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So I've owned the 2017 Volt for almost a month now and it has been great so far except the range. It has been really disappointing because I've never exclipsed 50 miles AER. My daily commute is 70% highway at 65-75 mph and I live in central coast California (average daily temp is 65-75 F). There is slight elevation in my commute but nothing significant. Everyday morning after a full charge my guess o meter reads anywhere from 41-45 EV range. I've typically gone anywhere from as low as 35 to 48 EV miles.

I was really hoping for EV range of 50-60 as I've read here on the forum but unfortunate have not gotten close yet. Is there something wrong with my Volt?!
 

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Slow down to 55-60 and be amazed how your range will increase dramatically. Your range is right on the money for the speeds you are traveling. The one missing factor that you haven't discussed is your HVAC use. Comfort? That tanks your range. If you want the range up, use Eco.
 

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The EPA combined rating should be fairly close to holding a steady speed of maybe 60-65 mph at moderate temps, flat ground, and no wind. An EV will peak around 20 to 30 mph, so people getting 80 mile ranges are probably more at those speeds (probably not more than 45 mph).

My older 2012 Volt which is rated at 35 miles electric range, combined, is lucky to get 30 on the Interstate without climate control at around 70 mph, but I can do up to 50 around town. Now that it is cold I am down to 22 or so in town (comfort heat).
 

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If I drove at 75 MPH here in EV mode, I would only get about 35 miles EV range in the winter. Because I usually take the non-freeway roads to work, however, I get around 50 miles in the winter. In the summer, I get about 50-ish mi going 75 MPH on the freeway, and close to 70 mi on the side roads.
 

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So I've owned the 2017 Volt for almost a month now and it has been great so far except the range. It has been really disappointing because I've never exclipsed 50 miles AER. My daily commute is 70% highway at 65-75 mph and I live in central coast California (average daily temp is 65-75 F). There is slight elevation in my commute but nothing significant. Everyday morning after a full charge my guess o meter reads anywhere from 41-45 EV range. I've typically gone anywhere from as low as 35 to 48 EV miles.

I was really hoping for EV range of 50-60 as I've read here on the forum but unfortunate have not gotten close yet. Is there something wrong with my Volt?!
Did you use up the battery entirely before the engine takes over? Sometimes, if you've never used up the entire battery range, the GOM display is always under the actual range. You would note that as you near the last 2 bars of range and then go on, it would seem to last forever until you hit more than 50.
 

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I have a '16 (same car) and drive it on a freeway run twice a month. Full charge, get right on freeway with cruise set at steady 70 mph. It will deliver 46 miles every time with ECO A/C. The rest of the month I drive around in city traffic at 40-55mph and it delivers 65 miles range every day.

Your car is fine. All those other cars around you are getting lousy mileage at those speeds too.
 

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Our freeway speed here is 65 mph, and I commute daily with my ACC set to 65 mph. My commute is 90% freeway and I still get 64 mile range and the temperature is 48 deg F. No cabin heating, only the steering wheel heating and I wear winter clothing, ha ha ha. My lifetime MPGe is 110 already after 1,390 gas miles and more than 37,000 EV miles.

The only time I get 41 mile range is when I drove at 85-90 mph and the cabin set to max comfort. I also get 40-45 mile range when I go against the wind and heavy rain in the winter.

I can still get 60 miles even when temperature is around freezing, provided it isn't wet and I don't exceed 55 mph, especially on frosty nights with icy roads. I always precondition my car for 20 minutes during the winter before commuting.
 

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What are your tire pressures? Even a little "over-inflation" can significantly improve range. I keep mine at about 40-41 lbs. There is a price to pay in ride comfort but it may be worth trying.
 

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There is a huge difference between level ground at 65 mph and hilly terrain at 75 mph.

If it's any consolation, a Volt will go further than any other EREV/PHEV on pure electricity by a wide margin. Some even have to run the gas engine uphill at 75 mph.

I have a customer loop that is 58 miles. Less than 10 miles is surface streets, freeways are 65 mph speed limit and heavily patrolled.
If I stay out of the fast lane, and go with traffic, I make the trip with 2-7 miles to spare. Elevation changes are 700 to 50 to 700 feet ASL for the round trip.

Things that will boost your range:
  • 38-41 PSI in used tires (tires will have less range when brand new).
  • Warm temperatures. Tires roll better when softer.
  • Educated foot instead of cruise control. (This is good for about 10% for me)
  • Keep regen kW low. Slow early when needed.
  • Leave it in D, and don't use the paddle. I thought this was BS, but after actual measuring on this loop, it works.

But there are 2 ways to enjoy your car:
  • Just drive it. Enjoy the instant torque, have fun with it. Run in L range Sport, and play with the paddle. Set the adaptive at 85mph.
  • Experiment with improving range by trying different things, and make a game of it. This is fun in it's own way.

I have went 70.4 miles without impeding traffic on a congested freeway. And I run summer performance tires that are 235 wide. But I've also drained the battery in under 40 miles on the same roads. This is why I know it will go 101 mph uphill (speed limiter is 101).
 

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But there are 2 ways to enjoy your car:
  • Just drive it. Enjoy the instant torque, have fun with it. Run in L range Sport, and play with the paddle. Set the adaptive at 85mph.
  • Experiment with improving range by trying different things, and make a game of it. This is fun in it's own way.
And it's pretty much got to be its own reward too. Because it you'll probably never see it in money savings... :) (If you save 10% on the same trip every workday, that might be as much as 1.5 kwh of power per day. Which is like.... $0.25-30. Do it for a month and you save a cheeseburger, or a third of a movie ticket.)
 

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And it's pretty much got to be its own reward too. Because it you'll probably never see it in money savings... :) (If you save 10% on the same trip every workday, that might be as much as 1.5 kwh of power per day. Which is like.... $0.25-30. Do it for a month and you save a cheeseburger, or a third of a movie ticket.)
Yeah, but what if you allow the lifetime MPG to fall under 250+?????
Pretty sure they kick out of the Sierra Club, right? :D

My 58 mi loop is a challenge. My daughter tried to do it, and cannot. Neither can my wife or son.
After driving with them, to show them the route, they are too spastic. Smooth is fast in racing. It's also the way to stretch range.
 

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Yeah, but what if you allow the lifetime MPG to fall under 250+?????
Pretty sure they kick out of the Sierra Club, right? :D

My 58 mi loop is a challenge. My daughter tried to do it, and cannot. Neither can my wife or son.
After driving with them, to show them the route, they are too spastic. Smooth is fast in racing. It's also the way to stretch range.
I initially was upset when my lifetime dropped below 250 mpg, but then I remembered why I bought the Volt, an EV I can still drive long distances, so even though my lifetime is now 115, it has offset several 500+ mile trips from the much worse MPG minivan. It seems to me the right amount of gas miles in the Volt is probably 10 to 50%, more than that and you might be cheaper with a hybrid, and less than that and maybe buy an EV next time instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Slow down to 55-60 and be amazed how your range will increase dramatically. Your range is right on the money for the speeds you are traveling. The one missing factor that you haven't discussed is your HVAC use. Comfort? That tanks your range. If you want the range up, use Eco.
Occasional HVAC but again with temperate temps it's rarely warranted. Base LT trim so no heated seats or steering wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The EPA combined rating should be fairly close to holding a steady speed of maybe 60-65 mph at moderate temps, flat ground, and no wind. An EV will peak around 20 to 30 mph, so people getting 80 mile ranges are probably more at those speeds (probably not more than 45 mph).

My older 2012 Volt which is rated at 35 miles electric range, combined, is lucky to get 30 on the Interstate without climate control at around 70 mph, but I can do up to 50 around town. Now that it is cold I am down to 22 or so in town (comfort heat).
So it seems on highway to get to 50+ EV range, I'll need to keep speeds around 55-60? Anything beyond 60 will decrease range, correct?
 

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So it seems on highway to get to 50+ EV range, I'll need to keep speeds around 55-60? Anything beyond 60 will decrease range, correct?
Air resistance increases exponentially with an increase in vehicle speed. That is one reason that following the 1973 oil embargo a federal highway speed limit was established at 55mph to reduce US dependence on foreign oil. Try keeping a log of your highway driving range relative to your highway speed. You will probably find that holding your speed to no more than 63 mph will result in an acceptable loss of EV range. Anytime you are driving faster than 65mph for any significant distance your EV range will noticeably drop off.

If you must drive 70mph or faster over a significant distance then you might be better off using Hold mode and saving the battery for the lower speed portions of your commute.
 

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I get over 50 miles per charge smashing the pedal at every red light, stop sign, acceleration bursts at low speeds and driving on the freeway with AC off and windows slightly cracked. Pretty much the same with AC on but its getting cooler now so I keep it off... until I see an old smelly car or truck with big exhausts
 

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I get over 50 miles per charge smashing the pedal at every red light, stop sign, acceleration bursts at low speeds and driving on the freeway with AC off and windows slightly cracked. Pretty much the same with AC on but its getting cooler now so I keep it off... until I see an old smelly car or truck with big exhausts
What is your typical driving speed on the freeway?
 

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For peace of mind--and if you've got the time--take your Volt on a road trip where you are traveling at slower speeds (50 MPH or less) and see what you get. Heck, you don't even have to go the full distance to CS mode, because if you've travelled 40 miles and you still have 20 remaining you're probably good. I was initially concerned with my Gen 2 when I was under-achieving on the highway, but a few slower trips showed me no problem.

With that said, highway driving is tough on the range. Even the most experienced Volter will find it challenging to consistently get above EPA rating on the freeway. I've found the best way to "maximize" freeway range is to aim for keeping the kW number around 19. Sometimes you have to go above, sometimes below, but that target will usually net me "acceptable" highway EV range. It will also give you a sense of how much power you actively need to maintain your speed. Even the slightest incline on the highway will affect this number.
 

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For peace of mind--and if you've got the time--take your Volt on a road trip where you are traveling at slower speeds (50 MPH or less) and see what you get. Heck, you don't even have to go the full distance to CS mode, because if you've travelled 40 miles and you still have 20 remaining you're probably good. I was initially concerned with my Gen 2 when I was under-achieving on the highway, but a few slower trips showed me no problem.

With that said, highway driving is tough on the range. Even the most experienced Volter will find it challenging to consistently get above EPA rating on the freeway. I've found the best way to "maximize" freeway range is to aim for keeping the kW number around 19. Sometimes you have to go above, sometimes below, but that target will usually net me "acceptable" highway EV range. It will also give you a sense of how much power you actively need to maintain your speed. Even the slightest incline on the highway will affect this number.
This morning, it was cold, wet, rainy, and my commute is 95% freeway. I still got 64 EV miles! Why? Everyone's disciplined and traveling at 50-55 mph, and that's in the middle lane. The traffic is heavier this morning, but moving. I set my ACC to 65 mph and far setting.
 
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