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127 MPG: This Volt Story Must Be Told

2010 Chevrolet Volt front

Never mind a yellow journalistic brouhaha taking place upon these here excellent internets in regards to a 2011 Chevy Volt. Here's since I'm so geeked upon a Chevy Volt as well as since we should be, too. In normal, everyday driving we got 127 miles per gallon (fine, 126.7 mpg). Which is flattering amazing. Broken down, over a course of 299 miles upon Los Angeles highways, byways as well as freeways, a Volt burnt 2.36 gallons of gasoline (fine, 2.359 gallons -- we rounded up). Most other cars have use of up a tank of gas over a course of 299 miles. The Volt, again, used 2.36 gallons over 299 miles. That's freaking amazing!

2010 Chevrolet Volt overview

A couple of weeks ago we hopped in to a entirely charged Volt with a tech guru Frank Markus as well as we set out upon a small drive. The plan was to expostulate from a Motor Trend offices in El Segundo (near LAX) up as well as over a small flattering serious towering roads -- Big Tujunga Canyon as well as Angeles Highway -- before hooking up with Highway fourteen as well as nomadic up in a dried city of Mojave. There was a single locate however. Before we got to a 14, we'd avoid freeways completely in sequence to see how distant we could pull a Volt upon battery usually in stop as well as go traffic.

We took a wending, rambling, 45-mile or so nomadic route by a greater L.A. Basin, hitting such notable 'hoods as Miracle Mile, Fairfax, Korea Town, Silver Lake as well as Glendale. Frank gathering first, as well as gathering consciously. Part of a Volt's arrangement is a small immature round upon a right palm side. When we have been driving as optimally as possible, a immature round shows three small leaves upon it as well as spins. When we accelerate "too fast," a round rises up a graph, a leaves disappear as well as a round turns orange. When we go tough upon a brakes a same thing happens, usually a round sinks. Frank did his best to keep a round centered. Me upon a other hand...

2010 Chevrolet Volt side view

"Way to jack rabbit divided in to traffic," Frank chastised me as we hustled to get a Volt in front of an oncoming city bus. The good headlines is which a Volt behaves similar to a normal car; it even has a jot of guts. The bad headlines is which after 10 seconds, I'd already put a nice-sized hole in Frank's high-mileage effort. For a subsequent forty mins we gave Frank (he lives in Detroit) a guided tour of Los Angeles, not profitable most courtesy to a Volt's floating eco-ball. Here's a tidy part: at 36.3 miles, we ran out of battery-juice as well as a engine very sensitively kicked on.

Once a engine turns on, a Volt drives exactly a same as it did in pure battery mode. Largely since it's still in battery mode. Remember, a Volt's inner explosion engine sends energy to a battery, as well as which energy afterwards rotates a large electric motor (aka Traction Motor) which moves a car. True, over 70 miles per hour a motor clutches itself to a generator of electric energy as well as helps energy a wheels. Much OMG!-ink has been spilled over this fact, though we say large deal. Remember, which engine-assist creates a Volt some-more efficient, i.e. a complete indicate of a Volt.

2010 Chevrolet Volt interior

At a finish of a journey, we'd lonesome some-more than 120 miles. City, hard-core towering roads as well as turnpike -- we even took a Volt up to its limited tip speed of 101 mph. Well, a speedo indicated 102 mph, though we were pointed downhill. Let me also discuss which we had a A/C upon since it was 100 degrees out. Factoring in a mountainous partial of a romp, where Frank as well as we acted similar to complete hooligans as well as neglected (on purpose) to put a Volt in Mountain Mode, we still averaged 74.6 miles per gallon over 122 miles. Sure, that's reduction than a 126.7 mg we got driving a car from a bureau to home, though it's still flattering dang good. Also, recollect which if we had simply stopped driving when a battery went dry, a mileage was infinity.

Here's a large takeaway, a large payoff: We couldn't have done what we did in a Nissan Leaf. Not usually is 120 miles past a Leaf's best-case scenario range, though in such heat as well as driven so aggressively, a Nissan's range would have shrunk considerably. With a Volt, a engine simply flicks upon when we need some-more electricity. When a engine runs out of gas, we supplement more. As Kim Reynolds hyperbolically pointed out after he took a Volt over a Grapevine, "It would have taken weeks to have which expostulate in a Leaf." Wry Reynolds also suggested which with a small bit of hacking, we could have use of Volts to go as well as recharge passed Leafs.

2010 Chevrolet Volt rear

Here's what we should take divided from a Volt. The 127 mpg number we recorded is around five times a average mileage of other cars. So while a Volt does burn fuel, it burns 80% reduction of it. Quite a large fat hairy deal, no?