View Full Version : How GM "Lied" About The Electric Car

12 October 2010, 0611
We were told the Volt would achieve 230 MPG fuel economy and would always use the electric drivetrain to motivate the wheels only using the onboard gasoline engine as a "range extender" for charging the batteries. It now turns out that not only were those fuel economy claims misleading, but the gasoline engine is actually used to motivate the wheels...

Popular Mechanics saw just 37.5 MPG in city driving...

Since the Volt was first unveiled as a concept car, GM engineers, public relations staff and executives have all claimed adamantly that the internal combustion engine did not motivate the wheels. If that were the case then the Volt would be nothing more than a very advanced hybrid. Even as late into the development cycle as this June, we were told the only drivetrain that motivated the wheels was the electric one. The auto trade press swallowed the line, hook and the sinker...


12 October 2010, 0634
Interesting. Of course, being an EV enthusiast, I never liked the idea of there being extra complication of adding an ICE in the first place. The simplicity is part of what makes an EV so great. Well, there is a place for hybrids, but good luck selling one that costs way more than it's competition.

12 October 2010, 0703
GM lied? So what else is new?

12 October 2010, 1055
GM lied? So what else is new?

Lied about and EV????? No, Not GM....never.. LOL

12 October 2010, 1437
This item hit my newspaper today in an article from Bloomberg News titled "Volt: EV or hybrid?" The article says that GM is disputing accusations that its low-emission Volt is a hybrid and not a true EV. Auto critics Edmunds.com, Motor Trend and Popular Mechanics have said that during heavy acceleration the Volt uses its gasoline engine to power its generator that then feeds the electric motor. GM claims that the car is an "extended range EV", not a hybrid. Critics at PM and Edmunds both wrote that they consider the Volt a plug-in hybrid and not the electric vehicle that GM has touted for years.

So who is right?

12 October 2010, 1535
I suspect that after the project is mothballed and GM is in bankruptcy, it won't really matter whether it's a PHEV, EREV or NO-EV.

12 October 2010, 1543
The key thing is that under heavy acceleration the petrol motor through a mechanical gearbox directly applies it's power to the wheels. See Wired (http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/10/the-chevrolet-volt-isnt-a-true-ev/) and The Car Connection (http://www.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1050307_how-gm-didnt-lie-about-the-volt-and-why-the-press-is-wrong). Now I agree this is no longer an extended range EV (series hybrid) it is actually a parallel Hybrid.

The big difference is that you cannot take the petrol engine out of the Volt and still drive the car. The mechanical input shaft is REQUIRED to make the whole vehicle work. So when they originally said the petrol engine could be replace with fuel cells for the range extension this is now not true.

12 October 2010, 1646
GM misled the EV communinty?? Now I won't even believe in Santa anymore........

13 October 2010, 0313
SplinterOz has summarized it perfectly.

Some media/commentators are playing it off as no big deal, it's still an efficient set up, because although it's a more traditional parallel hybrid it ads plug-in charging and larger batteries to rely more on the electrical side. The big deal though, at least as I see it, is that it was represented as something else, something new and progressive and that was used as leverage to gain government funding.