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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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Default Volt "ERBEV-to-PHEV" Bait and Switch?

So for those that didn't see it (I would imagine anyone who visits this site would have, though,) Chevy just announced that the Volt is not a "Battery Electric Vehicle" with an onboard gasoline range extender.

It is rather a very Plug-In-Prius-like Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle with EV mode.

When Chevy first announced the Volt, the idea was that the power train was 100% electric, with a small gasoline engine onboard solely to recharge the battery when the power runs out. (AKA a "range extended" electric vehicle.) Well, today they announced that this is not the case. That they hid the actual power train while they filed patents. Now that the patents are filed, they can reveal that it is....

A Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle. A vehicle where the batteries will power the vehicle for the first 25-50 miles (at up to 70 MPH,) but beyond that, the gasoline engine will both provide direct motive force as well as electric power generation to run the electric motor. It will accomplish this using a planetary gear set.

In other words, it has a transmission remarkably similar to the Prius; only able to go 70 MPH on electric-only. (I haven't seen, what will the PHEV Prius do on EV-only?) Basically, it's now an overpriced plug-in Prius. While that's not a bad thing, it does stink of bait-and-switch. The Volt also seems to be getting less distinctive looking, and more "blah" with each revision.

Volt story for reference.

Owner of 'Eeyore', a 2004 Prius. Only took 2 days from start of search to delivery.

8 years of ownership, 115,000 miles, about 40 MPG average at present.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 10:22 PM
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I'm not an engineer, but the claim that the gas engine on board the Volt being only a power generator, with no connection to the wheels, seemed a bit beyond where the automotive industry is today. Additionally, it take s a great deal of time to invent and refine a concept such as parallel/serial hybrid technology, such as what the Prius and most others are. The Prius took 7 years from inception to introduction to the U.S. market (5 years to market if you consider that the Prius had a few years on it in Japan alone prior to being offered in the U.S. market).

The point is, for GM to introduce a new type of EV or PHEV in less time than it took Toyota to bring the first gen Prius to market is basically impossible, especially under the economic conditions GM was working under. Oh, and don't fool yourself, GM has a huge number of their engineers doing nothing but reverse engineering their competitors products. GM maintains one of the largest purchase and tear down operations of just about any manufacturer out there. In fact, when the gen 2 Prius was in production GM made a huge point of emphasizing the fact that there were nearly twice then number of parts in a Prius as in a Malibu (not a fair comparison anyway, who wants a Malibu?).

In the end, what GM has done with the Volt is impressive and considering the generally positive reception it has had in the market, I suspect they will keep pouring development dollars into new versions and improvements in the technology. The Volt is about the only vehicle they have in their stable which is palatable to a broader class of buyers than GM stalwarts.

It has been said:
Hybrid drivers come in 3 flavors, greenie, techie and cheapie. Pick any 2.
2005 Prius, Millenium Silver Metallic (color code 1C0) over gray, package 5 (AI)
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