Originally Posted by focus
GM blew the entire concept of EREV. The whole point of the E-Flex (now called Voltec) platform was to eliminate the physical linkage between the gas engine and the drive wheels. By re-introducing that link, they have created a very technologically advanced hybrid, but fell short of the "extended range electric vehicle" in my opinion. It's certainly not what GM initially sold many of us on.
Also, the "only when it's going over 70MPH in charge sustaining mode" explanation is made by the very same people at GM that suggested there was no physical linkage between the gas engine and the drive wheels- and that "the gas engine would only function as a genset". In other words, I'm highly skeptical that those are the only conditions in which the drive wheels are powered solely by the gas engine. In fact, Pam Fletcher said it can also play a part at speeds as low as roughly 35 mph. If I wanted a car that operates on battery up to 35MPH, I would buy a Ford Fusion Hybrid.
Don't get me wrong, the Volt is probably the best hybrid on the market. But it's not an electric car, and it's not a series hybrid. I have a feeling the Energi will have a similar setup to the Volt- but I hope Ford doesn't abuse the trust of the enthusiasts that follow the development of that car.
I, for one, can't wait for the Focus Electric.
I hear you. I was similarly disappointed at hearing there was a mechanical link, especially after it was "denied" or not disclosed for so long. That said, IF there are points at which it is simply more energy efficient to let the engine drive the wheels, than to produce electricity to charge the battery to drive the wheels, doesn't it make sense to do that?
And I suspect you are correct that there may be other instances when the car derives traction power directly from the ICE, but again if during those moments it is more energy efficient to do so, isn't that really the best way to do it? But agreed GM should have been more fourthcoming.
The whole point is to be able to drive electric, and certainly people are able to do that with the Volt. Many are doing 90% electric no problem, and many of their "non electric" miles are from driving on long trips that no existing EV could handle, without some heroic efforts to set up charge points.