GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When I purchased my car Aug 28th. I was getting 54 miles to a charge. One month later and 1700 miles, my full charge is 47 miles. Has anyone else noticed this drop in miles on a full charge?? Can some tell me if this is normal for a new car or is there a fix??
Thanks!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,186 Posts
Normal. The display is an ESTIMATE based on your past driving history. Drive like a jack rabbit and it will go down over time. Drive like a grandma and it will rise over time. Drive at 100MPH all the time and it will drop. Drive at 25MPH all the time and it will rise. Drive in the winter all the time and it will drop, drive in the spring all the time and it will rise. Drive on underinflated tires and it will drop, drive on properly inflated (or higher) tires and it will rise. Drive on snow tires and it will drop, drive on low rolling resistance tires and it will rise.

Combine these scenarios in any way you want, but how you drive, where you drive, what you drive on, how fast you drive, how aggressive you drive, and the weather conditions all affect range, just like they do with a gas car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,784 Posts
Your location tag says "Alaska". I've never been there, but I've heard that it is colder than most other states :D. Cold air will have an effect on your range.
The "fix" would be to move south.....way south.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,763 Posts
When I purchased my car Aug 28th. I was getting 54 miles to a charge. One month later and 1700 miles, my full charge is 47 miles. Has anyone else noticed this drop in miles on a full charge?? Can some tell me if this is normal for a new car or is there a fix??
Thanks!
Your Volt's battery is probably ok, you just need to understand and prioritize your driving preferences.

The biggest accessory drain on the battery is the electric heat. You can preserve the battery range and still be warm in your Volt provided you use the available heating options. 1) Precondition the Volt for 10 or 20 minutes (1 or 2 preconditioning cycles) while the Volt is plugged in. If you use Level II charging you can recover most of the battery charge used to precondition the Volt by the end of the preconditioning period, all of the energy within 10 or so minutes after preconditioning ends. If you don't have Level II charging you can still precondition but the battery will not be recharged as quickly so you will need up to 30 minutes after preconditioning to recover the energy used to precondition. 2) Use the heated seats and heated steering wheel (if equipped). These cabin features use very little power (~150w -200w) compared to the climate control system electric heat (up to 9kw!) Minimize the use of the climate control system electric heat Economy or Max buttons, just use the blower whenever possible especially if the Volt is in ERDTT mode. If you set the air to recirculate the windshield may fog up so you will need to use the front window defroster/defogger setting if this happens. 3) Dress warmly, but you are in Alaska so enough said about that. 4) Use the Engine Assist Heat. As designed the Volt will enter engine running due to temperature (ERDTT) mode whenever the outside temperature dips below 35F or below 15F (if you have this setting changed from the default of "Yes" to "Deferred".) The Engine Assist Heat is designed to heat the cabin and will cycle the gas engine on and off as you drive, using very little gas while preserving as much of your EV range as possible given that the EV range is less in cold weather anyway.

Tire pressure is important so keep tires inflated to the recommended 36 lbs or even 2-3 lbs above the recommended pressure. If you drive on rough pavement those little vibrations and jouncing that the uneven road surface creates will impact your range a little, nothing you can do about that except drive slower. Reducing your speed will improve your EV range and your range when using gas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
Your location tag says "Alaska". I've never been there, but I've heard that it is colder than most other states :D. Cold air will have an effect on your range.
The "fix" would be to move south.....way south.
When I charge at home, the estimated EV range is 60+ miles in the spring/summer. When I drive to SF where the temp can be 10+ deg. lower, my range drops to the 50's. I see the effect of the temp difference nearly all the time when I go and stay in SF. What's more important to me is the impact on range from driving the hills of SF.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
I bet you are mostly doing highway driving @75MPH, 47 is about right for highway driving. If you stick to back roads @30MPH you can get as much as 70 miles of range. The GuessOMeter, as it's popularly called, looks back on your most recent driving history and makes a guess about your range, it will change depending on how you drive.

Electric motors are much closer to the ideal than internal combustion engines so you will see a direct correlation between speed and range. If you remember your freshman physics kinetic energy (K) is equal to 1/2 MV^2, i.e mass times the square of the velocity. Moving the air away will also follow the kinetic energy equation. Other forms of energy expenditure are independent of speed, the AC for example. When braking an EV with regenerative braking you are able to get back about 50% of the energy that it took to accelerate the car to speed, the energy expended colliding with air molecules is of course unrecoverable. ICE cars mask this relationship because they are so incredibly inefficient in stop and go operation. An ICE car siting at a stop light is burning gasoline at 0 MPG, whereas an electric car is only using power to run the radio and the AC. An ICE car only has friction brakes so 100% of the energy used to accelerate the car is lost as heat when you stop the car vs 50% for an EV so if you are speeding up and slowing down frequently, as you do in city driving, an ICE car is basically just a space heater whereas an EV is wasting much less energy. Internal combustion engines are also less efficient when you are accelerating from 0, electric motors are extremely efficient at all speeds. Net net, ICE cars get better highway mileage than city mileage because the energy they throw away in start stop driving is greater than the energy needed to accelerate them to highway speeds. EVs don't lose nearly as much energy in start stop driving so the effects of the simple kinetic energy equation dominate.

Bottom line, tips for maximizing your range,
Take back roads rather than highways
On highways do 55 not 75
Avoid braking, coast to decelerate if you can, if you need to brake use the regen paddle if you can, or gentle pressure on the brake peddle which also does regen, only stomp on the brake peddle when necessary.

Other things. Temperature matters, I see that you live in Alaska. Batteries suck at cold temperatures, the colder it is the less batteries can hold. The Volt will turn on it's engine at 15 degrees whether you like it or not to heat the battery, on bad winter days I run the car in hold mode rather than try and use the battery, I do that for two reasons, one is that it's going to run the engine anyway so why not use the engine directly rather than just to heat the battery. The other reason is that heat from the ICE is free, running the heater from the battery drains it really quickly. The other winter issue is snow tires, they will cut your range by about 10% vs the summer tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,440 Posts
I don't think it is cold in June even in Alaska. The most likely factors to give you a low-ish range estimate are the speed you drive and if you drive in a hilly or mountainous area. Are you typically driving on freeways (or anywhere else at freeway speeds)? What is your terrain like?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,763 Posts
Temperature matters, I see that you live in Alaska. Batteries suck at cold temperatures, the colder it is the less batteries can hold. The Volt will turn on it's engine at 15 degrees whether you like it or not to heat the battery, on bad winter days I run the car in hold mode rather than try and use the battery, I do that for two reasons, one is that it's going to run the engine anyway so why not use the engine directly rather than just to heat the battery. The other reason is that heat from the ICE is free, running the heater from the battery drains it really quickly. The other winter issue is snow tires, they will cut your range by about 10% vs the summer tires.
Actually when the Volt enters ERDTT mode (due to outside temperature being below either 35F or 15F) the gas engine runs to provide heat for the passengers in the cabin not heating the high voltage traction battery. The traction battery has its own heating/cooling loop and has resistance heating elements for maintaining battery temperature in cold weather.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,625 Posts
Every week a newb posts a "what's wrong with my volt battery" and we have to reply, "nothing's wrong, stop driving like Jeff Gordon and drive more like a grandpa." On the other hand driving the volt like jeff Gordon is awesome, ev range be damned. It took me two years to stop hypermiling, and now I'm thoroughly enjoying eating pony cars and ricer boys at stoplights. I blew past a CTS-V a few weeks back, man was he pissed. The volt is definitely a sleeper, they don't see me coming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
Every week a newb posts a "what's wrong with my volt battery" and we have to reply, "nothing's wrong, stop driving like Jeff Gordon and drive more like a grandpa." On the other hand driving the volt like jeff Gordon is awesome, ev range be damned. It took me two years to stop hypermiling, and now I'm thoroughly enjoying eating pony cars and ricer boys at stoplights. I blew past a CTS-V a few weeks back, man was he pissed. The volt is definitely a sleeper, they don't see me coming.
Here is the flip side of that... now that like you I have stopped worrying about hypermiling I am bored with the car and am getting a new ICE powered sports car, 2012 Miata with the power retractable hard top. I will keep the Volt for now, but I really wanted a Bolt when I was forced by circumstance to purchase a new car and I settled for the Volt since the Bolt had not been released yet.

Keith
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,625 Posts
Here is the flip side of that... now that like you I have stopped worrying about hypermiling I am bored with the car and am getting a new ICE powered sports car, 2012 Miata with the power retractable hard top. I will keep the Volt for now, but I really wanted a Bolt when I was forced by circumstance to purchase a new car and I settled for the Volt since the Bolt had not been released yet.

Keith
Gm should really make an AWD 2 seater Voltec or Boltec pocket rocket. Solstice/sky styling would be good. I've actually always wanted a BMW Z3 coupe (hardtop with a wagon-like hatchback). For some reason I've never wanted a Miata. Heck, if shooting for the moon, then maybe the dream car is an i8 or NSX (both 2 seater performance hybrids).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
Gm should really make an AWD 2 seater Voltec or Boltec pocket rocket. Solstice/sky styling would be good. I've actually always wanted a BMW Z3 coupe (hardtop with a wagon-like hatchback). For some reason I've never wanted a Miata. Heck, if shooting for the moon, then maybe the dream car is an i8 or NSX (both 2 seater performance hybrids).
AWD would be great, that a huge deficiency in the Volt. A two seater of the Z3 variety, actually an MGB is the right model, is a summer car so it doesn't need it but the Volt would benefit immensely from AWD. Doubt it will ever happen, Chevy only puts AWD into SUVs. When I went car shopping last year I was walking out of the Chevy dealer because they told me that Chevy doesn't offer AWD, by chance I noticed a big Volt poster and I asked to test drive it. If I hadn't seen the poster I never would have heard of the Volt and I certainly wouldn't have bought a Chevy. I tolerated the lack of AWD because having electric drive was so significant but if I had bought an ICE car AWD was a requirement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,471 Posts
I don't think it is cold in June even in Alaska. The most likely factors to give you a low-ish range estimate are the speed you drive and if you drive in a hilly or mountainous area. Are you typically driving on freeways (or anywhere else at freeway speeds)? What is your terrain like?
Thinking that this might not be true, I used Weather.com to forecast temps for Wasilla, Alaska and Salisbury, NC. The fifteen day forecast, averaged, results in 65 degrees for Wasilla and 86 degrees for Salisbury. I'd say that Alaska is significantly colder that a lot of the lower 48 and will play a part in the battery performance that the OP is experiencing. The OP should think about how the 5 T's will play a role in his battery performance: Terrain, Temperature, Technique, Traffic, Tire Pressure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
Thinking that this might not be true, I used Weather.com to forecast temps for Wasilla, Alaska and Salisbury, NC. The fifteen day forecast, averaged, results in 65 degrees for Wasilla and 86 degrees for Salisbury. I'd say that Alaska is significantly colder that a lot of the lower 48 and will play a part in the battery performance that the OP is experiencing. The OP should think about how the 5 T's will play a role in his battery performance: Terrain, Temperature, Technique, Traffic, Tire Pressure.
65 is an ideal temperature for the battery so that's not his problem. It's probably speed, maybe terrain. The Volt only gets about 48 miles at highway speeds, that's normal. The 53 miles is a year round average for mixed driving, it's pretty accurate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,625 Posts
I don't think it is cold in June even in Alaska. The most likely factors to give you a low-ish range estimate are the speed you drive and if you drive in a hilly or mountainous area. Are you typically driving on freeways (or anywhere else at freeway speeds)? What is your terrain like?
Then I'll be the first to call it - LEADFOOT!!!
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top