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Old 12-27-2011, 01:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Question about the Chevrolet Volt

Hello everybody.

I was thinking bout something last day, and i think it could be nice to find the answer to the question.

The new chevrolet Volt, as far as i know, is a PHEV. The 1.4L ICE is working like a generator for the Electric motor. When the electric motor is working, it is on the battery, and when the battery is empty, the ICE kicks on and generate power for the electric motor, is that right?

Now, if you could set your Volt to start the electric motor on the battery, and at the same time, your ICE is working at the optimal energy produced/gallons used, it could give like exemple 15% of the electric motor energy, and the other 85% from the battery. Instead of doing 40 Km with the Electric motor, you do 60 Km, and after this the battery is empty, the ICE generator take the lead for the rest of the travel. is this technic could save fuel? Or i'm fool? ...

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Old 12-27-2011, 02:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There is a Hill Climbing mode that starts the gas engine up earlier if you have a long mountain pass to go up that the gas engine might not be powerful enough to handle on it's own.
There are a lot of improvements that could be made to the Volt, but they wanted it to be all electric for the first 32 miles, when the battery is down to 20% (what they call empty) the gas engine starts up and can drive the wheels while bypassing the motor/generator, just like the Prius does (yes, the volt and plug in Prius drive trains are really similar to each other, but different enough that they don't use the same patents), otherwise it would have made sense for them to tune the gasoline engine to turn at a single set speed because at that point they could have squeezed more MPG out of it but they wanted it to sound like a normal gasoline car when it is running on gasoline, with engine revving and so on.
So the short answer to your question is yes, if you know you are going to run the battery dead it would most likely give you better over all mileage/range to have the gasoline engine start up while cruising down the highway.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok thank you for the info, this respond to my question. I think if someone could make a DIY chip controler to access this kind of technic, it would be possible.

I think the PHEV is future more than EV, because the PHEV will upgrade, and the autonomy of it will be great, the EV is having a so-so autonomy of 300-400 Km's but when the battery are down, you have to wait long..... a PHEV, you gas and you continue, I also thinked about a future options for EV car, the battery station, you stop at it when your battery are down, you exchange it for like 40$. and you have a fulled battery. Now, you need to advance technologies, battery would need to be removable easily, and quick. the station would reload the empty battery, and sell it to another conductor, etc... this could be a solution for the future.
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2000 Honda Insight MT Silverstone Metallic #95 (CAN) 131K mi. 81.7 Lmpg
Best Tank : 100.06 MPG (US) | 120.2 MPG (Imp) | 2.35 L/100Km | 42.54 Km/L
Best commute : 130.8 MPG (US) | 157.1 MPG (Imp) | 1.8 L/100Km | 54.84 Km/L
Best Trip : 111.8 MPG (US) | 134.3 MPG (Imp) | 2.1 L/100Km | 47.53 Km/L
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Why do people call electric motors "engines" and ICEs "motors"?
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Why do people call electric motors "engines" and ICEs "motors"?
Normally I would jump on that, drives me crazy too.
BUT, he used both and I believe English is no his first language being from Quebec (very good grammer though ,

Back on topic, do we have any Volt drivers here that could test forcing the hill mode on and seing what it does for overall MPG ?
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Battery swap would be a neat idea but impractical except for fleets of identical cars.
I don't know of any automaker who plans to use the same battery pack design in any of their vehicles, VW is planing to use the same cells in their packs but each pack will be designed for the vehicle it's going in, making it so packs could be swapped out would be impractical.
Personally I think that car sharing programs are a better way to go for people who have to drive long distances, I would be happy with an electric car as my only vehicle, then borrow or rent a VW TDI wagon, a Prius, a pickup truck or a Toyota Yaris or other smaller car, when I needed to go out of town for the day, because for over 90% of the population that trip that is out side of the range of an electric car is a rare trip that is only made a few times a year and at least for me it's a trip where I am also taking other people along or hauling something bulky so the chances that I'd take my small car drop again.

But back to your original topic, there is a lot of computer programmed changes that could be made, Volvo is planing to do this with their Diesel electric hybrid, have an option to select how long the trip you are making is going to be and the car tries to use as much battery power as possible for the type of trip you are making instead of doing what the Volt does and use the battery then switch to gasoline.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Frank Lee
why do people call electric motors "engines" and ices "motors"?
I did a mistake, sorry. I already know that ICE is not a motor, because the word "Engine" is in it. But I didn't know that an electric motor is not an engine. Thanks for the clarification. Like JasonG said, english is not my first language, but i'm learning. In french, if you say "Moteur" it is for electric AND gasoline.

Quote:
Originally posted by Ryland
Battery swap would be a neat idea but impractical except for fleets of identical cars.
Yeah, I understand that cars makers would have to make the same battery and the same swapping system for all car, and that's nearly impossible, but this could still be an issue for the EV.
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2000 Honda Insight MT Silverstone Metallic #95 (CAN) 131K mi. 81.7 Lmpg
Best Tank : 100.06 MPG (US) | 120.2 MPG (Imp) | 2.35 L/100Km | 42.54 Km/L
Best commute : 130.8 MPG (US) | 157.1 MPG (Imp) | 1.8 L/100Km | 54.84 Km/L
Best Trip : 111.8 MPG (US) | 134.3 MPG (Imp) | 2.1 L/100Km | 47.53 Km/L
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Not exactly sure what you are asking.

The Volt is not a simple serial hybrid. In Charge Depleting mode it operates as a Pure EV. In that mode it depletes the battery to its minimal SOC (about 25%) and then the ICE starts for Charge-sustaing (CS) mode.

In CS mode ICE can couple in the generator and operate as a serial hybrid, and in doing that it still uses the battery as a buffer to provide bursts of power beyond what than ICE can provide, and then back filling that with excess from the generator. When there is a a ligher load and/or higher higher speed in CS mode the ICE can also couple directly to the power-split device as well as the generator and the car then operates in a parallel+serial mode that can improve efficiency. In that mode the gear ratios is similar to a 6th gear in other cars.

As someone already posted, the car also has a MountainMode, which raises the minimum SOC to about 45%, providing larger buffer for longer "bursts" of power.


If the charge is below 45% when one switches into Mountain Mode, the car will recharge the battery back up to the 45%. By doing that one can push the car into a different region of the BSFC. If the car is running at 1700-1800 RPMs, then when I put it into MM, the car will shift to 3000-3100 RPMS which is in the BSFC sweet spot. Of course recharging the battery has multiple losses, but there are times when it can be useful (e.g. to have more EV power for low-speed/city driving). Also useful for showing off the EV nature of the Volt, even after a long trip.

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