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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
Blunt is fine, self-rightous to the point that you tell another person who's quite knowledgeable about a subject that he's "wrong" is not so much.

I'm quite comfortable with the entire concept of the range extender....clearly you like it. I see it as a propaganda tool to try to expand a difference that is fairly minor. As a marketing tool that's a good idea. As a tool to simplify a subject that can be difficult for the general public to understand it's bad.
 

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I don't think it matters what GM calles it. I use to think success was based on the name but then a few products came out that blew my mind. Prius anyone? And then the best example on earth; the Nintendo Wii. Come on! Is there a worse possible name for an American product? No, there's not. I remember how the kids were laughing and making up all kinds of jokes about it. Experts predicted complete failure. A few years later not too many are laughing. Well, Nintendo is laughing all the way to the bank but you get my point.

Thus, if this Volt with rubber dog **** drive works as they say it will I will buy it, my friends will buy it and we will be explaining it to others as the coolest technology on earth. "What's it called again Texas?", they will ask. "Oh, It's called Volt with rubber dog **** drive!", I will reply. If you don't agree with me maybe you will agree with someone with a better reputation for knowing what people like:


"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet."



Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

William Shakespeare
 

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Not a minor difference

Blunt is fine, self-rightous to the point that you tell another person who's quite knowledgeable about a subject that he's "wrong" is not so much.

I'm quite comfortable with the entire concept of the range extender....clearly you like it. I see it as a propaganda tool to try to expand a difference that is fairly minor. As a marketing tool that's a good idea. As a tool to simplify a subject that can be difficult for the general public to understand it's bad.
I don't agree that the difference is minor. There is a qualitative difference between a vehicle that has significant range (40 miles) under all driving conditions without using an engine (a car like the Volt) and one that can use stored energy in a battery in conjunction with an engine (like a plug-in Prius). One uses no fuel (in the first 40 miles) and one uses less fuel than a non plug-in vehicle. One can certainly debate the merits of one over the other, but I think the difference is not minor.

I want a car like the Volt for many reasons and I believe in the long term it will be the dominant platform for personal transportation. Time will tell if that's true and what it ends up being called.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Lets Move Out to 2011

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.
When we first heard of the Volt it seemed revolutionary, and yes Jason, it is nothing like TODAY's Prius. But by 2011 the Prius will also be a plug-in as will many other models, so having an initial "all-electric" range won't be unique.

Most customers will just lump any PHEV-40 in the same catagory (whether they are called PHEV-40s or not) and then compare fuel economy, performance and total cost of ownership. The Series Hybrid should win MPG since the engine runs at peak efficiency regardless of driving conditions; that is, unless the Volt's 75HP engine is overkill for a Series Hybrid (another thread). Also the Parallel Hybrids take a performance hit when driving in all electric mode while a Series Hybrid performs the same with engine on or off.

So, if Parallel Hybrids are clearly inferior in MPG, performance and cost they won't even survive their debut year, and I don't believe Honda and Toyota are dumb enough to get to market before they find this out. They both have Series Hybrid prototypes running, so possibly ALL production PHEVs will be Series Hybrids and no technical differentiation is needed.

Dr Mark
 

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Dr. Mark, I might be able to put forth a good argument that during highway driving the Prius will have better gas milage than a similar design that uses the same body, has the same weight but uses a series hybrid design. It's all in the efficiencies:

Prius: ICE - transmission - mechanical linkages - wheels

Volt: ICE - Generator - battery - AC drive controller - Motor - mechanical linkages - wheels
 

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Dr. Mark, I might be able to put forth a good argument that during highway driving the Prius will have better gas milage than a similar design that uses the same body, has the same weight but uses a series hybrid design. It's all in the efficiencies:

Prius: ICE - transmission - mechanical linkages - wheels

Volt: ICE - Generator - battery - AC drive controller - Motor - mechanical linkages - wheels
I assume you mean your energy flow diagram for the Prius to demonstrate HWY mod driving only in a simplified manner.

You know I think the differences, for most drivers, will be small.
But, some may choose to select they hybrid system based upon their typical driving.
As you say if the Prius parallel system is more efficient at hwy speeds those who's daily commute is well over the 40 mile AEV range may choose a system more like the Prius that can better balance the use of ICE and battery over that longer distance.

Those who's commute is within the AEV range may choose a system more like the Volt and use it predominantly as an EV. Certainly an arguement like that would support a separate nomenclature. But I have a feeling (just a whim) that GM wants both markets and won't want to just target the <40 mile commute crowd. Likewise Toyota.

So they're going to argue for their system to be superior without specifying the conditions where they're respective systems would shine best.
 

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Sorry ,guys, I am right there with Jason, pdt, Koz. The public understanding of the differentiation between the Volt and other hybrids is clearly to GM's advantage. GM would be fools not to make the distinction in marketing.

I have been told repeatedly by some posters on this site that the cost is the only thing that matters to most. I agree if the vehicles are similar in nature; it is also clear that Toyota is trying to position itself with a less expensive car in the near future than the Volt may be. If this is a fact come 2010, Toyota has to argue the Prius and the Volt are "basically the same, no big deal". That marketing advantage will work with uneducated consumers. GM must educate the consumer about the Volt technology, and calling it an E-REV or whatever they decide is the correct approach.

I don't know how you can argue that the differentiation is meaningless when all I currently here is how most of GM's hybrid offerings are "mild hybrids" or are not "true hybrids". How can you argue THAT distinction and then say the Volt and the "Prius II" are the same?

I don't get it. But then I look at this issue from GM's point of view, not Toyota's.

I like Tom Peters quote: "If your not confused, your not paying attention."
 

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Sorry ,guys, I am right there with Jason, pdt, Koz. The public understanding of the differentiation between the Volt and other hybrids is clearly to GM's advantage. GM would be fools not to make the distinction in marketing.

I have been told repeatedly by some posters on this site that the cost is the only thing that matters to most. I agree if the vehicles are similar in nature; it is also clear that Toyota is trying to position itself with a less expensive car in the near future than the Volt may be. If this is a fact come 2010, Toyota has to argue the Prius and the Volt are "basically the same, no big deal". That marketing advantage will work with uneducated consumers. GM must educate the consumer about the Volt technology, and calling it an E-REV or whatever they decide is the correct approach.

I don't know how you can argue that the differentiation is meaningless when all I currently here is how most of GM's hybrid offerings are "mild hybrids" or are not "true hybrids". How can you argue THAT distinction and then say the Volt and the "Prius II" are the same?

I don't get it. But then I look at this issue from GM's point of view, not Toyota's.

I like Tom Peters quote: "If your not confused, your not paying attention."
I don't think any of us intended to suggest that the differentiation is meaningless, only that most people won't understand it and will ultimately be confused by it.
I again point to the fact that I still, 8+ years after the first Prius came to the US, ask if I have to plug it in. To expect that simply using a different nomenclature will somehow allow the public at large to differentiate the functionality differences b/w the Volt and any other plug-in hybrid is, I feel, naive. Most people just don't think that much about these things to be able to understand simply by using different terms. And, as I've argued, I think it may actually increase the confusion.
 

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Your concerns are precisely why GM has taken the open development approach. We are still 30 months out from launch.

I think the GM marketing machine will be at full force in the next 6 months with the release of a production prototype. GM is only planting seeds right now.
 

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Amen, MetrologyFirst,

After awhile, you begin to recognize the intellectual dishonesty is some poster's statements, which reveals an agenda. Based on that assumed agenda, I have successfully poked and prodded their true intentions from them.

Having lived and worked in Silicon Valley and the high tech industry, I have witnessed many subtle forms of evasion and obvuscation. Based on my experience, I believe more than a few posters just want to create doubts in people's mind about how great the E-REV, E-Flex platform is. The starting point in tearing down any message, is to tear down its symbols, the most powerful of which for the Volt is the E-REV terminology. That simple 4 letter acronym has been more effective at communicating the Volt's revolutionary approach than anything else GM has been able to state, causing the media and the industry to use "range extender" as a common industry term.

When individuals speak out against an idea's most powerful symbols, you must confront it with extreme prejudice - don't mince words, draw weapons.
 

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Your concerns are precisely why GM has taken the open development approach. We are still 30 months out from launch.

I think the GM marketing machine will be at full force in the next 6 months with the release of a production prototype. GM is only planting seeds right now.
Ah, OK. I don't really think most people have any idea what the Volt is even with the open marketing.
But I believe the open marketing has a lot more to do with the GM image than it does with public education...they've got a lot of old wounds to heal with those who would be buyers.
 

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I agree, efusco, that most people have no idea what the Volt is yet. The education of the consumer is paramount for the Volt's acceptance.

Actually, world economics are doing GM a favor right now. There is nothing that will spur a consumer to make a change or learn about something new than watching gas go up 5 cents a day. When gas gets to $5/gallon, a couple news stories and commercials in the right places will get people's attention FAST. GM just needs to have the production car available for the ads, and it better not look like a Prius. If GM can promise cars that use no gas, have no limitations, have STYLE and promote a patriotic approach to our energy problems, I think the image problems will begin to fade, fast.

Keep the Volt styling cues, GM. Thats your ace in the hole here!
 

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Amen, MetrologyFirst,

After awhile, you begin to recognize the intellectual dishonesty is some poster's statements, which reveals an agenda. Based on that assumed agenda, I have successfully poked and prodded their true intentions from them.

Having lived and worked in Silicon Valley and the high tech industry, I have witnessed many subtle forms of evasion and obvuscation. Based on my experience, I believe more than a few posters just want to create doubts in people's mind about how great the E-REV, E-Flex platform is. The starting point in tearing down any message, is to tear down its symbols, the most powerful of which for the Volt is the E-REV terminology. That simple 4 letter acronym has been more effective at communicating the Volt's revolutionary approach than anything else GM has been able to state, causing the media and the industry to use "range extender" as a common industry term.

When individuals speak out against an idea's most powerful symbols, you must confront it with extreme prejudice - don't mince words, draw weapons.
LOL!!! You are, truely, full of yourself and blinded by the propaganda that is GM.
I have no agenda. I'm on the "waiting list" for the Volt and had every intention of buying one until the full declaration that it would have only four seats was revealed. I've ardently defended the Volt and even GM to a degree at Priuschat and elsewhere and am very much a believer in the Volt and it's concept.
I've been actively involved in the hybrid and EV movement for almost 5 years now and am very eager to see progress, like the Volt, succeed.

If I have an agenda it is to make plugin hybrids, and EVs and other advanced alternative energy vehicles supplant conventional ICE vehicles in the US and the world. To that end I think that expanding public understanding is imperative and I believe that using a common nomenclature will help promote such understanding.

You, sir, are the one who needs to open his mind and evaluate your agenda...is it only to be a snobbish Volt owner and to bash all other cars who don't live up to what you think the Volt will? Or is it to see a greater expansion of all EV and hybrid technology?

This entire arguement is academic and mute, I realize. Thus whatever perceived agenda you seem to have 'exposed' (you really were serious when you said that...what a joke!!) would be pointless. And if I wanted it to influence anyone I sure wouldn't be posting it within a nest of Volt supporters... It's apparent you believe me an ignorant fool, but your perception is wrong. Were you to remove your blinders and you might better be able to intelligently carry on this discussion in the academic manner it was intended.
 

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efusco,

You must have a guilty conscience, because I wasn't even talking about you.

This is twice today that you've been touchy about my posts - calm yourself. In the other thread, you chose to quote future plans for a company by an ousted CEO - that's just a silly mistake that I chose to point out and clarify, as I spend alot of time on the Tesla blogs. In this thread, I wasn't even thinking of you.
 

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efusco,

You must have a guilty conscience, because I wasn't even talking about you.

This is twice today that you've been touchy about my posts - calm yourself. In the other thread, you chose to quote future plans for a company by an ousted CEO - that's just a silly mistake that I chose to point out and clarify, as I spend alot of time on the Tesla blogs. In this thread, I wasn't even thinking of you.
Yea, sure. I'll calm myself. Whomever you were refering to in such a snide way it was inappropriate and dismissive. No guilt here...but a lot of defensiveness at your end.
 

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efusco
IMO you may need to do a bit more homework.
Much of what you are saying about the Prius and the Volt is just plain incorrect.
The final drive before the wheels is MG2...
Not quite true. There is still a final drive gear set connected via a chain AFTER MG2. (see diagram) So unlike a series hybrid like the Volt, MG2 cannot directly drive the wheels with sufficient torque without a gear reduction.
efusco said:
...a motor/generator that can and is powered directly by the battery when in EV mode.
True, but only at very low speeds OR as assistance to the ICE at extreme loads or speeds.
But alas "pure" EV mode is very short-lived in the Prius, as is the case in most series-parallel hybrids for that matter (to a lesser extent on vehicle's employing "2-mode" technology) Once the Prius hits 15-20mph the ICE starts up via MG1 and from then on MG2 actually contributes very little in terms of torque but instead becomes a reactionary speed element within the input gearset required to create the electrically variable gear ratios that ICE is working through. This is because MG2 is also connected directly to the internal ring gear of the "input split" planetary gearset.

Under extreme acceleration or at much higher speeds (eg. 80-100mph) MG2 can be powered by the battery to add "some" (read very little as compared to ICE) assistance to the engine known as

efusco said:
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.
as I've previously stated NO it's NOT!(it ultimately connects to a final drive reduction gearset) But since the MG2 motor of the Volt is SO much larger than the Prius it's able to be connected directly to the output drive assembly and directly transmit it's TQ to the axle and wheels- but there's still a differential mechanism of course, so one axle can turn faster than the other during cornering.
efusco said:
When NOT in EV mode the ICE can, through MG2, directly drive the wheels of course and the Volt can't...
And exactly why would you think this is an advantage? The primary goal of an HEV is to keep ICE from doing the work to move the vehicle, therefore consuming much more fuel, and thus creating increased quantities of harmful exhaust constituents.It CAN'T because we DON'T WANT IT TO!
efusco said:
...and then we can debate which is more efficient
LOL sure! The real difference is since the Prius is a series-parallel hybrid, MG2 simply CANNOT operate on it's own to bring the vehicle to highway speeds (let alone to 100+mph like the Volt) because MG2 is TOO SMALL and unable to deliver sufficient torque even at maximum current levels (an electric motor is at it's most inefficient point when it's operating at high current and speed yet delivering low torque) Since this doesn't happen until well over 100mph on the Volt it's many times more efficient than the Prius traction motor.
efusco said:
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.
Huh? You're kidding right? BIGGER STRONGER MOTORS+ BIGGER STRONGER LiIon BATTERIES+CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY= MORE $$
Don't fool yourself, there's nothing SIMPLE about it!
efusc said:
You have a lot of faith considering their previous record with marketing strategy.
I have a lot more faith in their marketing strategy, than I do in you explaining the technology or defending any rationale that EREV is anything but the most correct term for the Volt. It was coined by the engineers that designed it and those that hold numrous patents on the hybrid drive technology, and device control mechanisms and strategies. Why would anyone even question that??
efusco said:
Your opinion may vary.
Obviously...
I guess YOU can call it whatever you want. ;)
WopOnTour
 

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The word Hybrid is not going away. I have not read all the posts above but I think ER-Hybrid or the full Extended-Range Hybrid is a great discription. It might get someones curiosity up enough for them to ask "What makes it extended range?"
 

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The word Hybrid is not going away. I have not read all the posts above but I think ER-Hybrid or the full Extended-Range Hybrid is a great discription. It might get someones curiosity up enough for them to ask "What makes it extended range?"
The problem is the SAE disagrees with you. A "hybrid" by SAE definition must have 2 different sources of energy that directly provide torque for propulsion (from either/or both simultaneously). Since the Volt has only 1 direct source of propulsion, the electric motor drive, it's an electric vehicle (EV) with a range extending feature powered by an ICE- hence E-REV.
WopOnTour
 
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