Nov 13

The Day I Didn’t Charge My Chevy Volt Getting More than 40 MPG Was Easy

 


[ad#post_ad]When I entered my garage for my third day of driving my Chevy Volt, all seemed well. I had plugged the car in the night before after making a quick run about 9PM.

However, when I got in and booted up the car (I still prefer saying that to starting) I was met by a surprise. It still showed only 9 miles of EV range were available. Apparently, I hadn’t pushed the charging coupler in hard enough. Even though there is a green light and horn chirp confirmation when charging commences, I probably ran into the house without waiting for it.

This had happened to me several times during the year I drove the MINI E, and when it did my heart sank each time as I had to take my backup car for the day. But with the Volt, all was well. Though I had to burn gas, going about my day’s driving was not going to be any kind of problem at all.

In fact, I figured I’d use the opportunity to see what kind of gas mileage I could get on my significant highway-mostly drive to work.

After leaving home, the car switched to engine mode after 7 miles, and then I reset the MPG meter. As usual the switchover was silently feathered in.

I arrived at my first destination, 15.7 miles from there with a very respectable 45.5 MPG. This was at 49 degrees using 72 degree cabin ECO conditioning and at mostly highway speeds of around 65 MPH. I drove somewhat conservatively but not extremely so at all.

The next leg back to my office was another 7.4 miles at mixed city and highway conditions. I arrived there having completed a total of 23.1 miles in charge-sustaining mode for a final fuel efficiency of 42.8 MPG (not including the EV miles).

Though I had installed and configured the iPhone app, I hadn’t yet configured the plug-in reminder text alert. Needless to say, after this experience I set that up.

Another first happened. On this particular morning journey a fellow driver on the road finally noticed and acknowledged the car and gave a friendly tap of the horn and wave. I felt a bit of pride. People were recognizing this American car, that I played a role in birthing, as a hero of sorts.

In my office I showed the car to two women who work there, one of our nurses and a billing person. They were completely blown away by the design and the interior, and even more amazed by the iPhone app. One reflected how this was a car like no other, and they didn’t even get a chance to drive it.

Another person in my office parking garage came over while I was taking out the charger to see the car. He knew about it and recognized it, and was very interested and asked a lot of questions. I gave him the little flyer that GM provided a stack of, making us CAB members a sort of a group of traveling salespersons. Not that I mind.

I charged the car at my workplace at 120-v from 9:30AM to 4:30 PM during which time it accrued 25 miles of EV range. My return trip home included a stop to see my daughter in her gymnastics class and a stop at a restaurant for dinner with my family. After 23.6 miles the engine came on and I returned home for a total of 30.3 miles and 168.1 MPG.

For the entirety of this day that I had not gotten an overnight charge, I drove a total of 60.4 miles, 30.6 of which was electric, using 0.72 gallons of gas. Total fuel economy for the day was thus 83.9 MPG.

For the three days I have driven the car 183.2 miles and acheved overall 176 MPG.

Today I will be traveling down to Montclair New Jersey, about 30 miles, to meet up with the other three New York Volt CAB members and any GM-Volt readers who happen to make it to Tom M’s restaurant. Our own Dave G will be coming and will take some good video for us. It should be a lot of fun, I hope you can make it.

Here’s the address:
Naunas’s 148 Valley Road, Montclair, NJ


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This entry was posted on Saturday, November 13th, 2010 at 8:32 am and is filed under Charging, Driving Experience, Efficiency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 148


  1. 1
    Tagamet

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:39 am)

    Gosh, Lyle, you’re becoming a real gas-HOG! You used *double* the gas from the day before! Then again, you *did* hold it to under a gallon for the day, so I guess I can forgive you (lol).
    Looking forward to the video of the get together!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Faz

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:41 am)

    I’m still at 3400 and just can’t wait for the car to arrive! Lyle, all your reporting is really killing the rest of who need to wait another month for the car! Killing us in a good way! :) It’s good to see the real world mileage figures that we’ve all been waiting for. Keep up the excellent information!


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    pdt

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:43 am)

    Thanks Lyle. I know you don’t want to use gas, but there is a tiny bit of interest out here about CS-mode MPG, so maybe a week without charging would be a reasonable sacrifice for our curiosity?

    It would be really good for GM if the EPA combined hwy/city MPG in CS mode is at least 40.


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    pjkPA

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:50 am)

    Way to go Lyle…. more miths dispelled.

    These daily reports are revealling the VOLT as the best technology to date… proven.


  5. 5
    Red HHR

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:52 am)

    Real good stuff, lot better than watching the news… Looking forward to seeing a Volt near where I live.
    In CD mode the Volt gets better mpg than the Miata and the HHR. Not quite as good as the Prius, but probably similar to the Ford Fusion. However the best part of the story is the electric drive!


  6. 6
    George S. Bower

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:52 am)

    It would be interesting to know when the power split clutch is engaged. While 70 MPH is the GM number they also have said it could be engaged at lower speeds if the computer thinks it is appropriate. If we can figure out the lowest speed at which the clutch is engaged then that will be the sweet spot for CS mode MPG. I’m hoping engagement would be around 65 MPH. This would make sense with the numbers Lyle posted.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:54 am)

    Of course you could always drive a car that gets 50 mpg, but then you would loose all those 384 mpg days.


  8. 8
    Red HHR

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:56 am)

    pdt: but there is a tiny bit of interest out here about CS-mode MPG, so maybe a week without charging would be a reasonable sacrifice for our curiosity?

    I could not see a week without plugging in, It would be counter to the philosophy of the Volt. However an extended road trip would be interesting. I wonder if Lyle has saved up his vacation days?


  9. 9
    Red HHR

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:04 am)

    George S. Bower: It would be interesting to know when the power split clutch is engaged.

    I would GUESS that it would be variable depending on throttle position, road gradient, battery state of charge and maybe a few other factors.

    I do find it interesting that the ICE will respond to throttle position, sort of. I wonder what they mean by that, and if that is the most efficient method.


  10. 10
    Loboc

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:05 am)

    Good information yet again!

    I think it would be handy if a spread-sheet type page on this site could document your daily usage (of miles on electricity and miles on gasoline).

    I think we are seeing so far what most have suspected all along. Triple-digit mpg is not only entirely possible, but easily attained.

    It would also be very interesting to see any logs or data that the Volt can spit out directly.


  11. 11
    scottf200

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:06 am)

    Though I had installed and configured the iPhone app, I hadn’t yet configured the plug-in reminder text alert. Needless to say, after this experience I set that up.

    Loved todays report. More mishaps the better as it shows some real world experiences and how there is a different aspect to range-anxiety like not being able to or not plugging in the car on occasion. Plus, it is great to hear real-world scenarios where there are abnormal days (dinner out, different kid activity, etc).

    Red HHR:
    I could not see a week without plugging in, It would be counter to the philosophy of the Volt. However an extended road trip would be interesting. I wonder if Lyle has saved up his vacation days?    

    Instead, I’d like to see a week where Lyle does not plug in a work. This will be a very common thing.


  12. 12
    Dave K.

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:07 am)

    Very good information. Not at all surprised to hear your coworkers like the Volt. What will GM do in 2011 when 400,000 new customers call to ask if the Volt is available in their area?

    =D-Volt

    nurses.jpg?t=1289657230


  13. 13
    Tim Hart

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:09 am)

    Thank you Lyle for another great real world report on your day with the Volt. It is great getting to know you better as you are my EV hero! This car is going to be a sensation and will be an instant star in my little town in Iowa that has a huge “green” emphasis. Have a great weekend driving around with your family in the car you helped to build!


  14. 14
    Red HHR

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:11 am)

    Not sure if this has been posted here yet, but if you want to build a pure electric toy.
    http://www.d1g1taldr1ve.com/
    Fascinating stuff, change is coming.


  15. 15
    Baltimore17

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:12 am)

    Nice description. “Feathered” should be the official verb of the transition to CS mode.


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    Darpa

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:14 am)

    Thanks Lyle for your continued efforts to showcase the Volt and EV/Hybrid technology. After much heated dialog on the blog yesterday, I came to the conclusion that the calculation GM uses to display/determine avg mpg (CS or Not) is a great way to remind OWNERS that this is not a standard issue gasoline car but a electric/gas vehicle (like no other currently on the market).

    At shutdown does the Volt prompt you to plug it in to encourage propulsion via battery as much as possible? I would hope so.

    I think I am in the minority on the forum in believing that the EPA calculation should be based on A) the current test cycle B) an EV only propulsion rating C) a CS (generator) propulsion rating. Otherwise, it will be difficult to determine the efficiency/emissions values for each mode and to make comparisons across EV/Hybrid vehicles.

    Due to the Volt or Leaf not being available in my region of the country for over 12-18 months, I purchased a 2011 VW Golf TDI. My driving is 80% highway and 20% city and after having both vehicles (Golf, Prius) for use over a 3 day period came to the conclusion that the trade-offs (build quality, performance, detailing) favored the VW product for me.

    My spouse and I came to the conclusion if everyone improved their avg fuel savings by 10-15%, we as a nation would be much better off and import less fossil fuel. Any fuel source/delivery method that uses less fossil fuel is the way to go (in the short term) until electric vehicles driven by renewables (biomass, fuel cell, hydro, solar, co-generation) play a greater part in the automotive fleet.

    Lyle, any timeline on when your personal Volt will be built and delivered? Also, has GM provided end-of-lease purchase numbers for the Volt?

    Stay well and prosperous…


  17. 17
    Schmeltz

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:20 am)

    The little incident Lyle had with the overnight charging just underscores the whole thesis of this car. No sacrifices had to be made. He just got in and went about his business. And he still got 45 mpg in charge sustaining mode to boot! I didn’t expect it to be that high especially this time of year and running the heater, but 45 mpg is a very pleasant surprise!

    To whomever is going to the meet-up, have a great time and take lots of pictures!


  18. 18
    Tagamet

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:27 am)

    Red HHR: I could not see a week without plugging in, It would be counter to the philosophy of the Volt.

    Sometimes sacrifices have to be made in the name of science. The world didn’t stop turning the week *before* Lyle got his Volt. I think it could limp on, if he used gas in the Volt for a week. JMO.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


  19. 19
    nasaman

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:36 am)

    Red HHR, post #5: …In [CD] mode the Volt gets better mpg than the Miata and the HHR. Not quite as good as the Prius, but probably similar to the Ford Fusion. However the best part of the story is the electric drive!

    HHR, I’m certain you meant CS mode where I placed brackets around [CD] above, right?

    /Lyle, an excellent report today as always! Have a great first get together with other CAB & gm-volt folks today —wish I wasn’t 1,000 miles away!


  20. 20
    Rooster

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:38 am)

    Darpa: Thanks Lyle for your continued efforts to showcase the Volt and EV/Hybrid technology. After much heated dialog on the blog yesterday, I came to the conclusion that the calculation GM uses to display/determine avg mpg (CS or Not) is a great way to remind OWNERS that this is not a standard issue gasoline car but a electric/gas vehicle (like no other currently on the market). At shutdown does the Volt prompt you to plug it in to encourage propulsion via battery as much as possible? I would hope so.I think I am in the minority on the forum in believing that the EPA calculation should be based on A) the current test cycle B) an EV only propulsion rating C) a CS (generator) propulsion rating. Otherwise, it will be difficult to determine the efficiency/emissions values for each mode and to make comparisons across EV/Hybrid vehicles.Due to the Volt or Leaf not being available in my region of the country for over 12-18 months, I purchased a 2011 VW Golf TDI. My driving is 80% highway and 20% city and after having both vehicles (Golf, Prius) for use over a 3 day period came to the conclusion that the trade-offs (build quality, performance, detailing) favored the VW product for me.My spouse and I came to the conclusion if everyone improved their avg fuel savings by 10-15%, we as a nation would be much better off and import less fossil fuel. Any fuel source/delivery method that uses less fossil fuel is the way to go (in the short term) until electric vehicles driven by renewables (biomass, fuel cell, hydro, solar, co-generation) play a greater part in the automotive fleet.Lyle, any timeline on when your personal Volt will be built and delivered? Also, has GM provided end-of-lease purchase numbers for the Volt?Stay well and prosperous…  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Agree. Although I would add the 10-15% savings is only a good start. We can do much better for the 90+% of the population that has a daily commute of 80 miles or less, without scaraficing quality of life using volt-like technology.


  21. 21
    Jason

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:42 am)

    Red HHR,

    I agree on the road trip idea. I’d like to know how the Volt does in CS mode with “normal” driving patterns on the way out. Then, Lyle could use hypermiling techniques on the way back. That would be interesting.


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    sudhaman

     

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:43 am)

    let me give everyone some advices of how to maintain a battery.
    Make sure that the battery is not exposed to extreme of temperatures.
    the battery should not be overcharged
    make sure that battery is fully charge before use and deplete the battery fully before the next charge. this might reduce the charge cycle making the battery last longer.
    the battery should be charged at a constant potential everytime
    all these steps may help increase the battery life.


  23. 23
    honoreitiscom

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:44 am)

    Your 41 MPG in CS mode for the day is very close to the ~44 MPG I would have gotten under the same conditions in my gen 2 Prius. I’m ready to make that small MPG concession in order to get the tons of all-electric driving the Volt will provide. Yes, I’m one of the folks who has never owned a GM product, but now ready to take the leap. The Volt will be bringing a lot of new people like me to the GM tent.


  24. 24
    Jason M. Hendler

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:46 am)

    Lyle,

    What does your family think of the car?

    Funny about not waiting for the chirp, but Pavlov always rules – you’ve set up your text reminder and will likely always wait for the lights / beeps to sound confirming a charge.


  25. 25
    Dave K.

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:53 am)

    sudhaman: …let me give everyone some advices of how to maintain a battery.

    The Volt features an advanced maintenance system for the battery. Would be great to see a report directly from GM listing charge cycles and performance. Unofficial results state 100% battery range over 8 or more years.

    http://gm-volt.com/2009/07/26/chevy-volt-battery-has-robust-cell-monitoring-and-safety-systems/

    NPNS


  26. 26
    bookdabook

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:56 am)

    Great info Lyle.

    Please also report how many kWh of electrons you pump into the Volt after each charge. Some of us would like to track the efficiency of the batteries.

    -Book


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    SteveF

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:57 am)

    This is a real life experience that will sometimes happen to anyone. I believe because of this that full EVs like the Leaf are at risk of negative press. The Volt is a true life working solution for today. The next 10 years, the Volt and other EREV will lead the market. GM, get those production number up, the demand will be there.


  28. 28
    nasaman

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:01 am)

    SteveF: This is a real life experience that will sometimes happen to anyone. I believe because of this that full EVs like the Leaf are at risk of negative press.

    Very valid point, Steve —especially considering that the Leaf & Volt use exactly the same connector types, they could just as easily have failed to “seat” (connect) fully on a Leaf, causing a real problem for any Leaf owner who needed a fully-charged battery! Yep, possible bad press!


  29. 29
    koz

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:02 am)

    Faz: I’m still at 3400 and just can’t wait for the car to arrive! Lyle, all your reporting is really killing the rest of who need to wait another month for the car! Killing us in a good way! It’s good to see the real world mileage figures that we’ve all been waiting for. Keep up the excellent information!  (Quote)  (Reply)

    dare say, killing you softly


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:09 am)

    Tagamet: Sometimes sacrifices have to be made in the name of science. The world didn’t stop turning the week *before* Lyle got his Volt. I think it could limp on, if he used gas in the Volt for a week. JMO.Be well,Tagamet  (Quote)  (Reply)

    True, it would not end the world to drive a week in CS mode and I’m sure it will be of interest to some. Personally, I’m more interested in Red HHR’s roadtrip scenario. That is the type of CS miles my Volt would see, and I’m guessing this will be the case for most folks. I’m getting comfortable that my CS mpg would be 38-42 based on tge various reports I’ve seen.


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    Red HHR

     

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:10 am)

    nasaman: HHR, I’m certain you meant CS mode where I placed brackets around [CD] above, right?

    My bad, I confused depleting with depleted.
    I pay attention to this stuff and I still get confused!

    I manipulate Watt/Seconds daily (weld with lasers) and still find it confusing that a joule is newton/meter. I have yet to figure out whether the electrical joules required to motivate a Volt over a fixed distance would equal the mechanical joules plus losses required. Not that it matters, however it would make an interesting ratio.


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    Dave K.

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:12 am)

    Volttopview.jpg?t=1289661080


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    JEC

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:13 am)

    42.8 mpg is very impressive actually.

    I do wonder though, since you basically reset the mpg meter in the middle of your drive, you did exclude some, while likely small, the start up energy budget. Also, the fuel monitoring system has an issue with both accuracy and resolution. The display shows a resolution to tenths of a gallon, so if the mpg calculation is based on this, then is it possible that you were close to 0.6 gal, which is still a respectable 38.5 mpg.

    So what we really need is a sample of starting immediately with CS mode, and then a longer drive to wash out any resolution issues. Also, driving in a pure city vs. pure hwy will give some real peaks into the performance of CS mode.

    I know I am asking a lot, but if we could get this type of info. I think we could put the whole CS mpg to rest, or at least give it a good nap!


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:16 am)

    Thanks for the good info, Lyle.

    BTW, can one of the screens be configured to show instantaneous KWH usage as well as total trip MPK (KPM)?

    Does the cruise controll allow you to select a certain KWH output or a highway sweetspot output as George Bower is also seeking?

    How long does it take for the confirm chirp? Seems like something GM should be told about and may be able to tweak if it takes more than 1 sec.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:24 am)

    I find my desires moving from a BEV to EREV after reading all the Volt stuff.

    BUT, I still want someone to build me a BEV with a “mini-range” extender. Based on rough power requirements, a 25 Hp generator should be sufficient. So, I want the ability of “install” (tow/integrate/etc) this generator when I need more range. That tow behind idea that was posted a few weeks back was ridiculous, in both price, size, and operation.

    Assuming an average 250 watt/mi dischg rate, and 75 mph (fastest I would ever travel), that equates to 18.75 Kw-hr average power. This would be satisfied with a 25 Hp generator.

    BTW: I see the iMiev is coming out in 2011 in US, and it has a 16 Kw-hr pack. This would likely be a good candidate for the generator. They say the price should be under $30k.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:25 am)

    honoreitiscom: Your 41 MPG in CS mode for the day is very close to the ~44 MPG I would have gotten under the same conditions in my gen 2 Prius. I’m ready to make that small MPG concession in order to get the tons of all-electric driving the Volt will provide. Yes, I’m one of the folks who has never owned a GM product, but now ready to take the leap. The Volt will be bringing a lot of new people like me to the GM tent.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I believe you are included in the 25 conquest, 2 Chevy, and 2 other GM brand buyers responding to the [URL="http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?5374-What-is-your-Volt-replacing"]What is your Volt replacing?[/URL] thread on the forum.

    I think this type of data will be instrumental in GM’s decisions to build more Volts and Voltecs.


  37. 37
    Tagamet

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:29 am)

    Re gathering CS mode mpg, I think that we’re all saying the same thing: Drive it in a lot of situations, and report back! Many of us would *only* be concerned/effected about occasional road trip situations, since we’d use mainly electric miles most of the time. And everyday drivers who have *long* commutes probably are not great candidates to buy the Volt in the first place, so aren’t road trips the exception rather than the rule?
    Maybe Lyle should have an Iphone app that gets set to *stun* if the plug isn’t connected and functional (I can see his poor wife standing over the unconscious body and then going to plug in the Volt)(lol).

    Beautiful day in Penna!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    micmccon

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:33 am)

    sudhaman,

    I’ve never read that a LiPo battery should be fully discharged. That which is true of other batteries is not necessarily true of LiPo.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:35 am)

    this is an excellent suggestion; a one-week test operating the volt is CS mode give a pretty good measure of the CS mode mpg.

    lyle is doing a great job of collecting test data; on the strength of this one-day test, he got a CS mode mpg of 41.3 mpg. CS mode mpg is useful customer information. there are marketing implications in all of this, of course, but i’ll leave that to gm to manage…

    pdt: Thanks Lyle.I know you don’t want to use gas, but there is a tiny bit of interest out here about CS-mode MPG, so maybe a week without charging would be a reasonable sacrifice for our curiosity?It would be really good for GM if the EPA combined hwy/city MPG in CS mode is at least 40.    


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:37 am)

    as i recall, the lowest speed at which the ICE is engaged in the drive train is 30 mph.

    George S. Bower: It would be interesting to know when the power split clutch is engaged. While 70 MPH is the GM number they also have said it could be engaged at lower speeds if the computer thinks it is appropriate. If we can figure out the lowest speed at which the clutch is engaged then that will be the sweet spot for CS mode MPG. I’m hoping engagement would be around 65 MPH. This would make sense with the numbers Lyle posted.    


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:41 am)

    Tagamet: Re gathering CS mode mpg, I think that we’re all saying the same thing: Drive it in a lot of situations, and report back! Many of us would *only* be concerned/effected about occasional road trip situations, since we’d use mainly electric miles most of the time. And everyday drivers who have *long* commutes probably are not great candidates to buy the Volt in the first place, so aren’t road trips the exception rather than the rule?Maybe Lyle should have an Iphone app that gets set to *stun* if the plug isn’t connected and functional (I can see his poor wife standing over the unconscious body and then going to plug in the Volt)(lol).Beautiful day in Penna!Be well,Tagamet  (Quote)  (Reply)

    True.

    I’m still hopeful Lyle’s programmer can scrape some data (such as lifetime mpg) from the IPhone app or the Volt owners website (if it exists) to display it in the GM-VOLT.COM top banner.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:45 am)

    koz:
    True.I’m still hopeful Lyle’s programmer can scrape some data (such as lifetime mpg) from the IPhone app or the Volt owners website (if it exists) to display it in the GM-VOLT.COM top banner.    

    Absolutely, that would be incredibly cool!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:46 am)

    you can figure that out from the information that he has already provided. if you notice, he gives approximate charging times for his workplace charging.

    bookdabook: Great info Lyle.Please also report how many kWh of electrons you pump into the Volt after each charge. Some of us would like to track the efficiency of the batteries.-Book    


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:46 am)

    Quotin’ Lyle:

    >> I gave him the little flyer that GM provided a stack of, making us CAB members a
    >> sort of a group of traveling salespersons. Not that I mind.

    EVERY Volt buyer should be offered a stack of those informational flyers, at least for a couple of years.

    When I bought my ’92 Saturn SL2 and there were still relatively few of them around, I got asked a LOT of questions, particularly about the at-the-time fairly unique interior and exterior… especially the plastic body panels (R.I.P., best non-drivetrain automotive idea that never caught on!!).

    GM, your product owners can be your most effective (and lowest-cost) ambassadors! The marketing department should nurture this idea and give buyers tools to help others learn about Voltec.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:46 am)

    Tag,
    I’m sure it’s a beautiful day in PA, as it is in DC where I am visiting.

    In fact, all fall has been beautiful–if you get where I’m coming from.

    Scientists are telling us that we need to get a ‘move on’ with this CO2 thing–looks like Lyle is trying, if he can just figure out this ‘plug in’ thing. :)


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:47 am)

    SteveF: This is a real life experience that will sometimes happen to anyone.I believe because of this that full EVs like the Leaf are at risk of negative press. The Volt is a true life working solution for today. The next 10 years, the Volt and other EREV will lead the market.GM, get those production number up, the demand will be there.    

    People that choose the LEAF will do so knowing the capability. With my wife’s driving cycle, for example, she could charge on Saturday only and still be ok. (Well, I would charge it. She doesn’t even put gas in her car.) She only drives 5-6 miles per day.

    A 100mpc EV would work for a surprising number of people. If they were a little bigger and more normal the market penetration could be amazing. Even with these early ones, for a lot of people EVs will work as a primary car.

    It think the issue with these initial EVs will be size. The Volt is more a mid-size (barely) but the rear seating seems to be cramped from the reports so far.

    I might be wrong, but, I think I will need to keep my wife’s Impala (rather than get two EVs) when I buy a Volt for my daily driver. It’s very difficult to make that decision this early in the development of EVs. I haven’t even seen a Volt in real life yet.

    We will see when we get some experience with these cars. If I find that I’m driving the old car and the the wife is driving the Volt, I will probably have to get another Volt!


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:48 am)

    Tut-tut, Lyle. Please read the Owner’s Manual so you don’t have any other surprises! :)

    When I started to read today’s post, I thought it was going to be an ‘intentional’ test of the Volt in CS Mode, which I think is a great idea! Fill up the 9.3 gallon tank and drive the car a full week with no charging. I am curious as to what messages come up when you’re out of charge and about to run out of gas!!! :)


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:49 am)

    i think that the leaf is clearly a “second car” for commuting. so if you forget to charge the leaf on a given day, the fallback position is to use your other car on that day.

    SteveF: This is a real life experience that will sometimes happen to anyone.I believe because of this that full EVs like the Leaf are at risk of negative press. The Volt is a true life working solution for today. The next 10 years, the Volt and other EREV will lead the market.GM, get those production number up, the demand will be there.    


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:49 am)

    Thanks for another report, Lyle. I think of the ICE range extender as the means to get to the next charging point. Under best circumstances, it will never be needed. When we all can plug in every time we stop somewhere, the electric miles will rack up and a big dent in gasoline usage will appear. What a sight that will be! It should open up a lot of peoples minds to realize that we don’t have to be slaves to OPEC anymore.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.
    P.S. Now we need to get behind Congress and insist on a national plan being voiced in the media to renew our national grid.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:50 am)

    Schmeltz: The little incident Lyle had with the overnight charging just underscores the whole thesis of this car.No sacrifices had to be made.He just got in and went about his business.And he still got 45 mpg in charge sustaining mode to boot!I didn’t expect it to be that high especially this time of year and running the heater, but 45 mpg is a very pleasant surprise!To whomever is going to the meet-up, have a great time and take lots of pictures!    

    This needs to be communicated. People forget to plug in, power goes out, etc. #$%^ happens.

    With the coming oil crisis things also go the other way. Maybe gas rationing will come back. Spikes in prices, etc.

    It nice to have the Volt and it’s ability to use multiple forms of energy. From dirty tar sands to clean solar PV. It’s all good with Volt.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:58 am)

    From today’s WSJ:
    “Chinese Plan to Buy Stake in GM

    In a sign of the changing fortunes of the world’s top two economies, China’s biggest auto maker, SAIC Motor, is negotiating to buy an about 1% stake in General Motors worth about $500 million.”

    And where do they get the money for this? I think we all know the answer to that.

    Next up, let’s see if some Mideast potentate has some spare cash lying around to make a similar investment.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:59 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:08 am)

    I decline to post George Will’s column today on the Volt and GM as methinks there was something wrong with his coffee this morning to which I would be hard pressed to argue.

    But if you truly want to see an uneducated diatribe full of misinformation and misunderstanding, it is in the Washington Post this morning.

    Ugh.


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    Shock Me

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:20 am)

    Lyle,

    Have you had to fill the car with gas yet? When you do could you let us know what amount appears on the gas pump?

    This is why I love the Volt idea. I can see myself getting distracted and forgetting to plug in occasionally. I can also see myself forgetting to gas it up since I would go so infrequently. The Volt is so much more forgiving than a pure ICE or BEV.

    Now we just need Mr Fusion and a few banana peels and coffee grounds.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:22 am)

    bt: From today’s WSJ:“Chinese Plan to Buy Stake in GMIn a sign of the changing fortunes of the world’s top two economies, China’s biggest auto maker, SAIC Motor, is negotiating to buy an about 1% stake in General Motors worth about $500 million.”And where do they get the money for this? I think we all know the answer to that.Next up, let’s see if some Mideast potentate has some spare cash lying around to make a similar investment.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Not sure which is accurate but this says it may be up to just more than $1B: http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/news/article.aspx?feed=OBR&date=20101112&id=12391124. The article also mentions middle east investors.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:30 am)

    no comment:

    i think that the leaf is clearly a “second car” for commuting. so if you forget to charge the leaf on a given day, the fallback position is to use your other car on that day.

    Only if your second day is beyond the range of the residual charge. If your daily driving amounts to 6 miles per day, for example, ya still got half a charge after a week of no charging!

    Tom M and others using early 100mpc EVs have no problems. Some of them have multiple opportunities to charge, but, still and all a pure EV can work for a lot of people as their primary car.

    There is no need to spin LEAF as being inferior to Volt. For some, a pure EV is all they need.

    /I don’t believe I’m actually defending LEAF here since I’m a GM/Volt fan.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:30 am)

    Koz,
    Whichever is accurate, it simply seems to point out that for too long now, we have been exporting our wealth to other countries.

    If I have $20 and I give you $10 for whatever reason, is that not a transfer of wealth?

    Now I might get something of value, but values are relative.

    A piece of land? Sure, I own that forever.

    3 gallons of gas? Well, that lasts me for perhaps 60 miles and while I may have gotten a transitory pleasure out of it(or yes, help getting to work), you, with the $10, have what appears to be a more lasting form of wealth.

    My apologies as I am not aiming this at you, but just responding to your perceptive eye to make a point that I suppose we could ascribe to Econ 101.

    BTW, the 10 bucks was a literary license–I’m afraid I’m not giving it to you. :)


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:34 am)

    Lyle’s comment: “This had happened to me several times during the year” explains why GM put the green light on the dash and has the chirp sound at plug in. Even if the connections are always perfect there can be times when power is not available due to lack of power at the charger. GM also has graphics on the instrument cluster showing the charger connected, disconnected and charging status (see page 5-10 and 11 in the manual.) This should help in noisy situations or bright sunlight when charging at a public charging station, but only if you get back in the car.

    I could not help but think of the BEV driver who would face a similar situation, but NOT be able to use the car. Better feedback at the charging handle MUST added by the charging companies to eliminate the problem. A bright LED and maybe a vibration (think iPhone mute switch) to give feedback while the persons hand is gripping the charge handle will help. Since the ground pin must contact first and last, this might be the false sense of connection that is causing the problem. The charging station could give a warning if the ground pin connection is sensed, but the handle not completely inserted within a few seconds to provide additional feedback.

    In the short term, car manufacturers must get the information to the user about that ground pin that is giving a false sense that the connector is seated when it is not!


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    evnow

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:35 am)

    “For the three days I have driven the car 183.2 miles and acheved overall 176 MPG.”

    I hope people (new to Volt) won’t get wrong ideas with this.

    OTOH, when I write about my Leaf experience I can have the standard last line of getting infinite MPG ;-)

    BTW, how about working with GM PR to see if you can get a weekly blog in one of the mainstream media (NYT!) …


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:36 am)

    sudhaman: let me give everyonesome advices of how to maintain a battery.
    Make sure that the battery is not exposed to extreme of temperatures.
    the battery should not be overcharged
    make sure that battery is fully charge before use and deplete the battery fully before the next charge. this might reduce the charge cycle making the battery last longer.
    the battery should be charged at a constant potential everytime
    all these steps may help increase the battery life.    

    Most of that is already built into what the VOLT does for you. That is a key point of making this car simple and letting the details of battery life be automatically handled.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:37 am)

    Great news Lyle. I wish I had as much time as you to drive the Volt. I’ve only had a few laps on a coned-course. Here’s my pics of the Unplugged Tour in DC.

    voltTD1.jpg
    voltTD2.jpg
    voltTD3.jpg
    voltTD4.jpg
    voltTD5.jpg
    voltTD6.jpg


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:39 am)

    Mark Z: I could not help but think of the BEV driver who would face a similar situation, but NOT be able to use the car. Better feed back at the charging handle MUST added by the charging companies to eliminate the problem.

    Or if “plugging in” the car could be automated somehow. (yes cost would be a challenge for the engineers)


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:48 am)

    voltkdawgdc.jpg?t=1289666882


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (12:00 pm)

    kdawg:
    Or if “plugging in” the car could be automated somehow. (yes cost would be a challenge for the engineers)    

    I think this will happen pretty quickly. Some sort of proximity charger that you just have to park near the correct spot. Even a drive-on with connectors (like a slot car) could be safely done.

    Here’s one I have been tracking for a while:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4sAzaKfbRc


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (12:01 pm)

    Thanks for the great report today Dr. Lyle! Your “real world” reports are much appreciated!


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (12:19 pm)

    I would not worry about Nissan and the Leaf. Autoline Detroit just gave Nissan an ENTIRE EPISODE to the Leaf. From a marketing perspective, I feel Nissan is doing very very well. Say what you will about the vehicle, the marketing message (INNOVATION FOR ALL) is consistent, clear, and most importantly does not bash other EVs/Hybrids, etc.

    FULL AUTOLINE DETROIT VIDEO EPISODE: http://www.autolinedetroit.tv/show/1438

    nasaman:
    Very valid point, Steve —especially considering that the Leaf & Volt use exactly the same connector types, they could just as easily have failed to “seat” (connect) fully on a Leaf, causing a real problem for any Leaf owner who needed a fully-charged battery! Yep, possible bad press!    


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (12:26 pm)

    sudhaman: let me give everyone some advices of how to maintain a battery.Make sure that the battery is not exposed to extreme of temperatures.the battery should not be overchargedmake sure that battery is fully charge before use and deplete the battery fully before the next charge. this might reduce the charge cycle making the battery last longer.the battery should be charged at a constant potential everytimeall these steps may help increase the battery life.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    The logic here is good for NiMH but isn’t fully depeating a Lithium product not good for longevity? I’m not 100% schooled on the technology yet but this is why GM is not allowing the top and bottom “levels” of the battery to be reached. They don’t take the charge to 100% full (4.2v in a lithium cell) and down below 3.3v or so per cell. They operate the 10.4kWh in a band between say 90% charge and 20% charge. The pack is a 16kWh pack with 10.4kWh usable area.

    If GM wanted to fully cycle the cells (if that is best), they’d probably run it 95% down to 10% and offer 50 miles of EV per charge.

    Can you show your source of the requirement to fully charge and fully deplete?


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (12:36 pm)

    Loboc: I think this will happen pretty quickly. Some sort of proximity charger that you just have to park near the correct spot. Even a drive-on with connectors (like a slot car) could be safely done.
    Here’s one I have been tracking for a while:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4sAzaKfbRc

    I like WiTricity. Ofcourse the questions are efficiency, range, max power, etc. If there is not a receiving oscillator, does the primary oscillator still use power while on? Maybe just add a pressure sensor, so when your car drives up it turns on. I wish they had the medical one finshied and in the field. My Dad had a lot of trouble w/infections when replacing his pacemaker lines.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (1:02 pm)

    JEC,

    I think that if the Federal Government got on the ball and issued a sticker, all these questions would be answered. Course that would require them to make a decision. Until then, GM is not going to tell you a thing after the 230 MPG contraversy


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (1:19 pm)

    no comment: you seem to be conceiving of the volt as being primarily a commuter car.i guess people see what they want to see but your’s is the very perspective in which gm did not want the volt to be viewed.
        

    Hi no comment, I spent a good part of day doing simulations with the price of the Ampera and European (mostly Belgian) data. In my case, exchanging my Astra diesel (not the Corsa) at current (belgian) costs and prices for an Ampera assuming I do only 40km/day and that i’ll keep the Ampera 8 years is not a good deal even with our tax credit.

    But if I drive (it is my case 80 km/day) and I keep the Ampera 8 years with the tax credit I’ll do gains even at the current fuel prices. I assume a 5% resale value for the Ampera after 8 years but a constant cost of electricity AND no specific maintenance costs (that is same cost for tires, wipers, … as for the Astra but no cost for the drivetrain.° My gains would be higher than 4,000 € over the ltime horizon (500 €/year).

    So in the European context, the Ampera is not a commuter car nor a second car.

    Best regards, I think I’Ill buy an Ampera if its specific maintenance cost are kept low AND our government keps its tax credit of 30% with a maximum of 9,000€.

    JC NPNS


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (1:21 pm)

    Jean-Charles Jacquemin,

    I forgot to mention that I commented on the Opel AMpera Facebook page under the tab “Discussions” and under the label “Prix de l’Ampera”

    Here :
    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=105828812813765&topic=30#!/topic.php?uid=105828812813765&topic=30

    J NPNS


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    Being on the West Coast means my first post gets buried behind countless earlier ones saying pretty much the same things I wanted to say….. Oh well – just add me to the record as another one totally excited by Lyle’s real world experiences. Lyle: you are making this car come to life. Bravo!


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (1:43 pm)

    Off Topic: I read in the morning paper that stock for GM’s IPO may already be scarce. “Investment bankers handling the GM sale have more orders than stock for both the 365 million common shares and 60 million preferred shares that will be sold next week, a person briefed on the sale said Friday. Orders for preferred stock amount to more than twice the number of shares, while orders for common stock are four to five times the number available, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly about the sale. If demand remains high, GM could price the stock at or above the $26 to $29 range it expects.” Looks to me that we taxpayers made a pretty good investment in bailing out GM. I think the investment community considers this a “no-brainer”. GM has definitely moved into the 21st century. The GM-bashers are living in the past.

    Lyle, hearing of your experiences with the Volt just confirms what most of us believe: this is a revolutionary car. Keep up the great reporting! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (1:43 pm)

    Great energy economics, Lyle.
    Your gasoline consumption is exactly consistent with a two gallon a week usage at 60 miles a day.
    That is really an excellent benchmark for referencing a significant reduction in cost of ownership.
    Since there is a fifteen cent per gallon additional tax being currently discussed as well, your results provide a really clear picture of these helpful economics.

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the energy economics actually got a lot better as time goes on.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (1:48 pm)

    no comment: you seem to be conceiving of the volt as being primarily a commuter car. i guess people see what they want to see but your’s is the very perspective in which gm did not want the volt to be viewed.

    GM designed the Volt as an everyday car, and what do people do with their cars most days?.. they commute to work.. getting the most value out of expensive batteries… dealing with the unexpected with a range extender.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    evnow: OTOH, when I write about my Leaf experience I can have the standard last line of getting infinite MPG

    Except if the charge connector didn’t make contact and you had to drive an ICE vehicle, in which case the parked Leaf would be getting infinite MPG but you wouldn’t. I would, however, expect this to be fixed. It should be obvious when you’ve made the connection. It’s pretty clear when your cell phone is plugged in and there isn’t any reason why the car should be different.

    More generally on the question of gasoline use, the Leaf doesn’t really have an advantage over the Volt unless you’re driving 40-80 miles a day and don’t have a chance to do opportunity charging. No doubt there will be a difference but it won’t be very large and it won’t be significant — once your gas consumption is down by 95% the remaining 5% is not a big deal.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (1:55 pm)

    I would like to know if the batteries have the ability to do two full recharges a day (say drive to work, recharge, drive home, recharge) – for say 250 times a year. That is 500 cycles a year. That would be 250 * 80 miles = 20K miles a year. Could that handle 5 years (2500 cycles) for 100K and not be highly depleted of capacity and discharge rate?

    I just hope we can mine and source Lithium cells in the USA going forward. So far, government regulations limited our ability due to some environmental dangers. We’re going to need a lot of Lithium in the years to come.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (1:55 pm)

    George Will article:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/12/AR2010111204494.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

    Be nice when you comment there, you all are ambassadors for oil independence.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (1:56 pm)

    Jean-Charles Jacquemin: I think I’Ill buy an Ampera if its specific maintenance cost are kept low AND our government keps its tax credit of 30% with a maximum of 9,000€.

    My sense is that you want an EV and you’re trying to make the choice rational. Cars are consumption not investments. If you’ll smile every day when you get into an Ampera that should be enough. Just own it.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (2:01 pm)

    John: That is 500 cycles a year. That would be 250 * 80 miles = 20K miles a year. Could that handle 5 years (2500 cycles) for 100K and not be highly depleted of capacity and discharge rate?

    You’re not fully charging the battery since you’re only using about 5/8ths of it on every charge (10 kWh out of 16 kwh). So your 500 charges a year are more like 250 charges. Also charges and recharges in the middle of the cells aren’t as hard on them.

    I think GM is underestimating how well the batteries will perform. But that’s just a guess based on how it’s worked out for all the other batteries used in hybrids and EVs like the electric RAV=4.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (2:01 pm)

    bt: I decline to post George Will’s column today

    #53

    Thank you. +1


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    Dan Petit

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (2:05 pm)

    Charging twice a day ought not be a problem at all. My EV Engineer friends (currently working with Li-Ion solid state cells) who are technically-familiar with the LG Chem parameters, say that twice a day charging would not be a significant factor to longevity. (Just a factor toward your overall mileage total to the warranty).
    This is a great benefit for those “Ozone Action Days” where ICE usage may be minimized.

    Don’t forget also that GM can reprocess or recondition your battery. This is a very exciting situation,
    and, extremely “forward-thinking”. GM is giving Volt every possible advantage.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (2:19 pm)

    Lyle – is GM’s site up where all of the Volt’s data is pulled via Onstar and you can look at your #’s online?


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (2:21 pm)

    Does anyone know if you can put a thumb-drive into the USB port and play MP3′s from it? (yes i know the Volt has a HD. yes I know the USB port works w/mp3 players).


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (2:23 pm)

    Dave K.,

    Pretty cool filter. Paint shop pro? (that’s my fav)


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (2:27 pm)

    That car appears better every day! Well it should because it is Tomorrow’s Car Today.

    BIG BTRY


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (2:43 pm)

    Loboc: The Volt is more a mid-size (barely) but the rear seating seems to be cramped from the reports so far.

    I keep telling them the Volt does not allow three people to sit in the back. ;)

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (2:52 pm)

    bt: I decline to post George Will’s column today on the Volt and GM as methinks there was something wrong with his coffee this morning to which I would be hard pressed to argue.But if you truly want to see an uneducated diatribe full of misinformation and misunderstanding, it is in the Washington Post this morning.Ugh.    

    I emailed him and gave him a piece of my mind. If he wirtes a retraction I may regain some of the respect I once had for his opinion.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    IQ130

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (3:11 pm)

    “For the three days I have driven the car 183.2 miles and achieved overall 176 MPG.”

    Suppose you drive 35mpg in CS mode, in combination with free miles in EV mode this means:

    350 mpg is 90% on electricity
    175 mpg is 80% on electricity
    117 mpg is 70% on electricity

    With 176 mpg Lyle now is around 80%.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (3:16 pm)

    The G.W. article is horrible. Basically – he is writing up the government for trying to kick-start a true growth industry. He has little technical insight into the Volt, while yammering on about government subsidy in CA and D.C. The problem is – we have to do this and the need for government help is necessary. What articles like this lead to is mis-information in the public and polarization of consumers to be fore or against the whole entity of GM.

    If he hates subsidies, we should stop subsidizing much more than a new industry. He doesn’t even bring up the 30% Fed tax incentive for Solar/Wind systems. If I do the Solar system on my house which will save *me* money, Federal rebates to me will be over $13K. That’s two Volt subsidies and only my family and the grid benefit. When we subsidize a Volt, we benefit the whole planet by one step forward in using less oil. If I can swing a Solar PV system *and* an EV for say 10-15 years, how many dollars would be kept in the local economy versus sending overseas (or to Canada, 12% of US oil) and hurting our trade imbalance?

    A $7500 Volt subsidy could lead to 2500+ gallons of gas saved which means some portion of that could stay in the US economy rather than shipped overseas or into the pocket of “big oil”. That’s smart thinking by the US government. 2500 gallons of gas = about 40% of crude oil (guessing) so that is 6100 gallons of oil/42 = 145bbl*80 = $11,600 USD stays in the economy.

    If $7500 buys you $11600 (with rough math) that sounds pretty good. It’s “positive” for trade imbalance.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (4:28 pm)

    Lyle… Are all of the CAB members keeping a detailed log and posting it like you are? If so, do you have a list of all blog addresses you can post? I would love to read everyone’s reviews!


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (4:30 pm)

    “Chevy Volt Getting More than 40 MPG Was Easy”

    Glad to hear this. I recently posted an opinion on a national news site mentioning the possibility of the Volt using under 15 gallons of fuel per year. With a CS of 38mpg-42mpg for normal driving.

    =D-Volt

    obama-chevy-volt-generic-07_20100715112748_320_240.JPG


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (4:48 pm)

    From the article
    I charged the car at my workplace at 120-v from 9:30AM to 4:30 PM during which time it accrued 25 miles of EV range

    First of all, excellent article, Lyle. Thanks.

    This is a little disappointing. I was thinking a full charge in 8 hours using 120v.
    But this charged only 25 miles in 7 hours. Would it really have “filled it up” in the last hour?


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (5:03 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: From the article
    I charged the car at my workplace at 120-v from 9:30AM to 4:30 PM during which time it accrued 25 miles of EV rangeFirst of all, excellent article, Lyle.Thanks.This is a little disappointing.I was thinking a full charge in 8 hours using 120v.
    But this charged only 25 miles in 7 hours.Would it really have “filled it up” in the last hour?    

    I’ve always understood that a full charge @ 120v would take about 10 hours or more if cabin & battery conditioning is required.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (5:07 pm)

    LRGVProVolt:
    I emailed him and gave him a piece of my mind.

    I sent him a crank-o-gram too.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (5:52 pm)

    While a common first reaction to Lyle’s mistake with the connection is to somehow alter the plug, I believe this unnecessary. There are many instances in this life where we learn from our first mistake, especially if the consequences are significant. (Ever set a second alarm clock if you really MUST get up on time?) Whether it be locking your keys in the car the first time, running out of gas or failure to empty your pockets before throwing a pair of pants in the laundry, very few of us repeat the dumb mistakes that bite us in the A$$. I guarantee that any upgrade of the plug would still not entirely solve the problem.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (6:06 pm)

    dwwbkw: Off Topic: I read in the morning paper that stock for GM’s IPO may already be scarce. “Investment bankers handling the GM sale have more orders than stock for both the 365 million common shares and 60 million preferred shares that will be sold next week, a person briefed on the sale said Friday. Orders for preferred stock amount to more than twice the number of shares, while orders for common stock are four to five times the number available, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly about the sale. If demand remains high, GM could price the stock at or above the $26 to $29 range it expects.” Looks to me that we taxpayers made a pretty good investment in bailing out GM. I think the investment community considers this a “no-brainer”. GM has definitely moved into the 21st century. The GM-bashers are living in the past.Lyle, hearing of your experiences with the Volt just confirms what most of us believe: this is a revolutionary car. Keep up the great reporting! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Something should be done for the people who had GM stock. Somehow give them a trade in for the old stock to have a chance to get some of their money back.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (6:14 pm)

    Voltastic:
    I sent him a crank-o-gram too.    

    He should see the article on GM’s IPO with so many wanting to buy large chunks of stock.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (6:15 pm)

    I guess GM can take George Will off the list as an early adopter/Volt advocate. He had zero kind words to offer. Amazing…

    Herm: George Will article:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/12/AR2010111204494.html?hpid=opinionsbox1Be nice when you comment there, you all are ambassadors for oil independence.    


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (6:18 pm)

    I think induction charging is the way to go… induction would make it possible to have a pull up charger… just ride over the indution charger and it would induce the power to the battery.. you would not have to plug it in. The EV1 was on the right track for charging.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (6:34 pm)

    pjkPA: Somehow give them a trade in for the old stock to have a chance to get some of their money back.

    Bondholders in the old GM were given the right to buy IPO shares. Buying old GM bonds would have been the way to play it if you were inclined to play. Stockholders were wiped out in the bankruptcy, which is the way it should work. It’s the downside to compensate for the upside.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (6:35 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (6:38 pm)

    as i recall the composition of the CAB, most of the members were auto writers. so the best way to find out about their experiences would be to read their columns.

    CorvetteGuy: Lyle… Are all of the CAB members keeping a detailed log and posting it like you are? If so, do you have a list of all blog addresses you can post? I would love to read everyone’s reviews!    


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (7:01 pm)

    i think that this is a useful analysis. most car buyers are not volt enthusiasts; so they are going to ask the practical question of why they should consider this car. my sense is that the practical economics of automobile ownership might be a bit more important in europe than it tends to be in the united states.

    Jean-Charles Jacquemin:
    Hi no comment, I spent a good part of day doing simulations with the price of the Ampera and European (mostly Belgian) data. In my case, exchanging my Astra diesel (not the Corsa) at current (belgian) costs and prices for an Ampera assuming I do only 40km/day and that i’ll keep the Ampera 8 years is not a good deal even with our tax credit.But if I drive (it is my case 80 km/day) and I keep the Ampera 8 years with the tax credit I’ll do gains even at the current fuel prices. I assume a 5% resale value for the Ampera after 8 years but a constant cost of electricity AND no specific maintenance costs (that is same cost for tires, wipers, … as for the Astra but no cost for the drivetrain.° My gains would be higher than 4,000 € over the ltime horizon (500 €/year).So in the European context, the Ampera is not a commuter car nor a second car.Best regards, I think I’Ill buy an Ampera if its specific maintenance cost are kept low AND our government keps its tax credit of 30% with a maximum of 9,000€.JC NPNS    


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (7:17 pm)

    no comment: ..from my reading of Lyle’s reports, I see the Volt as more evolutionary than revolutionary: the Volt is clearly a hybrid and not a full EV, but the Volt advances the hybrid concept.
        

    Name other production cars that have primary electric drives. Seems pretty unique and therefore revolutionary as there are only three sold in the US. (Tesla, LEAF and Volt). Getting 90% EV miles seems pretty EV-like.

    While you’re at it, name one other car that has a primary electric drive and a generator. Oh, there are none? Seems revolutionary then.

    no comment: as I recall the composition of the CAB, most of the members were auto writers.so the best way to find out about their experiences would be to read their columns.
        

    So smart ass, where are their columns again? All 14 please.

    btw. Have ya ever noticed that ya get a lot of negative votes? Or do ya just bang away oblivious to the rest of the community.

    btw2. It is very rude to use lower case for someone’s actual name. Fixed em for ya.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (7:23 pm)

    Personally, for as long as I can, I will only be charging my Volt at work. I just won’t have this issue with forgetting to plug-in at home. I live 6 miles from work. I may never have to buy fuel for my car in the foreseeable future since I found that 120V outlet in my work parking garage.

    I can see the 6-o-clock news headline now. “New White-Collar Crime on the Rise. Employees Tap Company Electricity to Charge Their Electric Cars”.

    ;)
    -Book


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (7:24 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    EricLG

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (7:40 pm)

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    evnow

     

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (7:59 pm)

    Rashiid Amul: This is a little disappointing. I was thinking a full charge in 8 hours using 120v.

    Interesting. @ 1.6KW – to charge 10KWH I’d have expected slightly more than 6 hours.

    BTW, how many kwh is the “empty” battery consuming. That should tell us how much of the capacity Volt is really using …


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:03 pm)

    Herm: Be nice when you comment there, you all are ambassadors for oil independence.

    I’m very glad that you reminded me about being ambassadors. I’ll email directly.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:04 pm)

    pjkPA: Something should be done for the people who had GM stock. Somehow give them a trade in for the old stock to have a chance to get some of their money back.  

    Asking for bailout of capitalists who invested in a company with absolutely no exit barrier makes no sense at all.

    We are not talking about saving entire industries or millions of jobs here.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:10 pm)

    evnow: Interesting. @ 1.6KW – to charge 10KWH I’d have expected slightly more than 6 hours.BTW, how many kwh is the “empty” battery consuming. That should tell us how much of the capacity Volt is really using …  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I believe Gary Kissel from GM said the 120v charges at 1.2kw and the new info is the Volt uses about 10.4 kwh with some conversion loss so you actually need to put in about 12kwh for a full charge and dividing by 1.2 gives 10 hrs.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:18 pm)

    Unless these resourceful Volt owners get permission from the parking garage to use their electric socket for 6+ hours a day, the Chevrolet parts department better stock plenty of replacement 120V charging cords to replace the “lost” or severed cords needed by new Volt owners.

    In my parking garage management has installed locking covers on outlets to prevent someone from getting the wrong idea as to who owns the sockets and pays the electricity bill.

    Food for thought…..

    bookdabook: Personally, for as long as I can, I will only be charging my Volt at work. I just won’t have this issue with forgetting to plug-in at home.I live 6 miles from work. I may never have to buy fuel for my car in the foreseeable future since I found that 120V outlet in my work parking garage.
    I can see the 6-o-clock news headline now. “New White-Collar Crime on the Rise. Employees Tap Company Electricity to Charge Their Electric Cars”.
    -Book    


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (8:25 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: Lyle… Are all of the CAB members keeping a detailed log and posting it like you are? If so, do you have a list of all blog addresses you can post? I would love to read everyone’s reviews!    

    All CAB members have been invited to post and many are posting here:

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?18-VOLT-Consumer-Advisory-Board-Discussion-Forum


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:04 pm)

    Way OT, but cool nonetheless:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11742606

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:15 pm)

    i believe that the charger specification is 120v@12a. that comes to around 1kwh, so it would take about 10 hours.

    RDOCA:
    I believe Gary Kissel from GM said the 120v charges at 1.2kwand the new info is the Volt uses about 10.4 kwh with some conversion loss so you actually need to put in about 12kwh for a full charge and dividing by 1.2 gives 10 hrs.    


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:24 pm)

    Darpa: In my parking garage management has installed locking covers on outlets to prevent someone from getting the wrong idea as to who owns the sockets and pays the electricity bill.

    Ummhh nope, no parking garage police at my place of work. This is at a San Diego Biotech not urban Detroit. People are rather mellow. No power cords are likely to be cut here. If someone wants to know, they’ll figure out it’s my car and come talk to me. In reality I’ll talk to the bldg mgrs first. It’s sarcasm dude. Some people are too serious. ;)


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    Stas Peterson

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:35 pm)

    Have none of you recognized the Strategy of the Volt, after all this time ?

    There is no reason to calculate the extreme CS of the VOLT, any more than it is necessary to calculate the extreme CS of a Volt driving all uphill, in CS mode, at night, with all lights blazing, as you climb Pikes Peak, at 20 below zero, adding some heating load too, with a car packed with four big adults, and the luggage compartment loaded to the top with gold bars.

    The strategy of the Volt is to ALWAYS consume all electrical miles, first. You can’t just add electrical miles and gasoline miles to get an average miles per gallon. It doesn’t work that way!
    Electrical miles are Not the equal of gasoline miles.

    The EPA doesn’t put the mileage obtained in such extreme situations on the window sticker, either for any of the cars its measures.

    The reality is the Volt delivers triple digit gasoline mileage very routinely. It substitutes the gasoline miles with electrical miles in a preferential pattern.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (9:49 pm)

    Stas Peterson: The EPA doesn’t put the mileage obtained in such extreme situations on the window sticker, either for any of the cars its measures.

    Actually, they do.

    There are 6 numbers on the window-sticker. People typically only notice the 2 big ones.

    The smaller other 4 are 2 sets of ranges, to depict the extreme situations.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:00 pm)

    OT: “China is the largest car market in the world, but the U.S. is the most profitable,” from:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_gm_ipo_china

    That quote says a lot about GM’s future.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:16 pm)

    Just checked the manufacture status of one red 2011 Volt. Nothing more than “received your order” for now. Clicked on “accessories” and see a smokers package is available. This is a cup holder ash tray with standard lighter plug in.
    Vacationing on Kauai until the 20th. Hope you all have a great week.

    =D-Volt


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    Nelson

     

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    Nov 13th, 2010 (10:17 pm)

    DonC: Stockholders were wiped out in the bankruptcy,

    That’s correct BUT it wasn’t a full blown bankruptcy. There was no total wipe of debt.

    Big thanks to all the CAB members at todays meet up!

    NPNS!


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:04 pm)

    Faz: I’m still at 3400 and just can’t wait for the car to arrive! Lyle, all your reporting is really killing the rest of who need to wait another month for the car! Killing us in a good way! :) It’s good to see the real world mileage figures that we’ve all been waiting for. Keep up the excellent information!

    Whine, whine, whine. What about those of us in Michigan that will remain at 1100 for 5 more months. And then there is the rest of the country. And Canada.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:14 pm)

    JohnK:
    What about those of us in Michigan that will remain at 1100 for 5 more months.And then there is the rest of the country.And Canada.    

    And New Mexico . . . oh, that is in the rest of the country. ;-)


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:20 pm)

    bookdabook: I can see the 6-o-clock news headline now. “New White-Collar Crime on the Rise. Employees Tap Company Electricity to Charge Their Electric Cars”.-Book  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I don’t believe that a Volt charge would be such a large impact as to be considered a crime (taking toilet paper from the men’s room is worse). The 120 VAC connection only pulls about 15 Amps, for less than 2 KW per Volt. Most company parking spaces and buildings have plenty of lamps for area illumination. The consumption of ten lamps will be more than one Volt charge, so it could be too low to be accountable. But for a small business, the Volt charge can affect its utility cost. I recommend notifying the company first. Most will allow the Volt to charge as a promotional situation, and some will not see the Volt load as important. Just ask first!

    Raymond


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:40 pm)

    Nelson: That’s correct BUT it wasn’t a full blown bankruptcy. There was no total wipe of debt.

    It certainly was a full blown bankruptcy. Or do you mean it was a Chapter 11 reorganization rather than a Chapter 7 liquidation?

    Good to hear you had fun at the meet up.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:43 pm)

    john1701a: The smaller other 4 are 2 sets of ranges, to depict the extreme situations.

    You’re right they’re there and you’re right that no one looks at them.


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    Nov 13th, 2010 (11:45 pm)

    Tagamet: Way OT, but cool nonetheless:

    NO WAY I’m driving a car at 1000 MPH. I’d no doubt “crap out” at a few hundred.


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    Nov 14th, 2010 (12:10 am)

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    Nov 14th, 2010 (12:22 am)

    if all you know is that there was a bankruptcy, then you don’t know that the stockholders got nothing. you would have to have a lot more information about the terms of the bankruptcy to know what the stockholders did, or did not, get.

    DonC:
    Bondholders in the old GM were given the right to buy IPO shares. Buying old GM bonds would have been the way to play it if you were inclined to play. Stockholders were wiped out in the bankruptcy, which is the way it should work. It’s the downside to compensate for the upside.    


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    Nov 14th, 2010 (1:44 am)

    I am a Volt fan but I couldn’t find anything inaccurate in George Will’s column. His opinions are his own, but the facts as he reported them are correct.


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    Nov 14th, 2010 (2:18 am)

    no comment: if all you know is that there was a bankruptcy, then you don’t know that the stockholders got nothing. you would have to have a lot more information about the terms of the bankruptcy to know what the stockholders did, or did not, get.

    If all you know is there is a bankruptcy then you know that there would be a 100% probability the shareholders got wiped out if the bankruptcy was Chapter 7 and a 90% probability that the shareholders are wiped out if there was a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That’s just how it works. The secured creditors stand ahead of the shareholders in line and only rarely would there be sufficient assets to pay off the creditors at 100 cents on the dollar. Hence the secured creditors get everything and the shareholders get the shaft.

    In the case of GM we know they got wiped out so that you increase the probability to 100%. Additionally, the secured creditors aka the bondholders also got mostly wiped out. They did, however, get the right to participate in the IPO. My point was that before everyone figured out how successful the IPO would be you could buy the debt in the old GM at pennies on the dollar, which would have gotten you a nice profit on the IPO. No idea what your point is.


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    DonC

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    Nov 14th, 2010 (2:36 am)

    jscott1: His opinions are his own, but the facts as he reported them are correct. 

    That’s complete BS. He has just about every fact wrong. Just look at the first two paragraphs. The first paragraph is devoted to the idea that the Volt is a “government brainstorm”. WRONG! Work on the Volt was started in 2006 and it was shown as a concept in 2007 and green lighted for production long before GM even thought it would need government assistance. The second paragraph is devoted to the idea that the Volt is just another hybrid. That’s beyond absurd and just reveals how completely and absolutely clueless Will is about anything technical.

    Sorry, George Will is just wrong on the facts. Moreover, it appears he intentionally mis-stated the facts in order to bolster his case against what he perceives to be “green subsidies”. That’s getting to be a pattern with him. He claimed that the Bush tax cuts over ten years would increase the deficit less than the Stimulus Bill in one year, but he should have known — and probably did — that the stimulus spending in one year was maybe a third or a fourth as large.

    I won’t say he just makes things up — he’s not there yet — but he’s certainly going down that road.


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    Nov 14th, 2010 (3:13 am)

    That’s it. I’m getting rid of my prius and buying a volt. My prius has grown tiresome and i’m worried about the shoddy toyota workmanshit. And now with the Volt, my prius is outdated. Eric LeGay is right–it’s a chick car anyway.


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    Red HHR

     

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    Nov 14th, 2010 (7:39 am)

    DonC: you could buy the debt in the old GM at pennies on the dollar

    and then insure it against default, or you could even insure nonexistent bonds against default. A term known as going naked. Then when GM defaulted, you would collect face value. Selling insurance on bonds by GM and others against default, is what put AIG under.


  136. 136
    R Adrian Davies

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    Nov 14th, 2010 (12:12 pm)

    Yes the Volt is just what the lib dem greenies have been waiting for. A “green” (whatever that means) car with hefty tax breaks. Well, all that means is that buyers of this car are really happy that someone else is being forced to pay for part of it. That is a really “progressive” attitude, is it not? Moreover, who is going to pay for the charging stations? The only fair way to do this is to establish “pay to use” stations that accept money. Any payment should be high enough to cover the cost of installing the station also. The only alternative to this would be for the taxpayer to pay for it (would also delight the “progressives” among us) or for employers to do it and pass on the cost somehow, either in paying the employees less, increasing the cost of it’s products, or reducing the dividend to shareholders. All of this is because money must come from somewhere.
    If the Volt were such a great deal, it would stand on it’s own merits, without any help from the government (translation=taxpayer) or anyone else.
    One last comment. Has anyone looked into what it is going to cost to get service? Maybe there is a tax break available for that too.


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    Nov 14th, 2010 (1:48 pm)

    jean-charles’ analysis is entirely legitimate. gm is not looking to just sell the volt/ampera to enthusiasts because enthusiasts don’t translate into very many sales – gm is looking to appeal to the general public.

    let me give you a case in point: honda used to make a hybrid version of the accord. yes, they sold some hybrid accords, i’m sure that there were environmental enthusiasts who did buy the hybrid accord, but honda did not sell enough hybrid accords enough to make the product offering viable. one of the reasons that the hybrid accord failed was because people looked at the price premium for the hybrid accord (several thousand dollars) versus the fact that the hybrid accord mpg was only 1 or 2 mpg better than the regular accord. most people concluded that the hybrid accord was not worth the price.

    in the larger market, there are going to be people who look at the volt/ampera and perform a similar analysis. i suspect that the number of “analysts” will exceed the number of “enthusiasts”; so you can see why gm should be concerned about the economic value proposition for the volt/ampera. in fact, i don’t doubt that gm has done such an analysis. for example, the “hold” mode seems like an example of feature that gm added to the ampera to make it more economically attractive to potential european buyers.

    DonC:

    DonC:
    My sense is that you want an EV and you’re trying to make the choice rational. Cars are consumption not investments. If you’ll smile every day when you get into an Ampera that should be enough. Just own it.    

    Jean


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    Nov 14th, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    you can believe whatever you wish to believe, but unless you have some specific facts about the gm bankruptcy, you don’t actually know what you think you know.

    DonC:
    If all you know is there is a bankruptcy then you know that there would be a 100% probability the shareholders got wiped out if the bankruptcy was Chapter 7 and a 90% probability that the shareholders are wiped out if there was a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That’s just how it works. The secured creditors stand ahead of the shareholders in line and only rarely would there be sufficient assets to pay off the creditors at 100 cents on the dollar. Hence the secured creditors get everything and the shareholders get the shaft.
    In the case of GM we know they got wiped out so that you increase the probability to 100%. Additionally, the secured creditors aka the bondholders also got mostly wiped out. They did, however, get the right to participate in the IPO. My point was that before everyone figured out how successful the IPO would be you could buy the debt in the old GM at pennies on the dollar, which would have gotten you a nice profit on the IPO. No idea what your point is.    


  139. 139
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    Nov 14th, 2010 (2:38 pm)

    Lyle-
    I wish you and others would stop reporting gas mileage as if the electricity provides free miles. On that basis an all-electric car will always provide infinitely better gas-free mileage than an EREV. In fact a diesel could arguably also get gasoline-free mileage! And so could a propane or natural gas vehicle. They would all get infinitely better gasoline mileage than an EREV…. However it simply isn’t logical. Why would you measure the efficiency of something based on an energy source it doesn’t primarily use?

    I just want to know how many electric miles and the gas mileage of the non-electric miles (or an equivalent measure). Please don’t don’t report the gas mileage of electric powered miles. It doesn’t make sense.

    (While I agree that using dirty-coal-fueled electricity is better than using dirty, foreign oil, it is still not renewable, clean, or free. If we take our eye off of the electricity usage we will not encourage further efficiency improvements and further electric grid fuel improvements.)


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    Nov 14th, 2010 (2:47 pm)

    Lyle-
    I would prefer to see gas mileage of the charge sustaining miles rather than gas mileage for the electric powered miles. On the basis of reporting total gas mileage, basis an all-electric car or a propane or natural gas vehicle would all get infinitely better gasoline mileage than the Volt since they don’t use any gasoline. However it simply isn’t logical to measure the efficiency of a device by a fuel source it doesn’t use.

    I would prefer to only see how many electric miles were driven and the gas mileage of the non-electric miles (or another equivalent measure). Please don’t don’t report the gas mileage of electric powered miles. It doesn’t make sense.

    (I do agree that using dirty-coal-fueled electricity is better than using dirty, foreign oil, but electricity is still not renewable, clean, or free. If we take our eye off of the electricity usage we will fail to encourage further electric-efficiency improvements and cleaner fuel sources for our electric power plants.)


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    Nov 14th, 2010 (2:53 pm)

    i tend to agree. from my perspective, when it comes to CD mode, the figure that i care about is range (in term of miles); when it comes to CS mode, the figure that i care about is mpg. when it come to mixed mode driving, i think that the best way to represent the data is by keeping the modes separate. this is a paradigm shift from the way that we normally think about vehicle performance, but the volt and prius plug-in hybrid represent a paradigm shift in hybrid automobiles.

    Mark Wagner: Lyle-
    I wish you and others would stop reporting gas mileage as if the electricity provides free miles.On that basis an all-electric car will always provide infinitely better gas-free mileage than an EREV.In fact a diesel could arguably also get gasoline-free mileage! And so could a propane or natural gas vehicle.They would all get infinitely better gasoline mileage than an EREV…. However it simply isn’t logical.Why would you measure the efficiency of something based on an energy source it doesn’t primarily use?I just want to know how many electric miles and the gas mileage of the non-electric miles (or an equivalent measure).Please don’t don’t report the gas mileage of electric powered miles.It doesn’t make sense.(While I agree that using dirty-coal-fueled electricity is better than using dirty, foreign oil, it is still not renewable, clean, or free.If we take our eye off of the electricity usage we will not encourage further efficiency improvements and further electric grid fuel improvements.)    


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    Nov 14th, 2010 (3:25 pm)

    Lyle,
    Please start a thread (whatever it’s called) focused solely on the issue of what term is logical to express the miles traveled using the energy expended to travel those miles. I can see the conventional MPG for CS mode alone. I can See Miles Per Kilo Watt (MPKW), Miles Per Therm (MPT), Miles Per Whatever Term is Agreed Upon (MPWTAU), for EV mode. I will never see mixing the two……it doesn’t make sense. If you stood in front of me, telling me that your car just traveled 10,000 miles, and because of your short commute you had only purchased 2 gallons of gasoline during that same period, you got an average of 5,000 MPG………..Would you believe the four-old standing on the chair next to the empty cookie jar, wiping the crumbs off his face, when he says”no, I didn’t eat the cookies”. Maybe that’s a poor analogy, I’m hungry for a cookie now.
    Please don’t let this continue.


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    Nov 15th, 2010 (10:16 am)

    Very disappointing article from Mr. Will. He’s had a few of them lately. I used to be a big fan of his.

    He even brings in “drive-the-wheels-gate”. From a public policy standpoint, which is Mr. Wills’ schtick, it matters not a bit whether the ICE drives the wheels, or whether little Fred Flintstone feet pop out and propel the car.


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    Nov 15th, 2010 (11:52 am)

    In case you get impatient waiting for the green light and horn chirp, there’s several iPhone apps you could use to remind yourself to check on the status of your Volt’s charging process to see if everything is going as planned. Maybe the Volt’s iPhone app already has this feature.

    You could use this iPhone app called VoCal to remind you if you’ve plugged in your Volt. It uses you own voice that you pre-record to remind you. I’m sure there’s other ways you could get a text reminder with a sound alert too if you prefer that.

    http://www.gzero.com/vocal.html


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    Nov 15th, 2010 (3:09 pm)

    I am looking for a Volt owner in the East Phoenix area for a little experiment. I have developed a modification (no parts) for the intake airstream that is causing really respectable gains in horsepower in under-powered vehicles.

    Shoot me a note through my YouTube page or e-mail me directly at Gadgetman @ GadgetmanTechnologies.com.

    Ron Hatton
    aka Gadgetman
    http://www.YouTube.com/GadgetmanGlobal


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    Nov 15th, 2010 (4:41 pm)

    Mark Wagner (139) is absolutely correct that the cost of electricity should be taken into account since it reminds us that the electric car is just one leg of the tripod that is the electric economy.

    The other two legs are concentrating solar power (CSP) and reinforcement of the interconnecting grid (connecting various generating plants).

    CSP is “power towers” in desert areas wherein many mirrors follow the sun and concentrate its energy onto a receiver on a tower containing molten salt. The salt transfers its heat to water to make steam at 1,000 degrees F., driving a standard modern turbine-generator. The hot salt is economically (adds only 5% to investment) stored so that 10 hours of operation daily is added during night hours. A first plant is already being built: 100 mW capacity.

    CSP with salt is the only all-day utility-grade fully-sustainable power source. It must be provided as more Volts are built or else we’ll just be adding the use of dirty coal or cleaner gas–but both unsustainable.


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    Nov 22nd, 2010 (1:38 pm)

    Mark Wagner,

    On a similar thought, I’m surprised at the focus on people trying to calculate miles per gallon or miles per energy unit when the large concern for many of us is really miles per dollar. I love what GM is trying to do with making a car that can runs purely on electricity for a short duration. It’s electric-only range fits my driving pattern so I’ve been looking into it as a possible next car. However, given the purchase prices of a Volt and a Prius with the respective incentives and the cost of electricity and gasoline in my area (MI), I would have to drive a Volt over 1,200,000 miles purely on electricity before recouping its increased cost over a Prius. Given how long it takes to charge the car so that it can run on just electricity, I’d need 40-50 years. When using gas, the Volt gets lower mileage using premium than a Prius using regular, and the Volt then has increased operating costs. So, for mid-Michigan, saving a little gasoline seems like it would cost a chunk of money.

    GM employees get further price breaks, so the break-even point is earlier, but not everyone can get that price. Also, regarding comments that some are charging at work, that doesn’t seem like a solution that scales. I would agree that most companies today wouldn’t mind but only because the numbers are small. Once there are a large number of cars trying to charge, the electricity costs for the company will be appreciable (as one other comment suggested, 10 parking lot lights per car). Electricity is not free yet. Someone is paying for it.

    Also, does anyone have any information on the carbon footprints of producing any of these vehicles, Prius, Volt, Leaf, etc., compared to traditional IC cars? It isn’t appropriate to classify any of these vehicles as green if their manufacturing processes cause more harm than their fuel economies prevent.


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    Nov 23rd, 2010 (1:40 pm)

    I agree , carbon footprints of the manufacturing process is quite important to compare this against regular vehicules.

    I can’t wait for the day when we are able to produce enough energy to charge the battery on a roof top solar panel .