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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To better compete with upcoming EREVs like the Ford C-Max Energi (5 seats) and BMW i3 REx (possible 100+ mile electric range), GM could start looking at offering a bigger battery and reconfiguring it so it goes under the seats for the 2014 or 2015 model year. Also, since a bigger battery would increase the cost of the car, perhaps make two options: a 40 mile 16 kW and 100 mile 40-kW battery.

A HUD would be a nice plus also, and so would be making the enhanced emissions package standard on the Volt.
 

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Disagree. The 100 mile battery is a departure from the EREV concept, and adds substantial weight and expense for minimal gas savings and likely no cost savings overall (unless you have an usual commute, it's really rare that you'll be going more than ~50 miles but less than ~100 miles.)

The Volt can never out do every car on every spec without becoming far more expensive (and heavier most likely.) I'd much rather see the Volt continue along it's present line, possibly picking up a little more power, a little more range, and a slight CS mpg improvement - and pick up siblings to address these other markets.

From all the things I've heard, I think the first extension (beyond the upcoming ELR,) should probably be in the CUV direction - something along the lines of the long-rumored SRX Voltec or the Volt MPV5 concept shown in Asia a couple years ago.
 

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I suspect that between now and 2014 we will see evolution - not revolution. By then the Volt will have serial-hybrid competition simply because that is the best power train concept for today's economy, and will remain so until hydrogen reaches practicality or new energy storage technologies appear (I've seen batteries that promise 1/10 the charge times and 4x the energy density). But the Volt has a substantial head start...

So, expect ongoing refinement: handling, low speed acceleration, better ICE, noise suppression, comfort, convenience, cellphone interface, voice controls, power seats, sunroof, Hold, video rear-view, micro-spare, more color options.

There *is* at least one other possibility -- a new low-price edition with fewer features and a cheaper battery, in the $25k range.
 

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Disagree. The 100 mile battery is a departure from the EREV concept, and adds substantial weight and expense for minimal gas savings and likely no cost savings overall (unless you have an usual commute, it's really rare that you'll be going more than ~50 miles but less than ~100 miles.)
This sounds like an argument for making it an option, not for scrapping the idea altogether. And because it's the only EREV out there, I'd think there would be a non-insignificant number of Volts that have commutes just beyond the typical electric range. (My Volt would be one of them, with a 53-mile round trip.)
 

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100 Mile EREV is the answer. Period.
 

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Disagree. The 100 mile battery is a departure from the EREV concept, and adds substantial weight and expense for minimal gas savings and likely no cost savings overall (unless you have an usual commute, it's really rare that you'll be going more than ~50 miles but less than ~100 miles.)

The Volt can never out do every car on every spec without becoming far more expensive (and heavier most likely.) I'd much rather see the Volt continue along it's present line, possibly picking up a little more power, a little more range, and a slight CS mpg improvement - and pick up siblings to address these other markets.

From all the things I've heard, I think the first extension (beyond the upcoming ELR,) should probably be in the CUV direction - something along the lines of the long-rumored SRX Voltec or the Volt MPV5 concept shown in Asia a couple years ago.
That sounds about right . Why add all that weight for rare usage and still have the extender . A 60 mile battery would be nice . Maybe the option for a 150 mile battery with no onboard extender or create a new model . Electric Impala ?
 

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100 Mile EREV is the answer. Period.
That's not a car that I would buy. I drive 1200 miles a month now, including 200 miles ER on one or two trips. The rest is 35 or so miles a day in-city. I would not pay for 100 miles EV, or welcome the additional weight.
 

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100 Mile EREV is the answer. Period.
I don't think I would ever buy such a vehicle. Too much battery for my daily needs. The ICE would be used so infrequently that it would be in EMM more often and would likely lead to premature wear on the engine. ICE's are built to be moved and constantly lubricated. Long periods of time sitting stationary is not good for an ICE. GM uses an engine maintenance mode to mitigate this but it doesn't eliminate it. I personally think the ICE might be the weakest link in the Voltec powertrain from a reliability stand point.

Looking at recent studies very few people would take advantage of a 100 mile range on a daily basis. So if GM did offer it even as an "option" I don't see it being cost effective. As this option would be very expensive and less than 5% of people would take it. At that point it now becomes a super niche car and not is not worth it for GM to produce.

I personally think GM targeting 40mile range for Voltec is the right thing. If anything GM might offer a 20 mile "option" on a less expensive model. Plus GM is targeting 100 plus mile BEV's (Chevy Spark EV) for those who want a large EV ranged vehicle and are willing to live with the limitations of a pure electric car that will cover most of the bases.
 

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I also agree the 2014 Volt will be more evolutionary than revolutionary. IMHO, the car will be something like this:
- 45 - 50 mile EV range. Tweaks in battery chemistry, battery shape, aerodynamics, and weight savings.
- New engine with 45 - 50MPG fuel efficiency w/ 8 gallon gas tank.
- Combined EPA fuel economy in excess of 105MPG.
- 5 passenger. New battery shape and configuration.
- Similar size with more cabin space
- Lower coefficient of drag.
- New options such as power seats, xenon/LED headlamps, and moonroof.
- Starting base price equal or only slightly more than the current models.
 

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100 Mile EREV is the answer. Period.
Not needed here, the wife's volt has almost 6K miles and it still has the dealer original tank. My volt has had 15 gallons run through it but I drove to Vegas. For around town we use zero gas everyday I certainly don't need a 100 mile EREV, added cost and weight for an unused feature.
 

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With a 35 mile range a Volt will allow its owner to drive 62% of all driving days all electrically. A Nissan Leaf with a 73 mile range, more than double, will allow its owner to drive 68% of all days electrically. See the pattern? If you double the Leaf's range to something like the base Model S range of 146 miles daily you probably get another 4%. It's a classic case of the 80-20 rule, making it very hard to justify a much larger battery. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5lA7Kfp45ULX2NVSzV1ZE9ERGc/edit?pli=1# (page 4)

However, adding some range to the Volt to 40 miles would help. Getting it to 50 miles would not only ensure picking up a few percentage of days, it would also ensure you could get your 35 miles or 40 miles even in nasty weather. But more than that would just add cost and weight without cutting gas consumption by any appreciable amount.
 

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With a 35 mile range a Volt will allow its owner to drive 62% of all driving days all electrically. A Nissan Leaf with a 73 mile range, more than double, will allow its owner to drive 68% of all days electrically. See the pattern? If you double the Leaf's range to something like the base Model S range of 146 miles daily you probably get another 4%. It's a classic case of the 80-20 rule, making it very hard to justify a much larger battery. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5lA7Kfp45ULX2NVSzV1ZE9ERGc/edit?pli=1# (page 4)

However, adding some range to the Volt to 40 miles would help. Getting it to 50 miles would not only ensure picking up a few percentage of days, it would also ensure you could get your 35 miles or 40 miles even in nasty weather. But more than that would just add cost and weight without cutting gas consumption by any appreciable amount.


I don't believe you got the utility factors incorrect. I belve the SAE J2841 standard utility factor for Leaf (73 miles) is about 79.5, i.e. it would account for about 80% of all trip days with pure EV driving.

For 35 miles its about 58%
For 40 miles it is about 62% (Remember that was the Volt goal.. but they did not quite make it by EPA testing)
For 50 miles it is about 70%

You can see more details about UF computations at
http://www.engr.colostate.edu/~thb/Publications/PREPRINT_Alternative Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Utility Factor _v6.pdf



With respect to the OP.. having a 100mile option is tricky unless they have a very different design (like tesla) where they are all in the floor with more room to expand.

I do think a optional Battery Extension plug, would be interesting. so third parties could have bigger batteries, and you could put them in when needed and take them out when not needed.
 

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LOL - 100 miles and a range extender. Definitely not needed. I've taken my car from LA to Vegas and back - and Vegas is a miserable city to try to recharge in - the only hotel in town with EV charging is the Aria, and for what they charge a night I can buy gas for several months of commuting. My daily commute runs from Rosamond to just south of LAX - a bit over 86 miles ONE WAY (you can figure my yearly mileage from there and you've probbaly guessed that I'm the guy dragging the volt-stats average down). Even 100 miles of BEV range doesn't work for that distance. But - the Volt does work, and works well, just as it is - recording up to 70+ miles of EV range (I do a lot of regen on the downhill segments) and am getting decent enough fuel economy that I figure i'm saving over $400 a month in fuel expenses over my previous 25 mpg avg. mini-van. What I would expect from a 2014 Volt would be . . . more of the same. A better ICE, a bit better battery range, updates to the software such as we have seen in previous model years, ect. Incremental improvements. Would I be upset to see significant range increases? No. But the only thing I really wish for on my current Volt is an additional 2 gallons of fuel capacity.

Now, what I would really like to see GM bring out would be two things - one, a slightly larger vehicle ala the MPV5 or Prius V (with more entry headroom - love the Volt but I feel like a contortionist trying to enter mine) and two, a small to midsize SUV with a four wheel drive configuration. This could easily be accomplished be using the Voltec drive system for the front and a second electrical motor on the rear axle or even in-wheel motors. No driveshafts needed and think of the low end torque available to this baby! Give it seating for 5 and at least a 30 mile EV range with maybe a clean diesel range extender and you'll have an awesome offroad/commuting vehicle. Worth a look on GM's part.
 

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I'm a pilot, an aircraft owner and an aircraft builder, and the son of a pilot who was an instructor and an aircraft mechanic. Most people who just earn their pilots wings, and whom purchase an aircraft dream of having an airplane that goes faster, higher and longer than the airplane they currently have. I've learned, building an airplane (and having a father who was a cracker-jack engineer) that adding weight really eats into economy and can defeat performance.

For me, my 2012 Volt is perfect the way it was engineered by General Motors. When Volt owners start asking for bigger batteries, electric seats, electric rear hatch that would open remotely... and all the other goodies, this stuff adds weight. I prefer a Volt that isn't too portly.

I recently read a post here where another Volt owner wanted a snazzier looking antenna and asked if there is an "after-market" alternative. The antenna on the Volt, runs the XM radio. the GPS, the OnStar feature... and I suspect the boys at GM spent a great deal of time in a wind tunnel, tweaking the daylights out of our antenna to maximize less drag.

For me, the Volt is as perfect as it can probably be, but I just hope it doesn't get dogged-down with extra weight. A pound here and a pound there will turn our Volts into a porker, and that's just what nearly killed-off American made and designed cars in the early 70s (when they became fat) and the folks in Japan took the lead in sales with the smaller and lighter cars...
 

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For me, my 2012 Volt is perfect the way it was engineered by General Motors. I suspect the boys at GM spent a great deal of time in a wind tunnel, tweaking the daylights out of our antenna to maximize less drag.

For me, the Volt is as perfect as it can probably be, but I just hope it doesn't get dogged-down with extra weight.
I agree totally with this post. I just finished reading Bob Lutz's Car Guys and Bean Counters and he has a separate chapter on the genesis of the Volt. He says clearly that the Volt spent more time in the wind tunnel than any other GM car.

I would like to see a 50 mile CS EPA rating, although in 1500 miles, I have yet to burn any gas except for the .03 gallon in EMM a couple weeks ago.

I agree with some of the suggestions here, but I believe GM should leave the Volt alone and incorporate these suggestions into other models of the GM line (Spark, Impala, Cadillac, etc.) jmo
 

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The best thing for the volt would be, as others said, a higher mpg CS-mode. Whether smaller engine or larger engine - something that makes highway cruising at 45-mpg possible would be the real answer for me. "I don't always drive far - but when I do, I drive really far." For me, I am either going 25 miles around the town I live in, 100 miles one way to some place in NJ or 360 miles to Niagara Falls. The Volt currently doesn't fit my driving profile much but when I buy one (tomorrow - crossing fingers) then I hope my wife can use it for a lot of her errands and kid-carting. We also have my mom's mini-van to use for when we need to move more people.

There are ways to drop 50-150 pounds in the Volt as it is now. But didn't someone say that 400 pounds additional in a car is about 2mpg? Saving 50-150 wouldn't be very noticeable in economy. Plus, it might affect the safety rating too. Hey, at least it's not a Fisker Karma at 5300 lbs :)

The Spark will have about 80 miles AER. A good way to go 100-mile AER all-electric would be in either a Malibu chassis or Cruze. Maybe the "Buick Electra" forthcoming will be a Malibu sized car?
 

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40 works well for the majority, but I would really like to see other range options. I would definitely pay more for more range. My wife and I rarely have a day where we aren't running in CS mode for at least a few miles. Still, I'm not complaining; not when all other plugins only have a nearly worthless 10 to 20 miles.
 

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Slowly but surely, maybe an EPA of 42 miles for the 2015 Gen 2.0 model. 5 seats for sure..... Maybe an option to drive with less performance when in electric to get more ev only miles...

MrEnergyCzar
 

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A 40-mile EPA range is about right. The goal should be to push the prices down as much as possible. I was a bit disappointed that with the switch to domestic battery manufacturing (and the subsequent cost reduction discussed by GM's staff resulting from the switch) they couldn't get the after-rebate price under 30K. I think marketing the vehicle as 30K after the tax rebate would have turned heads.

Increasing fuel economy would probably be next up on the docket - HCCI engines or something along those lines to push CS fuel economy into the mid to upper 40s. Keep the 9 gallon tank but push the total vehicle range to 400 miles.
 

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IMHO , a vehicle needs to be capable of completing a 700 mile trip with less than 2 hours of charging and /or fueling. It doesn’t make sense for most people to own a car they cannot ever leave town with.
At the moment the Tesla 40kWh cannot do this. Even a 350 mile trip would require nearly 4 hours of charging if twin 10kWh charging were available and you left the house with a full charge. The 60kWh Tesla could do the 350 mile trip with two 20 minute charges if super charging was available. I think it could safely get 170 miles on a full charge without too much anxiety. According to Tesla, it would take 106 minutes super charging for 530 miles range.

I believe the current sweet spot is a 60kwh vehicle with super charging capabilities. A single 10kWh would be sufficient to achieve 150 mile range in 5 hours at home.
The sweet spot for the Volt may be a 60 mile EV range, an extender that gets 50 mpg and a 6 gallon fuel tank .
 
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