• Apr 24, 2011
Most 2011 Chevrolet Volt owners only had to make one trip to gas stations in March, according to General Motors. In fact, GM says that the average Volt went 30 days and 1,000 miles between fill-ups. Cristi Landy, Volt marketing director, states that:
Volt owners drove an average of 800 miles between fill-ups since the Volt launched in December, and in March they averaged 1,000 miles. When the majority of miles driven are electrically, gas usage decreases significantly.
Steve Wojtanek, a Volt buyer in Boca Raton, FL, has made it his personal goal to drive as efficiently as possible and is "surprised" by how infrequently his Volt needs to be gassed up. Wojtanek's Volt has more than 3,417 miles on its odometer, with 2,225 of those miles driven under battery power. Similarly, Volt owner Gary Davis of Greenville, SC has piloted his plug-in hybrid for 4,600 miles on a mere 8.4 gallons of gas.

Landy points out that "80 percent of [U.S.] drivers commute fewer than 40 miles a day," which sort of implies that some Volt owners may never burn through more than a couple of tanks of gas. On the other hand, owners of the Nissan Leaf or the Tesla Roadster have absolutely no need for gas.

[Source: General Motors]
Show full PR text
Going Pump Free: Volt Owners Go 1,000 Miles Between Fill-Ups

Many owners are challenging themselves to see how long they can go gasoline-free


2011-04-21

DETROIT – Chevrolet Volt owners made fewer trips to the gas station in March, going an average of 30 days – or nearly a month – between fill-ups. In fact, some Volt owners say they are challenging themselves to see how fuel-efficient they can be by tracking how far and how long they can go without buying gasoline.

"Volt owners drove an average of 800 miles between fill-ups since the Volt launched in December, and in March they averaged 1,000 miles," said Cristi Landy, Volt marketing director. "When the majority of miles driven are electrically, gas usage decreases significantly."

"I am surprised how infrequently I go to the gas station. It's become a game to achieve as many miles as I can in EV mode," said Steve Wojtanek, a Volt buyer in Boca Raton, Fla. "I have made it my goal to drive as efficiently as possible and I am seeing the results, with more than 3,417 miles under my belt – of which 2,225 are EV miles." A Volt owner since December, Wojtanek is averaging 122 miles per gallon and visiting the gas station about once a month.

"On April 11, I had to buy gas for the first time since filling up on Jan. 9," said Volt owner Gary Davis of Greenville, S.C. "In my Volt I've driven 4,600 miles on 8.4 gallons of gas. That's an impressive 547 mpg that I am achieving with my Volt."

"Today in the U.S., 80 percent of drivers commute fewer than 40 miles a day, making the Chevy Volt a great daily driver," said Landy. "We're hearing from customers like Steve Wojtanek and Gary Davis, who are seeing great daily results."

The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability. On a fully charged battery and tank of gas, the Volt has a total driving range of up to 379 miles. Because the Volt can use gasoline to create its own electricity in extended-range mode, long trips are possible. Typical electric driving range is 25-50 miles depending on temperature, terrain, driving technique and battery age. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas-powered engine-generator seamlessly engages to extend the driving range until the vehicle can be recharged.

About Chevrolet

Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 140 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com

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  • 54 Comments
      russellbgeister
      • 3 Years Ago
      sounds like gm might finally be on to something here and its going to shake up the car industry like nothing before. why you say well with this kind of hybrid you get no range problems but you get all the advantages of an ev and as we go along people will want more and more ev range driving the r&d of batteries to new levels and the eventual death of the ic engine . patience readers its going to happen .
        Andy Smith
        • 3 Years Ago
        @russellbgeister
        excellent point. I'm actually glad for GM. There was never a right choice, but atleast the execs at GM etc have sat up and thought "****, we have something good here, we need to improve and reduce costs, but we can ultimately create cars people want to buy"
      • 3 Years Ago
      “Steve Wojtanek, a Volt buyer in Boca Raton, FL, has made it his personal goal to drive as efficiently as possible and is "surprised" by how infrequently his Volt needs to be gassed up. Wojtanek's Volt has more than 3,417 miles on its odometer, with 2,225 of those miles driven under battery power.” THE TRUE STORY EPA says the volt uses $2.72 of gas in 25 miles (see reference below) of driving using the combustion engine and $0.99 of electricity in 25 miles (see reference below) of driving using the electric motor using current retail prices for gasoline and electricity. So in driving those 2,225 miles under battery power, Mr. Wojtanek used (2225/25)*0.99= $88.11 of electricity. In driving the 1192 miles using the combustion engine, Mr. Wojtanek used (1192/25)*2.72= $129.69 of gasoline. His cost for driving 3,417 miles was therefore (88.11+129.69)= $217.80 for gasoline and electricity. At an average price of $4.00 per gallon of gas, Mr. Wojtanek, if driving a 100% conbustion engine car, effectively would have used (217.80/4.00) = 54.45 gallons of gas. This correlates into an effective ((3417/54.45) = 62.76 miles per gallon just based on gasoline and electricity costs. Pretty good, but that does not consider the pro-rated cost of battery replacement which is estimated to be approximately $10,000 in 10 years. Assuming an even number of 10,000 miles per year driving for easy calculation sake, that is about $0.10 per mile for battery replacement which has to be added into the cost of driving those 3,417 miles. So essentially the Mr. Wojanek paid (3,417*0.10) + $217.80 = $559.50 to travel that 3,417 miles. Again, at an average price of $4.00 per gallon of gas, Mr. Wojtanek, if driving a 100% conbustion engine car, effectively would have used ($559.50 /4.00) = 139.88 gallons of gas. . So in reality, Mr. Wojanek really only averaged the equivalent of effective (3417/140.23) = 24.42 miles per gallon when you consider gasoline, electricity, and battery replacement. And that my friends is the TRUE mpg number that neither Chevy or Toyota wants you to know about. Just for your information, a new Kia, Hyundai, Honda, or Toyota running on gas alone will give you upwards of 40 miles per gallon highway and 28 miles per gallon city. And don’t give me that Green BS either, because the electricity has to come from somewhere and for right now that electricity mainly comes from burning coal, oil, or natural gas. Reference: For EPA numbers used herein, Look at table under heading “Examples” in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_per_gallon_gasoline_equivalent
      hodad66
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've got a reservation for the Leaf but if a $350 lease is still available for the Volt I may take a look.....
        Neil Blanchard
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hodad66
        How far does the Leaf go between fill-ups? ;-) Neil
          hodad66
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Neil Blanchard
          zap-ups that is... 70 - 100 miles. Since I average 5K per year I could rely upon the Leaf as my only vehicle. I would rent for the infrequent longer trip.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Neil Blanchard
          Depends on how far the tow vehicle needs to go to bring it to the nearest outlet.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Neil Blanchard
          How far does the Leaf go before leaving the owner stranded?
      • 3 Years Ago
      so how much in electric bill increase does this equate to?
        Naturenut99
        • 3 Years Ago
        Est. 12.9 kwh's x $0.105 (Avg. Price per kwh) or use yours. Per est. 35 EV miles. Equals $1.3545 for 35 miles. Meaning it would equal a 35 mpg car using $1.35 per gallon of gas. Plus the extended range is 35-40 mpg using gas.
      Ziv
      • 3 Years Ago
      JJ, your point is well taken, but if I had the Volt for 2 days, I am kind of thinking I would rod the hell out of it too. LOL! It is like the Popular Mechanics article where they were getting 76 mpg the first month and 88 mpg or thereabouts the second month. What the statistic didn't tell you is they started month 1 with an 800 mile road trip with no plugging in en route.
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ziv
        Reviewers kind of have to take long trips don't they? If they only have a car for 2 days and they want to get in as much experience with at as possible, that means a lot of driving over those two days. And so that leaves little time to charge.
      Nick
      • 3 Years Ago
      What happens if owners stop filling up the Volt and the tank is empty? Can the ICE be deactivated for pure EV driving?
        Naturenut99
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Not only would it be bad for the car but ... The Leaf (or others coming) cheaper and has more EV range if that's what your looking for. It's by a technicality possible but not advisable. Or even just don't drive it beyond it's EV range but let the ice do the maintenance every 6 weeks to avoid damage to the car.
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Thanks for the info. I'm pretty sure some users will find a way to get rid of the ICE.
        Ziv
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Mike, the Volt is programmed to empty the gas tank after 12 months of non-use, so you either use the gas by doing a road trip or drive more than 35 miles without plugging in or driving on a really cold day where you get stuck in traffic or the Volt will burn a gallon a month anyway. The Volt isn't gas free, but it is going to cut your gas use from 40-50 gallons a month to around 1 or 2 gallons. Unless you drive more than 15,000 miles a year, then maybe a Prius would work better.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          If you believe GM's rate and use it for an example, it is more like (1000 miles divided by 9 gallons= 111 mpg) 11.26 gallons in March if you go 15,000 miles per year (1250 per month). If in December, (800 miles / 9 = 88.89 mpg), 14 .06 gallons.... However, you can only assume that the numbers would be worse after early adopters are satisfied (as the rest are less likely to hypermile)... so I would say 15 gallons per month would work out to be more typical. A regular Prius would consume 25 gallons per month in the same circumstances, so a Volt would end up saving ~10 gallons per month in comparison
        savagemike
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick
        I thought it had sort of a maintenance cycle built in where the ICE would fire up every so often for a little bit whether it was needed or not. There could be issues both with the engine not running for long periods and also with the gasoline sitting for long periods. It would be an interesting little tidbit, sort of, to know how long it would take for the maintenance cycle starts to eat up a tank of gas if you drove the vehicle only in full EV mode. Of course, that assumes I am remembering correctly that it has a maintenance cycle start system.
        JakeY
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nick
        I think the ICE has to be run regularly to lubricate it. The components might seize up if you leave it off for too long.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hi, I work for a casting company. We normally do commercials. From time to time we get hired by companies to do market research and this is one of those times. We are trying to put together a panel of Hybrid electric vehicle owners. We are concentrating on certain models for certain panels. The first panel we are trying to create are owners of Chevy Volt’s. We will be putting people on tape on Tues Feb 28 and Wed Feb 29. We will then present those people to the firm that hired us. If you are chosen from that round, you will get a call from the firm and be part of their chosen panel. I believe it pays $100 an hour. You will be asked to participate from anywhere from 1 hour to 5 hours but they will clarify once they call you. So please let me know if you would like to be considered so we can schedule a time on Tues Feb 28 and Wed Feb 29 to put you on tape. If you are located outside of NYC we will arrange a video chat. We are actively looking for passionate and eloquent Volt owners who can speak convincingly about the ease, pleasure, efficiency, and beauty of owning a Volt. If you are interested, or know any one who may be, please email us at assistant@amhalisecasting.com Thanks so much and please check out our company website.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have yet to see any comments regarding the goodness to the environment that the new Volt, leaf and other new cars bring to the table. Just think of the health improvements involved here. This could be immense and of course liberating us from the use of foriegn oil and also the devastation of our lands by greedy oil explorers
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, that's my white VOLT in the picture with me driving from 2 weeks ago. Since I just got home from a drive today , to north Miami and back home in Boca, I thought it would be good to post the statistics from todays drive. It was a little shorter today because I did not have to drive all the way down to South Beach. Temp indicated while on the highway 92' F. Total miles today 68.4 battery driven miles 38.2 ....... 30.2 gasoline engine miles.......burned 0.66 gals, 104MPG this trip and 123 MPG lifetime average. Because I don't drive to Miami, or any distance like that on a daily basis, my MPGs average above 120 because all my local driving is done by battery only. I usually drive far less than 40 miles a day. For someone that drives 40 miles or less to work, and has a whole day to charge, you could conceivable drive the 80 mile round-trip on battery every day if you could find a place to plug in during your workday to have a full charge for the drive home! Having the volt is somewhat like having two cars in one, a pure electric car with a back-up car for the longer trips....never to get stuck without a charge. Steve in Boca Raton Volt #313
      JJackson
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is awesome. Shows most automotive journalist don't simulate real world every day driving.
      electronx16
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM is shooting itself in the foot with these numbers. They indicate that most Volt drivers use their car for short distances only so (unless you're a one car household) you might have bought a Leaf and saved yourself $8K.
        dellrio
        • 3 Years Ago
        @electronx16
        Really they are just indicating that the majority of vehicle trips are short trips - this is why most trips in the volt are "short trips" But if you want to drive 200 miles to grandmas house - you can, and you can plug into her outlet when you get there too. If you look at average length of trips in any gas powered car, im sure the Average trip length is about the same.
      Marcopolo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Since the inception of the Volt program I have been looking forward to it enjoying the success this American engineering triumph deserves. It's a brilliantly practical vehicle, with much wider appeal than the Leaf. I realise the V8 devotees would hate the Volt, but my surprise is the venom some EV fans have levelled at the Volt. It seems with these purists that they would rather rave on about the impossible than praise the practicality of the US manufactured Volt. I think part of this hatred comes for a long conditioned hatred of GM as the bogyman, but for others they seem dismayed to be unable to criticise everything American! Sadly for me, I must await the RHD version of the Volt in the UK. (however IMO, its a better looking car) or the mooted Australian manufactured, GM Holden Volt, in 2012 . I predict that the upmarket Buick version, will be a runaway success. It appeals to the prestige executive fleet market on so many levels. Great product! Oh, and it's great to see the Japanese and Europeans running to keep up with US technology!
        montoym
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marcopolo
        "The perfect is the enemy of the good" seems to sum it up nicely.
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