Chevy Volt Owners Pass 1 Billion Total Miles


Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

It’s official: Chevy Volt owners have collectively driven more than 1 billion miles!!!

Of those 1 billion miles, nearly 625 million were driven electrically.

As for gas savings, General Motors claims that Volt owners have saved over 32.5 million gallons of fuel.

Think over those figures for just a moment…

According to the data (collected directly from the vehicles via OnStar), nearly 62.5% of the total 1 billion miles were driven on battery power alone.

The ~32.5 million gallons of gas saved equates to ~$119,990,000 (average current cost of premium gas in U.S. @ $3.692 per gallon) not spent on fuel.

Honestly, only one word comes to mind… WOW!!!

Hat tip to Cole Kracke!!!

Categories: Chevrolet


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40 Comments on "Chevy Volt Owners Pass 1 Billion Total Miles"

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Congrats to my fellow Voltarians!

Now if we can get GM to fix the website counter overflow issue… 🙂

Cool. What is disheartening is that all those gallons of gas, 32.5 million, are only about 1/10 of what the US consumes in a day.

For every 6 gallons you don’t buy, there’s an extra gallon of fuel not used to refine. So, that’s 37 million gallons.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I reckon ya gotta start somewhere, and the fact that the electricity I use is both cheaper than gasoline and is entirely sourced from American feedstocks and generated in American plants by Americans, gives me warm fuzzies.

Here’s hoping GM didn’t puss out on Volt 2.0 .. If there’s no higher-amperage charger it will be quite a disappointment, especially considering competitors’ weaker PHEVs have 6.6kW and higher…

I forget the percentage of USA owners that declined to use OnStar as well so the number is higher (7% sounds familiar but I could very well be wrong with my memory – it was a GM person that stated it tho).

This is interesting, because the webpage that also tracks OnStar data, shows the average for their owners to be over 70% of miles in EV mode. So we know how well the Volt can do in the hands of thousands of enthusiasts.

It sounds like there are quite a few Volts out there in the hands of non-enthusiasts that are really dragging down the EV% averages. It would only take about 5-10% of the Volts out there being in the hands of folks who never plug them in to drag down the EV% average into the low 60% range.

I hate to say it, but that makes for a very good argument AGAINST using the Volt for fleet use. Folks who don’t care about EV’s (or openly hate EV’s) who get assigned a Volt to drive, would be better off being assigned a regular Hybrid, or a small diesel car if they do lots of highway miles. Some people are just bound and determined to not join the EV revolution, and trying to force them to drive a Volt appears to be backfiring and dragging down the overall Volt stats.

Your suggestion is rather short-sighted. You ultimately seem to care more about the Volt stats than overall fleet stats.

In the short term, fleet Volts that are never plugged in certainly burn more gas than a Prius would have. But those cars are only used in the fleet for a few years, and then they are auctioned off. Today you can find some good deals on 2-3 year old Volts if you look hard enough. The fleet has already paid for most of the depreciation. This provides a huge boost to the secondary market. With any luck the second owner will be more savvy, and take the time to plug it in.

The other factor is the electric drive of the Volt. The Prius is boring and bland to drive. The Volt is dynamic and fun. When the person who drove a “company Volt” moves to a new job, they may have to buy their own car. There is a good chance they will at least consider a Volt. If they buy one, they will almost definitely plug it in at home.

One step back, two steps forward.

And you can look at the median instead of the average. For example, the median EV% on Voltstats is 79%. Using the median helps mitigate the data from those who drive 100,000 miles/year and never plug in.

Brian, that is an interesting way to look at it. But ultimately it will just backfire on fleet managers who actually have to answer to their bosses as to why they are eating all those depreciation costs, and getting nothing out of it. There is enough anti-EV backlash already.


I am an unabashed Volt enthusiast and average 63% electric – just like the US Volt average. I charge every night and drive electric every possible mile. My Volt is not my “fun” car. It is my ONLY car. I don’t have work re-charging access and I go all over rural Nor Cal for both work and pleasure where there are no “opportunity” charging options – not even Superchargers if I had a Tesla. There is no way a BEV like a Tesla or a Leaf would work for me. The Volt was designed EXACTLY for drivers like me and my driving habits. So, no, it’s not the “fleet” people who don’t ever charge their Volt that keeps the EV mile % at 62%. It’s real-life driving.

The brilliance of the Volt is that the average US driver can have a single affordable go-anywhere PHEV vehicle and actually achieve that amazing EV% without any comprehensive form of public charging infrastructure. Jon Lauckner and Bob Lutz really knew what they were doing when they came up with the Voltec concept. If GM marketing was a bright and creative as GM engineering, the Volt would be one of their best sellers.

HVACman — If you get the national average, and we know that there is a very large group of enthusiasts on who drive more miles than the national average in EV mode, then that means there have to be drivers that go way less miles in EV mode than you go.

Those are the folks I’m talking about. The same fleet cars that Brian is talking about. Not just folks like you who plug in when they can. I’m talking about folks that rarely ever (or never) plug in their Volts, because they are fleet cars.

No offense intended towards anyone who plugs in whenever possible, and still drives more miles in a day than a Volt will go on electricity alone.

Or, fleet managers could ensure that reimbursements are not just for gas, but for electricity too. Fleet mismanagement is likely a bigger issue we fleets than people simply not caring.

I agree, that would definitely help. The problem is still metering and tracking. You don’t get a receipt every morning for the electricity you used to fill up your battery, the way you get a receipt when you fill up with gas.

And the tax rules are pretty clear. No receipt, and the company can’t count is as a tax deduction (reduction). If the company just gives you a fixed amount for reimbursement without receipts, then that is considered by the IRS to be a taxable benefit. Then the company has to withhold taxes, and you get to pay taxes on it as if it were income.

There are real issues that are a problem that don’t have easy fixes.

I thought the IRS considers vehicle charging benefits negligible and hence does not require tracking or taxing of those benefits.

And for the metrically inclined, Volts have now passed 1 billion electric kilometres.

I only understand distances if they expressed by how many times around the Earth or trips to the moon they are.

Or maybe rods, or furlongs… or.. 🙂

You mean 99% of the countries in the world? Oh, that tiny target group. 😉

There are still 3 countries in the world still not having the SI-system as the official one. Even North Korea, Afghanistan and Somalia are ahead of the US in development in that matter. 😉

Correction : 1.6 billion kilometres

I do love that car, but in Al Gore’s book he said we have to get to 80%. 62.5% though very impressive it still is less than 80. So GM either put more batteries in the car or an engine that can run on E85, hopefully both. If you don’t the car will be tossed on to the scrap pile of history with all the rest of the fossil fuel powered appliances.

That 80% is on the total fleet average. Today, maybe 0.1% of all miles driven are electric. The best way to increase that number faster is to get more Volts into more driveways. GM should focus on lowering the price (maybe a stripped version), and entering more vehicle segments (Voltec CUV anyone?). That will go much MUCH farther towards Gore’s 80% goal than putting more batteries or a Flex Fuel engine in the car.

I was trying to make a point without writing a book. I do believe the next Volt will have an increase in all electric range. (A small increase will probably get that number close to 80) Pair that with E85 fuel and carbon emissions drop close to 0. I wouldn’t have suggested it if I didn’t think GM already had the engine.

Understood, but my point is that the problem with the Volt isn’t that it doesn’t have enough AER or high enough CS MPG. It’s simply that they don’t (yet) sell in volumes high enough to really affect the overall fleet.

Imagine a world in which EVERY car got half the Volt’s AER. That world would burn a whole lot less gasoline than our current fleet.

These numbers are great, but can we put some context to them? How many miles did Americans drive say in 2013? How about worldwide?

Here’s a graph of the miles traveled and gas saved. (just before we hit 1 billion)

As always, nice graph! As an engineer, I always appreciate you adding them to these conversations.

What is that glitch in late 2012?

I dunno what was going on w/GM at that time. I just pulled the raw data and plotted it.

According to the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Commission, the moving 12 month average for miles driven in the US has been just under 3 trillion the last few years. So let’s say 11 trillion miles from 1 Jan 2011 to today.

Cumulatively, Volts have been driven 624 million EV miles over the same time period, or 0.0056% of all miles driven. =/

Assuming that Volts account for roughly half of EV miles, that’s about 0.01% of miles were driven electrically.

BUT that is averaged since 2011. The number of EVs on the road has grown significantly since then. I would be more interested in the past 12 months. I would guess that we might be closing in on 0.1% since October 2013. That’s 1 in 1000. Not a bad start.

So, there is 375 000 000 miles driven with inefficient gasoline engine. So, can we conclude that Chevy Volt allows about 30–40 % fuel savings compared to fuel efficient diesel car?

I would not call this particularly progressive considering how well Chevy Volt is overpriced and depended on federal tax credit.

Comparing averages is always a poor idea. I have almost 19,000 miles on my volt and I am about half way through my 5th tank of gas. (~33 gallons total). What I have saved in gas is pretty close to offsetting the price of adding additional solar panels to my roof, so the next 10-15 years of driving is already paid for. No diesel can do that.

“inefficient gasoline engine”

Huh? The Volt gets 38mpg in CS mode. (40 on the highway which is where most CS mode driving occurs). How many regular ICE cars can do that? And you call this “inefficient”?

Also don’t agree w/your comments on “overpriced” and “dependent”.

I think he is saying it would be overpriced if not for the federal tax incentive. Love the Volt, but if it wasn’t for that incentive it would have been a tad out of my price range, so you have to give him that.

Counter point is when I got my TDI Sportwagen it had a $1500 credit that has since expired. A lot of 2nd gen Prius owners had some credits that made their cars great buys.

My Volt kills my former TDI in terms of overall fuel usage. 27 gallons in about 11k miles on the Volt vs. much more on the TDI. Hundreds if not thousands of times less cold ICE starts. Our daily driving fits the average US profile. The incentives are in the right place right now.

If you assume that the 375 million miles averaged 38 MPG (from the sticker), the Volt fleet is averaging 101 MPG of gasoline. How is that only 40% fuel savings from a diesel car?

Put another way, at 38MPG, those Volts burned 9.87 million gallons of gas over 375million gas miles and 1 billion miles. To get 40% savings, the diesel needs to burn 16.4 million gallons over 1 billion miles. That’s 60.8MPG. Where are you finding a diesel that gets 60.8 MPG?

The Cruze diesel gets 33 MPG combined! That’s worse that the Volt never plugged in! According to, the most efficient diesel on the market in 2014 is the BMW 328, and even that gets only 37 combined. Where is this magical efficient diesel?

Absolutely true Brian. Calling the ICE inefficient is wrong headed since it is a prime mover, and is the most efficient method of transport during cold weather. The VOLT is highly efficient during the cold winter months, something people don’t experience in San Diego.

My Solar Prime mover is roughly 12% efficient. DO I care? Not in the slightest since the Sun is prolific, and its making my shingles under the panels last longer since they no longer bake in the summertime.

Great question Jouni. My best guess is it depends on your usage. Choices are good, and pick the best choice for you.

I’ve owend a TDI wagon before. Fun, efficient car though I was a little spooked by owning it outside of warranty due to some issues owners had. For us, the Volt kills it several times over in terms of total fuel consumed. Like a lot of folks, long 1000+ mile trips were rare but 30 miles days made up of short 3-7 mile trips happen 5 days a week. The number of short starts on an ICE don’t work well for something that doesn’t plug in and have a decent AER. The Volt EV% is skewed by some fleet outliers that never plug in. The medium values tell another story, as do the number of trips where no gas is used at all (so no cold starts) which is over 80%.

If you drive the typical 25-35 miles a day that most people drive per day, the car is works great.

Love this car.

Just a nit: The icon at the top of the page shows 100 million miles, not 1 billion.

Just think – if those Volt drivers had bought Leafs instead, they probably could have driven 800 million miles in EV mode, and used their other car for the balance.

That is a bug on GM’s site as noted in the story. The least significant digit is not being shown on the site following the rollover.

“if those Volt drivers had bought Leafs instead, they probably could have driven 800 million miles in EV mode, and used their other car for the balance.”

Well, that is a big if.

For some people, Volt is their ONLY car. So if they didn’t buy Volt, they wouldn’t buy the LEAF either.

For some people, their other car is a gas guzzling SUV which might end up using more gas based on their drive pattern.

My commute is gas free and can be replaced by the LEAF. However, I wouldn’t buy the LEAF since once per week, I would have to drive a 200 miles trip for week that LEAF wouldn’t be able to make. If I switch the car, our other family car is Honda Pilot which get about 22 mpg on the hwy. The Volt easily do 40 mpg on the hwy for the same drive. Volt still save me more gas overall…

Unless you already have a Prius or something high mpg as a second car, it just doesn’t make sense to replace the Volt with a LEAF for saving gas.

Rental cars also don’t get better gas mileage than Volt…

I don’t know if I agree with your statement about Leafs. Statistics show Volt owners, on average, drive more electric miles than Leaf owners. Not drawing any definitive conclusions here, but the statistic would seem contrary to your assertion.

Best I can tell, the counter is counting past a billion, but not showing the least significant digit. Update it to show the whole number GM! Great accomplishment!