damn,that extra 4Kw's would get me 16-20 extra miles.
Where's the bloody "Like" button on this forum. This is probably the single biggest reason the Volt drives like an EV even when running ICE.To add:
If an EV battery charges up to 100%, you do not have significant regen immediately after charging.
It needs to have room up top.
But it's mostly needed for the Magic Trick that normal PHEVs can't do. Which is provide peak instant HP when the battery is 'empty'.
Your gas generator engine is only 101 HP. But even when your battery is drained, you have 161 HP (120kW) on tap.
The problem happens when it first has to switch to the gasoline engine especially up steep grades. Your battery is 'empty' and the ICE engine needs to warm up some before it is useful. At 0 miles on your EV meter, the Volt will produce full instant power.
If it didn't have this buffer, it would drive like normal PHEVs. That is, like crap. Sometimes you hit the accelerator and it takes off, other times, it bogs. And you don't always know which will happen. Weak electric motors, combined with small EV batteries and the nature of ICE engine powerbands conspire to keep you guessing.
Some see the 4.4kWh buffer as a waste. But without it, the Volt would act less like an EV and more like a gas car or hybrid. The Volt powertrain is still unmatched after 7 years.
Is there more information on the additional ~4 kWh that might be obtainable (at some point through software)? Would like to see GM say that they might consider allowing greater access to those extra 4 kWh. I understand that some of those extra 4 kWh might be accessible but not all. Have they done this/considered this with the Gen 1 Volts? thanksBill, I think the 2017 Volts have 18.4 kWh pack capacity in total, but only 14 kWh is usable. It is possible that late in the Gen II Volts life the software will allow the Volt access to the extra capacity, but regardless of that, the pack will last a LOT LONGER by having capacity that is never accessed either on the top or bottom of the typical charge cycle. You may wish you could use the extra kWh's now, but in 5 or 6 years it is possible that any Volt that had unlimited access to all its capacity may end up with early pack degradation due to the deeper cycles.
There is no way to know how many packs would degrade faster in advance, so GM's engineers played it safe and had big cushions of pack capacity built into the charge cycle.
The upside is that you 2017 Volt will probably still have nearly the same AER in 12 to 15 years. And it may have pretty decent range in 20 years.
On a similar note, I never liked it when my Mom told me to eat my vegetables first before I ate my dessert but it was probably better for me to do so. ;-)