• Sep 16th 2011 at 11:55AM
  • 60
With school back in session, it's time for some students to answer the age-old question: "How did you spend your summer vacation?" Nine-year-old Jared Paramonoff's summer tale included a Chevrolet Volt, a 3,790-mile road trip and even a border crossing or two.
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.
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Chevrolet Volt Electrifies Summer Driving

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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Smith Jim
      • 4 Years Ago
      What a silly article this is. Stating obvious facts is not news.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just for comparision shake Cruze will have better MPGe then Volt. Why compare with Prius? Honda Insight (1st) have better MPG then Prius. Why not compare with Insight? CNG cars like Civic GX can have better MPGe then any of these cars. Why not talk about that?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a suspicion that it's more efficient to fly in a commercial jet from Vancouver to San Diego than drive a volt or prius.
      David Peilow
      • 4 Years Ago
      Eric seems to be pulling this story out of thin air... Where is the MPG for the West Coast trip? I can't see it. Trust Mr Loveday to publish a story based on nothing of substance. When Nikki Gordon Bloomfield took a Plug in Prius on a 1400 mile trip in the UK, she got an average of 52.5 US MPG. As with all these comparisons, it depends what you are using the car for and how you drive. Any arguments are therefore totally arbitrary.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Volt is an excellent car if you don't drive more then 40 miles a day I only drive 25 miles on weekends to see my grandma other then that, all i do is errends
      • 4 Years Ago
      @bvz Right. The only somewhat "scientifically correct" comparison (Volt & not plug-in Prius), when we only compare them as hybrids (and in this case the Synergy Drive efficiency wins). But, if we factor in the EV mode, it is not that easy anymore. As I don't have the exact math and research, I cannot compare them at all, furthermore, in this particular case it is more like an orange & apple game. So, first of all, it depends on the real world personal usage scenario. Knowing the upcoming PHEV Prius shorter EV range (compared to the Volt) for a lot of people - if they use the Volt mostly as pure EV - the Volt easily can be the more efficient solution, since nothing beats EV efficiency (not even the Prius otherwise very efficient hybrid mode). But choices are good and the market (+ the price!) will decide the "academic" debate.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The moonroof on my Equinox quit working today, I am now off to the Toyota dealer to look at a Prius. This results help make my decision!
      • 4 Years Ago
      "3,790-mile trip shows how a Chevy Volt can burn less gas than most other cars on the road." There I fixed it. Can I be an Autoblog writer now?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Congrats to Toyota Prius, after nearly '15 years / 150,000 miles' has passed since the original design, the used car can still be one of the most fuel efficient option with electrics (Roadster 2.5, LEAF, etc.) competing for the most efficient spot at 110+ MPGe. Nice to see the Volt has its 40-mile (calculated as 25-50 miles) range tested on a long-distance driving, the range-extension engine was a definite compromise since so many people were tried to keep in mind (from V-8 muscle drivers to ones mainly hoping for efficiency and option for long trips). Too bad it doesn't get better mileage than Cruze, but all in all a good mixture that has found its market. It'll be tough competition for people to choose between the Plug-in Prius and LEAF with rental or used or previous Prius and Volt among others, all with their benefits and drawbacks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yes, one of the age-old questions is: "How did you spend your summer vacation?" but the other is: "Voltec vs Synergy" efficiency. The latter question induces just about the same (or even more) emotion, than the first one and the topic has lots of fans on both sides. As the cold hard facts seem to support it (if we compare a plug-in Volt to a hybrid Prius, that is not plug-in) the Volt's only chance to win, if we use it for short trips under electric range and operation. On longer journeys the Prius's Synergy Drive proves to be more sophisticated and efficient than the Volt's. Period. Naturally, it is possible to argue about this, but the facts are stubborn things.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, the Volt's only chance of winning is to drive 40 miles or less per day, which you know, only applies to almost everyone in America. More facts: I have ~700 miles on my Volt and I've used 2.5 gallons of gas.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Whenever the hybrid plug-in Volt's initial all-electric range is depleted the car is then hauling around the extra weight of its large lithium-ion battery. Even with an aerodynamic design the extra deadweight reduces the Volt's gas engine powered MPGs. Attached is a link to a (September 2011) story about research & road testing advanced solid-state batteries lighter in weight with greater performance: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110913/OEM06/110919974
      • 4 Years Ago
      I Think the Volt is a pretty good piece of engineering, however, I find interesting that the main argument in it's favor is that you can take a 1000 miles trip in it (which a BEV cannot do, practically, at the moment); however, this case is where the Volt is less efficient compared to a Prius which can do 50mpg. On the other hand, there are many owners that defend the Volt with the argument that they never, or almost never, have to put gas in it; in which case, a BEV would be a less complex and in some cases, less expensive option. That is why we have options these days, so each one of us can decide what he/she thinks is best (be it or not the absolute truth)
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