GM Volt Forum banner

Another road trip.

1348 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  caskConditionedAle
I did another road trip yesterday to Portland ME. Last week I reported on the battery range when you restrict battery use to regular roads (35MPH) and do all of the highway driving in Hold, i got 70 miles on the battery at that speed. In fact my guess-o-meter was up to 73 in the morning before I went to Portland. I got a free charge in Portland so I decided to use the battery on the highway at 72MPH. At highway speeds the battery range was awful, I only got 44 miles on the battery. The gas MPG for the remainder of the trip was great, 46MPG.

Cost to run on battery vs gas with electricity at 21.4 cents/KW, with a 90% charge efficiency thats 24 cents/KW and gas at $2.69 a gallon,

Battery @ 35MPH, 4.8 cents/mile
Battery @ 72MPH, 7.64 cents/mile
Gas @ 72MPH, 5.85 cents/mile


See less See more
1 - 3 of 9 Posts
Very interesting... With the currently low gas prices and your high electric rates, you're close to the "use gas only" state. The data item missing from your research could possibly be very important and that is:

Gas @ 35MPH, ? cents/mile
I haven't done the gas @35 because never run the Volt that way. I don't really care about the cost of running the car, I just like statistics which is why I posted the numbers. I bought the Volt because I like electric drive, I especially like how quiet it is and the absence of gear changes. At highway speeds the engine noise isn't very noticeable over the road noise, this is especially true at 72 where the Volt's engine seems to be smoothest. At back road speeds I find the engine noise very annoying because the Volt has trained me to be sensitive to it which is why extending the battery range at low speeds has become an obsession. I find myself coasting as much as possible, not only to stops but also down hills where I let gravity accelerate me farther above the speed limit than I would normally drive and then I give up the speed when I go up a hill. It's kind of weird because I'm not at all green, I'm doing it all in the pursuit of quiet.
I'm aghast. I expected more respect for truth and knowledge from you, bjrosen! To refuse to report cost data because you "don't really care" is not what I would expect from an impartial scientist. Perhaps because you live in the high class town of Westford, wasting a few dollars in the name of quiet luxury does not concern you.
It's always hard to tell if someone's tongue is in their cheek on the Internet but I'll assume you are serious. If one was concerned about the total cost of ownership you would wait at least 10 years before considering an EV of any sort. With the Volt we have an ICE sibling that we can make an apples to apples comparison with. A Volt Premier before tax incentives and credits is about $40K, a Cruze Premier is only $24K. Even after the Federal $7500 credit and the MA rebate ($2500) the Volt is $6K more than the Cruze which aside from the drive train is an otherwise identical car. The Cruze gets 30MPG city, 40MPG highway so if we assume 50/50 then at 35MPG average and assume gas at $2.55 a gallon (which is what I paid yesterday) then the Cruze will cost about $1300 more in energy costs than the Volt over the 100K life of a car, not even close to the extra $6K the Volt costs. BTW I would never in a million years have considered buying a Cruze because as you say I live in the high class town of Westford and can afford much better. I also wasn't concerned about my carbon footprint because my house dwarfs anything that my car produces. I have a home office so I don't commute but I have a dozen Linux servers that consume about 600 KWh/month. In addition to that my house was built in 1820 so it's never going to close to energy efficient, I've had it thermally scanned (the Boston Globe did a story about the thermal scan of my house) and it's pretty good for a 200 year old house but it's still a 200 year old house and there is only so much that you can do. As I said before what attracted me to the Volt was the feel of the electric motors, I love that it glides along on little cat's feet rather than roaring along like a lion (BTW there is a bob cat that shows up in my yard every now and then, it's not a lion but it's as close as we get in New England, I've named him H.R. after I caught him on camera attacking a turkey that I'd named Bannon).

Because I don't commute my usage pattern is unusual. My car sits in the driveway all week consuming exactly as much energy as my old car, a 300C that got 14MPG, which is 0. In good weather we take long trips every Saturday around New England, last weekend was to Portland where we saw an Opera Maine recital had dinner, the weekend before was the Berkshires. Driving around the backroads of NH, VT, Maine, RI or MA is where the Volt excels. Intersections are far apart and there are long stretches of beautiful rolling roads where the Volt can get up to 70 miles of range on it's battery. In the mountains the L mode is a pleasure to use, so much better than sitting on the brake in an ICE car. On the highway on the way to our destination the Volt's performance is adequate but it's doesn't compare to my old 300C which was basically an E Class Mercedes with an American muscle car engine dropped in. The economy of the Volt's engine's primary benefit for me is range, between the battery and the 46MPG engine the Volt's range is over 460 miles, that's a hundred miles farther than my old car. Last year or longest trip was to Pemaquid Light in Maine, 385 miles. We were able to do that trip with no fill-up and I arrived home with two gallons to spare, with the old car we always stopped for gas even on shorter trips.

The number's that I posted were for my usage pattern others should post their numbers for theirs. I don't have a good way of getting the short range number for gas because of the way the Volt tracks it's statistics, i.e. it's from the last full charge. To get a gas number at low speeds I would have to do a lot of local driving on Hold and I really find the ICE annoying at low speeds because it's not silent, I'm not going to put myself through that if I don't have to.
See less See more
1 - 3 of 9 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.