Did You Influence Development Of The 2016 Chevrolet Volt? Some Volt Owners Did

FEB 27 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 116

2016 Chevrolet Volt - Image Credit: InsideEVs / Mike Anthony

2016 Chevrolet Volt – Image Credit: InsideEVs / Mike Anthony

It’s a well-known fact that General Motors turned to current Chevrolet Volt owners for input in developing the next-generation Chevy Volt.

Here’s the story of how Volt owners influenced the next-gen plug-in, as told by General Motors:

Chevrolet Volt Owners Got Their Say in Next-Gen Model

DETROIT – To Sam Miller-Christiansen, his 2014 Chevrolet Volt is the best car he has owned. And he was willing to tell anyone, including the team developing the next-generation Volt.

“I said that if they could improve the overall EV range, it would make one of my favorite cars even better,” Miller-Christiansen said. “To my amazement, they’ve done it.”

It is just one example of how the 2016 Volt was engineered with input from the collective voices of loyal owners.

Shortly after launching the first-generation Volt, Chevrolet convened and met once a month with a customer advisory board of 12 owners from across the country to understand how consumers were operating their Volts.

“The Volt represented a completely new classification of electric vehicles, and we were unsure of how people would react or how this vehicle would fit in their daily lives,” said Darin Gesse, Volt product manager. “So we began asking simple questions like how and when the owners plugged in their Volt, which directly impacted the development of the next generation.

“We talk about putting the customer at the center of everything we do, and we’ve literally done that with the 2016 Volt.”

The Volt team also wanted to know what Volt features owners liked and what features might need improvement. The team talked with Volt owners though social media, plug-in events and Internet panels.

The owners’ constructive and candid feedback ultimately helped the engineering team decide what direction to take the next-generation Volt.

In addition to more EV range and improved fuel economy in extended range, customers also expressed a strong desire for a fifth seating position for short trips. The new Volt offers those features as well as increased space and available rear heated seats.

The 2016 Volt offers a GM-estimated 50 miles of EV range, and a total driving range of more than 400 miles between fill-ups. With regular charging, owners are expected to travel more than 1,000 miles on average between gas fill-ups. This is based on GM-estimated fuel efficiency of 41 MPG and 102 MPGe, a measure of the average distance traveled per unit of energy consumed.

Chevrolet also learned customers wanted a more intuitive vehicle interface. So the 2016 Volt center stack is easier to use, with fewer icons, separate climate control knobs, and buttons below the center display designed to provide clear and convenient operation.

Customers also influenced these features:

Quieter engine at lower speeds
Light-emitting diode (LED) headlamps, providing a more visible, higher efficiency light
Reduced air dam scraping when entering or exiting driveways
Heated steering wheel
Regen on DemandTM – giving drivers more control over regenerative braking, which reclaims energy while the car slows
Customization of vehicle information depending on driver’s preference
Location-based charging selection, making vehicle charging at multiple locations easier to manage
More discrete charging notifications
Charge door open reminder
Illuminated charge port
Available spare tire

The current Volt enjoys some of the highest customer loyalty and quality scores in the industry. In just four years, Volt has earned more accolades and more “best buy” awards than any other electric vehicle, including the 2015 Kelley Blue Book’s 2015 Best Buy Award and Top Safety Pick from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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116 Comments on "Did You Influence Development Of The 2016 Chevrolet Volt? Some Volt Owners Did"

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Here’s the ones I voiced my opinion about that turned out in Gen2.

Shark-fin antenna
Regen on Demand
Customization of screens
Charge port light
LED headlights
Tablet-style screen interaction (swipe/pinch/etc)

(I’ve also requested the option to override the daylight sensor to keep the DRLs on, but not sure if that happened)

Oh, and more AER, but that’s what everyone wanted. I would also like the ability to set the ERDTT to OFF, or 0 degrees F.

+9000
ERDTT is the one thing left that I hate.

EveryOne wants much more AER, and that’s the last thing GM care about.

Actually that was one of the big improvements; a 30% increase in AER.

Ain’t it 20%?
But this is BS, under 100% improvement shows us that GM is not serious about EVs.

Your comment just shows you are against GM hater and clueless about EVs..

Go back to your oil burning stinking Prius…

Nope my goal is to increase adoption of EVs and not. Be satisfied of such cosmetic improvements, vs all the marketing energy spend convincing us that big ICE car corporations do their best and that this Volt 2.0 is. A technological miracle. But I suspect that you are part of the problem.
Anyway your comment shows how you are quick to catalog people. My Prius is the best ecological car for the extensive mileage I have to do for my work.
I’ m waiting for Model3

Everyone here is interested in increasing adoption of EVs, LuStuccc. This is an EV enthusiast site. The Volt may not work for you if you drive a lot, but it works really well for most people.

Why oppose prius to Volt?! They are two gas saving cars goohd for the planet. You want to polarize owners? Divide and conquer? You won’t get me there.

A 100% improvement (~76 mile AER) would only show that GM has no interest in actually selling Volts, since the car would be well into the $50k range.

Not if massively produced. Simple math.

Nissan is still paying $230/kWh now, and they are using over twice the kWh that GM is.

As that price (which is probably lower than what GM can currently get), going from 17kWh in the first-gen Volt to ~34kWh in the second-gen would represent a $4000 increase in battery costs.

Nobody knows how much Nissan or GM really pay for his kWh. All we know is the price they SELL us the packs.

Massively produced, It would cost half the price.

This battery thing is a gimmick from the ICE car cartel to keep prices high and not sell many EVs because in doing so, they are killing their lucrative business, it’s easy to understand, and people like spider dan are paid to misinform us day afetr day on the behalf of the petro -automobile cartel.

If battery prices are just another oil cartel scam, why does Tesla charge $10,000 for a battery that holds 25 more kWh (i.e. $400/kWh)? Are they also in on the global conspiracy?

Et tu, Elon?

You fake not to understand?

Tesla has 1 factory, GM 99.

Economy of scale is the key to understand the cartel.

Musk is no salvation army, he is a good capitalist, one of the best, and the replacement cost of the battery pack will go down very soon but the batteries a prone to last for 15-20 years, so there is nothing substantial in your point, only diversion.

Straubel said this summer that 30% price decrease would be very easy with the Giga factory and economy of scale. He added that with improved technoloy, it will likely be 50%.
Musk confirmed it on the Q3 conference call

COST REDUCTION: “We felt comfortable with at least a 30 percent reduction in cost just based on the location and economies of scale. That’s without taking any technology improvement into account, and we’ll certainly do technology improvement. If we can’t get to 30 percent without technology improvements, someone should shoot us, because that would be in complete defiance of economies of scale and obvious cost savings.”

Tesla is doing what GM, Toyota or Nissan should have easily done 10 years ago.

Tesla is currently charging $400/kWh.
Musk promises a 30% cost reduction post-Gigafactory.
$400 – 30% = $280/kWh.
Nissan is already claiming $230/kWh today.

Great point.

Ha! If it is simple math, please show us the equations and cite references.

And this is an EREV, remember, so there are diminishing returns to adding more battery. The Volt already does 80% of trips electric-only.

50 miles/80 km is excellent. More than I was expecting.

Breezy, that is so true. In an EREV, you get to a point where the expense of more kWh is just not worth it for the vast majority of the car buying public. That is what the genset is for. If it could be done economically, it would be great if GM could offer a range of EREV vehicles, a compact Volt, a mid-sized sedan and a roomy CUV, each with a budget, shorter range pack and a deluxe, long range pack. But at this stage of the development process for EREV’s, that might be too expensive for GM to consider.

But the most important thing for GM now is to deliver the Volt with an MSRP that is at or below $30k. If they over price the Gen II Volt, it will wither into undeserved obscurity. Even with 50 miles of EPA AER.

Did they get rid of the LED taillights?

I wish the front taillights were changed to LED as well, but they appear to be incandescent still.

Obviously they’re not much of an efficiency concern, but a blinking LED looks much more high tech than a blinking incandescent.

What are front taillights?

They’re on the opposite side of the car as the rear headlight (backup light).

🙂

Ah ok. Like the left rightblinker, and right leftblinker. Now I just need to figure out where the front reardefrost and gas chargingport are.

Haha! Yeah I was being imprecise there. I should have said front park lights or front turn signals. 🙂

They did not listen well enough. Aside from those who made the must have a 5th seat their Alamo, there was a nearly equal call for more charger throughput at least up to 6.6kw to enable faster turn around at the plug when opportunity charging presents itself in the wild. Or when using public Level II equipment overall.

I really wanted 6.6kW charging too. Unfortunately GM saw that most owners only used L1 charging so they figured they would not care. Making it an option would have been perfect.

The “call” may or may not have been equal, but the actual usage stats said that most Volt drivers weren’t even using 3.3kW.

Designing the Volt 2.0 to accommodate 6.6kW charging would have been unnecessary cost addition. Even if you made it an option, the body and battery would need to be designed around the heat dissipation requirements of 6.6kW.

Dan, I don’t believe that for a minute. 6.6 kW charge rate for the Volt would be right around 0.3C, which is way less than most electric cars can charge. The 6.6 kW charge rate wasn’t the most important issue that GM had to deal with, but it was one that they could have fixed easily and the failed. Price and AER are more important than charge rate increases, but lets not pretend GM didn’t mess this up in a big way. Opportunity charging at 3.3 is a joke, and GM looks like they don’t understand that their customers would rather opportunity charge than use the genset. Not a major fail, but it is just a stupid face palm moment that could have been an easy win for GM.

Opportunity charging for the Volt is only viable for the Volt if it’s free, as charging rates at commercial L2 chargers (e.g. ChargePoint’s $0.49/kW) are FAR more expensive than buying gas. Public charging will only remain free as long as EVs are a niche market.

The juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

Dan, you don’t get it. We want to opportunity charge for a world of reasons, and using less expensive electricity instead of gasoline is only one of them. First of all, almost all my opportunity charging is free since I have 9 free chargers near me with a ton of cafes and coffee shops near them. Second, at 75 cents an hour I could get 20-22 miles (at 6.6) of range in an hour of lunching/coffee sipping. Gasoline would cost more than a dollar for 22 miles. Third, half that gasoline was refined from imported oil and all of the electricity was generated right here in the US. I don’t want to use gasoline if I don’t have to, and GM slapped me in the face by telling me, “You have a gas genset and most of you use 120 charging at night anyway so no 6.6 for you!” We told them over and over that it was important and then they lied to our faces and misrepresented our arguments as being that we wanted to charge at 6.6 overnight when what we had told them was that we wanted 6.6 for opportunity charging. We are talking about an upgrade… Read more »

First of all, free L2 charging is not a sustainable business model and the Volt shouldn’t be designed around it.

Second, “75 cents an hour” for 6.6kW charging is underestimating the cost by about 75% ($0.75/hr is more like a residential rate). ChargePoint charges $0.49/kW, which means that 22 miles will cost you $3.23. That is not even remotely competitive with gas.

If you want to make the argument for EV miles over gas miles no matter the price, that’s a fair argument to make… but then the Volt is the wrong car to make it with in the first place, and you’d be better off with a BEV.

So the 2016 has a spare tire! I thought the removal of the spare was a trend that was effecting a number of new vehicles.

“available spare tire” sounds like an option to me, but it is a good idea nonetheless. They moved the charge cord to above the left rear wheel so there is room for a doughnut where it used to be.

That’s a bunch of baloney. A very few Volt owners were asked to participate in focus groups, the vast majority have been largely ignored. A lot of the changes were common sense, GM didn’t need the input from owners to “think” of them. Also there are vast differences among Volt owners about what the car should be and what should have, so to portray the Volt owners as a unit is deceiving.

Not sure why InsideEVs is so eager to propagate manufactures’ marketing BS.

GM has been known to frequent forums that make suggestions, so their listening goes beyond the focus groups.

I know this first hand.

Yeah. A focus group of 12 current owners is way too small (and biased). They need a much larger sample size. They also need to talk to non-owners to see WHY they aren’t owners yet. If they would add features that were missing/desired by non-owners, then they could greatly increase the actual number of owners.

+1000

The Volt didn’t sell well as an EV (range extended or otherwise). Find out why, address it if humanly possible.

LOL, OK. The #1 plug-in leader in the US, didn’t “sell well”. It’s just now that Nissan w/their cheaper car is even/past the Volt.

kdawg, we should be trumpeting that to the world!
The Chevy Volt is the #1 selling electric car in the US!!!
Because next week the Volt is going to get passed by that flaky, fish faced, limited utility LEAF…

😉

But I have a feeling that the Volt Gen II is going to be cheaper than the Gen I and sales will pick up a good bit.

18 000 out of 20 000 000 sales in the U.S. 2014
That is 0.09% !

His little sister the Cruze is the best selling GM car in 2014.

Yet for the last 3 years, no EV has come close to its sales numbers. Until now with the Leaf’s low price finally passing it.

So many biases get in the way of looking at data objectively.

Why are you comparing it to gassers? It was a peer comparison that was made.

I know, Only Tesla is committed all the way toward EVs. Ths others could have done a much much better job.
At 18 000 a year, it is still a compliance car. And for nearly 6 months GM is selling less Gen with the lame excuse that the gen2 is coming. It will be a full year of lack of will to sell the present model. No company ever do this killing.

Only Tesla is committed… to selling a car that the overwhelming majority of Americans cannot afford. Bravo.

GM has put more electric miles to the pavement than Tesla, and it isn’t even close. Bottom line.

Proportionally, you compare an apple with a train full of oranges

When the question is “who has done more to increase fruit consumption?”, such a comparison is valid.

You know as well as I do that Tesla cannot build an affordable car for the masses right now. It’s part of their master plan to make a lot of money from Model S and X, then build a more affordable EV.

Any other big car maker could have peppered the world with a cheap, long range EV at a very good price long ago.

So Tesla still can’t build low cost EVs profitably, but any other automaker could have long ago? Do you see the logical problem with that statement?

Breezy nt at all, it takes enormous quantity of man power, facilities and money to start a new line of car. Tesla (still) has very humble means to do it but is commited 110% to that goal. GM Has 99 factories around the world vs only one for tesla. It’s the same for other car makers.

Economy of scale is very important in the final price tag.
If GM or Nissan add a zero to their current production of Volt and Leaf, they could remove 5000$ to their price, but as i explained sooner, they wont because they woulbe be shooting themselvses in the foot.
ICE cars are way too lucratives to abandon easily. lucrative to them but WE always pay the bill… and the gasoline.

Not sure, Tesla has 86 200 000 miles, How many for GM ?
And if the trend goes on, sales are down for Volts and constantly going up for Tesla.
Each new Tesla on the road put ALL its miles to reduce pollution.

Volts have logged over 700 million EV miles.

The Volt may have sold well in the USA but did not sell well in the rest of the world.

Volt is #2 worldwide with 87,000 sales to the Leaf’s 156,000.

Best selling EV in Canada by far with 40% of sales.

I’m guessing a worldwide corporation, that employs 216,000 people, would do more than just ask 12 people what they thought about a car that the corporation spent over $1 billion to develop.

+100

-2718281828

you forgot the 459045

I’m also off by a few orders of magnitude. 😉

Agreed. Most of these updates,are,trivial and not upgrades. First off, the entire 360 deg visibility is clearly not. All the pillars are so wide the blind spots are many. I can’t believe NHSTA passed this vehicle out of clay models. Also, the sideview mirrors make too much noise even with the useless turbulence package. Headlights, I agree, should be LED including all parking lamps. The stick shift handle. Why, why, why? C’mon, no rear windshield wiper?! And, old style front wipers from middle outwards fails faster than 55 mph. Why no DC fast charging? You’re gonna be left in the dust. And, speaking of batteries, how is it the BMW i3 1st-gen gets 75 miles on a full charge in a far smaller footprint. It’s hard to fathom that the weight reduction is the main reason but then…hint, hint. Also, the battery capacity entropy after two years doesnt degrade gracefully. It drops by 3kw all at once. Now, I can’t make a round trip commute without ICE kicking in. Fail. Also, why, why, why put the charging port on the driver’s side. Curbside charging is popping up now which compromises the driver in direct line of traffic. Recently, someone notable… Read more »

(Sorry, cellphone autocorrect and big thumbs.)

In the last issue of on road charging, I meant using Mountain, not Hold, for recharging before exiting the destination exit off the freeway.

The low beams are LED on the 2016.

The i3 has a larger battery and uses more of it (21.6 kWh with 18.8 kWh usable). It also costs $8000 more in part due to the use of advanced lightweight materials.

If your battery capacity drops 3kWh all at once after two years, it sounds like your battery has a repairable problem. That’s not normal degradation by any means.

One thing they have not listened to is engine running due to temperature. Their strong stance to not modify how it works effectively makes a large percentage of market share unable to experience the silent electric driving in their normal commutes.

It’s unfortunate that they refuse to look at any possible changes to how that operates.

I like the rest of the changes though.

At least the engine in this version, no longer requires Premium to properly operate. 😛

Gen1 could properly operate on regular as well, but it was a stale gas issue since people rarely used gas.

The premium thing never bothered me, it’s so insignificant given that I can count on one hand the number of times I need to fuel up in a year.

Clarkson, I have used 20 gallons of gas in 20 months so I guess premium cost me around 25 cents a month over regular gas. I can live with that.

And moreover “for me” if I take into consideration what I used to spend in gas with my old ICE car. The cost to use premium fuel is Less than zero.

+1. Near me, I can also get ethanol free premium, which I prefer since I rarely use gas. Since that isn’t an option for non premium octane near me, it’s another reason why the whole premium thing doesn’t bother me at all. 😉

I live in an “ethanol free” desert. Not one station near me carries it. But when I roadtrip in my 350Z I fill up with it. Normally my Z gets around 24 mpg at 67 mph, but every couple years I will do a 240 mile trip at 62 mph to see how good the gas mileage is. The first two times I got 30.3 and 30.5 using gas with 10% ethanol. Last year I used ethanol free gas and my mpg jumped to 34.6 mpg.

WOT said:
“…ERDTT is ultimately a requirement of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) that stipulate designate windshield clearing capabilities. That is WITH the defroster I might add…During cold weather testing in Kasupkasing Ontario Canada … PTC-only heating to be deficient.”

Still going to argue this solution was the wrong one.

1 – GM upped the kw rating of resistance heating, in Volt2. Could have done that, sooner.
2 – A front windshield heating element would have been more optimal, as done on MB B-class

Windshield fog is condencing interior air (your breath, etc), on a cold, dense, glass surface. Warm the freakin’ windshield, and you won’t need either ERDTLT, or the kw’s you’re eating with ‘Defrost’.

I have a real hard time believing that wouldn’t have been a solution, to “FMVSS”.

Right, and my point is that I don’t really care if it’s a requirement, that doesn’t mean they chose the best way to implement it.

People are arguing to have it removed, and GM is arguing that FMVSS requires it so it is staying as-is.

In reality, GM should be taking the info from customers and figuring out how to improve the implementation to better satisfy their wants while still meeting FMVSS.

So, bottom line, what size is the new 6000 watt water heater and is the engine running at 15 deg f?

The value of 10kW sticks out in my mind, but I have no sources to back that up Bill.

I suspect that the set point will decrease from 15F to 14.9F. Here, I’m citing my cynicism.

Since the current heater is capable of making the cabin toasty warm at 0F temperatures, I’m not convinced that we will see much of a change in the set point.

Thanks for answering the question. Man really? 10 kw? Now THAT will make the battery go dead in a hurry. THe 6kw one I always found a good compromise in view of the dinky battery it was running from.

What is the real argument against ERDTT?

Are you saying that an electric heater is more energy-efficient than running the engine and capturing the excess heat to warm the battery and the cabin? Because that argument is a loser.

This ultimately seems like a “the engine should never power the wheels directly” argument, all over again. ERDTT runs at very low temperatures, where the battery’s efficiency is already significantly compromised due to cold.

1) for short trips, it is a complete waste of gas as you never get usable heat from it. 2) even if you have preheated via plug and cabin is fully warmed, engine still runs. Again complete waste. 3) engine never reaches operating temp, using double the amount of fuel 4) cold starting the engine in extreme cold whether you need it or not. No one would ever say this is a good thing for an ICE, especially coupled with 3) in that it never gets hot enough to burn off excess moisture I could go on for more, but I think you get the point. There’s only one point in favour of it – your battery is used more for propulsion than heat. But see 1) and 3) above. If you were never going to deplete the battery anyway, it’s 100% waste. If you were going to use whole battery, its not as bad, but still going to use more gas than if you just started in hold mode to get to full operating temp and switching to battery halfway. Repeat on trip home. Bottom line is it needs to be an option to disable completely. Add a disclaimer… Read more »

1) If the trip is that short, you aren’t using any appreciable amount of fuel anyway. Q.E.D.
2) fully-warmed cabin != fully-warmed battery
3) you are just restating 1, as the engine does reach operating temp otherwise
4) I’m pretty sure GM’s engineers have evaluated cold start engine vs. cold battery operation and come down solidly in favor of the former

Again, it seems like the only real objection is BEV purism.

No, if you look my posts below you will see even the dumbest items fall through the cracks. Nothing can be assumed to be addressed.

So what is the size of the 2016 water heater?

And at what temperature does the engine start?

I’ve asked these questions 3 times and NO ONE knows the answer? I never get any response.

Bill, latest info we have from GM is they are still optimizing the set point for when the engine will come on, using the higher power heater.

For the heater size, see my comment above.

No, the promise of the Volt is all electric for the majority of one’s driving, mainly the commutes. ERDTT Robs users of that much of the winter, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting it improved.

Also, the battery temperature has nothing to do with the engine running. Those coolant loops are completely separate.

Incorrect. The battery and the cabin are all on the same loop.

http://gm-volt.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Slide1.jpg

It would make no sense for ERDTT to turn on otherwise; ERDTT is not caused by activating climate control.

False. The figure you provided a link to titled “Battery Coolant Loop” only reinforces my point.

Perhaps you should read the article where that figure came from more carefully: http://gm-volt.com/2010/12/09/the-chevrolet-volt-coolingheating-systems-explained/

It would be an awful design to have engine temperature coolants flowing through the battery. The battery doesn’t want super heated coolant, and for this reason and more, it is NOT designed that way.

From the link I just pasted, “The Chevy Volt is equipped with four fully independent cooling systems or “loops”. The power electronics cooling system loop is dedicated to cooling the battery charger and the power inverter module. The battery cooling system cools (or in some cases heats) the 360V high voltage battery. The engine cooling system and heater loop is specific to cooling the gasoline engine and when required, provides heat for the passenger compartment. The electric drive unit cooling system is designed to cool the two motor generator units and electronics within the 4ET50E drive unit transaxle, and provides lubrication for the various gears, bearings, and bushings.”

4 fully independent loops.

You may change a small resistance but you will void your warranty. In northern countries this is a real annoyance, many forums discuss it, not a so called BEV purism.

You absolutely will not void the warranty. ERDTT is only there to provide heat to the cabin and/or defroster. If anything, the reduction in short engine runs in cold weather is better for the car.

That being said, I just let ERDTT do its thing.

That is not true. If it were true, simply turning off all climate controls would make ERDTT completely pointless.

ERDTT also warms the battery.

Engine heat is never used to heat the battery. The battery heating/cooling system is entirely separate from the engine cooling system.

ERDTT does not warm the battery. See my response to you above, complete with source information.

That would be an would design to send >120F coolant into a battery chemistry that wants to always be cooler than that.

But the fact that turning off climate control does not turn off the engine further reinforces my point that GM could implement ERDTT a better way.

Second would=awful, typingnfail.

My argument is that I enjoy smooth silent torque with no engine noise. I make a 16 mile round trip commute daily, and when it is cold it is nearly all with the engine running because of ERDTT. I don’t need the engine to be running in this scenario, and want that silent electric drive.

Agreed.. Heaven Forbid that I, the driver, be allowed to actually make simple decisions about my own car. I’m just the clown who had to pay for all of it. But cars are viewed differently than most other pieces of equipment. You pay $45,000 for anything else and the manufacturer will bend over backwards to make sure youre satisfied. Not so with cars these days, everything is “take it or leave it”.

I’ve mentioned before I was very close to doing a purchase, but then was met with that universal (amoungst all auto makers) ‘take it or leave it’ attitude. So, I left it, and Tesla lost a sale.

Heating the car when it is cold may be very inefficient in the abstract, but those of us with solar panels on our homes can make the claim that inefficiency in this case doesn’t matter because the SUN (all things being equal), is prolific.

GM also doesn’t allow you to choose to charge your battery to 100% true SOC, nor do they allow you to drain the battery down to 1% true SOC to avoid using gas.

There are certain engineering choices GM has made in the best interest of the car as a whole. Those who want a more pure BEV experience are better served with an actual BEV.

Sorry SD, that’s an irrelevancy. In my Tesla I can charge the car to 100% and I can also drain the battery down very low. That’s not the point. If they left the decision up to me, it would not damage anything. The decisions they DID make were safety hazzards. That ‘pedestrian beep’ which I’ve used apparently is ‘deferable’. THe computer feels like doing something else, and then 10 seconds later I get the beeps. Fortunately, the main horn to date has always worked immediately. Then of course, trying to get the heater to shut off when the center screen freezes and I’m constantly playing with the buttons is an unnecessary distraction and one I’ve experienced in no other car. Other than my 1995 Buick Riviera where the computer would sometimes forget to turn on the dashboard lights, but then I chauk that up to GM programmers, or those they contract with, can’t troubleshoot and debug. Proof that it wont damage anything: My engine starts at 26 degrees, the new volts start at 15 or 34 degrees. Without any changes in the drive train between MY’s. So my volt running the engine at 26 degrees is totally arbitrary, and it… Read more »

Hi Bill,

I don’t think I ever said that, but let me expand a bit on what I have said in a few different posts to everyone.

In 2011-2012 model year Volts, after a first engine run for ERDTT, you can delay subsequent runs significantly by using Comfort, with the fan manually set to a lower value. This is successful in maintaining the coolant temperature above the set point that is used for subsequent ERDTT cycles.

In 2013-2015 Volts, the ERDTT mode also locks out the resistive heater for temperatures down to something like 0F. This results in luke warm air most of the time, since ERDTT also idles the engine at a lower RPM. As a result of this change, it is nearly impossible to do what I described for the 2011-2012 model years. However, there is some limited success in doing this below 0F, as the resistive heater starts to be used again at that point.

I agree. A heated windshield would have been less expensive and more efficient in the long run.

I don’t know how usual/normal it is for auto makers to form focus groups to get input on the next version of a model, but certainly that’s the norm for early adopter products… and I think the Volt qualifies for that.

So if this is really news, then something’s very wrong. It should be the -norm- for every auto maker trying to sell EVs in more than “compliance car” numbers.

If the best selling EV in America is “compliance car numbers,” then you are essentially saying the market is non-existent.

“the best selling EV in America” represent only a tiny 0.09% of sales. Don’t you see there is a problem here???

GM has already hit the mark on one of the two most important improvements the Volt needed. They improved the AER all the way to 50 miles which is huge. The other needed improvement won’t be revealed for a couple months. If the MSRP is still over $34k the Volt sales will flicker up for a month or two and then return to mediocrity. If the MSRP is at or below $30k sales could really take off in a very strong manner. In between the two price points is hard to predict, but it could do ok at $32k, possibly.

I love my 2013MY Volt, but when the lease ends in 2016, I am not sure I will get another Volt. I drive a lot and much of the time there are 4 adults in my car. The Volt is simply too small for 4 adults to be comfortable. So they didn’t listen to me and the others like me who posted long and often about the cra*** back seats.

Kdawg, Sam, thanks for your suggestions to General Motors. You have helped to make a great car (The 2016 Volt). The cup holder on the hump in the back, was that something suggested by the panel of owners?

I wish they would just eliminate those cup holders. Or at least embed them in the backseat armrest, so they are out of the way when you need to use the middle seat.

Seriously, there’s a big fold down armrest there, right? Why wouldn’t the cup holders be in that? Kind of baffles me.

Yes, yes, yes. I think the designers might have been thinking there’s no place to put your feet there anyway, so make it “more useful” space by adding the cupholders.

But if they moved them, at least it would be easier to lift one’s feet over the tunnel.

I was in the camp of people who preferred lower MSRP over increased AER, but I can understand why they went the other way.

Heated steering wheel and GPS-based charging are such a big improvement for me.

Eric, I do agree, the heated steering wheel is something I really grew to love on the 2012 Nissan leaf that I have. I thought I would miss it, until I found out the 2016 Volt has it.

The Gen 1 Volt owners with the loudest voices? GM engineers/managers who own them, and especially their spouses. I bet Andrew Farah had a few private preferences on Gen 2 features, having probably driven a Volt daily since the era of the Mali-Volt!

Remains to be seen with the 2016 how arrogant the engineering group is. They were pretty much so in 2011. We’ll see.

Not only was I not asked my view, I was not even allowed to ask questions. Stupid GM – they paid for that with exactly 3 additional warranty services that would not have been required had they simply allowed questions. So be it. The dealers all made money on the useless warranty repairs.

I wonder what is with these people. I got much more cooperation (although there was no shortage of arrogance, at least due to Tesla’s original service model I could make informal inquiries – they still don’t tell you anything but you can surmise or at least be pointed to how to get stuff fixed) out of Tesla. That GM hand-holder I was assigned at purchase was a nice guy, but he knew as much as my next door neighbor did with the Volt. Of course my Other next door neighbor who was telling me everything I didn’t know about the volt (he was totally clueless, and you couldn’t tell him anything, so he must have been like the typical retired Harrison Radiator Engineer, since that’s what he was). Just like that idiot engineer in Rochester who told me my roadster has to use less energy charging at 110 volts than 220 volts; in a simplistic sense they are correct but it has no relation to reality. So for people who are wanting upgrades to certain features, – I think in view of the above and the general corporate attitude toward things and the personalities involved, I think its great that… Read more »

As mentioned before, the only thing I’ve changed was the design on the volt’s 110 volt charger brick, was the extremely long pigtail coming out of the 3rd version (black #14 pigtail, and black #14 cord to the j1772 jack).

My Dealership made (so he said) 11 calls to detroit when I had shown my dealership that my 1st version (both orange cords) was located exactly like it said to do in the owners manual, and then the boneheads who came out with the second version they shortened the pigtail so that anyone who located their charging brick EXACTLY as mentioned in the owner’s manual now could not plug it in since the cord was too short.

I said “to whom am I to send the bill for an electrician and plasterer to relocate my outlet so that I can charge my volt?”.

The dealer said “We’re definitely not paying for all that”, to which I said what are you going to do?”. So the eng team def heard about that.

Everyone should take extended test drives of other EVs, take explicit notes and then get back in your Volts and really compare. There can’t be incremental changes. It has to be wholesale or the competitors will just overrun GM. Dealers eluding but implying this is why the sudden cost reduction. They started to make offers on buy-back to have a number of certified pre-owned but then back-pedaled speedily when the 2016 MSRP was announced. GM really pissed everyone off with that one. Gotta says it’s typically American company attitude or faux pas. Take your pick. I am just so cynical about this when everyone has the intelligence and competency to just make a real electric car that go the distance…Oh, wait, there is that Tesla car. This incrementalism to get the public interest is such bullcrap. Musk is giving his blueprints away to the public domain the same way GNU and Linus Torvalds did so it can flourish. So, now you have one flavor of Windows and Macintosh and over 30 for Linux.

The 2016 MSRP hasn’t been announced yet.

I’m not doubting that there are material quality, feature content and design differences between EVs, just like there are for any other kind of car.

The days of the Volt as an engineering tech halo tour de force may now be behind it, as it goes more mainstream. I don’t see that as a bad thing.

ok,
Which owners requested the lower bling chrome grill along with Honda / Mazda styling?
Shame Shame Shame!