Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to All Our Content

2013 Chevrolet Volt Real World Electric Range And Fuel Economy Testing

2013 Chevrolet Volt Black NSCC Aviation Institute

We don’t all feel the need to justify the pizza we ordered last night or the latte you bought this morning at Starbucks, or for that matter, the new Honda CR-V your neighbours just leased. And although I wish to take a stand against the bizarre requirement reviewers and non-buyers have to calculate whether the purchase of a  Chevrolet Volt can be justified (as though we all think the purchase of other $46,030 “assets” that depreciate could ever be justified) I really wanted to see how much money I could save during the abbreviated week in which a Chevrolet Volt was visiting GoodCarBadCar.

A full review of the nearly fully loaded Volt that GM Canada sent our way will be on GoodCarBadCar soon. Until then, I present you with an exhaustive look at the energy expended by the Volt during the five days it stayed in Eastern Passage.

Consider yourself temporarily deputized as an editor, as well. Check the math. Consider the facts. Keep in mind, most of the Volt’s miles were spent in the city, and it was driven spiritedly. Electric torque is so much fun. There were about 40 highway kilometres done at speeds around 105 kmh, or about 65 mph. Also, this Volt was fully run-in, topping 7200 kilometers while here. Overnight temperatures hovered just above 0ºC, daily highs reached between 3ºC and 6ºC.

2013 Chevrolet Volt white instrument panel
All Photo Credits:  
Steffani Cain ©

Those highway miles came about during the second electric range test we performed on the Volt. In that case, the fully-charged Volt figured we had 49 kilometers (30.4 miles) of electric-only driving, and we managed to eke out 49. 

At the beginning of our first fully-charged test, when the Volt was basing its estimated range on a previous driver and the circumstances in which he was driving, the Volt figured on a range of 47 kilometers (29.2 miles). We managed 65 km (40.4 miles) however, four more than the estimates produced by GM Canada and Transport Canada.

In the final test, the Volt had upped its fully-charged estimate to 50 km (31 miles), and after driving 34 km (21.1 miles), the Volt’s range had gained a single kilometer, figuring we had 17 remaining, not the 16 its initial estimate would lead you to believe.

Cars cost money. In comparison with other vehicles priced above $40,000, the rebate-less Volt (here in Nova Scotia) has the potential to save some money. Is it less costly to purchase a Chevrolet Cruze? Well, yeah. But the same could be said in regards to the Corvette buyer who could have saved money on a Camaro. The very idea borders on impertinent.

So take this moment to view the Chevrolet Volt as a very efficient alternative for the buyer who is considering a $44,000 Buick LaCrosse, which the Volt is capable of outselling in Canada. An alternative without power seats, or a sunroof, or a fifth seat. But an alternative, nonetheless. And stop acting like the Volt is what you buy when you don’t want a $21,000 Prius C. People don’t do that. At least I hope they don’t.

2013 Chevrolet Volt
March 10-14, 2013
Total Kilometers
Total Miles
Total Electric Kilometers
Total Electric Miles
Total Range-Extended Kilometers
Total Range-Extended Miles
Electricity Consumed ($0.1379/kW-hr)
33.8 kW-hrs
Litres Consumed ($1.444/litre)
Gallons Consumed ($5.466/gallon)
Overall L/100 Kilometers 
Overall Miles Per Gallon
L/100 Kilometers
(Range-Extended Mode)
Miles Per Gallon
(Range-Extended Mode)
Overall MPGe
MPGe (Electricity Only)
MPGe (Range-Extended Mode)
Overall Cost Per Kilometer
Overall Cost Per Mile
Cost Per Kilometer (Electricity)
Cost Per Mile (Electricity)
Cost Per Kilometer
(Range-Extended Mode)
Cost Per Mile
(Range-Extended Mode)
EPA MPGe (Electricity)
EPA kW-hrs/100 Miles
EPA MPG Combined (Gasoline/Hybrid Mode)
(Gasoline/Hybrid Mode)
EPA MPG Highway (Gasoline/Hybrid Mode)
MPGe calculated with a spreadsheet from Progressive Automotive X Prize

Real World Fuel Economy Testing In The Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL
Quick Spin: 2012 Chevrolet Volt
Historical Monthly & Yearly Chevrolet Volt Sales Figures
Historical Monthly & Yearly Nissan Leaf Sales Figures
Historical Monthly & Yearly Toyota Prius Plug-In Sales Figures