BMWSportTouring

Chevy Volt 10k mile update

Posted By: OoPEZoO

Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 02:11 PM

I thought I'd start a new thread for an update, as the original Volt thread LINK was getting pretty old and long.

So I've had this 2016 Volt since the last week of July and just crossed 10k miles with it this morning. My daily commute is 57 miles each way of mostly highway, and I can get about 2/3 of a recharge at work for my return trip home. I do some running around on the weekends using just the battery, but the majority of my driving is commuting where I deplete the battery and the range extender engine kicks on.

Stats so far.....as of this mornings commute
10001 miles total miles
7216 miles of electric use
2785 miles of gas engine use

In warmer weather, I was consistently getting more than the rated 53 miles from the battery. I've got as many 65 miles from it when running local errands and staying off the highway, and getting 55-57 driving normally at highway speeds. That being said, now that the temps are dropping, so is the range. I would say I'm getting about 45 miles of range currently due to the colder weather as the battery wastes some energy heating itself, plus running the heated seats, steering wheel, and heater to keep the cabin comfortable. There are a few tricks I've learned to maximize range, but for the most part I just drive it and let the car do its thing. The gas mileage once the engine kicks in has still been stellar, as I have averaged 45mpg overall when not using the battery. I routinely burn between 0.2 and 0.8 gallons of gas per day. I have to put a tank of gas in it (about 8-gallons per fill up) once every 1200-1800 miles with my current usage. That is fantastic considering it has 300 ftlbs of torque and is so enjoyable to drive.

oil life is sitting at 76%. I have no idea at what % it will tell me to change the oil. Factory spec is every 2 years or when the car tells you to do it. I haven't been able to determine when it will be "time". I've checked the oil a few times and it still looks like nice clean fresh oil. I've very interested to see how long it goes considering I clock about 30k miles a year.

The only hiccup I've had is a blown out sidewall from me lightly clipping a curb. My fault, not the cars, but it was a little frustrating due there being no spare tire. Had to flatbed it to a dealer and get a loaner for a few days. These low rolling resistance tires appear to be prone to sidewall damage (lots of internet complaints). I may put some better tires on it when I wear them out, but from what I've read.....regular tires will cost me about a 10% loss in economy.

Other than that, wow, what a great car. I couldn't be happier with it so far......unless of course it was RWD and handled like a sports car.
Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 02:34 PM

Originally Posted By: OoPEZoO
I may put some better tires on it when I wear them out, but from what I've read.....regular tires will cost me about a 10% loss in economy.


That seems like a lot. Standard tires only cause 5-10% of the total drag in the first place, and LRR tires don't reduce rolling resistance all that much. Consumer Reports had this to say:

Originally Posted By: Consumer Reports
•Based on those calculations, the potential fuel economy could rise from 20.9 mpg to 22.2 mpg when driving on tires with the highest rolling resistance versus the lowest.


So the real drop you would expect, in the worst case, would be more like 1.4 percent.
Posted By: szurszewski

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 02:39 PM

You had to have a loaner for a few days to replace one tire?
Posted By: greiffster

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 02:50 PM

Our Mini drives me crazy because it doesn't have a spare. Can't you stick a donut in that Volt somewhere? And use the tow money to offset the cost of tires with less rolling resistance?
Posted By: OoPEZoO

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 03:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday
Originally Posted By: OoPEZoO
I may put some better tires on it when I wear them out, but from what I've read.....regular tires will cost me about a 10% loss in economy.


That seems like a lot. Standard tires only cause 5-10% of the total drag in the first place, and LRR tires don't reduce rolling resistance all that much. Consumer Reports had this to say:

Originally Posted By: Consumer Reports
•Based on those calculations, the potential fuel economy could rise from 20.9 mpg to 22.2 mpg when driving on tires with the highest rolling resistance versus the lowest.


So the real drop you would expect, in the worst case, would be more like 1.4 percent.


I'm going off of real world numbers from poeple who have swapped to regular tires. I'm also not referring directly to MPG.....I'm referring more to battery range. As a good round number, if I was getting 50 miles per charge with the LRR tires, I should expect that to drop to 45 miles per charge with regular tires. In the grand scheme of things, its not much.......but thats an extra 10 miles per day I would be burning gas. And in the summer, its the difference of burning no gas on my way to work versus the engine kicking on for a few miles. Not a deal breaker, just a data point

Originally Posted By: szurszewski
You had to have a loaner for a few days to replace one tire?

It was a Saturday, and the dealer didn't have the tire in stock. Got the Volt back on Tuesday.

Originally Posted By: greiffster
Our Mini drives me crazy because it doesn't have a spare. Can't you stick a donut in that Volt somewhere? And use the tow money to offset the cost of tires with less rolling resistance?

There is a place to bolt a spare down in the cargo area, and there is a kit available from GM. It bolts down in the cargo area and would take up a large portion of the space. Thats the first unrepairable flat tire I've had in almost 20 years.....and I've been commuting 30k+ miles a year for over 10 of that. I don't like not having a spare, but I'm not planning to start hauling one around. I have a good plug kit and a compressor that neatly fits in the side cubby, plus the factory goo and compressor that came with the car. I'll take my chances.
Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 04:14 PM

Originally Posted By: OoPEZoO
I'm going off of real world numbers from poeple who have swapped to regular tires.


Re: swapping TO regular tires, this Tire Rack article brings up the following points:

-Any new tire will have more rubber on it than the worn-out one it's replacing, and so will have higher rolling resistance. So you're going from the very best case (a worn-out LRR tire) to the very worst case (a brand-new standard-resistance tire). You would also expect a real MPG drop if you replaced your worn out LRR tires with new LRR tires.

-new tires, with all their extra tread, have larger circumference than the old tires. For the same distance registered on the odometer, they will roll farther than the old tires did - a couple percent farther. So your measured fuel economy will drop by a couple percent just because your new tires are larger, but this is not a real drop in fuel economy; it's a measurement error. You can verify this by using your odometer to measure your commute before and after you change tires; it will seem like work got a couple percent closer to home, even though you burn the same amount of fuel to get there (not accounting for the actual change in rolling resistance described above).

The reverse situation (switching from worn-out standard tires to new LRR tires) would make LRR tires look like they give hardly any benefit at all. They might even seem worse than standard tires.

A fair comparison would have you drive a few hundred miles on new LRR tires, followed by a few hundred miles on new standard tires.
Posted By: Skywagon

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 04:27 PM

Keith...fun report thanks...Maybe just buy a 1 spare and keep in your garage..If you ever destroy a tire again maybe someone could bring you your tire versus having to wait to get one.

curious if you have ON-Star and if so did it cover the tow?
Posted By: OoPEZoO

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 06:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Skywagon
Keith...fun report thanks...Maybe just buy a 1 spare and keep in your garage..If you ever destroy a tire again maybe someone could bring you your tire versus having to wait to get one.

curious if you have ON-Star and if so did it cover the tow?


Yes, that had crossed my mind about the spare and will be the likely outcome if I do anything. That was the biggest frustration from when I had the flat. I was less than 2 miles from my house. Having a spare at least in the garage would have saved some headaches.

And yes.....I received 3 years of free OnStar coverage when I bought the car. They had a flatbed to me in about 20 mins and I was back on the road in a loaner in less than an hour. All of that was free of charge, I was just on the hook for the new tire.
Posted By: OoPEZoO

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 06:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Joe Frickin' Friday
Originally Posted By: OoPEZoO
I'm going off of real world numbers from poeple who have swapped to regular tires.


Re: swapping TO regular tires, this Tire Rack article brings up the following points:

-Any new tire will have more rubber on it than the worn-out one it's replacing, and so will have higher rolling resistance. So you're going from the very best case (a worn-out LRR tire) to the very worst case (a brand-new standard-resistance tire). You would also expect a real MPG drop if you replaced your worn out LRR tires with new LRR tires.

-new tires, with all their extra tread, have larger circumference than the old tires. For the same distance registered on the odometer, they will roll farther than the old tires did - a couple percent farther. So your measured fuel economy will drop by a couple percent just because your new tires are larger, but this is not a real drop in fuel economy; it's a measurement error. You can verify this by using your odometer to measure your commute before and after you change tires; it will seem like work got a couple percent closer to home, even though you burn the same amount of fuel to get there (not accounting for the actual change in rolling resistance described above).

The reverse situation (switching from worn-out standard tires to new LRR tires) would make LRR tires look like they give hardly any benefit at all. They might even seem worse than standard tires.

A fair comparison would have you drive a few hundred miles on new LRR tires, followed by a few hundred miles on new standard tires.


I get it.....and this has all been beat to death on the Volt forum I frequent. In the end, everyone has lost about 10% of their battery range when replacing the LLR tires with regular......regardless of the age/mileage on the LRR tires. Its hard to explain unless you are used to driving the car, but any effect to your battery range is very noticeable. This is not so much the case for a typical gas car. A 1-2mpg hit on a regular gas car could almost go unnoticed on a full tank of gas, but a 5 mile drop on 50 mile range is very noticeable.

For instance, in the summer I could tell you the exact location (within 1/4 mile) where on my commute I was going to change from electric to gas. You get used to it and get a feel for how different things effect your range (speed/wind/weather). Things get VERY consistent. When people swap tires and all of a sudden that changeover point shifts by 5 miles, its really noticeable.

I've been fighting with the idea of a set of snow tires for the winter, but haven't made a decision yet. I would imagine a swap like that would really stunt the battery range.
Posted By: Skywagon

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 07:39 PM

out of curiosity, are there any published numbers or experiences on how many time the batteries can be drained fully and charged again...I suspect 1000's but just curious.
Posted By: OoPEZoO

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 09:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Skywagon
out of curiosity, are there any published numbers or experiences on how many time the batteries can be drained fully and charged again...I suspect 1000's but just curious.


I have read some numbers that were supposedly released from the GM Engineering team around the time of the 2nd generation vehicle being unveiled that eluded to the the battery being designed for 500k miles of electric usage. It was something to the tune of being charged and discharged twice a day, every day, for 15 years. And thats not taking into account any other miles that would be added from running the gas engine. I'm assuming there would other mechanical failures before the battery failed from cycling. From the hard data I have personally seen, there are 1rst generation cars out there with over 300k miles on them with zero battery degradation noticeable to the end user. I say it that way because I know there is actually some degradation happening, but the operating range that the battery actually uses is so conservative that the degradation is not seen by the driver. As in, they only use the middle 70% of the usable energy in the battery. So you could theoretically permanently lose 15% of the usable energy in the battery before the driver would notice a loss in range due to battery degradation.

Smart on GM's part. They never charge the pack to 100%, discharge it to 0%, and the pack has its own HVAC system to keep it in its optimum operational temps.
Posted By: Skywagon

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/01/16 11:21 PM

thanks for info...too lazy to look it up and I knew you would know.
Posted By: Bill_Walker

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/02/16 02:42 AM

Originally Posted By: greiffster
Our Mini drives me crazy because it doesn't have a spare. Can't you stick a donut in that Volt somewhere? And use the tow money to offset the cost of tires with less rolling resistance?


My 2008 Mini had a temporary spare AND it came with run-flat tires! So of course, I never got a puncture. I didn't stick with run-flats when I replaced the tires.
Posted By: elkroeger

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/04/16 04:43 PM

A little off topic, and I'm not trying to be an ass, but man, you're commuting what, 2 hrs/day? If you really want to save money (and your sanity) live closer to work.

Couple years ago I went from 1/2 hr one way, to 10 minutes. I'll never go back!
Posted By: Smoky

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/04/16 05:02 PM

Nothing like living in a small town, where you go home for lunch. Three stop signs, and 2 traffic lights between my home and my office. smile
Posted By: szurszewski

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/04/16 08:56 PM

You have to DRIVE to get TO work? I'm lucky to say most of the last 14 years I've been fortunate enough to walk. And mostly less than 100 yards smile
Posted By: OoPEZoO

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/05/16 01:49 PM

No argument there about living closer to work being a good choice. Life just doesn't work out like that sometimes. Moving is a weekly discussion and going to happen eventually. I drive 57 miles in one direction and it rarely takes me an hour, and my wife drives 17 miles in the opposite direction, but it takes her 30-35 mins typically. We both like our current employment situations, so any change of address would just offset a more frustrating commute to the other party. My commute is actually pretty easy due to the times I travel, its just a lot of miles. If we moved 12 miles closer to my work, my Wife's commute would be a freaking nightmare due to timing and traffic bottle necks. It would then take her almost an hour each way, plus picking up the kids from the sitter. That isn't the answer. Then there are the guys who live less than 15 miles from my work and it still takes them 45 mins to get here.......and their tiny little condo with one parking space costs twice what my house does. Thats not a solution for me.....or my kids. I like my space, my house, my garage, and my quiet neighborhood. Unfortunately, I have to sacrifice 10 hours a week of my time to make that happen.

We plan to move within the next few years, but not far from where we are.

As a side note. The job I left to take this one 10+ years ago was less than 10 miles from my house. You couldn't pay me enough to go back to it.
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/07/16 09:02 PM

Great update, Keith. I'm ~53 miles from the office myself! My Leaf came off lease in October and I haven't replaced it yet. I'm commuting by bike every day. That will soon get ugly, if the midwest's storms are any indication. I have a Caravan as a backup, but that comes off lease in May, so at that time I'll be shopping and it will come down to Volt vs. Bolt.

One data point re LRR tires. I found much of the internet hype about them to be BS. On the wife's Prius we replaced the OEM with good old Michelin Primacy tires (oversized to 205mm instead of the stock 195mm, no less) and I lost less than 1mpg on average. And for that I got exponentially better wear, wet grip, and less noise, too. I wouldn't sweat over LRR vs. non LRR based on that experience. The Michelins are almost toast now - with 82,000 miles on them!

-MKL
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/07/16 09:04 PM

PS - You know what's irresistible? Used Volts. I see them around here. Fresh off lease, 2-3 years old, barely 30,000 miles, for $12-14k. That's a $45,000 car for $12-14k, and now there are plenty with high mileage on the forums saying it's been solid and reliable. An infinitely more rewarding car than the Prius. It may be worth it to buy one rather than lease a new one since I use the bike whenever possible. How else to test all this gear?

-MKL
Posted By: OoPEZoO

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/08/16 01:38 AM

Originally Posted By: moshe_levy
PS - You know what's irresistible? Used Volts. I see them around here. Fresh off lease, 2-3 years old, barely 30,000 miles, for $12-14k. That's a $45,000 car for $12-14k, and now there are plenty with high mileage on the forums saying it's been solid and reliable. An infinitely more rewarding car than the Prius. It may be worth it to buy one rather than lease a new one since I use the bike whenever possible. How else to test all this gear?

-MKL


Yup.....I was dead set on a used Gen1 Volt right in that same mileage/price range. All of my spreadsheet work told me a Gen1 Volt would be the best financial decision. Then I saw the Gen2 cars. The jump in range plus the interior tweaks were enough to push me over the edge into a new one. I guess it was a bit of an emotional purchase due to just liking the overall package better. I REALLY didn't like the capacitive touch buttons on the center console in the Gen1 cars. It also helped that I traded in my '08 Wrangler, which held an absolutely stupid amount of value as a trade in.

I recommend those Gen1 cars to anyone that is shopping for a used car. I get mostly blank stares and skepticism. I don't think anyone will believe me about how great these cars are unless they get an extended test drive. 5 mins behind the wheel just doesn't do it justice. They are so smooth, quiet, powerful, and a joy to drive. I've never driven anything that was so effortless to scoot down the road.

Now, where did I put my Kool-aide?
Posted By: moshe_levy

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 12/08/16 01:25 PM

Hey listen - I know!

If you remember waaaaaay back to my original "Hybrid Hatred" thread in 2011-2012 or thereabouts, you'll see the venom aimed at the cars. Today, a few members of this very board who were among the most vocal in the anti-Volt crowd on that thread own Volts, and are bigger evangelists than I am. All it takes is some real world experience, that's all.

-MKL
Posted By: OoPEZoO

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 11/27/17 02:13 PM

Just thought I'd pop back in with another update. The Volt told me it was time to change its oil, so I changed the oil for the first time this weekend. Its been 16 months and 38k miles, 73% of that has been on electric. This is still my favorite car I've ever driven on a daily basis. So far, all I've done is this oil change, rotate the tires, and added some windshield washer fluid. It is fantastic.
Posted By: roadscholar

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 11/27/17 07:47 PM

Keith if you get one of these I wanna go for a ride : )

E-jolt
Posted By: OoPEZoO

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 11/27/17 11:18 PM

You will be first on the list Bill
Posted By: roadscholar

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 11/28/17 03:35 AM

Ok but I'll warn ya I'm a pretty obnoxious back seat driver.. cool grin
Posted By: Sonor

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 11/28/17 01:03 PM

Interesting read ...
https://www.fleetcarma.com/chevrolet-volt-low-resale-value/
Posted By: OoPEZoO

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 11/28/17 02:06 PM

Yup.....Thats a 2+ year old article, but the "depreciation" on the Volt gets a lot of attention. I do feel a little bad for guys who ran out and bought a fully loaded Gen1. They got hosed. There is more going on than the surface numbers for the Gen2 though. The sticker on mine was basically $35k. Chevy was running a 20% off MSRP on leftover 2016 models when I bought it. Tax, Tags, and title, I was out the door for under $30k. Then the state of PA gave me a $2k rebate for buying an electric vehicle, and I got an extra $7500 back on my federal tax return this past year for the same reason. That drops the price I paid down to under $21k. I couldn't have bought a new Civic, Corolla, or a Prius for that price. The kicker being.....the Volt doesn't suck to drive and all of those do. They also would have been crushed resale wise because of the miles I rack up. I can't find a used '16 model locally for sale under $20k, so I'm thinking I did ok so far. I do plan to keep it for a VERY long time, so resale was about last on my list of pros/cons. There are Gen1 Volts out there with over 400k miles on them already with pretty much no issues. I was reading about one last week where the one guy was over 400k and still on the original brake pads due to the regenerative braking. His only replacements were one $400 computer module under the passenger seat, and wheel bearings every 100-150k miles. I hope I get that lucky

Anyone shopping for a used car should REALLY look at those Gen1 Volts. They are fantastic cars if they fit your commuting range, and they are practically giving them away. Especially the 2013-14 models. I tried to talk my wife into one so our V8 Grand Cherokee could sit a little more, but she has already been spoiled by the improvements of my Gen2.
Posted By: ltljohn

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 11/28/17 09:55 PM

Looking at the local dealers I found a 2015 Premium with 18K miles for $18,500 and several 2013 to 2015 for less than $18,000 all have less than 30K miles. Seriously looking at this when I am ready for a new car. My commute is less than 40 miles round trip. How much was the charger setup? What constitutes Gen1 and Gen 2>
Posted By: OoPEZoO

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 11/29/17 02:25 AM

Gen1 is 2011-2015
Gen2 is 2016+

I wouldn't go older than a '13 as they got a bump in battery capacity that year and also got the "hold" feature. It allows you to manually turn on the gas engine and save your battery range for when you want to use it. Like a long highway trip that ends in stop and go traffic. Run the engine on the highway when it is most efficient and you can't hear it over the highway noise. Then when you hit the stop and go crap you switch back to battery and enjoy the efficiency of the battery at lower speeds and its whisper silent.

There should be a slow charger included with any Volt you buy. I use mine when at work. At home, I spent about $400 for a Clipper Creek 220V charger that will charge my car in about 4.5hrs. I also had to add a 220v 30A breaker in my panel, run the cable, and install a matching NEMA plug. I don't remember how much all that was as I did it myself before I even bought the car. You can also hard wire them, but I wanted the ability to unplug it and use that 220V 30A circuit for other things in the garage as well.
Posted By: Bill_Walker

Re: Chevy Volt 10k mile update - 11/29/17 05:50 PM

Originally Posted by OoPEZoO
At home, I spent about $400 for a Clipper Creek 220V charger that will charge my car in about 4.5hrs.


I've got two Clipper Creek chargers in my garage, currently charging a Ford C-Max Energi PHEV and a BMW i3 BEVx. Less expensive than many other options, and they work great. I did have an early failure with one unit, wherein it still worked, but had an error light on. CC sent me a new unit and had me return the failed one in the same box, prepaid. Great customer service! I was happy I had chosen a plug-in unit rather than a hard-wired one, though. For a Gen 2 Volt, they recommend units ranging from $379 to $565, depending on whether you want to plan for a future EV with a bigger battery, but they'll all charge a Volt in 4.5 hours. I don't recall what it cost me to have my electrician add circuit breakers and run conduit for the chargers. Maybe a $100-200 each, I think. A key point was that there was room in my panel for the extra breakers. If you need to add an auxiliary breaker panel, it'll cost quite a bit more.
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