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Old 11-03-2011, 08:17 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rmay635703 View Post
Since you own a volt does the volt keep two separate odometers one for gas miles and one for electric? Despite all the press I would own a volt if it weren't $39k Would be a neat piece of machinery to own despite its limitations.

What we really need though is an ecomodder to analyse how to get the CS mode the most efficient, maybe make a joystick like the honda insight to control or FIX the CS mode output to whatever load/RPM is most effiicient.

Or possible modify the ECU for eco driving.

I am told a few frugal drivers have figured out how to make mountain mode work more efficiently than CS by engaging it early on long trips and really watching their throttle.

Yes the Volt keeps an overall odometer reading and an EV odometer. It also has two trip odometers so you can use one day to day and the other to monitor your fuel mileage if you like. Did I mention my first tank lasted over a month!

I'm sure once more Volts are on the road someone with programing chops will get in there and play around with the systems to eek out some more eco performance. It's just a matter of time.

I haven't driven the Volt in the snow yet DonR but I say bring it on! I put snow tires on all my cars because I commute at weird hours when the roads aren't always plowed the best. Plus the car has the full alphabet soup, abs, dsc, esp, ect... and it is a heavy car. That is the one time I'll be happy that the car is heavy is in the snow. As long as I maintain a reasonable speed I'm sure it will handle all nature can throw at it!

That's a good healthy bit of skepticism dcb! There are some guys who have actually been measuring the Kilowatt usage with Kwh meters between the plug and the charge cord. You might be surprised to know that the onstar readings are very accurate! You have to remember us first adopters are like a huge test fleet for GM. They are monitoring how the cars are running and how they are being used. They are really working hard to perfect this serial hybrid, er, I mean, ER-EV technology and I think they are doing a great job so far! ( you don't think the lawyers caught my slip do ya? )LOL

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Old 11-03-2011, 08:35 PM   #22 (permalink)
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In mouton mode, does the engine stay at a steady speed or does it change speed with change in vehicle speed? I ask because early on they were talking about having the engine start up and run at a fixed throttle so that the whole gasoline drive train could be optimized to that engine speed but they wanted it to "sound" like a standard gasoline car when the gasoline engine started, reving as you speed up and so on, but in mouton mode the gasoline engine and electric motor are working together so I have to wonder if the engine is then running at it's ideal speed.

Thankfully they didn't fake an acceleration noise with the car! One of my biggest pet peevs of most CVT transmissions is the fake gears they program into them. No, the generator revs according to how much electricity is needed by the electric drive motor and to maintain the appropriate amount of charge buffer in the battery, independent of speed or acceleration. Generally speaking the revs follow behind the demand but sometimes it can rev up when demand is low to maintain the battery at 20%soc or it might not rev up if you have built up some battery charge with regenerative braking. The car won't let the battery fall below 20%soc to protect the batteries longevity. It really is a smart system, that's why I call my car HAL!

And of course the generator never comes on if the battery is not depleted. It will run at all speeds in EV mode if the battery has charge.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:44 PM   #23 (permalink)
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...

I have to wonder how the Volt's use and electric to gasoline ratio will change over time, if people will try to move to a life style and driving habit that lets them only use the electric mode or if they will revert back to gasoline use for one reason or another.
I'm also impressed that there are people who have over 20,000 miles on their Volt in less then a year! I could not imagine driving that much in a year, but I guess that is why some people buy new cars.

There was much hype about range anxiety with the Leaf but there is another anxiety you don't hear much about that is rampant in the Volt community. It's called Gas Anxiety. That's when your driving your Volt and you find yourself going out of your way, doing all you can, to not burn gas. Sneaking your charge cord into unsecured grounded plugs for a kilometer or two of juice. Trying to eek out that last EV mile by not using your brakes and only using the aggressive regenerative braking of Low. I suffer from it a quite a bit, some have it more than others. It's a burden every Volt owner feels at one time or another! LOL
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:07 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I think I read that the average Volt driver is making a tank of gas last more than 1,000 miles? Which is pretty good, since what does the tank hold, like 8+ gallons?
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:28 PM   #25 (permalink)
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It seems to me that a majority of people who would buy a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, etc. are already commute conscious, which explains why the average driving range is well under 100 miles. One of these cars would be perfect for my current region, but if I moved back to Northern California, a car like the Leaf would be almost unusable.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:33 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
I think I read that the average Volt driver is making a tank of gas last more than 1,000 miles?
That is a function of the Electric portion.

If you look at the link in post 2, the bottom of the table "Fleet" Total: says

%ev 70.4
MPG 35.89
MPG(+e) 121.27

It is disingenuous to compare electrically assisted miles to MPG, you don't get out and push normally (well, I do actually, but that is another matter), but you are mixing energy sources and not accounting for electrical, so saying average MPG is 121.27 is a farse, there was something else contributing to those miles that has been conveniently omitted from that figure.

But looking at what the engine uses without borrowing from the electrical system gives us something then to compare to when you are choosing a vehicle for long trips. i.e. if you are like many of us and don't mind multiple vehicles, you can easily find a $1000 beater that will beat the pants off a volt MPG wise on long trips (something over 40 miles), looks like 36mpg is all you have to beat to come out ahead there. (well and the $39,000 you save by not buying a volt)

No you wont get a $7500 check of taxpayer money for buying it, and no you probably are not making $170,000 like the average volt buyer, BUT I bet you won't be afraid to *MOD* it

Anyway nice to see ~35MPG from the gasser in actuality, that is what we were predicting early on.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:45 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I managed to get 1212 miles out of my first tank and I hope to be able to keep up the trend.

dcb there is a kilowatt cost there. The mpge value is the mileage on pure electricity. I personally don't know the equation the EPA used to figure out that number but it is out there in the vapours somewhere if you want to find it. A full charge on the Volt requires 12.7kwh of energy so at the national average of $0.11/kwh a full charge would cost $1.40. In my area we have time of use billing and the off hour rate is $0.05/kwh so my full charge costs me $0.63. You can enter your time of use schedule into the Volt and it will only charge when the best rates are available. To offset my extra energy consumption with the Volt I went around my house and replaced the most used incandescent bulbs with new LED bulbs. As a result I have actually seen my hydro bill go down! So personally I consider my electric consumption for the car as "free" because of the steps I've taken in my home to compensate. I consider the combined mpg to be the mileage I'm getting from the car. 173mpg.

There are also those who have the money and space have put in solar arrays to generate electricity to put back into the grid. They say they drive for free on electricity but personally I don't have that kind of money to drive for free. My income is much lower than the claimed average Volt owners wages. I'm responsable for keeping that number low, Jay Leno makes it much higher! :LOL

The second gen Volt's should get much better CS mileage. GM has taken alot of flack for the CS mileage and has said they will better it in gen2. They explain that they didn't want to develop an engine specifically for the generator when they were engineering the Voltec drive system. So they pulled the Cruzes 1.4L motor off the shelf and used it. Though if you look at the system there is no reason why an adventurous ecomodder in the future couldn't swap out the 1.4L motor for something else. Not me though, I'm a chicken!

If you are regularly doing long cross country drives there are better choices out there than a Volt . A TDI comes to mind right away or even a Prius. The Volt is designed as a luxury commuter for those with a commute of less than 60-70 miles. Above that there are cars that can beat the Volts efficiency. But where the Volt shines is if you do have that lower mileage commute and you don't want to have that second long mileage backup car for the once or twice a year long haul, the Volt can still do that long mileage trip in comfort with a reasonable mpg.
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:15 AM   #28 (permalink)
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To offset my extra energy consumption with the Volt I went around my house and replaced the most used incandescent bulbs with new LED bulbs. As a result I have actually seen my hydro bill go down!
That is the case with nearly every EV driver and why people asking where we are going to get the extra electricity from is so frustrating, replacing the 3 most used incandescent bulbs in your house with CFL or LED's will lower the average persons electric bill even after home charging of an EV, our homes waste so much that finding ways to off set EV charging is cheap and easy.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:58 AM   #29 (permalink)
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dcb there is a kilowatt cost there..
Specifically there is an energy cost there. And using dollars to compare electricity at the wall to liquid fuel is not a good basis for comparison. You
*could* say it is, but then why shell out $40k for a car if money is a concern. Tracking fuel and KWH together but separately is only fair.

How much less would it cost if they left out the fart box that so many consumers don't want? (and which makes the "Volt" title even more suspect).

How much sooner could it have been to market without the ICE and all the EPA regs and etc? Isn't the appeal of an EV it's simplicity? What consumer wouldn't want to have options? GM wasn't listening.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:00 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wainair View Post
There was much hype about range anxiety with the Leaf but there is another anxiety you don't hear much about that is rampant in the Volt community. It's called Gas Anxiety. That's when your driving your Volt and you find yourself going out of your way, doing all you can, to not burn gas. Sneaking your charge cord into unsecured grounded plugs for a kilometer or two of juice. Trying to eek out that last EV mile by not using your brakes and only using the aggressive regenerative braking of Low. I suffer from it a quite a bit, some have it more than others. It's a burden every Volt owner feels at one time or another! LOL
lol I know exactly how you feel. I have a plugin kit on my Prius and feel the same... Its as though I feel the hand of defeat as my engine kicks on when I didn't expect it to.

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