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What size gas tank?

  • Original tank with 650 mile range.

    Votes: 9 56.3%
  • New tank with 400 mile range.

    Votes: 5 31.3%
  • Even smaller tank with about 200 mile range.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I don't care. I don't plan to go to the gas station much.

    Votes: 2 12.5%

  • Total voters
    16
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Discussion Starter #1
So how many people are OK with a smaller tank and less range and how many are not?

I think the smaller, cheaper more compact tank is fine. 350-400 mile range is all 90% Americans need I suspect.
 

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I had mentioned, previously, in the discussion about range that I think two tanks would provide a great solution for all.

I'd like to see a 2 gallon primary tank for the ICE that would provide the comfort and safety for most people in an every day situation. This two gallon tank would probably last most about a month or whatever and would probably not be too prone to stale gas situations.

Additionally, I'd like to see a 6 or 7 gallon tank that can be used for long hauls and trips. This would only have to be filled up when necessary for an extended range of say 500 miles or whatever that would produce.

A full two gallon tank plus an empty 6 gallon tank would probably weigh the same or less than a full 5 gallon tank, which is probably too much fuel for most average motorists anyways with a vehicle like the Volt.
 

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Here are a few of my thoughts that make me a little hesitant...

1) Space gain is not huge, though not insignificant either...think of a 5 gallon gas can, just a little more than that.

2) Weight saved is pretty negligible as well. An additional 6 gallons of gas is only 36lbs + weight of the additional tank structure...so maybe a total added weight of 50 lbs. Now, for an EV every little bit of weight makes a difference I absolutely agree, but I don't see this altering the EV range by more than a mile per charge at most.

3) While a full tank run totally dry may give you that 400 mile range (40 EV + 360 gas) you have to wonder what the real world numbers will work out to. If practical EV range is only 32 miles (since if you use gas you'll probably be doing highway driving on a trip and will drain the battery faster) and the actual usable gas before the indicator tells you you need to fill soon is only 5 gallons AND the actual hwy MPG is a little less than the anticipated 60mpg...let's say it works out to 50mpg.

Now you get 32 miles + (5 gal. @ 50mpg = 250 miles) = 282 mile real world range

And, remember, on a highway trip once you've depleted your overnight EV charge you're on pure gas the rest of the trip. So each fill up will give you only the gas tank range....so you're down to 250 miles per subsequent fill up until you can stop for 6-8 hours to recharge the battery.

yes, yes, yes, I'm making some significant assumptions here and I'm willing to listen to alternative thoughts. But I think we can all relate to the difference b/w what the sticker says and what we really see in real world driving. I think the numbers above are pretty reasonable for someone taking their Volt on a highway/interstate trip based upon the current information that GM has given us.
 

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I guess I really don't understand what all the complaining is about. Here is my thought process:

OK, lets use efusco's numbers:

So if you get 282 real world miles out of the batteries and 5 gallons of gas, that has you on the road for about 4.5 hours.

How do I get that number? From my office in Boardman, Ohio to Cincinnati, Ohio, it is 278.5 miles. Except for about 5.5 miles, it is all interstate driving. And that is how long it takes me to get there. And I am ready to get out and stretch my legs.....

There have been compromises made in every car I have ever purchased. None have been "exactly" what I wanted. But if stopping the car every four hours or so for 5 minutes to fuel up is a deal breaker for you, then you really should be looking at other vehicles!

My only real comment about efusco's post is this. Just about everyone here is really concerned about the AER. Yet he makes the comment that "Now, for an EV every little bit of weight makes a difference I absolutely agree, but I don't see this altering the EV range by more than a mile per charge at most." I am sorry, but you can't have it both ways!

If you want max AER, you have to lower the aero C/D, put on the lowest rolling resistance tires, reduce electric drain from the batteries, and remove every spare pound of weight. That is how it works. And that is what GM is advertising for the Gen-1 Volt. Add that one extra mile of range from a smaller tank, to one or two extra miles of range from an improved A/C heater system, and another from well designed accessories, and now you have a 10% improvement in that AER! I find that to be much more important than being able to go 800 miles without stopping.

But that is just my opinion............
 

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I have never ever needed or even cared about greater than 350 miles range. I have very often lacked for space in my vehicles and could have wanted more on those many occasions. The Volt is not a big car, so space is even more important to it than many other cars. So, for me space and reduced cost are of one tank versus two are more important. I really don't think the issues of weight and range are significant. I do think stale gas may be a concern for GM but that can be an issue for a smaller tank too.

I just don't buy that many, if any, people need more the 350 miles. Most cars on the market get 400 or less and they sell just fine. The Volt has no inherent need over other cars for increased range. There are sparsley populated areas that an extended range could help, but it is not needed. I think the biggest benefit to 600+ range would be for those that drive a lot of miles and the reduced number of trips to the gas station.

I would also like the space saving from ditching the spare and having a patch kit.
 

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I guess I really don't understand what all the complaining is about. Here is my thought process:

OK, lets use efusco's numbers:

So if you get 282 real world miles out of the batteries and 5 gallons of gas, that has you on the road for about 4.5 hours.

How do I get that number? From my office in Boardman, Ohio to Cincinnati, Ohio, it is 278.5 miles. Except for about 5.5 miles, it is all interstate driving. And that is how long it takes me to get there. And I am ready to get out and stretch my legs.....

There have been compromises made in every car I have ever purchased. None have been "exactly" what I wanted. But if stopping the car every four hours or so for 5 minutes to fuel up is a deal breaker for you, then you really should be looking at other vehicles!

My only real comment about efusco's post is this. Just about everyone here is really concerned about the AER. Yet he makes the comment that "Now, for an EV every little bit of weight makes a difference I absolutely agree, but I don't see this altering the EV range by more than a mile per charge at most." I am sorry, but you can't have it both ways!

If you want max AER, you have to lower the aero C/D, put on the lowest rolling resistance tires, reduce electric drain from the batteries, and remove every spare pound of weight. That is how it works. And that is what GM is advertising for the Gen-1 Volt. Add that one extra mile of range from a smaller tank, to one or two extra miles of range from an improved A/C heater system, and another from well designed accessories, and now you have a 10% improvement in that AER! I find that to be much more important than being able to go 800 miles without stopping.

But that is just my opinion............
I have no quibble with your points at all... But I'm a 'ready for any plug-in' Prius owner/driver who'll use the Volt as a primary commuter with few/rare long range driver. Probably most of us that frequent a forum dedicated to the Volt would feel the same. But guess what, we're not the target audience...we're the easy sell.
For the Volt to be to the EV's future what the Prius is to the PHEV it's gonna have to appeal, in many ways, to a very broad market... People are aroused by the big numbers. A 630 mile range will sell better than a 300 mile range...you can explain stuff 'til you're blue in the face and people won't get it.
Can't tell you how many people I've tried to explain the Prius to that 'just don't get it'.

I think all of us realize that compromises will be necessary...we can't have a Cadillac's luxury features, a 20 gallon gas tank, 18" rims, bad aerodynamics, etc. But we need something more than a lawn chair and a dipstick for a fuel guage too.

It's just my opinion that something closer to the 9-10 gallon tank size to approach a 500 mile range will be better recieved by the broader public. You and I may choose to drive around with 1/4 tank to save that extra 40 lbs of fuel (I'm a hypermiling freak in the Prius), but John Doe who just wanted the cool new electric car that goes 500 miles will still be interested.

Remember the history of the Prius...the press fawned on it from 6 months before release until about a year after...then you started seeing the dust to dust hummer comparisons, the whining from some reporter who drove it 200 miles and could only get 43mpg so decided there had to be a big lie to get the EPA numbers. The Volt is likely to see something similar, but the bad-mouthing will start sooner...they've had practice with the Prius!!

Look, I don't think the 6 gallon tank is going to be a deal breaker for very many people...definately not for me. But my point is that to see the broad market acceptance we'll have go give up a some of the stuff you and I might like to have.
 

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Efusco

There is accuracy in what you are saying. The general will not understand what an EREV means or what AER is until they are experienced first hand. Absolutely having 600 miles of range would be a good thing and something that all potential buyers can identify with. People also look at the cargo capacity in cubic feet. More importantly, perhaps most importantly for many, they look at the vehicle before purchasing and guage how they feel about the car. One of the biggest drawbacks of the Camry hybrid is the reduced trunk space from the battery located there. The Volt will be a small car to begin with and any added interior space will make it feel that much bigger. While a big range number would help peak interest and may get more people in the door, I believe a larger will make people feel better about the car thus will help sell more cars. Also, I believe more owners would be happier with the space than with the extra range.

The average owner will fill the tank completely each time, as will the reviewers looking for reasons to fail the Volt.
 

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Which is exactly why GM has to do a REALLY good job of education, starting right now.

What they need to push is not "600 miles before you need to get gas", but "You can drive the first 40 miles every day with NO GAS, and then continue to drive as far as you want, still getting 50 MPG!"

It is a different car. It needs a different mindset. GM has 30 months to get the word out..............

JMHO

:)
 
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