It’s Official: 2016 Chevrolet Volt Gets 53 Miles of Range, 42 MPG

AUG 4 2015 BY JAY COLE 158

GM Officially Announce EPA Range Ratings For The 2016 Chevrolet Volt At 53 Miles - Says Many Drivers Will Go Even Further

GM Officially Announce EPA Range Ratings For The 2016 Chevrolet Volt At 53 Miles – Says Many Drivers Will Go Even Farther

Yesterday we reported that General Motors had solidified its EPA range and efficiency ratings on the next generation, 2016 Chevrolet Volt and would shortly announce those results.  Today, it is official.

2016 Chevrolet Volt - Now Getting 3.6 kW Boosts

2016 Chevrolet Volt – Now Getting 3.6 kW Boosts

And as GM puts it, they are giving the customer what they want – more range.

The Volt’s all-new second-generation Voltec extended-range electric propulsion system delivers 53 miles of pure EV range, based on EPA testing. That is nearly a 40-percent improvement over the first-generation Volt.

As for the extended range gas efficiency, the 2016 model improves to 42 MPG, up from 37 in the outgoing generation car.  Further bonus to the pocket book, premium gas is no longer required.

Combined efficiency comes in at 106 MPGe.

“We listened to our customers.  They were very clear when they told us that they wanted more range, and a fun driving experience behind the wheel. We are confident that the 2016 Volt delivers both.” – Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer

GM also notes that 2016 Volt drivers who charge regularly can expect to get more than 1,000 miles between fill-ups, as well as quite often best the 53 mile rating the car has been bestowed with by the EPA.

“Data shows that drivers of the first-generation Volt achieved, and often exceeded, the published EPA-estimated mileage. Chevrolet expects the same label-exceeding result with the next-generation Volt.”

2016 Chevrolet Volt Window Sticker

2016 Chevrolet Volt Window Sticker

The 2016 Chevrolet Volt base MSRP also starts more than $1,000 lower (@$33,995) than the car it replaces today, while the optioned-out LTZ trim level beings at $38,435 (details).

The Volt is expected to arrive in late September/early October for Californians (and possibly for some select CARB-friendly states), with national order books opening in November.

2016 Chevrolet Volt Timeline - National Order Banks Open In October.  California And Most Other CARB States Open Already

2016 Chevrolet Volt Timeline – National Order Banks Open In October. California And Most Other CARB States Open Already

GM Press Blast on 2016 Chevrolet Volt

The Results Are In: More Range for the 2016 Volt
-EPA-estimated pure electric range is 53 miles

DETROIT – The 2016 Volt is engineered to offer customers more of what they want: range, range and more range.

The Volt’s all-new second-generation Voltec extended-range electric propulsion system delivers 53 miles of pure EV range, based on EPA testing. That is nearly a 40-percent improvement over the first-generation Volt.

Chevrolet expects many next-generation Volt owners will use power solely from their batteries for more than 90 percent of trips. Today, Volt owners use battery power on 80 percent of their trips.

This means the average Volt owner could expect to travel well over 1,000 miles between gas fill ups, if they charge regularly.

For the first 53 miles, the Volt can drive gas and tailpipe-emissions free using a full charge of electricity stored in its new 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery, rated at a combined 106 MPGe, or gasoline equivalent. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range for a total of 420 miles on a full tank.

“We listened to our customers,” said Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer, “They were very clear when they told us that they wanted more range, and a fun driving experience behind the wheel. We are confident that the 2016 Volt delivers both.”

The next-generation Volt’s new 1.5L range-extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 42 MPG.

Data shows that drivers of the first-generation Volt achieved, and often exceeded, the published EPA-estimated mileage. Chevrolet expects the same label-exceeding result with the next-generation Volt.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling more around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive & active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

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158 Comments on "It’s Official: 2016 Chevrolet Volt Gets 53 Miles of Range, 42 MPG"

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What a delicious piece of news. More than BEVs it is EREVs like volt that are going to lead electrification of transport in countries like India. With its spotty and unreliable grid electricity. Although it is still too costly for our market. A price equivalence of 20000$ is going to lead to a stampede.

While I believe in the value of the Volt, selling it for $20000 without incentives will still lead to people buying a Cruze over a Volt at a similar price point. People do not understand the Volt. Dealers don’t want low-maintenance cars that can go 40,000 miles without an oil change. I find that dealers are really the problem. At my local dealership, a service writer thinks that EVs are just transitionary before Hydrogen comes into play. That is a poor viewpoint and surely doesn’t help them support the Volt and eventually the Bolt.

No doubt about it…Dealers do not add value to the car buying or servicing equation. They sell what makes them money without regard for any customer. This is why the Saturn no haggle failed… and the Tesla model is being fought so hard. They have to bully away other alternatives as they know that they are like the mob… taking their cut… but offering no real value.

This is what worries me. I remember reading that dealerships were eager for Fuel Cell vehicles and their myriad of pumps, valves, etc because it would allow their service centers to not only continue to make huge sums of money, but also corner the market in service and finally kill third party shops once and for all.

I fear that automakers will be successful at pushing FCEVs on a gullible public and kill off the plug-in market so that the those of us who want plug-ins instead are screwed. If that happens, I will go back to gas cars for as long as I can.

Nothing but a compliance car for the US market.

It sounds like you’re not familiar with compliance mandates. The Volt has consistently been sold outside the 10 or so states that have CARB regulations, and has also been sold in Canada and abroad.

Meh, My little miggy,

Production of the GM Voltec platform which includes the Chevy Volt, Opel/Vauxhall Ampera Extended Range Electric Vehicle’s, The Holden Volt Long Range Electric Vehicle and The Stunning Cadillac ELR Extended Range Electric Luxury Coupe have now exceeded 100,000 built, including 18,500+ global.

This, my friend in NOT a compliance car.

With the MY 2016 #NextGenVolt ramping up production in Hamtramck, Michigan after changeover the GM Voltec platform ready to push GM Market Share in the surging global #ElectricFueledVehicle industry to new heights.

A not on the EPA Chevy Volt EREV ratings.

GM has always stated that the First Gen Volt’s All Electric Range was 25-50 miles with an EPA rated 38 miles AER for the MY 2013 product.

With this news of the 53 mile AER from the EPA we can thus conclude that 37-67 miles AER is to be expected.

Link Goes To GM News / US-


Thomas J. Thias


100 000 cars on 5 years is NOTHING! Is it at least 1% of GM’s sales?

Not compliance strictly according to laws, but yes, greenwashing compliance cars sold just in enough numbers to make believe GM is serious about Electrics. BS
Where is the BEV Volt? Malibu? Equinox? Where is the massive production? Where are the enthousiast dealers?

No my friend, only the little Tesla is doing all they can to electrify transport.

ANd we can say the same for Nissan, Toyota or any other member of the ICE cartel.

Dude, you obviously have a chip on your shoulder that is clouding rational thought. First, the definition of compliance car is “only make enough to satisfy CARB req’s and NO more”. This usually means they aren’t sold outside the mandate states, and even then no advertising IN THESE STATES. The Volt fails this test on both fronts. Chevy advertised the Volt in the Superbowl, and will again this year I bet. Their advertising dropped off precipitously after that, but the advertising continued several years. Why would you advertise a car you don’t want to sell? You can blame a million other people for the reason the Volt hasn’t sold in significant numbers, you can’t solely blame GM for that. You can’t call this car a compliance car when I can walk down the street and buy one from my local Chevy. The market is still growing for the volt and other EV’s, it takes time, and at some point there will be a tipping point where the plug in hybrids will take over the market. Notice that gm his investing in electrifying 3 new vehicles this year. The Bolt, the malibu and the Cadi CT6. Lest you forget GM’s commitment… Read more »

Dear dude, maybe you have a chip on both your two eyes, really read the second sentence of my comment.
Not strictly compliance but…

And the Bolt is not a commitment, until they hit the dealerships, they are still a promise, like the 14 hybrids and electric models GM promised in 2010 for 2012 lol!
30 000 Bolt/year fits exactly my definition of “large compliance” = greenwashing

So when the Bolt is for sale, nationwide, is that when you will stop posting this junk?

Speaking of commitment to EVs, do you even own an EV yourself?

Kdawg, it’s not the first time you insult me with no reason.
This is no junk I post. I’m entitled to my opinion like anyone else here, and it’s not because you’re a Volt junkie that I will cease saying what I think and what I hope will help getting more and better EVs.

Do you seriously think that this overpriced compact confusingly named Bolt, produced at only 30 000 units/year is not another attemp to greenwash the GM’s image?
30 000 units! out of 3 000 000 cars… 0.3% Lol!
And now divide by 50 states!

Lustuccc said:

“Kdawg, it’s not the first time you insult me with no reason.”

First: While we should all strive to “Disagree without being disagreeable”, arguing with those who know more than you about a subject and are trying to correct your misconceptions, is likely to provoke a less than courteous response.

Second: There are three, and only three, highway-capable cars in the USA which have been sold in relatively high volumes for years, and the Volt is one of those three. If you’re calling the Volt a “compliance car”, then not only are you wrong, you don’t even understand the meaning of the term “California compliance car”.

For one thing, you apparently don’t understand that GM is selling all it can of this car, and in fact in at least two of its production years they over-produced it and had to shut down the production line for a few weeks because there was too much inventory sitting on dealer lots.

As for overproduction, Marketing can do miracle… when applied… I’m not saying it’s a bad car, I say GM increased it’s performances just enough to satisfy the EV community. We are all victims of the ongoing P.R. spins each days in articles and comment sections. Conditioning is a powerful convincing technique. We, here, know a lot about EVs, we know GM can do much better. GM still does not address the mass market with this. Do buy a Volt, it’s the best hybrid on the market, but it’s also the least worse PHEV. All hybrids, and the Prius was the first attack wave, are designed to make us forget about the 120 miles EV1 and settle for diluted solutions to our addiction to oil, and most importantly, this global warming that must be stopped at all costs. The hybrid era could easily have been skipped altogether 15 years ago. 14 Years ago at least 3 car makers had a 120ish miles ranged BEVs. Not to name them : EV1 Ni-MH, RAV4-EV and Altra-EV. Just imagine if the real competition that took place 20 years ago in a race for real good EVs had go on… The 500 miles BEV at… Read more »

Basically you’re a purist. However most consumers are not. Most will not drive a pure BEV. It’s scary enough for them to go to a car that has a plug. Remove the range extender and many step away. So would you have all car companies only sell BEVs instead of PHEVs, and and all of those EV miles racked up by PHEVs would now all be gas miles? Do you realize that 80% of trips in the Gen1 Volt are gas free, and this will increase to 90% with Gen2. What’s wrong with having a range extender there as an insurance policy? Most miles are electric.

Regarding sales figures, why do you compare 1 model’s sales figures to all cars sold? Shouldn’t you compare model to model? And what’s the point either? If the car is available, and it’s not purchased, isn’t that the fault of the consumer?

I’ll ask again, do you even own an EV?

“arguing with those who know more than you about a subject and are trying to correct your misconceptions”
Quite condescendant/arrogant sentence isn’t it? How on earth my friend can you know how much I do know about EVs?

Yes I do own an EV. An old Prius. Like many, I am waiting for Model 3.
Why is it so important for you?

If you call “purist” somebody who wish the best in non polluting cars, so be it.

All this discussion to say that ICE car makers can do much better, and seiing many of us in awe for such flea jumps in the models, I deduct that the Marketing science is very effective.
You seem, like many also, underestimating a lot the power of P.R. campains who are often planned 10 years ahead, and softly manipulate us like the sheppard’s stick.
This psychological science is highly developped and hidden to most of the population.

The hard fact is that there were 120 miles EVs 15 years ago, and now we fall on our knees for hybrids.
In my book, it is a net regression.

I sense paranoia in your posts. It’s also hard to speak about owning a plug-in vehicle when you don’t actually own one. You also don’t seem to understand basic business & engineering principals. Just because you, as a potential consumer, want something really badly for really cheap doesn’t mean it’s possible and it’s only some big conspiracy that’s keeping it from happening.

You don’t sense paranoïa, you suppose paranoia. Again insulting my intelligence.

Don’t need conspiracies, only business as usual, and a self protecting cartel from a certain death.

EVs are a passion for me since 2004. It’s my second Prius. I know more about EVs than many here and I test drove also many. I know what I’m talking about and find your accusations unfounded.

I also happen to have great interrest in History of the Oil cartel, Electric cars and also the psychological mass manipulations science nicely called “Public Relations”. What do you know about how hypocritically we are all manipulated by the medias, some journalists in their articles and by all these bogus blog commenters?

It has a great deal of influence on YOUR opinion, like it or not, your love for GM is tainted.
It’s all related.

Lustuuc said, “Yes I do own an EV. An old Prius. Like many, I am waiting for Model 3.”

BAHAHA!! Really? You refuse to call the Volt an EV, always describing it merely as a “hybrid” (and not even mentioning a plug) yet now your old Prius (without a plug) is an EV?!?!

I almost fell over in my chair.

People always are quick to criticize GM as of late.

No-one gives them credit for the volt, even though they designed and manufactured the car prior to understanding its ultimate cost.

Its only now they are taking the cost out, hopefully without deteriorating the product.

Chevy Tahoes and other big GM products have increased in price by around $15,000 per unit, which helps cover products like the VOLT and the upcoming BOLT which they’re at this point not certain they’ll make any money on since they’re selling them for such an economical price.

I disagree with the statement that the new BOLT will be OVERPRICED.

Name 5 other car makers with a $37,500 , 200 mile range BEV.

That’s probably more then the number of Corvettes sold over the same period, Guess the Vette is compliance as well lol!!

the volt outsold about 1/2 the models available in the US (Volt #149) could not find the total chart from 2014 and ytd is down because of a generational change I believe. year not over either)

Hahahahah.. If the Volt is seriously a compliance car, then basically every EV on the market except maybe Tesla is also a compliance car.


So you’re faulting car companies that are genuinely working to shift the technology to electrified transportation?

I’m sorry, but Tesla alone will never cause a shift to electric vehicles, you need big auto buy-in there, and GM has clearly invested for the long term. The tech is transitioning to other models (Malibu, ELR, CT6, Bolt, etc.) and they continue to invest heavily.

If you think it is a “compliance car” you are clearly biased. Their portfolio won’t change in a day, but it’s clear that they’re developing this tech for the long term.

They are NOT genuinely committed, not yet. If not of Tesla, there would be no Volt(hybrid) or (ugly)Leaf/i3. ICE car makers are still reacting weakly to Tesla’s accelerations. We have yet to see real efforts toward massively producing a good ranged Corolla or Malibu or Civic or Sonata, cars designed and priced for the masses. The Golf, Focus and RAV4 with a much better range and price would have be a good start. Massive economies of scale would easily take care of price drop. And companies ALL know very well that such BEVs would have an overwelming demand.
But they protect their ICE maintenance, repairs and replacement busine$$. It is all their business model that they have to replace. This is why they still f**ING around with “new improved” (so little)greenwashing model, hoping we don’t ask for more.
And where is

What you state here is your opinion, so I’ll share mine. The Volt does more to electrify consumer transportation than any other EV, because there’s no compromises. Run out of battery? Keep driving, just like any normal car.

Mass market consumers don’t want to change, so until they do, the Volt is the best solution available. Great electric range with no gas use regardless of acceleration, and full performance extended range after that, without any need to stop and charge.

This opinion I have is backed by data (unlike yours), that shows Volts travel more electric miles per vehicle than Leafs, despite having about half the all electric range. That speaks volumes about the success of the concept.

The fact the Volt doesn’t get FCEV or BEV credits because they chose to make a vehicle that more consumers would get behind flies in the face of this compliance diatribe that you continue to shout mindlessly.

Lustuccc said: “They are NOT genuinely committed, not yet. If not of Tesla, there would be no Volt(hybrid) or (ugly)Leaf/i3. ICE car makers are still reacting weakly to Tesla’s accelerations… “This is why they still f**ING around with ‘new improved’ (so little)greenwashing model, hoping we don’t ask for more.” So, your opinion boils down to saying “GM and Nissan and BMW and Volkswagen and BYD (and possibly others) don’t deserve to be recognized for their attempts to market EVs which appeal to the general public, so I’m gonna call the Volt a ‘compliance car’ and ‘greenwashing’ even though it is a result of superior EV engineering, and is about as far from a ‘compliance car’ as it’s possible to get with the current state of the technology.” Well, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion; we still have freedom of speech in this country. But refusing to even recognize when legacy auto makers have produced a well-engineered PEV, refusing to recognize they are selling all the market will bear, and refusing to credit them for that, is counter-productive. It’s a good thing, Lustuccc, that they aren’t gonna listen to you, because if they did, then they’d give up even the modest… Read more »


Tesla is a compliance car too…

It sells so little and it partially depends on the CARB ZEV requirement.

That is about the ONLY thing that Tesla “lobby” for…

What is Model X, Model 3 and Model 3 CUV and Roadster? Why is Tesla focusing on bring more powerful models rather than more affordable models?

You probably say “profit” to fund future models. Then your stupid logic applies to other automakers too. They have to make money too.

They sell it in Virginia there for it is not a complacence car.

Virginia we have no EV incentives or complacence cars there for if it can be sold in Virginia it can make it anywhere.

“Nothing but a compliance car for the US market.” OMG I can’t believe how negative some people in here are now a days. Are you friggin kidding me? Run the numbers again, 53 miles EV-range…42 MPG gas range….I would say all this is pretty damn neat for 34 000 $. (before incentives)

And where in the world is it sold?

Nowhere until late Sept.

Nationwide by November

You can’t find compliance mandate text, that fits the Volt. Farah, of GM, said it answers their “customers”. They went beyond the 16kwh that maximizes the tax-credit. Didn’t have to. They went beyond the global practice of 20 mile duds. Didn’t have to. They added a gas tank big enough to DIS-qualifying them from crippling CA REx rules. Didn’t have to do that, either.

You must be a fan of some other brand.

+10, well said.

Does the $7500 income tax credit sunset suddenly at 200,000 vehicles? or is it some other number?

The sunset has a 1 year taper-down. The credit drops by 50% for 6 months, then by 25% for 6 more months, before going away completely after 1 year.

Frankly, I think this is way too fast a sunset. But there is zero chance of fixing this. In fact, we will be lucky if the entire program isn’t defunded by the Rep. led Congress starting on Oct 1st. of this year. They have already announced that they intend to defund ALL green programs except for Research and Development grants to corporations. They put this right in their proposed budget document. So chances are decent that you won’t have to worry about sunsets if they get their way.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the plug-in tax credit originate during the Bush era and get bipartisan support? In fact, it wasn’t until Obama took office that it was *reduced* to $7500 when it was presented as part of the bailout package.

I don’t think we have to worry about the $7500 disappearing unless GM meets its quota + 1 year throttle down.

It seems like a good range increase in percent, but all things being relative, with the tiny AER of the first generation, 40% is not a big progress.

On a Tesla it would mean at least 80 more miles of range!
But even Tesla is aiming higher than that…

Finally a Hybrid with 42 MPG is far from impressing… Technology from than 10 years ago did better!

You’re right, nothing to see here. There are all sorts of cars out there that can travel 53 miles on electricity and then get 42 mpg using a gas engine when you have to go over 53 miles…

Sadly, your sarcasm will be lost on many… 😉

I don’t pay attention to the magpies. For the money both GEN1 and GEN2 are every increasing values, and have finally reverted to being mainstream vehicles.

As far as getting 1/2 the range of a Leaf, talk to Brian.

Ouch! Too soon…

Don’t worry, soon I’ll be driving a plug-in with half the range of the Volt…

THe Ford ENER-G is that good? Its because you need more cargo space with the seats up correct? This to replace the Insight?

I assume you’re going to continue with the 15 amp evse shared between the 2 cars seeing as the NRG has I believe a 3 kw charger (I was under the impression only the FFE had a 7.2 kw, or roughly so).

Well, the Energi drivetrain is inferior to the Voltec. However, the C-Max package is superior (for my family) to the Volt’s. And that’s really what it comes down to. The rest of your assumptions are correct. In fact, I have been charging the Leaf exclusively on L1 at home since May. Combined with charging at work, I have no need for another EVSE at this time. Maybe sometime in the future, like when I upgrade the Leaf to a Bolt 😉

Yeah, your points are gonna sail right over the heads of Lustuccc and Miggy.

Sure, therefore Tesla increased their model by 40+x% range? Not. They did 6% more, which is ~16 miles and exactly what the Volt got!

With big distance the best “PHEV”. Damm, why Opel don’t bring it to Europe.

Because the first Ampera was already a huge failure.

That said, I wish the ywould offer the option to “jailbreak” the battery, i.e. make it possibe to use 75% (from 20%-95% for instance) instead of just 50% like teh current Volt lets you do. At least give the owners the option, in exchange for a reduced warranty on the battery if you must.

The Ampera failed in Europe because it was extremely overpriced, as all versions of the Volt sold out of the USA.

I also think it was ahead of it’s time. It isn’t until recently that Europe has finally got on the plug-in wagon. Might be time to reintroduce the Volt/Ampera. It will be interesting to see where the Bolt is sold as well.

Either that or they get a nice shiny Tar Sands Cracking Refinery from Exxon and Total, in Belgium.

The only way to fight this, in a bought out political world, is to Boycott Gas, with an EV or Plug in.

boycott gas… ignore gas… no more fighting other folks wars over gas… Solar roofs, windmills, plug in vehicles. Forget the stupid pigs, let them keep driving their snort utes.

The Volt has never only used 50% of the battery, although that was the early proposal.

It’s true more of the gain, to 53, probably comes from allowed battery depth of discharge. Where Tesla, and other BEVs go as high as ~90%, GM’s first 65% DOD Volt has been climbing ever since. It has always been higher than 50%, and now probably uses closer to 75%.

The idea is “why prematurely reduce cycle life, if you’ve got an engine on board”?

Minimum mandated battery warranty is 8 years, 10 in CARB states. And most manufacturers don’t want to test, distribute, promote, sell, and maintain parallel streams of an otherwise identical model. At least, most manufacturers that want to stay profitable.

No, finecadmin, minimum mandated warranty in California and most Carb/Zev States is 10 years, 150,000 for all #ElectricFueledVehicle’s sold there in.


Thomas J. Thias



Meh, wrong again, with your opinion, here’s why, finecadmin:

You said, “And most manufacturers don’t want to test, distribute, promote, sell, and maintain parallel streams of an otherwise identical model. At least, most manufacturers that want to stay profitable.”


In less then 47 months since the Chevy Volt EREV and Nissan LEAF ended limited US beta sales and national sales, then global sales began, near 1,000,000 #ElectricFueledVehicle’s sold, globally.

In the USA, in the same limited time frame deliveries of #EV’s, #PHEV’s and #EREV’s now exceed 352,000!

Link Goes To Plug In America Dot Org – USA Total Sales Ticker-

Here is a partial list of The US and Global OEMs’ EV, PHEV and EREV product available now.

This 75 vehicle list, from Plug In America dot org, includes only wheeled, Electric Fueled Vehicles.

Link Goes To Plug In America Dot Org – The List-


Thomas J. Thias



To allow the car to use more of the battry would run the risk of not having enough reserved energy in the battry when the car is in high demand, like when someone is climbing a mountain or travelling at highway speeds of 75 to 80 miles per hour and they forget to put the car in charge sustaining mode. It’s all about balance, and having the right balance. GM didn’t want to run the risk of having to car die on someone (or slow down to a crawl) on the highway. Which could happen if there is not enough reserved energy in the battery and the onboard generator doesn’t have enough time to replenish the energy in the battery. Good job GM!

Your assertion makes no sense. If GM did not allow the Volt to use X% of battery capacity, then it would have just as much chance of running out of “juice” when climbing a mountain as if it used X+10% of capacity.

The reserved capacity, if GM really does do such a thing (there seems to be some dispute over that), is reserved for offsetting the loss of capacity as the battery ages, and no other purpose. The reserve is not “unlocked” just because the Volt is climbing a mountain or running at highway speed. If you’re running down the highway and the battery gets low, the Volt turns on the ICE generator. That’s what it’s for!

“The reserved capacity, if GM really does do such a thing (there seems to be some dispute over that), is reserved for offsetting the loss of capacity as the battery ages, and no other purpose. The reserve is not “unlocked” just because the Volt is climbing a mountain or running at highway speed.” This is incorrect, and is a major difference between the operation of the Volt and the i3 REx. While it may be accurate to say that that the Volt does not charge its battery to 100% capacity for purpose of battery longevity, the reason why the ICE comes up before the battery is depleted is specifically to maintain performance. The performance U.S.-spec i3 REX suffers for exactly this reason: the ICE doesn’t come on until the battery is below 5% SOC (and the ICE itself is underpowered, to boot). So in the case of the Volt, the reserve battery is precisely for highway acceleration and grade climbing when already on ICE power. In fact, that’s the entire reason for the existence of Mountain Mode: the ICE comes on earlier so you have a greater battery reserve to draw on when climbing grades. When the Volt’s battery runs… Read more »

Spider-Dan, you are arguing past me here. My use of the term “reserve capacity” in this context doesn’t refer to the fact that the Volt reserves (if I recall correctly) 30% of battery capacity in normal driving; a reserve which has the purpose of — as you say — ensuring the battery pack has sufficient reserve power to assist the ICE generator with acceleration and hill/mountain climbing.

My use of the term “reserve capacity” in this context refers to the claim made by many that as the Volt ages, it doesn’t lose any EV range, because the car’s power electronics reserves excess capacity at the bottom end; capacity which is slowly released a bit at a time as the battery pack loses overall capacity, so the driver doesn’t notice any loss of electric range.

Well, the Volt should definitely lose less range over time than most BEVs; the charge/discharge cycle is reduced for this purpose. I have heard that the car’s battery management increases the available SOC range (over time) to maintain AER, but I haven’t seen any confirmation from GM engineers on that, and it seems like it would be very difficult to prove or disprove.

And the PHEV bar has been set…. Let’s see what Ford/Toyota/VW etc can counter with. Not only performance-wise, but for $33k or less.

Not set, but raised. The Gen I already set the bar 😉

If only the drivetrain would come with another car. Like maybe the Opel Mokka or Astra.

And also the battery pack design desperately needs improvement.

Not a plugin, but maybe the Malibu Hybrid will be sold outside of US borders. It has some Voltec in it.

GM should make a plug-in version of the Malibu with full Voltec powertrain. The Volt’s biggest drawback is it’s cramped backseat, followed closely by a lack of fast charging.

Fast-charging is a waste of money for most, when you have only 14kWh usable and a range extender.

50% of Volt owners charge on 120V.

Fast charging is most certainly not “a waste of money” for those many Volt drivers who avoid burning gasoline by stopping to charge en route when their battery pack runs low:

Fast charging doesn’t really have anything to do with that. I’m one of these Volt drivers, and the only reason I use these frequent charges is because they are free.

If you can show me an article or study showing that Volt drivers are frequently willing to pay for commercial L2 charging (which usually costs more per mile than just using gas), then I’ll be willing to entertain the argument that Volt drivers would also be willing to pay for DC fast charging.

Did you not see where I typed “waste of money for most”. I didn’t say all. There are always exceptions. So if you want to pay for a larger charger, and possibly have it intrude into the cabin, then more power to you.

I think it’s ‘sexier’ to ride lower, in a T-design, than on a skateboard 😉 . I see this argument more with the CT6 PHEV, but there, too, we are expecting a Euro/Asian luxury killer, with what we might now expect to be ~40 miles of range!! –That’s the equivalent of some European company telling you “64 miles”, when the best of them barely break 30 NEDC.

“…the battery pack design desperately needs improvement.”

I presume you’re talking about the physical layout of the pack, not the functionality, which appears to be just fine.

Yeah, one of the things I find disappointing about the Volt 2.0 is that GM didn’t move the battery pack to a flat layer of batteries under the floor, like the Tesla Model S and the BMW i3. That placement should be standard for all cars with a medium-sized or larger battery pack, and I suspect it soon will be.

Yes, about the layout. The functionality is great.

This is excellent news!

I know I’ve said this a lot, but it makes me sad that they don’t offer a larger car. Last night I went to my local Ford dealer who is offering $9,257 worth of rebates (including the tax credit) off a new CMax Energi. It is a little depressing how much better the Volt is in almost every way. It is just too small. And I’m growing tired of waiting for the MPV5. So my second plug-in may end up being a 19-mile AER PHEV.

The CMax does have headroom though.

True, but at 5’8″, I’m the tallest one in my family. Headroom matters not. In fact, it’s a negative in my book – as far as I’m concerned, all “headroom” does is increase the aero drag of the car.

When I talk of size, I’m usually referring to cargo room. Even with the battery intrusion, the CMax has 19 cubic feet to the Volt’s 10. I have enough faith in my ability to pack properly and fully utilize that space. In fact, I have done it with a dealer’s CMax Energi.

If I recall, we both have families of 4. Come on Brian I made it work why can’t you?

My kids are probably younger than yours. By the time they hit teenage years they could be taller than 6ft and the Volt will just be too small. Got to give me credit though one of them was young enough that they were rear facing in it up till earlier this year.

We have done some 200-300 mile trips in it, and we will be doing a 1000_ one soon. Still, there are some family trips we do in the minivan due to needing more cargo space for what the trip entails. However, the C-Max or even some wagons we’ve had before with more cargo space would have been to small considering some of the stuff we packed on those particular trips. Getting a minivan is like making a deal with the devil. There are no plug in models, and the highest made models come from anti EV Honda and Toyota. There is nothing better for long trips though.

No offense, Nate, but given the fact that you said “there are some family trips we do in the minivan due to needing more cargo space for what the trip entails”, you are NOT “making it work”. Sure, I could have a Volt as one of two cars. But not if my other car is a Leaf. My two cars are a Leaf and a Honda Insight. When I take my family on a 1000 mile vacation (like I did last month to Virginia Beach), I actually do make it work with the Insight. That is a compact car, but it has half again the trunk space of a Volt. The CMax has more space than the Insight.

So tell me what exactly is your point? Should I trade in the Leaf for a Volt? If I do, I will be burning more gas and I will be necessarily carrying around a gas engine that I don’t need.

My point isn’t to tell you what car works best for your situation, it is the opposite. I jokingly said “why can’t you?”. Just because we both have families of 4 doesn’t mean all families of 4 can make it work well, or that none can. The age of the kids and the activities people do make a difference.

The family trips taken that the cargo needs were to big for the Volt would have been too big for other available plug ins as well. We do most of our driving in the Volt and are at 92% EV last I checked. The EV% will drop some in a month after our next trip. That works considering what is out on the market, but like yourself I’d like it if there were more choices.

And sorry it wasn’t clear that I was joking, I thought the subsequent paragraph starting with “But..” clarified that not all families of 4 have identical needs. Still, not clear on my part.

I do wonder since you use quotes and caps to you tell me I’m not making it work, what you think I should be driving instead. I’m open minded. The van is a ’11 Sienna with around $4,000 of equity. About once a month its passenger and/or cargo volume capability comes in very handy, and if I got rid of it I’m not sure what would serve the same purposes. The Volt is a ’13 and the lease is up late next year. I like it but my hunch is that the residual value will be higher the what it is worth, and financially it will make sense to turn it in and let the leasing company deal with the negative equity.

Hey Nate. Sorry about my pointed response. I was responding late at night (about 10:30) and was tired.

I think that your fleet sounds great for your family. I didn’t mean to imply that you should change it. I was trying to stress that the way that you are making it work is not the same as the way you were telling me to make it work. Imagine replacing your minivan with a Leaf. Would the Volt still work? Because that’s what I have. I have managed to get by with a compact Insight instead of a minivan. Honestly, though, I am helped by the fact that I can borrow a minivan or truck for short hauls. But the fact remains that I take my family on vacations and road trips in the Insight. And the Volt simply would not fill that role for me. The C-Max is a nice upgrade in space, and a decent decrease in gas, as compared to the Insight.

Again, I apologize for the tone of my response. And thank you for keeping your responses level-headed. I always enjoy a good discussion/conversation.

No worries at all Brian, it was my fault as my post wasn’t clear.

I think the Energi C-Max is a great addition to the Leaf, and a big upgrade from the Insight. When I decided to ditch our old beater and replace with a plug-in it was close between the Leaf and the Volt. I wanted to compare the C-Max Energi, but the Ford dealers didn’t have them on hand and they weren’t making any deals on the ones coming in. Strange thing is a couple months later they started advertising good discounts on them.

My situation doesn’t need to re-evaluated until next year until the lease ends, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it frequently!

Nice numbers! 53 miles EPA means 65 miles real world for most Volt drivers, at least for nine months of the years for those of us that see freezing weather in the winter.
And the Gen I’s are still selling fairly well, considering. I hope the Gen II can sell 45,000 in its first 12 months of sales! Probably closer to 25,000 but it will be interesting to watch.

I’ve gotten 40 electric miles at 30*F when driving a good distance. The way to do it is first, start out in Mountain mode. (note: do not use cabin heater, which is fine on a sunny day) Drive the first 22-25 miles then the engine comes on. When you are near your destination, with 15-16 miles to go, switch back to normal mode and use the remaining miles. Cold weather and long distances do not mean you need to use all your electricity first. The engine warms the battery during the middle-part of the drive and then the battery can work better during the end-portion of the drive. Using Hold mode, you can do some other variation of this.

Summer AER in my 2011 – still over 45 miles when staying below 55 mph on back-roads. The EPA numbers do a poor job of showing how much better mileage you get when not driving hard. An ICE loses mpg at slower speeds while the Volt gains it.

Bonaire, I have only lately begun to experiment with Mountain Mode. It is an interesting tool in the efficiency tool box. I am at around 96% electric miles so my genset is not used that often.

Congratulations to GM for leading the industry instead of just being a follower. Big business has too often had the motto that the second mouse gets the cheese. I want to do business with a leader, not just a me too company!

Oh, now you did it. The BEV purists will demand your retraction… to be typed on a wind-powered computer, and sent via 80 mile hops!

Personally, I am a BEV purist. But I congratulate GM for this great achievement that will really help the adoption of plug-in vehicles.

Hey! We’re all on the same side here. We all hate gas!

I know, Toyota looks old, and Honda, what ever happened to Honda. Gone and Done.

Honda has had a perception problem. They have seen their forte to be the internal combustion engine and they were right. They made great engines. But they have new leadership now and they see their future having BEVs.

Hey Jay, Any chance we can make this the “top” article on the front page for a day or two? 🙂


Definitely excellent news, and I say this as someone who has an unhealthy love affair with his Leaf.

The one thing that bugs me is the 42 MPG rating. What do we think the 2016 Volts on the road will really get? I’d wager that when you take into account fleet units that are almost never plugged in and the Volt faithful who are maniacal about plugging in and not using gasoline, it will average out well above 42. That 42 MPG rating grossly understates what the average driver can achieve with this car.

Well, I prefer to NOT count electricity from the grid as part of a MPG calculation. 42 MPG is for running on gas and gas only.

When the ICE in the Volt starts up to provide heat for the cabin heater in the winter it is very inefficient. It is too bad that cabin heat can’t be supplied another way. I think Volvo had a design that used ethanol from a separate reservoir for cabin heat.

I believe the ethanol heater Volvo uses is made by Webasto, which is a Tier 1 OEM supplier, but also sells retrofit units (gasoline and diesel, but no ethanol yet) to the general public.

For OEMs – Ethanol heater and high-efficiency electric heater for hybrids and EVs:

Retrofit heaters – gasoline and diesel:

Thanks for the research! Great info!

Actually, using the ICE in the Volt for heat is MORE efficient, since you are gaining both propulsion power and diverting the “waste” heat into a useful form.

Agreed.. I don’t understand the ‘inefficiency’ comment at all. In fact, in the VERY cold winter months, the only time my 2 electric cars seem efficient at all IS when the engine runs.

In the coldest months last year, I had to have my Roadster constantly plugged in in my unheated, drafty garage. It used pretty much a constant 1000 watts to keep the battery warm, and then (rarely) the battery would get hot enough to actually charge (at a 1300 watt rate – which is ‘inefficient’ for Roadsters since it didn’t get more than 1 or 2 miles range per hour), and then if I drove it, the thing ate up miles at a 3 for 1 rate, since the Heater/Defroster took more than twice as much power as the Drive Motor !!!

Whereas the Volt could go far in warm comfort on 1/10 of a gallon of wimpy ethanoled (116,000 btu/gallon vs 125,000 for real gasoline, but you can’t use the real stuff in a volt).

I’m sure some will beat the 42, and some won’t. The Gen1 Volt is rated at 37mpg and if you look at the average on Voltstats it’s at 34.47MPG. That’s looking at ~1400 Volts. Cold weather cabin heating is when my Volt’s engine typically runs and this really hurts this number. However, in reality, the CS MPG isn’t really that important to most drivers since 80% (and now 90%) of trips will be gas-free.

I still wonder, and did not see, what the Highway EPA rating is? Could it be >45mpg??

The issue is that those EPA rating would match proper warm up and use cases.

In my experience, Volt gets a solid 40mpg in CS mode if driven more than 20 miles in CS mode. But often the Volt would only burn 0.2 gallon and the engine is never truly warmed up… That is often what happens to many Volt owners.

But I agree with you that it doesn’t matter since Volt owners use very little gas overall anyway.

The figures at have held pretty consistent; on average, 71% of Volt miles are electricity powered, with the remainder being gas-powered.

A bit of critical thinking will make it clear that this means somewhat less than 71% of trips are free from use of gasoline. Obviously on some trips, the driver will run low of battery charge near the end of the trip, and the ICE generator will engage.

Voltstats is an average. You have drivers that never plug in. And others that take 2000 mile trips across the country. It only takes a few of these people to bring down hundreds of people that never use gas.

Take the stats directly from GM. They have more data than Voltstats. Larry Nitz has told us that more than 80% of Volt trips do not involve an engine start.

If you want to use Voltstats data, I made a bell curve showing that the center of the bell curve is on 86% EV miles. This takes care of the outliers.

The term “MPG” means “miles per gallon”, as in gallons of gasoline. It is a measure of how far a car can travel when powered by gas.

The number of miles the Volt travels when traveling on stored battery power has nothing to do with MPG, at all… despite GM’s early absurd claim for “230 MPG”.

For PHEVs like the Volt, statistics for gas-powered miles and electricity-powered miles should be kept separate, to avoid just this confusion.

+1 for keeping kWh and gallons separate

On the other hand, the number of miles the Volt travels per gallon carries great significance to those of us who are concerned about gasoline from a national security perspective.

I frequently state that I get 740 mpg, plus the $18 worth of electricity it takes to power my car for 800-900 miles every month, and that my total fuel bill for a month of driving a Volt is around $21.

That makes no sense though.

So you can go 740 miles on 1 gallon of gasoline and the Volt has a 9 gallon tank…

So that means that you can go 6,660 miles on 1 tank of gasoline… ROFL! See what I mean…

It makes sense. He just must live in an area of cheap electricity. He uses very little gasoline, and its not so cold that the engine will automatically come on as is the case where I am.

It also means he uses so little gasoline that he only has to fill up 2 or 3 times a year.

PHEVs with non-ICE range extenders make much more sense. is working with ALCOA to commercialize aluminum-air range extenders (the aluminum is 100% recycled in ALCOA’s smelters powered by hydroelectricity). has SOFCs that can use hydrocarbons but convert them directly to electricity with about twice the efficiency and no pollution (or noise/vibration).
Then there’s hydrogen fuel cells … didn’t GM actually announce an H2 range extender for the VOLT way back at the start?

I agree. I’d be happy to have a range extender that runs on CNG. Or a turbine engine, for that matter. But I think GM made the right decision with gasoline because it allows people to have the long range they need, which is the whole purpose of the range extender. If people had to search for a different fuel on a long trip it might just defeat the purpose.

SOFCs can use ‘any’ hydrocarbon, including gasoline!

I’ve always been a fan of metal-air batteries. If Phinergy has solved the problems holding zinc-air and aluminum-air batteries back, then my hat is off to them.
Bring ’em on!!!

I think I see the enviro logic more than eco, as in economic, logic. We could make vast batches of H2 using up more renewables than are ever likely to be dedicated for this purpose. Just because we CAN do that, doesn’t mean it is practical or it will ever happen.

I think we’re living out a choice between either heavily marginalized ICE use, sooner, or chasing ideals at much, much higher marginal costs, and consequently slower adoption rates. This is a reason I count myself a fan of the Volt, and EREV.

eco Logical said:

“Then there’s hydrogen fuel cells … didn’t GM actually announce an H2 range extender for the VOLT way back at the start?”

I don’t see that a hydrogen fueled range extender would be any more practical than a “fool cell” car. You’d have exactly the same problems: not being able to find a place to fill it up, and costing a fortune if you did find a place. What good is the range extender if the tank is always empty?

I suspect the idea would be to use electricity around town, and put in a supercharger like network of hydrogen fueling stations on the highways.

I’d still prefer a Volt or BEV.

I wonder when the first 2016 Volt will be in the hands of a journalist so we can see some real-world reviews?

I bet some are in the hands of the major car magazines right now, and we’ll see some reviews in the October issues of said magazines which will hit the web in early September. I’m really curious who will be the first to say that the 2016 Volt takes off like a Tesla (non-“P” Teslas, that is…).

I saw a 2016 Volt on the road a little over a month ago (presumably coming back from Death Valley). It looked really good, I was surprised because I saw the Chevy bow tie but it didn’t click for a few seconds that it was a *new* Volt.

This is the type of thing OPEC members have nightmares about.

I agree… I think we woke the sleeping dogs of oil now though… the low gas prices are getting them to lay folks off… and they will continue trying to diffuse our efforts away from mostly electrics towards fuel cells powered by their natural gas, and minimal electric hybrids like cmax and PIPrius. Anything to keep us from avoiding their noxious products.

OPEC is far more worried about US oil production and the fact that it is profitable at $35/ barrel.

I think you’re right. They’ll retake market share, but must be surprised how shattered the market is. People still think it can’t last.

Indeed. Many OPEC countries are in big trouble (Iran, Venezuela, Libya, etc.). Russia is also in trouble.

Of course we should be careful what we wish for because this may end up causing more failed states. It used to be only Somalia was a failed state. But at this point, I think Somalia, Syria, Libya, and Yemen are all failed states.

A “failed state” is one in transition between one type of government and another. States ruled by dictators or kept in a feudal state by a ruling aristocracy — like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and a few other Oil rich nations — need to fail, and the sooner the better. The sooner they “fail”, the sooner they can get about the business of transitioning to a more modern form of government.

Of course, it’s never a good thing to be a citizen in a failed state. But hopefully the grandchildren of people living in Libya and Syria will grow up in a State which actually has some variety of representative government, and will be better off than their grandparents were under the oppressive regime. Look at Somalia: It was a failed state for some years, but now it has a central government which — with international help — has made much progress in regaining control of its territory.

It’s ironic because petroleum is such a valuable commodity when put to the right use such as plastics and pharmaceuticals. It is such a waste to burn it in vehicles and furnaces.

Yes, it is an ongoing worldwide tragedy of epic proportions that we burn about 79 million barrels of oil each and every single day as fuel, instead of saving that precious resource for more long-lasting applications.

Early next month we should see some reviews of the car coming out of California.

After leasing the Nissan Leaf for 3 years and having to suffer range anxiety, I cann’t wait to get my hands on the 2016 Chevy Volt. With the Chevy Volt I will have the best of both worlds.

Great news about the extra range.
Now all they need is an updated stylish modern Body and RHD for Australia?

Small positive steps 🙂

I hope they sell enough of them in North America to export them around the world. RHD… other brands in other places… how about an overly chromed up Buick for the Chinese market. Would certainly help with their horrible smog problems.

Well done GM, this is good news. The engineers have upheld their end of the bargain, now lets see how the marketers handle theirs.

Congrats to GM & Chevy. You knocked it out of the park.



In Canada the 2016 volt will get 53 miles AER and 50 mpg. Our gallon is better (wink wink)

Seriously though, when you are EVangelizing in Canada or UK remember our gallon is bigger and it will be 50mpg In CS mode.

Might be a fun headline Jay. “volt to get 20% better miles per gallon in Canada”

Save it for a slow news day.

Canada uses liters, not gallons

Officially yes, but everyone I talk to about cars quotes their mileage in gallons. Even decades after dropping the imperial gallon. If I say my volt lifetime mileage is .7 liters per 100 km, that only produces a uninterested response. But if I say 360mpg, which is the same, approx., they light right up.

Have some fun, you might like it.

I find it bizarre that they’re still using the “MPG” measurement in the UK, which converted to the metric system long ago. The fact that their “MPG” ratings use British Imperial gallons, rather than the smaller gallons we Americans use, makes it doubly confusing.

“everyone I talk to about cars quotes their mileage in gallons”

Perhaps you should try talking to people in Canada 😉

I’ve lived in Canada for 50 years. I only talk to Canadians.

Liter is Frenc for, “give me some f-ing Cola before I break Vue’s f-ing lip!”

Just came back from a 2500km road trip on my 2013 Volt. My gas mileage for the entire trip was 5.23l/100km which is about 44MPG. If I didn’t have to go through the Coquihalla Hwy (which is a steep mountain pass that is punishing to cars) I would have gotten 5.06l/100km (46MPG).

Funny thing is, I wasn’t even trying. I just drove.

I have no doubt that the new 2016 Chevy Volt would get around 50mpg in real world conditions.

Nice! Now please put this drive train into a slightly bigger car, GM!

The 3.6 kw charger has been advertised on these pages many times. Now the ONLY J1772 jack on the side of any recent GM product has been only 15 amps. Since most of the people who want ‘more than 3.3 kw’ want it for ‘public charging’, if GM still limits the current to 15 amps, there will be no change in charging rate from the current so-called 3.3 kw charger, since both GEN1 and GEN2 will charge at around 3 kw only at most public charging spots in north america.

What I don’t understand is the navigation option being relegated as an additional option for the LTZ package. Isn’t navigation pretty much a necessity for an extended range EV for finding charging stations? Do most Volt owners use smartphone apps for finding charging stations (like ChargePoint)? As a prospective 2016 Volt owner, I think I would much prefer the built in navigation to my smart phone app. What am I not getting?

Mike, what you’re not getting is that most of us don’t bother with public charging. Unless it’s convenient at a place you already plan on going to (like when I charge for free while attending basketball games–parking in a premium spot), it’s just not worth it. We just charge at home, drive on electric as far as we can, and use a tiny bit of gas some days. Paying $1.00 per hour to charge at 3.3 kW is a waste of time and money.

The NAV in my volt in 2012 came with outdated maps. If I want a newer map, it cost about as much as a new gps with lifetime updates. It also does not indicate charging stations.

Save your money and buy a gps.

Same here I get my Ford map updates a year behind current off eBay for usually under $50.