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GM's EV could be a Volt with no range extender motor  (Source: GM)

Chevy Volt MPV5 Concept
GM plug-in hybrid SUV may show up next year

There are several pure electric vehicles on the automotive market today. The Nissan Leaf is one of the most popular examples. There are also a number of hybrids and plug-in hybrids as well including the Chevy Volt which is an extended range EV. The Volt can run on battery power alone for short in-town trips, but can also use its gasoline engine for longer treks.

GM is now hinting at possibly producing a pure EV to go along with its other future projects which include hydrogen-powered vehicles and plug-in hybrids. 

The hint was a rather vague one though -- GM's Dave Barthmuss was speaking at a conference and was asked what the chances were of getting a million EVs onto the road in California alone by 2020. Barthmuss said, "It could happen." He later said, "You’re not contemplating how many more we’re going to build in the coming years."

That statement was in response to someone in the audience asking how the million-car goal was possible with only 10,000 Volts being produced yearly.

Barthmuss also said, "We’ve always talked about looking into plug-in hybrids or taking the range extender out and making a battery electric. They’re all on the table." Barthmuss was then pressed on if a GM EV would be a new design or an existing platform. He responded saying, "Who knows? It could be a Volt and we could take the range-extender out. The range extender is a wonderful solution, but there are some folks who might want a full-functioning battery electric car. And we have to look at these questions globally."

A Volt minus the gasoline engine certainly sounds like the path GM would choose. Volt drivers are claiming they get about 1,000 miles on average between fill ups in the vehicle.

Barthmuss did state, "We haven’t said that we’re doing it, and we haven’t said we’re not doing it."

Brad Berman from Plugincars pressed Barthmuss on the plug-in SUV that GM talked up about the time it was peddling the Volt so hard. He replied to the question, "Are you going to the 2012 Detroit Auto Show?"

Bathmuss is likely referring to a production version of the Volt MPV5 that was shown in concept form last year.



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I would get the volt if..
By kensiko on 6/21/2011 1:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
they would double the range without gasoline. When I take my car, I often do 150 - 200 km. With the current volt, I would always end up running on gasoline.




RE: I would get the volt if..
By Flunk on 6/21/2011 1:53:16 PM , Rating: 3
There are practical issues with that, you would need about 3x the batteries (to compensate for the increased weight) at which point you'd be driving a vehicle that was about half battery.

If battery technology improves you might get what you want, but it's not on the table any time soon. EVs aren't magical.


RE: I would get the volt if..
By Cerin218 on 6/21/2011 2:25:23 PM , Rating: 3
"EVs aren't magical."

According to the government they are. So is ethanol.


RE: I would get the volt if..
By Manch on 6/21/2011 2:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the Senate took away ethanols magic status?


RE: I would get the volt if..
By cmdrdredd on 6/21/2011 4:02:43 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I thought the Senate took away ethanols magic status?


Tried but liberals prevailed.


RE: I would get the volt if..
By DrApop on 6/21/2011 4:50:21 PM , Rating: 2
It was the standard political game and colossal waste of time that politicians are known for. The Senate republicans knew the bill would never be passed by the house. So rather than spend the hard work developing a compromise that might have had a real opportunity, they decided to waste time and taxpayer money arguing, debating, and voting on a bill they knew would never be approved by the house.

Republic and democratic senate and house members often waste taxpayer money doing crap like this. They like to call it a "statement". Yet, I doubt that the bill would have ever been brought to the floor for a vote if it had a real chance of passing both houses. There are just too many voters in the midwest to piss off.

Unfortunately, if they wanted to make a statement, I don't see why they didn't also include the removal of all the oil subsidies/deductions as well. I think it is because Big oil gives more to politicians than the little corn farmer. Go figure. Guess our government has nothing else to do but waste time and tax money on non-starters.


RE: I would get the volt if..
By Reclaimer77 on 6/21/2011 6:44:06 PM , Rating: 1
Removing oil subsidies would pass the costs on to the consumer. Making gas even MORE costly right now would be stupid and political suicide. Corn subsidies however benefit NOBODY except corn farmers.

And why is it a "waste of time" if you stick to your beliefs and don't cave in? Why whenever I hear about compromise, it's always the Republicans that needs to do it? We've compromised enough! That's why we're in this mess.


RE: I would get the volt if..
By Etsp on 6/22/2011 11:02:26 AM , Rating: 3
Getting Rid of the oil subsidies would allow Americans to spend their OWN money on gas, depending on how much they use it, instead of everyone being forced to pay for it via taxes, even if they ride a bicycle to work. Sounds a bit like healthcare, no?

Not that I'm in any way for simply getting rid of the subsidies... Gas/Diesel prices affect our entire economy. That big of a price change that quickly would only lead to bad things for the economy. Phasing the subsidies out over a 15-20 year period? Yeah, I can agree to that.

The subsidies are causing an artificially "low" price of gas in the U.S. As a result, a large portion of our voting population scoff at "green" technologies that use less fuel. Thus, the tax-cuts on hybrids. With the oil subsidies hiding the true cost of fuel at the pump, the benefit of fuel-efficient vehicles is artificially reduced.


RE: I would get the volt if..
By Richard875yh5 on 6/21/2011 2:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
The Volt battery is never completely discharged like the Leaf. GM does that to extend the life of the battery. And if it were, that would allow more miles to the existing battery. Now remove the engine with it's transmission and add a bit more battery capacity and I see a Volt that lighter in weight.


RE: I would get the volt if..
By FITCamaro on 6/21/2011 2:49:40 PM , Rating: 1
Well you figure that motor and its related drivetrain adds around 300 pounds. Replace that weight with batteries and I'd bet you'd get another 20-30 miles or so. Maybe more. I don't know the weight of the current battery pack.

The Volt's chassis was designed with being able to replace the gasoline engine with a fuel cell, gas engine, or whatever else comes along.

So it should be fairly easy to swap out.


RE: I would get the volt if..
By mcnabney on 6/21/2011 4:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
Hard to say.
The Tesla battery pack weighs about twice as much as the Volt's (435 vs 950 pounds), but has about 4x the KWh in it. I don't know how much weight the combustion engine in the Volt adds - especially when you are considering the weight of engine,intake, exhaust, gas tank, electronics, and even gas.


RE: I would get the volt if..
By Jaybus on 6/21/2011 4:55:54 PM , Rating: 2
Not true at all. The Tesla ESS stores 53 kW-h with a mass of 450 kg. The Volt's battery pack stores 16 kW-h with a mass of 197 kg. That's 117 W-h/kg for the Tesla and 81 W-h/kg for the Volt, making the Tesla system about 45% more dense, not the 100% more dense that you imply. The side effect of that greater energy density is that the Tesla ESS has a 3/30 warranty as opposed to the Volt battery's 8/80.


Why are they making only 10,000 a year?
By jimbojimbo on 6/21/2011 2:36:07 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in the market for a new car and I actually would like a Volt. Now. Because of the stupid wait for it though, as well as overpricing, I won't even consider it. Only the dumbest company in the world would consistently create a product far far below demand and for years.
Great job, GM. By the time you have enough inventory to satisfy buyers there will be far far better cars available at a more affordable price point. This is how you make a company profitable.




RE: Why are they making only 10,000 a year?
By Shig on 6/21/2011 2:46:00 PM , Rating: 3
They're scaling as fast as possible, the Volt is a holo product, it needs time to ramp up.

I for one give props to GM for commercializing the first viable plug in hybrid electric.


By Shig on 6/21/2011 2:46:31 PM , Rating: 2
woops, meant *halo*, in the sense that it is unique on the market atm.


By Dr of crap on 6/22/2011 8:46:58 AM , Rating: 2
Yea, I give props to GM for making a luxury feeling car with battery power that is over priced by any measure.

( Oh yea, I forgot to mention - IT'S A HYBRID ).
Yes, I said hybrid, add ANY other adjectives to it, it's still a hybrid.

If you have money to throw away this is the car for you.
And you can go on about being an early adopter all you want, you are still over paying and throwing money away if you buy one of these.

Scale away GM. I don't see a BIG future for this car anytime soon!


By cknobman on 6/21/2011 4:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
LOL how about getting your conversions right.

Your figures are way off.

Example: FORD Focus 1.6 Duratorq TDCi 109PS 5dr Saloon ECO Start-Stop Man. 5-speed gets 65.7 IMPERIAL MPG which given a direct translation into US MPG would be ~54. Again though that is a direct translation of just the MPG figure and does not take into account the testing methods and variances used to calculate.

FYI Toyota Prius Imperial MPG is 76.4


By mcnabney on 6/21/2011 4:30:15 PM , Rating: 1
The classic trap of suggesting that US and Imperial gallons are the same. A useful trick for convincing the simple minded.

If we are going to shift our power source, how about we shift it AWAY from petroleum. I would happily pay the equivalent of $6-8/gallon to power a vehicle if I knew that an ocean of dollars weren't flowing out of this country as well as the peace of mind of not having to give a rats-ass about the Middle East anymore.


By Dr of crap on 6/22/2011 8:49:07 AM , Rating: 2
I'd guess only YOU would want $6-8 gallon gas!
Count me out.


By superstition on 6/21/2011 4:51:26 PM , Rating: 1
The original imperial MPGs are here, along with the conversions.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=319185


By theapparition on 6/21/2011 5:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, it's reported on the TDI forums, so it must be true.


By superstition on 6/21/2011 5:49:53 PM , Rating: 1
http://www.nextgreencar.com/view-car/26003/SKODA-F...

That's the site the ratings are taken from. So, if you think they're inaccurate, you'll have to take it up with them.

But, thanks for the useless snark.


By theapparition on 6/21/2011 4:13:08 PM , Rating: 2
I looked at 8 random cars on your list, and every single one of them was rated to the imperial gallon, not US.

For example:
http://www.car-emissions.com/cars/view/37752

SKODA Fabia Hatch 1.6 TDI 75PS rated for 56mpg US, not 65.8mpg.

Although it is popular to also just take the European ratings and run them though a simple conversion, the EPA test cycle is also different. European cars that have actually been tested by the standards set by the EPA also tend to lose some efficiency.

The picture is not quite as rosy as you point out, although your overall point is still valid.


By superstition on 6/21/2011 5:04:13 PM , Rating: 1
The original imperial MPGs and the conversions are from this topic:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=319185

SKODA Fabia Estate 1.2 CR TDI 75PS Greenline II [2010] Manual 5-speed
83

SKODA Fabia Hatch/Estate 1.2 CR TDI 75PS GreenLine II [2010] Manual 5-speed
83

SKODA Fabia Hatch 1.6 CR TDI 75PS [2010] Manual 5-speed
79


By superstition on 6/21/2011 5:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
This site gives it 78.5 MPG imperial. It looks like the 79 is a round-up. But, the US MPG conversion is different than the one you produced. You must be looking at a different model.

http://www.nextgreencar.com/view-car/26003/SKODA-F...


By theapparition on 6/21/2011 5:42:16 PM , Rating: 2
I feel confident in saying not a single model on your list would meet those advertised claims on the US EPA rating.

In fact, I doubt any would meet US mpg that were 80% of the claimed efficiency.


By superstition on 6/21/2011 5:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
Better or equal to the Prius:

SMART fortwo coupe 54 bhp cdi Semi-automatic 5-speed 71.6 MPG US
SKODA Fabia Estate/Hatch 1.2 CR TDI 75PS Greenline II Man. 5-speed 69 MPG US
VW Polo 1.2 TDI 75PS BlueMotion Man. 5-speed 69 MPG US
SEAT Ibiza ST 1.2 CR TDI 75PS Ecomotive Man. 5-speed, start-stop, Coupe, 5 door 67.5 MPG US
SKODA Fabia Hatch 1.6 CR TDI 75PS Man. 5-speed 65.8 MPG US
FIAT Punto Evo 1.3 16v MultiJet 85 ECO [from Jan 2010] Man. 5-speed 65.8 MPG US
FORD Fiesta 1.6 Duratorq TDCi 90PS +DPF ECO [Post 2010¼ ] Man. 5-speed 63.3 MPG US
VAUXHALL Corsa 1.3CDTi 16v 95PS 3dr Hatch [from July 2010] Man. 5-speed 63.3 MPG US
RENAULT Clio dCi 86 90G Man. 5-speed 63.3 MPG US
SEAT Ibiza/Coupe 1.4 TDI 80PS Ecomotive 5dr Man. 5-speed 63.3 MPG US
FORD Focus 1.6 Duratorq TDCi 109PS 5dr Saloon ECO Start-Stop Man. 5-speed: 61.6 MPG US
VW Golf 1.6 TDI 105 PS BlueMotion SE Man. 5-speed: 61.6 MPG US
AUDI A3 1.6 TDI 105PS start-stop Man. 5-speed 61.6 MPG US
VOLVO C30, S40, V50 DRIVe Man. 6-speed, 5-speed 61.6 MPG US
PEUGEOT 207 1.6 HDi 90bhp ECONOMIQUE [from Aug 2009] Man. 5-speed 61.6 MPG US
SKODA Octavia Hatch 1.6 TDI 105PS Greenline Man. 5-speed 61.6 MPG US
CITROEN DS3 1.6HDi 90hp Man. 5-speed, 92hp Airdream+ Man. 5-speed 61.6 MPG US
MINI Hatch R56 Cooper D Hatch +DPF Man. 6-speed 61.6 MPG US
TOYOTA Auris T4 1.8 VVT-i hybrid E-CVT [2010] CVT 61.6 MPG US
SEAT Leon 1.6 CR TDI 105PS Ecomotive Man. 5-speed 61.6 MPG US
KIA ceed 1.6 CRDi EcoDynamics Man. 6-speed 60 MPG US
FIAT 500/500C 1.3 16v MultiJet 95 [from 2010] Man. 5-speed 60 MPG US
MINI Clubman R55 Cooper D Clubman +DPF Man. 6-speed 60 MPG US
VW Polo 1.2 3 cylinder TDI 75PS SE Man. 5-speed 60 MPG US
SEAT Ibiza Coupe 1.2 CR TDI 75PS Man. 5-speed 60 MPG US

TOYOTA Prius Mark III 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid 15in wheel [2009] CVT 60 MPG US

----

If you notice, the Prius was rated, too.

So, why is the US EPA MPG rating so important? Will it somehow make the Prius and especially the Insight look better? Is it vastly superior to the UK methodology?

Or, is it another red herring.


By theapparition on 6/21/2011 10:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So, why is the US EPA MPG rating so important? Will it somehow make the Prius and especially the Insight look better? Is it vastly superior to the UK methodology?

Its called quite simply comparing apples to oranges.

I don't care what cars are in Europe that can get whatever. But can that same Eurpean model meet the more stringent US safety regs and how will they fare on the US EPA cycle. If it can't meet safety regs, then what good is it in the US if you can't import it. There is no magic to the EPA testing, other than it's a controlled test that puts all cars on the same metric.

Only then can they be directly compared. Otherwise it is you throwing up the red herring. You can't simply take the UK mpg rating and convert it. It just doesn't work that way.

Sorry you can't see the difference.


By Alexvrb on 6/22/2011 6:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
He will never grasp it. Well... maybe if I try to simplify it!

Imperial MPG != US MPG

European MPG testing != US EPA MPG testing

Factor in both of those, and THEN you can compare it to US models. Otherwise you're just wasting everyone's time posting meaningless numbers. Wait! That sounds like fun, let me try!

You know, in Habbajoojoo, a Prius is rated at 177 MPG. It must be magically better than a Prius in the US! Of course, it was tested using the "featherfooted 100 pound old lady with no traffic in sight" fuel economy testing cycle. Plus a "mile" is shorter and a "gallon" is larger than the US equivalents. But man, just look at that shiny 177 MPG number! They must be doing something RIGHT with those magical Habbajoojoo Prius models! I wish the Japs would sell these super Priuses to the REST of the world, including Japan itsefl!


By superstition on 6/23/2011 12:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
The Prius was rated the same way the other vehicles in the list were rated.

Why is that so difficult to comprehend?


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