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My very occasional drive from home into the Big City is about 40 miles, or just about the range of my 2015 Volt. Is there a quick rule of thumb that can tell me whether it is more cost effective to pay to charge rather than using gas on my way home? I just got my Volt and haven't used a public charging station yet. I hear that they can charge by time or by the amount of electricity used. What should I keep in mind? Such as, "If the price of gas is above X and the cost per (hour/Kwh) is below X, it's cost effective to pay for a charge."
 

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Welcome to the gamification of driving. I assume you will find a set location or a network to use which should stabilize the electric side of the equation. Yes charging does vary a lot so make sure you research and then verify. A few things to keep in mind: If the charging is by kw keep in mind it will be closer to 13 kwh [rounded up] due to inefficiencies. Also your EV miles will decrease in winter so the calculations will vary by season. It's easy to get lost in the details so hopefully you can get to a happy place and just enjoy the ride.
 

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A very general rule of thumb is that a Gen 1 Volt can travel about as far in Electric Mode on a full charge (i.e., ~40 electric miles) as it can in Extended Range Mode using 1 gallon of gas (~40 gas miles), so it’s sort of the cost of electricity for a full charge vs the price of a gallon of gas in your neck of the woods to go the same distance, keeping in mind, too, that public charging is often more expensive than at-home charging,

Charging your fully depleted Volt battery at the L2 level (240 volts) takes ~4 hours (= ~1 gallon of gas), or ~10 miles (= ~ 1 quart of gas) of charging per hour, so it’s also a question what your time is worth. Do you have things to do while the Volt is being charged, or are you mostly hanging around the charging station for an hour or more just to avoid spending a dollar or two on gas?
 

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Just use gas unless charging is convenient. If you're looking at money then, at best, charging will be about the same as the price of gas. However, you will have to run the engine periodically so why not do it for miles you'll need to drive anyway. Unless charging is free, it's cheaper to run on gas.

The only trick is this: Since EV mode is more efficient in traffic, use Hold to make sure you use this in traffic.
 

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Not paying for electricity (away from home) is pretty much what I planned on; just wanted to check. I would never sit around waiting for a charge when I can just use gasoline. I was thinking about when we go to see a play in the Big City, and have discovered (thanks PlugShare) that the electricity at one venue is free (parking is extra). Even so, I might leave that station open for a BEV.
 

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So far the only time I've even put my EVSE back in the car for a long trip was last Christmas when I knew the entire family was going to want to experience true EV driving.
 

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Not paying for electricity (away from home) is pretty much what I planned on; just wanted to check. I would never sit around waiting for a charge when I can just use gasoline. I was thinking about when we go to see a play in the Big City, and have discovered (thanks PlugShare) that the electricity at one venue is free (parking is extra). Even so, I might leave that station open for a BEV.
Rather than leave it open, I'd just say not to try too hard to seek out charging. If chargers are busy, they have reason to install _more_ chargers.

Destination charging and home-away-from-home hotel charging are both important part of the near-EREV/EREV approach. It's on-the-road charging that EREVs don't need.
 

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If/when more destination charging is available and the destination covers the cost (as they should), I will use it. I charge at the Kohl's department stores that have them as they get it. They are free and I therefore go in and spend money in the place. If more places do this such as malls or food places, then I would go to those more often. I went to movies and used one that was like 2 cents every 30 seconds and it cost me about 9 dollars!!! Fool me once...

Unfortunately, too many charge by the time and not the energy used. This is bad when you can only charge at 3.3 or even slower.
 

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With the exception of a free station downtown where I'll park and go have lunch, I don't bother to look for charging stations. If a station is going to charge more than burning gas, I just burn gas.
 

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If it's free, sure (or "free" as in included in cost of parking, which you need to pay anyway).
If it's pay per use, it will probably cost more than gas, so just use gas.

I've only ever plugged in once away from home, at an ikea (free; for about an hour while I shopped).
 

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As a rule of thumb, at average rates around the country, it should cost you no more than $1.00 to $1.75 in electricity to fully charge a Gen 1 Volt. Anything you are paying beyond that is overhead and/or profit for the charger kiosk company.

Since a gallon of gas will take me further than a $2.00+ charge, I simply can't imagine using those pay chargers yet.
 

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The only trick is this: Since EV mode is more efficient in traffic, use Hold to make sure you use this in traffic.
To be clear, the efficiency of the Gen 1 electric motor does not depend on the fuel source, i.e., when driving through a 20 mph school zone, the motor is no more efficient in Electric mode using battery power than it is in Extended Range mode using gas-generated power. In general, slower speed = better mileage = more efficient, i.e., speed, not mode.

Seems to me using Hold to save the battery for slow-speed use is more a matter of personal preference than efficiency, especially if your primary intent is to experience the "quietness" of electric power driving during the slower speed portions of your trip.

Efficiency can be in the eye of the beholder. When driving beyond battery range, it is "more efficient" to generate power "on the fly" using the ICE than it is to stop for hours and plug into the grid to recharge the battery for the fuel needed to complete the drive. Creative use of Hold may squeeze out an extra 3-5 electric miles by saving battery power for use under slower speed conditions where ev mileage is better, but does the technique really do more than replace a small number of gas miles with ev miles, reducing the total trip gas consumption by 1 quart or less?
 

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Hold for slow speed has to do with the engine revving up and down, on and off - less efficient than humming away with a steady power draw. Especially in cold weather, where the engine is losing heat and needs to warm back up to be efficient after being off for 10 mins during a slow crawl.
In such a situation, you'd be better off using hold or mountain when cruising at a steady rate and let the engine supply that, then work from battery for slow, stop and go, and irregular travel.

An added bonus is the quietness of EV mode in slow traffic, which is where the engine is most noticeable and harsh sounding in contrast.
 

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My very occasional drive from home into the Big City is about 40 miles, or just about the range of my 2015 Volt. Is there a quick rule of thumb that can tell me whether it is more cost effective to pay to charge rather than using gas on my way home? I just got my Volt and haven't used a public charging station yet. I hear that they can charge by time or by the amount of electricity used. What should I keep in mind? Such as, "If the price of gas is above X and the cost per (hour/Kwh) is below X, it's cost effective to pay for a charge."
Don't forget to factor in your desire to run on electric rather that fuel. It isn't always about $$.
 

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To be clear, the efficiency of the Gen 1 electric motor does not depend on the fuel source, i.e., when driving through a 20 mph school zone, the motor is no more efficient in Electric mode using battery power than it is in Extended Range mode using gas-generated power. In general, slower speed = better mileage = more efficient, i.e., speed, not mode.
It's about the efficiency of the generator not the motor.
 

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It's about the efficiency of the generator not the motor.
Then it seems misleading to say "EV mode is more efficient in traffic" if the primary benefit of using Hold is to increase the efficiency of the ICE when driving in Extended Range mode.
 
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