10,000-mile Recap - 2011 Chevrolet Volt Long-Term Road Test
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2011 Chevrolet Volt Long Term Road Test

2011 Chevrolet Volt: 10,000-mile Recap

September 09, 2011

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We recently broke the 10,000-mile barrier in our 2011 Chevrolet Volt. What's happened so far? A faulty charging cable sent us to the dealer and Chevy announced it was lowering the price of new Volts. That's it. Oh, unless you consider it's fuel economy noteworthy...

To date we've driven 3,946 miles on electricity and 6,054 on gasoline. For the sake of argument, let's call that a 40/60 split. At just 40 percent, our utility factor is low.

According to the SAE, a vehicle with a projected electric range of 35 miles should be spending closer to 58 percent of the time on electricity. We drive the Volt like a normal car. So a handful of long distance, gasoline-only trips to Las Vegas and San Francisco have influenced this factor adversely.

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On the electricity front, we are performing better than estimates. Note here that this is a measure of consumption. At 33.7 kWh/100 miles we are actually using less than the 36.0 kWh the EPA expects.

Gasoline efficiency isn't quite as positive. Our 34.2 mpg average is a fair amount worse than EPA estimates. But we've seen it reach into the 40s under the right conditions.

The total cost per mile to own our Volt thus far is surprising. We used the California (CA) and national (N'tl) averages for electricity and gasoline prices to calculate the cost/mile. These figures do not include any maintenance, simply fuel. Here in Santa Monica the Chevy cost us 9.1 cents per mile to operate. For reference, a Toyota Prius would cost considerably less, 7.7 cents per mile. The Prius figure assumes its 50-mpg EPA rating, though we've yet to back that up through testing. Nevertheless, it gives you something to chew on for comparison.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 10,000 miles


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