World’s First 300,000-Mile Chevrolet Volt

1 year ago by Mark Kane 84

Image Via Erick Belmer

Image Via Erick Belmer

Details for Volt #2012-07353 (sparkie)

Details for Volt #2012-07353 (sparkie)

Erick Belmer, the all-time Chevrolet Volt mileage leader (via Volt Stats) just crossed 300,000 miles!

Just three months ago we covered Erick’s feat of achieving 100,000 of those miles on just electricity, which now turns 105,000.


105,026 miles out of 300,236 total
(35%) in all-electric mode


Erick leads the ranks for both total and all-electric miles.

It’s good to see that 2012 Chevrolet Volt does the job, and is still running great after such extreme travel in a short period of time.

The MPG rating is lower than most of other Volts in service today, due to so much long-distance travel (110-mile commute each way to work), and the corresponding smaller share of all-electric miles – at about 35%.

Image Via Erick Belmer

Image Via Erick Belmer

source: Volt Stats!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

84 responses to "World’s First 300,000-Mile Chevrolet Volt"

  1. MTN Ranger says:

    Congratulations. I’m betting the only service includes a few oil changes and tires.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Nope, original tires too! Not so good on the snow anymore.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        …just kidding, (=

        1. mr. M says:

          lol

        2. vdiv says:

          I read the title and though, “300,000 miles, on a single charge?!” 🙂

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            LOL! I take it there’s a Mr. Fusion device hidden in the back? 😉

    2. Bill Howland says:

      You have to inspect the fan belt at 100k, change the spark plugs each 100K, and change the coolant in the 3 loops (engine/heater, battery, power electronics) every 150 k.

      Plus, as you say change the oil each 24,000 miles. Plus air filters, etc..

  2. Ash09 says:

    That’s still 100,000 miles he didn’t have to use any gas on. Don’t think any other non-plug in car can make that claim.

    1. kdawg says:

      I’d be interested to know if any other plug-in car can make that claim. There are a couple other Volts in the 90K+ territory. I don’t know of any Leafs or Teslas with 100k miles, but if someone does, please post.

      1. s says:

        A Google search on Tesla 100000 miles gives quite a few stories of high mileage Teslas. And a few for 100k+ Leafs.

        1. sven says:

          I’d recommend these two InsideEVs stories about a 100K MOdel S and a 100K Leaf.

          http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-s-100000-miles-21-month/

          http://insideevs.com/100000-mile-nissan-leaf-taxi-shows-12-5-battery-degradation/

          It’s a good sign that 100K EV news stories are becoming passé. 😀

          1. kdawg says:

            Looks like I had read the Tesla article, but I don’t know if we ever found out if it was all done on 1 battery pack, and if yes, what how much if any battery degradation had occurred.

            Appears the Leaf lost 12.5%

            1. tedfredrick says:

              My friend has about 125k on a model S Tesla and it has the original battery pack but not the original motor.

        2. kdawg says:

          Good to hear. Any reports on battery degradation and if those are the original batteries in those cars?

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            According to an article from Feb 2015:

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            Based on 84 data points from the 85-kWh version of the Model S and six from 60-kWh cars, the study concludes that the Model S will retain about 94 percent of its capacity after 50,000 miles, with losses thereafter shrinking to about 1 percent per 30,000 miles.

            That means that after 100,000 miles, the typical Model S is projected to retain about 92 percent of its battery capacity and range.
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Full article here:
            http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1096801_tesla-model-s-battery-life-how-much-range-loss-for-electric-car-over-time

            Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anything that looked authoritative more recently.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        I believe there was a 90,000 mile Tesla Roadster in Germany, but the battery had deteriorated to the point of 60 miles per charge versus the original 244.

        Not sure if the battery limped along to 100,000 or not.

    2. przemo_li says:

      105 000 miles ~= 3500 gallons of gas ~= 7000$\

      That is 2-5 thousands dollars saved on gas and then some more on servicing.

      1. SparkEV says:

        Electricity isn’t free. Not sure how much he pays, but typical non-baseline rate in SoCal would pay $0.30/kWh to $0.40/kWh with extra load by EV charging, which would cost more to run on electricity than on gas, even at $3/gal or $4/gal. At today’s $2/gal, it’d be far cheaper to run gas.

        1. Spider-Dan says:

          PG&E users in SoCal pay less than $0.10/kWh for off-peak charging under the current EV plan, which does not have tiered usage charges.

          1. SparkEV says:

            Only if you don’t have people at home during the day. If you do, then EV will still cost more, maybe a whole lot more, due to most usage during the day. EV and solar seem to go hand in hand.

            1. Spider-Dan says:

              You seem to misunderstand what I am saying.

              The EV plan for PG&E (which covers most of CA) is not on a tiered structure, meaning that no matter how much energy you use during the day or night, it will always be $0.09x/kWh to charge your EV during off-peak hours.

              Now, you could make an argument that if you are already using lots of energy during peak hours, an EV will just add more to your electricity bill. But if you are already using lots of energy during peak hours, then you’re already paying a lot whether you have an EV or not.

          2. SJC says:

            300,000 miles would be 10,000 gallons of gasoline, if he cut that in half he saved more than $10,000 including electricity costs.

        2. Philip d says:

          Where I live now we pay $.09 at top tier. After all taxes,etc. it ends up being $.12. But that’s top tier.

          CA has some of the highest rates in the nation. When I lived in NYC our rates were also ridiculously high but I didn’t own a car. Of course being that rates are so high in CA makes PVs very attractive.

    3. Reddy says:

      Hmmm, how about the 2011 Leaf with 146,000 mi as of Oct 20, 2015. This is over 2000 full cycles on the 72 mi (EPA) Leaf. TaylorSFGuy reported this on MyNissanLeaf.com last year. His commute is 135 mi RT. He purchased a newer Leaf and uses it in the winter, switching with another family member who has a shorter commute. The battery is pretty much used up (down to 7 out of 12 bars), but he’s planning to run it to 150,000 mi just to have a nice round milestone.

      1. Reddy says:

        I forgot to mention, he posted in July 2015 that he had 141,000 mi, adding only 5000 mi through Oct. He’s trying to match up the 150,000 on the 5 yr anniversary, so putting more miles on the new Leaf than the old. Here’s the link:
        http://mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=20275&p=431911#p431911

        “I am currently charging midway at least once each direction of my commute. The recent GID drop supports my impression that it is getting harder to go this distance. There will come a time when I say enough is enough and I don’t want to try and make the old battery continue to work for this commute. I anticipate that to be somewhere around 150,000 miles. It will continue to be a great errand runner.”

    4. Many LEAFs & Model S’s … not just Volts with over 100,000 PEV miles.

      eg:
      An early LEAF in Washington state owned by Steve passed the mark in Dec 2013 … prior to 3 anniversary.
      http://youtu.be/ZEx09f3WNTg

      There 2015 LEAF owned by C&C Taxi in the UK each accumsted 100,000+ miles in 12 months. Their fleet is all LEAF’s and e-NV200 vans. Can wait to see how many miles they accumulate on the 2016 (30 kWh)!LEAFs they received in Janurary.

      Know of a couple Model S’s on eastcoast (US) that have between 150,000 and 200,000 miles. For sample data I’ve seen, it appears the average Tesla owner drives more than 12-15,000 miles per year.

      Fact:
      Each fleet of LEAF, Model S and Volt (in just the U.S.) now accumulate over a Billion miles per year!
      eg: 90,000 LEAF’s * 12,000 miles (average) is > 1 Billion.

      YES … we’ve reached a point where Billion & Billion of EV miles are traveled per year!

      BTW: the 400-550,000 PEV fleet in the U.S. Should accumulate over 5 Billion new miles in 2016 along.

      The path to the future is about to be fully-charged …
      ⚡️??

  3. Assaf says:

    Wow, what kind of commute does he have? This works out to 250-300 miles/day, no?

    Regardless, great achievement and testament to the Volt’s exceptional reliability.

    1. ffbj says:

      Really. I would guess that the vehicle is used in his business. I drove for a living and put on around 70k a year, not over the road of course, but as a courier.

  4. SparkEV says:

    All kinds of questions pop in my head, first of which is how much range degradation does it have? From GOM (guess o meter) 21 miles at about 70%, it’s 30 miles AER, but how was it when close to new?

    1. kdawg says:

      There have been other articles here on Eric’s Volt and he has reported little to no degradation.

      1. SJC says:

        Unlike EV batteries Volt is designed not to stress the SOC, so the pack lasts.

    2. bro1999 says:

      Remember, he is in Michigan, so the temperatures this time of year are still pretty cold.

      Last post I saw from him on FB stated no noticeable degradation.

      1. SparkEV says:

        That’s why I was wondering what his GOM was when new. Volt with gas engine, I thought the AER would be roughly similar over “reasonable” temperature. But if he’s driving like he stole it, 21 miles at 70% GOM (ie, 30 miles AER) could be “normal” even when new.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Well 35 miles when new, but the fact that a full charge is 30 miles may only mean he’s had to use the heaters for the seats/windshields.

          You don’t have to run the heater much at all to use up 5 miles range.

          My 2011 doesn’t have a power indicator as the later volts do, but an Idiosynchrousy of my 2014 ELR is the battery heater runs at 2 kw for around 30 minutes. So the heater for the battery can use of 1 – 2 kwh of capacity also, besides the heater.

      2. Daniel says:

        Hopefully, I tend to believe that the degradation is occurring but likely not seen by the end user due to the Volt’s battery buffers being so large. I’m not ready to assume that the Volt’s battery is immune to density loss over time, as that flies in the face of physics and what we know about lithium batteries.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Nobody is claiming that Volt battery won’t degrade.

          But Volt has about 24% window (there are buffer both after the drain and regen buff on top when “full”).

          So, what we know is that if he doesn’t detect any degradation, then his Volt battery hasn’t lost 24% yet… We won’t know how much it lost exactly, but we do know it is less than 24% which is better than the early LEAF at 3-4 bars out of 12 bars.

      3. kdawg says:

        He lives in Ohio, but it gets cold there too.

  5. jorey says:

    AS a 2012 Volt Owner this makes me very happy, however i wonder what the capacity of the battery is is. Gm should do a test for free, at this rate he should hit 1 million miles by 2025

  6. Bevo says:

    My household has both a 2012 Volt and 2012 Leaf. Both are in the neighborhood of 30k miles and the Leaf already lost a bar of storage capacity. Not a big fan of the Leaf in that regard. Knowing what I know now I likely would’ve bought 2 Volts and passed on the Leaf..

  7. John says:

    I’ve got almost 52,000 miles on mine, and a little over 42,000 of those miles are electric. My commute uses just about all my range everyday, and I plug in when I get home to run any errands in the evening.

    I hope to have it for a very long time.
    And with some luck, my wife will have a Gen2 before the end of the year 🙂

    1. Ampidriver says:

      So my 2011 Ampera now 80.000 Kilometers with nearly 1030 Ltr. Gasoline..i feel no degradation ..in winter 50km…summer nearl 80 km….

  8. jstack6 says:

    110 miles each way to and from work!!!??
    I’d think a Tesla with Free Super Charging and no OIL changes would have paid for itself. Amazing he has done 100K EV miles with that long of a commute.

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      According to Elon Musk, SuperChargers are to be used “for long-distance trips only,” NOT for daily driving or “as much as you want.” Tesla sent a message to Model S owners reemphasizing this.

    2. Stephen says:

      At twice the price and replacing much more expensive tires regularly on the Tesla I doubt it can compete with Volt on TCO.

    3. iwatson says:

      I believe I read some time ago that Eric works for GM and is proud to own a product that his employer makes. In addition, I’m sure he got an employee discount. I read that he considered a Chevy Cruze for his commute, but the Math worked out better on the more expensive Volt.

  9. Steve says:

    I would be curious what maintenance has been done and the cost??

  10. Speculawyer says:

    Is he still on the original batter? 300K on the original battery?

    If so, that should shut up a lot of people who whine about “EVs have to replace their expensive batteries every 5 years blah blah blah”.

    1. Ziv says:

      Speculawyer, I agree with you somewhat but with the reservation that LiIon batteries frequently are impacted as much or more by calendar life as by cycles. I think GM took this into account, though, and I have a feeling that 80% of Volt packs are going to last 10-14 years. Worst case, 80% will last 8-12 years.

      1. Nix says:

        Ziv,

        Please define “last” and “fail” for what you are talking about.

        Because we don’t actually know what that means for the Volt yet. Classically, the “life” of an EV battery pack “lasts” until it is down to 80% of the original capacity. For a 2016/17 Volt, that would still leave it with more range than the 2011-2015 Volts. AKA it would still be an entirely fully functional PHEV.

        If the battery drops to 80% in a Volt, it has zero impact on your ability to drive wherever you want, whenever you want. I wouldn’t call that “fail”.

        There is also an additional unknown. The original Volt battery was very limited on the top and bottom of discharge. But we don’t know how this is programmed. We don’t know if the the computer will take any battery losses out of the reserves, or out of the usable charge, or both.

        For example, (not real numbers, just easy math) lets say a Volt has a 25% reserve at the bottom, it uses 50% in the middle, and a 25% reserve on top.

        Then it loses 20% of the battery capacity. The computer can keep the same percents, and have the range drop 20%. Or it can choose any new split it wants. For example:

        A) Keep range
        15% bottom reserve
        70% middle (no loss of range)
        15% top reserve

        B) Keep reserves
        35% bottom reserve
        30% middle (all losses taken out of range)
        35% top reserve

        We don’t actually know how the Volt will handle battery degradation.

        1. ziv says:

          “Last” to be able to drive at least 70% of original capacity/range on the pack.
          “Fail” not able to maintain 70% of original range.

    2. SparkEV says:

      5 years is of course FUD. But 8-10 years that’s warranty period? We’ll have to see. I suspect it’ll be pretty close, maybe 12 years.

      As for “EV”, Volt is a hybrid in that gas engine would “baby” the battery. BEV with deeper (dis)charge cycles would suffer far more. In case of 2015 SparkEV, I’m finding that battery usage is close to 100% compared to 90% for 2014 SparkEV and Leaf.

      1. Ziv says:

        I have little doubt that the “fail date” for the Volt fleet will be a bell shape, the only question is, what shape will the bell be?
        I think 2-5% of the Volts will fail before the warranty expires and 15-18% will fail way down the road, so to speak.
        If I had to guess, I would say that half the packs will fail by 11 years and the other half will fail relatively shortly thereafter, i.e. within 3 to 6 years.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Bob Lutz said (with the GEN 1 volt) that in order to warrant the battery for 8 years/100,000 miles, the battery is designed for 10 years/150,000 miles.

          The whole design of the GEN 1 volt appears conservative in Retrospect.

          No one has ever died in a Gen 1 volt after 5 years, no battery has degraded, and goes 300,000 miles without so much as an overhaul.

          The claim could be made this has just been proven to be the safest, longest-lived car ever made.

          The only car besting it on the long-lived front are the decades old Honda Civics.

          1. ziv says:

            Bill, unfortunately there was a tragic accident in Maryland last week. A BMW driven at speed hit a Volt and killed the father, mother and one child riding in the Volt. One child in the Volt survived.
            The Volt lost its perfect safety record but it is still one of the safest autos ever built!

            1. Taser54 says:

              I believe that was a gen 2 volt. Bill’s point about the gen 1 volt appears supported.

              1. Bill Howland says:

                I really shouldn’t call it the ‘most reliable’.

                Someone just hit 1,000,000 miles in a Honda Accord with the only ‘breakdown’ requiring a tow being the time the fuel pump failed. He changed the oil using his ‘special formula’ every 5000 miles.

                Another 1966 volvo lasted 3,000,000 miles. Had overhauls at 680,000 and 2,000,000 miles.

    3. SJC says:

      Volt was designed NOT to stress the battery, EVs stress the pack. Don’t expect a Tesla to go that far without loss of range.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        The GM Volt is designed to “baby” the battery pack. Tesla’s cars are designed to do that, too.

        But GM apparently designed the Volt to reserve a lot of its capacity, and not release that capacity for use by the driver. So that “hides” the loss due to aging.

        Tesla allows its drivers to use more of the full capacity, with the tradeoff that the car does lose range as it ages.

        I don’t think it’s appropriate to say one approach is “better” than the other. It certainly does mean that Volt owners won’t be faced with the sort of battery loss that Leaf drivers do… but then, neither are Tesla car owners.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          It does not hide the loss due to aging. It avoids the non-linear voltage regions of the battery chemistry, thereby greatly reducing battery degradation.

          When everyone says how they “know” that all lithium ion batteries degrade with time they are basing that assumption on using batteries that fully charge and fully discharge, going into the non-linear regions of state of charge.

          Yes, the Volt battery will degrade too, but not nearly as fast thanks to avoiding these extremes. Nothing is being “hidden”

          1. SJC says:

            CC,
            Well stated, an EV may drive out to the maximum radius and return with very little charge left. Couple that with some quick charging then you could have significant range reduction.

  11. mhpr262 says:

    Poor bastard, 300.000 miles in just a few years, that is a significant part of his life spent in that car. Not much short of a whole year, in fact. 300 full days, in fact, if we assume a very generous average speed of 42mph over that distance.

    1. Spider-Dan says:

      A man’s gotta eat.

      1. tedfredrick says:

        He is near retirement and is sticking it out until then

  12. Nix says:

    This shows the clear advantage of the PHEV when it comes to long life. The vehicle has 300K, but it is a 100K EV and a 200K ICE.

    People with more normal commutes will probably see the opposite of that (200K EV, 100K ICE), but neither drivetrain will actually have 300K miles.

    Meanwhile, even if the electric only range for the EV is cut in half, you can still drive the vehicle as far as you want with zero range anxiety. You just won’t go as far on electricity.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Yup, wear and tear are split between the ICE and EV powertrain.

      Also, they also “help” each other to lower the load on each one which extends the life of both powertrain.

      In either case, a 200K mile ICE powertrain would have been impressive and so are 100K miles EVs.

      Now, this got both!

      Truly impressive. I hope my 2012 Volt can make it to 300K miles as well. But with my 80% EV miles, it would take me a long time…

  13. Nix says:

    Lets have fun with math!

    The 2012 was rated at 35 miles of range per charge. The 2016 is rated at 53 miles. What would his numbers be if he did the same driving with a 2016?

    Assuming the same number of charge cycles, he would have driven approx 160K miles on electricity, and 140K miles on gas.

    Not too shabby.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Yup, that is why longer EV range PHEV/EREV will be significant in gas saving over the “weak ones”…

  14. GeorgeS says:

    Used Volts offer incredible value.

    1. vdiv says:

      New ones did too as they quickly became used 😉

  15. Fool Cells says:

    wow! Just got my 2017 Volt on Saturday! Only have 73 miles so far, 67 of them EV. Dealer did not have it charged when i went to see it. I was like…you guys need to charge these things….that is a key selling point

    1. Nix says:

      Congrats!! Lucky guy!

      1. Fail Cells says:

        thanks. in love with the car. Put 53 EV miles on it today.

        1. Fail Cells says:

          and still had 8 miles left in the battery

  16. Koenigsegg says:

    That EV range low…..

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Still 100K EV miles…

    2. Nix says:

      Koen – Yea, it is pretty much the worst case scenario for the Volt. Long highway drives between charges.

      He is in the bottom 3% of Volt drivers, due to his long commute. Most drivers do much, much better at driving in EV mode. Typically the ratio is flipped the other way, with EV miles being more than twice the number of gas miles. Typical Volt driver does around 10K a year in EV mode (about the same as the typical Leaf driver drives each year). 100K on the battery would be about the same as 10 years worth of driving for the typical Volt driver. While 200K on the gas motor is more like what a typical Volt driver would drive in around 40 years of ownership.

      But how much driving he has done in EV mode is not really the point of this story. The point is that regardless of how he got there, he has gone 300K miles, and that is fairly impressive.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        Indeed, this answers many questions about the reliability of either drivetrain. GM definitely overengineered the Gen1 Volt; given the number of them that were leased, I expect to see many of them still on the road in 10 years’ time.

  17. Jychevyvolt says:

    How far will the volt go? My guess 500,000. Who will retire first, Erick or the volt?

    1. Taser54 says:

      I proffer that he will start seeing major suspension expenses in the next year. Struts, bushings, steering rack, etc.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Still cheaper than a new car.

  18. Reddy says:

    Interesting comparisons given the following:
    2011 Volt: 300Kmi, 105Kmi electric, 195Kmi gas at 40 mpg = 4875 gal consumed.
    2011 Prius: 300Kmi/50 mpg = 6000 gal
    Gas Diff: 1125 gal*$3.25/gal = $3656 saved
    Elec Cost: 105Kmi/(3.5mi/kwh)x$0.11/kwh=$3300
    MSRP Diff: (40,000-7500)-(28,800) = $3700 more
    Total Diff: Volt cost $3044 more
    Note: This doesn’t include maintenance, taxes, depr.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “Note: This doesn’t include maintenance, taxes, depr.”

      What is the difference in depreciation between a 300K miles Prius and a 300k miles Volt? LOL as it matters with that many miles?

      If I remember correctly that he has less than 10 oil changes.

      A Prius with 300K miles would need about 40-50 oil changes at 6K each. That is a difference of 30-40 oil changes at $30 each which would be $900 to $1200.

      What is the cost of replacing NIMH battery on a 300K miles Prius? I know that Prius battery easily last about 150K miles, but how many last past 300K miles?

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      BTW, that is assuming he also never gets “free charges”