Erick Belmer Becomes World’s First Chevrolet Volt Owner To Rack Up 100,000 Electric Miles

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 60

Erick Belmer's Volt Way Back When It Had Only 120,000 Miles

Erick Belmer’s Volt Way Back When It Had Only 120,000 Miles

Here at InsideEVs.com we’ve been following Erick Belmer and his high-mileage 2012 Volt for quite some time now. We’ve featured Belmer on numerous occasions:

World’s Highest Mileage Volt: 250,000-Mile 2012 Chevrolet Volt

Chevy Volt Owner Zips Past 120,000 Miles

2 Year Old Chevy Volt – 146,000 Miles and Counting

Exclusive: World’s First Chevy Volt To 200,000 Miles

A Tale Of Two Chevrolet Volts

How One Chevy Volt Owner Helped Another Volt Owner In Time Of Need

Belmer holds the Volt record for most total miles and most electric miles driven. Check out those stats and more here.

Erick Belmer Charging His Volt

Erick Belmer Charging His Volt – Image Via Erick Belmer

100,000 Electric Miles And Counting!

100,000 Electric Miles And Counting!

Belmer’s latest Volt achievement is another milestone worthy of sharing.

Belmer’s 2012 Volt now has more than one 100,000 electric miles on its odometer!  Total mileage is now at 281,320, which means that Belmer is closing in on one more milestone too…300,000 miles.

Voltstats Data For Belmer's Volt

Voltstats Data For Belmer’s Volt

As Belmer has told us in the past:

“Volt is holding up flawlessly! No noticeable battery capacity loss. Used 9.7 kw because it’s a 2012. I am so pleased with this vehicle!”

“The Volt was always my dream car! To get to drive it everyday is a dream come true! This car is Wonderfully engineered!”

These statements still hold true today.

Belmer adds that skeptic told him, “This car would never make it 100,000 miles without catching fire or needing a new battery!” To that, Belmer responds, “Wish i could have taken a selfie of me driving in my Full Fire Suit with Helmet cautiously watching my odometer as it turn 100,000 ev miles!  Not to mention the 281,000 total miles!”

Crossing 100,000 Electric Miles - Image Via Erick Belmer

Crossing 100,000 Electric Miles – Image Via Erick Belmer

But perhaps most importantly, Belmer says he has experienced no loss in electric-only range.

Belmer drives a ton, with the majority of his miles covered on gas, but another Volt owner by the name of Ari Colin (occasional InsideEVs.com contributor), has driven his Volt almost exclusively in electric mode and is nearing 100,000 electric miles too. Here’s a look at his stats:

Ari Colin's Volt

Ari Colin’s Volt

Ari Colin's Volt

Ari Colin’s Volt

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60 responses to "Erick Belmer Becomes World’s First Chevrolet Volt Owner To Rack Up 100,000 Electric Miles"

  1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Rather disappointing that despite all the statistics given in the charts above — many of which are unexplained and opaque to me — the simple metric of percentage of EV miles isn’t given.

    From 100,001.84 EV miles and 281,320.21 total miles, I get 35.55% EV miles. Rather disappointing as compared to the Volt fleet average of ~71%, but not that surprising considering it’s such a high mileage car, which presumably means a lot of long-range driving.

    For those who say that we don’t need PHEVs with a range longer than ~50 miles: Here is just one real-world example of why we need longer EV ranges in PHEVs! The Volt’s range shouldn’t be the top for PHEVs… it should be the bottom.

    1. RexxSee says:

      It is given EV%

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Oops… thanks for the correction.

    2. Brian says:

      Why would you design a car based on one guys experience. GM did a study and found that some high percentage of people in North America (something like 80%) drive around 36 miles per day. This one one of their battery sizing decision points. To say that we need PHEVs with much greater range than the Gen 2 or even the Gen 1 Volt is silly. Much more range and it may as well just be an EV.

      1. Texas FFE says:

        The problem of course is BEV charging infrastructure and the cost of batteries. People are paying a premium to have both a zero emissions vehicle and range security. I think as the charging infrastructure matures and battery price come down you will see a lot less people willing to pay the added cost of having two motor types in their car.

        1. SparkEV says:

          Following same train of thought, would people be willing to pay extra for 200 miles range EV when 100 miles (or even 80 miles) is enough for their needs when plenty of DCFC is available? If there’s DCFC every 2 miles, range anxiety wouldn’t be an issue.

          1. Texas FFE says:

            There is always going to be a market for entry level, shorter range and lower cost BEVs. As the electric vehicle market matures we should see auto manufacturers come out with BEVs based on multiple platforms with multiple performance options just like we see with gas powered cars now.

          2. philip d says:

            I agree somewhat but I think with plenty of fast chargers AND the ability for EV owners to occasionally go out of town where they can travel at interstate speeds for 2-3 hours (150-200 miles)is the breaking point for mass adoption.

            Even where Tesla is today with the 90D would satisfy pretty much everyone, even the naysayers, if the Supercharger recharging times could drop to a full charge in ~20 minutes or so.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “To say that we need PHEVs with much greater range than the Gen 2 or even the Gen 1 Volt is silly.”

        That’s about as forward-thinking as Bill Gates saying, in 1981, “640K ought to be enough for anybody”.

        In another few years, your assertion here will look just as silly.

        “Much more range and it may as well just be an EV.”

        Gosh, I thought the last two letters in “PHEV” indicated the Volt is an EV. Silly me… [/snark]

        1. asik says:

          Well, Bill Gates didn’t actually say that. But even if he did, it wouldn’t be sufficient reason to think PHEVs will need greater EV range in the future. It’s not enough to provide an analogy, to make an argument you need show why the analogy is relevant.

          And it certainly doesn’t seem relevant. The average autonomy of ICE cars has not changed significantly for a long time now. Driving habits have not changed significantly either. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to think that PHEV EV range will need to grow in the coming years. At some point if you keep adding EV range it begs the question of why do you need a gasoline range extender in the first place, so maybe longer-range PHEVs don’t even make sense.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “There doesn’t seem to be any reason to think that PHEV EV range will need to grow in the coming years.”

            Can you really have missed the fact that all the leading EV makers are or will be offering longer EV range within their next two model years? That includes the Volt. Obviously EV makers don’t agree with you.

            “At some point if you keep adding EV range it begs the question of why do you need a gasoline range extender in the first place, so maybe longer-range PHEVs don’t even make sense.”

            When BEVs can recharge in 10 minutes or less, and when super-fast-charge stations are almost as easy to find as gas stations today, then PHEVs will no longer make sense.

            PHEVs are a compromise, a bridge to the time when the EV revolution is complete, when most new cars will be pure electric vehicles.

    3. Yup says:

      This guy has almost 300,000 miles on a 2012 vehicle. If an average driver puts on 12,000 miles per year (or 48,000 mile for a 4 year old car), then he drives nearly six times as much as average. Designing a car based on his driving pattern would be absurd.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Yup said:

        “Designing a car based on his driving pattern would be absurd.”

        I agree. Seems odd that at least three of my readers inferred that into what I posted above.

        Meanwhile, in the real world, the industry standard for gasmobiles is cars with a large enough fuel tank to power the car for a minimum of 300 miles. Anybody who thinks that sales of plug-in EVs are going to overtake sales of gasmobiles before their average range is at least 300 miles… is ignoring reality pretty firmly.

        And I don’t buy the idea that people who buy PHEVs, as opposed to BEVs, somehow actually want significantly less all-electric mileage. They just want the security of being able to switch to gas power when the battery runs low.

        Look at i3 sales: Most sales include the optional REx range extender, even as crippled as it is. Similarly, for the Tesla Model S, most sales are for the longer range, 85 (or 90) kWh version… not the shorter-range 60/70 kWh version, even though the price is substantially higher for the longer range.

        Those who say that EV buyers — both BEV buyers and PHEV buyers — don’t need more range, or say they aren’t willing to pay for more range, are ignoring both actual sales figures and common sense pretty firmly.

      2. ~180,000 gas miles at 37 MPG (EPA value) and $3.00 per gallon (guess of average price 2012-2015 … ~$2—$4) would be 4,865 gallons gasoline costing ~$14,600.

        A 2016 Volt (42 MPG vs 37 MPG) would potentially save $1,972 in gas.
        ($14,600 * (42-37)/37).

        As a reference, the extra 5 miles would require ~1.4 kWh of battery capacity (or efficiency improvements) … 5 miles / 3.5 miles per kWh. This just a data point … specific to this Volt, not based on average Volt fleet use.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Why use EPA number when his ACTUAL EFFICIENCY numbers are listed above… 38.69mpg in gas mode.

    4. Gosh says:

      This is an example of a very sad life. He spends most of his waking hours behind the wheel of a car. I feel sorry for this guy.

      1. Breezy says:

        He doesn’t need you to feel sorry for him.

        He has a long commute, but I don’t think his qualifies as a “very sad life.” He made some choices with his family. 110 miles each way is hardly most of his waking hours.

        1. Jacked says:

          With all that driving he will be too drained to enjoy the time he spends with his family.

          I feel sorry for him as well. Nobody should have to drive that much unless it is part of their job.

        2. pat b says:

          110 miles each way…

          That’s 4 hours a day, add in 9 hours at work,
          an hour getting showered and ready to leave in the morning, and an hour getting changed at home and taking another shower, that’s not a lot of family time during the week….

          There are people in DC who have these ultra-commutes, they vanpool from somewhere over the mountains, it’s not my idea of fun. I’d rather lose 30-45 minutes, preferably on the subway.

          1. Mike says:

            You must take a lot of long showers.

            I’ll bet his actual commuting time is closer to 3hrs and he gets out the door in 30 minutes or less every day. When you have a long commute, you don’t screw around. It’s no different from my neighbor’s (and thousands like him) commute to Manhattan every day.

        3. Novaks47 says:

          Welcome to the life of a Californian. More and more people here are commuting 100+ miles one way each day. Heck, I’m almost at half that, at 47 miles one way. Gotta do what you’ve gotta do!

      2. Ziv says:

        Gosh, judging from the photos and from his statements in this and other articles, this is a thoughtful, caring man that is living a very good life. Having to drive a few more miles than most is a very small part of his life.

    5. Tim says:

      There was another article on Hybridcars that states he drives 220 miles Round trip to work each day at a GM plant he gets home and work charging but that where he gets such high miles and EV miles so quickly.

    6. Sri says:

      Sparkie is an outlier, because its a 110 mile one way commute, with access to charging at work. This is not a common case, because its an outlier it makes an interesting test case for durability and cost of owner etc. This car is a testament to Volt’s durability and near maintenance free experience, oil change for 38,000 miles. You need to take second away from purist snobbery and just appreciate the moment. The longer range PHEV may come based on market demand.

    7. ClarksonCote says:

      As noted, the statistic is there.

      I don’t understand your argument that we need longer range electric PHEV’s because of this one datapoint.

      This individual falls at the very far end of the bell curve, and yet, all his analysis shows he’s saving more with the Volt than any other vehicle would.

      If one person makes a 2000 mile trip every day, does that necessitate a vehicle with a 2000 mile gas tank?

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        It’s amazing how many people have posted arguments against something I didn’t actually say. I didn’t say that GM should design the Volt for the very few people whose daily commute is 110 miles each way. What I was trying to point out is that there are a great many people for whom the oft-cited figure of 40 miles per day is wholly inadequate, yet a lot of those people still may choose to buy a PHEV. For that reason alone, even ignoring all the other common sense reasons: It is not only desirable but inevitable that EV makers will offer longer ranges in PHEVs.

        The industry standard for gasmobiles is the ability to go 300 miles or more before refueling. Anybody who thinks that an all-electric range of 35 to 50 miles in a PHEV will remain the maximum, anyone who thinks that car buyers won’t choose a longer range if it’s made available, is ignoring very clear evidence of buyer preference for longer electric ranges in EV sales.

        Ignoring reality very firmly indeed.

    8. Kacey Green says:

      also they should stop with the pathetic 3 KW chargers 6-10 is reasonable today, this should be a 2 hour to full charge car

  2. M Hovis says:

    Four years and 100,000 miles with no loss of range is significant.

    Of course there is battery degradation that is not seen on the Volt, for all batteries degrade over both time and cycles of use.

    However, all batteries that do not fully charge or fully discharge last longer. For this reason, the early Volt batteries are gonna be around for awhile.

    Looking forward to seeing sparky at 150,000 EV miles and then at eight years if he still has this Volt.

    1. scottf200 says:

      Re: all batteries that do not fully charge or fully discharge last longer —
      Which seems to be the case for Gen I Volts real battery SOC range of 22%-87%. 3.8 years on mine and I can’t tell of battery degradation either.

  3. Chip says:

    This is excellent news – 100,000 electric miles and nearly 200,000 gas miles in a Volt.

    GM is missing a marketing opportunity here.
    GM should feature satisfied Volt owners in Volt advertising.

    GM should instruct Erick’s dealership to invoice GM R&D for his servicing costs.

    GM should buy-back Erick’s Volt in exchange for the first 2017 Volt off the production line. GM R&D should measure engine wear & battery performance. The car should then go on display in a Chevrolet dealership & at car shows to support the marketing of the new Volt.

    The increased electric range of the new Volt will make a difference to potential buyers with a long commute which is a marketing angle for GM.

    1. DocDragon says:

      Exactly my thoughts. Toyota did the same with a Prius driven 400,000 miles by a Canadian can driver (if my memory serves me correctly). R&D could get so much valuable info from such cars driven under real world conditions!

      1. DocDragon says:

        … Meant to type “cab,” not “can” driver. 😉

  4. DL says:

    Am I right in saying that this article and these statistics only include those cars who have signed up for Voltstats? That’s a very small percentage of the overall Volt population.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      volt-stats.net has 1463 entries. How many do you think it takes to have a reasonable sample size? I don’t know what size is considered statistically significant by statisticians, but I don’t think any bigger usable sample size is available for the Volt, or any other EV. By comparison, Consumer Reports seems to think that ~600 survey responses is a large enough sample to rate cars, and the volt-stats.net sample size is significantly larger than that.

      volt-stats.net has, I think, the highest rate of people publicly posting statistics of any set of EV drivers. There used to be stats reported on the official GM site, presumably stats for the entire Volt fleet, but those were so erratic and changed so abruptly at times that I can’t believe they were a good reflection of reality. But for the record, if I recall correctly, the EV percentage reported there averaged out to about 2/3… that is, around 66-67%, or about 4-5% lower than volt-stats.net shows. So it may well be that those who choose to self-report stats to volt-stats.net are slightly more motivated to make more of their driving miles EV miles than the average Volt driver.

      1. bro1999 says:

        Normally a 1,000+ sample size would be more than enough to extrapolate data for the entire population. However, voltstats most likely has very high sampling bias. It isn’t a random sample of 1,463 Volt owners….it is 1,463 Volt owners that decided to manually signup for voltstats. This also most likely means the majority of these voltstats users are enthusiasts that are more knowledgeable of the Volt and EVs than the average owner.

        As a result, even the voltstats data would not be appropriate to extrapolate figures for the overall Volt population….but it’s the best we’ve got to go off of.

        btw, I am studying Predictive Analytics at NW, so I have a slight clue what I’m talking about. 😉

        1. SparkEV says:

          So true. Biggest factor by far would be to remove bias. In that regard, much of anecdotes from InsideEV forum posters on how well their vehicle performs may not extrapolate to “normal” drivers, including some of my findings (ie, 4 mi/kWh for SparkEV).

          But it’s sad to see most of general public so clueless, including EV drivers. Many think kiloWatt is different unit from 1000 Watt or don’t know how to find Watt from Volt and Amp! And forget about discussing RMS vs peak.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          bro1999 said:

          “…voltstats most likely has very high sampling bias. It isn’t a random sample of 1,463 Volt owners….it is 1,463 Volt owners that decided to manually signup for voltstats. This also most likely means the majority of these voltstats users are enthusiasts that are more knowledgeable of the Volt and EVs than the average owner.”

          Well, common sense does suggest that those who sign up to have their data automatically forwarded to volt-stats.net are more likely to be interested in the data shown there… which, arguably, may make them more likely than the average Volt driver to be aware of how their driving affects the data reported, which in turn may suggest they try harder to maximize EV miles than the average Volt driver.

          But your assertion that volt-stats has “a very high sampling bias”… well, I’d like to know just why you say that, because it seems to me that just signing up to have your car automatically report data doesn’t indicate that strong a sampling bias. I don’t see that this is at all similar to the bias from people with strong feelings about a particular consumer product, either good or bad, who seek out a public forum (either on the Internet or elsewhere) to either praise or condemn that product.

          But this is your area of study, not mine; so I’d like to learn more about your thoughts on the subject.

          1. bro1999 says:

            To be more precise, the bias I am speaking about is officially coined “response bias”. If we think of signing up for a voltstats account the same as signing up to take a survey, we have already introduced response bias into the survey, with the “respondents” being new voltstats members.
            Not all new Volt owners are informed that the voltstats website exists….this is information they have to find out on their own. I am just speaking in general terms, but the people who go the extra mile to signup for a voltstats account are also probably people that will “go the extra (EV) mile” compared to the “average” Volt owner.

            To minimize sampling error, a truly random sample of Volt owners would need to be selected to obtain non-biased data.

            It could be that the figures compiled from voltstats due in fact describe the overall Volt population, but the margin of error is much higher, as there exists some response bias.

        3. Jpn says:

          Volt stats is not the only data being collected. 100% of all the volts are being collected via onstar. One reason for the free 3 year onstar subscription. Gm has 100% sample rate

          1. bro1999 says:

            And according to the GM/Onstar data, the EV miles % and EV trip % numbers are lower than the corresponding voltstats fleet numbers, though I can’t find the exact figures.

          2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Jpn said:

            “Volt stats is not the only data being collected. 100% of all the volts are being collected via onstar. One reason for the free 3 year onstar subscription. Gm has 100% sample rate”

            Yes, but as I said upstream, the public reporting of the sums for that data is highly suspect. There’s no logical reason for the reported percentage of EV miles to jump several percentage points from one day to the next or one week to the next. Logically, it looks like only part of the data is being reported, and that the totals are updated only sporadically.

            For the volt-stats.net data, we can look at the individual entries, not just the sums. So anyone who took the time to do so could verify that the sums there are accurate.

            Bottom line: Sampling bias isn’t the only problem with survey data, or with vote counting. Erratic, inconsistent, or incomplete data collection is IMHO just as big a problem, if not a greater one. Despite any sampling bias, it appears to me that the volt-stats.net figures are more reliable.

            Just my opinion of course, but from a discussion of this exact subject on another forum, I know I am not alone in that opinion.

  5. Andrew says:

    He has spent around 15-20k on gas over those miles. That plus the initial price of the early Volt approaches a low end Tesla. Once he can affordable purchase an EV with sufficient range, he will pay for itself in eliminating the gas consumption. Better to do that than to run this Volt another 4-5 years (though it is an interesting experiment).

    1. pat b says:

      true dat but he works at a GM plant, they won’t let you onto a GM site driving a car not made by GM…

      unless he wants to buy the Tesla and then park a beater somewhere close, he’s stuck…

  6. Speculawyer says:

    WOW! That car has more than earned its retirement.

  7. Ari Colin says:

    Erick and I drive our Volts in a complete opposite manner. I never deplete my battery to the point of switching to gasoline (CS mode). Erick does at least twice a day. Last time that happened was in May 2012. I too see no loss of range. If anyone would know, it would be me in my goal to always drive 100% EV.

    1. SparkEV says:

      How far do you deplete the battery in typical driving? It would seem that Erick’s volt would have worse degradation if it’s closer to depletion twice a day vs yours which is almost never. If his isn’t showing degradation, yours wouldn’t, no?

      1. Ari Colin says:

        Depends on the time of year. During the summer I can have about 8-10 miles remaining most of the time. When it is colder, I can frequently did into the low digits. I have coasted home a few times with 0 miles remaining with maybe 0.1 kWh left.

    2. Speculawyer says:

      Why did you buy a Volt?

  8. Matthias Amrein says:

    With the new Volt, the EV% would have gone from 35.5% to 50%. sweet 🙂

  9. Fool Cells says:

    i wish i could buy a new Volt. Have to wait until March?

  10. pat b says:

    given Erick works for GM, i hope he’s going to upgrade to the 2016 Volt, that range increase will be good for him

  11. Andrew says:

    Since Erick can charge at work, GM should trade him a new Bolt when available so they can research his Volt, and get early high mileage data as quickly as possible on the Bolt.

    1. mhpr262 says:

      They should GIVE him a 2016 and make him a test driver. Priceless real life data.

  12. mhpr262 says:

    Poor bastard, 352km every day. For my last job I had to commute just 110km every day and it was a miserable experience.

  13. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Wow. Nice Job!

    This shows that 2012 Volt is one of the most well built car in the GM history… =)

    Hopefully mine would make that far. I am only about 51K miles into my 2012 Volt and has over 43K EV miles.

  14. Bill Howland says:

    I can’t fathom what most people are talking about here.

    The car went 100,000 miles charging and discharging with no battery degredation.

    The car also went 300,000 miles, apparently without an overhaul (although I would be curious as to any major expenses – if there were, this article didn’t mention it).

    But if that is true – 300,000 miles with no major expenses, as well as 100,000 miles with no degredation, I don’t see what the verbal diarhea types are complaining about.

    There was one roadster owner in Germany who had close to 100,000 miles on the battery. Unfortunately, the car went from a 243 mile range to 58. Over only 3 years.

    It should go without saying that a 300,000 mile driver is going to use the engine. He doesn’t seem to be complaining about it.

    The BOTTOM LINE is the car is not just a fine EV, its one of the best and safest cars made, that also happens to be an EV, and the fact that it was intelligently designed for robustness from even the conception stage is proved by the experience here.

    1. Ziv says:

      Bill, for the first three+ years Volts were being produced not one driver or passenger died in a traffic accident in a Volt. I think it was April or May of last year that a GM spokesman noted that, so there may have been a traffic fatality since then, but the Volt seems to be built like a brick sh**-house when it comes to protecting its passengers.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        You said it right..

        I wonder if Mr. Belmer would mind telling us ALL of his non-trivial expenses, such as:

        In 300,000 miles:

        How many oil changes (I’d guess 13)?

        How many sets of tires (I’d guess 8)?

        How many brake jobs (I’d guess 2)?

        How many radiator flushes (I’d guess 2)?

        I bet that on a ‘per mile’ basis, Mr. Belmer’s car breaks a Guinness Record as to how low the operating cost per mile is, when you include replacement parts.

        I know Chevy Impalas of the same year generally wear out their transmissions just after the warranty expires, so I’d guess if Mr. Belmer had bought a 2011 Impala,

        He’d be on his THIRD $4000 transmission (parts and labor).

        He’d be on his SECOND engine (($$ ???))

        He’d probably need way more then just 2 brake jobs that I estimated for his volt (not knowing his driving style, CHEVY estimates Volt brakes will last TWICE as long as a normal car).

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          I remember that when he had 265K miles, he only did 6 oil changes. So, I assume he only has 2 more at 300k miles?

          The stock Goodyear has been known to make to 50K miles (mine did). So, I assume 5 sets since the original set that comes with the car?

          Brakes on my Volt has been almost brand new in over 50K miles. It is not even warm after most of my trips due to driving in L mode with max regen. So, I would assume maybe 1 brake job since new…

          I think this is probably truly amazing.

          GM should buy the car back around 500K or 1 Millions miles to study the parts since it is the best piece of “real world experiment” you can run.

  15. ModernMarvelFan says:

    BTW, 100K miles @ 35 miles each charge is about 2858 charging cycles.

    I guess that is nothing considering the rumor is that Volt battery pack is rated for about 6,000 cycles. =)