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Leased a 2017 Volt in December, and the range when fully charged was 53 miles, and stayed there for a few months. We went on a 5 day vacation, and the wife (she drives the car 99% of the time), plugged the charger in for the entire time we were gone. I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but shortly after we returned she mentioned the range went up. And it keeps inching upward, right now I think she said its around 72 miles on a full charge.
She does the 12amp charge thing, and rarely goes far enough for the gas engine to kick in. Car is at 5000 miles and we're halfway through the 2nd tank.
Is this something that happens occasionally? Or is it something I should be worried about? Couldn't find anything obvious searching through the forum posts.

thanks in advance
Steve
 

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Some see the opposite happen: the range estimate goes down instead of up. You are likely driving more efficiently, therefore the car is estimating you can travel farther on a charge.

We have a whole FAQ on it here: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?18609-Battery-Mile-Estimate-in-30-s-not-40-s-50-s.-Problem.

Here is most of it.
Summary

  • New Volts have a low battery range estimate that will increase over time based on the points below.
  • Volts in cold weather will see a drop in the battery range based on the points below. This will reverse when the weather warms again.
  • Volts with battery service will see the battery range reset to the lower factory default. Just like a new Volt owner, you will see this change as you drive the car normally over the next several days.
  • Volts with multiple drivers may see a drop in the battery range based on the points below. As a passenger, you can quickly determine why your partner is getting fewer battery miles than you (or vice versa!).
New Volt owners; or those who have had some battery service done; or those driving for the first time in fall/winter months can become anxious when seeing their Volt's battery range display a mileage estimate in the 30's, rather than the 40's or even 50's they were expecting or were previously experiencing.

Some fear the lower battery range estimate indicates a battery problem of some sort. Do not panic. It is much more likely the decreased battery range (actual or estimated) is due to a change in driving style, or in environmental conditions, or the car's conditions, or all the above.

Four Main Points About Volt Battery Range

1. The battery range display is an estimate based on the past, it's not an absolute.

The Volt attempts to predict how many miles you will be able to drive on the full battery based on your past few days of driving. A brand new Volt typically has no real past driving results to base an estimate on, so it displays a range estimate of 36-38 miles. This can vary a bit based on pre-delivery driving by the dealer.

The actual miles you get from the battery can be higher or lower than the displayed estimate based on factors discussed below. In general, all things being equal, if you drive consistently every day, the Volt's battery miles estimate will come very close to the actual miles you will get. Again, this assumes little or no change in your driving style or environmental conditions.

2. Your driving style affects the battery range (actual and estimated).


The way you drive greatly affects how many miles you will get from the battery. If you change the way you drive for a few days or so, it will be reflected in the Volt's estimated battery miles as well.

  • Speed. Slower speeds will deliver more battery miles. The faster you drive the more energy it takes to push through air resistance. The battery will deliver more driving miles at a steady 30 MPH than it will at a steady 70 MPH. Generally, you'll drive further at speeds under 50 MPH than you will at speeds over 50 MPH.
  • Cruise Control. The Volt has a great cruise control. Using cruise control will often be more efficient (deliver more battery miles), than not using cruise control because many people have a hard time keeping a very consistent speed. For the Volt's cruise control, this is easy.
  • Anticipating Change: Starts and Stops. Starts and stops that keep the green ball centered in the dash will enable more miles to be driven on the battery than rapid starts and stops which will waste more energy. Anticipate stops and slow down gradually rather than "speeding to a stop". Try to maintain inertia, as a rolling start will require less energy than accelerating from a dead stop.
  • Drive vs. Low Regen. Drive creates the same amount of regen (electricity regeneration) that Low does when slowing down, but Drive takes a longer distance to do so. With Drive, you can coast, with Low you can slow the Volt down quicker without using the brakes and thus recover more battery range in a shorter distance than Drive. Some people drive in Low all the time. Some downshift into Low only when approaching slowed traffic. Some feel unsafe using Low without tapping their brakes. Whatever your choice, Low pumps more electricity back into the battery than Drive given a short stopping distance.
  • Climate Control. Not using the heater, the A/C, the defroster will be more efficient (deliver more battery miles), than using them. Eco uses more electricity than not using climate control. Comfort uses up more battery miles than Eco. Of course, if you need them, use them. Just be aware that your battery miles (and estimated range) will be reduced. At speeds less than 50 MPH, popping open the window a half inch will often clear windshield fog as well as the defroster.
  • Seat Heaters. If you need heat, the seat heaters use much less energy than using the the climate control heat. Try using the seat heaters instead of the climate control if possible.
3. Environmental conditions that affect battery range (actual and estimated).

The conditions you drive under can dramatically affect how many miles you will get from the battery. If these conditions change for a few days or so, it will be reflected in the Volt's estimated battery miles.
  • Rain/Snow. Pushing the car through water or snow on the road takes more energy (battery miles) than driving on a dry road. Higher tire rolling resistance and lower tire traction take their toll. Also, water is a more effective coolant than air, so the tires and lubricants operate at cooler (less efficient) temperatures. Plus, the wipers and defrosters are typically needed, drawing even more electricity. Wet or snowy conditions can therefore decrease miles (by up to 14% according to some Prius owners). Nothing you can do about rain or snow, just be aware you will get fewer battery miles on those days.
  • Road Surface. Concrete is the most efficient driving surface, asphalt second, chip and seal is worst. Road roughness can increase rolling resistance up to 20% due to energy dissipation in the tires and suspension (10% loss of mpg).
  • Wind. A strong headwind can reduce battery miles by increasing air resistance. Strong winds often accompany rain and snow storms.
  • Outside Temperature. Colder outside temperatures reduce driving range for a number of reasons including the fact that thicker lubricants have more resistance requiring more battery energy to overcome. Colder weather often results in increased use of the climate system, further reducing miles. Nothing you can do about outside temperature, just be aware you will get fewer battery miles on colder days than warmer days.

    The chart below from an actual Volt owner show the affect that temperature alone has on battery range (next to it is a chart showing the amount of energy used to travel 100 miles vs. outside temps). The lower the seasonal temperature, the more energy it takes to travel, resulting in fewer miles on a full charge:

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?151273-3-Years-of-OnStar-Data-Comparing-Effect-of-Temperature-on-EV-Range
4. Volt conditions that affect battery range (actual and estimated).

The condition of your Volt can dramatically affect how many miles you will get from the battery. If these conditions change for a few days or so, it will be reflected in the Volt's estimated battery miles.
  • Tire Pressure. Maintain the correct tire pressure. Low tire pressure can reduce you battery miles by up to 10%. Correct tire pressure is more efficient, maximizes battery miles. Low tire pressure creates more rolling resistance and therefore consumes more battery miles. Check tires weekly, or at least once per month. Some even keep their tires inflated to a slightly higher 40 psi.
  • Winter Tires and Wheels. These tires, plus their often heavier wheels, can increase rolling resistance and therefore decrease battery miles.
  • Preconditioning. The 240v EVSE charge stations have the advantage of allowing you to pre-start the Volt and warm (or cool) the cabin at max comfort temperatures for 10 minutes using (mostly) the house electricity rather than the battery. If you do this 15 minutes or so before departure, your car will have 5 minutes to replenish if needed and you won't need to draw down the battery range as much during your drive. The 120v EVSE does not supply enough power to precondition the Volt this way, and more battery power is robbed to make up the difference. A refinement is to delay charging so it completes about 15 minutes or so before you plan to leave. The battery will be a bit warmer than if it had finished charging hours earlier.
  • Clean & Waxed Car. MythBusters showed that a dirty car can decrease fuel efficiency (battery miles) by up to 10%. A clean Volt has less air resistance than a dirty Volt. It looks better too. Wash your car weekly, or at least every few weeks. Package delivery services and airlines know this and keep their equipment clean. http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/my...-clean-car.htm

TIP: Keep Your Volt Plugged In

Yes, you should always keep your Volt plugged in if possible. It will not hurt the car. Instead, this allows your Volt to take care of battery management chores using grid electricity instead of using its battery. Keeping your Volt plugged in will enable you to use all your battery miles for driving.

Interesting reading: http://cumminsengines.com/assets/pdf...whitepaper.pdf

Related Battery Degradation Information

Although cold weather will not degrade the battery, what many may not realize is degree of engineering sophistication the Volt employs to coddle the LiOn battery and minimize degradation from other causes while providing maximum battery life:

  • The battery is never fully discharged. Only 10.5 kWh (usually 45-50 miles in summer, 25-35 miles in winter) of the battery's total 16 kWh can be used (16.5 kWh for MY 2013). The extra 5.5 kWh forms a buffer as well as a reserve to be used as the battery ages. LiOn batteries degrade faster if fully discharged on a regular basis, the Volt prevents this.
  • The battery temperature is maintained in a narrow range while plugged in or driving. This is done with a liquid coolant system. Extended exposure to high heat is bad for battery life. The Volt minimizes the effects of external hot or cold temperatures by using its active thermal management coolant system programmed to stay within 3.6°F (2°C) of the pack’s optimal temperature, which depending on usage conditions falls in a range between 50ºF and 85°F (10ºC to 30°C). While it is parked unplugged, the insulation around the battery helps maintain the desired temperature.
  • The battery can not be cooked with a "supercharge". The Volt does not allow rapid, half hour recharges of the depleted battery. These kind of charges can easily cook the battery if done frequently or improperly
 

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Ambient temperature has the biggest indirect impact on range outside of driving style. Indirect because the temperature dictates the use of the HVAC system which draws significant power.

For example, I am the only driver of my car ('17 Premier). During the winter months when outside temps were in the 20's and 30's, I was seeing an EV range of around 42 miles. Now that it is summer, my range is currently 63 miles (and increasing). There is a sweet spot which I believe is between 75-85 degrees where range will be most benefited by temps.

Or - just read the above posted FAQ :)
 

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Ideal temps is a big contributor, especially if it is nice enough outside where you don't need the AC. When it gets too hot, the AC kicks in to cool the battery even if you have the AC turned off. Plus with all the telemetry on board, the driver might be reacting to the car and doing things they didn't usually do with their previous ICEr because you had far less feedback. Just be prepared for when winter temps arrive, and the numbers drop - there's nothing wrong with your battery, everything is under control....situation normal

https://youtu.be/mMNBStxTfDU
 

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Great responses, just remember what goes up must come down. In northern tier states get hit pretty hard in the winter months and new owners complain about "lost battery range". Just wait until winter. It'll drop. It's normal.

I have to reinforce what has been said, that number is a "prediction" based on past driving. It's also why we call it the "Guess-O-Meter".
 

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If she's driving at speeds below 55 MPH, i.e., lots of 45 MPH marked streets, and not having to hit stop & go traffic the car is doing exactly what it's designed to do.
 

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It's also why we call it the "Guess-O-Meter".
Personally, I don't like that name for the Volt's range estimator. The term was originally coined for the Nissan Leaf, and if you've ever driven in one, you come to appreciate just how great the Volt's estimate is compared to the Leaf's. The Leaf truly has a "Guess-O-Meter" ;)
 

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Our 2016 Volt Premier with 20,000 miles on the odometer is reading with a full charge, 69 miles. My wife and I took a trip to Tillamook Oregon and did a little fishing yesterday via highway 101 on the north Oregon Coast, a beautiful ride by the way. Caught 3 beautiful sea run Cutthroat Trout, which made a great dinner.

Speed varied from 55 mph down to 25 mph going through towns. Also not many places to pass so if you have a car going 45 MPH in your lane you are pretty much committed to be behind that vehicle until you can find a safe, and legal place to pass.

So for the entire round trip the dash read, electric miles 64.8 with 12.9 KWH used, 48 miles on gas with 52.9 MPG. Still had 5 miles left when we arrived home. This morning the electric range 69 miles.

The trip also is not totally flat. There are three mountains you have to climb a total of 6 for the round trip. Max elevation is probably around 600 feet or so from sea level, in which are home is. We used the electric range to climb those mountain as well for the entire round trip for a total of 5 miles per KWH used, amazing in my book.

I am really amazed how the car has increased its electric range and mpg just on regular 87 gas as well since we purchased new in July 2016. I do drive with an eye toward economy, but I keep up with traffic.

Maybe we just lucked out in this Volt but we are way over the EPA on electric range, and mpg's just on gas. As anybody else noticed this with their 2016-17 Volt?
 

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Personally, I don't like that name for the Volt's range estimator. The term was originally coined for the Nissan Leaf, and if you've ever driven in one, you come to appreciate just how great the Volt's estimate is compared to the Leaf's. The Leaf truly has a "Guess-O-Meter" ;)
How about calling it the POM for the Volt - Predict-O-Meter.
 

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Personally, I don't like that name for the Volt's range estimator. The term was originally coined for the Nissan Leaf, and if you've ever driven in one, you come to appreciate just how great the Volt's estimate is compared to the Leaf's. The Leaf truly has a "Guess-O-Meter" ;)
I don't like it either, it always felt rather pejorative to me, like "why can't GM figure out how far this car can go?" When, of course, it's impossible to predict what a driver and the weather will do next (well, I guess if you pre-programmed your route and the car had topographic and weather data and knew your driving style, it could be done). My ICE car got 23-35 mpg based on weather and driving situation... of course it had a 14 gallon tank, rather than the Volt's "1 electric gallon" so that's probably why people don't notice all cars vary a lot.
 

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Personally, I don't like that name for the Volt's range estimator. The term was originally coined for the Nissan Leaf, and if you've ever driven in one, you come to appreciate just how great the Volt's estimate is compared to the Leaf's. The Leaf truly has a "Guess-O-Meter" ;)
I don't wish Leaf driving onto anyone... that's just mean.

How about calling it the POM for the Volt - Predict-O-Meter.
Nope, it's going to stay as guess-o-meter - it's just like when you open up one of those beds in a box - once you break the seal, there's no way to stuff it back into the box.
 

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I think the electric range estimator is fairly accurate. When we left for fishing the full charge range estimate was 68 miles. Yesterday when we arrived home from fishing we went 64.8 miles on electric (12.9 KWH used) still had 5 miles of indicated range left. So I would consider that accurate based on the electric range prior to our trip.
 

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The meter is excellent for averages. Which is lovely. It's just terrible for the next trip you're going to take. And while the Leaf NEEDS something like that because it has "stop and charge, or try to make it home?" moments on a regular basis, the Volt almost doesn't need it. Put some gas in it when that meter says "LOW" and just drive. Almost everybody wants to use as much electricity as possible, so it doesn't really inform much, and for the couple times a year that you COULD have done something more efficiently (putting hold mode on the highway because you've got 3 segments of battery and it's 25 miles to home, for example), your savings would be measured in dimes instead of dollars. Barely worth thinking about, much less worth actually worrying over.
 

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I think the electric range estimator is fairly accurate. When we left for fishing the full charge range estimate was 68 miles. Yesterday when we arrived home from fishing we went 64.8 miles on electric (12.9 KWH used) still had 5 miles of indicated range left. So I would consider that accurate based on the electric range prior to our trip.
Just give me 10 minutes in your car, I can make the guess-o-meter be off by driving it like I stole it. The Jekyll & Hyde method of hypermiling and driving like Speed Racer confuses the heck out of the readings. I don't even look at my Guess-o-meter any more. I've lowered the numbers considerably by changing my route, driving like Jeff Gordon, and slapping on heavier 18" rims and stickier traction tires. It doesn't help that my daughter plays the soundtrack from all the Fast and the Furious movies through the infotainment system. I worry a bit that she has become such a fan of the FntF series....no way am I buying her a 10 second car.
 

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Personally, I don't like that name for the Volt's range estimator. The term was originally coined for the Nissan Leaf, and if you've ever driven in one, you come to appreciate just how great the Volt's estimate is compared to the Leaf's. The Leaf truly has a "Guess-O-Meter" ;)
Since I have NEVER driven a Leaf so I'll take your word on how bad their metering system. And yes, to be honest once an owner becomes familiar with the car and the range estimator then it can be fairly accurate. Its trying to explain sudden increases/losses of range to new owners that we fall into that trap.
 

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Welcome to summer.
I'm hitting my peak about now.
Not too hot, not too cold. All trips without AC, but also warm enough to get the battery ions flowing just a tiny bit better, the air a tiny bit less dense, and the tires a tiny bit warmer and more efficient.
It's all downhill from here.
 

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Personally, I don't like that name for the Volt's range estimator. The term was originally coined for the Nissan Leaf, and if you've ever driven in one, you come to appreciate just how great the Volt's estimate is compared to the Leaf's. The Leaf truly has a "Guess-O-Meter"
The Leaf has a pretty good "What-the-f**k-O-Meter"
 
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