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2017 Chevy Volt Review wrap up: All of the upside and none of the downside for ICE converts

Discussion in 'News from Electrek.co' started by RSSFeed, Jun 1, 2016.

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  1. RSSFeed

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    I’ve been forming my big picture opinion of the 2017 Chevy Volt over the past week and journaling the experience in a set of diary posts (1, 2, 3-4). It has definitely been a journey from my initial impressions to becoming extremely comfortable with the car in a matter of days.

    Overwhelmingly, the 2017 Volt is a fantastic car that will fit into many people’s lives and probably be one of the most functional mass-market electric cars for the next 3 years. The numbers don’t lie – Volt sales are up while some EV competitors are down.

    I say 3 years because I believe that is how long, give or take, it will take electric infrastructure in the US to be as convenient as gas – at which point it will become more convenient. Sure, almost every house, building and structure has an electrical outlet which can charge on level 1 or 2 (and the 2017 Volt does both levels of AC charging), meaning you wake up every morning with a full 53 mile “tank” of electricity. But to finally close the convenience gap of gasoline and frankly beyond, pure electric cars need to be outfitted with high power DC chargers and long range batteries — both of which the Volt lacks.

    As a pure electric car owner, there are still a bunch of ski resorts in Vermont I can’t go to with my long range ‘200 mile’ electric car. To travel to my parents’ house in Ohio from New York, I need to avoid the straight shot Interstate 80 and dip down almost to Maryland to stay on the Supercharger route. Even going to an EV show in Montreal next month will require me to go 2-3 hours out of my way to stay charged up.

    Don’t get me wrong. We’re close, but we’re not there yet with electric infrastructure. The case is being made but there are still many obstacles outside of the $1 Trillion dollar Oil industry. For one, currently three different DC fast charging standards exist (Tesla, SAE and Chademo) so there’s work needed to either consolidate or build (more) adapters. DC charging will also speed up over the next few years. Teslas can currently charge at 135kW while most other EVs top out at 50kW. That means most DC charging “fill ups” will take at least 30 minutes. But Tesla wants to take that down to 5-10 minutes by the time the Model 3 is released and has all but abandoned its under 90 second battery swap plan.

    I’m currently willing to make these route/time sacrifices because I love EVs, clean air and my Tesla, but I don’t think mainstream users are OK with going hundreds of miles/several hours out of the way to make a medium-long trip electrically for the next few years.

    That’s where the 2017 Volt fits in. more…

    Filed under: Cars, Chevy Volt Tagged: Chevy Volt [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

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    • Gary Moore

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      It's 2,500 miles to my parents' house in Ohio. If one is trying to decrease their carbon footprint significantly, then putting an ICE into every vehicle is not exactly the answer. Not even Evel Knievel decided it was fearless to announce that he was going to jump the Grand Canyon in about two jumps or so. I don't care how many government officials are currently being funded to brag that they are not scientists. Death is Nature's way of telling idiots to slow down.
       
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      Early death is nature's way of keeping idiots out of the gene pool.

      The Volt is yet another example of half measures by the established car companies. They are fundamentally unable to break out of their constant quest for mediocrity. Our roads are littered with their past accomplishments.

      Why would anyone want an electric car that burns gasoline?

      IMNSHO.
       
    • Gary Moore

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      Most of what people do is a matter of habit. I like it when they stay in their lane on the expressway, rather than pretend they were trained at NASCAR on the slingshot. However, some folks feel change only happens gradually and so decide they will stick with what they did yesterday.

      If anyone is waiting upon climate change to reveal what actually happens once all that methane hydrate (which is currently contained under permafrost) enters the atmosphere, well, please note: Idiots look down the barrel to see how the bullets come out, and with that level of inquisitiveness, they really won't have much time to see anything, and that's their final answer.
       
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      • minogully

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        I've gotta use that on AGW denialists.
         
      • Dan Detweiler

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        #6 Dan Detweiler, Jun 12, 2016
        Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
        Because it filled a gap in EV practicality that was sorely needed at the time. 4 years in my Volt. Love it! 80% all electric. No range anxiety whatsoever. First car I have ever owned that did exactly what the manufacturer said it would...and more.

        Now that Tesla is in my price bracket I am anxiously awaiting my Model 3. Don't knock the Model T Ford just because it's not a Ferrari.

        Dan
         
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        • TrevP

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          I would have considered the Volt had I not been such a purist ;)

          The Volt has the highest consumer satisfaction rating of any GM car ever. That's pretty significant. I'm sorry to say however the new look of the Volt is a bit too Honda Civic for my tastes. I still like the previous look.
           
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          • garsh

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            If the volt would have looked anything like the concept car, I would have considered it. The final production result was just too pedestrian.
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            • TrevP

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              Pretty typical of GM and other car makers. Concepts never look like the final production cars.
              At least Tesla understands that concepts are a waste of time. Better to show prototypes as close to production intent as possible. Gives them a lot more credibility in their ability to deliver what they've been working on.
               
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              • MelindaV

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                Agree, I like the slight camero style, like the wheels, like the narrow mirrors... Not understanding how one opens a window that follows the body contour - but cool looking bent glass even if not functional, don't understand the long V8 sized hood and grill. But overall, yes. The look/feel of this at least appeals to my style where the production volt and soon to be bolt I think are not awesome looking at all.
                 
              • RICK M

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                Hi Trev. I was amazed by the battery swap program, however I have a few questions: 1. What do you think this program will cost for each battery swap ? 2. Does one need to be concerned about the age of the batteries that were put in your car when the swap took place ? The concept is great as long as the swap-out is cost effective. Your thoughts ?
                Rick
                 
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                Rick. the battery swap program is effectively dead for all intents and purposes. Tesla built one facility the Harris Ranch location and it didn't get much use. Secondly the swap testing program was by invitation only and it ended up taking much longer to swap the batteries than expected. At the moment the location has been mothballed. Turns out most people prefer "free" Supercharging despite the slight inconvenience in time it takes.

                Notice that Tesla announced a doubling of the Supercharger network by the end of next year and not a peep about battery swapping.
                #Forgetabboutit
                 
              • Dan Detweiler

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                My understanding was that the program wasn't nearly as efficient as expected and one of the requirements was that the owner return to the same location and swap back to their original battery. Just wasn't convenient enough to make it viable.

                Dan
                 

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