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Discussion Starter #1
The whole concept of the Volt's flex fuel engine being able to run on either gasoline or E85 is great in concept. The problem is that in my State there are only 3 stations in the entire state that sell E85. Bio-Diesel is much more available that E85 here in Oregon. I'd like the option of a diesel engine so I could use a bio fuel for the range extender.
 

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Me too! I would also eventually like the biodiesel option. Right now government regulations make it difficult to sell diesel engines in passenger cars. There's a new VW diesel over in Europe that can get around 67 mpg. Nice. From what I hear they are on their way and it's only a matter of time. Additionally, running biodiesel from say cellulotic or algae sources is much cleaner than running normal diesel (not just the CO2) so I hope the government relaxes on the regulations. Thus, Hold on. Won't be in Volt 1.0 but who knows after that.
 

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The whole concept of the Volt's flex fuel engine being able to run on either gasoline or E85 is great in concept. The problem is that in my State there are only 3 stations in the entire state that sell E85. Bio-Diesel is much more available that E85 here in Oregon. I'd like the option of a diesel engine so I could use a bio fuel for the range extender.
I believe the intention is currently to market the diesel version (Opel Flextreme I think it is being called) in Europe where diesel is more prevalent. Diesel is more prevalent here than E85 from what I have seen, but I think the regulations to get a diesel motor approved in the US versus those in Europe versus those to get an E85 motor approved probably make it more cost effective to go with E85.

I agree though, since it is supposed to be flexible, the drive train should be standardized and so should the various generators, so ordering one with any type of engine already in production should be an option. Also, I thought part of the point of the whole system was to create an engine that could run off any of the fuels, if that is even possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also, I thought part of the point of the whole system was to create an engine that could run off any of the fuels, if that is even possible.
I think it IS technically possible to run on any available fuel. I have a friend who used to be in the Air Force back in the 70's. He told me that the military had at that time, fleets of trucks that would run on either diesel or gasoline or a mixture of the two. They simply fueled them with whichever fuel they had at the fuel dump at the time. If the US military could do that in the 70's, where are those engines today? Why didn't they ever make it into civilian vehicles?
 

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I think it IS technically possible to run on any available fuel. I have a friend who used to be in the Air Force back in the 70's. He told me that the military had at that time, fleets of trucks that would run on either diesel or gasoline or a mixture of the two. They simply fueled them with whichever fuel they had at the fuel dump at the time. If the US military could do that in the 70's, where are those engines today? Why didn't they ever make it into civilian vehicles?
I dunno, I think there is a lot of technology from the 60s -70s where the patents were bought up by oil companies and have expired now, but the patents aren't being researched by current companies. Current companies want to create new patentable technology for the advantage that it provides in the market place.
 

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No, It's not because of evil companies. The more flexibility you put into something the more compromises you have to make. Do you want an engine that gets the best possible out of gas or one that gets say 80% out of the gas but you can run another fuel as well? Our infrastructure allows us to create ICEs that get maximum benefit out of our standardized gas both from power output and emissions viewpoints.

If you want I can make you a car that will run on any fuel you want. Just tell me what fuels and I'll let you know how much. No patents will be violated.
 

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Cost

Diesel engines are very efficient, but significantly more expensive, especially if you want the exhaust to be as clean as a gasoline engine. If you aren't going to use the engine much, I doubt it's really worth the extra cost. Also, recently diesel fuel is about 30% higher in price than gasoline where I live.

Having said that, offering a diesel version would be relatively easy and I'd imagine that in the long run every imaginable combination of battery capacity, motor size, and generator type will be available.

For example, I'd give up EV range (lower battery capacity), performance (smaller motor), and generator size for lower cost and higher efficiency.
 

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No, It's not because of evil companies. The more flexibility you put into something the more compromises you have to make. Do you want an engine that gets the best possible out of gas or one that gets say 80% out of the gas but you can run another fuel as well? Our infrastructure allows us to create ICEs that get maximum benefit out of our standardized gas both from power output and emissions viewpoints.

If you want I can make you a car that will run on any fuel you want. Just tell me what fuels and I'll let you know how much. No patents will be violated.
I would like an engine that would provide the best flexibility. So make me an ICE that can run on Gasoline, 100% Ethanol, Diesel, Methanol and for good measure throw in hydrogen, or any blend of the above.
 

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I really hope they bring out a diesel version.

If GM wants to sell Volts in NZ in volume, they will have to have a diesel genset.

The reason is our tax laws discriminate against petrol/gas vehicles, so a PHEV running on petrol would end up paying the tax twice.
 

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Why gasoline when gas goes bad so quick?

Since gasoline goes "bad" so quick with the latest chemistry why isn't there much talk about the possibility of compromised efficiency/reliability of the engine? GM touts the rare usage of the genset with normal driving but hasn't mentioned the possibility of fouled gas... Would a diesel engine, since diesel fuel lasts so much longer, make better sense?
 

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Would a diesel engine, since diesel fuel lasts so much longer, make better sense?
Diesel only lasts a little longer. maybe 6 months or so. The reasons why Chevy isn't doing a diesel engine is 1) Less diesel fuel availability in the US and that scares buyers. 2) GM doesn't really have an easy source for a diesel engine in this size in it's portfolio. 3) Diesel is difficult and expensive to meet EPA emissions requirements. 4) Diesel engines cost more and weigh a bit more. They have said that to get the Volt on the road fastest and at the lowest cost, a gas engine is best. However, they have said that a diesel engine option is being considered for the future.
 

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Since gasoline goes "bad" so quick with the latest chemistry why isn't there much talk about the possibility of compromised efficiency/reliability of the engine? GM touts the rare usage of the genset with normal driving but hasn't mentioned the possibility of fouled gas... Would a diesel engine, since diesel fuel lasts so much longer, make better sense?
Diesel would work very well. It's more efficient, the fuel lasts longer, the engines are more durable, etc... But it's just not as popular here in the US. Also, diesel fuel comes in different blends depending on your climate (gas also comes in different blends, but it's more for the environment than it is for your engine). If your diesel Volt has summer blend in the tank during the winter (if you live in a state that gets very cold winters like we do), you will know it because your Volt will turn into an EV1 (the genset probably won't start without additives).

If the Volt had the room, a CNG genset would be the way to go as far as fuel degradation But I think CNG would only work well on larger trucks that have the capacity to hold large tanks. Small CNG cars don't get very good range on a full tank, even less with rapid refills.
 

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Diesel engines are expensive

Diesel engines are more efficient and durable, but more expensive, especially at equivalent NOX, CO, hydrocarbon, and particulate emissions. Since fuel is relatively inexpensive in the U.S., it doesn't make as much sense for most applications to use diesel engines, particularly now that diesel is more expensive than gasoline.

In the Volt, which should see relatively little use of the engine, such an expensive component with a more complex emissions control system probably won't be optimal from a cost perspective at least in the U.S.
 
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