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Hello everyone,

I have a 2012 Volt that I have owned for about 3 years. Up until last year I would always see 10.x used but over a period of 12 months it has been slowly declining and now I see numbers like 9.3 and on one occasion, 8.9.

I have been documenting this with screen shots and on the last two service visits (coolant sensor replacements) I raised with with the service advisor.

On both occasions I get the "these aren't the droids you're are looking for" story and told I can "go about my business".

Has anyone else had this issue, and if so, how to I get GM to take me seriously (without having to involve Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi)

Thanks, Paul
 

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Have you been able to document a corresponding drop in EV range? This is what you'll need to get this resolved.
 

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Hello everyone,

I have a 2012 Volt that I have owned for about 3 years. Up until last year I would always see 10.x used but over a period of 12 months it has been slowly declining and now I see numbers like 9.3 and on one occasion, 8.9.

I have been documenting this with screen shots and on the last two service visits (coolant sensor replacements) I raised with with the service advisor.

On both occasions I get the "these aren't the droids you're are looking for" story and told I can "go about my business".

Has anyone else had this issue, and if so, how to I get GM to take me seriously (without having to involve Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi)

Thanks, Paul
I thought all 2011/12 Volts had the smaller battery that only got 35 miles of range and KW usage of 9.x. It was the 2013-14 that got 10.x, and some late 2014 and all 2015 that got 11.x. 8.9 is a bit low, but definitely possible. I've had many occasions where I pull up to the post office with 1-4 miles of EV range left on the guessometer, shut the car off, start the car again, and it switches to fuel, thus wasting whatever range I had left in the battery. I didn't note the KW usage though. It's happened enough times that I now just leave the car running and deal with the triple honk.
 

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How often do you deplete it entirely?
If not often and many partial charges, the calibration can go off.
Give it 6-10 full to empty discharges (let it sit unplugged at 'empty' for 2h before charging) and it should recalibrate itself.
 

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I thought all 2011/12 Volts had the smaller battery that only got 35 miles of range and KW usage of 9.x. It was the 2013-14 that got 10.x, and some late 2014 and all 2015 that got 11.x. 8.9 is a bit low, but definitely possible.
Quite a few late 2012's got 2013 batteries. I'm not aware of any 2014's getting the 2015 battery but that certainly might be possible as well.

For the op: As others have mentioned have you seen a change in EV range?
I have seen a few instances from others on the forum over the years of the battery loosing calibration and a few full charge and discharge cycles are required to reset it.

Also the KWh's used is not very accurate. It can vary quite a bit. It's not so simple to calculate. It has to estimate some of it's values like charging losses from regeneration. Though this value shouldn't vary by more than 1KWh.
 

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Oh No .... Can this be the first signs of The Dreaded Battery Degradation???

(I am familiar with the concept as I drive a Chevy BEV that can use most of the battery capacity, if I let it.)

It happens....

Volt owners like to think it doesn't happen to a Volt. It happens.... It's just the nature of Li-ion batteries.
 

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2012 Volts manufactured in June 2012 and later received the 2013 model's slightly larger battery pack. Mine was manufactured in early June and I was fortunate enough to receive the larger battery. When new in warm weather I would typically see 10.6. This summer, I am more typically seeing 10.3 or 10.4. There does seem to be a slight decline. If paulmcallister's 2012 was manufactured before June of 2012, I wouldn't be surprised if his capacity may have declined to 9.3 or so.
 

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I had an unusual situation with a corrupted software update that resulted in several symptoms, including a drop in kWh used. However, that was only one of many symptoms.

You'll need to document actual EV miles under same terrain and temperature conditions to ensure accuracy. I would keep a log for 30 days. This documentation helped to get to the bottom of my issue.

FWIW, I've noticed that I get less kWh used if I do many stops in a day. It seems especially pronounced if I park with 5 miles or less left--sometimes I'll start the car with 5 left and find 0 remaining! It may switch to CS mode in the 9* range, which is low for a '13.
 

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Oh No .... Can this be the first signs of The Dreaded Battery Degradation???

(I am familiar with the concept as I drive a Chevy BEV that can use most of the battery capacity, if I let it.)

It happens....

Volt owners like to think it doesn't happen to a Volt. It happens.... It's just the nature of Li-ion batteries.
It happens? Strong argument.
 

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One technique to avoid battery degradation anxiety: stop looking at the energy screen and just drive

Another technique: a giant piece of black electrical tape

A funny thing happened on my 2 year anniversary of volt ownership, I stopped hypermiling and stopped using the energy screen. The car is so much more fun to drive when you aren't OCD about it.
 

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Even if we are talking about a degradation, if we conservatively assume 4 miles/kwh, you would be losing less than 4 miles of range. I personally wouldn't go to all the trouble to get back less than 4 miles of range. It's much easier to burn 20 cents more gasoline.
 

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One technique to avoid battery degradation anxiety: stop looking at the energy screen and just drive

Another technique: a giant piece of black electrical tape

A funny thing happened on my 2 year anniversary of volt ownership, I stopped hypermiling and stopped using the energy screen. The car is so much more fun to drive when you aren't OCD about it.
I couldn't agree more!

I was gathering capacity data at least twice a week and keeping a spread sheet. Now ? once every 2 months ? if I feel like it.
A Spark EV displays xx% used and kWh used, but even this data will have a spread when you log it often.

So now I Just Drive ! It is a fast, fun, little BEV! And it turns out it's also a hybrid! It burns electrons and rubber! :)

And it has degradation. ALL Li-ion batteries have that.:(
 

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I couldn't agree more!

I was gathering capacity data at least twice a week and keeping a spread sheet. Now ? once every 2 months ? if I feel like it.
A Spark EV displays xx% used and kWh used, but even this data will have a spread when you log it often.

So now I Just Drive ! It is a fast, fun, little BEV! And it turns out it's also a hybrid! It burns electrons and rubber! :)

And it has degradation. ALL Li-ion batteries have that.:(
I used to track fuel consumption in a spreadsheet on my smartphone. On the 2 year anniversary, I stopped tracking it. The data had settled down to where I wasn't going to be able to affect the MPG very much unless I got charging at work or if I started driving like Jeff Gordon - I chose the Jeff Gordon approach to fuel economy.
 

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So many variables. I put 2psi more in each tire and gained almost 5% range on my volt. Also, if you are topping off charges vs. full cycle charging, that is known to make your kwh usage appear lower. To recover from that, you need to fully deplete a few times in a row and charge a few times in a row and it will then come back. As others have said, if your mileage overall is the same, ignore the kwh reading. In the north east, more rain and up and down temps have played with mileage for many of us this year so far. (lights and wipers use power for example).
 

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I have a 2012 Volt that I have owned for about 3 years. Up until last year I would always see 10.x used but over a period of 12 months it has been slowly declining and now I see numbers like 9.3 and on one occasion, 8.9...

Has anyone else had this issue, and if so, how to I get GM to take me seriously (without having to involve Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi)

Thanks, Paul
What adds complexity to your question is that "acceptable battery degradation" may or may not have occurred over the years.

The 2011/2012 Volts came with a 16 kWh capacity battery. Math says 65% x 16 kWh = 10.4 kWh of usable power (the kWh Used, reflecting net consumption of grid power used less regen put back into the battery, first appeared in the 2012 Volts; 2011 lack that info). Do read the kWh Used FAQ referenced by Steverino for possible explanations on changes to that number...

If, for some reason, the Battery State Estimate algorithm that determines the "fully charged" and "fully depleted" readings became inaccurate over time, that usable power window could shrink. If the window shrunk to 55-60%, for example, the fully depleted kWh Used would drop to 8.8-9.6 kWh Used (a drop of ~4-7 miles in possible expected range for a given season of the year). Carrying out a number of full charge/full discharge cycles can sometimes help recalibrate this algorithm.

Moreover, battery degradation can occur and the Volt may still be within specs. My 2012 Volt owner’s manual has this to say about the 8 yr/100,000 mile battery warranty: "Depending on use, the battery may degrade as little as 10% to as much as 30% of capacity over the warranty period."

IOW, if your 2011/2012 Volt’s 16 kWh battery has somehow degraded 10% to 14.4 kWh (65% = 9.4 kWh) or even 30% to 11.2 kWh (65% = 7.3 kWh) within the first 8 years/100,000 miles, it might still be within warranty specs.
 
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