CBS Pittsburgh: “Electric Cars Are Like a Foreign Language,” But There’s Nothing Foreign About This: Chevy Volt Owner Gets 600 MPG


CBS Pittsburgh recently ran report on electric vehicles with these opening lines:

Where's the Fuel Go?  I Forget

Where’s the Fuel Go? I Forget

Have you ever considered an electric car?

Fact is, for most of us, the world of electric cars is like a foreign language, but there’s nothing foreign about this.

“Right now, I think I’m getting like 600 miles a gallon,” says Perry Kravec.

Kravec is the proud owner of a Chevy Volt and he’s not alone in reporting 600 miles per gallon or even more.

Kravec then states this:

“It’s telling me it’s using 70 cents a day, is what it’s costing me.  In electricity, that’s what it costs per day.”

“I bought it last December, and I haven’t put any gas in it.”

If Kravec’s story was the exception and not the rule for Volt owners then there’d be no point in reporting on it.  But we’ve now heard hundreds of stories similar to Kravec’s and with each one comes further proof that for most, the Volt is as close to being pure electric as it gets without actually owning a BEV.

This isn’t a “I love my Volt” post though.  Rather, it’s more or less confirmation of what we know to be true: Plug-ins typically consume little to no fuel and save you tons of money.

But are they fun to drive?

As Kravec says:

“…it hit 90 miles per hour so easy, it was scary.”

Kravec had a rather embarrassing moment in the Volt though we he forgot where the gas cap was located and thus had difficult fueling to vehicle.

How much you want to bet that owners of gas-chugging SUVs are so familiar with their gas cap location and operation that they could fuel the vehicle blindfolded?

Source: CBS Pittsburgh

Categories: Chevrolet, General

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68 Comments on "CBS Pittsburgh: “Electric Cars Are Like a Foreign Language,” But There’s Nothing Foreign About This: Chevy Volt Owner Gets 600 MPG"

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Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Yeah, GM could put a little dashboard icon indicating where the fuel port is when you hit the depressurize button, handy for forgetful folks 🙂

Most cars have a little “filling station” icon with an arrow that shows where the fuel cap is located.

Since the fuel gauge is usually on one side of the dash or the other, how about just putting it on the same side as the gas door? Mucho simple.

By his measure, I’m getting infinity miles per gallon! 😉

You beat me to it. MPG = Miles/gallons, so leaf is Miles/0 = infinity.

Infinity miles per gallon in my Fit EV. 🙂

Undefined miles per gallon.

Don’t forget to include the miles that you put on your other (ICE) car. BEV owners (excluding Model S owners) typically forget to include those when making such claims. 🙂

What other car?

You are a rare case in the EV community.

600 MPG? the volt has about a 8 gallon tank. So he can go 4,800 miles before filling up? impressive……..

I got over 6K miles before refueling when I first got mine.


That’s how often most people change their oil 😉

“Right now, I think I’m getting like 600 miles a gallon,” says Perry Kravec.

The volt doesnt even get 400 miles combined, what it this bullshit im reading

Yea, the next article is “volt gives back more gas than it uses”…

It plugs in. What the hell are you talking about???

You put 8 gallons in, but drive 4,800 miles, that is how you get 600mpg. Yup he plugs in to charge kWh, but gallons in vs miles out = 600. Simple math.
But if you want to wine and include electrical costs…
1 gallon $3.50, @ 37mpg
Volt does ~4miles/kWh @ .10c/kWh
+ 563 / 4* $0.10
= ~$17.50 for 600 miles
So in gallons that would be $17.50 / $3.50 or 5 gallons.
Therefore in gas costs that would be 120mpge Nice.

Whenever you drive less than 40 miles between recharges, you don’t use any gas. If you drive 40 miles each day for 15 days, you get 600mpg. BAM!

Do you people even know what PHEV’s are?

You realize, don’t you, that with an average of 40 miles per charge, you can easily rack up several hundred miles between engine starts, don’t you? Sometimes people’s statements make me wonder….

Why even bother posting if you don’t know what you are talking about? It’s amazing to me how people that know almost nothing about a (any) subject can so quickly jump up on the nearest soapbox and start crowing! Anonymity is the reason, I suppose.

Sounds like he should have bought a pure EV. But I guess people need the security blanket.

Maybe he just likes the looks of a Volt more than any of those other affordable EVs.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

When you need that extended range you REALLY need it, especially if you only need one car. Cheaper and more time-efficient to burn the occasional bit of gas than to go thru the hassle and expense of renting vehicles with longer range.

A BEV with all-weather range of 150-200mi could be my only vehicle. Anything less is inadequate. Having had a Volt for the last 2+ years has made that pretty clear.

Car-sharing programs can help with this. But one problem with them is that they don’t let you park your EV in the car-sharing spots.

I have a leaf with a range extender capable of taking the leaf across the united

Also known as a ranger pickup with a car dolly.

200 mile range would be about right for me. I like to visit family in the northern part of my state. They live about 180 miles away. Since there are currently no quick chargers on my route just yet, it would be nice to make it there on one charge. If I want to go full electric and only have one car, it would have to be a Tesla. If I don’t mind using a little gas once in a while, the Volt works quite nicely. If I’m making a longer road trip than that, I should expect to refuel at some point no matter what the source.

So much Volt hate from the EV side of the house is rather unfortunate. But then again we, the Volt drivers are rather used to it. Most have reached the state of Zen: what non-Volt drivers think about the Volt is irrelevant, and the Volt hate is an actual compliment. 🙂

We don’t hate the Volt. We dislike misleading figures like MPG when they fail to take into account electricity.

At “600 MPG”, this Volt owner would have been better served with a pure electric vehicle, because that’s all they’re using their Volt as — a 40 mile range EV.

There is a double standard there. The MPGe is also meaningless as it cannot take into account how the supplied electricity is made. It abstracts that. There is no gallon involved. Instead we all prefer to measure the efficiency/consumption in electric mode as miles/kWh or Wh/mile.

The point is that although the Volt can use gas, it typically uses very little of it. That is very important for folks out there to understand.

IMO the MPG unit is also somewhat meaningless as it doesn’t take into account the source and processing costs of the petrol or Diesel used in the car. If your tank of fuel came from Canada’s tar fields then your true efficiency is going to be much lower than if you are using a tank of petrol made from light sweet crude. Same goes for the tank of electrons that started off as Ohio coal vs the tank of electrons that started off as water in a dam.

I am with you on the true energy per distance thing though.

Really I think it is the electric “MPG” that is misleading, I would have thought a “kWh per 100km” would be more appropriate as this is a universal unit that could be used for comparison between LPG/Diesel/ethanol/EV/Petrol/fuel cell and anything else that comes along. It is the closest true measure of efficiency, if we want to get truly anal about things it should really be a % i.e. =(useful energy out/total energy in)*100.

Eeeeexactly. Miles per volt. That is the only measure that matters for EVs.
the rest is mixing apples and manure.

Aren’t we all really on the same team here, Aaron? Take a chill pill, man.

I love all EV’s. The choice people make is purely based on their particular needs. Can’t we all just get along? Lol.

This is all about Volt vs. ICE cars, as Volts use gasoline like 99.x% of all cars on the road. ICE owners are totally tethered to oil and have no choice but to suck it up and pay whatever the price is for gas which is out of their control. But to a Volt owner, oil is secondary – it is merely a backup.

So – as this is about Volt vs. ICE ownership, there is nothing misleading about a Volt owner bragging about their infrequent need for gasoline. In fact it is an extremely relevant and worthwhile thing to know. Because, unlike any BEV including all Teslas, there is no road in America beyond the range of a Volt.

Which is to say, the Volt is a fantastic automobile.

Well, our misleading figures is because you guys usually don’t care the amount of electricity we use (especially if obtained from alt sources) , and are only concerned with how much of that horrible gasoline we are using.. Hence, the forgetting the electricity cost part.

I agree. Volt is staying pretty darn strong despite all the “hate” from both the LEFT and the RIGHT.

Fox News hate the Volt almost as much as the extreme hard core BEV fans…

Considering the pressure from both sides, Volt is holding up pretty darn good….

It’s impossible to get 600 MPG when the car gets 40 MPG on gas and 90 MPGe on electricity. There’s no way you can average 40 and 90 and get over 90. Once again, it’s another EV owner ignoring the cost of electricity.

Ok, so let’s use $/mile then. The problem? ICE drives have no idea of what that is. They pay $60 to a $100 at the pump and then drive like maniacs for a couple of days, idle while parked, etc.

The other problem? It does not sufficiently convey that the vehicle does not use or does not use much gasoline.


Again this is just playing with numbers. The guy doesn’t get 40 mpg because he never uses the engine except for 5 minutes every 6 weeks and then uses only a pint. He might get 90 mpge but then you guys don’t care about that. How can I prove that?

David Noland of GreenCarReports always rightly complained about the 4800 mile per year ‘vampire loss’ of the Model S, which no one else seemed to mind. Its now down to a rather impressive 1200 mile per year loss, the only question remaining is, How does it perform in very cold weather”?

So if you will, since everybody ignored the S’s vampire loss when it had a big problem, just minimize the Volt’s electricity use also. Its quite frugal with electricity in most seasons and locales.

Another blogger has claimed you are essentially driving a full electric car for the vast majority of the time, and the only ones complaining are the BEV haters. So just accept for 98% of the time its a full EV and dont worry about the rest. Volt drivers in general do save a huge amount of gasoline.

These kinds of articles obsfucate not educate. Yeah, I got 600+ mpg a couple months ago, but, if I use that mis-information without qualification the student shuts down. It is just not believable since it is ignoring the dual-fuel nature if Volt.

It’s like saying I get 300 mpg with my CNG/gas pickup while ignoring the CNG!

When people ask I tell them I use about $20 worth of electricity plus around a gallon of gasoline each month. I am back up to 270 mpg on Voltstats, which I share with them, but I always say something along the lines of, “Plus the electricity, but a dollars worth of electricity usually takes me 40 miles. How far does a dollars worth of gasoline take your car?”

Then tell the truth and tell us how many miles did you travel burning and spewing your gasses.
Is it that difficult to determine what the Volt gets on 1 gallon of gas?

EPA states 37mpg combined.

typical Voltard metrics through “Rosie Glasses”.



Well, I just tell people that I only used 179 gallons in the 26,000 miles I have driven.

That is absolutely correct. B/c they didn’t ask me about how many KWh I have used it.

This is NO different from LEAF ads that shows “Never buy gas again”… Well, you just buy it on your other car or the car you rented or the in the form of tow truck…. I am actually okay with both ads. B/c it “shocks” the gas world and anything will get people into a “plugin” car….

So it’s bad if one drives their BEV, then take their ICE for a drive but when a Volt drives in EV then switches to ICE it’s makes it better?

Yeah, that makes more sense……I really hope your joking.

And can you tell the world what does the Volt do if the gas gets “stale” in the tank?
Go ahead, the floor is yours……

One car would take less resources than 2 cars.

Add a small bottle of stabilizer.

Same goes with your “other ICE” which sits there doing nothing…

qwerty, I couldn’t help but laugh at your “voltard” comment. Sorry to see you so wrapped around the axle, LOL!
I have purchased 5 gallons of gas in 6 months and I get around 40 mpg when the genset is in use. It looks like I may need to buy another 5 or 6 gallons soon, though. Feel better? 😉

lol, these articles do phev’s injustice. Your statement is more productive and a better representation of real results. I would give you a plus 1 if I could.

It’s simple.
Put 1gallon of gas in the Volt, fully charged. Now drive till the petrol sucker fires up and continue till it finishes suckling the jiz from the sandlands. How far did it go on that that one gallon?

I hate all this fake mpg/mpge garbage these Voltards spew!

How old are you qwerty? Your immaturity is showing.

However, the logic is valid.


By your reasoning, then why don’t we fully charge a BEV like the LEAF and then drive it until it is out of charge and then call the tow truck and see how many gallon of gas or diesel that would take to tow it back?

That is just dumb…

I agree that MPG “blended” can be misleading, but it shocks gas people so they will look at anything with a plug different.

Your kind of attitude is what disturb me…

Prove qwerty wrong then idiot!

Take the Volt on a drive with a full tank and full charge. Drive it till empty. Did you go 600mpg?!?!?
How about 240mpg?
maybe 100mpg?

I don’t see anywhere in qwerty’s post comparing the volt to a BEV.
Just because a BEV doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else.

I have no idea why all you Voltards keep touting that the best feature of the Volt is the ability to continue dependency on fossil fuel. Hypocritical is what that is. Tout the ability to be an ev but compare it to a BEV and claim the Volts better because you can continue your dependency on foreign oil.

Talk about DUMB!

You know, some of us here take all of this to a bit of a nerdy level. Let’s just all pat each other on the back for the fact that as owners of EV’s, PHEV’s, etc., we are all doing the right thing, and not be nerds.

p.s. EtchiMcKrotch and qwerty don’t be nerds.

Well, he is comparing it to an ICE car. If that is the case, then let us apply the same model to a typical ICE car.

It is the same thing. Anyone can select any given condtion to make a particular type of car looking bad.

The fact he is very negative on the Volt owners as “Voltards” is the fact that he is just another Volt hater or clueless idiot.

Like I said, Volt are hated on both side of the isles.

The extreme harddore BEV supporters are DUMB as well for hating the Volt for having an engine on board.

The Volt’s best feature is to make an EV possible without depending on today’s retarded infrastructure. Calling tow truck is NOT my idea of reducing dependency on fossile fuel.

In fact, Volt owners have had more EV miles than LEAF owners have done in the US. Average LEAF owners drive 31 miles per day where Volt owners drive 40 miles per day is exactly what Volt is good for.

Instead of supporting any reduction in fossil fuel, BEV Elitist like Qwerty and You are thumbing your noise at the Volt and its owners…. Shameful.

Qwetry, there is no road in the world beyond the range of a Volt. The same cannot be said for ANY BEV including Tesla.

The same can be said for any ICE vehicle.

But go ahead, keep your dependency!

Well, when you gotta go, you gotta go. Sometimes that means going far beyond where Leaves and Teslas die out. Meanwhile, a Volt keeps on rolling – no worries, no grief. Never will one’s wife and kids shiver in the cold wondering how you’ll ever get home while you look for excuses for going further than you thought you could go in your LEAF.

Unless you are single LEAF owner who got no life, you got no right to criticize it.

By having a seond ICE car or “renting” it as needed or NOT having a life that requires long distance travel is NOT exactly something you should be proud of your “elitist” attitude.

I’ve had my volt for a few years now. It’s charged with a Solar PV array that has long been paid off by eliminating my home electric bill. I now consider it “free” energy. All this talk about MPG equivalent makes absolutely no sense to me. It all depends on where your energy comes from. I can easily say my tank of fuel lasts me 1000 miles, sometimes more. The rest of the energy literally comes out of thin air…the sun. I do not have space for a second car, I do not want a second car. I do not like rentals. I do like taking spontaneous trips through the mountains. The Volt is the ONLY car that suits my needs. For someone else, it might not, that’s why it’s good we have options! Find the one that you like, but quit hating on what someone else likes because they don’t share your opinions.

Yeah, have you ever heard of a BEV owner bragging about how many “electric gallons” of mileage that the get? Nope. They don’t seem to like talking in terms of MPGe.

They would like you to think that they only run on butterfly farts and rainbows.

By the way, I am at 94.7% EV, 474 MPG. So, not much gas burned, only when I need it. And, I don’t even work that hard at it. So I think the Volt is great! Personally, I have trouble understanding how the average Volt owner has much less MPG than I get.

Different people have different needs.

I need a car that can do a 200 mile daily commute once per week. No other BEV can do that for under $40K.

Steve Marsh is lucky that he got chance to stop for a charge on the way to work and charge at work. Some people don’t have that luxury or time to waste on the way to work/home.

I do find this discussion interesting … as a study in human behavior. Once we “invest” in something we defend it. Once we accept a way of life, we defend it. But in reality, what we need is very basic and what we want is very subjective. We need neither a Volt nor a Leaf. We don’t need to travel long distances. We don’t even need to have a car at all, 90% (a rough guess) of the world’s population doesn’t have one. Why not walk, bike, or take a train? And if we “can’t” it’s because we’re defending again. The reality is that if we care enough to claim we can get anywhere from 50 mpg to infinity, we are living the fantasy that changing a little is actually making a difference. If we really care, if we really want to live by the sentiments of the arguments in these comments, we should find some way to change our situation (and drag as many others along with us kicking and screaming). Only those who profit from our situation (the gas and car companies) will tell you that this reality (the one where you need a car) is the only… Read more »

Maybe you can afford to live closely to a major city. I can’t.

It is expensive to live in a crowded city…

You made your choice, I made mine.

Wow, so much name calling!
Can’t we all just get along.
I had a Ford Focus BEV for 17 weeks. It spent 10 of those in the repair shop. As soon as I got it out I traded it in on a Ford C Max Energi. I am happy with it so far. Do I really need to burn gas? No, I am lucky enough to be able to charge at work for free. I can commute easily with charging at home and at work. I drove a Leaf, but didn’t like the “feel ” of it. I don’t care about MPG or MPGe numbers. I don’t care if my gas comes from tar sands or light crude oil. I don’t care if my electrons come from coal, solar, or nuclear. I just enjoy driving a smooth, quiet electric car. So, let’s all get together and introduce people to how great ALL kinds of electric transportation is!