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

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 67

Erick Belmer's Volt Now Over 200,000 Miles

Erick Belmer’s Volt Now Over 200,000 Miles

Erick Belmer's 200,000-Plus Mile Chevy Volt

Erick Belmer’s 200,000-Plus Mile Chevy Volt

One year ago, InsideEVs reported on Erick Belmer, proud owner of a Chevy Volt.  Back then, the focus was on how Belmer’s Volt had at least 20,000 miles more than the highest mileage LEAF in the U.S.

Four months later, we updated the Belmer story with a post on how his Volt was celebrating its second birthday with over 146,000 miles on the odometer.

Belmer is once again featured here for a world’s first: 200,000 miles on a Chevy Volt.

First, some backstory:

Erick Belmer is the proud owner of a 2012 Volt,

As Belmer tells InsideEVs, the Volt was purchased on March 28, 2012.  Since then, it’s seen a daily commute of 220 miles there and back, with a single longest trip of 430 miles in a day.

Oil changes come every 38,000 miles and tire rotations every 10,000 miles.  That’s basically all the maintenance that’s been required on Belmer’s Volt.

200,004 Miles On The Odometer

200,004 Miles On The Odometer – Image Via Erick Belmer

Now onto Belmer’s 200,000-mile achievement. Belmer drives too much, so getting in touch with him isn’t exactly easy.  However, Belmer has this to say of the condition of his Volt today:

“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!”

Our congrats go out to Erick and to the General Motors crew responsible for the Chevy Volt.

Erick Belmer With 200,000-Mile Chevy Volt - Image Via Erick Belmer

Erick Belmer With 200,000-Mile Chevy Volt – Image Via Erick Belmer

You can check out Volt Stats for more details on Belmer’s Volt (aka Sparkie).

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67 responses to "Exclusive: World’s First Chevy Volt To 200,000 Miles"

  1. iwatson says:

    Lifetime MPG is 61.46 miles per gallon. Just pointing this out for those that still like to boast about Prius mpg. After 220 miles a day and 200,000 miles in less than 3 years. For normal people like me that drive 40-50 miles per day, this car beats the Prius hands down. Mu car (Tennesseejoule) has a lifetime average of 153 mpg

    1. Brian says:

      Yeah, and notice that his CS MPG is only 39.28, which is right in line with EPA estimate. Now imagine what the Gen II Volt will be able to achieve if it gets 50 miles AER and 45 MPG CS!

      The Prius is well-engineered but the Volt is genius! It’s a shame the average car buyer doesn’t get it (for which I blame GM for failing to advertise it properly).

      1. Victor says:

        Brian,
        GM can sell sand to someone in the desert. I know that, and most people know that. The Chevy Volt is a great car. But the way GM needs to advertise it is through people like you. When I meet a Chevy owner in the parking lot of a Walmart and they tell me how great a car the Chevy Volt is, that’s more believable than anything General Motors says.

        1. Brian says:

          FWIW, I advocate for the Volt whenever I can, and I don’t even drive one! When people ask me about my Leaf, the issue of range frequently comes up. Rather than convince them that 84 miles is enough, the Volt makes a great response. I tell people it’s an electric car for 40 miles and then a hybrid for 300 miles and they mostly get it.

          1. kdawg says:

            Brian said “Yeah, and notice that his CS MPG is only 39.28”
            ———-

            I don’t think “only” is the correct word. People like to say that alot. “The Volt only gets 38mpg in CS mode”. Remember this is better than every non-hybrid car. 38~40mpg is nothing to sneeze at. Just because a copple hybrids can do a little better doesn’t diminish how good this is. I say a little better, because once you get over 35mpg, increases don’t mean as much, when it comes go gallons used. That is, until you hit triple digits like most Volt owners get when you account for the pure EV miles.

            1. Brian says:

              Yes, “only” was said a little tongue-in-cheek. The point I was really trying to make is that despite getting about 40MPG in CS mode, even this heavy user managed to do far better than a Prius in overall MPG. The point is that CS MPG actually matters very little to much Volt drivers. It really doesn’t affect overall gas usage much because you aren’t using the engine in the first place for so many miles.

              There is a lot of clamoring for a better CS MPG in the Gen II Volt. While it would be an improvement, it would be a minor one. The biggest improvement GM needs to make in order to reduce fuel usage is to increase sales of the car! It is already leaps and bounds better than the best (non-plug-in) hybrid.

        2. unbiased says:

          This may be true for conventional cars, but I’m not sure that they could sell water in the desert when it comes to plug-ins.

        3. QCO says:

          I think GM Volt advertising will change significantly for the better when Volt 2 is available.

          They’ve made a big investment in cost reduction to price it right and make it profitable, so the sales are needed to payback the investment.

      2. Scott says:

        Sorry, That is the fake mpg value that does not take into consideration any of the electricity that was used. The MPGe was 50. The combined average efficiency was less than 40. So the efficiency on the gas engine is well below that at about 36 mpg which is typical for the Volt.

    2. CherylG says:

      When comparing to a Prius, the correct figure to use is MPGe, which in this particular Volt was 49.63 MPGe.

      The average across a total of 700 different 2012 Prius on Fuelly is 51.8 MPG

      The 2012 Volt was rated at 94 MPGe. This Volt returned 49.63.

      1. Brian says:

        MPGe is a measurement of the energy used, but not all energy is created equal. Electricity is superior to gasoline in terms of source (e.g. domestic versus imported), cost, and environmental impact.

        MPG is a measure of the gasoline used, ignoring the electricity. So Erick absolutely burned less gas than he would have in a Prius. He did so by using electricity as well.

        The Volt is rated 94MPGe for a typical use case, but will vary much more than a car like a Prius. Erick is so far from a typical use case, that he averaged far below 94.

        Now go troll somewhere else.

        1. CherylG says:

          Given that Ohio generates 69% of its electricty from coal, it would appear that the Prius is not only more efficient, but it also uses a cleaner energy source of energy.

          The Prius doesn’t use any coal.

          1. OppChg says:

            I don’t think anyone disputes that the Prius is “more efficient” when running on gasoline than the Volt is when running on gasoline alone. The Prius is much lighter (almost 800 lbs) and long list of performance, design, and safety deficiencies compared to Volt, so one would hope it would at least be more efficient on gas.

            However to simply claim gasoline is “a cleaner energy source of energy” just because the Prius hybrid is able to use it efficiently is confusing pollution with efficiency. Even with Ohio’s coal-heavy grid, as of 2014, an EV pollutes like a 43 mpg gasoline-only car. (Source: Union of Concerned Scientists) Compare that to an average 24 mpg vehicle, or a 28 mpg compact car. Even on 100% coal, and EV pollutes at 33 mpg equivalent. So clearly gasoline is not simply or inherently “a cleaner source of energy”

            But a Prius in Ohio is still running a bit cleaner than a Volt in Ohio right? Because the “Prius doesn’t use any coal”, right??

            Not so fast: Gasoline doesn’t just magically appear at the gas station having just been pumped out of the ground, it has to be refined, which is an energy-intensive process that is around 90% efficient. And around 15% of the energy used in refining comes from…you guessed it…ELECTRICITY. (the other 85% from natural gas and a little bit of other fossil fuels) So there is in fact a bit of coal in every gallon of gasoline you use. And there are HUGE refinery complexes in Ohio (one alone refines 25% of the gasoline sold in the state) polluting and consuming huge amounts of local energy to turn oil into gasoline. Energy that could have instead been used more directly to power an inherently MORE EFFICIENT electric car.

            Remember that 90% refining efficiency? That means ~10% energy loss, so in fact the 50 mpg Prius is actually polluting more like a 45 mpg car when refining is included. Not much better than an Ohio grid charged 43 mpg EV, if at all.

            And that’s in coal heavy Ohio. In most places (60% where people live according to UOCS recent data) even the Prius is more polluting and so no contest against an EV in both efficiency and “fueling cleanliness”. So enjoy your tiny little +2 mpg cheryl-picked “more efficient” victory for now, because it will be as fleeting as the current low gasoline prices, as the national grid mixes continue to get cleaner and cleaner each year, and oil gets harder and harder to extract and refine.

            1. Mike says:

              You could say Ohio Wind is helping generate Ohio gas.

              1. Mike says:

                Whereas with an EV, Ohio Wind goes Directly to the EV.

          2. Bill Howland says:

            That’s only a point to be made if you don’t like Coal Power plants, which I happen to.

            CherylG, please don’t try to play the Pseudo environmentalist here, we have plenty of those already. Its quite transparent that you work for an environmentally ‘friendly’ company like Corexit or “Beyond Petroleum”.

            Friendly in the sense that any pollution you cause gets shuffed off on the general public, and your honest competitors are killed by taxes, which you lobby for: on THEM.

            What you say doesn’t apply in NY state, under 3% of our electricity is from Coal, and from my house it all comes from Solar Panels, when you include my neighbors into the mix.

            1. Mike says:

              Anyone know here I can get the:
              World Oil Tanker Fleet Count?
              – The steal quantity needed to build the tankers?
              – The coal energy needed to refine the steal?
              – The energy used to transport the tanker fleet for one year?
              – The salary expense of the world tanker crew?
              – The yearly depreciation expense of the tanker fleet?
              – The insurance cost for one year?

          3. Raymondjram says:

            Does that Prius have its own gas source? No, so every vehicle in the U.S that uese gas also uses electricity (including in the home of the owner) and as such also uses coal. DOn’t try to “dirty” the electric cars, because the Prius is dirtier!

      2. James says:

        Cheryl, a 212 mile commute is not the norm. Maybe someone with those needs may get better total MPG in a Prius vs. a Volt in those conditions. Most of us have a much shorter commute, and in those situations, the economy of a Volt vs. a standard Prius hybrid or plug-in is much better. Say if you commuted 25 miles to work each day – you would literally blow any Prius out of the water mileage-wise.

        Add to the equation – driving dynamics. What are driving dynamics? They are the factors that make a car feel solid, confidant and poised on the road – the factors that differentiate a “solid” car from a car ( like Prius ) that feels light, possibly “cheap” or plasticky, and a bit less than say, a competitively-priced conventional gas car. Anyone like me, who own both a Volt and Prius, know that a Prius is a compromise we make to get high gas mileage. If I were to pick a car that corners flat, doesn’t lapse into traction-control flatline when a wheel spins in a puddle, and feels solid, it would not be a Prius. The Volt soars above Prius in that it feels like a “normal” car. It corners flat and sure, it feels planted on the road and never fails to accelerate without a burp like Prius does. People who know cars say Volt drives like a car, not a gas-saving compromise. When a Prius’ gas engine starts up 45 seconds after I press the START button in a parking lot, even when I have a full drive battery – I frown. The Volt, on the other hand, will start, roll and keep driving silently, all electric through that same parking lot – because GM lets it run off it’s buffer, even when the drive battery has reached CS mode! These are differences GM needs to point out to potential Prius buyers.

        Again, GM needs to market Volt vs. Prius – period. Enough “teaching” the public how it works! It’s not rocket science.

        1. CherylG says:

          Thanks! I’m glad someone else understands the meaning of MPGe and therefore understands that a Prius would have been a more efficient solution in this case.

      3. ClarksonCote says:

        You picked some random data points and then strung them together incorrectly CherylG.

        The 94MPGe reference is the EPA estimate for electric only operation (not including gas). So a person that never or rarely uses gasoline in their Volt (and yes there are many) is using energy as efficiently as a theoretical someone who could get 94MPG on a normal gas vehicle.

        MPGe is an attempt to measure the energy usage independent of fuel source. The fact is, the MPG that this person obtained absolutely means that he used less gasoline than a Prius would use. Combined with fewer oil changes, this person’s cost to operate his Volt is much lower than a Prius hybrid, despite his much longer than normal commute.

        It proves that a 40 mile EV with a gas engine to go further (i.e. the Volt) can use less gasoline and cost less to operate even driving 200,000 miles in a short number of years.

        My Volt’s commuting pattern is what I would expect to be more “average”… I take a 750 mile round trip a few times a year, and otherwise typically drive 40 miles or less per day. The result is 110MPG; I drive 110 miles for every gallon of gasoline I put in my car. I love it.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Also CherylG, care to comment on the Volt named “Volt1@CleanFuture.us” on VoltStats.net?

          In a year, it has driven 32,399 miles, 31,800 of which have been on electricity.

          It is getting 1,819MPG. How’s that compare to a Prius? 🙂

          1. Ari Colin says:

            I am at 63,000+ miles, all but 139.5 are on electric and I am over 4,100 MPG.

            Not your typical case, but shows what is possible.

            http://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/371

            1. ClarksonCote says:

              Another great datapoint Ari. I love the average and median of all the individual results on VoltStats. It really goes to show you that the Volt is well-designed to reduce the majority of fuel use for typical daily driving.

              Voltstats.net data from 1800 Vehicles:
              Average MPG: 124.4
              Median MPG: 156.8

        2. Get Real says:

          You nailed it Clarkson, CherylG makes “stuff” up a lot!!!

      4. OppChg says:

        CherylG: 2012 Volts average on Fuelly is 91.7 MPGe. Why do you selectively omit that data? Oh yeah, that’s right, it’s called cherry picking 🙂

        (On voltstats since 2012 which has many thousands of Volts’ data, Volt MPGe monthly aveages have fluctuated between ~56 and 71 MPGe, depending on the time of year. This uses the owners’ actual gasoline mpg but only uses the 98 MPGe EPA rating for the electric miles)

        1. OppChg says:

          Correction: I meant “2012 Volts average on Fuelly is 91.7 *MPG* not MPGe, which of course would be lower, but still likely quite a bit higher than the 51.8 of the 2012 Prii.

        2. Stephen says:

          It should be called Cheryl picking

      5. krona2k says:

        How about fuel cost per mile? That’s what people really care about and the Volt wins troll.

      6. Bill Howland says:

        CherylG, – you’re probably paid by a gasoline group or refinery group to be here and be totally negative about everything the slightest bit ‘electric’ all the time.

        I try to support you when you have valid points but here your argument falls flat. THe point of this article is How Long Lived the car is, and has every indication of outlasting even a very reliable Prius.

        When you consider how the vast majority of volta have plenty of miles on their batteries (over 72,000 here),and to see that the range STILL has not decreased, means this vehicle will have an extremely long lifespan, and one of the lowest costs of operation of any vehicle.

        Not too mention that the car either runs primarily on domestic fuel or in my case, domestiic sunlight.

        Factoring those in, its had to find a more economical car to drive.

        Clarkson, Brian, and others here realize what a good value the car is. And it is one of the most fun cars to drive also.

    3. MDEV says:

      And with better design the Volt beats the Prius. Did I say is made in the USA.

  2. Brian says:

    Wow, congratulations, Erick! That’s pretty awesome that the car holds up so well. In my mind, I typically consider 200,000 miles to be a good life for a car. Every car I’ve ever owned to even 150,000 miles has had major maintenance along the way. Then again, they were also more than 3 years old.

    One comment I don’t understand. Erick says:
    “No noticeable battery capacity loss. Used 9.7 kw because it’s a 2012.”

    Doesn’t the 2012 allow use of 10.5kWh when new? 9.7kWh is only 92% of that. Even if he did see 8% loss, that’s still a great story.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      My 2012 ranged from 9.5-9.9kW over 45k miles. This value varies due to many factors. He does not have any loss – the Volt has the most protected (babied) battery pack on the market.

      1. Brian says:

        Thanks. I was not aware that the usable capacity was so low for 2012.

        Agreed, the Volt’s battery is the best protected available. That’s part of what makes the car so wonderfully engineered.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          I’ll also note that the “kWh used” numbers being thrown out here are only an estimate produced by the vehicle, not a substantive measurement.

          1. kdawg says:

            My 2013 usually says 10.1kWh or 10.3kWh used when I go into CS mode.

      2. Evil Attorney says:

        GM really should be shouting about cases like this with 200k miles and no appreciable capacity loss. One of the biggest points detractors have is that they don’t want to buy an expensive battery after a few years. I think this shows that the Volt battery could last a long, long time.

      3. io says:

        Actually, the only thing we know is that the battery can still accept 9.7 kW⋅h (according to the car).

        This is nice but doesn’t tell us much re capacity loss: it can be anywhere from 0 to 40%.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          I can’t be 40% b/c the battery buffer on top and the bottom.

          16kWh, 9.7kWh/16kWh is 60.6%. So, 40% is impossible.

        2. OppChg says:

          Since the Volt won’t allow the battery to drain below ~18% SOC, any artifact of actual capacity loss would only present itself at the top of the battery charge (~82%) so a battery capacity loss of perhaps 15-20% without usable range changing much, but 40% is not possible.

    2. David Murray says:

      Nope 2011/2012 models had the original battery pack that only allowed 10 kwh. It was later increased to 10.5 for 2013 and then sometime around 2015 it was increased again to 11 kwh.

      1. Stephen says:

        My 2014 usually shows 10.7 or 10.8

        1. MTN Ranger says:

          Some late 2014 models got the 2015 battery. Consider yourself lucky!

      2. Chuck says:

        My 2012 always gets at least 10.4 KWh, sometimes up to 10.7 KWh.

  3. koz says:

    My 2012 has shown 10.0-10.1 a handful of times but most are 9.6-9.8. I believe this is fairly normal.

  4. Grumpy says:

    Wow I am so glad that isn’t my commute! I bought my Volt in April of 2012 and just passed 20,000 miles.

    Great to see the battery hold up just fine. Once again proving the haters wrong.

  5. Mike says:

    And in a more Northern state: Ohio.
    That’s good cold weather performance.

    1. CherylG says:

      Ohio also generates 69% of its electricty from coal.

      One needs to look at the whole picture in order to understand the total carbon footprint.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        I’m glad for carbon footprints since I happen to be a carbon-based-organism.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          That’s a hot one! Petroleum industry publicist worrying about Carbon Dioxide.

          Its probably because its the only clean Gas coming out of your processes. Everything else you make is noxious to some extent or other.

      2. telveer says:

        I did rather have a car powered by 100% coal to a car powered by 100% gasoline engine

  6. gsned57 says:

    As much as I love the volt I’m pretty sure my dream car in that situation would be the Tesla Model S with auto pilot. I’d want to sleep on the way to work and check emails or read a book on the way home. Wow that’s a lot of miles!

    1. Tesla Fan says:

      ewww auto pilot

      i want to be in control of the coolest car ever made

  7. taser54 says:

    200,000 miles. It says a lot for longevity. I would ask the owner, “how are those seats holding up”. That is a lot of seat time.

  8. Rick 2014 Volt says:

    This makes me want to buy my Volt at lease end. 18000 problem free miles so far. The low maintenance is worth it’s weight in not only cost, but equally important in time. I’m a busy guy and rarely have time for oil changes. 80% of the time, I continue to obtain 50 miles on a single charge.

  9. Ari Colin says:

    I drive my Volt in as completely an opposite way As Erick as is possible. I have not exceeded my range in over 2.5 years. After 63,000 EV miles and 139 gas miles I see no range loss at all either. If I prewarm my battery, I am consistently getting a range of around 9.8-9.9 kWh. This is an estimate, but it is very dependable as I rely on the kWh used to stay 100% within my range.

    1. QCO says:

      Which really goes to show the Volts flexibility…

      It works for guys who drive mostly gas and guys who drive mostly electric.

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        Exactly. Some people treat it as an EV and others like a hybrid. It is great to have a choice.

      2. OppChg says:

        Yep. Only requirement is to plug it in while you sleep (or perhaps at work) The rest is up to you, but this car over delivers! 🙂

  10. Lucas Lewin says:

    My volt 2014 makes 1000 miles per gallon….that is electrifying !!!!

  11. ModernMarvelFan says:

    This is awesome.

    It shows that “complexity” doesn’t mean lower reliability as some of the BEV purist/Volt critics have claimed.

    That is over 130K in “hybrid” miles.

    But I would have to point out one thing. Please get that tire pressure up. It should be 38PSI, not the 35 to 36PSI displayed here.

    That extra 2-3 PSI would have boost the mpg…

  12. tedfredrick says:

    Keep me updated. At 100K a year he will rack up miles fast

  13. BiG Mike says:

    How dare yall compare my beautiful Volt to a ugly Prius! You couldn’t pay me to drive that thing!Same goes for the Leaf…Ugly as SIN…that’s why I bought my wife the 500e.
    Big Mike
    2012 Silver Chevy Volt 18″ Black Motegi Wheels 1″ drop
    2014 Peal White Fiat 500e 17″ Pink Sparco Wheels and custom Abarth suspension upgrade

  14. Dave Maurer says:

    Wow!! Awesome to see. I’ve owned a Leaf for 3.5 years now, but I only drive a small fraction of Erick’s commute daily. That’s awesome to see a lifetime MPG of over 60 mpg.

  15. Euro View says:

    “Belmer drives too much, so getting in touch with him isn’t exactly easy”

    🙂 indeed

  16. telveer says:

    50 mpge is just amazing. Coupled with low maintenance, this is probably the cheapest per mile auto transport one can get. Even the slowly Prius can not boast this kind of economy in mixed driving conditions coupled with maintenance. However, this may not be the first Volt to cross 200K. It is definitely the first registered on Voltstats 🙂

  17. Raymondjram says:

    Congratulations to Erick Bemer and to his red 2012 Chevy Volt for establishing such a record! This the best example of America’s best design a dn a simple American driver doing what everyone else does, driving his vehicle every day. GM and Chevy must begin to promote this and other record that the Volt has acumulated in its five years of sales (since November 2010), and create new ads for the next generation Chevy Volt which will be announced next month. Excellent job, Chevy and GM!!