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Infinite or unlimited?

How about something with infinite or unlimited, like unlimited range EV or infinite-range EV? IREV? EV Unlimited? Unlimited EV? EV-IR?
 

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Discussion Starter #22
You can pronounce THIS

Someone recently pointed out to me that SHEV (Series-Hybrid Electric Vehicle) would be pronounced Chev, as in Chevy. So let's try tagging an "I" or even better a "Y" to get a new name for this class of vehicle. E-Flex doesn't do it for me (E-mail, E-bay, E-commerce, E-Flex?).

The VOLT has a "SHEVY" electric propulsion system.

That same person also pointed out that using "Serial Hybrid" instead of "Series Hybrid" makes it sound like the car runs on corn flakes or Cheerios; which is very confusing with the ubiquitous discussion of grain ethanol and E85 that's out there.

Dr Mark
 

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I think you are too late for a new name, as I have read countless articles that talk about range extenders and extended-range vehicles.

Most importantly, the concept of creating a very short range EV, 10 - 40 miles per charge, then providing added electricity by some "range extending" device - gasoline/diesel/alcohol/hydrogen ice, hydrogen/alchohol fuel cell, compressed air, etc., so that initial costs and range-anxiety hurdles are overcome, is now an industry standard approach.

You can try to kill the name, but the concept is now firmly embedded in the industry.
 

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I really don't like the new nomenclature either.
I think sticking with a universal nomenclature such as PHEV would make the most sense to eliminate confusion in the public with the new technology.

PHEV-10, PHEV-40, PHEV-100 would be instantly recognizable for what these vehicles are and what EV range they could expect. BEV or just EV120 likewise. and HEV similarly. I doubt any of you have any doubt what each of those mean.

I can explain them to someone in 2 minutes and they'll remember it forever.

But if I tell them Toyota's going to have a PHEV-40 and Chevy will have an E-REV, or a REEV they're just gonna ask why they didn't call it a PHEV-40.

Clearly GM's decided to go a different direction with this and I don't think it'll have any serious consequences as far as sales or anything, but with so much coming out at once I think standardization of the nomenclature would make the transition easier.
 

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...But if I tell them Toyota's going to have a PHEV-40 and Chevy will have an E-REV, or a REEV they're just gonna ask why they didn't call it a PHEV-40...
The simple and obvious answer to that is that Toyota has made a parallel hybrid, which requires the engine to run anytime the vehicle tries to go faster than 30 mph, whereas GM has created a serial hybrid, which runs on electricity alone for the first 40 miles, then switches to the engine to recharge the batteries.

Giving the Prius and the Volt the same descriptor is terribly misleading, as most people would prefer a vehicle that lets them avoid burning gasoline for short trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Superfluous Terms

This all stems from GM's desire to NOT call the Volt a "Hybrid". Using "range-extended" and "hybrid" in the same sentence is actually redundant because any hybrid-electric vehicle is "range extended" (i.e. exhausting the battery charge does not stop it). For instance, would a plug-in rechargeable Prius be a range extended vehicle? Of course it is and you don't need to tell anyone that either.

So if the choice is "range-extended" or PHEV, I prefer PHEV, especially with the PHEV-20 or PHEV-50 shorthand added to it; very concise and descriptive. GM's real desire should be to educate people about the Volt being a Series Hybrid vs the Prius which is a Parallel Hybrid, and how much more sense it makes to use the Series Hybrid configuration; especially if most of your driving will be powered from grid-generated electricity.

The other issue is "trade names" vs generic terms. GM will have some name like E-Flex for their Plug-in Series Hybrid powertrain. Its like Advil and Motrin are both Ibuprofen based drugs and also belong to a class called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammitory drugs), the trade names are there for market differentiation. So maybe it's more in this area of trade-name or GM specific marketing terms that suggestions from Volt Nation would be helpful.

Dr Mark
 

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Dr. Mark,

It is more about compelling people with the thought that your burn NO GAS FOR THE FIRST 40 MILES.

A Prius cannot do that.

If you are desparate to lump the Prius in with the Volt, go ahead, call them both hybrids, or green vehicles, or high mileage vehicles, etc., but GM's presentation has already shown that the typical driver will use 80% less fuel in a Volt than a standard vehicle, because most commutes are less than 40 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Series Vs Parallel

Dr. Mark,

It is more about compelling people with the thought that your burn NO GAS FOR THE FIRST 40 MILES.

A Prius cannot do that.

If you are desparate to lump the Prius in with the Volt, go ahead, call them both hybrids, or green vehicles, or high mileage vehicles, etc., but GM's presentation has already shown that the typical driver will use 80% less fuel in a Volt than a standard vehicle, because most commutes are less than 40 miles.
No, not lump them together. Emphasize that the differentiating feature is Series vs Parallel (not Cereal vs Parallel, put yourself in the position of the average Joe cornflake-eater consumer). These are well established concepts and it is easy to show that a Series Hybrid gives the best performance when powered ONLY on grid energy; it's a "Better Hybrid" and makes a MUCH better "Plug-In Hybrid".

After eight years now, public acceptance of hybrids is a great success, why not piggyback the Volt on the public education that Toyota has dumped so much into rather than blaze new trails? Marketing surveys show that people now want to buy HYBRIDS.

Dr Mark
 

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The simple and obvious answer to that is that Toyota has made a parallel hybrid, which requires the engine to run anytime the vehicle tries to go faster than 30 mph, whereas GM has created a serial hybrid, which runs on electricity alone for the first 40 miles, then switches to the engine to recharge the batteries.
This is EXACTLY why using common terminology is better. The current Prius being tested by Toyota are Prius II that go up to 62mph just with a firmware flash. And when Toyota builds a series hybrid. It doesn't matter much to people whether it's a series or parallel...they just wanna know how far the EV range is...if they do care then none of the terminology makes a lick of difference as they're going to have a deeper understanding of the technology than any catch "EREV" phrase will ever reveal.

And if the "Series"/"Parallel" is that important then justs Series PHEV-40 or Parallel PHEV-20 or whatever.

Giving the Prius and the Volt the same descriptor is terribly misleading, as most people would prefer a vehicle that lets them avoid burning gasoline for short trips.
we'll just have to disagree here...I'm not talking about just this very moment in time, I'm looking forward as more and more vehicles come available and having a common easily recognizable and understandable nomenclature.
 

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Wrong, using common terminology just makes people think it's the same thing, and thus they then only consider price.

The best way to differentiate is to NOT use the same terminology.

GM is using the term E-REV, and at its core is EV. The important difference from a Prius is that for the first part of its range, it is ALL ELECTRIC at any speed, whereas a Prius still attaches its engine to its wheels through a mechanical drivetrain, so a Prius can NEVER have EV in its core terminology. Prius is merely a hybrid, whereas the Volt is a true EV.

Fortunately, GM execs get this, whereas you other posters do NOT, so GM will continue to maintain their brilliant market strategy of clearly differentiating themselves from the Prius.
 

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Wrong, using common terminology just makes people think it's the same thing, and thus they then only consider price.
First, I'm not "Wrong"...we have a difference of opinions. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I believe people will see the issue one way and you believe another. Telling someone they're wrong on a matter of opinion is confrontational and self-rightous. So let's see if we can agree to discuss the various strengths and weaknesses of our respective opinions.

Next, I think the that some people will come to think they're the same thing. Much as GM has slapped a "hybrid" label on the Yukon, and like they did with the Silverado. While they may, technically, be marginally hybrids they're certainly not full hybrids and many people don't understand that distinction.

However, if you say PHEV-40 the pure EV range will be 40 whether the car is a parallel or a series set-up. It is up to the manufactuers to set them up so that the EV speed is adequate, but I can't forsee anyone releasing a plug-in hybrid with a top AEV speed of less than 60mph..so anything more than that is really pretty irrelevant. You seem to think that Toyota plans a 34/40mph top EV speed Prius..they have no such thoughts and I suspect the top EV speed will be even higher than the 62mph they're currently testing with the new hybrid components.

The best way to differentiate is to NOT use the same terminology.

GM is using the term E-REV, and at its core is EV.
sure.
The important difference from a Prius is that for the first part of its range, it is ALL ELECTRIC at any speed, whereas a Prius still attaches its engine to its wheels through a mechanical drivetrain, so a Prius can NEVER have EV in its core terminology. Prius is merely a hybrid, whereas the Volt is a true EV.
What? I think you don't understand the Prius unless I'm just not understanding what you're trying to say. The final drive before the wheels is MG2...a motor/generator that can and is powered directly by the battery when in EV mode. While the PSD may spin freely it does so with the ICE off. Yes, MG2 is mechanically connected to the drive wheels...just like the MG for the Volt will be.

When NOT in EV mode the ICE can, through MG2, directly drive the wheels of course and the Volt can't...and then we can debate which is more efficient. The Volt system is simpler and cheaper to build and, in many ways, makes more sense for PHEV...you'll get little arguement from me there.
Fortunately, GM execs get this, whereas you other posters do NOT, so GM will continue to maintain their brilliant market strategy of clearly differentiating themselves from the Prius.
You have a lot of faith considering their previous record with marketing strategy.
I think the Volt will be successful regardless of the nomenclature, but I think in the long term people will become confused when 5 different PHEVs from 5 different companies all have their own anacronyms for they're particular 'special' set up and it may ultimately do a disservice to the future of PHEVs in general. Your opinion may vary.
 

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A fully capable EV with a range extender is a different technology concept from one that is not. I think GM is wise in differentiating this technology from the hybrids, ICEs, and BEV that are available today. Each one of those technologies are clearly distinct, just as this new technology is as well. In fact, I think the argument is stronger that it is closer to a BEV than a hybrid. In my mind hybrid implies that both sources of power are needed for full operation.

Unless the Pruis' EV capability is greatly expanded it will not be close to being fully capable in EV only operation. Not only does it have to be able to maintain top velocity but it also must be capable of getting to that speed from EV power alone and in all designed circumstances (e.g. hard acellerations on grades). I believe blended mode operation will be required in high power situations, unless there is a major redesign of the HSG, motors, and battery.

I do think GM could have come up with a term with more market appeal and more meaningful to the layman, but believe they were absolutely correct in differentiating the technology.
 

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A fully capable EV with a range extender is a different technology concept from one that is not. I think GM is wise in differentiating this technology from the hybrids, ICEs, and BEV that are available today. Each one of those technologies are clearly distinct, just as this new technology is as well. In fact, I think the argument is stronger that it is closer to a BEV than a hybrid. In my mind hybrid implies that both sources of power are needed for full operation.

Unless the Pruis' EV capability is greatly expanded it will not be close to being fully capable in EV only operation. Not only does it have to be able to maintain top velocity but it also must be capable of getting to that speed from EV power alone and in all designed circumstances (e.g. hard acellerations on grades). I believe blended mode operation will be required in high power situations, unless there is a major redesign of the HSG, motors, and battery.

I do think GM could have come up with a term with more market appeal and more meaningful to the layman, but believe they were absolutely correct in differentiating the technology.
Clearly you've been encapsulated in the Volt technology without researching where Toyota's going. They are working on a fully EV capable "extended range" PHEV. Whatever you want to think the Volt is the fact of the matter is that it clearly and fully fits the definition of a series PHEV...it's really indisputable. And I think you'll be very hard pressed to find an EV owner that would agree with you that the Volt is more BEV than it is a hybrid.

The only difference b/w the planned Prius and the planned Volt are the EV range and how the power from the ICE, when beyond the EV range, will be transfered to the wheels. The PHEV Prius will get to full speed under electric only and will maintain whatever top speed (currently 62mph) on EV only for the range of the battery.
 

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I like E-REV

Clearly you've been encapsulated in the Volt technology without researching where Toyota's going. They are working on a fully EV capable "extended range" PHEV. Whatever you want to think the Volt is the fact of the matter is that it clearly and fully fits the definition of a series PHEV...it's really indisputable. And I think you'll be very hard pressed to find an EV owner that would agree with you that the Volt is more BEV than it is a hybrid.

The only difference b/w the planned Prius and the planned Volt are the EV range and how the power from the ICE, when beyond the EV range, will be transfered to the wheels. The PHEV Prius will get to full speed under electric only and will maintain whatever top speed (currently 62mph) on EV only for the range of the battery.
In principle, you could take the ICE out of the Volt and it would still have full performance as long as the batteries weren't depleted (e.g. 40 miles). To my knowledge that is not true for the Prius available now or any discussed for the future. The Volt will really be different than any other widely available vehicle. It will run different because the ICE will not be required under any driving conditions for 40 miles. Again, if you want to go over 62 MPH or accelerate quickly the future PHEV Prius will need the ICE.

In fact, one could imagine designing a series-hybrid vehicle that would work the same as the Prius (for example if you only had a cheap supply of rechargeable energy storage batteries that could not supply all the needed power). Even more, you could design a series-hybrid with no plug-in capability at all (like the NYC Orion IV buses). Initially I was annoyed by the E-REV nomenclature too, but I now believe it's a valid distinction and actually a good distinction for GM to make.
 

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efusco,

In one breath, you talk about how everyone has come to know and love the Prius hybrid as is, and then you state that GM should describe the Volt as a hybrid, because the Prius will have plug-in capability and large battery pack in the future.

This is a glaring contradiction, and makes the point that Kos, pdt and I have been making. The E-REV Volt IS different from TODAY's Prius hybrid:

1) The Volt plugs-in, like an EV, while the Prius does NOT plug-in, like a hybrid.

2) The Volt's ICE doesn't connect mechanically to the wheels at all, like an EV, while the Prius' ICE does connect mechanically to the wheels, albeit through a gen/motor, which locks or doesn't counter-rotate, so that the ICE still drives the wheels.

You can't differentiate your product by using the same nomenclature. The Volt uses the nomenclature of an EV, whereas, the Prius will NEVER be able to classify itself as an EV, only a hybrid.
 

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efusco,

In one breath, you talk about how everyone has come to know and love the Prius hybrid as is, and then you state that GM should describe the Volt as a hybrid, because the Prius will have plug-in capability and large battery pack in the future.

This is a glaring contradiction, and makes the point that Kos, pdt and I have been making. The E-REV Volt IS different from TODAY's Prius hybrid:

1) The Volt plugs-in, like an EV, while the Prius does NOT plug-in, like a hybrid.

2) The Volt's ICE doesn't connect mechanically to the wheels at all, like an EV, while the Prius' ICE does connect mechanically to the wheels, albeit through a gen/motor, which locks or doesn't counter-rotate, so that the ICE still drives the wheels.

You can't differentiate your product by using the same nomenclature. The Volt uses the nomenclature of an EV, whereas, the Prius will NEVER be able to classify itself as an EV, only a hybrid.
I'm NOT talking about the current model Prius...NOT...read what I've written. I'm talking about a Plug-in Prius III...what info we have about what's being worked on in the future.

The Volt is not an EV...it just isn't it has an ICE and a battery it is, by definition, a hybrid. We're talking about a matter of degrees.
I can drive my Prius without the ICE...not far, but I can operate it and run it without the ICE. Take it out, find a way to keep the error codes from shutting me down and the car will run just fine on battery and MG2...for a solid 2 miles.

This is all about what happens when the battery is depleted (again, I'm going to a future Toyota developed 20 mile range Plug-in Hybrid). When the battery is depleted in the volt the ICE charges the battery and the battery powers the MG. In the Prius (assuming they continue the current architecture) it will go into the more efficient parallel hybrid mode that the current generation does.

Either way you cut it they're both hybrids and they're...it's just what happens when the battery is depleted that's different.
 

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Lest we lose track of where I stand on this. It's not a huge deal to me. I don't think it matters a whit if they call the Volt a PHEV or a EREV or whatever they want. The concept is fairly simple to understand (though I've had to explain it to a few folks who were confused..I don't know why).

But I feel that the general public, not geeks like you all and me who get all tingly discussing the variable benefits and disadvantages of a series vs parallel system and such, will want to know:
1) How far it will go on EV
2) If it's a plug-in hybrid or a traditional hybrid.

I think the BEV, PHEV (with a range specified), and HEV do that fine. If they care they can find out top speed in AEV mode and all the techno jargon they wish. But the fact is that most couldn't care less. At Priuschat I'd venture that most of the new folks have no clue what the difference is b/w a series and parallel hybrid..they didn't care when the bought and don't care now...they just want it to work.

I think the Volt will work...whether it's called a EREV or a PHEV 40.
 

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Clearly you've been encapsulated in the Volt technology without researching where Toyota's going. They are working on a fully EV capable "extended range" PHEV. Whatever you want to think the Volt is the fact of the matter is that it clearly and fully fits the definition of a series PHEV...it's really indisputable. And I think you'll be very hard pressed to find an EV owner that would agree with you that the Volt is more BEV than it is a hybrid.

The only difference b/w the planned Prius and the planned Volt are the EV range and how the power from the ICE, when beyond the EV range, will be transfered to the wheels. The PHEV Prius will get to full speed under electric only and will maintain whatever top speed (currently 62mph) on EV only for the range of the battery.
I must be interpreting Toyota's actions and allegations much too literally. The following quote is from a Green Car Congress article that was linked in a previous post on this site just last Month.

"The Toyota paper, Study on the Potential Benefits of Plug-in Hybrid Systems, started by noting that while plug-in hybrids can address the three big issues facing transportation—fuel consumption and energy diversification; greenhouse has reduction; and air quality—breakthroughs in battery energy density, reliability and cost must occur.

Toyota’s basic argument is that the costs and trade-offs of deploying an extended range electric vehicle architecture at this time outweigh the benefits, and that blended systems have greater benefit at this point in time.

Toyota considered a series hybrid with a small ICE as a range extender using an EV strategy (e.g., the Chevrolet Volt) and a parallel hybrid with a plug-in pack using a blended strategy (e.g., the Toyota PHV based on the Prius).

Using the US06 cycle to represent typical North American driving, Toyota concluded that up to 100 kW of output is required to drive that cycle in a mid-sized vehicle. The company then considered the operation of a blended system designed for charge depleting operation over the city cycle. Toyota concluded that maximum output required is approximately 40 kW, and the average was less than 20 kW.

An analysis of the impact of reducing battery power showed that while a 40 kW battery enabled all electric operation almost 100% of the time in the city cycle, using a 20 kW battery still enabled electric operation 95% of the time. An extended range vehicle, Toyota pointed out, would require a battery, motor and electrical system capable of providing maximum power (100 kW).

Toyota also concluded that while CO2 reduction increases for PHEVs with longer all-electric range, the benefit is not linear, and that as EV range increases, CO2 reduction levels off due to the high percentage of drivers with short daily driving distances.

Toyota argued that providing increased EV range increases vehicle cost due to higher battery cost; reduces luggage space; and increases fuel consumption in charge sustaining mode due to increased battery mass." http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/04/determining-the.html#more

Does this sound to you like a company intent on providing fully functional EV range anytime soon?

I agree the functionality matters more but terminology does matter. Anything to help the public understand which vehicles have an all electric range, what all electric range truly means, and what that range is will be very beneficial.

I believe my understanding to be pretty well balanced and my reasoning to be general fair. Toyota's HSG as been a very positive influence and I've have argued for is value many times. I just see E-REV and E-FLEX technology, as proposed, starting much better than the current Prius HSG and that margin only increasing in time.
 

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Does this sound to you like a company intent on providing fully functional EV range anytime soon?

I agree the functionality matters more but terminology does matter. Anything to help the public understand which vehicles have an all electric range, what all electric range truly means, and what that range is will be very beneficial.

I believe my understanding to be pretty well balanced and my reasoning to be general fair. Toyota's HSG as been a very positive influence and I've have argued for is value many times. I just see E-REV and E-FLEX technology, as proposed, starting much better than the current Prius HSG and that margin only increasing in time.
Toyota has argued that way for a long time...meanwhile they're also working on a PHEV20 system. Now, what functionality will be the final product I don't know. I can tell you that the majority of us current Prius owners/PHEV wannabes do hope for some Pure EV functionality and I hope/expect that's what will come out...I'm confident they're looking at both implementations.

Look this entire arguement is entirely academic. GM's made their decision and are unlikely to move away from it unless sales lag and are determined to be due to consumer confusion. And heck, I'm fully willing to accept that you guys may be right on target and that we'll see a clear differetiation b/w "blended" PHEVs and EREVs. And I'd be OK with that if that's what the public can understand and accept. It's just my speculation that a simpler nomenclature would work better for the public at large and you guys feel that nomenclature to set yourselves apart would work better.
I'm certainly not getting upset about it either way (except when I'm attacked and told I'm "wrong" b/c I have a different opinion), I just enjoy the intelligent discussion of the potential public perception of them.
 

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efusco,

I apologize if I am very blunt, but there are some aspects of product development / marketing that I feel are "do or die" essential, and I believe that differentiating the Volt from other hybrids, by designating it as an EV with a range-extender is one of those critical, "do or die" essential tactics for its success.

Here is an article from CNN (far from a technical source), which elaborates on the facility of the range extended concept, and the easy segue to hydrogen vehicles from there.

CNN ICE article
 
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