Quote of the Day: Volt Review Re-Run Still Runs Out of Gas

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

USA Today re-joins the cavalcade of media outlets helping GM destroy as much Volt “buzz” as possible via premature recapitulation. Yes, it’s a recycled review of the Volt that fails to address questions surrounding the Hail Mary-shaped plug-in hybrid’s internal combustion engine (ICE). When does it kick in? How does the car behave when it kicks in? What’s the Volt’s operating range? What’s the mpg when the ICE is operative? Of course, you can’t blame USA Today for this sin of omission. GM has point blank refused to let a journalist drive the car in “extended range” mode. But you can blame the media for pretending they’re reviewing a “real” car. Of course, they always mention it at some point in the “review,” but, by then, the un-damage has been done. As for “GM and the government are discussing how to calculate a realistic fuel-economy number,” we all know how that turned out.

Tuning of the gasoline engine. It wasn’t operable in the test cars, so there was no hint of how smooth and quiet it’ll be when it comes on to charge the batteries, if needed.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • John Horner John Horner on Aug 15, 2009

    GM needs to look up the definition of "Doing an Osborne", because they repeatedly make this mistake.

  • Christy Garwood Christy Garwood on Aug 15, 2009

    +1 Porsche986 - do you work for GM like I do? JK All, GM is currently in the testing cycle of the Volt development in Arizona and Michigan. The Volt will be tested in all sorts of weather, hot and cold, all sorts of load cases - one or more passengers, luggage in the trunk, radio blasting, HVAC on/ off, climbing up long mountains, braking down the same, running totally electric and running until the gas tank empties. Standard testing cycles for most cars and trucks plus some not so standard because of the new tech. This is just my opinion, but if I were a gambler I would say that GM has performance criteria that the gas engine was designed to and is currently refining the system during physical cycles. Maybe they are making discoveries, good and bad, that require alterations to fuel tank size, what RPM is most efficient for the ICE to run at, and finally total range on a full charge and full tank of gas. BTW panzerfaust, what's wrong with using ICE? We use WTF, NSFW, IIRC, etc. don't we? RE: the media blitz for sooo long, maybe it is putting pressure on GM to make sure that the Volt lives up to everything that GM is claiming it will do. And just maybe they still want some pleasant surprises to expose to the public when it goes on sale - do you really want to know everything about your spouse before you tie the knot?

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Aug 15, 2009

    ChristyGarwood; I think I made my reason for my annoyance with the use of ICE clear.

  • Dangerous Dave Dangerous Dave on Aug 15, 2009

    I was testing manager for a now defunct neighborhood electric vehicle (street legal golf cart)manufacturer. We tested on deserted roads that were going to be a housing development that never happened. We ran the NEVs wide open on the closed course until the low charge light came on. The test cycle lasted 45 - 50 minutes. I had a new test driver that didn't grasp the wide open concept and stopped at all the intersections. His test cycle lasted 25 minutes. Stop and go in an electric vehilcle takes a lot more out of the batteries than a steady cruise. My question is how is this 40 miles being obtained? Is it flat road at 35 MPH, or a more realistic traffic pattern with stop and go, varied speeds, and an occasional hill thrown in for good measure.