Nissan Leaf ($25k, 100m Range, 100% Electric) VS. Chevy Volt?


Most real world testing is getting 33-35 miles from what I have read/heard

Also, GM’s explaination:

GM states that there isn’t a fixed gear ratio between the engine and the drive wheels. Instead, the four-cylinder generates power that is then fed through the drive unit during extended range driving. That power is then “balanced by the generator and traction motor.”

Sounds like a series hybrid?

The big question is will this still be eligible for the $7,500 tax rebate?


sure it will… the govt. will change the rules to make it qualify if they have to.


That is definately a good question BigRon. Hmmmm.


I wonder if it was always supposed to be driven partially by the engine, or if it was something they added late in the game because the car just didn’t have enough power at those speeds. It really is just an improved plug in hybrid now. not that that is a bad thing, but it seems GM flat out lied about it.


^Well that rebate is definately a big carrot.


I’m curious to how a gas engine, powering a generator is more efficient then just using a gas engine. Usually anytime power is converted energy is lost.


Since I added Volt news, I will be unbiased and add some Leaf news:

Nissan Motor Co. is considering a deal-sweetener as it prepares to launch global sales of the all-electric Leaf: free rental car use for trips beyond the Leaf’s 80-100 mile battery range.

But the notion of supplying new-car customers with the free use of a second vehicle indicates the real-world challenge that electric-vehicle manufacturers face in introducing cars like the Leaf.

Kind of like admitting this is not a car that can replace your current vehicle and fulfill all your motoring needs

---------- Post added at 12:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:50 PM ----------

That is how the Prius works, and they seem to have that working pretty well.
Any unspent engery that is produced is stored, for later use.


Ultimately, who the frak cares if GM lied? Teslas were supposed to have a multi-speed transmission, which got ditched when it was too complex.

And the point of the multi-speed transmission is to counter the problem with electric motors: they make the most torque at rest, which drops off as speeds go higher. Over 70mph, I’d bet that the electric motor they have in the Volt is pretty much maxed out, so between 70mph and the 101mph limit, the engine clutches to the generator while the generator is engaged, “driving” the car even further.

So ultimately, if the point is to use as little gasoline as possible without the compromises of electric-only propulsion, then who cares how GM designs the car - so long as it performs as advertised?

P.S. Apparently Motor Trend (who “broke” the issue of motor-driving-wheels in the first place) just posted in their blog how two trips with the Volt - one over relatively flat So Cal, the other over the mountains - netted 126.7 mpg and 74.6 mpg respectively. All in 100-degree heat with the A/C on.

In short: “The Volt, to reiterate, used 2.36 gallons over 299 miles.”


yeah, you’re right

lying to consumers and mis-representing a product is OK


Ummm… what legal mis-representation was committed here?

  1. the car obtains power by plugging it in to the electrical grid
  2. the car for a distance (now quoted between 25 and 50 miles) uses electricity only
  3. the car has a gasoline engine (“range-extender”) to increase that range to upwards of 300-some miles.
  4. (most importantly) the car hasn’t been sold yet

If the car meets all that GM claimed for it (the first three), then all claims are satisifed. For someone to object that they were mis-represented to for the cars actions in a mode that’s both inconsistent with energy conservation (the car’s main goal) and expected to occur extremely rarely is someone who is petty and who wouldn’t buy from GM in the first place.


I don’t think 35-50mpg is really “well” considering I can get my 450hp Corvette to get 30mpg on the highway. Especially taking into account that old carbureted civics and diesel cars are way better.

EDIT: Now “netted 126.7 mpg and 74.6 mpg respectively. All in 100-degree heat with the A/C on.” is impressive.


Oh, and for those who want to pick nits:

The original GM press release for the Volt…

The Chevrolet Volt is designed to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt’s lithium-ion battery runs low, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the total driving range to more than 300 miles before refueling or stopping to recharge the battery.

… does not preclude the direct use of the ICE in motive power for the vehicle.


Yeah the 25 to 50 is miles without gasoline not mpg

I have yet to see a dead battery true gasoline only mpg on the Volt


no but this does

Since the Volt was first unveiled as a concept car, GM engineers, public relations staff and executives have all claimed adamantly that the internal combustion engine did not motivate the wheels

Without any plugging in, [a weeklong trip to Grandma’s house] should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s

both from the jalopnik article i posted earlier.


So you’re all upset because the motor can drive the wheels?

GM did this so the car could climb mountains you fags. Shut up. The car gets great gas mileage, and seems to be well engineered based on the motor trend read.

Yeah, the car isn’t like a diesel-hybrid locomotive. But it does what its supposed to do, be efficient.

So you can take your tax dollar argument and shove it because if this is as good of a seller as it should be it will be a good thing for GM (and your taxes.)

I do not understand why people care about the stupid small shit. Look at the big picture.




No, I am upset because the engine drives the wheels not the motor. :wink:


^^^ THIS is why people are making a big deal about it.

EVs qualify for this tax rebate, hybrid vehicles like the Prius do not. You can’t even get rebates for a Prius anymore.

See the list here:

If the volt is no longer an EV by definition, one would think it no longer would qualify for and EV tax credit and then that would increase the cost of this car by $7,500 - which is definitely a big deal and would make this car uncompetitive.

I’m sure this will be the answer.


This is going to get really interesting now. If they don’t find a way to cram the Volt into the EV category so it can get the $7500 rebate it’s going to be a massive flop sales wise. If they do bend the rules for the Volt I can see Toyota, Nissan and Japan in general crying foul.


There were tons of stories of people buying golf carts on the tax credit in '09 and since the credit was so much money, everyone got their carts for free. I’m sure if the Government had THAT big of a hole in the EV credit they’ll find a way to slip in the Volt;