>That link I posted, that car only used gas for 1.15 miles out of 10,053.27 miles.
I was a beta tester of the Chevy Equinox Hydrogen Fuel Cell Project and we were given the opportunity to drive the Volt and see much of GM's R&D prior to the vehicle's release. I distinctly remember that the Volt would run its' Internal Combustion Engine from time to time even if it wasn't required to recharge the batteries to cycle the gasoline through the system. That number appears to be impossible unless the system archetecture has been drastically changed. With a fuel tank that holds 9.3 gallons it would take over 150,000 miles between fill ups even with a 20,000 mile reserve range. The gas would be bad by then even if the vehicle was driven 24/7/365 at highway speeds it would take more than 4 months without stopping to put on that kind of mileage let alone allowing for recharging times between trips. Also, for the record the Volt is an electric vehicle with an onboard battery recharging system, not a hybrid since the ICE does not have any direct connection to the drive wheels, it is only a generator and can not propel the vehicle other than by charging the batteries that power the electrical motor.
> Other you dont, but have to replace the battery every few years at a cost of $18,000!
I believe that the Toyota Prius replacement battery cost is around $2,500 USD and the cost list for the Chevy Volt replacment battery is around $3,000 USD.
Bates -- if driven on short trips that do not need to engage the ICE, then charge at home overnight, then you are right that the ICE will only engage to cycle the gas. If a Volt owner only drives 30 miles a day, just to work and back so not to run the ICE, and then overnight charging, that is 150 miles a week, or 7800 miles a year. If there was a charging station at work, the range w/o ICE could be doubled to 15,600/year easily
On ecomodder.com, someone with a Volt showed what happened with his when it was required to run the ICE for a maintenance period because it had been too long between it's last use. And yes, the gas would eventually go bad. If I had a Volt and drove it like that, my guess would be alot of 93 octane and periodical shots of octane booster over time.
The Volt does have a direct mechanical connection to the wheels. They use a planetary gear arrangement (as the Prius does and probably other hybrids as well.) When the Volt is travelling faster than some threshold speed (67 mph, I think) the electric motor needs that boost to stay within its RPM range. Most of the time the role of the ICE is to generate electricity to drive the wheels, but some mechanical advantage is gained as well.
Chevy took some flack right after they released the Volt that first year since people made a big deal out of "The Volt isn't really an electric car, there's a mechanical connection." It was a silly argument then, and it still is. You engineer for the most efficient operation, not whether you can label it "electric drive" or "hybrid drive" or whatever.
I often wonder how shallow a life these super nerds lead to actually give a hoot this much. I mean who really gives a flying toss? A car is a car is a car as the saying goes, there are many fuels we can burn to make them move, but people get so irrate about the little details.