Jun 30

Combustion Engine Does Not and Will Not Turn the Volt’s Driveshaft Ever. Got it?

 


[ad#post_ad]Recently there has been a lot of Internet controversey with at least a dozen articles covering a story out of the Telegraph in England. Of course, GM-Volt.com was the first to notice this claim and publish it, all the other sites followed.

The author, Andrew English, claimed the 65% calibration version Ampera/Volt prototype seemed to have a flat torque curve at high velocity. He wrote that an engineer claimed GM was planning to correct this by connecting the gas engine driectly to the drivetrain. I had checked in with Rob Peterson who said the claim was untrue and unfounded, and is not the case. Rob explained to us the Volt uses clutches and a planetary gear system to maximize performance and efficiency.

Despite this, English published a second report called “Volt Shock.”

In this repert he outed his source. “We are considering driving the wheels directly from the petrol engine,” said Andreas Voight, an Opel project engineer. There are a number of different ways we could do it, but the whole thing is subject to some intellectual property rights negotiations so I can’t say any more,” said Voight. “You will see an announcement this autumn.”

While that story may be shocking, it remains untrue. Sam Abuelsamid from Autobloggreen determined Voight is simply a technician whose job (?former) is to simply shuttle cars for journalists and who has no actual knowledge about Volt engineering. Know the type?

Another bad piece of journalism came out fo hybridcars.com, who won’t even publish authors’ names. The anonymous author claimed an “exclusive” interview with Rob Peterson. In that interview Peterson’s comments were taken out of context and distorted to make it seem the Volt would act like a parallel hybrid in range extended mode. Peterson was simply saying it was theoretically possible but the author left out the part where he said it wouldn’t. Anything is possible.

What many authors don’t know is that the Volt has two electric motors that can act either in parallel at times, in other cases one acts as the traction motor to drive the wheels and the other acts as a generator. The system uses 2-mode technology to determine which configuration is optimal for that driving moment. It never, however, includes a direct ICE to wheel configuration. For more deatils see my post with Volt powertrain engineer Alex Cattelan.

Finally to put this all to rest, I asked Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz if any of this rumor was true, if the ICE ever drives the wheels.

“No.” said Posawatz. “I don’t know how those folks got so confused.”

Got it?

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 at 7:54 am and is filed under Engineering, Generator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 221


  1. 1
    MICHIGAN GUY

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:00 am)

    The true believers on this site were never confused.

    We know the Chevy Volt is an ELECTRICALLY DRIVEN CAR, with range extension.

    Period.


  2. 2
    nasaman

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:00 am)

    Yep, I got it Lyle ….and thanks for tracking down the source(s) and correcting the misinformation in the Andrew English article!

    /I sometimes wonder if your spelling errors are caused by a secret drive you have to be a ‘technoweenie’ ….you know, as in “6 munths ago I cudent evn spel “enginear”! :) )


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    jeffhre

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:08 am)

    It appears two mode will merely coordinate the functions of traction motor and the “dyno” attached to the engine/generator? The planetary gears and clutches would then stand in for a transmission to take advantage of the torque and high revving capability of the traction motor.

    The confusion comes from two perspectives. One group believes the Volt cannot compete with hybrids in CSM and says it must have the engine connected to the wheels to make up for inefficiencies. The second claims the Volt lacks power and would be better served with a connection from the engine to the wheels to assist with hill climbing and high speed driving once the battery reaches customer depletion.


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    john1701a

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:11 am)

    Confused. Yup. That was an excellent wake-up call about more being needed than what’s currently available.

    What are you going to do to help prepare for consumers wanting to learn about Volt?

    They’ll have questions. What will provide the answers?


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    LazP

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:12 am)

    I am surprised that such a prominent mainstream publication as the Telegraph would allow such a mistake to be published. Just for the record I hope they issue a correction.


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    John W (Tampa)

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:13 am)

    It would have been suicide for GM to go this long and then tell us the engine will turn on before the usable battery was depleted, at any speed. I never bought it, but that journalist should be fired for being an idiot.


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    BobS

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:14 am)

    People love conspiracy theories. Drawn like moths to an electric zapper.


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    carcus3

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:15 am)

    From the Telegraph reports, nobody said the petrol engine drives the wheels.

    It was said “We are considering driving the wheels directly from the petrol engine”. As in, there’s a problem and we’re looking for a solution.

    The more pertinent question would be “IS THERE A PROBLEM”? — Hey GM, how about an independent extended test drive and put all these rumors to bed????? Or is that going to be off limits until after the IPO?


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:19 am)

    One more reason to buy an Ampera and import it, I suppose. 8-)

    john 1701a said:

    (Consumers) will have questions. What will provide the answers?

    Try a month of ownership reported everywhere one looks. (newspapers, TV, etc)

    Darned thing won’t take any gas when I go to fill it up.


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    joe

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:20 am)

    Planetary gears is what the two mode transmission has. I believe the setup GM is using on the Volt is basically the two mode, but instead it is couple only to the generator. This way the ICE can operate in it’s sweet spot most of time — that is why the atkinson engine was not used.


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    stuart22

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:22 am)

    As the Volt is new, groundbreaking technology and still under wraps, there’s going to be a lot of vinegar being marketed as wine.

    I have a question for the engineers – when the Volt runs out of gas, the battery as I understand will have around 30% charge which means it can still be driven, even though the gas tank is empty. But if driven, the battery will eventually lose that charge and the car potentially will end up stuck somewhere like any EV. At that point, filling up the gas tank would not seem to allow the car to restart and be driven due to the dead battery.

    What exactly is the design spec for the Volt when it does run out of gas – I would think the power to the electric drive motors should be cut at that point, with an ‘emergency switch’ available which would allow a driver to then override the power cutoff and allow the car to be driven on the remaining battery power. That switch would save people from getting totally stuck by allowing an emergency range buffer for those special occasions when needed.


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    neutron

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:25 am)

    Thanks for your updates. We are happy you got the clean story from the designers of this game changing car.

    Cannot wait for the VOLT to be available.


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    James

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:26 am)

    Who cares? Really? The 4 cylinder engine will be using gasoline. In ICE mode it will be getting similar mpg as other ‘hybrid’ vehicles. It is an excellent design and a perfect transition platform to EV’s in turn slowly weaning us from Middle East Oil. Can we move on?


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    soda72

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:27 am)

    yes sir we got it… :>


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    joe

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:28 am)

    jeffhre: It appears two mode will merely coordinate the functions of traction motor and the “dyno” attached to the engine/generator? The planetary gears and clutches would then stand in for a to take advantage of the torque and high revving capability of the traction motor.The confusion comes from two perspectives. One group believes the Volt cannot compete with hybrids in CSM and says it must have the engine connected to the wheels to make up for inefficiencies. The second claims the Volt lacks power and would be better served with a connection from the engine to the wheels to assist with hill climbing and driving once the battery reaches customer depletion.  

    After posting a reply, I notice you wrote something that correlates to what I just wrote.
    I totally agree with your post.


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    Andy

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:32 am)

    In your post with Alex Cattelan he says that both the traction motor and generator can be used to drive the wheels. Unless they have a way to disconnect the ICE from the generator doesn’t that imply they COULD use the ICE to drive the wheels?

    It will be very interesting to see the details of the motor/generator/ICE mechanics…


  17. 17
    jeffhre

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:34 am)

    “What many authors dont know is that the Volt has two electric motors that can act either in parallel at times, in other cases one acts as the traction motor to drive the wheels and the other acts as a generator. The system uses 2-mode technology to determine which configuration is optimal for that driving moment.”

    Lyle I apologize for repeating that in my own confused way, after you had already explained it in the article. It’s because I am really confused. Clearly that configuration seems to leave too small of an opening either for the proper function of Mr. Fusion, without interfering with the high power CHAdeMO connection or the unicorn horn pulverization unit. Could you ask Mr English to check this with Mr. Voight please?


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    Herm

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:40 am)

    stuart22: when the Volt runs out of gas, the battery as I understand will have around 30% charge which means it can still be driven, even though the gas tank is empty. ..
    What exactly is the design spec for the Volt when it does run out of gas

    There is an issue with damaging the battery if the charge gets too low, and I dont know what that low point is.. yet GM and Nissan must balance this against a potential life or death situation..

    Another issue is that a deeply discharged battery MUST be recharged immediately, lets say you use the emergency button and crawl back home with 5% left.. then for some reason or other you cant recharge the battery for a couple of days.. will this damage be covered by the warranty?

    This is not an issue for nimh batteries such as used by Toyota.. at most you may need a slow recharge and re-conditioning at the dealership but no battery replacement.


  19. 19
    Jim in PA

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:43 am)

    News Flash – Reporters are dumb.

    I can understand a reporter not “getting” all the design aspects of a vehicle. But it is just plain dumb to state that a car manufacturer is considering (or even capable of) a major drive train modification for a car that is already through testing, coming out of a factory that is already tooled up, and is ready for release in a couple of months. That shows a profound lack of understanding of manufacturing and engineering in general. Somebody get this guy a Horoscope column.


  20. 20
    joe

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:45 am)

    The atkinson engine setup in the Prius can not operate in it’s sweet spot like the GM Volt ICE. In the Prius the engine has to operate in a wide range of RPM’s just like a standard car.

    Many have heard about the 100 MPG engine. Yes, such and engine actually existed but only in a control lab. The engine was tune to run only at a narrow range (sweet spot) and in the real world, a wide range of RPM’s (500 to 7000rpm) is needed. The Volt will change all of that.


  21. 21
    Andy

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:45 am)

    AndyUnless they have a way to disconnect the ICE from the generator

    Actually I realize they must have a way to disconnect the generator from the ICE or they couldn’t use it to drive the wheels. What I meant to say was it seems like they could change the mechanics between the ICE and the generator so the ICE could drive the wheels. Or maybe the physical connection allows it and the only reason the ICE doesn’t drive the wheels is because they have programmed it that way…

    Like I said it will be interesting to see the actual details of the mechanism…


  22. 22
    Herm

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:47 am)

    Andy: In your post with Alex Cattelan he says that both the traction motor and generator can be used to drive the wheels. Unless they have a way to disconnect the ICE from the generator doesn’t that imply they COULD use the ICE to drive the wheels?

    Not necessarily, thats what the clutches and gears do.. in one mode the generator is connected to the ICE in another mode its connected to the wheels. When the car is braking you dont need the ICE to run, thus the generator is retasked to help stop the car and recharge the battery in the process with regen braking. MAYBE, some of us think the Volt uses three motors.


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    Loboc

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:48 am)

    Thank You Lyle!

    We don’t need to be dragging other people’s speculation into our realm :) . We got enough unanswered questions without rehashing the answered ones!


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    Jim in PA

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:50 am)

    Herm: There is an issue with damaging the battery if the charge gets too low, and I dont know what that low point is.. yet GM and Nissan must balance this against a potential life or death situation..

    It seems to me that GM does NOT have to balance this against a life or death situation, since the gas engine will kick in, making the 30% reserve capacity moot in an emergency. I see this as a concern more for BEVs.


  25. 25
    Andy

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:50 am)

    Herm:
    There is an issue with damaging the battery if the charge gets too low, and I dont know what that low point is.. yet GM and Nissan must balance this against a potential life or death situation…

    This is such a red herring issue. I mean do they engineer an extra 1/2 gallon tank into ICE cars so that if you run out of gas you can press the “emergency” button and go another 10 miles?

    Do you worry that if your car runs out of gas that there is still some in the tank that you can’t use in an emergency?

    When a car runs out of energy it stops. period.


  26. 26
    merlin

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:52 am)

    It’ll be great when we get video of Lyle (and other early adopters hopefully) driving it around in about 6 months and can see and hear reports on highway performance and just about every other detail Lyle and other posters care to discuss. Lyle, any word on future test drives on the freeway or a longer track prior to launch? The 60 to 80 passing speed will be good information to know (or even just a report on whether it feels adequate if they won’t let you time it), but probably won’t be a deal-breaker for the majority of people that are interested in this revolutionary car.

    On the one hand it’s frustrating to wait (some of us not so patiently) for this to arrive in our driveway, but on the other hand most of us will be driving a 2013 model probably, so the performance may not be the same by then anyway. And really, if GM were to announce sometime in the next year or two that an Orlando or MicroVan type vehicle was coming up, I would wonder if half of the people here wouldn’t wait for that instead.

    Lyle, would you consider doing a poll (or have you already) of which Volt powered vehicle people would prefer? Orlando, Volt, two-seater, or other? And whether people would pass on the Volt if they thought the other vehicle was coming out within 5 years?


  27. 27
    Tim Hart

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:53 am)

    Herm, in response to Stuart 22 you said that a deeply depleted Volt battery MUST be immediately recharged or be damaged. This is new information I have not seen before. Could you explain in more detail? Thanks.


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    Alligam

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:57 am)

    Sounds like the infamous “limp home mode” that we discussed many months ago. My concern would be that this could be abused by an undisciplined user to eek out a few more miles every time — leading to premature battery pack issues.

    I also remember a discussion that indicated the electric drive train was more efficient than a standard mechanical connection to the drive wheels.

    stuart22: As the Volt is new, groundbreaking technology and still under wraps, there’s going to be a lot of vinegar being marketed as wine.I have a question for the engineers – when the Volt runs out of gas, the battery as I understand will have around 30% charge which means it can still be driven, even though the gas tank is empty.But if driven, the battery will eventually lose that charge and the car potentially will end up stuck somewhere like any EV.At that point, filling up the gas tank would not seem to allow the car to restart and be driven due to the dead battery.What exactly is the design spec for the Volt when it does run out of gas – I would think the power to the electric drive motors should be cut at that point, with an ‘emergency switch’ available which would allow a driver to then override the power cutoff and allow the car to be driven on the remaining battery power.That switch would save people from getting totally stuck by allowing an emergency range buffer for those special occasions when needed.  


  29. 29
    Andy

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:57 am)

    Herm: MAYBE, some of us think the Volt uses three motors.

    I don’t think they are using three motors. The question is COULD they. Of course the could do anything so the real question is could they use the ICE with the current mechanical system – i.e. with software changes?

    Also, the value the answer to such a question is purely educational. Even if they could do it now they aren’t because they have decided that is better that way. That’s perfectly fine with me :)


  30. 30
    Exp_EngTech

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:59 am)

    I read a GM quote a few days ago that again stressed the Volt’s first 40 miles were only powered by electricity and it was “Full Performance”. That made it pretty clear to me.

    I am constantly unimpressed by what passes as mainstream journalism.


  31. 31
    James

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:00 am)

    It’s a pity to see publications such as the Telegraph get things wrong, and especially to re-bolster it’s wrongness with even more inadequately vetted wrongness.

    One thing everybody agrees upon is that the Voltec system is a very complex system and it is understandable how confusion could reign on specific facts of it’s inner workings. That’s no excuse for such shoddy publishing from so-called professionals, though. Many got facts wrong on Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive as well. HSD also utilizes two electric motors with the ICE working in conjunction with both through a PSD ( Power Splitting Device ). I’ve seen all sorts of misinformation published over the years describing how it all works.

    On the good news front, it looks as if our guy Bob Lutz may be moving on to Lotus!

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20100629/CARNEWS/100629892

    Good luck if that’s your next move Bob, I know they’ll benefit greatly from your expertise. Just think, most people of Bob’s age are fishing somewhere, on the golf course or just plain yelling at kids to get off their lawn. :) Maybe Bob can see to it the 414E EREV version of the Evora shown at Geneva gets manufactured. It’s a lithium, plug in 3 cylinder range extender with two rear wheel electric hub motors – neat. Lotus is also rumored to be moving ahead with it’s four seater using current Exige components, perhaps an EREV version could be in the cards there as well?

    RECHARGE!

    James


  32. 32
    Peter M

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:01 am)

    stuart22: What exactly is the design spec for the Volt when it does run out of gas – I would think the power to the electric drive motors should be cut at that point, with an ‘emergency switch’ available which would allow a driver to then override the power cutoff and allow the car to be driven on the remaining battery power. That switch would save people from getting totally stuck by allowing an emergency range buffer for those special occasions when needed.  

    What is the emergency range buffer on your current vehicle. I have a gas gauge, when it get’s low I go to the gas station. Anything else is just a waste of resources. I expect there will be a gas gauge that says Full/Empty. Why have all these extra switches???


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    jeffhre

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:02 am)

    Andy: In your post with Alex Cattelan he says that both the traction motor and generator can be used to drive the wheels. Unless they have a way to disconnect the ICE from the generator doesn’t that imply they COULD use the ICE to drive the wheels?

    In your post with Alex Cattelan she…


  34. 34
    David K (CT)

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:03 am)

    Andy: This is such a red herring issue. I mean do they engineer an extra 1/2 gallon tank into ICE cars so that if you run out of gas you can press the “emergency” button and go another 10 miles? Do you worry that if your car runs out of gas that there is still some in the tank that you can’t use in an emergency?When a car runs out of energy it stops. period.  (Quote)

    I agree. Couldn’t have been said better.


  35. 35
    Starcast

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:03 am)

    Volt = electric car with a ICE range extending GENERATOR.

    I Got It.


  36. 36
    Matthew B

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:04 am)

    Andy: In your post with Alex Cattelan he says that both the traction motor and generator can be used to drive the wheels. Unless they have a way to disconnect the ICE from the generator doesn’t that imply they COULD use the ICE to drive the wheels?

    That’s been my suspicion all along. If they don’t ever make the direct connection, that means that running in serial hybrid mode beats direct connection for fuel efficiency at high speed.

    If that’s the case, then the pessimists on fuel efficiency are wrong. The serial hybrid is MORE efficient at speed than a stick shift car.

    Andy: Like I said it will be interesting to see the actual details of the mechanism…

    Dittos. I understand GM keeping things under wraps to prevent the competition from getting a jump on them. Alas, a few months to go….


  37. 37
    Matthew B

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:08 am)

    John W (Tampa): It would have been suicide for GM to go this long and then tell us the engine will turn on before the usable battery wasdepleted, at any speed.I never bought it, but that journalist should be fired for being an idiot.  

    I don’t think there was anybody claiming that… if they were, they’re an idiot.

    GM has been saying for a really long time that they wouldn’t ever run the engine during the first 40 miles. That’s a major competitive advantage over the plug in Prius that will always burn gas.

    ….. oh except for the engine exercise every month….


  38. 38
    Jim I

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:12 am)

    Would it be possible to strap a rocket engine to the roof of the Volt to make it go faster if necessary?? Why yes, I suppose it could be possible….

    There you have it people!!! The Volt will be rocket powered!!!!!

    It never ceases to amaze me how one person that writes an article can magically override what the engineers have been telling us for three years……………

    Have Outlet – Ready For E-REV

    NPNS

    No ICE Engine Connection To The Wheels!!!!

    :-)


  39. 39
    Faisal Shahzad from Talibanistan

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:14 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:14 am)

    What needs to be made clearer, and the focus of VOLT advertising, is that ‘maximum MPGs’ per 9-gallon tank of gasoline is NOT the goal of EREVs. Using American-made Electricity MOST of the time is.

    How many words did many of us waste on yesterday’s trolls trying to get that fact through their skulls?! They don’t get it. They will never get it.

    Meanwhile, if I’ve done my math right, in my household that same 9-gallon tank should last for 8 weeks. So, instead of 60 gallons of gas used in two months, (my wife drives a Nissan Altima SL with a heavy foot) it will drop to 9 on average.

    That is what really matters!


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    James

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:14 am)

    James: Who cares? Really? The 4 will be using gasoline. In ICE mode it will be getting similar mpg as other ‘hybrid’ vehicles. It is an excellent design and a perfect transition platform to EV’s in turn slowly weaning us from Middle East Oil. Can we move on?  (Quote)

    Hey James, as the original “James” on this site, is there any way I can pursuade you to change your tag to James1 or James2 or ?. It’s not just that our posts may be confused, but that your reputation may suffer as I tend to garner a lot of -1s from time to time*, L ;) L .

    * Not always – Once I actually got a +25, believe it or not! :)

    Anyway, welcome to the site – and congratulations on your order of a LEAF. Hopefully you and other early LEAF owners will keep us apprised on your perceptions of it’s performance, quality and useability.

    RECHARGE!

    James


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    Matthew B

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:15 am)

    Tim Hart: Herm, in response to Stuart 22 you said that a deeply depleted Volt battery MUST be immediately recharged or be damaged. This is new information I have not seen before. Could you explain in more detail? Thanks.  

    IF GM lets the battery get low enough that it could be damaged, then it must be recharged as quick as possible to limit the damage.

    My suspicion is that GM won’t ever let the battery get that low.


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    neutron

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:19 am)

    Jim I: Would it be possible to strap a rocket engine to the roof of the Volt to make it go faster if necessary??Why yes, I suppose it could be possible….There you have it people!!!The Volt will be rocket powered!!!!!It never ceases to amaze me how one person that writes an article can magically override what the engineers have been telling us for three years……………Have Outlet – Ready For E-REVNPNSNo ICE Engine Connection To The Wheels!!!!   

    How does the rocket connect to the wheels?? Is is used after the battery and the gas is gone… or can it be used in addition to the motor and the battery at the same time???? LOL :+}


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:20 am)

    Andy: This is such a red herring issue. I mean do they engineer an extra 1/2 gallon tank into ICE cars so that if you run out of gas you can press the “emergency” button and go another 10 miles?

    Do you worry that if your car runs out of gas that there is still some in the tank that you can’t use in an emergency?

    When a car runs out of energy it stops. period.

    The difference with a gas car is that when you’re running low, you can usually find a gas station to refill at before you run out. And, even if you don’t, you can park the car, hike to the gas station, and bring some back. If it’s an emergency, you can ask a friend or family member to drive to where you are, and siphon some gas from his or her car. Or you can get some from a kind passer by.

    An electric car offers none of those options. If it runs out of charge, you need a tow truck.

    That said, an emergency buffer is only useful is you use it as exactly that. An emergency buffer. And, if you want to create your own emergency buffer, it’s pretty easy–don’t plan on using the last 30%. (For me it would be more like 50%.)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:22 am)

    James: On the good news front, it looks as if our guy Bob Lutz may be moving on to Lotus!

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20100629/CARNEWS/100629892

    Good luck if that’s your next move Bob, I know they’ll benefit greatly from your expertise. Just think, most people of Bob’s age are fishing somewhere, on the golf course or just plain yelling at kids to get off their lawn. :) Maybe Bob can see to it the 414E EREV version of the Evora shown at Geneva gets manufactured. It’s a lithium, plug in 3 cylinder range extender with two rear wheel electric hub motors – neat. Lotus is also rumored to be moving ahead with it’s four seater using current Exige components, perhaps an EREV version could be in the cards there as well?

    RECHARGE!

    James

    So much for him just wanting to retire.


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    AnonymousProxy

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:23 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:25 am)

    Assuming the orange things are either coolant tubes or cables, there are three pairs. Wouldn’t this indicate three motors?

    Volt_Trans.jpg


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:28 am)

    LauraM: An electric car offers none of those options. If it runs out of charge, you need a tow truck.

    True for a pure electric but not for a range extended electric like the volt. As long as you have gas you’ll never run out of electricity. The only way to stop the volt is to run down the batteries AND use all the gas…


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:29 am)

    ECO_Turbo: Assuming the orange things are either coolant tubes or cables, there are three pairs.

    Definitely NOT electric cables. I would imagine its some combination of cooling and hydraulic lines…

    BTW – Where did you get this picture?


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:30 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:33 am)

    AnonymousProxy: Volt = “EoDEV” (Extended oil Dependence Electric Vehicle)

    Nissan LEAF = Extended Oil Dependence Electric Vehicle. The car will use numerous lubricants, wiper blades, hoses, and tires that are petroleum based. There’s no such thing as “zero”, baby. LOL. You’d think Nissan could afford to put its paid trollls through a basic chemistry class.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:36 am)

    -2 motor/generator units (not 3)
    -NOT a 2-mode (although the housing and “layout” is similar)
    -clutches and gearsets are NOT a bad thing
    -once in CS mode the Volt is a pure SERIES hybrid (not parallel or series-parallel)
    WopOnTour


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:37 am)

    Well, I’m still going to be the dissenter, and stay with my hypothesis that the ICE adds torque to the 2-mode system. Whether that torque is ultimately used to drive the wheels, or whether it drives a generator, will be dependent upon the conditions and needs of the battery pack at that instant in time.

    Since I believe the ICE drives through the 2-mode (motor-generators and gear sets), and provides several fixed loads (does not modulate to maintain vehicle speed), it can be stated that the ICE never directly drives the wheels. It needs power input or absorption (from the MG’s) to successfully drive the wheels.

    Sorry, Lyle, but since Alex states that either MG can drive the Volt, I’m not convinced (exspecially since GM’s patents and presentations state that the mechanical path is the more efficient method to transfer torque).


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:39 am)

    When traveling I use the built in buffer for the vehicle I am using. It is called the 1/4 mark on the gas tank. When that mark is reached it is time to find a gas station. If the VOLT has a gas gauge then that is all I and anyone else needs.

    If one cannot manage that parameter maybe they need not be driving the VOLT or any other car. :+}


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    Andy said:

    BTW – Where did you get this picture?

    posted on GM-Volt 11/9/2009 or thereabouts.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    neutron:
    How does the rocket connect to the wheels?? Is is used after the battery and the gas is gone… or can it be used in addition to the motor and the battery at the same time????LOL:+}  

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

    The guy that wants to clean my windshield for a dollar told me that the rocket engine heat is directed toward a hamster on a wheel in a cage, which makes it start to run really fast. That wheel is directly connected to the wheels of the car. So in effect, it is similar to a Prius, in that it is a parallel drive. There is a secret switch located under the passenger seat to engage the rocket, so it can be described as a single use non-driver activated control system.

    And we have some more news to report:

    The hamster food container will hold 5.7235 oz of special GM formulated food pellets. The cost of these pellets are rumored to be $160.00 per ounce, but there will be a special government subsidy to lower that cost to $159.00.

    The fuel tank for the rocket engine will hold 98,415.00078156 pounds of Rocket fuel. A “source” at GM said that this amount is a perfectly balance of weight to power ratio needed to maximize the efficiency of the Volt’s power systems.

    Remember – you heard it here first!!!!

    ;-)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:43 am)

    AnonymousProxy: Yes it is. What have all of you (ok most of you) have always touted about the Volt? All I hear is “I can just keep driving past the BEV owner because I can continue to burn gas” and all I hear is moans and groans about “Range Anxiety”.
    Face it, that IS the best selling point of the Volt and that’s why everyone was all happy to hear how big tha GAS tank is.

    Maybe some perverse members of this list are fixated on tank size, but the important thing is that the Volt is a BEV, a BEV with range insurance.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:45 am)

    Andy: True for a pure electric but not for a range extended electric like the volt. As long as you have gas you’ll never run out of electricity. The only way to stop the volt is to run down the batteries AND use all the gas…  (Quote)

    I am likely to do that, at least once. If you never run out of gas how do you ever know how far you can really go?


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:46 am)

    BillR: Well, I’m still going to be the dissenter, and stay with my hypothesis that the ICE adds torque to the 2-mode system.Whether that torque is ultimately used to drive the wheels, or whether it drives a generator, will be dependent upon the conditions and needs of the battery pack at that instant in time.Since I believe the ICE drives through the 2-mode (motor-generators and gear sets), and provides several fixed loads (does not modulate to maintain vehicle speed), it can be stated that the ICE never directly drives the wheels.It needs power input or absorption (from the MG’s) to successfully drive the wheels.Sorry, Lyle, but since Alex states that either MG can drive the Volt, I’m not convinced (exspecially since GM’s patents and presentations state that the mechanical path is the more efficient method to transfer torque).  

    So what happens when they eventually replace the genset with a fuel cell? It’s a Voltec design parameter that the genset can be replaced by any on-board source of electricity generation.

    You’re going to have a big ugly hole in your transfer case.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:46 am)

    ECO_Turbo:
    Assuming the orange things are either coolant tubes or cables, there are three pairs. Wouldn’t this indicate three motors?
      

    Since each motor/generator (2) is 3 phase, there are 3 cables for each one.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:47 am)

    ECO_Turbo: Assuming the orange things are either coolant tubes or cables, there are three pairs. Wouldn’t this indicate three motors?

    I see a total of 6 orange cables.. each motor requires 3 wires thus 2 motors total.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:53 am)

    Andy: This is such a red herring issue. I mean do they engineer an extra 1/2 gallon tank into ICE cars so that if you run out of gas you can press the “emergency” button and go another 10 miles?
    Do you worry that if your car runs out of gas that there is still some in the tank that you can’t use in an emergency?
    When a car runs out of energy it stops. period.  

    Not a red herring at all, GM must leave some electricity in the battery or it will be ruined (or significantly reduce its life).. yet that reserve can also be used to move the Volt a little bit forward on the railroad crossing before the train hits.. Your gas tank is empty but there are still a couple of miles of range left in the batteries.

    Do you see the difference from a gasoline powered car?


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:53 am)

    AnonymousProxy: You got it……..wrong.It’s…Volt = “EoDEV” (Extended oil Dependence Electric Vehicle)  (Quote)

    Please don’t be silly. If most commutes are under 40 miles per day, as we are told is the case, then the Volt is exactly the same as a BEV. Yes, the Volt burns some gas, sometimes. But here’s the other thing: Some people still like their regular cars, trucks, SUVs and minivans. You can’t make EVERYONE buy a Volt or BEV. So, we will always be dependent on foreign oil. The idea is to be LESS dependent. At least until fusion reactors become feasible.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:54 am)

    Matthew B: I don’t think there was anybody claiming that… if they were, they’re an idiot.

    There were people claiming it.. look at the articles from the last couple days.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:55 am)

    Loboc: So what happens when they eventually replace the genset with a fuel cell? It’s a Voltec design parameter that the genset can be replaced by any on-board source of electricity generation.

    Very good point Loboc.. that flexibility is one of the original design parameters of the Volt.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:59 am)

    Loboc:

    BillR:Well, I’m still going to be the dissenter, and stay with my hypothesisthat the ICE adds torque to the 2-mode system.Whether that torque isultimately used to drive the wheels, or whether it drives a generator,will be dependent upon the conditions and needs of the battery pack atthat instant in time.Since I believe the ICE drives through the 2-mode(motor-generators and gear sets), and provides several fixed loads(does not modulate to maintain vehicle speed), it can be stated thatthe ICE never directly drives the wheels.It needs power input orabsorption (from the MG’s) to successfully drive the wheels.Sorry,Lyle, but since Alex states that either MG can drive the Volt, I’m notconvinced (exspecially since GM’s patents and presentations state thatthe mechanical path is the more efficient method to transfertorque).  

    So what happens when they eventually replace the genset with a fuelcell? It’s a Voltec design parameter that the genset can be replaced byany on-board source of electricity generation.You’re going to have a big ugly hole in your transfer case.  

    A fuel cell produces no torque, so there is no means to provide power input except through electricity.

    I would imagine in this case the fuel cell would provide electricity to the system, and it would be used to drive the vehicle and charge the battery pack. No added generator is required, as the fuel cell directly produces DC current (which is compatible with the battery pack and power electronics).

    The ICE needs the added cost, weight, and complication of a generator to produce electricity if the 2 – 55 kW MG’s in the 2-mode are to work in unison to give you 110 kW when you need it. I see this added generator as unnecessary.


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    John W (Tampa)

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:00 am)

    CorvetteGuy: How many words did many of us waste on yesterday’s trolls trying to get that fact through their skulls?! They don’t get it. They will never get it.

    I ignore the trolls, I think we all should, give em a -1 and leave it at that. They may not go away but they love the attention so don’t give it to them. Think of something original and inspiring to say instead.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:00 am)

    stuart22: As the Volt is new, groundbreaking technology and still under wraps, there’s going to be a lot of vinegar being marketed as wine.I have a question for the engineers – when the Volt runs out of gas, the battery as I understand will have around 30% charge which means it can still be driven, even though the gas tank is empty. But if driven, the battery will eventually lose that charge and the car potentially will end up stuck somewhere like any EV. At that point, filling up the gas tank would not seem to allow the car to restart and be driven due to the dead battery.What exactly is the design spec for the Volt when it does run out of gas – I would think the power to the electric drive motors should be cut at that point, with an ‘emergency switch’ available which would allow a driver to then override the power cutoff and allow the car to be driven on the remaining battery power. That switch would save people from getting totally stuck by allowing an emergency range buffer for those special occasions when needed.  (Quote)

    Sure, it sounds like a nice idea. I think they discussed this in the past. It does defeat the purpose of the battery charging scheme they’ve carefully engineered though. What sort of backup does the conventional ICE car have for the driver that runs out of gas? At a certain point you just have to make the driver responsible for stuff like running out of whatever propels the vehicle. It’s still most problematic in a BEV. You can’t hitch a ride to the nearest charging station and bring back a few kilowatt-hours so you can drive to the nest recharging station.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:01 am)

    Alligam: Sounds like the infamous “limp home mode” that we discussed many months ago.My concern would be that this could be abused by an undisciplined user to eek out a few more miles every time — leading to premature battery pack issues.

    Simple yet drastic solution would have usage of the emergency switch voiding the battery warranty.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:02 am)

    As BillR has mentioned, it might be more efficient to have a mechanical connection between the ICE and the wheels, but that would make marketing the car even more complex than it is. As it is, the ICE means at least some people are going to have some problem understanding how it differs from a Prius (the Leaf is simpler). No reason to make the task of comprehending the message even more difficult. As Bob Lutz has mentioned, they argued with the engineers against making the car as efficient as possible in order for it to be an electric vehicle.

    LauraM: The difference with a gas car is that when you’re running low, you can usually find a gas station to refill at before you run out. And, even if you don’t, you can park the car, hike to the gas station, and bring some back.

    Of course this is true but all the trials — such as the mini-E trail — indicate that people don’t run out of juice. They adapt their driving. So long as the car is predictable the EV range which may seem to be a problem on the front end doesn’t end up being a problem in practice. The conclusion seems to be that a range of about 100 miles on a BEV works for just about everyone as a second car and even as a first car for a few.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:04 am)

    GMC granite go with voltec ?


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:07 am)

    I really don’t understand all the fuss.

    There are 2 other EREVs that connect the gas engine to the wheels. Ther Fisker Karma has 50 miles of all-electric range. The Mercedes BlueZERO E-Cell Plus has 60 miles of all-electric range. Both are “near series” designs. The electric motor and battery are powerful enough so that the gas engine isn’t necessary for full power, but the gas engine is connected to the wheels in charge sustaining mode.

    It just so happens that the Volt EREV doesn’t connect the gas engine to the wheels, which we have known for the last 3 years. There are some efficiency losses with the mechanical->electrical->mechanical conversions, but there are also some efficiency gains by allowing the gas engine to run freely at it’s sweet spot without any external forces. In the end it’s probably a wash.

    Bottom line: It’s the all-electric range that matters, not the specific design.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:07 am)

    BillR: Well, I’m still going to be the dissenter, and stay with my hypothesis that the ICE adds torque to the 2-mode system. Whether that torque is ultimately used to drive the wheels, or whether it drives a generator, will be dependent upon the conditions and needs of the battery pack at that instant in time.Since I believe the ICE drives through the 2-mode (motor-generators and gear sets), and provides several fixed loads (does not modulate to maintain vehicle speed), it can be stated that the ICE never directly drives the wheels. It needs power input or absorption (from the MG’s) to successfully drive the wheels.Sorry, Lyle, but since Alex states that either MG can drive the Volt, I’m not convinced (exspecially since GM’s patents and presentations state that the mechanical path is the more efficient method to transfer torque).  (Quote)

    BillR, you use the term “2-mode” in what context exactly?
    2-mode refers to the number of available cycles of electrical efficiency created by the internal paths of power within the hybrid drive. Toyota’s HSD is a single mode and has a single efficiency cycle as it has a single, unchanging mechanical arrangment between the power split device,MGUs and final drive (highly efficient at low speeds but degrades quickly as motor speeds and the neccessary electrical currents increase) A 2-mode hybrid is able to alter the mechanical arrangment (NOT really an “upshift” like a conventional automatic transmission) in order to create an advantageous ratio in the relative speeds of the components in order to create a second cycle of efficiency.This permits the electric power to contribute more at higher speeds.
    BTW- The next thing better than a 2-mode is a 3-mode! ;)
    WopOnTour


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:12 am)

    “What many authors don’t know is that the Volt has two electric motors that can act either in parallel at times, in other cases one acts as the traction motor to drive the wheels and the other acts as a generator. The system uses 2-mode technology to determine which configuration is optimal for that driving moment. It never, however, includes a direct ICE to wheel configuration”

    So the motor and the motor/generator can act in ‘parallel’ through the 2-mode, and the motor/generator is connected to the ICE. That seems to indicate a possible path for power transmission from the ICE to the wheels.

    ICE –> Motor/Generator –> 2-mode –> Powertrain –> Wheels

    So it wouldn’t technically be a “direct” path from the ICE to the wheels, but if the ICE was turning the shaft of the motor/generator and it, in turn, passed some of that power to the 2-mode, the ICE could “indirectly” provide power to the wheels.

    So, it seems very possible to implement if GM chose to go this route. Kudos to them for creating a flexible system.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:15 am)

    ECO_Turbo: Assuming the orange things are either coolant tubes or cables, there are three pairs. Wouldn’t this indicate three motors?  (Quote)

    No..2 motors 1 thermally controlled and protected battery


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:17 am)

    WopOnTour:

    BillR:Well, I’m still going to be the dissenter, and stay with my hypothesisthat the ICE adds torque to the 2-mode system. Whether that torque isultimately used to drive the wheels, or whether it drives a generator,will be dependent upon the conditions and needs of the battery pack atthat instant in time.Since I believe the ICE drives through the 2-mode(motor-generators and gear sets), and provides several fixed loads(does not modulate to maintain vehicle speed), it can be stated thatthe ICE never directly drives the wheels. It needs power input orabsorption (from the MG’s) to successfully drive the wheels.Sorry,Lyle, but since Alex states that either MG can drive the Volt, I’m notconvinced (exspecially since GM’s patents and presentations state thatthe mechanical path is the more efficient method to transfertorque).  (Quote)

    BillR, you use the term “2-mode” in what context exactly?2-mode refers to the number of available cycles of electricalefficiency created by the internal paths of power within the hybriddrive. Toyota’s HSD is a single mode and has a single efficiency cycleas it has a single, unchanging mechanical arrangment between the powersplit device,MGUs and final drive (highly efficient at low speeds butdegrades quickly as motor speeds and the neccessary electrical currentsincrease) A 2-mode hybrid is able to alter the mechanical arrangment(NOT really an “upshift” like a conventional automatic transmission) inorder to create an advantageous ratio in the relative speeds of thecomponents in order to create a second cycle of efficiency.This permitsthe electric power to contribute more at higher speeds.BTW- The next thing better than a 2-mode is a 3-mode! WopOnTour  

    “You use the term “2-mode” in what context exactly?”

    See this link, click on the Description Tab.

    http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?wo=2006107577


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:17 am)

    Andy: True for a pure electric but not for a range extended electric like the volt. As long as you have gas you’ll never run out of electricity. The only way to stop the volt is to run down the batteries AND use all the gas…  (Quote)

    then call CAA, AAA or anyone you know with a jerry can…


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:22 am)

    Mitch: No..2 motors 1 thermally controlled and protected battery  (Quote)

    EDIT time missed..this is assuming they are coolant lined and not something else…


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:22 am)

    DonC: As it is, the ICE means at least some people are going to have some problem understanding how it differs from a Prius (the Leaf is simpler).

    Good point.

    What many people don’t realize is that a pure BEV solution may actually use more gasoline.

    Here’s why: Most pure EV proponents say they will use another car for longer trips. In most cases that other car doesn’t get 50 MPG.

    For example, let’s say you own a Nissan Leaf and use a Toyota Corolla for longer trips. With a typical driving pattern, assuming you only charge overnight:
    Vehicle ……………… Gallons per year
    Volt ………………………. 37
    Leaf/Corolla ………… 39
    Prius …………………… 228
    30 MPG car ………… 380
    20 MPG car ………… 570


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:23 am)

    Mitch: then call CAA, AAA or anyone you know with a jerry can…

    or call someone with a big portable generator and they could charge your volt though the charge port!


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:30 am)

    It wouldn’t surprise me if software was the only thing preventing the ICE from directly driving the wheels. GM and Lyle have taken great pains to tell us that the ICE never drives the wheels.

    But I believe the truth is a little fuzzier than that. Some power from the ICE is probably making it’s way through the planetary gears into the wheels.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:30 am)

    Geo: That seems to indicate a possible path for power transmission from the ICE to the wheels.
    ICE –> Motor/Generator –> 2-mode –> Powertrain –> Wheels
    So it wouldn’t technically be a “direct” path from the ICE to the wheels, but if the ICE was turning the shaft of the motor/generator and it, in turn, passed some of that power to the 2-mode, the ICE could “indirectly” provide power to the wheels.

    No.

    There’s a clutch that physically disconnects the smaller motor/generator from the gas engine, and another clutch that connects the smaller motor/generator to the main traction motor. When the 2 electric motors work in parallel, the total power doesn’t change, but efficiency is increased.


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    Dave G

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:33 am)

    Jscott1000: It wouldn’t surprise me if software was the only thing preventing the ICE from directly driving the wheels.

    Yes.

    Jscott1000: Some power from the ICE is probably making it’s way through the planetary gears into the wheels.

    No.


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    Mitch

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:33 am)

    also I believe the “limp home” feature is a LEAF option, and not a Volt one. I do not ever remember this ever being mentioned. Limp home will be required by the leaf (or a CAA / AAA membership)

    The voltec advantage is that in a “no energy” situation, get someone to run a can out, or do the ageless walk to the next station and get a can your self…

    This option is something a BEV cannot even consider…

    Reality..

    man walk to counter..”Can I get a can of gas an 5 bucks worth, ran out a couple miles downthe road” guy gives can and 5 bucks worth, man walks back and put in Volt, starts can and drives to station to fill and get home to recharge.

    BEV reality.

    man walks to counter ” can you call me a tow truck? my BEV died a couple mile down the road, thought I could make it. Unless you have a 16kw battery pack, a portable hoist and tool box I can use to replace the battery?.

    Counter guy..” ok…you’re a tow truck”


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    James

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:36 am)

    James – you do not need to welcome me to this site. I registered on GM-Volt over three years ago and have visited, read and posted literally every day since. I did a screen shot when I signed up with Lyle and have it on my home computer. Just because I do not sit on this site all day posing my political views on an automotive site such as many of your posts include does not mean that I should be 2 or 3. Thanks,


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    john1701a

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:38 am)

    Dave G: Vehicle ……………… Gallons per year
    Volt ………………………. 37
    Leaf/Corolla ………… 39
    Prius …………………… 228
    30 MPG car ………… 380
    20 MPG car ………… 570

    Did you notice in the first “direct drive” thread that people went to great lengths to avoid mentioning the PHV model Prius?

    Why didn’t you here?


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    Ken Grubb

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:41 am)

    I’m really starting to wonder if the Volt attack stories aren’t the work of Big Oil who are pooping their drawers over the prospect of a diminishing monopoly.


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    Dave G

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:43 am)

    DonC: Of course this is true but all the trials — such as the mini-E trail — indicate that people don’t run out of juice. They adapt their driving.

    Translation: People will use their other car if they think there’s a chance they’ll run out of juice.

    That’s exaclty how a pure EV solution can use more gas than an EREV.


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    jbfalaska

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:43 am)

    Hope I can put one in my Colorado garage before the State subsidy dies off. $5,000 in Colorado. Expires in 2011.


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    Andy

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:44 am)

    Mitch: Unless you have a 16kw battery pack, a portable hoist and tool box I can use to replace the battery?.

    Or “can you call me generator truck to give me a quick charge so I can make it home?”

    I think there could be a business in portable emergency charging for all the non-volts… I mean if a tow is $60 don’t you think someone could get $30 bucks to charge your ev for 10 minutes that would only cost them $1 in in gas?


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    DonC

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:52 am)

    Dave G: For example, let’s say you own a Nissan Leaf and use a Toyota Corolla for longer trips.

    While your point is valid, I’m not sure the vehicle choices will be quite be like this. Given that EVs are not cheap transportation, my guess is that someone is going to have a Volt or a Leaf and a Porche Cayenne rather than a Corolla. In this case the choice of which vehicle to drive will be made more on the basis of which is more comfortable or fun to drive. So if you want to go on a longer trip or have to transport a bunch of people you’ll take the Cayenne regardless of whether you have a Volt or a Leaf.

    My view is that 90% of the time people won’t use any gas regardless of whether they have a BEV or an EREV and the other 10% of the time they’ll use the same amount of gas. But yes, if the choices are as you present them, and no doubt some percentage of owners will fit this profile, then the BEV could end up using more gas.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:57 am)

    john1701a: Did you notice in the first “direct drive” thread that people went to great lengths to avoid mentioning the PHV model Prius?

    Probably because little is known about it (so much for presenting all the data you always want :-) ).

    Anyway it won’t change the numbers much. The plug-in Prius seems to get about 62 mpg. http://green.autoblog.com/2010/06/28/inside-line-puts-plug-in-prius-to-the-test-hits-62-mpg-payback/ So if you run the numbers the Prius will use 184 gallons of gas during the year.


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    Dave G

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:58 am)

    john1701a: Did you notice in the first “direct drive” thread that people went to great lengths to avoid mentioning the PHV model Prius?
    Why didn’t you here?

    Good point.

    With a typical driving pattern, assuming you only charge overnight:
    Vehicle ……………… Gallons per year
    Volt ………………………. 37
    Leaf/Corolla ………… 39
    Prius plug-in ………. 173
    Prius …………………… 228
    30 MPG car ………… 380
    20 MPG car ………… 570

    Assumptions:
    Volt: 40 miles all-electric range, 50 mpg thereafter
    Leaf/Corolla: trips longer than 100 miles = 35 mpg
    Prius Plugin: 12 miles electric boost = 150 mpg, 50 mpg thereafter

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

    11,390 total miles per year

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


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    john1701a

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:05 am)

    Dave G: Prius Plugin: 12 miles electric boost = 150 mpg, 50 mpg thereafter

    That’s not how it works. You get up 14 miles of pure EV or many more with just a boost.

    75 MPG overall is what the data collected so far is showing.

    152 gallons-per-year is what your chart should state.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:08 am)

    DonC: EVs are not cheap transportation, my guess is that someone is going to have a Volt or a Leaf and a Porche Cayenne rather than a Corolla.

    GM’s CEO told Lyle the Volt would be priced in the low 30′s, which corresponds to mid 20′s after the tax credit:
    http://gm-volt.com/2010/01/27/gm-ceo-ed-whitacre-is-a-strong-fan-of-the-volt/
    “Though various bloggers quoting GM spokespeople have attempted to refute Mr. Whitacre’s comment to me about the Volt selling in the low 30s, I still stand by his statement. None of the naysayers were present for the call nor spent time in GM’s boardroom. The $7500 tax credit was not mentioned or inferred. Of course, we’ll have to wait until summer to see for sure.”

    Bottom line: If the Volt doesn’t become a mainstream car, then it will have no real impact on energy independence.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:09 am)

    john1701a: That’s not how it works. You get up 14 miles of pure EV or many more with just a boost

    What’s your source for that?


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    MetrologyFirst

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:13 am)

    Dave G:
    Translation: People will use their other car if they think there’s a chance they’ll run out of juice.That’s exaclty how a pure EV solution can use more gas than an EREV.  

    Not to mention that the people selected in these trials have a daily perceived significant responsibility. This “perception” removes the trial from true everyday reality.

    In our business (measurement), we have lots of protocols we follow daily. Some of them are for technical purposes, some of them are for getting you in the proper mental state of mind so as to be hypersensitive to your work. You make better measurements that way. We have the data to prove it.

    I’m sorry, but the fact that these small sample BEV trials indicate people don’t run out of charge only implies to me that hypersensitivity works.

    It tells us nothing about how often the typical, routinely distracted public will run out of charge in their BEV’s.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:22 am)

    Mitch: The voltec advantage is that in a “no energy” situation, get someone to run a can out, or do the ageless walk to the next station and get a can your self…T man walks back and put in Volt, starts can and drives to station to fill ….

    If a Volt has run out of gas and battery charge is zero, how might a can of gas can get it started and have it drive away, when the gas engine is not connected to the driveshaft? And — just how does the driver start the ICE engine?

    I think a lot of us here ought to rethink things on this. As far as I know, the only way to get a Volt to move is if the battery has a charge. If it’s dead, and the tank is empty, then a can of gas is useless.


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    Mitch

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:24 am)

    Andy: Or “can you call me generator truck to give me a quick charge so I can make it home?” I think there could be a business in portable emergency charging for all the non-volts… I mean if a tow is $60 don’t you think someone could get $30 bucks to charge your ev for 10 minutes that would only cost them $1 in in gas?  (Quote)

    While a nice idea, the power transfer required to do so quickly would either be a huge storage unit, a large generator, or require more time. assume 1kw/5 miles range, say 30$ fast charge and you get 2kw, you are paying $15 a kw, versus 10 cents. I’d rather buy a gallon of gas and go 50 miles for 3$, than get 10 miles for $30. but that is a personal choice.

    The point is that it has been discussed many times how much power it takes to charge a BEV fast. itis almost impractical.

    A lot of troll s**t has been tossed about here on the idea of the volt still uses gas..well personally, we are a 2 car family, and I can do with 2 volts just fine.

    the wife is into real estate, and a Volt works well for her, almost never breaks 40 miles. Me? I often go farther (60% of the time), but the volt still reduces my gas usage 40 miles EVERY DAY. A car that uses gas and creates pollution only 36% of the time compared to my current vehicle (I calculated it, can show all the math, but it is a rather large sheet), and maybe to about 2% of the current use my wife has, is enourmous to us. Are we oil free? not yet. Get me a Voltec with 100 mile AER and I will only use gas on driving vacations.


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    Mitch

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:28 am)

    stuart22: If a Volt has run out of gas and battery charge is zero, how might a can of gas can get it started and have it drive away, when the gas engine is not connected to the driveshaft? And — just how does the driver start the ICE engine?I think a lot of us here ought to rethink things on this. As far as I know, the only way to get a Volt to move is if the battery has a charge. If it’s dead, and the tank is empty, then a can of gas is useless.  (Quote)

    How did you get the battery to 0? it DOES NOT have a “limp home” option…it maintains 30%SOC MINIMUM !!! Limp home is a LEAF feature…

    THAT is why (at this time,) the VOLTEC design is superior.


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    LeoK

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:32 am)

    BREAKING NEWS from the Wall Street Journal …. GM set to announce that New York City and Austin, TX (hometown of GM CEO Ed Whitacre) are to be added as launch markets for the Chevy VOLT….
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703426004575338890222370422.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines

    W’re ready!!! Go GM. Go VOLT. Bring it on…..


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    WopOnTour

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:34 am)

    stuart22: If a Volt has run out of gas and battery charge is zero, how might a can of gas can get it started and have it drive away, when the gas engine is not connected to the driveshaft? And — just how does the driver start the ICE engine?I think a lot of us here ought to rethink things on this. As far as I know, the only way to get a Volt to move is if the battery has a charge. If it’s dead, and the tank is empty, then a can of gas is useless.  (Quote)

    Battery charge is never zero, and the lower floor limit for “cranking” enable (via MGU1) is much lower than that which creates the onset of charge-sustain mode. So should you run out of fuel, you merely add fuel to the tank, press the start button, and MGU1 will spin ICE while the fuel pump runs, primes the rail, and fires up the ICE. (if priming takes longer than 15 seconds then additional crank requests may need to be issued)
    HTH
    WopOnTour


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    stuart22

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:34 am)

    Mitch:
    How did you get the battery to 0? it DOES NOT have a “limp home” option…it maintains 30%SOC MINIMUM !!!

    Mitch:

    Just how does it maintain that 30% minimum after the gas tank runs dry?
    How did you get the battery to 0? it DOES NOT have a “limp home” option…it maintains 30%SOC MINIMUM !!! Limp home is a LEAF feature…THAT is why (at this time,) the VOLTEC design is superior.  


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    Andy

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:36 am)

    Mitch: The point is that it has been discussed many times how much power it takes to charge a BEV fast. itis almost impractical.

    I never said a complete charge… If it takes 4 hours at 240V for a complete charge that gives you 40 miles ev range then 15 minute charge should give you about 2.5 miles… enough to make it home in the original scenario of falling ‘a mile short’…


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    JohnK

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:37 am)

    Well, what a refreshing day! No real Volt news, but trying to dispel misinformation. With just a little bit of Troll thrown in and some VERY good humor. Thanks to everyone.
    BTW, does James have a split personality?
    Oops, there IS NEWS. If the WSJ stuff turns out to be true this is kind of exciting.


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    stuart22

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:38 am)

    Mitch:
    How did you get the battery to 0? it DOES NOT have a “limp home” option…it maintains 30%SOC MINIMUM !!!

    Just how does it maintain that 30% SOC after the gas tank runs dry?


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    Anthony

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:43 am)

    john1701a:
    That’s not how it works.You get up 14 miles of pure EV or many more with just a boost.

    Up to about 62MPH. Traveling at highway speeds (65-70MPH) requires an assist from the motor. I cant speak for Dave G, but my daily commute is 3 miles on surface streets (35mph) and 13 miles on highways (70mph).


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    Dan Petit

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:47 am)

    More technical accuracy ought to filter down to the various news agencies as they pay more and more attention to Volt when it is released. While many more are not going to be accurate (in each of their learning curves), at least I would give all of them some credit for trying to understand Voltec.
    This is the most important thing I do for new techs who want to learn about anything. Immediately giving respect for their technical attentiveness is a critical thing to provide so that the learning momentum is not only maintained, but is positively re-enforced.
    This is the fair thing to do as well, because the journey here has been the effort for us all to assist each other in clarifying anything we can learn about Volt.


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:58 am)

    Matthew B: IF GM lets the battery get low enough that it could be damaged, then it must be recharged as quick as possible to limit the damage.

    My suspicion is that GM won’t ever let the battery get that low.

    The Volt’s control system will certainly prevent accidental deep discharge below 30-ish% SOC.


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    Mitch

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:12 pm)

    Andy: I never said a complete charge… If it takes 4 hours at 240V for a complete charge that gives you 40 miles ev range then 15 minute charge should give you about 2.5 miles… enough to make it home in the original scenario of falling ‘a mile short’…  (Quote)

    I did not say full charge, I said doing a fast charge ..I was not clear I guess in saying that the power transfer, the cabling etc makes it not practical


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    Mitch

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:17 pm)

    stuart22: Just how does it maintain that 30% SOC after the gas tank runs dry?  (Quote)

    You fall under the “don’t get the concept” catagory (not being deroatory here).

    The basic idea of the volt is this, there is a 16kw battery, at full charge it is at 80%, and will draw down to 30%. the 40 miles is accomplished using about 8kw of the 16kw battery. This management allows GM to meet the battery life expectations it has but neither full chargin or dis charging the battery.

    For that first 40 miles, it does not use the ICE. You can drive the volt 40 miles, and the ICE will never come on. once the battery reaches 30%, the ICE starts and maintains the battery at 30%, the power for the drive is still being drawn from the battery. When the gas tank is empty, the battery should be at or near 30%.

    To Simplify…you CAN NOT DRAIN THE BATTERY BELOW 30% in the Volt. the battery management software wil NOT allow it. battery charge is NOT dependant on the ICE.

    Even if the gas tank is empty,and the battery guage says empty, there is is still 30% charge.

    help?


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    jeffhre

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:23 pm)

    Steve: You can’t hitch a ride to the nearest charging station and bring back a few kilowatt-hours so you can drive to the nest recharging station. 

    Why not?


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    WopOnTour

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:26 pm)

    stuart22: Just how does it maintain that 30% SOC after the gas tank runs dry?  (Quote)

    Simple, when you run out of fuel while in CS mode, you will simply stop moving like any other car (there is currently no provisions to permit the driver to access the remaining capacity of the battery to propel the car once it has reached it’s lower CS limit)
    However, this remaining state-of-charge WILL be permitted to CRANK the ICE, providing there is a minimum observed fuel volume in the tank.
    (the rear-zone integration module monitors and reports the existing fuel level and reports it on the GMLAN/CAN network for the benefit of other “members”)
    HTH
    WOT


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:26 pm)

    Mitch: did not say full charge, I said doing a fast charge ..I was not clear I guess in saying that the power transfer, the cabling etc makes it not practical

    I’m assuming that the generator would put out the same amps as the 240V circuit in your garage. Therefor the charge rate and the cable would be the same as at home…


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    neutron

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:27 pm)

    Jim I:
    ==============================The guy that wants to clean my windshield for a dollar told me that the rocket engine heat is directed toward a hamster on a wheel in a cage, which makes it start to run really fast.That wheel is directly connected to the wheels of the car.So in effect, it is similar to a Prius, in that it is a parallel drive.There is a secret switch located under the passenger seat to engage the rocket, so it can be described as a single use non-driver activated control system.And we have some more news to report:The hamster food container will hold 5.7235 oz of special GM formulated food pellets.The cost of these pellets are rumored to be $160.00 per ounce, but there will be a special government subsidy to lower that cost to $159.00.The fuel tank for the rocket engine will hold 98,415.00078156 pounds of Rocket fuel.A “source” at GM said that this amount is a perfectly balance of weight to power ratio needed to maximize the efficiency of the Volt’s power systems.Remember – you heard it here first!!!!   

    And they said it could not be done. Those GM engineers are incredible.
    Do you realize that if you had not met the windshield washer guy we would not have known anything about how it was all put together. What a stroke of luck for you! ;+}


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    Starcast

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:28 pm)

    Not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but the local radio (Detroit)is reporting GM is adding Boston and NY to the roll out of the Volt


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    Tex-Arl

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:37 pm)

    Dan Pettit #108

    I haven’t posted in quite a while because there is too much supposition for me. Good to see you are back. Maybe we can get some facts.


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    stuart22

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:41 pm)

    Mitch:
    You fall under the “don’t get the concept” catagory (not being deroatory here).The basic idea of the volt is this, there is a 16kw battery, at full charge it is at 80%, and will draw down to 30%. the 40 miles is accomplished using about 8kw of the 16kw battery. This management allows GM to meet the battery life expectations it has but neither full chargin or dis charging the battery.For that first 40 miles, it does not use the ICE. You can drive the volt 40 miles, and the ICE will never come on. once the battery reaches 30%, the ICE starts and maintains the battery at 30%, the power for the drive is still being drawn from the battery. When the gas tank is empty, the battery should be at or near 30%.To Simplify…you CAN NOT DRAIN THE BATTERY BELOW 30% in the Volt. the battery management software wil NOT allow it. battery charge is NOT dependant on the ICE.Even if the gas tank is empty,and the battery guage says empty, there is is still 30% charge.help?  

    What you haven’t explained is what happens with the car after the gas tank runs dry. 30% charge is sufficient to keep it running – well, does it keep on running down the highway? If it does, for how long? Or when the tank runs dry, does the electric drive motor shut down and the car roll to a powerless stop?

    You do realize that if the car keeps on going down the highway after the tank runs dry, it is running strictly on battery charge – and the SOC can only decrease the longer the car is allowed by its control systems to continue on driving. Which means your insistence on the 30% charge being maintained would not be correct.

    Let me ask once again, and pay close attention to what information I am trying to find out — WHILE DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD, WHAT IS THE OPERATIONAL PROCEDURE THAT HAPPENS WITH THE VOLT AFTER THE GASOLINE REACHES EMPTY AND THE DRIVER CONTINUES DRIVING.

    A. The car continues driving until battery charge is too depleted to keep the car moving
    B. The electric drive motors immediately shut off and the car coasts to the side of the road just as any ICE car would do after running out of gas
    C. The car continues driving until battery SOC dips to X% SOC, after which power is cut off
    D. None of the above because here’s what really happens….

    If your answer is D., please provide the missing explanation.


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    Starcast

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:41 pm)

    john1701a: Did you notice in the first “direct drive” thread that people went to great lengths to avoid mentioning the PHV model Prius?Why didn’t you here?  (Quote)

    As you like to say “give us all the stats” on the PHV, Toyota has realeased nothing. Show us how it works, gives us toyota details. (not made up ones)


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    neutron

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:41 pm)

    Starcast: Not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but the local radio (Detroit)is reporting GM is adding Boston and NY to the roll out of the Volt  

    Similar post by #101 too. :+}

    **** Well well well….. Looks GM they WILL BE BUILDING MORE VOLTS after all. With all the comments about a limited roll out it would make absolutely no sense to add more sites if GM was not going to build more VOLTS. Looks like the demand is much higher that GM let on earlier. It appears people are learning more about this extended range electric car and like the idea. PLUS the mess in the Gulf may have something to do with higher demand.

    Of course I am speculating…. but expansion of the VOLT rollout speaks VOLUMES and I believe the new GM will be a more aggressive car company that is looking at building market share, providing high quality cars and, most important, building innovative cars for the future at a profit!

    IPO anyone??


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    JDan

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:44 pm)

    Stuart22:
    “But if driven, the battery will eventually lose that charge and the car potentially will end up stuck somewhere like any EV. At that point, filling up the gas tank would not seem to allow the car to restart and be driven due to the dead battery”

    I belive the Volt has an additional standard car battery to start the ICE in this situation. The main propulsion battery will probably not go below 30%. When your at 30% charge on the propulsion battery and no gas, I would think it would be like an ICE only car and stop until more gas is put in (or charged up). Thoughts?

    Bottom right in pucture under the Consumers Report Logo (see link)?

    http://gm-volt.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/volt-hood.jpg


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    jeffhre

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    Dave G: With a typical driving pattern, assuming you only charge overnight:
    Vehicle ……………… Gallons per year
    Volt ………………………. 37
    Leaf/Corolla ………… 39
    Prius plug-in ………. 173
    Prius …………………… 228
    30 MPG car ………… 380
    20 MPG car ………… 570

    What about the ever Popular Leaf + Volt as second car combination.

    Or for more upscale neighborhoods with empty nesters; Leaf + Tesla Roadstser, or Leaf + Tesla 160 and occasionally rent a Volt, Leaf + Tesla 300, or Roadster + Tesla 300, Volt + Roadster etc.

    For less the less affluent how about Leaf + occasionally rent a Volt. Oh wait a second, that chart was meant to show mileage based on your own personal biases. My bad, I will step out of this pissing contest and let you continue with John (the High Priust).

    Building straw men to undermine workable efforts to electrify the automobile is counter productive.


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    Starcast

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    Starcast: Not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but the local radio (Detroit)is reporting GM is adding Boston and NY to the roll out of the Volt  (Quote)

    OK Radio is saying NY city and Boston area but WSJ is saying NY city and Austin TX.
    LOL I think raido mixed up Austin and Boston.

    “Stay Tuned”

    In Liberty

    Mark


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    Unni

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    i got a theoretical question :

    “One is considered the traction motor and the other one is the generator. However, and they are two motors, the traction motor is higher-powered and designed specifically to meet the traction requirements. The generator is designed to efficiently couple to the engine to generate what we need and match the efficiency band of the engine as much as possible in all the operating modes”

    So say volt is in CS mode and at highway on high speed ( after the motors high torque part )and we need to pass some one so one option is use both motors in parallel and use full torque and get going. Now the questions is one motor is a generator, which should act now as a motor and say gives us the torque – so on that time the full car is powered from battery ( means a very bug spike on battery ).
    Now questions stats :

    1) how the battery handles these spikes
    2) How it affects life of battery ?
    3) What if the person is trying to drive on that mode for long ?


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    WopOnTour

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (12:58 pm)

    stuart22: What you haven’t explained is what happens with the car after the gas tank runs dry. 30% charge is sufficient to keep it running – well, does it keep on running down the highway? If it does, for how long? Or when the tank runs dry, does the electric drive motor shut down and the car roll to a powerless stop?You do realize that if the car keeps on going down the highway after the tank runs dry, it is running strictly on battery charge – and the SOC can only decrease the longer the car is allowed by its control systems to continue on driving. Which means your insistence on the 30% charge being maintained would not be correct.Let me ask once again, and pay close attention to what information I am trying to find out — WHILE DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD, WHAT IS THE OPERATIONAL PROCEDURE THAT HAPPENS WITH THE VOLT AFTER THE GASOLINE REACHES EMPTY AND THE DRIVER CONTINUES DRIVING.A. The car continues driving until battery charge is too depleted to keep the car movingB. The electric drive motors immediately shut off and the car coasts to the side of the road just as any ICE car would do after running out of gasC. The car continues driving until battery SOC dips to X% SOC, after which power is cut offD. None of the above because here’s what really happens….If your answer is D., please provide the missing explanation.  (Quote)

    The correct answer is B
    And there is no 12V starting motor. Like many other hybrids -(including GM’s 2-mode trucks and SUVs) MGU1 is the exclusive motor used to crank/spin the ICE for start-up. However there certainly is a 12-volt rail used to supply power to a great many 12V accessories and control module assemblies.
    HTH
    WOT


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    MetrologyFirst

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:02 pm)

    jeffhre: For less the less affluent how about Leaf + occasionally rent a Volt. Oh wait a second, that chart was meant to show mileage based on your own personal biases. My bad, I will step out of this pissing contest and let you continue with John (the High Priust).

    When Volts start routinely showing up on rental car lots, let me know. That’s funny.

    Why is it that people continually hammer on Dave G’s table? He lays out all of the variables on his sheet. They’re reasonable. if you don’t like the outcome, do your own sheet using other variables.

    Just let us know what you did differently.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:04 pm)

    Andy: I’m assuming that the generator would put out the same amps as the 240V circuit in your garage. Therefor the charge rate and the cable would be the same as at home…  (Quote)

    which will mean a longer time to get the power…at 240 volts, the leaf requires 10-12 HOURS. lets use 12 for simplicity.

    12 hours in a 16kw battery is 45 mins a kw. for 5 miles, 45 minutes waiting for the recharge, for 2.5 22.5 minutes…

    not really that quick..

    VOLT grab cell, call caa, (wait times to arrive the same), pour fuel 1.5 gal (1 minute) on my way for 30-50 MILES of additional driving. (where I will certainly pass a gas station to top it up (5 more minutes)

    LEAF. Grab cell, call caa, (same wait) connect cables, wait for ping to signal circuit safe, start generator, wait 20+ minutes. Drive MAX 2.5 miles HOME to wait until tomorrow to go someplace or get the ICE back up vehicle because the BEV is no longer useful.


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    MetrologyFirst

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:08 pm)

    jeffhre: Building straw men to undermine workable efforts to electrify the automobile is counter productive. They should stop.

    Last I checked, the Volt is also “a workable effort to electrify the automobile.”

    This place is full of people trying to undermine the Volt. I agree with you. It is counterproductive.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:08 pm)

    WopOnTour: The correct answer is BAnd there is no 12V starting motor. Like many other hybrids -(including GM’s 2-mode trucks and SUVs) MGU1 is the exclusive motor used to crank/spin the ICE for start-up. However there certainly is a 12-volt rail used to supply power to a great many 12V accessories and control module assemblies.HTHWOT  (Quote)

    could also be c if the charge is more than 30% (gen set will not be EXACTLY 30% if it is 31, then the car will operate until it reaches minimum SOC of 30% then it stops…call caa get a jerry, prime and drive…

    STUART 22.

    The battery is NOT ALLOWED TO GO BELOW 30%.

    There is a ton of this inthe engineering area and has been talked about ad naseum and is a well know fact about the concept.

    Not trying to be derogatory, just look it up.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:15 pm)

    neutron:
    And they said it could not be done.Those GM engineers are incredible.
    Do you realize that if you had not met the windshield washer guy we would not have known anything about how it was all put together.What a stroke of luck for you!;+}  

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

    And it happened right here in Youngstown, Ohio, which BTW, is the hometown of Bob Boniface, the lead designer of the Volt.

    I think those should be enough reasons to add our magnificent city to the initial rollout locations for the Volt!!! Who cares about Boston, or Austin, or Smoshtin……. Youngstown is the place to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GM readers of this site – Are you getting this??

    :-)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:15 pm)

    MetrologyFirst: Why is it that people continually hammer on Dave G’s table? He lays out all of the variables on his sheet. They’re reasonable. if you don’t like the outcome, do your own sheet using other variables.

    DaveG’s table is great. I was one of the first to applaud it as a great source of information and stated when he first showed it that it should be used by dealers to show in a simple way how the Volt’s capabilities will affect individual drivers.

    I’ve said this since he brought the table out , what at least a year ago, and I often refer to it and request he bring it out from time to time.

    I will not be making my own as I think his works very well. That was not a criticism included in my comment, so thank you for pointing out the value of the work Dave has done with the spreadsheet once again, as it is a valuable tool.


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    Itching4it

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:20 pm)

    stuart22: I have a question for the engineers – when the Volt runs out of gas, the battery as I understand will have around 30% charge which means it can still be driven, even though the gas tank is empty. But if driven, the battery will eventually lose that charge and the car potentially will end up stuck somewhere like any EV. At that point, filling up the gas tank would not seem to allow the car to restart and be driven due to the dead battery. What exactly is the design spec for the Volt when it does run out of gas – I would think the power to the electric drive motors should be cut at that point, with an ‘emergency switch’ available which would allow a driver to then override the power cutoff and allow the car to be driven on the remaining battery power. That switch would save people from getting totally stuck by allowing an emergency range buffer for those special occasions when needed.  

    Your comments raise an interesting point I had not thought of. I doubt seriously that there would be any way to convince the Volt to use all of the power in the battery, but it could use some of it.

    When running in Range Extender mode the generator is used to keep the battery somewhere around a desired charge point. That may be 30%, though I am not aware GM has ever confirmed that. But the computer will typically be cycling the gas engine on and off, so the battery charge will be going up and down, possibly between 25% and 35%. (I expect it will be a narrower range than that, but I’ll use that here just to keep with round numbers.)

    This means when the engine runs out of gas the battery will probably be somewhere above the minimum allowed charge. I would expect a red light to start blinking, but the car to keep moving normally until that minimum depletion point is reached. Only then would it shut down.

    Another possibility is that they might have implemented a “limp home” mode as some BEVs have. You can continue driving for a while, but with reduced power and a limit on speed. The Volt might go into that mode as soon as the gas tank runs dry, or it might wait until the minimum depletion point is reached. If that point is at 25% charge you might be allowed to go down to somewhere like 15% charge before the car stops completely.

    All this is guessing on my part, but it’s something interesting to think about.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:22 pm)

    Mitch: which will mean a longer time to get the power…at 240 volts, the leaf requires 10-12 HOURS. lets use 12 for simplicity.

    I think the original point has been lost. Someone said that in a pure EV the only option when the battery runs “empty” would be to get towed. I was suggesting it might be possible to have a generator come to them to give them a partial charge instead.

    The volt with its onboard generator clearly has no need for such a service. All it needs is fuel for its generator…

    Also the LEAF gets 100 miles for 10 hours of charging (approx). So in the end 15 minutes would give you 2.5 miles with the leaf too (100/10=x/0.25). That makes sense when you think about it as both volt and leaf use the same battery technology…


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    Loboc

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:22 pm)

    Lol. I hope not.

    “The plug-in electric Volt is expected to hit the market in November, selling for about $40,000 to $50,000.”

    http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/stories/2010/06/28/daily36.html

    At least Austin is closer to me. About 200 miles.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:23 pm)

    We have been discussing this for several days in the engineering forum.. I believe member Cab Driver has come up with the most likely configuration.

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4745

    Its a modified 2 Mode transmission, it uses two motor/generators.. the main traction motors was more than doubled in power (50kw to 113kw), some of the gears and clutches were removed but some are retained.

    The engine never drives the wheels.. but with a software change and some gear ratio adjustment it could be coupled.. apparently GM does not see a need for this at this moment. CS mode mileage must be meeting the specs. The Sport/Econ mode is just a software limit to the power of the motor.

    There are 2 modes of operation.. CD and CS.. selected by operating the two clutches.

    Charge Depletion mode:
    a: regular driving : Both motors are used to drive the front wheels, the small motor can be used to adjust the gear ratios if desired and keep the motors running in their most efficient states.. in other words a continuously variable transmission, CVT.
    b: brake regen: when you slow the car the regen mode engages.. this instantly shuts off the engine and decouples the small motor from the engine.. its no longer acting like the generator in a serial electric.. the small motor can now be used again to change the ratios of the transmission and thus adjust the motors to extract the maximum energy from regen braking.. in other words a CVT is used to get the most regen.

    Charge Sustaining mode:

    In this mode, after the 40 miles of EV range, the small motor is coupled to the engine and used as a generator exclusively.. it does not transfer torque to the wheel and it cannot be used to adjust the gear ratios in the CVT. In this mode the gear ratio is fixed for the big motor.. most electric vehicles are like this, the motor only has a 1 speed transmission in this mode.

    This seems to fit well with what Alex Cattelan said:

    “In our case we’re optimizing everything for EV operation and the secondary is certainly going to be better than conventional vehicles, but were not necessarily totally optimizing the system for charge sustaining mode because we don’t want to compromise electric vehicle mode.
    Lyle: So to be optimally efficient in charge-sustaining mode you might compromise EV performance?
    Cattelan: In the electric vehicle mode, and its not just performance, its efficiency in electric vehicle mode that we’re optimizing.
    Lyle: You mean those first 40 miles?
    Cattelan: Right, so you’ve got to remember our principle promise is this is an EV and our engine is there as a range extender and so even when the engine is on, we operate as through we are in EV. All the primary propulsion is satisfied by the electric motor. The engine is really there to supplement power to keep the battery sustained. Now there are a couple of tricks of the trade that we do since we have the engine on more, but for example we don’t want to do a whole lot of gearing that you would do in a parallel hybrid, because none of that is beneficial to you in the EV state.”


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:25 pm)

    MetrologyFirst: When Volts start routinely showing up on rental car lots, let me know. That’s funny.

    There are no Volt’s period, apart from the ones being tested by GM. Seriously.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:31 pm)

    DonC: Of course this is true but all the trials — such as the mini-E trail — indicate that people don’t run out of juice. They adapt their driving. So long as the car is predictable the EV range which may seem to be a problem on the front end doesn’t end up being a problem in practice. The conclusion seems to be that a range of about 100 miles on a BEV works for just about everyone as a second car and even as a first car for a few.

    There is a huge difference between a small scale trial of early adopters, and usage by mainstream consumers. Some people still run out of gas. Which is a lot easier to avoid.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:37 pm)

    Tim Hart:
    “27 Herm, in response to Stuart 22 you said that a deeply depleted Volt battery MUST be immediately recharged or be damaged. This is new information I have not seen before. Could you explain in more detail? Thanks.  

    Its a typical thing of lithium batteries, they dont like being charged too high or discharged too low, and similar to lead acid batteries you must recharge them promptly after using them. The numbers will change with the different chemistry and manufacturers.


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    WopOnTour

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:37 pm)

    Herm: We have been discussing this for several days in the engineering forum.. I believe member Cab Driver has come up with the most likely configuration.http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4745nbsp; (Quote)

    There’s also a internal diagram of the 2MT70 2-mode transaxle in this older forum thread.
    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4495
    Certainly, someone adept in transaxle powerflow will be able to see how with a few “modifications” (ie. removal of direct mechanical connections between MGU1 and the rear output carrier member) the Volt’s serial hybrid powerflow goals could easily be realized WITHOUT power contributions from ICE. (but WITH additional benefits) :D
    WopOnTour


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    JonP.

     

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:40 pm)

    Andy: I think there could be a business in portable emergency charging for all the non-volts… I mean if a tow is $60 don’t you think someone could get $30 bucks to charge your ev for 10 minutes that would only cost them $1 in in gas?

    Think your onto something there. I don’t know if you could sustain a company that did just that….. But i wouldn’t be surprised if in 5 years at least 1 truck from every towing service had a generator mounted on a truck that did 240 volt charging.

    I’m not so great with the electric conversions and math….. How far could you go on a 15 minute charge at say 240amps in the Leaf.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:43 pm)

    Andy: I think the original point has been lost. Someone said that in a pure EV the only option when the battery runs “empty” would be to get towed. I was suggesting it might be possible to have a generator come to them to give them a partial charge instead.The volt with its onboard generator clearly has no need for such a service. All it needs is fuel for its generator…Also the LEAF gets 100 miles for 10 hours of charging (approx). So in the end 15 minutes would give you 2.5 miles with the leaf too (100/10=x/0.25). That makes sense when you think about it as both volt and leaf use the same battery technology…  (Quote)

    yeah..sometimes happens in the flow of a good conversation (such as this was)..I am certainly not trying to be contrary, my thought flow went to the idea, that a 2.5 ile charge up, is only good to get you hom eif you are within that 2.5 miles..otherwise you need more…it is the “range anxiety aurgument with a tywist…

    Peace to you and have a great July (1 or 4) weekend.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:48 pm)

    Dave G: That’s exaclty how a pure EV solution can use more gas than an EREV.  

    Very true, though there are as many solutions for the dilemmas created as there are drivers and destinations. And of course early adopters are nothing if not creative.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (1:49 pm)

    LeoK: BREAKING NEWS from the Wall Street Journal …. GM set to announce that New York City and Austin, TX (hometown of GM CEO Ed Whitacre) are to be added as launch markets for the Chevy VOLT….

    Nice pick up. Dan should be happy about this.

    neutron: Looks GM they WILL BE BUILDING MORE VOLTS after all. With all the comments about a limited roll out it would make absolutely no sense to add more sites if GM was not going to build more VOLTS.

    Great if this is the case. Let’s see what the announcement says. The first year is not so critical but the second full year of production is.

    LauraM: There is a huge difference between a small scale trial of early adopters, and usage by mainstream consumers. Some people still run out of gas.

    FWIW the anthropologist doing the study of the mini-E lessees, complete with long in person interviews, doesn’t think that the mini-E users were early adopters. As for running out of juice, the studies go back to the mid-nineties in Berlin. It’s not as if the mini-E is the only experience with BEVs. What’s interesting is that while people across cultures have different reasons for driving EVs and different levels of understanding about them, their use is entirely consistent. And one conclusion is that they don’t run down the battery to empty. Basically what Lyle has reported is the norm.

    The other findings is that over 1/3 the mini-E drivers had driving habits that never required them to even think about charging. They could do it maybe once every few days. Another 1/2 had to think about it some but it was no big deal. The remaining 1/6 had to plan. Lyle fit into this last category given his relatively long commute.


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    Echin McCrotch

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:00 pm)

    LauraM: There is a huge difference between a small scale trial of early adopters, and usage by mainstream consumers. Some people still run out of gas. Which is a lot easier to avoid.

    People still run out of gas now. They know the range of their car, the know the MPG they can get yet they STIL are seen on the side of highways with gas cans.
    It’s obvious that a BEV owner has to have some brains to know the limitations. If your stupid enough to run out of gas in an ICE burner then you’ll be the idiot doing the same in a BEV. It’s not going to be possible to completely eliminate this. If you’re going to have a percentage of idiots run out of gas, then you’re going to have idiots run out of charge.
    But sure, keep making lame excuses for running out of charge, but truth to all “Range Anxiety” fears is the same this STILL occurs in gas cars.

    Explain this: http://green.autoblog.com/2008/06/02/wishing-for-higher-mpg-more-people-are-running-out-of-gas/

    These people knew their cars, they all have gas suages, know the mpg and how far they can go. After 100 years of the GAS automobile we still get hese problems? Looks like “Range Anxiety” to me there. This also means that even Volt owners can fall into this mistake. Gas burner runs out of gas, the Volt’s gass burner runs out of gas.

    Explain it.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:00 pm)

    john1701a: Confused. Yup. That was an excellent wake-up call about more being needed than what’s currently available.
    What are you going to do to help prepare for consumers wanting to learn about Volt?
    They’ll have questions. What will provide the answers? 

    You?


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:12 pm)

    JDan: I belive the Volt has an additional standard car battery to start the ICE in this situation.  

    Nope. The Volt does have a standard car battery which puts out a standard 12 volts. The motor/generator used to start the engine needs hundreds of volts.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:18 pm)

    LeoK: BREAKING NEWS from the Wall Street Journal …. GM set to announce that New York City and Austin, TX (hometown of GM CEO Ed Whitacre) are to be added as launch markets for the Chevy VOLT….
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703426004575338890222370422.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines
    W’re ready!!! Go GM. Go VOLT. Bring it on….. 

    Good catch LeoK.

    Whoa, Dan P. congratulations!!! Hope they sent him an email. Might have some explaining to do if he hears it on the radio and has tears streaming down his face during a presentation :)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:30 pm)

    LauraM:
    There is a huge difference between a small scale trial of early adopters, and usage by mainstream consumers.Some people still run out of gas.Which is a lot easier to avoid.  

    I think some of us here are trying to look at the Volt as how we think average, disinterested people might do. If it’s going to be perfect, it’s going to have to satisfy them.

    Then there are a few here who think it’s already perfect, and if anybody can’t understand it, then they’ll have to figure it out.

    It’s this latter attitude which got General Motors so out of touch with buyers.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:32 pm)

    stuart22: If a Volt has run out of gas and battery charge is zero, how might a can of gas can get it started and have it drive away, when the gas engine is not connected to the driveshaft? And — just how does the driver start the ICE engine?I think a lot of us here ought to rethink things on this. As far as I know, the only way to get a Volt to move is if the battery has a charge. If it’s dead, and the tank is empty, then a can of gas is useless.  (Quote)

    The charge maintenance scheme for the battery says you’ll always be at the minimum about 30% charge then. Now if in that state the car stops when you run out of fuel. I’m pretty sure you could pour gas in the tank, have enough electrical power to restart the engine and continue traveling in charge sustaining mode. To get both zero gas and electricity, I think you’d have to hack the car’s control software to allow it to happen.


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    madeinxhina

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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:33 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:36 pm)

    neutron:
    How does the rocket connect to the wheels?? Is is used after the battery and the gas is gone… or can it be used in addition to the motor and the battery at the same time????LOL:+}  

    LOL +1
    It uses a clutch I think. :)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:48 pm)

    Andy: I think the original point has been lost. Someone said that in a pure EV the only option when the battery runs “empty” would be to get towed. I was suggesting it might be possible to have a generator come to them to give them a partial charge instead.The volt with its onboard generator clearly has no need for such a service. All it needs is fuel for its generator…Also the LEAF gets 100 miles for 10 hours of charging (approx). So in the end 15 minutes would give you 2.5 miles with the leaf too (100/10=x/0.25). That makes sense when you think about it as both volt and leaf use the same battery technology…  (Quote)

    Compare that to pouring 2 gallons of gas into a volt and even figuring the most pessimistic estimate gives you about 60 miles. I wonder how much the provider would bill out for that emergency road call to drive out, plug in and charge your BEV for 15 minutes so you could go another 2.5 miles. Heck even if they comes out with a big honking generator that can do a 30 minutes or so quick charge, I think they’d then be calling EMS for sticker shock.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:51 pm)

    Steve: Compare that to pouring 2 gallons of gas into a volt and even figuring the most pessimistic estimate gives you about 60 miles. I wonder how much the provider would bill out for that emergency road call to drive out, plug in and charge your BEV for 15 minutes so you could go another 2.5 miles. Heck even if they comes out with a big honking generator that can do a 30 minutes or so quick charge, I think they’d then be calling EMS for sticker shock.  (Quote)

    $60 bucks to be towed more than that is a better deal.( As an aside, my CAA gold is 120 Miles towing… free)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:56 pm)

    James: James – you do not need to welcome me to this site. I registered on GM-Volt over three years ago and have visited, read and posted literally every day since. I did a screen shot when I signed up with Lyle and have it on my home computer. Just because I do not sit on this site all day posing my political views on an automotive site such as many of your posts include does not mean that I should be 2 or 3. Thanks,  (Quote)

    We don’t get ‘political’ all of the time…. Only when it’s funny. :)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (2:59 pm)

    Herm: We have been discussing this for several days in the engineering forum..

    You guys make my head hurt.

    Does it have leather and can I get it in Diamond White Pearl? Inquiring minds want to know :)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:03 pm)

    stuart22: Just how does it maintain that 30% SOC after the gas tank runs dry?  (Quote)

    It is your job, as the driver, to make sure that the tank does not go dry. It is easy…really! After nearly 3 decades of driving, I’ve never run out of gas.
    It will maintain 30% SOC because GM expects its customers to know how NOT to run out of gas!


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:04 pm)

    madeinxhina: It is stupid dum dum volt owners and it is why they need volt. Volt for dum dum people who not smrt to know how fr you can go. So volt for dum dum americans. Smart person is need ro drive good EV. Dum dum is for volt.   (Quote)

    Looks like our resident “dum dum” is back…


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:07 pm)

    DonC: The other findings is that over 1/3 the mini-E drivers had driving habits that never required them to even think about charging. They could do it maybe once every few days. Another 1/2 had to think about it some but it was no big deal. The remaining 1/6 had to plan. Lyle fit into this last category given his relatively long commute.

    From the very beginning, it was quoted here that the VOLT was designed to meet the needs of about 70% of American Drivers. But since then, many here keep insisting that it do this… or that… or this… so that it would be for 100% of Americans. I find that absurd.

    Keep it simple. If 30% of Americans don’t need it or can’t afford it, GREAT! That just leaves more for the rest of us.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:07 pm)

    DonC: FWIW the anthropologist doing the study of the mini-E lessees, complete with long in person interviews, doesn’t think that the mini-E users were early adopters.

    Very interesting Don, exactly the opposite of what I expected..do you have a link?


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:17 pm)

    Jim in PA: Nissan LEAF = Extended Oil Dependence Electric Vehicle. The car will use numerous lubricants, wiper blades, hoses, and tires that are petroleum based. There’s no such thing as “zero”, baby. LOL. You’d think Nissan could afford to put its paid trollls through a basic chemistry class.

    Apply the same rule to the Volt you moron. If your’re going to apply a rule apply to both, otherwise you’re just plain troll drivel. With that said, the Volt is even more of an offender isn’t it? After all the bullshit you and everyone else bitch about being “Bias” and yet you do the same damn thing.
    Yup, just keep your moron rosie goggles on and keep pretending the Volt is less a polluter or less dependent on foreign oil than the LEAF.
    GM and the volt is the guarantee that the US people stay married to the convenient dependency of foreign oil. It’s “By Design” and your tax dollars make it happen. GM is sleeping with the enemy.

    Range Anxiety = Dependence on foreign oil = Volt = “EoDEV” (Extended oil Dependence Electric Vehicle)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:18 pm)

    Starcast: OK Radio is saying NY city and Boston area but WSJ is saying NY city and Austin TX.LOL I think raido mixed up Austin and Boston.“Stay Tuned”In LibertyMark  (Quote)

    More on this current “speculation” . Much more to follow tommorrow…
    http://www.detnews.com/article/20100630/AUTO01/6300426/1361/GM-includes-NYC-and-Austin–Texas-in-Volt-launch


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:23 pm)

    My God, we’ve been dealing with this rumor since the old forums back in ’07, and everytime it comes up, we dispel it. Still it persists….here we go again.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:24 pm)

    JonP.: But i wouldn’t be surprised if in 5 years at least 1 truck from every towing service had a generator mounted on a truck that did 240 volt charging.
    I’m not so great with the electric conversions and math….. How far could you go on a 15 minute charge at say 240V in the Leaf.  

    You would need a bootleg connector from ebay to be able to charge the LEAF with 240V on the road.. about a 1500w generator is the max you can use at 120V.. it would pump in about 7 miles (and that is driving slow) per hour, or perhaps 1-2 miles every 15 minutes. Thats a very small portable generator.

    If you used a larger 12kva generator and the Nissan Tapco DC charging connector then you could pump in about 85 miles of (slow) range in one hour of charging.. you would need a PU to carry that generator, fairly heavy.

    Tow trucks may eventually come from the factory with a large genset attached to the PTO on the engine.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:29 pm)

    Herm: continuously variable transmission, CVT

    I think it’s a little different than a CVT. We’re talking two input shafts. It’s more like a reversed differential.

    A CVT actually continuously changes the drive ratio. This thing is just changing the input shaft speeds. It’s either a Power Split Transmission (PST) or an Electric Variable Transmission (EVT).

    The effect is pretty much the same though. A CVT and a PST both vary ‘something’ to cause the input shaft(s) to spin at optimal efficiency for the desired output shaft speed. A CVT’s ‘something’ is the infinitely variable ‘gear’ ratio (it may not use ‘gears’ per se depending on the design). A PST’s ‘something’ is the input shaft speeds.

    My radial-arm saw has a simple belt CVT. It uses a vee belt with variable pulleys to change the ratio. (It’s really old.)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Keep it simple. If 30% of Americans don’t need it or can’t afford it, GREAT! That just leaves more for the rest of us. 

    Yeah, if something that works for everyone it probably works for no one.

    Herm: Very interesting Don, exactly the opposite of what I expected..do you have a link?

    Here’s his presentation at Stanford:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-80mHtzkGYg&feature=channel

    It’s long but interesting.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    Echin McCrotch: These people knew their cars, they all have gas suages, know the mpg and how far they can go. After 100 years of the GAS automobile we still get hese problems? Looks like “Range Anxiety” to me there. This also means that even Volt owners can fall into this mistake. Gas burner runs out of gas, the Volt’s gass burner runs out of gas.

    Good point. It seems they are just making excuses to keep supporting this failed company that is sleeping with the enemy. They can all make “Excuses” but there are just as many scenarios you can come up with to debunk that. The fact that there are still customers that run out of gas means nothing to them eventhough there is emperical data (see your article link you posted) heavily supporting it. I’m sure AAA has statistics on this as well.
    Sure keep making excuses but never actually do or try.
    What a joke!

    Range Anxiety = Dependence on foreign oil = Volt = “EoDEV” (Extended oil Dependence Electric Vehicle)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:49 pm)

    Isn’t it ironic how the very car, the Volt, that everyone as well as GM say’s is “Powered by electricity all the time” is talking about how the internal combustion engine will not direct drive the car?
    Hypocritical, same ol GM, keep building products to keep sucking drivel from the sand lands.
    They must have GM on it’s knees.

    Range Anxiety = Dependence on foreign oil = Volt = “EoDEV” (Extended oil Dependence Electric Vehicle)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:53 pm)

    AnonymousProxy:
    Apply the same rule to the Volt you moron. If your’re going to apply a rule apply to both, otherwise you’re just plain troll drivel. With that said, the Volt is even more of an offender isn’t it? After all the bullshit you and everyone else bitch about being “Bias” and yet you do the same damn thing.
    Yup, just keep your moron rosie goggles on and keep pretending the Volt is less a polluter or less dependent on foreign oil than the LEAF.
    GM and the volt is the guarantee that the US people stay married to the convenient dependency of foreign oil. It’s “By Design” and your tax dollars make it happen. GM is sleeping with the enemy.Range Anxiety = Dependence on foreign oil = Volt = “EoDEV” (Extended oil Dependence Electric Vehicle)  

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

    Here is a little hint:

    If you want to have a discussion, don’t start calling people names. It just lowers your standing among the rational minds that are here.

    As to your position, I am in agreement with Corvette guy. The Volt is not the answer to everyone’s driving needs. But for a good portion of the daily driving of US drivers, it will remove or greatly reduce the need for gasoline. I do not know your personal driving requirements, but for me, the ICE will kick in maybe twice per week, when I have to drive over 40 miles and over the real range of the Leaf. But my gasoline consumption from my current vehicle will still drop by about 90%. This is no small reduction. To keep a few people here happy, my estimates are based on a the Volt getting at least 30 miles AER (I like it warm in winter and cool in summer!), and the MPG for the ICE being at least 40.

    The reason I like the Volt, is that at this time, there is no other vehicle I am aware of that will meet my needs with a single vehicle, be affordable to me, will be available from a major manufacturer with national service, and still keep my gasoline consumption under 60 gallons per YEAR! If I am mistaken, please show me another vehicle I should be able to buy in the next year or two. I will be glad to take a look.

    In the future, I truly believe that an affordable BEV with a real range of 300+ miles will be available. And at that time, I will be in line. But for now, the Volt with E-REV is the next step and the right answer for me.

    If the Leaf or some other BEV is what works for you, buy it!!!! That does not make you wrong. But if a Volt is correct for us, that does not make us wrong either………….

    JMHO


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:56 pm)

    “Combustion Engine Does Not and Will Not Turn the Volt’s Driveshaft Ever. Got it?”
    ——————-
    What is the big deal? I do not get it why volt fans so stubborn to differentiate serial from parallel hybrids? Does it make you sleep better at night?


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:59 pm)

    AnonymousProxy:
    Good point. It seems they are just making excuses to keep supporting this failed company that is sleeping with the enemy. They can all make “Excuses” but there are just as many scenarios you can come up with to debunk that. The fact that there are still customers that run out of gas means nothing to them eventhough there is emperical data (see your article link you posted) heavily supporting it. I’m sure AAA has statistics on this as well.
    Sure keep making excuses but never actually do or try.
    What a joke!Range Anxiety = Dependence on foreign oil = Volt = “EoDEV” (Extended oil Dependence Electric Vehicle)  

    Could you guys explain to me why the fact that people still run out of gas in ICE cars; cars that get reasonably consistent MPG during use; somehow makes the case for EV only, when EV’s range will always be inconsistent, based on the car speed, air temperature, AC, heater, headlights, etc?

    I must be a dum dum. I can’t figure that out. :)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (3:59 pm)

    GM board is likely in SHOCK since the TESLA IPO was so successful. They are probably thinking about good old Bob Lutz and the original Tesla electric car shock which caused them to build the Volt in the first place. Now Tesla is having a very STRONG response from the market for their stock while their Volt competitor is priced at $50,000 plus (available someday). HELLO!!!Maybe we (GM) should plan on making more Volts and expanding the initial sale locations for our Volt, available in November!!


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (4:00 pm)

    Nick D: Looks like our resident “dum dum” is back…

    “You dum dum give me Gum Gum…..”


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (4:12 pm)

    RVD: “Combustion Engine Does Not and Will Not Turn the Volt’s Driveshaft Ever. Got it?”
    ——————-
    What is the big deal? I do not get it why volt fans so stubborn to differentiate serial from parallel hybrids? Does it make you sleep better at night?  

    Well….. apparently you do not know the difference and why one is a better option. Time for you to do some research and report back when you do understand? :=]


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (4:15 pm)

    jeffhre: Why not?  (Quote)

    LOL

    What are you going to carry it in? Are you going to lug a few kw-hrs of batteries back? Gallon of gas is between 6 and seven pounds and would take the volt another 30 miles at least. If you use what we know about the volt pack, 10 miles of kw-hr battery would be about 50 pounds. I’d rather carry the gas can back.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (4:17 pm)

    Jim I: If you want to have a discussion, don’t start calling people names. It just lowers your standing among the rational minds that are here.
    As to your position, I am in agreement with Corvette guy. The Volt is not the answer to everyone’s driving needs. But for a good portion of the daily driving of US drivers, it will remove or greatly reduce the need for gasoline. I do not know your personal driving requirements, but for me, the ICE will kick in maybe twice per week, when I have to drive over 40 miles and over the real range of the Leaf. But my gasoline consumption from my current vehicle will still drop by about 90%. This is no small reduction. To keep a few people here happy, my estimates are based on a the Volt getting at least 30 miles AER (I like it warm in winter and cool in summer!), and the MPG for the ICE being at least 40.
    The reason I like the Volt, is that at this time, there is no other vehicle I am aware of that will meet my needs with a single vehicle, be affordable to me, will be available from a major manufacturer with national service, and still keep my gasoline consumption under 60 gallons per YEAR! If I am mistaken, please show me another vehicle I should be able to buy in the next year or two. I will be glad to take a look.
    In the future, I truly believe that an affordable BEV with a real range of 300+ miles will be available. And at that time, I will be in line. But for now, the Volt with E-REV is the next step and the right answer for me.
    If the Leaf or some other BEV is what works for you, buy it!!!! That does not make you wrong. But if a Volt is correct for us, that does not make us wrong either………….

    Right on! I’m not totally ruling out owning a pure electric vehicle… but for now the range just isn’t there. When the day comes that there is a “Pure Electric Corvette” that has a 360 mile range on any day, hot or cold, and can recharge overnight… I will take out a new mortgage on the house to get one. I will miss the ‘rumble’ of an American V8 engine, but since they are “adding” artificial sounds to it anyway, maybe they will have a ‘sound option’ of a 427 with glass-packs!


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (4:22 pm)

    Echin McCrotch:
    People still run out of gas now. They know the range of their car, the know the MPG they can get yet they STIL are seen on the side of highways with gas cans.
    It’s obvious that a BEV owner has to have some brains to know the limitations. If your stupid enough to run out of gas in an ICE burner then you’ll be the idiot doing the same in a BEV. It’s not going to be possible to completely eliminate this. If you’re going to have a percentage of idiots run out of gas, then you’re going to have idiots run out of charge.
    But sure, keep making lame excuses for running out of charge, but truth to all “Range Anxiety” fears is the same this STILL occurs in gas cars.
    Explain this: http://green.autoblog.com/2008/06/02/wishing-for-higher-mpg-more-people-are-running-out-of-gas/These people knew their cars, they all have gas suages, know the mpg and how far they can go. After 100 years of the GAS automobile we still get hese problems? Looks like “Range Anxiety” to me there. This also means that even Volt owners can fall into this mistake. Gas burner runs out of gas, the Volt’s gass burner runs out of gas.Explain it.  

    This is hysterically funny. Like a bad B movie.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (4:26 pm)

    MetrologyFirst: Could you guys explain to me why the fact that people still run out of gas in ICE cars; cars that get reasonably consistent MPG during use; somehow makes the case for EV only, when EV’s range will always be inconsistent, based on the car speed, air temperature, AC, heater, headlights, etc?

    I never said those variances did not exist in the EV. As a matter of fact Nissan came out and gave these range number variances. Where do you read I ever said these did not exist? I’ll make it clear to you. Those variances exist in EV’s as well. I agree with the other guy above. We will still see the on the side of the freeway folks.
    Quit trying to make shit up.
    (trying to not call people names to not offend Jim I…….)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (4:29 pm)

    MetrologyFirst: This is hysterically funny. Like a bad B movie.

    Only if you make up your own shit and beleive your myth like you do.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (4:42 pm)

    AnonymousProxy:
    I never said those variances did not exist in the EV. As a matter of fact Nissan came out and gave these range number variances. Where do you read I ever said these did not exist? I’ll make it clear to you. Those variances exist in EV’s as well. I agree with the other guy above. We will still see the on the side of the freeway folks.
    Quit trying to make shit up.
    (trying to not call people names to not offend Jim I…….)  

    Hey clown, I never said you said they didn’t exist. Your right, Nissan admitted the range variances, they were HUGE! From ~45 to ~130 depending on conditions. LOL. At that point, the LEAF is no longer a car, its a toy. It cannot be depended on. It can only be a second car to most people, some of the time.

    As far as sitting on the side of a road, the difference has been explained here before, if you can read. A retrieved gallon of gas gets you 20-30 miles, or to the next gas station, then on your way you go. A slap-to-the-head moment that is.

    A BEV? Well, a 15 minute towtruck charge MIGHT get you a 2-3 miles down the road to the nearest hotel. Were you have to spend the night recharging, if they’ll let you. A slap-to-the-WALLET moment that is.

    Keep it coming dude, the comedy is priceless.

    BTW: learn to spell and stop the cursing. Its unbecoming.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (4:49 pm)

    I apologize to the regular posters here for egging this multi-headed guy on. I had a few minutes to play, and its like slowing down by an accident.

    Couldn’t help myself. Needed some laughs.

    This guy’s posts just drip with desperation. The Volt is clearly winning the argument. By a mile.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (4:55 pm)

    The reason I care (and possibly others on this site), is that I want mechanical SIMPLICITY which translates directly to reliability and therefore less maintenance and less tendency to break down.

    So I am thrilled to have this issue put fully to rest, and in such a favorable manner. Dr. Dennis, sincere thanks for this important post!

    So hmmm, I wonder if Sport Mode enables the parallel combining of the two electric motors, whereas perhaps in Normal Mode they do not do this?? Anybody????

    James: Who cares? Really? The 4 cylinder engine will be using gasoline. In ICE mode it will be getting similar mpg as other ‘hybrid’ vehicles. It is an excellent design and a perfect transition platform to EV’s in turn slowly weaning us from Middle East Oil. Can we move on?  


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (5:01 pm)

    MetrologyFirst: I apologize to the regular posters here for egging this multi-headed guy on. I had a few minutes to play, and its like slowing down by an accident.
    Couldn’t help myself. Needed some laughs.This guy’s posts just drip with desperation. The Volt is clearly winning the argument. By a mile.  

    Just so you understand that *YOU* will now be selected to receive a lecture from “original” James; when he isn’t too busy spilling his disgust for GM’s sordid past all over the Internet, that is.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (5:11 pm)

    MetrologyFirst: Hey clown, I never said you said they didn’t exist. Your right, Nissan admitted the range variances, they were HUGE! From ~45 to ~130 depending on conditions. LOL. At that point, the LEAF is no longer a car, its a toy. It cannot be depended on. It can only be a second car to most people, some of the time.

    As far as sitting on the side of a road, the difference has been explained here before, if you can read. A retrieved gallon of gas gets you 20-30 miles, or to the next gas station, then on your way you go. A slap-to-the-head moment that is.

    What an idiot. I can drag race a Camaro with the AC blasting and get the shittiest mpg and then I can hypermile with no AC to get the ultimate mpg. They both will get the same results, low mpg to high mpg.

    MetrologyFirst: A BEV? Well, a 15 minute towtruck charge MIGHT get you a 2-3 miles down the road to the nearest hotel. Were you have to spend the night recharging, if they’ll let you. A slap-to-the-WALLET moment that is.

    First you need a brain to know the range and a brain to know how to drive it for best range. Obviously a BEV is not for the brainless……you.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (5:30 pm)

    sparks: I wonder if Sport Mode enables the parallel combining of the two electric motors, whereas perhaps in Normal Mode they do not do this??Anybody????
      

    It is my understanding that this is indeed the case. What I was told in NY is that the second motor is optimized for regenerative braking (it could be that it’s coupling through the planetary gearset allows it to spin at a higher rpm, but that’s just my speculation).

    It seems to be the majority opinion here that this second motor is actually the 53kw generator most of the time, and that a complex series of clutch-bands decouples it from the engine to act as a traction motor. This idea falls apart (and tends to lead to misunderstandings such as we’ve seen recently) when one pictures Sport Mode being engaged during CS-mode. If the second motor is actually the generator, it must either:

    a) be unavailable for use in Sport Mode when the Volt is in CS-mode, or
    b) result in the engine being mechanically coupled with the main traction motor through the planetary gearset.

    We have Lyle’s emphatic assertion that option “b” is never the case, and in New York, an engineer told Eco that a traction motor used permanent magnets (we already know from previous information releases almost back to 2007 that the primary traction motor is of the induction type).

    Put it all together, and it spells “Three Motors” (if you count the 53kw generator as a motor, even though that mode would only be used to start the engine).

    I realize that I am in the minority opinion, here.

    I think the insistence on “Two, and only two” comes from the two-mode case being originally designed to hold two motors; the generator has been generally thought to be one of these. However, the main traction motor is 110KW, the generator 53KW; and yet, they’re the same size? This suggests two scenarios for three-motor operation:

    1) 53KW is suspiciously close to half of 110KW. Why couldn’t one side of the two-mode case carry the primary induction motor, while the other side of the case contains two smaller motors side-by-side? Keep in mind that if the generator connects only to the engine, there is no reason at all why it needs a second connection to the planetary gearset. The shaft which connected the engine’s mechanical power to the original two-mode would in this case be connected only to the generator. The second small motor, optimized for re-gen, would sit next to but unconnected to the generator. On the other side of the planetary gearset would sit the large induction motor. In addition to using an off-the-shelf case, this system would:
    a) eliminate all clutch bands, except possibly for one to lock the second (re-gen) motor. This is a good thing from a maintenance standpoint.
    b) allow a permanent magnet motor for re-gen, which would be much simpler from an electrical engineering standpoint than energizing the induction motor to make it act as a generator. Dave G. disagrees with me about the utility of this, but I can’t really understand his engineer-ese when he explains why.

    2) Without the mechanical power take offs for things normally driven by belts, what would prevent mounting the generator on the other side of the engine block? (This scenario has the benefit of being much easier to explain, lol)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (5:34 pm)

    MetrologyFirst: A retrieved gallon of gas gets you 20-30 miles, or to the next gas station, then on your way you go. A slap-to-the-head moment that is.

    Brilliant, just as I have always noted and you just verified it AGAIN, the best selling point of the Volt is the ability to continue to burn oil. Yup, keep that tap on the foreign oil source and stay on your knees begging for more drivel slop from your master arab nations. You must feel good funding the nations that want us all dead.
    So drill baby DRILL!!! so he can go further than the BEV!

    Range Anxiety = Dependence on foreign oil = Volt = “EoDEV” (Extended oil Dependence Electric Vehicle)

    (keeping the name calling baaaaaacccckkk, getting difficult….)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (5:41 pm)

    RVD: “Combustion Engine Does Not and Will Not Turn the Volt’s Driveshaft Ever. Got it?”
    ——————-
    What is the big deal? I do not get it why volt fans so stubborn to differentiate serial from parallel hybrids? Does it make you sleep better at night?  

    No, not yet. But that’s just because I don’t have a Volt yet. [grin]

    Here’s why it matters to me. Parallel hybrids, almost by definition, have an electric motor which is too small to handle the whole job by itself. Depending on the vehicle, either the motor just assists the ICE (especially at low speeds) or the ICE assists the motor (especially at high speeds).

    Serial hybrids, precisely by definition, have a traction motor (or perhaps multiple motors) powerful enough to do everything the driver demands. That includes accelerating to pass when you are traveling uphill at freeway speeds. Because of that difference the ICE never turns on until the battery is depleted.

    Because of that difference, and only because of that difference, the Volt is a true electric car with a true all electric range. That’s why it matters to me.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (5:58 pm)

    Echin McCrotch: What an idiot. I can drag race a Camaro with the AC blasting and get the shittiest mpg and then I can hypermile with no AC to get the ultimate mpg. They both will get the same results, low mpg to high mpg.

    OK, I get where he’s coming from. So if I take a Volt and slam the “Gas” pedal (It does have one) and get 20 miles in EV mode and even crappier in mpg mode under it’s worst condiion similar to what he describes in extremes variance then with the results it makes the Volt even worse.
    lol, didn’t catch that one. He compared the worst case range variance to what is little known (worst case metrics) of the Volt in range via mpg and made the comparison. Apples to Oranges comparison, just as they always do.

    LAME!!!

    At least Nissan was honest enough to disclose the worst and best case. So far all GM is giving is the “Best case”. As far along as they are in development and being close to roll out date they still wont give those numbers. I suspect they never will either for fear of the truth.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (6:31 pm)

    ECO_Turbo: Assuming the orange things are either coolant tubes or cables, there are three pairs. Wouldn’t this indicate three motors?  

    Maybe. But there are four do-hickeys on that round thing so maybe there are 4 motors.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (6:41 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson):
    It is my understanding that this is indeed the case.What I was told in NY is that the second motor is optimized for regenerative braking (it could be that it’s coupling through the planetary gearset allows it to spin at a higher rpm, but that’s just my speculation).It seems to be the majority opinion here that this second motor is actually the 53kw generator most of the time, and that a complex series of clutch-bands decouples it from the engine to act as a traction motor.This idea falls apart (and tends to lead to misunderstandings such as we’ve seen recently) when one pictures Sport Mode being engaged during CS-mode.If the second motor is actually the generator, it must either:a) be unavailable for use in Sport Mode when the Volt is in CS-mode, or
    b) result in the engine being mechanically coupled with the main traction motor through the planetary gearset.We have Lyle’s emphatic assertion that option “b” is never the case, and in New York, an engineer told Eco that a traction motor used permanent magnets (we already know from previous information releases almost back to 2007 that the primary traction motor is of the induction type).Put it all together, and it spells “Three Motors” (if you count the 53kw generator as a motor, even though that mode would only be used to start the engine).I realize that I am in the minority opinion, here.I think the insistence on “Two, and only two” comes from the two-mode case being originally designed to hold two motors; the generator has been generally thought to be one of these.However, the main traction motor is 110KW, the generator 53KW; and yet, they’re the same size?This suggests two scenarios for three-motor operation:1) 53KW is suspiciously close to half of 110KW.Why couldn’t one side of the two-mode case carry the primary induction motor, while the other side of the case contains two smaller motors side-by-side?Keep in mind that if the generator connects only to the engine, there is no reason at all why it needs a second connection to the planetary gearset.The shaft which connected the engine’s mechanical power to the original two-mode would in this case be connected only to the generator.The second small motor, optimized for re-gen, would sit next to but unconnected to the generator.On the other side of the planetary gearset would sit the large induction motor.In addition to using an off-the-shelf case, this system would:
    a) eliminate all clutch bands, except possibly for one to lock the second (re-gen) motor.This is a good thing from a maintenance standpoint.
    b) allow a permanent magnet motor for re-gen, which would be much simpler from an electrical engineering standpoint than energizing the induction motor to make it act as a generator.Dave G. disagrees with me about the utility of this, but I can’t really understand his engineer-ese when he explains why.2) Without the mechanical power take offs for things normally driven by belts, what would prevent mounting the generator on the other side of the engine block?(This scenario has the benefit of being much easier to explain, lol)  

    You may be onto something here. An extra 53 kw motor in a fixed configuration could be a lot less expensive — and a lot more reliable — than a bunch of software-controlled clutches. This approach could also vastly simplify the initial engineering effort, allowing them to get a good product out the door in the accelerated timeframe they are operating under. Finally, I see a lot more opportunity for seamless operation, smooth and continuous, if you’re not engaging/releasing clutches, or suddenly reversing magnetic fields to go from traction to regen mode. On the other hand, reading this site has also taught me that Dave G merits a good listening as well, so I’ll just have to buy a Volt to find out, I guess.

    Thanks for the thoughtful response!


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (6:52 pm)

    Steve: What are you going to carry it in? Are you going to lug a few kw-hrs of batteries back? Gallon of gas is between 6 and seven pounds and would take the volt another 30 miles at least. If you use what we know about the volt pack, 10 miles of kw-hr battery would be about 50 pounds. I’d rather carry the gas can back. 

    LOL. So would I, though the market is tiny, it’s not a technologically difficult problem to solve. May even save you a trip to the gym that day!!!!


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (7:01 pm)

    ECO_Turbo: Assuming the orange things are either coolant tubes or cables, there are three pairs. Wouldn’t this indicate three motors?  

    Good observation. Another thing to consider: Using a 300-Volt battery, the traction motor(s) will draw up to 367 amps (!) during full-tilt acceleration (110 kw). So the cables will need to be short and THICK. How thick? I don’t know, but if the total circuit is even 1/100 ohm, it would waste 1.35 kw in pure heat during full-tilt acceleration (the so-called “I-squared-R” loss). That’s about the equivalent of a hand-held hair dryer. Just an engineer/geek talking here….


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (7:01 pm)

    I have no issue with someone preferring a BEV. Best of luck. A BEV would not fit my needs, whereas a Volt would. Those denigrating the Volt as something close to evil for having a gas-powered generator should realize that for many considering a Volt, a BEV (at current stage of development) is a non-starter. The choice for me is between a Volt that will use gas some of the time or an ICE that will use gas all the time. If you want people off oil addiction the Volt is a step in that direction.

    The transition away from gas will not be as instant as you would like. But the name calling and denigrating and insistence that a BEV is the “one true way to salvation” will not win many converts.

    A passion for your position is fine, but the reality is many will not consider a BEV. They MAY consider something like the Volt. Even a Volt with range extender will be a big step for many. Consider it a two step program to end oil addiction rather than the cold turkey approach you seem to advocate. The end goal is the same even if the path is different.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (7:08 pm)

    DonC: While your point is valid, I’m not sure the vehicle choices will be quite be like this. Given that EVs are not cheap transportation, my guess is that someone is going to have a Volt or a Leaf and a Porche Cayenne rather than a Corolla. In this case the choice of which vehicle to drive will be made more on the basis of which is more comfortable or fun to drive. So if you want to go on a longer trip or have to transport a bunch of people you’ll take the Cayenne regardless of whether you have a Volt or a Leaf. My view is that 90% of the time people won’t use any gas regardless of whether they have a BEV or an EREV and the other 10% of the time they’ll use the same amount of gas. But yes, if the choices are as you present them, and no doubt some percentage of owners will fit this profile, then the BEV could end up using more gas.  (Quote)

    Really, the question to be determined is which will be more popular in the marketplace, the more versatile but more expensive Volt, or the pure EV model. They both, as the two of you above have demonstrated, probably will have their owner’s using approximately the same amounts of petrol over a little time. If either takes off in the marketplace, that one will make the most difference in weaning us from gasoline. If both models succeed, YIPPEE!


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (7:17 pm)

    ECO_Turbo: Assuming the orange things are either coolant tubes or cables, there are three pairs. Wouldn’t this indicate three motors?  (Quote)

    The motors are 3 phase devices which are connected to the power electronics module with 3 orange high voltage cables each. The 6 cables shown in the photo are for 2 motors.

    2 mode hybrid tansmission from to Saturn Vue 2 mode hybrid that never made it to the marketplace. The Volt motor case is not quite identical, but it does have the same 6 cables and, therefore, also has 2 motors.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (7:29 pm)

    In trying to edit my post #194 above I had trouble that garbled it. I meant to say:

    The motors are 3 phase devices which are connected to the power electronics module with 3 orange high voltage cables each. The 6 cables shown in the photo are for 2 motors.

    In the name of accuracy, the photo you show is of the 2MT70 front wheel drive 2 mode hybrid transmission from the Saturn Vue 2 mode hybrid that never made it to the marketplace. The Volt motor case is not quite identical, but it does have the same 6 cables and, therefore, also has 2 motors.

    Edit: I should have read the rest of the thread before repeating what others have already responded. Sorry!


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (7:34 pm)

    I’m glad you all feel better… Too bad that does not take away the possibility that they will have to put in a mechanical connection to improve highway efficiency in a future model.

    It’s not that I’m bad or ignorant by mentioning that (that’s funny how Lyle tries to make it seem that way). It just following the laws of physics.

    If you don’t believe me, ask yourself why there are no serial driven cars on the roads today. We had serial trains for decades!

    Simple answer: not as efficient. Period.

    There is no way of getting around that simple fact. Deal with it or try to prove it wrong (it’s not).


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (7:38 pm)

    By the way, I still love the Voltec model and think it’s a fantastic drivetrain that will be very useful to reduce gasoline use, as long as the drivers are not highway happy.

    The most efficient and practical drivetrain for highway driving is the diesel. Very high energy density fuel and efficient, direct mechanical link to the wheels.

    Go ahead and mark this negative, it won’t change the facts. ;) Again, I love Voltec!


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (7:40 pm)

    joe: After posting a reply, I notice you wrote something that correlates to what I just wrote.
    I totally agree with your post.  

    Thank you, I believe you have said it better and more accurately.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (7:59 pm)

    AnonymousProxy: Brilliant, just as I have always noted and you just verified it AGAIN, the best selling point of the Volt is the ability to continue to burn oil. Yup, keep that tap on the foreign oil source and stay on your knees begging for more drivel slop from your master arab nations. You must feel good funding the nations that want us all dead.So drill baby DRILL!!! so he can go further than the BEV!Range Anxiety = Dependence on foreign oil = Volt = “EoDEV” (Extended oil Dependence Electric Vehicle)(keeping the name calling baaaaaacccckkk, getting difficult….)  (Quote)

    LOL

    Well maybe a BEV still uses too many of the earth’s resources. How about just wandering off into the wilderness and living as a primitive hunter-gatherer. Would that work for you? Man, all you dummies squandering resources on electric cars, cell phones, the internet, TV …..
    Yes that’s sarcasm. Now that it’s out of my system, I’ll go back to ignoring. Sorry everyone else.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:36 pm)

    Texas: The most efficient and practical drivetrain for highway driving is the diesel.

    More efficient than all electric? Now let’s get into a long debate about the most promising battery or power source to make this practical for freeway happy drivers :)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:46 pm)

    Texas: I’m glad you all feel better… Too bad that does not take away the possibility that they will have to put in a mechanical connection to improve highway efficiency in a future model.It’s not that I’m bad or ignorant by mentioning that (that’s funny how Lyle tries to make it seem that way). It just following the laws of physics.If you don’t believe me, ask yourself why there are no serial driven cars on the roads today. We had serial trains for decades!Simple answer: not as efficient. Period.There is no way of getting around that simple fact. Deal with it or try to prove it wrong (it’s not).  

    Like all of us “speculators,” you may be right, but then again you may not. Initially, fuel efficiency in CS mode may not be GM’s number one priority. Time to market, product reliability, etc. etc. will also weigh in heavily on the initial generation or two designs. Later on, once they’ve got the basic thing working and the risks beaten down, a mechanical connection might make sense to improve highway performance in many respects. It might “nudge on” just like overdrive did back in-the-days of automatics with overdrive, as they called it.

    In time, this product can evolve in many ways. I think most of the concerns being expressed right now are regarding GM not taking on too much complexity right off the bat. I’ve seen this. I’ve worked at 3 companies, of which two failed by trying to stretch too much at the outset (gen 1 product), and one succeeded by taking smaller steps in each generation.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (8:53 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): It is my understanding that this is indeed the case. What I was told in NY is that the second motor is optimized for regenerative braking (it could be that it’s coupling through the planetary gearset allows it to spin at a higher rpm, but that’s just my speculation).It seems to be the majority opinion here that this second motor is actually the 53kw generator most of the time, and that a complex series of clutch-bands decouples it from the engine to act as a traction motor. This idea falls apart (and tends to lead to misunderstandings such as we’ve seen recently) when one pictures Sport Mode being engaged during CS-mode. If the second motor is actually the generator, it must either:a) be unavailable for use in Sport Mode when the Volt is in CS-mode, orb) result in the engine being mechanically coupled with the main traction motor through the planetary gearset.We have Lyle’s emphatic assertion that option “b” is never the case, and in New York, an engineer told Eco that a traction motor used permanent magnets (we already know from previous information releases almost back to 2007 that the primary traction motor is of the induction type).Put it all together, and it spells “Three Motors” (if you count the 53kw generator as a motor, even though that mode would only be used to start the engine).I realize that I am in the minority opinion, here.I think the insistence on “Two, and only two” comes from the two-mode case being originally designed to hold two motors; the generator has been generally thought to be one of these. However, the main traction motor is 110KW, the generator 53KW; and yet, they’re the same size? This suggests two scenarios for three-motor operation:1) 53KW is suspiciously close to half of 110KW. Why couldn’t one side of the two-mode case carry the primary induction motor, while the other side of the case contains two smaller motors side-by-side? Keep in mind that if the generator connects only to the engine, there is no reason at all why it needs a second connection to the planetary gearset. The shaft which connected the engine’s mechanical power to the original two-mode would in this case be connected only to the generator. The second small motor, optimized for re-gen, would sit next to but unconnected to the generator. On the other side of the planetary gearset would sit the large induction motor. In addition to using an off-the-shelf case, this system would:a) eliminate all clutch bands, except possibly for one to lock the second (re-gen) motor. This is a good thing from a maintenance standpoint.b) allow a permanent magnet motor for re-gen, which would be much simpler from an electrical engineering standpoint than energizing the induction motor to make it act as a generator. Dave G. disagrees with me about the utility of this, but I can’t really understand his engineer-ese when he explains why.2) Without the mechanical power take offs for things normally driven by belts, what would prevent mounting the generator on the other side of the engine block? (This scenario has the benefit of being much easier to explain, lol)  (Quote)

    I’m beginning to think there are 3 motor-generator (MG) units also. MG 1 and MG 2 in the 2-mode transaxle case, and a separate 53KW generator attached to the engine. GM and test drive claim/reinforce the performance of the volt is the same in CD mode as it is in CS mode. In cab drivers example, CS performance is less that CD permance because the ratio becomes fixed in CS mode. I don’t think that is the case — I think the transaxle will operate identical in both CD and CS mode.


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:17 pm)

    Dave G: I really don’t understand all the fuss. There are 2 other EREVs that connect the gas engine to the wheels. Ther Fisker Karma has 50 miles of all-electric range. The Mercedes BlueZERO E-Cell Plus has 60 miles of all-electric range. Both are “near series” designs. The electric motor and battery are powerful enough so that the gas engine isn’t necessary for full power, but the gas engine is connected to the wheels in charge sustaining mode.It just so happens that the Volt EREV doesn’t connect the gas engine to the wheels, which we have known for the last 3 years. There are some efficiency losses with the mechanical->electrical->mechanical conversions, but there are also some efficiency gains by allowing the gas engine to run freely at it’s sweet spot without any external forces. In the end it’s probably a wash.Bottom line: It’s the all-electric range that matters, not the specific design.  (Quote)
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Just wanted to post my high regard for Dave G on this site. You are among the classiest of posters here for several reasons, and I know this post may incure some “…so who made you the judge and jury of what’s what…bla bla blaaaah…vitriol”, since I’ve seemed to pick up a good number of detractors here recently.

    Dave describes complex technical ideas and sums up technical facts in a very digestible way understandable to those non-engineers and laymen like myself who frequent here. Your description of Volt’s drivetrain is how I myself pictured it, but I too had some confusion as I was also slightly unclear of my own Prius’ drivetrain’s exact technical workings until I researched it online and in several publications, some of which actually had themselves made errors since HSD is also very complex – some back in 2004 even described it as “space aged wondertech”. Now Volt blows by it like it was old fashioned! WopOnTour, likewise is someone I also trust to research his facts and usually untangle some techno-ese for me. There are many such posters on here too many to mention who really make gm-volt.com a site I enjoy to frequent – and post my opinions also —- , clearly not shared by everyone, and some I am most polite to seem to get the most bent out of shape. Today being a fine example.

    It’s no big deal that two people share the same gm-volt ID, and I don’t think it’s really important who was here first – my point was only to avoid confusion – I’ve never said one single derogatory thing about “James”, the Voltnationer who seemed so offended by my request today – and me in general, it seems – news to me. I’ll continue to post as I always have with my power on symbol – and no, I’m not a split-personality! L :) L

    You like me or not, agree with my positions or not – it’s no big thing for me. I generally enjoy most here whether I agree with them often or not. I know we all champion Volt, and that is all that matters to me. If Volt is truly sold in large numbers everywhere we all win! I have learned volumes about Volt and EVs, the auto industry and some history since I’ve been reading and posting here, and I’m sure that will continue.

    Perhaps a few have appreciated my points, observations, humor, photo posts and viewpoint as well. If I didnt’ feel I contributed factual, valid information and op/ed here I would cease posting immediately. And I really enjoy Voltnationers like Corvetteguy, Statik,LauraM, DaveG, Tagamet, WopOnTour,MetrologyFirst, MikeOMatic, JimI, Jackson ( today and yesterday an exception – Jackson – I hope when we meet at the national Voltnation Meetup 4 years from now you don’t tear me a new one! LOL ) , Starcast,JohnK, Micheal, Matthew, Jim In PA and many others as we all offer different perspectives to the Volt story as it rolls along.

    RECHARGE!

    James

    IF YOU BUILD THEM IN REAL NUMBERS THEY WILL COME


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:23 pm)

    Dave G: There’s a clutch that physically disconnects the smaller motor/generator from the gas engine, and another clutch that connects the smaller motor/generator to the main traction motor.

    OK, follow me for just a moment…

    What happens if both clutches are engaged at the same time?


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (9:48 pm)

    Starcast: Show us how it works, gives us toyota details.

    http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/tech/environment/conference09/pdf/phv_overview_en.pdf

    http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/tech/environment/conference09/pdf/sustainable_mob_en.pdf

    JC08 test cycle

    134 MPG (57.0 km/l)

    72 MPG (30.6 km/l)

    14.5 miles (23.4 km)

    6.57 km/kWh rate

    5.20 kWh capacity

    3.56 kWh consumption


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:30 pm)

    sparks: So hmmm, I wonder if Sport Mode enables the parallel combining of the two electric motors, whereas perhaps in Normal Mode they do not do this?? Anybody????  (Quote)

    Sport mode does not require both motors.(yes, there are only 2 motors)
    All that is required is a somewhat less efficient schedule of frequency, amplitude, and/or duty cycle changes in the AC voltage control from the inverter that is neccessary to create maximum torque and a quicker rotational speed increases from the traction motor. But since this requires more electric power, range would be adversely affected as compared to a more controlled rate in these 3-phase circuits while in economy mode. BTW this is why each of the motors requires 3 cables (the U,V, and W phases) so for those of you stuck on 3 motors, please keep in mind there are only 6 cables entering the Volt’s transaxle housing.
    So unless they are brush type DC?????……
    LOL j/k
    WopOnTour


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:55 pm)

    Matthew B:
    OK, follow me for just a moment…What happens if both clutches are engaged at the same time?  

    LOL, I don’t want to talk about that right now :)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (10:59 pm)

    WopOnTour: in these 3-phase circuits while in economy mode. BTW this is why each of the motors requires 3 cables (the U,V, and W phases) so for those of you stuck on 3 motors, please keep in mind there are only 6 cables entering the Volt’s transaxle housing.

    I’m thinking the same thing – 3 phase, especially for AC induction. But then I’ve never looked under the hood :)


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:02 pm)

    john1701a: JC08 test cycle

    JCO8 is no where near relevant to US driving, though I did read that Toyota increased the range and will now get 12 miles AER per US EPA. I have no idea if that has been confirmed though and does Toyota normally give out such information this early?


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    Jun 30th, 2010 (11:25 pm)

    Reporters are idiots.

    When it comes to technology many don’t have a clue. Reporters are only as good as their next story. So it’s get it published and move on ASAP. No time for research, no time to develop a full understanding of the subject. So if a so called “respected” reporter should miss a small point of a conversation it ripples through out the news stream. So if Mr. English misunderstood what the engineer was telling him, and then he publishes the mistake.

    I’ve noticed that several news sites just copy others. So if news site A publishes something sites B, C and D have the EXACT same text of the same story. So if the original story had an error the copy sites replicate the error without even checking.


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    Matthew B

     

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    Jul 1st, 2010 (12:41 am)

    WopOnTour: All that is required is a somewhat less efficient schedule of frequency, amplitude, and/or duty cycle changes in the AC voltage control from the inverter that is neccessary to create maximum torque and a quicker rotational speed increases from the traction motor. But since this requires more electric power, range would be adversely affected as compared to a more controlled rate in these 3-phase circuits while in economy mode.

    Hmmm, this really sounds like someone has insider knowledge here…

    So is it a case of applying nearly square wave excitation instead of matching the rotor back EMF wave shape?

    WopOnTour: BTW this is why each of the motors requires 3 cables (the U,V, and W phases)

    Only ferineers use U,V,W for motors or transformers.

    ‘merikans use A,B,C for motors and H1,H2,H3,H0/X1,X2,X3,X0 for transformers.


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    WopOnTour

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    Jul 1st, 2010 (2:48 am)

    Matthew B: Hmmm, this really sounds like someone has insider knowledge here…So is it a case of applying nearly square wave excitation instead of matching the rotor back EMF wave shape?

    That depends, are we talking induction motors or syncronous PM machines? ;)

    Matthew B: Only ferineers use U,V,W for motors or transformers.‘merikans use A,B,C for motors and H1,H2,H3,H0/X1,X2,X3,X0 for transformers.  (Quote)

    I disagree. While I am familiar with alternative nomenclatures, GM uses U,V,W in all of their current motor engineering data.In fact, if you look closely at the overhead photos of the Volt’s powertrain (the full-size version of the photo Lyle used for this thread) you can clearly see the cast-in labels on the 3-phase cable entry fittings as being U, V, and W. Even the current BAS and 2-mode hybrid electrical schematics and on-board system diagnostics support this convention. (eg DTC P0BFD and P0BFE – Drive Motor 1 and 2 U-V-W Correlation Error)

    WopOnTour


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    JDan

     

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    Jul 1st, 2010 (7:01 am)

    Itching4it: JDan

    So my 3.6L HO ICE motor on my current car needs more that 12 volts to start? I wonder where it gets them from? :D I don’t see why the 1.4L ICE in the Volt would need any more. I would think the generator would be engaged after the inital startup, so 12 volts would be fine. Thoughts?


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    Storm

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    Jul 1st, 2010 (7:50 am)

    Still amazing that so many folks can only envision calling a tow truck when battery runs low. EV drivers carry an extension cord. There are electric outlets everywhere. All you have to do is ask permission. There are way more electrical outlets than sources for gasoline.


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    Matthew B

     

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    Jul 1st, 2010 (9:13 am)

    WopOnTour: That depends, are we talking induction motors or syncronous PM machines?

    Which does the Volt have?

    WopOnTour: I disagree. While I am familiar with alternative nomenclatures, GM uses U,V,W in all of their current motor engineering data.

    If they do, it is either a result of basing their initial designs on foreign engineering work or a conscious choice to use international naming conventions.

    If they did their first design by hiring a bunch of US power electronics engineers and not telling them to do otherwise, they would be labeled A-B-C. If they were British they would have been named R-Y-B.


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    john1701a

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    Jul 1st, 2010 (9:25 am)

    jeffhre: I have no idea if that has been confirmed though and does Toyota normally give out such information this early?

    Yes, there is lots of information available, from multiple sources too. Searching for it is one of the things those here can do rather than just post & vote.

    Edmunds averaged 13 miles on their test-drives.

    Edmunds also called it a EREV at the end of the InsideLine video. So, it most definitely is the case that more could be done…


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    jrh

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    Jul 1st, 2010 (10:20 am)

    James:
    Dave G: I really don’t understand all the fuss. There are 2 other EREVs that connect the gas engine to the wheels. Ther Fisker Karma has 50 miles of all-electric range. The Mercedes BlueZERO E-Cell Plus has 60 miles of all-electric range. Both are “near series” designs. The electric motor and battery are powerful enough so that the gas engine isn’t necessary for full power, but the gas engine is connected to the wheels in charge sustaining mode.It just so happens that the Volt EREV doesn’t connect the gas engine to the wheels, which we have known for the last 3 years. There are some efficiency losses with the mechanical->electrical->mechanical conversions, but there are also some efficiency gains by allowing the gas engine to run freely at it’s sweet spot without any external forces. In the end it’s probably a wash.Bottom line: It’s the all-electric range that matters, not the specific design.(Quote)
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Just wanted to post my high regard for Dave G on this site. You are among the classiest of posters here for several reasons, and I know this post may incure some “…so who made you the judge and jury of what’s what…bla bla blaaaah…vitriol”, since I’ve seemed to pick up a good number of detractors here recently.
    Dave describes complex technical ideas and sums up technical facts in a very digestible way understandable to those non-engineers and laymen like myself who frequent here. Your description of Volt’s drivetrain is how I myself pictured it, but I too had some confusion as I was also slightly unclear of my own Prius’ drivetrain’s exact technical workings until I researched it online and in several publications, some of which actually had themselves made errors since HSD is also very complex – some back in 2004 even described it as “space aged wondertech”. Now Volt blows by it like it was old fashioned! WopOnTour, likewise is someone I also trust to research his facts and usually untangle some techno-ese for me. There are many such posters on here too many to mention who really make gm-volt.com a site I enjoy to frequent – and post my opinions also —- , clearly not shared by everyone, and some I am most polite to seem to get the most bent out of shape. Today being a fine example.
    It’s no big deal that two people share the same gm-volt ID, and I don’t think it’s really important who was here first – my point was only to avoid confusion – I’ve never said one single derogatory thing about “James”, the Voltnationer who seemed so offended by my request today – and me in general, it seems – news to me. I’ll continue to post as I always have with my power on symbol – and no, I’m not a split-personality!L L
    You like me or not, agree with my positions or not – it’s no big thing for me. I generally enjoy most here whether I agree with them often or not. I know we all champion Volt, and that is all that matters to me. If Volt is truly sold in large numbers everywhere we all win! I have learned volumes about Volt and EVs, the auto industry and some history since I’ve been reading and posting here, and I’m sure that will continue.
    Perhaps a few have appreciated my points, observations, humor, photo posts and viewpoint as well. If I didnt’ feel I contributed factual, valid information and op/ed here I would cease posting immediately. And I really enjoy Voltnationers like Corvetteguy, Statik,LauraM, DaveG, Tagamet, WopOnTour,MetrologyFirst, MikeOMatic, JimI, Jackson ( today and yesterday an exception – Jackson – I hope when we meet at the national Voltnation Meetup 4 years from now you don’t tear me a new one! LOL ) , Starcast,JohnK, Micheal, Matthew, Jim In PA and many others as we all offer different perspectives to the Volt story as it rolls along.
    RECHARGE!
    James
    IF YOU BUILD THEM IN REAL NUMBERS THEY WILL COME
    Very well said James. I agree with your selection of posters. They have now become the reason I read this!


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    Itching4it

     

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    Jul 1st, 2010 (3:28 pm)

    JDan:
    So my 3.6L HO ICE motor on my current car needs more that 12 volts to start? I wonder where it gets them from? I don’t see why the 1.4L ICE in the Volt would need any more. I would think the generator would be engaged after the inital startup, so 12 volts would be fine. Thoughts?  

    You certainly could start the Volt engine with a standard 12v starter, but that would be one more piece of equipment to squeeze under the hood, and one more addition to the weight of the car. In my post I said, “The motor/generator used to start the engine needs hundreds of volts.” In other words, the Volt doesn’t have a separate starter. It uses the generator that the engine normally drives. That generator, even when operating as a starting motor, is designed to work at a high voltage.

    (Incidentally, based on recent comments about planetary gear systems and clutches, it is possible that same motor/generator is also used to assist in powering the wheels in some cases, but we don’t know yet whether that is true.)


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    butters

     

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    Jul 2nd, 2010 (12:16 am)

    “Rob explained to us the Volt uses clutches and a planetary gear system to maximize performance and efficiency.”

    Isn’t this how the Toyota system works? The engine and two motors connected to a planetary gear set, one of the motors connected to the driveshaft? The engine doesn’t drive the wheels directly, but it can transfer power to the driveshaft mechanically through the gear set or electrically through the generator to the traction motor.

    And I don’t understand why some people are getting so defensive about this. The Volt has a much more powerful electric drive system than any other hybrid, but the mechanical pathway can be implemented with little cost to improve the maximum performance and flexibility of the propulsion system.

    What is the downsize of having a mechanical pathway if there are situations in which it is more efficient than the engine-generator-motor electrical pathway? Is the opposition merely rhetorical in nature?


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    Mohsen

     

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    Jul 4th, 2010 (7:34 pm)

    Wow – the koolaid drinkers are here en masse!

    On the one hand they say the generator is connected to the wheels and can power the wheels. Then they say the ICE is connected to the generator.

    But then they say there is no direct drive from ICE to wheels!

    Uhhh … the cognitive dissonance is amusing.

    The planetary gearbox ASSURES a direct connection from ICE to wheels.

    Neither has GM denied that!


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    kent beuchert

     

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    Jul 5th, 2010 (10:25 pm)

    Read just one day’s edition of the NY Times and come away amazed at how confused those
    reporters are – about EVERYTHING. Now you know why I call this the “Brainless Generation.”
    Common sense has departed this country.