• Mar 27, 2012
Ever wonder what kind of real-world mileage Chevy Volt owners actually achieve? We know Motor Trend got 127 MPG when they tested it and Jay Leno – auto enthusiast, Volt driver, and apparently, some sort of late-night talk show host – famously used less than half a tank during his first 11,000 miles. But how does that compare with other owners? Well, there's a website that serves up exactly that kind of information. And more!

Volt Stats! was started by Mike Rosack after he found he could monitor information being sent from his Volt iPhone app to Onstar and further realized that, if the same data was collected from other owners, he could construct a webpage with a sort of leaderboard. With a little help from his fellow forum members at GM-Volt.com, the concept has developed into a nice little site that allows participants to share such stats as miles per gallon (MPG), MPGe (equivalent), and MPGcs (cs stands for charge-sustaining mode, or the time when the gasoline engine is supplying all the energy) and compete amongst themselves for bragging rights and special achievements.

Currently the site has 627 vehicles signed up, collectively providing almost three million miles worth of info. Driving in electric mode 71 per cent of the time, the fleet has averaged about 120 mpg, 63 MPGe and 35 MPGcs. If you like to delve into data, go take a look.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      that will really lower the price from 40 to 40
      • 1 Year Ago
      I used to have a lot of hobbies... Flew airplanes, jumped out of airplanes, climbed mountains, foreign travel and due to health reasons, I can no longer do any of the above. Now that I own a Volt (Dusty on VoltStats and www.askmeaboutmyvolt) my new hobby is one that puts me back into competition again and I think a lot of us who own this remarkable car owe a big "thank you" to Mike for creating VoltStats. While I don't have the best MPG (tonight I'm at 2,506 MPG) nor do I have most electric miles driven in a day... it's a big kick to go to VoltStats and see how people are doing, and I applaud the leaders... Sterling Silver www.AskMeAboutMyVolt.com
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Holy F*ck! Haven't I been screaming this from the beginning? I even mentioned Jay Leno.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is what the Volt is good for. People are scared of EV's. The only people with a range anxiety problem are the people who don't own a EV. The Volt lets you have part of a EV. The Volt is like the old led sleds that only went 35 miles tops but instead of having to stop there the Volt can go on down the road without stopping. It is funny to see people compete with led sled range. The very people that purchased the Volt to avoid range anxiety are now the ones trying to stretch that EV driving as far as they can. GM may have created a monster in this respect. Now a larger segment of the public, the baby step people, may demand a economical EV with 120 mile range for 30k before tax incentive. If they would truly mass produce they could do it. Nissan will do it first because they are truly mass producing EV's or scaling up to do so. Nissan could go lower with the Leaf but why should they. They could take a larger loss as they will make it up in sales, parts supplies, assembly innovations, etc... Why should they, there EV is as good as any and their are tax incentives to be had but the tax incentives won't be around for ever. Nissan will be ready when the incentives are gone. If batteries are 100 dollars per kwh, the OEM's should be allowed to charge a 1000 dollars per kwh, after all, they are loosing much revenue in maintenance service calls, how else will they make up for this lost revenue?
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        GM has built well over 10k EREVs. It's not hard for them to replace the engine with more battery, if that's the direction the market goes.
          VoltOwner
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Actually the clutches and gearset solve one of the age old problems with an EV, that of overspeeding the motor at high speeds. By using the genset to spin against the main motor through the planetary, you gain efficiency while cruising by having the main motor running in it's sweet spot. Pretty clever, makes a pair of siamese DC motors that can be run in series or parallel seem so last century! (Although for a drag strip, that does seem to work just fine!) Of course, having the genset running actually limits the total power to it's max plus the same amount from the main traction motor, IIRC. So when you punch it on the freeway, there is a small delay while the genset spins down and the clutches swap around. For max power it's traction motor only up to 100MPH, so I guess you can't really say that it ever goes over some RPM limit, but "gets outside of it's efficient RPM range", would be a better way to state it.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Well, it isn't extremely easy to switch the Volt into pure BEV. The Volt is really built as a gasser with those clutches & planetary gearset that you really don't need for an EV.
        hodad66
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        I have been driving my Volt for six months, mostly electric. Last night I traveled 130 miles to see a concert. I didn't have to rent a car, search for a charge station or worry at all. I simply drove my Volt there and back. Until 30 minute charging is EVERYWHERE the Volt is the "no problems" answer. In 2.5 years we'll see how the infrastructure has filled in. Until then I am totally happy with my Volt!
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        "The very people that purchased the Volt to avoid range anxiety are now the ones trying to stretch that EV driving as far as they can." And why shouldn't they? Maybe they like to take the occasional longer trip, or simply not have to worry about being stranded? "Now a larger segment of the public, the baby step people, may demand a economical EV with 120 mile range for 30k before tax incentive." That would be the coming Chevy Spark EV.
        marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        @EVSUPERHERO GM's EV Voltec technology, is not just for people with range anxiety. The EREV is designed to allow manufacture of a highly versatile vehicle that can be used in any application. An EV with 100 mile (or less) range is limited to being a commuter vehicle for those with a garage and charging facilities. I own 3 Blade Electrons (same as a Leaf) as company cars for city office employee's to use for short trips. These vehicles are ideal for, document delivery, short business trips to clients, female employees working late to drive home. Visitors, etc.. But, if I was to offer such a vehicle as a salary sacrifice, or company work vehicle, the size and range would be insufficient. The Volt is perfect. For an owner who lives in an apartment, or likes to get way on the weekend, the Volt is perfect. The Volt has no limitations. Until battery and fact refilling develop, the EREV, is the perfect compromise for most owners.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I tried to test drive a Volt in Glendale, CA over the weekend. They said no way. They sold their demo and laughed when I asked about the borrowing program. They are desperate for more Volts. "We don't want more Camaros, we want Volts!" was the quote.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 2 Years Ago
        Wow, no kidding. That is really good news for GM and the Volt. If GM hadn't shut down production of the Volt that'd be even better news... I hope their March sales rock.
      RC
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's a fun way to show off electric power. Kudos to Mike and his contributors.
      VoltOwner
      • 2 Years Ago
      Already out of date, there are 651 Volts signed up now. Over 3 million miles too. The data does show some surprising things, for instance if you drive a lot on gas, you get pretty good mileage, up to 40 and even a few that get more. Conversely, if you drive a lot on electrons, the gas mileage looks very bad, with a whole slew of brand new cars reporting 1.4-10 MPG! Sorted that way, Low to High MPGcs, the first 2011 car is the leader for EV% with an MPGcs of only 13.87. It's not that the mileage is that bad, just that there has not been enough miles to overcome measurement errors. Even after 9 months I can't get above 16MPG on gas, although the one time I did drive 10 miles, I used less than 1/4 of a gallon.
        VoltOwner
        • 2 Years Ago
        @VoltOwner
        Update: This morning there are 708 cars signed on. And squeaking up towards 3.2 million EV miles. (Forgot to mention that the 3 million miles above were EV.) The total miles is above 4.5 million now, with the percentage on electricity at 71%.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @VoltOwner
        The Volt should create a new term, "gas anxiety" for trying to keep the gas engine from turning on and using gas to recharge the batteries.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          For me (20,000 miles and less than 10 gallons used) I don't have "gas anxiety". I consider my Volt as an "enabling" vehicle and offers options that pure EVs don't have. The ICE in my Volt is nearly like a spare tire and there for me in the event that I need it. I suspect on my two year anniversary, I'll probably buy my second tank of gas ever (June 2014) and I suspect if I have an emergency and need to drive to someplace very far away, I'll "blow" my standings in VoltStats, but my car "Dusty" will be up for the challenge and won't miss a beat, but still it'll miss a lot of gas stations during the time I own this car, which might be for several more years to come. www.AskMeAboutMyVolt.com (y'all come and see us, ya hear?)
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @VoltOwner
        Correction: Volt owners experience "gas anxiety," the car doesn't create it as I wrote... ;)
          VoltOwner
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?6558-ICE-Anxiety BTDT
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          A good simple idea is often repeated.
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      Love the leaderboards. Amazed that some people are driving the Volt as practically *pure* EV.
        theflew
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        I think the key point is "practically". If this is their only car then the Volt makes a lot of sense compared to say the Leaf or Focus EV. If the Leaf would have had a more universally appealing design it would be interesting how many people would have brought it over the Volt. For the current EV/EREV vehicles on the market the Volt is the "safe" choice.
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        It was fun trying to get in the top rankings. But a road trip lowered my EV percentage to only 90%. Now I have a huge job to get back up the list. :-) What is amazing is how some people are getting 150-254 EV miles in a 24 hour period (that's 3 to 5 complete charges in 24 hours). It's extremely tough to get some of those scores.
      amtoro
      • 2 Years Ago
      The problem with trying to calculate fuel efficiency in a plug-in hybrid is that the calculation is usually done in highly variable scenarios where some drivers are using electricity or gasoline in different percentages of their trips all the time. It also generates data as miles traveled using "this much" gasoline but not including the electricity used to bring that efficiency from 35 MPG up to whatever the result is. If someone travels on electricity almost all the time and uses 10 gallons of fuel over 11,000 miles, he/she cannot claim 1,100 miles per gallon simply because it fails to mention that it also used something between 266 and 300 kWh of electricity... what to do then? calculate the cost of the electricity, divide it by the cost of gasoline and add the result to the original 10 gallons to come up with something like 625 MPG?... no, that doesn't work either. I think the only honest way to compare the Volt, or any plug-in hybrid to other vehicles, is by using two efficiency numbers: Miles per kWh in electric mode and MPG in charge sustaining mode.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @amtoro
        amtoro Miles per kWh, or even better kWh per 100 kilometers or 100 miles would be much more scientifically accurate way of measuring efficiency. But people outside of the EV community specifically didn't want this. The EPA studied this extensively when they came up with the new MPGe measurement for the new window stickers. In every single study group they asked about watts, kilowatts, kilowatt-hours, etc. And every single study group came up with the same answer. Not only did they not understand these concepts, they emphatically said they didn't even want to learn them. It was very clear by the study groups that the only concept they would even be slightly willing to look at was what the equivalent consumption compared to gallons of gas, so we got the MPGe rating. So if the masses are willing to meet you half the way and attempt to figure out MPGe, you are going to have to meet them half way, and get to understand that MPGe INCLUDES the Miles per kWh information you want, just in a different format. If you want Miles per kWh, just take MPGe and apply this formula: Miles/(Gallon*(33.7 kWh/Gallon)) So a 99 MPGe Leaf will always be 99 divided by 33.7 == 2.94 Miles per kWh. Easy enough to figure out. If you want to compare that to the real world Volt numbers, it's easy. We'll use the leader on the Volt Stats board when sorted by percent of EV miles: 1 2012-14426 Doug's Volt 99.8% EV miles 81.66 MPGe Disregarding the .2% of miles driving on gas, that is 81.66 divided by 33.7 == 2.42 miles per kWh. ---------------------------- But look at Doug's MPGcs number. He is getting 1.42 MPGcs. That is 1.42 miles per gallon of gas burned. Looks pretty bad, eh? Based on that number alone, Doug's Volt would qualify for the Gas Guzzler tax, right? Sounds like a disaster. In reality, he's driving around WAY more efficiently than pretty much any gas car besides a dedicated EV. If you look at the MPGcs of the leaders when ranked by top MPG, top MPGe, and top EV%, you will notice that the MPGcs numbers are all over the place, with many of the leaders getting single digit MPGcs!! But these drivers will drive a whole year and only burn a tiny fraction of the gas a normal car would burn. MPGcs also doesn't reflect how much electricity the Volt uses. There is no connection there either. And what EVERYONE really knows is that what matters is how many gallons and how many kilowatts are consumed at the end of the year. Since MPGcs doesn't correlate with EITHER gallons NOR watts consumed when enough miles are driven in EV mode, MPGcs tells us nothing. What is the lesson here? The EV range, MPGe and MPG is much more important to consider than the MPGcs when buying a PHEV/REEV. http://www.motortrend.com/features/auto_news/2011/1102_time_to_rethink_miles_per_gallon/viewall.html
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          amtoro -- You are correct, the math works both ways. 4 times 33.7 == 135 MPGe 4.3 times 33.7 == 145 MPGe You have hit the classic YMMV that gas cars have always experienced. Your MPGe is much better than what the Leaf experienced on the EPA test cycle. Do you live in a moderate temperature area, where you don't have to use climate control much, and stick to moderate speeds? To go back to Smith Jim's math, you could now calculate your price per gallon equivalent: "where I live, the cost of electricity is eight cents per kW-h. $0.08 X 33.7 = $2.80. When I tell my friends that electric cars get about 100 MPGe and electricity cost $2.80 per "gallon" it blows their minds." So if you were at the national average of $0.1143 cents per kW-h, you could say you were getting 140 MPGe, with electricity cost of $3.85 per "gallon". Mathematically, they are exactly the same, and I think most non-EV folks would completely understand that. Where if you told them the scientifically correct statement that you were getting 4.3 miles per kWh at $0.1143 cents per kWh, their eyes would glaze over. They would start thinking about how much they love their nostalgic lousy MPG gasser just because it doesn't make them change how they think or do math. *grin*
          amtoro
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          "If you want Miles per kWh, just take MPGe and apply this formula: Miles/(Gallon*(33.7 kWh/Gallon)) So a 99 MPGe Leaf will always be 99 divided by 33.7 == 2.94 Miles per kWh. Easy enough to figure out." Understood, however, I can routinely drive 4 to 4.3 miles per kWh (a range of 84 to 90 miles on a full charge). Therefore my LEAF's MPGe is around 140?
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PR
          When I first got my Volt and had extremely high percentage of EV/gas usage, my MPGcs was 21, now that I have used it more, it has reached 38. I think the main thing is that when the ICE is on for 1-5 miles at a time, the MPG is going to be very low. Also, if the Volt goes into engine maintenance mode, it will use .1 gallons of gas every 6 weeks or so - this also maybe causing low MPGcs. It also may be a due to how Onstar calculates things; there is some discussion about "phantom" gas usage. For example on my car's display screen, I have used 10.5 gallons, but on voltstats.net it shows 10.87558.
        Richard Lam
        • 2 Years Ago
        @amtoro
        Keep in mind that the MPGe reported on VoltStats website is incredibly inaccurate. The designer of the website cannot pull KWh used from OnStar, so he has to assume a maximum efficiency of 93 MPGe and go down from there. Individual Volt owners can actually go on the MyVolt website run by Chevrolet to calculate their true MPGe. Mines is 33 KWh/100 Miles (33.7 / 0.34 = 102 MPGe) even with a full 100 MPH EV only uphill drive ;-). Volt Stats reports my Volt as 88 MPGe which is 15% under the true MPGe. So the fleet average MPGe is lower than the true MPGe. I agree entirely with you on this. I wish the my Volt would do the MPGe calculation on top of the standard MPG calculation. It is rather easy on my 2012 Volt 33.7 / (total KWh used/miles driven) = MPGe. You can then do average the two to get an rough estimate of total environmental impact your driving has done.
        Tysto
        • 2 Years Ago
        @amtoro
        And what does 300kWh cost? 50 bucks? There's no point in tracking that, Poindexter.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Tysto
          Tysto, Based on the national average, about 35 bucks. But let's have some fun with math. Let's take a look at how much it cost the top leader in EV Miles to drive over 20 thousand miles in EV mode: 1 2011-00836 VaVolt 20468.01 EV miles 86.15 MPGe That is 86.15 divided by 33.7 == 2.6 miles per kWh. That is 8000 kWh to go 20K miles (not counting charging losses). Or roughly $950 dollars to go 20K miles based on the national average. Pretty damn cheap! At $4 bucks a gallon, you could have bought roughly 240 gallons of gas. Here is how many miles the same dollars would take you with a combined MPG (MPGc) of: 20 MPGc == 4,800 miles 25 MPGc == 6,000 miles 30 MPGc == 7,200 miles 40 MPGc == 9,600 miles 50 MPGc == 12,000 miles 70 MPGc == 16,800 miles 90 MPGc == 21,600 miles.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @amtoro
        "I think the only honest way to compare the Volt, or any plug-in hybrid to other vehicles, is by using two efficiency numbers: Miles per kWh in electric mode and MPG in charge sustaining mode." That's a good way to compare two vehicles - but it would never reflect your actual usage. To determine your specific mpge, you must take the complete amount of energy input (both gas and electric) and then divide by miles driven. I don't see why it's so complicated, as long as you track the amount of kW pumped into the car along with the gasoline. Each gallon of gas = 33.4kW. Mpge is the only fair way to compare the amount of energy used different drivetrains.
          Smith Jim
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          The 33.7 kW-h conversion factor that is used to come up with MPGe can also be used to compare the cost of electricity to the cost of gasoline. In St. Louis, where I live, the cost of electricity is eight cents per kW-h. $0.08 X 33.7 = $2.80. When I tell my friends that electric cars get about 100 MPGe and electricity cost $2.80 per "gallon" it blows their minds.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Great post Jim! I think your math is much more easy to understand for most folks than mine....
        VoltOwner
        • 2 Years Ago
        @amtoro
        When talking to people that do not understand what a watt is, much less a KW, or KWH, you need to speak about what they do understand. Drivers today understand the price of gas, but often have no clue as to the cost of electricity. I like to start by saying that my car has gone 5800 miles and only used one gallon of gas. I will then say that I have done that by plugging it in each day and charging it at about a buck a night. Then I say: The next day I can drive 40 miles for my dollar. which means my 5800 miles has cost me less than $150. The reactions to the price vary, but most people are aware enough to know that that is cheap. I get "How much is that per mile" from those that have figured there costs out, or perhaps just finished their taxes, but often they will ask what that means in terms of MPG. For Prius owners I like to say that if their Prius gets 58MPG they would use 100 gallons to cover the same distance, they can easily see the cost of that in their head, so saying that my cost is only $150 really causes some gears to spin. It was widely reported last ear that the car most often traded for a Volt was the Prius, which is fitting as the word actually means "That which came before"...
        theflew
        • 2 Years Ago
        @amtoro
        I understand what you're saying the problem is 99% of the driving population doesn't even know what a KWh is on their electric bill let alone what it means in relation to their car. So talking about MPG is a language people understand currently. The EPA label on the Volt is complicated because of it's dual nature.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, nearly 3 million all ev miles... impressive! If you figure the average fuel economy of a new car is 24 mpg right now then that's approximately 125,000 gallons of gas! Jealous.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      A very cool board. Amazing the folks at the top and what they'd have to do to get some of those rankings. Folks are obviously buying it to run it as an EV the vast majority of time. Amazing the folks at the bottom as well they must just drive it as a normal car most of the time (although there aren't many with really low mileage).
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      Something not mentioned in the article is that users can download all of the data to import into Excel. I just did mine recently and have 456 data points (website polls data 4 times a day). "Click the button below to download all of the information we have about your car in CSV format. Timestamps are in UTC. All values come directly from Onstar except for GallonsBurned, which is calculated from LifetimeFuelEcon and LifetimeMiles."
    • Load More Comments