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Chevy Volt Concept

Production Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt MPV5 Concept
GM revises its all-electric range for the Chevrolet Volt

At lot has changed with the Chevrolet Volt since it was first shown in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show in early 2007. Gone is the swoopy bodywork (which was deemed elegant, yet not aerodynamic enough), support for E85 fuel (the Volt now requires premium), and the gas tank was cut in size from 12 gallons to less than 8 gallons.

One thing that remained constant through this constant state of change with the Volt program over the past three years has been the electric driving range of the vehicle. General Motors has always stuck to a 40-mile range for the vehicle on battery power alone. Now, however, GM has revised the battery range to "25 to 50 miles" according to the Associated Press.

GM spokesman Rob Peterson says that the revised range figures come as a result of extended testing including operating the Volt in extreme temperatures. Other factors that will come into play include whether the driver is traveling on flat or hilly roads, whether the HVAC is operating, or if the driver has a lead foot.

By stating this change now, GM may avoid complaints from customers in the future who don't achieve the previously stated 40-mile battery range. On the flip side, Volt owners who drive on absolutely perfect/level roads, don't run the AC, and drive miserly can at least be delighted at the potential for 50 miles of battery-only travel.

The additional driving range provided by the gasoline engine/generator remains the same at 300 miles.

GM expects to build 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011 at a cost of $41,000 each (before a $7,500 tax credit). The company hopes to boost production to 30,000 the following year.

The Volt will be joined at a later date by the Volt MPV5 which offers a crossover body style and seating for 5. GM stated that that the vehicle would have an electric driving range of 32 miles at its announcement – there's no word on what the revised figure will be once it reaches production.

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Nissan Leaf also changed from the 100 miles
By Gungel on 9/24/2010 9:57:17 AM , Rating: 3
Nissan pegs Leaf range between 47 and 138 miles.

By Hoser McMoose on 9/25/2010 9:05:54 PM , Rating: 1
What's worse, you can't use the full range of the Leaf every day unless you have a 220V/30amp circuit in your garage to charge the thing.

Using a standard 110V/20amp circuit used in North America, the Leaf takes approximately 20 hours to fully charge it's batteries. As such most people won't be able to get a full charge out of the thing.

Worse still, the Leaf seems to be using almost 100% of it's battery range. Li-Ion batteries last very well so long as you only charge them up to 80% of capacity and only discharge down to 25% capacity, which is what GM does with the Volt (16kWh battery pack but only 8.8kWh are used). However when you start 'deep cycling' the batteries, ie charging them to full and draining them to empty, they degrade VERY rapidly.

Nissan seems to be using 22.5kWh of their 24kWh battery pack, which probably corresponds to 100% capacity down to 10% capacity (below 10% the voltage from a Li-Ion battery drops off a cliff, so you'd probably have to cut off there anyway). Using the full range of the Leaf is going to dramatically decrease the lifespan of the battery.

Honestly GM is *AT LEAST* 5 years ahead of every other car company on the planet when it comes to designing practical (albeit not very economical) electric vehicles. GM learned their lessons the hard way with the commercial-disaster that was the EV-1. Nissan and Mitsubishi (and probably a few others) are going to learn their hard lessons with their current crop of electric vehicles.

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