Introducing the 2011 Chevrolet Volt!

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by joeshell383, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. joeshell383 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #2
    I'm quite exited about this car, because it's constant speed motor is much more efficient than the other Hybrid systems, and is more closely related to the Diesel-Electric motors used on Trains and Ferries. Plus the 40-mile range on a base charge is great for short trips, like running to the grocery store.

    TEG
     
  3. ryannel2003 macrumors 68000

    ryannel2003

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    #3
    I like it. Looks appropriate, unlike the Prius which is an ugly hatchback/sedan/whatever.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    Why is there a dumbass standing in front of the car in all the photos?

    Anyway, it looks hideous from the side.
     
  5. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #5
    They are the board members who are touting the virtues of the Volt.

    TEG
     
  6. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #6
    Which one? There's the Vehicle Chief Engineer, the Design Director, the Design Manager, the Vehicle Line Director, and the Vice Chairman. I'm surprised the union reps aren't in some shots. :D
     
  7. Aea macrumors 6502a

    Aea

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    #7
    And how much will this thing end up costing? Design and color is ugly, but that's a law, you get a nice looking gas hog, or a vilely ugly but environmentally friendly car.
     
  8. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    Shame if the reports are true, the way the EPA will test it will only give it a 48 MPG rating.
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    It looks as appealing as the lardarse leaning on it. What happened to the designer? :confused:
     
  10. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    #10
    Phew.. being an American car I thought it was the wing mirror. You like big stuff over there. :D
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #11
    The new EPA test is what it is -- but also if you look at the real world reports on the other hybrids, very, very few users were ever getting fuel economy numbers that matched the EPA estimates under the old formulation for the Prius, Civic Hybrid, or Insight...

    Is 48MPG combined or highway? 48 combined under the new EPA guidelines is not particularly slouchy, although it's admittedly only slightly better than the Prius, and the Prius is expected to notch itself up sometime in the next couple of model years....
     
  12. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #12
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Volt powered solely by an electric motor? The gas/diesel engine's only purpose is to generate electricity once the battery runs low, right? So that 40 mile range is before the gas/diesel engine even turns on, right? If so, I can complete my daily commute without using a drop of gas.:cool: Drive to work. Drive home. Plug in for an overnight recharge. Repeat.:)
    Yeah. Stick it to OPEC, stick it to Big Oil.:p
    The only question that remains is, "How much will it cost?"
     
  13. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #13
    Issue is the MPG will be much higher then that due to for 40 miles the engine won't be running. The engines only purpose is to charge the battery. Electric motors power the wheels. So once the battery is charged, the engine will shutoff and you'll be running on the battery charge. If you travel less then 40 miles a day, you can just plug it into an outlet to charge the battery. You can technically never use a single drop of gas for the lifetime of the vehicle.
     
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #14
    I think that's correct, yes -- at least thus far in concept they've been showing off a plug-in / serial hybrid design, meaning it can hold electricity to drive 40 miles, but it can also generate electricity using the engine and generator faster than it burns it, so that it can continue operating for more than 40 miles.

    And you're right in that it reduces reliance on gasoline, although... technology to make diesel renewable is essentially feasible now. Except for very small parts of the US, you're probably still burning fossil fuels to get to work.

    And my commute's already gasoline free... I walk. :D Although the carbon footprint isn't zero, since I eat breakfast and then burn the calories on the way, and I burn some electricity on my iPhone. :D

    Oh, okay, I do see what you're saying. But it would be more reasonable for the EPA to tell you how much gasoline it'll burn if you get all its electrical power from combusting gasoline than it would be for it to not include the 40 miles that could be wall powered. Not only would that be a myth from a carbon footprint standpoint (as above), but of course it'd be a myth from a cost standpoint too -- electricity prices have been going up too, albeit not as fast as gasoline prices.
     
  15. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #15
    You are correct, it is not a hybrid in the Toyota/Honda sense, where they use the gas engine for mechanical power boots, it is a hybrid in the Diesel-Electric Train sense, where the engine runs at a constant speed to charge the batteries, then the batteries operate the car. It has a special mode to operate it solely on the battery for up to 40 miles before engaging the engine, I believe that it will be found that the battery range is greater, but they don't want to risk cycling the batteries more than they have to. The constant speed engine/generator is much more efficient than the Toyota/Honda system. Just take a Train, where one gallon of diesel will move one ton of freight 220 miles.

    TEG
     
  16. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    That is screwing GM because the Volt will most likely be costing ~$35K-$40K which is a lot higher then the Prius and the new Insight while the EPA estimates will be roughly the same. Consumers will not see the fact that it will get ~160 MPG in reality and can potentially never use gas.
     
  17. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #17
    I thought the shredded EV1 got 120-something (miles or kilometres, don't care) per charge, without the weight of ANY infernal combustion engine???

    Why are they holding-out on that, but giving us a hybrid first?
     
  18. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    Mind paying $80-$100K? Basically the Lithium-ion battery technology isn't cheap enough to mass produce. The Volt's rumored cost is already borderline of what consumers are probably willing to pay.
     
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #19
    Because the whole point of the phrase "miles per gallon" is that it implies the efficiency of using the gasoline. What you're talking about isn't getting 160 MPG. The car wouldn't be getting any 160 MPG -- because it wouldn't be burning gasoline in the first place to drive those miles. It would (most likely) be burning coal. And if you want a statistic on that, it should be a meaningful statistics, like the number or fraction of kilowatt hours at the electrical plug point the car will consume per mile.

    I think you should probably give the early adopter customers more credit... for instance, gasoline was still fairly cheap in the US when the first Prius became a runaway hit. You're right, in the sense that if this car were judged solely on the number of miles it gets per gallon of fuel, that would make it look bad. But one should also be realistic, too. For the vast majority of Americans who don't own their own hydroelectric dam or windmill... some kind of fuel is going to be expended in putting electricity in the car's battery, and that fuel is going to have both cost and environmental impact associated with it.
     
  20. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    What you don't say was that was the cost for a limited production of 200 or so units.
     
  21. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    You're giving the American consumer too much credit thinking they're actually going to do some research. 51% of them are not considering domestics. If they do all they will see is the EPA rating and think, " Why does the Volt cost $40K when the Prius costs $23K and both get the same mileage? Plus, Toyota makes perfect products." There will be nothing drawing in consumers to the Volt as on paper it doesn't beat the Prius in any way. There is no incentive to take a "risk" with a domestic brand.

    The EV-1 used nickel batteries, not lithium-ion like the Volt does. Lithium does cost more in todays world. Just look at the cost of the Tesla Roadster.
     
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #22
    The early adopters of the previous generation of hybrids were pretty sophisticated. We're not talking about selling 300,000 a year -- in the first years, this is going to be something that appeals to fairly savvy individuals.
     
  23. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

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    #23
    I like the Volt. If they have a coupe version I will almost certainly be getting one.

    They wanted it to start out around $30k (I believe) but the real price is expected to be closer to about $40k.
     
  24. GroundLoop macrumors 68000

    GroundLoop

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    #24
    There are rumors that GM may sell these things at a loss to:

    1. Gain marketshare from Toyota
    2. Increase volume to allow GM to negotiate better prices from their suppliers based on larger buys

    This could allow them to bring the costs down a little faster and come to a break even point within a couple of years of introduction. Therefore, GM may still sell them at $30-35K and lose a little on each one.

    Hickman
     
  25. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #25
    But what they will see is one of the ugliest cars on the road. I guess if it looked far better than the Prius or Insight, the higher price may not be such a huge deterrent if the fuel efficiency was comparable to a Prius.
     

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