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Hi all,

I am the proud owner of a 2017 Volt. I came from a 2014 Prius plugin and this car is a totally different animal. It actually feels like a sporty car with plenty of pep. The electric actually is useable, versus the Prius which claimed to see 11 MPG on a charge (actually was far less it seems).

I did peruse the forums a bit, but I wanted to ask a couple of basic questions. I apologize if some of these have been asked before.

-In the 50 miles I have owned the car, its clear that the approach of the Prius and the Volt are quite different. While they both have extended range modes, the Prius really serves its purpose well in this realm. I typically got 49mpg with mixed driving. The bar was easy to read and it would show just when I was about to exit the EV and have the ICE turn on. I still have not figured out how to read the display in the Volt. Maybe my approach to this is wrong, but it seems difficult to tell when I am about to exit the EV and have the ICE kick in. If i could figure out when the transition happens, I would try to keep the car in EV. I am starting to think thats not how the Volt works.

-I have seen alot of threads about the savings with electric power. I live in So Cal, and based on the stations i've seen here, it doesnt seem like theres any savings at all. At the cheapest, I can find a 0.15/kWh station, but most are 0.25-0.30. Based on rough calcs, that seems to be more than the 2.69/gal of gas I can buy at the local gas station. For my home, the two options I am exploring are TOU and tiered. I explored TOU options and peak is north of 0.30/kWh. With my tiered pricing, it is 0.16/kWh for tier 1, 0.28/kWh for tier 2. Most of my charging would occur in the tier 2 range since my tier 1 is eaten up by my daily home usage. At this rate, gas would be significantly cheaper, would it not?

Any input would be appreciated.
 

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There is a simple mode for the DIC (driver information console) and there are some enhanced modes that give you more graphics and telemetry. Download the owner's manual from the Chevy website and peruse around. You'll learn a lot

As for trying to extend your range, I drove like a grandpa for 2 years trying to eek out every mile, then like Jekyll and Hyde, I threw on a set of 18" wheels, deep treaded tires for great traction and cornering, and now drive like Jeff Gordon. I went from 90MPG to 70MPG which still blows away any Prius (except maybe a Prius prime driven by a grandma). So fter the honeymoon wears off and you get that 70-u0 mile range record, just forget about maximizing range and enjoy the ride. You are driving America's best kept automotive secret.

Now for the topic of electricity costs. Don't worry about it. This car is less about saving money and more about reducing carbon emissions and being green, as well as reducing our country's dependence on Oil which is price controlled by the OPEC cartel. When fuel climbs back up to $4 per gallon, the money savings will come. Somlook for free chargers, plug in at home when you can, and seriously consider getting your own level 2 EVSE. The EVSE will never pay for itself on paper when you consider cost vs. the benefit of charging faster, but believe me, you will feel a new found freedom when you can charge a fully depleted battery in 4-5 hours. Plus, if you already have a 220V plug nearby, ChrisTX (forum member) can make you a pigtail adapter that lets you safely plug your GM supplied EVSE into 220V and charge in 5-6 hours at 12A. I'd still consider getting a real level2 EVSE with at least 16A
 

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... I typically got 49mpg with mixed driving. The bar was easy to read and it would show just when I was about to exit the EV and have the ICE turn on. I still have not figured out how to read the display in the Volt. Maybe my approach to this is wrong, but it seems difficult to tell when I am about to exit the EV and have the ICE kick in. If i could figure out when the transition happens, I would try to keep the car in EV. I am starting to think thats not how the Volt works...
I typically get several thousand MPG's because I rarely use ANY gas.

In typical driving of the Volt, it should be easy to tell when the ICE is going to kick-in. When the green bars are all gone and the EV range is zero.

When the transition happens you won't be able to keep the car in EV because the usable battery range has been exhausted.

...
-I have seen alot of threads about the savings with electric power. I live in So Cal, and based on the stations i've seen here, it doesnt seem like theres any savings at all. At the cheapest, I can find a 0.15/kWh station, but most are 0.25-0.30. Based on rough calcs, that seems to be more than the 2.69/gal of gas I can buy at the local gas station. For my home, the two options I am exploring are TOU and tiered. I explored TOU options and peak is north of 0.30/kWh. With my tiered pricing, it is 0.16/kWh for tier 1, 0.28/kWh for tier 2. Most of my charging would occur in the tier 2 range since my tier 1 is eaten up by my daily home usage. At this rate, gas would be significantly cheaper, would it not?

Any input would be appreciated.
Yes, with high electrical costs and low gasoline costs, running on gas is cheaper (if you don't include the other factors ninja mentioned)
 

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What he said. Plus, the electric drive is so much more serene and refined than any ICE. Remember there are a lot of areas with much cheaper electricity. We pay only .08/kwh for the initial 400 kwh or so. .12 is about the max. So it's considerably cheaper to drive electric even at today's unsustainably low fuel prices. The Volt is always an electric car, even in charge sustaining (gas) mode. If there's electricity in the battery, the engine won't run (unless you invoke Hold or Mountain mode). Once the engine starts, you have no control over how the car runs the engine. It is smart. It won't generally run the engine below 25 mph unless the small battery buffer gets used up (too much low speed driving or sitting stopped with car on). It's a brilliant and elegant design. These observations are for a gen 1. Gen 2's have some additional engine behaviors I'm not fully versed on. Enjoy your Volt!
 

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-In the 50 miles I have owned the car, its clear that the approach of the Prius and the Volt are quite different. While they both have extended range modes, the Prius really serves its purpose well in this realm. I typically got 49mpg with mixed driving. The bar was easy to read and it would show just when I was about to exit the EV and have the ICE turn on. I still have not figured out how to read the display in the Volt. Maybe my approach to this is wrong, but it seems difficult to tell when I am about to exit the EV and have the ICE kick in. If i could figure out when the transition happens, I would try to keep the car in EV. I am starting to think thats not how the Volt works.
The Volt is different from the Prius in that if the battery has any charge in it at all (at least 1 bar showing) it will go all the way to 100 mph without starting the ICE. The only time, under "normal" conditions, that the ICE will start is when the battery is exhausted. Even if driving on the ICE, when you request extra acceleration for passing or climbing a hill, the Volt will dip into the battery for the extra power.
You can basically think of a Volt as an electric car that carries its own charging station under the hood.
 

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Yes, with high electrical costs and low gasoline costs, running on gas is cheaper (if you don't include the other factors ninja mentioned)
As soon as I pay off the mortgage, I'm going to start plugging into the chargepoint station near my office and pay $8 for 4 hours of charging per day just to give OPEC the finger. But right now that cash is going towards the debt.
 

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As soon as I pay off the mortgage, I'm going to start plugging into the chargepoint station near my office and pay $8 for 4 hours of charging per day just to give OPEC the finger.
NOW, this makes sense. OPEC has been giving it to us for a very long time.
 

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In addition to the owner's manual (not easy to use, in my opinion) you should have received a 6 (?) page glossy brochure that may explain a few of the essentials you need to know. The driver info screen that I like in front of me is buried in roughly an H pattern that is navigated by use of the RH buttons on the steering wheel crossbar. Hit the check mark once then arrow left one hit. This moves you to the left leg of the H. Next arrow up repeatedly to the top icon: "info". Next, right arrow one hit and you are now into the Driver Info screen. Scroll up and down to see what's available. To explore the center stack hit the "home" button to the left of the volume dial
Followed by "settings"up on the touch screen. Explore.
 

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NOW, this makes sense. OPEC has been giving it to us for a very long time.
At the moment our nice low fuel prices are OPEC's way of asking our domestic oil producers to bend over and stop fracking operations because they would operate at a loss if they continued. As soon as we stop fracking, they'll decrease production and jack that price up again. The only way we can reduce the effect on our gas prices is to stop relying on petroleum as a primary fuel source. So if your car can run e-85, use it even though it ultimately costs a little more. If your electricity costs a little more than running on fuel, fill up the battery anyway. And GM, I'm begging you, make an SUV or CUV with a Voltec or boltec drivetrain - I will buy one. If every one of us does a little something to wean ourselves from sipping the oily Kool-aid then we won't even notice when fuel prices change. Make OPEC irrelevant again (alike before the 70's gas crisis). We are at war with OPEC, we need to take those bullies down. Not with guns and missiles, but with our spending habits.

So the quickest way for me to get out of not caring about spending $8 per day, $40 per week, about $160+ per month for Chargepoint at work is to not have a payment in the world. I'm on the PB&J and Ramen diet (or as some would say, beans and rice, rice and beans) for the next few years to knock this out. Once done, it's steak and lobster, lobster and steak baby!!!
 

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After a while some of us stop trying to calculate MPG or MPGe. Today's report from VoltStats on my 2017

you should consider joining Voltstats.net as it will help you gather and understand how your Volt is performing and can compare it to others.
 

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Hi all,

I am the proud owner of a 2017 Volt. I came from a 2014 Prius plugin and this car is a totally different animal. It actually feels like a sporty car with plenty of pep.

... I still have not figured out how to read the display in the Volt. Maybe my approach to this is wrong, but it seems difficult to tell when I am about to exit the EV and have the ICE kick in. If i could figure out when the transition happens, I would try to keep the car in EV. I am starting to think thats not how the Volt works.


Congratulations and welcome! The Volt runs in two modes, Charge Depleting mode (on the battery), and CS mode (Charge Sustaining mode -- internal combustion engine). When the EV Range goes to zero, on the lower left, you are in CS mode. You can also manually put the car in Hold mode to save your battery for later. At speeds greater than 45 mph, the engine will usually run constantly and connect directly to the wheels via a kind of overdrive efficient clutch. At slower speeds, the engine is connected via the continuously variable transmission, and will cycle on and off as needed like a conventional hybrid. The battery always siphons off excess energy from the Car's momentum, or when you're slowing down, or when you're going down hill. The car controls all of this and there's not much you can or need to do in CS mode. There is a display that shows what direction the energy is flowing right now, and if the ICE is active at this exact moment.




-I have seen alot of threads about the savings with electric power... At the cheapest, I can find a 0.15/kWh station, but most are 0.25-0.30. Based on rough calcs, that seems to be more than the 2.69/gal of gas I can buy at the local gas station. For my home, the two options I am exploring are TOU and tiered. I explored TOU options and peak is north of 0.30/kWh.
Yeah, I'm not from California, but if I were you I would get TOU and limit my charging to TOU overnight. There is a charging screen that controls when your car charges instead of charging immediately. Also, you can set your home location to default to charging at 12 amps at home, instead of 8 amps. Otherwise you have to manually override it to 12 amps each time. If you have a home locaton set, the Volt will charge immediately everywhere else other than your home location. As others have mentioned, 240v charging is much faster and always charges at the maximum amperage. I would stick to free public charging, TOU overnight, and gasoline.
 

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Thank you all for the great advice! Your responses have provided me with a lot of insight. And now that I have had more time to use the infotainment system, I have a better understanding of how the Volt works, relative to the Prius. Definitely is a fun car to get to learn.

The one frustrating thing I am finding with electric cars in general is the fragmented market for charging stations. I have signed up for a Chargepoint account as this is the most popular in Southern California, but it seems like Siemens is also popular. Are there any sights or universal accounts I should sign up for which will allow me to use any station? Thanks again!
 

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Thank you all for the great advice! Your responses have provided me with a lot of insight. And now that I have had more time to use the infotainment system, I have a better understanding of how the Volt works, relative to the Prius. Definitely is a fun car to get to learn.

The one frustrating thing I am finding with electric cars in general is the fragmented market for charging stations. I have signed up for a Chargepoint account as this is the most popular in Southern California, but it seems like Siemens is also popular. Are there any sights or universal accounts I should sign up for which will allow me to use any station? Thanks again!
You at least have a plethora of places to charge. Try finding a charging stating anywhere in rural east central Illinois.
 

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99.999999% of my charging is done in my garage. :) .000001% at a relative's home.
 

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99.999999% of my charging is done in my garage. :) .000001% at a relative's home.
I agree 99% charging at home. But we have also charged or plugged in overnight at a bed & breakfast, and at a couple of different hotels, and at a couple of destinations that had free chargers. Occasionally, such public charging works out. I have a chargepoint account. At home, we have a Clipper Creek which charges at the gen2 Volt's maximum rate of 3.6kw @15amps*240v and charges up the battery at 12mph. Most commercial chargers use 3-phase 208v instead of 240v, which drops the gen2 charging rate to 3.3kw @16amps, which is 11mph charging. Such public chargers usually support 32amps on Bolts and Leafs and the charging rate doubles to 6.6kw, but the gen2 Volt is limited to 16amps.

Since most public chargers that aren't free charge at least $1 or $2 per hour, there are no circumstances under under which paid public charging makes sense for your gen2 Volt. It will take 3.5-4 hours to get an equivalent of 1 gallon of gas from an L2 charger. Do the math....
 

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At the moment our nice low fuel prices are OPEC's way of asking our domestic oil producers to bend over and stop fracking operations because they would operate at a loss if they continued. As soon as we stop fracking, they'll decrease production and jack that price up again. The only way we can reduce the effect on our gas prices is to stop relying on petroleum as a primary fuel source. So if your car can run e-85, use it even though it ultimately costs a little more. If your electricity costs a little more than running on fuel, fill up the battery anyway. And GM, I'm begging you, make an SUV or CUV with a Voltec or boltec drivetrain - I will buy one. If every one of us does a little something to wean ourselves from sipping the oily Kool-aid then we won't even notice when fuel prices change. Make OPEC irrelevant again (alike before the 70's gas crisis). We are at war with OPEC, we need to take those bullies down. Not with guns and missiles, but with our spending habits.

So the quickest way for me to get out of not caring about spending $8 per day, $40 per week, about $160+ per month for Chargepoint at work is to not have a payment in the world. I'm on the PB&J and Ramen diet (or as some would say, beans and rice, rice and beans) for the next few years to knock this out. Once done, it's steak and lobster, lobster and steak baby!!!
Stop blaming it on OPEC....US companies are just as complicit as OPEC is if not more so and they are in bed with them as well. Don't think for a second they are not. It's the average citizen that loses...not US companies and oil and gas giants.
 

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I agree 99% charging at home. But we have also charged or plugged in overnight at a bed & breakfast, and at a couple of different hotels, and at a couple of destinations that had free chargers. Occasionally, such public charging works out. I have a chargepoint account. At home, we have a Clipper Creek which charges at the gen2 Volt's maximum rate of 3.6kw @15amps*240v and charges up the battery at 12mph. Most commercial chargers use 3-phase 208v instead of 240v, which drops the gen2 charging rate to 3.3kw @16amps, which is 11mph charging. Such public chargers usually support 32amps on Bolts and Leafs and the charging rate doubles to 6.6kw, but the gen2 Volt is limited to 16amps.

Since most public chargers that aren't free charge at least $1 or $2 per hour, there are no circumstances under under which paid public charging makes sense for your gen2 Volt. It will take 3.5-4 hours to get an equivalent of 1 gallon of gas from an L2 charger. Do the math....
Well it may not make sense financially but I'd hope most people also want to drive electric for reasons beyond just economics.
 

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Costs roughly $1.40 to charge ~50 miles of EV range in my Volt at home at night.


Majority of cars barely get 30 MPG and a gallon of gas here is over $2.00 so I almost get double the range of gas cars per gallon and spend less money all while my car is charged from a sustainable means of energy generation at the convenience of my home. Nothing beats that that exists in this so called reality (might be a simulation :) )


So even when gas is cheap its still not cheaper than "expensive" electricity. At least for me here in SoCal.
 

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Switch to TOU and then plan your dishwashing, laundry during TOU. During the weekends and holidays, the TOU off peak times are longer. Before the TOU and without Volt, we were paying $210/month, we're on Tier 4 here. Then we got our Volt, we were billed at $360/month, but still cheaper than the cost of gas and electricity ($510/month). Then we enrolled at TOU, rescheduled our laundry and cookouts, our total bill is now $180/month with the Volt!!! Isn't it great? Our savings from original electricity and gasoline was $300/month, more than enough to pay off the lease. But we didn't want the lease, the Volt is for keeps.

Now we even saved further, there is a free charging station about 2.4 miles away from home. I charge there, and walk home, then my wife drops me off at the charging station to pick up the Volt. That 2.4 miles of brisk walk everyday has been good for my cholesterol level and keeping me in shape.
 

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I charge at home or I don't charge at all. Charging else where is a complete waste of time vs what you get and after tripping hotel circuit breakers in the middle of the night or melting an outlet at a relatives house. I just don't want the hassle for 50 miles of range.
 
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