Oct 11

Motor Trend Explains the Volt’s Powertrain

 


[ad#post_ad]The Chevrolet Volt’s technical details are now being laid bare for all the world to see. Motor Trend magazine was the first to get a full debriefing on how the Volt’s powertrain functions and according to GM engineers I have just spoken with, have done an excellent job explaining this.

As you are reading this article I am spending a full day driving the Volt more than 100 miles throughout Detroit in both EV and extended range mode and attending technical briefings on the inner working of the car. More on this soon.

Frank Markus of Motor Trend took the car for an extended test drive and found it lived up well to GM’s promises. He also explains the inner workings of the Volt’s transmission for the first time. The previously reported patent application found by our own reader Cab Driver was confirmed as accurate.

Here’s how it works.

The drivetrain has a bit in common with the Prius and Ford hybrids. It consist of a single planetary gearset, two electric motors, and one gas engine. Motor Trend thinks the design is superior and more efficient than Toyota’s, and according to GM engineers with whom I spoke, is on the verge of patented.

There is a large central sun gear turned by the 149 horsepower electric motor at all times. Around it is a planetary carrier which turns the wheels. When the car is in charge depleting mode, an outer ring is locked to the case. The engine and generator are disengaged.

When the car reaches 70 mph the main motor spins too fast to be maximally efficient, and a clutch disengages the ring from the case. This allows the second electric motor to participate and both motors act in parallel to reach speeds of 101 mph with adequate power.

In charge sustaining mode, the gas engine goes on and clutches to the generator causing it to produce electricity to continue powering the main motor.

However of particular interest, when going above 70 mph in charge sustaining mode, and the generator gets coupled to the drivetrain, the gas engine participates in the motive force. GM says the engine never drives the wheels all by itself, but will participate in this particular situation in the name of efficiency, which is improved by 10 to 15 percent.

Markus liked driving the car and he noted he was surprised about the direct mechnical connection.

Motor Trend found 0 to 60 in 8.8 seconds in EV mode and 8.7 seconds in extended range mode. This difference was verified to me by engineers. Noting it to be “no sports car” the Volt still blows the Prius away (9.8 seconds 0 to 60).

Though not specifically tesing it, Markus said drivers should expect fuel effieicny when running on gas from high 30s to low 40s.

He also noted the Volt will flash a dash message “low propulsion power” when going up steep grades in extended range mode and will drop to 40 MPH. This will not happen if mountain mode is engaged ahead of time, which will leave extra energy in the battery, causing the engine to go on sooner.

They found it quiet as well as quick and nippy in traffic.

The brakes were noted to be suprtior to the Prius, and do an excellent job mating and feathering initial regenerative motor braking and eventual disc caliper braking.

Motor Trend also was abe to map the behavior of the Volt’s generator and found it generally followed power demand in the way a customer would expect.

Motor Trends 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.

Source (Motor Trend) and (Motor Trend)

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 11th, 2010 at 12:18 am and is filed under Engineering, Voltec. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 314


  1. 1
    john1701a

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:30 am)

    However of particular interest, when going above 70 MPH in charge sustaining mode, and the generator gets coupled to the drivetrain, and the gas engine participates in the motive force. GM says the engine never drives the wheels all by itself, but will participate in this particular situation in the name of efficiency, which is improved by 10 to 15%.

    Sure is nice to have an answer to the direct-drive question now.

    Gaining efficency through participation is a good thing, despite the “purity” it tarnishes.

    We finally have something “hybrid” in common. Let the new age of plug-in hybrids begin.


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    carcus3

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:39 am)

    Looks like the mechanical hookup starts at 60 mph, not 70.

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


  3. 3
    carcus3

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:44 am)

    Maybe this article should be titled:

    “Combustion Engine Does Turn the Volt’s Driveshaft Sometimes. Got it?


  4. 4
    RMichael

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:56 am)

    I think the interesting thing here is the manifold vacuum is zero during most of the engine operation, meaning the engine is not being throttled. This makes the engine more efficient, and is another good reason for using premium fuel.


  5. 5
    Darius

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:25 am)

    That meens that no turbines, wankel or any other pure genset engines would be not applicable. I would say that Volt is simply Prius competitor as paralel hybrid. Therefore ICE efficiency could be not more 20% (practicaly 15%) and never 40% whatever engine installed since it has direct motion function. Therefore supprisingly low average MPG in CS mode.
    On other hand I feel that this practical way to go. The main limiting issue – electric motor. In order to have pure serial hybrid gearbox shall be deloped or electric motor shall be AC type with variable frequency.


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    Mark Z

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:30 am)

    What is important to remember; above 70 mph in EV mode, no gas engine is turning the wheels.


  7. 7
    Larry

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:28 am)

    I find it very interesting that both the Volt and Prius use almost exactly the same gear arrangement, but use it in very different ways — and that only the Volt arrangement is able to do purely electric power at speed.

    In the overall scheme of things, the fact that the Volt’s ICE directly contributes mechanically to driving the wheels in *some* conditions is superior to insisting that you waste energy converting first to electricity and then back to mechanical when you don’t have to.

    The other point is that driving purely electric 80% of the time makes the modest 35MPG CS mode almost irrelevant – 80% of the time your gas mileage is infinite!


  8. 8
    Darius

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:45 am)

    Larry: I find it very interesting that both the Volt and Prius use almost exactly the same gear arrangement, but use it in very different ways — and that only the Volt arrangement is able to do purely electric power at speed.In the overall scheme of things, the fact that the Volt’s ICE directly contributes mechanically to driving the wheels in *some* conditions is superior to insisting that you waste energy converting first to electricity and then back to mechanical when you don’t have to.The other point is that driving purely electric 80% of the time makes the modest 35MPG CS mode almost irrelevant – 80% of the time your gas mileage is infinite!  

    It is relevant from aoutomobile cost angle. There is no potential of reducing powetrain cost since the ICE shall be specially designed for variable rpms, variable load and direct motion. Therefore so called “range extender” is not ONLY range extender and could not be made cheep, efficient and for variable fuel mix for mass consumers. Volt is really Prius type hybrid and reality too much talk and too little work.

    Thank you Lyle for your work.


  9. 9
    stuey81_in_australia

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:52 am)

    and here i have been telling everyone who will listen that
    “the ICE never drives the wheels, only a gen set”

    still cant wait for 2012 for the gm holden volt

    stuey


  10. 10
    David

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:20 am)

    Well, I’ll be……….
    I thought the same (that the ICE never drives the wheels), but after the simple explanation it makes perfect sense to use that on-board power source if it increases the efficiency.


  11. 11
    GXT

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:36 am)

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  12. 12
    GXT

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:43 am)

    David: Well, I’ll be……….I thought the same (that the ICE never drives the wheels), but after the simple explanation it makes perfect sense to use that on-board power source if it increases the efficiency.  (Quote)

    We “trolls” have been arguing that for some time. But we were told that the Prius’ planetary gear system was inefficient and compicated and prone to breakdown and the Volt was vastly superior as a result. I even seem to recall some going to far as to say they would never buy a Prius because of it.

    I think it does make sense and it is the right thing to do. But then I’m not hung up on trying to differentiate or prove the Volt is superior to the Prius. I’d rather it was the best it could be, even if that means it ends up essentially being a plug in prius.

    I think one of the fundamental questions that remains to be asked is: Why doesn’t the ICE power the wheels below 70MPH? Wouldn’t that tend to be more efficient as well?


  13. 13
    GXT

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:01 am)

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  14. 14
    Rooster

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:12 am)

    Salute to Cab Driver for his persistence and engineering sleuth ability. We been discussing this in the Engineering Forum for months now and he’s held and defended his position consistently…even went out on a limb and wrote a blog entry for Lyle. You read about it here first.

    Bottom-line — this is world class, benchmark engineering. PEROID.

    M/G B is the “main” propulsion motor and always powers the sun gear, and thus the wheels which are connected to the planetary gear carrier. M/G A (aka, the generator) can be used to infinitely vary the gear ratio between M/G B and the planetary gear carrier by spinning the ring gear at various RPMs.

    Thus, in CD mode, M/G A acts like a motor to spin the ring gear. In CS mode, M/G A can be clutched to the ICE and the ring gear to both generate electricity and infinitely vary the gearing ratio of M/G B to keep it in it’s efficiency band.

    In short, on the Volt, M/G A is used to create an ECT (Electrically Controlled Transmission) for M/G B. It builds on GM 2-mode design.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:17 am)

    David: Well, I’ll be……….I thought the same (that the ICE never drives the wheels), but after the simple explanation it makes perfect sense to use that on-board power source if it increases the efficiency.  (Quote)

    David,

    Technically it doesn’t. The ICE, by spinning M/G A in CS mode, is used to vary the gearing ratio between M/G B (which is the primary propulsion motor) and the planetary gear carrier, which is connected to the drive shaft. So the ICE serves both an ECT and generator function in CS mode.


  16. 16
    GXT

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:20 am)

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  17. 17
    Dave K.

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:20 am)

    GXT: “Motor Trend thinka the design is superior and more efficient than Toyota’s”

    I believe Motor Trend is focusing on the Volts’ initial 40 miles of gasoline free driving. The Volt can go weeks or even months without using a drop of gasoline. The Toyota is designed to use gasoline each day. This is fine with many consumers as evidenced by the large number of Toyota on the road. The Volt is something new and different. Providing comfort, generous torque, and the newest technical, entertainment, and navigation features. At $33,500 (after tax credit) the Volt matches or betters most cars in it’s class. With triple digit MPG as a bonus. You can buy a Lexus, BMW, or Audi. But you’re going to be reminded of the poor efficiency each time you drive into your local Exxon station.

    =D-Volt


  18. 18
    Rooster

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:55 am)

    GXT: “Motor Trend thinka the design is superior and more efficient than Toyota’s”It would have been nice if they had actually backed that up. I don’t recall them giving a reason in the article. Anyone got a link  (Quote)

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

    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!)

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


  19. 19
    jhm614

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:26 am)

    For an 18 mile one-way commute with 12 miles on the freeway, does this mean the range extender will run for 12 miles on my way to work and 12 miles on the way home? Freeway traffic usually averages between 75 – 80 mph.

    Thanks,

    J.


  20. 20
    Texas

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:29 am)

    Well, I guess that settles that!

    1) Volt is not a series hybrid. It is a plugin hybrid with mechanical engagement at highway speeds.

    2) CS mode 70 mph, flat, regular fuel around 30 mpg (if the clutch doesn’t engage).

    I got so many minus hits when I first talked about both of these points many moons ago you wouldn’t believe it. It’s not that I was against the Volt dream (on the contrary), I was just for physics.

    The Volt is an excellent design and I’m so glad to hear that GM pulled this off with such dedication to produce a quality next step in our automotive evolution. Congratulations!

    Now, will the price of oil stay high enough and the economies of the world hold out long enough for huge numbers of these hybrids to be sold? Will all those new Chinese and Indian car owners go with BEVs and plug-ins to more than offset the coming depletion numbers? I sure hope so.

    Let’s just enjoy GM’s accomplishment while the gears (and clutches) are still spinning!


  21. 21
    jhm614

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:36 am)

    jhm614: For an 18 mile one-way commute with 12 miles on the freeway, does this mean the range extender will run for 12 miles on my way to work and 12 miles on the way home?Freeway traffic usually averages between 75 – 80 mph.Thanks,J.  

    I re-read the article — looks like the range extender would only be active if I forgot to plug-in. In other words, the motor only connects directly if you are already in charge sustaining mode — not just if you are above 70 mph.


  22. 22
    Tagamet

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:38 am)

    Darius:
    It is relevant from aoutomobile cost angle. There is no potential of reducing powetrain cost since the ICE shall be specially designed for variable rpms, variable load and direct motion. Therefore so called “range extender” is not ONLY range extender and could not be made cheep, efficient and for variable fuel mix for mass consumers. Volt is really Prius type hybrid and reality too much talk and too little work.Thank you Lyle for your work.  

    If this was true, how could they have gotten the current engine “off the shelf”. There’s nothing special at all about it, and it certainly can be improved.
    Can you cite a source for your “too little work” comment? You are welcome to your own opinions, but not to your own facts. JMO.

    Tagamet


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:40 am)

    Texas: Well, I guess that settles that!1) Volt is not a series hybrid. It is a plugin hybrid with mechanical engagement at highway speeds.2) CS mode 70 mph, flat, regular fuel around 30 mpg(if the clutch doesn’t engage).I got so many minus hits when I first talked about both of these points many moons ago you wouldn’t believe it. It’s not that I was against the Volt dream (on the contrary), I was just for physics.The Volt is an excellent design and I’m so glad to hear that GM pulled this off with such dedication to produce a quality next step in our automotive evolution. Congratulations!Now, will the price of oil stay high enough and the economies of the world hold out long enough for huge numbers of these hybrids to be sold? Will all those new Chinese and Indian car owners go with BEVs and plug-ins to more than offset the coming depletion numbers? I sure hope so.Let’s just enjoy GM’s accomplishment while the gears (and clutches) are still spinning!  

    Amen, AND LJGTVWOTR!!

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Flaninacupboard

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:43 am)

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    Lawrence

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:53 am)

    Dave K.:
    [...] You can buy a Lexus, BMW, or Audi. But you’re going to be reminded of the poor efficiency each time you drive into your local Exxon station.=D-Volt  

    But that’s the problem here. Volt seems not to meet the initial efficiency expectations, and in all manners: charging, CS mode, 25-45 EV proven range. Add on the top it’s a 4 seater and more than a billion $$ R&D and Co invested.

    2+ years ago, we were all convinced about the substantial gain in efficiency this new design will offer, and expected a whole bunch of perspectives towards.

    This car is at it’s current stage of design for a niche market. Same as for those BMWs, Corvettes and Co. For those who can afford for the extras.


  26. 26
    Dave K.

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:18 am)

    Lawrence: But that’s the problem here. Volt seems not to meet the initial efficiency expectations, and in all manners: charging, CS mode, 25-45 EV proven range. Add on the top it’s a 4 seater and more than a billion $$ R&D and Co invested.

    40 miles initial battery range via the 120V outlet in your garage (cost $1)
    300 more miles available at 40 mpg in extended range mode
    Smooth, quiet, high torque electric drive
    OnStar
    Google Map navigation
    BlueTooth
    Heated leather seats available
    6 speaker Bose system
    Parking assist camera available
    Low rolling resistance tires
    Aluminum wheels
    Advanced braking system
    0-60 in 8.8 seconds
    American made and fueled
    $33,500 after tax credit

    If you doubt these figures check back in 2 or 3 weeks when the Consumer Advisory Board posts results.

    Looks like these are the ones falling short:

    2011 Lexus IS 250 $35,000 EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined for the RWD model. The AWD is rated at 18/25/20/mpg.

    2011 BMW 5 $46,000 the 550i with its automatic transmission is rated by the EPA at 20 mpg combined.

    2011 Audi Q5 $43,000 Fuel: premium unleaded ( 91 octane)
    - Fuel consumption: city= 21 (mpg); highway= 27 (mpg); combined= 23 (mpg); vehicle range: 396 miles

    NPNS


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    TeaTime

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:40 am)

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  28. 28
    Raymondjram

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:40 am)

    As a fellow Engineer, I admire what GM did to keep the Volt design within its specifications. Some may post that the Volt copies the Prius design, but that isn’t true. Planetary systems exists in most transmission system for years. GM just developed a new design to manage the three elements and the power sources efficiently. So the Volt is still an electric vehicle because its main power source is the battery and the electric traction motor. And it is a series hybrid because the gas engine power is added as the vehicle passes a certail speed.

    By all means, Toyota was NOT the “inventor” of the hybrid vehicle. The first modern one in America was made in 1974 by an American engineer – Victor Wouk:
    http://www.hybridcars.com/history/the-great-hybrid-car-cover-up-of-74.html
    http://eands.caltech.edu/articles/LXVII3/wouk.html
    http://www.mlive.com/opinion/flint/index.ssf/2009/02/victor_wouks_1972_buick_skylar.html

    And there were many others before Wouk:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-hybrid-news/55152-hybrid-engine-inventor-honored-um.html

    Toyota just did somethings their way. Ford also did their hybrid their own way (Ford NEVER copied Toyota), but realized that their ideas were similar or identical to Toyota’s and decied to pay patent royalties for their first hybrid vehicles (Escape).

    So it all comes down to who did the best design and how it is applied. Toyota gave priority to the gas engine, because their electric traction motor cannot drive the vehicle too far. GM gave more priority to the electric traction motor, due to their long experience with electric motors and to the EV1 history (besides, GM did invent the electric starter!), and added the gas engine as a onboard generator and power assist. This is why the Volt will be superior.

    Fighting over patents and copyrights won’t help the buyers. This is a present problem in the software market, and I wish it will not come across to the automobile market.

    Well done, GM! As a long supporting buyer (4 of my 5 autos are GM-made), I wish you plenty of success,and the start of a new chain of automotive history (adding to what Wouk did). But please increase the Volt production and bring them to Puerto Rico soon!

    Raymomd


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    Loboc

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:42 am)

    So, if we replace the l4 with a v6 can you then go above 101mph?

    j/k. It doesn’t appear to work this way. The ICE+generator does transmission ‘gearing’ and electricity generation. The only reason it ‘drives the wheels’ is that running the generator and spinning the EVT are needed at the same time under some conditions.

    In CD mode, the ‘B’ motor supplies these functions without needing the ICE. Even above 60mph.

    In CS mode, the power the ICE supplies to the gearbox is supplemental and secondary because the generator can no longer act as a motor. With the ICE and generator on the same shaft this is the only logical way to supply these functions. Below a certain gearing need (60mph), the ICE only drives the generator and is clutched out of the gearbox since EVT function is not needed. The main motor can spin up to a higher RPM and the EVT is then a single speed ‘transmission’.

    I am thinking the system is cycling between CD and CS modes a lot more than just switching modes when battery power reaches the lower SoC. (This is why calculating CS mode mpg is so difficult.)

    There is no reason that supplying electricity using a different generation source (such as a fuel cell) couldn’t accomplish the same thing. In other words, the ‘B’ motor becomes more motor and less generator. Generator function would be regen only in this scenario. The ‘B’ motor would be tuned for regen and enough hp to supply gearing while the ‘A’ motor would still be the main motive force. Replace the fuel cell with more batteries and you have a pure BEV.

    The design is more complex and more simple every time something new is learned. Volt is an amazing machine!


  30. 30
    Hasbro

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:14 am)

    Okay so if I forget to push mountain mode then I’ll be that jerk going up the mountain at 40 mph…

    I think I remember someone saying that in CSM this would happen maybe someone from tesla.

    It is becoming apparent why everything was not revealed about the volt. I still like the concept but I’m just saying.


  31. 31
    carcus3

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:37 am)

    Dear GM,

    How about giving out the numbers as per 2008 EPA testing standards:
    MPG (CS mode): city/hwy/combined
    wh/mile (CD mode): city/hwy/combined

    Is that too much to ask?

    Thanks,
    Concerned tax payer


  32. 32
    Dave K.

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:39 am)

    Hasbro: Okay so if I forget to push mountain mode then I’ll be that jerk going up the mountain at 40 mph…

    This is a good question for the Consumer Advisory Board to look into. Mountain mode applies to the steepest upgrades. Loveland Pass and Pikes Peak have been mentioned.
    There are several long hard grades located near Death Valley California. The Volt reportedly traversed these fine without using mountain mode. And I can tell you from experience that my current 2.4L handles the Death Valley climb at about 60 mph. It’s rough going.

    =D-Volt


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    Tim Hart

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:46 am)

    All the tech stuff is cool for you engineers but what I like is that EVERYONE who drives the car loves it. And that is the reason it will be a huge success.


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    ziv

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:49 am)

    Lawrence, you have a point. GM’s flaks over promised and under delivered, but considering just what they were promising, the Volt we are getting is still an incredible car. They promised up to 40 miles all electric range, and we have a 25 to 50 AER, which is very cool! And with a 16 kWh battery we should keep that for 8 or 9 years which is much better than the equivalent percentage that the Leaf will suffer from. 4 seats was a given from the git go, and I think that is minor when you look at just how roomy the Volt is. MT thinks the Volt will get 38 to 42 on the Hwy at 70 mph, which means I will probably get 40 to 44 at 65 mph. Hybrids generally get better mileage in town on both the LA4(92) and US06 so we will probably see the equivalent of a sticker reading 46city/43hwy 44 combined, and in the real world we will get around 42 mpg. I drive 12,000 miles a year and if I get 36 miles AER most of the time, less than 2400 (actually 1800 by my tax records but lets worst case it) will be using gas. So I will use no more than 2400/40 or 60 gallons of gas a year, worst case now, vs. 2400/50 = 48 gallons best case at 50 mpg best case before. The horrible news on CS? Costs me a gallon a month. If you drive 15,000 miles a year the news is worse. It will cost you about 3!!! gallons a month more than if the CS mileage was 50 mpg! Sarc.
    Sporty, drive all day goodness vs. catfish that has a 40 mile leash. Until the Fisker and the Tesla S get here, no comparison, Volt wins hands down.
    Except for the MSRP, which is a pain in the a**. So for once, it is worth it to lease with the right to buy at the end.

    Lawrence:
    But that’s the problem here. Volt seems not to meet the initial efficiency expectations, and in all manners: charging, CS mode, 25-45 EV proven range. Add on the top it’s a 4 seater and more than a billion $$ R&D and Co invested.2+ years ago, we were all convinced about the substantial gain in efficiency this new design will offer, and expected a whole bunch of perspectives towards.This car is at it’s current stage of design for a niche market. Same as for those BMWs, Corvettes and Co. For those who can afford for the extras.  


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:51 am)

    Well, after receiving numerous -1 votes for holding the opinion that there was a parallel connection in CS mode, it’s good to see that GM is making the system as efficient as possible.

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?4181-How-the-Volt-Works-Power-Transmission

    Since most of these test drives seem to be in “drive it like you stole it” mode, it will be good to see the results that Lyle observes once he gets his Volt.

    In this test drive, the reporter drives with the AC on and in the way he normally drives, and gets about 40 miles AER.

    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101010/COL14/10100509/1319/Chevy-Volt-promises-to-go-the-distance&template=fullarticle

    It seems that most of the CS mileage data is recorded for 75 to 80 mph. This is much higher than the EPA highway test cycle, and thus 36 mpg at 78 mph should equate to much better numbers in the EPA test.

    Also, I believe that the parallel mode of operation is probably not set by the vehicle speed, but probably determined by the power requirement. In other words, ideal day at 50 mph, it remains in series. But climb a steep grade at 50 mph (high power requirement) and the parallel mode will probably engage.


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    Charlie H

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:53 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:54 am)

    Whilst I love the Volt and am satisfied that I will never have the engine kick in to assist, and even though it is more efficient to have the generator running the drive shaft at some point, the Volt just became a hybrid. If the Prius can run all electric for up to X mph, then it is semantics to say kicking in at over 70mph changes things.

    GM might as well have the gas engine kick in at 50mph with a smaller electric motor and have the car drive 80+miles before depleting the battery; this may be even more efficient! It does not matter where you put the delaminating line for efficiency sake, if the drive shaft is propelled by the generator, it’s not a generator; it’s a mechanically linked engine.
    I’m sure I will be flamed for saying it, but the volt is a Hybrid.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:58 am)

    I don’t know about the Volt anymore. It seems like a ton of money to purchase the car for $45k+, it would be nice to drive 40 miles gas free. That sounds good, but then you get above 70MPH, and it would use the gas engine to turn the wheels….. It was said early on, the Volt would “never” use the gas engine to turn the wheels.

    Sure the engine may do a “limited portion” of wheel turning, but it’s still turning them, so now it’s just a hybrid. Also, some other cars get more than 35MPG, I know the Volt is a bit chubby in the weight department, but not that much. There again, I could expect a little deviation from the magic number of “50″, but what happened? 44 would of been nice, or even 40?…. Oh well, I can’t afford it anyway.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:05 am)

    Folks, have you noticed in the past few days the Volt revolution has begun. As more and more people (especially journalists for main stream media. Check out the one this morning in the Det. Free-Press) are driving this car, the reviews are glowing. And this is where buzz is just beginning to build. I can see this car being a home run. Yes, the naysayers are out there too. The Limbaugh crowd (they’re just upset about government motors, but two-three years ago, Rush had an endorsement deal with GM and Chevy and couldn’t $ay enough nice things about them) and others.

    Now the onus is on GM to sellout Gen. 1 and get the price down on subsequent generations.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:17 am)

    Darius, you vastly overemphasize the efficiency and cost gains of fixed-RPM operation. True fixed RPM operation creates all sorts of efficiency problems. There is no way to vary power output to match road load except via the throttle, which causes disastrous pumping losses. If you decide not to vary power output with road load you will always route a lot of power through the battery, which adds more losses. Finally, if you choose maximum power as your fixed power setting you will be far from optimal on the BSFC map. Conversely, if you choose the optimum point on the BSFC map you won’t have enough power for hill climbing unless you upsize the engine by 2x, which adds significant cost and weight.

    Also, you seem to equate “directly driving wheels” with “RPM must vary in proportion to road speed”. This is not correct – the Volt’s planetary gearset could easily allow the engine to hold a fixed RPM over a usable highway speed range (e.g. 50-85 mph) simply by varying RPM of the 149 hp electric motor. I don’t know if they do this, they may prefer to let RPM vary with road speed for a more ‘natural’ driving feel, but they easily could do it if they wanted to. In reality I imagine they favor an open throttle (very important), over fixed RPM (not important).


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:19 am)

    You need to reread the article. The gas engine only connects to the drive train over 70mph after you have depleted the EV pack. So you can drive 25-50 miles on EV alone above 70mph and the gas engine will never connect to the drive train. Once the batteries are depleted the gas engine then kicks on to run the generators. If you then continue to drive above 70mph the gas engine also connects to the drive train to increase efficiency of the Volt.

    Adam: I don’t know about the Volt anymore. It seems like a ton of money to purchase the car for $45k+, it would be nice to drive 40 miles gas free. That sounds good, but then you get above 70MPH, and it would use the gas engine to turn the wheels….. It was said early on, the Volt would “never” use the gas engine to turn the wheels.Sure the engine may do a “limited portion” of wheel turning, but it’s still turning them, so now it’s just a hybrid. Also, some other cars get more than 35MPG, I know the Volt is a bit chubby in the weight department, but not that much. There again, I could expect a little deviation from the magic number of “50″, but what happened? 44 would of been nice, or even 40?…. Oh well, I can’t afford it anyway.  (Quote)


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:19 am)

    Wow that leaves the field open for any other auto manufacturer to design the power train of their EREV as we originally expected the Volts would be. Perhaps 4 wheel drive electric and ICE generator for electric power only. That’s why the ICE mpg is not a constant. The ICE is directly dealing with the vehicles variable load and not just running against a constant load as a typical generator would be.

    In any event, my daily round trip work commute is 22 miles never going over 55mph.
    No GAS for me, until I go on an extended trip!

    NPNS!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:21 am)

    Okay class. For those of you working on getting the wife a 2011 Volt:

    On average, 76% of her daily drives will be less than 40-50 miles, so she drives in all-electric mode 3/4ths of the time. For the other 24% of the time, on those longer trips visiting friends and family, the CS Mode will kick in providing a combined mileage rating of 40 to about 107 miles per gallon. And on the rare occasions where she has driven past 40 miles, AND wants to travel FASTER than 70 miles an hour, (like you could get up to 75 on the 91 freeway during daylight hours), only then on that rate occasion will the Volt have a mechanical similarity to a Prius.

    Is that about it?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:22 am)

    Lyle,

    When you take possession of your demo Volt, fight the urge to plug in every night. Run for a tank full on ICE mode to get a true MPG. Don’t hyper-mile but avoid jack rabbit starts and high speed runs. My guess is you will get mid 40′s mpg.

    Good luck today. You are to be commended for your efforts over the past few years.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:26 am)

    TeaTime: To compare the untested GM Volt to vehicles that have been on the market for years is silly

    I believe the numbers posted for the Volt, Lexus, BMW, and Audi are correct. The comparison of 20-25 mpg to the triple digit mpg of the Volt is meaningful. Along with the other features listed in the post. Failed to mention smart phone connectivity, 30GB harddrive media storage, 3 x 120V outlets, USB interface, XM radio trial standard with the Volt. A pretty nice ride without the hassle of the weekly filling station stop.

    =D-Volt


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:29 am)

    I DRIVE THE CHEVY VOLT.

    Sunday 10/10/10 11:45 am.

    My daughter and I arrived at the Best Buy in Lynnwood, just North of Seattle, Washington for our Chevy Volt test drive. We were pre-registered thanks to the GM-Volt website and the incredible work of Lyle Dennis.

    I had expected there would be maybe five hundred people and a massive confusion of cars and reporters. I was pleasantly surprised to see an orderly line of about 15 people and my first live view of the new Chevy Volt, which looks very nice. We filled out a form with our names and drivers license numbers, and signed at the bottom.

    As we were waiting for our turn we saw a succession of Volts, there were three in all, pull up to the curb and change drivers. Usually there were two drivers per car plus the GM representative.

    The wait was about 15 minutes during which time you could read the big info boards that told about various electricity usage percentages, etc., or ask questions to the GM rep. I said to him that I noticed two of the Volts pulled up with the generators running, and one in battery mode. The rep told me that they drove the cars up from Tacoma that morning (about 40+ miles) and so the vehicles would be cycling through their charging modes throughout the test drives.

    When it was our turn, we got in the car. (GM reps graciously allowed my daughter and I to be in the same test vehicle, even though my “appointment” was for noon and my daughters was for at 2:00 PM.) . I drove first. I should say that I was again pleasantly surprised that there was no cheesy laid out course with traffic cones or anything like that. We simply blasted out into the busy, noisy streets outside the Alderwood Mall. This was no 5-minute ride either. We were out on the road for a good 25 minutes and pretty much drove anywhere we wanted. After a few miles our GM rep Tim, an engineer up fro California who worked on the EV-1, and currently involved in the hydrogen vehicle program, told me to find a good place to park so my daughter could take her turn.

    During the drive we asked him numerous questions and he answered them all and filled in the rest of the time telling us whatever came to mind about the development of the Volt. He was very informative.

    I noted right off the bat that the accelerator pedal was very responsive. I also noticed that, at stoplights, the Volt had the familiar “creep” that normal automatic transmission cars have when you take your foot off the brake. He said that this was deliberately programmed into the electric drivetrain of the Volt to give it a familiar feel, and to keep it from rolling backwards when stopped on a hill. In fact, he told us that GM is working on automatic “yaw” sensors for future Volts, where the amount of forward “creep” would adjust according to the incline of the hill. Very cool.

    Both my daughter and I asked several question about the brakes, which seemed totally normal, ie. you had no sense of anything strange happening. He seemed particularly proud that GM had mastered the art of what he called virtual braking. There is a pedal pressure device that gives the driver a sense of normal smooth controlled braking even though the regenerative charging is what is really at work stopping the car. He also said a set of brakes pads on a Volt should last at least 100,000 miles.

    I moved the shift lever from D to L and back a few times and punched the accelerator and then let off. There is a noticeable increase in regen braking drag in L, but otherwise it is the same performance. In fact, Tim said that you could drive at all speeds in L or D. The L just gives you more stopping power, ie. regen, without having to put you foot on the brake. A good feature for city or traffic conditions.

    The Volt was very quiet and smooth. I heard mostly tire noise when we were underway, and never heard the engine come on, even though the display told me it was running . The interior was tastefully done and, again, seemed like a normal, dare I say, Mercedes quality vehicle.

    I asked Tim if at any time the engine connects solidly to the electric motor(s) (I had read the Motor Trend article that same morning.) He said that at speed above 70 mph, when the battery is depleted there is a clutch that could do this, but it would occur only rarely and is done to give a couple of more miles per gallon in generator mode at high speed. The idea I got was that it is not a function that would come into play much, if at all. I suspect that this is what Bob Lutz was refering to when he said the Volt would have a transmission “like no other.”

    After the drive was over we were interviewed for about a minute by someone who then gave us tickets for a free lunch at a taco truck parked nearby, provided by GM.

    A guy who was standing behind us in line for the test drive, who incidentally came all the way up from California just for the days event, came up to me and gave his take on the test drive. We exchanged thoughts and he summed it all up by saying he thought the Chevy Volt was going to be a major breakthrough in efficient driving for the world. I said that I could not agree more.

    I want Volt even more, now that I have driven one.

    Thanks GM, for a great experience for me and my daughter.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:33 am)

    Looks like this may be the “magic transmission” Lutz spoke of many moons ago. I’m glad to finally read a thorough explanation of it even though a lot of it flies over my head. The bottom line for me is if the system employed seeks to utilize as many angles as possible for optimum efficiency, and it’s a durable design that works, then I’m all for it. GM seems to have scored on both accounts IMO.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:34 am)

    Even Mike Douba of the INL (who was in charge of the test procedures for the Volt and other new plug-in vehicles) said the Volt was a hybrid.

    Of course, by their definition, a hybrid is any vehicle with an alternative fuel (like electricity).

    No matter what you call it, the Volt is an EV for the first 25 to 50 miles.

    After that point, it is still primarily an EV.

    While most hybids of today are primarily mechanical drive with electrical assist, the Volt is primarily electrical drive with mechanical assist. That is the defining difference.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:37 am)

    GXT:
    …Why doesn’t the ICE power the wheels below 70MPH?Wouldn’t that tend to be more efficient as well?  

    Likely because the electric motor is the most efficient way to propel the car up to 70mpg. At that point enough power is required to overcome aero resistance that the ICE can be fully utilized when running.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:40 am)

    The Volt seems to be neither a pure electric car, series hybrid, nor parallel hybrid.
    It is a “mode agile” vehicle (yes, I just made that up).
    Mode 1: Pure electric (CD)
    Mode 2: Series Hybrid (CS)
    Mode 3: Parallel Hybrid

    I had assumed that that the engine would never drive the wheels, but because it CAN, it may make the Volt more appealing to people who are not EV enthusiasts.

    I wonder if there is an indication on the dashboard when it’s in mode 3. It would be interesting to track how miles in each mode we all get in the Volt Owners forum.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:45 am)

    Obviously the Voltec design is superior and that is why Toyota is modifying their aging Prius and calling it a “Plug-In”. Sadly, their attempt already gets bad reviews, so why bother.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:46 am)

    MICHIGAN GUY: I want Volt even more, now that I have driven one.
    Thanks GM, for a great experience for me and my daughter.

    Congratulations on your test drive Michigan Guy, and thanks for sharing your impressions. Isn’t it great that we can now hear actual driving impressions like yours of a very real electric car? Exciting times—definitely!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:03 am)

    While I am, in general, happy with my 2 mode Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, it has one weak area and I hope that doesn’t translate to Volt. I can go over a mile all EV in the Tahoe at 28 mph. Once the battery is exhausted, I then have to drive at 35 mph. Between 30-35 mph, you hear constant transmission shifting; it doesn’t know what it wants to do.

    I hope the Volt does not go through similar issues right around 70 mph. Now that we know a mechanical linkage engages at that speed, I hope it is distinct and the efficiency ball lets us know. The Tahoe drives home the sweet spot of using only 4 cylinders. You clearly see gas mileage fall 3-4 mpg when you go to 8 cylinders. It appears that this direct mechanical linkage offers similar possibilities. It seems that going 71 mph would provide better CS mileage than 69 mph (based on this mechanical linkage kicking in). I hope the GM engineers did a better job with Volt’s transition then they did with the Tahoe and that the driver has clear guidance on obtaining optimum efficiency.

    Hey Lyle, if you can, please find out how GM indicates this mechanical linkage on the display and how we can capitalize on this performance threshold.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:09 am)

    Way Cool, Michigan Guy!! Thanks for your review. I am a little disappointed by the update that the ICE does indeed couple into the drive train. However, living near Baltimore gives me little chance to get out and run at speeds over 70. I still am looking forward to taking delivery and no longer having a gas bill every month.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:14 am)

    This is interesting:

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

    The writer drove 75 miles, and used 0.9 gallons of gasoline.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:19 am)

    MICHIGAN GUY: Thanks GM, for a great experience for me and my daughter.  

    Very nice review, and thanks to you and your daughter..

    Interesting clarification on the clutch by engineer Tim, and I also noted that you said the brakes felt natural.. some of the magazine reviewers did not think so but perhaps because they were hooning the car like teenagers.

    Did the Volt feel small or cramped to you?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:22 am)

    CorvetteGuy: Okay class. For those of you working on getting the wife a 2011 Volt:On average, 76% of her daily drives will be less than 40-50 miles, so she drives in all-electric mode 3/4ths of the time. For the other 24% of the time, on those longer trips visiting friends and family, the CS Mode will kick in providing a combined mileage rating of 40 to about 107 miles per gallon. And on the rare occasions where she has driven past 40 miles, AND wants to travel FASTER than 70 miles an hour, (like you could get up to 75 on the 91 freeway during daylight hours), only then on that rate occasion will the Volt have a mechanical similarity to a Prius. Is that about it?  (Quote)

    Some months ago, my wife asked, “When do you think we’ll be getting an electric car?”

    I mentioned the Chevy Volt, due out at the end of the year.

    “How much will it cost?” she asked.

    “About $40K,” I replied.

    “You’re kidding!”

    “Well, there’s a $7.5K rebate.”

    “So, still over $30K?”

    “Yep.”

    “Well, our next car won’t be electric.”

    Of course, at the time, I didn’t know the Leaf would net out at less than $30K. In any event, she loves our Toyotas, so she’ll probably be willing to look at a Prius PHV when the time comes.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:26 am)

    flmark: It appears that this direct mechanical linkage offers similar possibilities. It seems that going 71 mph would provide better CS mileage than 69 mph (based on this mechanical linkage kicking in).

    You are making the assumption that direct linkage is more efficient than purely serial, and there is lots of debate still going on with that.. wait until the data comes in and that data will consist of mpg at different constant speeds. GM may use direct linkage (or not, also still being debated) just to supplement an overworked electric motor at high speeds. The Volt may been optimized around a lower average speed than 80mph.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:38 am)

    carcus3: Looks like the mechanical hookup starts at 60 mph, not 70.

    Negative votes for this? Yikes!

    Charlie H: No. Presuming Frank Markus is correct about how the Volt works, a fuel cell wouldn’t provide anything but electrical energy. The Voltec powertrain is predicated on the availability of mechanical power.

    Wrong answer. Actually completely wrong answer. Think about it. A fuel cell wouldn’t need MGA to produce electricity — the fuel cell would substitute for the battery. In this instance the gearing would work exactly like it does now in CD Mode — MGB would drive the wheels and at higher speeds both MGA and MGB would engage because it’s more efficient to have two motors running slower than one motor running faster, in essence avoiding, for example, the large drive train losses the Tesla Roadsters suffers at higher speeds.

    Rather than being tied to a genset, the Volt power train seems designed to accommodate a fuel cell. IMHO.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:39 am)

    BillR: While most hybids of today are primarily mechanical drive with electrical assist, the Volt is primarily electrical drive with mechanical assist. That is the defining difference.  (Quote)

    I totally agree with you. That was my conclusion after reading and analyzing the MT article.

    Raymond


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:45 am)

    DonC: A fuel cell wouldn’t need MGA to produce electricity — the fuel cell would substitute for the battery. In this instance the gearing would work exactly like it does now in CD Mode — MGB would drive the wheels and at higher speeds both MGA and MGB would engage because it’s more efficient to have two motors running slower than one motor running faster, in essence avoiding, for example, the large drive train losses the Tesla Roadsters suffers at higher speeds. Rather than being tied to a genset, the Volt power train seems designed to accommodate a fuel cell. IMHO.  (Quote)

    Chevy has a fuel-cell Equinox. Has anyone evaluated how this power train compares with the Volt? I tried getting more information (I have the Owners Guide), but since that was an experimental vehicle, I don’t know if GM released more details about it.

    Raymond


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:47 am)

    MICHIGAN GUY: I DRIVE THE CHEVY VOLT.Sunday 10/10/1011:45 am.I want Volt even more, now that I have driven one.Thanks GM, for a great experience for me and my daughter.  

    Michigan Guy, it would’ve been funny if at your exit interview you said “Nah, I just wanted a free trip to the Taco Truck.”.

    I’m on the left coast of Michigan, and I think I’ll be calling to ask if there’re any Volts coming anywhere near here.


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    Hodginator

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:51 am)

    GXT: I got that 18 miles part wrong… I was working off of this graph:http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1009_2010_toyota_prius_plug_in_hybrid_electric_vehicle_prototype_test/photo_09.htmlApparently on average they got 11.7 miles electric. I can’t seem to find the link to the stats GM references to know what percentage of daily commutes fall within 11.7miles.Still, I think the basic argument holds. $10,000 less, significantly better fuel economy, and the ability to do most/all of your commute electric makes a compelling case.  (Quote)

    Actually your argument does not hold. You are basing your argument on the Volt is CS mode and the Prius in electric mode. Remember that the ICE never turns on unless the battery is depleted (no matter the speed).
    If you fit into the crowd that can commute less than 11 miles a day then you are set with the Prius. If your commute is slightly longer or you get heavy on the accelerator, the prius will use gasoline which means your commute will be less efficient than the Volt. Oh, and let’s not forget that in the Prius you have to keep it below 62MPH or the ICE will kick on. That’s going to suck on I95 or any other highway that has a 65MPH limit (and people are driving 75MPH).
    In short, MT is correct. The Volt’s technology is far superior to any production Hybrid. Not only that it’s a hell of a lot better looking than a Prius…


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:52 am)

    Loboc: So, if we replace the l4 with a v6 can you then go above 101mph?
    j/k. It doesn’t appear to work this way. The ICE+generator does transmission ‘gearing’ and electricity generation. The only reason it ‘drives the wheels’ is that running the generator and spinning the EVT are needed at the same time under some conditions.
    In CD mode, the ‘B’ motor supplies these functions without needing the ICE. Even above 60mph.

    I pretty much agree with your post Loboc, with some slight differences.. come on down to the engineering forum. I dont think the ICE is transmitting torque to the wheels.


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    Shaft

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:54 am)

    Hi Michigan Guy,

    Thanks for the summary of your drive. Well done.

    I have a question that has been bugging me for awhile, and I’d like your opinion. When you put your Volt in low gear and used the motor for braking, I believe that the brake lights do not come on. GM stated that this is safe because the braking is not enough to surprise the driver behind you.

    Do you agree?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:54 am)

    It’s not what GM led us to believe but it’s probably for the best. There was a certainly amount of excitement that the gas engine never drove the wheels but it turns out that is not true. But once you get over the emotional side of it, it would be silly to not make the engine available to drive the wheels. If the engine is on, why not use it directly.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:54 am)

    Charlie H:
    Some months ago, my wife asked, “When do you think we’ll be getting an electric car?”I mentioned the Chevy Volt, due out at the end of the year.“How much will it cost?” she asked.“About $40K,” I replied.“You’re kidding!”“Well, there’s a $7.5K rebate.”“So, still over $30K?”“Yep.”“Well, our next car won’t be electric.”Of course, at the time, I didn’t know the Leaf would net out at less than $30K.In any event, she loves our Toyotas, so she’ll probably be willing to look at a Prius PHV when the time comes.  

    You didn’t mention the 36 month test drive for $2500 out of pocket and $350 per month, or that she can save about $100 per month on gas? I say try again.


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:00 am)

    Rooster:
    David,Technically it doesn’t.The ICE, by spinning M/G A in CS mode, is used to vary the gearing ratio between M/G B (which is the primary propulsion motor) and the planetary gear carrier, which is connected to the drive shaft.So the ICE serves both an ECT and generator function in CS mode.  

    Rooster, both you and David are correct in how you describe what the transmission does.

    David is correct in stating that it increases efficiency; at high rpm, the electric motor has higher losses because of the heat generated where the use of the transmission blends the power from the ICE and the electric motor allowing it to rotate at lower speeds reducing the operating temperature.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:01 am)

    herm: GM may use direct linkage (or not, also still being debated)

    I guess the big question is the meaning of “direct”. Obviously if the ICE were connected to the ring gear with a drive shaft the connection would be direct. If the ICE is connected to the ring gear through a generator/motor then it’s not so clear it’s a “direct mechanical” connection. Sort of. Kind of. But not exactly since the motor/generator is part of the electrical drive train. Ultimately it depends on whether you think the generator is just like a crankshaft. I don’t see it as equivalent so I’d say the ICE is “indirectly” connected to the ring gear. But I could see arguing it the other way. Like I said yesterday, we should give a shout out to BillR who stuck with his idea that the ICE powered the wheels.

    In any event this is more about parsing and semantics than reality. The fact is that this is one very spiffy setup. It’s a big advance over Toyota’s and Ford’s take on the TRW’s HSD system. Does is matter if this is a direct mechanical connection? Personally I’m glad that efficiency won out over a more purist approach. If the ICE has to be running then why not use it in the most efficient way possible?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:01 am)

    benion2: This is interesting:http://www.detnews.com/article/20101011/OPINION03/10110362/Volt-test-drive-quiet–efficient-—-and-funThe writer drove 75 miles, and used 0.9 gallons of gasoline.

    Interesting article, he got 48mpg in CS mode and says some reporters got better than 50 miles of range in CD mode. Also a bit poetic, I think many of these car writers are frustrated writers.


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    neutron

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:04 am)

    Is this site afraid of real discussion??

    I am quite surprised at the large minus numbers ‘GXT” is generating. It appears this poster is making arguments about the VOLT that have been reasoned but others have disagreements. Same is true for #30 Hasbro.

    If there are issues with their logic/comments then other posters should point it out so all can better understand the arguments.

    Big kudos to Tagamet (post 22) for doing just that.

    There is a clear difference between trolls and other posters that may disagree with a point.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:07 am)

    The problem with the plug in Prius for all of you Volt haters is that the gas engine comes on at 62 mph, which means basically any freeway driving renders your battery useless.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:08 am)

    CorvetteGuy: You didn’t mention the 36 month test drive for $2500 out of pocket and $350 per month, or that she can save about $100 per month on gas? I say try again.  

    Let him go. He worships Toyota. No accounting for this behavior — loyalty to a legal fiction (corporation) seems absurd to me — but that’s the way it is. In reality no one who knows anything and is interested in technology will want a Prius at this point. A Leaf yes. A Volt yes. A Prius? Not so much. There doesn’t seem to be anything that will change his mind that one should only ever buy a Toyota.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:14 am)

    I guess I have to eat my words. I had stated unequivocally that the patent did not apply on the basis that it showed the engine driving the wheels. All I have read is that GM representatives have always said the engine NEVER drives the wheels. Now this:

    “GM says the engine never drives the wheels all by itself, but will participate in this particular situation in the name of efficiency, which is improved by 10 to 15 percent.”

    The phrase “all by itself” was never used before. I feel I was lied to. However using the ICE engine in this situation makes perfect sense.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:15 am)

    omnimoeish: The problem with the plug in Prius for all of you Volt haters is that the gas engine comes on at 62 mph, which means basically any freeway driving renders your battery useless.  

    That’s hardly the only time it comes on. It will come on any time you accelerate strongly. To give some perspective on exactly how strong the acceleration needs to be, the reviewer from Autoweek said that the plug-in Prius’ engine kicked on when he came up the exit ramp to his parking garage (slopes and accelerations are equivalent). IOW you’re not even getting on the freeway and getting to 60 MPH before the engine kicks on. Likely it will kick on when turning on to any busy street.

    To some extent this isn’t that big of a deal because the engine on the Prius kicks on every time the car starts in order to heat the catalytic converter. So it’s not like you could ever go anywhere purely on electric power in the first place.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:33 am)

    I am more encouraged about the Volt after the reviews and this on the tranny.

    Price still a problem, but if careful driving brings CS mode efficiency up to a good to great number, then the market for the car (price aside) is much broader. The mechanical link at high speed CS mode was a great choice in my mind. Wish it came on line sooner, but we’ll see how CS does at various constant speeds soon enough.

    EV mode efficiency is key, and that is mostly how the driver applies the laws of physics through the throttle and brake pedals. Again, auto reviewers will not do a good job here.

    A bit concerned to see how the charging losses turn out. 13.4 from the wall to put 9 kwh in the battery pack would not be good, but too soon to judge on one report.

    I cannot cost justify Volt for my uses, but I am delighted this is near reality for those of you ready to take the plunge. Congrats!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:37 am)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:38 am)

    It might be nice if there was a long trip mode button. A button for: “Look, I’m going for hundreds of miles, so start the ICE right away when I’m driving, and just hold it at a single optimal RPM point, so my battery keeps charge longer, and I use less fuel over the long haul.”

    Maybe that’s not more efficient, but I would think that it could be in those long drive scenarios.

    join thE REVolution


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    Charlie H

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:40 am)

    CorvetteGuy: You didn’t mention the 36 month test drive for $2500 out of pocket and $350 per month, or that she can save about $100 per month on gas? I say try again.  (Quote)

    Since we don’t spend $100/month on gas, the savings you suggest seem very unlikely, to say the least.

    You just don’t get it. The purchase price is too high. We don’t lease, ever, we own three reliable cars, outright. Further, subventing leases is one of the ways GM got itself into trouble. You do remember that GM folded last year, don’t you?

    I must say, though, I can understand your enthusiasm for the Volt. At least they’re not asking you to sell another warmed-over but completely worthless BAS vehicle.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:47 am)

    Scott Burgess October 11. 2010 1:00AM

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20101011/OPINION03/10110362/Volt-test-drive-quiet–efficient-%E2%80%94-and-fun

    But the car has an alternate personality to that air slick design and nearly silent ride: The Volt can fly like a bolt of lightning.

    The 111-kilowatt electric drive unit pushes out 149 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. And that torque is available whenever you need it. There’s no tachometer on the Volt, as there is never a moment behind the wheel that you need to worry about the engine’s power band, that specific rpm when the engine is producing maximum power. The Volt is always producing maximum power.

    Passing cars and trucks along Interstate 94 proved how fun electric cars are going to be. The Volt’s electric power steering is firm and exact. The suspension, smooth with a little body to roll some on hard cornering, feels well-balanced. All told, the car that has been hyped for more than three years, is a hoot to drive.

    =D-Volt


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:47 am)

    Just got GREAT news from Angie at GM… The AFI production interior (Black/Black) WILL be available at start of production! She’s going to make a post in the forum shortly to state this, if she hasn’t already.

    Now WHERE’S MY VOLT?!?! :)

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:01 am)

    herm: come on down to the engineering forum. I dont think the ICE is transmitting torque to the wheels.  

    For those interested you want the “Does this patent app describe the Volt transmission” thread. Herm has suggested that the ICE is used to control the EVT and does not route torque to the wheels, which is a little bit different than what Motor Trend is implying. (The Motor Trend graph seems that some torque is getting to the wheels at higher speeds but not altogether clear). If you’re at all inclined it’s worth the time to take a look.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:01 am)

    DonC:
    That’s hardly the only time it comes on. It will come on any time you accelerate strongly. To give some perspective on exactly how strong the acceleration needs to be, the reviewer from Autoweek said that the plug-in Prius’ engine kicked on when he came up the exit ramp to his parking garage (slopes and accelerations are equivalent). IOW you’re not even getting on the freeway and getting to 60 MPH before the engine kicks on. Likely it will kick on when turning on to any busy street.
    To some extent this isn’t that big of a deal because the engine on the Prius kicks on every time the car starts in order to heat the catalytic converter. So it’s not like you could ever go anywhere purely on electric power in the first place.  

    The Prius is a gas car, so it makes sense that the gas engine would be in use.

    The PHEV Prius (not yet production intent) does NOT warm the engine at startup. It does work in EV mode for trips under 62 mph that do not include high demand accelerations. With a smaller pack it makes sense to bring the ICE into play for brief high demands. It then shuts off without completing warmup. Warmup occurs during the last mile of EV mode.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:03 am)

    DonC: Rather than being tied to a genset, the Volt power train seems designed to accommodate a fuel cell.

    I agree with this completely. In fact, consider this. In pure electric mode the “generator” is essential in providing the correct mix of power and torque blended with the power from the traction motor. In a sense, when the ICE is on it “gets in the way” of this function. So “tuning” of this ICE, generator, and the complex mix of power flow from the three motors, two of which can function as either motors or generators — is a fairly complex process. Way to go GM.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:04 am)

    After reading all of the comments for this post, I’m starting to understand why Chevy didn’t bring this to our attention earlier in development (that and their patent). I think MT did a good job of explaining how the technology works, but people are hooked on the ICE involvement. I hope Chevy will come out with a video explaining this so everyone understands how it works. Otherwise people are going to keep stabbing in the dark. It makes perfect sense to me to physically engage the engine in adjusting the planetary gear set or physically pushing the car when in CS mode where it improves efficiency. Why would we want a car that is less efficient just to say there is no physical connection to the wheels?

    Call it what you like, this technology is far superior to any other Hybrid on the road. I’m glad GM has taken this next step and I’m glad it’s American made.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:04 am)

    MICHIGAN GUY: I DRIVE THE CHEVY VOLT.Sunday 10/10/1011:45 am.My daughter and I arrived at the Best Buy in Lynnwood, just North of Seattle, Washington for our Chevy Volt test drive …

    I was there too and was also very impressed with the Volt. Here are my notes:

    Statements from the 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 … Hmmm?
    * 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.
    * There is “a whole new attitude” at GM.

    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.

    Complaints:
    * The brakes (electric assist) felt a little stiff, but this is preferable to brakes that are too sensitive.
    * I didn’t like the console between the rear seats. I realize that they need to make room for the battery, but it makes it hard to lay something flat in the back seat (i.e., a dog laying down) unless you put the seats down. I wonder if you could remove the plastic console and just have a carpeted hump between the seats.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:08 am)

    ksstathead: A bit concerned to see how the charging losses turn out. 13.4 from the wall to put 9 kwh in the battery pack would not be good, but too soon to judge on one report.

    I would be stunned to see ~40% charging losses. That energy has to go somewhere, likely in the form of resistive heat.

    Back-of-the-envelope estimate follows…
    4.4Kw is a quite a lot of energy. Spread over an 8 hour charge, 4.4KW is 550W/hr, which is about 1875 BTUs — roughly as much as a hair dryer on “low.”


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:14 am)

    This has to be the strangest (and not necessarily confidence inspiring) way to introduce a new car to market –ever.

    It’s almost as if GM themselves don’t really know what they’re offering so they have proxies do the talking instead.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:14 am)

    Dave K.: But the car has an alternate personality to that air slick design and nearly silent ride: The Volt can fly like a bolt of lightning.

    I think he likes it.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:15 am)

    ksstathead: The PHEV Prius (not yet production intent) does NOT warm the engine at startup. It does work in EV mode for trips under 62 mph that do not include high demand accelerations.

    As CalCars has explained, the issue is “uncontrolled cold starts.” Uncontrolled cold starts produce a ton of pollution. To be a clean car you can’t have them. The problem for the Prius, plug-in or not, is that the car can’t foresee when you’ll need the engine to kick on for additional power. For example, the Autoweek reviewer had it kick on going up the ramp exiting the parking garage. Or more importantly, a driver may need instantaneous power to avoid an accident or merge safely onto a road or freeway. IOW it’s not that the plug-in Prius can handle any driving situation so long as it’s going less than 60 MPH, it’s that it can only handle driving situations that don’t have the same power needs as going 60 MPH.

    So the choice for Toyota is to risk uncontrolled cold starts or to always have a controlled cold start. Toyota is making the right decision and is sticking with controlled cold starts. That will keep the Prius clean but it also means the car won’t go five feet without the engine coming on. It’s just intrinsic to the parallel setup. Moreover, the temperature of the cat will be monitored and, if it drops, the engine will come on to warm it up.

    This is not such a big deal in my mind. It’s not like you’re using a gallon at a crack.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:20 am)

    DonC:
    I guess the big question is the meaning of “direct”. Obviously if the ICE were connected to the ring gear with a drive shaft the connection would be direct. If the ICE is connected to the ring gear through a generator/motor then it’s not so clear it’s a “direct mechanical” connection. Sort of. Kind of. But not exactly since the motor/generator is part of the electrical drive train. Ultimately it depends on whether you think the generator is just like a crankshaft. I don’t see it as equivalent so I’d say the ICE is “indirectly” connected to the ring gear. But I could see arguing it the other way. Like I said yesterday, we should give a shout out to BillR who stuck with his idea that the ICE powered the wheels.
    In any event this is more about parsing and semantics than reality. The fact is that this is one very spiffy setup. It’s a big advance over Toyota’s and Ford’s take on the TRW’s HSD system. Does is matter if this is a direct mechanical connection? Personally I’m glad that efficiency won out over a more purist approach. If the ICE has to be running then why not use it in the most efficient way possible?  

    Well stated.

    One way to discuss the power flow would be to look at at the power output to the wheels, vs the power output of the ICE, vs. the power output the the 149hp e-motor. Basically the relationship will be characterized by the percentage of power from the ICE going to the wheels.

    I think a lot of people still don’t know what a torque curve for an electric motor looks like. Unlike an ICE where torque increases then remains relatively constant, and e-motor produces most of it’s torque at low and moderate rpm…
    Though large e-motors are capable of spinning at speeds over 6000 rpms, they produce very little torque at those speeds…
    This is one reason why GM isn’t using a single speed, direct drive electric motor in the Volt. Use of an EVT allows the motor to operate in its most efficient rpm range, while still allowing efficient steady state cruising at hwy speeds, better capture of regen. braking, and potential coupling with the ICE as needed. Very smart.

    I’ve never understood why people could be against having the ICE potentially coupled to the drive system if it meant higher efficiency under certain conditions (i.e. CS mode at high speeds).


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:21 am)

    Carcus3: It’s almost as if GM themselves don’t really know what they’re offering so they have proxies do the talking instead.  

    Add,

    Perhaps GM doesn’t yet want to say anything that could and would be used against them in a court of patent?


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:24 am)

    Hodginator: Why would we want a car that is less efficient just to say there is no physical connection to the wheels?

    A lot of us were enamored of the idea that from an engineering standpoint, one could “yank out” the ICE-based genset and “pop in” any other source of flowin’ electrons. The idea that the ICE drives the wheels tends to undermine this idea.

    Hodginator:
    Call it what you like, this technology is far superior to any other Hybrid on the road. I’m glad GM has taken this next step and I’m glad it’s American made.

    Well said, and +1!


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    Streetlight

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:24 am)

    Whatever we thought before or why counts for nothing now. Indeed, what counts now is the reality that GM has brought VOLT to full blown sales with truly innovative engineering.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:25 am)

    Bob G: I didn’t like the console between the rear seats. I realize that they need to make room for the battery, but it makes it hard to lay something flat in the back seat (i.e., a dog laying down) unless you put the seats down. I wonder if you could remove the plastic console and just have a carpeted hump between the seats.  (Quote)

    If you can watch the Volt assembly videos, maybe you can see the floor layout before the rear seats and console are put it. That will show if you can remove that rear console later. Or get a smaller dog.

    Raymond


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:28 am)

    GM Lied: Chevy Volt is Not a True EV

    “Inside Line says: Don’t believe everything GM says. No matter how many times they say it.”

    ouch!
    http://www.insideline.com/chevrolet/volt/2011/gm-lied-chevy-volt-is-not-a-true-ev.html


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:31 am)

    Bob G: * Needs to confirm, but probably cannot flat tow Volt behind RV.

    The Volt can be towed behind a motorhome with the ‘front wheels up’, not all four on the ground. There has been so much info coming out in the last 5 days, it is hard to keep up, but I finally have all of my marketing materials and website updated and ready to go. The first Customer Volt should arrive in mid-December, and I get to deliver it to one very happy customer!

    I have also updated the table that all of you helped me develop:
    mpg3.JPG


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:35 am)

    That Autoblog (And Insideline.com) link kinda has me p!ssed off.
    They infer that the Volt can be driven/powered solely by the ICE in certain instances…which is clearly not true. I’m sure many others will make the same mistake.

    I can’t blame GM for holding back this information. They would have to provide a fairly technical answer to a lot of non-technical people. Unfortunately, people only remember what they understand and many people aren’t going to understand how this works until it’s dumbed down so far that the information isn’t even correct anymore. Reminds me of politics.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:35 am)

    I don’t give a crap how you get me 50mpg in CS mode, just get 50mpg!?!

    You’re burning gas anyways when your in CS mode, so why would it matter how you get your effecientcy rating?

    All this phoney balony talk about being disappointed because the gas engine kicks in to assist the powertrain is hogwash, the real issue is the MPG when you’re in CS mode, that’s the only issue here. How you get your MPG does not matter, just get the MPG!

    Remember, when you’re driving electric on batteries there is NO gas use, and in CS there is, that is all we are interested in. The least amount of gas use as possible, to get off oil. STAY FOCUS PEOPLE!!!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:43 am)

    Charlie H: You just don’t get it. The purchase price is too high. We don’t lease, ever, we own three reliable cars, outright. Further, subventing leases is one of the ways GM got itself into trouble. You do remember that GM folded last year, don’t you?

    The purchase price is too high for you. Hard to argue with that since that’s for you to decide. And no doubt it’s too high for a lot of other people. But that doesn’t mean the price is too high for everyone. New tech doesn’t come cheap. Most people I know could buy this car without too much of a problem, and my guess is that for the most part the Volt Gen I is a going to be bought by people who would otherwise buy a BMW or a Porshe or a Prius. IOW the Volt buyer will be similar but not identical to the demographic who bought the first couple of generations of Prius — higher income levels. Stated differently, the Volt at $33K is not going to be bought by too many people limited by budget to a Corolla.

    This is unfortunate — especially in this economy where some people who could otherwise buy a Volt no longer have jobs. It would be great for the economy and the environment and national security if everyone could buy a Volt. And that’s the hope — that one day everyone can drive on electricity rather than oil for at least the vast majority of their miles. But until production levels ramp up and battery prices comes down that’s probably the realty, and the Volt buyers will be the Lyle’s and the James Worthy’s of the world. You have to start somewhere.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:43 am)

    JeremyK: I can’t blame GM for holding back this information. They would have to provide a fairly technical answer to a lot of non-technical people. Unfortunately, people only remember what they understand and many people aren’t going to understand how this works until it’s dumbed down so far that the information isn’t even correct anymore. Reminds me of politics.

    Here’s the ‘dumbed down’ explanation:

    “Okay. You drive the Volt like a bat out of hell and run the battery down dry. Then continue to keep the pedal to the floor… get it over 70 MPH for a sustained period and the ICE Gen will connect to assist the electric motor to sustain those speeds with 15% better efficiency than the electric motor alone. And be sure to keep an eye out for Smokey… ‘cuz you’re gonna get a ticket if you keep that up for too long.” ;)


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:47 am)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:50 am)

    (Off Topic? You decide)…

    Alan Boyle of MSNBC’s Cosmic Log is blogging as they make their way down the west coast from Seattle.

    Site link: http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/

    Here’s his latest tweet, from about 20 minutes ago:

    Alan Boyle says:Mile 200 of #ElectricRoadTrip: We’re about to stop in Portland, OR. 4 gals of gas used, 46.4 mpg, estimated total range is 400 miles

    If you deduct 40 for CD mode, that’s 160 miles on 4 gallons of gas. For 40 MPG in CS mode … at highway speeds.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:51 am)

    ClarksonCote: It might be nice if there was a long trip mode button.A button for: “Look, I’m going for hundreds of miles, so start the ICE right away when I’m driving, and just hold it at a single optimal RPM point, so my battery keeps charge longer, and I use less fuel over the long haul.”Maybe that’s not more efficient, but I would think that it could be in those long drive scenarios.join thE REVolution  

    That is an interesting idea. Hopefully GM will explore it or already has data on it. It may be a simple software change to try it. One of the buttons on the dash could be used in a dual role to test it. ;+}


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:51 am)

    I always wondered what will happen when the buffer gets empty and suggested to get a warning, now I have the answer you get a warning “low propulsion power”. I think this is good because you need to make sure the driver knows this, especially if you want to Pass a Car on a Two-Lane Road. Fortunately you can avoid the buffer from getting empty by using “Mountain mode” and not driving agressively.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:56 am)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:58 am)

    Translates to me :

    GM will use PSD after 10 years Toyota put to production
    Volt needs transmission modification to becoming RWD ( its not easy just move motor to back )
    If Volt comes with MPV , the awd will be like Toyota AWD ( FWD based awd ,toyota already teased the MPV and seems going to be in production soon )

    This PSD can share with other sedan hybrids ( like malibu hyrbid )

    Now Volt is translating to me a prius with 40 miles EV range still gets only 36 mpg in CS mode – Prius runs CS mode all time still fetches 50 mpg.

    96: carcus3 – dont worry seems inside line was unhappy with GM for some days for not getting them a volt for a month ( the last tweet i saw from inside line says ” check http://twitter.com/insideline_com

    its fun read ( shows their flustration in full )


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:00 pm)

    DonC: The fact is that this is one very spiffy setup. It’s a big advance over Toyota’s and Ford’s take on the TRW’s HSD system.

    Advance ? Show me reliability and efficiency, stow the hype.

    Mostly I am amused how easily the GM BS and hype of this car being a EV-EREV, AND NOT A HYBRID has gone away, as if GM has not been lying for three years. Fans will be fans, I guess.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:00 pm)

    DonC:
    The purchase price is too high for you. Hard to argue with that since that’s for you to decide. And no doubt it’s too high for a lot of other people. But that doesn’t mean the price is too high for everyone. New tech doesn’t come cheap. Most people I know could buy this car without too much of a problem, and my guess is that for the most part the Volt Gen I is a going to be bought by people who would otherwise buy a BMW or a Porshe or a Prius. IOW the Volt buyer will be similar but not identical to thedemographic who bought the first couple of generations of Prius — higher income levels. Stated differently, the Volt at $33K is not going to be bought by too many people limited by budget to a Corolla.
    This is unfortunate — especially in this economy where some people who could otherwise buy a Volt no longer have jobs. It would be great for the economy and the environment and national security if everyone could buy a Volt. And that’s the hope — that one day everyone can drive on electricity rather than oil for at least the vast majority of their miles. But until production levels ramp up and battery prices comes down that’s probably the realty, and the Volt buyers will be the Lyle’s and the James Worthy’s of the world. You have to start somewhere.  

    Your comment works for me.
    About Leasing — It is a good way to get in the VOLT market. The tech is changing very fast and at the end of 3 years there may be many more options – even a cheaper VOLT :+].
    I have leased and purchased many cars.
    Purchasing a car works best if you keep it for a very long time ( almost ’til it dies).
    Leasing is fine if the interest is in getting a new model every 3 years.
    It is the buyers choice.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:00 pm)

    When this chapter in GM’s history is examined in case studies at universities, the whole ‘leapfrogging Toyota comments from Lutz will drive discussions on “What is the best way to motivate staff?”

    GM knows all too well what they are offering vs what was originally “birthed” on those engineeering napkins Lutz bragged about. Having proxies provide impressions/statistics on the Volt gives GM management the ability to say “results may very due to driving conditions and measurement tools….”.

    Also, GM was hoping to create a new powertrain classification (ERREV) where comparisons to hybrid drivetrains could not be easily made.

    Carcus3: This has to be the strangest (and not necessarily confidence inspiring) way to introduce a new car to market –ever.It’s almost as if GM themselves don’t really know what they’re offering so they have proxies do the talking instead.  (Quote)


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:03 pm)

    What I do not understand is how the Prius gets 50 MPG at 70 MPH, whereas the Volt gets 36, yet several technical posters have indicated the Volt is more efficient and Volt’s power split device is superior. Another topic, if the 9.3 gallon tank reserves 1 gallon (the little read light comes on) then the range is 33 (AER) plus 299 or 332.

    So for generation II, we should expand the battery utilization to 10 Kwh for a 40 mile AER, and expand the fuel tank to 10 gallons for a 360 mile range. Next, put the bloated Volt on a diet and drop the weight down to 3200 lbs, and put in a light weight ICE that is more efficient than the Toyota 1.8.

    These changes would then fulfill the Volt’s promise made in 2007.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:07 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:09 pm)

    DonC:
    The purchase price is too high for you. Hard to argue with that since that’s for you to decide. And no doubt it’s too high for a lot of other people. But that doesn’t mean the price is too high for everyone. New tech doesn’t come cheap. Most people I know could buy this car without too much of a problem, and my guess is that for the most part the Volt Gen I is a going to be bought by people who would otherwise buy a BMW or a Porshe or a Prius. IOW the Volt buyer will be similar but not identical to thedemographic who bought the first couple of generations of Prius — higher income levels. Stated differently, the Volt at $33K is not going to be bought by too many people limited by budget to a Corolla.
    This is unfortunate — especially in this economy where some people who could otherwise buy a Volt no longer have jobs. It would be great for the economy and the environment and national security if everyone could buy a Volt. And that’s the hope — that one day everyone can drive on electricity rather than oil for at least the vast majority of their miles. But until production levels ramp up and battery prices comes down that’s probably the realty, and the Volt buyers will be the Lyle’s and the James Worthy’s of the world. You have to start somewhere.  

    I agree with your points, especially with starting somewhere. However, why didn’t they start it a bit more simpler? The idea is so aesthetic and simple (Serial), but implementation of it obviously became the addition of so much complexity.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:17 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:28 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:34 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:41 pm)

    Charlie H:
    No it’s not.I can afford it.The price is too high for what you get.For the price of 1.8 Priuses, I expect a car that’s better, in all arenas, than a Prius.But the Volt offers less cargo capacity, fewer seats, conventional looks, lower CS mode fuel economy and 2 out of 3 reviews note they didn’t get 40 miles AER…This car isn’t better than a Prius in all arenas; it’s entirely one-dimensional.  

    And I find the Prius and the Leaf ugly compared to the Volt. It isn’t all about the minute details of CS MPG and all that.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:43 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    carcus3: How GM “Lied” About The Electric Carhttp://jalopnik.com/5661051/how-gm-lied-about-the-electric-carouch! again  

    Read the article, and then read some of the comments. They got some numbers confused and it was not a very well thought out article.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:46 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:52 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:57 pm)

    GXT:
    Quick correction… it isn’t 40.We can stop using that number now.It should be clear that people really aren’t going to regularly get 40 even in these ideal temps.

    Actually, another blogger reported that GM told them to have a little contest on the drive from the airport to their hotels, to see who got the best range. The blogger himself got 38 I believe, but the winner got 56 apparently, and a few got over 40. So there is some wiggle room still to be had. I think 40 is still a nice average.

    Also this blog post shows after 200 miles on the highway going to Portland, this reporter has 46mpg. Very good IMO: http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/10/11/5272084-volt-road-trip-stops-in-oregon


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    Charlie H:
    Then what justifies the tax rebate of unprecedented and ridiculous size?We kept GM afloat and we laid on an extra $7500 for this thing just to keep stylish cars on the road?From the side, I think it looks disturbingly like a Cobalt.  

    Because for me, and many others, 99% of the time it will act just like the Leaf in operation, which gets the tax credit. I don’t see anyone getting on Nissan’s ass about it…and don’t act like Nissan or Toyota never got any money from the government either. Hell, didn’t Nissan pretty much get paid by the state of Tennessee to move their production plant there? Which by the way still isn’t up and running as far as I know.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:05 pm)

    I’m amused & amazed at how disturbed, polarized & even disillusioned many posters seem to have become over what I think should be non-controversial: ICE direct coupling in the EVT. Let me try to bring a bit of perspective to this by use of a close analogy…

    Automatic transmissions have employed torque converters for decades, yet only fairly recently most automakers have introduced a minor improvement in automatics that improved efficiency somewhat at highway speeds: torque converter lockup, which in effect completely by-passes the transmission’s torque converter at high speeds, thereby eliminating its small but real losses.* To my knowledge, lockup isn’t a polarizing or controversial issue —it’s easily implemented and its gain in efficiency at highway speeds is indisputable.

    The Volt employs what we’ve long known is a planetary EVT (electronically variable transmission) very much like one of the planetary gearsets used in a conventional automatic transmission. Although it of course incorporates several unique features, we’ve just learned that it, like most conventional automatic transmissions, also includes a lockup feature which in effect bypasses its small motor-generator when the Volt is 1) in CS mode AND 2) is running at highway speeds to lock the ICE output shaft directly to the EVT’s ring gear, thereby eliminating small losses at high-
    way speeds —exactly what most standard automatics now do!

    What’s so hard (or so controversial) about that??? Can we all agree it makes sense? ;) ;)

    /*Search for “lock-up torque converter” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_transmission


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:06 pm)

    Larry: I find it very interesting that both the Volt and Prius use almost exactly the same gear arrangement, but use it in very different ways — and that only the Volt arrangement is able to do purely electric power at speed.

    Yup, just need a clutch to connect and disconnect the gas engine from the planetary gearset.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:07 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:10 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: You didn’t mention the 36 month test drive for $2500 out of pocket and $350 per month, or that she can save about $100 per month on gas? I say try again.  (Quote)

    CorvetteGuy, a hair off topic but, since you are talking about leases, would you have a rough number for the charges for driving over the mileage allowance (~1000mi/month) and how that works? Might help some of the other readers here, too. Thanks in advance!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:12 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:24 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:28 pm)

    GXT:
    Quick correction… it isn’t 40.We can stop using that number now.It should be clear that people really aren’t going to regularly get 40 even in these ideal temps.Those stats are mostly just a matter of a larger electric motor/batteries… it has nothing to do with which system is inherently “better”.What do you think Toyota could do to the Prius for the $17,000 price difference?I’m not saying that one is better than the other as I think it is difficult to tell right now because they had different goals.But I have no doubt that the current PIP setup will make more sense for more people.Many people will use just as little gas (or less) with the PIP than the Volt and they will do so for many thousand less dollars up front.
    .  

    I’m not sure where you are getting your figures from. A comparable configuration (not plugin) is $28,000 MSRP which actually turned into $34,700 when I added similar options to the Volt (Prius floor mats a really expensive). That still doesn’t include some of the options with the Volt. Check out Toyotas website. After looking around, it appears you are looking at $7,000 to $10,000 more for a plug in Prius (after market or the one that Toyota might make). So on the low side you are looking at $41,700 and the High side $44,700 for a Prius.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:30 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic: (Off Topic? You decide)…Alan Boyle of MSNBC’s Cosmic Log is blogging as they make their way down the west coast from Seattle. Site link: http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/Here’s his latest tweet, from about 20 minutes ago:If you deduct 40 for CD mode, that’s 160 miles on 4 gallons of gas. For 40 MPG in CS mode … at highway speeds.  (Quote)

    GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS

    I was following this commentary. The good news is that the writers are already revealing that 50 mpg in CS is achievable.

    That bad news is that the idiots are already not getting it. http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/10/11/5272048-crossing-into-oregon#comments According to Joe (how appropriate, like ‘average joe’), “Hmmm….about the same mileage as a Prius or VW TDI at considerably more cost. I’m not getting the marketing plan here. GM should have gone to full electric like the Nissan Leaf. Once again, a day late and a dollar short in Detroit.”

    We have our work cut out for us in getting the message across. “No Joe. You get Prius-type mpg when you need a back up (which Leaf does not give you). Otherwise you are gas free. You see, Joe, it is like having your cake and eating it too.”

    Get ready to repeat this, folks, over and over and over again. And try to say it with a smile. I know that will be difficult after you have heard it for the tenth time that week. [And their vote counts just as much as yours- scary isn’t it?]


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:32 pm)

    Charlie H:
    Nissan, at least, had the decency to offer a vehicle that’s $8K less than the Volt.And don’t go on about Nissan’s tax deals.GM didn’t just get the federal bailout; every GM move on the Volt and the Curze has been propped up by local Michigan tax benefits, too.  

    Are you just upset you aren’t part of that group? Sorry, but I just don’t feel the need to cry about tax incentives, etc. If I want something expensive, I’ll pay for it. Simple as that. If I don’t want it, I won’t buy it. I’m not going to go around yelling at the people who did. And even if I wasn’t buying the Volt, I wouldn’t play the “I own part of GM and want my money back” card, because honestly, I don’t see that impact on my daily life. Sure it may be a little less forward thinking, but it really doesn’t. I don’t wake up in the morning and say “damn…I wanted to go out and have a nice dinner tonight…but I can’t because I helped bail GM out…those bastards…” And quite honestly, if you are in a situation where that may be the case, and you can’t go out to eat because of your taxes, or lack of a job, you should NOT be thinking about buying ANY new automobile any time soon.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:34 pm)

    carcus3:
    Let’s see if Mr. Boyle tweets about his fuel stops and how many gallons he puts in.Will hebase everything off of what the Volt’s display tells him– not bothering to account for first 33 miles which were AER?How about theinnacuracies of the on board computer, or mentioning the speed he’s traveling— looks like 55 to 60 mph based on the video.http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/electric-road-trip  

    And he was doing 60-65mph on the video showing the transition from battery to gas. And sure, you can say the onboard computer is wrong, but there is no proof it isn’t right either.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:35 pm)

    So much for this being an intelligent forum. Anyone with anything negative to say is being ‘shouted down’ with negative feedback. I had no idea there were so many volt fanbois here. I thought this was a group that was anxiously awaiting the electrification of the automobile. The Volt, while sophisticated engineering, isn’t the harbinger we hoped for.

    We all thought GM was making an electric platform that also had a secondary fuel for additional electric range. This was exciting because the secondary source could be a fuel cell, or CNG generator, or solar or even Mr. Fusion. But the Volt isn’t an electric car. It’s a hybrid. You can’t replace the secondary electric fuel source because it is geared to the wheels. The Volt isn’t as elegant as we thought.

    Sure the motor/engine ratios are different than a Prius, but the Volt has more in common with the Prius than a Leaf.

    Hell, the The Honda FCX Clarity is an electric platform. I’d rather have one of those, rip out the fuel cells and put in a battery-ICE-genset combo than have a hybrid Volt.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:37 pm)

    TinManNFO:
    CorvetteGuy, a hair off topic but, since you are talking about leases, would you have a rough number for the charges for driving over the mileage allowance (~1000mi/month) and how that works?Might help some of the other readers here, too.Thanks in advance!  

    Most leases charge $0.10 to $0.15 per mile over at the end if the lease. This is not important if you buy the vehicle at the end instead of turning it in. GM has not released specifics on the lease special. As soon as I can confirm numbers I will post them.

    I just arrived at fairgrounds for Volt Training. Guys are driving the Veridian Joule around followed by an old fashioned red Prius. More later!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:42 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:44 pm)

    GXT: …I did buy the Lexus/BWM/etc., and I am constantly reminded that I am not stuck in a compact, that I have AWD, that I can do 0-60 in ~5s, that I have all the same toys as the Volt (HDD, bluetooth audio, keyless start, GPS, etc.), plus extras that non-EREVs at this price point are able to offer. Most importantly, I have a MT. Do I only get 21MPG? Yes. Do I worry about it? Not much….  (Quote)

    I am constantly amazed that people who could write such stuff are here in this forum. Smug? Nonchalant? Condescending? I don’t know, but it certainly is offensive. Most of us here are trying to make a difference. Hey GXT, go back to your expensive toys. You weren’t really serious about wanting a Volt anyway.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:45 pm)

    Shaft: Hi Michigan Guy,Thanks for the summary of your drive. Well done.I have a question that has been bugging me for awhile, and I’d like your opinion. When you put your Volt in low gear and used the motor for braking, I believe that the brake lights do not come on. GM stated that this is safe because the braking is not enough to surprise the driver behind you.Do you agree?  (Quote)

    Yep, I agree. it’s not an issue.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:46 pm)

    Kicking Tires says the ICE to wheel hookup can go all the way down to 35 mph:

    Google: The Great Chevy Volt Hybrid Mishap Explained

    “…..the gas engine contributes its motive force to the wheels, and Volt powertrain engineer Pam Fletcher said it can also play a part at speeds as low as roughly 35 mph.”


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:48 pm)

    99% of the population couldn’t care less about these details. They want to know price, how’s it look, what’s the mileage, etc…


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    MICHIGAN GUY: Yep, I agree. it’s not an issue.  (Quote)

    Thanks, Michigan Guy!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    carcus3: Kicking Tires says the ICE to wheel hookup can go all the way down to 35 mph:Google: The Great Chevy Volt Hybrid Mishap Explained“…..the gas engine contributes its motive force to the wheels, and Volt powertrain engineer Pam Fletcher said it can also play a part at speeds as low as roughly 35 mph.”  

    Way to make the entire article a bash on the Volt. The next paragraph says “The buzz around the internet — and at this event — suggests the world will soon come to an end because the Volt isn’t what people thought it would be, that it’s somehow a lesser vehicle. I don’t see it. Once the engine starts, the point is efficiency.”. it really isn’t a big deal. Marketing said one thing, it turned out to be another. It’s not the first time in history this has happened.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:51 pm)

    Eclectic Dan: So much for this being an intelligent forum. Anyone with anything negative to say is being ’shouted down’ with negative feedback. I had no idea there were so many volt fanbois here. I thought this was a group that was anxiously awaiting the electrification of the automobile. The Volt, while sophisticated engineering, isn’t the harbinger we hoped for.
    We all thought GM was making an electric platform that also had a secondary fuel for additional electric range. This was exciting because the secondary source could be a fuel cell, or CNG generator, or solar or even Mr. Fusion. But the Volt isn’t an electric car. It’s a hybrid. You can’t replace the secondary electric fuel source because it is geared to the wheels. The Volt isn’t as elegant as we thought.
    Sure the motor/engine ratios are different than a Prius, but the Volt has more in common with the Prius than a Leaf.Hell, the The Honda FCX Clarity is an electric platform. I’d rather have one of those, rip out the fuel cells and put in a battery-ICE-genset combo than have a hybrid Volt.  

    Actually people have made a lot of good comments on this string and I think the conversations have been intelligent. Most people are trying to make sure everyone understands how the technology actually works. For example your comment about not being able to change the secondary power source because it is geared. Well, that doesn’t make much sense if it can drive at any speed without the ICE when the battery is charged. That leaves lots of option for future secondary power sources.

    If you don’t like it, that’s fine that’s your opinion. Don’t change how the technology works to try to prove a point.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:54 pm)

    Mike D.: Way to make the entire article a bash on the Volt.

    Why do you think my excerpt is “bashing”?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:55 pm)

    xiaowei1: Whilst I love the Volt and am satisfied that I will never have the engine kick in to assist, and even though it is more efficient to have the generator running the drive shaft at some point, the Volt just became a hybrid. If the Prius can run all electric for up to X mph, then it is semantics to say kicking in at over 70mph changes things.
    GM might as well have the gas engine kick in at 50mph with a smaller electric motor and have the car drive 80+miles before depleting the battery; this may be even more efficient! It does not matter where you put the delaminating line for efficiency sake, if the drive shaft is propelled by the generator, it’s not a generator; it’s a mechanically linked engine.
    I’m sure I will be flamed for saying it, but the volt is a Hybrid.  

    Of course it’s a hybrid. There’s a gas engine and an electric motor. That’s the definition of hybrid. But to equate it to the Prius is just misinformation. Even if you’re comparing it to the plug-in Prius that won’t go on sale for years (if ever), the Volt is still significantly different.

    Here’s the difference: Start both cars with a full charge. Now, floor it.
    Did you hear the difference? Unless you’re deaf, you just heard the Prius’s gas engine rev up. In the Volt, you heard the tires on the road, maybe, but no engine starting up.

    This, IMHO, puts the Volt light-years beyond the Prius. I drive a Prius currently. It doesn’t matter how full that battery indicator shows, if you try to accelerate normally (and most people consider my acceleration to be slow), the gas engine will kick in. Go above 35 MPH, gas engine kicks in. Now, I hear they raised that limit to ~60 MPH in the prototype plug-ins. But I can’t imagine how long it would take to accelerate to 60 MPH without the gas engine kicking in…


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:58 pm)

    Here’s some trust but verify:

    On Mr. Boyle’s “Electric Road Trip”, so far he’s crammed about 3 hours worth of driving into 7 hours of road trip.

    Is there any opportunity charging to boost mpg going on here? — just asking


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (1:59 pm)

    carcus3: GM Lied: Chevy Volt is Not a True EV

    “Inside Line says: Don’t believe everything GM says. No matter how many times they say it.”

    ouch!
    http://www.insideline.com/chevrolet/volt/2011/gm-lied-chevy-volt-is-not-a-true-ev.html

    The volt has been a plug-in hybrid since day 1.
    The fact that GM called it an EV was a misnomer, but the media let them anyway.
    A hybrid vehicle has more than one fuel source.
    A true EV is powered only by electricity (thus, ELECTRIC vehicle).
    The volt is powered by electricity and gasoline.
    Sure, it could run only on electricity, but it was never designed that way.
    If you want an “EV”, buy an EV, but the volt certainly is not one, nor has it ever been.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:08 pm)

    MICHIGAN GUY: I noted right off the bat that the accelerator pedal was very responsive.I also noticed that, at stoplights, the Volt had the familiar“creep”that normal automatic transmission cars have when you take your foot off the brake. He said that this was deliberately programmed into the electric drivetrain of the Volt to give it a familiar feel, and to keep it from rolling backwards when stopped on a hill. In fact, he told us that GM is working on automatic “yaw” sensors for future Volts, where the amount of forward “creep” would adjust according to the incline of the hill. Very cool.

    Now that’s brilliant! There’s one hill near my house with a stop light right at the top. I always roll back a foot or more in the split second it takes to move my foot from the brake to the accelerator. It would be so much safer and convenient if the car was smart enough to realize that I was on a hill!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:09 pm)

    Mike D.: If I want something expensive, I’ll pay for it. Simple as that. If I don’t want it, I won’t buy it.

    Then you won’t be filing for the tax credit?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:10 pm)

    Hi #24 NASAMAN: Its beyond question GM did nothing to correct the widespread drivetrain conjecture mess here and there.

    Which leads us to today’s “Where were you when the fit hit the sham.”

    Is the VOLT concept re: edmunds.com … a new oxymoron? Let’s recall the ‘double nickel’ (55 mph max fed speed limit in 1974; repealed 1996) intended to reduce oil consumption. So interstates thankfully raised back to 70 mph. Here VOLT ups its efficiencies over 70 mph as well as to ensure safety. Now how can anyone have a problem with that?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:10 pm)

    My main problem with this isn’t the technology, but that I feel lied to by GM. Does no one else feel lied to? If a poster would have come on here last week and said how the technology actually works, they would have been lambasted by the Volters (including me). Why did GM feel the need to mislead us? My guess is they knew that the early adopters would not be as excited by an upgraded Prius. I have been waiting so long for this car, reading everything I could get my hands on everyday. Now I am so disillusioned. Not by the technology, it’s fine, but with being lied to. I feel like the William Wallace character in the movie Brave Heart when he discovers he’s been betrayed. I feel like I’m going to throw up.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:17 pm)

    flmark: GOOD NEWS BAD NEWSI was following this commentary. The good news is that the writers are already revealing that 50 mpg in CS is achievable.That bad news is that the idiots are already not getting it. http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/10/11/5272048-crossing-into-oregon#comments According to Joe (how appropriate, like ‘average joe’), “Hmmm….about the same mileage as a Prius or VW TDI at considerably more cost. I’m not getting the marketing plan here. GM should have gone to full electric like the Nissan Leaf. Once again, a day late and a dollar short in Detroit.”We have our work cut out for us in getting the message across. “No Joe. You get Prius-type mpg when you need a back up (which Leaf does not give you). Otherwise you are gas free. You see, Joe, it is like having your cake and eating it too.”Get ready to repeat this, folks, over and over and over again. And try to say it with a smile. I know that will be difficult after you have heard it for the tenth time that week. [And their vote counts just as much as yours- scary isn’t it?]  (Quote)

    Maybe you should get out of the echo chamber from time to time and meet people who live in the real world. GM’s building a car that isn’t just different, it isn’t even what they claimed to be building. You expect everybody else to just nod their heads and love whatever GM does? Guess again.

    The Volt has gotten beyond the Volt Fanboyz club and -surprise! – the vast bulk of the auto buying market look first at the price and then start to try and figure out what could possibly justify $41K. Since a Leaf goes much, much further in EV mode on less money, they’re expecting more than GM delivered. The site regulars have spent a lot of time downvoting the Realists and – surprise! – the Realists got it right.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:18 pm)

    Charlie H:
    Then you won’t be filing for the tax credit?  

    No. I am leasing. The tax credit wouldn’t benefit me as I already get a rebate from both the federal and state taxes. I also would like to see how things lie in 3 years technology wise, as it is probably going to change a lot by then.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:23 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:26 pm)

    Charlie H:
    Oops!You are benefitting from the tax credit, it’s just that GM is using it to pay down your lease.It’s still tax money into your pocket.  

    So be it. I don’t see anything wrong.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:26 pm)

    Streetlight, #150: Hi #24 NASAMAN: Its beyond question GM did nothing to correct the widespread drivetrain conjecture mess here and there.

    Which leads us to today’s “Where were you when the fit hit the sham.”

    I was probably standing on the other side of the room where the “defecation impacted the rotating airfoil”! [I think you meant my post #124, which I encourage everyone to re-read]! ;) ;) ;)

    We truly need to all take a deep breath —and to be both reasonable & civil to each other.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:40 pm)

    StephanWolf: My main problem with this isn’t the technology, but that I feel lied to by GM. Does no one else feel lied to?

    I am disgusted by the lying. It seems to me this story leaked in June, but, GM wasn’t ready for it to come out. Maybe now they have no choice? I don’t understand any of it. Why lie? Why defend lies?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:46 pm)

    John Es:
    I am disgusted by the lying. It seems to me this story leaked in June, but, GM wasn’t ready for it to come out. Maybe now they have no choice? I don’t understand any of it. Why lie? Why defend lies?  

    It has come out that they stayed quiet because they were waiting on the patent that had leaked.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:47 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:49 pm)

    Hodginator: For example your comment about not being able to change the secondary power source because it is geared. Well, that doesn’t make much sense if it can drive at any speed without the ICE when the battery is charged. That leaves lots of option for future secondary power sources.

    Do you have a stat on the top CD speed of the Volt? I wouldn’t be surprised if we find that the ICE clutches in all over the place. Why wouldn’t it?

    The Volt Concept was an EREV. The actual Volt is not. The Voltec drivetrain is incapable of maintaining 70mph on generator-electricity alone. You don’t think that’s a big difference?

    What about this quote from Pam Fletcher:
    “At speeds above 70 mph, the gas engine contributes its motive force to the wheels, and Volt powertrain engineer Pam Fletcher said it can also play a part at speeds as low as roughly 35 mph.”

    The Volt is a mechanical hybrid at speeds as low as 35mph. Wow.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:49 pm)

    John Es:
    I am disgusted by the lying. It seems to me this story leaked in June, but, GM wasn’t ready for it to come out. Maybe now they have no choice? I don’t understand any of it. Why lie? Why defend lies?  

    Not that it will make up for much, but it has to be the patent. Car companies are very competitive markets. GM has been very open with this car which I’m sure has caused a lot of problems with what can be released and when. Normally you just get all of the info at release time.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:56 pm)

    Eclectic Dan:
    Do you have a stat on the top CD speed of the Volt? I wouldn’t be surprised if we find that the ICE clutches in all over the place. Why wouldn’t it?The Volt Concept was an EREV. The actual Volt is not. The Voltec drivetrain is incapable of maintaining 70mph on generator-electricity alone. You don’t think that’s a big difference?
    What about this quote from Pam Fletcher:
    “At speeds above 70 mph, the gas engine contributes its motive force to the wheels, and Volt powertrain engineer Pam Fletcher said it can also play a part at speeds as low as roughly 35 mph.”The Volt is a mechanical hybrid at speeds as low as 35mph. Wow.  

    I agree that it may clutch in at different speeds in CD mode for efficiency, though we will need to wait and see what other information is released. The fact that it can maintain all speeds when using battery only is my point. That leaves all sorts of options including just adding more batteries.

    In CD it should use whatever is more efficient period since it is running the ICE anyway.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:57 pm)

    herm: Very nice review, and thanks to you and your daughter..Interesting clarification on the clutch by engineer Tim, and I also noted that you said the brakes felt natural.. some of the magazine reviewers did not think so but perhaps because they were hooning the car like teenagers.Did the Volt feel small or cramped to you?  (Quote)

    The Volt felt like a very comfotable mid-size car. My test car had leather seats by the way.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:58 pm)

    Eclectic Dan:

    What about this quote from Pam Fletcher:
    “At speeds above 70 mph, the gas engine contributes its motive force to the wheels, and Volt powertrain engineer Pam Fletcher said it can also play a part at speeds as low as roughly 35 mph.”The Volt is a mechanical hybrid at speeds as low as 35mph. Wow.  

    Well, the one main piece of info not mentioned in this quote is that this only happens in CS mode, not CD mode. in CD mode, you can drive at any speed completely on electricity.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (2:59 pm)

    Hodginator: Normally you just get all of the info at release time.

    Is it release time now?

    The most likely scenario to me is that GM is caught in-between needing to release the car now but not having the patents finalized (and not wanting to say anything which could come back to haunt in a legal dispute). Remember how long Ford had to struggle with Toyota — which ultimately ended up in a behind closed doors deal and a trade of fuel injection technology in order to settle the hybrid patent disputes?

    GM’s lawyers could be working on those same type deals with another (or several other) manufacturers right now.

    /whatever the reasoning … it’s resulted in a very disjointed and shaky introduction for the Volt.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:00 pm)

    ps.

    Some of the comments above are about the ICE electric motor lockup. I think this system is analogous to an automatic transmission lockup torque converter, and is simply in the interest of more MPG in charging mode at high speed. It’s a positive thing as far as I can see.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:02 pm)

    JeremyK:
    Likely because the electric motor is the most efficient way to propel the car up to 70mpg. At that point enough power is required to overcome aero resistance that the ICE can be fully utilized when running.  

    As explained in the article, the problem with high speed is heat created by very high rpm in the primary electric motor. This is the purpose of the planetary gear transmission. In CS mode, above 70 mph, both motors are providing power to the wheels so that both can rotate at lower rpms. The combined power can take the Volt all the way up to 101 mph. However, when the SOC of the battery pack drops down to c30%, the ICE must comes on to drive the generator which provides current to the primary motor. The important statement in the article about when the ICE is used in CS mode is this sentence in today’s article:

    “However of particular interest, when going above 70 mph in charge sustaining mode, and the generator gets coupled to the drivetrain, the gas engine participates in the motive force.”

    It is not because of aero resistance! It’s because of thermal losses in the electric motor at high speeds.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:05 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:10 pm)

    I test drove the volt in Lynnwood, WA on 10/10 as well. I agree with the majority of the people who have test driven it. I thought the brakes felt natural. I was surprised with how much room there was for the driver. I’m a pretty big buy – 6’0″, ~270, and I thought there was plenty of room in the driver’s seat. I felt like there was more room than the prius – and definitely more than a civic.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:15 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:21 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:28 pm)

    StephanWolf: I feel like I’m going to throw up.

    Kind of a bummer, I suppose, but it sure beats being disemboweled!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:29 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:29 pm)

    Eclectic Dan:
    We all thought GM was making an electric platform that also had a secondary fuel for additional electric range. This was exciting because the secondary source could be a fuel cell, or CNG generator, or solar or even Mr. Fusion. But the Volt isn’t an electric car. It’s a hybrid. You can’t replace the secondary electric fuel source because it is geared to the wheels.

    You are incorrect. It is easy to replace the ICE with a fuel cell or other source of electricity. The clutch which connects MG/A to the range extender would simply never engage (in fact, you’d just remove that clutch entirely). The existing CD mode of operation would apply to both CD and CS mode. It’s a trivial redesign and should even be an easy retrofit.

    Note, just because GM could easily swap a different range extender into this architecture does not mean they would. A different powertrain architecture might make more sense for a fuel cell.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:30 pm)

    Tim in SC: Wow… after months of swearing up and down that the ICE will not power the wheels, we learn that our beloved Volt is a better-looking, more expensive, longer range plug-in Prius. Does anyone else feel like the final product is a long way from its original intended purpose (i.e. an American electric car with a back-up generator to ease range anxiety)? Unbelievable… for people like me who drive long distances frequently, 10 miles electric/ 50 mpg highway with a plug-in Prius will be more efficient than 40 miles of electric and 35mpg on the highway. Ciao Volt, it’s been real…  (Quote)

    Are you reading the REAL results as they are coming in?
    http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/electric-road-trip
    or do you just want to stick with your surly attitude that involves plugging your ears, closing your eyes and saying over and over, “I can’t hear you…”


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:30 pm)

    IMHO, This is just a guess at what happened along the Volt’s development path.

    The original plans for the Voltec design called for a series hybrid similar to the EV1 but with the range extender added to overcome any feeling of range anxiety. During test of the prototype, GM found that the 11 kW/150 HP AC motor was found to heat up at speeds beginning at 70 mph and higher. The added heat was recognized as a drop in power performance.

    Since GM was developing the EVT for it’s other hybrids, the planetary gear transmission offered a solution to this problem. JMO.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:31 pm)

    EricLG:
    Don’t stop at one go, you have many reasons to puke:
    35 CS mpg, not 50
    ~30ish AER, not 40
    $45k, not “nicely under $30k”The “new” GM is the “old” GM, with taxpayer billions they do not deserve. Sickening really.  

    I’m so very tired of you trolls. Really Eric, you’ll talk about how the Prius gets its maximum possible MPG until you’re blue in the face, and then you’ll quote a less-than-ideal stat that came from one review.

    50 MPG was before they went with the off-the-shelf less-than-ideal motor, and people are still expected to achieve up to 50 miles EV range, and I am sure some will go even higher.

    Get a clue. How can you call us Volt fans biased when you act this way?

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:32 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:36 pm)

    Carl S: A very good read here about the “Volt lie”:
    http://www.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1050307_how-gm-didnt-lie-about-the-volt-and-why-the-press-is-wrong  

    GM flat out denied mechanical connection to the wheels in several different venues (and fairly recently).

    They handled it wrong, they effed up — the response when questioned should have been “no comment”. The best course of action in this kind of circumstance is to issue an apology (direct, not through a proxy) and move on as quickly as possible.

    Hard to understand why GM hasn’t done this already. Their management/PR department must be in shambles.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:40 pm)

    Carl S: A very good read here about the “Volt lie”:http://www.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1050307_how-gm-didnt-lie-about-the-volt-and-why-the-press-is-wrong  

    Thanks for the link Carl, that’s a great read. Really puts things into perspective. Too bad everyone’s hung up on these semantic details.

    The fact that it’s not all-electric all the time sort of is a bummer, but why stick to that if it’s less efficient? That would be non-sensical, and either way it’s burning gas in extended-range mode. I can live with this, I’m glad they made the “smart” choice instead of sacrificing efficiency merely for some perceived ability to brag about electric-only propulsion 100% of the time.

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:40 pm)

    carcus3:
    GM flat out denied mechanical connection to the wheels in several different venues (and fairly recently).They handled it wrong, they effed up — the response when questioned should have been “no comment”.The best course of action in this kind of circumstance is to issue an apology (direct, not through a proxy) and move on as quickly as possible.Hard to understand why GM hasn’t done this already.Their management/PR department must be in shambles.  

    The article was good. Should GM apologize? Perhaps say “we’re sorry we had to keep you in the dark while we got our patents accepted”. I suppose that would be ok, but in most if not all cases I think they have been pretty careful about how they explained range and the ICE involvement.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:42 pm)

    carcus3:
    GM flat out denied mechanical connection to the wheels in several different venues (and fairly recently).They handled it wrong, they effed up — the response when questioned should have been “no comment”.The best course of action in this kind of circumstance is to issue an apology (direct, not through a proxy) and move on as quickly as possible.Hard to understand why GM hasn’t done this already.Their management/PR department must be in shambles.  

    No comment is a clear signal that the answer is yes; why hand that fact to the competitors?

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:45 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:46 pm)

    http://twitter.com/b0yle/status/27062501975

    BOOYAH!!!

    Hard driving reviews at and above 80 mph gives @35mpg. Normal driving 43mpg. Not that the CS mileage will be very important to many drivers anyway but it is good enough for those 60 mile commuters too. This car, however, is all about the EV range. How many miles can we pull out of the tank and put in the wall? That is what EVs are ALL about.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:48 pm)

    Charlie H: Then you won’t be filing for the tax credit?  (Quote)

    Please look up the meaning of ‘tax credit’. It is money you would have paid that you have been told you don’t have to. It is not welfare. It is not government assistance. It is not an entitlement program. It is not a government benefit.

    Our income tax system is graduated, not flat. Therefore, it is not equitable. Taxation systems have always been designed to a) raise revenue and b) influence behavior. While I don’t smoke, I believe the price of a pack of cigarettes is more about b) than it is about a). You have chosen to denigrate not only the purpose of the tax credit, but apparently those who utilize it, as well.

    While the recession has changed things a bit, at one point I paid $80K+ in income taxes. When I was a teenager, making minimum wage, I did not like it that I paid no income taxes. I knew it was not right. I knew that the other shoe would drop eventually and I desired, in principle, a flat tax. Now that I am indeed at the point I expected to be, my philosophy of taxation has not wavered.

    Stick to your principles, man. When the utility provides a rebate to the installer for your new, energy efficient air conditioner, make sure you write a check to the installer and tell them to send the money back to the utility.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:53 pm)

    So how often do most people drive over 70 mph?

    Also, did the article mention E85? Is it still possible to use it in a Volt?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:54 pm)

    Hodginator: but in most if not all cases I think they have been pretty careful about how they explained range and the ICE involvement.

    Because I mysteriously cannot link it, google:
    Combustion Engine Does Not and Will Not Turn the Volt’s Driveshaft Ever. Got it?

    And check out the Volt Line Director’s comments:

    Finally to put this all to rest, I asked Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz if any of this rumor was true, if the ICE ever drives the wheels.
    “No.” said Posawatz. “I don’t know how those folks got so confused.”
    Got it?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:58 pm)

    carcus3:
    Because I mysteriously cannot link it, google:
    Combustion Engine Does Not and Will Not Turn the Volt’s Driveshaft Ever. Got it?And check out the Volt Line Director’scomments:Finally to put this all to rest, I asked Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz if any of this rumor was true, if the ICE ever drives the wheels.
    “No.” said Posawatz. “I don’t know how those folks got so confused.”
    Got it?  

    Mountain out of a mole hill.

    It’s also possible that, at the time, they were not planning to drive the wheels directly with the ICE. Then they found out it would be less efficient, and they decided that they would be willing to look a little silly rather than sacrifice efficiency.

    Make sure you separate the facts from the “story”… We don’t know the timeline of events that led to the way the Volt runs today.

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:58 pm)

    Charlie H: Maybe you should get out of the echo chamber from time to time and meet people who live in the real world.   (Quote)

    Just because they are in the ‘real world’, doesn’t mean they aren’t idiots.

    Unfortunately, my father in law (now deceased) was a prime example. He was ignorant and had low tolerance to go along with it. He got angry when I told him once that he didn’t have stereo sound for his TV. He said, “I have two ears and I have two speakers. I have stereo.” I then went on to TRY to patiently explain that stereo involved two DIFFERENT signals going to the speakers.

    THAAT is the real world….inhabited by _____ (you fill in the blank).


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (3:59 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:02 pm)

    koz: http://twitter.com/b0yle/status/27062501975BOOYAH!!!Hard driving reviews at and above 80 mph gives @35mpg. Normal driving 43mpg. Not that the CS mileage will be very important to many drivers anyway but it is good enough for those 60 mile commuters too. This car, however, is all about the EV range. How many miles can we pull out of the tank and put in the wall? That is what EVs are ALL about.  

    If you study your twitter link you’ll realize there’s 33 miles of AER included in his computations. It appears the numbers are off of the Volt’s display (not checked at the pump). And at least for the first portion of his drive in the video you can see he was doing 65 mph, 60 mph, and even 55 mph on I-5. (222 – 33)/ 5.1 = 37 mpg


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:07 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:10 pm)

    Eclectic Dan: Do you have a stat on the top CD speed of the Volt? I wouldn’t be surprised if we find that the ICE clutches in all over the place. Why wouldn’t it?The Volt Concept was an EREV. The actual Volt is not. The Voltec drivetrain is incapable of maintaining 70mph on generator-electricity alone. You don’t think that’s a big difference? What about this quote from Pam Fletcher:“At speeds above 70 mph, the gas engine contributes its motive force to the wheels, and Volt powertrain engineer Pam Fletcher said it can also play a part at speeds as low as roughly 35 mph.”The Volt is a mechanical hybrid at speeds as low as 35mph. Wow.  (Quote)

    I’m sincerely trying to understand your comment. After reading it, I’m not positive you understand the terminology.

    CD Mode stands for Charge Discharge mode, whereby the only power to the drive shaft is provided by the battery. The ICE does not run and is not clutched to M/G A at any time during CD mode. In CD mode, M/G A (the generator) can be used as a motor to rotate the Planetary Gear Ring Gear, and thereby infinitely vary the gear ratio for the primary drive motor, M/G B (it makes an ECT). CD mode is a full EV mode whereby the Volt’s battery provides about 40 miles of range without the need for the ICE. The Volt’s top speed in CD mode is just over 100 MPH, and this speed does not require the ICE to turn on. The CD mode 0-100 MPH time is 29.8 as tested by Motor Trend.

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

    CS Mode stands for Charge Sustaining mode, and only occurs when the battery State Of Charge (SOC) drops to the min allowable level (approximately 25% SOC). In CS mode, the ICE is on and is clutched to M/G A, which now functions as a generator. Today’s news is the fact that in CD mode, M/G A can also clutch to the planetary ring while being driven by the ICE as a generator. This then allows the ICE, via M/G A, to also spin the ring gear and thereby vary the gearing ratio of M/G B. Thus M/G B does not have a fixed ratio in CS mode when M/G A is clutched to both the ICE and ring gear. The top speed it CS mode is also just over 100 MPH, and the 0-100 MPH time clocked by Motor Trend is 23.0 seconds, 6.8 seconds faster than in CD mode.

    You can still replace the ICE with a fuel cell, and use M/G A and M/G B to create an ECT. The Volt’s performance will be exactly the same as it currently is in CD mode. M/G A will just lose the generator function, as that would be accomplished directly by the fuel cell.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:11 pm)

    carcus3: Because I mysteriously cannot link it, google:Combustion Engine Does Not and Will Not Turn the Volt’s Driveshaft Ever. Got it?And check out the Volt Line Director’s comments:Finally to put this all to rest, I asked Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz if any of this rumor was true, if the ICE ever drives the wheels.“No.” said Posawatz. “I don’t know how those folks got so confused.”Got it?  (Quote)

    I do not know yet why the issues are falling where they are. It is indeed a bit of a PR faux pas.

    However, I will tell you one thing. I used to teach nuclear propulsion theory to HS graduates. To get across BASIC principles, I LIED about certain issues to get my students over the hump at the beginning. You cannot present all the facts simultaneously to people who are completely in the dark. They get confused and frustrated. You reveal pieces of the truth slowly until the entire picture can be understood. Sometimes those pieces conflict (and hence a lie is created).

    Later in the curriculum, I would point out where we had been and where we had traversed. I pointed out the inconsistency (THE LIE) necessary to arrive at the final truth. My students always enjoyed realizing how the truth had to be dodged to get past some of the tricky stuff.

    One case in point> electric current is treated by all rules as if it flowed in a POSITIVE direction. Later, you must point out that it is the ELECTRONS that flow and in reality, everything is the OPPOSITE of how it was originally presented. OH NO. WE’VE BEEN LIED TO. HEAVENS TO BETSY.

    I cannot believe that this whole 70mph linkage is such a big deal. The reaction of many of you is laughable and mystifying.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:26 pm)

    Charlie H: A tax credit is a reduction in your lawful tax, based on your purchase of this gizmo. You want something expensive, yet with no corresponding redeeming social virtue, and I’m helping pay for it. From over here, that bites. From where you are, I guess it’s weasel words and an extra $7500 in your pocket to soothe any residual disturbance to your conscience.  (Quote)

    ‘I AM HELPING TO PAY FOR IT.’ Who is ‘I’. You pay NOTHING for me. I GUARANTEE IT!!!!!!! Now you have shown your complete ignorance.
    - 1% of the people in this country pay 40% of its tax burden
    - expand it to 5% and the number grows to 60% of the revenue.
    - half of the people in this country PAY NO INCOME TAXES AT ALL.

    You are effin clueless on income taxes. Don’t be so presumptuous as to assume you pay ANYTHING in MY direction. However, it is quite likely that I am picking up some of YOUR burden!!!! I get no more use out of the roads than you do. I get no more benefit from the military. And I help people in disaster areas a whole lot more than you do (assuming you are not in the top 1% of income earners; correct me if I am wrong)

    Only a FLAT TAX is fair to everyone. If we had a flat tax, you could then say that some folks were picking up the burden of others. Until then, shut up and go hug your Prius. (and yes, I have a Prius too- I always point that out- but I don’t love mine to death as so many writers here today are doing).


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:28 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:33 pm)

    My feelings on this are divided. On the one hand, I agree that the Volt as we now understand it is only marginally like the Prius, a desirable product, and a worthy project; and I still want one someday. What has the Volt become? I really like this comment:

    Bob Ciappa: The Volt seems to be neither a pure electric car, series hybrid, nor parallel hybrid.
    It is a “mode agile” vehicle (yes, I just made that up).
    Mode 1: Pure electric (CD)
    Mode 2: Series Hybrid (CS)
    Mode 3: Parallel Hybrid

    On the other hand, my interest in Volt was piqued originally by the purer EREV idea: because it resembled one I had a long time ago: Separate the job of creating the energy from the job of moving the car; use electric storage to buffer the difference between the energy source’s most efficient output level, and the variable driving-demand load. I was looking forward to seeing how the first attempt at this would turn out.

    It now appears that the problem with my idea has not changed in 20 years: there is still no electricity storage method capable of buffering in this fashion (except perhaps for an unlikely quantity of expensive and bulky ultra-capacitors). The frequent, deep cycles this buffering requires would wear out any known battery in fairly short order.

    I am still left to wonder if my single-power, efficient energy source will ever be buffered out to the range of conditions a driver needs; or if this is just one of those ideas which sounds good, but isn’t inherently practical.

    BTW, I haven’t given up hope. There are still unknown batteries to consider (and we have heard tantalizing things about the Gen III Volt battery). My idea has returned to the status of “maybe someday …”


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:36 pm)

    flmark:
    ‘I AM HELPING TO PAY FOR IT.’ Who is ‘I’.You pay NOTHING for me. I GUARANTEE IT!!!!!!!Now you have shown your complete ignorance.
    - 1% of the people in this country pay 40% of its tax burden
    - expand it to 5% and the number grows to 60% of the revenue.
    - half of the people in this country PAY NO INCOME TAXES AT ALL.You are effin clueless on income taxes.Don’t be so presumptuous as to assume you pay ANYTHING in MY direction.However, it is quite likely that I am picking up some of YOUR burden!!!!I get no more use out of the roads than you do.I get no more benefit from the military.And I help people in disaster areas a whole lot more than you do (assuming you are not in the top 1% of income earners; correct me if I am wrong)Only a FLAT TAX is fair to everyone.If we had a flat tax, you could then say that some folks were picking up the burden of others.Until then, shut up and go hug your Prius. (and yes, I have a Prius too- I always point that out- but I don’t love mine to death as so many writers here today are doing).  

    If you want to help me pay for my Volt I won’t complain at all.

    I know that these programs help to steer people and I don’t mind if it is going towards moving people to technologies like the Volt. The Volt a big step in the right direction. I’m glad I will be able to take advantage of a program like this.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:39 pm)

    flmark: Just because they are in the ‘real world’, doesn’t mean they aren’t idiots.Unfortunately, my father in law (now deceased) was a prime example. He was ignorant and had low tolerance to go along with it. He got angry when I told him once that he didn’t have stereo sound for his TV. He said, “I have two ears and I have two speakers. I have stereo.” I then went on to TRY to patiently explain that stereo involved two DIFFERENT signals going to the speakers.THAAT is the real world….inhabited by _____ (you fill in the blank).  (Quote)

    It’s $41K. For $41K in a compact car, people are going to expect a lot. GM isn’t offering enough. It’s simple. This isn’t a matter of education, it’s a matter of a company that does a crappy job of marketing building yet another car that people probably won’t want.

    This is how companies go bankrupt. This is why GM went bankrupt. This is evidence that they haven’t figured out how to fix their real problems.

    The ongoing brouhaha over whether or not GM lied almost certainly points up another aspect of GM’s problems… they engineered this from the top down. There were certainly voices from below that said – or ached to say – “but a serial hybrid is going to have some serious problems” but The Paper Napkin From The Top decreed: “We Are Leapfrogging Toyota and We Will Build a Serial Hybrid to Do It.” Eventually, The Awful Truth was inescapably obvious and the necessary decision was made. But by that time enough p3n!s was hanging out in the Executive Suites that The Fiction Had to Be Maintained At All Costs.

    Unpleasant input from both Marketing and Engineering can’t derail bad decisions at GM. Look at their recent history:

    BAS Hybrids – considerably more expensive than a Prius, yet nowhere near the fuel economy. This thing was dead from the get-go but GM insisted on developing two badge-engineered versions. Then they crippled it by putting the new 6-speed auto into the LTZ but not into the hybrid (in spite of its high cost), so the hybrids fuel economy looked even less appealing at the price.

    GMT900 Hybrids – There was some sense to this but it was clear from the outset that the vehicle would be extremely expensive (the two-mode transmission is a very expensive part and then there’s the battery). People in Marketing had to know that a $13K option to save gas on a vehicle bought by people who didn’t give a fig about saving gas would not sell. GM built it, anyway. It did not sell. Ironically, the VCM engine and the aerodynamic improvements, which were reserved to the Hybrid model, could have given the whole product line a boost by offering class-leading fuel economy at far less cost. It’s really a pity GM hasn’t leveraged their VCM technology, which is something Toyota doesn’t have (or doesn’t sell, anyway).

    The Sky/Solstice – Two-seaters don’t sell in any volume. Building a two-seater with high fixed costs, so that massive volume is needed to make the project profitable, is a bad idea. Nobody knew this? The Ford EXP, the Pontiac Fiero and the Honda Insight I weren’t enough proof for GM that they had to test the non-existent market again? The fussy top and claustrophobic sightlines weren’t much help and the first version needed more power on account of it’s class-leading weight. It’s a real mark of genius on GM’s part that they also spent the money to engineer and introduce a coupe just as they were killing Pontiac.

    The SSR – Too heavy for the strip and the twisties, insufficient cargo room to be considered a real pickup and outstandingly expensive for a toy car. But, hey! It’s a convertible! Just what was it that led GM to think this was a good idea?

    It’s the top-down culture and bad decisions get made hastily and can’t be undone. That’s a prescription for disaster. Has the culture changed? Well, maintaining the lie for as long as they did… that’s not a good sign.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:42 pm)

    montgoss:
    Now that’s brilliant!There’s one hill near my house with a stop light right at the top.I always roll back a foot or more in the split second it takes to move my foot from the brake to the accelerator.It would be so much safer and convenient if the car was smart enough to realize that I was on a hill!  

    I learned how to operate a stick shift on a Montreal hill with a stop sign at the top and it took some time for me to learn how to move my foot fast enough to get going up the hill. Making the shift on flat ground is easy; didn’t know I had a problem until I went up that hill and discovered the stop sign at the top. :)

    It was funny because every time I took my foot off the brake and rolled back every Frenchman behind me let their cars roll back. LOL There were quite a few behind me. :)

    Thanks for sharing your story. It brought back a memory of some of the great times I had when young.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (4:54 pm)

    Hi #156 NASAMAN: Sure did mean #124.

    Really a well executed exploded view rendering of the tranny. Outstanding detail. You can easily ID the ring-gear assembly from the tutorial graphic. And just look at that 16 (est.) bolts drive gear (me thinks). The entire tranny including the actual ring-gear assembly being all hypoid (or a type of spiral bevel) gearing. Which of course is how your rotating airfoil must have been driven.

    Let’s call today’s banter’s more about unbridled excitement.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:09 pm)

    Hodginator: If you want to help me pay for my Volt I won’t complain at all. I know that these programs help to steer people and I don’t mind if it is going towards moving people to technologies like the Volt. The Volt a big step in the right direction. I’m glad I will be able to take advantage of a program like this.  (Quote)

    I learned long ago that a) life ain’t fair and b) refer back to a).

    And the most unfair thing of all is that liberals get to paint a picture of the ‘rich’ as cash cows who shouldn’t whine if their tax picture is singled out.

    I pointed out three tax statistics. The last one is the most dangerous. Half of the people in this country take no burden in this country’s debts. Yet, they still get the same right to vote. If one half of this country gets the privileges to vote the other half of the country into picking up its bills, you have violated a principle of the founding fathers. The minority should never have its rights violated by the majority (race, religion, etc). There is a reason we have ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and all the basics. With 95% of this country’s residents picking up just 1/3 of its tax burden, it really is a recipe for anarchy.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:19 pm)

    flmark: ‘I AM HELPING TO PAY FOR IT.’ Who is ‘I’. You pay NOTHING for me. I GUARANTEE IT!!!!!!! Now you have shown your complete ignorance.- 1% of the people in this country pay 40% of its tax burden- expand it to 5% and the number grows to 60% of the revenue.- half of the people in this country PAY NO INCOME TAXES AT ALL.You are effin clueless on income taxes. Don’t be so presumptuous as to assume you pay ANYTHING in MY direction. However, it is quite likely that I am picking up some of YOUR burden!!!! I get no more use out of the roads than you do. I get no more benefit from the military. And I help people in disaster areas a whole lot more than you do (assuming you are not in the top 1% of income earners; correct me if I am wrong)Only a FLAT TAX is fair to everyone. If we had a flat tax, you could then say that some folks were picking up the burden of others. Until then, shut up and go hug your Prius. (and yes, I have a Prius too- I always point that out- but I don’t love mine to death as so many writers here today are doing).  (Quote)

    Semantics… Your tax credit becomes a deficit increase and/or a tax burden elsewhere, take your pick. If you don’t pay it, I – and people like me – do. You’re getting $41K of something that achieves nothing useful and you’re getting (up to) a $7500 rebate for it on your taxes. The only way you don’t get that is if you don’t pay income tax.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:21 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Obviously the Voltec design is superior and that is why Toyota is modifying their aging Prius and calling it a “Plug-In”. Sadly, their attempt already gets bad reviews, so why bother.  

    Because more plugins is better than fewer plugins.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:26 pm)

    Rooster:
    I’m sincerely trying to understand your comment.After reading it, I’m not positive you understand the terminology.CD Mode stands for Charge Discharge mode, whereby the only power to the drive shaftis provided by the battery.

    Back in the day we were talking about how great it would be if GM created a viable electric car platform… one they could learn from and grow as battery and electric drive tech matured. The ICE-generator combo was a great way to offset the high cost of having a ton of batteries on board… literally.

    I understand the vocabulary. But I’d say with this revelation, all bets are off as to what GM has actually built. Wired is reporting that the engine kicks on in CD mode:

    “Actually, it’s not quite all-electric. The gasoline engine assists the electric motor once the car reaches about 70 mph, regardless of whether the car is running in battery mode or charge-sustaining mode (when the engine generator is providing the juice).”

    So there we are.

    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/10/the-chevrolet-volt-isnt-a-true-ev/


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:26 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:29 pm)

    Jackson: It now appears that the problem with my idea has not changed in 20 years: there is still no electricity storage method capable of buffering in this fashion (except perhaps for an unlikely quantity of expensive and bulky ultra-capacitors). The frequent, deep cycles this buffering requires would wear out any known battery in fairly short order.

    Odd… I seem to recall “the trolls” saying the batteries weren’t ready. Could it be “the trolls” were right?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:36 pm)

    Eclectic Dan: I understand the vocabulary. But I’d say with this revelation, all bets are off as to what GM has actually built. Wired is reporting that the engine kicks on in CD mode:

    Oh boy.

    I’ve had enough.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:39 pm)

    Back to the mechanics of the drive system. The Low Propulsion Power limit to 40 MPH is to:

    1. Move the main motor back to a better torque position? (More efficient?)
    2. Increase the gear ratio of the planetary gears by inlocking the ring gear and running the generator as a mechically coupled motor with help from the ICE?
    3. Cut rate of climb to reduce power requirements?
    4. Cut wind resistance?
    5. Remind you that you should have topped of the charge before you left home?
    6. Remind you to look straight ahead so you don’t meet the eyes of people passing you?


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    Frank B

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:39 pm)

    Today’s article about the ICE Really can drive the wheels coupled with yesterday’s article revealing that in CS mode the Volt only gets 32 MPG hasn’t proved to be such a good week for GM or Volt fans! So the question becomes, Would the Volt have had all these fans if we knew that the ICE could indeed power the wheels directly and that the 50+ MPG in CS mode is only 32? I think not. The Volt was touted as a great leap forward while in reality it’s barely a small hop.

    So how many of you are seriously rethinking your plans on owning a Volt? This would be a good poll for Lyle to put up on the site.

    Thoughts?


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    Dave K.

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:44 pm)

    volt_interior_jet_black_seats_dark_accents-resized.jpg

    The comments of today are as bi-polar as we’ve seen here at gm volt dot com. Either you love the Volt for the initial 40 miles range on pure battery power. Or you hack and chop at the media review stating 37mpg highway in extended range mode.

    I bought a 2011 Volt and will receive delivery about Christmas. You may ask, “Why did Dave spend $39k out-the-door on a Volt. Why doesn’t he buy a used BMW, or a hemi car, or a SUV like everyone else does?”. The main reason is being able to refill the gas tank each two or three months rather than twice per week. Another is the 0-60 time of just 8.8 seconds in smooth quiet comfort. Some dislike the idea of having 4 leather bucket seats in their car. I think this is the coolest cabin mod I’ve seen in years. And friends agree with this. The usual response is, “That’s cool!”.

    GM has done a very good job with GEN 1 Volt design. There is a good chance we’ll see other Voltec models built on the original Volt. Offering more range and even more consumer connectivity.

    There is a Volt demo day in Hollywood this weekend. I did not receive confirmation of application acceptance. But, my son and I will attend anyway. He is thrilled we’re getting a red Volt at Christmas. And is a strong supporter of battery power over the traditional spark to gasoline power. Will post feedback of our day in Hollywood.

    =D-Volt


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    Norm Barker

     

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:52 pm)

    In charge sustaining mode at speeds above 70MPH, I wonder if the ICE generator runs as a: 1)motor, 2)as a generator with mechnical feed through to the ring gear also, 3)only as a mechanical feed through. As most of the motive power would be coming from the main motor I would think the generator would still be having to feed current to that motor.

    Your thoughts?


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    Fluke

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:53 pm)

    usbseawolf2000:
    “PHV Prius starts in EV mode and it won’t turn on gas engine unless you floor it or the EV range drops down to 1.5 miles. If you go above 62 mph, both the gas engine and battery is used to boost MPG. It is only natural for hybrid to blend power sources, depending on when it is best to use. A plugin hybrid use the battery energy as much as possible first. Then it goes into transition mode and the gas engine is prepped for HV mode.  ”

    From the video done by a PriusChat member of a Prius PHV trying to do a 0-60 run, your definition of “flooring it” and mine are vastly different.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wrb2cU3esz0


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    doggydogworld

     

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (5:56 pm)

    Frank B: Would the Volt have had all these fans if we knew that the ICE could indeed power the wheels directly ………

    I can’t buy a Volt because it only has 4 seats, but I would personally be more likely to buy it knowing the engineers chose a more efficient mechanical connection for high-speed CS mode driving. It’s an obvious decision which I’ve advocated for some time.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:02 pm)

    Charlie H: The Voltec powertrain is predicated on the availability of mechanical power. A non-ICE Volt wouldn’t be a Volt at all.

    In my humble opinion, an electric motor (two of them in this case) *IS* mechanical power.


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    George Parrott

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:04 pm)

    I am not sure that GM did at least “not tell us the full story” on the Volt drivetrain, BUT that really does not matter to me. I have not owned a GM car since 1969, and have owned many Japanese models, and even an Audi and a BMW. Currently we drive both the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Prius.

    However by December 31, we will have both the Leaf AND the Volt in our home garage. The Leaf appears to be a wonderful commuter car, BUT that restricted range means that it would not be a smooth ride even to the Bay area from Sacramento or surely not up to Lake Tahoe. The Volt will be able to take on those kind of transits with no delay or hiccup, so it makes sense as Chevy has presented that “the Volt could by your only car.” The Leaf really cannot be, for most of us, our only vehicle. Most of us, particularly out West with longer trips more frequently, need at least an extended range “hybrid.” Sure the super battery pack Tesla S could be OK with its projected 300 mile range, however I have yet to see what that option package will cost above the base $57,500 territory. The Fisker Karma has not even been driven by anybody in the press much less by real potential buyers, and it is projected to cost around $88,000.

    So where is the “competition” for the extended range of the Volt? Next year sometime there will be the plug-in Prius, and if it was here in the next couple of months, we would probably opt for it OVER the Volt (based on our comparative experience with Toyota products vs my total disgust with my 1969 Olds 442). The Prius is about a year away, so the Volt gets my $$$ as a creative and promising option. We are buying the Leaf, but leasing the Volt, as by 3 years MUCH better alternative will be on the market it seems.

    So for THIS YEAR, the VOLT has the market for being cleaner and more sophisticated technology for getting from A to a nearby B AND then being able to also go smoothly to much more distant B locations as well. Based on our overall driving patterns, we will go from about $1900/year in fuel costs to around $300/year for our two cars as we move from our two Toyota hybrids to our Leaf and Volt.

    What’s not to like about that?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:11 pm)

    Fluke: usbseawolf2000:
    “PHV Prius starts in EV mode and it won’t turn on gas engine unless you floor it or the EV range drops down to 1.5 miles. If you go above 62 mph, both the gas engine and battery is used to boost MPG. It is only natural for hybrid to blend power sources, depending on when it is best to use. A plugin hybrid use the battery energy as much as possible first. Then it goes into transition mode and the gas engine is prepped for HV mode.  ”

    From the video done by a PriusChat member of a Prius PHV trying to do a 0-60 run, your definition of “flooring it” and mine are vastly different.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wrb2cU3esz0  

    Apparently AOL Translogic (Episode 7.2) found the same thing out in their test of the PHV Prius EV acceleration. “…a turtle just passed me, a baby doing the crab walk just passed me…” Ouch.

    Not quite the same as some of the glowing reviews I have seen on the Volt.

    http://translogic.aolautos.com/


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    Lawrence

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:23 pm)

    A bit off-topic, I really think the forum mechanic should avoid muting (hiding) posts which have been downvoted below 10. I still believe this place is to debate about an interesting subject, and pros and cons all have equal space to share their opinions in a respectfull manner. I notice so many downvoted post which are all but “trolls”-like. Arguments are valid and debattable. This place is a good source of inspiration for GM to collect information and a good sample of how public opinion can potentially tend to.

    I give big benefit to GM for bringing a totally new designed car as the Volt. I bet no other company would have done it taking into account the risk it is bundled. The car now shows it’s not so good as we initially expected, and yes, a lot of mistakes have been done. But at least the Volt Gen1 is here and I truly hope, with the precious help of Lyle who has enabled to bring together a very heterogenous source of point of views, we have all we need in the hands to support GM in it’s process of refinigning future gen 2 and 3 of Volts by continuing sharing our thaughts, again, in a respectful manner.

    And last but not least, sorry for my bad english. You surely noticed I’m not US citizen ;-)


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:26 pm)

    Hey Lyle,

    This has been one of the most controversial topics in the GM-Volt forum. It started with praises and questions about the powertrain and the EVT, but then began to fill up with critics (who haven’t really even taken a drive in a Volt) and naysayers that are not doing any favors here. Lastly, there are those who write just to defend the Volt and get slammed down and insulted, and more insults are thrown back. I am a GM defender and I know that no auto in the world is perfect, let alone GM models, which I have owned and driven for 42 years. But there has been too much slamming here, and I ask that you post some message to calm down and ease off all the bad feeling being express. We have the luxury of free speech, but some overstep that freedom and go overboard. Now it is a mess, and makes me feel terrible reading the last 100+ comments.

    Please, everyone, let it be and don’t slam anyone else!

    Raymond


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    Dave K.

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:35 pm)

    Fluke: http://translogic.aolautos.com/

    Thanks for the real world video. As the driver states, the good news is that more battery assist vehicles are becoming available. Offering several choices of technology and trim level. Great to see the move away from the 23 mpg norm.

    Prius%20plug-in_display_2012.jpg

    Go Prius!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:37 pm)

    Jackson: Separate the job of creating the energy from the job of moving the car; use electric storage to buffer the difference between the energy source’s most efficient output level, and the variable driving-demand load. I was looking forward to seeing how the first attempt at this would turn out.
    My idea has returned to the status of “maybe someday …”

    Jackson,

    IMHO, the Volt comes very close to your idea. The addition of the EVT addition was made because of excessive heating of the AC motor at high rpm. Using electromotive forces to drive the wheels is the best choice; electric motors are among the most efficient and turns the force into rotary motion to put the wheels to the road. It is likely the technological advances will be made in the near future that will provide small but significant advances in those motors to eliminate some of the losses due to heat. Likewise in batteries where the real gains in achieving your idea of separation of the power source from the drive machine. The idea transportation machine would be a gravity device but we won’t see anything like it until scientists solve the problem of unified universal forces in physics. For now, smaller/lighter is the way to move into the future.

    Advances in electric motors, batteries, and light weight materials together with building out charging infrastructure will enable the EV to provide transportation anywhere and at any time in the near future. It will be exciting to see what changes between GEN 1, 2, and 3 Volt’s as well as what other OEM,s put on the market in the next few years.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    john1701a

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:39 pm)

    Dave K.: GM has done a very good job with GEN 1 Volt design. There is a good chance we’ll see other Voltec models built on the original Volt. Offering more range and even more consumer connectivity.

    The concern has been for the mainstream… having something very good, available at affordable prices, in high volume, returning a modest profit.

    Remember the “too little, too slowly” statement from the auto task-force about bankruptcy recovery?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (6:50 pm)

    Charlie H:
    Some months ago, my wife asked, “When do you think we’ll be getting an electric car?”I mentioned the Chevy Volt, due out at the end of the year.“How much will it cost?” she asked.“About $40K,” I replied.“You’re kidding!”“Well, there’s a $7.5K rebate.”“So, still over $30K?”“Yep.”“Well, our next car won’t be electric.”Of course, at the time, I didn’t know the Leaf would net out at less than $30K.In any event, she loves our Toyotas, so she’ll probably be willing to look at a Prius PHV when the time comes.  

    Yup, I have the same problem. I think if I could somehow get her into a Volt, she may soften a bit. Really I have to stop reading these reviews, I am drooling all over my keyboard.


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    Rooster

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:01 pm)

    Eclectic Dan: Back in the day we were talking about how great it would be if GM created a viable electric car platform… one they could learn from and grow as battery and electric drive tech matured. The ICE-generator combo was a great way to offset the high cost of having a ton of batteries on board… literally. I understand the vocabulary. But I’d say with this revelation, all bets are off as to what GM has actually built. Wired is reporting that the engine kicks on in CD mode:“Actually, it’s not quite all-electric. The gasoline engine assists the electric motor once the car reaches about 70 mph, regardless of whether the car is running in battery mode or charge-sustaining mode (when the engine generator is providing the juice).”So there we are.http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/10/the-chevrolet-volt-isnt-a-true-ev/  (Quote)

    Ah, I see why you are confused. Bottomline, the Wired reporter is flat out wrong. He didn’t understand what he was being told.

    Car and Driver did a good job of explaining the Volt’s powertrain in laymans terms in the link below. In the C&D article, range extended mode = CS mode. Keep in mind the generator (M/G A) is also a 74 HP electric motor in CD mode. The ICE has 84 HP, and the M/G B (the electric drive motor) has 149 HP.

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


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:03 pm)

    Dave K.: There is a Volt demo day in Hollywood this weekend. I did not receive confirmation of application acceptance. But, my son and I will attend anyway. He is thrilled we’re getting a red Volt at Christmas. And is a strong supporter of battery power over the traditional spark to gasoline power. Will post feedback of our day in Hollywood.

    =D-Volt

    I enjoy reading your posts Dave. Looking forward to more.
    You will be having a Very Merry Christmas!
    I really like the pictures of Red Volts too.


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    MikeD.

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:14 pm)

    I think we should all remember that this piece of information does not change any of the glowing reviews that have been released the past few days. Just because the ICE assists in powering the wheels in CS mode above 70mph does not change the fact that the drive is smooth, quiet, and stable. Not to mention the fact that this doesn’t change the fact that the car still has 25-50 mile range in CD mode. I think we all have a different perspective on this being in the know about this stuff. To anyone off the street who thinks the Volt is cool, none of this matters.


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:17 pm)

    Lawrence: The car now shows it’s not so good as we initially expected,

    I’d like you to be a light more specific on your statement. If you are basing it on this article and the fact that there is mechanical connection of the ICE to the wheels, you need to re-examine what the EVT does for the Volt. Let me summarize:

    1) It solves the problem of heat loss at very high speeds by blending the power from the Volt’s two motors, so that the Volt can reach 100 mph in AER mode. There may be a sacrifice in mpg in CS mode because of the added weight of the EVT but it improves performance 5 – 10 %. In many metropolitan areas, drivers go over 70 mph on the turnpike. By utilizing the EVT, GM improves the range of the Volt while in all electric mode.

    2) The life of the primary motor will be prolonged since blending of the two motors power lowers the operating temperature of the primary motor.

    So even though I did not believe about the EVT in the beginning and felt that having mechanical linkage to the wheels would lower mpg, I now understand why GM has incorporated it into the Volt drivetrain. It makes the Volt a better vehicle!

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:18 pm)

    A little bit of a better explanation as to what exactly is happening here from CNET’s blog, with a direct quote from GM on the topic:

    “Update: We received a call back from GM to one of our inquiries about the Chevy Volt powertrain. Chevy Volt Vehicle Line Director Tony Posawatz explains that the Volt’s 111 kilowatt electric traction motor is always driving the wheels of the car when it is in motion. Through testing, GM found that this motor became inefficient when spinning at high rpms, with the car running at 70 mph and above. To reduce wasted energy, GM relied on two strategies.
    When the battery has a usable charge, a second electric motor in the system delivers a boost to the planetary gearset, letting the traction motor, which still has the only mechanical connection to the wheels, reduce its speed by half.
    Similarly, when the batteries are depleted, the gas engine can take the role of that second electric motor when the car is being driven at speeds of 70 mph. Although mostly working as an electricity generator, it can add its own boost to the planetary gearset under these conditions to let the main traction motor spin at reduced speed.
    GM adapted the planetary gearset used in its two-mode hybrid vehicles to realize the goal of the Volt, which Posawatz describes as making “the Volt feel like an electric car all the time.”


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    Tagamet

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:23 pm)

    Raymondjram: Please, everyone, let it be and don’t slam anyone else!

    Raymond

    Sage advice, Raymond. Don’t sweat the petty stuff. For some sad, sad people, that’s their whole life. The shiny side is that everyone here seems comfortable enough to express their opinion! Most of the regulars have a strong emotional attachment invested in the Volt (for years now). Given that, it’s tough to keep taking some of the banter here with the proverbial pound of salt.
    As a last resort, a hiatus of a few days often finds the regular cheery group here upon return (and yes, the trolls will be here too)(g).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:24 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: The Volt can be towed behind a motorhome with the ‘front wheels up’, not all four on the ground. There has been so much info coming out in the last 5 days, it is hard to keep up, but I finally have all of my marketing materials and website updated and ready to go. The first Customer Volt should arrive in mid-December, and I get to deliver it to one very happy customer!I have also updated the table that all of you helped me develop:  (Quote)

    Just want to point out this is why the Volt is so groundbreaking amidst all the noise. The end result is.

    76% of all drivers it will be all electric.
    91% of all drivers will get 107 mpg or better.
    98% of all drivers will get 59.88 mpg or better.

    This is what makes the Volt ground breaking. Does it really matter how they accomplish this?
    Name one other car that can accomplish this that’s not a golf cart.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:31 pm)

    Red HHR:
    Yup, I have the same problem. I think if I could somehow get her into a Volt, she may soften a bit. Really I have to stop reading these reviews, I am drooling all over my keyboard.  

    If you can get your wife in the Volt for a drive (with her driving), you’re home free. She won’t soften, she’ll melt.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:35 pm)

    Red HHR: Yup, I have the same problem. I think if I could somehow get her into a Volt, she may soften a bit. Really I have to stop reading these reviews, I am drooling all over my keyboard.  (Quote)

    Red HHR and others questioning the economics of the VOLT. Do yourself a favor, get out to one of the upcoming test drive events and bring your spouse. EVERY review of the VOLT by anyone who has acutally driven it remains very positive. After you drive it, go home and do some math – really figure out how many days a year you could use ZERO gas. The true genius of the VOLT lies in the fact that 75%+ of most driver’s days will be gas free. This simple fact represents a HUGE savings – no matter what mpg your current car gets. Do the math – for most the VOLT will prove to be a SMART purchase – and a GREAT VEHICLE!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:37 pm)

    Rooster: The gasoline engine assists the electric motor once the car reaches about 70 mph, regardless of whether the car is running in battery mode or charge-sustaining mode (when the engine generator is providing the juice).”So there we are.http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/10/the-chevrolet-volt-isnt-a-true-ev/ (Quote)

    Car and Driver did a good job of explaining the Volt’s powertrain in laymans terms in the link below. In the C&D article, range extended mode = CS mode. Keep in mind the generator (M/G A) is also a 74 HP electric motor in CD mode. The ICE has 84 HP, and the M/G B (the electric drive motor) has 149 HP.

    Let me add that there is a difference between CD mode and CS mode at 70mph and over; in CD mode the ICE engine doesn’t drive the generator ; rather the generator operates as a motor getting power from the battery; this allows the two motors to operate closer to their optimal efficiency. Where in CS mode, the ICE is coupled through the EVT to the wheels.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Red HHR

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:39 pm)

    nasaman: The Volt employs what we’ve long known is a planetary EVT (electronically variable transmission) very much like one of the planetary gearsets used in a conventional automatic transmission. Although it of course incorporates several unique features, we’ve just learned that it, like most conventional automatic transmissions, also includes a lockup feature which in effect bypasses its small motor-generator when the Volt is 1) in CS mode AND 2) is running at highway speeds to lock the ICE output shaft directly to the EVT’s ring gear, thereby eliminating small losses at high-
    way speeds —exactly what most standard automatics now do!

    What’s so hard (or so controversial) about that??? Can we all agree it makes sense? ;) ;)

    Thanks nasaman, for the simple explanation.
    I have been calling this the SS mode…
    I have quietly advocated a direct linkup for some time. This way for a limited period of time all three power supply can be linked for additional HP! See this graph from Motor Trend.
    HP.jpg
    Now for a simple way to engage this mode during CD. It would make for an interesting Easter Egg to be discovered and posted down the road…
    Then an aftermarket bypass of the governor(s), with a hot cam etc.
    Hearsay, or the best of both worlds???
    An electric car and a Hot Rod all in one car.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:48 pm)

    Very curious as to the final look of the final version of the 2011 production Volt. Have we seen the actual showroom model?

    volt%20white%20meeting.jpg

    =D-Volt


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:52 pm)

    LeoK:
    Red HHR and others questioning the economics of the VOLT.Do yourself a favor, get out to one of the upcoming test drive events and bring your spouse.EVERY review of the VOLT by anyone who has acutally driven it remains very positive.After you drive it, go home and do some math – really figure out how many days a year you could use ZERO gas.The true genius of the VOLT lies in the fact that 75%+ of most driver’s days will be gas free.This simple fact represents a HUGE savings – no matter what mpg your current car gets.Do the math – for most the VOLT will prove to be a SMART purchase – and a GREAT VEHICLE!  

    Thanks Leo, Yes I understand that. However I am in New Hampshire. I would buy a Volt sight unseen, however my wife would then beat me like a Newfoundland fisherman would beat a baby seal. (No offense to Newfoundland fishermen, I actually like and respect them) I the uncreative wordsmith did enter New York test drive contest, and failed. Oh well, I shall wait till some Red Volt shows up around here. Yes it will be red. My wife likes red as much as I.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:55 pm)

    Dave K.: Very curious as to the final look of the final version of the 2011 production Volt. Have we seen the actual showroom model?=D-Volt  

    Until a few days ago I would have answered “OF COURSE!” (lol)….
    Seriously, they polished the exterior *SO* meticulously to gather the best Cd they could get, that I doubt that the exterior will change even a little bit. Having said that, they’ll probably announce that they have “rethought things” and have gone back to the original Concept shape.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (7:59 pm)

    Red HHR:
    Thanks Leo, Yes I understand that. However I am in New Hampshire. I would buy a Volt sight unseen, however my wife would then beat me like a Newfoundland fisherman would beat a baby seal. (No offense to Newfoundland fishermen, I actually like and respect them) I the uncreative wordsmith did enter New York test drive contest, and failed. Oh well, I shall wait till some Red Volt shows up around here. Yes it will be red. My wife likes red as much as I.  

    LOL, I didn’t know that the people in New England had such great taste! Not to rub salt in the wounds, but the test drive in NYC was an experience I’ll smile about to the grave (and beyond).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:01 pm)

    Tagamet:
    If you can get your wife in the Volt for a drive (with her driving), you’re home free. She won’t soften, she’ll melt.Be well,
    Tagamet  

    I did get her into a Red Malibu, she really liked it. Even talked of trading the Prius. Although she did not open her purse, she did peek in it. I can not push her to much though. We just built a huge screened in porch and a aircraft hanger on the property.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:03 pm)

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:03 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: It makes the Volt a better vehicle!

    And that is the point….

    well said.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:06 pm)

    Jackson: It now appears that the problem with my idea has not changed in 20 years: there is still no electricity storage method capable of buffering in this fashion (except perhaps for an unlikely quantity of expensive and bulky ultra-capacitors). The frequent, deep cycles this buffering requires would wear out any known battery in fairly short order.

    Charlie H: Odd… I seem to recall the trolls saying the batteries weren’t ready. Could it be the trolls were right?

    No.

    Try reading the whole comment, you unspeakably asinine troll. I wasn’t talking about the Volt at all, but about the idea I had for a car 20 years ago: (my idea has not changed in 20 years” in the very paragraph you chose to quote.)

    You are not a realist, you and several others we all know made your minds up before ever coming here; and none of you are actually much interested in any thread beyond picking at individual posters, and riling the regulars. Get a clue, and a new hobby, @$$h0|e.

    Feel free to take the quotes from around “the trolls” in your comment. I have.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:09 pm)

    Tagamet: …they’ll probably announce that they have “rethought things” and have gone back to the original Concept shape.

    If I had been drinking coffee. It would have come out of my nose on that comment. We have seen 3 different rear quarter panel looks. One is a plain sharp edge. One is a sharp edge set forward about 1″ (what is often seen now). The other (probably the 2012 look) is a 3″ forward offset with added contouring. The 3″ offset looks terrific. The other obvious design element involves the side view mirrors. We know the production mirrors incorporate turn signal lights. But which will GM use? The type we have seen over the last three months. Or the initial design (aero nuetral) as described by Bob Lutz over a year ago.
    BTW: The image of the Volt with the 3″ offset rear quarter appears to feature aero mirrors as well.

    =D-Volt


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    Red HHR

     

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:11 pm)

    Tagamet:
    LOL, I didn’t know that the people in New England had such great taste! Not to rub salt in the wounds, but the test drive in NYC was an experience I’ll smile about to the grave (and beyond).Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Someday I will also drive, and own,(or at least lease) a Voltec vehicle. Then too, I will smile! Heck I am smiling now for you guys. Cheers!


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    EVNow

     

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:11 pm)

    Dave K.: Very curious as to the final look of the final version of the 2011 production Volt. Have we seen the actual showroom model?

    The production model will look exactly like the Volt we have been seeing – and the Volt we test drove over the weekend here.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:20 pm)

    EVNow: The production model will look exactly like the Volt we have been seeing…

    Thank you for the quick response.

    troll1.jpg

    =D-Volt


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    Loboc

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:21 pm)

    Red HHR: I have been calling this the SS mode…

    Exactly. And exactly why a HEMI driver is hanging out in this forum.

    Volt has the potential to use all three motive sources at the same time in “SS mode”. Can you say 0-60 in 5 seconds? 4 seconds? (The Hemi is 6.1 seconds). Talk about needing ‘launch assist’ ala Corvette.

    I’ve worked with electric motors. I’ve worked with gas engines. I understand the energy potential and the torque curve differences vs ICE. The combination of the two (three) will be wicked awesome!

    Volt is a tuner’s wet dream! It might be sacrilegious for the green crowd, but, fun!


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    Jackson

     

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:23 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: IMHO, the Volt comes very close to your idea. The addition of the EVT addition was made because of excessive heating of the AC motor at high rpm. Using electromotive forces to drive the wheels is the best choice; electric motors are among the most efficient and turns the force into rotary motion to put the wheels to the road. It is likely the technological advances will be made in the near future that will provide small but significant advances in those motors to eliminate some of the losses due to heat.

    Accepting that this is your opinion, and mindful that you are taking up my cause; I must still disagree. There should be little reason to throttle the generator over even a modest range to match load, in the car I envisioned. My concept would be so capable of buffering up power that the generator could be optimized for it’s most efficient speed; and could cycle on and off as necessary (rather like an air conditioning compressor). I began to realize that the Volt would only be minimally capable of this once the variable-speed generator was adopted, though I still hoped that there would be enough resilience in the batteries to make for a full EREV concept. This brings me to your next sentence:

    LRGVProVolt: Likewise in batteries where the real gains in achieving your idea of separation of the power source from the drive machine.

    Battery technology is the key to my idea, and I agree with you completely.

    The other improvements you cite, such as lower weight and better motors, will benefit all electric vehicles more or less evenly.

    LRGVProVolt: The idea transportation machine would be a gravity device but we won’t see anything like it until scientists solve the problem of unified universal forces in physics.

    Hey, what about large-scale quantum teleportation? ;-)

    Again, let me be clear: The Volt is a fine and worthy vehicle on it’s own merits; my desire to see something I thought of become real is strictly a personal one.


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    Red HHR

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:27 pm)

    The Beauty of a Volt…
    atU.jpg
    Time for a picture of a Red Volt


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:32 pm)

    A good quote from an engineer on the Motor Trend forums –

    “You were expecting a pure EV and instead got a hybrid which turns out to be just as economical but even more versatile. I neglect to see the problem. I guess since it’s no longer vaporware, detractors are needing to find new and more technical ways to eroneously criticize the car.”


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    Charlie H

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:32 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Tagamet

     

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:32 pm)

    Red HHR:
    I did get her into a Red Malibu, she really liked it. Even talked of trading the Prius. Although she did not open her purse, she did peek in it. I can not push her to much though. We just built a huge screened in porch and a aircraft hanger on the property.  

    If she smiled about a red Malibu, she’d grin after driving a red Volt!
    We have a screened in porch that my Dear One loves in the summer. If I could park a nice red Volt in front of the porch, I’d spend more time with her out there (g).

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:36 pm)

    Tagamet:
    If you can get your wife in the Volt for a drive (with her driving), you’re home free. She won’t soften, she’ll melt.Be well,
    Tagamet  

    I should be lucky to get my wife to do that. She is one stubborn woman. :) We owned Toyota Camry’s for the last thirteen years. Never again.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:40 pm)

    Tagamet:
    If she smiled about a red Malibu, she’d grin after driving a red Volt!
    We have a screened in porch that my Dear One loves in the summer. If I could park a nice red Volt in front of the porch, I’d spend more time with her out there (g).Be well,
    Tagamet  

    You need a blow up picture of a red Volt for the interim, Tag. When you get your Volt think of all the wonderful drives out into the country side you can make with her. ;)

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:40 pm)

    Charlie H: That’s what the us trolls were saying.

    About the Volt, cretin. I always accepted that the Volt would not fully realize my idea, I just hoped it would come closer than it did.

    Given that CS-mode is rare, and reliance on the engine rare-on-top-of-rare, your trollish objections have little to do with the price of tea in China.

    Charlie H: Congratulations! Twenty years ago, you had an unworkable idea that’s still unworkable today! That’s true jeenyus!

    Jackson: You are not a realist, you and several others we all know made your minds up before ever coming here; and none of you are actually much interested in any thread beyond picking at individual posters

    … and you’ve also proven my point.

    Actually, that’s all right. They said the same thing to Leonardo DaVinci about the helicopter; only it took close to 200 years to be realized. Robert Fulton is another victim of nay-sayers (later vindicated by a working steamboat). I doubt very much that I will wait as long as Leonardo. Thank you for placing me among such exalted company. (Whew, I was starting to get worried). :-P


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:40 pm)

    Red HHR: Tagamet:
    LOL, I didn’t know that the people in New England had such great taste! Not to rub salt in the wounds, but the test drive in NYC was an experience I’ll smile about to the grave (and beyond).Be well,
    Tagamet

    Someday I will also drive, and own,(or at least lease) a Voltec vehicle. Then too, I will smile! Heck I am smiling now for you guys. Cheers!

    GROUP HUG! (LOL).

    Actually, I am side-lined by the price of Gen I and will need to wait impatiently for Gen II’s release. At that point, I’ll either be able to get a Gen II or failing that, buy a used Gen I.
    Between now and then, I’ll still have my memories of a cold, wet morning in NYC….

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:41 pm)

    Loboc: Volt is a tuner’s wet dream! It might be sacrilegious for the green crowd, but, fun!

    The Beauty of a Volt…
    It should work for all crowds. If the green crowd knocks the Volt, well why? The Volt, real triple digit MPG.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:42 pm)

    Jackson: No.Try reading the whole comment, you unspeakably asinine troll.I wasn’t talking about the Volt at all, but about the idea I had for a car 20 years ago: (my idea has not changed in 20 years” in the very paragraph you chose to quote.)You are not a realist, you and several others we all know made your minds up before ever coming here; and none of you are actually much interested in any thread beyond picking at individual posters, and riling the regulars.Get a clue, and a new hobby, @$$h0|e.Feel free to take the quotes from around “the trolls” in your comment. I have.  

    “..a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”

    Methinks we have too much of this going on. PDNFTT.

    There’s maybe three pre-teens, with multiple logons and IP addresses, interrupting our discussion. Just ignore and -1. If it’s no longer fun, they’ll leave.


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    GM Volt Fan

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:45 pm)

    What I would like to know is how many gallons of fuel per year a typical person who drives in typical ways in a typical city would need to buy in a year vs. the Prius.

    After all, the Volt is designed to minimize the number of gallons of fuel you need to buy and still be a no-compromise kind of car that can do everything that today’s IC engine cars their size can do.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:46 pm)

    Here’s a couple of final Thoughts For The Day:

    1. It appears there’s no news so bad that will shake the True Volt Fanboy faith that the Volt is superior! At least, for certain definitionis of superior.

    2. El Lutzbo also promised the Cd of the Volt would be lower than the Cd of the Prius. Don’t look that up until you’ve gotten some rest and maybe taken some aspirin.

    3. If GM had simply licensed HSD, instead of taking a several years to reinvent a poorer version of it, they probably could have had a pretty good hybrid of their own on the road for several years now. Nissan did this but I guess their execs don’t let their egos get in the way of sound business decisions.

    4. Considerations of its KWH/mile efficiency should probably involve net at the meter. 13.4KWH of electricity moves the car (a nominal) 40 miles. Sure, it’s not in the battery but it’s what you have to pay for. And that extra 4.4 kwh of electricity is another 4.5lbs of coal or about 16lbs of CO2 (presuming a 49% coal fired generation mix – if you’re charging off peak, it might be worse).


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (8:47 pm)

    Wow!

    I’ve gone through 3 big tubs of popcorn since reading this thread :)

    Aside from all the emotional toll this news has brought, can we all agree that this set up is an amazing accomplishment?!

    Here you have a system that uses the main e-motor until it begins to leave its comfort zone (70 mph) then they utilize the second e-motor (that is just dead weight until this point) to kick it up to 100 mph! But wait, it gets better… In CS mode they no longer have that second e-motor b/c its acting like a generator so they clutch in the IC via that same motor and POW we keep our happy 100 mph.

    It’s genus b/c you don’t have to have two large traction e-motors (extra weight)

    If they want to, software can be written to allow any of the 3 motors to power the wheels in a emergency “limp home” feature!!! Thats my kinda car. I’m in the middle of nowhere and something happens to the main e-motor… oh wait I’ve got 2 other motors on board hahah

    It may not be a true EV but that was covered DAY ONE when they mentioned it had a GAS engine that burned GAS to move the wheels once the battery ran out. Doesn’t matter how.

    oh, and about the whole “GM lied to us”, come on! Could you imagine what would have happened if they just pumped out EVERY detail on the internet?! Toyota (who said this kind of car was a no go) would have 3 years to develop the’re own E-REV. Hand them a billion in R&D yeah?! This is the most ANY of us have known about the R&D process of bringing a new car to market.

    It reminds me of my parents telling me there was a Santa Claus ;)


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    neutron

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:03 pm)

    nasaman: I’m amused & amazed at how disturbed, polarized & even disillusioned many posters seem to have become over what I think should be non-controversial: ICE direct coupling in the EVT. Let me try to bring a bit of perspective to this by use of a close analogy…Automatic transmissions have employed torque converters for decades, ….. Although it of course incorporates several unique features, we’ve just learned that it, like most conventional automatic transmissions, also includes a lockup feature which in effect bypasses its small motor-generator when the Volt is 1) in CS mode AND 2) is running at highway speeds to lock the ICE output shaft directly to the EVT’s ring gear, thereby eliminating small losses at high-
    way speeds —exactly what most standard automatics now do!What’s so hard (or so controversial) about that??? …….

    Your points are well taken.

    I am under the impression the major issue is GM has “worked hard” to provide an open communication about the design and development of the VOLT.
    The car has been billed as an “all electric” vehicle that never used a direct connect of the ICE to power the car… GM called it a “series hybrid”.
    GM was asked directly that “is there was a direct connection” more than once and they denied it.

    The issue is many loyal GM/Chevy/VOLT fans believed this.
    Now when GM’s comments turn out to be wrong it instills some loss of credibility about what else may not be true.
    These folks, including me, are VOLT Fans and have followed the car for a LONG time.

    This issue is not a deal breaker, but with less than anticipated EV range, lower MPG in sustaining charge mode, and a premium price, many a fan’s ardor for the VOLT is being challenged.

    Like it or not, most folks want the best bang for the buck. We are all hoping the VOLT will deliver and become a very very very popular car.


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    ClarksonCote

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:03 pm)

    Well, this has been a fun day off. Hope everyone has a good night!

    Volt, Leaf or Prius… Gas-free is the way to be, without range anxiety. ;)

    Night all.

    join thE REVolution


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:05 pm)

    Jackson:
    About the Volt, cretin.I always accepted that the Volt would not fully realize my idea, I just hoped it would come closer than it did.Given that CS-mode is rare, and reliance on the engine rare-on-top-of-rare, your trollish objections have little to do with the price of tea in China.… and you’ve also proven my point.Actually, that’s all right.They said the same thing to Leonardo DaVinci about the helicopter; only it took close to 200 years to be realized.Robert Fulton is another victim of nay-sayers (later vindicated by a working steamboat).I doubt very much that I will wait as long as Leonardo.Thank you for placing me among such exalted company.(Whew, I was starting to get worried).   

    Mr. President, name-calling is less than presidential. Maybe a round of golf would help you relax…

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:06 pm)

    Tagamet:
    GROUP HUG! (LOL).Actually, I am side-lined by the price of Gen I and will need to wait impatiently for Gen II’s release. At that point, I’ll either be able to get a Gen II or failing that, buy a used Gen I.
    Between now and then, I’ll still have my memories of a cold, wet morning in NYC….Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Group Hug
    34.jpg
    Posted by members of the Red Volt Appreciation League


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    Loren

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:12 pm)

    I have been following the volt for some time. The prototype looked great, and the idea of having a plug in hybrid was a good idea for weening the US off of foreign oil. The design did change from the prototype to the actual model. I am fine with this because it has happened many times with many different vehicles. The original plan was to have a car that goes 40 miles using battery power only, and then a gas engine would start that would generate electricity only. Then GM announces that the volt will go 25-55 miles on battery power depending on the driver, then the gas engine will start. Fine, some people are more aggressive drivers than others. Now GM announces that the gas engine will assist moving the car. This car has changed so much that it is no longer a good idea, but a load of crap. I have to use premium gasoline in a car where the engine is suppose to be an electric generator and gets 35mpg. The ONLY way this car will be a good idea is if I use no gas and run it on battery all of the time. If I want a hybrid that will get better than 30 mpg, I will get a Prius. If I want a nonhybrid car that will get better fuel economy than the volt I will get a four cylinder Honda. I can buy the Honda for $300 and get better fuel economy. Sure I don’t have the battery for the first 25-55 miles depending on how I drive, but I only paid $300 for the car. I can probably build a diesel car that gets over 50 mpg for around $2000. The Volt is no longer a good idea, but a scapegoat for GM. GM wants people to back them on the Volt because it is a plug in hybrid, but Toyota and Honda have hybrids that will get better fuel economy than the Volt. Porsche, Audi, and Acura have developed racing hybrids and will use that technology in their vehicles. If you don’t believe me, then watch the American LeMans series. Don’t tell me that an electric motor can’t get over 100 miles per hour because they can. Don’t tell me that a gas engine has to help move a car over 70 miles per hour. Don’t tell me that I have to buy a car that is so expensive to get good fuel economy. The Tesla Roadster is an electric car that will go over 100 miles per hour. On Top Gear, the car did have a problem keeping its charge while racing. Every new company will have some problems, and Tesla is no exception. If I am going to spend that much money on a car, I will get something other than the Volt. I would rather spend my money on a car that the gas pedal will stick wide open, the brakes failing, and the car falling apart. I will not buy the Volt because it is a scapegoat for GM, and it costs twice as much as the Malibu.

    One more piece of information. I drive a 2000 Chevrolet Lumina. It gets around 30 mpg on the highway. The only thing I pay for on the car is the maintenance. It takes 85-87 octane unleaded gasoline. Right now it costs $2.55/gal. The tank is about 17 gallons which means that I need to drive about 529400 miles or about 1000 fill ups to meet the cost of one volt. I think I will stick with my Lumina.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:16 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Mr. President, name-calling is less than presidential.Be well,
    Tagamet  

    I hesitate to say this, but is that not what they do?
    By the way I like Jackson’s idea, somebody will do it. It would be simpler to build.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:17 pm)

    Red HHR: Posted by members of the Red Volt Appreciation League

    Hmmm, RVAL? I think we need an “I” in there (RIVAL). Really Intense Volt Appreciation League… no, that loses the “red” part, which is key (We’d ALL be in RIVAL then).
    I’ll get back to you (g).

    Wait, how about Candy Apple Red Volt Appreciation League (CARVAL)? (lol)

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:20 pm)

    Loren: I can probably build a diesel car that gets over 50 mpg for around $2000.

    Build away my friend, live and be the dream! Biodiesel rules.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:27 pm)

    Oh My, just looked at the clock. Time for me to go to bed. It has been fun. Bye!
    back.jpg


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:33 pm)

    Loren: I have to use premium gasoline in a car where the engine is suppose to be an electric generator and gets 35mpg.

    Yes..completely ignore the way the Volt was intended to be used, which would be to plug in each night. If I drive a 28 mile commute with the Volt each day, I won’t use gas. Ever. If I drive my 28 mile commute with a Prius, I will always use gas. That’s pretty much the difference. It is still different cars for different people for different needs.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:34 pm)

    Tagamet: Wait, how about Candy Apple Red Volt Appreciation League (CARVAL)? (lol)

    Be well,
    Tagamet

    Christial Ah Red, Very Obvious Logo, Think… i sleep on it


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    flmark

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:36 pm)

    Loren: I will not buy the Volt because … I think I will stick with my ….

    Will all the folks who penned similar thoughts today-
    - please not come back here tomorrow?

    It’s a free country. You are all free to buy what you want. I, in turn, would like to be free from reading all the garbage tomorrow that I have been filtering through today.
    Thank you for your consideration.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:37 pm)

    Thanks for the VERY cool pics!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    EVNow

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:42 pm)

    Red HHR: It should work for all crowds. If the green crowd knocks the Volt, well why? The Volt, real triple digit MPG.

    Because they don’t like GM’s FUD against green cars ?

    ps : It is dishonest to attribute miles travelled on electricity to the gallons of gas used to calculate mpg. That is like taking the distance run by all the relay runners and attributing it to the last runner – while using only the time he took to run.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:45 pm)

    flmark:
    Will all the folks who penned similar thoughts today-
    - please not come back here tomorrow?It’s a free country.You are all free to buy what you want.I, in turn, would like to be free from reading all the garbage tomorrow that I have been filtering through today.
    Thank you for your consideration.  

    I’ll drink to that!
    (We *really* need an “ignore” button)

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:46 pm)

    Red HHR: I think if I could somehow get her into a Volt, she may soften a bit. Really I have to stop reading these reviews, I am drooling all over my keyboard.

    I still the best approach is to tell her you want one. Don’t be bashful. Just let your inner eight year old out!


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (9:55 pm)

    I think a crucial Voltec requirement for 70-to-101 mph driving is having two motors – the 149 hp traction motor, and a smaller motor for driving the ring gear at high speeds. The main reason the ICE spins the ring gear at high speeds in CS mode is because the second motor is busy being a generator then (and so can’t do it’s second function of turning the ring gear, as it can in CD mode) – they overloaded the function of the genset electric motor to save space/costs.

    In the fuel cell version of Voltec, they would still need a second electric motor in addition to the 149 hp traction motor, but perhaps they wouldn’t need one as big as in the Volt (where it also has to be part of the ICE genset). The fuel cell would replace only half the genset (the ICE), because the motor/generator has double duty as part of the EVT (Electric Variable Transmission).
    In a fuel cell version of Voltec, after the CD mode is done (where the battery has been powering both the 149 hp traction motor and the smaller EVT motor at speeds 70-to-101 mph), the CS mode would see the fuel cell generating electric power to drive the traction motor, the small assist motor, and charge the battery. No “mechanical linkage” necessary or possible.

    I think the “mechanical linkage” in the Volt is “efficient”, because otherwise the traction motor has to run from 0 to 101 mph. If they just included an optimally sized electric motor as part of the Voltec powertrain (20 kWh ? probably much smaller than the genset motor size requirements), then they could plug-n-play with any other electric power source (fuel cell, gas turbine, 1.0 liter turbo tiny ICE, etc). This would have the small penalty of weight/cost, but would allow the electric power source to be a black box.

    Note that GM is not worried about “efficiency” at 70-to-101 mph in CD mode. The second electric motor is available, and used. When it is not available (being used as a generator), they use the spinning ICE to replace the small electric motors function.

    So, for probably $100 and 30 pounds, the Voltec powertrain could have been “pure” serial hybrid – have a dedicated electric motor as part of the EVT, and never need any “mechanical linkage”. Use a genset, fuel cell, radioisotopes, solar cells, whatever for CS power – plug-n-play.
    “But there was an electric motor just sitting there, inches away – so we added a clutch to the ICE, and saved $100 …” – I suppose it’s inevitable given the pressures on price/weight/etc.

    But it would be trivial to make future Voltecs pure serial hybrids, if they ever put in a power source they won’t be clutching to.
    There’s also that small matter of the $7,500 tax credit being for strictly electric cars, not hybrids. I hope GM gets away with their “design decision”.


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    CorvetteGuy

     

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:05 pm)

    Tagamet:
    Because more plugins is better than fewer plugins.Be well,
    Tagamet  

    Touche’ my friend.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:12 pm)

    GM Volt Fan: What I would like to know is how many gallons of fuel per year a typical person who drives in typical ways in a typical city would need to buy in a year vs. the Prius.After all, the Volt is designed to minimize the number of gallons of fuel you need to buy and still be a no-compromise kind of car that can do everything that today’s IC engine cars their size can do.  

    We’ve done the math on this one many times. Really pisse$ off the trolls:
    For 15,000 miles divided by 365 days…
    Volt = just under 16 gallons.
    Prius = 295 gallons.


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    bt

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:14 pm)

    Although initially disappointed, after reading most of these posts, here’s my take.

    If you’re upset because you wanted all EV to get away from oil, this doesn’t affect you at all as you have no reason to drive 70mph or above.

    Anyone driving that fast wastes either oil, or even more polluting, coal–if your recharge comes from a heavy coal mix(OK, all you solar rechargers who like to drive over 70, raise your hands and be excused from my argument). For those energy hogs, more efficiency should be welcomed.

    If you don’t drive that fast because you don’t believe in burning fossil fuels, then what GM has designed won’t affect you–period, and you shouldn’t care.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:19 pm)

    from the motortrend article: “The gas engine is so silent that it’s hard to tell when it switches on if the radio is playing. It usually shuts down when coasting to a stop and restarts only after you’re moving again when operating in range-extended mode.”

    Many of us had surmised that the engine must sometimes turn off in range-extended mode, but this is the first I’ve seen in the way of corroboration.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:24 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: We’ve done the math on this one many times. Really pisse$ off the trolls:For 15,000 miles divided by 365 days…Volt = just under 16 gallons.Prius = 295 gallons.  (Quote)

    I’m glad you only drive 41 miles a day, a leaf would fit your life well.
    Why use any gas? Or your just a suck up for GM?


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:26 pm)

    Tagamet: Wait, how about Candy Apple Red Volt Appreciation League (CARVAL)?

    For those of you who want a candy apple red car, go for it.

    I however, have ordered the Crystal Red Metallic Tintcoat hoping it would be much much darker than candy apple red. Some of the photos have me worried. With luck I’ll no for sure before too long.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:32 pm)

    Jackson: Given that CS-mode is rare, and reliance on the engine rare-on-top-of-rare, your trollish objections have little to do with the price of tea in China.

    Since when is it given? For that matter, what does “rare” mean?

    Using the 365 days of odometer readings I collected, it shows CS is far from rare… even with AER always 40.

    253 days at the full measured distance of 19,497 miles the 40 was exceeded.

    157 days scaling each individually (by 0.76935) to get 15,000 miles annual.

    77 days scaling each individually (by 0.6155) to get 12,000 miles annual.

    Taking into account Heater, Defroster, and A/C use increases the count.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:39 pm)

    neutron: GM called it a “series hybrid”.GM was asked directly that “is there was a direct connection” more than once and they denied it

    Actually General Motors has NEVER called it a series hybrid and repeatedly have tried to convince people from doing as such. They call it an EREV, maybe there was a very good reason why they avoided using “series/serial”??? ;)

    AND
    I’ve worked on automatic tranmisions for 20+ years and as far as I can tell from the powerflow schematics in the patent document (posted in the forums) there IS NOT a direct connection between the ICE and the drivewheels.

    At speeds above 70mph in CS mode the ICE just becomes a variable speed reactionary device by altering the speed of the internal/ring/annulus gear thus permitting the net ratio to change gradually (towards 1:1) and slowing MG2 by the ratio factor. This as opposed to being a fixed ratio when the internal/ring/annulus gear is stationary (locked to the case) at slower speeds.

    I wouldnt be surprised if the same thing isnt done using MG1 at those high speeds while in CD mode.

    But hey. Sounds like the idjuts like Eric_LG have it all figured out. LOL

    .LB


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (10:43 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: For 15,000 miles divided by 365 days…
    Volt = just under 16 gallons.

    You can’t just generically average like that. Geez!

    Again, using the 365 days of odometer readings I collected, you get this for a daily breakdown count… revealing there is no pattern available that an average could accurately reflect:

    12 = miles 0-9
    14 = miles 10-19
    16 = miles 20-29
    65 = miles 30-39
    76 = miles 40-49
    87 = miles 50-59
    34 = miles 60-69
    21 = miles 70-79
    40 = miles 80-999

    In other words, for 15,000 miles (without Heater, Defroster, or A/C use) it breaks down to:

    EV = 12,156 miles
    CS = 2,844 miles

    At 35 MPG (without any cold starts), annual gas consumption would be 81 gallons.


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:10 pm)

    Jackson: Accepting that this is your opinion, and mindful that you are taking up my cause; I must still disagree. There should be little reason to throttle the generator over even a modest range to match load, in the car I envisioned. My concept would be so capable of buffering up power that the generator could be optimized for it’s most efficient speed; and could cycle on and off as necessary (rather like an air conditioning compressor).

    Yes, you can say I am taking up your cause. There is nothing to disagree with Jackson! The reality of the situation is that an electric motor that runs at high speed and doesn’t generate so much heat through hysteresis and eddy currents needs to be developed for use in EVs. GM’s EVT in fact matches loads and allows the electric motors to operate more efficiently. When needed the EVT allows blending of power from the two motors similar to what you describe as rather like an air conditioning compressor. It cycles in two motor mode when needed and then goes back to one of the less demanding modes. We should recognize that the Volt for many people will operate in CD mode. There the second motor/generator will function as a motor to optimize both MGB and MGA. When in two motor mode, the EVT permits the drive train to get a better match for the given load.

    GM has begun bringing motor design and production in-house. This will spur technological advances in a motor’s design and optimizing electric motor characteristics. Since the Volt is working as a serial hybrid in the majority of time, albeit two motor mode at high speed, it utilizes available power from the battery pack by dividing the task of producing sufficient power for the given speed.

    I note that instead of overworking the primary MGB motor and subjecting it to damage, the EVT allows the use of a smaller power motor, MGA, to boost the output. By allowing both motors to run at slower speeds within their optimal range, GM calculated a 10%-15% gain in efficiency.using the same amount of current from the battery pack. That’s equivalent to giving you a battery pack with more energy while only using one motor.

    Without the EVT, a larger, heavier motor would be needed. Much heavier than just adding the weight of the EVT. Motor/generator, MBA, is a necessary part of the range extender. It is a component that is already there. So we are only talking about a weight gain for the addition of the EVT. GM used the planetary gear transmission it had developed for other hybrid designs in a very smart way to improve performance of the Volt drive train. It’s addition, it, in no way, takes away from CD mode functioning to meet varying demands for power from the battery pack. It does use the power from the pack in a more efficient way and thereby increases the AER.

    No need to go into the CD mode where the ICE is used; that’s another issue outside of the ideas you have on separation of power generation and motive power in your ideal vehicle. The Volt uses batteries for power storage and electric motors for traction. I am looking at this matter from a different viewpoint than the one you have. I hope you can appreciate my point of view. :) I know that I appreciate the concept you have stated.

    OT but maybe relevant. I had an uncle who was an inventor. He took pride in looking for a way to simplify what we were observing. He had a friend who worked in a sports wear supply store. They were avid fishermen. To sell fishing lures, the store had a pond with a rig to drag the lures through the water in an oval path. I remember as a child trying to see what the lure was doing, how it moved, as it dragged through the water. To make the story short, my Uncle thought a much better way to see the lures action would be to keep the lure stationary and move the water. Will it lead to a sequence of inventions that netted him a hansom financial gain. He invited the lire testing machine and from it found what made spoons works. He would change the shape of the spoon and try it out to see if he catch more fish. When he found the right shape, he invented three machines to manufacture them.

    IMHO, GM has done much the same thing with the Volt design. They found a flaw in the Volt design; an electric motor that flat lined at speeds over 70 mph, and re-examined their design. When looking at the problem from every aspect, they found that the presence of two motor/generators allowed a solution that they originally never though of doing; adding a planetary gear drive similar to Toyota HSD. So many people have over the course of this development, have looked at it as so negative; my gosh, GM lied to us; they ruined an otherwise pure concept. In fact, the problem with an overheating electric motor has lead to a Volt design far more superior than what they had originally conceived. Hats off to the excellent engineers at GM.

    Someday soon, and I hope very soon, we will see developments that will make Electric Transportation, not quantum teleportation ;) , the every day answer to people moving.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:11 pm)

    john1701a, post #287: …In other words, for 15,000 miles (without Heater, Defroster, or A/C use) it breaks down to:

    EV = 12,156 miles
    CS = 2,844 miles

    At 35 MPG (without any cold starts), annual gas consumption would be 81 gallons.

    …And in still other words, a Prius OR ANY OTHER VEHICLE averaging even TWICE the Volt’s 35mpg in CS mode, 70mpg, its annual gas consumption for 15,000 miles driven would be 214 gals*!

    / *Versus your 81 gals calculated for a Volt driven 15,000 mi —81 vs 214 gals is a significant improvement for anyone wishing to minimize gasoline consumption


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    Voltastic

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:16 pm)

    Tagamet:
    GROUP HUG! (LOL).Actually, I am side-lined by the price of Gen I and will need to wait impatiently for Gen II’s release. At that point, I’ll either be able to get a Gen II or failing that, buy a used Gen I.
    Between now and then, I’ll still have my memories of a cold, wet morning in NYC….Be well,
    Tagamet  

    I’m thinking that the off-lease Gen I units will be a good buy but the trick is waiting another 3 years.


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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:53 pm)

    Jerk: I’m glad you only drive 41 miles a day, a leaf would fit your life well.
    Why use any gas? Or your just a suck up for GM?

    Actually, a Leaf would work fine for me, but the Leaf looks too much like a Versa and that’s just too ugly for me. Now if Nissan brings out an all-electric “Z”, I would consider that. I’ve owned a 260-Z and a 280-Z. Those were fun cars back in the day.

    As for being a GM suck up? Sure. I drove a Corvette and I just had to have one. I would like GM to bring out an all-electric version of the Corvette [and bring back the 'Stingray' nameplate]. I’d like it to have 4 electric motors like the Audi E-Tron, and be all-wheel drive!

    But the point today is that no matter what conditions you choose, the Volt uses less gas than a Prius, plug-in or otherwise. Reviews by Motor Trend and Car and Driver already show that. I just drove a Volt and a Prius this afternoon. I even drove the Prius first. The difference is astounding.

    The Prius looks like, feels like, and drives like any other “economy car”. The Volt feels like and drives like a much more expensive luxury car. “It is” a more expensive luxury car compared to a Prius. I wish they would transplant the steering wheel shape into the Corvette. It actually feels more like a ‘sport steering wheel’. Handling in the Volt felt a lot like a small BMW or Audi. Very crisp with no slop in the turns. Acceleration was more than adequate, but we were on a very small testing track and I did not get to wind it up the way I wanted to.

    I’m still working on my review, but there is no doubt that the Volt will be a green alternative to small European luxury sedans. Not an alternative to a Prius, unless a Prius owner is looking to ‘step up’ to the next level of comfort and performance.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Oct 11th, 2010 (11:58 pm)

    john1701a: there is no pattern available that an average could accurately reflect

    That would be your problem now isn’t it.


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (12:00 am)

    Regarding the Red Volt Appreciation League (#265 today), I’ll take out a charter membership! Have you noticed that the great majority of all Volt public relations photos are in the metallic maroon color? Somebody thinks that’s what a lot of potential buyers want. I certainly do, yet this color only comes at extra cost.

    I prefer bright solid colors so the general public will puzzel whether that gaudy car is a taxi cab, a show off (which I intend to be), or a circus wagon. Paint variety can’t cost too much. How about fire engine red (for me), orange, bright blue, Irish green, and even a decent gray or tan. Present Volt colors are about from the same book Henry Ford used (you know, the one that had all those versions of black).

    BIG BTRY


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (12:02 am)

    Red HHR: Oh My, just looked at the clock. Time for me to go to bed. It has been fun. Bye!
      

    Just came across thids link with a development that would effect lEVs:

    “”Put another way, one could increase the car’s efficiency by well over 25 percent, which would be ideal for a hybrid since it already uses an electrical motor.”

    http://www.physorg.com/news204552797.html

    Imagine having a solar heat collector with this device generating electricity. Or solar panels with this device on the roof of that red Volt. “So, next time you watch a red sports car zip by, think of the hidden power of the electron and how much more efficient that sports car could be with a thermoelectric device wrapped around its exhaust pipe.” Replace exhaust pipe with solar roof.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Big Bird

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    Oct 12th, 2010 (1:06 am)

    flmark:
    Will all the folks who penned similar thoughts today-
    - please not come back here tomorrow?It’s a free country.You are all free to buy what you want.I, in turn, would like to be free from reading all the garbage tomorrow that I have been filtering through today.
    Thank you for your consideration.  

    +1 my friend!
    Imagine if all these grumps were running NASA during the space race :o


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (5:11 am)

    Big Bird: Imagine if all these grumps were running NASA during the space race :o

    OUCH, do I hafta?!?

    /Einstein often said, “Imagination is more important than intellect”. And I’ve read enough comments from grumps here to last a lifetime, thank you! :( :( :( On to the next topic…..


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (6:29 am)

    Hodginator: In CD it should use whatever is more efficient period since it is running the ICE anyway.

    Very, very well put. Yes GM strayed a little from their original concept but so friggin what? It’s still ALL ELECTRIC RANGE in CD mode with a range extender for CS mode, and THAT is what really matters. If someone really wants to pick a fight with them over something tangible then go after their misleading comments about efficiency in CS mode being target. They gave 50mpg as the target and missed. I don’t they missed by far enough to matter a lot, but I’ld like to know where the shortfall is especially since ICE power can be diredtly used for motivation. At steady state 18kwh output from the ICE, what is the BSFC? What are the efficiencies of the motors?


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (6:36 am)

    CorvetteGuy: Actually, a Leaf would work fine for me, but the Leaf looks too much like a Versa and that’s just too ugly for me. Now if Nissan brings out an all-electric “Z”, I would consider that. I’ve owned a 260-Z and a 280-Z. Those were fun cars back in the day.As for being a GM suck up? Sure. I drove a Corvette and I just had to have one. I would like GM to bring out an all-electric version of the Corvette [and bring back the 'Stingray' nameplate]. I’d like it to have 4 electric motors like the Audi E-Tron, and be all-wheel drive!But the point today is that no matter what conditions you choose, the Volt uses less gas than a Prius, plug-in or otherwise. Reviews by Motor Trend and Car and Driver already show that. I just drove a Volt and a Prius this afternoon. I even drove the Prius first. The difference is astounding.The Prius looks like, feels like, and drives like any other “economy car”. The Volt feels like and drives like a much more expensive luxury car. “It is” a more expensive luxury car compared to a Prius. I wish they would transplant the steering wheel shape into the Corvette. It actually feels more like a ’sport steering wheel’. Handling in the Volt felt a lot like a small BMW or Audi. Very crisp with no slop in the turns. Acceleration was more than adequate, but we were on a very small testing track and I did not get to wind it up the way I wanted to.I’m still working on my review, but there is no doubt that the Volt will be a green alternative to small European luxury sedans.   (Quote)

    …and the small cars from Lexus, Accord, Infinity, etc


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (6:40 am)

    flmark: Will all the folks who penned similar thoughts today– please not come back here tomorrow?It’s a free country. You are all free to buy what you want. I, in turn, would like to be free from reading all the garbage tomorrow that I have been filtering through today.Thank you for your consideration.  (Quote)

    Once the subsidy is revoked, we’ll lose interest. Write your Congressman today!


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (6:46 am)

    montgoss: This, IMHO, puts the Volt light-years beyond the Prius. I drive a Prius currently. It doesn’t matter how full that battery indicator shows, if you try to accelerate normally (and most people consider my acceleration to be slow), the gas engine will kick in. Go above 35 MPH, gas engine kicks in. Now, I hear they raised that limit to ~60 MPH in the prototype plug-ins. But I can’t imagine how long it would take to accelerate to 60 MPH without the gas engine kicking in…

    Absolutely and how many current Prius people will get this and can affordthe Volt. I’m thinking LOTS.


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (7:46 am)

    Amazing how all the “trolls” were right all along.

    “Price under $40K” = wrong

    “the ICE never drives the wheels” = wrong

    “CS >50 mpg” wrong


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (8:10 am)

    montgoss: But I can’t imagine how long it would take to accelerate to 60 MPH without the gas engine kicking in…  

    Why would you want to? It is a hybrid with two powertrains. If you need to accelerate hard, use both. You paid for it.


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (8:23 am)

    montgoss: Of course it’s a hybrid. There’s a gas engine and an electric motor. That’s the definition of hybrid. But to equate it to the Prius is just misinformation. Even if you’re comparing it to the plug-in Prius that won’t go on sale for years (if ever), the Volt is still significantly different.
    Here’s the difference: Start both cars with a full charge. Now, floor it…

    So, the big difference is a feature most consumers won’t use anyway…

    How often do you actually drop the pedal all the way to the floor? And so what if the engine comes on briefly? It’s a hybrid.

    Of all the things to surface as the biggest advantage for Volt, that’s not encouraging… especially knowing the PHV model Prius provides much more electric power than the no-plug model. Heck, I climbed up a step residential hill (1/3 mile long, 40 MPH, from a dead stop) in the PHV repeatedly without ever triggering the engine. It was only with electricity.

    Accept the way things have worked out, there will be a selection of plug-in vehicles to choose from. Mainstream consumers aren’t interested in extreme performance. They simply want a decent improvement at an affordable price. Their purchase habits over the past few decades clearly confirm that. It’s a balance of priorities for them.


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (8:33 am)

    MikeD.: When the battery has a usable charge, a second electric motor in the system delivers a boost to the planetary gearset, letting the traction motor, which still has the only mechanical connection to the wheels,……..

    Tony Posawatz is either confused or lying. The generator (and ICE when it is clutched in) are every bit as much ‘mechanically connected’ to the wheels as the 149 hp electric motor. It’s a smart design which the marketeers should promote. It’s unfortunate their earlier remarks sowed confusion, but you don’t fix that by creating even more confusion.

    neutron: The car has been billed as an “all electric” vehicle……..

    It was billed as an electric vehicle only for the first 40-ish miles. After that it burns gas, which by definition means it stops operating as an EV. CS mode is the “ER” portion of this ER-EV. It doesn’t matter how they transmit power from ICE to wheels in ER mode, and it doesn’t change the EV portion of the vehicle description one iota.


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    I retract my comments from yesterday, now that I fully understand how it actually works. I wish Lyle’s article from today would have been the one published yesterday. That would have helped me a lot. All they are doing is using the generator as a second parallel electric motor to improve efficiency. The engine is always only connected to the generator. Pretty smart if you ask me. The sad thing is, they went above and beyond to improve efficiency, and it bit them in the butt.

    StephanWolf: My main problem with this isn’t the technology, but that I feel lied to by GM.Does no one else feel lied to?If a poster would have come on here last week and said how the technology actually works, they would have been lambasted by the Volters (including me).Why did GM feel the need to mislead us?My guess is they knew that the early adopters would not be as excited by an upgraded Prius. I have been waiting so long for this car, reading everything I could get my hands on everyday.Now I am so disillusioned.Not by the technology, it’s fine, but with being lied to.I feel like the William Wallace character in the movie Brave Heart when he discovers he’s been betrayed.I feel like I’m going to throw up.  


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (4:09 pm)

    Charlie H: In any event, she loves our Toyotas, so she’ll probably be willing to look at a Prius PHV when the time comes.

    Good for you ! One more Volt for us.


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    Oct 12th, 2010 (4:16 pm)

    benion2: This is interesting:http://www.detnews.com/article/20101011/OPINION03/10110362/Volt-test-drive-quiet–efficient-—-and-funThe writer drove 75 miles, and used 0.9 gallons of gasoline.  

    More interesting : “After I drove more than 32 miles on electric power only — in a very un-eco-friendly manner — the Volt’s little engine began powering the car. (…)

    So this is 75 miles – 33 (it was 32.something but for simplicity let’s say 33) – 42 miles on 0.9 gallons.

    47 miles per gallon on CS mode in real life. Hum…


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    usbseawolf2000

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    Oct 12th, 2010 (4:57 pm)

    jscott1: Amazing how all the “trolls” were right all along.“Price under $40K” = wrong“the ICE never drives the wheels”= wrong“CS >50 mpg” wrong  

    When you find out that you are a soldier fighting the wrong war mislead by the General, the instinct is to shoot the messenger.


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    pjkPA

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    Oct 12th, 2010 (6:51 pm)

    The highest speed limit in my state is 65mph … I would only need to go faster than 70 downhill coasting.. then the regen would be on. I certainly don’t care about the engine running at 70mph.
    What kind of tranny did the EV1 have?

    The vast majority of my driving will be below 50mph as with the majority of commuters where I live.. after all that’s what this car is for .. commuting.

    In a few months when the real world mpg come in I predict a lot of 100mpg and above. That’s what this is all about isn’t it?


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    ted

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    Oct 12th, 2010 (8:25 pm)

    GM built the expectations for the Volt too high and has now killed the expectations. Either the Volt is crap or EVs are not ready for prime time.


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    Shock Me

     

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    Oct 13th, 2010 (7:32 am)

    This is more disappointing to me than the CS gasoline mileage which I always thought would be a wash given that the battery also makes the vehicle heavier. I worry that people will not understand that the generator becomes the motive force only AFTER the battery reaches the depletion point. I think thqat this issue will be pounced on and lead to misinformation.

    I prefer a pure series-hybrid because it would have been easier to explain and perhaps cheaper to maintain. Once the damn thing is burning gas, I guess it doesn’t really matter to me what is turning the wheels.

    I’m hoping this will lead to a VOLTEC-powered Buick. I guess I’ll try snapping up a 2011 Volt in 2014 (assuming the price for a new one doesn’t drop and the driver is willing to give one up).

    In any case, I’m excited to test one out soon.


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    Darius

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    Oct 13th, 2010 (8:43 am)

    doggydogworld: Darius

    No, I do not. In case you have motor specially designed (Tagment: “Of shelf”) for direct motion like all existing GM produced motors, then YES. But in case you make side step and go for genset motors which are used for power generation or locomotives and nominal load and most efficient of those motors is 90% of max load, then NO. And within this arrangement you will not be able using genset type motor.


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    Oct 13th, 2010 (9:05 am)

    Tagamet: Darius

    My point was that ICE is “of shelf” and unless direct link to wheels will be cut – always will be “of shelf” direct motion ICE.


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    Oct 14th, 2010 (2:35 am)

    omnimoeish: The problem with the plug in Prius for all of you Volt haters is that the gas engine comes on at 62 mph, which means basically any freeway driving renders your battery useless.  

    Not really, both electric motor/generators are still active, and the battery can contribute extra power, allowing the gasoline engine to run at a lower power setting and using less gasoline. So even at freeway speeds, a Plug-in Prius can use “grid power” stored in the battery to improve fuel economy.

    With the Volt, apparently the gas engine is likely to come on at speeds over 70 mph, but even with the gas engine on the Volt can still use power from the battery to improve fuel economy. Sounds like a good idea for both Volt and Plug-in Prius. Of course, the Volt has one advantage – a bigger batttery, and one disadvantage – a higher cost.