HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Comments
View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Turning Heads
Alexander Wolfe   7/22/2011 11:41:44 AM
NO RATINGS
Your initial impressions have changed my perception (fair or unfair) of the Volt as a first-generation white elephant that's not ready for normal driving by an average driver. It sounds like you had a really positive experience and that the driveability of the Volt is much more refined than I imagined. I'm still concerned about the long-term durability and, of course, the price. However, I am willing to rethink my stance in the face of the information you've provided. I'll be interested to read your forthcoming posts on Volt energy usage.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Gas fueled generator?
Rob Spiegel   7/22/2011 11:50:33 AM
NO RATINGS
I didn't realize the Volt burned gas to run a generator. Hmm. I would think that function would -- in time, with engineering advances -- contribute to longer drive time between charges. I'm also curious about the amount of gas consumption goes with a drive between charges.

Ivan Kirkpatrick
User Rank
Platinum
Cross Country Drive?
Ivan Kirkpatrick   7/22/2011 12:05:02 PM
NO RATINGS
A cross country drive seems like an unusual test for a car that requires access to a charging outlet.  And the price makes it seem they don't really want to sell that many.

I think that until the battery packs can be improved, the electric cars will have limited utility.  Given the current state of the art, they should be designed so as to perform that service well.  That service being the daily commute (less than 100 miles) of one or two people.  A car designed for that service could be made a lot more affordable and still have a luxury look and feel.  It would be a small two seater and have a very low curb weight.

At the noted price, someone buying a chevy volt must be a dedicated early adopter.  The chevy volt appears to be an attempt at a replacement for the family sedan.  As such, it is over priced compared to the alternatives and limited in its utility.

I think the design and engineering are interesting but they have targeted the wrong market.  The technology does not suit the application.

When the technology (batteries, controls and charging system) catch up, the family sedan will probably have battery packs built into the structure and utilize individual wheel motors.  This frees up considerable space in that the engine compartment disappears altogether along with all the ancillary heating, cooling and transmission components.  A battery pack the same size as the comparable fuel tank, but distributed throughout the vehicle structure in a distributed fashion would allow for greater freedom of design and engineering. 


Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Sticker Shock
Beth Stackpole   7/22/2011 1:45:22 PM
NO RATINGS
A $57,000 price tag puts this in the Tesla category--a vehicle aimed at those who like, and more realistically, can afford--luxury cars. I know former luxury car people who traded down in terms of luxury for the Prius because they liked the "greenie status," but the Prius didn't cost near as much. Is there enough luxury here to make it appealing to the high audience or is there a model with a more palatable sticker price? Seems like it might be stuck in between.

 

umo
User Rank
Iron
Please get the facts straight! IT IS NOT 57K!!!!
umo   7/22/2011 2:07:34 PM
NO RATINGS
This is to the author:  Please get your facts straight.  The car is NOT 57,000.   The MSRP is $40,280.   Even with most options, the car is about $43000.

Now, factor in the $7500 tax credit, the car is $35500 with backup camera, and premium leather and only $32,780 if you get the base model.  How in the world did you come up with $57,000?  Most dealers are NOT charging over MSRP. 

I have owned the Volt for about a month now.  I have gone 1000 miles, and used about 3.5 gallons of gas, and about $28 of electricity.  I am in no way a hypermiler, and I get about 40-43 miles per charge-- and I'm in Texas! (100F weather recently).  Even on gas, I get about 40MPG.   I bought my car at MSRP $43,204.

I should also note that I came from an Acura TL which gave me about 21MPG average...   The Volt is actually more comfortable and quieter the the TL.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Please get the facts straight! IT IS NOT 57K!!!!
Rob Spiegel   7/22/2011 2:32:43 PM
NO RATINGS
If the price is closer to $33,000 after the tax credit, the cost vs. performance issue begins to change. Combine that with performance advances -- ala the Pike's Peak race (where an EV came in 20th) -- and we're getting closer to the time when an EV becomes a realistic purchase. With cafe standards going up, and gas prices going up, we may be just a few short years away from an EV as a fair middle-class choice of transportation.

Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Please get the facts straight! IT IS NOT 57K!!!!
Alexander Wolfe   7/23/2011 9:06:46 AM
NO RATINGS
To commenter umo, who had the question about how we paid, we did indeed pay $57,000. We did that to get the car immediately and also to get a red one, which is the color used by our partner Avnet Express in our Drive for Innovation. But umo is correct about the $40k MSRP and $7,500 tax credit, which we should have noted.

Douglas Smock
User Rank
Platinum
Travels with Brian
Douglas Smock   7/22/2011 2:08:42 PM
NO RATINGS
So it seems that old friends are now showing up not for a free meal, but rather a free charge. Sounds like that's what Brian had in mine when he couldn't charge the Volt at his hotel. Why is that a  surprise? Half the time I go to a hotel, I can't find an outlet to plug in a laptop or an iron. Can you imagine the fee they would access for charging an electric car? If a phone call is $10.50, than a charge must be about $80.50.

Otherwise, everything looks pretty good about the Volt, except of course for the sticker shock. It's interesting that the Prius seems to have become an everyman's car, but the Volt is still up there in something like EV1 territory.

Is Brian traveling with a dog, ala John Steinbeck?

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re:Sticker Shock
jmiller   7/24/2011 11:25:16 PM
NO RATINGS
Even at $40K when you start to look at ar payments and how much money one really spends on gas and it's tough to make the numbers work out.  My car currently gets 28 mph and I drive 80 miles a day.  Even with the money I spend I gas, there's just no way with gas prices where they are at that I could make the car pay for itself with the savings in gas.  And I think that's where a lot of these cars will fall short.  At least until gas rises sgnificantly.

christinawhite099
User Rank
Iron
Re:Sticker Shock
christinawhite099   7/25/2011 7:33:27 AM
NO RATINGS
Nice to share your comments...tahnk you....

Web Design Bolton

BobGroh
User Rank
Platinum
Chevy Volt - interesting
BobGroh   7/25/2011 5:07:38 PM
NO RATINGS
Our local Chevy dealer has a Volt out front and, when I get a moment, I going to call the salesman and see if my wife and I can't take a test drive. I did take a quick look through the side window of the Volt and was shocked by how little room there seemed to be in the back seat area - the leg room seemed infinitisimal and the foot room was zero. Interesting - that will be one of the first things I will take a look at.

The price - well, the $57,000 rocked my socks!  That will bear some looking into. If we were talking about a $38K sticker with a $7,500 rebate - that just barefy gets it to the marginally not-ridiculously outrageous price level for this guy. $57K - way over my limit.

I would love one but maybe now is not the time.

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Miles Per...
Jack Rupert, PE   7/26/2011 4:27:07 PM
NO RATINGS
Like Rob, I had not realized that it burned gas.  I thought this was a pure EV, not a PHEV. 

Anyway, if you can't plug it in (such as the author's comment about the hotel), what type of milage does it get in the pure gas engine format?  This would be an interesting topic for both the situation where no charging stations exist and for those who want to keep the car until the wheels fall off and don't want to pay through the nose for a replacement battery, and probably the associated "recycling" surcharge.

The other question comes from the fact that the author mentioned the miles per charge weren't quite what was expected.  I'd like to see what they are about six months from now in the Northern areas.

Brian Fuller
User Rank
Blogger
Comments from the road
Brian Fuller   7/28/2011 5:26:08 PM
NO RATINGS
Video Comment


Rick DeMeis
User Rank
Silver
Re: Comments from the road
Rick DeMeis   8/28/2011 3:22:18 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Brian and Chuck,

 

I had a Chevy Volt for a week's test drive and took it on a road trip to the mountains in New York State. There was an interesting interplay between kinetic and potential energy in the hills when the car was fully charged and running in the EV mode.

 

You can read about it (and my adventures in charging the car) in my report here, which was posted on EE Times' Automotive Designline.

 

Cheers,

Rick DeMeis

Editor, Automotive Designline

BobGroh
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Chevy Volt Test Drive - where are the updates?
BobGroh   9/12/2011 6:01:01 PM
NO RATINGS
I have been hoping for some updates on the test drive but, seemingly, nothing is happening out there in the driving world. Update????



Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Here's a variety of views into the complex production processes at Santa's factory. Happy Holidays!
The Beam Store from Suitable Technologies is managed by remote workers from places as diverse as New York and Sydney, Australia. Employees attend to store visitors through Beam Smart Presence Systems (SPSs) from the company. The systems combine mobility and video conferencing and allow people to communicate directly from a remote location via a screen as well as move around as if they are actually in the room.
Thanks to 3D printing, some custom-made prosthetic limbs, and a Lego set, one lucky dog and a tortoise has learned new tricks.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
With Radio Shack on the ropes, let's take a memory trip through the highlights of Radio Shack products.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service