At the Milwaukee Hybrid Group Meet to be exact.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Mar. 20, 2011
2011 Chevrolet Volt -- Can Green be both Bad @$$ and Kick @$$ at the same time?
Oak Creek, WI -- A late winter gathering of 60 plus members of the Milwaukee Hybrid Group took place this afternoon with a specification overview and an owner’s perspective of possibly the most advanced automobile platform on the planet. That being GM’s engineering “Moon Shot” called the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.
New and old members alike were engaged with or dare I say entertained by answering interesting questions on a number of topics from US and World oil consumption to hypermiling friendly driving habits. And regardless of the answers to questions both easy and hard, everyone was provided Snickers and Milky Way bites which is a great way to start off a long morning and afternoon of presentations.
I requested a GM Representative to present the Volt in a fashion they are very much accustomed to as of late but being in the midst of the vehicles rollout and overwhelmed with requests similar to mine, they were not able to attend. They did however offer to Skype in but the Group Meet facility unfortunately lacks the capability at this point in time
In lieu of their attendance, I built a PowerPoint overview of the Volt given our coverage of the vehicle over the last 4 years. In addition, Bill Robbins of Hybridfest fame was on hand to provide members in attendance a PowerPoint on the “Volt from an Owners Perspective”. And a great perspective it was too!
2011 Chevrolet VOLT Overview
CleanMPG and Milwaukee Hybrid Group - Mar. 19, 2011
Chevrolet’s PHEV/E-REV… Yes, we discussed the differences and it is a moot point.
The one and only 2011 Chevrolet VOLT.
A quick overview of the VOLT that is currently available at some dealerships within initial launch states around the country.
- 2012 Toyota Prius PHEV
- 2012 Ford Focus C-MAX Energi PHEV Hybrid
At this point in time, there really are no true competitors to the Volt as the LEAF is a pure BEV and everything else is an HEV of one sort or another. All told, the BEV/HEV segments lack the capability that the Volt provides its owners day in and day out.
Where did the Preview come from? Last fall’s preview drive at the LA Auto Show Press Event and literally years of CleanMPG coverage.
Tax Credit "Available
" for those that qualify: $7,500
Lease $350/mo with $2,500 down with the $7,500 TC going to GM.
Rear Camera and Park Assist Package: $695
Premium Trim Package (Leather Heated Seats): $1,395
84 HP 1.4L Gas Engine and a 149 HP Electric Motor
Performance: 100 mph top speed and 0 to 60 in < 9.0 seconds
Passenger Volume: 90 cu. ft.
Luggage Capacity: 10.6 cu. ft.
2011 Chevrolet Volt Availability - Launch States
Initially available in California, Michigan (delayed), Washington, D.C., Texas, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Customers nationwide will be able to order Volts from participating dealers in the second quarter of 2011.
Deliveries will begin in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii in the third quarter.
During the fourth quarter, Chevrolet expects to deliver Volts in all 50 states.
2011 Chevrolet Volt EPA Rating(s)
Confusing Monroney sticker discussed.
Electric: 35 miles All-Electric Range (Your Range May Vary) -- Gasoline: 35 city/40 mpg highway (Your Mileage May Vary)
2011 Chevrolet Volt Aerodynamics
Cd = 0.287. And yes, it is more aerodynamic than the Prius’ 0.25 stated Cd… Make your own conclusions
Full underbody plastic aero shielding, sculpted front fascia, front air dam, aerodynamic mirrors and rear spoiler.
2011 Chevrolet Volt Battery Detail
Volt aerodynamics up close and personal.
Type: LG Chem Li-Ion with 288 prismatic Cells
Weight: 435 lb with an active liquid cooling control system
Battery Temperature control -- GM maintains the Volt’s Li-Ion battery within a 2 degrees C temperature range across the entire pack using an active liquid coolant system.
Three different systems regulate the coolant temperature.
- When the Volt is plugged in and charging in cold weather: An electric heater is used to warm the coolant and pre-heat the battery.
- During normal operations, coolant is passed through a heat exchanger mounted up front to cool the battery.
- An air conditioning circuit can be used to dissipate heat from the battery when temperatures really climb.
120 V Circuit: About 8 - 10 hours (actual charge times may vary)
240 V Circuit: About 3 - 4 hours (actual charge times may vary)
2011 Chevrolet Volt Warranties
Battery and Vehicle water inundation testing. Just one of many QC hurdles.
Volt Battery Warranty - Eight-Years or 100,000-Mile’s and is transferable at no cost to other vehicle owners. The comprehensive battery warranty covers all 161 battery components in addition to the thermal management system, charging system and electric drive components.
Standard Vehicle Warranty
3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage
5-year/100,000-mile roadside assistance and courtesy transportation
5-year/100,000-mile limited gas engine coverage
6-year/100,000-mile corrosion protection coverage
2011 Chevrolet Volt Drive Modes
A Volt traversing a River Canyon.
Normal, Sport and Mountain plus two climatic modes - Eco and Comfort.
- Normal mode is default - Press the accelerator pedal an average distance for very normal acceleration feel.
- Sport Mode (you will have to manually select) - Press the accelerator pedal an average distance for better than average acceleration.
- Mountain mode sets a larger reserve capacity from the battery (Higher SOC allowed). Close to 1.5X’s the AER appears to be available when selected but an inordinate amount of fuel consumption will occur to receive it.
Eco and Comfort modes:
Comfort is comfortable.
Eco mode is comfortable for some of us
Using heated seats is far more efficient than heating the cabin.
2011 Chevrolet Volt Telematics
Working end of the Chevrolet Volt.
– The Killer App(s)
High-resolution displays, connectivity and the ability to monitor and control vehicle functions remotely.
2011 Chevrolet Volt Fuel Tank and Fuel Use
- 7” full-color LCD Driver Information Center display showing electric-only range, fuel economy, extended-range, trip information, tire pressure information and other key vehicle messages.
- 7” full-color LCD Center Stack-mounted display that serves as the interface for infotainment and cabin climate controls. An Efficiency (Leaf) switch accesses energy usage, power flow and charging screens – easy to use and understand.
- Key fob allows drivers to remotely start the vehicle and precondition the cabin based on outside temperatures.
- An exclusive mobile app, powered by OnStar MyLink, that enables owners to engage with the Volt functions using a smart phone.
“Maintenance mode”: If the engine hasn’t started after six weeks, a message appears telling the driver that the engine needs to run for maintenance. Volt drivers can defer the engine maintenance mode for up to 24 hours, after which the engine will run for a while on its own to use up some of the gas and keep the internals lubricated and ready for use.
If a driver manages to go a full year between fill-ups, the fuel maintenance mode will run the engine until the old gas is used up or the driver adds fresh fuel.
In the words of Volt fuel tank engineer:
“For the driver who starts the year with a full tank of 9.3 gallons and runs 15,000 miles on electricity, the maintenance mode will use just enough gas to average a very respectable 1,613 miles per gallon."
: The Volt comes equipped with fuel-efficient all-season Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max P215/55R/17 tires that help to achieve its EPA all-electric range of 35 miles.
Volt GoodYear Assurance Fuel Max Tires
Actual GoodYear Assurance Fuel MAX as mounted on Bill Robbin’s own 2011 Chevrolet Volt.
Compared to the original Goodyear Assurance tire, the “Volt Specific” Assurance Fuel Max tires provide a 27 percent reduction in rolling resistance which equates to a 4 percent improvement in highway fuel economy.
: Forged aluminum wheels provided by Alcoa provide increased strength, durability and are lighter than a comparable cast aluminum wheel. The seventeen-inch wheels fitted to Volt weigh just 17.8 lbs each!
Even the Sound System is Efficient!
The Volt Bose Energy Efficient Series sound system decent sound yet is 30 percent smaller, 40 percent lighter, and uses 50 percent less energy than a conventional sound system. The electrical energy savings results in increased all-electric drive capability equivalent to removing up to 50 pounds of mass!
2011 Chevrolet Volt Awards
- 2011 North American Car of the Year
- Motor Trend 2011 Car of the Year
- Green Car Journal 2011 Green Car of the Year
- Car and Driver 10 Best for 2011
- Ward’s AutoWorld 10 Best Engines for 2011
- AUTOMOBILE Magazine 2011 Automobile of the Year
- 2010 Breakthrough Technology, by Popular Mechanics
2011 Chevrolet Volt
The dawning of a new age at GM. And the Volt, their best effort to date, is a good one!
The 2011 Volt from an Owner’s Perspective
While I should have been taking notes, Bill Robbin’s gave an excellent presentation discussing the many plus’ and the few missteps that he has uncovered all the while enjoying his Volt far more than he ever enjoyed his previous second generation Prius! I think that statement alone gives you an idea of what this ground breaking vehicle brings to the table.
Bill Robbins in front of Milwaukee Hybrid Group discussing his Volt owner experiences.
And of course his baby.
Bill’s 2011 Chevrolet -- PLUG IN Indeed!
Would you want to own and drive this American wonder? I would!
With the meet concluded and most members heading back for home, Bill allowed Randy Mays and I to take the Volt out for a little spin. With 15-miles of range showing on one of the energy screens after approximately 3.5-hours of being plugged into a 120V outlet at the library, I set off in a moderately heavy trafficked city route consisting of tens of stop lights over a 7.9 mile round trip. Simply rabbit timing, DWL, heavy regen in Low when caught and allowing the Volt to glide when traffic allowed, it lost 2-miles of all-electric range after 7.9 miles. Not bad for a 3,800 pound + Super car with 3-full grown men inside for the duration if I do say so myself.
We will save more detailed impressions for another time but as of now, “GM done good
” and we will leave it at that for now...