2016 Chevrolet Volt: Range King — For Now
by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on February 22, 2016
I'm a competitive person no matter the subject. So when we got our new 2016 Chevrolet Volt, I knew I'd be playing the "how far can we (reasonably) go in the real world on a charge?" game and I assumed it would be with Dan Edmunds. Again. (Carlos and I will later play the "How little distance can we reasonably cover in the real world?")
And then Dan got 70 miles and I had to beat it. I just didn't expect it to be so easy.
I wasn't expecting to break the record when I set out that night. I was leaving from a hotel, I had to stop for groceries about five miles into the trip, I had a fast section of freeway and, most importantly, I only planned to drive about 50 miles.
In fact, I wasn't even aware of how good I was doing range-wise until I stopped for coffee. I had been in "L" as I do, and using the regen paddle as I (reluctantly) do, but I'd been heavy with the throttle and even tried to see if the tires would spin full whack on a 90-degree turn (they do).
But once I was in the parking lot, I peeked down and saw the prediction. I texted Dan: On pace for a 75-mile run. Fingers crossed traffic keeps like this.
And it did. Traffic was heavy without stopping and running somewhere less than 45 mph.
Traffic was still moving perfectly when I zoomed past my destination, solely focused on driving 75 miles for no real reason. With 70 miles on the EV odometer, the car was projecting 80 miles, but history tells me these things fall fast.
For each mile I drove, two miles clicked off from the counter. Then there was an emergency vehicle that forced me to pull over. And then I caught a red light. This wasn't much of a concern as the Volt doesn't need much power to "idle" but it meant that I'd have to accelerate hard enough to not get beeped at -- or crashed into. I managed to not get killed, either by crash or road rage, and back up to speed without draining too much. The Volt hovered at "one mile remaining" for about three miles, then the range ran out at 74.8 miles. This on a car rated at 53 miles of electric range.
Dan will beat this, I'm sure. But for now, I'm the champ and know exactly what to do (fewer burnouts, no coffee stops, ditch the highway section) to get 80.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 1,679 miles