6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Cold Weather Issues
By voltguy on
2012 Chevrolet Volt 4dr Hatchback (gas/electric hybrid DD)
This car has great potential and I really like it, but reconsider getting one if you live in an area with cold weather. When I first got the car in the first week in November I was getting the 35 miles GM claims. As it got colder I now only get 25 miles on a full charge. GM is telling me this is normal. At 25 miles, I'm actually only getting about 17-20 since I have to run heat. I have been doing the math and with amount of electric it takes to charge for just 17-20 actual miles, it costs more than burring gas. The dealer has told me there is nothing they can do about the issue. I hope GM gets this issues fixed.
The amount of technology in this car is amazing and the integration into OnStar is very impressive. The car has good pick up and is very quit. The iPod/iPhone integration is also very impressive.
Needs to handle cold weather better. It is very frustrating that within 2 weeks of getting the car it's maximum charge is between 25-27 miles. Also the seatbelt clip could be a little higher. I have a heavy set person that travels with me and has a hard time with the seatbelt latching. Dealer gave me a free extender kit.
Cold weather definitely hurts electric cars. I'm getting around 30 miles on a charge, and this has been a relatively mild winter. Even assuming higher than average
electric rates, the Volt costs around $1.50 to charge. If you're only getting 17 miles on that charge, then it's just under the cost of gas (assuming the Volt gets around 34mpg, and gas is more than $3/gallon). You might want to check with your utility, maybe they have cheaper rates for electric vehicles. Your range will recover as soon as the weather warms up, driving your cost down. And every electric mile reduces overall carbon emissions.
So if the cold hurts the mpg due to having to run the heater, what will that mean for the summer time when you have to run the AC?
In states like NC, it is 90+ with like 100% for a good portion of the summer so I run the AC in my car anytime I get in it because it is so hot.
I can only imagine that it will have the same kind of effect as well since the battery will have to run something else that is intensive.
Chevy, Nissan and Ford all say that cold weather effects the electric cars range. Not much you can do about it. I suggest that you start the car a few min before you leave home while it is still plugged in. This way it will heat the cabin without dipping into your range. Than while you drive to work set the climate to eco.
As far as hot weather, it is just the same but AC instead of heat. My father lives in NC and with the this summer touching on 100* he found the same thing. He would have to run the climate on full to cool car down which would drop his range by at least 5 miles. He started cooling the car while it was still plugged in and ran on eco after. He told me that running it for about 5 min plugged in before he leaves, eco is able to maintain temp once he starts going. Now he only looses about 1 mile.
Give it a shot.