2011 Chevrolet Volt
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If you're a recent Chevrolet Volt buyer and noticed you've been getting a few more miles out of your all-electric range than you expected, you might've gotten next year's version of the extended-range plug-in.

This month, General Motors started delivering a few 2013 model year Volts to Chevrolet dealers across the country, though the automaker hasn't publicized the changeover, both Green Car Reports and Hybrid Cars report. Green Car Reports says 2013 Volt availability is "spotty," while Hybrid Cars says GM has "sprinkled in" a few Volts. Production of the 2013 Volt started in early July.

GM said last month that the 2013 Volt boosted its all-electric range by three miles – to 38 – compared to the 2012 version while increasing its miles-per-gallon-equivalent rating by four to 98 MPGe. GM also said the Volt's battery capacity increased to 16.5 kilowatt hours from an even 16.

2013 version or not, Volt sales are on the upswing. GM sold 8,817 of them through the first six months of the year, more than three times the number from this point in 2011.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      Naturenut99
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anyone else find this funny...? "If you're a recent Chevrolet Volt buyer and noticed you've been getting a few more miles out of your all-electric range than you expected, you might've gotten next year's version ..." Like if you bought it you wouldn't know the model year? Ok... maybe the women who when asked what type/make/model they bought respond with its color. But other than that who wouldn't know they bought a 2013 with 38 est. EV miles vs. the 2012 with 35 ? Literary license I guess.
        Naturenut99
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Naturenut99
        Plus, if they were that unaware of the difference, they probably wouldn't have had a definite expectation.
      carney373
      • 3 Years Ago
      Still bummed that GM did not include flex fuel capability. The Volt was supposed to be E85 compatible from the get-go, then we were told that would be pushed back a year or two. The Wikipedia article still mentions model year 2013 as the target date for E85 compatibility. There are no ethanol stations near me, so electric drive for my everyday local driving makes sense. But there are E85 selling stations within 40 minute drives in all directions on the major highways near my home, so for true long distance driving I'd like to have a flex fuel vehicle, but that would relegate me to using gasoline for everyday. A flex fuel Volt would have been my ideal. Electric for local, ethanol for long distance, while retaining gasoline compatibility as a last resolt. Too bad GM didn't keep its promise.
        goodoldgorr
        • 3 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Ethanol attract humidity so it's not good fuel when it sit a long time at gas station because nobody buy that and it's bad especially for boats that sit weeks on the hot water attracting water into the fuel and clogging and breaking costly engines. In the volt it's even worst as the fuel might sit a long time into the tank destroying the engine fast. Also the harvest of this year is not good and we might lack corn so making unneeded costly ethanol might lead to a catastrof. On the other hand just pumping few more petrol to replace ethanol might not do a difference on petrol prices and erase the huge food deficit. Ethanol for fuel don't make any sense at all.
          carney373
          • 3 Years Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          Far from "destroying" engines, ethanol is harmless in engines and parts that are designed for it. Nor does ethanol "clog" parts, ever - at worst it scours away the gunk left behind by gasoline, gunk that re-settles elsewhere. Ethanol burns cleanly without gunk, and does not need the carcinogenic and mutagenic "detergents" the gasoline companies brag about. There is no food deficit, huge or otherwise. From a long term and global perspective there are more calories produced per capita, and a lower proportion of starving people, than ever. What hunger exists is not because of inadequate food production, but rahter because the massive super-abundance of food doesn't get to those who need it because of violent conflict, extreme repression, etc., or because of such deep poverty that no amount of over-production and price collapse would ever be enough (thus the solution being to lift them out of poverty, not bankrupt farmers). Ethanol for fuel makes a hell of a lot more sense than your preferred solution of hydrogen, which exemplifies fuel that is, to use some your words, unneeded, costly, and prone to catastrophes. Hydrogen is only made from electrolyzing water (with massive, wasteful, backrbreakingly expensive electricity expenditure), or from natural gas (with such an energy loss that you might as well just use the natural gas directly as a fuel instead). Hydrogen is also extremely dangerous - easily leaking through the smallest seals and gaskets, even straight through solid steel (which it embrittles in the process), and its vapor is much more prone to explosions since it is flammable at a much wider range of fuel to air than ethanol or gasoline vapor, and requires a much smaller energy input (background static electricity rather than a spark plug). Hydrogen must be stored at extreme levels of compression and/or cryogenics, creating intense bursting pressure and high energy wasteage. And on an energy per volume basis, it's a loser compared with ethanol too.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Awww, Carney... here, have a tissue.
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @carney373
        Ethanol is less energy dense than gasoline, so you'll require more frequent refueling on E85. I fail to see how that helps for long distance driving.
          PeterScott
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Acording to the EPA, even the Buick Regal gets about 30% worse Fuel economy on E85: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymodel/2011_Buick_Regal.shtml It also costs more to run on E85 than gas.
          SVX pearlie
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          If I really wanted to save the planet for long-distance travel, I'd fly or ride the bus.
          carney373
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          You're right that ethanol has fewer BTU's but smart engineering (as seen from elsewhere in GM, namely the 2011 Buick Regal) can overcome that by taking better advantage of its higher octane rating to cut the mileage cap between ethanol and gasoline down to around 5%. Even without that, obviously if you're going to be buying an EV or PHEV your goal is not to wring the most miles per penny of total cost of ownership and to Hell with the consequences. You're willing to take a hit on range because you are a responsible person, concerned with what happens as a result of your transportation motive power purchases BEYOND how much it cost and how far it took you.
      Smoking_dude
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder when those "upgrades" will affect the opel ampera
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would be a bit pissy if I got the 2012, after nearing about this...
        AddLightness
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        This improvement between model years is no different that any other vehicle. I bought a 2010 F-150 the year before they introduced a whole new line of engines, but hey that's just the way it is. Besides the Volt's range was increased only 3 miles, while significant, is nothing to be pissy about. At least they are improving it :) Especially in EVs I would expect to see incremental gains in range year to year, for example the Leaf also gained a boost in range, because of a new heater. There are so many variables affecting range it will be easy to squeeze a mile or two more of range by making modifications to various things.
        MTN RANGER
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        I have a 2012 and it doesn't bother me in the least. I hope every year brings advancements to AER!
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Check the VIN. It's not that hard, if you know what to look for. Now, if the dealer misrepresents a MY2012 as a "2013", then you've got an auto-win lawsuit for material consumer fraud.
          paulwesterberg
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          It should be even easier to check the EPA sticker which also changed.
          SVX pearlie
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Stickers can be swapped. VIN tampering? That's big trouble.
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you want to get information from an experienced Chevy Volt owner and advocate, please visit: voltowner.blogspot.com
        paulwesterberg
        • 3 Years Ago
        Are you suggesting that the writers of this blog may somehow be lacking in experience or insight?
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @paulwesterberg
          I think he just would like to share actual first hand knowledge, like this very bad@ss video on how to talk to typical Fox News listeners about the Volt: http://voltowner.blogspot.com/2012/06/my-interactions-with-public-about-chevy.html Very funny stuff, I highly recommend!! Thanks VD!! (hmm that didn't come out right....)
      BipDBo
      • 3 Years Ago
      "If you're a recent Chevrolet Volt buyer and noticed you've been getting a few more miles out of your all-electric range than you expected, you might've gotten next year's version ..." This is explained more precisely in the source article form "Green Car Reports": "Interestingly, while GM’s official 2013 Volt production started in early July, GM admits it ‘sprinkled’ a few 2013 Volts into the production line while it was still making the 2012 Volt as early as June, meaning some lucky Volt owners may already be in ownership of a 2013 Volt." I think that what he's saying is that some of the 2012 models (as shown on their VIN) got the 2013 upgrades. Most importantly, they got the battery cells with the new, tweeked chemistry that gives an extra 0.5 kw*hr. They apparently also got the other small 2013 tweeks like charge sustaining mode. Car parts change slightly and often do not follow the model year exactly. What we know is that a few 2013 Volts were produced in June while 2012 models were still being produced and official start of the 2013 in the beginnening of July. Some of these early 2013 models have already sold. What we don't know is what they were tagged as on their VIN.
      AddLightness
      • 3 Years Ago
      "If you're a recent Chevrolet Volt buyer and noticed you've been getting a few more miles out of your all-electric range than you expected, you might've gotten next year's version of the extended-range plug-in" Poor statement, you write like it'd be a surprise to the consumer which model year he/she bought. I'm sure the sticker says whether its a 2012 or 2013 and shows the difference in range. In fact it'd be a selling point to the dealer when offering the 2013 version.
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AddLightness
        By law, the VIN will tell you the model year, if you know where to look. The "random" is a sop to those dealers who were holding their 2012s, hoping for over-MSRP buyers who didn't know how to cross-shop.
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder if GM considers this voltec 2.0? If not, this bodes well for the upcoming Cadillac ELR which is supposed to be version 2.0.
        Ziv
        • 3 Years Ago
        @throwback
        Naturenut is right, this isn't Volt 2.0 and I think throwback is right too. It does really bode well for what we are going to see in a little over a year with the ELR. I had hoped the Volt would see an MSRP drop this year so that the net price was below $30k, but with $220 a month 2 year leases, it is hard to complain too vociferously. I am not a lease fan, but at these prices...
          Ziv
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          Spiffster, I was figuring there would be add ons to this price... http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?15345-no-money-down-199-month-lease-24-months You do have to have it shipped to you which can cost $500 to $1100. But if one dealer is doing this on 2012's, others may too.
          Spiffster
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          "but with $220 a month 2 year leases, it is hard to complain too vociferously." What!? Where? How much due at signing?
          mapoftazifosho
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          $2500? It basically comes out the same as $369 with zero down...either way...an awesome lease deal!
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @throwback
        Voltect 2.0? No. More like Voltec 1.2. This is a very minor tweak to the car, not a major overhaul. Voltec 2.0 would be a smaller ER engine, smaller gas tank, battery options, etc.
        Naturenut99
        • 3 Years Ago
        @throwback
        No this is not considered v2.0. This is a refresh. v2.0 will be out around 2015-17.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Congrats to GM on their continued success. Yes, the Volt has not sold as well as many would have hoped but it still is the most successful EV/PHEV car out there right now. I think the weak economy and reduced gas prices have hurt Volt sales. But the Voltec platform seems off to a good start. If they can refine it a bit more, use it in more models, and have gas prices go up, cost-reduce, etc. then I think the Voltec platform will continue to grow.
        SVX pearlie
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        CA gas is $3.8x for premium, well down from the $4+ we had seen before. Those price drops are what hurt EV sales. If big oil really wanted to kill EVs, they'd cut gas prices below $3 and keep them there. At that point, the cost case is much harder to justify. OTOH, if the Feds and CA wanted to juice EV sales in a big way, slap a buck of gas taxes on each gallon, and funnel it all into EV infrastructure and purchase rebates for BEV / EREV / PHEV vehicles.
          Marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          SVX pearlie In principle, I agree with heavy taxation on gasoline and diesel. However, the US government must consider the effect on an economy which has never experienced a heavy tax on gasoline. A 20% increase in the price of gasoline will hurt ! The result would be political suicide, unless an administration is charismatic enough to persuade every American to accept the necessity of economic reform. Big Oil, doesn't really control the price of oil at the retail level. Nor would Big Oil really care about an increase in the retail tax since Big Oil has learned from international experience that such taxes don't affect profits. In fact, with world demand exceeding 90 million barrels per day, the oil industry simply can't maintain supply. Without contributions from biofuels, oil made from coal and other non-conventional sources, the shortage of oil would be more noticeable. The weak US and European economies have helped curtail oil demand, but the PRC has increased it's hunger for oil by 4-6 million barrels. Sinopec and the other two PRC Oil companies are under heavy pressure to compete for 'third world' Oil resources. The PRC government places the entire power of the PRC government resources (including espionage and capital ) at the disposal the three PRC oil companies. The US is hoping to buy time in resolving the problem of energy, by exploiting the vast natural gas reserves contained within the North American continent. Ownership of the potential off shore oil fields to the south of the PRC, are becoming dangerously belligerent disputes between the PRC and it's smaller neighbors. Perhaps a small increase in tax of a few cents per gallon, with small tax increments over a number of years, with the proceeds going to reduce national debt, (or even pay for defense), may be more acceptable to Americans of all political persuasions. The US consumes nearly 400 million gallons of gasoline and diesel etc per day. The US national debt is nearly $ 140,000 for every taxpayer. A national increase of $1 on the pump price could reduce or even eliminate the US Federal deficient of $1.4 trillion dollars. (due to the compounding nature of the daily income flow of tax revenue). The short term effect of such a tax, would have a recessionary impact, and cause a rapid shift to alternate energy sources, (most likely NG) but the long term effect of such a radical measure would boost the US economy and start to reverse the debt malaise. The US will have to face this problem sooner or later, IMHO , it's better faced today while the US still retains the edge in technology, world trade, and loyal allies, than when the US economy is hopelessly insolvent, and grown too weak to make the necessary transition.
          Vlad
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          CA may me able to do it, but on the Federal level there is no chance. Hell will freeze before this Congress passes something that's both unpopular and hurts Big Oil.
          SVX pearlie
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          As I've advocated before, the gas tax would be phased in over time. No change for the first year, then +$ 0.05 per month without any end in sight. On that kind of schedule, gas prices would probably never stop increasing, just flatten for a little while. You could confidently predict that you *will* pay more for gas: Y0 = +$0.00 +Y1 = +$ 0.60 +Y2 = +$ 1.20 +Y3 = +$ 1.80 +Y4 = +$ 2.40 +Y5 = +$ 3.00 +Y6 = +$ 3.60... The first "grace" year and slow ramp give people time to transition, but over time, this gets to be a very big number, it just keeps compounding and compounding. Sometime in Year 7 or Year 8, Taxes will exceed Oil, reaching current European levels.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          You are both right. A gas tax would be a good policy decision (and not just for EVs). But in the US political climate, it is virtually impossible. :-/
          Marcopolo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          SVX pearlie Well, that a fairly radical plan ! The problem would be how to avoid real damage to the economy and sell these increases politically ? After all, a six year plan must survive 2-4 congressional elections and at least one, maybe two Presidential contests. That's why I suggested tying the tax to something truly popular that people could appreciate and support.
          SVX pearlie
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Actually, there's room for $2 or $3 in gas taxes, just not immediately.
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