GM Volt Forum banner

EV Model for Simulation: GM Volt. Design your own EV.

9601 Views 20 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  EJ_San_Fran
The attached model is a simulation of the Dynamics and Range of the GM Volt. You can also design your own EV by using the model with different design parameters.

The model estimates that the Acceleration Performance of the Volt is 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds :) and the Single Charge "Highway" Range @70 mph cruise is 26 miles. :(

See model details at


1 - 2 of 21 Posts

I believe the small rear spoilers trip the laminar flow to induce turbulance. Turbulent flow reduces separation of flow drag at the rear, at least to my foggy recollection.

Tom & Pnieder,

I remember GM's comments regarding Cd to have been that they wished meet or exced the Prius Cd. Looking at the prototype and the EV1, I think your original assumption of 0.25 is more likely. The 7MPH headwind doesn't make sense to me. I can see this to be the case for two lane roadway situations, but most two lane roadway driving is at low city speeds. Most higher speed driving is on divided highway driving, and I'ld bet that if there is a divided roadway only study it will indicate that there is tailwind. Not that the following has a place in your calculation but should be considered: in reality, much commuting for work is done in heavy traffic which has even better aerdynamics. The value of plug-in EV's will be amplified in this type of driving, mostly from regen and no ICE idling.

I have look closer at the study, but if it calculates 29KWh draw with 500W accessory load and 60mph cruise as Tom posted in the public blog then there must be something off. Tesla with a bit higher Cd only draws about 14KWh at 60mph. At first glance, my guess is that the following assumptions are the problem: "The Traction Inverter, DC-DC Converter, and gear power efficiency are each 90%." This would be a combined efficiency of 72.9% for these components. Tesla claims their battery to wheel efficiency is better than 80% and this includes rolling resistance.
See less See more
1999 Lotise Elise Cd*Af = 6.35 (couldn't find Tesla's Roadster info)
2004 Toyota Prius Cd*Af =6.05, Af= 23.25 sq ft
(Cd - drag coefficient, Af - Frontal Area)

Tom's study uses Af=25.28 for the Volt. This seems a little high since the Volt should end up a few inches shorter and perhaps a little narrower since it's only a 4 pasenger vehicle. I believe the comments about raising the Volt were in regards to increasing ground clearance in part to help reduce drag. I looked but can't find the article that had the comments about how the improvements in drag compare to the Prius. I pretty sure they inferred equal or better drag. I expect Cd*Af to be slightly better than the Prius' based on GM's comments about their Cd and what have heard and seen of the final design.

Tesla probably improved drag some for their roadster but it should be similar to the Elise. Thus, it is very plausible that the Volt's aerodynamics are similar and perhaps slightly better than the Roadster's despite a larger Af.
See less See more
1 - 2 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.