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Hello,

I am new to the GM-Volt forum and wanted to introduce myself. I am an electric car enthusiast and have been watching the electric car market from the days of the EV1 and the early days of Tesla Motors on. I remember reading a review about an EV1 and was looking forward to being able to purchase an electric car myself. I am excited about the prospect of driving an electric car and decided that I would first get a Chevy Volt to start exploring the electric card world. I am currently shopping for a used Chevy Volt and have a few questions.

The range of used Volts I am looking at is between e.g.: a 2011 Volt with ~140K miles, some 2013, 2014 and a few 2015 models with around 80 to 100k miles.
What are some of the considerations of getting a high mileage Volt vs a newer model year?
I heard that Volts will last up to 300k miles, is that true?
I also heard that most Volts keep running with the original main battery well beyond the warranty period?
Are there model years with more issues which I should avoid?
I also heard that some Volt owners experienced a sudden loss of acceleration when they drive on a highway and the only way to resolve the issue is to get the car towed and serviced at a Chevy dealer?
Thank you in advance for any comments and answers to my questions!

Thank you!
ecat108
 

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For the 2011 - 2015 (Gen 1) Volt there are advantages to the later production cars. Starting in 2013 GM added Hold Mode based on feedback from Volt owners. Hold Mode enables the driver/operator to switch from battery mode to gas at anytime, conserve the remaining battery charge for later use. GM gradually increased the capacity of the Volt's battery pack, not by a lot but enough to make a difference in EV driving range. The Voltec warranty applies for 8 years or 100 k miles, so look for a Volt that is still covered by the Voltec warranty. The Voltec warranty covers the battery pack, electric drive and the on-board charger and some but not all of the high voltage electronics. Volt's sold in California have an additional 2 years and 50k miles added to the 8/100 warranty for the battery as stipulated by the California Clean AIr Board (CARB) for certain plug-in vehicles. For safety be sure to check that there is a backup camera as this was not standard on the Gen1 Volt.
 

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Welcome and good luck on your adventure of finding the perfect Volt. I personally went with a higher mileage '13, when I bought in '16. It had 93K at the time (highway commuter, 150 mile rt daily). Needless to say, the majority of those miles were gas (about 75K according to onstar). Although many people are concerned about the batteries, honestly, I haven't thought twice about mine. I currently have 152K, so I'm out of warranty on mine and still manage 35-43 on electric (rated 38). Recently I've been using the A/C quite heavily here in central CA and after a full charge I had an estimate of 35 electric miles although realistically I seem to get about 32. When the weather cools to more spring/fall like weather I've achieved 44 miles of actual range. Weather and climate control plays a significant role in range, along with how generous you like to get with the "go faster" pedal.

Fortunately the maintenance schedule on the Volt is very generous with oil changes only occurring every two years or so. and most other maintenance items at 100K/5 years.

Having a Volt last 300K+ is definitely possible, even on the original battery. These cars are approaching 10 years old for the oldest models, and as of yet, battery replacement is still a gray area as very few people have had issues, and those that did, nearly all occurred during the warranty coverage, so experiences on batteries seems to be pretty limited among those on here. There is one relatively "famous" 2012 Volt that exceeded 450K on the original battery until the owner was getting issues where it would no longer charge when plugged in. I believe however that the new owner discovered it was actually related to the drive unit (transmission), and nothing to do with the battery as I recall.

Unfortunately GM did a terrible job at marketing the Volt. It really is a vastly different hybrid design compared to the others out there. Most other plug in's utilize the engine even during "all electric mode" when full power is requested. The Volt does everything with the electric drive unit, with the engine just generating electricity 98% of the time. The other 2%, it does use the engine, but only during steady high speed (freeway) driving, and only when it determines its more efficient to do so.

As for any years to avoid.....not particularly, especially with the Gen 1 (11-15). These were very well engineered as GM knew they had to get this car right the first time since they just came out of bankruptcy. It just goes to show they CAN make a relatively problem free vehicle if they want to! The Gen 2, although still reliable, it is my understanding that it did take a slight step back in reliability, but nothing to really be too concerned about as almost any other model does the same regardless of who builds it (even toyota).

As for loss of power, the only instances I can think of that it would occur is if you run out of battery power when climbing a steep grade. The Volt drive unit can produce up to 149hp (111kWh). It does this through the power from the battery. The gas engine and in particular motor generator A, which the engine uses to produce power, is only capable of producing about 60 kWh (~80hp). If when climbing a hill and you need more than the available 80hp from the engine, it takes from the battery. If the battery is low enough that it can't provide the additional power, you will go into a "reduced propulsion mode". GM designed a mode called "mountain mode" which allows the engine to produce more power than the vehicle is currently using (up to it's max of about 60kWh) and stores it in the battery. It will continue to store additional power until the battery is about 45% charged, which gives you sufficient buffer power to climb just about any grade you can find. Unfortunately many don't fully understand that it takes about 20 minutes for this power to be produced and some engage mountain mode when they're already climbing or when they get the reduced power.....which doesn't do any good since the car can't produce enough power to build the battery AND keep the car moving at the same speed when climbing.

Hope that helps a bit with some of your questions. And again, welcome to the forum.
 
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