Owning a Volt has renewed my confidence in what GM could do in the future. Hard to imagine that future vehicles aren't going to be even better. The Volt and the Bolt are just the beginning.What kind of future is there for the Volt range extender power train? It could work in various vehicles with minor changes. What are the latest rumors - and speculation? With 250 mile batteries, is it obsolete ?
A BEV needs to use extra energy to warm up, but then the amount of additional energy needed reduces as it just needs to maintain the temperature. On longer trips there is a high proportion of the trip already warmed up, because the car will either be driven or charging. In addition, pre-conditioning can be used to reduce the warm-up penalty on range.As we've entered winter I've come to the conclusion that the range for a completely satisfactory BEV needs to be closer to 500 than to 300 as I previously thought. The problem is that the winter range is half of the summer range if you use the heater. In the summer I'm getting 145MPGe in the Volt for non-highway trips, now it's closer to 80 and more like 60 if I use the heater when running on the battery. With the Volt I switch to Hold if I need to defrost my windshield because the ICE generates free heat so it's MPG isn't degraded by the heater, that's not an option in a BEV. My guess is that we won't have the battery tech to give that range at a reasonable price until at least 2025, maybe longer, so there is room for another generation of Voltec cars.