Are You Happy With Hybrid? - Page 2 - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 09:36 AM
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Re: Are You Happy With Hybrid?

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Originally Posted by Dr. Manhattan View Post
Remember, I'm talking about the overall final drive ratio, which means that the ICE cannot be directly connected at low vehicle speeds...
That describes the EV Mode, where the electric motor drives the wheels until torque is needed from the engine. The Malibu Hybrid also has a Low Mode that combines engine and motor power at low speeds.

With the lower winter temperatures, my Hybrid's engine is running more often to warm up the engine and car. As the engine is warming up, it's not uncommon for the engine to be running when the car is stopped. When the engine is running, it is connected to the drive unit and powers the wheels to some degree. This is illustrated in the diagrams in the article.

As the car accelerates with the engine running, the Voltec drive unit combines power from both the engine and the electric motor to meet the acceleration demands. In Low Mode, the motor is providing most of the torque. As you continue accelerating, the drive unit switches to High Mode to improve power delivery. When the car is at higher speeds and is in High Mode, then the engine is providing most of the torque.

You can see the Low Mode in action if you monitor the Hybrid's Total Power display in the DIC. If the engine is running when the car is stopped, then engine output power will increase as you accelerate. Power output from the electric motor will also increase with acceleration. This is Low Mode. As the car accelerates, engine power tends to remain constant and the electric motor provides most of the power to the wheels.

You can also experience the Low Mode under WOT acceleration. GM's SAE paper on the Malibu Hybrid power train has two great graphs showing the power delivery between the engine and electric motors under WOT.

Last edited by dsblv; 12-29-2016 at 10:55 AM.
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 09:49 AM
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Re: Are You Happy With Hybrid?

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Originally Posted by Dr. Manhattan View Post
Actually, more like top gear. Remember, I'm talking about the overall final drive ratio, which means that the ICE cannot be directly connected at low vehicle speeds..
Aha! Perfect, thank you.

I actually had an instance of trying to drive a car in high gear with low speed in my 16-year-old Jetta TDI (which was replaced by the Malibu last month).

I was coasting off of a freeway ramp in fifth and had the clutch engaged. Due to ADD, I forgot to shift out of fifth until I stopped. With the clutch already having 240,000 miles it was starting to have issues and I was not able to shift out of fifth at a stop. I had to nudge the car forward in fifth until I got to about 10 MPH at which point I was able so shift out of fifth, into neutral, and then into 2nd.

That was annoying!

Kai
2006 Avalanche | 2016 Malibu Hybrid

a turn signal is a statement, not a request
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 10:56 PM
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Re: Are You Happy With Hybrid?

I bought a 17 loaded hybrid to replace my 13 Passat TDI. The Malibu comes very close to the highway mileage of the VW, and the city mileage is much better since it's a hybrid.
I do miss the part throttle response of the VW at highway speeds, but the Malibu seems to have considerably more overall power available for passing at highway speeds.
The Malibu has a slightly stiffer ride but handles better when the road gets twisty. I think it's mostly as stable as the Passat in windy gusty conditions, and the Passat is better in that regard than most mid sized sedans.

I too thought the Malibu drove better than the Camry and Fusion. I haven't driven any hybrid that had a better braking system than the blended systems used on the Volt and Malibu.

So far, our car sees about 75% highway so the overall average mileage is only 43. I'm very impressed with how well GM did to maximize EV mode in city conditions. My best 25 mile average is 64, and I had 63 once.

Very happy with the car so far
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 10:28 PM
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Re: Are You Happy With Hybrid?

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Originally Posted by dsblv View Post
That describes the EV Mode, where the electric motor drives the wheels until torque is needed from the engine. The Malibu Hybrid also has a Low Mode that combines engine and motor power at low speeds.

With the lower winter temperatures, my Hybrid's engine is running more often to warm up the engine and car. As the engine is warming up, it's not uncommon for the engine to be running when the car is stopped. When the engine is running, it is connected to the drive unit and powers the wheels to some degree. This is illustrated in the diagrams in the article.

As the car accelerates with the engine running, the Voltec drive unit combines power from both the engine and the electric motor to meet the acceleration demands. In Low Mode, the motor is providing most of the torque. As you continue accelerating, the drive unit switches to High Mode to improve power delivery. When the car is at higher speeds and is in High Mode, then the engine is providing most of the torque.

You can see the Low Mode in action if you monitor the Hybrid's Total Power display in the DIC. If the engine is running when the car is stopped, then engine output power will increase as you accelerate. Power output from the electric motor will also increase with acceleration. This is Low Mode. As the car accelerates, engine power tends to remain constant and the electric motor provides most of the power to the wheels.

You can also experience the Low Mode under WOT acceleration. GM's SAE paper on the Malibu Hybrid power train has two great graphs showing the power delivery between the engine and electric motors under WOT.
GM has decided that we don't need to know when the ICE is mechanically connected to the drive system, so the car never tells/shows you when that occurs. The electric power flow graphic on the center display sometimes shows green, blue, and orange simultaneously, along with the label "Engine and Battery Power"...but it is referring to the source(s) of electrical power being supplied to one or the other electric motor...not to the mechanical connection of the ICE. Sometimes the source of that electric power is just the battery (green), sometimes it's just the ICE (while using one of the electric motors as an alternator, which displays as blue), and sometimes that source(s) of electric power is(are) both the ICE and the battery (orange). Again, the ICE cannot be mechanically connected until the car is moving at over ~40mph, or the engine would stall. Tonight, as I was driving home with my cruise control set at 45mph, I cancelled the cruise in preparation for an upcoming turn. The car began slowing immediately, as it should have, but when it got down to ~42mph or so, I felt the ICE decouple from the drive train...because if it hadn't, the ICE would have killed due to being pulled below its minimum useful operating rpm. Once it decoupled it was free to continue generating electricity to charge the HV battery or to be sent directly to the electric drive. It could also be kept running to provide heat for the HVAC or the HV battery, etc...whatever the ECM decided at that point. And, if none of those things was required, the ECM would shut the ICE off entirely until such time as something was required of it. It's an amazing system for sure, but it cannot defy the laws of physics. Those laws dictate that, at our current level of technology and understanding, our 1.8L ICE has a minimum operational rpm level below which it cannot perform its function, and so it must remain mechanically disconnected from the drive system until the speed of the vehicle's tires (multiplied by the drive ratio of the gearbox) exceeds that minimum rpm level...which in our application happens to occur at a vehicle speed of somewhere around 40-45mph.

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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 07:53 PM
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Re: Are You Happy With Hybrid?

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Originally Posted by Dr. Manhattan View Post
GM has decided that we don't need to know when the ICE is mechanically connected to the drive system, so the car never tells/shows you when that occurs. The electric power flow graphic on the center display sometimes shows green, blue, and orange simultaneously, along with the label "Engine and Battery Power"...but it is referring to the source(s) of electrical power being supplied to one or the other electric motor...not to the mechanical connection of the ICE. Sometimes the source of that electric power is just the battery (green), sometimes it's just the ICE (while using one of the electric motors as an alternator, which displays as blue), and sometimes that source(s) of electric power is(are) both the ICE and the battery (orange). Again, the ICE cannot be mechanically connected until the car is moving at over ~40mph, or the engine would stall. Tonight, as I was driving home with my cruise control set at 45mph, I cancelled the cruise in preparation for an upcoming turn. The car began slowing immediately, as it should have, but when it got down to ~42mph or so, I felt the ICE decouple from the drive train...because if it hadn't, the ICE would have killed due to being pulled below its minimum useful operating rpm. Once it decoupled it was free to continue generating electricity to charge the HV battery or to be sent directly to the electric drive. It could also be kept running to provide heat for the HVAC or the HV battery, etc...whatever the ECM decided at that point. And, if none of those things was required, the ECM would shut the ICE off entirely until such time as something was required of it. It's an amazing system for sure, but it cannot defy the laws of physics. Those laws dictate that, at our current level of technology and understanding, our 1.8L ICE has a minimum operational rpm level below which it cannot perform its function, and so it must remain mechanically disconnected from the drive system until the speed of the vehicle's tires (multiplied by the drive ratio of the gearbox) exceeds that minimum rpm level...which in our application happens to occur at a vehicle speed of somewhere around 40-45mph.
What you described may have been a mode transition. From what I've read, the 5ET50 supports 5 operating modes, but only 4 are used by the Malibu Hybrid (2 Motor EV while the ICE is off is not supported, probably due to the smaller battery versus the Volt). The concern over minimum ICE RPM at a given road speed would only be an issue in Fixed-Gear Mode. Light acceleration from rest (at a constant pedal position) starts off all electric, then just below 20 MPH (the exact speed thresholds depend on the accelerator pedal position), the ICE spins up and it switches to eCVT Low. At some point around 35 MPH, there's a mode shift to what I believe is Fixed-Gear since the ICE RPM now increases steadily with road speed until around 55 MPH where there's a transition to eCVT High, signified by a faintly audible drop in ICE RPM. At a higher rate of acceleration, eCVT Low is required for a longer duration, and if the road speed is high enough when the pedal is relaxed, it seems to skip Fixed-Gear Mode altogether, and a momentary ICE throttle-blip may be needed to complete the eCVT Low to High transition. My understanding is the ICE torque (for the most part) is going straight to the drive wheels in the eCVT modes as well, and it balances Motor A & B torque to keep the ICE operating in various BSFC sweet spots while meeting the acceleration demands of the driver. Perhaps someone with access to the SAE paper can fill in the gaps and/or make some corrections to my line of thought.
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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 09:17 PM
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Re: Are You Happy With Hybrid?

Excellent summary of the Voltec drive modes. BTW, anyone can purchase the SAE paper on the Hybrid's drive train. It's worth the $26.
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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 12:10 PM
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Re: Are You Happy With Hybrid?

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Originally Posted by Dr. Manhattan View Post
Sometimes the source of that electric power is just the battery (green), sometimes it's just the ICE (while using one of the electric motors as an alternator, which displays as blue), and sometimes that source(s) of electric power is(are) both the ICE and the battery (orange).
I suspect the orange pathway in that energy flow schematic signifies that ICE torque is being supplemented by electric motor torque. The relative contribution of each power source can be monitored in the DIC under the 'Total Power' display.

BTW, I was just driving around on some fresh snow to evaluate the traction control and found the experience was similar to driving a first generation Volt. Electric motor torque delivery is easier to modulate off the line and it seems more precise with quicker responses than ICE throttle control.
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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:24 AM
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Re: Are You Happy With Hybrid?

Just have to echo what other's have been saying. We bought this fully loaded 2016 Malibu 3 months ago and have loved every bit of it. I'm a Silverado owner and bought my wife a Malibu Hybrid while looking at the Impala's (She didn't like how big they were). My wife has been averaging Mid 40's MPG and her best is 54.9 MPG driving to work. It's a 52mi round trip. Yeah you do the math..LOL Love this Hybrid proably more because it has out exceeded my expectations of a Hybrid. The power is there. The technology is there. Chevy you nailed it.
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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 09:53 AM
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Re: Are You Happy With Hybrid?

Not so much. I just bought a 2017 MH, and the mileage is impressive, but the rest of the car is not what I thought I was getting. I wanted this hybrid, as I am a dieselgate owner, selling it back. The demo I drove and the car I ordered are tow different things. The demo had seat memory, garage door opener, heated steering wheel, and outside mirrors that swivel in reverse. I said I wanted one just like this, but in Blue Velvet/ashgrey. They made me go on the webpage and order it. I did so, got all three packages, and when it was delivered, it had none of the above. To make my even more disappointed, they did not return my phone calls or email. I just wrote to the Customer Assistance Center and the dealers General Manager to express my dissatisfaction. Other than that, the care is doing fine, getting over 40+ mpg, best was 49.2 This car is less than 1 month old, and I will not recommend the dealer to anyone. If you like good mpg, this is the car for you. But not my dealer.
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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 10:55 AM
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Re: Are You Happy With Hybrid?

Frankly, that wasn't a dealer issue. You test drove a standard (non-hybrid) Malibu with premium options. The heated steering wheel, tilt down side mirrors and seat memory options aren't available on the Hybrid. The garage door opener is available on the Hybrid if you purchase the sun roof option. The content of the packages are listed when you go through Chevy's build software. It's up to the purchaser to know what they're buying.

Last edited by dsblv; 01-18-2017 at 11:04 AM.
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