Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf go nearly the same all-electric miles a year
Range-Extender Makes Folks Bolder
Such were the findings of a study conducted by the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), which tracked about 8,700 cars during a three-year period, including a bunch of Volts, Leafs and Smart ED electric vehicles. In short, even though the Volt's all-electric range of about 38 miles is less than half that of the Leaf's, the Volts' collective all-electric driving was just six percent lower than the Leaf's (the next-generation Volt will be even more electro-generous, with a 50-mile range).
The logic makes sense considering typical US driving habits, in which a vast majority of people commute less than 35 miles a day. Additionally, Volt drivers obviously have no fear of running out of electricity, so they were far more likely to max out on that range than some Leaf drivers. Overall, the average Leaf is driven about 15 percent less than the national average of about 11,300 miles a year for all vehicles, while Volts are driven about eight percent more. Of all those Volt miles, about 81 percent were in all-electric mode.
Additionally, Volt drivers recharged about 1.5 times a day, while Leaf drivers recharged about once a day, and about 85 percent of that charging was at home. As for non-home charging, about 20 percent of the vehicles accounted for 75 percent of the station use, so folks are definitely creatures of habit. Check out the INL's 22-page report here for more interesting details.
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