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Discussion Starter #1
My first winter with 2018 volt. During June-November 2018, I got around 70 EV miles. Now that winter (temps are around 20-30F, but today is -8F) has arrived, my range has been 33 consistently. That's a huge drop. I knew the range will drop, but was expecting around 30% drop, but this is almost like 50% drop.

How is everyone else doing? I don't know how to make a poll, but would love to do a poll if allowed to see where folks are at.
 

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My first winter with 2018 volt. During June-November 2018, I got around 70 EV miles. Now that winter (temps are around 20-30F, but today is -8F) has arrived, my range has been 33 consistently. That's a huge drop. I knew the range will drop, but was expecting around 30% drop, but this is almost like 50% drop.

How is everyone else doing? I don't know how to make a poll, but would love to do a poll if allowed to see where folks are at.
A few questions:

Do you precondition your Volt's cabin for 10 or 20 minutes, while your Volt is still plugged in, before you leave home in the morning? If so, do you charge using Level 1 or Level 2?

Can you charge at work? Do you precondition your Volt's cabin before you leave work?

Do you use the Volt's electric heat? (That is how you can get estimated EV range of less than 40 miles in winter.)

If you use the electric heat, to what cabin temperature have you set the HVAC?

Do you have Engine Assist Heat set to Deferred?

Do you make maximum use of the Volt's heated seats and steering wheel if equipped?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Gonna try to reply in order.

-I precondition the car 5 mins before I get in. The car is sometimes plugged in (level 1). I said "sometimes" because I have free charging at work, so I mostly charge at work, and at home during weekends. I don't plug in the car in my garage during week days. So in the morning when I precondition, the car is not plugged in (except weekends).

-See above. I can't precondition at work because the garage is far from office. The remote app stops working for me also (because I denied to pay monthly fee for it.)

-I have the heat on every second that I am in the car for winter. Sometimes, the engine turns on due to ERDTT.

-I set to 85 F.

-I haven't checked, but ERDTT comes on when the coolant temp is low (30F?).

-Yes, both the seat and wheel heat is on. but I turned off the seat heat after 10 mins since I don't really like it that much.


A few questions:

Do you precondition your Volt's cabin for 10 or 20 minutes, while your Volt is still plugged in before you leave home in the morning? If so, do you charge using Level 1 or Level 2.)



Can you charge at work? Do you precondition your Volt's cabin before you leave work?


Do you use the Volt's electric heat? That is how you get estimated EV range of less than 40 miles in winter.


If you use the electric heat, to what cabin temperature have you set the HVAC?


Do you have Engine Assist Heat set to Deferred?


Do you make maximum use of the Volt's heated seats and steering wheel if equipped?
 

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My first winter of owning a Volt, I had your experience. In my second winter, I am doing much much better with my winter range. If you pay attention, you will learn all sorts of tricks, like a double warm up cycle with the car still plugged in, keeping your tires aired up to the max ( I run studded tires at 43 psi, great traction!), using the heated steering wheel and seats, and minimal use of the heater, using the ICE first on long trips, using anti fog fluid on your windows, etc.

My area isn't as cold this year as last year, but still on a 30F day last year I might go 35 miles on a charge, where I can easily do 45 miles this year, just by paying attention to details.
 

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Gonna try to reply in order.

-I precondition the car 5 mins before I get in. The car is sometimes plugged in (level 1). I said "sometimes" because I have free charging at work, so I mostly charge at work, and at home during weekends. I don't plug in the car in my garage during week days. So in the morning when I precondition, the car is not plugged in (except weekends).

-See above. I can't precondition at work because the garage is far from office. The remote app stops working for me also (because I denied to pay monthly fee for it.)

-I have the heat on every second that I am in the car for winter. Sometimes, the engine turns on due to ERDTT.

-I set to 85 F.

-I haven't checked, but ERDTT comes on when the coolant temp is low (30F?).

-Yes, both the seat and wheel heat is on. but I turned off the seat heat after 10 mins since I don't really like it that much.
I would try preconditioning for the full 10 minutes. Time your departure so you unplug, drive away, just as the preconditioning cycle ends and you leave for work. Turn off the electric heat (The cabin heater core will be warmed from the preconditioning cycle and provide at least 10 minutes of warm air.)

Switch to hold mode (use some gas) for the first 5 - 10 miles of your trip. It takes ~7 miles of highway driving for the engine coolant to come up to full temperature ~185F+, the engine coolant will start to heat the cabin when the engine coolant reaches 160F. You can display the engine coolant temperature on the Driver Information Console by using the Up and Down arrows on the right side of the steering wheel until Engine Coolant Temperature is displayed. Once the engine has reached full operating temperature you can change to Normal mode and run on the battery. You can set the HVAC to Eco or Max and as long as the engine coolant is still above 120F the Volt's HVAC will not use the electric heat as there will be sufficient heat from the engine coolant to provide cabin heat. If you do need to use the electric heat try pulsing it on and off every 5 minutes as this will help save the battery charge for driving the wheels.

Pick a more moderate cabin temperature when you are using the electric heat, start with 73F and then adjust as needed.

Set the heated driver's seat on the lowest setting and use the heated seats, this will help keep your body warm without becoming excessively warm.

Set cabin air to recirculate (this may cause the windshield to fog) so be prepared to use the front defroster feature as needed.

Wear a coat, hat and gloves; maybe insulated socks too. Try and limit your use of the electric heat because that is what is killing your EV range.

Since you have opted to not subscribe to the OnStar Remote Access Service, use your key fob to remote start the Volt before you leave. Sit in the Volt as the preconditioning cycle runs for at least 5 minutes before you unplug from the EVSE at your workplace. (Remember to set the HVAC controls to Auto, Max, Recirculate and Temperature at least 73F) before you turn off the Volt as you arrive at work. The key fob preconditioning will use the last HVAC settings when you remote start the Volt later in the day.
 

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My first winter with 2018 volt. During June-November 2018, I got around 70 EV miles. Now that winter ...has arrived, my range has been 33 consistently.
Welcome to winter! What you're seeing is consistent with what I've experienced up here on the tundra these past 2 1/2 winters.

  • You precondition. I don't. When you do, you've "burned" probably half a kilowatt in those 5 minutes. In summer, that's enough to get you 2 miles, and the mileage Guess-O-Meter is gonna count that against you.
  • You set the temp to 85. I set mine to 73, then back off to 68-70 when it starts to get comfy.
  • You turn off the seat heater. I just tap it down to one light. It's amazing how comfortable 65-70 degrees is when your a$$ is warm.
  • Love that steering wheel heater!
  • You didn't mention the air pressure in your tires, but check it! I think the rule of thumb is that pressure drops 1 psi (or more) for every 10 degree (F) drop in temperature. I shoot for 39 psi, cold.
But, in the final analysis, you can't beat Mother Nature. You're gonna burn some gas (if you're not, then what are you complaining about?:p). Spring is only two months away!
 

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Pretty normal from what I have experienced. Seems to be the Achilles heel of ev’s. Decent cold weather range without going through a routine prior to departure or extreme measures. I am not sure why gm even put the score part for climate control. My normal settings are a -5 on their scale.
I want a car that works and if that means putting in another 10kwh of battery, do it. Don’t make me drive around without heat or turn the car n 20 min before I leave. In the morning I barley get out of bed 20 min before I leave.
 

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Yep sounds right to me. 50% drop in very cold weather.
It was -40 on Saturday and I got real good range - HA HA (possibly 30 miles on battery).
Engine temp never got over 60C / 140 f . Seemed like the engine was running about 50% of the time by looking at the display.
Winter sux. I keep my heat @ 74 but do use the seat & steering wheel heat when it is that cold.
Given that you have a Level 1 charger I'm not sure about pre-conditioning. I use it on mine, but I have a L2 unit (L1 on 220V).
Running the ICE for the first while (5-10 minutes) really seems to help the battery last longer and it also brings heat - usually.
 

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Low tire pressure can have a very negative affect on battery driving range. Also cabin heater temp setting, fan speed, defroster use, driving speed, rain/snow/ice.
 

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If you set the heat to 85, then you are doing what I would consider "blasting the heat." That is what is hitting your range. It is normal. If you are driving beyond your electric range, then I would suggest using engine assisted heating (set ERDTT higher). That will probably make your trip more efficient.

It might also improve your efficiency to have the car plugged in overnight just because the thermal management may keep the battery warmer. But you have your reasons for not doing that either, so enjoy your cozy cabin and free electricity and don't worry about the range.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all for the pointers. Learning something new every day. I will try to adopt as many tips as I can. One thing I need to do is to pump more air to my tires as a lot of you already pointed out. I had them all at 41 psi, but during the tire rotation at the dealer (during maintenance visit), they reduced them to 36. But glad to know I am in the ball park (?) for EV range at least, given my nonEV-friendly heat settings.
 
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