2011 Chevrolet Volt: The Gas Gauge
October 06, 2011
I was rolling in our long-term 2011 Chevrolet Volt last night and wasn't sure how much gas I had. Well, the gasoline range is shown there, but looking at that cluttered driver display didn't help much.
You see, GM say they are selling an electric car here. And if you're running in EV mode like I was in this instance, the fuel gauge is an afterthought.
I had some difficulty understanding how much gasoline was in the tank from that tiny fuel pump icon. Yeah, I know I could look at the range and assume that it was full. But I wanted to read it from the gauge. Addtionally, in that pic it looks like it's empty because the icon is only lightly shaded. Trust me, it looks tiny from the driver's seat.
There is a way to get a better read on the fuel situation.
Here's a pic that Scott previously took of the driver's display (above). Ignoring the vehicle's speed for a moment, you'll notice that the electric range has been depleted and, with the vehicle running on gasoline, the electric charge and the fuel capacity icons on the left side of the display have automatically switched places. The driver needs to take no action for this switch to take effect.
This is preferable to me, although I can understand GM's emphasis on the EV range when running in that mode.
But if you want to have the gasoline gauge displayed more prominently all time, the driver can customize the display. Just hit the Config switch near the driver's left knee and the fuel level is more prominent in the display, all the time (bottom pic). Dan said that this gray fuel pump icon changes to that blue fuel pump icon in the top pic once the switch is made to running on the internal combustion engine.
OK, that's better GM. But this display is still way too cluttered. And the gray shading on the fuel pump icon should be darker to clearly indicate the fuel level.
Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 11,200 miles