At What Point Does Chevy Volt Battery Show Signs of Range Loss?


2012 Chevy Volt

2012 Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt Battery Pack

Chevy Volt Battery Pack

At what point will the Chevy Volt show signs of range loss?

This has been a question for some time in the EV community. General Motors made a bold and brave move to limit access to the Volt’s 16.5kWh battery to around 10kWh. The brilliance of this move both protected the battery from overcharging and left Volt drivers with the same driving experience with zero loss of range for years of ownership.

Few remember, but it was GM’s design that forced Nissan and Tesla  to provide the eight year 100,000 mile battery warranty that has set the standard for the industry.

Editor’s Note: Due to a communication breakdown this article was posted prior to finishing the test. Will update in the near future.

Most Volt owners sit back and listen to stories of range loss with other brands with a large grin on their face knowing they have yet to experience it. As stated before, it is primarily in the protected design that has hidden this natural chemistry degradation from our sight. With over 60,000 Volts and a half a billion miles, it is only a matter of time. Chemistry still is chemistry.

97,000 Mile 2012 Chevy Volt

Recently, I came upon a 2012 Volt in good condition with  97,000 miles for $14,000 that I just couldn’t pass up. I secured the used Volt for my younger brother but not without some basic testing and comparison to my own 2012 Volt with one fourth the miles. This Volt was a fleet vehicle in Florida averaging over 40,000 miles per year. My Volt is pampered and kept in a shaded garage. Though the conditions of the fleet vehicle cannot be known, the Florida temperatures are not as tough as Phoenix but hotter than my North Carolina Volt.

Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

With the 97,000 miles driven on this MY2012 Volt, it is clear that many, if not the majority of the miles, were using the gasoline powered range extender. My hypothesis was that the battery should not suffer due to the excess ICE miles. My curiosity was now to find out.

When I received the Volt the guess-0-meter registered 35 miles of total range. I took the Volt out on an easy drive averaging 48 mph. It achieved 45 miles of AER all electric  range. The number is relative to many factors, but comparing to my well cared for Volt, I achieved 50 AER on the same path and similar conditions. The first test showed 10.3 kWh used.

Another interesting discovery was that the charge took nine hours opposed to the typical eight on my Level 1 charger.

Bottom Line

If you have ever seen the movie “Black Beauty,” there is also no telling how hard this horse has been ridden. Still this 97,350 mile Volt is “not” showing any changes in the intended driving experience. Though degradation occurs in all batteries, it happens at a lesser rate when the charge is limited and  thermal conditions are managed. Bottom line, the AER driving experience has not changed past the GM specifications.

Many naysayers wait with baited breath for EV battery replacements. With high mileage EREVs like the Chevy Volt, they will have to wait a bit longer. At some point the Chevy Volt may give up 4-8 miles of AER at 98 MPGe, but will continue on its extender for many, many miles to come.

I plan on doing a bit more tests prior to turning it over to my brother. If you have any tests you would like to see, then leave a detailed comment below.

Category: ChargingChevrolet

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54 responses to "At What Point Does Chevy Volt Battery Show Signs of Range Loss?"
  1. McKemie says:

    When I owned my Leaf, I was astonished to see the lengths Nissan went to in order to hide battery conditions from the driver. “Bars”, “trees”, etc but no accurate and precise capacity or state of charge information. I know little of Volts, but it seems they suffer the same obscurification.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Hi McKemie,

      They do, sort of. The Volt doesn’t have a read out of battery percentage, but it has 10 bars, each of which represents 10% of the capacity. As I understand it, that is unlike the Leaf, where 3 out of 12 bars does not mean 25%, and actually means MORE than that.

      The Volt also has an kWh used estimate that is fairly accurate. Knowing the usable kWh of the battery, the kWh used can give a reasonable percentage of used capacity if one wants to calculate it. It maps well to the green bars.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        I also seem to recall that the most recent model Leaf does have an exact percentage read out.

    2. Lou Perez says:

      IMO there is too much made of the battery life issue. Federal law requires the battery to maintain 70% of charge after 8 years or 100K miles. In CA, it is 10 years or 150K miles. If the battery has less than 70%, you get a replacement (likely reconditioned) one.

      Do ICE owners get new engines after 8 years if their engines don’t pass a compression test? Don’t think so …

  2. Taser54 says:

    Although I applaud you for finding a great deal, your test only proves that the two Volts had different AERs (well within the range stated by GM on the window sticker).

    It does not prove battery degradation.

  3. ClarksonCote says:

    Hi Mark, thanks for the write-up. I would be careful to conclude that the Volt is showing any signs of battery loss based on a 2 mile AER difference on the road and on the range estimate.

    The former can be due to many factors that are outside driver control. A 2 mile difference doesn’t seem enough to conclude that there is battery loss, and is within the error bounds of condition variations.

    Additionally, the 2 mile difference in estimates can simply be due to the Volt still needing to adjust to its new driving patterns following the 96,000 miles of fleet driving.

    The main reason why I’m skeptical is because I suspect a lot of gas miles would actually be nicer to a battery than a lot of electric miles. That means less charge cycles which is the real driver in capacity loss.

    The battery may need to be cycled a few times from full to empty to help balance the cells, but otherwise this battery should otherwise be in better shape than another battery having more electric miles, but less miles overall. 🙂

    Curious to hear any updates as time goes on!

    1. Bonaire says:

      A few things wrong overall with this story. It was published after just one day’s testing. Were all things equal? Tire pressure is one key, did the 2012 have suitable tire pressure? Also, the battery needs a few full cycle charges to best balance the cells. I have to believe that you will see it produce nearly the same range if you run a few charges through it and you keep the tires at the same level as your other Volt.

      1. David S. says:

        Differences in tire wear and brand/model can also have an influence.

      2. Mark H says:

        It wasn’t ready for posting. Eric, I thought pending was the signal for release.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Ah. Maybe Eric Loveday will work with you to send out an “updated” story?

    2. WopOnTour says:

      This is exactly correct and IMO the author is simply “blowing smoke”. There are cars with much greater EV miles that are not showing ANY discernible loss in AER.-WOT

    3. Lou Perez says:

      Why didn’t the author just take the car to a Chevy dealer and ask them to do a battery test? They have to have battery diagnostic software .

  4. Koz says:

    Battery capacities are also not identical from car to car even at day one. Also, later model 2012’s had the larger AER charge window of the 2013’s. You should compare the VIN’s. Watch the full charge estimate. I don’t think only one cycle fully recalibrate a to the current conditions. Did they reset the trip meters? Maybe they can give a good idea of how many miles were AER and RE.

  5. Mr. M says:

    “With the 97,000 miles driven on this MY2012 Volt, it is clear that many, if not the majority of the miles, were using the gasoline powered range extender. ”

    I don’t understand how you come to that conclusion.

    If I understand the american market correctly the MY2012 can be bougth already during Mid of 2011. This means the Volt migth be three years old. With ~220 Workdays each year and recharging at workplace (twice a day 40 miles AER), this can cumulate to 660*2*40 = 52800 miles in electric mode. Conclusion: I would not say that the Range Extender made the mayority in miles…

    Is there solution how to find out how much miles where really electric only?

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      Mark may have connected to OnStar through RemoteLink. (Thomas Thias reported recently that second owners can press the OnStar button and get the remainder of free service.) This would report total miles and EV miles. Or, the lifetime MPG on the vehicle may be very low, indicating lots of gas miles.

      1. Thomas J. Thias says:

        99% of the Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicles on the road today under 1st owner or multiple 2nd or 3rd owners still have FREE OnStar with directions/Conections; Navigation on Demand Service, Teltmatics Phone Service; buy minutes as you go and smart phone app for remote start, door unlock and sound horn plus much more.

        Here is the FREE coverage breakdown.

        -Model Year 2011, 5 years Free from new.

        -Model Years 2012, 2013 and 2014, 3 years Free from New.

        To activate have the Volt on, in park, radio on and radio volume,up.
        Plus the Blue OnStar Button, NO NOT THE BLUE VOLT START/STOP BUTTON, LOL…

        Push the OnStar Blue Button on the ceiling of your Volt.

        Tell the attendent that you want to activate the remaining ballance of the FREE OnStar service.

        They will be happy to do so. They will want to sell you phone minutes(Each OnStar Vehicle Has Its Own Unique Phone Number), they might want you to sign up for a longer term, they might offer more enhanced OnStar
        services for a fee and ask for a credit card.

        OnStar has many outstanding features BUT If your just activating the ballance of time in your name, say so and leave it at that.

        At the start of this comment I said that 99% of ALL Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicles in North America had the ballance of OnStar left.
        As you saw in the Model Year breakout above,
        the earliest of the FREE OnStar Subscription wind downs will occur sometime late summer, 2014 for MY2012 Chevy Volts sold August, 2011.

        The reference to 99% is because of the normal exhistance of rebuilt vehicles, all makes and models, in the wild.

        The Chevy Volt is no exception as I have seen salvage and rebuilt examples for sale on Auto Trader.

        These Volts, while offered for less, if they have been declared salvage or rebuilt have voided waranties and no FREE Onstar.

        A push of the OnStar Button will confirm.

        For more information:


        Thomas J. Thias


  6. Boyd says:

    One thing that I have noticed on my Volt over the past 3 years has been the choice in tires as well as wheel alignment. When I first got my Volt, I was able to get 50+ miles all electric when I was very careful; however, I noticed awful wear patterns on the tires after several thousand miles. After getting it aligned, I have struggled to get more than 42 miles. The same thing happened to a friend’s Volt too.

    I would say that if both have proper alignment and the same tires and wear, that would be a closer-to-true comparison.

  7. David Murray says:

    This was not a very scientific test. I’m not even sure such a proper test exists. But the closest thing would be to drive both volts until the range extender comes on and compare the amount of kWh that was used.

    I suppose another test would be to drain both Volts completely, then use a “kill-a-watt” or similar instrument for reading the amount of energy from the wall required to fully recharge. Make sure both cars are done at the same time in same temperature conditions.

    1. Dave R says:

      Yep, running each car through say 3 measurements of the energy required to recharge from empty to full while also noting achieved EV range is probably the best one can do without pulling the battery and testing it directly.

  8. Benjamin Anderson says:

    Some questions were the tires the same and were were the model years the same. 2013 and newer have slightly larger battery packs. More info is necessary to make a fair comparison.

    1. koz says:

      Actually the larger available charge window started with late 2012 models.

  9. Driverguy01 says:

    Read this, it might just apply to your Volt. You just need to nurse the battery back to life with a few full cycles of discharge / charge….

  10. Assaf says:

    Mark hi,

    Thanks for this nice piece of “citizen research”.

    IMHO on the engineered battery bounds is yet another example for GM’s entire Volt story: great engineering, lousy job getting inside the customer/driver’s head, even worse job marketing.

    Yeah, the positive angle on this “you get to use 10KWh only” is that it all but guarantees a very long battery-pack life.

    But is GM trying to make any money (i.e., sales) off of the Volt’s stellar reliability? Or is it a secret shared only between aficionados and those who closely follow the auto industry press? So what’s the point here, esp. that the general press still says the Volt is a waste of money and a failure?

    Now… to the driver. The battery-protective bounds mean that while you *paid* for a battery-pack that could in principle give you ~60 miles EPA range (with some $$ help from the government, yes), GM had decided you can use only <40 miles of that range. The rest is being carried around, day in day out, like dead weight – for what purpose only God knows (since GM has yet to capitalize on this over-engineering in any meaningful way).

    First, this indicates a huge level of paternalism. Big Brother GM knows better than you. Even though they pretty clearly have no clue how to play the EV game. I much prefer Nissan's and Tesla's blase approach to their BEVs' capacity: this is 1st generation, just take it and explore the limitations, and know it won't be as predictable as a Toyota Camry.

    More devastatingly for GM, this makes the Volt in terms of usage and consumer value, much closer to the Ford PHEV and the Plug-in Prius – with the downside of being more expensive and having only 4 seats. While in fact, on the automotive side the Volt is engineered to compete with the likes of the BMW i3, and be better than it on many counts – alas, surely not on range b/c GM doesn't want you to use its precious battery.

    1. SeattleTeslaGuy says:

      I think “paternalism” is an unfair characterization. My instincts are that the Volt was an engineering driven car with little marketing input (they were all off working on the higher volume cars, I suppose). As such, engineers strive to be conservative in their designs to make sure that the product performs reliably. So, underutilizing the battery capacity could simply just be an engineering decision. Plus, this was brand new territory for GM so it’s not surprising that they opted for a conservative approach. As such, they built a car that has proven itself to be reliable. And with that, the customers have shown strong satisfaction with the volt. Paternalism? I think not. More like solid engineering.

    2. kdawg says:

      “But is GM trying to make any money (i.e., sales) off of the Volt’s stellar reliability? Or is it a secret shared only between aficionados and those who closely follow the auto industry press? So what’s the point here, esp. that the general press still says the Volt is a waste of money and a failure?”
      After a couple years Nissan was being sued by its customers for sh!tty battery life, how does that help sales? Let’s see what the market says 10 years from now when GM cars are still driving around w/their full range and the Leafs have all been retired or sold for peanuts because the batteries degraded so much.

      Not sure what media you are ingesting(Fox News?), but most give the Volt great reviews. I won’t even list the awards.

      1. Assaf says:


        I’m sorry you are reading a “Leaf vs. Volt wars” into my comment. That’s 180 degrees opposite my intention.

        From a marketing perspective, a two-digit EPA range that starts with a “3” sends a message of “gas car with some EV capabilities”. The fact many people don’t drive more than that in a day is moot compared with this overwhelming impression.

        If you built a battery that’s only that big, it’s one thing. But to have such a large battery and use so little of it, is a marketing and consumer-orientation failure IMHO.

        1. kdawg says:

          Unless it pays of when your cars our outlasting the competition and you don’t have to pay for warranty issues.

          1. Assaf says:

            The thing is, every product has its strengths, weaknesses and limitations.

            Nissan seems to be learning pretty well from its early Leaf mistakes.

            OTOH, so far GM has only been digging newer and deeper holes for itself (laying off the Volt as a leading EV brand, sitting on the Spark as a compliance car, the ridiculous bet on the ELR, etc.).

            Maybe GM will shock us all in 2015 and 2016 with an amazing EV marketing strategy – I will be happy if that happens! – but that’s not what it has done so far. A

            nd yes, I do see keeping 40% of the Volt battery off-limits to drivers, as part of the same pattern. Nothing you or others have wrote, provides substantial evidence to the contrary.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:


              I have seen plenty of your posts and most of them are just “GM/Volt hating” post tones which basically traces back to your issue with GM EV-1 program.

              With that said, how much has Nissan done to its LEAF? Nissan dropped price on the LEAF. GM dropped price on the Volt. Nissan make the LEAF worse in safety (from 2011/2012 to 2013/2014) from 5 stars to 4 stars. Volt stayed the same. Nissan made the 2013 or later LEAF slightly more efficient and longer range. GM did the same with the Volt by 3 miles (which is about 9%).

              Sure, there is a lot to improve on the Volt, but you just sound like a whiner…

            2. ModernMarvelFan says:

              Also, you can’t do math.

              37.5% is the buffer. But you forgot to include the “regen” buffer on top and battery drain buffer at the end.

    3. kdawg says:

      “GM had decided you can use only <40 miles of that range. The rest is being carried around, day in day out, like dead weight"
      This distance was determined to cover 80% of all driving. What about the Leaf? It carries around much more "dead weight" when the driver is only commuting 25 miles/day. I don't follow this logic.

    4. kdawg says:

      “Even though they pretty clearly have no clue how to play the EV game. I much prefer Nissan’s and Tesla’s blase approach to their BEVs’ capacity: this is 1st generation, just take it and explore the limitations, and know it won’t be as predictable as a Toyota Camry.”
      It’s not a game, and its not particular to EVs. Its called running an auto-company and GM has been doing it for 100 years. You need to make reliable products, plain and simple. You can sell crap, and try and clean up the mess later, especially when it’s new technology with a big magnifying glass on it. You prefer Nissan’s/Tesla’s approach of just testing in the real-world after production? That’s nuts. GM did accelerated lab testing for years and continues to do so, before they sold the first Volt.

      1. Assaf says:

        What happened to GM 80 years ago or 50 years ago is immaterial.

        GM needed a bailout 5 years ago. It went bankrupt due to *very* poor decision making and warped priorities.

        The mindset that has bankrupted it, is the same mindset that killed the E.V.1. Judging from GM’s current EV strategy – that mindset is unfortunately still alive and well.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          If GM did EV1 as you would like, it would still have gone bankrupt.

          It is just stupid to think EV-1 like cars would have saved GM…

        2. Thomas J. Thias says:

          No Assaf, Gm, Christler and Ford were pushed to the edge or into structured bankrupcy by an intense liquidity run caused by a spike in the cost of a gallon of gas to a $4.00 average from early June througe late October, 2008.

          Link Goes To Gas Buddy dot com- Retail Gasoline Price Chart-

 Average,,&Unit=US $/G

          This Licquidity runcame on top of the now forgotten collapse of Global Finincials and an implosion of the world banking system.

          This spike in fuel costs destroyed the residual values of hundreds of thousands of Light Duty Trucks, Vans and Sport Utility Vehicles leased out in 2005/2006.

          Gm/GMAC/US/Canada, Ford Motor Company Credit And Chrysler Financial became exposed to the immediate prospect of covering these losses on a vehicle to vehicle basis with no end in sight.

          Retired Ford CEO Allen Mulally cites the need for government intervention as a total liquidation of GM and Chrysler would of taken down Ford as well ant thrown the country into depression.

          Link Goes To LA Times Report from April 19,2012.

          The cost of a gallon of gas had crashed to the $2 dollar mark by late november of 2008 the mortal financial damage had been done.


          Thomas J. Thias


          1. Thomas J. Thias says:

            The Gas Buddy dot com 96 month average retail gas price-

            Link Again Goes To Gas Buddy 2008 Gas Price Spike Chart-

   Average,,&Unit=US $/G


            1. Thomas J. Thias says:

              Heh, posting this Gas Buddy dot com 96 month retail gas price chart has been interesting!
              Here if is, I promise!

              Linked In From Twitter Photo=

              Sorry bout that-

              Thomas J. Thias

  11. Vin says:

    Mark: The Energy Info screen on my 2014 Volt says I’ve used 10.9kWh-11.0kWh (it varies) after I have I run the battery from fully charged to the point where the range extender kicks in. What does your brother’s 2012 Volt show?

    1. Mark H says:

      The first test produced 10.3 kWh. Not expecting to see it change. No real way to see the reserved portion’s degradation. Still testing.

  12. MrEnergyCzar says:

    You first need to establish if either Volt was produced in June of 2012 with the larger battery. Assuming they have the same size battery, they’d need the same tires and similar tread depth left. Finding out how many miles in EV mode from onstar is important to know as well. Since the usable KWh window would shrink over time, rather than be expanded, charging both volts under the same conditions and measuring the total draw for each will give you each Volt’s usable KWh window….

    1. Vin says:

      I don’t think the usable kWh window will be equal to the total draw from the wall…. Due to charger inefficiencies, total draw will be more than energy stored in the battery, correct?

      1. MrEnergyCzar says:

        Yes, one volt might draw 13.2 KWh while the other draws 12.8 KWh…..

    2. Thomas J. Thias says:

      Hi Czar,

      You said.”Assuming they have the same size battery~”

      Ouch, while we all know what you meant, the reader, new to this forum, trying to learn, might begin to ask about different physical sized, Volt EREV Traction Batteries.

      The reference is to, some late model 2012s and all 2013, 2014 MY Chevy Volt EREV’s with the Enhanced Battery pack.

      Forgive me if I’m splitting hairs with you but as you know even us seasoned Voltec players learn more every day!

      My Very best, Czar,

      Keep The Tweets and Videos coming!

      Thomas J. Thias


  13. kdawg says:

    Mark, maybe you can see if you can contact this guy and ask him how his range is.
    (from Voltstats)
    Serial # 2011-00338
    Name: Joe’s Volt
    State: CT
    EV Miles: 63643.90
    Total Miles: 82823.24
    EV%: 76.8%
    MPG: 169.13

    1. Thomas J. Thias says:


      This Assaf Fellow last caught my attention on these pages back on May 11th, 2014.

      Looks as though you missed this post by Assaf as I did not see a comment from you.

      I finally had enough and weighed in.

      My comments to this assaf fellow are repeated below from May 11, 2014 at 8:17 pm.

      Link To InsideEv follows contents of my comments.

      Thomas J. Thias

      May 11, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      The Electric Fueled Vehicle Marketer has entered the arena!

      Thank You Mr. Assaf for your contribution today.

      However, an undertone of your piece echoes many an Electric Fueled Vehicle Industry critic’s baseline arguement.

      As you innocently and naively state in your opening:

      “[…]Nowadays it seems that every automaker who seriously puts their mind to it, produces an EV that wins awards and accolades that *can* become a jewel in its crown if it so wishes (GM, are you listening?).
      So… why haven’t EVs become more popular earlier? And why are they still just barely coming out of the fringe in most countries, and still on the fringe in many others?

      Well, the nature of human society is that Technology B being objectively better than Technology A is rarely reason enough to replace A – in case A is the convenient, familiar incumbent.[…]”


      “[…]Back to EVs and in particular BEVs. Sadly enough, as long as BEV ranges and charge times/locations are limited the way they are today (except for vehicles whose price is far beyond the average consumer’s reach), BEVs cannot use #2 to break the ICE domination, surely not while makers and consumers pay the full price of tech development. And PHEV/EREV solutions are even more expensive.[…]”

      These are arguments that I have been fighting aggressively in CyberSpace and in print since the Modern Electric Fueled Vehicle Era began, so long ago, in November, 2011. lol!

      I Cite the November, 2011 date as the birth of the Modern Electric Fueled Vehicle Industry as this is the month and year that the Chevy Volt EREV and Nissan LEAF left limited area beta release and National Sales began.

      Ignoring for the moment your major premise, the inclusion of the Climate Change angle I will counter your premis that the Electrictric Fueled Vehicle Industry is anything but robustly accelerating market penetration.

      MY POINTS-

      1) Amazingly enough, in just the 30 months that Volt EREV and LEAF left beta sales, over 201,724 culmative retail sales, all makes, USA, have been achieved!

      I find this stunning as I have been tracking the advancement of the Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle since its debut as vaporware at the NAIAS of 2007.

      Link Goes To Plug In America – EV Ticker-

      2) Navigant Research is projecting total world cumilitive sales if EVs and PHEVs to eclipse the 20,000,000 mark by 2020. While not a great percentage of worldwide sales this projected volume is amazing in and of itself.

      Link goes To “Nearly 22 Million Electric Vehicles Will Be Sold from 2012 to 2020, Forecasts Navigant Research” WSJ – April 19th, 2013-

      About Navigant Research
      Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology markets. The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Navigant Research can be found at

      3) While I maintain a dedicated ‘All For One And One For All’ attitude when it comes to the surging World Electric Fueled Vehicle Industry, with the exception of the Toyota pathetic, EPA rated, 6 mile all electric range of the Prius PI and the now discontinued Tesla/Toyota Rav 4 alliance, I will always promote the EFV’s over the Alternative Fueled Gas and Diesel Vehicles.

      The fact that I am a primary proponent of the Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle and the GM Electric Fueled Vehicle Patforms only adds to my promotion of this growing field.

      You state in the quoted fields above that most Electric Fueled Vehicles are on the fringes.

      Let us see how just one of the current available models, the Chevy Volt EREV stacks up to a 23 car field of the best upscale midsized cars in the world.

      According to the publishing powerhouse, Us News and World Report, in its highly quoted and sought after Best, “Ranking Lists”, in the ‘Best Cars’ category, the Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle has held its own over the last 3 years on the leader board of “Best Upscale Midsized Cars”.

      Since the spring of 2011 the Chevy Volt has ranked with the likes of the Acura TL, Lexus IS, Audi A5, BMW 4 and Cadillac CTS, just to name a few.

      From a high post of third best to a low of thirteenth, currently, of 23 rated, the Chevy Volt EREV is rated on this dynamic leaderboard at #8 th best in the world, tied with the Mercedes Benz C-Class!

      Now this is a mainstream Extended Range Electric Vehicle!

      Link Goes To US News – “Best Upscale Midsized Cars” Leaderboard-

      4) The Fleet-

      In the just 30 months since Chevy Volt EREV and Nissan LEAF; Tesla Motors in the last 16 months representing the first wave of the surging Electric Fueled Vehicle Industry the second wave is now apon us with BMW, Kia, Audi, Mitsubishi, Mercedes Benz, VW, Via Motors and other world players comming on line in the near term.

      While Toyota, Honda and Hyundai are persuing Hydrogen/ Helium, lol, dream cars, this second wave legimates the rise of the World Electric Fueled Vehicle Industry today.
      Link Goes To Plug In Cars- “Cars.”

      5) I am guilty of your blog premise. I will not evoke Climate Change when promoting the Electric Fueled Vehicle Industry and here is why.

      Since the North American Auto Show and the reveal of the concept Chevy Volt EREV the attacks on this vehicle and General Motors have been relentless and intense.

      The Chevy Volt EREV has been the point man in the trenches to the point that then CEO Dan Ackerson acknowledged in the US Congressional, Issa hearings of the spring of 2012 that the Chevy Volt had become a political punching bag!

      The Nissan LEAF, not part of any partial US Government assistence, of course, during the world fiancial collapse of 2008/2009, remained in the shadows ramping up market share as the first wave rolled on.

      Finally, to suggest that I, as an intense promoter of the World Electric Fueled Vehicle Industry and the Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle in particular, evoke the Climate Benefits of using Electric Fuel over the alternatives fuels of gasoline and diesel askes me to move from educating and promoting to defending a cause that, while helpful to our cause will not make a major dent for years to come and will only serve to alienate potential customers openless to learn.

      …Except for one angle. Here it is. For bout a buck a day I can drive 40 or so miles in my Chevy Volt EREV in mild to warm weather, suburban driving, commuting.

      If a gallon of alternative fuel, such as gasoline, is going locally at $4.00 a gallon, this means that for the cost of a gallon of gas I can drive 160 miles in my Chevy Volt, warm weather, suburban driving.

      This efficency is not limited to the Chevy Volt EREV and I suspect similar electric fuel savings using any of the first or second wave Electric Fueled Vehicles that I posted above.

      6) In closing, here is a look at actual OnStar data of my Chevy Volt EREV and a sample of just 1.8% of Volt Owners and Lessees in North America.

      1st Link Goes To My Volt Stats- Click On Gas Tank To See That My First Tank Of Gas Lasted 10,000 Miles-

      97% EV

      29,230 Robust Miles Driven

      615 MPG > Saving $200 Month Using Electric Fuel Over Alternative Gasoline/Diesel Fuel, Have Saved $5,000 in Alternative Fuel, Gasoline, Over The Last 25 Months!

      2nd Link Goes To Volt Stats- Data Page- Fleet Fuel Economy Total, 123.28 MPG

      Epilog: The Cost of the Electric Fueled Vehicle has reduced greatly as the 1st wave moves into the 2nd wave.

      The Chevy Volt EREV lease started in the spring of 2011 at $399.00 a month, 12,000 miles a year with $2,699 up front.

      With cost reductions in engeneering and manufacturing the lease payment had dropped to $359.00 month, 12,000 miles a year with $2,490.00 up front by March of 2012. This is when I jumped in.

      The $5,000 MSRP drop of the 2014MY Chevy Volt EREV, echoed by Nissan, Ford Mitsubishi and others reflected better engineering and economys of scale in manufacturing.

      As the costs to build has further dropped the Chevy Volt EREV lease now stands at $269.00, 12,000 miles a year with $2,679.00 up front.

      For me to lease now, saving $200.00 a month in fuel costs I could now brag that I was almost driving a Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle for free!

      Link Goes To Chevy Volt EREV National Products Page-

      Thank you Mr. Assaf for listening!

      Thomas J. Thias
      Sundance Chevrolet Inc.

      Post link-

  14. Blind Guy says:

    We recently took a 2500 mile trip; Tucson-San Antonio, Rock Port, Houston, DFW-Tucson in our 2013 Volt. Starting AER was 43, we used MM and HOLD mode several times and was only able to charge once due to opportunity and 3 chargers in Cedar Hill not working. After charging back at home, we had 37 AER. We cycled the battery 1 time fully and had 39 AER. I am confident we will eventually get above 40 again despite using comfort for the summer. Since we bought the Volt, we have always gotten above the 38 EPA AER except for 2 times :D. 22500 miles, 100 lifetime mpg (with several long trips using mostly gas). 129 lifetime mpg before latest long trip.

  15. GeorgeS says:

    Good article Mark.
    I applaud you for this somewhat pioneering effort in purchasing a used Volt with 97K miles for 14,000 dollars.

    From the sound of it, it is well within the AER of your pampered Volt. With essentially no degradation. Truly a value proposition for sure.

    Hopefully we will have another follow up article after you have had more time to investigate and test further.

  16. Evil Attorney says:

    Has anyone from GM clarified with certainty what happens to the window of usable battery as degradation occurs? Do both the usable and non-usable percentages of battery shrink, or does the Volt “hide” degradation by always providing about 10kWh of usable battery?

    In any case, if the Volt’s battery degradation is performing that much better than the Leaf or even a Tesla, GM needs to brag about this. It’s a very important factor for anyone buying a car with a battery in it.

    1. MrEnergyCzar says:

      @evil attorney. The question has been posted and discussed on the gm-volt forum. The consensus is the usable window shrinks as the total battery degrades. Andrew Farrah from GM has said to expect a 10-30% range loss after about 9 years..,,,,

      1. Shaft says:

        It is more than a consensus. WOPONTOUR has said so.
        But I do not understand this design and still maintain a hope that WOPONTOUR got this one wrong… despite the fact that he has been extremely reliable in his communications.

  17. Ed Marek says:

    The AVTA is monitoring a Chevy Volt for battery degradation. Early results are posted here:

    As I commented on a MNL thread:

    “‘2011 Chevrolet Volt VIN 0815 Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Battery Test Results’

    While these results look very good at first glance, the Volt showing only ~2% degradation in kWh capacity and ~2.2% in Ah after ~7 months and ~15k miles, you can see on p.16:

    ‘…Fleet data results are summarized in Table 6. The vehicle accumulated 14,836 miles from May 8, 2012 to September 28, 2012, while using 1001.1 kWh of AC energy and 411.3 gallons of fuel…’

    That this volt apparently ran ~70% (?) of it’s test miles on gasoline.

    So as a function of from-the-grid kWh throughput, the rate of degradation (from this very early test) could appear to be fairly rapid. ~2% degradation every ~4,000 electric miles (assuming ~4m/kWh average efficiency) could lead to 70% EOL at ~60,000 Electric miles, and ~220k total miles.

    IMO, the main reason neither of the scenarios above give an accurate picture of Volt battery degradation is that a significant factor in battery degradation is cycling from regenerative charging. This Volt had only 1001.1 kWh throughput from the grid, but also had unknown throughput from the road. And the higher the proportion of gas miles driven by any PHEV, the higher the expected ratio of regen/grid kWh use…”

  18. ModernMarvelFan says:

    I think this is a good start on analyzing the Volt battery degradation.

    But the way to compare “range” by predication and driving isn’t scientific at all.

    The first thing to do is to drive the car from full charge to the empty in the same course and compare KWh used. That is easily found on the Volt dash board.

    Then compare the input charging vs that KWh used. Of course, this is also just informational since it is “pointless” to compare usable range.

    When battery gets less capacity, it doesn’t suck in more power, it actually sucks in less b/c it has less capacity left.

    So, the key to compare the Volt is the KWh consumed for each charging cycle. If that starts to drop, then you have a degradation.

    Of course, the critic would say how do we know that GM doesn’t just open up that window to keep the KWh consumed the same for each charging cycle. Well, that is a valid point. Here is my take on it.

    1. IF you keep opening up the charging window to “hide” the capacity loss, then each time you charge, it will use up higher % of the usable range which will accelerate the battery degradation.

    2. Volt still has a buffer when it is full to allow full regen and a buffer when it is empty to protect the battery from over draining. So, if the degradation is excessive greater than 30%, it would have impacted regen at full or the buffer at the bottom.

    3. We can’t measure how much Volt has degraded, but we know it has degraded beyond 30% at most (10KWh out of 16KWh).

    The only way to truely measure it is by fully charge the Volt to 100% and measuring input current and voltage of the pack.

    I know that I have charged my Volt at least 2x per day for about 25 months now. I still get about 10KWh per charge used and that range varies between 36 miles to 45 miles (similar to new). I have a 2012 model with 35 miles EV range.

  19. Shaft says:

    I would also like to know the total kwhrs used from full to empty from the Volt’s energy usage screen. This is the best way to tell. Do several tests and let us know the results of each test.

  20. Shaft says:

    Regarding some 2012’s having the 2013 16.5 kwhr battery, I have seen no evidence. It seems to me like a rumour that has taken on a life of its own.

    Can someone point me to the evidence?