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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my '13 Volt two months ago and I've put about 2,000 miles on it with less than 9 gallons of gas.

I would like to take a longer trip, maybe Yellowstone (258 miles) or Boulder,CO (550 miles). I've got other cars, and a motor cycle. I'm wondering how the trip would go.

Here are my assumptions:

I would drive to the highway (7 miles) in Normal, then switch to Hold. The ICE generator would kick in and I would be humming along at 70 mph, burning gas at a 35-40 mpg rate, and the battery charge would a) drop on uphills and b) increase on downhills. There would be an equal number of those, so I suspect I would arrive at my destination in reasonable time with a reasonable charge on the battery. I would use Plug Share to locate a charger (outside a restaurant, zoo, book store, etc) and top off the battery.

I would miss my Level-2 charger and might end up driving in Hold the entire time, which defeats the point of taking the Volt.

Is there something I'm missing? Do long drives in Hold recharge the battery (albeit inefficiently)? Are level 2 chargers available at hotels in general? I've never really looked for them. Plug Share shows chargers in many places, but when you zoom in they're few and far between.

Thoughts?

Thanks
 

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Generally hotels do not have Level 2 chargers. You could encourage hotels by asking or by choosing ones that do have chargers. (Although other hotels aren't going to know that you didn't choose it because it doesn't have a charger).
If we drive somewhere I now always ask when I get to the hotel, although we don't choose based on a hotel having chargers (in part because my wife will be the one to make the bookings). (I stayed at one hotel with a charger, but it was a pay charger where the design made it very hard to pay by credit card out of hours and that combined with the price made me give up when the automated system said there would be a "convenience fee".)

We've just done a road trip to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, over 1,600 miles in a week in our 2013 Volt. I don't know what I got for economy, but I think it was a bit over 40mpg. The car was generally saying a full tank was mid-500s km.
We have the leather seats and I've found it to be comfortable on this and other trips. (Not perfect, but certainly far from uncomfortable or painful).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
1600 mi is a road trip indeed. It sounds like running on the ice generator works fine. Thanks for the information.
 

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The Volt is a great highway car! Just forget about obsessing over the EV around town mode and drive it. Charge it if you can but don't worry if you can't. Just burn some cheap gas. The 700 pound battery placed directly in the center and as low as possible makes the Volt exceptionally stable, and the aerodynamics help with that as well. My Volt has been to Florida a couple times, NC numerous times even New Mexico and Arizona once. Great highway car!
 

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Mountain mode would work as well, it will keep the battery at half and you'll get to see that number creep up when you're going down long hills.
 

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In local driving, use the battery and at highway speeds, use the ICE. If you encounter traffic on the highway bringing speeds below 40-50MPH, flip back to the battery. If you run out of battery, you have no worries of course (as long as you have gas) as the Volt will flip back to using the ICE.

Local/slower/stop go driving = battery if you have charge left
Highway/Freeway speeds = ICE
 

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I agree with the ICE/EV suggestions. As for your mpg when operating the ICE, you should certainly expect closer to 40 than 35. I usually get a good 44 or so with highway driving at 70-75. Of course weight makes an impact and that figure is when it's just me with no luggage. Add a passenger and some luggage and I do notice a decrease in mpg. Generally speaking I can manage ~350 miles or so between a full tank and half battery (MM charge). I have not completely drained the tank to get a final figure, but I am able to make a 300 mile drive as such with about 1.5 gallons remaining (fill up just under 8 gallons).
 

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Yes, 35 mpg is reasonable expectation out in WY, especially if observing the 80 mph speed limits on a lot of the interstates.

Just drive the car. You aren't missing the point of the Volt. The point of the Volt is you can drive EV around town and worry free on the interstate. No range anxiety. If going up one of the summit's on I70 or I80 you might want to engage mountain mode before hand (15 mins before should be fine).
 

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I ran my Gen 2 (2017) Volt in Mountain Mode from Denver to New Hampshire and back. I was able to charge once on the way east and while I was there but not on the way home. When I was getting on and off the highway I switched to normal and used battery only, switching back to Mountain mode once I was done accelerating back onto the highway.

You might also want to download PlugShare to find level 2 chargers. Don't forget your EVSE charging cable for 120v charging. Some hotels will let you charge if they have an outlet. This is how I charged while on the road.
 

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Just returned from taking our '14 from North Texas to Nebraska then to KC and back home. Didn't worry about charging. Great trip with speeds up to 90mph.
 

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After owning three Volt's for over 5 years I have given up trying to "manage" the Volt. I now just drive it. Granted I haven't faced any mountains where I would need MM, but I do four things as a matter of course.

1. Changed out Dino oil to Mobil 1
2. Set tire PSI to 38 COLD (2 over recommend and will creep up to between 42-44 on long trips)
3. Call any hotel I plan on staying at and ask about dedicated EV charging or absent that access to an outlet.
4. Take advantage of ANY OPPORTUNE charging (PlugShare is a good source of info) but I don't schedule my activities around chargers.

Good luck and safe travels.
 

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I would just burn off the electrons you have in the bettery and not bother worrying about hold mode or mountain mode to conserve electrons. Use mountain mode if you are driving in mountains - that's what it's for. If you happen to find a charging location st the destination hotel or near any attractions, use them. All it takes is one time where you arrive with a half a battery full at a level 2 charger at the hotel where you would have been better off running on empty and filling it up overnight. Any charging will help your mpg, and if you can't find one, no range anxiety as there are gas stations everywhere.
 

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I recently took my Volt to Denver, my first major road trip with it. It performed very well. I do recommend charging it if you can. Denver has quite a few places to plug in. There's a big Museum/Zoo combo and the museum portion has 120V outlets and L2 chargers available. That's an all day ordeal BTW, very big zoo and museum. Plenty of time to charge up.

If you're lucky, the hotel you choose will have L2 chargers available. A few in Denver have them available, but they're pretty pricey. I recommend charging elsewhere. You could ask if they have outdoor outlets you could plug your portable EVSE into.
 

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I'm in the just-drive-it camp. Enjoy the trip. Don't over-think it.

Volt/ELR are great road cars. I especially like ACC and the planted feel of an EV.
 

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I just did an 800 mile trip....1/2 flat lands, 1/2 mountains. 3 adults plus a trunk full of sh....uh stuff, 70-75 mph, max A/C and I averaged 40.5 mpg. I started in normal until I hit the interstate (about 8 miles), put on HOLD (good thing I did, construction had us routed through a small town of 20 minutes of stop and go.....used NORMAL), back on interstate in MOUNTAIN MODE, final destination in NORMAL until battery was depleted !!! Car rode like a Buick :)
 

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I purchased my 2013 Volt in late November 2016. I brought the car home from the dealer and promptly loaded him up for a run from Greeley, Colorado to Phoenix, Arizona and back. Along the way I wanted to take as many non-interstate routes as time allowed just because I find that more interesting.
I left home with a full battery, ran it down to eight bars and just hit hold mode at that point. I ran in Normal or Sport mode when going slow in towns and Hold mode when speeds were greater than 60 mph. I did get to recharge a couple of times in Phoenix, but that's about it.
All told I registered over 2300 miles in eight days and with an overall fuel economy of just above 42 MPG.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks one and all: I missed the MtnMode's background recharge thing. GM did a great thing when it designed the Volt. It's such a hoot. I checked the dealer where I bought min (Clean Air Utah) and noticed that he's all out of Volts. He had three left ('12, '14, '14) a few days ago. I want another one, to replace my wife's '06 Mazda 6. It's a nice car, but it's not "smart" like the Volt. Thank you all. It's good to know there are smart people on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My oil is at 86% still, but if/when the time comes, Mobil 1 it will be.
I brought my tire pressure to 38 psi too: in UT, with daily temps into 3 digits, the tires were ballooning. Now, when hot, they hit 41-41 psi.
Good idea about calling the hotels: my 120V charger cable is in the pocket below the hatch floor.
I've got PlugShare and ChargePoint on my phone. I've found chargers with the former, but haven't had success with ChargePt yet.
THanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My son just started grad school at UCBoulder. We bought he and his gf a zoo pass when we helped him move there, and visited the zoo in March. Awesome, all day deal, that's for sure. Nice to know they have a L2 charger. When I was there in March I didn't yet own my '13 Volt. Thanks for the info..
 

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ChargePoint requires you to have a little card to "open" their units. I'd advise you to register ahead of time, as the card takes about a week and a half to come in the mail. Their site will tell you if the charging stations are free or if they charge.
 
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