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  • Kurt Posted: 5/11/2011 5:20am PDT

    Techy, I have more than a little familiarity with the Volt, as I had the opportunity to drive one from NYC to Detroit. The engineering compromise you refer to is a propulsion assist to the electric motor at high speeds; this is done via a planetary gearbox and makes the Volt feel more like a "conventional" automobile at highway speeds. As Dan Miller points out, the Volt can not be "driven" at any time by the gasoline engine alone.
    Critics will argue that the use of "supplementary propulsion" from the engine makes the Volt a parallel hybrid, not a serial hybrid. I disagree, since the Volt can't be driven without using the electric motor. Linking the engine to the motor at high speeds makes the Volt a better car, so I'm all for it.

  • dan detroit avatar dan detroit Posted: 5/10/2011 6:10pm PDT

    Techy- Volt's propulsion is always all electric. Some imagine a mechanical connection under certain conditions, but that never actually occurs. The gas engine's only purpose is to keep the charge of the battery from falling below a certain level and has no capability of mechanically driving the vehicle.

  • Techy Posted: 5/10/2011 3:45pm PDT

    Um, author. Jay has it right. At higher speeds, the Volts engine does, in fact, contribute to propulsion. This was an engineering compromise made by GM after they'd announce the "generator-only" function of the engine when they decided that all-electric operation would be too taxing on the Volt's batteries.

  • Kurt Posted: 5/10/2011 12:06pm PDT

    WSE, sorry, I can't help you. I'm still obsessing over the ugly and pointless "blades of grass" on the Volt's taillights...

  • DRN Posted: 5/10/2011 11:57am PDT

    Black trim costs less than bigger glass windows.

  • WSE Posted: 5/10/2011 11:31am PDT

    I wish someone would explain the ugly piece of black trim just below the window line on the Volt. I know that the original Volt concept had a larger side window profile with a lower beltline... but trying to immitate that with plastic trim is just tacky.