I bought a Chevrolet Volt recently.

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Anorak, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    I like the way it drives. It feels like some attention has been paid to the driving dynamics. Firm but not harsh. The tires a sort of loud but they are low rolling resistance and at 38 psi. Sport mode is fun, quick throttle response and strong acceleration.
    #61
  2. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Totally agree +eleventymillion with Anorak.

    It drives nothing like a crapwagon. I have a feeling that a lot has to do with all the weight in the middle and down low. Also, the battery belly plate should add a lot of rigidity to the chassis.

    Maybe I'm off my nut, but my first thought was, "This drives nothing like any other front wheel drive car I've ever driven." I traded in a BMW X3, and was impressed.

    Anorak- bump your tires up to 40, and you may just gain another mile or two off the battery.
    #62
  3. BCC

    BCC I know better

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    My last ride was a 335d with sport suspension. So the Volt won't handle the twisties like the BMW, but it's extremely comfortable in all road conditions. I agree, I think the weight of the batteries down low helps everywhere, but high speed rapid turns. The low friction tires might play a part. But at less than 9/10ths, it's very nice.

    I rent cars like Impala and Malibu on business. The Volt is much, much, nicer.
    #63
  4. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    Something I've noticed while commuting. The range seems to increase by a few miles after about five miles. When I left San Francisco with a full charge this evening. the range indicated was 37 miles. By the time I was in Oakland in the Grand Lake neighborhood, I had traveled about 12 miles and the remaining range indicated was 28 miles. My drive starts on a mild incline to the Bay Bridge and then at the Oakland anchorage it is downhill. Perhaps that affects the estimation.
    #64
  5. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    If you're on a long downhill cruise, put the shifter in L and use your cruise control. (if possible) This essentially will charge the battery a bit on the way down, instead of using the brake. There are guys on the Volt board (gm-volt.com) that have started at the peak of the Rockies, and gained a full charge by the bottom, and used no fuel in the process. The Volt lets you take advantage of that old physics lesson of an object at the top of a hill having stored energy.

    L isn't really a low gear- its just a higher regen (more 'engine braking') when you lift the pedal. Of course the brake pedal provides regen, but L and cruise can do a more perfect job, if circumstances permit.

    Also, the charge remaining algorithm gets increasingly accurate- it learns your driving style. Getting 40 miles out of the battery in your climate isn't bad. I'll bet you'll do better as time goes on. Smooth driving pays off.

    gm-volt.com is a great place to learn some things from others. Just beware of the apple-grade fanboyizm.
    #65
  6. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    I've played with the L position. On one hill near me it held the car at about 17 mph. I think feathering the brakes in some situations modulates the regen. better.

    I'd like to find an application that would show me the drivetrain operating conditions real time. I would guess that the obd port would be the source. A wireless connection to an ipad with a nice graphic would be cool. I want to see engine rpm, temperature, throttle position etc. Then the electric drive train numbers would be cool, also.
    #66
  7. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Bummer on this- GM uses their own top-secret codes for the real geeky stuff. There is an OBD reader that licensed the codes, but its a bit pricey. You can search for it on gm-volt.com Beware getting too funky with the OBD port, there's a few guys that have shutdown the high voltage system poking around where GM doesn't think they should be. The car is still drivable, but you need a Volt tech to reset the HV system. ($ @ dealer)

    I got to see the battery out of my car (reinforcement plate non-recall upgrade program). I think GM did a heck of a job on the Volt.
    #67
  8. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    Interesting thread. I would have thought the Volt was a boring thing to drive. I always loved the concept, but same about the Tesla and such and they have proven to be short lived in the real world as far as shorter than advertised miles per charge. Oh, and I so want a KTM Duke...
    #68
  9. maloryII

    maloryII more north, more wet

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    Let's say you had a hitch mounted rack and carried a small gas or diesel generator -- could you run the generator and plug the car in? :evil
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  10. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    Probably but, you already have a generator in the front. From what I understand, it doesn't charge the battery while driving because gasoline is a lot more expensive than power from the grid.

    As an aside, there is a public charging station near me that is $2.00 hr. my calculation makes that about double the price of a gallon of 91 octane gas here.
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  11. maloryII

    maloryII more north, more wet

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    I wonder if two small Honda generators strapped to a roof rack would charge an EV -- in motion -- more efficiently than the on-board generator? Or if using all three in tandem would result in a net gain in efficiency?
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  12. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    The most efficient generator is under the hood.

    At relatively constant highway speeds, it will couple the engine torque to the front wheels, while driving the gen, for optimum efficiency. Wasting rotational motion just to suffer charging & discharge losses is not the most efficient. However, it is always electric, because the design of the transaxle demands some input from an electric motor, to couple the torque from the engine to the drive axles. Its all about gears and clutchpacks.

    However, the ECU can run the engine at the optimum load and RPM, regardless of vehicle speed, and store the excess energy not used in propelling the car to the battery. In fact, it makes enough extra juice, that when cruising along, there are times when the engine will turn off, and drive the car solely on battery, long after the battery has been initially depleted. This is most noticeable when driving along at 50-70mph.

    GM did a lot of asking, 'what if', 'why not' and 'how about', when designing this thing.
    #72
  13. BCC

    BCC I know better

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    The least costly way to charge you Volt is at night from a house equipped with a tax credit subsidized installation of solar panels, hooked up to the grid.:D
    #73
  14. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    Car of the year.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/AO9Rku_ZNeM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



    And yes, I would hit her.:evil
    #74
  15. MrBob

    MrBob Certified Geezer

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    By a unanimous vote I'm told.
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  16. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    The Volt appears to have a glow plug light at the bottom of the indicator lights on the right of the speedo. It's visible if you shine a flashlight on it.
    #76
  17. Yamarocket630

    Yamarocket630 Honey Badger

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    Has it caught fire yet?
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  18. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    Yes, after I crash tested it to the point that it was destroyed and let it sit for three weeks without draining the coolant which is the protocol after a crash.
    #78
  19. DriveShaft

    DriveShaft Long timer

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    There's a brand spankin' new charging station in the parking deck where I work that appears to be made for just anyone who happens to want to park their electric car there. Haven't seen a single car using it yet. Will be interesting to see if that changes as more of these make their way east coast.

    It's apparently getting a cousin in the GM line-up in 2013.

    [​IMG]
    #79
  20. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Saw one of the ELR test vehicles about a month ago on the Ohio Turnpike. Going the other way, so no way to get a pic. Looked good, even in the splattered cow stealth wrap.

    Also, GM is getting their fully electric Spark ready. Hopefully, GM has recaptured their desire to be on the cutting edge. Its been missing and not in action for several decades.
    #80