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Old 06-27-2008, 04:50 AM   #11
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I understand that, its still a larger vehicle though... Steel is heavy.
Doesn't matter if it's larger and they could've used aluminum instead. They seriously would have been better off taking the insight, making some small cosmetic changes and using that as the platform for the volt. It's not like GM isn't used to rebadging other companies brands anyhow.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:19 AM   #12
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I'm amazed at all the hate for the Volt. They're making a genuine, honest effort that NOBODY ELSE IS MAKING, and people just dump on them constantly.

Folks, if we could go from the 12mpg 5000lb V8 SUV directly to 1500lb all-electric 500mi range instant recharge technology, somebody would have already done it. Instead, baby steps are necessary. The first was Prius, the next was hybrids like the Civic and GM's mild hybrids. Volt is the next step.

Volt is a few steps beyond Prius. Prius is EPA rated 48/45. If Volt gets EPA rated 50 in gas-generation mode it still beats the Prius without even having the plug-in ability that Prius lacks...and still offers additional value for plug-in ability!

GM's vision for Volt is NOT merely a plug-in hybrid. They want to use it as a basis for nearly modular electric car technology, where they could easily replace the gas generator with other power sources - diesel generator, fuel cell, additional batteries, whatever. It's the next step, but it's NOT the final destination. Think of it that way and it becomes worthwhile to support it, unless you really want ALL car companies to think the public hates the idea of alternative power -- because all this hate isn't just observed by GM; other companies look at it and say "To hell with that, let's not get involved."

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true, steel is heavy. but why not use aluminum. cheaper, lighter,and if it's a good grade it can be even stronger.
Where do you get aluminum cheaper than steel?
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:45 AM   #13
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Well I for one wouldn't be so frustrated if the baby steps taken 15 years ago were getting followed up on. For example, the Uniq M90 was a series hybrid based on the Chrysler Minivan with a small honda genny that ran natural, propane or methanol. Then the Chrysler TEVan with the later nickel iron batteries, a pure electric was getting 80 miles to a charge, and I think Unique Mobility then did some range extender genny retrofits combining the two, basically making a 5 passenger vehicle that appears to have had about double the range of the Volt... 15 years ago.

If you're particularly determined, you can spend about 15 grand building your own series hybrid with similar performance to the Volt, starting with a $3000 gasser, using lead acid batteries. Or you can build the rqriley car from plans and VW parts, or wait probably a shorter time than waiting for the Volt for him to finalise the XR3 design http://www.rqriley.com/t-car.html

Anyway, the Volt seems lackluster for a vehicle purportedly using modern tech, it seems it's barely leveraging 15 yo tech.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:48 AM   #14
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I'm amazed at all the hate for the Volt. They're making a genuine, honest effort that NOBODY ELSE IS MAKING, and people just dump on them constantly.
The issue is that they're making a poor effort. Yes, it's better than the fuel-sucking SUVs and trucks they've been selling, and yes, it's better than the econo-box wanna-bes they've been selling, but that's not really saying much, is it?
With our current technology, weight is the enemy of efficiency. When you've got limited battery power to run on, efficiency is key. The heavier the vehicle, the more stop and go traffic will kill it's range. Until someone makes a practical super-capacitor, even regenerative braking won't fix that... There's just too much energy lost in the battery charge/discharge cycle.
Even if they couldn't make it lighter for some reason, they could certainly add more battery capacity. But even on that front, the Volt leaves me asking... wtf? Looking at the EV1/Volt comparison, the EV1 had 3x the volume of batteries. Wikipedia lists the energy density of lead acid batteries as 0.14-0.17 MJ/L, and that of lithium ion batteries as 0.9-1.9 MJ/L. So if you compare the best lead/acid batteries to the worst lithium ion batteries, the lithiums have over 5x the capacity by volume. Huh. So the Volt has 1/3 the volume of batteries, but 5x the energy per volume... Meaning the Volt actually has more storage capacity than the EV1, by a fair amount actually. And yet, the Volt's pure electrical operating range is only 40-70% that of the EV1.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:09 AM   #15
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And everybody remembers all the concept cars that actually got into production, that sucked compared to the advance publicity. For example take the Caliber, (Yes I know DCs fault not GMs) as a concept it was seen as the Neon replacement, and they were talking of the high efficiency CVT, so everyone was thinking "hey the Neon gets 30-35 on the highway, this CVT and new motor must be gonna get 35-40... and it went into production and what are people getting?? 25-30!! There have been similar dissappointments with many Detroit concepts turned production models. So, in my mind at least, I read 40 miles range and 50 miles per gallon in RE mode, but my experience of Detroit's concept talk is leading me to expect 25 miles range off batteries and 35mpg..... I can't think of any time a concept has turned out considerably more awesome in production than it was in the daydreams of the publicity people at the time the concept was shown.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:10 AM   #16
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I just don't get it. All these complaints apply even more strongly to the Prius, but I don't see many people complaining that Toyota is making it.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:24 AM   #17
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And everybody remembers all the concept cars that actually got into production, that sucked compared to the advance publicity. For example take the Caliber, (Yes I know DCs fault not GMs) as a concept it was seen as the Neon replacement, and they were talking of the high efficiency CVT, so everyone was thinking "hey the Neon gets 30-35 on the highway, this CVT and new motor must be gonna get 35-40... and it went into production and what are people getting?? 25-30!! There have been similar dissappointments with many Detroit concepts turned production models. So, in my mind at least, I read 40 miles range and 50 miles per gallon in RE mode, but my experience of Detroit's concept talk is leading me to expect 25 miles range off batteries and 35mpg..... I can't think of any time a concept has turned out considerably more awesome in production than it was in the daydreams of the publicity people at the time the concept was shown.
Don't get me started on concept cars. I still want my Buick Blackhawk, and I don't care what mileage it gets.

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Old 06-27-2008, 08:51 AM   #18
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I just don't get it. All these complaints apply even more strongly to the Prius, but I don't see many people complaining that Toyota is making it.
Right, but Toyota is already making it, and has been since 1997. Here we are over a decade later, and Chevy is acting like this is some kind of break-through vehicle.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:18 AM   #19
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Well, I guess you guys will hate the hybrid that VW is going to make.
http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/06/vw-rolls-out-a.html
It's my 3000 pound Rabbit with a smaller diesel engine and an electric motor, plug-in hybrid with a predicted range of 31 miles, 22.5% less than the range that GM predicts for the Volt. They claim it will be out for 2010, just like the Volt.

Based on what the article says, I think once the 31 mile range runs out you won't get much more use of the electric motor until you plug it in again, and will be running only on the diesel except after regenerative braking events. Whether or not it's hooked up to a generator, VW won't be able to easily take it out and replace it with other engines, fuel cell, or extra batteries like GM will, because it's hooked to the drivetrain and is used to supplement acceleration (like the Prius does, except switched roles).

Edit: I was wrong. They won't have it out by 2010. From the article:
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Winterkorn says VW will have a demonstration test fleet of 20 Twin Drive Golfs on the road by 2010, but there's no word yet on whether the car will see production.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:24 AM   #20
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Right, but Toyota is already making it, and has been since 1997. Here we are over a decade later, and Chevy is acting like this is some kind of break-through vehicle.
And after 10 years, how much has the Prius really changed? New body and some updated electronics but STILL no EV only mode that has any sort of practical use. The Volt at least offers that.

The Civic hybrid is even worse. Worse gas mileage then the Prius and it's slower. The almighty Insight you guys worship must have been a hell of a car.

Taking what other manufacturers are offering, I'd say it is a break-through vehicle. You would think that a forum like this where people are constantly striving to get better mileage and provide a cleaner atmosphere for ourselves and others would love a car like this. A company that has made it huge selling SUVs to people that don't really need them are coming out with a car that not only gets better mileage then any other hybrid on the market but also has a plug-in EV only mode you can actually use and all you guys can do is talk crap about it.

Even if someone drives 40 miles to work in a Corolla and gets a Volt that only realistically does 20 miles per charge, they will drive halfway to work using no gas then get 40mpg(being conservative) the rest of the trip(half a gallon). The Corolla would have used a gallon of fuel assuming all highway meaning the Volt puts 10lbs less CO2 in the air each way. If they charge at work they save 20 lbs a day. That's 2600lbs a year or 5200lbs a year assuming they only drive the car 5 days a week to and from work. I'm happy with that.

If you take a place like Las Vegas that gets their power from a hydroelectric plant it's pollution free!
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