Herm
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Re: The “range–extended” EV considered

Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:26 pm

edatoakrun wrote: In fact, a true ICE ”range extender” for a BEV is not a bad Idea, It's just that current designs are all abysmal failures, from the point of energy efficiency and driver utility. Putting an ICE drivetrain in an EV, whether in series, parallel, or any other hybrid configuration, is not advisable, IMO. Invariably, you will get an overweight, overpriced, underperforming vehicle, like the Volt.
You need to reconsider your ideas about the Volt, per the EPA it gets 35 mpg in the city and 40 in the hwy in the hybrid mode.. that is pretty darn good for a range extender that will seldom be used. Its not a slow car and the cost is very comparable to a Leaf, PIP, Coda and Focus EV.

DrInnovation
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Re: The “range–extended” EV considered

Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:13 pm

JRP3 wrote:I guess I don't know any average Americans since I don't know anyone who takes that many long trips in a year. Actually I do know one person who never seems to stop taking trips since she doesn't have to work and doesn't have any real hobbies, maybe she tips the averages.
For that study, a long is not really that long (> 100m R/T) and I did not list the reasons, but many of of those trips are for work, not pleasure. For me every trip to the airport is a long trip (>120 miles, and >150 if I take co-workers), and I have meetings in denver/boulder (100-220m depending on with whom I meet) and any weekend in the mountains is ~250 R/T. Out west things are far appart, I've been to wedding where the reception was 90m away. There are people in that number that are the super-commuters (>100m a day), and I'm sure there are sales guys that are on the other side of average as well.

America is a melting pots. I have friends in manhattan that don't even drive or have a license!
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.

edatoakrun
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Re: The “range–extended” EV considered

Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:44 pm

Herm wrote:
edatoakrun wrote: In fact, a true ICE ”range extender” for a BEV is not a bad Idea, It's just that current designs are all abysmal failures, from the point of energy efficiency and driver utility. Putting an ICE drivetrain in an EV, whether in series, parallel, or any other hybrid configuration, is not advisable, IMO. Invariably, you will get an overweight, overpriced, underperforming vehicle, like the Volt.
You need to reconsider your ideas about the Volt, per the EPA it gets 35 mpg in the city and 40 in the hwy in the hybrid mode.. that is pretty darn good for a range extender that will seldom be used. Its not a slow car and the cost is very comparable to a Leaf, PIP, Coda and Focus EV.
I agree that it's not a bad hybrid, but the Volt's EV performance is just not comparable to any of the BEVs you mention, with about half the electric range, higher initial cost, worse energy efficiency, and almost certainly, far higher long term operating costs.

Why buy a car that operates so poorly, in the mode in which it is intended to be used the most?

I have actualy made some favorable comments about the Volt, admittedly, not on this forum recently. If you belong to that small percentage of drivers, those with:

1) Access to only one vehicle.

2) Who have a longer than 12 mile commute (PIP) but one shorter than the Volt’s EV range of 35-50 miles.

3) And also regularly make drives longer than can be conveniently done in a BEV with recharges.

I’d say the Volt might be a reasonable choice. I never seriously considered it, because I belong to none of those three subsets of drivers.

I just think GM is counting on a convincing a lot of buyers, who do not meet these limiting criteria, buying Volts, based on irrational perceptions of what they need in a vehicle.

GM may be right. Somehow, a huge proportion of US car buyers apparently have become convinced they require a two-to- three ton vehicle to pick up groceries.

And maybe, many “EV” buyers will also be convinced that, only dragging along a 1.3 liter premium-gasoline-fueled “range extender”, will prevent their suffering from “range anxiety”.
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DrInnovation
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Re: The “range–extended” EV considered

Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:07 pm

edatoakrun wrote: I agree that it's not a bad hybrid, but the Volt's EV performance is just not comparable to any of the BEVs you mention, with about half the electric range, higher initial cost, worse energy efficiency, and almost certainly, far higher long term operating costs.

Why buy a car that operates so poorly, in the mode in which it is intended to be used the most?
The Volt may have half the EV range, cost a few thousand more, but the actual driving performance is excellent.
If you have not driven one, you should before you publicly say its operates poorly. I consider its operational performance superior to a Leaf, though both are good and way better than a Prius III or a gas-based Ford Focus. (I've rented the latter two).

Your three criterion for potential Volt users (assuming its OR) covers a lot of good potential users. 34% of US households have only 1 car. Statistically Americans average approximately 7500 miles or so of "long distance" (>100 miles) trips in their cars per year (mixing both fun and work) and more than 50% of families have a daily usage/commute farther than a PiP's EV range.

Some people tend to dismiss the Volt, but ignore their longer-trips (airport runs, weekend getaways, vacations, trips for work, etc). As I posted earlier, the "average case" for long trips really does make a good case for a range-extended EV, for me its both financially and ecologically way better than a BEV + ICE. I looked at Leaf, and even looked at range extenders for it, and considered the Tesla (but would need the 230m range at a minimum which was way more $$). The integrated range-extender has some advantages, with a gain of 10-15% in usage in mode 3, which an external range extender could never do. If one's total milage in long-trips is more than 25% of total miles (which is common) the CS mode efficiency gain is more than making up for the lower EV efficiency caused by lugging it around. For a BEV+ICE, if the ICE is lower MPG (e.g. my wife's AWD Subaru), even if one looses on pure EV efficiency compared to a BEV, the family makes up for that by savings on long trips (and even makes up for lots of medium trips (40-100 miles). Its not a "Pure EV", but overall its more energy efficient for many families and more cost effective than a new BEV + existing ICE.
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
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Re: The “range–extended” EV considered

Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:52 pm

edatoakrun wrote: I agree that it's not a bad hybrid, but the Volt's EV performance is just not comparable to any of the BEVs you mention, with about half the electric range, higher initial cost, worse energy efficiency, and almost certainly, far higher long term operating costs.

Why buy a car that operates so poorly, in the mode in which it is intended to be used the most?
Because if you are driving daily within the Volt range, it doesn't feel like it's operating "poorly". You don't feel at all the effects of the "defects" listed above. The range of course has no effect. The worse energy efficiency, of EPA 94 mpge vs. 99 mpge, if you are driving 8k electric miles a year, amounts to only about 145 kw-hr or $17 a year. (I'm getting about 110 mpge in actual use). The initial cost is about the same as a Focus/Coda, $3k over the Leaf SL w/ quick charger port, and $3k over the PiP after tax credits. $3k doesn't feel like so much given the overall price of these cars if you fit some of the criteria you listed; while you happen to fit none, I happen to fit all 3. As for the "access to one vehicle" thing, a lot depends on what that other vehicle is, & if it's being used regularly. Not everyone already has a 45-50+ MPG Prius or other high-efficiency car to use as their 2nd vehicle. Otherwise the Volt is an upgrade & helping on long trips also. A lot of former Prius owners have a feeling like 40 mpg highway is "epic fail", end of the world, even though it's only for 10-30% of the driving, but for people like me upgrading from std compacts like an older Civic (33 MPG), the Volt is a substantial improvement for the gas trips too, especially when a non-insignificant amount EV driving can also be utilized along those long trips. A Prius/Volt owner posted in the Volt forums that he was pleasantly surprised to get 42 mpg on a 600 mile trip (no EV miles counted w/ that) loaded up with cargo changing his residence; he was only expecting 30s.

With ultra-short daily driving, maybe the PiP looks OK, but having to keep below 62 and having to accelerate slowly at lights to keep the engine from starting can be a turn-off to people, plus a lot of people aren't enamored of the Prius's aesthetics or handling, enough they might want to spend a few K more for a Volt and 3x more EV range w/o the limitations.

Long term operating costs -- I really doubt it's all that much higher. You have to change the oil/oil filter once every 2 years. After 10 years the range extender may only have about 20k-30k miles worth of operation on it. Engines on conventional cars last far longer without needing major maintenance.
Based on irrational perceptions of what they need in a vehicle.
People buy mostly based on wants, not needs. Even though one *could* potentially make long trips in a Leaf, going from charging station to station, if the infrastructure improves and enough fast chargers get put in the right spots, hoping that the station doesn't go out of order and that you don't get stuck behind other EV driver(s); so that one doesn't *need* an ICE vehicle, many people may not *want* to make their long drives that way. LEAFfan is perfectly willing to do this, and the fast chargers would make the long trip objections moot for HIM, but they wouldn't make them moot for many other people.

edatoakrun
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Re: The “range–extended” EV considered

Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:01 am

DrInnovation wrote:
edatoakrun wrote: I agree that it's not a bad hybrid, but the Volt's EV performance is just not comparable to any of the BEVs you mention, with about half the electric range, higher initial cost, worse energy efficiency, and almost certainly, far higher long term operating costs.

Why buy a car that operates so poorly, in the mode in which it is intended to be used the most?
"DrInnovation"...As I posted earlier, the "average case" for long trips really does make a good case for a range-extended EV, for me its both financially and ecologically way better than a BEV + ICE...
I thought, in my OP, I made a pretty good case for the same point?

But nothing you have said supports the case that the Volt is an effective means to meet these REEV objectives.

To restate my main points, IMO, the Volt's principle inadequacies are as a result of GM’s decision to use an existing ICEV traction engine, that is fundamentally unsuited for the role of an ICE generator, as an EV range extender, since:

It is far too large to be used efficiently for the task required.

It runs on an unstable and highly polluting fuel, gasoline.

Which also prevents (edit-replace prevents with reduces the practicality of) the hydrocarbon fuel from being used for the one purpose for which these fuels are ideally suited, to heat the passenger cabin (and battery pack, if so required) using a combustion heater.

This results in the Volt’s inferior efficiency to other hybrids, when operating in ICEV mode, and also notably inferior in efficiency to any BEV, when operating in EV mode.

The only thing recommending the Volt, that I can see, is the fact that it currently is the only vehicle on the market that can operate in both modes.

When the PIP and other “small battery” plug-in hybrids are introduced, I think their superior hybrid performance will attract a lot of buyers.

And as I wrote in my OP, I hope that many manufactures will also soon introduce REEV designs, that have far superior efficiency and range, in BEV mode.
Last edited by edatoakrun on Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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TomT
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Re: The “range–extended” EV considered

Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:46 am

Plus, the lower price of "small battery" PHEVs will likely drive more people to buy them over the more expensive and compromised Volt...
edatoakrun wrote: The only thing recommending the Volt, that I can see, is the fact that it currently is the only vehicle on the market that can operate in both modes.

When the PIP and other “small battery” plug-in hybrids are introduced, I think their superior hybrid performance will attract a lot of buyers.

And as I wrote in my OP, I hope that many manufactures will also soon introduce REEV designs, that have far superior efficiency and range, in BEV mode.
Leaf SL 2011 to 2016, Volt Premier 2016 to 2019, and now:
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ahagge
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Re: The “range–extended” EV considered

Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:46 am

Ingineer wrote:
eHelmholtz wrote:
Ingineer wrote:Right now my design will only be 30kW capable, not the full 50kW the Leaf is able to accept. Still, that should give a 80% charge in under 30 mins, and a full charge in under an hour.
Cool! Does the design also allow charging while driving?
Yes, while connected to the Trailer, there is an "umbilical" cable that connects to the Leaf's battery that allows charging and/or motor operation while underway. Once parked, the CHAdeMO cable can be used to charge other cars.

Hopefully, I will be able to bring this unit to the December 3rd meeting at Google in Mountain View. Nissan's Engineering team will get a look! =)

-Phil
Phil - if the prototype pans out, are you actually planning to produce these units? If so have you Ingineered a way to modify the current-gen LEAF to support your "umbilical" cable without voiding the warrranty? Seems to me that this was always the "deal-breaker" in the previous threads about a range-extending trailer.

Also, assuming that TomT's previous link to the C30 PDF was the one you're talking about, the efficiency graph seems pretty low...26% or so, which IIRC is lower than most IC engines. Wouldn't something like a motorcycle engine be more efficient (though I'm not sure which would be easier to emissions/noise control...)?

I hope you can get some Nissan folks interested in the idea. And BTW, consider me an extremely interested prospective customer. :D

Anxiously awaiting your further updates (maybe in its own thread, with pictures...hint, hint!)...
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N952JL
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Re: The “range–extended” EV considered

Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:52 am

DrInnovation wrote:I see lots of people tossing out long trips as an issue, some dismissing it as infrequent. Individual's of course vary but long trips are a real issue for the average American.



What about the economics of an add on RE?
With a 25mpg ICE the 12 trips > 194 miles need about ~100 gallons of gas, which is < $400/year and it will be hard to justify an expensive range-extender. (Total long distance travel 7500 is about 300 gallons or < $1200 a year).
60% of families have second car, so the car is not and added cost, just gas. A rental ICE would obviously add more.
With respect to the total cost of covering one can argue if renting an ICE or a Range Extender makes more sense.
Renting a range extender might make sense if its efficient enough and the price < price of gas for the ICE. With a limited market for while that may be difficult to make cost effective.




If you are focused on minimizing cost this is totally moot as no new BEV or Range Extended EV (REEV) is the right choice. The right choice is used Prius or other high MPG car (because of the vehicle cost and rapid depreciation no new vehicle is a good financial investment), at least until used BEV or REEV are on the market and a decent price.
I feel you have made some very good points. In the end, I do not want us to import any oil as that is a complete drain on our economy. I only have one small point. You made an assumption that all families have two cars so the only added expense is the expense of the gas necessary to run the car vs the range extender. That may not be true. I am looking forward to the time I only need one vehicle. Without a Range Extender or longer range BEVs I will be forced to buy a Prius or simular vehicle which is more than just the cost of gas.

My lease for the Leaf will be 39 months. I am hoping that within 39 months we have improvements that will allow me to keep using a BEV. Till then, I fall within the 12 per year longer 200+ round trip trips. But the leaf does meet my everyday needs.

Herm
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Re: The “range–extended” EV considered

Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:21 pm

edatoakrun wrote:
To restate my main points, IMO, the Volt's principle inadequacies are as a result of GM’s decision to use an existing ICEV traction engine, that is fundamentally unsuited for the role of an ICE generator, as an EV range extender, since:

It is far too large to be used efficiently for the task required.

It runs on an unstable and highly polluting fuel, gasoline.

Which also prevents the hydrocarbon fuel from being used for the one purpose for which these fuels are ideally suited, to heat the passenger cabin (and battery pack, if so required) using a combustion heater.
GM made an excellent decision, this is why:

1. existing ICE engine is much cheaper than developing and EPA certifying a dedicated genset engine, GM was short for time and money at that point, if you recall.
2. GM intended to use a derivative of their already designed (and very expensive) 2 Mode FWD electric transaxle (designed in partnership with Mercedes and Chrysler), but modified to a simpler configuration.. this transaxle was designed to fit a conventional ICE, not some new fangled cold fusion reactor or H2 fool cell.. it was a requirement that in certain hybrid modes the ICE could be coupled semi-directly to the wheels, required for a desire for efficiency.
3. GM engineers had a requirement that the Volt would run at 100mph while in the hybrid mode, thus that forced the requirement of the large 80hp engine.. as a matter of fact the engine was slightly too small to afford an atkinsonizing process and also required using premium fuel.. most likely the next generations of the genset will use a larger engine, unless GM drops the 100mph requirement. Voltec tech is adaptable to this kind of stuff.. hopefully they will use a atkinson ICE.

Why are you saying that gasoline is an unstable and polluting fuel? .. this is not true at all. Are you a paid patsy of the EV Cartel?.. paid to spread FUD?.. do you think GM can afford to put a diesel in a Volt, or a CNG tank?

Kerosene or alcohol would be a better liquid fuel for a heater, if that is all you want.. but GM wanted a no compromise BEV that would behave like a conventional car once the battery is depleted. Yes the Volt is heavy, blame that on all the heavy steel required by the safety goons in the Insurance Cartel.

The cost of the Volt is not bad, once you consider the cost of the much inferior PIP, the Focus BEV, the Coda and even the Leaf. I personally prefer a Leaf but I will not tolerate Volt abuse because its fashionable among certain people. Its understandable the Leaf and PIP are expensive, its due to the exchange rate of the Yen to the Dollar.

Step back and observe something.. here we have an almost 4000lbs behemoth, praised for its luxurious ride, safety and sportiness, driven by a lousy 80hp engine and still getting 35mpg on the city and 40 on the hwy.. and once it gets the California $2500 rebate its cost will drop below the average transaction price of vehicles sold in the US... and you still get the benefits of a BEV if driven less than 40 miles. Its a win-win without all the trip pre-planning and angst of a crippled pure BEV.

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