Yeah, I know the whole point of the Volt and the huge battery is to go 40 miles without using a drop of gas. After that it is supposed to get around 60 mpg using the gas engine as a generator.
I don't care about 40 miles without gas, nor do I want to be bothered by plugging it in every night. If I get one I'll probably never charge it and be very happy with 60 mpg - which brings me to my question. Would GM build one without a battery/or with a very small one to make it more affordable? If I could save $8k to $10k on the price and go from 16 mpg to 60 mpg, that would be a no brainer for me to buy.
...Would GM build one without a battery/or with a very small one to make it more affordable?
Or am I overlooking something?
You are overlooking the importance of the battery. The battery is the reason that the Volt will be able to achieve 50 MPG.
The generator is not in any way connected to the wheels, the generator charges the battery, the battery powers a motor which turns the wheels.
When the generator in the Volt is running it is putting out enough energy to turn the wheels and to charge the battery. When the charge level of the battery gets up to a certain point the generator turns off and the car drives off the energy stored in the battery until the charge again gets down to a predetermined level.
So there will not be a Volt offered with no battery, it would get the same fuel mileage as any other car on the road.
A Volt with a smaller battery has been discussed, and I believe(Don't quote me) this is something GM has talked about.
Kevin is right. The ONLY way the Volt will be able to run is with stored power in the battery. You can recharge the battery 2 ways:
1. Plug the car in at night and for .80 cents of electricity you're good for 40 miles
2. Use the onboard electrical power plant aka the range extender that will generate electricity on the go. Fill it up with 7 gallons of gas and its enough electricity to recharge the battery while driving for 500 miles.
Either way, the battery is what powers the car whether it gets electricity to the battery from the wall or the portable mini-power plant under the hood.
Great question, Dude. One of the biggest problem I'm seeing about this fabulous car technology is people have no idea how it works and how efficiently it runs. GM is asking for $7000 in affordability tax credits just to get it going. If people had any idea we'd all be saying Mr. Congressman I'm asking that you make it $10,000 in tax credits on the condition they agree to triple the first 3 years production. Instead all we're hearing is drill, drill, drill.
Well I think that GM "could" put in a smaller battery (like 1/4 the size) and rely on the engine to power the car more, you would lose the 40 mile bonus though.
While that isn't a bad idea at all, you are losing sight of what the Volt is, you just described a normal series hybrid car. The great thing about the Volt is that it is a Plug In Hybrid, and you have the 40 mile bonus.