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Why such a short range on the batteries, is it the size or weight of the vehicle?
Wasn't GM's own EV-1 getting close to 100 mile range per charge at the end? I would think with the new battery technology it would be more then just 40.
 

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Optimum all-electric range

GM has done an analysis that convinces them (and me too) that 40 miles is the "optimum" all-electric range. Batteries are very expensive and if you have them in the car you want to actually use them, otherwise they are very expensive dead weight. A 40-mile all-electric range is adequate to cover the daily driving range of a large majority of drivers (I think 70-80%).

Personally, I wish they would have some options in this area, allowing me for example to opt for less all-electric range and to pay less for the car. Others might prefer more batteries because they have longer daily commutes. I'm sure this will be possible in the future, but apparently not in version 1.
 

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Lately I have been thinking along the lines of weight efficiency. It would be a good idea to purchase your car with just the amount of capacity (assuming 80% losses) you will need for 80 percent of your driving (let's say you drive 40 miles to work and your company will provide a charging station - you should then select the 40 mile range option). Thinking along the lines of Project Better Place there would be a compartment for adding additional capacity - either rented, leased or purchased. If the industry came up with the equivalent standard of the AA battery (only larger) that was designed for automated swap-out then you could add just the right amount to make you comfortable. If you don't like to stop often and are not carrying any passengers you could cram every cavity with batteries. Your efficiency would not be as good (due to the weight) but at highway speeds with great tires weight is less of an issue than it is if you are changing speeds often. Thus, I feel that there should be flexibility in the amount of battery capacity you can carry. Also, if there was a standard battery size it would be easier for Project Better Place swap-out stations (or equivalent) to accommodate tiny cars and trucks without stocking many different sizes. If we start to think along these lines we will have the flexibility to upgrade when new technology comes out, be more weight efficient and can slowly wean ourselves from petroleum as more quick-charge stations or swap-out stations become available.

Perhaps we should be asking, "Ok we now use gas and eventually don't want to use any. It's impossible right now but won't be in the future. How can we transition as fast as possible without loosing functionality?"
 

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Why such a short range on the batteries, is it the size or weight of the vehicle?
Wasn't GM's own EV-1 getting close to 100 mile range per charge at the end? I would think with the new battery technology it would be more then just 40.

That's one of my disappointments with the Volt. The range is laughable when compared with Tesla's Roadster or Mitsu's MiEv. I know I know, this isn't a BEV but an E-Rev. But I still want a car that doesn't burn any oil.
 

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Plentiful public or workplace charging stations would make a big difference in the effective EV-only range of the Volt. An 80-mile roundtrip commute could be entirely electric if the car was recharged during the day.

I'd be happy to drop coins in a "parking/charging" meter to fill up an EV while I was at work or shopping.
 
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