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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have experience with the Volt for newspaper delivery or anything similar? Basically its a lot of accelerating and decelerating/stopping at each house, and a lot of idling when we have to porch some papers.

I'm looking at a used 13/14 Volt.

I figured a hybrid would be amazing for this kind of driving, since it should regen a lot of power from the slowing and stopping, but I asked a co-worker about his Prius and he only gets ~27mpg during a Sunday delivery session.
Although, now that I'm doing the math, this doesn't seem correct. That's like 55% the rated mileage.
My other friend in his newish Corolla gets ~22mpg while delivering, for like 70% the rated mileage.
My 1999 Chevy Prizm is old and doesn't have an automatic mpg calculator, but looking at the numbers when I fill up, I get around 25mpg overall. Seems about right comparing with the Corolla.

I thought a hybrid should do better in lots of stop-n-go, not worse. :confused:

Anyways, does anyone have an idea how many miles I should be able to do in a Volt? My typical work day is about 50 miles, with about 15 of them being on the highway to work, so I was figuring 15 miles on gas and 35 on electric would be about right. Here in California, summer nights should be perfect weather for the battery.
 

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Best way would to put it in hold mode on the highway, then when you start the paper route, switch to normal (electric). Normal is the most efficient mode for start/stop, and the gas engine will be OFF the whole time you are in normal mode. Should you run down the battery, no worries, the engine will start automatically and you will keep on driving on gas.

My 2013 Volt, after driving 15 miles in HOLD mode, would be good for about 40-45 miles on battery (in Houston, with the A/C running), but constantly starting and stopping will demand more power than steady driving. Even though you gain some due to regen when stopping, accelerating from a stopped position takes more power (try pushing your car from a stop and see how hard it is to get up to speed). So I would guess you might lose 10 miles of range on a stop-start paper route. You MIGHT make the whole 35 mile route on battery, then would use some gas for the 15 mile drive home.

The Prius, like any other car where the gas engine runs all the time, will get its worst mileage if constantly stopping and starting. The Volt should be better overall due to all the start-stop driving being in electric (normal) mode.

(from a former bicycle paperboy)
 

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The big pain will be when you stop and get out with the key in your pocket to deliver a paper to the porch, the car will emit the dreaded triple honk to remind you that the car is running and wake up the neighbors.

A workaround could be to leave the keys in the car, the. Someone could steal it while you are on the porch.

The problem with trying to get better fuel mileage is that it's always cheaper to drive what you have and pay for gas than to get a newer, more expensive car. The money saved on fuel won't pay for the car.
 

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I haven't done newspaper delivery but I have done limited pizza delivery and for the most part I'm exclusively on battery. The problem with a hybrid is that the engine only runs when needed, and frequently it's not on long enough to get fully warmed up before your done if your on battery mostly which makes a huge impact on efficiency. This would explain the loss of rated MPG vs an ICE which will idle when stopped continuing to build heat in the engine.

On another note, the slow speeds that may be required likely won't produce much regen as I would imagine your driving up and down streets at a fairly consistent low speed with the occasional stop where you can't throw the paper from your window, if that's how your route works.

Looking at your driving estimation, I will agree that the highway driving should be done in hold with the remaining battery being sufficient for your delivery portion to be entirely or nearly entirely battery only.
 

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Note that the 2011 and 2012 models didn't have Hold mode.
 

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I haven't done newspaper delivery but I have done limited pizza delivery and for the most part I'm exclusively on battery.
Maybe Domino has a better idea by modifying a Chevy Spark to carry the pizzas, including an onboard hot oven!! See more here:
http://www.dominosdxp.com/
http://www.autonews.com/article/20151021/RETAIL03/151029966/dominos-modified-chevrolet-spark-can-pack-in-80-pizzas

I suspect that it is a gas only Spark, but a EV version will drive better if the oven has its own propane tank as its heat source.
 

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Best way would to put it in hold mode on the highway, then when you start the paper route, switch to normal (electric). Normal is the most efficient mode for start/stop, and the gas engine will be OFF the whole time you are in normal mode. Should you run down the battery, no worries, the engine will start automatically and you will keep on driving on gas.

My 2013 Volt, after driving 15 miles in HOLD mode, would be good for about 40-45 miles on battery (in Houston, with the A/C running), but constantly starting and stopping will demand more power than steady driving. Even though you gain some due to regen when stopping, accelerating from a stopped position takes more power (try pushing your car from a stop and see how hard it is to get up to speed). So I would guess you might lose 10 miles of range on a stop-start paper route. You MIGHT make the whole 35 mile route on battery, then would use some gas for the 15 mile drive home.

The Prius, like any other car where the gas engine runs all the time, will get its worst mileage if constantly stopping and starting. The Volt should be better overall due to all the start-stop driving being in electric (normal) mode.

(from a former bicycle paperboy)
What he says. Save the battery by driving on hold on the highway. The low speed driving that you will be doing on your deliveries will extend the range of the Volt. EVs are very speed sensitive, the slower you drive the longer you can go.
 

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At the end of the month, your bank account deductions accounts for far more than just fuel...You have vehicle costs (monthly payment if not paid in full), maintenance, fuel, registration and insurance...While registration and insurance rules vary from state to state, starting with a lower cost MSRP vehicle can save a boatload...An used ICE spark/fit/versa utilizing $20 Pepboys oil changes will most likely save you money overall...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The Prius, like any other car where the gas engine runs all the time, will get its worst mileage if constantly stopping and starting. The Volt should be better overall due to all the start-stop driving being in electric (normal) mode.
Yeah, I expect it to get less than the rated mileage, but 55% the rated mileage vs 70% in an ICE-only car??

The big pain will be when you stop and get out with the key in your pocket to deliver a paper to the porch, the car will emit the dreaded triple honk to remind you that the car is running and wake up the neighbors.

A workaround could be to leave the keys in the car, the. Someone could steal it while you are on the porch.

The problem with trying to get better fuel mileage is that it's always cheaper to drive what you have and pay for gas than to get a newer, more expensive car. The money saved on fuel won't pay for the car.
Good to know. Just like leaving them in a regular key car.. More chance of accidentally leaving them in it, though.
This car is on its way out anyways. Spending like $20 a month on oil LOL. Plus no a/c, I will die this summer.


On another note, the slow speeds that may be required likely won't produce much regen as I would imagine your driving up and down streets at a fairly consistent low speed with the occasional stop where you can't throw the paper from your window, if that's how your route works.
Sort of yes, but also speeding up and slowing down a lot. I'll probably drive in low mode to make the most regen possible. I wish I could afford a bolt so I could get full stops on low mode.

Note that the 2011 and 2012 models didn't have Hold mode.
I'm looking at a 2013/14s, but that is good to know.


What he says. Save the battery by driving on hold on the highway. The low speed driving that you will be doing on your deliveries will extend the range of the Volt. EVs are very speed sensitive, the slower you drive the longer you can go.
By "extend the range", do you mean you think I'll get more than 35-40 miles of range, even with all the accelerating? Or do you just mean better than highway driving?
 

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By "extend the range", do you mean you think I'll get more than 35-40 miles of range, even with all the accelerating? Or do you just mean better than highway driving?
By utilizing the battery where it is more efficient. Highway driving on the battery is less efficient than slower speeds in which you will be doing more of. By using the ICE on the freeway it will run more efficiently than having to constantly start/stop to maintain the battery charge minimum as was discussed earlier.

Perhaps the phrase "extend the range" was incorrect but saying "preserve your electric range" would be more appropriate in this case.
 

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I think the Volt would be a great option. It wouldn't really save money compared to a cheaper ICE car, but it sure would be great knowing that you're using electrons instead of dinos!

I'd also consider the Nissan Leaf. These cars are going for less than $10k (Where I live at least) and most drivers get around 100 miles on them.

With conservative driving under 45 mph, I can get 53 miles during the summer time on my 2014 Volt.
 

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Sort of yes, but also speeding up and slowing down a lot. I'll probably drive in low mode to make the most regen possible. I wish I could afford a bolt so I could get full stops on low mode.
Folks, we really REALLY need to get past this whole "L maximizes regen" misconception. It maximizes nothing. When you take your foot off the long pedal in D, the Volt applies the regen brakes a little bit and you slow down slowly. When you take your foot off the long pedal in L, the Volt applies the regen brakes harder, and you slow down a little faster. The amount of energy recovered doing that from 30 to 4 MPH either way is basically the same, because that's how physics works. E = (m)(v1-v2). The same thing applies to the brake pedal. Unless you're panic-braking, 30 to 4 MPH still regenerates the same as L or D.

(And you're not regenerating, even in a Bolt, below 3-4 MPH. That last stopping is USING energy from the battery to slow the car, not giving it back (either by reverse torque or applying the friction brakes for you. I don't know for sure which, but I suspect the former). It only does that because people think "One-pedal driving is cool".)
 

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Folks, we really REALLY need to get past this whole "L maximizes regen" misconception. It maximizes nothing. When you take your foot off the long pedal in D, the Volt applies the regen brakes a little bit and you slow down slowly. When you take your foot off the long pedal in L, the Volt applies the regen brakes harder, and you slow down a little faster. The amount of energy recovered doing that from 30 to 4 MPH either way is basically the same, because that's how physics works. E = (m)(v1-v2). The same thing applies to the brake pedal. Unless you're panic-braking, 30 to 4 MPH still regenerates the same as L or D.

(And you're not regenerating, even in a Bolt, below 3-4 MPH. That last stopping is USING energy from the battery to slow the car, not giving it back (either by reverse torque or applying the friction brakes for you. I don't know for sure which, but I suspect the former). It only does that because people think "One-pedal driving is cool".)
The goal is to minimize regen, because regen is only about 70% effective at recapturing your momentum. If you don't waste that momentum in the first place.....it reall pisses me off when I'm pulling up to a red light, coasting, and someone celebrates to pass me only to slam on their brakes to stop. Meanwhile I'm rolling to a slow crawl and the light turns green. The guy accelerating and braking wasted all that energy while I conserved mine.
 

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You will want to replace the headlights on the 2013/2014 with LED or other brighter lights.

I'd stay away from pure BEV unless you are absolutely sure you'll never take turns throwing 'misses'.

(For those who haven't thrown papers, sometimes people have their papers stolen, or the driver actually forgot, or the route sheet had an error, or the paper got wet or damaged. The customer calls later that morning after all the papers are out, and these are misses. Somebody has to go throw them a paper. Some teams take turns throwing misses, others do not. Throwing misses one day can cover a lot of miles.)

The Volt would be fun to throw papers in.

1) It's quiet. I hate waking up people's dogs.
2) Instant response, tight handling. Very controllable, so you might be able throw papers that would have you stop in an ICE by using momentum.
3) No antenna, low roof, you can throw right side over the top or over the hood.
4) If you pull the passenger seat, it should have tons of room. On Black Thursday or a big Sunday, you could even bungie down the hatch on top of the papers since there are no exhaust fumes when driving in EV mode. Just take it easy until you move the papers into the passenger seat and fasten the hatch.
5) You could plug in while tying or loading to get some extra range.

I threw papers on bicycles and then by car in the 70's. I used a 1300 Beetle back then. Headlights were useless, barely syncro manual trans, scary handling when full of papers, and pathetic acceleration. It teaches 'energy conservation', in other words, never slow down or stop. You drive on the wrong side of the road at 3 am, 365 days a year, rain or shine, as fast as you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think the Volt would be a great option. It wouldn't really save money compared to a cheaper ICE car, but it sure would be great knowing that you're using electrons instead of dinos!

I'd also consider the Nissan Leaf. These cars are going for less than $10k (Where I live at least) and most drivers get around 100 miles on them.

With conservative driving under 45 mph, I can get 53 miles during the summer time on my 2014 Volt.
The LEAF was my first choice (that I can afford), but I have to many unpredictable things to worry about to get a BEV with under 200 miles range.

Folks, we really REALLY need to get past this whole "L maximizes regen" misconception. It maximizes nothing. When you take your foot off the long pedal in D, the Volt applies the regen brakes a little bit and you slow down slowly. When you take your foot off the long pedal in L, the Volt applies the regen brakes harder, and you slow down a little faster. The amount of energy recovered doing that from 30 to 4 MPH either way is basically the same, because that's how physics works. E = (m)(v1-v2). The same thing applies to the brake pedal. Unless you're panic-braking, 30 to 4 MPH still regenerates the same as L or D.

(And you're not regenerating, even in a Bolt, below 3-4 MPH. That last stopping is USING energy from the battery to slow the car, not giving it back (either by reverse torque or applying the friction brakes for you. I don't know for sure which, but I suspect the former). It only does that because people think "One-pedal driving is cool".)
So what you're saying is in L I will slow down faster, without having to worry about pressing the brake just the right amount myself. Cool, that's exactly what I want.
One-pedal driving would be amazing for me because then I don't have to put it in park every time I need to get out for a few seconds. (which is a lot of times)

I threw papers on bicycles and then by car in the 70's. I used a 1300 Beetle back then. Headlights were useless, barely syncro manual trans, scary handling when full of papers, and pathetic acceleration. It teaches 'energy conservation', in other words, never slow down or stop. You drive on the wrong side of the road at 3 am, 365 days a year, rain or shine, as fast as you can.
haha, that must have been rough. At least I have auto trans going for me. Thanks for the input. I don't throw misses, but there are other things that limit me from getting a limited range BEV.
 

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So what you're saying is in L I will slow down faster, without having to worry about pressing the brake just the right amount myself. Cool, that's exactly what I want.
It might be the right amount, it might not. It's not even "as many kw as regen can do". It's just a set level of "a lot" versus D's "some", with "least" a little lower than D, and "most" somewhat higher than L. Imagine this is the range of how hard you push the brake pedal, where - is regen and = is regen plus friction:

0|------D------------------------------------------------L-------------============skid/ABS|

The D and L are regenning just at set amounts of "braking".


One-pedal driving would be amazing for me because then I don't have to put it in park every time I need to get out for a few seconds. (which is a lot of times)
If you had one-pedal full stop the way the Bolt does it, the car would go into park automatically as soon as you open the door anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It might be the right amount, it might not. It's not even "as many kw as regen can do". It's just a set level of "a lot" versus D's "some", with "least" a little lower than D, and "most" somewhat higher than L. Imagine this is the range of how hard you push the brake pedal, where - is regen and = is regen plus friction:

0|------D------------------------------------------------L-------------============skid/ABS|

The D and L are regenning just at set amounts of "braking".




If you had one-pedal full stop the way the Bolt does it, the car would go into park automatically as soon as you open the door anyway.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but you sound like you're trying to say not to use L, but then you're describing what I want to happen. Sure it's not ideal; more regen without touching the brake would be better; but it's good.

Good to know about the Bolt automatically going into park, it would still be helpful, just slightly less so.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Got my Volt yesterday :D
My first work night I only had about half charge. I used hold mode on the way there, and then got about 2/3 of the way done with my routes before I ran out of battery. So I think with a full charge ill be able to even make it home on battery (just holding on the highway on the way there)

The big pain will be when you stop and get out with the key in your pocket to deliver a paper to the porch, the car will emit the dreaded triple honk to remind you that the car is running and wake up the neighbors.

A workaround could be to leave the keys in the car, the. Someone could steal it while you are on the porch.
I'm happy to inform you that this doesn't happen if you leave the door open. :)
 
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