Thanks for the feedback. One clarification I'd like to make is that the current VOLT does NOT actually have exceptionally good MPG, contrary to the EPA's patently fraudulent calculations (esp. in EV mode).
First, due to the high battery weight and the fact that Chevy "cheaped out" on the gas engine and did not use one of the new, highly efficient ones - the gas MPG is not great, but could have easily been ~8-10 MPG better, and of course even higher with hybrid operation.
More important - the EPA's calcualtion for EV MPG is ridiculously incorrect. I won't go into the all the proof...but the EPA's figure of "93 MPGe" for EV mode should be approx. 1/2.5 to 1/3 that figure (or 31-37 MPGe) if it actually measured how much fossil fuel was burned at the power plant, based on avg. USA grid power statistics. Yes...in other words - you're better off burning the fossil fuel IN THE CAR, instead of layers removed for an EV.
The Volt is done. Put a fork in it. It is another Obama failure which will be part his Marxist legacy. We need to let the free market decide on what's best in terms of energy usage and not allow the government or any special interest like the Eco-warriors force things on the consumer that they don't want or need. This is not just the end of the Volt it is the end of GM. Taxpayers should demand every cent of their money back.
The problem isn't the tech or the engineering, the car should have been the Buick Volt or the Cadiallac Volt. The car should have been sold to make a profit. It is horrible that a government owned car company is allowed to exist in the USA in the first place, but being allowed to sell it at a loss? (roll eyes and shake head)
Kevin, that is a great idea! I would say that if they did that, they should make it as a second version of the Volt, keeping the current one in the line, reason being so as not to have the perception that the current version is flawed. In fact, it isn't flawed, other than pricing. The market is there (look at Prius sales...) but the pricing is the hurdle for most potential customers. They should have taken a page out of the Lexus product launch handbook and been willing to sell the car at competitive pricing for 5 years, even if it means taking a loss on every car, until there is a loyal customer base, and then start raising the price.
RedPluto, I agree that dividing the total milage of a hybrid by the gallons of gas consumed is a silly statistic, but so is the tired one of dividing the government subsidy of the technology by the cars sold to date. After all, if you buy a $200,000 house, after five days it's costing you $40,000 a night to stay there! :)
Your idea could work, but I have no faith in GM or their engineers. They have been putting out bad quality, poorly designed cars for years. That is the genesis of their financial woes (aside from outrageous labor costs). I just don't see it in them to be able to engineer a workable solution with the corner they've been backed into.
$6,000 bucks for a battery that's probably going to last 4-5 years and then need servicing or worse yet, replacing? I can buy a nice slightly used gasmizer for that much at auction. I don't see the batteries going down much. The battery I use to start my car every day is essentially the same battery in every car and truck on the road and that battery seems keep going up everytime I need a replacement every 4-5 years. And those things have a very high recycle rate too.
The real problem with all of this is the abundance of marketing hype and not real communication. Start by calling things what they really are.
An all electric car (EV) is ONLY good for inner city driving (so you have to stay close to home or risk getting stranded).
An electric-gas hybrid (as the VOLT is) addresses the problem of EV range. We can call it an EV Hybrid.
A gas-electric Hybrid (as my Fusion Hybrid is) doesn't get as good mileage as the VOLT, but it drives like a normal car (good pick-up for a 4 cyl., much more roomy for the family, etc.) I get as good a mileage as I want to drive for. We can call it a Gas Hybrid.
The newer cars coming out with the engine shutdown at stop lights can be called a Golf Car (missing T intentional). If you can shut the engine down as you drift, this is more than half the gas savings of a Gas Hybrid without the cost of a battery!
The problem with the VOLT is that it is MUCH MUCH MUCH more expensive than options available for several years now. There is no possiblity of making that excess cost up in gas savings. It's market place is people who will pay anything for an EV Hybrid (ex. EV1 owners). Once you run out of them (small number) there is no market left. The Golf Cars will be the market drivers until batteries improve dramatically.
Interesting, Chuck. That's got me thinking. I guess I fall into the same category of assuming Moore's Law type improvements. Can you provide some context for why Gates and others don't think the EV battery innovations will stay in similar step to what we got used to in semiconductors? What's the reasoning??
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