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As a new Volt owner, I noticed that I was using a lot of energy to heat the cabin on cold winter days. I decided to compare the power requirements for the different forms of heat that the Volt offers. When I set the instrument cluster to Classic Enhanced, it shows the power draw on the right side of the display. With my car plugged into 110V and the car turned on, it shows -1KW. I used this as the reference value. Here are the results for different heat settings:

Fan Only, -1 KW (ie. no change from the reference)
ECO Hi, cycles from -0.5 to 5 KW
MAX Hi, 5 KW, eventually cycles down
Steering Wheel Heat, -1 KW
Seat Heat High, -1 KW
Steering Wheel Heat + Both front seats on high, -1KW

My conclusions from this are that the fan, seat heaters, and steering wheel heat use very little power, not enough to register a change. 0.5 KW is the smallest change that will register. Both the MAX heat and ECO settings can use a lot of power with the ECO setting using less. I'm going to try to minimize using these as much a s possible.
 

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Costco had a sale on long johns back in early December. That's my (partial) solution.
 

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I'm going to try to minimize using these as much a s possible.
Why worry about it? If you have gas in the tank (you knew that, right) you can go as far as you want and be comfortable in any weather conditions.
:D ;)
 

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Yes, don't worry about seat heater use, negligible next to other draw. Heater and AC are the most (sometimes both run at same time). Read up how some people like ari_c maximize their range with pre heating (240 V EVSE helps here). I don't worry about it and put heat on eco or max (comfort setting in my 2012), but do sometimes switch to fan only a few miles before my destination since the air will blow warm until the coolant cools off. I would rather blow that heat into the interior rather than let it bleed off into the outside air after I park.
 

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Yup the seat heaters use ~90W of heat (0.09KW) on max setting. The steering wheel heater is about ~60W max (0.06KW). So if you want to maximise winter range use the car in fan only while using the seat heater and steering wheel for some direct comfort. Their energy use is practically negligible.

For my heater observations the Gen II Volt works different from the Gen I Volt.

In the Gen I Volt ECO puts out half the power of Comfort.

In the Gen II Volt ECO can actually put just as much power out as Max. However in ECO the fan speed is limited. It appears that the Gen II Volt uses a PID control to maintain coolant temperature (you can watch the power level pulse at different levels in the DIC power flow) and the lower fan speeds require less power to maintain coolant temperature. However upon startup ECO seems to use just about as much power as Max.

Also of note I've run into several instances of ERDTT now this winter. If you set the climate to Max with the lowest fan speed and a fairly high temperature set point it does a lot to limit ERDTT use (much more than the Gen I Volt did). In fact on a 10F morning on my 30 minute commute ERDTT would come on only once for a couple of minutes and then stay off the rest off my commute. Vs. Fan only where ERDTT would run about 4 times with the initial application taking nearly 5 minutes to cycle.
 

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Yup, newbs will be seeking out ways to try to stay EV as long and as far as possible. For me, i drove like a grandpa analyzing everything to death until exactly the 2 year mark when I decided I didn't need to shoot for 3 digit MPG as 75 MPG was good enough (Still blows away any Prius). I now roll in 74 degree comfort, doing 70 MPH on the interstate while sporting cool looking 18" rims and deep tread sticky tires - all causing a hit on my EV range. My advice, just drive, don't worry about it, and enjoy the ride.
 

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Just curious, why does 18" rims affect your mileage?
More metal, less rubber, overall more weight, thus more rotating resistance and less EV range. That's why street racers remove as much weight as possible from their wheels.
 

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As a new Volt owner, I noticed that I was using a lot of energy to heat the cabin on cold winter days. I decided to compare the power requirements for the different forms of heat that the Volt offers. When I set the instrument cluster to Classic Enhanced, it shows the power draw on the right side of the display. With my car plugged into 110V and the car turned on, it shows -1KW. I used this as the reference value. Here are the results for different heat settings:

Fan Only, -1 KW (ie. no change from the reference)
ECO Hi, cycles from -0.5 to 5 KW
MAX Hi, 5 KW, eventually cycles down
Steering Wheel Heat, -1 KW
Seat Heat High, -1 KW
Steering Wheel Heat + Both front seats on high, -1KW

My conclusions from this are that the fan, seat heaters, and steering wheel heat use very little power, not enough to register a change. 0.5 KW is the smallest change that will register. Both the MAX heat and ECO settings can use a lot of power with the ECO setting using less. I'm going to try to minimize using these as much a s possible.
You've essentially just confirmed what GM has already told us.
 

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srmarti is correct, GM put the heated seats and steering wheel in the vehicle so that we use those pieces of equipment before resorting to using HVAC systems in the car. I don't know that I've seen the power draws the way you state it vtech, so thanks for that.

I don't think I'll ever subject myself to being uncomfortable in my Volt in either hot or cold conditions, part of the beauty of having the ICE onboard is not having to compromise.
 

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I spend much of the winter commuting to work before five in the morning with single digit temperatures. I always wear a fleece base layer, two layers of socks, hiking boots, down mittens, and a down jacket. I have begun using the "Hold" setting to run the engine for the first few miles of my commute to overcome the Volt tendency to fire-up the engine at its own times. The heating system is only good enough to keep the windshield defrosted at winter temperatures in the mountains. Last year, I was getting 180 MPG lifetime average. This winter, I am trying to keep the average for the short commutes at a similar level while using the "Hold" setting for a few miles a day. My lifetime average dropped to 80 MPG after a 4,000-mile generator-based trip through the northern Rockies without plug-in access. Slowly, the lifetime average is rising a few miles per gallon each month.
 

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Why worry about it? If you have gas in the tank (you knew that, right) you can go as far as you want and be comfortable in any weather conditions.
:D ;)
Yup, newbs will be seeking out ways to try to stay EV as long and as far as possible. For me, i drove like a grandpa analyzing everything to death until exactly the 2 year mark when I decided I didn't need to shoot for 3 digit MPG as 75 MPG was good enough (Still blows away any Prius). I now roll in 74 degree comfort, doing 70 MPH on the interstate while sporting cool looking 18" rims and deep tread sticky tires - all causing a hit on my EV range. My advice, just drive, don't worry about it, and enjoy the ride.
Glad you guys are happy and comfy in your Volts. I am, too. But, since I dumped my Jeep GC CRD for my Gen2 Volt specifically because I was sick of using so much fuel, I am also enjoying maximizing my fuel economy. At just over 9k miles, I recently added fuel to the Volt for the first time. Pre-warming the car while it's still plugged in to 240V pays big dividends, and since I'm already dressed for winter when I get into the car, the climate settings can stay quite conservative without compromising my comfort. I never "worry" about saving fuel...I revel in it, and it makes driving this car even more interesting than it would be if I simply "didn't worry about it and enjoyed the ride". The whole point of purchasing this car, for me, was to use the least amount of fuel that I reasonably could. If I didn't care enough to take advantage of what the car has to offer in that regard, then the Volt would be the wrong car for me. YMMV...
 

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Glad you guys are happy and comfy in your Volts. I am, too.
Happy to hear it. That was my point. There is absolutely no need to be uncomfortable in a Volt. Personally I have not bought any gas since I was on vacation last July, and I still have a quarter tank left for winter. Now, THAT is enjoyable! Drive on. :D :cool:
 
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