Skip to comments.Shocker: Chevy says Volt's gas engine can power the wheels, it's just a hybrid after all
Posted on 10/11/2010 12:10:12 PM PDT by dangerdoc
Interesting news from General Motors today that's resulted in some puzzled expressions at Engadget HQ. We've learned that the Volt, which Chevrolet has been making quite a fuss about calling an "extended range electric vehicle," is actually just a traditional hybrid with some... potentially misleading marketing behind it. Since the concept stage the company has been saying how the onboard internal combustion engine was just to charge the batteries, that only the electric motors (there are two) are actually connected to the drivetrain. Indeed that's what we were told in person when we test drove the thing back in March. We're now learning that is not the case, that the Volt's gasoline engine can directly provide power to the wheels in concert with the electric motors.
Is that a problem? In terms of efficiency the answer is "apparently not," as we're guessing the car would not have been designed this way if it weren't the most frugal way to go. So, why all the deception? Why insist this isn't just a hybrid when it apparently is? When the company went looking for a government bailout it was in part awarded one because of the innovation shown in the Volt. Now that we're learning the Volt is basically just a plug-in hybrid with a bigger than average battery pack (Popular Mechanics is finding 30-odd miles of purely electric range), we're left wondering: where's the innovation?
So the Nissan Leaf is the only real electric automobile from a major manufacturer?
Did I read that Tesla was being purchased by a major asian car manufacturer, if so, that might be two.
Gee, 10%, like 10% corn sqweezin's that's added?
Sounds like that program needs ending ASAP!
One less drain on our taxes(we pay for corn , lock, stock and barrel).
What a surprise - Government Motors being less than honest.
>>...we’re left wondering: where’s the innovation?<<
That’s easy. It’s in the marketing.
I’d rather ride a camel.
Just wait until you have to pay to get one of these cars repaired. They will become very expensive lawn ornaments.
Some plug-in hybrid...if you want to recharge your Volt at home, you can’t plug it into a standard outlet. You’ll need to rewire your garage with an outlet that can accomodate the car and its requirements. And good luck finding a charging station on the road—they don’t exist. So, Volt owners will be running their cars on good ol’ gasoline most of the time. What a surprise.
Here’s my question: with the huge battery array, the Volt has to weigh more than the Chevy Cruze, the platform it’s built on. The standard Cruze (gas engine only) delivers at least 35 MPG on the highway—better than the Volt on its gas engine, I’ll wager. And you can buy a Cruze for only $17,000, versus $40,000+ for the Volt.
I predict the Volt will last until the government sells its last share of GM stock.
Id rather take the bus into east L.A.
Q: How is the Chevy Volt different than todays hybrids, like the Prius?
A: Todays 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 with the electric motor providing enhancement, 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 after 40 miles.
No only did they lie (and this is an outright lie), their result is pretty pathetic when we look at the recent mileages available with common-rail diesels out of VW in Europe - and these cars don’t have all the hybrid complexity. I’m talking of cars that get 45+ MPG on the highway - significantly more than the Volt.
Add the upcoming diesel hybrids in the European market with 80+ MPG... and the Volt looks like what I’ve said it was all along: another stupid distraction, brought to us by the mental masturbators who obsess over plugging in their cars.
I want a federal law passed at some point. Anyone who doesn’t have at least a BS in engineering and experience bringing products to market - they don’t get to tell us how to solve problems. They can say “We think X is a problem.” That’s OK. The public can tell engineers “We need problem X solved, please.”
But all the liberal arts majors must STFU when it comes time to decide HOW to solve the problem.
didn’t the US government give Tesla a quarter of a billion in the stimulus package?
I guess that made it attractive to foreign buyers?
I bet you are 100% correct
It's been reported that Akio Toyoda enjoyed his Tesla test drive.
I remember a lot of heated arguments here on FR when the Volt came out. I argued that even if everything that GM was saying was true, the volt was not economically viable. You were thousands of dollars better off over the life of the car if you just bought a conventional car and used many of the claims from GM were just marketing hype. So now the Volt is neither economically viable, no technologically innovative. What a joy.
That diagram shows drive by an 85-hp gas engine and a 98-hp gas engine. I don’t get that.
The bottom line here is that I can purchase two Toyota Priuses for the price of one Chevy Volt.
THe left side was the Volt, and the right side was the Prius. They were showing how the two cars use the same gearbox but in a different fashion.
Ouch! Guess I should have read the bold print.
The bottom line here is that you can purchase three Honda Civics (the regular, not hybrid versions) for the price of one Chevy Volt. Civics get close to 50 MPG with a regular gasoline powered internal combustion engine.
Of course, all high MPG cars are basically beer cans with wheels. I prefer to keep driving my 2006 (pre-government takeover) Chevy Suburban.
>Some plug-in hybrid...if you want to recharge your Volt at home, you cant plug it into a standard outlet. <
You should research before you post falsely. From the GM-Volt site:
“The 240-v charger is optional as the Volt can be recharged using the standard 120-v wall socket charger that comes with the car.”
Not true. The Prius has a gas motor with substantial electric assist. The Volt has an electric motor with nominal gas assist above 70mph or in the event of depleted batteries.
Point well made. When gas was at $4/gal, I was in the market for a used fuel-efficient car. I crunched the numbers on a Prius v. a Corolla. The Corolla was definitely the better buy. For highway driving, I get 35 mpg with my Corolla (as opposed to 50 for the Prius). Even at $4/gal, it would have taken me over a decade to recover the initial cost differential.
I imagine that would take LONGER with a 120
As I understand it, at that speed, the energy lost by using the engine to recharge the battery is greater than simply using it to drive the wheels directly. Makes sense to this non-engineer.
That said, I wouldn't buy one if you (or the federal government) paid me.
Overnight ... but who drives while sleeping ...
10 to 15 percent assist. This is an electric vehicle with a bonus. That’s what GM has consistently maintained.
At one time I drove over 30,000 miles every year and a high MPG vehicle might have made sense. Now I live and work in a small town (my house is a mile from my office). I average less than 12,000 miles a year.
Last year I used a total of 600 gallons of gas to move my butt around in a nice, comfortable Suburban. I might be able to cut that down to under 300 gallons of gas if I traded my Suburban for a hybrid beer can on wheels. At current gas prices of under $3 per gallon, it would save me less than $1,000 per year in gasoline cost. If gas shoots up to $5 per gallon, it would save me $1,500 per year.
I can drive a really nice SUV for a lot less than the cost of a hybrid.
Perhaps you don't know all the facts either!
"GM-Volt.com is not affiliated with General Motors Company"
What was the lie and who is 'they'?
I did not mean to imply they owned the car. But they put this web site around a specific to get out info and their info is contradicting itself.
Interesting that Engadget offers no source for their allegations and, if fact engages in their own form of deception!
Let's try this again
"This site was founded by Dr. Lyle Dennis in January 2007. Dr. Dennis is an advocate for the electrification of the automobile and is not affiliated with the auto industry. This site is not affiliated with GM and is wholly owned and operated by GM-Volt.com, LLC. "
GM labeled several vehicles “hybrid” sometime back, and they were NOT hybrid.
GM continues to view their customers as being idiots.
Your ‘link’ puts me to chevrolet.com.
Select Volt. Select Technology.
The Volt propulsion system is powered exclusively by electricity.
GM was talking of the Volt being a “all electrically driven” and “revolutionary” blah, blah, blah.
I looked at all 17 frames but couldn't find your sentence.
Source for your quote "all electrically driven"?
Since I’m on a BlackBerry I’m using GM mobile site.
It must be different than what you see on a PC.
Under “New era in automotive transportation”
2nd Paragraph starts:
The Volt uses electricity to move the wheels at all times and speeds.
- - - - - -
The Chevrolet Volt is not a hybrid.
The Volt proves electric driving can be spirited. Not only does the Volt reach a top speed of 100 mph, the electric drive units excellent low speed torque of 273 lb.-ft. (368 Nm) takes it from 0 to 60 mph in less than 9.0 seconds and the quarter mile in less than 17.0 seconds.
Their press release:
“The Chevrolet Volt is not a hybrid. It is a one-of-a-kind, all-electrically driven vehicle designed and engineered to operate in all climates.”
GM’s response as of yesterday is: “There is no direct mechanical connection (fixed gear ratio) between the Volts extended-range 1.4L engine and the drive wheels.”
Uh... in engineering, we don’t draw distinctions between fixed and variable gear ratios when we talk about “mechanical connection.” Does the force being applied to the drivetrain originate only in the electrical motor? Then it is an “all electrical drive.” Does any of the force being applied to the drivetrain originate in anything other than the electrical motor(s)? Well then, it isn’t “all electrically driven.”
That word “all” means that there is “nothing else.” And there, they’re not telling the truth.
“The Volt uses electricity to move the wheels at all times and speeds.”
Under about 65 mph that is true.
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