Volt Drivers Average 900 Miles Between Fill Ups

Chevrolet declared that Volt owners have now collectively saved a supertanker of gasoline.

According to Chevrolet, since the electric car with extended range went on sale, Volt owners have compiled 40 million miles on electricity and avoided the use of more than 2.1 million gallons of gasoline. Based on $3.80 per gallon of gas, this means total savings at the pump of almost $8 million.

“With each click of the odometer, Chevrolet Volt owners are measuring their contribution to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and to preserving the environment,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet Volt marketing director. “Volt owners are also saving at the fuel pump with more than $8 million in combined savings.”

Chevrolet recently introduced a rolling ticker on its website that showcases real-time daily driving statistics for Volt owners based on OnStar data. Results in total number of miles driven, electric miles driven and gallons of gas saved are viewable.

As a reminder, the Volt has a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas and tailpipe-emissions free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kwh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank. According to Chevrolet, Volt owners typically drive an average of 900 miles between fill ups at the gas station.

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  • Van

    Without working too hard on the math, the average Volt driver drives 2 miles using electric energy for every 1 mile using gasoline.

    Another way to put it is 2/3 of miles we rack up on our vehicles is comprised of short jaunts, less than 35 miles.

    Compelling evidence that plug in hybrids are the way to go.

    It will be interesting to learn what Prius PHV drives accomplish when their collective miles reach 40 million. Most of us think an 11-15 mile EV range is too small to take full advantage of plug in technology, and the data from the PIP would confirm or not that presumption.

  • Dave – Phoenix

    900 miles between fill-ups really doesn’t tell the whole story…..

    Like many Volt owners, I only have to fill up my Volt only “when I take an out-of-town trip.” If driving only in-town, I NEVER have to fill up. For my daily commute, I NEVER have to fill up.

    If I don’t leave town, I don’t buy gas. I have gone as many as 2500 miles between fill-ups simply because I never went out of town for 2 or 3 months. Other Volt owners have gone even further.

    In an ICE/hybrid vehicle, if the average is 400 miles between fill-ups, the high and low are probably 425 miles and 375 miles. In the Volt’s 900-mile average between fill-ups, the low is 300 miles and the high is 10,000 miles.

    Once again, you can’t use traditional measuring methods for the Volt.

  • Mark Fisher

    Today’s typical supertanker can hold around 2 million barrels of oil, not 2 million gallons. see:

    So, the Volt has actually saved about 50,714/2,000,000 of a supertanker, or about 2.5% of a supertanker. GM probably needs to check some numbers.

    I’m not bashing the Volt, however. I own one, and it is a spectacular car. I have driven the car over 4500 miles since I got it 7 months ago, and have not yet had to fill the gas tank. I have used only 2.8 gallons of the original tank. (My driving habits are not typical, I admit!) Most of my driving is electric, so in terms of cost, it’s like I am paying less than $1 per gallon for gas. Focusing on cost, however, does not do full justice for the car. It is very smooth, quiet, responsive, and an almost Zen-like experience.

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    Well, NOT to be technical, but each barrel (assume 42 gallon per barrel) only produce about 10-30% in gasoline. So, a 2 million barrel tanker would only yield at best (2E6 x 12) = 24 million gallon. Volt’s 2 million gallon saving would be about 8-10% of a supertanker. Still an amazing result. Not to mention the fact on how many gallons of fuel saved by NOT refining it and transporting…etc

  • Lynn Mellenthin

    That’s all fine but wouldn’t it be more enlightening to include how many rail cars full of coal, cu ft of nat gas,and kwh of nuclear power it took. Also one might highlight the gas tax savings(or passed on to the other guy) and don’t forget the $7500 tax subsidy paid for by the other guy. Also wouldn’t it be more accurate to prorate the cost of the battery $2-16K? I mean lets be fair here really. I’d go on but I’ve got to get over to the FREE LUNCH at the senior center.

  • LasPaled

    I think the article was specific that it was talking about “Barrels of Gasoline” and not oil. Most people are aware that gasoline is not measured that way however they do have an understanding that a Super Tanker can carry a lot of volume. The articles point is that 2,000,000 gallons of gasoline has been saved, not oil.

  • Las Paled

    To be really fair we need to include some other costs:

    The cost to give the Big Oil companies tax breaks and subsidies is $7 Billion per year. Note that this industry is also the most profitable industry in the USA. In this months Fast Company magazine it is noted that Apple Computer earns $444 per second; Walmart earns $520; ExxonMobil earns $966 to top the list…

    The cost to send troops to the middle east to “protect our interests” – not including the war we are waging – $30 Billion per year

    The cost of American lives who are protecting our “interests” – I hate to use the cliche but – priceless.

    Stop counting the pennies in your pocket and start counting the long term costs.

  • Patrick Baker

    Just some of the extraordinary costs of addiction to the fossil fuels drug. Adding in environmental costs, the direct and indirect subsidies to oil pedlars and junkies are beyond ludicrous. This is a dangerously distorted market where price mechanisms are skewed so consumers don’t make the right sustainable choices.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    With a 9.3 gallon tank, that’s very good…


  • Modern Marvel Fan

    Well, if you want to put it in that biased way, then I want to ask you about all the oil change, air filter, cost of refining gasoline, the cost of transporting gasoline, the cost of dispense gasoline (gas stations), the cost of produce engine oil…etc.

    As far as the $7,500 tax incentive goes. 47% of the American do NOT pay Federal Income Tax. I have paid more than my shares. Last year, I paid over $68,000 in Federal Income Tax alone (another $15,000 in State income tax). That is MORE than enough to cover many of those $7,500 federal tax incentives. If you want go technical, you can take my shares of money that government spent on securing American oil interest in the middle east to fund my $7,500.

  • Lynn Mellenthin

    Stick to the point. The value and economics of the Volt not the fairness of our tax system or social injustice or reasons for our endless wars. The economics of the car should be fought out in a free market. Subsidies of all kinds should be greatly reduced or eliminated to fairly measure this.

  • Ardi – France

    I would like to know, for Volt owners, do you really plug your car every day?

    One can imagine that after several months you may forget to do this ritual

  • Volt136

    I bought my Volt (VIN #136) in Dec 2010. I get about 40 of my 44 mile round trip commutte using Electricity. I have taken some long trips ~1000 miles, during which I got ~40MPG of gasoline. I get around 1000 miles on a tank of gas I guess – I really don’t usually think about gas, except every other month or so when I realize I should put more in. My electric v. total miles as of today are 15333/19295, or 79.5%. Check http://www.voltstats.net if you want to see good sampling of volt owners mileages. To answer the person’s question about forgetting to plug it in… in about 1.5 years I have forgotten 2 times and my wife once.
    Bottom-line – it is a well built, fun, silent, smooth, sporty car that allows me to use local electricity, from local jobs.

  • Tgordi

    I own a Leaf and not Volt. We plug in the car once every 2-3 days weekdays and 2-3 times over the weekend, when we drive around more. What is there to forget? You can see the charge status, like the gas gauge on a internal combustion car and if it is low, you plug in. Do people with gas-driven car ever forget to fill the tank? For an electric car, it is actually easier: I don’t need to drive around to the gas station. My station is here at home.

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