You don't feel like driving behind bikers in quite the same cavalier way (assuming that they are alert to your presence).
And that's a good thing.
The Detroit Airport
This was the first time I was fully allowed to drive and operate the Volt extensively on public roads. For my part I chose to be careful with the pedal and brakes and to indulge in the pleasures of efficiency.
I found the car to be bright, technical and cheerful as always. The leather seats were comfortable and sturdy and the car was adequately spacious inside though not overly roomy. It was the first time I had seen a final-textured interior surface and found it was well done and gave forth a refined appeal.
On this first journey, I intentionally didn’t gun the car, I accelerated modestly, coasted once in a while, and often kicked into low gear to utilize motor braking. The car handled and glided smoothly, swiftly and silently with crisp, immediate and perky torque and a highly responsive throttle. It steered like it was floating on air.
When I started out the battery indicator showed 39 miles of range remained. The surprisingly warm temperature outside ranged from 78 to 83 degrees and so I had to use the air conditioning. I kept it at 76 degrees F and used the ECO mode HVAC setting at which the car was quite comfortable. I turned off the daytime running lights and didn’t use the radio.
Within a few miles of driving my remaining range had actually climbed to 41. The roads were mostly flat and I drove at around 45 MPH, with minimal traffic and few stops.
After covering 19.2 miles the meter indicated I still had 31 miles of range remaining. Had I continued for the whole trip at that style of driving I would have easily passed 50 miles of range. Volt director Tony Posawatz in the car with me said I was “on track for more than 55 miles” of range. Tony said EV ranges beyond that (though he wouldn’t be specific) had been achieved by several engineers using captured test fleet vehicles.
Originally Posted by Barry2952
"Like a fine Detroit wine, this vehicle has aged to budgetary perfection"
Sent from my tablet while sipping weak drinks over fancy brunch with a view
I was walking a dog with a chick a while back, and we were on a bike path...
I could hear the sound of a bike coming up well before she had any idea, and without looking back...
I would say 'bike coming' and she would look at me like 'how the hell did you know that?'...
I think different states of awareness aren't all that uncommon, particularly if you are dealing with something rather new.
Hearing acuteness is also different in different people. Should they be more aware? Sure
However, there are lots of distractions in the world and you aren't always expecting a bicycle or car to come to shooting up behind you in the (somewhat) silent mode (that's why they have those bells )
At any rate, the feds will put some sort of noise device on these things (for better or for worse)
Originally Posted by mitch hedberg
The Volt may handle like a sports car, but whether or not you decide to drive it like one will have a significant impact on how efficient it is, and how much gas you save. The car helpfully lets you know how much of a gas hog you're being by way of a leafy green circle that appears in a prominent place on the dashboard, right next to the speedometer. Ideally, you want to keep that circle right smack in the middle of a scale that shows how hard you're accelerating and how hard you're braking. The closer that circle stays to the center, the more efficiently you're driving, and if you accelerate too hard, the circle gets less leafy and turns an angry yellow color and starts to weep carbon dioxide tears. Or maybe not tears, but if it could, it would.
It's also possible to brake too hard: the Volt can regenerate energy as it slows down, but if you brake hard enough that the regenerative system starts to panic and the conventional brakes take over, that's all energy wasted.
Since it's the Volt's giant battery that makes all of this pure electric driving and hybrid energy regeneration possible, we wanted to make sure that we could be confident in its longevity. GM covers it with an eight year, 100,000 mile warranty, which is great, but cars nowadays are expected to last longer than that. With this in mind, the Volt is very careful about how it handles its battery.
For example, the battery has a dedicated thermal control system that can heat or cool the battery to keep it happy no matter what the outside temperature is. Also, the battery keeps itself operating within a 65% window, which means that it never allows itself to fully charge or deplete to boost its lifespan. And for what it's worth, GM already has a plan for all the used Volt batteries it'll be ending up with in the next decade or so.
Just keep the ball in the middle
I went and test drove the "demo" at the local dealer, it is a remarkably cool little car.
I have never felt anything like it its really different in a good way.
"aerodynamics are for people who cant design engines" - Enzo Ferrari
"If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower." - Mark Donohue
http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2...hevy-volt.htmlCars.com purchased a 2011 Chevy Volt in January and a 2011 Nissan Leaf a month later.
We drove these cars in temperatures ranging from minus 2 to 67 degrees in the Volt and 24 to 82 degrees in the Leaf, and both lived up to their billing. But after recording driving data from each outing with both vehicles, we discovered two significant issues an owner will face: how cold weather affects them, and how much you’ll need to rely on a somewhat erratic car computer telling you how far you can drive.
Chevy says the Volt’s range on battery alone — it also features a gasoline engine that works as a generator to power the electric motor when the battery is emptied — is between 25 and 50 miles.
When we picked it up from the dealer in sunny California on Jan. 3, its range was 33 miles. We didn’t see that number again in Chicago until March.
The lowest predicted range on a full charge we saw was 24 miles when it was 36 degrees out, but the Volt traveled 28.8 miles that day. It took 20-degree temps to bring the actual-miles-driven number lower.
On four different occasions of temperatures registering 25, 27, 25 and 26 degrees on the car’s computer, the Volt traveled 23.8, 26, 23.3 and 21.3 miles, respectively. All of these ranges were lower than the prediction, but three were within 10%, and one was within 20%-- tighter than the variances we witnessed with the Leaf.
Both cars allow owners to turn on the heat or air conditioning while still plugged in to get the cabin to an optimum temperature before being unplugged, so the overall range won’t be diminished by the energy-sucking environmental systems. In one of the examples above, when we achieved 26 miles, the car had been pre-conditioned, and that led to the most accurate prediction.
What about the minus 2 day? The range was listed at 32 when I unplugged the pre-conditioned Volt from my garage outlet. It dipped to 31 before it left the driveway and ended up traveling 20.9 miles on battery power.
When the weather was in the mid-30s, the predicted and actual ranges averaged around 30 miles, with smaller errors than we saw when it was less than 30 degrees.
We reached ranges of 34.5 and 33.6 miles — our best — when it was 56 and 67 degrees, respectively, near optimum weather for driving any vehicle. However, the starting range had been 38 and 30 miles, respectively. That’s nearly a 10% swing.
Highest predicted range: 38 miles (56 degrees)
Lowest predicted range: 24 miles (36 degrees)
Highest actual range: 34.5 miles (56 degrees)
Lowest actual range: 20.9 miles (-2 degrees)
The difference in predicted and observed range isn’t going to stop a Volt owner, but if you drive an all-electric Leaf, you have but one powertrain to rely on and the range means everything. However, in our testing, the Leaf didn’t turn out to be as predictable as the Volt, and out of the two, it needs to be.