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We all probably remember the Euro version of the Chevy Volt, its cousin across the pond, the Ampera. It is basically the same car with a little different styling at the front and rear ends, wheels and a few other spots. Some liked it and others did not. I happen to have liked it a little more than the US version. GM went as far as releasing all the specs before its scheduled debut at the show. For us, that ship has already sailed.

There is a bit of a difference that I was not aware of. Its reported “Ampera owners, however, will have the option of selecting a so-called charge hold mode, prompting the car to run the engine and preserve the battery’s charge for a later run.” There are some good reasons for it in Europe where you could save your charge for the city and avoid a tax or even possibly a ban in highly congested areas. This may be a version of our mountain mode.

So what do you think, should the US market have the same option “Charge Hold” mode? How could we use it?


Read more here

Here is a nice article on the Volt’s power train chief Pamela Fletcher here.
http://www.freep.com/article/20110228/BUSINESS01/102280334/Volt-like-Viper-crowd-pleaser

PS: Lyle, you are missed…
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This may be a version of our mountain mode.

So what do you think, should the US market have the same option “Charge Hold” mode? How could we use it?
I don't think it's the same as mountain mode. The ICE seems to operate differently in mountain mode than it does in charge sustaining mode. "Differently" as in "more inclined to maintain charge, less inclined to save gas." I presume hold mode operates just like CS mode, just using the current charge as the charge to keep.

And yes, several people here in the forums (including me) have wished for (and made cases for) hold mode.
 

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The reason the Volt does not have the "hold" mode that the Ampera has is that the US EPA doesn't trust us to use it wisely. It is there in the Ampera so that a driver who charges the battery overnight in Leeds can drive to London in "hold" mode using gas and then switch to "normal" mode to drive in London using electricity and avoid London's "gas user" fee.
 

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Why does the EPA not trust us? "I'm from the govt, and I'm here to help you"

Can the local constable that easily detect whether or not the Volt is running on gas or electricty? Aside from a little tail pipe emission (in cold weather only), what else does the Volt/Ampera do to signal the authorities that its buning gas and not electrons.

I want hold mold.

That begs the question though - in the grand scheme of things is there a financial or environment benefit to using electricty more in the city than in the county. I mean if I live 50 miles from work in the exurbs, what's the (economic or environment) difference between:

1) driving the first 40 miles on electric then the last 20 on gas
2) driving the first 20 miles on gas (in hold mode) and the last 40 on electric

Thanks for your advice.
 

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I like the "gas user fee" idea for crowded cities. Being a New Yorker, I have lived enough years there to understand why we need hybrids and EVs in these cities ( I plan to travel in a Ford Escape Hybrid taxi on my next visit). But if GM can catch up with the Volt and other Voltec vehicles, then it may create the Voltec taxi just for the large city needs. And as a motivation to buy and use EVs in these cities, the "gas user fee" can be issued, people with EVs will not have to pay this fee, and city dwellers will breathe better.

For the city usage, I also agree that the "hold mode" should be in all Volt vehicles.

Raymond
 

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BTW - I also wish the Volt looked more like the Ampera.

I also wish I had a weird room that hovered 4 feet off the ground with a large glass window so my hot blonde, curvy wife could watch me head off to work like in the article photo.

I don't wish to dress in a white scarf, coat, pants, and shoes, and carry white bags, however.

Who thinks these pictures up?

 

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I feel that there are at least 2 reasons for the hold capability. First as stated by PoisonArrowFrog, to heat the cabin on really cold days. Second would be for long extended trips, were you would drive to the highway on battery, then switch to gas for the major part of the trip, then when you get to your destination switch back to battery. Another way, could be to use an alogorithm to where you tell the car how far you will drive then let the computer mix the battery/ICE power to maximize MPG of the trip. This could be done in a coupled GPS/car computer that would take into account terrain and route information.

P
 

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... Second would be for long extended trips, were you would drive to the highway on battery, then switch to gas for the major part of the trip, then when you get to your destination switch back to battery. Another way, could be to use an alogorithm to where you tell the car how far you will drive then let the computer mix the battery/ICE power to maximize MPG of the trip. This could be done in a coupled GPS/car computer that would take into account terrain and route information. P
Denfinitely agree. The distance between my homes is 1400 miles and I have often thought about the Volt in this exact circumstance. GM, if you are listening, I am sure many would like this feature.
 

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Denfinitely agree. The distance between my homes is 1400 miles and I have often thought about the Volt in this exact circumstance. GM, if you are listening, I am sure many would like this feature.
Let's face it, It's a great idea. Soon someone will make a hack that will do it for us. Perhaps you "SOFTWARE ENGINEERS" could get going on it!!
 

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BTW - I also wish the Volt looked more like the Ampera.

I also wish I had a weird room that hovered 4 feet off the ground with a large glass window so my hot blonde, curvy wife could watch me head off to work like in the article photo.

I don't wish to dress in a white scarf, coat, pants, and shoes, and carry white bags, however.

Who thinks these pictures up?

That's actually a flattering angle for the Ampera, IMO. From the front, that unusual blackout treatment more resembles Alice Cooper in full makeup. However, I am rather liking the monochromatic body, without the black rocker panels.

I really hope Europe embraces this car. With half of America seeming to despise its own auto industry, the Volt has gotten something of a lukewarm reception here, with many steadfastly refusing to see the Volt as the revolution that it really is.
 

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I also wish I had a weird room that hovered 4 feet off the ground with a large glass window so my hot blonde, curvy wife could watch me head off to work like in the article photo.
Head off to work? Lugging two big suitcases? Note also the suitcase under the curvy wife and the other bags? No one's going to works, it's the start of a family getaway. Learn to interpret ridiculous staged photos properly, will ya?
 

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Reading the comments below the article, as a Volt fan, is enough to ruin your day, and that's a Detroit publication! There are an astonishing number of people out there who want the Volt to fail - OR - there is a small cadre making a concerted effort to create multiple bogus accounts and slam the Volt wherever possible. We've certainly already seen that on consumer sites like Cars.com. It's logical to think there is going to be a similar effort made with regard to Consumer Reports' upcoming surveys, and that should give everyone here a chill. IMO, GM needs to appoint a legal and detective team and look into this whole trend pronto, since the future fortunes of the company might depend on it.
 

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Mountain mode is essentially a "Hold at 40% SOC" mode. If you have a fully charged battery, change to mountain mode. You'll see your all electric range decrease, and once you run out at around 40%, Mountain Mode behaves the same way the Volt behaves when it's battery is fully depleted.

Mountain mode only behaves differently when you engage it after going below 40% SOC. When this is done, it runs the engine at higher RPM's to put charge back into the battery, something that "Hold mode" likely doesn't do.

So in a way, we have an improved version of hold mode, so long as people in the US are okay at holding 40% SOC instead of 100% SOC.

In most scenarios though, I think any holding over of the mode is less efficient and more polluting than using electric first. People who want to hold their charge to some later time will likely never use all the charge they have unless they time it perfectly, and the whole point of the Volt is to maximize driving on wall electricity instead of gas. Remember, even in stop and go traffic and with the Volt's battery range at zero, the Volt will stop its engine. JMHO.
 

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The Leaf has a Nav system that is tied to the car showing effective range. I think that if that feature could be added in to the Volt's nav system (show how far you can get on electric range you have available) when inputting destinations into the nav, I believe it would be simple for the car to choose when to run the ICE and when to use battery.

I.e. I decide to take a road trip from Sarasota to Titusville to watch the Shuttle launch. I input the exact destination in the nav and it computes the best route. The car uses battery only to get to the freeway, turns on the ICE for the majority of the highway (or toll-way) usage (where the battery is least effective anyway since traffic moves at MPH or better) and switches back to battery to use-up whatever battery range you have left prior to arrival. The battery (emission free) is used in the areas of highest density and the ICE is used where more efficient. Plug in at hotel overnight and reverse on return trip.

Obviously, in the above scenario, it only works on 1-way trips - The system would have to be more complicated to input multi-destination or round trips... "from origination, use battery to highway; use ICE on highway to destination outskirts; use battery to destination; depart destination and resume battery usage back to highway; use ICE on highway to origination outskirts; use remaining battery range to arrive at zero battery remaining at origination." Or something to that effect.
 

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The Leaf has a Nav system that is tied to the car showing effective range. I think that if that feature could be added in to the Volt's nav system (show how far you can get on electric range you have available) when inputting destinations into the nav, I believe it would be simple for the car to choose when to run the ICE and when to use battery.

I.e. I decide to take a road trip from Sarasota to Titusville to watch the Shuttle launch. I input the exact destination in the nav and it computes the best route. The car uses battery only to get to the freeway, turns on the ICE for the majority of the highway (or toll-way) usage (where the battery is least effective anyway since traffic moves at MPH or better) and switches back to battery to use-up whatever battery range you have left prior to arrival. The battery (emission free) is used in the areas of highest density and the ICE is used where more efficient. Plug in at hotel overnight and reverse on return trip.

Obviously, in the above scenario, it only works on 1-way trips - The system would have to be more complicated to input multi-destination or round trips... "from origination, use battery to highway; use ICE on highway to destination outskirts; use battery to destination; depart destination and resume battery usage back to highway; use ICE on highway to origination outskirts; use remaining battery range to arrive at zero battery remaining at origination." Or something to that effect.
I seem to recall reporting that Chevrolet was looking into features like you just described. Another example would be if I have my destination set to home, or any other place that's known to have a charger. I'm about to switch over to ICE but there's only a mile or two to go. In such a case, the computer could decide to drain a little more juice from the battery reserve and keep the engine from starting.

I imagine we'll see some of these features on Volt 2.0, if not in a couple of years on a mid-cycle refresh.
 

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BTW - I also wish the Volt looked more like the Ampera.

I also wish I had a weird room that hovered 4 feet off the ground with a large glass window so my hot blonde, curvy wife could watch me head off to work like in the article photo.

I don't wish to dress in a white scarf, coat, pants, and shoes, and carry white bags, however.

Who thinks these pictures up?

Yes, all good points. A wife like that inspires an entirely different "hold" mode ....
 

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I don't like the Ampera wheels, but I do like the body color lower panels much better than the Volt black ones. I don't like the Beaver like masks around the side windows. The legs are very nice though.:)
 
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