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This, just in: "Volt: Production of the redesigned plug-in hybrid is scheduled for the second half of 2015 as a '16 model. GM will add a fifth seat and downsize to a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine, from a 1.4-liter. That should help increase the estimated 380-mile total range, but the 38-mile electric range is expected to increase only modestly. Design changes are expected to be subtle. Reuters reported in April that GM also is developing a lower-priced version of the Volt that would have a smaller battery pack and shorter driving range."

To read more about the rest of the Chevy line:
http://www.autonews.com/article/20140721/OEM04/307219981/chevy-to-revamp-key-cars-in-2015

Many thanks to Chris Beck, Moran Chevrolet, for sending this in!
 

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HAHAHAHA! I first read this as GM to revamp car keys in 2015....


I was thinking.... Well, Duh!
 

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Interesting. I wonder where he gets his information from? Subtle changes and fifth seat are an improbable combination, but I suppose he only meant subtle exterior changes. As I've posted various places, I'm kinda surprised by the 1.0L three cylinder choice if that does prove to be the actual car.

I also thought this tidbit was interesting:

Equinox/Terrain: GM will freshen the popular mid-sized crossovers with mid-2015 face-lifts and interior improvements for the '16 model year. But a redesign will wait until spring of 2017, probably for the '18 model year, which is later than many industry insiders had expected.

The next generation will move to the compact D2XX platform, which means the vehicles will shrink slightly and lose weight. GM's 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, which debuted in 2013 and is used in the Chevy Malibu, is a candidate for the base engine. A hybrid is likely at some point during the next generation.
The next generation Equinox is also a D2XX car, and is getting a hybrid model? They said hybrid, not plug in hybrid or EREV, but aside from eAssist, the only FWD hybrid platform of any sort GM has in production right now is Voltec - and it is the same car platform as the next generation Volt... (they could also resurrect/update the FWD 2-mode hybrid that Voltec evolved out of, of course.)
 

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With only a modest increase in EV range, I'm pleased I bought our '14. We almost never use the ICE as it is.
 

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Nice looking truck, except for the upswept beltline at the rear door - too ToyotaTundra-like.

And I thought 'hybrid' refers to vehicles that are propelled by multiple power sources. I think my Volt is always propelled by electric motors, no? :confused:
 

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HAHAHAHA! I first read this as GM to revamp car keys in 2015....


I was thinking.... Well, Duh!
Yes, I think we can count on great ignition keys in new models!

This looks like rumor to me, rather than an official GM announcement. But if the reports are true it sounds like the Gen 2 Volt will address at least 1 major knock, lack of 5 seats. I would be surprised if battery range is not bumped to 40 or more as well. I wonder what a 1L 3 cylinder engine will do for the MPG (better likely) and noise?
 

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Nice looking truck, except for the upswept beltline at the rear door - too ToyotaTundra-like.

And I thought 'hybrid' refers to vehicles that are propelled by multiple power sources. I think my Volt is always propelled by electric motors, no? :confused:
Well, the Volt is always propelled by electric motors, but sometimes it is also propelled by a gasoline engine. :)

More importantly, there's series hybrid vs parallel hybrid.

A series hybrid would be like the i3 REx. It is always powered by the same electric motor at a fixed 10:1 gear ratio to the wheels. However, sometimes the power for that motor comes from the battery, and other times the power for that motor comes from a 700cc scooter engine installed under the rear load floor.

A parallel hybrid would be like the Volvo V60 plug-in. At the front of the car, there's a complete turbo diesel drivetrain, pushing the front wheels through an automatic transmission. At the rear of the car, there's an 11 kWh battery and a 50 kW electric motor, driving the rear wheels through fixed gearing. Either or both may be powering the car at any given time.

The Volt acts like each of these cars at different times, and so it is a series/parallel hybrid (as is the Prius,) part of the time. Most of the time, it just runs on battery power from the wall.

So within the category of hybrid, there's one called PHEV - plug in hybrid electric vehicle - any hybrid which has a plug and wall charger to allow it to recharge the battery from the wall.

Within that is the EREV category - extended range electric vehicle - meaning that the car gets the same performance on electricity and on gas and it has all the pieces (electric heat, electric A/C) to run fully electric until the battery is drained at any speed.

So yes, the Volt is a hybrid, in particular a PHEV, and in particular an EREV.

GM doesn't like people using the term hybrid much, because it is so much more than just another Prius and they're worried about that getting lost in the shuffle.
 

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And I thought 'hybrid' refers to vehicles that are propelled by multiple power sources. I think my Volt is always propelled by electric motors, no? :confused:
Not always! Well, not 100% by the motors anyway. The ICE can clutch directly into the gearbox and provide power to the wheels in certain circumstances, depending on what is most efficient at the time.

But "hybrid" is a pretty generic term. Could specifically mean serial or parallel hybrid (Volt operates as both at different times). Or could just mean "multiple power sources" in general. Kind of like "EV"... it could mean BEV, PHEV, HEV, etc.
 

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Nice looking truck, except for the upswept beltline at the rear door - too ToyotaTundra-like.

And I thought 'hybrid' refers to vehicles that are propelled by multiple power sources. I think my Volt is always propelled by electric motors, no? :confused:
Hybrid means the car is powered by a combination of motors/engines.

"Typical" hybrid cars are parallel: able to use one or both combustion engine and electric motors to turn the wheels.

But in a serial hybrid electric, like a diesel-electric locomotive, you have an engine that generates electricity, that spins electric motors that drive the wheels.

Volt is serial-parallel, meaning that it can operate in both serial (engine->electricity->motors->wheels) and parallel (engine+motors->wheels) modes.

Serial-parallel is good for high-speed efficiency as it allows best use of the engine, but serial helps simplify the drivetrain and its packaging by eliminating the mechanical connection and eliminating the need for a more complex transmission.
 

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So how long until they put the Voltec in the Colorado? I love my Volt, but it's a real pain to have to borrow a truck every couple of weeks.
 

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A parallel hybrid would be like the Volvo V60 plug-in. At the front of the car, there's a complete turbo diesel drivetrain, pushing the front wheels through an automatic transmission. At the rear of the car, there's an 11 kWh battery and a 50 kW electric motor, driving the rear wheels through fixed gearing. Either or both may be powering the car at any given time.
I like traditional wagon-style cars (meaning pre-CUV/SUV designs) and I think the V60 is a very good looking car. But with this plug-in variant, I have wondered about its driving dynamics. Seems like it'll have a split personality -- sometimes it'll be a FWD car and sometimes it'll be a RWD car.
 

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So within the category of hybrid, there's one called PHEV - plug in hybrid electric vehicle - any hybrid which has a plug and wall charger to allow it to recharge the battery from the wall.

Within that is the EREV category - extended range electric vehicle - meaning that the car gets the same performance on electricity and on gas and it has all the pieces (electric heat, electric A/C) to run fully electric until the battery is drained at any speed.

So yes, the Volt is a hybrid, in particular a PHEV, and in particular an EREV.

GM doesn't like people using the term hybrid much, because it is so much more than just another Prius and they're worried about that getting lost in the shuffle.
Excellent explanation Saghost. Unfortunately when referring to the Volt as an EREV there remain those who get offended by the term, insisting on lumping the Volt together with non-EREV PHEVs.

I don't blame GM for wanting to separate the Volt away from Prius - it's got a much bigger and more expensive battery that boots its price upwards, as well as making it much more EV.
 

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I like traditional wagon-style cars (meaning pre-CUV/SUV designs) and I think the V60 is a very good looking car. But with this plug-in variant, I have wondered about its driving dynamics. Seems like it'll have a split personality -- sometimes it'll be a FWD car and sometimes it'll be a RWD car.
And sometimes it'll be AWD, with one or the other bias. All true. :)

It also means paying the full weight, space, and cost of two complete drivetrains. I'm not actually a fan of it as a technical solution - about the only thing in its favor IMHO is that it should be able to completely ignore a failure of any drivetrain part and continue with the other drivetrain (it also gets you AWD.) That's a benefit, but with the reliability of electric motors and solid state electronics, I'm not sure it's a big one.

If I had the choice, I'd take a Outlander PHEV over the V60 PHEV most any day. As it stands, I can't have either one. :-/
 

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Here's a picture of the new, Opel built, 1.0L 3 cylinder turbocharged engine. There are two versions, a 90HP and 115HP. If the next Gen Volt gets a 3 cyl, this is probably the one:

http://gmauthority.com/blog/2014/07/opel-begins-production-on-new-1-0-liter-three-cylinder-turbocharged-engine/

View attachment 57009
Well, the 90 hp version is about the same rated output as our current engine. I'm still not convinced it is the best possible choice for the car, but it should be fairly efficient and might save them money if they aren't ready for a dedicated range extender yet - especially if they bring the high power version over as the prime mover for Sparks and entry level Sonics at the same time, giving economies of scale and less certification overhead.
 

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Here is another link regarding the 1.0 Turbo engine:

http://media.gm.com/media/intl/en/opel/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/intl/en/2013/opel/10-08-opel-sidi-turbo-aachen.html

This 1.0 L engine will likely be more efficient and smoother than the 1.4L. Many have complained that the Volt's ICE is somewhat noisy at its high power setting (~84 hp @ 4800 rpm). The attached figure is a power/torque curve for GM's 1.8L engine. The 1.4 (non-turbo) is probably about 78% of these numbers (about 84 hp @ 4800 rpm).



Per the GM/Opel press release, the 1.0L turbo produces 166Nm of torque (122 lb-ft) from 1800 rpm to 4700 rpm. My calculations put the 84 hp point at only 3600 rpm. It is likely that other power settings will come in at lower rpm's as well.

The press release states that this small engine provides 20% better fuel economy than the 1.8L engine, which is likely similar to the Volt's 1.4L LUU.

The original Volt concept was designed around a 1.0L turbo, so this may have been the engine GM intended to use all along.
 

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Keep in mind, most of the fuel economy gains they are describing are from having a wider range of good bsfc. Since the Volt only operates in the best part of the bsfc range under nearly all conditions, we've already gotten that benefit.

There should be some benefits from being able to operate efficiently at lower power levels (as in, less need to cycle the engine at low freeway speeds and pay charging losses,) and a little from the DI/higher CR aspects, but it isn't what they're talking about.

Ford's 1.0L turbo 3 hits a peak of 250 g/kWh in the best range - the Volt's 1.4L achieves 240 g/kWh. I'll be interested to see what GM has come up with, but downsized engines aren't inherently more efficient in an EREV application.
 
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