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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
Ok, first, I personally don't want to end up using this at any point, but if I do, it would be helpful to know the approx (will vary with speed, hills etc) range in reserve when the petrol runs out and the battery was flat.
There is a mention in the manual of this. Anyone had the misfortune to use it?

Peter
 

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Its too late tonight for me to trawl through Youtube to find it, but there was a thread on this forum quite a long time back on this very question. If memory serves me right, there was a Youtube video where somebody did exactly this to a Volt or an Ampera as an experiment. You might want to try some Youtube searching :)
 

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EREV owner
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi all,
I did some searching tonight and found the answer to my original question.
You can read the test here
running out of gas, aka limp mode [Archive] - GM-Volt: Chevy Volt Forum
The short answer is that, when the battery is flat, if you run out of fuel, you get approx 3.5 miles reserve electric range before the battery dies completely, so not that far really. Worth knowing it it this short.
Hope this helps guys,
Peter
 

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I'd like to think it's a pretty academic question isn't it? You're not planning to drive well over 300 miles without charging or filling up? If you do, the end result would be exactly the same as running out of petrol in an ICE, and better than running out of diesel in one of those things..
 

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EREV owner
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd like to think it's a pretty academic question isn't it? You're not planning to drive well over 300 miles without charging or filling up? If you do, the end result would be exactly the same as running out of petrol in an ICE, and better than running out of diesel in one of those things..
I agree, but, I have run out of fuel once when I was 17, and I didn't plan to do it then either. I never want to use the reserve, but if we know it is only 3 miles, then we can't blame anyone but ourselves if we do run out completely.
Anyway, some things are just nice to know, and this might save someone someday from a long walk.

Peter
 

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I'd like to think it's a pretty academic question isn't it? You're not planning to drive well over 300 miles without charging or filling up? ..

Oo-er. Guilty. I did this.


On a recent trip down from Scotland I started the journey with 90% fuel and 50% charge and a range of 285 miles.


The satnav indicated 295 miles to home. I’m not gonna make it I thought.


However, as I travelled, my range slowly approached my remaining miles. By the time I had 100 miles to go I had 100 miles range.


It then became a challenge to make it home, just as it is when you are trying to get home on the last few Coulombs of charge without running the ICE.


Eventually my range was 1 or 2 miles in front. So now I was confident I was going to make it.


I’m not sure of the exact figures but at something less than 50 miles range I got a low fuel warning.


Then my fuel bar changed from green to orange.


Then the range changed unhelpfully from a number to just LOW so I no longer had any idea if I would make it. I was confident. I pressed on regardless.


Then the fuel bar started to flash. Soon after the satnav selected petrol station POI's and showed me where they were. Clever that I thought but I ignored it.


Then the fuel bar dropped off the bottom. The satnav once again looked up the petrol stations and told me to go to the nearest one. It actually set it as a destination and plotted the route. I ignored it.


Then I ran out of fuel. I think the car mentioned low or reduced propulsion, I should add that I had a couple of bars of battery left as I had been in “hold” since the Forth bridge. There was no way I was going to make it the remaining 20 miles with just 2 bars so I stopped and fuelled up as by now the poor satnav lady was close to hysterical.


It was an interesting experiment that showed me some good and some poor responses from the car. It also made me realise that as long as I had enough charge to get to a petrol station, then running out of fuel was no big deal like it always had been in an ICE.


Then I got it. I had always thought the Ampera was an electric car with petrol back-up. This is true of course, but when you go long distances this reverses. The economy contribution of the charged battery is minimal over a long distance continuous run, it's therefore better used as a range extender to the ICE, or a reserve tank.


So this could be a new strategy for covering long distances. I will start in hold and drive until I run out of petrol, then go exactly where I am told by the screechy lady satnav to fill up. It will add a frisson of extra excitement to every trip!
 
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