Michael Sheiman's picture

The Volt: 90% EV, 10% ICE for all practical purposes

Chevy Volt may technically be a PHEV, but drives/maintains itself/lacks emissions almost exactly like a pure EV.
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Technically speaking, Chevy Volt is a PHEV as it uses both an electric motor and a gas AKA Internal Combustion Engine (ICE).

It also, for the most part, acts like a series hybrid as it uses the ICE to generate electricity for the electric motor and not to drive the wheels directly, just like the BMW i3 REX. However, it is not strictly/technically a series hybrid as the ICE connects directly to the drivetrain in extreme circumstances e.g. when the battery is almost dead and the car is cruising at a steady higher speed to improve cruising efficiency. This means, for its estimated 40 mile range (spot on, as research confirms most e.g. 78% of Americans drive no more than 40 miles a day on average), the Volt will not only be powered by its electric motor, but the ICE motor/generator will be completely off.

Also, unless the owner is completely clueless and decided to spend a lot of money over a standard Chevy Malibu Hybrid (which is based on Volt) for nothing, that owner will regularly plug the car in and use it almost exclusively as an EV. At the same time, most owners of limited range cars like a purely electric Leaf also have an ICE-powered car for long trips, so it's not like such EV owners are practically using 100% electric power either.

There is no shortage of blogs and owner accounts that confirm cars like the Volt essentially match EV's in terms of advantages.

One such blog is is Voltowner. Such blogs confirm over 90% of the miles driven by such owner in the Volt were all electric and oil changes and other engine maintenance upkeep occurred some (1-90%)/1 = 1/10th as often as with an ICE. So unless you consider something like an oil change every 30000 miles or so typical hybrid ICE engine maintenance, you might want to consider a vehicle like the Volt as possessing virtually the same zero-maintenance characteristics as an EV.

Far as mileage, rates above 200 mpg are fairly common and Fueleconomy.gov rates the Volt at 149.7 mpg off gas. How? Because, again, the majority of energy "burned" is electric.

A true test of how efficient Chevrolet Volt is would likely involve tracking all the miles done by several Volt owners vs. several entry-level pure EV owners, such as Nissan Leaf owners, between all the cars they own and calculating how much gas, in total, was used to power them per mile driven. I am betting the gas burned per mile would be approximately the same in total and the split between EV and ICE-fueled distance would be about the same.

For these reasons, among others, I believe the Volt acts as an entry-level EV and, with all but the most careless owners, will match the environmental savings of a pure EV. Thus, I also believe it, for all practical purposes/usage, should be considered a pure EV.

However, to note, I believe the Volt should have its own subcategory relative to pure EVs, which is the "Gas-Extended EV". The reason being that, in a rare pinch or low battery situation, the Volt can be refueled/powered by gas, unlike a pure/battery-only EV.

Also see Next Gen Chevy Volt Takes Design Cues from the Corvette


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Comments

The GM Volt is not a EV, and EV should not be equated with any plug-in-hybrid or fcv. If it can't plug in it is not an EV.

Using the range as measure to know what percentage the GM Volt is mostly a gasoline car that can drive 38 miles in electric-only mode and another 344 miles in chemical-fossil fuel mode (total: 382 miles, 38/382 electric & 344/382 fuel = GM Volt: 10% electric-mode, 90% gasoline-mode).
{brucedp.150m.com}

You can plug in the bolt. You can drive it without using any gas. It is an EV.

Your math assumes you are driving full range all the time. In the real world people do not. This the 90% electric is real world and your 10% is fantasy world.

Brucedp.

You are correct. Michal before you write a story about e-vehicle you better get your info. first.. you are totally incorrect.
The Chevy volt gets about 35 miles per battery charge and about 35 miles per gallon. Charge the battery 100% and fuel one gallon into the empty tank and than you will see exactly how far you can go.
I would never purchase a vehicle like that because it does make any sense. The gallon of fuel is about $2.50 a gallon To recharge the battery 100% again cost over $5.00 Plus the vehicle is about $ 14K over a normal car. Plus you have the charging station and all costs.
THIS IS WHY I INVENTED AN ALL NEW ELCTRIC VEHICLE POWER TRAIN SYSTEM FOR ANY

TYPES OF VEHICLES. PLEASE SEE BLOW.

ALL ELECTRIC VEHICLE WITHOUT PLUG-IN REQUIREMENT.
NO OUTSIDE ELECTRIC NEEDED.
VEHICLE CAN DRIVE SOMETIMES OR WITH OPTION DRIVE UNLIMITED MILES WITHOUT USE OF THE BATTERY.
ALWAYS DRIVES 100% ELECTRIC.
PLEASE SEND ME YOUR E-MAIL FOR INFO
954-254-5591 FL USA
[email protected]

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