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Old August 20th, 2009, 09:37 AM   #1
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Default GM and government "choices" i've noticed.

The Volt was going to get 70mpg, until the gov't changed how they rate battery operated vehicles, then it was 275 mpg.



Gov't takes over gm.
offers cash for clunkers
doesn't pay the dealers in a timely fashion
then gm decides to give gm dealers same day credit for cash for clunkers until the gov't pays the dealer.


odd.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 10:39 AM   #2
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The one thing I can tell you is that the fuel economy calculation had to be changed (no matter who would've had the first PHEV).

Fuel economy is rated with a weighted average of 5 tests. If you were to take a volt and run all five of those tests, you could quite possibly NEVER run the engine to charge the battery. How could fuel economy be rated then?
It definitely isn't the true fuel economy every customer would see - on one end of the spectrum, you would have the customer that drives 25 miles, round trip, to work and short errands (NEVER using the engine for propulsion).
On the other end, there is the customer that might drive 100 miles round trip and will (ALWAYS use the engine for propulsion).

Add to that the fact that the use of the engine is also related to how often you can recharge the battery from an outlet in-between trips. I'm not certain how they are testing to achieve such high fuel economy, but they are also figuring in the cost of the kW*hr to try to make it "energy-based" instead of fuel-based, but converting it back into MPG, as that's what most consumers understand.

Think of it this way, if you drive your volt 100% on electric generated from the engine, you get (pulling a number out of my butt) 40 mpg.
Now, if you drive 50 miles and need to use the engine for 10 miles, you use 0.25 gallons of fuel. So, if that is your commute, 1 gallon of gasoline actually will move you 4(0.25)*50 = 200 miles.
If that's how you drove, everyday, a 10 gallon fuel tank would provide you with 2000 miles of driving (provided you recharge completely between 50 mile trips).

On a trip, you'd get 40 miles + your 400 mile fuel range from gasoline. The battery would save you one gallon of fuel making the actual F.E. of the car on a road trip to be 440/10 = 44 mpg.

Lots of "games" to be played, as no two people will drive the same.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ScOoTeR View Post
The one thing I can tell you is that the fuel economy calculation had to be changed (no matter who would've had the first PHEV).

Fuel economy is rated with a weighted average of 5 tests. If you were to take a volt and run all five of those tests, you could quite possibly NEVER run the engine to charge the battery. How could fuel economy be rated then?
It definitely isn't the true fuel economy every customer would see - on one end of the spectrum, you would have the customer that drives 25 miles, round trip, to work and short errands (NEVER using the engine for propulsion).
On the other end, there is the customer that might drive 100 miles round trip and will (ALWAYS use the engine for propulsion).

Add to that the fact that the use of the engine is also related to how often you can recharge the battery from an outlet in-between trips. I'm not certain how they are testing to achieve such high fuel economy, but they are also figuring in the cost of the kW*hr to try to make it "energy-based" instead of fuel-based, but converting it back into MPG, as that's what most consumers understand.

Think of it this way, if you drive your volt 100% on electric generated from the engine, you get (pulling a number out of my butt) 40 mpg.
Now, if you drive 50 miles and need to use the engine for 10 miles, you use 0.25 gallons of fuel. So, if that is your commute, 1 gallon of gasoline actually will move you 4(0.25)*50 = 200 miles.
If that's how you drove, everyday, a 10 gallon fuel tank would provide you with 2000 miles of driving (provided you recharge completely between 50 mile trips).

On a trip, you'd get 40 miles + your 400 mile fuel range from gasoline. The battery would save you one gallon of fuel making the actual F.E. of the car on a road trip to be 440/10 = 44 mpg.

Lots of "games" to be played, as no two people will drive the same.

Correct, except:
Quote:
Think of it this way, if you drive your volt 100% on electric generated from the engine,

The electricity you would use would come from the plug in charge. I have not seen anything to indicate electrical charge would be replenished from the engine. Although I am sure that is being worked on.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by clarkstoncracker View Post
The Volt was going to get 70mpg, until the gov't changed how they rate battery operated vehicles, then it was 275 mpg.



Gov't takes over gm.
offers cash for clunkers
doesn't pay the dealers in a timely fashion
then gm decides to give gm dealers same day credit for cash for clunkers until the gov't pays the dealer.


odd.
GM's cash position is such that they can ride out the delay better than the dealerships.

At least that is the information I am hearing and reading.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 12:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PeteC View Post
Correct, except:



The electricity you would use would come from the plug in charge. I have not seen anything to indicate electrical charge would be replenished from the engine. Although I am sure that is being worked on.
If I recall the volt is a series hybrid. Meaning that the engine only charges the battery, and only the electric motors propel the vehicle.


edit: yes, I did recall correctly: http://gm-volt.com/chevy-volt-faqs/

Quote:
Q: How is the Chevy Volt different than today’s hybrids, like the Prius?
A: Today’s hybrids are called parallel hybrids. They use a small electric motor for low speed driving, but switch to a regular gas engine for acceleration and faster speed driving, hence both engines work side by side or in parallel. The Volt is a series vehicle meaning only the electric motor power the car at all times, the gas engine is just a generator, making electric to keep the batteries in a steady state of charge.

Last edited by brewmenn; August 20th, 2009 at 12:36 PM.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 12:46 PM   #6
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Thank you Bruce. :)

So Pete, I am 100% correct.

What is important is to understand that the old method of measuring fuel economy for the label falls short of giving an adequate estimate of what is possible; not favoritism for GM.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 12:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by clarkstoncracker View Post
Gov't takes over gm.
offers cash for clunkers
doesn't pay the dealers in a timely fashion
then gm decides to give gm dealers same day credit for cash for clunkers until the gov't pays the dealer.
Scooter cleaned up on the first comment, so I'll put my 2cents on this one.

I've heard that dealers (of all brands) are starting to back away from the cash for clunkers because of the slow pay.

Since there is a limited* budget for cash for clunkers that on a first come-first serve basis, GM is putting up the money so that their dealers participate, and then they get more sales. If the other OEMs don't immediately follow, this could be a market share winner if consumers chase the C4C money.

* well, maybe, who knows if congress will add more funding
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Old August 20th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #8
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so they way they calculated it is if you were to drive 40 miles (whatever duration the FE test is) and you were to use X amount of battery so you would have to recharge that battery and the amount of money it costs to recharge the energy used electrically would break down to the same amount of money used in 230 mpg if you were to pay by the gallon?

it makes sense in my head, I just cant get it out that cleanly...
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Old August 20th, 2009, 04:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by brewmenn View Post
If I recall the volt is a series hybrid. Meaning that the engine only charges the battery, and only the electric motors propel the vehicle.


edit: yes, I did recall correctly: http://gm-volt.com/chevy-volt-faqs/

Q: How is the Chevy Volt different than today’s hybrids, like the Prius?
A: Today’s hybrids are called parallel hybrids. They use a small electric motor for low speed driving, but switch to a regular gas engine for acceleration and faster speed driving, hence both engines work side by side or in parallel. The Volt is a series vehicle meaning only the electric motor power the car at all times, the gas engine is just a generator, making electric to keep the batteries in a steady state of charge.

mmmmm As I remember it, yes the small internal combustion motor generates power that in turn drives the electric motor which turns the wheel. But, does it generate enough power to chharge itself for the next 40 mile run on electric only? Or does it just generate enough power to move the vehicle at whatever desired speed?

If it generated excess power to recharge the batteries fully, would you ever have to plug it back in?


Ah yes, I think I have it here:

Quote:
Q: How is the Chevy Volt different than other cars on the road?
A: The car is a plug-in range-extended electric vehicle with an on-board gasoline generator. It will have a large battery that stores power from your home electric outlet and which is connected to an electric motor. The electric motor directly propels the car. The battery can last for the first 40 miles. After that, should one continue to need to drive, the on-board gasoline/E85 generator will power up to keep the battery from running out.

Quote:
Q: What is the driving range of the Chevy Volt?
A: The car is being designed to drive at least 40 miles on pure electricity stored in the battery from overnight home charging. After that the gas engine will kick in and allow the car to be driven up to 400 miles on a full tank (6-7 gallons) of gas.
We have the same system in development here. I spent quite a bit of time going over the display we had here a while ago. Even asked a few questions.

Last edited by PeteC; August 20th, 2009 at 04:44 PM.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ScOoTeR View Post
Thank you Bruce. :)

So Pete, I am 100% correct.

What is important is to understand that the old method of measuring fuel economy for the label falls short of giving an adequate estimate of what is possible; not favoritism for GM.


Nope
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Old August 20th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #11
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mmmmm As I remember it, yes the small internal combustion motor generates power that in turn drives the electric motor which turns the wheel. But, does it generate enough power to chharge itself for the next 40 mile run on electric only? Or does it just generate enopugh power to move the vehicle at whatever desired speed?

If it generated excess power to recharge the batteries fully, would you ever have to plug it back in?

I had the chance to drive a Prius the other day. I was pretty impressed. Maybe drove it for 20 minutes, when we started the batteries were about 1/4 charged, when we were finished they were at about 3/4 charge. So at least with the Prius, the gas engine seemed to charge the batteries as well as when the brakes were applied that also charged the batteries. They had a fancy computer display that showed how the current was flowing. I assume that the "volt" and other hybrids work similar.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 04:49 PM   #12
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I had the chance to drive a Prius the other day. I was pretty impressed. Maybe drove it for 20 minutes, when we started the batteries were about 1/4 charged, when we were finished they were at about 3/4 charge. So at least with the Prius, the gas engine seemed to charge the batteries as well as when the brakes were applied that also charged the batteries. They had a fancy computer display that showed how the current was flowing. I assume that the "volt" and other hybrids work similar.


But, as I understand it, in the Prius unless you are stopped or at low speeds the gas engine is running. In the Volt, and Chryslers vehicles, for the first 40 miles (est.), regardless of seed and driving conditions (for the most part) you will run solely on electric power.
So, when you are accelerating, or driving at higher speeds, the battery can be charged since it is not really doing anything to drive the wheels.

With my commute, I would use little if any gasoline each day. 18 miles each way depending on route.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 04:54 PM   #13
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But, as I understand it, in the Prius unless you are stopped or at low speeds the gas engine is running. In the Volt, and Chryslers vehicles, for the first 40 miles (est.), regardless of seed and driving conditions (for the most part) you will run solely on electric power.
With my commute, I would use little if any gasoline each day. 18 miles each way depending on route.
When we first started out, the gas motor was running, once the batteries were 1/2 charged, I was able to drive it without triggering the gas motor. My buddy had it as rental, and he had no interest in how it worked, I wanted to drive it further, but there was no time. I was impressed in the little bit of time I spent with it. My first impression was it went to gas pretty quickly, at least until we had built up the batteries to 1/2 charge.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 05:03 PM   #14
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With the volt having the engine recharge the batteries would defeat the purpose of being able to plug it in, that being, being able to recharge the batteries with (in theory) cheaper, cleaner power from the grid.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 05:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ScOoTeR View Post
Thank you Bruce. :)

So Pete, I am 100% correct.

What is important is to understand that the old method of measuring fuel economy for the label falls short of giving an adequate estimate of what is possible; not favoritism for GM.
I hope you didn't hurt your arm or shoulder patting yourself on the back
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Old August 20th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #16
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I hope you didn't hurt your arm or shoulder patting yourself on the back
I've heard that Scooter is pretty good at reaching around.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 06:17 PM   #17
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With the volt having the engine recharge the batteries would defeat the purpose of being able to plug it in, that being, being able to recharge the batteries with (in theory) cheaper, cleaner power from the grid.
is electricity from a coal fired power plant cleaner than gas??

not that i really care, just a question to the people that worry about it?
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Old August 20th, 2009, 06:19 PM   #18
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With the volt having the engine recharge the batteries would defeat the purpose of being able to plug it in, that being, being able to recharge the batteries with (in theory) cheaper, cleaner power from the grid.
is electricity from a coal fired power plant cleaner than gas??

not that i really care, just a question to the people that worry about it?

the the new york state auto dealres quit offering the cash for clunkers due to lack of payments.

east coast dealers are averaging about 2% paid back so far.
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Old August 20th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #19
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is electricity from a coal fired power plant cleaner than gas??

not that i really care, just a question to the people that worry about it?
Yes, that is a good question. I think it depends on many factors. Thats why I said "in theory".

Another question is how many people getting home from work and plugging in their car to recharge around the same time can the power grid handle?
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Old August 20th, 2009, 08:11 PM   #20
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I hope you didn't hurt your arm or shoulder patting yourself on the back
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I've heard that Scooter is pretty good at reaching around.
From my two favorite bearded guise; one with hair, other one clean shaven...
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