Nov 01

Two-year Volt review by MrEnergyCzar – video

 

After two years and 27,489 miles, MrEnergyCzar’s Volt gets an A+ on its report card.

Actually, it gets a video documenting a trouble-free car that cost very little to drive and has met expectations completely.

As most of you know, MrEnergyCzar focuses on being prepared for the effects following peak oil.

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The Volt and his solar power are key parts of that strategy and having his own electricity saved him on a potential $30 per month electric bill but the Volt’s use of around 5 gallons of gas per month to drive 1,145 miles per month was thanks to the engineering behind the Volt.

Over the two years, he drove 85 percent in pure EV mode which saved the genset from burning more fuel, and MrEnergyCzar’s info readout shows 235 lifetime mpg.

Electrical consumption for the 24 months was about 7,300 kilowatt-hours.

Thanks to his solar panels, he paid 2 cents per mile, or 56 miles per dollar. This compares to 13 miles per dollar for a Prius and 5 miles per dollar for an average SUV.

The Volt also helps in power outages by running a pure sine wave inverter connected to the battery.

Maintenance for the Volt also was inexpensive at $77 for the two years.

The video otherwise speaks for itself, and the takeaway is an implicit “What’s not to like?”

Now if only GM could learn to market the car a bit better.

MrEnergyCzar says he thinks improved commercials would help as the number one question he still gets is “What happens when the battery depletes?”


 

And while the Volt haters have gotten quiet for the most part, they are still out there. We’ll see if biased Americans who are determined to stay that way ever mend their ways.

“It amazes me how political ideology can convince someone that an American-made, American-powered car is a bad thing,” says MrEnergyCzar as he drives along. “They’d rather us get our fuel for our cars from corrupt oil regions of the world that want to harm us.”

Right. Go figure.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 1st, 2013 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 80


  1. 1
    James McQuaid

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (6:30 am)

    Congratulations Mr. Energy Czar on your Volt success story!


  2. 2
    xiaowei1

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (6:51 am)

    Thank you Mr. Energy Czar, I do get a lot from your videos, and this was a great review with very good tips – for example, I was unaware previously a dead key fob can still be used to start the car.

    I hope at year 2 for my volt, i’ll be able to do a review too – that’s about 22 months way, though I should have about 100,000 km (62,500 miles) up by then as I do a lot of driving.

    thanks again!


  3. 3
    Mark Z

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (6:54 am)

    What a great report for the weekend. Thanks for sharing the reliability and cost savings.

    It’s ironic to view the two year Volt review after emailing Jeff yesterday about my one year ownership experience with Model S. Recent reports of Volt safety added with Mr. Energy Czar’s findings will help encourage my enthusiasm for the Volt while answering questions about other EV cars. I have had many opportunities to do that while the BEV is repaired at a Tesla Service Center.


  4. 4
    Dave G

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (7:21 am)

    Another great video. Keep ‘em coming!

    I noted 85% of your miles were in EV mode. That’s a little more than typical, but not much.

    According to http://www.voltstats.net, the median for all Volts is currently 80% EV mode. The Gen 2 Volt will have more AER, so that will probably get closer to 90%.

    In order to drive home this point, I’ve created the following graph that shows how EREVs compare to pure BEVs for gasoline use.

    curve_zps0c3e8036.jpg

    In the future, I believe car makers will start concentrating on the knee of this curve. Since EREVs naturally fit into this knee, and have no compromises, other car makers will start building EREVs to compete with the Volt. When that happens, consumers will finally get it, and EREV sales will take off.


  5. 5
    hocaspocsa

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (7:43 am)

    If I can charge my volt at work I will be driving between your ranges or even 100% electric.


  6. 6
    Dave G

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (7:44 am)

    By the way, the video compares the Volt tax credit with the child tax credit.

    A better comparison would be this: The U.S. government gives big oil companies over $4 billion a year in tax credits. Plug-in tax credits are minor compared with this. For a level playing field, plug-in tax credits would need to be higher.

    Democrats have repeatedly tried to remove these huge tax credits for big oil. Republicans always block it. Same with subsidies for high income farmers. Same for many lucrative defense contracts. The list goes on. Republicans are socialists too. The only difference is who gets the pork.


  7. 7
    Loboc

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (8:09 am)

    Hey MEC,

    Do you amortize your costly solar and other energy saving devices? Having your own power generation plant can’t be cheap. Last time I checked, if solar panels (and their control gear) last 10 years it costs over 20c/kWh to generate electricity.

    Not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just way more expensive than 5.1c that I pay for NG+wind generated power.

    My point is that you need to count this as part of the cost to run your Volt. It’s like me saying I ‘save’ $276/month in gasoline and at the same time spend $300/month more for the car. The total cost of ownership may not yield 2c/mile.

    My Volt costs 46.6c/mile when counting electricity, gas, speeding tickets, insurance etc. For the same 2-month period last year, my used HEMI SUV cost 48.4c/mile.

    Gasoline for Volt was $22.96. For SUV was $574.53. Remarkable, but, not the whole story.


  8. 8
    Dave G

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (8:19 am)

    From the article:
    Mr. Energy Czar says he thinks improved commercials would help as the number one question he still gets is “What happens when the battery depletes?”

    That’s the number one question for us as well.

    GM, are you listening?


  9. 9
    Schmeltz

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (8:35 am)

    Well done Mr. Energy Czar…We salute you!


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    taser54

     

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (8:38 am)

    Picture at the top looks like Delaware, with its penchant to leave old walls standing everywhere.


  11. 11
    Tim Hart

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (9:29 am)

    Thanks for your continuing efforts to educate and inform the public Mr. Energy Czar. An interesting and related headline showed up on Yahoo today showing how Tesla is fast becoming the preferred car in many of the most affluent areas around the country, especially California. So there is hope!


  12. 12
    Raymondjram

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (9:31 am)

    Dave G: That’s the number one question for us as well.

    GM, are you listening?

    If I had an EV and someone asks what will happen when the battery charge is depleted, I would answer “the same as if you ran out of gas.” If they would respond that they will never let their car run out of gas, I would answer, “Neither would I let the battery run down completely.” Same logic, different “fuel”. The biggest difference is that if I let my EV roll downhill, I get some power back and I can keep going!

    Raymond


  13. 13
    MrEnergyCzar

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (9:38 am)

    Loboc,

    The solar covers the whole house. Once that happened, I cut my energy use at home further to free up the 6,000 miles per year to move the Volt. That cut was basically free. I see it as surplus power, no different if you stopped using your electric dryer to offset your Volt’s power needs etc…

    Thanks for the comment.

    MrEnergyCzar


  14. 14
    MrEnergyCzar

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (9:38 am)

    Thanks for another great article Jeff, as always.

    MrEnergyCzar


  15. 15
    xiaowei1

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (9:52 am)

    Loboc,

    I also have solar, and its guaranteed for 25 years (in Australia). my 3.2kw system (a bit small for my liking) was about $3,000. it covers most of my energy bill as we get a large credit for electricity feed into the grid (which government is not longer offering to new installations), the system is paid for within about 3 to 4 years. our power is charged at 23cents per KW, so perhaps we are just more expensive down in OZ which makes solar more worth while.


  16. 16
    George S. Bower

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (10:25 am)

    Not to spoil a discussion but “peak oil” just ain’t happening. Just today I read an article in the NYT that Oil tanker production for companies moving exported oil OUT of the US is expanding at a big rate. Also if you look at the price of gas lately it is actually quite cheap (except for California, the land of expensive everything). This is not good for sales of EV and I don’t like this “cheap gas ” trend that we have going on here in the US.


  17. 17
    George S. Bower

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (10:30 am)

    Dave G:

    According to http://www.voltstats.net, the median for all Volts is currently 80% EV mode.

    Don’t forget Dave. As was pointed out to me by DonC and others here, Voltstats is probably not a representative sampling. It is a captured group of early adopters and Volt fans and as such the %EV numbers that are presented on Voltstats are artificially high.


  18. 18
    Mark Bruce

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (10:45 am)

    Just got my Volt 2 days ago, waiting for the 2014 model. I can’t believe how good it feels to be part of the “club” on here. I charge at free at work so I’m looking forward to the Volt telling me “you haven’t used your gas in a year, let me cycle it for you so you can put fresh in it.” :D So happy, I can’t even describe it! Thank you GM and GM-Volt for keeping me informed!


  19. 19
    ClarksonCote

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (10:54 am)

    Thanks for describing the EV Extend inverter kit in your video Mr. Energy Czar!


  20. 20
    RobbertPatrison

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (10:57 am)

    Thanks for the nice video. A true apples-to-apples comparison is hard to make, but comparing cost is probably the easiest to do. As a rule of thumb, driving electric is approximately 2x cheaper than gasoline and 2x better CO2-wise compared to efficient compact cars. But electric rates vary wildly, so we can expect very different outcomes. It also doesn’t account for the higher purchase cost of the car. Taking that into account (roughly $1000/year in extra depreciation), I expect to be barely above break-even compared to an efficient hybrid.

    In my case I used to spend ~$200 on ‘dinosaur blood’ driving 1000 miles each month at 22MPG. The best electric rate I can get here in Norcal is whopping $0.20 off peak, so driving the Volt would cost me about $65/month to drive the same 1000 miles on electricity (I manage to drive >95% EV). Luckily I can do most of my charging at work for free, which cuts my effective monthly transportation energy cost down to ~$15, which is almost negligible.


  21. 21
    Kent

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (11:11 am)

    Loboc, xiaoweil,

    I’m in CA. I installed my solar in 2005 and it’s also guaranteed for 25 years. Before I even got my Volts, I estimated my payback from the solar to be about 8-9 years. My out-of-pocket costs (after tax credits) was just under $20,000 for a 3.9 kwh system ($3,000? Really??). In 2012, after I got my first Volt and before I got my second, I added nine more panels (1.3 kwh) at a net cost of $6,600. My electricity costs for the most recent year was $600 and this covers a 2-story, 5BR house and powers two Volts for for over 1,000 miles per month each.


  22. 22
    MotoEV

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (11:19 am)

    Nice review and good to see owner enthusiasm. While Volt marketing can not be characterized as bankrupt, it has not set the world on fire. Marketing is a tricky business. Elon Musk and Tesla have been able to obtain ‘mindshare’ like very few competitors.

    Here is an example….

    Tesla sent me an email invite to test drive a Model S at a resort hotel this weekend. When I spoke to the employee, I asked about their marketing approach. For this example, he stated ‘when we get expressed interest in a given area, we will set up a test drive event in the area over the weekend. People tend to like it and we can turn interest into a sale!!!’.

    HELLO GM!!! ARE YOU LISTENING!!!

    A parking lot tent at a shopping mall is not the way to get people to release 70K from their wallet.

    I think GM is doing a disservice to all the Volt engineers and technicians by not being more transparent about the future of Voltec. It is clear the Volt has been outstanding from a reliability and quality control perspective.

    Answer me this….

    Other countries use taxes and fees to incentivize consumers to make smart decisions but does not decide technology winners or losers. In the U.K. they buy petroleum from the same global market as the United States. This is a national decision to tax fuel to encourage conservation and decrease waste. Those who want to waste can do so but they pay greatly for that privilege.

    I think the domestic manufacturers want the status quo to remain (full size light duty vehicles) because it is largely uncontested by foreign manufacturers and is profitable. Hyper efficient vehicles have an established foothold in Europe and higher fuel prices in the U.S. could result in a onslaught of global competition.

    Higher fuel prices would help the Volt but hurts the domestic manufacturers.

    I think U.S. energy policy is inconsistent. Ironically, higher fuel taxes encourages development of hyper efficient cars and trucks which:

    1) Helps reduce the national trade balance
    2) Encourages alternate fuel vehicle development
    3) Discourages consumers from driving 15 mpg off-road vehicles to go to the grocery store
    4) Encourages the development of better mass transportation for all (not just the poor)

    In the long run U.S. citizens would be better off with a shift in national energy policy

    ‘Gas prices are lower in the U.S. to a large extent because the U.S. subsidizes oil production and levies relatively low gas taxes. Other countries tax gas consumption more heavily, according to Bloomberg. Gas prices are highest in Norway at $9.69 per gallon, where there are large taxes on gas to subsidize free college education and infrastructure improvements’.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/united-states-low-gas-prices_n_1518169.html


  23. 23
    MrEnergyCzar

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (11:26 am)

    I think the average Volt driver drives in EV mode about 66% of the time, I can’t recall where I read that from though….

    Peak Oil is about the peak in production of conventional oil which happened globally in 2006 and in 1970 in the states. We’re replacing these declines with unconventional sources that are too expensive to allow first world economies to grow without printing money. Most peak oil articles today don’t talk about conventional oil’s decline but focus on the lower net energy other sources rise. It’s kind of like replacing a cheap healthy food diet with expensive unhealthy food and saying we’re healthy.

    MrEnergyCzar


  24. 24
    hvacman

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (12:01 pm)

    George S. Bower:
    Not to spoil a discussion but “peak oil” just ain’t happening. Just today I read an article in the NYT that Oil tanker production for companies moving exported oil OUT of the US is expanding at a big rate. Also if you look at the price of gas lately it is actually quite cheap (except for California, the land of expensive everything). This is not good for sales of EV and I don’t like this “cheap gas ” trend that we have going on here in the US.

    OH, PO is happening – check the montly EIA oil reports. The US is not exporting crude oil – we still have to import almost 8 million barrels/day. We have some excess refining capacity, though. Other countries are sending their crude here for our refineries to process. We then send them gasoliine/diesel, which is technically “exporting”. World oil prices are dropping as the world economy slowly cools again, not because oil production is booming or getting cheaper.


  25. 25
    Kevin R

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (12:12 pm)

    Does anyone know who to hook up the Volt to an inverter to use as a household battery backup instead of a gas generator? I’m keeping my Volt after the lease and want to do this.


  26. 26
    George S. Bower

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (12:26 pm)

    Kevin R:
    Does anyone know who to hook up the Volt to an inverter to use as a household battery backup instead of a gas generator?I’m keeping my Volt after the lease and want to do this.

    ClarksonCote has a nice set up. There is a thread on the forum and a link to where you can purchase one:
    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?19999-Inverter-Kits-now-Available!


  27. 27
    Loboc

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (12:34 pm)

    Kent,

    $27k is 10 years of electricity for me. Does this 25year warranty cover hail damage and moving?

    Most Americans move every 5 years.


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    Steverino

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (12:41 pm)

    In order to drive home this point, I’ve created the following graph that shows how EREVs compare to pure BEVs for gasoline use.

    What? No Spark EV to fit between the Leaf and Tesla?


  29. 29
    Noel Park

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (12:42 pm)

    James McQuaid:
    Congratulations Mr. Energy Czar on your Volt success story!

    #1

    Second the motion. +1

    Goin’ racin’, cya Monday. Blog on!

    “Who loves ya, baby?”


  30. 30
    George S. Bower

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (1:10 pm)

    Noel Park: #1

    Goin’ racin’, cya Monday.Blog on!

    That’s our boy!!
    NoelRacing_zps8497a748.jpg


  31. 31
    George S. Bower

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (1:34 pm)

    Mark Bruce:
    Just got my Volt 2 days ago, waiting for the 2014 model.I can’t believe how good it feels to be part of the “club” on here.I charge at free at work so I’m looking forward to the Volt telling me “you haven’t used your gas in a year, let me cycle it for you so you can put fresh in it.” So happy, I can’t even describe it!Thank you GM and GM-Volt for keeping me informed!

    Welcome and glad your loving your new Volt!


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    George S. Bower

     

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (1:38 pm)

    Loboc:
    Kent,

    $27k is 10 years of electricity for me. Does this 25year warranty cover hail damage and moving?

    Most Americans move every 5 years.

    hi Loboc,
    I’ve been in my house here in Tonto Basin for almost 10 years now and I lived in our house in Phx for 25. I figure the electricity coming off my solar panels cost me 7 cents/kwh but thats amorizing over the life of the panels (20 years).


  33. 33
    bobc

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (1:41 pm)

    MotoEV,

    Musk and Tesla have the luxury of designing a purpose built electric car and automotive manufacturing company from the ground up with no legacy relationships. Traditional auto manufacturers have dealerships as a middle man with states rights being a powerful tool to keep the dealerships in business. Dealerships have made money in the past on service more so than actual selling of cars. As cars become more reliable and service visits become less frequent dealerships have to figure out how to monetize their curcumstances or put salesmen sales support and mechanics out of business. Like the Auto companies themselves there is a lot of support businesses to a dealership. upolsterers, detailers, body shops, parts supply houses. So the issue is not as simple for estaplished auto manufacturers.
    With respect to a national energy policy and taxing gasoline, you mentioned Noway which is a Socialist country. I think you can hardly expect the stake holders to any energy policy in this country to cop to excessive taxes on fuel . The howls of protest everytime the current president even mentions higher corporate taxes and cutting breaks for energy companiies coming from their lobbys and the congresspersons they control are ridiculous. A national energy policy is tantamount to socialism and that is a dirty word for the oil lobby and many conservatives.


  34. 34
    kdawg

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (1:42 pm)

    Over the two years, he drove 85 percent in pure EV mode which saved the genset from burning more fuel, and MrEnergyCzar’s info readout shows 235 lifetime mpg.
    —————

    Very close to my 1.5 year summary. I’m at 85.6% EV mode and 220 mpg.

    Dave G: I noted 85% of your miles were in EV mode. That’s a little more than typical, but not much. According to http://www.voltstats.net, the median for all Volts is currently 80% EV mode.

    I created a bell curve of the data from Voltstats. The center of the curve is right at 86%, thus Energy Czar and myself are typical Volt owners (when looking at Voltstats data)

    Bell_Curve_EV_Percentage_zpsf03ab9b0.jpg


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    Streetlight

     

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (1:52 pm)

    If you’re selling VOLT, wouldn’t this video cinch the deal… at least the buyer has been educated. What better confirmation of VOLT’s game changing motif. Thanks MrEnergyCzar for a most informative presentation.

    One point MrEnergyCzar touches on is VOLT’s battery capacity after 10 years. He anticipates
    25′s & 30′s. That’s a problem GM must face given the Gen 1 VOLT will still be relevant
    well into the 2020′s.

    My point is this: At 15% ICE at say 15,000 miles/yr–obviously 150,000 over a ten yr. period. Thus 15% = ~20,000+. That means, if the battery capacity were not to diminish, then around 2022 a 10 yr old Gen 1 VOLT’s ICE would have been turned on a mere 500/600 hrs or so. Hardly broken in.

    However if at 10 yrs VOLT’s battery capacity has diminished into the 25′s, then the ICE must turn on much more or a proportional time. Now multiply this by the couple hundred thousand VOLTs expected..See the point…


  36. 36
    Jackson

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (2:50 pm)

    I’m envious of those out in the sun and wind who can make household alternate energy pay; where I live there are too many clouds and trees, and not enough wind.

    There is a factor of 20 difference between “super off peak” and “on peak” during the 4 summer months here (factor of 6 the rest of the year), so I plan to watch for a feasible household load-shifting system. Does anyone have knowledge or a lead in this area?

    I have no interest in a system based on lead-acid.


  37. 37
    Kent

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (4:05 pm)

    Loboc:
    Kent,

    $27k is 10 years of electricity for me. Does this 25year warranty cover hail damage and moving?

    Most Americans move every 5 years.

    The solar panel warranty does not cover hail damage or moving (I wouldn’t expect it to cover moving). Hail damage (which is very, very rare in my area of CA) would be covered by my homeowner’s insurance policy.

    I’ve been in my house since 1999 and have no plans on moving for at least another 15-20 years. If I did move and needed to sell my house, my solar system would obviously increase the value of the house.


  38. 38
    Jackson

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (5:37 pm)

    Mr. Energy Czar,

    In your video you said that if you leave the car plugged in, turn it on, turn off all accessories for a couple of hours, it would force the battery to charge all the way. This may no longer be supported in the 2013; this afternoon I backed the car out to wash* it, and plugged in to try this (it was showing 42 miles). When I came back to check 2 hours later, the green light was blinking like it was charged, but the miles still showed as 42. Perhaps I did something wrong? Also, I didn’t drive anywhere afterwards except back into the garage.

    *My Volt wash wasn’t nearly as entertaining as the one on your site, though I did take my shirt off. No video was made, which is a good thing; it would have been used to train puppies. ;-)


  39. 39
    MrEnergyCzar

     

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (5:50 pm)

    Jackson: Mr. Energy Czar,

    In your video you said that if you leave the car plugged in, turn it on, turn off all accessories for a couple of hours, it would force the battery to charge all the way.This may no longer be supported in the 2013; I backed the car out to wash* it, plugged it in and tried it for a couple of hours this afternoon (it was showing 42 miles).When I came back to check 2 hours later, the green light was blinking like it was charged, but the miles still showed as 42.Perhaps I did something wrong?Also, I didn’t go anywhere except back into the garage.

    *My Volt wash wasn’t nearly as entertaining as the one on your site, though I did take my shirt off.No video was made, which is a good thing; it would have been used to train puppies.

    I was saying that if you plug it in, with the accessories off and the car on for 15 minutes before you leave you’ll charge the battery to the maximum. We’re talking an extra 2 miles or .5 KWH, not the remaining battery buffer. Some people time their charge to finish just before they leave as well, probably does the same thing. The 42 miles your Volt showed probably wouldn’t change I don’t think. I don’t know why the Volt tops off a little bit more when you do this but others have the same results.

    MrEnergyCzar


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    kdawg

     

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    Nov 1st, 2013 (6:51 pm)

    MrEnergyCzar,

    I think you are just pre-conditioning the battery, not actually putting more energy into it. This allows you to use grid energy instead of battery energy, thus increasing your range.

    Have you collected data w/a dash-daq (or other OBD2 device) while doing this?


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    Nov 1st, 2013 (6:55 pm)

    MrEnergyCzar,

    I did just pop to the store, and the display showed 38 when I returned. I know the actual distance was further than that by around 2 miles. Maybe the ‘top up’ just doesn’t appear in the display. NOTE: I did not repeat the procedure before setting out.


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    Nov 1st, 2013 (7:15 pm)

    Mr. Energy Czar,

    Thanks for that informative video. My wife and I just purchased
    a 2014 Volt on Oct. 27, 2013. First new US built car we ever
    purchased and I am 63 years old.

    Its nice to see mpg in the 3 digit figures, so far 157 mpg for life of the car
    with about 300 miles on it now.

    I did not know that about the key start feature. It
    seem I learn something new about the Volt everyday.

    With the Fed Tax credit the price was in the same range as a fully
    equipped Prius.

    We still have our 2010 Prius which we can still use for those long trips but we can still
    use the Volt for those trips as well and still get over 40 mpg on the road…..


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    Nov 1st, 2013 (8:00 pm)

    Steverino: What? No Spark EV to fit between the Leaf and Tesla?

    Maybe because the Spark EV is too new (only four months), but it will be there by next year.

    Raymond


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    Nov 1st, 2013 (9:26 pm)

    MrEnergyCzar,

    This is one of your best videos!!
    The inverter part was a winner.but just as a suggestion: minimize the politics.


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    Nov 1st, 2013 (10:04 pm)

    Dave G:

    In the future, I believe car makers will start concentrating on the knee of this curve.

    davefuelvsAER_zps95bb0136.jpg
    I do believe that statement Dave. Going from gen 1 to get 2 Volt with a 5-10 mile increase in AER has a huge effect on fleet fuel consumption. The anlysis I did backs up your plot. An almost 50% reduction in fuel consumption just by raising AER by a measly 5-10 miles:

    http://gm-volt.com/2013/10/28/gen2-volt-more-aer-equals-less-range-extender/

    Here is an article I wrote that says just that.

    More AER has a big effect on Volt fleet fuel consumption.


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    Nov 1st, 2013 (11:04 pm)

    Raymondjram: If I had an EV and someone asks what will happen when the battery charge is depleted, I would answer “the same as if you ran out of gas.”… The biggest difference is that if I let my EV roll downhill, I get some power back and I can keep going!

    The biggest difference is this: In the U.S., there are about a million gas station pumps that can refuel your car for 300-500 miles in just 5 minutes.

    It would be decades before a fast charging infrastructure could compete with that, if ever. And for what? As we see from the curve above, EREVs and commuter BEVs can replace 90% of our gasoline consumption just by charging at home and/or at work. No need to haul around huge batteries. No need for megawatt chargers.


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    Nov 1st, 2013 (11:24 pm)

    kdawg:
    Over the two years, he drove 85 percent in pure EV mode which saved the genset from burning more fuel, and MrEnergyCzar’s info readout shows 235 lifetime mpg.
    —————

    Very close to my 1.5 year summary.I’m at 85.6% EV mode and 220 mpg.

    I created a bell curve of the data from Voltstats.The center of the curve is right at 86%, thus Energy Czar and myself are typical Volt owners (when looking at Voltstats data)

    The point is that the typical driver gets around 80% EV mode with 38 miles AER. We can quibble about the exact number, but I think we can agree its more than 70% and less than 90%.

    Similarly, the typical driver would get closer to 90% EV mode with 52 miles AER. Again, we can quibble about the exact number, but I think 90% is a good approximation.

    In other words, we don’t need exact numbers to evaluate the relative impact of various solutions.

    George S. Bower: Don’t forget Dave. As was pointed out to me by DonC and others here, Voltstats is probably not a representative sampling. It is a captured group of early adopters and Volt fans and as such the %EV numbers that are presented on Voltstats are artificially high.

    I’m not so sure. As charging at work gets more popular, %EV averages may actually increase.

    Also, I believe I remember hearing that voltstats.net includes pre-sale data from dealer test drives and deliveries, and this actually lowered the averages initially.

    In any case, unless GM releases the median stats for all Volts, we’ll never know the exact numbers.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (3:11 am)

    taser54,

    I am guessing it is near Wilmington, DE or Philadelphia…


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (11:29 am)

    Dave G: The biggest difference is this: In the U.S., there are about a million gas station pumps that can refuel your car for 300-500 miles in just 5 minutes.

    It would be decades before a fast charging infrastructure could compete with that, if ever.And for what?As we see from the curve above, EREVs and commuter BEVs can replace 90% of our gasoline consumption just by charging at home and/or at work.No need to haul around huge batteries.No need for megawatt chargers.

    The purpose of the Volt and BEVs is to reduce usage of gasoline and eliminate visits to those gas stations. I have a gas station less than 230 feet away, but I have 220V outlets only 30 feet away. It all has to do with the state of mind. If you don’t believe that EVs will replace ICEs then you are old-fashioned minded.

    Gasoline fuels up faster, but if you plan your trips, you can charge up at night. I have my trips planned before I take them, and I never have run out of gas. So if I had a BEV I will do the same. And BTW, there are hundred of millions of outlets in the U.S. that can feed a BEV. If you want a fast “fuel up”, then don’t buy a BEV and stay in the past.

    Raymond


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (11:50 am)

    Raymondjram: The purpose of the Volt and BEVs is to reduce usage of gasoline and eliminate visits to those gas stations. I have a gas station less than 230 feet away, but I have 220V outlets only 30 feet away. It all has to do with the state of mind. If you don’t believe that EVs will replace ICEs then you are old-fashioned minded.

    Gasoline fuels up faster, but if you plan your trips, you can charge up at night. I have my trips planned before I take them, and I never have run out of gas. So if I had a BEV I will do the same. And BTW, there are hundred of millions of outlets in the U.S. that can feed a BEV. If you want a fast “fuel up”, then don’t buy a BEV and stay in the past.

    Raymond

    The US is a lot bigger than Puerto Rico. Many trips would be wildly impractical on overnight charging with most BEVs, as you would need multiple charges on a day’s driving.

    Your parochial sermons are getting tedious, especially when combined with a snarky attitude.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (2:01 pm)

    Dave G: In any case, unless GM releases the median stats for all Volts, we’ll never know the exact numbers.

    I could care less about averages. They don’t work for stats like this (trying to view the experience of a typical Volt driver). You need a bell curve to see the actual distribution.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (2:07 pm)

    Raymondjram: If you don’t believe that EVs will replace ICEs then you are old-fashioned minded.

    I wish you understood how this sounds. To quote George Lucas: “Only the dark side deals in absolutes“.

    And it shows you haven’t understood me. As I’ve said many times, I believe that in the future, most range extenders will not use internal combustion engines, but they will use liquid fuel. Here’s one example of what I’m talking about:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEFC
    I’m sure there will be many more examples of non-ICE based range extenders.

    In other words, I believe EREVs will replace ICEs.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (2:13 pm)

    kdawg: You need a bell curve to see the actual distribution.

    This is a valid point. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution.

    But in the end, if you want to maximize sales, the product should be optimized for the average / median / typical driver, so it’s good to know that also.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (2:17 pm)

    Dave G: The biggest difference is this: In the U.S., there are about a million gas station pumps that can refuel your car for 300-500 miles in just 5 minutes.
    It would be decades before a fast charging infrastructure could compete with that, if ever. And for what? As we see from the curve above, EREVs and commuter BEVs can replace 90% of our gasoline consumption just by charging at home and/or at work. No need to haul around huge batteries. No need for megawatt chargers.

    In your hypothetical, where 90% of gas is no longer used, what do you think is going to happen to all those gas stations? They will disappear. But guess what, everyone still needs electricity, and it’s already everywhere TODAY. DC fast chargers don’t require employees either, or truck drivers to fill up the tanks weekly.

    You say “decades” and “if ever”, but in just the last year the # of DC fast chargers has increased significantly. I agree is going to take time, people resist change, but at the point where most people are doing most of their driving in EV mode vs. gas mode, gas stations will take a back seat to EV charging stations.

    Here’s a map of the DC Fast chargers in the US. I wish I had a map of what it looked like last year (very sparse).

    USDCChargingStations_zpsa3fba26c.jpg


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (2:23 pm)

    George S. Bower,

    Not sure if correlating tankers built to ship oil out of the USA and global peak oil discussions are one and the same. We went from almost no exports, to exports is all. Korea accepting oil contracts with Alaska was one of the few export sources. All that did was replace the equation of our imports/exports. The world consumes 99,000,000 barrels a day of oil, while the earth is able to create about 5,000 barrels of oil per day naturally.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (2:27 pm)

    Really enjoying my 20,000 mile 1-1/2 year old volt. For me, although I honestly doubt a battery replacement will ever be needed, likely I’ll purchase one around the 150,000 mark. Watching the cost of batteries go down so far, so fast has really surprised me. The good news is the same battery size and stationing in this car will likely achieve 80 miles on a charge. I’m all in when they hit that point. Even if I don’t have to replace, I will. Of course, I’m giving this one to my daughter for college, so this will be a new Volt in about 4 years.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (2:41 pm)

    Dave G: average / median / typical driver

    These aren’t the same things. There are Volt drivers that never plug in their car. And there are others that rarely plug in. And there a few that plug in, but also drive 250 miles every day. It only takes a couple of these people to seriously distort the averages. So the “average” data does not represent the “typical” driver.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (2:57 pm)

    kdawg: In your hypothetical, where 90% of gas is no longer used, what do you think is going to happen to all those gas stations? They will disappear.

    Yes, I believe that in the future, the number of liquid fuel filling station pumps will be a small fraction of the million we have today, perhaps in the range of 100,000 to 200,000. But that’s still A LOT!

    kdawg: I agree is going to take time, people resist change …

    This is putting it mildly. People are said to “resist change” when they choose an inferior solution because they’re used to it. For long distance driving, liquid fuels are clearly superior to current “fast” chargers. Resisting change and choosing a superior solution are two different things.

    kdawg: … but at the point where most people are doing most of their driving in EV mode vs. gas mode, gas stations will take a back seat to EV charging stations.

    Not sure what you mean here.

    Yes, gas stations will take a back seat to home EV charging stations.

    But since liquid fuel filling stations are superior for long distance driving, they will not take a back seat to public EV charging stations.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (3:02 pm)

    kdawg: It only takes a couple of these people to seriously distort the averages.

    Yes, but outliers don’t affect median or typical results. That’s the difference between median and average.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (3:05 pm)

    We own TWO Volt’s one operating at 93% all battery and my new 2013 just went over 88.3% and climbing. Verifiable on VoltStats. I guess I’m the exception but we did our research before buying and knew with our life style and daily commute to work we could operate a Volt well over 90% of its miles from the battery/grid.

    So far I have spent about $11 dollars in maintenence costs on our 19 month old 2012, one oil change, one tire rotation and two gallons of windshield washer fluid. I only paid $5 at my dealer after using a $25 dealer discount off an oil change/tire rotation and then got a $10 VISA card rebate.

    We pay 9.1 cents per kW here in southern Illinois.

    We love our Volt’s and can say without a doubt they are the BEST cars I have owned in my 46 years of car ownership (I’m 61).


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (3:38 pm)

    Dave G: Not sure what you mean here.
    Yes, gas stations will take a back seat to home EV charging stations.
    But since liquid fuel filling stations are superior for long distance driving, they will not take a back seat to public EV charging stations.

    What I’m mean here, is when everyone is driving plugins, and all of your local destinations have chargers (including workplace), the only time you might need gas, is as you say, long distance traveling, only if you are using a car w/a smaller battery and a range extender (this also assumes no HS DC charging network which is another argument, but lets stick w/your hypothetical for now). This means you will only have a few gas stations scattered out between cities, similar to the the Telsa Supercharger network. I believe Elon said 200 stations would cover the US. I wonder how many gas stations would cover the US? I’m sure its much less than “100,000 to 200,000″. And whatever gas stations there are, they will be outnumbered 10 to 1 by (probably more) by public chargers. That is what I mean when I say gas stations are going to take a back seat. Eventually I believe they will completely disappear as there wont be much profit in them, as oil will be in high demand for other uses besides burning in ICE’s.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (5:55 pm)

    kdawg: That is what I mean when I say gas stations are going to take a back seat. Eventually I believe they will completely disappear as there wont be much profit in them, as oil will be in high demand for other uses besides burning in ICE’s.

    I’m pretty sure there will be a pump down at the track for Noel. ;-)


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (7:55 pm)

    Jackson: I’m pretty sure there will be a pump down at the track for Noel.

    Good one Jackson.

    but you shouldn’t be so mean to Raymond. He can’t help it because he is an engineer. (I know, I have the same problem)

    I think I like the lecture about living close to work.
    I think it is a good lecture.


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    Nov 2nd, 2013 (8:01 pm)

    Jackson: I’m pretty sure there will be a pump down at the track for Noel.

    I’m glad someone finally commented.
    Here’s another shot of the man: its a 58 w/ 265 ci V8 (I think) .

    NoelVette_zps5a44689c.jpg


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (5:17 am)

    George S. Bower,

    10 extra miles would decrease my fuel use markedly – I drive about a 90km commute, and my generator kicks in at about 75km (46.8 miles). the extra 16km (10miles) would probably just get me home (where there are no detours)


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (9:01 am)

    xiaowei1:
    George S. Bower,

    10 extra miles would decrease my fuel use markedly – I drive about a 90km commute, and my generator kicks in at about 75km (46.8 miles). the extra 16km (10miles) would probably just get me home (where there are no detours)

    For some reason my statement that:
    ” Most drivers drive 50 miles or less, NOT 40″
    runs into resistance. Not sure why but I do believe it is true and that 5-10 more miles AER would significantly lower fleet fuel consumption.


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (12:37 pm)

    George S. Bower: ” Most drivers drive 50 miles or less, NOT 40″

    I think you need to define this better, because 50 miles or less incorporates the 40 mile or less people. It would be like saying most people drive 1000 miles or less per day than people that drive 50 miles or less per day. Which is obviously true, but not very enlightening.

    So do you mean more people drive more than 40 miles but less than 50 miles per day than those that drive just less than 40 per day?


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (2:01 pm)

    kdawg

    Look at the data.
    Slide2_zps0ec58725.jpg

    Then go to Voltstats and view the data by pressing “CS mileage only”.

    The peak in percentage of users occurs at 5 miles of gas.

    Seems obvious to me that most of the Range extender use is in the 5-10 mile range.


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (3:36 pm)

    George S. Bower,

    Remember though, the blue lines represent daily mileage only when the range extender was used. You need to add the green to the blue to find the true peak of daily mileage. To me, that appears to be at the 42 mile mark.

    This is also shown if you switch the graph to CS-Only Mileage, which shows the typical daily distance driving in CS mode. The spike is right round 2-3 miles, meaning when CS mode is used, typically it is not used for more than just a few miles.

    EDIT: I see you mentioned the CS-Only chart; but again remember, that is ONLY when CS mode is used. You still need to compare these trips to all the times that CS is not used, which is by far the majority. Or as I said above, add them. The peak looks to be at 2 miles to me regarding CS Mode.

    CS-Only_zps21b7b1e8.jpg


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (3:45 pm)

    George here’s a couple more charts from other studies looking at daily mileage. I’ve posted these before, but don’t recall the source.

    DailyMiles1.jpg
    DailyMiles0.jpg

    This chart, although is averages, is also somewhat interesting because it compares city drivers to rural drivers.

    DailyDrivingCityvsRural_zpsf00cac13.jpg


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (3:59 pm)

    George S. Bower,

    Just ran across this site. Someone put a lot of time into looking at daily driving.

    Good read/view. Lots of charts :)

    http://www.solarjourneyusa.com/EVdistanceAnalysis7.php


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (5:31 pm)

    kdawg,

    I think you are just arguing for arguings sake.

    My point is still valid. 5-10 more miles of AER will bring more people under the bell and will have a large effect on fleet MPG.


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (8:27 pm)

    Jackson: The US is a lot bigger than Puerto Rico.Many trips would be wildly impractical on overnight charging with most BEVs, as you would need multiple charges on a day’s driving.

    Your parochial sermons are getting tedious, especially when combined with a snarky attitude.

    I have this attitude because I know what I am writing about. I lived in the U.S. and have traveled and driven in many cities. But for distances over 50 miles, I rather take a train or a plane ( sometimes I can take a bus). I don’t drive far because if you analyze the cost to move one or two human plus a few thousands of pounds of metal, glass, and plastic that far, the trains and planes (and some buses) do it much better. It is the need for “personal transportation” that made the gas automobile so common, yet so inefficient.

    Living in cities is proof that cars are very inefficient. The EREV is a step toward BEVs, but not the right step, because you still want to drive farther and prefer to burn gas. We need to get the “personal transportation” with the gas engine out of our lives completely. It has been over 100 years in our society and we cannot keep going that route. We will either run out of gas or kill ourselves with the emissions.

    Well, we can wait another 100 years and expect the “matter transporter” to be created. Our present physics have transported just one proton up to now. I won’t be around to travel that way, but I don’t want to spend more in gas than what I am doing now (only about $30 a month). I have done many changes to save gas and it all cost less than buying a Volt, but I am still limited to what I can do without a vehicle.

    And that is why I want to promote more BEVs than EREVs.

    Raymond


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (8:29 pm)

    George S. Bower: Good one Jackson.

    but you shouldn’t be so mean to Raymond. He can’t help it because he is an engineer. (I know, I have the same problem)

    I think I like the lecture about living close to work.
    I think it is a good lecture.

    Thank you!

    Raymond


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (8:38 pm)

    kdawg,

    Since most U.S. citizens live in cities, the chart is most helpful to prove that GM did its homework to have a 40 mile EV range as a starter for the Volt design. If every city driver had a BEV or an EREV to cover that distance, gas consumption could plummet over 50%. I am in that group.

    Buying an EREV to keep burning gas just because the owner drives over 40 miles a day is equivalent to having a stereo equipment installed over six feet away from an outlet, and using an extension as a solution (which isn’t, BTW). Move the equipment or install a new outlet is the best solution for this example. Moving closer to your destination, or get a closer destination is the same solution. Then your EREV will be driven more like a BEV and little or no gas burning will be needed.

    Thank you!

    Raymond


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (8:47 pm)

    George S. Bower:
    kdawg

    Look at the data.

    Then go to Voltstats and view the data by pressing “CS mileage only”.

    The peak in percentage of users occurs at 5 miles of gas.

    Seems obvious to me that most of the Range extender use is in the 5-10 mile range.

    Those extra 5 or 10 miles of gas usage means that the owner needs another 5 to 10 miles of EV range. The next generations of EREVs can handle that. But if those same drivers moved closer, they can avoid burning gas for those extra miles. That is my recommendation!

    Raymond


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    Nov 3rd, 2013 (10:36 pm)

    Raymondjram,

    Might I suggest a BEV site, then?


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    Nov 4th, 2013 (12:10 am)

    How amusing would it be, in the future, for gas stations to be relegated to in-between locations only? Kind of like how the Tesla supercharger stations are only in-between major cities along major routes?


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    Nov 4th, 2013 (12:29 am)

    George S. Bower: I think you are just arguing for arguings sake.
    My point is still valid. 5-10 more miles of AER will bring more people under the bell and will have a large effect on fleet MPG.

    I agree that more AER is a good thing, just trying to better define what distance the typical driver drives. This will allow GM to maximize the battery to cover most drivers, without putting in too much battery and making the price too high.

    One of the main reasons more AER is needed, is for people that experience winter (like me). I love getting 43 miles in the summer, but 28 miles in the winter not so much. Right now, the temps are in the 40′s. I get about 35 miles per charge. I make it work, and opportunity charge when possible, but would rather have more AER. I’d say more AER would make a “large effect” on mpg for winter drivers more than it will for people in FL or AZ.

    Maybe the best answer is to allow people to buy as much battery as they want. Start off at 20 miles AER, and charge another $2k for each additional 10 miles (just a SWAG).


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    Nov 4th, 2013 (12:58 am)

    George S. Bower:
    kdawg,

    I think you are just arguing for arguings sake.

    My point is still valid. 5-10 more miles of AER will bring more people under the bell and will have a large effect on fleet MPG.

    At what cost? Increasing AER for the entire fleet is pretty costly for the rest of us that drive less than 40. We would rarely use it.