Clean Transport

Published on June 24th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Chevy Volt Owners Drive On Electricity 63% Of The Time

June 24th, 2014 by  

It’s been over three years since the Chevy Volt first hit dealerships, and in that time Volt owners have driven a lot. Like, a lot a lot. GM crunched the numbers in fact, and found that since late 2010, Volt owners have collectively driven over a half-billion miles on electricity alone.

That’s amazing considering the Volt only has an electric driving range of 35 miles, at least officially. Even so, GM found that Volt owners drove in electric mode about 63% of the time. It seems Volt owners were able to adapt their driving style to the limited EV range of the Volt, and the expansion of many national charging networks means plenty of opportunities to top off the battery pack.

GM also found that many owners are exceeding the EPA rated range of 35 miles per charge, achieving 40 or more miles on average. Even so though, Chevy knows what Volt owners want from the next-gen model, and a chief concern is the hope for more range, perhaps even different battery pack options. Volt owners are also looking for more extra seating (as it currently only sits 4) and a lower price, around $30,000 before tax credits.

If GM can hit those targets, the Volt could become a much more popular car.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • RSR

    Why do you think that Volt drivers “adapt” ? Previously reported data suggest that ~75% of US drivers drive less than 40 miles daily.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some small amount of adapting going on.

      Drivers might pick their routes a bit more carefully to stay within battery range, for example. They might work out a “running errands” route that eliminated back tracking.

      Overall, I doubt the change would be large.

  • Meeeee

    I’ve got two Volts. Most of our family’s driving is urban and suburban. We’re averaging 232 mpg in one of the cars and 241 mpg in the other. I haven’t put gas in either car in months. I adore these cars, but they certainly are NOT for everyone (what car is really?).

  • jasbeagle

    I purchased a 2014 Volt and have driven it month so far. I couldn’t be any happier with it. I retired a few years back and find I use just electric so far as I don’t drive a lot. Nice car and handles so good. I had it out in the rain today and it grips the road real nice. Last week I got a 240v charger installed in the garage and this really makes it easy to charge up fast. I got the brownstone metallic loaded up with options. Nice car.

  • mk1313

    Another on the wish list is the option to use the 30A 240V charger for quicker home charge. By the time the battery needs replacing hope they develop a more powerful one that fits in the same space!

    • Meeeee

      Induction chargers are coming. Just put the pad on the garage floor and drive over it.

      • mk1313

        wasteful, transmission efficiency not as good as the wire.

        • Bob_Wallace

          True, but the loss is small and many people will be more than happy to pay for a bit more renewable electricity in order to avoid the cord.

        • Meeeee

          True, but completely, entirely, and inevitably necessary for wide-spread urban adoption of electric vehicles. Otherwise, vandals are going to cut cords or steal equipment (assuming you can even find a close enough plug-in jack).

          You’ll just park over the pad, push the button on your dashboard to start charging, and your account will get charged for the juice.

  • Doug

    Our three month old Volt peaked at 150 mpg before we went on a couple of road trips which has dropped the average down to 101 mpg with 65% electric miles. Increasing the battery capacity to achieve ~50 mile range would be a definite plus as the Volt drives much better on electric than gasoline. I also would want a power boost to improve acceleration to match the i3. Software enhancements and trim details are also critical – the driver interface needs improvement as it has a cheap experience.

    If people want more seats for kids – that really should be a different model car with a larger body. The price is the price – our lease is $174/mo. Why complain?

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