World’s First Chevy Volt Owner is Averaging 454 MPG (Video)


Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt

In December 2010, retired airline pilot Jeff Kaffee become the first Chevy Volt owner in the world.

Since then, Kaffee has racked up a decent amount of miles.  But it’s not the mileage on his Volt’s odometer that’s the story here.  Rather, it’s that Kaffee’s Volt is averaging over 450 miles per gallon of gas consumed.

A Chevrolet Volt Gets A Boost Overnight

A Chevrolet Volt Gets A Boost Overnight

Kaffe’s able to achieve this mark because he rarely relies on the Volt’s gas engine.  To date, Kaffee says he’s only had to fill the Volt’s gas tank 3 times, with a combined total of 30.2 gallons of gas.

Kaffee’s odometer reads approximately 13,700, so he’s traveled that distance burning through only 30.2 gallons of gas, he says.  That works out to 453.6 miles per gallon of gas consumed.  We know this isn’t a metric used by the EPA when calculating it’s rating of vehicles, but it’s still interesting to see how little gas some Volt owners use.

Kaffe still loves his Volt, saying “The wave of the future is here.”  Kaffee will likely be looking for a second Volt soon, but that one will be for his wife to drive.

Kaffee has always been sort of an early adopter.  He bought a Toyota Prius back in 2005 when he says few others were on the roads.

And of course he was the first in the nation to own a Chevy Volt, but now Kaffee says “…the car is ubiquitous, you see them everywhere.”

For more on Kaffee’s story, check out the video below.

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19 Comments on "World’s First Chevy Volt Owner is Averaging 454 MPG (Video)"

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It seems to me that Mr. Kaffee drives over 90% of his miles on the battery, and likely over 95% of his trips, since presumably the ICE miles account for longer than average trips for him. Maybe he could have done without an ICE altogether? I see the extended range electric as suiting a segment of the population who need the range of an ICE only some of the time, but that infrequently seems near the margins to me.

Some people may still want the backup for peace of mind. Others may prefer the styling and feature set of the Volt to other EV’s on the road. And others still, may have done better with a pure EV. It really depends on the person I think.

“Volt is averaging over 450 miles per gallon”


I’m sure this argument has been made many times, but by this logic, a BEV gets infinite MPG, right?

My Volt’s lifetime average is 522.6991 mpg (0.45 L/100km), after 21,000 km (about 13,000 miles) driven since it was new 17 months ago.
In that time ‘ve bought gas three times, and the last time wasn’t even a fill-up. Total cost of gas has been around $80.
While maybe not typical, these numbers are easily achievable. I drive 90% in the city, and I like to drive fast (which is easy with the Volt’s 276 ft lbs of torque and no gears to shift).
I honestly don’t care whether or not you believe me, but if you don’t then I suggest you test drive a Volt and see for yourself.

I think the current record holder is getting 20,000 miles per gallon, I assume it’s his second car…


That’s great I’m right now averaging 916 MPG in mine..

Damn, I feel bad about “only” getting 384MPG in my Volt!

“And of course he was the first in the nation to own a Chevy Volt, but now Kaffee says “…the car is ubiquitous, you see them everywhere.””

He was talking about the Prius here.

If I remember correctly we have poster over at GM-Volt with the name VOLT1. Is that you Jeff Kaffee?

This is the very line of discussion that makes the whole MPG topic a joke for any PHEV or BEV.

It is not a joke. It is the core reason why these vehicles are so important — they use little or no gasoline. The joke is on the two types of people denying that.

— The first type are the ignorant bastards that do not understand the issue at hand nor are they very good with details, nuances, and basic arithmetic (i.e. no difference between 20 and 200 MPG – they both use gas, right?)

— The second type are the malicious bastards that very well understand what is at stake, and are trying to block, deny, reduce, obscure, lie about, and generally prevent plugins from proliferating due to a conflict of their interests (i.e. tied up with the oil companies, ICE supply & service industry, the status quo).

News flash, the status quo is changing rather rapidly in the transportation industry. Kicking and screaming will not help. Get on-board or be left behind.

I still think the best way to describe it, is to say cents/mile. Even Joe the plumber should be able to realize that 2 cents/mile is better than 20cents/mile.

Or better yet, CO2 released per mile.

The crux of your statement depends on an important distinction. Are you using MPG to measure energy efficiency, or reduced gasoline usage?

The latter is very much accurate for this Volt owner and many others. Reducing fuel consumption in the US is a very important aspect of national security and economic security.

Our economy will be much less susceptible to swings in the price of oil by diversifying our fuel portfolio, and these MPG figures very accurately depict how EREV’s and EV’s can go a long way in helping us to do so.

It’s admirable how well his Volt is doing on gas, and that most of his driving has been using electricity. But that is really only half the story, especially on a car like this. How is it doing in electrical efficiency? How much electricity has his Volt used to make those 13700 miles?

Also I have to take issue with using ownership of a 2005 Prius as an example of being an early adopter. That was the 2nd year of the 2nd Generation Prius. This was 5 years after the Prius was released for sale in the US. It’s like saying someone is an early smartphone adopter because they owned the original iPhone. Smartphones had been available for a while before then (Palm Treo, anyone?).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy Mr. Kafee’s Volt is doing well, but please back up your arguments with “facts” better than this.

To all the doubters, I was one, now I’m not.
The cost per thousand miles (not including oil changes, tires, wipers, fluids ETC)
just day-to-day expenses for me (since 01/02/2013) has been 280KWH – or in local terms, $28.00 in electricity. My cost per thousand miles in my 09′ V6 Accord was (depending on gas prices fluctuating) $174.00-$180.00.
Another way to view this equation for me is this, I was spending $200.00/m average on gas, now I am calculating about $200.00 a year (on gas) Since I own a LOT of solar panels on my roof, I make my own electricity.. I can be done, it’s a freedom anyone can enjoy and you do not have to be “rich” to realize the same benefits.

Living the good life in the USA.


It all really depends on what cost you want to consider. If you ignore the electricity and only count gallons of gas, you can fool yourself into believing that you get all those extra miles for “free”. In actuality you don’t.
Those are not free miles in terms of $ because you have to pay for the electricity.
Those are not CO2 free miles because of the CO2 created by generation of that electricity.
The solar panels are not “free” electricity either because you have to pay for the panels, plus the pollution from production of those panels (though this may be less than the gas).

The Volt only gets ~37 MPG on gas and ~98 MPGe on electricity. Anyone claiming differently is only fooling themselves.

A lot of people like to conveniently ignore the parts that don’t fit into their story.

You may state those numbers, but there is no other vehicle, except a pure battery powered EV (BEV), that can travel 13,700 miles for less than the cost of 30 gallons of fuel. And you are showing a strong display of envy!