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We just bought a brand new 2014 Volt and I'm having issues with the MPG we are getting. We have yet to have our home charge installed (it is on its way) so I'm running on gas only these days. I've only been through one tank of gas, and yes, it is cold outside, but I'm getting awful gas mileage. Right now I'm at about 23 MPG on gas only, which is less than our Lexus SUV! Am I doing something completely wrong or is there some sort of issue with the first tank of gas? I know there are tactics to get better mileage, but this seems so low in comparison to what everyone else says they are getting, I'm thinking something is wrong. We are heading to Chicago this weekend and I'm seriously considreing taking the SUV b/c the mileage is better, ahhhhhh!!!

Thanks for any info.
 

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Why are you not charging with the level 1 charger. If you use the default 8 amp setting you can use any 120V outlet with no problem.

I just did 1200 miles of gas only driving an got 37 mpg with NO attempt to be conservative.
 

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I live not far from you so we are driving under the same conditions lately. I did the same calculations as you before and it got me very frustrated. So I stopped doing that. The Volt ICE efficiency depends greatly on how far you drive and how long your drive. By the way ICE means Internal Combustion Engine and not the stuff that is frozen on the roads.

As you must have noticed. The engine does not run full time even on ICE mode. Is ON and OFF to produce electricity and keep your batteries warm. When you just turn on your car in freezing temperatures your engine will run consuming gasoline just to produce heat. Even when you car is idle ( not moving) the gas will keep burning so you have 0 MPGS. Also City and Highway varies... Battery driving is more efficient in city. But ICE driving is better on highway. Same goes for any gasoline only cars. A 40 MPG car on highway posibbly will give your only 25 MPGs on city.

The maximum efficiency is achieved after you have driven your car for a long period of time. For example I have noticed that my long runs from Chicago to Madison on pure ICE is about 45 to 50 Mpgs. In the other hand short runs of 10 miles or less is just as horrible as 25 mpgs specially when the weather is very cool.

Stop worrying about this.. .it will drive you crazy... Why you have to wait for your charger installed? Your 2014 should have come with a 110 volts adapter so you can charge overnight from a standard plug household plug. Just make sure you switch to 12 amps charging on your console charging screen so it does not take 16 hours to get the full charge.
 

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I usually get between 40-48 mpg on gas only.
The key to good gas mileage is driving at a good speed, ramp up your acceleration and use cruise control.

I have found that driving at the speed limit, ramp up acceleration rather than "stomping it" and using cruise control are the two most important factors in getting great gas mileage.

Of course turn off the Air Conditioning and seat warmers.

I live in CA so that may also be a factor, it does not get particularly cold or hot here.
 

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Hi there! I'm a fellow St. Louisan who took delivery of my new 2014 Volt in early December, so have been driving in the same cold weather as you have. Been using the 120vac charger until my new Clipper Creek HCS-40 arrives later this week. With no pre-heat, and heater set on 74F (comfort mode), I'm getting about 31 miles on a charge. I did take a couple of 200 mile trips already and got 35mpg on gas only. This is the real-deal number that I calculated by dividing miles driven on gas, by actual gas pumped in (it was very close to what was displayed on the energy monitor). Most of my highway driving was 70 mph on fairly level roads.

I'm thrilled with my new Volt and find the gas mileage to be totally acceptable (and I traded from a Prius). Certainly 23 mpg isn't normal, so suggest a visit to dealer to get it checked out.
 

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While cold weather reduces the efficiency of all internal combustion engines the loss is 10% at worst. There are no special tricks to save gas. Heat is a waste product of a gas engine and you can drive in your skivvies if you want with the heat cranked up.

If you have only filled the tank once you don't really know what your mileage is. Wait until you have run several tanks through the engine.

But why do that? Use the charger in your trunk. Didn't the salesman show you that?
 

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What kind of driving are you doing?

Short trips in cold weather are always bad for mileage. I can't imagine that you're actually getting worse mileage than a conventional SUV gets in the same driving environment (same trips at the same temperatures, etc.) The Volt gives you more detailed information, so it becomes much easier to see variations that might not be visible in cars with less instrumentation.

Like any other car, the first few tanks are worse mileage as the engine breaks in, but I'm still surprised by your numbers.
 

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Most important point repeated: There is a charger under the trunk floor that plugs into the wall. USE IT!

As others mentioned you have a choice of charging modes (read your manual). 8A is the default and is slow as can be; 12A (the top level) is semi-tolerable (about 12 hours) and is still fine for most home receptacles (similar draw to an upright vacuum cleaner).

Regarding your anticipated long trip to Chicago: use the Volt. Under normal long trip conditions you should get about 35-40mpg just with gas, regardless of what you do with the climate control or seat heat. Charge your car first (LIKE WITH THE ONE UNDER THE TRUNK FLOOR) and you'll do a little better than that. Also check your tire pressures before leaving.

The first 5 miles or so on gasoline only get about 20-25 MPG. If that's how you drive, multiple short trips on gas only (letting the car cool off in between), this is what you'll see as an average. In those same conditions, it's very hard to believe your Lexus SUV (even the small one) was getting better than 23mpg.
 

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We just bought a brand new 2014 Volt and I'm having issues with the MPG we are getting. We have yet to have our home charge installed (it is on its way) so I'm running on gas only these days. I've only been through one tank of gas, and yes, it is cold outside, but I'm getting awful gas mileage. Right now I'm at about 23 MPG on gas only, which is less than our Lexus SUV! Am I doing something completely wrong or is there some sort of issue with the first tank of gas? I know there are tactics to get better mileage, but this seems so low in comparison to what everyone else says they are getting, I'm thinking something is wrong. We are heading to Chicago this weekend and I'm seriously considreing taking the SUV b/c the mileage is better, ahhhhhh!!!

Thanks for any info.
Where do you live, I'm over in the Belleville IL area. I'd be more than glad to take a road trip and stop by your house and look at your Volt and charging situation. Even if you NEVER charged your Volt its fuel mileage should be in the 30's. So something is amiss. And why aren't you using the 120V EVSE that's in your trunk?

I own two Volt's and believe I can help you.

And for fun maybe we could get a few of our St Louis Volt owners hook up for some grub and visit with you at a local restaurant. Let me know.

St Louis Volt Owner's are you up to help out a new Volt Owner?????
 

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What does the tire pressure screen say? My volt shipped to me with only 34psi in the tires. Barely enough to keep the TPMS from alerting. I also had to pump them up when the temp dropped here (DFW Texas). It went from 80 to 40F in a couple days.

The best thing to do is not to worry about it. As you charge and find you buy like 5gal every month, you'll be much happier. My SUV was using 5gal/DAY!!

It takes at least three tanks of gas using the same pump at the same temperature to get a good feel for actual MPG in ALL cars.
 

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Raise tire pressure to 42 psi if not there already, ensure that you do not engage mountain mode, as even though you produce electric miles the electronics penalizes your ICE mileage even though you get 15 electric miles in the process. If you only do 3-7 mile trips in ICE mode and then the engine cools you will never get better than the high 20's in mpg. If you don't have access to a 120VAC outlet and you have a smart phone download the Plugshare App to see what is near you or your destinations that will allow you to charge. Some cost may be involved but there is a lot out there for free while you are waiting for your for your 240 volt hook up. In cold weather (40 and below) the Volt needs at least 20 miles or better of travel to hit the high 30's to low 40's in mpg.
 

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One difference from your SUV that could theoretically explain worse gas mpg in your Volt is the electric heating of the Volt's battery pack. When the car sits in freezing temperatures for many hours (overnight) it may use a 1.8 kW dedicated electric heater element inside the battery to warm the battery cells so they can operate better. The battery pack weighs a bit over 400 pounds so it can take awhile to bring up its temperature. If you are driving shorter distances in city traffic this battery heating could be a significant power draw that would noticeably reduce your gas-only mpg since the engine would have to generate the extra electricity to operate the battery heater. The "waste heat" from the gas engine can be used to heat the passengers in the Volt but it is not used for heating the battery.

If you were plugging in you would probably not notice the impact of the battery heater on your gas-only mpg since the battery would use its own stored energy to heat itself and by the time the Volt switched over to the gas engine when the battery became "empty" the battery would already be suitably warmed up.

It is also possible that some electric passenger cabin heating is taking place when the engine is off for significant periods of time such as red lights or after initially starting the car but before the engine has run long enough to generate waste heat. I'm not familiar with the details of cold weather heating behavior in the 2014 model year so I'm not sure if this happens or not if you are operating the car without plugging it in.
 

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OK, so if you aren't charging using the 120V portable charger* ** you're running as a hybrid and your fuel economy has many factors like any other car.

- Are you using remote start to warm up the car? That'll run the engine which hurts fuel economy, with more hurt on short trips
- Are you driving short trips? Fuel economy is worse on short trips, and especially bad if you're warming the car up first
- What are your tire pressures? Low tire pressure can significantly drop fuel economy.
- Do you have snow tires on? The extra tread gives you more grip but lowers fuel economy

* It's possible that the OP doesn't have a decent 120V external outlet. My charger didn't detect a ground on our rear deck outlets, which is annoying because the garage won't have power again for another couple of weeks. Anyway... go back to **
** See the body of the post
 

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It depends on a lot of things. How you drive. How the weather is. How you are calculating your MPG.

On average, I would say you can expect from 35 to 40 MPG with normal driving. You can do better, but it requires the right driving style and driving situations. It is unlikely you would ever see less than 30 unless your gas engine usage is minimal (where you get a lot of cold start use) or you are doing things like using mountain mode when at a low state of charge (pro tip: if you will need mountain mode, engage it before your battery level drops below about 40% so the gas engine doesn't have to do double duty to build charge back up when engaged).

Sometimes the onstar stats for a new car are a little bonkers for some reason, with either really low or really high MPG (for what reason, I don't know). If you are looking at those numbers, you need to have the car for a few months to balance out the data before you can really trust them at all.
 

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I seriously doubt that there is anything wrong with your car. From what you have posted, you are driving solely on ICE-generated electricity and not charging the battery with the EVSE that came with the car. Short trips will give you low mpg. Under-inflated tires will give you low mpg. Using the heat will give you low mpg; this is mitigated, however, by the waste heat from the ICE. BTW, the battery is NOT warmed by running the ICE, as someone has written. That is taken care of with energy from the battery itself. That energy is replenished through either charging from the grid, from the on-board generator (run by the ICE) or from regeneration from decelerating.

Inflate your tires to 45 psi. Use the ECO setting in Climate Control. Drive your Volt to Chicago. I predict that you will average 35 to 40 mpg on the ICE. I drove over 700 miles for Thanksgiving. My ICE mpg was 39.6 going and 40 returning. I made a 205 mile trip at Christmas and averaged 41.1 mpg on the ICE. My Volt is a 2012 with 20k+ miles on the odometer.

Worst case, you STILL will have more enjoyment driving the Volt! It's a great road car. 8^)
 

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We just bought a brand new 2014 Volt and I'm having issues with the MPG we are getting. We have yet to have our home charge installed (it is on its way) so I'm running on gas only these days. I've only been through one tank of gas, and yes, it is cold outside, but I'm getting awful gas mileage. Right now I'm at about 23 MPG on gas only, which is less than our Lexus SUV! Am I doing something completely wrong or is there some sort of issue with the first tank of gas? I know there are tactics to get better mileage, but this seems so low in comparison to what everyone else says they are getting, I'm thinking something is wrong. We are heading to Chicago this weekend and I'm seriously considreing taking the SUV b/c the mileage is better, ahhhhhh!!!

Thanks for any info.
I'm guessing your average drive distance is between 4-5 miles, barely enough time for the engine to warm up, thus the poor MPG....

MrEnergyCzar
 

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We just did a 330 mile ICE trip. Most of it was at freeway speeds of 65-70mphh, with temps outside 40-45F, 4 persons in car. The average mileage was 35.8 mpg.
 

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I'm guessing your average drive distance is between 4-5 miles, barely enough time for the engine to warm up, thus the poor MPG....

MrEnergyCzar
Most likely this along with too soft tires and not enough information about the OP's typical driving pattern.

I am usually bummed if long trips, i don't get better than 40mpg. But i do know short trips under 8 miles can be 25 mpg if done on gas only.

Also, click my voltstats below and select reading history, Mpgcs and 15 day avg. You can see as a volt gets older, the engine breaks in and mpgcs goes up.
 
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