Chevy Volt Silences Gas Pumps For 8 Hours in California Where 20,000-Plus Volts Have Been Sold

5 months ago by Eric Loveday 25

Chevy Volt California Infographic

Chevy Volt California Infographic

The powers of the Chevy Volt extend far beyond your imagination.

Chevy Volt With HOV Access in California

Chevy Volt With HOV Access in California

Did you know that the Chevy Volt is capable of muting gas pumps?

According to General Motors, Chevy Volt owners in California (that’s where 40% of Volt owners reside) have clocked more than 130 million electric miles, thus avoiding the need for 7 million gallons of gas.

Pumping all that gas would’ve taken some 8 hours, so that’s where GM gets its “8 hours of muted gas pumps statewide” statement from.

Of note: If 40% of the US Chevy Volt owners live in California, then we can conclude that there are just over 20,000 Volt owners in the state (40% of the 50,240 Volts sold nationwide as of the end of October = 20,096).

GM’s press release adds these highlights to the discussion:

  • In total, Volt owners have driven more than 500 million miles with more than 320 million of those on grid electricity. Total savings: Almost 17 million gallons of gas.
  • Volt owners remain the most satisfied of any in the industry with the typical Volt owner averaging approximately 900 miles between gasoline fill ups to power the Volt’s on-board electric generator.
  • As Volt’s reputation has spread, more than seven in 10 buyers have come from other makes and are new to the Chevrolet family. Not surprisingly, the Toyota Prius is the most frequent trade-in for a Volt.

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25 responses to "Chevy Volt Silences Gas Pumps For 8 Hours in California Where 20,000-Plus Volts Have Been Sold"

  1. David Murray says:

    And just think.. There are plenty of other EVs besides the Volt. I wonder how long the gas pumps would have to go silent to account for all EVs in the state?

    1. James says:

      I thought 900 miles between fill ups was impressive… then I remembered I’m getting around 2300 on my Ford Fusion. :-D

      I’m not a hyper-miler, just luckily able to spend about 93% of my driving inside my EV range.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Your car must be new then… =)

      2. Nate says:

        Nice James. Its fun to have a plug in w/ enough range to cover your typical driving.

        The average EV% of our Volt started out at about 60% the day we rescued it off the lot — It had 150 miles and I don’t think they bothered to always keep it charged. Now my wife has a lifetime average up over 90% — just by doing the same driving she was already doing. Its been fun watching the % go up. The difference in our electric bill is trivial compared to the decrease in our gas bill. No hypermiling or change in habits required! I tried hypermiling before, and while I was able to improve my mpg, its nothing compared to how much fuel can be saved with a plugin.

        My co-worker asked about our Volt as she was interested in getting one too. I suggested besides checking out the Volt to also look at the 2 Energi models, because there are some pretty nice deals advertised on them as well now. Her typical daily driving is within the range of both the Energis, so the extra EV range of the Volt wouldn’t make much difference.

  2. Bob A says:

    320 million miles saves 17million gallons? That’s less than 20 mpg.

    Someone needs to edit their math.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Not our math…That’s a GM figure

      1. kdawg says:

        I forget the formula, but also remember the national avg is something like 25mpg, and the Volt gets 38mpg in its CS mode.

        1. GeorgeS says:

          The formula is easy.
          Divide miles by gallons :)

          1. Aaron says:

            Both the infographic and the GM figures are around 18 MPG. Are they short changing the Volt?

            1. Eric Cote says:

              I’m guessing the EPA approved formula requires them to factor in the equivalent MPGe of the Volt in electric only mode, or something ridiculous.

            2. ModernMarvelFan says:

              No, it looks better that way…

              320 Million mile for a 40 mpg car would be ONLY 8 million gallons.

              17 millions gallons looks better than 8 million gallons….

  3. Ian Porter says:

    17million gallons of gas pumped in 8 hours. Presume this must be from all of the gas pumps in Calif? Not a lot of time when you consider the amount of time the Volt has been in service.

  4. ModernMarvelFan says:

    The interesting part should be noted is that there are ONLY 40,000 HOV sticker in CA.

    We are NO where close in filling that. But there are over 20,000 Volts. (most of them are sold post 2011 where the HOV access is granted). So, it is OBVIOUS that most Volt owners aren’t buying the car for HOV stickers.

    But the same can’t be said for other PHEV cars in CA…

  5. Larry Schuler says:

    It’s NOT about how much gas was NOT pumped, or how long it wasn’t pumped.

    It IS all about how much CO2 was NOT produced while driving 130 million miles.

    Larry Schuler
    Austin, Texas

  6. Nate says:

    –The infographic shows 7 million miles.
    –The text from insideevs.com shows 17 million miles:

    So, which is right?

    If 130000000 ev miles saved 17000000 gallons, that would assume it replaced cars getting 7.6 mpg. I think that indicates this was a typo, and the infographic was the intended message.

    If the Volts replace cars that gets around 18.5 mpg, it would be saving about 7 million miles if driven around 130 million miles. Comparing the Volt to cars that just get 18.5 mpg may seem pretty generous. However, keep in mind though how many more gallons are saved at the low end, compared to the high end. Replacing the miles of 1 FSP with EV miles can make a bigger difference than replacing the mileage of a few efficient cars ICE/Hybrid car’s with EV miles instead.

    Personally, the 18.5 mpg assumptions is pretty close to the amount of gallons our EV miles have saved. My wife was driving our 01 Avalon almost entirely in the city, on a lot of relatively short trips. It was averaging just 19mpg (but has since gone up now that I drive it). She’s driven just over 3000 EV miles now, so 3000/19 = 157 gallons saved. We have still have yet to need to refill the Volt’s little tank since getting it this summer. Gotta love that!

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Both.

      The 7 million gallons (I believe that is what you mean anyway) is GM’s figure off of the 130 million all-electric miles, the 17 million gallons saved is from the cumulative nationwide figures (320 million miles)

      1. Nate says:

        Ah, thanks. I just read it again and see that. While assuming 18-19mpg fleet average of the cars it replaces may be debatable, at least their own numbers are consistent. Sorry to say it was a typo!

        1. Jay Cole says:

          It’s all good … it usually is a typo, (=

  7. Ocean Railroader says:

    This is interesting but I wounder what the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla are doing in terms of saving gas and if they where added to this. But another question I have about this story line is that is this thing about eight hours of gas pumping. Is this say out of a week of regular gas use in the state in a day or in a week or out of a month or even a year?

    1. Josh says:

      Tesla has reported (in relation to the fires) that ~100 million miles have been driven, as of October. The last number I saw on LEAF miles is less than the Volt (less cars on the road also). It will be interesting to see if the Model S electric miles can catch up to the Volt electric miles.

      Every SuperCharger trip from LA to San Fran is 10 full charges in a Volt, but I wonder how many of those trips are really being taken (as a percentage of Model S in the fleet).

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        I think Tesla could catch up to the Volt in that the Volt sales have kind of been a bit of a Turkey with them not really being able to get past 2000 to 3000 while Tesla sales are growing at a fairly good pace and are only limited by battery production which is holding it back.

  8. scott moore says:

    “In total, Volt owners have driven more than 500 million miles with more than 320 million of those on grid electricity. Total savings: Almost 17 million gallons of gas.”

    I call. GM does not know accurately if, or how long owners plugged the vehicles in before driving it. Or are they downloading actual car data? My guess is they “estimated” based on total reported mileage.

    This is, after all, a car which if never charged at all, just turns into a hybrid.

    1. Sully says:

      GM know exactly what each vehicle is doing. Charging, battery levels, tire pressures, gas tank levels and odometer readings are downloaded each day from each car through OnStar. That’s how http://www.voltstats.net gets their data…

  9. Martin T says:

    Very Impressive – Go Volt !
    I myself did 11 months on the original tank of fuel supplied with the car…

  10. Spec9 says:

    From what I see on the road, the Volt is getting pretty popular now in California. At first, the Leaf really dominated but with the price-cut, there are now a lot of Volt buyers. And extending the HOV lane status probably really helped its popularity.

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