2016 Chevrolet Volt Fuel Efficiency And Range Estimates Creep Higher

JUN 11 2015 BY JAY COLE 68

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt  Has Its Estimated Benchmarks Moved (Photo: InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney @ NYAIS)

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Has Some Of Its Estimated Benchmarks Moved Higher (Photo: InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney @ NYAIS)

When the all new, 2016 Chevrolet Volt first hit the stage in Detroit at NAIAS in January of this year, all the key performance numbers came out front and center along with it:

  • 50 Miles electric range
  • 102 MPGe
  • 41 MPG combined fuel economy
  • 420 total miles range

As with all reveals, the (*) asterisk of “estimated data” ahead of the official release of EPA ratings was fully disclosed, but we assumed at the time that it was mostly a done deal – as in most cases auto makers vet and provide their own data on efficiency to the government agency.

Original 2016 Chevrolet Volt Preliminary Specs (via GM)

Original 2016 Chevrolet Volt Preliminary Specs (via GM)

And while no EPA numbers have yet been published, GM just updated their 2016 Chevrolet Volt media guide today (image below) and some of those headline numbers were changed higher…then some were changed again.

Specifically, the MPGe, or miles per gallon equivalent (a somewhat controversial metric used by the EPA to compare the energy consumption of plug-ins with conventional petrol vehicles), shot up from 102 MPGe to 106 MPGe.

At the same time, the combined fuel economy in extended range mode moved from 41 MPG to 43 MPG, while the overall range moved from 420 miles to 430 miles.

Newly Updated 2016 Chevrolet Volt Specifications (via GM)

Newly Updated 2016 Chevrolet Volt Specifications (via GM)

But as we were “doing the math” on the MPG numbers based on the car’s 8.9 gallon fuel tank and total range (less 50 miles of electric range), GM’s media page was quietly updated again, with the MPG dropping back down to 41 MPG, but with the MPGe and total range remaining the same.

Updated Stats Adjusted Again

Updated Efficiency States (above) From June 11th AM, and Revised Efficiency Stats (below) from June 11th PM

As for specific engine outputs, there has also been a couple minor changes: the horsepower figure is now listed at 150 (instead of 149) and torque is now listed at 293 lb-ft (previously was 294 lb-ft).

Once again, the 2016 Volt’s media information package from GM clearly states that the “information shown is current at time of publication” and that the numbers are still estimated, but it is clear that the potential for higher than originally expected EPA results are there; otherwise why make the changes at all?

We of course reached out to GM for comment on the most recent press release (and the subsequent statistical changes), and they confirmed there had been an earlier error and that the numbers aren’t official yet.

We don’t have final numbers yet and won’t until mid – July. The numbers were posted in error and are not final nor totally accurate. “

So, stay tuned.

Special thanks to Jeff N!

Categories: Chevrolet


Leave a Reply

68 Comments on "2016 Chevrolet Volt Fuel Efficiency And Range Estimates Creep Higher"

newest oldest most voted

I sure like the look and styling of the 2016 Volt over the older model. It looks more like a normal car and less like what GM thought an EV should look like.

Pray tell – any vehicle that looks exactly (or very close to) their ICE counterparts that’s having a sales success either versus their ICE counterparts, or in the market segment, in general?

Not one that I can think of at this point, worldwide.

The Tesla Model S for starters.

They are outselling the other cars in their category specifically because they look like a luxury car and not an EV.

I predict the Volt and Bolt will be popular for the same reason. The next LEAF will have more mainstream styling and I predict the i3 will get a makeover soon, as well.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I for one, don’t want my EV to look like a dork-mobile. I want it to look like a normal car that I can drive to work and back.

I forgot to mention the Smart ED, Fiat 500E, Golf, Spark, etc.

They could sell a lot more of these if they really wanted to. Right now, they are mostly compliance cars, but that may change.

I prefer the looks of the GM Volt much better than the GM Civic.

Agreed There!

i also think that the interior design in the Gen1 Volt is better; the center stack is visually well designed and it looks really nice when lit at night.

Gen 1 Volt dash is also easier to clean… =)

Yes, it looks good. And it is easy to clean. But it is horribly unfriendly to use.

i personally don’t find the center stack to be that difficult to use, but then i know what buttons i want to use so maybe that’s why i don’t think it to be that difficult to use.

It has those dials ELR owners can only lust for.

I rarely have to use them…

Between steering control and touchscreen, I rarely have to touch it…

Sorry, I didn’t get the haters handbook. I see Pontiac Sunfire. The Civic looks like its hating life. While the Volt seems to be smiling. It also doesn’t have the severe drop off front hood of the Civic. The Wheel base also looks longer. GM isn’t using bright primary colors not dreary earthtones. The fast back can also be traced back to the original Corvette Stingray. Honda just made it lame.

The Volt 2.0 is a Happy looking car and I’m sure it will have Happy looking sales numbers to match.

In my experience, every single PEV has had the price creep up and the estimated range creep down, as it approached actual production.

Will this be the first time that we’ve ever seen a PEV which actually had as much range as originally claimed by the auto maker?

Well, we will see what we will see. Those range ratings still aren’t official, and won’t be until approved by the EPA.

Well, I think Nissan and GM were basically caught off-guard, not knowing exactly how the EPA was going to rate the vehicles. But now that they have experience with the numbers, they should be able to plan better.

Clearly I failed to make my point.

Auto makers invariably give overly optimistic estimates of how well their cars will perform and how low their costs to make the cars will be. That’s why, as production of PEVs get closer and they get a better idea of just how they will perform and how much they’ll cost to make, the estimated range comes down and the estimated price goes up. That is, as production nears, the numbers begin to approach reality instead of reflecting marketing hype and/or unrealistic optimism.

Lensman loves to “school” me – lol, so here is a chance to let him know GM actually scores well in this regard. Remember, it’s KIA, Hyundai and Ford who got their hands slapped for under reporting MPG. Nissan and Tesla could also get a school teacher’s finger wag what with the “300” miles range claims early on for Model S. GM has held the line and conservatively listed their EPA estimates. At 40 miles AER for Volt1, they wanted that round sounding, easy to remember number. Most of us get much better EV-range that that. In fact, there is a pretty full “50 mile club” and a rather small “60 mile club”. When GM used more of it’s pack buffer in 2012, and then slightly increased power density of Volt’s pack in 2015, they didn’t re-list the EPA est. MPG. While GM screws up their advertising, and hands Fox News Volt critics the keys to a Volt without giving him a 240V EVSE or teaching him how to car works, resulting in disaster on “The Five”… When GM cannot find a way to advertise the Volt that doesn’t make their big-profit product line of ICEs sound bad…They do have… Read more »

Pretty impressive whether you like the metric or not – 2016 Volt at 106MPGe is higher than 2015 KIA Soul Electric and Ford Focus Electric.


James said:

“GM has held the line and conservatively listed their EPA estimates.”

Perhaps you deliberately forgot the embarrassment of GM promoting the nonsensical claim of 230 MPG for the Volt?

If you feel that I’ve been “schooling” you, James, then perhaps it’s because you need schooling.

Read earlier in the thread. David Murray explained it correctly, and the date of your picture illustrates his point better than yours. MPGe is pretty stupid, btw.

I get over 250mpg all the time..

What is your point?

I don’t get 250mpge though…

the “lifetime mpg” statistic reported by the Volt isn’t really that meaningful as it is heavily dependent on how a particular driver drives the car. if you are over 250 mpg lifetime, that tells me that you drive pretty much to the pattern for which the Volt was designed. so that is all that you are really stating when you claim to get 250 mpg in your Volt. but if you had ever taken any long trips, you would be nowhere near 250 mpg lifetime because when the ICE is operating, you get more like 36 mpg, which would bring down your lifetime mpg number.

I’ve taken a few long trips in my Volt and my lifetime MPG is a little over 395.

i own a chevrolet volt and i can say that gm has shown a tendency to be very conservative in quoting its specifications; unlike companies like tesla and nissan.

Part of the problem with acceptance is that people, if even on a subconscious level, are still unsure that GM will support the Volt.
This release will help to assuage those fears of GM pulling the plug on this line of cars.

maybe you didn’t get the memo about cadillac offering a PHEV.

the question of whether GM will support the Volt is one of EV enthusiast interest; the real issue is can they sell electric vehicles in sufficient numbers to make them economically viable?

“no comment” said:

“maybe you didn’t get the memo about cadillac offering a PHEV.”

You mean the ELR? The car which GM has already stated they’ll cease making in a year or two?

You appear to be confused; apparently you don’t realize your post actually supports ffbj’s argument… when you appear to be attempting to refute it.

No. The upcoming ct6 will have a plug in version.

Do he did refute it.

Where is the plug-in CUV GM?

45000 miles (42K electric only) in my two Volts over the last 3+ years and I’m still waiting. I love my Volt but want a bigger vehicle with a little more utility. Don’t make me get a Model X (or S) or go back to the European side after you’ve won me over. 30+ years of ignoring GM products and you are on the verge of losing me again…. PLEASE make a Volt-like CUV /SUV!!!!

well, according to what i read on the gm-volt website, they are already testing a camouflaged chevrolet Bolt, which suggests that it will be in showrooms by the 2017 model year.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the GM Bolt is going to be a fairly small, compact BEV sedan, about the same size and shape as a BMW i3.

Contrariwise, a CUV is a car about as big as an SUV, with either 3 rows of seats or a large cargo area behind the 2nd row.

my understanding is that a CUV is built on a car chassis but includes features from an SUV. so i would expect a CUV to be a kind of small SUV.

i don’t know how GM is going to market the Bolt, but that said, i suspect that the Bolt is going to be too small to be legitimately considered to be a CUV.

Lensman said:
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but the GM Bolt is going to be a fairly small, compact BEV sedan, about the same size and shape as a BMW i3.”

Source? I’ve seen nothing about it being a compact sedan?

Lensman said:
“Contrariwise, a CUV is a car about as big as an SUV, with either 3 rows of seats or a large cargo area behind the 2nd row.”

First off, SUV’s came in a wide range of sizes and there are examples with 2 rows and limited cargo area. CUV’s are based on car platforms and share features with both SUV’s and regular cars. CUV’s include a wide range of size, and include vehicles such as:
Buick Encore
Chevy Trax
Outlander Sport
Honda HR-V
Subaru XV Crosstrek
MINI Cooper Countryman
Mazda CX-3

Chevy and others are really missing the boat by not doing a CUV.

However, GM has been building their Hydrogen FC CUV for a while and may want to showcase that for now. A Voltec CUV would easily eat sales away from a 9-ZEV credit Hydrogen FC CUV in California. However, if they only sell a few hundred of them per year, it may not make sense to even fight that battle.

Build a Voltec CUV and I’d buy one if I can swing it timing wise. But it looks like it’s not going to happen anytime soon.

I think GM is trying to finalize on the MPG. Of course the marketing is trying to get the number as high as possible especially considering Malibu Hybrid can do better…

But I also think GM doesn’t want to overstate the numbers like Ford did…

Strangely my Volt mpg in hwy mode has increased once it reached 8,000 miles on REx… It used be only 38-39mpg. Now it has increased to about 41 to 43mpg after about 3 years (only about 9,600 gas miles though)…

The Ford Energi really has great efficiency when it’s runing at low speed. The best I got from my Cmax is 130mpge on battery (measured by wall plug power used, or 190mpge measured by the battery power used). But the Cmax is so tall that the air drag is significant at high speed (70-80mph), it may drop to 90mpge (wall plug), or 38-39mpg on gas.

190mpge is over 5.6miles/kWh.

Any low speed driving PEV can pretty much do that especially with regen…

A Volt has demonstrated 80miles range for about 10.5kWh usage at 25mph which is 257mpge..

Personally best is 155mpge at hwy speed of 55mph.

I did 70 miles on SoCal freeway driving from Ventura County to Long Beach on only 14.5kWh in my Nissan Leaf, which is about 162mpge. And that was at 55-60mph.

Yep. On our Leaf and Volt I can get often 50% more range just by turning off the A/C or heater, and then driving on back roads at 50 mph or less.

perhaps GM doesn’t want to canabilize the Volt gen1 sales, so they want to “low ball” the Volt gen2 spec’s until it is officially out. I also think the gen2 price will creep downward next year for the same reason; but this year, its a new car, so it demands a higher price, and that helps the gen1 Volt sales too.

GM does not care about Gen1 sales anymore. They no longer manufacturer that car anymore so any remaining stock is the dealers problem.

ModernMarvelFan said:

“But I also think GM doesn’t want to overstate the numbers like Ford did…”

Did the EPA get around to officially revising the ratings for Ford’s PEVs?


But Ford initiated it.

Nice Honda Hybrid ya got there, GM. 😀

-1 (GM hate is getting old)


Anon loves to bash anything GM does, regardless what it is…

It is getting pretty old.

Anon, get a life dude.


one thing that i like about insideevs is that you can’t “vote” on others’ comments…

it is not gm “hate” to comment on the styling of the Gen2 Volt. i think that the Gen2 Volt is pretty nice looking (although not as good looking as the Gen1 Volt), but i also think that the Gen2 Volt is reminiscent of a honda civic.

You’re right, nothing wrong with sharing opinions. But it does get old when an opinion is completely devoid of any other correlation except to hate a vehicle because of a bias against its manufacturer.

That’s a 2 edged sword there. Same can be said about cheering for something despite their obvious faults and attempting to fend off those who criticize the issues, i.e., fanboyism.

Absolutely, although one stance detracts from general EV discussion and proliferation, and the other stance enhances it.

I’m not sure if you’re accusing me of said “fanboyism,” but if so, I’d refer you to my recent article titled “Where the 2016 Chevrolet Volt Falls Short” 😉

It’s not just a hate of GM, but a hate of Detroit. When a poster is wearing shit-tinted glasses, I don’t trust their opinion and the posts get old quick.

For those who long for a car BIGGER than the VOLT, my ELR is 9″ longer and 3″ wider.

Oh, you want a Cross-VOlt? Well call up Mary Barra and tell here to start doing PHEV’s in something besides the CT6. They basically had a 2 motor, 2 planetary drive, escalade (only missing the plug, charger, and bigger battery), and they discontinued it 3 years ago. Don’t discontinue things – do like ford does – put a plug on it and call it ‘energE’ or something.

But the new VOlt looks nice. As far as good mileage, I easily get 48 miles in the spring, and have gotten as much as 53.6 miles all electric range in my ELR. Much better than advertised.

I sense *HUGE* market opportunty here:

GET a chop-shop to do a ‘stretch limo’ Volt. Room for 7 plus luggage.

The 4 and a half seats spoil it all any way.

It really is a mystery why GM didn’t go over to the far superior all flat battery design of the Model S or almost flat like the Leaf. They could spare a small corridor for the exhaust pipe or just put the engine in the back VW Beetle way. After all the volt 2 was an all new design anyway so there was nothing standing in the way. The least they could have done is remove the b section of the battery so there would have been a full fifth seat. A call this self sabotage, actually.

I think Nitz and other GM culture sees itself with the EREV ball in their arms. Mainstream BEV, or “skateboard” would be too cannibalistic, almost like BMW actually using a proper gas tank.

There is still too much profit margin in taking it slow.

The Volt is once again based on a GM ‘family’ of compact cars including the Chevy Cruze. This is evolutionary improvement over the previous Volt, not an ‘all new’ clean sheet design. Hence they carried forward the major design choices of the first generation including the T -shaped battery.

Nobody really want to sit in the middle of ANY compact car either way…

The new middle seat is just there so you can mount a child seat which is the safest location in the car…

An isofix child seat can’t be placed in the middle and what about the families with 3 children or simply a friend of one of the two kids. There are many situations where 3 seats are necessary and the middle seat is not an option at all.

Just wondering, why not? Is it a matter of LATCH only being on the outboard seats? Last time I helped someone install one in a Prius, there was not center ones. Most cars (outside of larger SUV/crossovers and Minivans) don’t give you 6 LATCH anchors across the back. . But done correctly, you can install just as safely with a seat belt.

Show me a compact sedan that can mount 3 car seats or even a typical midsize family sedan won’t fit 3 car seats.

In addition, the typical seat belt to seat belt distance in the middle seat is about 10-14 inches for most compact class cars. I don’t know many people’s hip fit inside that size. Children that does usually sits in a child seat which will take far bigger space…

The Volt rear seat is more than big enough to hold three children, so I’m not sure where you’re going with this.

The only thing that separates the Volt’s rear bench from the rear bench in any other compact car is the cupholder/battery tunnel. If you’ve ever ridden in the backseat of a RWD sedan, this should not pose any significant obstacle.

I’m confused, is AER city or combined? The first one says 50 miles combined city/highway. The second shows 50 miles city only.

The mpg-e went from 102 to 106 a 4% increase wouldn’t you expect the 50 miles electric range would increase by 4% to 52 miles? Also while looking at the new spec sheet it states that the gas tank is 8.9 gallons,I thought it had been stated as 9.1 gallons. There is no way you get an increase in range to 430 miles unless the gas mileage increases to 42.5 and the electrical range increases to 52 miles. An 8.9 gas tank with 41 mpg plus 50 mile electric gives a 415 mile range and they stated it has a 430 mile range now. It doesn’t pass the smell test unless you have the new numbers I plugged in to balance the equation.

Las Vegas Cowboy asked:

“The mpg-e went from 102 to 106 a 4% increase wouldn’t you expect the 50 miles electric range would increase by 4% to 52 miles?”

Not really, because the MPGe ratings don’t seem to have any real-world relevance, or any relation to any real-world performance. They’re utterly useless for comparison purposes. Note I’m not blaming GM for this; it’s the EPA’s fault for coming up with meaningless figures.

“because the MPGe ratings don’t seem to have any real-world relevance, ”

Only those who doesn’t know math would state such thing…

MPGe is easily converted to miles/kWh which is absolutely real-world relevance.

Take 106mpge and then divides it by 33.7 will give you exact miles/kWh. 3.145 miles/kWh. Of course that EPA rating includes charging loss.

MPGe has no real world significance because you aren’t using gasoline. so you don’t really use the MPGe statistic for anything. what MPGe does is give you a qualitative measure which tells you that the electric motor uses energy more efficiently than does an ICE.

This car better sell some big numbers. It would be a damn shame if it doesn’t sell well. What a great way to reduce our oil imports with no compromises on range.