Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
NewsFeeder

AutoBlog: Catching up with Chevrolet's 1,200 mile pre-production Volt fleet drive

14 posts in this topic

Filed under: Hybrid, Technology, Chevrolet, Alternative Fuel

voltdrive26-copy.jpg
Chevy Volts on 1,200 mile drive - Click above for high-res image gallery

Yesterday, we had an opportunity to chat with Chevrolet Volt chief engineer Andrew Farah as he rode through the hills of West Virginia during a development drive. On Tuesday, a fleet of eight pre-production (a.k.a. IVER) Volts set out from the company's Milford Proving Ground in Michigan on three day, 1,200 mile jaunt through Ohio, Pennsylvannia, Maryland, West Virginia and back. This event is known in General Motors' engineering process as a "65-Percent Drive" and as it implies it's one of a series of milestones on the road to production.

The 65% roughly corresponds to the minimum level of completeness of development of all the hardware, and more specifically, the software. At this point, many of the systems are in fact approaching 90-100% complete. Over the next several months, 70, 80, 90 and 100 percent drives will follow on the way to production launch a year from now. Read on to find out what we learned from Farah.

Continue reading Catching up with Chevrolet's 1,200 mile pre-production Volt fleet drive

Catching up with Chevrolet's 1,200 mile pre-production Volt fleet drive originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 15 Oct 2009 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

di
di

autoblog?i=kGu4eV3_bdw:oCicLRx1wfI:wF9xT autoblog?i=kGu4eV3_bdw:oCicLRx1wfI:V_sGL
kGu4eV3_bdw

View the full article
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This car would compliment the Impala nicely in my driveway when I'm done my degree... A bit pricey mind you.

I predict I will cheap out and buy a Cruze or Excelle. :P

Edited by vonVeezelsnider
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This car would compliment the Impala nicely in my driveway when I'm done my degree... A bit pricey mind you.

I predict I will cheap out and buy a Cruze or Excelle. :P

I would wait for the later gens. They will be improved and Cheaper by then.

The first cars will do ok but GM and the public will do a lot of learning with them the later cars will see many changes. This is somewhat uncharted teritory yet. With this not being the Prius or Fusion system GM will have to teach the public this is different.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This car would compliment the Impala nicely in my driveway when I'm done my degree... A bit pricey mind you.

I predict I will cheap out and buy a Cruze or Excelle. :P

Yes, but if you had to pay $40k for one, then got a $10k rebate (as Ontario has promised) and it cost $1 to recharge the battery overnight and you could travel 70 km on one charge (that would be back and forth to work twice for me!), wouldn't that be cheaper than paying the $4.50 a gallon that we are around here? You'd have to look at the big picture here: how much fuel would you save over, say, 8 years (which is how long hybrid batteries are guaranteed for). Let's face it, last summer's $1.30 a litre was not an anomoly - it will be back! Or, (if GM does the Volt correctly, right out of the gate!), what would the resale be on your $40k Volt if you dealt it 3 or 4 years later? 60% 70%? (It is reputed that the Prius once commanded those kind of resales after 3-4 years!) That $40k initital purchase could end up being a very cheap buy when factoring in its resale, upfront rebates and fuel economy.

A lot of ifs, but I am cautiously optimistic that GM has counted on these factors from the beginning.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This car would compliment the Impala nicely in my driveway when I'm done my degree... A bit pricey mind you.

I predict I will cheap out and buy a Cruze or Excelle. :P

Save up and get the Volt because chicks dig dudes who have hybrids.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Save up and get the Volt because chicks dig dudes who have hybrids.

*sigh*

*caresses his "I love my V8!" keychain*

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, but if you had to pay $40k for one, then got a $10k rebate (as Ontario has promised) and it cost $1 to recharge the battery overnight and you could travel 70 km on one charge (that would be back and forth to work twice for me!), wouldn't that be cheaper than paying the $4.50 a gallon that we are around here? You'd have to look at the big picture here: how much fuel would you save over, say, 8 years (which is how long hybrid batteries are guaranteed for). Let's face it, last summer's $1.30 a litre was not an anomoly - it will be back! Or, (if GM does the Volt correctly, right out of the gate!), what would the resale be on your $40k Volt if you dealt it 3 or 4 years later? 60% 70%? (It is reputed that the Prius once commanded those kind of resales after 3-4 years!) That $40k initital purchase could end up being a very cheap buy when factoring in its resale, upfront rebates and fuel economy.

A lot of ifs, but I am cautiously optimistic that GM has counted on these factors from the beginning.

I don't know if I have the gravitas to be an early adopter of Voltec just because of all the ifs. Perhaps when Gen II Voltec comes out it'll be cheaper and proven. That's when I'll buy one in a heartbeat. Hopefully that Alberta govm't 11K$ tax credit sticks around for a few years. I'll be in the market for a new, high MPG commuter car in 2014.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, but if you had to pay $40k for one, then got a $10k rebate (as Ontario has promised) and it cost $1 to recharge the battery overnight and you could travel 70 km on one charge (that would be back and forth to work twice for me!), wouldn't that be cheaper than paying the $4.50 a gallon that we are around here? You'd have to look at the big picture here: how much fuel would you save over, say, 8 years (which is how long hybrid batteries are guaranteed for). Let's face it, last summer's $1.30 a litre was not an anomoly - it will be back! Or, (if GM does the Volt correctly, right out of the gate!), what would the resale be on your $40k Volt if you dealt it 3 or 4 years later? 60% 70%? (It is reputed that the Prius once commanded those kind of resales after 3-4 years!) That $40k initital purchase could end up being a very cheap buy when factoring in its resale, upfront rebates and fuel economy.

A lot of ifs, but I am cautiously optimistic that GM has counted on these factors from the beginning.

This has been hashed out to death. There are reasons to buy the Volt, but saving money isn't one of them. Even if GM had thought about this (all indications are that these "factors" didn't factor in at all), they had put the price at under 30K, not at 40K.

Some corrections to your post:

1) It is apparently going to be $40K US, do GM models sell on par between the US and Canada? Or will the Volt be $45K in Canada?

2) I know Ontario is trying to support their company, but some people don't live in Ontario and won't get this rebate. I'd really like Ontario to get their own finances in order before they start throwing my money away to try to justify the money they spent on GM.

3) It doesn't get 70 KM on one charge. Even 40miles is 65KM. Even Farah said he hasn't managed 40 miles yet. Based on the EPA ratings announced by GM it will get 32 miles (~52KM) city. You can expect less on the highway (otherwise GM would have released that number as well). Oh, and don't use the heater or it will be worse yet. Plus in Canada the ICE is going to have to start (as per GM) to warm up the car, and we all know how long that takes, in which case on many days you will be all ICE.

4) You know you can't try to predict the Volt resale by comparing it to a Prius. That doesn't work for other GM/Toyota models and it works even less well for the Volt/Prius.

Who will want the 8-track 1st gen Volt when gen 2 is out, let alone all the other models coming from the other manufacturers? Not only that, but you will pay for the wear on your battery AND for the fact that batteries will get cheaper. (i.e. if gen one is 40K and gen two is 30K, what is a gen 1 Volt with a half-consumed battery worth? At the end of the day it will be worth roughly a Cobalt + remaining battery value. And because the Volt'sbattery is so large that means the Volt should be fully depreciated at 8 years. So in 4 years I would expect that a Volt would be in the 30% residual, or $25,000-30,000 lost in depreciation.

5) Taxes, financing, insurance, maintenance, etc. will all be much higher on the Volt.

Buying the Volt is NOT a good financial move. As a car salesman, what is the cost of owning a $45,000 car with high depreciation and no incentives vs a $18,000 with average or even low depreciation and incentives? Even saving $1,000/year on gas isn't going to put a dent in it.

Edited by GXT
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never seen GM, Honda, Toyota, Tesla etc ever state on their hybirds saving money or being a good buy.

It is all about selling of the Green Idea.

The Green product concept is going strong no matter if it is a car or a sandwich bag. All the MFG are taking advantage of the brainwashing of the American public into thinking green before cost. Today many consumers are paying more for less.

Buy a MP3 vs a CD no MFG, packaging or distributing cost. Or sell the CD and put it into a cardboard case to prevnet the plastic from clogging up a land fill. But they fail to state how much they save on the making of the cardboard case vs the plastic.

If you want to save money by a small Gas non hybrid Honda or A VW Golf Diesel.

You want to see where this Enviromental thing is going ask any 4th grader about the enviroment. What most will tell you is our future in what we will see in marketing.

I don't think a Prius has saved anyone any money but they are still lined up to buy them.

Someday this might change. The electric cars of today are no different than the cars of 1900. Expensive and not fully developed. They are status symboles to those who can afford them. In time technology will improve with the increased spending being done to make these cars work. Untill them the idiots who spend the money now will help bring us the cars that really work in the future.

In time who ever makes the Electric/Hybrid equivalent of a Model T will make their mark and make a lot of money. Affordable, reliable, durable and profitable will win this game

Edited by hyperv6
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This has been hashed out to death. There are reasons to buy the Volt, but saving money isn't one of them. Even if GM had thought about this (all indications are that these "factors" didn't factor in at all), they had put the price at under 30K, not at 40K.

Some corrections to your post:

1) It is apparently going to be $40K US, do GM models sell on par between the US and Canada? Or will the Volt be $45K in Canada?

2) I know Ontario is trying to support their company, but some people don't live in Ontario and won't get this rebate. I'd really like Ontario to get their own finances in order before they start throwing my money away to try to justify the money they spent on GM.

3) It doesn't get 70 KM on one charge. Even 40miles is 65KM. Even Farah said he hasn't managed 40 miles yet. Based on the EPA ratings announced by GM it will get 32 miles (~52KM) city. You can expect less on the highway (otherwise GM would have released that number as well). Oh, and don't use the heater or it will be worse yet. Plus in Canada the ICE is going to have to start (as per GM) to warm up the car, and we all know how long that takes, in which case on many days you will be all ICE.

4) You know you can't try to predict the Volt resale by comparing it to a Prius. That doesn't work for other GM/Toyota models and it works even less well for the Volt/Prius.

Who will want the 8-track 1st gen Volt when gen 2 is out, let alone all the other models coming from the other manufacturers? Not only that, but you will pay for the wear on your battery AND for the fact that batteries will get cheaper. (i.e. if gen one is 40K and gen two is 30K, what is a gen 1 Volt with a half-consumed battery worth? At the end of the day it will be worth roughly a Cobalt + remaining battery value. And because the Volt'sbattery is so large that means the Volt should be fully depreciated at 8 years. So in 4 years I would expect that a Volt would be in the 30% residual, or $25,000-30,000 lost in depreciation.

5) Taxes, financing, insurance, maintenance, etc. will all be much higher on the Volt.

Buying the Volt is NOT a good financial move. As a car salesman, what is the cost of owning a $45,000 car with high depreciation and no incentives vs a $18,000 with average or even low depreciation and incentives? Even saving $1,000/year on gas isn't going to put a dent in it.

:toiler:

And all of this coming from a guy who once owned an Alero! Some grudges die hard. Better to support Toyota, I guess, so all of our money can leave the country.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:toiler:

And all of this coming from a guy who once owned an Alero! Some grudges die hard. Better to support Toyota, I guess, so all of our money can leave the country.

I happen to agree, at least somewhat, with GXT's post. Biases aside, the Volt will not be economical, and that has been beaten to death. GM likely did factor in all the costs and came to the same conclusion. The Volt will sell on the green image and reduced fuel consumption.

To add to the fire, consider that the tax credit isn't taken off the purchase price of the vehicle, but will be a tax credit come tax time. People are still purchasing the Volt at $40k + tax, and they must still get a loan and make payments on that amount, not $30k. They could refinance the car loan after receiving the credit if they wanted of course.

Edited by siegen
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't buy the Volt (or any hybrid) to save money. I would buy one to use less gasoline than a comparably equipped standard model......and also because I know the little secret that electric motors have 100% of peak torque at zero RPM.

I'm no Pruis defender, I personally think they are crappy little cars, but I'll give credit where credit is due; They have good around town squirt... certainly better than most other econo 4-cylinders I've driven.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wouldn't buy the Volt (or any hybrid) to save money. I would buy one to use less gasoline than a comparably equipped standard model......and also because I know the little secret that electric motors have 100% of peak torque at zero RPM.

I'm no Pruis defender, I personally think they are crappy little cars, but I'll give credit where credit is due; They have good around town squirt... certainly better than most other econo 4-cylinders I've driven.

Electric motors make great power. Just check out Top Gear racing the Tesla's on the test track. The electric ate up the gas car in the straight aways. Just don't ask it to turn, stop or or have a charge last as long as a tank of gas.

If someone could just make that battery smaller and last longer at a resonable price, I would say gas would not be needed in many cars.

Edited by hyperv6
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Volt makes a lot of sense for urban drivers, which right now are in the frontline of the attacks from the tree-hugger fanatics. How else do you explain the popularity of the Smart in urban centers? Those things absolutely pollute the downtown streets of Toronto - yech!

Here are some very good reasons that the Volt makes sense:

1) First off, GM has to start somewhere. To follow in Ford's footsteps and merely 'license' Toyota's technology would have been stupid for the long term. Why not just hand the keys to the RenCen to Mr. Toyoda and get it over with?

2) Battery technology will get better - that's a given. Anyone who remembers how crappy the first generation cell phone batteries were will attest to that.

3) This car will be targetted at URBAN consumers. At less than $1 to fully charge the batteries, set up on a 'smart meter' that allows for the cheaper electricity rates charged by many utilities over night - how the hell can you drive 70 or even 50 km on $1 worth of gas in the city? Not at Canadian fuel rates (today at .95 a litre, which is about $4.50 a gallon.) There are many urban drivers like me that drive less than 50 km round trip to work every day and I"d love to pay only $1 to get to work, rather than the $3-$4 it currently costs me (in stop and go traffic!)

4) With the ressurgence of interest in nuclear power, not only will vehicles like the Volt assuage fanatics worried about 'carbon footprints,' but if going forward having the hundreds of thousands or millions of 'plug-in' electrics recharging over night will address one of the main drawbacks of nuclear power: that is, you can't shut it down. France has this problem with 70% of its power coming from nuclear - it has too much capacity at night. Ontario is currently sitting at 50% nuclear and plans to move higher.

5) Anyone who thinks that $5-$6 a gallon won't be the norm in another few years had better see a doctor. China is gobbling up the world's oil reserves, the U.S. is going to be oil-starved very soon and unless the carbon fanatics STFU about Alberta's 'dirty' oil sands, the gasoline shortages of '74 will look like a church picnic! Canada is sitting pretty with respect to fossil fuels but you Americans should be furious at handing your coins to countries like Venezuela.

Since it is common knowledge that Japan has been propping up Toyota for years (and reading about how upset Asian companies are these days with the weaker US dollar just warms my heart - tit for tat!), it is about time that Ottawa and Washington wake up and help keep these cutting edge technologies at home. GM's bankrupty was unfortunate, but that doesn't lessen the fact that North America needs this technology to stay in OUR hands because going forward it will all be about electric cars - whether die hard purists like it or not.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Who's Chatting

    There are no users currently in the chat room