Chevy Volt Year One: 384 MPG

Its been one year since I bought the Volt at the end of March 2012.

Since then my monthly fuel economy numbers have been up and down. The ups in the Spring and Fall, when I don’t need climate control and get around 40 miles per charge, average in the Summer when I’m using the air conditioning and get 36 miles per charge, and the winter when I’m using cabin and seat heating extensively and get about 32 miles per charge (although its been as low as 27 miles on the coldest Vegas mornings).

Chart from MyVolt.com

Electric & Gas miles

In my first year, I’ve driven 11,853 miles. (32.4 miles per day) on only 31 gallons of gasoline; which comes out to 384 MPG. I’ve used about 3,185 kWh of energy for the 10,984 electric miles. 

From the VoltDC App

From the VoltDC iPhone App

Of that, 10,984 miles were electric, and 869 miles were gasoline driven. Of the gasoline miles, I got 28MPG, which seems low (the car is rated around 37MPG combined in gas-only mode) but several times I had the engine go on for automatic maintenance or it turned on when it was being worked on at the dealership (I had to take it in once for a error message, they reset the computer and I was on my way).

Compared to my last car that got 22 MPG, I saved 507 gallons of gas, at $3.63 (US avg 2012 gas price) that is $1840 for the first year. I estimate I spent about $225 on electricity (average cost of 7c/kWh, as it was a mix of flat rate 12c/kWh and time-of-use 5c/kWh) , for a net fuel savings of $1615.

I’m convinced that EREVs like the Volt are the way of the future. The question is how quickly will the cost of batteries come down so that GM can reduce the selling price of the car and ramp volume. Beyond that, it will need to extend the Voltec powertrain into other segments like crossovers, SUVs and trucks.

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