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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, many a times when I visit distant friends 40+ miles away, I wish there was a better way to get the Volt recharged up. For example, I know the magnificent DC generator can charge the car. So, how about this-
After I arrive at the guests, I keep the engine running and burning the gasoline to recharge the batteries while I'm having dinner. About 3 hours later, when I'm about to return, I can still have the first 40 silent electric miles out of fully charged battery. last 10 miles I can hear the engine noise. Call it advanced Hold/Generate mode or Charging while Parked mode. The goal is to have the charging done in the driveway without plugging in so as to have a peaceful ride back. This can also be useful to demonstrate "what's all that zen experience about Volt" that everyone talks about.
I.e. I might be burning the same level of gasoline, but I'm going with 80/100 miles as electric drive pleasure vs 40/100 as I'm forced now.
Should be easy with software update!!
I'm also confidant that "run-time" conversion has more losses than charging at idle and using electric miles - perhaps increased range of 2 or 3 miles.
So, people, what do you think?
This is very meaningful especially when the gasoline prices are falling down.
Also as a marketing gimmick - 80 out of 100 electric miles!! (With Trip and Charging as defined!)
 

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Actually, it's the other way around - charging while stationary incurs more losses than burning gas while driving - you have a full mechanical-electric-mechanical round trip for 100% of the energy used and also battery round trip losses for all of it.

Exact numbers will vary depending on the details of your drive, but typically more than half of the energy is passed directly, mechanically from the engine to the wheels when the engine is running. (The ideal is a steady state cruise in the 40 mph neighborhood I believe.)

I'd think the car running the engine loudly in the driveway would be at least as disturbing as it running during the drive, not to mention confusing the neighbors and not selling the Volt's green branding very well.

If the difference in drive experience is that important to you, ask your friends to let you plug in, and offer to pay for it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My friends won't take money. But It's more for the convenience. I just don't like the hassle of cords pulling etc. But, yes, if it came with a retactible cord that vanished into the car, I'd be more inclined to use it at friend's places. but with taking out the cord and plugging at both ends is too much chore.Retractable chord like some appliances etc. I know, I know - the UL/CE certification debate etc... but from my practical point of view, until we get wireless charging, the retractable cord is the next best thing.
 

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There is no way this is for real! He pulled you guys along! That was funny..... Well played sir, well played.
 

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I experimented with mountain mode while parked to add back charge after depleting my AER range. The volt ran for about 20 minutes as I recall and only put back 20 miles AER back into the battery using about 6-tenths of a gallon of gas as I recall. You may as well just switch to hold mode for a period of time or just drive on gas after depleting the battery. The losses from using gas to charge the batteries is inefficient.
 

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Please do NOT IDLE your Volt's ICE to charge your battery

My friends won't take money. But It's more for the convenience. I just don't like the hassle of cords pulling etc. But, yes, if it came with a retactible cord that vanished into the car, I'd be more inclined to use it at friend's places. but with taking out the cord and plugging at both ends is too much chore.Retractable chord like some appliances etc. I know, I know - the UL/CE certification debate etc... but from my practical point of view, until we get wireless charging, the retractable cord is the next best thing.
CVL,
Do you realize how inefficient most ICEs run at idle? Do you know most engines spew most toxins via exhaust at idle because of this reason?

+++++++++++++++++++ start of rant ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

New York City has instituted no idling laws with heavy fines for many years for violators ($100 to $2,000):
http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/laws/local_vehicleidling.shtm
http://www.edf.org/sites/default/files/9581_Anti-Idling_FactSheet_April09.pdf

Sign Traffic sign Signage Street sign Road


There's nothing that bugs me more than a driver who sits in their land yacht with A/C on and engine idling while they yap away on their cell phone parked in front of a store. And there are ton of these lazy bums who do this in my neck of the woods, even more prevalent in wealthier neighborhoods.

++++++++++++++++++++ end of rant +++++++++++++++++++++++++

Your suggestion of charging your Volt's battery by idling, because "it's too much hassle" for you to use your L1 EVSE comes pretty darn close.
 

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My friends won't take money. But It's more for the convenience. I just don't like the hassle of cords pulling etc. But, yes, if it came with a retactible cord that vanished into the car, I'd be more inclined to use it at friend's places. but with taking out the cord and plugging at both ends is too much chore.Retractable chord like some appliances etc. I know, I know - the UL/CE certification debate etc... but from my practical point of view, until we get wireless charging, the retractable cord is the next best thing.
Retractable cord? Add $500 to the car. I'd prefer 6.6kW OBD charger thank you very much (lol)
 

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... typically more than half of the energy is passed directly, mechanically from the engine to the wheels when the engine is running.
Maybe I misunderstood you, but are saying that the ICE is mechanically connected to the drive wheels at normal speeds? That goes against everything I've ever heard about the current Voltec system. I thought the only time this happened was at high speeds (70MPH or so) in what the video's here at gm-volt.com show as the 4th mode of operation.

Am I wrong?

(Sorry, I know I'm veering a little off the OP topic with this)
 

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Maybe I misunderstood you, but are saying that the ICE is mechanically connected to the drive wheels at normal speeds? That goes against everything I've ever heard about the current Voltec system. I thought the only time this happened was at high speeds (70MPH or so) in what the video's here at gm-volt.com show as the 4th mode of operation.

Am I wrong?

(Sorry, I know I'm veering a little off the OP topic with this)
Most of what you said above is true - the engine is only connected in the fourth drive mode, called "power split" in GM documents. However, if the engine is on and the car is going faster than 36 mph, the car is almost certainly in Power Split. (The car starts and stops the engine in series, and hard acceleration reverts back to series, but 99% of normal driving over 36 mph with the engine on has the engine connected to the wheels.)

GM's introductory videos gave examples of 30 mph and 70 mph, emphasizing that there was nothing specific about the speeds, and some confused press articles followed and established the incorrect popular belief that the car only goes into Power Split above 70 mph.

There are a bunch of discussions of this on the forums, mostly from a few years ago when we started getting OBDII instrumentation sorted out and watching what the car actually does on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you ssl92677. So, looks like parking in mountain mode is solution to my desire. 1.2 gallons for about 40 miles AER. Great !!

Ranting Edju: Thank you for this comment.
I was hoping for 40% ICE efficiency. & 80 % charging efficiency. That still gets me 34 kWh/gallon *0.4*0.8 ~= 11kWh.
Besides, this 20% loss in electric charging-discharging compensates for variable RPM vs idle charging at peak efficiency RPM.
That's why I was hoping for extra couple of miles for EV range. Barring that, I still would be OK to get 25 miles AER per gallon burnt.

Immoral non-Scientific laws are bothersome. Idling laws without total emission limits are stupid. So, you'd rather have me circling around while talking on bluetooth than, park idle and keep others safe? I contend that occasional idling is better than driving hummer and burning at 13 mpg. To me total quantity of pollutants matter more than idling vs circling vs non-optimal speed. To alleviate the problem, the annual purchase of gasoline needs to be limited per person. Now - you'll bloody scream murder of capitalism. Hence - simple... I'll burn and drive as I please as long as I pollute below average without any guilt. And then again the rich get away with guilt by throwing a dollar out to a homeless.

Also, when I'm talking about parking at the friends' houses, I understand the topology, nature of point dispersion and line dispersion of plumes. I'm not going to channel the exhaust into baby unicorn's trampoline on into the fishbowl of goldfish. The New York law-makers however do not understand atmospheric dispersion modelling as much as I do, nor do they love people as much as I do.

So, rest assured, however valid your rant, I care for the people more than those laws could ever.

***
To me an iPhone is just an expensive alarm clock with Siri - which also happens to be a phone and an email reader.
And the Volt is just an engineering marvel of optimization which happens to have wheels and takes me places.

Park at a beach around Sunset; Pull forward your front seats; Fold down the rear ones; Get triangular cushions and flat oval seats; Create lounge-chairs in the back; Open the hatch; Sip your drinks/Hot Chocolate with someone you love; With your comfort settings turned on; as if you are sitting in the lounge chair side by side watching the Sunset - Perhaps then you'll forgive the idle resters for wanting this experience.

Life is short. Enjoy!!
 

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Don't make stink in your own or your friends neighborhood. You don't chit where you eat. Be polite. Show some class.

It's NOT nice. And it is a silly way to burn more gas than just driving your Volt as a hybrid.

Even when I know I'm heading out on a road trip where I will be using gas, I wait until I'm on the highway before I start making stink.
See how I'm polite to my neighbors?
 

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Thank you ssl92677. So, looks like parking in mountain mode is solution to my desire. 1.2 gallons for about 40 miles AER. Great !!

Ranting Edju: Thank you for this comment.
I was hoping for 40% ICE efficiency. & 80 % charging efficiency. That still gets me 34 kWh/gallon *0.4*0.8 ~= 11kWh.
Besides, this 20% loss in electric charging-discharging compensates for variable RPM vs idle charging at peak efficiency RPM.
That's why I was hoping for extra couple of miles for EV range. Barring that, I still would be OK to get 25 miles AER per gallon burnt.
The engine peaks at 33% thermal efficiency at ~2200 RPM and full load according to the BSFC map we got off of ecomodder a few years ago. The generator is running at about 90% efficiency in the same range.

I don't have a handle on round trip battery losses, but I suspect they are in the 8-10% range from the overall regeneration performance (charging losses are 20% in the best case, but that includes overhead for computers and cooling fans as well as AC/DC conversion in the charger module.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One guy pollutes through his coal BBQ more in a day than I would in a month through my Volt.
In my books, animal eaters and politeness don't go hand in hand.
But then again there are people in the prison for buying and selling plants. And JPM/BP pay pennies on dollar in crime mitigation measures. Nonetheless, their ball-dinners are very very polite.
I guess, politeness, we valuve is very very different.
 

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A good friend

1. lets you have a DR Pepper with your dinner
2. has the gate open
3. leave an extension cord where they want you to park. ( no need to unwrap the ( it's not a charger device))
 

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You will get NO MORE than 16 miles (2013) range by running Mountain Mode. I've done it several times (not parked!) Face it folks, the Volt is a hybrid. Albeit a very sophisticated and pleasant one, but a hybrid nevertheless. If you wanna do the miles, you gotta burn the juice! I just switched my ICE over to Amsoil Signature 5w-30 and I do think it's a trifle smoother and quieter. On a level road at 60 mph my ancient ears barely hear the ICE over normal road noise.
 

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I don't think the OP is asking whether it can be done today as mountain mode is of course limited They are requesting a software update for a new mode that allows you to fully charge the battery for whatever reason you may have. I think it's a silly mode. With the g2 volt, hopefully the noise vibration and harshness is muted to the point that you can barely tell the difference between CS and EV modes.
 

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I say CVL is a troll. Please don't feed him.

He doesn't know that MM will recharge less than half the capacity, and that the solution to his "dilemma" is to simply engage HM on the flat and constant speed portions of his journey. To top off, he can also bring his EVSE along with him. 2 hours at his friend's house will give him 8 additional miles.
 
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