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Old 10-21-2010, 01:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Chevy Volt gets trashed as 'fraud' by reviewers

Volt Fraud At Government Motors - Investors.com

Some highlights from the article:

Volt engineers are now admitting that when the vehicle's lithium-ion battery pack runs down and at speeds near or above 70 mph, the Volt's gasoline engine will directly drive the front wheels along with the electric motors. That's not charging the battery that's driving the car.

So it's not an all-electric car, but rather a pricey $41,000 hybrid that requires a taxpayer-funded $7,500 subsidy to get car shoppers to look at it. But gee, even despite the false advertising about the powertrain, isn't a car that gets 230 miles per gallon of gas worth it?

We heard GM's then-CEO Fritz Henderson claim the Volt would get 230 miles per gallon in city conditions. Popular Mechanics found the Volt to get about 37.5 mpg in city driving, and Motor Trend reports: "Without any plugging in, (a weeklong trip to Grandma's house) should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s."

Car and Driver reported that "getting on the nearest highway and commuting with the 80-mph flow of traffic basically the worst-case scenario yielded 26 miles; a fairly spirited backroad loop netted 31; and a carefully modulated cruise below 60 mph pushed the figure into the upper 30s."
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yep, it's an obvious, shameful fraud, and not very efficient, either.

The charge-sustaining mode MPG is low enough that if you drove farther than 40mi, you'd want a Prius instead. If your commute is under 70mi, you'd probably want a Leaf or some other BEV-100 instead. And at $41,000, it's out of reach of most one-car families.

So who's going to buy the Volt? An Audi VP characterized it as "a car for idiots", and I think that description is very apt, based on what marketing we've seen so far. GM really, really hopes you're the kind of car buyer who belives that it's an EV. They also hope folks who want to be green will buy the car without considering the unimpressive mpg and the poor Wh/mi.

I did the math, and based on preliminary data, you'd have to drive >80% of your miles in EV mode just to match the CO2 footprint of the Prius. That's not nearly good enough when the Prius costs $15k less.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Exactly. Some people will buy it for a 'green' status symbol. But it simply isn't worth the price premium for 99% of car buyers.

I'd rather have a Prius or Insight even if the price were the same, let alone 40K+.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There's a big discussion in the car manufacturer's forums on LinkedIn about this. Essentially, it is EXTREMELY rare for it to power the wheels and most owners will never see it happen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Varak View Post
Volt Fraud At Government Motors - Investors.com

Some highlights from the article:

Volt engineers are now admitting that when the vehicle's lithium-ion battery pack runs down and at speeds near or above 70 mph, the Volt's gasoline engine will directly drive the front wheels along with the electric motors. That's not charging the battery that's driving the car.

So it's not an all-electric car, but rather a pricey $41,000 hybrid that requires a taxpayer-funded $7,500 subsidy to get car shoppers to look at it. But gee, even despite the false advertising about the powertrain, isn't a car that gets 230 miles per gallon of gas worth it?

We heard GM's then-CEO Fritz Henderson claim the Volt would get 230 miles per gallon in city conditions. Popular Mechanics found the Volt to get about 37.5 mpg in city driving, and Motor Trend reports: "Without any plugging in, (a weeklong trip to Grandma's house) should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s."

Car and Driver reported that "getting on the nearest highway and commuting with the 80-mph flow of traffic basically the worst-case scenario yielded 26 miles; a fairly spirited backroad loop netted 31; and a carefully modulated cruise below 60 mph pushed the figure into the upper 30s."
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=Varak;175057]
Volt engineers are now admitting that when the vehicle's lithium-ion battery pack runs down and at speeds near or above 70 mph, the Volt's gasoline engine will directly drive the front wheels along with the electric motors. That's not charging the battery that's driving the car.
QUOTE]

There is quite a bit of misquoting by GM about the 70mph mark while in its range-extending mode, they never really defined that as being a hard limit but if you consider it the same way that we avoid assist while we are accelerating with our gas engine, it makes sense why they do that, if you can load the engine without raising its RPM it makes sense but at the same time, why spin the engine up to a faster speed than it needs to to produce electricity to push it out the motors right away. Watch this, it explains the planetary gearset and how GM has things setup along with a whole bunch of other stuff that is made a little more clear rather than getting tossed from news sites.

YouTube - 2011 Chevrolet Volt, Powertrain

IMO, They put an engine that is too big into this car, with the battery capacity and the ability to use electric assist they should have something smaller that can be held at higher load. I agree, the price is too high. It seems to make sense if someone has the money for it and drives a 30 mile commute where they will almost always be in the electric range but want one car that can also take a longer trip. It doesn't make sense economically outside of someone who almost always has it run off of electricity. If the car was an even trade for my Insight, I'd take it because my commute is 30 miles and I'd be on electric most of the time and I could really use the 4 seats and extra trunk space from time to time. I just wouldn't pay the large price tag which makes even less sense for me because I buy 10 year old cars for the MN in-leui $10 sales tax and lower purchase price, exact reason why I was only considering a 2000 and waited until 2010(got mine in Feb) to buy my Insight. I'm curious what the value of a Leaf, Volt, and Prius plug-in will be in 10 years, I'd make my decision on reliability and pack life experiences from the forums and price comes next if the other factors look good. I'm crossing my fingers that the Lithium Manganese batteries like the ones being used in the Leaf and Volt, also in the Hyundai and Kia hybrids(LG Chem, same company as Volt has but Volt is using batteries manufacturers with energy density in mind while Hyundai/Kia is getting ones built for power density) hang in there in the mean time. Time will tell for this popcorn-eating 'see it for 10 years before buying cheap' car buyer. Who knows, maybe I'll avoid these all like the plague at the 10 year mark and drive a 20 year old Insight. I'd be okay with that too because if the Insight wasn't around I wouldn't be driving a 10 year old Prius, I'd still be driving my prior daily driver, my Prizm or possibly a 5-speed Tercel when that one wore out.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varak View Post
Volt Fraud At Government Motors - Investors.com

So it's not an all-electric car, but rather a pricey $41,000 hybrid that requires a taxpayer-funded $7,500 subsidy to get car shoppers to look at it. But gee, even despite the false advertising about the powertrain, isn't a car that gets 230 miles per gallon of gas worth it?

We heard GM's then-CEO Fritz Henderson claim the Volt would get 230 miles per gallon in city conditions. Popular Mechanics found the Volt to get about 37.5 mpg in city driving, and Motor Trend reports: "Without any plugging in, (a weeklong trip to Grandma's house) should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s."

Car and Driver reported that "getting on the nearest highway and commuting with the 80-mph flow of traffic — basically the worst-case scenario — yielded 26 miles; a fairly spirited backroad loop netted 31; and a carefully modulated cruise below 60 mph pushed the figure into the upper 30s."

That 230 mpg was computed by ASSUMIMG the Volt would go 40 miles on a fully charged battery alone and then driven 5 miles on the gasoline engine alone (it is correct that the IC engine will not charge batteriy and propel the Volt simultaneously) so if you use .195 gallons in 5 miles plus 40 miles the mpg is 230 mpg. That's what happens when marketeers do the ads and the CEO is not smart enough to know better. Long as you don't drive over 45 miles between full battery charge ...
Worse, friends at GM say that 'up to 40 miles' is really about 25 miles. Hey. what would you expect from a company run by this administration who can't figure out that $2 trillion in health care costs spread over less than 80 million taxpayers is an average of more than $25,000 per taxpayer. Keep that in mind when you vote in November.
Anybody want to start contest to see who can correctly guess the DAYS before a recall is issued? We've already got ours, thank you. We well rember the GM diesel without a water separator with 'fondness'.
our Honda friends are laughing their butt off til reminded of the anemic CRZ. But at least it has 3 elders that work fine from day one.

Last edited by mahout; 10-21-2010 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I work in and industry that has a mix of European, American and Japanese products. Does anyone know if any Japanese involvement occurred with the Volt. I still find that the Japanese have a better product in my line of work. The Japanese are very proud of their work and it shows in the products I deal with.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree that GM screwed the pooch on this one, but all that they really missed was that the efficiency in the extended range mode is not that great and the overall price is too much.

The author of the article annoyed me from his first sentence. Claiming that GM touted the car as "all-electric" when they clearly never did, they touted the car as an extended range electric vehicle, which it clearly still is. Sounds to me like this guy has a vendetta against the Volt and GM for whatever reason.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titan View Post
I work in and industry that has a mix of European, American and Japanese products. Does anyone know if any Japanese involvement occurred with the Volt. I still find that the Japanese have a better product in my line of work. The Japanese are very proud of their work and it shows in the products I deal with.
Only Japanese Li battery suppliers were involved and I believe GM chose a Chinese supplier.
I agree that Japanese are better car suppliers for 2 reasons:
1. they accepted the QC processes from an American proponent to not only prove designs but also production. That QC proponent was thrown out of Detroit.
2. When you meet with Japanese manufacturers to discuss supplying parts their main interest is how well they work while Detroit cares only about lowest price.
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahout View Post
Only Japanese Li battery suppliers were involved and I believe GM chose a Chinese supplier.
I agree that Japanese are better car suppliers for 2 reasons:
1. they accepted the QC processes from an American proponent to not only prove designs but also production. That QC proponent was thrown out of Detroit.
2. When you meet with Japanese manufacturers to discuss supplying parts their main interest is how well they work while Detroit cares only about lowest price.
Sounds like Deming ( an American )....I have implemented much of his teachings in our company. Yes it worked for the Japanese and it works for our company.

The Volt is a promising car for GM, but they will need to continue to refine its abilities to make it competitive.

p.s. Im a former '04 GTO owner and liked that car a lot.
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