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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Volt was ground-breaking, but often under-appreciated. Now its formula of range and practicality is being called the "magic bullet", and the basis for all PHEV's ;

 

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The Volt was ground-breaking, but often under-appreciated. Now its formula of range and practicality is being adopted as the basis for all PHEV's ;

I wish more pure BEV owners saw things the same way... I trend around 95% of my miles being on EV power in my 2018 Volt, but the days I need the ICE, I tend to *really* need the ICE. To the tune that I'd need a >200 mile BEV, which was far more expensive than my Volt.

I'll say that most people commuting with gas guzzling ICE vehicles are far more interested in the Volt after I explain how it works to them, but aren't very swayed by the idea of a 200 mile BEV - even if it'd probably work for them for 99.9999% of their driving time with it. The EREV concept means mostly EV motoring, with no hassle or worrying about it. I've already convinced one coworker to pick up a 1G Volt (worked for his budget), and he went from a $300-400/month gas bill (average truck) for commuting down to maybe $20/month + $20/month charging. He's been absolutely blown away at how awesome it is, and wished he'd known about the car earlier.

I will say that most pure BEV owners are becoming very rude about the idea of a PHEV/EREV. Just a step over on Electrek makes me want to puke with all the hate being spewed towards PHEV/EREV cars that legitimately allow most owners to have >90% of their driving done on EV power. It's like it's an alter of punishment towards anybody that isn't 100% dedicated to their choices and world views.

I think the EV motoring community as a whole needs to be less judgmental, and more welcoming as a whole to get people to see the advantages of the cars. Whether they have an ICE range extender for some scenarios, or a big battery pack.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
A good friend and neighbor of mine was showing interest in my Volt the other day. I handed him the key and said, lets go for a ride - you're driving. He jumped on the opportunity, and like so many others, was literally "blown-away" by the experience. Said he never realized how satisfying it is to drive the Volt. Electric is smooth, quiet and relaxing, was the way he described it. No range anxiety,

Everyone is waiting on the $35K Tesla.... well I found the $25K (or less) Tesla; it's the Chevy Volt. (preowned, of course) :D

Sadly, Just when all the other Mfrs. are starting to catch up and produce a 50+ mile range PHEV (EREV) , Chevy may be about to give up on the Volt. When they should be adapting VOLTEC to a CUV.
 

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I have to agree with you VoltAP1, I have a Gen 1 Volt in Finland. It is inherently more practical car than a BEV, as temps during the winter can get quite cold here. About 95% of my driving is in EV mode and like you, when I need the ICE part of the car, I really really need it :) One other factor for me is Volt's rather modest need for charging capacity. I use my travel cable almost all the time, in my carport, using 6 Amps 230V mode and it is enough to fill my Volt's battery during the night...

Oh, and car buyers here seem to agree with me. Passenger car sales stats, first eight months of 2018 are these,
Type / sales / market share:
BEV / 458 / 0.50 %
PHEV / 3706 / 4.06 %
Natural Gas / 1091 / 1.20 %
Gasoline / 64661 / 70,90 %
Diesel / 21281 / 23,34 %
total / 91197 / 100,00 %

PHEV popularity is skyrocketing, about 100% increase from the last year...
 

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It would be nice if GM were to give some indications of their plans. Aside from saying that they will have 20 EVs by 2023 last year there has been no new information. The Volt needs an update to a longer range, the Bolt is a very limited vehicle and besides it's ugly. There were supposed to be two additional cars based in the Bolt platform, where are they? Are they for China only? Until the CCS network is comparable to the Tesla Supercharger network, and that won't happen for years, GM is better off building EREVs than BEVs. An EREV with a 100 mile range would be a pure EV for 95% of the time but it could still go anywhere with out having to worry about a fast charging network. I'd like to see a 100 mile Voltec vehicle that also has an option for DC fast charging, that would help create a market for the CCS network without making the existance of the CCS network a prerequisite.
 

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The Chevy Volt is an electric vehicle first and a hybrid second. All the other so called plug in electric hybrids are hybrids first and electric assist second. I say electric assist as when full power is required the gas engine will fire up to assist in propulsion power so now you have a hybrid. Yes, even the Volt's closest competitor, the Honda plug in electric Clarity, needs the gasoline engine to fire up when full propulsion power is required even with a full electric charge in the battery.

We have a 2016 Volt Premier with over 47,000 miles, and well over 16,000 miles on just gas. With a full charge my wife can drive to her business, a 32 mile roundtrip, and never use one drop of gas, and if she has to pass someone and use full power of course the gas engine will not start.

Now, the new 2019 Volt with optional 7.2 KWH charging will give the owner more electric only options. For one the gas engine will not start even well below -0 F which the owner has the option of selecting. So for those in cold climates with a 20 miles or so commute the drive can be made even in extreme cold without the engine starting to assist in heating. Also pre conditioning in the winter can be done without any loss in electric charge in the battery with the optional 7.2 KWH charging, standard on the Premier and optional, $750.00 on the LT (base) model. Of course you have to have a suitable charger to charge at 7.2 KWH.

With the 7.2 KWH charging one can plug in for just an hour and still get 25 miles or more range, a little over 2 hours will give you a full charge.

The Volt is perfect for my wife and I, as our Volt's rear seat can be folded down, and have plenty of cargo room with the hatchback design.

Now living out on the northwest Oregon Coast in order to do serious shopping or dinning one needs to drive to the Portland Oregon area which requires you to run on gasoline. Not a problem as we still get in mid to high 40's mpg in winter, and in summer over 50 mpg just on gas with the highly efficient 1.5 direct injection gasoline engine which runs on regular 87 octane, earlier Volt's required 91 octane, premium gas.

We also have a 2010 Prius, my daily driver, and the Volt is less fuel, (electric & gas), cost per mile than the Prius. In fact the last few trips down the Oregon Coast gas only mpg was 60.2 mpg, this is calculated by miles driven and gas consumed after filling up at Costco.
 

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I agree with the video premises: PHEV's are a very good gateway to BEV. The dual fuel Volt with its range extender made a lot of sense to me. Once I had the Volt, the step to the Volt was easy. As the video mentions, hardened purists like those that hang out at Electrik are not doing EV adoption rates any favors with their vehement anti-PHEV attitude and their particular antipathy toward GM in general. As a result, both the Volt and Bolt are often dumped on.

For our two car family, our 2011 Volt and 2017 Bolt are a great combo. A sedan and a CUV. An EV with a gas range extender, a BEV with 238 miles of range. Both are good for hauling more than people, the Bolt's roof rack adds extra cargo hauling options.

The Bolt is used for daily 70 mile round trip commutes and always has plenty of miles left even in winter.

Both fit in our garage where they are charged.

If I was limited to one car, it would likely be a Voltec EREV, but if were honest, the Bolt would work for us too. 238 miles is a lot. And as I found out on a recent trip from Chicago to Iowa, a CSS network is not a must, Level 2 charging can work. That said, the DCFC buildout will be a plus when it arrives here in the midwest.
 

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I still think of it as a hybrid. The second best hybrid on the planet.

The best is the Koenigsegg Regera.
 

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I agree with the video premises: PHEV's are a very good gateway to BEV. The dual fuel Volt with its range extender made a lot of sense to me. Once I had the Volt, the step to the Volt was easy. As the video mentions, hardened purists like those that hang out at Electrik are not doing EV adoption rates any favors with their vehement anti-PHEV attitude and their particular antipathy toward GM in general. As a result, both the Volt and Bolt are often dumped on.

For our two car family, our 2011 Volt and 2017 Bolt are a great combo. A sedan and a CUV. An EV with a gas range extender, a BEV with 238 miles of range. Both are good for hauling more than people, the Bolt's roof rack adds extra cargo hauling options.

The Bolt is used for daily 70 mile round trip commutes and always has plenty of miles left even in winter.

Both fit in our garage where they are charged.

If I was limited to one car, it would likely be a Voltec EREV, but if were honest, the Bolt would work for us too. 238 miles is a lot. And as I found out on a recent trip from Chicago to Iowa, a CSS network is not a must, Level 2 charging can work. That said, the DCFC buildout will be a plus when it arrives here in the midwest.
How did you manage Chicago to Iowa in a Bolt without CCS charging? Looking at in on Google Maps it looks possible if you avoid highways, that cuts the distance and increases the MPGE, but on a highway it looks like you would just fall short.
 

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Seems to me that if GM had marketed the Gen 1 Volt as an electric car that could operate on both electricity from a wall socket and electricity from a generator, more attention would have been paid to its ability to extend its "electric driving" range by creating its own electricity "on the fly," and fewer people would have viewed the Volt merely as an expensive "gimmick" car that could go a short distance on battery power, and then was propelled by an ICE like any other car.

Promoting the Volt as an electric car with "duel power sources" whose range was extended using "generator created fuel" might have led to greater awareness of the concept ("an electric car with rapid refueling capability"), and as battery technology evolved, owners would evaluate their options to "upgrade" their electric car’s silent mode range by trading in the old "gas-burning electric generator" model for a vehicle with a larger battery.
 

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How did you manage Chicago to Iowa in a Bolt without CCS charging? Looking at in on Google Maps it looks possible if you avoid highways, that cuts the distance and increases the MPGE, but on a highway it looks like you would just fall short.
I traveled 60 MPH with A/C on IL-88 toll highway, and into Iowa.

I too thought this trip would not be doable without CCS. With some further digging I determined with L2 charging it actually is doable. The point is, CCS DC fast charging would certainly be nice but it was not "must have".

To give myself some extra cushion, I stopped for lunch at a pleasant bar/restaurant on the IL side of the Mississippi. There was an L2 charge station across the street that added 20-25 miles during our lunch. I also plugged in at the destination hotel (again, L2). I still had miles to spare. It fully recharged the Bolt overnight.

Here's the thread I posted about the trip, where I stopped, etc.: https://gm-volt.com/forum/showthrea...EV-Extended-Trip-to-IA&highlight=Bolt+tuggers
 

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I traveled 60 MPH with A/C on IL-88 toll highway, and into Iowa.

I too thought this trip would not be doable without CCS. With some further digging I determined with L2 charging it actually is doable. The point is, CCS DC fast charging would certainly be nice but it was not "must have".

To give myself some extra cushion, I stopped for lunch at a pleasant bar/restaurant on the IL side of the Mississippi. There was an L2 charge station across the street that added 20-25 miles during our lunch. I also plugged in at the destination hotel (again, L2). I still had miles to spare. It fully recharged the Bolt overnight.

Here's the thread I posted about the trip, where I stopped, etc.: https://gm-volt.com/forum/showthrea...EV-Extended-Trip-to-IA&highlight=Bolt+tuggers
I guess that was an adventure but I'd say you got lucky. My experience with public L2s is that they are frequently out of order. On my trip to PEI in Canada the only L2 I encountered has been out of order since 2013. The only hotel charging that I encountered were two Tesla chargers at a resort hotel in New Brunswick, both were ICEed. Closer to home the garage I use when I go to symphony or opera is the Christian Science Plaza garage across from Symphony Hall. Those chargers were out of order for a full year before they were replaced this spring. Apropos of those chargers, I was there last night to see Odyssey Opera's production of Gounod's La Reign Da Saba. I checked in with Plugshare, as I always do, but the thing I noticed is that hardly anybody uses Plugshare. Over the last year there were only a handful of entries, half of which were mine, several were from another user who shares the same name as me, Josh, and one other. The EVSEs are well used, last night aside from me there was a Tesla M3, and a Prius Prime, one space was free, so it's not like nobody uses these EVSEs, I go at least a half dozen times a year and they are always full or nearly full. My point is that you can't count on Plugshare because not enough people use it. Apropos of last night, I was able to do the entire trip on battery because of the EVSEs in the garage, but the asymmetry in range between going and coming was large, I had 20 miles left on the guess-o-meter on my way into Boston, only 5 miles left on my way home, it was the same route but there is much less traffic at 11PM when I came home than 4PM when I drove in so the speeds were higher coming home.
 

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I use Charge Point as that's what's mostly in my area. I was at the Victoria airport yesterday and surprised to see you just plugged it in.
That's the way all free ones should be. I don't need to know many Kw's I got in an email. I'm sure who ever is providing the free service can get whatever information they need without waving a RIF card.
 

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Seems to me that if GM had marketed the Gen 1 Volt as an electric car that could operate on both electricity from a wall socket and electricity from a generator, ...
Seems to me that if GM had marketed the Volt at all, people would be far more familiar with them and how they work.
 

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Seems to me that if GM had marketed the Volt at all, people would be far more familiar with them and how they work.
You got that right! I think the Volt and Bolt are GM doing future proofing, and of course the Bolt is a compliance car. For them to start marketing them either the margins have to go up or the competition has start embarrassing GM. These are probably the two best vehicles GM makes so it's really a shame.
 

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"Marketing is not about products, nor is it about their features or quality.

It's all about perceptions and the story people tell themselves about those perceptions."

What did people perceive about a small Chevy with an MSRP north of 40?
 

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"Marketing is not about products, nor is it about their features or quality.

It's all about perceptions and the story people tell themselves about those perceptions."

What did people perceive about a small Chevy with an MSRP north of 40?
One of the most amazing vehicles I've ever driven is the incredible VW Phaeton. Point well taken...
 

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You got that right! I think the Volt and Bolt are GM doing future proofing, and of course the Bolt is a compliance car. For them to start marketing them either the margins have to go up or the competition has start embarrassing GM. These are probably the two best vehicles GM makes so it's really a shame.
I wouldn't call the Bolt a compliance car, its sold in greater number than that and it's available in all 50 states. However it's fair to say that the Volt and the Bolt are primarily testbeds for GM, they aren't aimed at the heart of GMs customer base. However from an engineering standpoint they have served their purpose well. You can see what happens when a company jumps right into EVs without having gone through the process of building pioneering vehicles like the Volt and the Bolt. The first two cars from VW, the Audi and the Porsche, have no more range than the Bolt but with batteries that are 50% bigger. MPGewise the Bolt is on a par with the Tesla Model 3, MPGe of 119 vs 123 but the Bolt came out a full year earlier than the Model 3, the VW and Jaguar offerings aren't even close. VW's only early effort was the half-assed eGolf which was clearly nothing but a compliance car, all they did was stuff some batteries into a Golf to create a compliance car with very little range, they didn't put in the effort to build an EV from the ground up until the current offerings.

The issue with GM is where the hell are the next generation EVs. Now that other legacy car companies are entering the market GM needs to start selling some EVs that address a larger market space than their current offerings. They are running the risk of losing their first mover advantage. They also run the risk of losing their current EV customers. I know I'm seriously interested in going all electric in the near future and GM doesn't have anything for me. I'm thinking about getting a Model 3 next spring but if GM had something equivalent I'd probably be more inclined to go with a Chevy or a Cadillac because of GM's structural advantages. GM's key advantage for me is that there are three Chevy dealers within 10 or 15 miles of me, I'm happy with my current dealer but if they were to screw up I have two other options that are just as close. Tesla has a single service center in MA, none in NH, and it's far away, and worse it's virtual distance (which is how I define actual distance * unpleasantness of the drive) is really far away. If there were a Cadillac equivalent to the Model 3, i.e. an AWD sedan with over 300 miles of range that would be ideal, an AWD Model 3 is priced around $60K which puts it in Cadillac territory not Chevy, but my Chevy dealer is also a Cadillac dealer so I'd be confident of the service and the ease of getting service. However there is no indication when or even if GM intends to build that car. But even a Gen3 Volt with 100 miles of range could keep me in the family for the reasons that I've stated. But if GM isn't releasing any new EVs until 2021 or worse 2023 they are going to lose me.
 

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The issue with GM is where the hell are the next generation EVs.
GM made the Volt and Bolt as preparation for a future in which EVs are in high demand. Now they are waiting for that future to arrive.

EVs are still a tiny niche. I suspect that has to change before GM fast-tracks another EV.
 

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Here is a trip we made yesterday down to Tillamook Oregon fishing, via Highway 101, the many beautiful rivers. Our Volt was loaded with my wife, myself, all our gear etc., and our rather heavy black Lab "Sparky". The car weight verified by Oregon Dept. of Transportation scale was 4,150 lbs.

So what 4,150 lb car, beside the Volt could do this today? Here is the screen shot I took in our driveway when we arrived home.



View attachment 155609
 
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