What is the best way to test a Volt? Drive 900 miles from Denver to Phoenix in winter, through the mountains with ambient temperatures mostly below freezing and a treacherous, icy stretch of I-40 between Albequerque and Gallup New Mexico. December 18th and 19th covered 937.5 miles -- 88.6 battery and 848.9 engine all in Mountain Mode. Energy usage 10.1 Kw and 23.4 gals. Drove all interstate: speeds between 25 mph (see "treacherous" above semis jack knifed and overturned due to winds and ice) and 75 mph for 40 mpg avg.
Return to Denver January 5th and 6th covered 900 miles, cold temp, engine on 98% used 21.9 gals for 41 mpg average. Excellent road conditions and kept leaf spinning around 61 mph all in Mountain Mode. There were a few times when used both engine and battery together, to keep up on long inclines. Proof that the engine does directly power the wheels. After exiting highway, there was 12 miles on the battery courtesy of Mister Gravity and regen technology.
I have made that same drive many times, in a Lexus LS 400 and a Cadillac -- the Volt was almost as accomodating and the ride was comparable, I gladly traded fuel costs for comfort.
Total mileage @3000 and lifetime 56.4 mpg since purchase in November.
When Volts are available, here will be the place to talk about how to Detail, Maintain and Customize your Volt. Other good topics are charging (solar or otherwise) smartphone app usage, etc.
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