Is The Chevy Volt The World’s Best New Electric Car?


2016 Chevrolet Volt

2016 Chevrolet Volt

How exceptional is the new Chevy Volt? Will it attract a larger audience than its predecessor?

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior

2016 Chevrolet Volt Interior

The next generation Volt is a much improved car in so many ways:

  • More electric-only drive (53 miles)
  • Total miles reported at 420
  • Added seating (compact middle-rear seat)
  • Increased low-end torque
  • User-friendly cabin layout
  • Wi-fi hotspot
  • 10 airbags
  • Reverse camera
  • Improved regenerative braking system
  • Improved structural protection for battery packs
  • Forward collision warning system with emergency braking (optional)
  • Lane departure warning (optional)
  • Rear cross traffic alert (optional)

It seems Chevy has made tremendous strides with the new 2016 Volt and NY Daily News Autos seems to think that the new Volt is so exceptional that it openly wonders and explores this question in a recent article:

“Does the world’s best green car wear a Chevy bowtie?!?”

The review concludes with this:

“The electric driving range alone rivals the total range offered by some of today’s EVs. Meanwhile, the price and functionality of the Volt make a compelling case for stopping the SUV and crossover mania in its tracks, before it wreaks havoc across the entire automotive world. Cars can be fun, even when they don’t have a gazillion horsepower.”

“Chevrolet got it very, very right with the 2016 Volt. Now, all the brand needs is for people to finally sit up and take notice.”

To read the full review, check out NY Daily News Autos at the source link below.

Source: NY Daily News

Categories: Chevrolet


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167 Comments on "Is The Chevy Volt The World’s Best New Electric Car?"

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No. The best “electric” cars, don’t burn Petrol. Ever.

Considering a Volt travels more electric miles than a Leaf per year, I would tend to disagree.

I sincerely doubt it travels more miles electric than a leaf per year. Our 2015 VW e-Golf went 15,000 electric miles in 12 months commuting and running errands and picking up kids… It definitely used more than 53 miles worth of electricity on most days.

Also whats with the automated cruise control that the Volt was supposed to have? I did not see that in the list above, thought that was going to be a major differentiator compared to the Bolt?

My statement is completely true on a per-capita basis, and in fact there have been articles referenced here on InsideEVs to that effect from studies performed of the statistical data at national labs.

Remember, you need to look at fleet statistics, and not your single use case.

For example, you may have traveled 15,000 miles in your eGolf, but the 2012 “Sparkie” on has traveled 105,000 EV miles (35,000 electric miles per year). Neither datapoint is relevant in the grand scheme of things, but the averages are, and support my claim.

Why does it even matter which has more miles? It doesn’t. World’s best? Hell no.

Idaho National Lab Link:

2012 Volt “Sparkie” Voltstats Link:

Regarding ACC, the 2017 Volt will have that, though it is late model year availability (who knows why)

One other Reply to myself (just call me James) 😉 …

The Idaho Lab study I referenced actually shows the Leaf with slightly more EV miles, but not much. Prior studies (which I don’t have in front of me) have shown a similar advantage given to the Volt instead. Perhaps the heat pump in newer Leafs helped just enough to reverse who had the edge.

There was a long thread between two guys on GCR about this… LOL (They were posting for days on this topic and one of them even claimed to write to INL about their “survey bias”)… People got too much time on their hand.

But one of the guy does have a point that Volt survey didn’t include any of the SF Bay Area Volt in their study for some reasons…

But the difference in EV miles between the LEAF and Volt was less than 2 miles per day on average.

And all of that data was collected with Gen1 Volts. With 50% more range, Gen2 Volts will easily beat those statistics.

If I wasn’t in that thread, then I was in a different one.

The INL study was overwhelmingly comprised of Leafs from the Pacific Northwest (i.e. the best possible weather for a TMS-less BEV) and, as I recall, contained less than 5 Volts from the Bay Area (I want to say it was literally zero).

“One other Reply to myself (just call me James) ? …!”

– Maybe it’s a “Volt Guy” thang……


Haha! Good to hear from you James, and glad you saw the “shout out” 🙂

Thanks for the links but they do not support your assertion that volts travel more electric miles than leafs. It is primarily based on gen 1 leafs and sub 100 mile AER leafs. Sre you assuming that is so or can you provide a link that actually backs up your assertion?

I cannot provide a link for Gen 2 Leafs that are just coming out, but would bet my hat that the Gen 2 Volts will out-range them as well.

I’ve provided far more evidence to support my stance than you have at this point! 🙂

Does anyone know what the median miles per year is for the Volt and the Bolt?

Blah Blah Blah, it does use gas and it has a complex system prone to fail and it add to the GHGs. It is NOT a BEV. Period.

Prone to fail? That’s reactionary don’t you think? Where is your data?

I could say BEV’s are prone to fail. My Leaf has had it’s traction motor swapped out, as have many a Model S.

This comment is as enlightened and balanced as the Koch Brothers stance on electric cars.

Prone to fail like any other over complex Infernal Pollution Engine.

Apparently the 2012 Volt proved you wrong.

Didn’t Steve Marsh’s LEAF with 140K miles lost so many bars that they are barely useful now?

RexxSee, you say the gasoline engine is too complicated.

In my 2011 Volt, the only long-term casualty I’ve had is a defective 3300 watt charger (failed suddenly last week while charging at a 900 watt rate).

I’m a bit confused, since Remy was advertising an ‘extremely robust’ water-cooled 3300 watt charger that the advertising copy implied would never fail in normal service.

My only other issue is I apparently have a coolant leak in the battery antifreeze loop, which the level is also down in my 1 year old ELR. But the dealer presumably will fix that under warranty.

So the only ‘worn’ items I’ve had in the VOLT to date are strictly electrical drive train items, which I wouldn’t have in a conventional car.

I did have much trouble during the first week or two with the car, but that was back when GM was arrogant regarding release of info, and I wasn’t aware of the car’s more than the usual ‘GM Idiosynchrousies’, which you just have to get used to with any upscale GM product over the past 30 years.

Maybe if the Leaf’s system were a little more complex, you wouldn’t have Leaf drivers losing 20% of their range before they’re done paying off the car.


Good one.

Speaking of complex system, RexxSee drives a Prius which is equally “complex”…

Skryll, There have been a couple articles with these stats that backup what ClarksonCote said. Wondering how that is possible? The yearly mileage for the Leaf is less than the average for the typical car – reflecting it is used for daily commuting and errand and not for longer road trips – at least for the majority of owners. If you personally drive more than 53 miles per day on a typical day, your average miles are considerably more than most Americans per car. Most people in the U.S. drive less than 35 per day on a typical day. So, even Gen I Volt’s EV miles was basically identical to the LEAF yearly EV miles. Also, take into account that the minority of Leaf and Volt owners who drive, like yourself, greater than the average miles per day on their typical days may also have chances to charge in between trips. Note, some people make the mistake of taking the average yearly miles and divide by 365 to get make conclusions about how much AER is needed to cover daily commute/errand driving. You can’t take yearly miles and divide by 365 because longer road trips skew the numbers significantly. Well,… Read more »

50*7*50 = 17500, 17500 > 15000

Also whats with the automated cruise control that the Volt was supposed to have? I did not see that in the list above, thought that was going to be a major differentiator compared to the Bolt?


Easy with the Volt hate.

The article reviews a MY16 vehicle. The option you refer to is, as was promised by GM, now available on the MY17 Chevy Volt:

Adaptive cruise control – $ 1,195.00

Slows or accelerates the vehicle to maintain a driver-selected following distance to the car ahead.

Requires available Driver Confidence Package and available Driver Confidence II Package. 1 Safety features are no substitute for the driver’s responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. The driver should remain attentive to traffic, surroundings and road conditions at all times. Read the vehicle’s owner’s manual for more important safety information.

0k! I guess anything goes!


Volt EV??? That’s news to me ! I think he means the “BOLT”….& it’s not for sale yet!…Dazed & confused…I’d say…….

yup… got that right!

No it is not, to be the “World’s Best” it should be sold worldwide and this car is not sold worldwide. it is only sold in two or three counties.

“Chevrolet got it very, very right with the 2016 Volt. Now, all the brand needs is for people to finally sit up and take notice.” Well, I would like to sit up in the car, but my head touches the roor interior unless I slouch, in the front seat! In the back seat, since I don’t have little kids, my own head is bent over sideways like 45 degrees or more, so to ‘Sit up’ back there is not possible!

They could have got it even better with a (at least optional) 6.6 to 7.2 kW AC charger on board! At 53 mile range and 18.4 kWh pack, since it is bigger than that of the iMiEV, it could alao gave added a DC QC port as well!

So if they could put this full drive train, or an even better one in a big boys car, I might be able to agree that it was good for me.

The 2016 Volt is the longest EV range plug-in hybrid. And really, isn’t the EV range what it’s really all about?

Without a doubt…..Tesla Model S is the Best Electric Car!

I disagree, Anon. It is pretty obvious that the new Volt IS the best new electric car out there. The S is a better, much more expensive, car, but it isn’t new.
The new Volt is a great electric car. This “It ins’t electric if it has a gas tank” whining is remarkably petty. The Volt can go weeks, sometimes months, without using gas. AND it can drive all day with 5 minute gas tank fillups on those rare days you need to cover 500+ miles over a countryside remarkably devoid of fastcharging stations so far.
The Volt is the car for most drivers right now. In 5 years there may be new BEV’s under $50k that are as good as the Volt is now, but it ain’t happened yet.

No, it is not the greatest Electric Car. It is a Hybrid!

Maybe change the title because it is a joke.

I own a Chevrolet Volt and I would agree with you guys. A hybrid cannot be the greatest electric car. Although I would argue, its limited EV range is a great gateway drug to the EV experience. I know my next car will either be a Bolt or a Model 3. I need at least 150 miles of reliable range but cannot afford a Model S.


That’s what happened to me. My early ’11 Volt was (eventually) replaced with an e-golf.

Topically, I should point out that I put more EV miles on the Volt than I will on the e-golf. Both suit my daily needs just fine (the Volt 99% of the time, anyway) but I have to burn gas start-to-finish on longer drives when I can’t take the e-golf. When I had it, I would have taken the Volt, adding another 35ish EV to my total.

Really Clive?

A hybrid can’t give you 53 miles of all electric range. A hybrid can’t give you full performance and top speed without using the engine. A hybrid typically can’t be plugged in. A Volt can do all these things.

The only thing that the Volt can’t do that an EV can is leave you stranded when the battery dies.

80% of all trips in the Gen 1 Volt were done without using gasoline. That number is forecast to be 90% with the new Gen 2 Volt.

So I would opine that a Volt is far more electric than it is a hybrid. And statistics seem to back that up.


What is the difference between an EV that you can only charge from the grid and one that carries its own generator on board and you can also charge from the grid?

I don’t think the volt is the best EV ever, but really that is a totally subjective term anyway. I’d like GM to pull their finger out and make it the “best selling EV ever” but I suspect it will continue to be a “halo” car because unlike the cruze this car could never be expected to sell in large volumes – please note I am being sarcastic, for the right price the Volt could easily out sell the cruze.

I dunno. I think you could remove the tax credit and price the Volt the same as a similarly equipped Cruze, and you wouldn’t see “mainstream” sales.

Plug-ins are still weird/unknown for the vast majority of consumers. Many people also consider “green” vehicles as “weak” no matter what stats you quote them. Also, many people don’t have a place to plug in, even if it’s just 120V.

Time is the cure to most/all of these.

The Volt priced fairly as the Cruze? It would sell like hot cakes. One test drive and it is a sure sale!

You’re looking at $23,220 for a Cruze that is the same trim as the base Volt. A base Volt costs $33,220, so $10K more. But the Volt gets a $7,500 tax credit. So really it’s only $2,500 more. I don’t think reducing the price of the Volt by $2,500 is going to do that much to sales figures where we go from ~2k/month to Cruze levels of ~15k/month

Also, I’m not saying that it *shouldn’t*, just that it *wouldn’t*, for the reasons I listed above.

This would change over time though, and hopefully does.

The tax credit is supposed to encourage people to buy more no emission vehicle, not to fill the wallets of companies that raise the price of their EVs in order to not sell them. With the same base price AND the incentives, THAT would be a game changer.

As I see it, the problems with the tax credit are (1) you have to wait to get it, so it does not lower your monthly payment unless you refinance, (2) not all who plan to buy one can get the full tax credit.

As far as someone calling the new Volt a hybrid instead of EREV, isn’t that how Chevrolet referred to the new Volt, as a Hybrid? I’ve even read an article about why it is now being called a hybrid on this site.

You guys are free to your opinion, as am I. That said, the title of best new Electric Car really should not go to a vehicle that has an ICE and all it related components, whether a Volt or an i3, if it has the Rex.

By what illogical reasons do you come with the logic that Volt shouldn’t cost more to build than Cruze?

Nevermind, according to RexxSee, the electrical components such as battery, electric motors in the Volt should be all FREE since it still got an engine.

LOL. Get clue, dude..

Mark C, depending on personal circumstances, a buyer may be able to get a longer loan term (e.g. 72 months instead of 60) and then use the tax refund the following year to pay down the extra principal.

For example, financing $33k for 72mos gives you a slightly lower payment than financing $28k for 60mos. If you take your $7500 tax credit (the following year) and apply it to your principal, you’ll pay off the car in about 55 months (total).

@Mark C

Or just buy a used one and the tax credit is baked in.


I would even go so far as to say that even some plug-in hybrids can’t go top speed and full performance without the ICE.


The Volt is not a 100% Zero Emission Electric Car.

“Really. The Volt is not a 100% Zero Emission Electric Car.”

If you don’t put gas in it, then it will be 100%. So, it is owner’s choice.

Just like LEAF if you don’t charge it and let it run out of charge, it will be a dead weight…

Believing that crap doesn’t make it so.

Going to a Gas station is the biggest joke here.

Like my cell phone I have no problem charging my Car.

Well if you believe the electricity used by a BEV is zero emissions, then you’re believing crap.

Or, at this point you can concede that you’re arguing semantics.

No tailpipe is King !

“Believing that crap doesn’t make it so.”

Perfect for your illogical reasoning.

Tell that to this Volt owner

Total Miles: 92,226
EV Miles: 92,086

ClarksonCote said:

“So I would opine that a Volt is far more electric than it is a hybrid. And statistics seem to back that up.”

Good luck using “statistics” to “prove” that the “H” in PHEV does not mean “hybrid”. And the Volt most definitely is a PHEV, despite attempts to create the category of “EREV” solely for that car and no other.

The persistent attempts to redefine “EV” to mean only “BEV” have become really annoying.

If the vehicle is built to have electric motors propel it, then it’s an EV, regardless of whatever else it does or doesn’t have. Period.

“And the Volt most definitely is a PHEV, despite attempts to create the category of “EREV” solely for that car and no other.”

And “EREV” is defined by GM, isn’t it Not?

I certainly hope some internet posters don’t define a term.

GM engineers did submit an offcial SAE papers on what EREV is.

EREV is defined by its EV mode, not its REx mode.

“The persistent attempts to redefine “EV” to mean only “BEV” have become really annoying.”

Couldn’t agree more. It’s silly Hatfield/McCoy type feuding.

One might say Volt provides the “Best Electrified Option” for the most people. How about that?

Some obviously lump in the term “hybrid” with PHEV, and it’s OK, they’re probably new in the game.

Volt is a better “only car” for people than any existing EV. It’s so unique in it’s capability spectrum. You will never get stranded. It seems there will be a gen 2 Ampera, as camo’d test mules have been seen wearing an Opel grille.

While I certainly dig all Teslas and Bolt EV, they are still limited by degrees from a car with nearly unlimited fueling options, anywhere, anytime.

(Clarkson) – I’ll try not to follow up this post 🙂

Even though it’s a very good hybrid, and the least worst choice we have now,

It’s still a Hybrid… burning gas. ..yuck! A batrachian as Musk put it.

Is the BMW i3 with REX a hybrid or electric car? Most people think of it as an electric car. What would make the Volt so much better if they put the drivetrain on a vehicle that sits more people.

I’d go for a production version of this thing…

DanCar said: “Is the BMW i3 with REX a hybrid or electric car? Most people think of it as an electric car.” An excellent question (altho of course it’s merely a matter of semantics). Here’s another: Is the Platypus a reptile or a mammal? It has a reptile’s skeleton, and lays eggs. If the Platypus were long extinct, paleontologists would have no hesitation about classifying it as a reptile from fossil remains. But since it’s not extinct, we know that it also is a warm-blooded, fur-bearing animal that produces milk for its young… all characteristics of mammals. Biologists have chosen to categorize the Platypus as a mammal, but that’s purely an arbitrary decision. Likewise, whether you choose to categorize the BMW i3 REx as a “BEV” or a “PHEV” is purely an arbitrary decision. Just like the platypus, it’s a rather awkward fit to either pigeonhole. Humans love to put things into pigeonholes. It makes our complicated world easier to deal with when we can put things into categories, and treat everything in those categories as if they’re the same. That can be a good thing; the world is much too complex to deal with everything on an individual basis.… Read more »

“If there is any car for which the term “EREV” (Extended Range Electric Vehicle) is appropriate, it’s not the Volt — it’s the i3 REx.”

According to the offical engineering paper submitted by GM engineers, both Volt and i3 REx would be considered as EREV.

Of course, every internet poster would have their own opinion…

The i3 REx is a serial hybrid.
The Volt is a multiple mode hybrid.
The i3 without REx is a BEV.
The difference is that you can’t dissociate the ICE from the Volt.
The i3 REx is an EREV.
The Volt remains a multiple mode hybrid.

I don’t care what GM marketing dept told the engineers to submit in order to get more subsidies..

GM invented and defined the term EREV, to specifically describe the Volt. You thinking that the Volt (THE definition of an EREV) is not an EREV only shows your strong bias.

As to the i3 REx being an EREV, I am fairly certain that GM’s definition also includes having full performance after the battery is drained. So in actuality, the i3 REx is not an EREV since it is woefully under-powered.

GM koolaid. They stole the definition for a car that is not strictly an electric vehicle, and does not have a real Range Extender. By definition , a range extender is an add-on device.

RexxSee koolaid. You stole the definition for a car that is not strictly an electric vehicle, and does not have a real full-powered Range Extender. By definition, a Volt is an EREV.

“GM koolaid. They stole the definition for a car that is not strictly an electric vehicle, and does not have a real Range Extender. By definition , a range extender is an add-on device.”

LOL. You got some special koolaids that we all need to drink sometimes.

So, if i3 REx is a hybrid according to you but it is okay to classify it as EREV because it is series hybrid according to you but it is not okay for Volt since the SAE paper submitted described what EREV definition is…

How twisted logic is that?

“It’s still a Hybrid… burning gas. ..yuck! A batrachian as Musk put it.”

When every new Tesla gets delivered on the back of the Ford diesel/gas trucks, it still “burns gas”..

When LEAF range isn’t sufficient so you have to rent a car or switch to your other gas car, then it “burns gas”…

So what. GM vehicles including the Volt get delivered using fossil fuels. Why are we looking at the tiny amount of fuel burned at delivery as a way to legitimize the Volt’s continued dependence on gasoline?

“Why are we looking at the tiny amount of fuel burned at delivery as a way to legitimize the Volt’s continued dependence on gasoline?”

Why are you continue to insist that Volt “depends” on gas while it doesn’t.

It is like saying that LEAF depends on a second gas car…

Volt has a gas engine if you choose to use it. It doesn’t require it. That is what it comes with. The Engine onboard the Volt makes it a more appealing car than what a 53 BEV would have been…

ModernMarvelFan said:

“Volt has a gas engine if you choose to use it. It doesn’t require it.”

I wonder if that’s literally true. We know that the Volt occasionally burns gas, to maintain an average fuel age of one year or less. Apparently gas goes bad if it sits around too long? Absorbs too much water from the air, or some such?

But could you run a Volt if the gas tank was drained? Or would the car refuse to turn on? Would it, perhaps, run okay in the summer, but refuse to turn on in winter cold, when the car would normally run the gas engine for a few minutes to heat up the battery pack?

Inquiring minds want to know? 😉

“Inquiring minds want to know?”

Volt can run without a drop of gasoline.

That is why even if you run out of gas on Volt (which can be damaging to the fuel pump), the EV battery will just propel the car. It will display an error that engine isn’t available but it will run like an EV nonetheless.

That is a key difference from all other PHEVs except for the i3.

Not around here it can’t. At least not my cars. In cold weather they have to use gasoline. At least in the Volt (2011), you can play with the heater to make the engine only cycle on once. But in the ELR the only way to slow down repeated cycling of the engine is to turn off the heater fan, and turn the recirculate on, which immediately frosts up all the windows. And this nonsense starts anytime under 33 degrees F, -however talking about modes, in this car the engine running is ONLY used for the heater water, all the electricity still comes from the battery. In the ELR, the person who paid for the thing has only a little control over what the thing actually does, hehe. I’m not too concerned about this, or how you characterize a Volt. But that EREV distinction seems to be getting more and more faint since the car’s performance is looking more and more like a hybrid with a big battery. Its even fading in the GEN 1 ELR since they get differing performance with the engine on versus battery alone. One thing that is very surprizing to me is a GEN2 Volt(which… Read more »

It can, you just need to install that temperature sensor after-market mod that GM refuses to give us in software.

Which I haven’t done either. Thankfully this winter was pretty warm, with a few 70 degrees even sprinkled in here and there.

“But could you run a Volt if the gas tank was drained?”

Yes, as long as the battery is fully charged.

” Or would the car refuse to turn on? ”

No, it runs fine.

Can the volt run with the gas tank drained? Oh c’mon, it can’t for long. Uses around 1/6th of a gallon every six weeks for maintenance, even in hot weather.

And if the gas tank is drained, you’ll burn out the fuel pump since the car is too dumb not to use it. Then when you put back gasoline in the car it will use ANOTHER 1/6 th of a gallon ‘to make sure everything is ok.’.

I don’t know where this ‘runs without a drop of gasoline ‘ crap started but it has never been true.

Have you verified that Engine Maintenance Mode will still attempt to run with no gasoline in the tank?

Unknown by me. Not going to risk any more fuel pumps.

Bill brings up a good point, the engine maintenance mode will still want to run. But for me, a vehicle that needs 1/16 gal of gas every 6 weeks or no gas at all is just semantics.

For others, they’ll kick and scream about how the Volt isn’t an EV, while they have to use some gas guzzler whenever their EV doesn’t have enough range. It’s comical, really.

“And if the gas tank is drained, you’ll burn out the fuel pump since the car is too dumb not to use it.”

And that will stop your EV operation how?

“Affects EV operation how?” I don’t have EV operation, my charger in the car is blown and am waiting for the dealer to get a new one to fix it. The one lesson I learned the first week is to NEVER let the car run out of gas, it will burn out the expensive-to-change-out fuel pump, which, seeing as my car is 5 years old, out of warranty since it is not part of the voltec system which thankfully still is under warranty coverage. As far as gas usage, there must have been some reduction in the ‘maintenance’ between the 2011 and later years. Mine uses 1/6 gallon, but others say 1/16 th. I’ve only had maintenance mode run 1 time in the ELR since it is driven too far, but that time it used over 1/6 th, but then that software was designed by the Cadillac guys and with that car, it is obvious that minimizing fuel consumption was not a consideration. Its just irksome to me that when I push a button on the car it says it does something but then it doesn’t. In the 2011 volt, you can at least turn the electric heater on and… Read more »

Oh just thought of something – I use more gas during maintenance mode than you guys do because I’m DRIVING while its going on , so I’m using gas to push the car also. I guess in the volt it would use less if I just let it sit there.

The ELR is a different case as mentioned since the engine running doesn’t necessarily push the car. Its not pushing the car when its cold, but I forget if it is pushing the car under maintenance mode since it has only happened once since its my favorite car to drive, and the engine has to run anyway since the battery is often dead.

“Its not pushing the car when its cold”

Bill, where have you heard this about the ELR, or is there a power flow screen that shows no power from the engine. I wonder if that’s a bug?

I don’t understand why they would implement it in that manner. Maybe it just runs more “muted” similar to the newer 2013+ Volts?

I haven’t heard it. I own one. After a year you tend to figure out what is going on. The software for the car is not the same. Parenthetically I was given a 2016 volt rental earlier yesterday. Drove the car about 100 miles so far, and I was the very first person to use the charging cord or plug the car in. So going home from the dealer I was interested to see if there was any ‘feel’ when the engine restarted. I have to hand it to the designers of the tweeking of those planetary gearsets since I couldn’t feel a thing, and in fact feel more sometimes when the ELR starts even though with GEN 1 stuff the engine can start disconnected which is totally impossible in the new Volts. (In the ELR I’m probably feeling the lack of the second motor when the engine starts, since the motor must work to crank the engine and not push the car). So the first thing I did was take the car to a nearby ChargePoint to figure out the maximum current the charger can take. Its more than Gen 1’s 15 amps. I measured 15.7 amps, or just… Read more »

“The software for the car is not the same.”

I am guessing the software on your ELR is the same as my 2013 Volt, which is different than the 2011-2012.

With this software, the engine comes on and generates electricity, but rather than pulling all of the juice from the engine, it runs at some muted level and pulls any excess it needs from the battery.

In this way, the engine is still powering the car, but it’s using the battery while there is some there. The MPG is actually worse for the engine because of this, but the overall fuel use is lower since the battery is being used. The mode is quieter, but is it more efficient than the 2011-2012? Shrug.

When I tested the 2016 Volt, I liked the console system a lot, but then again I didn’t try to test it in great detail. I just scrolled through the screens and was impressed with the displays and the responsiveness compared to my older Volt. Never got to try the climate control, but loved the heated steering wheel!

Oh, I forgot to add… One other neat thing with the 2016 Volt charger… People have verified that it can take 240V power directly without any modifications. There have been a few people over at that have simply made an adapter to take a 220V outlet and send it to the 120V plug. (Just don’t use it with any other appliance, haha!)

On my ELR, when cold, the engine is not pushing the car at all. I don’t care what people ‘think’ who are not conversant with it. You can tell the engine is just at fast idle, and there is no change in power drain from the battery whether the engine is on or off with a given acceleration rate, nor does the engine change speed as it does in the 2011 volt. As far as the Charger Brick, I was under the impression from other statements here on IEVS that the unit is made by Clipper Creek, and it was labeled as listed for 240 volts. The one included with the rental was not labeled as such. I’d be interested to see if the ‘brick’ is identical to the one used in Australia or other 230 V/50 hz markets, with a different plug. Otherwise, I’d be worried about over-exciting the control transformer in the unit, assuming it does not have a switcher supply in it. If it does have a tiny switcher, and the input cap is good for 350 volts, its probably ok. So what ultimately was the source saying it is ‘ok to run it on 240 volts’?… Read more »

To avoid hair-splitting, my phrase ‘No change in power drain whether the engine is on or off’ is not from the dashboard display.

It is from the rate at which the main battery is dischargning. There is no change in discharge rate of the main battery whether the engine is on or off, unlike the 2011 where the battery suddenly starts lasting a lot longer.

Avoidance of hair-splitting #2.

The ELR (at least the 2014 version – I’ve been corrected by others that the 2016 again is totally different than the 2014 – they’ve rewritten the software again) cannot generate enough heat to turn the engine off if the heater is on high, unlike the volt.

This tends to indicate gasoline is being used at a slower rate since the engine simply cannot develop 145 degrees F which is the turn off temperature, where it heats quickly in my Volt.

In response to your “Avoidance of hair-splitting #2.” comment…

What you describe sounds exactly like my 2013 Volt. Unlike my 2011, the coolant temperature rarely if ever gets warm enough to turn the engine off. The engine runs at a low idle, regardless of my pedal position.

The power display shows a trivial amount of kW coming from the engine (3-10kW depending on vehicle speed) with the large majority coming from the battery.

Does the 2014 ELR have any power display similar to the 2013-2015 Volts, that shows the instantaneous kW and where it’s coming from/going to?

“So what ultimately was the source saying it is ‘ok to run it on 240 volts’?”

Someone opened up the unit (I believe you’re correct that it is Clipper Creek for the 2016 Volts, but they didn’t say it was labeled for 240V use) and they verified all the internal components were rated for 240V. There’s a thread on it over at, followed by subsequent people being able to use it “as is” after hearing this. I don’t have any experience with it personally to verify.

‘Verifying all components are good for 240 volt operation’.

That depends on the person doing the verifying. Many people don’t realize what they are looking at. Small switchers as I mentioned are easy, since the output voltage remains the same, and 350 volt input .

To do that with a power line frequency control transformer, you’d have to either have a part #, or else take the thing apart and see what the number of turns on the primary there are, or, putting a meter on it to see if the energizing current no load is within reason.capacitors are generally adequately labled.”

My Wallbox does not use a switcher, and the whole thing would explode if I put double voltage on it, were it not from the thing being heavily fused.

Apparently the ‘UL Recognized’ designation on the wallboxes is given on my Schneider unit by Class “T” 60 amp fuses on the input, since apparently the car itself is not to be trusted.

My Roadster further had 150 amp class “T” fuses directly off the TSL-01 jack.

So at least on some of the items regarding charging EV’s, there is a refreshing amount of caution and prudence.

should be ‘350 volt input capacitors are generally adequately labeled.’

Gas is optional in the Volt. One of the differences between an EREV (Range extended EV) vs. a standard hybrid.

Gas is also optional in the i3 REx.

Yes. It’s fair to classify both of them as EREVs.

Yep. I would call the i3 an EREV. However…. it’s somewhat crippled in RE mode, where the Volt is not.

“legitimize the Volt’s continued dependence on gasoline?”

Another way to answer this:

Volt doesn’t need the gasoline engine or the 53 EV miles range. However, as a product, nobody would love 53 miles BEV or the 42mpg hybrid alone. Volt is what it is today because of the engine and its capability AND its 53 EV miles. It is the combination that makes it great and that is why people buy it. Either part alone would have found very few buyers…

Sure Sure Sure

But at the end of the day the Chevy Volt is a Quasi-Electric Car at best.

Next /


Aren’t ALL cars still delivered this way?

Some cars allow factory pickups for a cost… LOL.

Certainly the new Volt is by far the best PHEV… unless you really do need a car that will seat more than four adults. But then, the same was true of the older Volt.

However, asking which car is “best” is pretty pointless. If there was one single car (or light truck) which was best for everyone’s needs and desires, then there wouldn’t be scores or hundreds of different cars and light trucks to choose from. There would be only one.

By definition, all EREV and BEVx are PHEVs

That PHEV list includes BMW i3 REx, Volt, Fisker Karma and cars such as Prius Plugin.

EREV and BEVx are just sub categories to distinguish the difference between all the different PHEVs.

PP says “unless you really do need a car that will seat more than four adults.” I say, How do you get 4 adults in the Volt, comfortably? The front seats don’t fit me with any head clearance, and I would need a decapitation to fit in the back seats with any room at all!

I had more head room in a 1993 Chevy Sprint (Geo Metro) and enough leg room in the back seat too!!

Easily the best PHEV, not even close to the best new electric car.

So what’s the best BEV?

Stimpy, the Gen II Volt is the best electric car under $50k hitting the market in 2015 or 2016. The new Volt is a great car and you get the best of both worlds. You can spend months using no gas and you can drive all day and do quick 5 minute gas stops to keep you moving. Not even a Tesla can come close to that.

Ziv says “and you can drive all day and do quick 5 minute gas stops to keep you moving.”, sure, but would YOU do that? I have driven my 1989 Chevy Sprint back to Toronto ovwr a two day time frame, on just 4 tanks of $1.00 a gallon gas for just $40.00 fuel cost, but that was me ovwr 20 years ago! I seldom haul more than 4 hours today without a stop to get out, walk around, hit the restrooms, and usually grab a bite! Mostly after 2.5 to 3 hours, actually! Pretty much fitting the Tesla driving model they desiged their Supercharger plan on!

Trips back from Key West to Toronto are not a straight drive home for me either, these days. They are split into about 3 segments of 3 hours per day, ending up with about 2 sleeps along the way, and 3 days driving!

Most people buying EV’s aren’t still in there 20 somethings yet, so I doubt they do straight through, 24 hour driving runs, so much at the time they are looking to buy an EV!

Not often, but yes, when I am heading to Morehead City to do some scuba diving or to Hilton Head to play golf, I drive straight through. It is easy with the Volt and hard with a BEV.

The Volt is most definitely an EV… It is a PHEV, which is a type of EV. Or, as GM calls it a EREV… Granted, I’m not sure I’d want to stretch that term to HEV (hybrid) because that might become confusing to people who are not in the know about this stuff.

Imagine for a moment that every vehicle on the planet had the same EV range as the Volt. Imagine how that would change society.

Yes. in it’s price range, 70 mph radar collision prevention, the Camaro of Plugins, long wheelbase, and wide stance.
BMW i3, in it’s.
Tesla at the upper end.

The article focuses on the 2016 Chevy Volt … seems a bit odd to call the 2016 Volt “the best” just as 2017 model Volts are now reaching dealer lots! 😉

“Chevrolet got it very, very right with the 2016 Volt. Now, all the brand needs is for people to finally sit up and take notice.”

…and for Chevrolet to market it. 😉

I sat in a 2017 volt at a local dealer this weekend. Really nice car. If Chevy would have matched the 84 mile range of the LEAF with this car they would definitely have bragging rights for 2016. $45000 Cdn for premium model is a bit high though.

84 miles before the battery degradation. The new Volt is getting as much electric miles as some of the old LEAFs now.

Lol, so true.

I’ve had no loss of battery capacity in my 2014 LEAF with over 38000 km driven. I can say the only thing I would change with my leaf is a bigger capacity battery. The Volt is not perfect. The tiny back seat(still really a four seater). They should have stretched it out about 6 inches.

That is barely 24K miles. Still new/young for your battery… LOL.

Wait until you got at least 60K miles before talking. =)

Even my Volt got at least 42K miles already.

That is 42K EV miles on my Volt.

Well, I have 102 000 kilometers on my 2012 Leaf and still 86% SOH shown on LeafSpy.
It can do 90 or so kilometers in mild weather.
So far, I am just lucky or the claimed degradation of battery are overstate and/or doesn’t apply where I live.
Still, if Nissan would make it battery upgradable, I’ll gladly pay for when I get to 70% SOH or close.

I hope they come to their senses and offer battery upgrades however even if they don’t and my battery degrades it will become my daughters car to drive to school when she gets her licence in a couple years. I will then go out and buy one with 200+ miles. I knew what I was getting into buying a 84 mile car and everyone thought I was crazy but the last 2 years of driving it was worth it.

14% lost on 60K miles. Not bad.

That is about what Steve Marsh had as well in his mild climate.

But once he crossed the 100K miles (only 2 bars lost), it was quickly (not slowly as many EV supporter falsely assumed) down to 5 bars gone by the 140K miles…

I just got my 17 Volt for $27,000 after tax incentive. I bought the LT with comfort package that has leather with heated seats for $35,455 with destination included – $1,000 conquest cash – $7,500 = $27,000.

Sure it doesn’t have parking assist and lane departure but it’s a great car and a huge improvement from our old Volt.

Lumping the Volt and Prius together as hybrids is kinda silly. I would classify the Prius as an electrically assisted drivetrain, whereas the Volt is a range-extended EV.

The award it should win is the most practical EV. I drive mine almost exclusively on electricity, but I can also take it skiing. It would be hard to get anything less than a S85 or 90 to go 180 miles one way, in temperatures as low as -10, climbing 8-9,000 vertical feet. Then good luck finding a charging station.

Until Exxon adds charging stations, the Volt will continue to be the most practical car for 90% of all drivers.

The Volt is a great gateway drug to get non-EV believers to realize they could buy a Bolt or Model 3 next time. It is absolutely great for that. I still prefer a pure EV today since I already test drove a Volt in 2013 and it prompted me to replace my VW Jetta with the VW e-Golf. Could not do the Volt because of bad (back then) highway handling and only 4 seats but was seriously considering it until I decided on the e-Golf because of 5 seats and better acceleration and handling.

Congrats on your e-Golf. In its price range it may one of the best looking plug-ins. I like the interior and exterior of it. Interesting what you say about the acceleration compared to the Volt though, because most tests I’ve seen showed the acceleration not quite as quick as the Volt, but quicker than the Leaf. I think your Chevy dealer probably lets the air out of the tires, because they probably want to switch you to a Malibu or Equinox:)

I’ve got a ’13 Volt, and as much as I like it, I may get something else when the lease turns up.

Oh, and I think you are right about it being a gateway to BEV’s as well.

In my case it was a bit different. I signed up in advance to get one of the early 2011 Leafs as Portland was a launch market, but backed out due to the price. Then in 2013, I almost got one again when lease prices had dropped to close to half what they wanted to stick the people in the first month with. Ended up comparing the tiny SparkEV which had just come out, and that dealer was smart enough to open my mind to the Volt. So in my case the Leaf was the gateway to the Volt?

I had quite the opposite experience. I started out with a Leaf, and moved to a Volt. My daily driving puts me under 20 miles. I could probably get by with one of Ford’s Energi cars. The thing is, when my lease was up, there was very little price difference on the used market between a used Leaf and used Volt. The Volt seemed like the more logical choice since it is an EV for me every day and yet I’m not tethered to a 30 mile radius from my home.

Yes, best electric car. Definitely more miles than,
-Leaf, i3, etc who can’t give them conveniently
-Tesla who gives them too expensively (depreciating $.50 – $1/mile)

Then, there’s the leg room deal-breaker.

Tesla leasees quoted me a $2/mile cost actually. But once you drove it on autopilot from SF to LA you know you want to pay it 🙂

I have owned a 2011 Nissan Leaf, a 2011 Chevy Volt, then a 2014 Volt and a 2013 Tesla Model S. Now, I am a one-car household with a 2015 Tesla Model S P85D(L), so I have extensive experience across a range of “electric” cars or more generally “cars with plugs.”

I am not sure I would call the 2016-17 Chevy Volt an “electric car” either, BUT it is an AMAZING piece of engineering at an affordable (to most) price. IMHO, it is more impressive in terms of total engineering integration than even my P85D(L).

I am always suggesting it to others as “THE” best choice in “cars with plugs now on the market.” Best electric car, nope because it, as others have noted, is NOT electric, BUT, BEST CAR WITH A PLUG in terms of function and value. SURE!

Cars are all about compromises (that goes for non EV cars as well). As a “best” car, the Volt might not outright win any one category, but it does so dang well across the board that it may very well be the best overall. Sure the Tesla is a stylish rocket, but it costs a ton (especially in the uber fastest configs that get all the press). Sure the Leaf has a bit more space and is a pure EV, but there are the (hopefully now fixed) battery degradation issues, and its a bit homely, and of course the dreaded range anxiety. Sure, the BMW i3 is a hoot to drive around town, but its short wheelbase and less than perfect suspension tuning can give it a twitchy ride and it is, of course a bit cosmetically challenged. The suicide doors are cool when showing them off to your friends and then stink every other minute. The Volt does a pretty good job of providing a high % of electric driving, without any range anxiety, while providing a decently sporty experience, cosmetic look and comfort for the occupants at a tolerable price point. As with ALL EVs though, you have… Read more »

I have a eGolf and love it. But you’ll never get caught in the Volt charging in 5 degree temps just make it home, with no damn heat in the cab. Can’t run the heat while the car is charging, Volt next time !

The Volt is a short-range BEV and long-range hybrid, so IMO, it’s really both an EV and a PHEV. It’s in a category of its own. Let’s remember folks, that “the best is the enemy of the good”.

In MA, it is uniquely categorized as PHEV+ (until Outlander PHEV, Q7 PHEV and XC90 T8 become available)

but seriously, I don’t think dividing the EV camp is the right direction for this thread.

I just crossed 300 miles on my 2017 Volt and this car is easily the best car I have ever owned. I am coming from a 2007 Infiniti G35x

The Voltec power train is very complicated and sophisticated. If GM would put it in another body they could make it a hit.

Not many get the Volt, but it really is a nice car….and so is the F36 multi role fighter. (My company has the APU)

If I was just entering the EV market and I didn’t have a lot to spend I would get a used Volt. Shoot they run 300,000 miles. and they are spirited enough to have fun in.

I would love to be an EV purist. However, until we have cars produced in a Gigafactory that is powered by green energy, charged entirely by our rooftop solar panels, we haven’t reached the point of sustainable transport. At this point, we are all driving on shades of gray.

For those who keep saying the Volt is not an EV, they should checkout the EV 101 from DoE’s website:

On Saturday, I received an email from Tesla that our Model X would be built at the end of this month. Today, I got an email that our 2017 Volt was built last week. Things changed drastically with our plans when my daughter (without going into painful details)suddenly found herself desiring to purchase (I’ll say…with insurance money) our SECOND 2012 Volt, after our FIRST 2012 Volt went to our son in September. So now, we will be keeping our Tahoe Hybrid as the spare vehicle to leave in NY. The Model X will travel back and forth and the 2017 Volt will remain in FL. I document all this first for the sake of having a more global view of BEVs, PHEVs and EREVs. I guess it was predetermined that you would create arguments when you use the word ‘best’. A family with 3 children would obviously disagree. A commuter who never left town would disagree. However, given affordability and utility, I can easily see why the Volt wins over every other car that doesn’t start burning gas when you push the pedal too hard. Plain and simple- if you need to get on the road and frequently visit relatives… Read more »

That sum it up!
It’s a great car, whatever you call it, that it’s genitor is ashame of showing how good it is.

Mind if I ask your X reservation. Number? I was somewhere within 13k and also will have mine built towards them end of the month.

That will leave me with the ELR and my wife with the X…until my a Model 3 isn’t ready.

When I decided to put down my $5k a couple months back, there were well over 20k reservations. I figured it would take awhile. But it wasn’t long until they invited me to configure the car. At that point, the original reservation position was out the window. Then it became all about what configuration you wanted (P90D first…I am getting 90D) and when you configured the car. I suspect the email I got was more a testimony to the serious ramp up rate that they had undertaken then really dialing down on my individual order.

It was very strange timing for me that the Tesla email was received the same day that my daughter turned her previous vehicle into scrap metal…and she was finally willing to reconsider her previous ‘need’ for an SUV. Knowing that both the X and 2017 Volt were coming soon made it a much easier path for all of us that she consider the 2012 Volt.

Gen1 Volt is a EV to 80% of the population and gen2 volt is a EV to 90% if the population.

So a Gen 3 Volt, with a 22-24 kWh flat pack battery, better headroom and back seat leg room and 6.6 kW charging, could be an EV for 95% of the population? Maybe even knock off 80+ miles in EV mode pre gas engine starting!

Yup. At 24kwh, they better add CCS.

It is really the best electric car, it is fully electric when operating in electric mode, it has the ice for the occasional long trip, it also has the ice for those minus 30 degrees morning, where a 5 minutes running the ice heats the cabin and battery for a full use of the battery with almost no loss of range. GM has the best car to lead the change in mentallity.


To much Kool-Aid…!

Volt is a Quasi-Electric-Car.

It is without a doubt the best PHEV made as a compact 4 seater.

Was also going to say that the real tragedy in this segment is GM’s SQUANDERING its technological lead in EREV tech by not leveraging its’ excellent Voltec based philosophy into SUVs first and then trucks!

Instead they have followed on with 2 Cadillac sedan models and Cadillac is a fast-sinking brand going nowhere.

Along with GM’s refusal to invest in DCFC network and battery production just shows how some of the best engineering in automotive sector cannot overcome poor management

They could OWN this market for the forseeable future if they would lose their conservatism and ICE bias which is almost certainly the reason for not moving quickly as they want to protect their ICE profits and dealerships.

I continue to believe the Volt is the best EV for anyone.

Only the “purists” believe the Volt is not an EV.

What makes the Volt so special is the fact that not a single “penny” has to be spent on a public EV charging infrastructure in order to use it.

The Volt can allow anyone who has a 110V outlet available at home to drive thousands upon thousands of commuting miles on electricity.

But what makes the Volt the “best” is the fact that it won’t leave you stranded after using up those 53 electric miles, thanks to a gasoline range extender…

The Volt is, and will be, the best EV for many years….

Half the reason people think the Volt is a EV is because of the name and threads like this that title it what it is not.

Agree. The Volt is the best electric car. For those BEV purists I recommend better to argue with EV naysayer, who have arguments about dirty electricity and batteries.

No, purist are just purist. They would argue with anyone who is not purist in their view.

They are actually the “tumor” of the EV movement…

They fail to see the bigger picture. Can’t repeat the statement often enough:”Don’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good”.

There are Purists, and then there kool-aid drinking blind that like to lead the blind.

Yes, koolaid drinking purist are even worse…

Is The Chevy Volt The World’s Best New Electric Car?

NO /

And you start to sound like RexxSee or SeeRexx…

Are you the same person who post under different name? LOL.

Nothing personal… RexxSee gets it, you not so much.

“Nothing personal…”

Sorry, you already broken the rule. It is personal now… LOL.

“RexxSee gets it, you not so much.”

LOL. Great! Now I will consider you and him are on the same level.

BTW, if you can’t focus on the topic but rather resorting to name calling, I will be more than willing to play the flaming game with you.

If you are willing to focus on the subject, then we can have further calm and logical discussion.

Now back to the topic at hand. Whether something is EV or not heavily depending on the definition of what “EV” is. Many purist or oil hater narrowly define it as BEV only. But the fact of matter is that it is far more complex than that.

Do you consider battery such as Lithium air or Aluminum air battery? They are technically fuel cells. But if fuel cells are allowed, then why aren’t series hybrid (without plugs) considered.

The key question is really what are the lines to draw for definition. Is it by propulsion or by sole energy source?

FYI, the original 2011 EPA label of Volt described it as a dual source vehicle.


Haha keep telling yourself those stories…

100% Electric with no tailpipe !!