Volt vs Clarity plug in or other plug in electrics

Discussion in 'GM' started by alster, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    We have a 2016 Volt Premier with nearly 33,000 miles and well over 10,000 miles of that 33,000 is just on the gas engine, what is usually called "cs" mode.(voltstats.net) display for our Volt 46.71 mpg (cs) lifetime.

    My wife and I along with our 90 lb Black Lab went steelhead fishing yesterday in the Tillamook Oregon area. Temps ranged from 48-53 F, with mostly cloudy skies and mostly dry roads. Also loaded is all our fishing gear along with my wife's camera gear as well.

    Trip via highway 101, speeds ranged from 65 mph to 25 mph as Highway 101 from our home goes through some small coastal towns and cities.

    We left with a full charge and on return home the dash read: electric 58.8 miles 14.4 KWH used / gas miles 68.1 with 1.32 gallons used for 51.5 mpg. Gas used is Costco 87 octane (regular) with 10% ethanol which is winter blended as well which has a negative effect on mpg's.

    I would like to see the Clarity Plug in or other Plug in electrics do the same.
    BillLin likes this.
  2. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    My brother's i3 REx goes over 90 miles on electricity, but doesn't get quite as good mileage on gasoline. He has to use 91 octane, unfortunately. My brother is over 6'-6" and he has more leg and head room than in any vehicle he has ever owned. I don't think he can fit in a Volt; so there's that.
    BillLin likes this.
  3. BillLin

    BillLin MASS: 2018 Bolt EV and 2017 Prime

    You can do some simple modeling (in a spreadsheet for example) to see the relative effects of battery size and fuel efficiencies on various distances traveled.

    For comparing plug-ins, the bigger the battery and EV range, the less the total energy consumed for a given distance UP TO a point where the poorer gas mileage begins to drag you down.

    For simplicity, I've used 25 miles EV range (easy/conservative and 7.5 kWh from the wall outlet) and 65 MPG on the Prime. You can argue the 65 MPG, but it's probably as easy to do as compared to say 52 MPG in a Volt or 48 MPG in an i3 REX.

    The i3 REX (assuming 90 miles EV range, 21.6 kWh and 48 MPG) is a clear winner (in lower energy consumed) up through about 185 miles compared to the Prime. The Volt never overcomes the i3 REX given these constraints and the closeness of their gas mileages.

    The Volt (assuming 58.8 miles EV range, 14.4 kWh and 51.5 MPG) is a clear winner (in lower energy consumed) up through about 120 miles compared to the Prime.

    Part of the above is the ~125 MPG equivalent for EV driving, for all but the Teslas and sporty electrics driven as such. It is a big jump over the 50-65 MPG of good ICE vehicles driven with care.

    And finally, it's all good. With cleaner electricity sources, it is better to drive more in EV mode. I can't go far wrong either way because I don't drive much and our total energy needs (total home heating/cooling in Massachusetts and car charging) are over 90% covered by our solar panels.

    Enjoy and GO ELECTRIC!

    p.s. I'll throw in some other plug-in comparisons later if I gather some sample data.
    NeilBlanchard, xcel and Markus like this.
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Bill:

    That is worth a front page story!!! WOW!!! :)

    BillLin likes this.
  5. BillLin

    BillLin MASS: 2018 Bolt EV and 2017 Prime

    Thanks, Wayne. I wasn't expecting the i3 REX to do so well, but in retrospect, it IS a first gen EV with a range extender thrown in so not a fair comparison with plug-ins that are more ICE machines with a little EV, even the Volt. The i3's priced too high for me, though. Like Trollbait, I'd "make do" with either Ioniq EV or Leaf. The EV depreciation hit is still hard to take. The Ioniq plug-in still looks very good to me. I saw one listed yesterday in Long Island, NY for about $25k. What I need is an add-on battery for the Prime. :D
  6. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the replies. I still believe the Chevy Volt is one of the least understood cars out there. It sure would have been nice if Hyundai had made the Ioniq plug in with a 50 mile 100% electric range, in which the gas engine would never kick in to get extra power, and when running on just gas 52 mpg's. For $25,000, Ioniq Plug in Hybrid, seems like the best deal out there when you consider the Federal Tax Credit thrown in.
    BillLin likes this.
  7. BillLin

    BillLin MASS: 2018 Bolt EV and 2017 Prime

    I agree it would be nice. I suspect the more powerful motor would raise the cost and then they'd be competing more directly against the Prime.

    Edit: Maybe gen 2 Ioniq plug-in? :)
  8. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Just an update on our 2016 Volt Premier now approaching the 37,000 mile mark. Yesterday the weather was warm with 73 - 60 degrees F with dry roads. My wife and I went fishing down to the Tillamook area via Highway 101 on the northwest Oregon Coast. Speed ranged from 25 MPH through coastal towns to 55 MPH speed limit on the highway portions. Elevation went from sea level at our house to about 600 feet on the mountain passes between Cannon Beach and Wheeler. Great day fishing with 3 Steelhead landed and a dozen or so of sea run Cutthroat trout. All were released.

    We use our Volt with the gas engine quite often with nearly 12,000 miles just on the gas engine with a voltstats.net overall mpg on gas since new 47.19 mpg. Yesterday's fishing expedition, from the Volt's dash screen, was 126 miles roundtrip, 62.6 miles on electric with 14.2 KWH used, 63.4 miles on gas, 1.09 gal's used for 59 MPG (gas used is Costco regular 87 octane with 10% Ethanol added). Summer weather and perhaps summer blended gasoline really helps.

    Fuel cost: electric with all cost taxes etc ($1.85) fuel cost 1.09 gal's at $3.029 ($3.30) total $5.15.

    I don't know of any plug in car available today that could do that. Our Volt's engine and tires, Michelin Energy Saver AS (from GM) are now broken in, and our tires our inflated to max sidewall pressure of 44 PSI, with 15-20 thousand miles still left on the tread life.

    I sure would like to see what the mpg's would have been in a Honda Clarity, Prius Prime, or Ioniq Plug in, on the same trip, vehicle cargo weight ( my wife, myself, all our fishing gear and her camera gear) probably 450-500 lbs.
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
    BillLin and xcel like this.
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Alster:

    Those are spectacular results! The others would have surely consumed more liquid fuel given the amount of electric range you received. As an estimate, on gasoline I would expect the Clarity PHEV to perform maybe 10 percent better, Ioniq ~ 20 to 25 percent and Prime 25 to 30 percent better.

    BillLin likes this.
  10. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Wayne, not bad considering the 2016-18 Volt is rated 42 mpg on gas and 53 mile electric range. Whats nice about our Volt its my wife's daily driver to her business which is 32 miles roundtrip. She never has to use gas. My daily driver is a 2010 Prius. The same trip with just me solo fishing trip would have been 55 - 57 mpg on gas calculated of course the Prius indicator mpg gauge is always off about 3-3.5 mpg over read. The Volt's pretty much dead on for mpg's displayed or even under reads.
    So if the Volt's dash states 59 mpg you are pretty much assured thats what you got and more than likely maybe even a little more....
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  11. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Came back last night from a solo fishing trip down to many of the Tillamook Rivers. My wife had clients scheduled, and had to pass. Used my wife's car, 2016 Volt Premier. Trip via Highway 101, ending in the mountains, elevation about 440 feet, left at sea level home. Caught 1 beautiful 8 lb Steelhead that had to be released because it was a native, and several beautiful sea run Cutthroat Trout, which I also released. Great day to say the least.

    Returned home, from the dash gauge, 133.2 miles total / 65.4 miles electricity 14.3 KWH used / gas miles / 67.8 miles - 1.16 gal's used (87 octane Costco Gas) dash read 59.0 mpg.

    Speed ranged from 61 MPH to 25 MPH while going through several small towns on HIghway 101. Temps 55-62 for the high and low. Factory tires, Michelin Energy Saver AS factory tires with 38,000 miles and all inflated to 44 PSI cold max pressure as listed on tire sidewall. This beats what my 2010 Prius would have achieved on gas of course.

    With gas well over $3.00 / gallon, and a full charge of electricity with all cost including charging loss $1.85, $3.62 for gas total for trip= $ 5.47. Hard to beat that even with a moped.....
    xcel and BillLin like this.

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