: Some controversy regarding the Volt



Jesda
10-12-10, 11:45 PM
http://jalopnik.com/5661817/chevy-volt-lies-damn-lies-and-statistics?skyline=true&s=i

Its not a very good article, but the overreaction from blogs is in proportion to the hype from GM.

SUMMARY: The only major difference between the Volt that was promised and the Volt coming to market is that when the battery is low, the gas engine will directly drive the front wheels at speeds over 70mph. This is to make up for the difference in power output from when the battery is at full charge and when its nearly empty.

Sounds like a wise engineering decision.

EChas3
10-13-10, 12:09 AM
Potential Volt buyers - How much are you going to pay for your plug-in-charge-up-car when government reailizes the gas tax revenue losses you cause them? Expect your operating costs to go up even more than the $5,000 of your neighbor's labor going to pay for your folly.

Playdrv4me
10-13-10, 12:15 AM
Well, so much for that.

ga_etc
10-13-10, 02:24 AM
http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1010_2011_chevrolet_volt_test/index.html

Motor Trend's article was good I thought. No hype, no BS, just the truth about the car. Sticker price is high, but the car sounds rather interesting. Definitely a Prius beater.

C&C
10-13-10, 06:42 AM
Much ado about little; must have been a slow news day. GM explained the original 'mis-direction' as a delay tactic because of patent pending (proprietary) issues. Believe it or not, it doesn't effect the operation (other than enhancing the extended range performance).

ewill3rd
10-13-10, 09:12 AM
:yawn:
Where's the story?
So people at jalopnik can't read and the eco freaks are pissed because the engine might actually drive the wheels under certain circumstances for their own safety?
It is going to be a big flop anyway, if this sells half as well as they want it to the lines are going to start melting and falling off the poles when people plug their cars in every night.
As a survivor of the CA rolling blackouts I can see the writing on the wall.
Doesn't take a rocket scientist.

mhamilton
10-13-10, 11:28 AM
Jeeze!! $41,000 for 40 mpg!!!?!?! I'd buy a Civic if I cared that much about mpg.

Does anybody who buys these cars realize that the premium for an electric or hybrid drivetrain will never pay for itself in fuel savings over a regular car? And unless the owner is going to trade in every few years, it'll probably cost more in repairs when that motor or battery goes south?

At least this car is considerably more attractive than the Prius or that pug-ugly Inisght. I see it has a similar body shape to the Prius, but something about it is better looking.

Stingroo
10-13-10, 01:37 PM
That's actually not true. It just depends on HOW LONG you keep the vehicle whether or not the savings will add up. If you LEASE a hybrid, you're a fool.

But, eh. I like the Volt. I'd never own one, and never drive one, because I refuse to drive anything without 8 cylinders as long as I'm legally able (it's coming, don't worry :eyeroll:) And I don't think the "rolling blackout" thing is going to happen either. It's just one appliance. I don't hear people crying foul when people add on to their houses, or new developments go up all over the country that they'll suddenly lose electricity. It's just one more reason to hate something different.

But eh, whatever. To each their own.

Night Wolf
10-13-10, 02:03 PM
Jeeze!! $41,000 for 40 mpg!!!?!?! I'd buy a Civic if I cared that much about mpg.

Does anybody who buys these cars realize that the premium for an electric or hybrid drivetrain will never pay for itself in fuel savings over a regular car? And unless the owner is going to trade in every few years, it'll probably cost more in repairs when that motor or battery goes south?

At least this car is considerably more attractive than the Prius or that pug-ugly Inisght. I see it has a similar body shape to the Prius, but something about it is better looking.

$40k for 40mpg and 4,000lbs! lol @ "mountain mode" which must be turned on 20 mins before you start to drive up a mountain.

I'll take 35mpg from the old $500 eta.

dkozloski
10-13-10, 02:07 PM
Around here; electricity, energy content for energy content, is equal to $8/gal gasoline. An electric car would more than double your transportation fuel costs and you'd freeze your ass doing it.

gary88
10-13-10, 02:16 PM
Standing by for Americans to realize diesel is the answer to an efficient passenger car.

mhamilton
10-13-10, 02:53 PM
$40k for 40mpg and 4,000lbs! lol @ "mountain mode" which must be turned on 20 mins before you start to drive up a mountain.
I'll take 35mpg from the old $500 eta.

That's another shock... how did they manage to make a compact car heavier than a Cadillac?! Yes, I know the batteries are heavy, but that's more than a bit ridiculous! Hell, my full frame Impala and Malibu are not that heavy... A year after getting my Eldo I'm just more and more amazed how this big heavy car gets such remarkable mileage with the Y-code N*. Nominally 27 mpg hwy, have seen high as 30, and mixed/spirited driving is still 24-25.

And what happens if you try to keep that Volt for 10 years... Lithium Ion batteries don't (usually) last that long, we've all seen how fast our phone and camera batteries go bad. There's a $6000 part, I'm sure that wipes out any gas savings. Not to mention 10 years from now GM won't carry any replacement parts ;)


Standing by for Americans to realize diesel is the answer to an efficient passenger car.

Doesn't BMW have a variable-cam, variable-lift engine that operates at constant WOT (reduce pumping losses) using timing changes to control engine speed? Doesn't get the high compression of a diesel, but sounded like a pretty good idea. I haven't heard any more about that in a while...

iowasevillests
10-13-10, 03:07 PM
To me the Volt technical squabble is more about Nissian/Toyota/Honda getting pissed that someone else has entered their sandbox.....not something grounded in reality. The direct engine assist is merely to make the care more effecient and raise that mpg rating which is the point of the car I thought....whatever.

As far as buying it...not a chance I'd ever buy it. I'm too far from a neighbors house to secretly run an extension cord from his/her house to recharge it, and for that money and that size of car I'd much rather buy a used Jetta TDI, better mileage out of those anyway.

Jesda
10-13-10, 04:04 PM
Well, more like $30k. Government is now paying people to buy government-made cars.

Stingroo
10-13-10, 05:07 PM
I can assure you the batteries won't cost 6k to replace. They don't on a Prius, and they shouldn't for a Volt. And there are first generation Priuses with 250k+ miles on them on the original batteries. I wrote my final project for English on this topic. No, hybrids are not the answer, but they're a stop gap, and until the greenies find something better to do with their lives, they're here to stay.

I view the Volt as a MASSIVE PR stunt honestly. And we pretty much knew four years ago when it was drawn up as a concept that it would start at 40k. It costs money to innovate.

Jesda
10-13-10, 05:10 PM
Motor Trend gets 127mpg:
http://blogs.motortrend.com/6719595/green/127-mpg-this-volt-story-must-be-told/index.html

mhamilton
10-13-10, 06:07 PM
Motor Trend gets 127mpg:
http://blogs.motortrend.com/6719595/green/127-mpg-this-volt-story-must-be-told/index.html

I saw that too at the end of the 6-page article, but on page 2 they say

"A mom, dad, and two kids could easily take a weeklong trip to Grandma’s, no matter how far away she lives. Without any plugging in, such a trip should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s."

So apparently 128 mpg is only when you're driving on battery-only (with plug-in recharges to keep the engine from firing).


I can assure you the batteries won't cost 6k to replace. They don't on a Prius, and they shouldn't for a Volt. And there are first generation Priuses with 250k+ miles on them on the original batteries. I wrote my final project for English on this topic. No, hybrids are not the answer, but they're a stop gap, and until the greenies find something better to do with their lives, they're here to stay.

Okay, that was my unresearched misconception based on what I'd heard. I had never bothered to search on hybrid batteries before, but I see now they're priced $2500 and under, and toyo gives them a 10yr 100k mi warranty. Also, what I found was that the 2nd gen prius only allows a charge state between 40% and 80%, which explains the long life. The 1st gen could discharge the battery, and that is what will destroy the life of them. I agree though, they're "flavor of the month" engineering, which I still have doubts about long-term reliability.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great GM is making something new to compete in the market, and I hope they do well. I just think the whole hybrid idea is entirely too over-hyped and of questionable environmental benefit.

billc83
10-13-10, 06:13 PM
Wait, only 127 mpg? What happened to GM's 230 mpg campaign?

Damn it GM, you've done it again. Stop promising what you can't deliver.

ga_etc
10-13-10, 06:20 PM
I agree with you Gary, I think more manufacturers should be putting more stock into importing diesel versions of their cars to the US. I drove an '08 Jetta TDI a year or so ago and was genuinely impressed with that little car. It never felt like only 100 hp and with torque being available from almost idle you didn't have to wind the gears out to get it to move. This one was a stick. If I was really serious about getting some major MPGs I would be all about a diesel VW.

Stingroo
10-13-10, 06:27 PM
Yeah, my mom's boss drives a TDI Beetle and says he regularly gets 50mpg highway.

Playdrv4me
10-13-10, 07:05 PM
Everyone I have ever known that owned a modern Turbodiesel vehicle (and even some with old regular diesel Mercs) has either sworn by them, or regrets the day they got rid of theirs. The pre-Bluetec E Class Diesel is a *far* better car for less money than the Volt could ever hope for, returning impressive fuel economy.

Jesda
10-13-10, 07:39 PM
Greg over at NICOClub bought a diesel Golf. He got rid of it quickly because he said it was gutless and expensive to maintain. I'm also inclined to agree with Jeremy Clarkson -- if you get the diesel version its because youre a miserly cheapass.

I'm a cheapass, so I wouldnt mind if the diesel XJ made it over here. I understand there's a lot of emissions hurdles to jump for most European diesels to be sold in America.

V-Eight
10-13-10, 11:31 PM
If they were to plan to import their diesels, they would need to find a way for them to function better in colder climates.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-13-10, 11:58 PM
I'm a cheapass, so I wouldnt mind if the diesel XJ made it over here. I understand there's a lot of emissions hurdles to jump for most European diesels to be sold in America.

Yeah, but I thought that the Europeans were even more stringent on their diesel regulations, especially when it comes to emissions.



Standing by for Americans to realize diesel is the answer to an efficient passenger car.

It's long, long overdue. Diesels are everywhere in Europe, but just on the verge of getting big here. Right now, I think the automotive environment is a lot like it was in the early '80s, but instead of the big change being going from carburetors to fuel injection, now it's going from gas to diesel. The number of diesel cars sold in America are always going up, a lot more now than it was 5 years ago, and it'll keep accelerating ahead, running away...

The diesels still have that noisy/stinky/slow stigma caused mainly by bad diesels in the '80s, and the fact that you can't drive a diesel like you can a gas engine. They're not meant for small trips across town or to the store, especially in the cold states. Diesels are meant to run long distances and work hard while using little fuel, it's what they're built for.

Diesels have come so far in the last 20 years. Back in '90, a GM truck's only diesel was the 6.2L naturally aspirated V-8 diesel. 145hp and 250 lb/ft of torque. They made less power and torque than a 4.3L V6 from the same time. Their main selling point was their fuel economy. They didn't have near the amount of power as the 454, or even the 350! Nowadays the Duramax 6.6L diesel offers a staggering 397hp and 765 lb/ft of torque, the highest in it's class. As a matter of fact, they're so good at what they do, GM discontinued the 8.1L big blocks because they weren't selling any in comparison to the Duramax.

Overall, diesels are far quieter than they used to be, far cleaner and far smoother. I love the old 6.5L turbo diesel (1992-00) for what it was, but it pales in comparison to the Duramax. The RPMs on the old 6.5's don't increase or decrease smoothly, if you stab the gas at idle, the throttle jumps up slow and falls fast...it's weird. But on the Duramax, especially the newer ones, it's as smooth as any gasoline V-8. The 6.5L, at it's peak, made 195hp and 380 lb/ft. The Duramax, at it's lowest, made 300hp and 520 lb/ft.

Jesda
10-14-10, 12:32 AM
I think the Europeans allow some diesel emissions to slide in favor of higher fuel economy, especially because of the impact of fuel taxes on costs per mile.

And now that I've had time to think about it, I definitely wouldn't want the diesel XJ. The noise would detract from the grace of a Jag.

Playdrv4me
10-14-10, 12:36 AM
*Truck diesels of today can *easily* make mince-meat of MANY passenger sports cars. Cough *Banks-Power* Cough.

*Urea injection systems (i.e. Blue-Tec), while being a somewhat clunky solution, have cleaner emissions than many of their gasoline counterparts.

*Diesel "noise", yet another largely resolved concern, has been quelled to the point that it is damn near impossible to tell the E Class diesel apart from its gasoline counterpart when sitting inside either one.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-14-10, 12:41 AM
Yes, the new Duramax is insanely quiet too, so much so that you don't hear the diesel sounds until you're within 10 feet of it, and it's almost silent inside as well.

gary88
10-14-10, 12:47 AM
*Diesel "noise", yet another largely resolved concern, has been quelled to the point that it is damn near impossible to tell the E Class diesel apart from its gasoline counterpart when sitting inside either one.

When I was in Italy a couple months ago I rode in a previous gen E280 diesel and you could barely hear the engine at all. Seriously one of the quietest motors I've experienced.

Playdrv4me
10-14-10, 12:48 AM
A modern diesel pickup truck (especially a Duramax or Cummins) is one of the few automotive frontiers I've yet to cross, but would REALLY like to own some day. Much like Jesda and the Miata, it just never seems to work out where its practical to own one... or rather that there is a NEED for one. They are so gorgeous going down the road though.

Playdrv4me
10-14-10, 12:53 AM
When I was in Italy a couple months ago I rode in a previous gen E280 diesel and you could barely hear the engine at all. Seriously one of the quietest motors I've experienced.

One of the major online or print automotive rags, perhaps Edmunds, did a really neat toe-to-toe comparison between the E350 and the E350 Blue-tec diesel a couple of years ago. It was absolutely astonishing that the Diesel came to within 1k in price of the gas version, and as far as the test was concerned, it was an absolute NO BRAINER to go for the Diesel in every possible respect. Looks like the price gap is a tiny bit wider now, but still within 2k of the base model E Class.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-14-10, 12:57 AM
My dream work vehicle would be a 2011 Chevrolet Express 2500 with the Duramax. It's not rated for as quite as much power as the Duramax used in the trucks, but at 260hp and 520 lb/ft, it would still be more than enough!

Playdrv4me
10-14-10, 01:01 AM
My dream work vehicle would be a 2011 Chevrolet Express 2500 with the Duramax. It's not rated for as quite as much power as the Duramax used in the trucks, but at 260hp and 520 lb/ft, it would still be more than enough!

Do the work vans still have the Allison behind them, Chad?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-14-10, 01:10 AM
Nope, not available in the Express.

Night Wolf
10-14-10, 03:04 AM
Doesn't BMW have a variable-cam, variable-lift engine that operates at constant WOT (reduce pumping losses) using timing changes to control engine speed? Doesn't get the high compression of a diesel, but sounded like a pretty good idea. I haven't heard any more about that in a while...

BMW also makes a pretty sweet diesel...

fU4f_NwAfUs

She can start my 528e engine anytime!

hZOiW5cznGs

mhamilton
10-16-10, 07:43 PM
Not to beat a dead horse, but was out working in the yard today and thought about the economics of the Volt...

Compared to a regular (gas engine only) car that gets 30 mpg, say the Volt gets 130 mpg. So at $2.50/gallon gas, the regular car goes 12 mi/$1 = 8 cents/mi. The Volt goes 52 mi/$1 = 1.9 cents/mi. So, the volt saves 6.1 cents per mile in gasoline. If the volt costs, say for example, $20,000 more to buy new than the regular car, it would take 327,868 miles to recoup those costs in gas savings. And that is 300k miles in city driving, so the gas engine does not fire. (assuming my math is correct!)

Now that changes significantly the more gas prices go up, and of course there's the aspect of trying to advance technology and become less reliant on gasoline... but still, interesting to think about. I recall smug hybrid owners on the news during the last gas price scare "laughing" on their way to the bank because of their good mileage. Yeah... not quite so hillarious when you realize they'd never recoup the premium cost of buying a hybrid!

Jesda
10-16-10, 10:32 PM
An economic recovery, combined with competition for resources with India and China, would likely make the Volt a financially appealing option.

EChas3
10-16-10, 11:07 PM
There is no shortage of oil. Ignorance rules the media. Sheep are sheep.

Jesda
10-16-10, 11:16 PM
There is no shortage of oil. Ignorance rules the media. Sheep are sheep.

Even if quantity supplied is artificially limited or only perceived to be limited, it still has an effect on retail prices.

Aron9000
10-17-10, 12:01 AM
Another thing not discussed is how much $$$ you'd be saving keeping your existing car. If I'm thinking correctly, the type of people who buy the volt will be middle to upper class types who always have to get the latest and greatest thing. These would be the type who bought a $10,000 plasma TV in 1999, who own an Ipad, bought an Iphone 4 on the first day it came out, bought a brand new 2002 BMW 7 series, etc, etc, etc.

These type of people trade in perfectly good cars(or completely trash the new car they just bought a few years ago), that they could keep for several more years trouble free. They just have to get the latest and greatest thing with bluetooth, heated seats, or whatever the latest automotive fashion happens to be.

Anyways, my point is that the Volt might get 128mpg. But $40,000 can sure buy a lot of gas and repairs for your perfectly good existing vehicle.

EChas3
10-17-10, 12:19 AM
Just wait until you need AC in Death Valley or a heated seat & steering wheel in Frostbite Falls. GM tried before (what did they can that disaster? EV1?). It failed in California.

Yes, today's technology is better; but not the breakthrough that's needed for it to be practical.

Jesda
10-17-10, 12:28 AM
Just wait until you need AC in Death Valley or a heated seat & steering wheel in Frostbite Falls. GM tried before (what did they can that disaster? EV1?). It failed in California.



Since it has a gas generator on board, it'll carry on until it runs out of fuel.