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 PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    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 PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    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 PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    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
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  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....
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  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.....
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  12. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Yesterday my wife finally had a chance to use her new drone for our youtube channel "fontana outdoors". We took our 2016 Volt Premier down to the Trask River in Tillamook Oregon. Temps in the mid 60's, and no rain, after several months of it here in northwestern Oregon.

    Our car was loaded down with all our fishing gear, her camera gear, cooler full of drinks, snacks, and our 13 year old black Lab, Sparky, who is 90 lb. +. Total cargo weight with me included is probably close to 600 lbs or so. Had a great day with my wife really enjoying flying her new drone with its 4K camera system so we can get a birds eye views for our channel.

    After a fun day we returned home with the dash reading, 125.5 total miles / 67.2 on electric with 14.2 KWH used (fully depleted) / 58.3 miles on just gas, .99 gal's used @ 58.6 MPG/ 87 octane Costco Reg. with 10% ethanol, probably now summer blend. Trip via Highway 101 which is a beautiful drive along the Oregon Coast from our home in Seaside at sea level to about 500 feet going over the mountains between the stretch between Seaside and Nehalem, and of course back again. Speed ranged from a max of about 60 MPH and minimum of 25 - 30 MPH going through the small towns along the way. (Note:) Went over the mountain section on electric both ways and regen on the way down does increases range.

    A day earlier I took the same trip with our 2010 Prius with just me, and my fishing gear, same trip, temp, and road condition. Returned home with 59 MPG indicated on the Prius dash, which is always off by 3 to 3.5 miles, so 56 mpg true. (Note: the Volt mpg dash gauge is spot on sometimes even under reporting).

    So cost for the trip : Prius 125.5 miles @ 56 MPG @ $3.15 / gallon = $7.05 Total Fuel Cost. (Prius has about 166,000 miles) $.0562 per mile fuel cost.

    Now the Volt: 125.5 miles / 67.2 miles electric cost with all cost and charging loss included (16 KWH @ .113 / KWH = $1.81)
    Gasoline @ .99 gal's @ $3.15 = $3.12.

    So cost for the Volt trip yesterday, with a loaded vehicle: $3.12 + $1.81 = $4.93 (Volt has about 39,000 miles) $.0393 per mile fuel cost.

    The Volt fuel cost savings over the Prius (electric and gasoline) = $2.12

    I wonder if there are any Honda Clarity Plug in reports on range and mpg's just on gas?
    BillLin likes this.
  13. xcel

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

    HI Alster:

    The Clairty is far more comfortable but the results were not blowout. There was no way to tell what SoC was before the start and the finish so the result was indeterminate.

    How about the 47-mile all-electric range 2018 #Honda #Clarity plug-in? Darn gorgeous interior materials, in hybrid mode the efficiency and refinement was excellent, std. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, safety galore, and at $33,400 minus the Fed and any state tax credits to start, it can be picked up for less than a std. Accord!

    Shortfalls include short lower seat cushions, not enough seat track for taller drivers, no knobs for audio control, and old school CVT action when pressed.

    In Hybrid mode, the Honda Clarity PHEV efficiency tops the charts here at Road America today. I suspect the Accord Hybrid will do even better!


    BillLin likes this.
  14. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Wayne, I would hope in the near future Honda would have a Civic Plug in Hatchback, with 100% electric range of 75 miles, with no gas engine coming on to heat the cabin etc. or supply extra power, and when running on gasoline deliver 55 MPG avg. (E.P.A.) on regular 87 octane gas. I recall years ago on gm-volt.com where people wanted a 50 - 50 Volt, one that went 50 miles on electric and delivered 50 mpg on gas. Today it seems that would be easy to beat with our current 2018 technology.

    What I really like about our Volt is that with a full charge, spring summer conditions 65 miles, with a push of a button I can decide when I want to use the electric or switch over to gasoline. If we take a trip to Portland Oregon to enjoy the day in the city, I can leave 45 miles or so of electric range, and when in the city switch over to pure electric , and when on the highway switch to gas.

    The Clarity exterior, just my opinion, has to many angles for my liking, in fact, I like the styling of the 2019 Honda Insight better.

    I'm still up in the air of what to replace our 2010 Prius with. I have heard that the 2019 Volt will have a faster charge rate, 7.2 KW/hour, but its unknown if the battery will be tweaked for a few extra miles or if the gas engine will have an increase in mpg's. The 2019 Honda Insight is on my list, just wish it was a hatchback plug in though....
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  15. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Even though crude oil has dropped a few dollars per barrel, 42 gal's / barrel, gas prices have continued to rise. Costco in Warrenton Oregon is $3.169 / gallon for 87 octane regular, the least expensive in the entire area.

    Our 2016 Volt is now approaching 40,000 miles with over 12,000 miles just on gas. From new purchase to now our CS mpg per voltstats.net is 47.6 mpg, last fillup our mpg just on gas, based on miles divided by gal's used (87 octane Costco Reg.) Total gas only miles, 304.7, gal's pumped at fill up, 5.285 gal's. = 57.653 mpg.

    I have noticed when in Hold Mode that voltstats.net does not record gas mpg's when you climb a mountain on gas and at the top switch over to electric on the way down. Now the dash gauge records as gas mpg's until it switches to electric when the regen electric is used up. Voltstats.net registered for last trip yesterday, 123 miles total, 61.1 miles on gas, 1.1465 gal's used. Now our Volt dash read when we returned home: 123 miles / 56.9 on electric (11.5 KWH used)/ 66 miles on gas with 1.19 gal's used for 56.2 mpg. We still had 13 miles of electric range left on the dash as well.

    We have a 2010 Prius and this rivals what I get with our Prius, at times the Volt's beats it by more than a hair. I believe most people who own a Volt, Gen 2 year 2016-2018, drive mostly on electric and when they do switch to gas its only for a few miles and the gas motor never warms up to its efficient operating area.

    Also, our gas motor is broken in and looking back when we first purchased it mpg's was mostly in the low to mid 40's mpg. Now its well into the 50 mpg range. Last oil change was Mobil One 0w20 pure synthetic motor oil that seemed to bump up the mpg's a little.

    Factory tires are now broken in as well, Michelin Energy Saver AS, in which we keep 44 PSI in all 4 tires, also they are wearing for at least a 55,000-65,000 life span.

    No other car, in my opinion can match the Gen 2 Volt, now with summer temps, 60F and above, its a piece of cake to get over 60 miles on a charge as well. With just a push of a button with a electric charge you can go from electric to gas or back again to electric, its your choice. When on electric the gas engine will never kick in to give you extra propulsion power, the electric motor has enough horse power on its own.

    So the only direct competitor is the Honda Plug in Clarity. I doubt we will see 60 miles on a charge or 50+ mpg just on gas when the battery runs out, and there is no real world results out there as far as I know.

    In closing most of our, my wife and I with all her camera gear and my fishing stuff, trips are via Highway 101 on the Oregon Coast speeds range from 60 MPH to 25 MPH when going through small towns and cities. We leave and return at sea level and climb two passes that rise to 600 feet in elevation also climb those two passes when we return home as well.

    I would sure like to see what the Honda Clarity could do with all the same conditions and cargo weight etc. for a true comparison.
    BillLin likes this.
  16. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Pretty sure the Clarity PHEV won't match the gen ii volt on efficiency. But for about the same purchase price, .. it's a lot more car, and your total monthly energy costs (gas/electric) increase will be small ,... I doubt most people would even notice.


    /there's a former Prius owner in that thread who says for long trips the difference is night and day (comfort, road noise)
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  17. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    My wife and I just got back last night from a 3 day vacation down the Oregon Coast via Highway 101 down to Northern California and back the same route. Weather was nice with no rain and temps. up to mid 70's or so.

    We took our 2016 Volt Premier and we were pretty much loaded down with all our fishing gear, camera gear, cooler, clothes etc. the Volt on a certified Oregon Dept. of Transportation weigh scale weighed 4,150 lbs. We had plenty of room in the back with both seats folded down and thats with a compact spare tire behind the drivers seat as well.

    When we returned home the Volts dash screen read: total miles: 775.9 / electric 78.4 miles on 13.9 KWH. Gas miles only: 697.5 with 13.31 gal's used: left with a full tank of Costo Reg. 87 octane and refilled with Fred Meyer reg. 87 octane gas. MPG on gas read: 52.5 mpg. Lots of hill climbing on the route, a very scenic drive to say the least.

    I don't know of many cars pulling 4,150 lbs. that could be this fuel efficient. Also with the battery completed depleted we had to rely on the gas engine of course. We never had any problems with power climbing over the hills along the coast.

    At one point I knew on the way back we had to go through Lincoln City Oregon which is a long 8 miles or so through the city with speeds 30-35 MPH. So 20 miles from Lincoln City I placed the Volt in Mountain Mode and from a depleted battery I got 2 electric bars, and ran through the entire town and then a little further for a total of 10 miles before the gas engine kicked in.

    I sure would like to see a comparable trip with a Honda Clarity Plug In, with the same conditions, speed, weight, climate conditions etc. for a true comparison. Just my feeling that the Volt's (2016-2018) 1.5 engine is more fuel efficient than most people believe.

    Our Volt was very comfortable, much more than our 2010 Prius, and basically no difference in MPG's...
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
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  18. rossbro

    rossbro Well-Known Member

    --------------Regular in Myrtle Beach,6-24-18, $2.38 to 2.44--------------
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  19. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Shell E10 87 in Portland , Tennessee was $2.559/gallon on July 1.
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