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My questions about the actual practical use of the volt:

1. Will it allow me to leave home early in the morning with a full charge and drive 200 miles for a day trip and drive home late in the day after touring about.

2. If I take a road trip with approx 8 hours travel time, more or less, every day; how many days can I do this before I have to do the 6.5 hour recharge?
 

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My questions about the actual practical use of the volt:

1. Will it allow me to leave home early in the morning with a full charge and drive 200 miles for a day trip and drive home late in the day after touring about.

2. If I take a road trip with approx 8 hours travel time, more or less, every day; how many days can I do this before I have to do the 6.5 hour recharge?

The idea of the eflex system in the Volt is the ability to use two different sources of energy.

Under normal conditions in the morning you would have charged up the battery and you will be able to drive around 40 miles, after the battery is depleted the gasoline engine starts up, produces electricity that powers the same electric motor. So if you take an 8 hour road trip you just have to fill up the gas tank after it is empty, no worries about plugging in. The 6.5 hour charge is just so that you can avoid using gasoline for most daily uses of the car. It adds the benefit of the electric car and regular gasoline powered car together.
 

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My questions about the actual practical use of the volt:

1. Will it allow me to leave home early in the morning with a full charge and drive 200 miles for a day trip and drive home late in the day after touring about.
Yes. It will function just like the car you have now, only probably with much better gas mileage.

2. If I take a road trip with approx 8 hours travel time, more or less, every day; how many days can I do this before I have to do the 6.5 hour recharge?
As many days as you want. You never have to recharge the battery if you don't want to. The purpose of the battery and plug in charge is so that on short daily commutes, you don't need to use any gas. Also plugging it in will increase the gas mileage and extend the range of the car. You also don't need to charge the battery to full to get some benefit from plugging in, so even charging for just 3 hours would give added fuel mileage and range. Short, quick charges won't hurt the battery.
 

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ccwfong,
Although published specs of the Volt are rather vague, it seems that its ICE is rated at 53kW(70HP) peak (possibly more with the 1400cc I-4 NA engine reported to replace the originally planned 1000cc turbocharged I-3). This engine drives a generator, which in turn supplies electrical power to the battery pack (float charge) and the propulsion motor. Since the motor is rated at 40kW(53HP) continuous, the Volt will drive just like a car (rather heavy with ICE, generator, battery pack and motor) with a 53HP engine. By nature of electric motor you can increase this maximum power by increasing the amount of current going into it (by increasing supply voltage and/or duty time of PWM), but not for long because of the heat.
The beauty of the Volt is that it will take most of us to our workplace without burning a drop of gas pumped at our local gas station with a just-in-case safety net.

If you are a daily long-distance driver you will be better off with an ordinary car with a sub-100HP ICE. Remember the '67 VW beetle had a 53HP engine.
 

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ccwfong,
Although published specs of the Volt are rather vague, it seems that its ICE is rated at 53kW(70HP) peak (possibly more with the 1400cc I-4 NA engine reported to replace the originally planned 1000cc turbocharged I-3). This engine drives a generator, which in turn supplies electrical power to the battery pack (float charge) and the propulsion motor. Since the motor is rated at 40kW(53HP) continuous, the Volt will drive just like a car (rather heavy with ICE, generator, battery pack and motor) with a 53HP engine. By nature of electric motor you can increase this maximum power by increasing the amount of current going into it (by increasing supply voltage and/or duty time of PWM), but not for long because of the heat.
The beauty of the Volt is that it will take most of us to our workplace without burning a drop of gas pumped at our local gas station with a just-in-case safety net.

If you are a daily long-distance driver you will be better off with an ordinary car with a sub-100HP ICE. Remember the '67 VW beetle had a 53HP engine.
I don't really think this is a good comparison. Remember, you buy horsepower, but drive torque. This is an oversimplification, of course, because diesel engines feel quite snappy due to their high torque but run out of breath a bit at highway speeds, but the point is important. I expect the Volt to have a comparable feel to an ICE-only car with significantly more than 53 hp, or even 70 hp due to the difference in power delivery as compared to a gasoline-only car.
 

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GearheadGeek,
I hope you are right. Since it’s power (torque*rpm) that moves a car (torque has no time in its dimensions) the high-power nature of electric motor at low rpm should make electric cars feel fast when starting from standstill (provided the motor can take the required current without frying itself). As the required power reaches 53KW, whether it is to keep accelerating on a flat road or to maintain speed on an uphill grade Volt’s control system, I think, will cut off or reduce current to keep the temperature from going up further. Whether this will spoil the driving feel of the Volt or not I do not know. But, 53KW in terms of 3-phase 300-volt power supply means about 102 amps per coil … a lot of heat even at a 0.5-ohm load.
 
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