GM Volt Forum banner

2016 Vacationing with our Volt

3470 Views 23 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  FI Spyder
Here we are, my wife and I, on vacation at Wallowa Lake in north eastern Oregon, elevation 4,400 feet. We left at sea level traveled route 84 at 60-75 mph, speed limit about 50 miles or so east of Portland is 70 MPH. The Volt was loaded with all our gear etc. easily well over 4,000 lb's gross weight.

Arrived yesterday and went down to Imnaha and did some fishing and my wife took some nice videos.

Quite pleased with our 2016 Volt Premier cruising at 70+ mph and handled so much better than our 2010 Prius we used for the same trip about 3 years ago.

Right now at our cabin the dash screen reads 509.2 miles traveled just on gas with 10.73 gal's used for 47.5 mpg. Electric used is 32.7 miles with 8.1 KWH used, and 29 miles remaining. I don't believe our 2010 Prius could do much better or even match the Volt's figures.

Plan on going down to the Snake River Canyon, quite a ride in this vast wilderness area...
1 - 10 of 24 Posts
Heading to Prince Edward Island tomorrow, I'll report about the availability of charging along the way. I'm curious to see if this trip would even be possible in a BEV and how much I'll be able to charge my Volt at my hotels. It looks like my hotels have wall outlets but no Level 2s, won't know if they will be available or not and how much charging I'll be able to get done with the Level I in the car.
Day 1 report. Drove from MA to The Algonquin Resort in New Brunswick. Plugshare said they have two Tesla chargers and a wall outlet, they were wrong, no wall outlet. The Tesla chargers were both ICEed. Filled up at a decrepit one pump station before we crossed into Canada, Google Maps wasn't clear about the location of filling stations because the cell coverage is very spotty, if you take this trip you should note that there is one real gas station on the route, an Irving, but we had already filled up at the one pump station.

My Volt is having trouble with the roads in New Brunswick, it started making scraping noises immediately after we entered Canada in Saint Stephen, the sound stopped on the highway but resumed when we got off in Saint Andrews. The roads are bumpy but they don't look as bad as they sound. I pressed on all four corners to see if there was a shock problem, everything seemed good.

Gas mileage on the trip so far, 46.6MPG. I have half my battery left, I'll stay in Hold until we get to PEI, the Comfort Inn ar]t Charlottestown is supposed to have a wall socket according to Plugshare. There was a picture of it on Plugshare so maybe it exists.
See less See more
Day 2. Drove from Saint Andrews to Charlottestown PEI. The roads got better after leaving Saint Andrew so there is much less scrapping, but not entirely eliminated. Two tire pressure sensors have stopped working, I'll have them checked when I get home, don't know if the rough roads had anything to do with it or if was a coincidence that the batteries died at the same time.

The motel has several wall outlets but they are all ICEed. The wall outlets aren't really meant for cars and I don't really think I would want to use them even if they were available. The EVSE cord would have to run across a side walk, and I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving it unprotected in this area.

On the way to PEI we stopped at Hopewell Rocks. They have a couple of charging stations but they are Rio Tinto, they don't work with Chargepoint which is the only card I have. The price was $1.50 an hour, a bit pricey. When I pulled up to the chargers several guys came up to me to ask about EVs, I filled them in on the Volt's capabilities.
See less See more
Those TPMS batteries should last at least 7 years.
I think they should be under warranty, the car is 2.5 years old and has 29K on it. The TPMS sensors lasted about 7 years on my last car, seems strange that they should die in two. Also they are functioning today.
Judging from your reports, it sounds like you're lucky to be driving a Volt.
It's pretty clear that a Tesla would be unusable in the Maritimes, a PHEV is absolutely required there. There are no superchargers in New Brunswich or Prince Edward Island so a BEV would be entirely dependent on destination chargers. We stayed at a fancy resort the first night that had a pair of Tesla chargers, they were both ICEed so a Tesla driver would have been totally screwed. We are staying in a Comfort Inn on PEI, it has some wall chargers, all ICEed, but those would be useless to a BEV because it would be impossible to get enough charge from a Level I overnight to go anywhere. I'm using about 7 gallons a day, costing me $28 Canadian. My Volt is getting a little better than 45MPG so the 7 gallons translates into 315 miles a day, not possible in a Tesla unless there are superchargers which there aren't.

The thing that the Volt is doing badly is handling the frost heaves on the roads. An SUV wouldn't notice them but the Volt rides low so I've been scraping bottom occasionally. It was really bad in Saint Stephens and Saint Andrews but it got better after that. PEI seems to be better than New Brunswick. Frost heaves are probably inevitable because their winters are so cold. Learned an astounding fact when visiting a lighthouse today. They had pictures of the ice boat men who used to travel between PEI and NB a century ago. The salt water between PEI and NB freezes over in winter, or did before large ships because the ships now act as ice breakers, that's an seriously cold winter.
See less See more
Friday, PEI. At the North Point Light on PEI there is a big wind farm with a free EVSE. Unfortunately it wasn't operating, the staff there said that salt air is terrible for chargers and that it's been dead for weeks, they don't know when it will be fixed.

Vehicle Car Mid-size car Family car Compact car
See less See more
Dissapointing for me because I didn't need the power, but according to plugshare the last two cars that tried to use it were a Tesla and a Leaf. I don't know how either of them made it to that station, they must be local because neither has the range to do a round trip from Charlottestown, if they were counting on it they would have been screwed.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
Just looked at the plugshare history, the last time this EVSE worked was 2013. This location is a wind farm plus a wind interpretive center that is promoting wind power and yet the PEI government, which owns the charger, can't be bothered to fix it.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
We're back from PEI, 1969 miles, used 43.29 gallons, 44.2MPG.

Magnolia took a terrific beating yesterday, 10Km of gravel road. A major flaw in Google Maps is that if an area has no cell coverage you can't report road conditions. We encountered two exits that had been bulldozed away which Maps didn't know about so it tried to send us in circles to get to the exits that no longer exist. It also didn't know about a long stretch of highway that had been completely torn up so we had to drive over dirt and gravel for 10Km. The TPMS sensor keeps coming and going, will have that checked out this week.
One final thought. This was a nearly 2000 mile trip done almost entirely on gas because there was no opportunity to charge. I used Mountain Mode most of the time which kept two bars of electricity in the battery which made it available when I wanted to pass the occasional logging truck. The roads in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are very different than in the US. The "highways" are mostly two lane, there are hardly any divided highways, and the backroads are much rougher then in the US. In the US I never have a need to put my foot down because on a divided highway you can pass gently and on backroads, which in the US are the same quality as the highways in the Maritimes, you never encounter slow moving trucks. On several occasions I had to pass trucks quickly because there was oncoming traffic in the distance. As long as there is enough electricity in the battery the Volt takes off like a rocket when you floor it. The one bug in the system is that the Volt forgets what mode it was in when you turn it off and always starts in Normal. After most of our stops I wouldn't notice that it was in Normal until the electricity was gone, at which point I put it back into Mountain Mode, I would have been happier if it had just remembered. BTW I absolutely wouldn't own a Volt if I lived in NB or PEI, especially NB which has worse roads than PEI. I'd want a vehicle that had much more ground clearance, in the US I think of SUVs as big unwieldy vehicles and I don't understand why they are so popular, but if I lived in the frozen North I'd want one.
See less See more
1 - 10 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.