This Is How The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Operates – Video

OCT 13 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 58

2016 Volt Tweet Video

2016 Volt Tweet Video

Via the official Twitter account for the Chevrolet Volt we see the video posted above, as well as this description below:

How does the #NextGenVolt work? See for yourself here: http://s.chevy.com/kXM

Luckily there’s a link to the 2016 Volt website, because without that link, the average car guy (not us electric car fans) would likely have no idea what Chevrolet is trying to show in the brief video.

We’d call this tweet a questionable marketing decision.

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58 Comments on "This Is How The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Operates – Video"

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Yeah, I see what you mean. If they put ev in the center button on the small gauge, and gas on the large dial, at least that would make it a bit clearer.

”We’d call this tweet a questionable marketing decision.”

Another one? Naaah! never…..

I consider myself an “electric car fan” and after several times watching this video, I still don’t know what Chevrolet is trying to tell me. The car accelerates and brakes? Is the big thing a fuel gauge, or a speedometer. I can just assume the two other things should be electric motors. Did GM employ a cryptograph by accident and he ended up in marketing?

Amen to all that!

My first reaction was that it ran out of charge and just stopped! (maybe for the driver to get out and walk into the sunset with a gas can in his hand – who knows?)

Another great way for GM not to sell Volts!

If they would just add some kind of acoustic, or even textual, information, I could make some sense of it. But maybe thats the marketing, everyone who sees this, lets call it advertisement, goes to the chevy site, just to find out what the hell this video is about.

The text on the website next to the video is: “Volt is powered by two electric motors that work in unison to optimize efficiency and conserve electric charge while providing responsive power and torque.”

I noticed in this section that they take great care to present the motors and the ICE (conveniently named “generator”) as two separated entities, like if the ICE is never used to move the car, exactly as misleading as for the Volt 1.0

They are all in the same casing and are all coupled directly to the transmission, only the software makes it a part time BEV, and a part time plain Hybrid… with a plug.

Her is ow the Volt 1.0 works, from Edmund’s
The version 2 is quite similar, except it runs more on ICE than before.

http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/features/how-the-2011-chevrolet-volt-works.html

No, they are completely different.

Voltec 1.0 only has 1 planetary gearset.
Voltec 2.0 has 2 independent planetary gearset. They operate completely different.

Voltec 2.0 no longer has stand alone series mode where Voltec 1.0 was mostly series mode under heavy load. That was changed for improvement in efficiency where parallel mode is more efficient than series mode.

The marketing was done to determine what the buying public wanted in the new Volt. This is just a confusing cartoon, not marketing.

Yes, I have to admit that this video was a real head scratcher. I presume the two objects with lightning bolts are supposed to be the electric motors in their dual motor system. Beyond that, I’ve know idea what the point of this video is.

So will it be 4-wheel drive that way? Or are the two motors powering the same axle?

Does this mean that it won’t work as a parallel-hybrid anymore?

From the start, the first gen Volt has always had two electric motors. They are coupled to the front wheels via a transmission.

So basically it’s the same old, same old.

No, the new Voltec 2.0 no longer has stand alone series mode. The engine is always coupled to the wheel in the REx mode.

I don’t understand the mystery tweet, but from my previous reading, I think Gen 2 runs parallel in more situations than Gen 1.

Not runs more, but always coupled to the wheel all the time if the engine is on.

No more stand alone pure series mode anymore.

Then it runs in parallel more often. It’s regression not a progression toward more Electric and less ICE.

I don’t know what your definition of regression is.

But certainly not with Volt 2.0 which has greater EV range, greater EV mode performance, greater MPG in extended range mode and greater performance in extended range mode.

If improvement is regression to you, then you must have a weird standard.

“Then it runs in parallel more often. It’s regression not a progression toward more Electric and less ICE.”

That is a really interesting or weird classification.

How is series-hybrid mode better than parallel mode? In both modes, engine is on and burning gas. But parallel mode is more efficient than series mode so it is an improvement.

You said “more electric and less ICE”. That is exactly what Vol2.0 is. more electric in terms of more EV miles and less ICE in terms of more EV miles and also higher MPG in range extende mode which is exactly more electic and less ICE as you said.

Do you mean “more series-hybrid mode”? But why is series-hybrid mode better when it is less efficient?

ModernMarvelFan: Not at all to disagree with you; I get the same impression you do, that GM’s Voltec 2.0 improves efficiency over Voltec 1.0. But I think I understand where RexxSee is coming from. Compared to a traditional gasmobile, which uses a multi-speed transmission, a pure serial hybrid was said to be, in theory, more efficient. More efficient because in a pure serial hybrid, the ICEngine can be allowed to run at its most efficient, unthrottled speed, without having to regulate the engine speed by slaving it to the transmission, as with an ordinary gasmobile. And in an ordinary gasmobile, the ICEngine usually runs at a very inefficient, highly throttled speed. But the Voltec approach is — at least, based on my limited understanding — to use a more complex type of gearing which allow infinitely variable speeds between the ICEngine and the driveshaft, and also lets one or both electric motors contribute to the power. This achieves the same purpose as the serial hybrid — that is, it allows the ICEngine to run at or near its most efficient speed, while eliminating the inefficiency of converting the ICEngine’s power to electricity and then using electric motors to convert that… Read more »

I agree mostly with what you said.

“So, as I see it: In theory, a pure serial hybrid should be more efficient than a combined hybrid (aka series/parallel hybrid). But in practice, GM has engineered a combined hybrid which works more efficiently than a pure serial hybrid.”

In theory, the series hybrid is always less efficient than parallel hybrid under a given constant load.

You are right that series hybrid gain efficiency by reducing the varying load on the ICE to over come the loss of series configuration.

But in the case of Voltec, GM can also keep the ICE relatively constant with respect to loading by enaging a seperate electric motor to compensate and utilizing a 2nd electric motor to handle additional varying load.

By doing so, it is sort achieved the best of both world by reducing varying load on the ICE and increase the efficiency of the configuration due to more direct torque feeding to the wheel.

So, GM actually achieve both by adding complexity to the driventrain thru second planetary gearset.

After the battery is out of juice, I don’t really care how the ICE is used. Use it in the most efficient manner, I say. Who cares if the wheels are linked directly. I’m not an EV snob.

Didn’t realize that. IF so, then are these 2 things also true? :

1). Engine must STOP at a stoplight.

2). Clutch must SLIP to restart the engine.

Hi Bill,

NO, engine doesn’t have to stop. There is another clutch that will disengage the first planetary gearset that has the engine and motor 1. So, the engine can just power the motor 1 for recharging while idling.

No, the clutch doesn’t have to slip since the planetary gearset can be modulated by motor 1 to control amount of rpm or torque transmitted like Gen 1.

here is a better diagram to illustrate how it works.

http://gm-volt.com/2015/02/20/gen-2-volt-transmission-operating-modes-explained/

MMF, thanks for the clarification.

MMF, I’d say this is the best description I’ve ever seen of ANY GM product. THey didn’t need fancy animation, just a clear pictorial of the various modes. I also like that they’ve actually simplified the design by adding the second planetary gear set. Instead of having 3 clutch actuators, they only have 2, and a simple freewheeling (what they call a rachet) clutch. This is really a much more elegant design. MGB is much much smaller, and so is MGA, although the combination of the 2 provides more overall power. In ‘dead battery’ mode, the full output of the engine may still be utilized since what is not used by the now somewhat dinky generator is sent to the wheels, which is the point of it anyway. Since both motors are smaller, everything on the inverter/rectifier end can also be smaller. It will be very interesting to test drive the New Volt to see how the drive unit ‘sounds’ change as you accelerate.. I believe early reports state that the end result is even smoother than the original, which is in itself quite surprising. Too early to ‘grade’ the device, but initially, since they’ve much more fully utilized smaller… Read more »

It looks to me as though the engine HAS to stop at a stoplight, as there is no clutching at all. The graphs state that at low speed (or NO SPEED), the unit is always in mode CD1 whether the battery is dead or not.

Hummmm, If I’m correct about that, then that means there is some minimum speed where the ICE CANNOT RUN. So lets say that is 12 mph. So if you constantly drive at 10 mph, there is no way for the battery to be recharged. What say you MMF ? The chart says in EREF mode at very low speeds you are by definition in mode CD1.

HAHA I’m right…. from the CS1 graph:

“…At low speed, and torque, ICE is OFF and vehicle Temporarily drives in CD1…”.

(I’m gathering that the ring gear and engine is started by OVERSPINNING MGA to get the ring gear TOP spinning and the engine started).

HUMMM, I’m wondering if this is a bit of an achille’s heal.

With my 2011 I’ve been caught in bumper to bumper traffic in VERY cold weather with the Heater on High.

Assuming the heater is still 6 kw, if you were in bumper to bumper traffic,at some point, since the ICE CANNOT start, you’d get a warning message stating “HIGH VOLTAGE BATTERY DANGEROUSLY LOW”, and you’d hopefully be smart enough to turn the heater off.

So, in the end not so big of a deal, but this does reconcile the various reviews, with one of them stating there was in so many words a shudder when the engine started.

In GEN 1 there is no effect since the engine is completely disconnected when starting.

But in Gen 2, the ‘wheels’ are part of the gearing, so with a very light pedal you’d probably notice it the most. Under harder acceleration, it probably just becomes a bit more powerful. The computer can vary the MGA speed, but it is probably a toss up as to exactly when the engine starts, so its very very hard to make that TOTALLY unnoticeable.

I wonder how ford handles the problem? Brian?

This to me is a semi- big issue. Does this mean, to change the oil at the dealership, or to do emissions testing, that the front wheels have to be put on a dynamometer or rollers so that they can turn while testing the engine?

Oh ok I just found the ‘fail safe’..

Apparently the ICE can be started if the parking brake is on or the parking pawl is engaged so that the WHEELS are LOCKED.

So in the bumper to bumper scenario, you’d put the car in park to let the engine race and recharge the battery, and it would also be in ‘park’ to hold the tires back when doing emissions testing or changing the oil.

I’d like to think I know how a volt works… and this video does not communicate how a volt works.

GM is it’s own worst enemy again.

To me it looks like 1 motor works when accelerating, and both work once at speed.

After watching again, it appears at low speeds and low acceleration just 1 motor is used. At higher speeds & accelerations, both motors are used.

+1 Kdawg, that’s what i got after waching it a few times this morning, problem is, they can’t add sound, can they? Cause then, poeple would have complained about that to so, bad one, again, GM.

Give up trying to explain how the transmission works GM. The general public does not have the technical ability to understand it. They also are totally not interested in TRYING to understand it.

As soon as the discussion starts peoples eyes just glaze over.

+100 George, the general public is so dumb they just follow leaders.
Monkey see, monkey do.
Show people plugging and unplugging EVs on TV. films and adds and they will want to do the same.

I can’t beleive i just said that, me, who hasn’t plugged my car for over 20 months!!

The basic problem is that amoungst all GM’s technical writers, they apparently don’t have any competant ones. They could easily explain on 1/2 a sheet of paper how it works – or at least how it works in most common situations. I’m reasonably familiar with the Gen 1 VOlt and ELR operation (they are somewhat different), but know next to nothing about GEN 2, other than I hope that Driving Chain is as beefy as it looks. It also appears in the pictures to be a speed step UP drive, which is rather ironic, since the engine and motors are (looking at the annimation)running faster than the wheels. Later on in the ‘online brouchure’, they state “Charging an EV isn’t scary, you can hire a Professional Electrician to install a charger so that your new volt will recharge in 4 1/2 hours”. That’s just plain dumb. And Scary. Now they’ve planted in the mind of a prospective customer “Oh Great!!! Now I have to spend several thousand dollars rewiring the house so that I can drive the thing.” When they SHOULD have said, “You can use almost any standard socket to recharge your volt just like you do your cell… Read more »

My appologies to GM, that patent description was very good. They could improve it by putting some numbers on the speeds at which it changes modes. But otherwise I take back what I said somewhat since they do have SOME people who apparently can explain things, probably the designers of it, whether themselves or their subcontractors.

Ok. So one electric motor is bigger than the
other one?

As in Version one. The middle small one is a generator/motor, turned by the ICE in generator mode.

Ah. Thanks.

Larry4pro: Hi, I’m not getting any response from MMF for some reason, so since you seem to understand how it works please answer me this:

A). MMF states the engine is always physically connected to the wheels when running.. So assuming that is correct, do these 2 statements also follow?

1). Does the engine HAVE TO STOP at a stoplight?

2). Assuming the engine cycles on and off when the battery is ‘dead’, does a given clutch now have to SLIP to get the engine running again since the “engine is always connected to the wheels”?

OH ok Larry4Pro, got most of my questions answered from MMF’s GM VOLT article several posts above.

This video may be pointless and confusing, but on the bright side … at least it’s not embarrassingly stupid like yesterday’s Toyota Barista video.

I hopped over to the website to try to understand the tweet. Did anyone else notice the icons they use for range have big arrows that point down? Like they are implying that range is down or something. That’s some great graphic design they’ve got going.

Pretty sure we’re over analyzing here. This is just a little video that plays in your twitter feed to catch your attention.

Here’s how I think the new Volt works, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Electric Mode 1 – Car powered at launch and low speeds by the more powerful rare earth motor. The rare earth motor is designed to operate efficiently at low speeds. Electric Mode 2 – Car powered at higher vehicle speeds by the smaller ferrite motor. The ferrite motor is designed to operate efficiently at high speed. Electric Mode 3 – Car powered by both motors whenever max performance is required. Hybrid Mode 1 – Rare earth motor provides torque for launch and help low speed acceleration. Ferrite motor used to provide continuously variable gearing for the ICE. ICE operates AtkInson mode at low RPMs for better fuel economy with the rare earth motor assisting to make up the torque efficiency. Hybrid Mode 2 – Fixed gear rato, i.e., top gear. Rare earth motor assists with acceleration l operation. Ferrite motor acts as generator to support Charge Sustaining operation. Hybrid Mode 3 – eCVT operation similar to Hybrid Mode 1 except the rolls are switched and the eCVT operates in support of efficient operations at higher vehicle speeds. Why can’t GM produce an animation showing… Read more »

Seriously, why does it matter?

Aren’t we splitting hairs here? Does Volt2.0 get better EV range? Yes. Does it get better EV mode efficiency? Yes. Does it get better mpg in range extended mode? Yes.

Who cares if it is operated with 1 or 2 electric motors or how many operation modes there are.

It works better and it is more efficient and it has better EV range and overall performance. That is all that matters.

Why? Because some of us are curious.

I asked you 2 basic questions on GEN 2. Feel free to answer if you feel like it.

Sorry, if I sounded harsh.

But I was really tired of those people who attacked Volt for its series/parallel configuration. At the end of the day, most buyers couldn’t care less as long as the car gets more EV miles, better MPG and higher performance.

I understand That the ICE Engine Not 0nly Charges the battery But., Also Propels The Car as it is also connected to the powertrain..

Wow, GM really needs to outsource Volt marketing. It is clear their internal department just doesn’t know how to make the Volt compelling.

They must have standard template they follow, or the just put the C team flunkies on the job.

They need to quit trying to explain how it works. Just say smokes sports cars from a red light, quieter than Mercedes, and stops for gas half as often as a Prius.

The marketing department should just quote the link that MMF did from a Feb 2015 GM-VOlt article.

That would satisfy the more mechanically inclined amoungst EV owners.

They don’t give absolutely every scenario, nor specify precise torques, nor gear reductions, but they do specify speed ranges, and its the most info I’ve EVER seen out of anything GM.