Dec 06

Former EV1 Driver Loves his Volt

 


[ad#post_ad]Greetings from Los Angeles! My name is Kris Trexler. I’m an LA-based film editor, and one of 16 lucky people GM selected to be on the Volt Customer Advisory Board. Like other CAB members, I’m driving a pre-production Volt for 3 months. GM selected me because I formerly leased one of their wonderful EV1 electric cars from 1996-2003. When the EV1’s lease was up, I purchased a 2004 Toyota Prius which served me well for 120,000 miles. I held no ill will towards GM at the end of the EV1 program, and would have considered a GM hybrid had one been available in 2003. When the Volt concept car was announced, I was thrilled that GM got back in the EV game, and followed the production car’s progress. I placed an order for a Crystal Red Volt which I’ll take delivery of in a few weeks. When GM invited me to be on the CAB, I enthusiastically responded YES!

I drove my EV1 further than most people who leased them. In 1998, I drove my EV1 from Los Angeles to Detroit on a 2 week adventure not affiliated with GM. I wanted to show off GM’s cutting edge technology in places where the EV1 was not available. There was never a problem with the car, and the EV1 received great publicity as the trip unfolded. I coined my adventure “Charge Across America,” and you can learn more about the trip on my website and see a CNBC story about it:



As of December 1, I accumulated 1,800 trouble-free miles on the CAB Volt, validating my decision to buy one. The Volt is a wonder to behold, fun to drive, cheap to operate, and friendly to Mother Nature. GM made a wise choice to give the Volt “extended range” capabilities. I never “ran out of juice” in my EV1, but that was because I was careful to plan my daily drives. But “range anxiety” was ever present, something Volt owners will never deal with. The Volt will be my only vehicle, other than several classic cars I own.

I’ve been charging the Volt 3x/week, rarely needing the generator except for an 850 mile trouble-free roundtrip from LA to San Francisco on Thanksgiving weekend. I drove the Volt between 75-85 mph, and it effortlessly zipped up the 6% “Grapevine” grade at 70 mph on I-5 north of Los Angeles. My Volt passed many struggling ICE’s on the grade.

Off-peak electric rates with the LA Department of Water and Power are a mere 9 cents per kilowatt hour (versus 22 cents peak). DWP installed a “whole-house time of use meter” at my home to enable me to take advantage of the low off-peak rates.

Since few people have driven a Volt, I made a video which lets you see the driver’s displays in various modes. I did not narrate the video so viewers can hear the actual sounds in the Volt’s interior while driving. Each segment is captioned to inform. Other than tire/road noise, you don’t hear much inside a Volt, including a nearly silent ICE generator which runs when the battery charge is depleted. My battery-only range varied between 35-50 miles depending on driving style. The Volt has a lot of torque, encouraging me to enjoy its peppy acceleration. Drive the Volt hard and on hilly terrain, and battery range will be reduced. Drive it with moderate acceleration and you’ll drive further on each battery charge.

Enjoy the video and listen to the sounds of the incredible Volt!

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This entry was posted on Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 7:18 am and is filed under EV-1, Volt Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 85


  1. 1
    BobS

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (7:32 am)

    Was there a cost to you to have the “whole-house time of use meter” installed?


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    BDP

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (7:34 am)

    Nice video!

    We should all be driving electric & here’s why………

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/12/05/leaked-documents-highlight-terror-fund-woes/


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    nasaman

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (7:37 am)

    Welcome as a guest author, Kris! And kudos for edging out Lyle in total miles logged so far (he has 1671 mi on his CAB Volt so far). I really thought his fairly long commute and numerous “side” trips for hospital patient visits would rack up the miles so fast it would be hard to beat his total. But Angelinos really rack up the miles! Oh well, there’s a lot of time left, Lyle! (kidding!)

    I am very glad GM selected you Kris (and other experienced EV drivers like Chels Sexton and Lyle) —there’s no substitute for experience and I think we’d all rather hear about the contrast between the Volt and other EVs rather than conventional cars. Again, thanks for sharing your experiences with us!
    .


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    Loboc

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (7:39 am)

    WOW!! Very cool stuff. I especially liked the EV1 ride. First time I’ve every watched a live driving video for the earlier car.

    Looking at both car’s display I think I would like either analog gauges or heads-up display. It seems like you could really get into watching the displays and not pay so much attention to driving.

    I had an ’88 Mercury with digital dash and didn’t like it much. Although the mpg read-out was cool. It also had a way to set a speed warning if you went over the limit.

    I guess I’m more of a traditionalist. Just give me a few gauges and a radio.

    Thanks Kris!


  5. 5
    IQ130

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (7:42 am)

    New record in the Drive Log, no gas and electricity used on 12-04-2010.


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    Mark Z

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (7:46 am)

    Kris, WOW, am I glad GM chose you to be a CAB member. An absolutely fantastic video. Loved the EV-1 comparisons and thank you for the extensive displays of the Volt. Took a look at your web site. Amazing automobile history and the first page text has a 3D effect when displayed on the iPad with the contrasting colors. So much to enjoy, I’ll be back to study the cars in detail and check out the TV shows.

    Thanks again for the drivers seat experience of the Volt (and EV-1.)


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    koz

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (7:55 am)

    Thanks a bunch for the great video. I was struck by how much quieter and more refined the Volt is than the EV1.


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    Jim I

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (7:59 am)

    I have to say that I really liked the fact that you let the car do the talking!!!

    Even on my test drive, when I wanted to just hear the car, the GM rep would not stop talking. I know it was a short test drive, and they wanted to tell me all the wonderful features, but sometimes saying nothing says volumes.

    And this video was the very first time that I was able to see and hear the changeover from CS to CD modes.

    Excellent work!!!

    I hope you will make future posts on this site!

    🙂


  9. 9
    JEC

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (8:26 am)

    I am with Loboc on all the eye candy. I want simple and reliable. With so many things, so many things can go wrong.

    I did like your security code for your EV1! Kind of reminded me of Spaceballs and the security code used.

    Also, as was evident in the comparison between 1996 and 2010 technology, the displays will looked ancient in just a few years, and I would prefer using classic gauges and indicators that never go out of style.


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    Michel Paquin

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (9:05 am)

    Excellen video, really got the felling I was driving it. Thanks!


  11. 11
    Big Bird

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (9:08 am)

    That was a great comparison between the two EV’s

    I remember the EV1 and how I wanted one but it wasn’t practical here in COLD Canada. Glad GM brought out EV2.0 (Volt)


  12. 12
    VladG

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (9:25 am)

    “We put customer in the center again”… Yes! Yes! I am the customer in that center and- guess what – I want THE VOLT!
    Well, I guess there are too many of us in the center… all of 2011 batch is sold out, I see no plans on roll out in my state… Hey, GM, may be it is the time to increase Volt production?

    Kris, thank you for fantastic video! I would say – this is the most detailed “hands on” video for the Volt I have ever seen. Great driver’s perspective gives an impression of being inside the car. Keep us posted!


  13. 13
    nuclearboy

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (9:56 am)

    Great Post, good perspectives.

    Thread Hijack Alert. Please disregard the following information to avoid a diversion from this excellent article. …..

    Just reading through my ANSYS mail and thought I would share the Volt News in their newsletter.

    http://www.ansys.com/chevy-volt/

    http://www.ansys.com/magazine/issues/vol4-iss1-2010/GM.pdf


  14. 14
    Kup

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (10:21 am)

    Nice post Kris! Hope to see more of your reporting.

    OT: I hear that the ads on this site are somehow personalized but it is funny that I can see on my screen that there is a “2010 Volt Closeout” ad. Hmmmmm, should I stick with my 2011 Volt order or consider getting a used 2010 Volt? Real tough choice! LOL


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    Volt45

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (10:35 am)

    Thanks for your video and insight, Kris.
    The EV1 was cooler than I thought… And louder, too.
    A little NVH refinement goes a long way.

    By looking at your website I can see why GM picked a car loving guy like you.
    The VW camper buses inspire true devotees like yourself.
    When I was majoring in environmental resources engineering, I was told the 60s and 70s air-cooled VWs ( types I, II, III and IV) are the all time air pollution champs.
    So I was struck by the irony of you owning, or about to own, the best and the worst.
    I was told a 1600 cc beetle was the pollution equivalent of a 500 cubic inch Cadillac V8, the largest ever produced, found here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_V8_engine?wasRedirected=true

    Someone who worked at a freeway-side pollution monitoring station told me when he saw the instruments spike he didn’t even have to look up, as he would hear the ping of a VW going by.
    Why? The design inherently burns off oil, even without the flaw of the engines not having enough surface area to the heat radiating fins, which is why they ran too hot.

    I told all this to my favorite aunt, a Berkeley vegetarian meditating flower child hippie of the 60s, and “shocked” doesn’t describe how she felt. She and my uncle drove a VW squareback, their camper really, for something like 25 years.


  16. 16
    Jason

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (10:47 am)

    Thanks for a great video Kris! I found it amazing how outdated the interior of the the EV1 appeared. The Volt blows the EV1 completely out of the water. GM has definitely cleared themselves of being the company that “killed the electric car”. They have brought the future to us all.


  17. 17
    Tim in SC

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (10:48 am)

    Just a thought: instead of having Tim Allen be the spokesman for the Volt, how about John TraVOLTa?


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (10:56 am)

    Tim in SC: Just a thought: instead of having Tim Allen be the spokesman for the Volt, how about John TraVOLTa?    

    Bah-dump-bump!


  19. 19
    Tim Hart

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (10:59 am)

    Kris, Thanks for your comments and video. You may be the only EV-1 user that held no grudge against GM! Boy, it sure has been worth the wait for the comeback. It’s hard to imagine how they could have built a better car than the Volt. It’s been an amazing saga from the EV-1 to the Volt and its only going to get better. Thanks again for your input.


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    LeoK

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (11:01 am)

    Great video Kris. One of the best ‘virtual test drives’ I’ve ever seen. Your decision to allow the vehicle and its driver feedback be the soundtrack was a fantastic choice. And very nice job on the subtitle edits – makes it very easy to follow along. Kudos.


  21. 21
    DonC

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (11:02 am)

    Thanks Kris. Loved the video. The radio spot at the end was a really nice touch.

    WOW, the EV1 was quick. Loud but quick.


  22. 22
    Tagamet

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (11:15 am)

    I’ll add my thanks and praise to all the others’. Excellent video and brilliant idea to let the Volt do the talking.
    It’s amazing how “20th century” the EV1 controls/buttons looked! It’s hard to sense the incredible speed at which the tech is changing, while immersed in it! The flashback to the EV1 provided a real insight into the progress that’s taken place since “back in the ’90’s”. (g).
    Again, thanks for the article and video! I hope we hear more “hands-on” reports from the (lucky) CAB participants.

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


  23. 23
    Rashiid Amul

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (11:31 am)

    Kris Trexler,
    Wow that was very cool. I love the captions and the silence. I had previously missed that the ball was an efficiency monitor. I would probably have trouble keeping my eyes on the road because I would always be looking at that ball.

    Thank you for the video. For me, it was quite educational and enjoyable.


  24. 24
    Streetlight

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (11:32 am)

    This particular route up I-5 LA-SF through Grapevine (and back) is a drive I’ve looked forward to hearing about. For several years I drove this typically two times a month. With a number of vehicles and in just about every kind of weather. VOLT performed as expected. (Of course I know VOLT engineering has done this routinely in development.) An utter impossibility for LEAF. The same would be true in a drive SF-Reno. No problem for VOLT and an impossibility for LEAF. I would acknowledge in these scenario drives were LEAF to be able to change batteries aka a “Better Place” of course LEAF could finish. But even with quick change batteries hardly does LEAF compare to the quality drive-ride of VOLT.

    A most interesting report – thanks Kris.

    P.S. Your EV1 was – despite stories to the contrary – a winner. In Larminie-Lowry ‘EV’s Explained’ (2000) EV1 is the poster case describing basic EV design principles.


  25. 25
    Paul C from Austin

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (11:36 am)

    Thanks, Kris, for a wonderful video- during the short test drive I got of the Volt, I really did not get a chance to stare at the displays much, much less play with them, so your video fills that in nicely for me. And yes- I was struck by how quiet the car was even in extened range mode- when they first drove up, I thought they were on battery they were so quiet.


  26. 26
    Eco_Turbo

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (11:51 am)

    From article:

    My Volt passed many struggling ICE’s on the grade.

    I’m lovin’ it. 🙂


  27. 27
    nasaman

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (11:52 am)

    VladG: Kris, thank you for fantastic video! I would say – this is the most detailed “hands on” video for the Volt I have ever seen. Great driver’s perspective gives an impression of being inside the car. Keep us posted!

    Great videography! Well planned, executed & edited! I’ve done TWO complete test drives of pre-
    production Volts: one this March in NYC at Pier 92 and the second this October at the Walt Disney World Speedway. Both were aggressive —yet leisurely, not rushed. For both tests I focused on the Volt’s performance and handling —hardly glancing at the displays. So I learned very little about them, which I found frustrating afterward. Your video was therefore exceedingly welcome, Kris! Every Volt dealer should have one like it on a 5GB(?) USB thumb drive so customers could get familiar with the displays before they even take the shifter out of “Park”!

    /Regarding the EV1 vs Volt doors: the EV1’s door closes noisily; the Volt’s closes like a vault!
    //Where’d you get that “chincam”?
    .


  28. 28
    George K

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (11:52 am)

    Thanks for the ride Kris! I felt like I was in the car driving, except I preferred to look at the guages while you did the driving.

    =D~~~


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    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (11:58 am)

    nuclearboy: Great Post, good perspectives.Thread Hijack Alert.Please disregard the following information to avoid a diversion from this excellent article. …..Just reading through my ANSYS mail and thought I would share the Volt News in their newsletter.http://www.ansys.com/chevy-volt/http://www.ansys.com/magazine/issues/vol4-iss1-2010/GM.pdf    

    Thanks nuclearboy! This information shows a part of how GM was able to deliver this great vehicle on time. Go Volt!Go GM! It also shows the collaboration by so many companies to achieve great results.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


  30. 30
    pjkPA

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (12:04 pm)

    Thanks Kris … very good post!

    The video is very well done… wish more of the road was seen while driving but really liked the information.. very good job!

    I too drove the EV1.. rented one for 2 days in 2000 at LAX… seems the Volt is more quiet… but I don’t think it is as quick as the EV1… what would be interesting is to put the Volt batteries in a EV1… that really would be a quick car!

    Thanks!


  31. 31
    mikeinatl.

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (12:31 pm)

    Great post!

    I had not seen those graphics yet. WOW!

    And by the way, the soon-to-be $3.00 per gallon would look much better if I were getting 131.4 miles per gallon. (Or in my case, much more.)

    Go Volt!


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    Larry McFall

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (12:34 pm)

    I’m not supprised! I would be elated if I could drive one also, and I loved the EV1. So much for me getting to drive one anytime soon. ???????


  33. 33
    mikeinatl.

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (12:35 pm)

    Lyle,

    Wanted to jump off the thread for a minute and complement you on a WORLD CLASS WEBSITE.
    It is one of the best looking and best functioning sites I have ever seen.
    Your are to be commended.

    Take a bow.

    GO VOLT (and Lyle!)


  34. 34
    Mike-o-Matic

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (12:57 pm)

    Tim in SC: Just a thought: instead of having Tim Allen be the spokesman for the Volt, how about John TraVOLTa?    

    Arrggh… booooooo….. bad pun. Bad puns are my FAVORITE! +1 for the LULZ 😀

    Excellent video Kris! Thanks for the great guest post!


  35. 35
    Doug Korthof

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  36. 36
    Josh P

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:14 pm)

    AWESOME! More ride along videos like this! Especially if you can catch other people’s reactions if they know what car it is. Keep it up.


  37. 37
    caldoodlevolt

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:17 pm)

    Wow, how could GM have been so lucky as to get Kris, a film professional, on its Volt advisory panel! They could not have bought a better video than the one on this site today. That car is getting better by the minute.

    One warning, though (laff), it appears that the car is so quiet that the driver and passengers may go to sleep unless the factory adds some more noise makers.

    BIG BTRY


  38. 38
    David

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:23 pm)

    I feel like Dash from the Incredibles sitting in the Limo after the battle with the robot “THAT WAS THE BEST VIDEO EVER!………… DID YOU HEAR THE ALL THE COOL SOUNDS WHEN IT STARTS AND HOW IT SHOWS HOW ENERGY FLOWS FROM THE WHEELS TO THE BATTERY!!……………..I LOVE OUR VOLT.”


  39. 39
    Chaim

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    Very cool…thanks for the video. I especially enjoyed the “vintage” clip of your EV1 ride…

    Chaim


  40. 40
    Kris Trexler

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:32 pm)

    BobS,

    The LA DWP did not charge me to install the TOU meter. However, there is an $8/month fee.


  41. 41
    Chris C.

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic:
    Arrggh… booooooo….. bad pun.Bad puns are my FAVORITE!+1 for the LULZ

    You’re Not Punny
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-november-29-2010/you-re-not-punny


  42. 42
    nasaman

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    caldoodlevolt: Wow, how could GM have been so lucky as to get Kris, a film professional, on its Volt advisory panel! They could not have bought a better video than the one on this site today. That car is getting better by the minute.

    One warning, though (laff), it appears that the car is so quiet that the driver and passengers may go to sleep unless the factory adds some more noise makers.

    BIG BTRY

    You’re right —the Volt is incredibly quiet! But I doubt LA-area drivers will fall asleep very often, for a reason most non-Angelinos don’t know about: the Freeways and some surface streets are grooved as Kris mentions (for improved wet traction); worse, the portland cement used has seams between the cement “slabs” to relieve stress, and these seams cause more noise than the grooves (sounds like KA-BOOMP…KA-BOOMP…KA-BOOMP and it goes on endlessly on freeways). I notice it in all Volt videos shot on LA freeways, and as an Angelino myself I heard it first hand for years and years!

    /Where I live now (Florida) the weather is so mild the grooves & seams aren’t needed, so road noise is much less in a quiet car’s interior.


  43. 43
    Kris Trexler

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:43 pm)

    Hi everyone. Thanks much for your nice comments about the video. Regarding the “vintage” EV1…the first time I rode in one in 1996 I thought it was the most futuristic car on the planet. At the time, it was. I loved the sound of it and wow was it peppy! Comfy seats, and all the amenities you would expect on a car of that ear, sans energy wasting power seats. But when I dug out that old video, the EV1 looks very old school compared to the Volt. There’s no doubt about it, the Volt is a far superior car. No one should hold a grudge with GM for putting the EV1 to rest. So much of what was learned from that car is in the infinitely refined Volt.

    Sorry I won’t be available to respond much for awhile. I’ll be involved in a project that will leave me little free time through December.


  44. 44
    Tall Pete

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:45 pm)

    Thanks Kris, I really enjoyed the ride 😉


  45. 45
    Tall Pete

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:50 pm)

    Loboc: Looking at both car’s display I think I would like either analog gauges or heads-up display.

    JEC: the displays will looked ancient in just a few years, and I would prefer using classic gauges and indicators that never go out of style.

    I’m with you both on that one. I’d much rather have analog displays, even if it’s simulated in a screen.


  46. 46
    Mentatbashar

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:51 pm)

    Great video! Thank you for posting that for those of us who won’t see a Volt until 2011-2012 at the earliest.

    To all CAB members, please keep the videos coming!

    Mentat


  47. 47
    nasaman

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:52 pm)

    Kris Trexler: …when I dug out that old video, the EV1 looks very old school compared to the Volt. There’s no doubt about it, the Volt is a far superior car. No one should hold a grudge with GM for putting the EV1 to rest. So much of what was learned from that car is in the infinitely refined Volt.

    There you have it, folks —from today’s gracious host, a real “car guy” and car collector, an EV1 owner and aficionado and an official Volt CAB member!


  48. 48
    Shock Me

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:54 pm)

    Kris,

    I really enjoyed the vintage EV1 video. I agree that the Volt is a great improvement. I would be happy to drive either one even today.


  49. 49
    Tall Pete

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (1:59 pm)

    David: DID YOU HEAR THE ALL THE COOL SOUNDS WHEN IT STARTS

    Reminds me when they turn the time circuits on in BTTF.


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    omnimoeish

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (2:05 pm)

    That video from inside the EV1 is priceless. I bet there are very few surviving like it.


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    benson

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (2:08 pm)

    Sorry folks, if this is a duplicate of someone else’s post. I just don’t have the time to look through all the archives. But it’s a quick story of some charging stations being put up not too far from me.

    http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2010/12/west_michigan_getting_ready_fo.html


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    jscott1

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (2:18 pm)

    Tall Pete: I’m with you both on that one. I’d much rather have analog displays, even if it’s simulated in a screen.    

    Analog displays look like the 1800s. I prefer the LCD displays all the way. Perhaps they will come out with analog “skins” for the traditionalists that prefer analog.

    Thanks for posting that EV-1 video, I never saw that before. Can you believe the stock market was still in fractions! Everything looked ancient. But it’s kind of sad when you know how that chapter ended. But at least the Volt represents the start of a new chapter.


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    Krahnos

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (2:23 pm)

    I just love that whirring sound the electric motor makes when accelerating and decelerating! It’s very futuristic/Star-Treky. I really think this is the car I’ve always wanted since I was a kid watching Star Trek the Next Generation!

    Now if I could figure out how to make the on-screen graphics mimic the control terminal scheme of that show. 🙂


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (2:26 pm)

    jscott1:
    Analog displays look like the 1800s.I prefer the LCD displays all the way.Perhaps they will come out with analog “skins” for the traditionalists that prefer analog.
    Thanks for posting that EV-1 video, I never saw that before.Can you believe the stock market was still in fractions!Everything looked ancient. But it’s kind of sad when you know how that chapter ended.But at least the Volt represents the start of a new chapter.    

    Having LCD screens for gauges opens all kinds of possibilities. I can definately see having different “skins”, including analog gauges, can now be possible. One can finally customize the look of their gauges instead of being stuck with the same cluster forever!


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    Krahnos

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (2:27 pm)

    Tall Pete:
    Reminds me when they turn the time circuits on in BTTF.    

    I would SO mount up a replica of the flux capacitor in my Volt. 🙂


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    Jackson

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (3:05 pm)

    On “gauge” design:

    The only really relevant and needed “analog” gauge is for speed. It takes longer for a driver to process numbers than to see and understand an analog representation (we’re talking maybe-crucial instants here). To that end …

    Consider the main display as basically three columns; the ‘battery remaining/fuel source’ graphic on the left, the efficiency ball on the right, and the speed and other info down the middle (there is some info at the top and bottom of course, but this is in general).

    By moving the central display column closer to the right (the efficiency ball), a very narrow column opens up to the left (by the battery or gas remaining graphic). This would be a good place to put a vertical bar graph which rises and falls with the speed. It could also change color from blue through green, yellow, orange and red as it rises, to give additional ‘corner of the eye’ noticeability.

    As for the other traditionally analog guages, “Tach” is irrelevant, and other info is needed less urgently. Anything beyond this “speed bar graph” would need a different overall scheme; and should be optional if offered.

    .


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    Jackson

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (3:19 pm)

    In response to the excellent video:

    This should inspire a series of actual GM ads:

    graphic:

    The Chevy Volt Speaks for Itself:

    scene:

    Volt main display

    action:

    (Similar to the video but much shorter; we hear someone get in, and all the boot up and start sounds, followed by driving away quietly with that mph counter ticking away impressively, fade to black …

    graphic

    The quiet is overwhelming

    (Corvette Guy can probably think of a better tag line, but you get the idea).

    Chevy Volt
    201[x]

    .


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    caldoodlevolt

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (3:22 pm)

    I’ve learned something new about southern California, an off peak electricity rate, but a charge for a special electrical meter.

    Is it possible to buy such a meter and avoid the continuing charges? I have gotten way ahead with a number of lifetime subscriptions/memberships. Now that I have my 240V line, and heavy feed wires, I am close to installing that far end to the circuit (probably way overbuilding, but I love gadgets-like the Volt!).

    Kris Trexler: BobS, The LA DWP did not charge me to install the TOU meter. However, there is an $8/month fee.  (Quote)  (Reply)


  59. 59
    MarkA

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (3:30 pm)

    I found the video absolutely mesmerizing. The EV1 footage was quite the bonus.


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (3:30 pm)

    Jackson: By moving the central display column closer to the right (the efficiency ball), a very narrow column opens up to the left (by the battery or gas remaining graphic). This would be a good place to put a vertical bar graph which rises and falls with the speed. It could also change color from blue through green, yellow, orange and red as it rises, to give additional ‘corner of the eye’ noticeability.

    If the issue is display-crowding or avoiding a ‘busy’ look, how about just shifting the speed number to the right a little, and put a same-height (or slightly smaller) pie chart to it’s immediate left? It could gradually fill and empty as speed rises and falls. For appearance’s sake, it could be shaded to look like a sphere, though this isn’t really necessary. The color-change idea fits this graphic as well (“fuller” is more noticeable at higher speeds, as it should be). A completely round ball would indicate maximum programmed speed.

    .


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    Jackson

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (3:40 pm)

    The sound of the EV1’s acceleration reminds me irresistibly of Wile E Coyote’s wind up to speed while trying to catch the Road Runner.

    😉

    .


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    BLIND GUY

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (3:46 pm)

    #56 Jackson In response to the excellent video:

    This should inspire a series of actual GM ads:

    graphic:

    The Chevy Volt Speaks for Itself:

    scene:

    Volt main display

    action:

    (Similar to the video but much shorter; we hear someone gets in, we hear all the boot up and start sounds, followed by driving away quietly with that mph
    counter ticking away impressively, fade to black …

    graphic

    The quiet is overwhelming

    (Corvette Guy can probably think of a better tag line, but you get the idea).

    I couldn’t agree more. I cannot tell you how annoying some loud commercials can be. This kind of demonstration of the Volt would intrigue people and promotes excitement. The commercial should be configured so that you feel like your really the driver in the Volt.


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (4:16 pm)

    I just noticed an interesting thing about the speedometer reading. In the EV1 video, the speedometer was able to instantaneously update according to speed. In the Volt, the speedo reading seems to be slower – it frequently jumps two or three numbers during fast accel. or decel. I wonder if this is on purpose, or if the computer isn’t fast enough to update with rapidly changing speed?


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (4:43 pm)

    My bad… I just came back from my first trip in the US, and spent 5 days in Los Angeles. If I knew it earlier about a Volt being at Chris’s hand, I would be camping at the entrance of his Studio and definitely hastle him to let me have a drive!

    In a side note, I want to confess I could not resist renting a Camaro and a Lincoln Navigator… geeeee that was great!


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (4:47 pm)

    Great Posting, Kris, Thanks!

    Most meaningful for me were your comments on loving the EV1 but feeling Range Anxiety. I’m sure that’s alleviated in the Volt.

    What a sensation climbing into the volt from that noisy busy street, closing the door with that solid “Thunk” and then enjoying that peaceful quiet!

    All those screens will seem overwhelming at first, but I’m sure we’ll get used to them. I especially like the powertrain graphic that shows the wheels turning when under way. Cool!

    Keep up the postings and send us tips on certain things you’ve had to adapt to.

    Anxiously awaiting ny Silver Ice VIN#63


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (5:05 pm)

    Great report and excellent filming. Thanks for sharing it with us.


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (5:15 pm)

    Krahnos: if the computer isn’t fast enough to update with rapidly changing speed?    

    Please tell me you are kidding………….

    The CPU’s available today are so much more powerful than what was available in the mid 90’s.

    IMHO, this was done by design, so that that last digit would not flash so much. I am sure if they wanted to, they could put a decimal point and a few digits to the right side, but all you would see is a display of all seven segments lit up most of the time…..

    When we first started to test computers for speed back in 1980, we wrote a series of tests that took about an hour to complete. I stopped running those tests when they all started to come back as 0.0. I had to increase the quantity of each test by 1000, just to get a time reading for each test segment!

    Sorry for the old geezer trip down memory lane……….. 🙂


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (5:26 pm)

    I just reviewed Kris’ excellent video again —this time at 720p/full screen. WOW! …you can pause it and see details far better than on any videos or stills I’ve seen before. At 720p/full screen the Volt’s screens are close to (or even a bit larger) than their actual 7″ dia size, depending on your monitor!
    .


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    Dave G

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (5:47 pm)

    Krahnos: I would SO mount up a replica of the flux capacitor in my Volt.

    Like this?
    !Bp2Pl7!CGk~$(KGrHqMH-DcEu,j)e)NiBLtLl67GMw~~_3.JPG
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120541126751


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (6:18 pm)

    As nasaman mentioned, be sure to watch the HD version of the video. My little Canon SX210 does a pretty good job of shooting HD video.

    It’s possible to simplify the view of the DIC. There a config setting on the left side of the instrument panel near the a/c duct. I prefer the full view.


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (6:25 pm)

    Jackson: On “gauge” design:The only really relevant and needed “analog” gauge is for speed.It takes longer for a driver to process numbers than to see and understand an analog representation (we’re talking maybe-crucial instants here).

    As for gauge design I’m glad to see the digital dash making a comeback. Everyone says that analog can be processed faster, but I would like to see the data on that, because it’s contrary to my experience.

    If I want to know if I’m speeding, on an analog gauge I have to first look at the hash marks and try to figure out what the distance is between marks, then I have to set up an interpolation scheme in my head just to figure out how fast I’m going, and then 3 seconds later I can compare that to the speed limit. On a digital gauge it’s instantaneous.

    In my opinion the opinion of the magazine writers killed the digital dash in the 80s and then used their opinions to convince everyone analog is better. I would really like to see scientific data that shows that to be true.


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    pjkPA

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (6:31 pm)

    Have you noticed the drive log? 151 mpg …

    3 times the closest competitor…..

    Amazing … Chevy Volt.


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (6:43 pm)

    ChevyVoltProduction.jpg?t=1291678734

    Great video Kris. The first several hundred 2011 Volts will soon be delivered. Providing 1000’s of demo drives to friends and family. GM hasn’t seen the beginning of true demand for this technology. We all agree, it’s awesome to be a part of.

    =D-Volt


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (6:50 pm)

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    Big Bird

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (8:01 pm)

    Hey Doug Korthof still calls it a “hoax” haha I love this guy!

    I know I know DFTT but I couldn’t help it…


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    Loboc

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (9:13 pm)

    Jackson: The only really relevant and needed “analog” gauge is for speed.

    What about Temperature, Gas Gauge (split for electric and gasoline), Ammeter (traction battery draw/regen), and Tachometer (drive motor speed).

    Tachometer is relevant because the variable ratio of the transmission kicks in and lowers the rpms.

    The ‘gas gauge’ could start out with all-electric range, down to the 1/4 mark and then gasoline after that. (or two needles and one dial.)

    The ammeter is an ammeter. You’re either drawing power or putting some back.

    Temperature needs one dial and three needles since there are three cooling systems.

    A standard gauge set from a Camaro is fine with me. They’re digital in the background and have been for years. Throw on a couple extra needles as needed and voila!


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    Tagamet

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (9:43 pm)

    Loboc:
    What about Temperature, Gas Gauge (split for electric and gasoline), Ammeter (traction battery draw/regen), and Tachometer (drive motor speed).
    Tachometer is relevant because the variable ratio of the transmission kicks in and lowers the rpms.
    The ‘gas gauge’ could start out with all-electric range, down to the 1/4 mark and then gasoline after that. (or two needles and one dial.)The ammeter is an ammeter. You’re either drawing power or putting some back.Temperature needs one dial and three needles since there are three cooling systems.A standard gauge set from a Camaro is fine with me. They’re digital in the background and have been for years. Throw on a couple extra needles as needed and voila!    

    You missed blood pressure. Other than that, I think that you have them all covered. (g) 🙂

    Be well and believe,
    Tagamet

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


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    Loboc

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (9:49 pm)

    jscott1000: If I want to know if I’m speeding, on an analog gauge I have to first look at the hash marks and try to figure out what the distance is between marks, then I have to set up an interpolation scheme in my head just to figure out how fast I’m going, and then 3 seconds later I can compare that to the speed limit. On a digital gauge it’s instantaneous.

    That’s not how I do it.

    -see speed sign (say 60mph)
    -blink on the speedometer (the gauge and needle position are on your retina now)
    -needle above 60 – oops
    -needle below 60 – good

    Takes less than one-hundredth of a second.

    Other gauges (gas, temp, volts, etc) should be in the middle of their dial. Don’t need to know the exact reading just the relative position on the dial. If something is ‘off’, watch the road to see where you’re at (safe to glance down?). Blink down again to make sure.

    All this happens in hundredths of a second. At ~150 feet per second, ya ain’t got a lotta time to watch goofy economy balls go up and down. It’s firmly planted in the ‘bad’ position anyway, so why bother.

    Humans are analog beings. Gauges just make sense. If digital was ‘better’ in some way, race drivers would use digital.


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (10:25 pm)

    Jackson: On “gauge” design:

    The only really relevant and needed “analog” gauge is for speed. It takes longer for a driver to process numbers than to see and understand an analog representation (we’re talking maybe-crucial instants here).

    jscott1000: As for gauge design I’m glad to see the digital dash making a comeback. Everyone says that analog can be processed faster, but I would like to see the data on that, because it’s contrary to my experience.

    If I want to know if I’m speeding, on an analog gauge I have to first look at the hash marks and try to figure out what the distance is between marks, then I have to set up an interpolation scheme in my head just to figure out how fast I’m going, and then 3 seconds later I can compare that to the speed limit. On a digital gauge it’s instantaneous.

    Please note that in my original #55 and the follow-up #59, I am advocating an analog addition to the digital readout, not an analog replacement. If all you have is a split-second you may not have time to look down at the numbers in the first place. In those cases, analog rules because a glimpse out the corner of your eye might be enough. In the situation you describe, having the numbers saves a step. So why not include both if you can?

    Loboc: What about Temperature, Gas Gauge (split for electric and gasoline), Ammeter (traction battery draw/regen), and Tachometer (drive motor speed).

    Tachometer is relevant because the variable ratio of the transmission kicks in and lowers the rpms.

    The ‘gas gauge’ could start out with all-electric range, down to the 1/4 mark and then gasoline after that. (or two needles and one dial.)

    The ammeter is an ammeter. You’re either drawing power or putting some back.

    Temperature needs one dial and three needles since there are three cooling systems.

    Frankly, I won’t conceivably need that information on an instantaneous basis, and fully digital or animated graphics will do me just fine.

    The value of a speedo slider is just what I think, guys. Maybe someone will make the whole screen ‘skinable’ for the few, maybe not. My suggestion is a simple way to offer an analog feature which might add a real benefit for the greater number without resorting to a full-fledged ‘steampunk’ custom “skin.”

    Does anyone know of scientific analog vs digital instrumentation studies? I haven’t heard of any, though I suspect it matters more for a few indicators than for the others (obviously).

    .


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    Hodginator

     

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    Dec 6th, 2010 (10:54 pm)

    Great post!!! That is the type of video I have been waiting for.

    Have fun with it. Many of us hope to be able to play soon to.


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    Dec 6th, 2010 (11:02 pm)

    Kris,

    Nice write up 🙂

    My Volt passed many struggling ICE’s on the grade

    Do you remember any specific make/models?

    Did you use mountain mode and, if so, how far back did you engage MM?

    Thanks!


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    Engineer

     

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    Dec 7th, 2010 (4:07 pm)

    I LOVE the idea of consumers making videos for GM advertising. If we (by we I mean owners and potential owners) make a youtube video showing why we love the Volt, explaining how it works we can spread awareness.


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    fotomoto

     

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    Dec 7th, 2010 (4:18 pm)

    Loboc:
    That’s not how I do it.
    -see speed sign (say 60mph)
    -blink on the speedometer

    Yet you read the numerical (digital) speedlimit sign in a blink of the eye too. (VBG)

    I can’t wait till they reach the point where you can change the style, look, feel, and choices of the display (aka skin) via software. I could see manufactures charging for “accessory upgrade skins” just like everything else they do now (carpets, window tint, etc).


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    Dec 8th, 2010 (8:11 pm)

    Very cool, Kris! Was it possibly your CAB Volt I saw parked on Colorado in Old Town a few weeks ago? I’m jealous – but like you have ordered a Crystal Red Volt. Can’t wait for it to arrive (just getting it scheduled for production would be enough for me!).


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    UVicEcoCARTeam

     

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    Dec 9th, 2010 (4:31 pm)

    That is awesome! The futuristic dash display is great with the efficiency guages for the different drives. The backup cool is also very cool… maybe we should think about some of these details for our vehicle. We are currently working on an in-dash display for our Saturn-VUE hybrid which is, like the Volt, a plug-in electric/gasoline vehicle.

    Support University of Victoria in the EcoCAR competition!
    Check out the team on Uvic EcoCAR website: http://www.ecocar.uvic.ca
    Get involved on Uvic EcoCAR forum: http://ecocar.dailyforum.net/
    Learn more about the competition on Green Garage website: http://www.green-garage.org/