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2012 Chevrolet Volt Saves Supertanker Worth Of Gas Since Launch

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2012 Chevrolet Volt

2012 Chevrolet Volt

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We all know electric and plug-in hybrid cars can help cut down consumption of gasoline, but just how do you measure how much gasoline savings can be made? 

Normally, we measure gasoline savings in gallons, or barrels of oil, but General Motors has decided to measure the gasoline saved by its Chevrolet Volt Plug-in Hybrid in supertankers. 

Using data obtained from its OnStar telematics system, GM has concluded that collectively, the 14,000 or so Chevrolet Volts in the U.S. have saved the equivalent of a supertanker in gasoline. 

For the record, a supertanker holds around 2 million gallons of gasoline, equivalent to $8 million of gasoline at $3.80 a gallon. 

“With each click of the odometer, Chevrolet Volt owners are measuring their contribution to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and to preserving the environment,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet Volt marketing director.

With a 16 kilowatt-hour battery pack, the 2012 Chevrolet Volt can travel up to 35 miles in all-electric mode. 

Volt Electric Miles Driven

Volt Electric Miles Driven

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Combined, GM reports that the entire U.S. fleet of Chevrolet Volts have now clocked up 40 million electric-only miles since launch. 

That’s the equivalent of driving to the moon and back 167 times on electricity alone, or if you prefer, 16,373 trips from New York to Los Angeles.

“Our Volt owners are driving the vehicle exactly as the car was designed,” praised Landy. “Sixty percent of the time our owners are driving electric, but the extended range is providing additional miles when they need it.”

The typical distance between fill-ups, GM is keen to point out, is around 900 miles, although many Volt owners can go months -- or even years --  without ever filling up. 

If this sounds like your ideal car, be sure to check our official 2012 Chevrolet Volt review, along with our ultimate guide detailing everything you need to know about this popular plug-in car. 

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Comments (10)
  1. I think the most interesting statistic is that 60% of the miles are driven on electricity.

    I wonder if that is higher or lower than readers would have expected.
     
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  2. With only 35 miles on full electric, I would have expected lower. I'm pleasantly surprised.
     
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  3. I actually expected higher, but it's a tough one to judge. If I thought I would drive only half the time in EV mode, I probably would have just gotten a regular hybrid or a diesel. Then 2-5 years later, go with a full EV if range is better.

    But each driver has his/her own driving patterns, of course, so no real disappointment, then.

    For me, I've used eight gallons since buying it in March, so about 80% in EV. Eliminate one last-minute customer visit and I'd be at about 95%, though. Then again, I switch cars on occasion if I know I'm going to use gas, a luxury many drivers don't have.
     
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  4. Great way to visualize the savings but I don't understand the math. 2 million gallons of gasoline weigh in at about 2M*6.073 lb/US gal=~12 million pounds =~5500 metric tons. A VLCC weighs in at about 160.000 tons DWT (load capacity) minimum, a whopping factor 30 difference. I must be missing something here...
     
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  5. Yes, you are missing a lot there Chris. GM has grossly overstated those figures. If 14,000 Volts can save a tanker full of gas, can you imagine how many tanker fulls of gas 14,000 Nissan Leaf can save? I would give an educated guess, the same education GM apparently has, at around 5, or more, tankers. With that much savings, it would be foolish not to just go ahead and buy the Leaf instead of the Volt. If I have to go on a long trip, I will rent a vehicle.
     
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  6. I think GM has make a mistake between 2million gallon and 2 million barrels. A super tanker carries 2 million barrels of oil. Out of each barrels of oil, 30% of it can be converted into gasoline (42 gallon per barrel and 30% of that is gasoline). So 2 million gallon is about 1/6 of a super tanker or 16.67% of a super tanker. But it is still impressive.

    @ James. Leaf is a nice car. But renting a car weekly is NOT practical for most American.
     
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  7. @ Xiaolong Li: I thought of that too but the infographic specifically suggests barrels/supertanker full of gasoline, not oil and like you said even allowing for this trick it never adds up to a supertanker. I think the Volt PR people got a little carried way here because realistically a real supertanker could fit the sort of tanker that could hold all the gasoline saved by the Volt so far as a lifeboat.
     
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  9. We have driven 3100 miles and only used one gallon of gas since buying our Chevy Volt 4 months ago. We laughed as we made our car payment this month when we realized that this month's payment will be free!! (when you consider that we are saving a car payments worth of fuel every 4 months)
     
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