Volt Birth Watch 63: 360 Gas-Only Miles. Maybe.

Richard Chen
by Richard Chen
volt birth watch 63 360 gas only miles maybe

Jim Majeta at Kicking Tires reports a change in GM's upcoming hybrid electric – gas hybrid Chevrolet Volt's fuel tank size. The 12-gallon tank with a 600-mile projected range is no more. GM's not saying by how much they're shrinking the tank, but the new projected range is 360 petrochemical miles. As that's just over half the previous gas-only range, a straight division yields a 7.2-gallon tank. Per the article, "GM says because most cars [will in theory] travel 40 miles or less each day, there was really no need to have a 12-gallon fuel tank – and the added weight – to extend the range by 600 miles." Translation: "We have problems meeting weight and packaging requirements, big time. Besides, the only range we have to beat is the Tesla Roadster's." Speaking of another manufacturer suffering from premature specification…

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  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Jul 09, 2008

    @Busbodger Let's hope the GM skunkworks keeps whittling away at the VOLT, until they have something that really optimizes weight/power/handling. I would actually buy something that looked like the Saab 9x concept, and which ran on the VOLT principle. I'd be elbowing my way to the front of the line. But an oversized, too heavy, "make it look like a regular car" version is not for me.

  • Nonce Nonce on Jul 09, 2008
    For at least 95% of us out here we need our car to be a REAL car capable of traveling long distance if needed. Yeah! A REAL car! Like a truck! Or an SUV! Raaaah! I have a small penis! I let TV dictate what kind of car I buy! Hurururh1!!11one but the reality is the 95% of us do NOT wish to deal with the extra hassle of a plug-in Hybrid. Why, did you take a poll? Plug-in hybrids don't work for people who don't have access to a plug at night. That will take out a good chunk of people, maybe 30% to 50% of Americans. That's fine. but the reality is the 95% of us do NOT wish to deal with the extra hassle of a plug-in Hybrid. Do you know what RAV4 EV's go for on eBay? This is a car that can't take gasoline. There are lots of cars being sold in the tens of thousands right now that don't have a 400-mile range. Check out Bankrate. GM will have no problem selling the first 10,000 at $40K or even $50K, if they can just ship a car that basically works and they aren't beaten to the punch. I fully realize that those are both very big "if"s as long as we're talking about GM.

  • Johnson Johnson on Jul 10, 2008
    brent, you still don't get it. The Volt is not OUT, so we can't say ANYTHING about it, good or bad. The Volt is being criticized because GM acts *as if* the Volt is already in production, when it's far from it. The Volt is also criticized because Volt supporters act as if the vehicle is already in production, using and arguing with specific numbers that we don't know will stay the same with the production model. You can hype and talk positively about the Volt all you want, but it's NOT OUT YET. The Prius on the other hand is out. It's been on-sale for years now. With the Prius, we have cold, hard targets with which to measure the Volt against when it comes out. The Volt won't be out until late 2010 at the earliest. The next-gen Prius is coming in 2009. Toyota has confirmed this 100%. We know this to be a fact. Also since we have cold hard numbers from the current Prius, using logic and common sense the next-gen Prius would improve on the current Prius in most metrics. So by the time the Volt comes out, it will NOT be compared to the current dated Prius, it will be compared to the next-gen Prius that will have already been out on the market for over a year by the time the Volt comes to market.

  • KixStart KixStart on Jul 30, 2008

    I'm just back from a trip in our Rav4. it got 29.5mpg, overall (with a few legs doing noticeably better). Trip distance was just shy of 3600 miles and we refueled 14 times, including the final fillup at home today. The nominal range of the vehicle (probably including what's in the neck) is about 450 miles. On a number of occasions, when we stopped, fueling wasn't convenient or seemed expensive and got skipped. 5 of our fillups were at 340-plus miles. All of those were slightly nerve-wracking. One fillup went to 13.3 gallons. One shorter-range fillup was driven by poor fuel economy related to weather . We should have been able to get to our overnight but shoving aside all that rain killed our fuel economy. It would probably help if our fuel gauge was more accurate. It's too pessimistic. When it dropped below E, we actually have almost 3 gallons left but lack the confidence to use it. Of the fillups at 340+, we could, convniently, have gone longer, but fuel was the principal consideration in stopping. A couple times we refueled when it wasn't really necessary so we could stretch the next leg of the trip, if we wanted. So, yeah, I consider sub-300 mile range to be too short. This won't be huge but it will be a factor for people.