Chevrolet Volt owner travels 12,000 miles using just 26.1 gallons in two years

Article by Anita Panait, on December 19, 2012

Could a driver be able to travel nearly 12,000 miles in two years using just 26.1 gallons of gasoline? If he is driving a conventional vehicle fueled by conventional fuel like gasoline or diesel, cruising for almost 12,000 miles on just 26.1 gallons of fuel is an impossible feat. But achieving that deed is not impossible for Jeff Kaffee and his Chevrolet Volt, according to John Voelcker of High Gear Media.

Two years ago, Kaffee, a retired pilot from Parsippany, New Jersey, became the first person in the United States to own a Chevrolet Volt. He managed to log almost 12,000 miles on the Volt electric vehicle and consume just 26.1 gallons of gasoline in a span of two years. That is equivalent to a lifetime average of around 460 mpg, as Kaffee covered most of those miles on grid electricity.

Although the 12,000-mile distance is lower than the average covered by most cars, Kaffee notes that he also makes few long-distance road trips, as he spends up to half the year in Florida.

According to Kaffee, most of his daily cruises dropped within the electric range of his 2011 Volt. He disclosed to High Gear Media that he travels around 38 to 40 miles in the summer, and about 30 to 35 miles in colder months. He, however, noted that owners of 2013 Volts have reported higher ranges because of its slightly larger battery pack.

Kaffee is likewise very satisfied with his Volt, since it has yet to log any bugs or service issues. His only complaint was of a faulty tire-pressure sensor, which was replaced under warranty. He added he had no need to ask the dealer to look at or fix anything. Kaffee remarked that for such a new kind of car, he expected to be in the dealer “every month or two for something or other.”

If there is something he could change on his Volt, Kaffee said that the leg room of the rear seat to be increased by 2 or 3 inches. He said the rear seats are just a little tighter than he and his friends would prefer.

According to Kaffee, he mostly plugs in his Volt at home, and doesn’t make any effort to locate or seek out public charging stations. He said that he has seen charging stations “here and there on his travels,” including six or eight stations at the PepsiCo headquarters in Purchase, New York. Kaffee, however, is not a member of ChargePoint or any other network of stations.

Chevrolet Volt’s core component is the Voltec propulsion technology that integrates the efficient performance of its range-extending engine with its electric drive to achieve as much as 350 miles of total range.

Its battery with a long life is made up of a 5.5-ft, 435-lb (198.1 kilograms) T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack with 16-kWh capacity produced in the company’s Michigan factory in Brownstown Township. It provides energy to the modern 111-kilowatt (149-horsepower) electric drive unit to power the car. Utilizing the energy kept in the battery, the car delivers 25 to 50 miles of fuel. Electric driving is also emissions-free depending on driving techniques, temperature and terrain.

The battery of the Chevrolet Volt is built to deliver safety, value, performance, quality, reliability and durability. It is secured with a 100-mile, eight-year warranty. Starting in 2007, engineers at General Motors implemented more than four million hours and one million miles of validation testing for the Volt battery packs including its 288 prismatic cells and nine modules. The validation, development and test teams completed thousands of specifications and have validated all of the 161 components of the Volt’s battery, 95% of which has been engineered and designed by GM.

According to Micky Bly, the executive director of GM’s global electrical systems, Chevrolet’s customers are committed to support technologies that reduce their reliance on petroleum. The company is therefore aiming to ensure that the products maintain top standards in safety, value, quality, reliability and performance.

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