Volt Owner's Report - GreenHybrid - Hybrid Cars


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Old 08-15-2013, 05:17 AM
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Default Volt Owner's Report

I sold my 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid with 147000 miles on it in May of 2012 and bought the Volt in July. The gas mileage averaging around 40 mpg was great and it was fun to drive. My personal best was 58 mpg if I kept it under 55 mph. So I came to this Volt with almost 8 years experience driving a hybrid-electric vehicle.
Here is what I like about the Volt: It is no “eco-sardine can”. It is a quiet, comfortable, solid, well-built automobile. The power is so smooth and responsive that it is like flying a jet. Handling is quite sporty and fun to drive. I notice nothing when it seamlessly switches on the gas generator after the battery power is depleted.

With direct electric motor drive there is no transmission to maintain (CVT juttering and maintenance was a problem on the Honda). Around town driving will never use the gas generator since the battery alone will provide 35-40 miles. There will be fewer oil changes for the gas generator and there are 4 spark plugs instead of 8 (yes, the Honda Hybrid has 8). Right now it looks like it will be over two years before I have to change the oil. It will be easy on the brakes since the Volt also has the regenerative braking (didn’t replace my Honda front pads until 128000 miles).

I love the technology of the Volt. It is an electric vehicle that has the flexibility of extended range with the gas generator. It significantly reduces pollutants and gasoline consumption. It is environmentally friendly, less expensive to operate, saves on gas, oil changes, transmission maintenance and brakes.


So far my lifetime average is 72 mpg, with 6295 EV miles and 6754 miles with gas.

I have a 220 volt charging station in my garage. It cost $768 and is well worth the investment because of the speed it recharges the battery. Many cities have public charging stations usually conveniently located. For instance here in San Antonio CPS Energy has many charging stations located around the city including downtown parking garages, shopping malls, grocery stores and movie theaters. There is an iPhone app that shows all the 220 volt charging stations and their availability all over the USA. CPS Energy has a $5/month fee for unlimited charges. ChargePoint costs $1/per hour on the charger.

After over 13000 miles and 13 months I can still say, “I love my Volt!”
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:17 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Small valley in mountains within the Shenandoah Valley
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Default Re: Volt Owner's Report

I would love to hear more about your Volt. I have a 2004 manual Honda Civic hybrid. My lifetime average is 54.8 mpg in it. Your experience shows a bit more gas driving than EV driving but excellent overall mileage. Also, your 55 mph figure interests me. I do a lot of driving at 45 - 55 mph because of where I live. I have been considering the Volt because of the electric range, which would cover much of my driving.
Questions:
1. Have you taken the Volt on longer trips, say of several hundred miles? How did it perform and did you recharge it or just go with gas?
2. What is the average trip you take, speed, etc.
3. How does it fare on the highway and a what speeds do you drive?
Thank you.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Volt Owner's Report

Mostly I drive around town and recharge as needed. About once a week I drive 100 miles. Recharge and return the 100 miles. The longest trip I have taken without recharging is 280 miles, mostly interstate driving 70-80 mph. It is just as smooth and solid at 80 mph as at a slower speed. I usually use the cruise control but just keeping up with traffic I looked down and was surprised to see I was doing 80. Of course the faster you go and the more you use your generator motor the lower your lifetime average.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Volt Owner's Report

Thanks for the extra information.
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Old 04-09-2015, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: Volt Owner's Report

efenton - Thanks for the report but are there any updates to report? Any major issues with the car? Do oil changes occur when the car indicates since the engine might not run for hundreds if not thousands of miles over the course of 20,000 miles? Are there any mods that can be performed to get the battery to charge more or last longer before the engine kicks on such as firmware updates or ROM flashes or tricks like that?

The Volt is ~1,000 lbs heavier than my Civic Hybrid but you are saying it still handles well, accelerates when needed without issue, still gets great fuel economy, and has a hatchback for plenty of storage and cargo room? I'm wondering what the downside is and why I haven't thought about jumping to a Volt much earlier than this.

I'm pretty much in the exact same scenario as I have a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid with 136k on it and am looking to get a 2015 Volt. I don't need to wait for the 2016 as I don't require the bench seat vs 2-seat-and-cup-holder in the back seat.

Since I use it year round in Winter snow and long trips and short commutes (12 mi round trip for the past 6 yrs) my lifetime average dropped dramatically from about 45 mpg in the first 2 yrs to something closer to 35-40 mpg as a guess. I couldn't be happier from the lack of issues and ease of maintenance/ownership I've had with the Civic.

I recently drove my Cousin's Tesla P85D and that is just in a class of its own but was still a blast but I'll never have a chance at owning one so enough talk about that.

However, since my commute is a daily 12 mi run of mostly flat ground and trips around town are usually 30-40 mi during a day I wanted to look into a plug-in vehicle and the Volt shines here while the Prius only gets up to 11 mi in electric range. The BMW i3 looks fun but a bit pricey if it is even available in the area.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: Volt Owner's Report

Same situation as Flash, HCHII with 175k miles... looking at a 2013 or 2015 Volt... i would love to hear you update on your Volt and long distance miles...
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:36 AM
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sterling388 - I've thoroughly enjoyed my 2015 Volt for short as well as long trips. Let me know what questions you may have but as stated above I'm kicking myself for not getting one years ago.

Long distance trips of 500 miles generally get around 50-55 mpg when not being able to charge along the trip. This is also around PA, NY, and VA so there are a good number of hills and elevation to cover.

I'll be around 14,000 miles in 7 months next week or 2,000 miles/month. Oil life is down to 70%, tires should last until at least 75,000 miles, brake pads and rotors/drums will most likely never need to be replaced as they are seldom used due to the amount of regenerative braking that is done, and oil change most likely won't be done until ~40,000 miles or 2 yrs whichever is first.

The gas motor gets around 40 mpg and is a 9-gal tank so it goes 350 miles on gas and is far shorter than the Honda Civic Hybrid would go (550+ miles on long road trips) but it makes up for that by not using any gas on trips under 40 miles.

My lifetime so far is 82 mpg but I take a good number of 50+ mile road trips every weekend so once the travel season is over my numbers will increase I'm sure. The lifetime on my Honda Civic Hybrid was probably around 40 mpg at the end of its 8 yrs so this car is already double that and will only go higher.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Volt Owner's Report

Thanks for the update Flash! I just installed my new replacement 8AH IMA battery - looking to pass my HCHII to my younger brother in 1 year or so.
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:30 AM
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Default Re: Volt Owner's Report

A friend of mine recently replaced his Insight battery after ~150k miles. I never did replace my HCH IMA battery even after 135k miles and it was still running well. I could tell it wasn't new anymore but 8.5 yrs and 135k miles was a solid life when I traded it in.
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: Volt Owner's Report

I am looking to sell my set of 4 Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires mounted to 4 wheels that fit a Honda Civic Hybrid (or any other similar bolt pattern). The tires have 2 seasons on them and still have plenty of tread for another 1-2 seasons. Bonus if you live within a reasonable driving distance of Pittsburgh, PA so they won't have to be shipped.

I can post pics and more details later but thought I'd see if anyone is interested. If nothing else the set of spare wheels could be useful.
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