The efficiency gauge on the Volt&39's instrument panel can help drivers maximize fuel economy.

(Credit: GM)

Most Chevrolet Volt owners probably apply the same driving habits long practiced by hybrid owners, such as braking and accelerating gently, to conserve energy and maximize battery power. But they may not know that small, seemingly inconsequential choices, like how they choose to warm the Volt's interior on a chilly day, can also makes a difference in how far they can go on battery power alone.

Chevy Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz has lots of practice eeking the most out of his Volt's 16 kWh battery, and says that even during Michigan's cold winter months he's achieved high mileage using battery power alone. While he won't share his actual fuel economy numbers, he did share a few of his battery-power maximizing tips.

By taking advantage of the Volt's technology features, driving in Low gear, and being smart about when and how they acclimate their vehicle cabins, drivers can get better gas mileage and go further on a charged battery before switching to extended-range mode.

Chevy Volt driving tips to increase fuel economy:

1. Use the Volt's instrument panel Efficiency Gauge for driving style guidance, and remember to gently apply the accelerator and the brake whenever possible.

2. Use the heated seat feature and Eco mode in cold weather to reduce battery load. Blowing hot air to raise the cabin temperature and warm occupants uses a lot of energy, however, heated seats are the most energy-efficient way to warm the driver.

3. Warm or cool the car using your OnStar MyLink mobile app. Remotely warming or cooling the Volt's cabin while it's still plugged in and connected to the grid saves the battery power for driving.

4. Use Low gear. The "L" shifter position can help you engage in more aggressive motor braking, which recaptures more energy for the battery when coasting to a stop, during stop-and-go traffic, driving down hills, and even while driving aggressively.

5. Use the waste heat from the engine when in extended range mode to heat the cabin, but remember to turn it down when in EV mode

6. Keep the car plugged in for automatic battery conditioning (and low cost off-peak electricity).

7. Practice ABC (Always Be Charging). Download charging station locator apps, and keep note of public and private places, such as your friends houses, that have accessible power outlets. Get as many charges in as you can.

8. Read and follow the Volt's Efficiency Tips

The Volt offers efficiency tips on how to improve your driving.

(Credit: Liane Yvkoff)
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