stephent
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:42 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Sep 2011

Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:12 pm

AndyH wrote:I cannot acknowledge that your scenario is way more common because in my experience it's not.
How so? Are you claiming that long commutes of the 100+ mile variety you wanted me to calculate are more common than commutes < 40 miles? It's very easy to search for statistics on the internet and see that this is not at all a close call.

The following data is a bit old, 2003, but the country hasn't changed that drastically:
http://www.bts.gov/publications/omnista ... re_02.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
78% have < 20 mile one-way commutes. Only 8% have the > 35 mile one-way, > 70 mile round trip commutes you are implying are common.

As for biodiesel, not everyone agrees that biofuels have a beneficial total net effect on GHG emissions ( http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/08/scien ... wanted=all" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ), I don't wish to debate this as I haven't read extensively enough on the subject to form a well-informed opinion on the matter. I'd rather stick to (Volt) vs. (LEAF + gas ICE). Besides biodiesel compatible cars and fuel aren't as readily available in many locations.
It simply seems to me that some are going out of their way to present the Volt in as perfect light as possible while also suggesting that others that value a pure EV are somehow deficient in brain matter.
I'm doing no such thing. The Volt is not right for all situations, I'm just suggesting it's a good solution for some common situations, and can reduce gasoline use just as much, or even more, than a Leaf, with some driving patterns. When pure EVs reach the right combo of range/price/public infrastructure to make them practical for my driving patterns, I will also switch. But I am not willing to make the sacrifice of having to make my long trips from one charging station to another and waiting extra hours to resume my journey, and neither are a lot of other people, way more people than you EV 100% ultra-purists. You are pushing a solution (if saying zero ICE usage) that only a small % of people are willing to adopt. Even among Leaf owners, what % do you think have an additional ICE vehicle, or will at least occasionally rent one?

I am only pushing the Volt as equal/better to the Leaf for some situations, not all. For people who have shorter commutes, who want and are willing to use ICE for longer trips, and don't already have a more efficient vehicle to use for such trips. Those who have longer commutes in the Leaf range, by all means get a Leaf. Those who have an absolutist position against the use of any gasoline at all, by all means get a Leaf or other pure BEV. I think more people are in my camp, than you will ever be able to get to join yours, in the near future. Some years from now, when ranges get larger for the current price or even lower, then ditching ICE completely gets feasible for more people.

Smidge204
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:42 pm

Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:52 am

SanDust wrote:This is Saturday Night Live material. Seriously.
Speaking of comedy routines... any luck with those citations yet? :D
stephent wrote:I'm doing no such thing. The Volt is not right for all situations,
...it just so happens that all of those situations are "far-fetched." Can you come up with a scenario that you feel is reasonable?

Nobody here is seriously arguing that the Volt has no place in the market - or at least I'm certainly not. I'm arguing that the Volt's role is perhaps overglorified, and in terms only relating to minimizing gasoline use, the Volt may not be optimal and that those cases are more common that Volt supporters (again, not necessarily owners) would have you believe.

I understand that data is not the plural of anecdote but we have to work with what we got. We're all familiar with the BTS data since everyone uses it to support the vehicle electrification argument. The irony is you are making a case against the Volt by citing it the way you do: 78% have < 20 mile commute? Why use a Volt, which will always burn a little gas no matter what you do, when a BEV that will never burn any will suffice?

"Because of those occasional long trips" you'll say.

And then the argument comes full circle and we get nowhere.

stephent wrote:I am only pushing the Volt as equal/better to the Leaf for some situations, not all.
And that's absolutely true, but you don't get to dismiss proposed scenarios where the Leaf is better than the Volt just because it conflicts with that message. The optimal solution requires case-by-case consideration. You seem inclined to wield the Volt as a cudgel for tackling the problem of fossil fuel use - it's largely effective but a more delicate approach will get you better results.
=Smidge=

DrInnovation
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:47 pm
Location: Colorado Springs. Volt Owner

EPA official estimate Volt gets 168M when used for 45 mile t

Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:29 am

evnow wrote: ....

Infact even in an ICE - if we only looked at down hill - even an ICE has great MPG.

Using the MPG the way you do - is essentially a fraud.

Interesting post today over at gm-volt.com got me thinking. Consider this EPA sticker for the 2011 Volt:

Image

Note that the EPA is saying that with their forumlas say if the daily drive is 45miles fuel economy will be 168MPG. So even the EPA is saying it is total miles/total gallons. Can those those saying its disingenuous or fraud point to an official support for such statements? We know you don't like it but the EPA did :lol:

Most of the Volt owners on voltstats.net are doing far better in their overall usage, either with many smaller trips or greater efficiency in driving (I average > 40m on a charge), but the usage is totally consistent with the EPA. (While I don't like MPGe, and prefer MPD, EPA did at least understand that it needs to be put into context.


You can argue about the Volt using gas for its maintenance modes make it not a EV and not get a N/A rating for 30mile trips. Lets put that into perspective. The volt's fuel maintenance mode will dominate gas usage if not using CS mode. To insure average fuel age is < 1 year, so it can burn up to 1/2 of a tank, If the tank is only filled to 2 gallons that's a gallon per year.. So maybe for purity the EPA has 30m between charges wrong and, assuming 300 days of driving per year, it would be 30*300/1 = 9000 MPG if using the Volt exclusively in EV/CD mode except for maintenance runs.

To the purists, I would also agree up front that 1 gallon maintenance is a waste and such a driver should consider a BEV, if efficiency was the only measure. If they buy a volt for the "what if" or just because the like the styling/feel more than a BEV, they should be environmentally oriented to be using the Volt for road trips, or giving friends rides to the airport when they fuel maintenance mode is needed. (Saving a friend parking costs could more than make up for gas costs, and stoping friends from driving a F150 or Suburban or H3 to the airport more than makes up for the "gas" usage of the volt. Friends shouldn't let friends drive trucks needlessly.
Last edited by DrInnovation on Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Loving the Volt. I've saved 29 gallons compared to a BEV+CUV. From 10/29/11 to 12/29/12, went 11097 on 27.7 gallons of gas + 2742kWh Total fuel costs=$259.27, yielding: 0.25 gal./100mi, 400.5 MPG, 101.73MPGe, 166.5 MPG$ or $.0234/mi.

stephent
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:42 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Sep 2011

Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:26 pm

Smidge204 wrote:
stephent wrote:I'm doing no such thing. The Volt is not right for all situations,
...it just so happens that all of those situations are "far-fetched." Can you come up with a scenario that you feel is reasonable?
Sure, people with daily driving in the 40-80 mile range. Or people who already have an efficient long range vehicle like a Prius that is driven regularly by another household member (in long run I'd prefer an EREV + BEV combo, when ready to trade-in the older vehicle). I also agreed that the Leaf is good for people who actually do have 120 mile range commutes with workplace charging, I'm just saying that those people are extremely rare compared to those in the < 40 mile range. Commutes in the 40-80 mile range aren't especially common either, but substantially more common than 100+.

It's just annoying, because from the beginning I was basically saying "Volt is =/better than the Leaf in gas savings for shorter commutes, for a person already willing to use some amount of gas for longer trips". But instead of responding directly to that statement, you guys respond with "but what about someone with a 120 mile commute". I ALREADY AGREE WITH YOU GUYS ABOUT LONGER COMMUTES.
Nobody here is seriously arguing that the Volt has no place in the market - or at least I'm certainly not.
Some of the posts appear to imply that. Many read as if "Leaf always uses zero/less gas, therefore it's better". If you are comparing total household vehicular gasoline usage, this is not always the case, it depends on driving patterns as I've demonstrated, and what the other vehicles used are.
I understand that data is not the plural of anecdote but we have to work with what we got. We're all familiar with the BTS data since everyone uses it to support the vehicle electrification argument. The irony is you are making a case against the Volt by citing it the way you do: 78% have < 20 mile commute? Why use a Volt, which will always burn a little gas no matter what you do, when a BEV that will never burn any will suffice?

"Because of those occasional long trips" you'll say.

And then the argument comes full circle and we get nowhere.
We are getting nowhere, because instead of trying to respond directly to "because of occasional long trips", explaining why this argument is a fallacious argument, you bring up entirely different scenarios, or just print a rehash of the previous discussion. Try responding directly to the long trips point, tell me why this is wrong. Or agree with me, for MY SCENARIO.
stephent wrote:I am only pushing the Volt as equal/better to the Leaf for some situations, not all.
And that's absolutely true, but you don't get to dismiss proposed scenarios where the Leaf is better than the Volt just because it conflicts with that message.
I didn't dismiss those proposed scenarios, I AGREED WITH THEM. I just said they were rare compared to the cases where the Volt works just fine. And you keep on trying to argue against my common scenario by proposing alternate rarer scenarios. That's not addressing my point. If you wish to argue that I'm wrong about my scenario, you have to point out what is wrong with my scenario, not point to a different scenario for which we are already in agreement.
The optimal solution requires case-by-case consideration.
This I agree with.

Smidge204
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:42 pm

Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:05 pm

stephent wrote:We are getting nowhere, because instead of trying to respond directly to "because of occasional long trips", explaining why this argument is a fallacious argument, you bring up entirely different scenarios, or just print a rehash of the previous discussion. Try responding directly to the long trips point, tell me why this is wrong. Or agree with me, for MY SCENARIO.
Not sure you're using the word "fallacy" correctly. A fallacy is an error in reasoning, not a matter of probability.

There is nothing wrong with the "long trips point." Maybe there's a miscommunication here.

We agree that a Volt will burn less fuel than a traditional ICEv for any given trip. At least I hope we do.

We agree that a BEV will burn NO fuel whatsoever, but has greater range limitations, so for practicality a BEV might be supplemented by a traditional ICEv.

The question now becomes: Under what usage patterns, if any, does the fuel burned by a Volt exceed what is burned by a traditional ICEv in an BEV+ICEv pairing? My original point was that there are scenarios where this is the case.

So the NEXT question, and the one which has no answer yet, is how common these scenarios are. I don't think we'll ever reach a solid answer without a mountain of good data and all we have now are anecdotes. For now I put in "probably more common than you'd think" and hope to one day test that claim.

{Intermission}

I did a lot of driving today. Much more than I usually do - 131 miles in total. My typical commute day is about 22 miles round trip. I don't really keep good records of daily driving (just records from whenever I stop for gas) or else I'd use this experience as another scenario. But I wondered if I'd be able to do it in a BEV like the LEAF, or if a Volt would be a better fit? Just this one trip, mind you - ignore long-term driving patterns.

First leg: Home to job site, 20 miles. About 85/15% highway/city. No charging available at destination.

Second leg: Job site to another job site, 25 miles. About 80/20% highway/city. No charging available at destination.

Third leg: Second job site to office, 6 miles, 100% city. Assume 4 hours of L2 charging is available at office.

Forth leg: Office to first job site, 30 miles. About 90/10% highway/city (different route). No charging available at destination.

Fifth leg: First job site to county offices, 25 miles, 95/5% highway/city. No charging available at destination.

Sixth leg: County offices to my office, 14 miles, 60/40% highway/city but only because 2/3rds of the trip I was stuck behind a truck traveling at 40mph. Assume 2 hours of L2 charging is available at office.

Seventh leg: Office to home, 11 miles. 60/40% highway/city (highway with traffic lights).

---

51 miles from home to my office is easily done, even if the trip is in several segments. 4 hours of L2 charging at 3.3kW should give me at least 45 additional miles of range, assuming a pessimistic 3.4mi/kWh since it's mostly highway miles at 65+. So if I assume 70 miles effective highway range, I drive 51 and recharge 45 = 64 miles remaining.

...which is EXACTLY how far the second set of trips is: 69 miles. I'd probably have a low battery warning as I pulled into the office parking lot, but that slow stretch of highway on the sixth leg may be a saving grace. Then I get two more hours of charge (~23 miles) to get home with about 10 miles to spare. :lol:
=Smidge=

stephent
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:42 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Sep 2011

Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:16 pm

Smidge204 wrote: Not sure you're using the word "fallacy" correctly. A fallacy is an error in reasoning, not a matter of probability.
No, I purposely used fallacy, because I want to know if you believe there is any actual error in my reasoning, for the scenarios I posited. It appears that we are in agreement then. As for the actual probability of each scenario, I think it is not very important. An individual driver should reasonably be able to calculate for themselves whether their driving patterns typically better fit my scenarios or yours, and make the choice of vehicle for themselves. I myself have no doubt which scenario is more common, surveys make it absolutely clear that shorter commutes are way more common than longer ones. What portion of the longer trips falls under Leaf range or not depends on geography & the person. What other cities are nearby, how far are they, how often does one go there? Do you have relatives/friends/activities/meetings there that cause you visit often? Is destination charging feasible or not? Is in-route charging available and the driver & driver's family willing to tolerate the added delay or not? Everyone has to answer these questions for themselves, basically.

If living in cold climates, < 25F for extended periods, people can also make adjustments for range, extra electricity usage, extra gas usage to see what fits them best. It will be clearer after this winter the effects of cold weather on both vehicles, when more people report their experiences. For me in California though, it's a complete non-issue.
The question now becomes: Under what usage patterns, if any, does the fuel burned by a Volt exceed what is burned by a traditional ICEv in an BEV+ICEv pairing? My original point was that there are scenarios where this is the case.
I never disagreed with that point.
So the NEXT question, and the one which has no answer yet, is how common these scenarios are. I don't think we'll ever reach a solid answer without a mountain of good data and all we have now are anecdotes.
I think the data is already there. Most people's daily driving is in the Volt range. For these people, the ? of whether Volt uses more gas or (Leaf+traditional ICE) uses more gas, is whether their non-daily driving is dominated by trips in the 40-80 mile range, or in the 80+ range, (adjust all figures for in-route charging availability) and this will vary by the person.

I don't really see the point of posting your long trip scenario. Sure, long driving miles can work in a BEV if you have charging opportunities at work, no one disagrees with that. How often do you do treks like this vs. your normal 22 mile days? What if the trip had been slightly different, what if the last work stop was 6 miles further out of the way, you don't get stuck behind the 40 mph truck and drive faster, and you can't quite make it in the Leaf, causing you to use the ICE that day? What if the trips were spaced out so that you only had an hour to charge in the middle rather than 4? What if someone called you & asked you to make an extra unplanned trip on that last leg?

Under the conditions of your actual drive, a Volt would probably burn about a gallon, as you get at least about 91 miles under EV with the charging available. Perhaps even less, depending on how efficiently you drive. This extra gallon over the Leaf could easily be canceled by just one other atypical driving day when you *can't* make it in the Leaf and have to take the ICE, even with no interim charging. It could be more than canceled with some interim charging, enough to eke out a few extra miles in the Volt but not enough to safely make the trip in a Leaf.

How many people have jobs like yours with all that driving? Vs. Just home to office then back to home (perhaps with a short trip to lunch and/or errands after work)? Even for you, this trek was an anomaly.

Smidge204
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:42 pm

Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:34 pm

stephent wrote:I don't really see the point of posting your long trip scenario.
I felt it was a good example of someone with a very short commute having an unusual, high-mileage day.
stephent wrote:I myself have no doubt which scenario is more common, surveys make it absolutely clear that shorter commutes are way more common than longer ones.
So there's no reason to buy a Volt, right? I mean, if short commutes are so common there's no point in buying a vehicle that will trivially burn gas when you don't actually need it. Oh wait...
stephent wrote:What portion of the longer trips falls under Leaf range or not depends on geography & the person. What other cities are nearby, how far are they, how often does one go there? Do you have relatives/friends/activities/meetings there that cause you visit often? Is destination charging feasible or not? Is in-route charging available and the driver & driver's family willing to tolerate the added delay or not?
So everyone has a short commute, except they may drive a lot. We're starting to loop around again. If everyone's daily commute is in the Volt's electric range, then it's also well within a BEV's range and there is ZERO reason to buy a vehicle of any kind with a gas tank. It's only adding in longer trips that it becomes an issue, and the frequency and distance of those trips is the deciding factor. That's the data we DON'T have.

The whole point of this exercise is to try and lay some groundwork for how these situations can be analyzed. By coming up with hypothetical scenarios we can discuss and practice the reasoning required to make decisions about real scenarios. I chose to start with a situation where a Volt actually uses more gasoline than a BEV+ICEv because that provides excellent contrast, and I don't think many people would consider such a case to begin with.
stephent wrote:How often do you do treks like this vs. your normal 22 mile days?
I said I didn't keep records of those things, and the nature of my job means where I need to be varies wildly. I go where I need to be. Some times I can do for a month or two of typical driving, some times I'll end up with a 40+ one-way daily commute for a week or two. If I do a bulk average I'd say I go over 40 miles maybe once every other week? 100+ miles is extremely rare, though, and I don't think I've driven more than 200 miles in one trip in my entire life.
stephent wrote:What if the trip had been slightly different, what if the last work stop was 6 miles further out of the way, you don't get stuck behind the 40 mph truck and drive faster, and you can't quite make it in the Leaf, causing you to use the ICE that day?
Since I didn't plan anything (why would I when I'm all gasoline at the moment? Plus it was all incredibly short notice) it's hard to say. If I was a LEAF owner I'd probably attempt the trip but alter my driving habits and/or route to accommodate. In reality I'd probably have more reserve than that story suggests since I assume 70 mile max range and relatively poor efficiency... then again if I owned a LEAF I wouldn't have much choice! I'd take the trip and manage as I go.

Now, if I owned a Volt it probably wouldn't be an issue either way. I guess maybe that's what you're trying to get at?
stephent wrote:How many people have jobs like yours with all that driving?
Well, my boss puts 3000-4000 miles on his Honda Pilot a month, so...

=Smidge=

stephent
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:42 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Sep 2011

Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:05 pm

Smidge204 wrote:
stephent wrote:I don't really see the point of posting your long trip scenario.
I felt it was a good example of someone with a very short commute having an unusual, high-mileage day.
Which advances your argument how? Yes, you barely make this trip in a Leaf. A Volt could handle this too, burning a gallon. But if your trip had been just slightly longer, or if there was less time for mid-day charging, the Leaf wouldn't make it, you'd take an ICE, while the Volt still would have worked, and cut out 40, maybe 60 miles of gas driving, plus being more efficient than most typical ICE vehicles.

A Volt works quite well for people with short commutes and unusual high mileage days. You burn a little gas on those unusual days, so what? It might be compensated for & then some by the unusual days where the Leaf doesn't make it at all and the ICE has to be used. It's situational, which is what I've been claiming the entire time. Bringing up alternate scenarios isn't at all dispositive to my scenarios.
So there's no reason to buy a Volt, right? I mean, if short commutes are so common there's no point in buying a vehicle that will trivially burn gas when you don't actually need it. Oh wait...
So now you are flip-flopping. The reason to buy the Volt is the occasional long trips, that exceed both Volt EV & Leaf range. Your previous post said "there's nothing wrong with the long trips point". Now you say there's no reason. Which is it?
So everyone has a short commute, except they may drive a lot. We're starting to loop around again.
No, I'm not looping. You're looping. I didn't say *everyone* has a short commute. I'm saying *most people* have a short commute. I'm saying that *most people* also take trips that exceed EV range of both vehicles. I'm saying the frequency & distance of these longer trips vary from person to person, and some distribution of these trips will favor a Volt solution, while other distributions of trips will favor (Leaf + ICE).
If everyone's daily commute is in the Volt's electric range, then it's also well within a BEV's range and there is ZERO reason to buy a vehicle of any kind with a gas tank. It's only adding in longer trips that it becomes an issue, and the frequency and distance of those trips is the deciding factor. That's the data we DON'T have.
Right, but people have the data for themselves, and can calculate for themselves. Stop saying there is ZERO reason for buying a vehicle with a gas tank. There is a reason, it's for the long trips. Which solution is better depends on your driving patterns, the frequency & distance of those long trips.

Basically all I want you to do is admit that occasional long trips are potentially a legitimate reason for choosing a Volt, and quit repeating the "if your commute is so short, why are you getting a car with a gas tank" question which is stupid, since I've already answered "for the longer trips". Or bringing up long commute scenarios, which are also irrelevant to your question of why one would get a car with a gas tank if they don't have long commutes.

Smidge204
Posts: 940
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:42 pm

Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:47 pm

stephent wrote:Yes, you barely make this trip in a Leaf.
But it still made it, even with pessimistic estimates. We can throw any number of "if"s in here to change the scenario to favor one type of vehicle over another: What if the Volt's ICE failed? (Would you even know until it tried to start?) What if I had to take four other people along with me? :lol:

Point is it worked, and it was not a hypothetical situation by any means. Are you angry that I don't need a Volt or something?

stephent wrote:No, I'm not looping. You're looping. I didn't say *everyone* has a short commute. I'm saying *most people* have a short commute. I'm saying that *most people* also take trips that exceed EV range of both vehicles.
You have data on the first claim. You don't have data on the second claim.

Here's how the looping works:

You claim X% of people drive under Y miles/day and cite the BTS data. That's a perfectly valid assessment.

I say "well, if X% of people drive under Y miles/day, then the Volt is a waste because Y is well within a typical BEV's range."

Then you say, "It's not a waste because they may take long trips." Again, a perfectly valid assessment.

But when I try to quantify how often those trips are - because frequency makes all the difference - you immediately fall back on the BTS data. If you want to talk about long trips, let's talk about long trips. The BTS data is useless here because it tells us nothing about frequency.

stephent wrote:Right, but people have the data for themselves, and can calculate for themselves. Stop saying there is ZERO reason for buying a vehicle with a gas tank. There is a reason, it's for the long trips. Which solution is better depends on your driving patterns, the frequency & distance of those long trips.
I'll go back to my pickup truck example: Most people don't need a pickup truck, some people do. Some people buy a pickup truck because they think they might need it occasionally, but in fact the need does not justify the decision. The same is true with the Volt, although the parameters are much more intricate.

Incidentally, I'm not trying to pick on the Volt specifically, it's just that it's the only hybrid vehicle with that much all-electric range. If there were other comparable vehicles on the market I'd use the term PHEV for the same reason I use BEV instead of mentioning the LEAF specifically all the time.
stephent wrote:Basically all I want you to do is admit that occasional long trips are potentially a legitimate reason for choosing a Volt, and quit repeating the "if your commute is so short, why are you getting a car with a gas tank" question which is stupid, since I've already answered "for the longer trips". Or bringing up long commute scenarios, which are also irrelevant to your question of why one would get a car with a gas tank if they don't have long commutes.
I've already "admitted" to such a few times. I'm not exactly in denial about it and that's not at all what I'm arguing against. But I'll admit the Volt is good for the "occasional" long trip (for varying values of "occasional") if you admit there are plausible situations where buying a Volt over a BEV actually wastes gas, and you stop bringing up "oh they'd have to borrow an ICEv for that" scenario.
=Smidge=

AndyH
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:43 pm
Location: San Antonio

Re: What gm-volt guys think of MNL ...

Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:44 pm

Back on topic...

Someone help me please - will you tell me why I should care what people from another forum think of MNL? Thanks!
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