2018 Chevy Volt Is A Winner, But This Guy Cites One Major Flaw


For years, we’ve heard mostly positive words about the Chevy Volt and this is perhaps the first time we’ve heard this new complaint.

The Chevy Volt is (and has been) known as the plug-in EV that offers an impressive amount of all-electric range (53 EPA-rate miles) before its gas engine kicks in. In fact, there is still not another plug-in hybrid electric vehicle on the market today that can match it. The Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is the first to come close and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid fares pretty well, for a minivan. But still, the Volt remains in the lead. Nonetheless, this YouTuber wants more electric range. Maybe he should have considered buying a BEV? Or, should he be driving the car differently, and especially not racing down the highway at 85 mph?

We felt compelled to share this video (make sure you have a look at the YouTube comments as well) to show that there is still a huge lack of education out there about electric cars. People are unaware about regenerative braking/driving modes, how speed impacts range, why a PHEV is not going to offer the electric range of a BEV, etc.

Essentially, Jeremy Judkins is impressed with his new Volt. He says it’s a stepping stone to pure electric car ownership. He’s especially happy with its mpge and initial projected electric range. However, as he jumps on the freeway and drives really fast, that mpge and range deplete rapidly. He seems surprised by this reality and considers it a flaw.

Several YouTube commenters try to help him out by making multiple suggestions: he shouldn’t speed, he should use the gas engine on the freeway, he should adjust the driving mode, he should drive the car differently to maximize its range potential, and on and on. Clearly, aside from a comment here or there, these people don’t really get it. In addition, while it seems like Jeremy may be starting to get it, we’re not quite sure he’s got it all figured out yet either.

We’re aware we have many readers that are Volt owners. Perhaps we can give him a bit of advice in the comment section below?

Video Description via Jeremy Judkins on YouTube:

2018 Chevy Volt : 3 Months Later | The ONE thing I hate about it

I found one issue with the Chevy Volt… it’s not a deal breaker, but I thought I would point it out for those also interested in the car.

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77 Comments on "2018 Chevy Volt Is A Winner, But This Guy Cites One Major Flaw"

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Seriously, don’t want to be rude but, does this guy has a brain?
Why is he complaining about the short EV range when he’s consuming 36 kWh riding at 80 mph?
This video is a terrible waste of time.

Also, he needs educating on how to drive a Volt.

He says he uses L Mode. Using D Mode and utilizing the Regen On Demand paddle behind the left spoke of the steering wheel is a much better way to maximize range, especially if your trip includes freeway driving.

80 miles per hour and ACC also are the least efficient ways to drive… True, many people are set-it-and-forget-it types .Evidently they also make videos “educating” us that they are unaware of how to use the technology…

I sincerely wish my Model 3 had the Volt and Bolt’s regen adjustability.

This is how people drive though. They want to go fast to get to their destination soon. They are used to a gas car where they can do this, and they get where they are going with gas still in the tank. If they are low on gas the next time they get in the car, they fill up in 5ish minutes just about anywhere, then forget about gas for a few days. most people don’t really care about cars like the people who read and comment on this site. If they feel like the fueling situation is worse or more stressful than what they are used to then they will stick to a conventional gas or hybrid car. People understand what makes their gas car go, and with that understanding comes comfort and perceived simplicity. As the rest of us know, taking 5 seconds every evening to plug the EV into your garage charger is quicker and easier than taking a 5-10 minute detour to the gas station once or twice a week. If people just look at total range on the Volt, this problem shouldn’t exist, but I think we have all seen that getting the public to… Read more »

In addition, I think the smart phone battery effect has changed how people think about percentages and batteries. When your phone is at 30% it is low, and a lot of phones will go into some sort of power saving mode at 25%. This makes 25% feel empty. In a Tesla 25% can be 75 miles. That’s more than most people commute in 2 days. It is a totally different mentality compared to people seeing their gas gauge get to 1/4.

Then they need to drive a 2001 Honda Insight that is the only way you could get better highway efficiency period.
Don’t like it?
Then don’t complain

Driving faster uses more energy….go figure.
Does he even Science?

I think the answer to your question a big ol’ nope-a-rino.

Maybe Trump’s version of science.

Maybe he could take a physics class.

Not everyone is an EV geek. In fact, almost no one is. Pretty much everyone drives gascars, which typically get better MPG on the highway than on the city. In fact, most gascars do better at 80 mph than in daily commuting. So this this guy’s reaction to a whopping 40% drop at 80 mph is PERFECTLY NATURAL.

And why does everyone assume 80 mph is “speeding”. I live near an 80 mph highway and not that far from an 85 mph limit. And plenty of places with 70 mph limits have a natural flow around 80. Europe has 130s (81 mph), not to mention the autobahn….

Very few roads have 80mph+ speed limits.

Yes but tons of people go 80+ every day on freeways with posted limits of 65-75 mph.

More than you think. Even 75 mph limit means the average traffic speed is probably closer to 80 mph.

Say hello to quite a number of interstates west of the Rocky Mountains.

While It’s true that many gas cars typically see better highway mileage than city. That’s normally at ~55 – 65mph not 80mph. Just about any vehicle will see significantly reduced gas mileage at 80+mph.

Almost any Tesla is the Go Fast-Go Far EV, all others, not so much.

Battery size and a slippery low drag coefficient, at high speeds, are a Musk Have!

Where is Bill Nye the Science Guy, when you need some good EV tech/physics “Man Splaining”?

Do 80 mph in a Tesla and watch how fast your mileage drops versus someone during mixed driving.

I drive 80 frequently in my LR RWD and it’s not alarming at all compared to my previous EV’s. I don’t even give it a second thought.

According to this page: https://insideevs.com/estimate-tesla-range-highway-speeds/
Model 3’s LRD (18″, +aero) range drops from 298 to 251 miles when driving 80MPH vs 70MPH. It’s a 16% drop, maybe not ‘alarming’ but quite significant especially on a road trip.

By no means this problem is Tesla specific. Air drag goes up with the speed squared no matter of the vehicle, and the related power draw goes up with speed *cubed*. I would expect any EV out there would experience approximately the same relative drop in range.

Try 12 mins or so and about 51 miles,all 26 gallons gone.and some auto scribes say seven min.s

We don’t give it a second thought because we have 270-310 total miles range.

One reason why I bought the Long Range. It’s colder now in Seattle and I notice a significant reduction in range. Heat plus warming the seats contribute. D motors take a hit. Not exactly range anxiety, but totally range awareness.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

However, 80mph is lower than optimal long distance speed. Hammer!

(Not that I would hammer it. I stick to speed limits.)

The Chiron will also run out of fuel at maximum speed in no time , DO YOU KNOW HOW FAST IT WOULD DRINK THAT HI TEST?

This will be more talked about as more bev’s and phev’s are sold. EV’s get way lower efficiency when driving at highway speeds and when the heater is running. It’s definitely a different culture than driving gas cars where you expected better mpg on the highway and really no difference with the heater. Gas engines already produce heat and keeping all those rotating parts moving is easier than making them start moving. Regardless of the EV relative reduced efficiency in certain situations, they are still considerable more efficient than gas cars.

This reminds me of the people who know zip about EVs yet when they hear I have one give me this knowing look and snarkily point out that (gasp!) plugging it in “pushes up your electric bill”, as if they’ve invested 5 seconds of thought and found the one fatal flaw in the whole EV idea that’s eluded everyone else. When this happens, I tell them that I save so much by never buying gasoline that it’s like buying $20 bills for $5 each. (At my local electricity and gasoline expenses, this is reasonably accurate, but it slightly understates my savings when I charge at night rates.) This usually stops them in their tracks, except for the “fake news” crowd that refuses to believe math or any similar forms of witchcraft. If I really want to pile on I tell them about $0 lifetime cost for oil filters, oil changes, air filters, exhaust system repairs, etc. As for the Volt guy in the video — we could explain it to him but we couldn’t understand it for him. I’m sorry of that sounds intolerant or unkind, but at some point people have to put in some effort to understand reality… Read more »

Agree Lou.
I found this line of yours particularly accurate (and funny): “… except for the “fake news” crowd that refuses to believe math or any similar forms of witchcraft…..”

I may have to use that one.😄

So much bashing this guy… not all EV or plug in hybrid drivers are experts or early adopters. And something that’s a flaw to the driver shows that we’re not there yet regarding electric vehicles. Seems he has learned that electric motors are most efficient at low speeds and gasoline engines are most efficient at high speed, as well as the lower accuracy of electric estimated range in comparison to gasoline estimated range. The fact that the driver cannot use it in EV mode all the time could very well be the impetus he needs to go for a fully electric car next time. After all, he said the Volt was like a “gateway drug to a Tesla”

In the pic above, it looks like the dude is taking a dump in his Volt. 💩

Or trying to.

This guy has a little less gray matter than most.
An ICE vehicle will consume more fuel at 100 km/h (62 mph) than it would at 80 km/h (55 mph) and even more at 130 km/h (80 mph). So..why would it be different driving an EV.
I would’ve loved that my PHEV had a larger battery providing greater AER. But I leased it knowing that the range is limited and that newer, longer range BEV’s would be on the market by the time my lease is up.

Hmmm… does a light bulb use more energy when it is fully bright than it does when it is dim? If it does it must be flawed!

“An ICE vehicle will consume more fuel at 100 km/h (62 mph) than it would at 80 km/h (55 mph) and even more at 130 km/h (80 mph). So..why would it be different driving an EV?”

I think many people, maybe most of us, have been slow to recognize that a highly efficient vehicle (EV or gas) will be noticeably more susceptible to speed or temperature related fuel burn/range loss.

I noticed this first with my old Prius. My daughter in law, who got the Prius on my religious conversion to full electro propulsion, had no idea saying “I just fill up when it needs it”.
The second light bulb lit up for me then. Since gas-hog drivers rarely need to trip-plan, the old “gas station on every corner” effect kicks in, leaving gas drivers numb to matters of efficiency.
It’s then shocking that EVs suffer from range loss for all sorts of reasons. Who knew?

I need to write a blog about how the Model X’s biggest flaw is how expensive it is.
Seriously, some people are F’ing stupid. Another case of public education fail by this “YouTuber”.

It is big, very expensive, and heavy,pretty great car but my brothers broke down yesterday, hope it is repaired soon.

I believe manual mentions something about range being calculated for a 50mph highway speed.

When doing research on EV’s the 3 T’s come into play that affect range. Temperature, Terrain, and Technique! I believe the speed that you travel falls under the category of Technique. I don’t have to tell you that this is true with ICE vehicles too.

I’m a bit surprised as the Volt is pretty efficient at high speed with its dual motor setup. Maybe he needs to put some air in the tires.

Or let some out of his head.

If he does that it will create a void and the head might implode.

A lot of people are making comments that gas engines are more efficient at high speeds. WRONG. Gas engines differ from electric motors in that they are most efficient in the 40-45 mph range, while electric motor vehicles are typically most efficient at 25-30 mph. Anything above that and the aerodynamic drag increases and range decreases.

EVs typically indicate the remaining range better than a gas car (except for guess-o-meter equipped cars) so maybe part of the difference is in perception.

Gas engines in modern cars are almost always more efficient at highway speeds. Above ~45 mph, however, increases in engine efficiency no longer offset the rapidly mounting aerodynamic drag so MPG starts to drop.

Gas engines are less efficient at city speeds only because they have no means to recapture braking energy, it isn’t that they are more efficient at high speed. Their low speed efficiency drops off earlier than an EV that peaks around 20 mph, so most gas cars will probably peak around 40 mph, although not see much hit until above 45 or 55 mph depending on aerodynamics.

Agreed with the folks giving this guy a break and pointing out that *most* people are not EV early adopters. However, he uses the term “efficiency” to mean several different things here. That’s confusing. The energy consumption per speed unit distributions are different in ICEs and EVs. Is that an efficiency curve? I don’t know. Regardless, a lot of Americans speed most of their commutes at 50 mph+, so the inversion of MPG city/highway vs. MPGe city/highway will take some education. EVs generally measure efficiency as KWh/mi, right?

I have a 2018 Chevy Volt . My use is pretty much 50% city streets and 50% freeway. My electric range pretty much always comes in at 50 miles–often better. Driving technique is the answer! Gradual acceleration using on-ramps, 70-75mph on the freeway but with steady acceleration, using the regenerative braking lever on the steering wheel whenever possible, Also, paying attention to heating/air conditioning use helps to slow the depletion of the batteries.

Why would you have to “pull a lever” to get regenerative breaking? I thought EVs and PHEVs are supposed to do that automatically! Don’t they? It’s automatic on my Smart ED, when I start to take my foot off the accelerator foot pedal.

The Volt DOES automatically activate regen when you release the accelerator pedal. The beauty of the Volt design is that after that built in regen, you have two more levels of regen but either using the lever to shift into L or using the steering wheel paddle for even greater regen. Choice is good.

Jeremy”Your mileage may vary”.LOL

I’d much rather have a Prius (not the Prime) or a Camry LE hybrid than a Volt. However, I’d rather keep my conventional 2015 Camry SE or trade it in for a newer conventional vehicle until solid-state arrives. Then I’ll be interested in going fully electric.

Dude, you are confused. Just minutes ago you were getting all wet about the prospect of possible VW future ev production and now you are all against evs again. You need professional help.

It’s definitely understandable to look at plugin hybrids as more of a transition or stopgap measure than the end point. But they still have advantages over conventional vehicles in energy cost and fuel efficiency.

He’s not interested in logic, you are wasting your time.

The pri are damned slugards.

The issue here is not so much how EVs vs ICE fare at 80MPH. The issue is how they are viewed/advertised. ICEs are sold on MPG, EVs are sold on range. Almost nobody can tell you what the range of their ICE is. But for EVs that’s what everybody knows. So buyers like Jeremy expect to get that range and are surprised when their bad driving habits make it less. They would never even notice in their ICE because they aren’t looking at range, just the gas gauge. If batteries were bigger such that ranges were comparable, we wouldn’t even notice.

Same issue as with hybrids with respect to MPG.

20 years later, there are still poorly informed consumers.

At 80 mph is where plug-in hybrids, even RExes have an advantage. The gas engines are able to offset the current draw (and rate of discharge) for the battery. We know at speeds above even 60 mph using the gas backup would overall use less energy. The resulting matter is relying on the engine coping with significant load of recharging and moving the vehicle.

Charge modes or hold modes are there for those high speeds, more efficient up there too.

The major flaw is with him – lack of a brain.

Three real flaws with my Volt. 1) Reverts to 8 ampere charging every time you drive. This setting should persist once the owner sets it. I should not have to set the car to 12 ampere charging every time I park at home with my dedicated 15 amp double GFCI recepticle. 2) Regen paddles are just plain goofy. Why would I want paddles to brake? I guess it is fixed in 2019. Who is the engineer that thought this was a good solution. So when you regen with the paddles into a right turn it kind works but a left curve. How many elbows do they think we have. How many drivers think to use paddles when braking? Super goofy. My Ford Focus Electric integrates regen with the brake peddle. What a simple concept. Next gen Volt will have a pull cord from the roof for regen!! Equally goofy 3) Volts have a common problem with leaking oil pans due to using only rtv instead of a gasket. Took three tries for Gm to fix mine. How much does a proper gasket cost really? Bet that service costs would have paid for a gasket or two. Otherwise love the car.… Read more »

1. L2 charging doesn’t have this problem. Most PEV owners should install L2 charger. it is just safer. The reasons it is set to 8A is because too many idiots were plugging the EVSE into a substandard wall outlet and causing fires or overheating conditions. We can thanks those people for the lawyer driven decision. Using L2/240V EVSE, you won’t have that problem.

2. Regen paddles are additional regen that your Focus Electric doesn’t have. Volt has regen built into the brake paddles as well. Or you can drive in L mode all the time without using the regen paddle.

(1) if you have the paddle then you have a gen 2 volt which can learn your house’s GPS location and default to 12 amp charging when at home, so (1) is no longer a problem for you. This was a true annoyance with the gen 1 volt though.

(2) If you don’t like the paddle then don’t use it. Driving in L gives you strong (but not max) regen anyway.

(3) well I can’t speak to that one.

Location based charging. It’s in the settings on the infotainment screen. Odd, they only allow 1 location.

I’m really surprised to hear that there are “paddles” on the Volt to get the regenerative breaking! I thought EVs and PHEVs are supposed to do that automatically! Don’t they? It’s automatic on my Smart ED, when I start to take my foot off the accelerator foot pedal.

the Volt has blended regen/friction brakes on the left pedal, as well as lift-off regen on the right pedal. This lift-off regen is light in D and heavy in L. The paddle is there to give you the maximum possible regen on demand.

Afraid I have to disagree.
Volt heater sucks (volts and or gas, if you crank it you suck it)
My 17 doesn’t revert back. Try different settings like charged by time I leave.
Love the Regen paddle, use it first, hate hovering over brake petal. Greatly shortens my reaction time to start braking, especially when in L. I have a 3 mile hill in traffic where I only use the paddle and that one hand. Actually gain about 3 miles of range.

For those who didn’t read the article, he states that he understands an ICE cars range is reduced on the highway but claims the Volt drop is “drastic” and doesn’t mention any real data points…He also eluded to the fact you can’t regen while going highway speed…

When I read the “One Major Flaw”, my expectations were a lot higher, and I was disappointed when it was just about fuel economy after driving on the highway.

Did the owner think that he had bought an EV instead of a PHEV?

Well, he doesn’t understand the fact that air resistance goes up to the square of the speed?

In my Volt, driving 55-60mph will get me about 15% better range than EPA rating. Driving 65-70mph will get me around EPA rating. Driving 75mph-80mph will give me about 10-15% less than EPA rating. That depends on terrain and tires as well combined with temperature and heat usage.

It’s just physics, the faster you go the more energy you use, by a lot, K= 1/2 MV^2. The solution is to drive slower, do the limit don’t drive at 80. I try and use back roads if I can instead of highways, the time difference is small because the non highway route is shorter and it’s less likely to have traffic jams and the back roads where I live, MA, are much more relaxing then the highways.

I don’t have an EV and I don’t have one in my future, but I get the newsletter to see what’s happening and be aware of the technology. Every article has informative comments from the enthusiasts related to discussing the tech involved that has value to me. You children up on your high pseudo-horses need to take a step back and realize that you’re not helping by bashing those who don’t know. TFA clearly asks to provide some information in the video’s comments, and while posting valuable information on YouTube might seem like a lost cause, you at least don’t need to be negative.

This guy who appears to be wired on something, he seems to have a jumbled thought pattern; he’s sure not thinking straight. He either doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to understand that driving a PHEV is a different kettle of fish. Did he read the manual, did he do any research about driving an electric car at all? He’s driving it like an ice-mobile going like a bat outta hell…gas… brake…gas..brake and as a result he’s going to get dismal all electric range. A lot of folks still drive an electric car like their old ice-mobile expecting to be where they want to go …yesterday. The electrics are simply not designed to be operated like that. That car will give him great all electric range at 100kmph or 62mph…he will get the 53miles to a charge, at 50 to 555mph he’s possibly get over 65 miles before the ICE kicks in… possibly even better at slower speeds on secondary roads. Max regen and easy acceleration gains even more. If your an aggressive driver running on pure testosterone, your head hunched over the wheel cursing John and Janet Poopalong towing that old Airstream, your foot pedal to the metal, the other… Read more »
Well he certainly went over the points time and again – and for all the criticism of a fellow ev’er here and insulting his intelligence – I didn’t hear any practical suggestions for him. But some people here just want to argue. First thing I’d do is use “D” occasionally , since L on the highway makes the thing accelerate and then slow down (regen) at every little speed or elevation change. Putting the thing in D makes the car much more relaxed as to holding the exact speed and there is far less needless acceleration then immediate regeneration going on – in other words you may not be using your friction brakes but you are still making plenty of heat. I only test drove a GEN 2 Volt briefly so not sure how aggressive the ROD is – but whatever it is I’d use it as well as “L” (if it makes a difference as it does in the BOLT ev – that car you can arrange your driving so that almost all braking is electric) to minimize wear on the brakes. If he gets really cheap electricity, he’d probably want to try to maximize his all electric range.… Read more »

I do have the newer Volt, operates just like the Bolt but with weaker Regen. I only use regular brakes for emergency and complete stop. Regen first. Suggest using D anytime cruising with few stops or speed changes and L just the opposite, in city traffic or coming off highway to slow. Can use L at any speed, and sometimes forget to shift back, but don’t suggest using everywhere. Foot off gas in L will stop a Bolt but not Volt, Regen not strong enough. It does also use weak Regen in D when you brake I believe but not positive.

Everybody including the author is missing the point entirely. Yes he is driving his car in a manner that doesn’t suit the car perfectly… Duh! The point is that with a single gear added this car could out perform itself improving range at freeway speed and while communicating around town.. No its not a deal breaker but its a needed improvement for future models the same way that the regen paddle getting added to the bolt was a terrific improvement over shift to low when decelerating a spark ev. I love my spark but its pretty obvious my range would be improved with a single gear while driving freeway speed for a while. The reality of the volt is that its a car designed to make people comfortable with full ev cars a single gear would improve that concept… Not rocket surgery pple.. We get it you love your ev and driving it 20mph for 300 miles is fun for you… But as ev moves into mainstream it will need to accommodate ALL driving styles… Thats all

It’s not fixed gear. It has a dual planetary gear with 2 inputs, generator/motor and ice, and main motor. So continuously electric cvt.

The flaw is driving too fast.

Any car uses more energy when your gas pedal foot is heavy – it’s just that on classic ICE cars the gas tank is large enough that you don’t really notice a couple hour’s worth of ‘fun driving’.

When the energy consumption during ‘fun time’ exceeds your total amount of energy stored, of course you notice 😉

Quite frankly I am surprised by how many people fail to grasp this point. Yes, just as with a Tesla, our gas counterparts range is so (relatively) large that they don’t realize how inefficient it is to drive at that speed. But, honestly, I would think that most would use just a bit of brain power to realize how energy works in general and that having an electric car doesn’t make it a “magic” car!!

No need to be overly rough on the guy. Yes to a number of people the “why” of what he’s seeing is obvious, but I would argue to the average Joe it is not. Yes, it’s merely that air resistance is quite high at those speeds (80mph is perfectly acceptable in some areas people, just generally pretty ‘out there’ in some rural areas). That coupled with when your total EV range is smallish, any impact is quickly noticed. Despite the drag-induced efficiency loss, EV is still winning in that front vs gas … its simply a bit more complicated.