Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

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Thread: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Well, here I am at 10,000km. As promised when I got the Volt I will keep the regular updates coming.

    First, the stats because some of you just love that stuff. As those who are keeping tab may remember, I took the Volt in for the battery fix in early April and it hit 7000km on the odo as I drove onto the dealer's lot. The servicing was completely uneventful. They gave us a Cruze while the Volt was in and when we got the Volt back it was gassed up and fully charged. I'm sure glad it was nearly empty when I brought it in . But the car is different since the updates/upgrades; see below for commentary on that.

    Obviously since the last update we've done an additional 3000+km. The weather in March was fabulous but April turned out to be ugly and cold with us happy to get into single digits! At the end of April we were still dealing with sub zero Celsius weather. Unbelievable. And so most of the improvement in fuel economy has been courtesy of the warm weather we've finally had in May.

    Now onto the nitty gritty, the numbers:

    • Average lifetime fuel economy: 1.3l/100km (181mpg)
    • Latest 30 days average fuel economy: 0.6l/100km (392mpg)
    • EV: 8659km
    • Gas: 1905km
    • Total: 10,064km
    • Total fuel used: 130l
    • Electric consumption: 22kWh/100km (35kWh/100 miles)
    • Max all-electric range: 75km (47 miles)
    • Current average range: 62km (39 miles)
    • Max kWh used on single full charge: 10.1kWh
    • Total months owned: 7
    • Total cost electricity: $210 (estimate)
    • Total cost gas: $112 (actual) (2 free tanks from GM excluded)


    Some additional information that is now available from the Volt via GM's Volt site includes a running tally and daily details on charges, including start and end time, charge time and charge result (full/partial) and the kWh required to charge the car.

    The following statistics are from April 24 - May 23rd.

    • Max kWh required to charge from empty: 11.96
    • Cost for said charge at my rates: $0.96 (@$0.08/kWh)
    • Total for month: 310kWh
    • Cost to charge Volt for entire month at my rates: $25.00
    • Total charging time for month: 230 hours


    A bit of arithmetic shows that we've gone 3064km using 15l of fuel for a fuel economy since the battery fix/software upgrade of 0.5l/100km or 470mpg!

    Quite impressive, and now that the kids are both out of university for the summer both cars are getting quite a number of kilometres put on them.

    Note that GM filled the car up at the beginning of April when we took it in for the battery fix. That means we've had 5 fill ups. I've done 3 and GM has provided 2. Fuel has cost me $112 for those 10,000km. Not bad :-). (Yeah, I realize GM paid for 2, had I paid for all 5 the cost would be $188.)

    Since that April fill up we've put on 3064kms and only used 15 litres of fuel, with 15 litres remaining. That means our fuel economy has markedly improved with the warmer weather and now stands at 1.3l/100km (181mpg). Recall it was 1.6l/100km (147mpg) average when the winter hit, with me seeing 3l/100km (78mpg) in the most frigid weather. Now that it's warmer the weekly and monthly numbers are vastly different with this past week showing 0.5l/100km (470+mpg).

    Further, our commutes have changed, meaning that the car is being driven utterly differently than it was a few months ago. It's now being driven on either 35km commutes or 60km commutes depending on whether my son and I go to our jobs in the west end or my wife and daughter head to the east end in the Volt. Because of these commutes and the fact the kids are out and about in the evenings I am considering getting a 240v charger.

    As to reliability, the car has been utterly flawless. We are super impressed. GM has contacted us regularly to ensure we're happy with the car, which we are. And I'd happily have two Volts in the garage. My wife is already hinting that an ELR might be a perfect replacement once the kids move out into the real world in a few years. I don't think I can disagree .

    As to the battery "fix", the most interesting results are that I am now always getting more than 60km to a charge in the warmer weather. In October when it was 22c+ I'd rarely break 60km though my son would regularly. Now, I get 62 - 65 all the time and I still drive aggressively. My son hits 70+km regularly. And our commutes are 70% highway. I'm sure we'd do even better if we did mostly regional roads instead of highways.

    Additionally, GM must have adjusted the software controlling the generator. Where I could easily discern that it was on before now I have to strain to hear it. In fact, this week when we drove more than 60km we couldn't hear the generator and thought it wasn't on, it is now that quiet. I have no idea what GM did in terms of quieting the generator but whatever they did is amazing. I can barely hear it unless I try. In the city it's nearly as quiet as it is when it's running on electrons. If this is an indication of the type of software upgrades GM will do in future, I can hardly wait for the next one!

    Another interesting bit of news is that those LED bulbs I put in the house are paying off nicely. I'm saving $30 - 40/month. The Volt is costing us about $25/month. So, we're driving for free, other than the gas we need now and again. And, yeah, the kids still leave the lights on all the time, it's just that I can now see how often courtesy of the savings being registered on our bill. It's actually lower now than it was before we had the Volt, so the Volt's cost per month is lost in the savings. Excellent.

    [B]edit: I had the wrong rates. I used 10 cents, but that's worst case. It's actually 8 cents since we do it mostly off peak.
    Last edited by zete; 05-25-2012 at 08:17 PM.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Thanks for the update. Your cost to drive those 10K is ridiculously low - especially since the dealer kicked in 2 tanks

    My wife is already hinting that an ELR might be a perfect replacement once the kids move out into the real world in a few years.
    Haha, hooked. You've probably seen that there are a bunch of people at gm-volt.com that have more than one Volt and you're on the slippery slope

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Wow that really impressive mpg, it really is a great car

    think of someone that you consider to be of average intelligence...
    half the worlds population is stupider than that person.


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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Good write-up and impressive results so far, but you lost me in that last paragraph......... With math/logic like this, you really should consider a job in government. Those are mutually exclusive events, unless GM gave you the bulbs with the purchase of the car. (which might be a good promotional idea?)

    Regards,
    Ed


    Quote Originally Posted by zete View Post
    Another interesting bit of news is that those LED bulbs I put in the house are paying off nicely. I'm saving $30 - 40/month. The Volt is costing us about $30/month. So, we're driving for free, other than the gas we need now and again. And, yeah, the kids still leave the lights on all the time, it's just that I can now see how often courtesy of the savings being registered on our bill. It's actually lower now than it was before we had the Volt, so the Volt's cost per month is lost in the savings. Excellent.
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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753 View Post
    Good write-up and impressive results so far, but you lost me in that last paragraph......... With math/logic like this, you really should consider a job in government. Those are mutually exclusive events, unless GM gave you the bulbs with the purchase of the car. (which might be a good promotional idea?)

    Regards,
    Ed
    Nah, the math is sound. I had a slew of points unused on a credit card that I used to buy bulbs at Home Depot with, so they were effectively free -- I had no use for the points other than using them at Home Depot or Chapters, and since i have about 1000 books I've yet to read, Home Depot it was . And, since the kids always left the lights on in the house, driving me nuts, LEDs were the way to go -- I hate the notion of mercury filled CFLs.

    Thus, 30 or so LEDs have now replaced nearly all of the incandescents in the house resulting in more savings than I'd have believed. The only incandescents left are in a couple of fixtures with electronic dimmers, for which these supposedly dimmable Philips LEDs do not work. Sigh.

    So, total cash outlay for the LEDs: $0. Hope the logic now makes sense.

    The only thing that throws any of my numbers off is the 2 free tanks GM has provided, one at purchase the other after the battery fix/update. But even I had to throw those in I'd still be spending little money for the kilometres driven. As I said, I'm extremely pleased as is the family.

    And, yes, we'd love to have another Volt. But with university education costing the household $30k/year at the moment another Voltec-based car will wait. Two more years and all the kids will have their papers at which point our expenses will drop and that ELR may well be within easy reach.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by zete View Post
    Nah, the math is sound. I had a slew of points unused on a credit card that I used to buy bulbs at Home Depot with, so they were effectively free -- I had no use for the points other than using them at Home Depot or Chapters, and since i have about 1000 books I've yet to read, Home Depot it was . And, since the kids always left the lights on in the house, driving me nuts, LEDs were the way to go -- I hate the notion of mercury filled CFLs.

    Thus, 30 or so LEDs have now replaced nearly all of the incandescents in the house resulting in more savings than I'd have believed. The only incandescents left are in a couple of fixtures with electronic dimmers, for which these supposedly dimmable Philips LEDs do not work. Sigh.

    So, total cash outlay for the LEDs: $0. Hope the logic now makes sense.

    The only thing that throws any of my numbers off is the 2 free tanks GM has provided, one at purchase the other after the battery fix/update. But even I had to throw those in I'd still be spending little money for the kilometres driven. As I said, I'm extremely pleased as is the family.

    And, yes, we'd love to have another Volt. But with university education costing the household $30k/year at the moment another Voltec-based car will wait. Two more years and all the kids will have their papers at which point our expenses will drop and that ELR may well be within easy reach.
    OK, the math is sound, but we are going to agree to disagree thereafter........

    The points on your CC, and bulbs you purchased and their savings have absolutely nothing to do with the Volt you own...... The fact one saves electricity you were using before, and the other consumes electricity you were not using before is merely coincidental.

    You could have just as easily bought another Cruze, and all the light bulbs, actually dropping your electric bill, enough to feed the family for free for a week or two each month, or invest the saved money in a short-interest of AONE and had a big enough profit to buy a vacation home, you chose to spend that saving charging your Volt, which is absolutely fine, but you are not charging your Volt for free.

    I suspect the Volt will get better in many ways a few years down the road, but it might not have all the incentives it has now, so "net" cost is hard to say. I do find it ironic, that you are saving so much with one, but a 2nd Volt is not in the budget.... why wouldn't you then be saving twice as much?
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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753 View Post
    You could have just as easily bought another Cruze, and all the light bulbs, actually dropping your electric bill, enough to feed the family for free for a week or two each month, or invest the saved money in a short-interest of AONE and had a big enough profit to buy a vacation home, you chose to spend that saving charging your Volt, which is absolutely fine, but you are not charging your Volt for free.
    Big enough profit? On $AONE? Explain to me how this voodoo math works. I'm down big in AONE.
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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Thanks for a great update...

    Awesome car....impressive fuel efficiencies..

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by Suziebob View Post
    Big enough profit? On $AONE? Explain to me how this voodoo math works. I'm down big in AONE.
    Yes, I know, I was thinking of you when I included that, please see the bold part......... (but please at this point, don't get anymore "good ideas")

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753 View Post
    OK, the math is sound, but we are going to agree to disagree thereafter........

    The points on your CC, and bulbs you purchased and their savings have absolutely nothing to do with the Volt you own...... The fact one saves electricity you were using before, and the other consumes electricity you were not using before is merely coincidental.

    You could have just as easily bought another Cruze, and all the light bulbs, actually dropping your electric bill, enough to feed the family for free for a week or two each month, or invest the saved money in a short-interest of AONE and had a big enough profit to buy a vacation home, you chose to spend that saving charging your Volt, which is absolutely fine, but you are not charging your Volt for free.

    I suspect the Volt will get better in many ways a few years down the road, but it might not have all the incentives it has now, so "net" cost is hard to say. I do find it ironic, that you are saving so much with one, but a 2nd Volt is not in the budget.... why wouldn't you then be saving twice as much?
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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Oh, we can go on and on re: the numbers, but it is nice that the two cancel each other out (Volt vs. LEDs).

    As to buying another Cruze, as I've mentioned before, we were looking at cars in the $0k range (SRX, Regal GS, Infiniti GX, CTS, etc.). So comparing Apples to Apples the savings for the Volt can also be made in terms of buying another $50k vehicle. After all, I could have just bought a bus pass and saved even more money. Thus, my money for any vacation is actually coming courtesy of the savings in fuel costs vs. those other vehicles! As I've said repeatedly, we always have a minimum of two cars which average out to about $60 - 70k in price. I.e., $25k Cruze + $45k Volt = $70k.

    Now, for those still interested in numbers here are some interesting figures (from the MyVolt site):

    05/27/2012 at 11:11 AM AST 0 20 7.19 L/100 km 1.44 litres
    05/26/2012 at 09:26 PM AST 0 15 6.84 L/100 km 1.06 litres
    05/26/2012 at 08:30 PM AST 0 66 5.87 L/100 km 3.90 litres
    05/26/2012 at 08:06 PM AST 0 25 5.74 L/100 km 1.48 litres
    05/25/2012 at 11:56 PM AST 0 15 6.71 L/100 km 1.06 litres
    05/25/2012 at 07:45 PM AST 0 16 4.48 L/100 km 0.76 litres
    05/25/2012 at 06:39 PM AST 0 6 6.21 L/100 km 0.38 litres
    05/25/2012 at 05:49 PM AST 0 18 6.65 L/100 km 1.25 litres
    05/25/2012 at 04:23 PM AST 0 20 6.19 L/100 km 1.29 litres

    Can you guess which ones are my son driving vs. which ones were me? We went on a 260km road trip on the weekend, I've removed the initial 60km of electric.

    Note that the worst mileage is 33mpg and the best is 53mpg. Yes, you can get 53mpg (US mpg) in CS mode! I think we averaged 6.2l/100km or 38mpg (if my math is right). That last 20km is the trip home on clogged city streets (we had the marathon, slowed everything down big time).

    And much of that is highway speeds, which means 110 - 115km/h.

    Should throw in that the total trip was about 4.85l/100km or 49mpg with the 60km electric portion included at the start of the trip.

    And, no, we couldn't plug in at the far end as we were out in the country.
    Last edited by zete; 05-28-2012 at 08:56 PM.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753 View Post
    :

    The points on your CC, and bulbs you purchased and their savings have absolutely nothing to do with the Volt you own...... The fact one saves electricity you were using before, and the other consumes electricity you were not using before is merely coincidental.

    :

    BTW, I don't want to belabour this but had I used the points on my gas card to buy 5 cents off a litre of gas it would still be a savings in my fuel consumption, and you probably wouldn't argue. The fact I used the points off of one card thereby offsetting the cost of charging the car is identical to had I used my gas card points to offset the cost of filling up my Cruze. To me it's the same thing.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by zete View Post
    As to buying another Cruze......
    No, I was talking buying another Volt.

    Quote Originally Posted by zete View Post
    BTW, I don't want to belabour this but had I used the points on my gas card to buy 5 cents off a litre of gas it would still be a savings in my fuel consumption, and you probably wouldn't argue. The fact I used the points off of one card thereby offsetting the cost of charging the car is identical to had I used my gas card points to offset the cost of filling up my Cruze. To me it's the same thing.
    Neither do I, we'll agree to disagree.

    5 cents off a gallon of the Cruze's 15 gallon tank isn't really comparable to one $40 LED Light Bulb, much-less a house-full of them. The points you used, to buy all the light bulbs was equivilant to a rather large sum of money.

    If I were to pool all my CC purchases to just one card, and take all the points to buy fuel gift cards with, I bet I could earn enough to fill my truck up all year and never actually pay anything for gas, but I wouldn't consider my truck as getting infinite MPG, or "free" to drive/fuel.
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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753 View Post
    No, I was talking buying another Volt.
    Actually, you said, and I quote: "You could have just as easily bought another Cruze, ...".

    Neither do I, we'll agree to disagree.
    I think that's best .


    5 cents off a gallon of the Cruze's 15 gallon tank isn't really comparable to one $40 LED Light Bulb, much-less a house-full of them. The points you used, to buy all the light bulbs was equivilant to a rather large sum of money.

    If I were to pool all my CC purchases to just one card, and take all the points to buy fuel gift cards with, I bet I could earn enough to fill my truck up all year and never actually pay anything for gas, but I wouldn't consider my truck as getting infinite MPG, or "free" to drive/fuel.
    BTW, the bulbs were $30. Though I think I got them for $27.

    As to how much, 25 bulbs cost me about $750 in points. Had I used that for gas it'd have only been 3 months of gas for the Cruze. But the bulbs offer me what I see as "free driving" each and every month in near perpetuity. Just saying .

    For the curious I bought Philips 12w LEDs which are 60w equivalents. Not sure if they're available in the USA but up here they're readily available at Home Depot and they look like this:

    15684.410316_4.jpg
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Zete,
    Thanks for the update. Very cool.

    My round trip commute is 130 miles (210 km) and there are no charging stations near the office, so for the Volt to be a spectacular option for me the range-extended mode needs to consistently deliver better than 40 mpg. The more the better. I'm hoping with the first major refresh they do that.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 10,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    Zete,
    Thanks for the update. Very cool.

    My round trip commute is 130 miles (210 km) and there are no charging stations near the office, so for the Volt to be a spectacular option for me the range-extended mode needs to consistently deliver better than 40 mpg. The more the better. I'm hoping with the first major refresh they do that.
    If you drive the car at 100km/h (62mph) or so I find even I get more than 40mpg. If you have a lot of 80km/h sections your mileage will increase even more so.

    I think part of getting the best range and mileage with the Volt is to use cruise control and accelerate smoothly. I do neither, as can be seen from my numbers. My son does both. And on that long trip on the weekend it showed in how I drive versus how he drives.

    I do agree that v2 of Voltec will get even better range and mileage. It's inevitable. But as I've said before, Voltec is an amazing accomplishment for GM. It's a masterpiece of engineering and technology. The entire family loves the car.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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