GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been looking for a while for an Ampera/Volt, and I finally found a 2014 Electron in nice condition, with 135,000 miles on, it looks well cared for. For many years in my cars I've had an interest in hypermiling, of sorts anyway, I don't employ any drastic techniques other than being gentle and generally slow. I secretly thought that when I got my Ampera that I would get some pretty high mileages on electric.
I collected it yesterday, it was around 7c / 45f, the display said 31 miles till empty, and indeed it was within a mile of that by the time the engine fired up, I was super careful, and the heater was low and sometimes off.
so, overnight I charged it again, and this morning, after a precondition that got cut somewhat short, I set off to run some errands around town, heater was low, I was making full use of regen in L, and going at a speed just a fraction faster than would annoy following cars. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, but got about the same, around 30 to 32 miles.
I must say that the range estimate is incredibly accurate (I guess if you drive carefully) but somehow I expected that careful driving would extend it somewhat. does this sound normal for these kind of temperatures ? the car can't be garaged overnight unfortunately

question, when I fully charge and it suggests I'll go 32 miles, how much of this guess comes from previous recent driving ? ....... but if that's the case, I still failed to do better than what the car thought, is it because of the weather ?

sorry for the most common question (again)

edit : I did however manage 45.5 USmpg / 54.7 UKmpg over the remaining 180 miles on Petrol, pretty pleased with that... but only helped by the serious amount of slow road works speed limits on our motorways currently :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
The heater is a killer, turn it off if you want decent range. Tires matter also, winter tires reduce the range by about 10% vs low rolling resistance summer tires. I have a Gen2 Volt which is rated at 53 miles of range. In non-winter months I get around 72 miles of range on back roads at 35-40 MPH, right now I'm getting around 55 with the heater off, it drops to around 40 miles or less if I turn the heater on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I see, I think my tyres are slightly low, I think they're at 35psi, and I thought I'd read online that GM say 38psi, and some owners go above 40. I know that they're the standard fit tyres for a UK Ampera, I don't think that winter tyres are so popular in the UK

thanks for the advice :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,231 Posts
I see, I think my tyres are slightly low, I think they're at 35psi,
That not slightly low, that's awful. Keep them at 38 psi minimum, low 40's will give better miles though a bit harsher ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
I see, I think my tyres are slightly low, I think they're at 35psi, and I thought I'd read online that GM say 38psi, and some owners go above 40. I know that they're the standard fit tyres for a UK Ampera, I don't think that winter tyres are so popular in the UK

thanks for the advice :)
OK you didn't say where you lived, if you were in Germany or Norway you would need snow tires but England has very mild winters relative to the East Coast of America. London is at the same latitude as Northern Canada and yet London is about 15F warmer in the winter than Boston, it's not fair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
@38psi Cold, the pressure will increase up to 42-43 psi while highway driving. Thats what I typically see when I drive any extended distances.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,011 Posts
For what it's worth, the hypermile target to beat in an Ampera/Gen 1 Volt is 83 miles/133km on a single charge. I'm not even close to that, so I gave up trying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
... I secretly thought that when I got my Ampera that I would get some pretty high mileages on electric.
... I was making full use of regen in L, ... but somehow I expected that careful driving would extend it somewhat. does this sound normal for these kind of temperatures ? ...

question, when I fully charge and it suggests I'll go 32 miles, how much of this guess comes from previous recent driving ? ....... but if that's the case, I still failed to do better than what the car thought, is it because of the weather ?
I'd say you're doing just fine. As others suggested, increase the tire (tyre?;)) pressure to at least what the manual recommends, and go an extra 2-3 lbs if the ride doesn't become too harsh for you.

To answer your questions, yes, the guess comes from previous recent driving. How much of that driving goes into the equation is a topic of debate. You failed to do better because you probably drive like the previous owner! And, as others have said, weather is a big factor (low temps = low miles), mostly because we like the heater (higher cabin temp = lower miles).

At the risk of starting yet another D vs L argument, let me suggest that you try driving in D. When you step on the brake pedal, you are regenerating (the physical brakes only engage in panic stops and at speeds less than 5 mph or so), plus you get the benefit of coasting without having to micromanage your foot pressure on the "gas" pedal. You might see a mileage increase. Or, you might not (hopefully that will satisfy the 'L' advocates :p)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
For what it's worth, the hypermile target to beat in an Ampera/Gen 1 Volt is 83 miles/133km on a single charge. I'm not even close to that, so I gave up trying.
for gen 2, the target is 122 miles/196 km to a charge on level ground at 22 mph.
200 miles to a charge based on the highest mountain that a forum member can find...
I managed to get 175 miles to a charge, cruising down from Yosemite to Fresno... But next day, after a full charge, the GOM only shows I can get 86 miles to a charge even if I slid downhill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Someone asked me the model of my car, it's a 2014, with 137,000miles, and a 57(UK) lifetime mpg (I think I make it that it's done 100,000 on ICE and the rest on electric ?

whilst I wait of my replacement charger, I used MM to charge while stationary, it suggested a 14 mile range, I used up 12 of that with 'super careful' driving with very minimal heat, and the remaining 2 miles had become 1 mile by the time I got into the car to come home from work... that showed 0 miles as I set off, already showing the 'fuel tank' and the engine fired up after another .6 mile. I reckon I travelled something like 13.7miles, a very accurate guess of range by the car, impressed with that, still surprised I can't beat it. I guess it must be the temperature

theres a guy on youtube, who showed his fully charged car, in 47f temperature, estimating 41 miles of range, how did he manage to get those numbers if he's in temperatures rather similar to mine ? (perhaps his car is generally garaged overnight, and starting out with a pre-conditioned battery every time, on a super easy non-stop cruising type of route ?)

..... but if I can't beat the cars (accurate) estimates of range, how could I ever expect to get that range up ?

I'll be able to practice better once I get my charger back working
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,590 Posts
and down hill with the wind at his back

there is map software that may help you see ele changes between 2 points.

after you play the electricity range game for a few months it is time to do the same with gas only ;-)

98.5 % battery only for a year then the car wanted me to burn the WHOLE tank of gas .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Haha, thanks for the reply. I will persevere, really enjoying the quality of the car though, a nice solid car, that’s nice to drive too, I’m impressed :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
98.5 % battery only for a year then the car wanted me to burn the WHOLE tank of gas .
When my first year ended in March, 2017, I had never used the engine at all except for EMM, but the car insisted on burning a full tank of dealer supplied gas. Even now after 2 1/2 years I have only used the engine once for about 100 miles. I had to make an almost 200 mile trip to visit a friend in the hospital. Since that first FMM, I only keep 3 gallons of non-ethanol in the tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Here in Seattle, I expect to get about 30 miles electric on my 2012 this time of year when the temperatures are in the mid 40's to 50, at least when it's dry. Less when it's raining. And that's with butt warmers and with as minimal use of the defogger as my Volt will allow. Also, my Volt is not garaged, it sits out in the cold at night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,454 Posts
the range estimate has 2 calculations running, one is the "just turned in on" calculation, that looks at your last couple of weeks' driving effectivetly, it might be recency weighted, I never figured that out. then once you have started the car, it looks an the last few miles pretty heavily, and adjusts for projected range based on your usage over the last 5 or so miles and your current charge level. the 2 calculations interact is such a manner that you won't usually notice the adjustment, but if you drive up a long hill at highway speeds or down a long hill (5-6 miles) you will notice projected range chaging in ways that you would not project. as for "hypermiling" or whatever it is, you can't fool an electric drive system in the same ways that you can game an internal combustion drive system. It is paying attention to newtons laws only and there is no "oh look, the engine has an effciency curve, lets see if we can use it better" and "the ICE gets more efficient as the air gets more dense.
2 other points, L does not provide more/better regenerative braking, but someof us think that it is less efficient because it used more regenerative braking with its inherent 40% cycle losses, at times when you should be coasting. if youleave it in drive and are more careful about planning your accelerations decelerations, you will do better than "l" and your brake pedal gives you all teh same regeneration as does "l", with the added benefit of being able to be modulated continuously.
and finally, using mountain mode to charge, which you mention somewhere, is inefficient. it is more efficient to use that gas just drive. there have been months long battles about this here, and there may be a tiny collection of speeds and conditions where this is not true, but in 99.5% of the time, you are wasting energy by using mountain mode to charge. this is due principally to the cycle losses involved in putting charge into and then getting it back out of the battery.
have fun
Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
...and finally, using mountain mode to charge, which you mention somewhere, is inefficient. it is more efficient to use that gas just drive. there have been months long battles about this here, and there may be a tiny collection of speeds and conditions where this is not true, but in 99.5% of the time, you are wasting energy by using mountain mode to charge. this is due principally to the cycle losses involved in putting charge into and then getting it back out of the battery.
have fun
Paul
FWIW, the OP posted in another thread of lousy gas mileage (27.5 mpg, 18.5 mpg) when making several short trips in stop and go traffic in cold weather. His EVSE had gone on the fritz and he couldn’t charge at home from the wall until a new one arrived.

I suggested he use MM to recharge to the ~4 bar level and drive on battery power for better fuel economy. I thought it likely the distance he could drive on a MM-recharged battery would be greater than the distance he was getting using the same amount of gas in a cold engine. If a 2012 Volt recharged via MM using 0.36 gallons of gas (self charging Chevy Volt video) can then get 14 battery powered miles from that battery, that’s 38.9 mpg, or better than the window sticker rating of 37 mpg (don’t know if the OP’s 2014 Volt’s larger battery might use a tad more gas for the MM recharging).

I agree with you that most of the time energy would be wasted using Mountain Mode to recharge. I suggest this is because MM is usually being used while driving at highway speeds through mountains, or, for 2011/2012 Volts, as a substitute for Hold Mode (again, usually used while driving distances at highway speeds). Gas mileage is usually good when cruising at highway speeds, so using gas for normal Extended Range Mode driving on the highway would likely get better gas mileage than using MM-recharged battery power under those conditions.

Gas mileage is less impressive when the battery is fully depleted and you have lots of stop and go driving to do (perhaps you are at a travel destination and have no place to plug in). It could well be that recharging via MM and driving around town on MM-recharged battery power may provide better fuel economy than driving with the engine running.

I note that when driving in Extended Range Mode, the engine is turned off and on as needed to minimize fuel use while meeting the power needs of the motor. When MM is recharging the battery, the engine can run full tilt until the battery is charged. Seems to me you might get better fuel economy during the recharging of the battery. If the MM-recharged battery is then used for stop and go, around town driving, you might be able to drive further on MM-recharged battery power than by using the same amount of gas to drive in normal Extended Range Mode.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
thanks guys for the info, I must say that using MM for a one-off charge seemed to be a success, I achieved a greater distance than without that 40% charge, and it was kinda nice to have the engine get hot for a change (smelled seriously hot !) but the good news is that I have a workable charger now, so all is well :)

thanks for your comments, you're really helpful to those of us who are new, it takes a lot of adjusting, at least if you're interested in the finer points, which I am, I guess some just plug it in when they feel like it, and simply drive without much more thought
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
When my first year ended in March, 2017, I had never used the engine at all except for EMM, but the car insisted on burning a full tank of dealer supplied gas. Even now after 2 1/2 years I have only used the engine once for about 100 miles. I had to make an almost 200 mile trip to visit a friend in the hospital. Since that first FMM, I only keep 3 gallons of non-ethanol in the tank.
I’ve had 3 FMMs in the 6+ years I’ve been driving my 2012 Volt. I drive 99+% ev around town, but about once a year I take a long vacation drive that involves filling the gas tank a few times, including a final one before arriving home again, leaving me with enough gas to avoid range anxiety for a year. Sometimes the next vacation trip doesn’t happen within the 12 month interval limit, and the FMM arrives.

What I accidentally discovered when the time for the second FMM arrived (after concluding my previous year’s trip in November) was that if your previous fill-up occurred in the winter season, the approach of the time for the next FMM means you can convince yourself to get a head start on the gas burning by using Hold Mode for cabin heat on those cold driving days (or, in my 2012 Volt case, Mountain Mode). For several days or more, your cabin is toasty warm without running down the battery. Then, by the time the FMM message actually appears on the DIC and depending on when you remembered the time was near, you’ve already used up much of the gas you need to burn.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top