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I recently signed the "list" as a prospective buyer for the upcoming GM Volt. Having only owned one GM prior and none since based on that ownership, I have owned either Toyotas or VW's since then and never looked back. I hope that GM is genuine in its' desire to r&d, produce and support the new Volt. Getting a whopping 40 miles out a "charge" sounds disingenuous. If the car isn't able to do more than that in an additional 2 yrs, what have we gained? An overpriced toy it appears. I am pretty sure that if GM can't improve on the "40 miles" on the single charge, many people on this list will not buy it either. We have put people on the moon, robots on Mars, seen the edges of space with the Hubble....can we please get more than 40 miles???
 

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Welcome to the GM-Volt.com forums!

You can get more than 40 miles...

http://teslamotors.com

...but it will cost you. All electric range costs money, because to store that energy, you need batteries, which are expensive (around $350/kWh for the cheap small-format Li-ion). A pack to take you 400 miles would easily cost you $56,000. Add the cost of a genset, body, electric motor, controller, gearbox, wheels, interior, suspension, etc... and you are looking at close to $80,000.

Instead of giving it a lot of all electric range using lots of expensive batteries, GM came up with a clever solution. Reverse the current idea of the hybrid. Instead of relying on gas primarily, lets rely on electricity. But to solve the expensive battery issue, let's put in a small genset that can run on gas to recharge the small battery.

Since most Americans travel fewer than 40-miles per day, 40-mile all electric range was chosen.

A lot of people criticize the Volt for not having enough all electric range. But I challenge anyone to come up with a better solution that remains affordable for most people. Even the best hybrid today is no match for EREV-40.

We have put people into space and had them walk on the moon, you are right. But the taxpayers spend millions of dollars for every launch. It's not cheap. Neither are electric cars. So with the Volt, we do as much range as we can afford, then rely on gas for the rest.
 

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Maybe you are confused on the mission statement for the Volt. A lot of people are and don't understand the 40 mile range number. This car is designed to go 40 miles all electric and then keep going in a sort of hybrid mode. This is done for three reasons;

1) It keeps the vehicle price lower as the price of LI-Ion batteries are very expensive right now and makes up the bulk of the cost of an EV.
2) It keeps recharge times lower. Smaller the battery pack, the faster it charges
3) 40 is miles enough to cover the daily transportation needs of about 70% of the US population and for those it does not, the Range Extender mode will get them where they need to go. This means that in a perfect world where every driver would have a Volt, there would be a 70% reduction in automotive gasoline consumption.

To compare the Volt program, or any EV program, to space exploration is stupid. Going to the Moon, landing on Mars and the Hubble were all nationally funded programs with US tax payer money. They were national priorities. Your next car is not. It's really unfair to expect GM to perform on the level with Government funded NASA. Perhaps you have forgotten how long it took to get all the things you cited accomplished. Most took around a decade of planning and execution. Maybe you have forgotten the problems, failures and set backs with those programs. GM is building the Volt in just three years with out government help. One of those years is almost up.

I challenge you to come up with an electric powered vehicle that you can buy from a real manufacturer in 2010 that can carry four people at 70mph from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 6 hours or less. That's about 340 miles. Seriously, find me one, everybody here would love to know about it. I think in your search, you will find out how unique the Volt really is and perhaps you will then appreciate it's mission statement much better.
 

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The 40 mile range figure really confuses people. Once the battery is down to a 30% charge the generator starts up to recharge the battery. The car is still taking its power from the battery and it suffers no performance loss in range extended mode.
 

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...and it suffers no performance loss in range extended mode.
I would rephrase it to, "most drivers will not notice a performance loss in range extended mode", because there most certainly will be a performance loss with extended 'spirited' driving. You can't put this thing on the race track at 30% charge and expect to have the same performance as you would at 80%. The genset won't be able to keep up with constant demand.

The capabilities of the genset are much lower than that of the electric motor. 53kW compared to 120kW. Peak performance will be reduced by more than half if you approach the remaining charge limits. You can't get 160HP out of a battery pack being supplied by a 71HP genset forever. Once that remaining 30% is gone and the only power you have is being trickled into the packs by the genset, you will be driving a nice looking car with the performance of a Kübelwagen until you let off the gas a tad and let the pack recharge a bit.

Of course, few of us buzz around with the pedal to the metal all day long, so I'm confident that most of us won't notice a huge difference since we generally only require peak performance for a few seconds while merging onto the highway or racing away from a stop light. But to say there will be no performance loss is simply not true.
 

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Well with normal driving the genset is supposed to turn on and off to keep the batteries at 30%. How often does the electric motor actually drain more than 53kW? It would when you accelerate quickly but once you're at cruising speed the drain goes way down. Maybe that would be a problem if you were in a long protracted car chase or something.
 
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