Immediately after Andreas Paramonoff drove his Volt from Southern California to Western Canada, his wife, Brenda, and son, Jared, hopped in for a ride from Vancouver, British Columbia down to San Diego and back. That's a lot of miles to put on a new car – 3,790, to be precise – and Andreas charged the Volt 11 times along the route. So, even though the roadtrippers never had to stop when the Volt's battery was depleted, only 450 miles of the journey were covered in electric-only mode. That's an impressive 40.1 mile average EV range, but it also means that 3,350 miles of the trek were done in "range-extended" mode.
Note this takeaway point: while General Motors touts (or, at least, touted) the Volt as "More Car Than Electric," this 3,790-trip shows that it's possible to have a Volt burn more gas than a Toyota Prius would on long trips like this.
Owners usher in new era of extended-range electric travel
DETROIT – With school back in session, some teachers are undoubtedly asking their new students the age-old question: "How did you spend your summer vacation?" Nine-year-old Jared Paramonoff has an electrifying story to tell when it is his turn.
Chevrolet Volt owner Andreas Paramonoff drove his wife, Brenda, and Jared from Vancouver, British Columbia to San Diego after Andreas drove to Western Canada from Southern California. Andreas charged the Volt 11 times on the 3,790-mile roundtrip, including at RV plug-in spots. He never had to stop when the battery was depleted because the Volt's extended-range capability added hundreds of miles to every recharge.
Summer may be coming to an end, but for Chevrolet Volt owners, a new era in personal transportation is just beginning – the electric summer road trip. Many owners used the vehicle's extended-range capability – where a gasoline-powered motor/generator produces electricity to propel the vehicle when the battery is depleted – to take long trips without the worry of finding a place to plug in.
"The development of public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles will take time, but the lack of a charging network today isn't preventing Volt owners from wandering far from home." said Volt Marketing Director Cristi Landy. "Volt owners drove more than 6 million miles this summer, two-thirds of which were powered by electricity."
Since driving in EV mode as much as possible is a source of satisfaction for many owners, they look for ways to use public charging while on long trips.
Brett Circe from Miami used electricity when he could and gasoline when he needed on his 3,318-mile round-trip from Miami to Albany, N.Y., which included stops at Wright Brothers National Monument in North Carolina and Amsterdam Castle in New York. By staying at hotels that offered public charging, he was able to start each leg of the trip with a fully charged battery. His lifetime Volt mpg is 57.6 miles.
The EPA estimates 93 miles per gallon equivalent for the car in electric mode and 35 city and 40 highway miles per gallon in extended-range mode.
The Volt also became the first electrically powered vehicle this century to reach the top of Mount Washington when Eric Cote and his father used both EV and extended-range modes on the way up and on the way down the 8,000-foot mountain. He used the Volt's regenerative braking to regain 50 percent of his battery charge, achieving 117 miles per gallon on his 48.5 mile journey.
Craig Fisher from Charlotte, N.C. also headed through on the mountains on his 1,000-mile trip to Columbus, Ohio, averaging 39 miles per gallon. A former Toyota Prius owner, Fisher found the Volt outperformed his former hybrid.
"I was quite surprised about how well the Volt preformed running on the generator, regeneration power and the mileage that I got with the generator," Fisher said. "This was the ultimate test of the Volt as far as I was concerned."
The Volt has a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank.
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 120 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 Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly 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 gasoline range, according to EPA estimates. 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, fuel solutions, and OnStar availability can be found at www.chevrolet.com.