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Old 03-02-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
dobie0791
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Default GM to Idle Volt Hybrid Production

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Old 03-02-2012, 11:36 PM   #2
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Sad. Such a great idea...not so sure on the execution though.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:56 PM   #3
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Too expensive. That's what it comes down to. I feel bad for the workers though. Hamtramck is a small enclave within Detroit... those are decent working class people losing income
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:51 AM   #4
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This is the stupidest idea ever. Your only about a month away from all time high gas prices. At that point every redneck in America will suddenly need a new fuel efficient car.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by brianbot5000 View Post
Sad. Such a great idea...not so sure on the execution though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by arghx7 View Post
Too expensive. That's what it comes down to. I feel bad for the workers though. Hamtramck is a small enclave within Detroit... those are decent working class people losing income
Yep. These.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:50 AM   #6
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Screw all that. The Volt was never anything more than a pandering to secure new investments. It was extremely over-promised and under-delivered. There's nothing revolutionary about the technology involved in the eventual product, the styling and packaging suck in typical GM fashion and it still manages to suck gas as fast as an Outback once it's out of golf cart mode.

I live in a small town that has more advanced hybrid busses (of the serial hybrid variety that GM originally claimed the Volt was to be) prowling the streets than GM has managed to churn out of a brand new factory built with taxpayer money.

**** the Volt and the quagmire of promised American Dreams and glorious underachievement it perfectly represents.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:25 AM   #7
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I live in a small town that has more advanced hybrid busses (of the serial hybrid variety that GM originally claimed the Volt was to be) prowling the streets than GM has managed to churn out of a brand new factory built with taxpayer money.
Not this argument again. The gas engine never directly connects to the power splitting planetary gearset. A clutch can directly connect it to one of the motor/generator assemblies. The reason it does that is because there are less energy losses under certain circumstances.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:33 AM   #8
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Funny thing is GM makes tons of those busses. They just are way less efficient than the voltec drive train. Look at the fisker for an example. Abysmal efficiency compared to the volt.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:20 AM   #9
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I'd like the Volt a lot more if it had better visibility, more headroom, and 5 seats instead of the frankly retarded Mini Countryman-esque bar down the middle of the back seat. I know, the battery lives there--but Nissan figured out how to incorporate a larger battery pack without resorting to such packaging nonsense.

The powertrain itself felt fine on my brief test drive. It's just the rest of the car to which I object, especially for $40k.
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Old 03-03-2012, 04:14 PM   #10
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I agree. In the old days lots of cars had "5" seats and a tunnel down the middle. I don't know why they could not do that. If you look at the dissasembly of the volt you can see they actually could have set it up with 5 seats. Personally it has to do better than what I drive now in terms of cargo room and people room to make me interested. And it doesn't. I did not notice headroom being a problem, but I am about average height (just under 6 feet). I actually found it fun to drive as well considering how slow it is compared to my wrx. I hated the interior though. It is just a really strange ugly interior IMO (and I realize that is completely arbitrary and opinion, but it matters to me a bit).
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:35 PM   #11
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Not this argument again. The gas engine never directly connects to the power splitting planetary gearset. A clutch can directly connect it to one of the motor/generator assemblies. The reason it does that is because there are less energy losses under certain circumstances.
The reason they did that is because they didn't spec out a strong enough generator to keep the battery in it's "buffer zone" while travelling at 75mph.

The buffer zone itself is a ridiculous impediment they placed on the vehicle simply because they wanted to call the Volt an "electric car" rather than a plug-in hybrid. If the generator was allowed to charge the battery back up to 100% while driving around it would have been considered a "plug-in hybrid". .. but it's overall gasoline efficiency (when not used strictly as golf cart) would have been improved.

The other ridiculous impediment was trying to sync engine speed to throttle load.. rather than simply using an engine designed for a narrow high efficiency range and targeting that at all times when a charge was needed. This was soo much failed potential... all basically to keep their UFO-looking car from being 'too weird' for the general public.

Basically, they decided to go for the series-hybrid but, probably by committee, decided to hack its balls off in the process.

The result is a ridiculous car that will never make economic sense to own yet doesn't have any qualities that make it a novelty or luxury worth paying for.

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Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
Funny thing is GM makes tons of those busses. They just are way less efficient than the voltec drive train. Look at the fisker for an example. Abysmal efficiency compared to the volt.
I realize that their claim was that it wouldn't have been as efficient. Meanwhile hybrid buses are replacing traditional buses because they get such better fuel economy.

The Fisker Karma is a 400hp full-size exotic luxury sedan that does a 6 second 0-60 sprint.

The Volt is a compact economy car that does a 9 second 0-60 and gets 10mpg less than the Cruze it's built on.
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:51 PM   #12
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This is the stupidest idea ever. Your only about a month away from all time high gas prices. At that point every redneck in America will suddenly need a new fuel efficient car.
People that affected by gas prices can't afford a Volt.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:20 PM   #13
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People that affected by gas prices can't afford a Volt.
They'll jump on the $169/mo lease of a Cruze instead.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:25 PM   #14
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I ordered one 3 weeks ago, it was supposed to be built week of 3/19.

Doesn't look good now...I may have to wait for another month if they idle the plant. I also didn't get a VIN yet unfortunately, if I had a VIN from the dealer I would be more sure it will get built before the shut down.

Everyone else's complaints aside it is a great car for my wife and as a second car. It will save us a huge amount of fuel each month. (She drives a Grand Cherokee with a Hemi right now.) The car makes perfect sense for her/us.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:31 PM   #15
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The reason they did that is because they didn't spec out a strong enough generator to keep the battery in it's "buffer zone" while travelling at 75mph.
....

I realize that their claim was that it wouldn't have been as efficient. Meanwhile hybrid buses are replacing traditional buses because they get such better fuel economy.

The Fisker Karma is a 400hp full-size exotic luxury sedan that does a 6 second 0-60 sprint.

The Volt is a compact economy car that does a 9 second 0-60 and gets 10mpg less than the Cruze it's built on.
Jeez do you just make things up?

A serial hybrid is MORE EFFICIENT than a regular car
The volt is MORE EFFICIENT than a serial hybrid

The volt can easily go 75 mph on all electric. It goes to about 100 on all electric.

GM used the design they did b/c it is more efficient than a serial hybrid when using gasoline. Why should they have designed it worse?

Serial hybrids remove the need for a ring gear power split device. If you have lots of power as in a bus, locomotive, or ship then a serial design makes sense. Same might be an argument for the design of sports cars, maybe.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:09 PM   #16
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The reason they did that is because they didn't spec out a strong enough generator to keep the battery in it's "buffer zone" while travelling at 75mph.

The buffer zone itself is a ridiculous impediment they placed on the vehicle simply because they wanted to call the Volt an "electric car" rather than a plug-in hybrid. If the generator was allowed to charge the battery back up to 100% while driving around it would have been considered a "plug-in hybrid". .. but it's overall gasoline efficiency (when not used strictly as golf cart) would have been improved.

The other ridiculous impediment was trying to sync engine speed to throttle load.. rather than simply using an engine designed for a narrow high efficiency range and targeting that at all times when a charge was needed. This was soo much failed potential... all basically to keep their UFO-looking car from being 'too weird' for the general public.

Basically, they decided to go for the series-hybrid but, probably by committee, decided to hack its balls off in the process.
You need to actually go to the source to see why they did what they did: Miller et. al., "The GM Voltec 4ET50 Multi-Mode Electric Transaxle," 2011. What you are suggesting has been fully analyzed by engineers who get paid to study these things. If it were that easy, don't you think they would have just done it that way?

What you are proposing is exclusively using the Series 1-motor powerflow arrangement. This is not efficient at high speeds if you consider energy loss during conversion and the efficiency map of a single-motor arrangement. When not running as an EV, the Volt actually operates like a series 1 motor hybrid when it is efficient to do so, and operates like a 2 motor series hybrid at higher speeds when it is efficient to do so:



Now compare the efficiency maps of what you are proposing (running single-motor all the time) and the two-motor strategy that GM employs at high speeds:



2 motors is better than one at high speeds, so the Volt has a two-motor hybrid configuration at high speeds. When the battery is fully charged, the Volt runs either as a 1 motor EV (like the old GM EV1 car) or a 2 motor EV, where the speeds of the two electric motors are continuously varied through the power splitting planetary gearset.

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Old 03-04-2012, 01:48 AM   #17
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:09 AM   #18
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It's really irrelevant what the technical prowess or failures the Volt drivetrain brings to the table. Ultimately it's failure of GM to adequacy deliver an appealing package to the consumer. It didn't help that GM trotted out this car as the second coming of Christ, used absolutely absurd numbers to describe it's efficiency, and in then came to market against several other compelling vehicles. Is it the end of the vehicle? Not yet, but it looks like GM has some deckchairs to reshuffle.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:17 AM   #19
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It really isn't that expensive if you factor in $200/month or so in gas savings...
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:48 AM   #20
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It really isn't that expensive if you factor in $200/month or so in gas savings...
$200 month at $4/gallon == 50 gallons. With a "normal" 20 mpg car then that'd be 1000 miles. The Volt will use about 300 kWh of electricity to go said 1000 miles.

How much is 300 kWh of electricity? In a cheap state like Washington one would pay about $0.09/kWh, which comes out to $27. In an expensive region, like Long Island (ask me how I know ), one would pay about $0.21/kWh, which comes out in turn to $63. The national average price is around $0.15/kWh, iirc.

In other words, "$200 in gas savings" is partially offset by the electricity costs, anywhere from about $27 to $63.

That's not the end of the story, though. If one is doing this strictly from a cost perspective yet must drive a new car for some reason, it makes sense to buy the cheapest standard-tech econobox one can find and live with it, as depreciation almost always >> fuel costs, especially when one of the vehicles involved costs $40k. If one wants to save fuel somehow but still wants to be cheap, then there's another inflection point at which it makes more sense to drive a Prius instead, because of its cheaper initial price and superior "charge sustaining" fuel economy. Then there's the PHEV Prius vs. Volt, with crossover coming depending on how many miles one drives between charges…
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:20 PM   #21
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Funnily enough the only hybrids that actually made economic sense when released were the silverado hybrid. How many did that sell? It had a payback period of less than 5 years in fuel costs.

Lots of priuses sold though even though their payback was far longer. Something besides a strictly cost is running these things.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
$200 month at $4/gallon == 50 gallons. With a "normal" 20 mpg car then that'd be 1000 miles. The Volt will use about 300 kWh of electricity to go said 1000 miles.

How much is 300 kWh of electricity? In a cheap state like Washington one would pay about $0.09/kWh, which comes out to $27. In an expensive region, like Long Island (ask me how I know ), one would pay about $0.21/kWh, which comes out in turn to $63. The national average price is around $0.15/kWh, iirc.

In other words, "$200 in gas savings" is partially offset by the electricity costs, anywhere from about $27 to $63.

That's not the end of the story, though. If one is doing this strictly from a cost perspective yet must drive a new car for some reason, it makes sense to buy the cheapest standard-tech econobox one can find and live with it, as depreciation almost always >> fuel costs, especially when one of the vehicles involved costs $40k. If one wants to save fuel somehow but still wants to be cheap, then there's another inflection point at which it makes more sense to drive a Prius instead, because of its cheaper initial price and superior "charge sustaining" fuel economy. Then there's the PHEV Prius vs. Volt, with crossover coming depending on how many miles one drives between charges…
I would use 25mpg or a little higher. The volt is not that large. A Cruise, Camry, Impreza are pretty comparable size wise and average better than 20mpg. Also for the $200 in fuel with gas at $4/gallon that’s 50 gallons * 25 MPG is 1250 miles/month. At 1250 miles a month your starting to run into the limits of the Volts range unless your charging multiple times a day. 31 days*40 miles =1240 miles possible a month at one charge a day. So unless you drive nearly the same distance ever day seven days a week you will use some fuel. So really your looking at spending around $33 to $80/month for electricity plus some fuel. So if you drive around 1250 miles/month and drive 7 days a week the volt could save you between $150 to $100 a month. Even living in Washington maybe saving $150/month can barley justify the cost. If anything its a break even point, but your not including the cost of a charging station or forcing you to leave a spot open in the garage. That could be a large inconvenience for most people.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:31 AM   #23
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Whoops, thanks for fixing my arithmetic. I agree with both you and the poster above: one must have other motivations aside from pure cheapness to make the call for one of the PHEV or BEV breed. Then again, as I like to say: anything aside from hiking boots or a bus pass is already frivolous on some level...
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:44 AM   #24
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I would use 25mpg or a little higher. The volt is not that large. A Cruise, Camry, Impreza are pretty comparable size wise and average better than 20mpg. Also for the $200 in fuel with gas at $4/gallon that’s 50 gallons * 25 MPG is 1250 miles/month. At 1250 miles a month your starting to run into the limits of the Volts range unless your charging multiple times a day. 31 days*40 miles =1240 miles possible a month at one charge a day. So unless you drive nearly the same distance ever day seven days a week you will use some fuel. So really your looking at spending around $33 to $80/month for electricity plus some fuel. So if you drive around 1250 miles/month and drive 7 days a week the volt could save you between $150 to $100 a month. Even living in Washington maybe saving $150/month can barley justify the cost. If anything its a break even point, but your not including the cost of a charging station or forcing you to leave a spot open in the garage. That could be a large inconvenience for most people.
So, if gas were $7/gal..
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Originally Posted by scott_gunn View Post
It really isn't that expensive if you factor in $200/month or so in gas savings...
.. this would be a reasonable statement.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:48 AM   #25
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If anything its a break even point, but your not including the cost of a charging station or forcing you to leave a spot open in the garage. That could be a large inconvenience for most people.
Why is it a large inconvenience to use an outlet and park a car in their garage? What do people normally do with their garage?
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