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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't had our Volt long enough to test it but was curious how well the defroster works in the Volt compared to regular ICE cars.

Typically the HVAC defrost mode on ICE cars has the AC running along with heat to get the moisture or fog off interior glass. Does the Volt run the AC compressor with the heat in defrost mode to accomplish the same thing?
 

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I haven't had our Volt long enough to test it but was curious how well the defroster works in the Volt compared to regular ICE cars.

Typically the HVAC defrost mode on ICE cars has the AC running along with heat to get the moisture or fog off interior glass. Does the Volt run the AC compressor with the heat in defrost mode to accomplish the same thing?
The front windshield defroster works well. You can speed things along if your select the Defrost button on the HVAC control panel, there is also a Max Defrost button. There is a setting for Autodefog you can enable, this will turn on the AC or heat as required to lower the humidity in the cabin to keep the windows from fogging.

If you are using the electric heat, try turning off the automatic climate control and selecting Max Defrost with the temperature set to 80F or higher. The Volt can crank out quite a bit of electric heat when called for but it is at the expense of battery range.

Volt owners should be glad that some of the Volt design team and engineers were from Detroit or at least spent time there and know winter. GM has provided five ways for Volt owners to stay warm:

1) Heated seats and optional heated steering wheel
2) Preconditioning the cabin for 10 or 20 minutes (the Volt can be preconditioned whether or not it is plugged in)
3) Electric heat that will quickly warm the cabin. (The electric heating element can draw up to 9kW but typically uses less power.)
4) Engine Assist Heat will cycle the gas engine on and off in cold temperatures to heat the cabin while using very little gas. Engine Assist Heat can also be set to run during preconditioning when plugged in if it is safe to start the gas engine (when parked outside, not in a garage.)
5) Using the internal combustion engine to power the Volt; energy that is otherwise lost through exhaust heat is captured and can be used to heat the cabin.
 

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As jcanoe says above. Also, an old trick that all Britons know about and that works in temperatures from about 32-50deg F (0-10 deg C), and which was done by many prior to having air conditioning as standard is to crack the driver's side window open about 1" or less. You have to do this immediately on entering the car. This gives the extra moisture from your body, wet raincoat, coffee mug, etc. a chance to equalize with the outside dew temperature and often keeps your windows from immediately fogging up in the first place. It is especially useful in cool, damp weather climates like the Pacific Northwest.

It is very "old school", but works really well and can save you a lot of energy...not that it helps keeping the interior warm however ;-)
 

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I haven't had our Volt long enough to test it but was curious how well the defroster works in the Volt compared to regular ICE cars.
Considering ICE car defrosters do basically sweet nowt for about the first ten minutes after starting, the Volt's works AMAZINGLY well.

Typically the HVAC defrost mode on ICE cars has the AC running along with heat to get the moisture or fog off interior glass. Does the Volt run the AC compressor with the heat in defrost mode to accomplish the same thing?
Absolutely. And the heater gets hot in about ten seconds after starting. You may not FEEL it while it's warring with the AC, but yes, they're both busily chewing up your range as fast as they possibly can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good info. This will work perfectly. The car only needs to survive about 25 miles a day for committing so I'll gladly sacrifice the other half of the battery for a toasty and dry interior.

This is assuming we ever see another winter in the south.
 

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Good info. This will work perfectly. The car only needs to survive about 25 miles a day for committing so I'll gladly sacrifice the other half of the battery for a toasty and dry interior.

This is assuming we ever see another winter in the south.
If you won't be able to charge at work assume your EV range will be reduced by 20% due to cold temperature and even more depending on how you choose to use the electric the cabin heating. On my commute I would be able to travel ~60 miles on battery in summer but in winter my EV range would drop to 44 miles. This was true even when preconditioning before leaving in the A.M. and not using the electric heat, only heated seats and steering wheel. The only way I was able to complete the return trip in winter using only battery was to charge at work using Level 2 charging for a minimum of 45 minutes.
 

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Blower only to the windshield won't clear the windshield. Defrost on the other hand will clear it in just a couple of minutes, but at noticeable electric power. Definitely faster than most ICE vehicles because they have to warm up the engine first.
 

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If you normally park your Volt outside be sure to leave the HVAC set to Defrost or Maximum Defrost and Max heat with the cabin thermostat to warm temperature setting (~80F or higher) before you shut down the Volt for the evening. In the morning, when preconditioning while plugged in, the Volt will use the most recent HVAC settings. This is true when using the key fob to initiate preconditioning. Not positive that the MyChevrolet App works the same, my experience is that the app selects climate control settings based on maximizing efficiency and ignores the Volt's HVAC settings.
 

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If you won't be able to charge at work assume your EV range will be reduced by 20% due to cold temperature and even more depending on how you choose to use the electric the cabin heating. On my commute I would be able to travel ~60 miles on battery in summer but in winter my EV range would drop to 44 miles. This was true even when preconditioning before leaving in the A.M. and not using the electric heat, only heated seats and steering wheel. The only way I was able to complete the return trip in winter using only battery was to charge at work using Level 2 charging for a minimum of 45 minutes.
Easily 20%. Most of the winter, I actually GET about 32 of range being careful, and I can manage 43-44 in summer. (That's driven, not what the GOM says.) And I live a place where snow tires actually IMPROVE my range over all-season, because I can put less power into making them flex and therefore roll.
 
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