Aug 23

GM Actively Studying Several Engine Options for Next Generation Chevy Volt Generator

 

2011 1.4L I-4 Range Extender for Chevrolet Volt

[ad#post_ad]GM went with a 1.4 L four cylinder normally aspirated gas engine for the first generation Chevy Volt generator. Though perhaps not optimized for efficiency within the serial hybrid model, the engine was readily available, mass-produced and relatively low cost. GM didn’t have time or money to build a powerplant specifically for the Volt.

“It offered us a nice balance,” said Volt vehicle director Tony Posawatz of the chosen engine. “It was a high-volume unit with existing capacity in a plant, and the output of the engine allowed us to meet the associated performance requirements.”

Engineers have done their best to optimize the efficiency of the system using this engine, though other powerplants could make charge-sustaining mode fuel efficiency even better. GM has not officially announced CS MPG though they have gone on record saying it will be better than any other car in its size class.

The engine will operate within a fairly narrow band, switching between several RPMs depending on the driving load at the moment. Most of the time it will probably operate at about 1800 RPM.

“We’re still finalizing the details but we’ll probably allow it to go up to 4,000 rpm, and that would only occur at high speeds or high loads, otherwise it would be relatively modest, almost imperceptible by the customer,” says Posawatz.

That GM has been able to achieve respectable performance and seamless transition into charge sustaining mode with an off-the-shelf combustion engine is nothing short of remarkable. However, the company isnt sitting still. Posawatz and his team are engaged in several advanced projects studying alternative options for the next generation Volt generator.

“We didn’t spend a lot on the extended-range feature, but you can bet that we are already looking at advanced projects on what an extended-range feature should operate like in the belief that this propulsion system will resonate with customers,” says Posawatz. “That may be a Stirling cycle engine, perhaps it’s a Wankel, a gas turbine, a small displacement motorcycle engine– you can extend the possibilities to a lot of different alternatives.”

Source (Automotive Engineering)
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This entry was posted on Monday, August 23rd, 2010 at 6:33 am and is filed under Efficiency, Generation II, Generator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 275


  1. 1
    Jim I

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:38 am)

    This makes perfect sense. There is no one best ICE.

    Keep improving, and then the costs will start to stabilize.

    That is when EREV will sell in the millions!

    I doubt that the 2012 model year Volt will have anything other than minor fixes/changes/upgrades. But with the real world experience gained, Gen-2 should be quite different.

    Go GM Volt Team!!!!

    NPNS


  2. 2
    Baltimore17

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:44 am)

    Back in the mid-90s, when Westinghouse was working on the battery/electric powertrain for Chrysler’s minivan, we put a small gas turbine in the back of a pickup truck as an exploration of a hybrid powertrain. I recall that turbines were most happy at steady operation, not the fast/slow/stop/go characteristic of cars in traffic. A range extender would seem to be a good application.


  3. 3
    Rashiid Amul

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:46 am)

    Innovate or die. Good work guys.


  4. 4
    voltaholic

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:46 am)

    Motorcycle? I can almost hear the harleyvolt rumble.


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    Loboc

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:52 am)

    It looks like they’re stuck on an ICE+EV EREV model. Probably because the infrastructure for gasoline is here now. The current engine is overkill for most people.

    It would be cool to think about NG (or other) fuel cells as well. Also, pure BEV is in the close future imho. A Stirling cycle E-100 machine would be viable since distribution for liquid fuels is in place.

    The possibilities are endless. Viability and practicality are more important. Any move to using less oil (or no oil) will pay off very quickly in a macro sense.


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    koz

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:53 am)

    This is where a huge enigeering improvement opportunity exists for GM. Not so much for squeezing more efficiency out of the ICE (although that is likely too), but more for reducing weight, cost, size, and NVH. The series configuration, by separating the ICE from instantaneous power needs, offers the engineers a tremendous amount of leeway with the power plant.

    The only anchor may be volume. If GM doesn’t plan for higher volumes and more Voltec models, then the economies of scale will limit the choices considerably.


  7. 7
    Darius

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:56 am)

    ICE shall be as cheap and small as possible for EREV applications.


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    Gsned57

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:02 am)

    This has got to be a pretty fun project for the engineers. What other mass produced car do you get to start with a clean slate in the ICE department and play with stuff the auto industry has only toyed with in the past.


  9. 9
    Robert

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:04 am)

    Can’t believe they would seriously consider a wankel engine they get terrible gas milage and burn oil too. Gas turbine sounds interesting, they are extremely efficient plus the Volt would sound like the batmobile:)


  10. 10
    Dave K.

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:14 am)

    This is good news. A 1.4L running at 1800 RPM will provide very good CS.
    Will cruise control have a sport/econo setting? With sport simply holding a set speed setting. And econo working with the green ball gauge to cut back a little on the hills?

    =D-Volt


  11. 11
    JohnK

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:15 am)

    There is something about the above explanation that I don’t like. Something rings a bit untrue about the current range extender. It sounds like it was just any old engine already in high volume. Well, the factory that is building it (Flint) was NOT building it prior to this and it took a lot of changes and a lot of expense to retool to make this engine at that plant. Maybe the bulk of that cost will get charged to the Cruze, but I have not heard anything along that line. In fact, whenever they talk about the Flint plant they only talk about it in reference to the Volt.
    BTW, I took a much closer look at the Voltec drivetrain display on Saturday (WDC) and one thing that impressed me was that the ICE, the transmission, and the electric motors seemed to be totally integrated into one physical unit – could not tell where one ended and the other started. Obviously not a single casting, but looked that way.


  12. 12
    John W (Tampa)

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:16 am)

    My bet is if they leave normally aspirated gas engine they will go with a one rotary Wankel. It has bad mileage but it can provide a lot of power in a small unit, and this car is all about the power. Someone at GM mentioned earlier that they could get by with a one rotary wankel. This would probably get the price down a lot. simply because of the size of the thing.

    And I’m sure they can work on the oil burning thing if that’s an issue.


  13. 13
    Charlie H

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:17 am)

    “We didn’t spend a lot on the extended-range feature,” says Posawatz.

    You scrimped on the differentiating feature? Meet the new GM, same as the old GM.

    A question occurs to me… If GM didn’t spend much on the extended range feature and the battery, the wicked expensive part, is 33% smaller than the Leaf battery, why does the car cost so much?


  14. 14
    Muv66

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:18 am)

    I would like to see a clean diesel engine be developed for this application. Any ICE is a temporary solution until the battery technology advances to the point where one isn’t needed.


  15. 15
    Charlie H

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:19 am)

    Loboc: It looks like they’re stuck on an ICE+EV EREV model. Probably because the infrastructure for gasoline is here now. The current engine is overkill for most people.It would be cool to think about NG (or other) fuel cells as well. Also, pure BEV is in the close future imho. A Stirling cycle E-100 machine would be viable since distribution for liquid fuels is in place.The possibilities are endless. Viability and practicality are more important. Any move to using less oil (or no oil) will pay off very quickly in a macro sense.  (Quote)

    Not if it’s so expensive that people can’t afford it.


  16. 16
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:19 am)

    There are so many options now – micro-turbine, wankel, atkinson, sterling, rankine, fuel cell, etc. – all of which can use anything from petroleum, alcohol, natural gas, hydrogen, rendered animal fats, coal dust, etc.

    It will be exciting to see which ones emerge.


  17. 17
    Van

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:20 am)

    The original Honda Insight one liter aluminum engine would be a good starting point. With the “mountain mode” concept, perhaps the range extending motor/generator could be somewhat smaller, in the 40 kw range.


  18. 18
    Charlie H

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:23 am)

    JohnK: There is something about the above explanation that I don’t like. Something rings a bit untrue about the current range extender. It sounds like it was just any old engine already in high volume. Well, the factory that is building it (Flint) was NOT building it prior to this and it took a lot of changes and a lot of expense to retool to make this engine at that plant. Maybe the bulk of that cost will get charged to the Cruze, but I have not heard anything along that line. In fact, whenever they talk about the Flint plant they only talk about it in reference to the Volt.BTW, I took a much closer look at the Voltec drivetrain display on Saturday (WDC) and one thing that impressed me was that the ICE, the transmission, and the electric motors seemed to be totally integrated into one physical unit – could not tell where one ended and the other started. Obviously not a single casting, but looked that way.  (Quote)

    They moved production to Flint partly to pick up tax abatements or credits or DOE loans. I forget which. The engine was being produced in Austria or some other Euro-zone country, so it was going to be expensive and they wanted to either move production to Aisa or, if feasible, the US. Government money made the US move possible.


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    JohnK

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:23 am)

    Robert: Gas turbine sounds interesting, they are extremely efficient plus the Volt would sound like the batmobile:)

    Gas turbines always bring excitement, but not efficiency. They bring HIGH POWER in a small package. Also high costs. There is an exhibit in the Air Force museum near Dayton, OH of a cruise missile and it’s very small gas turbine engines (barely bigger than a shoe box). Very sexy, but nothing about them says low cost. In airplanes, one of the reasons they are economical is because they last nearly forever and have very low maintenance cost. Also relatively easy to swap (at least the military ones go very quickly).


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:39 am)

    Charlie H: “We didn’t spend a lot on the extended-range feature,” says Posawatz.You scrimped on the differentiating feature?Meet the new GM, same as the old GM.A question occurs to me…If GM didn’t spend much on the extended range feature and the battery, the wicked expensive part, is 33% smaller than the Leaf battery, why does the car cost so much?  

    No doubt you recall that when the concept car was introduced it had a special ICE engine concept. Then when work began on the production car, the focus was on the electric drive and the integration with an ICE. The decision to go with the ICE used now was something of a late stage decision to use an existing production engine. As the ICE engine used was (is) too big to fit into the originally designed space in the originally conceived way, the engine had to be turned sideways and the engine compartment very carefully arranged to get everything in. To the credit of the design and engineering people, they have made the present ICE work. It is crowded.

    To me the comment that the ER part of EREV did not get a lot of development time reflects the way the ICE engine aspect of the present design was done, historically. It seems logical that now that there is an opportunity for a second look gm will review that part of the design. Almost surely it can be done better, starting from a clean sheet of paper, than what had to be done starting with an existing product. The question is how much better, as the existing product now has had considerable specialization for the Volt. Maybe there remains lots of opportunity for further improvement.

    I also thought that Mr Posawatz is trying to prepare us for CS-mode performance that is good, but not quite as good, as what people have been hoping for. But real soon now….


  21. 21
    Velma Dinkley

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:42 am)

    When you want to run a generator you can not beat the efficiency of a diesel engine.


  22. 22
    Dave K.

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:43 am)

    The mention of a motorcycle engine generator is interesting. A stock Kawasaki 635 produces 100HP. An EREV with a carbon fiber body and tube frame could RACE all day at 30MPG.

    =D-Volt

    “Killacycle” electric drag bike.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDHJNG2PngQ


  23. 23
    Guy Incognito

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:49 am)

    The original engine planned for the Volt was a 1.0 Liter Turbocharged Quad-4 with Variable Valve Timing that was to have been manufactured in Austria.


  24. 24
    neutron

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:54 am)

    Baltimore17: Back inthe mid-90s, when Westinghouse was working on the battery/electric powertrain for Chrysler’s minivan, we put a small gas turbine in the back of a pickup truck as an exploration of a hybrid powertrain.I recall that turbines were most happy at steady operation, not the fast/slow/stop/go characteristic of cars in traffic.A range extender would seem to be a good application.  

    That is a very interesting comment about a turbine’s possibilities.
    Would a turbine be quiet?
    Is it true a turbine could burn almost any fuel?
    Is there an issue of a turbine coming up to speed?

    Just Curious…. :+}


  25. 25
    neutron

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:56 am)

    voltaholic: Motorcycle? I can almost hear the harleyvolt rumble.  

    This would give a whole new meaning to being part of HOG. :+]


  26. 26
    KenEE

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:56 am)

    Here’s my vote!

    http://www.freepistonpower.com/Default.aspx

    Free Piston Power:

    •Power Density: 1kW/kg; 2 kW/litre
    •Fuelled by Gasoline, Diesel (Bio, JP8), LPG, Ethanol, Hydrogen
    •Mechanical simplicity (software ‘replaces’ conventional con-rods, cam and crankshaft)
    •Readily scalable from 25 to 500kW output power
    •Efficiency 50%

    Electricity generation is inherent in its mechanical design. Imagine the Volts 55kW generator in a small 125 lb. package!

    Simply Awesome….


  27. 27
    Russ

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:00 am)

    Do I hear 38 MPG in the gasoline mode? Not very good. Hello Prius!


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    neutron

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:04 am)

    John W (Tampa): My bet is if they leave normally aspirated gas engine they will go with a one rotary Wankel.It has bad mileage but it can provide a lot of power in a small unit, and this car is all about the power.Someone at GM mentioned earlier that they could get by with a one rotary wankel.This would probably get the price down a lot. simply because of the size of the thing.And I’m sure they can work on the oil burning thing if that’s an issue.  

    While a “lot of power” is nice the game is still about best MPG possible i.e. lowest amount of fuel needed to meet the need.


  29. 29
    Brian

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:14 am)

    Seems like the OPOC engine would be a great choice. Light and could burn all most anthing and higher efficency

    http://www.engineeringtv.com/video/Opposed-Piston-Opposed-Cylinder


  30. 30
    neutron

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:17 am)

    KenEE: Here’s my vote!http://www.freepistonpower.com/Default.aspxFree Piston Power:•Power Density: 1kW/kg; 2 kW/litre
    •Fuelled by Gasoline, Diesel (Bio, JP8), LPG, Ethanol, Hydrogen
    •Mechanical simplicity (software ‘replaces’ conventional con-rods, cam and crankshaft)
    •Readily scalable from 25 to 500kW output power
    •Efficiency 50%Electricity generation is inherent in its mechanical design.Imagine the Volts 55kW generator in a small 125 lb. package!Simply Awesome….  

    Is this generator in production or is a lot of design still needed?
    Is this generator a variant of the stirling engine design?

    Could be very cool if part of the VOLT.


  31. 31
    ClarksonCote

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:17 am)

    GM, when you’re looking into all these options, please make the next version E-85 capable as well, if at all possible. That virtually eliminates oil use, even on long trips. I really love the sound of that.

    join thE REVolution.


  32. 32
    neutron

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:21 am)

    After reading these posts so far it is very easy to see why GM went with what works early on to get the VOLT to market.

    Many of these ideas are very exciting…. and GM will have an exciting/hard time determining which option will be the better idea for the next model of the VOLT.


  33. 33
    Anthony

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:23 am)

    Why not stick with ICE? Didn’t GM figure out HCCI up to 3000rpm? If they can get it working up to 4000+ RPM they can squeeze more out of a normal ICE, same power but 15% more efficient. Instead of 40?mpg, you’d get 46. Or if it’s 50mpg, then 57mpg with HCCI.


  34. 34
    mark ysmith

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:25 am)

    There is a 0.9 litre and a 1 litre SMART car engine, with diesel versions that can get 50-70mpg – why are they talking about Wankel’s and things when a small diesel generator would be perfect. More than half the cars sold in Europe are diesel – and diesel-electric is the most efficient format of choice for trains. Diesel engines generating electricity. Why are GM not even considering a diesel??? Diesel cars in the UK roughly gets typically 1/3 more mpg than a standard petrol… they have better MPG’s than Prius’s – come on GM!


  35. 35
    neutron

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:30 am)

    mark ysmith: There is a 0.9 litre and a 1 litre SMART car engine, with diesel versions that can get 50-70mpg – why are they talking about Wankel’s and things when a small diesel generator would be perfect. More than half the cars sold in Europe are diesel – and diesel-electric is the most efficient format of choice for trains. Diesel engines generating electricity. Why are GM not even considering a diesel??? Diesel cars in the UK roughly gets typically 1/3 more mpg than a standard petrol… they have better MPG’s than Prius’s – come on GM!  

    Is it an issue of weight?


  36. 36
    ziv

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:34 am)

    I hear Ballard has the price per kW down to around $4000 for a automotive type fuel cell, so I guess we can count PEM fuel cells out for now. A turbine might be a bit cheaper than that but not much.
    My vote is for a Turbo V Twin Harley! Can you imagine how that would sound climbing Pikes Peak?
    http://www.harleycustom.com/Prod-TRASK_PERFORMANCE_-_Turbo_Kits_for_Harley-Davidson-14-458.html
    Seriously, though, a small turbo would do the job phenomenally well and most of us would be willing to climb Pikes Peak a bit slower in Charge Sustaining mode, if the economy option gives us 60 mpg or so on the highway in CS. Keep the I4 for the drivers that don’t want to compromise power and are ok with 45-50 mpg in CS but give the economisers the great CS mileage option.


  37. 37
    carcus3

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:35 am)

    Here’s an idea:

    Do the R&D to come up with an acceptable design FIRST, ….THEN go into production.


  38. 38
    JeremyK

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:35 am)

    I would love to see diesel, but I just don’t see GM doing it. The average American still sees diesel as noisy and dirty, just like they still think of EVs as being slow and without adequate range.

    My guess is a very efficient, direct injected, low displacement, normally aspirated ICE. GM now has some very good, real world, data on how much hp and torque the “ideal” powerplant will need and can optimize an engine based on that.

    I still think they’ll play it safe and go with ICE over other technologies, however.

    On a side note, they could probably retain the 1.4L engine and couple it to a higher output generator and traction motor for a GT version of the car. Kinda defeats the purpose, but the potential output of that 1.4L engine is nearly double what it will be tuned for in the Gen I Volt.


  39. 39
    mikeinatl.

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:37 am)

    Creating new, more viable Voltec engines will most probably be linked to advancements in battery technologies. Battery tech is improving dramatically, with announcements of breakthroughs all the time.

    Fast forward just five years ahead and we could have radically different battery capabiltiies which, in turn, could allow for engine choices none of us can imagine today. And of course the possibility of eliminating the ICE or onboard generator altogether.

    Far more electric range, far better fuel efficiencies, much lower cost.

    Exciting stuff.

    GO VOLT!


  40. 40
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:44 am)

    Obviously they will have to change their performance design parameters for hill climbing mode if they want to go to a lower power engine—will they do that?? Hmm hard to say. Please note that Prius actually went to a larger displacement engine and improved mileage at the same time. but—

    the fact remains if they are going to get costs down they need to do something!!
    The battery seems like the first place to start. I really hate to see the Volt having to carry a battery around and only using DOD=50%. It is overkill on wt and cost.


  41. 41
    Steve

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:44 am)

    Stirling might work and could be multi fuel capable. Seems like it would be a huge engineering challenge. Wankel has compactness but is relatively fuel thirsty. Gas turbine is just too expensive. Most realistic is a smaller ICE of some sort optimized for operation in a relatively narrow speed range. I just don’t envision a very radical power plant change or generation 2. Seem most likely is a smaller more efficient ICE I’d believe a diesel before most of those other options.


  42. 42
    joe

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:46 am)

    Dave K.: The mention of a motorcycle engine generator is interesting. A stock Kawasaki 635 produces 100HP. An EREV with a carbon fiber body and tube frame could RACE all day at 30MPG.
    =D-Volt“Killacycle” electric drag bike.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDHJNG2PngQ  

    An air cool engine to me is out of the question. GM needs an engine that needs to be cooled by antifreeze so it can provide heat to the interior like a regular car and to process the battery pack in the Winter. Using battery power to do these jobs would not be wise.

    An ordinary car only needs about 35HP to keep it going 60MPH on a flat road and that’s where the efficiency problem lies with a regular 150HP plus vehicle. With the Volt, the ICE will work at full load whenever it runs so it can achieve it’s maximum efficiency. GM claims the Volt ICE will only start when the battery reaches 30% depletion, but as we already know there will be exceptions. Whenever the ICE starts, the generator power will satisfy the power needs of the electric motor first, and any excess power will be diverted to the battery.


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    Ted in Fort Myers

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:50 am)

    Van: The original Honda Insight one liter aluminum engine would be a good starting point. With the “mountain mode” concept, perhaps the range extending motor/generator could be somewhat smaller, in the 40 kw range.  (Quote)

    Excellent suggestion and then maybe the Volt will match my 06 Insight in CS Mode.

    Take Care,
    TED


  44. 44
    Rashiid Amul

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:03 am)

    I suggest using steam. It can be heated from the hot wind coming from my mother-in-law. ;)


  45. 45
    Jim I

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:05 am)

    KenEE: Here’s my vote!http://www.freepistonpower.com/Default.aspxFree Piston Power:•Power Density: 1kW/kg; 2 kW/litre
    •Fuelled by Gasoline, Diesel (Bio, JP8), LPG, Ethanol, Hydrogen
    •Mechanical simplicity (software ‘replaces’ conventional con-rods, cam and crankshaft)
    •Readily scalable from 25 to 500kW output power
    •Efficiency 50%Electricity generation is inherent in its mechanical design.Imagine the Volts 55kW generator in a small 125 lb. package!Simply Awesome….  

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

    This sounds like a really good idea!

    But there is not much of an update on the site in the last three years….


  46. 46
    ClarksonCote

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:06 am)

    joe: An air cool engine to me is out of the question. GM needs an engine that needs to be cooled by antifreeze so it can provide heat to the interior like a regular car and to process the battery pack in the Winter. Using battery power to do these jobs would not be wise.An ordinary car only needs about 35HP to keep it going 60MPH on a flat road and that’s where the efficiency problem lies with a regular 150HP plus vehicle. With the Volt, the ICE will work at full load whenever it runs so it can achieve it’s maximum efficiency. GM claims the Volt ICE will only start when the battery reaches 30% depletion, but as we already know there will be exceptions. Whenever the ICE starts, the generator power will satisfy the power needs of the electric motor first, and any excess power will be diverted to the battery.  (Quote)

    Hi joe,

    That’s pretty much true, but the ICE won’t always be generating it’s maximum output. It will have different set points for RPMs based on the needs of the car at that time. Any excess energy will certainly go into the battery though, I agree with you there.

    join thE REVolution


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    ClarksonCote

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:06 am)

    Rashiid Amul: I suggest using steam. It can be heated from the hot wind coming from my mother-in-law.   (Quote)

    LOL, ah, now my Monday work day isn’t quite as miserable. Thanks Rashiid :-p

    join thE REVolution


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    Jim I

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:06 am)

    Rashiid Amul: I suggest using steam.It can be heated from the hot wind coming from my mother-in-law.   

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

    If she sees that post, I would not want to be at your house this Christmas!!!!

    ;-)


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:09 am)

    Jason M. Hendler: There are so many options now – micro-turbine, wankel, atkinson, sterling, rankine, fuel cell, etc. – all of which can use anything from petroleum, alcohol, natural gas, hydrogen, rendered animal fats, coal dust, etc.
    It will be exciting to see which ones emerge. 

    Perfectly stated. To be complete here, I can only add EESTOR and ground unicorn horns.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:11 am)

    To me the question is not about exotic engines but rather about power. Maybe the better course is to use an ICE, but a much more powerful one, e.g., a turbo V6. With the big battery, there is plenty of buffer to maintain efficiency. On pike’s peak, there is plenty of power. No reason for the car to be boring in the CS mode, either.


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    Texas

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:16 am)

    A lot of great ideas posted above. How about we sell the first Volt first? ;)

    If they get this Volt right, and it looks like they did, with the limited amount of time, risk and budget, then all the world’s automotive engineers can get to work perfecting the different variations.

    Now, let’s hope the Volt sells and the price of oil rises!


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    MarkV10

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:18 am)

    ooh ooh please be a stirling engine – multifuel, potential for extremely high thermal efficiency, and I’ve always wanted to own one. Probably an engineering stretch, though. They need to be tolerant of high temperatures and high pressures to achieve that efficiency.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:18 am)

    joe:
    An air cool engine to me is out of the question. GM needs an engine that needs to be cooled by antifreeze so it can provide heat to the interior like a regular car and to process the battery pack in the Winter. Using battery power to do these jobs would not be wise.An ordinary car only needs about 35HP to keep it going 60MPH on a flat road and that’s where the efficiency problem lies with a regular 150HP plus vehicle. With the Volt, the ICE will work at full load whenever it runs so it can achieve it’s maximum efficiency. GM claims the Volt ICE will only start when the battery reaches 30% depletion, but as we already know there will be exceptions. Whenever the ICE starts, the generator power will satisfy the power needs of the electric motor first, and any excess power will be diverted to the battery.  

    That Kawasaki engine he’s referring to is not air cooled. By nature, any modern small displacement m/c engine IS liquid cooled.

    There is a trade off in engine size vs. NVH…and as we know, NVH is HUGE for GM. They don’t want the customer to perceive the engine turning on/off. That’s one reason why the 1.4L should work well in this application…it’s able to produce the necessary torque at a lower rpm, and hence a lower NVH level. Producing the necessary hp/torque from a smaller displacement engine will likely mean running it at a higher rpm. Good for efficiency but usually bad for NVH.

    mikeinatl.: Creating new, more viable Voltec engines will most probably be linked to advancements in battery technologies. Battery tech is improving dramatically, with announcements of breakthroughs all the time.
    Fast forward just five years ahead and we could have radically different battery capabiltiies which, in turn, could allow for engine choices none of us can imagine today. And of course the possibility of eliminating the ICE or onboard generator altogether.
    Far more electric range, far better fuel efficiencies, much lower cost.
    Exciting stuff.
    GO VOLT!  

    If we haven’t heard about it yet, it won’t be in production in 5 years. GM won’t implement any technology that isn’t proven. The design/test/manufacture cycles are just too long. GM probably already knows what it will be using to power Gen II because the design phase is already underway if not the test phase.

    When do we expect Gen II anyway? I’m thinking it will be 2015, but not before (unless they need to push something ahead due to competition in the marketplace).


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:20 am)

    Velma Dinkley: When you want to run a generator you can not beat the efficiency of a diesel engine.

    Except you need an entire onboard waste recovery plant to clean the emissions.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:22 am)

    Diesel fans – do you know that California doesn’t allow sales of new diesel cars? When the law was passed it was assumed they were dirtier than gas engines. It hasn’t been changed with the advances in diesel engines. I don’t know if the law would apply to the Volt, since the engine is a generator.

    Let me ask, this standard 4 cylinder engine will still need oil changes, and spark plugs will go out, and all the usual stuff. How easy will it be to do maintenance? I assume the Volt should be taken only to the dealer, at least the early models.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:32 am)

    JeremyK: When do we expect Gen II anyway? I’m thinking it will be 2015

    Sounds like a reasonable goal to me. It takes 3-5 years to bring out a new model.

    They might be at the low end of 3-5 years if the current Volt is too expensive to produce. I’m thinking they will slip-stream a lot of changes in 2012 and 2013.

    The only change I’m looking for is the SS model!


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:37 am)

    The last thing the Volt needs is a sexy, but expensive ICE in Gen II. Although a Turbine Engine would be off the chart on the cool scale.

    Whatever choices they make for Gen II hopefully increases efficiency and lowers cost.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:46 am)

    KenEE: Here’s my vote!

    http://www.freepistonpower.com/Default.aspx

    Free Piston Power:

    •Power Density: 1kW/kg; 2 kW/litre
    •Fuelled by Gasoline, Diesel (Bio, JP8), LPG, Ethanol, Hydrogen
    •Mechanical simplicity (software ‘replaces’ conventional con-rods, cam and crankshaft)
    •Readily scalable from 25 to 500kW output power
    •Efficiency 50%

    Electricity generation is inherent in its mechanical design. Imagine the Volts 55kW generator in a small 125 lb. package!

    Simply Awesome….

    Ken, it would be interesting to see if these guys can really build one of these things. Their website does little to show they are an active, full function outfit selling a product. But we agree, free piston generators sound wonderful – if they really work!!

    GO GM Volt Team!


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    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:48 am)

    I love the concept of free piston / OPOC, but stunningly, no one has produced one that you could actually drop into an EREV to try out – it shouldn’t be that difficult. Cam and rod design is far more difficult than this.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:51 am)

    Brian: Seems like the OPOC engine would be a great choice. Light and could burn all most anthing and higher efficencyhttp://www.engineeringtv.com/video/Opposed-Piston-Opposed-Cylinder  

    I agree – the OPOC could be the answer. Highly efficient, compact, powerful, simple, smooth, multi-fuel capability. If it would be able to start and stop, start and stop with no lag time in power delivery, then what are you waiting for, GM?


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:58 am)

    Given the fact that for most driver’s, the VOLT’s Range Extender will come into play on a limited number of days, I say the #1 requirement for GM to consider is ROCK SOLID RELIABILITY for the generator. Also, given the broad national and international market for VOLTEC, long-term servicability needs to be considered.

    I believe GM made a wise decision on chosing a proven powerplant for the Gen1 VOLT generator. There is enough new technology throughout the car, and while the range-extending generator is argulably one of the VOLT’s most unique product features, it is the last place GM needs any issues. There will definitely be future opportunities to innovate…. but let’s get the first 60,000+ VOLTs on the road first!


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:07 am)

    carcus3: Here’s an idea:Do the R&D to come up with an acceptable design FIRST, ….THEN go into production.  

    … which appears to be the thrust of the article (pun intended).

    So this means … you approve of GM’s approach to new powerplants – ?


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:09 am)

    The Free Piston Engine is somewhat similar to the OPOC except with the realization that you don’t need a spinning crankshaft to produce electricity.

    You just need to move a magnet through a coil.

    This makes the FPE far more efficient in every way for the production of electricity. Fewer moving parts, less complex, lighter, etc…

    Needs a company like GM to take it from working proof of concept to product. Or at least to dangle a real carrot in front of the smaller company if they can meet GM’s milestones for commercialization ….


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:18 am)

    If you want more information on a gas turbine as range extender, should check out http://www.capstoneturbine.com they have created several EREV prototype vehicles.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:29 am)

    I would like to see a series-parallel hybrid configuration with the rear wheels powered by electric motor and the fwd powered by the 1.4T ICE usedd in the new Cruise. Having the flexability of all electric initially, then using the in a parallel mode and back to series when appropriate, is a great choice. Grab your patent rights while you can! You can get the best of both powertrains with very good efficiency. P. S. plus 4WD at times as well.


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:32 am)

    As always when alternative engines are brought forward, it’s time for my minority-opinion plug of the nutating disc engine.

    2vte3km.jpg

    Since I first brought it up in the forums, “New (tating) Engine Design”, (way back when I put things in the forums), a prototype has been evaluated by NASA, with positive results (Warning: PDF):

    http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/reports/2006/TM-2006-214342.pdf

    A nutating disc engine is of interest for EREV for many reasons:

    * small compact size, low weight for power produced

    * multi-fuel capability similar to turbine

    * conventional materials

    * fewer moving parts

    5aoylj.gif

    The military is interested in this powerplant for UAVs which can run on heavy oil (or any other liquid, combustible fuel which may be found in a theater of operation), so light weight, rugged simplicity is a plus. Continuous combustion means that it would have many positive attributes in common with a stirling or turbine; but in conventional materials running at more-or-less “normal” temperatures at manageable rpms.

    The fact that the military is interested may make access to the idea limited; and it will still take a lot of development before it can go in a consumer vehicle. However, the multi-fuel capability may be particularly relevant for EREV, since some degradation of the fuel over time is a concern: the NDE would likely not even notice the difference between fresh gas and old (or diesel, or cooking oil, or warm bacon grease, etc).


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:36 am)

    DELETED


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    neutron

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:38 am)

    These posts are getting more and more interesting with all of the ideas.

    I think if I was the head of extended range design for the VOLT I would have just 3 parameters.

    1 – KISS Keep It Super Simple
    2 – Fantastic Efficiency
    3 – Affordable Cost

    May sound too simple but it would drive the design and help make the most reliable generator possible.
    I love new tech BUT to make the most reliable product possible it does need to have good history and simplicity.


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    herm

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:39 am)

    “#5 Loboc Says
    It looks like they’re stuck on an ICE+EV EREV model. Probably because the infrastructure for gasoline is here now. The current engine is overkill for most people.”

    When all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail :)

    GM knows how to make engines, EREV is a logical solution until battery costs come down quite a bit.. but eventually you will get a 200 mile pack at a reasonable cost and there goes the logic for EREV.

    Forget about a smaller range extender than 50kw (75hp), you need it for climbing a mountain or long grade road.. everyone would ridicule the Volt if all it could manage was 45mph struggling up Pikes Peak..

    People talk about diesels, wankels and turbines.. no way GM will go for that since it will increase the cost quite a bit on an already expensive car.. the best solution is what they did, a low cost 4 cylinder engine from their parts bin. The atkinson version of that engine does not need a turbo nor direct injection, and yet it can achieve a near diesel efficiency of 38%, almost doubling the efficiency of a normal ICE.

    There could be cost savings (and friction losses decreases) by going to a 2 cylinder engine.. usually those have rough vibrations but that could be fixed by pulsing the generator load at the right moment. Perhaps they could cut their 2.4 ecotec in half and use that, leave it whole for larger Voltec vehicles.. all this depends if volume warrants it of course.

    Using a lightweight Lotus type genset would lower the weight quite a bit, this would allow the Volt to increase its performance and still climb mountains with a 35kw genset.. it could be a big difference if they combine a ligher genset with lighter Gen II batteries. I dont think GM will buy that engine from Lotus or setup a factory to build it.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:42 am)

    As a side note: I had been waiting for my dealer to get pricing info in their system on the options, so that they could place my order [I'm in northern New Jersey], and they told me to call this afternoon to see if the system was ready. Well, I just got a newsletter from Chevrolet saying “The Volt is ready for pre-order!”. So I’m guessing the system is up. Here’s hoping my phone call later this afternoon ends with me having an order in.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:58 am)

    LeoK: I say the #1 requirement for GM to consider is ROCK SOLID RELIABILITY for the generator.

    I think this is a given, but Darius at #7 has it right — take the costs out!.

    No matter how reliable the genset is, GM isn’t going to sell 100K of these things a year at $41K. Just not happening. They need to get the base model to $36K, which they should be able to do without great difficulty if they ramp up the production.

    The engineers were right not to spend too much time of the ICE. Many people may never use the genset, and most won’t use it very often. Since EV drive gives you 80% or 90% of the benefit, increasing the efficiency of the ICE doesn’t have a lot of upside. This is another way of saying that in this case cheap and reliable beats efficiency hands down — and the 1.4L engine fits the bill.


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    carcus3

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:17 am)

    DonC: The engineers were right not to spend too much time of the ICE. Many people may never use the genset, and most won’t use it very often.

    The problem is GM is not operating in a vacuum. Competition is around the corner

    BMW is looking at the motorcycle engine.
    Audi is looking at the wankel.

    http://www.worldcarfans.com/110082027999/bmw-megacity-further-construction-details

    http://electric-vehicles-cars-bikes.blogspot.com/2010/03/audi-a1-e-tron-series-hybrid-to-use.html

    /what if BMW/Audi exceed GM’s efficiency/perfomance AND undercut GM’s cost — how’s that going to look?


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    Dmitrii

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:17 am)

    /just read information about IPO

    AVERAGE PLANT WORKER SALARY 55$ PER HOUR??!! That’s crazy. With such labor prices bankruptcy of usa-based companies is inevitable, because of laws of market economy and capitalism.

    I – engineer-designer of automation of gas/oil refining plants and wells with master degree and 2 years of experience – earn 2,5 $ per hour (after tax). Factory workers earn less.

    PS. At the beginning (concept times) Volt prices was announced as ~20K, and that was before economy crisis, when USD cost was 2/3 of what it is now, plus salaries were higher. At that time I thought it would be possible for me to make enough money to buy an electric car.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:20 am)

    In an ICE vehicle, if you run out of fuel on the road, there’s always a “jerrycan” to get you to the nearest station.

    This is an opportunity for an emergency power system for BEVs.

    It should produce 10 kW and weigh under 50 lbs.

    A 140cc 10 kW motorbike engine direct-coupled to an alternator should be capable.

    Since 60 Hz isn’t necessary, the engine-alternator can run at high rpm (8,500) allowing smaller and lighter components.

    If the 120VAC – 240 VAC charging inputs require 60 Hz, the new “CHAdeMO” standard allows 50 to 500 VDC and up to 125A charging input.

    An automotive alternator can be regulated to provide > 100 DC volts at 100+ Amps (10 kW) at high rpm.


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    BLIND GUY

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:26 am)

    In addition to my post at #65 If they put the battery pack in the floor of either the Terrain or Equinox for low center of gravity, and reduce weight as much as possible, they would sell like hotcakes! Include electrical outlets for work use as well.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:34 am)

    OT, but a bunch of Chevy Volts were at the Dream Cruise this past week. I was right there and didn’t even know about it.. Dang! Some people got free rides.

    http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/money/auto_news/dream_cruise/chevy-volt-gives-dream-cruise-a-charge


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    joe

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:43 am)

    The Volt battery charge range is between: 30% — 80%. Is this correct?


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:43 am)

    If you make the Volt’s mileage in CS-mode super-efficient, and then by Gen III bring the costs of purchasing the vehicle down to about that of a similar ICE vehicle of similar power/size, then the Volt starts to make sense for those folks who don’t typically have a place to plug-in overnight (e.g., many apt. dwellers). The car would then be driven most times as a super-efficient hybrid getting say 80 mpg. This would also remove some of the ammunition from those skeptics who feel that the Gen I Volt is of little use to those drivers who don’t have a place to plug-in their vehicles.

    The challenge will be to balance competing needs for low-cost, durability, and fuel efficiency. I like GM’s approach of considering all options. Ideas like the Atkinson cycle and direct injection are worth exploring.

    Sincerely, George, Sudbury, Canada…go Volt!!


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:46 am)

    ClarksonCote:
    Hi joe,That’s pretty much true, but the ICE won’t always be generating it’s maximum output.It will have different set points for RPMs based on the needs of the car at that time.Any excess energy will certainly go into the battery though, I agree with you there.join thE REVolution  

    The ICE only provides *average* power to the motor, adjusting the set points accordingly. Therefore, by definition, there will be no “excess energy” generated by the ICE. The battery will only be charged by plugging it in.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:47 am)

    Ted in Fort Meyers, have you gotten your call from Chevrolet yet on your volt order? I’m still waiting (impatiently).


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    John W (Tampa)

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:47 am)

    neutron:
    While a “lot of power” is nicethe game is still about best MPG possiblei.e. lowest amount of fuel needed to meet the need.  

    I disagree somewhat, this car isn’t about range extended mode. It’s about the first 40 miles.. Perhaps when there is a competing car out there then people will say ok, the competitor gets 5 mpg’s better in extended mode so I’ll go with it. But by then GM will have the Volt down in cost so much others may never try to compete.. I think everyone has learned from the Prius, don’t try to make copies. Make the next technological leap. Perhaps this is why everyone is still working so hard on fuel cells.

    If anyone is waiting on extended mode numbers before considering buying this car then you probably drive too much to even want it, or you’re just not serious about saving gas.

    I realize there may be some contradictions in this comment.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:49 am)

    joe: The Volt battery charge range is between: 30% — 80%. Is this correct?  (Quote)

    I would say that is right. If WopOnTour agrees then you could bet on it.


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    bitguru

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:49 am)

    Does Posawatz really suggest using a Stirling engine? That would be radical.

    Charlie H: “We didn’t spend a lot on the extended-range feature,” says Posawatz.You scrimped on the differentiating feature?Meet the new GM, same as the old GM.

    I think this was the right move. Spend energy and development dollars on the new stuff and skimp on the ICE. GM already knew how to make reliable and reasonably cheap combustion engines, so take one off the shelf and use it. Many Volt owners won’t even be using the ICE much, so to spend too much time/energy/dollars on it now would be premature. Eventually the Volt will have some competition in the EREV market, and then might be a good time to optimize the range extender.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:52 am)

    KenEE: http://www.freepistonpower.com/Default.aspx

    Nice concept, but I’d be concerned about reliability. In order to maximize electric power generating efficiency, the magnets and coils should be as close as possible, but this creates a very hostile thermal environment. This doesn’t seem like an insurmountable problem, but I’d be interested in their solution.


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    Motor Mechanic

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:12 pm)

    The ICE in the current Volt is truly and abomination. How any competent engineering team could put this unfortunate piece of iron in an otherwise forward-looking design is beyond belief.

    I suggest the engineering team was on crack or something similar at the time. There can be no other explanation. Even greenhorns fresh out of mechanical engineering curriculum would never put such an incompetent motor in this role. It is a total travesty and makes one question the entire Volt program.

    GM -1 :-(


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    Timaaayyy!!!

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:21 pm)

    Jscott1000: Whatever choices they make for Gen II hopefully increases efficiency and lowers cost.

    Yes–and better affordability is the #1 goal. Need MUCH higher sales numbers to make their electric vehicle biz survive and thrive.

    I’m glad the range extender engine was a low priority for Gen I. The emphasis should have been, and was, on the batteries and how they relate to the range extender. Until the batteries are good enough so no range extender is needed, as others have pointed out many times.


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    Tagamet

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:23 pm)

    carcus3: Here’s an idea:Do the R&D to come up with an acceptable design FIRST, ….THEN go into production.  

    That’s precisely what they *did*, and I’m pretty sure the article suggests that that is the process they are doing again.

    Be well
    Tagamet


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:23 pm)

    John W (Tampa):
    I disagree somewhat, this car isn’t about range extended mode.It’s about the first 40 miles..Perhaps when there is a competing car out there then people will say ok, the competitor gets 5 mpg’s better in extended mode so I’ll go with it.t.  

    I would suggest the first 40 miles is not the issue. If it is then the VOLT is really not the car for that person. Any electric 40 up to 100 plus miles electric should be the better option.
    For those that go over the 40 miles, some cases way over, then a high miles per gallon generator is the better approach. Otherwise other hybrids like the Prius and Ford become competitors.


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    Jscott1000

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:25 pm)

    Motor Mechanic: The ICE in the current Volt is truly and abomination. How any competent engineering team could put this unfortunate piece of iron in an otherwise forward-looking design is beyond belief.I suggest the engineering team was on crack or something similar at the time. There can be no other explanation. Even greenhorns fresh out of mechanical engineering curriculum would never put such an incompetent motor in this role. It is a total travesty and makes one question the entire Volt program.
    GM -1   

    Okay I’ll bite…what is so bad about this engine? How can you make a statement like that and not even give a single example???


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:25 pm)

    Russ: Do I hear 38 MPG in the gasoline mode? Not very good. Hello Prius!  (Quote)

    So you drive your Volt 80 miles a day, charge up overnight, and get 76 MPG average. Can the Prius top that? Can any mid-sized car in production today top that?

    GM has a *serious* marketing challenge educating people as to how wrong it is to compare the CS mileage rating directly to that of conventional cars, including hybrids sold over the past decade.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:27 pm)

    carcus3: The problem is GM is not operating in a vacuum. Competition is around the corner

    I’m in love with the lack of a “B” pillar. I’d love to see that migrate into lower end vehicles. But the engine … Meh.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:29 pm)

    DonC: The engineers were right not to spend too much time of the ICE. Many people may never use the genset, and most won’t use it very often. Since EV drive gives you 80% or 90% of the benefit, increasing the efficiency of the ICE doesn’t have a lot of upside. This is another way of saying that in this case cheap and reliable beats efficiency hands down — and the 1.4L engine fits the bill.

    Totally agree.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Loboc

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:35 pm)

    herm: everyone would ridicule the Volt if all it could manage was 45mph struggling up Pikes Peak

    In flat states, like TX, KS, IL, IN, a smaller genset makes sense. There should be options for genset as well as battery KWh rating. Along with more body styles.

    Suppose they made a 2-seater like a Z4. I’d buy one today!
    - 800 lbs less weight (at least. A Z4 weighs 3200.)
    - 700cc genset (half of Volt’s)
    - 0-60 in 4 seconds
    - handling like a slot car
    - roadster w/removable hard top (like a ’70 vette) or just a hard drop-top. (screw the trunk!)
    - 100mpg in all modes
    - RWD (gotta have some Tokyo action).
    - Balance out everything for 50/50 weight distribution.
    - Engine noise – no problem. It’s a convertible for heaven’s sake.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:38 pm)

    neutron: I would suggest the first 40 miles is not the issue. If it is then the VOLT is really not the car for that person. Any electric 40 up to 100 plus miles electric should be the better option.

    Voltec is a great design. It ensures a high utilization of the most expensive component of the car — the battery pack — at the same time allowing for the occasional trip well beyond forty miles. Given that studies have indicated that people like a healthy buffer of battery capacity, like half, the range of a nominally 100 mile range EV isn’t that much greater than the Volt’s.

    The problem is price. The great advantage of heavily utilizing the most expensive component of the car is lost if the car costs 30% more than a pure BEV with twice the range.

    FWIW I’m not one of those who believe people driving BEVs are going to be stranded by the side of the road with flat batteries. And you’re right that if you’re driving just a few miles a day your best bet is probably a Ford Fusion — expensive batteries are overkill.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:41 pm)

    Dmitrii: /just read information about IPOAVERAGE PLANT WORKER SALARY 55$ PER HOUR??!! That’s crazy. With such labor prices bankruptcy of usa-based companies is inevitable, because of laws of market economy and capitalism.I – engineer-designer of automation of gas/oil refining plants and wells with master degree and 2 years of experience – earn 2,5 $ per hour (after tax). Factory workers earn less.PS. At the beginning (concept times) Volt prices was announced as ~20K, and that was before economy crisis, when USD cost was 2/3 of what it is now, plus salaries were higher. At that time I thought it would be possible for me to make enough money to buy an electric car.  

    You’re comparing apples to oranges. $55/hr is most likely the FULLY FRINGED cost for that employee. Usually the FF rate is 30%+ higher than the actual wage. So, you’re figuring your hourly rate (after tax) and comparing it to a fully fringed rate before tax…Come on.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:44 pm)

    Russ: Do I hear 38 MPG in the gasoline mode? Not very good. Hello Prius!

    Enough already. We will know soon enough and if that is a deal breaker for one, it will be the joy of having a Volt sooner for another.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:50 pm)

    Texas: A lot of great ideas posted above. How about we sell the first Volt first?
    If they get this Volt right, and it looks like they did, with the limited amount of time, risk and budget, then all the world’s automotive engineers can get to work perfecting the different variations.Now, let’s hope the Volt sells and the price of oil rises!

    Hear hear!

    BLIND GUY: I would like to see a series-parallel hybrid configuration with the rear wheels powered by electric motor and the fwd powered by the 1.4T ICE usedd in the new Cruise.Having the flexability of all electric initially, then using the in a parallel mode and back to series when appropriate, is a great choice.

    That’s called a “through the road” hybrid, and the control issues make me cringe.


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    dumdums

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:51 pm)

    Stupid dumdums. Haha, you talk about volt as ev but dumdum volt article about burnig gas and what best gas engine to use.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:53 pm)

    baltimore17:

    Russ: Do I hear 38 MPG in the gasoline mode? Not very good. Hello Prius!

    baltimore17: So you drive your Volt 80 miles a day, charge up overnight, and get 76 MPG average. Can the Prius top that? Can any mid-sized car in production today top that?

    GM has a *serious* marketing challenge educating people as to how wrong it is to compare the CS mileage rating directly to that of conventional cars, including hybrids sold over the past decade.

    Agree completely.

    Pure CS mode is irrelevant to the real world and we gotta stop asking for the number.

    This car will never operate in pure CS mode for more than a few minutes at a time. The rest of the time it will be decelerating (regenerating power) or accelerating (using battery electricity supplemented with genset electricity) or only using battery.

    GM will never give a pure CS mode number imho. It is not in their best interest to direct attention from their city mpg.

    The EPA sticker will rule. If the stupid government can ever figure out how to rate Volt. CS mode mpg will not be on there. It’ll have city-highway-combined like any other car.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:54 pm)

    Loboc:
    In flat states, like TX, KS, IL, IN, a smaller genset makes sense. There should be options for genset as well as battery KWh rating. Along with more body styles.
    Suppose they made a 2-seater like a Z4. I’d buy one today!
    - 800 lbs less weight (at least. A Z4 weighs 3200.)
    - 700cc genset (half of Volt’s)
    - 0-60 in 4 seconds
    - handling like a slot car
    - roadster w/removable hard top (like a ‘70 vette) or just a hard drop-top. (screw the trunk!)
    - 100mpg in all modes
    - RWD (gotta have some Tokyo action).
    - Balance out everything for 50/50 weight distribution.
    - Engine noise – no problem. It’s a convertible for heaven’s sake.  

    And comfortably under 30K! I’d LOVE the vehicle you describe. The only quibble is that the Volt already handles *better* than a slot-car. (g).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:56 pm)

    #11 JohnK: I took a much closer look at the Voltec drivetrain display on Saturday (WDC) and one thing that impressed me was that the ICE, the transmission, and the electric motors seemed to be totally integrated into one physical unit

    JohnK, the Volt does not have a transmission integrated into the motor generator. Please visit these links:

    http://gm-volt.com/about/ “This gas engine will not need gears or transmission,”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt#Drivetrain Look at the right side, second picture down. The ICE is on the left and the electric traction motor on the right.

    http://gm-volt.com/2008/09/27/how-charging-of-the-battery-works-in-the-chevy-volt/

    I’m not sure how you get the idea that the ICE and electric traction motor and together. They are separate units. I hope these links help you better understand how the Volt works.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:57 pm)

    How could I forget one of my favorite range extender techs?

    COMPRESSED AIR:

    http://www.patrickblampied.com/_engineair/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=2


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    JeremyK:
    You’re comparing apples to oranges.$55/hr is most likely the FULLY FRINGED cost for that employee.Usually the FF rate is 30%+ higher than the actual wage.So, you’re figuring your hourly rate (after tax) and comparing it to a fully fringed rate before tax…Come on.  

    Why are you assuming that the $55/hour is the fully fringed rate? If it is, I’d agree with you, but I’ve often seen the hourly quoted without consideration to fringes.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (1:18 pm)

    Tagamet: Why are you assuming that the $55/hour is the fully fringed rate?

    You know this is the case by looking at how they live. Every so often some media or other does an interview with a GM line worker at their house. Not so much now but it was pretty frequent during 2008-2009. If you just look at the house interior you KNOW these folks are not making $115K a year.

    If you don’t want to believe your own eyes then I guess you could rely on what Ford has said, given that its UAW agreement is more or less the same as GM’s:

    Under the new UAW terms, Ford said it will pay compensation of about $55 a hour, including benefits, pensions and bonuses.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB123677910696394787.html


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (1:19 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Why are you assuming that the $55/hour is the fully fringed rate? If it is, I’d agree with you, but I’ve often seen the hourly quoted without consideration to fringes.Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Because investors don’t care how much the employee makes per hour. They want to know how much the employee costs the company per hour worked.

    Edit: Thanks for citing sources DonC. I was just using logic. Sometimes that’s not enough. No offense Tag. I always enjoy reading your posts. :)


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (1:27 pm)

    Tagamet: Why are you assuming that the $55/hour is the fully fringed rate?

    I understand that there are a lot of workers so their costs are important, but it does irritate me that there is such a focus on the little guy and so little criticism of management. The Financial Times ran a long article last week about what a screw up Whitacre has been at GM. The quote was along the lines that his nickname was “Big Ed”, which perfectly described his ego but not his management skill. The point of the article was that he created chaos for one year while paying himself huge amounts of money and then, right before the IPO, turned the reins over to some other 60 year old with no industry experience — and had the balls to say he planned it.

    So where is the outrage? I’m waiting for it. Taxpayers should be burning the clown’s house down.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (1:40 pm)

    DonC: So where is the outrage? I’m waiting for it. Taxpayers should be burning the clown’s house down.

    Or better yet the house of the clown that got him appointed the head of Government Motors!
    (should be easy to find it is a large White House) The head clown will like be on vacation anyway.

    “Let me be clear” I do not really want anyone to burn down the white house. Just vote against your local Obama supporter in the House of reps.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (2:11 pm)

    Charlie H: They moved production to Flint partly to pick up tax abatements or credits or DOE loans. I forget which. The engine was being produced in Austria or some other Euro-zone country, so it was going to be expensive and they wanted to either move production to Aisa or, if feasible, the US. Government money made the US move possible.  (Quote)

    Wrong again, fanboy – GM’s plan was always to leverage Cruze 1.4 liter engines that were to be produced in the new Flint engine plant. They decided to delay the plants construction for a few months during Ch. 11 filing, since they could import the engines from Europe and delay the capital expenditure – this was a short term increase in the cost of the engines, but helped preserve cash. Now, get back to fixing all those recalled toyota’s, troll.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (2:17 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: I’m not sure how you get the idea that the ICE and electric traction motor and together. They are separate units.

    Aren’t they all bolted to the same transaxel housing? (The housing is just a transaxel case with some guts missing, so the motor and engine are not technically tied together mechanically.)

    Looking at the Volt PPV assembly plant movie, it’s all one assembly on the front subframe.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (2:22 pm)

    DonC:
    The engineers were right not to spend too much time of the ICE. Many people may never use the genset, and most won’t use it very often. Since EV drive gives you 80% or 90% of the benefit, increasing the efficiency of the ICE doesn’t have a lot of upside. This is another way of saying that in this case cheap and reliable beats efficiency hands down — and the 1.4L engine fits the bill.  

    I agree GM did the right thing not to waste time and effort on the ICE for Volt version 1.0. It was not the make-or-break factor necessary to solve in order to turn the EREV concept into reality.

    For future EREV generations however, this – besides battery tech – is the key area where significant gains can be made.

    An OPOC engine, with its substantial improvement in fuel economy could very well enable engineers more flexibility in programming the interaction between the range extending generator and the battery.

    For example, the OPOC may have performance characteristics that could make it more advantageous from an efficiency standpoint to change the kick-on point from 30% to, say, 25% of charge; and instead of maintaining a steady 30% charge level, the OPOC would boost it up to 40% before shutting down. Why not, if the OPOC has the balls to so do?

    From a consumer point of view, the results sought would be increased range from 40 to 45, 50, or whatever, as well as better ICE fuel economy in ER mode.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (2:25 pm)

    DonC:
    You know this is the case by looking at how they live. Every so often some media or other does an interview with a GM line worker at their house. Not so much now but it was pretty frequent during 2008-2009. If you just look at the house interior you KNOW these folks are not making $115K a year.
    If you don’t want to believe your own eyes then I guess you could rely on what Ford has said, given that its UAW agreement is more or less the same as GM’s:Under the new UAW terms, Ford said it will pay compensation of about $55 a hour, including benefits, pensions and bonuses. http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB123677910696394787.html  

    I didn’t question whether he was right or not, I questioned his assumption. Not sure you would stoop to read anything at Heritage.org, but of course they spin things differently:

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2008/12/UAW-Workers-Actually-Cost-the-Big-Three-Automakers-70-an-Hour

    They *do* have a good section of what Ford’s reports actually include in their figures.
    To me it was the ration of retiree to current employees expenses that was more important to the company’s demise, but I’m no wiz kid with econ.

    Let’s just settle on the $28-30/hour base rate and move on. Huge reach to consider it on topic anyway.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/29/AR2005042901385.html

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    John W (Tampa)

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (2:29 pm)

    neutron: I would suggest the first 40 miles is not the issue. If it is then the VOLT is really not the car for that person. Any electric 40 up to 100 plus miles electric should be the better option

    The Volt is for the average driver, the person who works 5 or 6 days a week and drives about 40 miles on those days. And who then a few times a year goes to see the parents or grandma 200 miles away. This is who the Volt is for. GM didn’t build this car for the person who drives 80 every day. Extended mode mpg really isn’t that big of an issue. It’s the first 40 gas free that is. So if GM could make the car 1 or 2 k cheaper with a very small wankel engine. And the loss is only 1 or 2 mpg’s I can totally see them going with it. Especially if there is no Volt like competition. And I don’t think there will be for at least 5 or 6 years. A low cost range extended car that gets 40 electric.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (2:35 pm)

    DonC: The problem is price. The great advantage of heavily utilizing the most expensive component of the car is lost if the car costs 30% more than a pure BEV with twice the range.

    Assuming you meant AE range, not, the car’s total range.

    The whole point of the Volt is to offset expensive battery with a range extender. I doubt we’ll see a BEV soon with 340 range. If there were a BEV with 300+ range the price would be way higher than an EREV.

    /oh wait, there is one on the drawing boards. Tesla S. But it costs $60k or more.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (2:40 pm)

    DonC: So where is the outrage? I’m waiting for it. Taxpayers should be burning the clown’s house down.

    Boy, and I was agreeing with every post you made that was on topic today! Seriously.
    I have to admit that I didn’t see the class warfare argument coming. Please go back and read the original post I was responding to. *ALL* i was questioning was the the hourly rate assumption. He was *correct*! I DID NOT bring up the hourly rate, so *I* wasn’t focusing on the little guy. I *AM* a little guy! Sheesh. Relax, DonC.

    Be much better,
    Tagamet


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    BLIND GUY

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (2:40 pm)

    #97 Chris C That’s called a “through the road” hybrid, and the control issues make me cringe.  

    Thanks, I Googled that term and learned more about the control challenges. I couldn’t find the article, but this site had an article about a company that used a similar drivetrain and GM was considering investing with them. I think even if GM had to couple the electric motor and ICE in a parallel/series system and 2WD instead of the through the road hybrid it would have advantagesof power and efficiency over the Voltech series system. I know to some people the cs mpg is not a big issue. For other people, who may drive more or want some extra power at times, this configuration might be a better choice. I can’t get a clear picture in my head how the GM 2 mode hybrid system is configured, so I don’t know if that system is the best way to go if it were coupled with a bigger battery or not. Oh well, I’m not an engineer, just a switchboard operator.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (2:55 pm)

    Tagamet: Boy, and I was agreeing with every post you made that was on topic today! Seriously.I have to admit that I didn’t see the class warfare argument coming. Please go back and read the original post I was responding to. *ALL* i was questioning was the the hourly rate assumption. He was *correct*! I DID NOT bring up the hourly rate, so *I* wasn’t focusing on the little guy. I *AM* a little guy! Sheesh. Relax, DonC.Be much better,Tagamet  (Quote)

    LOL Watch out DonC will be calling you BIG Tag next.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (3:03 pm)

    Starcast:
    LOLWatch out DonC will be calling you BIG Tag next.  

    LOL, and I’ve been dieting for the past three weeks! Give me some time, for heaven’s sake (g).
    Today’s my only day off from my SECOND part-time job. Hardly “Big Tag”

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (3:20 pm)

    Tagamet: LOL, and I’ve been dieting for the past three weeks! Give me some time, for heaven’s sake (g).Today’s my only day off from my SECOND part-time job. Hardly “Big Tag”Be well,Tagamet  (Quote)

    You “rich people” stealing jobs from the little guy. Second part time job. Don’t you know there is not enough of those “job” thingys to go around. The new “rich” more then 1 part time job,


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (3:25 pm)

    Starcast: You “rich people” stealing jobs from the little guy. Second part time job. Don’t you know there is not enough of those “job” thingys to go around. The new “rich” more then 1 part time job, Maybe we can steal more with a higher tax rate from anyone with the gall to have more then one job.

    I don’t feel guilty, because even an “undocumented worker” wouldn’t take either of these jobs @ $6/hour and 10 – 12 hour days. And yes, even this is taxed. God willing, I’ll earn my Volt.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    Tagamet: I don’t feel guilty, because even an “undocumented worker” wouldn’t take either of these jobs @ $6/hour and 10 – 12 hour days. And yes, even this is taxed. God willing, I’ll earn my Volt.Be well,Tagamet  (Quote)

    I understand. all joking aside. At this point I only work so I can keep paying my employees. There is no money left for me. But how do you tell someone thats worked for you for many years your closing the doors? I might have to when we don’t make enough to pay the overhead.
    Worse part I work more hours now then I have in years, just to keep things going.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (3:41 pm)

    Guido: Wrong again, fanboy – GM’s plan was always to leverage Cruze 1.4 liter engines that were to be produced in the new Flint engine plant. They decided to delay the plants construction for a few months during Ch. 11 filing, since they could import the engines from Europe and delay the capital expenditure – this was a short term increase in the cost of the engines, but helped preserve cash. Now, get back to fixing all those recalled toyota’s, troll.  (Quote)

    One could spend a lifetime reading the different articles found when one googles “gm tax credit.” There’s PLENTY of taxpayer skin in the game, even before Volt #1 rolls off the assembly line.

    And for what? Considering only the $7500 tax credit, the subsidy per gallon of fuel use avoided by buying a Volt could easily be $10! And there’s hardly a dent in CO2 emissions, besides.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (3:43 pm)

    Guido: Wrong again, fanboy – GM’s plan was always to leverage Cruze 1.4 liter engines that were to be produced in the new Flint engine plant.

    No. he’s talking about before that decision was made. The 1.0 L turbo.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (3:44 pm)

    stuart22: I agree GM did the right thing not to waste time and effort on the ICE for Volt version 1.0. It was not the make-or-break factor necessary to solve in order to turn the EREV concept into reality. For future EREV generations however, this – besides battery tech – is the key area where significant gains can be made.An OPOC engine, with its substantial improvement in fuel economy could very well enable engineers more flexibility in programming the interaction between the range extending generator and the battery.For example, the OPOC may have performance characteristics that could make it more advantageous from an efficiency standpoint to change the kick-on point from 30% to, say, 25% of charge; and instead of maintaining a steady 30% charge level, the OPOC would boost it up to 40% before shutting down. Why not, if the OPOC has the balls to so do?From a consumer point of view, the results sought would be increased range from 40 to 45, 50, or whatever, as well as better ICE fuel economy in ER mode.  (Quote)

    Has Ecomotor actually pushed a real vehicle a significant distance with an OPOC drivetrain, yet?


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (3:50 pm)

    Guido: Wrong again, fanboy – GM’s plan was always to leverage Cruze 1.4 liter engines that were to be produced in the new Flint engine plant. They decided to delay the plants construction for a few months during Ch. 11 filing, since they could import the engines from Europe and delay the capital expenditure – this was a short term increase in the cost of the engines, but helped preserve cash. Now, get back to fixing all those recalled toyota’s, troll.  (Quote)

    I received a recall notice for my Sienna the other day. After 10 years, they think they should inspect and maybe replace the cable that holds the spare tire up. I’m soooo bummed.

    Of course, if GM had been sending recall notices for parts on their cars that weren’t holding up well after a decade, GM might have gotten enough repeat business to avoid bankruptcy. As it was, GM was perfectly happy to bake decades of problems into their cars, let the execs cash big checks based on “cost savings” and take their chances with repeat business down the road.

    Surprisingly, this “plan” turned out to be suboptimal.


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    DonC

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (3:54 pm)

    Tagamet: I DID NOT bring up the hourly rate, so *I* wasn’t focusing on the little guy. I *AM* a little guy! Sheesh. Relax, DonC.

    This wasn’t directed at you specifically. Sorry if you thought it was. And yes, I have some idea of your situation. It’s just the whole discussion of production line worker pay rates was just a reminder of how differently the US media treats top managers as opposed to guys who have to get sweaty to earn a living.

    We seem to be fixated on the wage rate for working folks when the big problem is obviously on the management side. How many times have you heard from the US media what a stinker Whitacre has been? I’ve haven’t seen or heard a thing. So where is the WSJ? We had to wait for a UK based financial publication to point out the obvious — that Whitacre has damaged taxpayers while enriching himself. It’s crazy there is so little said about this.

    When GM went into bankruptcy there was no end to the discussion about wages. To some extent that was reasonable since it’s hard for a company to compete with wage rates so much higher than the competition. However, there wan’t anything said about GM management which lost $42B in a few years and completely wiped out shareholder value. In fact there was a lot of sympathy for those who should have been fired years before. And if you look at Ford, which was in worse shape than GM when Mulally took over, it’s hard to argue that good management couldn’t have avoided a lot of the problems.

    Here’s my metaphor for how the US media approached GM’s failures. I once lived on a little island and commuted to Seattle by ferry. The ferry captains, who were probably making $150K a year, with great benefits, went on strike. This was obviously hard on commuters since your alternatives were to stay in town or drive all around Puget Sound. Not surprisingly people got pretty whacked off. Anyway, when the strike ended all the well heeled commuters streamed onto the first ferry, where some of us saw fit to push the deck hands, who made maybe $15K a year and had never gone on strike, around, roughing them up.

    One step worse than shooting the messenger is shooting the wrong messenger.

    But again, none of this was directed at you.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (3:57 pm)

    Starcast: LOL Watch out DonC will be calling you BIG Tag next.  

    I kinda like the ring of “Big Tag”! Think I’ll go with it.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (3:58 pm)

    Related topic:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704476104575439723695579664.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    Related in the sense that the Volt is probably an excellent case study (for better or worse or both) of how to manage “creative destruction.” What extended range engine to use, how much $ to invest in battery R&D, what pace to have, etc. are all decisions that may make or break GM’s foray into electrification. All from one of the companies that developed 20th century management.

    Here’s to hoping that they can lead the development of 21st century management, too. Using this website of Lyle’s would help, IMO. You’ve got current customers, prospective customers, engineering talent, marketing talent and more here. With enthusiasm. Hell, you REALLY want to know what stick-shift to use? Poll the choices here and you’ll have your answer in under a day. How’s that for reducing time-to-mkt?


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    steve

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:04 pm)

    Robert: Can’t believe they would seriously consider a wankel engine they get terrible gas milage and burn oil too. Gas turbine sounds interesting, they are extremely efficient plus the Volt would sound like the batmobile:)  (Quote)

    Problem with a gas turbine is cost. I’d guess the smallest micro turbine from Capstone or another company costs more than the entire Volt. There have been a number of experiments by a number of car companies with turbines and turbine -electric hybrids.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:05 pm)

    Loboc: /oh wait, there is one on the drawing boards. Tesla S. But it costs $60k or more.  

    If the Model S ever sees the light of day the base model with the 125 mile range will probably be closer to $80k than $60K. Add a battery pack for those kinds of models and you’ll get to Roadster price territory. (Not exactly sure where they’d all go either).

    Then there is the time to charge that baby. At 4 miles/ kWh how large a pack would you need? 85 kWh? Even with a 6.6 kW charger you’d be waiting 12+ hours.

    Where is DaveG with those spreadsheets? LOL


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:11 pm)

    What? No two stroke? ;)

    Regardless of engine type, Gen II should be a flex fuel engine. With recent advances (and GM investments) in cellulosic ethanol this would be a natural advancement towards the goal of fuel independence.


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    George

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:12 pm)

    Jason M. Hendler: How could I forget one of my favorite range extender techs?COMPRESSED AIR:http://www.patrickblampied.com/_engineair/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=2  (Quote)

    I agree Jason that this is certainly worth looking into for the Volt’s range-extension technology.

    Perhaps a small 2-cylinder engine running on gas/ethanol could be supplemented with a rotary compressed air engine? The two engines could kick in simultaneously after 40 miles AER.

    Today’s submissions are interesting. I’d like to see follow-up articles sometime soon on both eestor and the new GM IPO. Best of luck to GM!!

    George, Canada


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    Loboc

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:12 pm)

    Bummer moment of the day.

    Hmmm… Gas prices are going down pretty fast. $2.35 this morning.

    http://www.fortworthgasprices.com/

    That combined with the other weaknesses in the economy don’t bode well for electric vehicles.

    We’ll see in a month or so if we eat or buy cars.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:21 pm)

    DonC:
    I think this is a given, but Darius at #7 has it right — take the costs out!.No matter how reliable the genset is, GM isn’t going to sell 100K of these things a year at $41K. Just not happening. They need to get the base model to $36K, which they should be able to do without great difficulty if they ramp up the production.The engineers were right not to spend too much time of the ICE. Many people may never use the genset, and most won’t use it very often. Since EV drive gives you 80% or 90% of the benefit, increasing the efficiency of the ICE doesn’t have a lot of upside. This is another way of saying that in this case cheap and reliable beats efficiency hands down — and the 1.4L engine fits the bill.  

    I really agree with that DonC. And, I really like the fact that the high production numbered
    engine can have a great economy of scale for replacement ***GM parts*** when or if it begins to wear out in 30 years.
    (LOL!). Especially since the duty cycle is likely to be less than 20% for most people.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:27 pm)

    Loboc: Hmmm… Gas prices are going down pretty fast. $2.35 this morning.
    http://www.fortworthgasprices.com/
    That combined with the other weaknesses in the economy don’t bode well for electric vehicles.

    But what will the gas price be in several years, when there are more material quantities of electric vehicles available? If low, there may finally be a decent chance to tax it higher, or at least provide a financially stronger GM, thru increased sales of higher-margin larger vehicles, more money to pursue electric programs.

    If high, then there would be a better matching of demand with supply.

    Either way, gotta think that vehicle makers will be more diversified than ever.


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    IQ130

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:28 pm)

    May be GM can use the new Two-Cylinder 85 HP TWIN-AIR Engine from Fiat.


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    Grady C

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:31 pm)

    Motor Mechanic: The ICE in the current Volt is truly and abomination. How any competent engineering team could put this unfortunate piece of iron in an otherwise forward-looking design is beyond belief.

    I suggest the engineering team was on crack or something similar at the time. There can be no other explanation. Even greenhorns fresh out of mechanical engineering curriculum would never put such an incompetent motor in this role. It is a total travesty and makes one question the entire Volt program

    What’s so terribly wrong with this motor?


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    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:38 pm)

    #109 Loboc:
    Aren’t they all bolted to the same transaxel housing? (The housing is just a transaxel case with some guts missing, so the motor and engine are not technically tied together mechanically.)
    Looking at the Volt PPV assembly plant movie, it’s all one assembly on the front subframe.  

    NO! There is no mechanical connection between the ICE and the electric traction motor. The only connection between them are the wires that take the current from the motor/generator through the electronic controller to the electric traction motor. The controller determines whether the electricity from the generator goes to the traction motor or to the battery. As discussed here many times, if the generator is putting out more current than the traction motor needs, the excess is fed into the battery. A series EV is driven only by electricity; the range extender is just putting out the electricity and there is no mechanical connection between the two different motors.

    I used the following link in my previous post to show that they are separate units:

    http://gm-volt.com/2008/09/27/how-charging-of-the-battery-works-in-the-chevy-volt/

    This link explains how the battery charging works but it also makes clear that the range extender is a separate machine from the traction motor. Again, I hope this helps you better understand how the Voltec drive train works.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:39 pm)

    Post script to my above post.

    Also, DonC, I agree that if GM got the price down for a base model at $36,000,
    “*the crowd would go wild*”.

    I think I’d die and go to heaven at a base price of $36,000.

    Wait, I live in Texas already.

    (People in Texas are so nice that you feel like you’re living in heaven, hence, our pun-phrase;
    “If you’re really good, when you die, you can go to Texas”.)

    It could not possibly get better than that: Volt & Texas.

    At $36,000, it will clearly be “all over” for the competition to ever catch up!!


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:43 pm)

    Grady C:
    What’s so terribly wrong with this motor?  

    Nothing at all. It’s a great engine!! He’s just being silly.


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:44 pm)

    DonC:
    I kinda like the ring of “Big Tag”! Think I’ll go with it.  

    Not and live (g).

    Be well,
    THE Tag


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    George

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:44 pm)

    OT
    I miss Statik around here. I was just reading a article at his site on Nissan’s production levels, and he puts this statement out in the discussion just like it was no big deal at all about the Volt:

    “That kind of information isn’t just left lying around, or let out into the public, that there is production problems imo.

    As a example about being tight lipped and possbily being behind schedule, I got some info from a worker at Dham (facility that is building the Volt) yesterday about Chevy’s EREV—that they haven’t said anything at all hardly about the build out, they are still running one shift (building Buick/Cadillac), Chevy finally just added a few new hires last week for the shift (but might not still be anything to do with the Volt), but at the same time, went from producing a handful of Volt test cars in one week, to making nothing at all recently. Might be nothing, might be something, but that is the intimacy you need to have on the ground to even get a shred of knowledge…and that is just for information about cars GM is supposed to deliver two months from now, not March.

    Then there was the whole ‘upping’ production speech from 12,000 in FY 2010, FY 2011 by Ghosn a month or so ago. So, it just doesn’t add up to me. And really, do we even want to labor under that cloud if we don’t have to?”
    http://nissan-leaf.net/2010/08/23/nissan-to-deliver-most-cars-from-reservation-list-in-model-year-2011/comment-page-1/#comment-8899

    Do we ever hear about the plant? What else is just sitting around in his head? F-n annoying.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:49 pm)

    Starcast:
    I understand. all joking aside. At this point I only work so I can keep paying my employees. There is no money left for me. But how do you tell someone thats worked for you for many years your closing the doors? I might have to when we don’t make enough to pay the overhead.
    Worse part I work more hours now then I have in years, just to keep things going.  

    Sheesh, if I’d have known you were one of those rich Boss Guys, I’d have never replied (lol). Although I’ve never *been* a boss (other than my own, in private practice), I can pretty well figure out who it is that *hires* people. It’s incredibly honorable that you continue the struggle. I suspect that your workers know and appreciate it as well. (November is coming).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (4:53 pm)

    I’d believe Nissan when I see it.
    Knowing all the outstanding design criteria that GM has utilized down through the last
    40 years of my working on all of them, I’m here for Volt for all those powerfully-
    competent and competitive reasons. GM takes care of it’s customers for new techs
    within these new design parameters better than any other OEM. New technologies from any
    other OEM are not just a little bit scary from what I’ve seen down through these last 4 decades.
    Over 100 years of design strength prove it every day to me.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (5:01 pm)

    Not sure. The link posted earlier showed a video that was made a few years ago. And your question isn’t exactly relevant – the motor would not be driving a vehicle – it will be driving a generator.


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    Dave K.

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (5:14 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: I went through the module for “Ordering and Allocation”. About 2/3rds through they talk about the demo program.

    Checked on this today. The word I have is that GM technicians will have a dealer based car to train on in November. This is the demo car. Also asked about options. No final pricing yet. But, sales mentioned ballpark pricing to similar features on other models.

    No further information regarding specific representatives being assigned to individual Volt order numbers.

    =D-Volt


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    koz

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (5:32 pm)

    Motor Mechanic: The ICE in the current Volt is truly and abomination. How any competent engineering team could put this unfortunate piece of iron in an otherwise forward-looking design is beyond belief.
    I suggest the engineering team was on crack or something similar at the time. There can be no other explanation. Even greenhorns fresh out of mechanical engineering curriculum would never put such an incompetent motor in this role. It is a total travesty and makes one question the entire Volt program.
    GM -1

    Grady C: What’s so terribly wrong with this motor?  (Quote)

    It’s being observed by a “crack whore”.


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (5:40 pm)

    Dave K.: Checked on this today. The word I have is that GM technicians will have a dealer based car to train on in November. This is the demo car. Also asked about options. No final pricing yet. But, sales mentioned ballpark pricing to similar features on other models. No further information regarding specific representatives being assigned to individual Volt order numbers. =D-Volt  (Quote)

    Interesting. I think it’s a good idea that the service guys first crack at the VOLT systems. After a couple weeks of that, my service manager would be happy to throw me the keys!


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (5:52 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: After a couple weeks of that, my service manager would be happy to throw me the keys!

    I hate you.

    Tagamet

    /oh,….. ok, be well too.


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    EricLG

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:23 pm)

    Admitting that the current ICE will be a poor performer just before launch is a real eye-opener. I cannot imagine their marketing dept is too overjoyed. I’ll guess it means that the overall design intent to run the ICE as a rpm limited “generator” failed in real-world testing.

    Dunno why — I had myself somewhat convinced the idea was sound so long as heavy conversion losses were accepted.


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:24 pm)

    no … voting … must neg trolls … Auggghhh!!!!

    Charlie H, go take a flying leap.

    Dum dum, put your head up your bum bum.

    “Motor Mechanic,” at least try using a little imagination.

    … so, when will voting be fixed?

    (taps fingers nervously)


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:28 pm)

    Brian: Seems like the OPOC engine would be a great choice. Light and could burn all most anthing and higher efficencyhttp://www.engineeringtv.com/video/Opposed-Piston-Opposed-Cylinder  

    That OPOC engine sounds pretty good. When Bill Gates and Vinod Khosla start investing in an engine like this it can’t be all bad. I’m sure Gates and Khosla can pick up the phone and talk to the best scientists and engineers in the world about this stuff.

    http://www.greencarreports.com/blog/1047122_bill-gates-backs-ecomotors-new-opoc-engine-with-23-5-million-investment

    Having a super efficient engine that QUIETLY runs using several types of liquid fuel sounds exactly like what GM should be looking for in next generation Volt EREV vehicles.

    http://www.ecomotors.com/technology

    “Opposed-Piston Opposed-Cylinder Engine
    This patented design creates a ground-breaking internal combustion engine family that will run on a number of different fuels, including gasoline, diesel and ethanol. The engine operates on the 2-cycle principle, generating one power stroke per crank revolution per cylinder. It comprises two opposing cylinders per module, with a crankshaft between them, and each cylinder has two pistons moving in opposite directions.

    This innovative design configuration eliminates the cylinder-head and valve-train components of conventional engines, offering an EFFICIENT, COMPACT and SIMPLE core engine structure. The result is an engine family that is LIGHTER, more efficient and economical, with LOWER EXHAUST EMISSIONS compared with conventional designs. Here you can see this revolutionary 2-stroke engine in operation, which helps to illustrate the simplicity, elegance and compactness of its design.”


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:31 pm)

    Dave K.: Checked on this today. The word I have is that GM technicians will have a dealer based car to train on in November. This is the demo car. Also asked about options. No final pricing yet. But, sales mentioned ballpark pricing to similar features on other models.
    No further information regarding specific representatives being assigned to individual Volt order numbers.

    Well, that’s one data point. CorvetteGuy’s data point says is that they won’t get a car for dealer purposes until March. My data point, from my dealer, is that they won’t get one either, and they DID have final pricing, and I DID get a Workbench order number. So apparently YMMV.

    Perhaps there’s going to be a demo car(s) going on a tour around country to dealerships, stopping for a day or so at each one to train techs. That would fit all of the data points so far.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:38 pm)

    Loboc:
    Agree completely.
    Pure CS mode is irrelevant to the real world and we gotta stop asking for the number.
    This car will never operate in pure CS mode for more than a few minutes at a time.

    This statement is 100% false in my opinion. The only way that statement makes sense is if I’m a marketing guy for GM and the CS mpg is disappointingly low.

    The Volt is being marketed as an extended range electric vehicle. One that is capable of being operated like any other ICE vehicle in the world. Just imagine for a second that if the CS fuel efficiency is say 10 mpg then the Volt still might make sense as a commuter car for those 75% of people that drive less that 40 miles a day on average. But it would be a horrendous choice for people that routinely drive 100 miles a day. So how can you say CS mpg irrelevant?

    Second of all, once the battery reaches customer empty 100% of the power to drive the vehicle comes from the ICE. Even if it’s buffered by the battery over short transients, but the overall fuel efficiency of the Volt is driven by the ICE, (no pun intended).

    Even if electricity were free (and my employer has FREE outlets to plug in!) I care about how much gasoline I’m going to burn if I want to drive the Volt 3,000 miles across country on a trip; which is something I routinely do today.

    I have many cars to choose from and I choose the most efficient one for my needs. I am tired of hearing that CS mileage doesn’t matter. I’m staring to believe that GM moles are on this site implanting that message. I refuse to drink the kool-aid. Just tell us the fuel efficiency of the ICE already.


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    Tagamet

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:52 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): … no … voting … must neg trolls … Auggghhh!!!!Charlie H, go take a flying leap.Dum dum, put your head up your bum bum.“Motor Mechanic,” at least try using a little imagination.… so, when will voting be fixed?(taps fingers nervously)  

    Is it broken, or “disabled”? Most people didn’t neg the trolls off the island anyway. Unfortunately, the alternative to neg’s is people yammering at each other (which is troll food).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:53 pm)

    I’d be surprised if the CS mode mpg for the Volt is less than 40 mpg. Keep in mind that the Volt will have a Sport mode. If you keep it in Sport mode, your mileage will be less (I think). I think one of the reasons that GM and the government aren’t telling us is because it is complicated. The Volt sticker where the MPG information is will be different. They need to decide how to do it.

    If the average CS mode mpg for the Volt is over 50 mpg then it beats the Prius’ 48 mpg. That will be a big marketing advantage to advertise. They could say the Volt is ALWAYS more efficient than the Prius … even when the IC engine is making the electricity to make the Volt run.


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    Dave K.

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (6:59 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Interesting. I think it’s a good idea that the service guys first crack at the VOLT systems. After a couple weeks of that, my service manager would be happy to throw me the keys!

    Contacted SCE today to inquire about EV recharge rates.

    They asked what vehicle will be charged. And if the existing service will handle it. SCE said that an electrician can run a new line to the EV (if needed). When this is done call SCE for a service person to come out and install a meter for EV monitoring (for free). This meter will be next to the existing meter (outside the building). Once this is set up. A special rate will apply to off peak charging. I believe this is 6PM to 10AM. Approximately equivilant to tier one pricing. This would be 88 cents per charge during the Winter months. And $1 per charge in Summer.

    =D-Volt


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:05 pm)

    jscott1000: …I have many cars to choose from and I choose the most efficient one for my needs. I am tired of hearing that CS mileage doesn’t matter. I’m staring to believe that GM moles are on this site implanting that message. I refuse to drink the kool-aid. Just tell us the fuel efficiency of the ICE already.

    I was following you until this part, then your tinfoil hat got crooked, or something. I don’t think that many folks contend that the CS mode is unimportant and surely it’s not irrelevant. Check the thread where people have posted their guesses about CS mode mpg (hint: no one guessed 10). I’d love to see a show of hands of those people here who think that burning gas isn’t important…. JMO.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:09 pm)

    jscott1000: I have many cars to choose from and I choose the most efficient one for my needs. I am tired of hearing that CS mileage doesn’t matter. I’m staring to believe that GM moles are on this site implanting that message. I refuse to drink the kool-aid. Just tell us the fuel efficiency of the ICE already.

    No Mole here.

    Not only is CS-mode relevant, I’ll go so far as to say that it won’t be quite as disappointing as all that. We’ve had troll-talk argue us down from 50+ to 50, to 40, 30-ish; even 20s (yours was the first official cracking of the 10mpg barrier, but I think you were just going for the hyperbole, lol).

    The ‘germ of truth’ for the most convincing of the troll-talk is the nine gallon tank and announced 340 mile range (including full batteries). However, we also have Tony Posawatz telling us that the Volt was “on target” for meeting it’s unofficial benchmark of 50mpg, not long ago. Also, virtually all the cars sold in the US for a generation or more have a couple gallons of ‘reserve.’

    We also know from quite far back that the fuel system is pressurized, in order to help the gas last longer. Since a liquid is practically incompressible, “pressurization” must refer to a certain amount of ‘empty space’ above the tank’s full-fuel level. Most recently, we saw (through one of Corvette Guy’s internal overview docs) that people who rarely drive long distances will be advised to keep the gas tank one third full. This prompts me to wonder just how much of the nine gallon capacity consists of fuel when it is “filled”. Alternatively, could it be that the owners’ manual will advise that the tank should only be filled completely during a long trip, with no recharge anticipated? What if the routine recommended level is 5 gallons’ worth (roughly two-thirds full)?

    Perhaps most telling of all was my personal experience watching several high-up GM engineers (including Tony) react to the CS-mode question. They obviously feel on a deep level that the Volt is an electric vehicle first and foremost, and that any suggestion of routinely running it for it’s CS-mode performance alone would virtually be a form of sacrilege. The idea seemed to physically pain them.

    There is more than enough still unknown to make a case for strong CS-mode mpg, and I still hold out for this until facts lay my hopes to rest.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:20 pm)

    Tagamet: Not and live (g).

    Lots of possibilities. Just as there must me a positron if there is an electron, so must there be a “Little Tag” for every “Big Tag”! Nominations are open.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:39 pm)

    Hey, what happened to the post about the test drive at AOL autos? It’s great. My favorite is seeing Valerie Boatman’s face as the AOL dude turns the wheel to and fro. Looks like she’s thinking: “Am I going to get out of this alive?”. Very funny. Also gotta love how as the drive goes on she keeps turning towards the passenger door. No “Little Tag” here.

    The 0-60 times were interesting. I logged 2:10 when he said “start” and 8:53 when he said “60″. That’s under SEVEN seconds. That’s unbelievable. What did you guys get?

    The MPG in CS Mode is kinda hard to figure because he’s going back and forth between different rides with different people so no telling what is up. Anyone have any comments about the “lifetime” MPG saying 75?

    Great review though. He thought it verged on sporty though it wasn’t a sports car. Not bad. Very exciting.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:41 pm)

    Ok, guess I’m seeing mirages here, could have sworn somebody just posted a link showing evidence of the Volt’s mpg as 27.3.

    5:51 into this video

    http://translogic.aolautos.com/


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    Tagamet

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:42 pm)

    DonC:
    Lots of possibilities. Just as there must me a positron if there is an electron, so must there be a “Little Tag” for every “Big Tag”! Nominations are open.  

    Or an infinite number of Tag’s in the multiverse = and all just one centimeter to the -47th power apart!
    (Boy, are *we* OT)(lol)
    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:45 pm)

    On the AOL video,

    Looks like they weren’t hitting it hard while in CD mode (43.7 miles AER) so you might assume the same style of driving once the genset kicked in.
    - 16.1 miles of driving in CS mode is long enough to get a decent mpg readout
    - 78 degrees so no temperature extreme to push the results around


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    DonO

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:46 pm)

    It says my original post is “awaiting moderation”. I agree it was very funny to see her being tossed around with pursed lips wanting to scream.
    Carcus Thats unless the CD mode can be much better than 40 miles


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    Dave K.

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:47 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): There is more than enough still unknown to make a case for strong CS-mode mpg, and I still hold out for this until facts lay my hopes to rest.

    A 1.4L gasoline engine generator running at 1800 RPM is very efficient. I believe 42 mpg CS for the Volt will be common. With 50 mpg CS at boulevard speeds (40 mph-50 mph). And as little as 32 mpg when bashing the throttle and/or while in mountain mode pre-charge.

    A 60 or 70 mile drive will easily measure triple digit mpg. A 100 mile drive should net about 80 mpg – 90 mpg. Most driving being done with no liquid fuel being used.

    I’m okay with these numbers. Especially being that ALL the driving is done under smooth, quiet, high torque electric drive. No buzzy, sluggish, 4 cylinder econo box here.

    =D-Volt


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (7:55 pm)

    DonO: Carcus Thats unless the CD mode can be much better than 40 miles

    That’s a fair point.

    But if that’s happening I would lean more towards ‘greater than 8 kwhs available’ than ‘surprisingly efficient wh/mile efficiency’. Some ‘in the know types’ seem to be hinting that direction lately.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:02 pm)

    DonC: Anyone have any comments about the “lifetime” MPG saying 75?

    The mysterious disappearance of that original link was amusing. Speculation. Raising Doubt. Claiming FUD. We’ve seen it all. That’s going to continue for quite awhile.

    As for the 75, that was interesting. That just happens to be the overall (annual, taking all seasons into account) anticipated average for the PHV model Prius. My 316.5 MPG miles of driving one, spanning a variety of different conditions, resulted in 84.0 MPG. So, that may indeed be realistic. Won’t be able to confirm that for quite awhile either.

    What we can be certain of is the promoting Volt to consumers is impaired by not having answers to particular questions. Not knowing puts supporters in a difficult position…


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:02 pm)

    Far to many unknowns to gleam any true information, but a good video non the less. And a little funny.
    Anyone know how a car is typicaly tested at the Milford proving grounds? From what I’ve seen here and in the past it’s usually pretty agresive stuff and hence the lifetime 75 mpg reading. This could be the drive hard mule Volt.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:06 pm)

    DonC: Hey, what happened to the post about the test drive at AOL autos? It’s great. My favorite is seeing Valerie Boatman’s face as the AOL dude turns the wheel to and fro. Looks like she’s thinking: “Am I going to get out of this alive?”. Very funny. Also gotta love how as the drive goes on she keeps turning towards the passenger door. No “Little Tag” here.The 0-60 times were interesting. I logged 2:10 when he said “start” and 8:53 when he said “60″. That’s under SEVEN seconds. That’s unbelievable. What did you guys get?The MPG in CS Mode is kinda hard to figure because he’s going back and forth between different rides with different people so no telling what is up. Anyone have any comments about the “lifetime” MPG saying 75?Great review though. He thought it verged on sporty though it wasn’t a sports car. Not bad. Very exciting.  

    That Valerie Boatman was worth the view (g), and yes, she sure did look a little unsettled by his driving. The reviewer did seem stuck on the word “impressive”, but I can really relate to how tough it is to find words to describe the drive. I’d suggest that people take a look at the clip with the sound *off*, and just watch the driver’s face. Thousands of micro-expressions which really convey the feeling.
    HEY, the +/-’s work!
    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    steve

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:11 pm)

    neutron: That is a very interesting comment about a turbine’s possibilities.Would a turbine be quiet?Is it true a turbine could burn almost any fuel?Is there an issue of a turbine coming up to speed?Just Curious…. :+}  (Quote)

    Coming up to speed wouldn’t be a problem in a generator application like this. Cost of the turbine would be.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:11 pm)

    Chris C.:
    Well, that’s one data point.CorvetteGuy’s data point says is that they won’t get a car for dealer purposes until March.My data point, from my dealer, is that they won’t get one either, and they DID have final pricing, and I DID get a Workbench order number.So apparently YMMV.Perhaps there’s going to be a demo car(s) going on a tour around country to dealerships, stopping for a day or so at each one to train techs.That would fit all of the data points so far.  

    Well, I’m still crapper out about the demo. I’m not sure what to believe. I have a dozen customers I promised demos for if ours arrived before theirs, and our dealership is big with local government, so I had planned some promotions to city, county and state officials that now has to be pushed back 4 months or so.

    I still want to know what happens to the 400 preproduction cars. They didn’t crash test all of them. Why can’t the dealers get one of those?


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    DonC

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:12 pm)

    DonO: It says my original post is “awaiting moderation”.

    Must have taken a few seconds before moderation kicked in and I just happened to catch it. Nice cite BTW.

    One interesting piece of information was how Mountain Mode works. He said if you kicked it in 10 miles from when you started climbing the ICE would kick on if necessary and build the battery charge up so you’d have “45% or something” when you started the climb. Neat. I liked how he was emphatic about saying that they had done it.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:14 pm)

    Tagamet: I’d suggest that people take a look at the clip with the sound *off*, and just watch the driver’s face.

    That’s an interesting observation. Great suggestion! Haven’t done it but I will. He did seem surprised more than a few times.

    CorvetteGuy: Well, I’m still crapper out about the demo. I’m not sure what to believe

    Speaking of videos, you need to look at the AOL video for the 0-60 run. Looks like under seven seconds.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:15 pm)

    Tagamet: Valerie Boatman was worth the view (g), and yes, she sure did look a little unsettled by his driving.

    What a great video. Noticed the delayed timer on the 0-60 sport mode run. Being 6′ 1″ @ 185 lbs am happy to hear that head and elbow room are good. The leather seats look very inviting. Go Volt! Bring it for Christmas!

    =D-Volt

    off to the gym…


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    GM Volt Fan

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:21 pm)

    I just saw that AOL Autos video of the Volt test drive. It’s good. I just wish GM could shave ONE second off that 0-60 mph time. Under 7 seconds would be awesome. GM should also keep putting engineers like Valerie Boatman in their test drive videos. She makes the Volt look even better. :)

    http://translogic.aolautos.com/2010/08/23/translogic-5-4/


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    ed

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:23 pm)

    “…they have gone on record saying it will be better than any other car in its size class.”

    and that would be ?


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:31 pm)

    BTW,

    When I time his audio track (foot hitting the floor to him saying 60) I get 10.5 seconds.

    http://translogic.aolautos.com/

    6:04 ish

    (I have no idea what’s going on with the aol video stopwatch)
    /I’m assuming the audio isn’t edited, i.e. the audio track is continuous


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:38 pm)

    Yep, voting appears to be working again. I went to vote a +1 on Charlie H’s comment #18 and it appeared to register a -1. But what actually happened is that others here are also going up and voting their +/- opinions, and apparently I’m in the minority on comment #18. I thought it was good info. Keep an open mind.

    Now off to time that AOL video for myself :)


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    JEC

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:38 pm)

    “GM has not officially announced CS MPG though they have gone on record saying it will be better than any other car in its size class.”

    So, would SIZE include weight? If you find a car that weighs what a Volt does, you will be sorely disappointed in mpg. Hopefully they are saying physical size, being length/width/height, which would put it at a minimum of a Corolla/Civic, at about 35 mpg combined.


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    Zachary Taylor (Jackson)

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:43 pm)

    Hooray! Voting is back!

    edit –> find: Charlie

    neg

    find next

    neg

    find next

    neg

    … curiously refreshing!


  181. 181
    Baltimore17

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:45 pm)

    jscott1000:
    This statement is 100% false in my opinion.The only way that statement makes sense is if I’m a marketing guy for GM and the CS mpg is disappointingly low.
    The Volt is being marketed as an extended range electric vehicle.One that is capable of being operated like any other ICE vehicle in the world.Just imagine for a second that if the CS fuel efficiency is say 10 mpg then the Volt still might make sense as a commuter car for those 75% of people that drive less that 40 miles a day on average.But it would be a horrendous choice for people that routinely drive 100 miles a day.So how can you say CS mpg irrelevant?Second of all, once the battery reaches customer empty 100% of the power to drive the vehicle comes from the ICE.Even if it’s buffered by the battery over short transients, but the overall fuel efficiency of the Volt is driven by the ICE, (no pun intended).Even if electricity were free (and my employer has FREE outlets to plug in!) I care about how much gasoline I’m going to burn if I want to drive the Volt 3,000 miles across country on a trip; which is something I routinely do today.I have many cars to choose from and I choose the most efficient one for my needs.I am tired of hearing that CS mileage doesn’t matter.I’m staring to believe that GM moles are on this site implanting that message.I refuse to drink the kool-aid.Just tell us the fuel efficiency of the ICE already.  

    So you routinely drive your car 3000 miles across the country? Get a Jetta TDI. No electric vehicle, including hybrids and plug-ins, is appropriate for you. Routinely? Really? Like several times a year? Wow.

    OK, if the Volt got 10 MPG in charge sustaining mode and the owner drove 100 miles a day, he’d average 16.7 MPG. But let’s be realistic.

    If the CS mileage is 20 MPG, he’d average a little north of 33 MPG.

    If the CS mileage is 30 MPG (maybe the bottom end of plausible), he’d average 50 MPG. Hmmm, better than all but a very few cars.

    If the CS mode is 40 MPG, he’d average 66 MPG. Wow, 66 MPG; that’s a lot better for this guy than pretty much any other car he could buy.

    All of that is by your rules. Now, what about the person who drives a greater than average 50 miles a day? “The Volt still might make sense as a commuter car for those 75% of people that drive less that 40 miles a day”. Is 30 MPG in CS operation “disappointingly low” enough? Well that 50 mile person is averaging 150 MPG.

    See, I’m not a GM marketing type nor a GM mole. I’m an engineer who spent a lot of years paying attention in math courses, who understands how anyone can cook numbers to make something look bad (100 mile drives with 10 MPG is just plain irrelevant), and who understands that the CS mode is relevant only to someone who regularly drives 3000 miles after a single overnight charge. Congratulations. Volkswagen gets one TDI sale and GM loses one Volt sale. But for the other 99 percent of us who commute 100 miles or less per day, even a “disappointingly low” CS mileage rating will return fantastic average fuel economy.

    Go to CorvetteGuy’s dealer web site at http://allnewchevyvolt.com/ Scroll down near the bottom. He has a bar graph that shows that he gets it. Take a look at it. Understand it. And when some friend who drives 100 miles a day asks about the Volt, don’t tell him that “it would be a horrendous choice”. Because it won’t be.


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    carcus3

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:46 pm)

    ed: “…they have gone on record saying it will be better than any other car in its size class.”
    and that would be ?  

    32 mpg city/hwy combined

    not hybrid, not diesel, compact class


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    Paul Stoller

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:51 pm)

    Dmitrii: /just read information about IPOAVERAGE PLANT WORKER SALARY 55$ PER HOUR??!! That’s crazy. With such labor prices bankruptcy of usa-based companies is inevitable, because of laws of market economy and capitalism.I – engineer-designer of automation of gas/oil refining plants and wells with master degree and 2 years of experience – earn 2,5 $ per hour (after tax). Factory workers earn less.PS. At the beginning (concept times) Volt prices was announced as ~20K, and that was before economy crisis, when USD cost was 2/3 of what it is now, plus salaries were higher. At that time I thought it would be possible for me to make enough money to buy an electric car.  

    That amount is not the hourly rate it includes the costs of all benefits as well, many time the health benefits and what not are as much as the hourly. I mean it’s broken out per hour but that’s not the average for their take home pay I don’t believe. The contract the unions signed pre bankruptcy brought GM’s wages inline with the other manufacturers (that produce vehicles in the US.)


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:52 pm)

    What a time waster, always looking at this little mpg mystery. Kind of like poison ivy that you can’t stop scratching.

    All evidence has pointed towards 30 to 35 mpg (and maybe even a little worse) for quite some time.

    scratch , scratch, scratch …….

    DANG!!

    scratch, scratch, scratch …….


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:55 pm)

    I now hope GM will finally release that official window sticker MPG chart.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:57 pm)

    carcus3: BTW,When I time his audio track (foot hitting the floor to him saying 60) I get 10.5 seconds.http://translogic.aolautos.com/6:04 ish(I have no idea what’s going on with the aol video stopwatch)
    /I’m assuming the audio isn’t edited, i.e. the audio track is continuous  

    I found it hard to actually time it. I got 8 seconds, others got under that and you’re over. I wouldn’t hang my hat on that video.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Baltimore17

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (8:58 pm)

    Dan Petit: Post script to my above post.Also, DonC,I agree that if GM got the price down for a base model at $36,000,
    “*the crowd would go wild*”.I think I’d die and go to heaven at a base price of $36,000.Wait,I live in Texas already. (People in Texas are so nice that you feel like you’re living in heaven, hence, our pun-phrase;“If you’re really good, when you die, you can go to Texas”.)It could not possibly get better than that: Volt & Texas.At $36,000,it will clearly be “all over” for the competition to ever catch up!!  

    Prediction: The base price for the 2012 Volt will be $36,000. They’ll drop the navigation, Bose audio, aluminum wheels, black roof/tailgate, and the five-year OnStar as standard features. You’ll still be able to get all of those things as options … for $41,000.


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    EricLG

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:02 pm)

    Funny reading the CS mpg guesses on this board. Most go like this:

    > 50 mpg: “This is awesome. With this CS mpg, the Volt is the best car on the road.”
    40′s mpg: “More than enough; with CD mode, the Volt is the best car on the road”
    < 40 mpg: "Doesn't matter. The Volt is the best car on the road."
    30's mpg: "Anybody who says "CS" is a troll! The Volt is the best car on the road."

    I watched the sliding goalposts with the car's looks,
    then I watched it with the car's cost,
    and now with the CS mpg.

    Thanks for the show, fans


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    DonC

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:03 pm)

    carcus3: When I time his audio track (foot hitting the floor to him saying 60) I get 10.5 seconds.

    In looking again my initial 2:10 was too late. I’ve run it several times. Looking at when his foot comes down I’m seeing the start at 1:26. He definitely says “60″ at 8:53. So over seven but under eight. He definitely starts after the timer starts though it’s convenient that it’s going before he does. He definitely starts pressing the accelerator after the timer starts.

    Also I think that in most cases when they’re doing 0-60 times they sit on the brake and the accelerator, though this isn’t anything I’ve ever been interested in so I’m not sure.

    FWIW my current car gets to 60 MPH in 7.2 seconds though I’ve probably never gotten close to that, just isn’t normal driving, and it’s plenty fast.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:05 pm)

    Tagamet: I got 8 seconds … and you’re over

    No surprises there.


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    Paul Stoller

     

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:06 pm)

    Tagamet:
    I didn’t question whether he was right or not, I questioned his assumption. Not sure you would stoop to read anything at Heritage.org, but of course they spin things differently:http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2008/12/UAW-Workers-Actually-Cost-the-Big-Three-Automakers-70-an-HourThey *do* have a good section of what Ford’s reports actually include in their figures.
    To me it was the ration of retiree to current employees expenses that was more important to the company’s demise, but I’m no wiz kid with econ.Let’s just settle on the $28-30/hour base rate and move on. Huge reach to consider it on topic anyway.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/29/AR2005042901385.htmlBe well,
    Tagamet  

    Tag,

    I think the 70 figure was accurate pre-bankruptcy but right before bankruptcy the UAW made concessions on their contracts to try and avoid bankruptcy. This brought GM in line with the other manufacturers who build in the US.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:09 pm)

    Baltimore17: They’ll drop the navigation, Bose audio, aluminum wheels, black roof/tailgate, and the five-year OnStar as standard features. You’ll still be able to get all of those things as options … for $41,000.  

    My prediction for the price was $37.5K+ for a base decontented version so I wasn’t too surprised by the $41K more or less complete version. I’d hope they could do better for Gen II than just saving money by pulling stuff out.


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    neutron

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:10 pm)

    carcus3: What a time waster, always looking at this little mpg mystery.Kind of like poison ivy that you can’t stop scratching.All evidence has pointed towards 30 to 35 mpg (and maybe even a little worse) for quite some time.scratch , scratch, scratch …….DANG!!scratch, scratch, scratch …….  

    If that itch is true……… arrrg arrrrg Arrrrrrrg. I will remain positive and wait for the real MPG.

    The real question we are all asking is….. why is GM not publishing the MPG. That is the ITCH.

    GM waited a long time to publish the price and that was on the disappointing side. Maybe they waited because they were looking for enough required accessories to justify the 41K.
    The 36K price prediction ( post 187) possibility without the options in 2012 make sense.

    Maybe GM is waiting on the MPG to see what they can add something to make the number “less ugly”???


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    an_outsider

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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:11 pm)

    baltimore17:
    So you drive your Volt 80 miles a day, charge up overnight, and get 76 MPG average.Can the Prius top that?Can any mid-sized car in production today top that?
    GM has a *serious* marketing challenge educating people as to how wrong it is to compare the CS mileage rating directly to that of conventional cars, including hybrids sold over the past decade.  

    I commute 68 miles (2 hours) per day. “IF” i can convince my boss to let me plug in at work, using a 120Vac outlet and dedicated meter (to bill me my own Kwh use), I’ll enjoy my electric ride it ;-) .

    Please, don’t suggest me a Leaf, the range anxiety during winter and/or in traffic jam (2 x 1.5 hours) especially if I can’t plug it at work, keep me away from that.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:12 pm)

    DonC: In looking again my initial 2:10 was too late. I’ve run it several times. Looking at when his foot comes down I’m seeing the start at 1:26. He definitely says “60″ at 8:53. So over seven but under eight. He definitely starts after the timer starts though it’s convenient that it’s going before he does. He definitely starts pressing the accelerator after the timer starts.
    Also I think that in most cases when they’re doing 0-60 times they sit on the brake and the accelerator, though this isn’t anything I’ve ever been interested in so I’m not sure.
    FWIW my current car gets to 60 MPH in 7.2 seconds though I’ve probably never gotten close to that, just isn’t normal driving, and it’s plenty fast.  

    The aol stopwatch is running way slow in the video (just start your own when it starts and watch the difference).

    The audio track sounds consistent, you can hear constant and continuous noise throughout.

    The 0 to 60 time on the Volt isn’t a real big deal, but the video struck me as bullshlt on the proclaimed time — that is all.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:18 pm)

    Bob G: The ICE only provides *average* power to the motor, adjusting the set points accordingly. Therefore, by definition, there will be no “excess energy” generated by the ICE. The battery will only be charged by plugging it in.  (Quote)

    But don’t we know that’s not always true? Mountain mode is a great example of where the engine will help maintain a buffer above 30% SOC for large inclines, etc.

    Also, since there’s only a finite amount of RPM points being used (four if I recall correctly), it seems like the average power of the motor simply can’t always be matched. That being said, I’m sure the excess energy will go into the battery, even if that access energy is a small amount.

    join thE REVolution


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:18 pm)

    an_outsider:
    I commute 68 miles a day. “IF” i can convince my boss to let me plug in at work, using a 120Vac outlet and dedicated meter (to bill me my own Kwh use), I’ll enjoy my electric ride it .Please, don’t suggest me a Leaf, the range anxiety during winter and/or in traffic jam especially if I can’t plug it at work, keep me away from that.  

    A little patience to see how the Leaf fares in day to day driving in different conditions will help. Relieve FUD with facts.

    In the meantime, good luck convincing the workplace. That is *really* what is needed for PHV or EV to take off in the market.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:18 pm)

    Dave K.: Contacted SCE today to inquire about EV recharge rates. They asked what vehicle will be charged. And if the existing service will handle it. SCE said that an electrician can run a new line to the EV (if needed). When this is done call SCE for a service person to come out and install a meter for EV monitoring (for free). This meter will be next to the existing meter (outside the building). Once this is set up. A special rate will apply to off peak charging. I believe this is 6PM to 10AM. Approximately equivilant to tier one pricing. This would be 88 cents per charge during the Winter months. And $1 per charge in Summer.=D-Volt  (Quote)

    Thanks for this info. I’ve been discussing concept of demand building and others have responded that they believe there is enough positive incentive coming from discounts to not have to worry about penalties for charging at the wrong time. Don’t know. But my investigations did reveal that your stated off-peak times would be pretty generous (starting at 6 PM). Typical off-peak times that I have found start at 9 PM to midnight. I would verify your supposition. Problem with always assuming that off-peak charging is always an option is this range of times. What if you come home from work and need to charge before going elsewhere?

    But more practical is the aspect of an off-peak that doesn’t start till midnight- and you’ve got to charge car, dry clothes and other tasks you’ve saved for off-peak. Midnight? Last time I checked, clothes will wrinkle if not pulled out till morning. (Doesn’t matter to me much, as I use solar drying- also known as ‘clothes line’ to our great grandparents). I hope your 6PM is indeed accurate. I still fear the demand billing demon is waiting to pounce, because we can all perceive a scenario where thousands of EVs start charging at midnight and the next thing you know is off-peak gets moved to 1 AM and so on and so on.

    And what happens at that second meter during peak time?


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:19 pm)

    neutron: The real question we are all asking is….. why is GM not publishing the MPG. That is the ITCH.

    The most likely answer is that they fell well short of the stated goal of 50 mpg and it’s not going to look so good when the actual mpg number starts getting kicked around. They want to proclaim something 230 mpg ish now instead and as others have mentioned will likely try with all their might and political persuasion to keep the CS mpg from ever coming to surface.

    / I honestly think GM would be better off by coming out with the number before it gets revealed online and in the auto mags. Pre-emptive damage control would seem the better route imo.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:22 pm)

    carcus3: (just start your own when it starts and watch the difference

    The only stopwatch I have is on the iPhone. It agrees with you but I’m never sure because my fingers get a little dicey without a button. But I got 12:00 when the timer says 8:53, and I started after they did, so I’m thinking they doctored the time to get the time they thought it was, which was 8:53. Nice catch.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:25 pm)

    Hay where is the 8 min video ?
    Tom

    Video: Chevy Volt Does 0 to 60 in 8.53 seconds, Gets Over 40 Miles EV Range and Under 30 MPG in CS Mode
    Thanks to the watchful eye of astute GM-Volt reader Don O, a new information-filled Volt test drive video has been unearthed. The 8 minute segment appears on Aol Autos Tranlogic and includes in it…


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:36 pm)

    Baltimore17:
    So you routinely drive your car 3000 miles across the country?Get a Jetta TDI.No electric vehicle, including hybrids and plug-ins, is appropriate for you.Routinely?Really?Like several times a year?Wow.OK, if the Volt got 10 MPG in charge sustaining mode and the owner drove 100 miles a day, he’d average 16.7 MPG.But let’s be realistic.If the CS mileage is 20 MPG, he’d average a little north of 33 MPG.If the CS mileage is 30 MPG (maybe the bottom end of plausible), he’d average 50 MPG.Hmmm, better than all but a very few cars.If the CS mode is 40 MPG, he’d average 66 MPG.Wow, 66 MPG; that’s a lot better for this guy than pretty much any other car he could buy.All of that is by your rules.Now, what about the person who drives a greater than average 50 miles a day?“The Volt still might make sense as a commuter car for those 75% of people that drive less that 40 miles a day”.Is 30 MPG in CS operation “disappointingly low” enough?Well that 50 mile person is averaging 150 MPG.See, I’m not a GM marketing type nor a GM mole.I’m an engineer who spent a lot of years paying attention in math courses, who understands how anyone can cook numbers to make something look bad (100 mile drives with 10 MPG is just plain irrelevant), and who understands that the CS mode is relevant only to someone who regularly drives 3000 miles after a single overnight charge.Congratulations.Volkswagen gets one TDI sale and GM loses one Volt sale.But for the other 99 percent of us who commute 100 miles or less per day, even a “disappointingly low” CS mileage rating will return fantastic average fuel economy.Go to CorvetteGuy’s dealer web site at http://allnewchevyvolt.com/Scroll down near the bottom.He has a bar graph that shows that he gets it.Take a look at it.Understand it.And when some friend who drives 100 miles a day asks about the Volt, don’t tell him that “it would be a horrendous choice”.Because it won’t be.  

    On the math parts are you recalling that old comment??

    There are lies, damn lies and statistics!

    SO … Therefore …

    The real bottom line for this and any car that is billed as using as little gas a possible is a high CS – MPG. ( assuming a drive over 100 miles quite frequently every few days) If that number is too low the appeal of the VOLT is diminished.

    If one always drives less than 40 miles per day or even up to 100 miles per day then an all electric car like the Leaf, Miev, or upcoming Focus make far more sense on original price and everyday driving cost than a VOLT. (no ER “plan B” is needed)

    But -as noted above- if one will be driving quite often more than 40 and or over 100 miles quite a bit then the VOLT with a high CS-MPG is by far the better choice.

    So for many the discussion that should be and has been going on what is the MINIMUM CS-MPG for the VOLT that makes this car the BETTER BUY?

    Is where one manipulates the math and or statistics or tries to keep it simple ? ;+}


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:40 pm)

    carcus3:
    The most likely answer is that they fell well short of the stated goal of 50 mpg and it’s not going to look so good when the actual mpg number starts getting kicked around.They want to proclaim something 230 mpg ish now instead and as others have mentioned will likely try with all their might and political persuasion to keep the CS mpg from ever coming to surface./ I honestly think GM would be better off by coming out with the number before it gets revealed online and in the auto mags.Pre-emptive damage control would seem the better route imo.  

    You are Correct! Many times the BEST DEFENSE is a GOOD Offense and indeed damage control.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:54 pm)

    jscott1000: So how can you say CS mpg irrelevant?

    Ok, ok. for someone that routinely drives 3000 miles per charge (how’s that happen again??) maybe it’s relevant. It’s also irrelevant to buy a Volt under these conditions. Buy a diesel. Or take a damn jet. (Really? 3000miles?)

    It’s not important to the other 99.999% of drivers who drive a ‘normal’ amount between charges. The overall gas mileage with a charge per night will yield an overall mpg that is way above anything else out there even if the CS mpg is really crappy.

    The whole point of an EV (even an EREV) is to drive on grid electricity. Work to maximize that and work to minimize using gasoline. sheesh.

    For my personal commute, I will get greater than 600mpg with charging only once per night. Ok. 400 if CS mode mpg is crappy. What’s the difference? 3 bucks? irrelevant.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:55 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): No Mole here.Not only is CS-mode relevant, I’ll go so far as to say that it won’t be quite as disappointing as all that. We’ve had troll-talk argue us down from 50+ to 50, to 40, 30-ish; even 20s (yours was the first official cracking of the 10mpg barrier, but I think you were just going for the hyperbole, lol).The ‘germ of truth’ for the most convincing of the troll-talk is the nine gallon tank and announced 340 mile range (including full batteries). However, we also have Tony Posawatz telling us that the Volt was “on target” for meeting it’s unofficial benchmark of 50mpg, not long ago. Also, virtually all the cars sold in the US for a generation or more have a couple gallons of ‘reserve.’We also know from quite far back that the fuel system is pressurized, in order to help the gas last longer. Since a liquid is practically incompressible, “pressurization” must refer to a certain amount of ‘empty space’ above the tank’s full-fuel level. Most recently, we saw (through one of Corvette Guy’s internal overview docs) that people who rarely drive long distances will be advised to keep the gas tank one third full. This prompts me to wonder just how much of the nine gallon capacity consists of fuel when it is “filled”. Alternatively, could it be that the owners’ manual will advise that the tank should only be filled completely during a long trip, with no recharge anticipated? What if the routine recommended level is 5 gallons’ worth (roughly two-thirds full)?Perhaps most telling of all was my personal experience watching several high-up GM engineers (including Tony) react to the CS-mode question. They obviously feel on a deep level that the Volt is an electric vehicle first and foremost, and that any suggestion of routinely running it for it’s CS-mode performance alone would virtually be a form of sacrilege. The idea seemed to physically pain them.There is more than enough still unknown to make a case for strong CS-mode mpg, and I still hold out for this until facts lay my hopes to rest.  (Quote)

    Keep trying to spin that straw into gold.

    First, no Detroit manufacturer has ever published a range figure that wasn’t tank capacity X mpg. GM has published range figures on quite a number of occasions. The tank size is rumored to be 9 gallons. Now, this rumor might be incorrect but it seems like CR is convinced. Do the math and you’re there. The 300 mile figure is consistent with what I heard one of the project leaders saying last year.

    Second, if fuel economy is so good, why the desperation move of requiring premium? Sure, the car might run on regular, but they can get their EPA mileage with whatever fuel is “required.” If they need the extra 5 or 10%, mileage is disappointing.

    Third, if CS mode fuel economy was good, why didn’t they publicize the fuel economy of their publicity stunt?

    However, when did Posawatz (“Rhymes with kilowatts!”) say 50mpg? I’d like to see that in context.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:56 pm)

    neutron: On the math parts are you recalling that old comment??There are lies, damn lies and statistics!SO … Therefore …The real bottom line for this and any car that is billed as using as little gas a possible is a high CS – MPG. ( assuming a drive over 100 miles quite frequently every few days) If that number is too low the appeal of the VOLT is diminished. If one always drives less than 40 miles per day or even up to 100 miles per day then an all electric car like the Leaf, Miev, or upcoming Focus make far more sense on original price and everyday driving cost than a VOLT. (no ER “plan B” is needed)But -as noted above- if one will be driving quite often more than 40 and or over 100 miles quite a bit then the VOLT with a high CS-MPG is by far the better choice. So for many the discussion that should be and has been going on what is the MINIMUM CS-MPG for the VOLT that makes this car the BETTER BUY? Is where one manipulates the math and or statistics or tries to keep it simple ? ;+}  (Quote)

    ….But over 75% of commuters travel less than 40 miles per day, so I think the Volt still wins for those 75%, even if the CS MPG is zero. ;)

    join thE REVolution


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:58 pm)

    neutron: So for many the discussion that should be and has been going on what is the MINIMUM CS-MPG for the VOLT that makes this car the BETTER BUY?

    The CS Mode mileage presents tricky issues. For example, say the Volt had an EV range of 100 miles. How important is the CS Mode mileage?

    My guess is that 90% of the people buying the Volt will rarely use CS Mode. So while it’s an interesting number I don’t see it as that important a number. The problem is that most people will just compare the CS Mode number to the Prius, which is borderline moronic, but that’s what will happen. You generally don’t go wrong underestimating the intelligence of the general public, regardless of the wisdom of the crowd.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:58 pm)

    I’m guessing the MPG in CS mode is going to be slightly better than what this engine gets as highway MPG in the normal Cruze. Add something for the optimized speed profile but take out something for the extra weight.

    This should not surprise anybody. The 1.4 is one of several aspects of the Cruze shell that I find sub-optimal, but if the goal was to get a quality product out the door by the end of 2010, the engineers at GM were wise to disregard my opinions.

    The base Voltec platform is kicking out 150 HP, which as I often point out was about what moved around my beloved 1991 Park Ave and barely tolerated 87 Delta 88. Neither car was underpowered. The car has plenty of power as is as long as you’re not taking four fat guys up to Pike’s Peak for a donut picnic on a daily basis. The Voltec is not limited to the barely mid-size Cruze.

    Even so, as the millions of miles of EREV experience accumulates, the pure electric drive makes it easier to integrate ultra-capacitors to handle short peaks of demand, making life easier for the battery as the battery does for the engine. Panasonic has already announced commodity batteries for 2012 that weigh less than 40% of what’s in the Volt now. It seems like the engineers have a much better handle on thermal runaway than they did three years ago. I do not think it’s all that unreasonable for the next generation to get the 40 mile electric range from a simpler pack at half the weight and substantially less cost.

    The 1.4 genset, the battery, and the compact(+) shell are all low hanging fruit. We would not know exactly how low or fruity until someone actually started to build and drive these things.

    Unfortunately, the GM haters will be braying about the Gen I Volt’s CS mode mileage being under 100 MPG and how this proves the EREV is a stupid idea and GM sucks, missing the free 40 miles and the whole point.

    Shoot them. For the good of the country, the gene pool, and the planet.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:59 pm)

    neutron:
    On the math parts are you recalling that old comment??There are lies,damn lies and statistics!SO … Therefore …The real bottom line for this and any car that is billed as using as little gas a possible is a high CS – MPG. ( assuming a drive over 100 miles quite frequently every few days)If that number is too low the appeal of the VOLT is diminished.
    If one always drives less than 40 miles per day or even up to 100 miles per day then an all electric car like the Leaf, Miev, or upcoming Focus make far more sense on original price and everyday driving cost than a VOLT.(no ER“plan B”is needed)But-as noted above- if one will be driving quite often more than 40 and or over 100 miles quite a bit then the VOLT with a high CS-MPG is by far the better choice.
    So for many the discussion that should be and has been going on what is the MINIMUM CS-MPG for the VOLT that makes this car the BETTER BUY? Is where one manipulates the math and or statistics or tries to keep it simple ? ;+}  

    The MPG that an owner will achieve in the Volt depends dramatically on how many miles are driven between charges. This isn’t math manipulation. If you want to compare the CS mode mileage to other cars’ mileage rating, fine. Simple. And wrong for anybody whose daily drive is under 200 miles.

    And what of the hoards of the angst-ridden posters who will be wailing and beating down GM’s castle door when the CS mode mileage rating comes out to be, oh, 34 MPG? All of them misinformed in their quest for a “simple” number. And wrong.

    Oh I give up. Y’all can enjoy your sackcloth and ashes when the CS number comes in at anything under 60 MPG. I’m going to bed.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (9:59 pm)

    “So for many the discussion that should be and has been going on what is the MINIMUM CS-MPG for the VOLT that makes this car the BETTER BUY?”

    Better in what sense ?
    Cost ? Never the Volt
    Max EV miles ? Never the Volt
    Cost/EV mile ? Never the Volt
    Personal lifetime liquid fuel economy ? Never the Volt

    Some EV with liquid fuel on demand ? Ignoring cost etc, the Volt wins. The trick here is no quantity is present, because the selling point is convenience (or no “range anxiety”, if you prefer FUD with your cookies.)


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:04 pm)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson):
    No Mole here.Not only is CS-mode relevant, I’ll go so far as to say that it won’t be quite as disappointing as all that.We’ve had troll-talk argue us down from 50+ to 50, to 40, 30-ish; even 20s (yours was the first official cracking of the 10mpg barrier, but I think you were just going for the hyperbole, lol).The ‘germ of truth’ for the most convincing of the troll-talk is the nine gallon tank and announced 340 mile range (including full batteries).However, we also have Tony Posawatz telling us that the Volt was “on target” for meeting it’s unofficial benchmark of 50mpg, not long ago.
    ………There is more than enough still unknown to make a case for strong CS-mode mpg, and I still hold out for this until facts lay my hopes to rest.  

    I like your post. You have brought a reasonable perspective to this concern/discussion. The CS-mode-MP is important as noted.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:11 pm)

    DonC: How important is the CS Mode mileage?

    I do about 1/2 my driving local and 1/2 long distance.

    If I drove the Volt and averaged 150 mpg on my local driving and only 27 mpg on the long distance and I drive 16,000 miles per year ….. that works out to 46 mpg total. So for almost twice the price of a Prius, the chore of plugging in, AND the battery depreciation AND I’m buying more gallons AND I’m paying for Premium gas ……

    This looks like it matters to me.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:12 pm)

    “Shoot them. For the good of the country, the gene pool, and the planet. ”

    I like your prose :-)
    So long as we are improving the gene pool, what should we do with the people who have been driving 25 mpg cars for the past decade when 50 mpg cars were a purchase away, at half the price of the Volt ?

    I suggest melting them down for diesel.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:13 pm)

    carcus3: I honestly think GM would be better off by coming out with the number before it gets revealed online and in the auto mags. Pre-emptive damage control would seem the better route imo.

    You only need damage control if your product is truly damaged in some way.

    Whatever a true test drive does using controlled conditions will be what it will be. Nothing GM says or does at this point will spin that reality.

    Personally, I wouldn’t want to throw out some new mpg number and get slammed again by EPA. Better to let sleeping dogs sleep.

    GM will never release their test data in this area. The only mpg that matters is what the EPA puts on the dang sticker. Everything else will be ignored by the general public. Heck, most folks here don’t even read automotive magazines.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:13 pm)

    neutron: I like your post. You have brought a reasonable perspective to this concern/discussion. The CS-mode-MP is important as noted.  (Quote)

    But that 8 minute AOL test video from above also shows 27MPG. Hopefully they were going real fast for that test. Here’s hoping to 50, but my MPG will still be “sideways 8″ MPG 95% of the time. :)

    And actually, the more I think about it, they were also testing mountain mode in that video, which as described therein, builds up a battery buffer… That building up of a buffer could have also resulted in a lower effective MPG.

    Finally, when I make the 200 mile drive back from getting my Volt, I will be sure to post an article in the owner’s section of this site with what my real world CS mode MPG was while driving at roughly 70 MPH the whole trip. ;)

    join thE REVolution


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:14 pm)

    Back at 121, I broached the subject of how effective the tax credit is in reducing oil consumption in the best measurement possible… $/gallon avoided. This is worth explanation and examination…

    If I were to buy a Volt, the probable 36mpg CS mode fuel economy and the 40-mile EV range with my personal driving cycle means that I’d use about 195 gallons of fuel per year.

    If I were to buy a Prius, my same driving cycle would require 224 gallons of fuel per year.

    That’s a difference of 29 gallons of fuel per year.

    Presuming the life of both cars is 20 years (a stretch – for the past 20 years, GM cars have lived significantly shorter lives than Toyotas), the Volt decision would lead to using 29*20 fewer gallons of fuel over the life of the car. That’s 580 galllons of fuel consumption avoided.

    Do the math… $7500/580 = $12/gallon of fuel avoided.

    Of course, your mileage will vary. If you drive 40 miles EVERY day (weekends, holidays, what-have-you), a Prius would use about 292 gallons of fuel per year, while the Volt would use none. Over 20 years, that’s almost 6,000 gallons of fuel and you’re paying only $1.25 or so to avoid each gallon of fuel. But every day you are over OR under the 40 mile target or if, as may happen, your Volt and the way you drive doesn’t quite yield an AER of 40 miles, the subsidy per gallon goes… up.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:15 pm)

    neutron: The real question we are all asking is….. why is GM not publishing the MPG. That is the ITCH.

    It speaks volumes. The downplay and recant on the promise of transparency is pretty easy to see when you step back too.

    The next-generation engine will obviously be more efficient and GM will find a way to bring down the price of the battery-pack too. But in the meantime, the mixed messages contribute to disinterest & impatience.

    What should we expect and when?


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:19 pm)

    Loboc: You only need damage control if your product is truly damaged in some way.

    Notice how some enthusiasts here vanished when the price was announced?


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:19 pm)

    Baltimore17:
    The MPG that an owner will achieve in the Volt depends dramatically on how many miles are driven between charges.This isn’t math manipulation.If you want to compare the CS mode mileage to other cars’ mileage rating, fine.Simple.And wrong for anybody whose daily drive is under 200 miles.And what of the hoards of the angst-ridden posters who will be wailing and beating down GM’s castle door when the CS mode mileage rating comes out to be, oh, 34 MPG?All of them misinformed in their quest for a “simple” number.And wrong.Oh I give up.Y’all can enjoy your sackcloth and ashes when the CS number comes in at anything under 60 MPG.I’m going to bed.  

    Have a good night sleep.
    We can disagree and see what will happen when the CS-Mode is finally released. The market place will probably be the best determiner of the importance of this discussion. Do I dare paraphrase … “To buy or not to buy… that will be the question”


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:26 pm)

    carcus1:
    I do about 1/2 my driving local and 1/2 long distance.If I drove the Volt and averaged150 mpg on my local driving and only 27 mpg on the long distance and I drive 16,000 miles per year ….. that works out to 46 mpg total.So for almost twice the price of a Prius,the chore of plugging in, AND the battery depreciationAND I’m buying more gallons AND I’m paying for Premium gas ……This looks like it matters to me.  

    Me too. :+}


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:27 pm)

    carcus1: If I drove the Volt and averaged 150 mpg on my local driving and only 27 mpg on the long distance and I drive 16,000 miles per year ….. that works out to 46 mpg total. So for almost twice the price of a Prius, the chore of plugging in, AND the battery depreciation AND I’m buying more gallons AND I’m paying for Premium gas ……

    I’d hope no one is going to buy a Volt to save money on gas. Even if you don’t ever use any gas it won’t pencil out. Buy a Honda Fit.

    To turn this around, even if the Volt got 75 MPG in CS Mode it still wouldn’t pencil out.

    You want an EV or you don’t. Not much reason to buy one if you don’t.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:39 pm)

    Charlie H: If I were to buy a Volt, the probable 36mpg CS mode fuel economy and the 40-mile EV range with my personal driving cycle means that I’d use about 195 gallons of fuel per year.

    If I were to buy a Volt I’d never use any gas since I can plug in at work and various other places. If I had a Prius I’d use 200 gallons. Over ten years that’s 2000 gallons, so it costs $3.75 per gallon, which is more or less what I’m paying now. Over 20 years which you’ve used that would be $1.87 a gallon. Quite a bargain.

    Plus I want an EV. If I just wanted to save gas I’d ride a bike. They get great MPG. So maybe in the interests of efficient displacement of gasoline I should get a $10K rebate and you can get nothing. Works for me!


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:42 pm)

    john1701a:
    Notice how some enthusiasts here vanished when the price was announced?  

    Notice how more negative people have shown up as well?

    A site that has over 200 posts per discussion thread (and thousands of views) doesn’t seem to be losing readership or participation to me.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:42 pm)

    ClarksonCote: And actually, the more I think about it, they were also testing mountain mode in that video, which as described therein, builds up a battery buffer… That building up of a buffer could have also resulted in a lower effective MPG.

    Yes you’re absolutely correct. He’s going 80 MPH. He’s flooring it. He’s doing avoidance procedures. And we don’t even know what sequence he’s doing them in or even if he’s doing them at all. Everyone recognizes this except the Prius gang, who reliably show up any time there is a whiff of a high CS Mode number.

    No matter that having the Prius retain its green crown is lost cause. Stick a fork in it. It’s over.

    We do know though that they didn’t get 50 MPG in CS Mode doing whatever they were doing. But I don’t think we’ll see 50 MPG jon the combined City/Highway cycles. Maybe 45.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:48 pm)

    neutron: The real question we are all asking is….. why is GM not publishing the MPG. That is the ITCH.

    They published the MPG. Remember, right before Fritz got fired. 230 MPG and poof, 25 years with the company, gone just like that! Yanked him from making the keynote speech at the LA auto show.

    I have a feeling they will let the EPA settle it (all three numbers) before they (the ones that still have jobs) announce again.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (10:51 pm)

    DonC: No matter that having the Prius retain its green crown is lost cause. Stick a fork in it. It’s over.

    What’s over?

    The goal is to become a mainstream vehicle.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:03 pm)

    Charlie H: If I were to buy a Volt, the probable 36mpg CS mode fuel economy and the 40-mile EV range with my personal driving cycle means that I’d use about 195 gallons of fuel per year.

    If I were to buy a Prius, my same driving cycle would require 224 gallons of fuel per year.

    So what’s the problem? Either car would save a couple thousand gallons per year compared to what most people drive.

    Problem I see is convincing people to drive something they don’t want. Diversification of these technologies is needed to get off of the oil-based economy.

    Personally, I can’t stand those ugly Prii. It’d be a huge stretch to get me to buy one at any price.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:26 pm)

    jscott1000: The Volt is being marketed as an extended range electric vehicle. One that is capable of being operated like any other ICE vehicle in the world. Just imagine for a second that if the CS fuel efficiency is say 10 mpg then the Volt still might make sense as a commuter car for those 75% of people that drive less that 40 miles a day on average. But it would be a horrendous choice for people that routinely drive 100 miles a day. So how can you say CS mpg irrelevant?

    I’m surprised, based on many of your posts, that you still don’t “get it”. Even using your own “I regularly drive 100 miles per day” argument that the VOLT still beats a Prius in the use of gasoline.

    We “get it”. My job is to make sure my customers “get it”. This is just one of the pdf files that I send to customers that inquire about the VOLT. Hopefully you will get it now too.

    http://www.allnewchevyvolt.com/VOLT_is_different.pdf


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:29 pm)

    Loboc: Personally, I can’t stand those ugly Prii. It’d be a huge stretch to get me to buy one at any price.  

    You are looking at it wrong (from outside). Try getting and drive it, if you have not.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:32 pm)

    DonC: If I were to buy a Volt I’d never use any gas since I can plug in at work and various other places. If I had a Prius I’d use 200 gallons. Over ten years that’s 2000 gallons, so it costs $3.75 per gallon, which is more or less what I’m paying now. Over 20 years which you’ve used that would be $1.87 a gallon. Quite a bargain.Plus I want an EV. If I just wanted to save gas I’d ride a bike. They get great MPG. So maybe in the interests of efficient displacement of gasoline I should get a $10K rebate and you can get nothing. Works for me!  (Quote)

    There’s cheaper ways to avoid a gallon of oil consumed than with a $7500 tax credit for the Volt. As a public policy, it’s pointless.

    If you simply want an EV… buy one. Why should anyone else subsidize your wants? There’s already Zenns and so forth on the road. I see a guy driving an EV almost every day… he didn’t hit me up for a donation to his EV fund.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:38 pm)

    DonC:
    I’d hope no one is going to buy a Volt to save money on gas. Even if you don’t ever use any gas it won’t pencil out.

    That’s black and white. The gray shade is Prius or PHV Prius. You can’t beat the bang for the buck for them. It is a win-win-win for owner, manufacturer and mother Earth.

    If you want EV, get a real one (Nissan Leaf). If you want electric propulsion without range compromise, get a hybrid. If you want a hybrid and also want to plug it in, get a Volt or PHV Prius. If you want to save money by charging often, get the PHV Prius.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:39 pm)

    “I’m surprised, based on many of your posts, that you still don’t “get it”. Even using your own “I regularly drive 100 miles per day” argument that the VOLT still beats a Prius in the use of gasoline”

    And costs way more than double. And has unknown reliability.

    The Volt is a toy, albeit an interesting one. And anyone who thinks it is “green” is deluded.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:40 pm)

    Loboc: Notice how more negative people have shown up as well?A site that has over 200 posts per discussion thread (and thousands of views) doesn’t seem to be losing readership or participation to me.  (Quote)

    Try “realists” instead of “negative people.”

    If GM had announced an MSRP of $31K… what would the realists be saying?

    If, at an MSRP of $41K, the Volt consumed less fuel, almost no matter what you did with it, than a Prius… what would the realists be saying?

    The answer is, “not much.” Nobody complains about excellence.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:44 pm)

    Loboc:
    So what’s the problem? Either car would save a couple thousand gallons per year compared to what most people drive.

    The problem is the $41k price tag. Most people won’t be driving the Volt with that price so you wouldn’t be saving gallons of gasoline. Since most people don’t buy it, the price can’t come down. Chicken and egg problem.

    This is why it is crucial to price it at the mass market affordable price. Nissan and Toyota get this.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:45 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: I’m surprised, based on many of your posts, that you still don’t “get it”. Even using your own “I regularly drive 100 miles per day” argument that the VOLT still beats a Prius in the use of gasoline.We “get it”. My job is to make sure my customers “get it”. This is just one of the pdf files that I send to customers that inquire about the VOLT. Hopefully you will get it now too.http://www.allnewchevyvolt.com/VOLT_is_different.pdf  (Quote)

    First, there’s a million-plus Priuses on the road. If we presume every Prius owner would have otherwise bought a regular 24/33mpg midsize car and that every Volt owner would have otherwise bought a regular 24/33mpg midsize car, the Prius has already cut fuel consumption more than the first few years of Volts will. And Toyota keeps churning out the Priuses, so the cumulative lead is still widening.

    Second, your job is to get people to buy whatever Chevy sends you, not to make sure people “get it.” Your dealership wants you to sell whatever has the largest margins. And lots of them.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:46 pm)

    EricLG: The Volt is a toy, albeit an interesting one. And anyone who thinks it is “green” is deluded.

    The VOLT is a better design. The fact that Toyota is working on a version of their own is proof. You guys should take your sad arguments somewhere else. Each time you repeat them, we just laugh.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:47 pm)

    If the CS mpg turns out to be in the 30′s, anyone care to guess why ?
    My suspicion is that CS mode has heavy conversion losses when the ICE is used as a generator for the battery, and poor SFC for a lot of its rpm range due to poor ICE load matching.

    I’m far from sure though.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:52 pm)

    Charlie H: First, there’s a million-plus Priuses on the road.

    A million copies of an outdated design. Good for Toyota. Doesn’t make it better. Just old. Millions of Betamax VCR’s were sold before a better idea came along. All technologies get replaced by better ones eventually. The Prius is dead. Long live the King!


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:54 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: The VOLT is a better design. The fact that Toyota is working on a version of their own is proof. You guys should take your sad arguments somewhere else. Each time you repeat them, we just laugh.  (Quote)

    Toyota is working on a more affordable version. If they thought a $41K compact car built out of $43K worth of parts made economic sense… they’d build one.


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    Aug 23rd, 2010 (11:55 pm)

    “Prius has already cut fuel consumption more than the first few years of Volts will. ”

    More than the Volt *ever* will, which is what makes this PR “save oil” BS such a crock.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:03 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    A million copies of an outdated design. Good for Toyota. Doesn’t make it better. Just old. Millions of Betamax VCR’s were sold before a better idea came along. All technologies get replaced by better ones eventually. The Prius is dead. Long live the King!  

    Which outdated part(s) are you talking about ? The more efficient ICE that GM can only dream about ? Perhaps the proven battery tech and design that cuts fuel useage in half with less than 2 kwh ? Or maybe the planetary gear/transmission that GM is copying ? Real world Prius PHV CS mpg is over 50 mpg, so unless you are on drugs you cannot mean that.

    So what is it ? Putting so much battery in the car that it is out of reach of practically everybody ? Is that you great tech advance ?!

    Around 97% of US cars are “old” technology. They will upgrade to the best tech for the dollar in the future, not an expensive toy. Remember the FUD about the “hybrid premium” ? I’m sure you spouted it for years, along with the Lutz clutz. Quadruple it for the Volt.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:03 am)

    EricLG: If the CS mpg turns out to be in the 30’s, anyone care to guess why ?My suspicion is that CS mode has heavy conversion losses when the ICE is used as a generator for the battery, and poor SFC for a lot of its rpm range due to poor ICE load matching.I’m far from sure though.  (Quote)

    It’s going to be heavy and that hurts fuel economy. Some Cruze specs are on Edmunds but curb weight is not and I’d bet a quarter the Cruze is significantly heavier than a Civic or Corolla. The Volt has an additional 400lbs or so of batteries.

    CorvetteGuy: A million copies of an outdated design. Good for Toyota. Doesn’t make it better. Just old. Millions of Betamax VCR’s were sold before a better idea came along. All technologies get replaced by better ones eventually. The Prius is dead. Long live the King!  (Quote)

    What “King” is that? Customer Volt 1 is still in a parts bin in Hamtramck.

    The 2010 Prius was, essentially, an all-new vehicle. Few parts were carried over. It’s still on top because nothing has come along to dethrone it. At $22K, it’s way ahead of the Volt in terms of affordability. And, as I said, in cumulative fuel savings, the Volt has a long, long way to go to catch up. The Prius will extend its lead in 2011 and 2012.

    I find it hilarious, by the way, to hear a purveyor of Impalas talk about “outdated designs.”


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:04 am)

    usbseawolf2000: Most people won’t be driving the Volt with that price so you wouldn’t be saving gallons of gasoline.

    Most people don’t drive a Bugatti because of the price, but those that do probably love it. Many people commute to work in a Lexus, Mercedes, or Cadillac. I’m sure they love theirs too. For the lucky people who can get a VOLT, they are going to love it.

    The subject of which car uses less gas is seperate from ‘who can afford it’. But that’s the only argument you guys can fall back on. That’s okay. People will still buy the Prius. Sadly, it won’t have that ‘cutting edge glow’ to it anymore. It’ll just give those buyers the “I wish I could’ve afforded the VOLT” feeling as they drive off the lot. ;)


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:04 am)

    #208 shortale: Shoot them. For the good of the country, the gene pool, and the planet.

    Your whole comment gave me a good laugh. :) I wonder if any of the trolls here read their posts and realize how idiotic they sound. Half of what they say is incorrect, taken out of context, misrepresented, or just plain illogical nonsense.

    Today has really brought them out. Thanks for giving them this knockout punch!

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.
    P.S. I really don’t expect they will stop slinging their dribble. Fortunately, those people really interested in finding out about the Volt can scan the volumes of information Lyle has compiled at this website. :)


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:11 am)

    Charlie H: What “King” is that?

    No. No. You’re not getting the metaphore. When the King dies, you say: “Long Live the King!”
    The Prius “was” the King. Just dead now. Like Elvis. But there are religious fanatics trying to keep him alive too. That’s even funnier than you guys!


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:13 am)

    “It’s going to be heavy and that hurts fuel economy. Some Cruze specs are on Edmunds but curb weight is not and I’d bet a quarter the Cruze is significantly heavier than a Civic or Corolla. The Volt has an additional 400lbs or so of batteries.”

    I’ll but that for city driving, but not highway.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:15 am)

    CorvetteGuy: Most people don’t drive a Bugatti because of the price, but those that do probably love it. Many people commute to work in a Lexus, Mercedes, or Cadillac. I’m sure they love theirs too. For the lucky people who can get a VOLT, they are going to love it.The subject of which car uses less gas is seperate from ‘who can afford it’. But that’s the only argument you guys can fall back on. That’s okay. People will still buy the Prius. Sadly, it won’t have that ‘cutting edge glow’ to it anymore. It’ll just give those buyers the “I wish I could’ve afforded the VOLT” feeling as they drive off the lot.   (Quote)

    I don’t think so…. I think they’ll have a warm feeling… right in the wallet… from all the money they saved. Prius demographics are good… Most Prius purchasers could afford to buy much more expensive cars (probably the reason Lexus introduced the IS250H – or whatever it’s called).

    That feeling will just be stronger in 2031 or so when the Prius is still going strong and the Volt has been rusting away in the local Pick’n'Pull for five years.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:19 am)

    “Most people don’t drive a Bugatti because of the price, but those that do probably love it. Many people commute to work in a Lexus, Mercedes, or Cadillac. I’m sure they love theirs too. For the lucky people who can get a VOLT, they are going to love it.”

    Cross your fingers. Buyers remorse makes dealers cranky. Your post otherwise is spot on. Volt lovers should buy their favorite toy, and I wish them years of enjoyment. They just have to learn, along with the caddy senior citizens to tone down the “I’m saving the country with your subsidy” rhetoric.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:20 am)

    EricLG: “It’s going to be heavy and that hurts fuel economy. Some Cruze specs are on Edmunds but curb weight is not and I’d bet a quarter the Cruze is significantly heavier than a Civic or Corolla. The Volt has an additional 400lbs or so of batteries.”I’ll but that for city driving, but not highway.  (Quote)

    The effect of increased mass is more noticeable in the city, it’s true, but it’s not negligible on the highway.

    I don’t know if it’s a more significant factor than the conversion losses you mentioned.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:26 am)

    Charlie H: I don’t think so…. I think they’ll have a warm feeling… right in the wallet… from all the money they saved. Prius demographics are good… Most Prius purchasers could afford to buy much more expensive cars (probably the reason Lexus introduced the IS250H – or whatever it’s called).That feeling will just be stronger in 2031 or so when the Prius is still going strong and the Volt has been rusting away in the local Pick’n’Pull for five years.  (Quote)

    You guys should be happy the VOLT is more $$$. If it were the EXACT same price as a Prius, Toyota would be doomed as the ‘green car’ of choice. And like you, I’ll bet a quarter that Toyota prices their Plug-In Prius the same as the VOLT. Which is great because the VOLT has a longer AER, more horsepower and a higher top speed. Better performance all around.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:36 am)

    CorvetteGuy: You guys should be happy the VOLT is more $$$. If it were the EXACT same price as a Prius, Toyota would be doomed as the ‘green car’ of choice. And like you, I’ll bet a quarter that Toyota prices their Plug-In Prius the same as the VOLT. Which is great because the VOLT has a longer AER, more horsepower and a higher top speed. Better performance all around.  (Quote)

    I did not say the PHEV Prius would be the same price as a Volt. I expect it will be $26-27K after the rebate (yes, it likely qualifies for a $2500 rebate)

    If the Volt was $22K… now that would be a real challenge to Toyota, wouldn’t it? I’d like that. Toyota would have to build a really exceptional variant of the Prius to compete, wouldn’t they? Of course, to be a real threat, GM would have to build the Volt in quantities that weren’t a bad joke.

    But the $22K Volt exists only in your fevered imagination.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:37 am)

    Charlie H,

    For a ballpark idea, look at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-rolling_resistance_tires

    The monograph says that rolling losses are 5 – 15% of total auto energy use.
    These losses are linear with tire friction, car mass, and car speed; and as a fraction of total car energy use, larger at low speeds (because air resistance is less.)

    So if the volt is 15% heavier than the Prius (about 1/7), overall that account for up to 2% more energy — but again, the majority of the energy consumption difference will be from city drivng.

    My best guess at the moment for conversion losses is 20%


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:42 am)

    “You guys should be happy the VOLT is more $$$. If it were the EXACT same price as a Prius, Toyota would be doomed as the ‘green car’ of choice”

    Once it had proven it did not have typical GM reliability.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:46 am)

    EricLG: Real world Prius PHV CS mpg is over 50 mpg, so unless you are on drugs you cannot mean that.

    “MPG” is about to fall back behind “GPY” – Gallons-Per-Year

    http://www.allnewchevyvolt.com/VOLT_is_different.pdf

    The Prius uses gasoline almost 100% of the time you are in the vehicle. The VOLT owner can easily cut their gasoline usage by 90% or more. It wouldn’t matter if a Prius got 100 miles to the gallon. Most VOLT owners will be on electricity, and without the range anxiety of an all-electric like the Nissan Leaf. And for the 100th time, Toyota is preparing their plug-in Prius because even they know it is a better design. Please get used to the concept.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:47 am)

    #242 Charlie H: . The Prius will extend its lead in 2011 and 2012.

    I find it hilarious, by the way, to hear a purveyor of Impalas talk about “outdated designs.”

    And then the Prius will die! Maybe sooner than 2012.

    You will never admit that the day of the Prius being King of the Road has come to an end. True Toyota’s Prius will contribute to the decline in use of petroleum but the Volt will make a greater contribution to that effort. You, Prius Fans, won’t admit that the Volt CS mpg will exceed that of the Prius, Are you in for a big surprise! Be prepared as you will find out how wrong you are in a very short time. Then the last of your arguments will fall to the side.

    The Volt design is far superior to that of the Prius in so many ways. Toyota will be wise in scraping it for an EREV or BEV design. Really, they will stick with the HSD design for as long as it is competitive. The Plug in Prius currently proposed with its 12 mile AER is a joke. The HSD is an albatross; it is a needless heavy mechanical device that is no longer needed with the advent of true EV drive trains.

    Come 2012, we will see who gets the last laugh. CorvetteGuy, or anyone who is a Volt Fan, or you and the rest of the trolls. If you weren’t so stubborn, you might learn something about the new technology that will sweep the world of transportation. I won’t stoop to calling names: acting like a silly person and being a silly person are different. Don’t take my comments personal. It would be nice if all the Prius Fans and all the Volt Fans could have a civil dialog about the technological differences without low blows.

    If I have insulted anyone of you in the past, I apologize now. However, repeated attempts to throw a shadow over the advent of the Volt is about to end when potential buyers of the Volt will be able to test drive it and personally see what the Volt offers.

    As gm-volt.com continues into 2011 and 2012, and beyond, Lyle will give us a birds eye view of Volt performance and reveal the true story of the competition between hybrid vehicles, EREVs, and BEVs.

    May your future be bright and as Tag often says Be Well!

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:56 am)

    Charlie H: Prius demographics are good… Most Prius purchasers could afford to buy much more expensive cars (probably the reason Lexus introduced the IS250H – or whatever it’s called).

    I can’t wait to meet them. Those are the exact customers we are looking for. It’s nice to know that they have an alternative to Toyota’s 10 year old design!


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (12:59 am)

    “You, Prius Fans, won’t admit that the Volt CS mpg will exceed that of the Prius, Are you in for a big surprise! Be prepared as you will find out how wrong you are in a very short time. Then the last of your arguments will fall to the side.”

    What are you smoking ? The Volt is heavier, has an ICE GM already wants to dump, and a conversion pathway at least twice as long as the Prius on average. There is not one aspect of the entire drivetrain where the Volt has an advantage over the Prius in CS mode.

    The HSD is an albatross ? It is a planetary gear. You might have heard of those — your Volt is being built with at least one, if not two.

    I do not not to insult you, but you are ignorant. The Volt fails before the first one is built because of the price. It is unfortunately that simple.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (1:05 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    “MPG” is about to fall back behind “GPY” – Gallons-Per-Yearhttp://www.allnewchevyvolt.com/VOLT_is_different.pdfThe Prius uses gasoline almost 100% of the time you are in the vehicle. The VOLT owner can easily cut their gasoline usage by 90% or more. It wouldn’t matter if a Prius got 100 miles to the gallon. Most VOLT owners will be on electricity, and without the range anxiety of an all-electric like the Nissan Leaf. And for the 100th time, Toyota is preparing their plug-in Prius because even they know it is a better design. Please get used to the concept.  

    The Prius uses petrol *all* the time, not “most” of the time. The car has been on US roads for 10 years, and you are still clueless.

    Let me ask you what I hope is simple question: do you think ANYTHING prevents Toyota from increasing the size of the Prius PHV battery, or GM decreasing the Volt battery size ? Is that really your best estimate of “tech superiority?”


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (1:10 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    I can’t wait to meet them. Those are the exact customers we are looking for. It’s nice to know that they have an alternative to Toyota’s 10 year old design!  

    May I politely suggest you do not hold your breath ? GM was probably right in buying another lousy credit finance company. They know who their constituency is.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (1:25 am)

    ““MPG” is about to fall back behind “GPY” – Gallons-Per-Year”

    As a marketing gimmick, sure. Outside of dealerships people will continue to calculate $/mile TCO.
    I’ll give you three guesses which car is #1. No, it is not a hummer.


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    icur12

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    Aug 24th, 2010 (1:58 am)

    The Volt CS highway mileage needs to comparable to a conventional car of the same size if it is to be the only car you need to own. It will do poorly in sales if it misses this mark.

    The only time CS mileage doesn’t matter is for those who don’t need CS, in which case you may as well save cost and complexity and buy a BEV.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (6:51 am)

    KenEE: Here’s my vote!http://www.freepistonpower.com/Default.aspxFree Piston Power:•Power Density: 1kW/kg; 2 kW/litre
    •Fuelled by Gasoline, Diesel (Bio, JP8), LPG, Ethanol, Hydrogen
    •Mechanical simplicity (software ‘replaces’ conventional con-rods, cam and crankshaft)
    •Readily scalable from 25 to 500kW output power
    •Efficiency 50%Electricity generation is inherent in its mechanical design.Imagine the Volts 55kW generator in a small 125 lb. package!Simply Awesome….  

    Just wanted to add my vote for this system, looks like a winner.

    There are some other interesting designs out there, like this Radial Wave Rotor design:
    http://www.egr.msu.edu/mueller/NMReferences/PiechnaAkbariIancuMuellerIMECE2004-59022.pdf

    Also found this: http://www.pdtdesigns.com/pdtengines.html


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 24th, 2010 (9:19 am)

    LRGVProVolt: You will never admit that the day of the Prius being King of the Road has come to an end. … You, Prius Fans, won’t admit that the Volt CS mpg will exceed that of the Prius, Are you in for a big surprise! Be prepared as you will find out how wrong you are in a very short time. Then the last of your arguments will fall to the side…. The Plug in Prius currently proposed with its 12 mile AER is a joke. The HSD is an albatross; it is a needless heavy mechanical device that is no longer needed with the advent of true EV drive trains. Come 2012, we will see who gets the last laugh. … It would be nice if all the Prius Fans and all the Volt Fans could have a civil dialog about the technological differences without low blows. …As gm-volt.com continues into 2011 and 2012, and beyond, Lyle will give us a birds eye view of Volt performance and reveal the true story of the competition between hybrid vehicles, EREVs, and BEVs.  (Quote)

    I’ll admit the day of the Prius is over when GM sells more Volts than Toyota sells Priuses. Profitably.

    I will admit that the CS mode fuel economy of the Volt is better than Prius fuel economy when GM publishes figures. GM could put this discussion to rest by publicizing their publicity stunt. Curiously, they do not.

    Yes, I think someone will be surprised. I don’t think it’s going to be me.

    An AER of 12 miles isn’t a joke, it’s double what I need. I’ve been concerned about oil consumption for a very long time, so I did something about it… I have a very short commute. Others will be similarly situated. Why buy a much more expensive car with more AER and worse CS mode fuel economy if you don’t need it?

    HSD is lightweight and compact. Anybody with a passing familiarity with the Prius would realize that. A quick check of the curb weight (Edmunds can tell you that) would show that the car can’t have a lot of heavy componenents in it… it weighs less than 3100 lbs.

    I’m civil. I’m just not drinking the Kool-Aid.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (9:43 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    Most people don’t drive a Bugatti because of the price, but those that do probably love it. …. It’ll just give those buyers the “I wish I could’ve afforded the VOLT” feeling as they drive off the lot.   

    Bugatti has the luxury to backup it’s price tag. Who would pay $41k for the Volt to get high on electricity? There is a cheaper and better alternative, Nissan Leaf.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (9:48 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    The VOLT is a better design. The fact that Toyota is working on a version of their own is proof.

    I have to agree that this is a typical Voltard comment.

    Toyota looked at Parallel and Series hybrid designs back in 1997. Honda went the Parallel hybrid route due to cost. Toyota analyzed both hybrid architecture and chose neither route. Instead they picked the split hybrid that has advantages of both Series and Parallel. That in itself made the Prius and PHV Prius a better design, available in the USA 10 years ago.


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    Aug 24th, 2010 (9:58 am)

    LRGVProVolt: The Plug in Prius currently proposed with its 12 mile AER is a joke.

    52% of the accidents occur less than 5 miles from home. This indicates majority of the trips are very short. Think about it. The joke is on those that pay $41k for the 40 miles.


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    Biodieseljeep

     

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    Aug 24th, 2010 (10:23 am)

    Haiku for Me

    Please please please please please
    Diesel generator Volt
    Please please please please please


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    cab

     

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    Aug 24th, 2010 (6:43 pm)

    With a 7500 tax credit,
    Why do I have to pay for people who decide to drive a Volt?
    I did not have to pay for people to drive a Prius.


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    Sep 1st, 2010 (6:49 am)

    carcus3:
    The problem is GM is not operating in a vacuum.Competition is around the cornerBMW is looking at the motorcycle engine.
    Audi is looking at the wankel.http://www.worldcarfans.com/110082027999/bmw-megacity-further-construction-detailshttp://electric-vehicles-cars-bikes.blogspot.com/2010/03/audi-a1-e-tron-series-hybrid-to-use.html/what if BMW/Audi exceed GM’s efficiency/perfomance AND undercut GM’s cost — how’s that going to look?  

    Audi have announce the A1 will go to production. It is Mini sized, to compete with the Mini. It is a series-hybrid with a very small Wankel range-extender under the luggage compartment.

    There are many negative myths about the Wankel engine. They are half the size and weight to the same power output as a piston engine. This is a great advantage and then the ultra smoothness and there is no competition. But in normal driving condition the average fuel consumption was poor. They are poor in low revs around towns. The Wankel has its sweet revving spot. The revs where it is most economical. That is at high revs. As a range-extender the Wankel has hit its niche spot and come of age at last.

    GM did R&D on the Wankel in the 1970s and said they had solved the excessive fuel consumption. – but never told anyone how. Things have moved on in 35 years. They had better get some R&D done in Stirlings or Rotaries. Stirlings are big and heavy but very smooth and good on fuel consumption reaching 50% efficiency and emissions far superior being external combustion (a burner). Lightweight and small Wankels excel.

    If a Wankel has slightly poorer fuel consumption to say the Lotus piston range-extender, in a car with a long electric range where the range-extender will rarely come in, the Wankel is the ideal choice.


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    Sep 1st, 2010 (7:12 am)

    usbseawolf2000:
    I have to agree that this is a typical Voltard comment.Toyota looked at Parallel and Series hybrid designs back in 1997. Honda went the Parallel hybrid route due to cost. Toyota analyzed both hybrid architecture and chose neither route. Instead they picked the split hybrid that has advantages of both Series and Parallel. That in itself made the Prius and PHV Prius a better design, available in the USA 10 years ago.  

    The series-hybrid used by the Volt, and others are designing cars in this format, Jaguar for one, is by far the best arrangement. It is not new and over 100 years old. But by far the simplest and best and most efficient. Look at the mpg the Volt is getting. Jaguar using the Lotus range-extender in a far larger car were getting 58mpg running off the range extender alone with the batteries on the lowest charge.

    So, have a car with an efficient range extender and small battery buffer, and the efficiency will rocket up compared to the junk we drive now…and that includes the Prius.

    Things are moving on. Expect makers to retrofit series-hybrids into existing body shells using the likes of the Lotus range-extender engine – the Volt is built on an existing Astra floor-pan. The battery bank does not have to be that big at all, or be a plug-in, as running most of the time off the range-extender far superior mpg is achieved. Also a far smoother progressive ride.

    BTW, I like the Prius, nice to drive, but it is now approaching its sell-by date.


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    Sep 1st, 2010 (7:45 am)

    KenEE: Here’s my vote!http://www.freepistonpower.com/Default.aspxFree Piston Power:•Power Density: 1kW/kg; 2 kW/litre
    •Fuelled by Gasoline, Diesel (Bio, JP8), LPG, Ethanol, Hydrogen
    •Mechanical simplicity (software ‘replaces’ conventional con-rods, cam and crankshaft)
    •Readily scalable from 25 to 500kW output power
    •Efficiency 50%Electricity generation is inherent in its mechanical design.Imagine the Volts 55kW generator in a small 125 lb. package!Simply Awesome….  

    A free piston Stirling engine was used in many prototype domestic gas heating boilers to use waste exhaust heat. It produced 1.1kW. I’m sure it is scalable upwards. This looks a better approach for a range-extender.


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    Sep 1st, 2010 (7:54 am)

    carcus1:
    I do about 1/2 my driving local and 1/2 long distance.If I drove the Volt and averaged150 mpg on my local driving and only 27 mpg

    The Volt is rated approx 60mpg (US) on the rage-extender alone.


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    Sep 1st, 2010 (8:13 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    A million copies of an outdated design. Good for Toyota. Doesn’t make it better. Just old. Millions of Betamax VCR’s were sold before a better idea came along. All technologies get replaced by better ones eventually. The Prius is dead. Long live the King!  

    Like the Prius, the series-hybrid is just an interim technology. Expect it also to be outdated in 13 years time. Have some respect for the Prius. The car they all sneered and told lies about, yet crated a paradigm shift.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:41 am)

    Baltimore17: Back in the mid-90s, when Westinghouse was working on the battery/electric powertrain for Chrysler’s minivan, we put a small gas turbine in the back of a pickup truck as an exploration of a hybrid powertrain. I recall that turbines were most happy at steady operation, not the fast/slow/stop/go characteristic of cars in traffic. A range extender would seem to be a good application.  (Quote)

    Turbines are used right now in some series-hyrid buses. They reduce fuel consumption by about half, quieter and much cleaner.


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    Sep 2nd, 2010 (5:52 am)

    Zachary Taylor (Jackson): As always when alternative engines are brought forward, it’s time for my minority-opinion plug of the nutating disc engine. Since I first brought it up in the forums, “New (tating) Engine Design”, (way back when I put things in the forums), a prototype has been evaluated by NASA, with positive results (Warning: PDF):http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/reports/2006/TM-2006-214342.pdfA nutating disc engine is of interest for EREV for many reasons:* small compact size, low weight for power produced* multi-fuel capability similar to turbine* conventional materials* fewer moving parts The military is interested in this powerplant for UAVs which can run on heavy oil (or any other liquid, combustible fuel which may be found in a theater of operation), so light weight, rugged simplicity is a plus. Continuous combustion means that it would have many positive attributes in common with a stirling or turbine; but in conventional materials running at more-or-less “normal” temperatures at manageable rpms.The fact that the military is interested may make access to the idea limited; and it will still take a lot of development before it can go in a consumer vehicle. However, the multi-fuel capability may be particularly relevant for EREV, since some degradation of the fuel over time is a concern: the NDE would likely not even notice the difference between fresh gas and old (or diesel, or cooking oil, or warm bacon grease, etc).  (Quote)

    This engines can have a variable displacement quite easy. In the section of block which the compresion takes place have a cylinder though the side. This moves into and out slowly to vary the displacement, by an electric servo motor, depending on load, speed etc.

    The Lotus two-stroke variable displacemnet does this although with a piston. At the top of the cylinder, insread of a cylidner head, another cylinder slowly moves up and down to vary the displacement. The spark plug/injector could be in the cylinder, as it only moves up and down a few cm at most and maybe not at all depending of driving conditions.

    As a range extender this wobble plate engine with variable displacemnet would work well. Get the revving sweet spot and fix it at that. The variable displacement comes in depending on load.

    http://i46.tinypic.com/5aoylj.gif