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Thanks for you post. I watched your youtube videos before I decided on the Volt. Your videos helped me make a better decision than all the Edmunds and Consumer Reports articles. Just wanted to tell you "thanks."
 

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Thanks for the post. News about the next gen Volt is always a big deal. Jay Cole at INSIDEEVS.COM did a Cliff Notes version of the initerview:

Does the Chevrolet Volt need a 4 cylinder engine? (not really)
Is the range-extender engine due for an update? (working on it)
More plug-ins from GM? (yes)
More GM vehicles with EREV tech coming? (maybe)
Has the Opel Ampera in Europe been successful (hey, look at the lovely trees outside my office)
What is the focus of the next gen Chevy Volt? (bringing costs down)
Does more range matter? Will 2nd gen get more? (you know we are still selling the current gen right?)


I'm not in love with the focus on price. I'm sure that has to happen in order to move more units but I'm more in favor of higher quality and more range.
 

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It was interesting to read about the engine selection but otherwise there is not much meat in this article.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for you post. I watched your youtube videos before I decided on the Volt. Your videos helped me make a better decision than all the Edmunds and Consumer Reports articles. Just wanted to tell you "thanks."
Thanks, I think about a dozen people have said that due to the videos... more convincing than some salesmen, for sure.

MrEnergyCzar
 

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I think the simplest thing GM can do with the Volt platform (or family) is to give us the option of 1 or 2 batteries, pure EV or fuel backup, and several different body styles. Then people can buy exactly what they need.

To solve the perception problem (GM isn't serious about electrification, some dealers don't know anything about what they are selling) instead of selling through Chevy dealerships, they should make Volt dealerships like Saturn used to be. Just like the title of this forum GM Volt.

Finally what about a removable power pack that is maybe 20 pounds that you pull out of the hood, bring it to your office, and charge from a 110V outlet at your desk for maybe 5-10 miles of extra range for those who don't have charging stations at work?
 

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I don't blame them at all for not wishing to disclose much as they are selling their current model, not convincing people to wait.

the focus needs to be on cost - don't sacrifice quality, but certainly get the price down so the volt can be bought by the masses. this will not affect our current volts, as they will be premium editions. there clearly needs to be another $5k reduction - if they get more range, great, but get the price down.
 

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All I know is that my lease is up in 4 months and there is nothing else out there that can replace my Volt.
 

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From the ridiculous line of questioning the author of that article clearly doesn't understand the engineering principles involved.

The # of cylinders, displacement, etc is essentially meaningless from a power generation standpoint. Peak Power is really all that matters. In a perfect world in order to be able to maintain 56kW of generation (aka worst case-max load), you will need an ICE capable of AT LEAST 56kW (75hp) output. (conservation of energy, no free-rides etc etc ) That's not such an easy with displacement than 1.4L AND still be able to meet emissions requirements.(unless it was perhaps boosted via a power adder like a turbo or super-charger but that comes with added complexity and expense)

But since there are various "losses" to contend with, the LUU range extender currently being used is calibrated to achieve 63kW (83hp) @4800 rpm. This then permits "full range" power to be delivered through max generation + battery reserve while in extended range mode. This permits the Volt the ability to deliver sufficient power to oevercome steep grades, high payloads, headwinds and highway overtake/passing power.

Going smaller than that would represent a compromise (reducing those capabilities) unless something else was significantly improved (much lighter weight, better aero-d, more efficient power transmission etc )

Unlike the BMW i3 which has extremely limited power output while in extended range (aka "limp") due to it's relatively weak RE generation system.

WOT
 

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From the ridiculous line of questioning the author of that article clearly doesn't understand the engineering principles involved.
Given that he was the Vehicle Test and Development Manager for the EV1, I'm thinking he probably has "some" idea. ;)
 

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I think the simplest thing GM can do with the Volt platform (or family) is to give us the option of 1 or 2 batteries, pure EV or fuel backup, and several different body styles. Then people can buy exactly what they need.
I wouldn't say that would be the "simplest" thing they could do. In fact, it would essentially require more than just a second battery. The Voltec transaxle was designed to connect to an ICE. It would be a huge waste to put that into the car without an ICE. So they'd need to redesign the inverter and drive motor. Then they'd have to find some place to stick your second battery pack that doesn't make the car off balance. (it can't go on the left side or right side.. it needs to be centered)

To solve the perception problem (GM isn't serious about electrification, some dealers don't know anything about what they are selling) instead of selling through Chevy dealerships, they should make Volt dealerships like Saturn used to be. Just like the title of this forum GM Volt.
This would be fine by me if they were selling enough volume of the Volt. But as they are not, the Volt dealers would be far and few between and likely constantly going out of business due to lack of sales volume, especially with the service dept. requirements. No, I much prefer the Volt stay at traditional Chevy dealers. The only thing better would be if you could buy direct over the internet like Tesla.

Finally what about a removable power pack that is maybe 20 pounds that you pull out of the hood, bring it to your office, and charge from a 110V outlet at your desk for maybe 5-10 miles of extra range for those who don't have charging stations at work?
20 pounds worth of battery would probably get you about 1-2 miles. I don't think it would be worth it.
 

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WOT,

I would claim that the Volt could tolerate a smaller engine if it had a larger battery buffer to work with and replenish. This would perhaps require 'mountain mode' to be used more frequently on some grades, but otherwise, it only takes around 25kW to travel 70mph on a flat road. To me, you could get away with an engine producing 35-40kW, if a 2-3kWh buffer were maintained in the battery once in range extended mode.

At the same time, if a larger buffer were implemented, it could also be done with a highway versus city mode. The highway mode would maintain the large buffer, the city mode would be like "All EV mode" and minimize any buffer. This would let people pull into their homes with as little charge as possible. Maybe the Volt could figure this out on its own based on a moving average of vehicle speed being calculated.

Just thinking out loud and throwing some numbers around, I've done no math to prove this out.

Of course, the balance between flexibility and tons of modes the driver has to ideally be aware of, must also be considered.

Lastly, I like llninja's suggestion above... if GM had more Voltec vehicles. It would seemingly be great to have "Voltec" dealerships that had only offerings with GM's EREV technology, assuming sufficent volumes, models, and locations.
 

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I wouldn't say that would be the "simplest" thing they could do. In fact, it would essentially require more than just a second battery. The Voltec transaxle was designed to connect to an ICE. It would be a huge waste to put that into the car without an ICE. So they'd need to redesign the inverter and drive motor. Then they'd have to find some place to stick your second battery pack that doesn't make the car off balance. (it can't go on the left side or right side.. it needs to be centered)

I don't think it would be worth it.
The voltec battery and design looks modular to me, I would think that the savings from a common drivetrain for both EV and EV + Gasser would outweigh the fact you are carrying an extra 50lbs and a cover around.
 

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I would claim that the Volt could tolerate a smaller engine if it had a larger battery buffer to work with and replenish.
Focusing on the genset has always struck me as being on the wrong side of the 80/20 rule. If 80% of your miles are electric, then even large relative improvements end up being small absolute improvements. A 20% gain in efficiency ends up being only a 4% gain in overall efficiency (.2 X .2). You could better that with a few aerodynamic tweaks or a bit of mass reduction. Plus we're not talking about a significant amount of gas in any case.

Reminds me of drug companies. They tout the relative improvement -- it will reduce your chances of X by 30% -- and always leave out the part that you only had a small chance of getting X in the first place. Ultimately it's only the absolute results that count.
 

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Focusing on the genset has always struck me as being on the wrong side of the 80/20 rule. If 80% of your miles are electric, then even large relative improvements end up being small absolute improvements. A 20% gain in efficiency ends up being only a 4% gain in overall efficiency (.2 X .2). You could better that with a few aerodynamic tweaks or a bit of mass reduction. Plus we're not talking about a significant amount of gas in any case.

Reminds me of drug companies. They tout the relative improvement -- it will reduce your chances of X by 30% -- and always leave out the part that you only had a small chance of getting X in the first place. Ultimately it's only the absolute results that count.
Yeah, reminds me of credit card company offers stating "We've doubled cash back rewards!!"....of course if the original reward % is only .25%, you're getting 100% more of almost nothing.
 

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Because my Volt has a 60 mile round trip commute, I'd love to see my summer range go from the 48-52 miles I get now to, oh, I dnon't know, a 60 mile range :) But the Volt was never intended to be a no gas vehicle. It's a mostly no gas vehicle. And for those with a "normal" 40 mile commute it really is a no gas vehicle. My commute just happens to be on the downside of the bell curve. Sill, I have a respectable 140 mpg lifetime average. Not shabby all all.

So though I'd like more EV range for Volt 2.0 and hope they can add a few more miles, I think price must be the top improvement so more people can afford to experience the benefits of electric drive. The other improvement I'd like to see is advertising. The stealthy, almost non-existent ad campaign does not help sell Volts.
 

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I simply needed an almost no-gas vehicle, with the generator only for occasional long trips so that I will not buy another car. To be almost no gas, I need a daily 100 mile range. The 40 mile range of the Volt is way too short. The Tesla won't fit my needs either. I hope that the upcoming cars allow you different EV range options of the EREV's. This would bring in the most number of buyers.
 

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I wouldn't say that would be the "simplest" thing they could do. In fact, it would essentially require more than just a second battery. The Voltec transaxle was designed to connect to an ICE. It would be a huge waste to put that into the car without an ICE. So they'd need to redesign the inverter and drive motor. Then they'd have to find some place to stick your second battery pack that doesn't make the car off balance. (it can't go on the left side or right side.. it needs to be centered)


This would be fine by me if they were selling enough volume of the Volt. But as they are not, the Volt dealers would be far and few between and likely constantly going out of business due to lack of sales volume, especially with the service dept. requirements. No, I much prefer the Volt stay at traditional Chevy dealers. The only thing better would be if you could buy direct over the internet like Tesla.


20 pounds worth of battery would probably get you about 1-2 miles. I don't think it would be worth it.
For EV only, just use the Spark or a bigger variant of the motor. So instead of left or right sides for the batteries, how about offer a small, medium, large that is thin, thicker, thickest to occupy the T shape. This allows you to buy cheap EV with 20 miles of range or the most expensive hybrid with 80+ miles. You pay for what you want/need.

Agreed, Voltec dealers might be a slow start, but the branding at the right time might cause adoption to accelerate

And for the 20 pounds worth of battery, the technology continues to improve. So give me 40 pounds today, and a Mr. Fusion in 20 years.
 
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