Edmunds Drives 2019 Chevy Volt 70 Miles On Single Charge

NOV 9 2018 BY DOMENICK YONEY 77

Not bad. For beginners.

Sometimes it seems like the Chevy Volt doesn’t get the love it should. Now three years into its 2nd generation, it’s crowded out of headlines by other plug-in cars like the Tesla Model 3. Even its own stablemate, the all-electric Chevy Bolt gets more attention nowadays. That doesn’t mean the plug-in hybrid can’t still impress, though. Case in point? Edmunds is silly delighted that they recently managed to travel 70 miles on a single charge.

That’s a more than 32 percent improvement over the 53 miles of all-electric range (AER) the EPA rates it at, which is pretty good in our books. So impressed by it was Edmunds that they shared the achievement with us on Twitter, and even included a photograph of the center console display as proof (embedded below).

Well, to answer the question posed by our publishing pals, yes, we have seen similar mileage returns from the Chevy Volt. In fact, while 70 miles is a pretty impressive result for almost any driver, one who specializes in hypermiling can do better. A lot better. Exhibit A: Well-known hyper-miler Wayne Gerdes pulled down 111.9 miles in a 2016 example.

Of course, it’s not practical for most of us to try to eke out that sort of result, but to Edmunds point that one could “…keep in electric mode almost indefinitely,” we concur. Volt owners are notorious (in a good way, of course) for not using the range-extending abilities of their cars. We noted an extreme example of this behavior a couple years back when one owner managed to put 100,000 miles on his first-gen Volt, which “only” offered 38 miles of AER, while managing to keep it in EV mode 99.9 percent of that distance.

InsideEVs has a number of Chevy Volt owners among its readership, and so we put this question to you too, what’s the best AER figure you’ve managed in your car. Let us know in Comments.

Chevy Volt

The 0-60 mph performance of the Volt is about 7.5 seconds.
11 photos
The Volt has a lower entry-level price than the Bolt. 2016 Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt The Most Famous E-REV - 2017 Chevrolet Volt 2017 Chevrolet Volt Interior Next Generation Chevrolet Volt

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77 Comments on "Edmunds Drives 2019 Chevy Volt 70 Miles On Single Charge"

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Adoreizi

Does anyone know if there is a software update for 2016-2018 volt owners to get the new infotainment UI?

DarrenHD

No but I’m sure GM will gladly sell you a 2019 model. They are not Tesla, so you are basically stuck with what you have.

Sadly this. I have a 2012 Volt and would just kill for basic Siri integration. Ford back-ported Siri integration for the steering wheel buttons all the way back to 2011 models in 2015 or so. It’ll be a cold day in you know where before GM offers infotainment upgrades for older cars like Ford, Tesla, and others have been doing (OTA or USB).

Anything substantially different beside some graphical updates?

Darren Eveland

7.2Kw onboard charger…otherwise battery is exactly the same as are the electric motors. EV range the same. So no, not really. Engine Running Due to temperature has a new setting to -25C I believe (2016-2018 is -10C max), so in cold climates this is helpful for short drives. Otherwise, no.

Ziv

7.2 kW charging is kind of a big deal. My Gen 1 has 3.3 and when I am out with clients we frequently stop for lunch and I choose the cafe. Oddly enough, I usually choose cafes w/chargers… In an hour I get an additional 11 miles of range. The newer Volts would get more like 25 miles of additional range. Plus, when you are charged by the hour, you get twice the energy for the dollar. My ICE would come on less often if I had 7.2 charging, not huge, but useful.
It still doesn’t fix the lack of rear seat legroom, my biggest problem with my Volt, but faster charging would be useful.

Thanks. 🙂 I’m aware of those 2019 changes but was referring specifically to the poster’s “updated UI” comment. I wasn’t sure if there were additional UI improvements such as additional metrics, etc.

David Hunter

Getting the 7.2 kW onboard charger is a very big deal for me. It’s not a hohum improvement and it shows GM listened to its Volt customers (I have a 2012 Volt).

Steve

I read somewhere that there are updates but they can only be done at a dealership.

K-Lein

I own the European version (Opel Ampera) 2012 model.
They do update the system for bug fixes at the dealership but they do not add any new features.

fotomoto

Yawn….. I did 62 miles in my 2012 Gen 1 (10.2kWh) back in the day so Edmunds would need to do about 85 miles to equal that. IIRC, the record for the Gen 1 was in the low 80’s but that wasn’t real world (parking lot @ 20mph).

Bruce Sanders

I had a wonderful 2014 Volt, and in non-winter months, constantly did 58 to 65 miles on a charge. I loved my Volt, but missed a manual transmission… I know it’s crazy, but in the winter, I would place a blanket over my legs so I did not have to turn on the heat. Heated seats worked great too!

Dan F.

I have a PHEV (a lowly leased C max) and can get up to 25-26 miles EV (it’s rated at 19 mi.). I don’t mind not using the heat but do need defogging which in EV mode is slow and sucks the juice. I noticed, on their website, that the i-pace offers a “heated windshield” as an option ($400) separate from the regular HVAC system. I wonder how they do it; tiny wires in the glass?? Anyone know??

Mike

Yup. Range Rovers offer this and a few others as well. Lincoln used to have an “insta-cleat” windshield that always had a bronze colored reflection. Tiny wires in the glass, tight pattern. Some talk about Chevy Bolt starting to offer this. iMHO it makes a ton of sense for northern climate EV’s, as do heated steering wheels, heated wiper areas on lower windshield, maybe even heated door handles?

Tom

My 2009 Audi A3 had a portion of the windshield heated. It uses the same setup as a rear window defroster. Wires in the glass. The A3 wires were in the lower couple inches running horizontally across the windshield. Obviously that won’t defrost the whole windshield but it will melt off the ice there the wipers are resting and therefore useful to keep the ice from freezing your wipers down and/or melt the ice to free up your wipers when the car is warming up.

Mike

62 is crazy on a gen 1.

Warren

Yup, I did 148 miles on 97% charge in my 2107 i3 BEV, on a highway trip no less. 17 miles over EPA rating is not newsworthy . I also left Saturday afternoon and did a 855 mile trip to San Francisco and was back at work on Monday am. Try doing that for AER on a Volt, lol. And during the trip i met some frustrated Bolt owners with their relatively slow charging DCFC sessions.

stimpacker

Hopefully Edmunds did that while creeping on SoCal’s clogged roads, instead of driving like a slow idiot and causing traffic to weave around their driver.

Too many of these sort of EV stories:
1) I drove well beyond the EPA range of the vehicle (by creeping, flat road, no AC/heat, etc).
2) I was able to make a long EV road trip (but had all sorts of charging misadventures on non-Tesla BEVs).

I promote BEVs locally and frequently get asked about these sort of stories. Please – these stores actually do a disservice in promoting EVs.

I have to caution folks that EPA range (or better) is valid when:
1) Vehicle is new
2) Weather is good
3) Terrain is relatively flat
4) Speed is under 65mph.

Paul

I have a 2012 Volt I bought used a couple years ago. There’s no battery degradation that I can determine, even as it’s approaching close to 100k miles. During the spring and fall season, I have gotten close to 45 miles on a charge before the ice kicked in. It was once while driving back roads from the Texas hill country towards Austin, where I lived at the time, with plenty of hills for regeneration and I generally travelled mostly below the speed limit since there wasn’t much traffic. I only burn gas when I go to Denver now, while living in Pueblo CO, otherwise I keep it charged at home via solar panels on the roof and drive it anywhere I need to go in the small city of Pueblo with 100k residents. Not bad for such an old model that was originally rated to go 35 miles on electricity per charge.

Dan F.

Do you charge during the day, or have a storage system for your solar system that you dump into the car post collection period? If not you are actually charging with the utility provided energy.

Paul

I work from my home so I DO charge the car during the day and most of the time when it’s a full sunny day (300+ days a year in Pueblo), the array still produces 50% more energy than my home and charging Volt uses. Plus, Pueblo has the cleanest grid in Colorado with solar/wind/hydro and no coal. Soon it will get industrial sized battery storage systems throughout the city and county at which time the giant Comanche coal plant south of town that sends it’s power to Denver, will be decommissioned by 2025.

Dave

I’ve gotten anywhere between 40 and 70 miles AER on my 2017 depending on how cold it is outside and how eco-conscious I feel like being at the time. But yes, I’m at 94% electric since I’ve gotten it.

bioburner

Same for my 2016 Volt. Voltstat says I’m at 91,6 % ev.

@Brian_Henderson

The titles all wrong … should say Edmunds achieved a driving efficiency of 4.93 miles/kWh (70 miles / 14.2 kWh).

In reality achieving near 5 mile/kWh is good, but not a remarkable achievement. Most EVs can accomplish this on local roads (below highway speeds) on a moderate day weather wise.

4.93 miles/kWh is also ~166 MPGe (based on EPA’s 33.7 kWh/Ge … aka Gallon equivalent energy).

Note: the Bolt at same 4.93 miles/kWh could be driven almost 300 miles (~296 specifically … 4.93 * 60 kWh). I don’t think most humans could accomplish this in one sitting without taking a pee-break!

The joys of driving EV.

Bill Howland

Well there are those of us who do not have prostate troubles as of yet.

Tid

So the Volt at 166 MPGe is more efficient than the Model 3 at 116 MPGe? Now that is real news.

Dan F.

See my note above and the M3 (like most EVs) will substantially outperform its MPGe rating if driven conservatively.

Dan F.

Not really 166 MPGe because MPGe is based on the energy input to the charger (thus factoring in charging losses), not the energy out of the battery which the vehicle’s instruments tell you.

And yet, Tesla’s MPGe rating completely ignores all the energy it consumes conditioning the battery while parked, or conditioning the cabin when set to do so. That’s not an insignificant amount of energy. There should be a way for EPA to include that energy use in their MPGe rating. It is certainly larger in magnitude than typical charger losses.

K-Lein

If the bettery conditioning is mandatory and applied automatically by the car’s computer… Then it probably should be included. But since the amount of conditioning varies a lot based on the air temperature, and whether your car is parked indoors or outdoors, you are going to have a very busy MPGe sticker.

Cabin conditioning : that’s a user’s comfort choice like using the AC. There is no reason to include it in the MPGe rating.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

2013 Volt, 53 miles, I think. It was light traffic on a Sunday morning (actually heading to an NDEW event), 45-55mph highway, with some hypermiling. Had I cut my losses and let one car pass I’d have been able to hypermile more.

Can regularly hit 50 miles off the Interstate in good weather.

We’re over 105mpg for the past 10 months in our Volt, which suggests that we’re about 2/3 EV. Didn’t have any road trip this year, which helped.

Might do better this winter than last because my wife’s workplace now has a couple of chargers which she might make use of if it’s not _too_ cold for the longer walks.

Living somewhere cold, a Gen 2, a 2019+ (ERDTT dropped to -13F, hooray) would raise EV percentage a chunk more, and cut cold engine starts. But not planning to replace the Volt until 2022/2023. Maybe can pick up a Volt before they replace it with another boxy CUV.

JT

I do consistently 60-65 miles. 70 is easily done without A/C unless you do mostly highway. Volt is highly under rated. Best everyday electric car with hassle free road trips included… 🙂

Harvey R

That is pretty darn good. However, none of the conditions of the drive were mentioned? What was the average speed? Was the test drive downhill most of the distance? Were the electric tmiles driven only at the beginning of the test and were contiguous or were they part of a larger drive with the ICE engine on for part of the time (thus maximum regen could take place on the downgrade while the gas engine could be on for the uphill parts)? What were the ambient conditions? Ambient conditions and how the car is driven are critical factors in electric range. BTW, I’ve gotten 72 electric miles on my Volt. However these were obtained mostly on a long downward incline on a freeway as part of a longer drive where I used the gas engine part of the time. Also, the drive (on freeway) was slow and stop and go at some points

Bill Howland

I agree with fotomoto – must be a slow news week, early buyers of the GEN2 VOLT (2016) told me they regularly got 70 miles per charge. Must also be a slow week for Edmunds since its been 3 years and this is news?

How ’bout talking about some new options, such as the optional ‘7.2’ kw charger available. Is it like the BOLT ev in that the actual rating is around 7.7 kw? Now that would be actually informative.

Darren Eveland

You have to drive very lightly to achieve those numbers, and in good weather and favourable terrain. However once winter sets in and you start to use heat, your range will drop very quickly…I can go from 110km range estimated range in summer to less than 60km of range in winter.

Ziv

Eco 2 is my friend and I get along with Eco 3 fairly well. Seriously, even on really cold days, I seldom set the heat higher than Eco 3 and my miles take a hit from the pack being exposed to the cold, but less so from the heater being on.
I don’t care how well a pack is insulated, it takes a huge hit when the temps go below 30 degrees and a further hit if you use your heat on Comfort. Less so if you use Eco, though. You have the jacket and gloves on when you get in the car so keeping the cabin temp at 55 degrees instead of 70 isn’t much of a sacrifice.
But I have still had 26 mile days on my Gen 1 when it is cold and there is snow on the ground.

bro1999

Almost guarantee the ’19 Volt’s onboard charger can charge at up to 7.7 kW. The Bolt’s onboard charger is officially rated at 7.2 as well.

bro1999

I got 58.6 miles one time in my 2012 Volt. Then I switched to run flat tires, and haven’t sniffed 50 since. Still can get 44-45 miles on a good day though.

ModernMarvelFan

Tires make a big difference. After I switched from low rolling tires of Goodyear fuel max to standard luxury tires from Michelin, my efficiency dropped 12%.

Ziv

I recently put another pair of Goodyear Assurance on my Gen 1 and my AER is pretty much the same, though new tires aren’t optimal. Still wishing I had a spare tire, but not willing to carry one around.
I am thinking about switching to 215 50/18’s next fall, more for the handling and look than for AER.

Jps

Speaking of spare tires, any ideas for spares other than the expensive dealer purchase option? I’d like to carry one for out of town trips only.

Jimc066

I have a 2017 Volt and routinely get 75 i’m my commute back and forth to work in the summer months here in NJ. This is on mostly flat roads with a speed between 45-55mph. In the winter, it drops to 60-65. I don’t think i ever got below 60 in this car. Even in very cold weather. I do bypass on the heater and use the heated seats / steering wheel most of the time though.

For comparison, i also have a 2018 Clarity. I don’t commute in this car but in the summer months it will get about 60-62. It’s currently getting about 55 now that the temperature has dropped here in NJ. I use this car on longer trips where it gets incredible gas milage. I easily get above 50mpg driving at highway speeds (70-75mph). This car is about 5mpg better on gas than the Volt at these speeds. The MPG on the clarity is just absolutely incredible for the size/weight of that car

Bill Howland

Toyota and Honda really ‘Sweat the details’ when they want to. Most cars that go 200,000 miles or more without trouble are Toyotas or Hondas (or Lexus’s or Acura’s – same difference.).

troncar

2017 Volt… 67 miles on 14.1 kwh or 4.75 miles per kwh or 130 mpge. Outside temp was 43 degrees F in January 2017. The heater was on. Was probably surface streets in the suburbs. We drive 90 percent EV with this car.

Will

53 miles in Gen 1 2012 Volt

S3XY

Ya and I bet they were driving 10 miles below the speed limit like old folks

Ziv

My Gen 1 does pretty well efficiency wise up to 65 mph, and most of the highways near me are still 55 mph. So I generally do 5 mph over the limit and get pretty good efficiency numbers. I don’t see that many Volts or Teslas doing the speed limit, most are a few mph over. I live in NoVA, so I see a lot of plug in cars, and since I was kind of an early adopter, I still notice them.

Big Show

Don’t get more than 45 miles per charge due to hills, but currently at 273 mpg lifetime in my ’13 Volt.

Charles

The most remarkable aspect of the Volt is that they continue to sell. Imagine the numbers delivered if GM made any reasonable attempt to market this incredibly well engineered machine. It’s both a commuter and a road tripper; two cars in one. Travel range should NOT be part of the discussion when reviewing the Volt as it was designed for those who drive less than 40 miles/day. That’s me. The joy of driving electric without any range concerns is a real comfort.

ModernMarvelFan

Marketing doesn’t do a thing with the Volt. The car itself is just not large enough for mass market appeal.

Of course, if the Volt has a Toyota logo on it, it would probably easily sell 2x as many.

Tom

It lacks utility. Put a Buick badge on it and make it a crossover and a very different result would be in store. Remember when it came out even the base model was over $40k. Regardless of tax credits, the idea paying $45,000 Chevy that isn’t suitable for most families other than as a commuter vehicle is a bit off the mark. With the steady improvements, the 2019 drivetrain is quite formidable. Time to use the thing.

Mark Sumner

Still on my 2011 Volt that I reviewed for AutoBlog Green way back when. 100K miles, and while I used to see 50 now and then, im currently having trouble hitting 40. But I don’t think it’s a battery issue. I think it’s the current tires.

I’m only at a smidge over 100mpg lifetime, mostly because I’ve taken several quite lengthy trips in the car. These days slowly improving the number, but after this many miles, and change is slow to come.

scott

Here you go GM. This is going to blow your minds.
You ready?
Volt drivetrain + Silverado 2500HD = #1 in truck sales.

Seth

I can imagine the 100k price tag already.

Steve

I just made the same comment above. I know GM put out some hybrid tahoes and pick ups back in the mid to late 00’s, but I never heard anything good about them.

Bill Howland

Next year the Silverado will have a 4 cylinder engine in it standard. I typically in the past have bought the smallest engine offered, so I’ll be watching intently as to its longevity.

I’d much rather trust Honda or Toyota to make a fuel efficient package, but an unchanged volt drive train and a Silverado 2500HD I don’t think would work since although conservatively designed, I don’t think there is THAT much headroom to have a constant triple loading and not bust something somewhere.

ziv

I was thinking the same thing, but I think he might have meant Voltec instead of the exact same drivetrain as in a Volt. Heavy up the motors/battery/etc and size it so that you get the same HP but more torque. Find room for a pack large enough to give you 50-60 miles of city AER during the 9 warmer months. Yeah, the highway AER is going to blow, but that is what the genset is for.

Ziv

That should be that the Voltec system in the pickup would get the same HP but more torque than the pickups ICE drivetrain.

Nix

Aim lower first.

Volt + Chevy Equinox. This is more realistic, and is still a very significant amount of GM sales. It is their #2 sales behind the Sillverado.

Thomas Waters
I am approaching 36,000 miles on my 2017 Volt Premier. My driving is rural, mostly highway speeds, 70-75 mph with some small-town driving. I make no attempt to optimize or optimize my electric miles. That said, I regularly get 52 miles of EV range. For the first 12 months of ownership, I drove 26,000 miles, 60% gas engine miles, 40% electric miles, and STILL achieved 82 mpg equivalent (meaning the cost per mile for electricity is cheaper, and I would have to have a gas car getting 82 mpg to cost the same per mile for the 26,000 miles driven). I love this car! It is extremely comfortable, whether on long trips like from Dallas to Jamestown, VA, or just around town. There is plenty of power for passing: 60 to 90 comes very quick! Love the lane holding, distance from the car ahead holding, automatic emergency braking, navigation, etc. It greatly reduces the workload on a 10 to 14 hour road trip, along with the quiet and lack of vibration, although there is some buzz when the gas four-cylinder is working hard. While it does a great job parking itself; I prefer to do that manually!
Mike

I averaged above 50 one my gen 1 for most of the warmer months (best was 54 on 9.7 kWh). About 85 on my wife’s gen 2. About 384 on my Bolt and averaged 6.2 on my first 1600 miles. Cold weather and a lot of highway driving has me in the mid to 5 miles/kWh

Dave

Regularly get 60 to 73 miles on my 2016 during the summer. Get around 45 to 55 in the winter depending on how cold it is. 4 tanks of gas in 2.5 years. 24k miles. 3 recalls otherwise no issues. Awesome vehicle.

Steve
I recently baught a 2011 volt. I’ve not done better then 35 miles. I found that things like driving in the dark, having to run the windsheild wipers, and being in the midwest, now the heater has dropped that. I couldn’t be happier though. It took over as my daily driver from a suburban. I’m still averaging close to 100 miles per gallon of gas. And I can say in the short time I’ve owned it I use less gas in a month then I typically used in a week. Call it 3 months 5800 miles 58 gallons of gas. One fill up on the truck is 30 gallon. And the electric bill that everybody is always so concerned about. What it looks like to me isn’t as much as running my central air. Maybe a dollar a day and I typically run through 2 charges a day. Taking kids to school in the morning and picking them up in the afternoon. Right about a 30 mile round trip. (Rural) So if I find myself running errands thats the only time I find I’m using the gas engine. Thats with the 110v lvl 1 charger. The 240v lvl 2 charger… Read more »
Bill Howland

4 bar charging rate is almost as good as 240 efficiency wise, 2 bar is somewhat less efficient.

LON IVY

I HAVE GOTTEN SEVERAL 85 EV RANGE IN SUMMER ON MY 2017 VOLT.

louie

25 miles on battery with my 2015 Volt,because I like to stay warm and drive in sport mode for the fun of it.

Nix

If you have a 25 mile or less round trip commute, you could still run on electricity the vast majority of the time. This is where people knowing their own personal needs really makes a big difference for PHEVs.

If someone very rarely drives 70 miles a day before recharging at home, there is little difference in them owning a 25 mile range PHEV and a 70 mile range PHEV

Ash09

In my 2014 Volt, I managed 54 miles during one endurance run. In my 2017 Volt, I hit 101 miles on electric. It was driving on back country roads at night, and utilizing a lot of “pulse & glide” coasting techniques. It wasn’t a normal drive by any means, but it was fun seeing if I could hit at least 100 miles on electric.

In “normal driving”, I can get around 68 miles on electric in the summer, and 40 in winter. The numbers could be higher, but I tend to lead-foot it a bit on the way home, partly to keep up with fast traffic, and partly because it’s so darn fun to drive and I figure I’ll have plenty of battery left before I get home.

bjrosen

I regularly get around 72 miles of range in my 2017 Volt in good weather on summer tires, non highway driving. The 53 mile EPA range is pretty accurate as a year round average, it’s also about right for highway driving.

Steven Underwood

My best is 51.1 miles on my Gen 1 2014.

Nix

70 miles is further than most folks get out of an iMiev.

KenC

On a 14kWh usable battery, 5miles/kWh is pretty routine in the Summer in a Gen2 Volt. That works out to 70miles. My best is 75miles on hilly/winding country roads averaging 45mph.

CSP

My best was 112km in my 2017 Chev Volt. That’s 70 miles and without trying to extend the range.

Jps

So far my best electric only range is 56 miles, but I’ve only had my Volt for 3 weeks. I hope to break 60 soon. On my Volt that is, not on the golf course.

Lance M. Gundersen

65 was my highest. It included traveling 5mph under the speed limit, coasting on any downhill and limiting the rate of acceleration. I did it on a Sunday morning in June in conjunction with my mostly back roads and highway commute to work. There was no traffic.

In good weather months, I typically get 55-58

Vince

2015 Volt leaves message after a month to run the engine