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Ask Volt Drivers: How often do you stop at a gas station?

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Brian Kariger · · 5 years ago

Hey Volt Driver:

According to Consumer Reports, some people report going for months and more than 1,000 miles without stopping to fill up the tank at a gas station. How often do you stop at a gas station? What's your personal best in miles per tank?


· grumpy (not verified) · 5 years ago

I have re-filled once so far. At this rate, I figure maybe 3 or 4 tanks a year.

· Callajero (not verified) · 5 years ago

I have put 4200 miles on the car and put in about 20 gallons. That is equivalent to 210 mpg, which is probably lower than many other Volt drivers. 1000 mpg is definitly doable.

· Victor1970 (not verified) · 5 years ago

Average every 2 months, and it's a tiny tank, so even at $4/gal, it's like 35 bucks. It's July, and I filled up on Memorial Day. Still have 1/3 tank left. 22,000 miles, 20,000 of them are electric! :)

· Volt Lover (not verified) · 5 years ago

I drove over 1,000 miles on just .6 of a gallon of gas. The .6 was used was from the engine recycling several times through the system to make sure it didn't sit and stagnate. Finally broke down and drove further than the electric range and now have used 1.7 gallons of gas. : ( I don't plan on filling up anywhere in the near future. Maybe not until 2013!

· Karen B (not verified) · 5 years ago

I've had my Volt for 7-1/2 months and have only filled up once (6.3 gallons). I've driven the car close to 5000 miles and have used a total of 10 gallons of gas.

· Frank the Volt Owner (not verified) · 5 years ago

I have owned my car for two months and used 8 gallons in 2700 miles. (337 MPG). Most of my electric driving is from charging at work, so my electriciy is free! Funny story - most Volt owners don't want the dealer topping off their tanks if they go in for service because they want to see how far they go on the first tank of gas. Luckly my dealer asked me if I wanted gas when I when to get my lic. plates. I smiled and thanked them but said no. LOVE MY VOLT!!!!!!!!!!

· Steven (not verified) · 5 years ago

Unless GM sets a new record for planned obsolescence and engineered failure, it would appear one of my concerns about the Volt's design was unwarranted. From everything I've read, it is impossible to go forever in all-electric mode, if only to 'recycle' the engine (gas?) I believe I also read that the gas engine kicks in at a certain threshold speed. What is that speed?

The bottom line seems to be 'different strokes for different folks'. If you need to go more than the range of an affordable all-electric car like the LEAF some given number of times per year, the Volt is your car - providing the ICE holds up over time. If you don't exceed the affordable state-of-the-art EV range more than the number of times you could just rent an ICE vehicle, why pack around all that unused weight and potential point(s) of failure with the redundant power plant and drive train?

· laspaled (not verified) · 5 years ago

The dealer gave me a full tank of gas when I bought the car 2200 miles and 2.5 months ago. I still have about 20 miles worth of that original gasoline in the tank, Aside from day to day driving to and for work I have done one road trip up to the lodge on a nearby mountain. About halfway up the mountain I switched to gas and did 20 miles in gas mode. Best part of all though was coming down the mountain where the regenerative braking systems completely recharged my battery in about 30 minutes.

My work mileage (about 200 miles a month) is reimbursed at .55 cents per mile so I have that money going into an account that I will use to pay the additional cost of electricity ($45 a month) and the occasional trip the gas station. When the lease is up I should have a few thousand dollars in there to help me with whatever my next vehicle choice is... most likely the new and improved Volt.

· Zythryn (not verified) · 5 years ago

About once every 8-10 weeks. More around Thanksgiving and Christmas, less the rest of the year.

· martinjlm (not verified) · 5 years ago

We got our Volt in early March. Now it's mid-July. My wife is the primary driver. The car has 4,600 miles clocked (average roughly 34 miles /day). So far we've burned 3.2 gallons of dealer gas. Have not refueled. The engine did turn on for maintenance mode once, using 0.1 gallons.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

2000 miles on 3.1 gallons of gas.
If you want to extend your EV range, select L instead of D. This enhances the regen braking especially in stop & go traffic (makes the car feel like it has a manual transmission when you lift the accellerator pedal.)

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

We still have half the tank that came with the car when we bought it 11 months ago.

· EVlvr (not verified) · 5 years ago

I've got 2500 miles and have used a little more than 30 gallons, thanks to two 300 mile trips and two 150 mile trips taken, along with a number of 50-60 mile days. Lifetime gas mpg is in the 80's.

· DParker (not verified) · 5 years ago

Here is my report after owning 2012 Volt #2394 for one year.

The statistics:

7,227 miles; 5,862 all electric, 37.9 gallons used over the year; Lifetime mileage: 190.5 mpg.

We monitor the power required to charge the car and it has averaged 4.90 kWh/day (1,790 kWh/yr). Part of a low-energy house.

My electric range at the start of each day has averaged 43.0 miles and my daily commute is about 24 miles.

I've stop by the gas station about every four months.

Really, I don't miss it!

· Bill Howland (not verified) · 5 years ago

My experience is similar to other volt owners: per the MYVOLT website, I'm at 441 miles per gallon, and since the dealer topped off the tank at my last recall visit, I've never been to a gas station yet in a year and a half.

Its true you can only go 6 weeks without the engine running a few minutes in maintenance mode. But you only use a pint of gas each rn.

· Joe Sespn (not verified) · 5 years ago

I drive 90-95 round trip commuting with no re-charge station at work. I have had my Volt since April (~ 6 months as of right now), I have put 18k miles on it and averaged 64.8MPG. I fill up about once every 6 days. This is about the worst commute one could design for a volt but I only put in 8-8.5 gallons once a week.

I do get better than 35 miles on my battery though, I have been getting around 40. Although in the last two weeks, when crusing above 35MPH I have been turning it to mountain mode to let it recharge the batteries while I am cruising above 30MPH in steady traffic. Once I get within 15 miles of my house I turn it back to sport to run on batteries the rest of the way. It seem to be more efficient charging this way and will add about 10% better gas mileage but it's only two fill ups so it's hard to say for sure.

Also, 100% of the time I drive in L, it is so ideal for traffic. Just let off the gas at it starts to slow down like driving a manual transmission. It saves brakes and recharges the batteries better. It takes about 3 days to get used to though.

· Volt Lover (not verified) · 5 years ago

Now up to 3,000 miles on 1.8 gallons of original dealer gas. LOVE my Volt!

· Dave McDonald (not verified) · 5 years ago

We drove 9000 miles and used 2.5 gallons. We got 3600 mpg at that rate.

Then, 1 week before we had the car 1 year, the computer forced us to burn gas. That went on until we were down to less than 1/4 tank. It took 7 gallons to refuel. I used ethanol-free (90 oct.) to re-fuel.

I guess that you can't go over a year without getting gas.

Similar results from anyone else? Car has performed flawlessly in over a year.

· · 5 years ago

Wow, some of these testimonials are amazing!

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

Drove all-electric for past 3 months, was at 219 mpg lifetime, but used 5 gallons over last 2 weeks, due to a several long road trips to meet clients. Dropped to 180 mpg lifetime, should start climbing back up as I don't anticipate any long road trips for the near future.

· Tinapolis (not verified) · 5 years ago

After a year and a half, my lifetime average is 141 MPG. Of course, my daily commute is further than the 50 miles I typically get from the battery, so I end up using a few ounces of gas every day. The Volt gets driven about 1350 miles/month, with 75% of that being electric miles. Our gas tank get's filled up with 8 gals every 4-5 weeks (about $28/month or so), plus the $30/month in electricity. Best car I have ever owned. 100% trouble free to date. The Volt is our primary car, we've taken it on vacation trips. I really like that it has no range restrictions.

· Jonathan (not verified) · 5 years ago

After 8 months, my Volt has 4600 miles and has burned about 3 gallons. With the PG&E EV time-of-day rate plan, the electricity bill has risen a few dollars a month. The low number partially results from being in an inexpensive electricity pricing tier.

· · 5 years ago

I have had my Volt since December 2011. The only time that I burn a significant amount of gas is when I take it skiing. It uses about 2 gallons for the 125 mile round trip. So, last summer I went from April to October without buying a drop of gas. Over all I have 15,000 miles on the car and have burned about 50 gallons.

· · 5 years ago

We moved to Houston in Apr12. My wife didn't buy any gas until Apr13. She's zippin' half way across houston and back and never burning gas. Early this month, the Volt computer told her she had to burn the remaining gas or blend it with fresh gas. It actually tracks the average age of your gasoline so if you don't ever burn gas, it won't turn to turpentine! So it automatically turns the motor on to use up the old gas. My wife has bought 2 gallons in 2013.

· · 5 years ago

Oh yea, 2 years old and the original engine oil has 69% life left. So I've owned the Volt for 2 years and haven't needed a oil change yet.

· · 5 years ago

I think Steven got the Engine assist wrong. It sounds like he's never driven a Volt, so he can't explain what he doesn't understand. The engine will come on if you put a heavy strain on the electric motor, such as, driving up steep inclines. There are 3 driving modes in the Volt: Normal, Sport, and Mountain. You select Mountain about 10 minutes prior encountering steep inclines. It turns on the motor generator and actually restricts performance, conserving the battery power for the steep road ahead. If you don't select the Mountain Mode before encountering steep grades, the Volt will feel the strain and go into Mountain Mode automatically. GM did a great job on engineering without over-engineering.
On the 2013 Volt there is a 4th driving mode. It allows you to save battery power for later in your drive, so you can drive higher speeds at the beginning of journey and save the battery for driving in stop and go traffic, where the EV rules with regenerative braking.

· · 4 years ago

I went over 3 months on 3 gallons (3500 miles) I only filled up last week to go on a 900 mile road trip. Automatic Engine maintenance only burns 1/10 of a gallon every 6 weeks (less than a gallon a year) and thats only if you dont use the engine for the entire 6 weeks. Hardly anything to complain about. To answer a question above about "what speed does the engine come on" you are confused with some other cars. The Volt enginne only comes on when the battery runs out, the Volt will do 100 mph on battery power alone. There is so much misinformation about the Volt. 99% of every negative comment is factually incorrect

· · 4 years ago

· chalupacabre - The engine does not come on in the mountains until the battery is depleted. The battery has full power for all terrains. It’s the engine that only provides minimal power for most terrain and Mountain mode is to supplement the engine so that you can climb steep mountains at speeds of 80+ mph. So Mountain mode should be used if your battery is depleted and you want to go fast in the mountains. My last trip I used Hold mode the whole way and the car automatically used battery power to supplement on the hills and replaced the energy when on flat or down hill. Hold mode Holds the current state of charge. Sounds like Chevy needs to provide a better understanding of how the Volt works. I can be on the internet 24/7 correcting all the misinformation out here

· · 4 years ago

I've had my car 2 years and have filled up twice. The car came with a tank of gas so, I figure I've used around 26 gallons in 2 years. So, about $4 per month/ $50 per year. Not bad at all.


Steven if you're still around reading these blogs, there is no set speed that the engine comes on if you have juice in your battery... But if you're driving 95 mph then you have only seconds until the battery is dead and the engine must start.

· · 4 years ago

Here are my five month statistics:
4853 total miles
4560 electric and 293 gas miles
This figures to be 557 MPG.
I got tired of the annoying low fuel message so I put a gallon in...I try to keep the fuel tank minimally full to reduce weight. So this is all the gas I have bought since I purchased the car in late Jan. of this year.

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