SoCalCTS

100 Miles-a-Gallon Volt GM claims`Bragging Rights'

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SoCalCTS    25

Bloomberg news story

GM Claims 100 Miles-a-Gallon Volt `Bragging Rights' (Update3)

By Jeff Green

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp. said it reached a preliminary agreement that clears the way for U.S. regulators to certify the Chevrolet Volt, an electric vehicle that can be recharged at home or with a 1.4-liter gasoline engine, as the first 100 mile-per-gallon car.

The country's biggest automaker, whose sales of pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles collapsed this year as gasoline topped $4 a gallon, is cutting the mileage deal while urging Congress to approve $25 billion in government loans to help the industry meet new federal fuel-economy standards.

Earning a 100 mpg certification would give Detroit-based GM the holy grail auto companies began seeking following the oil shocks of the 1970s. The Environmental Protection Agency agreed to a testing method that will produce a rating at least that high, said Tony Posawatz, 48, vehicle-line director for the Volt in Warren, Michigan. The four-passenger car, which goes on sale in November 2010, will be able to travel 40 miles (64 kilometers) before the internal-combustion engine needs to recharge the battery.

``It's a huge milestone to beat 100 mpg. It's bragging rights,'' said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. ``To many people, GM is just about gas-guzzling SUVs. They never get credit for fuel economy. If Toyota were doing the Volt, they would be having parades and waving flags.''

While the Volt is classified as an electric car, GM will still be able to claim it's the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the road because the gasoline-powered generator will start after the sedan exceeds the battery's 40-mile range.

`Final Policy'

The EPA won't confirm how it gauges fuel economy of plug-in models until testing methodology is complete, spokeswoman Catherine C. Milbourn said in a statement. The agency ``hopes to have a final policy soon,'' she said.

The government- and industry-backed Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles tried to create an 80-mpg auto in the 1990s. The group disbanded in 2001 after failing to develop one. The Progressive Automotive X Prize is offering $10 million to the first team to produce a 100-mpg vehicle that passes its tests and can be commercially produced.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s hybrid Prius is the highest-rated car on the road today, achieving 48 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway. It has a 1.5-liter gasoline engine, isn't rechargeable at an electric outlet and can drive only 2 miles on its battery, according to the company, which leads global sales in the category.

$25 Billion More

As with all automakers selling in the U.S., GM must increase the average mileage of the fleet as much as 40 percent to 35 mpg by 2020 to comply with new federal standards. The House agreed to fund $25 billion in low-interest loans Sept. 24 to help offset investment by GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC in fuel-saving technologies. The Senate may vote on the plan this week.

U.S. auto companies estimate they'll need $80 billion to $100 billion to meet the new fuel-economy mandate. Members of Michigan's congressional delegation said this week they'll seek an additional $25 billion in credit.

The Volt may sell for more than $30,000, according to GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz, 76. The sedan is the centerpiece of a drive by Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner, 55, to narrow the technology gap with competitors including Toyota.

GM lost $18.7 billion in the first half as sales of pickups, SUVs and vans dropped 16 percent. The shares, which declined 60 percent in 2008 through yesterday, fell 27 cents to $9.76 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Difficult Measurement

Obtaining a 100-mpg rating will require the EPA to develop a new way of measuring fuel efficiency for a car that's likely to rely more heavily on electric than internal-combustion power, according to GM's Posawatz. The automaker promised to share mileage data captured from the Volt's onboard computers to verify real-world performance if EPA will grant the certification now, he said.

``It's a new process. No one has done a vehicle like this before,'' said Posawatz. ``We would like to have 80 percent of the people get better than the label.''

A vehicle of the Volt's design should be able to exceed 100 mpg in tests, said Michael Duoba, a research engineer at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Illinois, and chairman of the Society of Automotive Engineers committee trying to develop fuel-economy tests for plug-in cars. Argonne is testing models that use similar technology to make its assessment.

Depending on assumptions about how much gasoline is consumed after the battery needs recharging on the road, Volt could get 120 mpg to 200 mpg, he said. Modified Prius models, with an electric range of about 10 miles, may have difficulty beating 100 mpg in the same tests, he said.

Toyota Plug-In

Toyota City, Japan-based Toyota may launch a plug-in model for 2010 with an all-electric range of at least 10 miles, spokesman John Hanson said. Closely held Chrysler plans its own plug-in electric car for 2010, to be developed in part with General Electric Co.

``It's too early to say what the overall miles-per-gallon figure is going to be'' on the plug-in Prius, Hanson said.

Honda Motor Co.'s FCX Clarity fuel-cell car, leased since July to celebrities in Los Angeles including actress Jamie Lee Curtis, is rated at 72 mpg via a formula that converts hydrogen fuel into the equivalent of gasoline efficiency ratings. Honda, based in Tokyo, hasn't announced full-scale production for the model.

Chevy's Volt can be plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet and be charged in about eight hours, GM said. The process takes less than three hours with a 240-volt outlet.

The cost for a full charge providing 40 miles of driving is about 80 cents per day, at an electricity cost of 10 cents per kilowatt hour, according to GM.

Charging the Volt about once daily will consume less electricity annually than the average home's refrigerator and freezer, the company said.

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So wait, the Prius can only drive TWO miles on battery alone?

:rotflmao:

``It's a huge milestone to beat 100 mpg. It's bragging rights,'' said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. ``To many people, GM is just about gas-guzzling SUVs. They never get credit for fuel economy. If Toyota were doing the Volt, they would be having parades and waving flags.''

so very true.

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balthazar    2,007

That number is going to be effectively HUGE in advertising- that alone is undoubtedly going to build a long & strong bridge for many buyers on the fence over a circa $40K Volt price tag (if indeed it's near there).

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Blake Noble    146

I can see the writing on the wall now has been set in stone as a new gospel: The reignited horsepower wars which began at the start of the century and almost lasted to the end of the decade is now being effectively replaced with a vicious battle as to who can claim to build the car with the most miles-per-gallon. There is a new era dawning in automobile history ... and I don't think it could possibly be more boring or inspire me to be any more apathetic about it.

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siegen    20
Obtaining a 100-mpg rating will require the EPA to develop a new way of measuring fuel efficiency

I certainly hope this is just semantics, and the EPA's tests aren't being developed with the goal of giving the Volt a 100-mpg rating. Because that is ass backwards.

I have a good test. Ignore the battery, and just test the miles per gallon of gasoline with the gasoline engine charging the battery and running the vehicle. Last time I checked you can't divide by zero anyway. Then, they can say this is the real miles per gallon it gets when running off the gasoline engine, but it can run up to 40 miles on electric only. That is, IMO, the only logical way to do it. Of course logic and politics never agree, and politics usually wins.

Let's do some math here. The Volt gets 100 miles to the gallon, and has a 12 gallon tank. Its range is approximately 350 miles, plus 40 miles from the electric motor.

390 / 12 = 100?? Really?

Edited by siegen

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SoCalCTS    25
I certainly hope this is just semantics, and the EPA's tests aren't being developed with the goal of giving the Volt a 100-mpg rating. Because that is ass backwards.

I have a good test. Ignore the battery, and just test the miles per gallon of gasoline with the gasoline engine charging the battery and running the vehicle. Last time I checked you can't divide by zero anyway. Then, they can say this is the real miles per gallon it gets when running off the gasoline engine, but it can run up to 40 miles on electric only. That is, IMO, the only logical way to do it. Of course logic and politics never agree, and politics usually wins.

Let's do some math here. The Volt gets 100 miles to the gallon, and has a 12 gallon tank. Its range is approximately 350 miles, plus 40 miles from the electric motor.

390 / 12 = 100?? Really?

The numbers don't lie so one of your figures is incorrect. Perhaps the fuel tank is smaller or the range is greater.

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enzl    0

The problem lies in EPA testing, in that the gas engine in the Volt may not need to fire up once to get thru the test.

In the real world, they'll obviously be times this occurs, but others it can't.

I think the article is just inartfully worded.

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CARBIZ    1
I can see the writing on the wall now has been set in stone as a new gospel: The reignited horsepower wars which began at the start of the century and almost lasted to the end of the decade is now being effectively replaced with a vicious battle as to who can claim to build the car with the most miles-per-gallon. There is a new era dawning in automobile history ... and I don't think it could possibly be more boring or inspire me to be any more apathetic about it.

Are you old enough to have lived through the last fuel mileage war, fought roughly from the late '70s through the mid-80s? To be sure, that was a period when cars did become very boring and everything was sacrificed for fuel mileage, but then cars became fun again and the fuel mileage didn't suffer appreciably.

I would surmise that $150+ barrel of oil is going to facilitate a new round of mileage wars, but given the manytechnological surprises in the past, I would expect cars to become fun again a few years after that.

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Are you old enough to have lived through the last fuel mileage war, fought roughly from the late '70s through the mid-80s? To be sure, that was a period when cars did become very boring and everything was sacrificed for fuel mileage, but then cars became fun again and the fuel mileage didn't suffer appreciably.

I would surmise that $150+ barrel of oil is going to facilitate a new round of mileage wars, but given the manytechnological surprises in the past, I would expect cars to become fun again a few years after that.

I think a lot of the kiddies on here weren't born yet when the previous fuel crisis happened.

Edited by moltar

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Blake Noble    146
Are you old enough to have lived through the last fuel mileage war, fought roughly from the late '70s through the mid-80s? To be sure, that was a period when cars did become very boring and everything was sacrificed for fuel mileage, but then cars became fun again and the fuel mileage didn't suffer appreciably.

No, I wasn't around back then to experience it first hand, but I know do know how the story goes, yes. I think just about any true car enthusiast, young or old, knows about how the automotive industry changed in the 1970s after the first energy crisis.

I would surmise that $150+ barrel of oil is going to facilitate a new round of mileage wars, but given the many technological surprises in the past, I would expect cars to become fun again a few years after that.

Well, stop to think about this: what if this mpg war just continues to solider on and on and on and cars that embody the words "fun" or "sporty" or "performance" vanish from the scene forever? They say it's rare when lightning strikes the same place twice, and even rarer if it strikes the same place a third time (read: history does not always repeat itself). Just some food for thought.

Edited by YellowJacket894

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thegriffon    5
The numbers don't lie so one of your figures is incorrect. Perhaps the fuel tank is smaller or the range is greater.

This is why it depends on the EPA test standard. If the test is only 40 miles, then the Volt might get infinite miles per gallon. It it's 390 miles, then it will be much less. For a plug-in like the Volt the resulting estimated and actual mpg depends heavily on how far you are travelling, how long the APU is running, and whether you have the optional solar panels.

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I think a lot of the kiddies on here weren't born yet when the previous fuel crisis happened.

Born in 1979, but ignorant of history I am NOT.

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Drew Dowdell    5,164

I would like to see performance Volts.

Wouldn't it be hot to see the V in CTS-V take on a whole new meaning?

I'll have 500 ft/lbs of torque at 0 rpm please. :D :D

edit: Nürburgring is 15 miles long. :AH-HA_wink:

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Yeah, a performance Volt would be cool...call it High Voltage... :)

Something that would be cool would be a Solstice with a tweaked Volt drivetrain..sort of a budget Tesla. That would give Pontiac both green and performance credibility. Of course, GM would never do this, since they have Pontiac on the Oldsmobile path to oblivion..

Edited by moltar

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siegen    20
And if you buy $20 of gas (reasonable amount), then

390/4= 100 MPG

If the Volt can drive 390 miles with only 4 gallons of gas, then it will earn its 100mpg rating.

But I doubt it.

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usmabmass    0
If the Volt can drive 390 miles with only 4 gallons of gas, then it will earn its 100mpg rating.

But I doubt it.

Come on... obviously the 100MPG rating doesn't mean it can drive 390 straight on 4 gallons of gas. the high mileage comes from the fact that in everyday driving, NOBODY drives that far.

Assume that the gas engine gets a (very low for this tiny engine) 20 miles per gallon combined. That means that the car, with 12 gallons, can drive only 240 miles on a tank of gas. But then you look at how you drive it. Say, on an average day, you drive a total of 50 miles a day (average, including trips to/from work and random driving on weekends). if you're charging your vehicle when you park for the night, every day that means that you're only using up 10 miles on the gasoline engine, since the other 40 are done on the battery.

By the time all 240 gas miles are used up, that's 240 miles/10 miles per day = 24 days to use the full tank. In those 24 days, you've also driven those 40 miles average per day. SO that totals to 24*40 = 960 miles. Now you're looking at a total of 960+240=1200 miles on a tank of 12 gallons... equalling? 100MPG.

The point is, if the EPA test is done solely using the gas component, and it got, say 40 MPG, that's much much much much much lower than the typical driver will ever see and the EPA ratings become completely irrelevant. And the few times that the Volt driver does take a trip and sees the lower gas mileage, it's made up for by all the other time spent on normal driving days.

Again, those numbers were made with fairly lame assumptions and calculations, but just for fun:

12 gallon tank, 35 mpg (like the cobalt or whatever) = 420 mile gas range

cost: 12*4 = $48 for a tank of gas

50 miles/day = 10miles on gas per day = 42 days driving = 420 miles on gas + (42*40=1680) = 2100 miles = 175mpg

70 miles/day = 30 miles of gas per day = 14 days driving = 420 gas miles+(14*40=560)=980 miles = 81.7mpg

100 miles/day! = 60 gas miles/day = 7 days driving = 420 gas + 280 battery = 700 mi = 58mpg!

39/miles/day = 0 gas miles = infinite gas mileage!

Surely the few road trips are worth the overall gas mileage... so how do you rate that?

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siegen    20
Come on... obviously the 100MPG rating doesn't mean it can drive 390 straight on 4 gallons of gas. the high mileage comes from the fact that in everyday driving, NOBODY drives that far.

Assume that the gas engine gets a (very low for this tiny engine) 20 miles per gallon combined. That means that the car, with 12 gallons, can drive only 240 miles on a tank of gas. But then you look at how you drive it. Say, on an average day, you drive a total of 50 miles a day (average, including trips to/from work and random driving on weekends). if you're charging your vehicle when you park for the night, every day that means that you're only using up 10 miles on the gasoline engine, since the other 40 are done on the battery.

By the time all 240 gas miles are used up, that's 240 miles/10 miles per day = 24 days to use the full tank. In those 24 days, you've also driven those 40 miles average per day. SO that totals to 24*40 = 960 miles. Now you're looking at a total of 960+240=1200 miles on a tank of 12 gallons... equalling? 100MPG.

The point is, if the EPA test is done solely using the gas component, and it got, say 40 MPG, that's much much much much much lower than the typical driver will ever see and the EPA ratings become completely irrelevant. And the few times that the Volt driver does take a trip and sees the lower gas mileage, it's made up for by all the other time spent on normal driving days.

Again, those numbers were made with fairly lame assumptions and calculations, but just for fun:

12 gallon tank, 35 mpg (like the cobalt or whatever) = 420 mile gas range

cost: 12*4 = $48 for a tank of gas

50 miles/day = 10miles on gas per day = 42 days driving = 420 miles on gas + (42*40=1680) = 2100 miles = 175mpg

70 miles/day = 30 miles of gas per day = 14 days driving = 420 gas miles+(14*40=560)=980 miles = 81.7mpg

100 miles/day! = 60 gas miles/day = 7 days driving = 420 gas + 280 battery = 700 mi = 58mpg!

39/miles/day = 0 gas miles = infinite gas mileage!

Surely the few road trips are worth the overall gas mileage... so how do you rate that?

I understand the idea behind this, and I have given it thought before, however I do not think it's correct for the EPA to rate the Volt in this way. It needs to be classified as an electric car, and have a separate figure showing the mileage that the gas engine is capable of using instrumented testing and not averages.

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mustang84    12

This is a great, great marketing opportunity. A 100 year old company and a 100 mpg electric vehicle that will pave way for another 100 years of leadership (or something to that effect). Like Camino said, we should be celebrating...this is the type of PR that will get GM out of the doldrums.

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