Oct 10

Popular Mechanics Finds Chevrolet Volt Gets 32 MPG City and 36 MPG Highway in Extended Range Mode

 

[ad#post_ad]The extensive road-test journalist reviews of the Chevrolet Volt have begun to pour in.

In this case Popular Mechanics took home an unsupervised Chevrolet Volt to test drive for 3 days and 900 miles, and has become the first publication to determine the Volt’s fuel efficiency when in extended range mode.

GM has held to their promise it wouldn’t be be them to who told the world these numbers.

First some new official facts: the Volt’s size is a 105.7 inch wheel base and 177 inch exterior length and it’s weight is 3790 pounds.

The PM driver found the car library quiet inside, and could get it to accelerate from 0 to 60 in the as-promised 8.82 seconds. Top speed was electronically limited to 101 mph at which they found it “tracks like it’s made for the Autobahn.”

The car braked from 60 to 0 in a “quite good” 118.97 feet, surprising for its newly exposed portly weight. They noticed though it had an odd quirk of stopping with more force as the car slowed.
They found the ride comfortable and refined and noticed the tuned power steering lightened considerably as the car slowed.

It was noted the generator went on without being recognized but at times a revving could be heard, that like a CVT did not seem mated to the driving situation.

The reviewer could test mountain mode in the places he drove, but could get a quote from GMs top EV engineer. “In the mountain mode,” said Larry Nitz. “the Volt zips right up Loveland Pass in Colorado at over 70 mph.”

It was perceived that some interior plastic seemed a little less luxurious than a car this price should have but that the exterior styling was excellent. “At least Chevy’s designers penned an aggressive body that’s a clean brake (sic) from the usual jellybean hybrid,” he wrote. “We’d buy the car on looks alone.” The author said the car actually looked more aggressively than its performance was capable.

Now to the question we’ve all been waiting for.

The reviewer took the car through three full recharge cycles. He was able to get 31, 35, and 33 miles of EV range, for a total average of 33 miles. This included one drive of 78 MPG highway in which the 33 mile range was achieved.

The driver specifically determined fuel economy after the battery was depleted and while in extended range mode.

“In the city, we recorded 31.67 mpg and achieved 36.0 mpg on the highway,” they wrote.

In the end the reviewer found the car a well engineered car that was surprising refined and capable of being a primary vehicle that does not restrict the driver to a fixed  EV range. “Consider the Volt a well-engineered first step on the path to electrified vehicles,” he wrote.

Tomorrow I will have my chance to test this out. Remember your mileage will vary.

Source (Popular Mechanics)
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This entry was posted on Sunday, October 10th, 2010 at 6:08 am and is filed under Efficiency, Test drive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 316


  1. 1
    Lawrence

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:28 am)

    Can’t wait til more real data comes up. 36 MPG on highway is low, and 32 MPG on city mode is similar as any conventional car.

    Let’s way for more early users to post their own measurements here, as we will finally get a strong and good overview of its CS mode efficiency.

    Thanks Lyle for posting great infos here


  2. 2
    Dave K.

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:33 am)

    Did Popular Mechanics use the efficiency gauge during CS testing? My guess is they didn’t being that as much as 50 miles battery range was reported by GM during careful driving.

    From the report above:”This included one drive of 78 MPG highway in which the 33 mile range was achieved.” Should this read “at 78 mpH highway”?

    =D-Volt


  3. 3
    ziv

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:46 am)

    Interesting but not as much for the CS mpg since they appear to have been flogging the hell out of it, as would I. But I wish they had set the bar for hwy MPG at 65 mph on a 200 mile run, or something like that. Nice info on their impression of the finish quality, ambivalent but not hyper critical. I think the 78 mpg hwy drive at 33 mpg is a typo, that the run was at 78 mph and the mpg was 33, which isn’t bad. What would that mean for a 65 mph run, 38 mpg or 43? It would definitely be in FFH territory, which is pretty good. 0-60 and 60-0 are both better than I expected, but if the EPA equivalent mpg isn’t a bit better than 32/36, 33 combined, GM will get a lot of undeservedly bad press. Even if the car does no better than this, my 12,000 miles a year would mean that my gas use would go up from 3-4 gallons a month to around 4-5 gallons a month, and since electricity is so much cheaper than gas, my total fuel bill will go from $110 a month now to somewhere around $34 a month with the Volt, and most of it would be domestically produced electricity rather than foreign oil.
    But I have to admit that I wish Popular Mechanics had done an efficiency run, because if one of those was their efficiency run, the Prius fans and the anti-GM bailout peoples’ catcalls are going to be deafening. I had hoped that the EPA results for the LA06 would have been 45 city/42 hwy, 43 combined, or better, but we shall see. I still think GM’s flaks are shooting themselves in the foot…


  4. 4
    Barry252

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:46 am)

    Great info Lyle! From the review, it seems the tester was pushing the Volt in Sport and Mountain Modes. I wouldn’t expect great milage numbers in either case. I really agree with the jellybean comments and overall styling.
    I wonder what kind of economys the hyper-milers will get??

    Barry


  5. 5
    herm

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:55 am)

    They were flogging it, dont expect high mpg numbers.


  6. 6
    Me Here

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:14 am)

    :(


  7. 7
    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:30 am)

    The MPG during first 40 miles is what Volt will hang it’s hat on. Then, please tell me who drives a car that does better than the 31/36 after that… Just what I thought, not very many.


  8. 8
    o.jeff

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:33 am)

    Motor Trend is claiming a direct mechanical connection in CS mode above 70 mph:

    “The surprising news is that, after you deplete the 16-kW-hr battery and the engine switches on, a clutch connects the engine and generator to the planetary transmission so the engine can help turn the wheels directly above 70 mph. This improves performance and boosts high-speed efficiency by 10-15 percent.

    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/index.html#ixzz11xUeZcBu


  9. 9
    EricLG

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:38 am)

    If the car can go 78 mph at 266 wh/mile in CD mode that is really quite good, comparing favorably to the G2 Prius that has been measured at 268 wh/mile at 75 mph. The CS mpg is, as expected, pathetic. We will just have to wait and see how much the result is driver, drive cycle, or drivetrain related.

    Anybody still expecting GM to happily surprise its fans with 50 mpg CS ?


  10. 10
    EricLG

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:41 am)

    (click to show comment)


  11. 11
    bt

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:43 am)

    Ummmm, aren’t we missing something here? I haven’t checked article yet, but what was the BEV range before CS? 40? 38? 44?


  12. 12
    bookdabook

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:44 am)

    ziv: But I have to admit that I wish Popular Mechanics had done an efficiency run,

    You won’t have to wait very long. Some other press person will probably release a number for that later this week. Everyone will want to be the 1st to do whatever with this new car and stretching the mpg to its max will become a competition.

    I imagine on a long trip you can put the E back into the battery on downhills and braking situations and get more overall range.

    -Book


  13. 13
    Jim I

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:45 am)

    I think I will wait for Lyle’s test reviews. IMHO they will be much more of what we want to know about regular daily driving, with a few pedal to the metal tests just for fun!!!

    Most magazine tests are all about how much power it has and the 0-60 times, etc. This is not how we will regularly drive this car, and why we are going EREV in the first place.

    Have done a test drive in NYC this spring, I am still trying to figure out the “cheapo plastics” comment from the review. I did not have that impression at all………..

    OT:

    Here is a Nissan Leaf article that I found interesting:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/First-Buyers-of-Nissan-Leaf-nytimes-1361061352.html?x=0


  14. 14
    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:46 am)

    You could fill the Prius’ trunk up with batteries, and put more on a trailer behind it, and not get more than 62 mph all electric.


  15. 15
    Loboc

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:49 am)

  16. 16
    John

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:50 am)

    Won’t this hurt potential sales? The Cruze is > 40mpg and almost 1/2 the price of a same-style Volt. With plug-in Prius in a year, Nissan LEAF soon out and more competition on the way, is the Volt a viable product now?


  17. 17
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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:51 am)

    I will be back in Detroit tomorrow too. Would love to be with Lyle, but will have to wait a few months for my Volt. Scheduled for the Chicago drive. Almost got to ride with Tony Posawatz a couple of days ago. I will remain pumped up though.


  18. 18
    Jeff N

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:00 am)

    The Popular Mechanics MPG results seem a bit odd. In the first of three rounds of Charge Depleting mode they reported lower MPG results when trying to purposefully drive it efficiently than they got in 2 later tests when they drove it more aggressively. Likewise, their city CS MPG result is oddly (for a full hybrid) lower than their highway CS MPG.

    This might imply either that the Volt’s regenerative braking is inefficient or it might imply a problem in their test protocol. Prius drivers can notice that city driving sometimes causes a higher State of Charge (SOC) on the battery from the repeated regenerative braking of stop and start traffic. But, on the Prius, the absolute difference in the resulting battery charge is relatively small. The Volt has a ~10 times larger battery pack so if a similar effect is taking place it might well result in braking adding enough to the battery that it would throw off a city MPG calculation that didn’t carefully account for the battery SOC before and after the test.

    Did Popular Mechanics accurately take into account before vs after battery pack SOC in the MPG tests. If so, how did they measure it and how wide is the Volt’s SOC range in CS mode?


  19. 19
    crew

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:08 am)

    At first analysis of the Volt, a while ago, I couldn’t justify 40+ mpg out of a series hybrid drive train in a +3,500 lb car. I have hoped for better as the GM engineering team kept tweaking the Volt before we drove them freely. The Popular Mechanics drive is what we have been waiting for and is the first significant test drive from the press. Good job PM.

    Don’t forget, this is real world driving results, not EPA test results.

    I am anxiously waiting for the advisory guys to show us how to drive to get the most out of the car for EV range and fuel economy.
    Here are some fuel economy numbers from the EPA and some of the vehicle weights that go with them.

    Ford Fiesta 33 mpg
    Toyota Camry Hybrid 34 mpg 3680 lbs
    Smart fortwo 36 mpg 1808 lbs
    Toyota Yaris 32 mpg
    Honda Civic Hybrid 42 mpg 2877 lbs
    Lexus h250 35 mpg 3682 lbs
    Volkswagen Jetta/Golf 34 mpg
    Nissan Altima Hybrid 34 mpg
    Toyota Prius 50 mpg 3042 lbs
    Honda Fit 31 mpg
    ford Escape Hybrid 32 pmg 3663 lbs
    Lexus 450h 30 mpg
    Toyota Tundra 16 mpg
    Nissan Versa 30 mpg
    Ford Fusion 39 mpg 3720 lbs
    Honda Insight 41 mpg 2727 lbs
    Mini Clubman 31 mpg

    How do these number compare to the real world results of the same cars?

    Perhaps Volt fuel economy isn’t going to be revolutionary in itself. Having a car that travels forty miles without any and then rivals fuel use of any car in it’s class is quite an accomplishment!


  20. 20
    Hmmm

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:10 am)

    doesn’t sound like they were very light on the gas pedal. I take this as a good indication that the Volt gets better charge-sustaining gas mileage than I feared.


  21. 21
    Loboc

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:11 am)

    From the PM 900-mile link:

    “…the car is a well-engineered piece that integrates the various powertrain components with a refinement we didn’t expect.”

    This is what I take away from their review. They have no interest in the mpg per se; only in the car as a car. Which is perfectly ok. This is why I am buying the Volt. Not some ethereal mpg that-only-happens-in-these-specific-conditions.

    They could have at least posted the numbers captured by the computer. What was the overall mpg, for example? How much gas did they pump for 900 (flogged) miles?

    Their testing at 78mph is outside what normal people would do on a normal day. (Is 78mph even legal anywhere in Michigan?) Although, personally, I tend to drive just below 80 in a 70mph speed limit.

    Let’s see what Lyle, PIA and other EV folks have to say about it. I think we’ll see mpg numbers all over the map.


  22. 22
    Rooster

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:11 am)

    When the Volt is driven using the less aggressive EPA City and HWY profiles, it will achieve a MPG in the 40′s. I’m still voting a combined rating of 42 MPG. As Herm said, PM was flogging it. The auto press always floggs their test cars, just look at the “achieved” MPG on the cars they test, compared to the EPA rating. The driving style in this test was likely a – 3 sigma case scenario…thus I believe an achieved MPG in the mid 30s is outstanding. Keep it in perspective, these guys weren’t exactly hypermiling and got 35 MPG.

    Well done GM, you’ve created a world class benchmark vehicle here.


  23. 23
    Slave to OPEC

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:18 am)

    So the average is 34. Where have I seen that number before?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:19 am)

    Oh, and by the way, the MPG PM achieved with the Volt is better than the MPG I achieve in my 2006 Honda Civic Sedan. In combined city/hwy driving outside the beltway (DC area), I typically average about 32-33 MPG, and I don’t drive aggressively. At a steady 70 MPH (CC set) with the A/C on, I’ve averaged 40-41 MPG in the Civic, thus I expect the Volt to better that with with the CC set.


  25. 25
    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:24 am)

    #21 Loboc said:

    Their testing at 78mph is outside what normal people would do on a normal day. (Is 78mph even legal anywhere in Michigan?) Although, personally, I tend to drive just below 80 in a 70mph speed limit.

    Count me in with the abnormal people.


  26. 26
    Tagamet

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:26 am)

    As others have mentioned, I’ll look forward to Lyle’s assessments of the Volt in real-life, ongoing settings. The major variable that will then be included is that we all “know” (and trust) the one doing the driving. That’s a HUGE unknown in all of the magazine articles.
    As an aside, I sure wish that the “ignore” feature was available.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  27. 27
    Pat

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:28 am)

    If the car is driven at high speeds efficiency will suffer so will the mpg …just like the regular ICE car does ..so test will be if you drive say 55-60 mph [a very reasonable speed on highways] what will be the mpg …Let us hear from someone who tests drive it at that speed ..May be Lyle can do that aspect of testing …
    AS others mentioned driving at 78-80 even 70 is going to lower the efficiency ..Most people tend to have lead foot but claim they dont …

    Pat


  28. 28
    MikeD.

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:33 am)

    More info on Popular Mechanic’s efficiency tests:

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/electric/chevy-volt-range-tests

    This is fine for single runs tests, but I think the Volt’s strength will be in OVERALL range and economy over many months, not 3 separate tests.


  29. 29
    Loboc

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:34 am)

    o.jeff: Motor Trend is claiming a direct mechanical connection in CS mode above 70 mph:“The surprising news is that, after you deplete the 16-kW-hr battery and the engine switches on, a clutch connects the engine and generator to the planetary transmission so the engine can help turn the wheels directly above 70 mph. This improves performance and boosts high-speed efficiency by 10-15 percent.Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/index.html#ixzz11xUeZcBu  

    Thanks for the great link o.jeff!

    These are the kind of reviews that we really need. Car guy reviews.

    MT fuel economy: 126.7 mpg
    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/specs.html


  30. 30
    ziv

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:43 am)

    Well Motor Trend flogged it like they should to see how it performs, and they said they ‘managed’ to get the car to slow to 40 mph on a Pikes Peak profile we talked about months ago, but they had to ignore the Mountain feature to do so.
    And they got 126.7 mpg over the period of the test! Their comment about driving long distances was, _Without any plugging in, such a trip should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s_
    Not bad. High 30′s to low 40′s on the hwy means low to mid 40′s in town, probably, but we will see. I still want to see a 200 mile hwy run at 65 mph, but these numbers look pretty good. Not great, but it isn’t like most people will use the CS mode that much anyway. The funny thing is that the people that castigate the Volt for getting a low CS mpg of 38-42 mpg are the ones that are telling us that the Leaf doesn’t really need more than 80-90 miles AER because drivers don’t drive that far very often.

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/performance.html


  31. 31
    nasaman

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:45 am)

    John, post #16: Won’t this hurt potential sales? The Cruze is > 40mpg and almost 1/2 the price of a same-style Volt. With plug-in Prius in a year, Nissan LEAF soon out and more competition on the way, is the Volt a viable product now?

    Yes, the Volt is a highly-viable product. Motor Trend also just published its 1st test report and noted that although they heavily flogged the car during the testing, the overall equivalent mileage was 176mpg city/hwy combined. I’ve also test driven the Volt and can vouch that it’s clearly a luxury car (unlike Cruze, an economy car). That’s why Motor Trend equated it for comparison purposes to an HS250h Lexus hybrid, which by the way, they found gets only 35mpg city/34mpg hwy.

    NOTE that the Volt’s 32mpg city/36mpg hwy reported by Popular Mechanics is only AFTER it’s entered the extended range mode. Prior to that, for up to a 100 mile range it’s equivalent mpg will always be well over 100mpg —and even over 250mpg in many cases.


  32. 32
    neutron

     

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:48 am)

    It appears PM did the tests a way a lot of us drive. If the 33 in generator mode is typical then it is a disappointment. This test was in warm weather? Then cold weather would make it less.
    The Motor Trend tests are a little better. They equate the Volt to luxury cars with lower mileage because of weight.
    Cars like the Prius and Fusion, I think, get better mileage. One will really have to love the Volt and like to pay the higher price when compared to other electric /hybrid options. Let us see what the average of all of the press reports are for making a “data driven” energy used decision.


  33. 33
    MikeD.

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:51 am)

    neutron: It appears PM did the tests a way a lot of us drive.If the 33 in generator mode is typical then it is a disappointment.This test was in warm weather?Then cold weather would make it less.Cars like the Prius and Fusion, I think, get better mileage. One will really have to love the Volt and like to pay the higher price when compared to other electric /hybrid options.  

    Yet again it must be reiterated: If you are planning on running THAT MUCH in CS mode on a daily basis, the Volt is not the car for you.


  34. 34
    nasaman

     

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:59 am)

    CORRECTION to my post #31: the overall equivalent mileage was 176mpg city/hwy combined” should be 126mpg.


  35. 35
    The Grump

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:00 am)

    Pat says

    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:28 am) If the car is driven at high speeds efficiency will suffer so will the mpg …just like the regular ICE car does ..so test will be if you drive say 55-60 mph [a very reasonable speed on highways] what will be the mpg …Let us hear from someone who tests drive it at that speed…
    —————————————————————————–
    Just stay out of the fast lane, please.

    BTW, I am a little disappointed in the CS numbers reported, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Chevy did not need such a big engine just to turn a generator. It was what they had in stock vs designing a new engine from scratch, to save cost. I can understand that. I just wish they had a 2-cycle natural gas engine option, which burns cleaner. Oh well. Looking forward to Lyle’s report.


  36. 36
    Fluke

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:01 am)

    My favorite paragraph from the MT article:

    [While commuting, boss Angus MacKenzie noted, "This is where the Volt shines. Quick and nippy in traffic, it proceeds with a silent, oozing surge of acceleration, like a downsized Rolls-Royce Phantom." Executive editor Ed Loh concurred, adding, "Volt engineers have done an excellent job matching the 'efficiency threshold' to L.A. traffic. On the commute in this morning, I had no problem keeping the leafy green ball in the optimized zone. It's harder keeping our Fusion Hybrid running optimally."]


  37. 37
    nasaman

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:03 am)

    MikeD., #33: Yet again it must be reiterated: If you are planning on running THAT MUCH in CS mode on a daily basis, the Volt is not the car for you.

    Not necessarily. As I said in post 31, “That’s why Motor Trend equated it for comparison purposes to an HS250h Lexus hybrid, which by the way, they found gets only 35mpg city/34mpg hwy.” And it’s VERY important to note that the Volt’s 32mpg city/36mpg hwy reported by Popular Mechanics is only AFTER it’s entered the extended range mode. Prior to that, for up to a 100 mile range it’s equivalent mpg will always be well over 100mpg —and even over 250mpg in many cases.


  38. 38
    Tagamet

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:06 am)

    neutron: It appears PM did the tests a way a lot of us drive. If the 33 in generator mode is typical then it is a disappointment.

    I’m not sure which MT review you read (there are a few), but the one I read talked about entering turns at full speed, braking hard, and accelerating out of them. At which point they mentioned that the *tires* “complained” loudly. They raised “Flogging” to new heights! The DATA needs some context.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  39. 39
    Dave K.

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:07 am)

    Pat: AS others mentioned driving at 78-80 even 70 is going to lower the efficiency ..Most people tend to have lead foot but claim they don’t …

    Good point. Angry people tend to drive fast. The quiet cabin and Bose system in the Volt will rate high in smiles per gallon.

    BTW: I set my cruise at 70-72 on the highway.

    =D-Volt


  40. 40
    koz

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:16 am)

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/electric/chevy-volt-range-tests?src=rss

    The highway drive had the cruise control set to 78 mph. 70mph cruise will result in roughly a 14% improvement or a little more than 41mpg given the same driving conditions. 65mph cruise will yield another 10% or so improvement from 70mph or about 45mpg.

    City mpg for the same pattern will vary widely depending mostly braking style. I can’t wait for Lyle’s reports.


  41. 41
    herm

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:19 am)

    What does a Prius or Fusion hybrid get on the hwy at 78mph?.. I think the Prius can reach 78 but I’m not sure..

    BTW.. I set my cruise control at 55mph.. I get where I am going at about the same time.. and much calmer.


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    jhm614

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:22 am)

    The CS mileage seems reasonable for a magazine performance test and you know that hyper-milers will easily add another 10 mpg. The real point of the article is that regular re-charging is key. If I remember to plug in every night, my mileage goes from the high 30s (very good) to the mid 125′s (seems almost like science fiction!) I understand that new tech is expensive but I still wish the Volt was a little cheaper.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:22 am)

    We’ll see what happens once GM collects the data from the real Volt owners via On-star. I bet they will start advertising what the general population gets with the data. And I can bet that real world folks will be getting >100mpg with all of the driving miles combined in CS mode and in pure EV mode. I myself am estimating >300mpg combined based on my driving patterns.


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    john1701a

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:23 am)

    crew: Here are some fuel economy numbers from the EPA and some of the vehicle weights that go with them…
    Toyota Prius 50 mpg 3042 lbs

    Toyota Prius 50 mpg 3340 lbs (PHV model CS-mode)

    Real-World observation has shown the added efficiency of the Li-Ion battery along with tweaks to the system offsets the extra 298 pounds for the plug-in.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:25 am)

    The motortrend article says the volt is a series/parallel (engine connected to wheels) above 70 mph, but their hp vs speed chart looks like it happens at 60 mph.

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/photo_43.html


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    Fluke

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:31 am)

    Also interesting from the MT article (reformatted table for posting clarity)

    VOLT VERSUS PLUG-IN PRIUS:

    THE BOAST:
    Volt’s main electric motor is more powerful: 149-hp/273-lb-ft vs 80 hp/153-lb-ft
    WHAT IT MEANS:
    Between its big motor and better gearing, Volt can provide the full range of performance, grade climbing, and top speed in electric mode. Prius must fire its engine to try to keep up with the Volt, and will still be left behind.

    THE BOAST:
    Prius’s gasoline engine is more powerful: 1.8L/98-hp/105-lb-ft vs 1.4L/84-hp/92-lb-ft (est)
    WHAT IT MEANS:
    Because of the way the Prius’ planetary transmission works, the engine has to turn above 62 mph anyway, so Toyota depends on its gas engine to do more of the work.

    THE BOAST:
    Volt’s battery pack is way bigger: 16kW-hr/435 pounds vs 3 kW-hr/330 pounds
    WHAT IT MEANS:
    Volt provides 25-50 miles of real-world electric operation no matter how hard you flog it. If driven extremely gently below 62 mph, Prius can eek out up to 13 electric miles.

    THE BOAST:
    Prius burns Regular fuel, Volt requires pricier Premium or E85 ethanol
    WHAT IT MEANS:
    Volt’s 1.4-liter achieves a 5-percent efficiency gain by optimizing its combustion for high-octane fuel, because it most often operates at wide-open-throttle. (Its carbon footprint really shrinks on renewable ethanol!)

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/engine_graphs.html


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    Tagamet

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:31 am)

    carcus3: The motortrend article says the volt is a series/parallel (engine connected to wheels) above 70 mph, but their hp vs speed chart looks like it happens at 60 mph.http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/photo_43.html  

    Yes it does.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    carcus3

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:31 am)

    Might be interesting to go back and look at the “Combustion Engine Does Not and Will Not Turn the Volt’s Driveshaft Ever. Got it?” article just for fun.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:32 am)

    Johann: We’ll see what happens once GM collects the data from the real Volt owners via On-star.I bet they will start advertising what the general population gets with the data.And I can bet that real world folks will be getting >100mpg with all of the driving miles combined in CS mode and in pure EV mode.I myself am estimating >300mpg combined based on my driving patterns.

    Very good point Johann.. GM could have a real time display of actual MPG displayed on a web page.. cant actually be a real mpg because many owners will get 999mpg and that will ruin the data.. and I really dont like MPGe.

    Here is what I would like to see:
    1. daily actual traveled electric range for all the owners, averaged..
    2. same but in CS mode, plus an mpg average..


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    EricLG

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:37 am)

    herm: What does a Prius or Fusion hybrid get on the hwy at 78mph?.. I think the Prius can reach 78 but I’m not sure..

    Close … 113 mph.

    Since you are interested in the Prius, here is part of a post from a guy gunning down the autobahn
    “When no speed limit was given (typically there is a 120km/h-75mph limit over a good third of the way and 80km/h-50mph one in all roadwork sections), I was going anything slower than 150km/h-93mph and as fast as 190km/h-118mph.
    The overall stability was good but not excellent – I am driving now with winter tires (195/55 R16), instead of the 215/45 R17 – so this is certainly one limiting factor. I have tried driving 190km/h already once with the 215 summer tires and the stability is excellent.

    Acceleration is OK but not that exciting – but mainly I was chased from 2.0+L BMWs/Mercedes and the such with 150+HP at least. I was never chased by a Golf or other mid-sized car. Surely the Prius is not a Ferrari, but you need to push it to get juice out of it (at least at these speeds). Often you press the gas and “nothing” happens. The eCVT likely doesn’t help, but I cannot imagine shifting gears at these speeds, it doesn’t make any sense – you really need HP and torque (if any left….).

    The engine gets quite noisy and the HSI is no indication of what are the RPMs of the ICE and if you are melting it down The HSI bar might not be in the red PWR zone, you are doing 180km/h-111mph going uphill and the engine is roaring, but you have no clue whether you are in the red rpm zone…..
    Comically enough, I never really had to floor the accelerator, but honestly I was afraid of having the ICE jump out of the car…

    I used power mode all the time, not because the car goes any faster, but simply because on German highway, people do drive fast – no only in terms of overall speed, but also in terms of reaction times. When there is a chance to go faster, they will do it. No grannies here! So you need to accelerate fast, and PWR Mode gives you better reaction to the foot. After arriving in Offenburg I had to keep the PWR mode on as my foot got so used to it, that normal mode felt like ECO!!!

    What I noticed is that the battery charges continuously – the ICE is running so much and at max power that it can generate traction power, power for the generator and power for the electric motor. The batter was charging while the motor was driving the wheels at the same time. This has been the only time that I have ever seen the battery of my Prius fully charged, even if for just a short period of time. Most of the time it was 70%-80% full.
    Having a full battery was really helpful when stuck in a traffic jam or at lower speeds as I could coast in electric mode most of the time.

    So now the main question is – what was the average fuel consumption, including 25km/15mi in town before leaving Munich????
    10L/100km-23MPG? No. 8L/100km-29MPG? No. It was just 6L/100km-39MPG. I am honestly impressed.
    This also means that if I drive it more slowly (say 140km/h-87mph), I would probably get 5L/100km-47MPG. And that for a german autobahn *is* impressive. I would never get that on the Polo diesel I got before.

    I have also tested today going 150km/h-93mph more or less constantly, and you do get 7L/100km-34mpg average.”

    Pay particular attention to the last sentence: 34 mpg at 93 mph. The writer thinks that the speeds have to be adjusted down 10% because of the wheel/tyre choices on this car, based on concurrent GPS readings.


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    ClarksonCote

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:43 am)

    John: Won’t this hurt potential sales? The Cruze is > 40mpg and almost 1/2 the price of a same-style Volt. With plug-in Prius in a year, Nissan LEAF soon out and more competition on the way, is the Volt a viable product now?  

    This thinking is exactly why people need to ignore a full CS MPG number. Like Lyle said, when combined with 33 miles all EV range, the equivalent of 78MPG was achieved. Stating a 40MPG Cruise is better mileage than a Volt is apples/oranges, and unless anyone frequently drives on a 300 mile one-way trip, the Volt will always have better equivalent gas mileage.

    join thE REVolution


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    john1701a

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:43 am)

    Speaking of weight…

    12/29/2009 rumor was that Volt would way as much as 850 pounds more than Prius. Measured weight in the article puts Volt at 3,790 pounds. That comes to a difference of 748.

    Question now is, what kind of TIRES are being used? It sure looks like the XL (Extra Load) type will be required.


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    EricLG

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:44 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:46 am)

    koz: The highway drive had the cruise control set to 78 mph. 70mph cruise will result in roughly a 14% improvement or a little more than 41mpg given the same driving conditions. 65mph cruise will yield another 10% or so improvement from 70mph or about 45mpg.

    at 55mph you will nearly double your mpg from driving at 78mph… the epa hwy tests are done at an average speed of 48mph.


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    bt

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:46 am)

    Mark Phelan in USA Today seems to love it(wish I was tech enough to post the link here).

    btw, he says he got 40 mile range before CS–almost spot on. (no mention however of CS range)


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    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:48 am)

    Eco_Turbo: The MPG during first 40 miles is what Volt will hang it’s hat on. Then, please tell me who drives a car that does better than the 31/36 after that… Just what I thought, not very many.  (Quote)

    I for one enjoy 60.6 MPG average since the car was new.

    Take Care, TED


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:54 am)

    I’m not surprised at the results. I’m more excited about my first drive tomorrow. I can’t wait. :)


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:56 am)

    carcus3: Might be interesting to go back and look at the “Combustion Engine Does Not and Will Not Turn the Volt’s Driveshaft Ever. Got it?” article just for fun.  

    I still will give preference to GM engineers..


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:58 am)

    Hey, GM Marketing:
    I have a fantastic idea for the Volt. Put up a digital billboard in Times Square and show GALLONS SAVED by the Chevy Volt in real time using real OnStar data! Watching those numbers go up and up will show people what the Volt is all about, oil independence. Forget MPG and certainly MPGe all you are doing is battling and confusing consumers. Market the volt for what it is, a gas saver.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:00 am)

    33 miles in charge depleting mode, falls short of the promise in my book. This is without full HVAC load. Will wait for more test drives. I was hoping for at least 45 miles on a brand new battery and city speeds. Maybe the ICE-gen-motor combination is not a way to go for a small car due to weight penalty? For all of us 3 car families Volt does not look that much more attractive. Maybe it is better to get a Leaf as a third car, I don’t know…


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:07 am)

    I do not see all the hand wringing about the CS mode. The Volt’s great advantage over all other cars (except a BEV) is the number 40 AER. As the politicians would say *It is the up front 40 Miles -stupit-*. The Volt will redefine hyper mileing as driving near infinite miles per gallon of gas no other cars can do that exept a BEV. What the reported CS mileage tells me is that when not in BEV mode the Volt is just an ordinary ICE. What else is new?


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    herm

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:08 am)

    carcus3: The motortrend article says the volt is a series/parallel (engine connected to wheels) above 70 mph, but their hp vs speed chart looks like it happens at 60 mph.http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/photo_43.html

    The article mentions that GM dials back the power in CD mode (in continuous full power acceleration after about 10 seconds..) to extend range… we have always suspected the battery is power limited.. and the reason it cant be used for larger Voltec cars. In CS mode the generator can supplement the power of the battery and also keep the charge level constant.

    Apparently the performance is different in CS and CD mode.


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    crew

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:09 am)

    EricLG:
    Since you are interested in the Prius,

    Not all of us, really, but you are, and to excess!

    So, never mind the Prius, I’d like to see a side by side comparison with the Lexus h250 and the Ford Fusion hybrid.
    Money on the line, which one goes in the driveway?
    The Volt needs work to bring the weight down, no doubt, but what we have is what we have. The Volt is, by far, the best all around vehicle on the planet to sacrifice little and dramatically cut back petroleum use over anything else on the planet (outside of a BEV)!

    Are there other vehicles that can compare at any measure?

    ps, by the way, winter’s coming. Anybody want to do a comparison in February, in Canada?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:12 am)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:13 am)

    Kudos to GM for optimizing performance and MPG at high speed so I can enjoy driving the VOLT from coast to coast. Owning/leasing ONE car instead of two (BEV and ICE) is true cost savings compared to having the ICE car sitting in the garage 90% of the time.


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    Timaaayyy!!!

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:16 am)

    “We’d buy the car on looks alone.” A sub-$100,000 electric car that actually looks good? Awesome.


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    Jeff N

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:16 am)

    john1701a: Speaking of weight…12/29/2009 rumor was that Volt would way as much as 850 pounds more than Prius.Measured weight in the article puts Volt at 3,790 pounds.That comes to a difference of 748.Question now is, what kind of TIRES are being used?It sure looks like the XL (Extra Load) type will be required.  

    No.

    The gross vehicle weight rating (which includes passengers, luggage etc.) of the Volt is 4536 and the Goodyear Fuel Max 17 inch 215/55 tires are rated to carry 1477 pounds each so 4 tires can carry 5908.

    Motor Trend reports the Volt weight as 3729 or 9 pounds heavier than a Ford Fusion Hybrid.
    The Fusion also uses 17 inch wheels and regular load tires rated for 1477 pounds each.
    The old 2001 Prius used XL rated tires but that was because Toyota used 14 inch wheels.


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    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:18 am)

    Wonder what the mileage would be with carbon fiber body panels instead of Steel. We need to get the weight under control somehow.

    Take Care,
    TED


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    Jeff N

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:36 am)

    Jeff N:

    The Fusion also uses 17 inch wheels and regular load tires rated for 1477 pounds each.
      

    Correction. The Ford Fusion Hybrid seems to be using Michelin MxV4 S8 regular load tires rated at 1433 pounds each.


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    Roy H

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:38 am)

    EricLG: I have also tested today going 150km/h-93mph more or less constantly, and you do get 7L/100km-34mpg average.”

    Pay particular attention to the last sentence: 34 mpg at 93 mph. The writer thinks that the speeds have to be adjusted down 10% because of the wheel/tyre choices on this car, based on concurrent GPS readings.  

    Why didn’t you include the conversion if there is a 10% error? 150kpm-93mph becomes 135kpm-84mph and 7L/100km = 7.78L/100km or 30.3mpg.

    So at 6 mph faster than PM’s 78mph the Prius gets 5 mpg LESS than the Volt.
    Or put in percentage, at 7.3% faster or 15% more wind resistance, the mileage is 16% worse.

    This is still not a win for the Volt in my mind, as is comes out to be equal and the Volt requires premium gas, so the cost/mile of fuel is still more for the Volt.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:39 am)

    herm: I still will give preference to GM engineers..  

    ICE connected to wheels:

    Well, I’d rather hear it from GM engineers, but last time they spoke there was no doubt the answer was no.

    Now we have a guy who’s got a BS and MS in mechanical engineering who’s written for 12 years at Car and Driver and 3 for Motortrend saying that there is a mechanical connection.

    The series hybrid design apparently does indeed have power fade issues which have been dealt with by:

    A. mountain mode (mountain mode = crappy gas mileage)

    and

    B. utilization of Series/parallel at higher speeds (series/parallel = not series)

    ….. and the MPG in CS (normal mode) is looking not so sweet.

    At $41K+ the whole “leap frog HSD with a series hybrid thing” is looking pretty much DOA.


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    john1701a

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:39 am)

    Jeff N: The gross vehicle weight rating (which includes passengers, luggage etc.) of the Volt is 4536 and the Goodyear Fuel Max 17 inch 215/55 tires…

    Thanks.

    Since the 2001 Prius only weighed 2,765 pounds, there was no basis of comparison available. Stepping up to 15-inch eliminated the need for XL. The same appears to be the case for 17-inch on Volt.

    Next question is what’s the recommended PSI ?


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    ProfessorGordon

     

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:42 am)

    Such a lot of great information from these magazine reviews! I enjoy seeing the results of pushing the car to its limits and am very happy with the Volt’s report card as a Gen 1 vehicle. Really an amazing accomplishment!

    I was quite surprised how closely the Volt engine’s RPM tracks the vehicle speed. I am curious whether this was done more for customer feel expectations or whether it is the most efficient technique all considered. My guess is that the engineers wanted to minimize battery cycling and give the driver the familiar feel of a standard ICE car. It could also be the only practical way to do it when the speed is constantly changing (and impossible to predict). I would like to see this chart at varying constant speeds, 20, 30, 40, 50 etc. MPH.

    http://image.motortrend.com/f/29175683+w750/2011-chevrolet-volt-engine-behavior-graph.jpg


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:49 am)

    Dave K.: Mark Phelan review:
    http://www.freep.com/article/20101010/COL14/10100509/1322/Chevy-Volt-promises-to-go-the-distance
    =D-Volt  

    Note is not a long range test..nothing new here.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:04 am)

    Mark Z: Kudos to GM for optimizing performance and MPG at high speed so I can enjoy driving the VOLT from coast to coast. Owning/leasing ONE car instead of two (BEV and ICE) is true cost savings compared to having the ICE car sitting in the garage 90% of the time.  (Quote)

    You all know the tune… Sing it with me now!

    See the USA in your Chevrolet
    While the Prius sits at home in your garage


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:04 am)

    Biggest deal for me is the 33 mile AER at 80 MPG. That’s better than the 28 mile range I expected. Since the commute of 12.5 miles is primarily freeway, this means it’s highly unlikely the Volt would ever use any gas. Maybe a few days a year when there’s a need to shuttle people around, but that’s maybe once a quarter.

    I’m also very much liking the handling at 100 MPH. Not that I’d ever drive that fast, but if the car is sticking to the road at 100 MPH it’s doing at least as well at 80 MPH. Ditto for the acceleration. Mostly that will be useful for dusting BMWs who think they can roar by you coming out of the stops on the on ramps. (Very annoying).

    This is going to be a popular vehicle with people looking for a fun to drive, fun to ride in, car.

    As for MPG in CS Mode, not sure what these guys were doing. Seems like all the results are counter intuitive — getting better range at 80 MPH than in city driving trying to maximize range? What’s up with that?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:04 am)

    Not bad for a 3760lb car. I can wish for 50 MPG but this shows that the system is pretty efficient. Sure, babying it might get more, but either way it’s a good sign. Now just get the price down.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:07 am)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:09 am)

    +10 on that one, Terry.

    terryk: Not bad for a 3760lb car. I can wish for 50 MPG but this shows that the system is pretty efficient. Sure, babying it might get more, but either way it’s a good sign. Now just get the price down.  


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:13 am)

    CorvetteGuy:
    You all know the tune… Sing it with me now!See the USA in your Chevrolet
    While the Prius sits at home in your garage  

    Now, now, CG. There’s nothing wrong with the Prius peacefully existing with the Volt (and the Leaf). Granted, I know which one I’d like to drive if I owned a Volt and a Prius, but then again, I’m in the population that drives <40 miles per day.
    Plenty of room for all of the plugins – at this point.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:14 am)

    john1701a:
    Thanks.Since the 2001 Prius only weighed 2,765 pounds, there was no basis of comparison available.Stepping up to 15-inch eliminated the need for XL.The same appears to be the case for 17-inch on Volt. ?  

    As another point of comparison, the Toyota Camry Hybrid weighs 3680 pounds vs. the Volt’s 3720 pounds (as reported by Motor Trend). It also has a very similar gross vehicle weight rating as the Volt but gets by on 16 inch tires.

    And yet, the hybrid Camry EPA mileage rating is 33 city and 34 highway so a Volt getting 36 MPG at 78 MPH (according to Popular Mechanics) looks good.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:23 am)

    nasaman: Motor Trend also just published its 1st test report and noted that although they heavily flogged the car during the testing, the overall equivalent mileage was 176mpg city/hwy combined. I’ve also test driven the Volt and can vouch that it’s clearly a luxury car (unlike Cruze, an economy car). That’s why Motor Trend equated it for comparison purposes to an HS250h Lexus hybrid, which by the way, they found gets only 35mpg city/34mpg hwy.

    +1 for pointing out the obvious conclusion!


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:26 am)

    Tagamet: There’s nothing wrong with the Prius peacefully existing with the Volt (and the Leaf). Granted, I know which one I’d like to drive if I owned a Volt and a Prius, but then again, I’m in the population that drives <40 miles per day.

    Welcome back Tag! How was the French Riviera?

    I think CG is focusing on this line from the MotorTrend review: The Volt is no sports car, but it blows Toyota’s plug-in Prius away.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:30 am)

    I’m a little late here.
    I’ve been betting on 32 MPG.
    I am disappointed in the low mileage PM found.
    I was hoping for around 50 MPG.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:30 am)

    Tagamet: Plenty of room for all of the plugins – at this point

    There has been significant resistance to becoming an ally – in the past.

    The effort to replace traditional production quickly was pushed aside in favor of bragging rights.

    Is the reality of CS-mode efficiency the wake-up call enough to change those attitudes? Or is something else still needed, like much higher gas prices or the expiration of the tax credits?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:31 am)

    EricLG: Breaking news! GM copies Toyota HSD after 15 years, but does a poor job of it.

    There is this thing about people living in glass houses not throwing stones. The fact is that Toyota ripped off HSD from the TRW engineer who developed it, and ripped off the external design of the Prius from the Rocky Mountain Institute. And of course Ford developed more or less the same HSD technology that Toyota uses. Toyota sued Ford and discovered just how original its were — not very — which is why it waved the white flag and surrendered before it had its butt handed to it.

    Do yourself a favor and stop drinking the Kool-Aid.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:41 am)

    DonC:
    Welcome back Tag! How was the French Riviera?I think CG is focusing on this line from the MotorTrend review: The Volt is no sports car, but it blows Toyota’s plug-in Prius away.  

    Thanks! The beaches were a bit pricey, but the views were priceless…. (g).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Jaime

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:45 am)

    Uh oh. It seems the other shoe has finally dropped.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:49 am)

    Why does the aritlce at Popular Mechanics say, “The big difference of course is that the Volt’s 16 kwh T-shaped Toyota Prius.”

    The Volt does not implement a Prius to store its energy. :)

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:53 am)

    Here’s a stupid question that maybe Lyle or CorvetteGuy can answer… Are heated seats standard for the Volt, or do you need the leather package?

    I’ve seen cars that have cloth heated seats, and Popular Mechanics says that heated seats are standard in the Volt. Every center console we’ve ever seen also has the heated seat buttons.

    I also know that we’ve seen options lists stating heated seats only comes with leather trim, but…

    Does anyone know if every model really has heated seats or not?

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:05 pm)

    herm: at 55mph you will nearly double your mpg from driving at 78mph… the epa hwy tests are done at an average speed of 48mph.  (Quote)

    I think the power demand is roughly 55% less at 55 vs 78mph but since you since you are taking 42% more time to travel the same distance. The energy consumption per mile is about 35% improved, so we could expect about 55mpg at 55mph, again everything else being equal. In reality, it looks like GM may be using power split at certain speeds or above certain speeds to gain an efficiency boost.

    This is a good thing for gen1 and a cost saving opportunity for future generations of EREV as the develop more efficient EREV ICEs and other components.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:07 pm)

    ClarksonCote: Here’s a stupid question that maybe Lyle or CorvetteGuy can answer… Are heated seats standard for the Volt, or do you need the leather package?I’ve seen cars that have cloth heated seats, and Popular Mechanics says that heated seats are standard in the Volt. Every center console we’ve ever seen also has the heated seat buttons.I also know that we’ve seen options lists stating heated seats only comes with leather trim, but…Does anyone know if every model really has heated seats or not?join thE REVolution  (Quote)

    My order guide shows the heated seats as part of the Premium Leather interior Package.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:08 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: I’m a little late here.I’ve been betting on 32 MPG.I am disappointed in the low mileage PM found.I was hoping for around 50 MPG.  (Quote)

    Cruise was set at 78mph, which equates to 40+ at 70mph and below.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:14 pm)

    koz:
    Cruise was set at 78mph, which equates to 40+ at 70mph and below.  

    I’m still wondering why in the world they would even report mpg at that speed!?! I’m accustomed to people not making sense, but this is really a stretch.
    I guess they just really enjoyed driving the Volt fast, and…
    never mind, I figured it out (lol).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    crew

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:14 pm)

    Here’s a little perspective on the introductory test results of the Volt.

    The Volt wasn’t built for petroleum use, gasoline is just the backup plan. Even with that caveat, no car with the curb weight of the Volt can go farther on a gallon of gas.

    After 10 years of revolutionary, evolutionary, and outstanding hybrid production from Toyota, Honda and Ford, the Volt outclasses any hybrid right out of the box.

    The engineers of the EV-1 are the true parents of the Volt. This car is a victory for civility, practicality and affordability for driving with electricity every day and to any place on earth.

    After reading the 2 magazine/web articles today, I can feel a growing enthusiasm for the Volt. Perhaps the car didn’t reach some of our expectations for CS economy but the car is, by no other means, letting anyone down that has gotten behind the wheel.

    I echo the quote at #66 as being a little overenthusiastic but it’s from people that actually drove the car:

    Timaaayyy!!!: “We’d buy the car on looks alone.”A sub-$100,000 electric car that actually looks good?Awesome.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:18 pm)

    herm: Dave K.: Mark Phelan review:
    http://www.freep.com/article/20101010/COL14/10100509/1322/Chevy-Volt-promises-to-go-the-distance
    =D-Volt Note is not a long range test..nothing new here.

    Real world, third-party confirmation of 40 miles AER. Seems noteworthy to me. I wonder what Popular Mechanics did on their “maximize” EV range drive to only achieve 31 miles. Something seems pretty off with their number, especially in light of their other tests and Mark Phelan’s results. Is there a regen off button???


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:32 pm)

    crew: Here’s a little perspective on the introductory test results of the Volt.
    The Volt wasn’t built for petroleum use, gasoline is just the backup plan. Even with that caveat, no car with the curb weight of the Volt can go farther on a gallon of gas.After 10 years of revolutionary, evolutionary, and outstanding hybrid production from Toyota, Honda and Ford, the Volt outclasses any hybrid right out of the box.The engineers of the EV-1 are the true parents of the Volt. This car is a victory for civility, practicality and affordability for driving with electricity every day and to any place on earth.After reading the 2 magazine/web articles today, I can feel a growing enthusiasm for the Volt. Perhaps the car didn’t reach some of our expectations for CS economy but the car is, by no other means, letting anyone down that has gotten behind the wheel.
    I echo the quote at #66 as being a little overenthusiastic but they actually drove the car:
      

    Very well said crew–great summary!

    I’m quite comfortable now predicting VOLT will stand for:

    Victory
    Over the
    Long
    Term


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:33 pm)

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20101010/AUTO01/10100301/Chevy%E2%80%99s-Volt-meets-the-press

    “Once the battery is mostly depleted, a 1.4L engine kicks in adding 310 miles to its range.”

    9.3 gallon tank would make that 33.33 mpg.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:38 pm)

    Tagamet:
    I’m still wondering why in the world they would even report mpg at that speed!?! I’m accustomed to people not making sense, but this is really a stretch.
    I guess they just really enjoyed driving the Volt fast, and…
    never mind, I figured it out (lol).Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Thats one of the reasons I canceled my subscription to Popular Science” years ago….they are not “scientific”…..they should have done at least one test where they attempted to maximize the mileage in CS mode…..by driving conservatively.

    But then, what would expect from a bunch of people who are still pushing the “popular science” of global warming.

    We will get real numbers very soon now….and I think Koz just about “nails it”….somewhere in the 50 to 55MPG range….but, I will be VERY happy with any number above 50.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:40 pm)

    for gm to decide to have the the ICE directly drive the wheels tells me that it was a decision that they had to make; they would not have made this decision if they felt that they had any other choice. and i think that it was a decision that was ultimately made at the highest levels of gm. this is definitely not a good decision from the marketing perspective because it will cause them to completely change their marketing strategy for the volt. marketing had wanted to carve out a new market segment for the volt: the EREV, and they wanted to position the volt against the nissan leaf. you will note that in the past, gm was fastidious about arguing that the volt was not a hybrid vehicle. now that the decision was made to make the volt a hybrid vehicle, the market positioning has now changed and the volt is now being compared to the prius plug-in hybrid.

    notwithstanding the impact on marketing, i don’t think that it was a bad decision to go the hybrid route: gm was going to have to ultimately deal with the fact that as an EREV, the power fell off markedly when the volt switched to CS mode; and when the non-enthusiast reviewers got to test the volt, they would have surely dinged the volt for having poor performance at highway speeds in CS mode.

    notwithstanding the tendency of some in this forum to give negative votes to people who make critical comments about the volt, i personally appreciate some of them; in the real world, the enthusiasts are not the people who are going to make the volt a viable product, but rather the general public who are going to compare the voltec platform to what they currently know and ask themselves: “why do i want to buy something different?”.

    for my part, i think that the volt seems like a good car, but the voltec platform is an evolving technology, and while it is most of the way “there” there are still a few kinks that need to be worked out. the volt is a good start, but it is just that and tony posawatz is correct when it said “this is just the beginning”. that said, it always grates a bit when a company changes the product story, but this is new technology, so in this case it is more understandable, especially since i believe that gm has generally been conservative in the statements that they have made about volt capabilities. it is not clear to me that other cars in the electric/hybrid drive segment have been as conservative in their statements, so at this point you pretty much have to take all statements as being “subject to change without notice”. in any event, the “last secrets laid bare” presentations will be interesting.

    o.jeff: Motor Trend is claiming a direct mechanical connection in CS mode above 70 mph:“The surprising news is that, after you deplete the 16-kW-hr battery and the engine switches on, a clutch connects the engine and generator to the planetary transmission so the engine can help turn the wheels directly above 70 mph. This improves performance and boosts high-speed efficiency by 10-15 percent.Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/index.html#ixzz11xUeZcBu  


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:42 pm)

    Do I understand from Fluke, #46 today, that the Volt can run on E85? Boy I hope so! Even with the so-so MPG reports the new Volt reviews make they all sure beat the mileage the on-board mileage calculator tells me about my 1998 Chevy Blazer SUV. I love this small car, but 12.5 to 14.5 MPG in city driving is nothing to brag about.

    BIG BTRY


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (12:53 pm)

    crew: Here’s a little perspective on the introductory test results of the Volt.

    The Volt wasn’t built for petroleum use, gasoline is just the backup plan. Even with that caveat, no car with the curb weight of the Volt can go farther on a gallon of gas.

    After 10 years of revolutionary, evolutionary, and outstanding hybrid production from Toyota, Honda and Ford, the Volt outclasses any hybrid right out of the box.

    The engineers of the EV-1 are the true parents of the Volt. This car is a victory for civility, practicality and affordability for driving with electricity every day and to any place on earth.

    After reading the 2 magazine/web articles today, I can feel a growing enthusiasm for the Volt. Perhaps the car didn’t reach some of our expectations for CS economy but the car is, by no other means, letting anyone down that has gotten behind the wheel.

    Although I agree with most of what you’re saying, I’m suffering a (hopefully) brief paroxysm of reality (time for more meds). One of the greatest of my hopes for the Volt, was that it could avoid being a niche vehicle and receive market-wide acceptance. With an entry level price of >$40K, I doubt that I was the only enthusiast that was priced out of the fold. Having driven it, I can answer the “Is it worth it?” question with a resounding ABSOLUTELY! – but that doesn’t change the answer to the “Can *I* afford it?” question. The tight production numbers for the first 2 years also serve to niche-ify My Dear Volt. Granted, they’ll sell every single one of them.
    And lastly, although I don’t think that a 40 mpg CS mode is a deal-breaker, I do think that it will be another factor that moves people toward LESS efficient cars, simply because people won’t give the 40 AER its deserved weight.
    None of these issues, in itself, niche-ify the Volt, but *each* of them will rule out *some* buyers. JMO

    Be well,
    Eeoyre
    /glad that’s out of my system.
    //sure wish they had chosen me for the advisory board (g)


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:06 pm)

    EVNow: 9.3 gallon tank would make that 33.33 mpg.

    It’s a pressurized tank so you don’t know how much gas the tank actually holds. Given all these reviews I’m still thinking that on the EPA tests you’d see low 40s. MotorTrend is saying you should see high 30s to low 40s n normal driving, and the EPA cycles are less aggressive than what most would call normal driving.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:08 pm)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:10 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:13 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:23 pm)

    Tagamet: The tight production numbers for the first 2 years also serve to niche-ify My Dear Volt. Granted, they’ll sell every single one of them.
    And lastly, although I don’t think that a 40 mpg CS mode is a deal-breaker, I do think that it will be another factor that moves people toward LESS efficient cars, simply because people won’t give the 40 AER its deserved weight.

    You’ve come around to my thinking on the production numbers. I think two words sum up why we’re looking at the problem: Ed Whitacre.

    I think the 40 MPG numbers aren’t so important. Once Volts get out in the market people will report the MPG they get, and that will be well over 100 MPG and often over 250 MPG. It’s too hard to explain to most people why MPG in CS Mode doesn’t work but they’ll figure it out once the real world MPG numbers are available. IOW most find induction easier than deduction.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:32 pm)

    o.jeff:
    Motor Trend is claiming a direct mechanical connection in CS mode above 70 mph:
    “The surprising news is that, after you deplete the 16-kW-hr battery and the engine switches on, a clutch connects the engine and generator to the planetary transmission so the engine can help turn the wheels directly above 70 mph. This improves performance and boosts high-speed efficiency by 10-15 percent.
    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/index.html#ixzz11xUeZcBu

    That why supprisingly low MPG in CS mode. The genset is realy not genset.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:33 pm)

    EricLG: The car’s weight

    That would be a bad guess. Do you think mass decreases at faster speeds? Losses due to rolling resistance don’t go down as the velocity increases, they just don’t go up very much. At 80 MPH you have the same rolling resistance per mile as you do at 25 MPH.

    The puzzle is that at 80 MPH the aero losses should be vastly greater than they are at 25 MPH. Consider rolling resistance a constant, and what you’re looking at is a claim that C+AeroLosses > C+5XAeroLosses. Not making a ton of sense.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:34 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: You all know the tune… Sing it with me now!See the USA in your ChevroletWhile the Prius sits at home in your garage  (Quote)

    I remember that Chevrolet had some catchy tunes for their ads. I remember the “Six New Chevys for ’76″ ad. But the oldest tune for a GM auto (and that was before GM was founded) is “In My Merry Oldsmobile”. This is considered the first song dedicated to an automobile. Can you find anything older? So Chevy should create one for the Volt that will last over 100 years!

    Raymond


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:34 pm)

    Tagamet:
    One of the greatest of my hopes for the Volt, was that it could avoid being a niche vehicle and receive market-wide acceptance. With an entry level price of >$40K, I doubt that I was the only enthusiast that was priced out of the fold. Having driven it, I can answer the “Is it worth it?” question with a resounding ABSOLUTELY! – but that doesn’t change the answer to the “Can *I* afford it?” question. The tight production numbers for the first 2 years also serve to niche-ify My Dear Volt. Granted, they’ll sell every single one of them.

    I was afraid of the Volt MSRP when I first read a quote from a significant within GM that said the Volt will be priced to the market. I think GM has enough content in it to keep it from being a typical entry level model. Relatively high demand and low production give us a $40k sticker. For the viability of the car, the price is fair to GM and the amount of work that has gone into making the car worth producing. As a company owned by us the pressure to build a cost effective vehicle is an even higher priority than the old GM would consented to. Saturn being example #1 for a failed return on a long term investment.
    I don’t know what GM will do to reduce cost beyond the advances in battery construction but what can we do without in the Volt to give it a sub $30k sticker?

    I don’t know, but would it make sense to build a Volt with a single LCD, roll up windows, hubcaps, fewer airbags, a regular key start, no sound insulation, a 10 kwh ambient temperature battery with a 10% reserve, a regular gas tank and a bottle of fuel stabilizer, smaller tires, less expensive steel and a lower expected crash rating, and no hatchback? What direction will GM go with the variations?
    I will be in the market for the gen 2 Volt or, perhaps, a variation of the Voltec that has a more significant back seat mostly because I feel your pricing sentiment and the what the wallet can say yes to today.
    It doesn’t take away from the celebration of what the Volt is today, even if it is does give us a feeling of morose for our own personal economics. I will be clearing my vehicle expense budget for a Volt above any other new car, too bad for me that I can’t do it today.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    That settles that. VOLT is the quality low-risk go-anywhere EV purchase anticipated. Notable, the ER ICE can be enabled by the driver in mountain mode. This is a point missed previously. Also as anticipated range is a tad shy of optimum. Partly this can be corrected by a larger fuel tank and incorporating a turbo to the ER ICE.

    Both VOLT road tests PM and MT are extremely favorable. With this qualification: there’s no excuse for the chintzy cheapy interior plastic material complained about by PM. A bean counter won that fight between marketing and finance. Tell finance not to mess around with the upcoming (assumed…not to start a rumor) VOLT SS.

    Una mas– Folks, MT said VOLT is 100% driven by electric motors – the genset drive through a tranny does not connect the ICE to the drive-shaft.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:37 pm)

    Tagamet: Although I agree with most of what you’re saying, I’m suffering a (hopefully) brief paroxysm of reality (time for more meds). One of the greatest of my hopes for the Volt, was that it could avoid being a niche vehicle and receive market-wide acceptance. With an entry level price of >$40K, I doubt that I was the only enthusiast that was priced out of the fold. Having driven it, I can answer the “Is it worth it?” question with a resounding ABSOLUTELY! – but that doesn’t change the answer to the “Can *I* afford it?” question. The tight production numbers for the first 2 years also serve to niche-ify My Dear Volt. Granted, they’ll sell every single one of them.And lastly, although I don’t think that a 40 mpg CS mode is a deal-breaker, I do think that it will be another factor that moves people toward LESS efficient cars, simply because people won’t give the 40 AER its deserved weight.None of these issues, in itself, niche-ify the Volt, but *each* of them will rule out *some* buyers. JMOBe well,Eeoyre/glad that’s out of my system.//sure wish they had chosen me for the advisory board (g)  (Quote)

    Not too worry (so much) big guy. Let the bigger picture ease your pain. Yes, the 10K 1st yr production (45k 2nd year) and even more telling $41K price TAG will limit sales but Volt GEN1 is more about getting the wheels on the road and the EREV design into real world interative production. Looking at the details of the reviews today gives me even more hope for the potential of the architecture. The CS mileage, when viewed with the conditions given, comes in right where many of us figured (low to mid 40s for EPA highway, high 30s to high 40s real world). The reason for my optimism is the additional areas for improvement that can be expected both in price, performance, and efficiency. EREV specific design and refinement will bring a more optimized:
    -platform
    -ICE
    -transmission (future reduction gearing only?)
    -current standard fluff to future options
    -battery cells
    -In-house motor production
    -Controls
    -future active-air cooling with future battery improvements
    -low wieght skin, seats, etc
    -even the rear view mirrors (reduced from mickey mouse size)
    -battery capacity options
    -etc., etc.

    The first Volts, while fantastic in their own right, will be the worst EREVs GM ever produced as far as mass marketability is concerned. Ultimately, the success or failure of the Volt will be judged by the success or failure of future versions and other EREV models. Max 30K per model year of GEN1 will be a smashing success if Gen2 or other EREV models sell 200+K/yr in 3-5 years from now.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:43 pm)

    With the numbers PM got, I’d be expecting around 40mpg or so in real world mileage for folks that are easy on their driving style.

    Frankly, that will be a great number considering how heavy this car is. The weight puts it a little heavier than the Camry Hybrid and looks to match or (seems) will do significantly better at non EV mode mileage….nice.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:45 pm)

    So far, the Volt is 3 for 3 in the reviews I’ve seen. PM, Motor Trend, and Mark Phelan are all fair and balanced reviews that come to very positive conclusions even with the nits they found.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:46 pm)

    Unni: Unbolting the Chevy Volt to See How it Ticks
    The Volt’s Gas Engine DOES Turn the Wheels. Sometimes.

    This is an absolutely great article and something of a must read. Nice cite. The article explains why the Volt can have a true EV mode while the Prius can’t.

    Each system employs a single planetary gear set, a gasoline-powered piston engine, and two electric motor/generators. But the way Chevy connects them is entirely different, and—if you ask me—superior.

    Chevrolet’s approach permits full EV capability over 30-40 real-world miles—something Toyota will never be able to claim with its current Hybrid Synergy Drive system. As such, it represents a bridge between the gasoline present and the electro-commuter future.

    Seems like GM engineering has come up with the first big advance of HSD since TRW invented it in the 60s.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:54 pm)

    DonC:
    You’ve come around to my thinking on the production numbers. I think two words sum up why we’re looking at the problem: Ed Whitacre.

    Actually, I ‘ve come around to *admitting* that we agree. There’s a difference (lol).

    I think the 40 MPG numbers aren’t so important. Once Volts get out in the market people will report the MPG they get, and that will be well over 100 MPG and often over 250 MPG. It’s too hard to explain to most people why MPG in CS Mode doesn’t work but they’ll figure it out once the real world MPG numbers are available. IOW most find induction easier than deduction.  

    Word of mouth will sell a Ton-O-Volts, but only after they are produced in sufficient numbers. If they keep the cap on production, demand should always handily outstrip supply = continued high price. (sigh).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Darius

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (1:57 pm)

    ProfessorGordon:
    Such a lot of great information from these magazine reviews!I enjoy seeing the results of pushing the car to its limits and am very happy with the Volt’s report card as a Gen 1 vehicle.Really an amazing accomplishment!
    I was quite surprised how closely the Volt engine’s RPM tracks the vehicle speed.I am curious whether this was done more for customer feel expectations or whether it is the most efficient technique all considered.My guess is that the engineers wanted to minimize battery cycling and give the driver the familiar feel of a standard ICE car.It could also be the only practical way to do it when the speed is constantly changing (and impossible to predict).I would like to see this chart at varying constant speeds, 20, 30, 40, 50 etc. MPH.
    http://image.motortrend.com/f/29175683+w750/2011-chevrolet-volt-engine-behavior-graph.jpg

    Thats why low MPG. No sweet point RPM.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:06 pm)

    crew: …I will be in the market for the gen 2 Volt or, perhaps, a variation of the Voltec that has a more significant back seat mostly because I feel your pricing sentiment and the what the wallet can say yes to today.
    It doesn’t take away from the celebration of what the Volt is today, even if it is does give us a feeling of morose for our own personal economics. I will be clearing my vehicle expense budget for a Volt above any other new car, too bad for me that I can’t do it today.

    We’re both definitely in the same fiscal boat, *and* we share the same game plan (Gen II or Bust). I have at least one part-time job (sometimes two), which goes into the same kind of “Lockbox” that our govt has kept our social security money in – wait, did I say that out loud?- if something else comes up, we use it. God willing, we’ll live long enough and work hard enough to earn our Gen II Volts!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:08 pm)

    DonC:
    That would be a bad guess. Do you think mass decreases at faster speeds? Losses due to rolling resistance don’t go down as the velocity increases, they just don’t go up very much. At 80 MPH you have the same rolling resistance per mile as you do at 25 MPH.
    The puzzle is that at 80 MPH the aero losses should be vastly greater than they are at 25 MPH. Consider rolling resistance a constant, and what you’re looking at is a claim that C+AeroLosses > C+5XAeroLosses. Not making a ton of sense.  

    It is not rolling resistance he was referring to, but rather repeated accelerations typical of city driving, particularly in the hands of auto mag writer flogging the thing around. Wind is the enemy on the highway, weight in the city. Rolling resistance, as you say, hurts both by a similar amount.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:16 pm)

    EricLG:
    If you believe the author’s GPS over the car then adjust down the speed, but leave the consumption as stated.  

    Why? The error applies to both. The speedometer and the mileage indicator both depend on the wheel size. Unless you know that the mileage was read independently by some other instrumentation.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:19 pm)

    koz: …The first Volts, while fantastic in their own right, will be the worst EREVs GM ever produced as far as mass marketability is concerned. Ultimately, the success or failure of the Volt will be judged by the success or failure of future versions and other EREV models. Max 30K per model year of GEN1 will be a smashing success if Gen2 or other EREV models sell 200+K/yr in 3-5 years from now.

    Thanks for the comforting words, but isn’t this part backwards? Most of the folks here have agreed that the Gen I Volt *has* to be spot on perfect. If it’s not, there may not *be* a Gen II.

    I’ve known since the moment that they announced the price, *why* it’s so unsettling. Not because the price is beyond our means, but because the Volt is so darned much fun to drive! I’ll have my share of “Volt smiles” between now and Gen II. They’ll just have to be those vicarious ones.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Truman

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:22 pm)

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/electric/chevy-volt-range-tests
    and used three different drivers…
    I understand the eagerness of multiple drivers wanting to get a shot at the Volt, but a single driver will learn much over the first month or two.

    The range depends on the three Ts: temperature, technique, and terrain.
    ‘Technique’ will get better with familiarity. Three drivers, three drives. No familiarity.

    The dash display said we had 48 miles of EV range, which dropped to 43 after the first quarter mile. It must have known of our usual lead-foot nature.
    Exactly.
    These guys can’t even achieve the 40 miles EV range.
    31, 35 and 33 miles EV range means their CS mode MPG is similarly below par.

    Finally, we drove the Volt for nearly 600 miles on the highway only…
    the Volt’s EV range … 33 miles
    achieved 36.0 mpg on the highway
    If we factor in the distance traveled on the battery’s energy the fuel economy jumps to … 38.15 mpg highway.

    d/g = 36.0
    (d+33)/g = 38.15
    where d is distance driven in CS mode using gasoline, g is the gasoline used
    Solving for d and g, we find 15.3488 gallons of gasoline were used (more than the tank size, so they just stopped in the gas station and continued driving in CS mode), and 552.56 miles were driven on gasoline, 33 miles on EV alone, for a total of 585.56 miles (“we drove the Volt for nearly 600 miles on the highway only”).
    At nearly 80 mph.

    There are three drive modes, normal, sport, and mountain.
    Guess which mode the lead-foot guys chose ?


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    usbseawolf2000

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:36 pm)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:41 pm)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:48 pm)

    36 MPG is sweet for me… That means that on a 375 mile trip, I’ll get 40MPG equvalent when factoring in EV range, using their numbers. That’s the longest (and really only) trip I ever take, to go visit family. That beats the 38MPG I get with my Civic on these trips, taken 3-4 times per year.

    And the rest of my driving will be gas free. Can’t beat that!

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:51 pm)

    Truman: the Volt’s EV range … 33 miles achieved 36.0 mpg on the highway
    If we factor in the distance traveled on the battery’s energy the fuel economy jumps to … 38.15 mpg highway.

    I don’t understand this part. If they went 33 miles in EV, how does this equal 36.0 mp*g*. They used ZERO gas for that 33 miles, didn’t they?

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:54 pm)

    usbseawolf2000:
    Prius’ top speed is 112 mph. Volt’s is 100 mph.Prius should get 46 mpg at 87 mph.  

    The plug-in Prius 0-60 time is 11.3 seconds, the regular Prius is 9.8. All for marginally better MPG than the Volt, which really counts only on long trips of course.
    (Source: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/10q2/2012_toyota_prius_plug-in_hybrid-first_drive_review )

    I’ll take the Volt please!

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:54 pm)

    DonC:
    That would be a bad guess. Do you think mass decreases at faster speeds? Losses due to rolling resistance don’t go down as the velocity increases, they just don’t go up very much. At 80 MPH you have the same rolling resistance per mile as you do at 25 MPH.
    The puzzle is that at 80 MPH the aero losses should be vastly greater than they are at 25 MPH. Consider rolling resistance a constant, and what you’re looking at is a claim that C+AeroLosses > C+5XAeroLosses. Not making a ton of sense.  

    Air resistance is not affected by mass, but going up a hill one way or accelerating from a stop is exponentially affected by increasing mass. Regen helps here, but it is no panacea.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:55 pm)

    ClarksonCote: 36 MPG is sweet for me… That means that on a 375 mile trip, I’ll get 40MPG equvalent when factoring in EV range, using their numbers.That’s the longest (and really only) trip I ever take, to go visit family.That beats the 38MPG I get with my Civic on these trips, taken 3-4 times per year.And the rest of my driving will be gas free.Can’t beat that!join thE REVolution  

    And that’s not even accounting for the “smiles/mile” you’ll be getting!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Van

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (2:59 pm)

    If the average AER was 33 miles, and the charge depleting capacity is 8.8 kwh, then it gets
    3.75 miles per kwh which is less than the expected 4 miles per kwh. And if it gets a combined city/highway mileage of 33 MPG, that is less than the expected 44 MPG.

    If the Prius PHV does sport a 10.4 kwh NMC battery with an AER of 25 miles, followed by a CS combined city/highway of 50 MPG, for $10,000 less, the future of GM looks bleak.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:01 pm)

    ksstathead: It is not rolling resistance he was referring to, but rather repeated accelerations typical of city driving, particularly in the hands of auto mag writer flogging the thing around.

    With regen recapturing much of energy used to accelerate, it’s hard to imagine how accelerations would outweigh the very high energy losses due to drag, especially when those accelerations are supposedly mild.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:01 pm)

    Raymondjram: I remember that Chevrolet had some catchy tunes for their ads. I remember the “Six New Chevys for ‘76″ ad. But the oldest tune for a GM auto (and that was before GM was founded) is “In My Merry Oldsmobile”. This is considered the first song dedicated to an automobile. Can you find anything older? So Chevy should create one for the Volt that will last over 100 years!Raymond  (Quote)

    I’m sure you are right about the Oldsmobile song. And the days of “original jingles” for cars, or any product, are pretty much gone. Now, all they do is make up new words for classic 60′s and 70′s songs to fit the situation.

    Going that direction, I propose:

    The Ides Of March – ‘Vehicle’
    “I’m your Vehicle babe. I’ll take you anywhere you want to go…”

    The Cars – ‘Drive’
    “Who’s gonna drive you home, tonight…?”

    The Beatles – ‘Drive My Car’
    “Baby you can drive my car. Yes I’m gonna be a star.”


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:02 pm)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:02 pm)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:07 pm)

    Unni: seems this is also interesting
    http://www.motortrend.com/features/editorial/1010_unbolting_the_chevy_volt_to_see_how_it_ticks/index.htmlUnbolting the Chevy Volt to See How it Ticks
    The Volt’s Gas Engine DOES Turn the Wheels. Sometimes.Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/features/editorial/1010_unbolting_the_chevy_volt_to_see_how_it_ticks/index.html#ixzz11yrblXl1  

    I’ll reserve judgement on Mr. Frank Markus at Motor Trend magazine until someone from the Volt design team confirms his one page article.

    Frank is probably just some “car guy” that is speculating about how he would have done things, given the hardware in the Volt. Does the 149 hp electric motor really need to max out its RPM at 70 mph, and need mechanical assistance by turning the ring gear with the motor/generator?

    At about 70 mph, the Chevy’s motor is starting to spin too fast to be efficient
    Would GM really violate the Voltec drivetrain claims for “efficiency” concerns between 70 mph and 101 mph?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:08 pm)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:08 pm)

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    ClarksonCote

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:12 pm)

    ClarksonCote:
    The plug-in Prius 0-60 time is 11.3 seconds, the regular Prius is 9.8.All for marginally better MPG than the Volt, which really counts only on long trips of course.
    (Source: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/10q2/2012_toyota_prius_plug-in_hybrid-first_drive_review )I’ll take the Volt please!join thE REVolution  

    There will be many, many, smiles per mile, my friend. :)

    join thE REVolution


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    usbseawolf2000

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:13 pm)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:13 pm)

    DonC:
    With regen recapturing much of energy used to accelerate, it’s hard to imagine how accelerations would outweigh the very high energy losses due to drag, especially when those accelerations are supposedly mild.  

    Not hard for me to imagine, since the aero of the car is reasonably good. With driver it is two tons to get moving every time, and regen only recovers a minority of the energy.

    Optimum mpg or aer is at steady speed. Each acceleration cuts into that, and regen is just a partial recovery. Climbing and friction braking if any, have no regen benefit at all. If forced to regen down a hill, that is worse than letting it glide.

    Worst case, say Manhattan, racing from light to light every block with quick stops for pedestrians and taxis ignoring the rules. The only good city mileage comes from anticipatory driving to avoid stops. Especially in a two ton ride.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:13 pm)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:14 pm)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:14 pm)

    EricLG: Air resistance is not affected by mass, but going up a hill one way or accelerating from a stop is exponentially affected by increasing mass. Regen helps here, but it is no panacea.

    Exponentially? I think not. It’s completely linear. Want to use the same force while doubling the mass. No problem, just halve the acceleration. Now going up hills and never down hills would make a big difference, but that’s not usual. Usual would be going up and coming down.

    Because of regen, GM has said every 200 kg reduction gives you a four mile range reduction in city driving (and a one mile reduction on the highway cycle). Going 80 MPH has to cut range by at least ten miles.

    Still not making sense. Not saying this isn’t what they got, it’s just that what they got seems inconsistent with what you’d have to expect from the physics of the situation. TopGear proved that a BMW 3 series gets better MPG than a Prius. That’s what they got, though that wasn’t expected. But the truth is that they to do some very special things in order to get that result.


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    usbseawolf2000

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:15 pm)

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    crew

     

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:15 pm)

    DonC:

    Seems like GM engineering has come up with the first big advance of HSD since TRW invented it in the 60s.

    Here’s a revisited what if. Now that it’s known that the Volt, as a series hybrid, can take advantage of the ICE torque without dramatically draining the battery by locking in a direct drive situation, what would keep GM from building a domestic hybrid without the need to plug in? No doubt in my mind whatsoever that Chevy would have a domestically manufactured Prius beater on their hands and still have a proprietary drivetrain. That’s if you want to continue using gas.
    Perhaps this type of hybrid, if associated with the Volt, would be perceived as a step backwards in transportation by depending on petroleum to get around but until battery costs can be significantly reduced why not?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:16 pm)

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    usbseawolf2000

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:21 pm)

    Fluke:
    Volt’s battery pack is way bigger: 16kW-hr/435 pounds vs 3 kW-hr/330 pounds

    The prototype PHV Prius’ battery pack is 5.2 kWh. It uses 3.56 kWh to fully charge it. At 250 Wh/mile, it comes out to 14 EV miles.

    If Volt’s battery pack is 435 lbs, how come it weights 1,000 lbs more than Chevy Cruze?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:29 pm)

    Tagamet:
    I don’t understand this part. If they went 33 miles in EV, how does this equal 36.0 mp*g*. They used ZERO gas for that 33 miles, didn’t they?Be well,
    Tagamet  

    For Charge #3, they drove only on the highway. The first 33 miles was all electric. Then they kept driving in CS mode, and even stopped and added gasoline, and kept driving in CS mode. Total distance in CS mode was 552.56 miles, and they used 15.3488 gallons of gasoline. This is how they get 36 mpg.

    Then, if they include the 33 miles all electric, their “fuel economy jumps to 38.15 mpg”, because they are considering the miles driven using 15.3488 gallons of gasoline to be 552.56 miles plus the 33 miles all electric.
    585.56 miles on 15.3488 gallons = 38.15 mpg


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:31 pm)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    I was quoting the Motor Trend table. I believe they are in error based on everything I have read.

    caldoodlevolt: Do I understand from Fluke, #46 today, that the Volt can run on E85?Boy I hope so! Even with the so-so MPG reports the new Volt reviews make they all sure beat the mileage the on-board mileage calculator tells me about my 1998 Chevy Blazer SUV. I love this small car, but 12.5 to 14.5 MPG in city driving is nothing to brag about.BIG BTRY  


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:42 pm)

    crew:
    Now that it’s known that the Volt, as a series hybrid, can take advantage of the ICE torque

    I really don’t see why people here are giving so much credibility to Mr. Frank Markus of Motor Trend magazine, for an article published today and not yet commented on by GM.

    I’ve seen auto journalists make some huge blunders in the past – I’m reserving judgement.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:43 pm)

    EricLG: Put the fanboyism aside, carrying around unused battery in a heavy car — whether it be Volt, Prius PHV, LEAF, or whatever, is going to carry a very discernible penalty.

    It’s not so much fanboyism as it is a certain lack of ignorance. No one is saying increasing mass won’t cut MPG or AER, what they’re saying is that it makes no sense whatsoever that you can get better MPG going 80 MPH than 35 MPH.

    Now you keep conjuring up goofy situations where you only drive up hills in the city and never on the freeway, or even better, that you only drive uphill in the city and never downhill. Or where you repeatedly blast off from a stop and then come screeching to a stop a quarter of a mile later. But again, as I keep pointing out to you, if you do that your Prius gets 13 MPG, which is completely out of the ordinary. So yeah, you can invent a scenario where you can get worse MPG at much lower MPH, but that’s an invented an contrived situation. It’s not ordinary. Hence my Q: What were these guys doing?

    Now one could see how a steady 50 MPH might return better MPG than some city cycles. Maybe even 55 MPH. But 80 MPH? Not realistic. For example, the Tesla Roadster uses 350 wh/mile at 80 MPH and 150 wh/mile at 30 MPH. http://webarchive.teslamotors.com/display_data.php?data_name=range_blog4 That’s 60% less. But you think it’s somehow normal for the Volt to use 10% more wh/mile at 30 MPH than it does at 80 MPH?

    You keep talking about the Volt’s mass but you seemingly don’t understand the most obvious point in the world — that if you’re comparing a Volt at 35 MPH to a Volt at 80 MPH the mass doesn’t matter — it’s the same mass at both speeds. IOW if takes the exact same amount of energy to lift a Volt up 500 meters at 80 MPH as it does to lift it up 500 meters going 35 MPH. So unless you think hills only occur in city driving, you wouldn’t say that a Volt or a Prius or any other vehicle will get better MPG at 80 MPH than the same vehicle would get at 35 MPH. The physics just doesn’t suggest this.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:49 pm)

    Truman: I’ve seen auto journalists make some huge blunders in the past – I’m reserving judgement.

    That was my first thought but given how they’ve dissected the gearing the article seems very credible to me. IOW I thought BillR was off-base on this point but he seems to be one of the very few who nailed it. Shout out to him.

    Personally it doesn’t matter. If the motor is running anyway then why not have it run the most efficient system possible?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:50 pm)

    Tagamet:
    As an aside, I sure wish that the “ignore” feature was available.Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Some smart person here must know how to use CSS or GreaseMonkey to hide the rest of any post with a lower than -3 rating… Wish I had time to fiddle with that idea.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:54 pm)

    herm: I think the Prius can reach 78 but I’m not sure

    The mere fact that one has to question whether it can, seems like a problem to begin with!

    (FWIW, I don’t know the answer… surely it must be able to, even if the squirrels get exhausted very quickly it takes a while to get up to that speed).


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:58 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: I’m not surprised at the results. I’m more excited about my first drive tomorrow. I can’t wait.   

    Dang. All I get to do tomorrow, is go to work!

    Have a great time, CG!! Can’t wait to read everybody’s reports…


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    TeaTime

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (3:59 pm)

    I’m starting to dislike this $7,500 tax credit more and more…. A person getting a taxpayer subsidy to buy a luxury (avg compact car price is less $25K) vehicle to not use approximately a gallon of fuel a day (Ford Fusion Hybrid city mpg is 41mpg, Civic Hybrid city mpg is 47mpg) MAKES NO SENSE ECONOMICALLY. It is also unfair to working class people who cannot spend $43K (Chevy Volt) on a single car.

    A modest and permanent taxpayer credit of $1500 against the purchase of ANY vehicle with an avg fuel economy of 40mpg would have a much greater impact of reducing fossil fuel consumption for a larger percentage of people. In addition, it would encourage the production of vehicles that would be eligible for the credit.

    But we know why that will never happen. Foreign manufacturers would obtain the lion-share of the car purchases. A $1,500 tax credit per purchaser would be a fraction of what the government spends ensuring our access to petroleum is secure in hostile areas of the world.

    ClarksonCote: 36 MPG is sweet for me… That means that on a 375 mile trip, I’ll get 40MPG equvalent when factoring in EV range, using their numbers.That’s the longest (and really only) trip I ever take, to go visit family.That beats the 38MPG I get with my Civic on these trips, taken 3-4 times per year.And the rest of my driving will be gas free.Can’t beat that!join thE REVolution  


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (4:05 pm)

    DonC:
    That was my first thought but given how they’ve dissected the gearing the article seems very credible to me. IOW I thought BillR was off-base on this point but he seems to be one of the very few who nailed it. Shout out to him.
    Personally it doesn’t matter. If the motor is running anyway then why not have it run the most efficient system possible?  

    But it’s merely a matter of design choice, it doesn’t really matter if one approach seems more “credible” than another.

    True, GM engineers might have been told by VP bean counters to maximize “performance” in the current first-gen Volt even if it violates Voltec claims of a large electric motor that can be powered by any kind of range-extending generator in the future (fuel cell, turbine, off the shelf ICE, advanced ICE’s, radioisotopes, whatever …)

    But it’s not clear that the approach stated in Motor Trend really is more efficient (isn’t the engine maximized for just a few set RPM’s?) , and it’s certainly not clear if that is what GM decided to do.

    We’ll probably hear some feedback from GM next week.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (4:08 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (4:11 pm)

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (4:12 pm)

    I’ve been looking through a few of the articles, and I personally am not that worried about the CS mileage I expect to get in my normal driving.

    My current car is a 2002 Chevy Cavalier sedan with a 5-speed manual transmission, and, with the amount of driving I’ve done over the time I’ve had it, it’s been getting a bit long-in-the-tooth, and I plan on ordering a Volt in the near future as my next car. (I’m a Navy officer just transitioning from active to reserves, and I see it as sort of a reward for myself when I get my civilian job situation (mechanical or systems engineering) figured out.)

    My Cavalier is rated at 24MPG city and 33MPG highway (by the pre-2007 EPA methodology), and it has a 2.2L engine rated at 115hp. I live in the Los Angeles area, and I’m with Herm here in that I drive mostly at a “max range cruise” speed around 55-60mph. On most weeks lately, I have been getting an average of 36MPG, and on my worst stuck-in-stop-and-go-traffic-jam weeks, I probably have gotten around 32MPG; I don’t have a ScanGauge or any other device that I can use to measure instantaneous MPG, but with the amount of stopping at traffic signals and driving on hilly ground that I end up doing on a normal week, I could easily expect the car does 40MPG at constant 55mph on level ground.

    Comparing my Cavalier to the Volt, the Volt looks like it’s about 1000lbs heavier (about 40% heavier), which is the main efficiency disadvantage it would have. The generator is smaller, 1.4L rated for about 84hp, and, by some quick research on the GM Family 0 engine, seems to have some additional technologies (Twinport, double cam phasing) that would increase efficiency over the Cavalier’s; the Motor Trend engine RPM graph shows somewhat higher but similar numbers relative to speed, so I would estimate based on the engine specs that it should run more efficiently under most given conditions than the Cavalier’s engine. The Volt would also have advantages over my current ride in having a lower drag coefficient, regenerative braking, and shutting off the generator when stopped at a traffic signal or going downhill.

    Unfortunately, the PM article is, in my opinion, sorely lacking on detail on how they were driving the vehicle in the different runs, but given their number of 36MPG at 78mph for nearly 600 miles, I’m pretty darn confident I would be able to top 40MPG or even 45MPG in my normal driving. I was just asking my brother (also an engineer) about his efficiency numbers from his manual-transmission Cobalt, and his eyeball-average of his instantaneous MPG is 45MPG @ 55mph, 35MPG @ 65mph, <30MPG @ 75mph, and an overall lifetime combined average of 37MPG (~61%highway), so a back-of-the-envelope extrapolation, assuming all else being equal (which I know it isn’t), would suggest I could possibly even get 45-50MPG under my normal driving conditions and technique.

    When I looked at the Motor Trend article, I really wished that since they recorded the data off the OBDII they would have produced a graph of the instantaneous MPG (basically speed/fuel flow). What I would really like to see at some point are data points of instantaneous MPG versus (constant) speed on a known level test course with clearly defined and recorded parameters; preferably this would be on a straight-line/non-maneuvering course on level-graded terrain designed for this sort of test, and various conditions like air temperature, altitude, and vehicle weight would be recorded and explicitly stated with the reports.

    In the end, though, there are a handful of reasons why I personally want a Volt as my next car, and not all of them are just about saving gas.
    1) First the gas…at worst I expect to get somewhat better fuel efficiency than my current car, and by my estimation easily much better. Even though, for a number of reasons, I drive a lot, more than the AER on most days, I expect that the battery will at least halve my fuel consumption, and could still even practically eliminate it if I end up being able to charge the battery at both home and work.
    2) The Volt fits what I want in a car. Though I haven’t decided whether the buy out-right or lease-to-buy option would be better for me, I’m one of those people who have the mindset that I want to take care of and get the most mileage out of the things I buy. Therefore when I think about the fact that I’ll probably have my next car for easily 8 years, I want it to be something that I really like and feel good about owning, and the Volt fits that bill. I like its styling (sporty but subtle) and am a fan of the technology in it, and it looks like it’ll carry all the things my Cavalier can. Also, as I live alone I really need something that can be my “one car” and simply cannot justify having 2 cars, and none of the BEVs have the range and flexibility (the latter mainly due to charge time) that I need in my daily life.
    3) I’m an American engineer, and I want to support American engineering. For a lot of personal reasons that probably boil down to just patriotism, I want to support my country’s intellectual advancement, technological innovation, and manufacturing industry, and also especially being a military service member I see a lot of national security reasons why I would like the US to remain a leader in those areas. I’ve been financially responsible and have been fortunate to have saved enough money to be able to afford to buy a Volt, and, in addition to being able to buy a product I want, I feel a bit of responsibility to support my own industry and peers, so that among other things that Gen 2 will be viable, and see it as also a way of giving back a little to some Americans (i.e. the engineers and manufacturing personnel designing and building the Volt at GM) who are in a tough situation but working hard to make something to improve the quality of life for the rest of us here.

    I know this has been something of a long post, but I thank Lyle for providing a venue to express my views on the matter here, and hope all’s well with all of you.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (4:14 pm)

    Truman: I really don’t see why people here are giving so much credibility to Mr. Frank Markus of Motor Trend magazine, for an article published today and not yet commented on by GM.

    I’ve seen auto journalists make some huge blunders in the past – I’m reserving judgment.

    We’ll be getting reviews from the Consumer Advisory Board in less than 3 weeks. At face value, it looks like the Volt will provide about 40 miles battery range followed by about 40 mpg in CS. Mid 30′s CS on the highway at 78 MPH is a good number. A more common speed of 72 MPH should yield about 40 MPG on the highway.

    As the roll out continues, GM’s strategy is becoming evident. GM IPO in early December? Right before the traditional Christmas rally? When the economy pulls together in 2011, all stocks will rise 10%. I’m betting that November 2010 will be rough going. Sold 60% of my equity holdings on Friday and transferred to a 3% bond fund. Doing well on wife’s 401k. Have averaged a 9% gain over three years. Accomplished this by getting into bonds before the stock slide. And jumping back in at S&P 710.

    For those passing on the first 10,000 Volts and waiting for the 45,000 GEN 2 production run. You are wise as the price will be closer to $39k. The body will be getting trimmed slightly to lower drag (as we have seen in photos from Edmunds). And the power delivery system may be further optimized. I bought a GEN 1 Volt in August because the cause of getting off our zombie addiction to oil warrants early adopters keeping this effort in high gear. And as two dozen reviews mention. The Volt is a great car to drive. Exciting times now and in the future.

    =D-Volt


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (4:15 pm)

    DonC:

    On a highway segment, on level ground, mass only penalizes you once while accelerating to speed.

    In town, mass penalizes you at every stop sign, stop light, traffic slow/stop, and turn because you must accelerate anew. Body in motion stays in motion at same speed unless acted on…

    Now picture how these auto rag guys review a car, and there is your terrible city mpg and aer.

    Prius gives say 50 mpg at 70 mph steady state. But when accelerating it is more like 10 mpg. That’s ok if you glide a lot. But testing the brakes every block that 10 mpg will decimate even the city mpg Prius is known for. My usual problem in city driving is a cold engine. But people in congested cities who insist on being up front at every light only get in the 30′s mpg from Prius, while me or anyone can get 60+ city once engine warm if he stays off the brake/accelerate trap.


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    crew

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (4:35 pm)

    TeaTime: I’m starting to dislike this $7,500 tax credit more and more…. A person getting a taxpayer subsidy to buy a luxury (avg compact car price is less $25K) vehicle to not use approximately a gallon of fuel a day (Ford Fusion Hybrid city mpg is 41mpg,Civic Hybrid city mpg is 47mpg)MAKES NO SENSE ECONOMICALLY.It is also unfair to working class people who cannot spend $43K (Chevy Volt) on a single car.A modest and permanent taxpayer credit of $1500 against the purchase of ANY vehicle with an avg fuel economy of 40mpg would have a much greater impact of reducing fossil fuel consumption.

    I really think you’re missing the point of the tax credit and just can’t stop thinking mpg of gasoline. The credit is definitely needed to support an industry that is in it’s infancy. If you want to spend less on an EV, then wait a little bit. You might not find an EREV on the market soon but you’ll definetely have some relatively inexpensive choices for BEV’s.
    The Volt is priced at what it is mostly because there is absolutely no competition. GM chose a balance of equipment and price that can be sold in the volume it has projected for a new tech car. I can wait for what I want (well, actually, personally, I don’t have much choice). Maybe the tax credit won’t be needed by then.

    The credit isn’t to change a market viability for EV’s nor is it intended to directly cut petroleum use. Cheaper manufacturing, development, and breakthroughs in technology are needed to do that. It is there to help offset the considerable expense of developing and selling the first cars that have a significant battery. Crying in your coffee that you don’t get the credit for a hybrid isn’t going to change that market. Your proposal is also a waste of taxpayer money since the new car buyer will choose hybrids for what they are. Let the market and the technology set the price there. What has been done already to produce EV’s in the US is a direct benefit to this country more than a blanket credit for a hybrid would.
    It is for the health of our country after all isn’t it?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (4:38 pm)

    “In the end, though, there are a handful of reasons why I personally want a Volt as my next car, and not all of them are just about saving gas.”

    1) The Chevy Cruze would cut your fuel consumption for a lot less financial outlay compared to the Volt

    2) See #1. Financing the Volt $43K for 60 months @prevailing rates = approx $800 per month

    3) Compact Power (LG Chem subsidiary 뒤로가기 클릭 ie: Korea) provides the Volt EV batteries

    Also, the Chevy Cruze (on which the Volt is based) was designed and engineered in Korea

    Hope you enjoy the Volt because it is the vehicle you want plain-and-simple however, if GM had NOT bought Daewoo and leveraged their engineering talent (Korean car manufacturer) AND DID NOT have access to LG Chems Lithium Ion technology, there would not be a Chevy Volt.

    TinManNFO: I’ve been looking through a few of the articles, and I personally am not that worried about the CS mileage I expect to get in my normal driving.My current car is a 2002 Chevy Cavalier sedan with a 5-speed manual transmission, and, with the amount of driving I’ve done over the time I’ve had it, it’s been getting a bit long-in-the-tooth, and I plan on ordering a Volt in the near future as my next car.(I’m a Navy officer just transitioning from active to reserves, and I see it as sort of a reward for myself when I get my civilian job situation (mechanical or systems engineering) figured out.)My Cavalier is rated at 24MPG city and 33MPG highway (by the pre-2007 EPA methodology), and it has a 2.2L engine rated at 115hp.I live in the Los Angeles area, and I’m with Herm here in that I drive mostly at a “max range cruise” speed around 55-60mph.On most weeks lately, I have been getting an average of 36MPG, and on my worst stuck-in-stop-and-go-traffic-jam weeks, I probably have gotten around 32MPG; I don’t have a ScanGauge or any other device that I can use to measure instantaneous MPG, but with the amount of stopping at traffic signals and driving on hilly ground that I end up doing on a normal week, I could easily expect the car does 40MPG at constant 55mph on level ground.Comparing my Cavalier to the Volt, the Volt looks like it’s about 1000lbs heavier (about 40% heavier), which is the main efficiency disadvantage it would have.The generator is smaller, 1.4L rated for about 84hp, and, by some quick research on the GM Family 0 engine, seems to have some additional technologies (Twinport, double cam phasing) that would increase efficiency over the Cavalier’s; the Motor Trend engine RPM graph shows somewhat higher but similar numbers relative to speed, so I would estimate based on the engine specs that it should run more efficiently under most given conditions than the Cavalier’s engine.The Volt would also have advantages over my current ride in having a lower drag coefficient, regenerative braking, and shutting off the generator when stopped at a traffic signal or going downhill.Unfortunately, the PM article is, in my opinion, sorely lacking on detail on how they were driving the vehicle in the different runs, but given their number of 36MPG at 78mph for nearly 600 miles, I’m pretty darn confident I would be able to top 40MPG or even 45MPG in my normal driving.I was just asking my brother (also an engineer) about his efficiency numbers from his Cobalt, and his eyeball-average of his instantaneous MPG is 45MPG @ 55mph, 35MPG @ 65mph, <30MPG @ 75mph, and an overall lifetime combined average of 37MPG (~61%highway), so a back-of-the-envelope extrapolation, assuming all else being equal (which I know it isn’t), would suggest I could possibly even get 45-50MPG under my normal driving conditions and technique.When I looked at the Motor Trend article, I really wished that since they recorded the data off the OBDII they would have produced a graph of the instantaneous MPG (basically speed/fuel flow).What I would really like to see at some point are data points of instantaneous MPG versus (constant) speed on a known level test course with clearly defined and recorded parameters; preferably this would be on a straight-line/non-maneuvering course on level-graded terrain designed for this sort of test, and various conditions like air temperature, altitude, and vehicle weight would be recorded and explicitly stated with the reports.In the end, though, there are a handful of reasons why I personally want a Volt as my next car, and not all of them are just about saving gas.
    1)First the gas…at worst I expect to get somewhat better fuel efficiency than my current car, and by my estimation easily much better.Even though, for a number of reasons, I drive a lot, more than the AER on most days, I expect that the battery will at least halve my fuel consumption, and could still even practically eliminate it if I end up being able to charge the battery at both home and work.
    2)The Volt fits what I want in a car.Though I haven’t decided whether the buy out-right or lease-to-buy option would be better for me, I’m one of those people who have the mindset that I want to take care of and get the most mileage out of the things I buy.Therefore when I think about the fact that I’ll probably have my next car for easily 8 years, I want it to be something that I really like and feel good about owning, and the Volt fits that bill.I like its styling (sporty but subtle) and am a fan of the technology in it, and it looks like it’ll carry all the things my Cavalier can.Also, as I live alone I really need something that can be my “one car” and simply cannot justify having 2 cars, and none of the BEVs have the range and flexibility (the latter mainly due to charge time) that I need in my daily life.
    3)I’m an American engineer, and I want to support American engineering.For a lot of personal reasons that probably boil down to just patriotism, I want to support my country’s intellectual advancement, technological innovation, and manufacturing industry, and also especially being a military service member I see a lot of national security reasons why I would like the US to remain a leader in those areas.I’ve been financially responsible and have been fortunate to have saved enough money to be able to afford to buy a Volt, and, in addition to being able to buy a product I want, I feel a bit of responsibility to support my own industry and peers, so that among other things that Gen 2 will be viable, and see it as also a way of giving back a little to some Americans (i.e. the engineers and manufacturing personnel designing and building the Volt at GM) who are in a tough situation but working hard to make something to improve the quality of life for the rest of us here.I know this has been something of a long post, but I thank Lyle for providing a venue to express my views on the matter here, and hope all’s well with all of you.  


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (5:11 pm)

    TeaTime: … if GM had NOT bought Daewoo and leveraged their engineering talent (Korean car manufacturer) AND DID NOThave access to LG Chems Lithium Ion technology, there would not be a Chevy Volt.

    I think you should look a further into the history of GM drivetrains. What you’re saying makes a nice timeline but isn’t very truthfull for having the sole impact in the process of getting a Volt into production. GM didn’t need Daewoo, Opel has a nice compact car too! LG Chem wasn’t the only choice but the best one at the time.
    Had Daewoo and LG Chem not been around the Volt would still go into production today.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (5:26 pm)

    On a scale of 1 to 10…

    MPG letdown 2

    Price letdown 10

    JMHO


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    EVNow

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (5:57 pm)

    Just back from the “Unplugged” Volt test drive north of Seattle.

    When I started the car was in CS mode. The dash was showing about 15 miles for 0.5 gallons or so. I calculated 32 mpg. By the time I finished the drive the mileage had improved to about 36. The drive was on suburban – somewhat hilly roads.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:01 pm)

    Remember the Malivolt?

    Volt_first.jpg

    Volt%20Oct%202010.jpg

    NPNS


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:01 pm)

    Dave K.: Truman: I really don’t see why people here are giving so much credibility to Mr. Frank Markus of Motor Trend magazine, for an article published today and not yet commented on by GM.
    I’ve seen auto journalists make some huge blunders in the past – I’m reserving judgment.

    We’ll be getting reviews from the Consumer Advisory Board in less than 3 weeks. At face value, it looks like the Volt will provide about 40 miles battery range followed by about 40 mpg in CS. Mid 30’s CS on the highway at 78 MPH is a good number. A more common speed of 72 MPH should yield about 40 MPG on the highway.

    I don’t doubt the Popular Mechanics numbers on EV range and CS mpg – if that’s what they got, that’s what they got (driving aggressively, but whatever). But that article was by Mr. Larry Webster:
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/electric/chevy-volt-range-tests

    The “credibility” issue I mentioned was with Mr. Frank Markus at Motor Trend concerning his article:
    Unbolting the Chevy Volt to See How it Ticks
    The Volt’s Gas Engine DOES Turn the Wheels. Sometimes.
    October 10, 2010 / By Frank Markus
    http://www.motortrend.com/features/editorial/1010_unbolting_the_chevy_volt_to_see_how_it_ticks/index.html
    At about 70 mph, the Chevy’s motor is starting to spin too fast to be efficient, so the ring gear unlocks from the case and locks to the smaller motor/generator.

    This is what I am awaiting GM to confirm or deny.
    If they do this with an ICE genset, they can’t do it with a fuel cell or gas turbine – the Voltec design promise is compromised.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:02 pm)

    “GM didn’t need Daewoo, Opel has a nice compact car too! ”

    Daewoo Lacetti and Chevrolet Cruze are basically the same car except minor styling differences – actually the front grilles only. It was designed by an international team of designers located at Incheon, Korea. Development of the car was also responsible by Daewoo, at its newly upgraded Bupyung R&D center, though preliminary engineering of the platform was done in Rüsselsheim by Opel. Detroit did not involve in its development because, from the painful lessons learned in Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt, it understands that small car is not its strength.

    Why did GM not choose a domestic Lithium Ion battery supplier?

    crew:
    I think you should look a further into the history of GM drivetrains. What you’re saying makes a nice timeline but isn’t very truthfull for having the sole impact in the process of getting a Volt into production. GM didn’t need Daewoo, Opel has a nice compact car too! M didn’t need Daewoo, Opel has a nice compact car too!

    Had Daewoo and LG Chem not been around the Volt would still go into production today.  


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:16 pm)

    nasaman: NOTE that the Volt’s 32mpg city/36mpg hwy reported by Popular Mechanics is only AFTER it’s entered the extended range mode. Prior to that, for up to a 100 mile range it’s equivalent mpg will always be well over 100mpg —and even over 250mpg in many cases.

    Huh?

    If you drove 100 miles, and got 40 from battery, then the remaining 60 from gas, that combined mpg cannot be 100mpg.

    Even at an optimistic 40 mpg for CS portion, that corresponds to 1.5 gal. gas, so the blended mpg would be 66.67 mpg. While nothing to sneeze at, we know the mpg will drop as you drive longer and longer in CS mode.

    I would say that it is disappointing, but not unexpected. I have predicted CS mpg in the low 40′s to mid 30′s from day one. But the good part is still that you get that first 40 mi. in electric, which is a definite plus. But again, the Volt is an EREV, and the distinguishing feature is the range extender, so you cannot ignore CS mpg.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:17 pm)

    EricLG: Air resistance is not affected by mass, but going up a hill one way or accelerating from a stop is exponentially affected by increasing mass. Regen helps here, but it is no panacea.  (Quote)

    Exponential. huh? F=ma, w=fd, energy lost = energy delivered – regen energy recovered

    Rolling resistance is probably non-linear in this situation but it is a minor component of the energy equation. I have stopped responding to the perma-negs cluttering up this site but blatant abuse of physics cannot be ignored. This is a good day for the Volt and nothing based on reality can change that.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:21 pm)

    usbseawolf2000:
    Let me get this straight. 36 vs 46 MPG is marginally better? Wouldn’t Volt be marginally better than your 32 MPG Civic?I know you really want initial 25-50 EV miles and willing to pay (or give up) anything for it. There are better ways to get that kind of EV miles.  

    My Civic is 38MPG highway, not 32MPG; and yes, I regularly achieve that. I’m not looking at City MPG, because I’m always under 40 miles in that scenario, and so I will never use gas on the Volt in that case.

    So on my rare long trips, the Volt will get better gas mileage than my Civic (40MPG factoring in the EV miles and my trip distance, versus 38MPG on my Civic), and in every other scenario, I won’t use gas.

    I’m a one car household. The Volt is the only solution that will give me the highest effective MPG over the total miles I drive it. That’s just fact for my driving scenarios. A Prius won’t come close, and a Leaf won’t get me where I need to go. The Volt will do it all for me.

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:29 pm)

    People! People! People! We need to get away from this MPG p****** contest. The point of this vehicle (which GM is doing a poor job of convincing others) is to drive all electric without range anxiety. It’s your everyday vehicle and your’re NOT going to drive 550 miles every day. It’s not about MPG, it’s all about no gas until you absolutely need it. As other’s have correctly pointed out on this forum: Thinks gallons per year, not miles per gallon. The old formulas don’t work with this technology. GM and enthusiasts on this web site need to make this clear to the general public. This is a NO GAS car until you absolutely need it.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:35 pm)

    Truman: At about 70 mph, the Chevy’s motor is starting to spin too fast to be efficient, so the ring gear unlocks from the case and locks to the smaller motor/generator.

    This is what I am awaiting GM to confirm or deny.

    Motor Trend

    “Chevrolet’s approach permits full EV capability over 30-40 real-world miles—something Toyota will never be able to claim with its current Hybrid Synergy Drive system.”

    Many will drive the Volt as a BEV. With range insurance enabled to exceed 40 miles distance if needed. An example is a cell call asking to run an errand, pick up supplies, stop by the school, assist someone in distress, or shuttle a friend to their destination. We must not overlook the quiet comfortable driving experience. And entertainment features which validate owning a nice car. If you’re a hardcore greenie you may choose to drive 68 mph on the freeway. The mpg numbers actual owners report will be the final verdict.

    NSCLNS
    No Soft Corinthian Leather, No Sale!


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:35 pm)

    TeaTime: I’m starting to dislike this $7,500 tax credit more and more…. A person getting a taxpayer subsidy to buy a luxury (avg compact car price is less $25K) vehicle to not use approximately a gallon of fuel a day (Ford Fusion Hybrid city mpg is 41mpg,Civic Hybrid city mpg is 47mpg)MAKES NO SENSE ECONOMICALLY.It is also unfair to working class people who cannot spend $43K (Chevy Volt) on a single car.A modest and permanent taxpayer credit of $1500 against the purchase of ANY vehicle with an avg fuel economy of 40mpg would have a much greater impact of reducing fossil fuel consumption for a larger percentage of people.In addition, it would encourage the production of vehicles that would be eligible for the credit.But we know why that will never happen.Foreign manufacturers would obtain the lion-share of the car purchases. A $1,500 tax credit per purchaser would be a fraction of what the government spends ensuring our access to petroleum is secure in hostile areas of the world.
      

    I’m not sure I follow your math… 75% of people drive 40 miles or less each day. If they can get infinite MPG in 75% of cases, how does your 40MPG solution “have a much greater impact on reducing of fossil fuels”???

    And FWIW, I will charge at work and at home, but let’s use your 1 gallon per day saved anyway (in reality for me 2 charges/day, I will save as much as 2.5 gallons each day). The true cost of gasoline to this nation has been estimated to be over $10/gallon (military presence, subsidies, etc.) which means after one year of driving and saving 1 gallon per day, I’ve saved $3650 for our country… In two years, that’s $7300, and in three years, it’s $10,950.

    So, a $7500 tax credit in 3 years saves the country $10,950, or a net of $3450.

    8,000 Volts saves our country a net $27,600,000 over those same three years, AFTER factoring the cost of the tax credit.

    Still dislike the $7500 tax credit? It has more potential to actually save our nation money (and reduce oil imports) than any other vehicle for the masses, and I’m ignoring the fact/benefit that we also end up sending less money overseas, which at least to some degree, will result in more money spent within our own country and economy.

    join thE REVolution


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    Raymondjram

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:44 pm)

    CorvetteGuy:
    I’m sure you are right about the Oldsmobile song. And the days of “original jingles” for cars, or any product, are pretty much gone. Now, all they do is make up new words for classic 60’s and 70’s songs to fit the situation.Going that direction, I propose:The Ides Of March – ‘Vehicle’
    “I’m your Vehicle babe. I’ll take you anywhere you want to go…”The Cars – ‘Drive’
    “Who’s gonna drive you home, tonight…?”The Beatles – ‘Drive My Car’
    “Baby you can drive my car. Yes I’m gonna be a star.”  

    I know Chevy can do better. Remember “GTO” and “409″? Those were surfing songs for GM vehicles. But please, no more using old hits! Someone can be creative and write a new “jingle”. Maybe a “new age” type of inspiration is needed. The Volt deserves it.

    Raymond


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    Tagamet

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:45 pm)

    DonC: That was my first thought but given how they’ve dissected the gearing the article seems very credible to me. IOW I thought BillR was off-base on this point but he seems to be one of the very few who nailed it. Shout out to him.

    Yeah, me too, but then again, GM hasn’t commented on the theory yet.
    “Stay tuned”.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    ClarksonCote

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:47 pm)

    usbseawolf2000:
    Let me get this straight. 36 vs 46 MPG is marginally better? Wouldn’t Volt be marginally better than your 32 MPG Civic?I know you really want initial 25-50 EV miles and willing to pay (or give up) anything for it. There are better ways to get that kind of EV miles.  

    One other thought here… 46MPG Prius, and 36MPG Volt after depleting the battery.

    So, let’s take a 150 mile trip as an example. The Prius will use 3.26 gallons, and the Volt will use 3.05 gallons. (150 miles – 40 Miles EV = 110 Miles on Gasoline @ 36MPG)

    So usbseawolf, if you always drive more than 150 miles one-way, and never less, then please buy a Prius, it will save you money and reduce petroleum more.

    If you’re in the other 99% of the population, you’ll use less gas in a Volt. Couple that with how much better the Volt performs over a Prius, and well… You get the idea.

    join thE REVolution


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:48 pm)

    Raymondjram:
    I know Chevy can do better. Remember “GTO” and “409″? Those were surfing songs for GM vehicles.But please, no more using old hits! Someone can be creative and write a new “jingle”. Maybe a “new age” type of inspiration is needed. The Volt deserves it.Raymond  

    Given the demographic that GM may be targeting, I kinda think they’d be better off with something that evokes fond memories of the 60′s.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    crew

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:55 pm)

    TeaTime: …Daewoo Lacetti…

    Well, yes, you’ve made a nice timeline, but you’re still ignoring any idea that the Volt would have gone into production without the Korean Konnection! GM has quite a few resources available to it and if it weren’t for GM, the Cruze would not have been developed into as good of a car that it is today.
    Even after knowing how good of a car the Cruze is, perhaps hindsight might have served GM better if the Volt were based on the Malibu, or the Opel Insignia. Or even a the lost Vuick.
    You’re also ignoring the nice little 1.4l motor that, right off the shelf, turns out to be a nice little ICE motor. Anyone really notice it? Not really, huh. It’s an Opel engine.
    I’m still at a loss of what you’re trying to say. Do you mean that the Volt isn’t a domestic car something? I don’t understand any point that you want to make.


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    Ted in Fort Myers

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:55 pm)

    usbseawolf2000: The prototype PHV Prius’ battery pack is 5.2 kWh. It uses 3.56 kWh to fully charge it. At 250 Wh/mile, it comes out to 14 EV miles.If Volt’s battery pack is 435 lbs, how come it weights 1,000 lbs more than Chevy Cruze?  (Quote)

    You have forgotten the weight of the electric motor and the battery management/Battery cooling system.

    Take Care,
    TED


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    crew

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (6:59 pm)

    Ted in Fort Myers:
    You have for gotten the weight of the elctric motor and the battery management system.Take Care,
    TED

    I agree with you and about those components among other things. His question about weight just wasn’t very valid.


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    greenWin

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:11 pm)

    Fantastic drive today in a factory built Chevrolet VOLT! Incredibly SMOOTH handling, QUIET, comfortable, good acceleration, coherent display technology. The contractor I spoke with who has been driving his pre-production vehicle in LA for a month – positively stated 50-55MPG in CS mode city.

    The GM personnel on hand were absolutely fantastic, friendly and communicative. I spoke for twenty minutes with a Senior Project Engineer who clued us in on next generation Voltec technology and the GM FC fleet. This is just the beginning of the rEV-olution!

    I have owned a Prius (2nd gen) and this Volt’s engine cycles on an off without ANY detectable sound or vibration. Essentially you cannot tell the difference between CD and CS modes in the vehicle I drove. GM under promises both charge times and CS mileage – not that driving on gas is what I intend to do. I intend to drive less than 40 miles per day just as 80% of other car owners do and recharge at night. VOLT is a pure EV with range extender if needed.

    At $350/month lease I am getting an amazing bargain for a lot of sophisticated technology. And should anything go wrong – I give it back and make no further payment until it’s replaced or fixed. A complete winner! Great day. And good tacos – thanks GM!!


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    Shortale

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:18 pm)

    36 mpg is what I keep seeing as the Cruze highway mileage, so this should not surprise anyone. When running in its comfort zone for long periods of time, the 1.4L burns x amount of gas and it works out to 36 mpg over a long course.

    That was one of the tradeoffs to get the car to market before 2012 without worrying about engine problems. We all knew this.

    I think it’s fine that the Gen I Volt works “as well” as an ordinary Cruze in some respects because the advantages are so glaring.

    The 1.4L is more engine than the car needs, and it along with it’s oil and cooling plant will probably be significantly downsized in Gen II. Panasonic has already announced (for 2012) batteries that hold 275 Wh/kg versus the 100 Wh/Kg in the Volt, and the thermal management problems seem to be far better understood than before. The big “T” may be going lower case pretty soon.

    In terms of that 3780 curb weight, I think the Volt may soon be in the “Biggest Loser” category. But in a good way!


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    Tagamet

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:22 pm)

    greenWin: Fantastic drive today in a factory built Chevrolet VOLT!Incredibly SMOOTH handling, QUIET, comfortable, good acceleration, coherent display technology.The contractor I spoke with who has been driving his pre-production vehicle in LA for a month – positively stated 50-55MPG in CS mode city.The GM personnel on hand were absolutely fantastic, friendly and communicative.I spoke for twenty minutes with a Senior Project Engineer who clued us in on next generation Voltec technology and the GM FC fleet.This is just the beginning of the rEV-olution!I have owned a Prius (2nd gen) and this Volt’s engine cycles on an off without ANY detectable sound or vibration.Essentially you cannot tell the difference between CD and CS modes in the vehicle I drove.GM under promises both charge times and CS mileage – not that driving on gas is what I intend to do.I intend to drive less than 40 miles per day just as 80% of other car owners do and recharge at night.VOLT is a pure EV with range extender if needed.At $350/month lease I am getting an amazing bargain for a lot of sophisticated technology.And should anything go wrong – I give it back and make no further payment until it’s replaced or fixed.A complete winner!Great day.And good tacos – thanks GM!!  

    Thanks for the excellent report. Sounds like you had a mildly positive experience (g). I’m glad that they are at least sharing personal CS mode mpg experiences and not waiting for purchaser’s reports.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    EricLG

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:27 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:36 pm)

    ClarksonCote: …8,000 Volts saves our country a net $27,600,000 over those same three years, AFTER factoring the cost of the tax credit.

    Still dislike the $7500 tax credit? It has more potential to actually save our nation money (and reduce oil imports) than any other vehicle for the masses, and I’m ignoring the fact/benefit that we also end up sending less money overseas, which at least to some degree, will result in more money spent within our own country and economy.

    Yep, still dislike the $7500 tax credit. I have confidence that the Volt can stand on it’s own merits without taxpayer support. None of your figures on money saved by our country change by one thin cent *without* taxpayer support. JMO.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    crew

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:38 pm)

    ClarksonCote:
    … if you always drive more than 150 miles one-way, and never less, then please buy a Prius, it will save you money and reduce petroleum more.If you’re in the other 99% of the population, you’ll use less gas in a Volt.Couple that with how much better the Volt performs over a Prius, and well… You get the idea.join thE REVolution

    That seems about right. And, to back you up even further, what’s the cost differential for 75% of American drivers that don’t really need to use gas at all in a Volt? Why even bother with a Prius?


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    greenWin

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:47 pm)

    “Each system (VOLT & PRIUS) employs a single planetary gear set, a gasoline-powered piston engine, and two electric motor/generators. But the way Chevy connects them is entirely different, and—if you ask me—superior.” Frank Marcus, Motor Trend 10/10/1010

    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/features/editorial/1010_unbolting_the_chevy_volt_to_see_how_it_ticks/index.html#ixzz120QdMeWK


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:48 pm)

    greenWin: spoke for twenty minutes with a Senior Project Engineer who clued us in on next generation Voltec technology

    RU allowed to drop this with no backup? I don’t think so. C’mon give up the goods.


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    Dave K.

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:49 pm)

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    john1701a

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:51 pm)

    ClarksonCote:
    One other thought here… 46MPG Prius, and 36MPG Volt after depleting the battery.

    Why are you comparing the no-plug model Prius to Volt ?


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    Red HHR

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:56 pm)

    Good News! The Volt is Awesome!


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (7:58 pm)

    koz: greenWin: spoke for twenty minutes with a Senior Project Engineer who clued us in on next generation Voltec technology

    RU allowed to drop this with no backup? I don’t think so. C’mon give up the goods.

    LOL, “Busted”

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    kent beuchert

     

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:00 pm)

    CAr mags that give opinions on beauty are like me telling you whether that girl over there is pretty. I decide what’s pretty and what’s not, and I doubt whether we would ever agree.
    Marilyn Monroe I thought was very plain looking and insipid. Paula Prentiss, now there was a pretty girl. Do I expect everyone to agree with that statement. Of course not. They are not me. Why would anyone expect them to agree? Now you see the reason I never have watched beauty pagents. They’re nonsensical.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:01 pm)

    john1701a:
    Why are you comparing the no-plug model Prius to Volt ?

    Toyota has a Prius EV? Well, it’s about time. How large is the battery 16 kwh?, 24 kwh?
    The PHEV15 Prius really is suited for island countries or others that travel quite a bit less than we do. You know the results of this cars’ testing. Substituting the Volt in these very same tests would just blow the Prius away. If Toyota finally gets a PHEV40 on the market then the comparison could be in the favor of Toyota for reliability and loyalty, perhaps. But Toyota isn’t leaning that way…yet.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:02 pm)

    Red HHR: Good News! The Volt is Awesome!  

    Stop the presses!!
    *Insert detailed report here*

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Eric

     

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:12 pm)

    The motor that GM used for the Volt was one that was on the shelf so to speak, it is not even fuel injected from what I remember. When GM uses a specific motor designed for that car the MPGs will improve.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:17 pm)

    Tagamet: Thanks for the comforting words, but isn’t this part backwards? Most of the folks here have agreed that the Gen I Volt *has* to be spot on perfect. If it’s not, there may not *be* a Gen II.I’ve known since the moment that they announced the price, *why* it’s so unsettling. Not because the price is beyond our means, but because the Volt is so darned much fun to drive! I’ll have my share of “Volt smiles” between now and Gen II. They’ll just have to be those vicarious ones.Be well,Tagamet  (Quote)

    I supposed this all depends on one’s definition of “spot on perfect” in this situation. I know the importance of “getting the Volt right” and I think your colloqualism is just a stronger version of that. I think the important aspects are getting lost in the semantics here. Every design involves compromises of some sort. IMO, “getting the Volt right” is a more accurate description of what most people were feeling and I’m guessing this includes you too. Overall, I think they have done a pretty good job at this, but that does not eliminate the potential areas for future improvements. To the contrary, the biggest strength of the EREV platform are those future “growth oportunities” (that ones for you, TAG). Also IMO, creating a solid EREV foundation via GEN1 Volt includes:
    -out-Priusing the Prius (check)
    -dismisses negative stereotypes regarding EVs (check on design, check on perforrmance, check on practicality, check on rapid range refill, check comfort, check on refinement)
    -reliability (This is probably the biggest one after the fundamentals and is still a “?”)
    -sufficient EV range for 75% of daily drives (check)

    I too was disappointed at the $41K price but I don’t think that will keep GEN1 from being a “success”. Again, “success” being defined as a good enough foundation to build GEN2 and other EREVS. For me, the biggest disappointment was that they could have easily kept it in the $35-40K range that they had been quoting for so long and the financial pain would have been minimal. This just seemd like an extremely foolish tactical decision and will needlessly dampen the GEN1 Volt’s success but not nearly enough to eliminate it, IMO.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:20 pm)

    Eric: The motor that GM used for the Volt was one that was on the shelf so to speak, it is not even fuel injected from what I remember. When GM uses a specific motor designed for that car the MPGs will improve.

    I think mostly that if these magazines substitute their drivers for us, all of the economy figures will improve. Besides that, I guess you’ve never rebuilt a carburetor, have you? I think you’re referring to a lack of direct injection not a lack of fuel injection.


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    Bob G

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:23 pm)

    Motor Trend is claiming a direct mechanical connection in CS mode above 70 mph:

    “The surprising news is that, after you deplete the 16-kW-hr battery and the engine switches on, a clutch connects the engine and generator to the planetary transmission so the engine can help turn the wheels directly above 70 mph. This improves performance and boosts high-speed efficiency by 10-15 percent.

    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/index.html#ixzz11xUeZcBu
    o.jeff: o.jeff

    I drove a Volt today. The GM engineer with me stated that there was absolutely never any mechanical connection between the ICE and the wheels. All electric, all the time.

    But I just have to say that this car is fracking amazing! Tight handling, strong acceleration, high tech displays, comfortable but functional interior, quiet ride, and definitely well built. If you get the chance, drive one!

    If I was Toyota, I’d be scared!


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    john1701a

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:26 pm)

    crew:
    The PHEV15 Prius really is suited for island countries or others that travel quite a bit less than we do.

    What do you think the purpose is?

    For that matter, who is the market?


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    Bob G

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:27 pm)

    And on my test drive, the engineer told me (to my surprise) that typical fuel economy in Charge Sustaining mode is 35 to 45 MPG.


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    Bob G

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:30 pm)

    I got the privelage of a test drive today on the “Volt Unplugged” tour in Lynnwood, WA.

    Facts from GM field engineer:
    * 35 to 45 MPG typical media test drive experiences.
    * Needs to confirm, but probably cannot flat tow Volt behind RV.
    * GM does not recommend towing a trailer.
    * There is absolutely no mechanical connection between the ICE and the wheels ever.
    * Can sustain 100 MPH in Charge Sustaining mode (i.e., no power fade).
    * Simulated “kick down” feature for passing.
    * Possibly replace ICE with a fuel cell in the future.

    Driving:
    * GM had three cars at Best Buy in Lynnwood.
    * Similar in size to the Civic.
    * Sporty looking car.
    * Big, practical hatch back.
    * Was in Charge Sustaining mode, but it was difficult to tell (ICE is extremely quiet and smooth).
    * Drove around town, but not on freeway (lots of people in line).
    * Engine RPM vaguely follows power demand.
    * Slight whine (inverter?) under hard acceleration – needs to be louder!
    * Very tight handling and strong acceleration. Fun to drive!
    * Bright, informative displays.
    * Wife: More back seat room than BMW 328i.
    * Back window under spoiler helps with view.
    * Comfortable and roomy. Enough head room.

    My only complaint was that the brakes (electric assist) felt a little stiff, but this is preferable to brakes that are too sensitive.


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    EricLG

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:35 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    greenWin

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:40 pm)

    Okay yeah… sure. I’ll talk…

    We talked at length about GM’s Fuel Cell fleet and goals targeted around year 2015. I think it’s fair to say that GM, should they meet goals, would offer a fuel cell range extender for Voltec drive trains. Specifically GM is looking to reduce FC costs to $50.00/kWh – below or at par with Li-ion (ambitious for both IMO.) There was also a discussion of modular approach to drive elements – meaning battery size, range extender type, fuel & storage type, traction engine HP/kW – may be electable from a consumer check list.

    My understanding is we can look forward to continued innovation involving a variety of energy, storage and propulsion resources. The FC ER option may be the first on the list. Very upbeat and positive discussion indicating vision and strong team spirit at GM.

    Now get that light outta my face!!


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    crew

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:40 pm)

    john1701a:
    What do you think the purpose is?For that matter, who is the market?

    I’m really not too concerned with what Toyota does with the Prius. You are. The Volt has set a standard that will be targeted for weight reduction and ICE efficiency. My guess is that GM will surpass that standard before any other manufacturer does. In that regard no one has stepped up to the plate yet with a comparable EREV or PHEV. Not Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan nor Ford. GM affiliates are already showing vehicles that use Voltec technology. Good thing that GM hasn’t used any of the Toyota nor Ford drivetrain proprietary technologies.

    The Volt is the car.


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    Luke

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:40 pm)

    herm: What does a Prius or Fusion hybrid get on the hwy at 78mph?.. I think the Prius can reach 78 but I’m not sure..BTW.. I set my cruise control at 55mph.. I get where I am going at about the same time.. and much calmer.  

    My 2nd-gen Prius does 78mph easily. The MPGs are in mid 40s at that speed.

    Oddly, the highway gas mileage is worse when crossing the flat expanses of the midwest at those speeds than it is running through West Virginia. We often get over 50mpg when traveling on the highway through WV/TN at around 70mph. I haven’t figure out quite why this is — I suspect it has something to do with the engine sweet-spots and the size of the battery and electric motor.

    The Prius is a capable highway car. It’s not ideal (the steering is a little touchy at high speeds, and the seats aren’t really designed for 12-hour drives), but it’s a much better road-trip car than most of the sedans I’ve owned.

    This particular Prius has 120k miles on it.


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    Red HHR

     

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:47 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Stop the presses!!
    *Insert detailed report here*Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Well other than the outstanding looks in red that just stops my heart.
    Just check out this gear!
    gear.jpg
    AWESOME


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    john1701a

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:58 pm)

    Bob G: If I was Toyota, I’d be scared!

    Of what?

    The niche plug-in market is about to be turned upside-down. But isn’t the point switching production of mainstream vehicles to the new technology right away?

    How will that happen and when at prices well above the mainstream?


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:58 pm)

    koz:
    I supposed this all depends on one’s definition of “spot on perfect” in this situation. I know the importance of “getting the Volt right” and I think your colloqualism is just a stronger version of that. I think the important aspects are getting lost in the semantics here. Every design involves compromises of some sort. IMO, “getting the Volt right” is a more accurate description of what most people were feeling and I’m guessing this includes you too. Overall, I think they have done a pretty good job at this, but that does not eliminate the potential areas for future improvements. To the contrary, the biggest strength of the EREV platform are those future “growth oportunities” (that ones for you, TAG). Also IMO, creating a solid EREV foundation via GEN1 Volt includes:
    -out-Priusing the Prius (check)
    -dismisses negative stereotypes regarding EVs (check on design, check on perforrmance, check on practicality, check on rapid range refill, check comfort, check on refinement)
    -reliability (This is probably the biggest one after the fundamentals and is still a “?”)
    -sufficient EV range for 75% of daily drives (check)I too was disappointed at the $41K price but I don’t think that will keep GEN1 from being a “success”. Again, “success” being defined as a good enough foundation to build GEN2 and other EREVS. For me, the biggest disappointment was that they could have easily kept it in the $35-40K range that they had been quoting for so long and the financial pain would have been minimal. This just seemd like an extremely foolish tactical decision and will needlessly dampen the GEN1 Volt’s success but not nearly enough to eliminate it, IMO.  

    I agree with all of the above, and would only add “Service” as another unknown. When (not if) “issues” show up, GM needs to be Johnny on the Spot with service that leaves the Volt client satisfied (and smiling). One of the main rationalizations, er, I mean arguments for keeping the first 2 years of production low, was related to being able to address the issues quickly and competently. If this isn’t handle well, there may not be an audience for Gen II (other than Clarkscote and myself)(g).
    Yeah, we’re on the same page. Still in the bleachers cheering for the Volt. DARN if driving that car doesn’t make you smile!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (8:59 pm)

    More Volt Sweetness
    trans.jpg
    OK, call me a gearhead, but that stuff turns me on.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:01 pm)

    Red HHR:
    Well other than the outstanding looks in red that just stops my heart.
    Just check out this gear!

    AWESOME   

    I think I’ll reserve judgment for a bit on that.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    coffeetime

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:04 pm)

    I drove the Volt today with a GM guy in the passenger seat, and my wife in the back seat. The course was close to a 4-mile loop in a mostly residential (35 MPH and under) area. A few thoughts. I’m 6’3″ 195 lbs., and fit comfortably in the front seat; moving the front seat up so I could squeeze into the back seat was not good, as my head was crushed into the hatch glass, and I had to really contort my body to get out of the car. My 5′ 4″ wife, on the other hand, liked the ride from the back seat – much better than our PT Cruiser, she said. When I stood next to the Volt for the first time, my initial impression was that it is smaller than I was expecting.

    When I pulled away from the curb, it was nearly silent even though the generator was on (the batteries were depleted just getting the cars to the location, I was told). I asked the GM guy about Mountain Mode, which he engaged, and you do indeed notice it, although it was not really all that annoying to me (but my hearing ain’t what it used to be, either). In any case, the combination of Mountain Mode and shifting into the low range (more aggressive regen braking) added a bit of juice to the battery, and for a short distance the Volt switched over to batteries (I didn’t think it was supposed to do that!), and had it not been for the center console showing us the flow of power, we never would’ve known. Chevy did a great job of making the generator quiet, and the transition between batteries and CS mode seamless.

    I didn’t care for the brake feel all that much; I know that everything is pretty much “fly by wire,” but it just seemed too spongy for my tastes. Other than that, it basically drove like a normal car – at least from this 10-minute non-freeway test drive.

    But what I really came away with from the test drive was this: I never owned a GM product in my life, because the quality never stacked up well to the competition in my view. The Volt changed my mind. It appeared solid, well built, and well thought out. I eagerly await my Nissan LEAF test drive next month.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:08 pm)

    Bob G: I got the privelage of a test drive today on the “Volt Unplugged” tour in Lynnwood, WA.Facts from GM field engineer:
    * 35 to 45 MPG typical media test drive experiences.
    * Needs to confirm, but probably cannot flat tow Volt behind RV.
    * GM does not recommend towing a trailer.
    * There is absolutely no mechanical connection between the ICE and the wheels ever.
    * Can sustain 100 MPH in Charge Sustaining mode (i.e., no power fade).
    * Simulated “kick down” feature for passing.
    * Possibly replace ICE with a fuel cell in the future.Driving:
    * GM had three cars at Best Buy in Lynnwood.
    * Similar in size to the Civic.
    * Sporty looking car.
    * Big, practical hatch back.
    * Was in Charge Sustaining mode, but it was difficult to tell (ICE is extremely quiet and smooth).
    * Drove around town, but not on freeway (lots of people in line).
    * Engine RPM vaguely follows power demand.
    * Slight whine (inverter?) under hard acceleration – needs to be louder!
    * Very tight handling and strong acceleration.Fun to drive!
    * Bright, informative displays.
    * Wife: More back seat room than BMW 328i.
    * Back window under spoiler helps with view.
    * Comfortable and roomy.Enough head room.My only complaint was that the brakes (electric assist) felt a little stiff, but this is preferable to brakes that are too sensitive.  

    They actually had four Volts at Lynnwood when we first got there (I got the photo to prove it). Maybe someone drove one off, because it did seem like there were just three of them when it came time for test drives.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:11 pm)

    coffeetime: …But what I really came away with from the test drive was this: I never owned a GM product in my life, because the quality never stacked up well to the competition in my view. The Volt changed my mind. It appeared solid, well built, and well thought out. I eagerly await my Nissan LEAF test drive next month.

    Thanks for the feedback! I hope you provide your impressions of the Leaf, too.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    usbseawolf2000

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:11 pm)

    ClarksonCote:
    My Civic is 38MPG highway…. in every other scenario, I won’t use gas.I’m a one car household.The Volt is the only solution that will give me the highest effective MPG over the total miles I drive it.That’s just fact for my driving scenarios.A Prius won’t come close, and a Leaf won’t get me where I need to go.The Volt will do it all for me.

    I can understand the obsession for the all electric drive in your case. But I can not rationalize it. Since you have the Civic already, why not get Leaf as a second car? You get 100 miles AER. Use the $8k difference to pay for extra insurance and gas for the Civic. Having two cars also split the mileage you rack up.

    You made an absolute statement (in bold) that you won’t use gas in your 40 miles commute. Sometimes, you may get 25 miles in EV and sometimes 50 miles. Don’t count on never using gas. In fact, the car will require you to run the gas engine for engine maintenance and fuel maintenance. Imagine running through the whole tank of gas (300 miles) every year. You’ll probably learn to put only a few gallon of gas in the tank, compromising the full range extender feature.

    However, if you like the Volt (how smooth it drives) and just want to support American engineering… those are valid reasons. If you can afford it, go for it. It is hard to put a price tag on the jet-smooth instantaneous response of electric propulsion. I know the felling because I fell in love with how Prius drove. Comparison to the Corolla from the internet keyboard warriors (without having driven one) was annoying.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:13 pm)

    Tagamet: I agree with all of the above, and would only add “Service” as another unknown. When (not if) “issues” show up, GM needs to be Johnny on the Spot with service that leaves the Volt client satisfied (and smiling). One of the main rationalizations, er, I mean arguments for keeping the first 2 years of production low, was related to being able to address the issues quickly and competently. If this isn’t handle well, there may not be an audience for Gen II (other than Clarkscote and myself)(g).Yeah, we’re on the same page. Still in the bleachers cheering for the Volt. DARN if driving that car doesn’t make you smile!Be well,Tagamet  (Quote)

    Agreed!


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:17 pm)

    OK, I be stumped
    What does the bottom line of this graph represent, tenths of a minute?
    Engine RPM? Is that the gas engine or the big electric motor?
    Chart starts in CS mode I presume…
    graph.jpg


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:26 pm)

    Red HHR: OK, I be stumped What does the bottom line of this graph represent, tenths of a minute?Engine RPM? Is that the gas engine or the big electric motor?Chart starts in CS mode I presume…  (Quote)

    I guess seconds


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:26 pm)

    Bob G: I got the privelage of a test drive today on the “Volt Unplugged” tour in Lynnwood, WA.Facts from GM field engineer:

    * There is absolutely no mechanical connection between the ICE and the wheels ever.

    The “credibility” issue I mentioned was with Mr. Frank Markus at Motor Trend concerning his article:
    Unbolting the Chevy Volt to See How it Ticks
    The Volt’s Gas Engine DOES Turn the Wheels. Sometimes.
    October 10, 2010 / By Frank Markus
    http://www.motortrend.com/features/editorial/1010_unbolting_the_chevy_volt_to_see_how_it_ticks/index.html

    Gee, maybe Frank doesn’t understand the Volt as well as the engineers that have spent 8000 hours working on the design.

    But I’m still waiting for Lyle and his Board to get The Word from GM.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:28 pm)

    Red HHR: OK, I be stumped
    What does the bottom line of this graph represent, tenths of a minute?
    Engine RPM? Is that the gas engine or the big electric motor?
    Chart starts in CS mode I presume…
      

    Not one, but two labeled vertical axes and no horizontal label. I suspect that someone is going to get yelled at (g).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:29 pm)

    Simple chart, for simple mind like mine
    For that CS 80mph road trip, you actually have more power!
    HP.jpg
    That really makes sense for me as I never drive that fast except for a extended road trip.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:32 pm)

    Truman: Gee, maybe Frank doesn’t understand the Volt as well as the engineers that have spent 8000 hours working on the design.

    But I’m still waiting for Lyle and his Board to get The Word from GM.

    Amen!

    Be well,
    Tagamet
    /well, 6 AM comes here 3 hours earlier than on the left coast, so I’ll close.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:37 pm)

    koz:
    I guess seconds  

    Naught to a hundred in 25 seconds?
    Where would the quarter mile mark be?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:39 pm)

    They say you learn something new everyday so today must be special ’cause I learnt 3 new things:
    -exponential has been redefined to something…well…less exponential
    -2 x $27,500 = $33,500
    -2 x 36 = 44


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:39 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:40 pm)

    Where is this Volt?
    Looks like a CNG facility!
    yellow.jpg


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:43 pm)

    Red HHR: Naught to a hundred in 25 seconds?Where would the quarter mile mark be?  (Quote)

    0-60mph looks about right


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:44 pm)

    The Volt is coming at You
    And away from those smoke stacks!
    atU.jpg
    Cheers, Goodnight…


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:45 pm)

    Red HHR: Where is this Volt? Looks like a CNG facility!  (Quote)

    Hydrogen, FC Volt…NOT :)


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    usbseawolf2000

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:47 pm)

    ClarksonCote:
    One other thought here… 46MPG Prius, and 36MPG Volt after depleting the battery.So, let’s take a 150 mile trip as an example.The Prius will use 3.26 gallons, and the Volt will use 3.05 gallons. (150 miles – 40 Miles EV = 110 Miles on Gasoline @ 36MPG)So usbseawolf, if you always drive more than 150 miles one-way, and never less, then please buy a Prius, it will save you money and reduce petroleum more.If you’re in the other 99% of the population, you’ll use less gas in a Volt.Couple that with how much better the Volt performs over a Prius, and well… You get the idea.join thE REVolution  

    You made some major assumptions. The electricity used to charge the Volt does not come out of thin air. Volt and Prius do not cost the same. They are not even in the same class in term of interior volume. Not everybody want to plug the car in everyday.

    There is also another choice. PHV Prius.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:52 pm)

    Tagamet:
    I’m not sure which MT review you read (there are a few), but the one I read talked about entering turns at full speed, braking hard, and accelerating out of them. At which point they mentioned that the *tires* “complained” loudly. They raised “Flogging” to new heights! The DATA needs some context.Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Thanks to you and others for comments.

    When I drive, other than long trips, I tend to have fun with the car. This means fast acceleration from stops (but no tire squeal) .. driving “involved” .. not aggressive and not distracted while staying with in the speed limits. (tickets and extra insurance costs make speeding not fun).

    ****So in regard to what the editors at PM were stating I got the impression they were involved drivers kind of like me and many of you but they were pushing an envelope.****
    So I do expect the MPG to be a little lower with the PM testers. This is what I find in driving “my way” in the Prius. The MPG is a little lower than average but when I do drive in an ‘eco’ mode taking full advantage of the regen brakes the MPG does go up.

    BTW on long trips the Prius gives the best MPG ( 70 to 72 mph max in Michigan) I hope this will be the case with the VOLT.

    The “real data” coming out by outside testers is exciting and I look forward what Lyle will have to say.

    I see the VOLT (noted in some reviews) as a car that can go any where anytime. The fact it can do it is the reason this real electric (hybrid) will be successful.
    The VOLT idea definitely “works for me”


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (9:52 pm)

    koz:
    0-60mph looks about right  

    How long is the back straight at the GM proving grounds? Must have been quite the ride. Maybe they will provide GPS data next time.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:17 pm)

    Just saw the quotes from Car and Driver on Facebook “Electric Revival: Not only did it not kill the electric car, GM’s reinvented it – Car and Driver”
    “Whether or not the gas engine is running, the Volt always has an EV-like demeanor. Which is to say there’s almost no waiting—and no downshifting—as it responds swiftly to throttle inputs. Acceleration is one continuous ooze of thrust—sort-of CVT-like, only without the engine drone.
    ( posting was 4 hours ago)
    http://www.caranddriver.com

    As I noted earlier the data from “the outside” is exciting!


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:17 pm)

    MikeD.: More info on Popular Mechanic’s efficiency tests:http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/electric/chevy-volt-range-testsThis is fine for single runs tests, but I think the Volt’s strength will be in OVERALL range and economy over many months, not 3 separate tests.  

    Does anyone know what the scale for the x axis of the graph “Volt Engine Behavior with Speed” is?

    I question the validity of this report: Some of the figures they state don’t agree with what we already know. Like “But real cars go 70 at the top, and so can the Volt if you engage Mountain Mode via a switch on the console 10 or 15 minutes before you hit the grade. This bolsters the battery buffer from about 20 to 40 percent of the 16 kW-hrs — enough to allow the Volt to climb any grade in the U.S. at a steady 70 mph.”

    and

    “Even maxed at 4800 rpm, the engine couldn’t maintain the 20-percent buffer, so our max speed gradually fell.”

    Statements like these indicate they do not understand how the Voltec drivetrain operates.

    Like the Motor Trend motorheads they are, everything in their world relates to speed. “Bottom line: If the gas/electric and plug-in sport sedans (Fisker, Tesla) and supercars (Jag, Lotus, Porsche, Ferrari) are as well-engineered as this subcompact, enthusiasts need not fear the 60-mpg future.” Whatever that means!?!

    I will wait until all the report are in and then draw an opinion based on similar findings. As for the Volt having a transmission as they claim let the actual owners and testers give us the true answer.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    usbseawolf2000

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:18 pm)

    Ted in Fort Myers:
    You have forgotten the weight of the electric motor and the battery management/Battery cooling system.

    That’s interesting because Prius does not add extra weight for it’s hybrid drivetrain. It’s size and weight is between Camry and Corolla. Prius’ electric motors and planetary gearset replaced the automatic transmission. The size and weight of the hybrid transaxle is about the same as an auto tranny.

    The weight of the 99 lbs HV battery is offset by smaller gas tank (saved ~50 lbs) and smaller lead acid 12V battery (saved ~20 lbs). The aluminum hood and hatch door also made up for the inverter and power control unit.

    The same could be said for the Volt compared to the Cruze. You are adding more but also taking out a bunch of stuffs. That is why I was surprised with the 1,000 lbs weight gain.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:49 pm)

    koz:
    Again, “success” being defined as a good enough foundation to build GEN2 and other EREVS.

    For me, the biggest disappointment was that they could have easily kept it in the $35-40K range that they had been quoting for so long and the financial pain would have been minimal. This just seemd like an extremely foolish tactical decision and will needlessly dampen the GEN1 Volt’s success but not nearly enough to eliminate it, IMO.  

    I totally agree.
    Toyota took a loss with the first generation Prius, but the yearly production was very low (300 in 1997 – 17,700 in 1998 – 15,200 in 1999 – 19,000 in 2000), and the R&D and marketing benefits of many years of actual sales far outweighed that loss, later, when they ramped up production of much more profitable next-generation models.
    Having a car on the road selling at $xx,000 gets future buyers thinking it will cost them about $xx,000. You don’t sell the first generation of a breakthrough at cost – you build wider enthusiasm for it.

    GM could have priced the Volt at $37,000, and announced “$29,500 with tax credit”. Under $30k. Sticking another $4000 on the price, for just 10,000 cars, earns them $40 million (assuming they all sell), but costs them dearly in most consumers image of the car (over $40k hi-tech wonder, too expensive to look deeply into). And most people expect cars to get more expensive in the future, not cheaper (not many folks left who remember Model T’s). The rapid development of li-ion batteries will almost certainly make the next gen Volt much cheaper, but how many people will look into this if they think the car is too expensive ?

    The Volt sells in the $20”s – this would have gotten a lot of people’s attention.

    Sounds like some genius MBA at GM made the pricing decision.
    Of course, GM was in bankruptcy and was being urged to return to “profitability” etc, but the Volt is more of a Steve Jobs moment than a John Sculley one (art/image/wonder over bean counting)
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-06-06/why-i-fired-steve-jobs/


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:50 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Yep, still dislike the $7500 tax credit. I have confidence that the Volt can stand on it’s own merits without taxpayer support. None of your figures on money saved by our country change by one thin cent *without* taxpayer support. JMO.Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Tag, true… But until we remove all the other subsidies we have in our government (especially the ones that make gas only $3/gallon), I’m okay with one for the “good guys”

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:51 pm)

    Still not getting this post in


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    crew

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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:51 pm)

    neutron: Just saw the quotes from Car and Driver on Facebook “Electric Revival: Not only did it not kill the electric car, GM’s reinvented it – Car and Driver”
    “Whether or not the gas engine is running, the Volt always has an EV-like demeanor. Which is to say there’s almost no waiting—and no downshifting—as it responds swiftly to throttle inputs. Acceleration is one continuous ooze of thrust—sort-of CVT-like, only without the engine drone.
    ( posting was 4 hours ago)
    http://www.caranddriver.comAs I noted earlier the data from “the outside” is exciting!

    Here are a couple of quotes from the Car & Driver article and the fresh Leaf write up:

    The basics exemplified:
    “While a pure EV—needing long recharging sessions every 70 miles or so—will transport you back to the era of the monthlong road trip, the Volt could easily drive across the country on gas when there’s no time or electricity available for recharging. Closer to home, if this writer had been driving a Leaf instead of a Volt, I would have had to deal a blow of rejection to a five-year-old nephew  whose birthday party was 60 miles distant, due to the lack of a place to charge while there. Do you think he would have understood?”

    RE: real world driving
    “The immediacy you feel shows up better in the 3.7-second 30-to-50-mph time, which is just a couple of ticks slower than a V-6 Mazda 6.”

    RE: portly status on a scale
    “It’s some 575 pounds more than the Prius, 549 more than its Chevy Cruze platform-mate, and almost 400 more than the electric-only Leaf.”

    RE: planetary gearset
    well, check out the download from c&d
    http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/d661f9d94df87b6417357fa2b6219a84.pdf

    RE: noise
    “There’s not much noise, either. In EV mode, the cabin is as quiet as a Lexus RX350’s at 70 mph, and even with the engine running, it matches the Prius at 72 dBA.” (jeez, the Toyota comparisons just don’t stop!!)

    And a one line summary:
    “This is without a doubt the most important new car since the advent of hybrids in the late ’90s, and GM has nailed it.”

    Here’s my favorite quote from the Leaf article:
    “The Leaf isn’t a primary car for most people, even if their driving habits are well within its capabilities. But the Leaf trumps every other car on the market in one way: enough green smugness to flip the bird to every Prius driver on the road. That’s worth a little sacrifice.” (well, I wouldn’t do that to the Prius drivers I know and respect but there are a few…)


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:52 pm)

    EricLG:
    If the two cars cost the same and had the same reliability and longevity I would totally buy your argument. As it is the Volt costs twice as much, and I suspect will last half as long. Reliability is unknown, but GM’s history is, shall we say, … spotty at best. Lastly, Toyota Alt green cars have a fantastic online support community that keeps me far, far away from rapacious dealers.The cost difference approaches $100k over the next 15-20 years.  

    If we’re going just on cost, I have a nice electric bicycle that I’ll sell you. It will go 15 miles on electricity alone, a couple more miles than your plug in Prius, and save you thousands of dollars. And you don’t have to worry about a gas engine kicking in if you don’t feather the gas pedal.

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:56 pm)

    neutron: Just saw the quotes from Car and Driver on Facebook “Electric Revival: Not only did it not kill the electric car, GM’s reinvented it – Car and Driver”
    “Whether or not the gas engine is running, the Volt always has an EV-like demeanor. Which is to say there’s almost no waiting—and no downshifting—as it responds swiftly to throttle inputs. Acceleration is one continuous ooze of thrust—sort-of CVT-like, only without the engine drone.
    ( 4 hours old)
    http://www.caranddriver.comAs I noted earlier the data from “the outside” is exciting!  

    Hmmmmmmmm! Food for thought. With two reports, one from Motor Trend and the second from Car and Driver, stating that the Volt uses a planetary gearset:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/application/d661f9d94df87b6417357fa2b6219a84.pdf

    I am surprised! Has GM held this trump card to quiet all the nay-sayers?

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:56 pm)

    usbseawolf2000:
    You made some major assumptions. The electricity used to charge the Volt does not come out of thin air. Volt and Prius do not cost the same. They are not even in the same class in term of interior volume. Not everybody want to plug the car in everyday.There is also another choice. PHV Prius.  

    Well the comment before was on saving petroleum. We barely use any oil in our power plants, so my argument stands there.

    As to cost, you’re looking at about a 75% cost savings in electricity versus gasoline. But again, my point was on how much petroleum was saved, as that was the metric being questioned.

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (10:59 pm)

    john1701a:
    Why are you comparing the no-plug model Prius to Volt ?  

    My mistake, let me do the Plug in Prius Math… I’ll assume 13 EV miles for the Prius, even though that’s when the car is very carefully driven. I’ll still use 40 miles for the Volt, even though it can get 50 miles EV if driven as carefully as you need to drive the Prius…

    Repeating my calculations from earlier, with the 13 mile EV range:

    140 mile trip on the Plug in Prius uses 2.76 gallons of fuel.
    140 mile trip on the Chevy Volt uses 2.77 gallons of fuel.

    So john1701a, if you always drive more than 140 miles one-way, and never less, then please buy a Prius, it will save you money and reduce petroleum more.

    If you’re in the other 98% of the population, you’ll use less gas in a Volt.

    Couple that with how much better the Volt performs over a Prius, and well… You get the idea.

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:01 pm)

    Well, do your own math. But from the C&D article – they’re using about 430 wh/mile (wall to wheels). At 12c per kwh and 2.49 for gas (price in my area) — I’d spend more on the electricity to drive the volt than on gas to drive the prius.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:02 pm)

    Bob G: I drove a Volt today. The GM engineer with me stated that there was absolutely never any mechanical connection between the ICE and the wheels. All electric, all the time.
    But I just have to say that this car is fracking amazing! Tight handling, strong acceleration, high tech displays, comfortable but functional interior, quiet ride, and definitely well built.

    Lucky guy!

    LRGVProVolt: Like the Motor Trend motorheads they are, everything in their world relates to speed.

    Yes of course real drivers are unlikely to flog a car like they do. But they offer an interesting perspective. I don’t drive that fast — maybe a little (LOL) — but I like a sportier car, so it’s interesting to see what they have to say.

    koz: They say you learn something new everyday so today must be special ’cause I learnt 3 new things:
    -exponential has been redefined to something…well…less exponential
    -2 x $27,500 = $33,500
    -2 x 36 = 44  

    That is so funny! +1


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:06 pm)

    Truman: but how many people will look into this if they think the car is too expensive ?

    Just anyone and everyone! As they pass by a GM dealership and see the Chevrolet Volt sitting outside or behind a show window. And every time they read the newspaper or watch a Volt advertisement on TV or on the internet. When GM ramps up production and comes out with GEN 2 with its lower price, they will realize the value a VOLT has.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:08 pm)

    crew: In that regard no one has stepped up to the plate yet with a comparable EREV or PHEV.

    Why would they? Cost and weight are high and benefits are low. You seem to be under impression that bigger battery means superior technology.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:10 pm)

    nasaman: Not necessarily. As I said in post 31, “That’s why Motor Trend equated it for comparison purposes to an HS250h Lexus hybrid, which by the way, they found gets only 35mpg city/34mpg hwy.” And it’s VERY important to note that the Volt’s 32mpg city/36mpg hwy reported by Popular Mechanics is only AFTER it’s entered the extended range mode. Prior to that, for up to a 100 mile range it’s equivalent mpg will always be well over 100mpg —and even over 250mpg in many cases.  (Quote)

    Maybe you should retake 5th grade math.

    Let’s see… they got 31, 33 and 35 miles EV from a charge… call it 33. Then they got 32 and 36mpg in CS mode. You could call that 34. A charge and 2 gallons of gas will take you 101 miles. That’s just slightly better than 50mpg.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:13 pm)

    koz: So far, the Volt is 3 for 3 in the reviews I’ve seen. PM, Motor Trend, and Mark Phelan are all fair and balanced reviews that come to very positive conclusions even with the nits they found.  (Quote)

    Phalen? Please… he’s head cheerleader for the Home Teams.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:13 pm)

    Luke: Oddly, the highway gas mileage is worse when crossing the flat expanses of the midwest at those speeds than it is running through West Virginia. We often get over 50mpg when traveling on the highway through WV/TN at around 70mph. I haven’t figure out quite why this is — I suspect it has something to do with the engine sweet-spots and the size of the battery and electric motor.

    I can say this cause filmark isn’t around to get all upset, but basically the hills are giving you a form of pulse and glide. Going up a hill is the same as accelerating, and going down is the same as decelerating. It depends on the slope though. A 2% slope would be good for mileage; the Grapevine not so good.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:17 pm)

    carcus3: But from the C&D article – they’re using about 430 wh/mile (wall to wheels). At 12c per kwh and 2.49 for gas (price in my area) — I’d spend more on the electricity to drive the volt than on gas to drive the prius. 

    Not really. If you drove the Prius like this you’d get 13 MPG. Isn’t that what TopGear got when “proving” that a BMW 3 series got better mileage than a Prius by flogging both cars?

    Best case 1/10th. Worst case 1/4th. Likely case 1/6th. But I don’t think this is about cost per mile. It’s about the ride and the drive and the technology.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:19 pm)

    DonC: Not really. If you drove the Prius like this you’d get 13 MPG. Isn’t that what TopGear got when “proving” that a BMW 3 series got better mileage than a Prius by flogging both cars?
    Best case 1/10th. Worst case 1/4th. Likely case 1/6th. But I don’t think this is about cost per mile. It’s about the ride and the drive and the technology.  

    Come on Don. That’s a bullshlt response.

    /Are you lighting up a swisher sweet with a $100 bill as you type?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:19 pm)

    scott: Hey, GM Marketing:I have a fantastic idea for the Volt. Put up a digital billboard in Times Square and show GALLONS SAVED by the Chevy Volt in real time using real OnStar data! Watching those numbers go up and up will show people what the Volt is all about, oil independence. Forget MPG and certainly MPGe all you are doing is battling and confusing consumers. Market the volt for what it is, a gas saver.  (Quote)

    Don’t pick a fight you won’t win.

    If someone takes their Volt out of town, the numbers on the billboard will have to spin backwards. And there’s so few Volts, the savings will amount to very little.

    There’s a million Priuses on the road, saving probably a quarter gallon per Prius (maybe more) every day.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:20 pm)

    Red HHR: OK, I be stumped
    What does the bottom line of this graph represent, tenths of a minute?
    Engine RPM? Is that the gas engine or the big electric motor?
    Chart starts in CS mode I presume…

    It wasn’t very clear to me either, Red HHR. I asked the same question.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:22 pm)

    Truman: I totally agree.

    +1 for agreeing with me, +10 for totally. Can I hire you to do wife training?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:22 pm)

    Charlie H: Maybe you should retake 5th grade math.
    Let’s see… they got 31, 33 and 35 miles EV from a charge… call it 33. Then they got 32 and 36mpg in CS mode.

    OK. Since we’re in 5th grade how about one of those story problems. I plug my Volt in only once a day (my employer is a cheap bastard). I go 26 miles a day. All covered by the AER range. Some days I go less. Likewise covered by the AER. So at the end of the month how many gallons of gas have I used?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:27 pm)

    crew: I’m really not too concerned with what Toyota does with the Prius. You are. The Volt has set a standard that will be targeted for weight reduction and ICE efficiency. My guess is that GM will surpass that standard before any other manufacturer does. In that regard no one has stepped up to the plate yet with a comparable EREV or PHEV. Not Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan nor Ford. GM affiliates are already showing vehicles that use Voltec technology. Good thing that GM hasn’t used any of the Toyota nor Ford drivetrain proprietary technologies. The Volt is the car.  (Quote)

    As involuntary GM stockholder, I’m very concerned about the Prius. Toyota will release a PHEV, relatively soon (before GM Volt production reaches “real car” status). With its high cost, excessive weight, dicey EV range and poor CS mode fuel economy, Volt 1.0 will fare poorly against a Prius that can do 13 or so miles EV, unless the Prius also carries a ridiculous price tag.

    And Toyota is not known for ridiculous price tags; the effective Camry hybrid was not much more money than the ineffective BAS hybrids and had more standard features. Against the Prius, which was priced lower, the BAS hybrids were a complete non-starter.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:28 pm)

    Charlie H: Phalen? Please… he’s head cheerleader for the Home Teams.  (Quote)

    Fair enough, replace with C&D if you prefer.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:34 pm)

    DonC: Yes of course real drivers are unlikely to flog a car like they do. But they offer an interesting perspective. I don’t drive that fast — maybe a little (LOL) — but I like a sportier car, so it’s interesting to see what they have to say.

    Agreed! That’s why I said, I will review all of the reports to see what they have in common; sort out all the differneces from the common ones and then draw conclusions. But as it stands, a lot of Motor Trends report should be closely examined and verified by others.

    So far the three report brought up tonight, kgive same very good news for the GM Volt.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:35 pm)

    DonC: OK. Since we’re in 5th grade how about one of those story problems. I plug my Volt in only once a day (my employer is a cheap bastard). I go 26 miles a day. All covered by the AER range. Some days I go less. Likewise covered by the AER. So at the end of the month how many gallons of gas have I used?  (Quote)

    Does your different story problem make Nasaman’s assertion correct? No.

    Here’s a different take on your problem… At twenty-six miles per day, a Prius would use about a half gallon per day. That’s about 190 gallons per year. At $3/gallon, how long will it take to recover the extra $18K one spends on a Volt over a Prius?

    Bonus question: A the end of that time, how much battery degradation has occurred and what will the Volt’s AER be at that time, presuming this GM car lasts that long?

    Bonus-bonus question: Re-do the first part, taking the time value of money into account.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:35 pm)

    Charlie H:
    As involuntary GM stockholder, I’m very concerned about the Prius…

    Like I said, I’m not really too concerned with what Toyota does with the Prius, you are.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:39 pm)

    carcus3: Come on Don. That’s a bullshlt response.

    Moi? Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Actually you’re just crazy. If you drive a Volt like a normal person you’re going to get a 40 mile AER and you’re going to get 40 MPG in CS Mode. IOW you’re not going to be using 450 wh/mile. Moreover the charger efficiency is going to be 90%+ and not 70%. In these respects, I don’t care what the folks at PM say. Not going to happen.

    Not that they say it’s going to happen. Heck they claim that they can go 80 MPH and use less than 250 wh/mile. Don’t see that happening either. But 250 wh/mile isn’t a bad average. At 250 wh/mile you’re using 25 kWh to go 100 miles. My TOU EV charge rate at super off-peak is $.04 (actually a lot for me is free because of the PV system but let’s just use the general rate). So a buck to go 100 miles. My gas is $3.10 a gallon, so even at 50 MPG that’s $6.20.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:40 pm)

    Charlie H:
    Does your different story problem make Nasaman’s assertion correct?No.Here’s a different take on your problem…At twenty-six miles per day, a Prius would use about a half gallon per day.That’s about 190 gallons per year.

    And Don only uses 9 gallons a year. I think we piss more than that!


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:41 pm)

    DonC: If you drive a Volt like a normal person you’re going to get a 40 mile AER and you’re going to get 40 MPG in CS Mode.

    M/T said they were trying to hypermile it and they got 31 miles AER. Their best day was 35 miles AER. Just how abnormal are the people at M/T?


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:43 pm)

    DonC: It’s about the ride and the drive and the technology.

    On the EV driving experience,

    Got to drive a Plug in Prius, and an iMiev yesterday. My first time driving an electric car. The “smooth quiet and instant torque” thing everybody talks about — for me was a nice little bonus that’s basically not noticeable after 15 or 20 mph –wind and road noise/vibration (mostly) take over from there. I think the EV feel will be considered as an upgade on a car but not what I would call a game changer. … and you get the same feel from late model hybrids even though they don’t have the plug but operate in EV mode (usually) at low speeds. Of course I haven’t driven the Volt yet but I’m not expecting anything magically superior.

    On the PIP it was very difficult to tell when the ICE was coming on or off, even at low speeds. Same was true for the Lincoln MKZ hybrid… but just not quite as smooth on the transition. Very nice car though, … comfortable and quite a smooth ride.

    /while I’m on it, the Prius Gen iii ride and handling was way better than what I remember from driving the gen ii. Felt like Toyota must have totally reworked the suspension and steering.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:44 pm)

    crew: Like I said, I’m not really too concerned with what Toyota does with the Prius, you are.  (Quote)

    You should be. There’s only a limited number of fanboyz to buy Volts from GM. Eventually, the Volt has to face the real competition. You know, the people that have a hard time understanding $41K for a compact car.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:44 pm)

    Car & Driver posted their first drive report as well. They got:

    EV Range: 26, 31 and ‘upper 30′s’ during ‘worst case’, ‘spirited’ and ‘careful sub 60mph’ attempts

    CS Mode: 35mpg overall average. 34mpg at nearly 80mph.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/10q4/2011_chevrolet_volt-feature_test


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:45 pm)

    Charlie H:
    You should be.There’s only a limited number of fanboyz to buy Volts from GM.Eventually, the Volt has to face the real competition.You know, the people that have a hard time understanding $41K for a compact car.

    ZZZZ…..


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:47 pm)

    DonC: If you drive a Volt like a normal person you’re going to get a 40 mile AER and you’re going to get 40 MPG in CS Mode.

    Use of the heater reduces AER. How can you continue to dancing around that reality?

    MPG from CS-mode will be lower in the winter, just like any other combustion engine.

    Winter warm-up from a day of sitting in a parking lot without a plug will consume gas too.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:49 pm)

    DonC: My TOU EV charge rate at super off-peak is $.04

    You need to bottle that up some how and sell it on the black market.


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    Oct 10th, 2010 (11:52 pm)

    Charlie H: how long will it take to recover the extra $18K one spends on a Volt over a Prius?

    OK. So let’s try this. A person drives 10K miles a year. The Honda Fit gets 30 MPG. The Prius gets 50 MPG. How long will it take the driver to recover the extra $18K if he buys a a Prius over a Fit? (Don’t bother arguing the $18K number because your $18K number was complete BS — it’s more like $5K after the rebate — which is less than the difference between the Prius and the Fit).

    Obviously you never make the money back. But so what. The problem with your cost argument is that it’s meaningless. If you want to save money go buy the cheapest econobox you can get your hands on and be happy. Even better, buy something very used. They’re always really cheap.

    The simple fact is that the Prius never made any economic sense, and only an idiot would have bought it to try and save money. In fact the appeal of the Prius has had nothing to do with saving money on gas. The Prius was the greenest car with the coolest technology. But that was then and this is now.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:06 am)

    DonC: OK. So let’s try this. A person drives 10K miles a year. The Honda Fit gets 30 MPG. The Prius gets 50 MPG. How long will it take the driver to recover the extra $18K if he buys a a Prius over a Fit? (Don’t bother arguing the $18K number because your $18K number was complete BS — it’s more like $5K after the rebate — which is less than the difference between the Prius and the Fit).Obviously you never make the money back. But so what. The problem with your cost argument is that it’s meaningless. If you want to save money go buy the cheapest econobox you can get your hands on and be happy. Even better, buy something very used. They’re always really cheap.The simple fact is that the Prius never made any economic sense, and only an idiot would have bought it to try and save money. In fact the appeal of the Prius has had nothing to do with saving money on gas. The Prius was the greenest car with the coolest technology. But that was then and this is now.  (Quote)

    Well, technically, “now” you still can’t buy a Volt. Maybe in November or December the Volt will be the coolest thing on the road.

    My $18K number is rock-solid. MSRP on the Prius is $23K. MSRP on the Volt is $41K. That’s an $18K difference. Sure, there’s a rebate but the bottom line is that SOMEBODY has to pay that $41K.

    I can think of so many ways that we could better use the $7.5K that’s being wasted on these things to save tiny quantities of gas.

    But I digress… CR reported that you could save money with a Prius. Others thought so, too. But your worst-case was that it was $2-3K more than a car with comparable interior room and performance, not $18K more. People can be persuaded to lay down a few $K extra for intangibles or the possibility the car will save money if gas goes over $3/gallon and stays there. Getting people to pay for two compact cars instead of one? That’s going to be a tough sell.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:07 am)

    carcus3: Well, do your own math. But from the C&D article – they’re using about 430 wh/mile (wall to wheels).At 12c per kwh and 2.49 for gas (price in my area) — I’d spend more on the electricity to drive the volt than on gas to drive the prius.  

    The way THEY drove the Volt is very different than the way YOU’LL drive your Prius.

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:09 am)

    carcus3: You need to bottle that up some how and sell it on the black market.  

    Wanna place a small bet? Even better, wanna place a really big bet? Ya know, the definition of a sucker bet is betting on the rate someone else is paying. Ba ha ha ha ha ha!

    Basically the TOU rate is $.069/kWh at super off peak, both summer or winter. But, you pay $.17 per day if you don’t use any kWhs, so the first $.17/day isn’t a direct charge for the electricity you’re using.

    Going 25 miles at 250 wh/mile means you’re using 6.25 kWh/day. That’s $.43/day. Subtract out the $.17 and you get $.26/day. Then just do the math: $.26/6.25 kWh = $.04/kWh. Viola, $.04 per kWh.

    Isn’t math a great thing?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:15 am)

    crew: (revisiting post #95)

    Go back post #95 for perspective on the Volt.

    The Prius is a wonderful car for the type that don’t plug in. BEV owners could do worse than have a nice used one in the driveway. Perhaps Toyota underestimated the investment in EV’s the US government has made in development, manufacturing, and the selling of large format batteries, and is getting left behind. So now, crowing about fuel economy is more a matter of pride than applied technology. I am not a detractor of the Prius, just the boobs that post here without much common sense or civility. So I really won’t care what Toyota does with it’s hybrid variations until it sets up manufacturing (not just assembly) in the US.
    Even then, I’m not a fan.
    Still, again, if my daughter wants a Toyota, I’ll help her find a good one. It’s easy to get ripped off by people trying to sell off a bad Camry on the Toyota reputation.
    I have stayed domestic and am happy doing so.
    Good night.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:19 am)

    DonC:
    Wanna place a small bet? Even better, wanna place a really big bet? Ya know, the definition of a sucker bet is betting on the rate someone else is paying. Ba ha ha ha ha ha!Basically the TOU rate is $.069/kWh at super off peak, both summer or winter. But, you pay $.17 per day if you don’t use any kWhs, so the first $.17/day isn’t a direct charge for the electricity you’re using.
    Going 25 miles at 250 wh/mile means you’re using 6.25 kWh/day. That’s $.43/day. Subtract out the $.17 and you get $.26/day. Then just do the math: $.26/6.25 kWh = $.04/kWh. Viola, $.04 per kWh.
    Isn’t math a great thing?  

    Oh I see, it’s kinda like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D_lfsc-BF0&feature=fvsr

    /I’ll refrain from betting


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:24 am)

    crew: Go back post #95 for perspective on the Volt. The Prius is a wonderful car for the type that don’t plug in. BEV owners could do worse than have a nice used one in the driveway. Perhaps Toyota underestimated the investment in EV’s the US government has made in development, manufacturing, and the selling of large format batteries, and is getting left behind. So now, crowing about fuel economy is more a matter of pride than applied technology. I am not a detractor of the Prius, just the boobs that post here without much common sense or civility. So I really won’t care what Toyota does with it’s hybrid variations until it sets up manufacturing (not just assembly) in the US.Even then, I’m not a fan.Still, again, if my daughter wants a Toyota, I’ll help her find a good one. It’s easy to get ripped off by people trying to sell off a bad Camry on the Toyota reputation.I have stayed domestic and am happy doing so.Good night.  (Quote)

    So you’re OK with that $7500 rebate that’s basically a transfer payment to the ROK?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:24 am)

    Charlie H: My $18K number is rock-solid. MSRP on the Prius is $23K. MSRP on the Volt is $41K. That’s an $18K difference. Sure, there’s a rebate but the bottom line is that SOMEBODY has to pay that $41K.

    Well if the question is how much extra will “you” pay then you need to use what “you” will pay. Saying that someone else has to pay it is ridiculous. If I buy a house from a distressed developer or homeowner, I really don’t care what “he” paid, all I care about is what “I” have to pay.

    The fact you’re reduced to such silliness demonstrates that you’re latching on to all manner of logical flotsam. At the end of the day the Volt is going to be $5K more than the Prius and the Prius is going to be $8K more than the Fit. But you know what, for a lot of people it wouldn’t make any difference if the Volt were $10K more than a Prius. You keep mentioning that dealers are selling the Volt above MSRP. Not happening with the Prius. Isn’t that telling you something? Like I keep telling you, it’s not about saving money on gas, and in fact it’s not about saving money period.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:27 am)

    Charlie H: So you’re OK with that $7500 rebate that’s basically a transfer payment to the ROK? 

    I get it. When the Prius sucked down the rebates that was perfectly fine. Ditto for the Camry. But when some other car like a Nissan or a GM gets a rebate, that’s totally unacceptable.

    If you feel so strongly about the travesty of rebates why don’t you go down and picket your Toytoa dealer. They sucked down more $$ than anyone else at this point.

    Talk about hypocritical BS.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:28 am)

    Hmmm… I read the C/D article, too.

    So, neither C/D nor M/T managed to achieve the mythical 40 miles AER? And CS mode fuel economy was in the ’30′s for both teams?

    Y’all better get real busy downvoting my posts or the Volt might not sell very well.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:30 am)

    DonC: I get it. When the Prius sucked down the rebates that was perfectly fine. Ditto for the Camry. But when some other car like a Nissan or a GM gets a rebate, that’s totally unacceptable. If you feel so strongly about the travesty of rebates why don’t you go down and picket your Toytoa dealer. They sucked down more $$ than anyone else at this point.Talk about hypocritical BS.  (Quote)

    Where did I say the Prius rebate was “perfectly fine?”

    At least it was timely (that rebate got electro-motive drivetrains onto the roads in the early ’00′s – we’re way past that, now), much more moderate in size and put cars on the road which have actually saved oodles of fuel.

    But subsidizing particular solutions to broad problems is a bad idea in general.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:33 am)

    DonC: I get it. When the Prius sucked down the rebates that was perfectly fine. Ditto for the Camry. But when some other car like a Nissan or a GM gets a rebate, that’s totally unacceptable. If you feel so strongly about the travesty of rebates why don’t you go down and picket your Toytoa dealer. They sucked down more $$ than anyone else at this point.Talk about hypocritical BS.  (Quote)

    Of course, it would make much more sense to picket GM for their abuse of that rebate, since they applied it to the BAS hybrids, which hardly saved any fuel at all, and to the GMT900 hybrids, which could still be called gas guzzlers. Of course, the good people at the Chevy dealer wouldn’t know what to think of a protest against a couple of vehicles sold in such pitifully tiny quantities that they can barely remember them at all.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:37 am)

    DonC: Like I keep telling you, it’s not about saving money on gas, and in fact it’s not about saving money period.

    You’re right, the Volt is absolutely not about saving money. Of course, it’s not about saving gas, either. It’s about leapfrogging Toyota. A better idea would have been marketing a saleable car.

    At the moment, the Volt appears to be selling above MSRP to some people. Others seem to be finding it available for MSRP – or have a commitment to get it at same, whenever it really hits the streets. The tiny quantities have quite a bit to do with that. If GM ever develops the balls necessary to build the thing in serious quantity, you will see that pricing changes.

    When gas is flirting with $4/gallon, the Prius gets a dealer markup, too.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:40 am)

    DonC: Saying that someone else has to pay it is ridiculous. If I buy a house from a distressed developer or homeowner, I really don’t care what “he” paid, all I care about is what “I” have to pay.

    When you buy that house, you don’t get rebate money from me, do you? Of course, the seller is in the same position as GM, his cost is higher than market value, but he didn’t get the Michigan Congressional Delegation to bail him out. His tough luck, I guess. Should we get the Feds to guarantee all deals clear a profit for all sellers?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:44 am)

    35 mpg for the Volt…I told you so on February.

    It turns out that Toyota is going one better (soon). In one year they will be introducing the Toyota Prius as a Plug-in which (according to highly reliable sources) will average 75mpg.

    I truly wanted a Volt but with the low gas mileage (36 mpg after 40 miles), the fact that the engine requires premium fuel and the initial high cost of the car ($2,000 average deposit, $41,000 retail sale price before rebate, inability to use the carpool lane due to high emissions) it does seem to be the best solution presently.

    GM I wish you had made the gas engine more fuel efficient!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:45 am)

    From the C/D article:

    “In our experience, using only standard-household 120-volt power, it took about 13.4 kWh of electricity to replenish the Volt’s 9 kWh of usable energy. ”

    I’m surprised at how inefficient that is.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:17 am)

    It’s cool to see some real numbers. 32/36MPG with the batteries exhausted isn’t bad, all things considered (heavy car with an exhausted battery pack and an outdated engine acting as a genset being driven by spirited drivers). It certainly leaves room for improvement (or competition), which is always a good thing.

    Even if the Volt is a total lemon that disappoints everyone and can’t live up to its hype, other manufacturers will think, “we can build something better”. I think the Gen1 Volt will be a good first step, but in a few years, I’m expecting to see some major improvements to EREV that will blow us all away.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:34 am)

    kubel: It’s cool to see some real numbers. 32/36MPG with the batteries exhausted isn’t bad, all things considered (heavy car with an exhausted battery pack and an outdated engine acting as a genset being driven by spirited drivers). It certainly leaves room for improvement (or competition), which is always a good thing.
    Even if the Volt is a total lemon that disappoints everyone and can’t live up to its hype, other manufacturers will think, “we can build something better”. I think the Gen1 Volt will be a good first step, but in a few years, I’m expecting to see some major improvements to EREV that will blow us all away.  

    My point has always been to focus the resources (human and financial) for gen 1 Volt towards the serial drivetrain, especially generator, and a little battery (5 miles) pack where the charge is kept idle 50% all time. Design it in order to pull maximum efficiency out of it. If you succeed, then think about adding more batteries, when technology reaches maturity (size X weight X energy density X power). Step by step, one problem after the other.

    The risk now is if gen 1 doesn’t meet the success we all wish it deserves, gen 2-3 will never see the light of the day. Simple economics.

    Keep downvoting


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:48 am)

    nasaman, post #37: …“That’s why Motor Trend equated (the Volt) for comparison purposes to an HS250h Lexus hybrid, which by the way, they found gets only 35mpg city/34mpg hwy.” And it’s VERY important to note that the Volt’s 32mpg city/36mpg hwy reported by Popular Mechanics is only AFTER it’s entered the extended range mode. Prior to that, for up to a 100 mile range it’s equivalent mpg will always be well over 100mpg —and even over 250mpg in many cases.

    CORRECTION: My apologies —I was never good at arithmetic & several people caught my blunders after I left home yesterday morning. Assume Motor Trend’s mpg results would average 34mpg (i.e., half city/half hwy) and use a nominal CD range of 40 miles PLUS an additional CS range of 20 miles (i.e., 60 miles total trip). Then the total gas used would be 20mi/34mpg and the total equivalent mpg for the 60 mile trip would be 60mi/(20mi/34mpg) = 102mpg.

    So the my last sentence (in bold above) should be corrected to read, “…for a 60 mile trip its equivalent mpg would be 102mpg and for a 50 mile trip it would be 170mpg.”


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:01 am)

    Lawrence: My point has always been to focus the resources (human and financial) for gen 1 Volt towards the serial drivetrain, especially generator, and a little battery (5 miles) pack where the charge is kept idle 50% all time. Design it in order to pull maximum efficiency out of it. If you succeed, then think about adding more batteries, when technology reaches maturity (size X weight X energy density X power). Step by step, one problem after the other.The risk now is if gen 1 doesn’t meet the success we all wish it deserves, gen 2-3 will never see the light of the day. Simple economics.Keep downvoting  (Quote)

    I don’t think you will see many down-votes. It is commonly held criticism that was presented without bias. The problem is that GM sees the opportunity differently and technological constraints make it different. There are no affordable 5 miles AER baterries that can fully power this car and meet the other reasonable constraints such as lifetime. GM decided that making a clean break from the ICE and building a car that could meet most people’s daily needs all electrically was their goal and where the current tech best fit.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:11 am)

    13.4kwh from the wall to deliver 9kwh out is highly questionable. This Car & Driver statement from the same report is unmistakably how they feel:

    “With the possible exception of a fairly cramped back seat and an undersized cargo hold, the Volt checks all the boxes, plus it outdrives the hybrid competition. This is without a doubt the most important new car since the advent of hybrids in the late ’90s, and GM has nailed it. ” -http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/10q4/2011_chevrolet_volt-feature_test

    Perma-negs cannot cherry pick their way out of these statements nor the overwhelmingly positive nature of the reviews, and all this despite their “normal” testing such as 80ish mph on the highway.

    Get a life, give up the the permanent negative attitude or at least find a better application for it.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:57 am)

    I created an Excel model a while back to predict CS mode MPG. It was really close. Now that we have a reported CS MPG figure at a known speed, I am able to tweak the model.

    CSModeMPGChart.jpg


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:06 am)

    DonC: The simple fact is that the Prius never made any economic sense, and only an idiot would have bought it to try and save money. In fact the appeal of the Prius has had nothing to do with saving money on gas. The Prius was the greenest car with the coolest technology. But that was then and this is now.  

    Prius saved me money and time (HOV) already and I got a superior car than the one it replaced. Noticed you picked 10k miles per year. Why not use 30k miles per year? Is it because

    MPG alone does not make a green car. Emission (total life cycle) has to be considered as well. Displacing emission through the plug does not make it a green car. As the US DOE report pointed out, Volt emits more greenhouse gas than a standard Prius. Why do you want to plug it in everyday knowing more GHG are being generated at the other end of the plug? That’s not cool, IMHO.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:16 am)

    Underpromise and overdeliver.

    Is this a hard concept for GM to understand?

    Anyone remember the 230? LOL!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:24 am)

    crew: Perhaps Toyota underestimated the investment in EV’s the US government has made in development, manufacturing, and the selling of large format batteries, and is getting left behind.

    Both the Volt and Leaf’s have 8 years / 100k miles battery warranty. Their definition of the end of battery life is 70% of the original capacity. If IEEE recommended practice (80%) is used, the battery life is closer to 5 years.

    Clearly, the Lithium battery is not ready for automotive BEVs. Next generation tri-metal (NMC) Lithium is suppose to double the life and double the energy density. To me, it is battery that should be in BEVs. The tri-metal battery will be used in Gen2 Leaf (2015). Toyota will be using it in PHV Prius and rumors are that they’ll replace NiMH in standard hybrids as well. That’s coming in 2012.

    The way I see it, Toyota will be the first to have a true automotive grade Lithium battery with AT-PZEV (10 years / 150k miles) warranty. What you see today is the anti-hybrid automakers trying to rush into electrification “game” to play 13 years of catchup. I surely hope they do not ruin the image BEV or PHEV industry because in 5 years, battery might need to be replaced.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Not sure if this has already been mentioned, but the DT news has tested and got 75 miles out of .9 gal. using both the battery and generator. Stated in the article, he got 32 of that on electric alone. By my calculations 75-32=43. When divided by .9 gallons, the extended range mileage is 47.7 per MPG. Not sure why popular mechanics came up with such different numbers.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20101011/OPINION03/10110362/1148/auto01/Volt-test-drive-quiet–efficient-—-and-fun


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:25 am)

    usbseawolf2000:
    What you see today is the anti-hybrid automakers trying to rush into electrification “game” to play 13 years of catchup. I surely hope they do not ruin the image BEV or PHEV industry because in 5 years, battery might need to be replaced.

    Just as you were beginning to make a little sense, you go off on the current technology as seriously flawed and not worthy of your graces.
    You’re acting as an apologist for Toyota.
    Toyota put into production a battery in the Prius that was unproven and quite a few people were fearful of a number of supposed flaws but mostly of the expense. I certainly understand the approach that Toyota has taken in not investing in a chassis that needs to support a significant battery as well as not investing in the battery itself. Toyota has invested heavily in manufacturing and marketing an efficient hybrid drivetrain, but by not moving forward with putting a BEV on the road today, the company has put a little black tarnish on being green. I love the quote from car and driver after taking a Leaf for a spin “…the Leaf trumps every other car on the market in one way: enough green smugness to flip the bird to every Prius driver on the road.”
    Hard to believe that the Prius has fallen that much in green credibility so quickly.
    With the Volt going with the LG Chem battery BEV’s have taken a huge leap forward towards credibility above hybrids. What GM has done to protect the battery is far and above what any other manufacturer would have provided for if, indeed, it is believed that the battery is as bad as you say it is. GM is so far ahead of the game with what it has put in the Volt by protecting these cells. The chemistry has not been proven and I have no doubt that this battery will become obsolete within 7 years, but don’t think for a second that GM hasn’t got a handle on a replacement for it. GM has a significant investment in developing other types of batteries beyond what LG Chem is providing, we just won’t see them as publicly as other companies need to canvas for funding publicly.
    The Volt is more than the star of the day, it is the first star of many that will be on the road giving us the ability to stay away from petroleum completely. As a bridge to future battery technologies the Volt is a significant milestone. As each variant comes to market, so do patents, chemistries, drivetrains, range extenders above petroleum, manufacturing improvements and consumer awareness.
    With the Volt going on the road today, everyone has the opportunity to either experience passing by fuel stations, or know someone who just won’t shut up about it. Right now, the word isn’t coming from Toyota, but Chevy.
    Perhaps you’re right about waiting to spend manufacturing $ on a better battery, but for now, he who hesitates, loses.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:26 am)

    Way back in this thread, folks were asking what the x-axis was on the graph with rpm and mph on the 2 y-axes. X-axis is the 582 miles they drove in CS mode on the highway.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:32 am)

    Charlie H: From the C/D article:“In our experience, using only standard-household 120-volt power, it took about 13.4 kWh of electricity to replenish the Volt’s 9 kWh of usable energy. ”I’m surprised at how inefficient that is.  (Quote)

    Gee… a -3 for remarking on my surpriset at a reported fact.

    Would I get a higher or lower rating for being unsurprised at how inefficient that is?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:39 am)

    koz: I don’t think you will see many down-votes. It is commonly held criticism that was presented without bias. The problem is that GM sees the opportunity differently and technological constraints make it different. There are no affordable 5 miles AER baterries that can fully power this car and meet the other reasonable constraints such as lifetime. GM decided that making a clean break from the ICE and building a car that could meet most people’s daily needs all electrically was their goal and where the current tech best fit.  (Quote)

    Toyota got on the order of 100 miles in the Rav4-EV with NiMH, which has proven longevity and reliability. It’s hard to believe a 5 mile AER vehicle wouldn’t be possible with NiMH.

    Heck… what do the Prius aftermarket battery suppliers use? Weren’t the first couple iterations of that NiMH?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:29 am)

    koz: There are no affordable 5 miles AER baterries that can fully power this car and meet the other reasonable constraints such as lifetime.

    There is no affordable 40 miles AER battery neither. Why does the battery need to power the car by itself when there is a gas engine sitting and getting a free piggy-back ride?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:43 am)

    crew: Hard to believe that the Prius has fallen that much in green credibility so quickly.

    Credibility is based on sales (not hype) and owner satisfaction which includes affordability and reliability. Keep in mind that Tesla Roadster existed way before the upcoming Leaf and the Volt.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:50 am)

    koz: 13.4kwh from the wall to deliver 9kwh out is highly questionable. This Car & Driver statement from the same report is unmistakably how they feel:“With the possible exception of a fairly cramped back seat and an undersized cargo hold, the Volt checks all the boxes, plus it outdrives the hybrid competition. This is without a doubt the most important new car since the advent of hybrids in the late ’90s, and GM has nailed it. ” -http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/10q4/2011_chevrolet_volt-feature_testPerma-negs cannot cherry pick their way out of these statements nor the overwhelmingly positive nature of the reviews, and all this despite their “normal” testing such as 80ish mph on the highway.Get a life, give up the the permanent negative attitude or at least find a better application for it.  (Quote)

    The big difference between auto writers and the general public is that nobody makes the auto writers pay for the cars they review.

    Hand that guy $41K in cash and tell him to go buy a car. See what happens.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:35 am)

    These numbers seem familiar. I know I know I’m just a dumb systems engineer what do I know. I still have that ocean front property in AZ if any Kool-Aid drinkers would like it. I say 38 highway with EPA testing still!!

    Just to be fair to the Volt though like I said before these CS mpg ratings will hardly effect the average user as this is not the main benefit of the Volt. Engineering is about trade offs some times and GM went the right direction with the Volt!!!!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:13 pm)

    ClarksonCote: 36 MPG is sweet for me… That means that on a 375 mile trip, I’ll get 40MPG equvalent when factoring in EV range, using their numbers.That’s the longest (and really only) trip I ever take, to go visit family.That beats the 38MPG I get with my Civic on these trips, taken 3-4 times per year.And the rest of my driving will be gas free.Can’t beat that!join thE REVolution  

    So how often do you take this roadtrip?

    I’m wondering because I am in a similar situation. The most I ever go around town is about 50-60 miles, but take trips about every other month to visit my mom who is 120mi and once/year to viist other family about 300 miles away. After running the numbers, I think I will buy a BEV and rent/borrow a car for the out-of town trips. I have plenty of friends that would be more than happy to swap cars for a weekend.

    And if you think about your particular roadtrip…the difference between the Volt and the Civic will be about 1 gallon of gas for the roundtrip, and since the Civic uses regular gas, using it would probably be cheaper anyway.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:40 pm)

    Charlie H: Toyota got on the order of 100 miles in the Rav4-EV with NiMH, which has proven longevity and reliability. It’s hard to believe a 5 mile AER vehicle wouldn’t be possible with NiMH.Heck… what do the Prius aftermarket battery suppliers use? Weren’t the first couple iterations of that NiMH?  (Quote)

    A 6kwh battery capable of 110KW sustained? I don’t think so.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:06 pm)

    koz: A 6kwh battery capable of 110KW sustained? I don’t think so.  (Quote)

    Think again…

    http://www.evnut.com/rav_owner_gallery.htm


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:33 pm)

    MSNBC is blogging their drive along with the Volt Unplugged tour.

    They drove from Seattle to Portland this morning in Charge Sustaining mode
    and reported getting 46.4 MPG over 4 gallons of gas.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:29 pm)

    Excellent post. Perilous times ahead. Hang on tight.


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (4:47 pm)

    Dont know what everyone is whining about they have the car at full throttle no one that wants to be green drives like that. Even so I think they are decent numbers for a car that wasnt designed to be driven in that manner.

    PS: Theres not enough Volts to go around for the naysayers anyway.


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    Oct 14th, 2010 (8:29 am)

    Gotta do better than that for MPG. Our 11 year old Civic just averaged 42 mpg on a 5000 mile trip from Illinois to Glacier NP and back. Interstate at 70 mph is Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota. Mountain backroads that went from gravel to grass while looking for old mining ghost towns. Temperatures from 98 in the Midwest to 30 in the mountains. 98000 miles on this car and it is a keeper. We could probably still to better than the Volt with a new Civic for less than half the cost of the Volt.