The Chevrolet Volt may have a gasoline range-extender engine on board to provide extra driving range, but most owners rarely need it. Chevrolet says that Volt owners use all-electric mode more than 63 percent of the time, and have collectively traveled 500 million miles on electric power since the car was launched in late 2010.
The Chevrolet Volt has a 16.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that, according to the EPA, gives it a 38-mile driving range on a full charge. However, it appears many owners drive the Chevrolet Volt shorter distances each day and recharge the car regularly. The company’s data show that Volts typically drive a whopping 970 miles between gasoline fill-ups, and that owners only visit the gas station less than once a month. The car’s 1.4-liter inline-four gas engine can kick in to provide extra driving distance, effectively giving the Chevrolet Volt a total driving range of 380 miles.
In addition to regular charging, that impressive all-electric driving distance is made possible by the fact that many owners exceed the EPA’s range estimates. Based on Chevrolet’s data gleaned from the Volt’s on-board computers, about 15 percent of Chevrolet Volt owners manage to drive more than 40 miles on a single battery charge.
Since the Chevrolet Volt went on sale in late 2011, through the end of May, the plug-in hybrid car has sold 61,390 units in the U.S. market. Chevrolet says that 69 percent of Volt buyers are new to the Chevrolet brand, and that the car most commonly traded for a Volt is the Toyota Prius. The 2014 Chevrolet Volt starts at $34,995, including destination but before any applicable tax credits. Pricing for the 2015 Volt has yet to be announced.