The design of the Chevy Volt

[August 2009] Is fundamentally flawed, and GM knows It. That's why the company wouldn't let you drive it with the gas engine. Nobody is going to want to drive a car where the Q-to-60 time will increase by 100 percent after 40 miles when, comparing the battery with the motor/generator, torque is 90 pound-feet versus 275, Sort of like the recently tested Chevy Metro (Volt is 3500 pounds with 90 pound-feet of torque compared with the Metro's 0-to-60 time of 15.9 seconds for 1840 pounds with 58 pound-feet): You'd get a Yugo crawling up your rear.

The Volt's demographic is suburbanites who can charge their car in a garage. These people would prefer a minivan or an SUV, not some$40K compact with four bucket seats.

Keeping the LiFeP04 batteries charged between 30 to 80 percent was the NI-MH charging strategy used on GM's EV1 and is a waste of capacity. There are programmable chargers that prevent overcharging individual cells, which Is the real problem that reduces battery life. With some research, they could significantly increase the usable charge range.

Not using the gas engine to charge the batteries or not using the motor/generator simultaneously with the batteries is a bad idea because of the difference in motor output between the two sources [that] makes for an unusable car. For these reasons, I doubt the Volt will be produced in its current form, if at all.

Joe Pah Miami, Florida GM says that after the 40 electric miles are spent, the batteries still can contribute power temporarily as the gas motor runs. What flaw? Using half the battery's capacity, GM says, enables it to last for 10 years or 150.000 miles We'll see-Ed.

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