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The Grapevine is a pretty intense drive for any car. You're getting roughly 50% of the rated EPA range/MPG which is what I experience in an ICE car going through the Grapevine.

For those unaware this is a stretch of road that through several sections ascends several thousand feet of elevation with a median traffic speed of about 70 MPH. It's so severe that there are signs all along the road to turn off air conditioning to avoid overheating.

The back side of the Grapevine drops in elevation so much I could usually pick up 10 miles of EV range in my Volt.

Depending on the section of the Grapevine this is not abnormal at all. This is one of the roads that "Mountain Mode" was designed for (literally) and I would recommend using it to avoid loss of propulsion power and overheating.

Agree... in fact the Grapevine is so intense in spots, big rigs must stay in the truck lane.
 

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My mother live nearby grapevine (auburn) those roads are awful killing electric mileage and I used gasoline motor to climb uphill mountain and switching to electric when going flat road or downhill road.

Follow EPA said if you keep under 31kW and you will able reach 53miles on battery.

I moved to Texas Austin area has lot hilly and I managed get into 60-65 miles on battery by controlling kW output as max 31 kW or less. FYI cruise control will kills your mileage no matter how hard maximum mileage.

Keep climate control OFF these will use your battery therefore harm your mileage instant.


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Your image showed 14.2 kwhr delivered by the battery , that is normal, how that energy was used, climbing a mountain, running heat at maximum, going highway speeds on a 15 percent grade are not part of the EPA mileage testing cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
no improvement after suggestions

Ok, I made another trip today. Much further, climate off entirely with no heater or air. Mountain mode on for the ascent. Safe to say not much improvement. 27 miles electric capacity and 27 miles ICE for the duration of journey. In fact, I could not even make it to final destination without refueling. After fully charging battery and filling gas, I was only able to get 238 miles for the entire capacity which is far below the advertised 420 combined. Are there any other long drive experiences from fellow members with similar issues? I still had the burning smell even with the heater and climate off. Dealer mentioned this smell could be caused from some covering melting and could last well up until 10,000 miles? Seems unusual.
 

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Ok, I made another trip today. Much further, climate off entirely with no heater or air. Mountain mode on for the ascent. Safe to say not much improvement. 27 miles electric capacity and 27 miles ICE for the duration of journey. In fact, I could not even make it to final destination without refueling. After fully charging battery and filling gas, I was only able to get 238 miles for the entire capacity which is far below the advertised 420 combined. Are there any other long drive experiences from fellow members with similar issues? I still had the burning smell even with the heater and climate off. Dealer mentioned this smell could be caused from some covering melting and could last well up until 10,000 miles? Seems unusual.
Let us know how much energy you recover, store in the battery on the downhill run on the return trip. What was the outside temperature? What is the altitude at the start and top of the Grapevine? What was your average speed? The burning smell does not seem normal, maybe the car will throw some codes that the dealer can use to diagnose if there is a problem. Maybe you have a bad O2 sensor, that would account for poor mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Let us know how much energy you recover, store in the battery on the downhill run on the return trip. What was the outside temperature? What is the altitude at the start and top of the Grapevine? What was your average speed? The burning smell does not seem normal, maybe the car will throw some codes that the dealer can use to diagnose if there is a problem. Maybe you have a bad O2 sensor, that would account for poor mileage.
outside temp avg was 60 degrees. avg speed of 69mph. no codes thrown, dealer said this fell within the means of "normal" behavior for the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
It looks like almost every advertised feature of the vehicle in reality is 50% off. Just wish it had the same percentage off for the price.
 

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outside temp avg was 60 degrees. avg speed of 69mph. no codes thrown, dealer said this fell within the means of "normal" behavior for the vehicle.
Thank you for posting this information. I have not climbed any mountain passes in my Volt. What would you expect as far as a drop in MPG when driving a conventional ICE vehicle on this same route, same speed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Thank you for posting this information. I have not climbed any mountain passes in my Volt. What would you expect as far as a drop in MPG when driving a conventional ICE vehicle on this same route, same speed?
I've driven several vehicles on this same route including large SUV's to conventional and nonconventional ICE vehicles and even the most gas guzzling ones were able to make it there on one tank with mileage to spare. If I were to quantify the reduction numerically, at worst 70%, and at best 115% of stated EPA (yes, more than the average)
 

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So lowering your normal mpg and range by 30% (more than 1/3) - Corrected from 70%- is within your experience with other vehicles. Why should the Volt be immune to same scenario, expending significant energy to move forward at a relatively high speed and lift the weight of the car several thousand feet vertically? Still doesn't account for the burning smell.

At 60 F driving a mix of highway and local driving, highway speeds of between 60 and 67 mpg, on my typical terrain I would have no problem meeting or exceeding the EPA estimated of 53 mile EV range. When using the ICE I will usually achieve 41 MPG or higher (need to let the ICE warm up so I always try and run the ICE for at least 10 minutes.) The only odor I ever noticed was when my Volt was new, was a petroleum-based odor (not gasoline) a few times after using the ICE, after parking and walking around the Volt in my garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
So lowering your normal mpg and range by up to 70% (more than 2/3) is within your experience with other vehicles. Why should the Volt be immune to same scenario, expending significant energy to move forward at a relatively high speed and lift the weight of the car several thousand feet vertically? Still doesn't account for the burning smell.

At 60 F driving a mix of highway and local driving, highway speeds of between 60 and 67 mpg, on my typical terrain I would have no problem meeting or exceeding the EPA estimated of 53 mile EV range. When using the ICE I will usually achieve 41 MPG or higher (need to let the ICE warm up so I always try and run the ICE for at least 10 minutes.) The only odor I ever noticed was when my Volt was new, was a petroleum-based odor (not gasoline) a few times after using the ICE, after parking and walking around the Volt in my garage.
I think you're misunderstanding my post. Combined 106MPGe is advertised. I'm getting 28.7 on this trip. That is 70% less, or 30% of advertised. With the other vehicles, I'm getting 30% less, or 70% advertised at worst, and 115% at best. Hope this clears it up
 

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I think you're misunderstanding my post. Combined 106MPGe is advertised. I'm getting 28.7 on this trip. That is 70% less, or 30% of advertised. With the other vehicles, I'm getting 30% less, or 70% advertised at worst, and 115% at best. Hope this clears it up
Thank you for explaining.
 

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I'd suggest watching your mileage and range under more normal conditions. I actually take the grapevine quite regular as well and can attest to the intense energy use to make that climb. I have actually ran hold mode to retain as much of a full battery as I could driving south to the base of the grapevine before making the climb on battery alone. I was doing so just to see how much energy it required from the battery to get from the base to the frazier park exit. Maintaining the typical 65-70mph speed common in the faster lanes I managed to drain down to 2 bars remaining in the 15 or so miles to make the climb. By far less than the estimated range of 38 for my '13. I have found that climbing will keep the engine revved pretty high even in mountain mode, again killing MPG. I know on days I run the engine for added heat on my morning commute I can see my MPG as low as 18 and that's on flat city roads, usually with a sufficiently low battery and placed in mountain mode again to keep the engine running to retain engine heat.

I guess what I'm suggesting is that your driving conditions are typical of the significant decrease in range/mpg vs. the EPA and GM's estimates. Under typical driving conditions I frequently see 40+ miles of battery range and easily 40 mpg and as much as 44 mpg fuel efficiency when not faced with harsh elevation changes and maintaining continuous speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I'd suggest watching your mileage and range under more normal conditions. I actually take the grapevine quite regular as well and can attest to the intense energy use to make that climb. I have actually ran hold mode to retain as much of a full battery as I could driving south to the base of the grapevine before making the climb on battery alone. I was doing so just to see how much energy it required from the battery to get from the base to the frazier park exit. Maintaining the typical 65-70mph speed common in the faster lanes I managed to drain down to 2 bars remaining in the 15 or so miles to make the climb. By far less than the estimated range of 38 for my '13. I have found that climbing will keep the engine revved pretty high even in mountain mode, again killing MPG. I know on days I run the engine for added heat on my morning commute I can see my MPG as low as 18 and that's on flat city roads, usually with a sufficiently low battery and placed in mountain mode again to keep the engine running to retain engine heat.

I guess what I'm suggesting is that your driving conditions are typical of the significant decrease in range/mpg vs. the EPA and GM's estimates. Under typical driving conditions I frequently see 40+ miles of battery range and easily 40 mpg and as much as 44 mpg fuel efficiency when not faced with harsh elevation changes and maintaining continuous speeds.
I wouldn't mind so much if I could somehow unlock more juice on demand. I've heard that the electric battery is capped (14.2 available even though the it holds 18.4 capacity) and the 7 gallons is meager at best if it is showing a range of a little over 200 miles. If the estimate is 420 and I'm getting 50% that under ANY condition, I think that is a big problem. I would even be fine if I could put double the number gallons (14) in the tank which would alleviate the range problem entirely. Most vehicles will have 25-30 gallon capacity, especially SUV's. I think chevy should have thought about people doing more than just the "daily drives" to and from work with all of their advertising 40 mile roundtrip daily being the hype.
 

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Keep in mind the range is always just an estimate. My fuel range is generally in the 250 area with a full tank, and I can make a 300 mile drive and still have a couple gallons left. It's mostly based on past driving history and usage. I find that if the engine is running at a mostly consistent speed, it does far better than when it shuts off for a few minutes, then starts back up and revs to the upper end. As I understand it, you haven't had the car too long, and it's still learning your driving habits. If you drive it conservatively and avoid quick take offs and hard braking, you should see the estimates start to reflect longer range estimates.

As for unlocking available battery, GM actually designed the battery to be much larger than what is available intentionally. Lithium Ion batteries don't particularly like to be 100% full or 0% empty. They programmed a buffer of about 15% on either end so it doesn't charge to 100% or discharge to 0% to improve the long term life of the battery. So you "lose" about 30%. As for having a 14 gallon tank, keep in mind that it's extra weight as well, and even with the 9 gallon total capacity, and a full battery, you should manage up to 400 miles of range or so. I say up to because that would be ideal freeway driving. Urban driving will likely be less. It sounds to me like the Volt may not be the best option based on your driving needs. If you are doing mostly city driving, or flat roads it can be great but if elevation changes, freeway, and long drives are closer to your typical driving pattern, perhaps a traditional ICE or even a Prius would be better suited.
 

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I wouldn't mind so much if I could somehow unlock more juice on demand. I've heard that the electric battery is capped (14.2 available even though the it holds 18.4 capacity) and the 7 gallons is meager at best if it is showing a range of a little over 200 miles. If the estimate is 420 and I'm getting 50% that under ANY condition, I think that is a big problem. I would even be fine if I could put double the number gallons (14) in the tank which would alleviate the range problem entirely. Most vehicles will have 25-30 gallon capacity, especially SUV's. I think chevy should have thought about people doing more than just the "daily drives" to and from work with all of their advertising 40 mile roundtrip daily being the hype.
Both of my G2 Volts hold 14.1 kWh and have 8.9 gallon tanks.

Both will go up a 6% grade at 101mph (speed limited). Both will exceed the advertised EPA values if I want. Both will get 1/2 of EPA if I want.

Example. Yesterday, roundtrip, 80% freeway, Norco to Irvine to Norco, 1290' peak elevation, 50' low elevation, 6% grade. Fully charged, 48°F. 55.4 miles based on a map, not speedo. Speedo says 56.0mi. I got back to work without the ICE running. Like I've done dozens of times in the last 1.5 years with the G2's. Up the steepest part of the grade (mandatory truck lane kind of grade) I can tag the 101mph limiter without breaking a sweat should I so desire and don't want to make it back on pure EV.

(EDIT - sidebar, I did it with sticky 235 wide tires yesterday and used 12.9 kWh, but I was certainly hypermiling it)

On a Bonzai run, the same roundtrip consumed all the charge and .7 gallons to boot. Gas economy was 20mpg IIRC probably due to going 101 mph uphill. But how many hybrids are going to only use .7 gallons on that trip driving like grandma? Answer is none. And ICE? Not a remote chance even on a motorcycle (yeah, done it, the hill and city segments kill your economy).

The G2 Volt can either be a very stingy car, or it can be an average car. Your right foot gets to chose.

About fuel tanks, most vehicles do not have 25-30 gallon tanks. Yes, many SUV and heavy pickups have 20+ gallons on board or optional configurations that do, but not cars. Example 2017 Ford Explorer, 18.6 gallons. Note though, that the tank size is because towing is a common use; towing up the Grapevine consumes massive amounts in a gas engine with 8,000 lb of trailer. Tragically bad economy. That's why there was a $5 a gallon station in Grapevine years ago when gas was $2.xx. Those who tow had to pay the price to have a gas station there. You could easily consume 1/2 a tank on the pass if not more.

(Note: Yes I know there a bunch of stations there now, I drive it a lot)
 

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About fuel tanks, most vehicles do not have 25-30 gallon tanks. Yes, many SUV and heavy pickups have 20+ gallons on board or optional configurations that do, but not cars. Example 2017 Ford Explorer, 18.6 gallons. Note though, that the tank size is because towing is a common use; towing up the Grapevine consumes massive amounts in a gas engine with 8,000 lb of trailer. Tragically bad economy. That's why there was a $5 a gallon station in Grapevine years ago when gas was $2.xx. Those who tow had to pay the price to have a gas station there. You could easily consume 1/2 a tank on the pass if not more.
20-30 gallon tanks? My suburban with a 454 engine has a 40 gallon tank. When gas was close to $4 per gallon it cost me $160 to fill. At first that meant 4 different credit cards as they used to top out at $50 before the pump would stop. Later they upped that to $75, and now I think it stops at $100. My suburban sits parked most of the time, but I don't know how folks using a pickup for their daily driver afford the gas.
 

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20-30 gallon tanks? My suburban with a 454 engine has a 40 gallon tank. When gas was close to $4 per gallon it cost me $160 to fill. At first that meant 4 different credit cards as they used to top out at $50 before the pump would stop. Later they upped that to $75, and now I think it stops at $100. My suburban sits parked most of the time, but I don't know how folks using a pickup for their daily driver afford the gas.
Yeah, I remember when CC limits sucked :D I used to do a lot of towing, and also used to have a motorhome.

My favorite truck I still have holds 34 gallons of diesel. It easily goes longer than your bladder can.

I had an F250 with 3 tanks, but the 460ci gas engine sort of made that necessary for a trip to grocery store. No horsepower, but is was damn thirsty. 10 mpg if you babied it.
 

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The two cars we owned that had the dumbest gas tanks: 2010 ZR1 Corvette, 2009 Cadillac CTS-V. You could drain them in 20 minutes with a little effort. Normal driving would not make 200 miles per tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I just think to say 420miles per tank is really false advertising. Most ICE vehicles will have far better mileage on highway compared to city driving, including the gas guzzlers. However, and this is not just limited to volt G2, volt seems to thrive in the polar opposite. There is no conceivable way I can imagine that I would get close to that unless I was "coasting" behind an 18 wheeler in the truck lane at all times on the freeway "hypermiling" at every chance I got and paying more attention to fuel saving measures than what was on the road. I would be shocked if the extra 9 or 10 gallon capacity of weight they could easily add would be that troublesome. 1 gallon of gasoline weights what 7 pounds? Give me a break!
 
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