2011 Chevrolet Volt Owners Charging Nightly, Up To 1000 Miles Between Fill-Ups

2011 Chevrolet Volt owners are doing just as General Motors hoped: they are plugging in their cars every night. Thanks to this, Volt drivers are seeing “1000 miles before they fill up the gas tank,” Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz told Automotive News in an interview.

That number may sound incongruous with GM’s own information -- the company says the Chevrolet Volt can travel up to 35 miles on electricity alone, and a further 344 miles using an onboard gasoline engine. Chevrolet Volt spokesman Rob Peterson explains that because the majority of owners charge their vehicle every night and drive fewer than 35 miles each day, they can go for days without using a drop of gasoline, and in some cases, up to 1000 miles before refilling the Volt’s 9.3-gallon fuel tank.

Peterson said that testimonials from buyers of the $41,000 (including destination) Volt reveal they have a strong interest in driving on electricity as much as possible. They charge the vehicle regularly and typically have short daily commutes.

“Customers are buying this vehicle and fitting it into their lifestyle,” Peterson said. “They’re using [the Volt] as we intended.” GM has been happy with Volt owners’ experiences, but are you surprised by the findings? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Sources: Automotive News, Chevrolet

A coupleof people in this thread have asked how much your utility bill goes up when you have a volt. In my area (Lansing, Michigan), volt owners' electric bills have gone up about $15/mo on average, according to our local utility which is doing a study.. Many of these people never have to buy gas any more, depending on what kind of driving they do. My volt is my only car, and I do both city driving and long-distance driving with it (I've taken it cross country). So I buy more gas tha most volt drivers, but it gets good mileage on gas too.
You miss the point all together! After 40 miles the Volt can drive forever on gas! I could take an old beater and make it a bad electric car even today for $11k but I could also buy a 10 year old Avero for $2k and spend only $100 per month on gas but neither is cutting edge like the Volt and I love driving it.
Steve, I agree with you 100 percent! A women told me that Rush said it was dead after 35 miles and anyone who bought it was an idiot (I think she was telling me I was) so I took her for a drive and explained everything to her (she was a mother at my sons school) and when she got out she said a light went on in her head. So far 3 other parents have told me that when their car is ready to trade in they would buy a Volt. The best way for people to understand what a Volt is, is to drive in one with a person who understands what the value is. When I bought mine the salesman at the dealer was wrong on about every single thing he told me and even said that people love buying a Cruze after comparing a Volt to them. The Volt is the next thing when it comes to cars, people just need to know what they are buying and how it saves them money!
I am not sure why people have a problem with the price, my net cost was $29k I bought mine 3 months ago and have driven 3256 miles on 5.5 gallons of gas. GM keeps stating that people will get 35 miles on a charge but I get 42 just about every time! In Colorado the KW charge is 4.5 cents on the first 500 then 9.5 cents so I am spending about .65 cents per day on electricity mainly from natural gas about half the C02 of gas. I drive about 65 miles per day and I plug it in the minute I get out of my car, at lunch and while I work, resulting in no gas use even at 120v! I think it is compatible to a base Audi A4 not a Cruze or a Ford Focus, but really neither of them seem to be bad cars its just the interior is a lot better. If you compare it even to the base Volvo then after 5 years this car makes me money. I am saving about $3k per year in gas and I don't have to stand in the rain to fill it up. Its fun to drive a car that is almost to quite and its fun to try and skip buying gas. I never skip driving it to avoid using gas, almost all of my driving is City now so it might be possible for me to fill up twice a year! The best part is knowing that I can drive it any place without running out of electrons and if I did the old hydrocarbon is in the tank waiting for me. My only thought about improving this car would be to make it a diesel that can run on vegetable oil and have solar panels on my roof that would be the ultimate anti Mid East car! When people say it costs to much I compare it to driving a BMW 3 series. They cost about $45k and in reality compare to most $33k cars (not counting driving dynamics that no one really uses) if bought with leather, Nav and other upgrades. In reality very few people know what they difference is in FWD or RWD cars to begin with so spending the money is a personal decision anyhow!
Like the the Apple of electronics, the Volt is for Electric vehicles. Most read about it but never go and try it out at the dealers. You will be happy.
Biff : You are so right. The Volt is a wonderful car as is the more expensive Fisker. NEVER USE gas again if you normally go 35-50 miles per day. oh oh, I went 55 miles and burned two cups of gas. darn. The engines here keep away the "range anxiety". You can go as far as you want. I don't care about the mpg in this case because it is UNUSUAL for me. Day after day, plug in at night and it's full in he morning. Why can't all all people get it. For a lot of people it means NO GAS.
Wow, another moron that can't seem to get it through is thick skull that A GASOLINE ENGINE TAKES OVER WHEN THE BATTERY IS DEPLETED GIVING THE VOLT ANOTHER 300 PLUS MILES OF RANGE! Could your glorified golf cart do that?
The Volt is the only car out there that gives you the opportunity to not use gas while still having the benefit of having a 300+ range there whenever you need it. Charge the car at night and drive the first 35 miles each day without using gas! Driving more that day?? No problem, the gas engine kicks on seemlessly and yet the car still drives as if it is electric. At it's price-point, there are no other cars that offer this ability. Anytime you drive a diesel or a Hybrid, you are using gas or diesel fuel. With a Volt, depending on how much you drive each day, you can go long periods not using any gas. Much of the fuel we use for our vehicles comes from foreign oil controlled by countries who do not like us so much so to me, having a Volt and running it on electricity that is produced here by our people in a plant either powered by coal or natural gas or nuclear power all generated here in the good ole USA along with the fact that the car is made here was a big reason to me to buy one. Yeah a 2 year old Jetta diesel or a home made battery powered pickup(one poster claimes he did that here) might be cheaper or whatever but that's not why I or a lot of people make purchase decisions. I gotta love what I drive and I love my Volt! Oh and all you haters out there, the Volt was not conceived of by Barack Obama. It was dreamed up by the master himself, Bob Lutz..a former marine and a life long republican!! So put away your rage, go drive one, you might like it and see for yourself why someone might make that purchase decision. I would never drive a lot of the things other people drive but I can be open minded enough to understand why they might like them, so be adventurous and push aside your fear and bias and go drive one..ya just never know!!
I have a 2012 Volt and so far it is one of the best cars I have ever owned! I was the person GM built this car for. I drive about 40 miles per day and we own 3 cars so I don't need to fill up very often. On average I am getting about 450 a gallon (yes I use a plug at night) and need gas about every six weeks or so. Its funny but I feel bad when I have to use gas to drive and still find it crazy that most people don't understand how they work!
jim zumbo
With all the automotive geniuses building econo cars and so much automotive engineering expertise why are thy not working for an automotive manufacturer ? Why have they Not mass produced there masterpieces? How long did there masterpieces last in service? Why have none of the now many automotive manufacturers attempted to buy there masterpieces so as to shut them up about what can be done ? I am willing to wager a bet, if one of these self made automotive engineers changed there own oil they would strip the drain plug !
Remember when Americans appreciated science and engineering? The Volt is truly cutting edge tech. It's disgusting to see Luddites bashing it-especially those who think you need to charge the vehicle after 35 miles.
tom wallace
Hey, Don't confuse us with facts . It hurts our argument." I Bet"
tom wallace
Gm shut down production just like ford and toyota and every other manufacturer when sales are slow on a particular model. Your logic is biased my friend. you don't like GM, that part is clear. You don't like the Volt , that part is clear.
tom wallace
Yep, it didn't cost 41 grand, but it didn't have to meet ANY fed rules or have a warranty or stand up tp press scrutiny. It is what it is,..homemade.
For EVERYONE trying to rationalize the Volt as a value proposition: This is technology and political will attempting to work together to reshape the consumer market... not a good thing, nor a bad thing. If the free market were left to its own devices, we'd all be breathing lead gas fumes, coal plant soot, drinking arsenic and PCBs and watching the world at large go down a putrid, toxic hole in a few generations (some might argue it's inevitable). Without progress, environmental awareness, public education and political will, we have no future. Letting 'profits' overrun good ol fashion common sense isn't always the best way to sustain our economy, and our energy-hungry ways. I don't want to live in a nation, or a world for that matter, whose entire economy is built upon fighting over finite resources. If the Volt's technology brings both the market and the consciousness of the average consumer one step closer to creating a fully sustainable energy grid and transportation infrastructure, then we should commend this cutting-edge effort. This is not some ass-backwards communist tinker-toy, this is a microcosmic proving ground for the future of our species. Allow me to state this sentiment one more time for the penny-pinchers that still don't get it: I could buy a used cassette walkman at the local thrift shop for $5 and buy a dozen old cassettes for another $2... or I could buy a $300 Ipod touch and download songs at $1 a piece. They both play music, right? It's called progress- and hopefully at the heart of all technological progress, aside from marketablity, is the effort to make the world a better place, in this case (unlike the useless Ipod) by recognizing the ABSOLUTE need to methodically retool our society to live free of the vicious cycle of war and military excess caused by battling over the Earth's limited resources. Your grandchildren's grandchildren will thank your spirit for our collective efforts... even if we don't succeed. Don't bash the Volt because the economies of scale and underpaid labor aren't there to make it cheap (I'm talking to you, Mexican-made Fiestas). Being made in Mexico doesn't make it bad, it just makes it cheap. The Volt is nearly as exotic as a Ferrari (in its own way), so try not to see it as an economy car with Star Trek built into, see it as a Star Trek, in the form of an ordinary passenger car.
I built a full electric 86 Mazda PU. Cost me $11K to build it, the range was 40 miles. I built this 10 years ago, drove it for 2 1/2 years to work every day, would do 80 MPH. 24 trojan T-125 batteries under the box. It did what I wanted it to do, it satisfied my ambition to build one and it didn't cost me $41K. Did I mention it got the same mileage as the Volt on full electric???Did I mention this was 10 years ago??
Rich: Reg gas today in Denver $3.29/gal at Sam's and just $.50 more for diesel. Jetta TDIs for $28K are nice cars. And a new Volt can be bought $38K minus $7500 fed tax rebate and Colorado's $6000 so that puts it down to $24,500 and our electricity costs about $1.25 for an equivalent miles as a gal of gas. I like newer diesels; but fuel costs are eating into cost per mile benefit severely nowadays for small cars. For heavy haulers diesels are a must. I loved my old big diesels; especially when I could buy it for less than regular gas/gal. You likely won't be here in 2062 to argue your 50 year future bet about how we did on weaning our country off hydrocarbon fuels. So those with differing opinions are "nuts". Sounds like you are reading far right wing nonscience and calling anyone who differs childish names "green people" and "PUKE!". Try being nice to those who tell others why they like their Volts.
Pls let me in the discussion. I have to laugh at you green people trying to justify an overpriced commuter car that can go 29- 35 miles on battery. Then a Premium required little 4 cyl gas eater has to kick in to get you home. Wow, what a deal. I'll bet nearly everyone of you Volt owners have another car or SUV that you will be taking on vacation this summer. Can you imagine leaving Texas for a vacation through Yellowstone Park and back by way of the Grand Canyon. If you green people think we will be out growing our use of fossil fuel in the next 50 yrs, you're nuts. I think you ought to strap a solar panel on your hood, trunk and top for an additional 35 miles before re-charging. GM built a car and then tried to create a mkt. Duh! A couple of you writers try to justify your purchase, not for the distance you can travel, but because you are doing your clean air duty. PUKE! By the way, I drive a very fast turbo-charged, 140 HP diesel Jetta that gets 40-43 mpg and I can go just a little over 610 miles on a tank of fuel at 75mph. $28,000 and having fun. Another by the way-I understand the Chevy Volt batteries don't like cold weather. Another market missed. Darn!
john Lane
GM just shut down production of the Volt because of lack of demand. How are you Volt owners gonna feel if they scrap the car completely? Also, how do you Volt owners feel about the American taxpayer having to subsidize the production of this car at over $100 grand per car? Finally, some of you seem to think its a good idea to buy this car I guess because it makes you feel good. No thanks.
Expat in Rome
Hello Jeff, actually I filled up yesterday here in Rome, Italy: gas goes for 1.84 euro per liter! That's 7 euros per gallon. Actually that's $9.25 per U.S. gallon! A lot of that is due to steep taxes, so it might be a while before you see those prices Stateside... I reckon many people in the U.S. may one day more easily switch to full-electric cars than Europeans, where most people can't conveniently recharge as they live in apartments.
In Seattle, you can DEFINITELY pick up women in a volt. You can also pick up woman in an F150 here interestingly...
je hender
some people just don't seem to get it. the primary reason for buying a hybrid or electric is not financial. you do to reduce the amount carbon being dumped into the air you breathe. the next step:solar panels on all houses, places of employment, parking lots & garages, etc.
It's not about what it costs upfront. Electricity can be genereated in many ways (some clean) and the Volt, when powered electrically, is zero emissions. When we improve our capacity to generate clean energy and gas prices go up even further, those who bought Volts now will be seen as brilliant. Of course, the technology and range will improve on later iterations. I'm no fan of GM (especially since they killed my beloved SAAB), but if I was in the market, I'd buy a Volt in neon second. Imagine how strong a nation we will be when we have incredible clean energy capacity and the rest of the world fights over oil. The Volt is a smart move in so many ways.
I have 27500 miles on my 2010 prius. I have never reset trip B counter and it shows 50.2 mpg since new. I have made trips of 140 miles ,partly on regular roads and partly on the New york Thruway at 67 mph and after this trip........60.2....mpg !!!!!
have a prius now for 3 and a half years. paid 25000 with leather backup camera etc. absolutely no problems at all, only getting about 43 mpg. hasnt even started a fire either. guess ill stick with something proven, and its paid for also. saved 17000 on the car and 4000 on a charger. on long trips(over 35 miles) i have gotten 52. i keep all records on gas mileage. dont do it by 1 tank at a time and tell little white lies about 60 mpg. all totaled for 28000 miles 45.2 mpg and no electric bill.
Darius Anania
Exactly right and well said. It is about lessening our dependence on non-renewable resources. Not only is it electric but there is the capacity to use gasoline OR E85 which is sourced primarily from US farms.
Darius Anania
Sir, Well said!
DeBee Corley
Ride a bicycle. If you commute in town, you'll be amazed at how little time you lose. Doesn't cost much to pedal.
Bill Roe
Our electric rate is 11 cents per KWH. It takes us about 10 hours to recharge the battery completely. Estimated cost is about $1.50 per day. Our commute is almost exactly at the end of the Volt's range so we have a good sampling as we fully charge each day.
Bill Roe
I did a lot of research on the Volt, then decided to test drive one. WOW! We bought it on the spot. If the Volt is within your price range and you test drive it, you will too! My wife commutes 22 miles one-way to work. When she gets home, she typically has 1 mile left on the battery. Looks like we'll hit the 1,000 mile mark before we need to "gas up".
someone PLEASE tell me , if the battery has no charge at all, how many kwh will it take to charge it completely. curious, because i know how much kwh is here in ala. im like the guy that wants to know how much their elect bill goes up. i bet they say it didnt go up at all. and if you believe that ill sell you one of the bridges i own.
It's about embracing technology of the Volt if you have the need to buy a car in and around that range. Of course you can buy a cheap car for 12k that gets 35mpg and save money in the long run. Or you can buy a 250k car that gets 8 mpg...those reasons aren't the reason to buy/not buy a Volt. The reason to buy is because you like the technology and the coolness behind the Volt...not because it makes sense to buy the 40k Volt since it saves gas and can get 1000 miles per fillup (the latter is just icing on the cake).
Phil Gr8
Lol. Can any of the Ford And G.M. cheerleaders spell relief. Hyundai, Kia.
Mark Winehouse
That is awesome! And what makes your Volt a better choice than the Nissan Leaf it that YOU have the option of driving as far as you want without having to take to an 2-4hour break or search for/borrow an electrical outlet.
Mark Winehouse
Neither can a Ford Focus. And you ain't picking up any women in a Ford F150 (or any truck for that matter)...nor are you auto-running the cops or paying for it in savings.
George Smith
You gripe about GM. But then you completely fail to understand the meaning of that Henry Ford quote. What Henry meant was: if the visionaries of the world/history only ever did/built what people wanted, we would never move forward. So, owning a Volt means burning more coal?? How do you even figure? A large % of Volt and other electric-car owners have solar panels on their houses, which are PERFECT for charging these cars.
George Smith
How about we don't buy anything? Last thing I am buying is a Ford. i would rather buy a Kia.
George Smith
You clearly have no clue how the Volt works. You NEVER neeeeed to charge it if you don't want to. The charging part is just an option (and a darn good one because electricity is still far cheaper than gasoline per mile driven). The Volt runs on gas only too, ya know, and gets 35-40 mpg just by doing that (it does that by using the car to charge the battery which then powers the car). Genius! And more and more manufacturers will move to this once they discover how GM managed to pull off this engineering feat.
George Smith
Oh please, a person could go on endlessly about how you could buy another vehicle and save money. But, how you figure spending $30k ($30k!!!) on a Ford Focus is a wise move is beyond logic. $30K for a Focus?? Why would anyone do that when they could go just an even nicer car than that for $30k. And how many gallons and at what price you have to have to make up for THAT $30k. Your kind of logic only proves that your logic proves that your logic fails. Get it? It is a never ending logic cycle. Like Denny says, if you want to be true fiscally wise, go buy a used Corolla. Or better yet, just keep the car you have (regardless of year/model)...unless the car will cost more to repair than another used car, you are always better off just spending nothing. Come on.
George Smith
To Random Ford Employee: You gripe about GM. But then you completely fail to understand the meaning of that Henry Ford quote. What Henry meant was: if the visionaries of the world/history only ever did/built what people wanted, we would never move forward. So, owning a Volt means burning more coal?? How do you even figure? A large % of Volt and other electric-car owners have solar panels on their houses, which are PERFECT for charging these cars.
Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
I've just ticked over 1300mi in mine, and still have 3/4 of the initial (dealer-provided) tank of gas left.. Outstanding car, particularly for commuting in traffic..
Now I have revise my previous post. Some of what I said will be here sooner than we think. The SIM-LEI is scheduled for production in 2013. 206 miles on a single charge and 0-62 mph in 4.8 seconds. The Japanese company also has created a limousine sized prototype that can reach 230 mph and carry 8 people. Try that in your Ferrari. For more information go here: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2383437,00.asp
I think many are missing the point of the Volt. The point being WE MUST BE WEANED OFF OF GASOLINE / OIL. The Volt is the first step in that direction. The next step will be 100 miles on electric only and next step will be MITs 10 minute recharge and after that will be generation of electricity with solar, wind, and water only. I can't wait until the first electric kicksass & beats the 0-60 times of the exotic sports cars or when gasoline is priced @ $10 / gallon. Then, the naysayers will disappear in the smog left by oil.
Now that we know what the Volt can do Lets share what it cannot. Pull a trailer, Pass a Mustang,Pick up Women , Move a house full of furniture, Outrun the cops, Smoke the tires, or pay for itself in savings
Whoa whoa whoa whoa - okay, I'm glad people like their Fiestas and Focuses (Foci?) - they're excellent cars, no doubt - but I think some people are missing the point of the Volt, a vehicle conceived while old GM was about to rebadge the Holden Commodore as the Pontiac G8, may it rest in peace. The Volt is yet another step in lessening the use of un-renewable resources (ahem, foreign oil - or oil in general), just like the gas-electric was. Yes, it could've been executed better (it does, afterall, ride on a Cruze platform and has less-than wonderful interior materials), but for a car that is still a huge automotive and - let's face it - social/cultural experiment, I'm glad that our tax dollars went more towards the innovative drivetrain rather than the type if plastic on the door. Honestly, we invested in the future of automotive America and the world. So yes - while the Ford small cars are truly well built and efficient (not to mention affordable), the Volt is American-made progress beyond oil. It's not a car for everyone right now, but it's one to be proud of and one that will help shape the next few decades of the automotive industry.
David Tudor
I recently bought a new Chevy Malibu. It's a fantastic car. And it was made in Kansas City...not Mexico City. I'd rather put my money into the hands of a hard working American who needs a job to support his/her family. I need them to make money so that they can support my business. It turns out that the bail out was the right move after all. If there was anything the Great Recession should have taught us, it's that we're all in the same boat together. We'll all either sink or survive as a country.
uh, seem
Sorry, I seemed to have stumbled into the Ford pep-rally by mistake...
At least the Volt is attractive. You really can't say that about the new Focus. And if economic good sense is what you want, buy a 5-year old Corolla. You can save lots of money for gas that way. This is about leading, not following.
You can buy a lot of $4.00 gasoline with the $12,000.00 you'll save by not buying a Chevy Volt and instead buying a fully loaded 2012 Ford Focus at approximately $29K. That's 3,000 gallons of gasoline and at a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving that would be 33 Miles per Gallon or an additional 99,000 miles of driving without having to purchase a charging station or look for a charging station. I can't justify spending an additional $12,000.00 for a vehicle that has less options and features and is of poorer quality than a 2012 Ford Focus. Do the math and think rationally. The Chevy Volt doesn't make financial sense until the cost of gasoline is $9.00 to $10.00 per gallon.
my friend brett has a 2011/2012 focus hatchback with every option on the order sheet in it. IT has had 3 new computers installed on the car, it randomly dies in parking lots and displays contact dealer on his nav screen, and he absolutely hates that car with every ounce of his body, if he didn't want to deal with the BS he would drive the damn thing threw the front window of the dealership. and the volt is an amazaing car that is an excellent driving car.

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