getting in the Volt, all 4 occupants turn on their seat heaters to full power.In city driving at 30 mph, the Volt may only need 4 kW of power to propel the car.If all 4 seats are heated, and they are at full power, this too could consume 4 kW.But I don’t believe specifics were given for this scenario.  

    Bill,
    You just turn on those seat heaters while still plugged in to your garage outlet. Big advantage for most electric vehicles. Heat or cool your car before you even get in it. Some can even do it remotely.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:46 am)

    carcus1: I have been estimating 30 to 35 mpg in CS mode for quite a while now. If GM’s really getting 50 mpg then that’s great.

    However, I’ll hold off on concession and congratulations until the results are proven under 2008 epa testing standards.

    I’d have expected nothing less (g).

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:49 am)

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    LauraM

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:51 am)

    Evil Conservative: I am not really sure why the Prius people think that anything less then 500 Miles per tank is a fail? Count the number of times you go to a gas station in 2 months and see who is there more …. My bet the Volt WILL BE there less.

    If you have to drive more then 300 miles a day with out stopping then you must have an iron badder because I need to stop, stretch my legs and take a break at least once every 4 hours.

    It’s not a fail with less than 500 miles range. I will buy one even if the range is limited to 300 miles. But, given the choice, I would love 500 miles because it would make my life easier. Even though I only drive 500 miles in one sitting about once or twice a year.

    Personally, I prefer to refill at 1/2 full as a safety measure. At 1/4 full, I go directly to the nearest gas station. But with a 500 mile range, if I drive somewhere 100 miles away, I can go there, and go back without having to stop at a gas station at some point.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:53 am)

    Ole EV Guy: Bill,
    You just turn on those seat heaters while still plugged in to your garage outlet. Big advantage for most electric vehicles. Heat or cool your car before you even get in it. Some can even do it remotely.

    lol…..to hell with that, i’d pull the fuse to the seat heaters!!!
    :-)


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    Logic

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:56 am)

    Auto Engineer: I doubt they will achieve 50 MPG in real world ICE travel. The Volt is an extremely heavy car. If they can somehow equal the MPG of the Toyota Prius that would be amazing but I have my doubts. Also it remains to be seen if the plug-in Prius will increase its mileage which I would assume it would.
    In order to have marketing advantage over the Prius the Volt needs to:1. Be cheaper than a Prius (Fail – 40K vs 25K)
    2. Have a longer travel distance (Fail – < 350 miles)
    3. Seat more passengers (Fail – 4 vs 5)
    4. Be faster than a Prius (Epic Fail – Pius has much higher top end)
    5. Sell more copies (Fail – assuming maximum output at all Volt assembly plants 500K vs 60K)
    6. Be more areodynamic (Epic Fail)
    7. Use less gasoline (Fail – Prius get 50 MPG vs less than 50 for Volt)
    8. Charge faster than Prius (Unknown – Prius has smaller batter so will likely recharge faster)Using these criteria the Volt certainly is no game changer in the Hybrid world which will remain primarily owned by the Prius for many years to come.I predict the real game changer will be when the Asians start releasing BEV that have extended ranges similar to the Tesla Roadster’s 225 mile range but with affordable price similar to the Nissan LEAF. Once this happens in a few years the Volt will be all but dead unless GM decides to remove that huge 1.4L gasoline engine with its atrocious pollution. So I just don’t see the Volt ever leading EV market in sales at any time. More likely companies like Nissan will flood the market with far superior and cheaper EV than GM can even predict.- The Auto Engineer  

    AutoEngineer, before making anecdotal statements, perhaps you should look at your initial argument first. “In order to have Marketing advantage…”. First of all, Volt’s marketing advantage is up for debate, but couldn’t 230MPG be considered as a marketing advantage? Second, all of your bulletpoints have no basis since the production Volt is not yet available. Thirdly, I don’t think you have a reputable lab in your back pocket which you’re willing to employ to prove your “evidence”. Lastly, I find your “Prius fanboy”-ish opinion seems to have been inflated due to the recent negative press about Toyota.

    Before you start making arguments, please be sure to use proper evidence, so the rest of us can even begin to consider your comments.


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    Streetlight

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:57 am)

    Lyle: Thanks much for that video. We all clap. Meanwhile, the book on EV’s are uphill battery drain. For any EV-by any maker. A 2% grade approximates 3x power demand; 3% – about 50% increase over that of a 2% grade; 4% – very close to 2x over that of a 2% grade. (Source: Laminie et al. EV’s Explained p.224) Now GM Leadership (not engineering) dictates the ER ICE program. Where ER ICE is enabled ONLY at the 30% SOC (the approx 40 mile point) – I disagree. ER ICE can be applied to extend battery service as well. If ER ICE is enabled at 1.5% grade, the payoff is extended battery life. We know there’s no free lunch, obviously ER mileage decreases. Furthermore, the driver should have the option to enable the ER ICE at any time.
    But 50 mpg ER is a big … (insert VP language) … deal. Given 300 mile range total. Then ER range is 260/50 = a 6 galoons tank size. It needs to be twice that size – period.
    For example, in Northern California a drive across the Sierras to Reno, is a routine drive of maybe 220 miles. (SF to Reno). A lot of 4%-5% grades. VOLT on battery power would go 6 miles – if that. However, if ER assisted, EV 40 mile range could be achieved-and save battery life. And the LEAF stays in Sacramento.


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    LauraM

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:59 am)

    tom w: Heck in Cleveland Water rates went up because people started using less water, so they had to charge more. There are always unintended consequences, but renewable energy and electric cars have wonderful consequences, like, creating American jobs, keeping American money and investment in our country, defunding our enemies and eventually allowing us to scale back the size of our navy (we’ll let Iran patrol the persian gulf).

    The same thing happened in New York. The bottom line is that they need to get the revenue from somewhere. So, if enough people stop using gas, I expect a mileage tax. It probably won’t happen for the next ten years though. And, hopefully, they’ll hike the gas tax considerably first.


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    Starcast

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:00 pm)

    Noel Park: Anthony: From what I understand most American cars have a somewhat large margin on their gas tanks, even when it says E its still got a gallon or so left (though I’d never know, I always fill up with 1/4 of a tank left). #53
    My S-10 will run over 125 miles after the gage says “E” and the red light comes on, LOL.

    I am one who just can’t help myself. I amost never fill up until the Low Fuel light comes on. Most cars run a long time after that. Yes I have run out of gas many times. But I can drive my s10 for another 3 to 5 days after the light comes on. If I do run out I just get a can of gas and off I go. No big deal.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:01 pm)

    Driving from MA to Kissammee, FL (1280 miles) in my Volt…

    40 miles electric
    1240 miles CS
    @50MPG – ~25 gal fuel equates to 5 stops

    1280 miles @70MPH = ~18hours/ 5 stops = 3.6 hours between stops… sounds just about perfect.


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    JeremyK

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:02 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: 50 mile MPG in CS.
    I love that.This is really going to help the car sell.
    40 in Electric Mode, 50 MPG.Hmmm.Let’s see what that gives us.
    Assuming a 6 gallon tank (I’m hoping for bigger)40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck.Still too low IMO.A ten gallon tank would provide 540.
    That is a good number.  

    So you’re telling me that you won’t have a chance to stop for gas or electricity in 340 miles of driving? Why in the world would you need that kind of range? There is nowhere in this country where you can drive 340 miles without coming across a gas station (unless you ran around in circles in the desert SW perhaps). It’s crazy to add extra tank capacity and carry around the extra fuel that may never be used.

    BTW-I’ve been saying all along that this would get better than 40 mpg in CS mode. How could it get less than the 1.4L turbo version in the Cruze?


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:03 pm)

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    K Newman

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:08 pm)

    I am pleased that the Volt will (hopefully) get 50 MPG after the 40 miles of electric power.

    I would welcome a “quite” mode on the Volt allowing the gas generator to turn off (stop) at full red lights (the VOLT stopped longer than 4-5 seconds) and driving the Volt below a modest 25 MPH on a flat terrain (assuming the Volt has a charge above 50%). This “option” would deal a FINAL BLOW to the Prius’ possible claim of superiority towards the Volt. Also this would be a great INCENTIVE/ENDUCEMENT for drivers that drive conservatively.

    GM are your listening????


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    Starcast

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    Richard Yeager-Stiver: I can’t imagine anyone driving more than 940 miles in one trip without stopping at a hotel to recharge over-night.
    These numbers are far higher than my Prius. Excellent job GM!!! I can’t wait to purchase one

    LOL I have driven many times from Milford Michigan to Tampa Florida in one day about 1200 miles. I leave at 4 AM and get there between 10 and 12 that night. Infact I have my 2nd trip this year soon.

    That said I have no problem with 300 mile range. I stop about every 200 miles to get food, gas or just walk around a little.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    Magilla: “I still use the target of 50 MPG as the bogey,” said Farah. “So far I haven’t been disappointed.”With 50 MPG CS, and a goal of 300 miles, sounds like a 6 gallon tank.This would be a step down from 510 mile range on my Nissan Altima Hybrid (driving at an average of 70 on the highway) but should be better in the long run with a few overnight charges thrown in.I drive 40 miles one way 3 days a week, 75 miles one way the other 2.  

    Based on your driving scenario and assuming nightly charging, you would use 6.8 gallons of gas per week and drive a total of 540 miles. You’d be getting the equivalent of 79 mpg and a range of 476 miles with a 6 gallon tank. Show me any production vehicle that can do better.


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    Loboc

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:14 pm)

    AnonymousProxy:
    You proved nothing other than how GM creates the smoke screen.
    Just in case you didn’t read it the first time…Put one gallon of gas in the Volt and one full charge of a 100 mile BEV, go 50 miles one way non stop and 50 miles back non stop. Which one achieves the 230 mpg? If it gets 230 mpg it should make it back. The Volt won’t even make it back, the BEV will. 230mpg my ass.  

    Oh, I read it. No need to repeat nonsense.

    Your narrow non-real-world “test” is not as valid as my non-real-world conjecture. (imho)

    Put 6 gallons of gas in the Volt and see which one can go 150 miles. BEV = 50 miles hooked to a tow truck. What’s your MPD (miles per dollar) then??

    I reject your reality and substitute my own!

    HaHaHaHaHa!


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:22 pm)

    nasaman: In the spirit of brevity I expressed in post #89…GM is well aware that “under promising & over delivering” is a vital marketing principle — & I remain convinced they’ll easily achieve both 40mi AER and 50mpg CS, as this topic reaffirms.  
    (Emphasis added)

    Small edit: please replace the word “achieve” with the word “exceed”. Thank you for your kind attention to this matter. (g).

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:31 pm)

    dbrusiee: “Bly noted in cold weather a car consumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.”
    This is really BAD news. It means that the Volt will only get about 20mpg in cold weather when in electric mode and with a “new” battery. I would expect after a few years this will be reduced to 10mpg as the battery ages. I wonder why GM never mentions this? I hope that nobody thinks they have defied the laws of physics when it comes to battery life…  

    New here are you? The 40(+) AER is at the battery’s end of life. This has only been mentioned for the last few years.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:40 pm)

    LauraM: I’m normally not an optimist. But I read it the same way. Can you imagine 60mpg?

    That’s still what I’m expecting. The EREV architecture has the potential for great fuel-savings in CS-mode.

    If it turns out to be “only” 50-something, I’ll still be very pleased. :-)


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    Wade

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:44 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    James

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:44 pm)

    The technology is right. I’m waiting anxiously for this to hit showrooms, but I wonder how GM will fight the PR battle… Lack of quality (whether true or not) is the #1 problem followed understanding the extender model.

    I’ve talked to many people about the Volt and the first reaction I always get is “GM makes crap cars…”, followed later on by “I don’t want to re-arrange my schedule around the car”. They just don’t get the extender concept and even when I explain it in a simple way–you can drive 340+ miles like a regular car, but the first 40 miles don’t use any gas… they still think the Volt’s range is limited to *only* 40 miles! Grrr…

    Good luck, GM.


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    LauraM

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    AnonymousProxy: Prius has been on the market up to 2million. Yo won’t be able to say the same thing with the Volt or GM.

    I wonder how many carriage makers sited their sales numbers when discussing Henry Ford’s upcoming Model T assembly line…


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:48 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:49 pm)

    Wade: The horn sounds wimpy. For what will be close to a $50,000 car, they could at least install a decent sounding horn.  

    Wrong on all counts. The “$40,000″ quoted in most press accounts has already been refuted by GM; it will be lower than this before Federal tax credits. Where are you getting $50K from?

    The horn has two modes; one is deliberately quieter (“wimpy?”) to avoid giving pedestrians heart attacks (intended to let them know that the otherwise silent Volt is actually there); the other is a fairly normal horn-sound.


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    Allan

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:50 pm)

    Seriously? How do you survive in your car now?? Keep in mind this car is designed to reach across the aisle to people who would not normally buy an all electric car. Most cars have a 320 mile range.

    Also, the smaller the tank, the more easy it is to keep it pressurized and prevent the fuel from evaporating.

    Some all electric drivers are content with 100 mile range, and you want a 540 mile range??

    Rashiid Amul: 50 mile MPG in CS.
    I love that.This is really going to help the car sell.
    40 in Electric Mode, 50 MPG.Hmmm.Let’s see what that gives us.
    Assuming a 6 gallon tank (I’m hoping for bigger)40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck.Still too low IMO.A ten gallon tank would provide 540.
    That is a good number.  


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:54 pm)

    At the risk of repeating myself:

    AnonymousProxy =

    6sqrt1.jpg

    Go find another bridge.


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    Nelson

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (12:58 pm)

    I foresee a future in the automotive industry when the ICE will be judged not by the Horsepower or Torque it produces but by its MPG in charge sustaining mode.

    Long live EREV. Go GM Volt!

    NPNS!


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    Noah Nehm

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:00 pm)

    Wow. Good news about the Volt has been pouring out of GM lately. And, it is completely obvious to me that many other companies (Honda, Toyota, Audi) are desperately playing catchup after bad-mouthing the concept a few years ago.

    I remember when GM first proposed the EREV, they showed how the parallel hybrid was not the appropriate design model for the ideal plug-in hybrid, because it had the tendency to have the ICE on by default. The series hybrid was the only way to go, if one wanted a car that could be powered by its electric motor alone for reasonable distances. (I’m sure the original powerpoint presentation is somewhere on GM-Volt.com).

    Toyota naturally disagreed with this. They asserted that plug-in hybrids were a bad idea because it was too complicated for people to understand, saying something like: “We don’t want people thinking that you have to plug in the Prius to make it go”. Meanwhile, Toyota hedged their bets by building a Prius plug-in hybrid that is really not much more sophisticated than what the plug-in advocates were doing in their garages.

    Now, fast forward a few years to the present. On AutoBlogGreen, there’s an article on the second generation plug-in Prius, touting its all-electric range of 13-14 miles. The reviewers did note, though, that “we managed 70 percent [electric mode] on the highway loop, then 83 percent on the city loop when we started with a full pack.” In other words, it never was quite able to manage the all electric mode, precisely as GM predicted in their analysis.

    http://green.autoblog.com/2010/04/13/quick-spin-2010-plug-in-prius-prototype-just-like-your-mother/

    My take: the Chevy Volt is a superior design, particularly for those who commute about 30-35 miles a day like me. Nevertheless, the plug-in Prius is still a step forward and may represent a good middle ground for those, like my wife, whose daily driving is limited to about 10 miles a day. Both, to lesser or greater degree, are helping to bring about the electrified transportation paradigm, which is a good thing.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:00 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): …I can see Voltec evolving in three directions:

    Cheaper/More Thrifty,
    Bigger/Same Price,
    Faster/High Performance/More Expensive. …

    I agree on these three, but I think I’d slide in a subset of Faster/High Performance that was “same price” (but a shorter AER, so less battery cost). I could see jetting around for 20 miles and then plugging in while my pulse returned to normal. JMO.
    As you said, it *already* is quite a performance vehicle!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    steel

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:03 pm)

    About 230 MPG

    In the original conference and press release

    GM very clearly and repeatedly stated

    230 MPG

    AND AND AND AND AND

    25 kWh/100 miles

    Due to the presisent ignorance about this issue, I think the Volt should be the first car rated with consumption first rather than “MPG” first.

    Why? As a dual fuel source car, the initial reaction to consumption numbers is more readily understood by the human mind.

    0.434 Gal + 25 kWh will be consumed on average for each 100 miles traveled.

    In the future, there may be other dual fuel source cars (Electricity + Hydrogen comes to mind…) and a miles/unit just will never capture the consumption of these cars well.


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:04 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): At the risk of repeating myself:
    Go find another bridge.  

    Yes, I’m ashamed to admit that this particular cretin makes a good case for an IP block.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:04 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Exp_EngTech

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:04 pm)

    As we get closer to the Volt launch, I’d like to see GM produce a technical commercial that highlights the following in a typical 40 mile work commute cycle (Volt vs Prius). Volt pack fully charged.

    1. The Number of moving drivetrain components (especially when speed is 35 MPH and above).
    2. The Number of EV miles possible @ 65 MPH.

    The Volt wins hands down.

    Take that, “Hybrid Synergy Drive” ! (aka “Rube Goldberg’s Revenge”)


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:07 pm)

    Tagamet: I agree on these three, but I think I’d slide in a subset of Faster/High Performance that was “same price” (but a shorter AER, so less battery cost). I could see jetting around for 20 miles and then plugging in while my pulse returned to normal. JMO.
    As you said, it *already* is quite a performance vehicle!Be well and believe,
    TagametLet’s Just Get The VOLTS ‘Wheels On The Road!!****NPNS  

    Even at the Converj’s downrated 30 mpc (with the same battery as the Volt), they were going to charge a Cadillac price. Once you start talking “Performance,” you can add $10K right over the top (the word “Luxury” has a similar effect).

    Earlier reports of a Volt20 are starting to look pretty good, today. It will weigh less than Volt40, but presumably have the same effective horsepower. At 50 – 60 mpg in CS-mode, many many would be sold (Volt-like performance at a Prius-like price? No contest).


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    Dave

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:10 pm)

    Awesome!!!!! The excitement is building to a fever pitch at GM…and for good reason….the Volt is going to be nothing short of a BLOCKBUSTER in my opinion. GM has developed a technology that will allow the WORLD to eventually turn it’s back on oil produced in “unsavory places”. Do you hear us now Hugo Chavez?! How about you Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?! Better start saving your money now guy’s….you are about to have an “economic downturn”…….


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:11 pm)

    steel: presisent

    Huh? “Prescient ignorance” would be an oxymoron….

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:11 pm)

    AnonymousProxy: You can’t compare the quality of a product that is not available yet to one that has been out 2 million strong.

    Then why are you spending so much time talking down a product that doesn’t even exist yet?


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    NASA-Eng

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:18 pm)

    LauraM: I wonder how many carriage makers sited their sales numbers when discussing Henry Ford’s upcoming Model T assembly line…  (Quote)

    Laura M Gets 10 Points for that comment. PERFECT.

    There is NOTHING pretty relative to the mechanics and integration of current parallell Hybrid cars like the Prius. The Series/Volt Platform has dramatic benefits…. It allows for battery upgrades, should have higher reliability with time and lower maintenance given the amount of load and miles the electric motor will carry versus the ICE. As battery technology improves future Volts will go 50, 60, etc. miles putting less cycles on the ICE. The traditional Hybrid Platforms will be dead in 10 yrs. They are so limited to the manufacturer and the consumer. The Volt platform is so much easier to upgrade without a major modification to the existing platform. Upgraded Electric Motors, Batteries, ICE lighter with more power but you retain the same assembly and manufacturing. It’s really a win win for GM and the Consumer.

    One last Comment to All you Prius Fans. Your comparing a car that has been on the road for YEARS and refined several times to GM’s 1st Gen Volt. And it’s still a close race for MPG. Just think the Volt Numbers only get better with time…. Good Luck Toyota..

    Go VOLT.


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    steel

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:21 pm)

    I’d also like to address something…

    An idea seems to be floating around that an ICE car uses “Waste” heat to keep passenegers warm.

    This concept is… not entirely true.

    An ICE is a heat engine. Heat engines, of all cycles, gain efficieny as the distance between thier hot and cold sinks increase. However, an engine also relies upon combustion, and combustion’s efficieny (Ratio of burnt/unburnt fuel) is also governed by the temperature of the hot and cold sinks… usually fairly independently. A car is a fairly precisely balanced heat sink that is ment to keep an engine operating within a set range of temperatures. Adjusting the outside temperature significantly throws that balance off (A good ECU will help reduce this efficieny hit… but). Now, adding to this a heat drain to keep passengers warm just makes the problem worse. The car engine which is balanced to perform best with a car traveling threw a 70 degree airstream at ~40-60 mph, now has to burn more fuel to A. Maintain the same engine temperature at 32 degree airstream conditions as 70 degree airstream conditions, and B. heat the passenger cabin that at 70 degree did not need to be heated and (often) C. use a significant amount of fuel to heat a 32 degree engine upto operating temperature and cabin upto the 70 degree mark.

    Overall, using the “waste” heat to heat the passenger cabin is more efficient that using a belt system to draw electric power off the engine to run an electric heater… which is where the source of the confusion comes from I believe. It is also possible, given certain driving behaviours, that even in winter waste heat is produced from an engine. (Driving agressively often overloads a cars normal heating system and thus having an additional outlet can actually be good for overall efficieny).

    A good rule of “thumb” is to assume that a car is balanced to produce the most efficient results at the typical EPA testing conditions of ~70 degree and at the loads required by the EPA testing. Deviations from that (IE running the heater consistently) will result in lower overall car efficieny.


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    jonboinAR

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:24 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: 50 mile MPG in CS.I love that. This is really going to help the car sell.40 in Electric Mode, 50 MPG.Hmmm. Let’s see what that gives us.Assuming a 6 gallon tank (I’m hoping for bigger)40 + (50 x 6) = 340 miles before calling a tow truck.Still too low IMO. A ten gallon tank would provide 540.That is a good number.  (Quote)

    No, no no! It’s 340 miles before pulling into a gas station. There is no having to call a tow truck due to range issues!


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    BillR

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:29 pm)

    statik:

    BillR:I have an ‘09 Lucerne almost identical in color and wheel design to theone pictured. It is an incredibly smooth and quiet vehicle, and willget 30 mpg on the highway. After 18 months of ownership, the averagefuel economy is 25 mpg.I have had one problem with a door handle(covered under the 4 yr, 50,000 mile warranty), otherwise, no issues ordefects.  (Quote)

    Congratulations on your recent and/or upcoming retirement.
    (j/k…couldn’t resist)  

    Well, I’ve got the grey hair, but don’t yet have the financial wherewithall to comtemplate retirement.

    Can’t figure out if it was a Freudian thing where I just wanted to retire, or that I was just too naive to realize the Lucerne was for retired folks.


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    LauraM

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:33 pm)

    Noel Park: True that! +1 There was an article in our local paper yesterday about Toyota’s legal tactics in its many crash related lawsuits that would scare you to death. The truth is not in them. The chickens are coming home to roost.

    Speaking of Toyota, Consumer Reports just declared the Lexus GX 460 unsafe because of a defect in its electronic stability system that increases the risk of a rollover. They gave it a “don’t buy” rating, which apparently almost never happens. The last time they gave that rating was to the 2001 Mitsubishi Montero Limited in August 2001.

    http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2010/04/consumer-reports-2010-lexus-gx-dont-buy-safety-risk.html

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303695604575181621429384014.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTWhatsNews

    Not exactly the type of news Toyota is looking for right now…


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    Singh Parkash

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:42 pm)

    Speaking of Nissan, I saw a video showing Leaf footage; I was one of those who said the car looks like a catfish, but in reality, it seems the car look is appealing indeed. It seems comparable to a Focus, Mazda or other hatchbacks and the instruments onboard appar to be very nice and good quality.

    If the Volt lease turns out to be for example $450/month or higher and the Nissan Leaf $350/month, I am wondering whether gm-volt followers would still order the Volt rather than the Leaf.

    I am planning to put a pre-order on the Leaf. Let me know what you guys think.


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    IQ130

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:44 pm)

    I hoped that the Chevy Volt could do at least 40MPG in CS mode. If it comes close to 50 it would be a big surprise for me and definitely a proof of the serial hybrid concept.


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    nuclearboy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:45 pm)

    steel: This concept is… not entirely true.

    I think you are nitpicking here on this concept. Gas engine cars have a large radiator to dump heat to the environment as you drive. If they don’t dump heat, they overheat. Even in the winter. The heater core radiator is much smaller and should not impact efficiency very much. The heat dumped off from this radiator should be a small fraciton of the total heat that needs to be dumped.


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    Neromancer

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:54 pm)

    Brian: You make some good points but, Time will tell as real world test numbers come out. At a constant speed (hydrids are useless at constant spreeds) of say 70mph I’d be really suprized if we saw 50mpg out of the Volt. It would be nice to be wrong!! Also the Volts ICE doesn’t run at a constant speed it changes with load.  (Quote)

    The generator in the Volt does change somewhat with load (not directly). But it’s feathered and it changes to several calibrated efficient points. You are correct in that it doesn’t run at one speed. But it has been optimized to run at a number of speeds. This is something you can’t do with a conventional car. Variable valve timing and variable intake manifolds help mitgate this but don’t eliminate the problem. A conventional ICE has to run at 700 to 7000 RPM and every point between. The Volt generator will run at 0 – ~5000rpm but will probably have fixed setpoints for example of (0, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, and 5000 rpm) and be feathered between. The Volt generator valve timing, intake manifold, resonators, exaust manifold, fuel injection systems will all be optimized for these specific RPM’s


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    Richard Yeager-Stiver

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:57 pm)

    Evil Conservative: I am not really sure why the Prius people think that anything less then 500 Miles per tank is a fail?Count the number of times you go to a gas station in 2 months and see who is there more …. My bet the Volt WILL BE there less.
    If you have to drive more then 300 miles a day with out stopping then you must have an iron badder because I need to stop, stretch my legs and take a break at least once every 4 hours.  

    I am a “Prius people” [sic] – and I could care less about 500 – shoot, I can’t go over 300 in winter and 400 in summer otherwise I too am calling the “tow truck” (scratch that – stopping at a gas station first).


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    statik

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:57 pm)

    BillR: Well, I’ve got the grey hair, but don’t yet have the financial wherewithall to comtemplate retirement. Can’t figure out if it was a Freudian thing where I just wanted to retire, or that I was just too naive to realize the Lucerne was for retired folks.  (Quote)

    I was just having some fun messing with you my friend, (= Most people would rather be retired than not…and I confess to owning/having a soft spot for ‘land whales’ myself from time to time.


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    kdawg

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (1:59 pm)

    DonC: I agree with you that 50 MPG is great news. But in NA where most cars are sold the CS Mode number is not going to be a big deal since there will be plenty of opportunity charging and mostly short hops at lower speed. Farrah expanded slightly on his weekend of getting over 40 miles in EV mode and it was running errands where you end up back at home between trips. Of course when you’re at home you can also be charging. To a great extent this is typical, so I don’t expect that CS Mode will be a big factor in actual use.
    But it’s still great if it is 50 MPG.

    I think 50mpg in CS mode is interesting, because technically, you could remove the $8~$10,000 battery, and have a series-hybrid car that gets 50mpg, and the car cost maybe $25K? Of course I don’t think this will be built by anyone, but if 50mpg is true, then decoupling the mechanical linkage from engine to the drivetrain seems like the way to go vs. Toyota’s planetary gear system.


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    Richard Yeager-Stiver

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (2:03 pm)

    Singh Parkash: Speaking of Nissan, I saw a video showing Leaf footage; I was one of those who said the car looks like a catfish, but in reality, it seems the car look is appealing indeed. It seems comparable to a Focus, Mazda or other hatchbacks and the instruments onboard appar to be very nice and good quality.If the Volt lease turns out to be for example $450/month or higher and the Nissan Leaf $350/month, I am wondering whether gm-volt followers would still order the Volt rather than the Leaf.
    I am planning to put a pre-order on the Leaf. Let me know what you guys think.  

    I’m going for the Volt. American owned – American made (in fact right next door for me… Detroit). Plus, originally I lived in Ohio and could afford car insurance on two vehicles – I’ve been living in Detroit for 7 months and car insurance is a killer up here – literally doubled – thus, I can only afford one electric car – not two for those long trips back to Columbus/Cincinnati/Cleveland to visit family.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (2:17 pm)

    nasaman: GM is well aware that “under promising & over delivering” is a vital marketing principle — & I remain convinced they’ll easily achieve both 40mi AER and 50mpg CS, as this topic reaffirms.

    #96

    “From your lips to God’s ear.”


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (2:22 pm)

    Noel Park: nasaman: GM is well aware that “under promising & over delivering” is a vital marketing principle — & I remain convinced they’ll easily achieve both 40mi AER and 50mpg CS, as this topic reaffirms.

    #96

    “From your lips to God’s ear.”

    AMEN!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (2:31 pm)

    nasaman: GM is well aware that “under promising & over delivering” is a vital marketing principle — & I remain convinced they’ll easily achieve both 40mi AER and 50mpg CS, as this topic reaffirms.

    #96

    “From your lips to God’s ear.”


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (2:34 pm)

    Tagamet: And on those long trips you are going to need to drive more than 6 hours continuously without stopping for 5 minutes? Obviously you have a right to your preferences, but I sure don’t think that they are the norm – especially with the aging population.

    Amen. +1 We’ve only been over this what, 100 times? Sheesh! Next case.

    Which will probably be the noise generator for deaf pedestrians, LOL.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (2:41 pm)

    kdawg:
    I think 50mpg in CS mode is interesting, because technically, you could remove the $8~$10,000 battery, and have a series-hybrid car that gets 50mpg, and the car cost maybe $25K?Of course I don’t think this will be built by anyone, but if 50mpg is true, then decoupling the mechanical linkage from engine to the drivetrain seems like the way to go vs. Toyota’s planetary gear system.  

    I think these cars will be built if the Chevy Volt comes close to 50MPG in CS mode, if they also use an ICE with Atkinson cycle it will even be better.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (2:54 pm)

    IQ130: kdawg:
    I think 50mpg in CS mode is interesting, because technically, you could remove the $8~$10,000 battery, and have a series-hybrid car that gets 50mpg, and the car cost maybe $25K?Of course I don’t think this will be built by anyone, but if 50mpg is true, then decoupling the mechanical linkage from engine to the drivetrain seems like the way to go vs. Toyota’s planetary gear system.

    I think these cars will be built if the Chevy Volt comes close to 50MPG in CS mode, if they also use an ICE with Atkinson cycle it will even be better.

    I’m guessing they won’t due to decreasing battery prices, and increasing public charging options, but who knows. Maybe some (or a lot of) people will be lazy and never plug in their EREV’s. At that point they are basially owners of serial-hybrids, not EREVs. The market will decide, which is how it should be.


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    Ali Fredo

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (3:01 pm)

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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (3:18 pm)

    kdawg:
    I think 50mpg in CS mode is interesting, because technically, you could remove the $8~$10,000 battery, and have a series-hybrid car that gets 50mpg, and the car cost maybe $25K?Of course I don’t think this will be built by anyone, but if 50mpg is true, then decoupling the mechanical linkage from engine to the drivetrain seems like the way to go vs. Toyota’s planetary gear system.  

    IQ130:
    I think these cars will be built if the Chevy Volt comes close to 50MPG in CS mode, if they also use an ICE with Atkinson cycle it will even be better.  

    If only it were that simple.

    The genset in the Volt attempts to match the load requirement of the electric motor at all speeds, but cannot do so perfectly. In these cases, some power is required from (or added to) the customer-depletion mode of the battery. Regenerative braking will also add power to the battery. Because the battery is so large, the depth of charge for such piddling adjustment is very low, and battery life is largely unaffected.

    A battery is required for CS-mode operation and regeneration.

    Now, if you came up with a very small battery capable of many more charge/discharge cycles than the current Li/Ion chemistry, a “Plug Free Volt” might indeed be possible. For potentially infinite charge/discharge cycles, some kind of ultra-capacitor would be what you need.

    For my money, plugging in is worth a Volt, and the alternative technologies for energy storage to do without plugging in might not save all that much money (and may be technologically unfeasible in any case for a few more years).

    Having said that I’ll add that such a super-battery would be a great addition to Voltec in addition to a larger, more conventional battery pack. The reason has to do with buffering. The Volt’s engine has to come as close as possible to load in order to minimize wear on the battery. What if it didn’t have to? Maybe you could make a much simpler and lighter single-speed generator, and depend on the ultra-capacitor (or super-battery) to make up the difference between the smaller capacity and the load requirement. Further, this would spare even current CS-mode wear from the larger battery.


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (3:32 pm)

    AnonymousProxy = Ali Fredo?

    vztvgp.jpg vztvgp.jpg

    Ali Fredo: Why is it when someone comes out with a true point they are labeled a “Troll”.
    Own your flaws!
    Yes, the Volt burns Gas and YOU are proud of it because you can travel further!
    Yes, the Volt IS the only EV (so you call it) that makes sure you will be dependent on oil!
    Yes, YOU are perfectly fine continuing to be dependent on it to alleviate your “Range Anxiety”.
    Yes, GM HAS stated they will NOT increase the BEV range but will reduce the T-Pack to a lower range yet you are still proud of it.Own up to it! Do you folks just keep your lame blinders on to the true facts?  

    Whether you are one person playing the multi-name game, or just Anonymous’s kindred spirit; relabeling inane assertions as “true facts” does not give you a pass; it just makes you a Troll.


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    Steph

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (3:34 pm)

    Singh Parkash: Speaking of Nissan, I saw a video showing Leaf footage; I was one of those who said the car looks like a catfish, but in reality, it seems the car look is appealing indeed. It seems comparable to a Focus, Mazda or other hatchbacks and the instruments onboard appar to be very nice and good quality.If the Volt lease turns out to be for example $450/month or higher and the Nissan Leaf $350/month, I am wondering whether gm-volt followers would still order the Volt rather than the Leaf.
    I am planning to put a pre-order on the Leaf. Let me know what you guys think.  

    If you like the LEAF go for it my friend.

    But you let us know what you think when you get stranded on the road after you deplete the battery and waiting for the tow truck.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (3:40 pm)

    Ali Fredo: Why is it when someone comes out with a true point they are labeled a “Troll”.
    Own your flaws!
    Yes, the Volt burns Gas and YOU are proud of it because you can travel further!
    Yes, the Volt IS the only EV (so you call it) that makes sure you will be dependent on oil!
    Yes, YOU are perfectly fine continuing to be dependent on it to alleviate your “Range Anxiety”.
    Yes, GM HAS stated they will NOT increase the BEV range but will reduce the T-Pack to a lower range yet you are still proud of it.Own up to it! Do you folks just keep your lame blinders on to the true facts?  

    Troll.
    Nothing to see here.
    Move along.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Dennis King

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (3:44 pm)

    What is still a little crazy with GM, if you go to a dealership and try to work with them, they are clueless as to when they will get their allotment. Even worse the sales person that took my name looked up on the tentative list and confirmed I was on it but I have not heard back from him, even after several email attempts.

    Even worse I live in Michigan near the Milford test track and that is where the dealership is near.
    So right now I still see the old style or way GM used to do business.


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    kent beuchert

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (3:48 pm)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (3:56 pm)

    Please ignore the last (failed) post. Just trying to post the troll picture.
    Sorry,
    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Singh Parkash

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (3:58 pm)

    Steph, this idea of running out of gas is just a myth. It has been proved wrong by Tesla already. I just talked this weekend with a Tesla owner who put 60,000 miles and once again people stated that does not exist. Also, the Nissan Quick Charge it said to charge the vehicle in 26 minutes (from 0%-80%). That is enough for me.

    What is important is that I will be driving a car which is truly made to get rid of oil and that hopefully will motivate people to put the right infrastructure in place. I know there are risks associated with that, but hopefully companies like Nissan and Tesla also deserve the credit if successful.

    Steph: If you like the LEAF go for it my friend. But you let us know what you think when you get stranded on the road after you deplete the battery and waiting for the tow truck.  (Quote)


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:01 pm)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:05 pm)

    kent beuchert: Ironic that Lutz during his career knew what sells – beauty – and ends up producing the ugliest car he ever worked on.  

    Well aren’t you a sweetheart. (lol)

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:09 pm)

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    IQ130

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:15 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): If only it were that simple.The genset in the Volt attempts to match the load requirement of the electric motor at all speeds, but cannot do so perfectly.In these cases, some power is required from (or added to) the customer-depletion mode of the battery.Regenerative braking will also add power to the battery.Because the battery is so large, the depth of charge for such piddling adjustment is very low, and battery life is largely unaffected.A battery is required for CS-mode operation and regeneration.Now, if you came up with a very small battery capable of many more charge/discharge cycles than the current Li/Ion chemistry, a “Plug Free Volt” might indeed be possible.For potentially infinite charge/discharge cycles, some kind of ultra-capacitor would be what you need.For my money, plugging in is worth a Volt, and the alternative technologies for energy storage to do without plugging in might not save all that much money (and may be technologically unfeasible in any case for a few more years).Having said that I’ll add that such a super-battery would be a great addition to Voltec in addition to a larger, more conventional battery pack.The reason has to do with buffering.The Volt’s engine has to come as close as possible to load in order to minimize wear on the battery.What if it didn’t have to?Maybe you could make a much simpler and lighter single-speed generator, and depend on the ultra-capacitor (or super-battery) to make up the difference between the smaller capacity and the load requirement.Further, this would spare even current CS-mode wear from the larger battery.  

    Of course a battery is required but it can be a small one. This would be a competitor for the Prius but you are still using oil all the time so you don’t have the advantage of the Chevy Volt with a 40 miles EV range. However the better the CS mode the more attractive it would be also to make cars with a smaller EV range than 40 miles which are lighter and cheaper.


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:17 pm)

    AnonymousProxy:
    You obviously think everyone is just like you to make that distinction they will exceed the range. The full EV owner will use the product within it’s range properly. You on the other hand you will need the your pollution fix to compensate for your lack of decision making.  

    Does this guy know that he’s talking out loud? (ROTFLMAO)

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:20 pm)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:21 pm)

    AnonymousProxy:
    You obviously think everyone is just like you to make that distinction they will exceed the range. The full EV owner will use the product within it’s range properly. You on the other hand you will need the your pollution fix to compensate for your lack of decision making.  

    Anon, your BEV will be forever tethered to it’s home base by it’s inability to be rapidly re-fueled (whatever you consider to be fuel). This is severely limiting. You must always call a BEV “car” with an asterisk: “*but you cannot just get in it and go in an emergency.” Will a limited-use car find buyers? Undoubtedly. Is it somehow morally superior? Only if you think that never traveling more than ~50 miles from home is a virtue.

    Maybe someday moving solely by electricity will be simply a moral choice — but that will happen only when electricity and gasoline can sit across from one another on an even playing field with equal availability and capability; that day will not come for many years. It will not come at all if EVs remain the sole prerogative of electric barnstormers who want to hang it over the edge regardless of any sacrifice, or championed only by snotty, pygmy-brained under-bridge slimes like yourself (and perhaps, that is your true goal?). Alas, words fail me; I cannot think of suitably vile epithets to heap upon your limited world-view.

    By the way, what electric vehicle will be first to rapidly refuel on the road without using petroleum? There is only one correct answer.

    It will be an EREV running of biofuels.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:31 pm)

    IQ130:
    Of course a battery is required but it can be a small one. This would be a competitor for the Prius but you are still using oil all the time so you don’t have the advantage of the Chevy Volt with a 40 miles EV range. However the better the CS mode the more attractive it would be also to make cars with a smaller EV range than 40 miles which are lighter and cheaper.  

    A smaller battery = greater depth of charge for buffering and re-gen in CS-mode. Greater depth of charge = many more complete cycles as you drive (much shorter pack life).

    While it seems counter-intuitive, the real bottleneck for a “Plug Free Volt” (or a super-efficient version of CS-mode in a regular Volt) is the number of cycles a battery can sustain. For this we must wait for further advancement of the battery art, or look to ultra-capacitors.

    The smaller Volt you mention has already been announced. It’s battery-only range will be 20 instead of 40 miles. It will be lighter, with probably the same horsepower, and will finally bury the Prius underneath Anonymous Troll Proxy’s wounded knee.


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:31 pm)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:38 pm)

    Dennis King: What is still a little crazy with GM, if you go to a dealership and try to work with them, they are clueless as to when they will get their allotment.Even worse the sales person that took my name looked up on the tentative list and confirmed I was on it but I have not heard back from him, even after several email attempts.Even worse I live in Michigan near the Milford test track and that is where the dealership is near.
    So right now I still see the old style or way GM used to do business.  

    I currently have a #5 spot at a Detroit-Metro area dealer. However, when I called a local dealer (name left out) – I asked if they have a reservation list for the Volt – the response was “this is a dealership, sir – not a restaurant.” I thanked the manager for his time and hung up. I wish GM could just sell the cars directly without a middle person – it actually is the GM dealers that cause me to hate purchasing a vehicle – but the Volt is causing me to work with a dealer (I have my fingers crossed he’ll get 5+ cars when they come out in November/December.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:39 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): …championed only by snotty, pygmy-brained under-bridge slimes like yourself (and perhaps, that is your true goal?). Alas, words fail me; I cannot think of suitably vile epithets to heap upon your limited world-view…

    Give it a few minutes, Zach. They’ll come to you. (lol). As I posted earlier, this, uh, person(?), makes a good case for an IP block. At least it’s fun to laugh at the remarks… Isn’t that *some* socially redeeming value? Personally, I find his facade of pseudo-sanity pretty entertaining. It must take an incredible amount of effort.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:43 pm)

    AnonymousProxy: Ali Fredo: Own up to it!

    Nice!!!

    Talking to yourself?

    You must be in desperation close to breakdown over all the good news for the Volt faithful today.

    AnonymousProxy: Some folks here even complain about a 300 mile EV range and claim “range anxiety”. All an EV is, is a tool for the specific job to get you there.

    If this is truly what you believe, go for it. There will be different volts (small “v”) for different folks. But this can’t be all there is to it, or you wouldn’t say anything like:

    AnonymousProxy: GM made the statement that most folks travel only 40 miles. Yet most here seem to still think they need more range therefore they need the internal combustion engine for their crutch. All the while they boast about “Energy Independence” or “Free from oil” but still they are dependent because they can go much further than a BEV using gasoline. Oxymoron? Or Hypocrite?

    If no gas for 90+% of driving isn’t compelling enough to you, I’d suggest that you have a much deeper problem (or agenda, more likely).

    You will make no converts here. You will only awaken us; filled with a terrible resolve.

    Go away.


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    LazP

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:44 pm)

    Loboc:
    Monday 32 miles – recharge
    Tuesday 35 miles – recharge
    Wednesday 33 miles – recharge
    Thursday 36 miles – recharge
    Friday 44 miles – recharge (got lucky, RE didn’t come on.)
    Saturday 20 miles – recharge
    Sunday 5 miles – recharge
    Monday 32 miles – recharge
    Tuesday 35 miles – recharge
    Wednesday 33 miles – recharge
    Thursday 36 miles – recharge
    Friday 45 miles – use 1/10 gal of gas – recharge
    Saturday 120 miles – use 1.6 gal of gas – recharge (BEV would crap out at 100 miles)
    Sunday 5 miles – recharge
    ————————————————
    511 miles – use 1.7 gal of gas = 300.59 mpg.
    Are your mirrors smoked yet? I know mine are all hot-n-bothered.  

    #157

    Good comment. Your example is exactly where the Volt shines. To get some of nay-sayers of our back the 300.59 mpg value should be labeled as mpgg ( miles per gallon gasoline mileage) and should incorporate the recharging energy cost.


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    mikeinatl.

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:49 pm)

    #231 Anonymous Proxy,

    “Some folks here even complain about a 300 mile EV range and claim “range anxiety”. All an EV is, is a tool for the specific job to get you there. GM made the statement that most folks travel only 40 miles. Yet most here seem to still think they need more range therefore they need the internal combustion engine for their crutch. All the while they boast about “Energy Independence” or “Free from oil” but still they are dependent because they can go much further than a BEV using gasoline. Oxymoron? Or Hypocrite?”

    Please consider for a moment that this is about reducing ones TOTAL consumption of oil without submitting to the eventual stranding of a driver because his battery is depleted. The gasoline EXTENDS the normal driving range of the average American driver because, things happen.
    We forget to charge. Charging takes hours and sometimes we dont have that much time. We must go somewhere unexpectedly. Not every day, but certainly sometimes.

    Hey, life is full of random demands. It will be great to have a back up supply of fuel for such events. Most people need that kind of insurance in their busy lives. We dont yet have the charging infrastructure or technology in place to provide worry-free all electric transportation to all American drivers. That takes time and some eggs to be around before the chickens will arrive.

    If the Volt does not work for you, then DONT BUY ONE! Volt is not the cure for dependance on oil But it is a crucial first step toward that. Theoretically, Voltect could reduce oil use by Americans by almost 80%, a pretty nice first step.

    This is not the end of this technology’s advancement. Its not even the beginning yet.
    Relax my man, this is all moving in the right direction.
    Soon so fast your head will spin.

    GO VOLT!


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (4:52 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (5:04 pm)

    AnonymousProxy: Battery range has already been said to be reduced in the effort to reduce price.

    Did you even bother to read today’s post? There has been no reduction in AER. A 20 mile AER version of the Volt will be offered sometime in the future for less money, but it will not replace the original 40 mile version.

    AnonymousProxy: They have also said many times that they WILL NOT increase the range above 40 miles.

    Well, that’s true enough. As my daddy used to say, “even a blind sow finds an acorn once in awhile.”

    You’ve made a point of bringing up the history of the Prius (repeatedly, in fact). When Voltec has been on the road for a decade, I believe we’ll find that this decision has been reversed. Fact is, many people have specifically requested a shorter range AER Volt for cost reasons. When costs for battery packs fall, I think we’ll also see the increased range version come out (especially if a surge accumulator with near-infinite cycle-life is developed, allowing the engine to be made smaller and lighter).

    Of course, you care nothing for reason, wishing only to lash out in impotence at the prospect of the Prius being de-throned by (shudder) an American car …

    However, we can still make some use of you as a sort of negative example, and as a convenient starting point for refutation.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (5:16 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson):
    A smaller battery = greater depth of charge for buffering and re-gen in CS-mode.Greater depth of charge = many more complete cycles as you drive (much shorter pack life).While it seems counter-intuitive, the real bottleneck for a “Plug Free Volt” (or a super-efficient version of CS-mode in a regular Volt) is the number of cycles a battery can sustain.For this we must wait for further advancement of the battery art, or look to ultra-capacitors.The smaller Volt you mention has already been announced.It’s battery-only range will be 20 instead of 40 miles.It will be lighter, with probably the same horsepower, and will finally bury the Prius underneath Anonymous Troll Proxy’s wounded knee.  

    I think a “Plug Free Volt” can be made using the same battery of the Prius which is made for many cycles of loading and depletion. I also wonder if the Chevy Volt uses two batteries a bigger one for EV mode which has less cycles of loading and depletion and a smaller one for the buffer in CS mode with many cycles and different characteristics.


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    mr g vallin

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (5:27 pm)

    bonjour
    pouvez vous m’envoyer ce dossier en français
    svp
    merci


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (5:29 pm)

    IQ130:
    I think a “Plug Free Volt” can be made using the same battery of the Prius which is made for many cycles of loading and depletion.

    Nickel Metal Hydride batteries are currently in relatively short supply (and the patent has been sold to an oil company). Absorbing re-gen in a hybrid is probably less power-intensive than doing that while also buffering the engine for CS-mode. When you consider that Nimh has a much lower power density, and so would be much larger than a Li/Ion counterpart, you might realize very little weight, volume or cost savings over the plug-in design.

    IQ130:
    I also wonder if the Chevy Volt uses two batteries a bigger one for EV mode which has less cycles of loading and depletion and a smaller one for the buffer in CS mode with many cycles and different characteristics.  

    Once such a smaller “high-test” battery becomes feasible, I hope that it will, but currently it does not.

    I think that the smallest the battery can be (limited to what can be known about Li/Ion today), and still turn in good CS-mode mpg is one capable of 20 miles of AER (which is part of why this alternate model has been announced, IMO). I agree with you that this is likely to be the Prius-killer.

    Consider what happens when the small high-performance battery does come out. Two could be used with the 20 mile battery for a hot EREV sports car, or one could be used with the 40 mile battery to extend the larger pack’s life (or use it with 2 x 40 AER batteries and a 20 AER for a BEV), or by itself for “plug free” serial hybrids — pretty much all off the shelf.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (5:37 pm)

    Former Detroiter & GMer: Toyota is acting no differently than GM would have. In fact GM IS acting this way right now with a little known steering recall.

    #159

    We own a 2008 Colorado and we just got a letter from GM about the steering recall. It has been covered quite a bit in the local press in the last couple of weeks. How is that keeping a secret? -1

    The article I mentioned documented numerous cases of Toyota concealing material facts and documents in actual litigation. Totally unethical, if not criminal, IMHO. The idol clearly has feet of clay.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (5:38 pm)

    H0LY crapola….What’d I miss?

    Sheesh, too many posts for me to read but I wanted to share this with ya’ll. This is about the PHV Prius…

    ———————————————————————————
    The seminar for business, automotive and environmental media and analysts also offers attendees the first opportunity to drive the 2010 Prius Plug-in Hybrid (PHV) demonstration program vehicle. The Prius PHV expands Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology with the introduction of a first generation lithium-ion drive battery that enables all-electric operation at higher speeds and longer distances than the conventional Prius. When fully charged, the vehicle is targeted to achieve a maximum electric-only range of approximately 13 miles and will be capable of achieving highway speeds up to 60 mph in electric-only mode. For longer distances, the Prius PHV reverts to “hybrid mode” and operates like a regular Prius.

    The first generation lithium-ion drive battery’s unique composition is the key to the PHVs expanded all-electric power. The battery is composed of three packs, one main battery and two additional packs. At vehicle start, the PHV operates in all-electric mode, drawing electrical power directly from battery pack one. When pack one’s battery charge is depleted, it disconnects from the circuit and pack two engages and supplies electrical energy to the motor. When pack two is depleted it disconnects from the circuit and the system defaults to conventional hybrid mode, using the main battery as the sole electrical power source. Pack one and pack two will not reengage in tandem with the main battery pack until the vehicle is plugged in and charged.
    ———————————————————————–

    This was on ABG. Correct me if i’m wrong here but doesn’t this sound like a “Series HSD”? or somesh|t like that?
    So if they can dynamically add/remove a batt pack in or outta a circuit, that means they can simply replace one, or 2 according to the article, with a bigger Ah capacity at any time,or when density goes up, which means third party batt packs?!?!
    60mph is fine since these dang rubbernecking drivers can’t seem to go beyond that here.

    How much you wanna bet it aint gonna get 51 or so mpg in hybrid mode?


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    Noel Park

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (5:46 pm)

    Starcast: I am one who just can’t help myself. I amost never fill up until the Low Fuel light comes on.

    #168

    We must be distantly related, LOL. I zero out the trip odometer when I fill up, and fill up again when it hits 425 miles. The red light comes on about 300. 25 mpg combined every tank. 10 years old and 243K miles. It’s a great little truck. I laugh when people grizzle about GM quality. Although their gas gauges ain’t much, I have to admit.


  247. 247
    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (5:50 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: This was on ABG. Correct me if i’m wrong here but doesn’t this sound like a “Series HSD”? or somesh|t like that?

    They’ve been talking about shipping a few over here for a Calif fleet (at Stanford?). Sounds like a work in progress – chasing the Volt.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Noel Park

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (5:51 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): Go find another bridge.

    #185

    I was about to comment, but there’s no way to top that. +1


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    Noel Park

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (5:55 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): Then why are you spending so much time talking down a product that doesn’t even exist yet?

    #196

    I think he gets paid by the “-”.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:00 pm)

    LauraM: Speaking of Toyota, Consumer Reports just declared the Lexus GX 460 unsafe because of a defect in its electronic stability system that increases the risk of a rollover.

    #201

    Yeah, I just heard it on NPR. Nobody’s perfect.


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    CaptJackSparrow

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:00 pm)

    Tagamet: They’ve been talking about shipping a few over here for a Calif fleet (at Stanford?). Sounds like a work in progress – chasing the Volt.

    I think November 2011 is kind of late if you ask me. They’ll probably ride the HSD wagon for while.
    What “real world” experiences are they looking for that they don’t know already from current ICE drivers patterns?……lol One would think they would drive the same?

    /ok, if I had the torque at 0 rpm I probably wouldn’t drive the same…..lol :-)


  252. 252
    Dave K.

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:00 pm)

    Offering comfort, torque, safety, and quiet operation. Achieving 40 miles on battery power. Followed by about 50 mpg during extended range operation.

    My 600cc motorcycle achieves about 40 mpg. The 3.8 gallon fuel tank on the Ninja provides 120 miles between fill ups. The Volt does much better than this. Motor scooter efficiency from what several demo drivers have called “a good handling car with a solid luxury feel”.

    When the Volt needs an occasional splash of fuel. It will take just minutes to pump 3 gallons ($10). Compared with the normal routine of pumping 10+ gallons at $35. And this ritual may happen just once each month or two. With electric recharge battery range often coming from a workplace parking stall or city garage EV zoned parking space.

    =D-Volt

    Volt%20in%20Viridian%20Joule.jpg


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:02 pm)

    Richard Yeager-Stiver:
    I currently have a #5 spot at a Detroit-Metro area dealer.However, when I called a local dealer (name left out) – I asked if they have a reservation list for the Volt – the response was “this is a dealership, sir – not a restaurant.” I thanked the manager for his time and hung up.I wish GM could just sell the cars directly without a middle person – it actually is the GM dealers that cause me to hate purchasing a vehicle – but the Volt is causing me to work with a dealer (I have my fingers crossed he’ll get 5+ cars when they come out in November/December.  

    I have spot #4 at one of the Chevy Stores. The other one didn’t want to talk about a waiting list either. Hmmm. Maybe it might have to do with one of them *not* somehow being able to sell Volts!.

    If that is the case, then perhaps there might be some sort of policy for only one dealer per city? I do not know for sure, but, if this is the case, then, for everyone that wants a Volt, be sure to sign up **somewhere** where there is in fact a waiting list.

    This might also infer for each dealer that *is* starting a waiting list, that maybe they might get *twice?* the number of shipments of Volts. If so, (speculation continues), then maybe your number 5 and my number 4 might come up sooner than we might think.
    (As opposed to dividing total stated annual production suggestion by the total number of dealers.)


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    Cocoafloridapaul

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:03 pm)

    I live in a flat southern state,
    but I commute 175 miles a day.
    I want to buy American, but how can I tell
    the MPG. is it 230 or 50. I’m a newbie to the volt.
    I thought I was going to have to drive a prius.
    Can some tell me if this would work for me?


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    Noel Park

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:05 pm)

    Tagamet: “From your lips to God’s ear.”

    AMEN!

    #211

    I trust that you notice that I always put it in quotes, LOL. +1


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:15 pm)

    Cocoafloridapaul: I live in a flat southern state,
    but I commute 175 miles a day.
    I want to buy American, but how can I tell
    the MPG. is it 230 or 50. I’m a newbie to the volt.
    I thought I was going to have to drive a prius.
    Can some tell me if this would work for me?  

    Seems to me that with a commute like that you’d be better suited by a Cobalt or a small Ford.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:33 pm)

    (img) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v95/Tagamet/VOLTNATION/th_6sqrt1.jpg (/img)

    I’ve consistently been spectacularly unsuccessful at getting this image to post!
    (Sigh)

    Tagamet


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    nuclearboy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:36 pm)

    Cocoafloridapaul: I live in a flat southern state,
    but I commute 175 miles a day.
    I want to buy American, but how can I tell
    the MPG. is it 230 or 50. I’m a newbie to the volt.
    I thought I was going to have to drive a prius.
    Can some tell me if this would work for me?

    Tag is correct in his observations above. For a typical (statistical average) driver based on the DOE study the Volt will deliver over 200 mpg on average. Your commute it NOT typical.

    For a driver that goes only a few miles per day, the averaged gas mileage will be in the 4 digit (> 1000 mpg) range (assuming the engine comes on now and again).

    For a driver that goes 175 miles or more per day, the mileage will begin to approach the charge sustaining mileage of 50 mpg. For instance, if you really get 50 mpg in CS mode and drove 140 miles per day, that would be 70 mpg (2 gallons of gas = 100 miles + 40 electric).

    If you drive 190 miles per day, average gas mileage would be 63.

    Since you could buy a Chevy Cruze and get almost 40 miles per gallon highway, that would probably be a much better deal for someone who drives so many miles.

    One thing to consider, once you get up into the higher mpg ratings, you don’t save as much as you add more mpg. For instance, going from 15 to 20 mpg saves you 25% on your gas costs. Going from 45 to 50 mpg saves you only 10% of your gas usage.


  259. 259
    nuclearboy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:38 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): Whether you are one person playing the multi-name game, or just Anonymous’s kindred spirit; relabeling inane assertions as “true facts” does not give you a pass; it just makes you a Troll.

    Where I come from it makes him a JackA$$.


  260. 260
    Jerry Roane

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:46 pm)

    Have you considered the technology by Roane Inventions where you swap the battery pack at speed? Swapping the battery pack throughout the town gives unlimited range with a much smaller battery (lower cost) and with shallow discharge making the battery life more like 300,000 cycles rather than 2000 cycles with deep discharge. The lifecycle cost of the batteries in the present approach to the Volt will be an economic bomb a couple years into the product. If the batteries can be shallow discharged through any method then the life of the car and the life of the battery can match. Battery swap at speed eliminates the fear of driving a battery car because it logistically solves range limitations imagined or real. You can tell the public about the data of commute miles but each person thinks they are special and will NEED all those extra miles of range. By using battery swap that fear of running out of juice on the side of the highway is eliminated.


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    ziv

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:46 pm)

    Cocoa, you need to work harder to either move closer to work or to move work closer to home. Your family misses you! Nobody should be commuting that many miles unless they are doing so in an airplane!


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    DaveP

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:56 pm)

    Baltimore17: Looks like I’ll be getting about 20 miles on the battery

    I was thinking the same thing, but maybe I can adjust my driving style.
    I’d imagine the aggressive driving practices that waste energy the most in order are:
    1) braking aggressively (energy loss to brake friction)
    2) driving at high speeds (energy loss to air friction)
    3) accelerating rapidly (energy loss due to higher inefficiencies of the motor/electronics)

    Hmmm, don’t think I can help #3. Or #2.
    So, my clever plan to increase my mileage by adjusting my driving style is to never slow down (er, rapidly)! ;)


  263. 263
    Rashiid Amul

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:58 pm)

    I hope you all had fun turning me into cannon fodder today. :)

    Have a nice night all. 4:00 AM comes a bit early for me.

    I promise to choose my words more carefully tomorrow. ;)


  264. 264
    MuddyRoverRob

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (6:59 pm)

    Wow… the trolls are out in force!

    Almost like they are afraid to be wrong!

    Well done Volt team!
    Keep up the great work!


  265. 265
    Joy

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:09 pm)

    Hey, everyone loves a love-fest. But if you downgrade any comment that expresses preferences or concerns, those comments get hidden from view. That’s not the best way to make the car be the best possible car it can be, when it does come off the assembly line. Doesn’t it make more sense to correct the misconceptions (as some have done)? For example, tell the guy who wants a 10 gallon tank to use on weekends that nothing’s stopping him from tucking one of those 4 gallon red plastic cans in the back, if you really want to ignore gas stations for 10 hours straight. And it’s a lot less weight, empty, than a larger gas tank.

    For the guy who wants better efficiency in gas mode? I have a prius, and it’s one heck of a heavy beast. Some of that’s the batteries, some of it is the hybrid recapture. With even more batteries, I suspect the volt’s not going to be a lightweight, either. There’s always going to be some tradeoff in terms of price vs. fuel efficiency, but there’s also a trade off in “fuel efficiency while using the batteries” vs. “fuel efficiency while hauling empty batteries.” Take your 40 “free” miles and be happy. As for cost, if you’re in the US, the big dollar Prius tax break ran out a while ago, I believe, while the Volt has one humdinger of a rebate attached.

    Look, not every car will work for every person–just like now. You can’t fit a family of 5 plus a dog in a 2 seater sports car. You probably won’t pick the volt first if you live someplace where houses are 50 miles apart, and winters are severe. But a mere doubling of electric prices will still leave the Volt as a thrifty option… even if there’s some tradeoff between going ultra cheap and ultra green. Besides, if the prices get too high, you’ll be motivated to put in your own solar or wind system, right?


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    Joy

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:20 pm)

    Ceci, ce “blog,” c’est ecrit par la publique. Nous sommes, en general, des Americains. Il n’y a personne pour fair un traduction. Moi, je n’ai qu’un petit peu de Francais. On peut essaier traduction automatique de “google translate.” Bonne chance.

    (This is a blog. It is user generated content. We are Americans, mostly. There’s no one here to translate for you. I speak only a tiny bit of French. Suggest you try “google translate.” Good luck.)

    mr g vallin: bonjour
    pouvez vous m’envoyer ce dossier en français
    svp
    merci  


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:25 pm)

    nasaman:
    Dan, although it’s slightly off topic, I HEARTILY agree with your comments. My test drive on Mar 29 in NYC (which was the subject my lengthy Fri, 4/2 topic here) could be briefly summarized just as you did above! Thanks!
    PS: We have something in common, Dan —expounding at length about certain technical matters. It’s refreshing to see you can also be quite succinct. I’ll try to follow your example!   

    Becoming succinct is what the Volt drive did to/for me.
    Once you have that privilege as a tech, you have witnessed all the different kinds of breathtaking technological workmanship *THAT YOU KNOW IS IN THERE!*
    And then, very little I could say can come close to describing it, nor do it justice. (Just a completely-confirmed deepest respect for GM engineering).

    This is why I would like for many other regular posters to also be given the privilege to drive it.

    It would certainly be a ****lot of fun**** to see how their writing styles also change!


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    Noel Park

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:26 pm)

    Man, I could hardly keep up today. Great job bloggers. See ya tomorrow. +1 to all!!


  269. 269
    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:28 pm)

    DaveP: …So, my clever plan to increase my mileage by adjusting my driving style is to never slow down (er, rapidly)! ;)

    We could call that “The Prius Strategy” (evil grin).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:30 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: I hope you all had fun turning me into cannon fodder today.
    Have a nice night all.4:00 AM comes a bit early for me.I promise to choose my words more carefully tomorrow.   

    Sleep well, and don’t forget to get gas.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Volt45

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:36 pm)

    mikeinatl. :P >This is the automotive version of the IPhone, a truely new paradigm.Like the IPhone, it will set new standards and the industry will race to immulate it.But unlike the IPhone, VOLTEC technology will most likely be very important to our country’s future security.VOLT has landed.That’s one small car for a , one giant leap for America.GO VOLT!  (Quote)

    But will you be able to focus your eyes after driving it for an hour?


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    carcus1

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:39 pm)

    CaptJackSparrow: How much you wanna bet it aint gonna get 51 or so mpg in hybrid mode?  

    Hey Cappy,

    Toyota says 50 mpg.

    “When the vehicle is operating in regular hybrid mode, it has an EPA estimated 50 MPG combined city/highway rating.”
    http://priuschat.com/news/prius-plug-in-hybrid-vehicle-phv-faq-sheet

    /very interesting that Toyota is splitting the pack up into sections that operate independently


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    mark yates

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:39 pm)

    Mark A: Why does the EPA need to come up with some BS MPG number?Why can’t it just be “40 miles electric, after that 50 mpg highway, 35 city, 40 combined” for example.Coming up with a single number of “230 mpg” is just downright misleading.If they need some kind of official EPA number for legal reasons then just keep it way down in the fine print.  

    I think it should be simply 40+50 = 90 miles for FIRST gallon.
    Just use that for plugin hybrids – simple and NOT misleading.


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    Ed M

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:40 pm)

    Since I like to drive like there’s a raw egg between my foot and the accelerator and I don’t to tailgate, I expect to get even better mileage than Andrew Farah.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:45 pm)

    Ed M: Since I like to drive like there’s a raw egg between my foot and the accelerator and I don’t to tailgate, I expect to get even better mileage than Andrew Farah.  

    *Easily*.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  276. 276
    IQ130

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:46 pm)

    Craig: OK, I’ve read everything (EVERYTHING!) and I’m kinda late to the party, but: When I was at the Detroit Auto Show I learned that the Volt gas engine WON’T recharge the batteries. It will only drive the electric motors. That was a surprise to me at the time. Could anyone explain why the change. Any thought of taking a Volt on a trip from Detroit to Florida just went out the window — unless motels start putting electrical outlets on the outside of their buildings.
    Ideas? Explanations?
    Thanks,
    C  

    I think you are right this is a change in the original concept they wanted to use the ICE to recharge the battery, but I think they found out this is not a very good idea for technical reasons. First of all it is less efficient to recharge the battery by using the ICE and a generator and using only the battery for the electric motor instead off using the generated electricity directly for the electric motor. Secondly you probably cannot recharge the battery fast enough when their is high demand of electricity. When the generated electricity goes directly to the electric motor you don’t have this problem it is also easier to change the amount of generated electricity when the demand gets higher. In the third place it is better for the lifetime of the battery to recharge it at a steady slower pace by plugging it in. Of course the ICE is used to maintain the capacity of the smaller buffer.


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:48 pm)

    Joy: Hey, everyone loves a love-fest.But if you downgrade any comment that expresses preferences or concerns, those comments get hidden from view.That’s not the best way to make the car be the best possible car it can be, when it does come off the assembly line.Doesn’t it make more sense to correct the misconceptions (as some have done)?For example, tell the guy who wants a 10 gallon tank to use on weekends that nothing’s stopping him from tucking one of those 4 gallon red plastic cans in the back, if you really want to ignore gas stations for 10 hours straight.And it’s a lot less weight, empty, than a larger gas tank.For the guy who wants better efficiency in gas mode?I have a prius, and it’s one heck of a heavy beast.Some of that’s the batteries, some of it is the hybrid recapture.With even more batteries, I suspect the volt’s not going to be a lightweight, either.There’s always going to be some tradeoff in terms of price vs. fuel efficiency, but there’s also a trade off in “fuel efficiency while using the batteries” vs. “fuel efficiency while hauling empty batteries.”Take your 40 “free” miles and be happy.As for cost, if you’re in the US, the big dollar Prius tax break ran out a while ago, I believe, while the Volt has one humdinger of a rebate attached.Look, not every car will work for every person–just like now.You can’t fit a family of 5 plus a dog in a 2 seater sports car.You probably won’t pick the volt first if you live someplace where houses are 50 miles apart, and winters are severe.But a mere doubling of electric prices will still leave the Volt as a thrifty option… even if there’s some tradeoff between going ultra cheap and ultra green.Besides, if the prices get too high, you’ll be motivated to put in your own solar or wind system, right?  

    I think over time you’ll see that honest misconceptions and questions do get answered here. Where your observation breaks down is with the trolls who have no intention of being anything other than an irritant. Voting a -10 does provide some topical relief (use only as directed).


  278. 278
    mark yates

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:50 pm)

    Jeff C:
    What is even more sad is there are pure gas cars available that exceed the MPG of the prius and volt for a fraction of the cost. I regularly get 45-50 in my Smart fortwo ($12k) and in my 1991 Geo Metro ($400 used), I was getting 55mpg.Also, the Ford Model A (The second production car on the planet) got 30 mpg.What the hell has happened to this industry?!?!  

    The smart fortwo uses a 0.9 litre engine – considering the engine in the Volt is only a charger I don’t really understand why they’re going with a 1.6 litre engine instead of what must be a lighter, less thirst smart car engine that can get 50-60mpg in an “inefficient” variable rpm geared car. Also people talk about saving weight – using a 6 gallon tank instead of a 10 gallon tank… but metal is 5-10x the density of gasoline (aprox 1g/cm3)… make the engine smaller save a LOT on weight… maybe as much as the battery pack weighs.


  279. 279
    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:55 pm)

    IQ130:
    I think you are right this is a change in the original concept they wanted to use the ICE to recharge the battery, but I think they found out this is not a very good idea for technical reasons.

    Sorry. That “engine recharges the battery” line was widely reported misinformation in the press for the first couple of years after the Volt concept went public (in fact, the press has only recently been broken of this after much, much correction).

    The story goes that when testing the EV1, someone came up with the idea of a portable generator on a trailer to make long term testing easier. Someone suggested building a car like this on purpose. This was the germ of the Volt which sprouted only when the Tesla came out; prompting Bob Lutz and others at GM to say “They can do this, and we can’t?

    The Volt is effectively EV2 in ways that many observers don’t suspect.

    IQ130:
    Of course the ICE is used to maintain the capacity of the smaller buffer.

    Correct.


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    ProfessorGordon

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (7:57 pm)

    Cocoafloridapaul: I live in a flat southern state,
    but I commute 175 miles a day.
    I want to buy American, but how can I tell
    the MPG. is it 230 or 50. I’m a newbie to the volt.
    I thought I was going to have to drive a prius.
    Can some tell me if this would work for me?  

    This tool will answer your question.

    http://www.4shared.com/document/JH4EIh80/Your_Mileage_May_Vary.html


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:05 pm)

    th_6sqrt1.jpg

    You’re right, Tagamet, that particular image path is a bear.

    Do what I do; upload the image at http://www.tinypic.com, and select the link that looks like:

    [IMG]http://i40.tinypic.com/vztvgp.jpg[/IMG]

    Make a note of it in a Wordpad document you can find easily.

    … then, change “IMG” to “img” both places in the text box:

    vztvgp.jpg

    (and now, everyone can rip-off Exp_EngTech’s troll image with ease … )


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    Dave G

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:09 pm)

    Nick D: I will use gasoline maybe once per week on the weekend. I can see myself filling the gas tank every other month or so. Do that with the Prius…

    And this point about the Volt. The primary fuel source is electricity. And this means trips to the gas station are few and far between.


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    Tex-Arl

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:10 pm)

    Unni: Some times i have the nature of saying king is nude GMs EPA economy numbers can be only produced by GM and there own drives , not anybody else.ex: Equinox /terrain – no third party tests never gone above 26-27 mpg. Most other non GM cars get more than EPA in real driving conditions. Let volt be first exception which gives more mpg than epa in real life.  (Quote)

    Unni–You don’t know what you are talking about!!!!!

    The Federal Gov tests the vehicles and tells the auto manufacturers what to put on the sticker.

    I wish that GM could use the test drive chart used on modified Prius vehicles. But if GM was a scosh off everyone would say they are fudging.

    Looking at the test format, the Volt will get 230 MPG in the “City test.

    Go to the Following-

    Idaho National Lab (Feds), click on Plug in on left side, Click on test plan link, scroll down to accelerated Test Procedure in VI. This program was used as late as Feb 2010 to rate a modified Prius.

    Here you will find the chart showing miles to drive, city and hiway, number of repititions and charge cycles.

    Hope this helps.


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    Bobby Bouchet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:12 pm)

    Cocoafloridapaul: I live in a flat southern state,
    but I commute 175 miles a day.
    I want to buy American, but how can I tell
    the MPG. is it 230 or 50. I’m a newbie to the volt.
    I thought I was going to have to drive a prius.
    Can some tell me if this would work for me?  

    These idiots don’t have your interest at heart, just propaganda BS they keep feeding each other. The Prius will work perfectly fine and it’s affordable and it is available. If you want to buy an American the Ford Fusion will work well also. If you don’t care if it’s US or Foreign, the top 3 are Prius, Fusion and Nissan Altima. If you don’t want a Hybrid then a VW TDi or a Cicvic will work. If you can wait a little longer the Chevy Cruze is a really good bang for your buck. If you can wait and can afford the Volt, the Volt will probably work better for you.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:17 pm)

    Tagamet: (img) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v95/Tagamet/VOLTNATION/th_6sqrt1.jpg (/img)I’ve consistently been spectacularly unsuccessful at getting this image to post!
    (Sigh)Tagamet  

    th_6sqrt1.jpg

    YAAAAY!!!

    Insert it like this:

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v95/Tagamet/VOLTNATION/th_6sqrt1.jpg[/IMG]

    EXCEPT substitute “IMG” with “img” at the beginning and end. DO NOT attempt to use Lyle’s image-insertion thing-y (sorry, Lyle). Edit the path manually.


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    Mike

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:22 pm)

    I live in MInnesota, Its really cold! I mean really cold. I also love my remote car starter to warm my car up when its 30 below zero. How would you warm up this car? Could you leave it plugged in while warming it up to save on the battery? Lots of questions for cold weather folks here! Or is this another car for California and not too practical for Minnesotans?


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:22 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson):   

    Same thing happens to me. (g). Wait!
    th_6sqrt1.jpg
    YAAAAY! Thanks!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    John Abel

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:23 pm)

    Who’s going to buy them? If your market strategy is to sell very limited numbers then I say produce $44,000 cars. If you want to compete in the very near future market, you’re in big trouble. I live in Bedford Indiana. Ford closed its doors here and GM isn’t far behind. There are no new prospects even in the long term future for high paying jobs coming back into my area. Due to outsourcing, robotics, downsizing or just plain moving the whole factory out of the country we are creating a very poor economic environment. For the highly educated and well off crowd this is no problem. But for 90% of us we can never dream of owning this car. The big problem for you is the Chinese are aggressively trying to break into our car market. It is probable that this will happen by 2013 or 2014 at the latest. They already have a Volt type of hybrid that goes 60 miles on its battery charge and they will have a car that goes 100 miles before burning gas. And at a projected price of $23,000 this is some serious competition. Forget that they are Chinese cars and may have some issues. Consumers in America will buy what they can afford and if we don’t quit exporting our high paying jobs they won’t be buying the Volt. That’s no problem if you only want to sell 50,000 cars a year to Doctors and Lawyers. As far as I know this will not support GM as a company and if you can’t compete with a $23,000 Chinese car how will you compete with their base model $10,000 car? Export more of GM’s operations overseas? This will only make the situation worse. Were about to go out of the space business with the ending of the Shuttle and possibly the ending of NASA itself. Are we going to go out of the car business too? All because we got greedy and wanted to MAXIMIZE PROFITS. It wasn’t that our American companies weren’t making money. We wanted to make more and more. Now look where were at. We were the Country that put a man on the Moon in 1969. At the end of 2010 we won’t even be able to go into orbit. What’s wrong with this picture? Everything! We built our Country on the blood, sweat and tears of millions of hard working people. We have fought and died around the world to sustain our way of life. And now we are willing to forsake our fallen soldiers and our Brothers and Sisters that built this Nation for MAXIMIZED PROFITS. Give me a good paying job and I’ll buy your car. Keep going the way we are and we will fail! Not only in a business manor. But as a Country, then what happens?


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    Matthew_B

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:23 pm)

    AnonymousProxy: “I still use the target of 50 MPG as the bogey,”

    Which means they have not met the 50MPG. They are still chasing the “bogey”.

    You win the troll of the day award in the category of attempting to reverse the meaning of a quote by not including the whole quote. Add the final 6 words of the quote you used and it is pretty clear that Farah didn’t say what you are claiming he did.

    “I still use the target of 50 MPG as the bogey,” said Farah. “So far I haven’t been disappointed.”


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:24 pm)

    Bobby Bouchet:
    These idiots don’t have your interest at heart, just propaganda BS they keep feeding each other. The Prius will work perfectly fine and it’s affordable and it is available. If you want to buy an American the Ford Fusion will work well also. If you don’t care if it’s US or Foreign, the top 3 are Prius, Fusion and Nissan Altima. If you don’t want a Hybrid then a VW TDi or a Cicvic will work. If you can wait a little longer the Chevy Cruze is a really good bang for your buck. If you can wait and can afford the Volt, the Volt will probably work better for you.  

    Fixed that for ya.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:27 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Same thing happens to me. (g).Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Check my #285 out, if you haven’t yet.


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    Matthew_B

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:32 pm)

    Evil Conservative: I am not really sure why the Prius people think that anything less then 500 Miles per tank is a fail?

    Here is to hoping that I can get 1,500 miles per tank.


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    jeffhre

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:35 pm)

    Streetlight: Lyle: Thanks much for that video. We all clap. Meanwhile, the book on EV’s are uphill battery drain. For any EV-by any maker. A 2% grade approximates 3x power demand; 3% – about 50% increase over that of a 2% grade; 4% – very close to 2x over that of a 2% grade. (Source: Laminie et al. EV’s Explained p.224) Now GM Leadership (not engineering) dictates the ER ICE program. Where ER ICE is enabled ONLY at the 30% SOC (the approx 40 mile point) – I disagree. ER ICE can be applied to extend battery service as well. If ER ICE is enabled at 1.5% grade, the payoff is extended battery life. We know there’s no free lunch, obviously ER mileage decreases. Furthermore, the driver should have the option to enable the ER ICE at any time.
    But 50 mpg ER is a big … (insert VP language) … deal. Given 300 mile range total. Then ER range is 260/50 = a 6 galoons tank size. It needs to be twice that size – period.
    For example, in Northern California a drive across the Sierras to Reno, is a routine drive of maybe 220 miles. (SF to Reno). A lot of 4%-5% grades. VOLT on battery power would go 6 miles – if that. However, if ER assisted, EV 40 mile range could be achieved-and save battery life. And the LEAF stays in Sacramento.

    50 mpg would be very good I hope it’s confirmed on the road. Where Lyle writes “‘I still use the target of 50 MPG as the bogey,’ said Farah. ‘So far I haven’t been disappointed…’” MSNBC pretty much wrote Andrew Farah’s comments up as the Volt gets 50 mpg hwy. I couldn’t find a reference yesterday on Foxnews.com though, for a different interpretation of possible highway mileage.

    Regarding energy on grades I know for a fact that God supports the Volt. Yes, it’s clear that the Volt is supported by a higher power. The proof —- for every steep up slope there is a wonderful energy saving down slope just over the crest. And for every hilly drive there is the heavenly downhill drive back! I’m betting that even with hills the Volt battery will hold up for well over ten years.

    And by relying on the battery when available for scaling hills and using regen power to fill the battery going downhill, a lot of gas use can cumulatively be saved, by utilizing this divine source of propulsion. The Volt is also set up to leave the battery as depleted as possible when a plug becomes available.


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    Dave K.

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:43 pm)

    mark yates: I think it should be simply 40+50 = 90 miles for FIRST gallon.

    This sounds good at face value. Except a Volt owner doesn’t need to use gallons at all. To state true efficiency we need to get away from using the DPG (distance per gallon) measure. And turn to an E (electric) cost. A forced recharge time DT number (downtime @ 220V) . And an L number (liquid fuel cost).

    Take a Leaf for example. What is the efficiency? The Leaf runs on battery alone. No liquid fuel extender. Range is “up to 100 miles” before downtime for recharge. One post from last month mentioned the Leaf being able to use no gasoline at all. Then went on to say that it uses an equivalent of two gallons at 50 mpg. Requiring 10 hours @ 220V to refuel the “2 gallon tank”. Should this be included in an efficiency measure to convey an accurate comparison to the consumer?

    Many people are happy with driving a Leaf for an hour and being down for several hours afterward. While others cannot be in the position to be out of transportation. Volt owners are willing to take 5 minutes to liquid fuel the gallon or two into their Volt. Both vehicles being good choices for different driving needs. Is the Leaf the more efficient of the two?

    =D-Volt


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:47 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson):
    Check my #285 out, if you haven’t yet.  

    Yes, thanks again. I “caught it” while I still had editing time left. It’s now safely in a Txt file so I can open up a can ‘O whoop troll! (g).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:50 pm)

    Dave K.: This sounds good at face value. Except a Volt owner doesn’t need to use gallons at all. To state true efficiency we need to get away from using the DPG (distance per gallon) measure. And turn to an E (electric) cost. A forced recharge time DT number (downtime @ 220V) . And an L number (liquid fuel cost).

    Well, THAT simplifies things considerably! (lol) I’m not laughing “at” you, it’s just that folks have a hard time grasping the fact that the Volt doesn’t STOP after 40 miles.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Cornell

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:52 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    jeffhre

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:54 pm)

    <

    Brian: Not that I care a whole lot but, I have a hard time believing in CS mode the car will get 50mpg. Engineering 101 when you take one form of energy to make another there is always big losses. Taking an ICE to make electricity to drive electric motors is more efficient than afront wheel drive ICE directly coupled to the wheels the math just doesn’t work.

    Yes although…

    We don’t know if we’re comparing apples to oranges yet. After all the 1.4 liter four is not even connected to the wheels. I’ve never seen the efficiency of a 1.4 liter engine rated for mpg when it’s not connected to the wheels, has a steady load, has no responsibility for acceleration, no shifting, no transmission and no losses at braking. When I find that in the manual I’ll be sure to let you know how the comparison works out :) …but I’m thinking I’ll have to wait until November.


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    Harvard

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:57 pm)

    Cornell: 1. The mileage has the appearance of EPA mileage, not real person mileage.
    2. This car is limited to driving no further than nearby communities. You will need another car if driving to farther communities. By nearby communities, I’m referring to those close enough for the car to make a round trip within the parameters of how far the car can go without recharging.

    Ahaaahaaahaaahhaaaa…haaahahhaaaahaaa!

    You Ivies are so funny.


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    Dave K.

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (8:58 pm)

    Tagamet: it’s just that folks have a hard time grasping the fact that the Volt doesn’t STOP after 40 miles.

    Well, some folks troll%20avatar.jpg

    =D-Volt


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    Tagamet

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:03 pm)

    Cornell: 1. The mileage has the appearance of EPA mileage, not real person mileage.
    2. This car is limited to driving no further than nearby communities. You will need another car if driving to farther communities. By nearby communities, I’m referring to those close enough for the car to make a round trip within the parameters of how far the car can go without recharging.  

    What car are you talking about? It’s not the Volt.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    jeffhre

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:03 pm)

    Matthew_B: Here is to hoping that I can get 1,500 miles per tank.

    Yes, that helps to put it in perspective.


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:05 pm)

    Mike: I live in MInnesota, Its really cold! I mean really cold. I also love my remote car starter to warm my car up when its 30 below zero. How would you warm up this car? Could you leave it plugged in while warming it up to save on the battery?

    Yes. In fact, there will be a mobile app for the three top smart phones which will allow such things to be done as “start warming up the cabin, here I come” (since you’ll be plugged in, this won’t hurt anything), or “start charging at 1:00 am” or such.

    Extensive cold-weather testing of the Volt has been done.

    “Starting” doesn’t mean the same thing with an EV. With a warm battery, you just turn it on. :-)


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    Roy H

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:07 pm)

    NASA-Eng: Assume day for the Volt…I noticed that Bly asserted “in cold weather a car consumes as much energy to keep its occupants warm as it does to travel down the road.”It would be nice if GM offered an optioni to “power up” the cars heaters on a timer/alarm in the morning. I don’t think it would be a complicated addition to have the cars seats or internal heat come on at a set time before you go to work while the car is still plugged.It may not yield all that much battery range, but I think it would be easy to add via software plus I think a decent amount of consumers like those kinds of Techno Features in stuff we buy today.Go Volt  

    Already done, in fact even better as it can be controlled by your I-Phone or computer.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:11 pm)

    Dave K.: Tagamet: it’s just that folks have a hard time grasping the fact that the Volt doesn’t STOP after 40 miles.

    Well, some folks
    th_6sqrt1.jpg

    =D-Volt

    Point taken.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Red HHR

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:16 pm)

    The Beauty of a Volt…
    50mpg Extended Range

    COOL


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    Joe (not the other ones)

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:18 pm)

    It was covered in engineering classes after 101 ;)

    At the very least, the ICE generator operates constantly at a more optimal range of RPMs, which can be more efficient than the RPM range you have to use when driving through a gearbox. And if it’s not needed, it can simply shutdown rather than idle.

    The math works. Has for a long time. It was only ever a matter of cost of the components.

    The nice thing about electronics is we’re still able to make major cost reductions. Mechanical components have had a long life and their cost efficiencies are largely tapped.

    (Maybe we can get bit more classic “Lutz” exterior style in the next design. It’s been a long wait – now I need mine in the form of a mid-life crisis convertible.)

    Brian: Not that I care a whole lot but, I have a hard time believing in CS mode the car will get 50mpg.Engineering 101 when you take one form of energy to make another there is always big losses.Taking an ICE to make electricity to drive electric motors is more efficient than afront wheel drive ICE directly coupled to the wheels the math just doesn’t work. I would put the CS mpg at 40-45 at best.That said the Volt is a great car the transparency GM has displayed in allowing us to watch its development has been alot fun.As soon as they become available in our area I will buy one  


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    jeffhre

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:30 pm)

    What’s got the trolls so frightened today, is Toyota threatening layoffs or something?

    Mike: I live in MInnesota, Its really cold! I mean really cold. I also love my remote car starter to warm my car up when its 30 below zero. How would you warm up this car? Could you leave it plugged in while warming it up to save on the battery? Lots of questions for cold weather folks here! Or is this another car for California and not too practical for Minnesotans?

    Gm has been showing off a program that uses the Blackberry and iPhone for this.

    Well that figures, I saw that question just hanging the leave for a minute and Jackson says it better!


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    Peter M

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:32 pm)

    Does anyone know a good website where I can get information on time of day billing from my utility. We have excel energy, and I’m pretty sure that they don’t offer time of day billing to residential customers, at least I can’t find any information on it. If I have to pay 10cents/KWH all night, the economics of the volt just got harder to swallow. I keep hearing that electricity is basically free at night (you can’t turn off a Nuclear reactor), but it is not free for me.

    HELP


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    Steverino

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (9:51 pm)

    mikeinatl.: This is the automotive version of the IPhone, a truely new paradigm.
    Like the IPhone, it will set new standards and the industry will race to immulate it.

    Yes, like the iPhone, it’s not just the hardware, it’s also the experience. From the test drive reports, the “sports car” handling will be another plus that is not captured in AER or MPG stat comparisons.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:01 pm)

    Steverino:
    Yes, like the iPhone, it’s not just the hardware, it’s also the experience. From the test drive reports, the “sports car” handling will be another plus that is not captured in AER or MPG stat comparisons.  

    “Ineffable” pops to mind (and fits).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Matthew B

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:24 pm)

    steel: A car is a fairly precisely balanced heat sink that is ment to keep an engine operating within a set range of temperatures. Adjusting the outside temperature significantly throws that balance off (A good ECU will help reduce this efficieny hit… but). Now, adding to this a heat drain to keep passengers warm just makes the problem worse.

    Above absolutely frigid temperatures, the engine is producing excess heat that is dumped into the radiator. Extracting more heat from the coolant to heat the car only causes the thermostat to close down a bit and send less to the radiator.


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    Herm

     

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:30 pm)

    Matthew B: Above absolutely frigid temperatures, the engine is producing excess heat that is dumped into the radiator. Extracting more heat from the coolant to heat the car only causes the thermostat to close down a bit and send less to the radiator.  

    Even with the Prius, the mileage drops in winter.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:41 pm)

    kdawg: I think 50mpg in CS mode is interesting, because technically, you could remove the $8~$10,000 battery, and have a series-hybrid car that gets 50mpg, and the car cost maybe $25K?

    You’d still need a $2500 NiMH battery to even things out. Once in range extended mode, part of the battery is cycled up and down to allow a 73 HP engine run a 140 HP motor.


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    Matthew B

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (10:55 pm)

    Herm:
    Even with the Prius, the mileage drops in winter.  

    Corollary isn’t causation.

    Running the cabin heat is only one of the many causes of the mileage loss in the winter.

    Winter blend gasoline is made from more volatile shorter chain molecules. This change reduces the specific energy (btu/gal). Air is thicker, increasing drag. Tires are stiffer, increasing rolling resistance. Gear oil is thicker, increasing the hydrodynamic drag in the gearbox. The daylight hours are shorter so headlamps are on more. All of those are more significant that the use of cabin heat.


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    Baltimore17

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:01 pm)

    Matthew B:
    Tires are stiffer, increasing rolling resistance.

    Good reply except for this one point. Stiffer tires decrease rolling resistance.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:08 pm)

    Peter M: Does anyone know a good website where I can get information on time of day billing from my utility.We have excel energy,

    Google “excel energy” “time of day”. Google will tell you that you really wanted “xcel energy” “time of day”. Once you humor Google, it’ll give you http://www.xcelenergy.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/docs/SDResRates.pdf where time of day rates are described on the second page.


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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:31 pm)

    That video made my day. I persisted in telling my partner about it as we walked to work.
    Not the car so much as the audience that was there to applaud when the Volt rolled off the line.
    Its the little things that count.


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    Itching4it

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    Apr 13th, 2010 (11:34 pm)

    Randy:
    GM has stated a large gas tank full of gas is very heavy to be dragging around 100% of the tme while possibly being actually used only a fraction of the time. 350 miles is plenty. THe extra weight of a 10 gallon tank full of gas will cut the electric range so its a weight issue.  

    Actually, the difference in weight between 6 gallons of gas and 10 gallons of gas is roughly 25 pounds, not nearly as much as the difference between my weight and my wife’s weight. If weight is a problem I would think it would have to be the weight of the tank, not the weight of the fuel. (The tank is pressurized, so will have to be very solidly constructed.)

    Perhaps because I tend to dismiss my own weight disadvantage, I also tend to dismiss any tank size weight disadvantage. What I do care about very much, though, is the tank volume, and that problem exists with a larger tank no matter how close to empty you keep it or what kind of bladder it might contain. Bigger tank = smaller trunk space. There is no way around that other than redesigning the car to be larger. (Well, you could design the tank to scrape the sidewalk on driveway entrances, but I certainly hope they don’t do that!)


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    Unni

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (12:01 am)

    Tex-Arl:
    Unni–You don’t know what you are talking about!!!!!The Federal Gov tests the vehicles and tells the auto manufacturers what to put on the sticker.I wish that GM could use the test drive chart used on modified Prius vehicles. But if GM was a scosh off everyone would say they are fudging.Looking at the test format, the Volt will get 230 MPG in the “City test.Go to the Following-Idaho National Lab (Feds), click on Plug inon left side, Click on test plan link, scroll down to accelerated Test Procedure in VI. This program was used as late as Feb 2010 to rate a modified Prius.Here you will find the chart showing miles to drive, city and hiway, number of repititions and charge cycles.
    Hope this helps.  

    Thanks , may its nice if you have a look on the below link :

    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/fuel-economy/28004-epa-fuel-economy-explained1.htm

    The EPA doesn’t just drive the vehicle to determine how many miles per gallon it gets. Each new car and truck is tested on what’s called a dynamometer, which is like a large treadmill.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (12:10 am)

    Tagamet: Rashiid Amul: I hope you all had fun turning me into cannon fodder today.
    Have a nice night all.4:00 AM comes a bit early for me.I promise to choose my words more carefully tomorrow.

    Sleep well, and don’t forget to get gas.

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    LOL Tag, I missed that one earlier!


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    Matthew B

     

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (12:21 am)

    Baltimore17: Good reply except for this one point. Stiffer tires decrease rolling resistance.

    Ok OK!

    At lower temperatures, tires have higher hysteresis. Better?

    ;-)


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    Itching4it

     

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (12:21 am)

    Herm:
    Number 4 is speed, blast along the hwy at 80mph and expect your range to drop in half.  

    I believe you’re right on this, and it won’t take 80mph to start dropping your range. Note that Farrah said “This weekend I got 41.5 and 42.5 cycles around town.” [emphasis mine]

    The CS mileage is very good news, but GM continues to qualify the EV range. They say 300 miles in CS mode, but has anyone heard them say 340 miles from home on the freeway?

    I’m sure I’m going to get negative points on this post, but I’m guessing 35 miles EV range at 55 MPH, 30 miles at 65-70 MPH.

    That doesn’t faze me, though. Most of the time I’m going to be using that EV range around town, and no gas at all! I STILL WANT A VOLT!


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    J. Castro

     

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (12:31 am)

    I can’t wait to see and be able to buy the Chevy Volt. The electric car lives on.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (12:42 am)

    Nelson: I foresee a future in the automotive industry when the ICE will be judged not by the Horsepower or Torque it produces but by its MPG in charge sustaining mode.

    Long live EREV. Go GM Volt!

    NPNS!

    (Quote)

    I see a future where ICE’s that were once judged for their mpg in charge sustaining mode are subsequently judged for their salvage value and ripped from the chassis to be replaced by a nano composite Li-sulfur cathode / Li-silicon anode 300 mile per charge battery. OK, now I’ll step away from the crystal ball and sweep up these tea leaves while the mellow tunes of Walt Disney’s Futurama are dancing in my ears. It’s nice to dream though isn’t it?


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    Itching4it

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (12:53 am)

    Neromancer:
    You obvously don’t understand how an ICE works.Yes there will be loses between the generator and the wheels and those losses will be a little higher than the losses between and ICE and wheels using a transmission.But your forgetting the most important part of the equation.How the ICE is run. The biggest losses in a car has always been the engine (by far) and the the method of transmission is comparably minor. In the Volt the generator is run more independent and alows them to feather the ICE over a range of more efficient operating limits.In a conventional car the ICE is forced to run in less efficient modes of operation.The whole purpose of hybrids is to use electrical power to suplant the less efficient modes of the ICE to improve efficiency.  

    I’ll probably be thrown off the bridge as a Prius troll for this post, but I can hope people know me well enough by now to suppress that urge.

    You obviously don’t understand how a Prius works. It splits the power between the wheels and the generator in such a way that the engine can be kept at an optimum speed regardless of wheel speed, and does it without any power-robbing transmission.

    Now, compared to the Volt, the Prius has a wimpy generator and traction motor, and a laughable excuse for a battery. But in theory, I agree that the mixed serial/parallel drive of the Prius should be more efficient than the pure parallel drive of the Volt, because all of the Volt power goes through the mechanical-electrical-mechanical conversion.

    So I am going to be very surprised – but happily surprised – if the Volt CS mode mileage can match the Prius mileage.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (12:55 am)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): By the way, what electric vehicle will be first to rapidly refuel on the road without using petroleum? There is only one correct answer.

    It will be an EREV running of biofuels.

    What do you mean by rapidly? ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAqMzbmf3D4 ) And by first do you mean available for mass sales in the U.S. ?


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    Matthew B

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (1:54 am)

    Itching4it: You obviously don’t understand how a Prius works. It splits the power between the wheels and the generator in such a way that the engine can be kept at an optimum speed regardless of wheel speed, and does it without any power-robbing transmission.

    This isn’t the case at high speed. Above the maximum electric only speed, the engine must turn at least 1000 RPM. It can’t be stopped or one of the motor-generators will overspeed and grenade into little pieces.

    On flat, level ground at fixed speed, the benefit of mixed electrical and mechanical transfer just might give the Prius better mileage. But add in hills or traffic and the Volt can beat the efficiency of the Prius because the Volt can shut down the engine when power isn’t needed.


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    Don J

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (2:01 am)

    40+ MPG would be awesome. 50 MPG is CS mode would be an unbelievable success that would put the Prius in the dog house. I really hope they can pull it off.


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    Itching4it

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (3:01 am)

    jeffhre:
    Regarding energy on grades I know for a fact that God supports the Volt. Yes, it’s clear that the Volt issupported by a higher power. The proof —- for every steep up slope there is a wonderful energy saving down slope just over the crest. And for every hilly drive there is the heavenly downhill drive back! I’m betting that even with hills the Volt battery will hold up for well over ten years.

    And by relying on the battery when available for scaling hills and using regen power to fill the battery going downhill, a lot of gas use can cumulatively be saved, by utilizing this divine source of propulsion. The Volt is also set up to leave the battery as depleted as possible when a plug becomes available.  

    Which raises an interesting question. On any kind of a significant (multi-mile) downgrade, the Prius fills up its battery and then the engine goes into a very loud high whine, as it tries to absorb the unsalvagable energy. How will the Volt behave? Will it violate its standard rule and continue filling its much larger battery well beyond the normal recharge limit? Or might it feed juice back from the regen unit to the genset, switching that to act as a motor that spins the engine? Or will it apply the brakes automatically without the driver touching the brake pedal? Or do we suddenly go WHEEE, freewheeling down the mountain?


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (3:27 am)

    Stupid mental typo!

    Itching4it:
    I’ll probably be thrown off the bridge as a Prius troll for this post, but I can hope people know me well enough by now to suppress that urge.

    You obviously don’t understand how a Prius works. It splits the power between the wheels and the generator in such a way that the engine can be kept at an optimum speed regardless of wheel speed, and does it without any power-robbing transmission.

    Now, compared to the Volt, the Prius has a wimpy generator and traction motor, and a laughable excuse for a battery. But in theory, I agree that the mixed serial/parallel drive of the Prius should be more efficient than the pure parallel serial drive of the Volt, because all of the Volt power goes through the mechanical-electrical-mechanical conversion.

    So I am going to be very surprised – but happily surprised – if the Volt CS mode mileage can match the Prius mileage.  


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (3:37 am)


    Matthew B
    :
    I said:
    You obviously don’t understand how a Prius works. It splits the power between the wheels and the generator in such a way that the engine can be kept at an optimum speed regardless of wheel speed, and does it without any power-robbing transmission.
    Matthew B said:
    This isn’t the case at high speed.Above the maximum electric only speed, the engine must turn at least 1000 RPM.It can’t be stopped or one of the motor-generators will overspeed and grenade into little pieces.

    On flat, level ground at fixed speed, the benefit of mixed electrical and mechanical transfer just might give the Prius better mileage.But add in hills or traffic and the Volt can beat the efficiency of the Prius because the Volt can shut down the engine when power isn’t needed.  

    Point well taken. This could indeed give the Volt a key advantage.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (4:26 am)

    Itching4it: The CS mileage is very good news, but GM continues to qualify the EV range. They say 300 miles in CS mode, but has anyone heard them say 340 miles from home on the freeway?
    I’m sure I’m going to get negative points on this post, but I’m guessing 35 miles EV range at 55 MPH, 30 miles at 65-70 MPH.

    My guess is over 40 miles using the EPA hwy cycle, its not a high speed test since it averages 48mph with bursts up to 60mph.. the Volt will get about 66 miles range if you drive similar to that.. under normal conditions (modern faster driving) range will drop to around 40 miles like Farah is getting. Probably a bit of hwy travel at 70mph mixed in some city traveling. Range will drop into the 30s with heavy 75-80mph usage and aggressive city driving. GM has promised 40 miles for a long time, perhaps the average driver will get that, aggressive driving and all.

    The negotations with the EPA continue, that will determine the numbers to be put on the sticker.. hopefully it will be presented as a range of what drivers could possibly get.


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    Herm

     

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (4:36 am)

    Itching4it: Actually, the difference in weight between 6 gallons of gas and 10 gallons of gas is roughly 25 pounds, not nearly as much as the difference between my weight and my wife’s weight. If weight is a problem I would think it would have to be the weight of the tank, not the weight of the fuel. (The tank is pressurized, so will have to be very solidly constructed.)

    The bigger steel tank will also weigh a couple more pounds.. you also have to limit the size of the tank do that it does not rupture in a crash..apparently GM is worried about the weight on the Gen 1 Volt, they even deleted the power seats because they are heavy.. Gen 2 promises weight savings (and higher performance as a result) due to changes in the batteries. Newer cells will pack more power into smaller/lighter space.. so cost will drop since the pack is physically smaller.


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    Curt - Michigan

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (6:14 am)

    I was so excited about the Volt, was ready to see an American car company come up with this perfect solution, until the bailout. Now that GM has tens of billions of our grandkids money, how can we hope they ever become a dynamic indusrty leader again? I hink the Volt might be their last innovative product, their last shot, so to speak. I really wish Ford, the last private American car company, had done the volt, but they didn’t. Now I have a real problem, do I support a government subsidized company and buy a Volt? Or do I reward the company doing the right thing and buy a Ford Focus? And yes, I know the Focus is gas and evil to many of you, but governemnt bailing out private companies is evil to me, hard to imagine myself supporting that in any way. Just all so very diasappointing….


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (7:48 am)

    If heating the cabin cuts the range in half (20 miles) Is there an option to have the interior preheated while the car is being charged at home? i.e. warm up interior 10 minutes or so before leaving for work in the morning.
    I do this in my gas car with an electric heater… makes scraping the windows a snap :D I then don’t need to warm up the engine but get in and drive then turn the heater on a few minutes later. Sooooo many possibilities :D


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (7:54 am)

    Randy:
    GM has stated a large gas tank full of gas is very heavy to be dragging around 100% of the tme while possibly being actually used only a fraction of the time. 350 miles is plenty. THe extra weight of a 10 gallon tank full of gas will cut the electric range so its a weight issue.  

    So which of you are going to be the first to yank the engine and tank to replace them with extra batteries and get 80 or maybe even 120miles on electric….


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (8:10 am)

    I am a newbie to blogging here, so excuse my naivete. If we do only fill up once every two months…does the gasoline get old and bad? How long does it take gasoline to go bad? Excited about the Volt…been following it for two years via CalCars.org, but the price tag still scares me. $30K after rebate? What will it be before rebate, $40K?
    Susie-Q


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    Gsned57

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (8:32 am)

    Curt – Michigan: I was so excited about the Volt, was ready to see an American car company come up with this perfect solution, until the bailout. Now that GM has tens of billions of our grandkids money, how can we hope they ever become a dynamic indusrty leader again? I hink the Volt might be their last innovative product, their last shot, so to speak. I really wish Ford, the last private American car company, had done the volt, but they didn’t. Now I have a real problem, do I support a government subsidized company and buy a Volt? Or do I reward the company doing the right thing and buy a Ford Focus? And yes, I know the Focus is gas and evil to many of you, but governemnt bailing out private companies is evil to me, hard to imagine myself supporting that in any way. Just all so very diasappointing….

    Curt, as I recall when GM was going under Lyle did a poll and more than half on this site said the govt should let them fail. This is on a fan site for the company making this car. You aren’t alone in being pissed at the bailout. At this point though, they have been bailed out and there’s nothing any of us can do about it. The question I see is what’s worse a bailed out GM or exporting cash to dictators to import oil. I’ll support GM if it means my driving fuel stays in the country. What can we do about the bailout in the future, well my hope is that it will be similar to the financial bailout in that GM gets profitable and the government divests all their ownership of the company. Divesting the government stake in GM is something we can vote for and demand of our politicians. If we decide to boycott GM we are mainly hurting a taxpayer investment in an American company at this point. You didn’t want to make that investment and neither did I but it’s been done so what’s the best way to go forward given the history of the decision.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (8:46 am)

    Unni: Thanks , may its nice if you have a look on the below link :http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/fuel-economy/28004-epa-fuel-economy-explained1.htmThe EPA doesn’t just drive the vehicle to determine how many miles per gallon it gets. Each new car and truck is tested on what’s called a dynamometer, which is like a large treadmill.  (Quote)

    UNNI– Yes all cars and trucks are tested on the dynometer. If you would go to what I suggested you would find all this info in detail even to the format of record keeping.

    The link you are showing is a synopsis for the uninitiated.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (9:09 am)

    statik:
    Those are ‘10 Lucernes in front and back.  

    Oh – That’s cool – Thanks Statik!

    Neil


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    Patriot300

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (9:35 am)

    Joe: Sad when u look at and compare this to a Prius 45+mpg and the Prius is half the price!

    If you need to compare – the mileage is around 230 mpg for the volt & FYI the POS Prius is not half the price it is a few thousand less.
    The Volt is not competing with the prius – toyota does not have any car in the Volts class the is all electric not a hybrid ((the gas engine does not drive the wheels)) please don’t make any more stupid comparisons I guess this is what happens when just any moron can comment – genius Joe please compare an apple to an orange that will be just as useful!


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (9:36 am)

    Very funny! My first laugh out loud moment of the day! I wonder why people are voting it down?

    Taser: Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our *four*…no… *Amongst* our weapons…. Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again. 


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    seadog

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    I am going to wait till the Chinese come out with one I can afford…..


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    Brett

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (9:44 am)

    The Nissan Leaf gets 100 miles to a charge!!! Why can’t the Chevy Volt compete with that?


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    JeremyK

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (10:24 am)

    Brett: The Nissan Leaf gets 100 miles to a charge!!!Why can’t the Chevy Volt compete with that?  

    Because the cost of battery energy is about $1000/kWh and some people want to drive more than 100 miles at a time.


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    JeremyK

     

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (10:37 am)

    Itching4it:
    Which raises an interesting question. On any kind of a significant (multi-mile) downgrade, the Prius fills up its battery and then the engine goes into a very loud high whine, as it tries to absorb the unsalvagable energy. How will the Volt behave? Will it violate its standard rule and continue filling its much larger battery well beyond the normal recharge limit? Or might it feed juice back from the regen unit to the genset, switching that to act as a motor that spins the engine? Or will it apply the brakes automatically without the driver touching the brake pedal? Or do we suddenly go WHEEE, freewheeling down the mountain?  

    It depends on the state of charge of the battery. The battery in the Volt is much much larger than the batteries used in the Prius, thus if the Volt battery is at a 50% state of charge it has a LOT of room to absorb energy generated during regen braking. It is very unlikely that you would be at the top of a hill with a full battery (unless you live on the top of a large hill). But if the battery is at a full state of charge, the controller will simply not send energy to the battery.

    I guess that still leaves the question, what will the engine do? There is still some debate as to whether the engine is directly coupled to the wheels through their dual-mode transmission. Will there be engine braking? I guess there could be if that is the case. There is also extra capacity built into the battery that could potentially be used to store short burst of energy. Someone else may know better.


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    Cocoafloridapaul

     

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (11:15 am)

    Thanks everyone, my commute is
    87 miles each way. I was forced to
    change jobs and can’t sell my house.
    All highway miles. I will check out Cruze
    and ford’s hybrids.


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    bratman

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    The Nissan Leaf should sell easily if this is the competition, lol the Leaf is half the price, and delivers 5 times as much product all around. And you can buy one in a month or two, maybe buy 2 for the price of the Bolt.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (1:45 pm)

    They will get me when you can go three hundred miles on battery and fourty miles on gas==NPNS


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (1:51 pm)

    Susie-Q: I am a newbie to blogging here, so excuse my naivete.If we do only fill up once every two months…does the gasoline get old and bad?How long does it take gasoline to go bad?Excited about the Volt…been following it for two years via CalCars.org, but the price tag still scares me.$30K after rebate?What will it be before rebate, $40K?
    Susie-Q  

    I’m no expert, but it seems to be pretty well accepted here that the gasoline will not go bad. The major problem in that area is apparently that more volatile (but needed) components evaporate. The Volt will have a sealed and pressurized tank so that can’t happen.

    On the price, no one knows what it will be, and of course we are all dying to find out. Some are hypothesizing that GM may try to match Nissan’s price for the Leaf, which will be not much more than $20K in California after tax credit and rebate, but before the (likely) dealer markup and (unavoidable) tax and license fees. GM might also do some creative leasing to keep your monthly payment down.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (1:54 pm)

    Sorry I didn’t respond sooner.
    Thanks for the clarification. Apparently I misunderstood the use of the engine (not to recharge the batteries). You guys are a great read. And yes, a VERY long extension cord for those trips. On a related note: I see that most everyone seems pleased with the short-trip, commuter, putz-around-town use for the Volt.
    I don’t.
    Why would I pay $30,000-plus for something to get me to the corner store and back.
    I would have every intention of using the Volt for everything — which means long drives up north, down south and everywhere in between. So the infrastructure is vital: not just charging stations at motels and on the road, but the ability to do rapid charging, when necessary. (Yes, I know using a gas engine to recharge the batteries is not a “cheap” way to pay for electricity, but what’s the price of convenience? (for another time…)
    Thanks!
    C


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (4:04 pm)

    steel: A good rule of “thumb” is to assume that a car is balanced to produce the most efficient results at the typical EPA testing conditions of ~70 degree and at the loads required by the EPA testing. Deviations from that (IE running the heater consistently) will result in lower overall car efficieny.

    OK I am not an expert at this thermal stuff but I work with people who are. Maybe I should ask for their thoughts on this matter.

    But if you have (using arbitrary units):

    case 1: 260 units of heat being expelled by radiator, coolant temp. at ‘x’ degrees

    versus

    case 2: 255 units of heat being expelled by radiator, 5 units being dumped into passenger compartment via heater core (a small radiator), coolant temp. at same ‘x’ degrees

    I have a hard time believing that case 2 is any less efficient than case 1. OK, there is some power used by the heater blower fan but that is minor.

    Or maybe I just fell for a troll, an expert would probably know how to spell ‘efficiency”…

    A big thing 10 or 15 years ago were “adiabatic” engines, which supposedly were so efficient and protected by high-temperature coatings that they didn’t require a cooling system, whether liquid or air. I actually helped test one of these in a vehicle but can’t really go into details.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (4:12 pm)

    Paul: So which of you are going to be the first to yank the engine and tank to replace them with extra batteries and get 80 or maybe even 120miles on electric….

    That’s exactly what I plan on doing…On the Volts 15th anniversary! If I buy one of the first year Volts and my driving habits haven’t changed much, I will have burned approximately 400 gallons of gas. Either that or I’ll get a 15 year old Volt and drive a Hummer SUT until then, which will burn about 16,000 gallons of gas.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (4:13 pm)

    jeffhre: And by relying on the battery when available for scaling hills and using regen power to fill the battery going downhill, a lot of gas use can cumulatively be saved, by utilizing this divine source of propulsion. The Volt is also set up to leave the battery as depleted as possible when a plug becomes available.

    OK, I know you are kidding around here, but as with the “I’m adding weight for more regen” argument, hills will always be worse than flat, unless you have an overall drop in altitude which you don’t have to make up for.

    In other words what you lose going up the hill is always more than what you gain coming back down, basic physics. If this weren’t true you’d have a perpetual motion machine, and God doesn’t seem to like those.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (4:22 pm)

    Craig: Sorry I didn’t respond sooner.Thanks for the clarification. Apparently I misunderstood the use of the engine (not to recharge the batteries). You guys are a great read. And yes, a VERY long extension cord for those trips. On a related note: I see that most everyone seems pleased with the short-trip, commuter, putz-around-town use for the Volt.I don’t.Why would I pay $30,000-plus for something to get me to the corner store and back.I would have every intention of using the Volt for everything — which means long drives up north, down south and everywhere in between. So the infrastructure is vital: not just charging stations at motels and on the road, but the ability to do rapid charging, when necessary. (Yes, I know using a gas engine to recharge the batteries is not a “cheap” way to pay for electricity, but what’s the price of convenience? (for another time…)Thanks!C  (Quote)

    Don’t take this as a slam, but you are aware that the Volt runs just fine with a discharged battery? It may have a somewhat less power output, but hey I started out with VW Beetles, I can handle it. This discharged Volt can go for hundreds of miles and apparently get excellent gas mileage too.

    I agree it would be nice to have the “infrastructure” for charging available when I make my yearly pilgrimage to an event in Illinois, but if it ain’t there I’ll just fill up at the gas stations, no big deal.

    The only question for me is how long it will be until hotels start putting locks or $$ meters on their outdoor electric plugs.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (4:41 pm)

    JeremyK: Itching4it:
    Which raises an interesting question. On any kind of a significant (multi-mile) downgrade, the Prius fills up its battery and then the engine goes into a very loud high whine, as it tries to absorb the unsalvagable energy. How will the Volt behave? Will it violate its standard rule and continue filling its much larger battery well beyond the normal recharge limit? Or might it feed juice back from the regen unit to the genset, switching that to act as a motor that spins the engine? Or will it apply the brakes automatically without the driver touching the brake pedal? Or do we suddenly go WHEEE, freewheeling down the mountain?

    It depends on the state of charge of the battery. The battery in the Volt is much much larger than the batteries used in the Prius, thus if the Volt battery is at a 50% state of charge it has a LOT of room to absorb energy generated during regen braking. It is very unlikely that you would be at the top of a hill with a full battery (unless you live on the top of a large hill). But if the battery is at a full state of charge, the controller will simply not send energy to the battery.
    I guess that still leaves the question, what will the engine do? There is still some debate as to whether the engine is directly coupled to the wheels through their dual-mode transmission. Will there be engine braking? I guess there could be if that is the case. There is also extra capacity built into the battery that could potentially be used to store short burst of energy. Someone else may know better.

    That is a very good question! Remember the Pikes Peak test they did, claiming they gained enough juice with regen to drive on electric into town. What if they had fully charged the battery while at the top of Pikes Peak then went back down??

    I can think of 3 possibilities –

    * as mentioned, spin the ICE engine using an electric motor, without providing fuel or spark, I suppose the heat generated would eventually be released through the regular radiator, since the water pump would presumably be spinning also.

    * whether automatically or manually, use the friction brakes. “Manually” would seem scary however, making the driver do it, at least if going down Pikes Peak (I’ve been there).

    * with r/c brushless speed controls there is often a “brake” function, which connects 2 of the wires of the motor together electrically. It’s even possible to connect all 3 wires for even more braking. Doing this feeds the electricity generated by the motor back into the motor in a “backwards” sense, obviously heat is generated by doing this, conservation of energy and all. You can touch the 2 or 3 wires together when holding a motor in your hand and spin it, if you don’t believe me. However I’ve always said it should be called a “slow down faster” instead of “brake”, since the latter implies that the propeller can’t turn at all, which is not the case.

    So thanks to that nasty conservation of energy thing, the excess energy gets turned into heat, which you then have to get rid of either through the brakes, the gasoline motor, or the electric motor. Pick your poison I guess. Can’t wait to hear what GM chose.


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    Truth Hurts

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    Apr 14th, 2010 (6:01 pm)

    Nissan LEAF = 100 MILE RANGE

    Chevy VOLT = 40 MILE RANGE

    So who is really do MORE to reduce reliance on fossil fuel ??? (I thought so Voltards)


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (11:16 pm)

    Get REAL people! It sounds like the average age group of these comments are Highschoolers! Come on! How many of you are REALLY going to be able to afford a 40K Plus car? This Car is FAR and ABOVE the Price that the MAJORITY of Americans can afford to pay. The price of this vehicle will NEVER drop! Perhaps it will be acceptable for Fleet usage, Colleges, or companies that want to make a “GREEN” Statement. This car will most likely be purchased by the wealthy, as in the over 250k a year crowd. Yes there will be the exception that will Purchace the car and spend every cent of their income on the Thousand Dollar Plus car note and the five hundred dollar a month Insurance payment. COST! COST! COST! I am aware this is emerging technology, but as far as a middle of the road Mass Produced Vehicle, in this form or rather this cost, it is NOT going to Happen! By the time the next generation Volt gets here with all the bells and whistles, including a BIGGER and Better battery the price is going to surge THOUSANDS of Dollars MORE! Middle America is NOT going to purchase this Platform! GM take NOTE… One of your Foreign Competition is going to Steal your Thunder by Manufacturing a similar Product at HALF the Price you are trying to sell the Volt! Mid to LOWER Twenty Thousand is most likely an acceptable Target for the upper middle class to afford the Volt. FORGET any Govt. SUB. That only works on paper. Anyone that makes more than 20K a year will never get then Govt. SUB. I found out the hard way! Perhaps in 20 or 30 years the Govt. will get serious and assist in funding the construction of Battery packs, super capacitors, or even a New cheaper generation fuelcell. BUT.. CHEVY VOLT in its Present Platform is TOO pricy to make it into the mainstream. The only people that will consider it is Frustrated Wanna Be Telsa dreamers.


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    Apr 14th, 2010 (11:34 pm)

    Don’t Believe all this HYPE about Tax Credits that are suppose to offset the price of the Purchase. The Tax credits are dependent on ones INCOME! Anyone that can afford a Volt will MAKE TOO MUCH MONEY to be eligible for ANY Tax credit. Expect to pay full Retail and eat the promise of any big tax credit. It is kind of like the ole Cash For Clunkers deal. Do you have any idea how many claims were REFUSED by the Govt. After people purchased the so called eligible cars they got a shock when they were Backcharged the 4500 clams that the Govt. decided that they were not eligible to receive. Same with the purchase of a Volt.. Expect NO tax credit.. Most cases it isn’t going to happen..


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    Apr 15th, 2010 (12:50 am)

    Craig: Sorry I didn’t respond sooner.
    Thanks for the clarification. Apparently I misunderstood the use of the engine (not to recharge the batteries). You guys are a great read. And yes, a VERY long extension cord for those trips. On a related note: I see that most everyone seems pleased with the short-trip, commuter, putz-around-town use for the Volt.
    I don’t.
    Why would I pay $30,000-plus for something to get me to the corner store and back.
    I would have every intention of using the Volt for everything — which means long drives up north, down south and everywhere in between. So the infrastructure is vital: not just charging stations at motels and on the road, but the ability to do rapid charging, when necessary. (Yes, I know using a gas engine to recharge the batteries is not a “cheap” way to pay for electricity, but what’s the price of convenience? (for another time…)
    Thanks!
    C  

    Sorry, but I don’t follow your logic. I agree strongly with your premise that it would be ridiculous to pay $30,000 for a car to just putz around town in, but, …

    a) I don’t think you are going to have to pay $30,000 dollars for it. However, even if you did,

    b) why do you think you can’t use if for long trips? It looks like its gas mileage on long trips is going to be about as good as that of the best hybrids. The existing infrastructure certainly includes gas stations less than 300 miles apart. So what’s the problem?

    You get two excellent cars for the price of one — an electric car you can use around town, and an unlimited range long distance car with gas mileage that’s almost unbeatable.


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    Apr 15th, 2010 (9:42 am)

    RAPTOR: How many of you are REALLY going to be able to afford a 40K Plus car? This Car is FAR and ABOVE the Price that the MAJORITY of Americans can afford to pay.

    I know I am dumb for feeding a troll but…

    Take a trip into redneck, middle, low-income America and note the number of huge newish 4WD megacab pickup trucks loaded with every option — $40K plus, easily. Also note the number of newish $20K large Harley motorcycles. People seem to be able to afford such things when they really want them.

    I remember going to central Kentucky for work some years ago and being humored by the new $40K pickups parked in front of ramshackle house trailers and tarpaper shacks. Also don’t forget that people are putting fuel into these 10 mpg things at $3/gallon.


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    Apr 15th, 2010 (6:28 pm)

    I understand the concept of trying not to use fuel, but a 300 mile range on gasoline is too small to take this on trips.
    The difference between a small – 6 gallon tank and say a 10 gallon tank is less than 40 lbs.
    Heck, I have seen some fat guys put away that much food in a buffet line :}


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    Dr. Wayne Baird

     

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    Apr 15th, 2010 (8:42 pm)

    20% variability is an incorrect use in terms.
    20 “variability” implies that the efficiency can range from 20% greater to 20% less.
    The data does not support the 20% greater aspect.
    The promotional verbiage needs to be truthed up a little for credibility’s sake.


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    Luke

     

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    Apr 17th, 2010 (1:45 am)

    Brian: very attractive car that will provide a “normal” driving experience
    for what is said be a post-rebate price under $30,000.
    This is the automotive version of the IPhone, a truely new paradigm.
    Like the IPhone, it will set new standards and the industry will race to immulate it.
    But unlike the IPhone, VOLTEC technology will most likely be very important to our country’s future

    The efficiency of an internal combustion engine varies depending on the revolution speed of the engine. In the Volt, the IC engine can run at a constant speed (its most efficient), unlike a conventional IC-engined car, where the engine must operate through a range of speeds (and the tuning of the engine is compromised as a result). This is not a new concept by any means – it’s been used for decades in railroad locomotives. GM has basically just added a rechargeable battery to the system. Not that I’m trying to discredit the efforts of GM – they’re actually going to deliver a propulsion system which, in my opinion, is long overdue for the car market.

    For the record though, 50MPG isn’t anything to boast about for a small-medium car. It’s marginally better than the mileages achieved by many conventional IC-engined cars produced elsewhere in the world. GM’s trump card with the Volt is the battery.


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    MrBmm

     

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    Apr 18th, 2010 (11:01 am)

    The great thing about the Volt’s architecture is it is based on the most efficient mode of land based motive power, the railroad locomotive. While its not diesel, yet, it could very well be in the future, with only the addition of the engine. No major re-engineering needed. Or better yet, a turbo, biodiesel that could easily attain 65 mpg is sustained mode, all else being equal. This design can effectively be charged with power generation systems utilizing oil, coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, nuclear, geothermal, wind and solar power stations. No new technology or infrastructure needed other than a very gradual increase in capacity required. It could even be adapted to run on hydrogen or fuel cells. Any generation system that produces electricity can power this vehicle, even compressed air. How’s that for versatility. As for durability, what is simpler and lasts longer than electric motor? Any conventional internal combustion engine can easily last 150K miles these days. Since the IC engine will only be used occasionally in most cases, you could see engines lasting 500-750k, so basically, the life of the vehicle without replacement.