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2016 Chevrolet Volt EPA-rated at 53 miles all-electric range

The Chevrolet Volt’s all-new second-generation Voltec extended-range electric propulsion system (earlier post) delivers 53 miles (85 km) of all-electric range, based on EPA testing. That is nearly a 40% improvement over the first-generation Volt, and a 6% boost over the projected 50-mile (80 km) AER estimated at the new Volt’s unveiling in January. (Earlier post.)

Chevrolet expects many next-generation Volt owners will use power solely from their batteries for more than 90% of trips. Today, Volt owners use battery power on 80% of their trips, according to GM. The additional range would enable the average Volt owner to travel well over 1,000 miles (1,609 km) (in multiple trips) between gas fill ups, if they charge regularly.

In a paper (Duhon, SAE 2015-01-1164) presented at SAE World Congress in April this year, GM engineers reported that in an evaluation of one year of in-use operating data from the first generation Chevrolet Volt, initial Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) starts were reduced by 70% relative to conventional vehicles under the same driving conditions. These Gen 1 Volt drivers were able to travel 74% of their total miles in EV without requiring the ICE’s support.

The authors noted then that, even with the original expected AER of 50 miles, second generation Volt drivers located in moderate climates who do not often select hold or mountain mode may be able to achieve nearly 90% of trips driven all-electrically.

For the first 53 miles, the Gen 2 Volt can drive gas and tailpipe-emissions free using a full charge of electricity stored in its new 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery, rated at a combined 106 MPGe, or gasoline equivalent. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range for a total of 420 miles (676 km) on a full tank.

The next-generation Volt’s new 1.5L range-extender, designed to use regular unleaded fuel, offers a combined EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 42 mpg (5.6 l/100 km).

Data shows that drivers of the first-generation Volt achieved, and often exceeded, the published EPA-estimated mileage. Chevrolet expects the same label-exceeding result with the next-generation Volt.


  • Duhon, A., Sevel, K., Tarnowsky, S., and Savagian, P. (2015) “Chevrolet Volt Electric Utilization,” SAE Int. J. Alt. Power. 4(2) doi: 10.4271/2015-01-1164


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According to GMs own data on the volt usage it is about 63% of the miles that were electric.

The 90% is BS. But the new Volt is a good move in the right direction to all BEV drive. The GM Bolt will be more interesting.


53 miles at 106 MPGe would consume 16.85 kWh. Take out 15% charging loss and you get 14.3 kWh used from 18.4 kWh battery pack.

That's 78% depth of charge, very deep. Is it charging to 100% and drained to 22%? Or 90% to 12%?


fifty miles is a fair bit of all electric range but the extent to which individuals will be able to use it will depend primarily on how the vehicle is used.
I would expect that most mainstream buyers will be more interested in the price and performance. Given the information I've seen sofar I would expect the car with the $7,500 tax incentive should be very popular and if that is not the case then I'm not sure if PHEV's have much of a future.


In order for the world's utility grids to continue serving needs, PHEVs matched to rooftop photovoltiac solar must play a central role. IMO, the 10-20 mile PHEV driving range on battery alone is an ideal incentive for housholds to reduce personal VMT, and by directing development of local economies, reduce worldwide VMT trucking and shipping the longest distances.

To sweeten the Iran nuclear agreement, Iran proposes buying a fleet of Boeing aircraft. Nevermind Iran's potential for solar power, luxury air travel is a must. A major holdup with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is related to automobile import/export, likely the competition of new manufacturing plants in low-wage countries.

These are examples of policy that prolongs the inevitable conversion to EVs (mostly PHEV) and PV solar to complement regional utility grids. Obama trade and energy policy takes one step forward and two steps back, probably to fend off Big Oil assassins who fully intend to foul the Artic Circle after profiting.


I think its misleading when they report electrification of TRIPS rather than electrification of MILES. 90% seems like a large number but the vast majority of trips are very short distances. In reality what we care about is % of electrified miles.

Also, Henrik - this is the 2nd gen volt. The article you shared is the 1st gen Volt with 35 mile AER.

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