Chevrolet Volt owner Andreas Paramonoff drove his wife, Brenda, and Jared from Vancouver, British Columbia to San Diego after Andreas drove to Western Canada from Southern California. Andreas charged the Volt 11 times on the 3,790-mile roundtrip, including at RV plug-in spots. He never had to stop when the battery was depleted because the Volt’s extended-range capability added hundreds of miles to every recharge.
Summer may be coming to an end, but for Chevrolet Volt owners, a new era in personal transportation is just beginning – the electric summer road trip. Many owners used the vehicle’s extended-range capability – where a gasoline-powered motor/generator produces electricity to propel the vehicle when the battery is depleted – to take long trips without the worry of finding a place to plug in.
“The development of public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles will take time, but the lack of a charging network today isn’t preventing Volt owners from wandering far from home.” said Volt Marketing Director Cristi Landy. “Volt owners drove more than 6 million miles this summer, two-thirds of which were powered by electricity.”
Since driving in EV mode as much as possible is a source of satisfaction for many owners, they look for ways to use public charging while on long trips.
Brett Circe from Miami used electricity when he could and gasoline when he needed on his 3,318-mile round-trip from Miami to Albany, N.Y., which included stops at Wright Brothers National Monument in North Carolina and Amsterdam Castle in New York. By staying at hotels that offered public charging, he was able to start each leg of the trip with a fully charged battery. His lifetime Volt mpg is 57.6 miles.
The EPA estimates 93 miles per gallon equivalent for the car in electric mode and 35 city and 40 highway miles per gallon in extended-range mode.
The Volt also became the first electric car this century to reach the top of Mount Washington when Eric Cote and his father used both EV and extended-range modes on the way up and on the way down the 8,000-foot mountain. He used the Volt’s regenerative braking to regain 50 percent of his battery charge, achieving 117 miles per gallon on his 48.5 mile journey.
Craig Fisher from Charlotte, N.C. also headed through on the mountains on his 1,000-mile trip to Columbus, Ohio, averaging 39 miles per gallon. A former Toyota Prius owner, Fisher found the Volt outperformed his former hybrid.
“I was quite surprised about how well the Volt preformed running on the generator, regeneration power and the mileage that I got with the generator,” Fisher said. “This was the ultimate test of the Volt as far as I was concerned.”
The Volt has a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank.