the vehicles that has made one of the biggest splashes in the hybrid and EV
market is the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt is an extended range electric vehicle which uses the gasoline motor to charge the battery inside the
car for longer range once it can’t go on electric power alone.
One of the things that Chevrolet has been a bit quiet on is exactly how far the
vehicle can drive on a tank full of fuel when the batteries go dead on their
own. To show just how far the Volt can drive on a tank of fuel, GM has called
on some owners of the Chevy Volt to tell just how long they have been
driving on a tank and it's a long way.
“Volt owners drove an average of 800 miles between fill-ups since the Volt
launched in December, and in March they averaged 1,000 miles,” said Cristi
Landy, Volt marketing director. “When the majority of miles driven are
electrically, gas usage decreases significantly.”
When you consider that the Volt holds roughly nine gallons of fuel, the fact
that GM claims the average Volt driver gets 800 miles between fill ups is even
more impressive. That would work out to fuel economy in the area of 122 miles
per gallon. Volt owners also note they only hit the gas station about once per
month.While Volt owners may not be sucking down as much dyno-juice as other vehicles, they are in turn tapping into the electrical grid to recharge the battery pack on a regular basis. For consumers with a daily commute of less than 40 miles (the Volt's maximum battery-only range), a nightly recharge is all it takes to keep the gasoline engine from firing up.
“I am surprised how infrequently I go to the gas station. It’s become a game to
achieve as many miles as I can in EV mode,” said Steve Wojtanek, a Volt buyer
in Boca Raton, Florida. “I have made it my goal to drive as efficiently as
possible and I am seeing the results, with more than 3,417 miles under my belt
– of which 2,225 are EV miles.” A Volt owner since December, Wojtanek is
averaging 122 miles per gallon and visiting the gas station about once a month.
Another Volt owner, Gary Davis said, "On April 11, I had to buy gas for
the first time since filling up on January 9. In my Volt I’ve driven 4,600
miles on 8.4 gallons of gas. That’s an impressive 547 mpg that I am achieving
with my Volt."
GM cites the total driving range of the Volt as 379 miles on a tank. The
typical all electric driving range on the vehicle is 25-50 miles. Davis would
have to be driving less than the 25-50 miles most days to rack up the kind of
fuel economy he is reporting. Some Volt dealers were asking as much as $25,000
over MSRP for the Volt when it launched.