2016 Chevrolet Volt Driven 111.9 Electric Miles On Single Charge

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 67

gerdes 2
Hypermiler Wayne Gerdes has been in possession of a 2016 Chevrolet Volt for a few days now.

He’s been waiting on the weather to cooperate so that he could perform an electric range test on the Volt.

Well, yesterday the weather decided to cooperate and Gerdes hit the road.

111.9 miles later, the 2016 Volt used up its last electron. We’re certain that’s a record, but can it be beaten?

Gerdes details his time with the 2016 Volt here. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Tags: , , , , , ,

67 responses to "2016 Chevrolet Volt Driven 111.9 Electric Miles On Single Charge"

  1. SparkEV says:

    With the larger battery, this AER isn’t surprising. What is surprising is how he beat the system from kicking in the gas engine.

    1. mhpr262 says:

      Why would he have had to “beat the system” to prevent that? The gas engine doesn’t kick in until the battery is empty.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        Exactly, that’s one of the huge differentiators of the Volt over pretty much every other plug in hybrid. No gas used until the battery is empty regardless of speed or acceleration.

        Hence why GM has called it an Extended Range Electric Vehicle. 😉

        1. scottf200 says:

          How does a frequent poster like SparkEV not know how the Volt works?

          1. mike w says:

            He is a Spark fanboy. Not interested in anything but….

            1. sven says:

              Maybe if you weren’t so quick to diss SparkEV, you would have noticed that he was referring to how the 111 mile electric range figure includes 3 miles driven on ICE that used 0.00 gallons of gasoline.

              1. SparkEV says:

                I take a break from forum for few days, and all kinds of nonsense pops up. I suppose I should’ve been more clear in my original post. Thanks Sven.

  2. offib says:


  3. Elroy says:

    He averaged almost 8 miles/kWh?? Then I’m sure he could 200 miles out of the new LEAF.

  4. BradBitzer says:

    Maybe I missed a link, but what sort of driving conditions?

  5. Mathias says:

    He averaged almost 8 miles per KWh? I only get 4.2 in my Leaf.

    1. Aaron says:

      It’s pretty easy. Drive your LEAF on level ground at 25 MPH without stopping. You will achieve amazing efficiency levels, like Wayne.

      Your 4.2 miles/kWh is good for real-world driving. I’m at 4.5 miles/kWh, so right in the same ballpark.

      1. Doug (dhanson865) says:

        I tell you what, you come with a spaceship large enough to level out the Appalachian mountains and their foothills and I’ll drive on level ground if I’m still alive after the leveling.

        I’ve done 5 miles per kWh here but I can’t avoid the hills.

      2. mike w says:

        I’m at 4.2 on my Leaf also. If I turn the A/C off I get about 5

  6. Alex says:

    In Germany there where somebody driving nearly 200 miles with a Renault Zoe with average 8 kWh/100 km (62 miles), 30 kWh Leaf should beat this with low speed.

  7. goaterguy says:

    At what average speed?

    1. Epicurus says:

      Right. If it’s 20 mph, who cares?

    2. Eric Loveday says:

      Wayne Gerdes is the world’s leading hypermiler. Pretty sure he invented the term. His speeds would vary, but he always seems to find the most efficient way to drive any car. Here’s a good background story on Gerdes and what he’s achieved: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/01/guy-can-get-59-mpg-plain-old-accord-beat-punk

      1. goaterguy says:

        Ok so his way of achieving this is endangering everyone else lives? No thanks.

  8. John Hollenberg says:

    Sounds very practical for the average driver.

    1. Aaron says:

      Could you imagine driving behind this idiot in traffic? Actually, that’s probably how he got his high efficiency numbers. Someone got so angry they started pushing him with their car! 😉

      Why doesn’t he just get an EV? Why does GM insist in showing the fake “250+ MPG” number that doesn’t include gasoline usage?

      If my car used the same calculations and I kept a gallon of gas in a gas can in the trunk of my car, I would have infinity MPG. Stooooopid.

      1. Breezy says:

        The 2016 Volt will also show MPGe should the driver desire. I’m pleased that my 2013 shows 108 MPG, since that’s a indication of how effective the car has been for reducing my gasoline usage. Not so stooopid.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:


        “Why does GM insist in showing the fake ‘250+ MPG’ number that doesn’t include gasoline usage?”

        Yeah, that’s a fake MPG rating. It’s a gross mis-use of the otherwise useful metric “MPG”; mis-using it in in a way that makes “MPG” meaningless and useless.

        However, note that there are two mileage figures on the right side of the display: “108.0 mi” and “3.0 mi”, which adds up to 111 miles. So the real question here is: How can the Volt run 3 miles powered by its gas motor while registering “0.00 gal used” of gasoline?

        Makes no sense to me.

        1. Ryan says:

          A theory on this… when the car is operating as hybrid, sometimes it is using battery power and sometimes it is using gasoline. If he managed to go three miles after the regular battery ran out, and was able to do that entirely without engaging the engine, that might account for what we’re seeing here. If he was able to coast for three miles after the battery was exhausted… where would those miles show on the display?

          So it would be unfair to say those miles were driven by gasoline… when they weren’t.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I’ve never driven a Volt, but as I understand it, the Volt only registers gas-powered miles when the gas engine is actually running. So any miles driven while coasting would be counted as electric-powered miles.

            One could argue whether or not coasting should be ideally counted as “electric miles”, but this seems to me to be a reasonable way to count them. Even if the battery pack isn’t providing power to the motor while coasting, it’s still powering the other systems in the car.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              “I’ve never driven a Volt, but as I understand it, the Volt only registers gas-powered miles when the gas engine is actually running. So any miles driven while coasting would be counted as electric-powered miles.”

              NOT true.

              Once the Volt is switched to REx mode, even if the engine is not running, the miles are still counted as “gas mode mileage”. When the speed is below 18mph, the engine is shut off or during downhill or braking mode, the engine are shutoff and “hybrid mode” battery buffer will propel the car even though no gas is consumed.

              In addition, at least in first gen Volt, the gas consumption is measured in the increment of 0.03 gallons. If it didn’t consume that much, it won’t register. So, if the car traveled 3 miles and consumed less than 0.03 gallons, it would still show 0 gallon consumption. 3 miles for 0.03 gallons is about 100mpg. It probably mean it was mostly down hill or during regen for most of that 3 miles or ultra low speed.

      3. Epicurus says:

        “Could you imagine driving behind this idiot in traffic?”

        I’m surprised he’s still alive.

  9. jerryd says:

    This goes to show how you drive is very important to range.
    Not that I’d drive that way but somewhere in between most people and hypermiling.
    With a 50+ mile range the Volt is a nice improvement over the last generation.

  10. Just proves what I learned by having had a Volt. Range extenders are already obsolete.

    GM could have ditched the range extender, fuel tank and associated junk. Put a proper size battery UNDER the floor and now we don’t need no Bolt. Of course the gas addicts don’t want to hear that.

    1. Aaron says:

      Absolutely. And the Volt’s isn’t just a range extender, either. They added a bunch of complexity (the three-clutch system) “for efficiency sake”, so it’s really a PTEREVPTPHEV – part-time extended-range electric vehicle, part-time plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

      1. 2013VOLT says:

        I would classify it a mild hybrid.

        1. Breezy says:

          The Volt is most definitely not a mild hybrid.

        2. Lets call it a EVWC, EV With Crutch.

          Yes I know its saving gas from being burned. But shame on you GM…………..you can a whole lot better.

        3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          2013VOLT said:

          “I would classify it a mild hybrid.”

          The term “mild hybrid” is used in EV-related articles to mean those non-plug-in hybrid whose MPG ratings are only a handful of miles better than the straight gasmobile version. On the spectrum from pure gasmobile to pure EV (or BEV), they’re pretty close to straight gasmobile. The Volt is much closer to the BEV end of the spectrum.

          You can, of course, like Humpty Dumpty, use any word or term to mean anything you please. But you’ll only confuse others if you label the Volt a “mild hybrid”. The Volt is actually the most robust hybrid made today. It, unlike any other hybrid gasoline-electric car, is capable of operating equally well as either an EV or a gasmobile. Nothing “mild” about that!

      2. Breezy says:

        One of those clutches is a mechanical one way clutch. With two electronically controlled clutches, the Volt is much simpler than a four speed automatic.

        1. An electric motor is simpler still.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            Yes, but not as simple when you have to involve charging station maps, charging network maps and tow trucks…

            1. So tow trucks always carry that can of gas along for who????

              Tesla has proven your comments are without merit.

              Oh I too thought the range extender thing was a great way to go. But rate of change is accelerating faster and faster. So much so I shortly realized the whole range extender thing was already an obsolete idea.

              The level of technology already exists to build and to support pure EV’s. We just lack the will to demand manufactures build models to fit everyones needs.

              1. mike w says:

                your comments have little merit since you can not buy a new Model S for the cost of a new Volt.

                1. Fail Cells says:

                  or used

                2. RexxSee says:

                  I think he deserves a lot of merit, because he said the technology was ready. Actually it is since 2000. The killed off first wave of perfectly fine EVs prove it.

                  Now, for the price. Tesla is very small and HAS TO sell expensive cars while expanding like craz, investing all their profits to be able to produce 35k $ cars on a larger scale. It’s aim is 500,000 a year, and it’s the best they can do with their modest facilities. By comparison, GM has 99 manufacturing plants all over the world, and Ford produce 500,000 vehicles in less than two months.

                  Massive production and economy of scale IS a big deal to reduce the costs.
                  So, if they really wanted to, any established car maker could easily produce on a large scale BEVS at 20-25k $.
                  But this would kill their too lucrative business with dirty ol’ infernal pollution engine cars.

              2. ModernMarvelFan says:

                “Tesla has proven your comments are without merit.”

                Oh, really, are you telling me that Tesla have proven that I can drive anywhere right now without the access of supercharger and still fine?

                It just proves that without it, you still can’t get everywhere.

                Yes, it is improving now, but still not nearly as good as gas station coverage!

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Breezy said:

          “One of those clutches is a mechanical one way clutch. With two electronically controlled clutches, the Volt is much simpler than a four speed automatic.”

          Voltec is very far from “simpler”! The gearing system is much more complex than a normal gasmobile with an automatic transmission. Merely adding more gears to a transmission doesn’t make its operation more complex, because only one set of those gears are used at a time. Contrariwise, with Voltec, the complex gearing system, including planetary gears, is always engaged. And according to at least one Inside EV’s post-er, the Voltec 2.0 system is even more complex than Voltec 1.0.

          BTW — As I recall, Voltec 1.0 uses three clutches, not just two.

          Here’s a video showing the operation of Voltec 1.0, which gives you some idea of just how complex it is:

          1. Paul Stoller says:

            I’m not so sure a modern 6+ speed automatic transmission qualifies as simpler, look at this cutaway. It certainly looks more complex to me.


          2. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “Voltec is very far from “simpler”! The gearing system is much more complex than a normal gasmobile with an automatic transmission. Merely adding more gears to a transmission doesn’t make its operation more complex, because only one set of those gears are used at a time”

            Completely nonesense.

            If you had read the arguement that I had with Lensman or PuPu, you would know that you are far off base.

            Voltec is FAR simpler than a regular automatic transmission. It has less plantary gearset and number of clutches. A typical 4 speeds or higher transmission have far more parts and complexity than the Voltec.

            Voltec is only barely more complex than the Synergy drives with 3 clutches. Clutches are simple.

          3. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “Contrariwise, with Voltec, the complex gearing system, including planetary gears, is always engaged. And according to at least one Inside EV’s post-er, the Voltec 2.0 system is even more complex than Voltec 1.0”

            What? Do we need to go over this again?

            Voltec 1.0 only has 1 planetary gearset. That is simple!!!! Automatically transmission usually have # of gear/2 sets of planetary gearset. At least 1 if NOT more of them are engaged at all time.

            Yes, the new Voltec 2.0 Gearset is only slightly more complex due to the 2nd planetary gearset, but it has less clutches.

            Planetary gearset is simple and compact. Even a fixed 1 speed transmission/gearbox uses them!!!!

            Stop spreading the incorrect information.

            Study an internal of a 4/5/6/7/8/9 speed transmission and trace out the power path before you make the incorrect comment of complexity.

      3. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “part-time extended-range electric vehicle, part-time plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.”

        No, it is more a part-time EV and part time PHEV.

        Thus, EREV.

    2. Tom says:

      A big plus one…

      What a wasted effort it has been putting a “range extender” in the Volt…

      1. Michel says:

        Not so much a wasted of effort because that work so well and tha do the job it’s suppose to do. Efficient and trouble free. After 4 years of trouble free.
        Take a brake and go on some other blog with your negativity.

    3. Fabian says:

      So true. +1000

  11. jim stack says:

    All vehicles can get better miles on a charge or tank of fuel. It all depends on the lose nut behind the wheel. A smaller lighter vehicle is also more efficient.

    My ELF from Organic Transit DOT com can go almost forever. Electric is always the most efficient.

  12. Mark Fisher says:

    The picture of the dash readout shows “only” 108.0 miles on battery, with the rest of the miles on gasoline. Still, not too shabby!

  13. shane says:

    Congrats Wayne! I was going to do the same thing. It’s really simple, as others have said, just drive really slow (15-25 mph), don’t stop and leave the heat & a/c off. Same way they did it for the Tesla extreme range demo. Not a practical way to live life, but fun for setting records.

  14. ElectricPower says:

    Tesla Model S record is 232mpg on 530 mile range.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Huh? You are aware, I hope, that “MPG” means “Miles Per Gallon”, as in gallons of gasoline or diesel?

      I assure you, no Model S has ever driven any distance whatsoever powered by gasoline/ diesel!

      It’s bad enough that the metric “MPG” is misused by PHEV makers to include both electric-powered miles and gasoline-powered miles. It’s even worse when you use it to mean only electric-powered miles!

      Energy useage in a BEV is measured in kWh, not fake “gallons”.

      1. ElectricPower says:

        OK, 232 MPGe or 9kWh/62miles or 6.89miles/kWh

  15. Boris says:

    With my 2014 Nissan Leaf i was able to reach few times 5.5 miles/kWh if you use the 80% of the 24kwh battery which will be 19,2, that means at this tempo i easily could do 105 miles or 132 miles if i drain completely the battery. I drive always in B mode. Sometimes going slight downhill for few miles would result displaying of 6-7-8 miles/kwh. But in real world usage where you keep up with the traffic sometimes you can’t avoid highway speeds where the efficiency drops to 3 mi/kwh or even below then your average is about 4.2mi/kw. The new Volt is a big improvement but what EPA estimates 53 miles on 18.4kWh battery seems to be 2.8 mi/kWh even on 80% battery calculated still 3.6 mi/kw which is much lower average efficiency then Leaf unfortunately.

    1. John Hollenberg says:

      My lifetime average for my 2011 Leaf over 46,000 miles is 5.5 miles/KWh (on the dash). I have about 1600 feet gain and loss going to and from work. Not that hard to do. I usually drive 53-54 MPH on crowded freeways where one often has to drive significantly slower due to traffic.

      PS I am no hypermiler, I just drive conservatively and efficiently.

  16. Breezy says:

    Great job setting a record Wayne. I’m think people complaining about the impracticality of reaching these numbers are kinda missing the point of setting records.

  17. Terry says:

    This is good to hear about the new Volt. I was thinking the new Volt would achieve 70 miles on a charge. I have a 12 Volt and I got up to 50 miles on a charge. At that time I went about 70 miles because the 1st 20 miles were all downhill

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      This is a good example of why a proper, scientifically valid test of range should be a round trip, returning to the origin point, to average out any gains or losses from altitude changes.

      Reporting only the range when going downhill may produce bragging rights, but it’s neither an indication of a car’s energy efficiency nor of the driver’s hypermiling skill.

  18. ModernMarvelFan says:

    I am surprised that most people missed the important fact.

    14.3kWh used.

    Is that the “unofficial” usable range of the new battery?

    14.3kWh/18.4kWh is 77.7%. ~11% larger than the previous window.

    1. GRA says:

      14.0 kWh usable (out of 18.4 kWh total) is the official spec, but depending on speed, the individual battery etc. some people are able to get a bit more.

  19. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Those “hypermiling” range is rarely useful.

    But 111 miles compared with 84 miles before just shows the new powertrain efficiency gain and battery size.

    111-84 = 27 miles or 32% more.

    14.3kWh – 11kWh = 3.3kWh or 30% more. The extra 2% is probably from efficiency gain from the weight reduction, powertrain and tires.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      ModernMarvelFan said:

      “Those ‘hypermiling’ range is rarely useful.”

      Yeah, I wish the headlines for articles like this would have the word “hypermiler” or “hypermiling” in the title, because this is about the competition between hypermilers, not the competition between the cars.

      For example, a more accurate and more useful headline for this article would be “Hypermiler Reaches 108 Electric-Powered Miles in 2016 Volt”. Or maybe it was 108.9 miles, but according to the car’s display, 3 miles were gas-powered, so it wasn’t 111.9 miles or even 111 miles.

  20. james says:

    So after 38,000 miles in my Fusion Energi… I have a lifetime average 101.3 MPGe, running around 89% electric working 19 mils from home and charging twice a work day. Once on gas her hybrid mileage ranges from 40 – 70 (temp, speed, aggression, altitude delta are variables). Also: adaptive cruise control with high regen enabled is great for drafting and easily 20 MPG.

    So golfclap for the experiment, but difficult for real time all time driving. My number would be much poorer if I lived 25 miles from work.

    1. Lou says:

      Workplace charging can be such a game changer. My 2012 Volt gets me 54 miles in the summer (when no a/c is needed). I work 16 miles from work, so 9 months out of the year I can commute both ways(and have miles left over afterward). Wintertime(like today’s nine degrees F morning temperature and heater use) is a whole other ballgame. I’ll get about 25 miles today. If I had workplace charging, I’d easily do both halves of my commute 100% electric. Oh well, I can dream.