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Will the Chevy Volt Succeed?

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Comments

  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,241
    No more than 8 weeks? Citation, please.

    I leave E10 in a gas can and trickle it away over the course of 6 months running my lawn mower. What's left over gets dumped in my car. I've never had any problems starting/running the mower nor with my cars.

    The worst thing I can see happening is the alcohol evaporating, turning 10 gallons of "gas" (90% gasoline, 10% ethanol) into 9 gallons of gas. Alcohol is non-residual; that's why it makes for a good cleaner for things like electronics.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Phase separation is a serious problem with ethanol fuels. It has been the greatest problem with boats because they are not used frequently enough to use all the fuel. The alcohol does not "evaporate" - it absorbs water from condensation and the atmosphere and separates from the gasoline. Don't believe me? Put a little water in a jar with E10, mark the water level with a scratch or a marker, shake it up and see what happens.

    Professional loggers who are in regions where they cannot obtain pure gas (www.pure-gas.org), do not keep E10 fuel for more than 3 or 4 weeks for their expensive 2 stroke chainsaws. For 4 strokes, 8 weeks is the accepted shelf life unless the fuel is stabilized.

    Ask any mechanic about ethanol fuel and fuel systems. Every marina near me has "help wanted" signs for marine mechanics. One shop has gone from doing 3 or 4 carbs a year to a long waiting list in the hundreds. My own boat is in the shop for clogged fuel injectors due to ethanol fuel - the only fuel available in my area.

    You are entitled to your own opinions - but not to your own facts.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I agree but would put some stabil in tank anyways .
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,241
    Still no citation. So I went searching. http://www.fuel-testers.com/expiration_of_ethanol_gas.html gives a lot of lip service about a 60-90 day shelf life, but it's entirely based on the assumption that E10 will somehow find 3.8 tsp/gallon of water. So a Volt with 8 gallons of gas would have to have over 5 ounces of water before separation would even begin. The data says 100 days @ a constant 70% humidity. I would fall apart under those conditions before my gas did.

    But it's simply not gonna happen. The Volt's gas tank is sealed: http://www.biofuelshub.com/features/4-features/1075-does-e10-have-a-shelf-life

    And here's the Volt's chief engineer on the subject: http://gm-volt.com/2009/05/26/volt-chief-engineer-on-chevy-volt-gas-tank-size-an- d-stale-gas-management/
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Read the articles you cited!

    ALL cars have sealed fuel tanks - this is not unique to the Volt.

    You really think 3.8 tsp of water is an unreasonable assumption? How do you think it was calculated? You don't believe in condensation?

    Chemistry and physics only apply to the rest of us - I'm sure you are exempt.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    In most parts of the country you will suck in a lot of moisture when you open the tank to fill it will gas. That is part of the swooshing sound when you remove the cap. I would think 70% humidity would be a low average for most of the USA. Especially in the summer.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Based on what I've read, if you commute 30 miles round trip to work (about 7500 miles per year) and have long road trips of 5000 miles per year, the total cost on Volt will be about $720/year based on 4cents per mile on electric on the Volt and 35 mpg on the long road trips using the gas engine at $3/gal. A Prius doing the same thing would cost $750 in gas.

    So it's almost the same, but if you do a lot more road trips then the Prius wins and if you do a lot less, then the Volt wins. Also, the Volt only as 10CuFt of cargo space (21 in the Prius) and a pretty small back seat. Based on this, it seems like the Volt is good for a commuter car, but as a full-time family car it would be better to have a Prius, again, depending on your driving style and cargo needs.
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    edited November 2010
    Hard to believe you have to put stabil in a Volts gas tank and when do you charge it and how did you get the figure of 4 cents a mile on electricity?
    Going green seems to cost alot of money.I would think natural gas cars would be more affordable.
    My wifes has found green religion lately and it scares me.40k for a volt not a price for the middle class I say. :lemon: I took her to get a Prius @28K and she couldn't use the rear camera. She has a IS Lexus.I think the Nissan leaf is for her and keep the IS.Green is trendy now.We will see how long. :sick:
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,241
    3.8 tsp per gallon; well over 5 ounces would be required for the Volt's 9.3 gallon tank. A full Volt gas tank will not suck in lots of air as there's simply no room for it. There won't be any condensation beyond a trivial amount along the filler neck.

    Since you seem to know about this better than the engineers who designed the car, why don't you enlighten us as to where the water-laden air will come from? The tank is sealed and the car barely uses any gas. Thus the tank is rarely opened for refueling. There's no air entering the tank (as it's full there's no room for it and it's sealed anyway) so where's the water coming from?

    I'll add that while opening an empty tank to refuel lets air in, that air is pushed right back out before condensation can occur as the tank is filled with gas.

    BTW, when you make statements like "You are entitled to your own opinions - but not to your own facts." and "Chemistry and physics only apply to the rest of us - I'm sure you are exempt." you don't help your cause. Insulting others instead of stating your case and providing examples with supporting arguments - which you've yet to do - hurts your credibility far more than any honest mistakes on my part might hurt mine.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,241
    That moisture-laden air is pushed right back out when it's displaced by the gas you pump in. Net effect: virtually no added moisture to the fuel system. If this weren't the case, vehicles running on E10, E85, and non-ethanol gas, diesel, and any other fuel you pump would always over time develop problems with water in their tanks.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    On a regular car water gets run through the engine with the gas. Some water is trapped by the filter. I know I did not drain my chipper very well when I put it away last winter. This spring when I put fresh gas in it would not start. I took the carb apart and it was all gummed up. So what is to keep that from happening if the engine does not cycle through the gas on a regular basis. If it is on a GM lease, no problem, tell them to come get their piece of junk. I would not count on many being sold to individuals anyway. GE has contracted for half the first years production. The Feds bought 89% of the Malibu hybrids. So only a few will be out there for the masses to buy. And expect a premium price as a just got to have it buyer.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    My mistake. The Feds only bought 64% of the Malibu Hybrids. You can count on US buying all the excess Volts that get built.

    The U.S. government buys hybrids almost exclusively from Ford and GM. It bought only 17 Prius models and five of Honda’s Civic hybrids in the past two years. Chrysler Group LLC stopped making hybrids in 2008 after about two months of production.

    The government purchased about 64 percent of GM’s Chevy Malibu hybrid models and 29 percent of all Ford Fusion hybrids manufactured since Obama took office in 2009, the data show. GM stopped making the Malibu hybrid in 2009 after lack of consumer demand.


    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-23/obama-bolsters-u-s-hybrid-auto-sales-in- -waning-consumer-market.html
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,241
    The Volt will run the ICE on occasion to exercise the components and maintain lubrication. Your build-up problem shouldn't occur. That exercising is how a Volt that's driven on EV miles only will still go through a tank of gas every year or so.

    I just dumped my lawn mower gas can into my car so the gas can will sit empty through winter. The E10 is from June or thereabouts.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Its your choice to treat your possessions as you wish - but it is irresponsible to present the use of 5 to 6 month old E10 as a wise practice to others on a public forum.

    Look - no citations again. Also none for other such controversies as gravity, a round earth and the sun setting in the west.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,241
    Well, it's also irresponsible to misrepresent the truth. Which in this case is that the Volt's gas tank won't have problems with E10 due to condensation. Chevy's chief engineer has already debunked that. Yet you persist.

    In all serious I would like to see something on how water gets into a sealed gas container. The references I've found are all about marine usage which (apparently) does not involve sealed tanks and certainly means the tanks are being filled in an environment that isn't friendly to E10 or any petroleum-based fuel.

    "Also none for other such controversies as gravity, a round earth and the sun setting in the west. "

    That the earth is round is a relatively recent revelation given the length of time humans have been "civilized".
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    I got a feeling that the Volt will not get even close to 40 miles in real cold or hot weather. No free lunch when you have a battery powered HVAC system. The battery use will be directly relative to the power consumed to keep the occupants warm or cool. So the engine will come into play more than most people would hope for.

    DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors now says its Chevrolet Volt electric car will go 25 to 50 miles on battery power, depending on temperature, terrain and driving techniques.

    In the past GM has said the rechargeable Volt could go 40 miles on battery before a gas engine kicks in to power the car for another 300 miles.

    Spokesman Rob Peterson said Thursday that the change was made because GM now has more experience driving the Volt. He says the new range is more realistic and based on extensive driving tests.

    The rechargeable Volt is due in showrooms in December. It has a base sticker price of $41,000.
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    I just used stabil in my tractor and 1 oz. per 2.5 gal of gas or a tad under 4 oz in the volt.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    According to Edmunds the TMV with typically equipped options will be $43,685. I can think of a lot of nice cars for that money. And before you start counting your $7500 tax credit, better check with your CPA. You may not qualify on a lease or if you are subject to AMT.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    The credit is not a refundable credit either. You must have at least 7500 in tax liability.

    One way to increase your tax liability enough to get the most out of the credit for either the Leaf or the Volt would be to fully or partially convert regular IRA to a Roth.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Have you seen that you can buy a version of Stabil that is labelled "for ethanol fuels"? Their formulas are proprietary so it would be very interesting to know if the regular Stabil differs from the "Stabil for ethanol fuels" or if its the same product with two different labels.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Have you seen that you can buy a version of Stabil that is labelled "for ethanol fuels"? Their formulas are proprietary so it would be very interesting to know if the regular Stabil differs from the "Stabil for ethanol fuels" or if its the same product with two different labels.

    I think the ethanol formula is intended for marine use, but I haven't researched it that heavily.

    See the link...

    http://www.goldeagle.com/brands/stabil/default.aspx
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,241
    Back from my trip and miracle of miracles, the (according to morin2) stale E10 gas I added to my car presented absolutely no problems with engine performance, fuel economy, or anything else.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,911
    We're kind of veering off track into ethanol here, so let's swing back and keep this one about the Volt. We have dedicated discussions about ethanol for conversation about that

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? pf_flyer@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,241
    Not a problem for me. I repeatedly stated that E10 wasn't a problem for the Volt and supplied supporting references to counter the claims being made that E10 would be problematic. I simply don't want someone researching the Volt to be mislead about the car's capabilities.

    I have a niece-in-law who works as a postal carrier. It's a rural route so the deliveries are driven, not walked, and personal cars are used with a mileage reimbursement v. driving the postal fleet. IMO the Volt or a traditional hybrid would be great for this kind of route. Especially with the regenerative braking as they're having to do brake jobs quite often on the sedan she currently drives.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Here's a pretty good link below. Basically says when comparing the Prius to the Volt, they both emit the same amount of CO2. You'll save about $300/year in gas using the Volt as compared to the Prius (at 15,000 miles driven per year). So you're paying $10,000 more to save $300 in gas.

    One catch is the *** which indicates the calculations are based on driving 2/3 of the time purely on electric and 1/3 of the time on the gas engine. So if you drive a lot of long (>40 mile) trips, you're savings will be less, and if you drive a lot of short trips than your savings will be more. But then if you're driving mostly short trips, then the Leaf would be the better choice.

    http://motherjones.com/environment/2011/01/electric-car-myths
    MODEL
    TYPE
    COST
    RANGE IN MILES
    CO2 EMITTED (100 MILES)
    COST OF FUEL FOR 60K MILES

    Toyota Prius
    Gas-electric hybrid
    $22,800
    600
    51 lbs.
    $3,600

    Chevy Volt
    Electric with gas backup engine
    $32,780*
    350**
    **40 miles on electricity alone
    51 lbs.
    $2,370***
    ***Assumes a 62/38 electricity-to-gas fuel ratio

    Nissan Leaf
    Pure electric
    $25,280*
    100
    37 lbs.
    $1,615
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    The writer has based her figures on 14 cent per KWH electricity. That may be in Los Angeles. In San Diego we are on a progressive scale. The more you use the higher the KWH price. Most months I get to the 34 cent per KWH rate. So a Volt would be at that rate or higher. I calculate 12,000 miles per year would cost me about $816 in added electricity. Driving a Prius or Jetta TDI getting 50 MPG would be about $100 less at today's fuel prices. If you happen to be in a CA municipality that subsidizes your electricity the Volt could be viable. Not in areas covered by SDG&E that is going for another increase in rates. If the Leaf will go 100 miles on an 8 KWH charge it would be cost effective. Sort of. It will depend on the guarantee attached to the very expensive Li-Ion Battery packs. If they have a full replacement 8 year 100k mile warranty I would not worry about them. If it is prorated you will get taken to the cleaners on replacement.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I guess that analysis is good for the consumer. But "motherjones" has no moral problem with the fact that $7,500 is being taken from the Treasury to subsidize each electric vehicle, or they would point this out as a major consideration.

    But even after that raiding of the $ in the Treasury (which we're borrowing!), the Volt still comes out as the most expensive.

    BTW - I'm glad to hear the nation's electrical grid is now working so well. ;) I guess we'll never hear about how we need to turn-off AC's at certain times of the day, or that an area ever has a Brown-out. Everyone in CA, just ignore those announcements in the summer to reduce energy consumption; they don't know what they're talking about.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Maybe you should look into putting in your own generator, like the many homes here in the Northeast have, for backup-power during winter storms. I know many of the systems use propane, and you could put in a 100 gal tank. Or if you have natural gas, even better. But being in CA, I'm sure they have all sorts of regulations and laws to prevent you from doing that.

    For anyone else thinking of an electric vehicle and that you're going to get a recharging station, you might want to just put your own generator in too. Then you can recharge when you want, and be fairly self-sufficient.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    I found an interesting factoid the other day. During the 2006 California heat-wave (July 13-23) the 2,500 megawatt rated capacity of wind generation produced between 89 and 325 megawatts. They better have plenty of backup available to charge all those cars. Another interesting factoid..India currently has 412 million people without access to electricity. That's the population of the US, UK and Italy combined. You think they're going with clean energy as they rapidly modernize?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    BTW - I'm glad to hear the nation's electrical grid is now working so well.

    For sure that is a joke. SDG&E offer people a 5% discount to hook up a device they can shut off your AC unit when the going gets tough. We have an 83 year old friend that did that and is now sorry. They cut off her air on one of the few hot days this summer. She was miserable and does not notice any reduction in her bill.

    If the Volt and others become popular, you know the utilities will up the rates. Night time will become the prime time when they have to use gas generators. There will not be any solar to charge with at night. I think wind is another scam in the making.
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