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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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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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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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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.


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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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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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.
 

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Japanese Engineers

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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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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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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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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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.
Correct, it was Deming. I learned the truenature of quality control from his classes and improved the products and processes which I was responsible to where there was no doubt they were correct. Not nessarily less costly to make but certainly over ther long term where customer feedback is involved.
 

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I think it's overweight, underperforming, overpriced, and dramatically overhyped, but I don't think it's EVIL. I doubt the wheels will fall off. Actually the biggest reason it's overweight and overpriced, IMO, is the battery pack is too large. They're treating it with kid gloves, rather than taxing a smaller, cheaper, and lighter pack harder.

So, I predict that they'll have you take it in for numerous software updates, but by the time its pack finally throws in the towel, your Volt will be an pretty old car and people will be asking about converting it to run with the gas engine only.
 

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"your Volt will be an pretty old car and people will be asking about converting it to run with the gas engine only."

Which they have made it pretty clear that it can't do with the planetary setup. The planetary is configured in a way somewhat(but a bit different), opposite the way that the Prius does where it can't run without the electric power otherwise the engine would spin with no movement to the wheels as the main traction motor would just spin without movement since the wheels are attached to the planet carrier. I think this describes it better, one of the best graphics there is of the planetary setup comparing it to the Prius.

http://image.motortrend.com/f/34803309+w750/volt-v-prius-technologue-illustration.jpg
Originating article here
Unbolting the Chevy Volt to See How it Ticks - Motor Trend
 

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Cobb, I agree. It's an outstanding vehicle and if I had my chance at owning one, I'd snap it up. Too bad I will never get that chance. Unless someone replicates it, which would be really cool.

.19 cD
183mph in a modified prototype(boat tail, front bumper mods, probably a gearing change too) EV1 record set in 1994 for electric vehicle land speed
0-60 in 8.5 seconds
290 pound body!!
18.7kw of Lead acid batteries added 1310 pounds
26.4kw of NiMh cells added 1147 pounds
Tires rated for 50psi
137hp in a package at roughly 2900 pounds(NiMh)

Quite a few of the RAV4's using the same batteries as the EV1 are beyond 100k now, which to me is excellent considering those batteries are a decade old at this point.
They are obsolete based on their performance and energy densities compared to both volume and weight and the car could be made either much lighter or provide a tremendous increase in range. We also have lighter, small, and more efficient electric drivetrain technology too that the car could have.

...but hey, lease a car out of only 34 dealers under limited production where you require someone to be rich to qualify for the lease and give no option to sell, rip them out of peoples hands and crush almost all of the 1117 units that were produced and leased to people and telling them all that what you have is something nobody wants. To me 1117 units of a single vehicle that was barely advertised and with no option to buy with a heavy price tag and not allowed to leave the dealership area by the lease contract with plenty of early adopter anxiety, I think 1117 units is stellar performance in those conditions. I sat in an EV1 in the late 90's and was at a booth demonstrating the car, people loved it. Oddly enough when people asked one of the guys manning the booth a question, one that wasn't even negative, and he would provide a neutral to negative response for pretty much every question, it was clear to those I went with when we saw it that this guy wasn't promoting the car. I sat in one currently being held at a University earlier this year, it was nice to see a car that was actually built for efficiency and the only GM vehicle that I feel was actually done right, possibly the most reliable vehicle ever produced too.

With the 290 pound body, pulling out the heavy battery putting in some new technology lighter batteries and replacing the disabled components in the car with some new smaller lighter components and this car would fly and if GM put it out there for the MSRP of $33995 that their documentation says, they would fly off the dealers lots. Mass production would drive a vehicle like this down in price pretty quickly and the price break on batteries for the quantity would make them very cheap. Looking at the components involved in the Volt, it looks like there is no way they are losing money on production costs. It's all about using the per-unit profit to pay off the R&D and turn the company towards profit again. Of course the sales will tell the story if this car will save GM. ...who knows though, seems the ~40mpg highway Cruze Eco at about $20k will probably steal the sales considering the price premium is going to be difficult to justify for most.

...gaah, want an EV1, can't wait until they sell the car of the future that they will always refuse to sell. I want a lightweight aerodynamic car that is crash safe. Nothing better has come along since the 90's when the EV1 and 1st Gen Honda Insight was developed. I love my Insight but I just can't believe nothing better has come along with the passing and future return of $4+/gallon gas, not to mention the higher prices seen on the other side of the ocean.
 

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this car would fly and if GM put it out there for the MSRP of $33995 that their documentation says, they would fly off the dealers lots. Mass production would drive a vehicle like this down in price pretty quickly and the price break on batteries for the quantity would make them very cheap. Looking at the components involved in the Volt, it looks like there is no way they are losing money on production costs. It's all about using the per-unit profit to pay off the R&D and turn the company towards profit again.
I have to say I agree with you 100%. With the tax incentives, this would make it a $25-$26k car, making it very competitive in the marketplace. GM needs market share as much as it does profit. That is how the Japanese, and later the Koreans made inroads in the U.S.; low profit per unit, but lots of units.

Of course the sales will tell the story if this car will save GM. ...who knows though, seems the ~40mpg highway Cruze Eco at about $20k will probably steal the sales considering the price premium is going to be difficult to justify for most.
Again, I think you are on the mark. I saw the Cruze at the NY Auto show back in April. Base car was to list for under $17k according to the promos, and it would include things like power windows and AC. Not sure if that turned out to be true, but if it is any kind of decent driver, it would be a good seller, even if you have to add some options back and get back to $20k.

Until gas goes back up, though, no significant resources will be pushed to make cars more effcient. Higher CAFE will help some, but necessity is the mother of invention. Given gas prices are just under $3/gallon in my world, during worldwide economic doldrums, it is not hard to imagine $4 and $5 gallon gas before 2013 or 2014 when economies pick up steam and put pressure on supply. Assuming the cartel countries are not going to suddenly ramp up production, then prices have to go up.

Companies that invest in technology will have product (just like the last time, when little cars went for a premium instead of the big cars) and those companies that don't, won't. Will we see more bailouts if that happens??? Stay tuned.

Regards,
Jerry
 
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