2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for May 2017
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Compared against its extraordinarily busy April, May was a return to the norm for our 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The Volt spent most of its time in April with our long-distance commuters, but the majority of the miles racked up in May were from editors close to our Santa Monica headquarters. As such, just under 800 miles were added to the Volt's odometer.
The entire month was largely drama-free, except for a flat tire incurred by Senior Writer Carlos Lago. On the bright side, this allowed Carlos to familiarize himself with a Pep Boys lobby for the better part of four hours.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Tracking fuel economy for a plug-in hybrid such as the Volt is not exactly straightforward, and we do our best to separate miles driven solely on battery power from those using the gasoline engine. Still, simple oversights, such as failing to record the switchover point from battery power to gas or filling up the gas tank with battery in reserve, mean a loss of useful data. Other factors also come into play. That said, here are the fuel economy results we've observed over the last year and a half, with corrupted data omitted.
Average lifetime mpg: 37.6
Best fill mpg: 45.1
EPA combined mpg rating: 42
Average electric range: 51.9 miles
Best electric range: 75 miles
EPA electric range rating: 53 miles
Current odometer: 25,050 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
A tire patch set us back $20.
"I swear I'm not trying to do a burnout in our Chevy Volt. Since it's my first time behind the wheel of this plug-in, I'm still getting used to its idiosyncrasies. But one thing I quickly learned was to not press the accelerator too excitedly from a dead stop lest I squeal the tires. I did this a couple times before I got the hang of it and felt so embarrassed." — Caroline Pardilla, copy editor
"Hi, I'm Mike's back. Today he loaded two 50-pound bags of mortar into the Volt and nearly broke me. I want to blame him for not using his legs but it wasn't that. It's the design of the cargo area. For one, its load floor sits 8 inches below the lip where the hatch opens. So to rest a bag on the lip and slide it down would break the bag. For another, the inside of that lip is 11 inches from the back of the bumper. So no matter how he bent his knees they went into the bumper and he was forced to stretch me in a way I don't go. Now I need some rest." — coccyx of Mike Schmidt, senior manager, vehicle testing
"Since this was my first time taking the Volt for the weekend, I was given specific instructions on how to log when I fuel/charge it up. No big deal. The only real thing I was warned about was having to keep an eye on when the car switches over from EV to the engine; we use that number to calculate how far the Volt runs on battery-only power. Apparently the switchover is so subtle that you wouldn't notice when it happens. It turns out this is true.
"When I was coming back from a Mother's Day excursion, I saw that the Volt only had 9 miles left of its EV range. So in case I didn't notice that the switchover took place, I asked my passenger to keep an eye out for the moment it happened. Sure enough, there wasn't a shudder or an engine drone when the last EV mile clicked off. It was totally seamless." — Caroline Pardilla
"I was coming back from brunch one morning when my passenger noticed there was a mysterious pimple on the roof of the Volt. I found this odd, considering most car exteriors get dimples and dents from things thrown, bumped or dropped on them. For this pimple to happen it would have had to been caused from inside the car, right? But the interior headliner didn't indicate any sort of disturbance. I also noticed the groove running from front to rear on the Volt near the pimple seemed to be scuffed, just adding more to the mystery." — Caroline Pardilla