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Whats your opinion of the GM volt electric car?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Seasoned Oak, Mar 9, 2012.

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  1. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Might have been an overblown media CF, a fire in one that had been wrecked so they pulled some off the road to look at the problem, some owners are not happy with the situation, this was back in Dec 2011.

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  2. rkshed

    rkshed Feeling the Heat

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    Whether we want to or not, we all own a VOLT thanks to the bailouts.
  3. rkusek

    rkusek Minister of Fire

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    A few of us at work were kicking the idea around that since our company like others wants to advertise their "green ness" they could provide charging in the parking lot (even charge a little to cover the juice used) and it could be recharged in 3hrs on 240V I believe. This would effectively cover almost anyone's needs plus you still have the gasoline to cover anything unexpected. Since the wife and I work somewhat opposite shifts most of the time and could both drive it to work we could probably replace at least 120 gals of gas a month. If $5 gas is here to stay it definitely could be promising provided we could re-charge it at work.
  4. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Exactly. Even on 120 volts the car would be mostly recharged by the end of a work day.
    For many employers this might also be a lot cheaper if they are providing a company car and gas card.
  5. rkusek

    rkusek Minister of Fire

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    Other than some energy saved from regenerative braking what is the Prius saving? I've never understood why these are so popular except if you want to be a green wannabee. Doesn't a similar sized conventional gas powered Toyota or Honda get the same mileage with a lot less cost and less things that can break? Same kind of reasoning for the Nissan Leaf (all electric, no backup) when you have to go a few more miles than planned. Not very practical for the average family. At least the Volt can leverage cheap electricity that we still have in many parts of the US.
  6. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    I remember reading an article in a car mag some years ago when the first hybrids came out.
    Basically it came the the conclusion you would have to drive it for 17 years to make up for the increased price. Probably not all that much has changed. It seems that with a hybrid you are paying twice as much for a 20-25 mpg improvement. Unless I am missing something I don't see how makes sense to purchase one.
  7. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    To be clear the Volt is not a hybrid. It is a plug in electric with an on board generator. A hybrid uses both electric and gas motors for propulsion. The distinction is important.
    In the case of the Volt, one in the right circumstances could easily never buy gas. Not so with the hybrid, and unlike an all electric car such as the Leaf, the Volt never needs to stop to recharge, if traveling long distances is the order of the day. It took me almost a year to come to grips with how really well this car was designed.

    Nice tidbit; the Volt can be set up to preheat the cab while charging in cold weather.
  8. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Hi,
    The Prius is more also more efficient because the engine uses the Atkinson cycle -- its able to use this more efficient cycle because the hybrid drive train allows it to more of a constant output engine because it has the electric motor to help even out the load. There are also all sorts of strategies for running the gas engine less than a conventional car and when it is running, running it at an operating point where it is efficient.

    In addition, in the case of Prius, Toyota worked a lot on weight and drag coefficient -- the whole package of hybrid power train, low weight, and low drag works together to make a really efficient car. Even though its been out 10 years, there just does not seem to be anything in its mid-size class that is close.

    If you look at this listing of "sedans" from www.FuelEconomy.gov: http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSea...=Family Sedans,Large Sedans&srchtyp=newMarket

    The cars are listed in order of combined fuel economy.

    - First on the list is the Prius at 50 mpg combined.

    - Next follow a whole list of hybrids.

    - First non-hybrid VW Passat diesel at 35 mpg combined -- so, even using diesel with 10% more energy content per gallon, its 30% down on mpg.

    - The first non-hybrid gasoline car is the Hyundai Elantra at 33 mpg combined -- same size the Prius and down 34% on mpg.

    - The Toyota Camry (same total interior volume as Prius) gets 28 mpg combined -- down 44% from Prius on mpg.

    I'm a bit prejudiced on this (we are on our 2nd Prius), but these are our experiences with the first Prius:
    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Vehicles/ourprius.htm


    Gary
  9. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    When we bought the Camry hybrid, it was the same price as a similarly built out V6 even though the tax credit had ended for Toyota. Throw in the improved fuel economy over the V6 and it made a lot of sense. The added cost of the technology is harder to cover with the smaller cars though. The dealer wanted more for a built out Prius than we paid for the fully built out Camry. The sales guy couldn't explain it other than people were paying it for the Prius.
  10. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    I realize the Volt is not quite the same as a hybrid, but my understanding is that the IC engine does drive the wheels in certain modes.

    But my real point is cost benefit.

    Say you drive 50 mi/day 12500 mi/yr

    Volt $40,000+ , never buy gas

    Honda Fit $15,000 gets 35 MPG, annual fuel cost 1250/yr

    It would take 20 years makeup the $25K difference in price.

    Now throw in the cost of electricity, the increased cost of sales tax, excise tax, insurance.

    I can't see how it would ever make economic sense.
  11. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Hi,
    The new small Prius C and the Honda FIT would be an interesting comparison to make.
    Not sure yet what the C will cost, but (I think) less than $20K.

    Gary
  12. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    "No, the Volt is an electric vehicle. Only the electric motor drives the wheels. It is a big motor, and the Volt is a performance vehicle. As far as I now, the fit would not be considered performance"
    What does that mean, I thought we were talking about saving money, do you have 1/4 mile and 0 to 60 specs for the volt?
  13. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    No, the Volt is an electric vehicle. Only the electric motor drives the wheels. It is a big motor, and the Volt is a performance vehicle. As far as I now, the fit would not be considered performance.

    Secondly, the Volt will cost less than 30K with the new larger alternative fueled car credit.
  14. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    That posted strange but my question is the same, what are you talking about with the performance thing?
  15. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Semantics, I suppose, but as I understand it, the gas engine can power the wheels directly which is technically a 'plug in electric hybrid'

    http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/10/the-chevrolet-volt-isnt-a-true-ev/

    Fit Performance:
    The 1.5L four-cylinder, breathing via VTEC, spins to its 6600-rpm power peak (117 hp) like a puppy on the loose, urging the Fit from 0 to 60 mph in 8.3 sec.
    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests...t_sport_quick_test/viewall.html#ixzz1omMSObwf

    Volt Performance:
    The Volt is not a sports car, but the acceleration (0-60 mph in 8.8 seconds in pure EV mode, and 8.7 in combined gas/electric mode) is competitive with conventional compacts
    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear...ear_chevrolet_volt/viewall.html#ixzz1omNLURY0

    So it appears the Fit has the edge in "performance" over the Volt.

    As far as the 'credit' - yes, it's nice that my tax dollars can knock a few thousand dollars off a car, so rich people can buy a new $30,000 toy. Maybe if I didn't have to pay so much in taxes, I could actually buy a new car.
  16. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    The deal breaker for me is cost. Manufacturers have to deal with the planned obsolescence problem. I'm greener'n goose s..it, but I refuse to buy a new car of any configuration that devolves into a pile of rusted scrap or a quivering mess of electrical glitches in a few short years. Get the cost below $15,000.00 and give me a ten year unlimited warranty and I'm in.

    Ehouse
  17. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    The posts got screwed up but cozy heat made my point about the performance of the volt and fit.
  18. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    Electric vehicles are a good start. But if you want economy and fun get a motorcycle. 40+ mpg and all the horse power you can handle. For now I'll have to suck it up with fuel prices during the winter with my small SUV. I have no intention of getting rid of that until the odometer hits 250K it has 198K on it now. Since it sits for about half the year it could be a while before I am in the market for a newish vehicle.
  19. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Sorry, I can't get all gaga over the hype surrounding the new more fuel efficient vehicles when my 1991 Geo Prism got an Honest 39 mpg.

    Ehouse
  20. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    All relative I guess. Compared to my Subaru GL, the Volt is a pavement stomper.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ya know, I hear this lame argument all the time. Does anyone pause and think about the amount of electricity it takes to run an oil refinery? Where does that come from? Estimate by Argonne Labs is 6KW/gallon of gasoline. And that is just refining, not included is the energy used to extract and transport the oil, and the tailpipe emission.

    The good thing with electric cars is that they will still run as the source of power changes. That allows society to still function in transition. Range will increase, so for me this is all about the battery technology. Once it is cost effective, with a greater storage to weight ratio, I think this market will grow rapidly. There are going to be a lot more electric and plugin hybrids on the market in the next couple years. Whether the Volt survives this transition is a good question. It is a nice vehicle, but as noted, too expensive.
  22. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I have no idea what your whole point was about the performance thing and your Subaru being a pavemnet stomper.
  23. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I had a Geo Metro that got 49 mpg, it served its purpose but was a motor in a tin can.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That is essentially the difference. It's not even in the same league. The Geo Metro had a curb weight of about 1700 lbs or almost half that of a regular car. It was a total dog for performance with dubious handling and safety. There's really no comparison to the fit, finish, safety, performance and comfort of modern electrics or hybrids. Drive a Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius or the Volt to compare.
  25. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    i keep hearing how EXPENSIVE the volt is but as i said earlier a $349 lease is a WHOPPING $16 more than the last car i leased. That car got 25 MPG and was no hybrid . Wheres the huge expense. After the 3 year lease is up if the volt dont depreciate it will be a bargain to exercise the option to purchase,if it does depreciate too much ill just give it back, 3 years is a lifetime as far as electric car advances go,besides there will probably be a dozen other choices by that time including a $249 lease on a NEW 2015 Volt with an 80 mile range.
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