Chevy Volt hybrid will make judgements about charging based on distance from your home

GM's upcoming Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid car may end up being the savior of the ailing, hundred-year-old company, especially if they can keep adding intelligent features like this range-based recharging calculation. From Jalopnik, quoting GM Kraftfahrzeugelektrikermarschall "Maximum" Bob Lutz:
with the Volt, you never have to worry you use the full 40 (mile range), the worst thing that happens is the gasoline engine comes on, and the car will know how far you are from home, and it will only run the gas engine long enough to give you enough charge to get you home where you can actually plug it into the wall outlet. So the car will be smart enough to know where its home base is.
If only they hadn't ended up making the Volt look so blasé. GM's Lutz: Chevy Volt Will Use GPS To Determine Distance From Home, Adjust Engine Accordingly [Jalopnik]
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17 Responses to Chevy Volt hybrid will make judgements about charging based on distance from your home

  1. Hal says:

    Am I missing something? I can’t work out how a car could look “blasé”.
    It has to look like a Prius so the great unwashed will know it’s a hybrid…

  2. dhuff says:

    Why all the griping in the media about this ? The thing doesn’t look anymore blasé than an Accord…

    What I want to know is whether GM will make an effort to mfg. this at a higher level than their std. build quality (i.e. usually somewhere between “meh” and “pathetic”).

  3. The Lizardman says:

    The gas generator is used only for charging the battery, it cannot directly drive the car as it is only designed and connected for charging the batteries.

    I find the amount of discussion that is devoted to its styling to be wholly depressing. If we have to choose then function over form, people, please. This car is not perfect nor the solution to all our problems but it often really seems that if a free energy machine did surface we would just get snarky comments about how ugly it was.

  4. Enochrewt says:

    Wow, I don’t think it looks that bad at all. In the Jalopnik comments someone shopped it in black and silver and I like the black.

    I saw a teaser on the the Today show this morning, they said “This is the car that GM is banking their future on.” I said “What, the Chevy Malibu?” since they didn’t say the name of the car. Doh.

  5. crimeshark says:

    If only they hadn’t ended up making it a plug-in. Now the millions of urban dwellers, myself included, are totally out of the potential market for this car. After all, when you live in a rented flat, condo or co-op, unless you somehow have access to a garage with electric (and like most co-op owners, I don ‘t) you can’t consider a car like this.

  6. Enochrewt says:

    #10: As an urban dweller I feel ya. Even if you manage to run an extension cord out to it, you’ll find it unplugged in the morning because some bum wanted to charge his cellphone. But then again, Urban residents usually don’t drive much.

  7. dculberson says:

    Crimeshark, whaaaat? The entire point of this car is that it’s a serial hybrid with plug-in ability. If they hadn’t made it a plug-in, what possible new niche would it be serving?! It would be less efficient than a Prius and less powerful.

    It’s like saying “if only they had made this apple into an orange, then I would like it.” It makes no sense. Okay, well, very little sense. ;-)

    I also predict that the “millions of urban dwellers” will, in a decade or two’s time, have many electric outlet options added, some of them metered and some of them subsidized by work/govt/etc. Well, I’m not so much predicting it as hoping for it.

  8. dculberson says:

    Oh, I forgot to add: You can still use this car without the plug-in. It’s just not a fit for your transportation needs if you don’t have access to a plug-in. It will happily charge off the gas engine. You’ll just see a lot higher gasoline engine than you would with an electric charge.

  9. Not a Doktor says:

    cool, you can charge up at a gas station :)

  10. crimeshark says:

    I stand corrected. I was confused by the fact it was advertised as an electric car- actually, it’s really just another kind of plug-in hybrid. Wiki says to expect maybe 50 MPG unless you plug it in. If this car is as expensive as the comments above indicate, I don’t see it as competitive with the Prius, which is way cheaper and gets about the same MPG.

  11. scaught says:

    What’s this thing going to cost?

  12. Joel Johnson says:

    It won’t be cheap. Lutz was saying like $35k-$40k.

  13. SeppTB says:

    I’m so disappointed they decided to go with this style for the car. I loved the concept and was set on getting one, until they released these new photos =/.

  14. Agies says:

    The question is what if I’m not going home? I imagine it assumes that you are using the onboard navigation system to tell it where you want to go but that’s just a little silly for most in town trips.

  15. roguecnidarian says:

    So, what does the machine use the petrol engine for? Is it merely for charging, or is the engine actually capable of turning its energy directly into rotation for the wheels? If no, why are we still stuck with the standard front-mounted-engine design of the last 100 years? The powerplan can be moved anywhere in the car.

    Basically, the car looks chunky. It reminds me (unfavourably) of the Dodge Magnum.

  16. Duffong says:

    For relaxing car talk time, make it The Car Lounge time:

    The finest in ridiculing Lol Lutz’s dumbing & styling down of what could have been a promising product. All aboard the fail boat!

  17. Krenath says:

    DHUFF “Why all the griping in the media about this ? The thing doesn’t look anymore blasé than an Accord…”

    And it doesn’t look any better than an Accord either. That’s the problem.

    Car manufacturers seem to specialize in making shapeless, boring, soap-bar-shaped cars to the exclusion of all else, pouring all their creativity into the dash, taillights, and headlights to the exclusion of all else.

    I want a car whose design impresses me to the point where I find myself doodling its shape on paper.

    There’s not a single car under $50,000 on the market that I’d trade my S2000 for, because no matter what other features they might offer, they’re all butt-ugly.

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