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Electric Volt proves more EV than petrol car

The average Chevrolet Volt owner in the US, drives in pure electric mode 65 per cent of the time, according to data collated by the car’s manufacturer.

While supported by a back-up petrol engine designed to banish the dreaded ‘range-anxiety’, Chevrolet has always been keen to prove how its hybrid-type model is more akin to a fully electric car than a combustion model.

With a collective 100 million all-electric miles under the belt of Volt owners, just two years  to the month since the model went on sale, the firm seems to have proven its point.

Chevrolet Volt in red

By charging regularly, Volt owners drive approximately 900 miles, or a month and a half, between fill-ups, thanks to this tendency of its owners to use the all-electric drive for the majority of the time.  Some Volt owners even exceed this average, especially those who’s daily commute is under the official EPA 40 mile all-electric range of the car.

Andrew Byrne from Los Angeles is one of these drivers.

“Since my daily driving is all electric, I only really need to buy gas for long road trips,” Byrne said. “I drove over 1,900 miles on my last tank of gas.”

With each avoided trip to the fuel station, Volt drivers continue to increase their return on investment. Based on EPA estimates and compared to the average new vehicle sold in the United States, Volt owners are saving about $1,370 a year in fuel costs.

“The best sign of a great product is when your customers are the most satisfied in the industry,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet Volt marketing director. “Volt owners have found the Volt is not only fun to drive, but provides technology and performance where consumers need it most.”

“My commute is 55 miles round trip, but with the Volt I use 80 percent less gas and save over $150 each month,” said Farris Khan from southeastern Michigan. “Plus the Volt is really fun to drive because of its instant torque; driving anything else feels like yester-tech!”

For the typical driver, that equates to nine weeks of groceries at $151 per week or 228 car washes at $6 per car wash. 

For the first 40 miles, the Volt can drive  tailpipe-emissions free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16.50-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.

The Volt is also available in the UK and is also sold as the Vauxhall Ampera. Prices start from £34,995, and is eligible for a £5,000 purchase price deduction thanks to a government Plug-in Car Grant.

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Faye Sunderland

Filed under: Chevrolet


Bruce {EVangel} Parmenter

The title
'Electric Volt proves more EV than petrol car'
is misleading.

What it proves is that owners like EV mode, thus owners like to drive their Volt in EV mode more than in ice mode. All the Volt owners I talk to like their plugin hybrid (pih aka phev), but wish it had more Electric range, like ~60miles. ~35 miles is just not enough for them.

GM should offer an option to allow either purchasers or owners to opt for a larger pack for more Electric range.

They also should offer a full-powered 6.6kW on-board charger (the electronics that changes the AC fed into the pih into DC to recharge the pack).

The half-powered 3kW charger on the Volt pih is just as lame as it is on the Leaf and the iMiev EVs. Ford Focus and BMW Active-E EVs have full-powered on-board chargers. Now you are charging!

Thomas J. Thias

Dear Bruce (EVangel) Parmenter, thank you for your thoughts on the Chevrolet Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle (E.R.E.V.). I enjoyed your comments greatly.

However, it is true that to really comment on a topic one must emerge them self into that topic.

No manufacturer on earth can market an Electric Car as advanced as the Chevy Volt and at the Volts price point- YET.

The P.I.P. (Plug In Prius) has an all electric range (A.E.R.) of 8-11 miles with incidental gas assist-

The Ford C-Max Energi has and an A.E.R on 20 miles with gas engine assist and the rest of the field is looking to fall in between for the near future.

The Amazing Chevy Volt E.R.E.V. has an A.E.R of 25-50+ miles- NO GAS MOTOR ASSIST/NO GAS USED!

5-11 more range miles can be added at times as the Volt is a self charging car. The 111 kWH hour Traction Motor/Generator and The 57 kWH Generator/Motor combining in the "L" shift position to slow the Volt down in lieu of friction breaking- Massive Deceleration Regeneration!

My Volt Stats-
Since March 12, 2012 have driven over 10,500 miles. Have used just under 6 gallons of gas while paying bout a buck a day electric! #30

If I include my driving cost reduction savings while plugging in at work daily, my monthly cost drops to just $15.00 a month to drive my normal 1,250 miles a month.

Saving over $220.00 a month in gas against the national lease of $329.00 a month results in a Net Cost to Drive the Chevy Volt of $109.00 a month NET-Net!

Faye Sunderland- Very well researched article. Will look for more from you!


Thomas J. Thias

The Amazing Chevy Volt EREV- Facts Guy


Alex Kovnat

One matter I'm concerned about with pure electric or almost pure-electric vehicles (i.e. the Chevrolet Volt) is, are these vehicles really more carbon-dioxide efficient than a good petrol or (more emphatically) Diesel-powered motorcar? We have to remember that the electric power needed to recharge the batteries of an EV has to come from somewhere and, that "somewhere" is usually fossil-fuel fired electric power plants. In the USA we're still burning a lot of coal to provide our electric power, although more and more electric power nowadays comes from natural gas thanks to hydraulic fracturing.

However, "fracking" has come under attack by environmentalists.

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