May 26, 2011 – New Canaan, CT
So exactly how does the Chevy Volt perform in the real world? Here is a close-up look at KARL Chevrolet’s 2011 Chevy Volt Demo as of today:
1,913 total miles driven to date
12.4 gallons of gasoline used
153.6 Average MPG (yes, this is correct and it is NOT a typo!)
If you are like most typical drivers, you may have used 12 gallons of gas in the past week! Our Volt has driven approximately 1,400 miles in battery powered electric mode, and about 500 miles in extended range electric mode. How does this work?
In battery powered electric mode, the Volt can travel about 40 miles on a full charge. The actual miles traveled varies based on outside temperature, driving technique and the terrain traveled. During extremely cold winter months, we experienced driving range of between 25 and 35 miles. Now, during warmer Spring weather, we are experiencing driving range of between 36 and 48 miles per charge. At current CT Electric rates, it costs about $1.70 to fully recharge the Volt’s battery.
Once the battery is deemed depleted by the Volt’s onboard computer, a small 4-cylinder gasoline powered generator quietly turns on and begins generating electricity for ‘extended range’ driving. Our Volt has traveled about 500 miles in ‘extended range’ mode, using 12.4 gallons of fuel, for an average ‘extended range’ mpg of about 41 miles per gallon.
Bottom line, the cost to drive our Volt 1,913 miles so far has been approximately $117.16, broken down as follows:
35 charge cycles for the battery (1,400 miles / 40 mile average range = 35 full charge cycles) = $59.50 in electricity
12.4 gallons of gasoline @ an average price of $4.65 per gallon = $57.66
This total nets out to approximately 6 cents per mile.
At one point last week, our VOLT actually went into “Engine Maintenance Mode”. This is a term GM Engineers established when designing the Volt, as they knew that some consumers would seldom require their Volt to go into “extended range” mode. Thus, to provide proper internal lubrication to the generator engine, the engineers have programed a required engine start-up at least once every six weeks. When the engine has not started for more than six weeks, the on-board computer automatically forces the generator to turn on and run for up to ten minutes simply to allow the internal components of the engine to stay properly lubricated. In this instance, the engine ran for three or four minutes and used 0.03 gallons of gas.
No matter how you look at it, the Chevrolet Volt is a groundbreaking new vehicle. General Motors and Chevrolet have proven that Electric Vehicle technology is here today and it is ready for the real world.
If you have not had a chance, we encourage you to come in and see the Volt in person – and come take a test drive! Then you’ll be able to say, “I’ve driven electric and the future is here!”