2016 Chevrolet Volt GOM Shows 54 Miles Of Electric Range


Recently, the folks over at Auto World News attended a General Motors event in Detroit. On display, among other vehicles, was a 2016 Chevrolet Volt.

The Auto World News crew started to examine the interior of the Volt and found that its display showed an estimated range of 54 miles.

Of course, we know that this figure is displayed on the Volt’s guess-o-meter, but still it’s not often you see a number this high on today’s Volt, so perhaps this is indicating that the 2016 Volt has substantially more range than the current model.

Officially, General Motors states that the 2016 Volt will offer an EPA estimated electric range of 50 miles and that final certification testing and full specs will be released in July.Β  Recently, some of the earlier announced estimated efficiency statistics on the 2016 Volt have been quietly been creeping higher by GM online.

Source: Auto World News

Categories: Chevrolet


Leave a Reply

60 Comments on "2016 Chevrolet Volt GOM Shows 54 Miles Of Electric Range"

newest oldest most voted

I’m thinking about a 2 year lease on this, then jump to Bolt / Model 3 / LEAF 2.0.

The Volt’s estimator is good, unlike what you’ll find in the Leaf, but it’s still easily influenced. Drive downhill for a few thousand feet, turn the car off, charge it, and, viola, you have 50 miles of range. But you’ll never have more than 50 miles — that’s the limit.

That said, my Volt is rated for 35 miles and I’ve never seen an estimate any less than 38 miles. Mostly it’s 40 – 42. Basically the actual range tends to beat the rated range. For fifty miles many people will get 55-60 miles. However I live in a mild climate. If it’s cold, like in Michigan, then could be as few as 30 miles.

The 50 mile estimate limit is for 2012 and older. 2013 and later can estimate higher. All summer, my Volt estimates and delivers about 55 miles per charge – and this is on round trips so there is no elevation advantage.

I believe you when you claim 55 miles per charge, but the casualness of your tone makes me wince. Let’s be clear, unless your Volt is somehow special, it’s not easy to get that kind of mileage out of 11 or so kwh. This is hypermiling territory, and most folks don’t have the skill or patience to get to that level, starting with me. I drive my Volt normally (in normal + L mode), taking as much advantage of regen braking as I can (i.e., one pedal driving), and the only way I can get close to 50 miles is in warm weather, on calm stretches of road, under 50 mph, with few stops or red lights. Doable for sure, but not easy.

Dan, your driving habit in maximizing regen utilizing L mode is a common mistake when trying to hypermile. Regenerating is worse when compared to coasting due to losses in the mechanical to electrical conversion. The best way to hypermile is to slow down only using road resistance and coast. I switched to L only during times I need to slow down significantly, otherwise I leave my vehicle on D so that I minimize regen during times I remove my break pedal.

For the record, I’ve done 55 miles on my 2012 Volt using 10.3 kWh and regularly get 90+ (up to 100) on ~17.5 kWh on my Spark EV.

My 2014 Volt gets mid 50’s all summer. This is not strange or out of the ordinary. We got a cool summer so no AC, and when driving on a nice road I see 57-59 mile range no problem. My record is 62 miles and no hypermiling. In the worst of winter I got 25 mile range. Totally normal.

Agreed Dan, although my record is 61 miles, except for winter it was rare to get more than 42-45 miles.

I have a 2011 volt and from time to time it still hits 48-50 on estimated range out of the gate. The estow meter is based on overall usage data from previous trips.

My Volt shows 48 miles nearly every day, 9 months of the year. Six more miles on the second gen car is a pretty “meh” upgrade to EV range if you ask me. Granted, I’m sure it may prove to be better in reality, but I was really hoping for 70+.

When my Volt Lease is up in 2017 I think I may go pure EV. It sounds like the next two years are going to bring a whole lot of new great EVs. Looking forward to seeing what all the manufacturers release!

You must live somewhere with nice weather – my Volt told me this morning it had 32 miles of range in it! A drive home every evening in 118F temperatures takes its toll apparently.

Still wish there was a way to take the Volt 2.0 battery and put it into a 1.0 car.

I don’t think comparing your 48 mile estimate to this 54 mile estimate is an apples-to-apples comparison.

Yeah, that comment kind of threw me. Comparing apples to oranges.

I usually get 48 with my 2013MY Volt (8 months out of the year). I imagine I may end up getting 61 or so if I got a 2016MY Volt.

Again, though the winters will be worse.

“Six more miles on the second gen car is a pretty β€œmeh” upgrade to EV range if you ask me.”

It’s more than just six. The rated range is jumping from 38 miles to 50 miles. Your actual range will vary based on speed, route, and weather. Since your 48 miles of range is 26% above the rated range, I would expect you to get 63 miles of range in the new Volt. A 15 mile improvement.

If your Gen 1 Volt is giving you 45 miles per charge, Gen 2 will most likely give you 60+ miles under the same conditions

I thought the term “Guess-o-meter” specifically applied to the Leaf’s poor range estimator?

By comparison, the Volt’s is typically very accurate.

It is accurate, and often conservative. I have started many a trip where it showed 45 miles on a full charge, and ended up delivering 52 miles or more (round trip, so no elevation advantage)

I agree. From what I’ve seen, the Volt’s range meter is not deserving of the title “Guess-o-meter”, as is the Leaf’s. GM did an outstanding job of predicting electric range. Ironically, the Leaf which depends entirely on its EV range is much worse at predicting how much farther one can drive.

ClarksonCote asked:

“I thought the term ‘Guess-o-meter’ specifically applied to the Leaf’s poor range estimator?”

The term certainly did originate with Leaf owners unhappy with the range estimator’s inaccuracy, but I’ve seen it applied to other PEVs. It’s great to learn that GM did much better with the Volt.

My appreciation for the superior engineering GM achieved with the Volt keeps improving over time.

Gotchya, I haven’t seen it used elsewhere. Actually maybe I have, and just always (wrongly?) assumed it to be used incorrectly. πŸ˜‰

I like the new graphics. Would like to see more, including the infotainment screen.

Was gonna say– they thankfully upgraded the GUI. Same icky palette, but a more Tesla-like radial layout that’s less like a 1990’s video game.

Gud on ya, GM!

Gee Anon. What have you been smoking. Did you actually say something that wasn’t negative about GM πŸ™‚

I did, but you missed it. πŸ˜‰

Haha, nice ! Actually, regarding the layout, they largely took what they had with the ELR and put it into the new Volt.

The display in this article (re: 2016 volt) is almost exactly the same as in my 2014 ELR. So they are using Chrysler’s technique of lowering costs by using existing designs from other Marques.

At most, it’s a week’s worth of work for one person sitting at photoshop with a 3D program, to reskin a modern GUI. πŸ˜›

But then you need to test it and run it by others. Everyone has a different idea how things should be. Trust me, I design touchscreen interfaces. So after who knows how many iterations, you arrive at something that everyone likes (and bug free).

I’m not a software engineer myself, but I work closely with them. In my experience, you never end up with a product that everyone likes, nor one that is bug free! πŸ˜‰

(No offense is meant by this post. If you are truly a software designer, then in your heart you know that all software has bugs. “Debugging” is just a matter of getting rid of the obvious / insidious ones.)

I have a Volt and Leaf and I’d definitely say the Volt’s estimator is more accurate. Now, granted, when dealing with a larger battery pack, if the estimate is off by 20% that is the difference between maybe 7 miles on a Volt or 21 miles on a Leaf.

do you really get 105 miles in your leaf? if so, why are you only getting 35 miles in your volt?

If that is true, i might actually consider a leaf, but i would need the 100 on most days.

In a few months, you may be able to pick up a 2016 Leaf with a 30kWh battery. That should be good for an EPA rating of 100+ miles.

I have had 2 Volts and a Leaf (and now on my second Tesla).

I agree the Volt EV range estimator was always quite accurate compared to the Leaf and even compared to the Tesla Model S. Further as others have also reported, I always got MORE RANGE than the factory spec of 37-38 miles (had a 2011 and then a 2014 Volt). Almost always I would see more like 42-44 miles range here in the milder Sacramento area. My best was 49 miles on a trip from Sacramento to San Jose area, and that was with the 2011 Volt. Given “my experience” I would be at least hopeful that with something like “50 miles EPA rated” many careful drivers might see upwards to 60 miles of experienced EV range. We can hope, and in a few months reality will give us that hard data.

Glad to see confirmation of the new EV range. Wish they had included DCFC CCS so that more folks would use it more often/conveniently… also because that would accelerate the installs of CCS ahead of BOLT. As to Guess o Meters… My LEAF often reports 119 miles first thing in the AM… but do any highway cruising and that quickly gets recalculated.

Perian - GM Inside News

This really means nothing. As we all know the estimated full charge miles available is based on your driving habits. My (2014) Volt has given me figures as low as 38 miles, and as high as 60 miles on a long trip. In this case, we have no way of knowing the driving history of this specific car.

I still want one though!

Like other Volt drivers, I see a much larger range in summer(upwards of 55, if I add the miles used to the miles remaining estimate). However, I wonder if GM limited the display to show no more than 50? Have had on more than one occasion days of 50+ miles(yes, I understand that my driving might be milder and less of a toll on the battery compared to others)and yet the range estimate has never been more than 50 miles. I am jealous of the new Gen II Volt’s range. My guess is that given my driving style and conditions, I’d get probably 65 miles on a single charge in the summer.


GM is very conservative with range. Lots have a Volt, and another BEV/PHEV, and can attest to “38”, or “50” being well-short.

The 2016 Volt will probably get the same summer miles, as a Leaf would winter miles. ~60, or so. In winter, with the new higher kw heater, I wonder if it will get to ~40?? That’s still a lot better than sub-30 miles. This is the EREV whose EV mode could actually hit the NHTSA’s “80% of drivers”, do less than 40 miles per day, year round.

To me, the higher kW heater will only affect mileage with lots of short trips. In other words, it will heat the car faster, but once warmed, shouldn’t consume more electricity than the Gen 1 Volt.

EV miles going up is a good thing. I hope GM’s foray into electric vehicles is a success.

I’m willing to bet the EPA number will end up closer to 55 than to 50. I won’t be overly surprised if it creeps above 55.

The specs, as well as the reduction in Gen 1’s insanely wide safety margin (at the ends of the battery-charge boundaries), have indicated this all along.

If GM submits 50, EPA will reflect it even if a drive cycle would show 55. What works for the makers who over-state, goes the opposite way for those who are more honest. I haven’t heard of EPA revising numbers up.

There are hints it may be even better than this.
Or I’m just reading too much into comments made on this topic at gm-volt forums.

Someone that attended the GM dealers’ convention in Las Vegas recently posted that they were handed written materials that listed the ’16 Volt having an official EV range of 52 miles.

That also matched what was posted by GM on their media page that listed the official specs of the ’16 Volt, before they changed it back to the old numbers.

For those wondering, the figures were:

EV range: 52
ICE MPG: 43 (combined)
MPGe: 106

I’m pretty sure that’s what the final EPA specs will be.

It will be interesting to see where PHEV ranges will stop and BEVx/EREVs/BEVs will continue.

It feels like the Volt is pushing closer to that limit.

Of course, your mileage may vary… πŸ˜‰

The other morning, my LEAF showed me 114 miles of range available (ECO off, A/C off). My best in the i-MiEV was 86 miles of range available (ECO off, A/C off). Drive conservatively and you get more range. Simple!

Get stuck in a traffic crawl in reasonable weather, and your range will skyrocket! πŸ™‚

I hope the Volt 2 delivers a LOT of battery range, simply because of the market psychology — if they can advertise 52 or 55 miles, it sounds like a lot more than the Volt 1 and will sell more cars, even if the vast majority of owners will very seldom, if ever, dip into that additional range. It will also help nudge other cars, most notably the Leaf II, whatever Honda has up their sleeve, et al. in the right direction.

Of course, I’m still expecting Toyota to unveil a new PiP this Fall with a whopping 18 miles of range.

Lou Grinzo said:

“…if they can advertise 52 or 55 miles, it sounds like a lot more than the Volt 1 and will sell more cars, even if the vast majority of owners will very seldom, if ever, dip into that additional range.”

Say what?? The average Volt driver will often dip into that additional range.


If and when the Volt gets up to around 70-80 miles of electric range, then perhaps it would begin make sense to claim that “most” trips in the Volt won’t exhaust the electric range, but it would still be incorrect to state the average Volt driver rarely would.

Just a nit, the graph you referenced is for daily driving. It is not for “single charge depletion”

There are many who charge throughout the day, which weakens (though doesn’t invalidate) your argument.

my friend has a 55-58 EV range showing on his gen 1 Volt every day

and i drive 21 miles in the Volt one way and only lose 7-10 miles and then 21 miles back and still have tons of range left

so the new Volt will be getting at least 60+ miles per charge which is great

“Of course, we know that this figure is displayed on the Volt’s guess-o-meter”

The guess-o-meter isn’t the biggest variable here. The guess-o-meter seems very accurate to me, but with a full charge you’ll see (and get) a wide range of possible values depending on the conditions.

Half the year I’ll see range 5-8 higher than what is rated. During the winter I’ll see 5-7 lower, and the transition months coming in or out of winter it is close to the rated range.

The title of the article made me think that their testing (which would factor in conditions) was indicating the rated range may be 54 to 50. Without information about the environment and driving conditions, it really tells us nothing.

strongly considering leasing a volt this fall when it becomes available in my state. Couple questions for you Volt owners:

1) when does the gas motor turn on…at a certain percentage of battery left? Or when it hits zero?
2) what is the bigger drain: heat or ac? guessing the double hit of heat and defroster
3) can you mount a home charger outside or does it need to be inside a garage?

1) By default the engine starts when the charge level is low enough. We are not told exactly how low. You can start it earlier, though.

2) Running the heater drains the battery much faster. If it is too cold, though, the engine automatically starts to give you more heat, even if you don’t want it to.

3) The charger is inside the car. The electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) can be either outside or inside.

Just to add to Ambulator’s points:

A). 2011-12 Volt starts engine at 26 deg F.
Newer volts offer a choice of 15 or 34.
2016 ? Possibly no change but …..

B). I use ‘econ’ for A/C so defroster is 4X worse.

C). The GM round VOLTEC, all Bosch or SPX, and the plastic clipper creek things are all outside mountable, as are most competitors.

GM products to date can utilize only 15 amps, so the $379 Clipper Creek or the $450 Bosch (15 and 16 amps, respectively) – installed on a plain 20 amp #12 gauge copper circuit is all you need.

Forgot 1 point: The engine starts when the battery is ‘at end’ of its listed range, in this article’s case for the 2006 volt: 54 miles or as other articles here have stated, 52 miles EPA All electric range.

Forgot 1 point: The engine starts when the battery is ‘at end’ of its listed range, in this article’s case for the 2006 volt: 54 miles or as other articles here have stated, 52 miles EPA All electric range. That is if it isn’t cold outside. Then it acts as if the car had been put in ‘hold’ mold.

Other things: The engine must run 1/6 gallon every 6 weeks, and one tank of gasoline per year minimum, unless you fool the computer.

all good info, Bill – I was wondering about gas getting stale if I was able to go all electric for a long period, guessing that, like you, cold weather will take care of that, but nice to know computer is on top of it as well.

So I’m gathering the 2016 VOlt will have 52 miles range, as compared to my 2011’s ’35’?

That is a significant improvement.

I just remember all the big experts who stated it would be impossible for GM to improve the all-electric-range to 50 miles without totally exagerating as everyone else does.

Mine is reading 70 miles. Mine is a second Gen 2018 model