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Old 12-01-2009, 02:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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jamesqf -

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
I don't think that has anything to do with ride height. It's just that the center of gravity is lower, presumably because of the batteries mounted low in the frame.
[EDIT: NEVERMIND, now I get it, as Frank says below]

Maybe so. The pictures says "xx mm Above Ground", so I think they are talking about ground clearance. The picture may have it wrong though. It was an accidental google find on my part that is from here :

New Car Reviews, Ratings & Pricing, Auto News for New Models

I am trying to find the original article it was associated with, but I am having no luck.

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Old 12-01-2009, 03:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The 516/566 mm values (over 20") are for center of gravity height which is not an indicator of ride height.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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In fact there is nothing in the car that tells the driver that the engine is running. According to Farah, the intent is to make everything as transparent as possible for the driver. He tells us that the Volt team is designing the car for mainstream audiences rather than the hyper-miling crowd. They wanted people to just get in the car and focus on driving rather than watching all the gauges and trying to eek out every last foot from a gallon of gas.
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Looking back at the EV1, that car featured a long tear drop tail to help ease the air stream off. Because of the need to make the Volt a four-seater with a real trunk, that shape was not a practical alternative.
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When we arrived for our drive session, the car was plugged in to get some juice back in the battery. Vehicle chief engineer Andrew Farah rode shot gun with us as we set out with the battery gauge indicating six miles of electric range.
*sigh* It wasn't designed for eco-nerds, it's been dumbed down for a broader audience. That also explains the "need" for a trunk.

Have they released specs on battery chemistry, voltage, and mass? And they're not really down to six miles of electric range, are they? A few years back, they were talking up 40mi, and later 32mi.

This car has been the subject of much hype for three years, and it had better live up to that hype.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The Popular Mechanics video was a bit lame. Talking head of the GM engineer. No, thanks! Show the car, please.

I'm counting on the Leno video being better.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hi,

Do we know if the Volt's ICE is an Atkinson cycle? I wonder what the trade off in efficiency is between the way they have chosen to vary the ICE's RPM to match the requirements of the electric traction motor (and to NOT charge the battery, so that you will need to charge it with the plug) VS running the ICE at a fixed RPM where it is running at a peak efficiency and just charge the battery?

In other words, they chose to only run the ICE to power the traction motor in order to force you to charge the battery only with the plug. The alternative would be to run the ICE more efficiently, and then use the plug to "top off" the battery.

Which way will yield better FE?

My guess is for shorter trips, that require only a little bit of the ICE, the way they have done it might be better -- the shorter (over the battery's range) the better. But for longer trips, say driving all day and using the whole tank of gas in one trip, I would guess that the alternate would have been much better.

If the alternative method is the more efficient way to use the gasoline, then it seems like they have made a poor choice. Because in the current set up, you will use more gasoline AND more electricity...
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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recharging the battery completely from the ice makes zero sense efficiency wise. If you want best FE, drain the battery and don't put any energy back in it till you get home.

Though they probably do borrow a little capacity just to smooth out the engine cycles. Anyone who defeats that to recharge completely with the ICE should suffer the full ire of the EPA.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Remember, this is an electric car primarily. It's meant for the vast majority of the US population that drives around 40 miles or less per day, with a series generator for the atypical excursions beyond that.

Anyone who buys a Volt and regularly drives long distances is sort of missing the point, as far as energy efficiency goes. (And may even get better mileage from a Prius or TDI - we don't know yet).
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi guys,

I was speculating -- if it gets better FE running the ICE at a constant RPM to power the electric motor AND charge the battery, than it does just powering the electric motor, then what is the point?

I want it to work which ever way gets the best FE.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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NeilBlanchard -

I agree with you in principle, but I understand "range anxiety" :

Quote:
They explained that among the biggest lessons learned from the EV1 program were that range anxiety and lack of practicality would make a car like EV1 nearly impossible to sell in the mass market
From my POV, I just want to see this "different solution" to compete in the market with the Insight and the Prius dirvetrains.

From an MPG-for-my-money POV, I will compare the Volt to the Prius :

BASE Prius II retail = $22,400 MRSP
Volt (speculated) = $40,000
=> The Volt costs 78% more than a base Prius

From our POV, that would mean the Volt needs to deliver the comparable benefit in MPG :

Prius = 51/48 MPG
Volt = 91/85 MPG

Is this a lofty target based on the Volt tech? I don't know. Depends on distance/speed driven, right?

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Old 12-29-2009, 09:15 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Jay Leno's video look at the car is up:

Green Garage: 2011 Chevy Volt - Hybrids - Jay Leno's Garage

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