2016 Chevrolet Volt: Monthly Update for November 2016
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2016 Chevrolet Volt started November strong, with most of the drivers only tapping into the gasoline engine for 20 to 30 miles at a time before plugging into a charging station. Michael Massey filled up early in the month for a gas-only average of 40.8 mpg. It stayed around Los Angeles, mostly running on electricity only, until I took it over the Thanksgiving break. Traveling around Orange County for a week made it too difficult to stay hooked up to charging stations, so most of my errands involved running on gas. The Volt closed the month with a 0.2 mpg downtick in overall fuel economy.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
November was a busy month in these parts, what with the LA Auto Show, related press events spread throughout the city and Thanksgiving festivities. The Volt was used mostly for normal commuting duties, while I threw in some traveling on deserted Orange County highways over Thanksgiving.
Tracking true fuel economy in a plug-in hybrid is an inherently tricky task because the "crossover point" from electric to gas is what matters for the math, not the odometer reading at each fuel stop. We reviewed our data and identified a new high of 45.1 mpg, so our Volt has now officially outperformed the EPA estimate.
Average lifetime gasoline mpg: 38.6 mpg
Best fill mpg: 45.1 mpg
EPA combined mpg rating: 42 miles
Average electric range: 51.6 miles
Best electric range: 75.0 miles
EPA electric range rating: 53 miles
Best range between gasoline fills (electric fills + gasoline): 681 miles
Current odometer: 16,073 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
Vehicle Testing Assistant Mike Massey noticed a chip on the Volt's windshield, which Safelite repaired to the tune of $138.65 (see comment below).
"With the all-electric Chevrolet Bolt scheduled to hit dealers in a few weeks, I'm curious how many people who currently drive a Volt will make the switch. Sure, there will be those who always want the latest and greatest thing available, but I'm guessing that most Volt owners already realize that they're using battery power most of the time, if not all of the time, already." — Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor
"I took possession of the Volt with 286 miles on the trip meter and the onboard calculator showing fuel consumption at more than 250 mpg, the highest number the calculator displays. I tried to keep this number as high as possible over the next week, but I couldn't stay tethered to ChargePoint stations forever. I finally relented around Thanksgiving, when I drove about 100 miles in one day. By the time I filled up with gas, the Volt's displayed average was around 95 mpg. Sorry for party foul, everyone." — Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor
"As I settled into the Volt's driver seat, I reached to put my suction-cup phone holder in place and noticed a star chip about the size of a dime in the windshield. I dialed up Safelite. They came to the office and repaired the chip to almost perfect invisibility. They told me that chips like this will leave a scar, but I can't personally find it. The repair cost us $138.65." — Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant