Chevy Volt Vs Mitsubishi i-MiEV: This Volt Uses Less Gas Than Electric Car, Data Shows Page 2

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2014 Chevrolet Volt with owner Ben RIch

2014 Chevrolet Volt with owner Ben RIch

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 Another important note is that I recently began doing side jobs about 30 miles from where I live. In the winter, my range in the iMiEV could fall as low as 37 to 39 miles.

When my travel requirements changed, it was easy to make the adjustment in the Volt, but I couldn't have done this as easily in an i-MiEV, or even in a Nissan Leaf (with a range rating of 84 miles).

Additionally, I have been far more comfortable driving during the winter in the Volt--I no longer need to drive without heat.

CHECK OUT: 2016 Chevrolet Volt: 50-Mile Range, 41 MPG, Five Seats, All New (Photos)

The limited range of the i-MiEV frequently forced me to turn off the heater in the dead of winter just to ensure I would arrive at my destination. 

Another benefit of the Volt is that you can recharge using either electricity or gas, and it happened that this feature allowed me to continue on my vacation uninterrupted despite very poor planning. 

On a trip to New Hampshire I drove up Mount Washington with an empty gas tank only to find the battery nearly depleted when I reached the peak. 

2014 Chevrolet Volt, photographed by owner Ben Rich

2014 Chevrolet Volt, photographed by owner Ben Rich

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On the way back down, the regenerative braking gave me back about 3 kilowatt-hours of electricity!

Between that and a handy charging station at the base of the mountain--thanks, Great Glen Trails!--I was able to make it out of the wilderness to a gas station.  

The only thing that really bothers me about the Volt is that the engine comes on in cold weather to warm up the cabin.

My purpose in getting the Volt was to use as little gas as possible, but even when I drive within the electric range, it still used a tiny bit of gas. 

2014 Chevrolet Volt, photographed by owner Ben Rich

2014 Chevrolet Volt, photographed by owner Ben Rich

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This was frustrating because part of the fun of driving electric is that the car doesn’t vibrate as its pistons reciprocate. 

But, I discovered midway through the winter that you can manually change the setting to turn the engine on only when it is “very cold”--and I was much happier after making the change. 

One other note: I have been tracking my electric and gas usage on Voltstats.net, where my car compares to thousands of other Volts. 

Shortly after my journey to New Hampshire while towing my electric motorcycle, I had the worst gas mileage of any Volt driver on the site!

2014 Chevrolet Volt blended gas mileage, photographed by owner Ben RIch

2014 Chevrolet Volt blended gas mileage, photographed by owner Ben RIch

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My rating is currently in the mid 40s and I am slowly moving up the leaderboard now that most of my driving is electric.

I have to admit that it was a bit embarrassing to be an active member of the New Jersey Electric Auto Association and simultaneously have the worst driving efficiency on Voltstats.

Overall the Volt is a great car for people who need greater flexibility in their driving range. It's a comfortable car with good acceleration, comfortable seating, great climate control, and modern styling.

If you want to drive electric but don't have the luxury of owning a second car, I have to say I strongly recommend the car as the best balance between two competing goals.

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