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Does Volt estimate range better than Leaf ?

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:18 am
by evnow
I've seen some state that Volt estimates the range better than Leaf. I wonder whether it is true - and if so, what are the differences.

From what I read,
- Volt uses last 15 miles of travel to estimate the range. Leaf seems to use about last 5 miles.
- Volt apparently takes pre-heating into consideration, while Leaf doesn't.

But, it seems to me the difference is also psychological.
- Volt can run all the way to EV range being zero, so it is easy to figure out the actual range.
- In Leaf you get battery low with some 15 to 20 miles of range still left. So, unless someone actually runs all the way to turtle, Range to battery low (or the last bar) becomes psychologically more important than actual range one would get
- Volt range being small, a difference of 5 miles seems trivial i.e. if the range estimator said 40 and they got 35. With Leaf, if the range estimator said 80 and they got only 70, the guessometer gets a bigger blame.

Re: Does Volt estimate range better than Leaf ?

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:33 am
by thankyouOB
another psychological factor -- and Volt owners tell me it is huge -- is that because they can keep going when they run out of charge, they pay less attention to it.
The conclusion is that the reporting is less accurate and critical of what is happening.

Re: Does Volt estimate range better than Leaf ?

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:58 am
by scottf200
I regularly use the NAV in my Volt so I have a pretty good idea knowing if the display EV miles remaining is "accurate". ie. comparing it to the NAV miles left. They go lock-step amazingly (surprisingly) well like within 0.5 miles most of the time. I do see a combination of cold 40s and highway driving 60+ make the EV miles run faster (like 2-3 miles over a 20 mile distance) in the first few miles you jump on the highway. As well after parking in the work lot all day I may lose 2-3 EV estimated miles in the first 1 mile of driving. Seems to be related to warming the battery vs cabin heating.

I went 75+ miles last Tue mainly on the highway and it went lock-step (est vs NAV). Temp was in the 40s. I was using ECO temp settings but that is my regular setting. On the way back I was hot from the sports thing I did at that location so I actually was alternating between ECO defrost window and FAN OFF. That extended my miles and the EST stayed higher than the NAV by 2-3 miles.

Asides: Using the NAV lets me know if I should drive calmer (no jack rabbiting) or cooler (ECO temp vs COMFORT temp). The Volt NAV (like most) let you set waypoints. So yesterday as an example, I went ~36 miles, so I set my DESTination as a waypoint and my home (roundtrip) as they final destination. I got home with 1 EV miles left. After that came home and charged up to 22 miles, took my family of 4 to dinner. Used the heater more and seat warmers. Turns out the new restaurant we going to try was closed on Sundays. So we had to go to another and I thought I may run out of EV miles with this extra running around. Got home with 1 EV mile remaining. Est and NAV miles went lock step.

Re: Does Volt estimate range better than Leaf ?

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:06 pm
by davewill
The estimate always feels more accurate as the total charge dwindles, even though I'm fairly sure that as a percentage, the accuracy doesn't really change. It may be that the Volt simply seems more accurate because of the lesser range. If the LEAF estimates 80, and you only get 70 it seems pretty bad, but if the Volt estimates 40, and you get 35...

Re: Does Volt estimate range better than Leaf ?

Posted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:09 pm
by scottf200
The Volt's range seems to be very sensitive to two things: Outside temp < 50F and climate settings. I guess they go fairly hand in hand if you are on AUTO. I use to only use ECO and AUTO but as I'm trying to stretch my miles lately I've been doing ECO and manual controls of the fan and location (defrost and feet). As soon as it gets cold (<35F) I'll just crank heated seats and climate controls. If on long drive days I use a few teaspoons then so be it.

A couple days ago I purposely used COMFORT, 74, and head seats (L). It was 40F that day. I used an "extra 6-7 EV" miles on that 12 mile ride home. After about 5 miles it then started lock-step again with my NAV.

Re: Does Volt estimate range better than Leaf ?

Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:29 am
by ElectricVehicle
If you program your destination into the Volt navigation system, the Volt uses the calculated route and terrain information to improve the accuracy of its range estimate.

Re: Does Volt estimate range better than Leaf ?

Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:33 am
by scottf200
ElectricVehicle wrote:If you program your destination into the Volt navigation system, the Volt uses the calculated route and terrain information to improve the accuracy of its range estimate.
Note sure where you came up with that? Sources? Are you trying to spread a false rumor and discredit the Volts estimated mileage accuracy or am I misreading your comment? Also there is no terrain information in the NAV as far as I know.

There have been times where I did not use the NAV but have either a) watched the trip odometer or b) watched the 'this charge' screen which shows EV CD miles and and CS miles (2012s also show kWh). So when not using the NAV I have found the Volt's EV mile remaining estimation to be equally as accurate.

Also many other Volt owners have reported very accurate EV estimates without using the NAV the way I tend to (waypoints and RT planning)

Re: Does Volt estimate range better than Leaf ?

Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:53 am
by DaveinOlyWA
the title of this thread should be "Is it the Leaf's job to provide an accurate estimate of the range remaining?"

because if it was...then the topics would be "Why wont Nissan let me use the 6 miles of range that is left in the battery?"

Re: Does Volt estimate range better than Leaf ?

Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:26 am
by Herm
evnow wrote: - Volt uses last 15 miles of travel to estimate the range. Leaf seems to use about last 5 miles.
Nissan should use the last couple hundred miles.. or have two range displays.. one the scary instantaneous range calculation and the other one a long term average.

Limited range electrics will always have this issue because MANY people have no idea how far they drive or how far their destination is.. and they wont learn.

Re: Does Volt estimate range better than Leaf ?

Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:28 pm
by ElectricVehicle
scottf200 wrote:
ElectricVehicle wrote:If you program your destination into the Volt navigation system, the Volt uses the calculated route and terrain information to improve the accuracy of its range estimate.
Note sure where you came up with that? Sources? Are you trying to spread a false rumor and discredit the Volts estimated mileage accuracy or am I misreading your comment? Also there is no terrain information in the NAV as far as I know.
That's a heavy handed attack. You could just ask politlely. And for that reason, the source is an unnamed, prominent Chevy Volt representative, employed by Chevy. Several other were present as said rep insisted that consumers never need to know state of charge because the Volt range o meter is accurate enough under all conditions, according to him. There's more data out there than you are aware of, and not all of it can be publicly disclosed.

I don't have access to a Volt. If you do, program the Nav system for a destination with a steep uphill climb and no downhill, say a mountain top. :) If you can report back the range the Volt reports vs. what it would be for a trip on flat roads, we can see objectively if terrain is used in the range o meter. If it isn't, it should be, but range o meters have a long ways to go in terms of accuracy and predicting the future, especially when the future destination is unknown to the car, ie. not programmed into the NAV system.