GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I got these put on right after I got the Volt.

SAM_0451.jpg SAM_0452.jpg SAM_0450.jpg

I also attached my Volt test drive video for those that missed it yesterday.


MrEnergyCzar
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Great video. You know, you remind me of Bob Saget... Ever get that?
Not Bob Saget, but Andrew Farah, chief engineer of the Volt. We're not related.

MrEnergyCzar
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,694 Posts
Great video too. You definitely give a nice summary of the car. You seemed to have covered everything in under 8 minutes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
357 Posts
So why did you choose 100+ MPG instead of say 200+, 250+ or even more? I'm creeping back up to 300 mpg after a few summer trips that just killed my MPGs but at over 800 mpgs so far you seem to be well on your way to beating your adverstisement.

Secondly, is your Peak Oil dot where you believe we are or is that reading too much into it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
So why did you choose 100+ MPG instead of say 200+, 250+ or even more? I'm creeping back up to 300 mpg after a few summer trips that just killed my MPGs but at over 800 mpgs so far you seem to be well on your way to beating your adverstisement.

Secondly, is your Peak Oil dot where you believe we are or is that reading too much into it?
I wanted to put 200 mpg but it would seem too unbelievable and the red dot was purposely placed there (2 years forward from today) to represent where we'll be during the majority time of owning the Volt.

MrEnergyCzar
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
I wanted to put 200 mpg but it would seem too unbelievable
200 mpg seems too unbelievable because it is unbelievable. It's a totally manufactured number with very little connection to reality, and can be made arbitarily high by driving solely electric. My Volt claims "400 mpg" now. If I put in $4 worth of electricity, can I go anywhere near 400 miles? No way.

I think we should do something like "30 miles = $1" or "40 miles = $1" or something like that, like one of the Leaf print ads. Gets the point across, not arbitary, totally defensible.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,463 Posts
I respectfully disagree and contend that 200 MPG or more is totally defensible. Miles driven per gallons used. No one is claiming that 200 miles is the battery range. To my knowledge, range has never been used as a MPG measurement. It's always a separate measurement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
I respectfully disagree and contend that 200 MPG or more is totally defensible. Miles driven per gallons used.
But when talking about these stratospheric "MPG", you aren't using gallons at all, you are using kw-hrs. It's basically a measure of your EV utility factor, that approaches infinity as you approach 100%. A number that can approach infinity has no place in an efficiency comparison metric. Something that can blow up to infinity usually means something in your equation is flawed when talking real world measurements.

There's a guy on voltstats with "2890 MPG". How is 2890 MPG at all representative of the efficiency of the vehicle? Is his car running 7x more efficiently than mine? Electricity isn't free, still has environmental impact, most of it is still coming from burning fossil fuels. Until we transition to 100% renewable sources, it's intellectually dishonest to treat those electric miles as total freebies. If you are totally off the grid and running 100% solar, then fine, you drive for free, but "MPG" still isn't the right metric to use.

No one is claiming that 200 miles is the battery range. To my knowledge, range has never been used as a MPG measurement. It's always a separate measurement.
I never said anything about battery range. I was suggesting miles per dollar, which isn't the same as range, although it's proportional to range. Range is a better measurement of efficiency than MPG, if you correct for differing battery capacities of vehicles. More efficient vehicles would have greater range for the same # of kw-hr.

Another way to see MPG is a stupid way to claim efficency: Even if you plaster 800 mpg on the Volt, a Leaf driver could plaster infinity MPG on their vehicle and make your 800 mpg look ridiculously small, if you claim miles per gallon used is a defensible metric.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,632 Posts
A number that can approach infinity has no place in an efficiency comparison metric.
Sure it does. You're thinking engineering, this is marketing. Since when does logic have any play in marketing?

Even if you plaster 800 mpg on the Volt, a Leaf driver could plaster infinity MPG on their vehicle and make your 800 mpg look ridiculously small, if you claim miles per gallon used is a defensible metric.
Nope. Perfectly defensible. If you're marketing to somebody who absolutely won't buy *any* EVs no matter what, what do they care if a Leaf gets ∞ MPGs. They probably'll have no concept of ∞ anyway, and still wouldn't buy it if they did. But somebody who won't ever buy an EV may look at the Volt getting 200-800-whatnot MPG and think "I gotta get me onena those!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
Sure it does. You're thinking engineering, this is marketing. Since when does logic have any play in marketing?
It often doesn't have any play. But I'd argue that sticking to the facts pays off better in the long run, even for marketing, it protects your credibility. Note how much backlash GM got over the "230 mpg" thing. The Volt is a good enough car that you should be able to sell it with real-world numbers, not fantasy numbers that are easily dismissed as nonsense. My friends are still impressed by my telling them that for $25 I go 1000 miles, which is a real number I can back up with usage stats and an electric rate sheet. If I told people 800 mpg, anyone with a lick of sense would rightfully call B.S., and you wouldn't be able to defend it with logic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
You know, it's interesting that in my experience, when people ask me about the Volt, their first question is how many MPG it gets. I have taken the approach of telling them that with this car, MPG is an irrelevant number. That seems to peek their interest and then I go on to explain that MPG can be whatever you want it to be based on you driving needs. It opens up the door to explaining about the electric drive system and its range extender. I usually end up explaining that I can drive about 40 miles on about a dollar of electricity and then continue to drive at about 35-40 MPG after that if I need to. I think most people get it at that point...at least they seem to.

I don't have my car yet. It is sitting on a train heading for somewhere in Tennessee on its way down here to Georgia but I have a whole bunch of people that are very interested in seeing it when it gets here. All based on the types of conversations stated above. I am really looking forward to their impressions when they have the actual car in front of them.

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
It's it more like "What are *your* miles per gallon?"
Or, "How many gallons have you used per 1000 miles?"

Let's say you have 2000 miles on the odometer and have used 4.5 gallons. Someone else may have used 7.5 gallons for their driving habits. So guy #1 has *his* mpg of 444 and 2.25 gallons/K miles. Guy #2 has his mpg of 266 mpg and 3.75 g/K.

You're right in that mpg is irrelevant because you immediately think "car rolling along sipping gas the whole time, at what mpg rate?" The conversation might be "you asked about mpg, but the Volt is not about mpg it's an electric car with a range extender. If I ever need to drive after depleating the electric charge, I get 40 mpg but that is a rare occurence. My current GPK is 4.7."

So, I'm coining "GPK" as Gallons per 1000 miles. Volt doesn't show this but all cars could show something like that. My current Mazda6 wagon is roughly 25-26mpg and so my GPK is 38.7. Volt owners can go as low as zero for that number based on driving habits. I like GPK because, the higher the number, the higher your "impact". Where as mpg, the lower the number, the higher your impact. Impact on gasoline/oil/CO2/depletion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Great MPG discussion here. A lot of my miles will come from my solar system surplus at home and my courtesy charger at work. This makes it even more confusing to try and calculate my actual cost per electric mile. I could be paying $0 - $10 to drive 1,500 miles....

MrEnergyCzar
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,976 Posts
You know, it's interesting that in my experience, when people ask me about the Volt, their first question is how many MPG it gets. I have taken the approach of telling them that with this car, MPG is an irrelevant number. That seems to peek their interest and then I go on to explain that MPG can be whatever you want it to be based on you driving needs. It opens up the door to explaining about the electric drive system and its range extender. I usually end up explaining that I can drive about 40 miles on about a dollar of electricity and then continue to drive at about 35-40 MPG after that if I need to. I think most people get it at that point...at least they seem to.

I don't have my car yet. It is sitting on a train heading for somewhere in Tennessee on its way down here to Georgia but I have a whole bunch of people that are very interested in seeing it when it gets here. All based on the types of conversations stated above. I am really looking forward to their impressions when they have the actual car in front of them.

Dan
I agree. People usually start with, "What's your mileage?" This implies they think the Volt is some kind of hybrid. My response always is, "Well, it depends. I haven't been to a gas station in two months."

That gets us off on the right foot. They ask about electrical costs, range in EV mode, mpg in ER mode, etc. It's a much stronger conversation. Then what I really focus on is how much better the Volt is than my prior BMW...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,165 Posts
So, I'm coining "GPK" as Gallons per 1000 miles.
While I like the "impact direction" and smaller is better (and it solved the infinity issue for pure EV) GPK still ignores the total cost.

I still prefer Miles per dollar or MPD. Since I got my car back from TX (where I bough my Volt), I've done 1700 miles spent $31.09 on gas and $23 on Electricity. I'm averaging 31.6MD. (Not near as good as Stephent's $25 per 1000 which is 40MPD, but I keep making longer trips where I really need the Volt's CS mode; I could not use a Leaf. )

I like MPD because it is easy to explain it makes a nice comparison. If I was driving a 50MPG Prius I'd be at 15 MPD, and in a BMW 325i I would have been around 9MPD. So for me the Volt comes out 2X a prius and 3x the BMW on MPD. For Stephent it would be 3x and 4x.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,871 Posts
So how does one rate 0.6 gallons over 2900+ miles and charged off solar with a home annual bill year to date of $200. The volts are definitely getting us to ROI faster, I estimate we are very close to break even this fall.

My take is to put up what if numbers by kWh and possible range expectations. I open the discussion with drive for free, then immediate caveat it with the free electric I get now that we are hitting our ROI. A technical person eyes will light up, others have the deer in the headlights look. At that point you just have to put it in terms they will understand. A bit of dialog will generally lead you to a reasonable comparison they understand. You are sort of right in the miles per dollar arguement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
... $25 I go 1000 miles, which is a real number I can back up with usage stats and an electric rate sheet.
That's great! To do that well your electric rate must be in the 7 cent per kwh range. With my 12 cent per kwh rate and approximately 300 wh per mile it costs me $36 per 1000 miles of all CD mode driving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
That's great! To do that well your electric rate must be in the 7 cent per kwh range. With my 12 cent per kwh rate and approximately 300 wh per mile it costs me $36 per 1000 miles of all CD mode driving.
Right, that's about what it is right now, it's a mix of 5.5-6.5 off-peak and 11.x cents mid-peak. Unfortunately it may go up if PG&E's E-9 rate proposal goes through. Then I'd be back to the 12-13 cent range on a non-TOU plan and my miles per dollar would drop substantially.

As for solar_dave, I'm kind of curious how the solar panel option works. If you didn't have the Volts, would you have the option of selling excess generated electricity back to the utility? Or is it something where you can only take credits against your consumption?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
I like MPD too - that would be great since it is somewhat static for electric cars (based on your power rate) while very elastic for gas powered cars. You can almost estimate your fuel costs for the next year. Only factor for electric cars is that during winter, your MPD will drop due to ambient temperature and heater usage. Currently MPDf is 7.25 in my Mazda6. In this scale, lower is worse. I say MPDf is Miles per Dollar (fuel). There are other factors well beyond the fuel costs which include vehicle cost, interest on loans, ESEV install costs, etc.

I have some things to do to prepare for an EV. I think one will be to setup a new "shed-style" garage. I need a new shed anyway and this would work for me. http://www.storageshedspa.com/sites/default/files/MYPICS/images/large/brochure 009 [].jpg

Then, a bit of wiring off our outside 50A service that is already in place. Now, the garage wouldn't be heated but could at least survive to keep the car from getting rained and snowed on. Still have the idea of a Solar PV array - if I do pull the trigger on that, I'd do it by Dec. 31st of this year and put off the EV purchase until springtime or summer. Tax Credit for Solar PV is much like the Volt and I'd want to spread them over two tax years.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top