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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have seen a lot of posts about not getting a full range charge. I am having a similar problem. I live in Massachusetts. We've had the usual cold days, but lately it's been in the 40's and 50's. Even though it has gotten warmer, I can no longer get fully charged over the 29 miles range. I did get 35 for a while until it started to get really cold in the 20's and 30's and ever since then, never got 35 again.

Sometimes I get an alert message that my charge was interrupted but then another alert right after saying my charging has completed. I did not drive my car today so I unplugged it when I got home, ran it for a bit with the heat and it dropped to 28 miles. I plugged it back in to be sure there was no interruption. It charged again and stopped at 29 on a "complete" charge. Outside temp was 50 degrees.

Other interesting thing is that my husband just purchased a Volt and picked it up on Monday. We charge on 110v outlet. He charged the last two nights and got 35 and 36 mile range on a full charge. I charged all day today at 50 and higher, and once again only got 29.

Since we have tested with the same outlet and I even tried with his new cable and he used mine, he still gets 35 and I still get 29.

I've had my Volt since December 1, 2011 (2012 model) and I have about 3k miles. I am concerned that there is something wrong with my Volt. The difference between my Volt and his Volt is that he has a lot more options like the stereo upgrade, I don't.

Does anybody have a clue why this is happening?


Thanks.
Karyn
 

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Your Volt is just calibrated to your driving. By default the car starts with something like a 38 mile range. As you drive it goes down or up based on your drive cycle. It uses a weighted average, so several days of colder weather won't be changed by one day with warmer temperature.

Just wait a bit. When the weather warms up your range will go up. If it doesn't then you may want to take it in but that probably won't be necessary.
 

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First, those are estimated miles based on your car's past driving history.

Second, the two top reasons for lower estimated miles are Temperature and temperature.

The third reason would be driving style (aggressive driving, heater, etc.)

Fourth, the 110v charge cord, when used to precondition the cabin, will actually not have enough capacity, so the Volt uses up some battery charge to make up the difference. That's why many install a 240v charger, it can precondition without using up battery range.

I'm getting 30-36 estimated range, but in the summer I get 46-49. By keeping the green ball centered at all times, using L to slow down, I can often eek out up to 5 miles more than the estimate.

P.S. Tire pressure. Inflate to 39 or 40 psi and top off as needed.
 

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Does the www.myvolt.com and/or smartphone app indicate 100% charge when done?

Most likely you are getting the battery fully charged. Remember the range estimate is an estimate based on your past driving. It's not that 35 = "full" and 29 = "not full", rather it is estimating 29 on a full charge, based on how fast you depleted the battery on your previous trips. How fast do you typically drive, and what sort of climate settings do you use? Drive slower, use less heat, your range will probably go up, might take a week as the car adjusts its starting estimate.
 

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Depending on how territorial he is you might consider the simple test of trading Volt cars with your husband for two weeks. This could verify in both of your minds that it was merely the difference in driving styles between you and your husband.

REB
 

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Are you running it out of power every day, or is it just the range estimate on the car?

Since you now have two Volts, why don't you drive his for a few days the way you've been driving yours, while he drives yours the way he has been. My guess is that the estimates will reverse themselves - that the difference you are seeing is based on climate settings, driving habits, and the speeds and distances of your respective commutes rather than on not charging to full. Depending on your circumstances, 28-29 in winter weather isn't an unusual estimate.
 

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When it was below -20c (whatever that is in F) we got about 30 - 35km (~20 miles). Earlier this week it was about 5c (maybe 40-45F? I think (I'm Canadian, we don't use British measurements anymore ;)) we got 45 - 50km (~30+ miles).

The battery is definitely impacted by temperature. And, as others have stated, by driving style. For example, in October when we got it my son got more than 70km while I could get at best 62km. If I drive our Volt like an idiot I get about 52 - 55km, still impressive considering that I'm fairly aggressive.

As someone else pointed out, if you have two Volts swap for a few days and you'll quickly see if it isn't your driving style (assuming the temperature down in Massachusetts is well above 0c.
 

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I too commute every day to MA. Early yesterday morning with the temp about 32 I got almost 35 miles electric out of total 50 miles driven. After charging all day at work my car showed an estimate of 35 miles. On the long trip home I actually drove 46 miles yesterday all on battery. The temp when I left work was 50 degrees. You can see the actual miles driven on battery vs electric for the current charge by pressing the leaf button on the center console. I'm driving on rte 119 and rte 2 to Waltham and see another Volt almost every day lately. Maybe that's you guys?
 

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Your heater settings will have a large impact on your driving range. If you are set you "comfort" mode, with the temp at 73F (23C), and have selected the flow to go to the windshield, your range will be affected the most.

Want a test without swapping cars with your husband? Put on a hat and a pair of gloves. Set the fan to zero, which will turn off the heat. I would be amazed if you do not see at least 6 additional miles of electric range for that day. If you do that for several days, then the range estimate after a charge will go up to reflect your change in driving style.

I would also recommend that you get 240V charging stations. They will let you pre-condition (warm up) your car before you leave, and keep the battery topped off at the same time.

Then it becomes your decision. Do you want a really warm car, or the extra driving range on only the battery. The great thing about the Volt is that you get to decide, and the only difference is in how much gasoline you will end up using.

JMHO

C-5277
 

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If you owned a Nissan Leaf, you could be like the guy in Chicago who traded in his Leaf on a Volt after he was getting only 60 miles range in winter weather rather than the advertised 100. After he had to drive at low speeds with the heat off to get home, that was the final straw. He believed their pitch to rent a car if you want to go on longer trips, but it never worked that way.
 

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If you owned a Nissan Leaf, you could be like the guy in Chicago who traded in his Leaf on a Volt after he was getting only 60 miles range in winter weather rather than the advertised 100.
In my experience the Leaf will get about 1.5X the range of the Volt. So if you get 40 miles of range in the Volt you'd get 60 miles of range in the Leaf. After that you start getting low battery warnings in the Leaf. You still have maybe 10 miles of range left after the first warning but it gets on your nerves so I don't count those miles.

That's not consistent with the EPA numbers but that's what we've gotten. Part of that may be that you have some range left after you start with the warnings and part of the discrepancy may be that the Leaf isn't very efficient on the freeway. In any event she might be getting 45-50 miles of range not 60. And that would be in year one -- the battery capacity in the Leaf will degrade with time, shortening the range. [NOTE: On the plus side, with the exception of some rattles the Leaf has been trouble free and I don't anticipate any issues. Out of 35 cars on a list we've had one guy with a pump failure. Nothing more.]
 

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I am looking at putting a Leaf on order, and have a demo as we speak. I have been very impressed with it. Getting well over 70 miles on a charge (far more than enough to meet my needs) with the bottom 3 barss to spare (no warnings).. I've put 20 miles on it today, and so far only lost the top 3 bars. Will let you guys know my thought tomorrow when I turn it back in, but I am 99.9% sure I am going to follow through with ordering it. You CAN get as low as 60 miles per charge. Right now I am sitting at 4.6mi/kwh which puts me with a 92 mile range (till turtle/dead). I drive it on the interstate and all. Normally I resist speeding in the Volt to save power unless I am just wanting to have fun with the car that day. With the Leaf there is a lot more leeway in my mind. Then again all of my driving with the Volt is EV as well, so the Leaf would more than meet our needs.
 

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I am looking at putting a Leaf on order, and have a demo as we speak.
To replace the Volt? To replace the Prius mentioned in your signature? In addition to both?

The Leaf really doesn't fit my lifestyle, and I still think it is ugly, but I thought they did a first rate job on ergonomics (not many cars that size which are comfortable in both front and rear seats, especially behind a tall driver,) and I liked their instrument displays almost as much as the Volt's. Not sure how well the batteries will hold up, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you everyone for your feedback. I have had to drive long distances lately for work. Yesterday for example I had to go to a remote office which is about 200 miles round trip. I did try to stay in the "bubble" and perhaps I lowered my estimated miles per charge because of these long trips. )While driving yesterday, I made an effor to really watch my speeds and stay in the bubble. I don't know about anyone else, but since getting the Volt we have noticed that people drive aggressively towards us. If we try to stay at speed limit they are up our butt - usally a SUV or truck!!)

I will try and "retrain" the Volt and see if I can get better miles.

Thanks again for all your help.
 

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Hi Jegund,

Unfortunatly, no that's not us. We commute to Boston from the south. We go up 24 to Southeast Expressway. I have only seen one Volt so far and it was a corporate car..think it was GE maybe??

If you're ever driving around that neck of the woods, we would be in either a red one or a white one. I am giong to track more and see exactly what I end up getting versus what I start out with. Each day I start out with 29. I don't know if I actually get that or not so will keep a close watch.

Thanks again.
 

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To replace the Volt? To replace the Prius mentioned in your signature? In addition to both?

The Leaf really doesn't fit my lifestyle, and I still think it is ugly, but I thought they did a first rate job on ergonomics (not many cars that size which are comfortable in both front and rear seats, especially behind a tall driver,) and I liked their instrument displays almost as much as the Volt's. Not sure how well the batteries will hold up, though.
The Leaf would be replacing the Prius. It has a 6 month to 1 year estimated delivery. So by that time the Prius will be older still... I am about to go turn in our demo Leaf. I must say I am very impressed. In 2 and a half days me and my wife have driven the car 187 miles, and only charged it over night. The car is definately capable. You just have to determine how far you intend to go. In the last 2 days though we have driven it to every corner of Hampton Roads we could ever want to go, on I-64, 664, and all and the low battery charge light never even illuminated. The lowest we ever got it was at 80 miles it had 2 bars remaining. This is with me, my wife, and both kids in the car. So I will certaintly be following through with my order.

Over on the Leaf forums quite a few people bought the cars outright. Some of them are approaching 20,000 miles with no battery degradation. We do not utilize our cars as much, so I expect that for our lifestyle the battery life will be a non-issue. We have pushed the Leaf extremely hard over the last couple days, and I have come to the conclusion that unless extreme circumstances happen we can get away with the 80% charge almost all the time. Even with climate control use, and blasting the radio. When I bought the Volt I was fully skeptical of a full electric vehicle, but now after logging many thousands of electric miles in it I see this stuff certaintly has its value. Especially seeing my tally for our Volt for the February was 844 miles @ $27.26, and for the last 3 days with the Leaf it is sitting at 187 miles @ $5.34. Not bad at all in my mind. Especially if world oil demand keeps increasing, and gasoline prices keep going up. Granted electricity prices will go up too, BUT we are not exporting electricity to the world market.

I will say at first I did not like the way the car looked. As it has sat in my driveway though it has grown on me. Granted I think the Volt tops it in just about all categories except EV range, but the Volt was not designed to be a full EV in that regard. The Volt certaintly handles FAR better, accelerates way faster, and looks cooler doing so. I will admit though the Leaf is more comftorable, and more family carish. Where when I get in the Volt it remind me of getting down in to a Corvette almost. Which I like. Both cars have their merits. I think the Volt would be the solution for anyone where the Leaf needs to go to a home that knows more about electrics and their limitations if you will. Surprisingly though it really is not all that bad, and goes quite a distance on a charge. Plus it has been really windy around here too lately, and it was cold today so it was further handicapped in that respect. Still we drove it from Hampton to the Portsmouth Naval Hospital and back, and only used 50% of the battery bars (40 miles) with the whole family in the car. Below the 12 visible bars I guess there is still 1 and a half hidden bars, so we only used 44% of the battery capacity on that drive. Granted I know not everyone could utilize the car, but I think most could.
 

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The Leaf would be replacing the Prius.
A Volt and a Prius make a lot of sense. And yes, a full electric will work so long as you have at least two vehicles and one of them is an ICE or an EREV.

Not buying the range. The range is dependent on your drive cycle. A lot of highway will cut your range substantially. Just depends. What I will say is that you won't get the advertised range of 100 miles absent unusual circumstances. Also note that Nissan recommends that you only charge the battery to 80% not 100%. Finally, you don't really have another hidden bar. Basically you get a low battery warning at eight miles and then, sometime after that, maybe around 4 miles, a very low battery warning (can't remember offhand). You don't see any range below something like 4 miles. After that you hit turtle and get a mile or two.

Leasing a Leaf is a no-brainer. With the lease you get the tax credit up front. Then there are the battery problems. With a lease you stop worrying about charging to 80%. You can just charge to 100% and not worry. With a lease you also don't have to worry about the battery degrading with time. Degradation is guaranteed. In fact some people with the GID reader are reporting some degradation though that may be because of temperature. But you can be assured that the battery has a shelf life and that after eight years you're looking at a reduced range. Nissan also makes it simple to lease. You can extend the lease for six months, you don't have to buy GAP insurance, and you can buy miles up front for a very good price. Finally, unlike the Volt lease, there is no penalty for buying at the end of the lease because the tax credit is considered cap reduction.
 

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There is a $300 buyout at the end. I may wind up keeping the Leaf, and getting a second generation Volt (buy) when its lease is over. The Volt certaintly has a high buyout at least end + the $2500 lease buyout fee that Ally requires. I figure by the time my lease is up on the Volt the tax credits will be gone, and it will be better to buy the car. Plus by then we will have tons of real world data on these vehicles, and will at least have a better picture of their longer term viability.

The range is actually pretty spot on. Me and my wife tried to kill it with our worst day of driving on the highway and could not do it. We put 67 miles on the car using climate control, blasting the radio, and only got it down to 1 bar before we gave up (I had worked all day, and it was about 9:30pm). Our 2012 SL will have heated seats and steering wheel. So the climate control will be a non-issue as far as the heating goes. It is one of the features I wanted in our Volt, but did not feel the 6-7000 dollar price increase justified it. At least with Nissan the Leaf SL is only a $2000 price jump from the SV, and it includes fog lamps/solar panel for the 12V/cargo cover/QC port/backup camera. The Volt is the first car I have had with a backup camera and must say it has been nice to have.
 

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When it was below -20c (whatever that is in F) we got about 30 - 35km (~20 miles). Earlier this week it was about 5c (maybe 40-45F? I think (I'm Canadian, we don't use British measurements anymore ;)) ...
Neither does Great Britain, so the correct term for the former British Standard measurement system (miles and feet and yards and all the rest) these days is "American Customary".

You might want to edit the Wikipedia page that says of the Fahrenheit temperature scale: "Canada retains it as a supplementary scale that can be used alongside Celsius."

Also, Fahrenheit was not British, nor the temperature scale he invented. His family was German, he lived in Amsterdam.
 

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un happy with the charging system

Kayn, we have had ours 3 years. I have had it to the dearler three times with concerns about the charging system. We live just north west of Nashville. My wife drives it 26 miles one way to her work and lets it sit on the weekends. She will get a 42 mile charge monday morning only and the rest of the week 38. BUT, during the cold months 32 on monday and 28 -30 the the rest of the week. Also the summer it will use 5.9 KW and the winter 9.6 KW for the 26 mile drive. We charge ours on the fast charge 110 volt. The sad thing is that the dearler ship said when we were buying it, was that they would have recalls on the battery for up dates to get more miles out of it,(that GM owns the battery) we just own the car. All just bull ****. I wish they would tell you about the abnormal chargeing. But today we noticed the charging cord isn't charging we just have a green light and a blinking red light.
 
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