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Can you say . . . Hybrid?
Report: GM may let Euro drivers switch Opel Ampera to gas power to save batteries
Autoblog

Jeremy Korzeniewski
December 7, 2010


The 2011 Chevrolet Volt made major media waves when it was first revealed that its engine could power the drive wheels independently under certain circumstances. According to a report from HeadlineAuto in the UK, though, General Motors' European division is actually considering adding a switch for the Opel Ampera (the Volt's more attractive European cousin) that would allow the driver to control how the drivetrain operates.

For instance, when driving longer distances, such as when traveling from city to city, the driver could potentially switch the car into its so-called charge sustaining mode so that the gasoline-powered engine would run constantly in order to maintain a full charge of the battery. Then, after the speeds slow back down and the driver re-enters an urban area, the car could be put back into its normal battery-first mode.


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. . . I am amazed at how much better than the Volt the Ampera looks.
 

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Seems to me this is the Ampera, not the Volt. Sister car.. for a different market, with a different brand.
 

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Yes, technically a different model, but for all intents and purposes, the same as the Volt. Many urban centers in Europe are restricted to low-emissions, or emissions-free vehicles. This feature makes sense for Europe, not as compelling in the States, but would still be a neat feature to have.
 

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Seems to me this is the Ampera, not the Volt. Sister car.. for a different market, with a different brand.
The Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera, [GM spokesman Robert] Peterson said, are and will remain cars that are driven solely by their electric motors, with the engine serving only as a power generator to supply electricity when the rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack is depleted.
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I'm not sure why this is making news now. The Volt lead engineer explained this to us over dinner back in October.

The Ampera will have the option of going directly into "charge sustaining mode," bypassing the EV mode. This is engaged at the driver's digression and is intended to save the battery pack for urban driving. Many European cities (Paris was used as a prime example) have commuters living further out of the city than in the U.S.

Also note that the U.S. government will not allow the option on the Volt here.
 

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I'm not sure why this is making news now. The Volt lead engineer explained this to us over dinner back in October.

The Ampera will have the option of going directly into "charge sustaining mode," bypassing the EV mode. This is engaged at the driver's digression and is intended to save the battery pack for urban driving. Many European cities (Paris was used as a prime example) have commuters living further out of the city than in the U.S.

Also note that the U.S. government will not allow the option on the Volt here.
That's fine and dandy, but also further proof that the Volt's gas engine was always conceived as an alternate vehicle propulsor and not just a mere range extender.

Why wont the US the US goverment allow this "option" here?
 

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Seems like to me it would be a good option in the US but what do I know.
Actually it would and I would love to know why the government wouldn't allow it.

Remember, I am not objecting to the Volt's technology, I think it is fantastic and may turn out to be history making. I object to GM's clumsy and horrible handling of the information.
 

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Actually it would and I would love to know why the government wouldn't allow it.

Remember, I am not objecting to the Volt's technology, I think it is fantastic and may turn out to be history making. I object to GM's clumsy and horrible handling of the information.
The government would pull tax credits from the car if GM placed the the override mode on the Volt. They tried.

Be careful in judging the information handling. I've yet to read a report that laid out that situation with just the facts. The fact is that the engine was initially just a range extender, then later in development they realized that adding a 2nd clutch to indirectly attach the ICE to the drivetrain would boost the efficiency of the car by 15% in certain conditions.

As for not telling the public the minute they made that discovery...well, as the messenger of most GM news leaks, I can tell you they know they have a problem holding onto future product information. Had the competition gotten a hold of that IP, it could have been bad.
 

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The government would pull tax credits from the car if GM placed the the override mode on the Volt. They tried.
Why would the government do that?
Be careful in judging the information handling. I've yet to read a report that laid out that situation with just the facts. The fact is that the engine was initially just a range extender, then later in development they realized that adding a 2nd clutch to indirectly attach the ICE to the drivetrain would boost the efficiency of the car by 15% in certain conditions.
Questions:

  1. What do you mean by "boosting efficiency by 15%"? You mean save "juice"? Isn't that exactly what the range extender was put in for in the first place? What is efficiency in this context?
  2. Don't you find fascinating that the engine GM chose to be only a range extender in the first instance was fit to propel the entire vehicle? . . . such lucky brake.
  3. Now, is it a marginal "help" to boost "efficiency" what the gas engine is supposed to do besides its range extending duties, or can the gas engine theoretically move the whole car all the time by itself? Why and how did the EPA measure a 37 MPG in gas only mode? and, what does the EPA mean by "when electricity is used up it will run on gas for another 344 miles"?
  4. If you think that so far no report has laid out that situation with just the facts, why do you think that is? Has GM?



As for not telling the public the minute they made that discovery...well, as the messenger of most GM news leaks, I can tell you they know they have a problem holding onto future product information. Had the competition gotten a hold of that IP, it could have been bad.
Discovery or decision? How could have been bad for them that the competition knew that they were linking the gas engine to move the car? Is such an obvious thing and besides if GM though that they were so innovative (you know innovation is the main criteria for the granting of a patent) they would hae filed for a patent which would have given them an early protection.

The IP excuse for lying is just that an excuse with very short legs.
Also note that the Volt and Ampera will both sell in Europe.
Dully noted. Same continent . . . but same countries?

This, of course begs the question . . . will the made for Europe Volt have the switch?
 
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