Just Test Drove A VOLT!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Chevrolet Volt' started by just_older99, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Insight-I Owner

    Insight-I Owner 2006 Insight-I MT + 2011 Prius

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    But the situation isn't comparable:
    - the Prius-I cost $20,000, not >$40,000
    - given tax breaks/incentives available then and now, the logic of "hybrid premium" has always seemed muddy to me
    - at the time it was the ONLY 4-seater hybrid available; now the Volt faces other energy-efficient options

    I'm certainly not scared of new tech or of the development cycle. I like glitzy new stuff as much as anyone. What concerns me more is whether or not the "new tech" of the Volt is overall more energy efficient or not than the other solutions which are appearing.

    STM the OP's plan to have a Prius and a Leaf covers local commuting and longer trips more efficiently than a Volt (or two).
     
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  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    2001 Prius in Canada - $29,990. No options (you guys had nav, side airbags and cruise, right?). Cruise was standard IIRC but no nav or side airbags offered on any year.

    lol. but it was near par when it was launched. There's no way Toyota Canada can predict which way the exchange rate will go so they will have to play it smart and use their best judgement.
     
  3. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    But if the early adopters didn't buy the Gen 1's there never would have been any more, and it worked out fine. The battery lasted nearly 170,000 miles before it failed, and there was little residual value left in the car by then anyway. Assuming I saved 10 mpg from whatever other car I would have ended up in thats like 17,000 gallons isn't it?

    I've already saved hundreds of gallons compared to a prius in the past few months. In the next few years I have no doubt I will more than save the meager difference between my lease payment and the payment on a similarly equipped prius. At the same time I am saving money i am fostering a new technology I believe in, and have personal satisfaction in the reduction of my dependence on foreign oil, and once my PV system is installed drastically reduced emissions overall.

    The prius is great, HSD is awesome tech that I wish more people would adopt, but I want to keep moving forward toward electrification. God willing my next car may be a Tesla model S.
     
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  4. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    The key difference you are ignoring is that Volt requires electricity to displace gasoline but the Prius does not.

    Prius saves gasoline simply by being more efficient. Volt replace gasoline with electricity generated from some other fuel (mostly fossil fuel in average US electricity).
     
  5. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    I'm not ignoring it, I'm relishing in it. The electric drive is way more efficient than any internal combustion engine, or even "conventional" hybrid power train.

    You're quick to point out the Volt's worst case efficiency scenarios, but rarely mention the best ones. Yes its less electrically efficient than a Leaf, and it is less mechanically efficient than a prius, but on average its more efficient than a prius without any of the range issues of a Leaf.

    Again nothing wrong with a Leaf, great car filling a need for the people it fits.

    Trying to directly compare Prius, Leaf, and Volt is just a little futile, like comparing apples, oranges, and peaches. We could always just default to the mpge figure from the EPA (leaf 99 mpge, volt 60 mpge, prius 51 mpg).
     
  6. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    GALLONS of gas + KWH of electricity

    What's so complicated about that?

    Of course, consumers shopping for an efficient new vehicle will also be adding PRICE ...and Volt consumes far more $$$ than the others.
    .
     
  7. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Nothing at all, and on a different thread one volt driver is documenting them each down to the mile, tenth of a gallon, and kwh. The problem comes in how we convert.

    Many of us would rather use 1000kwh of electricity than 1 gallon of gas. We use sun or wind and are willing to pay. Others would rather exploit the oil sands and pay money to OPEC than use a single kwh per gallon of gas. For them even the future prius phv must be less efficient car because its possible that you might use some coal to charge it. A V6 Camry will make sure that nasty polluting coal is not used for transportation. Its our oil, and our troops will make sure it continues to flow even after we start running out. Opinions will differ and seem to get quite emotional.

    My prius, and the volt, are much less expensive than my previous car a Lexus GS400. The other car had luxury, handling, and power that none of the efficient cars can touch. When people say the prius is too expensive, and it is compared to the mazda 3 I almost got, they just don't understand that some of us value using less gasoline. I would think on a prius forum the $350/mo volt lease, or $349 /mo leaf lease would be understood by people. Otherwise why did you buy your prius? These cars have unique technology, the prius included. You could buy a used car for good mileage and much lower tco if that is your only reason.
     
  8. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    Well, if we're talking about efficiency you need to think about how many kwh of electricity is equivalent to how many gallons of gas.

    For instance:

    Which is more efficient:
    A. Prius drives 100 miles consuming 2 gallons of regular gas
    B. Volt drives 100 miles consuming 12kwh and 1.5 gallons of premium gas
    C. Leaf drives 100 miles consuming 24 kwh

    Are you going to measure efficiency based on the cost per mile? Then you need to know the cost of regular gas the cost of premium gas and the cost of electricity (not to mention whether the electricity is available at different rates or whether the charging was on peak or off peak or self generated at home through wind or solar, etc...)

    Are you going to measure efficiency on the well to wheel energy analysis. Then you need to know what the source of the electric is, how much energy was used to mine the uranium, etc.., and how much energy was used to pump and transport the oil and the refining energy of regular compared to premium, etc...

    Do you want to just use the pump/plug to wheel analysis to see which used more joules of energy on the trip? We'll need to know the energy density of premium and regular gas.

    Are you measuring efficiency on highest percentage work done per unit of energy consumed? We'll need to factor in the weights of each car and how much energy is lost in each system, etc...

    Then what if you want to turn around and come home? Do you do so immediately, running the Volt in CS mode against the Prius driving normally and the Leaf being towed? What if you let them charge for an hour, 4 hours, 10 hours?

    Should you even compare them on a long road trip or more in accordance with the use patterns of the typical driver (which would probably be more relevant to most consumers)? Drive them each 30 miles a day and the prius will look like a Hummer comparatively.

    Or how should time factor? Make the test a 1000 mile road trip, all the cars will need to stop and refuel, how often and much is a fair comparison? The prius will fill up once or twice and finish the test in a day or two, the Leaf will need to charge 10 times and will likely need 10 days to finish, the Volt can fill up 3 or 4 times and do it in a day or two using very little electric; or can stop to charge every 40 miles and finish the test in 25 days using no gas.
     
  9. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    We are not.

    The typical consumer doesn't give a rip about conversions or equivalents. They just want to know how many gallons & kwh will be consumed.

    KISS
    .
     
  10. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    Sorry John, I was originally responding to usbseawolf's implication that a prius was more efficient than a Volt (see below).

    Also, I don't think you're right about the typical consumer being concerned with kwh's. Maybe enthusiasts or people who are really interested. From what I hear when talking to people who ask me about the Volt, most people want to know what the operating costs are. If I tell them kwh's they don't really get what that means to them, they want to know a charge costs $1.50 or whatever. Maybe what we need is not a mileage number from the Environmental Protection Agency, but an economic comparison from the Federal Trade Commission (assuming either still exists after next Tuesday).
     
  11. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I pointed out where majority of the electricity are coming from. I could mention the small fraction that also come from renewable but it wouldn't add much weight.

    Electric propulsion is very efficient. However, generating the electricity isn't. Electricity doesn't exist by itself, neither gasoline. EPA's MPGe assumes that the efficiency to generate electricity is the same as refining gasoline. The problem is that electricity can be generated from petroleum by-products (Diesel, Natural Gas, etc..). Therefore, EPA assumption cannot be true because you need to count the energy you'll need to refine Diesel and NG.
     
  12. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    Thats what I'm saying, its difficult and complicated to compare efficiency between vehicles operating on different fuels and fuel mixes.

    It'll be so much simpler when my Volt is running on sunshine :D
     
  13. justicepool

    justicepool New Member

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    I couldn't disagree more. We just purchased a used Gen I prius (2002 w/68K miles) and love it. After 2500 miles we are averaging 46 mpg and it drives and feels great. My wife and I replaced a 3/4 ton 4 door pickup and a Yukon XL (suburban) with a 2002 Prius and 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid. We wanted fuel efficient vehicles that we could just pay cash for with no car payments and these two are what we settled for. There is currently a price premium associated with used hybrid vehicles (especially the Prius), but I did the best I could within our budget. I am very happy with both vehicles. The Prius is hardly a dressed up Echo.
     
  14. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The view was different a decade ago.
    Gas was cheaper and the Prius was around 30% more in price than the similarly sized Echo.
     
  15. picah

    picah New Member

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    drove one of the first in my state a few months ago
    great below 60MPH
     
  16. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    I rather suspect that they just want to know how many DOLLARS will be consumed.

    By that measure, the Volt has a pretty small range of prices of fuels, and distances traveled between charges that are cheaper than both the Prius and the Leaf.
     
  17. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    It depends upon your driving. If your commute is only a few miles anyway, extra capacity (range) wouldn't actually equate to a savings.
    .
     
  18. gwmort

    gwmort Active Member

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    Unless the extra capability of the larger battery pack allowed you to not have to run the ICE to accelerate or travel at highway speeds during that short commute...
     
  19. siai

    siai Junior Member

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    I haven't been on this site for years but wanted to chime in. I bought a Prius in 2001, then bought a 2002 with nav to replace the 2001. My last Prius was a 2004 which I traded (along with some cash) for a RAV4 EV. I still own the 2002 and the RAV. Both have been very reliable and inexpensive to operate. I had a chance to test drive a Volt the other day and keep it overnight. I would agree with others that it is a very nice running car, however no matter how I crunched the numbers, it didn't make economic sense. The range is too low (this will be even a greater issue with the plug-in Prius) and the level one charge time is too long. In addition the fuel economy on gasoline isn't very good either when you consider the fact that a Cruze ECO will beat the volt by several MPG. The best way to figure out operational costs for various vehicles is to break down the cost per mile to operate it on various fuels. In the case of the Volt, a full recharge took almost 14 kilowatt hours of electricity. My electric rate will all costs included is 12 cents per kilowatt hour. The volt then ran 37 miles on the charge. Therefore, the electricity cost $1.68 to go 37 miles or 4.54 cents per mile. When running on gasoline, the volt (which requires premium fuel) used one gallon of $3.95 per gallon gasoline to go 39 miles which is a cost of 10.12 cents per mile. You can compare any car this way. My RAV is the cheapest vehicle to drive coming in at 3.52 cent per mile with a 100 mile pure electric range. I also run a fleet of CNG powered Chevrolet Cavalier's which use natural gas which costs me $1.43 per GGE to compress to go 33 miles or 4.33 cents per mile which beats the Volt on electricity alone. The bottom line here is that there are far better alternatives out there when you add in the premium price paid for the Volt even with the full tax credit. Don't get me wrong, I would really like a Volt if it was near the price of a Prius and had more like a 50 mile range and level two charging standard. After all this I decided to trade the 2002 Prius in on a 2011 that was in stock at my local dealer.
     
  20. mainerinexile

    mainerinexile No longer in exile!

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    I agree that close-mindedness is a poor trait for anyone, especially bad for Prius drivers, but what the first poster didn't mention is that a Volt only gets 35 mpg after battery runs out. It may be OK around town, but a long trip, it'll cost you compared to a Prius. So I agree that I wouldn't pay that kind of money for what is just an average car that happens to run for a while on battery.
     
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